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Wrestlers or Acts You Hated But Turned The Corner On

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So, for this week's podcast, we're looking to talk about guys, girls, teams, acts, whatever it may be anywhere in the wrestling world, that at one time you held in very low regard, but they somehow managed to make you come around and become a fan of their work.

We'd like your nomination for the ONE act that stands out the most in that sense for you, why you originally disliked them, and what it was that changed your perspective.

As always, the best contributions will be read on the show and you'll be credited accordingly - so what's your vote?

 

EDIT - The show talking Guys You Turned The Corner On, discussing your nominations, is now available at the following link: https://squaredcirclegazette.podbean.com/mf/download/zkps4n/SCG_Radio_110_-_Wrestlers_You_Turned_A_Corner_On.mp3

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Rusev is the biggest turn around I've had on a guy in years. Thought his NXT stuff outright sucked, saw absolutely nothing in him being an utterly generic foreign heel, and really figured he wouldn't even get built up enough to have the obvious feud with John Cena. It took until around the time he and Big E has those super short hoss battles that I realized I was wrong and that he was a pretty tremendous performer, and since then, he's only gotten better and better.

 

He's really close to as good of a total package as WWE has. He's able to shine no matter how much dogshit he's covered in (and he's been booked in nothing but awful shit for two years now), genuinely hilarious on the mic, excellent in the ring with great attention to selling details. He has an amazing face turn in him, I have no doubts.

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Ronnie Garvin. As a kid I only knew his WWF run and one excellent match with Greg Valentine didn't take away the fact I thought he was a short, boring guy whose best promo moment (Summerslam 89) was one of the most incompetent performances ever. His rep in my days reading Scott Keith as an awful NWA champion didn't help.

 

I turned around on him about ten years ago, starting with seeing the cage match vs. Macho Man on YT. Since then I've really come to appreciate him a lot more, though I wouldn't say he's one of my favorites.

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This is probably an unusual one (or at least for unusual reasons) but for me Eddie Guerrero stands out. I first caught him in WWE and was turned off by the whole "cheating face" gimmick, the presentation of it seemed so hypocritical considering how it was treated as being terrible whenever someone else cheated. It was actually not until he passed away that I took stock and realized how much charisma and hard work he had brought to the table in order to pull it off as well as he did.

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Ronnie Garvin. As a kid I only knew his WWF run and one excellent match with Greg Valentine didn't take away the fact I thought he was a short, boring guy whose best promo moment (Summerslam 89) was one of the most incompetent performances ever. His rep in my days reading Scott Keith as an awful NWA champion didn't help.

 

I turned around on him about ten years ago, starting with seeing the cage match vs. Macho Man on YT. Since then I've really come to appreciate him a lot more, though I wouldn't say he's one of my favorites.

This.

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In 2000, my friends and I all thought that Kurt Angle was the absolute worst. I even rooted for a lot of the heels, but Angle was just a dork who won all of the time. Now, of course, 2000 Angle is my favorite version. I don't know if being a kid and biting on a heel act counts as holding Angle in low regard, though.

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Hulk Hogan is a guy I didn't really appreciate until the last decade when I hit my 30s. When I was a kid I gravitated towards the IC level guys, tag teams and Macho Man, and didn't really think Hogan was interesting. Too godlike. Too much like Superman. Then when I was a teenager Hogan was the anti-christ for his sins against Bret Hart at Mania 9 and his dreadful early WCW stuff. The older I've got the more I've retreated into the past, and 80s Hogan became one of my absolute favorites. His matches and everything he's involved in are just pure electricity. One in a million performer

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Strowman for me, and not in that "ironically liking a big man" style that seems so pervasive these days. I didn't think he was anything more than Vince's big stiff flavor of the month until a few weeks ago. They were doing a backstage promo between him and Foley and Mick was asking him why he was terrorizing people when he told him Sami wasn't there. Braun's deadpan response of "I can multitask" won me over. Just the way he said it made me think "ok, this guy gets it" in terms of not being just another personality free musclehead.

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Strowman for me, and not in that "ironically liking a big man" style that seems so pervasive these days. I didn't think he was anything more than Vince's big stiff flavor of the month until a few weeks ago. They were doing a backstage promo between him and Foley and Mick was asking him why he was terrorizing people when he told him Sami wasn't there. Braun's deadpan response of "I can multitask" won me over. Just the way he said it made me think "ok, this guy gets it" in terms of not being just another personality free musclehead.

I don't know how anyone who likes a dominant big man wasn't into Strowman from day one. Outside of Brock beating his ass, he's been booked perfectly from the start. I also don't understand any ironic enjoyment of him. Dude has been a great freakish, dominant big man since before they actually started pushing him as someone to take seriously. He's the best kind of heel big man in that there is clearly a big time face turn down the line for him.

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Fit Finlay. He was channel change material to me when I started watching WCW and his WWE run really made me rewatch my tapes and enjoy his matches that much more.

