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  1. If you are looking for big bumps, high spots, fancy matwork and thigh slap happy strikes to the air, then look elsewhere. This is just to chubby, mean dudes punching each other in the mouth, elbowing each others foreheads and caving each other's heads in with nasty knee drops and stomps. Great wild bloody brawl.
  2. Dick Murdoch vs Ted DiBiase - Houston 12/27/85 This is a result from the one of the hottest Mid-South angles of all time that successfully executed the double turn of the hated Ted DiBiase and the former North American champion Dick Murdoch. A quick synopsis is that Murdoch was pissed DiBiase got a NWA World Title shot against Flair and right before the match, Murdoch beat the living shit out of DiBiase bloodying him up and nailing him with Brainbuster. DiBiase proved he is all-man and came out to wrestler Flair with a giant bandage. DiBiase was ripshit that Murdoch cost him a title shot and so they went around the loop. This match is joined in progress and also the finish stretch is an exact replica of the OKC 12/31, which we have in full. I think this is a great match, but ultimately does feel incomplete and seeing the complete match from OKC it renders this one useless. I will focus on the middle of the match that was different. Murdoch is kicking ass with solid heel offense in the form of stiff strikes, stomps and elbows. DiBiase as a babyface is interesting, he shows good fire and selling, but is being overwhelmed. They bust each other open. When DiBiase misses a fist drop, they go into the finish sequence. It is a great match, but seeing the complete match is what needs to be seen.
  3. I love wrestling from the 70's. Its got that actual sense that the guys are engaged in a grappling contest. That the contestants are actual wrestlers. Well, in most cases. You've got Abdullah the Butcher forking people but, even then, it feels real...or real enough. Here are a couple of my favorites from AJPW in the 1970's: Destroyer vs Abdullah the Butcher - US Title (04/27/74): Put this match behind watching a Dory & Jack Brisco match and you can see why Abby & the Sheik were so feared. It really looks as if they're trying to kill their opponents. I don't know how early of an appearance in Japan this is for Abby but, he makes the Destroyer bleed through his mask! Just tons of blood here and Destroyer brings some excitement with moves too. A basic match but really fun. Recommended Match. Pat O'Connor vs Dick Murdoch (12/15/75): This bout was a really fun match that could be replicated on TV if any of the companies knew anything about good wrestling. Pat and Dick are legends for a reason and this is how one does "comedy wrestling! The emphasis has got to be on the wrestling! Jumbo Tsuruta vs Billy Robinson (3/11/77): A 2 out of 3 falls match. The first fall was edited down as the time shown on the fall was 34+ minutes but that is not what was televised. So, much of the surely excellent mat action was omitted in the favor of more pro-wrestling. It was great stuff nonetheless. There was tons of heat and drama built and the 2nd and 3rd falls kept up. Parity was prominent more than in their 3-5-77 match. The 3rd fall then became quite desperate and physically punishing. Each man could feel how close victory was. Again both were excellent in timing, execution, and selling. A fantastic match! A Classic!
