Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Yakuza Rich, Aug 30, 2017.
Cornette and his tennis racket was a hoot, good times indeed.
never forget when the r n r exress came out dressed as mr.wrestling I and II...and beat the midnight express for the tag-titles.
Don't recall that lol, will have to look for video
I believe its on the Legends of Mid-South dvd set from a few yrs ago.
Even though I grew up in Syracuse and first started watching the WWF as it was transitioning from the WWWF as a child, I started to get into Georgia Championship Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling, Mid-South and the Crockett Promotions quickly.
The big reason?
The southern promotions were far better at producing cool babyfaces.
World Class was probably the exception as it followed more of the WWWF's route of the 'clean cut' babyface who was usually the champion with the Von Erich's. And Fritz used to annoy the hell out of me as well. But the Von Erich's had some coolness to them and since there was 3 of them (the main Von Erichs of Kerry, Kevin and David) they could create some unique booking of singles matches, tag matches or 6 man tag matches.
Meanwhile the cool babyface in the WWF was probably Mr. T. And he was being clearly outshined by the heel in Roddy Piper. Andre the Giant was cool as well.
Problem was that Andre was more or less a special attraction.
But as a kid, nobody was more cool than Magnum Terry Allen.
Yes, that passed for 'cool' back in 1985.
Not a lot is known about Magnum TA prior to his wrestling career. He was a college graduate and paid Buzz Sawyer to train him. Buzz being the wonderful human being that he was...took Magnum's money and skipped town from Florida and headed out to the Portland territory. Mangum followed and demanded that Sawyer train him. Sawyer was a lousy human being, but a fantastic wrestler and trainer.
Eventually, this led to Magnum going to Mid South where he had a memorable feud with Mr. Wrestling II:
But not only was Magnum cool, he started to develop into a helluva in-ring worker. This led to Magnum's greatest feud versus Nikita Koloff.
As an in-ring worker, Nikita was practically worthless. However, they created a best of 7 feud with each other and Magnum was not only putting on better matches with Nikita than Flair did, but they were legitimately quality matches that was virtually impossible to do with Nikita.
And that was leading to Magnum becoming the biggest babyface in the company, even over Dusty Rhodes and the RnR Express. And that was leading him to becoming the NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
Sadly, this happened:
And that ended Magnum's career.
But Magnum showed how being a successful babyface can work without being stale or corny. He showed that a little rebellion, strong independence and not trying to force people into liking you can go a long way.
loved Magnum TA.
my favorite match of his was the HISTORIC Steel Cage/I Quit match vs Tully Blanchard for the u.s. title.
I also loved it when he tag teamed with Dusty Rhodes.
This is interesting...
It lays out the NWA Champion's schedule the first part of 1983.
That schedule is brutal.
How anyone could do that for more than a few months... Wow!
I give guys that held the title for more than a year a ton of credit.
One other thing to keep in mind is that long matches were the norm for the champion. Prior to '84, "Two out of three falls" for the title were the norm with many matches ending at one fall apiece. After that they simply became one-hour draws. Flair had like 8 of these in a row with Ricky Morton.
The champion of the NWA had a very tough job.
Here's the results of Ric Flair's title defenses (as taken from another site) that correspond to the NWA schedule I posted earlier:
Here's Flair's known results from this period.
