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Thoughts on the DVDVR Mid South matches


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#1 Loss

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 12:59 AM

I know a lot of you have or will be getting the set, so feel free to use this thread to cross-post anything you post there, so we can leach off the discussion at PWO. After reading people's initial thoughts, however, I know I can't wait to get my set so I can actually respond to some of the asinine things that have already been said that just don't make any sense, such as: DiBiase took Dory's formula and Terry Funk's facials and made a career out of it II's monkey flips on Borne while working Dibiase's shoulder on the mat is a perfect demonstration of how he can remain credible despite his obvious limitations. Orndorff's stooging bumps magnified Olympia's speed and power without weakening Orndorff's credibility. Nick's only salvation is in carefully stooging himself without losing his credibility in the process. And who relies on a quality stooge more than JYD? I don't know what to say about II that probably hasn't been (or will soon be) said already, but the thing that consistently surprises me is his motor. I don't think Watts ever abandoned his love for amateur credentialed technicians during this period Typical A+ bumps from Eaton, but the lack of any kind of structure to the match outside of the standard Morton in peril portion makes me think that it would have benefited from being a little more formulaic (for once). So share your thoughts with great enthusiasm I say, but I do hope your posts make sense. :)

#2 sek69

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 03:29 AM

LOL :lol: (for those wondering, Loss and I were discussing a fellow on DVDVR who posted gems like those in practically every match thread over there. We still don't know what any of them meant.)

#3 Loss

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 12:09 AM

Bob Roop vs. Mike George (12/16/81)

I really enjoyed this match. Lots of fun matwork and an out of control high knee to wrap things up. Bob Roop is the master of doing Steven Regal WCW TV title defenses before the belt existed or Regal had turned pro.

Roop is in three matches on this set -- Mike George, Ted DiBiase and Mr. Olympia are his opponents. It's the only Mike George match on the set, and I don't really have a strong basis of comparison with him, and there are definitely other, probably better singles matches with DiBiase and Olympia on the set. But there's something Roop brings here -- namely that Regal quality of making wrestlers conform to his style and look good doing it -- that makes these sub 10-minute TV studio matches work really well.

I'm glad the matches here are of Roop in the studio instead of the arena. I think he's one guy that benefits from the slightly quieter atmosphere, because it's harder to be subtle with a larger crowd.

To criticize Roop for not being larger than life charismatic is really missing a point -- he was filling a very specific role, and he was doing it uniquely.

I actually prefer DiBiase as a "speaking from experience" wrestling point of view slightly more than Watts, simply because I feel like Watts liked to go a little long-winded at times and was more focused on making his end point than calling the match. It happens at times here and especially in the other studio matches. Watts is talking about world affairs or racquetball or whatever to build up to his big point, but misses several key spots along the way. Watts is great as a soundbyte guy though, and I feel like Jim Ross took the best parts of Watts as an announcer and went further with it. It's probably where Ross's whole "talk in soundbytes" meme that he always says came from.

Neeley added a lot here. The ringpost spot had me thinking we were going to see a countout because he was such a stickler for the rules, and we didn't. He got a countout over as a false finish. I don't know that it would have happened the same way with a different ref.

It's also important to remember that this is in a TV studio. A note to everyone who keeps mentioning that there are better things to come or that this is a nice exposition -- it's true that there are 40 hours of great wrestling in your possession waiting to be watched. But still, try to savor the early stuff. Roop/George may not compare to some of the later stuff in terms of a hot crowd with hate and blood and just "big" feeling wrestling, but it's still really fun and worth watching. Don't be so eager to get to the great part that you miss some of the really good stuff along the way. I know it's kind of an easy trap to fall into when you look at the matchlist and see what's waiting, because it's epic, but I think it may cause you to overlook some cool stuff among the early years.

:)


Mr. Olympia vs. Paul Orndorff (2/3/82)

Not as good as the first match, but still worth watching. Context is key for a move like the sleeper.

It's easy to get pretty much anything over strong as a finisher if it's presented as something that makes an impact. The sleeper has really only become a major crowd killer in the past 20 years or so, when the WWF eating wrestling alive undid all the education promoters had always done on the impact of holds. You used to hear pretty standard sleeperhold talking points, like that it was outlawed by the LAPD because of the danger inherent in the move, or that it cut off the flow of blood to the brain.

It's also all in the selling. Orndorff does a great job with it because it's sold more like a Fujiwara armbar would normally be sold with the guy kicking and fighting and doing everything to get out.

I also really like Orndorff's gimmick of being a wrestler who likes to use everyone else's moves with some extra twist to give them his own impact. Watts did a good job selling that at the booth.

The second rope clothesline was cool and all, but it felt kinda low impact for me for some reason, and the desperation selling stood out to me more than anything else instead.

We see clean finishes pretty much all the time now on TV, so it's easy to overlook, but seeing as many clean finishes as you see on this set between name guys is actually sort of a novelty for its time.

