Saturday, April 19, 2008

Starrcade '85: The Gathering

Hosts: Bob Caudle/ Tony Schiavone (who had a great porno stache)

1 Krusher Krushev v. Sam Houston- 4
Houston was what we like to call "wirey" in this one, had a really great extended dropkick too. Krushev bumped well for such a bigger guy but his one piece was a little loose- feel sorry for the front row fans. The finish was creative- Houston had the win but Krusher got his foot on the rope. Then Krusher hit his finish, Houston got his foot on the rope, but he pulled it off before the ref saw it. Those sneaky Russians....

2 Abdullah the Butcher v. Manny Fernandez- Mexican Death Match- 5
Well, you could probably find a cleaner fight in a back alley in Guadlahara involving 2 essai's, some nose salt, and a pinata that looks like SpongeBob. This was a ghastly fight but I loved it's honesty- they never tried to make you think this would be a clean match, they didn't do any hammerlocks, they just straight bludgeoned each other. I thought it was great that they were both motivated enough to take big bumps off the 2nd rope as they tried to reach for the really ridiculous gimmick of pulling the sombrero off of a pole. This was bloody (literally) fantastic.

3 Black Bart v. Ron Bass (Texas Bullrope Match)- 3
Here's another two large cowpokes busting open blood vessels like they were zits on the face of a teenage prom queen. A bloody moustache is a gruesome sight and these guys had that in spades. They were a bit slower and more hesitant to really rip flesh as compared to the last match and their strikes weren't as meaty, looked more like a badly worked Mid South match than the Puerto Rican blood shower I would have liked to seen.

4 Ron Bass v. J.J. Dillon (stipulation of the last match)- 2
Bass won so he got 5 minutes with Dillon, of course, it helps if you aren't unconscious during those very long 5 minutes. This was pretty forgettable, but the post match beatdown served a storyline purpose and seemed more inspired than most of the brawling during the match.

5 Barbarian v. Superstar Billy Graham- 3
This started out as an arm wrestling match, then inexeclipably a ref popped up and this thing was under way. Within the minute of the bell ringing, Graham was a gory mess that put the last "Saw" film to shame (not that the confusing plot didn't help) Graham was getting up there, but he was still built and had some funky strikes to piece the Barbarian's jaw with. This was fairly short, and ended with a non-finish.

6 Terry Taylor v. Buddy Landell- 4
This was your basic wrestling match- neither guy stretched themselves, using mostly chinlocks and hiptoss drills to fill out their time in-ring. Landell had a fantastic short jab that he utilized quite often and I really looked for all the greatness people say Taylor used to have, but it certainly didn't rear it's red mohawked face here. A typical manager interference 80's heel spot was the finish and we move on.

7 Ole & Arn Anderson v. Billy Jack Haynes/ Wahoo McDaniel- 4
The Andersons do tag wrestling almost better than anyone (ex. cutting the ring in half, keeping their opponents in their corner) and it was on display here. Except Arn had a future career in mind and was really selling and bumping big for the faces; Ole didn't give a shit because he was older than dirt and just stiffed whoever he was in against. Wahoo has had some major battles in the past (looks like he was fighting obesity at this time) and his chops are still legendary; he had the fans in his pocket too. Both teams traded a lot of punches and forearms until the eventual end which isn't memorable.

8 Tully Blanchard v. Magnum TA (Steel Cage I Quit Match) - 7
If I had thought the show already reached it's violent quotient, I was dead wrong. This match had HEAT, and these two guys went at it like it truly deserved. The cage bumps were nasty, awkward and empassioned, not these easy does it shits we see on Raw occasionally. Piledrivers were stuffed, punches weren't pulled and Magnum's mullet was brighter than the sun coming over the Antartic Shelf in June. But,the the best was still to come; the pinnacle of barbarism was about to be reached when Baby Doll (a perfect 10) threw in a wooden chair to Tully. Instead of hitting Magnum with it, he throws it to the ground and rips a huge splintered piece off to sever the arteries in TA's head with!!!! You've not heard a better sports announcing call than Bob Caudle uttering "He's got a scythe!" But, Magnum got the scythe and turned Tully's face into a Chicago Deep Dish before winning the match.

9 Midnight Express (Eaton & Condrey, not the NHO Hall of Famers Eaton & Lane) v. Jimmy Valiant & Miss Atlanta Lively (Atlanta Street Fight)- 2

This was a big fiasco- Miss Atlanta Lively, the best I could tell, was a male in drag, althought I have no clue who he was. The Midnights came out in tuxes and were getting bumped around like Crash Test Dummies back in the 80's. There wasn't a lot of action, there never is in a Valiant match, he mainly just juked and jived and let loose some really absurd punches.
10 The Russians (Ivan & Nikita Koloff) v. Rock n' Roll Express (Steel Cage Match)- 5 And we have: more blood! Morton juiced quite early in this one that was light on cage action. The Rock n' Rolls are a team that everyone always raves about but that doesn't really excite me. They were very quick and agile but I think they're double teams look like shit. And Morton on his own, or Gibson for that matter, just don't bring anything to the table. Nikita plays the Arn role here and works well with the near-40 year olds pretending to be 25 in this match and Ivan fits comfortable in the Ole spot as old heel who don't take shit from anyone. The last 4 to 5 minutes builds really well and the upset victory gives this a notch in the right direction.

11 Ric Flair v. Dusty Rhodes- 7
It's always fun to go back and watch two BONAFIDE legends, in their prime, hook it up and this was no different. The reason these guys are so good is because they knew, back then, it's the little things that really stick out and make the difference; for example, Dusty's sell of his leg because Flair has worked it over, so when Dusty hits a big streak of moves, he makes it more dramatic because he comes off the top rope and sells that fucking leg like he just snapped it in half by doing that move. Dusty could really work in his day, he's quick, he knows how to give you the face that makes sense after every spot and he's real fluid with Flair. He stuck out to me more than Ric did, but it's especially nice to see Flair again, now that he's retired.* He does all the beg offs, the flips in the corner, and the scentillating chops we love to see and he does them all with perfection. This is a true classic because Dusty wins the NWA title at the conclusion.
*No wrestler ever really retires


Didge said...

no wrestler really retires? sounds like your talking form your own personal experience.

Adam said...

Miss Atlanta Lively = Ronnie Garvin in drag

Brian said...

did you intentionally skip/leave off The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) vs. Ivan and Nikita Koloff ?