Tuesday, September 6, 2016

WWE Hidden Gems - Gagne- Metrics and The Last Battle of Atlanta

The Hidden Gems collection is up, and brings a lot of interesting stuff - and the two biggest things for me are Gagne-Metrics and the Last Battle of Atlanta. The Metrics thing was shown in clipped form on the AWA DVD, and seemed fascinating - not really good, but an interesting bit of insight into a time when Verne Gagne was one of the biggest TV stars in the world. The Last Battle of Atlanta has been covered by Karl Stern and Bruce Mitchell in-depth, and is historical in nature. I've also had a few magazines that covered it and it seems incredible.
 Verne says that you can feel better in just 10 seconds a day - how? ISOMETRICS. Or Gagnemetrics! Verne says it would be just swell if folks did stretching exercises, but they're fatiguing and you won't sweat. Verne says they're for everyone and they'll lean you out - but not give you giant, bulging muscles. Verne talks about how important it is to tighten up those buttocks and he presses up against a doorway for 10 seconds. He breathes deeply and does knee bends against the doorway. For his final exercise, he lifts against a railing for 10 seconds. This was an amusing little time capsule - although WWE opting to skip to the next thing by putting the core content in a tiny thumbnail bugs me since it's nearly impossible to get a good shot of the VERNE GAGNE FOUNDATION FOR PHYSICAL FITNESS logo without recording it and snapshotting it.

Gagne-Metrics Gallery -

Onto the Last Battle of Atlanta - from October 23, 1983. It's presented here without commentary and with a little graphic detailing the history of this ceiling-using cage match and it inspiring Hell in a Cell. They tieup to start and break off so Buzz can test the ceiling out. They fight on the apron, but Rich misses a backhand and slams his wrist into the cage. Buzz stomps away and kicks him down. Buzz works on the arm before slamming Rich into the cage to draw blood. Tommy was a free-bleeder and is in white and yellow gear - so it already shows up perfectly on him.

Buzz talks shit and pokes the eyes before choking him against the cage. Tommy fires back with punches and lands a kneedrop before tossing him into the cage. Buzz fires back off his knees with strikes to the gut and jaw. Buzz punches him, but eats a piledriver that gets a 7 count. Rich misses a knee that gets 4, but lands some punches. Buzz hits a slow and kind of scary piledriver since Tommy's arms aren't in position.

A wide shot reveals "Precious" Paul Ellering in his shark cage and yellow and white tie-dye gear. Buzz slugs away taking Rich down for a 5 count. Buzz simply missing an elbow drop gets a huge pop - one nice thing about the lack of commentary is that like with PWG doing the same thing, you get a better sense for how it was in the building. BACK AND FORTH KNEELING PUNCHES! Crowd is losing their shit! Tommy takes him down and goes to climb up the ceiling, but knows it can't hold him, so he just falls down with a fistdrop that misses. Buzz ties him up in the ropes, but takes a while - so this isn't going well for him. He misses a crossbody into the cage and is then tossed into the cage face-first for a 4 count. Tommy covers for 2 - so it's either last man standing, or unseen ref pinfall rules here.

The medium blue canvas in covered in blood and Tommy is stumbling around. Sawyer is sent into the cage once again for a three count after a cover. The referee calls in help because both men are unable to get up on their own. Over the house mic, fans are told to stand back  Rich wins, so Paul must face Ole Anderson. Paul consoles Buzz before Ole comes in and just beats the shit out of him with punches. This is all punch and kick, but the punches and kicks look excellent and are varied. Bonus points for Ole's pants getting torn because hey, it's a fight! Elbow off the second rope gets 2. He stomps away and tosses him into the cage.

Ole eats an inverted atomic drop and sells it perfectly - like his spine has been jolted. A fan yells 'LET'S GO OLE!" and Paul hits a sloppy gutbuster. Ole eats the cage and then lands a shot - but an eye poke ends that, resulting in a louder 'LET'S GO OLE!" yell. Ole is choked against the ropes, leading to a crowd-wide "OLE!" chant. Paul goes for a piledriver, but Ole slowly blocks it to a huge reaction. Paul slams him into the cage, but misses a legdrop. They go back and forth with punches, which Ole wins out on and wins this match too. The crowd goes nuts and the fans are thanked for coming. Anderson wins, but eats a beating with a belt and punches from someone who isn't named. This was incredible and well-worth watching.

Screenshots -

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