  4. Giant Baba, Kenta Kobashi & Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada, Masanobu Fuchi & Akira Taue (01/29/94 AJPW): What do ya know!? Another match from today's date Just stumbled across this write up in the back of a notebook. The 6 man matches of AJPW were really something. I know you're probably a little worried about Giant Baba working a match in 1994. I was too! If you've never seen Baba then, do yourself a favor and watch a couple older matches of his. One of many against The Sheik or Abdullah the Butcher. They're usually quick and chaotic...perfect for any of you young workaday kids out there. Once you've got a couple under your belt, come back and appreciate '94 Baba. So, this is in Korakuen Hall, the best wrestling venue in Japan. The fans are awesome and are chanting Masa Fuchi's name louder than Misawa's!! They are hardcore fans I think Dave M. gave this match 5 pinecones but, I didn't think it was THAT good. Maybe he was there in person and yeah...I'd buy that. My favorite segments were Kawada dealing with Kobashi. And I'm not sold on the Kawada vs Kobashi single encounters but' these two are magic when on opposite sides of the tag ring. It's beautiful when Dangerous K sneak attacks the more heart than brains Kobashi! I didn't seem to have much more in my notes but, highly recommend this one. I think it's really good to go back and revisit these oddly booked team matches in AJPW. Most people, including your author, focused too much on the super saiyan classic encounters of the 90's and not enough on the odd or unassuming little gems. Chigusa Nagayo vs Lioness Asuka (02/26/87 AJW): Extremely high workrate and paries were the hallmark of this match. Lioness was the tougher of the two but Chigusa wouldn't back down. There were times this could have been a ***** classic but they went to the finishing-move well too many times for me. The restart only hurt the match. Re-watch the next day: This is definitely a better match on the re-watch since, I knew what to expect move-wise and the ending. If I understood Japanese, I'm sure I would've caught the announcers talking about time running out, which undoubtedly corresponds to the go-for-broke attitude toward the end. After some thought, I've realized that my initial disappointment stems from the fact that it's less of a shocker-match. The outrageous moves and brutal stiffness just aren't there...so that tendency to give this type of a match a lower rating upon initial viewing has to be overcome by a second or third watching. Classic matches like this forced the moves to be faster and crisper, the strikes to be harder, and the drama to be more nail-biting. It's required viewing for joshi fans. For the Indy fans out there: This summer, I watched 2 Murdoch in the sleazies matches. In IWA Japan vs Motegi: This was pretty darn good stuff. Technical bout with nice kicks and arm work by Motegi. Dude stayed focused like a laser on Dick's arm. Everyone was buying that pain. Murdoch was no slouch either finding escapes out of holds and pounding the life out of Motegi when he could. High recommendation. Then, there's Dick vs Matsunaga in W*ING '92. This is more karate vs wrestler than, brawling which is what I was expecting. This was clipped but, again I didn't see any fault in that. Both guys really laid it in...moreseo Murdoch. For every 5 Mr. Danger kicks to the arm & body Capt. Redneck elbowed straight down to the face. Yup, this was good stuff.
  5. Dick Murdoch vs "Dr. Death" Steve Williams - UWF 6/13/87 Crockett has purchased the UWF by this point and Big Bubba Roger is the UWF heavyweight champion. This match is to determine the number one contender to Big Bubba's championship. Murdoch is a full-on heel being managed by "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert and Doc is the last babyface standing in the UWF after the buyout as DiBiase and Duggan jumped ship to the WWF. Jim Ross is on commentary and Doc is wrestling so yes there is a huge Boomer Sooner Orgasm late in the match that is just hilarious to listen to about the OU/Nebraska rivalry. Weird aside, growing up in Boston most people were/are Notre Dame fans for college football, but my Dad liked Oklahoma growing up. As a way to be a dick to him as a kid in the 90s, I used to cheer for the Huskers. Go Big Red! I hate the college football conference realignment bullshit that took away such great rivalries as that. Dr. Death is in a cast, which gets me very excited because we know the master of arm torture, Dick Murdoch is going to kick some serious ass. Doc's strategy seems to be a good offense is a good defense. He can't use the cast though as Gilbert has negotiated to ensure that would trigger a DQ. Doc looks to attack Murdoch's arm as Murdoch misses twice with bionic elbows that were targetted for Doc's injured arm. Murdoch finally hits his target and stomps on Doc. Williams writhes in pain and tries to take a walk. Out of desperation, he sends Capn Redneck into the post arm first and now both are left with injured arms. I love how they sell it back in the ring each leading with their good arm