01/17 Wichita, KS Ric Flair vs. Harley Race
01/18 Joplin, MO Ric Flair double DQ Harley Race
01/19 Decatur, IL Ric Flair beat Harley Race by DQ
01/20 Kansas City, KS Ric Flair draw Bruiser Brody(60:00)
01/21 Chillicothe, MO Ric Flair vs. Buzz Tyler
01/22 Atlanta, GA(TV) Bruce Reed beat Ric Flair
01/23 Atlanta, GA Bruce Reed beat Ric Flair
01/24 Charleston, WV Ric Flair beat Bruce Reed by DQ
01/25 Canton, OH Ric Flair beat Paul Orndorff
01/26 Charlotte, NC(TV) Ric Flair beat Pat Rose
01/29 Columbus, OH Ric Flair beat Bruce Reed by DQ
02/02 Lawton, OK Ric Flair beat David Von Erich by DQ
02/03 Dayton, OH Ric Flair beat Paul Orndorff
02/04 Dallas, TX Ric Flair beat Terry Gordy
02/05 Seagoville, TX Ric Flair double DQ Kevin Von Erich
02/05 St. Louis, MO Ric Flair draw Bruiser Brody
02/06 Fayetteville, NC Ric Flair beat Ricky Steamboat
02/07 Greenville, SC Ric Flair beat Mike Rotundo
02/08 Columbia, SC Ric Flair beat Ricky Steamboat
02/09 Miami, FL Midnight Rider beat Ric Flair to win NWA World Title
02/09 Miami, FL NWA World Title was returned when Midnight Rider refused to unmask in accordance with NWA bi-laws
02/10 Norfolk, VA Ric Flair beat Ricky Steamboat
02/11 St. Louis, MO Ric Flair draw Bruiser Brody(60:00) in a 2 of 3 falls match
02/12 Sumter, SC Ric Flair beat Jimmy Valiant
02/12 Sarasota, FL Midnight Rider beat Ric Flair
02/13 Fort Myers, FL Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham
02/13 Orlando, FL Ric Flair double countout with Andre The Giant(24:00)
02/14 West Palm Beach, FL Ric Flair beat Barry Windham in a steel cage match
02/15 Tampa, FL Ric Flair beat Scott McGhee
02/17 Ocala, FL Ric Flair beat Barry Windham
02/18 Hollywood, FL Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham
02/19 Sarasota, FL Ric Flair vs. Midnight Rider
02/20 Greensboro, NC Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Ric Flair & Greg Valentine
02/20 Toronto, Ontario Ric Flair beat Terry Funk(17:28) via pinfall
02/24 Auckland, New Zealand Ric Flair beat Mark Lewin
02/25 New Plymouth, New Zealand Ric Flair vs. Mark Lewin
02/26 Christchurch, New Zealand Ric Flair vs. Mark Lewin
02/27 Dunedin, New Zealand Ric Flair beat Mark Lewin
02/27 Dunedin, New Zealand Ric Flair vs. Steve Rickard
02/28 Invercargill, New Zealand Ric Flair vs. Mark Lewin
03/03 Auckland, New Zealand Ric Flair beat Mark Lewin by DQ
03/04 Hamilton, New Zealand Ric Flair vs. Steve Rickard
03/05 Atlanta, GA(TV) Ric Flair beat Denny Brown
03/05 Birmingham, AL Ric Flair beat Jimmy Golden
03/06 Toronto, Ontario Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
03/09 Charlotte, NC(TV) Ric Flair beat Masa Fuchi
03/09 Charlotte, NC(TV) Ric Flair beat Ron Rossi
03/11 Hampton, VA Ric Flair beat Dory Funk, Jr.
