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[1991-07-14-WCW-Great American Bash] Ricky Morton vs Robert Gibson


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  • 3 months later...

I watched this match not long ago and really liked it, and nothing changed this time. The crowd was too upset about Flair being gone to realize Morton was basically working a Flair tribute. Sad there was no heat, because the match was very good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Excellent match and more proof that Ricky Morton grasped pro wrestling like few others. He slipped on the heel role like a pair of worn-in loafers. I loved the way he not only went after Gibson's injured knee but ripped the tights open so we could see the brace. Gibson also performed well, selling the hell out of the injury and showing fire during his taesed comebacks. The dueling dropkick spot near the end was a clever play on one of their signature tag-team moves. And I liked Morton using the computer as a weapon, as if to say regardless of the York Foundation facade, heels are heels. This all should have meant a lot more given the duration of the R'n'Rs. But it just wasn't the right time or place.

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I remember Scott Keith's old review of this show, where he slagged off on this match for being "90% Morton working over the knee," I guess because he had to fit in this all-encompassing Worst PPV Ever narrative. Well, I don't think this show needed additional help. This match was a real surprise and every bit as vicious as you'd want out of a grudge match between ex-partners. We get some token flashy quick-paced offense to start, but with Gibson having been on the shelf with a legit injury for 6 months, there was no other logical way for this match to go. And by the way this may be the performance of Robert Gibson's life. As Morton slips into life as a heel, Gibson does a Morton-esque turn as an injured sympathy babyface. Now the finish I didn't much care for--after all that work over the knee I would have preferred a.) Morton to whack Gibson in the kneecap with the computer, leading to either a submission or more likely a ref stoppage, or b.) Gibson to get a sustained run of near-falls, forcing Morton and York to go to desperate tactics. Instead, it just came off as, "The finish is Morton using the computer."

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  • 4 weeks later...

The lack of crowd heat dragged this down for me. Not the type of match I was expecting, also mentioned by Ross on commentary. The good was Morton going right after Gibson's surgically repaired knee. Just adds to fact that these guys use to be tag team partners for so long but it means nothing to Morton at this point. Part of me wished for role reversal with Morton doing the selling but by the end Gibson does a strong job of selling the knee. Each attempting to dropkick one another on the ramp was a cool spot.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

I don't say this often but I think people not enjoying this match don't really get what made the RNR Express great. They were never really a team about the high flying, high arsenal offense like the Rockers and Furnas/Krofatt. They were more about building up sympathy and playing face in peril before showing big fire in the comeback. They displayed that match here. This match didn't lack intensity to me as Morton was really focused on the leg throughout and was masterful in trying to build up sympathy. The crowd was shit but I stand by the fact that the work in the ring was very good. I also love the analogy that originates with Phil that this was essentially a Flair style match. This match may just save this show from worst ever status.

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  • 3 months later...

I wasn't quite as high on this as everyone else. The main problem for me was that the ending felt completely disconnected from the body of the match. I agree with Pete that it would have worked better if Gibson had made a spirited comeback and forced a desperate Morton to resort to the laptop. As it was, it felt like everything up until the finish was just killing time and working the leg was as good a way to do it as any.

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  • 1 year later...

I disagree that this was a Flair tribute match; Flair seldom got a chance to work over someone's leg quite as viciously as Morton did to Gibson's here. At the beginning of the bout, I wondered if Dusty hadn't turned the wrong man. Surely Morton wasn't naturally vicious enough to be a credible heel, and would have been better off doing his normal act against a vengeful Gibson who was mad that Ricky had abandoned him in the hospital or some such.

 

Well, I was wrong. Morton's performance here would have made the Andersons proud, as he did everything but rip Robert's leg clean off, and he even came close to that a few times. He really learned his lessons well from the heels he'd fought for so long. Unfortunately, the finish didn't match the story told beforehand; I agree with Pete that if the computer had to be used, it should have been used to cave Gibson's leg in once and for all. Maybe they were afraid that Morton would accidentally do just that, so they decided to use a standard head shot instead, but that made the whole story of Morton trying to injure Gibson's leg permanently no more than a side note. If that finish was what they wanted to lead up to, they could have just done a bloody brawl with no legwork where it would have been expected. I don't recall the feud doing too much after this, so maybe Dusty just wanted to get one good match out of it before everyone moved on. If that's the case, though, why not use a cleaner finish?

 

JR and Tony were wonderful at presenting the psychology behind Ricky's gameplan, constantly reiterating how badly he wanted to hurt Robert's leg and put him out of action. They were also great with historical perspective; Tony recalled Rock 'n' Roll's first match in JCP when they beat the Russians for the World tag titles, while JR recalled their tenure in Mid-South plus his own days as a referee when it looked like Fonzie could stop the match. We get on JR for his obscure references to football and older wrestling at times, but in this instance, his anecdotes and observations were right on the mark and added to the match.

 

It's just too bad that the crowd really didn't care what was going on. They didn't disrupt the match with "WE WANT FLAIR!" chants like I'd assumed they did beforehand, but except for a few stray "Morton sucks!" chants, they just sat around on their hands and didn't do much of anything. In another place and time, Morton and Terri would have had to duck flying garbage both on their way to the ring and on their way back, but Baltimore wasn't that place and 7/14/91 wasn't that time. Is that Morton's fault? No. Is it the crowd's? Not in my book. They'd been gipped out of a main event they were promised and were determined to let the Turner suits know about it in no uncertain terms, plus most of the rest of the card both before and after this was a trainwreck. It's just a shame that Ricky and Robert's one and only major showdown had to take place on it. They both deserved so much better.

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  • 1 year later...

Ricky Morton vs Robert Gibson - WCW Great American Bash 1991

 

Richie, Rickard, Richard Morton as Tony has a hard time adjusting to the name change as Morton has turned heel and joined the York Foundation. Morton as a heel feels so wrong, but he does a really damn good job. As someone mentioned he does the Andersons proud targeting the bad knee of Gibson with laser focus. I like that it was not just one ring post wrap that did Gibson in, but he kept fighting and Morton just overwhelmed by attacking the knee. I thought Gibson was really good in this. Great brawl on the ramp to start and some really damn good punched. He wanted to get things cooking, but Morton kept powdering. Once Morton got on the knee, I thought the work was sound, but was missing character and energy. The figure-4 made sense, but just felt flat to me. Part was the crowd, but part was the wrestling were doing the right things but just didn't have the gusto. Liked Gibson's hope spots and then things ending like missing the dropkick. The enziguiri with the bad knee was a such a great hope spot logical and effective. Both of them going for dropkicks on the ramp was a nice touch with Gibson worse for wear with a bad wheel and now Morton is desperate cracks him in the head with the laptop. Loved the finish. Due to second nature both go for dropkicks but Gibson is hurt and Morton takes advantage with the laptop. Morton was great on leg and Gibson great on hope spots could have used more energy. ***1/2

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  • 1 year later...

So can we say after this match that Robert Gibson was pretty good at...playing...Ricky..Morton? Because he is actually pretty good at it. Morton pulls off being a heel very well. Crowd does give them enough respect to not chant during the match. Tony and J.R. do great with the one worthwhile match on the card, makes sense. Just wish the crowd had been as into this as they should have been.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1991-07-14-WCW-Great American Bash] Ricky Morton vs Robert Gibson

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