LordsofPain.net is proud to present the Columns Forum Columnist of the Month for April 2015- Mr. Chop. Chop is not your ordinary columnist. He's irreverent, off the wall, and probably a little disturbed (which I mean in the kindest way possible). He's been working on a series in the CF breaking down every wrestler ever to be a Horsemen. Here's the latest entry; enjoy!
April 2015 CotM: The 16 Horsemen- Tully Blanchard Meets Hard Times (Mr. Chop)
By Mr. Chop
May 25, 2015 - 11:49:02 AM
Hello, Main Page People!
I'm right excited to be here and no mistake, not least because I didn't have to beg Danno for the spot this time. He's a good lad but easily tricked! No, this time I'm here to discuss my favourite thing in the history of wrestling!
I love The Horsemen and no mistake. However, I don't love all the Horsemen, so I devised this series to discuss why I love the ones I love, why I hate the ones I hate and why I have no real opinion on Mongo. Does anyone?
This is actually the fourth in the series, having already discussed Arn, Roma and Ole I find myself here discussing the next one with all y'all. The basic premise is thus; I have decided there are Sixteen men that can be considered “official” Horsemen;
Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, Tully Blanchard, James J. Dillon, Lex Luger, Barry Windham, Sting, Sid Vicious, Paul Roma, Brian Pillman, Chris Benoit, Steve "Mongo" McMichael, Jeff Jarrett, Curt Hennig and Dean Malenko.
I select a match or promo (sometimes at random, other times on recommendation) featuring each of them and discuss it here. Then decide what that says about that particular performer and his role within the group. See, easy! I knew you guys would get it.
Enough of this preamble, this set-up, this time-fillery! Whatcha gonna talk about, Chop Brother!!? (Who let the Hulkster in my Horseman column? You are not welcome here, sir!). It's a good question though, Hulkster, who's next? (Goldberg's here now?) Answer the question, idiot!!
I find Tully to be a curious figure in Horseman history. He's not often discussed in the same way as the other original members. Flair and Arn getting all the heavy press for good reasons, while Ole and Dillon held wily veteran roles in the group. It seems many view Tully as kind of a lesser Flair, which is to the man a great disservice. As you can see, I am a Tully fan. I don't want to get into to much detail as to why as I prefer to hold such discussions until after we've looked at the match/promo. Much journalistic!
So, Mr. Chop, what are we watching today?
First Blood Match for the TV Title
Tully Blanchard vs. Dusty Rhodes
I know, it's exciting! If you care to watch along with me you can find it on the Horsemen DVD or on The Network. Or you can probably steal it online, what am I, your Mother?
We start the match with Dusty just chilling in the corner. Meanwhile, Tully has a sweet robe and JJ Dillon with him. It's a great contrast between the two, Tully the fussy heel and Dusty the everyday fella just waiting it out. The announcer begin and quite clearly has a little wrestle-crush on Dusty, who has “Tully” written over his ear. Why? Because he's The Dream and he can do anything he wants?
Over in baddytown, Blanchard is putting on some kind of head-gear, a sorta amateur wrestling thing, which the referee (Hebner!!) is having none of! JJ, not one to be deterred begins to....grease up Tully. Applying it liberally to his forehead, I assume to ward off any bleeding. Hebner, being the greatest referee in history (yeah, that's right) says fun you, funboy! Then towels it off.
James Jeremiah Dillon then does the smartest thing he can think of, gets right in Dustys face. As you can imagine, it goes great. Really excellent. Or he gets elbowed in the noggin', prompting Dust to do that strut that he do so well, if you weeeeel. Will you?
JJ collapse like he's been shot, Ziggler ain't got nothing on this hambag!! Dusty notices this tomfoolery and stomps Dillon just to make his point really clear. That's how you Babyface in NWA Country! All the complaining I hear about mean-spirited, bullying babies these days? Dusty assaults, bloodies up then further assaults a middle-aged, non-wrestler and IT. IS. AWESOME!!!
Oh yeah, JJ is bleeding. This is Wrestling, in the South, in the Eighties. Everyone's bleeding. Half the crowd bladed when they bought their tickets. The other half when the show started, try eating popcorn at a Starrcade. It's disgusting. Know why? IT'S MADE OF BLOOD!!!! Salty.
