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JerryvonKramer

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

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7 hours ago, Dav'oh said:

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"? 

Andre is a very special case who had a fifteen year undefeated streak plus a massive heel turn plus the fact he was Andre plus the fact that hot Hogan was his opponent.

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I remember Bill Watts talking about it in one of his old shoots, I think he was talking about differences between a guy like JYD and a guy like Ted DiBiase. Something along the lines of you need the star heel to make the match, to give you the experience, memories, etc. etc., but you need the charismatic babyface to talk the people into the building in the first place.

 

Kind of interesting, what's going through the mind of the fan at the moment of purchase vs. what they actually enjoy when they are at the show. Seems to me the drawing babyface gives you the former while the star heel gives you the latter.

 

With Flair, however, he was SO charismatic that I could see a case that he was a legit draw in his own right even as a heel, since he had that "cool factor". Certainly 1985 Flair vs. Dusty seems like a draw to me, but these cases are quite rare. Seems to me that fans around Mid-Atlantic / Georgia area were looking for excuses to cheer for Flair as early as 1980. Hence why it was always so easy to make him a babyface like in 1983 and 1993.

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Before the Omni angle in fall of 1985, Flair was a heel at times, but he would just sort of dabble in it and quickly back away. Dusty was an attraction guy before that and Flair was one of their own, so there was definitely an element of the JCP fanbase that never accepted Flair as a heel. That's probably why babyface Flair taking on Nikita drew such a massive crowd at the first Bash.

Stick To Wrestling (w/John McAdam) is a podcast I think you'd enjoy. He had one of his friends on once from the Carolinas who talked about how they were turned off by Flair becoming a real heel because his whole appeal was that he came out as this class act in expensive clothes who was above all of that. Maybe his heel tendencies showed in some feuds and his babyface tendencies in others, but really, he triangulated for the most part. That was one way they kept him special.

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3 hours ago, JerryvonKramer said:

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.

That doesn't discount all the years the Sheik was a huge draw, most famously in Toronto. Rarely bellow 10k in MLG, twice a month for 5 years. Remove him from those cards and you dont have that attraction. The fans truly hated him and wanted to see him finally lose.

Sure, TV made George. But he was still a draw. Not for a very long time, but he was the reason people were buying tickets, to see this outrageous character from TV.

Rogers was a major draw at his peak on the early 60s. This cant be waved away as him being "just one of the first TV stars". Like the Sheik he was despised, but also for some, a cool heel. Doesn't matter, he drew.

Graham was a reach, yes, as outlined. Still, I would contend he was a draw, with his unique for the time look and hip promo style, just not on the same level as the others I mentioned. His track record at MSG as far as being part of sold out main events was amazing if nothing else.

Another one I thought of later was Ray Stevens in 1960s SF. I saw the numbers years ago in the WON and they were very impressive 

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I think it's kind of disingenuous to discount the importance of heels in the drawing equation. Would Hogan have been as transcendent a face in 84/85 without Piper as his foil? Would R&R and Road Warriors have been as beloved and as wildly cheered without the Midnights and Russians? Especially in the territory days, fans were draw to shows weekly to see heels get their comeuppance. Even main eventing JCP b towns, MX vs R&R was drawing significant numbers 7 days a week in 85/86.

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Exactly. Just as an example, I looked at Hogan's record at the Spectrum from 84-87 not too long ago. Attendance for Hogan main evented shows fluctuated wildly depending on the heel. Savage and Orndorff moved the needle. Patera and Adonis did not. Hogan himself wasn't a guarentee for a strong house 

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