/9 September 2000
|Pro Wrestling Classics by Miguelito Fierro||
THE GOLDEN AGE OF WRESTLING - SEPTEMBER 9, 2000
(Original date sometime in 1963)
Well, it is the weekend once again. Which means that it is time for me to play the "Will ESPN Classic or Won't ESPN Classic"? This is in regards to, of course, whether or not ESPN Classic will actually show The Golden Age of Wrestling. Part of the challenge for recapping this show is wondering whether or not it's actually going to be shown!
As is my habit, I will start out this week's recap with my views on wrestling as we know it today. I tend not to talk about the WWF much, simply because the WWF really doesn't need the publicity. But I will mention them this week anyway, simply because I think they are doing something VERY wrong. And that is in regards to Tazz.
Tazz got over in ECW as a legitimate badass. His interview style and his tough-as-nails ring performance endeared him to the ECW crowd, and turned him into the biggest star in the company. Tazz didn't need any special promotion by ECW to get over with the crowd. Giving him a microphone and letting him wrestle his style was all that Tazz needed.
Instead of trying to cash in on this, the WWF, for some unknown reason, silenced Tazz. They brought him in, gave him some cool music and an excellent entrance video, and then... kept the microphone out of his hands? Had him wrestle, but restricted how many suplexes he could do? Stuck him in a feud with Bossman and Prince Albert? Is it any wonder the thousands of Tazz fans around the world scratched our heads and said, "The hell?"
The WWF has been trying to improve things since Tazz has come back from his injury. Turning Tazz heel was the correct first step; as a heel, Tazz can let his natural asshole-ishness come through. The angle with Lawler has its good and bad points. The good side is that it is allowing Tazz more and more mic time. Tazz is already getting over with the crowd because of his interviews, and his turn as a color commentator on Smackdown will only help this.
However, the WWF still is limiting what Tazz can do in the ring. And, even worse, Tazz is consistently getting screwed by Jerry Lawler, a 50-year old commentator, and not getting revenge. The chokeout shown on Smackdown isn't enough to make people forget about the abuse that Tazz has taken from Lawler. Tazz is going through an almost WCW-like push; have everyone on the planet beat the crap out of the guy, and hope that somehow he remains a legitimate threat in the fans eyes. It hasn't worked with anyone in WCW, and I definitely don't think it's going to work with Tazz.
So what can the WWF do to resolve the situation? Well, they have a couple of weeks left before the next pay-per-view. During this time, they should be having Tazz on the microphone as often as possible. They should also have Tazz in the ring going over cleanly and decisively over whoever the WWF can put into the ring. Tazz needs to be able to display his arsenal of offensive moves.
And most importantly, at the pay-per-view, Tazz has to DESTROY Jerry Lawler. This shouldn't be a close match; this shouldn't be a match where Tazz has to cheat to gain the advantage. Actually, Lawler shouldn't get ANY offense in. This should be a good old-fashioned SQUASH. This is what will get Tazz over, this will get fans to see Tazz as a genuine bad-ass. And then the rest will be up to Tazz.
Speaking of old-fashioned SQUASH, let's get us some! It is time to take the magic carpet ride back to the early 1960s and enjoy some Old School wrestling while it was still New School. (Or something like that.) It is time for the Golden Age of Wrestling on ESPN Classic!
Our matches are sanctioned today by the IWA, the International Wrestling Alliance. So we are going to be getting a break from the NWA, which is a pain, since I actually knew what was going on there! Our first match will pit Rudy Jacobs and Harry Winsall, the Bavarian Boys -vs- Brute Bernard and Skull Murphy. The Bavarian Boys are wearing these really silly looking German hats with big feathers sticking out of them. I guess that the fans liked this at the time, though, because they get a good pop. Bernard and Murphy are both bald, which makes it really easy for me to keep track of who is who.
This is a two-out-of-three-falls contest, which is referred to as an Australian rules tag team match. Okay. Lockup, and the heels already have some fancy double-teaming going on. Snap mare, but Winsall manages a double-leg takedown on Murphy. This doesn't last long, as Bernard nails Winsall from behind. Winsall manages to tag in Jacobs, however. Into the ropes, and Murphy gets tied up in the ropes. Jacobs off of the opposite ropes, into a cross body block into Murphy, who is still tied up in the ropes! And another one! And there's a right to take Bernard down. Jacobs with repeated kicks to Murphy's face (who still hasn't been able to untie himself). Tag, and Jacobs nails a dropkick to the still-tied-up Murphy!
