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Dylan Waco

Buddy Rose !

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Rose/Wiskowski vs Stasiak/Wells - April 21, 1979 Date confuses me since it's the same as the other match but that's what I have.

 

Stasiak is a guy I've only seen in portland and a few years older at that. He and Wells start out with lots of wrenching armwork on Wiskowski. He has a certain presence to him which lets you buy him manhandling big Ed. Rose is great at getting distracted by the fans to miss the tag and then to pull Wiskowski back into the corner (While in a standing hold) by his foot. Stasiak's rising pumphandle arm wrench is pretty great and the fans respond. Stasiak has this weird greaser look. Heels take over with hair pulling and Rose goes for arm wrenching of his own (good character stuff) but Stasiak almost instantly tags and Wells makes Rose beg off (Better character stuff). And this is pretty engrossing shine work.

 

Great tease of the heart punch (which they were selling as the biggest thing in the world) and awesome underhanded heel tactics to really start the first fall's heat segment. Wells fights back before too long and Stasiak comes in like a madman. There are a couple of weird flubby heel misdirection spots here including Wells not chasing Buddy out of the ring like he was supposed to, but what they were going for was sound enough even if nothing special. During that aforementioned quasi-chase, Ed hits a diving headbutt for the first fall.

 

Second fall starts out with great southern stuff. Desperation heel tags to cut off comebacks. Leverage tricks. Fake tag chicanery. Angry babyface on the apron screwing his own team. Stasiak is good at being very focused in trying to make the tag. Buddy slaps on a chinlock at some point and winds Stasiak around so that he's facing away from his corner. Tiny thing but the sort you'd never even think of. This turns out to be a really great little heat segment. Stasiak fights back but always ends up in the wrong corner. They really delay the hot tag to the point where it's really hot when it happens, but Wells misses a corner tackle almost immediately. His movements are very weird in the ring. He does things like try to fight irish whips in a weird way. I love Wiskoski's body drop onto the shoulders. Wells gets beaten on a bit but makes a hot tag to Stasiak who immediately gets swarmed upon by non-legal man Buddy. Great heeling tactics in this match. We get the 1979 equivalent of the top rope counter RKO as Wiskowski goes for the headbutt again only to get heart punched on the way down for the second fall.

 

And uh.... that's all I've got. Wells was really not so smooth here, but there was a great heat segment on Stasiak and Rose/Wiskowski were so good at callbacks and foreshadowing. I really liked the second fall.

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Rose vs Piper 2/3 Falls - May 12, 1979

 

This is something. It's super heated compared to almost everything I've seen. Rose just works and works and works at the wound on Piper's head that he inflicted the previous tuesday. It's brutal, and makes the opening stretch where Rose gets the advantage totally believable. The nastiest part is sort of an atomic noogie of doom into it from a chinlock position. At one point Rose is literally putting his hand on either side of the cut and pressing it open. Piper grabs sympathy out of this, which is amazing since just a few days before he was the centerpiece of a battle royal with women in it because he'd been brutalizing one of them. Piper tries to fight out but Buddy keeps grinding him down with the nastiest chinlock variations there are, fishhooking and gouging and rabbit kneeing him and nooging again. Piper does a punch drunk facial expression better than anyone. Piper's comeback is something of a medium burn. He fights back. Buddy stomps him down but it's too late. The momentum has shifted and it feels not like a hulking up but like a hope spot come unglued. The crowd comes unglued too as Piper just starts to deconstruct Buddy with methodological violence. He picks him up after the first swinging neckbreaker and Buddy is BRILLIANT with these dead-armed flails against Roddy's torso, complete futility as Roddy hits another neckbreaker and takes the first fall.

 

Second fall: Piper shows amazing restraint here. He's really picking Rose apart. After a couple of minutes of this, he tosses Rose into the turnbuckle. Then things break down, literally. The second turnbuckle comes down and Piper misses this amazing flying front drop kick into the turnbuckle allowing Buddy to pick up the turnbuckle/hook and maul Piper until Dutch Savage can come in and stop him. I have no idea if the dropkick was supposed to be what dislodged it and it went early but it looked like Buddy was able to get out of the way because of it so it still works. Rose starts really working on the back as they fix the ring, including a great charge into the pole with Piper in his arms. Buddy goes nuts and dismantles more turnbuckles and there's just a great manic energy to the match. He hits the billy Robinson backbreaker but then picks him up just like Piper had. Piper fights back (which is a great tease of buddy's comeuppance) but Buddy gets him in it again. Awesome stuff.

 

Third fall begins with both guys really spent. Buddy puts on a bearhug, keeping on the back but Piper punches out including a nasty one to the lip. They end out on the floor and Wiskowski comes out nowhere to cheapshot Piper in the chaos. Rose gets back into the ring and that's the countout.

 

No wonder this popped the territory. Great great match.

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Rose vs Piper, Lumberjack match, May 19, 1979

 

Fairly heated arm stuff to begin with Piper in charge. Wiskowski cleverly trips Piper from the outside to lead to the first transition and Buddy taking over and grinding down on Piper. Buddy hammers away on Piper, alternating between corner throws, clubbers and a pretty nasty chinlock. Wiskowski goes for another trip but Stasiak comes around to police him. This is a one fall match so it has a more traditional shine/heat+Comebacks+cutoffs structure. Piper does one of the best wristlocks out of a chinlock I've seen. They really fight for it and Rose's facial expressions are great, and then Buddy takes the hair and puts a headlock back on. They make great use of the lumberjacks with Buddy kicking Piper out over and over again as Wiskowski pushes him back in. Super simple spot but it looks great. Just endless stomps.

 

Piper has really good haymaker comeback punches and Buddy makes them look great, but a clubber cuts off Piper again and Buddy hits a HUGE back body drop. He goes for another and Piper kicks him. Buddy still goes a pin attempt but it's really the start of Piper's full punchdrunk comeback. Rose goes out to escape it but he keeps getting tossed back in by the lumberjacks. Fun stuff with just no escape for Buddy. Piper had a great act in 79. He's really a perfect foil for Buddy. He just mauls away until he misses a dropkick and they go back and forth for a minute until Piper puts on an airplane spin which is somewhat less impressive than it'd be ten years later. It end up on the floor with all the wrestlers fighting Buddy and Wiskowski in destroying Piper. Killer Brooks comes out of the crowd (he'd been put out in the big turn for Piper) with a chain and clears house as the crowd goes nuts. Huge moment. They roll Buddy back in and Piper wins as Brooks gets the biggest pop possible. Match itself wasn't as good as the last one but they used the lumberjack gimmick well and Brooks' return worked as well as it possibly could have.

 

Buddy Rose vs Johnny Eagles - 2/3 Falls - May 26, 1979

 

I've never seen any Johnny Eagles but he's announced as the Houdini of the Mat. Lots of BS about whether Wiskowski will stay or not to begin. Eagles gets pissed off, nails Buddy out of nowhere and rolls him up for the first fall, just like that. Mid-Fall we get Brooks swearing more vengeance. Second fall starts with some fun comedy wrestling with Buddy trying escapes and just getting made to look like a goof in the best way possible. Just these awesome lackadaisical headlocks that Buddy will escape and just end up right back in. The absolute coolest was this reversal of an ankle lock type position that I can't even explain. I just loved it though. I'm sure this stuff was super comtaamon in WoS matches but in this setting it's fun and the crowd eats it up. Buddy keeps going to the hair to get the advantage as the crowd gets more and more pissed. There's the impression of poor Buddy watching a magic trick unfold before him as Eagles escapes from a headscissors in this weird obtuse way, helpless to stop it no matter what he did. You get the impression that buddy was having the time of his life eating all of this stuff. Oh man, then Buddy keeps doing headstands to get out of a headscissors and Eagles keeps jamming him. This stuff is hilarious.

 

Buddy finally has enough and starts unloading only to make the mistake of putting on armbar. Even after a bit of chicanery, Eagles reverses it. Buddy catches him in the corner and puts on the Billy Robinson backbreaker but ref Sandy Barr gets kicked in the face. Buddy then hits an illegal karate chop, wakes Barr up and gets the second fall.

 

Third fall has Buddy go for another immediate chop but Eagles counters and takes over. Buddy manages to get him into one of those catapault into the ropes, land on the knees moves which I haven't seen him do before. He hits another Billy Robinson backbreaker and gets a quick pin. This is all set up for Brooks coming out with a chain though. Buddy blades and Brooks just keeps dragging him around the arena with the chain, all the way to the interview area where he gets rose to cry uncle. Buddy gollums until Wiskowski comes out to talk for him. Hugely entertaining match which had both guys looking good and pretty effective post match to set up the chain match.

