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  1. AWA World Tag Team Champions Buddy Rose & Doug Somers vs Midnight Rockers - AWA TV 8/30/86 I really don't know how much I can say about the famous Bloodbath match that has not already been said, but I will try my best to explain why this may be the greatest American tag team match ever. Shawn Michaels quick pinfall attempts. Superkick. Rose slams his head into the post and Michaels outside and taps a gusher. Awesome, awesome staggered selling and wild punches. Somers is nasty as fuck gnaw at cut spitting blood. Every hope spot is met with a jab to the cut. Jannetty tries to help, but no avail. The drama is ridiculous for Michaels to get to Jannetty. Jannetty gets in and nails everything that moves. He sends Somers into post twice to bust him open. Sherri distracts and Buddy buries the knee in the back. Buddy busts Marty open with pistons rights. It is a bloodbath. Buddy gnaws. Somers is fucked up. War of attrition. Michaels hanging from ropes on the arpon and just great selling. Somers with a seated dropklick finally gets Jannetty down, but kick out at 2. Jannetty taeks a swing at Buddy. Jannetty tumbles after missing to hit Somers. Somers great selling. Jannetty weird spurts spastic spurts of energy. Jannetty bits Rose. Shawn in and he is incensed from his own blood and Buddy is such a great chickenshit. Shawn fires off and full court press. It is a fracas. The ref is knocked down. Somers and Jannetty knock head.s Rose drops Jannetty onto a chair. OW!!! Two refs throw it out. Rose and Somers look to beat Michaels down, but AWA faces save. Michaels jumps Buddy on the outside in the classic moment. If you have not watched this, you must. Pitch perfect selling from the Rockers especially Michaels and great heel work from Rose & Somers working the cut. The epitome of drama! *****
  2. Midnight Rockers vs Buddy Rose & Doug Somers - AWA 12/25/86 To paraphrase Prince, “Excuse if I get excited, I was watching a badass Shawn Michaels shine.” This is a very controversial and your thoughts on it probably tells a lot about who you are as a person. As a person that is a bit of a ham that loves things over the top and outrageous. I love this shit. Where other people may find Shawn Michael’s to be a douchebag in this match, I saw a person that was excited to be kicking the ass of the men that had been keeping them away from the titles for months and had bloodied him on two occasions. Shawn Michaels as the serious asskicker in the beginning would have been fine, but it wouldn’t be Shawn Michaels. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he is going to let you know that “Fuck Yeah! I am kicking these pricks’ ass”. I was vibing off that positive energy and it really sucked me into the match. Now, if you don’t like it, you are just a different person and that is cool, but I think this is all-time great shine. I will never get down on someone that is that invested in the match. In addition, I thought the match told a great coming of age tale. In the 80s, it was commonplace to take a pretty boy babyface tag team (blowjob tag team, if you will, not a term I particularly fond of) to put them in a nasty, bloody brawls to prove their mettle and they were not just some pretty faces. It was seen with the Fabulous Ones & Moondogs and Fantastics & Sheeperherders. With Rockers leading up to this cage match, we have seen Rose & Somers bloody up Shawn Michaels on two occasions. This is that coming of age tale to demonstrate to the crowd that Rockers have an edge to them and that they can fight. This cage solidifies this position. Rockers kick their asses from pillar to post busting Rose open immediately. Shawn Michaels kicks the ever-loving shit out of them. Somers takes some ridiculous cage bumps. Shawn is all fired up. You can really feel that he is becoming a man by taking it to these two grizzled veterans and dominating. Sherri’s hysterical wailing never ceases. There is lots of great stooging and delayed bumps and staggering. The Rockers giving the Rose & Somers a taste of their own medicine, gnawing at the cuts. I love the crazed Somers cage bumps. Rose is beaten senseless on apron and is selling like a chang. Shawn is revved up on the top turnbuckle and I am going wild here in 2015 in my kitchen. Jannetty slams