Match # 117: Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts vs. Ted DiBiase & Terry Taylor (5/25/86)
The production of the shows and tapings has gotten a lot better very quickly. Then again, everything I’ve been watching has been at the Houston tapings which are the big house shows with full matches so I haven’t seen a ton of TV. The crowd is hot and there’s a rock & roll coolness not seen since World Class a few years prior. WWE didn’t have this until the late 90s. In fact, as great as the NWA and Crockett was, it never had that aspect of the package. After this you had to wait for ECW in 94 or 95 to find a promotion that was this hip.
Buddy Roberts is getting old. He looks like hell. I’ll bet he can still go though. Looking forward to seeing this one from a details point of view. Enough good chefs to carry the wrestling decently.
Michael Hayes bumps well and sells great here. He’s got that desperate heel air about him when he comes back from the face knocking him around. I enjoyed his goofy dancing for once because it fit the moment. He added a certain finesse to the team, especially selling punches and coming in and out from tags, that was a great compliment to partner Buddy Roberts tough smash mouth style here. Buddy plays the grizzled vet who gains the advantage or keeps it, and Hayes has more varied responsibilities to the story of the match.
Taylor and Dibiase are very good as faces hitting their moves on a heel, but they almost could be anyone because the heels make this match. It’s all the better that it is these faces though because the crowd is in love with them and pops huge.
Roberts sell an atomic drop better than anyone I’ve ever seen. I love that they wove the story of the Freebirds piledriving Ted Dibiase in Georgia three years prior into the story hear. That made Dibiase’s attempts to get at Hayes and Hayes piledriver tease on the floor ten times more important.
Once the Freebirds take control and get the heat on Dibiase the match hits another level. It never gets transcendent, but it’s top-shelf TV stuff. Taylor hasn’t looked this good on the set since his best Flair match.
The logic of the ref at the end was flawed (watching the Freebirds double team to win), but when Karl Fergie reverses the decision it’s that much more satisfying. I’m curious why it they glossed over the reverse of the decision and the crowd he so quickly as it seems you wouldn’t want to take that for granted, but we ‘ll all live with how fun this match ended up. Great short TV match. 3 and 6.2/10.