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Universally enjoyable matches

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I've found that, if you're dealing with people not too squeamish about blood, Brody vs. Abby from World Class in '86 tends to go over well with non-fans.

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Not really putting this forward as an answer, but I used to take wrestling in to watch with a bunch of the guys I work with - all Monday Night Wars era lapsed-fans - and when I ran out of WWF/WCW stuff, I started taking in Japanese stuff. The one match that went over like gangbusters was Super Vader Vs Takada (don't know date), to the point that we would replay that match every couple of weeks.

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Does anyone not like Savage/Steamboat?

For a long time, I thought it wasn't wrestled in the context of the storyline so I can see someone not liking it. I do like it now though. The Toronto house show match in February - where I saw Steamboat show the hatred you'd expect him to have after getting his larynx crushed, only for his temper to cost him - was the missing piece that made me appreciate WM more. WM3 doesn't look as good if you think the storyline is Steamboat getting his hands on Savage for the first time since the injury.

 

But yes, this is a good choice.

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Does anyone not like Savage/Steamboat?

For a long time, I thought it wasn't wrestled in the context of the storyline so I can see someone not liking it. I do like it now though. The Toronto house show match in February - where I saw Steamboat show the hatred you'd expect him to have after getting his larynx crushed, only for his temper to cost him - was the missing piece that made me appreciate WM more. WM3 doesn't look as good if you think the storyline is Steamboat getting his hands on Savage for the first time since the injury.

 

But yes, this is a good choice.

 

My main issue with it is more for what it inspired fifteen years later, which is hardly fair at all.

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With the "non-fan" question, I do wonder if there are whole swathes of people who just won't get invested regardless of the match just because it's pro wrestling.

 

My wife just won't even watch more than 30 seconds of wrestling before she starts going on her iPhone and zoning out. It doesn't matter if it's Flair on there or anyone else, she's not interested, she'll never be interested. Lost cause. Same with football, same with any sport really.

 

My dad is another one. It doesn't matter if it's Japanese, current WWE, 80s NWA, doesn't matter. His response in all cases will be the same. "You don't still watch this shit do you". And then, about two miinutes later, "You know none of this is real don't you". And maybe a minute or so after that "he never hit him then!" After which I'll turn it off.

 

My mum will only ever refer to wrestling as "nonsense". And then say something like "nuts you are".

 

I think there are people who you have to write off. "Will not enjoy wrestling under any circumstances".

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I don't think this thread is for matches that are 100% loved by everyone but matches enjoyed by large majority of fans. The fact I haven't watched enough stuff in my life makes this thread pretty nifty when something I haven't seen pops up.

 

I used to always trick my friends over to watch some wrestling with me and it was always the SUPER SPOTTY stuff that stuck with them. This was like when I was 13 or 14. TNA's X-Division was a big hit truthfully, actually TNA in general stuck rather well with their Bloodiest Matches comp they released. I don't know we were teenagers and it seemed awesome. Haven't watched wrestling with a non-fan in quite some time. Seems to be a waste of my time honestly since they'll just be annoyed within 10-15 minutes.

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Does anyone not like Savage/Steamboat?

For a long time, I thought it wasn't wrestled in the context of the storyline so I can see someone not liking it. I do like it now though. The Toronto house show match in February - where I saw Steamboat show the hatred you'd expect him to have after getting his larynx crushed, only for his temper to cost him - was the missing piece that made me appreciate WM more. WM3 doesn't look as good if you think the storyline is Steamboat getting his hands on Savage for the first time since the injury.

 

But yes, this is a good choice.

 

Even before that, you have the January matches in which Steamboat doesn't care about the title, he just wants to get his hands on Savage. So he ends up getting disqualified, usually by shoving the referee out of the way when he tries to stop him from hitting Savage with a chair. By the time the MLG show rolls around, Steamboat has figured that the best way to hurt Savage is to take his title, but he's still allowing his temper to get the best of him. Eventually, we get a calmer Steamboat emerging victorious at Wrestlemania.

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It would have made such a difference for one of the announcers to say "You know, The Dragon's temper has gotten the best of him a few times over recent months and it has cost him, but I don't think that's going to happen tonight. Look at him. He looks like a man poised and ready to take the Intercontinental title from the Macho Man."

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Did the WWF commentators at the time ever refer to houseshow matches? Personally, I had read about the houeshow results on some old angelfire or tripod website, but always thought it was kind of obvious from the way it was worked and the stage it was wrestled on that Steamboat was trying to keep it clean and win the belt.

 

What did it inspire 15 years later?

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I have two brothers who dislike wrestling, and when they come over the house and catch me watching, it is always met with snickering.

 

The only match that has ever shut them up and had them fully engrossed was Low Ki vs KENTA from ROH Final Battle '05. They were asking to see more of each guy, and these are total non fans who not only do not watch wrestling at all, but flat out dislike it. They were blown away by the athleticism & physicality.

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It would have made such a difference for one of the announcers to say "You know, The Dragon's temper has gotten the best of him a few times over recent months and it has cost him, but I don't think that's going to happen tonight. Look at him. He looks like a man poised and ready to take the Intercontinental title from the Macho Man."

Yeah, I agree, but that would have flown against the WWF philosophy that "Every match you are seeing is happening only here, for the first time" that seemed to pervade their telecasts. A description like the one you posted would fly in the face of that.

 

The whole "Insular WWF Universe" of 1984-92 (or so) really worked at keeping people in the dark about things that happened outside of what you were seeing right now, or just saw a few weeks before on another TV show.

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There's a marked shift in 1992 when you get those title switches at house shows. I don't know if anyone has ever written on the change in that philosophy, but we get a lot of stuff happening off-screen all of a sudden. Money Inc title wins, Piper's IC title win, Bret's title win, some of the Money Inc - Steiners stuff in 93.

 

I remember having my mind blown reading PWI around that time.

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There's a marked shift in 1992 when you get those title switches at house shows. I don't know if anyone has ever written on the change in that philosophy, but we get a lot of stuff happening off-screen all of a sudden. Money Inc title wins, Piper's IC title win, Bret's title win, some of the Money Inc - Steiners stuff in 93.

 

I remember having my mind blown reading PWI around that time.

This is the first time this has dawned on me. They then starting working more with Smoky Mountain and Memphis during this time too. I wonder what triggered this change in philosophy?

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You have to remember that in late 93-early 94, business was so bad that they were advertising little tiny bumpkin house shows on Raw, not with a list at the bottom of the screen but worked right into the main commentary of Raw, not in the old syndicated way. Some of the shows they spent a decent amount of time talking about surprised me.

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They allude to it several times. Jesse makes the hilarious comment "They said he's got a lot of heart, but I'd personally say he's got a lot of throat." Also, Gorilla asks why Savage isn't targeting the throat. And when Savage grabs the ring bell after the ref bump, they mention that was how Steamboat originally got put out of commission.

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Yeah, I watched Wrestlemania III on a VHS when I was 11 or so and there was no mistaking that the feud was about Savage injuring Steamboat's throat.

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