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Buddy Rose vs. Steve Regal (8/15/81)

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First fall: ​Who are the women dumb enough to enter a predominantly male battle royal? I honestly don't know of any who might survive more than a minute or two except for Moolah, and even she'd have a tough time unless there are a bunch of junior heavyweights in the field.

 

I didn't know that Gene Kiniski was accepting matches this late, but someone must have thought an awful lot of Regal as a worker to book him against a Northwest legend like Kiniski.

 

As for the match at hand, both guys do some solid work on their opponent's midsection, particularly Regal. Buddy takes control with a series of front bodyslams (dropping Regal on his chest and stomach), but he goes to that particular well once too often, and Regal forces his way on top and hooks the leg to score the three count and take a one fall to none lead about twelve minutes (disc time) into the match.

 

Those front bodyslams I just talked about looked absolutely brutal. I've never seen anyone use one that didn't look like a botch until Buddy did it here. It's a perfect move to use when you're working on someone's ribs, and I'm surprised that more guys didn't use it.

 

I'm also surprised that more guys didn't work on Buddy's midsection the way Regal did here. It was certainly a big enough target, and around this time in his career Buddy got winded pretty easily, so it should have been the first place most guys worked on.

 

It's interesting that that there was some sentiment for Piper being the Northwest Wrestler of the Year despite doing only one weeklong tour of the Northwest. Frank had to specifically state that he wasn't eligible for consideration.

 

I liked Frank talking about Buddy's week in the dunk tank and how it might be affecting him in the ring. That's no exaggeration; his muscles are probably stiff from falling into the cold (I assume) water so often, and that may be one reason why he's a bit slower than usual in this fall. We'll see if he's able to get back to normal as the bout continues.

 

​Second fall: ​The rib work continues for a while on both guys, then Buddy attacks Regal's back, ramming it into the steel post and delivering an atomic drop on the floor. Regal's weakened back plays a part in costing him the fall, as he attempts a small package to reverse Buddy's suplex from the apron into the ring, but can't hold it. Buddy's able to reverse the small package and score the pin to even the match at a fall apiece with about seven minutes of disc time remaining.

 

You don't see the stomach claw very often, but here both guys use it as a pain-inflicting hold, if not necessarily a submission hold. As Frank pointed out, it takes an awful lot of energy out of the guy on the receiving end.

 

I liked Frank reluctantly giving Buddy credit for being a great athlete after seeing him kip up in the middle of the match. Frank very seldom lets the audience know flat out which side he's on, so when he says things like, "You hate to give credit to Buddy Rose, but you almost have to", it's a real surprise. Even Gordon Solie, who was always held up as the very soul of impartiality, was pretty openly pro-face, at least more so than Frank appears to be most of the time.

 

Frank did an excellent job explaining the implications of this match on the Northwest title picture, which made it just as important as if it had been for the belt. It's rare that stuff like that is spelled out for the viewer in such detail, regardless of the era we're talking about, but Frank can do it better than anyone in the business at this time with the possible exception of Lance Russell.

 

The promo with Buddy and Oliver was just okay, mainly because Rip did most of the talking. I got a kick out of Buddy referring to himself as a computer, though. Also, Frank cut the interview short ("He may not be through talking, but we're through listening") for one of the few times on this set, although Rip managed to finish his thought before the break anyway.

 

Third fall: ​A clip of the confrontation Buddy referenced between himself and Princess Victoria is in the extras.

 

Buddy continues to work on Regal's back early in the fall, but misses a second atomic drop on the floor. Regal then works on Buddy's back for a while. The finish comes after Buddy shoots Regal into the ropes off of a side headlock. As Regal rebounds, he knocks Sandy down like a ton of bricks. Oblivious to this, he wraps Buddy up in a victory roll, but no one's there to count. Regal sees this and goes to attend to Sandy, only for Buddy to roll him up and score the three count. Frank tries to say that Buddy pulled Regal's tights, but I honestly don't think he did, unless it was very slight and to the camera's blind side.

 

In the postmatch promo, Buddy demands a title shot the following Tuesday in Kiniski's place, and Regal agrees. I didn't think Kiniski was wrestling any sort of full schedule by then, certainly not enough to be a potential champion.

 

I talked about Buddy throwing the Northwest belt into Mt. St. Helens in the Extras thread. Everyone with a working brain knew that he wasn't really going to do it, but I'll bet the threat of it was enough to draw a crowd to Mt. St. Helens anyway, assuming that he won the match.

 

Don usually shows up on camera to make card changes like this, so it's odd that he didn't do so here. Maybe he was in the men's room or taking an urgent phone call, or maybe he just missed his cue.

 

Buddy's slingshot backbreaker looks great here, and as long as the guy applying the hold doesn't accidentally get himself pinned, they could really hurt their opponent with it. I think I've seen it a few times in lucha matches, but Buddy's the only guy I've seen use it here in the States.

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