Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Tully Blanchard vs. Dusty Rhodes

On Wednesday February 17, on AEW Dynamite they announced that Tully Blanchard would be returning to the ring in a six man tag match teaming with FTR against Jurassic Express.  That kicked off another Tully Blanchard kick for me on the WWE Network.  Thanks to their extensive library there are hundreds of Tully Blanchard matches to watch.  One thing that stood out to me was how many matches that Blanchard had with Rhodes that are available on the WWE Network.

I checked out and found they have listed 256 matches between Tully Blanchard and Dusty Rhodes.  This includes singles matches and tag team matches, war games, and ect.  However I do happen to know that this is not correct.  I bought the Rise and Fall of CCW: Carolina Championship Wrestling from Highspots.  It's a 5 disc set about the promotion that ran in 2004 - 2005 and this set features three matches putting Tully Blanchard against Rhodes and cagematch only has one of the matches listed.  So I can bumped that match total up to 258 matches.

However if you add the five times that Blanchard wrestled the Midnight Rider, it brings their match total up to 263 matches.  Another thing to consider is that all but four of these matches took place between May 1984 and August 1988.  

The first time they were in the ring together was on January 3, 1982 at the annual two ring battle royal in Houston Wrestling.  Their first singles match was May 24, 1984 on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling in Greenville, South Carolina with Tully walking out with the win.  Their last match was on November 19, 2005 for CCW in Spartanburg, South Carolina where both men fought to a no contest for the vacant CCW Heavyweight Championship.

They fought in many differ stipulation matches including cage matches, War Games, Lights Out Texas Tornado, Bunkhouse, Lights Out Tag Team Steel Cage, If Tully wins Rhodes must leave town vs. $10,000 of Tully's money, Texas Death, Lights Out match, multiple Barbed Wire matches, First Blood,  Bullrope, Indian Strap, Chain strap, no disqualification, I Quit Steel Cage, Lights Out Barbed Wire Ladder Match, and more. 

They also feuded over the NWA World Television Championship and NWA National Championship, and had matches for the NWA World Tag Team Championships.  

There are a couple very big moments that stand out between the two outside the ring.  On the December 28, 1985 edition of NWA World Wide Wrestling Blanchard fires Baby Doll slapping her in the face and Dusty makes the save for Baby Doll.  

On the March 26, 1988 episode of NWA World Championship Wrestling Magnum TA had returned from his career ending car crash cutting a promo when Tully came out and laid out Magnum.  Dusty made the save and with a baseball bat wen to town on Blanchard finishing the segment choking him out with the bat.  It was pure violence.  

Incidentally Tully Blanchard's last singles match was on August 10, 2007 at the NWA Legends Fanfest in Charlotte, North Carolina against Dustin Rhodes.  

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page, check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network and while your at it pick up my book over at Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

Until next time!!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Watching Old Wrestling: Theme Music

It occurred to me tonight that wrestling I watched in my teens and early 20's is now considered old wrestling as it's 20 plus years old.  Thankfully though a tremendous amount of it is available on the WWE Network.  As I type this I just finished watching Jerry Lynn defeat Steve Corino from ECW Heatwave 2000, you know the match where Lynn writes "DIE" in Corino's blood on his stomach.  The match is excellent, but the only downside is all the music changes on the shows.

My son and others that never saw this wrestling will never know the difference, but not hearing Tommy Dreamer come out to "Man in the Box" or Sandman come out to "Enter Sandman" really sucks.  I know ECW used music they didn't have license rights too, and WWE does have the rights music performed by Harry Slash and the Slashtones, Taz, Sabu, & Mike Awesome so that's good. 

The WWE has had to change the music for other promotions as well, opening themes to televisions show, The Midnight Express theme, Road Warriors, and lot of WCW themes as well.  Hell they have had to change some of their own music as well. 

The first several episodes of Saturday Nights Main Event used "Obsession" by Animotion for their theme music before composing their own.  I will agree that their own music is excellent, but I remember how cool the music videos were with Obsession.

