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Dylan Waco

Buddy Rose !

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I mention him all the time, Will is a huge fan and so are others here so with him hitting the WON HoF ballot (finally) I figured I would give him his own thread. I'll start off by re-posting my comments from the HoF thread. I plan on adding a random match review or two a day for the time being.

 

So yeah responding to Childs from the other thread asking about Buddy as an HoFer:

 

Buddy is a better "work" candidate than most though I personally wouldn't vote for anyone solely on work (that I can think of anyhow). Having said that - and I've beaten this point into the ground by now - I think from the cumulative period from 77-84 he was the best wrestler in the World based on the footage we have. There are really only a small number of guys that I can even see in the debate with him (Lawler, Fujinami, possibly Terry Funk, maybe Jumbo in the eyes of some, sure Flair would get default votes) and I think they all had advantages Buddy didn't have.

 

There are two things that hurt Buddy.

 

The first is that so little of Portland has been seen and a lot of the voters are probably among the least likely people to go back and rewatch it. Loss made the point about HoF guys who are in on work being primarily in on reputation of being good workers and he is basically right. Buddy ALWAYS had that rep, but I think it's hard to contextualize that if you don't actually watch the footage (or didn't see it at the time). I've run into the same issue with Blackwell over at Classics as people have turned themselves into pretzels trying to shoot holes in his candidacy based on statements a simple review of the facts I have compiled would easily refute.

 

The second problem is the Portland business model. Because Portland didn't run big arenas hardly ever it is going to be a hard sell to certain folks that Buddy was a draw. The fact that Dave himself regards Buddy as the biggest draw in Portland wrestling history and correctly noted that Buddy was the last real draw in San Francisco for Shire is something that means less to a lot of people than it should. I have seen some people suggest that Buddy basically anchored the equivalent of ECW, but that's not really a fair comparison for a variety of reasons:

 

A. Portland Sports Arena was owned by Don Owen which meant 100 % of profits off ticket sales and concessions and no rental cost/security cost/et. Also unlike with ECW, the Portland Sports Arena didn't run once every three weeks - it ran at least once a week, often twice a week. Also, I THINK the capacity was higher than the ECW Arena (though not by much). Either way it was consistently a sell out during Rose's peak run and Owen not running bigger buildings had more to do with raw economics/bottom line than it did with fear of failure at the gate.

B. By all accounts Portland got far better tv ratings than ECW ever did, even after they'd been moved into a later time slot (do to violence issues IIRC).

C. Portland matches were 2/3 Falls. That may seem irrelevant but I don't think it was as the tv was formatted around this and it also meant that more pressure was on the good hands (i.e. Buddy) to keep things logical, fresh, exciting, et.

D. Don Owen did occasionally run bigger venues (the anniversary shows, Piper/Buddy feud matches) and they always drew big houses for the area and big gates.

E. The Pacific Northwest of that period was much less interconnected than the Northeast corridor where ECW ran - and MUCH less populated (especially at that time).

F. Portland was a profitable territory, to the point where Don Owen was regarded as one of the two or three fairest payoff guys in the business (note that "fair" and "most money" are obviously not the same thing) and was still one of the richest men in the State of Oregon. Yes he made most of his money elsewhere, but the point is that by all accounts the Pacific Northwest wrestling territory was not a "money mark" promotion for Don, but a way to make even more money and he succeeded in that goal. I'm not sure ECW was ever a profitable wrestling business.

G. Portland ran a real, weekly loop. ECW had venues they ran consistently (Asbury Park, Allentown, the ECW Arena), but never weekly, and never off of a single episode of tv. It would be nice if I could find hard numbers to support it, but the commonly accepted view is that Buddy did great business across the territory during his hot period. This is a view that Meltzer, Farmer and others who would know clearly accept as fact.

H. Portland was a territory with history going back to the 20's and ran through until the early 90's. Being the biggest draw and anchor of that promotion is more significant than being the biggest draw or anchor of a promotion that lasted about as long as Buddy's entire peak run in Portland did.

 

Looking at those raw facts the comp to ECW doesn't really work. But having said that, here is a fun thought experiment.

