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Grimmas

Ricky Morton

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I forgot about that Sonny King match, its really good! Like RINGS flavored Memphis. I added it and some other links to some of the Rock & Roll matches to watch in the Recommendations drive. 

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I ranked Ricky Morton 25th in 2016 and I fucking nailed that one. Ricky Morton is awesome and probably exactly between the 20th and 25th best wrestler ever.

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Over in the Shawn Michaels thread, @Boss Rock said:

Quote

 

Because I think Rockers vs. Rose and Sommers and Rockers vs. Brainbusters are better than anything the RnR's ever did. I never got the hype behind RnR's-MX. MX's best match isn't even against RnR's.

Edit: I see your point about Rose and Sommers being more responsible for the greatness of those matches. Which I guess is a fair point but I still haven't seen a RnR match that reaches those peaks. Even random tag matches I'm more likely to enjoy a Rockers match.

 

Rather than clutter up the Shawn thread, I figured I could promote the RnR's in the Ricky Morton thread. 

Rock & Rolls vs Russians is better than any Rockers match. Its a cut above every US mens tag including the Rose & SOmers matches. Its the 6/9/95 of US Wrestling. 

The RnR's vs Andersons feud is a nice comparison to ROckers vs Rose & Somers. I'm not sure which I'd pick but they're similar in quality. The RnRs vs Andersons cage match is definitely better than the Rockers vs Rose/Somers cage matches. RnRs vs Andersons smokes Rockers vs BrainBusters 7 ways to sunday. The RnRs vs Midnights match from WrestleWar I like more than any rockers match other than Blood in the Sand. What's the Rockers 4th best rivalry? I bet its not as great as RnRs vs Heavenly Bodies or Ragin' & Ravishin'. 

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1 hour ago, elliott said:

Over in the Shawn Michaels thread, @Boss Rock said:

Rather than clutter up the Shawn thread, I figured I could promote the RnR's in the Ricky Morton thread. 

Rock & Rolls vs Russians is better than any Rockers match. Its a cut above every US mens tag including the Rose & SOmers matches. Its the 6/9/95 of US Wrestling. 

The RnR's vs Andersons feud is a nice comparison to ROckers vs Rose & Somers. I'm not sure which I'd pick but they're similar in quality. The RnRs vs Andersons cage match is definitely better than the Rockers vs Rose/Somers cage matches. RnRs vs Andersons smokes Rockers vs BrainBusters 7 ways to sunday. The RnRs vs Midnights match from WrestleWar I like more than any rockers match other than Blood in the Sand. What's the Rockers 4th best rivalry? I bet its not as great as RnRs vs Heavenly Bodies or Ragin' & Ravishin'. 

I'll re-watch the Andersons cage match as it's been some time, but I recall liking the Rockers cage match more. Same with the WrestleWar Midnights match. Both good matches though.

I don't think I've ever seen the Russians match, looking forward to that.

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2 hours ago, Matt D said:

Give us some more on what makes something better or worse here?

Working on a proper response here. Just got caught up with family stuff before I could finish writing it. I might not have it up till much later tonight or tomorrow but I'm working on it. Itll be more about why one is better than why one is worse because I think they're both awesome. 

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1 hour ago, Matt D said:

Give us some more on what makes something better or worse here?

I hate to do worse, because I don't see it as a worse case, I see it as a better case. I think the RnRs are the GOAT team and the Rockers would be in my top 10. So this is a case of two all time great amazing teams that are very similar for copy cat reasons and I think one happens to be a little better.

I think Morton is the best performer of anyone on the two teams.  His selling was more sympathetic. His athletic bursts are quicker and sharper. His punches are awesome which allows for one or two quick punches working as believable hope spots that can be cut off. He's also a crazy athlete so he can do a flashy hope spot as well. Offensively, between the tope, rana & moonsault, Morton would bust out high end offense on par with anything the Rockers were doing. Morton's movements are so naturalistic that even when he goes over the top bumping & selling, its still believable. I think his body movements and timing of his selling, for the example the way he snaps his head back when he gets punched or the way he stumbles and flops to the ground are so realistic and natural. His body control & hand eye coordination or whatever allows for him to do this is so extraordinary its not something you can teach. Its a natural athletic gift he was given and was able to harness to become a generational talent.  I think MOrton had the best overall understanding of wrestling psychology of any of them. Ricky understood how to control a crowd and how to work a match highlighting his strengths and his opponents strengths as well as anybody and came to define a style of wrestling. There's a reason its called playing Ricky Morton and not playing Tommy Rogers or Shawn Michaels or Jim Brunzell. Its no surprise that Morton could go from being the best tag worker in the world to having some of the best matches of Ric Flair's career the next night while it takes other elite tag workers years to figure out how to become great singles performers. 

 Gibson I think is one of the most underrated performers of his era because he was working alongside a generational talent. He might not be quite as good as Shawn & Marty physically but his understanding of psychology more than makes up for it. You could have replaced Marty or Shawn with Robert Gibson and not lost much. You couldn't swap Ricky Morton out of the RnR's.  Morton is a level above all of them. Anything you could point to as Shawn or Marty doing well, you could point to Ricky doing it even better with more ring experience and a better understanding of psychology & how to build a match. 

As for the matches/feuds.  

