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Watching some old wrestling and some new wrestling

 
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:40 am    Post subject: Watching some old wrestling and some new wrestling Reply with quote

WWE and TNA are unbearable. Ring of Honor doesn't really seem to have a purpose. They just tend to throw out some great matches, but lack focus on how they want to build up characters or understand how to heat somebody up and cool somebody down.

So the only recent wrestling I've watched is Pro Wrestling Guerilla. I know Cornette has bashed them for 'wanting to get their shit in' and that only allows them to 'wrestle in front of 400 people at a rec center.' From everything I've read, they have to turn people away. While I agree with Cornette on most stuff in wrestling, the environment has changed and this ain't 1975 when a promotion like PWG would get paid to be on local TV on 1 of 6 channels in the area and could gleefully expand operations and make a lot of money.

What's interesting about PWG is that in-ring wrestling style is completely modern, but the heeling is straight up old-school. They don't do much in the way of heeling, but when they do, it makes a large impact and....by gosh...as a fan you really hate the heels for being heels. Crazy concept.

I wasn't the biggest Young Bucks fan from watching their NJPW stuff and their ROH work. But, I see much more to like about them in PWG. They get a lot of criticism for the super kick deluge, but I think it works because the crowd likes supers kicks wherever they go and given that they are small guys, it's more realistic that they use a lot of super kicks to beat and dominate opponents. Lots of talent and quality booking. I'm probably liking Zack Sabre the most out of the bunch.

It's too bad that the climate of today's industry is as such where PWG has to be very careful with how they grow because they can get too big, too soon and it can crush everything. So much for capitalism in pro wrestling.


***

I've watched mostly YouTube videos of old school wrestling. My parents can't stand pro wrestling (even though my dad liked it long ago) and wondered why I hardly ever watch pro wrestling. They chalked it to 'growing up' which I steadfastly refuse to acknowledge. I was glad to realize that when I watch old wrestling that I have never seen before, overall...I still pop for it.

One of the things I never really noticed before is, especially in the Crockett Promotion (which I did grow up watching) was that while the base of pro wrestling was very much about freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, the way the wrestlers worked and moved and collided with each other reminds me more of something you would see in football.

Now the way the wrestlers work/move/collide with each other is more like watching gymnastics. I was never the biggest Dusty Rhodes fan, but you can see how well he paces a match. He was really a master at it. And he knew how to play the crowd in a match in order to get them behind him.

I remember Frank talking once about wrestling psychology should be more like a football game where drives are sustained and then stopped, etc. And not like Ping-Pong where wrestlers go back and forth. I started to really see this with the Crockett Promotion in particular and that 'football' like wrestling obviously appealed to a football crazed part of the country.

And while I grew up watching Tully Blanchard, I think he may be the most underrated worker of all time. Not much talk about him as being one of the very best of all time. I am sure it has to do with not being liked behind the scenes. But, he was essentially Flair when Flair was out in traveling to places like Texas, KC or Japan and I honestly think Tully got more real heat. There were fans, like myself, that liked Flair. Nobody really liked Tully.

I forgot how good Magnum TA was. That was one of the things I liked about the Crockett promotion so much, for the most part they didn't have corny babyfaces. And Magnum (my favorite face of all time) wasn't corny. But, he could really work. Carrying Nikita to respectable 30 minute matches takes an obscene amount of talent.


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Memphis isn't really my cup of tea. I didn't grow up on watching Memphis and I've never been the biggest fan of Lawler. As I got older and read more about Lawler, I took more of a disdain to him because he apparently wouldn't help out young guys despite getting a ton of help from guys like Jackie Fargo when Lawler was a young and up-and-coming wrestler.

That was really the downfall of Memphis. I would be hard pressed to see a territory ever survive in wrestling, but Memphis had a chance. And they just couldn't develop that next Jerry Lawler and Lawler didn't seem to care to do so.

Obviously, Lawler was the perfect face for Memphis. Get him out of Memphis and I don't think he was as good. Dundee was the 'high flyer' in Memphis, but wasn't all that athletic but somehow he worked out there.

The real talent out of the bunch was Dr. Troy Graham. He could work and talk and do all sorts of gimmicks. I grew up a fan of Eddie Gilbert and looking back Eddie had talent and brains, but I was disappointed by how he hot-shotted so many angles and gigging himself. And the entire instances of Gilbert and Eddie using fire got so ridiculous after a while.

