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Magnum TA vs. Ted Dibiase

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Magnum TA vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ)


Once again, we get to witness the genius of Ted DiBiase. Although he isn?t featured as prominently as I would like him to be, Ted DiBiase?s inclusion on the Mid-South compilation improves its worth tenfold. On the other hand, Magnum TA is usually criticized as being a low-average worker but he holds up his end surprisingly well in this series with DiBiase.


This match is apparently No DQ. I wouldn?t know that except Jim Ross begins his commentary midway through the match and informs the listeners.


Both wrestlers retreat to their corners after the ref gives his instructions, but Ted DiBiase sneaks up on an unsuspecting Magnum. Like the Duggan series (which actually occurred after the Magnum series), DiBiase is always looking for an advantage, looking for the shortcut, playing the perfect heel. To reinforce the No DQ, DiBiase throws Magnum out of the ring. Outside, DiBiase foreshadows a staple of nearly every Stone Cold Steve Austin WWF brawl, throwing Magnum TA into the crowd and brawling in the arena.


In the next portion of the match, Magnum eventually gains control with a bodyslam and DiBiase retreats into the ring and begs for forgiveness in the corner. This obvious stooging is part of DiBiase?s repertoire and Magnum TA, the ultimate face, doesn?t buy it and gives DiBiase an Irish whip and a back body drop out of the corner, leading to DiBiase again retreating to the corner. I never knew DiBiase played such an effective cowardly heel prior to my exposure to this Mid-South set. Whether the opponent was Duggan or Magnum, DiBiase?s antics whip the crowd into frenzy. Every DiBiase match I have watched on this set (with Ted as a heel) has insane crowd heat. If there was ever a wrestler who could control his audience, Ted (with a little help from his face opponents) knew exactly how to push the buttons.


The next segment witnesses a change in momentum after Magnum misses a charge in the corner. DiBiase takes over with his patented maneuvers (2ndrope elbow smash, fist drops) and heel tactics (blatant choke, using the ropes to choke.) It also leads to DiBiase loading his glove. I always thought the loaded glove was a little hokey, but Ted?s subtle gestures and blatant abuse of the rules makes it work. Magnum was dishing out punches in the corner so the referee breaks it up and admonishes Magnum. Ted chooses this time to load the glove. As we saw in the Duggan series, it doesn?t matter when DiBiase loads his glove, it always seems appropriate. In the Duggan series, he used the loaded glove to win the match. In this match, he uses it to turn the tide. The punch also led to a Magnum blade job. What I don?t understand, however, is why Ted feels the need to hide the loaded glove after using it. If the match is a No DQ match, would he be disqualified for using the foreign object? I wouldn?t think so.


After the punch, DiBiase controls the next segment, dishing out some nice offense like a high backdrop and a beautiful powerslam. DiBiase then abruptly changes his offensive focus and hooks in a spinning toe-hold to set up a figure four. Magnum prevents him from locking in the move and you have to ask yourself why he even considered the attempt since Magnum was bleeding and had obvious weaknesses Ted could exploit. As DiBiase and Magnum recover, Dibiase then goes for a top-rope axehandle but Magnum hits him coming down.. Magnum then hits a dropkick, Irish whips Dibiase and ends the match with the belly-to-belly. The ending really came out of nowhere and actually bothered me.


The entire match, Magnum did not focus on the back at all. At no point, did Ted actually sell hurting his back or even appear like he was in pain of any sort. I guess the finisher was designed to be hit out of anywhere, not unlike the Stunner or Diamond Cutter, but it really was an unsatisfying finish when looking at the match closely. It would have done wonders if Magnum was the one to hit the high back body drop or powerslam but no such luck. Ted?s figure-four attempt also really bothered me. Maybe if he had injured Magnum?s leg at any point prior to that it would have made sense but it seemed out-of-place. On the other hand Ted?s selling and heelish antics definitely made this an entertaining match but it lacked the cohesiveness to really be enjoyable. While the early portion showed great promise, the match really seemed to fall apart after the Magnum bladejob and loaded glove. Fear not, for they would redeem themselves in a huge way in the rematch.

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