 

Imagine ECW had a wrestling history going back to the 1920's. Imagine Shane Douglas comes in and after a few months was elevated to the top spot and by the middle of 94 is doing great business. Imagine Douglas works with a lot of also rans and up and comers always in 2/3 fall matches and always of good-to-great quality. Imagine many of them got over huge and were grabbed up by other promoters. Imagine many of them regarded Douglas as one of the best of all time and used him as a reference point when teaching young talent. Imagine that ECW ran a weekly loop, two ECW Arena shows a week, and did sellouts or near sellouts everywhere. Imagine Douglas quickly becomes the biggest draw in the history of the territory. Imagine ECW was raking in payoffs to the point where Douglas didn't want to leave because he could make more and spend less working for Paul Heyman (lol) than he could anywhere else. Imagine Douglas was loaned out to SMW and spiked business becoming Cornette's biggest draw (before ultimately putting Corny out of business after a wild in ring shoot promo ). Imagine Douglas was loaned out to Vince to work against Bret or Shawn and while the business didn't do as well as hoped it produced great matches. Imagine ECW was one of the hottest shows on tv during this period, drawing huge ratings in Philly and the other towns around the loop. Imagine this period lasted until 02 and by the end of the run ECW was running super shows in 10k plus buildings on occasion and drawing by far and away the biggest attendance figures and gates in the companies history with Douglas still hands down the biggest star in the territory. Imagine a lot of footage from the run wasn't originally available, but Douglas reputation was always as a great in ring talent, then years later when a Target LP guy shows up at his house he uncovers boxes of footage Douglas had taped himself. Imagine it became widely available and a consensus among those who watch the footage starts to form. Imagine that the consensus was that Douglas was arguably the best worker in the World for this cumulative run and also arguably the best worker in the World for several individual years during this run. Imagine Douglas left in 02 and moved to Memphis to form a tag team with Cody Michaels. Imagine they had a critically acclaimed series of matches with CM Punk and Colt Cabana though the promotion was on it's dying days and the bouts didn't do much business because nothing really was at the time. Imagine that upon his departure, ECW quickly started losing steam and became nearly irrelevant. Imagine he returned a few years later, fat and on drugs, still a good worker but to a territory that really didn't matter anymore - largely because there had been no one to fill his enormous shoes when he left.

 

Now that's not really a fair comparison even then. For example Rose drew better figures in San Fran, than SMW ever drew do to building size IIRC. Still the point is does anyone doubt that Douglas would be considered a strong contender by Dave and co. if all of the above were true? I don't.

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The point about ECW, and maybe it deserves its own thread because it's a bit of a tangent. If we considered ECW a territory along the lines of Portland, Florida, Georgia, Texas, etc., where would it rank? ECW never ran a show over 10,000 in attendance. If we take the most charitable definition of existing, it was around less than ten years. For all the attention and pimping that ECW gets, they really didn't get that high.

 

As far as Buddy Rose, I'm interested in seeing this thread. I always saw him as "strong candidate" but not necessarily a Hall of Famer. I could be coerced otherwise.

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I'm about the least informed person when it comes to Buddy Rose apart from listening to you guys pimp him and I'll watch him on the upcoming 80s sets... But I youtubed him and watched the face turn from 6/83 in Portland...where formed an alliance with Hennig and Billy Jack. Great angle. The ring filling up with fans to congratulate Buddy and put him on their shoulders for jumping to the other side of the fence was pretty amazing. That's what you call a face turn.

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That would be a Gordy List. :) And Dylan will probably eventually get around to something like that. He probably wants to start the ball rolling on talking about Buddy (and Patera), get info and thoughts from other folks, look over the data and what not before pulling the information together into something like a Gordy List. It's pretty much the same process he did with Blackwell: talk, has out, then organize.

 

That's the general purpose of a Gordy List. It's not a "yes/no he's in/out!" thing where you add up columns and come up with the number 42. It's more to collect, organize and focus thoughts on a candidate. It's hard for them not to be advocacy on some level, but the form is really more designed to be objective, and then do advocacy after it.

 

I think one of the ironies looking back is that if one did a Gordy List on Terry now and one on Doc now, it would be pretty obvious that Gordy was always the better individual candidate than Doc. Kind of why Doc fell off the ballot, whereas Terry never did.

