Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Yakuza Rich, Aug 30, 2017.
never mind...just found it.
it was humongus.
Probably the most unheralded star of our generation will be Dusty Rhodes. Dusty had a bit of a weird fall from grace in that he didn't do anything terribly wrong and didn't have the scandals that Hogan and Flair had...but, people forget just how over Dusty was as a wrestler.
And personally, I wasn't a fan of Dusty...but as I got older I started to appreciate his ability as a wrestler. And for my money, in his prime he was the greatest booker of wrestling. But the pendulum swung back to the other side for Dusty as a booker. Unlike Hogan and Flair who really never had major booking authority, that served to make Dusty an outcast for a period of time. Including him being a wrestler without a promotion and eventually starting up Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling which was the best promotion you probably had never heard of. He eventually became the guy that booked NXT and taught HHH how to book and promote NXT and given how the state of the WWE is and Vince McMahon's age...if wrestling is going to get back to being awesome again it will be done thru HHH not having to be handcuffed by Vince anymore. And that my end up being the greatest part of Dusty's legacy...teaching HHH how book a promotion.
But as a wrestler, Dusty was mega-over before Flair and Hogan were. And you could make the argument that if there was no Dusty, then there would be no Hogan. But, let's start off in Dusty's early days as a heel...where he and Dick Murdoch were the Texas Outlaws...two big heels that bumped their arses off.
The beautiful thing about Dusty the wrestler is that he was great at changing his persona. I always thought Madonna was very smart about this as her persona would change over time and it kept her fresh and her fans interested in her. I think Dusty was the Madonna of pro wrestlers in that sense. He was such a fresh personality early in his career that it was hard for fans to not like him.
But as the times changed, so did Dusty. As he became more about the everyday man.
What was neat about this change was that Dusty dressed like the everyday man, but would still flash the rolex. It was a sign that Flair and the Horsemen weren't out of his league...but Dusty wore jeans and cowboy boots because he wanted to.
But, make no mistake about it...I don't think Dusty was a great worker. I think Flair and Harley were clearly better. His wrestling style was very close to Hogan's although Dusty was better at 'keeping up' with the younger wrestlers than Hogan was. He just wasn't on the level in the ring of a Flair, Race, Michaels, Bret Hart, etc.
However, what Dusty was great at...and IMO may have been the best ever is at wrestling 'main event style.'
Levy steps on many key points, but I think he misses out on when the main event actually happens, it's very slow and methodical in the beginning. The idea is to build up the tension in the match. And a lot of wrestlers assume what you see out of '5 star matches' translates to main event style, but it really doesn't. Main event style isn't so much about getting the crowd to pop or even 'tearing down the house'...it's about making the match seem huge, using that heat to make the most out of the action in the ring and keeping the heat on the winner and the loser of the match after the match is over.
As Kevin Sullivan says...a booker's job is to book the match, book the finish and book the re-match. But, the wrestlers also play a part when it comes to main event style.
And Dusty was as good as anybody I've ever seen working main event style.
Combine that with his ability to talk people into the building...even if I didn't like a lot of his in-ring work...he was an incredible wrestler that was a massive draw for years.
Great post on "The Dream" Rich.
Only quibbles I have is referring to him as "unheralded"... That I don't see/hear, but a minor point.
And we discussed his booking before... For me it was a mixed bag of brilliance combined with "too much Dusty" and the god-awful number of "Dusty finishes" he used.
As an all-around performer he was top notch. Could bump, could sell, mic work was impeccable.
I think of him being 'unheralded' in the sense that Dusty didn't get the movies or reality TV shows like Hogan got or the documentary on his life like Ric Flair got.
And when people think of wrestlers in terms of popularity, they usually go with Hogan, Austin, Rock and Flair. And I think from a pro wrestling popularity standpoint, you could make a case for Dusty being more popular than The Rock and certainly make one for him over Flair.
I think it's because he career as a active wrestler ended so much sooner than the guys you mention. Plus it was a rather sorry end with what Vince put him through.
Could it have been Waylon Mercy that Ross was talking about??? Mercy had something like that.
Along the lines of cool babyfaces that never got stale under Dusty Rhodes’ booking was the most talented of them all in Barry Windham.
Barry had IT ALL.
He had the size, the look, the offense in the ring, he could bump like the dickens, cut a good promo and could sell extremely well for such a big guy. He was an effective heel, but really a much better babyface. And I honestly believe it’s more difficult to get the fans to like you than it is to get them to hate you. Once you get the fans to like you the work is easier, but getting them to like you is such an incredibly difficult task.
