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Superstar Sleeze posted a topic in July 1984North 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. ****
Superstar Sleeze posted a topic in July 1984North 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
Superstar Sleeze posted a topic in July 1984North 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