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Rose vs Tim Brooks - Dog Collar Match - June 2, 1979

 

Been looking forward to this. Hey! Don Owen and his technicolor sports jacket sure looks a lot like Boyd Pierce! bossing around Buddy. Sandy Barr looks like a sesame street character with his shirt and red pants too. They really milk Rose putting on the collar. Part of the story was that Buddy agreed to the match but he didn't want it to be televised (Owen: "We should have known better than to put this on TV anyway" Awesome). Roddy comes out and holds Buddy still as they get the collar on him. Great performance by Rose here.

 

Buddy uses the chain as a weapon from the get go but Brooks fights back and it's impossible to concentrate on anything but Buddy sticking his tongue out and selling everything like brutal death, especially once Brooks starts using it as a weapon. There's a bit too much choking/guzzling here which doesn't work well since we can't see Rose's face. Buddy comes back with a low blow which pisses off the fans and then he starts coming up with plenty of interesting ways to use the chain. After some nasty stuff Brooks hits a low blow of his own. This is pretty back and forth but the chain is such a game changer that it works. Brooks opens up Buddy and then wraps the chain around the wound. Just brutal. They make sure to mention that there's security keeping Wiskowski from coming out from the dressing room. The beating is nasty enough that they have to explain it.

 

Brooks slams Buddy into the metal of the turnbuckle and when he goes for it again, it's reversed, but Brooks stops him and hits a haymaker, only to get his neck (hurt badly weeks before by the tandem in the face turn) jerked hard by the momentum of Buddy bumping. Awesome transition but they really don't capitalize on it. Brook is fighting back immediately. And then they end up doing this great spot with Buddy ending up tied around the ring post. Wiskowski finally escapes and makes his way out with a chair. Match is thrown out as Wiskowski gets the chain off of Brooks and starts pummeling him. Piper makes the save. They call it a dq win for Brooks. The fans consider that a huge win even though Buddy didn't quit. They set up a tag cage match out of this.

 

What's here is really interesting but if they had given us 4 minutes of Heat after the neck injury before the come back and the crazy corner tying post at the end, it would have been borderline great.

 

Rose/Rogers vs Adonis/Star - 2/3 Falls Match - June 30, 1979

 

We're into the end of June and they're saying Wiskowski is out with an injury so 24 year old Rip Rogers is subbed in as the Hustler. I like Ed but I've always liked Rip too, so I'm not complaining. Rip brings a different energy then Wiskowski. Early on, we get a pretty frantic shine with lots of arm drags and Buddy getting clotheslined over one rope and then the other. Babyfaces look good. Rip can stooge already and we get heel miscommunications and comedy setting up a first fall from a spinning toe-hold. All faces in the first fall.

 

Second fall has Buddy being amazing pretending to be the one who was hurt instead of Rip. There's so much stooging here. Starr holds Rogers' leg out and Adonis hits a top rope elbow drop on it. Then Adonis holds it down and Starr hits a top rope splash on it. They're just dismantling poor Rip. Adonis does a leap frog over his partner onto the leg. Adonis gets kicked off RIGHT into Buddy's corner though. Great transition as Buddy keeps slamming his arm into the pole from outside letting Rip make the tag and immediately start on the arm. Buddy's so scummy that he can grab the tights on a hammerlock and you think logically that it really wouldn't make that much of a difference, that bit of extra leverage, but the fans hate it since it's Buddy. Adonis is pretty good at working babyface spots in and making them look good. The story here is that everytime he does, the heels are able to get a quick tag and go right back to the arm. Rip is definitely not as polished with is armwork but in this framework it still does its job. They even explain it a little that Buddy is teaching Rip to be a crippler too. They do the hope/tag spot three times to really ratchet up the heat with Starr and the crowd getting more and more frustrated. Then they start doing the more dirty southern tag stuff to ratchet it up more. Adonis finally fights back with one arm, gets overwhelmed and tossed into the corner, but Starr does the ol' "jump in the way to protect your partner" move and the fans go nuts as we get one of the hottest tags I've seen in Portland.

 

Starr's offense looks really good with a hip attack and a nice butterfly suplex, but Rose comes out of nowhere to break up the russian legsweep. The heels keep swarming back though and it basically breaks down here. Heels finally hit a double clothesline in the chaos to take the fall. It was all a bit of a mess at the end there. There was good stuff after the hot tag but it all could have used a little more space and focus.

 

Third fall starts with a fairly long Rogers chinlock and they go back to the face escapes/heels tag heat set up. Buddy hits a nice neckbreaker (the old "Tony Borne hold"). Rose is a great cut off guy, just when it comes to timing and in giving the face enough to make it a real hope spot. One problem with current WWE tag wrestling is that you can tell when something's going to happen just by seeing where it is in the match and a few visual clues. It's all paint by numbers. There were hope spots here that I would have sworn would lead to the hot tag but Rose bore down believably and effectively. When the hot tag finally comes it's awesome with Star crawling backwards on his back at hyper speed to make the tag. Adonis comes in with a lot of fire and it breaks down again. Rogers tosses Rose the time keepers chair but Starr gets it and nails Buddy causing the heels in front of the ref. They give the belts to the heels despite the DQ and Dutch Savage comes to argue about this. The fans are irate in the face of the confusion until the faces attack them and Barr takes the belts back away. Barr, at the end DQs both teams and holds the belts up. There's this great moment where Buddy forces himself into the foreground and looks pissed off but the VQ is too poor and it's too quick to get a good screencap of it.

 

The heat segment on Adonis was super as was the stooging in the first fall. The whole thing doesn't entirely hold together out of context, but in context to set up the belts being held up it works well.

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Some quick thoughts on the Buddy Rose, Jay Youngblood 2/3 falls match

 

Finally digging into this set, and the third match on the very first disc I think is a real gem. Some very strong storytelling taking place, wrestling as art/stage production with Buddy bumping and making himself the butt of the joke for Lord Jonathan as the biased good guy referee. Come for the schtick. Stay to watch these two put on a fucking CLINIC of rope running at the end of the first fall, and then see Buddy bust out a series of slams and backbreakers that would seem apropos in a "strong style" match from current day. Cap things off with Boyd beating the fuck out of Buddy and splitting him wide open.

 

Highly recommended.

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Rose/Rogers vs Starr/Adonis 2/3 Falls - 7/7/79

 

Buddy and Rip are sporting bandana headbands. For those who care, Rip is clean shaven which looks weird but sort of highlights the physical resemblance between he and Buddy. Pretty sure this for the held up belts. Rose stooges all over for Starr doing a pretty good job flailing about and selling. He eats one killer dropkick after they break up a Rose attempt to interfere. It wasn't so high but he leaned into it. Nice little spot with a begging off Rogers getting pushed from behind by Adonis right into a headlock takeover. Buddy takes a huge looking bump off the screen in a heel miscommunication spot. Faces take out Rose, trying to come back in with charging billy goat headbutts and then Adonis wins fall#1 on Rogers with the spinning toehold. Buddy didn't get in at all. Fun shine.

 

Rip is pretty good at starting falls by selling. In Portland, btw, the person who loses the fall has to start the match and can't tag until there is physical contact. Rip gets pulled right back into the faces' corner. We get some comedy stooging Heel In Peril as Rogers tries to make the tag until Bully runs in and hits. It was pretty entertaining, flailing stuff but this is a fairly big match in context and I think it went on a bit long in general. I really like Adonis FIPs from this era. Rose's stuff looks really good against him and Adonis is great at making desperate comebacks only to get cut off at the last second. It took me a while to really start to buy him as a babyface wrestler but he's really dynamic in these tags. Anyway, Rip cuts him off with a long chinlock/sleeper, which doesn't look great except for the fact that they keep moving with it. I do like the Rip/Rose pairing. It brings out a different dynamic than Rose/Wiskowski (which I of course liked). More energy, some more stooging, a little more desperation, a little less methodological. Here they keep cutting off hope spots by putting on a desperate hold. Starr finally has enough on the outside and comes in. Barr stops him and the heels hit first a double clothesline which Starr manages to break up and then a head-held second rope flying knee strike which looked pretty brutal for the second fall.