Windham was the son of Blackjack Mulligan. I was never a big fan of Mulligan, particularly for some of the shenanigans he pulled outside the ring. But, he was a top draw mainly due to his massive size. Barry wasn’t as big as his dad and he didn’t have the bodybuilder’s physique, but when he walked in the room you saw a pro wrestler because he was a hoss.
However, he moved around the ring more like a man that was 6-feet tall. He could bump around, do a lot of fun, creative moves and sell like a prince. He was pro wrestling’s equivalent of Mario Lemieux…doing things that no man that tall and big should be able to do.
When Flair quit the NWA/WCW, he said he would only drop the belt to Barry because he had so much respect for him in the ring and it was time for Barry to win the title. Unfortunately, Jim Herd didn’t get it and let Flair walk with the belt.
I was always a big fan of Barry’s impaler DDT. There was one time he hit it on Steamboat on the floor and it looked like he really spiked Steamboat’s skull into the concrete:
It’s too bad because Barry should have won the title, particularly well before Flair was leaving to go to the WWF. He kinda got squeezed out because the Crockett promotion/WCW became more concerned with pushing Flair, Nikita, Dusty, RnR Express, Magnum TA and Luger…all the while they had a perfectly legitimate and very over face in Barry. Magnum had the career ending car accident and Luger just couldn’t quite get over with fans (I often refer to Roman Reigns as the Lex Luger of today).
The only thing good about Barry not becoming the champ is that his heel turn with the Horsemen was incredible.
I’m here to tell you that Barry’s heel turn was the most shocking heel turn I had ever witnessed. More shocking than Andre’s heel turn, Hogan’s heel turn, Ole’s heel turn, etc. Now, some of those turns were greater on different level, but pure shock…I always go with Barry’s.
But after 1990, Barry’s knees were shot. He wasn’t a workout warrior to begin with and when he started to work for the WWF he looked noticeably slower and just unmotivated. It was funny how I would tell my friends from around 1995-2000 how incredible of a worker Barry was and so many of them didn’t believe me. He had changed that much for the worse in just 5 years. Eventually he did help Dusty out with Dusty’s Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling and Barry came out rejuvenated and started to look more like the Barry of old and my friends couldn’t believe how good he was.
He will always remain in my top-5 favorite wrestlers of all time.
Big fan of Barry...
Rich you hit all the spots when it comes to covering the guy and his career.
I think he's a guy who if he was a little more dedicated to the business (he wasn't and that's OK too) he would have been one of the all-time greats.
He left a lot on the pro wrestling table.
Yeah Barry's father BlackJack Mulligan went down a path after he retired that simply wasn't good.
But as a career I'd rate his above Barry's.
BJM truly loved the business. I don't think Barry ever had that much passion for it.
Barry did get married to a woman who came from a very wealthy family and he no longer had to work being married to her. Given how the business and marriage don't go together, I can see why he decided to get away from the business.
Even though he was a little before my time, the wrestler that drew the most people into wrestling IMO was...
Growing up as an Irish kid in a mostly Italian neighborhood, Bruno Sammartino was seen as a hero, even though he was a pro wrestler. Bruno was born in Italy and contracted sickly diseases as he and his family hid from the **** soldiers in WWII. After the war the family moved to Italy and Bruno became a fitness and weight lifting fanatic who broke several weight lifting records.
This made him a god in the Italian community as he showed the world that an Italian man could do great things and be the symbol of integrity and strength. It also made the rest of the country holding Bruno in high regard due to his character.
I've never seen a wrestler that brought so many fans into wrestling and when he fully retired, many of those fans retired with him. Even after he had retired and was making WWF appearances as a commentator, people still talked about Bruno.
The story goes that the WWWF, under Vince McMahon, Sr. ran a monthly show out of Madison Square Garden and that if the show did not sell out, it would put McMahon, Sr. in quite a bind financially. That wasn't a problem with Bruno as he sold that monthly show out for 12 straight years. I can't remember Hulk Hogan's sell out streak at MSG, but if I recall it was about 1/3rd of Bruno's.
The knock against Bruno was his in-ring work, but I actually always found it to be very good and very underrated. He didn't have the greatest moveset, but he understood the psychology and had a goodebb and flow to his matches. He just didn't seem to have a really bad match. While he wasn't exactly the Dynamite Kid in the ring, he always did a good job of avoiding stinkers in the ring:
But my favorite feud with Bruno is one of my favorites of all time versus Larry Zbyzsko.
