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Found 88 results

  1. I'm trying to get back into my AJPW DVDs from the 80's as well as a slew of other stuff I want to watch. So instead of making big long projects that are so daunting that I don't want to do them, I have a very elaborate (not) system of flipping coins and rolling dice to get my butt in gear. Here's the end of 1985 and January 1986 of AJPW: British Bulldogs vs Jumbo & Tenryu (12/07/85): This was a good match where both teams got alot of offense in. Davey Boy press slamming Tenryu was the highlight for sure! 80's finish though... Mil Mascaras vs Tiger Mask II (01/02/86): A technical bout in contrast to the above tag match. Things picked up though and other than one miscommunication this was a good fight. Tiger Mask Misawa gets a hand shake at the end of the match so, although this is an 80's finish there's a sign a respect to end the match. Jumbo & Kodo Fuyuki vs Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda (01/86): Yes, this was shown in full! Tons of irish whipping and rope running. You better believe this was a high energy tag match for '85. Everyone brought something different to the table so everyone stood out. Plus we get a winner! Very good match. Windham vs Jumbo is a perfect fit in my eyes..wonder if that happened? Hansen vs Ashura Hara (01/86): Super heated slugfest with Hara taking it right to the Texan. It was quick violent good stuff! Russians vs Jumbo & Tenryu (01/02/86): I'm not going to spend time looking up who the "Russians" were since this was the worst bout of the DVD. It was just lame punch, stomp, bearhug type fare from them. Mil Mascaras vs Kuniaki Kobayashi (01/28/86): If you read my NJPW '88 reviews, you know that I'm a Kobayashi fan. I've taken a break on the Tiger Mask I review but, I'm really looking forward to Kobayashi vs Tiger. But here in 1985, he's in AJPW facing Mil. Both guys are technical wrestlers so this starts out really nice but, it turns into a brawl soon enough. Awesome tope and planchas punctuate the go-for-broke feel. It goes to a DQ but, would love to see a re-match with a clear winner. Good stuff. Hansen & Ted DiBiase vs Harley Race & Jesse Barr (11/30/85): Nice power moves from Barr...never seen him before. Hansen like you would hope was like a wild animal. Barr took a flip bump on the Lariat and landed on his noggin! Very good match in my book...no build up or story-just frenzy! Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr. vs Jumbo & Tenryu (12/12/85): Before watching this I knew that it was either going to be a shorty or it was going long. And this went long but, dang was it a action packed long match. Jumbo's doing leapfrogs, Baba brings out his big guns, Dory's hitting lifter like no one can and Tenryu eventually channels the grouch inside. You had better believe count outs and double DQs are a real thing in the mid 80's so, keep that in mind when the action spills to the floor. This was a great match! Man, this was a lot of fun to watch and it really seems like the best way for me to watch stuff that I'm 'not in the mood for.' I've been down a ROH rabbit hole however, this was a nice break.
  2. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Koko B. Ware, Hillbilly Jim & Hercules vs Big Boss Man, Akeem, Ted DiBiase, King Haku & Red Rooster Elimination Match WWF Survivor Series November 24, 1988 Richfield, OH Availability WWF Survivor Series 1988 on PPV - November 24, 1988 WWE Hulk Still Rules DVD
  3. Hulk Hogan vs Ted DiBiase December 17, 1979 New York, NY Availability WWF on MSG Network - December 17, 1979 WWE Hulk Still Rules DVD
  4. For a 10 minute WWF house show match this is really good Bossman at the start shows so much fire with some amazing punches and even chokes out Ted with the microphone cord until Ted uses the nightstick to the ribs to get the advantage. Bossman is one of those guys like Windham and Dustin that is great at making you forget how big they are when selling during a match, Ted using a Bearhug on Bossman sounds ridiculous on paper but if you watch the match with how it's worked it makes perfect sense. Virgil tries interfering near the end and just gets destroyed right before before the clean finish which is surprising but then again they weren't back at MSG for another 5 months. They were still having matches in August which makes It a shame the WWF didn't book them at Summerslam 90 because this is much better than anything on that show.
