It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Yes, it’s Voices of Wrestling Secret Santa time again, everyone. The brainchild of JR Goldberg (@wrestlingbubble), VOW Secret Santa sees all participating website contributors give their fellow contributors, the greatest gift of all: wrestling matches!

VOW Secret Santa Archives:

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Buzz Sawyer
November 11, 1985
Mid-South Wrestling

Reviewed by Gerard Di Trolio (@GerardDiTrolio)

Gifted by Andy LaBarre (@trillyrobinson)

It’s a cliché now to say how radically different Hacksaw Jim Duggan is the first time you see him in Mid-South, if you originally knew him from his WWF or WCW runs, but the novelty never wears off for me.

Buzz Sawyer is someone I’ve heard plenty about, but really haven’t seen much of. The vast majority of the Mid-South I’ve watched was pre-1985. This match seems to be from a house show, as there was no commentary and different camera work than you’d see for a TV match. Sawyer took a huge tumble out of the ring early on and bladed in the opening minutes. Sawyer was great at bumping and selling in this. I was thinking that Duggan was taking too much of this match, but when Sawyer finally got on offense he was great. He was biting Duggan and the crowd was freaking out about it. Sawyer would be dominated some more by Duggan before leaving the ring to cause a countout. 

Sawyer then ran back to the ring and surprised Duggan and they would brawl some more, knocking over referees before they were finally separated by wrestlers coming from the back. The crowd didn’t like this and chanted bullshit when they were separated. Once each man finally made it to the back, they started brawling again there, which back then meant that this was a serious blood feud. Sawyer yelling, covered in blood DUGGAN! while sounding like he was crying was a nice touch. 

This was a good, but not great match. I’ve seen wilder brawls from the era. But what really made this was the feeling that Duggan and Sawyer really hated each other and the incredibly rowdy crowd that hung on every punch of Duggan and booed every cheap shot from Sawyer. ***½ 

This is my third VOW Secret Santa, and I’ve been god awful at choosing who gifted me, but this seems like a match in Liam Byrne’s wheelhouse.