Sunday, 16 May 2010

Bob Backlund v Ivan Koloff (MSG, 8/28/78)

Somewhat of a mixed bag here, I guess.

Wouldn't be surprised if someone watched it and thought it was boring, they spent too long in holds, the time could've been cut some and it would've worked better, etc. They're all valid criticisms that I can't really disagree with. The finish is also garbage and they even manage to fit in a stupid "doctor checks the cut" spot. That said, I've always liked this. It's not a "great" match, but still I'd say the good outweighs the bad (you're probably reading this and thinking "well, shit, there must be some REAL good stuff, because it sounds like there's a whole lotta bad").

Really basic stuff for the most part, but Backlund's a guy I enjoy watching do basic stuff while adding his own flavour to it (his goofiness is goofy to the goofiest degree). The hold of choice - for both of them - is the headscissors, and they're both pretty good at keeping it interesting despite the lulls. Koloff is all about the dirty little tricks out of the referee's view, like pulling the hair and tights so Backlund can't break free. Backlund's all about being a tenacious Forrest Gump that could squat a fire truck. I always go on about "the little things", and there's a struggle over a bridge in this that's probably my favourite "bridge out attempt" spot ever. Really comes across as both guys trying to shift their weight and gain ground position.

Koloff doesn't exactly go above and beyond to sell the leg in this, which is a shame, because he's pretty good on offence as a mean ass-kicker. He just double stomps the shit out of Backlund at one point, presumably because his knee drops to the gut didn't look hurty enough. He also blasts him square in the face with a diving stomp type... thing, from the top to the outside. Looked real nasty.

So yeah, this'll probably wear on some the longer it goes (lasts a half hour). Not even close to being the best Backlund match you'll see, but there's enough good in it for people to get a kick out of.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Marty Jannetty v Doink The Clown (WWF RAW, 6/21/93)

"I didn't check under there a million per cent, but I didn't see any Doink The Clowns when I looked" -- Savage on the topic of doppleganger Doinks hiding under the ring. I found that pretty amusing. It's like the underside of the ring is quadruple the size of the canvas, like some alternate universe with booby traps and landmines that only evil clowns, Bobby Heenan and Indiana Jones can navigate. Match is good, although I'm not quite as enamoured with it as a few others that have pimped it before me. First fall has some neat "mind games" shtick from Doink, and Jannetty seems to be playing along despite not quite knowing what to make of it all. Jannetty's as babyface as a babyface can get, refusing to punch Doink in the face even after Doink taunts him and tries to goad him into it. Makes me wonder if the stories about Jannetty being blind drunk all the time were true. I mean, I drink liquor sometimes, and if a clown tells me to punch him in the face when I'm blind drunk, I'm gonna punch him in the face. They do some criss-cross stuff and Jannetty finally plants one on Doink's chin once he goes to ground to attempt a monkey flip. All is right with the world. I really like Doink in this, laughing like a maniac while slapping Jannetty around, fake crying and apologising while Jannetty's half dead, etc. No clue why Vince thought it'd be a good idea to turn him babyface. Then again, I have no clue why Dixie Carter thought it'd be a good idea to beg people to DVR Impact and watch it within three days to boost TNA's Nielson ratings. Logical explanation is that people in the wrestling business are stoopid. Jannetty's definitely not drunk here because he goes up top and Hebnar starts his mandatory five count, so Jannetty plays by the rules and jumps down. Again, I drink liquor sometimes, and if some guy with a bow tie tells me to get down off that roof before I hurt myself... no wait, terrible example. Never mind. Finish is all about Doink playing tricks as the underside of the ring shits out another clown. Crowd is outraged, as is Savage who takes it upon himself to drag the original Doink out from Narnia and blow the lid off this whole twin clown gig. Decision's reversed, crowd is overjoyed, Savage is obviously off his face on cocaine. I like Savage as the "voice of the good guys". He's that over the top and legitimately nuts that you can buy him having the back of everybody that's there to do good when the bad guys bend the rules. He's like a beady-eyed Avenger with a bitchin' beard. Not a match I'd call legit great, but it's fun nonetheless. Borne is an awesome evil clown.