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Most Memorable Debuts


Bob Morris
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Watching the Chris Jericho DVD got me thinking about those wrestlers who had the most memorable debuts in a wrestling promtoion. I know a lot of people put Jericho's first ever WWF appearance among those and it was certainly well done... and it does hold up pretty nicely over time, although Jericho said on the DVD he thinks his spiel and his reactions to Rock's rebuttal come off a bit cartoony.

 

I would think another debut that would rank up there would be Scott Hall showing up on Nitro... true, he had been in WCW prior to that, but upon his return, it was a completely different persona and one that really got the ball rolling on the Outsiders/nWo angle.

 

Ric Flair's first appearance on WWF Superstars is another one that comes to mind, in which he doesn't even go down to the ring for his match but immediately confronts Roddy Piper and gets into a brawl with him, with the end result being Vince McMahon taking a chairshot to the back as Piper was just swinging at anything that moved. Although I'm not certain if that would count as Flair's first TV appearance, but it was still a memorable way to kick off his run.

 

Any other debuts that come to mind?

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The Jake Roberts debut was pretty amazing. It was just about as good as of a debut that you can ask for. I've always had a soft spot for Steamboat's return to the NWA in 89. It would have gotten over bigger if it happened in an arena. Steamers return to WCW in 91 was also one that I marked out big for.

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and it does hold up pretty nicely over time, although Jericho said on the DVD he thinks his spiel and his reactions to Rock's rebuttal come off a bit cartoony.

Well Jericho today would since he started the monotone heel craze. He does it well but the imitators make me wish he never stopped being Y2J.

 

 

I think Taz's debut in the WWF was perfect. Had the perfect balance of anticipation and surprise that WWE has been able to do since.

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A couple from SMW that I enjoyed.

 

Bobby Eaton coming out during a RNRoll Express vs.Heavenly Bodies match and doing the Alabama Jam and costing the Rock N Roll the tag belts.

 

Cornette pulling the sheet off the Rock N Roll mystery partner to reveal Arn Anderson.

 

Both of these are from 92.

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Not necessarily a single moment but an entire show I am a fan of the July 25, 2002 Smackdown which featured the debut of Rey Mysterio firstly a match with Chavo showing form vastly better than he displayed in the dying days of WCW and then later that night a run in saving the day by diving off the cage onto the UnAmericans that established him right into the main event mix.

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That whole episode is good. From memory Cena and maybe Edge helped Rey clear the ring at the end no?

 

Also Rey was pretty good in 01 WCW.

Didnt see the last few months of WCW nor his Indy work in the interim at the time, Dylan. Rey's debut just underscored the vibrancy Smackdown had at the time for me. I asked Lance Storm about that episode of Smackdown on F4D. Jericho, himself and others after that show thought they hit on something huge and just set up months and months worth of singles and tag matches. Only to be crestfallen when the UnAmericans were drafted to Raw the next week.

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I've always had a soft spot for Steamboat's return to the NWA in 89. It would have gotten over bigger if it happened in an arena. Steamers return to WCW in 91 was also one that I marked out big for.

Both of these were really well done.

 

Tenryu in New Japan was pretty freaking choice... that first tag had batshit heat. New Japan did a number of debuts well.

 

John

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Tenryu in New Japan was pretty freaking choice... that first tag had batshit heat. New Japan did a number of debuts well.

Are you talking about '92? What was the very first one in NJ vs WAR? Or do you mean the very very first one in '90, which I agree had insane heat.

 

Wasn't thinking of the 1990 match, which I tend to see as more of a "special" match like the 1979 Baba & Inoki tag than debuting with a fed.

 

Was thinking of the 1992 stuff. Granted, the first match with the insane heat was actually on a WAR card:

 

10/23/92 - Korakuen Hall - WAR Card (11/21/92 NJPW TV)

Tenryu & Kohki Kitahara vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura (19:46) ****1/4

 

11/23/92 - Ryogoku Sumo Hall (12/05/92 NJPW TV - NJ Classics #545)

Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa & Kitahara vs. Koshinaka & Kimura & Masashi Aoyagi (20:42) ***1/2

 

12/14/92 - Osaka Prefectural Gym (12/26/92 NJPW TV - NJ Classics #548)

Tenryu vs. Koshinaka (20:42) ****

 

I'd have to go back through the JWJ to see what else there might have been in there before/between those matches. Kosh & Co. worked on the undercard of the 9/92 WAR card that had Tenryu-Flair for the WWF Title, thought I don't recall if it aired on NJPW. That was probably the first blast in the NJPW-WAR feud, but not really the equiv of Tenryu being involved.

 

The 10/23/92 match was rabid in the small hall. The 11/23/92 matches was heated as well, big setting.

 

John

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CONFETTI!!! :)

 

 

 

 

 

I didnt get Memphis where I lived in the 80s but I can only imagine Savage's debut must have been viewed as pretty crazy. I have only read about the Poffo's outlaw promotion (ICW) running against Memphis but it seemed pretty intense. So I can only imagine with the reaction was when Savage showed up in Memphis.

 

 

 

 

I have seen this clip at least 20 times and laugh every time.

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For me it was Heenan holding up Big Gold at the end of a Saturday morning Wrestling Challenge show and saying Flair's name. I wasn't really watching wrestling much at the time and had just flipped onto it while looking for something to watch. It totally blew my mind, and led me to start watching again. So the debut that was most memorable to me was the debut of a belt and a name. :lol:

 

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