Olde Timey #2
It's me, Phoebus Apollo, good friend of Xavier Von Erck, for another attempt to decipher the ways of old. Like how archaelogists dig up clay pottery, I dig up old wrestling footage and decrypt the faded markings and cracks to determine the culture of the times. Yep, if you're going down the hill in terms of age, and watched pro wrestling when you where a kid, you might touch on some of the same feelings you had back then in reading today's report. It's a archival of classic wrestling, which I will bring to you, prechewed and ready to be spoonfeed for you older folk. Back then, the boys where boys, and the girls where girls. Or, more amptly, the Shieks where Iranian and the Dibiases where faces. Take our your dentures, pop a government-sponsored pill, and remember a time when you had to walk 10 miles to get to a wrestling show. Through the snow. Naked.
It was a better time. (Or so they tell me.)
Now, I think this broadcast isn't "Big Time Wrestling" like the previous was, although I could be wrong. The quality of the broadcast is far different. Either way, I'll refer to this program as it's listings say it is, Classic Pro Wrestling.
The following report is play-by-play commentary, I call it as I see it, and the only further editing is basic spellchecking and the sorts. Nonetheless, let's get on with the "action".
Here we go to the ring to listen to Paul Orndorff (Mr. Wondeful, que?), who currently has the North American title, and is addressing Ted Dibiase. Dibiase has to "earn his way", as Paul says, "I'm going to tell you something Mr. Dibiase, it won't take me long because I've been hurt before and I get back up." Orndorff classifies Dibiase as a snake in the grass and remarks, "I will reward anybody who puts you or one of your men out of commission. I will reward them $1,000 dollars." Please note he said this AFTER he said he never sinks to the level of Dibiase by bribing others to do his dirty work. Right.
And commercial. This tape is much newer than the previous one, and it displays the names! Whoo-hoo! No more muffled announcing for this. As for the promo to start things off with Orndorff, it was mediocre at best. The show has yet to really start. Dibiase's name was mentioned several times, he's in a tag match later in the show. Oh, and the commercial segment I'm watching wants to remind you, get Pepto Bismal, "because you never know"!
In the red corner, Bob Orton Jr. In the blue corner, Jesse Barr... from Portland, Oregon! Man, Barr is just primed to lose, eh? The land of earthquakes and homeless heroin junkies is his hometown, bravo. The match starts off even, and Barr has Orton Jr. down with his legs wrapped around the back, but Orton works his way out. Orton gets Barr in a headlock, a elbow to the head, and drives him down to the mat after what looked like a attempt at a powerbomb or tombstone piledriver. A double underarmed suplex from Orton Jr., a really high and powerful one, never seen a suplex quite like that one before. Orton springs Barr into the ropes and flips him over over his back, Barr lands on his feet, and lands a decent jump kick. Orton works his way back, lands a nice piledriver (this is what he was going for at the start of the match), and beats the Oregan-ite 1, 2, 3. Do I call them like I see 'em, or what?
Buddy Landell vs. the Iron Shiek is next, as we go to commercial break. The commercial break is short, and we return to a Iron Shiek interview. The Shiek comes from a "wrestling country", and in half broken english he just says he wants to know who has the guts to challenge him. It's really a bad accent, really, he can speak english well enough to tell it's a native language for him. He then does a excercise with two big clubs, 70 pounds each, holds it over his head, and does a repeated series of sways. It looks tiring, I'll give him that, as he holds the weights far above his head working the arms and shoulders with the movement. His challenge is to any wrestler which can do more than he just did, and he said he will double the number of repetitions and do that, and I guess there is some form of $1,000 dollar wager involved in it. I guess $1,000 dollars is the obligatory dollar value of the night.
So, I bought the interview, it was tolerable, although the Shiek needs to work his voice a little, as his accent sounded a bit broken.
Red corner, the Iron Shiek. The blue corner, Buddy Landell. There goes the bell as the two fighters size each other up. They lock together in the middle of the ring, break apart, and Landell flips Shiek, Landell locks the Shiek in a headscissors on the mat, and a series of wrestling counters go on until they break apart, stop for a moment, and return to the conflict. Landell wears down the Shiek with a headlock, the Shiek flips off all the ropes after getting out of it, Landell flips the Shiek over and gets the headlock back on. Shiek flips Landell in the ropes, Shiek gets knocked over on the return, Landell goes back to the ropes and the Shiek knocks Landell down on his return. Shiek gets a huge elbow on the laid out Landell, fights him into the corner and gets a incredible suplex as the crowd chants "go Landell"... the one, two, three, and it's over, Shiek with the victory. Good match, overall, considering the time period this wrestling is taking place in. Too much going on for me to really cover as well as I'd like too. Next... commercials.
Title match for the Midsouth Tag Team Championships. Red corner, the "Samoans", "Afa" and "Sica" (I won't even begin to comment). The blue corner, Bob Roop and Ted Dibiase, who both get a crowd pop. Dibiase is young in this one. The Samoans are the champs. Roop comes in with one of the Samoans, I don't know which one is which, I'll call this one "Afa", and Roop has control. Bob Roop gets the crowd revved up, and tags in a young Dibiase. Dibiase got in a great drop kick, and holds Afa down on the mat which a headlock. Afa works his way out, slams Dibiase, headbutt, big doublehanded chop, tags in Sica and a doubleteam. The Samoans are being nicknamed the "Animals", so the color commentators say. A big chop by Sica, Afa gets tagged in, and Dibiase is under their control while another double team leaves Dibiase wobbling. Sica is tagged in after Afa delivers a headbutt to a floored Dibiase. Dibiase fires back but it's not enough to overturn Sica's control. Oh! A missed flying headbutt, Dibiase goes for the tag, Afa tries to stop the tag but it's too late. Roop rings Afa, a shoulderbreaker, Sica does a nice headbutt off the top rope while the manager diverts the ref's attention.
