Thursday, 9 February 2012

Stay Hard, Stay Hungry, Stay Alive if You Can, and Meet Me In a Dream of This Mid-South Land

Terry Gordy v Hacksaw Duggan (8/3/86)

Kind of in the same vein as Gordy/Doc -- just two big surly motherfuckers charging at each other to see who budges first. Ross is in full hyperactive FRUITY DELICIOUS FRUITY FRUITY SKITTLES mode on commentary, which some will hate and some will love. I'm still a fan of ol' JR though, so I thought his call of the whole thing was pretty great. I'm trying to think if there are any regular 1-on-1 Duggan matches I like more than this. The DiBiase series is amazing, but their matches on this set all have stips. The Sawyer barfights are incredible, but I have a hard time calling them "regular 1-on-1" matches, even if they don't necessarily have a stip (well, there's the dog collar match, but I'm pretty sure the November '85 match is stip-less). Did he have anything in the WWF that's even close to being this good? Whatever; point is this fucking rules. I really liked how it was structured, especially. Gordy never quite "takes over" and has a real control segment. He kind of works on top for a large stretch, but Duggan is constantly fighting back through sheer fucking willpower and refuses to stay down for any length of time. It's pretty back-and-forth, but it doesn't feel like they're working "my turn/your turn". It leads to Gordy using the sleeper and the oriental spike just to ware him down, and Duggan is all cock-eyed and stamping his feet while trying to get to the ropes or break the hold some other way. TV time limit finish is annoying, but I'm used to shitty 80s finishes at this stage in my wrestling fandom.

Terry Taylor v John Tatum (8/17/86)

"Tatum...he gets the darndest looks in his face." I remembered nothing about this, but the Tatum stuff on the Texas set and the Fantastics six-man I watched last week had me geared for some more Tatum, and I wasn't disappointed. He just stooges to the fucking moon here. He pouts and makes AMAZING whiney faces early, then when he takes over it looks like he's about to start crying after ever pin that doesn't keep Terry down. He's like a kid that REALLY wants that video game, but his parents won't buy him something with such an abundance of titties and curse words, no matter how much he begs. Shit, he actually kind of looks like Ohtani when he used to do the whole crying after ever nearfall thing, except Ohtani wasn't out and out TRYING to make people want to punch him in the nose. They have an awesome exchange towards the end where Taylor is lighting him up with punches and Tatum is practically dead on his feet, basically swinging out of instinct before finally falling flat on his face. Taylor hotshotting himself on the top rope off a missed cross body looked nasty, and his flying forearm looked great, but this was pretty much a Tatum show.

Hacksaw Duggan, Terry Taylor & Bill Watts v The Fabulous Freebirds (8/17/86)

Oh man, the pre-match of this totally rules. Watts is out with a baseball bat and calls it his "wing clipper". Hayes is irate and wants no part of this shit, calling Watts a maniac and refusing to compete. Watts says they have no guts and that he'll show them where Badstreet really is and Gordy is losing his shit. Hayes and Gordy are up on the stage where Ross is doing his announcing and Watts says he doesn't care where he has to fight them, whether it's in the ring or up there. Jim is all "Oh I don't like this situation one bit." Watts heads up to the stage with a ball bat and Ross is caught in the middle of it all so he just JUMPS off the fucking stage to get away. Eventually Buddy Roberts comes out (I think this was supposed to be Watts & Taylor v Gordy & Hayes initially) and then the locker room half empties to try and talk Watts out of murdering someone with a baseball bat. Eventually Duggan talks him down and the match becomes a six-man tag, which is then a shit ton of fun on top of the awesome pre-match stuff. Hayes is such a great scuzzy shithead, mocking Duggan's puffed out chest with hands on hips pose and bolting out of dodge when Duggan gets in the ring. Taylor is no Ricky Morton, but the Freebirds do a fine job playing your Midnight Express and constantly running distractions and double teams. Watts coming in off the hot tag and blasting Gordy with a right had was fucking great. Out of control DQ finish was unsurprising, but otherwise this was a blast. They also play Born in the USA for like 3 minutes while showing a bunch of crowd shots of people with no teeth or shoes. That was awesome.

Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death v Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts (Lumberjack Match) (8/31/86)

After coming out of the Texas set thinking Michael Hayes was the king of the ten minute out of control brawl I was pretty psyched for this. Maybe my expectations were too high, but it never really did anything for me. I mean, on paper this shit is way up my alley, but I thought it was "just okay." They do some cool lumberjack spots where Hayes and Buddy try to bail only to be tossed right back into the thick of it, and Hayes trying to lynch DiBiase looked super nasty and awesome, but I'd forgotten most of the rest of it 10 minutes after watching it. Which is strange since ten minute out of control Michael Hayes matches don't tend to fall into that category (at least not after the Texas set).

Mid-South Project

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