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Jay Youngblood


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Youngblood is an interesting nomination. I don't agree with the notion that he was as good as Steamboat. He lacks the total star presence that Steamer had. I don't see crowds going nuts for him like those Mid-Atlantic crowds did in the 70s and I don't see him turning up in Japan and immediately looking like the real deal. But that's not a huge knock on him, because Steamboat was a very top talent in his generation.


I think what is going to hurt Youngblood overall is having his career cut short. I haven't seen the Portland stuff, and we only get glimpses of the team with Steamboat. The match from MSG we reviewed on Titans vs Tor Kamata and Bulldog Brower still stands out as a great carry job performance and those guys got over big with that Garden crowd from just one match. A big feather in their cap as a team, but I don't know if that plus Final Comflict, plus glimpses vs. The Briscos plus what he has in Portland is enough for a GWE case.


My sense is that had Youngblood gone on into the late 80s, he'd have made a very serviceable babyface. Not as good as a Rick Martel but leagues above a guy like Tom Zenk, more talent than a Robert Gibson too.


In fact I'd probably put him on par with someone like Tommy Rogers, in terms of talent.

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More seriously, what makes Youngblood better than someone like Doug Somers in terms of the footage we actually have? I know Steamboat and Youngblood have the rep of being one of the all time great babyface teams and maybe that is true. But I don't believe there is enough evidence on tape to show that. On the other hand there is plenty of evidence on tape to show that Rose and Somers were a tremendous, all time great level heel team. The problem there is that their run was short and they were working in a dying promotion. Still Somers was absolutely great in 86. Do we have any year worth of footage from Youngblood at the level of Somers in 86? I have seen Portland Youngblood and while I enjoy the matches with Buddy, I didn't think Jay was anything special in them, certainly not to the point where I'd rate him over 86 Doug.


I guess you could argue that if you piece together what we have of Jay it might equal Doug's 86, but I've also seen old man Somers take bumps off the top of cage's to get Southern indie feuds over, and work a great heel control segment on Kyle Matthews, so it's gonna be a hard pitch to convince me Youngblood is better than Somers based on the footage that exists.

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