Jackie Fargo was incredible on the mic. He could really get over what he wanted to get over and make you want to pay money to come see it. Bray Wyatt could take some lessons.


***

I also grew up on World Class. I forgot how incredibly over the Von Erichs were. I remember them being incredibly over, but I didn't remember women who touched Kerry on his way to the ring literally fainting after.

The best thing about World Class is that it had some of the coolest heels at the time.

Although I remember Gino Hernandez being great and then looking back I was less impressed with him. Great looking guy with a nice persona, but he wasn't exactly dynamite on the mic and his ring work was rather pedestrian.

I remember growing up my best friend Rob and I would watch World Class together and we became Chris Adams fans (yes, I know...he was a complete shitbag outside the ring). But, I couldn't remember why. And then I remember he would pop up in say WCW for a match due to his legal troubles (which we didn't know at the time) and we would call each other and see if they saw that Chris Adams was on TV.

Maybe it's a sign of getting old, but I had no earthly idea why we would do that with Chris Adams.

Then I re-watched some of the work. He was just flat out phenomenal for his time. I would like to think that if he wasn't the shitbag that he was and stayed clean, he probably could have done something with Vince. Even though he wasn't a roid monster, his good looks, ability to work and the English accent could have probably been enough for Vince to put him over.

I'm always amazed how Gary Hart never gets talked about as best manager ever. I don't think he is...that goes to Bobby Heenan. But, Hart wasn't very far behind. What I liked about Hart is that he wasn't a pussy, but he was still a coward. He was like Mr. Fuji, except not a caricature and was far better on the mic.


***

I never watched Portland wrestling outside of a few tapes back in the tape trading days (remember those?). I wished I could have watched Portland wrestling when I was a kid because I know I would have loved it. Hell, I love watching it now.

I did watch Championship Wrestling from Florida with great anticipation, but it seemed like Portland Wrestling was more of what CWF was supposed to be. Great in-ring work with good talkers on the mic and solid storylines.

Although the Brett Sawyer blade job is about the most disgusting thing I've ever seen in pro wrestling.

Speaking of Sawyer, I remember how good Buzz Sawyer was, but I didn't know he was THAT incredible. There was a match of Buzz in Florida, I'm thinking around '82 or '83 and his work was so far ahead of its time it is ridiculous. A lot of people talk about Dynamite being ahead of his time, but Buzz was vastly unknown. Wish they still had the match up on YouTube, but the pace was so fast and the bumping was so ridiculously great and timing and execution was so spot on that even DK and Sayama can't compare.

Buddy Rose was fantastic, so was Matt Borne. Billy Jack Haynes was just good enough to be able to work with those guys without bringing the match down and by today's standards he would probably be considered a 'good worker.'

I was watching KayFabe Commentaries 'Back to the Territories' with Cornette and Kevin Sullivan and Sullivan was mentioning how Eddie Graham wanted a diverse lineup of action. Watching guys like Haynes or Abby showed how promoters thought...if you were a hardcore guy or a technical wrestler or high flyer, you better be able to work with other wrestlers of other styles or they just have no room for you.

Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini likes to say that boxers don't make great boxing matches....styles make great boxing matches. I think in pro wrestling, it's really not so much the personality of wrestlers that make great feuds, it's more the style.

I think of ECW when they had New Jack basically only working with a handful of people because that is all he could work with. Imagine if he was a decent enough worker to have serviceable matches against anybody. Imagine if he was able to work a feud with somebody like Shane Douglas or Taz or even Sabu.

While the Sandman was the shits in the ring, he was good enough to at least create a decent match with wrestlers of different styles like Douglas. And I actually liked his matches against Sabu and Cactus Jack. And that's what gave Mick Foley a chance to be a superstar, he could work with a Mil Macsaras or a Shawn Michaels or UT or the Rock. It just adds an element to the feud if you can take a technical wrestler vs. a brawler or a luchadore vs. a shoot fighter, etc.







YR
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 2997
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post....it strange to see a wrestling post at tOA.--Yohe
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
Great post....it strange to see a wrestling post at tOA.--Yohe


Thank you, sir!






YR
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