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Rip Oliver & Buddy Rose vs. Steve Regal & Hack Sawyer (2/6/82)

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First fall: ​The faces control the first part of the match, working over the arms of both Buddy and Oliver. But eventually the Army targets Hack, punishing him primarily with devastating suplexes. They score several close two counts, but Regal's always there to make the save. Finally, Buddy and Rip execute a nasty-looking double shoulderbreaker and score the easy three. They lead the bout one fall to none with about thirteen minutes of disc time remaining.


The interesting subplot here is the Regal-Borne feud. It's all but stated outright that the only reason Oliver and Buddy are teaming here is because Matt refuses to get in the ring with Regal after Regal had bloodied him the previous Tuesday. This is kind of a strange promotional tack to take, but I guess it'll help build the house for the next time Regal's scheduled to get his hands on Matt.


I got a kick out of Buddy insisting that he and Rip be called "The Athletes" and buying Rip spiffy new warmup gear so he'd look extra classy. It's a detail that most managers wouldn't think of, although Frank hints that Rip may not appreciate the gesture because he's always paid his own way. Gee, you try to bring class to some people......


I've been meaning to say this for a while now, but no one I know of hits a better flying elbow from a standing start than Buddy does. The only other guy I've seen try that move is an ancient Blackjack Mulligan, who used it as his finisher during his post-Machines WWF run in 1986-87. Compared to Buddy's version, Mulligan's looked absolutely pathetic.


Regal and Hack really worked over the arms of both Army members, and Oliver in particular. They looked like the better precision team for most of the fall, which was a surprise because they aren't regular partners. Of course, Buddy and Rip almost certainly didn't know each other as well as they would one day either.


It was nice of Frank to provide an injury update on Buzz, who got his start in the Northwest before moving on to Georgia.


It's also good to hear about the upcoming dates for Flair and Andre. It seems like they're really pushing a confrontation of some sort between Andre and Buddy, which I'm sure would pop a house anywhere in the Northwest whether it's for a singles match or some type of tag match.


One thing you never get today and rarely got back in 1981: radio reports of wrestling results. Not just once, but three times on Sunday mornings, yet. I guess that's just one measure of how popular wrestling really was in Portland at the time. For the record, we barely got a small corner of the back sports page for wrestling results in Pittsburgh when I was growing up, with one exception: the now-defunct Pittsburgh Press ​sent a reporter to Los Angeles to cover that portion of Mania 2. They didn't do it again the following year for Mania III even though Hogan-Andre was a much bigger deal that Hogan-Bundy had been. Nowadays, the ​Tribune-Review ​actually has a wrestling column every Sunday in the sports section, while the ​Post-Gazette ​largely ignores wrestling except for an occasional feature in the lifestyles section.


Second fall: Hack plays FIP for the vast majority of this fall, as Buddy and Oliver continue to tear apart the arm that they weakened in the first fall. Oliver executes an Anderson-style hammerlock slam, while Buddy drops down from the apron and wrings out the arm over the top rope. They try their best to prevent the tag, but eventually Hack makes it to Regal, who comes in on fire. Hack tags back in after a few minutes, and comes over the top rope to catch Buddy in a sunset flip. He holds on for three, and we're even at a fall apiece with about seven minutes of disc time remaining.


Hack took a pretty insane bump when Buddy wrung his arm off the top rope, and another when he hit his shoulder on the steel post (which may have been in the first fall). Ah, to be young and able to fly.


I liked Rip intentionally distracting Regal so he wouldn't be in the corner when Hack went to tag. Like most spots, if it's repeated too often it loses its effectiveness, but it's a nice change of pace on the old "the faces make a tag that the ref doesn't see" routine.


The pinfall looked spectacular, but I wonder if the faces stopped to think that Hack's shoulder is still badly hurt, and putting him in a position where he has to start the third fall isn't the smartest move they could have made. We'll see how that decision plays out in the third fall.


Third fall: ​This is a back-and-forth fall, with some excellent arm work from both sides. The time limit expires just as Hack makes a hot tag to Regal, and we end in a 1-1 time limit draw.


As I just said, there was some great arm work by both teams, particularly the arm wringer Regal applied to Oliver. If it had either started just a few minutes earlier or carried over from the first fall , it would have most likely turned the match around for one team or the other.


The title defense Frank mentions for Hack against Buddy is the next (and last) match on this disc.


Frank needs to stop calling a vertical suplex a belly-to-belly suplex. He's usually not wrong on move calls (though he does have alternative names for some moves, as we've discussed throughout this set), so a glaring error like this stands out. It doesn't take away from the calls, but it's easily correctable, so someone should definitely work with him on it.

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