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[1980-04-26-Portland] Buddy Rose vs Rick Martel (2/3 falls)

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Buddy Rose vs Rick Martel - PNW 4/26/80

 

Buddy Rose is debuting his mask & wig gimmick after Piper cut his hair earlier in the week. Buddy Rose has vowed not to let the fans see him with short hair because that is unbecoming for a Playboy like himself. I think this is a great way to continue the heat for the TV crowd and now every match has the hook can the opponent expose Rose's head.

 

Rose jaws with the crowd and will lift up the mask portion, but keeps on the wig portion. Martel shows his quickness early and that genuine energy that is so irresistible. There is a magnificent criss cross sequence that ends in a Rose drop toe hold complete with roll up into a leg scissors. He transitions into a deathlock and the following leg work is amazing and only made that much more perfect by Martel's incredible selling. Martel goes after the mask to force Rose to break the deathlock, Rose kicks Martel's bad leg repeatedly to regain control. Rose applies a standard Indian Deathlock, which they reverse the peressure back and forth in a neat spot. Martel escapes with some heavy blows. Rose is relentless on the leg now going for the spinning toehold, but that ends in a Martel inside cradle for two. Rose now goes for seat drops and on the second seatdrop he misses. Martel wants to keep working over the ass so he goes for an atomic drop, BUT it is on his BAD leg. OH NO! Martel has been selling huge, but he takes it to the next level now. Rose wraps the leg around the post and the single leg crab takes the fall. Rose goes up 1-0.

 

I love the beginning of the second fall with Martel doing everything he can to keep his good leg out in front and circle away from the Playboy. Eventually he is forced into the middle of the ring and Rose is able to use a single leg takedown to take control of the leg. He wraps the leg around the post, but Martel is able to smash Rose's head into the post. Martel does not go for the countout victory instead he rams Rose's back into the post. He makes sure to sell his leg and really let every spot breathe to allow for Rose to sell and for him to recover. It was really well done. Once he gets him in the ring, it is repeated elbows and double axehandles that the crowd counts out. The Boston Crab knots it up. Tied 1-1.

 

Martel goes right back to the back with an Irish Whip and backbreaker. Rose cant bodyslam Martel due to his bad back so Martel bodyslams him. Martel is able to finally reveal Rose's bald head, but the Sheepherders run out and cover him out before shepherding him out of the arena. The camera cut away at the critical moment so the heat is still there for TV while the live audience is rewarded.

Awesome double body part psychology match with great selling and offense by both men. It reminds me of the Bock/Martel 9/20/84 match. I love how in Portland thanks to 2/3 falls format they can do more submission victories without making their wrestlers seem like chumps. The lack of finish is the only thing that hurts this. Best Portland match I have ever seen. ****1/2

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Martel is able to finally reveal Rose's bald head, but the Sheepherders run out and cover him out before shepherding him out of the arena. The camera cut away at the critical moment so the heat is still there for TV while the live audience is rewarded.

 

I was impressed with this because I rewound it about three times to see if I missed it, but realized later that they didn't show it on TV. Great way to keep the heat high but like you said, reward the live fans.

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This was fantastic! Rick Martel is probably my favorite in-ring babyface performer ever, and this match is a perfect illustration of why. The selling of the left leg is phenomenal and the fire up double axe handles on the back are beautiful. Not much to add review-wise, but hell this was a blast.

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