Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why We Watch, Exhibit V

Building off (a) this month's old skool tribute to manager, mouthpiece, fashion plate, and tennis racket smash executor extraordinaire James E. Cornette and (b) the goodness that was the eventual Dusty/Magnum-Midnight Express confrontation and brawl in our last example of Why We Watch (aka our ode to the jobber), Arabian Facebuster is proud to formally recognize tag team rasslin' as an integral component of the professional rasslin' experience.

And to me, no team espouses the majesty and essence of tag team rasslin' -- the continuity and fluidity between partners, the innovative double team maneuvers, the psychology of the enterprise (specifically the "face in peril" and "hot tag" fundamentals), the classic feuds and epic matches, the principle that being a part of tag team combination is an end in itself and not simply a means to executing an angle where one partner turns on the other and consequently receives a singles push, offer up a version of your top of the card singles matches on free TV, or a way to kill time on the undercard and give workers who you can't come up with a singles gimmick for something to do...hell even the coordinated/matching ring attire -- better than Jim Cornette's Midnight Express.

While not wanting to declare whether I prefer the Condry-Eaton or Eaton-Lane version of the team in this post (although I will submit that, to me, Condrey was a better worker and psychologist than Lane but Lane and Eaton's double team repertoire was more crisply executed, inventive, and extensive than the Condrey and Eaton tandem), I do want to emphasize that both combinations were outstanding, in no small part to the abilities of Jim Cornette as a braggadocio mouthpiece and fan ire generating magnet. Of course, having opponents of the caliber The Rock and/or Roll Express, The Fantastics, The Steiner Brothers, Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A., The Road Warriors, and even The Southern Boys to lock horns and feud with made tag team greatness that much easier to attain.

I have embedded two clips for yr consideration. Clip No. 1 showcases The Midnight Express (Condrey and Eaton) as they jump The Rock and/or Roll Express on an early 1986 edition of NWA World Wide Wrestling after Ricky and Robert make quick work of an unidentified pasty and spare tire gutted jobber. To no one's surprise, a wild brawl breaks out in the ring, spills into the interview area and envelops some of the upper card babyfaces in the back with Cornette and The Midnight's getting the better of their bitter tag team rivals on this occasion.

Clip No. 2 comes from the WTBS Saturday night flagship World Championship Wrestling circa June/July 1986 and features Tony Schiavone's cookie duster mustache, a tasteful rape joke, prop comedy superior to anything ever conceived by Gallagher or Carrot Top, a banana trunked Mulkey Brother lying down for a sloppily executed belly-2-belly suplex, a MAN sized wooden chair shot, babyfaces brandishing shovels, a perplexed, black glossy Members Only jacket attired hippopotamus, and Jim Cornette doing what he does best...running down the NWA fan favorites and in the process generating some molten heat for his men.


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