Tuesday, September 9, 2008

NHO Hall of Fame Series Presents: Barry Windham Vol. 2

1) Barry v. Ric Flair (NWA Title Match, CWF TV)- 8

It was strange but Flair came out to Genesis instead of the 2001 theme song. He cut a hilarious promo before the match where some former wrestler named Buddy Colt was sucking his ass big time. Windham starts control with technical game and it looks good. He locks in a Boston Crab which can be a son of a bitch if you really think about it. The ropes are extremely loose as Flair almost decapitates himself going into the ropes. His chops are just as legendary as ever but Windham answers with these awesome open handed strikes; he's also sporting a most bodacious 80's porn stache! Flair can sell anything and make it believable, he lets out that scream, whips his hair back and bumps till you believe- the Florida crowd is absolutely coming unglued and gives this match a great atmosphere, especially considering it's for the belt. Something I noticed here is that more so in the 70's and 80's they used submission moves as the close calls of the match more so than near fall pins with high impact moves; they still have near falls but they squeeze the drama out of the submission holds plus use them to rest and put some time into the match.

Flair takes over and just runs the ring and Barry, to his credit, is a superb face in peril even though he seems nearly double Flair's size. Flair moves about the ring with utmost confidence, a little thing that always made me seperate, in my head, the real pros from everyone else; the guys who looked like they already had the next ten moves ready to go. Windham hits a crazy flying lariat that looks like 2 bald eagle running nose to nose high in the sky, because both men come crashing to the mat and hard. Windham had been pretty aggressive early on working the leg, but Flair's the master and he starts in on Barry's leg about 25 minutes in. The announcing, on a sidebar, was quite superb- Gordon Solie on lead commentary but Mike Graham was surprisingly effective, discussing strategy and giving a unique point of view being a wrestler (if you want to call him that) himself. Flair busts out a mushroom stomp! and I love his hard, short jabs and he is bouncing them off of Windham's jaw like Kobe no doubt bounced his nutsack off of some Chinese high school girls last month in Beijing.

Both guys are sweating like those guys in the Gatorade commercials and then there's a ref bump into Flair, which he completely ignores. Windham comes off the top with a sloppy ass dropkick and then they both go sailing over the top in a crazy car crash which leads to the jerk off finish of a double countout. Real disappointment after over 40 minutes of solid action to go with ending.

2) Barry/ Mike Rotundo v. The Fabulous Ones (AWA Wrestle Rock 86)- 4

The Fabs have fans; I'm not one of them. They both went onto to do better work in the future, Lane as part of the HOF Midnights and Keirn as the chaw spitting Skinner. The whole pretty boy thing doesn't work when you look like a homeless guy with suspenders on. Lane's superkick always goes to the balls- i wonder if people hated selling that thing. Rotundo seems to enjoy stiffing Keirn with forearms and I concur. Windham and Rotundo doing a double dropkick is pretty impressive. The Fabs aren't very good heels, as soon as they get the advantage they work a front facelock, killing the heat they had. Windham got kicked in the back and sold it like he was shot with a paintball, doing this silly jump and falling down on his side. The finish made no sense; Windham, the illegal man, comes in with a flying forearm and just pins the guy- this wasn't very good.

3) Barry v. Terry Funk (Puerto Rico)- 6

Is there anything more soothing than the sound of Hugo Savinovich's voice? What a strange match this is- Funk is doing his usual crazy routine, taking mulitple bumps outside, scaring fans, throwing chairs in the ring. OH SHIT- He turned it up a notch and gives Barry a piledriver on the concrete and this is Puerto Rico so you know there's no damn mats outside and there's probably traces of heroin residing on the ground. And another one! Yes, Windham and Funk are good brawlers and I love when Barry throws the fucking babyface routine in the trash and takes Funk out to the cement and piledrives his crazy Ass- now that's Puerto Rico. They do a couple good near falls and then the finish hits where Windham thinks he won but the ref waves it off and Funk picks up the win. I love these odd matches that you never knew existed.

4) Barry/ Ron Garvin v. The Russians (NWA Pro- US Tag TeamTitle Match- 12/09/86)- 4

Well, this is a strange team- Ivan is a tough bastard, even 20 years after his prime. Barry looks smoother than Anna Kornikova's ass but Garvin and Ivan can't get on the same page. Barry hits a nice chain of suplexes on the future Smash- then Krusher. Ivan, in an unintentionally funny spot, nearly shatters his knee cap missing a knee drop from the top. The crowd is really hot for Windham during the final moments, we have a chain shot that Punky Brewster could have kicked out of and a sunset flip with someone else's god damn shoulders up! This is getting old. new champs.

5) Barry/ Ron Garvin v. The Midnight Express (Eaton/ Condrey)- 5

God, Cornette on commentary, spouting off 80's manager rhetoric. The thing that works so well about the Midnights and has made them one of the greatest tag teams of all time is their fluid motion throughout a match, whether it's with back and forth tagging, offense, or both men taking bumps for their opponents, it's just something that has resonated in all of their work, with most of the incarnations. Garvin isn't selling very much, he looks like someone absently spit at him while having a conversation every time he gets hit. Eaton has one of the sweetest punches in the biz. Garvin finally gives some aftersell on this over-extended beat down of him where he writhes on the mat, gasping for air like a goldfish out of it's bowl. The Midnights beating on Garvin went on forever and really lost my interest in an otherwise exciting tag match, it's almost like they were trying to kill time, yeah, I was right- 20 min. draw.

1 comment:

Brian said...

great stuff, sir.. - i'm digging the HOF series concept.. - may i suggest Tommy Young as the next profiled HOFer?

i remember getting a Best of Kevin Sullivan tape from RF Video back during high school, and besides the outragious promos, the only thing I remember is an epic 30+ minute match w/ Windham in Florida.. - what a hotbed for sweaty action..