03/12 Greensboro, NC Ric Flair draw Greg Valentine(60:00)
03/13 Pensacola, FL Ric Flair beat Ken Lucas by DQ
03/14 Birmingham, AL Ric Flair double DQ Mr. Olympia(Jerry Stubbs)
03/16 Mobile, AL Ric Flair no contest with Ron Fuller
03/17 Dayton, OH Ric Flair beat Paul Orndorff
03/18 Richmond, VA Ric Flair draw Greg Valentine
03/20 San Antonio, TX Ric Flair beat Kerry Von Erich by DQ in a steel cage match
03/21 Wichita, KS Ric Flair beat Harley Race
03/22 Topeka, KS Ric Flair vs. Manny Fernandez
03/24 Kansas City, KS Ric Flair beat Bruiser Brody by DQ
03/25 St. Louis, MO Ric Flair beat Kerry Von Erich in a 2 of 3 falls match
03/26 Iola, KS Ric Flair vs. Bob Brown
03/27 Toronto, Ontario Ric Flair beat Roddy Piper(19:26)
03/28 Fort Worth, TX Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts beat Ric Flair, King Kong Bundy & Great Kabuki with David Von Erich as special referee
04/01 Dallas, TX Ric Flair beat Kevin Von Erich by DQ
04/03 Atlanta, GA Ric Flair double DQ Tony Atlas
04/?? ??, Alabama Ric Flair beat Austin Idol
04/07 Huntington, WV Ric Flair beat Tony Atlas
04/08 Dayton, OH Tony Atlas beat Ric Flair
04/09 Cincinnati, OH Tommy Rich beat Ric Flair
04/10 Toronto, Ontario Ric Flair beat Roddy Piper(19:48) by DQ with Sandy Scott as special referee
04/10 Asheville, NC Ric Flair beat Greg Valentine by DQ
04/12 Tampa, FL Ric Flair double DQ Big Daddy
04/13 Miami, FL Ric Flair draw Barry Windham
04/16 St. Petersburg, FL Ric Flair beat Dusty Rhodes by DQ
04/17 Orlando, FL Ric Flair draw Barry Windham
04/19 Port of Spain, Trinidad Ric Flair vs. Victor Jovica
04/22 St. Louis, MO Ric Flair beat Jerry Blackwell
04/23 San Juan, Puerto Rico Ric Flair vs. Pedro Morales
04/24 Asheville, NC Ric Flair beat Greg Valentine
04/24 St. Louis, MO Ric Flair beat Jerry Blackwell
04/25 Greenville, SC Ric Flair beat Dick Slater by DQ
04/26 Columbia, SC Ric Flair double DQ Jimmy Valiant
04/27 Sumter, SC Ric Flair vs. Dick Slater
04/28 Norfolk, VA Ric Flair beat Dick Slater
04/29 St. Louis, MO Ric Flair beat Jerry Blackwell by countout
05/01 Atlanta, GA Tony Atlas beat Ric Flair by DQ
05/02 Beckley, WV Tony Atlas beat Ric Flair by DQ
05/03 Williamson, WV Ric Flair vs. Tommy Rich
05/04 Akron, OH Tony Atlas beat Ric Flair
05/05 Toledo, OH Tony Atlas beat Ric Flair
05/07 Atlanta, GA(TV) Ric Flair beat Mike Starbuck
05/07 Cincinnati, OH Ric Flair beat Tommy Rich by DQ
05/08 Centralia, WA Ric Flair beat Billy Jack Haynes by DQ
05/09 Longview, WA Ric Flair beat Buddy Rose by countout
05/10 Portland, OR Ric Flair draw Roddy Piper(60:00) in a 2 of 3 falls match
05/11 Seattle, WA Ric Flair beat Roddy Piper by reverse decision
05/12 Yakima, WA Ric Flair beat Billy Jack Haynes by DQ
05/12 Portland, OR Ric Flair beat Buddy Rose
05/13 Eugene, OR Ric Flair beat Billy Jack Haynes by DQ
05/14 Portland, OR Roddy Piper & Billy Jack Haynes beat Ric Flair & Rip Olive
midnight rider....aka Dusty Rhodes.
those matches bring back alot of memories.
what a great time.
always wished JYD woulda been NwA champ.
Im biased tho.
He didn't have offensive arsenal. The NWA board liked guys that could wrestle.
JYD was a power guy who could brawl. He wasn't someone who you would expect to go 60 minutes night after night with his limited mat skills. Plus I'm not sure how much he'd connect outside his area. I thought his WWF run was underwhelming.
he was my favorite as a kid....but now that Im older I see he was very limited.
but he was fun.
he had that "it factor" with the kids...no doubt.
He was "electric".
No doubt about it.
JYD was a horrendous worker in the ring. Terry Funk basically quit the WWF after working with him because he was so bad and stiff in the ring.