#4 Guest_Codyjack_*

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 05:12 PM

I received this set on Saturday afternoon and am absolutely blown away by the sheer monstrosity of it. I am probably a little over two hours into the first disc and there are definitely some highlights. It's going to be difficult for me, being a unexperienced and amateur wrestling critic, to devise a top 150 list. I can't sit there and watch it with a pad and paper but I think I can do a decent job finding the one match on each disc that grabs me. So far, and I'm only two hours in, is the Dibiase (pronounced Dee-be-aws)/Bourne vs. JYD/Mr. Olympia tag match from some type of state fair. The crowd was worked into a frenzy and the swerve ending just ruled. Just awesome stuff... I figure if I watch 3-4 matches a night, I might be able to get everything watched by March. Yikes. :mellow:

#5 Loss

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 05:36 PM

It's quite the set for sure. I realize the latter stuff is what's famous and what people most associate with Mid South, but I do think there's maybe too much eagerness to get there quickly, to a point where some are sort of underappreciating the early stuff. At this point, I've watched all of Disc 1 except for the last two matches, and feel pretty good with how things are shaping up thus far. The big standout to me is that II/TA vs Reed/Neidhart cage match, a pretty awesome 4 1/2-star match I never would have expected, with Neidhart coming up with some really awesome methods of ref distraction, and two really, really well done FIPs. Magnum was still a little physically awkward and green here, but it's a match built on downplaying that instead of making it a focal point of the match, like you often see in vet vs. new guy matches in modern WWE. The heels are really great (seriously, who knew Neidhart could be this good?) and Butch Reed is the lost great worker of the 80s. The cage isn't a major factor in the match, but I think I like that because it feels less gimmicky as a result. Wrestling matches are wrestling matches first and foremost, are they not? It also works to get over the two or three cage spots they do pretty well. I like the idea of putting together a cage match with a vet and green guy on one side, and two heels in their physical prime on the other, with the idea that they would only do three cage-related spots and focus more on getting the match over. It worked really well. Chavo/Olympia was also really good. Olympia reminds me of Steve Austin in terms of his body language and in how he carries himself, but moreso the WCW version of Austin than the WWF version. Really solid looking basic matwork from him, and the spot where he slipped something on his foot to dropkick Chavo was great. Also, Chavo's bridging German suplex at the end was fantastic. Also loved the post-match brawl. Really fast-paced energetic stuff with a strong heel/face dynamic and it stands out in the context of the time because it wasn't typical. I'm not quite as high on it as most, but still enjoyed it. Also, both in terms of the angle and the match, it doesn't get much better than JYD/Olympia vs DiBiase/Borne, a match that I think will also do pretty well on my overall ballot. To me, this is really what a TV main event should be -- super hot crowd, great action, plenty of time given but not too much time and a hot angle to close it all up. I knew the finish, but even watching and not knowing the finish, you have to be watching this thinking something special is at stake, which is sort of a lost art.

#6 Loss

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 12:56 AM

I've watched all of the first two discs and thought I'd share how I have everything ranked so far. I do plan on watching the whole set twice, because I tend to overrate stuff I like the first time I watch it. But right now, here's where I have everything: 1. Rock N Roll Express & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd (6/8/84) 2. Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. vs. Butch Reed & Jim Neidhart (Cage Match) (12/25/83) 3. Ted DiBiase vs. Hacksaw Duggan (Street Fight) (7/29/83) 4. Mr. Olympia vs. Chavo Guerrerro (6/24/83) 5. Butch Reed vs. Skip Young (9/23/84) 6. Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne (Loser Leaves Town) (10/27/82) 7. Rock N Roll Express & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd (7/2/84) 8. The Fantastics vs. Chavo & Hector Guerrero (10/12/84) 9. Mr. Olympia vs. Bob Roop (7/15/82) 10. One Man Gang vs. Buck Robley (Lumberjack Match) (9/15/82) 11. Dusty Rhodes & Jim Duggan vs. Butch Reed & Hercules Hernandez (8/19/84) 12. The Fantastics & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Jim Cornette (7/20/84) 13. Magnum TA vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (Tulsa 5/27/84) 14. The Fantastics vs. Midnight Express (OKC 8/9/84) 15. Bob Roop vs. Mike George (12/16/81) 16. Midnight Express vs. Bill Dundee & Porkchop Cash (4/6/84) 17. Magnum TA v. Ted DiBiase (7/6/84) 18. Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. vs. Midnight Express (2/10/84) 19. Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted DiBiase & Hacksaw Duggan (8/18/82) 20. Nick Bockwinkel vs. Dusty Rhodes (5/20/83) 21. Midnight Express vs. Bill Watts & Stagger Lee (4/22/84) 22. Buddy Landel & Butch Reed vs. Rock N Roll Express (3/28/84) 23. Midnight Express vs. Rock N Roll Express (No DQ: Tag Titles vs. $50,000) (5/23/84) 24. The Fantastics vs. Midnight Express (No DQ) (9/28/84) 25. Magnum TA vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (OKC 5/27/84) 26. Brickhouse Brown & Master Gee vs. Butch Reed & Ernie Ladd (10/21/84) 27. Mr. Wrestling II & Junkyard Dog vs. Matt Borne & Ted DiBiase (2/16/83) 28. Mr. Olympia vs. Paul Orndorff (2/3/82) 29. Bob Roop vs. Ted DiBiase (4/2/82) 30. Butch Reed v. Iron Sheik (4/8/83) 31. Junkyard Dog vs. Nick Bockwinkel (6/11/82) 32. Killer Khan v. Chris Adams (9/9/84) 33. Adrian Street vs. Chris Adams (10/10/84) 34. Stagger Lee & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne (12/18/82)

#7 Childs

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 09:34 AM

What were your thoughts on the Magnum/Dibiase matches Loss? I was a little surprised that none of the three made it higher than No. 13 on your list.

