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Superstar Sleeze

[1986-08-30-AWA-Las Vegas, NV] Buddy Rose & Doug Somers vs Midnight Rockers

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AWA World Tag Team Champions Buddy Rose & Doug Somers vs Midnight Rockers - AWA TV 8/30/86


I really don't know how much I can say about the famous Bloodbath match that has not already been said, but I will try my best to explain why this may be the greatest American tag team match ever.


Shawn Michaels quick pinfall attempts. Superkick. Rose slams his head into the post and Michaels outside and taps a gusher. Awesome, awesome staggered selling and wild punches. Somers is nasty as fuck gnaw at cut spitting blood. Every hope spot is met with a jab to the cut. Jannetty tries to help, but no avail. The drama is ridiculous for Michaels to get to Jannetty. Jannetty gets in and nails everything that moves. He sends Somers into post twice to bust him open. Sherri distracts and Buddy buries the knee in the back. Buddy busts Marty open with pistons rights. It is a bloodbath. Buddy gnaws. Somers is fucked up. War of attrition. Michaels hanging from ropes on the arpon and just great selling. Somers with a seated dropklick finally gets Jannetty down, but kick out at 2. Jannetty taeks a swing at Buddy. Jannetty tumbles after missing to hit Somers. Somers great selling. Jannetty weird spurts spastic spurts of energy. Jannetty bits Rose. Shawn in and he is incensed from his own blood and Buddy is such a great chickenshit. Shawn fires off and full court press. It is a fracas. The ref is knocked down. Somers and Jannetty knock head.s Rose drops Jannetty onto a chair. OW!!! Two refs throw it out. Rose and Somers look to beat Michaels down, but AWA faces save. Michaels jumps Buddy on the outside in the classic moment. If you have not watched this, you must. Pitch perfect selling from the Rockers especially Michaels and great heel work from Rose & Somers working the cut. The epitome of drama! *****

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Secret Santo Submission

 

The only thing I recall seeing from this famous matchup is the cage match, which happens a few months later I think - maybe I saw it on the Legacy of the AWA set that I had about 10 years ago.
Shawn and Marty are 20 and 22? Wow. I am always happy to see Sherri - in this case, managing Rose/Summers, who get a lot of boos from the crowd. Terrific energy from this Showboat crowd before the match begins. Buddy plays it to the hilt, acting like the crowd are really pissing him off.
Early on, Shawn throws a superkick out of nowhere. It's pretty great. Sommers slams Shawn's face into the ring post, knocking him to the floor and drawing the first blood of the match. This is getting vicious. Shawn's FIP segment goes on for quite awhile - I like the way he stumbles and flails about. His crawling across the ring to try and reach Marty is great, and the crowd is fired up. Marty's hot tag, when it finally comes after nearly 10 minutes, is true House of Fire stuff; the crowd are eating it up.
Everyone is bleeding! In the end, Rose/Sommers get DQ'd and have to be chased from the ring by a locker room run-in. Greg Gagne gives a post-match interview about how he's never seen anything this like this in all his years in the business.
Aside from a few small rolls early on, there's none of the WWF Rockers' famous MOOVEZ. This is just old fashioned Heels vs Faces carnage. I think Michaels may be throwing the best-looking punches of his career right here.
Fantastic stuff. I have said before that I really enjoy the Midnight Rockers against an experienced heel team who can keep them in check and control the pacing when needed. We have that here. Sometimes the kids overdo things a bit - witness Marty's turn at being a flailing punchdrunk, which is just this side of "silly". But the whole thing comes together beautifully.

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I love how everything here is basic, but executed in a way that gets the biggest possible reactions.

 

From the early parts of the match where Shawn does his fiery babyface offense until he finally gets struck by Sommer, to the FIP segment and hot tag... just some well executed, fun tag match.

 

Blood truly enhances the drama sometimes. Rose and Sommers made two really young guys (Michaels wasn't even old enough to buy himself some booze) look like massive stars.

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A bit underwhelming. As pointed out above, the Rockers' only offense is punches and kicks, none of their trademark speedy moves or double teams. It's clear these teams hate each other (why?) and the blood gushes, but overall it felt anticlimactic. And for a match that's basically in the middle of their feud, the heels sure come off strong from beginning to end. 

Rose & Somers may cheat, but they dominate this match and neither Rocker ever has anywhere near an extended period of control. They don't even do anything that dastardly until after the match. And Sherri wasn't anywhere close to the presence she'd be with Savage. A Cornette-type at ringside would have gone a long way.

Crowd reaction was impressive and all involved looked good. It just didn't live up to its reputation.

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The crowd was going crazy from the start. Even before the guys started doing anything. And they carry that all the way through.  The Midnight Rockers show off their attheectlism, the fans clap like nothing. Rose and Somers speak in the corner, boos ring out. It’s great. Nothing is better than a loud crowd. The crowd gets even more loud once Shawn bleeds. Love Somers going right for the cut once he sees it, opening it up more with Shawn selling every punch like a million bucks - it might just be his best selling performance of his career. The beat down of Michaels is excellent. Aggression and ruthless. The build to the hot tag is amazing. Shawn gets a brief moment of chance but he is so hurt that he doesn’t make it to Marty in time. There is another point in the match where Michaels staggers to the wrong corner because he is so disoriented and it just makes you want the hot tag more and more. And when it comes, the roof is blown off. Jannett comes in like a house on fire and kicks some ass. Somers takes a heck of a beating with his head ramming into the post twice, getting busted open himself. The part where Shawn Michaels gets his payback for the beatdown Rose and Somers gave him earlier in the match was truly fantastic. The finish would normally be a downer but it added to the hatred of the feud and fit the story of the match perfectly. Fantastic match. ****3/4 

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Arguably the high point of a blood feud between a pair of young fan favorites and a veteran heel duo. Shawn initially impressed with his flashy, athletic offense but got busted open and was isolated from Jannetty. Rose and Somers gleefully punished a dazed Michaels for a solid chunk of time. A hot tag led to Somers and Jannetty himself bleeding and the match escalated into a chaotic brawl as tensions boiled over and, eventually, a double DQ was called. One of the finest US tags. ****3/8

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This was tag team psychology worked to perfection. Shawn starts this one out and gets some shine in. He gets a few near-falls in before he is driven headfirst into the ring post and bleeds a gusher. Shawn starts losing blood quickly and it's up to him to tag out or The Midnight Rockers will have to kiss their tag title shot goodbye. I used to find people who thought that Rockers Shawn was better than 2000s Shawn to be insane, but this match showed me what a hell of an undersized ass-kicker Shawn could be when the odds were stack against him. He throws some mean desperation shots trying to tag out and the crowd erupts when he finally gets to Marty. That was one of the most perfect hot tag segments ever. Marty also starts to bleed and all kinds of pandemonium breaks loose before the referee has to throw this one out. ★★★★★

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