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OS: Original Sheik


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Yet another of my 70s plates spinning here. But I was intrigued to see more Sheik after his absolutely masterful performances in those Funks tags, the 1978 one in particular. I had an idea that he was at the very least a master of psychology. Well I have a 7-disc set to test that hypothesis. I will likely do this in bitesize chunks because Sheik is a guy you can get burnt out on -- ho ho ho.


Also, I'd appreciate any help with dates because I'm not digging through Clawmaster results to find these.


The Sheik vs Tom Jones


No not the Welsh singer or indeed the Henry Fielding novel, but a black guy working in Detroit in the 70s (possibly even 60s). Footage quite grainy abd black and white, but sound is good. Sheik has Abdul Farouk (aka The Grand Wizard) at ringside wearing a fez. Crowd boo both of them quite a lot. Play-by-play announcer has a strange "posh" sounding voice, calls Farouk "the weasel" at all times, and mentions he's wearing green shoes. I believe this commentator is called "Lord Layton", which dates this prior to 1974. Sheik looks quite young.


Sheik is on a prayer rug before and won't start the match until the crowd quieten down to give him the respect to pray. Finally they lock up and Jones a house of fire to start. Sheik gives him a good bit in the shine before taking over on offense. GNARLY hammerlock flipover roll thing by Sheik, didn't expect to see cool spots from him like that.


That's it, I think Jones tapped out. Ref raises Farouk's arm outside the ring. But Sheik won't let the hold go and seems like he wants to break the arm. Whipper Billy Watson makes a run-in in his suit to try to attack The Sheik, but he's not dressed to wrestle. AND WE HAVE COLOUR. No, not blood, actual colour on the footage. Sheik is wearing blue trunks I can see now. He decks Watson, who then comes back and they brawl to the back. Fans throw rubbish at the ring as Jones is still out cold with Farouk pointing and laughing at him.


Fans surround the ring and they are baying for Farouk's blood. Are we going to see a riot here? Panic in Detroit!


Farouk gets on the mic. "This is just a warning about what's going to happen tomorrow night to that organ grinder and his little pet monkey Igor! Just a little example. I warned you and I warned that big nose Watson, and you saw what happened to him!"


This looks promising. Farouk (Wizard) was a tremendous heel and a heat magnet, and Sheik seemed like he played his role to perfection.


Can't really give a star rating, but 8 minutes of fun!


The Sheik vs Don Red Cloud


In colour now. Ring is a hideous red. Don Red Cloud has a native American gimmick, he's got to be better than Strongbow. Announcers are Don Adams and Chuck Allen (so they say). Oh speaking of the shithead, they mention that Cloud is a good friend of Strongbow's who helped him get into the sport of professional wrestling. Strongbow is at ringside watching. Sheik visibly older here. Looks like mid-70s.


Sheik does his prayer rug gimmick to start. He really takes his time over this. He is upset that Strongbow is at ringside and doesn't want to pray with him there. Too right, stop being so disrespectul Strongbow! Let the man pray to allah and get your big nose out of this.


Match is over before it starts almost because Sheik goes straight to the camel clutch and Cloud taps.


One thing I'll say here is that Strongbow here looks NOTHING like Strongbow. Nothing at all like him. He has short cropped hair and isn't saggy. To the point where I'm wondering if it really is Strongbow or they've brought in another guy to play the role. Weird. He has the US title here.


This match went less than 3 minutes. Sheik throws Cloud out the ring and then steals Strongbow's belt and puts it in the middle of the ring. "Strongbow" -- who I swear is not really Strongbow -- comes in the ring now. Oh hold on, it's not Strongbow at all but Mark Lewin. Okay, this is confusing, the camera didn't go to Strongbow ONCE during all that time and instead focused on Lewin. Terrible direction!! I knew that wasn't Chief Jay Wanker.


Sheik goes to remonstrate with the announcer about something.


The Sheik vs Tom Reeseman


"One-fall, 30 minute time limit" says the ring announcer. I'll make a prediction right here: this isn't going thirty. I bet it doesn't go 10. Sheik comes in and rushes the ring announcer. Does he want to pray? Yes, but Reeseman isn't happy. Sheik seems in a weird mood, he's just stalking around, no real attempt at praying. Commentator mentions "he's sort of in a trance." He also tells us that in the Middle East in places like Suadi Arabia and Syria, they believe in hypnotism. Four minutes in and he prays now. If Allah really does exist, Sheik is somewhere in hell right now.


Sheik rips at Reeseman's face and sticks his tongue out making a face. He has his foreign object on him and seems to stick it up Reeseman's nose. He's nasty! Commentator selling this notion that Sheik is in a hynotic trance. Camel clutch and it's over.