Rose’s head in the back of cage until he just slumps down, DAMN! Shawn yells no mercy. He goes for double noggin knocker, but Rose rakes the eyes and sends him into the cage. Rose looks to go up top, but Jannetty cuts him off and crotches him and A HUGE POP! Repeatedly sends him head first into cage. Somers breaks it up and Somers beaten up slumps down. Rose low blow! Shawn breaks up and sends Jannetty into cage and he no sells. I will say for as much shit Michaels gets in this match. He punches away on Rose and pulls him up at two! I thought Jannetty was more egregious in his dumb decisions pulling up Rose & Somers on two occasions and no selling cage shots. Somers is fucked up in corner. Rose is sent into Michaels fist and falls all the way back into his corner and tags out. Michaels hits an elbow drop and pulls Somers up. (Michaels isn’t perfect) Somers headbutts Michaels low. Somers crawls over. Buddy Catapults Michaels into the cage. Shawn is bleeding. Buddy throws him into the cage. Rose DDT. Rose pulling him up now as a dick move to show up the faces, which I like as a way to play off the earlier pull ups. This is a strong, short heat segment. With Rockers fatigued from their shine and nastiness of Rose & Somers, you believe they have weathered the storm and that Rose & Somers could pull this out. Michaels with his staggered lunges and Rose gnaws on cut. Fans cheer for Michaeks. Rose rakes his head across cage. Somers suplex and tags out to Buddy. Shawn back body dropped into cage (great bump) and then straddled on ropes. Shawn fires back from his back, but trips over Somers and almost pinned (really cool). Shawn hits a tremendous kneelift! Tags in Marty! Everybody into the cage! Rose tries to get out and they fight on top of the cage and Rose tumbles towards inside cage. Jannetty with a huge cross body to win! WAIT! What oh it is non-title Rose and Somers lock cage to do a number on Jannetty. An all-time great cage match that is never dull and just constant excitement. Add in the controversy, definitely check it out and make your voice heard! ****3/4
  3. This didn't do much for me. I liked the early stalling but whenever there's stalling, a long hold etc. I try to give the workers the benefit of the doubt and see where the match goes. I didn't like where this one went. It went straight into babyface armdrag/keylock spots, which weren't particularly interesting. I like the spot where the babyface picks Rose up in the air and slams him, and generally they'll work the hold enough that watching it doesn't bore me to death but not enough where I'll got much out of it. Wonder whether the missed elbow drop is something Rose relied on as a transition. Rose is a lunatic bumper and deserves credit for that. Finish was very workrate-y with them quickly exchanging control segments in an attempt to produce excitement and, it worked for the crowd but it's not something that holds up fourty years later. Snuka's Piledriver looked pretty terrible. **1/2
  4. This was more up my alley. I loved Bastein's puncehes and headbutts and Rose did a great job of bumping for them. Most of the match was a headlock, but it was a well worked one. My deduction from watching exactly two Rose matches is that he seems to build the body of this matches by teasing countering his opponent's hold only to end right back in it. They worked the headlock well enough, but what I really liked is that this had some escape attempts I don't remember ever seeing before like Rose trying to get out of the ring first under the bottom rope and then over the top one. Rose's comeback was a Back Suplex and it was followed by more backwork-not exactly the most ambitious idea but all of his offence looked impactful and it made sense so good. I liked the Sleeper finish. ***1/4
