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JerryvonKramer

Is the knock on George Scott for 88-89 run unfair?

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2 hours ago, joeg said:

Question, who's idea was it to run the Clash at the Superdome on the same day as Wrestlemania? It seems like a terrible idea running a stadium show with a weak undercard simply to counter program Wrestlemania... no wonder they only drew 5,000 fans and did a 4.0 rating back at a time when there were only 25 cable channels.  

They did it with Clash of the Champions I in 1988 and actually hurt Wrestlemania really bad. They had a much better card going against a really week Mania though. 

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3 hours ago, joeg said:

Question, who's idea was it to run the Clash at the Superdome on the same day as Wrestlemania? It seems like a terrible idea running a stadium show with a weak undercard simply to counter program Wrestlemania... no wonder they only drew 5,000 fans and did a 4.0 rating back at a time when there were only 25 cable channels.  

It was actually done at the behest of the cable industry. Hogan/Savage was on track to shatter business records, so Vince tried to pull a power play and demand a bigger cut of PPV revenue. In response, the cable companies asked Turner to run a PPV to go head-to-head with Mania. Less than a quarter of the homes wired for PPV had the ability to order both shows, and most of the others were in Turner's corner. Vince eventually backed down, but it was too far along by that point to simply call the show off, so it became a free Clash.

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They moved the event to a stadium (it was originally scheduled to be held at the Omni) so they would be able to claim they outdrew Mania. It didn't work out that way, of course.

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There were a lot of successful stadium shows in the 80s, but there were several ill-advised ones (later Parade of Champions, later Superdome shows, even Wrestlerock) full of swaths of empty seats that looked bad on TV or in the mags

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Yeah my point was more that wasn't a card that required a stadium. And they were running a show simply to counter program Wrestlemania which means they are expecting to lose money on it, but with the hope Vince loses more.  So wouldn't it have been wise to run it at a smaller, more established venue like the Omni, Richmond Coliseum, Patriot Center, or Greensboro Coliseum. I.e. somewhere in tradition Crockett/Georgia territory. That way they draw twice the people but with half the overhead. That was kind of my point. Basically who's idea was it to run a show that may operate at a loss and who's idea was it to run that show in the Superdome ensuring that they'd lose money.  Anybody responsible for one of the late 80s stadium shows that never stood a chance of drawing 10,000 people in an 80,000 seat stadium can't be given credit for good booking/promoting during that era. 

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7 hours ago, joeg said:

Yeah my point was more that wasn't a card that required a stadium. And they were running a show simply to counter program Wrestlemania which means they are expecting to lose money on it, but with the hope Vince loses more.  So wouldn't it have been wise to run it at a smaller, more established venue like the Omni, Richmond Coliseum, Patriot Center, or Greensboro Coliseum. I.e. somewhere in tradition Crockett/Georgia territory. That way they draw twice the people but with half the overhead. That was kind of my point. Basically who's idea was it to run a show that may operate at a loss and who's idea was it to run that show in the Superdome ensuring that they'd lose money.  Anybody responsible for one of the late 80s stadium shows that never stood a chance of drawing 10,000 people in an 80,000 seat stadium can't be given credit for good booking/promoting during that era. 

To be fair, that was probably not on Scott. Crockett and later Turner were obsessed with expanding WCW outside the core markets instead of taking advantage of the places where they had history. 

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I've always kind of wondered about how stadium shows worked out financially in the days before stadiums selling out for wrestling was a thing. Even if you draw 20,000 or more fans, the overhead from running in a 70,000 seat stadium has to be astronomical compared to a 15,000 seat arena.

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There’s one thing for sure and that’s Parv pops the territory, baby! Welcome back, Brutha, hope it is for an extended run.

Not much to add, I always thought all of ‘89 was the Flair-led booking committee but it sounds like that was post-Clash VI up until what Wrestlewar ‘90 and then it is an Ole-led booking committee?

A couple questions:

1. Did George Scott intrinsically think the Midnight Express were NOT draws or did he feel that way about all tag teams?

2. Did George Scott influence Vince on not pushing tag teams? Vince Jr had a fuller tag team scene than his father but his father ran the most singles-oriented company in the US of the 70s. Did Vince Jr already feel that way about tag teams and it just so happen his Booker agreed?

 

 

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Flair had a lot of influence into his own programs, but he didn't actually become booker until after Bash '89, and even then, he was given a committee to focus on most of the details. The build to Bash '89 was mostly Jim Ross and Eddie Gilbert, I believe, with Gilbert handling all the Flair-Funk build and I'm pretty sure the Luger turn.

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@Superstar Sleeze I thought Scott had always placed an emphasis on high workrate singles workers in the main event.  Its why in 74 when he took over Crockett, he moved the established main event tag teams to the mid card and brought in Wahoo, Valentine and Super Destroyer as his new top guys. It took months for them to get over and for the houses to bounce back but eventually it worked. In the late 70s Flair, Piper, Snuka, Steamboat, Orndorff, Greg Valentine etc. were all guys that Scott built up. I can only think of one time he had tag teams on top and that was in 1980 when Steamboat and Youngblood traded the tag titles back and forth with Valentine and Ray Stevens. I might be wrong about this. I just thought it was his belief that tag teams were a mid card attraction to launch singles careers rather than a main event that would draw money. I may be wrong. Somebody from the Carolinas who was alive in the 70s feel free to correct me. 

@Loss I had always thought Scott booked from the time Dusty left until the end of the year. But learning from this thread that in 7 or 8 months they went from Dusty to Jim Crocket Jr. to George Scott to Jim Ross and Eddie Gilbert to the booking committee headed by Flair explains a lot. It now makes sense why they were struggling despite the high quality of in ring work after Dusty left.   