 

John

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If Angle and Benoit are in for work alone (and there is no other argument for either) then guys like Buddy and Murdoch should be locks. It will play out on the Portland set and AWA set that Buddy is one of the best in ring performers ever. Sometimes, that should be enough.

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John is right. Eventually I plan to do a Gordy List on Buddy like I did on Blackwell. It's going to be harder going because of the dearth of easily available results from the Portland territory, but I'm going to do some newspaper archive research to at least see what is out there.

 

My short term goal for the HoF regarding Buddy is to keep him on the ballot. First year is critical because he's clearly not going in right away, but I think it is quite possible he drops off if someone isn't pushing him and pushing him hard. I think he should be in but I anticipate the arguments against him and I think you have to be prepared to treat them seriously even if you don't agree. I'm not getting a vote any time soon, but that doesn't mean I can't do some research to help voters who bother to look into who they are (or aren't) going to vote for.

 

I don't want this thread to be EXPLICITLY about the HoF candidacy though. Buddy has been talked about enough lately where he deserves a thread to discuss his career highlights and contributions regardless of that.

 

I'll be posting Day one Buddy review tomorrow. I think tentatively my plan is post a review of a Buddy match every other day between now and the end of the next HoF selection period

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I suppose the elephant in the room with this is: to what extent did the run as the fat slob in WWF hurt his legacy? And to what extent will some voters beeline to that in their thinking?

 

Would I be wrong in thinking that's at least one hurdle Dylan's case needs to overcome?

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Even the 1990 run in the WWF was funny, and it's not like he was brought in to be anything more than an opening match guy. I wouldn't call anything about it actively bad. Plus, he did have a perfectly good, brief WWF run on top in the early 80s.

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I remember Eddie Carpentier putting him over as a really good wrestler on commentary, despite Rose used as a JTTS (or even jobber) then. Of course I didn't get why back then.

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I suppose the elephant in the room with this is: to what extent did the run as the fat slob in WWF hurt his legacy? And to what extent will some voters beeline to that in their thinking?

 

Would I be wrong in thinking that's at least one hurdle Dylan's case needs to overcome?

It only hurts him because people haven't watched/don't know about his Portland run.

 

Dr. Death's last major appearance on U.S. tv was getting his ass kicked in a legit fight by Bart Gunn (unless you count WCW in which case his last major appearance was working with "Oklahoma" and/or being involved in a god awful cage match with a 40-something punk rocker).

 

Saito's last major appearance on U.S. tv was losing to Johnny B. Badd at Starrcade 95.

 

Ultimo's last major run in the States was less entertaining and memorable than Blow Away Era Buddy.

 

Now I'm not a booster for any of those guys in the HoF, but the point is those guys got votes to the point they were inducted and the weaker aspects of their career were ignored, forgotten or obscured by other things.

 

With Buddy the issue is getting other people to see, seek out and acknowledge these "other things."

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I was thinking the same thing as Jerry. I think there is no doubt Buddy being a jobber/joke in many fans eyes during his last national run will likely effect some voters opinions. I think Buddy getting in will depend heavily on how many voters are open to seriously evaluating his career through watching the available footage of Buddy's best matches/angles/promos. Also, Dave's excellent bio on him from a few years back made him look like a million bucks and really made a great case for him being a HOF guy, which should improve his chances somewhat for those voters who have read it. I know reading it opened my eyes big time to Buddy and led me to seek out his career highlights.

 

Personally, I'd love to see Buddy get in, but reversing years of negative or underwhelming opinions on a wrestler can be a massive hurdle to overcome. I think Patera and Blackwell, as well as others I've mentioned like Rich and Slaughter (other than his contoversial run in 90/91, he was not big time player after 85 or so), all fall into this area to varrying degrees.

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Buddy Match Review One!

 

Buddy Rose v. Curt Hennig - Portland TV 3-26-83

 

This went about 14 minutes bell to bell which is short by the standards of Portland main events. For my money it is an incredibly great match, and one of the better matches I've seen from anywhere in 83. It also might be the first really great singles match Hennig ever had which helps explain his consistent praise of Buddy even years later.

 

It is also a match that is enhanced by the pre-match with Owen talking about Rose injuring Hennig's leg and the post-match Buddy stretcher job, but I think it stands on it's own two feet just fine.

