Thursday, 16 December 2010

DVDVR Texas Set, Disc 3

I'm gonna have to make one Hell of a run at this if I want to get it finished in time for the deadline, but I finished disc 3 earlier so... better late than never, right?

The Fabulous Freebirds v The Von Erichs (8/12/83)
- All of these six man tags are great, but I'll probably rank this pretty "low" since there's a few multi-man tags I prefer. Crowd is HAWT as fuck and David and Kevin take stints as FIP, although I would've liked to see Kevin stay in the role a little longer. Finish is cheapshotting greatness. The Freebirds' entrance is immense, btw. And Kevin's promo is as well: "This isn't a war between Georgia and Texas; this is war between DECENCY and FILTH!"

Terry Gordy & Jimmy Garvin v Kevin & David Von Erich (2/3 falls, 8/15/83)
- I've got this neck and neck with the 7/4 six-man as my working #2. Holy shit does this rule. These guys just HATE each other. Garvin and Kevin just came off a feud over the American Heavyweight title where Garvin cheated to win the belt, and before that Garvin had cheated David out of it as well. Gordy's a Freebird and he obviously hates both Kevin and David. Feeling's mutual of course. Kevin... my GOD Kevin fucking DESPISES everything. Dude is dropping insane kneedrops on Gordy's JAW, walking around and stomping the shit out of him, punching people in the face... HATE, I tell ya. Garvin's great as the chickenshit that's HAD ENOUGH of the Von Erichs' bullshit and he just wants to rip them apart. GORDY of all people is left trying to calm someone else down, so you know that Garvin's crazy out of control because, well, you gotta be to be more out of control than Gordy. Gordy and Garvin are so great at using the Von Erichs' hot headedness against them, drawing whoever is on the apron into the ring so they can double team the guy in the ring. This isn't your typical southern tag, which is a given right off the bat because it's 2/3 falls, but it's an awesome hybrid of a southern tag and a totally out of control FIGHT. If standard southern tag is point A to point B to point C (point A being the babyface shine, point B being the heat segent on the babyface, point C being the post-hot tag run to the finish), then this goes from point A to point B to point C, but stops in at a bunch of dingy diners and highway cafes on the road so they can TEAR IT THE FUCK UP because they're nuts and just want to fight and kill each other and and and... this was truly spectacular.

Jimmy Garvin v Chris Adams (8/26/83)
- This is structured as simply as possible, basically going from point A to point B to point C like I mentioned above, only this time in a singles setting. Nothing audacious in its layout or anything, but that kind of thing totally works for me and I love simple short matches like that. I didn't think this was quite as good as the Roberts/David match from disc 1 in terms of that kind of match, but it's real close. It's for Garvin's belt so there's a ten minute time limit and when he realises Adams has him on the ropes WAY more than he'd like, he continually tries to bail towards the end just to eat up the clock. In the end he winds up surviving, and surviving is all it is because he's SPENT. Adams is over huge and Garvin does an interview where he proclaims that he ain't doing this defending the belt on TV every week shit. Top stuff all around, and the fact this will probably finish somewhere in the middle of a 150 match ballot speaks crazy volumes about the quality of this set.

Terry Gordy v David Von Erich (2/3 falls, 9/5/83)
- I'll probably watch this again before I send in a ballot since it no doubt suffered from being my "ease my way back into the set" match after a 3 month break, and on top of that I wasn't really in much of a mood for wrestling last night when I watched it. That said, I still liked it a fair bit. They start off by beating the piss out of each other once Gordy jumps David while he's taking his jacket off, and the first fall is sort of built around quick-ish momentum shifts with David repeatedly getting tossed onto the announce table that's next to the ring. About 4 times he hurls himself onto it and the commentators have to scatter. He also takes a body slam on the concrete towards the end of the fall because pissed off Gordy is PISSED OFF, SON. Second fall is where Gordy busts out the ORIENTAL SPIKE and tries to kill David with it. I love carny shit like a guy's thumb being put over as a death move. David sells it really well into the third fall and is fighting an uphill battle from there. Things break down towards the end because Gordy hates everybody. Right now this is sitting in my bottom half, so I suspect I'm one of the low voters at this stage.

Kerry Von Erich v Michael Hayes (Country Whipping Match, 9/5/83)
- This happened prior to the previous match on the actual card, so it's technically *this* match where Gordy debuts the spike. He's Hayes' second here and Brody's the second for Kerry. Crowd is ridiculous; just a constantly huge level of heat all the time. Match only goes about 8 minutes, but I thought it was pretty awesome as far as short, intense fights go. I'm probably one of the few, but I didn't think it was any worse (or "less awesome") than the DiBiase/Duggan street fight on the Mid-South set which, IIRC, goes about the same length of time. Both guys really lay in some of the shots with the belt, particularly at the beginning and towards the end. At one point it looked like Hayes got fed up with Kerry being a house o' fire and just whipped him square in the face. Other times they're swinging so recklessly that they wind up getting hit in the face anyway, whether it's intentional or not. Post-match is crazy as shit and Brody bleeds everywhere. Also gotta love how everybody in World Class is "fabulous". The "fabulous Bruiser Brody", the "fabulous Von Erich brothers", the "fabulous Freebirds"; it's like that ring announcer guy only knows one adjective. This wasn't quite fabulous, but it's way up my alley, at least.

