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My Disc 17 is a bad burn so I watched this on Daily Motion today. Like the Wrestle War 90 match vs. RnR, I watched this SO MANY times 10 years ago that I got bored and worn out. Revisiting, it is still great and a match that needs to be talked about when within the contexts of pacing and crowd interaction.

 

But I want to focus on something else right now. The MX double teams were one of the first things that drew me to southern tag team wrestling. This was before I got my first Japanese tapes and was exposed to KDX doing sick double, triple, and quadruple teams. Thankfully, this was also before I was exposed to Dragon Gate style double teams where none of the double teams matter.

 

Lane and Eaton have their standard go to double teams:

 

* drop toe hold by Lane, elbow drop by Eaton

* Eaton lariat with Lane on his knees ready to trip the opponent

* Rocket Launcher

* blind tags that lead to face in peril (had a ton of variations)

 

In 1990, they added some new combo's that still stand out today, none the less in 1990:

 

* savate kick to the midsection by Lane into a backbreaker by Eaton

* savate kick to the midsection by Lane into a swing neck breaker by Eaton

* kick to the gut by Eaton into a swinging neck breaker by Lane

* Lane with a Curt Hennig snap of the neck followed by an Eaton elbow drop

* Lane atomic drop into Eaton backbreaker

 

All great combo's and with these fluid double teams, you could take the crowd up and down within a matter of a few seconds.

 

This match also has an All Japan like string of 3 near falls towards the end of the match, which got great heat. Southern tags often lack a conclusive finish after the hot tag is made, but this seems to put everything together perfectly.

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I have watched this match probably a dozen times over the years, and it has never disappointed me even a little bit. I love the way they tweaked the normal rhythms associated with Southern tag formula to make the match feel special. For example, the Southern Boys came out hot, as expected, but they didn't simply go into peril mode when the MX asserted themselves. They kept finding ways to counter and retain the advantage. This really helped establish them as a team that could play at the top level. Then they closed out with those tremendous nearfalls, which felt all the more dramatic because these types of matches usually ended quickly after the hot tag. The Lane-Smothers carny karate showdown was also a terrific standalone set piece. The combination of riffing on the Southern formula and high-end action made this pretty unique in the NWA/WCW tag canon. I think I like it a touch better than the R'n'R-MX classic from 2/25. My only regret is that I didn't attend the show (think I was at camp instead.)

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What an incredible tag match! There are so many great things about this that it's hard to figure out exactly where to start. I think the biggest accomplishment is that they managed to get a Baltimore crowd into a match involving a pretty unknown team wearing Confederate flags on their trunks through some great work in the ring. This is a near flawless match. You'd think on the surface that a Smothers/Armstrong switcheroo would be stupid because they aren't exactly twins, but it completely worked here. I'm doing a lousy job of explaining why this is great, and I think Childs and Tim covered it well enough anyway, but needless to say, it's my US MOTY at this point.

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The last time I saw this was at one of our King of Chickens... Could swear that I wrote something about it, but can't find it.

 

Anyway, at the time I thought along the lines of "There a lot of great / cool / nifty stuff in here, but it's lacking somethings." I can't remember if I thought it was a little too My Turn, Your Turn down the stretch relative to other, better MX matches. Or if the finishing run got a little clustery. Or if the "Southern Tag Tweak" that Childs talks about felt a little "WWF Tag Style" for my liking. But I'd seen a few MX-R'n'R and MX-Fans matches not long before the rewatch of this... and it just didn't feel like a ****3/4 Tag Match of the Decade classics. Which was really odd: I loved the match at the time, enjoy pretty much any MX match that I've rewatched over the past decade, and really was looking forward to rewatching this for the first time in years. Instead, it didn't reach my high expectations.

 

A contrast: I did rate the MX-Fans match from Clash 1 "live" as highly as I did this "live" in 1988 and 1990 respectively. But *every* time I've rewatched that MX-Fans match in the past dozen years, I continue to be blown away how "on" all six were, how despite being given a relatively small amount of time to work with and the need to fit in the Big Spots they still fit within it a "match" really well. Every time I watch it, I little give the remote a workout to go backwards and re-watch / point out a detail in it that's just off the "action" to see / show how the six are working tightly together. I didn't have that the last time I watched the MX-SB.

 

John

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A top 3 U.S. MOTY, maybe #1. Not much else to add but it's incredible how much more over the Southern Boys were than the two former World Champions and national stars in the previous bout. A testament to great tag work and to the Midnights & Cornette as well. Some of the greatest southern tag near-falls you'll ever see mark the end of this one: both tag finishes AND a babyface switcheroo attempt before a well-timed Lane enzuigiri allows Eaton to eke out a victory.

