On This Day: September 3, 1983 – Portland Wrestling: I’d Watch This

Portland Wrestling
Date: September 3, 1983
Location: Portland Sports Arena, Portland, Oregon
Commentators: Dutch Savage, Don Coss

This is another of those companies that I’ve never gotten around to but a lot of big names made the rounds here over the years. Officially the company is called Pacific Northwest Wrestling but everyone referred to it as Portland. The biggest name who was a regular in the territory was probably Roddy Piper but he was off to Crockett by this point. I have no idea what to expect here so let’s get to it.

Assuming the date is accurate, this was on a Saturday.

In something I don’t think you’ll ever hear again, the announcers talk about the post show dark match, saying you wish you came to the arena now that you’ve heard about it.

Dutch thinks it’s Memorial Day weekend so Don makes fun of him for a bit.

Mike Miller vs. Brian Adidas

Adidas was a friend of the Von Erichs and never did anything of note. Miller is a generic heel cowboy. The interesting thing here is promoter Don Owen as ring announcer. Feeling out process to start with Miller grabbing a rollup and a handful of trunks for two. Adidas grabs a headlock and takes Miller down to the mat as the announcers get coffee. Seriously they’re making sure they have the right cups.

Back up and Adidas snaps off some armdrags before getting caught in a headscissors. Adidas takes forever to get out of the hold, only to be put right back into it. Back to the headlock but a pull of Brian’s hair puts him back in the headscissors. Referee Sandy Barr (father of Art Barr) pulls Mike’s hair to break it up and Adidas sends him into the ropes.

Back up and the fans say they love Brian, only to see him caught in a chinlock. Adidas fights up and hits a backdrop for two, only to be punched in the ribs. A dropkick and a hiptoss put Miller on the floor. Mike snaps Brian’s neck on the ropes and chokes him for the VERY lame DQ.

Rating: D. Way too long and dull here for that ending. I’ve seen two Brian Adidas matches now and I have no desire to see a third. The guy just isn’t interesting at all and has nothing that separates him at all from other wrestlers. Miller was even more generic and we got to sit through ten minutes of these guys doing nothing special.

House show schedule.

Al Madrill vs. Jules Strongbow

The announcers talk about Andre the Giant coming to the area soon. It’s almost strange to hear about him still as a traveling guy. Feeling out process to start with Jules taking him down to the mat by the arm. Back up and Strongbow grabs the arm again before hooking a full nelson. Madrill counters into one of his own and this is going nowhere at all. He slams Jules down for two and complains about the count.

Jules slams Al down and the referee counts a VERY fast two in a funny bit. It works so well that they do the exact same bit before Madrill takes him down in a front facelock. Madrill hits the referee in the back and blames Jules before doing the exact same sequence again. Madrill does it a third time but gets caught, sending him running out to the floor.

Back in again and Madrill (I keep wanting to say Mandrill) slams Jules down again and gets the slowest two count ever. Now Madrill shakes Strongbow’s hand and they trade more slams. They both try slams at the same time for a stalemate. Now they both try double leg drops and they rock back and forth on the mat to a time limit draw.

Rating: D. Well this was funny at times I guess but when you do the same jokes over and over again, they stop being funny and start being annoying. Neither guy was interesting and the few funny bits here didn’t make up for the complete lack of good action. When I want to see Jules’ brother Jay, you can tell the match is nothing to see.

Here’s top heel Rip Oliver and his Clan. Oliver complains about Curt Hennig and Billy Jack (Haynes, big star in Portland) double teaming the Assassin, costing them $3000 in a recent match. Oliver wants another six man tag with the Clan (himself, Assassin and Dynamite Kid) vs. Hennig/Billy Jack/Buddy Rose. Assassin runs his mouth a bit before Oliver says he wants another six man tag. If Hennig’s team loses, Oliver will head back east, never to be seen again. Dynamite has a cowbell for some reason.

Assassin/Dynamite Kid vs. Buddy Rose/Curt Hennig

This is 2/3 falls. Before the match we’re told that Oliver and Assassin won the tag titles back a few days earlier. Also Owen picks now to announce Andre and Harley Race are coming soon. After about four minutes of disrobing, Hennig, who looks about 15 years old here, starts with Dynamite in what would be an awesome match four years from now. Dynamite flattens Hennig with a shoulder but Curt snaps up to a standoff. Off to a headlock by Kid before Assassin comes in. The announcers are talking about alcoholism for some reason.

The fans keep cheering for Curt but he gets dropped by a double headbutt. Hennig comes back with a big sunset flip for two on Dynamite but it’s back to Assassin. Apparently Hennig is Pacific Northwest Champion. Hennig fires off a right hand and a fireman’s carry but Dynamite breaks up the hot tag attempt. We hit the chinlock from Assassin but Curt finally fights up. Dynamite saves another hot tag and hits a top rope fist to give Assassin two. Kid comes in legally for another long chinlock but Hennig fights up and avoids a knee, allowing for the tag off to Rose.

Buddy cleans part of the house but gets caught in a few armdrags, only to come back with some dropkicks. Assassin tries a sunset flip but Rose rolls forward into a cradle for the first fall. Hot finish there. During the break between falls, Hennig, Rose and Hayes accept the challenge for the six man tag.

Back to the match with Rose hitting a quick dropkick on Assassin to send him to the floor. Assassin gets back in and takes over thanks to a cheap shot from Dynamite. Kid comes in legally and sends Rose into the buckle before dropping a knee for two. Back to Assassin for a knee drop of his own, followed by a standing knee to send Rose to the floor. Curt helps his partner back in but Rose is caught in a quick chinlock as the match keeps going.

Rose fights up as Dynamite tries to come in to break up the tag, only to have Curt make the save. Rose, known as a big guy, nips up but walks into a loaded headbutt from Assassin for the second fall. After a break we come back for another promo from the face guys. Curt talks about the people giving his team an edge over the Clan to be a good suck up. Rose says all three guys want a shot at NWA World Champion Harley Race.

We’re running out of TV time here and the third fall begins with Assassin pounding on Rose in the corner. Dynamite comes back in to crank on the arm and stomp on it on the mat. Not that it matters as Buddy gets over to the corner for the hot tag to Hennig. House is cleaned and the heels get caught in stereo abdominal stretches (big move back then), only to draw Oliver in for the DQ.

Rating: B. If you drop the promos in between the falls and have a better finish, this would have been a great match. The crowd was WAY into this and it’s easy to see why these guys would become big stars in the near future. The ending sets up the big six man in the near future and we got a good match out of it as well. Nice stuff here.

Billy Jack comes in and goes after Oliver but the numbers and the cowbell are too much for him. The good guys bail before they get beat up worse and a staredown ends the show.

Actually scratch that as the Clan shouts a lot to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This is a show I’d watch weekly if you replace the horrible opening stuff with something even remotely good. The crowd was hot all night long and the main event, which ran nearly half an hour, was very solid stuff. The talent in the main event was high level stuff and the main story is interesting. Dynamite would take the title from Curt four days later to keep things going. Good stuff here but man alive it was looking bad after the first two matches.


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