Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Why We Watch, Exhibit X

Facebuster Nation, what with only three letters in the English alphabet yet to be assigned, we are hitting the home stretch in our "Why We Watch" series devoted to profiling the absolute best of professional rasslin's heroes, villains, matches, angles, promotions, and conventions.

Nearly two years ago, I boasted that Ted Dibiase would soon be enshrined in this proverbial, virtual, Facebuster curated, highly selective (unlike the WWE where the likes of Mae Young, Wendi Richter, Tony Atlas, Koko B. Ware, Tito Santana, Bob Orton, Bob Ucker, Pete Rose, William "The Refrigerator" Perry and numerous other undeservables and undesirables are welcomed) Hall o' Fame. Well, two years have come and gone with barely a mention of Dibiase's in-ring prowess during his years in the Georgia, St. Louis, and especially the Mid South/UWF territories or his over the top yet razor sharp portrayal of affluence, extravagance, and excess in his later years with the World Wrestling Federation.

In order to rectify these procrastinations and oversights and in response to the disabling of that amazing Flair-DiBiase-Murdoch Mid South fracas I linked to above, here is a trio of clips of Dibiase applying his craft through the years.

Assuming a sample size of that generation of North American wrestlers who were in their prime during the late 1970s-early-to-mid 1990s, in my opinion, DiBiase's technical mastery and execution, offensive versatility, consistency as a performer/storyteller, and body of work is only surpassed by Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat (and arguably equaled by Randy Savage) in terms of his contemporaries. To this point, I have selected a music video montage from Bill Watts' Mid South wrestling of a early-to-mid 1980s heel DiBiase executing a variety offensive maneuvers -- fist drops, loaded black glove right hands, powerslams, swinging neckbreakers, and spinning toe holds that transition into figure four leg locks.

The second clip features a babyface DiBiase in long form as he defends the St. Louis Wrestling Club's prestigious Missouri Heavyweight Title against a NATIVE AMERICAN TURNCOAT by the name of Chief Thundercloud on the promotion's Wrestling At The Chase program. This clip is likely took place sometime in 1981 during DiBiase's impressive 50 week reign with the strap, his second and final time holding that championship.

Lastly, in order to capture and illuminate the awesomeness of DiBiase's smarmy and cartoonish super villainy, I have embedded a clip of "The Million Dollar" Man and bodyguard version out for an excursion at the community pool. To no one's surprise, hilarity, monetary enticements, adolescent day ruining, and private/exclusive usage ensue.

Please enjoy the accomplishments, talents, and antics of Ted Dibiase: Why We Watch, Exhibit X.

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