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Dick Murdoch vs. The Nightmare

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Dick Murdoch vs. The Nightmare (Mid-South, 7-14-85)


I?ll be honest with you. When I bought the Mid-South/UWF collection, I really didn?t pay attention to this match. I was more concerned with Ted DiBiase, the Fantastics and Midnight Express. However, if there was one hidden gem in the set that completely caught me by surprise, here it is. The Duggan-DiBiase matches were entertaining as hell but I expected something special from Ted DiBiase. I had never heard of The Nightmare and I only have a few, non-descript memories of Dick Murdoch.


The match begins with Nightmare establishing his EVIL~! ways. He chokes Dick on the ropes and sneaks in a few hidden punches, out of the referee?s view, to Murdoch?s throat. Whenever he gets Murdoch on the ground, he punches away at Murdoch with the referee seemingly too helpless to stop. On the flipside, every time Dick Murdoch gets Nightmare on the ropes, the referee forces Murdoch to break even though Nightmare is using blatant heel tactics. At this point, Dick Murdoch is clearly frustrated. It must not help that Eddie Gilbert is outside and getting under Dick?s skin.


After a rope exchange, Murdoch finally nails Nightmare with his great-looking punch and stuns Nightmare. In the corner, he finally is able to dish out some punishment, with a back elbow) even though the ref had tried to stop him. His dirty tricks don?t stop there as he tries to rip off Nightmare?s mask. Wait a minute. I thought Murdoch was the face? In this match, he is putting it to them the best way he knows how. After Nightmare is back in the ring, Murdoch maintains his command of the match with some decent offense (a dropkick, hiptoss, leg scissor takedown) and continues ripping at the mask. In one of the highlights of the match, Murdoch twists Nightmare?s mask, mocks him and punches him out of the ring.


The only real weakness of the match occurs when Nightmare takes over on offense. He gains control by clubbing Dick down and hitting a 2nd rope fist drop. Unfortunately, he kills the momentum the match was building by hitting a chinlock. There is no attempt to work the hold or for Dick to even get out of it. They are simply taking a breather. This is a low-point to what has been a great match so far. To his credit, after the breather, Nightmare picks up the pace with a knee to the gut, a bodyslam and a piledriver attempt.


As the pace shifts to the final stretch run, Dick Murdoch gains control in an awesome visual. After the failed Nightmare piledriver attempt, Dick starts unloading with a flurry of left punches. He exaggerates the power of his right by winding up his right arm but before he can deck Nightmare, the referee grabs Murdoch?s arm to prevent him from breaking the rules again. Instead of getting frustrated. Murdoch just levels Nightmare with a hard left, out of view from the referee who is preoccupied with the right arm. An Irish whip reversal reversal (yes, you read that right) sees Dick whip Nightmare into the ref for the prerequisite ref bump. Eddie Gilbert interferes but accidentally hits Nightmare with his cane. Any good face would not have been tempted to use a foreign object to get the win but this is Dick Murdoch we are talking about. Murdoch grabs the cane and levels Gilbert and Nightmare to get the pin.


It must be noted that this match isn?t a one-on-one affair. It really plays out like a one-on-three handicap match. Nightmare has Eddie Gilbert, in the corner, getting under the skin of Dirty Dick and he also has the referee. You see, Dick Murdoch doesn?t mind breaking a few rules, and when The Nightmare tries to make this a game of heel shenanigans, Murdoch is all too willing to play along. The only thing standing in his way is a ref who prevents Murdoch from evening the odds and showing them how a real heel operates. In the end, Dick Murdoch beats the heels at their own game and was victorious because he was dirtier and meaner than they were. Great match and great story. I need more Dick Murdoch matches.

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