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TravJ1979

Comments that don't warrant a thread - Part 4

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Steve Martin knew the trick to aging gracefully--in the 1970's when he was in his early 30's, he looked middle aged. When he reached his 60s, he still looked middle aged. Now that he's in his mid-70s looks like a recent retiree.

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11 minutes ago, ohtani's jacket said:

Rumi Kazama died. That was unexpected. 

Wow, that's crazy. She popped up in my mind yesterday (for what reason, I have no idea, I was watching early 90's NJPW though) ! 

She was not the greatest worker or anything, but she was part of the Golden Age interpromotional era of joshi and had her share of good, heated matches during that time. One match against Akira Hokuto was on the first joshi tape I ever bought. Some bios mention that after her retirement she became a "performer", which is euphemism for porn, among other things (owned a restaurant too, like a lot of japanese pro-wrestlers it seems). 55, that's way young. 

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I just finished Ken Burns’ Muhammad Ali doc. No mention whatsoever of Antonio Inoki or the fight. 1976 was glossed over in general, they only mentioned Ali’s opponents and did not talk about the eventful Ken Norton fight either. Good documentary, not great. 

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Rumi Kazama's joshi impact is more in her role of leaving the original JWP, her leaving was one of Kandori's and other's reasons to leave the promotion, and leading the new LLPW. Her youtube channel had zoom interviews with other wrestlers including Nancy Kumi for any old school joshi fans.

https://youtu.be/SOk5p7RB8yE

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A question to American wrestling history buffs, in my research about early joshi wrestling history I've of course come across Elmer Hawkins, a Black-American GI with an amateur wrestling background who helped pay for the Igari family to renovate their home gym and train Sadako and the other members of the early All Japan Women's Wrestling Club in 1952. Were there any territories in the US during the 50s or 60s that had a black trainer? It's an interesting tidbit the author of the journal I'm reading included due to the uneven American/Japanese relations after the war heavily favored White-Americans that a Black-American was treated as a respected and authentic teacher of American wrestling despite the sport rarely representing people that looked like Hawkins.

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None that I'm aware of, the prevailing mindset in the business (and society at large) at the time would have made that difficult. 

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I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say most territories of that era didn’t have trainers, period. I could see black wrestlers getting other black wrestlers into the sport though. 

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I'm convinced Piper's WCW run in 1996-1997 is the worst main event run of all time in a major company. Every promo, every match, every angle is just fucking awful. 

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Absolutely agree. I am not sure what WCW was doing back then with guys like Piper, Flair, Funk, Savage, etc. Both Flair and Piper should have been managers. There was enough 'new blood' in WCW at the time that needed it. Savage would have been best served on commentary on Saturday night (and doing the occasional house show and TV dark matches). Funk, Dusty, Larry Z, should have been ambassadors. Fan conventions, web radio personalities, featured articles on WCW.com, special VHS/DVDs, etc. WCW couldn't solve the Hogan problem and so he would have always been toward, if not at, the top of the card and hovering around the world title. Late WCW would have been slightly, and I do mean slightly, a little better if WCW made a strong commitment to put some of these guys in better roles. But yeah, I did not enjoy Piper's WCW run at all.

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8 hours ago, fakeplastictrees said:

I am not sure what WCW was doing back then with guys like Piper, Flair, Funk, Savage, 

Drawing money. As late as early 1999 Hogan vs Flair was a major success for them and actually drew their last big PPV number.

8 hours ago, fakeplastictrees said:

Savage would have been best served on commentary on Saturday night (and doing the occasional house show and TV dark matches). 

Nope. Him vs Flair in 1996 is what got the company hot before the nWo had it going over the edge. His feud with DDP was one of the hottest of 1997 and it absolutely made DDP. The idea that Savage was good for commentary is exactly what bit Vince in the ass.

As far as Piper's go, his first angle leading to Starrcade was pretty great and it drew big time. Hogan also stepped up quite a bit to work that match and make it ok, as Piper, who was always a struggle in the ring (yeah, I know, the Bret and Valentine matches, that's two in an entire career), who pretty much done by then. So, that first stint was really a success. After that point, yeah, it became a laughable mess at best and horrific at worst (Age in a Cage). Should have ended at Starrcade. Well ok, the first stuff with Flair was actually pretty fun too.