Sheik's eyes are back in his head. It's a curious gimmick really. He starts eating his head cloth. I get the impression this is a departure from Sheik's usual behaviour. He grabs the ring announcer (Chuck Allen) by his tie and and snarls and growls like an animal. He goes and gets a chair and smashes it over his own head. He's feeling no pain. Grabs at the announcer again.


Don Adams says that in ten years of Big-Time Wrestling he's never seen anything like this. Sheik puts the whole cloth in his mouth now and appears to swallow it.


The Sheik vs Sailor Art Thomas


Sheik rushes Thomas to start. This seems like an arena match, not in the studio. Eddie Creachman ringside, hands Sheik his foreign object. Lays Thomas out with it and chokes him. Some fans try to rush the ring and actual cops are there to stop them. One cop looks about 400lbs. Sheik conceals the object in his tights as the ref tries to check him. Creachman distracts the ref as Sheik nails Thomas in the throat with the object.


Atmosphere in this arena is scary, crowd seem ready to riot. Sheik continues his cheap attack on Thomas. Creachman continually distracts the ref. This is next-level cheating. Thomas finally comes back with an elbow and the crowd go mental. Can see the crowd on their feet jumping up and down.


Thomas in the ascendancy but ... FIREBALL. Thomas is out and that's three.


Crowd is not happy, various fans move toward the ring as we go to a break and hear the commentator say "listen, Creachman, that wasn't a wrestling victory!"


The Sheik and Sgt.Jacques (Rene) Goulet vs Dick the Bruiser and Sailor Art Thomas


In this arena again. Thomas has his eye patched up. Crowd go wild when Dick the Bruiser is announced. He clears house and the heels bail.


Sheik won't get in the ring. Crowd is pretty rabid here. Goulet and Thomas start out. Goulet looks in good shape here. Sheik in with the foreign object. Tag to Bruiser. Sheik immediately bails. He won't face him! Every heel heat generating tactic in the book.


Bruiser works over Goulet with a wristlock now. Crowd is so loud. Goulet goes to tag, Sheik drops from the apron. The Sheik will not get in the ring with Dick the Bruiser. Claw by Bruiser on Goulet. Sheik drops to the apron again. Thomas tags in, Sheik comes in now and bites him. Ha ha.


Both heels bite at Thomas. Bruiser charges the ring and Sheik bails faster than you can imagine. Really funny. Thomas has Goulet caught upside in the ropes. Sheik has the object and sneak attacks Thomas with him. And again, cheap shot to the throat. Thomas Irish whips Goulet into Bruiser's foot. Bearhug. Sheik comes in, Bruiser comes in, Sheik bails and runs around the ring. Thomas gets another bearhug on Goulet. Bruiser kicks Goulet in the head. Goes after Sheik who drops down to the apron like a cat. Knee lift by Bruiser. Thomas in. Sidehead lock and punch. Goulet grabs a leg and now sheik comes in for cheap offense. Bruiser comes in and Sheik runs, out. Bruiser goes after. In, out, around. Cat and mouse.


Sheik gives Bruiser the slip yet again. Grabs a chair. Double count out.


This is probably the best Bruiser match I've seen, and it is all down to storytelling and psychology. Sheik just knows how to get heat and works it and works it and works it. Masterful stuff here. I'd recommend this one, even if the "work" is dogshit, the psychology is great.




That'll do for now. In five matches we've seen Sheik play a variety of different heel roles, all variations on the same theme but to different ends. Sometimes he wants to pray "for respect". Other times he's deranged and psychotic. Other times he's the total chickenshit coward. At all times he's the most cheating-est heel ever. the Detroit crowds are fucking MENTAL too.


I've seen enough to stick with it. Although ask me once I'm done with 7 discs. Forthcoming matches on this one include bouts against Lewin, Andre, Dusty and Terry Funk.

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Really enjoyed the Sheik/Melby match from 57 and it makes me wonder when exactly he started transitioning to the more violent stuff, and at what point he added the pencil, blood, and fire, as well if anyone was doing that before him. I’ve read online that Danny McShain and Doc Sarpolis are some of the guys who popularized blading, so could that be something he picked up in Texas? At a certain point in his career, maybe as his body broke down, it seems like Sheik wrestles the same intense fast paced match, not saying that’s a bad thing, and how good the match is depends on what his opponent brings to the table.

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The Sheik vs Mark Lewin


For the US title, loser leaves town. Lewin is champ going in. Creachman trash talks to start. Sheik insists on the pre-match ritual. The should have sent NWA trouble-shooter Mario Savoldi to Detroit, because it's official that their refs are the dumbest. Sheik more or less openly works the object to start, ref must be blind or paid off. Lewin juices, but not a gusher.He spends what seems like an age in he crowd, before finally getting into the ring and getting conrol of the object.Crowd is wild.