 

Match starts off with great action as Buddy ambushes Curt while he is still in his ring jacket. Curt bumps around big but naturally makes his comeback with Buddy returning the favor. These are two of the greatest bumpers in wrestling history and Buddy is one of the great Pearl Harbor guys in wrestling history so this whole opening segment plays to both guys strengths.

 

I liked how they worked in early near falls as you can really buy that an early fall could come from the ambush or Hennig's fiery comeback. Hennig ends up taking over on the arm and it is some of most spirited simple limb work I can remember seeing. They work some good teased counters from Rose, Hennig gets to work some nice counters they come up for a flashy spot or two, et. It just really works well.

 

Rose eventually escapes and sends Hennig over the top with a dropkick and they go into a nice stretch with Rose hitting some nice stiff offense, Hennig coming back and bumping Rose huge, some teased falls, et. The finishing run with Hennig eating the double knees on a splash attempt only to catch Rose up top building to the big top rope dropkick to Rose's arm/neck was awesome.

 

As said before post-match stretcher job was great (as were the subsequent videos of Buddy in bed at home selling his whiplash injury). Hennig was fiery as fuck in this, both guys bumped great, Rose did some great selling (really loved him selling the shoulder after a shoulderblock to keep Hennig on the floor) and all the litle things well. This was just a great match in every sense.

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Buddy Rose vs. Matt Borne (2/3 falls) (Lumberjack Match) (6/12/82)

- Rose is complaining early on about having to wrestle on television when he thought it would be an arena match. As a lumbrjack math, there are about 4 guys out there to serve as "guards". There is confusion about the match as the ring announcer said it was No Disqualification but the announcer said regular rules apply. Who knows but they start out wild enough as Borne is pounding away on Rose. Rose ends up busting Borne open and working on the cut. Later on, Rose grabs a chair and nails Rose with it to bust him open. Seriously, the first fall might be enough of a nomination on its own. Borne punches Rose in the head and gets the pin after a flurry of punches. Rose was laid out and did not leave the ring after the fall. The 2nd fall continues in the same vein as the 1st until Rose gives Borne a low-blow to turn the tide. The ref claims it was to the stomach but to drive the point home, Buddy gets Borne in a wheelbarrow position and kicks him right in the crotch. He then does some running knee lifts, connecting with more "close calls" on each knee lift. Shit, this match is brutal. And after Rose appears to have the upper hand, Borne lands a low blow of his own. Borne goes for the punches again but gets flipped over in a sunset flip position and pinned. Borne wastes no time in the 3rd fall and goes o town on the cut including a SWEET double knee lift to the head. I don't know where he got it from but Buddy has a chain wrapped around his hand and knocks Borne the fuck out for the pin. OK, nevermind because Borne revives about ten seconds later. Borne's post-match interview sets up a chain match between the two. I think I remember seeing it listed on Walburton's Portland list so maybe that is something we can pursue. Anyway, this matchis a SLAM DUNK!!!

 

 

--------------------

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Glad to see Will joining in on the fun.

 

Buddy Match Review Two! (or Three! if you count Will's)

 

Buddy Rose/Doug Somers v. Leon White/Jesse Hernandez - AWA

 

I don't know the date on this offhand, but it's from the Showboat AWA tapings in 86. The concept of Young Vader teaming with life long jobber v. "past his prime" Buddy Rose ("Rose was past his prime during his AWA run" is a myth that will explode with the AWA Set) and life long jobber is appealing on paper but that doesn't really explain what this match is about. This match is about two wise old vets working a green - but dangerous as fuck - big man and some random guy he got paired with. This match is about how "old age" and treachery always overcome youth and skill.

 

Pre-match Rose taunts White by miming that he is going to bodyslam him. Rose refuses to start v. White so Hernandez comes in and Rose stalks over to him and spits at him drawing him into the ring. The ref chases him back out so Buddy walks over and gives him the "kiss my ass" mime. Seriously Buddy is doing some expert mime work here and follows it up with a sweet standing switch exchange only for Hernandez to reverse it and Rose faces the wrong direction and tries to tag in Vader before almost falling on his ass in fear.