Fabulous Freebirds v The Von Erichs (9/5/83)
- Man, that 9/5/83 card was awesome. This was fucking great, and so far the only six man I prefer is the July '83 match that's sitting in my top 3. Gordy is KING sized in this, squashing Kerry with a flip senton, breaking his face with a NARSTY Yakuza kick, and bumping and flying all around the place for the Von Erichs' punches. At one point he hurls himself into the turnbuckle and flies out over the top Sgt. Slaughter style. Kerry and Kevin both take a turn at playing FIP, and both segments are really good, but really, the main selling point here is that it's just totally out of control and violent and these guys HATE each other. Freebirds cheat, Von Erichs storm the ring and our referee needs twelve hands to get things under control. He doesn't have twelve hands and it's NEVER under control. I could talk about a ton of great "little things", like David going to slap the claw on Buddy, realising he's wearing his headgear and that it won't work, and instead slapping it on his stomach, but it would take too long and HATE really aought to sell you on this anyway. TEXAS when I die, motherfucker.

Jimmy Garvin v Chris Adams (9/12/83)
- Second Garvin/Adams match on the set so far. If the first was a starter, this was a great main course, and I definitely prefer these two matches to the two Garvin had with David Von Erich a little earlier on the set. This is the tenth consecutive match in Adams' TV title reign, and if he wins or draws this, he wins five grand. Nifty little switch of roles from their last match where it was Garvin who was the American champion and would retain the belt with a win or a draw (this is a 15 minute time limit whereas that was 10). Much of the first ten minutes is spent on the mat. They don't bust out the kind of stuff Garvin and Kevin were busting out in their 2 matches, but it's all simple, solid stuff. Garvin spends most of it trying to cheat and shortcut his way into an advantage (with Sunshine's help -- Sunshine is the perfect conniving bitch valet, btw), but Adams always has an answer. Again, Adams doesn't have the same bag of tricks that Kevin has, but there's a cool spot where he has Garvin in a sort of Indian Deathlock and then splashes his legs like he's trying to tear both of Garvin's groin muscles. I enjoy Garvin best when he's begging off and getting frustrated fighting from the bottom on defence, so the first ten minutes breezed by for me. Last five minutes are where things really pick up as Garvin goes full throttle trying to score the win. Their last match had Garvin trying to survive Adams' onslaught, this one has Garvin throwing everything at Adams. The real big turning point is when Sunshine sweeps Adams' leg when he's on the top rope, crotching him (looked nasty). GREAT nearfall off of that, and the last couple minutes asks the question of whether Adams' can hold on until the bell. Garvin also has killer knee drops. Post-match is tops, too. Still prefer both matches Garvin had with Kevin, but this should be a lock for my top half.

David Von Erich, Iceman King Parsons & Chris Adams v Michael Hayes, Kamala & The Mongol (10/3/83)
- "KAMALA HAS GONE BONZO!" This was the Kamala show here, and what a show it was. He's really awesome in this as the "fish out of water" savage that doesn't understand the whole tag team dynamic, but who'll still eat you because he's a cannibal with totally bitchin' face paint. The tone is set early when Hayes slaps Kamala on the back to tag him in, but Kamala thinks Hayes is striking him and goes to tear him a new one. Kamala's "handlers" (Skandor Akbar and Friday, who is basically the same guy Vince had as Kim-Chee 10 years later) jump the ring to calm him down and try and explain how it was only a tag and that he and Hayes are buddies and shit. This leads to a bunch of spots where Kamala shakes Hayes' hand and pats him and stuff, effectively tagging him in, but Kamala still hasn't grasped this and winds up doing whatever he pleases anyway. Hayes of course gets more and more frustrated as the match goes on because he's partnered up with a couple of crazies. When Kamala eventually does get in the ring on his own - legally - the babyfaces start dropping like flies. This leads to an awesome moment where David gets in and he and Kamala start throwing bombs in the middle of the ring. Felt like a pretty huge moment and the crowd respond accordingly. Those two squaring off then becomes the central focus, and when David manages to slap on the claw it feels like an even bigger moment. Kamala sells really well, and when he bails to the floor with half of his face paint plastered onto the palm of David's claw hand the place goes nuts. From this point Kamala's much less eager to get into the ring, not quite scared of the claw but certainly weary, so the buck is then passed to Hayes and Mongol, but those two aren't jumping at the opportunity to get in there, either. Finish is sort of clusterfucked, but things have broken down into total chaos by that point anyway, so whatever. Not an amazing match or anything, but it's a bucket load of fun and Kamala's performance is one of my favourites on the set so far.