Tully is so upset by all this, another example of the genuine family feel of old-school Horsemen that I've discussed in previous columns. JJ was forever getting his ass kicked and it made the rest of them furious!
Finally the bell rings....
Yeah, that was all pre-match. Five minutes of action and we're just getting started! To celebrate the start of the match Tully leaves the ring to towel some of the blood off Dillon. Clearly he's to upset to compete. Yup, leaves the ring when the match starts because he graduated from Heel University (GO WEASELS!!) with a Degree in Snide-anomics!
He's so mad at Big Dusty!!
Tullys back in the ring as JJ wanders about confused. Tully lunge kicks at Dusty! Who moves fast, too fast for a big mother like him. This crowd is losing its mind and, I cannot stress this hard enough, the two combatants have not touched each other yet!
Dusty really has the struttiest strut in Struttown, U-S-STRUT!! That sentence doesn't work, we're leaving it there though.....
Now Tully wants a test of strength so The Dream (Americas) kicks him in the knee because everyone really is a bit heel in the South. Tully falls down and rolls (ROLLS!) away, like a massive big scaredey! The crowd continues freaking out at this one kick that has happened! You know how many flippity-dippities that takes now!? Unless you're in the Impact Zone, then everything gets a “This is Awesome” chant! For any TNA readers you should substitute Impact Zone for NXT's Full Sail. If you're a fan of both of them then perhaps stop reading and go outside in the sun for a bit.
Collar and elbow tie-up into the corner, The Blanch throws a punch that Dusty blocks, Tully scampers again. Dusty struts some more and wanders over to the other corner. Then, oh my, very camply waves Tully away like “I'm tho ovah you, Baybay! If ya wont wrethle meh ahl jutht thrutt for these peeeeeeple. JUMP ON IT!!!” I haven't done it justice but it's a thing of beauty. It's a serious punk-card being thrown down......
And it works! Tully is funking furious, charges at The Dust Daddy who shows him the elbow! The same elbow that cracked open Dillon, It's like a thing. Like a story. Like they're telling a story. Cause and effect. Like a psychological thing. You guys get it. You guys know wrestling like I know Casino Heists. Long story.
Actually I'm just gonna watch that whole sequence, from the campery onwards.
Heeheee. Heee! Ooooooh! Heee! Oh, he got you, Tul..OH! Heehee! JUMP ON IT!!
I'm back. What you guys been up to? Never mind, we don't have time! Tully backs Dusty into the corner again who slips out, grabs The Horseman raises the elbow and Tully freaks out! Collar and elbow once more, Tully trips the big man and tries to drop the punch but Dust slips it again! How is that chunky monkey such a quickie mickey!!? Tully runs clear out of the ring again! I will always love a good heel runaway, with an almost childish glee I will love it forever. However, this match is rolling, wallowing in repetition. The charisma of the two, Dusty especially, keeps you engaged but stripping it down to it's base parts, what have you left? Eighties wrestling. This is where “five moves of doom” style conversations don't interest me. You can do the same move a thousand times if you're interesting enough.
Just as I write that, we're back to the tie-up, but it's shook up a little with a Big Head Butt from the Big Man with the Big Butt!! Blanchard collapses and Dusty looks staggered, lovely touch with the referee checking for blood but not obtrusively (cough Mike Chioda COUGH), just enough to add some danger to the moment. Making it seem like any head hit could end this, adding a tension to events that you don't have in modern wrestling where you're waiting for some crazed chair shot or other.
Dusty starts stomping Tullys leg because he wants to make me look stupid after my last paragraph. I just made a whole thing about tension and head shots, you bam! You can't make him bleed like that, you idiot! Charismatic, beloved idiot! Tully helps me out by collapsing to his knees and practically forcing Duthty to elbow his brainbox! Dust magic obliges and it's......
Tullys back up and walks into..A CHOP!! and some sweet Dust Baby jiving before elbowing his leg twice then tries to lay some punches into the Blanchamaniacs head! Tully, wily little fart that he is, does the roll away run away one more time. JJ looks terrible, just hanging at ringside bleeding all over his absurdly expensive suit. For shame, Rhodes! How much did The Horsemen spend on dry cleaning? Must have been insane, so much blood, booze and other fluids!
