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  1. Aaah the joy of watching wrestling. This is a long as fuck slow match between two stocky motherfuckers without any spectacular offense and it may very well be one of my favourite lucha title matches of all time. There has been some talk about "anti-workrate", and some folks may classify this kind of brainy contest under that. But screw that, because this was as epic as a title match can get, with nearfalls out the ass, huge dives, and selling that makes Shawn Michaels look like a master of subtlety. This is a rare chance to see these two doing some straight up wrestling, and there are some really beautiful trippy takedowns and arm rolls in this bout, contestants being very much ugly and not lean and all that. The main reason why the match is so great is the interplay of Pirata Morgan's character and the title match formula. The amount of cheating you can do and get away with in a lucha title match in 1989 is very low, and yet he still shoehorns as many foul tactics as possible into this. He had to, cause Brazo was pushing him to the limit here. I also really loved the vicious edge Morgan brought to the match, throwing punches when the ref was not looking, elbowing at the joint and generally being as ruthless as you expect a plague of the seven seas to be. They work a really strong 2nd fall with multiple belieable false finishes with Brazo going to town on Pirata who was desperately trying anything to stay in the match. Eventually he strikes gold when he catches the Figure 4 and goes after Brazo de Oro like a terrier. Some of the best work around a Figure 4 I've seen ensues, and also a really great Brazo de Oro performance. A one legged Brazo scouting around the ring, trying to figure out how to go on while narrowly avoiding defeat at the hands of his super aggressive opponent was really epic. At one point, he just grabbed Pirata's arm, yanking him around some and then digging his head into the elbow joint as if to help thinking of what to do. The match also has some of the best timing and payback spots I've seen, such as the awesome build to the first great fat man dive, an equally great payoff spot when Morgan accidentally nukes his second or Oro's repeated crashing and burning just after gaining some momentum. This is all extremely simple stuff as are all the nearfalls they do, with moves such as sentons or a missed knee drop really adding to the contest, but the execution is great. This is a fascinating match because it's like a mix of lucha, WoS and NWA or Portland style psychology. And it's done by these two bastards who you expect far away from this kind of scientific match. Just outstanding storytelling and psychology, the kind of stuff that holds up even after years.
  2. 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
  3. Beulah is supposed to guest ref, but when she yells at Alfonso for jumping Gordon on the floor, Bill levels her with a clothesline and takes her out of the match. This is clipped, but the action we see is so much better than it has any right to be that it's absurd. In some ways this is more impressive than Stevie vs. Luna, though maybe not as good as Cornette working against Mark Curtis. Fonzie is such a little shit that the heat is through the roof--the "WE WANT BLOOD" chant for once fits perfectly into the story of the match. Tod rams Alfonso into a chair outside and Fonzie fulfills our wish--"ALFONSO'S BUSTED OPEN! ALFONSO'S BUSTED OPEN! THE COMMISH DID IT!" There's even a well-built-to payback spot with Gordon uppercuting Alfonso in the nuts, just as Bill did to him earlier. He knocks Bill out with a frying pan, but with no referee, Taz (who guest refed earlier in the night) has to come out to make the count. One, two...and Taz clobbers Gordon and gives the victory to Bill. Taz gets on the mic and I have to deal with ECW's usual sound quality combined with the usual DailyMotion sound quality. That and every other word is getting bleeped. Taz calls out the ECW fans for their concern over Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, and Sabu for their various injuries in the past year. "WHAT ABOUT ME?" I think this refers to the neck problems Taz had been having at this time. Taz points out that his father isn't a "fat kike lawyer" (!!!--got bleeped, but I'm pretty sure that's what he said) so he doesn't have the luxury of being able to live comfortably if he can't work. The only guy who worked to put food on Taz's table and money in his pocket was Alfonso. Not one of the absolute best Alfonso segments of the year, but another very good one. Taz has done very little since Sabu departed and is about to begin the run of his career, so that's pretty exciting.
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