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Charles (Loss)

[1990-01-15-WWF-MSG, NY] The Rockers vs Powers of Pain

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I really wish this had opened a PPV in 1990 instead of happening on an MSG show. I wouldn't call it obscure, but it may end up as the best WWF match of the year, and deserves to be far more talked about. Classic big man-little man layout. The Rockers have all sorts of great David vs Goliath sequences up their sleeves and look really good pulling them out. Shawn and Marty look like the best tag team in the world in this match, getting both the small details and the big spots right. Shawn getting so excited rooting for Marty that he stands on the top rope to cheer him on is a great moment. Too many awesome highspots and sequences to count. This match should be studied and emulated. They managed to make Warlord, who was by no means good in this match, look good anyway.

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A fucking power bomb from the Warlord! You know it's a great WWF tag when you watch it immediately after an All-Japan tag and come away thinking the WWF match was better. And I think it was. The POP worked as good of a pace as you can expect and Warlord...bumped well for the huracanrana, at least. They worked some fun squashes in JCP but this is probably their standout match. I haven't seen anything else that really comes close. Even Fuji was useful here, being a strong presence at ringside without overwhelming the match or bringing it down with blown timing.

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This really was excellent. The Rockers looked so sharp with all of their clever teamwork spots to the point where they felt like favorites to win. The match wasn't at the level of their best AWA stuff against Rose and Somers, but as a one-team performance, it was as good as I've seen them look. At first, I thought Shawn went down a little easily after the Fuji interference. But I changed my mind. A match like that should feel like a tightrope walk for the smaller team, with any slip representing potential disaster.

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We get our first WWF match of the set and it's a very good one. Does feel like WWF probably left a lot of potential good PPV matches off the cards. One of the better Powers of Pain matches I've seen. Normally in the WWF with the size differences you think Rockers would be big underdogs. But they do really well agains the bigger team with all their tag moves. Marty takes a beating for a while and then when he can make the tag he goes to neutral corners instead. I figure that's it for them but he finally makes tag to Michaels. Shawn ends up getting clipped by Fuji on the outside and takes the pin. Felt like the Rockers were going to win this one after the tag to Michaels but the heels need to cheat to squeak out the victory.

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This match seemed to take the Twin Towers/Rockers WM 5 template and perfect it. Just awesome bumping and selling from the Rockers making the POP look brutal with every shot. The heat on Marty went just the right amount of time before the POP had to recycle stuff or get blown up. I agree with Childs that the finish while seeming like too little on the surface actually makes a lot of sense in the context of the story they were telling. Wonderfully fun tag match.

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The Rockers show and a great one at that. It's not a carry job since Barbarian was fine and Warlord didn't mess anything up, but that was 99% Rockers. Michaels selling of everything was fabulous and not bloated (ala the 2005 Summerslam match vs. Hogan). I'm with Loss - wish this was on PPV.

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This is probably my favourite tag match of all time. I probably watch it about 3 times a year and love it just as much every time. This and the Rockers/Demolition match from MSG are usually my go-to matches for getting me out of a wrestling slump.

 

I'm so glad y'all decided to include this.

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Fantastic match. Didn't love the finish but as a means of setting up a rematch (did that ever happen? I think the POP were split not long after this) it was fine. The Powers of Pain come away looking like bad asses but the Rockers come away looking strong too. You know Marty and Warlord were thinking of this match when they went for that ridiculously high backdrop at the Survivor Series, since Marty gets some impressive air on this one too.

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I've been starting to get into the Midnight Rockers on the AWA set and that as well as all of the talk here lead me to look this one up online and it is as fantastic as hyped. I really liked how concise this was with some nice babyface offense and well executed FIP in almost ten minutes. It's not the best WWF tag but it's perhaps the next tier down.

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The Powers of Pain look like they are hailing from THE EIGHTIES here as they enter with that gear on.

 

This is probably the least offensive I've ever seen The Warlord look -- I'd go as far as to say that nothing he does in this match actively detracts from it. The bumping and the double-team spots from both of the Rockers is great here. And I like that they had to fight for their shine sequence at the start through trickery and cunning outsmarting brute force.

