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Ron Starr

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My favourite heel from childhood. I'm hoping he holds up to closer inspection. A really solid, old school dirty southern heel who could just flat go (as far as that means anything for that style).

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Another example of the sort of guy I could see rating in my bottom five or so. Every time he pops up on some old footage I watch he stands out as an entertaining, fun and scummy looking worker. He is the sort of guy that would probably benefit from a youtube playlist/comp and might not have enough to get him over the hump, but he definitely has some great moments. I thought he was legitimately awesome in Puerto Rico, and he has a match there with Invader I that is among my favorite from the island ever

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I really liked his match with Fujinami from New Japan, which was part of Fujinami's incredible jr. heavyweight run in 1980. In the DVDVR nominating process, he impressed all of us with how snugly he worked. I'll have to hunt down some of his other stuff

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There is at least some Maritimes stuff on Youtube, though I'm not sure how good or bad it is. I agree with Matt that he was good in 79 in Portland. From what I've seen though his peak was in PR where he was a great heel

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Decided to watch some Ron Starr tonight

 

There is a very fun, JIP lumberjacks with straps match from Stampede between him and a young Dan Kroffat on Youtube. Kroffat is solid selling in the match, but I thought Starr's stooging and heel tactics carried it. Really liked Starr's running knee and boxing stance jabs. The finish of this was bullshit, and some of the transitions felt a bit flat, but for a seven minute clip this was well worth watching.

 

He also has a short match with Ron Garvin from Georgia that is too back and fourth to be anything of note, but it was interesting to watch these two work the mat and then watch Garvin drop big bombs left and right. He threw a headbutt and a boot in this that looked absolutely brutal. I wish we ha a full arena match between them on tape.

 

I absolutely love the Ron Starr and Leo Burke match on youtube. I've seen it before, but watching it again tonight you really get a taste for how good both guys could be. In some ways it had the feel of a Tito v. Savage match, as you had the opening standard babyface control spots, leading to the cheating heel work, then some violence on the floor with weapons, a babyface comeback, and a screwy but still somewhat satisfying finish. The knees that Starr was throwing while on top were pretty great. About four or five different variations of knee strikes all of which looked brutal and were well timed. Leo's selling was really good, but I also liked the way they set up the cut off spots as they were based on formula but with little variations that you don't often see. Starr might have gone a bit over the top with some of his bumps down the stretch, and Leo's blade job was weak, but otherwise this was really good

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I had actually really enjoyed that Garvin match, possibly because it was so back and forth and non-formulaic. I agree though, I'd love to see a full fledged arena match between them.

 

Starr and Burke were gold together. They did a great, basic, best friends - to heel turn - to blood enemies storyline that summer that took Starr from the #2 good guy to by far the most hated man in the Maritimes.

 

As for the bumping - us Maritimers LOVE our over the top bumping from heels. LOVE. I have no idea why, but the crowds around here eat that up like crazy, no matter how ridiculous. Actually, probably BECAUSE it's ridiculous. And it was as family friendly a territory as you can imagine, so ANY blood at all was a shocking incident. I can't really remember any gushers, at least not that were on TV, even when AGPW got bumped to midnight on Saturdays. Maybe chalk that up to knowing how to play to the crowd you're in front of more than anything.

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He's awesome in Puerto Rico. I liked his match with Fujinami in NJ. I need to do more work on him before I can make any decision.

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the invader match:

 

Starr is great at being chickenshit in the opening bit. He keeps trying to contrive a way to get on offense but Invader outpresences him completely. The best part is when he whips Starr off the rope and Star hangs on, drops out, and shadowpunches outside for a while. WE get a cut for a commercial as Starr had one of his temporary advantages but it's fine things are more even when we come back since that followed the story of the early match. The transition comes right after as Starr tosses Invader out cheaply and as he distracts the ref, his valet hits him with a chair. Invader bleeds like no one's business and he sells out on the floor for the next five minutes or so with just a few stomps from Starr now and again but it's really well done. Invader just bleeds around the ringside area and collapses and garners sympathy. Starr doesn't even need to do anything. Eventually, Invader makes it back in and the way he earns the comeback, getting beaten down, and then coming back with a few collissions, and losing a step or two but just gradually coming back a little more and a little more is great until both guys are selling heavily. He never QUITE gets the big comeback though and finally misses a big desperation move and eats the DDT (which he blocked brilliantly in the early match) for the win. Huge heat. Great match.

