Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:26 pm Post subject: Billy Grahan thru Yohe's eyes
|Graham's gimmick was steroids from day one. As far as the WWWF title goes, he was on drugs & a emotional mess. Then & now. If your running a business, you can't turn him face & keep the title on him because he isn't reliable. His history over the years, proves that.
He wasn't just another guy on steroids....he was the first. It started with him in LA. His success created a whole generation of steroid based wrestlers & many of them paid for it.
He wasn't just a bad worker in the eyes of the fans. He was stuff & hurt other guys in the ring. A lot of guys in LA didn't want to work with him. Top guys like Blassie.
His interviews were direct steals from Ali. Later in the WWF, as a TV announcer, he proved he couldn't talk.
He got over in NYC because it was a babyface territory. Most of the heels were monster types used to put over Sammartino. Graham was a "cool heal", much like Rogers, Blassie, The Destroyer, Billy Varga, G. George, & later Tolos & Bockwinkel.This type of heel got heat, but were also entertaining & liked by a large number of fans. NYC hadn't seen a long team heel like him...since Rogers. It was knew to them. Graham never got over in LA, because we were a heel based promotion, who was used to main event bad guys, who were also cool. We had seen better.
Then in his MSG run, he was given to best babyfaces in history to work with. Sammartino, Mil Mascaras, Rhodes, Peter Maivia & Backlund. Of course, that would draw. But he was short term. He had major character flaws & everything about him was based on drugs. He was a problem just waiting to happen.
He is a worker in real life and went back & forth between being anti-steroids and anti-WWF. And it was all motivated by how much money & publicity he could get out of it.
I met him once, & he came off as a good guy. He is powerless now, and willing to talk to anyone. I liked him, but did I trust him....NO.
I don't know how good a shape he's in today....is he still alive at age 75? If he dies, they'll be no one to call Dave with the news of his latest operation or something worse. He is friends with Dave, so he'll get a good write up when he passes.
In history, I think he should be listed with Wayne Munn, Danno O'Mahoney, Primo Carnera, and Maurice Tillet. His claim to fame is he was the beginning of Hogan & and the domination of steroids in the 1980's & 1990's, which put the WWE on top of the wrestling world.---Steve Yohe