Olde Timey #5
Yep, it's Phoebus Apollo again, back with my regular Olde Timey Tape Review, courtesy Xavier Von Erck's column on the Oratory. Olde Timey is a look at ESPN Classic's "Pro-Wrestling Classics", a bunch of old NWA/regional wrestling footage ESPN has come in the way of collecting over the years. There are plenty of great wrestling footage in these forgotten tapes, and I'm here to dig it up, and remind you of a time when wrestling was real. Or so your average poor white American was lead to believe. It was a time before the WWF came on the scene. It was a time when Von Erichs still flew around, and when the announcers didn't get paid enough to not be bitter and advoid miscalling moves during the broadcast.
It was a better time. (Or so they tell me.)
Today's tape is a perfect example of a casual old-time show, TOO casual, but first I want to plug my message board. I wrote a review over there of 30 old Atari 2600 games that where rereleased in a Playstation package, "Activision Classics", which is itself full of nostalgia. If you like Olde-Timey video games as much as you do Olde-Timey wrestling, I encourage you to check it out.
Disclaimer: The following report is play-by-play commentary, I call it as I see it, and the only further editing is basic spellchecking and loose grammatical ends. I try to keep the impression as close to live and simple as I can as not to taint the broadcast's perfectly settled fermentation.
Without further ado, let's get on with the "action"...
It's timey for Olde Timey!
We are welcomed to Southwest Championship Wrestling, a region under the NWA, from my knowledge. They are going over the card. Too many for me to keep track of.
Henry Garcia vs. Leo Sykes, and Garcia puts a headlock on Leo. Garcia takes over Leo and there is... no crowd? Wait, I think I seen a guy. Just walking by. Hmm. Oh wait, there are people back there. The announcer, half asleep, notes that Harley Race is the NWA world champion. Henry Garcia keeps Leo down to the mat, and Leo tries to power his way out. With the deafening silence, I gotta ask... what do these guys feel like working this venue? This must be terribly awkward. The announcer nearly calls a backdrop a scoopslam, showing me that he isn't going to be much help on clarifying the holds.
The announcer shills some more for SCW, and well, pheh. Henry does a scoopslam on Leo, and holds him back down to the mat, Leo gets Henry in a headscissors on the mat, and they're at the mat. These two guys are trying. It's just not coming off. It's so lackluster. Henry with a massive scoopslam, a headlock, and he takes Leo over with a snap. Leo gets the headscissors back on Henry on the mat, and Henry tries to get out of them, to no avail. He's hitting the mat, trying to get some crowd support. No go. Leo and Henry tangle a little more, Leo takes advantage, and gets Henry down on the mat and gives him a knee to the ribs. Leo pounds him back down with his fist, but the announcer says his elbow... hmph. Leo gets that headscissors on again but Henry kicks out, gets up on Leo in the corner but is pushed off, or something, I missed that motion. Henry makes a big running scoopslam, and a pin, and a win.
Two people clap, while the rest just kinda sit there. Hmph.
Unlike Xavier, I think I'll leave a few commercials out from this recap-o-pinion-style writeup. You aren't missing anything, trust me.
We return to Kerry and David Von Erich vs. two other people. I missed their names. Kerry jumps in the ring, and hey, I think I see it... yeah! It's a young Xavier in the background, spilling a drink on the tarmack, and watching his uncl... cousi... fath... oh yeah, BROTHERS, wrestle these mean-looking foes! Ha!
Kerry tangles with his opponent, who I have yet to pin a name on. The announcer can't lay off Kerry Von Erich long enough to give me good names of the opponents. I think it's Krunk and Gene Yates. I'll go with those names. Gene is in vs. David Von Erich, David rocks Gene into the corner, and tags in Kerry, who gets two big and high elbows in on Gene. Kerry holds down Gene with an armbar, and Gene taps, but I guess that's not considered a tap, or whatnot. Whatever. Kerry armdrags Gene to the mat from a rebound off the ropes, Gene gets back up, but Kerry pounds Gene back into the ropes. Gene has Kerry in a headlock, Kerry drives over to the corner and tags in David. Two dropkicks by David and he goes to work on Krunk, Kerry goes in after Krunk while David gets a headlock on Gene. Gene flips David but David kicks him in response, Krunk comes in between the ropes but the ref berates him, and while the ref is distracted David throws Gene into Kerry's foot. Krunk comes in briefly, but tags back Gene, and they tag again for a quick doubleteam. Krunk puts on his clawhold move, which is, well, the clawhold move, applied on David. David gets the tag to Kerry. Krunk applies the clawhold move to Kerry's... groin? Stomach? I can't tell from this angle.
