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TravJ1979

Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

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Saw in the WO daily update that Onita is coming to the US to have a match with Matt Tremont on Halloween. If we don't get Tony K to give us some kind of Onita/Mox interaction while he's here then what the fuck was the point of anything.

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SRS reporting the NWA had talks with Tessa about possibly coming in but said talks were "tabled" for now. Pretty telling when a company that has no problems working with sex pests is like "eh....maybe we'll pass for now". 

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17 hours ago, Timbo Slice said:

Minoru Suzuki just announced a ton of US dates, too, sounds like the Japanese folks who can make it over are going to take advantage. 

Yeah, and the G-1 is gonna be pretty depressing unless they finally book talent from other promotions.

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22 hours ago, sek69 said:

Pretty telling when a company that has no problems working with sex pests is like "eh....maybe we'll pass for now". 

Probably because she's a woman. If she were a man, they'd roll out the welcome mat.

NWA is really backward and embarrassing.

(Not that I think they should hire Tessa. They shouldn't. She's not the draw or attraction she thinks she is, and she's not worth the trouble. Plenty of women who are just as talented, without all of the baggage.)

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21 hours ago, Jmare007 said:

Yeah, and the G-1 is gonna be pretty depressing unless they finally book talent from other promotions.

The year of Yoshi-Hashi and Yujiro 

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Punk did make an offhand comment at the post Rampage presser that he's a full time AEW guy but if Tony wants him to do the G1 he'd be open to it. 

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On 8/17/2021 at 5:53 PM, Coffey said:

 I have never heard anyone say that Jon Gresham is the best wrestler in the world. Gresham isn't bad but he's not even the best in Ring of Honor, let alone the world. No one is saying that, that's not a thing.

Same verbiage here. Are these interviewers being fed these ridiculous lines?

https://itrwrestling.com/interviews/interview-with-jonathan-gresham/

I've never seen Gresham wrestle, and I probably never will if he remains an ROH lifer as this interview hints he will, so I have no horse in the race.

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Honestly, since he's been one of the key guys in ROH's relaunch of their Pure title, it comes off like the interviewers are buying into the gimmick since they push hard that being in the Pure division means you're a top level worker. 

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Sometimes I put on Old School WWE shows before bed just because they're usually fairly boring and also easy to have something on with calming noise that I don't have to concentrate on or devote any energy to. 

 

So I put on 3/20/83 WWF at MSG. I had a few thoughts and comments.

 

1. Ray Stevens attempted an apron piledriver and almost got hit with an apron back body drop.

2. God is there a worse gimmick change and more precipitous fall off than Superstar Billy Graham's transformation into the karate dude? He looks and moves like he aged 25 years in 3-5, just completely lost all of his charisma, ring work absolutely trash. It's really wild and I can't think of another star of that level who fell off so dramatically and completely so fast.

3. Gotta lol at Backlund/Muraco being a Texas Death Match and about 75% of the match is Backlund working a headlock, but it works and when they finally start actually doing some stuff near the end, the fans really come unglued. Real neat finishing stretch where Backlund EASILY muscles Muraco up for the shoulder breaker, Muraco kicks off the buckles to flip back and back drop Backlund, Backlund bridges up and turns that into the chicken wing, Muraco breaks it by running into the opposite turnbuckle, which Backlund then uses to hit a German suplex for the win. Seemed unusually detailed and intricate for the time and promotion. Also interesting that Backlund had 3 viable finishers and all 3 come into play in one 40 second sequence.

4. Man the WWF really looks completely different just a year later. Everything still looks and feels like mid to late 70s WWWF on this show. The ring canvas is still the bluish purple, the cameras are still almost entirely hard cam, the lighting is still fairly bright on the audience. Just from an aesthetic and production level, it really feels like 1983 to 1984 might be the most drastic single year change in company history. At least with the Attitude Era there was a progression over a 2-3 year period and the actual production in the way they filmed things didn't really change at all. 

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1984 WWF really shows you what a major talent infusion can do as far as turning a stale product around. From Nov 83 to Jan 84 a veritable all star team comes to New York. Hogan, Piper, Valentine, Schultz, Orndorff, Adonis and Murdoch, Iron Sheik, not to mention Mean Gene and George Scott (not exactly sure when he arrived). Plus Jesse Ventura, Heenan and JYD as 84 went on. AND the cool factor of Cyndi Lauper and MTV in the summer of 84. Yeah, 83 was a territory running on fumes, especially the main event scene, but even then you had arguably the hottest babyface in the country in Snuka and the arrival of Slaughter and Santana, all major contributors to the 84 renaissance. The turnaround is similar to 1982 to 83 WCCW, a territory that went from comatose to red hot in a matter of months also due to a major talent infusion (and one all time great angle) 

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Without a doubt 1983 WWF is an all time worst year in company history. It was an unbelievable turnaround.

althought, iirc, 84 didn't see a huge spike in business. That didn't happen till post Mania in 85

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I was looking through 1984 MSG a couple days ago and yeah, the talent infusion is insane. It reminds me of AEW now where every month there’s someone new. 

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Didn't Billy say (in his book or something) that the karate gimmick was at the height of his drug use? I would assume that probably explain his rapidly aging appearance and his charisma disappearing. Dude was like the Rock, Dusty, and Hogan rolled into one and a few years later he was like a jobber in a 70s kung fu movie. 

