A couple days ago, I blogged about a classic Bob Backlund match filmed at the Philly Spectrum in 1980. That video was actually part of a series of four YouTube uploads from this same event.
The fourth video in the series featured two musclemen named Rick (McGraw & Martel) in hot Tag Team action.
These stocky studs were not an established Tag Team — they’d pair up randomly when two evil Heels were needed to beat up the White Meat Baby Team of the month. So I appreciate that they bothered to wear matching trunks.
With their ethnic names and thick/hairy bodies, Estrada and Rodz present the perfect contrast to the cute, innocent, white American lads. The commentators play up the danger that these aggressive minority studs represent, referring to them as “criminals” (kind of racist, but it makes the point that the Muscle-Ricks are in trouble.)
At 7:16 into the video, Johnny Rodz inflicts one of my favorite Irish Whip variations: the big Knee Driver into the victim’s gut as he rebounds off the ropes. The tide now turns and Martel is at the Green Team’s mercy.
It is rare to see Rick Martel as Face in Peril for even a minute. Usually he’d leave that role to his partner.
If you’re unfamiliar with Johnny Rodz, he was a Heel jobber but full of talent. He was a Boss in the ring, utterly owning his prey, confident and powerful. I love watching him at work on a popular white hero. He looked so thick and weighty and dominant, mmm! What an under-rated talent! Here he gives Pretty-Boy Martel another of those Knee Gutters that I love so much.
“Quick Draw” Rick McGraw tags in at 10:42 into the video. So his partner, Rick Martel. suffered for a little over 3 minutes which is a long time for him.
Jobber McGraw here is the real Face-in-Peril for his team. He will now endure nasty torture and illegal punishment all the way until 19:52 — over 9 glorious minutes of old-school, boner-inducing Muscle Jobber suffering and cruel Two-on-One ignore-the-referee punishment. Rodz and Estrada are Master Craftsmen at Tag Team torture, I must say!
McGraw was a swole little fireplug, yet he rarely won a match. Because he was build so sturdy and compact, the Heels all felt free to really rough him up.
For example, at 12:00 into the video, the Green Team traps him in their corner to illegally strangle him with the tag rope! Hello, boner.
One of the commentators for this match — I think his name is Kal Rudman — becomes very worked up and excited during this strangulation scene, and his comments are glorious. His heated excitement is contagious and arousing, I need to find more matches being called by Kal Rudman and just record the audio as pornography.
The captions under the images in this article which are in quotes are actual Kal Rudman statements uttered during this video.
Meanwhile across the ring, we see the buff Rick Martel yearning to get involved but restrained by the ropes. He obediently grabs the tag rope which tethers him to his corner. This is where he will spend most of his career, except for the few minutes each night after he makes the Hot Tag and storms into the ring to win the match.
As a Good Guy, Martel is not permitted to enter the ring until after he is tagged, no matter how blatantly the “criminals” on the other team break the rules and strangulate his partner.
The kinky torture scene continues as Rodz presses McGraw back into the corner like a Boss, and now Estrada gets his jollies from wrapping the tag rope around the jobber’s throat.
Kal Rudman blows a gasket — “Oh, I can’t even LOOK at this! They’re RUINING him!” Oh Kal, you silver tongued freak, please don’t stop.
With McGraw restrained and gasping for air in Heel Corner Hell, now is a good time to stop this episode and leave you in suspense over what happens to our jacked and helpless Muscle-Rick. Will he escape this perilous situation? Will he tag his awesome partner? (who never finds himself in degrading situations like this…) We will pick up the story in a few days — stay tuned, wrestling fans!