  5. This is my first time seeing Buddy Rose. One thing that immediately stood out is how well he hit the ropes. I've seen a million matches where a babyface/lower ranked guy takes the beginning of the match with armdrag/armhold combos, here it was pretty much the entire match. Rose's selling was good enough to keep me invested, and there was some nice work over the keylock with him pulling the tights and repeteadly getting countered back into the keylock by Hector. But for a promotion and worker I've never seen before it felt incredibly mundane and familiar, and I wasn't big on how it was paced and how insignificant Hector taking the entire match looked at the end of the match. Hector had some babyface offence and took lunatic bumps for Rose's Flapjack which made it look deadly. Rose's Billy Robinson Backbreaker looked very good and whoever his associate was hit a badass diving knee drop after the match. But......but..........I still had to sit through a lot of uninteresting armlocks and they didn't provide satisfying transitions out of them. It was weird that Rose would just hit his stuff and go over after showing ass the entire match. It could've worked but I don't think it did here. **3/4
  6. Rockers vs Buddy Rose & Doug Somers – Las Vegas Cage Match LIVING AFTER MIDNIGHT!!!!! The Almighty Judas Priest! This cements the Rockers as my favorite tag team of all time. Rose & Somers are absolutely terrified about the shitkicking they received in the last cage match so they do all they can to avoid it early. They try to prevent them from getting in the cage and then try to climb over the cage. We get some quality Buddy Moonage and he crotches himself. It is another asskicking for Rose & Somers. Poor Buddy & Doug! There are no armdrags and no armbars. Just fists to the head, BABY! Somers tries to tag Buddy and he wants none of it. Cant say I blame him. I did not feel like the energy was at the same level as the previous match. Rose hits a quick low blow and catapult into the cage to turn the tide. Michaels bleeds like a madam. Somers gnawing. Michaels is his usual awesome self at selling. He is peppering in those hope spots while doing staggered selling. Quick low blow. Jannetty tries to saves to the match double noggin knocker. Big punch knocks down Rose and pulls him up. He slams Rose into cage repeatedly and he is bleeding! Big punch and Rose falls back and he pulls him up. Jannetty rakes Rose’s face right in front of the Sherri who sells the horror of watching her charge be brutalized perfectly. Jannetty lets him tag out to Somers. Somers wins the corner battle. Somers and Rose double team Jannetty and gnaw on his forehead and rake it busting him open. Big Marty Chants! Michaels almost like he is sleepwalking comes across and attacks Rose slamming back of head into cage and biting. Jannetty and Somers duke it out tag out to Michaels. He launches an offensive on Somers and tees off on Buddy. Elbow drop on Somers, but pulls up. Shawn is so fucking out of it. Somers tags out. Michaels stops Buddy and tags out. Marty and Buddy fight on top of the cage in dramatic fashion. Buddy falls off and crotches, crazy! Battering ram on Somers looks to be the finish. Michaels pins and Marty dropkicks Buddy. HUGE POP! Awesome match! I don’t think it was quite at the level of the Brawl in St. Paul, but this was a great cage match. For fans that like heat segments, I can see why they like this one more as Buddy & Doug get some more love in this one. I really liked the Buddy getting his head raked in the cage in front of Sherri spot. Another classic from these four! ****1/2
  7. WWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund vs Buddy Rose –Philly 11/25/82 Lumberjack Match It was the year of the lumberjack matches, I got to say I prefer cage and Texas Death Matches to the lumberjack match. The Playboy cracks me up asking where Bob Backlund where his women are. I know Bob has a wife and even has a daughter. Bob Backlund interacting with a woman to me is just plain hilarious. WellYouSeeMissIThinkYouAreKindAndVeryATTRACTTIVEAndIAmAGentlemanAndASportsmanAsSuchIWouldLikeToTakeYouOutToDinnerSometimeMaybeAfterwardsWeCouldDoTheHarvardStepTestTogetherIfYouAreSoInclined. Backlund having carnal relations is even more ridiculous to me. They follow suit with other lumberjack matches with Rose establishing he has nowhere to hide. I feel like this shine segment went even better because Rose went out of his way to create ridiculous spots to bump for Backlund and the lumberjacks. Backlund zeroes in on the arm while Rose creates movement off that base. Backlund keeps bringing him to heel with the armbar. Even in late 82, the Philly crowd loves Backlund arm rowing counting along with him. Rose finally nails a dropkick to score an advantage. Rose expertly positioned Backlund towards the heel half of the ring to gain a further advantage. It is bombs away with suplexes galore and the Robinson backbreaker. Backlund is getting some hope spots, but Rose looks to be in control with five rapid fire elbows. He goes for the Robinson backbreaker again, but Backlund applies the Crossface Chickenwing. Rose fights and tries to back him in the corner, but eventually succumbs to one of the most painful holds in wrestling. Right up there with the Adonis Lumberjack match (I’d say a hair better) as a great Backlund match. Rose and Adonis are pretty similar wrestlers, big bumpers with tons of firepower, which works well with Backlund. Very entertaining bout. ****1/4
