One more day in tribute to Rollerball Rocco.
Rollerball Rocco vs. The Dynamite Kid
Round one: “This is going to be a humdinger!”, opines Kent Walton. Kid is back on a flying visit, having found fame abroad. Rocco very subtly turns his back on the handshake at the beginning of the match. Lockup and wristlock to start, quiet-ish crowd, but people already telling Dyno to “Break it off!”. Headscissors into the ropes. Armbar from Rocco, hooking the left leg with the right leg. Smooth mat work, but Rocco cheap shots Dyno with a knee getting up to heat it up. Dyno uses his gymnastic to escape a hold and uses a fireman’s carry to dump Rocco. Rocco keeps it up with the rough tactics, putting the boots in whenever he can. Pinfall combinations attempted off a hip toss and roll up, then a fade out edit to the end of the round.
Round two: Kent talks about how Dyno is based out of Calgary but is between tours of Japan, planning to face Antonio Inoki on his return, even referencing the Ali fight. Dyno dominates with a flapjack and a Muta-esque elbow. Rocco escapes to the outside and comes back in with a cheap shot, followed by a stiff elbow and a double axehandle off the top. Talking about the Bill Watts approach to banning moves off the top, Rocco had the audience trained that if he went to the top it was trouble. Dyno comes back with quick shot and a back body drop. Forearms to ground him, and Rocco sells it like he’s been hit with a hook in a boxing match. Walks it off to buy time and gets his cheap shots in to regain control. Kent talks about Max Ward is letting a lot go. Back to the top for a double sledge again, finally getting his first public warning. Snapmare and stiff fistdrop to the face. Dyno takes an amazing flip bump in one spot off a back drop. Gets his comeback and Irish whips Rocco in for a Ray Stevens bump. Dyno is bleeding pretty heavily off a headbutt, Kent surmises. If he bladed I’d be amazed because I couldn’t see him doing it.
Round three: No falls so far. Immediate boot to Dyno’s gut. Side backbreaker. Rocco goes for another and Dyno flips out of it, gets his own, falling headbutt, and folds Rocco up with a German suplex, covering with a lateral press for the first fall. However, Ward is increasingly concerned about the cut and deems him unable to continue, which is a bullshit finish, but I can see why they went for it, to give Dyno the visitor a victory but saving face for Rocco. The crowd goes mad by stomping the floor. Dyno gets on the mic and says he’s not done. Obviously was a planned blood finish, but done very professionally, much like the Bret/Piper blade job.
Rollerball Rocco vs. The Jamaica Kid
Back to Satellite Wrestling, Vince Miller does a pre-match interview with Rocco. Rocco is back from Tokyo, wearing a headband gifted to him from Inoki, which he says read banzai, meaning divine wind, although that’s actually kamikaze, which is more fitting. Vince talks about how he’s been talking to Rocco’s dad, Jumping Jim Hussey, and how they talked about how Rocco is too rough and wondered if his dad has been talking to him about mending his way. Rocco says he hasn’t listened to him since he was 16 and he’s doing alright. Is he as good as his father? He’s better! Excellent interview from Rocco.
To the match. The Jamaica Kid is Jamaica George or Cool Cat Jackson. Imagine if SD Jones had been working out for three weeks straight and worked off the bulk. Fit Finlay’s dad Billy Finlay is the referee. Kid dominates with headbutts, but gets his leg banged against the apron. Totally misses a dropkick and Rocco gets his somersault senton. Rocco predicted he’d beat the Kid in five rounds, but no rounds to his match. Rocco ties Kid in the ropes and tries to remove the turnbuckle padding. Rams him headfirst twice into the exposed turnbuckle, but Kid shrugs it off and Rocco starts running!
Back in, Kid with another headbutt or two. He certainly goes for what works for him, if nothing else. Runs off to the opposite rope but gets caught with a clothesline. Throws him onto the stage but fluffs a leap out. They brawl over by one of the tables and use a chair. The amateurish camera work creates a good sense of mayhem. Rocco gets whipped back into the ring. Two dropkicks. A folding body press gives the Kid the first fall. Imagine a very low impact powerbomb.
Next fall, Rocco gains the advantage with cheap shots and a vicious kneedrop “right against the goitre”, says Max Beesley. Sets him up for a Samoan drop and then clotheslines him on the top rope. Fairly traditional falling piledriver and stomps. Public warning. Jamaica Kid comes back with, you guessed it, headbutts. Fluffs another dropkick and gets caught with a clothesline. Don Muraco piledriver from Rocco for the knockout, which wins the match for him (even if you have a fall against you, a knockout can give you the win in spite of that). Rocco’s fan club swarms in to congratulate him, which is an interesting case of acknowledging a heel has gained popularity. Very WWF-style match, English rounds system aside. The Jamaica Kid would’ve been in that opening match spot as a babyface that wasn’t successful but knew how to get the crowd buzzing.
