Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper
Well, son of a bitch.
I said yesterday that I look forward to how wrestling will evolve over the thirty years of material I’ll be skimming through, but somehow, I forgot that there may be times when wrestling will be totally halted in favor of something completely different. The perils of a random choice system.
This match is 15 minutes of boxing. That’s it. I’m aware of the rivalry between T and Piper, but it’s not like it really shines through here. For their time, both men play a fairly straight boxing match, albeit with Piper egging on Mr. T in his own way. Piper’s involvement is, of course, muted somewhat by the fact that he’s out of his element in a boxing ring, and he can’t exactly poke T in the eye or slap on the sleeper like a maniac. I think the boxing match was an interesting idea, and it certainly shows the patience of the 1980’s wrestling audience that they sat through this 15:00+ match without getting too unruly. If you tried to get this kind of thing over today, the crowd would shit all over it, and understandably so.
The thing is, I don’t necessarily dislike boxing, or even MMA, for that matter. I suppose I like either of those sports the best when they resemble wrestling, either by way of an exciting, blistering fight, or a storyline I can get behind. That’s the reason I watch wrestling over practically any sport: Choreographed though it may be (to a degree), I’m guaranteed a story and a reason to care, along with a modicum of action to keep me interested. The live, un-planned element of sport can leave itself open to great moments, but also incredible stretches of nothing, and I end up checking my phone or just doing something else. It’s just the way my brain works.
At least the WWF decided to try this different idea early on, so they could learn not to do it again, especially at their most anticipated event of the year.
Well, might as well come to terms with the fact that I’m watching Lockdown.
Anybody wanna hang and watch it with me r summin
King Kong Bundy vs. S.D. Jones
Wrestlemania season gets off to a record-breaking start.
It’s hard to talk about a match that is only “nine seconds long” (totally not), but the best part about going back to early Mania shows is how radically different the presentation is. It’s really cool how wrestling used to be presented back in the 1980s and earlier: There’s a big-fight feel to the card, even with this squash match, and there is a feeling that what you’re watching is an event to be taken in, not simply processed and acknowledged. Hell, it’s amazing how far jobber matches have come in thirty years, because I can’t imagine guys like 3MB getting the reaction that Special Delivery Jones gets here.
Interesting to consider that Bundy would be main-eventing the next Wrestlemania after this, so it’s to be assumed that his record-breaking win was the start of making him legitimate in the eyes of the world (or, at least, those with closed-circuit TV). The match is literally bearhug, avalanche, splash; a case where the ring entrances are literally longer than the match itself.
I guess the thing to take away from a match like this are the elements surrounding it, as opposed to itself on its own. Nearly thirty years ago, wrestling was something much different than what we have today, and I look forward to seeing how much wrestling will change in the next thirty days. For what it is, the first Wrestlemania is a lot like watching something important to your parents: It may not hold your interest like the current product does, but it is important to know where the product we love came from, and how we have treated it (and how it has treated us) through the years.
WrestlePassion’s annual tradition continues into its third year, with 30 Days of Wrestlemania!
Starting today, I will be reviewing a random match from each Wrestlemania, once a day, in chronological order from 1 to 30. This allows me a brief look into every single Wrestlemania, without having to go through all of them day-by-day.
You can check out my previous entries (28 Days and 29 Days of Wrestlemania) by searching those individual tags on Tumblr, or by checking out my tagged Wrestlemania posts.
Check back later today, for the first entry of the season!