Creachman actually gets into the ring to break a pin in front of the ref, but no DQ. Commentator's explaination is that stakes are so high here, the ref is letting things go. Well I want a DQ! Lewin carries on pounding away with the object. Pin, Creachman in again. He might as well be Sheik's tag partner. Sheik regains control of the object. Sticks it in Lewin's throat. Ref grabs the object finally -- it's too late now mate, the rules are gone in this one. Lewin pounds on Sheik now with punches. Sleeper! Crowd electric. Creachman goes in and breaks it. Lewin sleepers Creachman. FIREBALL. Seems like Creachman got the most of the fire and he's selling it like he's blinded. Lewin is outside on the floor.


Hold on what's this? They announce Sheik is the new US champion. What the fuck? How? Was there even a countout? Can you win the title on a count out? Apparently you can.


Official ruling is that Lewin was counted out and Sheik is the champion. Huh?


This was crap. No semblance of even the basic rules of a wrestling match, even though this wasn't a no DQ. Referee was terrible both working and kayfabe-wise. Action wasn't really brutal enough for a juice brawl, and Sheik didn't bleed. But the booking was straight shit. I'd imagine it's was stuff like this over the years that burnt out Detroit. Terrible.




The Sheik vs. Andre


This looks like arena footage without commentary. Farouk is in Sheik's corner. We get some nice shots of the crowd. Andre looks young and is wearing the waistcoat. Looking at Sheik too this seems 73 sort of time, for Wizard to be there it can't have been much later. Acoustics are great here. Farouk is on the apron almost permenantly. They do a lot of near-10 counts with Sheik on the floor. An announcer counts with the crowd.


As Andre grabs Sheik he uses the FIREBALL on Andre seemingly blinding the giant.


And that's it. They announce Sheik as the winner, even though Andre wasn't counted out, DQed or pinned. Strange rules they have in Detroit. "Has Sheik used a Fireball?" "Yes? Automatic win for Sheik".


Unless the explaination is the ref stops the bout due to injury?


So anyway, here's an Andre singles loss on US soil before 1987.




The Sheik vs. Tiger Jeet Singh


Another arena match. No commentary. This must be from the archives Ed Fahrat Jr had converted a few years back. There's some weird stipulation here, like they are in a sandpit or a mudpit or something in the ring. Sheik seems covered in something and is blinded. Creachman is involved too and also seems blinded.


I think it's mud. What is this? Wrestling in mud? Singh doesn't seem as over as the other babyfaces we've seen. He works a hold in the mud before bringing in Creachman too. Sheik goes over and maybe bites him. Works a nerve hold. Singh comes back and Sheik bumps to outside. Singh grabs a chair. And ... works a hold with the chair? Creachman tries to sneak in and Singh whacks him with a chair.


This is such a bizarre match. Bell goes for some reason. Someone runs in and attacks Sheik -- I think it's Bobo Brazil. Don't really know what's going on. The Sheik wins the match somehow. If it's one thing I've learned, Sheik doesn't actually need to pin anyone to win matches. The ref just gives it to him for no reason.


We get a shot of Brazil (??) working some sort of face hold just outside the locker rooms. Security try to get him off. This guy looks too sprightly to be Bobo, but can't figure out who else he'd be. Must be him.


This was a clusterfuck.


DUD (pretty rare rating from me)


The Sheik vs. Dusty Rhodes


Sheiks brings a snake to the ring and chases off a referee, for some reason country music is playing over the top of this drowning out the commentary. I'll just note that I've never liked the Detroit US belt with the gold map of America on the front. Looks silly. Dusty comes out now. Music subsists. Terrible production decision to keep this music going -- this looks like it was done on the commercial release of this Detroit tape. Why the fuck would they do that?


Match starts and the music carries on. The ropes of this ring look like they were in AWFUL conditon, all peeling off and scraggly. At first I thought this might have been a barbed wire match but no, I think the ring was just in poor condition. Sheik lays out the referee. Dusty goes to work with an elbow and a figure-four.


Various different guys get into the ring now. I don't know what's going on. That Dusty match looked like it was thrown out before it even started.


The Sheik vs. Terry Funk


Clip to more snake-based antics now with music playing, it's actually the start of the next match. They overlay a Funk promo over the top of this. This production job is a real fucking travesty because this arena footage looks good.


Funk's promo is along the lines of "Why is the Sheik wrestling today? Because promoters want to make a cheap buck and will book anything, no matter how obnoxious it is"


There was one cool line: "if he can go ahead and run around the ring and jump up like an idiot like a chicken with his legs cut off ..." Almost a burial of The Sheik by Funk!


Funk decimates Sheik to start. Takes it outside. Another song starts. Why oh why did they put music on this? There was definitely sound on this footage and even commentary, we can hear it underneath.


Sheik turns it around and attacks Funk with the object. Clip, action goes outside and holy mother of blade jobs Funk is COVERED in blood. Sheik throws a chair at him. Shots of the crowd are great. Funk comes back from the bring of death. Knee drop.


