Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, April 01, 2017

1969 Match of the Year

Johnny Valentine v. Wild Bull Curry NWA Houston 6/20/69

ER: My god what an unearthed classic. I'd never seen Curry before, and here he's almost 60, looks like Eugene Levy doing a bit as Mr. Peepers, and he's over like crazy. Valentine looks huge, but even he gets intimidated with Curry lurching towards him. We get some great exchanges with both men stalking the other around the ring, Valentine knowing just how to work the crowd and build to Curry spots, and a mean headlock (and I love a mean headlock). Valentine ends the first fall with a slick amateur takedown into a pin, surprising Curry. It surprised me too and made Valentine look like an all time dangerous shooter (which doesn't seem like a stretch). Things get wild in the second when Valentine gets busted wide open by Curry, and goes foggy eyed while Curry punches him in the head and face over and over and over. I'm practically begging Curry to stop when Valentine finally collapses and can't answer the bell. Third doesn't last long as Curry starts punching Valentine again and when great ref Dick Raines tries to pull him off, Curry pops him in the nose. They brawl around the floor and Curry lobs a chair at him, old dude Danny McShain comes out and starts going after Curry, Raines gets popped again, and the fans are going crazy the whole time. Classic stuff.

PAS: Man what an epic performance by both guys. I loved the story of the match early with Valentine trying to infight and grab and grapple, while Curry is trying to get some distance to throw hands. Valentine timed the match to make every Curry blow have a huge effect, and sold the impact and his fear really well. I loved him early trying to readjust his jaw and shake off the cobwebs. There was this great moment after Valentine has grounded and stretched Bull that he tries to throw hands with him, it is a big mistake as Johnny is drilled with big shots and sent flying. I loved the nasty takedown and pin by Valentine to end the first fall, it felt like a guy just trying to get out of this situation any way he could. Second fall was a hellacious fistfight, with Valentine drawn into a toe to toe war and Curry beating him to the punch and busting him open, glassy eyed Valentine squirting blood is an all time great wrestling visual. Had no problem with the third fall ending like it did, as the Wildman could not be contained. Great great stuff and another NWA Classics jewel.


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