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Found 5 results

  1. Easily one of the best builds for a blow off match ever leading up to this one. While it took a while to get going, once it did, it became one of the great tag matches of its time. Slaughter bumped like a freak and even decided to come off the top of the cage, which is always legitimately insane at a time where those cages looked so rickety anyone could fall off of it. Kernodle tapped an absolute gusher and was great doing the dirty work in the match. Some fantastic spots in the match, including a favorite of mine in a cage match where Slaughter knocked Kernodle out of the way on a Steamboat cross body and Ricky ate nothing but cage. The callbacks to everything leading up to the match were awesome. The blood playing off the bloodbath that laid out Youngblood a few months earlier, the Cobra Clutch avoidance, figuring out how to avoid the Slaughter Cannon, which is now one of my favorite double team moves ever and then an all-time great finish. In talking about this with Will and Kris, I don't see how this could be anything below the Top 10 when the 80's NWA set ever gets made, and right now, I could totally talk myself into making it into my Top 5.
  2. NWA US Champion Greg "The Hammer" Valentine vs "Rowdy" Roddy Piper - NWA Starrcade 1983 Dog Collar Match The 1980s were just a decade of absolute awesome, violent brawls. It is a total lost art. I love how Valentine and Piper put over the danger the match early with the tug of war with the chain and just how cautious they are. I love a barnburner brawl, but there is something about this slow build that adds to the danger element. You add in Gordon & Caudle stressing the injury to Piper's ear. You know at any point Valentine could lash that heavy steel chain against the Hot Rod's vulnerable ear. Piper was in command early and used the chain more effectively. We got some many cool, violent chain spots. Valentine wrapping it around Piper's eyes only to have Piper wrap it around The Hammer's mouth and nose was an awesome visual. We got of course Piper yanking the chain out from under Valentine into his crotch, a good TIMBAH spot and Piper fucking around with Valentine in the corner. One of Piper's counters was just to take the chain hold it taught and pop right into Valentine's face. I let out an audible "Shit!" and grimace every time I see that spot. On the outside, Valentine seeks refuge, but Piper just hurls a chair at him and continues to wail. The ref tries to restrain Piper and BOOM! Chain lashed straight against the ear. What follows is one of the nastiest and gnarliest heel heat segments. Valentine bashes the side of Piper's head into the post and chucks him into chairs. He constantly is brutalizing the ear with the chain, his massive forearms and knees. The infamous blading of the ear takes to a whole new visceral level. There are two times Piper is in his element: loud, obnoxious jackass you want to punch in the face and scrappy underdog. We get the best damn scrappy underdog Piper! I loved when he fires up and just tackles Valentine. He sees his own blood and just fucking loses his shit. The best part about any Valentine match he will take as good as he gives. So he is game for taking all the beating from Piper. Also what is great about the Hammer is he ain't just let you fucking hit him. He is going to fire right back at you with some stiff shots. It was awesome watching this. The suplex struggle and the visual of both men lying on their backs with the chains on their faces was more telling than any words I can write. After all this violent awesomeness, how can I have complaints, I do and they are minor. I have never really like Piper's punches and some of them were clear whiffs. I wished he tightened that shit up. My bigger problem is the finish. It is just too anticlimatic. In the 80s, you can get away with that finish because the crowd is going to pop anytime an over babyface goes over an over heel. It was just Piper yanks Valentine off the second rope in the safest bump of the match, sort of throws the chain around and then just pins with a half-hogtie, just was not that definitive violent ending. What takes Slaughter/Sheik, Duggan/DiBiase, and Mags/Blanchard to that next level is that definitive, satisfactory and memorable violent ending. It is the lack of that ending that gets this knocked down a peg. Up until that finish, it was right there with him in terms of sheer brutality and great hated-filled brawling. ****3/4
