Portland Wrestling 1977-1979 (VOLUME 15)


Portland Wrestling

The current Portland wrestling champions are as follows as of 11/24/1979:
NWA World Champion: Harley Race (11/7/1979)
PNW Heavyweight Champion: Buddy Rose (11/17/1979)
PNW Tag Team Champions: The Sheepherders (11/9/1979)

Your host is Frank Bonnema.

  • Rick Martel vs. Frank Dusek – (Portland Wrestling, 11/24/79)

This is the TV debut of Martel on Portland wrestling. He looks PHENOMENAL here. Bonnema calls Martel an Australian champion. I haven’t seen any records to support that claim though. He did share the Australasian tag titles with Larry O’Day in Barnett’s promotion for a period of time in 1977, but I doubt that’s what Frank is referring to here. He also says that Martel is from Paris, France so the championship comment could just be one of those worked comments like Dino Bravo was the Canadian heavyweight champion for like five years and really wasn’t. Frank Dusek is a second generation guy who is probably best known for his work in World Class in the early 1980s and feuded with Al Madril. He’s reluctant to shake Martel’s hand, but he does. As Martel turns away to take off his ring jacket, Dusek pearl harbors him only to bail to the floor when Martel goes wild on him. Dusek knows that the Buddy Rose shtick works here in Portland and plays it up to a tee. Martel works the arm with wristlocks and armbars. When Dusek gets out of the arm work, he resorts to cheating by going to the eyes, which just further fires up Martel. He whips Dusek in the corner for the Ray Stevens bump. Full body slam and a knee drop gets two. Dusek goes low and whips Martel across into the corner, but Martel hits a crossbody out of the corner when that move was fresh and new to surprise Dusek for the three-count. (8:45) Martel already showing promise here as he quickly moves up the ranks in the Portland area to start teaming with Piper in 1980. And if that’s not cool enough, he actually main events against Harley Race on a few Tuesday nights in January. *½

The Rose Army is prepared for war!! (Portland Wrestling, 11/24/79)

The General Buddy Rose takes the army gimmick a little too far as he and the Sheepherders are now wearing fatigues over their wrestling tights. Rose makes Lt. Luke Williams is in charge of artillery – whatever that means. Rose say he will defend the PNW heavyweight title against anybody except Roddy Piper. Oh boy, Rose has a whistle. As usual, Luke tries to put a sentence or two together. Butch is the talker of the two. He says anybody can challenge them for the PNW tag belts. With the General behind them, the Sheepherders will march to victory. Rick Martel’s name gets brought up a few times as someone who needs to watch his back.

  • 2/3 Falls: The Sheepherders & Buddy Rose vs. Roddy Piper, Sam Oliver Bass & Dutch Savage – (Portland Wrestling, 11/24/79)

FIRST FALL: Frank first points out that Buddy Rose is wearing the Sheepherders style gear tonight. He wonders if Rose has been named an honorary Sheepherder as if that’s some sort of honor. Rose starts with Savage and they do a criss-cross off a headlock. Piper sneaks in and wallops Rose with a shot. Piper wants to lay in more blows, but Rose escapes to the floor. Bass and Savage take turns working on Luke’s arm. Rose tries to come in and double-team Savage, but gets a shot in the throat. When Luke tags Rose, Savage runs over and tags Piper. Instead of Piper just going to town on Rose, Buddy manages to bail. Rose motions to the hard camera that he’s not crazy enough to get in there with Piper. HE’S BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL. Back in, Piper is too distracted by Rose and gets blindsided by the Sheepherders. This creates some rather chaotic Piper-in-peril action that the Sheepherders excel at. They are great at allowing those hope spots and cutting the face off immediately after it happens. This all leads to a HOT TAG TO DUTCH. After he goes nuts on the Rose Army, he tags in Bass for the RUNNING BULLDOG on Luke! Cover, 1-2-NO! Bass runs Rose into the corner on the wrong side of town. As Piper tries coming off the ropes, Butch pulls the top rope down and Piper goes crashing on the floor. Back inside, Williams delivers the PILEDRIVER and puts away Piper to secure the first fall at 10:47.