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Was Scott necessarily wrong to push singles over tag? The old Crockett territory was not seen as being as much of a major deal as Mid-Atlantic would be after he’d built it up.

 

Outside of All Japan I can’t really think of a successful promotion that regularly pushed tags on top. And even in AJPW the top tag guys were also top singles guys.

 

On the specific example of the Midnight Express though, I am convinced that their overall importance as draws or anything else is greatly exaggerated by two factors 1. How much we all love Bobby Eaton and 2. Many many years of Jim Cornette being one of the most prominent and outspoken voices in the IWC.

I am greatly sceptical that there were that many fans who specifically bought a ticket to see Jim Cornette get his come uppence or to see Condrey and Eaton. It strikes me as implausible that that act was a draw in and of itself. I’d be happy to be proved wrong on this if anyone could point to specific gates. Seems to me most of the Mid-South gates Corny would point to were drawn by Magnum TA, Wrestling 2 or JYD. Even Rock n Rolls vs Midnights in 84 was a semi-main propped up by Magnum TA vs Ernie Ladd in the main.

All of which is to say that Cornette would have had a hard time selling the Midnights as draws to George Scott in 1989.

 

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@JerryvonKramer I don't think Scott was wrong at all emphasizing singles over tags. Athletic, charismatic, heavyweight singles workers usually are the top draws in every promotion, ever. What I don't get why Sting, Luger, and Muta weren't more heavily featured given they were the type of worker Scott pushed in the 70s and during his WWF run. Is there any reason? 

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I think the singles vs tags debate might be misplaced. I think the bigger difference is booking around a singular top star or booking around an ensemble cast of big stars. Vince and his father usually relied on one star around which almost everything important revolves, while the Crockett approach was that yes, you had someone like Flair on top, but depth was just as important. I remember thinking the "double main event" concept at WM8 was really weird considering what the company had always been, while WCW/NWA booking at its best usually had a really hot and deep lineup, not just a strong program on top.

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17 hours ago, JerryvonKramer said:

Was Scott necessarily wrong to push singles over tag? The old Crockett territory was not seen as being as much of a major deal as Mid-Atlantic would be after he’d built it up.

 

Outside of All Japan I can’t really think of a successful promotion that regularly pushed tags on top. And even in AJPW the top tag guys were also top singles guys.

 

On the specific example of the Midnight Express though, I am convinced that their overall importance as draws or anything else is greatly exaggerated by two factors 1. How much we all love Bobby Eaton and 2. Many many years of Jim Cornette being one of the most prominent and outspoken voices in the IWC.

I am greatly sceptical that there were that many fans who specifically bought a ticket to see Jim Cornette get his come uppence or to see Condrey and Eaton. It strikes me as implausible that that act was a draw in and of itself. I’d be happy to be proved wrong on this if anyone could point to specific gates. Seems to me most of the Mid-South gates Corny would point to were drawn by Magnum TA, Wrestling 2 or JYD. Even Rock n Rolls vs Midnights in 84 was a semi-main propped up by Magnum TA vs Ernie Ladd in the main.

All of which is to say that Cornette would have had a hard time selling the Midnights as draws to George Scott in 1989.

 

In terms of importance to the company, I think the Rock N Rolls and the Road Warriors are much better examples of tag teams being successful draws than the Midnights. Proportionately, you could say the same for the Fabulous Ones in Memphis. Starrcade '86 had Flair-Nikita, which closed the show, but it's pretty apparent if you watch TV at the time and look at how the event was hyped that the Skywalkers was the real main event. I think a sober take on the MX would be that they were a tremendous working tag team that worked with the team that drew the money. They were so good that it made sense to feature them. There's nothing wrong with that.

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5 hours ago, Loss said:

 I think a sober take on the MX would be that they were a tremendous working tag team that worked with the team that drew the money. 

This is funny cuz my reaction to this is both "Loss is correct and I had not considered this before, good chance to learn" AND "Hahahaha he basically called the Midnights and Corny the 80s JCP equivalent of Triple H, wonder how much that would piss off Cornette" and both reactions are happening at the exact same time 

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I think heel Andre was the draw at Mania III? Vader vs Sting (Vader vs anyone in WCW) is another guess.

I think the answer to your question is an easy "yes", I'm just not the person to give enough examples. Are you considering Superstar Graham a "tweener"? 

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There are heel draws, but they tend to be situational and have a shorter shelf life. Take Superstar Graham, for example. A big part of why his title reign was so successful is that the WWWF had loads of over and protected babyfaces who had never received title shots while Bruno and Pedro were champions.

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7 hours ago, Ricky Jackson said:

The Sheik? Gorgeous George? Buddy Rogers? Superstar Graham? 

Sheik burnt out Detroit. Graham had a “special reign” as noted above. George and Rogers perhaps benefited from being the first TV stars, but we would also have to look at how they were booked and who were their challengers.

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7 hours ago, C.S. said:

Ric Flair?

Obviously I love Flair, but to what extent was he a genuine draw as a heel? Famously, Vince dropped the Hogan vs Flair money feud because it wasn’t drawing.

 

As NWA Champ he came in against the top local star everywhere, was the gate on him or on the opponent? Did he outdraw Dory, Brisco, Terry or Race doing the same role?

 

Then during his Mid-Atlantic runs when was he running as babyface / tweener Flair on top (a la Starrcade 83) and when as an out and out heel?

 

How did Rock or Austin draw as heels as compared with their face runs?

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