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[1981-07-16-AWA-Winnipeg, MB] Nick Bockwinkel vs Jim Brunzell

paul sosnowski

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Ok, so on second thought, I found time. There are about two minutes cut out but anyone who's seen a decent amount of Bock knows what it probably was (Brunzell ending the Bock control/KOTM segment with a revenge leg posting from the outside, a minute of legwork, into the figure four that we come back to).


I really liked it. There was a point around the 48 minute mark where I thought maybe they should go home, but they transitioned into some backwork a couple of minutes later and Bock being vulnerable made it work towards the finish.


It's hard to talk about a 60 minute match in a few sentences and I don't have the time to break the whole thing down. This is probably Brunzell's career match that we have on tape. He's got the Jumbo match and some really great High Flyers matches but he definitely held his own here. The selling was great from start to finish, both the dueling arm/leg limb selling, including in really logical ways while on offense. I think there are discernible chapter breaks that build off of what came before instead of forgetting or ignoring it, with callbacks and selling between chapters (though not where it would no longer make sense or matter, but far more than you'd get from a lot of similar matches, especially from Bockwinkel). The late match selling over the last twenty minutes or so, the exhaustion and desperation is really great. I'm not sure anyone is better at selling of cumulative damage than Bockwinkel and while we see that in 30-40 minute matches,we rarely get to really see it in 60 minute matches and he's the best at it.


Very curious what other people think even though I know some people have seen at least part of this before.


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  • GSR changed the title to [1981-07-16-AWA-Winnipeg, MB] Nick Bockwinkel vs Jim Brunzell
  • 2 years later...

The cumulative selling is definitely the strength of this match. I also really appreciated what a "seesaw" contest it was and how control segments never felt like such. Looking back at my AWA ballot on first viewing I could see this placing as high as 10th for me and as low as 25th. Good territory to be in for certain. There were moments I thought Brunzell might be gassed but then he'd execute some impressive feats so I guess his selling was really that good. Interestingly as the crowd became less engaged I became more so. Regardless of the gate Winnipeg seemed like a fairly tepid territory for them, I wonder why they didn't run this particular match closer to home where it'd have gotten closer to the reaction Mean Gene was predicting? Grateful for this Frankenstein version either way.

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