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Thoughts on the following wrestlers - 11/28


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Tully Blanchard - I go back and forth over whether I like him or Arn Anderson more. Arn was probably the more intense wrestler of the two while Tully had the edge at portraying his character in the ring. Tully was also more effective as a singles wrestler and I can't really recall anything I disliked at all that he did in his peak years. Incredibly easy-to-hate heel. I'd like to see more Southwest footage of him, as I'm curious when he started to peak. The Steamboat match at Starrcade '84 and the Garvin match from Worldwide that's recently gotten discussion are both great matches, as are the more obvious big show choices like Starrcade '85 against Magnum TA. What Randy Orton should be and never will be.


Akira Taue - A little physically awkward, but someone who could be pretty great at times and had an impressive peak. It's mostly 1995-1997 or so that gets talked about in his favor, and perhaps that's rightfully so, but I have really enjoyed a lot of his matches wading through 1991 All Japan, especially the Kawada match in January.


Aja Kong - Just a really great heavyweight wrestler. The Dynamite Kansai match where she dropped the belt I thought was outstanding, and there's still so much of her stuff I want to see. I do see the Dump comparisons, but I think it's unfair to call her a Dump clone, as Dump was nowhere near as complete a wrestler and wasn't quite the freak of nature Kong was either. Supposedly had a really good match against Meiko Satomura this year, but I haven't seen it.


Negro Casas - I delved into lucha pretty full force earlier this year and Casas instantly became one of my favorite wrestlers ever. I already thought highly of him from the LA match he had with Santo in '87, but he was consistent and could do anything. Really awesome watching him as this proto-Takada in Hamada's UWF and then watching him switch roles and become a cowardly heel in EMLL, and later a veteran technico. Santo is the most famous rivalry, but I think the El Dandy match from '92 has really crazy matwork and awesome build as well, and should be seen by all, and hopefully will with Goodhelmet's upcoming El Dandy set. Negro Casas can do just about anything -- brawl, wrestle on the mat, fly, be an asskicker or be a complete and total coward. A top 10 of all time wrestler.


Dynamite Kid - Another all time great. I soured on him for a while because I was sick of those Tiger Mask matches and I don't really care all that much for the Bulldogs in the WWF, but there's so much more to his resume than that. I watched some Portland stuff of his that's mostly tags and six-mans, but he's in a strong role and looks great and is great at feeding comebacks to the babyfaces. There have been plenty of athletic wrestlers, but I was impressed that he slowed down and worked more with the guys across the ring from him instead of going full speed in an attempt to upstage them. I've also seen some great matches from Europe against Marc Rocco and Marty Jones.


HHH - Lots has been said. Lots more will probably be said. I don't really have much to add at this stage, but I added him because I'm curious what others will say.


Takeshi Morishima - Still haven't seen him, but that Misawa match from March is getting a lot of discussion, and tags like "best heavyweight in the world" and "the next Terry Gordy" are getting thrown around, so I need to at least watch that one match. Just haven't done it yet.


Finlay - His comeback has been great. He honestly annoyed me in WCW, and shamefully I considered him in the same category with slugs like Van Hammer where I couldn't understand why he was employed because he was so NOT over and he kept beating Chris Benoit. I liked him fine early on in the Regal feud, but after that, lost interest quickly. WWE has done a far better job of featuring his strengths and getting him over. I'd probably like his WCW stuff far more now. New Japan matches are usually pretty good as well.


Mistico - Good highspot guy who can have strong matches with the right people, but kind of a second-rate Rey Misterio Jr without being as complete a wrestler.


Edge - I think he's improved as much as he's going to, and I think he's probably peaking right now. It's a shame he's in a company where it's not really going to matter much, even if he is kept near the top of the card. Always thought he was decent, but a decade of someone being on the verge of breaking out and never breaking out is far too long.

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Out of mothballs this whole thing goes!


