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Superstar Sleeze

[1985-10-14-Mid South-New Orleans, LA] Dick Murdoch vs Butch Reed

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Mid-South North American Champion Dick Murdoch vs Mid-South TV Champion Butch Reed - Mid-South 10/14/85


I watched this way back when with the September match, but never got around to writing a review for this. I remember liking this as much as the September match and I liked that a whole lot.


First 15 minutes: Reed's TV title is only on the line for the first 15 minutes. I don't know why Watts insisted or who insisted Reed work holds. He is not as good as everyone else at it. He would be great as a power wrestler. They trade side headlocks early with good struggle. A battle over a top wristlock leads to Reed grabbing an armbar. This would be the hold du jour. Reed's arm work is good, but not great like Murdoch's in the previous encounter. I did like this way better than the headlock Flair match. Murdoch's facial expressions and struggle make this a lot better. He is looking for the ropes and really sells the pain once it is released. He is trying to combat Reed with big elbows to the top of the head. Everytime they lock up, Reed punches the bad arm and Capn Redneck is getting pissed! 5 minute time call and Murdoch avoids the punch and grabs a small package. I love that spot. Reed grabs the arm and this all makes sense. Reed is trying to wait out the 15 minute time period while setting himself up to win the North American Title later. Really smart strategy. Murdoch finally makes in roads with elbows to the top of the head, but Reed sits out of the front facelock to grab a hammerlock. Murdoch backs Reed into the corner and reigns down heavy blows while selling the bad arm. Reed is discombobulated. Atomic drop. Only one minute remains! Murdoch cant get the pin, big punch in the side headlock. He is whacking Reed in the back of the head. Feigns brainbuster for another small package. They standoff and Murdoch resigns himself to not winning the TV Title. If the match ended here as a draw, I would say this was easily great. Reed dominated with arm work, Murdoch sold and fought back and they worked to a strong finish. The match does not end here. Murdoch has a bad wing and it is not just his title on the line.


Last 15 Minutes: Holy Shit! This was what I am talking about! World-Class Selling throughout. For limb psychology marks like myself, it does not get better than Murdoch working the leg in response to Reed working the arm. It is an absolute war of attrition. Before the dueling limb psychology there is a really fun tit for tat piece of psychology I got to point out. Murdoch had been really clobbering Reed and up until that point Reed had restrained himself. On a criss cross, Reed popped him one good. Murdoch's selling is I don't know I don't have words to describe it. Perfect. That what it is. It is perfect. Watch this match for that one moment. Mrudoch gets his receipt on the next criss cross and Reed sells great like a babyface should. Murdoch uses the bottom rope to stomp Reed before finally zeroing in on his target, Reed's leg to take away his power. Reed is incredible selling this. He is trying to fight back in the corner, but he looks helpless. Love this. Murdoch grabs a toehold and Reed starts to kick at the bad arm. Oh Fuck Yes! Reed starts yanking at the bad arm and Murdoch collapses in pain. Reed collapses with a knee on Murdoch's bad arm and then sells his own knee. Another time, he kneelifts Murdoch and Murdoch sells his face so well while Reed has to sell his knee. This is why I love pro wrestling! Reed attacking the arm and Murdoch is attacking the leg each trying their best to gain the advantage. Murdoch applies the figure-4 and I actually feel like this could be the finish because of the selling! Reed breaks it with raw power and uses the ropes to hold himself up to kick Murdoch away. Murdoch hits a knecrusher for two. Reed hoists him up for a powerslam, but bumps the ref. Murdoch gets an O'Connor Roll, but no ref, now Reed gets his own and wins the CHAMPIONSHIP! The crowd goes insane for this!!! Murdoch shows his respect for the new champ.


The last 15 minutes were wrestled at a ***** level. I thought finish was just slightly weak and the first 15 minutes while they set up last 15 minutes well just weren't there. Easy top 5 Mid-South match and Top 50 US Match of the 80s. A definite must watch. Every aspiring wrestler NEEDS to watch the last 15 minutes of this. ****3/4

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The first half of this match is made by Murdoch's selling, and the second half by the selling from Reed. Reed's performance in the second half of this match is as good as it gets. I'm with you on the rating ****3/4. It's hard to choose a favorite between this and 9/22, but I think as a personal favorite I still would go with the first one. Every blow in that match is so devastating, and they both feed off each other selling the fatigue and crushing blows at every turn. I also love how chaotic the finish becomes in that match. However, as far as war of attrition (as Sleeze put it), or limb selling, this match is top tier. I feel like these two matches are so unique. I think it probably has a lot to do with the uniqueness of Murdoch, but I just haven't seen many matches quite like theirs. They really mesh well with each other.

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