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I have this one match below MX/RNR on 2/25 but that is certainly not a knock on this as The Southern Boys came in as relative unknowns and really made a name for themselves. I love all the tweaks done to the formula and thought they worked well. I also really liked the resourcefulness in the shine segment of the southern boys. Great match overall.

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This was so awesome. Everything they tried just clicked. The MX were awesome, but you really can't discount the Southern Boys here. They brought a lot of fresh energy here. The best U.S tag of the year.

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Beginning of match was all weird. Thought I had a disk issue. Anyways pretty awesome match. Eaton keeps trying to go it all alone at the beginning before tagging in Lane who has a martial arts battle Smothers which is quite good. Smothers took some big bumps off the apron into the guardrail. I thought they had botched the ending a bit after the dropkick from the Southern boys led to some standing around. But the near falls after had me biting. Excellent match. Type of tag match I can really get behind and liked how they got the crowd more into it as it went on.

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A match to put a smile on my face. Sure I think it's way overated but it's still plenty of fun. It had added JR commentary laughs with him calling every single kick variation a "Savate Kick". Eric Bischoff hated on him for this once and he was so right. There was plenty of face shining including the cool little Karate segment. The FIP segment wasn't too onerous and we even had a stretch for once. The finish wasn't so hot as the final kick didn't connect very well. There was also the inappropriate usage of the Alabama Jam mid way through the match. But that's nitpicking because this kills 99% of US tag wrestling.

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I'd never seen this one. Actually, I think the only match from GAB 90 I'd ever seen outside of highlights on the WCW tv was Lex-Callous. They showed the last few minutes late one night between movies on "Main Events You Should Have Seen" (it was probably after "Smokey and the Bandit". It was TBS back then after all).

 

I was REALLY expecting to have this blow my ninja mind, but overhyping did it in. Dont get me wrong. This was a very very fun match but for a first timer, it didnt live up to the hype. Much like sex.

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Previously on PWO:

 

The Southern Boys vs. The Midnight Express (7/7/1990)

Everybody should go out of their way to see this match. Brilliant old school style Southern tag team match that made The Southern Boys look like the next big thing in tag team wrestling. I honestly forgot how much I loved this match until it showed up on Youtube recently.

 

 

 

The Southern Boys vs. The Midnight Express (7/7/1990)


We re-watched that a while back... and I'm trying to remember why I wasn't blown away by it after so many years of not watching it. Not in the sense of thinking it was "bad", or wasn't good. Just that something was off. I don't think it was the heat, or the general "action". It either was some of the layout, the work to the finish, or the Southern Boys (since I remain a MX & Corny fan and doubt it was them). Crap... now I need to watch it yet again. :P


John

 

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So is anyone else even remotely troubled by the fact that two guys with Confederate flags on their asses were presented as heroic babyfaces? Whenever I watch this match, I root for Lane and Eaton to beat them within an inch of their lives.

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Nintendo's complaint is exactly why Smothers and Armstrong were turned into the Young Pistols not too long after this; the Turner suits thought it was inappropriate that babyfaces should wear the Confederate flag, so they had Tracy and Steve turn their backs on their Southern roots, adopt a cowboy gimmick, and claim to be from Wyoming, if I recall correctly. Of course, this gimmick made them major heels to the Southern audience.

 

As for this match, it was certainly different. The MX needed to have a different go-to opponent than Rock 'n' Roll, and after Ole's insistence on breaking up Pillman and Zenk (at least fuil-time), they were still looking for one. Well, they found it here. Smpthers and Armstrong match the MX move for move and strike for strike, even when the MX figure to have them down for the count. This is a refreshing "tweak" on the usual formula, as Childs called it. Not that I don't like seeing Ricky Morton getting the sludge pounded out of him with no letup five hundred times, but every once in a while it's nice to see a babyface that actually hits a move on the MX and stops their momentum enough so they have to fight to get control back. I especially liked the slingshot of Eaton off the apron and to the floor by Smothers, which is rather hardcore for a possible transition. Tracy took the same sort of beating Morton almost always does, but it didn't feel as one-sided because of moves like the one I described.

 

I guess the Alabama Jam wasn't always a finisher back then, since the MX had so many great double-team finishers. That last inside cradle off of Lane's kick was a tad sloppy. Also, this match had the first "switcheroo" by a face tag team that I've ever seen fail, at least in the sense of helping the team to win the bout.

