Olde Timey #9
Phoebus Apollo returns after a brief Olde Timey interlude - I fell asleep during the Pro-Wrestling Classics broadcast that I base this review on two weeks ago, and last week the show was preempted. So I return today with my normal Olde Timey schedule.
The Olde Timey Tape Review: Digging back through the annals of wrestling history in true Orwellian style, rewatching footage from a time of classics, a time of forgotten memories. The Flying Von Erich's, Dick the Bruiser, Ernie Ladd, Lou Thesz, Harley Race, the "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, the Iron Sheik, Abdullah the Butcher - these are among countless others appear who appear in these records. It's a time when anything could happen - and a time when anything did.
It was a better time.
(Or so they tell me.)
Disclaimer: The following recap is in "Recap-A-Pinion" format. This means I watch the program and type at the same time, with any further changes being grammatical or spelling. The point of the recap in this format is to try to keep the impression "live", so you get a glimpse of this old wrestling footage.
That said, let's get on with the "action"...
It's timey for Olde Timey!
Well, it's my understanding that Buddy Rogers is going to be on today's broadcast, so it should be good. Right now Roller Derby reruns (the ancestor of Roller Jam) is wrapping up. This is the ESPN Classics channel, where old sports footage is replayed, you should check out this channel sometime if your local cable provider offers it. Hmm, Roller Derby Classics gets to air before Pro-Wrestling Classics? There must be some sick people doing the television schedules and air-times for that to happen, let me tell you.
Here we go! The International Wrestling Alliance is where it's at, and it's in black and white. Must be old. First match, six man tag 2 out of 3 falls - from Benton Harbor, Michigan, Bobo Brazil, and his friends the "Sailor" Arn Thomas, and Dory Dixen. These guys are all black, for your ethno-centric note. Their opponents, Johnny Perez, Magnificent Maurice (both from Hollywood!), and Buddy Rogers. These guys are all white, let me note. Racial connotations, anyone?
I get a feeling this match is going to take a lot of air time. It's a trend of these old broadcasts that the matches are slow and consume a lot of time. Magnificent Maurice and Dory Dixen get in to start, and Dory nearly mocks Maurice with a storm of drop kicks. Dory is a feisty guy. I think Maurice just tagged out to Johnny Perez, and Perez just got flipped up over the ropes by Dory. I may be wrong about who was in (Perez or Maurice) though, it was a quick series of events that cut straight out for commercial before I could tell.
Well then, commercial break, which means we'll have to wait to find out whether it was Perez or Maurice that was in. I would like to note that Dory's drop kick malestrom at the start seemed a little premature to me - wait, I'll have to hold that thought as we return. The white team members (or as I prefer to call, "The Crackers", fitting since two are from Hollywood) are arguing among themselves, because of Dory's aggressiveness in the ring. Maurice was still in, and lays a few punches in on Dory in the corner. Dory Dixen, the "Calypso Kid", gives Maurice some of his own medicine. Dory whips Maurice into the ropes and gets a scoop slam. Tag out to Johnny... darn. This is Maurice. Johnny and Maurice look very similar in stature and look. Okay, that WAS Perez in earlier, and this is Maurice now. Dory Dixen punches Maurice around and Bobo Brazil gets a few good blows in on Maurice in the corner. Bobo Brazil gets a strong tag in and is beating up all three of the whitey crackers, slamming their heads together, and big Bobo Brazil bounds off the ropes, gets his "Bobo Bomb" for the second time in this quick exchange, and gets one of the three in a bear hug. Rogers, Perez and Maurice somehow get the VERY quick pinfall, via a backflip and incidental pin. That was too much for my carpultunnel hands to type out accurately, I omitted a little.
Thus far in this 2 out of 3 fall six man tag:
Crackers - 1
Bobo, Arn and pal - 0
Now we go to commercial break. [jeopardy theme] Back! Bobo Brazil is standing in the ring, now he tags out to the "Sailor" Arn Thomas, and Arn Thomas... tags back out, Bobo back in, in against Johnny Daren? I thought his name was Perez! Woa! Big Bobo Brazil does a frog hop over Johnny after throwing him off the ropes, and then he did two flying headscissor takeovers! Bobo is NOT a nimble cruiserweight, he is a pretty big guy, that surprised me. Maurice gets in and nearly gets a accidental shot in the face by Johnny, which only serves to cause more dissent in the Cracker team. Anyways, Maurice with Dory, two drop kicks take down Maurice and Johnny, and a leap up on the ropes it's a... lame, lame, lame body splash. He hit the friggen mat, standing, before his frog splash landed. That was so lame. It was so lame. He gets the pin for it, though.
