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Have any of these guys ever had good matches?


JerryvonKramer
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So most of the following are guys who are just worthless to my mind, I'm wondering if any of them ever had anything of note in the territories or even in the WWF or Crockett.

 

I'll just make one thing clear before I start this, I hate wild man gimmicks. Always have always will. I'm not talking about Terry Funk here, I'm talking about when a wrestler is depicted as some sort of indigenous "savage" or as being mentally retarded in some way -- only one I've got any time for really is Rick Steiner.

 

Here's goes:

 

George "the Animal" Steele

Afa or Sika (singles)

Kamala

Uncle Elmer

Hillbilly Jim

Dino Bravo

Fred Ottman

Nikolai Volkoff

Boris Zhukov

Soul Train Jones / Virgil (other than vs. DiBiase)

Mr. Fuji (never really seen him other than vs. Demolition and vs. Steamboat on SNME)

 

I'll leave it there. But there are probably 20-30 more guys I could add to this list.

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Afa vs Murdoch

 

Kamala vs Lawler many times, especially at WMC on TV in 1991

 

Elmer had some solid matches in Memphis with Lawler and Tojo.

 

Bravo was a solid worker before roiding up beyond belief and going heel.

 

I like Volkoff vs Hogan.

 

Zhukov had some good stuff as Jim Nelson.

 

Fuji and Saito had really good matches with Martel and Garea. I suspect his best stuff was in other territories like Knoxville and Georgia but isn't on tape.

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Balls Mahoney

Really? He has a bunch of good matches with Tanaka. Tagging with Tanaka vs the Dudleys, With Axl vs Candido and Storm and vs Sabu and RVD. VS RVD. Balls was a good hand.

 

Justin Credible

vs Tajiri, with Storm vs Gedo and Jedo, vs Awesome and Raven, Great matches with Mikey Whipwreck, vs Shane Douglas, vs Sabu.

 

Ernest Miller

I liked him being mauled by Scott Norton. vs the Faces of Fear. As a face Miller had some fun unique looking offense.

 

The Godwins

Really like their run as Southern Justice. Had some matches on Heat where they mauled guys. Breakdown 98 with Jarrett vs the Outlaws and X-Pac. In WCW had good matches with Steamboat and Douglas.

 

 

Really you are not going to find anybody who had a run with a national promotion longer than a year and not find something good.

 

 

and yes has George Steele ever had a good match? I don't remember any vs Savage during their year and a half run.

He had a very good match with Hogan in 84. It was worked around him doing the hidden object schtick and he did it perfectly.
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Balls Mahoney

Really? He has a bunch of good matches with Tanaka. Tagging with Tanaka vs the Dudleys, With Axl vs Candido and Storm and vs Sabu and RVD. VS RVD. Balls was a good hand.

 

Justin Credible

vs Tajiri, with Storm vs Gedo and Jedo, vs Awesome and Raven, Great matches with Mikey Whipwreck, vs Shane Douglas, vs Sabu.

 

Ernest Miller

I liked him being mauled by Scott Norton. vs the Faces of Fear. As a face Miller had some fun unique looking offense.

 

The Godwins

Really like their run as Southern Justice. Had some matches on Heat where they mauled guys. Breakdown 98 with Jarrett vs the Outlaws and X-Pac. In WCW had good matches with Steamboat and Douglas.

 

 

Really you are not going to find anybody who had a run with a national promotion longer than a year and not find something good.

 

 

and yes has George Steele ever had a good match? I don't remember any vs Savage during their year and a half run.

He had a very good match with Hogan in 84. It was worked around him doing the hidden object schtick and he did it perfectly.

 

I think it will be more interesting when you rag on wrestlers instead of praise them. I mean seriously, is there one wrestler you don't think is awesome? You and Dylan, man. I swear...
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Me? There are plenty of wrestlers I think suck and not just obvious ones like Jeep Swenson or Tiger Jeet Singh. For example I think Mr. Electricity Steve Regal is dogshit and fuck the AWA for having him wrestle draws against Buck Zumhofe every god damned night. Another guy I hate is Lance Storm and not because "lol dvdvr" but because the guy is loosest wrestler I've ever seen and looked awful on all the ECW stuff I watched recently. There are plenty of others.

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I havent seen the matches myself but ive always heard Georege steele was a top heel worker in th late 70's early 80's before given the animal goofy gimmick. I beieve at one time he may have even wrestled under a mask to hide his idenity because his day job was a school teacher though i may be confusing that with soemone else.

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Kamala is very good. Except for his 92/93 WWF tenure the hard thing would be finding bad Kamala matches.