The other one that drives me up the wall was is the opening to Coliseum home video.  To me that music was iconic and I looked forward to watching it every time I rented a tape and when I bought them.  It was pure nostalgic bliss.  Then when they put some up on the WWE Network I couldn't wait to hear it again and to my disgust I discovered them changed it.

They don't play Hillbilly Jim's "Don't Go Messing With A Country Boy" they even have changed out Roddy Pipers original bag pipe music for the only he used later in his career.  However, they edited in music other places like for Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat at WrestleMania III.  

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page, check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network and while your at it pick up my book over at Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

Until next time!!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Below The Belt

I recently discovered on Amazon Prime the film Below the Belt, a movie about a woman breaking into the wrestling business to escape what she perceives is a nothing existence.  Based on the novel To Smithereens by Rosalyn Drexler the movie was filmed in 1974 but was not released until 1980.

The lead actress Regina Baff plays Rosa Rubinsky, who we meet working the concession stand at the wrestling matches, when a patron gets fresh with her and she takes him down a promoter invites her to come train to be a lady wrestler.  Her first trainer in the film is none other than Mildred Burke playing herself and who held the Women's World Championship from 1937 to 1956.  In the movie Rosa would go onto portray the Mexican Spitfire on the wrestling circuit, which is the same name author Rosalyn Drexler wrestled under in the 1950's.

Regina Baff was born in New York and started her career on Broadway being nominated for a Tony Award in 1974 before transitioning to movies and television.  It appears that she performed the majority of her acting in the 1970's and just stopped once the 80's rolled around.   She appeared in films Road Movie, The Great Gatsby, Escape From Alcatraz and more.  She had guest spots on tv shows like Three's Company, Starsky & Hutch, and even Taxi.  

Rosa starts out in New York City with her training and then takes a bus to Tampa, Florida to continue.  We see her travel around with other women and male wrestlers, however we never see the male wrestlers in the ring.  The only actor I recognize in the movie is James Gammon who plays wrestler Luke.  I know him better as Coach Lou Brown in the film Major League.

Through-out the movie they show clips of actual wrestling matches and from I can put together they filmed footage at a WWWF house show on November 23, 1974 at the Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island.  They show clips of WWWF Heavyweight Champion: Bruno Sammartino vs. Killer Kowalski and Captain Lou Albano and The Valiant Brothers: Jimmy & Johnny defeating Tony Garea, Dean Ho, and a bloody Chief Jay Strongbow.  Also Jack Evans vs. Jose Gonzales, Tony Altimore vs. Hans Schroeder.  

We also get footage of midget wrestling and lady wrestlers, but it appears as though those matches were filmed on a closed set and not in a big arena.  The only actual lady wrestler in the film, other than Burke, is Jane O'Brien who plays the champion and lead bad girl Terrible Tommy.  

They show footage of a match between Jane O'Brien and Princess War Star who was also rained by Mildred Burke.  I can't find when the match took place but was before a decent sized audience.  War Star did a stretcher job and this was used to build towards a match between Rosa and Tommy in Birmingham, Alabama.

The film culminates with the big showdown between Terrible Tommy and The Mexican Spitfire Rosa Carlo which is Rosa's debut match.  Rosa is thrown on the floor and a fan throws a beer on her chest.  They have sort of a basic match.  Tommy beats up the referee to the delight of the crowd.  Rosa does a series of arm drags and gouges her eyes, twists her nose and bites her and chokes her.  Tommy makes her comeback and beats up Rosa real well.  Tommy goes for a splash off the top rope, Rosa moves, and Tommy hits the mat knocking herself out.  

When the match started Rosa was booed heavily and Tommy cheered because she's from Birmingham.  By the end of the match the audience has nonsensically started booing Tommy and wildly cheering Rosa. 

I wouldn't say this is a great movie by any means.  As a wrestling fan I was happy to check it out and I wouldn't mind reading the book it's based on.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page, check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network and while your at it pick up my book over at Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

Until next time!!