Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Sam Houston vs Johnny K9, 17 May 1987, Toronto (WWF)
The centerpiece of Houston vs K9 is a bear hug that stretches out excruciatingly for over a minute (with a short-lived escape as a kind of intermission). The hug is repaid with a clock-cleaning bulldog finisher. The match opens and closes with Sam kicking and scuffing, most impressively during his thumbs-in-beltloops entrance.
The year 1987 might have been the peak of my tall boy fixation--and I'm talking about dudes not brew. Houston was a part of that, but I saw him so rarely and so briefly on TV that he never played a large role in my fantasy life. But I did perk up every time he made an appearance and each time I made a mental note to follow his career more closely, but never got around to it. (For me, and a million others, he was overshadowed by his half-brother Jake "The Snake" Roberts.)
I picked his Toronto fight with Johnny K9 because it includes his flashy entrance and I like the closeup on the boots. But his match two years later against Barry Horowitz (in orange, another under-appreciated worker of the era) features more sweat and more suffering by Houston (in red). I'm not sure how accurate it would be to call Houston a jobber because even though he got kicked around a lot, an awful lot, he often came out on top (against Horowitz, again with a hard-blast bulldog).
Sam Houston vs Barry Horowitz, 29 January 1989, Los Angeles (WWF)