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[1991-06-15-WCW-Saturday Night] Fabulous Freebirds & Badstreet vs Young Pistols & Dustin Rhodes


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  • 3 months later...

Tomk has done an amazing write-up of this match in the past, so I'm excited to finally watch it. It's supposedly a match that demonstrates stalling as an art form. I can't possibly top his review of this, so I will just say that this is a pretty incredible display of having an incredibly entertaining match by not really doing much of anything except stalling.


I LOVE the spot where the heels argue with the ref about the pace of the counts, then get what they ask for and complain. One great comedy spot after another. This is the best way to use the Birds at this point. They are so washed up, but make awesome bumbling idiots. A billion stars, even with Richard Morton running in for the DQ to attack Dustin Rhodes at the end.

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This actually had more action than I expected based on its reputation as a masterful piece of bullshit. I also thought Garvin looked surprisingly good. The speed-of-the-count comedy ruled, and I enjoyed them treating Badstreet as some kind of hidden weapon held in reserve. It's funny that this match came to light through Dustin of the Day, because Dustin neither played a huge role nor looked particularly great when he entered. Anyway, it's an entertaining match.

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WCW has finally commissioned 6-Man Tag belts, as the Freebirds get another absurd intro consisting of 3 'birds, DDP, Big Daddy Dink, and a Diamond Doll. Lots of build up to Badstreet here, and they do a good job of showing the different stuff he brings to the table than Hayes and Garvin, like actual athleticism.

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Here is Tomk's review from Segunda Caida. I really need to pester him to write more


Michael PS Hayes/Jimmy Garvin/BADSTREET~! vs. Tracey Smothers/Steve Armstrong/Dustin Rhodes 6/16/91

This was originally written back in 2004/05 as part of the Dustin of the Day project. Match will appear on Schneider comp 24


Ok, so I really dig this match. But when Phil asked me if I wanted to write something about it, I kind of begged off. I had already reviewed a Tracey Smothers match that was filled with stalling. And I already reviewed a match where I spent the focus of the review on talking about shtick and theatricality. I was unsure whether I could really get across the difference between the stylized theatricality in Dustin/Steamboat vs. Arn/Zbyzsco and the shtick in this match. In the tag match the shtick was all really incorporated into the match as storytelling device. In the Freebirds match the story is the shtick and the shtick is the story. I wasn’t sure if I could get that across and then it occurred to me….I’m going to write a two part review of Freebirds vs. Dustin/Young Pistols. A couple reasons to do this. One the narrative arch really separates nicely into two parts and splitting it into two allows you to see how each part builds as well as than making the links as to how the concluding part reflects the opening part. Two it helps to really capture the epic quality of this match. Three this match is built on stalling which is delay of gratification…thus me not giving the reader the whole thing at once kind of mirrors the match nicely. And four, the idea of writing this in two parts just amuses me to no end.


Tracey Smothers:



"That's called working. That's old school"“



This match is part of the endless series of Freebirds vs. Young Pistols matches from the early nineties. For a while it seems like every major show, every Clash, PPV has some sort of matchup between these two teams. A tag match, a six man, a match with Brad instead of Steve, a match with Bullet Bob, a match with Buddy Roberts…just endless series of matches and by and large those matches are really not good. You would think after the third mediocre match between two teams they’d pair them up with different people, but you’d be wrong. The Freebirds and Young Pistols with Dustin had a six-man match on a Clash that I’d recommend avoiding, as it’s not much. However, they deliver the one great match in the series on the Pro.


This takes place after the Ricky Morton turn. At the time of the turn, Ricky Morton, JYD, and Tommy Rich had the six man belts. Morton turns heel, will no longer tag with them, allowing the Freebirds to win the six- man title in a three on two. Thus, the Freebirds are double champions, with both the US Tag Title and the Six Man belts.


These are the Freebirds of the nineties.


These are not the Freebirds that people talk about as being HOF material. NO, no, no they are not.


This is Michael PS Hayes and Jimmy Garvin. Michael PS Hayes is a guy who came to the fore by being the guy who knew how to throw one good looking punch and knew lots of heat getting shtick to do on the floor while Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy did the in ring work for the Freebirds. Jimmy Garvin is a guy who knew how to do a lot of heat gathering shtick and stalling to piss off Canadians while Ronnie Garvin did all the wrestling work for the Garvins’ team.