SECOND FALL: We pick up where we left off with Piper being in the wrong corner. He manages to fight his way out as Rose accidently hits Butch. Tag to Bass, he gives Rose a suplex for two. Bass and Savage take turns cranking a headlock on Rose. Unfortunately for Savage, he takes an atomic drop and the tide turns in favor of the Rose Army. The Sheepherders try a Boston crab on Dutch with their backs turned to the faces for some reason. They easily break up the hold several times. Rose wants a PILEDRIVER, but Savage backdrops him over. Savage catches Rose with a few shots and crawls towards Bass for a tag. It seems both babyfaces want to be the hot tag. Anyways, Bass comes in and wears out the Sheepherders. He gets triple-teamed though causing Savage and Piper to do something about the Sheepherders. Meanwhile, Bass hits Rose with the RUNNING POWERSLAM for the three-count at 7:57.

THIRD FALL: Bass wants Rose and gets Rose. He grabs a full nelson and walks Rose over to his corner for Piper and Savage to slug him. Butch tries to pearl harbor Bass, but Bass turns Rose around towards Butch’s incoming punch. The Sheepherders have to explain to Rose what happened. Now Butch tries the same full nelson spot with Bass – except this time Bass ducks a shot from Piper and Butch gets drilled. Now it’s time for Bass to play a little face in peril. They try to put him away, but Piper and Savage keep breaking up the pin. After a double-KO spot with Rose, Bass crawls over and reaches Dutch for a hot tag. However, Butch forces Savage into the Rose Army corner as the match completely breaks down. While Sandy Barr gets Piper and Bass out of the ring, Rose lowers the boom on Dutch and covers him for the pin. (24:35 total) The first fall of these 2/3 falls Portland matches are usually the best and this match wasn’t any different. While each fall was chaotic, the first fall felt like the one with the most controlled chaos if that makes any sense. The second and third falls were more of a mess than they were a sound story if that clears up what I’m trying to say. Plus, where was Piper in those last two falls? He started the second fall, but didn’t really do anything once he tagged out to Bass. **½

We go over to Frank Bonnema who is standing by with Stan Stasiak and Roddy Piper. They are challenging the Sheepherders over the PNW tag titles next Saturday. With a win over the Sheepherders, Piper says he is one step closer to Buddy Rose. Another classic promo from Piper. All Stasiak can do is just stand there and wish he could like that.

Rick Martel debuts in Portland Wrestling!! (Portland Wrestling, 11/24/79)

Before the third fall of the six-man tag, Frank Bonnema gets a quick word with the young Rick Martel. He says he’s here for the Sheepherders. Martel tells us that the Sheepherders did some dastardly to him eight months earlier in New Zealand and he wants retribution. Well, now the Australian champion thing makes more sense. Martel then tells the “Beauty Queen of Wrestling” Buddy Rose not to stick his nose in his business because he’ll break it off. A nervous Martel, but he’s a young Martel.

  • Buddy Rose vs. Jim Gagne – (Portland Wrestling, 12/1/79)

No relation to the AWA Gagnes as far as I know. He works a while with the headlock on Rose. Eventually, Rose escapes with a back suplex. He picks up Gagne for a backbreaker on his shoulders, but Gagne rakes the eyes to break free. HERE COMES GAGNE! Big dropkick catches Rose coming off the ropes for two. They go from corner to corner, but Rose blocks a monkey flip. Rose starts hammering the back obviously going for his finisher. However, Gagne reverses a corner whip and starts grinding on a headlock again. Seeing that the moment was right, Rose lifts Gagne in the air for the BILLY ROBINSON BACKBREAKER to pick up the win at 9:01 shown.