 

Third fall has Adonis fighting out of the corner. I really love the structural shortcuts in these 2/3 fall matches. You can get the hot tag at the start of the third fall, which is what we get here. Starr gets in and starts unloading on Buddy but buddy hits a quick cheap shot and they trade blocked atomic drops. Roddy comes out and Buddy collides into him on the apron letting the faces roll him up for the win and the titles. This was a pretty abrupt third fall but felt totally in character for Piper as his sort of punch drunk way of interfering cost the heels the belts and moves us right back to Rose vs Piper which is what the crowd really wanted anyway. Good functional stuff.

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Neither here nor there but it's funny how rehearsed Rip seems in his promos around this time. The one where he breaks down Buddy's body from head to toe is particularly weird.

 

Buddy vs Stan Stasiak - 7/28/79 -2/3 falls

 

I've kind of been looking forward to this. I'm not sure why. It might be that Stan has a main event aura to him that a lot of the other guys Buddy's been wrestling with doesn't. This is is a title match and I want to see what Buddy does with it. Hey! the single arm push-ups. I don't think I've seen these in this run of matches. Stan was around 42 here and he definitely had a grizzled look to him. They start with stooging boxing with Buddy praying in the corner, ducking our of the ring, yelling at the crowd and stalling big. Rip comes out to cheer Buddy on. Buddy fears the heart punch and then Dutch comes out to chase Rip away. Buddy gets pissed only to have Adonis get him back in the ring. Once they get Buddy back in he immediately gets punched. It's pretty funny stuff. Buddy takes right over with a cheap knee and starts dismantling Stasiak only to get outpunched again. This is really good Portland First Fall wrestling.

 

Buddy gets in charge again and works a long draping of Stasiak over his knees which is kind of weird but worked well enough. It builds to Buddy really going over the back with knees and stomps and a big slam on the floor which was a big deal spot. Buddy finally hits a huge Billy Robinson backbreaker for the first fall. Good stuff.

 

Stasiak is good enough to keep selling the back into the start of the second fall and Buddy targets it almost immediately. Lots of solid backwork and little flourishes like Buddy pulling Stan's tights to get him down after a brief comeback. They go into the catapult set up bow and arrow over the knees again. It's not the world's best looking submission but given the context of the match and the flailing stasiak selling, it sort of works. Stan hits the rope and a quick knee drop but he's selling like crazy and gets nailed before he can fully recover leading to a Buddy bear hug which is kind of a weird choice. Both guys work it well with Stan going for punches only to get held back by wrenching pain. He finally gets the punch in but Buddy's right back on him. He's selling huge here. Buddy whips him into the corner and hits a huge bodyslam. He goes for it again but Stan reverses it and hits a killer heart punch for the second fall. This is a really good match so far.

 

Between falls Buddy is selling the heart punch like death, literally. Rip starts giving him CPR at one point. Third fall starts with Buddy selling big. Stan's pretty much recovered from the backwork but he's had time to. Buddy's trying everything to avoid contact here. He heads out but gets fast counted back in. Stasiak's offense is all punches here but they look good and it fits his boxing background. This lasts a couple of minutes until Buddy gets a knee up to counter a back body drop. They do some positively 2013 finisher teases where Buddy almost hits the Robinson backbreaker and Stasiak counters by trying to hit the heart punch but Buddy gets out of the ring at the last second. Rip distracts Stasiak but gets hauled away by Dutch and Adonis. Stasiak hits that back body drop and we have three minutes left. Buddy stooges around the ring but gets caught coming back in. Stasiak goes for a third heart punch but Buddy hits the deck and Stan hits the post. Buddy starts on his hand with STasiak's comeback being ineffectual as he has to use his left hand. He finally hits Buddy with a right but hurts his own hand in the process and can't hook the leg. They do the headlock double collision spot that Dylan hates in the third act of a match. Stasiak does this awesome counter to get out of the pin by tapping Buddy on the back making him think that it's Sandy Barr breaking up the pin and time runs out leading to the draw.

 

It didn't have as much zing of hate as some of the other things I've seen but it was a great straightforward TV match. This really highlighted the strength and versatility of the Portland 2/3 falls main event.

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Buddy Rose vs Sal Martino 2/3 Falls - August 4, 1979

 

Owen announces they're moving the time slot from 11 to 12:30 to boos. I have no idea who Martino is. Think it's Bellomo actually. He hits an out of nowhere body press for a lightning first fall as the crowd goes nuts. 29 seconds which at the announcement makes the crowd pop more. Start of the second fall they tease a roll up and Buddy takes a powder pissed off.They slow things down with a Martino headlock base. Rose is expert at using the tights to put him in a tight pin position. Stunt granny is pissed off too. Martino grinds as the crowd counts but Rose backs out and takes another powder. Buddy starts to work on the arm but gets pulled into a headlock again. Fun stuff. This reminds me more of an AWA match with the use of a single hold for a base with the heel cheating to getting out only to end up back in it.

 

We get a cut and end up with both guys standing again. Apparently we're in the third fall and the big transition was on a missed body press which sounds like a good comeback. Buddy won that fall. He has the advantage here too, working over the back. Martino sells a bearhug well but Buddy's lean forward head tucked bearhug is not his best stuff. Martino finally claps his way out and reverses a corner toss to do endless shoulder thrusts. They do the Dylan-hated headlock/collission spot but here it at least made some sense as they used the headlock as a base so much. A third cross body but this is just a 2 count tease. Martino goes off the ropes and runs right into a HUGE billy robinson backbreaker. Probably the best I've ever seen; super cocky pin and that's the match. Fun stuff, a totally different structure than most 2/3 fall matches we've seen. Shame for the cut though. The way he did the Robinson backbreaker would stand up to any 2013 finisher in the world, I think. It looked huge.

 

Interlude: Rips promos are pretty brutal still. They're very simple with a lot of Either/Ors but his delivery is the clunkiest thing in the world. Buddy is still amazing though.

 

Rose vs Adonis - 2/3 Falls - August 31, 1979

 

Don Owen is rocking an awesome suit again, but Buddy's robe is even better. Barr bars Rogers from ringside and they have security taking him away. Buddy stalls to begin. Buddy seems desperate to avoid contact at first and humorously crashes into Barr in the corner. When they finally get into it, he keeps taking cheap shots on Adonis only to get hit back hard and back away. They do some good back and forth including buddy eating a great monkey flip and a huge body slam before getting dropkicked out to the floor.He comes back in and tries a slam only to get press slammed by Adonis. This is a well put together first part of a match and Adonis' babyface work really needs more attention from people. Shine ends with a missed splash and buddy hitting a bodyslam backbreaker and a series of killer double stomps. He hits another elbow to the midsection and does a roll through for the first fall. Pretty awesome pinpoint stuff after the missed splash. Good first fall.

 

As with most Portland 2/3 falls matches the second fall continues from the first with Buddy laying in to the stomach including the awesome stomach claw. This is great and just an example of Rose's versatility, as if we need more of that. Adonis is great making it look like death as he fights back. Buddy breaks a comeback by going to the hair and Granny is pissed again. They're really basing this second fall off the stomach claw and I love it. Adonis then goes to the hair and punches his way out which feels like comeuppance on Buddy. Adonis selling, punches Rose out of the ring. Buddy rabbits but Adonis slips in and does a sunset flip on the outside and Barr counts it which is hilarious. Adonis pulls him in and hits a top rope elbow before putting on his finish, the spinning toe-hold for a submission and the second fall. I'm really liking this match.

 

Buddy starts the third fall selling the leg but all over Adonis. He immediately hits the Billy Robinson backbreaker but on his bad knee and he flails around selling it taking forever to get to Adonis who just gauges the hell out of Buddy's eye with no sign that he's about to let go. Vicious looking stuff. Rip Rogers runs out to break it out for the DQ and they start on Adonis' eye. they sell it that someone from the crowd threw a pen at Rose but Rose gets it instead thanks to Rip and nails Adonis the eye in it. Good match, good angle, sets up the next match. The usual great stuff.