  5. One of Ted's last singles matches (he had two indie ones after this before returning to AJPW for Real World Tag League and getting hurt/retiring) and you know what? For 1993 and 39yo Ted, this is pretty good. His charisma, and how he works holds and when in holds, coupled with Akiyama's facials gets you through the early stretches just fine. Ted hotshots Jun, which breaks the arm stuff and he goes on offense, working around the neck and sleepers. Akiyama's eventual comeback looked like the style clash you'd expect, but Ted hung in there. He even catches Jun on a dive and then eats a flying forearm off the apron to the outside. There's a botched roll-up off the ropes here that they cover quickly. Maybe it calls out the difference in age and ability at this point; an ambitious attempt at least. Another northern lights suplex from Akiyama gets two. The sleeper is over here, Ted grabs him but he makes the ropes and the crowd is all over it. Ted catches him off the ropes with a big belly-to-belly, and then hits his straight jacket suplex (maybe?) and gets the win. ***
  6. WWF World Heavyweight Champion Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase - WWF Wrestlefest 7/31/88 Similar to the April MSG match, but with some more bells and whistles. Savage is really unique as a babyface champion in Vince Jr's WWF as he is only one I can think of that didn't have a real go-to comeback, finish stretch. Even Bret who mixed it up a lot had the 5 moves of Doom, Sharpshooter and barrage of cradles. Savage really did not have much. Savage is distracted by Virgil approaching Liz with his #FuckMoney allowing DiBiase to get the jump on him. Savage makes a mini comeback and sends DiBiase packing. Energetic shine but not as focused or as long as the MSG match. DiBiase uses the leverage move and rams Savage's head against hard objects. I thought this heat segment made better use of hope spots liked the crossbody a lot and set up the use of the chinlock better. DiBiase bumps great off the turnbuckles, but Savage rams his knee into turnbuckle. Savage sold the knee really well throughout the rest of the match too bad they did not build around that. DiBiase goes for Spinning Toehold and ends up being kicked out of the ring. Savage's comeback, but when he goes for elbow Virgil distracts. DiBiase runs into Virgil surprisingly that's the not the finish. Virgil smashes Savage's head with a chair, but the Million Dollar Man cant get the job done and Savage wins with inside cradle. The heels put the boots to him and he rolls to outside and throws in a chair. Where's Hogan??? Oh yeah that hot dog is off filming a movie. Savage should dump that Hollywood wannabe's ass. Like I said a bit more bells and whistles, could have been interesting with more knee work, kinda lame finish. ***
  7. Ted DiBiase & Terry Taylor vs. Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts -UWF TV 10/12/86 Country Whipping Match Bill Watts was clearly one of those people, who have never listened to the lyrics of Born In The USA. Was it every babyface's entrance theme? I am a total sucker for matches like this and this did not disappoint at all. I loved the energy, chaos and violence of this. I thought this was another badass DIBiase performance. His stock is starting to go up in my book. I thought all four men did a great job blending crowd pleasing spots with the violence. I liked the babyfaces railroading Buddy Roberts and isolating him from Hayes. Hayes then not wanting to be tagged in was funny. I thought the straps definitely livened up the usually bland Taylor and DiBiase and the Freebirds are the perfect heels to stooge and bump for them. I loved Taylor strapping Hayes from behind. Just as we saw in World Class, Buddy Roberts was the spark plug for the Freebirds and he did through eyerakes and choking. At first it looked like Taylor play face in peril, but he roared back with his strap. It was a nasty eyegouge by Roberts that fucked up DiBiase that started the FIP. I loved DiBiase's sell of this complete with losing control of the strap. DiBiase clobbered right with Roberts and I like this electricity DiBiase is bringing. DiBiase looks like has things in hand, but back from commercial and DiBiase is getting his ass whipped. I cant believe the Freebirds are actually getting work on top after all those World Class matches with the Von Erichs. I really liked the heat segment. Roberts strapping Taylor in the face on the apron was great as was all the double teaming and choking. I think I like DiBiase better as a face, he is really good at selling. Hayes will not be purely sexy in this match, but purely sadistic. I like that quote. DOuble clothesline! He leaps and makes the tag to Taylor! Taylor was a totally fine hot tag and the finish was a bit abrupt with just a hot cross body. I really enjoyed this one was an awesome TV main event. Finish being abrupt was my only complaint. ****1/4 After the match, there is a great brawl. Taylor goes throat first into the railing and there is a great sell. DIBiase looks for his black glove in this trunks, but Hayes blindsides him and uses the BLACK GLOVE AGAINST HIM!!! Awesome, awesome ending. Definitely makes you want to tune in next week.