Back in the ring the two weary fighters circle each other. Dusty calm and waiting, Tully with angry, pinched features – waiting for an opening. Which he finds by kneeing the voluminous gut of The Dream, throwing him to the ground, elbowing him then trying to rip his American face off!
Dusty has no time for this foolishness so he flips the wee get off him and stomps on his face! Somehow making it both cool and viscous at the same time! I've never seen the likes! Who else can you think off could do that? I didn't even know a stomp could be charismatic!
Tully tries to shake it off, admirably, so Dusty just axe handles him in the mush! How's ya fayth now!? You gotta tho-aah fayth baybay!! What now?!
Tully refuses to bleed from all this mush-smashing and gets a blootered into the turnbuckle for it! Rhodes isn't watching for Dillon though, who trips the charismatic fatty, who falls on Hebner (the most fragile referee in the business)! JJ throws his shoe (Everybody at once...WHO THROWS A SHOE! Yeah, now we're bonding) to Blanchard who looks to smash it but Dusty catches him like an unruly toddler and suplexes him into the rising Hebner. Hahahha! Heebs, you clumsy goon!!
Now The Rhodes Warrior has the shoe but he throws it away because turnabout is not fair play! Despite what WWE commentators have tried to tell you! ELBOW TO TULLY!!! Then bunches of punches! Piunchpunchpunchpunchpunchpunch! That's how it goes! Loads is what I'm getting at!
BLANCHARD IS BLEEDING!!!
But the comically fragile Hebner, future mastermind behind the Montreal Screwjob, is still out. So Dillon, saucy old goat that he be, is towelling off Tully, applying Vaseline to stop the bleeding! He also hands him, what is that brass knucks? Dusty misses all this because he's telling the crowd about the blood. Also because goodies are always a bit stupid. Even the awesome ones.
Tullys up and throws a beast of a hay-maker! Dusty falls hard, like an overfed redwood! Coins go everywhere, it was a roll of coins Tully had, or Dusty is a slot machine and we've never known until now. The ref wakes up because referees always instinctively know when the face is ready to lose!
Hilariously, Rhodes is practically helping Hebner up while his face is drenched in blood! Remember what I said about stupid goodies! Hebner sees the blood pouring down Dustys face!
And that's the bell!
Dusty is beside himself and Tully is the TV Champion! The crowd is un-ruddy-impressed! The American Dream is ready to go nightmare on Hebner but he should know by now, The Horsemen always get their way.
So what do we think about Tully now?
I called him a wee fart during the match. That's actually a line from Ricky Steamboat on The Horseman DVD (he actually said “little fart” but I Scottished it up a bit). I thought it was the perfect description of the man, that annoying wee guy that starts fights then his mates steam in, I think we all have known someone like that. If you didn't, then you are that guy.
More importantly, he's in there with Dusty God Damn Rhodes! The biggest face in the NWA, and he looks like he belongs. As I said before, Tully is often dismissed as a lesser Flair but on this showing and so many others, he shows all the skills necessary to get huge crowds against him. Some call this stuff cheap heat, the running away, the manager, the shenanigans at the start, I call that great heel work. Kevin Owens power-bombs people into the ring apron and it's badass as all giddy-up but the ten seconds where he runs out of the ring at the start of a match tell me far more about his character. Snide and cowardice are inherently hateable qualities and Tully shows stuff like that in every action. He wants to inflict pain but he doesn't want to be hurt. In contrast to someone like Arn or Ole who don't seem to care about getting hurt, they just want a fight, or Flair who wants to embarrass his opponents and begs when he's outmatched. Tully wants to kick you when you're down, poke you in the eye when you're distracted....or make you bleed when the referee is out cold.
Tully is a multi-time Champion, he's a snide, he's cocky and he's one of the original Horseman.
More than all that, he was a crucial ingredient of The Horseman formula. People can argue over the Windham or Ole versions regarding which was better, but neither worked without Tully.
What say you reader? Thoughts on Tully? Favourite Horseman? Worst Horseman?