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02/28 - Thoughts On The Following Wrestlers


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I may hold off a few days doing another one of these. We don't want to run through everyone worth talking about too quickly.

 

Today's 10:

 

The Rockers (not as singles wrestlers, but as a tag team)

Ted DiBiase

Arn Anderson

Sid

Riki Choshu

Kevin Sullivan

Jushin Liger

Psicosis

Ken Shamrock

Manami Toyota

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Guest Alfdogg

The Rockers: Workrate-wise, one of the greatest tag teams ever. They had entertaining matches with every team from the Harts down to Haku & the Barbarian at WM7. You have to imagine just how much different the wrestling world would be today had Janetty gotten the singles push that Shawn eventually got.

 

Arn Anderson: Maybe one of the top 5 interviews of all time. I loved his style. I miss seeing him around, but part of me is glad he stays off TV because I'd much rather remember him as Flair's sidekick than HHH's.

 

Sid: Sid is my biggest "guilty pleasure" in wrestling. Seriously, how can you not love this guy. Not a great worker, of course, but a great interview (when he's not asking to restart live interviews) and I really liked his psycho laugh. He was also the first really imposing, awesome guy I saw when I started watching...this was around the time Earthquake was fueding with Hogan, and I didn't really view Quake in the same light because even then I knew Hogan would just return and destroy him, but I thought Sting was dead meat at HH90.

 

Kevin Sullivan: Haven't seen much of him as a worker, but I like his character, which I've heard through the grapevine is actually *not* a gimmick for him.

 

Jushin Liger: Definitely a guy I'd like to see more of...the only match I have of him on tape is Starrcade 91 in a Battlebowl match. I did see SuperBrawl 2, though, but it's been a while.

 

Psicosis: Best guillotine legdrop by anyone not named Bobby Eaton.

 

Ken Shamrock: My best Shamrock memory was when he insulted the Detroit crowd in a backstage interview. Had he not been a FACE at that time, I probably wouldn't remember it at all. I was one of those people clamoring for Shamrock to return for a feud with Kurt Angle once he started using the ankle lock. Didn't exactly have the best mic skills, as I recall, but he was fun to watch in the ring.

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Guest Some Guy

The Rockers (not as singles wrestlers, but as a tag team) - Very good. The only Rocker matches I have on tape are their PPV ones and of those the only one that sticks out is RR 91 againt the Orient Express. But I've seent he bloodbath in AWA and remember thinking the flips and such they dig were really cool when I was a kid.

 

Ted DiBiase - Best gimmick ever. Great worker, although as Dynamite said in his book, DiBiase wasn't agressive enough in the ring as a heel. He was a big star in Mid South but would never have gotten over to the extent he did in WWF without the Million Dollar Man gimmick.

 

Arn Anderson - Solid but unspectactular in the ring as a single but a great tag wrestler. I love the spot were he smash his opponent's head into his partner's and how he would cut the ring off and hook his opponent's legs with his own while he made the tag. Great promo guy and he played his role of Flair's enforcer perfectly. He never seemed like a suck up, like Flair is for HHH, he came across to me as just being very loyal.

 

Sid - Had one good match that I can think of (Survivor Series 96), although I'm sure Bret or someone of that caliber dragged one out of him too. Always over with the crowd but never a draw. Gave some of the strangest promos ever and threw some horrible punches. I read or heard an interview with someone who said that they were overly stiff though. So his punchesviolated the 2 main rules of wrestling, they looked like shit and they actually hurt.

 

Riki Choshu - Don't know anything about him.

 

Kevin Sullivan - Was the subject of one of my favorite wretling lines ever: "Don't be looking at me all pissed off honey. You're the one who married a midget, not me" from a great Austin in ECW promo. I only really saw his Taskmaster days and wasn't impressed except for the Benoit match at GAB 96. He seemed to be a pretty decent booker over all, I think blaming him for holding all the midcarders down is unfair considering the political sway that the main eventers in WCW had with Bischoff.