  8. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Ted DiBiase -Mid-South 11/6/85 Perhaps my favorite angle of the 1980s and that's saying a lot, but just an awesomely executed angle from every aspect. Bill Watts is just money in putting over the guts of Ted DiBiase, the violence that had just occurred and the importance of a World Heavyweight Championship match. Jim Ross puts in one of his best performance. "I CAN'T BELIVE HE KICKED OUT!" "IF HE HAD HIM IN THE CENTER OF THE RING, I GUARANATEE YOU WE WOULD HAVE A NEW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION"! Ric Flair was without question the perfect champion for this exact angle. He has all the credibility you need, but he is so selfless that he will give to DiBiase everything he needs to go from the most reviled man in Mid-South to their top babyface at a snap of the fingers. Flair can kick ass to make you believe DiBiase is climbing a massive mountain and let himself get his ass kicked that you really believe Ted can pull off the miracle. Dick Murdoch as the crotchy, old redneck that wants DiBiase to step aside and then lashes out in anger was awesome. That first punch!!! HOLY FUCKING SHIT! It sounded like a gun went off. At the end of the match, he looks crazed and calm at the same time before dropping DiBiase head first on the concrete after having done a five alarm blade job at the beginning. This is Ted DiBiase's career performance. Standing up to Murdoch, selling the attack, not backing down to Flair, giving it his all in the match. The powerslam and not being able to cover is such a dramatic moment. Fighting through everyone of Flair's offensive volleys was just pure babyface. The figure-4 attempts were riveting. When he took that tumble out on the floor and smashes his into the railing it looks devastating. It is a ***** angle, but as a match let's go ****1/2. No matter, what you do watch this angle! You owe to yourself as a wrestling fan.
  9. Ted DiBiase vs Bob Sweetan - Mid-South 10/11/85 Taped Fist Match I may have never seen a Hillbilly Jim match, but I have seen a Bob Sweetan match. Sweetan is one of the few US wrestlers I had never heard of before coming to PWO. It seems he wrestled primarily in the smaller territories like Southwest, Central States and WWC. This was probably his biggest break. It is not surprising to see why he did not make much further. I will say casting him as a babyface does seem counterproductive so perhaps if he was a heel I would have liked him more. This match came about because DiBiase was on one of his many tours of Japan so Sweetan stepped in to defend the tag titles with Doc, but lost them to the Miracle Dream Team of Al Perez and Wendell Cooley. Hey if I was Ted I'd be pissed too so DiBiase kicked Sweetan's ass and Sweetan turned babyface. This is the big blood feud match. If I did straight up play by play of this, it would probably come off as a violent classic. It had a simple but effective layout. There was plenty of blood, chairs, metal, and hard right hands. There was a piledriver and a great finish, but I thought it came off cold and a lot of that was on Sweetan. If there was ever match to point DiBiase carrying someone this is it. He gave a really great performance both on top and then stooging and bumping for Sweetan, who was capable on offense, but no great shakes either. DiBiase kicked some ass during the heat and showed ass during the comeback. That's the way I heel should be. I thought he threw a good chair shot and plenty of great punches. Sweetan was fine at the comeback climaxing with his famous piledriver, but only getting two. When a face hits his finish and only gets two, that is a death kneel. DiBiase gets his loaded black glove and wallops Sweetan. This is a great match and a very entertaining one, but needs a better performance from Sweetan and just more hate. ****