to protect the bad one. The match picks up back from commercial when Hot Stuff distracts the ref and Capn Redneck smashes a mic stand into Doc's arm. Murdoch uses it whenever he gets into trouble. JR finally moves it and Murdoch ends up getting the bell and using that. Doc fires up and nails the Oklahoma Stampede, which looked great. Gilbert put Murdoch's foot on the rope. Doc keeps pouring it on and here comes that classic Murdoch selling. Dr. Death gets busted wide open and when he sees red he EXPLODES OUT OF THE CORNER! JR just loses his shit and jizzes in his pants. The ref is bumped and Doc uses the cast to blast Gilbert and Murdoch to win the match and set up the title bout with Rogers. After the match, Big Bubba, Murdoch and Gilbert do a number on Doc and even Dusty Rhodes when he came out.Not surprising given that Dusty was a big proponent of Big Bubba. Dusty cut a badass promo after the match, which unfortunately puts all the babyface heat on him instead of Doc, which is too bad. Great TV match to set up a big title match with both wrestlers playing to their strengths. ****
  6. Dick Murdoch vs Barry Windham -WWF Philly 2/16/85 Watched this about three years ago and did not see the big whoopty-doo, but now I am a Dick Murdoch believer and loved it. This was way more heated than your garden variety World Wrestling Federation action of the 1980s. The Rock N Wrestling Era is characterized by me to very much about segmented work, the your stock spots and incredibly angle-driven. I love how the matches are used as tools to move the stories along and set up the hook for the next house show run. Now, what they tend to lack is struggle and a sense of urgency, which is Greg Valentine (struggle) and Rick Martel (urgency) stand out. Dick Murdoch and Barry Windham being primarily non-WWF workers, they delivered a more heated and intense match than the WWF was accustomed to in this time period and now I get it. Gorilla “The Fucking Idiot” Monsoon fucks up sadist and masochist. Crowd is hot to start for Barry and judging what I have seen from the WWF, he could have been the new long running Tito and because he was so young would have been ripe to succeed Hogan in ’91-’92. Granted, he would have to stay and not be injured. Barry and Murodch are pissed at each other. Some really good jawing to start and just general build to first punch. Barry ducks Dick and nails him in the kisser. This feels WAY bigger than a random midcard single match between feuding tag teams. Now Murdoch pays him a receipt and works the arm torturing him. Dick Murdoch maybe my all time favorite arm worker. Barry gets in hope spots like sunset flip, or punches out of an armbar into armbar or ducks a punch into ab stretch. The crowd is behind big Barry every step of the way. Murdoch is able to get back on top either from missed elbow drop or hurling him over ab stretch to outside. I loved how the transitions come from mistakes until the big ab stretch hurl that really kickstarts the match. An excellent King of the mountain ensues, really well done. Awesome selling by Barry and Murdoch laid all his shin in, felt dramatic. Windham grabs the leg and yanks him out and pulverizes Murdoch who does his classic selling. Windham kicks some Murdoch ass in this and YES! Murdoch with the windmill punches and falls on face. Windham misses a top rope splash. Murdoch punches and Windham takes this real slick bump to the outside. It was almost too graceful so that it did not look like it was that painful, but it is incredible just how athletic Windham was. Definitely check out that bump! Murdoch uses crutch, but No DQ!?!? I am as confused as Gorilla that's not good. Windham shifts weight distribution to roll through on a powerslam to pin Murdoch to a big pop. Absolutely kickass, heated match between two of the best. Not in love with the finish, they build all this heat in the match including the crutch and then it is just a roll through finish, which seems more fit for a technical affair. I think scrapping the crutch and doing the same finish would have worked a lot better. In reality, it does not matter because these two rocked it. ****
  7. WWF World Tag Team Champions North-South vs Jack & Jerry Brisco – MSG 12/28/84 This is one of the weirdest matches to ever take place in WWF ring for my money. Three of the four of these guys (Murdoch, Briscos) just seem so not WWF wrestlers. It is totally crazy seeing this match in MSG. Finally got around to watching this match as it is probably the 80s WWF tag team match with the most hype that I have never watched. This is the Dick Murdoch show through and through. For the first ten minutes, I was totally lost on why this is considered a classic. It just seemed like one of the all-time funniest performances by an individual wrestler. You had Captain Redneck just falling on his ass all over the place and that sell of Jack’s punch just needs to be seen. Otherwise, it was just kinda meh armwork, but Dicky Murdoch was keep me entertained. Finally the match gets going when Murdoch having taken a funny bump to the outside whacks Jerry with a metal