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Found 8 results

  1. High Flyers vs Nick Bockwinkel & Mr. Saito - 3/7/85 All these great AWA matches and I have not even watched one Bockwinkel in the lot. God I love the AWA! They had great characters, brawls and technical matches. After all those bitchin' cage match brawls, this is exactly the break I needed with a fantastic pure tag team match. Who better to watch than the High Flyers, Bockwinkel and "Mr. Torture" Mr. Saito. A little background, the Road Warriors are now the tag team champions and I was informed that Brunzell and Gagne were injured for most of 1984. The High Flyers have been a tag team for about 12 years at this point. Comparatively, Bockwinkel lost the AWA World Championship in 1984 and has not been able to regain it from Martel even though he has had multiple chances and Bockwinkel and Saito are a relatively new team. After Heenan's departure, Saito became Bock's running buddy. The winners of this match become the number one contender. This is just a great fundamentals based tag team match worked by experienced veterans. Bockwinkel takes the shine as the Flyers work the arm. Bockwinkel is great at selling and the Flyers are moving in out thus it never gets boring. I liked Gagne's kneedrop on arm and Brunzell just stomping on the arm. These three have been wrestling each other since 1973 so the High Flyers know Bock's tricks and there is no love lost here so Flyers have no problem being a bit chippy with Bock. Bock gets nasty going for the eyes and bullying Brunzell into Saito. Saito kicks ass with some wicked chops and nasty biels. Saito can't get Scorpion Deathlock and settles for a standing figure-4. Bock pushes with his foot on his ass and Gagne is pissed. Bockwinkel comes in with a inverted Deathlock. Loved Bock raining down the forearms only for Brunzell to fire up with awesome punches. Bock holds on for dear life to Brunzell's foot until Saito comes in to yank him over.Larry Nelson's righteous indignation was perfect. Saito tags in and applies a Boston Crab. Bock stands on Brunzell's head. I love it. The ref keeps catching them which causes the break. Bock & Mr. Torture move to the bearhug and some of the best bearhugs sequences ever made great by Brunzell fighting back and the false tags. On the second false tag, Gagne sells it perfectly and the crowd is pissed! It really builds the tension to the hot tag. Love Gagne tagging Bock at one point during this. It is fundamentals-based, but still chippy. The last struggle within the bearhug where Brunzell just loses it and goes for the eyes and punches Bock while in the bearhug and Bock trying to hang on is awesome. Saito crashes down on Brunzell and Gagne is losing his mind breaks it up. Brunzell scurries through Bock's legs. GREG GAGNE HOUSE OF FIYAH!!! Smashes Bock's head into the turnbuckle. Great movement and energy with Gagne flying around and the heels bumping big. Repeated kneedrops to Bock's back. Gagne is totally focused on Bock's back and Gagne applies Boston Crab. Brunzell is incensed posting Saito's leg. There is a tug of war between ref and Brunzell and the ref. So the ref misses the Boston Crab. Gagne crashes down on Bock twice on the ropes. Nasty kick to the midsection and wicked forearm to Bock's back. Greg is kicking ass. Things are slowing down. Brunzell in, dropkick and a beauty into the figure-4! Saito saves! Brunzell tries for the cover. Bock finally tags out and Brunzell has the presence of mind to immediately tag out to Ggane. Perfect psychology by Brunzell! GAGNE CHOKE! Saito throws Bock a foreign object and Bock blasts him. Bock throws the salt into Saito's eyes by accident. Gagne leg scissors roll up wins the match for the High Flyers! When you think of an ideal tag match with shine->heat->finish and strong face/heel dynamics and snug work this is it. There is nothing absolutely spectacular about this in terms of one specific spot or unique thread of psychology, it is just perfect execution of formula and making sure to do all the little things. Gagne is a great hot tag. Brunzell is trying so much harder here than the Bees and he is great at face in peril. Bockwinkel and Saito are a consummate heel tag team. My one complaint is they let the action cool a little too much before the finish, but overall they delivered a great old school tag match. ****1/4
  2. AWA World Tag Team Champions High Flyers vs Rick Martel & Tito Santana - AWA 8/29/82 The following review is from a couple years ago (WOW! How times flies) and the match was every bit as good. I stand by every world. These four guys go balls to wall for 15 minutes struggling to score a victory. It is two babyface vs babyface teams where neither team plays a subtle heel that you would often see in face vs face matches. It actually feels like puro in that way, it is a pure competition to see who is the best. The beginning of the match is very focused on Strike Force working over the High Flyers with headlock. I would say Martel is the better of the two in working the headlock. These are some really fast-paced headlock sequences. Martel/Gagne go through a wild headlock/headscissors exchange that would challenge anyone's cardio. You really get the feeling right out the gate that both teams are focused on picking up the victory. Santana, unlike Martel, is a little more content to sit in his headlock. Gagne tries working a crossface on Santana to break it up and feels really heated. Once Martel gets back in, he will run up the ropes and in order to do side headlock takeovers. Martel rules! They work some sequences in between these headlocks, but everything is very focused on the headlocks by Strike Force, which I like the concentration. At this point, we get a clip and now the High Flyers change the focus from headlocks to some really wicked leg work that is bitchin'. Gagne drops a knee on Tito Santana's knee and does his inverted deathlock (Gagnelock?), which looks pretty wicked given how he is applying it. Brunzell follows up with a figure-4 and then a spinning toe hold. Eventually, Santana kicks out and finally Martel gets in, but we find that Martel is selling his knee, which we must have missed in the clip. One last time for the Strike Force Fans, "IT'S RICKY MARTEL TIME, MUTHAFUCKAS!" but he is cut short because he hits a backbreaker, which hurts his own knee! Killer. Martel tags Tito and Gagne dodges this dropkick. This may sound weird. But I marked the fuck out for that. The force that Tito threw that dropkick and how quick Greg moved out of the way was incredible. (Past self, that is not weird because I totally forgot about that spot and I again popped huge for it. Told myself, if there one thing I need to add to my review was how bitchin' that spot was. But my past self beat me to it! Damn past self for being so on point! ) Gagne hits a shinbreaker on the ailing knee of Santana and then applies Spinning Toe Hold. Martel gets the tag and runs through some more offense punctuating with a backbreaker. Tito back in with a wicked cross-body and he rattles off a ton of moves, but Gagne grabs the GAGNE CHOKE (filthy cheater )! Santana snapmares out and hoists Gagne up, but unbeknowst to Tito, Gagne tags Brunzell. Then Brunzell hits the most HOLY SHIT dropkick on Tito. He dropkicks him right in the head for the win. That was the best damn dropkick. I think any match that can make you mark out for a missed dropkick and a dropkick is a pretty damn incredible match. The story of this best match to prove you were best tag team in the AWA. It was wrestled clean, but that does not mean they wrestled like nancy boys and were polite. They were out for the victory. The tenacity shown on the headlocks and leg works was enthralling. The home stretch was one of the best with Martel's knee going out, Flyers going back to the legs, Tito rattling off moves, before the Mother of All Dropkicks. I don't want to say this blows all WWF tag team matches out of the water, but it does makes most of them look second-rate. This is an excellent showcase on how to work a heated face vs face match without any subtle heel tactics. ****1/2
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