And... we go to a commercial break. Cool, TIVO! And a GIGANTIC Geico coffee mug. I think that these early hours are starting to get to me! While we are watching this Crest commercial, I can't help but think of how Colorado State whitened East Tennessee's teeth with that 41-7 scrubbing in Fort Collins...
Back from Commercial, and Winsall misses a dropkick attempt at Bernard. Bernard is now biting Winsall on the forehead! Winsall retaliates, but misses the tag to Murphy. Murphy and Bernard are working Winsall over in the corner as the referee in vain tries to keep Jacobs away. This is OLD-SCHOOL, BABY! Here's a piece of t rivia for you: in the IWA back in t he 60s, a four-count was a disqualification, not a five count! The referee has now lost all control, as Bernard and Murphy are just destroying Winsall. Double vertical suplex, and that's going to do it! Bernard covers Winsall for the first fall at (5:15).
And we go to commercial, of course. Okay, here's a wrestling question for you. How can you tell the difference between a squash and a regular match in an Australian Rules tag team match? A squash only goes for two falls. We'll see which way this match is going to go after this Bosley Medical hair restoration commercial.
And we are back from commecial. Murphy and Bernard are actually choking Winsall with the tag rope! Jacobs breaks this up. Murphy and Winsall are finally isolated in the ring. Sweet single-leg takedown by Winsall. Turning it into a surfboard, but Bernard breaks it up. Winsall grabs Murphy in a full nelson and holds him for a missile dropkick (!!) by Jacobs! Cover 1---2 but Bernard is in to break up the pinfall. Jacobs with a front facelock, but gets dragged into the heels corner. And he gets tied to the tree of woe! But Winsall is in to break it up. Winsall and Jacobs whip Murphy into the turnbuckles.
Bernard in, but he gets caught in a headlock. Battering Ram (!) into Murphy! All four men in the ring, and control has broken down once again. Winsall and Murphy are the legal men, and are finally isolated again. Winsall backing into the corner, but gets tossed to the center. Winsall with a headlock, armdrag, Irish whip into the corner. He tags in Jacobs, who goes to work with a series of lefts and rights. Murphy looks out on his feet. HIGH KNEE! A cover, but only a 1 count.
Winsall in with a submission ankle lock, broken up by Bernard. Winsall tries for a snap mare, but Murphy slips out of the move. Top wrist lock by Winsall, and now he is stomping on Murphy's head (OUCH!). Winsall now with a twisting arm bar, into a top wrist lock. Murphy gets to the ropes, however. But the referee isn't breaking the hold? Berard takes care of this, nailing Winsall with a kick to the head. Winsall is up, and nails Murphy with a dropkick right in the mush. Another one! And now... it's the Abdominal Stretch of Doom! Submission is at (11:00), and we are all tied up at 1 fall apiece. No squash here!
Commercial time. Question: What does Imodium A-D have to do with pro wrestling? Answer: Ask anyone who watches Nitro every Monday.
I should note that ESPN Classic has a great new understated Golden Age of Pro Wrestling graphic for this show. Unfortunately, this graphic doesn't tell us what year these matches took place, nor does it give correct spelling of the wrestler's names. I should also note that this tag-team match is going to take up a full half of our show this week.
Murphy and Jacobs start off, and Murphy immediately tries to toss Jacobs out of the ring. Shouldn't have done that, though. Double shoulder to the abdomen. Double dive over the top rope! Double cover, but they don't even get a one count. Murphy regains control, and tags in the furry Bernard. Bernard is biting and stomping and punching, but isn't doing much that looks like wrestling. He almost reminds me of George "The Animal" Steele.
Jacobs tags in, and is all over Bernard. Into the ropes, forearm! Hip toss! Tag to Winsall. Irish whip into the corner. And Murphy suckers Winsall into a kick to the gut. Bernard back in, but catches a dropkick in the chin! Bernard tags Murphy in, but Murphy doesn't seem too happy about it. Murphy tags right back out! (HA!) Bernard starts choking Winsall, but a foot to the stomach stops that. And we have another Abdomianl Stretch! But this time Murphy comes in to break the hold.
And the bell rings? The hell? Oh, the replay shows that, after Murphy broke the hold, Bernard actually fell on top of Winsall. The referee counted to three, and the heels get the win! (18:30) The crowd gives a smattering of boos, but is mostly confused, because they didn't see a pinfall take place. Neither did I, until I saw the replay. That was a weird ending to a not-too-shabby match.
Commerical break! Crest wants to know how clean my teeth really are...
