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RnRs vs. Hernandez & Dr. Death

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Gino Hernandez & ?Dr. Death? Steve Williams vs. Rock N Roll Express (Mid-South, 1985)


To be honest, I haven?t seen Gino Hernandez wrestle since the 80s, prior to his death. I have no World Class footage in my collection and I haven?t actively pursued anything with Gino. I remember loving the Chris Adams/Gino tag team and how great many of those World Class angles were? specifically the blinding of Chris Adams. With that said, this is my first opportunity to see Gino wrestle since I was a child.


The girls in the crowd go nuts for the Rock N? Roll Express and I bow down to their ability to work them up in such frenzy. If I had that ability, I wouldn?t be married right now. One of the first things you notice in this match is the size difference between Doc and the other three. He doesn?t look that much taller but he is just huge compared to the other guys. I am looking at the match list and I don?t know of any other instances that Gino and Dr. Death teamed up so I am assuming this was a one shot deal where it is possible Ted DiBiase was unavailable that night so they had Gino as a sub.


Gino and Gibson start out and Gibson controls with a side headlock. In a cool sequence I have seen the RnR?s use before, Gibson backs into his corner, applying the headlock, and Morton tags himself in and continues the headlock. Before Gino tags Dr. Death in, he stooges a little bit and does nothing of note before tagging in Dr. Death.


When Dr. Death comes in, the size difference is even more staggering since Gibson is so much smaller. Despite the apparent mismatch, this is also one of the better sections of the match since Dr. Death and Gibson play the monster vs. midget game as well as anyone else. At this point, Dr. Death toys with Gibson by shoving him around and whipping him with two hard arm drags. Gibson plays spirit fighter by getting a rollup on Doc when he isn?t looking and returning the favor with some lightning quick armdrags. This was a decent sequence that reinforces the difference in power and speed between the two and was a theme I was hoping they would explore more. Instead, the Rn?R ground Doc with headlock and it just doesn?t seem believable that these two little guys could keep Dr. Death off his feet for this long.


When Gino enters the match, he shows me nothing in the ring. Honestly, there isn?t really one move that he does that could identify as a Gino Hernandez move. He stooges a little and plays a decent coward type but he may have the most non-descript offense I have ever seen in a match. Compare that to the RnRs double teams and Doc?s power moves, such as the three consecutive backbreakers, while never releasing the opponent, and a bearhug. You just get the feeling that this match would have been off the charts if DiBiase was in there.


As the match continues, Ricky Morton plays the obligatory face in peril but I think he gets way too much credit. After watching the Fantastics, I think Bobby Fulton does a much better job of generating sympathy and building up the tension. I must give the guy his props though because the bearhug segment generated huge heat and the girls were going batshit for him the entire time. When he finally makes the hot tag, the ending comes out of nowhere. Gino Irish whips Gibson but as hits the ropes, Morton quietly tags in. Gino gets a back body drop on Gibson and Morton rolls him up for the pin. I really hate the ending of this match. While the secret tag was neat, I think they could have had a better ending segment with more back-and-forth action. It was as if they spent the entire match (which wasn?t that long to begin with) trying to create a theme but never really exploring it. Where?s Ted DiBiase & the Fantastics when you need them?

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I thought this was a really good match and loved the Morton/Doc interplay. Best part of that is when Doc tags in for the first time and a person in the crowd loudly says, "Ohhhhh boy!" Great stuff! I remember you saying that you didn't think Gino was all that impressive, but I loved him in this match, mainly because he actually did some wrestling moves outside of the basics, which no one else in Mid South thus far, with the exception of the Fantastics and the Guerreros, seem to even be trying. Every company has their style and there are certain spots you're going to see in some territories more than others, but in Mid South, I'm finding way too many atomic drops, reverse rollups, reverse rollups, reverse rollups and front facelocks. Anyway, I liked Gino's flying elbowdrop and vertical suplex, along with his TASKMASTER STOMP~! My favorite part of the match has to be the opening few minutes, with Doc showboating and Morton doing a *reverse rollup* and Doc getting armdragged twice in very quick fashion after manhandling Ricky just moments earlier.


I also think Morton is a great babyface here for never backing down. The size difference between he and Doc is baffling, and they play it off well. I actually wouldn't mind seeing these two in a singles match, if they ever had one. All in all, this still felt like a Rock & Roll Express v Randy Orton & Batista tag match in what each team actually brought to the table, with the heels just having slightly more offense than their Evolution counterparts.


There were a couple of good matches among everything tonight, but overall, I was been underwhelmed by Volume 2, Disc 1.

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