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Roddy Piper & Rick Martel vs. Luke Williams & Butch Miller (2/3 Falls) (5/3/80)

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​First fall: ​Piper and Martel show excellent tag team coordination, better than I've seen from either man in any tag match that they've ever been in. They make at least five switches without tagging, and Sandy is either distracted or chooses to let them by on the honor system. Their target is Luke's arm, which they destroy over the course of the fall. Luke tags Butch at least twice, but Sandy never sees it, and eventually Luke submits to a rather simple hammerlock from Piper just to give himself a respite. Rod and Rick lead one fall to none approximately eleven minutes (of disc time) into the contest.


The tags or lack thereof on each side are the major issue in this fall, and I can't blame Butch and Buddy (who's at ringside for the Sheeps) for being frustrated. Then again, they could just be mad that they're being beaten by their own tactics, as this is exactly how the Sheeps would have wrestled if they'd had the opportunity.


I knew that Martel had had enough experience in his career to be a good tag wrestler, but Piper surprised me here. I'm so used to the loner heel character who trusts no one that seeing him and Rick work like a well-coordinated babyface unit is more than a bit of a shock, as is seeing Piper actually work holds for an entire fall without even a hint of brawling.


I prefer the colorful outfits the Sheeps are wearing here to the singlet shirt and camouflage pants that they wore everywhere else. They were wearing that ensemble in Memphis in '82 and '83, which is the next stop where we have footage of them in this project.


Who wants to bet that Buddy gets involved somehow before this is all over, especially since his team's down a fall? There has to be a reason why he was allowed to stay at ringside, which doesn't happen often for managers in Portland.


I miss Don's ring introductions on this disc. They aren't exactly Finkelesque, but they definitely add to the whole atmosphere at the House of Action.


​Second fall: ​ This fall is almost all Sheeps, as Luke finally makes the tag, then he and Butch go to work on Martel. It only takes a series of elbows for Luke to get the pin on Rick, which ties the match up at a fall apiece with about eighteen minutes of disc time remaining.


I can't think of a match on this set where an individual fall has lasted eighteen minutes, so we've either got a long brawl or a promo after the third fall wraps up.


Even if you're rooting for the faces, you have to admit that it's poetic justice of a sort that it's Piper and Martel who can't get Sandy to see a tag for love nor money in this fall. Add in the fact that Rod's late making the save on the pinfall, and this is as forgettable a performance for the champions as the first fall was a dominant one.


In case you're wondering why the writeups are a tad shorter, it's because there's nothing really memorable or funny coming from Frank. He's just doing his usual good job, which is more than enough.


​Third fall: ​This is a tremendous back-and-forth fall, with both teams coming within a hair of winning on multiple occasions, quite a few saves, and Piper and Martel each getting a chance to play FIP.


The finish is truly inspired: With Martel and Luke legal, Rick accidentally catches Sandy with a dropkick meant for Luke, and Sandy goes flying over the top to the floor. Piper and Martel try to whip the Sheeps into each other, but one half gets reversed, and illegal man Piper ends up crashing into legal man Luke. Martel, the other legal man, covers Luke, while Butch races in to cover Piper. Sandy stands up at ringside and uses the apron to count three. He's counting the pinfall nearest him, which is Butch and Piper, and realizes too late that Rick was also covering Luke.


After a few minutes, he decides to cover for himself by snatching the belts and taking off for the Crow's Nest, where he announces that since he unknowingly counted the wrong fall and only belatedly realized that Rick was also pinning Luke, he's holding the belts up pending a rematch the following week. When both teams protest, he says that the two teams can either wrestle for the belts next week or he'll hold on to them forever.


This finish must have really made an impression on Martel, because the WWF used the same finish a few months later when he and Tony Garea took the World tag team titles from the Samoans. After a similar whip spot, the illegal Samoan (Sika, I think) covered Garea, while Martel caught Afa in a sunset flip. Both falls were counted, but this time the ref (probably Dick Woerhle) realized who was legal and gave the belts to Martel and Garea.


What's even more interesting is what happens at the end of the interview: Luke and Butch start to forearm each other in the chest to show how tough they are, and decide to include Buddy as well. But after one forearm, Buddy backs away, and you can hear him warn the Sheeps, "Don't (bleep)in' hit me." I assume that that's the first seed of the dissension between the three of them, although Buddy could have also been legitimately pissed, depending on how hard he was hit.


Speaking of the Playboy, I didn't see the supposed interference that got him sent back to the dressing room for the third fall. I wonder if Sandy goofed in letting Buddy stay in the first place and had to cover for it by making up a reason to have him thrown out once he (Sandy) realized the mistake he'd made.

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This was another very enjoyable and intense match. I was particularly impressed by Piper as face in peril in the third fall. I expect Martel to be excellent in that role but Roddy did a great job here selling really well and building anticipation for the hot tag. i thought the finish was well done too and set the rematch up beautifully ****1/4

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