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[1985-12-29-Houston Wrestling] Dick Murdoch vs Ted DiBiase

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Dick Murdoch vs Ted DiBiase - Houston 12/27/85

 

This is a result from the one of the hottest Mid-South angles of all time that successfully executed the double turn of the hated Ted DiBiase and the former North American champion Dick Murdoch. A quick synopsis is that Murdoch was pissed DiBiase got a NWA World Title shot against Flair and right before the match, Murdoch beat the living shit out of DiBiase bloodying him up and nailing him with Brainbuster. DiBiase proved he is all-man and came out to wrestler Flair with a giant bandage. DiBiase was ripshit that Murdoch cost him a title shot and so they went around the loop.

This match is joined in progress and also the finish stretch is an exact replica of the OKC 12/31, which we have in full. I think this is a great match, but ultimately does feel incomplete and seeing the complete match from OKC it renders this one useless. I will focus on the middle of the match that was different. Murdoch is kicking ass with solid heel offense in the form of stiff strikes, stomps and elbows. DiBiase as a babyface is interesting, he shows good fire and selling, but is being overwhelmed. They bust each other open. When DiBiase misses a fist drop, they go into the finish sequence. It is a great match, but seeing the complete match is what needs to be seen.

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This is pretty epic stuff. This is coming off of the famous Ric Flair/Ted Dibiase/Dick Murdoch angle. So we get this grudge match. Dick attacks before Teddy can even get in the ring. Murdoch is beating on him and both guys are throwing bombs. Soon Murdoch moves onto the neck that put Ted on the shelf for a bit. The work on the neck is really rugged. Those turnbuckles shots looked absolutely sickening. Teddy is now bleeding and Dick is working the cut. The cut bleeds more and more as the cut is worked over. Ted fights him off and he's throwing punches. Dick is bleeding . Ted loads the glove and does a picture perfect fist drop. He misses though and hits the mat. Ted is selling the hand. Actually both guys are selling like they've been in a war. Dick goes for the brain buster but Ted slips away and nails him with the loaded glove for the win. Ted's leaving and Masked Superstar sucker punches him and roughs him up. Dick delivers a brain buster and lays out Murdoch. I never understood why we transitioned out of the singles feud into a tag feud so quickly. None the less the match is worked perfectly off the angle, and then we get a great post match angle to take the feud in another direction. 4 3/4*

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It's listed as 12/27/85 on the set. 12:00 segment, opens on Murdoch whaling on Ted in the corner, with the "five minutes elapsed" call coming at about 2:00 aired. Finished #19, four spots behind the 12/31 match.

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Got this recommendation from MattD in the Secret Santo thread, and a damn fine one it was!

 

Having the match in full shows what a shame it is that the NWA on Demand service is no longer releasing this kind of stuff. Murdoch was an absolute beast in this, his extended heat segment was full of cool, violent looking offence. One of my favourite parts was when he rammed the back of Dibiases head into the buckles, a seemingly simple spot but looked great in the way it was delivered and sold. Ted was at the top of his game in 85, and kept up with Murdoch as well, and when it was time for the comeback matched the intensity level. I love Murdochs stagger sells of punches, Ted really had to move to get into position to strike him again rather than being fed in a contrived way. Dibiases Texas jab combo looked great as well.

 

When they go outside, Dick hits him in the back of the head with the point of a chair a couple of times, which he made look career ending but were probably totally safe. Im probably underselling these shots, to me they looked more brutal and painful than most of the shots in ECW, just without the concussions.

 

The finish was great, after Ted kicks out of the awesome calf branding, he really makes a show of weiggling his hand and adjusting the glove so the back of the arena could see it. He gets out the back door of the brainbister and hits Murdoch with a great punch for the 3.

 

What a match! THIS is how you do a grudge match, just super intense and violent but also with great transitions and story. The match really compliments the angle that set it up, and the post match makes you look forward to the upcoming tags. I could watch this type of wrestling all day.

 

****1/2

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Thanks to you know who for the hookup!

Dick Murdoch vs Ted DiBiase - Houston 12/29/85

Thanks to NWA Classics we have the full match. Not to be a downer, this is a classic and should be watched, but I dont think it is that terribly different from the Oklahoma City on New Years Eve and I think both matches are great. Murdoch with his jacket still on tries to jumpstart the match as DiBiase enters the ring. DiBiase roars back and hits a powerslam. Cap'n Redneck retreats. In something I cant believe I missed in the Oklahoma City match, Murdoch starts to work the neck and DiBiase immediately crumples. I thought this was to soften up DiBiase for the Brainbuster, but it is obvious that it is because of the Brainbuster that already happened back in November from the Flair angle. DiBiase's neck is an easy target. Again DiBiase is able to punch his way out of trouble and Murdoch has to retreat. DiBiase's selling is so great in this match that I think he may have been wasted being a heel a majority of his career. He really could have been something special as a lead babyface.  The complexion of the match changes when Murdoch rams DiBiase into the turnbuckle (no real pad...more of just plastic tape) and then violently smashes the back of DiBiase's head into the turnbuckle! Amazing selling here from Ted. In a match with Dick Murdoch, it can be hard to stand out for facial expressions just because Dicky is so good, but DiBiase is really selling well. Murdoch busts DiBiase open. Lots of elbows and punches. DiBiase begins throwing bombs of his own. Murdoch is so good at selling. I love Murdoch's purposely whiffed punches to get over that he has taken a lot of damage. DiBiase fist drop busts Murdoch open. DiBiase looks to finish by loading his glove his infamous glove but misses the fist drop. He is in a great deal of pain and this enables Murdoch to kick some serious ass. He drops DiBiase over the railing neck first and then jabs him with a steel chair. One thing that is helpful from NWA Classics is the vastly improved video quality, which I think is enhancing DiBiase's selling. Murdoch rides him down like a surfboard driving his knee into the back of his neck but can only get two. He wants the Brainbuster, but DiBiase floats over and BANG! Nails him with the loaded glove for the win! Great satisfying finish. The Masked Superstar hits the ring and beats down DiBiase and Murdoch hits his brainbuster. My guess is they are continuing the feud in Houston as a tag team feud. 

Great slugfest, hate-filled grudge match. Definitely the war of attrition type, double juice, big time punches with a great finish stretch. Like I said I think this is just as good as the OKC match. They are so similar that I probably would not include both on a list and reading my review of the OKC match, there a couple transition touches that I think I liked better, BUT what this match has in spade is far superior video quality. I think the better video quality greatly enhances the experience and Ted DiBiase's phenomenal selling so I would recommend this match over the other. I would love to hear others' thoughts because I think both matches are very similar and very great. ****1/2

 

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