  • 2/3 Falls: PNW Tag Team Champions The Sheepherders vs. Roddy Piper & Stan Stasiak – (Portland Wrestling, 12/1/79)

FIRST FALL: In what is a total surprise at least to Buddy Rose and the Sheepherders, Dutch Savage comes out to referee this match. Piper throws his kilt at Rose trying to get him to leave. Rose catches the kilt and rips it in half before taking him back with him to the locker room. Piper can’t worry about that right now though. Lots of headlock cranking on the Sheepherders. Piper gets nailed from behind though to turn the tide. He gets stuck in the Sheepherders corner with chinlocks and the like. Piper leapfrogs over a backdrop attempt and dropkicks Williams away, but Butch cuts off the tag to Stasiak. Butch whips Piper into the ropes and misses a swing, but Piper cleans his clock. Luke is right there to stop Piper again. Crossbody block by Piper. Once again, Piper catches Butch trying a backdrop and kicks him away. Hot tag to Stasiak, he catches Butch with a dropkick to Butch that Frank pops over. HEART PUNCH to Luke! Cover, 1-2-3.(4:57) Nobody gets up from that one.

SECOND FALL: We are JIP about five minutes into this fall. Piper is stuck on the Sheepherders side of town. The crowd fires him up and he lifts Williams to take him into the corner with Stasiak for a tag. While Stan the Man has Luke in a kimura type hold, Piper sees Buddy Rose setting his kilt on fire over in the Crow’s Nest. Well, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, FRANK. He has to leave the ring to go after Rose. That kilt is BLAZING. Meanwhile, the Sheepherders win the second fall somehow at 1:56 shown. The story you hear about this moment is that people watching at home called the fire department telling them that there’s a fire at the Portland Sports Arena not realizing that the show isn’t live anymore. The fire trucks then came to the arena only to find an empty building and no fire.

THIRD FALL: We’re JIP here as well. Piper is all over Butch here. Not sure where Stasiak is at. Piper ducks a double clothesline and dropkicks down the Sheepherders. Out goes Williams! As Piper continues to pound on Butch, Buddy Rose runs down and jumps Piper. Dutch Savage goes over to get Rose out of the ring, but Rose rakes him across the eyes. The Sheepherders attack Savage, but then Savage fights back and goes after Rose. We look over and Piper is now busted open like crazy. As Savage pulls Rose off Piper, Rose bails for the locker room and Piper chases after him. WHERE IS STASIAK? Never heard a bell, but Rose comes out after about two minutes into the third fall for the DQ. (8:53 total shown) This is some epic Portland stuff angle-wise – especially the kilt burning. That just turns this Piper-Rose feud up to eleven. *½

Piper will never catch Rose!! (Portland Wrestling, 12/1/79)

Frank Bonnema talks with Buddy Rose in between the first and second falls. Rose puts over how successful his army is here in Portland. He brings up the hair match stipulation again. Two people (Steve Pardee and Red Bastien) have answered the challenge and both of them have lost. He will wrestle anybody except for Roddy Piper. Why? HE HAS HIS REASONS. Anyways, the hair match challenge is back on, folks.

Nobody messes with Piper’s kilt!! (Portland Wrestling, 12/1/79)

A bloody and incensed Roddy Piper heads over to the Crow’s Nest to put over the seriousness of Buddy Rose burning his family kilt. Piper demands a match with Buddy Rose on Tuesday night. Well, here comes Don Owen to make the match. Owen says Rose refused to sign a contract with Piper, but he’ll have to sign for a match with Piper or be suspended. Now we’re getting somewhere. TUESDAY NIGHT. Ladies and gents, it will be Piper’s night.

Buddy Rose does whatever he wants!! ROUGH (Portland Wrestling, 12/1/79)

This clip is in bad shape, but the message is clear: Buddy Rose is going to keep taking things away from Roddy Piper until he leaves the area. NOBODY WILL STOP THE PLAYBOY! TUESDAY NIGHT WON’T BE ANY DIFFERENT, JACK.

Final Thoughts: Not a whole lot here match-wise, but the kilt angle was pretty cool and further pushes along the Piper-Rose feud. The interviews on this edition are what made it for me though. Just more excellent Roddy Piper material.

NEXT TIME: This will be the final volume of the 1977-79 Portland project. Yaqui Joe joins the ranks of Portland wrestling to take on that dastardly Buddy Rose in December 1979. Don’t know who Yaqui Joe is? Me neither! We’ll just have to find out together!


Posted on July 16, 2016, in Portland and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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