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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

All Time MOTY List Head to Head 1983: MS1 v. Sangre V. Piper v. Valentine

Roddy Piper v. Greg Valentine 11/24/83

PAS: My goodness, I haven't seen this match in years and the brutality really stands out 30 years later, I can't remember a more violent focused attack then Valentine trying to destroy Piper's ear. Piper's ear is just oozing blood as Valentine beats on it with a length of chain, harrowing stuff. I really liked the opening of this with both guys almost doing a test of strength with their neck muscles and slowly inching forward to attack. Piper had a bunch of really creative uses of the chain early, wrapping it around Valentine's mouth, pulling it taut and smacking it into Valentine's eye, using at as a wench to lock him in the corner, just a ton of neat flourishes. Once Valentine gets a chance to attack the ear though, it goes to another level. I always love Piper's wild brawling, he just throws hands with such abandon, they don't always hit, but a crazy fuck like him will throw five to land one. That style of brawling and his crazy selling really work for a guy with a damaged equilibrium. Finish felt a little abrupt, which is my only criticism, I think Piper really should have unloaded with some bigger shots then a yank off the ropes to get the pin in such a war. Still the 80s were a decade with amazing brawls and this is right at the highest level of them.

ER: I also hadn't seen this in probably 15 years, and my god did it hold up. Any 30 second segment of this match would have me laid up for days. Somehow they worked 3 more dog collar matches over the next few weeks which...could not have been THIS violent, right? I would never want to see a dog collar again after working this match. I'm sure we have zero footage of those other dog collar matches, right? Anyway, the neck muscle strength makes this unique and painful enough for me. I sleep wrong and get a kink in my neck for two days. But these guys are leaning back with their full body weight, whipping their own neck around to damage the other's neck. It all looks so nasty. And then the chain shots start. Caudle and Solie did a good job putting over the bulk of the chain links, even pointing out that it was a "cow chain". Because all the chain shots are gross. A lot of the shots WITHOUT the chain are gross. But the chain shots are gross. The chain gets whipped into each man's head, neck, arm and shoulders, and bless these men because it looks just as great when they're just punching each other in the face. Valentine shows he's not messing around in the least when he clubs the side of Piper's neck with his fist. The shots are so great, and they'd get tired of throwing blows, then go back to the chain. Both guys sold the chain so perfectly, and sold the ricochet effects of the chain so perfectly. Probably because they were both getting hit with a fucking chain. But Valentine raking the chain over Piper's eyes while also wrapping it around his ears (you can see the blood getting cut off to Piper's ear!!)? That's freaking pro wrestling right there. Piper puts over the ear injury great, stumbling around like only he and Funk can pull off, And Valentine drops all kinds of great elbows and knees. That leaping knee to the chest was a killer spot I don't remember him doing even a few years later. The wench spot was awesome and something I've never seen, with Piper teaching a science class on simple machines, wrapping the chain around the ring post and giving Valentine slack before choking him back, just so damn cool. The ending was confusing and felt like something additional was supposed to happen: Piper yanked Valentine off the ropes face first and looked like Valentine was supposed to land throat first on a punch, but doesn't really put that over well. Piper beats him some more with the chain and even hooks Valentine's leg with the chain, but Valentine sells the whole thing kind of strange considering how he was acting moments before the pin, and moments after the pin. A finish with just either man bloody and getting KO'd would have made this a GOAT contender, as is it's a match that's "merely" a MOTY most years.

Chicana v. MS1 review

Verdict:

PAS: Piper v. Valentine would win a lot of years, but MS1 v. Chicana is the greatest match in wrestling history. There were moments when Piper v. Valentine approached those heights, but it had kind of a weak finish and a match will have to be perfect to take down MS1 v. Chicana. Champs retain.

ER: It doesn't matter, but I'm going to go Valentine/Piper. I love stipulation matches executed at the peak of their stip: The Dundee/Koko scaffold match was my #1 Memphis match, Panther/Villano mask match is my favorite match of all time, Colon/Hansen strap match is my favorite of that year, Kabuki/Adams superkick match was my favorite WCCW match. I freaking love stips matches executed to the limits of the stip. I didn't actually realize that until I saw the Colon/Hansen match. And I don't think it's possible to have a better dog collar match than this one. I mean, Piper does a fist drop with a chain on his fist! This takes it for me, but champ retains on the split.


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