Bulldog Don Kent turns up. Sheik nails Funk with the belt and applies the camel clutch. This one looks over. Yes.


My god, the shots of this crowd are magnificent. A girl is crying. "A black moment for professional wrestling" says the commentator. This seems like it was 1977 just after Funk dropped the belt to Harley.


I'd like to see this match without all the crappy production on top. I wonder if it is available without clipping. Looked like a brutal encounter from what we saw. I can't find any info about this this match or find it in listings. Any help would be appreciated, and if it's in full, this one looks good.




Sadly, we saw some of The Sheik at his worst in this batch. Terrible booking throughout, except for that Funk match which was marred by some poor production decisions by whoever released the commercial tape.

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I actually have this set as well. The two matches that you mention with Funk and Dusty are clipped from the "I Like to Hurt People" movie which features lots of Detroit wrestling from the late '70s. That Singh vs. Sheik match is billed as a mudpit match and, yes, it is terrible, but not as bad as the two wrestlers in a shark cage match from Detroit featuring Stan Staisak.




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Sheik vs. Andre was IIRC from Toronto, and it was some sort of Lights Out match where the loser couldn't get up after a ten or twenty count. So, nobody needed to get pinned to lose the match.


There is also a documentary-style dvd someone put out a few years ago on the Sheik that I have which as I remember was pretty decent.


Another one I saw recently was a TV news piece on The Sheik talking about what a wildman he was, with an interview with local promoter Ed Farhat about him. LOL. You don't see Farhat outside of his Sheik persona, you just hear his voice over top of some Sheik footage.

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One piece of trivia is that Sheik is one of the only wrestlers to have a successful marriage with his wife in the business. Most wrestlers who bring their wives around end up in divorce court! ;)


- Anyway I was always facinated by the Sheik even though living north of Chicago we didn't get Detroit TV and by the time I was born WWF was taking over, but through the magazines he looked like a badass. Every Sunday when my mom, Grandma and Great-Aunt would go shopping I would be kneeling down in front of the news stand looking through the dozen of wrestling mags. It seemed every week there would be a new magazine that wasn't there the week prior.

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The Sheik vs Jackie Fargo (Louisville, KY 1974). Crazy fucking spectacle is really the best way to describe this. Best part of Sheik matches is that he forces his opponent to wrestle his type of match, resulting in the face just snapping and becoming just as violent as the Sheik, really bringing out the hatred in them. Thought Fargo was awesome in this. Just completely pissed off, bleeding, stumbling around, and throwing great punches. Its a simple thing, but I always thought when Sheik loses the pencil and the face picks it up, that moment of retribution, is always awesome.
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The Sheik & Bobby Heenan vs Bobo Brazil & Dick the Bruiser


Seems like Luce classics, assuming this was for WWA. Mainly Bruiser working over Heenan, who does a lion's share of the work before the match appears to end abruptly.


The Sheik vs Giant Baba


Baba is in the ring first. You can see why the idea of The Sheik might appeal in Japan beyond the gimmick -- it's selling the idea of "top contenders coming from all around the world". This guy from the middle east, that guy from Mexico, etc.


Baba keeps trying to rush Sheik while he's doing his prayer mat gimmick. Sheik bails and goes and grabs a table and throws it in the ring. It gets propped up in the turnbuckle and Sheik ends up taking three head shots to it. But then he goes over and chokes Baba to the 4 count. It's a chinlock disguising a choke. Choke over the middle ring, and Sheik also goes to bite Baba. Naked choke by Sheik now to the 4 count again. He rips are Baba's face (illegal in wrestling). You have got to admire the man's commitment to ensure that he doesn't do a single legal thing in the body of a match. Not one legal move, it's pretty funny. Joe Higuchi loses his shit and admonishes Sheik loudly for biting.


He has the pencil out and is slyly nailing Baba with it disguised as punches. Highuchi goes over to check. Fans have thrown some rubbish at the ring. Baba comes back with chops to the head. There's some guy out there in a white polo shirt (not sure who, Killer Karl Kox?), who starts pulling at Baba's leg. So as soon as Baba gained control, we have the outside interference. This allows Sheik to get another choke in. Baba regains control anyway and gives Sheik a couple of turnbuckle spots. Chases the fat white-polo-shirted guy away.


Bell goes for a count out. Baba wins. Post-match we get a heel beatdown. Young boys come to save Baba by Sheik punches them all out.


I didn't think much of this. It was a match that seemed to expose the limitations of both guys rather than highlight their strengths (psychology). At this point, I don't think there was much chance of Sheik taking it to the mat, and I don't think Baba was going to work a juice brawl, so what we got was kinda nothing ...




The Sheik & Great Mephisto vs Terry & Dory Funk Jr.