Harley Race v Iceman King Parsons (10/7/83)
- Man, the two matches Race has had on the set so far is about as much fun as I've ever had watching Harley ever. The Kevin match was fantastic, but I wasn't expecting this to be nearly as good. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed it almost as much. Race works this almost entirely from the bottom. I mean, he pretty much lets Iceman do whatever he wants. Even Flair would've tried to fit more offence in than Race does here. What he *does* fit in on offence might annoy some people, though. The two big instances of him rolling out something from his big book of moves are sort of forgotten a minute later. First is a piledriver that I expected to transition into Race going on offence, but Iceman is back on the offensive right after it. The second is more egregious. A fuckin' brainbuster on concrete really aught to at least lead to a count out nearfall (especially in a match where there's a couple GREAT countout nearfalls that are as good as any I've ever seen), but sure enough Iceman is back up on offence not long after it. That'll piss some people off to no end. But fuck it, Iceman is a shuckin' and jivin' black guy and shuckin' and jivin' black guys in pro-wrestling have rock hard heads and are impervious to headbutts and having their head rammed into inanimate objects and all that shit. And sure enough, every time Race tries to headbutt him or ram his head into an inanimate object, Iceman laughs at his bullshit and shows him how it's really done. Iceman's head is invincible and a piledriver and a brainbuster on concrete is nothing more than a monkey knuckle to that guy. Dusty finish is about as good as the one in the Kevin/Flair match, which is very good. Race hauling off and slapping David in the face because he knew he'd get the reaction he was looking for was fucking awesome. I've got this top ten so far.

Kerry Von Erich & Johnny Mantel v Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts (10/17/83)
- Earlier in the show Kerry had given his brother Mike some jacket as a gift and Michael Hayes took it and tore it to shreds before launching him onto the concrete. Fast forward a little while and Kerry is major pissed off. People will either dig it or...not dig it, I guess. He's everywhere, animated as Hell, constantly trying to stomp a Freebird, and I don't recall one instant where he's actually standing still. It's a ten minute match, and as a result it's totally non-stop. Not non-stop in the same way tonnes of tags on the New Japan set were, where there never seemed to be any kind or structure or rhythm, but non-stop in that everybody is always doing something; usually it's the babyfaces whipping ass and the heels bumping and stooging. I like bumping and stooging. Gordy eats a big right hand and flies over the top rope at one point and it's glorious. Kerry cracks Buddy with a bunch of really potatoety looking punches to the point where I feel sorry for the poor guy. On the flipside, the babyfaces control almost all of this, and I could totally see someone thinking Kerry was too much of a coked up Superman for their liking. How much you like the match will probably depend on how much you're into Kerry's performance. I'll have it somewhere around the middle of the pack by the end. Probably.

Kevin Von Erich v Terry Gordy (10/21/83)
- Loved the first half of this. They work an extended bodyscissors spot that gave me a total Bob backlund vibe in the way they were always doing something with it. There's a particularly cool spot where Gordy breaks loose and runs the ropes to drop an elbow, but Kevin has his feet up ready to kick him away, so Gordy hits another set of ropes, then another, then another, stumbling and struggling to stay on his feet every time before eventually tumbling back into the bodyscissors. Second half is mostly Gordy-a-clubberin'. It's not as fun as the first half, but Gordy completely crushes Kevin with a boot to the face to take control that is just ridiculously nasty. I suspect I liked this more than most, although I wouldn't call it blowaway great or anything.

Jimmy Garvin v Chris Adams (10/24/83)
- My least favourite of the Garvin/Adams matches so far, but I still thought it was solid at worst. Garvin is the one being frustrated again and I really like him in that role. Adams seemed content enough to slap on a chin lock and not really do much of anything with it this time, though. Or maybe he was doing something and I just missed it, because I sort of tuned out for periods. Garvin's kneedrops ruled again. And Adams hits an amazing roundhouse kick to Garvin's temple as he's making his comeback that was definite rewind material. Won't finish terribly high...maybe bottom third.

Jimmy Garvin v Johnny Mantel (10/31/83)
- Ehhhh, wasn't feeling this much at all. Most of it was spent in holds, but they weren't really worked very well. Just sort of pedestrian and static. One thing it did have was a nice finish, and the post-match angle was tops. But this won't go high.

Kerry Von Erich & Chris Adams v Jimmy Garvin & Michael Hayes (10/31/83)
- Kinda struggled to get into this at points, but when it got good I was really digging it. All four are great at showing contempt for the guy they dislike most, though. Kerry and Hayes just despise each other, and Hayes giving as good as he gets while sprinkling in some amazing stooging has been one of my favourite things on the set. He takes two great Flair-esque flops in this, the first being totally spectacular. Heels take over once Kerry misses on a knee drop and does this awesome sell of it. It's not something I feel like I can do justice to with words, but it's really terrific. Hayes and Garvin go to town on it, naturally. Finishing run is hectic and the post-match is aces. PEPPER SPRAY, BITCH.

Kerry & Kevin Von Erich v Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy (Country Whipping Match, 11/4/83)
- Oh man, these guys just completely lay it the fuck in with those belt shots. I mean they are seriously tearing hide here. Match goes about 9 minutes and is ridiculously stiff and heated. Tonnes of great moments, but my favourite has to be Kerry getting the hot tag and jumping in swinging two leather straps like nun-chucks. Gordy getting fed up with Kevin not selling enough and MAKING him sell was great as well. Kevin must've been lashed in the ear five times with a strap. This was great.

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