I don't think the Rockers have anything that compares to the Russians match. The RnRs debut match in JCP they are put in a showcase match that runs the length of a  60min long TV show. They had the reputation already to walk into the promotion and work a 30+ minute long superb tag match against a good but not great team. They put together this magnificent big vs little well paced match with a double face in peril section that lets you see both Ricky & Robert work face in peril sections, show engaging apron work & both get their chance at a hot tag. Matt has talked about the Rockers' best stuff basically giving themselves over to the Rose & Somers team. The RnR's best match is a 30+ minute showcase of everything they can do against a game opponent. Nobody has ever called the Russians an all time great team. They're definitely underrated/appreciated, but to have a match that quality with them in that setting is overdelivering in a major way in a major spot. I know the Rockers had some some 60 minute matches on house shows, but theres a difference between that and having a classic with a new opponent in a high pressure situation. Robert even works the long FIP section instead of Ricky and puts on the performance of a lifetime. 

I think the RnRs vs Andersons & Rockers vs Rose & Somers feuds are about a wash. Two all time babyface teams against two great heel teams. Pretty much perfect stuff in 80s territory wrestling. I think the July 86 worldwide match & Blood in the Sand are top 10 US tag matches ever. Maybe top 5. The Starrcade Cage match I think is better than the ROckers/Rose/Somers cage matches. The Starrcade cage match is basically just another classically worked traditional southern tag match only with a cage involved. I think one of those Rockers ones is a mess and the other one was great.

I never felt like the Rockers vs Brainbusters had that kick your teeth in MOTYC they were capable of having together. Everything felt in that very good range. By comparison if you asked me what is the perfect southern tag match, I'd point to RnR's vs Andersons 7/86 or WrestleWar 1990. The Rockers vs Brainbusters matches were very good some borderline great as I recall but nothing that would be genre defining. To be fair its been a while since I've rewatched those Brainbusters matches. 

I know Boss has found the RnRs vs Midnights disappointing overall but I think their WrestleWar 1990 match is a classic. I think it was Tim Cooke who described it once as a greatest hits album. And that's perfect. That match is everything they perfected doing against each other over a 7 year stretch executed to absolute perfection. I think Blood in the Sand is better but I've never seen a classically worked southern style tag match from the Rockers that is as good as that WrestleWar match. I'd have to dig to figure out dates, but other than that one I think the best RnRs vs Midnights matches came from house shows in the 80s not TV or PPV so it may be harder to figure out the best one. I also love the Scaffold match so theres that. The Rockers definitely don't have anything that cool on their resume.' 

After Rose & Somers and the Brainbusters, who would be the next best Rockers opponent? Rock & Rolls still have several options including Manny & Rude. Which is another example of the RnR's having a lonnnnnng awesome match against a team not known for having lonnnnnnng awesome matches. One of the great things about the Rockers is they were so talented they could have a quality match against anybody. And the RnR's were like that to. But sometimes the RnRs would have to go out and put on these 30 minute long matches against a team like the Russians or Manny Fernandez & Rick Rude. And those are good teams, but they are 25minute long MOTYC type teams until they meet up with the ROck n Rolls. And there are examples of the Rockers having an awesome match with a team less talented than the Manny & Rude or less experienced than the Russians (I'm looking at you Powers of Pain match) but that match isn't 30 minutes. Rockers are better at filling time successfully in long matches and are their equal at worst when it comes to shorter matches. 

I think what it really comes down to is that the RnRs are a great team that can carry the physical aspect of a match but they also sort of came to define the mental aspect of US tag team wrestling as we know it. You could certainly say that about the style they and the Rockers were working.  They are quick, smooth, flashy, exciting wrestlers. But eventually quicker, smoother, flashier, more exciting wrestlers would start showing up and they did.  There are lots of copycat teams that have similar traits to the RnRs but they were (to steal Matt's term) often tools for the other team to use. What can you do against smaller, athletic big bumping & selling opponents. The RnRs were never a tool because they had such great psychology. They managed to control the matches even when they were bumping & selling. The Rockers ripped off much of what they did well and were amazing at doing so. This is a Michael Jordan Kobe Bryant situation. The Rockers just couldn't quite get to the level of the RnR's. Its sort of like because they patterned themselves & their style so closely after Ricky Morton, you could say that Ricky Morton taught the Rockers everything they know but Ricky Morton didn't teach them everything Ricky Morton knows. Thats where that extra 5% comes in that makes the RnR's the GOAT tag team and the Rockers like the 8th best team or something like that. 

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I had Morton at number 35 in 2016, but right now he'd probably be top 30 (maybe dead on 30). Look, it's Ricky Morton, there is pretty much nothing more that needs to be said about him and if there was then elliot covered most of it in the post directly above this one. He's an amazing tag wrestler who happened to also be an amazing singles wrestler when given the chance and he has amazing matches in both settings. I think what's also important to stress with Morton is that he was way fucking great before the RnRs run. He was very much Ricky Morton in Memphis and Houston. He has STUPID longevity with an incredible peak. He was Ricky Morton and I'd think we're all pretty well familiar with him at this stage of the game. 

 

RICKY MORTON YOU SHOULD WATCH:

w/Eddie Gilbert v Masa Fuchi & Atsushi Onita (Memphis, 9/4/81)

v Nick Bockwinkel (Houston, 7/2/82)

w/Tiger Conway Jr. v The Grapplers (Houston, 11/26/82)

w/Robert Gibson & Hacksaw Duggan v Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd (Houston, 6/8/84)

w/Robert Gibson v Dirty White Boys (Mid-South, 5/11/85)

w/Robert Gibson v Ivan Koloff & Krusher Kruschev (JCP WorldWide, 7/9/85)

v Ric Flair (JCP, 7/5/86)

w/Robert Gibson v Rick Rude & Manny Fernandez (JCP World Championship Wrestling, 12/6/86)

w/Robert Gibson v The Midnight Express (WCW WrestleWar, 2/25/90)

w/Robert Gibson v Heavenly Bodies (Smokey Mountain Wrestling, 9/7/92)

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