 

Jushin Liger - I've only seen maybe te matches of his and they were all in the **** range. So I'll agree with the hype and say that he is awesome.

 

Psicosis - Just another cruiserweight to me. Although one of my friends (who is not even a fan anymore) was a huge mark for him in 97-98.

 

Ken Shamrock - I always liked him and thought that he wasn't pushed properly. He should have come in as a heel and been allowed to decimate (in a working manner, obviously) his opponents with knees, kicks, suplexes, and the ankle lock until the fans turned him face. I didn't really like the nice guy until you piss him off gimmick that he had. He seemed like a more natural heel. Should have been brought back in to put over Angle in 2000.

 

Manami Toyota - Who? Never heard of him/her.

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Guest Hunter's Torn Quad

The Rockers: A great babyface tag team, even if they were a R 'n' R Express knock off. Really unluck not to get an official tag title run.

Ted DiBiase: A great worker in his prime, who could have a good match with just about anyone. Awesome on the mic too.

Arn Anderson: Superb on the mic, and capable in the ring. Should have had the chance to be US Champion.

Sid: Devoid of any real ability and talent. Except stabbing people.

Riki Choshu: A great worker at his peak, and really able to make a comeback. As his skill has fallen, he's gotten smarter, and is able to get by with a few moves.

Kevin Sullivan: A great wrestling mind, but was blatantly unable to keep his business and personal emotions apart when booking in WCW.

Jushin Liger: Probably the greatest light heavyweight wrestling of the modern era. I'd rate him above Dynamite, if only for being a lot smarter when it came to knowing when to do the crazy dives and when not to.

Psicosis: A great light heavyweight, who was one of the best in the business before being totally demoralized in WCW.

Ken Shamrock: Everything that could have made him stand out in the WWF was eschewed in favor of trying to make him fit the WWF 'mold'. Could have been something unique and different if handled better. Incredibly underrated on the mic.

Manami Toyota: One of the top two women's wrestlers of all-time. A great talent.

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The Rockers - An incredibly fun tag team that didn't get the prestige and title reigns that they deserved. Michaels' turn on Jannetty by throwing him through the Barber Shop window is still a classic.

 

Ted DiBiase - Pulled off the Million Dollar Man gimmick perfectly, better than anyone else could have dreamed to.

 

Sid - Decent big man, much better as a heel than a face (in the WWF, at least). Never really had any matches that you could deem "really good" or even "good".

 

Jushin Liger - Unique look, I'll give him that (especially wearing silver football pads over his outfit for a few of the matches I saw). Fantastic in the ring, as he really knew how to play to the crowd.

 

Ken Shamrock - Should have kept the "World's Most Dangerous Man" gimmick he had at the start, just a badass that would use his unique style to take out his opponents. I agree that a feud with Angle would have been interesting to see.

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Guest Bruiser Chong

The Rockers : One of the most talented teams the WWF had to offer during the '80s, yet they never stood a chance because they teamed during the day of the big man. Looking at old videos, they never seemed like they could stack up against the monster teams they usually faced. Once the quantity of big man teams dwindled, the Rockers became one of the top teams the company had to offer and no longer seemed like entertaining JTTSs. So of course, they were split up within the next year.

 

Ted DiBiase: He hit his prime during a time when the big monsters were still considered the best heels. Never one to get over by threatening his opponents with his pain, he got himself over as one of the hottest heels through his sheer arrogance and natural ability to embody the Million Dollar Man gimmick. A shame he found God, though. His mind for the business is missed.

 

Arn Anderson: Never got a lot of looks at him during his prime, but he was one of the few old school technical wrestlers that was able to entertain me when I did see him. A soft-spoken guy who had the ability to get fans to hate or love him.

 

Sid: Not talented in the ring and more worried about his softball league. Yet, he was insanely over wherever he went most of his career. Some guys just have a knack for that, even if they're not particularly gifted in any of the areas that usually results in heat.

