Portland Wrestling: 1980 (VOLUME 3)
The current Portland wrestling champions are as follows as of 3/1/1980:
NWA World Champion: Harley Race (11/7/1979)
PNW Heavyweight Champion: Buddy Rose (2/9/1980)
PNW Tag Team Champions: The Sheepherders (11/9/1979)
Your host is Frank Bonnema.
For some reason, this was cut from the Piper/Williams match video, but it’s the pre-match stuff from the next match. Something about the way Roddy Piper carries himself makes him look like he’s about to break through the glass ceiling. Buddy Rose complains that everybody who has signs will need them taken away before his match with Frank Dusek. Don Owen tells Rose and Butch Miller that they will be handcuffed to the ringpost to prevent shenanigans to help out Williams in this hair match.
- Hair Match: Roddy Piper vs. Luke Williams – (Portland Wrestling, 3/1/80)
This head of security guy is named Al. He’s balding, fat, and smoking a cigar. Hilarious. This is the first recorded hair match for Piper. It’s a fast-paced little brawl here. Crowd is MOLTEN hot. They keep playing around in the corner where Butch Miller and Buddy Rose are handcuffed so they can interfere. Luke misses a flying splash and Piper gets two. Sandy Barr takes a crossbody block from Piper by mistake. Oh boy. A chair gets tossed in the ring, but Piper dropkicks the chair back in Luke’s face. Sandy Barr is knocked all the way to the floor and when he’s helped up, Barr counts the pinfall from the other side of the ring to give Piper the win. (4:44) Stan Stasiak, Frank Dusek, King Parsons, and Mike Hennessey all help hold Williams in the chair to get his head shaved. Now Luke is starting to look more like a Bushwhacker. **
Over to the Crow’s Nest, Butch Miller is inconsolable about his partner losing his hair. Buddy Rose tells him all the chances the Rose Army will have to take out Roddy Piper. They have some matches coming up where Piper will be teaming with Andre the Giant where the Rose Army will be successful.
- 2/3 Falls: The Sheepherders vs. Roddy Piper & Rick Martel – (Portland Wrestling, 3/15/80)
FIRST FALL: It would seem the Sheepherders are on the ropes right now with the tag team of Rick Martel and Roddy Piper. Ref Sandy Barr makes sure Buddy Rose leaves the ringside area. Martel is making his return here after being hurt by the Rose Army. Since neither Sheepherder wants anything to do with an angry Martel, Piper tries to corner Luke so that Martel can get some measure of revenge. As soon as Luke saw Martel coming, he runs out of the ring. They go through this routine again. Piper gets stuck on the Sheepherders side of town and Butch starts yanking on his hair. Awesome. Back to Luke, he’s got Piper in a chinlock. Butch enters the ring to set up a false tag spot to Martel. All kinds of hairpulling ensues on Piper. He picks up Luke out of a front headlock and hot tags Martel. He beats up Luke in a corner. Luke reverses a whip and Martel hits the crossbody out of the corner for the three-count to win the first fall at 5:50.
SECOND FALL: Martel and Piper hammer on and jerk Luke’s arm to start. Interesting that they are using Buddy Rose’s strategy on the Sheepherders. They do the fake tag bit behind the ref’s back. Bonnema is real bent out of shape over it. Not. I don’t have an issue with babyfaces doing that when they are clearly already in control of the match. Martel really has a great armdrag. We’re just waiting for Piper or Martel to make a mistake. They just keep working over that left arm. Ahh, here it is. Behind the ref’s back, Luke jabs Martel in the throat. Butch tries a piledriver on Martel and fails. Martel does a great job with some short hope spots. He leapfrogs over a backdrop attempt and dropkicks Butch down. Luke cuts off the tag though. He does the same leapfrog spot to Luke and makes the tag to Piper. He unloads on both Sheepherders, but eventually gets pulled into the wrong corner. Piper gets pulled in from the apron over the top rope by Luke while Butch lowers the boom on Piper from the top rope! Cover by Butch, he gets the three-count at 11:07 to split up the falls.
THIRD FALL: The Sheepherders continue punishing Piper for about a minute until Martel gets a hot tag. The match breaks down and Martel puts Butch in the SLEEPERHOLD. Next thing we know, Buddy Rose hits the ring and gets rid of Martel. (12:27 total) He grabs Piper as Butch now has a pair of scissors to cut on Piper’s hair! Martel jumps back in the ring just in time to stop Butch. He grabs Butch and lets Piper cut on his hair instead! The fight continues until some of the local babyfaces outnumber the Rose Army. Good, not a great match. Some of the psychology with the hair was pretty cool. **½
More from 3/15/80. Now Butch wants Don Owen to make Roddy Piper wrestle him in a hair match and Buddy Rose wants to be the special referee. In order to be remain fair, Don Owen makes the match. Piper doesn’t think that’s very fair since the Sheepherders were the one who instigated this whole thing. He agrees to the match, but will have Rick Martel as a referee as well. Don Owen says he’ll also make sure Luke Williams is handcuffed back in the locker room. BUTCH CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS ONE. For the record, Piper beats Butch and he also gets his head shaved. Now they can both look more like the Bushwhackers.
