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Extras 1980 - 1981

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​Matt Borne Interview (10/17/81):

 

​This interview concerns one of the wildest matches I've ever heard of, if it goes the way I think it does. We've all heard of the Duggan-DiBiase steel cage tuxedo coal miner's glove match from Mid-South, but this is just as wild. The loser has one of three choices: leave Portland, have his head shaved, or turn face/heel. That would be a hard choice for any wrestler: lose your pride, your reputation, or your right to make a living.

 

Matt's excellent here, as he compares himself to Luke Spencer from ​General Hospital​ in order to offset Buddy comparing himself to J.R. Ewing from ​Dallas. ​He takes the comparison stuff a little far, especially since a lot of fans may not have watched General Hospital ​enough to know what he's talking about. But his anger and dislike for Buddy, brother-in-law or not, come through loud and clear. Between this set and the Yearbooks, I'm becoming a huge Matt Borne fan.

 

Tough Tony's not the talker his son is, and he's also trying to stay neutral at least a little for his daughter's sake, But I believed him when he said that he, as the head of the Borne family, would make sure that the loser would honor whichever stipulation he chose.

 

I hope to learn more about this match from the contract signing we'll see later in the disc. I'm not sure why Buddy didn't put up something of his own right off the bat, and I'm also not sure who picks which losing stip is enforced, the winner or the loser.

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​Buddy Rose Divorce Interview (10/24/81)​:

 

I know that quite a few marriages last less than a year, but three months, and with Buddy and Matt feuding at the time to boot? I have a sneaking suspicion that the whole marriage was part of the angle, complete with real-looking (but not real) wedding. Of course, it's just as possible that the divorce was kayfabed so the character of Playboy Buddy Rose could go back to normal (what's a playboy without beautiful women?) while the real-life Paul Perschmann could remain married in peace. I doubt we'll ever know for sure, and does it really matter?

 

I've never heard Stasiak talk before, and he's not bad for an old-fashioned tough-guy heel. Masters comes across as a bit stiff, but he's supposed to be a muscleman, so it's not that big a deal.

 

Using a steel bar to break a full nelson? Nice way to get over the hold. I don't know if it's original, but I've never heard of it being used before. It makes sense that Masters' grip can use such strength that his fingers lock and are unable to break the hold in time to avoid the DQ. We see something similar with the figure-four leglock, where the ref has to physically step in and break the hold because the guy using the hold is applying so much pressure that his legs can't move.

 

Again with the soap opera comparisons? No wonder Frank was more than a little put out, especially since he's already said on camera that he's a friend of the Borne family (and that's probably true in real life as well).

 

So the loser in the triple stip match gets to choose which one is enforced? Interesting that Buddy would choose to leave Portland, and since we already can see by the disc listings that he's not going anywhere, I'll be waiting to see which one Matt chooses and how it impacts him.

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​Buddy Rose and Matt Borne Contract Signing:

 

​Actually, the first part of this is a promo featuring Buddy and Mike Masters, with Buddy complaining about how Borne's outside interference cost him the Pacific Northwest title. We finf out that new champion Steve Regal won't give Buddy a rematch, so Masters is next up.

 

They're still pushing Masters' full nelson as a crippler, and we see the baby oil that will supposedly loosen his grip. Eight to five says that that oil finds its way into someone's eyes before too long.

 

Masters is slightly better on the mic here, but he's not to the point where he doesn't need Buddy or someone else as his mouthpiece. I guess Regal (Mr. Electricity of AWA dame, not His Lordship of WCW fame) had red hair and freckles at this time, because he gets the patented Howdy Doody nickname, just like Bob Backlund.

 

Buddy's speech about needing to maintain one's self respect in order to be called a man might have been inspiring if it wasn't being delivered by such a louse. That's the beauty of Buddy; eighty percent of the time, his promos are delivered in a perfectly reasonable tone, and while they're self-aggrandizing, they're not unwatchably so. It's his actions in the ring that cement his reputation as a total scumbag. This is what Ric Flair should have been (in his own way, of course), instead of the screaming, "Whoo!"-ing fool he became so famous for.