And then there’s Badstreet. And well Badstreet kind of rules. I’m watching all this WCW and been enjoying a lot of Brad Armstrong. During this period, Brad wrestles both as Brad and also as one ridiculous gimmick after another. The neat thing to watch is Brad really puts his all into each gimmick. WCW puts Tim Horner in a mask and he wrestles like Tim Horner with a mask on. They put Brad into a Spiderman mask and he wrestles like a face luchador with lots of in ring topes and a majistral type finisher. You tell him that he’s going to be Badstreet and he wrestles like a combo of Tony Arce and Andy Barrow, lots of rudo mannerisms and he slinks around like a combo of Jake the Snake and Snidely Whiplash.


So you’ve got two guys who specialize in heel stalling plus the worker of your team who also has excellent rudo mannerisms. Then you add to that the president of the Diamond Mine DDP, some arm candy, and another manager in Big Daddy Dink. So you have a total of five guys who are there to gather heel heat only one of who can actually do the wrestling. One of the problems with I think most of the Freebirds vs. Pistols matches is that they tried to ignore that dynamic and actually work a wrestling match. On the Pro, someone realized "What are the Freebirds doing wrestling? They should just be stalling."


And this may be one of the greatest stallfest matches you’ll ever see.


This isn’t one of those matches with stalling, where there is just a lot of stalling at the beginning. NO. They incorporate the stalling into every part of this match. One almost needs to develop a workrate system for stalling in this match as these guys don’t just lay in the stall, they work the stall, milk the stall…the number of stalls per minute is almost athletically impressive. Its not that they just go to ref to complain about a fast count, they do five minutes of stalling around complaining about a fast count. The stalls have psyche, build and emotionally satisfying finishes.


Michael PS Hayes and Dustin Rhodes start the match off with Michael PS Hayes doing an extended offended stall, “You want a piece of me? You think you can take me? “ which eventually elicits a “FREEBIRDS SUCK! FREEBIRD SUCK!” chant from the audience.


Both Tracey Smothers and Dustin are really good at working a crowd chant, pointing to the crowd stomping, establishing the chant rhythm…trying to get different sides of the arena to join in, etc.


Hayes is upset and he walks around circling with Dustin while Hayes looks at the audience dejected. He walks away from Dustin grabs the top rope in the heel corner does a Flash Dance-ish bend and bounce while holding top rope. Hayes finger swishes through his own hair while his hips perfectly mirror his finger swivel. Hayes then bodyglides forwards a couple steps and then moonwalks back. After that elaborate display he turns to audience for approval “How Bout that?”

Of course he is met by:





This leads to Hayes bailing out of the ring for a bit to further heat up the crowd and then eventually getting back in to lock up with Dustin. Dustin controls this section with Hayes trying to regain control of a rope running section by putting up his leg, Dustin catches the leg and turns it into an atomic drop (think the Nakamura shooty catch spot). Hayes is atomic dropped into face corner where all three faces get to wail on him before he runs to bail out by running to Jimmy Garvin on the apron and jumping into his protecting arms.


The crowd goes nuts. Dustin points and does the swishy hand sign. Garvin and Hayes both do a thou do protest too much “oh no yuck we’re not like that” mime. Tracey Smothers goes to crowd and rhythmically points and starts a “FAGGOTS! FAGGOTS!” chant. I so need to see THUGS vs. Gangstas handhelds now, just to see Smothers try to start SPEARCHUCKA chants.


They stall some more and milk the gay bashing heat as much as Hayes milked the original “Freebirds suck” heat. Jimmy Garvin yells at the crowd to “Shut UP!” and you can hear a tinge of sadness in his voice. Garvin goes to Big Daddy Dink to look for approval and says and I quote “It’s not what you think” to which Dink says “ENOUGH. ENOUGH.” He doesn’t want to hear about it. Dink’s tone is great as I imagine it is same tone Dick Cheney used when his daughter first introduced the family to Gretchen during break her freshman year.


Hayes, Garvin, Dink and Badstreet try to comfort each other about getting the faggot chant and well let's be honest those four guys huddled conferring is going to only make that chant louder. I mean anyone of those guys alone could elicit that response but all four in a huddle make Raven’s Flock look like a minor league Hockey team. Even Pena’s most demented wet dream inspired trios teams look straight next to the Dink, Garvin, Hayes, Badstreet foursome.


