Friday, March 27, 2009

Why We Watch...Exhibit E.2

It has been brought to my attention that the "Why We Watch Exhibit E" clip of Dick Murdoch cutting one of the most cantankerous heel promos I have ever witnessed has been taken down from YouTube. After much scouring and no luck in locating another copy, I have decided to post up on the ol' Facebuster another memorable example of Captain Redneck applying his craft, this time in a far more traitorous and treacherous fashion against his one-time partner and long-time nemesis Dusty Rhodes and freshly turned babyface and new BFF and tag team partner of The American Dream (if you weeelllll!) "The Russian Nightmare" Nikita Koloff.

Granted, we have been featuring a lot of Murdoch's exploits at Arabian Facebuster lately (if you need a refresher, go here, here, and especially here)...and deservedly so. While Murdoch's technical prowess and corpus of consistently high quality in-ring output suffer to some extent when compared to the likes of some of yr and my all-time favorite North American workers like Flair, Brody, Michaels, Hart, Benoit, Savage, Steamboat, Hansen, DiBiase, and Windham, his (a) talents on the stick, namely his aptitude at hurling insults at the crowd, the interviewer and his foe while offering a perversely compelling reason for his outlook and actions; (b) ability to project a ornery, gruff, crass, odious, entitled, and cocky bordering on conceited character that seems far more authentic and effortless than insincere and invented solely for the purposes of wrestling spectacle; and (c) penchant for sadistic, ruthless, impressively violent sneak attacks and beatdowns on his adversaries.

The clip above is culled from a early 1987 syndicated episode of NWA Pro Wrestling. Nikita had turned babyface a couple of months back as a result of being moved by Magnum TA's horrible car accident, an accident that never allowed Magnum to climb in the ring and compete again. Obviously, this sympathy towards a proud, mulleted, incapacitated American didn't sit well with uncle Ivan Koloff and his revolving, interchangeable band of bald and/or masked pinko cronies. Thus, a six man tag match was signed to hopefully settle this quarrel with Nikita and Dusty teaming up with then babyface Dick Murdoch against Ivan, Vladamir Pietrov, and something called Big Red (who was no doubt just some schlep under a mask and no one of any sort of import).

The match itself is a complete wash as Koloff immediately delivers the dreaded Russian Sickle on the hapless jobber and proceeds to pick up the victory for his team. What transpires next not only embodies the qualities I cited above as to why I think Dick Murdoch is one of the all-time greats, it also demonstrates the spirit, orientation, tendencies, and approach of Jim Crockett Promotions during the 1985-1988 period and its booker (Rhodes), who had to insert himself in seemingly every feud/angle/storyline in the promotion.

I'll let consummate pro Bob Caudle and a hysterical Johnny Weaver take over from here.

Update: Murdoch does another Pearl Harbor job on Nikita here. If you happen to have an aversion to a Communist turncoat being dropped on his head on a concrete floor via a vicious looking brainbuster suplex, I would suggest you occupy yr time with an alternative pursuit, say ogling Hulk Hogan's daughter's muscly crotch.

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