What's great about it is that it is so well done and while Zbyzsko came up with the idea to turn on Bruno, Bruno essentially directed the entire feud.
Because nobody knew how to work the NY crowd like Bruno did.
So when I hear fans or wrestlers criticize Bruno...they really don't understand what they were talking about. He sold out MSG for TWELVE YEARS. He also sold out the Boston Garden for over a decade...and the Maple Leaf Garden...and the Nassau Colisseum...and Pittsburgh...and the Philadelphia Spectrum. You cannot be anything short of great to do it for as long and as consistently as Bruno did.
I figured I would do this post now as this will be my last actual post (I will respond to posts) in this thread as I have quit the NFL and by proxy I have quit the CowboysZone. This has nothing to do with CZ, the forum or even the Cowboys. It’s the direction that the NFL has taken and I simply no longer wish to have any support or any affiliation whatsoever with the league.
I knew this particular wrestler was a fan favorite, but in my experience of writing threads like this and writing in general it’s best to save these things for later. I’ve had a really good time writing this thread and hopefully exposing wrestling fans to talent that they are unfamiliar with.
On a side note, what I have seen out of modern wrestling lately is somewhat positive. I think New Japan is really stepping up their game and creating a product that has rejuvenated the interest of fans from Japan, but also created an interest with the US fans. It’s neat to see an non-Asian wrestler in Kenny Omega really become the ‘Ace’ of a Japanese company. I don’t think his matches he’s putting on are worth 6 stars or whatever Meltzer is writing about (I’ve known Meltzer on a somewhat personal level for over 20 years and love the guy). But, they are certainly worth 5 stars, especially his matches against Okada.
But the better news is that the indy wrestling scene really seems to be thriving, but in a unique format compared to previous decades. Indy promotions no longer have the goal of becoming the next ECW. They just want to run shows about once a month and be financially solvent. And the response has been great. There are still wrestling fans out there and they are not happy with the WWE product. And this has allowed wrestlers to make a living off pro wrestling. In fact, I think it’s getting to the point where, for many wrestlers…the WWE is no longer their ‘dream destination’ as a promotion to work for. There’s WrestleMania, but nothing much else is that appealing about the WWE as a product right now.
This has allowed more pro wrestlers to have the true freedom of being a legitimate independent contractor instead of being tethered to one company like the WWE. And that leads us to the truest of independent contractors, Bruiser Brody.
Bruiser Brody was born Frank Goodish in Pittsburgh, PA. His family had worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania and moved to Detroit when Frank was young so they could go from the coal mines to the auto industry. Frank was a star football and basketball player at Warren High School. Brody eventually played football at the famous, West Texas State University and was drafted by the Washington Redskins. Brody was a bit of a surprise cut by the Redskins as he had remarkable size and athleticism, but was so raw in his football skills that the coaching staff didn’t think he could make it in the league.
Brody was then looking to become a sportswriter as he had a degree in Journalism from West Texas State. But while at West Texas State he met all of the other staple of future pro wrestlers in Tully Blanchard, Bobby Duncum, Sr., Manny Fernandez, Terry Funk, Tito Santana, Ted Dibiase, Barry Windham, etc. and fell in love with pro wrestling and decided to become a pro wrestler.
Defining the ‘greatest pro wrestler of all time’ is always an exercise in futility because there are so many standards that could apply and so many different styles, cultures and numerous other factors.
One could say that Hulk Hogan was the greatest because he drew the most. Of course, that doesn’t consider the drawing power of Rikidozan in Japan or Santo in Mexico or the amount of merchandise sold, ratings and PPV buyrates that Steve Austin had during his prime years.
You could go into the ‘best all around performer’ and come up with a Ric Flair. But, that’s entirely subjective with really no objective standards to speak of.
You could use in-ring performance, but again…that’s another subjective measure.
That’s why I can make an argument for Brody. He was a tremendous draw in Japan, Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, New York and Chicago. He wasn’t a technical wrestler, but unlike Flair he could adapt to the Japanese style and was essentially a brawler that could effectively work well in any territory. And as far as his promos go, he was one of the very best.