Then Hayes does his first stall involving Nick Patrick, as he goes for Nick Patrick for support against the crowd’s misunderstanding. Patrick sells discomfort at Hayes’ advances.


Again, I want to emphasize here how good of a ref Patrick is, as he really knows how to mime to get over his communication with both teams over to the audience.


This was the early nineties when WCW was using Bill Alfonso, because they needed someone on their crew who was able to translate for El Gigante…this never made any sense to me… I mean Phillip Sierra or Richard Santana would have made such great members of York Foundation as not only would they be turning on the working class values of people who go by their nicknames but they’d also be denying their culture…plus both had experience working Matt Borne… but instead WCW brought in Alfonso.


Anyway, I can’t see this match working half as well if it was reffed by either Bill Alfonso or Randy Anderson.


Hayes back in with Dustin, Dustin gets an armwringer and a high hiptoss on Hayes. Hayes runs to Patrick again with the “wait wait he pulled my tights” classic stall. Hayes does less with this stall then any of the other ones in this match. Hayes forces Patrick to ask the audience whether his tights were pulled and the crowd answers in the negative.


So, this stall continues three of the storylines that they lay out over the course of match:


(1)Freebirds trying to control the pace of the match by using the ref, much to the consternation of the faces. Hayes going to ref elicits this great “aw c’mon man? For real?” facial sell from Dustin.

(2)Michael PS Hayes’ disappointment with the crowd. There is a lot of jawing with the crowd in this match and instead of it being the wrestler telling the fans that “hey you in the front row, you’re fat” or mocking the local sports team, or just mocking the crowd heelishly…Hayes’ jawing and stalling comes out of disappointment. Hayes is so full of himself that he can’t understand how the crowd doesn’t worship him too.

(3) That the Freebirds in fact do suck. These are guys who need to slow it down…not after a suplex or even a bodyslam…but even a hiptoss is a dangerous throw and time to bail out.


It’s not as complex or as deep a stall as most of the other ones but I want to make clear that it doesn’t break from the psychology of the match.


Hayes goes for a couple strikes but Dustin catches him with another armwringer into an arm drag which he drops the leg on while simultaneously tagging Tracey. Dustin holds Hayes arm out for Tracy to hit with a diving top rope chop. Not the most impressive series of moves strung together. But its nine minutes into this match and the faces are able to string four moves together without the heels breaking up the momentum…the crowd pops like they hit an SSP.


Hayes escapes a wrist lock with a kick and manages to tag in Jimmy Garvin. Garvin is immediately caught in an armwringer into a standing arm bar. Garvin has no escape for a simple armbar. Overwhelmed by the arm bar he has no choice but to back Tracey into the corner, forcing the ref to come over and break the armbar.





Garvin now free of the armbar, Fargo Struts.





Dustin climbs the ropes to start a pro-face handclap.


Garvin gets a waistlock takedown on Smothers who easily escapes and takes Garvin down with a shouldertackle followed by a hiptoss. AW FUCK NOT A HIPTOSS.


Hayes runs in to stop Smothers from being able to follow up on the hiptoss. Hayes ends up eating a hiptoss and both Freebirds eat superkicks. Badstreet threatens getting in the ring but Tracey scares him off with karate poses.


The heels regroup on the ground

Dink “We’ve got to get them on the mat”

Hayes “We’re the champs. We’ve got to slow it down”

They all agree “We’ve got to slow it down”


Slow it down? The match is past the ten minute mark. The faces have only strung more than two moves together once. The only throws in this match have been one atomic drop and two hiptosses. They’re going to try to slow it down even more than that? And that really captures the dynamic of the match. The faces have won every single exchange in the match, but the heels are totally controlling the match.


Garvin is back in with Smothers. Garvin gets taken down and pinned for a two count. 1,2, kick out…

Hayes gets into ring to complain to Patrick “HEY HEY HEY!!! What was that?”

Garvin turns to Patrick to complain about the fast count too.

Garvin “That was 1..2.…It’s supposed to be one…………………..two………………three”

Patrick practices the tempo that Garvin proposes.


The long ellipses don’t really capture the tempo that the Freebirds try to set.