#8 Loss

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:19 AM

I thought they were good matches. I think the best overall match was the second one on the set, but I thought the one in Houston from July was awesome after the ring ropes broke and they improvised and used the turnbuckle as a weapon. The match was pretty dull before that, though. I've liked everything on this set so far, even the lower-ranked matches. I've just liked some more than others. The only bad thing I can really say about the Magnum/DiBiase series is that the blood really felt gratuitous and unnecessary, and it feels Dusty Rhodes-level unnecessary to do it in every single match you have. I also felt like the Houston match, with early parts built around DiBiase trying to ram his opponents' head into something and being blocked, felt more like WWF DiBiase than Mid South DiBiase.

#9 tomk

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 10:33 AM

I know you wrote about the cage match as a possiblke MOTYC from 83...and for large time putting this set together I thought it would be my number 1. So curious what it was about the six man that sent that above the cage match.

#10 Guest_Codyjack_*

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 11:23 AM

I was able to get through the first disc last night. That final match on disc one between “Midnight Express” and the “Rock and Roll Express” was quite simply out of control. Fortunately, the viewer was treated to the contract signing between the two teams mediated by Jim Ross. Cornette also states that he has put up $50,000.00 for the match. Each team has to sign their name in triplicate, which was a nice touch. Watching contract signings now, both wrestlers just sign the same document, but in “Mid-South”, both teams and the governing body get a copy. I guess that makes it legal. After the signing ceremony, we are treated to a commercial advertising Mid-South’s big Superdome show. “Unmarried women, over the age of 18” can enter to win a date with the “Rock N’ Roll Express”. I believe they also had to send in a photo of themselves to be judged as well. This allowed Gibson and Morton to weed out the skanks. Imagine any company doing that now? Discrimination lawsuits would be thrown at them like darts in a pub. Finally, the match begins. The first thing I notice about this set is the general age of the audience. It has become younger and younger as the set progresses chronologically. The first match on the disc had a bunch of geezers in the front row, some wearing their cowboy hats and watching contently. Now a few years later, there are hundreds of girls screaming, teenage boys wearing masks and head-locking each other when the camera is on them, and general pandemonium. The “Rock N Roll Express” comes out and a couple of old dames have crocheted them new glittery red vests to wear in the ring since Mr. Wrestling 1 & 2 destroyed their old gear during a past match. Morton seems pleased with the gift and lays a kiss on the cheek of one of the ladies, but Gibson simply grabs it, puts in on, then gets in the ring. He simply no sold their kind gesture. Prick. The match begins and seems pretty formulaic to me. The “R&R Express” take control, the “Midnight Express” come back, the “R&R Express” then take control again, then finally the “Midnight Express” must resort to cheating. The past “Midnight Express” match in this set was them simply taking Cornette’s tennis racket, that was said to contain metal ribbing around the case which caused severe injury when used, and slamming it into the face of their opponents. They tried it again this time, but it didn’t work quite well enough, so when the referee was distracted, Cornette sprayed deodorant on a cloth and wrapped it around the face of one of the “Rock ‘N Roll Express” (sorry don’t remember who. Note to self, I really need to pay better attention). Watts immediately began complaining about the smell in the arena, saying that the gimmick smelled “medical” (WTF!) and that the arena smelled “like hospital”. The man has a way with words. After one of the members of the “Rock N Roll Express” was knocked out, the heels covered for the win and the tag titles. After the match, Watts said that he talked to someone in the audience who works “at a hospital” and he said that the spray that Cornette used was definitely “medical smelling”. This whole match was just wonderfully silly and I loved every minute of it.

#11 tomk

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 11:43 AM

Best thing about that ether finish is they clearly used some sented thing as it looks like folks in the front row (assuming not stunt grannies) start to cough.

#12 goodhelmet

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 03:33 PM

It's quite the set for sure. I realize the latter stuff is what's famous and what people most associate with Mid South, but I do think there's maybe too much eagerness to get there quickly, to a point where some are sort of underappreciating the early stuff.

At this point, I've watched all of Disc 1 except for the last two matches, and feel pretty good with how things are shaping up thus far. The big standout to me is that II/TA vs Reed/Neidhart cage match, a pretty awesome 4 1/2-star match I never would have expected, with Neidhart coming up with some really awesome methods of ref distraction, and two really, really well done FIPs. Magnum was still a little physically awkward and green here, but it's a match built on downplaying that instead of making it a focal point of the match, like you often see in vet vs. new guy matches in modern WWE. The heels are really great (seriously, who knew Neidhart could be this good?) and Butch Reed is the lost great worker of the 80s. The cage isn't a major factor in the match, but I think I like that because it feels less gimmicky as a result. Wrestling matches are wrestling matches first and foremost, are they not? It also works to get over the two or three cage spots they do pretty well. I like the idea of putting together a cage match with a vet and green guy on one side, and two heels in their physical prime on the other, with the idea that they would only do three cage-related spots and focus more on getting the match over. It worked really well.

