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#21 goodhelmet

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:03 AM

Race was well received on the All Japan and Texas sets but I don't think there has been a complete study of his career. KHawk has been pimping Bockwinkel for years. This just happens to be the time for Bock to shine because of the AWA set. If we can dig up enough St. Louis on top of the other NWA territories, people may re-evaluate Race in the future as well. There's enough 80s Race out there in the WWF to be rewatched for the WWF 80s Project Redo and Mid Atlantic to get a final read on where he stands.

#22 Dylan Waco

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:24 AM

Race was well received on the All Japan and Texas sets but I don't think there has been a complete study of his career. KHawk has been pimping Bockwinkel for years. This just happens to be the time for Bock to shine because of the AWA set. If we can dig up enough St. Louis on top of the other NWA territories, people may re-evaluate Race in the future as well. There's enough 80s Race out there in the WWF to be rewatched for the WWF 80s Project Redo and Mid Atlantic to get a final read on where he stands.


I agree with this.

Right now I would take Bock over Race for a variety of reasons. I like Race and see Race as Angle as an overblown criticism. I also agree with OJ that the matches with Hogan are very good. On the other thing Race is very much a "get his shit in" at all cost type of wrestler. Sometimes that helps a match dramatically and can even make a nothing match on paper a lot of fun (thinking Race v. Rich from GAB 90 here). Sometimes that can have the effect of hampering a match. I will say that while I liked the Blackwell v. Race match I recently watched, I thought Blackwell was the star of it - but you could argue this was Harley toward the end of his run as a great wrestler and one match samples aren't terribly meaningful.

In any case Bock is a guy who I don't see as being terribly interested in getting his shit in every match. Yes he has signature bits and stock spots. Yes you could probably find them in most of his matches. But I think he tends to wrestle different - even against the same opponent - more than most. Not so radically different that he looks like a completely different guy each time, but he does seem to tailor things more on a match by match basis.

#23 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:25 AM

Bock is being reevaluated not due to some sort of whim or fad but because a lot of people have watched a lot of Bock they've either never seen before or never seen all at once before.

I feel like Race already went through a "being watched" stretch like that a few years ago and the end result was the current prevailing "Race as Angle" mindset, that probably is a bit harsh, but not entirely unwarranted either. That came from something, namely people watching matches. It'd take another bunch of matches that people hadn't seen being assembled in one place for a lot of people to watch or at least a general shift in our community's mindset as viewers to create another reevaluation of Harley, I think.


Bock is creating excitement because he's new, just like the other 70s guys did when the All Japan Classics footage first began circulating. There was a time when people were excited to see Harley title matches from the 70s. After a while, people began picking holes in them as they do with most pimped workers. I'm not sure if there will be a backlash against Bock, perhaps there's not enough people re-evaluating him for it to matter, but any time a worker is pimped there's always people who will resist. Workers get pimped as the best ever, the excitement and interest in them reaches a peak then dies off as people move onto other things. I'm not trying to make Harley out as some kind of major deal because I don't think he was a big discovery, but I do think Harley is waiting to rebound. He'll be back.

#24 Johnny Sorrow

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:27 AM

Bockwinkel is a guy I've totally turned around on. I first started watching him in the AWA circa 85. To my 15 year old self, he was fucking boring and old. It wasn't too long after I started watching that he turned face. My experience at the time was a face Bockwinkel feuding with Zybysko. I was at a PW USA show at the Meadowlands that had a Texas Death Match between them, and it was fucking boring as fuck. Then, they just gave him the belt after Hansen told Verne to go fuck himself. To a guy my age at the time, Bock was just the worst. Flash forward about 20 years, and I saw the Bock/ Lawler stuff for the first time and I was all, "Shit. He was kinda awesome." Add the AWA set and lots of other viewings of his shit with Heenan, and now Bockwinkel's one of my favorite guys.