Hmmm. Sing Freak-a-leak to yourself. If Patrick were to use the tempo the Freebirds want, Petey Pablo could list off two and a half stripper names between each count on the mat.


[ Shameka. Keisha. Ta-]ONE!

[ Shonda, Sabrina, Chris-] TWO!

[Monique, Christina, Yo-] THREE!


Garvin and Hayes clap the rhythm to Patrick:


[sabrina, Daronda, Sha-] ONE!

[Tenisha, Mocha, Kie-] TWO!

[Christina, Veronica, Sa] THREE!


Hayes counts it off to Big Daddy Dink.:


[shameka. Keisha. Ta-]ONE !

[ Shonda, Sabrina, Chris-] TWO!

[Monique, Christina, Yo-]THREE


Dink counts it off with Patrick coming in at 2.


[sabrina, Daronda, Sha-] ONE!

[Tenisha, Mocha, Kie-] TWO!

[Christina, Veronica, Sa] THREE!


All four Freebirds count it off with Patrick.


[Yolanda, Christina. Mel-] ONE!

[Precious, Aisha, Sha] TWO!

[Tiara, Shavonda, Cha]THREE!


Garvin rolls up Smothers. So of course Patrick ambles over


[Mya, Victoria, Ki-] …ONE!

[Chandra..] kick out

Crowd pops.


Freebirds are infuriated.


Hayes jumps back in the ring and Hayes and Garvin back Patrick up into the neutral corner.


“What was that?!!!!”


We repeat the same exact shtick but this time with the Freebirds wanting a quick 16th note count.


The great thing about a comedy spot like this is you know what’s going to happen next and you just get giddy with anticipation. Every time Big Daddy Dink demonstrates to Patrick he fast count he wants..you just get more giddy.


Smothers gets the sunset flip, quick count… Freebirds lose it and regroup on the floor. Great comedy spot with nice set up and delivery leaves the crowd with grins on their faces. For meaningless two-count section in middle of match, I don’t remember any Malenko/Guerrero roll up two-count exchange leaving me that satisfied.


Smothers starts another FREEBIRDS SUCK ! chant.




Jimmy Jam gets back in the ring and calls out Armstrong; “I want you Punk!” Steve hits a really pretty Taguchi style drop kick with a high angle and full extension and just a pretty pretty landing.


After eating the dropkick, Garvin goes to the floor. Dink massages his back.

“You’ve got to take your time, take your time.”

“Your alright, Your alright, got to slow it down”


Hayes tags himself back in and struts. He then does this elaborate hair flip where he bends at the waist to start the hair flip and then swivels his hips. The audience catcalls start. He does not understand why they cannot appreciate his hair and swivels. Hayes yells at the audience and he starts a faces fast clap and stomp for himself. No one in the crowd joins in and he does this hilariously sad defeated slowing clap down. He cannot understand why they won’t get behind him. And Hayes is left with nothing but his slow handclap for himself. It’s a hilariously pathetic spot.


If HBK were smart at all he could work a spot like this beautifully in Canada, instead he just claps and stomps in a vacuum as though the crowd isn’t there.


The Pistols and Rhodes start pointing to crowd and get the face handclap, which only makes Hayes face look sadder. Dejected, Hayes headlocks Armstrong and goes for a sunset flip attempt. Armstrong is able to just lean down and pound on Hayes to block the flip. Hayes bails from the punching and ends up backing himself up into the wrong corner where he again is met with the bionic elbow which turns him around right into a Armstrong dropkick. This time Armstrong's kick is much more compact like a cannon ball.


Hayes calls for time out. Patrick won’t give him the T. Garvin demands that Hayes get a T. Still Patrick won’t go for it.


Badstreet wants in. Hayes turns to the gimp and tells him in a tone one might use with your submissive “No, Badstreet not yet”. Badstreet looks across ring taunting the faces, points at them “you and you and you” and then makes the neck slash. He then points to the crowd and tells them to SHUT UP. Badstreets interaction with the crowd and the Pistols/Dustin team is completely different than that of the rest of the Freebirds. Badstreet is a classic rudo and just BAD; he’s not looking for anyone’s approval.


And really, this is the end of the first chapter of this match. The chapter ended much the same way it began with Hayes bailing after accidentally ending up in the face corner and getting hit by Dustin.


