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Found 30 results

  1. AWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel vs Jumbo Tsuruta - AJPW Budokan 2/23/84 Special Guest Referee Terry Funk It had been almost four years since Giant Baba had won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Harley Race. While Jumbo had been challenging for the NWA World Title since the mid-70s, the pressure must have been mounting for him to follow in Baba's foot steps and finally win the big one. All Japan, NWA and AWA were booked in a tough position where the American promotions did not want to a Japanese wrestler representing them, but All Japan needed to prove to their fan base their ace was a legitimate world class pro wrestler. In 1984, it was high time for Jumbo Tsuruta to avoid the choker label and he did just that by pinning Nick Bockwinkel to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship. He did Baba one better by actually finishing the tour with his reign intact and actually defending the championship in America. You see Baba spent a ton of money to cement Jumbo's status as the man by buying him this reign. In return, Verne got actually what he needed a gaijin transitional champion to go from ace heel Nick Bockwinkel to his prospective new hot babyface act, Rick Martel. Baba would use a similar model of gaijin (Hansen, Doc and Gordy) to transition titles among the natives. It was a win-win for everyone involved and of course the big winners were the Japanese faithful that were able to see their hero win the World Heavyweight Championship from Bockwinkel after being thwarted repeatedly by cheap finishes. The match starts with Bockwinkel trying to end the match early with a surprise cross body, but only gets two. Bockwinkel works an extensive arm work segment that is just awesome. Bockwinkel is wrenching Jumbo's arm in all directions, applying pressure with his head and knees (THAT IS A LEGAL KNEE TO THE HEAD, Terry Funk yells, which makes me chuckle). Jumbo is always struggling, teasing escapes, but Bock uses a multitude of nefarious tactics to keep him down. One of my favorite spots of the match was Bock's super slick double wristlock takedown into a rolling short arm scissors just really strong work there. Another fun spot was Jumbo trying to show Funk that he keeps getting pulled down by the hair only to be pulled down by the hair again. Jumbo finally is able to string some offense together in the form of an enziguiri into a high knee, but only gets one. Bock retreats and tries to go back to the arm, but Jumbo is rolling now with two piledrivers and a Thesz Press. The action is so hot and heavy that it spills to the outside. Bock unloads with heavy blows on the outside. Hey there is the 80s spot the head to head collision, but really does not lead anywhere in this match. I can't say I am a fan of that spot. Jumbo is throwing closed fists and ignoring Funk's admonishments. Jumbo will not be denied tonight and the crowd is pumped. Bockwinkel goes back to a top wristlock to get a nearfall, but Jumbo counters with a Russian Legsweep. Nice! It is bombs away from Jumbo with a variety of suplexes and he has the champion on the ropes literally as he has to use the ropes to break Jumbo's Boston Crab. The Japanese fans have seen this story before and usually it does not end well for their boy. Bockwinkel shoves Jumbo into Funk and if I was a fan I would be smelling screwjob and Bockwinkel hits two piledrivers and a bodyslam, but nothing doing. As usual, Bockwinkel chucks his opponent to the outside to buy himself some time. When it comes time to bring him in the hardway, Jumbo floats over and BACK DROP DRIVER! 1-2-3! Jumbo wins the World Title! This was an interesting story as you get the sense that Bockwinkel clearly sees Jumbo as a massive threat to his title reign. He tries to win quickly with a cross body from there he dictates the pace and tries to take Jumbo out via arm work. He is keeping Jumbo grounded and we find out why later in the match. Bockwinkel does not have a prayer in a bomb throwing match. Once Jumbo is able to break free of the arm work and establish himself, he just starts throwing everything at Bockwinkel to finally win the championship. The tease all the usual screwjob finishes (double countout, ref bump), but this time the fans get to home happy with Jumbo Tsuruta winning the AWA World Title. Jumbo's long term selling could have been better. Bockwinkel was awesome in this, cocky in control and desperate on defense. The feel good ending elevates the great work in this to a classic match in my eyes. ****1/2
