Segunda Caida

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

Friday, June 29, 2018

New Footage Fridays: Funks, Cactus Jack, Flair, Murdoch, Race, Wahoo, Choshu

The network continues to disappoint, the first week was Daytona and now we are deeply in the period where Nas is rapping about how vaccinations cause autism. We will not be swayed though, as we continue to dig around and find cool unseen stuff. 

Harley Race/Ric Flair/Masked Superstar vs. Blackjack Mulligan/Dick Murdoch/Wahoo McDaniels MACW 6/18/78

PAS: This was spliced together from several clips on different Jim Cornette garbage tapes, but it gets pretty much the whole match. Really fun big star house show six man. Most of the early part of the match is the heels stooging and bumping around for the faces, and these are all time excellent stoogers and bumpers. Also if you are going to watch guys throw hands, Wahoo, Blackjack and Murdoch have great hands to throw. I loved the Murdoch and Race interactions the best, which included Murdoch press slamming Race and hitting him with a brainbuster which Race sold like he had his neck broken (it actually looked like a ref stoppage on the old Fire Pro Wrestling game). Just a total blast, and the kind of match that could main event a touring show and leave everyone in the audience feeling like they got their money's worth.

MD: There's a two minute span where Dick Murdoch is controlling the action against the heels where he looks like the best wrestler of all time. Look, everyone's great here. The heels stooge like you wouldn't believe. There's an extra bounce to everything Flair does. He's younger and frenetic and wild. Mulligan isn't broken down yet and the crowd is rabid for him to get in there with Flair (so, of course, they milk it for all it's worth). The crowd's rabid for Mulligan in general. He could do so much with so little with the claw and we don't give him nearly enough credit for just what he was in the late 70s in Mid-Atlantic. We lose a big chunk in the middle when the heels are decimating Murdoch's arm, but it looks like this thing had a crazy, bombastic start, at least two and a half heat segments, and a hot finishing moment that makes me want to see the Murdoch vs Race match that this surely set up.

Salman Hashimikov/Riki Choshu/Kengo Kimura vs. Wayne Bloom/Brad Rheingans/Steve Williams NJPW 11/26/89

PAS: Total WAR trios lineup here. Including Hashimikov teaming with Japanese guys which basically never happened. Totally great heavyweight sprint, with all six guys just hurling each other around the ring. Choshu is one of the great sprint wrestlers of all-time, and I loved his first dance with Steve Williams, knocking him out of the ring with two crowbarish lariats and Williams flying back in and rushing him like a pit bull let off his leash. Salman was awesome in this, throwing these huge Greco suplexes on legit huge dudes and having a couple of fun amateur scrambles. Choshu hits an all timer Choshu Lariat on Wayne Bloom, I expected his head to pop off like Beetlejuice, and we have a heated finish with Bloom apparently shoot kicking out at two, and Williams and Hashimikov talking mad shit to each other. Killer stuff.

MD: The cons to this one are the camera angle, directly behind someone's shoulder with moments of impact where it blurs out like a snuff film, and as much as I hate to say it, Bloom. Look, he's fine. In some other match he'd be perfectly fine. He's got an expressive, lanky way of bumping, and yes, there's one absolutely all-time bump off of a Choshu clothesline. It's just that the match is absolutely electric when he's not in there. It begins with Choshu and Williams in a massive battle of the titans. Heel foreigner Rheingans continues to be a revelation in these, willing to take the fight right to his opponent and just toss people around. Hashimikov, unsurprisingly, has this incredibly natural way of dumping you off your feet and onto your head. Short, sweet, dynamic, with Bloom (and to a lesser degree Kimura) slowing things down without the benefit of grounding a story.