Chavo/Olympia was also really good. Olympia reminds me of Steve Austin in terms of his body language and in how he carries himself, but moreso the WCW version of Austin than the WWF version. Really solid looking basic matwork from him, and the spot where he slipped something on his foot to dropkick Chavo was great. Also, Chavo's bridging German suplex at the end was fantastic. Also loved the post-match brawl. Really fast-paced energetic stuff with a strong heel/face dynamic and it stands out in the context of the time because it wasn't typical. I'm not quite as high on it as most, but still enjoyed it.

Also, both in terms of the angle and the match, it doesn't get much better than JYD/Olympia vs DiBiase/Borne, a match that I think will also do pretty well on my overall ballot. To me, this is really what a TV main event should be -- super hot crowd, great action, plenty of time given but not too much time and a hot angle to close it all up. I knew the finish, but even watching and not knowing the finish, you have to be watching this thinking something special is at stake, which is sort of a lost art.


I think all three of these will do extremely well in the final voting so I have to disagree with your assessment that people are underappreciating the early stuff. In fact, with a few exceptions and disagreements, most people have had high praise for most of the matches talked about so far.

#13 PeteF3

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 03:39 PM

Best thing about that ether finish is they clearly used some sented thing as it looks like folks in the front row (assuming not stunt grannies) start to cough.


In one of the Cornette/Heenan shoots Cornette talks about using--I believe--engine starter fluid with the can covered with tape. Then folding the cloth so the sprayed side was on the inside.

One night Tommy Rogers got the wrong side of the cloth. With him puking up and laying in the back exit door for fresh air, concerned/enraged fans got to see Cornette and the Midnights stepping over his carcass trying to leave, which just endeared them to those psychos even more.

#14 goodhelmet

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 03:56 PM

My Disc 1 rankings so far. They may change... Mr. Olympia vs. Chavo Guerrerro (6/24/83) Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. vs. Butch Reed & Jim Neidhart (Cage Match) (12/25/83) Midnight Express vs. Bill Watts & Stagger Lee (4/22/84) Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. vs. Midnight Express (2/10/84) Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne (Loser Leaves Town) (10/27/82) Ted DiBiase vs. Hacksaw Duggan (Street Fight) (7/29/83) Midnight Express vs. Bill Dundee & Porkchop Cash (4/6/84) Mr. Olympia vs. Bob Roop (7/15/82) Midnight Express vs. Rock N Roll Express (No DQ: Tag Titles vs. $50,000) (5/23/84) One Man Gang vs. Buck Robley (Lumberjack Match) (9/15/82) Buddy Landel & Butch Reed vs. Rock N Roll Express (3/28/84) Butch Reed v. Iron Sheik (4/8/83) Mr. Olympia vs. Paul Orndorff (2/3/82) Bob Roop vs. Mike George (12/16/81) Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted DiBiase & Hacksaw Duggan (8/18/82) Junkyard Dog vs. Nick Bockwinkel (6/11/82) Bob Roop vs. Ted DiBiase (4/2/82) Nick Bockwinkel vs. Dusty Rhodes (5/20/83) Mr. Wrestling II & Junkyard Dog vs. Matt Borne & Ted DiBiase (2/16/83) Stagger Lee & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne (12/18/82)

#15 Loss

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 04:09 PM

It's quite the set for sure. I realize the latter stuff is what's famous and what people most associate with Mid South, but I do think there's maybe too much eagerness to get there quickly, to a point where some are sort of underappreciating the early stuff.

At this point, I've watched all of Disc 1 except for the last two matches, and feel pretty good with how things are shaping up thus far. The big standout to me is that II/TA vs Reed/Neidhart cage match, a pretty awesome 4 1/2-star match I never would have expected, with Neidhart coming up with some really awesome methods of ref distraction, and two really, really well done FIPs. Magnum was still a little physically awkward and green here, but it's a match built on downplaying that instead of making it a focal point of the match, like you often see in vet vs. new guy matches in modern WWE. The heels are really great (seriously, who knew Neidhart could be this good?) and Butch Reed is the lost great worker of the 80s. The cage isn't a major factor in the match, but I think I like that because it feels less gimmicky as a result. Wrestling matches are wrestling matches first and foremost, are they not? It also works to get over the two or three cage spots they do pretty well. I like the idea of putting together a cage match with a vet and green guy on one side, and two heels in their physical prime on the other, with the idea that they would only do three cage-related spots and focus more on getting the match over. It worked really well.

Chavo/Olympia was also really good. Olympia reminds me of Steve Austin in terms of his body language and in how he carries himself, but moreso the WCW version of Austin than the WWF version. Really solid looking basic matwork from him, and the spot where he slipped something on his foot to dropkick Chavo was great. Also, Chavo's bridging German suplex at the end was fantastic. Also loved the post-match brawl. Really fast-paced energetic stuff with a strong heel/face dynamic and it stands out in the context of the time because it wasn't typical. I'm not quite as high on it as most, but still enjoyed it.