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Rose vs Adonis - 2/3 Falls - Rip chained to Steve Pardee

 

This is the last live broadcasted wrestling show, so I assume the sheepherders have been bloodying up people. Owen sounds a little depressed by the idea. I know the legend was that the move to 11:30 actually helped the ratings since everyone rushed home to see themselves on TV. Is that true? Anyway, after the shenanigans from before Rip is chained to "rookie of the year" Steve Pardee. Pardee impacts things immediately by making the heels unable to have a stalling conference, frustrating Buddy to the delight of the crowd. Adonis chucks Buddy into Rip to start off which Buddy made look like a million bucks. Buddy hammers the arm intensely but Adonis comes back and Rose ends up headbutted to the floor again, right into Rip. The crowd is really into this. Buddy puts him immediately into a full nelson which is pretty well worked in the Adonis strength escapes and Buddy pulling the hair to cut it off. There's a great little touch where Buddy slams Adonis' head into the turnbuckle to weaken him enough to bring him down. I'm not a huge fan of a full nelson base but it's done well and when Adonis escapes the fans pop big. He nails Buddy and puts him in one of his own. Buddy tries to escape by lifting up Adrian and we end up in comedy hour with Buddy trying an elaborate escape only to end up back in it and then eating an Atomic Drop that sends him out of the ring.

 

They reset into a test of strength and Buddy knees him immediately only to get totally out finessed. Adonis goes for the spinning toehold but Buddy kicks him over the top rope where he gets stuck which I think is our proper transition in the first fall. Buddy starts to really dismantle the hamstring/leg. And puts on an Indian deathlock. We get a long anklelock that Adonis finally turns out of. It's pretty funny. Buddy just hangs on with the leg until Adonis jams him with it. Adonis sort of shrugs off the leg work a bit too quickly in his comeback having a big comeback before he rolls Buddy up for the fall. This was easily the longest first fall I've seen in Portland and they did a good job of having a back and forth match with some limbwork and some comedy and some real hate. It wasn't my favorite structurally but it was still good.

 

and geez, this second fall is 15 minutes. I may have overwritten that first fall as it was really back and forth. I'll just sum this up. Rip stooges a lot early in the second fall on the outside. We really get a full reset. Buddy's taunt as he charges into the corner is beautiful and of course he misses like he's supposed but then he takes over with a grinding front facelock. Adonis gets some hope spots and Buddy keeps grinding him down. We get some great fan shots during the facelock. And this is pretty much an endless facelock. The hope spots are good but it's just sort of there, to be honest. Buddy starts to go for the fall as they announce the time left but Adonis escapes from the Robinson backbreaker attempt and hits an atomic drop for the real come back. Adonis misses a top rope splash and Rose goes up himself. Pardee shakes the roles though and Buddy stumbles into Adonis who turns him over to win the fall and (I think) transfer the feud from Adonis to Pardee.

 

I have to admit, I didn't love this match nearly as much of some of the stuff I've seen lately. I like that they really varied up the 2/3 falls structure and the first fall was pretty good. I don't mind a single-hold based match which is what we really got with the second fall, but this one sort of fell flat for me. As always they did a great job moving things along and keeping the territory rolling though.

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Rose vs Pardee - Hair match - 9/15/79

 

Buddy insists, after all, that this will be on TV since no one thought he'd win. They ban Rip from ringside and the crowd pops. They shake to begin and weirdly that sort of makes this feel like a big deal. Shine stuff is great. Buddy hits one arm drag and Pardee hits three before Buddy takes a powder. Rip comes back out and keeps brushing the hair. Buddy kicks and goes for a turnbuckle shot but Pardee reverses and hits a bunch of stuff before Buddy begs off and gets out. Crowd is super hot for this. Buddy keeps getting a quick advantage but Pardee turns it around including some really good rope running. Pardee works over the arm and Buddy's selling and stooging is amazing. He takes the hugest bump off of an over the top rope drape and makes it (and Pardee) look like a thousand bucks.

 

The transition is Pardee charging into the corner after Buddy and going shoulder first beginning Buddy's armwork. They keep mentioning Louie Pinzelli who's going to do the haircut and he's a former boxing second and local hair-cut guy and just name dropping him like that adds a lot to the local feel of this. Portland always had such a great warm community feel to it. Anyway Pardee punches out of it, making sure to sell the arm still during his comeback and hits some fairly good looking but simple offense including a legdrop to the gut before Buddy tosses him out in true Bockwinkel fashion, leading to one of the first real king of the mountain segments I've seen out of this era's Buddy. It makes total sense here given the stakes and how energetic young Pardee was. Good stuff and a switch up of structure. They keep things interesting while Pardee is out by having Buddy almost get in with it to Barr. Barr actually wants to DQ Buddy here but Pardee, gallant young lion, refuses to take it. He instead reverses a shot into the ring post. Presuming Buddy is going over here they're doing a lot to really make Pardee look good. He hits a revenge spot on Buddy keeping him out and then lets him back in before really laying it in with running turnbuckle shots. This whole thing was kind of neat since it was a real portland twist.

 

He finally misses a third dropkick as Buddy falls backwards for another transition. Pardee gets an immediate hope sunset flip making the crowd go nuts but Buddy starts in on the back and really begins to grind down. They tease another hope spot with Buddy putting his head down, but he hits the inside backbreaker immediately thereafter and picks up the win. I could have used a slightly hotter finish with Pardee getting a few more shots in before Buddy hit the backbreaker out of nowhere but in general this was really good. It had a good number of transitions but they all built to something and made sense. Buddy and Rip are awesome praying to the increasingly bald Pardee as if he was a monk and then saying that Kojak is in the ring.

 

Good match that put over Pardee pretty well even in losing, that put over the gimmick match, that just made Rose look more formidable. And that just ratcheted up the heat on this stuff all the more for the Adonis loser leaves town match upcoming on Tuesday.

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Rose vs Red Bastein - Oct 20, 1979

 

I'm not sure I'e seen much of Bastein. Set up is tons of fun. He comes in masked and takes it off at the start of the match as Buddy is freaking out. The idea is that Buddy would have never signed this match otherwise. Buddy shouts that this isn't a hair match. They send Rip away again. Bastein clears house and knocks Buddy out of the ring. They come back in and start working a grinding headlock base with Buddy desperate to get out. He goes back to this sort of thing now and again, but he works it really well, and it's not always the same thing either. This time it's a side headlock and Buddy keeps trying to cheat only to get stopped by Barr. Bastein looks like a grizzled old bastard. This is maybe a bit too grindy considering the heat at the beginning of the match. They switch things up with a few punches or Bastein running the turnbuckle around with the headlock or Buddy trying to turn him into a pin but it's maybe a bit too much of the same here. There is a fun spot where Buddy tries to get out of the ring only to get pulled back in. Out of context, I can see why Barr's refereeing would frustrate people but he was completely part of the act.

 

HA, Bastein goes up the turnbuckle again but Buddy nails him with a belly to back. That was satisfying. I love repetition spots leading to comebacks. Love it. Buddy goes straight to the back too. Bastein reverses it and gets the sleeper on to put Rose out. Now that Rose lost, they play it up like he has to give him a hair match.

 

This was an effective match. I thought the headlock stuff went a bit long without enough variation but they really paid it off in a satisfying way and this one time, I was okay with the heat segment being really short since it sets up the next match. Sometimes less is more and this really worked as a sub-ten minute match. It wasn't the most exciting thing in the world but it sure accomplished what it set out to do.

 

The post match promo where Bastein calls Buddy pumpkin head is weirdly hilarious. He's there to get revenge for Pardee which is an awesome little story.

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I watched the Bastien match the other day. It was cool to see because Red was a huge influence on Buddy, but it wasn't close to high end Buddy and in a way was a bit disappointing. Having said that it was definitely a really effective match for what they were going for. Also Rip Rogers apparently loves it

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Buddy vs Pardee (in progress), Oct 27, 1979

 

Pardee has a crew cut from his Playboy match and he starts out here by doing 18 armwrenches in a row. Obviously he's gunning for some revenge here and the crowd is behind him. Buddy pushes back but misses a punch hitting the ringpost as the crowd goes nuts. Pretty standard but effective armwork segment here. And it's varied enough and sold well enough by Buddy to make it work. Neither here nor there but the promotion was pretty great at this point. Sam Bass just came back and he wanted a piece of Rose still. Bastien was there to avenge Pardee who was actively trying to avenge himself and Piper was there for blood against Buddy too. They really set things up really well by having the babyfaces wanting revenge for all the heat Buddy got on them.

