Classic Wrestling Discussion (as in non-current): Part II

Discussion in 'Wrestling' started by S A W F T*, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge Captain Beefheart

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    When they weren't comic performers in The WWF, and used as vicious characters as The Sheepherders, and The Kiwi's, they were very good. Very brutal heels, who drew a ton of heat. Excellent in NWA Promotions that I saw them used in.

    But typical Vince, take performer(s) and make them such a joke they'll never draw elsewhere again.

    His scorched earth policy.

    (Terry Taylor, Matt Borne, Iron Mike Sharpe, etc...)
     
  2. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    It's interesting to consider Vince adopting a policy of ruining a wrestler's drawing power should he leave, but I think it's more that Vince barely pays attention and isn't particularly interested in decent gimmicks or consistent booking. My guess is that Vince heard their accents, thought that they sounded funny and thus they received a goofy gimmick. I do think that it's clear that Vince will punish guys who were successful elsewhere with bad match results though.
     
  3. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge Captain Beefheart

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    Well he signed them around the time Crocodile Dundee came out and wanted to capitalize...

    He previously tried a character named Outback Jack, who was horrific in the ring. So bad that he only did a few matches before disappearing for good. And it was good he disappeared.

    He also used Steve Kairns, who was a quality performer as Skinner, in that vein. Steve was finished as a draw after that.....
     
  4. sabremike

    sabremike Registered User

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    The Bushwhackers essentially had careers forever because of that gimmick. That was a case where the talent greatly benefited from a gimmick. Instead of killing themselves with hardcore matches they became very popular comedy match guys who could take it easy and got booked forever until one of them wasn't physically able to continue a few years back.
     
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  5. Kimi

    Kimi Registered User

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    Indeed. Like I said before, they were in their 40s when they signed with WWF. Having a gimmick change really did extend their careers massively.
     
  6. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User

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    I have to agree I am guessing the Bushwackers had 0 problems when they went to the WWF in their mid 40s doing what they did. it was a nice retirement plan
     
  7. AmericanDream

    AmericanDream Registered User

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    God I have been on a old school wrestling trip - all the WCW vs WWF era, and just how ****ing bad WCW and Bischoff screwed up. Unholy bad....they still to this day would be head to head with the WWE if they just avoided a few stupid mistakes they made below.

    I have heard numerous podcasts that Bischoff gave with Austin and Pritchard that Time Warner/Ted Turner just had too many bosses and that they had no idea what they were doing and they wouldn't allow WCW to compete with WWF at that time as Raw was going edgy and younger...

    I have never ever liked Bischoff, and his interviews today prove my disdain for him. Some of that might be true, but **** off Bischoff, YOU BLEW IT! I won't even get into Bischoff firing Austin in 95 over the phone like a *****...nobody knew Austin would get huge but the guy was a good ring worker, shouldn't have gone out that way as Stunning Steve.

    He never put over the younger guys. You lost because you let Jericho and Big Show walk right out the ****ing door right at the time WWF was getting popular again. I couldn't believe it at the time when those two were allowed to go, it was unreal to not keep them,. You then proceeded to keep pushing down Benoit, Booker T, Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Mysterio, Regal, Kanyon, etc../these guys were the ones carrying Nitro and Thunder on their back with 5 star matches....all the guys they felt were just mid carders, yet years later most of them are ex-WWE Heavy weight Champs hahahaha.

    The other joke was having idiot bookers like Kevin Nash who was going to put over his boys, and had no ****ing clue what he was doing, to Vince Russo who...yeah no reason to waste energy typing anything on that ass clown to Kevin Sullivan hahaha...all during the time that WCW was on top or still in the game. Kevin Nash and his wonderful booking ideas - have Goldberg lose for the first time in an idiotic way to of course Scott Hall....then the infamous "finger lay down" where Nash lays down for Hogan at a PPV main event which was pretty much the final dagger. Pissed off too many fans.

    But the other main one that people rarely talk about is Bret Hart. How on Earth could you **** that up??? Well, WCW says "hold my beer!" Coming off the entire Montreal Screw Job, Hart was honestly the biggest thing in wrestling, a tidal wave of attention on him, and WCW brings him in to....wait for it...BE THE ****ING REF AT STARRCADE!!! No heat, no ultimate entrance saving the day or coming in as a "surprise" hitting the ring and screwing over Sting which would have started an epic battle that would have gone down as legendary....nah, we got nothing but stupidity and the booking team had no clue what to do with Hart. It was almost as if they were just happy to get him from WWF and that was the win..hahaha....well that killed them, it honestly did..

    Many more reasons as well, but those are my main ones for why WCW failed..