#25 Dylan Waco

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:39 AM

I suspect Johnny's view would be pretty common. What's kind of funny to think about is that you can make a case that Bock really would have been the better choice to win the belt back from Martel than Hansen in hindsight. Yes he was "the old guy" but he had credibility with the AWA fans and you can envision a scenario pretty easily in which a heel Bock could have drawn very well against face Sarge, face Blackwell or with a partner against face Road Warriors in 85.

#26 Dylan Waco

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:13 AM

Bock/Stevens v. Wahoo/Dick The Bruiser - 6/73



2/3 Falls from Chicago. This is almost worth watching just to listen to Bob Luce lose his shit over this match which he was originally talking about past tense, but then switches to calling it like it's happening live. Best of all he makes this switch as the clipping gets really egregious. First fall there is a fair amount of footage, but they break up the heat section which sucks because I was really enjoying the way it was worked. Final two falls are heavily clipped to the point of being mere highlights, but we do get an epic blade job from Bock and I enjoyed watching the various bumps he was busting out for the babyface offense. Worth watching as another indication that Bock/Stevens was probably quite the team.

#27 shoe

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:37 AM

I' m almost through the AWA set and Bock has been tremendous in it. The thing he really hangs his hat is his versatility. All of his matches seem unique. I think you could make an argument for Bock as a top 5 U.S worker of all time.

#28 WingedEagle

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

Just got the AWA set so I'm looking forward to seeing Bock in the AWA. I liked his Memphis stuff but the Mid south matches were pretty bad. Especially the one with JYD. Dylan, what did you think of Bock vs Jarrett?


I honestly have no recollection of Bock v. Jarrett. Maybe I will put that in the too watch pile.


Well worth it as this is a great match. Bock does his best impression of Flair as touring champ and makes Jarrett look like a credible threat even if he doesn't look like he can buy a drink. Bock also does a great job capitalizing for the finish and high tailing it out.

#29 Log

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:49 PM

Just got the AWA set so I'm looking forward to seeing Bock in the AWA. I liked his Memphis stuff but the Mid south matches were pretty bad. Especially the one with JYD. Dylan, what did you think of Bock vs Jarrett?


I honestly have no recollection of Bock v. Jarrett. Maybe I will put that in the too watch pile.


Well worth it as this is a great match. Bock does his best impression of Flair as touring champ and makes Jarrett look like a credible threat even if he doesn't look like he can buy a drink. Bock also does a great job capitalizing for the finish and high tailing it out.


I remember thinking that if this had taken place in Crockett or something, it'd be a much-talked-about match. I loved it.

#30 jpchicago23

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:27 PM

So would Bock complete the mount rushmore of 80's American guys along with Funk, Lawler, and Flair? Or would someone like Rose it Hansen be better suited in that spot? I would say Hogan but I think the other guys are better and more versatile workers

#31 shoe

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:27 PM

I'd have Rose right on the outside. He was amazing in the ring, peak just not long enough. For me I have Flair, Lawler, Hansen,Funk,Mysterio, and then Bock. Though in a year it could change on a dime .

#32 Dylan Waco

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:31 PM

We have as much of Rose as we do of Bock. Maybe more. I love Bock. But Buddy at his peak is the best wrestler I've ever seen. If he had high end challengers it's scary to think of what he would have been able to do. I would have Buddy above Bock. I would not fault anyone for rating Bock ahead of him, but I am a Buddy guy. Hell Buddy in 86 was every bit as good as Bock in 86 and that's during the period where Bock had the series he is most known for by modern fans.

#33 shoe

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:36 AM

I love Buddy. I have watched the Buddy set and he is amazing. I would have him in my top 10 if a gun was pointed at me I would rank him #7. That is a great spot.The sole reason I would have have Bock over Rose is that Bock was able to have great matches in a variety of different places. Rose really had Portland , AWA, WWF , and San Fransisco. I think both guys comp well. Both were great heels, both were great baby faces , both can carry promotion in the ring, both are amazing tag workers, both are good promos. I also thought both were great at having different type of matches with a variety of opponents. I also give Buddy credit for creating sock accounts to vote Rose and Sommers as greatest tag team in AWA history on Kayfabe memories years ago. He must have known the voters haven't watched the footage.:)

#34 Exposer

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:01 AM

For my money Buddy Rose is the single greatest "find" in the internet age by a longshot. He's definitely in my top ten. As for Bock, my lazy ass still needs to finish the AWA set. Plus, college can really fuck up your wrestling intake.