  10. Ted DiBiase vs Jake "The Snake" Roberts - Mid-South, Nawlins 7/22/85 It is my understanding now after the Duggan blowoff, DiBiase was primarily in a tag team with Dr. Death when in Mid-South. So maybe I should watch a couple of their matches. This is a part of a larger tag feud between the champs DiBiase & Doc against Jake the Snake & Nord The Barbarian (Berzerker). Nord is wearing a shirt that says "Weasel Slapper", which sounds oddly homoerotic. This is ostensibly heel vs heel, but as in most matches involving Jake, the "DDT" is very over. Jake did such a great job with that move. They get the Nawlins crowd to chant "Weasel" at DiBiase. I like DiBiase alright, he is not my favorite. Jake The Snake does very little for me until discovering the WWF Steamboat matches I thought he was a borefest. He actively seeks to do as little as possible in a match while still getting a crowd reaction. Minimalists might adore that type of work ethic, but I ask for a little more. What I do appreciate about him is that all his matches have an instant hook, the DDT. DiBiase brings the hook of his loaded glove. What can I say I am a sucker for a pair of big dumb hooks, Katy Perry 4 life BABY! I will forever defend DDP because he took the Jake Roberts match formula and added so much more through sheer effort. DDP built his entire match around the Diamond Cutter just as Jake built his match around DDT. Early on they establish, they are both heels with hair pulls, but after that is three DDT teases and each time DiBiase bails. The Snakeman finally gives chase and DiBiase catches him as he comes in with a fist drop. I loved that as a transition to the heat segment, but it was all for naught as Roberts was able to get back on offense. DiBiase loads the glove and clobbers Roberts. The ref checks the glove and in all the time wasting, DiBiase cant get the pin. Roberts is busted wide open. Lots of fist drops from DiBiase. DiBiase is trying. Roberts is taking his beating. DiBiase likes the chinlock too much for my liking. Jawbreaker. Holy shit! DiBiase with a badass sell of that. I wish everyone sold it that well. It may actually mean something. A bit of a fracas ensues and Doc accidentally bumps DiBiase into the clutches of the Snake, DDT! 1-2-3! Pretty simple structure: tease DDT-> loaded glove -> heat segment with blood -> DDT. It was enjoyable, but nothing mind blowing. DiBiase selling of the jawbreaker was the highlight. The payoff of the DDT after all the teases is always sweet victory. ***1/2
  11. Ted DiBiase vs Terry Taylor - Mid-South TV 7/3/85 Vero's Hero is set to take on Teddy Boy in a battle of former North American champions that are looking to get back in the hunt as everyone is jockeying to get a title match with the Nature Boy. Flair in tandem with Eddie Gilbert was getting tired of Terry Taylor's challenges and got him bumped off in favor of The Nightmare. Eddie Gilbert said The Nightmare gave his contractually obligated rematch to Terry Taylor and was owed no more. DiBiase had a beef with Taylor because he never got his and slapped the taste out of his taste to start this impromptu TV match off hot. These two wrestlers have reps for being a bit on the bland side, but I thought they showed some good fire in this TV sprint. Nothing in this match would revolutionize pro wrestling and there is no spot that wows, but it is a very entertaining bout and just nice to see these two in this setting. I feel that DiBiase wrestled up to this match where sometime he can be overshadowed. He was one the creating the movement and energy in the match. His punches looked good and everything he did felt urgent. I liked him going for the figure-4 early and Taylor going for the dropkick->pin early. Taylor was gritty in how he worked the arm with nice knees to the biceps and a forearm to the face. DiBiase created the action forcing him into the corner and unloading with the heavy artillery. The heat segment was fine with Taylor peppering in a nice backslide, which I bit on since they were working at such a fierce pace. Just as Taylor looked to be mounting a comeback, DiBiase hit the kneecrusher and into the figure-4 and then reversal spot. Taylor wanted to continue the work on knee, but DiBiase was in the corner and this necessitated a break affording him the opportunity to load his glove. I liked how he missed at first so there was a bit confusion in my mind if Taylor would eek this out which conflicted with the sense of impending doom and then BAM! Taylor was out. I probably wont remember this match in a couple months, but it was a fine TV match. There was really no hook. They worked hard and everything felt urgent. Good match. ***