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The Invader I match is awesome. By far the best thing I watched today. Everybody should check it out:

 

 

I know that this is from September 16, 1986, in WWC, and the final of a tournament for the Television Championship. However, can anyone, like El Boricua, tell me what card this is from, or at the very least what arena?

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September 19, 1986 from Coliseo Pachin Vicens in Ponce. This is the first night of Aniversario 86 featuring the opening round for the vacant Universal title and the finals of the round robin tournament to crown the first ever TV champion.

 

After the Funk promo in the link there's a rundown of this card. Invader 3 vs. Vikingo was one of the additional matches, Atlas took on Angel Mejicano, Wajima was there but wrestled against someone else, and Martel won his match via forfeit since Brody was delayed in arriving from Japan.

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Brody vs. Martel? Holy shit, that would have been something to see.

 

I wonder if Brody would have went over and then lost on a DQ or COR to Funk, or if Brody would have lost via DQ or COR to Martel so the Martel-Funk match would have went down as it did anyway?

 

I also wonder if Brody was booked on paper only and never was going to show up, but that's just the cynic in me thinking.

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Starr is also working on a book right now, FWIW. No idea where it's at in the process, hopefully near completion with Starr's recent health problems taking hold.

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September 19, 1986 from Coliseo Pachin Vicens in Ponce. This is the first night of Aniversario 86 featuring the opening round for the vacant Universal title and the finals of the round robin tournament to crown the first ever TV champion.

 

After the Funk promo in the link there's a rundown of this card. Invader 3 vs. Vikingo was one of the additional matches, Atlas took on Angel Mejicano, Wajima was there but wrestled against someone else, and Martel won his match via forfeit since Brody was delayed in arriving from Japan.

 

Thanks for the info. I know it's not a big deal to some, but I'm a stickler for card name, promotion, date, arena, and wrestler names.

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Brody vs. Martel? Holy shit, that would have been something to see.

 

I wonder if Brody would have went over and then lost on a DQ or COR to Funk, or if Brody would have lost via DQ or COR to Martel so the Martel-Funk match would have went down as it did anyway?

 

I also wonder if Brody was booked on paper only and never was going to show up, but that's just the cynic in me thinking.

Not sure if the plan was always Martel vs. Funk or if it got changed due to Brody not arriving. Brody did wrestle the next two days of Aniversario 86, so I would think he legitimately was supposed to be there (although you never know). His flight would have arrived at Luis Muñoz Marin airport in San Juan. Ponce's about an hour's drive from San Juan (depending on traffic), so any delays on a flight from Japan would have affected getting to the arena on time.

 

Dory Funk and Ric Flair also wrestled on Saturday and Sunday but not on Friday (although in their case they weren't booked for the Friday card).

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In spite of having another heart attack and stroke not long ago, Ron is doing pretty good. His spirits are up and he is regularly working his physical rehab with the help of his wife. Although we've been talking for over a year, we just started working on his book about six weeks ago. A publisher of wrestling books has already reached out to us with strong interest. He was a great, underrated worker who could always be counted on for a solid match. I first saw him when he was working as a heel in L.A., and he frustrated us fans of the baby faces, because we grudgingly had to admit that he was really good in the ring, and could wrestle as well as brawl.

 

Ron worked in several territories in North America and in Puerto Rico, and has some great stories to share about his career, being a Vietnam vet, and what it was like to stir up heat in the days of kayfabe, to the point where his life was sometimes put at risk.

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For those that might not know, Rockrims is one of the most knowledgable California Wrestling historians around and his contributions here will be very valuable in this area and many others.

 

Rockrims has also put together an excellent Ron Starr dvd compilation that anyone wanting to really reasearch his candidacy here should take a look at.

 

Welcome and thanks.

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I think a Starr book would be interesting, if only because he worked so many territories, but is really an unknown name to a lot of the fanbase. Some of that is because the territories he worked were sort of the under the radar ones to modern US fans, PR and Portland and Maritimes. He played wildly different roles too so it'd be fairly interesting.

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