#35 Dylan Waco

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:07 AM

I love Buddy. I have watched the Buddy set and he is amazing. I would have him in my top 10 if a gun was pointed at me I would rank him #7. That is a great spot.


To be clear you are talking U.S. guys right? I'm not saying I couldn't see an argument for Buddy in an all time top ten, but I just want to make sure that I'm reading you right.

And if I am that leads to my next question - where would Bock (and Buddy) be on an all time list for you right now? I'm pretty sure I'd have both in my top twenty. Maybe top fifteen. I see both as top ten contenders, but not sure if they would be inside or outside of it.

#36 shoe

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:17 AM

I love Buddy. I have watched the Buddy set and he is amazing. I would have him in my top 10 if a gun was pointed at me I would rank him #7. That is a great spot.


To be clear you are talking U.S. guys right? I'm not saying I couldn't see an argument for Buddy in an all time top ten, but I just want to make sure that I'm reading you right.

And if I am that leads to my next question - where would Bock (and Buddy) be on an all time list for you right now? I'm pretty sure I'd have both in my top twenty. Maybe top fifteen. I see both as top ten contenders, but not sure if they would be inside or outside of it.



I'm talking U.S. I would easily have them in my top 15 to 20. Their are a lot of great Lucha guys out there like Casas, Dandy, Santo, Satanico etc . that can make a case. Then in Japan you have your Jumbo's, Tenyru's, Kawada, Liger types would be battleing it out for spots . Now someone like Jim Breaks who I find about as entertaining as anyone I watch would be hard pressed to make a top 30 or 40 for me. In actuallity I think Breaks and Rose have a lot in common when it comes to schtick.

#37 Matt D

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:44 PM

Two matches I watched last night when I first started thinking about doing this:

Bockwinkel v. Buck Zumhofe - 11/79



This is Bock in studio setting and that is a setting where I think he is underrated. Really liked some of the studio matches of his I watched during the AWA project, but this wasn't one of them given the time frame. This goes about six minutes and was absolutely outstanding. I like Zumhofe more than most (i.e. I don't think he's terrible) and he was fine here working underneath, but this was just a great Bock performance. He works control with a headscissors for the first portion of this and uses it in a really aggressive way. Story is that Buck works really hard with several nifty escapes and Bock keeps cutting him down. Bock gets more and more aggressive and after Buck gets a brief advantage and takes over on his arm with Bock really bumping around nicely, he snaps and goes into "I've had enough of this shit" mode crushing Zumhofe with stiff shots, hitting two guillotine stile knee drops and then piledriving him for the finish. If this had taken place two months later I would have argued for it on the AWA Set in some capacity. We get to see Bock working a hold in a really interesting heel fashion, bumping and giving some credibility to an undercard babyface, and then doing the appropriate thing by putting him in his place before he got too much in. Really good match of it's sort.
fore


Immediately, I like Bock's headscissors. I like how he put it on, really seeming to have to work to stretch his leg over Buck's head, and then how he keeps putting the pressure on and turning onto his side. Zumhoffe sells it really well, actually. Bock does some really cool things with his hands to keep the hold on. The work the hope spots smartly and Bock cuts them off really effectively. I love Bock going to the forearm strike the second that Buck manages to get a counter on him, but that just wakes Buck up as Bockwinkel is jawing with the ref, and the plucky babyface gets to take over with some really mean looking armwork. This includes a really cool hammerlock whip that I'm not sure I've seen before,but it's a bit too cool and flashy because it lets Bock take back over with another cheapshot. Bock's no nonsense on offense just driving his head into the turnbuckles and kicking away. We get an end match transition as Buck reverses a whip into the corner and unleashes a quick flurry, but Bock holds on to the ropes to dropkick and just dismantles him with HUGE kneedrops to the back of Buck's skull and the pile driver to put him away. I agree with Dylan. Bock gave Buck just enough to make Zumhoffe look pretty good without making himself look like a chump and then took back over and sealed the deal in an utterly definitive way. That's what he did. HOW he did it was interesting and compelling. To his credit, Buck brought his usual goofy energy and wasn't boring in the least. Great little studio match.