  12. Dick Murdoch vs Ted DiBiase - OKC 12/31/85 Dick Murdoch is just spectacular at every facet of wrestling and this here represents the peak of his brawling. He looks to jumpstart the match against Teddy, but he is countered with a powerslam and a big punch. Ted is walloping Murdoch who is doing his classic face down, ass up selling that always makes me laugh. Murdoch realizes that coming up at Ted does not work so he changes gears by playing some cat and mouse. When Ted tries to climb over the barricade, Murdoch lands a big blow to disorient Teddy. Murdoch focuses on the back of the head, neck area presumably to set up for the Brainbuster. He drives his head into the table to bust him open and works a short, but effective King of the Mountain. I love the selling of punches by Ted where he is trying to cover up, but also fight back. DiBiase finds an opening and drills him and here is the Fist Drop! Murdoch does the spin around on his hip selling so that's where Hollywood got it from. DiBiase gets violent biting and clawing at Capn Redneck. He misses the fist drop and here comes a badass finish stretch. DiBiase wants to end it by loading his glove, but Murdoch wipes him out with a knee. Murdoch works a fantastic sequence against his neck using the railing, three chair shots to the back of the neck, neck snapped against ropes and then looks for the brainbuster, but DiBiase floats over to nail him with the loaded glove to win. Hitting him with loaded glove is definitely a great satisfying finish. I would have liked to seen a little more DiBiase offense to really build to raging climax. It almost feels like a heel finish where Murdoch was going to wing after a great string of offense only for DiBiase to get lucky with his foreign object. It felt a little backwards is all. If DiBiase was kicking ass, kicking ass and then finally nailed him with the loaded glove it would have been awesome. It is still a total classic and a great Murdoch performance. ****1/2
  13. Dick Murdoch vs Ted DiBiase - Houston 12/27/85 This is a result from the one of the hottest Mid-South angles of all time that successfully executed the double turn of the hated Ted DiBiase and the former North American champion Dick Murdoch. A quick synopsis is that Murdoch was pissed DiBiase got a NWA World Title shot against Flair and right before the match, Murdoch beat the living shit out of DiBiase bloodying him up and nailing him with Brainbuster. DiBiase proved he is all-man and came out to wrestler Flair with a giant bandage. DiBiase was ripshit that Murdoch cost him a title shot and so they went around the loop. This match is joined in progress and also the finish stretch is an exact replica of the OKC 12/31, which we have in full. I think this is a great match, but ultimately does feel incomplete and seeing the complete match from OKC it renders this one useless. I will focus on the middle of the match that was different. Murdoch is kicking ass with solid heel offense in the form of stiff strikes, stomps and elbows. DiBiase as a babyface is interesting, he shows good fire and selling, but is being overwhelmed. They bust each other open. When DiBiase misses a fist drop, they go into the finish sequence. It is a great match, but seeing the complete match is what needs to be seen.
  14. Rock N Roll Express/Duggan vs Doc/Dibiase/Hercules 12/27/84 2 1/2* This is a new one. I found this more fun than good, and a match that was suited better live than for people watching it at home. You had a match going on in each ring, while you had one wrestler in between each ring that could tag in and out to each ring. This is a pretty cool premise and wonder if it started in Houston. I will say their is a lot to digest but super fun stuff.
