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John Popa
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Joined: 20 March 2008
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Posted: 05 October 2017 at 11:34am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Are they going to bring JJ Dillon back so he can do the job like the good old days of War Games?
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 05 October 2017 at 2:17pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

C'mon, John... there were some good War Games... remember Wrestle War 1992??  Sting's Squadron vs. The Dangerous Alliance...  that's one of my favorites!!!

-C!
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John Popa
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Posted: 05 October 2017 at 2:23pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Oh, I liked War Games, I just thought it was funny that JJ took the fall for the Horsemen every single time.
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 05 October 2017 at 2:27pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Yeah, that's what he was there for....lol... protect the group.

Another fav War Games was The Great American Bash (1989) - The Road Warriors, Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane) & Steve "Dr. Death" Williams vs the Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin, Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy) with the Samoan Swat Team.

-C!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 05 October 2017 at 4:06pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

C'mon, John... there were some good War Games... remember Wrestle War 1992??  Sting's Squadron vs. The Dangerous Alliance...  that's one of my favorites!!!

***

That was the most heated bout of 1992 (as far as US wrestling was concerned). Brutal! 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 07 October 2017 at 9:17am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I have to say that Braun Strowman is currently my favourite wrestler. He has an "old school" feel as far as being a character (I miss the wacky/wild characters that the WWF used to give us) whilst having talent appropriate for the current era.

I did enjoy some characters back in the day, but anyone looking for pure wrestling skill would not have been interested; at the same time, someone can know 1,000 moves, but if he is ordinary/wrestles under his real name, then he can't engage with the audience if bland or uninteresting.

Characters are very important in wrestling. There's a reason the Undertaker has had many VHS/DVD releases whilst Dean Malenko has never had a DVD release. Malenko knows a LOT of holds/moves, but he isn't viable as far as giving us a DVD/Blu-ray release. The Undertaker, who is a good wrestler, is more about the character; even in his days of a limited moveset, he sold videos and DVDs.

For me, Strowman is a character and one with good skills. I find his matches engaging. 
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John Popa
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Posted: 07 October 2017 at 9:36am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Oh, I agree completely. It's why I love Rusev, he works his character.

Over the years the definition of 'good work' has evolved so that a lot of supposed smart fans think a good worker is simply one that does a lot of athletic moves. But, really, it's supposed to be about making the audience believe in the reality of the match or angle. Strowman will last longer on top and draw more money than Dolph Ziggler because people believe Strowman is a monster.

So many up and coming wrestlers want to be Chris Benoit, but they're missing the point of a lot of things along the way. (And Benoit never really drew well on top anyway.)

The audience who just wants to see great wrestling matches is the Ring of Honor crowd. They're great, but it's a smaller crowd, and it's a crowd that doesn't really believe in any of the angles. They want the angles presented realistically, but they don't really believe in them. It makes it more of a dance routine than storytelling. Again, it's enjoyable but I'd still rather get drawn into the heat of an angle or character, rather than just watching match and 'ooh'ing and 'aah'ing the athleticism.

There's very little evidence then or now that good wrestling matches draw a lot of money. In Japan, moreso, but in the US, the peaks of the wrestling business have been because of strong personalities in over the top scenarios.   

Edited by John Popa on 07 October 2017 at 10:05am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 07 October 2017 at 10:35am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Well said, John, particularly the last sentence. I've had this debate with many people.

It's fine to like what you like. If someone is after pure wrestling, then something like ROH or high school wrestling is perfect. If among those fans, there were folk who didn't like angles/characters, I'd never lend them my Undertaker or Hulk Hogan DVDs.

But if there was someone out there who loved the characters/angles, I wouldn't show them Lord Steven Regal VS Arn Anderson from SUPERBRAWL IV (a near-30 minute technical encounter). I wouldn't lend them an ROH DVD.

It's all subjective. Hardcore wrestling doesn't interest me. Nor does a style that is solely high-flying. I like brawls, technical encounters and angles/characters.

Like I posted earlier, there's a reason why, as far as mainstream US wrestling is concerned, that Hogan, Undertaker and Ultimate Warrior have had many VHS/DVD/Blu-ray releases; and yet despite the technical skill of Dean Malenko or Arn Anderson, I don't see many lobbying for DVD releases featuring them. 

One of my favourite classic WWF matches is Hogan/Warrior at WM VI. At the time, both men were on fire. I loved the spectacle, the angles, the build-up. Had they wrestled a technical encounter under their real names, without any of the spectacle, it would not have interested me. 

So that's why Strowman continues to be a favourite of mine!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 07 October 2017 at 10:40am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I'd also like to add this, John: a lot of mystique has been lost in recent years. Part of that is down to the business being exposed (we always knew it was predetermined, but the illusion was maintained in a sense). But there are other aspects.

I think social media has contributed to it. Imagine, if in the summer of 1990, someone like Earthquake had had a Twitter account; and in between matches with Hulk Hogan or Tugboat, he'd been tweeting about airport delays or Thanksgiving meals. The mystique wouldn't have been the same.

