Segunda Caida

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

Monday, November 07, 2016

A Moose By Any Other Name Would Be as Hoss

Moose Morowski is a recent fascination, as he passed away several weeks ago, had a great head of hair, is shaped like and dresses like Professor Wernher von Brawn in the Simpsons Arcade game, and is a hoss that nobody talks about. Let's take a look at him.

Axel Dieter/Sal Bellomo vs. Moose Morowski/Ed Wiskowski (Hannover 9/23/80)

ER: Wiskowski and Morowski are a great team that I didn't know existed until now. They're both the same size, same shape, same insanely Polish names, same bump freak status, and really they are basically the same guy. They're like the Harris Twins if they were actually good wrestlers and also not...well, you know the other part of the joke. Dieter and Bellomo are not very good, but our Polish heels make them look pretty dangerous. Bellomo at least has good energy, but a lot of stuff he actually does looks terrible. He and Dieter may have the two worst kicks to the stomach in wrestling. Dieter is a weird cat. The crowd is rabid for him, just like in that Moose singles match, but he's so lackadaisical. He moves so slowly around the ring, even throws out offense 30% slower than you're used to seeing it. So when Moose and Ed bump over the top to the floor they REALLY got to do all the work. Moose takes his (seemingly trademark) bump off the turnbuckles to the floor, both men take big spills, Wiskowski does his awesome flop bump that always goes the length of the ring, and I want more of this team. Wiskowski seemed to be the better of the two in this one, but he also had more moments to shine.

Moose Morowski vs. Mighty Igor

ER: This was disappointing, only because it was shaping up to be really good - and what we got was awesome - until Al Tomko ran in for the DQ at the 4 or 5 minute mark. Up to that point we had Igor bringing his squat power offense to Moose, while Moose was craftier and punchier. Moose is really good at working around Igor, who for his part gets over the strongman gimmick. Igor had a convincing side headlock and a great bearhug, and Moose was awesome putting over Igor's grip strength during a knuckle lock. Morowski tricks him into the ropes where he's able to trap his arm and yank it a bit, then we get a couple of his beautiful headlock punches. I really wish we got more of this. I think 15-20 minutes of this could have been precisely my kind of match. Instead we had to set up Mighty Igor/Igor Volkoff vs. Moose/Tomko, which assuredly blew.

Moose Morowski vs. Tom Justice

ER: Man, Tom Justice, you are bumming me out. This video opens on Tom Justice in full frame: red unfortunate singlet, odd tanlines on his thighs, one of the biggest apology mustaches you've seen, announced as from Seattle. This is clearly Vancouver, but people in Vancouver don't care about old Seattle born Tom Justice. He even throws up his hands and says "Come on", pleading for a little reaction. That happened. And then we cut to Moose who looks like he was put on this planet to make Tom Justice shit his singlet. He's got that great Chester A. Arthur facial hair with a little spit curl up top, and he comes up and immediately just leans into Justice. They do some mat stuff and this is Justice's lone shining moment of the match, when he spins out of a chinlock and Moose kinda falls into the bottom rope as Justice escapes. The rest of this is Moose choking and punching and choking Justice. Justice is a rookie, and he clearly has no idea where Moose wants him to be standing for his asskicking, so he's always turning the wrong way and Moose has to drag him around and Tom just looks like a guy barely hanging on. I would say Justice is great at selling, as he spent much of the match feeling his teeth and mouth, but I'm pretty sure he just thought he had lost teeth. Moose has a bunch of great rope chokes, throws some nice stomps to the face, nails a big shoulderbreaker. This wasn't big bumping Moose, and it sure as hell shouldn't have been. After the match is maybe his best moment, as he throws down a great promo about wanting a cage match and the dude is awesome on the stick.

