GWF TV TITLE TOURNAMENT:
(June 26th, 1991)
* It’s part two of the TV Title Tournament! We saw mostly clipped stuff last round, but I think these are mostly complete. It’s a one-night show, with The Patriot, Billy Black, Makhan Singh (Bastian Booger), Chris Walker, “Exotic” Adrian Street and Buddy Landell all mixed in for a tournament, then a playoff, then the Finals. A pretty wild assortment of guys- an up & coming Hogan knock-off, a rookie with a year spent in Japan copying some of their moves, a burly guy known for his Calgary run and later being a comedy heel, a roided tag guy, one of the most infamous “sissy heels” and the coke-snortingest guy in an industry of coke-snorters!
THE PATRIOT vs. “BAD BOY” BILLY BLACK:
* It’s the Patriot in his flag-striped tights against Black in the black trunks. Patriot beat Stan Lane via rollup (smashing him into Jim Cornette) and Wild Bill Irwin with the Patriot Missile (flying shoulderblock), while Black beat Brian Adias by getting his feet up on a splash and holding the tights, then Randy Rhodes with a Moonsault. Black seemed to show some MOVEZ last match but Patriot is pretty hopeless- let’s see what we got.
They do the most basic stuff imaginable, Black selling a hiptoss with 30 seconds of regrouping and frustration in the corner, but manages to dodge a stinger splash and dumps Patriot, then leaps all the way over the top rope for a running suicide dive to the floor! Haha, boy wants a PUSH! Hilariously babyface offense considering his opponent, and he was a ways short so mostly squashed Patriot’s legs against the stage, but still. He follows with a flying axehandle to the floor. He raises his arms in the ring like a face but just gets booed, and misses an ass avalanche (fuck is he doing using Yokozuna offense?) and shitcans to the floor. Black comes in the hard way and takes a back body drop & dropkick, but gets his foot on the ropes. Patriot with the chinlock, but Black eye-gouges him and hits Japanese-style corner kicks, but Patriot gets whipped to the ropes, dodges two elbows and hits a leaping shoulderblock FOR THE PIN at (4:51). Lol what? What a shitty finish!
Man the Patriot sucks so freaking much, lol. He’s like a bad wrestler disguised as a good wrestler- all the moves and posing are there, but his timing and application all suck. Most guys who suck on his level just do punches or can’t sell AT ALL, but with him it looks like he has a variety of skills, just all at 4/10. And it’s all the funnier because Billy Black here is wrestling like a total babyface with his flying offense and impressive stuff. Though you can tell he kinda isn’t very good despite all the MOVEZ, because it’s largely all he has and they’re not terribly pretty looking. You get points for pulling out Japan Offense in a 1991 U.S. indie, though- he clearly adopted some stuff he saw in All Japan. But man, what’s with that finish? Black does all this high-flying and takes only a pittance of moves and a single shoulderblock pins him? That’s a transition move!
Rating: *1/2 (adequate enough, with Black trying hard despite his opponent sucking and himself not being that great)
Dude is about to EXPLODE OUT OF HIS SKIN.
MAKHAN SINGH vs. “CONAN” CHRIS WALKER:
* Solid booking here sees the most roided guy in the company, and a tag wrestler, take on the fat Monster Heel. That’s a solid speed-bump to the finals. Though Singh loses points as a fat man for being relatively short. Singh beat both Terry Daniels & Gary Young with a sit-out splash into the Karachi Crunch (avalanche). Walker beat Doug Somers and Rip Rogers with a Flying Cross-Body.
They start off posing, Singh doing great as this fugly fatass doing double-guns poses against the roid-monkey, who even powers out of a full nelson. In a great bit Makhan decides to DO THE SAME, egging on Walker to try it, but of course Singh just growls and looks aggrieved and desperately inches to the ropes and pokes them with his toe- the wimpiest way to get out of the move ever. Walker now pries Singh’s arms apart from a go-behind, then does the same move to him, having him yowling “Oh god!” and making the ropes again. Singh goes for a handshake (“cross my heart”) and of course kicks Walker in the gut, gouges, bites, chokes and tosses him. Walker goes into the post & steps, then the turnbuckles as the pace is slow with Makhan in control. Walker goes off the apron again, but back in the Karachi Crunch (avalanche)… misses! Walker fires back with punches and dropkicks, but Singh grabs his turban and ties it around Walker’s neck, then hangs him over the ropes for the DQ at (7:24). Man, in a title tournament getting DQ’d like that seems like a really bad idea! Walker only hit a few moves and he panics that bad? Naturally it’s a Fuck Finish to allow Singh to step out without jobbing, which I wasn’t expecting at this point.
Not a bad match, as Walker was green but has some flourish and Singh was doing really well as this cowardly, sniveling giant who was being outdone by the kid’s power and speed. Really good “put him over” job here. I notice that GWF does these “the heel openly cheats and loses a title tournament” finishes A LOT, though.