Also, both in terms of the angle and the match, it doesn't get much better than JYD/Olympia vs DiBiase/Borne, a match that I think will also do pretty well on my overall ballot. To me, this is really what a TV main event should be -- super hot crowd, great action, plenty of time given but not too much time and a hot angle to close it all up. I knew the finish, but even watching and not knowing the finish, you have to be watching this thinking something special is at stake, which is sort of a lost art.


I think all three of these will do extremely well in the final voting so I have to disagree with your assessment that people are underappreciating the early stuff. In fact, with a few exceptions and disagreements, most people have had high praise for most of the matches talked about so far.



To clarify, by early stuff, I mean 1981-1983, but mainly the early Bob Roop matches from Shreveport. Not so much the Houston matches or the matches I mentioned.

#16 Loss

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 11:12 AM

So I've watched everything through the end of Disc 3 now and part of Disc 4 and have revised my rankings at this point. Explanations below.

1. Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. vs. Butch Reed & Jim Neidhart (Cage Match) (12/25/83)
-- TomK had earlier questioned what put the MX/RRX Houston match ahead of this one for me. I'll talk more about it below, but it basically has to do with being a huge mark for Bobby Eaton hammerlock spots. That said, I loved Flair/Taylor so much, and when I went back to revise this, my thought was that it was better than the Houston match, but not as good as the cage match. Then I wondered if that was the case why I had the cage match #1. So I flipped it back. The cage match is back in its rightful spot as #1, and while I've seen a handful of matches that come close, I haven't seen anything yet that I definitely think is better.

2. Ric Flair vs. Terry Taylor (5/3/85)
-- Loved this match. Prior to watching this, I had watched the Flair/Kerry match from 4/27, which left a really sour taste for reasons I'll elaborate more about when I talk about that match. One thing I always liked about Flair in Mid South was that he pushed like he deserved to be champion, even if he did escape with the belt by the skin of his teeth. Flair/Kerry felt more like Flair/Hawk or Flair/Luger with some type of screwjob at the end, and all I could think was if they didn't want Kerry looking bad, why not make the match non-title and have Kerry win clean, instead of creating a result that pretty much meant nothing. This was more the Flair in Mid South looking like the deserving NWA champ that I really liked. Flair spots have been seen so many times by wrestling fans that I think it's easy to take them for granted or forget how good they are. Holding the ropes while applying an armbar is pretty basic, but it's majorly effective when the teenage girl on the front row is hopping the railing and arguing face-to-face with the ref trying to point out the cheating. I also really LOVED how Taylor would outwrestle Flair, and Flair would respond by ... shaking his hand. At one point, they get into a shoving match and Flair's response is to casually look away and go to the ropes, which just seems even more insulting than getting in his face and screaming at him. And while this finish is a bit of a lucky finish for Flair also, in the body of the match, he didn't look like a loser and held his own. I'm talking almost entirely about Flair, which isn't to take anything away from Taylor. I do think one of the other Flair/Taylor matches is more a showcase for Taylor, but this one is a total showcase for Ric Flair. I expect this to fall at some point, but for now, it's here.

3. Rock N Roll Express & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd (6/8/84)
-- As I mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of Bobby Eaton hammerlock stuff. Don't get me wrong, I still love this match and still think it will finish pretty highly, but I think I overrated because of a few great spots from Eaton originally. That said, it's fun to watch Ladd keep up with the new hot tag teams who've come in and turned business around, and while some have questioned it, I actually loved the spray finish and the post-match brawl was awesome. I could see myself flipping this and Flair/Taylor at some point, but it's a close call.

4. Ric Flair vs. Terry Taylor (4/28/85)
During the nomination process for this set, I wrote the following about this match:

Not only does this match have to go on, but I could see myself voting #1 for it.

Incredible match. In the past, I've not really been a fan of the Flair/Taylor series, and I always thought Taylor was solid, but never did anything above very good really. This is making me question that. The Flair/Taylor series was always too slow paced to me when compared to other Flair matches, and really felt like Flair was dumbing himself down so Taylor could keep up. I never got that feeling here at all. The build to the figure four was so good, because there were so many times watching where you thought, "Okay, this is the point where he's finally going to lock it in" and Taylor fought it off again. They really got the move over as a killer here, nice change of pace from Flair using his finisher as a babyface comeback transition. Lots of cool little touches as well, like Flair trying to get too aggressive too soon and getting his suplex attempts blocked, and when Taylor got his leg tangled in the ropes, the result at that point was really a foregone conclusion. Seeing Flair get that protected is refreshing, considering that Watts made him look better than even Crockett in booking, although I have no idea why Taylor was introduced second.

Awesome match! Had Taylor come back from the figure four and they worked even more back and forth stuff after that, we'd be looking at a match as good as anything Flair has ever done. Also fun to note that just a few days before this, Flair was in Japan having matches with Jumbo and Choshu, and Flair not looking tired or out of it at all is awesome.


I've seen things I've liked better since then, but I'm still a fan of this match for the same reasons. I also thought this was a great showcase for Taylor, as I mentioned before, mainly because of his leg selling.

