Looking Back Territories WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

DVDVR 1001 Matches #5: Midnight Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels) vs. Buddy Rose & Doug Somers (AWA 8/30/86)

To those uninitiated the much respected website Death Valley Driver Video Review is putting together a list of 1001 matches to see before you die called the DVDVR 1001. This is my project where I am reviewing every match in the DVDVR 1001, continuing with #5,

*This is a repost of my original review over at Blue Thunder Driver.*

This is for Buddy Rose & Doug Somers’ American Wrestling Association Tag Team Championship.

What a lovely bloodbath, and a guide to hot tag team wrestling. This is the sort of match that I wish the AWA was remembered for, not the empty arenas that most people bring up when discussing late stage AWA. It’s a heated match with a hot crowd, and four guys who are working very smartly to get the crowd as riled up as possible. It’s also a match that shows why Shawn Michaels is a far better tag team wrestler than he ever was a singles wrestler.

The Michaels point plays out in the way he plays the face in peril. His approach, like most of the match, is quite simple. He throws really good punches, has quick strike offense, and is very willing to bleed and suffer for the sympathy of the audience. He taps an artery in this one, and from that moment on he has the audience in the palm of his hand. He stumbles around the ring, he bleeds even more, and he keeps coming up short on his attempts to make the hot tag. He never does too much, he never does what late career Michaels would do and go for the big overly dramatic sell or moment. He lets the anticipation of the tag build naturally and when it does happen, oh my indeed.

Buddy Rose and Doug Somers are the kings of keeping it simple and logical. As soon as they notice that Michaels is busted open they do nothing but target his bloodied head. Why use a Spinebuster to stop a comeback when you can kick a guy right in his lacerated forehead instead? That’s the way Rose & Somers work the middle of the match, economically and intelligently. Wrestling need not be complicated to be great, as Somers and Rose show it can be at its very best when it is simple and to the point.

I don’t want to lose Marty Jannetty in the shuffle. That’s been the story of his whole career, and it’s really a shame because he was a heck of a wrestler. The way he works the apron during Michaels’ face in peril segment is top notch. His comeback is great stuff as he’s all wild punches and out of control energy. Then of course he has to bleed, and that’s when things get even better as he is completely out of control falling all over the ring and throwing punches at anything that catches his eye. If Michaels is the one who garners the sympathy it is Jannetty who pops the crowd and keeps them at a fever pitch.

This is great tag team wrestling, that’s all there is to it. It’s grizzled and gnarly, but simple and fired up. Jannetty, Michaels, Somers, and Rose hit all the right marks at the exact right times. The feud is progressed and the arena is left salivating for more. There’s nothing more I could ask from a match, and that’s why this is a particularly choice piece of quality professional wrestling.

Bill Thompson

About the author

Bill Thompson

I am the almighty Bill Thompson, father of a little girl, husband to an awesome wife, a paramedic/firefighter, and a fan of the Chicago Cubs. I've been writing about wrestling for some time now. You can find me writing about great matches at Blue Thunder Driver, or matches people have suggested I watch at Random Match Generator. I write about free matches legally available to watch online at Free Pro Wrestling and am a contributor to the Cubed Circle Newsletter. I'm also the Senior Writer for the magazine/website The Tag Rope. I'm happy to be on the Wrestling with Words ship, and have I mentioned I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs? Cause I am, like huge, as in they are my #1 priority. Just making sure we're on the same page...


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