- 2/3 Falls: Buddy Rose vs. Steve Pardee – (Portland Wrestling, 4/5/80)
FIRST FALL: By the way, Buddy Rose is no longer the PNW heavyweight champ at this point. He lost the belt to Rick Martel on March 22. Pardee has got his hair grown back now. He’s got that 1980 “perms for men” thing going on. Looks like we’re JIP here. Rose counters a headlock with a back suplex and beats up Pardee some more. A giant backdrop leads to the BILLY ROBINSON BACKBREAKER to give Rose the win at 2:43 shown.
SECOND FALL: Rose busts open Pardee here. It’s actually a pretty nasty blade job. Rose doesn’t stop beating on the cut despite Sandy Barr’s instruction and gets DQ’ed. (4:43 shown) Buddy Rose returns and beats up Pardee some more. Awesome heel stuff here.
Over in the Crow’s Nest, Roddy Piper appears cutting a great promo on Buddy Rose for beating up this young kid Steve Pardee way past what is acceptable in wrestling. He and Rose will be wrestling on Tuesday night April 15. Piper says he’ll leave Portland if he loses, but he’s got a special referee for the match: Red Bastien. Oh, and it’s also a hair match. Piper says Portland has done a lot for him and now it’s time he does something for Portland. Good stuff.
- 2/3 Falls: Buddy Rose vs. Rick Martel – (Portland Wrestling, 4/26/80)
FIRST FALL: While this is a non-title bout, Rick Martel is in fact the PNW heavyweight champ. He’s also one half of the tag champs with Roddy Piper. Rose lost his hair to Roddy Piper on April 15 and he’s now wearing a mask with a white blonde wig sowed to it – because NO ONE will ever see him bald. He spends the first minute or so stalling out on the floor. When they do lock up, Martel flips backwards over a hammerlock and O’Connor rolls Martel for two. Back to the floor for Rose. In the ring, they do a criss-cross and Rose delivers a drop toehold and pulls back on the leg. Crowd wants Rick. You got Rick. He’s in the ring, folks. Martel breaks loose momentarily, but Rose hammers on the knee and applies an Indian Deathlock. When Martel gives him a fit, Rose transitions to a spinning toehold. Rose takes Martel to school, but drops down and misses a second time. Deciding to capitalize, Martel hits an atomic drop using his bad knee! Rose recovers first and posts the leg. Oh boy. Back inside, Rose delivers a shinbreaker and applies a half crab for the submission at 12:28.
SECOND FALL: Martel limps back to the ring because he refuses to lose the match by injury. Rose shows no mercy on Martel and goes back to the leg. He even reapplies the half crab, but Martel is in the ropes. He posts the knee again, but Martel stops him from doing it a third time and runs Buddy’s face into the post. Martel could have taken the fall by countout, but instead he runs Rose back first into the post to make it more difficult to return to the ring. When Rose stands up, Martel hammers on the small of the back and sends him into the post a second time. Good grief. Martel refuses to let Rose lose by countout and tosses him back in the ring. He delivers elbow drop after elbow drop to the back. He rains down blows upon his back too. BOSTON CRAB to Rose! He’s nowhere near the ropes and must submit at 18:23 total.
THIRD FALL: Martel continues where he left off punishing the back. A backbreaker and a back suplex connects. He just gives no quarter here. Rose tries to slam Martel, but can’t. Martel however has no problem slamming the guy. Abdominal stretch is applied, but Rose flips him over using his hair. Martel goes for the mask, but Rose finds the sanctuary of the ropes. It doesn’t seem to matter because Martel is DETERMINED to pull it off. When he’s successful, the Sheepherders are right there to cover his head with a towel. The camera “just misses the moment” to keep everyone in suspense on what Rose looks like bald. They take Rose back to the locker room and Martel wins the third fall by countout holding the mask in his hand. (22:33 total) Look at all the ladies flocking to Martel on his way back to the dressing room! Great selling, great psychology, and common sense offense by these two guys. Just like this series has made me a fan of Buddy Rose, I’m becoming a fan of babyface Rick Martel as well. ****¼
Final Thoughts: Another fine edition of Portland wrestling. You got great promos, great heat, and a fantastic main event here. Hard to believe I’m already through the month of April with this footage. Next time we visit Portland, we’ll enter May 1980 with rematches with the PNW titles on the line! The Sheepherders square off against the tag champs Roddy Piper and Rick Martel while Buddy Rose gets another shot at the PNW heavyweight champ Rick Martel! It should be another classic.