Tully Blanchard

Just really, really, really good.  The wrestler that I most want to watch in the set of 40 1986 - 3/89 discs that I just picked up from Punk.  I think he was a bit underrated in the 80s for not-being-Ric - everyone in the sheets seemed to apprecite him as a good worker, but in the shadow of Ric he seemed to rate lower than folks he was better than.  As time passed on, Tully was out of wrestling for the most part after the WWF-coke issue, while Arn stuck around and Ric "stayed on top".  Tully pretty much passed into the shadows.  People would say great things about the Arn & Tully / The Brainbustersm and always wax poetically about the Horsemen as a group... but Tully's own identity seemed to fade.


There are a lot of wrestlers over the past decade that  have gotten a "rethinking", a "rediscovery" or even a "discovery".  Backlund and Baba got a rethinking.  Lawler falls a bit into rethinking and a bit into rediscovery.  Jumbo falls into all three, since his 70s material was almost non-existant a decade ago.  There are a slew of other wrestlers like that that have gotten that spotlight on them.


Tully is one of wrestlers who really needs it.  He was awfully good, and just hasn't gotten the run he should.


I get the feeling that one of the things that will happen if he does get a strong look by a lot of folks is that it's going to quickly drop into a Ric Flair vs. Tully Blanchard discussion.  I think that's a mistake by people trying to pimp Tully up.  There are still too many people who have Ric Flair Defense Instincts, and anytime you praise someone in compare to Ric, you tend to turn those people right out of the discussion.  I'm as guilty as anyone of turning Myopic Flair Fan off of discussions.  The problem is that in turning them off of the discussion you lose them getting the key point of a Tully Revisit:


Tully was a really, really, really good worker.


So I think that folks need to avoid the quick easy chairshots, nutshots and cheapheat of whacking Flair over the head when praising Tully.  Hook the crowd first into the concept that Tully was a whale of a worker who deservers to be watched... and here are some matches to watch him in.



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I feel people who haven't given Tully a look really should. Like Loss said earlier Randy Orton should watch a lot of tapes of Tully. They both have a similar character in that you just want them to get the crap kicked outta them. What I thought Tully was incredible at was getting himself,his opponent, and getting the match over all at the same time. Only a few workers can say they were better than Tully at that. Flair being on the short list at that. Tully is closer to Ric as a worker than people realize. Tully had tremendous ring savvy that made his matches fun to watch. To me Tully was what you want as a ring general. He was able to get his and his opponents character over in a match, and get the match itself over. Tully exhibited the traits that I enjoy when watching wrestling.

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Tully Blanchard


Classic heel and the type that can't be cheered. For that, I give him his props



Akira Taue


Taue is the man. The "little train" that could. Because of that, he has amassed very hardcore fans


Aja Kong


The woman.


Negro Casas


Want to see more of him in Mexico. I like his Japan work.


Dynamite Kid


Perhaps the best ever. Sooo natural in there.I love his top moments in Stampede where he physically probably had the roughest go of it that a wrestler has ever had. He was already hurt even before he went to the WWF. Oh yeah, and perhaps the best heel ever.


HHH -- Overrated and underrated at the same time. The match with Flair at Survivor Series was awesome. Has had a very negative effect on the WWF overall.


Takeshi Morishima -- The potential is definitely there. Without a doubt.


Finlay -- If I could borrow a phrase, he is the "anti ROH" and I love him for that. What a wrestler should be.


Mistico -- Haven't seen too much


Edge -- Sooo refreshing to see a top heel besides HHH. Very good at it too.

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His comeback has been great. He honestly annoyed me in WCW, and shamefully I considered him in the same category with slugs like Van Hammer where I couldn't understand why he was employed because he was so NOT over and he kept beating Chris Benoit.

I know this is way off topic, but this triggered something in my WCW Lexicon. Does anyone else remember Finlay and Van Hammer getting something like 30 minutes on the first hour of Nitro sometime in the fall/winter of 98? The crowd was completely DEAD and the announcers were talking about everything BUT the match. Something must have went down or some segment was cut to give the match that much time. I clearly remember this match happening. Anyone?

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