Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Friday, May 28, 2010

Michael PS Hayes/Jimmy Garvin/BADSTREET~! vs. Tracey Smothers/Steve Armstrong/Dustin Rhodes 6/16/91

This was originally written back in 2004/05 as part of the Dustin of the Day project. Match will appear on Schneider comp 24

Ok, so I really dig this match. But when Phil asked me if I wanted to write something about it, I kind of begged off. I had already reviewed a Tracey Smothers match that was filled with stalling. And I already reviewed a match where I spent the focus of the review on talking about shtick and theatricality. I was unsure whether I could really get across the difference between the stylized theatricality in Dustin/Steamboat vs. Arn/Zbyzsco and the shtick in this match. In the tag match the shtick was all really incorporated into the match as storytelling device. In the Freebirds match the story is the shtick and the shtick is the story. I wasn’t sure if I could get that across and then it occurred to me….I’m going to write a two part review of Freebirds vs. Dustin/Young Pistols. A couple reasons to do this. One the narrative arch really separates nicely into two parts and splitting it into two allows you to see how each part builds as well as than making the links as to how the concluding part reflects the opening part. Two it helps to really capture the epic quality of this match. Three this match is built on stalling which is delay of gratification…thus me not giving the reader the whole thing at once kind of mirrors the match nicely. And four, the idea of writing this in two parts just amuses me to no end.

Tracey Smothers:

"That's called working. That's old school"“


This match is part of the endless series of Freebirds vs. Young Pistols matches from the early nineties. For a while it seems like every major show, every Clash, PPV has some sort of matchup between these two teams. A tag match, a six man, a match with Brad instead of Steve, a match with Bullet Bob, a match with Buddy Roberts…just endless series of matches and by and large those matches are really not good. You would think after the third mediocre match between two teams they’d pair them up with different people, but you’d be wrong. The Freebirds and Young Pistols with Dustin had a six-man match on a Clash that I’d recommend avoiding, as it’s not much. However, they deliver the one great match in the series on the Pro.

This takes place after the Ricky Morton turn. At the time of the turn, Ricky Morton, JYD, and Tommy Rich had the six man belts. Morton turns heel, will no longer tag with them, allowing the Freebirds to win the six- man title in a three on two. Thus, the Freebirds are double champions, with both the US Tag Title and the Six Man belts.

These are the Freebirds of the nineties.

These are not the Freebirds that people talk about as being HOF material. NO, no, no they are not.

This is Michael PS Hayes and Jimmy Garvin. Michael PS Hayes is a guy who came to the fore by being the guy who knew how to throw one good looking punch and knew lots of heat getting shtick to do on the floor while Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy did the in ring work for the Freebirds. Jimmy Garvin is a guy who knew how to do a lot of heat gathering shtick and stalling to piss off Canadians while Ronnie Garvin did all the wrestling work for the Garvins’ team.

And then there’s Badstreet. And well Badstreet kind of rules. I’m watching all this WCW and been enjoying a lot of Brad Armstrong. During this period, Brad wrestles both as Brad and also as one ridiculous gimmick after another. The neat thing to watch is Brad really puts his all into each gimmick. WCW puts Tim Horner in a mask and he wrestles like Tim Horner with a mask on. They put Brad into a Spiderman mask and he wrestles like a face luchador with lots of in ring topes and a majistral type finisher. You tell him that he’s going to be Badstreet and he wrestles like a combo of Tony Arce and Andy Barrow, lots of rudo mannerisms and he slinks around like a combo of Jake the Snake and Snidely Whiplash.

So you’ve got two guys who specialize in heel stalling plus the worker of your team who also has excellent rudo mannerisms. Then you add to that the president of the Diamond Mine DDP, some arm candy, and another manager in Big Daddy Dink. So you have a total of five guys who are there to gather heel heat only one of who can actually do the wrestling. One of the problems with I think most of the Freebirds vs. Pistols matches is that they tried to ignore that dynamic and actually work a wrestling match. On the Pro, someone realized "What are the Freebirds doing wrestling? They should just be stalling."

And this may be one of the greatest stallfest matches you’ll ever see.