  2. Man, I love this matchup. Young Punk Choshu was the best. You can say what you want about Inoki, but he was great at portraying himself as an untouchable badass. You look at some of the stuff Inoki does here and it's no wonder people thought he was a genius. He also always has these crazy facial expressions. I think the first 15 minutes or so of this didn't even have a bump but still ended up mesmerizing pro wrestling. This was worked like a technical battle of megastars so that was really cool. Both guys struggled hard and every movement could possibly lead to a finish which is exactly what you want from a match with really high stakes. Choshu was aggressive and really putting Inoki through the wringer, not just when he throw punches and stomps, but also in his grappling, butting heads when looking up and uncorking a super tight front headlock roll. Inoki came across as calm and cool headed so exactly the perfect counterpart to Choshu's rage. His selling was really strong too, at the beginning of the match he was dominating on the ground, but after Choshu really put the torque on him with the Scorpion Deathlock he was limping and stalling. Seeing the cool headed Inoki getting into desperation mode when Choshu tried the move again was great too. A limping Inoki punching Choshu in the face from the knees was epic and so was Choshu trying to bulldoze the legend with lariats and suplexes. I think if they had continued in that vein the match would've cruised into my all time top 10-20, but instead they slowed down again and went back to the holds. It was still really strong work and they delivered a great, clean finish. For a clash of the titans type match in front of a super hot 80s crowd that was mostly built around matwork this pretty much delivered all you can ask for.
  3. AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel vs Nick Bockwinkel - AWA Winnipeg 9/20/84 WOW! Until the finish, I think this was the best match I have seen so far as part of my 80s watching and is definitely neck and neck with Flair vs Kerry from August of 1982. It featured some of the best selling I have ever witnessed in pro wrestling. It was not just from Martel. It was from both Martel and Bockwinkel. It felt like a war of attrition between the two best wrestlers in the world. It was a game of inches and they were both so good that it was just going to be the details the decided the winner. The small detail was Bockwinkel's nasty little short jab to the ribs. It was his great equalizer. Martel was so focused on his kneework that he would leave himself exposed to these quick punches and that eventually took their toll on Martel physically. The story really became who could overcome their injuries Bockwinkel with his knee and Martel with his midsection. Bockwinkel wrestled most of the match on his knees and he proves why he is one of the all-time best by selling his pain and desperation throughout the match. In this match, Bockwinkel tries to start the match hot and heavy, but he gets overzealous and hits a high knee to the turnbuckle. Martel just pounces on this mistake like in the Lawler match with toeholds and strikes relentlessly. Bockwinkel sells the agony of the holds in such an engaging way that you never lose interest. Bock and Martel trade blows within the toehold and when that does not go well for Bock; he hits a quick jab to Martel's midsection, which forces him off his body. Bock with JYD heabutts to Martel's midsection. Oh shit, this is my kinda match! He pounds Martel's side as best he can with his good knee. This is just dripping with struggle and urgency. Bockwinkel collapses in the middle of the ring while Martel writhes in pain in the corner. Holy shit! Bock uses the wrong knee on a knee lift and can't capitalize soon enough. Martel hits a kneecrusher! Martel is back to work with seatdrops so Bockwinkel just grabs him by his hair and punches him in the head. He forces Martel out of the ring and is basically working a King of the Mountain from his ass and it is awesome! Martel picks the leg and wraps it around the post. Have I gone to Heaven? Bock saves his knee by trying to claw Martel's eyes out. This was no normal eye gouge, he was getting in there. He puts Martel in a stretch where he can constantly maneuver him to expose the ribs to his rabbit punches without the ref seeing. Martel punches to the knee to get out of it and kicks the leg out from under him. Yep, I died and have gone to Heaven. Martel rides high and Bock applies a body scissors, but his leg is so fucked up he can't hold him. They knock heads in the middle of the ring and it is time to hit the finish. Martel goes for the kill first, but misses the reverse cross body from the middle rope. Martel fires through Bock's offense and it looks like he has more gas in his tank. Slingshot splash EATS KNEES! THOSE RIBS! OW! The selling is tres magnifique. They work through a barrage of nearfalls with neither having enough to