Moose Morowski vs. Mike Kovac

ER: Aw, jeez Mike. Kovac looks like a character off of the second season of Fargo. "Oh you know, Mike Kovac, works in the stock room down at the Econofoods." This is an all time classic jobber beatdown. It is never unprofessional, but Kovac takes a beating, and it's a long beating with zero hope spot of any kind. There was never one second where Kovac had things 51/49. This was all Moose. A lot of squash matches are quick, to the point, no more than 3 minutes, and highlight a couple of big spots for the squasher. Here it's just a long merciless beating. By the end of the match Kovac's side is covered in brown/purple (puce?) bruises. Moose might throw the best clubbing blows in wrestling, and I understand the ground that covers. He throws a couple to Kovac's chest that are just so brutal. One over the shoulder from behind, one after he backs him into a corner. You have to assume Moose somehow gave Kovac an irregular heartbeat after those. Moose throws some great straight rights, some awesome headlock punches, breaks out more of his rope chokes (with his favorite being choking Kovac over the top rope, then yanking the rope back to bump Kovac across the ring), and drops him with a couple suplexes that look like he's tossing a heavy dead body. Moose does all these great "always on" moments, like digging a fist into Kovac's abdomen while pinning him. He also manufactures a hope spot for Kovac right at the very end. It was amazing. He picks up Kovac and drops him with a great back suplex, surely the end of the match, and then he kicks Kovac out of his own pin. He doesn't lift up Kovac the way a heel would, to inflict more punishment, he clearly just manufactures a kick out. There was no way Kovac was kicking out on his own, and Moose just lifted Kovac's arm for him to "kick him out". He then picked him up and planted him with a shoulderbreaker for the win, but was still a neat little moment of "hey guy, you've taken a beating for 6 minutes, SURPRISE! you get to kick out of a back suplex. Because you're also eating a shoulderbreaker."

Moose Morowski vs. Verne Siebert

ER: Phil's old tape trading buddy Verne Siebert! This guy was long affiliated with the Vancouver wrestling scene, first as a wrestler and later as a good heel manager and later as a referee on indy shows. He also traded tapes and had a huge collection, and is responsible for some pretty great matches being in circulation. Here he gets punched a bunch in the face by Moose Morowski. And also clubbed in the chest a lot by Moose Morowski. And elbowed to the back of the neck and head by Moose Morowski

Moose Morowski vs. Sonny Myers

ER: Not at all the match I was expecting, not at all the Sonny Myers I was expecting. I was expecting old man Sonny Myers to be working, as that just seems like someone Tomko would bring in. "This guy was huge in the 40s!" So we'd have 60-something Myers versus 50-something Moose, with the winner facing Orville Brown or Hans Gloan or Wilbur the Ranch Hand the next week. But instead Myers is some younger guy with lizard eyes, looking like a B movie General Zod with tight blond curls and neck fringe (like Kawada had for awhile!). And this starts out like the Moose matches you've seen, with Moose bullying Myers around, doing his great rope chokes (including a new variation where he drapes a leg over Myers neck while also pulling up on the rope), tossing Myers to the floor with Myers taking a great flip bump down to the concrete; then there's an odd miscommunication where Moose throws a punch/elbow that doesn't land like his shots usually land, and then when they repeat the spot it's revealed that it's because Myers was supposed to reverse! Myers sends Moose reeling with a couple light dropkicks, but then hit's one of those great old lopsided Ricky Morton/Marty Jannetty headscissors and suddenly this match is 50/50 and it's weird because both guys are clearly working as heels. But Moose is probably more of a heel because he has Siebert interfering for him on the outside, but man Myers does not look or act like a face. Moose continues choking away at him and getting into it with the meticulous Suzie Tanner, and pretty soon they're firing elbows at each other and I fear Moose might actually go down, but luckily Siebert interferes without even attempting to go unseen and Moose saves some face by not eating a pin. It should be said that Verne Siebert was a good second, kind of like a lesser Gino Hernandez, but brought stiff interference with great timing. Could be worth seeking out more...

Go spend 45 minutes of your day watching these Moose Morowski matches. Think of what you would be doing instead, and then ask yourself - honestly - would it be more rewarding than watching a bunch of Moose Morowski. I think we all know the answer.

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Anonymous Jetlag said...

Moose had another solid singles match with Axel Dieter in 1981. Unfortunately it seems that most of his career is lost. There is a promo of him on YouTube where he talks about fighting in various gimmick matches all over the world which makes it even more frustrating. Maybe some japanese clerk will find vault footage of him vs. Mighty Inoue in a cage sometime.

11:47 AM  
Blogger EricR said...

There's still a long tag with he and Morowski teaming that I need to watch. But that appears to be it. Which stinks. And I saw that promo in question and it just made me mad. It was like the Memphis TV that builds up awesome sounding arena matches that we don't actually have.

4:38 PM  

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