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From what I understand, Verne had been slowing down for some time and was almost in "Special Attraction" mode. with the idea that an appearance by the Champ would seem special and bump attendance somewhat.

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Honestly, I might have pimped Hall vs DeBeers from the Sept 23, 1986 AWA TV. It's kind of a miracle match based around work on Hall's left hand and amazing Hall does a pretty good job with the selling. I doubt it would have broken the top 100, granted, but it's a great novelty and a pretty heated match.

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I don't even have words for how much I hate the Midnight Rockers vs Rose/Somers cage match from 12/25/86. What a terrible match. It's not my 150 just because there are a few things that are worse and because Sherri and Doug Somers both have some very good moments, but it's in my bottom 25 and I will bitch and moan freely about it when the DVDVR board comes up.

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Watched the 1/17 cage again. It takes all the elements of the first cage but they refined them and made them work in a narrative sense. They turned the gaping, painful weaknesses in the first match into strengths. Pretty cool. I'll go in depth when DVDVR comes back but it's endlessly stronger and I can't imagine why in the world anyone would put the St. Paul tag over the later one. Granted, it still pales when it comes to BotS.

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I rewatched the 6-person tag with Despina and Sherri since I know people had that high. I like everything but the FIP on Michaels, which is well worked but doesn't have the involvement of Sherri at all. It's weird since she's all over both the transition in the corner and the second FIP leading to both hope spots and the eventual hot tag in a really big moment. It's not a match killer but it took me out of it enough that it's going to be just under my top third I think,

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I rewatched the 6-person tag with Despina and Sherri since I know people had that high. I like everything but the FIP on Michaels, which is well worked but doesn't have the involvement of Sherri at all. It's weird since she's all over both the transition in the corner and the second FIP leading to both hope spots and the eventual hot tag in a really big moment. It's not a match killer but it took me out of it enough that it's going to be just under my top third I think,

It's okay, I'll probably have it higher than your number one

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It's been a while since I've watch some of this and my notes are terrible. Couple stuff I've already upped on my rankings on rewatch. Still thinking my number one will remain the same which has been the case since I first watched it. Also, getting a kick out of two matches I have in top 20 which I never would have thought.

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Mean Gene : "One on one, Verne Gagne chased Nick Bockwinkel for 20 years and made all kinds of money, made huge money."

 

That statement isn't even vaguely accurate on any metric, right?

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On the Time Frame referenced (20 years), absolutely not.

 

On the Money being huge, I really have no idea. I'm sure they did ok at the gate when they wrestled but nothing really spectacular.

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Mean Gene : "One on one, Verne Gagne chased Nick Bockwinkel for 20 years and made all kinds of money, made huge money."

 

That statement isn't even vaguely accurate on any metric, right?

 

According to Wrestlingdata they wrestled 101 times - July of 71 to April of 85

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Mean Gene : "One on one, Verne Gagne chased Nick Bockwinkel for 20 years and made all kinds of money, made huge money."

 

That statement isn't even vaguely accurate on any metric, right?

 

According to Wrestlingdata they wrestled 101 times - July of 71 to April of 85

 

 

 

That's certainly a way to frame the metrics to make it look like it is closer to 20 years than it really was. Wasn't the Gagne retirement match against Bock in 1981? So, in reality, they had a 10-year run at max. That 1985 reference I believe is to Verne coming out of retirement to work a match with Greg against Bock and Saito. I don't think he wrestled much more than just that one match in early '85. Of course he came out of retirement in '86 for one match against Adnan and in '83 for the Super Sunday show with Mad Dog, but the Bock years would have been '71 to '81, nowhere near 20 years.

 

I'll have to defer to someone else how much they actually wrestled each other in the EARLY 70s also. Bock was doing a lot of tag-teaming at that time, I'm not even sure they really worked a ton of singles match at the beginning of that time period either. I'm thinking most of their work together was in the late 70s.

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Verne is going to kick the bucket fairly soon so Meltzer will probably ask me for a Verne Gagne record book. I'll bump my friend David Baker's Verne ring record on Sports and Wrestling then add to it. Eventually I'll total the Nick vs Verne matches by year. Seem to recall Bock meeting Verne early on because Verne was replacing Hercules Cortez who died in an automobile accident. I'll quickly look that up.

 

Yep. The first Bock vs Verne match was due to the death of Cortez.

 

7/23/71 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Nick Bockwinkel beat Hercules Cortez dq
Larry Hennig & Lars Anderson beat Red Bastien & Bull Bullinski
Vivian Vachon beat Kay Noble
Billy Robinson beat Big K
Don Muraco beat Moose Morowski
Jack Bence beat Bob Tuck

Professional wrestler Hercules Cortez, 39, died early Saturday morning in a one car accident near St. Cloud, Minn., where he and fellow wrestler Red Bastien were returning to the Twin Cities for last night's card after a Friday card in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Cortez, who lives in North Royalton, Ohio, was driving the car and died en route to a St. Cloud hospital. Bastien, 40, of Minneapolis, was treated and releaeed and will miss about a week of wrestling.

Last night's card at the Minneapolis Auditorium went on as scheduled, with promoter Wally Karbo bringing in a replacement for Cortez, whose real name is Alfonso Chicharro. Cortez was a native of Spain.

Cortez and Bastien were World Tag Team Champions.