Bruiser Brody, at his core, represented the talents that pro wrestlers have. And it’s something that young wrestlers could greatly benefit from watching. They don’t have to be 6’8” tall and 320 pounds and using a brawling style. That was Bruiser’s character. But at his core, he knew the fundamentals of being a pro wrestler and what has worked for decades and will continue to work.
Brody knew how to get over. How to be unique instead of being middle of the road. When you’re middle of the road, people have no interest in buying a ticket to watch you wrestle. When you’re middle of the road, people have no interest in watching you on TV. When you’re middle of the road, people have no interest in buying your merchandise.
Whether it was the long hair or shouting ‘huss!’ or the sheepskin boots, just like Eddie Gilbert doing a simple forward roll instead of ducking clotheslines or Randy Savage’s voice or Freddie Blassie sharpening his teeth like fangs or the Great Muta’s mist…uniqueness works well in wrestling.
Of course, uniqueness only goes so far. The fans have to believe in the wrestler. It’s as old as pro wrestling is…when the fans start to believe more and more…the more money it sells. The fans really believed that Bruiser Brody was as wild as he appeared on TV. And they believed that this Wildman was really destroying his opponent. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1975 or 2025 or if it is in Tokyo, San Juan, London, New York, St. Louis, LA or Memphis…believability draws. The fans try to meet the wrestler at some point by suspending their disbelief…but it’s the wrestler’s job to do everything they can to get the fans to minimize the amount they have to suspend their disbelief.
That means keeping kayfabe instead of showing the world on Twitter that you and your opponent are actually friends in real life. It also means keeping a healthy distance from the ‘marks’ because the closer you are to the fans, the less of a mystique the wrestler has. And mystique sells. It’s basically in the word ‘mystique:”
1. a fascinating aura of mystery, awe, and power surrounding someone or something
Fascination means people will pay money to see it. And Bruiser displayed that as well as anybody.
But Brody was also smart enough to realize that it’s easy to get stale in pro wrestling. And that what may work in Texas may not work in Florida and that may not work in Chicago.
Instead of completely changing his gimmick, Brody took the smarter tact of keeping the same base to his personality and ‘gimmick’, but altering it just enough to play to different crowds and to keep his personality fresh.
I mean, here we see somewhat articulate Brody cutting a rpomo:
And here we saw flat-out scary and insane Brody.
And that was Brody’s true legacy. He embodied that skillset and talent needed to be a great pro wrestler and that’s an skillset and talent that is uncommon to any type of entertainment. And that’s why I loved pro wrestling…it was unto itself. It was unique and there was no one type of person that could do it. We’ve seen incredible athletes fail badly at pro wrestling. We’ve seen impressive physical specimens get rejected by pro wrestling fans and we’ve seen great entertainers in other forms of entertainment struggle badly.
Brody was the quintessence of a pro wrestler and he happened to be 6’8” and 300+ pounds, strong as an ox with great agility and long curly hair. Long live the true hardcore wrestlers!
Hate to see you go, YR. However I can see why you and many others are doing the same. Thanks for what you've added to the board. This has to be tearing you up inside.
Thanks for the kind words. I view the NFL now as a bad habit, like smoking. So in part, my feelings are not so much that it is tearing me up inside as much as I feel this is a liberating experience because I'm not longer participating in something that has continued to disgust me over the recent years. Not allowing the Veteran's Ad where they would pay for the advertisement just reconfirmed that this is a good idea for me.
And this isn't just about the protests. I would say 95% of the time, I tend to agree with the players over the owners. This is just that one instance where I wholeheartedly disagree with the players and for the league to reprimand Jerry for stating that any player that protests will not play is despicable. But there are other things like the EE suspension which was a power play...that if you look back really started about 14 years ago. The game is unrecognizable in terms of knowing the rules, the way the league destroyed evidence in SpyGate, hiring Blandino, etc.
It's not about whether the league cares or not if I'm gone. It's about my voice as a former fan and showing the world that I am unafraid to stop supporting and participating in something that I greatly enjoyed.
The NFL at one point had something similar to pro wrestling....it was unto itself. It combined the highest level of training, schematics, game management, coaching development and even economics that you just don't see in other professional sports. But with this buffoon in charge, it's like Jim Herd being in charge of a pro wrestling promotion.
Mark my words, I do believe there will be a huge scandal involving the league office in our lifetime. Something that either occurs with Goodell in office or he had something to do with it. I'm thinking something along the lines of a Penn State/Michigan State level in terms of seriousness and major league coverup. Goodell is one of those people you work with...and we all have worked with them....that is wholly incompetent. But, he has that one skill...and it may be the most important skill to have...and that is he is adept at convincing the right people that not only should he have his job, but he should be paid more for it.