 

We didn't get a whole lot of Corny's interference here, but we didn't need it. Instead, we got some excellent reaction shots of a man who knows that his meal ticket is fast circling the drain if he can't get them to hop to it. We also didn't get any references to Tracy Smothers' football background at Carson-Newman from JR. Whether that's a relief or a disappointment is up to each individual to decide.

 

I think I'll put this slightly above the WrestleWar MX/Rock 'n' Roll match, since it was a similar quality match out of an unexpected opponent. That makes it number two for the year in WCW behind Flair/Luger at WrestleWar. It probably would make my top four for the year overall if I was ranking that far, but I'm not, and Hogan/Hansen (my number three) was an equally fine match in front of a much bigger and hotter crowd.

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this is another one I switch back and forth on with the 2/25 rnr tag. At this point, I think I just have to go with my favorite match is whichever one I watched last. This is so good. The karate standoff alone makes it great, but the rest of the match is awesome too! I love the back and forth aspect, and it never feels like simply taking turns. So between the clash rnr match and this, we've seen some pretty different stuff from the MX, and it kind of makes me wonder if they would have had another year or so together what they would have come up with.

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-100-51/

 

#94

 

I always walk away on a wrestling high after watching this match. I have this match and the RnR match both at ****1/2, but this would be on the higher end of that. It's so much fun. I love all the kicks being thrown around. This is a classic. I listed my top 5 favorite matches of 1990 in the matches of the month thread, and this match was one of two honorable mentions that almost made that list.

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Anyone else notice the Midnights get some face heat both in their entrance and the FIP? And that finishing sequences was so damn good. All three were viable nearfalls in a Southern tag, so it works so well.

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NWA United States Tag Team Champions Midnight Express vs Southern Boys - Great American Bash 1990

 

A match I watched a bunch 5-10 years ago but I have not watched since. It has always been widely regarded but I always thought it was a overrated and I would watch it trying to figure out what I was missing. I think it was a lack of my full understanding of pro wrestling by enriching it I appreciate this match so much more. This was a great babyface shine especially on the part of Bobby Eaton. There are a couple times where he should have tagged out that he didn't because pride got the best of him. He couldn't believe these two young upstarts were showing him up. You could see the frustration on his face and that he knew he should be doing better but every time he tried his tried & true tricks he was bested. Eventually he admits defeat and tags in Sweet Stan Lane. Then there is the iconic Lane/Smothers karate showdown. Lane doesn't last nearly as long as Eaton throwing his hands up and tagging Eaton. My favorite spot of the match is Armstrong's splash of both Midnights and the pig pile covers. That was fun! I think that's what this match lacked for me is fun besides that spot. The MX were fun with Cornette really selling anxiety and that the Southern Boys were clearly running away with this but Southern Boys just didn't feel fun. I was not pumping my fist in celebration instead I was enjoying the MX: Eaton's subtle selling and Cornette's O Shit the kids got us on the ropes. The MX heat segment rules!!! After a bunch of underhanded tactics they go with a full proof one throw Smothers into the steel railing. Then it is just MX Offense Goodness. Eaton is so amazing. I'm so glued to watching him. There were some good hope spots but the actual hot tag was a little too easy. The finish run was an excellent set of nearfalls. Missile Dropkick/Hart Attack Move! The Rocket Launcher! Smothers Inside Cradle! Lane connects with a blind kick to the back of the Head! Eaton cradles 1-2-3 and the Midnights retain!

 

This is a great exhibition of Southern Tag formula with an emphasis on the babyface shine. I really thought this was carried by the Midnights. The Southern Boys feel kinda generic and my nit picks from above don't stop this from being a classic but I can't rank this among the absolute greatest matches I have ever seen. ****1/2

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Love this match. Top 5 US tag ever? Perfectly worked southern tag where they work in luchaesque sequences, double teams and karate standoffs. Inventive as they update the formula without breaking it. The nearfalls at the end are among my favourite moment ever. That Smothers/Lane moment is one of the best in the history of the world too. Great mix of entertaining stuff and work. I should add that even though Smothers gimmick was played for comedy later, his thrust kicks looked great. The fans seemed to be rooting for both teams early on but they get them thoroughly on the side of the Southern Boys. This should have been the future of US tags.

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Incredible match. MNX at their best here, with their excellent bumping, selling and great offence. MNX being on the defensive for most of the match, getting their asses kicked unless they cheated. Southern boys showed loads of emotion and passion which was good to see. Loved the karate spot. Marked out. Great match. ****3/4

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