7/24/71 Minneapolis TV
Larry Hennig & Lars Anderson beat Jose Betancourt & Angel Rivera
Nick Bockwinkel beat Pancho Zapata
Edouard Carpentier beat Aldo Bogni
Andre the Giant beat Moose Morowski
Ray Stevens beat Kenny Jay

7/24/71 Minneapolis, MN @ Auditorium
Non Title Match
Nick Bockwinkel beat AWA Champion Verne Gagne (sub Hercules Cortez) in 18:21
Bull Bullinski & Andre Rousimoff beat Larry Hennig & Lars Anderson 2/3
Billy Robinson beat Edouard Carpentier via pin in 16:08
Ray Stevens beat Jose Betancourt (sub Red Bastien) in 12:05
Vivian Vachon beat Kay Noble via pin in 8:32
Kenny Jay drew Joe Turco 15:00
att: "6,123 mat fans"

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Man I hope that 1971 episode of AWA TV with a very young Andre the Giant on the card survived.

 

Also Carpentier vs. Robinson on the evening arena show would have been a ton of fun, I bet.

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Mean Gene : "One on one, Verne Gagne chased Nick Bockwinkel for 20 years and made all kinds of money, made huge money."

 

That statement isn't even vaguely accurate on any metric, right?

 

According to Wrestlingdata they wrestled 101 times - July of 71 to April of 85

Results from that era on those sites is woefully incomplete.

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I started watching the AWA set and it has been a lot of fun. I finished disc 1 and have made it to Blackwell/Sheik vs Baron/Mad Dog taped fist match.

 

I recently got all of the 80s sets except for Lucha and was struggling to pick which one to start first. I went with AWA for a few reasons

1. I have seen less AWA than all the other sets. I've basically seen the Buddy Rose stuff, Bockwinkel/Hennig, Bockwinkel/Hogan, Hansen's run and a few Lawler matches. But I'd never seen Blackwell before, very few High Flyers, I can't remember ever closely watching a Baron or Mad Dog match. I've seen Martel in WWF and Portland against Buddy Rose but I haven't seen any of the AWA matches.

2. I had the lowest expectations for AWA than the others. I don't mean I'm expecting the AWA set to suck. I'm actually expecting it to be really good and fun. But I KNOW I love Memphis. I have Part 1 of the Lawler Mega Set and almost all of it. I have the Freebirds vs Von Erichs set that I've watched all the way through and I KNOW I'll love Texas. I've seen more than enough Jumbo, Tenryu, Hansen, Fujinami, Choshu etc to know that I'll love the Japan sets. So the unknown allure of the AWA set played a big part for me deciding to start on this set.

 

So far I'm really loving it. Heenan vs Hayes was a total blast. High Flyers vs Pre Strike Force Strike Force is a really great match especially with the greatest dropkick ever. I loved the Blackwell/Sheik vs Flyers Cage match. All the Bockwinkel matches have been fun. The fucking crowds are incredible. Really fun stuff so far. I'm glad I started with this one.

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- It melts my heart to see old ladies marking out watching the guys wrestle.
- I'm torn on if having flabby Ray Stevens is the best look for the casual audience to see what AWA stars look like compared to the WWF steroid monsters of the same era. Stevens was a legend, so the casuals may have enjoyed it regardless, or dismissed it as an old man still flopping around.
- Kelly and Kiniski had a good look and I'm always surprised the WWF or JCP didn't swoop them up to use in 1987/88. Both got WWF tryouts for sure. They were gone from the AWA by some point in mid 88 at least, and I'm not sure what either did until Kelly showed up as Nailz in 1992.
- The crowd openly laughs at Kelly claiming to have played in the NFL for 2 years. They also laugh at Curt Hennig claiming he could have excelled at several pro sports.
- The wrestling is fake topic is covered. The guys tried to keep kayfabe as well as possible. Right before that segment the show aired a clip of DJ Pederson having a hot sequence vs. Kelly on ESPN TV. Kelly sells a drop kick a little awkwardly and dives out of the ring in a moment that one could say shows theatrics.
- The heels and faces wind up in a verbal confrontation that to me feels realistic as the Q and A becomes more heated. (The word poopy is not used. FUCK you modern WWE).
- JT Southern doing a Halloween Store Michael Hayes gimmick makes me image.gif.41164e81cf586b86deeb7fcb7a1c1361.gif
- Verne says Mad Dog Vachon has a cooking show on Montreal TV. Dear lord somebody upload ALL of that to youtube!!!!!
- The fans and Madusa spar over Sherri Martel, current WWF World champion, about to appear on WWF PPV a few weeks from now.
- I couldn't hear the fan, but I think someone said something lewd to Madusa off mic based on the host and her response.
- Verne explains why babyfaces and heels don't wrestle other heels and faces.
- A fan calls out the ref for sucking at his job when the heel cheats.
- LOL now an old man in a LOUD suit smells blood and demands answers from the ref on their shitty job keeping the dang gum heels in line in tag matches. I love me some kayfabe.
- Kiniski calls a teen girl asking questions fat. LOLOLOLOLOLOL Canceled! I'm offended. Safe spaces!!
- Verne talks about Donald Trump being a wrasslin' fan.
- Ernest Worrell commercial! Now I want a "Ernest goes to the AWA" movie.
- Madusa gets a chance to cut a promo and is being a quality cunt. I'm enjoying this show way too much.
- Verne uses the term "Independent contractors".
- The host talks about how so many modern guys have good bodies and dumps on Wahoo and Ray Stevens being old and fat.
- DJ Pederson is asked about this stuff being fake and has to bust out "Sports Entertainment" as Verne probably busts a vein 5 feet off camera.

 

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I stumbled across that AWA on Twin Cities TV deal a few weeks back and that entire thing was such a joy to watch. I saw that DJ Peterson bit and he 100% came off like he was angling for a look from WWF with that "sports entertainment" bit.

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