My wife and her mother sold Avon to Nikitia Koloff and his first wife before she passed away. They loved him say he was a great guy. My inlaws also lived beside Ric Flair in the 70's in an apartment building, they didn't care for him much.
My family was always into amateur wrestling. I started amateur wrestling when I was 5 years old and was pretty much horrible at it and quit by the time I was 11 years old. However, I always had an immense amount of respect for amateur wrestlers. There was always some talk of having ancestors that were involved with pro wrestling, but at the time we couldn't confirm it.
Coming from a large Irish family, we had a lot of uncles and cousins, aunts and nieces that had weird age gaps. For instance, my Uncle Jack is only 5 years older than my father. He's actually my dad's uncle, but they grew up together as kids and treat each other more like cousins. Uncle Jack was an amateur wrestling fanatic and a workout machine. His sons, Chris and Tim were considered my cousins...even though they were actually my dad's cousins. But, they both went on to win state HS championships in wrestling. And my dad's uncle Moe (who is of a normal age gap for an uncle) actually recorded the fastest pinfall in his high school's history. Although the funny story is that Moe told us that they both shot on each other at the same time, rammed heads and it knocked his opponent out and Moe was knocked silly and fell on top of his opponent and won in record time.
A few years ago my cousin Steve did research on our family tree and found that our great, great grandfather actually was a pro wrestler. In fact, he would often wrestle against a bear. But when it came to wrestling human opponents as a pro wrestler he participated in what's called 'Catch-As-Catch-Can' wrestling.
I had heard of Catch-as-Catch Can before, but didn't really know what it meant. In fact, legendary freestyle wrestler Dan Gable talks about how he was taught 'catch-as-catch-can' growing up in Waterloo, Iowa.
Wikipedia defines Catch Wrestling as:
Catch wrestling derives from a number of different styles, the English styles of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, Cornwall and Devon wrestling, Lancashire wrestling, Irish collar-and-elbow wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, styles of the Indian subcontinent such as Pehlwani, Jujutsu and Iranian styles such as Varzesh-e Pahlavani
While I had watched the Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask, I really didn't know what exactly I was seeing other than it was awesome. I mean..seriously...this work still more than holds up to this day.
And I had seen, IMO, arguably the greatest wrestler that most fans have never heard of in Marc 'Rollerball' Rocco. Again...a guy whose work still holds up to this day.
And of course, I was a big fan of watching Steve Regal and Fit Finlay.
Years later I found out that Tiger Mask (real name Satoru Sayama) was actually sent to England to learn the Catch Wrestling style. So was one of my favorite jr. heavyweight wrestlers, Jushin Thunder Lyger (Keichi Yamada).
And thru the advent of YouTube...I got to see old shows of what I believe is some of the best in-ring wrestling that has ever existed in the British TV show World of Sport.
What's awesome about watching World of Sport is that it really shows the origins of so many wrestling holds we take for granted in American Pro Wrestling and how they were effectively used. Top wristlocks, reverse wristlocks, hammerlocks, armbars, abdominal stretches, etc....moves that are considered 'rest holds' in the US are shown as effective holds in World of Sport.
So it requires some legitimate training and skill to perform those moves in the proper fashion. Combine that with how fast they move and according to former wrestlers and experts...they never rehearsed moves beforehand and rarely called spots in the ring. And they were able to make things look perfectly plausible while creating excitement.
In fact, a wrestler like Johnny Saint influenced some of the more well known wrestlers in recent years like Daniel Bryan and Colt Cabana.
Or one of my favorites, Crybaby Jim Breaks:
While New Japan is doing great right now, I have felt for a long time that a promotion that trained wrestlers in the Catch Wrestling, World of Sport style would probably be a promotion that could grow in the US if it was properly modernized and the promos were cut in more of a serious, athletic and competitive manner. It's good to see that pro wrestling is being revived in the UK and that some of Catch Wrestling is coming with it. When you look at Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid and seeing that it still holds up today...35 years later...and is actually better than most work you see today...catch wrestling is certainly worth bringing back into the fold.