    #1. Eric Bischoff - with Bischoff always walks Hogan, Hogan wasn't booking but he had a lot of say and most was bad
    #2. Idiotic booking - holding top young guys down - screwing over fans with bad finishes and lame main events
    #3. Kevin Nash - in it for himself and his buddies, took WCW to the cleaners with his contract for years
    #4. Bret Hart - how on Earth was that ****ed up??? How?????
    #5. Letting Jericho and Show just walk right out the door - instant hits in the WWE (though Show did have to lose weight and head to OVM for a bit.
    #6. Kurt Angle not signing with WCW- why Flair, why??? - I know why Flair told him to go to WWF, because Nash and his buddies would have kept Angle buried, but damn just imagine Angle in WCW in 97/98...he had a damn contract to go..could have been a game changer if he somehow made it through like Goldberg did.
    #7. Failing to see what they had in Edge, Rhyno, RVD, and Mero/Sable-HHH sucked so I will allow that, hated him haha..
    #8. David Arquette - yep, the ****ing end.


    God I miss those days of watching shows, seeing who would show up on the other show, seeing 20k fans a night going nuts, 7 mil plus wrestling fans watching on a Monday night every week - and all this gone because McMahon has too big of a ****ing ego and had to burn it all down so he wins...great job Vinnie Mac, you are the King of nothing now...fading in popularity, ratings and attendance to live events down...Indie wrestlers tired of your monopoly...just a damn shame what went down 15 years ago.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  8. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    Bischoff was a decent idea guy but he wasn't someone who should have been leading a company. He was basically a wrestling announcer who they randomly made into the boss. To his credit he did some good things - bringing in Hogan (though his ultimate handling of Hogan wasn't good by any stretch) was important, upgrading WCW's production values to at least be in WWF's ballpark, moving to Monday night, taking and expanding upon the NWO idea, and especially actively seeking out talent. Now from what I've heard Bischoff's policy seemed to be, with Turner money flowing in, that he would just hire whatever names were out there, but that's better what Vince's attitude toward talent was and perhaps Bischoff deserves credit for getting Turner to spend money. Bischoff's problem was inability to go beyond the most basic idea. Signing Bret Hart is great - what are you going to do with him. Signing Benoit/Malenko/Guerrero/Austin/Foley was great - but what are you going to do with them? Very poor follow through, not unlike current WWE. WCW is also my favourite example of the phrase "the inmates are running the asylum".

    It really is interesting to look back on the huge edge in talent that WCW had back in the early to mid 90s. It makes sense given that the NWA generally had better wrestlers than the Northern territories did and Vince was always too enamored with his own product (PRODUCTION VALUES!) to recognize that the competition had better talent. In the early to mid 90s WCW had first access to Flair, Sting, Luger, Rhodes, Sid, Vader, Foley, Austin, HHH, Nash, Hall, Ron Simmons, the Steiners, Booker T, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, Dustin Runnels, Guerrero, Mysterio, Jericho, Malenko, Benoit, DDP and even Jim Ross and Paul Heyman. Those are just guys off the top of my head who were in WCW before they were in WWF. WCW also brought in Savage and Hogan while having a talent sharing arrangement with NJPW. That WCW had such a massive edge in talent and still went out of business shortly after the end of the decade is almost impressive. Not all of those guys would have become such huge stars in WCW Austin for instance) but a lot of them were stars while in WCW and with only adequate booking and presentation would have been big. Unfortunately for them the inept booking of the early 90s gave way to the toxic booking of the mid to late 90s and almost all of those guys were squandered.
     
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  9. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge Captain Beefheart

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    Strongly agree with you.

    Letting Nash squash the more athletic but smaller cruiser weights was devastating. I believe what largely grew The WCW product was the cruiser weights and the excellent quality of their matches. Maybe their matches were a bit fast paced, and overly choreographed (relative to the time in America) but they were unique, and have since become standard in New Japan and ROH.

    There was a WCW Classic Nite in Buffalo. Most fans knew Randy Savage and the name (ex WWF) wrestlers and they were over.

    What brought the house down was the last match. Rey Mysterio Jr vs The Iceman Dean Malenko. Back and forth high spots, moves, countermoves. Near falls, kick outs, all relative to the action. Even the non wrestling portion of the crowd came to life and were on their feet.

    Not quite Steamboat v Flair or Flair Funk good (because of no buildup), but as good a match technically as I've ever seen. No blown spots - and there were plenty that could have been off.

    Had they kept these guys going strong they would have maintained and grown interest instead of rotting from the head down...

    Sad.

    (And I met the great Lou Thesz but had no paper or pen. Looked like he would still kick arse if he had too..)
     
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  10. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge Captain Beefheart

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    And Steve Austin and Bryan Pillman were awesome as The Hollywood Blonds! (Maybe better than Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts had been in the 70's...)
     
