Match # 91: Ted DiBiase vs. Dick Murdoch (12/27/85)
Why! Why would you start one of the biggest feud matches off in the middle of the match, halfway through the heat? The answer I’m sure is that you had to go to the house shows to see it, but being such a big fan of both men’s work and seeing the angle to get us here, I would have liked to see a complete match. This must show something though if it made it on the set.
Dibiase is already selling a beating in the corner. Murdoch lays in stiff shots till Dibiase fires up. I love that Murdoch acts scared as he gives up ground, only to steady himself on the ropes and kick Dibiase in the gut. He sends Dibiase to the floor violently. He’s dissecting him like a ring general and you get that feel of a bully who uses punches and kicks, but for more than just the beating. He’s doing what a technical wrestler would do wear down wise on his opponent.
I think I heard 5 minutes gone in the match announced, but this seems further along than five minutes. Boots to the face and stares at the crowd. Great punches to the face and Murdoch argues with the ref over them all. Dibiase bleeding. Hope spot fighting out, but Murdoch cuts him off. Murdoch and Dibiase are doing a feud-appropriate brawl, though it’s controlled and in the ring.
Not much to this. I like the little things they are doing, but it’s a methodical kick/punch one sided beating right now.
Dibiase comes back with punches and they do a GREAT boxing exchange as both punch well, but Murdoch will miss and when Dibiase lands (so charismatic w/o being over the top here) Murdoch sells it to one knee of leaning, so much better than I could explain it.
Dibiase in control and the pace picks up a bit. So smooth. Murdoch’s stumble around selling, begging off, and Dibiase’s no mercy approach are great. Murdoch is bloody now. Dibiase adds knees to the downed opponent.
Now it’s become a nice back and forth mix as a beat up Murdoch wins on the outside and drops Dibiase throat first over the guard rail. Dibiase crawls back in and Murdoch does a great thing. He turns Dibiase to the crowd, bends him back over the top rope to show the crowd, and before wailing him with a neckbreaker he yells at the crowd. Good heel stuff. Dibiase really sells the neck on the floor and Murdoch adds chair shots with the point on the chair focused on the back of the neck.
Back in Murdoch turns up the violence. Dibiase sells like he’s dead but he kicks out of pin attempts. Reversal as Dibiase drops out of a delayed suplex and gets to his feet. One big punch to the face of Murdoch and the big man falls with a great selling job. Cover. 1-2-3. What? That’s it. Okay then. That was easy. Masked Superstar out to help Murdoch beat down Dibiase and get the heat back for a return tag match.
Match was used to set up a return match, and I always feel a bit used when that’s the case. Not always, as this set has demonstrated, but in this case I felt that way. The “last territory”, ECW, would do that from time to time, and usually it’s the first match that is the one you feel burned by. Match really showed the spark these two can provide. Would have liked to see the whole thing, but also with the finish being out of nowhere and flat to me I’d have liked to see a match further down the line in the feud. 3 stars and 6/10.