Olde Timey #6
Hey-hey, it's Phoebus Apollo here to entertain again with my Olde Timey Tape Review. For those of you uninitiated, I watch "Pro Wrestling Classics" weekly (7:00AM EST Saturdays on ESPN Classics) to watch and review for your viewing pleasure matches older than dirt. Literally! It was way back in a time when cameras wobbled on their own recognizance, when timekeepers actually kept the time, when there was no pyro, no entrance music, and hell, no Hogan!
It was a better time. (Or so they tell me.)
Since I've got nothing better to bring up before this review, I'm going to plug my message board real quick first, Post King Cometh. If you'd like to see some wild ranting and ravings about topics from one end of the spectrum (Nudist Nazis) to another (WCW Nitro Girls), click that link!
Disclaimer: The following report is play-by-play commentary, in Xavier's "Recap-A-Pinion" style, 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 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!
Well, I'm starting the review a little early just for the sake of getting warmed up for the show. Just before Pro-Wrestling Classics on ESPN Classics is old Roller Derby footage. I'm going to spare you that, because it does none of us here justice to know that the T-Birds beat the Bombers 85 to 82 back in some obscure early 80's game. No one! However, it does everyone a world of good to know that the Colorado Avalanche, NHL's finest, won their fourth game Friday against the St. Louis Blues making the series 3 to 1. Everyone!
Okay, I really hate these Roller Derby announcers. Endless shills. Modern wrestling announcers are descendents from Roller Derby announcers, not pro-wrestling announcers. It's true.
IWA's "International Championship Wrestling", we get to see some of this footage. Here they quickly wrap up the lineup of "stars" we can hope to see tonight... damn, I wish I could tape this so I could mock each one as they roll call, but I'll spare you the endless jokes, I'm sure. "The IWA is getting more exciting everyday", says some cowboy hatted shill with the announcer. The announcer and the goof in the hat sum up the day's matches, it looks like there are at least 6 matches, so I take it that this hour will be crammed with quick, short, painless public sacrifices to my wit.
Commercial break. I don't get what this "OnStar" car accessory crap is. I don't need global positioning systems to find out where I am... I'm a man! I'm supposed to know where the hell I'm going. It's a part of my genetics. Some shills for ESPN magazine... c'mon, we don't have all day, let's get back to the wrestling! Here we go. The bell rings, we get underway. Let's see who's first... Joe Turpo? With his pal, Frenchy Martin... vs... Argentina Apollo and Luis Martinez. Tag team bout. If Argentina Apollo is related to me, Phoebus Apollo, then Kerry Von Erich is related to Xavier. It's only fair.
Martinez and Martin start things off, they lock up, Martinez takes down Martin. Martinez gets back around Martin and pushes him down from the back. Martinez tags in Apollo, and Martin locks up Apollo in the corner, the throws him across the ring to the other corner, Apollo gets a great back kick upwards out of the corner sending him up and over Martin landing behind him, Martin tags in Turpo (?), Apollo gets a few blows, headlock on Turpo, tags in Martinez, Martinez brings down Turpo to the mat and puts him in a headlock, Turpo gets Martinez across the ropes, Martinez is on the mat, and kicks up bringing down Turpo. Martinez tags in Apollo and Apollo gets a beautiful slam with Martin's head cracking the mat, Apollo gets a few armdrags in, Martin is rattled while Turpo interferes, Apollo tags out to Martinez, Martinez takes over Martin a few times and Martin tags in Turpo. Martinez gets in a lock with Turpo as they grip in a duel, Martinez flips over Turpo off the ropes, Apollo gets tagged in and Turpo gets tagged out, Martin puts Apollo in a headlock, Apollo gets the tag, but the ref doesn't see it. Martinez gets a airplane spin on Martin while Apollo gets the "Double Backbreaker" (torture rack) on Turpo in the background. Airplane Spin & Body Press is the finisher for Martinez? Nice. This was a good match, as was evident by, all the, endless, neverending, series, of, commas.
