The Junkyard Dog had been banished from the Mid-South territory when he was the victim of a pack of heels who simply outsmarted the “King of Louisiana.”
Bill Watts was beside himself on commentary claiming that a big piece of Mid-South had been lost and the next ninety days were going to be tough to recover from. JYD was a staple for Mid-South wrestling and a huge fan favorite that Watts relied on every week for a successful program.
Popularity for JYD was at an all-time high before the “Rat Pack” decided to knock him off his throne. By the end of 1982, the group had managed to obtain all the major titles in the territory and became one of the most talked about factions in the country. Ted DiBiase was the North American Heavyweight Champion, Jim Duggan held the Louisiana Heavyweight Championship and the team of Matt Borne with DiBiase were the Mid-South Tag Team Champions. Perched on top of the mountain they demanded the wrestling world take notice. We all know that all good things must come to an end. When a staggering dog comes waltzing back seeking revenge then all bets are off, and mayhem may ensue.
Enter Stagger Lee.
The history and story surrounding Lee was very curious and full of holes. Stagger Lee was the childhood friend of JYD and once used to beat up “the dog” so he could steal his lunch money. Lee was an odd character who came dressed in a green and red bodysuit and covered his face with a mask. On his tights read “Is it me.” Lee moved and wrestled identically to that of JYD. This caused speculation that Lee was in fact JYD. The Rat Pack professed that he takes the mask off and reveal himself. Mid-South seemed to ignore the pleas of the heels and continued to allow Lee to wrestle under the mask. Naturally, the group was forced to take matters into their own hands.
Lee made his presence felt when he entered a match with DiBiase and quickly defeating him while using all the same offensive moves that JYD was using in the past.
The match was a non-title contest, but the impact was felt, and it sent DiBiase and his cohorts scrambling into their holes looking to regroup. Just as any intelligent heel at the top of their profession, they opted to hire none other than “The Ugandan Giant” Kamala. Kamala was developing his own brand of chaos by collecting masks from his opponents and displaying them like trophies when he came to the ring. This was the opportunity they had been waiting for. DiBiase pounced at the opportunity for acquiring Kamala’s services. He wanted the mask of Stagger Lee.
Things took another unexpected turn when Lee defeated DiBiase for the second time. Unfortunately for DiBiase, this match was for the North American Heavyweight Championship and his defeat brought the end to yet another title reign. DiBiase was furious! He became a man possessed and vowed to dismantle everything around him. The destructive nature oozing from DiBiase started to seep its way into the very group he formed, eventually saturating his stablemates. The fans of Mid-South would soon become accustomed to the drowning of rats.
Tables had turned.
The once dominating group was starting to feel the pressures of being champions and the previous evil deeds would soon be punished. Mr. Wrestling II made a great partner for Lee. A showdown followed between the tag teams of Mr. Wrestling II and Stagger Lee going up against Matt Borne and Ted DiBiase for the championships. The championship was not high enough stakes for this feud. Mid-South was not big enough for all of them and this rivalry had reached a peak that is unmatched in today’s current wrestling. Loser leaves town was once again the only solution.
The fans of Mid-South Wrestling woke up to a wonderful present on Christmas day in 1982. Bill Watts would pull off his best Santa Clause impersonation giving everybody a wrestling story that would catapult Mid-South into the new year. A Loser Leaves Town match on Christmas day is everything a wrestling fan could ask for. Jubilation would soon turn frightening. A nightmare would come on Christmas to deliver a gift for an unexpecting victim.
Mr. Wrestling II was badly injured when Kamala finally got his hands on him. Kamala came off the top rope onto Mr. Wrestling’s back. This would force him out of the Loser Leaves Town match and leave Lee without a tag team partner. The match would be ruled a forfeit if Lee was unable to find a partner in time. Mr. Olympia was quick to jump into this match and offer himself as the partner of Lee. The match would continue as scheduled with Mr. Olympia and Lee taking on DiBiase and Borne. Somebody was going home for Christmas.
Not only is revenge dangerous to yourself but it can also affect those around you. Mr. Olympia had all good intentions when he entered this match alongside Lee. Good intentions will soon be proved a detriment when associating yourself with a man who is consumed with revenge. Lee had led his friend Mr. Olympia into an unpleasant situation that would cost him his livelihood and drastically affect his career.
DiBiase was always one step ahead of Lee and he would prove once again that it’s a mistake messing with a man obsessed with glory. The revenge of Lee combined with the obsession of DiBiase spilled over and infected everyone. Mr. Olympia became the latest victim and was the wrestler who came up short in the Loser Leaves Town match. It’s a shame to see good intentions destroyed and used for the nourishment of possessed men. The ghost of Christmas past would visit Mr. Olympia in his absence and make his presence felt in the months that would follow.
Mr. Olympia would soon rise from the grave seeking his own path of justice.
Timeline and Notable Events on the WWE Network (Mid-South Wrestling)
- The Arrival of Stagger Lee – 11/6/1982
- Kamala causing havoc on masked wrestlers -12/4/1982
- Setting up the loser leaves town – 12/18/1982
- Loser Leaves town – 12/25/1982