I went and dropped some pennies on the NWA Classics 24/7 service the other night. I probably won't be able to really jump into it until the end of the year since I took my old ass back to school and I've got a million different essays to write right now, but it looks to be every bit the awesome service that you'd want. There's also a bunch of new Butch Reed matches up with hopefully more to come, so that's worth £7 a month on its own.
Butch Reed, Nikolai Volkoff & Krusher Krushev v Junkyard Dog, Hacksaw Duggan & Tito Santana (Houston Wrestling, 1/27/84)
I lowered my expectations for this because I read it was really disappointing. That probably helped in the end because I ended up thinking it was pretty decent, but on paper it should be a whole lot better than pretty decent. I dug Reed a bunch at least, which is probably always going to be the case with Mid-South. He bumped and stooged for JYD early then threw bombs and bled with Duggan down the stretch. Much of the rest of the brawling was fairly plodding, though. It's also elimination rules and all of the eliminations fell pretty flat. If nothing else it got me geared up for the new Reed/JYD and Reed/Tito matches, but this promised something way better than it what we got.
Butch Reed v Dutch Mantell (Houston Wrestling, 7/26/85)
This felt like a ten minute taster of what a twenty minute match between these guys would be, but it was a good taster. Dutch was really spirited here. He gets the crowd riled up early and teases some hidden foreign object shtick, then shows major ass when Reed gets pissed and tries to throw fists. Everything he did working from above was super solid as well, kind of taking little spells at working over different body parts, from the arm to the leg to the head, living up to the Dirty moniker by pulling tights and ropes for leverage and using the edge of the ring apron to inflict some extra damage. Reed was Reed and did his thing, but Dutch's performance really stood out here. I'd love it if we got more of this match-up in future updates.
Butch Reed v Eddie Gilbert (Houston Wrestling, 8/4/85)
Man, Boesch is something else as a commentator. My grandpa is 85 and talks THE biggest load of horseshit you've ever heard and just rambles on about nothing, and that's pretty much Paul Boesch at this point in time. Bunch of times he starts saying something then seems to lose his train of thought and stays silent for a while, then resumes his sentence again once he finds the word he was looking for. But most of it is nonsense anyway. He also spends this whole match referring to Reed as Duggan. I guess the Hacksaw thing threw him off. I can see that. Anyways, this was fun. Gilbert is full on stooge-weasel and does nothing in the first five minutes but whine, stall and take one huge pinball bump off a punch. Reed's stuff looked killer here; meaty punches, skull-cavey forearms, a big Vader-style clothesline, big suplex and an awesome flying shoulder tackle. Gilbert's shtick wasn't totally perfected yet (compared to '87 when he REALLY turned up the douchebaggery), but this was a fine way to spend ten minutes.