Rating: ** (about the best carry-job of a probably very green roided guy you’re gonna see, with Makhan making himself look like more of a wimp than is probably healthy for a 300+ lb. guy, but it got the job done. Weak finish, though)
“EXOTIC” ADRIAN STREET vs. “NATURE BOY” BUDDY LANDELL:
* Street, again looking super tiny with kiddie purple butterfly facepaint on and lavender tights, is making fun of Landell, sticking his tongue out at him. Buddy now has a third “L” in his surname. Street won by DQ over Axl Rotten (yes really) AND Rasta the Voodoo Man while Landell beat both Gary Young & Big Bully Busick with his feet on the ropes. Man the booking in this tournament was oddly repetitive, haha.
Street immediately catches the MUCH taller Landell in a painful-as-fuck-looking hold (like a hammerlock with a reverse grip under the chin) and snapmares him over British-style, then prances around and swats at Buddy to shame him. We’re clipped to him slamming Landell’s wrist into the mat, but Budro throws some shots and hair-pulling. Street hauls him over with a stepover armhold and throws forearms and European uppercuts as his style is SO British, but Buddy hides in the ropes and then trips him up and JESUS CHRIST, HE PUTS HIS FEET ON THE ROPES FOR THE PIN AGAIN at (2:16 shown).
FINAL PLAYOFF ROUND:
THE PATRIOT vs. “CONAN” CHRIS WALKER:
* The winner faces Buddy Landell, as wisely they build adversity to the babyfaces by making them wrestle each other to tire them out for Buddy.
Patriot & Walker exchange a lot of basic technical stuff while Buddy, allowed to watch from the floor, keeps jumping on the apron to accuse them of cheating. The commentary makes a lot of mention about how important GWF considers good officiating, which is hilarious because the guy who won THREE MATCHES with his feet on the ropes is on-camera while they’re doing it, and Patriot/Walker do a bunch of slow technical wrestling. Some fans shout “BORING!” as commentary actually calls it out and says “some fans really don’t enjoy scientific matches” but points out HE likes them, though this isn’t exactly Flair/Steamboat here as Walker holds Patriot’s arm under his armpit and they repeatedly break holds to circle each other.
They do a hiptoss exchange and circle each other AGAIN as Walker is noticeably puffing his cheeks out to get more air in, but Patriot throws some forearms and misses a corner charge, so Walker… oh, he just goes back to the pithold. Patriot’s moveshit is so shite he hits THREE bodyslams for lack of anything better to do, then goes up for the Patriot Missile… and misses! But Walker hits the top rope to take advantage, and Landell shoves him off, allowing Patriot to just flop onto him for the pin at (8:30). WHAT GREAT OFFICIATING, RIGHT? Landell wisely IMMEDIATELY tackles Patriot on the pinfall and that’s actually a brilliant move- Patriot is badly hurt so Landell takes out the OTHER guy to leave the injured man for him.
haha OH MY GOD it was like they sorta knew how to do the basics from training school, but as soon as they had to go long there was nothing in their movesets to make a match interesting, so you have all these hiptoss counters and exchanges and then circle each other for minutes at a time, then Walker does one of my least-favorite holds- the “arm under the armpit”, killing time like nuts. Granted Patriot has to wrestle next so that justifies some laziness.
Rating: * (“killing time” is one of my least favorite match types, and that’s all these guys do, disguised as a “technical contest” even though it’s just some go-behind switches and hammerlocks into restholds)
“My Gimmick is that I’m ripping off a more successful guy on purpose” is a… unique wrestling gimmick, I’ll give him that. Buddy actually got a pretty long career out of it considering he’s so infamous for coke that even by WRESTLING standards he was considered an unreliable cokehead.
THE PATRIOT vs. BUDDY LANDELL:
* So we’re immediately off with the final match, Landell charging the ring and attacking immediately. He goes after the injured arm as the commentators are outraged.
Landell works over an exhausted Patriot, even taking time to cheat, then he poses and struts around before hitting the dreaded pithold. He works another arm thing and nails two elbowdrops, making lax covers and Patriot kicks out both times- Budro only has himself to blame for that. We’re clipped to Patriot making a comeback with a clothesline, but he misses a big elbowdrop and Buddy AGAIN puts his feet on the ropes… but THIS TIME THE REF CATCHES HIM!!! Continuity! If only the commentators pointed that out! Buddy argues with the ref and gets shoved for it, and Patriot sneaks up behind him for a rollup at (4:22 shown), winning the GWF TV Title!
The match was pretty much just Buddy throwing stomps onto a beaten man, as you might expect given the 8-minute match immediately proceeding this. But the ending is solid, given if pays off three rounds of Buddy cheating.
Rating: 1/2* (mostly stomping and elbowdrops)
This was a bit of a weird tournament, with the expected first round slack matches (full of jobbers, as you might expect with this many guys being expected to do jobs), then a lot of Fuck Finishes to protect the guys they didn’t want jobbing out (Singh, Rasta), and then a clever playoff ending with Buddy noticing one guy is hurt so he cheats to help that dude win and then pounce on him. It doesn’t really make the Patriot look so great to beat Walker that way, but at least he gets a clean one over Buddy despite being tired. This way we have Walker, Patriot & Landell all in the running for the TV Belt, plus the other heels are pretty protected. The name of the game is obviously to put over the Patriot, though, as he gets wins over cheating heels Stan Lane & Buddy Landell, legit wins over Bill Irwin & Billy Black, and the tainted one over Walker.