This isn’t one of those matches with stalling, where there is just a lot of stalling at the beginning. NO. They incorporate the stalling into every part of this match. One almost needs to develop a workrate system for stalling in this match as these guys don’t just lay in the stall, they work the stall, milk the stall…the number of stalls per minute is almost athletically impressive. Its not that they just go to ref to complain about a fast count, they do five minutes of stalling around complaining about a fast count. The stalls have psyche, build and emotionally satisfying finishes.

Michael PS Hayes and Dustin Rhodes start the match off with Michael PS Hayes doing an extended offended stall, “You want a piece of me? You think you can take me? “ which eventually elicits a “FREEBIRDS SUCK! FREEBIRD SUCK!” chant from the audience.

Both Tracey Smothers and Dustin are really good at working a crowd chant, pointing to the crowd stomping, establishing the chant rhythm…trying to get different sides of the arena to join in, etc.

Hayes is upset and he walks around circling with Dustin while Hayes looks at the audience dejected. He walks away from Dustin grabs the top rope in the heel corner does a Flash Dance-ish bend and bounce while holding top rope. Hayes finger swishes through his own hair while his hips perfectly mirror his finger swivel. Hayes then bodyglides forwards a couple steps and then moonwalks back. After that elaborate display he turns to audience for approval “How Bout that?”
Of course he is met by:

FREEBIRDS SUCK !!
FREEBIRDS SUCK !!

This leads to Hayes bailing out of the ring for a bit to further heat up the crowd and then eventually getting back in to lock up with Dustin. Dustin controls this section with Hayes trying to regain control of a rope running section by putting up his leg, Dustin catches the leg and turns it into an atomic drop (think the Nakamura shooty catch spot). Hayes is atomic dropped into face corner where all three faces get to wail on him before he runs to bail out by running to Jimmy Garvin on the apron and jumping into his protecting arms.

The crowd goes nuts. Dustin points and does the swishy hand sign. Garvin and Hayes both do a thou do protest too much “oh no yuck we’re not like that” mime. Tracey Smothers goes to crowd and rhythmically points and starts a “FAGGOTS! FAGGOTS!” chant. I so need to see THUGS vs. Gangstas handhelds now, just to see Smothers try to start SPEARCHUCKA chants.

They stall some more and milk the gay bashing heat as much as Hayes milked the original “Freebirds suck” heat. Jimmy Garvin yells at the crowd to “Shut UP!” and you can hear a tinge of sadness in his voice. Garvin goes to Big Daddy Dink to look for approval and says and I quote “It’s not what you think” to which Dink says “ENOUGH. ENOUGH.” He doesn’t want to hear about it. Dink’s tone is great as I imagine it is same tone Dick Cheney used when his daughter first introduced the family to Gretchen during break her freshman year.

Hayes, Garvin, Dink and Badstreet try to comfort each other about getting the faggot chant and well let's be honest those four guys huddled conferring is going to only make that chant louder. I mean anyone of those guys alone could elicit that response but all four in a huddle make Raven’s Flock look like a minor league Hockey team. Even Pena’s most demented wet dream inspired trios teams look straight next to the Dink, Garvin, Hayes, Badstreet foursome.

Then Hayes does his first stall involving Nick Patrick, as he goes for Nick Patrick for support against the crowd’s misunderstanding. Patrick sells discomfort at Hayes’ advances.

Again, I want to emphasize here how good of a ref Patrick is, as he really knows how to mime to get over his communication with both teams over to the audience.

This was the early nineties when WCW was using Bill Alfonso, because they needed someone on their crew who was able to translate for El Gigante…this never made any sense to me… I mean Phillip Sierra or Richard Santana would have made such great members of York Foundation as not only would they be turning on the working class values of people who go by their nicknames but they’d also be denying their culture…plus both had experience working Matt Borne… but instead WCW brought in Alfonso.

Anyway, I can’t see this match working half as well if it was reffed by either Bill Alfonso or Randy Anderson.

Hayes back in with Dustin, Dustin gets an armwringer and a high hiptoss on Hayes. Hayes runs to Patrick again with the “wait wait he pulled my tights” classic stall. Hayes does less with this stall then any of the other ones in this match. Hayes forces Patrick to ask the audience whether his tights were pulled and the crowd answers in the negative.

