Thursday, December 21, 2006

Favorite Matches- Candi Devine Vs Sherry Martel

I was channel surfing one evening in 1985 or 1986 when I stumbled across a ladies wrestling match in progress. Even today, it's not easy to find good women's pro matches. Back then it was even harder. This one had an attractive tall blond in a nice black suit and another tall dark haired woman in a red suit. The AWA champion, Candi Devine vs challenger Sherry Martel. I'd never heard those names before and have not forgotten them since. 20 years later I still remember that evening.

I've discussed this match earlier on this blog, but I feel as if it deserves it own posting because of its significance in my Superheroine/Lady Wrestling fantasy world.

I missed the first 8 or so minutes but quickly got the trusty old VCR running. What followed was, in theory, the very essence of my wrestling fantasy. The challenger, Sherry Martel, in what appeared to be a stunning upset, defeated Candi Devine for the AWA women's championship. Not only did she defeat her, she beat her in the middle of the ring as a result of jumping off of the third rope and landing on the champ. Ok, so she didn't really land on her. As I mentioned in a previous posting, Martel blew the move big time. It wasn't perfect, but hey, it's about as close as they ever came.

The match was a basic back and forth affair and the champ seemed to be in control. In fact, the announcer, Lee Marshall declared at some point that the champ was in total control. That's where I came in. So, having never heard of these women before and hearing the announcer say those words, Candi Devine had immediately become a "prototype." The kind of wrestler that I view as undefeatable. The kind I long to see get handily defeated once her invincibility has been established.

After raking the champ across the eyes, the challenger took control and began what I like to think of as the perfect funnel process. You steadily work over the champ, weakening her to the point where you can pull off a major impact move and then defeat her. I don't remember the exact sequence of events but it involved your basic kind of moves. A punch, a boot to the head, and a whole host of other offensive wrestling moves. Then it got turned up a notch. A suplex, a body slam and a clothes line and before you know it, the Lady's champion of the world was on her back in the middle of the ring looking weak, vulnerable and disoriented. The added bonus of Lee Marshall describing the bad condition of the champ only added to this wonderful scene.
Sherry Martel climbs up to the third rope, leaps off, lands (sort of ) on the champ and pins her for the title. The stunned champ remains on her back, seemingly unable to comprehend or accept being defeated in this manner. This was MAGIC! The cornerstone of one of my most basic women's wrestling scenarios. Again, far from perfectly executed but one of the best of all time. Candi Devine played it so well, and the way she was on her back, in trouble, rocking back and forth, trying to get her wits about her while Sherry Martel was climbing to the third rope- that was classic!

To this day, this match remains one of my all time favorites.

Once again, a wrestling or superheroine scenario came very close to being the way I really like it. I still dream that one day I'll be able to recreate this scenario as well and make it perfect. I'd also like to add onto it a bit. I'd have the champ just BARELY kick out after the splash from the third rope, only to have Martel punish her some more, suplex her again, take her out with a piledriver or bulldog, leap off of the third rope again and pin her.

As fate would have it, years later in the LPWA, there where two matches where Bambi actually defeated Candi Devine after knocking her out both times with a bull dog! The only thing is that this match didn't have the "funnel process" beating, the suplex, and Candi's suit wasn't nearly as hot. I guess you really can't have everything!

1 comment:

GMan2 said...

Oh boy...I remember that match. I remember so much having that "high school" kid crush on Candi Devine as well. A knock out beautiful blond that you just wished you could have taken to the prom.

AWA matches back in those days were so hard to see. Thankfully cable television was born. I'm talking the days when the channel selector wasn't a wireless remote. It was a dial. Talk about ancient technology. Anyway...Saturday nights...and TBS, Ted Turners Superstation...Ahhh...what a saving grace. Southwest Wrestling, Georgia Championship Wrestling, Florida....opened up whole new markets of wrestling. WWWF was about the only thing viewable prior to that. The good ol' days.

But what a match...Thanks for bringing back those memories Joniar!

Check out the website I have. Would love to see you there posting more of your memories! :D