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I thought the feud was fine until the end of the year, yeah. It was really amongst the first few Nitros of 1997 that it started feeling really overdone and crappy to me.

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15 hours ago, strobogo said:

I'm convinced Piper's WCW run in 1996-1997 is the worst main event run of all time in a major company. Every promo, every match, every angle is just fucking awful. 

Piper as a face and Hogan as a heel is what made me watch WCW in the first place, since they were early childhood favorites. Even though I can rewatch that stuff and agree that it's bad? Piper is still a top 5 for me.

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I remember generally liking Piper when someone was there to rein him in a bit but those long, rambling nonsensical solo promos are the worst. When he comes back in late 97 or so, then he becomes unbearable at most points

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Every fucking promo is "aw shucks folks, you guys love me? awww well I LOVE YOU TOO I TELL YA WHAT, shucks, no no this is it for me, folks" peppered with local area cheap pops and almost always repeating something multiple times like he thought people didn't hear his hot line so he had to say it again to make sure he gets the pop he wanted. Absolutely brutal. Even worse than the rambling Hogan promos that go absolutely nowhere and do nothing but allow him to stroke his ego for 5 minutes on TV every other week.

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As for Piper, I thought the build to Starrcade 96 was fine. Actively good at some points. Everything after is pretty terrible. I can remember the Piper/Flair feud in summer of 97 being really bad. Only to be topped by being even worse two years later in 99.

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I seem to remember people liking that FlairPiper/Greene six man against the NWO. 

Jerome, I’m pretty sure Piper has more than just the Bret and Valentine matches. People like his Portland work and the rest of his Mid-Atlantic stuff, as well as his first run in the WWF. 

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Piper's Mid Atlantic run was good, there's a couple of good TV matches from that run on the Network.

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I forgot about Piper randomly speaking tongues on the stretcher that time and him explaining it months down the line like it was something everybody was still wondering about. And then holding his tryouts for Uncensored with Luther Reigns and that martial artist. And him cutting promos from Alcatraz. I would love to know just how much cocaine was flying around in WCW in 1997, Bischoff was doing just about anything 

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4 hours ago, ohtani's jacket said:

Jerome, I’m pretty sure Piper has more than just the Bret and Valentine matches. People like his Portland work and the rest of his Mid-Atlantic stuff, as well as his first run in the WWF. 

As far as universally acclaimed match, no, he really doesn't. Now, the fact some people may like his Portland and Mid-Atlantic run, sure, why not, but it's not like there is some other consensus must-see match involving Piper. I always thought Piper to be one of those "And then the bell rings" guys, dating back to when I was  14 years old mark. Always thought there was a complete disconnect between the guy who was talking and the ability displayed when it was time to get the match in the ring. He's a clear case of social status (if you consider the pro-wrestling landscape like it's his own little society) playing a huge part in how his in-ring stuff is perceived, like many others who are praised but whose stuff that have less to do with actual in-ring ability but a lot to do with *who* they are. People always focus, sometime to a ridiculous degree, to when and why moves are executed, but you never hear about one that's as much if not more important : who is doing them. Anyway, the one other thing about Piper is how cringe a lot of his classic stuff has become in todays society in term of racism (coconut city, half-blackface) and homophobia (many, many promos). Sure does not help. 

4 hours ago, ohtani's jacket said:

I seem to remember people liking that FlairPiper/Greene six man against the NWO. 

Oh, yeah, that match is really fun. But It's really Flair & Greene (that guy could have made a terrific pro-wrester on a regular basis) being on fire on the babyface side and the nWo having a terrific night putting their opposition over, Waltman in particular. 

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Piper has been as helped by footage over the last five years as almost any of his contemporaries. 

For NFF alone we covered:

Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper NWA 7/9/83

Roddy Piper/Cowboy Bob Orton vs. King Tonga/Superfly Afi WWF early 1986 Kuwait

Roddy Piper vs. Randy Savage WWF 12/13/86

The 77 NJPW footage

Roddy Piper vs. Rick Rude WWF 11/1/89

Roddy Piper/Tim Brooks vs. Adrian Adonis/Ron Starr PNW 3/31/79

And what we had of the 92 Fundraiser Mountie match.

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