 

At the end of the promo, Buddy calls for the contract of the triple stip match. Both he and Matt sign it, and we're on. As I mentioned above, Buddy makes his choice clear (leaving Portland), but Matt doesn't. The two of them keep trash-talking as Frank throws it to break. I think it's spoiled later in the disc which stip Matt chose to have enforced, and I'm interested to see just how loyal a member of the Army he turns out to be.

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​Kim Song Karate Demonstration (9/26/81)​:

 

First of all, is this supposed to be someone we know? in one interview on this disc, Buddy refers to him as "Chung Lee". I'm trying to picture this guy with hair, but I doubt he's Tiger Chung Lee (the only Chung Lee I can think of). Whether it was legit or not, the bruise on his head (supposedly from practicing the headbutt we saw) looked nasty.

 

Interesting that Buddy offered Borne a managerial contract, supposedly at Toni Rae's behest. I liked that he put most of his toughest opponents over, which a lot of heels don't do, especially with bitter enemies (such as Piper in Buddy's case). To put Borne in the class of guys like Piper and Andre is high praise indeed coming from the Playboy.

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​Kim Song Karate Demonstration:

 

​We've seen the stuff with the bricks before from almost every guy with a karate gimmick; even Ricky Steamboat did it once. The thing is, it can ​be done legitimately; I saw a Johnny Carson rerun not too long ago where he had an actual self-defense expert do the same thing. He didn't hit the guy in the head with a chair, however.

 

Line of the segment goes to Buddy, of course: "I can hear you people out there going, 'Please don't tell me they're going to start hurting and crippling people again.' Well, I hate to tell you this, but we're going to start hurting and crippling people again." His matter-of-fact tone makes it hilarious. Anyone who wants to be a heel should watch guys like him and Nick Bockwinkel to find out how to be the scum of the earth without sounding like a raving lunatic.

 

I didn't know ramming people's heads into chairs outside the ring was actually legal in Portland. Thanks for the bulletin, Buddy! :D

 

I'd forgotten that they actually did a separate show for Seattle until Frank mentioned that they were going to have a separate karate demonstration. I hope some of the matches on this set come from that show, assuming that they have different matches from the Portland show.

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Borne Joins the Army (10/31/81)​:

 

I didn't expect Borne to actually have justification for joining up with Buddy; I thought they'd still be at each other's throats even while they were on the same side. It's too bad that we didn't actually see the mistakes Regal made, and it's also too bad we don't have an answer from Regal on the set.

 

Matt must have taken heel promo lessons from his dad, because he sounds like a natural. You'd have never known that he and Regal had been tag team partners less than a week ago, and you would also never have known that he and Buddy had spent the last six months (by Buddy's count) trying to cripple each other. The two of them look totally comfortable with each other here, and I believe Matt when he says that he's going to put a hundred and ten percent of his effort toward being a member of the Army and earning Buddy's trust.

 

I continue to be impressed by how Buddy acts like an actual leader would while still being such a vile heel. When was the last time you ever heard of a manager who still wrestles regularly admit to learning from his men the way Buddy admitted to learning from Stasiak? He also promises to learn from Matt even as he teaches him. I don't even think Flair and the Andersons talked like that during the Horsemen's heyday. Mind you, I'm not nominating Buddy for Humanitarian of the Year, just pointing out that there are certain admirable qualities in his leadership style.

 

I can't wait to watch the talk show clips to see how the Rose-Borne situation played itself out in the Portland mainstream media,

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​Live at Noon (10/21/81):

 

​The guys seemed really relaxed here without breaking kayfabe. Things got slightly chippy when Buddy mentioned how he was kept out of the Pacific Northwest title tournament that Regal won, but other than that everyone seemed to be in a good mood.