 

Ken Shamrock: A little too bland character-wise during his WWF run, but for lack of my old favorites in 1997, he was one of my favorites by default.

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The Rockers - Probably the best tag team in the WWF from the time they debuted in 1988 until the moment they split up. Worked good matches with teams who had no business being in good matches. If not for the ability to move around territories, they would have been stale as hell, considering they were together for over five years. I think 90% of Shawn's best matches have happened as a tag wrestler, and most of those happened in the Rockers. Jannetty was every bit as good, and they had some swank double team moves. Their feud with Somers and Rose in the AWA is one of the best feuds of the 80s. Loved their brief heel run in 1988 in Memphis just before going to the WWF.

 

Ted DiBiase - Kind of a poor man's Ric Flair in many ways, which is funny because he'd go on to play anything but a poor man on TV. More physically imposing and athletic than Flair actually, and was a key part in some of the biggest angles of the 1980s in many territories. As much as I loved his WWF run, specifically his house show feud with Savage in '88, I wish he would have jumped to the NWA and stole the Horsemen from Flair, turning heel, winning the title and taking over the group. Flair would be the wronged babyface going for revenge against DiBiase, Arn, Tully and Luger. Luger would eventually leave the group to make room for Windham and you can run DiBiase/Arn/Tully/Windham v Flair/Sting/Luger/Doc matches forever and ever and they'd all be awesome.

 

Arn Anderson - One of the best interviews wrestling has ever seen. Probably even better than Flair on the mic, which is no small compliment from me. Responsible for some of my favorite wrestling quotes ever, especially "adversity introduces a man to himself" and "you send one of ours to the hospital; we send one of yours to the morgue." Was a fantastic tag team wrestler and a good singles wrestler. Was unfortunately always put in the position of having to make green guys and big slugs look formidable.

 

Sid - Guilty pleasure for me as well. I hate his matches, and he's a worthless human being, but those psychotic, non-sensical promos he'd do had a certain perverse charm about them.

 

Riki Choshu - In terms of influencing the pro wrestling style, I don't know that anyone else has had as huge an impact, and not just in Japan. Booked the ever-awesome G-1 climax in 1996 to near perfection and I loved his run against Jumbo & Friends in AJPW in the mid 80s. Had a certain rock star charisma about him and was a rebel through and through -- there was no one else around that was remotely like him at the time. One of the five biggest draws in Japanese wrestling history.

 

Kevin Sullivan - Had some really awesome ideas, and has his share of both friends and enemies. I'm glad he was recently able to patch up his problems with Benoit, but I'm sad that it happened now instead of five years ago, when it could have made a difference in the wrestling war.

 

Jushin Liger - The best junior heavyweight of all time. Hit highspots that were just as impressive as Sayama's with far more grace, was as aggressive at Dynamite Kid, and is probably in the top handful of "anchors" in wrestling history. His match with Samurai in '92 is an all-time favorite of mine.

 

Psicosis - Really terrific, underrated worker who took some insane bumps and had some great matches with Rey and Santito. I don't know that he ever really met his full potential, although he did get really good. Should have had a long run with the cruiserweight title in WCW.

 

Ken Shamrock - Could have been a huge player in WWE who had an aura like no other, but they made him sell too much and wrestle a pro style, so the novelty was dead. I was never really a huge fan and hated pretty much all of the angles they put him in, but that's because they weren't realistic.

 

Manami Toyota - Athletic and high-strung, and I'll never say she's a bad worker or anything like that, but she annoys the Hell out of me with her high-pitched screaming and lack of long-term selling. I much prefer Akira Hokuto, Kyoko Inoue, Devil Masami, Aja Kong and Jaguar Yokota to her.

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The Rockers: Their feud with Buddy Rose and Doug Somers for the AWA tag titles is one of the things that got me first interested in wrestling. It's really amazing how they were able to get some good matches out of the hoss-clogged late 80s-early 90s WWF tag scene. Especially when you factor in the amount of drugs they were on as well.