We go to a commercial break. That was a nice match. Apollo was nimble but strong and applied the torture rack double backbreaker with style, while Martinez had some good skills taking down his opponents, and that Airplane Spin w/body press was a great finisher. I had a hard time keeping up with that. Good stuff.
We return from a brief commercial break to Joe Richards vs. the IWA North American Heavyweight Champion Dick "The Bulldog" Brower. They are ready to square off, I hope this is as good as the last match. Brower gets a headlock on Richards twice and gets several punches to the head, takes him up to the ropes and punches him some more. Brower gets him in the corner, beats on him, brings him back into the middle of the ring and throws a punch. Let me state now, Brower, with every punch he throws, gives a mugshot to the fans with the goofiest, stupidest look you could see on his face. That said, ugh, and Brower hits Richards over the head with a chair on the outside, brings Richards into the ring, applies his finisher, a simple backbreaker, and gets a two count. Brower, with what appears to be "crazy eyes" puts Richards to sleep with a cobra chokehold. Brower brings Richards to the outside, drops a knee on them, and wobbles like the fat man he is out of there. That was boring. Oh, we go to commercial break with one last look at the cross-eyed bulbous dolt that is Dick Brower as he applied in the cobra chokehold that put Richards out. I hate crosseyed wrestlers who mug to the crowd. Ugh.
We return from a brief commercial break, most of which I spent wondering about the stupidity of Brower, to Bobby Garcia vs. the masked IWA World Heavyweight Champion Neil Maskedas. He looks like a luchador. Maskedas, with a really thin physique, either that or his gut is sucked in a lot, and Maskedas takes Garcia down to the mat while applying a firm armbar. Garcia applies a armbar, but Maskedas puts a nice surfboard maneuver on Garcia, then he brings his leg up in the square of Garcia's back and rakes back on both arms. Maskedas cranks down on Garcia's arms, Garcia is flipped over and Maskedas places a octopus hold? He looks like he's humping the guy! Goodness. Maskedas is the "man of 1001 masks", supposedly. He looks like he has some good high flying maneuvers, but he has a good build. Okay, now he runs across the ring with modified flying cross body blocks, gets up on the top turnbuckle, sends a dive down onto Garcia and gets the pin?! I don't quite get what that was supposed to be, but I retract my compliments of high flying potential when running cross body blocks is all you can do in the ring.
Commercial break, which will give me enough time to forget about that last match. It built up with such a good premise, a high flying well built champion, and it just... dive? A dive? What the hell finisher is that? He just got up and plopped on him. No, not a frog splash. A "dive". No, not a flying headbutt. A "dive". Ugh.
Okay, we return to the next match, Marshall Lewis vs. Kurt Von Hess and his manager Al Costello sits on the sidelines with... a boomerang? What a lame prop. Von Hess throws around Lewis, gets him in the ropes, elbows to the head, and he pulls on the trunks of Lewis while choking him. Lewis is thrown in the turnbuckle, falls down, Von Hess kicks him, Lewis gets up, tries to put a armbar but they both throw elbows. Von Hess comes back though, and Von Hess throws Lewis off the rope and catches him as he came back with a hangman-like clotheline, winning the match. And the manager's boomerang was never used! How the hell can you justify a prop so damn stupid? The least you can do is use the damn thing! I hate bad props. Almost as much as I hate unexplained overhyped big-time character swerves for the sake of swerving, in so going against all forms of continuity and establishing horrible angles (Stone Cold, HHH, anyone?).
