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Extras 1982 - 1983

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​Buddy Rose Feature (9/25/82):

 

​We've seen the vast majority of this footage before, but to hear it set to the likes of Diana Ross and Olivia Newton-John makes for an entirely new experience. For the record, the only two parts that definitely seem new are the opening which compares Buddy to Mt. St. Helens and the footage of him playing hockey.

 

As nice as it is to see Buddy as a face for a change of pace, he's more at home as a heel, and it's no wonder Owen eventually turned him back. Not even Ric Flair played the jet-setting playboy as well as Buddy did, and it's a shame that wrestling ignored classic heels like him for the most part in the expansion era in favor of more over-the-top characters and monsters with size and not much else. Forget the WWF; not even Verne, who prided himself on his basic approach to the business, found a way to use this man to everyone's best advantage.

 

As much as I like the Rose/Somers team, Buddy had potential for so much more in a promotion that was desperately in need of a figure that could have set it apart. Would Buddy have saved the AWA from extinction? No, of course not. But he'd have been a damn fine challenger for Bockwinkel in '86, and he might have made a more believable mentor figure for Curt during the first days of his heel turn than Zbyszko did (and I like Larry).

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​Portland Wrestling News Feature (6/11/83):

 

​This piece made the wrestling fans of Seattle look like a bunch of bloodthirsty hillbillies. Almost all of them ​sounded ​like hillbillies too, come to think of it. I guess if you didn't know what wrestling is really about, or if you knew and thought it was ridiculous, you'd have gotten a laugh out of this. But it's not meant for the serious fan who knows all about how wrestling works (or thinks they do) and loves it anyway, like we do on this board. There weren't a whole lot of fans like us back in June of 1983, but I'll bet there were more than the media (or promoters like Owen, for that matter) cared to admit.

 

There's one saving grace: We don't have a smarmy narrator telling us what idiots the people being interviewed are for liking wrestling. The anchor sounded a bit condescending, but that could have been her natural on-air presentation. The action clips we got looked good, and most of the people seemed to be having a good time, regardless of their perceived intelligence level.

 

Abut the "smartest" fan we saw was the one who knew about blading, or at least acted like he did. My other favorite was the white-haired old lady who claimed that there wasn't a wrestler alive whom she was afraid of. I'll bet a lot of the boys were afraid of ​her, ​though!

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​Rose vs. Hennig (5/14/83):

 

​This didn't have time to develop into much of a match, but what we saw here was passable, especially Buddy's work on Curt's previously injured knee, which I'm sure would have been a much bigger part of the match had it lasted longer.

 

Once again, the unsung hero of this bout has to be Sandy Barr. Taking an elbow across the back from Buddy was bad enough, but to take a dropkick from Curt just a minute or so later was really going above and beyond the call, even for a former worker. I've asked this before, but was Sandy the only referee in the Portland area, especially for televised bouts?

 

Buddy going nuts with chairs and ramming poor jobbers into posts is a side of him we don't see too often, but it fit here under the circumstances, as did his interview where he claimed that he didn't care that he got disqualified. He was clearly just happy to leave the ring after a match with Curt in one piece.

 

I don't for a minute believe that Buddy was just two-thirty for this bout, even allowing for the normal fudging of weights. You may want to update your weight information, Don.

 

I know it doesn't really matter to the Portland audience, but it was hard not to laugh when Coss talked about Flair setting records at MSG; he'd only been there once in his life (3/1/76) and beaten Pete Sanchez in the second or third match.

 

The amount of questionable language these guys get away with continues to surprise me. This time, it's Billy Jack calling Buddy a faggot. That's a word you almost never hear in full on TV, even in 2016. (A few sitcoms, such as ​All in the Family, ​got away with the term "fag", but I highly doubt that the entire word would have made it past too many censors.)

 

Nice to hear Dutch applauding Piper for his tirade against the reporter earlier in the program. I wonder if the poor guy tried to retract or at least clarify what he wrote after being publically embarrassed so thoroughly.

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​Haynes/Oliver Weightlifting Contest:

 

​This might be the most legitimate-looking weightlifting contest I've ever seen in wrestling. I thought sure that Oliver would jump Billy Jack at some point like he apparently had the last time they did this, but he didn't. It also seemed more legit because they weren't trying for records, unofficial or otherwise. One of the last vestiges of my markdom was that I actually believed that Dino Bravo's try for the world bench press record at the '88 Royal Rumble was at least semi-legit. Imagine how I felt when I found out that there wasn't even four hundred pounds on the bar!