  11. AmericanDream

    AmericanDream Registered User

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    I agree that Bischoff was no dummy with certain things, but he took far more credit than he deserved. And for many in the "know" it was said numerous times that due to WCW always having a good relationship with New Japan Wrestling, he pretty much got the idea for the N.W.O with what they were doing overseas in a similar angle. It just took a few things to fall in place like Hall and Nash becoming free agents, but I will definitely credit him with Hogan, that was a gutsy call but it was apparent a change was needed as the red and yellow was fading in popularity.

    What NWA/WCW/Mid South, etc had during those years was unreal..if you want to go even further back and wonder what WCW would be if Magnum TA didn't have to end his career after his Porsche crashed (dude was massive, like Goldberg massive in those days) and if Nikita Koloff's wife didn't get very ill and he pretty much hung up his boots...both massive talents that were gone from wrestling by 1992...I could only imagine both of them in a NWO war! Absolute shame they lost those 2 home grown stars...seemed they would always be destined for failure or bad things happening along the way...also, don't forget about the Road Warriors who were NWA/WCW well prior to WWF..still my all-time favorites and man they got misused in their later years until they got pushed again with Sunny in the WWF...

    But you are right, Vinnie Mac loved his "gimmicks" and he had a weird fascination with over weight guys as if the bigger they were the more he pushed them...people got tired of seeing that and he was a little late to the game with bringing in those fresh new guys. WCW had it all, all the names you listed above and they still somehow lost..hahaha...unbelievable. I remember the matches many of those young stars would have on Nitro, you simply weren't seeing anything close to that on Raw..that is what tore the house down, that is what fans enjoyed as well, but Bischoff never really saw it that way and kept them down like it was weight classes in boxing.

    Also, add to the guys WCW had first: RVD, Rhyno, and Edge...imagine if they saw what WWF/ECW saw in those guys, those 3 alone could have been game changers for the company, but of course gave them a few matches, had them job to probably the Barbarian or Paul Orndorf at that time, and the rest is history.

    Also, I never mentioned how close Shawn Michaels was to jumping ship as well...it was close, he wanted out because his buddies were in the WCW now, but McMahon held tight, told him no he won't release him and they went a different way putting over most of their youth gobbling up anyone with a good look they could at that time and formed D-X....if Michaels would have quit or left, it was game over for them as they were on the brink of collapse at that point.

    Just so sad to see all that go away. Millions of fans vanished over night, they never came to WWF and rightfully so. Once WCW closed it was pretty much over for me, I felt that I didn't want to watch my guys on another program jobbing to the Godfather, Val Venis, or even dare I say it- Triple H..hahaha...

    If anyone can explain to me what they hell they were thinking with Bret Hart, I would love to know. I have read so many different views and all of them were clueless with what they planned for him. I never in my life have seen such a bigger miss on an opportunity period...McMahon must have known there were idiots over there as I heard him tell Hart multiple times "WCW will have no clue what to do with you" which was odd since they had guys like him in Jericho, Benoit, Eddie G, etc...seemed like a match made in heaven which was completely and utterly botched. Now I turn on Raw or Smackdown, and outside of the few TNA guys I rooted for like Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Bobby Roode, no ****ing clue what they are doing there as it is pretty horrible to watch now.
     
  12. AmericanDream

    AmericanDream Registered User

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    Pillman was another massive mistake - he would have been a perfect NWO member. I get his issues, but he was such a great worker, his matches would have been unreal against Benoit, Jericho, Mysterio, etc...just another bad call by WCW...

    I remember him on the first Nitro against Jushin Thunder Liger...even then it was so far above and beyond anything WWF put out in years...
     
  13. AmericanDream

    AmericanDream Registered User

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    Chi-Town Rumble 89'...I was barely old enough to know what the hell I was watching, but dammit I was there watching what many consider one of the greatest wrestling matches of all-time!! Steamboat never should have left WCW, no clue what happened there, likely money, but once he went back to WWF. ..surprise surprise Vince has him looking like a ****ing dragon breathing fire!!! And he never was a main eventer again.. and that dip**** won the Monday Night Wars????? tells you how bigger of a dip**** Bischoff/Nash/Hogan/Sullivan/etc had to be...holy hell!
     
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  14. les Habs

    les Habs Registered User

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    While all the listed bookers listed above made mistakes, Russo deserves a lot more commentary than any of them as he was far worse than the rest of them combined.

    I don't have time to go into it, but as much as WCW made mistakes back then they did a lot of great things. I don't think it's an issue of the bad outweighing the good, but rather the good being ruined by some wrong decisions coupled with too much talent being buried or at least held back. That actually wasn't/isn't just a trademark of WCW though. Anyway, some excellent points above and love the discussion. Good to see there are more like-minded fans here. Hopefully I can find the time to join in later this week.
     
  15. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge Captain Beefheart

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    Steamboat's first return to WCW (NWA) as a surprise partner for Eddie Gilbert was huge.

    The 1989 return was was highlighted by his feud with Ric Flair. Some ***** Star matches in there, too.