#38 Matt D

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:16 PM

Bock/Stevens v. Red Bastien/Billy Robinson - 11/73



This is a 2/3 Falls studio match and a hell of a tv match from the period. I'm not saying this would blow anyway away now, but this was basically a workrate tag by the standards of the era, but with each team having clearly defined roles and a heat section to temper the pace. You could critique some of the babyface work and there was one awkward moment from the heels, but over all I can't imagine anyone watching this and not thinking it was impressive given the circumstances. The babyfaces brought almost all the strong offense in this, but that was sort of the point of the match and for the 70's this had some pretty great looking offense. The heels held up their end well by bumping for the big offense, reacting well to the spots and doing a really good job when in control. Cheating, cutting off the ring, punches, eye gouges as cutoff spots, Bock clinging to people from the guard to isolate them, cheap shot slaps to the face during the KOTM spot, pretty nasty looking stomps, et. The heels weren't going to win on style points, but again that was sort of the point of the match. Two falls straight, with the faces using the flashy work to win, but I came out of this thinking all four guys put on good performances. I know there really isn't much Bock/Stevens out there but you can tell they were a good compliment to each other and a good team even based on the little bit we have. This would make a 70's set.


I haven't seen a ton of early 70s Bock so this should be fun. I haven't seen a ton of Bastien either. From the get go we get that manic Bock from the Verne match on the set. Bock is great during the shine, reaching for Robinson through the ropes. It seemed completely unplanned in a way that a lot of those knee to the back off the rope spots don't. Bock getting trapped in the criss cross was a great spot. Super fun shine. His hand motions while backpeddling away from Robinson are really cool and the way Bock keeps retreating to the corner is absolutely dickish. Robinson is a lot of fun to watch. Did Bastien do that head bob off all three ropes things in every match? Because it's neat but it could get old. And the Robinson dropkick knocking Stevens right into Bastien. Cool stuff. I was starting to feel like it was a bit too much go go go without selling about this point but Stevens really sells the beautiful butterfly suplex.

The heels finally really take over and Bockwinkel taunting Bastien amazingly so that Stevens can assault Robinson is just so masterfully done. So dickish. He takes one for the team trying it the second time, and we're definitely into FIP territory. This match is a shitload of fun. The hope segments are just gritty and organic. Bock's really good on the outside waking Stevens up. It adds a lot to the hot tag. Bastien does his flip out of the back body drop and Stevens sells huge for him giving us a really manic end of fall.

Bock's sell of the double chop is great. You wonder how the body can move that way if he's not really getting hit. The double Teeter-Totter spot is a lot of fun. I don't think I've ever seen it done twice here. I love that Bock's fans have their own name. What 70s heel had a fan club? Bock and Stevens control the ring well. At one point, they're just chucking Robinson around the ring. Robinson's little spots and counters add a lot to his comebacks. The set up for the hot tag was good with Bock trying to get the pile driver on and the finishing segment was quick and effective. It was the sort of thing that would go too quickly in a one fall match but worked really great here. This is a match well worth watching.

Bockwinkel vs Ernie Ladd

October 1978.



This has no sound and sort of radioactive VQ. It's super clipped too but let's see what we have. Bock starts out playing super chickenshit vs the monster, diving out of the ring repeatedly. Post clip we have Bock selling Ladd's bearhug like death and then his shoulder thrusts like more death. They just go one and on until Bock flops. He's getting maueld here and bumping/selling huge. This makes the 1980 selling by Verne look minor by comparison. Finally he attacks Ladd from outside, slamming the leg over and over into the ring apron, before starting to dismantle the fallen giant. Ladd reverses it into a body scissors and Bock flails like he's dying again. This is actually a really cool segment, the fight over the leg lock with Ladd using big leverage moves. Eventually Bock slams the leg a few hundred times more on the apron. Back inside, I really like Bock's almost desperate strikes on Ladd's leg. It has a real feeling of Andre, where you knew one TOUCH by Andre could change everything.