Back in the day, they were larger-than-life superheroes. We knew little about their private lives. WWF Magazine may have allowed glimpses at times, but as far as we were concerned, Ted DiBiase was super-rich and Earthquake was a devastating monster that truly, convincingly wanted to cripple Hogan and end his career. So it made suspension of disbelief easier.

In a world where WWE stars tweet about airports/Thanksgiving, and give interviews where they talk about how great an opponent was to work with, well the mystique has gone, I feel. Again, using Hogan/Quake as an example, imagine if, in 1990, Hogan had tweeted about how great John Tenta was to work with, how they'd had some great moments on the road, etc. 

To suspend disbelief is hard in this era, but I think that the likes of Strowman and others hark back to those days.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 07 October 2017 at 10:55am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Hardcore wrestling doesn't work for me if it's WWE-style hardcore wrestling, since they don't really do it right. They once had a hardcore match end in a DQ!

But, I don't care for hardcore wrestling as a gimmick for gimmick's sake. I prefer it as either part of a hate filled feud (and doesn't even have to be the final match) or a 3-way match where someone interjects themself into a match that the other two wrestlers can't stand.





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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 07 October 2017 at 12:50pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

For me, I can tolerate hardcore if there's psychology there. Raven knew how to do hardcore so his matches are compelling.

But when WCW did some in the late 90s, well it just seemed like a bunch of guys hitting each other without any psychology, build-up, etc.

I suppose any style of match can be either good or bad. I like brawls, but not sure I'd have wanted to see a 30-minute Handicap Iron Man match featuring Shockmaster VS The Colossal Kongs. Technical wrestling is good, but Arn Anderson VS Lord Steven Regal in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match would not have appealed to me. 

But if it's Hulk Hogan, in his prime, against King Kong Bundy, that's a brawl I liked; and if you put Bret Hart VS Shawn Michaels in a 20-minute technical encounter, that's good, too.

I guess wrestling plays to people's strengths. I didn't enjoy a Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels cage match (1992 or 1993, I think) because despite the talents of both men, well it just seemed to be both of them rushing to escape the cage via the door or going over; when you have talents like that in a ring, I'd rather see them WRESTLE than keep heading for the cage door.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 07 October 2017 at 10:16pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

WCW did have some good hardcore matches. But a good chunk of them were entertaining because they involved Screamin' Norman Smiley wearing football protective gear. Not because of the actual matches.


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John Popa
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Posted: 08 October 2017 at 9:42am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I have no use for hardcore wrestling.  Stipulation matches? Absolutely. Bloody angles and matches? Of course! But guys just being thrown together in meaningless matches hitting each other with cookie sheets?  Or guys breaking light bulbs over each other in front of 50 fans in a high school gym?  That's just sad and does more to make wrestling look fake and pathetic than just about anything else.  

As much as I loved it, wrestling may never recover from the excesses of the Attitude Era.  
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 October 2017 at 12:03pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I'm with you again, John.

I don't mind a blow-off match having a stipulation, e.g. two wrestlers, who loathe each other, settling it with a "No DQ Match". It makes sense that the wrestlers' feud could not be contained - so let's settle it with a bout where anything goes. 

Even that shouldn't be done to excess, though. In such a bout, I don't mind a couple of spots such as a chair shot or a table move, but it's still a wrestling match. Or should be.

When it's just psychology-less bouts of guys, who may have no real beef, hitting each other with lightbulbs and chairs, well I'm sorry, but it comes across as hardBORE and not hardcore.

As we've all become smarter fans over times (all of us), we've learnt to appreciate the psychology and build-up. Two guys ending a feud with a bloody match, featuring weapons, is okay provided the psychology is there and the match features wrestling moves; two guys just hitting each other non-stop, one spot after another, is a cure for insomnia for me.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 08 October 2017 at 7:52pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

If you're only going to have weapons and objects used and very little to no wrestling, then it should either be a street fight or an `unsanctioned' match.

I hate Extreme Rules matches, because they're just a rather poor way to badly imitate the real ECW, and it doesn't take talent to hit someone with objects. 


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2017 at 2:08pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I know this is random, but did Adrian Adonis wrestle on TV again after WM III? 

I can't seem to find any televised bouts after WM III. Obviously he did wrestle after that event, and sadly died in 1988, but can't seem to recall any televised bouts following WM III.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 12:47am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Wrestlemania III was March 29th, and Adonis was fired sometime in May. 

I know Adonis started a feud with Brutus Beefcake ("The Barber" nickname came about from Brutus helping cut Adonis' hair after Adonis lost the hair vs. hair match to Piper), but I am unaware if Adonis ever wrestled any matches on tv. I believe he did cut at least one promo, though. 



 
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 4:56am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Ah, I see. Thanks.

Now if you could tell me why the Warlord wasn't at WM VIII, I'd be grateful (WM VIII took place on April 5th, 1992, but Warlord didn't leave the WWF until April 17th, 1992). I loved that guy! 
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 10:57am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Warlord was probably already on his way out, and possibly on the crap-list. Because according to what I've read, his final match was a loss to Virgil, of all people.


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 12:44pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I was a fan of the Warlord.

Some newsletter writers and wrestling magazine journalists are pretentious, but I just love the "Cartoon Era" of larger-than-life characters who retained their mystique.