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Oh yeah, Graham in 82-83, and likely during his "lost years" from 79-81, was doing so many drugs he barely made it out alive. There is a promo he cuts on Backlund backstage at MSG around Oct-Nov 82 where he is visibly stoned off his ass and cant even remember the word "hospital" and instead says "headquarters for doctors" or something. When he arrives in the territory around Aug 82 he still looks amazing but by March-April 83 his body has lost its definition and he looks like a walking corpse 

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If you read between the lines, it seemed pretty apparent that his inability to convince Vince Sr to keep the belt on him triggered a depression in him that seemed to  grease the skids into drug use (well...*more* drug use I suppose, seemed like everyone was doing some level of drugs at that time).

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I like when Graham came back in 87 they completely ignored the Kung fu gimmick. If you were a new viewer you would have assumed it was the same Superstar from the late 70s. That nothing had changed. That should tell you what Vince thought of the karate gimmick

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Everyone would be better off pretending that gimmick didn't exist. I was falling down a JCP rabbit hole a while back and he popped up in I think 85 and he looked even worse than he did in the WWF. 

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Watching the first Superstars/Challenge in late '86, they are pushing Graham's return (with promos talking about eating tarantulas and such).

Of course he got injured immediately, was gone for a year, came back briefly and then transitioned to commentary, but how crazy would it have been if he had a solid run in that period? He's challenging Savage in the latest clip I saw, so imagine him facing Savage, Race, Roberts, Kamala, Hercules, etc... at MSG/Boston/Spectrum in that phase of his career.

Probably would have been like the never-ending Savage/Animal series of matches, only without Steele's built-in gimmick gaga to keep it entertaining enough.

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Another couple thoughts on a 1983 Spectrum show

 

1. Gorilla being really perplexed at the concept of these fancy new compression sleeves young boi Curt Hennig was wearing. 

2. The Big Green Belt is the most underrated WWE championship belt. 

3. Big Jon Studd's bacne is fucking atrocious. Fuzzy ass early 80s footage and it's still just horrific looking and visible from all angles.

4. Spectrum production vs MSG is real interesting as the Spectrum show is much closer to the Hulkamania era with the gray mat and much more handheld work from the floor.

5. Lol at the early Dunnism of zooming in and out on a hold as Backlund was wrenching a hammerlock back and forth.

6. What a  set of teams: Ray Stevens, Don Muraco, Buddy Rose, Billy Graham, Mr. Fuji vs Rocky Johnson, Jimmy Snuka, Andre, Pedro Morales, Sal Bellomo. Now a couple of outliers there but you know. This is a very fun match, especially considering some of the guys involved at this stage in their careers. This might be the first Survivor Series match in WWE history and it very much plays out like how the matches were booked in the first 2-3 years of the event. There's constant action and lots of great spots, crowd and commentary are popping huge constantly the whole match. 

7. Honestly this show, which is a month earlier than the MSG show I just watched, feels like it is 4 years away from the MSG show. Even the crowd seems younger and hipper. 

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I wonder how much of this due this being the end of territory Monsoon booked vs what senior booked at garden.  

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Lifted straight from KayfabeMemories:
"Debuts
Sgt Slaughter (March 30, 1983)
Ivan Putski (May 10, 1983)
Tito Santana (May 10, 1983)
Tony Atlas (August 2, 1983)
Iron Sheik (September 13, 1983)
Tonga Kid (September 13, 1983)
Paul Orndorff (November 15, 1983)
Alfred Hayes (December 26, 1983)
Hulk Hogan (December 27, 1983)
Adrian Adonis (December 27, 1983)
Gene Okerlund (December 27, 1983)
Dick Murdoch (December 27, 1983)
David Schultz (December 27, 1983)
Roddy Piper (January 3, 1984)
Greg Valentine (January 24, 1984)
Brian Blair (January 24, 1984)
Jesse Ventura (May 21, 1984)
Mad Dog Vachon (June 16, 1984)
Kamala (July 10, 1984)
Brutus Beefcake (July 31, 1984)
Ken Patera (July 31, 1984)
Nikolai Volkoff (July 31, 1984)
The Freebirds (August 4, 1984)
Angelo Mosca (August 6, 1984)
Junkyard Dog (August 10, 1984)
Bret Hart (August 29, 1984)
Dynamite Kid (August 29, 1984)
Bruno Sammartino (September 11, 1984)
Bobby Heenan (September 22, 1984)
Hillbilly Jim (September 24, 1984)
Briscos (September 28, 1984)
Barry Windham (October 13, 1984)
Blackjack Mulligan (October 29 1984)
Mike Rotundo (November 13, 1984)
Jimmy Hart (February 12, 1985)
Rick Steamboat (March 2, 1985)
King Kong Bundy (March 5, 1985)
Pedro Morales (April 16, 1985)
Missing Link (May 20 1985)
Terry Funk (June 17, 1985)
Jim Brunzell (June 17, 1985)
Uncle Elmer (June 17, 1985)
Randy Savage (June 17, 1985)
Lanny Poffo (June 17, 1985)
Elizabeth (July 30, 1985)
Dino Bravo (August 18, 1985)
Cpl Kirschner (August 20, 1985)
Cousin Junior (August 20, 1985)
King Tonga/Haku (August 20, 1985)
Steve Gatorwolf (August 20, 1985)
Dan Spivey (October 26, 1985)
Hercules (November 12, 1985)
Ted Arcedi (December 3, 1985)."
 

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4 hours ago, pmo said:

I wonder how much of this due this being the end of territory Monsoon booked vs what senior booked at garden.  

I dunno but there's a ton more Spectrum shows from this period than MSG and I wonder if its because they were basically the same shows but the Philly shows were superior so they just uploaded those.

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Yeah I remember reading in Gary Capetta's book years ago about how Gorilla used a different crew.  He also was the one to try taping at pier in Atlantic City too.  My guess is Gorilla who was a much younger guy was more energetic in running his shows while VJM was going through the motions as he was sick and going to sell anyway hence the difference in quality. 

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