No, I've decided that I hate bad props more than I hate the bad swerves. You can't come out to the ring with a boomerang and not use it. You can't. Stupid. We return from a commercial break, to Dell Star and Big Jim Wilson vs. The Love Brothers (Hartford and Reginold). The Love Brothers? Oh no. And they're wearing tight bellbottoms. And Al Costello is STILL out there with the boomerang. Stupid! Wait, maybe he'll use it this time! We start in as Wilson and Reginold exchange blows, Hartford gets tagged in, Wilson gets Hartford in a headlock and gets a fury of punches. I meander for a moment as the announcer mention hippies and how the Love Brothers helped start the hippie movement... hippies... wrestling... hippies... wrestling... boomerang... hippies... Okay, I'm missing some of this match, snap out of it! Reginold gets a bodyslam on Star, tags in Hartford, they both do a double DDT, while the announcers just kinda fumble the call with "What do you call that?"
The boomerang! The boomerang! The boomerang! Star rolled out of the ring after that double DDT and Costello uses the boomerang! WHOOOO! BOOMERANG! Star gets pinned, the Love Brothers win, and Costello celebrates with his tag team and his boomerang. I take back all my complaints about the boomerang. Although, I retract none of my complaints about the hippies.
Okay, commercial break. More shilling during the break for the ESPN magazine by two people who think they're famous sports stars. Yeah, right. Losers. We come back to a interview between the first cowboy and another cowboy. "Tex and I have been cowpokes as long as I can remember and now we want to get a tag team together"... yadda yadda yadda. I stopped listening at "cowpoke". Let's get on to the match.
The main event of the evening. "Cowboy" Bob Ellis with the "big cat" Ernie Ladd vs. the Mongols. Mongol #1 squares off with Ernie Ladd, Ernie Ladd is a big guy and tags in Ellis. Ellis gets a bear hug by Mongol #1, and Cowboy Bob is trying to escape but it's not working. Right hand sends Mongol #1 back but he brings up the bear hug and steps it up a notch, picking up Ellis, but Ellis tags in Ernie Ladd. Mongol #1 tags in Mongol #2. I won't dignify these odd sounding oriental names with attempted spellings. I wouldn't be able to tell them apart anyways. Double teaming on Ernie Ladd, #2 gets a headlock on Ladd, Ellis gets tagged in and gets #2 in a full nelson and Ernie Ladd goes to hit #2 but #2 ducks and Ellis takes the blow... Ellis comes back, says it's okay recognizing the mistake, and the match continues. Ellis gets a full nelson again up on #2, #1 inteferes, Ladd gets #2 up and Ellis is ready to throw a punch but #2 escapes and Ellis catches his punch before he hits Ladd... they both back away cautiously nodding "it's okay", Ladd gets caught in the Mongol corner and they both work him over pretty good. Ellis is trying to help Ladd, but to no avail. The Mongols, #1 or #2 or #1... who knows? Oh, a fellow by the name of George Cannon, who Cowboy Bob mentioned in the interview that I ignored beats up Ellis on the outside while the big Ernie Ladd takes both Mongols for a while in the ring. Ladd is keeping up, but Cannon still beats Ellis on the outside. Ellis gets up then Ernie Ladd turns on the already beaten down Ellis and just kicks and chokes him as Ellis lays on the side of the ring. Ellis tries to get up but Ladd just kicks and chokes him. The referee declares Ladd and Ellis disqualified and awards this match to the Mongols.
I was, and I wasn't, expecting that finisher. They hinted at it in the "accidental" throws by both team members, but with the fending off of the Mongols by Ernie and Ellis's beatdown by Cannon you weren't expecting it, it was distracting you from the earlier hints of problems. I think there is some underlying storyline to the double-cross by Ladd, but with this one-time tape, I may never see the rest of this storyline. Oh well. Overall, good show, crappy plots, all I gotta say is...
The boomerang! The boomerang! The boomerang! The boomerang! Whooo!
More "incredible" wrestling, tune in to ESPN Classics, Saturday mornings on 7:00AM EST.
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 your dad got you a signed boomerang at a IWA convention, speak on up! Just don't speak too loudly, or your dentures might fly out of your mouth!