So, this stall continues three of the storylines that they lay out over the course of match:

(1)Freebirds trying to control the pace of the match by using the ref, much to the consternation of the faces. Hayes going to ref elicits this great “aw c’mon man? For real?” facial sell from Dustin.
(2)Michael PS Hayes’ disappointment with the crowd. There is a lot of jawing with the crowd in this match and instead of it being the wrestler telling the fans that “hey you in the front row, you’re fat” or mocking the local sports team, or just mocking the crowd heelishly…Hayes’ jawing and stalling comes out of disappointment. Hayes is so full of himself that he can’t understand how the crowd doesn’t worship him too.
(3) That the Freebirds in fact do suck. These are guys who need to slow it down…not after a suplex or even a bodyslam…but even a hiptoss is a dangerous throw and time to bail out.

It’s not as complex or as deep a stall as most of the other ones but I want to make clear that it doesn’t break from the psychology of the match.

Hayes goes for a couple strikes but Dustin catches him with another armwringer into an arm drag which he drops the leg on while simultaneously tagging Tracey. Dustin holds Hayes arm out for Tracy to hit with a diving top rope chop. Not the most impressive series of moves strung together. But its nine minutes into this match and the faces are able to string four moves together without the heels breaking up the momentum…the crowd pops like they hit an SSP.

Hayes escapes a wrist lock with a kick and manages to tag in Jimmy Garvin. Garvin is immediately caught in an armwringer into a standing arm bar. Garvin has no escape for a simple armbar. Overwhelmed by the arm bar he has no choice but to back Tracey into the corner, forcing the ref to come over and break the armbar.

YOU SUCK!!!
YOU SUCK!!!


Garvin now free of the armbar, Fargo Struts.

FREEBIRDS SUCK!
FREEBIRDS SUCK!

Dustin climbs the ropes to start a pro-face handclap.

Garvin gets a waistlock takedown on Smothers who easily escapes and takes Garvin down with a shouldertackle followed by a hiptoss. AW FUCK NOT A HIPTOSS.

Hayes runs in to stop Smothers from being able to follow up on the hiptoss. Hayes ends up eating a hiptoss and both Freebirds eat superkicks. Badstreet threatens getting in the ring but Tracey scares him off with karate poses.

The heels regroup on the ground
Dink “We’ve got to get them on the mat”
Hayes “We’re the champs. We’ve got to slow it down”
They all agree “We’ve got to slow it down”

Slow it down? The match is past the ten minute mark. The faces have only strung more than two moves together once. The only throws in this match have been one atomic drop and two hiptosses. They’re going to try to slow it down even more than that? And that really captures the dynamic of the match. The faces have won every single exchange in the match, but the heels are totally controlling the match.

Garvin is back in with Smothers. Garvin gets taken down and pinned for a two count. 1,2, kick out…
Hayes gets into ring to complain to Patrick “HEY HEY HEY!!! What was that?”
Garvin turns to Patrick to complain about the fast count too.
Garvin “That was 1..2.…It’s supposed to be one…………………..two………………three”
Patrick practices the tempo that Garvin proposes.

The long ellipses don’t really capture the tempo that the Freebirds try to set.
Hmmm. Sing Freak-a-leak to yourself. If Patrick were to use the tempo the Freebirds want, Petey Pablo could list off two and a half stripper names between each count on the mat.

[ Shameka. Keisha. Ta-]ONE!
[ Shonda, Sabrina, Chris-] TWO!
[Monique, Christina, Yo-] THREE!

Garvin and Hayes clap the rhythm to Patrick:

[Sabrina, Daronda, Sha-] ONE!
[Tenisha, Mocha, Kie-] TWO!
[Christina, Veronica, Sa] THREE!

Hayes counts it off to Big Daddy Dink.:

[Shameka. Keisha. Ta-]ONE !
[ Shonda, Sabrina, Chris-] TWO!
[Monique, Christina, Yo-]THREE

Dink counts it off with Patrick coming in at 2.