box. Adonis starts throwing the bombs. As a weird aside, Jerry Brisco really likes to kick out at 1. Little Brother Complex? The heat segment does not last long as Adonis tries for a figure-4, but ends up in one. Adonis tags out and Murdoch pounces with big elbows, but alas is sent reeling from Jerry’s punches. Now Jerry has the figure-4 on Murdoch and Adonis saves so Jerry tags out. The Briscos work over Murdoch’s legs and at least there is more movement in this babyface control. There is an incredibly funny bit with Murdoch trying to tag Adonis while Jack holds his foot. Adonis needed to flip over that top rope to make it one of the all-time great comedy spots. When Murdoch falls flat on his face and sells it, I lost it. Eventually he tags out and Adonis falls prey to the drop toe hold and Murdoch is just sitting slumped in the corner selling the beating, awesome! Adonis bullies Jerry into the corner and here comes the Murdoch barrage with Demolition Decapitation, neckbreaker, brainbuster (which of course fucking Gorilla thinks is a botch). Murdoch bodyslam into an Adonis top rope elbow now the place is rocking. Jack saves and Jack comes in with the sleeper. There is a mad scramble from the Briscos to put Murdoch away but Adonis keeps saving. Nice German Suplex from Jack! Adonis has seen enough and turns the match into a donnybrook. Adonis slams Jack’s head into a chair and Murdoch has a telephone slams into Jerry’s head. The Briscos recover and apply a double figure-4, but it is too late the match was thrown out as a no contest. Once it got going, this match rocked. Murdoch absolutely killed it in this match with a ton of really fun comedy spots. Then he also probably the best offensive series too. The Briscos worked fine, but I did not feel like they had much charisma or fire until the very end. Fun finish stretch with the Briscos trying to put away Captain Redneck to win the World Tag Team Titles only to come up short. ****1/4
  8. A weird case where two great performances don't add up to a great match. It's still worth seeing, but the layout was odd because instead of building to something, it started off hot, then cooled down and kept going back and forth without any clear story or anything. It's a good way to set up a rematch, though, and I'm glad I saw it. But I'm sure these two can do much better.
  9. WWF World Tag Team Champions North-South Connection vs Sgt Slaughter & Terry Daniels - WWF, MSG 7/23/84 Terry Daniels certainly mastered the armdrag. Besides that and the dropkick, I dont know if he had much else. This was pretty fun mostly because Murdoch and Adonis were so selfless. They still used their size to bully Daniels but they created a ton of movement for him. I really liked the criss cross sequence where Adonis finally landed the big reverse elbow to get Daniels down. Slaughter pulled a Terry Funk and threw himself on the turnbuckle to save Daniels who then dropkicked Murdoch down. We get more Slaughter in this than we did Backlund, but again it leaves you wanting a Slaughter/Adonis or Slaughter/Murdoch match. Back in Daniels throws some more armdrags, before getting his shit kicked in. The dropkick is his transition to the hot tag. SLAUGHTER CANON! Clobbers Adonis. Cobra Clutch on Murdoch, but Adonis saves. Daniels in and he gets a hot nearfall off a crossbody. Daniels like Blair succumbs to a double team move this one more similar to Demolition Decapitation. This was similar to the Blair/Backlund match except Blair was more experienced and just better than Daniels who looked really green. Murdoch and Adonis did their best. This was a fun finish run. ***3/4
  10. Dick Murdoch vs Ted DiBiase - OKC 12/31/85 Dick Murdoch is just spectacular at every facet of wrestling and this here represents the peak of his brawling. He looks to jumpstart the match against Teddy, but he is countered with a powerslam and a big punch. Ted is walloping Murdoch who is doing his classic face down, ass up selling that always makes me laugh. Murdoch realizes that coming up at Ted does not work so he changes gears by playing some cat and mouse. When Ted tries to climb over the barricade, Murdoch lands a big blow to disorient Teddy. Murdoch focuses on the back of the head, neck area presumably to set up for the Brainbuster. He drives his head into the table to bust him open and works a short, but effective King of the Mountain. I love the selling of punches by Ted where he is trying to cover up, but also fight back. DiBiase finds an opening and drills him and here is the Fist Drop! Murdoch does the spin around on his hip selling so that's where Hollywood got it from. DiBiase gets violent biting and clawing at Capn Redneck. He misses the fist drop and here comes a badass finish stretch. DiBiase wants to end it by loading his glove, but Murdoch wipes him out with a knee. Murdoch works a fantastic sequence against his neck using the railing, three chair shots to the back of the neck, neck snapped against ropes and then looks for the brainbuster, but DiBiase floats over to nail him with the loaded glove to win. Hitting him with loaded glove is definitely a great satisfying finish. I would have liked to seen a little more DiBiase offense to really build to raging climax. It almost feels like a heel finish where Murdoch was going to wing after a great string of offense only for DiBiase to get lucky with his foreign object. It felt a little backwards is all. If DiBiase was kicking ass, kicking ass and then finally nailed him with the loaded glove it would have been awesome. It is still a total classic and a great Murdoch performance. ****1/2
