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Give credit to Smothers and Armstrong for turning this into a decent match with nothing opponents. Seriously, this is a completely singlehanded carryjob, and it's a pretty good one. They follow the tag formula, and work over Firebreaker Chip (or is it Chip the Firebreaker? Tony Schiavone doesn't seem to know). The Pistols win the U.S. tag team titles, which mean next to nothing at this point, but it's hard to complain about belts being on a good team. They weren't going to fit into WCW in the long run, but I would have liked to see how could the Pistols could have gotten as heels with more time to really fine tune their act.

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I wonder why the titles were even on The Patriots. They feel like such a lower level tag team. Two tag team titles are not necessary for where division is. Credit to Young Pistols for turning this into an okay match but Champion and Chip brought next to nothing to match.

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I thought this was a god awful match--limited strictly to Yearbook matches, maybe a Worst MOTYC. The Pistols' heel shtick seemed like it was right out of a WWF House Show Stalling 101 textbook and the Patriots are just beyond hope. They can't sell anything; their offense is weak, even their Rockerplex attempt; and they're too juiced and inflexible to go along with any kind of sustained heel offense. Badly timed finish on top of everything else, with Steve hitting a diving headbutt to Chip's back that barely connects. With Chip's knee taped up and the token leg work, why not just have him clip the knee out? Watts was wise to kill off these belts soon after his arrival.

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I would throw up the Enforcers/Patriots match from Havoc as a better example of a team leading something out of the Patriots who are truly dreadful and one of those wtf pushes in wrestling history. The pistols being heels now is something but the crowd isn't really buying into the heat and stchick they were selling. Pistols end up winning the US tag titles which I think could be safely retired by now.

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The next week on WCW, the Pistols beat the Patriots in a 2 out of 3 falls match. The Patriots are broken up for 60 days, nominally on TBS but practically on all shows, to inflict their horrors on the singles scene. Yay.

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This felt like a three-minute squash stretched out to last twelve minutes. The Pistols didn't exactly look good, but the Patriots were greener than little apples. Meanwhile Tony's so bored he mixes up the teams, calls a spot where one of the Pistols rams Chip's knee into the concrete a headbutt, and tells the world that come Starrcade, "The Young Pistols could find themselves on opposite teams, and so could Tracy and Steve". Other than the Pistols trying to tear out Chip's knee, there's not a whole lot going on wrestling-wise. Meanwhile, Tony says that Tracy must have been a jerk from the start of his career because he acts like one now. Whatever you say, Dr. Schiavone. Oh, did I forget to mention that the Pistols so obviously blow a doubleteam spot that Tony's compelled to talk about it on the air?

 

Who came up with the idea of "WCW Special Forces", and why would it, whatever it is, include a firefighter and a young muscleman with no discernible occupation outside of wrestling?

 

Why is moving from the South to Wyoming a heel act? Or are Steve and Tracy really heels because they fancy themselves a couple of cowboys now? Since when is being a cowboy a bad thing in the South? I seem to remember some promos where Smothers and Armstrrong "renounced" their Southern heritage or some such, but to move to Wyoming and become cowboys? They'd have been better off becoming the Patriots instead; God knows they'd have been better at it than the two nothings they just beat. (Now that I think of it, I seem to recall that Turner didn't want a babyface tag team wearing the Confederate flag on their tights like Smothers and Armstrong did. That's certainly a noble sentiment, but again I ask, cowboys from Wyoming?

 

While we're at it, if they wanted the Pistols to have some heat, why are they trying to push them as if the Southern Boys had never existed, right down to taking away their last names? Yes, Tony makes a mention of Smothers doing autograph sessions in the past here, but for the most part Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong (the Southern Boys) are treated as totally different people than Tracy and Steve (the Young Pistols).

 

Did either Firebreaker Chip or Todd Champion amount to anything in the business? Why was Chip called "Firebreaker" instead of Firefighter anyway? I've never heard the word "firebreaker" used in any other context than when talking about this one wrestler. (I just Googled "firebreaker", and every mention of the word on Page 1 of the results refers to wrestling.)

 

I'm not sure if this is the worst overall match or segment I've seen in the first two Yearbooks, but it's probably the worst match or segment from a major American promotion on the first two Yearbooks.

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I'll give the Pistols credit for being pretty good at stalling. Not Freebird levels, but their offense is better than Garvin & Hayes. Definitely a carry job as Chip and Todd bring nothing at all to the match. Tony actually does a really good job of pointing out aspects of Southern tag psychology here, way to go Tony. Not a top shelf WCW tag, but a good look at the Pistols doing something they aren't exactly known for. Were Chip and Todd Powerplant guys? I doubt it was even a thing yet, but they remind me of later 90s guys that WCW tried pushing fresh out of the Powerplant.

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Back when I was a young lad, Sky Sports used to air old WCW/WWF shows under the WWE Vintage Collection name. I remember seeing a show with the Patriots on and even at 10 years old, I remember thinking they were one of the cheesiest things I've seen in wrestling and it gave me the misconception that all WCW was always like this pre-Monday Night Wars. 

Tracy Smothers is a guy who I know has a reputation as being good and you can see his value in a throwaway TV match. He stalls around, bickers with the referee and gets the crowd all riled up. Not only did the the Patriots have a gimmick that was the drizzling shits, they were also awful workers as well. Especially Chip, who shows zero emotion an ability to work up the crowd for a hot tag as the Young Pistols do their best to take out his leg. This is a total carryjob, and whilst it wasn't memorable, it made me want to check out more of Tracy Smothers' work.

★★

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