  15. Mid-South North American Champion Ted DiBiase vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan - Mid-South 3/8/85 No DQ Jim Duggan looks like Rihanna at the end of Bitch Better Have My Money. They beat the living fuck outta each other in this battle like they owe each other some cash money. DiBiase had returned to the territory from an extended stay in Georgia and All Japan. Hooking up with Dr. Death and Skandor Akbar to exact revenge against his former partner in crime and the man who banished him from Mid-South, Hacksaw Jim Duggan! DiBiase & Dr. Death had jumped Duggan to kickstart the feud on TV in the fall of 1984 and DiBiase defeated Brad Armstrong to win the North American Championship. It all came to a head in this No DQ Bloodbath. I loved the beginning with Ted making sure everything was legal only to immediately throw the powder in Hacksaw's face and once blinded he was easy pickins to busted open on the outside. The best part of this was Duggan's incredible performance throughout. He was always staggering and always swinging at DiBiase. DiBiase was kicking the shit out of him, but you always felt like Duggan had something left. When Duggan caught coming off the top (patented DiBiase somersault bump) and suplex, the crowd came unglued. You could feel DiBiase shit his pants as Duggan stomped around. The fists were flying and it looked awesome. Hacksaw got into this three point stance and hit his wedgebuster, which should have claimed his first North American title, but Skandor Akbar hit him with the cane. A shitty head collision followed which also wiped out the ref. Dr. Death handed Ted DiBiase the lethal loaded black glove and DiBiase had the presence of mind to sock Duggan. DiBiase was perfectly good on offense knowing how to work the cut and cheat his ass off, but this was Duggan through and through modulating his selling perfectly and really building to the match to crescendo. I have this under the first Buzz Sawyer brawl and the second Magnum/DiBiase bloodbath, but still a bitchin' match. ****1/4 Now if there was just some way Duggan got HIS hands on that coal miner glove and keep that infernal Skandor Akbar & Dr. Death out of the ring and come to think of it I just wished Duggan could banish DiBiase all over again and you know this fucking DiBiase thinks his shit don't stink, but if you are ugly on the inside like DiBiase then you are ugly on the outside so I know Duggan would look better in a tuxedo. If there was just a way to combine all these facets of the feud into one match....hmmmmmmmm....
  16. Mid-South Tag Team Champions Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs Ted DiBiase & Matt Bourne - Mid-South 10/27/82, No DQ, Loser Leaves Town While Bill Watts may be obsessed with bench presses, he was incredible at getting over the angle and motivations of each wrestler. DiBiase's lust for the North American Championship caused his turn to the dark side. He wants to remove JYD from his competition by defeating him in this Loser Leaves Town match and take his tag team championship. DiBiase had used Hacksaw Jim Duggan as a partner to relieve JYD of the championships in August, but came up unsuccessful. In this match, he invited Matt Bourne from Atlanta to help him in his quest of ridding Mid-South of their beloved Dog by injuring him with the Bombs Away, top rope seat drop. Also, he could use Bourne as a sacrificial lamb if the going gets rough in this high stakes match. On the flip side, everyone's hero the Junkyard Dog has not been able to get a fair shake at the North American title since DiBiase became champion thus by pinning him DiBiase would be forced to vacate the title making the path easier for the Dog. I love the beginning of the match it is filled with JYD going for quick pins. This is not a blood feud in the sense he wants to dish out pain. He just wants DiBiase gone so he going to try to win the match early and often. It seems Dog had recently learned the back heel trip in wrestling school. DiBiase is great at selling being in there with Dog and his fear of being forced to leave Mid-South. I like the term Four Sisters On Thumb Street to describe a fist drop from the Dog. Mr. Olympia is caught by a DiBiase back suplex. A quick tag to Bourne and a follow up knee drop consolidates the advantage. It is a strong heat segment with all the trademark cheating and riling up the Dog. It climaxes with the Bombs Away, which looked fucking awesome. DiBiase, a gloryhound, looks for a powerslam, but it being No DQ, Dog comes in and saves. He waylays Bourne and drags Olympia to their corner. Dog is a house afire. DiBiase, desperate, looks to load his glove and the crowd voices their displeasure. Dog stops him and goes for the foreign object. All of sudden, a man in a Gorilla suit from the State Fair, bodyslams Mr. Olympia. What the hell! He reveals himself to be Hacksaw Jim Duggan! After a couple false starts, he hits a wedge buster on JYD and DiBiase nails him with loaded glove to sen JYD packing for 90 days! The post-match promo to establish the Rat Pack (DIBiase, Duggan & Bourne) as the premiere heel force was a thing of beauty. This is a very good, fundamentals tag team match that is bolstered by the storysurrounding it, the strong characters in it (JYD & DiBiase) and a wicked hot angle to finish it up. Next time, we look at how the Rat Pack splinters and leads a Loser Leaves Town match of their own. ****
  17. thebrainfollower

    Rick Rude vs. Ted Dibiase

    Parv brought this up casually in another thread, naturally believing Ted to be the better talent. I'm not so sure about this as I think it's a very complex comparison. On face value, you'd think they had very close careers. Both guys peaked in terms of national fame at the same moment and in the same place, late 80's WWF. They are two of the "big four" of more technically talented top heels of that era in the WWF (with Savage and Perfect) and are gimmicks everyone remembers. Their in ring careers ended less than a year apart and both ended up as suited NWO minions towards the end. But on face value I find this to be a very hard straight comparison to make. For one Ted Dibiase played both babyface and heel for long runs in his career, whereas Rude played basically only a heel (his early Mid South run as a lower card guy aside). For a second thing Dibiase got to work with ALL the top WWF guys in his run, whereas Rude only had one TV match with Hogan and none at all with Savage during his run. For a third thing, I'd argue they basically peaked nearly a decade apart. I also think Rude played his character in the ring incredibly well and seemed to have more passion for his run than Ted did, at least in the WWF. Rude's WCW run vs. Ted's Mid South peak make for an interesting case. Anyone else want to talk about these two? I'm not sure I have an easy answer.
