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Superstar Sleeze

[1985-07-13-NWA-Worldwide] Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khrushchev vs Rock & Roll Express

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NWA World Tag Team Champions Ivan Koloff & Krusher Khrushchev vs Rock N Roll Express - JCP 7/9/85

You wouldnt know it based on the crowd, but this is the Rock N Roll Express' debut in Jim Crockett Promotions. The crowd acts like they have been their favorite team for years chanting Rock N Roll throughout the match and popping so big for the title change. It shows that while you may not have had every territory's TV, fans were aware of the other major stars.

 

This match is one of the best examples of Southern Style tag team wrestling and why the Rock N Roll Express are one of the truly great tag teams of all time. I think one thing this match has going for it that WWF tag team matche sorely lack is hope spots. It is just one hope spot after another during the Gibson heat segment. It builds to some incredible drama to when he will finally get the hot tag. I do think the heat segment gets a little long in the tooth and there were a couple too many hope spot, but I like more hope spots rather than having none at all.

 

They start the match off with power vs speed basics. Morton avoiding Krusher at every turn and even when gets caught with a bodyslam Morton has the presence of mind to move on the follow up elbow. It establishes the respective advantage of each team. The RnRs focus on Ivan's arm with standard babyface arm work. Ivan is able to bully Morton into his corner and they toss Morton around. I love when Morton gets a dropkick, Krusher immediately goes for the tag and then gets back to cut the ring off. That's really perfect tag team wrestling strategy. Morton is able to tag Gibson and now they work over Ivan's leg. there are some really fun spots with them rolling through the leg work into a double punch on Krusher. They do it again so he drops from apron so they turn around nail Uncle Ivan and then nail Krusher when he is back in the ring. Awesome!

 

Robert Gibson tries to charge Krusher in the corner and crashes the arm into the post. Morton is worried and the Russians smell blood. Ivan works the arm. I love the modulation of Gibson's selling he front loads his hope spots. Literally every spot at the beginning of this heat segment was hope spot and cutoff. We get Gibson going to wrong corner, Khrushchev hits turnbuckles., Gibson fight back form his knees, Uncle Ivan missing the big knee drop, Gibson bieling Uncle Ivan off the top rope, kicking Krusher on a telegraphed back body drop. Each cutoff saps Gibson's energy and morale. The Russian begin to ground Gibson with armbars and eye gouges. Gibson does not have as much fight in him. Simultaneously, the Russians keep blasting Morton off the apron and drawing him in the ring, which gives them double team opportunities. This is also David Crockett's finest hour as he just goes all in as the Rock N Roll's Express cheerleader. Highlights during the heat segment include "Whatta man!" and "GET OVER THERE AND MAKE THAT TAG!" The heat segment does go a little long for me and I started to lose interest. Finally, Gibson blasts Krusher with the knee. Morton comes in firing with dropkicks and he gets a sunset flip, but a melee has broken out. The Russians look to set Gibson up for the SIckle, but Morton comes in and hits a Victory Roll for the win and a massive pop! That is how you put over a debuting team! Devote an hour of team to them, let them have a kick ass match in their style with plenty of selling and then win the championship! A lot of people and myself included find it interesting that Gibson had the elongated face in peril role, but he knocked it out of the park in this one. I think if they shaved off some time from the heat segment and applied to the finish run this would be a contender for greatest tag team match of all time. ****1/4

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This is pretty incredible. JCP really had a knack of presenting matches as big and important on tv when the time was right. This had all the bells and whistles. 1st they show the belts, interviews from  both teams. Dusty,Jim Crockett, and Flair share words to put over the magnitude of the match.  Russian anthem plays with the Russians come out to. The Rock n Roll's music hit and the crowd cheers them like the stars that they are . I also think the Russians are one of the most underated teams in JCP. 

 

I love the opening cat and mouse. This establishes the size vs speed dynamic of the match. The Rock n Roll shine is great. They stay focused on the arm. Tagging in and out. Ivan was great at shining up the faces. A big elbow takes Morton down and we get a great section of FIP mixed in with some neat hope spots. The Russians really focus on the neck and back of Morton. This was super heated and was tremendous especially the pop Gibson's hot tag gets. Gibson runs wild and tries to chop down the Russians by targeting the leg. They stop Gibson and work him over. The finish is tremendous with the controlled chaos.

 

This match ruled. It was well worked. It was presented as being a big time match. It kept me the whole time. The dynamic ruled and made the Rock n Roll Express in JCP. 4 1/2*

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