 

The problem with the interviewers on these shows is that I can never tell if they're fans who are just asking questions in a way non-fans can understand or if they're simply clueless about the business. For example, the female interviewer asked Stasiak if he thought the heart punch was fair. That's the type of question a fan may ask, but when a so-called professional asks it, it usually means that they either have never watched wrestling or have in the past and don't understand it.

 

I liked Stasiak inflating his WWWF World title reign just a bit. Hey, unless someone was reading the mags eight years ago (1973), how would they know if he was telling the truth one way or the other?

 

I suspect the story about Stasiak almost dying because Andre stepped on his stomach to be somewhere between a wild exaggeration and out-and-out bullshit. It was a nice way to put over both his own toughness and Andre's physical might, though.

 

I got a laugh out of how Borne answered the fan's question about whether Buddy was the same in real life as he was on TV. Hey, if anyone ought to know, it's his own brother-in-law. I don't think Buddy liked it too much, though.

 

Somehow, I don't think that the first time Matt heard about Buddy divorcing Toni (assuming that it was a legit divorce) was on the show. The more I think about it, the more I tend to believe that the marriage was legit and the divorce was kayfabed (at least at that time) to allow Buddy (or, more properly, Paul) a life outside the ring and put a little more juice into the Rose-Borne feud. Of course, I could be wrong. Matt kind of brushed it off when he heard, which would have bothered me if I'd been watching in real time. You just heard that your sister's being dumped and all you can worry about is whether you'll join forces with your soon-to-be ex-brother-in-law? Why didn't you punch his lights out, or at least cuss him out or yell at him?

 

Most of the other questions were typical fan questions. I liked Matt admitting that there are some theatrics involved in wrestling without getting into the whole "real vs. fake" debate and either coming off as delusional or biting the hand that feeds him.

 

The George Steele question was a bit weird, since as far as I know he never wrestled in Portland. The guy who asked it must have been on vacation from either Detroit or someplace on the East Coast. I liked Stasiak actually calling George out a bit, although it (presumably) never led to anything.

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​Live at Noon (8/26/81):

 

​There's nothing really new in the first part of this; the only revelation is that Don Owen supposedly pays his wrestlers if they're sidelined due to injury. Given that this is a public forum where kayfabe and good reputations are to be maintained at almost any cost, I'm not sure how true that was. If anyone knows for sure, please enlighten us.

 

The guy hosting this is coming across like he's barely seen a match in his life. I cringed at his first question ('Do you get hurt?") and haven't stopped since. Look, if you believe it's real, of course they get hurt. If you don't, there's always the possibility of an accident. It shouldn't be breaking news one way or the other.

 

I loved the commentary by both Matt and Buddy over the match clips we saw. The tension between them is evident, yet they show no signs of letting things degenerate into a brawl. I know that they were most likely cautioned against stuff like that, but there are certain guys who are in full belligerent promo mode any time they're in public. That doesn't seem to be the case with these two, and shows like this are better for it.

 

I liked how Buddy and Matt explained the pay scale and why it's more important to win than lose. I also got a kick out of Buddy saying that he wanted to retire by 1984 at the age of thirty (actually, thirty-two). I don't think any name wrestler has ever walked away of his own accord at such a young age. It's much more common for guys to overstay their welcome when they're older, as we all know.

 

Buddy's explanation of how the referee's count is supposed to work makes perfect sense. I liked Matt admitting that the team not doing the double-teaming (usually the faces, of course) would run in to make the save most of the time, thus allowing more time for potential illegal activities.

 

In general, I liked the two segments we've just seen. The wrestlers didn't come across as patronizing or condescending; they were as honest as kayfabe allowed them to be, and almost all of them, even the heels, came across as guys you'd want to share a meal with if the opportunity presented itself. They more than made up for the seeming cluelessness of the hosts (which, again, may have been a tool they were using in order to keep their questions to the kind of basic stuff that most fans would have liked to know about).

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