Well, Krunk, or Krump, or whatever the heck his name is, gets the advantage with that... odd... manuever, and tags in Gene. Kerry works over Gene with one dropkick, and tags in David, who applies the sleeper. Crumb interferes. They all duke it out, and David gets a rollup and a pin.
"The fans at ringside enjoyed it... well a few fans did!"... the announcer took the words right out of my mouth.
Commercial break, and I'm already in the mood to hit the hay. The workers of the show ARE trying. It's just... this show wasn't meant to be. It's just too plain a day on too slow a day.
Cowboy Ellis and Dale Valentine. Valentine puts a leglock on Ellis but it is a no-go. Headlock snapped on Ellis. Valentine holds Ellis down. The announcer notes that Ellis has had fueds with greats like Dick the Bruiser.
Ha! The announcer notes how they're trying to find a new announcer. Now that he told me this, I get the feeling that everything he says is sarcasm. That has tainted this WHOLE show.
Armdrag takes Valentine over, Ellis uses a good drop toehold, and gets Valentine in another leglock hold on the mat. I'm not familiar with that hold. I think I hear some plates or pots or something being clanked in the background. Either way, Valentine gets up, but is put back in this same hold. Ellis has both of his legs wrapped around the bent back leg of Valentine on the mat, pulling down I guess. I don't quite get that particular hold.
Anyways, Valentine hammers Ellis, and Ellis is staggering. Valentine unleashes a fury of swipes and drops a big pair of knees right on the throat of a downed Ellis. Big elbow on Ellis. Another elbow, but he misses. Ellis gets a big bulldog on Valentine, throws Valentine into the turnbuckle, Valentine holds on to the corner so Ellis can't throw him down for another bulldog. Valentine takes the moment to throw Ellis down and apply the figure four, but Valentine was in the ropes and the ref quickly disqualified him for his refusal to drop the hold. Only, he disqualified him way too quickly, so, pheh. Oh well. Commercial break, and we'll return in a moment.
We return to Valentine being thrown out of the match. Valentine's (currently injured) older brother, Johnny Valentine, talks about the disqualification and Dale's current fueding party, Rocky Johnson.
Coloso Coloseti (what the hell kind of name is that?) vs. Ricky Thompson. Coloso is from Argentina, and yes, as odd as it sounds, I think the name is spelt right. Coloso gets a hammerlock, Ricky flips around but Coloso moves back. Hmph. Coloso takes Ricky down with a cobra clutch on the side of Ricky's neck, as I miss much of the action, just blankly staring at the screen. Ricky Thompson takes over Coloso. Coloso gets a headscissors on Ricky. He get's Ricky's head right inbetween his knees (don't even think it, sickos) - Ricky flips over and takes over Coloso. They get up and square off again in the ring. Coloseti takes control. He weakens Ricky with some blows, some more blows are made, and Ricky comes out off the ropes for one, two, and the third dropkick misses. A Coloso uses his finishing move to take out Ricky. I miss the move.
Boy, I'm paying attention, eh? This is worse than the last Smackdown, please, bear with me. Commercial break.
Okay, we come back to a taped match, with microphone feedback. I don't know who this is wrestling yet. Jerry Stubbs and Harley Race? Okay, I'll take that for a given. Stubbs is taking over Race and has him in a armbar, pressing down on the shoulder. Race gives a knee to Stubbs, a few more blows, and a knee to the head of a downed Stubbs. Chinlock on Stubbs. Stubbs takes Race over, but Race delivers another knee to Stubbs. Race gets a great suplex in, and going for a butterfly suplex. He's trying, and goes for it, straight over. Stubbs kicks out. Race gets another headlock on Stubbs and holds him down to the mat. Race is the champion, but this is not a title match.
Stubbs is getting weakened by the hold, gets up, throws Race into the corner, comes in for a charge, Race gets the knee up and slams Stubbs. Two big knees to the head of Stubbs. He gets a big, BIG suplex on Stubbs. Race gets the pin. We get one last look at the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Harley Race, as we leave this week's rebroadcast of old regional NWA footage.
Wait! There is a quick minute. Rocky Johnson replies to Valentine. "Someone needs to teach him a lesson, and I'm just the daddy to teach him that lesson." SCW goes off the air.
Now we leave, with some jazzed up clips of the broadcast.
More incredible wrestling, tune in to ESPN Classics, Saturday mornings on 7:00AM.
I'll try to get Xavier to post the feedback from this commentary along with his normal mailbag post. I'm looking for some stories and whatnot from you old fogeys so I can post some memories with the mailbag, so if you remember these days of yore, maybe you attended this show and was the guy who got up to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes, speak on up! Just don't speak too loudly, or your dentures might fly out of your mouth!