I looked for this everywhere before, but here it is! Abby is currently taking someone apart and Ricky Steamboat is bloodied up. I think Dick Slater is there too. What match is this? It's the end of the previous bout and a cool bit of business as the Funks help take care of Abby while entering for this one.


Great Mephisto is a squat chap in black Aladdin bottoms and the curly Iron-Sheik-style boots. We get the full commercials here and there's an ad for a GIANT VCR tape recorder. Wow, I wonder if this was taped on the original 1980 TV. It looks incredibly early 80s.


Back to the match and Terry has just taken a tumble. Dory goes over to check on him. Suplex by Mephisto on Terry onto the turnbuckle. Stomps with the curly boots now. Sheik in with a camel clutch. Some cheap heeling now as Sheik and Mephisto pull the gypsy switch on the camel clutch. Sheik in and he starts biting Terry's back. Weird spot with him biting the back like a dog!


Mephisto in with the reverse chinlock now. Goes for a bodyslam but Terry reverses into the inside cradle. Sheik rushes in to bite the back again and prevent the tag to Dory. He moves over to work a back nerve hold thing. This is some of the weirdest back-focused work I can recall seeing. Mephisto back in and Terry finally gets the tag. Dory with a series of forearms. Spinning toehold! Sheik in! Spinning toehold! Terry tagged back in. Double clotheline by The Funks. They isolate Sheik who tries to go with an object for another one. Terry with the Texas punches. Elbow smash by Dory on Mephisto. Butterfly suplex!


Sheik in. Dory chases Sheik who is doing his chicken strut. Sheik down on the mat like a dog now. Dory unphased. Some forearms in the corner. Elbow and collar tieup. Forearm smash by Dory. Elbow. Terry in. Elbow. GREAT punch. And again and again. Mephisto in. More punches by Terry now who is bobbing and weaving. Haymaker left. Dory in. Criss-cross spot now but Dory tricks Mephisto into a ... Sleeper! All four men take a tumble outside for a disappointing but inevitable CO finish. Dory rolls back in for the win.


This was a solid match and one I'd put forward to show how you can see how a guy like Dory was a cut above a guy like Mephisto in terms of how he worked. This also shows you how much Abby brought to those Sheik / Abby tags against the Funks. Sure, Sheik is older here and brought his absolute A-game to those tags, but with Mephisto in there rather than Abby the general chaos levels were down. This was enjoyable enough though, for a nothing-y RWTL match.




The Sheik vs Abdullah the Butcher


I'm guessing Abby was the babyface here, but fans have a big "GO SHEIK GO" banner in the crowd which the camera zooms on. Abby gets a big reaction though. As he gets in the ring without warning Sheik blind-sides him with a chair and completely suckers him. See -- that's pretty good strategy, every other night for the past 30 years, Sheik had gone to the prayer mat stall start, but tonight against his old partner and protege Abby, he comes with the ambush. Very sound psychology there, that only works because of the precedant. Knowing Sheik as well as he does, Abby would have been taken by surprise at that.


It's some assault too, as Sheik gives Abby about 15 chair shots before rolling into the ring. He's looking particularly angry this evening. He has his foreign object too. Goes back out and nails Abby some more, who is already bleeding. Back in the ring and he rips at Abby's face. This has been all Sheik so far. But Abby gets him in the throat now, already completely covered with blood.


Sheik chokes Abby but he comes back with his own foreign object. Sheik has Abby's blood all over his arm. Headbutt by Abby. Great Mephisto runs in and just starts beating on Abby. Two-on-one beatdown. Who's this now? Tor Kamata? I think it's Tor Kamata who comes and helps Abby clear house.


That was cool while it lasted. Intense bloody brawl between two total maniacs. I wish we could have had a proper finish though, just for once. You can see Abby was a real hot commodity for AJPW here.




The Sheik & Jimmy Snuka vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Ricky Steamboat


Sheik has traded in Mephisto for Snuka. Jumbo looks ridiculous wearing a full-on Texas style jacket with stars on it. Steamboat looks great and has real star charisma. What a super-team! Jumbo and Steamboat! Snuka is enormous and stacked like a mofo.


This is an intriguing encounter, lets hope it doesn't just end after 5 minutes with a double CO.


Snuka and Steamboat start out and do a lot of "mirror" spots to get over how they are both jacked guys. Not long before the heels are using the cheap tactics and double teaming on Steamer though. Jumbo in and we get a double clothesline on Snuka who sells it big. Jumbo with a forearm. European Uppercut! He learned that from Dory! The jumping knee.


Jumbo is working in a much more "80s style" here than he is 70s-style, which is interesting considering it is only 1980. Steamboat works on Snuka's arm now and Jumbo comes off the top. They wrench the arm. Sheik sneaks over to try to pearl harbour Steamboat, but he cuts him off. Steamer tags back in and works the arm some more. Classic babyface tag tactics here, working the arm.


