The high-risk history of Scaffold Matches

The Road Warriors vs. The Midnight Express

The first Scaffold Match was held in Memphis, Tenn., in 1971 between Jerry Jarrett and Don Greene. The match type remained exclusive to Memphis until 1984 when Mid-South Wrestling adopted it for a battle that saw The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express best The Midnight Express.

Two years later, The Midnight Express battled The Road Warriors at Starrcade: Night of the Skywalkers. Until that evening, the Scaffold Match had been a regional attraction, but at Starrcade, it made its debut on a national stage. Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey had experience in their favor, yet still showed a great deal of trepidation. Anytime a duo faced off with the tough-as-nails Road Warriors, it was daunting, but the WWE Hall of Famers made it worse by shaking the scaffold while The Midnight Express climbed the structure before the match got underway.

The four competitors battled in a struggle of power and agility, each trying to push their opponents off the platform. As the contest unraveled, all four grapplers managed to dangle from the support beams under the scaffold. Finally, Hawk and Animal kicked their legs forward into their opponents and forced them to the ground below.

Following the contest, The Road Warriors’ manager Paul Ellering chased The Midnight Express’ manager Jim Cornette to the top of the structure. Panicking on the scaffold, Cornette encountered Animal, who forced the loudmouth to fall perilously to the ring below, resulting in a serious knee injury.