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WWE Network Hidden Gems Review: Boogie Jam ’84

WWE Network Hidden Gems Review: Boogie Jam '84

The weeks leading up to however not instantly earlier than a pay-per-view are sometimes a few of the most enjoyable with regards to the Hidden Gems highlight on the WWE Community. When the curator(s) aren’t tied to a restrictive theme, that always leads to the doorways of the vault being blown large open and a few substantive alternatives being brought out into the sunlight. This week is a superb instance of such a state of affairs, as the complete 150+ minute Jim Crockett Promotions occasion, Boogie Jam ’84 was simply released onto the streaming service.

The DVD aficionados here at WDN will almost definitely recognize the identify, as a marquee match from the stated show (Steamboat vs. Aptitude in an epic for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship) was launched by way of the Ricky Steamboat: The Life Story of the Dragon DVD set again in 2010. Nevertheless, this Network add marks the primary time that the complete, 7-match card has been made out there for public viewing. With a metal cage match for the NWA United States Championship, a hair vs. masks grudge match and far more on faucet, let’s not waste any more time!

 

Boogie Jam 1984

Date: 03/17/1984
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina

 

Matches Included
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Tully Blanchard
Ernie Ladd vs. Rufus R. Jones
Bob Orton Jr. and Don Kernodle vs Mark Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel
Angelo Mosca Jr., Angelo Mosca Sr. and Junkyard Dog vs. Gary Hart, Ivan Koloff and The Nice Kabuki
NWA United States Heavyweight Championship No DQ Metal Cage: Dick Slater © vs. Greg Valentine
NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair © vs. Ricky Steamboat
Hair vs. Mask: Jimmy Valiant vs Murderer #2

 

We start issues off with a trombone-assisted rendition of Star Spangled Banner. This clearly isn’t a wanted inclusion however I’ll all the time credit WWE for importing really complete occasions and non-essential footage simply provides to that kudos.

Issues kick off properly with a real “previous vs new” conflict. While Tully wasn’t new to the business, (he began coaching in 1977) he was model new to Jim Crockett Promotions, having began with the territory just one month before this bout. Dory Jr, then again, was a 20-year veteran here and a former World Champion. As far as the match goes, it’s a little bit of an oddity. The fans love Dory right here (they’re genuinely rabid for him) however the types of the two males don’t precisely mesh. Tully does his greatest throughout to play the heel and sluggish things down on offense but Jr’s offense is a quite sluggish, conventional fashion itself. So in essence, there’s a lot of sluggish durations and pinches of stalling damaged up by a slam, punches or a operating back elbow (which is probably probably the most excessive octane move in the whole match). Issues do start choosing up in the house stretch once we get a bit of more of a frantic forwards and backwards, nevertheless it’s all too temporary before Blanchard counters a rollup and secures the victory with a hook of the tights.
C grade for a barely ‘off’ conflict of types that’s nonetheless extraordinarily technically sound.

 

As we transfer onto our second match, we’ve got a nearing-retirement Ernie Ladd squaring up with Rufus R. Jones. This paring had a run towards one another on the JCP loop for a couple of months before Ladd headed back to Mid-South to finish up his a profession with a quick (and fifth general) North American Championship reign. This crowd appears to be incredibly scorching for the babyfaces typically, as Jones gets one other large reaction.

This can be a brief contest, which can help the tempo considerably. Rufus uses very primary offense however Ernie sells all the things with unimaginable power (including a chop response that rivals The Rock being hit with the stunner) and even if Ladd is winding down his career right here, it’s not made apparent as he lands a leg drop and misses a prime rope splash that instantly leads into the finish. With the hindsight of figuring out that we’ve a 60-minute epic on our arms for this show, protecting this temporary was in all probability the suitable name.
C- grade. While I do assume that protecting this brief was the fitting determination, that additionally signifies that I can’t price it a lot larger than a very average grade.

Mark Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel have been the reigning NWA Tag Workforce Champions right now, though this specific encounter with Don Kernodle and Bob Orton Jr. was non-title. They might lose the belts to Jack and Gerry Brisco on April 4th, earlier than briefly regaining them just a bit over three weeks later. It’s funny how we wish to mock trendy wrestling for its frequent title modifications however my current digging into historical data has helped me understand that it’s been vulnerable to happen for a long time.

This tag-team exhibition begins with Kernodle doing his greatest to embarrass Wahoo in the opening minutes but the chief retaliates with a thunderous chop off the ropes to send his opponent operating for decrease floor. It’s value noting that the gang has been bursting with power because the opening match and that exhibits no indicators of slowing down right here. Kernodle tries the new tactic of throwing fists, which initially appears to work but McDaniel ultimately fires up with clubbing photographs of his own. Wahoo ultimately makes the error of being backed into his opponents’ nook and is crushed down both inside and out of doors the ring (including being thrown into the ring submit).