[Sabrina, Daronda, Sha-] ONE!
[Tenisha, Mocha, Kie-] TWO!
[Christina, Veronica, Sa] THREE!

All four Freebirds count it off with Patrick.

[Yolanda, Christina. Mel-] ONE!
[Precious, Aisha, Sha] TWO!
[Tiara, Shavonda, Cha]THREE!

Garvin rolls up Smothers. So of course Patrick ambles over

[Mya, Victoria, Ki-] …ONE!
[Chandra..] kick out
Crowd pops.

Freebirds are infuriated.

Hayes jumps back in the ring and Hayes and Garvin back Patrick up into the neutral corner.

“What was that?!!!!”

We repeat the same exact shtick but this time with the Freebirds wanting a quick 16th note count.

The great thing about a comedy spot like this is you know what’s going to happen next and you just get giddy with anticipation. Every time Big Daddy Dink demonstrates to Patrick he fast count he wants..you just get more giddy.

Smothers gets the sunset flip, quick count… Freebirds lose it and regroup on the floor. Great comedy spot with nice set up and delivery leaves the crowd with grins on their faces. For meaningless two-count section in middle of match, I don’t remember any Malenko/Guerrero roll up two-count exchange leaving me that satisfied.

Smothers starts another FREEBIRDS SUCK ! chant.
FREEBIRDS SUCK!
FREEBIRDS SUCK!

Jimmy Jam gets back in the ring and calls out Armstrong; “I want you Punk!” Steve hits a really pretty Taguchi style drop kick with a high angle and full extension and just a pretty pretty landing.

After eating the dropkick, Garvin goes to the floor. Dink massages his back.
“You’ve got to take your time, take your time.”
“Your alright, Your alright, got to slow it down”

Hayes tags himself back in and struts. He then does this elaborate hair flip where he bends at the waist to start the hair flip and then swivels his hips. The audience catcalls start. He does not understand why they cannot appreciate his hair and swivels. Hayes yells at the audience and he starts a faces fast clap and stomp for himself. No one in the crowd joins in and he does this hilariously sad defeated slowing clap down. He cannot understand why they won’t get behind him. And Hayes is left with nothing but his slow handclap for himself. It’s a hilariously pathetic spot.

If HBK were smart at all he could work a spot like this beautifully in Canada, instead he just claps and stomps in a vacuum as though the crowd isn’t there.

The Pistols and Rhodes start pointing to crowd and get the face handclap, which only makes Hayes face look sadder. Dejected, Hayes headlocks Armstrong and goes for a sunset flip attempt. Armstrong is able to just lean down and pound on Hayes to block the flip. Hayes bails from the punching and ends up backing himself up into the wrong corner where he again is met with the bionic elbow which turns him around right into a Armstrong dropkick. This time Armstrong's kick is much more compact like a cannon ball.

Hayes calls for time out. Patrick won’t give him the T. Garvin demands that Hayes get a T. Still Patrick won’t go for it.

Badstreet wants in. Hayes turns to the gimp and tells him in a tone one might use with your submissive “No, Badstreet not yet”. Badstreet looks across ring taunting the faces, points at them “you and you and you” and then makes the neck slash. He then points to the crowd and tells them to SHUT UP. Badstreets interaction with the crowd and the Pistols/Dustin team is completely different than that of the rest of the Freebirds. Badstreet is a classic rudo and just BAD; he’s not looking for anyone’s approval.

And really, this is the end of the first chapter of this match. The chapter ended much the same way it began with Hayes bailing after accidentally ending up in the face corner and getting hit by Dustin.

The story thus far is that Hayes and Garvin want social approval while Badstreet just wants to do damage. Hayes controls Badstreet. It is pretty clear the gimp will only be released once the faces are tied to the chair. Faces have controlled all the wrestling exchanges but the heels have controlled the match. Heels haven’t won a single exchange yet. But through stalling and taking advantage of the ref the heels almost never let the faces get more than one mid range move off in a row. The faces want to quicken the tempo of the match but have been blocked each time they try something. We’re at the fifteen minute point and the crowd has been kept from getting what they want. And they’re going to be rabid to get it.

Tracey Smothers:

“That’s called working. That’s old school

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