Jump to content


Photo

Buddy Rogers


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Lee Casebolt

Lee Casebolt
  • Members
  • 287 posts

Posted 22 September 2014 - 10:01 PM

To a nicer guy, a thread couldn't happen. Buddy needs some reviews to get his just consideration for the 100 Greatest poll. 

 

 

[embed][/embed]

 

Rogers vs Lou Thesz, 1-26-51

 

The new Chicago footage is going to be a huge boon to Rogers, Thesz, Gagne, and O'Connor, at least. In Hooker, Thesz claimed you could tell how good a match he had with Rogers would be based on the result. If Thesz was winning, Rogers would dog it. If they were going to a draw, Rogers would work hard. Given the running time I'm assuming draw here, which suggests Rogers will be on his best behavior.

 

My favorite part about good Golden Age wrestling is how credible the matwork is. If you're not someone who enjoys matwork, this match is not going to be for you. Also you are bad and should feel bad. If you are a matwork aficionado, you're in for a treat. Most of the holds are more or less legit and worked as such, and even the pure show holds are used to give the appearance of looking for a submission or a pinfall rather than a time to just lay on the mat. Rogers and Thesz do not disappoint here. No fancy reversal sequences or lockflow-like changing one hold to another just to do it. Things like a headlock takeover are worked with much less appearance of cooperation. It's just two guys cranking on each other, looking for advantage or escape. 

 

When the brawling breaks out - usually at Rogers' instigation - it's primarily sneaky little shots in the clinch or on the mat. Rogers working from underneath a headlock is a joy to watch. Rather than just lay there, he sneaks in these little punches to the spine, ultimately forcing Thesz to retaliate with a drubbing to Rogers' face. That draws the attention of special referee Jack Dempsey - who's quite good in that role, doing the job without attracting too much attention to himself - and Rogers uses the distraction to grab the trunks to roll up Thesz for the pin attempt. Whenever Rogers cheats, it's always something that is hidden from the referee but in plain view of the crowd. It's a very professional approach to heeling I really appreciate.

 

It's a Rogers thread, but I need to say some good things about Thesz, too. Obviously he's a master technician, but he's also skilled at working in his own roughhousing when the need arises. I'm a huge fan of his elbow, where he slaps his own fist to drive the elbow into an opponent. It works better when he's playing the heel - it just looks like he's trying to get away with something - but even when he's not it's a unique signature, something to set him apart from what everyone else is doing.

 

If I have a complaint about this match, it's that I'd like to see a greater sense of urgency from Rogers in the closing minutes. For the most part, he works the last two minutes like the middle two, while the champion Thesz is the one putting in extra effort to try to put away the challenger. Shouldn't that be the other way around? Still, for a match that goes most of 60, this one really moves, and keeps a steady pace throughout. 



#2 Lee Casebolt

Lee Casebolt
  • Members
  • 287 posts

Posted 23 September 2014 - 01:59 PM

[embed][/embed]

 

I wanted something different from the Thesz match to follow up, and see how Rogers worked against a variety of opponents. You don't get too much different from Lou Thesz than 601lb Haystacks Calhoun. This one obviously will not be going 60.

 

It's mostly what you'd expect. Less technical exhibition, more schtick and cheap shots. Calhoun is the original immovable object, and Rogers is basically wrestling around him, trying to make stationary positions as interesting as possible. He's got his work cut out for him; Calhoun is awful. The foot stomp against the barefoot wrestler is a nice touch, and I do like the finish.



#3 Lee Casebolt

Lee Casebolt
  • Members
  • 287 posts

Posted 23 September 2014 - 02:26 PM

[embed][/embed]

 

Another change up. I have no idea who Cyclone Ayana is, but he's got to be better than Calhoun.

 

It's similar in layout to the Thesz match. The matwork is a little more pedestrian in execution; Ayana's pretty good, but he's not in Thesz's class. His smaller size does let Rogers use a little more power in counterwrestling, using a body slam to get out of several different positions. He gets to be a little bit more of a bully wrestling on top, too. The kneedrops and such are one thing, but the wristlock/hammerlock combo looks horrific in the best way. Rogers milks a good two minutes out of that hammerlock and it never looks dull. 