Thus far in this 2 out of 3 fall six man tag:
Crackers - 1
Nimble Brazil and crew - 1
Dory Dixen and Magnificent Maurice square up and Dory gets a drop kick or two in before tagging in the "Sailor" Arn Thomas. Wristlock, dueling. They're fighting for leverage, and Arn throws Johnny out of the ring! Maurice and Johnny get in and they both challenge Arn with a dual wristlock duel, and he no sell throws them off like pansies. C'mon now. Where is Buddy in this match? OH, I see. The first fall in this match was Rogers' pin, that's why I didn't notice who had the pin - I was paying no attention to Rogers as I didn't think he was even in the friggen ring at the time.
Anyways, Rogers comes in, he gets a drop kick in the face, Dory Dixen does his ultralame frog splash, Dory goes for the pin and a rogue knee to interupt the count causes... a disqualification?!?! Pandemonium breaks out as all six brawl, but soon Dory Dixen, Bobo Brazil and Arn Thomas get announced the winners.
Now, commercial break so I can clarify a few things. For one, the announcer is a idiot. Johnny Daren, Johnny Perez... these two names where the two totally seperate but completely proper enunciations from what he was saying. If you don't know the man's last name, just admit it. Secondly, I was expecting a longer match! This is a six man 2 out of 3 falls match but only lasted worth 25 minutes of the one-hour show. That's a long running style of match there, especially in a time when long matches where the norm, so it just seems like it'd be longer. Thirdly...
That thought will have to hold till later, I need to get back to the next match. 2 out of 3 falls, AGAIN (ALL the matches of this time period seem to be 2 out of 3 falls!), Larry Shane vs. the Golden Moose Cholak. We're waiting for the Moose to take off his friggen robe. He's a BIG guy, though.
They jump out the gate, and the Moose runs up to Larry and tries to grab him. Larry bounces off the ropes and runs into Cholak to no avail, simply bouncing off the big man. Cholak runs around nimbly and takes out Larry by the ankle, tripping him forward down onto his face in the mat, pulling back on the ankle he rolls Larry over to his back where Larry gets the opportunity to kick directly up and out at Cholak to throw him off. Cholak gets far too close to the ropes, as he comes back and applies a submission hold on Larry's leg, eventually the ref breaks that up as Cholak was blantantly using the leverage of the ropes. Larry's getting beat and he's limping after a kick to the knee from the mat, Cholak has obviously compounded the damage on Larry's legs through the various holds and blows Cholak has applied thus far. Cholak has a obvious sense of direction in his assault.
Commercial break. Back to the thought I put on hold... Thirdly, those first match participants where mostly names of people I've covered during other Olde Timey reports, and it's refreshing to see some repeat names. Lastly, the first match was overall a underperformance, just from what I seen, considering the talent. However, it was a decent match. Now, commenting on this current match, Cholak is a damn big person, and his use of mat holds is refreshing... but boring. This match doesn't offer much. Although, I am not doing it justice here, as I am caught off guard by the different spots in the matches. Anyways, darn, not even enough time to finish that thought as I rush rush rush back to the show! Damn Xavier and his Recap-A-Pinion format...
Both men on the ropes, Larry is briefly getting the upper hand in the fight as he weakens Cholak. Cholak just got a brutal forearm on Larry's head, like a tree falling on his skull, and he throws him clear out of the ring! The Moose is on as he gets Larry in a headscissors headlock on the mat. Larry squeams on the mat. Ha! Cholak's shoelaces where tied together by Larry during that last hold! Cholak stood up, hopping around, and then fell right out of the ring screaming for time to untie his bootlaces! Classic! Shane gets a headlock, holding on to the Moose's headgear (chin and ear pad getup on his head). The Moose asks for some time to tie his shoelace, which was still loose, and he "ran across the ring like a baby hippo" (announcer's words) bumrushing Shane from behind as Shane turns his back to the shoelace-tying Moose, puts him in a ankle lock, gets him up twice for HUGE slams, and a pin.