 

Anyway, Buddy trapped him in the corner and took over, still making sure to sell his arm. Pardee fights back out of a chinlock but they do a nice little thing in delaying hte comeback for another second as he has to reverse a turnbuckle shot too. Pardee has a fiery comeback and keeps trying to get the pin on Buddy, but he tries for a splash and actually gets flipped over Buddy's knees in a kind of cool looking little spot. Then we get the repetition as Rose goes for his own and eats Pardee's knees. Pardee gets some shots in but Buddy hits the Robinson backbreaker out of nowhere. He picks him up at two and hits it again for the pin. Nice little match.

 

The Army (Buddy/Kiwi Sheepherders) vs Piper/Bass/Bastein - 2/3 falls - Oct 27, 1979

 

This is exactly what I was saying about the face side. I am going to be amazed if this match isn't downright awesome. Some great Rose stooging to begin as he feeds right into Bastein's shots and does a fun little "Wrong corner"s spot before tagging out. Rose is always an really tangible presence on the apron in these crazy six man matches. You get the idea he could make an impact interfering at any moment. I can't tell which one is Luke and which one is Butch, but I think it's Miller who has a frenetic little rope running spot with Piper, lots of stalling and then the same spot held off only to end with a Bastein shot from the outside. The heels try an inversion of the shot and Roddy fights his way out with insane babyface energy. Clever and entertaining stuff. They're also doing a great job of keeping Rose from being in too long so while he'll get a momentary shot, he's not eating a lot of offense so the crowd keeps wanting more. I could watch Roddy vs the Sheepherders all day. Williams finally chokes him into the heel corner and we get a transition as Bastein tries to break it up but just distracts the ref allowing a heel mauling.

 

This is a great little FIP with almost constant hope spots that are cut off by swarming teamwork and ring positioning. The best part is when Williams does a single arm rollback takedown to move Piper back to his corner, but Roddy randomly attacking the heel corner first on a comeback to try to stop them from stopping him is great too. Buddy hits a huge flying back elbow too. The hot tag is ultimately not super, but Bastein's comes in and cleans house well, putting Buddy in the sleeper to help set up the hair match on tuesday and that's the first fall. We get the goofy stuff that comes with the Sheepherders waking up Buddy between falls.

 

Second fall starts with the Sheepherders ambushing Bastein in the corner. This goes quick with Buddy nailing the back multiple times before hitting a really cool backbreaker into Miller's knee in the corner three times before hitting one of his own for a sudden fall. I didn't dislike it and it was definitely a structural switch from every other match we'd seen. Third fall has them starting on Bastein including some particularly nasty stuff from the Sheepherders before Bastein reverses a Robinson backbreaker attempt and hits an atomic drop of his own and then the hot tag to Bass. I really love how they can interrupt a heat segment with a pin in these two/three fall matches but still make it seem like part of a broader story.

 

It all breaks down here with he babyfaces beating on the heels until a cheapshot leads to a quick heat segment on Bass and a hot tag to Piper bringing things full circle from the beginning of the match until we finally get Rose and Piper facing off. Everything breaks down again as we get the time limit draw and another visual of Bastein putting the sleeper on Rose to set up Tuesday.

 

The third fall was pretty unsatisfying but as a whole it was a lot of fun, very smart and super effective. Good stuff.

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Rose vs Stasiak - 2/3 Falls - 11/10/79

Stasiak has a black robe, mutton chops and a mustache. He looks like something out of a bad 70s Kung Fu movie and it's great. Buddy stalls from the get go by carefully folding his shirt. We get a Heart Punch tease and Buddy takes powder. He sneaks in and starts working on the leg, with the base early on being this move that I'm not entirely sure I want to name, but it's kind of like the Indian Deathlock/Gagne Special but not quite. It's a nice move as Rose can really press in with his foot and make it look good and he also has to avoid the pin while he's holding it in. This stuff is fun as Stasiak tries to reverse but Buddy turns it into another variation, this one letting Buddy use the ropes which brings us the wrath of stunt granny. Stasiak turns it into a pin to escape but his legs are too hurt to do much else. Buddy hits a quick drop toehold and goes back to legwork. Stasiak kicks out but once again can't walk well. Buddy does a nice finesse move to try for more leg work but gets kicked off immediately. We get a cool little hope segment which is all Buddy begging off but Stan snaps on a headlock and gets punched in the leg. They end up in the ropes though leading to Stan getting one corner shot in and Buddy begging off again. Buddy's so great at making Stan fearsome with almost no effort at all. Buddy keeps going back to the leg, but misses a butt dive onto it. This is so focused. Buddy gets out of nowhere shots to the leg whenever Stan tries anything, including stopping a heart punch that way. Stasiak is selling huge. Buddy finally puts on a half crab and Stan has to tap for the first fall. Buddy gets a few cheap shots in on the way out.

 

Second fall starts with Buddy going right to the leg. This is following from the match that Buddy won two falls and leading to a taped fist challenge (by Stasiak) on the upcoming Tuesday. They're doing a very good job working this stuff, including some great desperate kicks by Stan to get out of a leglock. It's also an a+ sell job by him anytime he gets up. I think he's punched Buddy maybe three times in the whole match but Buddy's bumping and selling and stooging is so good that it makes it seem like a force of nature is attackng him. Stasiak starts going after Budy's own leg with kicks and punches, and the punches especially look cool and different. It's really methodological and pissed off, really building to him locking in a toehold. I love that the transition was this slow steady thing and that they didn't just rush to it in a 'my turn' sort of way. Stan wrenches it until Buddy can nail Stan's leg to get out and then they start trading shots to each other's head and legs. Fun stuff leading to Buddy taking a powder to walk it off. He goes so far as to sit in an empty ringside seat. Stan is pissed off, breaking the count and letting Buddy spend some more time healing on the outside. Buddy begs off and they doa really good defensive sort of wrestling where both guys are afraid of the other getting the leg first. Stan charges in and takes over though. Stan wrenches the toehold again as the crowd chants along. I really do love Stasiak's leg punches. Buddy hits a great leg dive out of nowhere. The selling between these two is just great here. They're both dead and trying to desperately get each other's legs. Buddy misses a punch into the turnbuckle first and then goes for a kneedrop on the leg and misses. He sells HUGE and Stasiak starts to take over again, letting him get a beautiful heart punch for the second fall. Great fall.

 

Third falls switches gears with Buddy starting over the back to set up the Robinson Backbreaker. Perfectly Logical part of Buddy's MO and his back-targeted offense is always varied and dogged and believable. Buddy keeps doing slams and throws. Stan's selling is super here, as he sells both the leg and the back whenever he gets a hope spot. Buddy goes for the Robisnon Backbreaker and Stan blocks it and then goes for the heart punch but Buddy moves and he just kills Sandy Barr with it! While Stan is concerned, Buddy rolls him up and Sandy counts a slow, slow pin. This finish was ten years before its time and this is probably my favorite singles Buddy match I've seen in this run so far.

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Rose vs Stasiak - 11/17/79 - 2/3 Falls

 

I've really liked their last two matches so I've high hopes for this. Buddy comes out (after a brief prayer) swinging, including a few fun jabs at Barr. He takes a powder and the mind games are on. Opening segment is based around a full nelson with Buddy doing some of his trademark shtick but also getting some more marks than usual for successful wrestling. Buddy does well for a bit through hook or crook but gets shown up. There's a great little hip top point-counterpoint (with a block) spot where Stan just blasts him in the ribs before Buddy hits the outside again. Buddy goes for an arm but Stasiak does a goofy little kip up followed by a B+ for Effort dropkick. Buddy finally drags him below the bottom rope and starts to punch, maul, and bite. Buddy's targeting a gash here, just choking and biting. Stasiak gets some punches back though and Buddy sells it like a Punch Out Character before getting tossed over. Part of why I love Buddy vs Stan so much is how great Buddy makes Stasiak's punches look. This is for the belt so there's a real sense of desperation out of Buddy that's appreciated, and that's even before Stan goes for the heart punch which Buddy scrambles out of. Stan is all over Buddy with huge punches including a haymaker out of the corner to the chest. He lifts him up, heart punch, first fall. Good stuff with Buddy really being logical, vicious, and desperate in his tactics only to get totally overwhelmed by Stan but in a believable way that only helps describe why he was going to such lengths in the first place.