 

Cool spot with Hernandez taking over and walking Buddy to the corner where he tags in White. White comes in and Buddy bails out. He and Somers run half way to the back and consider whether or not that they want to even try and bring down "Baby Bull." Rose finally comes back in and they do a shoulder block spot with Rose getting flattened so he Rose and Somers try and double shoulderblock and they both get flattened and bail again where they jaw with a couple of rednecks that look like they walked off the set of Swamp People.

 

Rose and Somers are just awesome putting over the power of White here and we get a unique camera angle of the textbook Buddy bump (sliding backward through the ropes and onto his head) through the ropes as the shot is right on top of it and you actually see the impact on the floor close up. Rose eventually goes for a body slam but Vader reverses with a sick powerslam for a near fall.

 

White foolishly tags Hernandez in and he almost immediately goes FIP. White/Hernandez is the definition of a one man team, but White is all power and no brains and that is really a big theme of the match (and arguably his entire AWA run).

 

Cool finish as Buddy throws a cheap right to Hernandez who is in their corner. Vader comes in to make the save and Rose jabs at his face. There is an audible gasp throughout the audience that really makes this as a moment and White hits the floor chasing Rose around while Hernandez jobs to a suplex from Somers. Post-match White gets his heat back. I'd be pissed if my partner couldn't kick out from a suplex also.

 

This is a strange match since it is an obvious jobber teaming with a babyface monster who is getting a push v. the soon to be tag champs. As a result the dynamic is interesting but limiting. The appeal of the match is that dynamic which makes it one of the more interesting matches of the Rose/Somers run, even if it is nowhere near their best match.

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Buddy Match Review Three!

 

Buddy Rose v. Top Gun - Portland TV 4/8/89

 

This is 1989, Buddy weighs twelve hundred pounds, and he's still incredible. Seriously he is awesome in this. He brings the heel schtick you want fighting with the ref, doing front face rakes, throwing slaps, et. He throws some vicious punches, at one point smashes Top Gun's head into the back of a post several times and then superplexes him. Best of all despite being insanely fat he takes about ten insane bumps in this, over the ropes to the floor, through the ropes, high back body drops, flip bumps in the corner, et. Top Gun is not impressive at all in this and I usually like Sierra. Finish where they brawl on the floor to a countout was not the best, but Rose leaping bump on the concrete makes up for it. Rose was still the man.

 

This match really makes me wish Buddy had popped up in 89 Texas to take lunatic bumps on the floor of the Sportatorium, preferably in a heel stable with Gary Young, Cactus and Billy Joe Travis. At the very least you want him to have an insane Terry Funk competitive squash match from that year. No bullshit I think if he had been given chances he would have been one of the better guys in the States even in that loaded year.

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Who did Buddy and DeBeers train?

 

What's the latest Buddy Rose match available? Is it the squash match with Kerry Von Erich from WWF?

97 vs Valentine.

 

 

haven't seen it yet but for shits and giggles.

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Was going through the Buddy results from the WWF for shits and giggles tonight and I actually think his run there is a bit underrated. Typically I've seen it referred to as disappointing at the gate. It may have been but on cursory review there aren't a lot of figures I can find and while some are disappointing others are surprisingly strong. He got main events in every major town in the territory, worked programs with Backlund, Morales and Rocky Johnson, and even headlined Maple Leaf twice v. Backlund. I'll do a detailed run down of that run soon enough. There's a lot more to it than I expected to find.

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Did any of that Buddy in WWF headlining run happen during the 80's? And if so, will it make the 80's WWF set re-do?

Middle of 82-early 83.

 

I believe Buddy v. Backlund from MSG made the first set. If not it should have. The Spectrum lumberjack match is a match I liked a lot the last time I saw it. Not sure how much else is available.

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Buddy Match Review Number Four!

 

Buddy Rose v. Steve Pardee - Portland TV 6/29/85

 

The early going of this was Buddy being a cocky asshole, then being overmatched, then going to test of strength/handshake schtick was really great stuff. That sort of thing is classic Buddy as he is a master of all the little things in wrestling like timing, mannerisms, et. Very few guys could make an opening like this work as well as Buddy does.

 

Pardee eventual returns the "disrespectful" slap on a rope break. Then Buddy gets caught going for a cheapshot and takes a wonderfully insane over the top rope bump off of an atomic drop.