Commercial break, and we return for fall 2 (2 out of 3 falls). Larry throws Cholak out, but Cholak comes back to... now he's just sorta sitting on him and hitting him. Shane rolls over Cholak and gets his head into a headscissors headlock on the mat. He's holding him tight. The Moose kicks, touched the ropes but no rope break. Ha! Shane is just poking and smacking poor ol' Cholak in the face as he holds him to the mat, but Cholak finally gets up. Cholak gets Larry Shane into the corner to beat on him some more, and does a good job of it. They lock up again only to repeat the corner beating, as Cholak just drops his big arm on Larry. Oh! Larry Shane busts out, leapfrogs over the ref and kicks Cholak in the head. The Moose hits Larry down to the mat with a headbutt and Larry looks phased. Larry is getting beat with a few blows to the head. The ref is complaining because of the headbutt, as Cholak is wearing headgear (chin/ear pads) which seem to have cut Larry's face. Larry gets beat but recovers with another short burst, tosses over Cholak into the ropes, flips him up over with a backflip, and Larry gets his first fall. One fall each.
Larry seems to be injured and, the announcer is billing him as bloody but I don't see a damn DROP. The announcer is sitting here describing the blood dripping off his face and onto his stomach, while the camera is centered on Larry and there isn't a damn speck of blood. Okay. Commercial break.
Larry Shane is very worn out, and is struggling to bring himself to finish the match. NOW he's a LITTLE bloody, I can see it now, a little. The Moose did his headbutt again and Larry is bleeding... a bit. Maybe I'm just used to horrific amounts of blood that modern bleeding practices in wrestling produce, I don't know, but Larry doesn't seem to be very bloody here. Larry Shane hits the Moose, they jaunt around, and Larry Shane picks up a shoe and smacks Cholak in the face with it, ha, a shoe! Good lord, what a nonsense prop. That made NO sense. He just found a shoe, presumably from a crowd member, and just popped Cholak on the head. Moose comes out and SLAMS Larry with another headbutt, knocking off his headgear with the force of the blow. For some reason, Larry Shane gets a comeback, gets some good blows in on Cholak, tries for a pin... no good. Cholak continues his battering, Larry throws a few punches rebounding off the ropes, slingshot off the ring by Larry and both of them collide, falling flat on their backs. Larry and Cholak get back up at around the same time, they go to lock up and Cholak comes in with ominous hands, walking into a prepared Larry Shane who flips the clumsy Cholak up over the ropes.
Commercial break, and we return to a three minute time limit. Larry got nudged out of the ring, and Cholak keeps him out by kicking at Larry as he attempts to return to the ring. Cholak gets a few kicks as Larry gets back in, Larry makes the Moose reel with a couple punches, but the Moose lays down those big forearms. Larry is just getting pummeled. Oh, the ESPN logo flashes up, this match took place in 1963 in Chicago. Anyways, Moose gets a reprisal, as there is a one minute reminder by the timekeeper. They're fighting, they're doing, wait, what is Larry doing? Larry got Cholak in the position to powerbomb or piledrive him, with the head inbetween the legs, then he grabbed his rear end and started to thrust Cholak back (no, not THAT kind of motion... perverts). I do not know what kind of move he was planning on doing, but whatever it was, it was unsuccessful.
Doesn't matter though, as the match's time limit is called. Commercial break, and we are nearing the end of today's Olde Timey. We return really quick to see Larry's cuts and a brief interview. I don't see all that much blood. This might be because of the black and white broadcast. They're interviewing Larry, the interviewer is shilling for Larry's performance, as some guy in the crowd waves at the camera. This short interview with Larry Shane is really just a shill bit, I'll spare you it. Overall, good show, but the spots where very quick and I missed out on a few vital calls, as was probably evident by my general sense of "rush" through the whole column.
That's it for this week's Classic Pro-Wrestling! I'll be back again next week, if my sleep habits and duties allow, for more of the same old-timer shoot fightin'. So see ya then!
For more classic 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 seeking some stories from you olde timers, so if you have a rather outdated wrestling memory, feel free to get in contact with me! Until next week...
- Phoebus Apollo