 

Buddy sells the heart punch between falls and tapes up his left fist as well. They have the taped fist match ahead of them still but when sandy goes to take it off (as it's illegal in a title match) Buddy feigns an injury. Buddy stalls big until Sandy just lets him go with it. This goes on and on but Buddy is pretty damn funny in it, pissing off both Stasiak and the crowd plenty until he finally draws Stan in for a cheap shot to the stomach that keels him right over. Buddy tries to convince Barr that he kicked him and the question of whether the hand is loaded enters into things. Stan comes back in and starts working over the hand. Buddy keeps trying to convince the crowd that he's not hurt when he spent so long convincing everyone he was. Great stuff. Stasiak nails Buddy with some more great punches before Buddy gets him in the midsection again. Stasiak gets up a keeps using the side-headlock/punch combo while doing all he can not to let Buddy get that punch in. Everytime they get some distance Buddy nails him in the midsection though. This is simple stuff but very well executed. They go so far as to have Barr keep trying to block Buddy's punch during a King of the Mountain. The gimmicked hand is really over as a threat at this point. It pays off perfectly as Stan comes back in and blocks the KO punch, hammering back a few times til Buddy nails a left out of nowhere for the second fall.

 

Third fall starts with Stasiak's right hand taped. They start out boxing on the idea that both guys' have one hand that'll be instant death and whoever gets the first punch in will be golden. Buddy gets Stan in the ribs first with some cheapshots and we get a rare Portland chinlock with the idea that Buddy is just containing this deadly weapon here. Stan works the position though until he can get one taped fist punch to the leg to get out. Buddy sells it like death. Rose comes back in they tease a Stasiak punch but Buddy runs for it. This time Stan follows him out and nails him on the ring post though. Buddy comes back in with color and we get a KOTM segment where Stasiak keeps nailing Buddy with his taped fisted when he tries to come in. The crowd is loving this especially after he chases him out and pummels. They both end up on the apron with Stan just destroying Buddy as the ref counts. Finally, he gets the heart punch on the apron but Buddy falls through the ropes into the ring and beats the count. It's the most awesome bullshit title change ever. The sheepherders come out an drape the belt over reeling Buddy.

 

This was great both as a match on its own and like almost every single match we've seen in 79 as a match to build smartly to the live show on Tuesday. I don't know if there's ever been a wrestler at building to a life card than Buddy. Even Lawler sort of pales in comparison to this stuff.

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And we have Rick Martel. Not a great promo yet by any means, but then he never was. Story is that the Sheepherders hurt him in New Zealand 8 months ago and he's in for revenge. For those keeping track, Stasiak did beat Buddy in the taped fist match so he got his revenge in the blow off even though Buddy now has the title. This is why this booking is endlessly better than the AWA stuff from the 80s.

 

Rose/Sheepherders vs Piper/Bass/Savage 2/3 Falls - Nov 24, 1979

 

The Army has matching Green military jackets and Buddy has a whistle. Buddy is decked out as a Kiwi and they make a big deal about this. Immediate story is Buddy dodging Piper, so when he gets a quick hit in after some rope running with Savage the crowd pops. Heels take a powder. Good back and forth shine stuff with Williams and Bass. I like how much of a presence Buddy and Butch have on the outside; Bass really has to keep his eyes on him. Heels try a blind tag but Buddy gets nailed by Savage for his trouble and Piper tags in, causing Buddy to run again. Mini transition is great. Piper leaves Miller to hit Rose on the apron and while he gets a good pop for it, he also lets Miller take over on him. Buddy keeps trying to get cheapshots from the outside as they work on Piper but either Piper fights back or Dutch comes along. Finally Buddy comes in as piper is hurting and hits a great flying back elbow and then an equally good elbow drops, but then puts his head down and gets nailed. They cut off the hot tag with a quick heel tag. Heels are working over the injured eye and keeping Piper in their corner. They're really drawing out this face in peril, with Piper getting a lot of great comebacks. When he finally gets to Savage the place comes unglued. The faces clear house including a nearfall that Buddy breaks up after a Bass bulldog. Piper comes back in too early and is the victim of a pulled down rope and then a Sheepherder pile-driver for the first fall. Good action.

 

Piper has to start the second fall and gets overwhelmed but Rose hits Miller by accident. It's enough for Piper to get his head back and punch-scare Buddy back to his corner to get the tag to Savage. We get a fun heel-in-peril tease as Savage distracts the ref and they try to maul Buddy in their corner. Rose takes some damage until he can atomic drop Savage and get to his corner. It's a little back and forth with the big moment being Buddy going for another pile driver but getting back body dropped, which builds up to the hot tag. Pretty back and forth stuff here as the heels keep using teamwork to take back over on the faces, including a heat segment on Bass' back, which the fans absolutely know is the set up for The Robinson Backbreaker. Roseinstead wants to be a dick and goes for a bulldog of his own on Bass but gets tossed off into the turnbuckle and then power bodyslammed for the second fall. Again, Rose is years above his time with the sort of finishing stealing set ups to finishes.

 

Third fall begins with a bunch of stooging. Rose has to start the fall and he refuses to. Rose can't tag til physical contact is made and Bass taunts him to do just that. It doesn't go well for Buddy as we get some comedy heel miscommunication with Bass taunting them. This is a fun call back since Bass turned after miscommunication with Rose a year or two before. There's a fun celebratory mood from the faces here, which sort of makes sense because they just won the second fall. It's certainly not as much of a blood feud as the start of the match with Rose/Piper made it seem like it'd be, but it has the faces making the heels look like asses so it works. This ends with the Sheepherders getting pissed off and choking the hell out of Bass. We get the sort of headlock/toss off/collision that Dylan hates for the tag. Savage gets drawn right into the corner and things break down with the heels able to double team while the faces are getting pulled out which ends with the pin.

 

I suppose you can say that the faces got a bit too lackadaisical at the end and they lost because of that but there wasn't quite a story throughline here. It was still fun though.

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Buddy Rose vs Jim Gagne - Dec 1, 1979 - 1 Fall

 

So in between there was a great angle where Buddy runs in to interfere in a Sheepherders vs Piper/Stasiak title match and just mauls Piper's eye again AND an angle where he burns the kilt. I have zero idea who Jim Gagne is. He has a mustache. He is not related to Verne.

 

Buddy starts out with some escapes only to get outclassed, including Gagne doing a flip with Sandy Barr's help. he keeps going back to the headlock/chinlock as a base, with Buddy escapes only to miss a move and end up right back in it. We've seen this a few times from Buddy but certainly not every week and it's always entertaining. Gagne is actually fairly athletic in a world's best Buck Zumhoffe sort of way. At least he's really working the headlock. The headlock grind is something that really got lost as they went into the 80s and it's a shame. Buddy hits a belly to back which is definitely the best transition in a headlock-driven match. Buddy is selling the headlocks great. He's even selling them with his hair. after a slam he locks on an over the shoulder backbreaker, which is something I've not seen out of him but he can't hold it and gagne fights back immediately, even selling the back. Gagne's offense in the corner is pretty good and his dropkick is okay. Buddy sells a kneelift for him like it's a decapitation. Maybe Gagne is more of a poor man's Mike Jackson instead?

 

Anyway, He goes for a monkey flip in the corner. Rose blocks it. He lands on his back and Rose takes over, honing in. Gagne makes a comeback, and goes for another headlock. Buddy turns it into the inside backbreaker and there's the match. Good stuff with a very simple story but well-worked. I'll take good logical wrestling anyday.

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They're setting up a Rose/Piper cage match with some great promos including one where Piper slams a beer bottle into his own head. I don't know if we have that match. They ran it for a bunch of towns it seemed, but maybe not for TV. There's also a Rose vs Bastien hair match we seem to be missing. Ah well.

 

Rose/Sheepherders vs Martel/Stasiak/Yaki Joe - 2/3 Falls - Dec 21, 1979

 

No idea who Yaki Joe is, but i'm expecting some fun FIP stuff with Martel here. Martel vs Rose is immediately exciting. Very few guys we've seen are able to really go with Rose. Martel can and they do a lot of quick shine stuff including a straight up 'rana. It's amazing how great a babyface Martel was, even this early with certain things. Luke and Martel do a test of strength but Williams slowly angles him into his own corner allowing Rose to tag in and take over on Martel for a minute until Martel fires back with Buddy selling huge for everything Martel does. Martel has a pretty good atomic elbow smash and it's a shame he got rid of it. Tag in to Yaki Joe and no one eats wrenching headlocks like Buddy, though Luke, who ends up in eating them too, does a great frazzled flop afterwards. This entire shine is basically the fans counting along to wrenching headlocks, with a few heel cheaty hope spots and a huge highspot of Rose coming into interfere and eating a Martel 'rana while he holds onto Williams with the headlock. I love how the Sheepherders beg off.

