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[1990-03-31-TWA-Spring Spectacular] D.C. Drake vs Larry Winters ('I Quit')

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It's not the most high-tech thing in the world, but I'm pleasantly surprised that there's a video package to give me a little background before the match starts. Winters' arm is injured going into the match and Drake goes after it right away, wrapping it around the ringpost and planting it under a table that he smashes multiple times with a chair. They end up brawling into the upper level and Drake teases throwing Winters off the balcony to the shock of the crowd. They work this like a dramatic movie scene instead of as a "holy shit!" moment. Just the idea of teasing it gives the shock value without having to do the bump. There is a lot of downtime in this, as Drake leaves Winters in the balcony and walks back downstairs and down to the ring, and Winters later follows him. But even that sort of works in a weird way, because it's this dramatic attempt from Winters to return to the ring. This is proto-ECW because of the setting, and because the "DC SUCKS" chant sounds vaguely like "E-C-DUB", but it's not worked like an ECW match at all. They take some pretty safe spots and make them seem awfully dangerous. A hammerlock slam on the floor looks legitimately painful to me. Drake, who I think is working a vampire gimmick, gnaws on Winters' arm a few times. Winters offense looks really weak. Even when he does the right things, it looks pretty bad. This feels like Japanese indy sleaze way more than it does a U.S. indy match. I understand the nominations, as it doesn't feel like anything else going on at the time, even though it's a pretty bad match.

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Drake and Winters are both pretty objectively bad workers but there is an element of psychology to this, with Winters coming in with an injured arm and Drake going to work on it. There is definitely a proto-ECW vibe with the "I'll walk with you if you grab my hair" brawling to the upper reaches of the arena, with some pretty fucking dramatic brawling in the press box. Both guys trade piledrivers on the floor and Drake eventually switches to the leg, and after figure fouring him and crotching Winters on the top rope he gets the submission. Five thousand guys run in after the match and the post-match brawl is more fun than the match itself. Not really a good match but I'm glad I saw it as Goodheart's TWA was something that needs to be represented. I think there's more to come with some bigger names but this is at least a record of what his "homegrown" talent was doing.

 

Edit: I feel like the crowd and setting should get some mention. The crowd looks pretty damn good by indy standards and is FAR more diverse than an ECW audience--not really a lot of kids but lots more women and older folks. I can see the comparisons to a Japanese indy--a Temple University gym is sort of a higher-end venue than most of the places ECW ran.

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I was enjoying this and the first trip up the stairs to the press box and arm psychology but then this wouldn't end and went on forever to where at the end of the match, i was not invested. It was unique for US indies for the time, but I didn't think it was a particular good brawl and liked the post match chaos better than anything in the match.

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I'm glad that I got to see the match. These guys have popped up in the Observer all through the 80's. I dug the opening limb work, but this thing dragged.

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Looks like highlights of a stretcher match done previously. Hat Guy! Well without his hat. Nice use of the table/chair combo on the arm. It’s heavily wrapped up so it’s an obvious target. Into the crowd and up the steps we go. Well that’s a good way to get your opponent to try to quit by trying to throw them out of the press box. Drake kind of just leaves him and heads back the ring. Winters returns with a chair to his advantage. Piledriver on the floor. DDT on the floor on a chair. Kind of feels like offense for a last man standing match. Match kind of drags on. Screwy type finish where an Manager yelled into the mic that he quit and then put it in Winters hand looking like he was the one that gave up. Lots of other wrestlers show up and we have a post match brawl complete with some weak chair shots.

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I wouldn't call this good, but it was laid out well, and I don't think Drake is terrible. Larry Winters is the shits, but he does at least look like a guy who would appeal to Philadelphia area fans. By that, I mean he looks like a guy who could have been an enforcer on the Flyers, a fanbase that always loved tough enforcer-types, even if they weren't very skilled, and that seems to fit Winters to a T. So he has that going for him.

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Not bad, but the camera work and lack of ability to hear what was being said on the mic killed it; I couldn't even begin to hear the finish. The brawl didn't resonate with me because I didn't know anybody in it, and if the finish was as screwy as Kevin said it was, then where did they go from here? What other type of match is there after an "I Quit" match to settle a feud in this age before thumbtacks and sledgehammers?

 

Drake's limb work was interesting strategy, but the whole thing with the balcony simply took too long; then again, maybe they needed to stall to fill time, since the only match that could have possibly followed it was Lawler/Kerry. Basically, if the front row can't see it, it's a bad spot. (I realize that takes out a lot of ECW's most death-defying stuff, but that promotion pretty much drowned in its own sleaze after a few years anyway.) Maybe a trained TV crew would have made a difference, but Goodheart almost certainly couldn't afford it.

 

I'm glad I saw this as a curiosity, but it's nothing I'd watch again.

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Weird promo package at the beginning to set up the match. I actually really like the DIY aspect of it with no commentary and only a date bar in the lower corner. The match itself didn't really do much for me, but again I like the lack of production value and muffled sound.

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Opening made Drake seem very much like a fifth rate Stan Hansen. Press box stuff was great until Drake just.....left? Then the match drags and drags until it mercifully ends.

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