The story thus far is that Hayes and Garvin want social approval while Badstreet just wants to do damage. Hayes controls Badstreet. It is pretty clear the gimp will only be released once the faces are tied to the chair. Faces have controlled all the wrestling exchanges but the heels have controlled the match. Heels haven’t won a single exchange yet. But through stalling and taking advantage of the ref the heels almost never let the faces get more than one mid range move off in a row. The faces want to quicken the tempo of the match but have been blocked each time they try something. We’re at the fifteen minute point and the crowd has been kept from getting what they want. And they’re going to be rabid to get it.


Tracey Smothers:


“That’s called working. That’s old school

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Michael PS Hayes/Jimmy Garvin/BADSTREET~! vs. Tracey Smothers/Steve Armstrong/Dustin Rhodes 6/16/91-PART TWO

When we last left this match Michael Hayes had just eaten a bionic elbow from Dustin and a drop kick from Armstrong and he and his associates have demanded a time out. The ref has refused to give them a time out.


We saw in the first half that Hayes and Garvin want social approval while Badstreet just wants to do damage but it is pretty clear the gimp will only be released once the faces are tied to the chair. We have yet to see Badstreet in the ring. Faces have controlled all the wrestling exchanges but the heels have controlled the match. Heels haven’t won a single exchange yet. But through stalling and taking advantage of the ref the heels almost never let the faces get more than one mid range move off in a row. The faces want to quicken the tempo of the match but have been blocked each time they try something. We’re at the fifteen minute point and all of this stalling is about delayed gratification. The crowd has been kept from getting what they want. And they’re going to be rabid to get it.


….aw fuck I hate "to be continued" two part stories. The payoff to Yvonne Craig being tied up is never as great as Yvonne Craig being tied up. Well so instead of thinking of this as two parter, maybe you should picture Waylon Jennings voice as though we’ve just came back from commercial. Nah I'm sticking to Yvonne Craig in a sinister trap metaphor. Last time the Young Pistols were unable to get any continued offense in due to the Freebirds stalling and veteran skill at taking advantage of the ref. How will the Pistols and Dustin escape. You,the reader, has returned to find out.




Paul Jones "Buddy Colt told me once, "The only difference between a babyface and a heel is the babyface moves foward and the heel backwards."




The first whole half was built on faces being game and the heels stalling. The second half is where the faces finally get to move forward.


Hayes can’t get the time out so he’s back in the ring, Steve gets a wristlock on Hayes and then a crossbody and an armdrag.






Its three moves in a row without the heel being able to stall. Without the heel being bale to block the momentum. And the crowd is ecstatic.






Ross calls the fifteen minute point of the match and calls it a grueling match which misses the whole point. We're fifteen minutes in and the faces had been trapped, denied anything for that whole period and as can't be stated enough over the course of this match..THE FREEBIRDS SUCK! The Freebirds haven't been beating on the Pistols and Dustins body's they don't have the ability to do that. Freebirds haven't actually won any wrestling exchanges. But yet they've still controled the match. They haven't been beating on the Pistols/Dustin's bodies...they have been beating on their souls. And the story is that that has been "grueling" for the faces. Frustrating them again and again.




Garvin yells at the ref that there had been a hair pull in the arm drag, and the crowd anticipates the faces momentum being halted once again. But NO.Garvin arguing with the ref this time, forced the ref out of position. Wait the ref is out of position? And you can actually see the cartoon light bulb pop up above the Pistols heads. As its their turn to take advantage of the ref and the "face team"does a in your face false tag. Smothers claps his hand in the air and grabs a hold of Hayes arm. Faces doing the heel fake tag here is such a great outwit the heels spot. It is the perfect pay off to all the early stalling. It ‘s not at all the payoff you’d have expected but it works great.


Smothers cranks on Hayes arm. Hayes who had been manipulating the ref for good body of the match is left to ineptly look at Patrick with a “c’mon ref, you’ve got to be kidding me” face.


Badstreet does a lot of teasing of illegally entering to stop the arm work. This puts the ref again out of place for when Hayes is finally able to tag out to Garvin. Garvin comes in only for Smothers to pull on Hayes arm and tell ref to get Garvin out of ring. We get a second false face tag and Smothers continues to work the fingers of Hayes.