    Flair's brilliance was squarely displayed in his playing "heel" in his feud with Steamboat, and upon winning the belt back, promptly playing the "Face" in his immediate feud with Terry Funk. Funk's promos were hysterical...

    Steamboats second return (Again as a surprise tag team partner, this time Dustin Rhodes), 1991 to 1994 was good, some classic matches v The Dangerous Alliance, but I didn't feel it was as good as 1989's run had been.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
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  16. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge Captain Beefheart

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  17. BigBadBruins7708

    BigBadBruins7708 Registered User

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    Bischoff's biggest problem was that he was a TV guy and not a wrestling guy. That difference in thinking is what ended up dooming WCW as a business.

    Bischoff was fixated on winning TV. He looked at things short term, and put his efforts into winning the ratings war, instead of building to the PPVs. Its the old wrestling booking method of give them a small taste of the big match for free to get them hooked, then you'll draw that much of a bigger house for the big match when it happens. Bischoff instead gave them the entire thing for free

    As a result he gave away his big money matches for free on TV instead of using the TV to build up and drive viewers to the PPVs. So he missed on a lot of revenue from not getting more PPV buys.

    That plus the guaranteed contracts catching up to them in a big way sank them financially.
     
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  18. AmericanDream

    AmericanDream Registered User

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    I agree with a lot of that as well..The guy did know wrestling at least enough to get him by..he was announcing since the AWA days for God's sake - but like you said simply not a visionary a live in the moment guy, who assumed he would always have "billionaire Ted's" money...the most hilarious thing I heard was that Bischoff thought that Turner was still in charge for like 6 months after the fact he was gone as head of the company - Bischoff said he was pissing off people thinking Ted would have his back and that the money wouldn't stop ....the guy didn't even know that Turner was no longer involved with the company really anymore, unreal.

    He always had to bring up the WWF in whatever demeaning way he could showing an inferiority complex, announcing that Mick Foley won the belt was the dumbest thing on Earth as you guessed it, people switched over to see it..hahaha..

    Seems like a laundry list of fails from Bischoff and crew, and we are the ones that paid for it in the end as wrestling died the day McMahon bought the WCW..it hasn't been anywhere near the same even as Hogan and Bischoff almost destroyed TNA in their time there as well...history does repeat itself!
     
  19. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    Bischoff is the only one to do to Vince what he largely did to others. Outspend him. Vince didn't become the emperor of wrestling because he was a brilliant wrestling or even business mind. His father owned the largest, most lucrative territory with the best buildings and Vince was very aggressive and armed with ideas that most of the more wrestling oriented promoters didn't care about. Bischoff had access to even more money than Vince did, some great infrastructure (Southern USA was the most fertile area for wrestling talent at the time) and was even less of a wrestling guy. Both pursued better production values and wanted the rub from Hollywood while neglecting the actual wrestling component of their products. Ultimately, if there could only be one winner, it's probably for the best that WWF won that war though. WCW was an unsustainable mess in the end despite its advantages.
     
  20. Loosie

    Loosie Registered User

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    Nah...Pillman was perfect for the WWF at the time he came in. He helped usher in the Attitude Era. This issue was right around the time he signed (before/after?) he had his car accident which severely ****ed up his ankle. He wasn't the same in-ring performer after that.
     
  21. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User

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    WWF/e's production values were always top notch. Even in the late 90s WCW still were nowhere close to the WWF/e. it's probably the one big advantage Vince had over any of his competitors is that he knew how to produce and market his product better then anybody
     
  22. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    True. One thing that Vince will always deserve credit for is improving the production values in wrestling far, far beyond what they had been. Casual fans were much less likely to come in and watch wrestling when it looked like it took place in a grimy, smoke filled school auditorium. Vince's other advantage was of course having the most lucrative geographical position, but once Turner's money became involved things changed and Vince was in much more of a dogfight.
     
  23. Kimi

    Kimi Registered User

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    That's kinda a fake history that WWF like to spin.

    Yes WWF always had great production levels, but they weren't the only ones. Other territories also had them too, some might even have been better. There were some bad ones for sure, but it wasn't universally bad.
     
  24. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User

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    The only promotion that stands out to me in terms of production values was the Memphis territory that was ahead of it's time for vinettes and using music, but even then their TV show was basically in a studio and looked terrible. All that being said it's not "fake history" that WWF was always ahead of the game when it came to overall production values

    I should add in terms of the late 90s, I always believed the WWe had better direction of positioning of cameras during a match or even during breaks in the matches over WCW. Something like getting the exact right shot of a the crowd cheering or hiding the fact that half the arena is not filled adds to the atmostsphere you see on TV
     
  25. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    I would love to see what promotions from the 80s or even the 90s had production values better than WWF's. It's not any of the NWA territories or the AWA or even All Japan or New Japan at the very least.
     

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