  3. NWA World TV Champion Tully Blanchard vs Ricky Steamboat - NWA Starrcade 1984 I watched a good chunk of the excellent 1984: Year of Transition series. By watching it, you understand that Tully and Steamboat were the biggest stars on the show week to week. Flair and Dusty would show up, but they had busy schedules. It was Tully and Steamboat that were the workhorses. The year began with Dick Slater as the top heel, but by the spring it was clear that Blanchard was the most hated man in Mid-Atlantic with his fingers in many different angles against top babyfaces including Mid-Atlantic legend Johnny Weaver. Steamboat took the US Championship off from Dicky Slater, but only to lose to newly turned heel Wahoo McDaniel, who doubled as Tully's best friend. It all came to a head in this classic at Starrcade as Steamboat goes into the match with injured ribs. I loved, loved the first half of this match. The struggle over those injured ribs was incredible. Tully was sneaking in shots every chance he could get and Steamboat was firing back with all he had to try to save the ribs. Steamboat was expertly using the chinlock to control Tully and to stave off any attack to the ribs, a perfect use of the chinlock. Upon making the ropes, Tully just dives as soon as he can with his weight on the ribs as Steamboat defends himself. It is just electric. I loved Steamboat's selling as a wounded man, but fighting through the pain. He uses the ropes to stand up and roar back. They were on pace to have the best match of the 80s in my opinion. After Steamboat roared back, Tully slowed the down the match pace and the match was still excellent, but lost that really unique feel. Steamboat went on absolute tear in one of his best offensive performances ever. He kicked Tully's ass, busted him open, spit at him and stole his move! It was very badass. Tully had to resort to a foreign object and as Steamboat brought him with a back suplex, he let him have it. They did two nice false finishes: Tully hitting a cross body after the foreign object spot and Steamboat recovering enough to hit a top rope crossbody. Tully was thinking slingshot suplex, but blocked and in a sunset flip attempt nailed him with the foreign object for the win. The beginning of the match feels very special. The last half is a very quality, but standard finish run. The match feels way too short and kinda incomplete. Regardless, this match rocked and was a ton of fun! ****
  4. NWA World Tag Team Champions Jack & Jerry Brisco vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood - Starrcade 1983 I just watched for the first time a TV studio bout between these two teams that I thought was tremendous. It explained how these teams were once pals, but an accidental or perhaps not so accidental injury to Steamboat's knee had ruffled some feathers. So in the TV match, Steamboat and Youngblood target one of the Brisco's knees only for them to get hot about it and when they get on offense really go after Steamboat's knee. The finish was a Brisco jumping on the knees of Steamboat when he was in a figure-4 triggering a DQ and a lot of pain. Then in the summer, it looks like the Briscos cemented their heel turn by jumping Youngblood and sending him to the hospital as Steamboat explained in a promo with Ric Flair. None of this heat or hatred comes through at all in this match. I always thought it was a very technically good match, but with no really sense of going anywhere. I was shocked to find out there was all this awesome backstory and we get a match that just feels like well-executed standard tag team fare. I thought the opening portion of the match was entertaining, but forgettable. Youngblood is a good hand. Steamboat seemed content to do a lot of movement, but not really do anything at the same time. The transition to the heat was kinda weak. It was just like "ok time to beat on Steamboat". Jack kicking Steamboat's ass was great. Steamboat really delivered in terms of selling why Jack was just awesome one offense. He had the suplexes, the nasty offense, and drama from pinning combinations. The climax of this with Steamboat powering out of the short arm scissors with all his muscles bulging was an awesome visual. That whole segment was definitely the best of the match and really salvaged things. I liked the double football tackle on Younglood to end his very short lived hot tag. Jerry beating up Youngblood was just kinda there. Steamboat and Youngblood do a couple double teams to win the match to the delight of the crowd. It was a standard tag team match wrestled by four of the best so it came off professional and well-executed. Besides the heat segment, I don't think I'll remember anything about this match and having seen this match at least three times before I never remember anything from it anyway. ***
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