Sheik comes in now and is wild. All bites and chokes and ripping at Steamboat's pretty face. Snuka back in and he chokes Steamboat over the top rope. Steamboat comes back and hits his sweet elbow drop into Snuka's thigh. Jumbo in and he's working the leg now. Shoulder barge by Jumbo. And again. Leapfrog by Snuka. And the trademark chop. Drop kick. Bodyslam. Legdrop. Snuka has his working boots on here. Frog splash, and it hits!


Oh wow, that's 1, 2, 3!! And pin!


Clealry Jumbo is not quite yet the man, but wow, I wasn't expecting that. After the match, Sheik rips at Steamboat's face some more.


Really enjoyable match but it was 90% Snuka vs. the faces here. So nothing that is going to strengthen Sheik's case. Snuka could really go when he wanted to.




The Sheik vs Tiger Jeet Singh


Oh god, here we go again. Please don't be another mud match! Sheik has some real cool sinister music coming out here. Not sure what it is, but not a million miles away from Jake Roberts's theme. Sheik ambushes Signh before he can even make it to the ring with his foreign object.


This starts out a pretty heated brawl. Double juice already. Goes outside. Pretty chaotic. Sheik ends up with a table on his head and Singh rolls in for a very quick count out win.


Well at least it was short. Post-match Mark Lewin and Umanosuke Ueda both come out to help Sheik and beat on Singh. I think by 1981 Sheik was either too old or too drugged up to do much more than a 5-minute chaotic brawl with outside interference outside of tag matches. I think tags are where we're going to see any value that he had ater this point.



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The Sheik & Abdullah the Butcher vs The Destroyer & Mr.Wrestling


First real look at The Destroyer here, who I will be tackling soon. This is 1977 I believe, and The Sheik looks so much younger and more mobile than he would four years later. He aged ALOT in that time -- probably a combination of drugs, his business going down and age.


Doesn't help here that Detroyer and Tim Woods are wearing almost identical mask and gear. Mr. Wrestling has to be the slightly smaller one. Abby and Sheik double team him. Punches, bites, choke over the ropes. Destroyer in. Headlock. Irish whip by Abby but Destroyer slips under the bottom rope and out. He looks agile. Mr. Wrestling in. Throat shots by Abby. Action goes outside and all four men brawl outside.


Sheik and Mr. Wrestling back in. Shoulder charge by Wrestling. Shoulder charge by The Sheik. Elbow drop by Abby for 1, 2, 3.


This was decent. That couple of steps of pace and age make a hell of a difference when it comes to The Sheik. He's a complete shadow in 1981 of what he was even in 1977.




The Sheik & Abdullah the Butcher vs Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta


This is from RWTL 77 as well. Sheik does his prayer mat routine at the start. Abby and Baba to start and its all real slow psych-out stuff. Baba has longer hair than normal which looks strange. I had to look a couple of times to see if it was the right guy! Sheik sneaks in with the object and suckers Baba, which puts him down. Something about this looks off to me, doesn't look much like Baba! His arms aren't skinny enough, his hair is too long. Doesn't look alien enough. Jumbo is looking really stacked too.


This one devolves pretty quickly outside as The Sheik grabs a chair and nails Baba outside the ring. Chokes Jumbo in the middle, as Baba comes back in and hits hit big boot. Cover gets two with an Abby save. Sheik with chokes again.


Abby in and Baba looks quite nasty on offense. Jumbo in with a running knee. Abby goes down after a chop. Sheik grabs Jumbo from the outside though and chokes him. Then he cuts Baba off as Abby continutes to choke on Jumbo. Shoulder charge by Abby. Dumps Jumbo. Back in and Baba in. Stomps on Abby's head. Double teaming by the Japanese now.


Some back and forth. Sheik comes in. Disguised choke with the object. Baba goes over to slap his head. Jumbo with some forearms now. Headlock. Baba in. Headlock. Sheik lures him to the corner with Abby for doubleteaming. Snapmare by Baba. Stomp and a twist. Abby in to break. Sheik covers as Abby hits the elbow for 1, 2, 3.


Wow, pretty huge pinfall. Terry Funk is here and they immediately corner him and bloody his face. Bell rings like crazy as they beat on the bloodied Funk. Sheik keeps Baba away. Ring floods with young boys. I love this chaos, this was a feud for the ages.There are bodies everywhere, and Sheik is still choking Funk out with the tag rope. Dory is here now, and he has .... a stool!!! Bell still ringing like crazy. Abby headbutting Jumbo and Baba. Dory attacks Abby. It's wild out there. Terry is completely bloodied and staggering. They go after him again and he's doing the shaky leg sell. All of this makes that pay off at the end of the 1978 match all the more special.