In this thread I have discussed Jerry Lawler and Memphis wrestling a bit. A lot of people do not like Memphis wrestling. I always felt that fans either underrated it or overrated it. I was more into taking it for what it was...a very successful, small territory that lasted nearly 30 years under Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler that had some well done things and had some poorly done things. But in the end, I have to give credit to Lawler and Jarrett for keeping the territory alive for so long, even well after the WWF expansion.
And I can always appreciate the true 'worker.' A worker to me is a person that in the ring convinces the fans that they really hurt their opponent, but actually touched as light as a feather. And a worker doesn't do all of these rehearsed spots and instead has the ability to call the match in the ring and more importantly play the fans like a fiddle. Understanding when to call for a high spot to get the crowd into the action and when to slow things down and let the crowd catch their breath before they go into a rapid pace finish.
Other than that, I can appreciate great athletes in the ring that may actually be pretty stiff in the ring, but it just makes it more realistic and as long as nobody is getting injured, they can come back another day to work.
Do I think Lawler is the best worker ever as some highly respected personalities (Cornette and Raven) have claimed?
While Lawler was terrific in Memphis, his work didn't always translate elsewhere.
The problem with Lawler is that his mystique was so built up in Memphis from being the champion so many times that when he debuted elsewhere the fans would expect this incredible athlete to explain his success. He wasn't a big guy at all, but he didn't have the athleticism that translated to fans in other territories.
But here's where I give Lawler the most credit...
I don't think there was another wrestler with as many memorable feuds as Lawler.
Hogan's memorable feuds were really against Bockwinkle, Piper, Andre, Orndorff, Bundy and Savage. I won't throw Warrior in there since they really didn't feud (and I'm being generous in labeling his feud with Bundy as 'memorable')
Piper had Lonny Mayne, the Guerrero brothers, Greg Valentine, Buzz Sawyer, Hogan and Adonis.
Flair had Steamboat, Race, Dusty, Kerry Von Erich, Magnum TA, Nikita, Luger, Barry Windham, Savage and Vader. Sadly, after his feud with Vader Flair failed to have a memorable feud (though often times not his fault).
Bruno had Buddy Rogers, Kowalski, Blassie, Johnny Valentine, Ernie Ladd, Spiros Arion and Zbyzsko.
Dusty had Ron Bass, Gary Hart, Tully, Flair, Nikita, and Race.
Who did Lawler have great feuds with:
The Andy Kaufman on Letterman is so brilliant and it was largely done on the fly. Letterman (one of my favorite interviewers of all-time) tries to get Lawler and Kaufman to admit that wrestling is a work, but Lawler handles it perfectly. And Kaufman is clearly developing into the babyface in spite of the videos of him mocking Memphis.
The beauty is that Lawler doesn't go over the top in proclaiming that wrestling is 100% real. But, he poses it as a reason to why he is really mad at Kaufman. And then the slap happens and then the obscenities from Kaufman and now even the greatest skeptics do not know what to believe.
And that's how you draw money in pro wrestling.
These days fans are more knowledgeable and it's been beaten to death that wrestling is a work. But, when the fans start to believe that some parts of it may be real, the more they question the more it sells. And the same goes for the wrestler, the more they start to believe in the wrestler actually being the character they portray..the more it sells.
While Lawler didn't translate the greatest in other territories, he got the Memphis fans to believe in him and to believe in his feuds.
I mean...isn't that what wrestling is all about at it's very base? To create memorable feuds that sell tickets? Lawler may not have sold the most tickets, but he also didn't have the marketing machine behind him like Hogan and Flair did. But what Lawler did do is he consistently brought forth memorable, money making feuds and did it more often than anyone. And it should be recognized whether we like him or not (and I don't like Lawler as a person).
Sting v Ric Flair was fun...I thought any way.