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Matt D

Match of the Week: 2/24 - 3/2: Fantastics vs Gilbert/Simmons - Clash 4 - 12/7/88

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You know, late 1987 is a bit of a black hole for me too, so I had no idea this match existed. I also didn't realize Simmons was around so early. Moreover, I didn't realize he was teaming with Gilbert like this.

 

So the story here is that this match was supposed to be Sheepherders vs Fantastics. There had been a semi-final tournament match with Simmons/Gilbert vs the Sheepherders which is out there to watch too but I didn't have time to see it. Sheepherders won though. Then they went to New York to be the Bushwhackers and that meant Simmons/Gilbert end up in the finals. Parv would tell you that this was a very good thing indeed.

 

To me, this is a match just full of stories:

Simmons' strength vs the Fantastics' Speed

Fantastics' experience vs Simmons inexperience and Simmons/Gilbert's inexperience as a team

The Babyface vs Babyface nature of Gilbert vs Fantastics.

Gilbert getting more and more frustrated when he gets outwrestled and his escalation into more complex moves and counters.

The Armwork on Gilbert and Eddie's desperate attempt to escape.

The impending time limit, which even has JR a little confused.

and

Eddie's pride that leads to the finish.

 

That's a hell of a lot of stories even in a 27 minute match and some of them pay off better than others and they don't all dove tail completely. There's enough going on here though and just enough connect and just enough pay off that what we end up here is a really interesting match. They use Simmons very smartly. If anything the things I'm not sure he should have been doing like some of the chain wrestling attempts one can kayfabe chalk up to his inexperience. Everything after the injury is actively great.

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Just watched this match last week based on Parv's recommendation, and yeah, it's really, really good. Matt summed up the whole multiple stories going on aspect pretty well. Awesome. A really underrated classic tag match.

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Holy shit, it's like I completely forgot this folder was here. Have missed the past 4 weeks by the looks of things.

 

Yes, I love this match. Part of what I like about it, is that The Fantastics are really vicious here and sort of do a quasi-heel turn in that the crowd is against them by the end of the match. The beatdown on Gilbert is as brutal as Fulton and Young would ever get and he's just tremendous selling that.

 

Easily the best Simmons had looked up to that point too (and, really, all the way until 1990 and Doom). It's his only standout performance on the big shows.

 

Of all the NWA shows we've seen, this match stands out as the biggest "hidden gem".

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Just given this a watch. Never seen it pimped before, and a thirty minute match involving Ron Simmons doesn't automatically sound like my cup of tea, but I like the other three guys plenty, so here we go. It was pretty great, Gilbert worked most of the match for his team so it never got bogged down at all, though to his credit everything that Simmons did looked really good, and his first missed shoulder tackle in the corner was one of my favourite moments in the whole match, it looked killer. There's so much stuff that I liked in the match, too much to list. The heat section on Gilbert was probably my favourite portion of the contest, but it was far from treading water before then - as has been mentioned, there were several layers/stories to this one. The finish was inspired, although I could have done with a little tighter cover. That aside, a really good match.

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This is a match that grew on me over time...the first time I saw it live (on TV), I hated it and thought it dragged...When I got my first set of Clash VHS in early 2000's, I rewatched and didnt like it again, and got bored.

 

But I have watched it probably 5 times since and each time it gets better and better...

 

BUT, man would I have loved this to have been Sheep vs. Fants...with all the chemistry they had, a national TV match could have been what 86 Crockett Cup match is said to be in full, but this one we'd have in full...

 

Fants go through all this and win the Tag Titles to promptly lose them within 2 weeks.....and they were gone a few weeks afterward...what was teh story there?

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