put the other way. However, the ref gets bumped, Mr. Saito is able to throw salt in the eyes of Martel who has Bockwinkel dead to rites in the Boston Crab. 1-2-3!?!?!?!?!? Bock wins??? After much deliberation, the belt is returned to Martel. I fucking hate that finish. I don't care if it is babyface or heel, it is just stupid bullshit. It is definitely worse when a babyface wins, you get the pop and then rob people. Still even letting the people see Martel get pinned and not lose only hurts the moment when he will actually loses the title. The finish is the only thing that keeps this from *****, but fuck if this is the tenth best match of the AWA in the 80s, I am in for quite treat! This was fucking tremendous. Small critique would be that they just had one or two more highspots down the stretch to take the drama level to the next level. I am thinking a Bockwinkel sleeper and maybe a piledriver or two. It does not have to be an AWA Jumbo match with a ton of highspots, but a couple more would have been enough to overcome my least favorite finish ever. Enough negativity because this is my favorite match so far. It is a master's class in selling and should be absolutely mandatory to be watched by all wrestlers young and old in the industry today. ****3/4
  4. The most impressive thing about this match is that in 90 minutes there is literally no downtime at all. Even the Inoki vs. Choshu matwork was compelling. The crowd heat is insane and the fact that that level of heat was consistently maintained for 90 minutes is even more insane. I would say Fujinami was the MVP with Animal as a close second but everyone was great in it. Incredible match to say the least but one I have had trouble rating because it is difficult to distinguish the individual pairings from the overall story.
  5. This might be my top joshi match of the 80s at the moment. Crazy action with amazing character work (all four have distinct roles), heel vs. face dynamic and great heat. Up there with many of the acclaimed 90s joshi tags. ****1/4
  6. This is my favourite Fujiwara/Super Tiger match. They work it with Fujiwara having the upper hand on the mat and Tiger being the dominant striker but the gaps aren't huge and both can hang and fire back in both departments. Fujiwara is awesome here, busting out awesome takedowns, countering Tiger's strikes, reversing his holds on the mat etc. but he also has all time great punches and just rocks Tiger with them when they're standing. There's a really great moment when Fujiwara starts choking Super Tiger with a Sleeper and Sayama sells it with this disgusting cough. Finishing stretch is just unreal with Sayama killing Fujiwara with brutal kicks seemingly forever and his knee drop is also up there with the best there have ever been. Fujiwara is the master at blocking kicks and reversing everything so you can buy he could come back at any time but Sayama just keeps on kicking him in the head and destroying him and it's this super dramatic struggle and then one time when Fujiwara finally gets a comeback in he gets cocky and throws a headbutt that knocks HIM down. That spot played up so many things, from Fujiwara's arrogance to the damage of Sayama's offence neutralizing a spot that I don't think had ever been neutralized before. And he just keeps on killing him and pretty much invents the shoot style KO/TKO finish in the process. FIVE STARS.
  7. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Kerry Von Erich vs Ric Flair - WCCW 5/11/84 Coming off his recent loss of the World Championship to Kerry Von Erich, Ric Flair is out to prove he is still The Man. Wow, does that give this match a totally unique feel compared to other Flair vs Kerry matches. Flair is wrestling with a challenger's mindset even if this is non-title and he is here for a fight. He establishes this with a slap to Kerry in the corner. He is here to fight. People want to talk about matches that do not follow the Flair Formula, well here you go because this is a sprint where Flair is crazed and desperate. His hyper-offensive mindset is a double-edged sword as we will see. More often than not, he is rushing and like my mother always says "Haste makes waste" and in his haste Flair was giving Kerry openings. It was creating his own too. We see Flair crowding Kerry early and often. He is bringing the fight to Kerry. When he sends Kerry to the outside, he is right there with a hammer elbow and then crowding him in the corner. This leads to these spirited skirmishes in the corner with each man fighting through each other. Flair's offensive control seems tenuous because in his haste he leaves himself prone to dropkicks and press slams. He is keeping the powerful Kerry off-balance with his perpetual motion. Kerry looks to put Flair to sleep, but he gets a