  18. North American Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA vs Ted DiBiase - Mid-South 7/6/84 You know you are over when the crowd is doing the sound effects for your punches. Magnum TA, you are over, brutha. Magnum had 80s babyface down pat. He had all the mannerisms with him shaking his fists, hands over head, raring to go. He is a way better seller than I was expecting. You hear he was going to Hulk Hogan of the NWA and I see where that comes from in terms of look and cool factor. While Hogan sold a lot especially in the late 80s, it was the over the top, comic book style selling as opposed to Magnum's gritty, bloody screams and his anguished countenance. This is much tamer version of their bloody brawls in late May (even though it did get bloody). It almost seemed like the matches were booked backwards chronologically. Though they seem to be in a different town so maybe they were starting the story fresh here. The beginning of the match was pretty common 80s beginning with Magnum besting DiBiase at every turn and DiBiase powdering to break his rhythm while Mags was energized. It was a fun beginning. Really hated the transition to the heel heat segment with DiBiase just hitting some shoulder tackles in the corner and then he just throws TA's back into the apron and post. I would have liked something more devious or a Magnum mistake to transition to the heat segment. It was just way too routine and not a real hook for the match. While the transition sucked, the heat segment proper was awesome because Mags' forte was selling and DiBiase seems like a strong offensive presence. It could have used more Magnum hope spots, but his selling was very good. TA bucked him off to the floor and then DiBiase takes his somersault bump in the follow-up. The crowd is red hot for the Magnum comeback until a collision (80s really liked that spot). DiBiase, out of desperation, sends Magnum head first into the post and busts him open. I liked DiBiase going from the back to the head because he was feeling the match slipped away from him. Mags feels blood on his face and just loses it. He whips DiBiase so hard into the ropes the turnbuckle breaks! I don't think it was a work, but maybe it was. Ted grabs hold of the turnbuckle and cracks him him, but it is only two. Mags bounces off the bottom two ropes with a ref drop down (hmmmmmmm maybe this was planned) and it is a hot shot by Teddy. DiBiase loads the glove, but misses the fist drop into the Belly to Belly! The finish stretch took this from a good match to a great match, but I didn't think it was as good as the bloody brawls from late May. These two are definitely made for each with DiBiase's offense and Mags' selling. The finish was memorable with the turnbuckle breaking and it was a feel good finish. ****
  19. North American Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA vs Ted DiBiase - Mid-South Tulsa 5/27/84 I have to say I was a bit skeptical that on the exact same day albeit different arena they would be able to even match the awesomeness of the earlier OKC match, but boy was I wrong. Not only did they match it, they topped it with an even better blood-soaked brawl. The first match was a great bloody sprint, but this was a dramatic spectacle. They played to Magnum's greatest strength, his selling and it just ensnared you and never let you go. I got to say, I loved the beginning of this, where DiBiase went to pearl harbor Mags, but Magnum was wise to his games and beat him to the punch. Since they were working a different arena, I did not expect them to actually learn from match to match. So I was very impressed. Did they show these matches on TV and thus they needed to show inter-match progression? The early portion of the match is all Magnum, but DiBiase is making him earn it. The match really busts open (pun fully intended) when DiBiase sends Magnum crashing to the floor reopening the cut. DiBiase working the cut on the floor with Magnum's screams of agony and the fans enraged was a perfect confluence of pro wrestling. DiBiase clawing at the cut and Magnum just making you believe this is most painful thing is the difference between the last match being great and this being a classic. In the ring, Ted is on point