5. Ted DiBiase vs. Brad Armstrong (2/10/85)
-- I really thought this was awesome. I had watched this a couple of years ago and loved it, but knew Phil was down on this for being pretty generic, so I was expecting to watch it and not think as much of it this time around. If anything, I think I liked it even more. DiBiase is a guy who I think is a better house show wrestler than a TV camera wrestler, and it shows here. Yes, DiBiase has had some good TV matches, but he turned up the volume with his big, overstated reactions to Armstrong's offense and occasionally punch drunk selling that I think he's even better when he's more exaggerated. Armstrong is someone I like, but this is more of a DiBiase showcase. I think this is a good match to show those who don't really get the Duggan series an example of DiBiase having a hot, competitive 15-minute match with someone lower on the totem pole, and giving them just the right amount of offense but still winning in the end. This is the one that I think people should point to as DiBiase's signature Mid South match.

6. Ted Dibiase vs. Hacksaw Duggan (No DQ, Loser Leaves Town, Coal Miner's Glove on a Poll, Tuxedo, Cage match ) (3/22/85)
-- Okay, so I said a few days ago that I thought I might rank the street fight ahead of this. I was WAY wrong on that one. Maybe seeing all three of the DiBiase/Duggan matches in order, and maybe seeing the video package, is what turned me around here. This is all about revenge and hate and settling something important. I'm guessing because the video package was hyping a New Orleans match that they were doing this around the horn at this point. I'd like to see some of the others to see how they compare also. I can definitely see goodhelmet's point about this being the pinnacle of the Mid South style. It won't be my #1, but I won't argue with anyone who doesn't have it #1, and it will be near the top of my ballot.

7. Ted Dibiase vs. Jim Duggan (No DQ) (3/8/85)
-- I think the all stips match is a good display for both guys, showing what they could do at that point in time. DiBiase is the heel who's obviously calling things here, but this I think is Duggan's chance to shine. The facial expressions and timing of comebacks couldn't really be much better. I think when people see how Doc does his comebacks as they get further into this set, they'll see how Duggan influenced him as a babyface also. This was great.

8. Buddy Landel, Chavo & Hector Guerrero vs. Brickhouse Brown, Bill Dundee & Jose Lothario (Elimination Match) (11/16/84)
-- Buddy Landell and the Guerreros should be required to be one of the teams in every six man tag ever. You don't have Landell and the Guerreros, you can't have a six-man. Landell always like to do this spot where he misses an elbow drop repeatedly, but when you add the Guerreros to that formula, it gets even more awesome. So many intricate sequences here, and good chemistry with everyone. I do wish Brickhouse Brown would have lasted longer, because I actually liked him more than Dundee or Lothario in this match. I don't remember Brown being this good as a heel in late 80s World Class, but he rocks here.

9. Ted DiBiase vs. Hacksaw Duggan (Street Fight) (7/29/83)
-- I've talked about this before. I still love this match, but the other two do blow it away.

10. Mr. Olympia vs. Chavo Guerrerro (6/24/83)
-- I've talked about this before. Some will wonder why I have this ranked so "low", but I don't see it in those terms. I just see all these other matches that I like even more, and that shouldn't take anything away from this in the process.

11. Butch Reed vs. Skip Young (9/23/84)
Here's what I wrote about this during the nomination process. My thoughts haven't changed much.

I don't know if I'm just in a good mood or what, but wow. This one totally blew me away, and could possibly end up in my top 20.

I think every great worker should have a great match against someone much lower on the totem pole on his resume. This is Butch Reed's. Main event guy versus talented midcarder with talented midcarder coming close to winning it all, and having everyone in the building think he might do it, only to lose in the end, is my favorite type of match. But Skip Young also really surprised me here. This isn't a match I would have probably ever taken the time to watch just based on the names, which is a shame, because I would have been missing something great. I knew Butch Reed ruled, but Skip Young is pretty good too. Love that they went as long as they did, and thought all the matwork was put over exceptionally well. The stun gun followed by middle rope legdrop finish was pretty great too.

This is really high end Ric Flair/George South from TBS. Not in terms of the wrestling style, but in terms of the match layout.


12. Kerry Von Erich vs. Ric Flair (5/4/85)
-- To me, this is the MUCH better of the two Flair/Kerry matches on this set. If there's a black mark against it, it's that Flair's title matches, especially against guys like Taylor and Reed, seem to build and build, so when they get to the point where they're going all action, they've laid some really strong groundwork. Not so much the case here, but still fun and exciting. That said, this and the other Kerry/Flair match still feel prophetic, because you're seeing someone who's not really being protected as champ all that much repeating spots and entire sequences ad nauseum. Great spots, but very familiar ones.

13. Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted Dibiase & Matt Borne (Loser Leaves Town) (10/27/82)
-- Talked about this one before, and still feel the same way.

14. Rock N Roll Express & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Ernie Ladd (7/2/84)
-- This one is really good, especially the awesome heat on Morton and all the Bobby Eaton cheating. Several steps below the Houston match for me with a finish I didn't care for (mainly because Ladd was getting the win), but still great fun.

15. Brad Armstrong vs. Ted DiBiase (1/16/85)
-- Not as good as the house show match, although it's kind of a lesser "signature" DiBiase match. Worth seeing and great fun.

