Saturday, 19 February 2011

We'll Dance Round Mid-South 'Til The Night Is All Done

Bob Roop v Mike George (12/16/81)

I love a good sub-ten minute studio match, and this was a good sub-ten minute studio match. I first discovered Bob Roop a few years ago when I watched him and Backlund team up against Baba and Jumbo, but I never really got much of a handle on how good or bad he was from that one match. Then the Mid-South set came and I totally dug him on the small number of appearances he made on it. This is my favourite of the Roop appearances and he and George do a bunch of really nifty stuff in this. There's a cool full nelson spot, a nasty looking ring post spot, a spot where Roop rakes George's eyes across the top rope that looked pretty brutal, and the finish was good. Roop is a good "thinking man's wrestler" and this is a fine intro to him on the set.

Mr. Olympia v Paul Orndorff (2/3/82)

I had never seen Olympia before the Mid-South set, but he was pretty great whenever he popped up and his match with Chavo Guerrero on disc 1 is probably one of my ten favourite matches ever. This is another really solid sub-ten minute studio match. Olympia takes a nasty bump off a clothesline where he practically spikes himself on his neck. Orndorff looked good here, too; busting out a pretty hefty string of offence and doing a good job getting across frustration at not being able to put Olympia away. He also sells Olympia's sleeper like a king at the end. Roop/George is a nice intro to Roop, and this is a nice intro to Olympia...wish there was more house show footage from around this time because I'd like to see even more of them.

Bob Roop v Ted DiBiase (4/2/82)

More good Roop. I slightly prefer the Mike George match, but I thought Roop might've been better in this than he was in that (and he was good in that). Gotta give some love to Watts on commentary during the opening matwork; I didn't think anybody could make a hammerlock sound so cool. DiBiase is ALL FIRED UP post-match and Roop PAYS THE PRICE. We need more Bob Roop, man.

Bill Watts & Stagger Lee v Midnight Express (4/22/84)

This fucking ruled. First five minutes consist of Eaton and Condrey bumping around like absolute kings for Watts while Watts tapes his fist and punches them dead in the face. JYD is pretty much a non-factor here, but he doesn't need to do anything other than feed an MX member to Watts to he can punch him some more. And the crowd is totally molten. Condrey and Eaton are a couple guys that have a ton of neat ways to get punched in the face. Condrey and Eaton are a couple guys that have a ton of neat ways to sell getting punched in the face. Watts isn't quite Bill Dundee, but he has a decent sized bag of way to punch guys in the face. Whole opening spell was just spectacular because of this. Some of the ways Eaton takes and sells a punch are really too great to sit and try and explain, but my favourite spot of the segment is when Watts uppercuts him and Eaton flies onto the top turnbuckle, then Watts punches him again and Eaton takes a crazy bump off the top out to the floor. When the Midnights eventually take over, it's Watts they go to town on. Watts isn't a guy I had ever heard of as being a great face in peril, but he's good in the role here and the crowd are 100% behind him. Of course Eaton and Condrey just rule it with the beatdown, constantly running distractions, cheating, Cornette getting his licks in, etc. The Eaton/Condrey version of the MX are different from the Eaton/Lane version in that Eaton and Condrey don't bust out a bunch of double teams and HIGH-END OFFENCE~. They just beat you down, full steam ahead like a couple of nasty bullies. Condrey has some of the best kneedrops in wresting history, Eaton throws amazing punches...Watts at this point isn't the most mobile of dudes, so you really want him taking great looking punches and kneedrops and getting jabbed in the throat with a tennis racket rather than double backbreakers and Veg-O-Matics. Finish is all pretty hectic and of course the crowd is completely losing its stack. Your pop for the finish is a motherfucking POP, too. Post-match angle is awesome and man does Cornette sell the shit out of being put in a daiper. I probably liked this even more than the MX/II-TA match.

Midnight Express v Rock 'n' Roll Express (No DQ, Tag Titles vs. $50,000, 5/23/84)

The lead-in angle to this has Cornette putting up fifty grand against the RnRs tag titles. The contract signing is shown on the disc before the match itself, but the best part about it is the competition ad they run after it. It's called Superdate at the Superdome where two lucky ladies have a chance to win a date with the Rock 'n' Roll Express, two front row tickets to a show at the Superdome, t-shirts, bandanas and a signed photograph. Any women can enter, as long as they're over 18. And unmarried, naturally. To enter, send your best photograph and say, in 25 words or less, why you think you deserve to win a date with Ricky and Robert. I can only imagine how many ladies entered that. Match itself isn't one of the best MX/RnRs matches out there, but it's still an MX/RnRs match which pretty much means it's at least good by default. I'm a big fan of the finish to this. Watts' "something medical smelling" call of the ether was awesome. Cornette's post-match promo was fucking aces as well.

Mid-South Project

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