This whole Bizarro World faces false tag , ref out of position to see legit heel tag is such a great payoff to match thus far. Finally the faces are able to get off their quick tags and get a continued run on offense. The crowd pops for every part of this sequence.


Hayes sells the arm work but is able to escape from the hold for a second only to be hit with a Armstrong flying back elbow. Hayes drops to his knees and goes over to hug the heel corner turnbuckle. He tags in Jimmy Jam who comes into the ring confers with Hayes, helps Hayes to his feet and then tags Hayes back in. WHAT THE FUCK??? Let me repeat that for you. Hayes bails to the corner on his knees tags in Jimmy Jam who comes back into the ring confers with Hayes, helps Hayes to his feet and then tags Hayes back in.


The faces are in control, tagging in the fresh man, Garvin, won't help the heels. the only thing that can help them is to stall. The hugging corner tagging yourself out then back in isn't exactly spitting out your mouth piece for Joe Goossen to clean but the effect is the same.


Armstrong gets ready to lock up with Hayes but Hayes walks over to Smothers on the apron and smacks him. Both Garvin and Hayes have been doing this type of thing a bunch in this match, when they think the guy in the ring has their number they go over and call out the other Pistol. It’s an odd strategy as they are calling out the fresher guy. Although with all the stalling one could develop ring rust by being on the apron. Armstrong tags Smothers in and Smothers looks confused throwing up his hands “since when do we have beef?”


They go for a rope running section where Garvin jumps into the ring, Hayes drops down, Garvin leapfrogs Smothers, Smothers hits the ropes, Hayes leapfrogs smothers and Smothers walks right into a boot from Garvin which knocks him into a Hayes left.


The only difference between a babyface and a heel is the babyface moves forward and the heel backwards.”



And now at 18 minutes into the match the heels have finally won an in ring wrestling exchange.


A really pretty and smooth one at that..essentially a quick criss cross section given the appearance of a double team. All about ducking and Smothers headstong running into the punch. I'm not sure if the Freebirds of Garvin and Hayes are capable of anything else that pretty but all the stalling played off and they've finally won a in ring exchange.


And NOW it is time to tag in Badstreet—“release the gimp”.


Badstreet comes in and Fargo Struts and then just unleashes offense on the downed Smothers. A lariat, a top rope axe handle, a neckbreaker, etc..making sure to point to and taunt either Armstrong or Dustin between each move. He throws Smothers to the floor and Fargo Struts again…he is masked Freebird Evilness. Smothers eats a clothesline from Dink on the floor. Badstreet drags Smothers back to ring apron where he Garvin hits Smothers with a HY-UGE running Yakuza boot. Smothers flyes for the Yakuza boot ,taking a bump all the way to the security guard rail Hayes continues to wail on Smothers on the floor and Badstreet rams Smothers face into apron. Dustin and Armstrong try to get involved only to be stopped by Patrick. Badstreet taunting, Fargo Struts again and tags Garvin into the ring.


Garvin snap mares Smothers and puts him into a reverse chin lock. Its really anticlimactic after Badstreet’s section. But we recognize the strategy


Dink “We’ve got to get them on the mat”

Hayes “We’re the champs. We’ve got to slow it down”

Teh Freebirds, “We’ve got to slow it down”



The chin lock elicits a face hand clap from the crowd which Dustin and Armstrong milk to try to get Smothers back into the match. Smothers tries to escape and the two bonk heads and race to make the tag.


Dustin comes in a fire cleaning house. Armstrong joins him and just works over Garvin in the corner. Smothers is still out of it but Dustin is able to cause a heel miscommunication where Hayes punches Badstreet. And we're two on two and the faces FINALLY have fully escaped the trap. The crowd is ECSTATIC. Dustin punches Hayes low (getting the full on Eigen spit take) which sets up the bulldog.


Ref goes to count





AW Fuck. Richard Morton runs in to break pin and attack Dustin. Everyone brawls with Smothers recovered (but Badstreet not) by this point and match is thrown out while faces clean house and climb the ropes to yell at heels who bail to back.


Paul Jones “Buddy Colt told me once, “The only difference between a babyface and a heel is the babyface moves forward and the heel backwards"



Most of the matches we review are very Dustin centric. Most of what we write about is about Dustin. There have been matches which we've chosen not to write about because allthough good matches, Dustin plays a small role in their goodness or is off. I was hesitant to write about this match for that reason. But this was too much fun to ignore. This is a match where Dustin isn't asked to do much other than be a babyface and move forward. He does that. Thats really all that was needed out of him to make this work. Simple and effective.