 

Ted DiBiase: One of the all time "who did he piss off in a past life?" guys, he seemed to get screwed by politics everywhere he went. My vote for the greatest wrestler to never win a world title.

 

Arn Anderson: One of the greats. Had the amazing ability to team up with almost anyone and have it click.

 

Sid: I can't help it, I always liked Sid. He played the psycho gimmick great, and he did pretty much everything you could ask of a big guy in wrestling.

 

Kevin Sullivan: The one who took the art of the crazy brawl and perfected it before ECW was a tingle in Paul E's pants. Seemed to suffer from what all brillant wrestling minds seem to suffer from: being completely batshit crazy. BTW, when he was doing the Satanist gimmick full bore in Florida, it was pretty close to his real life beliefs at that point. I think he's toned that part down these days but he's still an oddball.

 

 

Psicosis: Honestly, outside of his crazy mask, he never stood out in the sea of lucha to me. I mean, I enjoyed his matches and all, but nothing really grabbed me as "OMG THIS IS GREAT~!". I was also disappointed to find out his crazy afro mullet was part of his mask.

 

Ken Shamrock: He's responsible for one of my top RAW moments, when he stiffed the jobber he was facing and made the guy's nose explode.

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[li]The Rockers ~ Eh. I wasn't really into them all that much. I was a bigger fan of Demolition, The Legion of Doom and even Power & Glory. Looking back on their stuff now, they did play the role of "small babyfaces that get overpowered but use their quickness to prevail" well. I actually thought they were pretty boring in the ring. Still do.

 

[/li][li]Ted DiBiase ~ One of the most UNDERrated wrestlers that I've ever had the previledge to watch. Best wrestler to never win a title? Easily. Hell, I thought he was one of the best wrestlers ever. Great character. He did everything to perfection. That laugh? Oh man, that laugh was gold! He kicked the ball away from the little black kid! C'mon! I miss him. :(

 

[/li][li]"The Enforcer" Arn Anderson ~ IV! O.G. baby! I marked out for him run-in at WM18, and I marked for him when he could still go too. One of the better interviews you could've watched. Had a damn good DDT of his own back in the day. I don't think it topped his Spinebuster though. I loved his arm/shoulder work. He'd pin a guys arm behind their back before doing a body slam. Good stuff. I liked the Brainbusters a lot too.

 

[/li][li]Sid ~ I enjoyed his little stint in ECW for nostalgia factor. He fish-hooked Steve Corino. I laughed. I remember when he 'bombed Pillman in an old War Games match too. Definitely botched that, but the damn cage roof was too low. So, he dropped Pillman on his neck, slapped him in the chest to see if he could still feel his legs, then picked him up and 'bombed him again. Comedy gold. Sid is alright. Not a great wrestler by any stretch of the imagination, and I have no idea why WWF gave him a title run. Still, he's...OK.

 

[/li][li]Riki Choshu ~ I got nothing.

 

[/li][li]Kevin Sullivan ~ I always thought he was slightly overrated. Not really a great talker, at least not when you compare him to anyone above average. Same with his brawling. He didn't do anything that a Benoit or Austin couldn't do...or a 2 Cold Scorpio for that matter.

 

[/li][li]Jushin "Thunder" Lyger ~ In the words of Don "Cyrus" Callis: "tremendous." He was the first wrestler that did a lot of moves when I saw them for the first time. I loved him palm strikes and running Powerbombs. Good flyer too. Glad he crossed over and gave me some exposure to his wrestling here in the States.

 

[/li][li]Psicosis ~ Psicosis is my friend Jeremy's favorite wrestler. I couldn't tell you why. He seemed about on par with the likes of Juventud, Silver King, El Dandy, etc. to me. I do mark for an Alabama Jam though!

 

[/li][li]Ken Shamrock ~ All I know is all this talk about sphincter is putting him in the zone....

 

[/li][li]Manami Toyota ~ I got nothing.[/li]

 

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