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  1. The definition of all killer, no filler. A wonderful little spot fest that fits a show like Shotgun Saturday Night perfectly. Things started hot with Teioh and Funaki attempting to double-team Papi. Their plan backfires, and Funaki eats a diving senton through the ropes. Casey dispatches of Teioh and assists Papi with a wild topé over the ropes. The action remains frantic, but it’s Kaientai’s stooging that puts everything over the top, with both constantly colliding with one another due to miscommunication. Casey gets a brief chance to shine, stacking Teioh and Funaki up in the corner and hitting a monkey flip. Eventually, the Kaientai duo rallies and dumps Casey on his head with a DDT for the win. Five minutes of pure, C-show goodness.
  2. This had something of a rep and it's probably the best non-gimmick singles bout of Brian Armstrong's career. It's not great or anything much more than a solid TV-level bout, but he's able to keep up with the Kid on the faster sequences and he tones down the dancing between moves from where he had been in the summer. Kid is working at around 50% due to his neck injury but still knows how to put together a strong match. Roadie wins with a second-rope piledriver, which is effective considering Kid came in with a neck injury but probably should have been sold with a stretcher job rather than just a three-count.
  3. WWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund vs Adrian Adonis - MSG 1/18/82 In the stodgy, lumbering early 80s World Wreslting Federation, Bob Backlund brings a dynamism more akin to Mid-Atlantic. I don't want to say that is overlooked by his proponents, but I don't think his critics give him enough credit for working the cutting edge style of movement in an area where everyone was accustomed to a slower pace. Yes, Backlund works holds, but he is always working the headlock or arm and peppering in spots in between. Adonis is a perfect opponent for Backlund in this regard because he excels at bumping and moving. Even though the majority of the match revolves around a long heel in peril sequence, it never drags too much because Backlund is always working the arm and Adonis working ways to get out, but ends up thwarted in a most entertaining fashion. The story was Backlund using Adonis' desperation against him by countering at every turn from the get go. This is a Backlund staple: you go running at him with a fist and he will single leg pick up you to make you foolish. So a similar effect he was always reapplying his wristlock. Adonis rolls up on the armstretcher-rowing spot. In doing so, Adonis does manage to bloody Backlund with by rubbing his palm in Bob's face, which I was surprised caused that to happen. The hardway blood definitely helps as it feels as though the playing field is level. Adonis even busts out a proto-Sling Blade. With his newfound advantage, Adonis starts throwing bombs to win the match (neckbreaker, slams, suplexes) and Backlund is getting crazy awesome kickouts. Adonis hits a piledriver, but it is only a decent one. Backlund knocks him off the top and Adonis crotches himself in most epic fashion. Backlund gets a receipt for the the stomp to the groin with his own stomp to the groin. Backlund then shows him how you muthafuckin piledrive someone. I like how Backlund threw back these moves in Adonis' face It is a shame he used that as a transition move. Good Night Irene! Backlund dives to the outside to break the hold, but shakes himself up in the process. Adonis rams Backlund's head into the turnbuckle and taps a gusher. They tease the countout, but Backlund makes it back in. I bit on the countout finish hard. A great, great boxing match breaks out; the ref loses control and awards the match to Adonis on cuts to set up the rematch, which was on an untelevised MSG card. BBBBBOOOOOOOOOOO!!! For Backlund critics, I am sure the talking point was that he dominated the match with the wristlock forever, but I thought they worked it an entertaining fashion. The home stretch was strong and the finish fantastic. This match is a great war of attrition. Adonis throws everything he has at Backlund, but Backlund is resilient. Look at that massive kickout by Backlund after the groin shot. They both are exhausted and battered. Then Good Night Irene, the countout finish tease and the bloody boxing match at the end. Definitely one of the best Backlund title defenses. ****1/2
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