Are you kidding me? Pretty much every Kamala match I've ever seen whether it be 80s WWF, early 90s WWF, or mid-90s WCW (Dungeon of Doom) has sucked.

 

What would you say was good about Kamala?

 

I'm having a hard time believing his Memphis stuff is any better than his mid-80s WWF stuff.

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Me? There are plenty of wrestlers I think suck and not just obvious ones like Jeep Swenson or Tiger Jeet Singh. For example I think Mr. Electricity Steve Regal is dogshit and fuck the AWA for having him wrestle draws against Buck Zumhofe every god damned night. Another guy I hate is Lance Storm and not because "lol dvdvr" but because the guy is loosest wrestler I've ever seen and looked awful on all the ECW stuff I watched recently. There are plenty of others.

I know there were wrestlers you thought sucked, but it is rare to see you talk about them. I agree about Storm, he is very downey soft in his matches.
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I don't have anything against any of these guys necessarily, but I'm not sure what I would point to for them either:

 

Rip Oliver

Al Madril

Henry Godwinn

Mideon

Cobra/nWo Sting

Justin Credible

Balls Mahoney

Ernest Miller

Nathan Jones

Justin Credible doesn't belong here. He's really solid.

nWo Sting was good in Japan.

Balls Mahoney could be decent, but could be quite bad also, and his gimmick sucks.

The Godwinns suck pig balls. Awful workers, both of them.

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Life is too fucking short to go on about what I hate.

 

Are you kidding me? Pretty much every Kamala match I've ever seen whether it be 80s WWF, early 90s WWF, or mid-90s WCW (Dungeon of Doom) has sucked.

 

What would you say was good about Kamala?

How bout you start with why you think he sucks.

 

 

With wrestling it usually comes down to played their roles well and hit their spots the way they were suppose to. Kamala did a great job playing a savage. His moves came across more as an animal lashing out instead of a wrestler in a gimmick. He would use basic throws and slams. Now someone might say "Well that's because he couldn't do anything else." and I say a W is a W.

 

He was good at working the nerve hold. Probably the only guy good at it. Usually looked like he was trying to hurt the guy instead of sitting and catching his breath. When he came off the top, he had this "no brakes!!! no brakes!!!" recklessness.

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How bout you start with why you think he sucks.

 

With wrestling it usually comes down to played their roles well and hit their spots the way they were suppose to. Kamala did a great job playing a savage. His moves came across more as an animal lashing out instead of a wrestler in a gimmick. He would use basic throws and slams. Now someone might say "Well that's because he couldn't do anything else." and I say a W is a W.

 

He was good at working the nerve hold. Probably the only guy good at it. Usually looked like he was trying to hurt the guy instead of sitting and catching his breath. When he came off the top, he had this "no brakes!!! no brakes!!!" recklessness.

I think a large part of this for me comes down to the character itself. I mean out of all the xenophobic gimmicks, that one has got to be the worst.

 

Why was Kamala a heel? Did people watching him actually believe that you could have a "savage" out of the "dark heart" of Africa? So just on a purely political level, I hate that role. Even more than the Iranian Iron Sheik playing the Iraqi Col. Mustafa or the flat-out embarrassing Hassan vs. JR and Lawler "debate" years later.

 

Once you get past that and accept that that was the role and simply look at the way Kamala played it, sure he was reasonably effective at it.

 

But does effectively playing your role automatically constitute a great match? People say DiBiase never had a great match in WWF (he did imo, vs. Savage Wrestlefest 88), and I don't think anyone ever played a role as well as he did as the Million Dollar Man. Hell, Brutus Beefcake was effective in his role. But does that mean DiBiase vs. Beefcake from Wrestlemania 5 was a good match?

 

Do you see where I'm going here? I don't think any of the Kamala matches I've seen get even close to DiBiase / Beefcake, and that's not even a good match.

 

I suppose the question is: CAN you have a good match involving a guy with Kamala's moveset and general ability? I always think of Kamala's style of taking bumps to be at best "very unusual". It's like George Steele - his style was so unorthodox and "crazy" that most matches inolving him unravel at some piont. I dunno, for me, if I see Kamala's name on a card, I know that there's going to be at least one nothing match on the show.

 

This has nothing to do with his build or "workrate" by the way - I'd even say I've seen a few good John Tenta matches. I'm saying that the Kamala gimmick, moveset and general style is incapable of creating a good match.

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I don't have anything against any of these guys necessarily, but I'm not sure what I would point to for them either:

 

Henry Godwinn

Mideon

Really good two match series with Cactus Jack in early 93. And I think a pretty good two match series with Dustin around that time too.

