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[1992-04-03-GWF] Eddie Gilbert vs Dark Patriot

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If the Dark Patriot loses, he must take the mask off. If Gilbert loses, he gets his head shaved. Gilbert is all fired up and looks great. Dark Patriot keeps going to his trunks and hitting Gilbert with something. Gilbert wins the match, and the North American title in a fun match. Big screw job, as the Dark Patriot unmasks and has another mask under. Gilbert does a promo apologizing to the fans for being outsmarted by Bruce Pritchard in a great promo. I prefer face Gilbert to heel Gilbert.

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Dark Patriot has to unmask if he loses. Eddie wins and DP takes off one mask to reveal another. This angle was a huge groan for me even though I knew what was coming. Decent promo from Eddie afterwards.

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The GWF's production values and presentation are deteriorating, as the stip here should have come across as a bigger deal than it did. David Webb pronouncing Gilbert the "new" North American champion didn't help matters, either. Patriot loses and indeed takes his mask off, but evidently the contract didn't specify anything about showing his face.

 

Gilbert is incensed that the Expert got one over on him, and vows to fight back dirtier than before. Fun little angle that deserved more than it got.

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Boy, has Dallas gone in the toilet. They can say all they want to that the DP didn't have to show his face, but every fan in attendance who knows anything about wrestling knows that a stip like that should lead to seeing what a guy looks like. All I'll give Gilbert (who I assume at least had a hand in booking this) credit for is that he came up with a slightly more clever way to cheat the paying customers than Fritz or Jarrett did.

 

The other thing that was a major turn-off was the commentary. We all knew that Prichard was going to show up at the table after Beard (who was annoying in his own right over the house mic) barred him from ringside, but apparently someone forgot to tell David Webb. I've said before that he's calling bouts like he'd completely lose track of what's going on if he was distracted for even half a second, and we see more of that here. He not only doesn't acknowledge or engage Prichard, he talks over him most of the time, which is about the biggest no-no for commentators in any sport. Bruce still tries, even throwing in an oblique reference to Lawler ("Who in Memphis do you think Gilbert looks like?") but it's all for naught. Pedicino needs to call the matches himself when Craig's unavailable; he's better at color from what I've heard, but even mediocre play-by-play would be more than we're getting from this Webb character.

 

All in all, this wasn't the most pleasant of experiences. Eddie's promo at the end redeems it a little, but not nearly enough, and he's headed back to Memphis soon anyway. Who's going to be left to save the sinking ship that is the Dallas territory as it goes down for the third (and last) time? More importantly, does anybody still care?

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Good match, Eddie's promo saves a real stinker of a mask removal.  Here's hoping Eddie gets to set a mask on fire or something soon.

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