Ladd comes back with kicks of his own and then some big punches. Bock's great in trying to fight back even though it's futile. Ladd gets to show off his agility (no longer selling the leg, mind you) and hit some big shoulder blocks and then Bock says fuck it, escapes outside and comes back in to choke the life out of Ladd manically. I guess it's not a choke since the ref is counting a pin out of it, but it's definitely maniacal. Ladd does a nice spasming sell of it before lifting his arm up on three. Ah, it's some sort of crazy nerve hold, which Ladd finally swats away in a great visual before putting on Bock himself, lifting him up first inside the ring and then on the apron with Bock on the inside, which causes him to get counted out.

The clipping is interesting since it turns it almost into a "Good parts only" match. But from what i see, it's fun and Bock vs Monster is not something we get to see often.

#39 Dylan Waco

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:53 PM

Bockwinkel vs Ernie Ladd

October 1978.



I thought what was shown of this was very good and suspect this is the majority of the match with stalling, selling and a few other things taken out. In an case it's too incomplete to put on something like a DVDVR Set, but there is more than enough here to assess the positives. Bock's pre-match sauntering around is great stuff. Where Flair makes you believe that he thinks he is better than you because of his wealth, materialism, et, Bock makes you think he's better than you because he's smarter than you. Here he carries himself like he's the smartest guy on Earth. I think the comp to an Andre match is very fitting and I thought Bock's big full body bumping and the way he was really ramming home on the leg on the apron got over that he was working against a really big dude. In general I think Bock's ways of reacting to different situations is one of his strengths and seeing him in this setting adds another dimension to that. Doesn't look like Ladd was selling the leg a whole lot, but other than that what was shown was good stuff even with the bullshit finish.

Bockwinkel v. Da Crusher - Cage Match 2/79 (?)



This is a little over five minutes of a match that went about 12 and a half minutes. Also, IIRC khawk says the correct date on this is 1980. Whatever the case may be it's a shame this isn't complete, because the five minutes we get is about as good a singles match as you are going to get out of old man Crusher. Bockwinkel is an absolute bump freak in this careening wildly into the cage, taking big bumps off the ropes, contorting himself crazily in the ropes off of kick offs, et. Crusher actually sells more than normal when Bock is on offense and I was impressed with how hard he appeared to be working. A stomp off the top and rope running exchange really doesn't seem like a lot, but for a guy his age/size it was impressive. I also liked the finish. Seriously good stuff.


Bockwinkel v. Dick The Bruiser - WWA 9/6/80

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTwOI90adxo

This is not an AWA match, but instead is from Bruiser's promotion in Indy. This is all about Bock working his game plan, which is a strength of his. Bock is a guy who will tailor offense and modes of attack and here he hones in on Bruiser's back/mid section early and sticks with it throughout. We get a weird edit with a Jennifer Lopez in peril voiceover and another patchy segment on the video, but this is pretty close to complete. Dick's selling sucks, but when Bock was on offense this was still pretty good because of how focused he was. Kidney punches on both sides, backbreaker, nice looking body scissors where he worked himself way from Bruiser' punch attempts, tree of woe spot with knees, et. Bruiser's comeback actually worked pretty good because it was gradual and Bock even tossed out a body shot to counter his momentum to no avail. Problem is Bruiser's offense sucks so even though Bock's bumping was really good, you can't really buy it. The ref did get killed on the screwjob finish though. Worth watching as an example of Bock the strategist, but not as a particularly good match.

#40 Ditch

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

We get a weird edit with a Jennifer Lopez in peril voiceover and another patchy segment on the video, but this is pretty close to complete.

Are there filters on PWO? Either way I'm really confused...




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