He's gotten away with a lot of foul ups because of his power and sometimes due to luck. He is going to mistakenly think he can always get away with doing dirt and can figure out a way to cover it up and get out of it. Sooner or later that will catch up to him.
There were some other wrestlers and people in wrestling I wanted to talk about that I didn't because they don't have the YouTube videos.
Shane Douglas - I wanted to go into how despite his personality as the guy that blames everybody else...he actually has a point. And how the WWF really missed the boat on him and his critics can say what they want, but after he left the WWF and feuded with the Pitbulls, he was the hottest heel in the business and was putting up legendary promos and had the in-ring work to match.
Matt Borne - I don't think the Doink gimmick was a good gimmick even though it gets praise today. In a time where people were turned off to the WWF's cartoon atmosphere, putting a guy in a clown outfit didn't help. Borne just played the character as well as you could hope for and was an incredible in-ring worker. I wanted to show more of his stuff in Mid-South and Portland as well as some Doink in the ring stuff to show that even in a cartoon atmosphere, you could still have a great workrate. I also really dug his short time stint in ECW.
The Sandman - One of my guilty pleasures. But, I saw the Sandman wrestle when he was younger and he could actually work in the ring. He wasn't exactly Billy Robinson in the ring, but he really was pretty solid. But for a brawler he understood the ebb and flow of match psychology and was a pretty darn good promo. In fact, when he went to WCW there was one big Hardcore match where the fans were chanting his WCW name, quite clearly, 'Hak!', 'Hak!' I couldn't find that video. But the point was that the Sandman did find a way to get over in WCW...unfortunately they didn't put him over and he lost any momentum.
Adrian Adonis - I was always a big fan of Adrian as I saw him prior to his Adorable Adrian days. This guy could flat out work and could do it anywhere, including in Japan. I wanted to show more of him in the East West Connection with Jesse Ventura and the North/South Connection with Dick Murdoch. He was also a much better promo than I remembered. In fact, he was quite excellent as a promo. I always dug his match versus Piper in WM3 as they really got the crowd into the action, the ebb and flow was beautiful and I don't think either Adrian or Piper took 1 back bump the entire match.
Dick Murdoch - I wanted to show more of his promos and key matches. Problem with Murdoch was not only finding the videos, but a lot of the time he had no interest in making the match completely serious. He didn't expose the business, but he liked to mess around in the ring. His Japan work was quite good though and he was an incredibly talented wrestler.
Paul Heyman's booking - I wanted to go into some of the finer points of Heyman's booking instead of the females, gratuitous violence and some of the shock television. I really wanted to show videos on the entire Public Enemy vs. Benoit/Malenko vs. Sabu/Taz feud where he turned TPE into full fledged faces. Or how he got Tommy Dreamer over as a face in ECW and beautifully set up the 'I Quit' re-match which booked into Dreamer vs. Cairo feud which booked into the Sandman's retirement at November 2 Remember and then booked into extending the feud between Dreamer vs. the Sandman. How he orchestrated the Taz vs. Sabu feud (problem was when they finally faced each other, neither guy could work main event style). Or how he rejuvenated Smackdown which overtook Raw in the ratings (Bruce Prichard can say what he wants, but the change in Smackdown booking had Heyman's fingerprints all over it).
Rip Oliver - a really talented wrestler that ran thru the Portland territory with great match after great match and truly great heel promos. That's the thing about being a heel...you're not supposed to be the cool guy that beats up on the babyface. You're supposed to be the guy that the fans believe have no redeemable qualities. Rip knew how to do that.
Len Denton - He was such a great worker that he was on top at Mid South at the age of 21 years old and was only 5'10" tall. Bill Watts thought so highly of his in ring work that he couldn't deny him that spot. And then he was fantastic in Portland where he really gelled there. Lots of in ring work stuff that is not on video of him.
Bill Dundee - He is arguably Jerry Lawler's greatest opponent. When you first watch him in the ring it's not overly impressive and you think that he would be considered 'good' because he's in Memphis where the work wasn't always that great to watch. However, there's a match with him versus Dangerous Danny Davis (not the WWF Danny Davis) that is along the lines of what Malenko vs. Guerrero were doing...well before Malenko and Guerrero. And Bill was up there in age. He also had a unique personality and was the man responsible for booking the RnR Express vs. the Midnight Express.