Tracey Smothers: “That’s called working. That’s old school”.

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The comedy is great here. The count spot is awesome. Hayes and Garvin still have their charisma so they can have a match based on their characters. Even Big Daddy Dink joins the fun and has a moment. Because of the comedy and stalling by the Birds the athleticism by the Pistols really stands out. The bump from the apron to the guardrail by Smothers really resonates as does the punch to Smothers that causes him to do a 180 into a clothesline really rocks the crowd . The best part was the crowd was with the match the whole way.

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1)Super stoked that this made the 91 set. Part of what I wanted to capture in that old write up was the sense that the match has an EPIC feel to it. Stalling like suplex exchanges can be throw away time killing stuff or it can be stuff that has build and pay offs. For a throw away match on the Pro I kind of think holds up well against a lot of 91 tags.


2) There is this thing that takes place where people defend WWF heel in peril formula tags where it's compared to a straw man WCW face in peril tag. This ignores that WCW tags weren't as locked into that one formula. There are Pistols v Freebirds workrate tags, PIstols v Freebirds heel in peril tags, and stuff like this thing here.


3) One of the points that Tim Cooke made about the match is that "The criss cross sequence which puts one of the Pistols as the face in peril was like watching a multi-person Dragon Gate spot where everyone is running around and it all ends perfectly. But being this is Hayes and Garvin doing it, you wouldn't expect it to work as perfectly as it did. You would have thought someone would blow a leapfrog or fall down at some point. Not the case at all."..the actual non stalling spots in this match are really well done. That spot which is essentially a couple of drop downs a leapfrog and a punch feels as spectacular and state of the art as anything in Jungle Jack matches or the Rockers v Orient Express Rumble/Mania matches.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had just watched Clash match from a day before that didn’t make yearbook. Of course that one was rushed like rest of that show. Big entourage for The Freebirds. DDP disappears once the match starts. Showing the proper count to Patrick was hilarious with him going along with it. Badstreet sells avoiding a Hayes misfire punch by flying outside through the ropes. I’m not much for stalling but I do give credit to the Freebirds for working it throughout the match and not just at the beginning.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I can't even begin to top Tom's review. I never knew so much could be found in a throwaway six-man, and that's a compliment. What I saw, unfortunately, was a ten-minute match stretched unnecessarily to double that length. Some of the stalling spots were cute, of course, but there were just too many of them for my taste. JR has so little to call that he runs through most of his shills twice, which is never a good sign.


Brad was good, but I noticed that they kept him away from Steve; his only extended in-ring time was with Smothers, who took the one solid bump in the match when he went into the guardrail. Other than that, there wasn't a move in this match that would have crushed a grape. If the Birds are that limited, break them up; they're totally embarrassing themselves and their legacy.


I remember the asskickers from Texas and Louisiana, and I've seen Hayes and Garvin have better matches as a team without the Freebird name. Hayes' partying is legendary, of course, but how could guys like Flair and Dusty, who partied as much if not more, remain good to great workers while Hayes fell completely off the cliff? And what's Jimmy's excuse? He was never a dynamo, and the Gorgeous character could stall and primp with the best of them, but when the time came to go, he went. It seems to me that Hayes got the brilliant idea to completely reinvent the Freebirds for the nineties, knowing that Gordy and Buddy Jack were busy elsewhere and/or retired, and he deliberately chose to present himself and Jimmy this way. The problem is, it just looks awful. I can't think of one move that they executed during the match with any crispness at all, and this kind of performance makes the Pistols and Dustin look bad too, since they should be dispensing with these losers in under five minutes instead of allowing themselves to be taken almost to the time limit. The Birds can get rid of Humpy, DDP and the Diamond Dolls at their earliest convenience, too.


The Morton DQ was cheap, but they weren't going to actually do anything else constructive with this match, so why not? And while I'm at it, the psychology behind the six-man championship change was off. I know Morton was turning heel, but you'd think someone would have thought of Morton being ready to defend the belts, only to have either Rich or JYD refuse to team with him, thus leading to the three-on-two. Why wouldn't Morton want to giftwrap one-third of the six-man belts for the Yorks? They didn't even have three wrestling members, since Hughes was strictly security. A nitpick, I know, but one I felt was worth bringing up.