  8. Rockers & DESPINA vs Buddy Rose & Doug Somers & Sherri - AWA 11/27/86 At first, I thought this was an interesting booking progression to go from the red hot bloodbath to a more lighthearted match. The middle portion of the matches gets hot, but the finish run bring back that 80s camp fun. We begin with a more comedic to start with Buddy Rose bumping and stooging. Sherri tries to help, but Michaels kicks hand off. We find out this is an INTERGENDER tag match as Despina gets arm wringer on Somers and he sells it. Somers finally gets a short jab to the face of Shawn and works him into ropes. Sherri gets shouldertackles on Shawn and Shawn looks to carry her over to his corner, but Buddy hits him. They bust Shawn open and Sherri gnaws at his head. Sherri is such a great heat-seeker. The match takes a dramatic turn. Shawn great staggering and falling through ropes. This is all-time great Shawn Michaels selling. Buddy shows Michaels off to his corner and pounds his head. Good heel work working the cut. Shawn fires up with a wicked series of punches and falls towards his corner and Somers cant make it in time. Jannetty is such a great comeback, but Somers gets his foot on the ropes. Janetty gets over zealous and goes flying over turnbuckles onto floor in a HOLY SHIT bump. Buddy knocks Shawn off apron. Rockers look in rough shape and looks like the end is near for them. Buddy works over Jannetty’s leg and catapult into Somers’ elbow. Jannetty tries to get away from Sherri, but Sherri makes tag. Sherri misses splash. Despina kicks some Sherri ass. Sherri takes two HUGE, awesome bumps. Obligatory spanking spot. Triple collision spot! Press slam of Despina on top of Sherri for the 1-2-3. This match was a perfect balance of drama and camp, which is a specialty of the 80s that has been hard to recapture in the modern era. I just love that. ****
  9. Midnight Rockers vs Buddy Rose & Doug Somers - AWA Wrestlerock '86 4/20/86 I love fun bullshit matches like this. Especially after all those hot n heavy Mid-South brawls, this was a perfect respite before jumping into another bloodbath. This is definitely a prototype for the polarizing Rockers/Rougeaus London match, which I love and I think is even better than this one. This match is a appetite whetter, but leaves you wanting more. They establish the Playboy & Pretty Boy as the new tag team on the block and Buddy Rose & Sherri dynamic is great. Buddy Rose is a tremendous athlete. Wrestling has proven to me that fat guys can be super athletic and I wish that non-fans could believe me. Buddy Rose is a perfect example of someone that can do one-arm pushups, cartwheels and run the ropes at a million miles per hour. Is there a better rope runner than Buddy Rose? The Rockers do their standard heel in peril arm work to control, but they are so energetic and Rose is so great at stooging that it is never dull for one moment. You gotta love all the heel chicanery from Rose & Somers just cheating and strutting at every turn. The heel transition is a catapult into a forearm. Why the hell did Shawn ever switch from those sick right hands to those lame left hand jabs! He had a great punch as a Rocker. The Rockers had the match won, but Sherri put Somers foot on the ropes leading to a fracas. It was a perfect ending to protect the up and coming Rockers and put over the soon to be new heel tag champs with Rose pushing Jannetty off the top and Somers picking up the win. It was a bit stupid that Shawn flew over the pinfall and attacked Buddy rather than breaking it up. Shawn executes a bodyslam on the Playboy on the outside to save some face. Super fun match and definitely excites me for the matches to come! ****