Monday, December 27, 2010

"Project 33" - Match #48 - Bloom & Enos vs. Peterson & Trooper

Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom vs. DJ Peterson & Trooper
11 August, 1990
Mayo Civic Center; Rochester, MN
AWA Tag Team Championship Match

Part 2

Another match requested by Lacelle over that the DVDVR.  Well, this match is interesting for a number of reasons.  First, it is the final time that the AWA Tag Team Championship would change hands, as the company folded up shortly after this. 

Second, as hard as it is to believe by watching this match, three of these guys wrestled in major promotions for around another decade.  Peterson was the only one who did not, because he died in a car accident in 1993. 

The Trooper is better known as Del Wilkes, aka the Patriot.  He would go on to be a tag team champion many times over in both WCW and All-Japan.  He was always a pretty solid tag team wrestler in his heyday - but this match was obviously before is heyday. 

Bloom & Enos were known here as the Destruction crew, doing a construction worker gimmick.  They were trained by Eddie Sharkey in Minneapolis, who also trained the Road Warriors and Barry Darsow.  This is ironic because Lee Marshall & Verne Gagne very subtly rip on either Demolition or the Road Warriors (former AWA Tag Champs) as "guys with big muscles wearing leather and spikes who cannot wrestle".  Anyway, Enos & Bloom would shortly depart the dying AWA for the WWF, where they would work as Beau & Blake Beverly - a faux "brothers" tag team.   They would actually end up working as enhancement talent during the Nitro Era for WCW. 

But in watching this match, you wouldn't thin that.  It was weird, Verne Gagne was doing commentary for this match, it had to be killing him to be putting these guys over as great workers.  When he would rattle on about the conditioning of Wilkes he was obviously being sincere (because Wilkes was a big time juicer), but as weak shots were being dished out and the timing was off on the finish of the match, you know Verne wanted to go out there and stretch mofos.  Well, that or he just simply didn't care anymore. 

The match was structured like your basic Southern-style tag team match, which isn't a bad thing.  This is the type of match that you will see on every indy show ever, because there is so little good tag wrestling these days that everyone just adopts the same formula that this match uses: the babyfaces start off hot, one gets isolated and worked over for an extended period of time, dirty heels cheat to keep the advantage, hot tag, chaos breaks out as the referee loses control, finish. 

The problem here is that while both Enos and Bloom are certainly strong men, neither one is particularly big, so they are just not pulling off a great act as overpowering heels.  The inexperience of Wilkes shows as well, as he doesnt sell with passion. He gets hit with a move, and he sells it, but he doesn't have that babyface fire that he needs to get the fans behind him.  What does not help at all is that Bloom & Enos have really weak strikes. 

After the hot tag, things break down.  Peterson is trying to be house-a-fire, but the problem is that he is somewhat unsure about what exactly is happening.  This is obvious when he hits Bloom (I think) with a clothesline and then he bumps off of it too, which brings Wilkes back in the ring.  Marshall and Gagne kinda try to cover it up on commentary, but if you are as good as I am in zoning out commentary, then you probably were just watching it going "WTF people?!?!?". 

They bothed the ending somewhat, with Bloom starting to fall off the top rope before Wilkes pushed him, but the fans actually popped pretty big here, and in the end that looked good on television.  It is kinda hard to beleive that these two teams were actually AWA Tag Team Champions, but this was nearly the end of the AWA, so no one was really watching.  However, lots of people are watching now on ESPN Classics, which is kinda funny...

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