So many wrestlers now wrestle under their real names (or use names that sound ordinary). There are very few characters now. Very few. And they don't have mystique because we get to read their thoughts on Twitter about airport delays and Sunday dinner.

I remember the days when the only insight you had was a WWF MAGAZINE pic of Warrior travelling to a show or Macho Man and Elizabeth at home. Now, we know everything. They aren't larger-than-life characters.

So, yes, I did like the Warlord. But what a loss, eh, to Virgil? That's like asking me to believe that Robin could beat Juggernaut? How on earth did Virgil manage to subdue and pin Warlord? ;-)
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John Popa
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 1:24pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

To be fair, there was a time after he turned on DiBiase that Virgil was hot and being pushed, as crazy as it may seem today :)



Edited by John Popa on 10 October 2017 at 1:26pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 1:36pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I quite liked his underdog status. Enjoyed some bouts he had with Shawn Michaels (which were shown on the WRESTLEFEST '92 and WRESTLEFEST '93 videotapes). 

And I was rooting for him against DiBiase. 

The WWF did have some good plots then. The storyline flowed well for me: DiBiase mistreats Virgil, Virgin turns face at ROYAL RUMBLE '91, Piper mentors Virgil, Virgil battles DiBiase, Virgil wins Million Dollar Belt, etc. I guess he peaked with the DiBiase feud, though.

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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Strowman will last longer on top and draw more money than Dolph Ziggler because people believe Strowman is a monster.

So many up and coming wrestlers want to be Chris Benoit, but they're missing the point of a lot of things along the way. (And Benoit never really drew well on top anyway.)

********

I like Braun Strowman but I'm not convinced of the theory you present... Vince still likes to push BIG MEN. Always has... but HBK, Bret Hart and even Stone Cold Steve Austin were guys who weren't as big but could work some GREAT matches. It's great to have some "larger than life" characters but in this new age of wrestling, the "underdog" or "antihero" works pretty well too.

Wasn't too long ago that the fans wanted the smaller Daniel Bryan (similar to Benoit in style) on top instead of the beast Batista. WWE did its best to undermine that and that how we got to Strowman today. (Ziegler never stood a chance tho' many compared him with Shawn Michaels a few years ago.)

-C!


Edited by Charles Valderrama on 10 October 2017 at 2:50pm
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 3:12pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

HBK, Bret Hart and Steve Austin never would have been pushed if not for the steroid scandal.

McMahon will always push a big guy, whether or not he knows an armbar from an armrest, over someone smaller who can actually wrestle.

That being said, the only thing Ziggler ever had going for him was his overselling and making it somewhat believable.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 October 2017 at 4:58pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

I think CONNECTION is the most important part.

I like wrestlers and shapes of all sizes. Bret Hart drew me into his technical matches even if, at first, his promos weren't akin to the heavyweights of that era; Hulk Hogan may not have possessed 1,000 moves (at least not in the US), but his larger-than-life personality, charisma and so much else drew me in.

I agree that Vince seems to have a "thing" for big guys. 

That said, and I'm not saying anyone here has stated it, but there have been some fans, over time, who seem to think that smaller guys, who may only have a niche following, should be pushed to the moon almost in a "default" way because they are small. And I disagree with that, too.

I remember some fans, from 1998-2001, that I chatted to on an old bulletin board (usually about WCW) who used to say things like, "Billy Kidman should be main eventing" or "Rey Mysterio Jr should be given a world title run". As much as I respect those wrestlers, I feel some fans were saying that BECAUSE, in an odd sort of way, they equated small with talent. There's no doubt Kidman and Mysterio were and are talented, but would they have sold main-event WCW tickets? 

There did seem to be a lukewarm reaction to Chris Benoit winning the WCW World Title at SOULED OUT 2000. Part of that may have been due to a malaise towards WCW (which sucked at the time), but the old adage "be careful what you wish for" felt apt that night. Not saying Hulk Hogan should have returned and been given his 3,456th world title run, but so many seemed to be lobbying for Benoit to win the world title; and whilst issues with WCW led to him and others "defecting" shortly afterwards, it does not change the fact that reactions to him winning the world title did appear lukewarm.

It does NOT apply to anyone in this topic (we're a discerning and thoughtful bunch, I feel), but elsewhere, and in my 15+ years on the internet, I have come across a black and white view at times: *some* feel that ALL big guys are solely being pushed due to size whilst others feel that ALL smaller guys should be given a push. 

I feel the truth is somewhere in between: some guys are pushed due to Vince's fondness for big guys, but there are some who are genuinely engaging and talented; and, yes, whilst Vince has always seemed reluctant to push smaller guys (he surely fucked up when Ultimo Dragon briefly appeared in WWE), there are some smaller guys who aren't engaging, aren't necessarily capable of main eventing and who wouldn't sell tickets.

Oh, and I agree with Brian about HBK, Bret Hart and Austin. Had the likes of Hogan and Warrior not went on hiatus in the early 90s, I am sure they'd have been the ones main-eventing the likes of SURVIVOR SERIES '92 and dominating the WWF scene during the mid-to-late 90s.
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