it is all fist and elbow drops to the head. Magnum is peppering in hope spots, but can string anything together as Ted stymies him immediately. DiBiase applies the sleeper and just when it looks like we will have a new champion, Magnum in a last ditch effort sends DiBiase flying over the ropes. DiBiase tries to rebound with a piledriver, but Mags back drops out of it. He pulls himself by the ropes. I love it, Ted is modulating the strength of his punches with them getting progressively weaker as he is more exhausted! Magnum is coming alive! He sees the blood. Run Ted Run! The collide in the center of the ring. I have this to be a way more common spot in the 80s than in anytime since and it was definitely a clue the finish is coming. DiBiase wants to get this over with and loads the glove. Wild swing and Mags hits the atomic drop and Ted bounces off the ropes into a Belly 2 Belly! I loved that setup for the Belly 2 Belly. Best Mid-South match yet and just everything you want from bloody brawl. Ted was vicious during the heat segment and backpedaling on Magnum's offense. Magnum is a really, really good seller and knows how to connect with audience during a comeback. ****1/2
  20. North American Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA vs Ted DiBiase - Mid-South OKC 5/27/84 Nice, fist throwing bloody sprint as I get my first look at Ted in Mid-South. Watching prime Ted DiBiase for the first time in Mid South is something that really intrigues me. Bockwinkel, Lawler and Von Erichs are known commodities to me, I know what to expect because I have watched a decent amount of footage going in for those wrestlers. DiBiase is someone who is well-known for excellent character work as the Million Dollar Man, but leaves me cold in the ring. In Mid-South, he has a blank slate to really impress me. This match was an excellent start. I thought he was vicious, focused and relentless. There was no jawing and no wasted time. He was in there to win and press his advantage to win that title. From the opening bell, when the wrestlers looked to return to their corners, he jumped Magnum from behind. It established his tone for the match and that was to attack, attack, attack. His strikes looked great as he took to the outside.The ref's admonishing distracted enough that Mags was able to bounce his head off the table. Holy shit, look at Magnum go with those awesome right punches that has DiBiase reeling. I love DiBiase begging off and taking some big bumps. Mags looks way better on offense here by sticking to strikes and brawling with Ted. DiBiase feeling like the match was slipping away and being overwhelmed loads up his glove and blasts Magnum busting him wide open. Around this, Jim Ross magically joins us on commentary and they mute the crowd. JR just calls the moves and does not add much in terms of story so I wish they kept the crowd noise. I loved the crowd visibly expressing to the ref that DiBiase loaded the glove. DiBiase was awesome in his heat segment. Every move was designed to hurt Magnum and take advantage of the cut, fist drops, ring post shots, and strikes. DiBiase hits a nice powerslam to set up the spinning toehold, but Magnums kicks him off. DiBiase goes up top and I have seen enough WWF DiBiase to know how this story ends. He eats the punch to the midsection and somersault flip to a nice visible reaction. Magnum roars and I wish I could hear the crowd. He hits his Belly to Belly to retain the title. It clocks in under 10 minutes, but this is a sprint. It is a just an action-packed brawl between two pros. Magnum is greta at selling and really has gotten firing up down now in a very short time since I last saw him. DiBiase really checks a lot of the boxes as a heel. Definitely looking forward to more! ****1/4
  21. Join Steven Graham, Dan McGinn and Aaron George as they take a look back at Survivor Series 1989. Is this the greatest open to a PPV ever? Where does the show rank all-time? All this and much more in this PTBN Survivor Series Rewind Special. http://placetobenation.com/ptbn-survivor-series-rewind-survivor-series-1989/ SOUP: This is the first of a three part series of looking at Survivor Series shows. Be on the lookout for 1998 and 2009 in the upcoming two weeks.