 

One of things that made Buddy so great was he was a fat guy, with an oddly shaped body, and goofy look, who was also an athletic freak. This really played into his gimmick as his cockiness was not entirely unwarranted - he really was a hell of a talent and even everyone who loathed him in the crowd knew it. Part of the presentation of this gimmick were a few really great "stock" spots, my favorite of which was his "cartwheel to avoid bayface offense spot." This was usually done on drop down monkey flip attempts and was more often than not followed up by Buddy's marquee street which also happens to be my favorite pro wrestling strut of all time. It's hard to explain but it's more effeminate than the average pro wrestling strut and arguably more cocky than any other taunt I've ever seen.

 

I mention all of this because there is an AWESOME cartwheel spot in this match. The progression is standard and follows what I outlined above, but is followed up by Rose attempting his own drop down monkey flip, only for Pardee to shake his ass at him - a taunt that hints at the stereotypes associated with the "effeminate strutter" and throws the cockiness back in his face all at once.

 

Am I reading too much into this? Yes I am. But I still fucking loved the spot.

 

Buddy ends up taking control out of a wristlock and runs through some nice offense. I really enjoyed Buddy blocking the sunset flip with a straight right, then stomping Pardee's face and going to an ab stretch smack dab in the middle of the ring, turning a routine cut off spot/heat hold into a situation that comes across like a legitimate attempt to win.

 

Pardee finally makes his come back off of a superplex attempt and Buddy ends up taking his crazy corner bump. Rose ends up hung up in the ropes and Pardee throws some shots leading to the awesome Buddy back bump through the ropes.

 

Back in the ring Pardee does an ab stretch cradle for a near fall and then another roll up for a second near fall.

 

Reeling and desperate, Rose locks Pardee's neck in the ropes and won't let go for the DQ. Hate the fact that this ended on a DQ but the action was really good and the DQ looked vicious. It was a dastardly thing for a heel to do and Buddy was a great dastardly heel.

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Buddy Match Review Number 5!

 

Buddy Rose/Doug Somers v. The Midnight Rockers - AWA Wrestlerock 86

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnVb5gjg79A

 

There is about to be a "best short lived tag team" of all time tourney at the DVDVR board. Buddy Rose and Doug Somers are one of my own personal "favorites" going in and if I were doing the seeding they would almost assuredly get a number one position. On top of being tag champs for most of their run, they were a tremendous working team that could change speeds and work any type of match they were asked to. The icing on the cake was Sheri Martel who was a great manager for the team and added a lot to the over all dynamic of two slovenly, haggard looking dudes working "blonde and beautiful" gimmicks.

 

If I actually stick to this thing by the time all is said and done there are going to be a lot of Rose/Somers v. Midnight Rockers matches as the Midnight Rockers were the team they were wedded to for most of their run. I am a huge fan of Jannetty and Michaels as a team and with Rose and Somers they had a true match made in heaven. The teams would have fun sprints, great Cage Matches, one of the best and bloodies Southern tag matches I've ever seen, multiple quality six-man tags, et, et, et. This match was on the last "big" AWA show ever (attendance wise anyhow) and falls under the "et." category.

 

The beginning of this is awesome as Buddy challenges Marty to do a pushup so he does. Then he does a kip up and tells Marty to match it and he does. Marty tags in Shawn who does a back flip off the top. Rose goes up to try one and Shawn shakes the ropes and Rose ends up crotching himself on the ropes. This is the sort of "bullshit" that got rave reviews by some in the infamous Rogeau v. Rockers tag from the WWF Set, though it is condensed down here and doesn't come across as an excuse to kill time. In fact the next sequence is a really strong one with Shawn and Somers. This was followed up by a great drop down/rope running arm drag exchange with Buddy Rose who is pretty much the king of that style. Schtick then Shine - a surefire winner every time.

 

Shine continues as Jannetty comes in and does his awesome spinout of the hip toss spot and takes Rose back down. Somers ends up trying for a corner charge and smacks into the steel full blast. Jannetty hits an awesome floatover take down and then he and Shawn hit a nice double team on Somers who tags in Rose.

 

Buddy comes in with a single leg but gets kicked off. Shawn goes for the monkey flip but Rose cartwheels away and then struts around. Jannetty comes in and they do a similar sequence with Jannetty cartwheeling out. As mentioned before, this is a Buddy staple, but it works every fucking time.