  11. NWA US Champion Lex Luger vs Dick Murdoch – NWA 11/89 If anybody still has any doubts about Luger’s being a phemnomenonal worker between 1988-1991, they will be effaced by this consummate heel performance. He put over Murdoch very strongly in the beginning selling well and constantly looking to break his rhythm by powdering. By constantly fighting out of Murdoch’s arm work with strong rights, he made Murdoch earn his shine. Murdoch did so with gusto really letting his hands fly and show great babyface fire. JR did his job so well putting Murdoch over as a legit challenger and how seriously Murdoch was taking this match. I really liked Luger going after the arm only to be tripped up and then have Murdoch work over the leg. Luger’s verbal selling was tremendous and added so much to the match along with his great leg selling. Luger was able to hit a powerslam, but was too close to the ropes to hoist him into the Torture Rack. From there, Luger put on a clinic over how to work over the lower back with power and the Boston Crab. Some really good build on the Boston Crab. Murdoch was great at selling and a really strong babyface. I loved Luger putting his head against the turnbuckles for extra leverage. As Murdoch started firing back with the rights to the midsection (awesome verbal selling) Luger would try to get his feet on the ropes any chance to get the pin but Nick Patrick always caught him. The match broke down into a donnybrook in the corner with both men laying their hands on Nick Patrick triggering the Double DQ. I love that was a collar-elbow tieup ten minutes after this match started those are the little things that remind me I am watching a pro wrestling match not an gymnastics exhibition. Overall, this was a great match that showcased a serious, firey side of Captain Redneck and Lex Luger at the height of his powers. ***1/2
  12. Fujinami is just awesome, and he's made better by working with such a great foil. I loved the way Murdoch bumped for his dropkicks. This was a really aggressive match and the more cohesive layout missing from their match earlier in the month was on display here. Fujinami works the short-arm scissors and Murdoch works Fujinami's leg, which is a defensive tactic more than it is his offensive game -- he's just trying to get the guy to leave his freakin' arm alone. Murdoch also shows that sometimes, the differences between audiences internationally can be overstated, as he is able to hold the ropes for leverage while working holds to get a reaction. It's not the same big reaction that sort of thing gets in the U.S., but it was there. He's working a gasping-at-straws match throughout this match, while Fujinami is sticking to his gameplan. Every time Fujinami shows signs of his life, one of the first things Murdoch does is try to get Fujinami out of the ring to brawl on the floor. He even bites him squarely on the forehead a few times. Fujinami open-handed slapping his way out of Murdoch's spinning toehold was awesome. They aren't going after each other with reckless abandon or anything, but this is a match that is deceptively hate-filled. After several minutes of Murdoch dominance, Fujinami gets an opening and tries to go right back to the short-arm scissors and Murdoch swats him off. The match is filled with really cool detail work like that. The cumulative selling is really great here too. That's what good selling is -- not just selling each piece of offense, but also selling the toll match is taking. The best moment to show that was Murdoch hitting his move where he drives Fujinami's head into the canvas with his own knee behind him, but he rolls out of the ring and is unable to capitalize because he's running out of steam. The two are throwing every piece of cool early 80s offense in the book at each other down the stretch. And another thing -- because DCOR finishes were so common at this time, brawling outside the ring has the same crowd emotion that's generated today by a string of nearfalls. That's how Fujinami ends up winning this. Beautiful match that I didn't even come close to doing justice. ****
  13. http://placetobenation.com/good-will-wrestling-70s-live-watch/ Join Will and Parv in a live viewing of two matches from the 1970s featuring four legends: Dick Murdoch vs. Pat O'Connor (12/15/75): www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwXdMjWuwhc www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWrSaEEGq5A www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl9mLMWg2V8 and ... Dory Funk Jr vs. Jack Brisco (2/8/72): www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfGE3vpHksQ