We now settle into an extended interval of Orton and Kernodle taking turns to put on down the now-bloodied veteran Wahoo while the gang is chomping on the bit to see the youthful Youngblood make the tag and McDaniel giving bursts of effort to make that happen but repeatedly getting worn again down. When Mark finally gets in there, he’s practically invincible and the gang blows the roof off of the place. He dances around, bouncing off of the ropes and taking the struggle to Orton who barely manages to outlive the onslaught. We get a false comeback although as the heels use nefarious techniques to regain the advantage and Youngblood is now in peril. Things ultimately break down outdoors (together with a brutal spot where Youngblood is draped over the guardrail) and Wahoo gets concerned for a bit of a fracas. The villans manage to take care of control until a clothesline is missed and Mark falls again into the tag. Wahoo cleans home and the champs rebound with a double workforce for the victory.
B- grade for build up in all the ways in which a tag group match should while having a massively invested crowd

We get a straight minimize after the tag champions exit to our 6-man attraction the place supervisor Gary Hart (last seen alongside Kernodle and Orton in our earlier bout) teams up with Ivan Koloff and The Nice Kabuki to battle Angelo Mosca Jr., Angelo Mosca Sr. and Junkyard Dog. Presumably, the elder Mosca is the primary rival for Hart here. Mosca Sr. was in the last yr of his full-time profession at this level at 47 years of age. Jr., then again, was only 2 years into his. Granted, his profession didn’t final long general anyway and never took off.

We’re scorching out of the gate with this one, as the gang explodes for every high impression move that Mosca Jr. lands. In fact, once Kabuki gets the momentum because of a thrust kick, Gary Hart is all too glad to become involved. And that’s just about the story of this bout. Hart is cautious to solely get in the ring for temporary durations when his opponents (with Jr., particularly, enjoying the position of sacrificial lamb here) are weak however avoids the action altogether when the action gets the slightest bit bushy. Things come alive when JYD lastly gets into the match and then Sr. decides he needs a few of the fun. This backfires although when all 6 men pile in and Hart uses the distraction to choke the elder Mosca with wrist tape. I feel we will all see what this is constructing to. But first, Kabuki and Hart take turns in attacking Sr.’s eyes. All 3 then take turns in the ring. In fact, the supervisor begins getting just a little too cocky and ends up getting caught as the faces have enjoyable getting their palms on somebody often untouchable and Angelo Jr. finishes things off with a prime rope body press.
C grade for a easy story with a scorching crowd that featured little or no actual wrestling.

I’ve all the time been a fan of metal cage matches, however in trendy occasions, I’ll admit that the gimmick has lost a whole lot of its luster. That’s why watching this bout between a babyface challenger in Greg Valentine and a heel champion Dick Slater was notably refreshing. Because of being given sufficient time, issues start slowly and steadily construct in the direction of a gritty, bloody brawl with copious use of the cage mesh. I will admit that seeing Valentine as the great guy lower than four months since his epic “canine collar” battle with Roddy Piper at the inaugural Starrcade is barely jarring and he does play a better heel. But nonetheless, the gang are behind him identical to everyone else this night, so the dynamic works fairly properly all issues thought-about.

Again to the contest in question, and there’s simply something about two athletes attacking one another with an intense ferocity until both are battered, bloody and crushed that simply has a guttural impression on me. And this can be a good example of what I’m talking about. Both Greg and Dick give it their all till each can barely stand (and actually, don’t all the time manage to) and give the impression that they have been in a stamina-sapping conflict that will not have lasted lengthy however it still took their all. The top comes when Valentine makes one ultimate last-ditch effort to apply the figure 4 leg lock, solely to get round into the steel cage by the well-placed boot of the champion. Greg crumples to the floor and Slater managed to scramble into the pinfall for the win. And with that, Greg Valentine is nearly prepared to start a highly fruitful tenure in the WWF.
B grade for an intense, ugly battle that might have been perfectly at residence on a pay-per-view at the time, not to mention on a glorified house show.

Right here we are at what is successfully the primary occasion of the present. Sure, it’s technically the semi-main occasion and this card is known as after one of the men in match number seven however let’s not child ourselves that that is virtually definitely what the vast majority in attendance purchased a ticket to see. And actually, are you able to blame them? That is Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and while we should be around 5 years away from their timeless trilogy, these two men had achieved battle for numerous belts because the 70s and all the time torn down the home. The individuals knew this was an enormous deal and boy, did the match delivers in spades.

Now, as super as this contest is, I will admit that it considerably falls into the trope of creating it apparent that we’re “going long” when primary moves like a headlock are held for vital lengths of time. I knew the result of this getting into. But even when I didn’t, the very deliberate pace for pretty much the first 20 minutes or more make it fairly apparent what the plan is. I assume I’m saying that it takes you out of the moment slightly when the construction going ahead is so transparent.