 

Finally the heels swarm and start to work over Martel again. Martel's a dervish with his hope spots and the fans really react. A lot of times he flies too far or over positions and the heels capitalize on his over-exuberance due to superior ring positioning. Buddy's flying back elbow is really nice. They do Barr missing a tag due to heel interference in a headlock which I haven't seen much if at all in my 70s Portland watching. They draw out the hope spots until Martel flies across the ring for a great hot tag to Stasiak, who tosses Buddy into the corner pole and gets in a quasi heart punch. Joe comes in and does some pretty lame chops that Buddy sell like death and looks actively lost once before stumbling into the heel corner, getting swamped til he rolls to a hot tag to Stasiak who is frigging awesome with his crazy old man fire. They keep having him bear hug the heels until interference knocks him out from behind for the first fall.

 

Second fall starts with the heels getting Stasiak in their corner and pummelling with quick tags and keeping him in the corner until he fights out. Martel's pretty good cheerleading on the apron until he gets the tag. They're building up Martel to wrestle Harley in January. He trades slams with Buddy with Buddy bumping huge for him on one. At first glance Yaki Joe is not very good but he does sell the shoulder well after running limply into the corner. Heels work over the arm. The best part is Buddy holding onto a wristlock as he eats chops from Joe. It makes me want to see Wahoo vs Buddy from this era. Martel rushes in but only allows the heels to triple team. Then they do a heatless out of nowhere tag to Stasiak which could have been built up a lot better. I blame Joe here. Martel comes out of nowhere with a sunset flip from the outside to give the faces the second fall. This was all a bit rushed at the end.

 

Rose cheapshots Joe between falls and Stasiak chases him back which is a fun little bit of chaos to switch things up. Williams really goes over for Martel's armdrags, as does Buddy (Miller, not as much). They're doing a great job making Martel look good here. One thing I love about Buddy in tag matches is the way he always seems like a threat when he's on the outside. He'll just run from off the screen and do an attack out of nowhere. It backfires here though and the faces work over Williams, including a cool double atomic noogie to the temples by Yaki Joe. We get a FIP on Joe here, with the heels just goozling him in their corner until Rose capitalizes on a missed hope spot with endless knees to the spine and an assisted backbreaker. I love how inevitable Buddy's finishing stretch is, especially when they play with it in some of the bigger matches. Here, though, he just plows through Joe with the Robinson backbreaker and that's it. The story here is that the double backbreaker (basically a backbreaker on a Sheepherder's knee on the outside) was just that devastating.

 

Well, Yaki Joe sure isn't very good. Martel showed some really great flashes here. I liked him a lot more than in the singles match i saw. Being in a tag team is a great place for him to be at this point in his career.

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Buddy vs Yaki Joe, 2/3 Falls, 12/29/79

 

What a way to end 79. Joe's announced from Mexico. Buddy's playing up his hair matches (apparently he beat Bastein in one too). He's lost the cage matches vs Roddy so he wants a hair match with him. The stunt granny has a sheriff's badge. She's pissed at Buddy for stalling. That's pretty great. Sandy Barr is screwing with Buddy again, this time pulling his hair after he pulls Joe's. The fans eat it up. Buddy screws around with Barr, mimicking a hip toss to show how Joe pulled his tights. Pretty funny stuff. The payoff is Buddy pulling joe's hair again to get out of a top wristlock and eventually allowing him to really work on the arm. After a few minutes Joe chops his way out. The way Buddy sells the overhead ones to the skull is so great. Buddy's getting mauled and the sheepherders run in, not even doing anything, to cause the disqualification for the first fall.

 

Interesting switch up of structure making Buddy look vulnerable without him actually eating a pin. Buddy and the herders pantomime illegal chops in front of Barr and it's pretty funny. Very silly for them to interfere and cost the fall like that without doing any damage though.

 

The sheepherders want to stay out on the floor but Barr threatens to DQ Buddy immediately if they stay. The fans count them out and we start the second fall. Buddy stooges big, trying to sneak behind Joe and hitting the floor to avoid the chop. From what I've seen Joe isn't great, so they might be stooging and stalling a lot to deal with that. We get an extended knucklelock back and forth which Buddy makes work really well. Hair pull to get out. Buddy hooks a leg but ends up in a body scissors. Joe keeps pulling him back and sort of atomic dropping Buddy into the mat and then starts rolling around with him. That was kind of entertaining for a moment but goes a bit too long. Buddy finally gets positioning on Joe and mauls the face to get out. He's portraying being really pissed off here, stomping and roughing up the face. Somewhere in there Buddy ties Joe's shoelesses together which leads to this great little spot with Buddy irish whipping Joe on his face a few times, ultimately working on the back and face until he does the trip again and hooks in the Robinson backbreaker. Great burst of intensity and hatred out of Buddy there.

 

Third fall starts with Buddy gloating and Joe pissed off. He immediately attacks the leg and gets Buddy in a toehold. They go back to the hairpulling with Barr pulling Rose's hair for the third or fourth time and they get points for an ongoing narrative at least. The leg work here isn't dynamic or anything but it's varied enough with Buddy fighting enough that it's not so bad. Joe finally gets a weird leglock I've never seen but it lets Buddy get under the ropes. Joe works over Buddy out of the corner a couple of times but charges into the post and gets rolled up deep for the pin. It's a typical flair sort of finish but I really haven't seen Buddy go to it much if at all in 79 so it seems sort of novel here. There was some good stuff here but I wouldn't tell anyone to go out of their way for it. If you want to get a picture of what Buddy could do with a guy with marginal talent over 25 minutes and three falls this wasn't bad though.

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Rose/Chris Colt vs Borne/King Parsons - January 12, 1980 - One Fall

 

Glad to see Borne. I have no real idea who Colt is. He has a fine sleazy wrestler look and crazy patchwork tights though. Some Buddy shenanigans to begin with him reaching in to pull Borne's hair only to get his own pulled by Barr. Colt grabs the ropes after a running exchange and does a great little spin move taunt before tagging in Buddy. Buddy locks up with Borne but Matt lifts him up and carries him to the ropes leading to some great begging off. They do a little Buddy vs Green Guy full nelson spot before Buddy walks him over to their corner and Colt tags in and takes over.

 

Heels start to work over Borne's arm. Nice little hope spot and hot tag attempt but Colt cuts it off using a nice delaying chinlock til he can get back on the arm. Heels are working well together cutting off the ring, with some good tag spots and doubleteams and full on control. Colt would be a good Bobby Bass partner. We get a missed tag spot and it's the second time I've seen this in a few weeks of tv so I guess they're working it in more. It gets plenty of heat. Colt has some good varied arm holds and Borne is selling them well while in them. The story here is definitely superior heel experience, full of distractions and hairgrabs from the outside to cut off hope spots. Borne finally jumps for the tag and the crowd goes nuts, as well they should. Good FIP.

 

Parsons is animated coming in, including a hilarious chicken taunt. Faces toss the heels into each other and they take a powder. Borne remembers to sell the arm when he gets to the apron so that's nice at least. Parsons headbutts left and right an dwe get a brilliant heel miscommunication spot where Colt does a slingshot shoulder tackle but Parsons moves. He's cleaning house and this is very entertaining. Finally, parson misses a huge headbutt in the corner but he reverses Colt into the corner and Colt takes a massive physics defying bump into the corner pole. Buddy comes in to cheapshot and Borne breaks it up but this lets colt recover and toss Parsons out. When he makes it back in, Colt does a really big headlock takeover with a floatover, letting the heels take back over and control positioning. Buddy tries to kneedrop Parsons in the head which is a mistake, but Colt does a great trip to take him down. It's a little back and forth here with the heels unable to keep the faces down. Borne does a good neck whip. Buddy finally is reluctant to get in there vs Parsons which seems to be building to a title match between the two. They do a false three count after a Parsons slam, seemingly due to the time running out. Parsons got the visual fall though.

 

This was pretty good. It needed a bit more of a push as time was running out but it made Parsons look like a solid challenge to Buddy and was a pretty good showing for Borne all in all. I really liked what I saw out of Colt.

