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  1. I received my DVDVR "Best of the 1980s Portland" discs from Will. This is disc 1, match 1. (I hope it's alright I'm posting about it here. This will have "match spoilers".) The announcers are cooing over the NWA belt. Rick Martel is given a glorious shine by Harley Race. If you like arm bars, this the match for ya. Referee's Sandy Barr's red outfit seems straight out of a 1970's JC Penny's catalog. There's a great spot where Race goes for a gutwretch suplex and Martel reverses it. Later Martel catches Race on the top rope and flings him "12... 15 feet across the ring" (according to the announcers). They explain the arm-bar obsession on commentary: "Why is Martel concentrating on armbars? He's giving away weight." Note: Portland crowd in 1980 dresses like a Brooklyn crowd in 2016. Race escapes from an armbar by dropping Martel across the top rope. We get Harley Race delivering a piledriver. We get the falling head butt from Race. He takes control. Eventually, Race wins the first fall with a big suplex. The second fall has Martel returning the piledriver favor. Race gets the foot on the ropes. What a ring veteran! There's a great elbow smash by Martel on Race. Falls two ends with Martel putting Race in a sleeper and knocking him out. There's an incredible moment after this where Martel has to decide whether to do the "right thing" and wake up Race. Referee is threatening Martel if he doesn't do it. So eventually Rick gives Harley Race a judo chop to the neck and awakes the champion. Third fall is a time-limit draw. Good match. Martel was massively over with the crowd and Race not only made Rick look great, but he's a lot more fun to watch than I remembered. His facials after the sleeper wakeup were fantastic.
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