Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Butch Reed v Jerry Blackwell (St. Louis 1982)

I more or less bought the newest Schneider Comp for this match alone, and while it isn't necessarily a "classic", it still lived up to the expectations I had for it. You'll all know who Butch Reed is by now, but Blackwell's the big fat dude that bumps like a freak for Lawler on the Memphis set for those of you who have it. It's 2/3 falls and the first fall starts off with Reed basically using his strength to counter any kind of hold Blackwell throws at him, from the simple - countering a top wristlock by powering out and applying one of his own - to the unique and awesome - countering a side headlock by slowly working his way around the front of Blackwell and hoisting his 400lb ass up into a bearhug so Jerry breaks the hold. At some point Blackwell gets fed up with that noise and just starts choking him and shit. Reed is really good at selling leg work in the first fall, and indeed at selling accumulative damage throughout all three falls. He'll fire up and do the theatrical "I'm gonna punch your lights in" shtick by "winding up" his fist and backing Blackwell into the corner, standing in the middle of the ring and telling Jerry to come get him, etc. Like a black John Cena from the 80s in some respects, charismatic as all fuck. Finish to the first fall is great, not so much in what it is they're doing, but rather in the little touch Reed adds to it. He whips Blackwell into the ropes and dives down in anticipation of Blackwell jumping over him and hitting the opposite rope, but instead he stops short, and Reed, who senses something's wrong as he looks to his right and doesn't see Blackwell hitting the opposite rope like he was expecting, starts to get up only to have his kidneys crushed by a fat man splash. Too many guys will stay flat on the mat to the point where you know they're getting creamed, but Reed made it look like he knew what was coming and tried to get out of dodge... it's just that he was too late. Second fall is a shorter one, but we get Blackwell going after Reed's mashed kidneys with headbutts and the likes while Reed sells it as well as you could hope. I love how they work the idea of Reed body slamming Blackwell into this, as in the first fall he tried it right at the start - when he was healthy - and Jerry had to grab the ropes for dear life just so Reed couldn't get him all the way up. In this fall he catches Jerry running off the ropes and scoops him up, but his lower back gives way and winds up flattened under ol' beefy. Reminds me of the spot in the Last Man Standing match with Umaga where Cena tries to scoop him up for an F-U and winds up with his head splatted between Umaga's body and the steel steps. Not nearly as spectacular as that, obviously, but Reed milks it the same way Cena does, getting him up far enough and for long enough that you think he can pull it off, only to succumb to the weight at the last second and suffer big time because of it. Finish to the second fall is nifty, with Blackwell seemingly having Reed where he wants him after Reed had dug himself that hole off the failed slam attempt, going to hit Reed with a body slam of his own, only for Reed to roll through and hook him in a small package. Third fall has Reed selling the effects of the first two falls but continuing to fight back, kicking out of a few things that has Larry Matysik on commentary blowing a load in his slacks. This was a singles match used to set up a big tag match in the coming weeks (Reed/Brody v Flair/Blackwell), so we get a time limit draw as opposed to a decisive finish, but fuck man, a time limit draw means we get 20 minutes of these guys and I'm happy as a pig in shit. Great fuckin' match.

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