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Now that I've finished the available matches for 1979, i wanted to double back and talk about Buddy's year before moving on. I've gone over this before, but, to me, to really judge and analyze and understand a wrestler, you have to look at an entire body of work. You learn something different in a five minute squash than you do in a sixty minute broadway. You learn something different in a tag match than a singles. You learn something different seeing the wrestler against a smaller opponent than a larger. You learn something different in a gimmicked blood match than a more straightforward title matches.

 

The range of output we have from Buddy Rose in 79 is amazing. He has all those things and more. He has 2/3 falls matches, tag matches with two main partners of wildly varying experience and style, six man tags, squashes vs JTTS, blood feuds, gimmick matches, hair matches, and a ton of promos to go along with them. It's staggering the variation in the twenty-five or so matches I saw and wrote about. Even more staggering is that these are just the Saturday shows. So many of his actual blow-off matches were in Portland on Tuesday and as far as I'm aware we don't have those.

 

Portland television is a lot like Memphis as went through the same loop every week as well as having frequent Tuesday night arena shows. They weren't every week but were often three times a month when things were hot, which they were in 70. Also, like Memphis, they had to utilize a lot of the same talent to fill the same buildings every week. The big difference is that the Portland Saturday show was also in the main (promoter-owned) arena, and they make the claim that the sponsors demanded high-level matches, which may be kayfabed and may be not, but it means that there were lengthy, high-end matches, quite often with real finishes every week. The other big difference, of course was one of style: Portland had a ton of 2/3 fall matches. I love Memphis TV but you didn't often get long meaningful matches on it. That was for the Monday night MSC shows.

 

People judge wrestlers and matches differently. One thing that is very important to me is to try to figure out what a wrestler is trying to accomplish or achieve in a match and to see if they manage it or not, and how they do so. Buddy, in my opinion, had to accomplish two major things. 1) First and foremost he had to draw people to the Tuesday show and the weekly loop of shows. Whatever happened on Saturday had to incite the fans to spend their money on Tuesday (when applicable) and throughout the rest of the week. Since Owen owned the arena, being able to promote as many well-drawing Tuesday shows as possible was a huge deal moneywise. 2) It was also important people both attended and tuned into the Saturday night show, so while leaving the fans wanting more was important, giving them something substantial, their money and time's worth, was also essential. Moreover, he had to manage this while keeping things fresh and interesting despite the fact they were building to weekly live shows in front of the same audience and all of this had to be done with what I understand to be one of the least star-studded rosters in all the territories. Portland was considered a starting point and did not draw in most of the biggest names on a regular basis.

 

On top of that, the 2/3 falls matches were something of a duel-edged sword. they allowed for all sorts of different structural experimentation and storytelling possibilities and ensured that the matches would be meatier and longer than in other territories on a weekly basis, but they also forced Buddy and friends to come up with an extra two finishes a night, basically, maybe even more considering that they were running in front of the same crowd twice a week most weeks. It meant pulling out every trick in the book and inventing a number more on top of that. Combined with the fact they really wanted to draw people in for the Saturday night show, they couldn't run the constant-match ending brawling breakdowns that were such a staple of Memphis TV.

 

I'll admit that I'm judging what I've seen from concept and performance levels alone. I don't have attendance or rating figures before me. A lot of what I'm judging on is whether I thought something was well done or if it SHOULD have worked. I think there's every sign that it did work. The Portland show was absurdly highly rated and, dealing with one of its biggest challenges in years in 79, being forced to move to late night, still stayed highly rated. I think attendance was good. I'm going to focus on the in-ring though.

 

In short, I think Buddy Rose had an amazing 1979, that he wrestled in numerous different situations, almost all successfully, that he made himself look credible as a heel ace while still showing a ton of ass and making his opponents, big and small, star and undercard guy look exactly as good as they needed to look. He had incredible timing, not just in executing the moves or exchanges in his matches but in knowing when to stall and when to go and knowing when to sell and when to take, and most of all, he was able to give fans more than their money's worth while still making them want more. Very few wrestlers get put in a position where they have so difficult a role to play but also have the time and the means to prove themselves in it. Buddy was in the position and he succeeded magnificently.

 

It's me writing this, so we're going to lead with structure. He didn't wrestle the same match twice in the ones we have. More than that, he barely, if at all, wrestled the same segment of a match twice. The two-three falls are all broken up by fall on youtube. and the times for the falls in various matches are wildly different. More importantly, just about everything is really logical and well-set up. He often uses the 2/3 falls medium to set up something in fall #1 that gets paid off in fall #3 either in a transition or in a finish, which makes a lot of his matches almost poetic in their storytelling. Most of his offensive flurries are body-part related and it's not always the same body part either, even if most often he works over the back, logically, to set up his finisher.

 

I think the most impressive thing Buddy does, past the sheer amount of logical variation, is his ability to be a chickenshit heel that gives a huge amount while still being completely and utterly credible as an ace. At the beginning of the year and really throughout, he was still able to live off of his crippler gimmick. He could hone in on a body part and within three or four minutes believably take a pin in a fall. It was believable no matter who he was facing, jobber Jim Gagne or former WWF champion, Stan Stasiak. At the same time, he could spend a whole fall running from the Heart Punch or trying to avoid being in the ring at the same time as Roddy Piper in a tag match. He could take a powder after getting punched in the face or do one of his elaborate matwork/holds openings where he kept getting shown up by the babyface no matter what level of escalation he tried. He could do any of this stuff and he did, but at a moment's notice he'd be able to underhandedly or even legitimately take over and the fans would buy it completely. There aren't many guys in the history of wrestling that could manage that so believably and so well, and they're the guys who often come up when discussing the GOAT.

 

There's such a community feel to Portland whether it's plugging referee Sandy Barr's flea market or pointing out a local newscaster's brother in the crowd. When the time change happened, these people went home and watched the show again so that they could see themselves on TV. It was that sort of community. They knew Buddy and Buddy knew them. He was great at knowing when to stop the action to acknowledge them, when to jaw with Barr for a while or let Barr get one over on him by reversing a hair pull or to use Dutch Savage or Down Owen in their role as management as a prop, even in the middle of a match.. He knew when to argue with the ever-present granny in the front row. He knew when to swarm an opponent from the outside in a tag match. He knew when to beg off. He knew when to take a powder and he knew when to hide in the ropes. He knew when to bring in humor and to make himself look bufoonish and when to bring the intensity and make the crowd yell for his blood. He just had a great sense of what the people would react to and when to pull it out of his arsenal and he varied it. You wouldn't often see him stall in the same way for the same reason two matches in a row.

 

All that stalling and jawing and what not didn't mean he couldn't go. He has great opening stretches in his matches, able to keep up with anyone they brought in. He has that really entertaining shtick where he gets outwrestled which shined brightest against guys who could really work holds like Johnny Eagles, but that he was able to utilize to make greener guys look a lot more interesting too. He has not just varied and believable offense but a lot of innovative offense too. I know that's not a high selling point in most situations but I think when you're in front of the same crowd so much it is important. He and Wiskowski had a crippling second rope kneedrop/backbreaker combo that was years before its time. I asked Dave Meltzer about it in an e-mail and he said he couldn't remember anyone doing that sort of thing before then. The Billy Robinson backbreaker is a great finisher for not just the time but any time. More than that, he has these finishing segments, especially in big matches where there are not just finisher teases that are again ahead of their time, but where he even occasionally tries to steal his opponents finisher as a FU, almost always leading to his comeuppance.

 

Most of all, he was able to deliver on what he had to do. He would work elements into his matches that foreshadowed or forced the upcoming gimmick blowoff, but he would use these elements in logical ways that were absolutely organic parts of the action. Yes, it was him keeping away from the person he'd be wrestling in a tag match and teasing the crowd with it or getting over an opponent's finisher in a tag match as something that could finally be the thing to vanquish him in a singles match. It was more than that, though. He would give the fans just as much as they needed to get riled, would give the babyface just as much as he needed to really seem believable as an opponent, would attack in the right sort of underhanded manner to inflame the passions of both for the match to come. Some of it was absolutely the booking, but that Buddy was able to work these forward-looking stories into his matches through his work itself was really the sign of being a master of his craft.

 

So just how good was Buddy in 1979? He was good enough that, based on what we have from TV, I can't think of a wrestler that had a more complete year in the role of a television ace. Some of that is the selection of what we have and the opportunities he was given, but when you take a look at what we DON'T have: the big blowoff matches where he would be given even more of an opportunity to shine, it makes it all the more astounding the sheer talent, expertise and pro wrestling quality we can see in him in what we do.

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