 

Also, they're in my absolute favorite Lethal Lottery match, Rude/Shanghai vs Tex/Bagwell.

 

re: Rip Oliver. I was trying to explain on DVDVR why I'm a little soured on Portland right now after watching a whole lot of Portland TV all at once and I got some nasty looks I think. I think it'd be different if I could just hop between Buddy Rose matches.

 

I suppose the question is: CAN you have a good match involving a guy with Kamala's moveset and general ability?

Holy god yes. Wrestling is all about doing the right thing well at the right time to tell a story. Except for, you know, if you don't think wrestling is about that at all, which is absolutely fine, but makes for some tricky attempts at conversation since we're going from very different starting points. I know you say it's not about workrate, but then you mention moveset. You can have a match between two guys just doing crappy punches and it can be good so long as the punches are done at the right time and sold the right way and the narrative pulls together around it.

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I think the criteria we're using is similar - I'm not one of these IWC workrate junkies. I'm just struggling to imagine HOW Kamala could have a good match. What I'm trying to say is that his basic style of working is something that takes me "out" of the match. Almost everything is designed to get over the fact that he's a wild savage. If when someone knocks you out of the ring, the thing you are getting over is not the PAIN that you are in but what a goon you are, there's something going wrong there.

 

I'm aware that my predisposition of HATING the gimmick, colours my view in this somewhat, but it seems to me that Kamala's style is designed only to get over that gimmick and not the match itself. As it happens, that's my exact problem with George Steele too.

 

Even with the most gimmicky of gimmicks - your Doinks and Repo Men - they'd pick and choose when to get over the gimmick and when to work the match. Seems to me both Steele and Kamala didn't do that.

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I don't have anything against any of these guys necessarily, but I'm not sure what I would point to for them either:

 

Rip Oliver

Al Madril

Henry Godwinn

Mideon

Cobra/nWo Sting

Justin Credible

Balls Mahoney

Ernest Miller

Nathan Jones

Godwinn has had some enjoyable matches.

In WCW had good matches with Steamboat and Douglas.

Seconded. Pearce and Shanghai had a lot of fun matches in WCW

 

 

Miller had the Norton matches which were some of the best WCW moments, a Benoit match from the 9/27/99 Nitro and I remember strong matches against Glacier and Mortis.

 

Jones has the 11/20/03 match against Benoit which is very good. I know he's been in other good stuff too. He was also awesome in "The Protector" against Tony Jaa:):) Yeah, it's not wrestling but in some ways it's the same deal and any wrestling fan should love that fight.

 

Credible had matches in ECW that were strong. As Aldo Montoya, I know he had good stuff but because I had lost interest in ECW around 98/99 I can't point the ECW ones out.

 

Cobra/NWO Sting definitely had matches worth checking out. I remember a really strong tag in NJPW he had.

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I liked Godwinn's two match series against Bret from Superstars and Action Zone in '95. I suppose they're kind of run-of-the-mill type matches for Bret, but I enjoyed them.

 

For Zhukov, I thought he had good matches with Martel in the AWA, one of which was a Cage match in Winnipeg (IIRC, they were all in Winnipeg). I haven't seen them in a while, so maybe Dylan can comment if they hold up.

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You want to cause yourself pain? Watch some Bolsheviks/Young Stallions matches. Or Nikolai vs Zhukov. Actually, the latter ones are really interesting if only to see how astoundingly over Volkoff was in the summer of 90. He was the #3 WWF Babyface for a while.

 

Also, Middling Demoliton Squash: http://board.deathvalleydriver.com/index.p...663&st=120#

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the latter ones are really interesting if only to see how astoundingly over Volkoff was in the summer of 90. He was the #3 WWF Babyface for a while.

:lol:

 

This I've got to see.

 

Which period in particular are you talking here?

 

Roster's pretty stacked Summer of 1990, even on the face side. Hogan, Warrior, Dusty Rhodes, Texas Tornado. Jake Roberts was still a face. Boss Man was pretty over after the Akeem feud.

 

Can't see a time when he would have been number 3 there. I actually thought Dusty was default #3 babyface feuding with the main event heels (Savage and DiBiase) who weren't in the main event.

 

With von Erich and Bossman close behind them. No?

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I've don't remember hearing it on the Mid South set but I remember someone around here saying that on commentary during Kamala matches Joel Watts would try to get over the idea that Kamala's savage gimmick was all mind games because he was clearly uncomfortable with the gimmick's racial implications.

 

I like Kamala and I like savage gimmicks. It may be campy but isn't wrestling kind of campy?

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