Abby and Jumbo STILL going at it as Dory tries to protect Terry. Sheik is still going after him. Dory throws Sheik into a table. Terry is noodle legged and staggering. Abby still at ringside, he's not leaving. His face is covered in blood too.


God, I can barely remember the actual match, but the post-match is great and needs to be seen by anyone who has seen the tag matches that followed.


*** for the match, **** for the angle.


The Sheik & Abdullah the Butcher vs Kim Duk & Kintaro Oki


These two versus some lower card guys now and this is still the same tourney. Wild to start again outside the ring ... because The Funks are there and raising cain. Terry wants to fight and Dory is there too. This is the only time I've ever seen The Funks in the red All Japan gear at ringside.


Match starts and the heels have Duk isolated and work their usual cheapness. Chair shot outside by Sheik on Duk, pretty shiny chair too. Abby slams Duk's head into a table. Back in the ring. Camel clutch by Sheik as Abby kicks him in the face. Duk tries to come back but Abby cuts him off. Oki finally tags in and he's ready to fight. Abby is unphased. Headbutts by Oki. Abby takes him over to The Sheik who stabs him with the pencil, really lays it in before slipping it back down his boot. Duk back in. Abby with the headbutt. Dumps him. Sheik out and throws a chair at his head before rolling him back in. Bodyslam by Abby. Elbow drop. That'll do for three.


Really solid match which demonstrates the basic gameplan of these two cheating bastards. There is not even the suggestion that they are ever going to play fair!




The Sheik & Abdullah the Butcher vs Billy Robinson & Horst Hoffman


Abby has some swank black head dress to match Sheik's. The Sheik does his prayers and Billy Robinson mimics him and mocks him. Pretty disrespectful if you ask me. If Allah is real, Robinson is down there burining with Sheik.


Abby and Robinson to start and Robinson is pretty fired up and ready to fight. Uppercut. Headbutt, but he hurts his own head. And again. Full nelson by Robinson! Full nelson, you really don't see that alot. Hoffman in. Snapmare. Goes for a second but Abby blocks and hits a hip toss. Sheik in. Single leg takedown by Hoffan. Robinson mimics Sheik again with the chicken strut and hits a hamstring snap. Robinson is really goofing it up in this match as if to say "hey, look at these clowns, I can do gimmick too".


Sheik looks pissed and doesn't even try to disguise the pencil which he gives Robinson a real whack with, he goes down with a cool falling back bump. Another big shot by the Sheik. He's extra specially grumpy tonight, maybe Robinson's goofing annoyed him. Abby stomps on Robinson outside, who is struggling to get back in the ring. Sheik kicks him back out.


Eventually he gets back in and hits a massive forearm smash on Abby. Cover gets two. Sheik comes in and goes for a pencil attack. And again, dumps him. And we get our routine double CO finish and post-match brawl. Robinson wants to keep fighting and goes after Abby. Double noggin knocker between him and the Sheik, but they want no more and walk off.


Pretty interesting match this one. Robinson looked very good and showed he was more than willing to try to work the brawling style with these guys, even if it was tinged with mockery. Match did a good job of keeping everyone's heat. This looks like it was a really good tournament all-in-all.




The Sheik & Abdullah the Butcher vs Wahoo McDaniel vs Frank Hill


So this one is from the 1979 tournament. Obviously, they only had one match together in 1978 (vs. The Funks, Sheik got injured at the hands of Dory and Tor Kamata replaced him for the other matches). Frank Hill is Jules Strongbow. I can hear the Japanese commentator saying "Indian". As a small aside, I'd love to see Sheik and Abby beat the living shit out of Jay Strongbow.


Sheik with a throat shot on Wahoo. Frank Hill has the same "sack of shit" physique as Chief Jay Strongbow, they were a natural team in many ways. Feel sorry for Wahoo having to team with such a sub-par talent. Sheik decks him with the pencil and stabs his shoulder. Abby in. Double teaming until Wahoo comes in and smacks the shit out of Abby. Meanwhile, Sheik has the foreign object up Hill's nose.


Tomahawk chop by Hill. Sheik cuts him off and puts on a headlock, Abby in. Hill with some jobber offense, but Abby cuts him off. Sheik in. Bite. Wahoo in! Crowd excited. Chop. Abby in. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop. Collar and elbow tie up. Headbut by Abby. Chop on the top of Abby's head. Clothesline by Wahoo. But Sheik thorws a chair at him. Wahoo with the chair and nails Sheik. Nails Abby. Hip toss. Elbow drop. Cover gets two. Sheik in with an attack on the throat. Jobber Hill in with chops. Sheik with a disguised pencil shot. Abby in. Fallaway slam! Sheik in with another pencil shot on Hill. Camel clutch with the object. Choke with the object which also pins him.