Bob Sweetan - another guy that wasn't prolific, but a darn good worker with an awesome piledriver and that he could effecitvely play both the heel and babyface. Severely underrated as a talent, he just didn't have a great look.
Paul Orndorff - He just looked like a wrestler. And he really had a much greater moveset than I originally thought. There was some stuff from Memphis I wanted to show on him as well as more of his moveset. He could have been an incredible wrestler in All Japan.
I hear you. I don't want to derail this thread as it has some great "rasslin'" info.
Just a shame that both my favorite sports, NFL and NASCAR, have major chinks in their armor. Both sports have the wrong person running the show and both are seeing the effects year after year.
Be that as it may, hope you find something else to be passionate about. It would take me a long, long time to discard my love and passion for the Cowboys and the NFL. As you said, probably will be like trying to quit smoking after 40 years of lighting up day after day.
Jim Cornette's recent thoughts on booking Rhonda Rousey really shows why having TV writers write a wrestling show is often a bad idea. I can't post the YouTube video here because Jim uses some foul language, but it goes into the psyche of somebody that was deeply involved in the pro wrestling business that is adept at pro wrestling booking and that is a clear contrast from how a TV writer would book it.
TV writers are too focused on personalities and characters and have little time to understand the nuts and bolts of what a wrestler entails and how the act of winning versus losing and how you win and how you lose can create that character.
Even Jake Roberts...one of the greatest promos of all time and very much a character that you could see written out the latest Netflix series...would discuss intently that he has a wrestling maneuver that will stop any man...the DDT:
Although I disagree with Cornette that Stephanie McMahon is a 'good promo'...she's merely adequate and comfortable on the mic, but is a ratings repellent when she's on TV.
But, the premise of his booking is still clear...
...make Rhonda Rousey as awesome as she was before she lost to Holly Holm.
And she was awesome because of her athleticism, ability to dominate and how she would intimidate opponents in the ring. That got people interested in Rhonda and THAT is when more of her character was exposed to the world as the 'cool chick' who had a unique upbringing and overcame many obstacles and was an extremely grounded individual that didn't take no guff from anybody.
The TV writers often put the cart before the horse and think they have to develop a character right away instead of revealing the wrestler right away and then getting into the character.
Great post Rich!
As you know I'm a huge Brody mark.
I've got him up above Flair... And I never got to see that much of him as compared to other wrestlers. He was in the WWWF before I started watching it every week in the late 70's. He never worked in the Mid-Atlantic area or in the Toronto area.
Did catch him in Georgia a few times, in the AWA and World Class when they were on ESPN.
Just as you said, Brody made you believe he was a uncontrollable lunatic in the ring.
But he was a lunatic who could actually wrestle. He didn't do a lot of mat wrestling but he could when the match relied upon it. He had enough offense to be interesting and he added extra "flash" to things basic wrestling maneuvers like the bodyslam, the knee drop and the pile driver. You would swear that when he ran across the ring, jumped up in the air and landed the big knee, that he just about killed his opponent.
On top of that Brody looked like a "pro wrestler". The guy was massive.
But he was a very agile big-man who delivered one of the best dropkicks in the business.
Together with Stan Hansen (who I consider one of the best workers in the business) they formed what I consider the best tag-team ever.
After the character of Bruiser Brody was created, they truly broke the mold.
I think Adonis is one of the great underrated wrestlers of all time (Bob Orton Jr is another).
Murdoch could have been NWA champ but the somewhat nonserious tone he took in the ring at times pissed off Harley Race, and if you pissed off Harley Race you weren't going to get to carry the belt.
Bob Orton, Jr. was excellent. A lot of people rave about Randy Orton. Randy always looked a little mechanical out there and there was something that he was just missing for me that I never went bonkers about. I think that Randy's praise comes from how good of a hand his father was. I can't remember the PPV, I think it was GAB and they asked Gary Hart for some help booking it and Hart went right to Bob Orton, Jr. who wasn't even with the company because he knew Orton could step right in and give them the match he wanted. And sure enough...Orton puts on the perfect little opening match to the PPV.
I really liked Hansen in Japan. Not so much in the US. His lariat was such a lethal force in Japan and they really sold it as something that could come out of nowhere and then they had wrestlers like Misawa and Kobashi come up with ways to block the lariat that would hurt Stan's arm. God I loved All Japan in the 90's.