Dibiase comes in, but the ref didn't see the tag, Afa and Sica double clothesline Roop, Roop goes for another shoulderbreaker, the manager - who is Ernie Lad (I was wondering who the heck "Ernie Lad" was since his mention in the last article) - gets beat up by Dibiase. The pin, the ref counts, but Ernie Lad's interference in the ring gets the Samoan tag team a retained title. Dibiase and Roop argue in the ring, as it was Dibiase who dragged Ernie Lad in the ring to beat him up, hence causing the problem.
Next up, Mike George vs. Crazy Luke something-or-other. Commercial break.
Red corner, "Crazy" Luke Graham. Blue corner, Mike George. Crazy Luke jumps on Mike George, Luke pounds a overacting George out of the ring, they both get in and lock up. Luke forces George into the corner, slams his head on the ringpost, and Luke does the "oh I'm so crazy I'll knock my own head into the turnbuckle myself a few times" bit. Luke grabs George, slams his head into the adjacent turnbuckle several more times, and a legsweep/swinging armbar type manuever lands Luke the win. While all this may sound unoriginal and overgimmicked, taken into context of the tape, it wasn't that bad. Luke was a little bad playing up the part of the crazy guy, though.
We go to commercial break as the announcers mention Roop and Dibiase are arguing in the back.
And we return! Red corner, the Great Kabuki! Blue corner, Vinnie Romeo. Kabuki comes in with a pair of nunchucks, his manager gets his nunchucks away from him and Romeo starts taking Kabuki down with great agility. Kabuki knocks Romeo down, and chops him in the chest and another pair of hug chops on the back. A few kicks keeps Romeo in submission, Kabuki gets on the second rope, walks over to where Romeo lays, and chops him. Romeo goes for a dropkick, Kabuki holds onto the rope to advoid it and goes for a suplex. Wow, and Kabuki just... wins. I must've missed something.
Ted Dibiase is at ringside to comment on the in-ring argument. Dibiase says that Roop thinks Dibiase is at fault... and he's interupted by Kabuki's manager. Kabuki's manager challenges him to a match with Kabuki, and we've got the impromptu match underway. Dibiase is getting beat by Kabuki, who is likely going to be $1,000 dollars richer at the end of this match. Kabuki does a little weird waltz to Dibiase in the corner, Dibiase goes after him, slams him, and pins him.
And all this time I look to notice a damn bug crawling on me, barely enough time to swat the bugger. I gotta say, Romeo had great power and high takedowns on Kabuki at the start of the match, it was sorta undeserving of that uneventful loss. I also have to say, Kabuki must be the role model for other japanesse fighters like the Great Muta and Yoshiro Tajiri. Great face paint, to boot.
The bug dies for interfering with my vastly more important activities as we get back underway. Red corner, Carl Fergie and Bob Orton Jr., blue corner, who gets entrance music and a kiss from the lady in the crowd, Kerry Von Erich and Jim Garvin. Von Erich holds some belt, but it's not mentioned. The match starts with Von Erich and Fergie. Von Erich, a well condtioned guy, takes the advantage and works on the leg. Tag into Garvin, who beats Fergie in a few moves with plenty of momentum. Orton Jr. gets the tag in, beats Garvin in the corner, Garvin tags out to Von Erich and locks up with Orton Jr., and Orton Jr. is overpowered. Orton tags out, Von Erich gets a nice hold on Fergie, pins him, and Garvin puts a effective sleeper on Orton while this occurs, knocking him out.
Ken Mantell vs. Bill Irwin, next, as we go to commericial. The last match was short but I didn't do it justice, there was a lot I missed in it. As is aparent by his superior physical conditioning, Kerry Von Erich is of no relation to Xavier Von Erck, despite both sounding like they are wannabe Germans. As I scrape the bug's guts off the wall, we return for more old timer wrasslin'.
Red corner, 242 pounds, Ken Mantell. Blue corner, 250 pounds, Bill Irwin. Irwin in black tights with blonde hair, Mantell in red tights with black hair and a bald spot. Mantell takes the advantage in anger, obviously vengance on Irwin for his long blond hair in light of Mantell's glaring dome, and Irwin fights back. Mantell flips Irwin, pin attempt, 2 count, reverse chinlock on Irwin. The announcer explains to us the physiology of a reverse chinlock, more information then we need know, as Mantell misses a front kick and gets pushed out of the ring by Irwin. They grip hands, Irwin twists Mantel's arm and pushes him down by the shoulder. Mantell gouges Irwin's eyes a couple times, but Irwin ranks on the arm and slams down on the shoulder. Mantell steps in, trips Irwin, they lock together on the mat and Irwin counters with a chinlock. Mantell gets hit a few times, thrown into the corner, casually walks out as Irwin flys by and smacks the turnbuckle, missing Mantell completely. Mantell uses a form of sidesweep, I miss it, and gets the pin, and we're off the air.
All in all, a good show. I didn't do justice to the matches, they where better executed than I described for the most part. Oh, and I'm just too paralyzed by the sheer number of options in making jokes about the Samoans, so I won't even try. However, just for trivia, the Samoans where not anyone I recognized, these two where probably Meng's father and grandfather, Afa and Sica, respectively. I'll only leave it to your wild imaginations to disgrace wrestling history by proceeding to laugh your ass off at the sheer notion of such a tag team.
The funniest part is, they where probably the first such gimmick. Amazing.
I'll try to get Xavier to post the feedback from this commentary along with his normal mailbag post. I'm going to try to keep up the olde timey tape review in the weeks to come, so I hope you all look forward to next week's look backwards.