Wahoo needs to get himself a better partner for the RWTL. I hope Hill ate every single pinfall in the tourney. They start a heel beatdown on Hill now and THE FUNKS run out in cowboy hats to make the save. They fight with the hats on. Cool! Wahoo still fighting. Hill out cold. Dory has one of them cowboy leather neck ties on. Full on brawl breaking out now.


Okay match, with another wild post-match, which has kind of been the theme of this run.






Watching through all this, it seems to me that Sheik reserved his big performances for the final match vs. The Funks in both the 77 and the 79 tournaments (and only had the one match in 78). Abby carries the bulk of the work, but you'd have to expect that because Sheik was 51 years old in 1977 whereas Abby was only 36. Sheik turned in some good performances for a 51-year old. He was a good 15 years past his prime. As such, I wonder if we can really get a measure of him from any of this stuff, I'd like to see more of him from around the time of that match vs. Tom Jones, which I'm guessing is 60s. Looks like there is some more Detroit stuff coming up, but the next disc looks like it is full of ECW and FMW stuff. Pretty sad that he was wrestling into his 60s (and 70s!!) -- but then again Thesz wrestled till he was very old, Dory and Terry still get in the ring from time to time and the list goes on. Still, he was old in 1981, let alone the bloody 90s!

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  • 3 months later...

The Sheik vs. Ricky Steamboat (6/11/81)


I was one of the few people who really dug the 1980 match that was on the All Japan set, well let's see what this 81 rematch was like. This uploader from YouTube seems to be upping matches exclusively that I don't have. Pretty amazing. This isn't on my Sheik set either.


Sheik takes forever to actually get in the ring. Huge amount of stalling and chicken dance antics. Eventually we get a headlock takeover. Steamboat was one sexy man in 1981. He cranks the headlock like Martel. Surprisingly clean match so far. But as I say that, Sheik gets out his pencil and starts stabbing Steamer in the back. Steamboat's OTT selling does a great job of getting this over as a real threat.


Steamboat shows great fire and let's out a roar, true young lion. Ref tries to get pencil off him as Sheik rams him I tot he post. He gets an actual broom and starts beating him with it. Ha ha ha. "Think you're a broomstick worker Steamer?! Eat this!" Blood everywhere now. It's splattered in a cool way. But it is Sheik who is bleeding. Steamboat chokes him with the broom. Oh shit. Sheik nails the ref with a broken bottle! Steamboat comes back. Grabs a chair and roars and starts decking Sheik with it. The bell goes. But it doesn't matter, all out brawl as a possessed Steamboat chokes the Sheik. Great selling by Sheik here. Bell is ringing and ringing. All control lost.


Not quite as epic in its BS awesomeness as the 1980 match, but still a ton of fun. Steamboat was a great opponent for Sheik, young, good looking, clean cut, against this cheating prick old man. It's a great dynamic. I loved this.



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The Sheik vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (7/6/79)


This isn't even listed as a TV match, so mind boggling how we have it. It must have been on TV because we have full commentary. Sheik immediately bails and goes into the sea of chairs. He's bleeding already, just from the opening exchanges. Jumbo bails because Sheik clearly has a weapon of some sort. It's not the pencil, but a chunkier object. Jumbo wants the weapon gone.


As the ref grabs the weapon off him and throws it, he reveals the pencil and stabs Jumbo repeatedly in the head. Sheik is so sneaky! He's the ultimate cheating bastard. Slams Jumbo into a table. Chokes him out on a chair outside. Sheik seems to fixate on someone in the crowd. He's demented and must have been scary for marks to see. Jumbo goes after him and even stands on a table. He has the weapon from before and is nailing Sheik with it. Goes for a butterfly. Sheik resists, it's not happening. Stabbing with the pencil now. Sheik goes outside and just randomly starts beating the crap out of a young boy. He has ... A hammer! A hammer for fuck's sake! It's a wooden mallet. He nails this young boy with it and that draws the wrath of Baba who comes out to save the young boy, who is a bloody mess. Sheik runs away giving a dazed Jumbo the win.


I really enjoyed this. Sheik is the ultimate smoke and mirrors wrestler and as long as he has a good opponent like either of the Funks, Steamer or in this case Jumbo, the results are usually really fun. After the match he stalks about the crowd chasing fans who run away from him. I love this antics, they are hilarious to me. I don't get why others aren't into this style of BS is a bit more, but there we are. There's a big difference between this and the five minute fireball abortion crap from Detroit I was reviewing earlier in this thread.



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  • 11 months later...
  • 2 months later...

The Sheik vs Abby match is from 12/1980 according to a comp that I have. As crazy and out of control as this match was, there is a follow up tag match that was pure pandemonium. Abby & Tor Kamata vs Sheik & Mephisto, I think during the RWTL, could be wrong on that though. Anyhow, it's a fantastic follow up to the singles match. The parts where they are brawling through the fans looks like a riot may break out. The fans are going absolutely nuts!

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