No last names for Smothers or Steve Armstrong; they're apparently treating the Pistols like rookies, although JR slips and uses Tracy's last name once when he goes into the guardrail.


JR refers to this as a "special edition" of WCWSN, but Graham's site has no record of it, so my best guess is that it was a sixty or ninety-minute show prior to a Braves game.

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  • 1 year later...

Well, Loss has done an incredible job of compiling his top 500 matches of the 1990's, and the list is currently being released in 50-match increments over at placetobenation.com (placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-500-451/). There is a main thread on the board where everyone is discussing this MEGA list. I'm going to try to journey through all 500 (starting at the bottom - which is exactly where this match is). Most of these matches seem to have been reviewed in great detail, and I love reading all of the reviews. I'm sure I won't have much to add to those, but I'm going to plow through and throw in my thoughts. This will probably take forever, but that's cool, it sounds fun. I love lists. I'll track my ranking, and when I someday make it to the end I'll see how the lists compares. This match was listed as #500 of the Top Matches of the 1990s:


I'm sure Parv loves this match. You have Jimmy Garvin and a "Good God!" from DDP right in the beginning. It may have been covered in the 1991 review for WTBBP, I'll have to check. I just listened to the "Psychology is Dead: Art of Storytelling" podcast (placetobenation.com/psychology-is-dead-art-of-storytelling/), and this made me think they need one on the "Art of Stalling." I've always loved the Badstreet Music and the entrance from Hayes and Garvin during their WCW run. For some reason, it always cracks me up. I can't help but to smile seeing these guys dance their way to the ring, looking sort of out of shape, and really too old for a "cool" gimmick (especially when they get into wearing eyeliner... which I still don't understand). The way they play to crowd is just too funny. In this match, I love when Hayes tries to get the crowd to clap along with him, like they are the beloved faces. Then the pistols get the crowd to clap for them, and Hayes goes for a time out after receiving an elbow and a dropkick. Funny stuff. I like how JR says "This has been a pretty grueling match, we're at the 15-minute mark!" He makes it sound like they've been destroying each other. I agree with Childs here that there is actually more action than I anticipated, but to say it's been grueling is amusing. JR is just amazed that Badstreet isn't getting tagged in, he mentions it quite a bit. The leap frogs from the Freebirds into the punch to Smothers was awesome! Finally, JR gets Badstreet "The Masked Man." I thought Garvin's kick to Smothers into the railing on the outside was pretty sweet too. This was after Dink got in a good cheap shot and Hayes flirted with the camera ha. Ah yes, and Richard Morton comes in for the DQ, just hearing him called Richard kind of makes me laugh - then there is immediately a commercial for "Brut - The Essence of Man" and Dustin Rhodes is called the Brut of the Week! Congrats Dustin. The crowd really helps to make this as entertaining as it is, and it's fun seeing this match as regarded as something memorable from the 1990's. It deserves to be.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's time to get stuck into Loss' 500.


500 is a big number. I can't imagine ranking the top 500 of anything. I'm just going to give a straight take on this stuff.


This struck me as nothing special. Ross spent the entire match shilling shit. The pay off to the finish was meant to be the Freebirds tagging in Badstreet but Badstreet didn't tag in with the Freebirds in peril or drive home the Freebirds' advantage and get in a quick cheap shot. Instead, Badstreet seemed to hold his own and then some, which begs the question of why Garvin and Hayes sheltered him from the tag. This would have been better as a house show match without Ross having to recap and re-advertise the Clash every five seconds but even then you've got to buy that the stalling and the slow burn payoff is any more than a stock standard TV match.

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  • 7 months later...

I watched this again tonight while journeying through 1991, and I still couldn't help but laugh at this thing. The entrances and the moment when Hayes accidentally runs into Garvin on the outside, and Garvin proclaims "I got it all off of me!" And, then there are all the moments on the outside of the ring where the Freebirds keep looking at each other and strategizing out loud "SLOW it down, SLOW it down." This is pretty amusing to me.

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  • 4 months later...
  • GSR changed the title to [1991-06-15-WCW-Saturday Night] Fabulous Freebirds & Badstreet vs Young Pistols & Dustin Rhodes

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