#4 Lee Casebolt

Lee Casebolt
  • Members
  • 287 posts

Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:05 PM

[embed][/embed]

 

A Thesz/Rogers rematch, with Rogers now looking a little more established in his "Nature Boy" flamboyant heel persona, so I'm assuming, without a listed date, this is later than the '51 match. 

 

This one opens up with a quick exchange of the "flying" moves Thesz credits Rogers with popularizing. How true that is, I couldn't say, but Buddy clearly still loves his side headlock. Lou doesn't do as much work out of it from the bottom as in the earlier match, and Buddy doesn't put as much work into making it look like something that might end a match, so it's a bit more dull than I'd expect matwork from these two to be.

 

The work picks up to their accustomed high level thereafter. The basic structure of the match looks a lot like their other encounter, with enough details changed to make it feel fresh. It's mostly matwork, with Rogers busting out the brawling when he's getting the worst of things and Thesz retaliating, and the rare burst of "flying" activity. Rogers has an outstanding uppercut, too. I'd love to see him matched up with a Killer Kowalski or another contemporary brawler and see how he does in that environment.

 

Rogers doesn't take the number of big bumps that people who followed in his footsteps - Bockwinkel, Flair, etc. - would, but that looks like more a result of the general style. That spill out to the floor looked pretty nasty, so he could clearly do that if he had to.

 

Again, it's a Rogers thread, so the review is focused on him, but I need to say a couple words about Thesz. There's been some conversation about the role and importance of athleticism in wrestling, and how it favors recent wrestling over that from the past. I'm sorry, there aren't four wrestlers in WWE today who are as athletic as 1950s Lou Thesz, and you could probably count on your fingers the number of wrestlers in history who've had his reflexes and coordination, no matter how bad you were in shop class. I think it's fair to say the average level of athleticism today is higher, and matches are often conducted in a more athletically demanding style, but it's important not to lose sight of how extraordinary some of the wrestlers of the past were.

 

Oh, and regarding rating the match based on who won... if that's Rogers dogging it, well, every wrestler should dog it like that.



#5 Moonsault Marvin

Moonsault Marvin
  • Members
  • 459 posts

Posted 24 September 2014 - 09:37 PM

There is a 1963 Kowalski match on youtube.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Pl1fjVs_Ulg



#6 ohtani's jacket

ohtani's jacket
  • DVDVR 80s Project
  • 5970 posts

Posted 12 June 2016 - 02:57 PM

There's not as much Rogers out there as I was expecting and a lot of it is against fairly crappy workers like Haystacks Calhoun and Killer Kowalski. The Cyclone Ayana match is worth watching if you're interested in Buddy. I love watching Buddy cinch on a hold. He may not have been a shooter or a hooker, but he knew how to make a hold look good in a pro-wrestling match. Unfortunately the booking is flimsy, so I wouldn't really recommend it unless you want to see more Rogers.

 

I enjoyed the Rogers/O'Connor match more than I did when I watched it for the O'Connor thread. I still think the dip in the second fall stops it from reaching the all-time classic level, but I got a lot more out of Rogers' performance now that I'm more familiar with Buddy. The great thing about watching Rogers is witnessing how much influence he had. You watch him work and you can see a bit of Patterson, Stevens, Flair. A lot of movement, charisma and toughness. 

  



#7 TheBestThereNeverWillBe

TheBestThereNeverWillBe
  • Members
  • 27 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 March 2018 - 06:37 PM

There is a 1963 Kowalski match on youtube.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Pl1fjVs_Ulg

 

Rogers is here wearing his old NWA US belt as the WWWF title



#8 TheBestThereNeverWillBe

TheBestThereNeverWillBe
  • Members
  • 27 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 March 2018 - 06:39 PM

Buddy Rogers' last singles loss was against Paul Orndorff, his 2nd to last singles match ever was against Ricky Steamboat.. I would love for footage to show up of either of those, or any of the Al Haft tv from the late '50's when Rogers was the top babyface






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users