kneecrusher. Flair quickly looks for the figure-4 again haste makes waste as it leaves him prone to the Iron Claw! He fights through it, but then here comes press slam and discus punch. The loss of the championship is clearly eating away at Flair who is not consolidating advantages, which he has had in this match. It is a very frustrating match if you were a kayfabe Flair fan. I am loving the narrative they are building here. Flair jabs at Kerry's bad knee and this time he gets the figure-4. I love how when it gets reversed, he immediately gets out and limps over to chop Kerry. There is no rest in this match he is out to prove something leg be damned! Flair goes right back to the figure-4 and Kerry shoves him off. Flair back with the hammer elbow, Flair is not giving up. Flair runs right into a press slam and now a cross body. Flair tries a hiptoss, but Kerry falls back into a banana split cradle for the 3. Flair needs to stop trying to hiptoss Kerry that's two times in a week Kerry has gotten a pinfall from that situation. He has it scouted Flair. Awesome little sprint from these two. Flair worked like a madman and Kerry was with him every step of the way. Kerry thwarted him at every pass and it just frustrated Flair more and more. I loved all the heated exchanges and there was another after the match. Flair is just ripshit he is not champion. It is awesome. Really great TV match! ****1/4
  8. WWF World Title Iron Sheik (c) vs Hulk Hogan January 23, 1984 New York, NY Availability WWF on MSG Network - January 23, 1984 WWE Hulk Still Rules DVD
  9. 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. ****
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. The first fall has the greatest lucha matwork this side of Dandy/Azteca. Cota's assault on Rocca's arm second fall onwards is truly incredible and the selling is great. I even like the controversial finish, thought it was a nice twist and fit the narrative. One of the best matches of the 80s. ****5/8
  13. WWF Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana vs Bob Orton - MSG 7/23/84 They pretty blatantly telegraph this is a draw with a pretty pedestrian opening ten minutes. They worked the holds well, but you could tell they just wasting time. Orton catches Tito with a punch on a criss cross. This combines elements of workrate (bomb-throwing), but with lots of selling of exhaustion so it feels like a 2010s self-conscious epic. Lots of time in between moves in order to sell exhaustion. Orton busts out a powerslam, backbreaker, Fishermans Suplex and tries a Vaderbomb, but eats knees. Each move is great just lots of time in between spots. Tito instead of having one big burst of fire has a several mini-comebacks. The one after the Vaderbomb was good but went into an ab stretch and then he missed a crossbody and Orton gets a cover. Orton takes a Slaughter like bump over the turnbuckles and some big Tito shots. Orton gets a big reverse atomic drop off the Tito ten count punches in corner. Good nearfall down the stretch. Bell rings shortly after. My big issue is they were selling total exhaustion but they only wrestled twenty minutes! C'mon! They were acting like they went a full Broadway. It is not like they worked a sprint. Over selling and way too much time in between moves. Found this to be disappointing.
  14. Great match: hard-hitting, intense with great heat. Smart finish that indicates the cumulative effect of damage sustained across the match.
  15. Hacksaw Duggan & Rock N Roll Express vs Ernie Ladd & Midnight Express - Mid-South 6/8/84 Jump plays the Rock n Roll Express down to the ring and Ernie Ladd is introduced as a new member of Midnight Express. What an awesome time to be alive! Ricky Morton is the fucking man in this. It is performances like this may edge him over Bobby Eaton in my book. He works a tremendous segment with an ancient Big Cat Ernie Ladd and it is just wicked entertaining. Morton is moving around a million miles an hour. Ernie is wondering what he has gotten himself into because the Midnights had just been totally shown up by Morton and had to retreat twice and now he is discombobulated. The corssbody Morton hits on Ladd gets a massive pop. Ladd finally catches Morton and hits a double leg drop to give the MX their first advantage. Morton scrappy as ever tags out to Hacksaw who literally fights his way into the ring, which is a cool touch. Eaton rifles Duggan to no avail as Hacksaw comes back with a lariat. Eaton is in retreat mode and the MX can't get anything started. There is a fun spot where the both members of MX try to pin Duggan in rapid fire fashion only to be pressed and then they both pin him and both are sent flying. The crowd is just molten for this match especially Duggan! Ladd busts out the old foreign object to