This is my 2nd attempt at analyzing a tag team in one review; after just finishing their 3 disc DVD set made from the folks at Highspots.com (cheap plug), I'm ready to get in depth on MVC.
1) Innovation- 7(Doc)/ 9 (Gordy)
Doc was apart of what I like to call that Bill Watts style; the hard hitting, brawling type who wasn't necessarily the most technical or flash guy but could beat an ass soundly; Gordy fits that mold too. What's unique and innovative about both of them is that instead of just skating by in WCW or WWF on that persona, they went to Japan to test their mettle. The Land of the Rising Sun is the Land of Bad-Ass MotherF*****s! Doc, years later, back in America brought the ruthless, head dropping Japanese style back to him in a failed singles career but it was definitley something no one else was doing at that time. Gordy, on the other hand, was apart of one of the most landscape changing groups of all time, and that's the Freebirds; they were flashy, they had their own entrance music, they bordered the line between face and heel and they were a 3 man group that could interchange members.
2) Conditioning- 7(Doc)/ 7(Gordy)
Neither of these guys are going to ever be on the cover of a Fitness magazine, but this category is more than that. Doc has a very stocky build, like a linebacker. He's incredibly strong, deceptively so, and has that barrel midsection. Gordy is taller, but thick as well showing a lot of excess fat on his frame. Both guys had the ring conditioning to work longer matches; it's built into having a career in Japan- you don't do 4 minute TV matches and call it a night's work. You have to perform anwhere from 10 to 30 to 45 minutes a night and at a high skill level and pace. But both men were plagued with drug problems, most noticeably Gordy whose habits helped lead to a death way too early in his career and life. Doc also was in use of hazardous substances and went through a near death battle with throat cancer, possibly brought on by his overindulgence. Both guys lose marks for that but they could go with anyone for a while in the ring.
3) Skill- 7 (Doc)/ 7 (Gordy)
Both guys can definitley hold their own inside of the four posts. Both men have wrestled the top guys in the world and put on 5 star matches. Both men's styles and pace dictate that they remain in control as much as possible in a match. Neither man's strength is on defense, although Doc does sell better than Gordy and more often. But Gordy is more of a thinker than Doc; he goes from move to move or spot to spot without any real slop being thrown in there just because he's not sure; you'll see Doc do that. Offense on the other hand, both men excel at. They are more the guys that need someone to bump around them and they can have a fantastic match. Doc can go hold for hold with a lot of guys and Gordy can just maul you so they have a very fun style to watch.
4) Psychology- 10 (Doc)/ 8(Gordy)
As I've mentioned already in my review of their 3 disc set, Doc does a lot of little things really well that add a certain element to matches, like warming up on the apron, gives you a sense of anticipation for when he gets in the ring. Some double team stuff they pulled off that gives them just a slight advantage like the ways they distract the ref and such. And Doc's little touches on sells, like an aforementioned sleeper, really getting some mileage out of it. Gordy also has some really good psych; he always revs up the fans after a big offensive manuever. He's better at spotting momentum and going with it than Doc is. And both men go for covers at opportune moments, little things that give you the sense they are actually trying to win the match, not just perform for a paycheck.
5) Interviews- 5(Doc)/ 7 (Gordy)
Doc's a big talker but not a great one. He's pretty loud and barks a lot of threats but besides that there's not much to them. He did these silent promos in ECW where he just stared a hole right through your head that I really enjoyed. Gordy on the other hand, while not masterful at the art of interview, has that redneck quality and tells you how and where and when he's going to beat you up. He was under the tutelage of Michael Hayes who can talk, so I think he picked up a few lessons there.
6) Character- 8 (Doc)/ 6 (Gordy)
Dr. Death is a name that most every wrestling fan knows even if they don't know Steve Williams. I'm not really sure what the name is supposed to represent besides intimidation but it's quite catchy and rolls right off the tongue. Williams and Gordy's "characters" are basically the same: rough tough dudes who will fight anyone anytime. When they came back to WCW in the early 90's, they basically used their Japanese reputations as their gimmick; being two Americans who went over to the toughest promotion in the world and survived and came to America to claim their fame. They were basically heels but they never cheated; they just happen to fight all of the faces. Both men have been heels most of their careers but that's only due to the fact that they can beat someone down really well; even so they still get cheered. When Doc was in UWF with Bill Watts, he was super over as a tough collegiate face, so he gets a little extra in this category.