 

Coss and Savage really played up the drama surrounding Billy Jack's bad elbow. I'm guessing that it was a legitimate injury of some kind, because it would be almost impossible for someone as new to the business as Billy Jack was then to sell it while still attempting to lift the weight. Even if it was ​just a sales job, it was a masterful one for someone so inexperienced.

 

Who knows whether the amount on the bars was legit or not, but Oliver looked impressive regardless. He's not really known as a power guy, but he seemed really at home on the bench. I liked him giving Billy Jack one more chance at 355 after he failed the first time; of course, the idea was that he knew Billy Jack couldn't lift it due to his bad arm, but it's still something most heels don't do in a situation like this.

 

I'd have loved to have seen the match between Buddy and Curt for the Northwest title and the battle royal money. I've never heard of a time-limit draw in a battle royal before, but you learn something new every day, I guess. I would have thought that they'd continue the match after the show went off the air and show the finish on tape the following week.

 

Line of the Segment goes to Billy Jack when he addressed Oliver before the contest: "I'm the barbell and you're the dumbbell, just like last time."

 

Runner-up goes to Dutch for imploring Don Owen to show the money for the contest to the camera. Was that his sneaky way of calling Owen a cheapskate?

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​Piper/Haynes vs. Flair/Oliver:

 

​I was going to say that I felt cheated when I heard time remaining calls being given in the first fall, but as it turned out this was extremely satisfying, Not only does Billy Jack establish himself as a top contender for the World title by getting Flair to submit in the first fall, but he and Piper have the cleat visual advantage when time runs out during the second fall.

 

Both teams got in some good teamwork in the first fall, particularly the faces when they worked over Oliver's arm. I would have liked to see the match played out in full, because although what we got from Flair and Oliver was good, there just wasn't time for enough of it.

 

Who was commentating with Coss? It sure didn't sound like Stasiak, and even though the guy said he wreslted in British Columbia for eight years, I'm betting it wasn't Gene Kiniski either.

 

When you're the only game in town, you really don't need to talk about your prices being lower than those on the East Coast. I guess it made the fans feel good that Owen supposedly cares about them enough not to gouge them, but given who was in the ring I could have stood for a lot more talk about the wrestlers instead.

 

Billy Jack looks really weird without his full beard, which I guess came later. From what I've learned about him, 1983 almost had to be his first full year in the business, which makes it even more of a surprise that Flair put him over so cleanly, even in a tag match.

 

The crowd was extra hot for this, which proves that it is ​a good idea to have the World champion on television occasionally, despite what conventional wisdom might say.

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​Rose-Schultz Cage Match:

 

​This was a pretty basic match, but these two have never been known for their chain wrestling.

 

I liked how Frank made such a big deal out of the fact that seeing a cage match on TV was so rare. It not only put this match over as special, it encouraged those fans who liked what they saw to come down to the House of Action on Tuesdays for more action just like it. His warning about blood was just a tad late, as he acknowledged. I actually expected a bit more than we got, but a gorefest would have been nearly unairable even late at night, so they were right to err on the side of too little

 

From the If He Wasn't the Boss, He'd Be Fired Dept.: "Dr. J" David Schultz? Did Don Owen make egregious errors like that too often as a ring announcer? On the plus side, I liked his snide comment about being "forced" into airing this match on TV.

 

The camera shots that showed Oliver and Sawyer handcuffed were not only poorly timed, they were just plain poor. Since I paid for these discs, I can say this: I paid to watch a wrestling match, not two stationary wrists handcuffed together.

 

Buddy wasn't the only one to do WWF TV tapings while wrestling somewhere else; in fact, that was rather common even into the early expansion era, when most of the JCP guys (Piper, Valentine, Steamboat, etc.) worked arena dates for Crockett in early '84 while simultaneously going to Allentown and Hamburg for ​Championship and All-Star ​tapings respectively.

 

I didn't get the hubbub surrounding the finish. This was clearly stated by Frank to be a no-DQ match, so Oliver passing Buddy the brass knucks was legal, if not ethical. The only problem I have came in retrospect: since I knew Buddy would wrestle again in Portland, it became a matter of how​ he would win; the suspense was, if not eliminated, shifted a good bit,

 

Nice four-way brawl at the finish. Was this it for Dave in Portland? I know he was in the AWA going after Hogan not too long after this. I guess at least his part of the feud with the Army was transferred to Sawyer.

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