finally stymie the fiery Duggan. Duggan is able to tag out, but Ricky goes flying over the ropes and is nailed with a chair that busts him open. Duggan comes flying around with a chair of his own, but it is too late the damage is done. In the story as old as time, the MX beat the holy hell out of Ricky Morton. Morton is just in his element here working hope spots and selling like a million bucks. Eventually a fracas breaks out, Corny tries to use some sort of knockout spray, but instead he sprays Eaton! The babyfaces pick up the win, but do not win the war as the heels beat them down complete with choloroform. Ricky Morton really gave an inspired performance here: getting the most out of Ladd I have ever seen and a typically great FIP. Duggan is king-sized in there and looks like a ready successor to JYD and the heels were typically awesome. It is a fun, fun match, but nothing that gets to that next level classic, missing that big hook. ****1/4
  16. Wanted to create a thread for this because I personally think this is not only one of the best Satanico matches but one of the best of all time. Unique and brilliantly executed story of the Local anti-hero taking on the invading foreigner. Perfectly paced and structured. Amazing brawling and selling. Clever and poetic finish + an awesome post-match. This has it all. ****5/8
  17. This was awesome. Hot crowd super into Jumbo, and Martel bringing it. Really intense and dramatic finishing stretch - crowd was biting on nearfalls for Jumbo's suplexes and Martel's sleeper and cross-body. Was never a huge Martel fan before this, looks like I'm going to have to buy that AWA set and get deeper into him.
  18. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich - Parade of Champions 5/6/84 Great match? Not really. Awesome moment? OH HELL YEAH! I have seen this match a handful of times, but watching after seeing the other Von Erich bouts in order really hit home for me last night. I was as excited as every one of those 32,000 people in Texas Stadium (announcer claims 50k and the largest audience ever in attendance to watch pro wrestling) to see Kerry Von Erich capture the World Championship achieving his dream and honoring his late brother. The entrance was perfect with Kerry coming out with the Yellow Rose and wearing "In Memory of David Von Erich" on his jacket and the yellow trunks. The crowd starts up with a Go Kerry Go! Even though they are in stadium, the crowd is just as rocking as an intimate arena crowd. Flair does not seem psyched out, but maybe he is as he is brings the fight to Kerry trying to go for amateur takedowns. Or maybe it is the fact that he can lose title by DQ thus stripping him of his champion's advantage and forcing him to wrestle more like a challenger. I think he knows the moment and he needs to hush the crowd and bring Kerry down. On May 6, 1984, Kerry would not be denied. Kerry in a criss cross stops on a dime and hits a nice dropkick. Flair breaks his rhythm by retreating to the corner. We are getting the more standard Flair vs power wrestler here. Kerry gets the big punches and huge press slam that is such a great picture and gets a huge pop. It makes sense to work a bigger match in front of a stadium crowd. They work their usual spots like the sleeper and the tussle over the ab stretch. Flair tries to create motion to get something going, but Kerry gets the CLAW out of nowhere for the big pop! Flair knee to gut and then press slammed off the top and Flair Flip as we get now trademark Flair spots. He is desperate looking for the figure-4 with no prep work to salvage this match, but Kerry kicks him off twice. They go through the hiptoss sequence, but Kerry gets a backslide and 1-2-3! WOW! WHAT A POP! One of the loudest pops you will ever hear. Just an amazing moment for Kerry and his family after the heartbreak of the loss of David. It serves as the climax to the first half of Flair's reign as he transitions away from the travelling champion to Horsemen Flair. It is also a satisfying conclusion to the Flair/Von Erich program. Of course, Kerry would drop title back in Japan and Flair/Von Erich would continue in other territories, but this was a great moment for this series. ****
  19. Schultz is the guy that slaped a reporter once right? Seems fitting he'd be challenging Inoki for the World's Martial Arts title. This was fun-Schultz controlled the match with basic holds but Inoki's comebacks were really good-he went after Schultz with nice slaps and awesome looking punches. Schultz also executed a Suplex by dropping Inoki more on his head/neck which was....not exactly what I excpected out of 1984 WWF. **3/4