Random thoughts on other matches:

16. The Fantastics vs. Dr. Death & Jake Roberts (4/14/85)
17. The Fantastics vs. Chavo & Hector Guerrero (10/12/84)
18. Mr. Olympia vs. Bob Roop (7/15/82)
19. One Man Gang vs. Buck Robley (Lumberjack Match) (9/15/82)
20. Dusty Rhodes & Jim Duggan vs. Butch Reed & Hercules Hernandez (8/19/84)
21. The Fantastics & Hacksaw Duggan vs. Midnight Express & Jim Cornette (7/20/84)
22. Magnum TA vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (Tulsa 5/27/84)
23. The Fantastics vs. Midnight Express (OKC 8/9/84)

24. Rock N Roll Express vs. Midnight Express (Scaffold Match) (12/2/84)
-- Don't get the dislike for this one. Scaffold matches are pretty limiting, but they managed to do some great spots in a very small space. Morton crawling under Condrey and Gibson to get at the terrified Eaton is great!

25. Rock N Roll Express vs. Chavo & Hector Guerrero (2/13/85)
-- I like the Guerreros and all, but I think people are overrating them because of their offense. Still, good match.

26. Bob Roop vs. Mike George (12/16/81)
27. Midnight Express vs. Bill Dundee & Porkchop Cash (4/6/84)

28. Kerry Von Erich vs. Ric Flair (4/28/85)
-- Good match, but also features everything people eventually grew to hate about Flair title defenses, and matches like this eventually killed him as a major draw.

29. Magnum TA v. Ted DiBiase (7/6/84)
30. Mr. Wrestling II & Magnum T.A. vs. Midnight Express (2/10/84)
31. Junkyard Dog & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted DiBiase & Hacksaw Duggan (8/18/82)
32. Nick Bockwinkel vs. Dusty Rhodes (5/20/83)
33. Midnight Express vs. Bill Watts & Stagger Lee (4/22/84)
34. Buddy Landel & Butch Reed vs. Rock N Roll Express (3/28/84)
35. Midnight Express vs. Rock N Roll Express (No DQ: Tag Titles vs. $50,000) (5/23/84)
36. The Fantastics vs. Midnight Express (No DQ) (9/28/84)
-- Houston No DQ matches are weird, because they either don't work the stip into the match at all, or they still hide their cheating from the referee. Good match, though, especially for Bobby Eaton doing his thing.

37. Magnum TA vs. Ted DiBiase (No DQ) (OKC 5/27/84)

38. Rock N Roll Express vs. Midnight Express (1/21/85)
-- I don't like this feud as much as I remember, but I still do like it. That said, this felt like Eaton especially was working injured, and he may have been, because he doesn't take a lot of bumps, and this is mainly built around stalling and really slow pacing. That doesn't bother me, but they have another match on the set where I think they did that same style better.

39. Buddy Landel, Chavo & Hector Guerrero vs. Rock N Roll Express & Jose Lothario (Elimination Match) (1/18/85)
-- As much as I liked the other Landell/Guerreros six-man, I didn't like this one as much, mainly due to it not being much of a match, and instead a big heel comedy opening followed by an out of nowhere pinfall.

40. Ernie Ladd & Butch Reed vs. Magnum TA & Master G (Street Fight) (11/4/84)
41. Brickhouse Brown & Master Gee vs. Butch Reed & Ernie Ladd (10/21/84)
-- Master G is awful, but I like everyone else in these matches. Still, too uneven to be ranked all that high, because they're both good at times and pretty bad at times, depending on who's in the ring.

42. Mr. Wrestling II & Junkyard Dog vs. Matt Borne & Ted DiBiase (2/16/83)
43. Mr. Olympia vs. Paul Orndorff (2/3/82)
44. Bob Roop vs. Ted DiBiase (4/2/82)
45. Butch Reed v. Iron Sheik (4/8/83)
46. Rock N Roll Express vs. Dirty White Boys (4/15/85)
-- I thought I'd like this one a lot more than I did. It was a decent tag match, but the DWB don't really know what to do with someone who can sell as well as Morton, and so Morton doesn't really go all out with the selling as a result. I don't think the chemistry is here. I think the Fantastics are behind the Rock & Rolls as a team, but I do think they had better chemistry with the Dirty White Boys.

47. Adrian Street vs. Terry Taylor (Loser Leaves Town) (12/7/84)
48. Junkyard Dog vs. Nick Bockwinkel (6/11/82)
49. Rock N Roll Express & Butch Reed vs. Dr. Death, Kamala & One Man Gang (2/25/85)
50. Killer Khan v. Chris Adams (9/9/84)
51. Kevin Von Erich vs. Chris Adams (1/18/85)
52. Adrian Street vs. Chris Adams (10/10/84)
53. Ted DiBiase & Dr. Death vs. Hacksaw Duggan & Terry Gordy (Texas Tornado Match) (1/21/85)
-- I'm probably ranking this too low, because I didn't dislike it, but I'm not a fan of Texas Tornado matches in general. This one really shows off why, because even if the action is great, they aren't really building to anything and it seems pretty aimless. It also requires great camerawork, which this didn't have.

