Dirty White Boys v Bill Dundee & Terry Daniels (5/11/85)
Assuming the date on this is correct, it's the second awesome match the Dirty White Boys had that day. Which is pretty cool. I thought both Denton and Anthony were pretty great in this and Anthony's scraggly blood-splatter tights are the best because they make him look like even more of a serial killer than usual, but this was the Bill Dundee show. Man was he amazing. The opening shine had a couple moments where Daniels would do something neat, but Dundee was mesmerising in how he'd drag the heels all over the place, cause them to run into each other, outright strike each other, then run into each other again as they argued about hitting each other. At one point Denton asked him for a handshake, and of course Dundee wasn't interested and the crowd knew what was up, but Denton was real apologetic. Maybe he's an okay guy after all. Eventually Dundee acquiesced and Denton took a swing at him like we all knew he would, but more importantly DUNDEE knew he would, caught it, and toyed around with him before cracking his jaw. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand, milked those early spots for all they were worth, and nobody draws a pop for their little jig like Billy Dundee. When the White Boys took over it was Dundee in FIP mode and that ruled, too. Maybe he was scoping out his target for after the show, but on three or four separate occasions he took a tumble to the floor and landed in front of the same woman who got more and more aggressive at the White Boys' thuggery. Daniels was mostly a passenger, but he was an athletic passenger and popped the crowd with what he did, so that was about all Dundee needed on the night.
Ric Flair v Terry Taylor (6/1/85)
There's something about Flair's black and white robe. My first exposure to him as a kid was when he showed up at Survivor Series with the big gold belt, Bobby Heenan raving about him being the REAL World Champ, pomp out the wazoo...and that incredible robe. As a four year old it was the definition of regality and I've been a mark for it ever since. Maybe the black and white brings out his inner bastard as well, because there was a five minute stretch of this where he was as surly as I've ever seen him. The first fifteen minutes were fairly standard Big Match Flair. He wasn't rampant with the cheapshotting and mostly played by the rules. He'd beg off once or twice, kind of flirt with being a dickhead, but for the most part he behaved himself. Taylor wasn't buying whatever Flair was selling and Flair kept finding himself being taken over or having his head squashed in a front facelock. The build wasn't anything new, but these two work it well together. Then Flair got chippy and it led to them absolutely lacing into each other. At the best of times he's pure hubris, but this wasn't hubris; he was pissed and wanted to fight. He's the world fucking champ and who is this wannabe? Taylor backs him into the corner, winds up for a left hand, the ref' stops him short...and Flair knees him in the balls. I've made comment about being burnt out on Flair plenty of times, but I could watch this Flair all day and it's disappointing we didn't get to see him do it more often. He really cleaned Taylor's clock for a spell there, chopping him to ribbons, dropping the knee across his forehead, stomping him in the corner, throwing nasty little body shots, blatantly choking him, popping him with an AMAZING right hand that Terry sold like it broke his face -- just a great little segment. I wish it lasted longer. The last fifteen minutes never went off the rails as such, but it became more of your standard Flair fare. Standard isn't necessarily a knock because standard Flair fare is still a very awesome thing to lots of people, but I can really go either way these days and I much preferred it when he was bullying Taylor. They seemed to maybe run out of ideas down the stretch as well, going to the backslide spot a few times and reaching a point of diminishing returns with the nearfalls. I lost count of the number of times Taylor grabbed a headlock to set up the next rope running sequence, but it built to a fever pitch and it's hard to come away thinking Taylor didn't look all the better for it. Still though, some of the brawling in that mid-match stretch was as potatoey and awesome as the best Flair/Garvin or Flair/Wahoo exchanges I've seen. I'd rather they filled more time with that.