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[1986-02-28-Houston Wrestling] Dick Slater vs Jake Roberts (No DQ, Dark Journey in Shark Cage)

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I'm a sucker for the manager in the shark cage above the ring. It never fails to dissapoint, and helps the box office. Jake/Slater might be my favorite Jake feud.

 

We see Jake target the arm. I like how Jake gets the gimmick over and keeps Journey relevant in the match. We see Jake using the post to soften up the arm. I'm a mark for limb work so this is heaven for me. Loving how Jake keeps going back to the arm. Slater with an eye rake, and he returns the favor and works Jake's arm. Slater wearing out Jake's arm with a chair. Crowd is totally with Jake. Jake is incredible selling that arm. We see Jake's boot come into play. Journey tosses a chain to Slater, but Jake gets it. He goes to use it but Slater back drops him out of the ring. Slater wallops Jake for the win. Super fun match, with some real good arm work and selling. 3 3/4*

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Pete, did you think the finish was a little anticlimactic? I thought that was the weakest part of the match.

 

Mid-South North American Heavyweight Champion Dick Slater vs Jake "The Snake" Roberts - Mid-South, Houston 2/28/86 No DQ, Dark Journey in a Cage

 

Slater had since won the championship back in the intervening weeks. Dark Journey is back, but it is neutralized by being in a cage high above the ring or at least that is the plan. I thought the body of this match was even better than their previous match, but the finish was a little lackluster so they are in a dead heat. The body sees really great dueling arm work. Jake is relentless on the arm at beginning wrapping it around the post a couple times. He is playing to the crowd and jawing with Dark Journey to keep his arm entertaining, but also he is keeping it moving. I thought he did a really nice job. Slater set himself up nicely to be cut off and brought back down by the arm. On the outside, Slater turns the tide by ramming Roberts shoulder first twice into the post. Slater works the arm beautifully. This is even better than Snake's arm work. Roberts arm gets trapped in the ropes and Slater smashes a chair into it. Dark Journey gives the thumbs up while the crowd hollers and boos. Jake sells the arm like a million bucks showing how much of an inhibition is for him as he tries to block punches or hit a kneelift. This is best selling I have seen in quite some time. Eventually, Snake goes back to what worked for him two weeks ago walloping Slater with his boot. Jake goes for the DDT, but Russian Legsweep by Slater and Dark Journey throws a chain down from her perch. They tussle over the chain, but eventually Slater comes crashing down on Jake the Snake to win the match. Now he holds all the gold!

Slater and Roberts worked their asses off in the body. Jake did a great job fighting through the pain. Everything was set up for a hot finish, but Slater just came crashing down off the top without the chain. I know top rope moves were a big deal in the Mid-South, but still it was kinda lame. If he had the chain, that would have been better. Awesome limbwork watch it for that. ****1/4

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