Tuesday, 26 October 2010

DVDVR Memphis Set, Top 60: #56

Bill Dundee & Bobby Fulton v Bobby Eaton & Sweet Brown Sugar (11/15/82)

Sweet Brown Sugar aka Koko Ware was probably the ultimate "holy fuck, this dude was a million times better than I had ever thought" find of the set for me. I mean, Dundee and Lawler and Mantell were guys I was familiar with already, even if I wasn't fully aware of just *how* good they were, but Koko Ware was a guy I had seen in early 90s WWF that came across as utterly non-descript. Not great, not terrible... just... there. The Memphis set changed all that, and Koko was added to the list along with folks like Butch Reed and Hacksaw Duggan whose rep had been bolstered big time by the DVDVR 80s project - guys that most people remembered from the WWF as ranging from okay to decent-at-best. Well Koko isn't decent-at-best. Koko owns.

The Eaton/Koko team is also totally dynamite. I seem to like Stan Lane as a member of the Midnight Express more than most (this set turned me into a big Stan Lane mark and I refuse to believe he wasn't awesome no matter how shitty his karate was), but fuck, Eaton and Koko as the MX post-Condrey leaving would've been way too much fun. Both guys rule hard here. They start out early by stooging and bumping around like kings - Eaton's always been an amazing bumper, but Koko is right there with him. The moment of the match might be his nutso bump off a missed stinger splash in the corner, almost cracking his head off the post before going all the way over and landing out on the floor. Thanks to the camera angle it looks like he just hurled himself off a cliff. Once they go on offence Koko is just supreme as a cheapshotting little fuck. I love a good cheapshot in my pro-graps, and Koko rolls out a couple on Dundee here that are sublime. At one point he creeps up behind him and jabs him right in the ear... it really was beautiful.

Dundee's in a similar role here as he was in the #58 match; the skilled vet paired up with a green partner. Fulton's much better as a fired up rookie than Boyles is, though, so Dundee's content to let him do a chunk of the work. Boyles looked lost for much of the 6/80 match, slapping on random chinlocks and rolling out piffly strikes. Fulton is far more comfortable and eager to actually do something.

We don't get a hot tag here unfortunately, so I never got the Dundee payback I was hoping for, but it doesn't bother me too much when the finish we do get is as good as it is. It's not like someone gets folded with a Tiger Driver or anything, but Dundee chasing Jimmy Hart around the ring while Eaton and Koko hit a legit, honest to goodness double team finishing move on Fulton is satisfying enough to me. At this stage in my wrestling fandom I don't come to expect that sort of thing from a match in 1982, so I'm pleasantly surprised on the rare occasion I come across it.

This is several steps below the other Eaton/Sugar tag from 1982 that's on the set, but I had that one around my top 10 and thought it was incredible. There'll be more Koko Ware pimping as this project goes on, trust me.

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