ER: I fully disagree that Bloom was any kind of weak link to this match. It's a 7 minute match and he's in the ring for 2/3 of it, and takes almost all of the bumps for the gaijin side. Doc is in right at the beginning for an awesome scrum with Choshu, both men throwing wildly and flinging each other around, but then mostly disappears until the post-bell pull apart with Hashimikov. Rheingans is a fun Hashimikov doppel and we get several big fun throws from him, kinda got the feeling that he and Hashimikov were trying to one up the other with throws, and that's something I can get behind. But the bulk of the match is Bloom, and while we miss what happens on the floor with him and Kimura (and one of the other gaijin), I like what we got from him. He's clearly there as Rheingans' youthful ward, and handles the role great, even hitting a cool top rope Doomsday Device style lariat (with Rheigans holding a bearhug on the opponent). A little moment I loved, rewound a couple times, was right into the finish run where Bloom throws one of the best missed clotheslines I've seen. He cut so fast and low and swung with his full arm, something that either would have broke Kimura's neck or his own arm had it actually connected. I love that kind of commitment and dedication and trust on missed moves, it always adds so much to a match for me. Bloom was pretty early in his career still and to see that confidence to miss a move so violently was really cool. That missed clothesline leads to Kimura hitting a spinkick, and then the Choshu lariat that everyone is rightly talking about. Bloom doesn't take a graceful planned flip bump, but clearly takes the bump he intended to take, high on his shoulders with his lanky momentum naturally carrying over. Short match, but tons of fun.

Terry Funk/Dory Funk Jr. vs. Cactus Jack/Texas Terminator Hoss AJPW 4/6/91

PAS: Cactus and Funk is one of the great feuds of the last 30 years, and this was their first ever match up (Cactus had a feud with Jimmy Jack in USWA). They already had some pretty great chemistry, with Terry doing a great set of dancing babyface jabs to Cacti's face and Jack hitting the hip buster and both guys brawling into the crowd. It isn't what it was going to be, but it was pretty great. Hoss was a Kong and didn't give us much besides a nice clothesline. Dory was Dory although I really dug the finish with Dory hitting the spinning toe hold on Cactus, stops Hoss from interfering with the spinning toe hold and then putting it back on Cactus.

ER: We heard for years about the legendary Battle of the Bam Bams, and now Finally! The first legendary battle between Hoss and Hoss! And to throw another Hoss into the mix, it appears than T.T. Hoss is even wearing Dan Blocker's old hat. Also, I wasn't actually aware that Terry Funk wrestled at all in 91/92. I saw Tag League matches with him in 1990, but then my brain skips to him in ECW or FMW, so it's cool to see dead era Terry. Terry is in a fun goofy mood, hopping around on the apron, and we get a nice elbow and punch exchange with he and Cactus, and who could have guessed what this would blossom into in just a few years. Cactus looked slightly out of his element, but part of the fun in 80s/90s All Japan was seeing out of their element guys show up on a tour. He seemed a bit overwhelmed but still dropped a couple big elbows off the ring apron. I liked Hoss here, dug his clothesline, nice standing splash off the ropes (with a hilarious moment of Terry leaning over the ropes to try to tag Dory, but then acting like he was hit by a monsoon once Hoss bounced off the ropes), huge high up bearhug; he also really sets a great tone for all the Cactus/Terry crowd brawling, with one of the coolest ringside mat removals in history. Hoss just picked up the whole section of blue mat and sent it flying, like a big blue tidal wave. Ending was fun, and I liked Terry skipping around after, celebrating.

MD: Definitely a story of two matches. Foley and Terry were as compelling as a pairing as Hoss (one of the Colossal Kongs) and Dory were not. Foley brought something wild out in Terry, even though this would be a couple of years before the death matches. Foley wanted nothing more than to feed for Funk and Funk obliged with punches and headbutts and just posturing around the ring like a fired-up madman. Hoss could move around the ring (and he had a good splash) but most of his stuff lacked the oomph you want from a guy his size. Sub-Ottman. 91 Krusher Kong vs 91 PN News would probably have been the worst match of the year. If it happened, don't tell me. I'd definitely be up to seeing more 91 Foley vs Funks though.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home