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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Blue Collar Battle: TL Hopper vs. Duke 'The Dumpster' Droese

TL Hopper vs. Duke Droese WWF Superstars 7/13/96

ER: As much as it pains me to say,  this Blue Collar Battle did not quite live up to my (possibly, likely) foolishly high expectations. That's probably on me. There's a chance I was the only one going into Duke "The Dumpster" Droese vs. Toilet Lid Hopper with raised expectations, but I think that's just because I will always side with the working man. This is Toilet's debut, and while the match itself felt a bit short, it was good. The match didn't let me down. I think what actually let me down was the fact that Vince was on commentary yet he seemed to derive no sort of joy from watching a dirty plumber fight a dirty garbageman. I have no doubts that at some point in his life, Vince McMahon has paid money to watch an actual garbageman fight an actual plumber to the death in his home office, and I guess I was expecting a bit more perverted sicko energy from him. Mr. Perfect was sitting in with him and was setting up some very obvious Vince jokes - the kind that make him melt - and Vince just wasn't biting. 

"You know Vince, I bet Hopper has all of his moves numbered. All two of them. Number 1 and Number 2." 

"Yes. Yes, I suppose you're right." 

"I mean Vince, how ironic is it that the plumber's first match in the against the DUMPster?"

"Yes. Yes, I believe I see your point."

As Perfect was setting them up I kept expecting Vince's pervert growl to rise in response, until he was throatily yelling "ONLY in WWF can you see these two absolutely vile men roll around in shit and filth. Look at the stains on their clothes! Oh GOD you can smell them. You can SMELL how POOR they are!!! Look at their hands! Look at them! Look how dirty their fingernails are, it's disgusting!" 

Hopper runs into a couple of brick wall shoulderblocks and pinballs back across the ring, eats a big Droese bodyslam and then dodges a corner charge. Droese is really good at missing charges into the turnbuckles, and Hopper goes to work on Droese's back with hard knees and a nice backbreaker. I love when Droese lowers the straps on his work-required lifting brace. It's a great pro wrestling spot and he clearly understands the timing of a strap removal, and it's impossible not to smile when he whips those straps off before going for the Trash Compactor. Hopper slips out the back and throws another knee into Duke's lower back, then sends him down the drain with his brainbuster. As Hopper grabs his trusted plunger Betsy and places it over Droese's nose and mouth, furiously plunging his orifices, Vince can hardly muster an "Oh my! Can you believe that? No!" Two jesters dressed up as their millionaire boss's favorite working class punching bags in an attempt to cheer up that sad boss, but he was just too sad. Rest assured, on his way out of the arena Vince turned down a homeless man's request for change, telling him, "Well, I don't know about that. Perhaps a job would be in order." And as he walked past his chauffeur without making eye contact, he smiled. 

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