Wednesday, December 08, 2010

"Project 33" - Match #31 - Midnight Express vs. Fantastics

Midnight Express vs. Fantastics
26 April, 1988
Chattanooga, TN
US Tag Team Championship Match

This is from the late 1980s, the end of the golden era of tag team wrestling.  Back then you had some awesome teams, and the Midnight Express may have been the best of the bunch.  This version of the Midnight Express. 

While I am certainly enjoy the work of Bobby Eaton, I was never ever a big fan of Dennis Condrey.  I think that he was an okay wrestler, but he just never did anything for me, and he had no charisma either.  Plus, he had a horrible horrible look.  Stan Lane however, was awesome.  He brought another dimension totally to the team, but was able to do all of the team's double team moves.  He was such a drastic improvement that it was ridiculous.

While most people look back at the Midnight Express and think their best matches were against the Rock N' Roll Express, I will disagree.  I think the team that best matched up with this version of the Midnights was the Fantastics. 

I think that both Fulton and Rogers were better than Gibson and Morton.  Now, I do not think either one of them sold a beating as good as Ricky Morton did; I would never suggest that.  I do think both men were better all around than Gibson, and I think that allowed either of them to take the heat, which added a different dimension to the matches that the RnR didn't have. 

For example, I remember watching this match a few years back with some of the kids I was training, along with a couple of veteran workers.  When the Midnight cut off Fulton after the hot-tag, their jaws dropped: the Midnights were going to work a double-heat.  In modern times, there just isnt enough time given to a match to work a double heat.  But, as you can tell by the four or five commercial breaks, this match was given plenty of time live, and rather than beat on Rogers for 30 minutes, they worked him over for twenty or so, and saved the big stuff to annihilate Fulton. 

Hey, it worked - as that crowd went totally apeshit.  From the time Lane kicked open Fulton's head, to Rogers begging the ref not to stop the match, to the awesome finish, the crowd was on their feet.  They way they erupted when the Fantastics got the pinfall was comparable to any RnR win.  Ricky & Robert may have been more "pin up doll" fan favorites of the girls, but the Fantastics were the better team overall, in my opinion. 

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