  20. I wrote this for my blog in my review of the Hulkamania CHV tape and I want to know if I am crazy or if this match is just really great. Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Howard Finkel What a truely bizarre team in the booth. The first thing they do is make sure that the $15,000 is on the line. At this time Bobby Heenan said he would pay out that money if anybody could bodyslam Studd, the true giant of wrestling. Bobby Heenan confirms that it is always on the line. What follows is a surprisingly great match. It’s built around Hogan gaining control, then going for the bodyslam only for Studd to block it and then take control. The big moment occurs when Hogan goes for a bodyslam near the ropes and Studd is able block it and drag Hogan to the floor. He uses the table, ring post and guardrail to bust Hogan open! This leads to the longest heat segment of the match. Studd is so in control he even hits a flying ax handle off the top! During this segment we see the first bodyslam of the match and it’s by Studd. Hogan starts to “Hulk Up”, but he gets booted to the floor. After a little of bit of the King of the Mountain spots, Hogan drags him to the floor. We get some brawling and a comeback which leads to a bodyslam on the concrete floor and a countout win for Hogan. I really can’t believe how great this match was. Rating: ****
  21. Randy Savage & Lanny Poffo vs Rock N Roll Express - Mid-South Coliseum 6/25/84 SAVAGE PILEDRIVES MORTON THROUGH THE TABLE! When I was a kid, we rented some video or found some TV show that had this angle on the tape. I literally remember nothing else on the video just Savage piledriving Ricky Morton through the table at ringside. Eat it, ECW! Talk about a hot and I mean double hot angle! Absolutely tremendous! For what we got, this was on pace to be one of my favorite Memphis Wrestling matches of the 80s and on pace to be better than both Savage vs Lawler matches I have watched so far, but a premature DQ ending makes for a fun match rather than a classic. Wow, were these two teams made for each other! Savage and Poffo were perfect heel stooges for the Rock n Rolls and of course RnRs excel at giving the early crowd pleasing spots. I am such a mark for high-octane movement in the ring that ends with the heel either on his ass or falling on his face. There are plenty of those with Poffo and Savage trying to get one up on RnRs and failing spectacularly. My favorite spot was RnR did their normal spot of rolling through a banana split and decked Savage on the apron. They go to do it again, but Savage has learned his lesson so he jumps off the apron. He gets back on the apron and showboats only to be decked again. Popped huge for that! The transition to the heat segment was awesome with Gibson running into the top turnbuckle, but it was a fake out. In the ensuing fracas, Morton gets rammed into the post by Angelo and the short heat segment is worked perfectly. Savage and Poffo's control feels tenuous at best, which gives a really exciting feeling of when Gibson will make a tag, but Morton is out of it that it is hard for him to make a tag even when he gets a hope spot in. I know this is stating the obvious, but Morton sold perfectly in this match just enough to get sympathy, but was still active in trying to tag out. Great stuff! Savage is great at working a nasty heat segment with his wicked punches and full court press offense. Gibson finally gets in, but before he can do any really damage, Angelo pulls down the top rope and he goes tumbling out for the premature DQ. At a scant nine minutes of awesomeness, I am definitely left wanting more to the point where the finish is frustrating. I am of the opinion that I rather get twenty minutes with this finish than just ten with this finish leaving the match feel underdeveloped. A brawl develops at ringside and this is where Savage piledrives Ricky Morton through the table. These two teams absolutely rocked it and I look forward to the rematch. ***3/4
  22. Inoki doesn't seem anywhere near as over as he was in the Schultz match. Basic match with Fulton controlling the bout with heatholds and average strikes before Inoki's comeback. Inoki had a nice hammerlock escape and I liked the way he blocked one of Fulton's strikes thereby setting up his comeback. **1/2-**3/4