54. Stagger Lee & Mr. Olympia vs. Ted DiBiase & Matt Borne (12/18/82)

#17 jkc31

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 02:14 PM

I have a question when you guys rate matches, When you rate matches, what are you looking for? The Guerrero/Olympia was good but really annoyed me at times. I would have rated it higher if Olympia was allowed to do more on offense but his chinlock. Also how much does crowd heat or lack thereof enter into it? Do you tend to rate a match higher if there is more importance on it.? Does it seem weird to anyone watching how little they do in these matches and get so much heat compared to how much they do today and how little heat they seem to get. Also Bobby Eaton is so much more awesome in disc 1 than I thought and I have always loved him. And Stagger Lee in 1984 sucks more than any wrestler I have ever seen in 30 years of watching wrestling. Good Helmet Thank you so much for helping with this set. This is my favorite era of all time and Im embarassed that I was too lazy to help with it. The matches you have are great, but I think there are so many more great matches you could have easily gone up to 200. Lastly, any chance JDW actually watches all 150. My over/under is 85.

#18 goodhelmet

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 03:18 PM

When you rate matches, what are you looking for? The Guerrero/Olympia was good but really annoyed me at times. I would have rated it higher if Olympia was allowed to do more on offense but his chinlock.


I don't actually mind the lack of Olympia offense in that match because Chavo was a Boesch guy and I see no problem with him getting the shine. I love Olympia and this was but a small glimpse of what we could have had from him on this set. If only they had more house show footage from 81-83 :(


Also how much does crowd heat or lack thereof enter into it? Do you tend to rate a match higher if there is more importance on it.?
Does it seem weird to anyone watching how little they do in these matches and get so much heat compared to how much they do today and how little heat they seem to get.


I think the heat adds to a match so that would affect my thoughts when ranking or rating a match. I am not saing shitty matches can't have great heat but heat always helps whn the audience is emotionally into the match.
Also, it does not surprise me at all about the lack of heat today because the crowd isn't as emotionally attached to the wrestlers the same way they were back then. They may still be attached to wrestling but not to the individuals.


And Stagger Lee in 1984 sucks more than any wrestler I have ever seen in 30 years of watching wrestling.


I have seen much worse and think you are really overstating this. I don't think Lee did anything to try and bring the match down and was perfectly fine in his role.


Thank you so much for helping with this set. This is my favorite era of all time and Im embarassed that I was too lazy to help with it. The matches you have are great, but I think there are so many more great matches you could have easily gone up to 200.


Kris Z actually argued that point but damn, I only have so much time. I actually was arguing to cut it down to 100 but I think it worled out for the best. This is also one of my favorites with 86-87 Crockett coming a close 2nd. I think that is why alot of the arguments about the matches included were so heated. You root for your guys and your favorites. The saving grace is that we will have a "leftovers" set where we include matches that did not make the set for either VQ reasons, lack of availability or oversight. In fact, feel free to send me that cage match :)

Lastly, any chance JDW actually watches all 150. My over/under is 85.


Hell, he sat through a helluva lot of shitty WWF matches, this should be a cakewalk.

#19 BO1

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 04:47 PM

A fantastic read all around guys, by all means please do keep it up.

#20 tomk

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 05:09 PM

Surprisingly the one match that was a lot better than I remebered it being was JYD v Bockwinkle...This was always a match that I wanted on the set but not a match that I remembered being this good. Not one of the top matches, I've watched thus far but far better than remembered.. This is what I wrote

"And who relies on a quality stooge more than JYD?"

I’m not sure how accurate of a statement this is. When watching JYD TV matches from this period, his best opponents are brawlers like Bundy, Missing Link, Krusher Darsow, and Butch Reed. Reed is a bump machine but I don’t know if I’d ever call him a stooge. And I wouldn’t describe either of the other three as big bumpers or stooges. JYD in this period seems to be best showcased in matches not against stooges but against brawlers who stand toe to toe. (He also has a good TV match with Olympia where the ref really lows the finish but that would be the exception to the JYD v brawler matchup and Olympia doesn’t do much in the way of stoogeing).

We only have two JYD arena matches in full and it’s a damn shame.
Unfortunately both of the arena matches we have in full are JYD v technicians and not brawlers.

And while I like the technique v power storyline, I think I would have preferred a more aggressive opponent. I think what I liked most about Heenan wasn’t his bumping but his initial run of aggressive offense (as he had to get it all in before JYD starts to come to).

Still for technique v power, Bockwinkle is pretty skilled at working your heel "outsmarting" stuff and JYD at this point delivers the power.This has your solid JYD offense some nasty postings and some blood. JYD with nice timing on all his offense, and good execution. The Russian legsweep that he would execute so lazily in the WWF looks like it could almost be a legit early 80s finisher. Punches, headbutts, (no big thump here) everything looks strong. Weird in a technical heel v power offence face for the face to win with a quick roll up. but it worked andmatch had me popping with the crowd.

"But I get the feeling that Bockwinkel could've done this match in his sleep. He was great, and I imagine he could've had this exact match with anyone, so this probably won't rate too highly."

"BTW the Bock v. Brody match this sets up is one of the most godawful piles of shit I have ever seen."

Yeah what Phil says. That match sucks ass.

:

I should point out that I had Pm'ed Loss and suggested that he try to make his points without bothering to quote or get into dialogue with other posters. And I of course ignore my own advice.




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