We are back, and it is promo time! The Bavarian Boy are in the ring for a little Q&A. I was going to transcribe the interview, but both Winsall and Jacobs are doing a HORRID German accent that I just can't get past. Basically, the Boys say that they want another shot at Murphy and Bernard, and they hope that Murphy and Bernard will actually follow rules the next time that they meet. Bernard starts ranting in German, so maybe his accent isn't fake. It still sounds bad, though.
And now, back to commercials! That Awesome Blossom at Chili's looks pretty yummy...
Damn, another 2-out-of-3 falls match. This is a singles match, however. We have Golden Moose Schillacher (which I know I am spelling wrong, so I'll just call him Moose) -vs- Bobo Brazil, 2-out-of-3 with TV time remaining as the time limit. Moose is the current IWA champion, having taken the title recently in Japan. Is this a title match?
Bobo ties up the Moose in the corner, and actually takeas a cheap shot! Hey, only heels can do that! Moose uses his weight to his advantage, trapping Brazil in the ropes. They get up, and Brazil starts nailing rights. Now we have a slobberknocker! Right, left, right... neither man has an advantage until Brazil hits a flying mare. Moose is wearing protective head gear; Brazil starts trying to pull this off of him. Moose takes advantage of the distraction and rakes Brazil's eyes. Into the corner, Brazil in control, now Moose nails a headbutt! That's not supposed to hurt Brazil!
There's the CocoButt! Bobo seems to be pumped up by the headbutt! Moose slows down the tempo with a single-leg takedown, however. This is a very disjointed match; it's hard to get into the match's rhythm...
Moose stretches Brazil's leg across the bottom ropes, then makes like Ric Flair. Brazil gets out and back to his feet. Brazil now has an armbar, and takes Moose all the way down to the mat. The commentator, whoever he may be, is calling Moose "Moose," so I don't feel bad about not being able to type the guys last name. Moose with a HIGH KNEE off the ropes, then a BIG splash (Moose must weigh 300 pounds). And that's going to do it! 1-2-3! Give the first fall to the champion, at (4:55).
We are back, and we are running with a VERY smoky ring (smoking was allowed in public places back then). Bobo with an offensive run. Bell ringer! Slamming Moose's head into the mat! Bob with a rear chinlock, and is trying to pull the gear off of the Moose again. (Why? I don't know, either.) Moose heads out of the ring to readjust the gear.
Back in, and Brazil throws him into the ropes. Off of the ropes, Brazil with an alleged Fireman's Carry, and gets the pin? Well, we are running a little short of time; they must've had to hurry that fall (1:35).
Oh, god, why the hell is Burger King paying big money to the Backstreet Boys? Have they no class at all?
Well, we have about 10 minutes left, and we have one more fall to go. If we get another time limit draw (like the show ender last week), I'll be rather annoyed. Lockup, top wristlock. Moose uses the hair to pull Brazil down. Moose working the wristlock now. Brazil tries to get out, but ends up trapped in a body scissors. Moose is working this now, using his body weight to apply more pressure to Bobo.
Back up, into the corner, and Brazil hits a hiplock takedown! And a beal! Now Brazil has a rear chinlock. Moose gets to the ropes to break the hold. Both men back up, and Brazil is going for the headgear again. (?) Moose trying to take advantage, but Bobo powers out. Into the ropes, but Moose comes out with rights and lefts. Moose tosses Bobo out of the corner by the hair!
Moose with a single-leg, and now trying to pin Brazil. Cover, but Brazil is out at 1. Three minutes left in the time limit. Moose with a headbutt (that doesn't work on Brazil!). Another headbutt. And another. Brazil is starting to get ticked off, but precious seconds are also slipping away... A concerned fan yells "Take it off" to the referee. The hell?
Brazil finally mounts his comeback in the corner. Left. Right. Clubbering! COCOBUTT! Moose is staggering. Another Cocobutt! Now Moose is firing back. We are getting closer to that time limit draw... Neither man has the advantage, and there's the bell. [sigh] We have a time limit draw. And a commercial break.
Hey, Moose gets to cut a promo! "I want you to make sure that you announce to the people that the world's champion of wrestling was here with you tonight. I am the greatest champion living today; I want you to be sure to relay that to the people." Moose wants another match with Brazil, and wants more time next time. (That seems to be a common theme.) Bobo Brazil doesn't get any mic time, because he's just complain about Moose no-selling Bobo's finisher...
So that is our show for this week. I have to say, this one kinda sucked. The tag team match ran too long; the title match was WAY too short. That match left an icky taste in my mouth. So to get rid of that taste, let's check out this week's "email of the week":
Thanx again OSKAR
That's all for me this week, everyone! Be well!