Wednesday, 1 February 2012

I Know a Pretty Little Place in Southern Oklahoma Down Mid-South Way, There's a Little Cafe Where They Play Guitars All Night and All Day

Ted DiBiase v Magnum TA (7/6/84)

I'm pretty sure this was my least favourite of the three Ted/Magnum matches when I went through the set the first time. If we're ranking matches where the ring breaks I probably liked it less than Gordy/Williams. That's not really a knock on this -- the first two Ted/Magnum matches were fucking awesome and Gordy/Williams is 10 minutes of two burly sumbitches throwing each other all over the place. This time around I liked it more, probably only behind their 5/27/84 match from Tulsa (their second one that day). This is longer than their first two matches and doesn't really have the nuclear heat and seething hatred that those ones had. Instead, they take a little more time building from the ground up, but it still has a lot of the same characteristics that made their other matches so great. One of them being Magnum getting the shit beat out of him. I don't recall too many people pimping Magnum TA before the Mid-South set, so I don't think anybody spent a great deal of time talking about how he fucking LEANS into getting his head rammed into shit. But man, he fucking LEANS into getting his head rammed into shit. DiBiase bonks his head off the turnbuckle at one point, and having your head bonked off the turnbuckle is a standard spot that hardly ever looks all that violent. Magnum just leans right into it and doesn't put his hands up for any protection at all and it looks super nasty. He gets thrown head first into the ring post and he LEANS into it. He gets thrown head first into the barricade and he LEANS into it. The way he leans into having his head smacked off the ring apron was really MS-1/Sangre Chicana-ish. The fact he's gushing from his forehead during all of this makes it look even more nutty. When he makes his comeback he's like a lion that's about to tear apart a zebra, all roaring with the mane-like hair. The turnbuckle breaking off even leads to a great moment where Ted tries to pick it up and use it as a weapon only for Magnum to take it from him and whack DiBiase instead. This is Mid-South; even the fuck ups are awesome.


The Fantastics & Jim Duggan v Midnight Express & Jim Cornette (7/20/84)

Different day, same...ring? I mean, it breaks...again...so probably. First half of this basically your MX comedy road-show. Cornette is all pasty and shit and looks ridiculous in ring gear. He wants no part of the actual wrestling unless he can get in there, take a few shots and jump right back out. He just wildly swings his arms in the direction of an opponent and drops an elbow or two before making a bee-line back to the corner and tagging in Bobby or Dennis. Bobby almost pops him in the jaw by accident, but they hug and make up. The babyfaces grab Eaton or Condrey by the arm and try and force the tag to Cornette, but he keeps avoiding it until Condrey is whispering something in his ear and doesn't see Hacksaw using Eaton's arm to tag him in. All the while the crowd are itching for Duggan or the Fans to get a hold of him. This is basically how they kill the first ten minutes, and it's a ton of fun. When the Midnights eventually take over and start beating on Fulton I lose some interest. It's not "bad" or anything. You still get Eaton and Condrey beating on some pretty boy, but this felt like a lesser version of an MX beatdown and Fulton doesn't take a grade A shitkicking the way Rogers does, so I'm left wanting. I did love Cornette putting his knee up for Eaton to ram Fulton's head into it and then selling his own leg afterwards, though. That was an awesome little touch. DQ finish with the run in sets up the Hercules stuff later and doesn't really bother me. Cornette gets his shortly, anyway. Something I'd call "comfortably good", but nothing that is likely to stick out on a set full of shit this good.


The Fantastics v Midnight Express (8/9/84)

After the 3 matches these teams had on the Texas set I was really stoked about going back and re-watching the Mid-South series. The Midnights/RnRs feud is still the pinnacle of southern tag wrestling for me, but fuck if this isn't a match-up I couldn't watch again and again. The first stretch isn't too different from anything you've seen these guys do against each before. The Fans like to do the switcheroo behind the referee's back shtick, and I'm a fan of switcheroo shtick, but I wish Rogers and Fulton weren't so in your face about it. At least clap so it SOUNDS like you made the tag, fer fucks. Still, all this blatant chicanery deserves a receipt, and holy fuck do the Midnights give them a receipt. Condrey has AMAZING knee drops and just fucking obliterates Rogers with the fucking BEST knee drops right to the ribs. Rogers keeps trying to crawl back in the ring and Condrey just slide tackles him right in the chest every time. And God damn is this crowd going APE shit for all of it. Best part of it all is the Midnights working Rogers' THROAT. Condrey jumps off the middle rope and chops him in the throat (Rogers' bump is GREAT), Eaton chokes him over the middle rope, Cornette jabs him in the throat with the tennis racket...Fulton is scrambling around trying to stop this gang rape and the Express just brutalise Rogers while the ref' tries to calm his partner down and restore order. I don't mind Fulton, but compare Rogers in peril here to Fulton in peril in the previous match and the gulf in quality is astounding. Rogers should be FIP every match and Fulton should stick to playing cheerleader. Pop for the hot tag is everything it should be and I dug the finish a lot. Just an awesome match.


Mid-South Project

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