 

Some great spots: Warlord's powerbomb, the TERRIFIC powerslam catching the guy from the top rope by the Barbarian, the kick from The Barbarian. He's a really good worker in his own right for my money, but Shawn and Marty make him look LETHAL here. While the Warlord is more of a man-mountain.

 

Great WWF match. Think the Fuji interference is not a problem -- the fact that the POP had to cheat at all gets over the idea that The Rockers are a really good team who can overcome a big size and strength disadvantage.

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I have no idea if this is happening elsewhere, but The Score in Canada, after Big Show's interview, seemed to decide, "To heck with Smackdown, let's show this Rockers-POP match instead!" Bizarre...but I'm not complaining.

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I have no idea if this is happening elsewhere, but The Score in Canada, after Big Show's interview, seemed to decide, "To heck with Smackdown, let's show this Rockers-POP match instead!" Bizarre...but I'm not complaining.

From the Vault (showing an old match) has been a segment on the UK broadcast of SD for years. For some reason it made all other international versions this week as well. They must have had a giant chunk of time to fill.

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This was impressive. This match took place at Madison Square Garden. The story of the match was obviously that the Rockers had to use their speed and agility against the strength and size of the Powers of Pain. A simple story, but a story well told. Great execution by everyone involved. This match is definitely one of the lost WWF classics that had recently been rediscovered. The Rockers and the Barbarian worked really well. The Warlord, who was the weakest worker of the match, played his roll well and never dragged the match down. The fact that this match appears on the set right after an All Japan tag match and doesn’t feel that much weaker says a lot about the quality of this match.

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I was surprised by this one. I had never seen it before and I'm torn between this one and the Rockers-Brain Busters series, because this was just as good. everyone played their role to perfection. My only complaint was that I wasn't ready for it to be over. Fun match.

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This match was a ton of fun. This was a David vs Goliath style match worked to perfection. I had no problem with the finish as it put the point across that one mistake can be lethal when you are going against a much larger team.

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I just want to echo most of the comments about how killer this match is and I think this match fleshes out what was missing from the RnR Express vs Doom match as the Powers of Pain were really delivering some badass offense on Marty's back. The babyface shines in those two matches are about equal; it is the heat segment where this match exceeds the RnR/Doom match so well. Marty got some serious air on some of those throws. Jannetty's selling is actually better than in the RnR's match, but he a little bit more chance to demonstrate it since he wasn't in a chinlock. Interesting they went with Marty as Ricky Morton and Shawn as the hot tag as Rockers' matches are usually better when the roles are reversed. I liked the finish as it was a good way to protect the Rockers and have PoP go over.

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I expected to like this as a big Rockers and Barbarian mark but this was outstanding. Jannetty's high elevation bumps were completely psychotic. This reminded me just how well the Rockers' teamwork was put over; from a kayfabe perspective it seems ridiculous that they were so rarely in the title picture.

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Janetty still hasn't come down from the backdrop. Really dug this. I'd have to go back and look but so far I think this is my match of the year so far. I don't know if that's saying much since I'm only about 14 days in.

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This match just narrowly runs second to Flair/Eaton for my American match of Disc 1, and Flair/Eaton gets the nod mostly because it was a World title match. Marty takes the beating of the set so far, complete with back-to-back ridiculous bumps off of a backdrop and a front press slam. To take those bumps on legitimately injured ribs (if they were legitimately injured) is one of the gutsiest things I've seen in a while. Interesting that the Powers went over, since this was one of their last big bouts as a team. You'd have thought the Rockers would have won to solidify their presence in the title picture.

 

Hillbilly isn't exactly Jesse Ventura in his prime on color, but he's a hell of a lot better than Billy Graham or Pete Doherty or even early-nineties Roddy Piper, much as it pains me to say that.

 

This match set up a six-man on the February card: Powers and Fuji vs. Rockers and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. The faces won when Marty pinned Fuji after Duggan clocked him with the two-by-four.

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