 

Marty gets backed into the heel corner but Rose ends up accidentally decking Somers. They go into an armstretcher and do a nice spot with Rose standing up on it only for Jannetty to punch him down. Rose does a nice floatover escape but gets taken back down. I really loved this whole sequence as it was really effective at showing Rose to be a good athlete and competent wrestler who just couldn't match the "flash" of The Rockers (and who was too cocky for his own good which was really the whole point of his gimmick).

 

Shawn does a really sweet head over heels reversal and they do a double team spot which brings Jannetty comes back in. Rockers hit their fist to the gut/knee lift combo for a near fall. There is a really good cut off spot to set up the heat section here as Somers comes in and Shawn ends up getting caught with a sweet catapult into a sick looking forearm which is one of the better uses of that kind of spot I've ever seen.

 

Shawn ends up isolated by the heels who work him over in the corner. It's standard heel stuff but it works well and Michaels is a good face in peril. The big heel spot sees Rose hit his awesome spinning back elbow for a nearfall.

 

Shawn ends up reversing a suplex attempt and hits a leaping hot tag to Marty. Somers takes an awesomely high back body drop (seriously Somers takes the best back body drop bumps of any wrestler I've ever seen) and then Jannetty hits a nice spinning back elbow and powerslam for a pair of nearfalls. Rose ends up bumping wildly to the floor off of a double atomic drop and they work over Somers with some double teams. The refs tries to get Shawn out and Rose pushes Jannetty off the top with Marty taking a wild bump. Shawn vaults onto Rose on the apron as the ref counts down Marty for the finish. This was a great match. Some might bitch about the relative brevity of the heat section, but I thought the whole match clicked and the heels winning makes the babyface focus more sensible to me.

 

This is a legitimately great match - and it's not even a top three match between these two teams. If you count six-men tags it's probably not even top five. By no means would I say their series was better than the Midnight/Fantastics or Midnights/RnR tags - but it is right there with them on the very, very, very short list of all time great tag team series on U.S. soil.

 

Had Rose and Somers stayed around and tagged for a couple of more years they almost assuredly would be regarded as one of the best in ring tag teams of all time, regardless of who their other opponents might have been.

 

More to the point, this was 1986 and Buddy Rose still looked like someone you would rate right there near the top of guys in the U.S.

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Buddy Match Review Number 6!

 

Buddy Rose/Mr. Fuji/Billy Graham/Ray Stevens/Don Muraco v. Andre The Giant/Rocky Johnson/Jimmy Snuka/Sal Bellemo/Pedro Morales 3/5 Falls - WWF 2/19/83

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBmMBYEfCcM

 

This is pretty heavily edited but it's something I hadn't seen before and is a unique setting so I wanted to give it a look.

 

This is almost entirely heel in peril stuff and while I am not typically a fan of that I have no problem calling this a very "fun" match. Billy Graham is in karate mode, stays on the apron and doesn't get involved. Rocky's only in long enough to get a few razzle dazzle spots in. Bellemo is a pretty good weak link for his team. We are spared from Pedro for the most part. Stevens looks good. Fuji is Fuji, but hits a nice belly to belly for a fall on Bellemo and doesn't suck. Snuka hits his big spots cleanly.

 

The stars of this are Muraco, Rose and Andre. It's just always to watch Andre work his drop down spot and here Muraco takes it well. Andre also does a good job selling when called upon to do so briefly toward the back end of the match. Muraco was a really fun taking over the top bumps here. The hangman was a little slow moving in execution but still looked good. The over the ropes delayed bump into the steel looked sick. The airplane spin spot with Bellemo was amusing.

 

Buddy was the best of the bunch. His opening exchange with Rocky was fast as fuck and really show cased his athleticism. He had another equally impressive exchange with Snuka later in the match that resulted in a cool fall off of a sunset flip variation. He took his big chop bump off the ropes for Andre. Most importantly I thought he was the best guy at working the crowd. He was constantly egging them on with his mannerisms and gestures. He really exudes "cocky douchebag" after they win the first fall, but transitions nicely to "crybaby jackass" once they start dropping falls.

 

It's hardly a great match, but it's different than the norm and a cool setting to watch him work in.

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