  23. NWA World TV Champion Tully Blanchard vs Ricky Steamboat - NWA Starrcade 1984 I watched a good chunk of the excellent 1984: Year of Transition series. By watching it, you understand that Tully and Steamboat were the biggest stars on the show week to week. Flair and Dusty would show up, but they had busy schedules. It was Tully and Steamboat that were the workhorses. The year began with Dick Slater as the top heel, but by the spring it was clear that Blanchard was the most hated man in Mid-Atlantic with his fingers in many different angles against top babyfaces including Mid-Atlantic legend Johnny Weaver. Steamboat took the US Championship off from Dicky Slater, but only to lose to newly turned heel Wahoo McDaniel, who doubled as Tully's best friend. It all came to a head in this classic at Starrcade as Steamboat goes into the match with injured ribs. I loved, loved the first half of this match. The struggle over those injured ribs was incredible. Tully was sneaking in shots every chance he could get and Steamboat was firing back with all he had to try to save the ribs. Steamboat was expertly using the chinlock to control Tully and to stave off any attack to the ribs, a perfect use of the chinlock. Upon making the ropes, Tully just dives as soon as he can with his weight on the ribs as Steamboat defends himself. It is just electric. I loved Steamboat's selling as a wounded man, but fighting through the pain. He uses the ropes to stand up and roar back. They were on pace to have the best match of the 80s in my opinion. After Steamboat roared back, Tully slowed the down the match pace and the match was still excellent, but lost that really unique feel. Steamboat went on absolute tear in one of his best offensive performances ever. He kicked Tully's ass, busted him open, spit at him and stole his move! It was very badass. Tully had to resort to a foreign object and as Steamboat brought him with a back suplex, he let him have it. They did two nice false finishes: Tully hitting a cross body after the foreign object spot and Steamboat recovering enough to hit a top rope crossbody. Tully was thinking slingshot suplex, but blocked and in a sunset flip attempt nailed him with the foreign object for the win. The beginning of the match feels very special. The last half is a very quality, but standard finish run. The match feels way too short and kinda incomplete. Regardless, this match rocked and was a ton of fun! ****
  24. WWF World Tag Team Champions North-South Connection vs Sgt Slaughter & Terry Daniels - WWF, MSG 7/23/84 Terry Daniels certainly mastered the armdrag. Besides that and the dropkick, I dont know if he had much else. This was pretty fun mostly because Murdoch and Adonis were so selfless. They still used their size to bully Daniels but they created a ton of movement for him. I really liked the criss cross sequence where Adonis finally landed the big reverse elbow to get Daniels down. Slaughter pulled a Terry Funk and threw himself on the turnbuckle to save Daniels who then dropkicked Murdoch down. We get more Slaughter in this than we did Backlund, but again it leaves you wanting a Slaughter/Adonis or Slaughter/Murdoch match. Back in Daniels throws some more armdrags, before getting his shit kicked in. The dropkick is his transition to the hot tag. SLAUGHTER CANON! Clobbers Adonis. Cobra Clutch on Murdoch, but Adonis saves. Daniels in and he gets a hot nearfall off a crossbody. Daniels like Blair succumbs to a double team move this one more similar to Demolition Decapitation. This was similar to the Blair/Backlund match except Blair was more experienced and just better than Daniels who looked really green. Murdoch and Adonis did their best. This was a fun finish run. ***3/4
  25. Jerry Lawler & Randy Savage vs. King Kong Bundy & Rick Rude - Memphis 9/17/84, No DQ It is not often the place-setter match for the wild brawl outshines, but unfortunately that is the case here. I was all revved up for a raucous, bitchin time. Don't get me wrong the match was good, but it was not the classic brawl that I think that these four could have. It is Texas Tornado style. I love the name Texas Tornado whoever came up with that is a genius. Bundy gets a chair broken over his head in the first big spot of the match, while Rude is earning his money with his excellent stooging. Savage comes flying out of the sky to the floor with a double axehandle twice. Rude hits an atomic drop, which is not as cool as him taking one. Bundy and Rude are able to isolate Lawler and beat him down. In the sequence of the match, Rude bounces Savage's head off the table and THROWS a table at him! However, The Macho Man came prepared with a chain and is able to nail Rude with it. In the ring, Bundy lays a table on The King and just stands on it. OW! Savage saves with his handy, dandy chain. STRAP DOWN~! Lawler has the chain and nails Rude. Piledriver! Lawler fist drop onto Bundy with the chain, but that snake in the grass Jimmy Hart grabs the ref's hand as it is falling. Savage hits a back suplex on Rude, but pins himself!?!?!?!? WTF, MATE! That's a finish for a classic championship match or a TV title match nearing a draw not for a heated brawl. Very lame finish for the context of the match. There were some nice spots, but I did not think this had the intensity it needed to overcome such a lame finish. ***1/2
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