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Sunday, November 06, 2022

One 1993 Squash Match Arguing Jerry Lawler as Best in WWF

Jerry Lawler vs. Mark Thomas WWF Raw 6/14/93 - FUN

ER: What an excellent example of a squash match. Jerry Lawler is truly one of the masters of the squash match, able to leave occasional openings for even the lowest opponent. Here he comes out sporting the Hitman pink and black, one night after completely fucking up Bret's King of the Ring coronation. Lawler at this point was usually getting the loudest heat of any show he wrestled on, and there are plenty of years in Lawler's career you could say the same about. He was an old time southern heat machine that hasn't quite been seen in WWF ever since his 90s run. But outside of his bringing Memphis style to WWF, it was during an era where several guys were vicious squash match workers. Razor Ramon, Yokozuna, Steiners, Doink, Nasty Boys, and more were part of one of the great era for squash matches, and Lawler worked squashes different than any of them. 

His execution in squashes was always impeccable, leaves no room for criticism with his ring work, and he rubs that fact into the faces of the Manhattan Center crowd. He looks like a guy who should win fights because he is smart. Here he throws great hooking right hands, takes out Thomas's knees with a backdrop, and mixes in uncommon Lawler offense like a leaping kneedrop right onto Thomas's head. The openings are fun, like Lawler punching mat on a missed fistdrop, but he never stays out of control very long. Still, I like seeing squash matches that aren't 100% for the star (unless it's a freight train like Hansen or Vader) even if the star doesn't ever come close to losing (or even bumping). Lawler's DDT and piledriver are faultless, the best looking versions of those moves. On the DDT, he holds Thomas's neck all the way through and leaps back into a senton landing rather than rolling through it. The piledriver has perfect form, perfect spike, and he makes sure he hits that fistdrop for the finish. He could have easily got the pin with the piledriver, but you can't reward a guy for making you miss your big fistdrop. Hitting the clear finish and then adding a cherry is something only the best have the confidence to do. 

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