7) Fans- 7 (Doc)/ 7 (Gordy)
In the beginnings of their careers both men were largely cheered and jeered by fans: Doc as college football star who turned wrestler in Oklahoma and Gordy as renegade Freebird in Texas. They had their stages of mediocrity during their career but found themselves in Japan where they were always cheered against because they were facing off with the most popular competitors in that country. But, as their tag team status grew, after their stellar WCW run they became quite a favorite amongst most diehard wrestling fans. Even ECW brought them in as "the best tag team in the world" to run at their Eliminators, but overall I'd say they are moderately popular even with Gordy being deceased and Doc retired and for most of their careers they were pretty well known.
8) Basics- 10 (Doc)/ 6(Gordy)
Doc was a collegiate athlete so I'm guessing his mat wrestling experience there helped him immensely here. He has all the great ingredients of the basics of wrestling down: knows his holds and works his holds really well, has a great punch, can make transitions well. And you wouldn't think he could by looking at him. Gordy isn't as classically trained; although I've seen spurts of it. He's more of a brawler type and it works wonders for him. But, a bare knuckle brawler must also know the basics and he knows how to use the ring very well, quick whip ins to corners and ropes to setup moves and stiff kicks and punches.
9) Matchs/Feuds- 7(Doc)/ 10 (Gordy)
It's hard to say who's the more known competitor, probably Doc only because he's had a longer career but Gordy has definitley had the more famous fueds and that's simply because of his World Class stint and the legendary feud of the Freebirds vs. Von Erich's. This long running grudge kept World Class alive, filled it's stadiums to capacity and made tons of money while also putting the Texas-based promotion on the global mat of pro wrestling. Gordy was dead center of that feud, even branching off against all 3 of the most famous brothers in World Title matches and such, meaning David, Kevin and Kerry. Doc, on the other hand, was in UWF feuding with the likes of the Rock n' Roll Express and the Guerrero Brothers, while teaming with Ted Dibiase. When these two hooked up in Japan, they had legendary matches against Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey, Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada, among many other combinations, not to mention holding the Triple Crown World Championships each, respectively. Then, they ventured back into America and embroiled themselves in a feud with the Steiner Brothers, which they decisively won. They went back to Japan after this run, and the team pretty much fizzled after that. Gordy passed away in 2001, years after he had retired and Doc was still chugging along, silently in independents with a short run in WWE and WCW in the late 90's. But, they have both wrestled the finest in Japan yet neither got to face any of the top national talent of the WWF or WCW.
10) Gutcheck- 8(Doc)/ 6 (Gordy)
It's funny that when you look back at both of these legendary toughmen, they'll be known more as tag team wrestlers than singles because that's where most of their success has been and none more than the success they had as a team; Capturing some of the most prestigious tag gold in all of the sport- the All Japan PWF/ International Tag Titles and the WCW and NWA Tag Team Titles at one time. Never had been done before. Doc underwent throat surgery a few years ago to remove the cancer he had and has since recovered and been "saved." But despite all that, he's known for his toughness and even in the light of his KO to Bart Gunn or his embarrassing WCW run where he helped poke fun at his good old friend JR, he still remains, as I've said here so many times before, a man who loved this business and wanted to do all he could for it, including opening a short lived school for up and coming wrestlers. Gordy, whose time with us was cut short, also loved the business and became something of a journeyman, doing a quick shot in WWE as Executioner, finding his way into ECW for a time, then bouncing back to Japan, even competing in a Death Match Tournament, definitley not his fortay. Both men had character, even though they both suffered some personal demons and stayed true to kayfabe and the art of making this look real. It's been a real honor getting to relive some of their past glory and immortalize them, in my own way, here on NHO.
Totals: 76 (Doc)/ 73 (Gordy)
Rankings: Legend (Doc)/ Superstar (Gordy)
PO: Thumbs Up (Both)