With all of that stated, these 60 minutes are nonetheless absolutely large. Both males know how you can sluggish things down without making things tedious for the audience. They could seize maintain, however it all the time feels just like the one on the receiving end is making an attempt to struggle back. Steamboat, particularly, is incredible at providing sudden, high octane moments that pop the gang and serve as peaks to distinction towards the relative valleys of the slower-paced, extra newbie styled wrestling maneuvers. And by the point we’re into the final 20 minutes, the pace picks up. Ric starts bouncing around like a pinball, doing all he can decelerate his adversary as he builds momentum and seemingly closes in on his first world title victory. It’s value noting here, that recent off his victory at Starrcade ’83, Aptitude continues to be technically a face. He doesn’t play an outright heel right here. But the crowd are behind Steamboat a lot more than they are the champion. That is sensible however it’s in the closing stretch the place the dynamic turns into just a bit extra clear minimize as Flair tries his greatest to stall and delay, hoping to only hold on. I will say, that the ending moments are somewhat bit let down by the timing as the challenger doesn’t even begin climbing to the highest rope for his ending blow till the final 10 seconds or so, which means that it’s blatantly obvious that he gained’t have time for the deciding pinfall when he attempts it. The gang are electrical for this ultimate dash of 10 minutes or so, so I’m not blind to the fact that the story advised labored extraordinarily properly on the night time, however I’m right here to evaluate the work as an entire and I’ve to say that it was just a bit bit clunky proper at the finish. Plus, there’s no denying that a time limit draw (regardless of how epic) will all the time take the wind out of the sails and that is no exception, nevertheless minor.

Following the declaration of a draw, Ricky takes the decision properly and palms the world championship title belt back to Flair. They shake palms and exchanged phrases which we will’t hear. So at the very least for now, the champion is remaining on the sunshine aspect, kind of.
B+ grade for an incredible, well-paced “broardway” that’s simply lacking those ending touches that put it on par with their all-time classics five years later. Perhaps it was the shortage of a transparent face vs. heel dynamic all of the pair have been still affecting their chemistry even in any case these years however both means, it’s still something that I might advocate individuals go out of their approach to watch.

And eventually, with time very rapidly operating out on the video, we’ve got our “foremost occasion”. I’ll sound a bit harsh here and I perceive that the event itself was named after Jimmy Valiant however this hair vs. mask bout doesn’t hold up very nicely to the previous pair of encounters. Yes, the gang are extremely completely satisfied to see Jimmy (but then, they’ve been just as boisterous for the remainder of the night time too). Considering that Dusty Rhodes can also be concerned on this by bull-roping himself to the Murderer’s supervisor Paul Jones, maybe I’m not the only one who felt that this needed somewhat more sizzle added to the steak. The cameramen appear more all in favour of following Rhodes once the bell rings, to the point that whoever is within the truck finally figures out that a cut up viewpoint may be for the perfect so that folks can see what’s happening within the ring.

Admittedly, that isn’t a lot as this is all extremely primary, which is pretty much par for the course with Jimmy Valiant. He starts robust, solely to ultimately get waylaid and bloodied. Finally, when Assassin #1 makes a mistake, Valiant comes again like a home of fireside and shortly will get the pinfall. The gang goes wild and Jimmy claims his opponent’s mask. Jones shortly bails his charge out after the de-masking each the babyface still has his victory and we’re finished for the night time.
C- grade and I feel like I’m being beneficiant. I know the argument could be made the gang have been into this but the same may be stated for each match on the cardboard, so I don’t assume I can hold utilizing that to excuse something that could be very blasé and this was exactly that. It also doesn’t help that the cameramen have been much more transfixed on dusty roads hooked up to Paul Jones somewhat than the action happening in the ring (as I mentioned above) and it took fairly a while for the manufacturing staff to right this. It additionally doesn’t assist that it adopted three impressive bouts.

 

General Video Grade
B grade. This was a show that began just a little plodding but then steadily built up. I feel my grades say all of it. I gave 3 matches on this card a B- or higher grade and a type of takes up greater than a 3rd of the 156-minute operating time. When a glorified house present has a robust tag match on its undercard and an awesome old fashioned cage match alongside a 1-hour epic between 2 legends of the enterprise as a part of a triple invoice, that has to rely for one thing, right? A must watch from me.

Thanks for reading, as all the time. It’s good to see Hidden Gems finally get a proper house on WWE Community 2.zero (even if the new format continues to be being very steadily populated). Right now’s gem addition will see the basic 1986 TV special from Jim Crockett Promotions, Superstars on the Superstation added to the streaming service. With the 90-minute show including three main title bouts, it’s quite the main deal and the religious successor to Turner’s Conflict of the Champions extravaganzas. When you’re a fan of the period however have by no means caught this before, have a look in the Hidden Gems part of WWE Network later in the present day! As soon as again, thanks for reading and see you around.

 

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