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I don't know if hated is the right term, but I pretty much despised Jerry Lawler as a teenager. I knew he was a legend of the past (in my mind at the time), but I just saw him as the "puppies!" guy. I actually had no interest in checking out his past as a wrestler based on what I saw on the WWF screen. I'm from TN, but I grew up in the 90's past the prime of the Memphis boom. When I finally started checking out the Lawler of the late 70's and 80's in Memphis, turned the corner is probably an understatement. He is now one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, and he is definitely in the conversation of my absolute favorite promo. I thought the way he was portrayed on Smackdown this past week was phenomenal, and I love it when we get that version of King in the WWE. It's been talked about on here many times, but if you look at the Eddie Gilbert feud, the Snowman feud, and the Kaufman stuff, and the Dundee feud, and Terry Funk... and well I could keep going and going... but, he is one of the greatest of all time, and I missed out for a few years before I came to my senses. I also want to add that I think he has the best comebacks, or one-liners, whatever you want to call it, in history.

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Ambrose and Kevin Owens are two that did nothing for me on the indys, but once they came to WWE I turned the corner on both fairly quick. I thought Ziggler sucked for a few years before turning face in 2014 and having a good to great last couple years.

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Just wanted to thank everybody for the contributions - the show discussing Guys You Turned The Corner On is now available at the following link:

 

https://squaredcirclegazette.podbean.com/mf/download/zkps4n/SCG_Radio_110_-_Wrestlers_You_Turned_A_Corner_On.mp3

 

Join us as we talk about the wrestlers or acts you once loathed but managed to win you over. We discuss how these individuals finally earned your affinity, and break down the career arcs of individuals such as Mark Henry, The Miz, Ronnie Garvin, Chris Masters, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Rusev, Samoa Joe, Umaga, Braun Strowman, Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens and yes, John Cena. And to round out the show, we give our predictions on this year's Royal Rumble this coming Sunday - check it out and enjoy!

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Ronnie Garvin. As a kid I only knew his WWF run and one excellent match with Greg Valentine didn't take away the fact I thought he was a short, boring guy whose best promo moment (Summerslam 89) was one of the most incompetent performances ever. His rep in my days reading Scott Keith as an awful NWA champion didn't help.

 

I turned around on him about ten years ago, starting with seeing the cage match vs. Macho Man on YT. Since then I've really come to appreciate him a lot more, though I wouldn't say he's one of my favorites.

This.

 

I didn't see Garvin until he was in the WWF, but enjoyed his feud with Valentine. Liked him as a grizzled veteran even though he almost always lost, so was surprised to learn he'd been NWA champ just a few years earlier. So I never hated him, but now he's in my top 10-15 favorites list and I certainly wouldn't have anticipated that when he was running around as a referee in the WWF. Knowing the history with Savage, I'm kind of disappointed that they never wrestled in the WWF except being on opposite teams at the 1989 Survivor Series.

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One Man Gang. When I was a kid, I saw him as a fat guy who didn't do much and was really slow. I watched a ton of Mid-South and UWF the last couple years and OMG jumped out at me. He's really, really good. Fits his role to a T and is way better in the ring than I ever gave him credit for.

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Young Bucks...still don't like them but in a good heel kinda way...I want to see them get smashed every match...

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AJ Styles. I never hated him and actually thought he was pretty good. But I didn't really got the best in the world hype or thought he was particularly great. But with his WWE run and after looking at his non-Samoa Joe TNA stuff in depth, I have come around and now agree with the one of the better workers of this generation assessment. The Abyss match from 4/2005 was the one that sealed the deal. Outstanding match, incredible individual performance.

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Hiroshi Tanahashi is currently this for me. Really enjoyed his two big G1 matches vs. Naito and ZSJ. Watching the whole series vs. Okada also helped me understand his charisma as well as let him show off some of the selling that I thought was missing from his other big matches.

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Flair. Growing up with no exposure to WCW and not really knowing a thing about Flair until late 1996 is about the worst way to learn about him. He'd lost a lot of his edge by then and booking did everything possible to make him look like a joke. Of course I knew he was a legend and had some vaguely positive memories of his WWF run, but it wasn't enough to stop my 13 year old self from thinking he was wildly washed up and annoying.

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Greg Valentine.

 

Ignored him as a young fan, didn't think much of him at all, have been re-watching as much of his stuff as I can in the last couple of years and find him to be an all-time, HOF level worker upon closer inspection.

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Abyss. Yes, his gimmick is a rip-off, but as a worker, he's actually pretty consistently carryable to very good/excellent matches, and he does bring tons of goods to the table himself. AJ Styles worked a MOTYC with him in 2005.

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My first exposure to Buddy Rose was when he came into the AWA
and became tag champ with Doug Somers.

I HATED that such an obese low-rent wrestler was a tag team champ. To me it highlighted the
plight of the AWA in terms of the significant downturn of talent in the
area.

 

As such, I disliked everything he and Somers did and loathed that they weren't short-term tag champs.

Could not wait for the Rockers to beat them and hated them even more when it took six months plus (program overkill,

probably out of necessity since the talent was thin but still...)

 

After that Buddy in the WWF did nothing to make me want to watch more of him.

 

 

Fast forward to collecting and watching footage and reading about Rose here and in other
places, and seeing him in Portland and California. Better shape,quick talker, very smooth on offense and defense.

 

Getting a fuller picture of Rose as a wrestler helped me appreciate how good he really was.

 

He isn't my favourite by any stretch, but I have gone from loathing his presence on my screen to paying attention when

he is on it.

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