Over to the interview area, Vince Miller and Max Beesley are with a local musician I couldn’t catch the name of. “NB” Beesley runs off as soon as he sees Rocco coming. “I’ve got no time for nancy boys in a pink bow-tie poncing about!”, says Rocco. Rocco then tells off the musician, breaks his LP’s, then pushes him out of the interview area.
Vince: “I thought you said there was gonna be no more violence, Mark, after this sixty day ban!”
Rocco: “I’m a violent man, what can I tell you? Tell Nancy Boy Beesley next time I see him I’m gonna hit him with the glove on, knock all his front teeth out!”
Sounds fair to me!
Rollerball Rocco and Rocky Moran vs. Johnny Saint and Mal Sanders
Rollerball we know, Johnny Saint hopefully people know, even if through NXT UK. Mal Sanders was often a heel as “Superstar” Mal Sanders, but a good guy here. He looks a bit like Alan Funk if he’d never heard the word steroids. Rocky Moran is a friend of Fit Finlay and looks like a proper hard bastard, the type who would bite your face off if you interrupted him during a pint and not even have his blood pressure rise.
The announcers are ranting about Rocco before the match has even started. Rocco attacks Saint, throws him out, slams him against the wall, then climbs some scaffolding to try and drop an elbow, unsuccessfully. Saint slams him on a table, which looked nasty! Saint is already bleeding.
Back in, Saint monkey flips Rocco all the way across the ring then back drops him across the ring too. Moran and Sanders come in, Moran grinds Sanders’ head into the corner. Miller calls him the original Belfast Bruiser. Sanders is garroted in the heel corner. They then whip into the exposed turnbuckle and double up for an axehandle off the top, earning a public warning. Rocco misses a kneedrop and gets a back elbow. The announcers giggle to themselves like girls about Rocco getting a kicking. Rocco gets a side backbreaker to come back. Not mad on how he delivers it, it’s the Jos LeDuc way where he doesn’t drop to one knee like Bret Hart did. Rocco smuggles the bell in, which is the type with a handle that you’d shake, and hits Sanders in the lower back with it.
Rocky Moran continues the roughness and gets his first public warning as a woman from the front row comes up to shake her fist about the heels cheating. Moran takes advantage of the injured lower back, hooks in the Boston crab, assisted from the outside by Rocco, and gets the first fall via submission. Heel tag team clinic so far, keeping Sanders in and beating on him. The crowd will explode when Saint finally gets in.
Rocco drops an elbow on Sanders between falls to bring more people up to the crowd to complain. Match resumes with Moran and Sanders in. Rocco in, misses an elbow, Saint comes in, remarkably calm, works through his Saint special with Rocco, gets a pinfall attempt broken up by a double sledge off the top from Moran. Rocco is bleeding and takes a powder. Back in, he eats a dropkick as Vince advertises selling the tapes on VHS or Betamax. Moran in, almost gets pinned with a flying bodypress. He’s bleeding too, just to not feel left out, I guess. Moran elbows Saint down but gets dropkicked. Sanders back in, big flying fistdrop to Moran. Tries for a pin off a slam, Rocco accidentally splashes Moran off the top while trying to break it up. Sanders pancakes Moran and pins him with a flying bodypress for the equalising fall.
Next fall, Saint comes in, evades Moran, gets an inverted atomic drop. Rocco tags in but gets tied in the ropes. The babyfaces uses Moran as a battering ram on him. Rocco gets a kidney punch and slams Saint. The heels expose the turnbuckle again and get an over-the-shoulder backbreaker but Saint escapes. Moran is actually having to put the boots to some fans trying to attack him. Saint tries a Kane-like flying clothesline but misses. Rocco gets his tombstone and a flying elbow off the top, then a suplex finishes. Rocco and Moran were an awesome heel team and this was a great tag team match, running about fifteen minutes. Rocco rants in the interview area to Vince Miller. No fear about the blood, his opponents will bleed more than him. Mal comes over to carry on the fight, but Max and Brian Dixon pull him off. “Mal, at the end of the night, it’s wrestling”, rationalises Vince Miller. Rocco then gives Max a kicking again to finish off.
It’s been so much fun watching these Rocco matches back, and I’ll carry on with looking at some more British wrestling in the future.