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I've watched some Malenko lately and I've been pretty impressed. I saw him vs Bret Hart and that big 6 man tag ECW tag with the Steiners. You watch some current WWE and than throw in a tape of Malkeno and you notice how much smoother and at home he is in the wrestling ring.

 

His WCW run is pretty strong as I feel his top of the line matches against Dragon, Benoit and Rey which I like more than most are among WCW's better matches of the 90s. No matter where he wrestled he was a guy who if you were watching a tape of could never fast forward a bout because you knew he was always capabale of having a classic. Great wrestler who could just rile the crowd up as a heel which is impressive because being a great wrestler like Malenko is often leads to cheers.

 

 

Some of my favourite matches of his would be

 

New Japan

vs Benoit BOSJ 94

 

WCW

vs Dragon Clash and Starrcade, vs Rey numerous times, vs Ohtani from Worldwide, vs Bret from Nitro, his matches vs Benoit and some of those great tags.

 

ECW

with Benoit vs Sabu/Taz for the straps, one of his matches vs Eddie and I loved the Malenko/Scorpio/Jack vs Steiners/Eddie bout

 

All Japan

Malenkos vs Bulldogs

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Oh why the fuck not....

 

Michael Hayes: Disregarding some of his reputation, of his WCCW stuff, I think he's resourcefull enough to hang around as a Freebird. Bringing the stooging to a team consisting of you, Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy is enough. He's not my favorite promo guy either but I can't really knock on him or anything. His early-90's WCW run though, was exceptionally bad(on his part). Jawing with the fans while slapping on a chinlock was wrestling "psychology" back in those days of the freebirds. Oh, and the times he tried to Fargo Strut back in his and Gordy's Memphis debuts sucked. :)

Dean Malenko: Dean, Dean, Dean. Much of a like/dislike relationship here. He's kind of a classic example in my book that refined finesse and aesthetic qualities aren't enough to reach out, grab me and evoke any emotions of mine during a match. With all due respect to the natural "Iceman" attributes of his performances pretty much all around(all though there are some exclusions), I can perhaps count on one hand the times I've felt serious peril or ascension of a certain story played out in a Dean Malenko singles match. I do think though, that the Malenkos were really good though, and perhaps I'd say that at points I preffer the dynamic of him and his brother in tag team enviorment.

Masa Fuchi: This guy is perhaps one of the strongest backbones to a storyline in all history. While some of his singles work may not be getting the same amount of hype his counterparts are, his reflexebility to inflicting pain throughout his career(in the early 90's especially) was just mind-boggling. Grumpiness was due each time he would clash with a cheeky upstart, but goddamn, that's a lot of ways to torture a human being. Beyond the Tupelo Concession-Stand Brawl I haven't seen any of his Memphis stuff, although I do really hope to someday get around to seeing it.

Tommy Rich: Being a southern worker with a fetish for artery-slicing is always a good thing. I think Tommy was servicable from what I've seen of him, as would usually prove being popular with the fans, usually selling on-point and well placing comeback or spots generally.

Magnum TA: See, I didn't get around to the Mid-South set yet, I'm not from the US and too young to have been around back in those days(as to say I grew up on Crockett or something) but from what I've seen of the guy, I just love. Magnum came across like a blue-chipper who didn't expect worthwhile veterans to guide his hand to passable main-events and through just-in-time feuds, the guy would usually come of as an active part of a struggle. He could punch and time brawling spots, take it down to the mat well enough if needed, and portray the struggle that is the life thread running through a pro wrestling match well enough, that I don't see how one can't like the guy at least.

Jerry Estrada: The day we'll offer givings to all those who've died(not literally, which is important to mention in a pro wrestling sense) for peoples pleasure, this guy'll get the biggest offering. He's turned the Salida de Bandera into art, restored faith into human pinballing(after Shawn Michaels almost ruined the market) and perfected the art of self-placement into a six man tag. Do I really need to go on?

Marty Jannetty: Marty was fine, I guess, I'm just not the biggest Rockers fan. A lot of their stuff comes across as masturbatory(the "arm spin-spin back" spot being a classic case of this, at least in my book), sometimes almost on a level of pre-dated US Indy performers with a better grasp of wrestling mechanics and and not as trully shitty of a masturbatory habit to their work. The Royal Rumble 91 match though, is a thing of beauty. Following that, I must not also that I haven't been exposed to a lot of their AWA work, something I plan to fix in the future too.

Kuniaki Kobayashi: This is someone who I totally get. Once again, I'm not a professor on his ouevure, but beyond Juniors' habits of the era rarely rearing their ugly head(Tombstones, anyone?), seamless athletics merge with brilliant pacing and choice of action placement within the confines of a wrestling match(something that another an even more seamless athlete never came across to me as being able to do ;) ). My motto regarding him would be: the more, the better.

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Dean Malenko: I've heard it said that of all the guys who were deified as great workers in the 90's, Dean's work is some of the stuff that ages the worst. It's been a while since I've rewatched his better matches, so I can't say for sure, and looking back, I wouldn't say he was on par with running buddies Eddie and Benoit, but I still think he'd look pretty sharp to me. He was a personal favorite of mine when I first became "smart", and stayed that way as long as he was active. From 1995 to 2000 - and probably before then if I had more footage of him - he really carved a niche for himself as an all-purpose technical wizard, a great utility player for any promotion. Despite being branded as "uncharismatic", he was capable of deceptive character versatility, proving effective as a stoic, killer heel, a quiet, sympathetic babyface, a tough, determined member of the Horsemen, and as both the straight and funny man in WWF comedy acts. He wasn't really uncharismatic, of course, he just had a brand of quiet charisma that still connected with crowds. His matches with Eddie often get singled out for aging poorly, specifically the last one, which is often thought of as a good match with a great crowd. I've written this elsewhere, but every time I've rewatched that match, I've always come away with the opposite impression. It's the same shitty ECW crowd you always get. Eddie and Dean are taking it to the mat, and the crowd is too busy chanting "Bischoff takes it up the ass, doo-dah, doo-dah" to really care. And then they APPLAUD THE FUCKING CHANT. Lord knows I've sad bad things about ROH crowds and ROHbots in general, but I don't think they've ever applauded their own chants. Point being, match isn't great because of a great crowd. Match is great because of a great match, and it ultimately forces the crowd to stop basking in their imagined glory long enough to make them pay attention. Then there's the feud with Jericho. Again, this gets passed over sometimes because the matches weren't as good as other Cruiserweight Title stuff, and I wouldn't disagree with that. That said, I would mention - again, as I've done many times elsewhere - that I think it's the pinnacle of the WCW cruiserweight division being something more than just a lucha highspot showcase. Certainly, Jericho's heeling was a major part of that, but Dean's sympathetic face work turned what had been a simple but entertaining new gimmick for Jericho and made him someone who we actually thought would be a major player some day. Then, of course, there was his run with the Horsemen, and all the great tag matches with Benoit that followed. He even had a fun - albiet brief - stint with The Radicals in the WWF before being shuffled off into obscurity. All in all, not a bad six years, at least not as I recall it.

 

Masa Fuchi: Speaking of great utility players throughout wrestling history, here's one of the all-time great grouchy henchman characters. My familiarity with his 80's work is limited, but he was good enough at beating the tar out of Tsuyoshi Kikuchi in the early 90's that some nine years after fading into the background, he was able to stage an effective comeback as a still-grouchy All Japan defender of the faith. And you know what? He could still beat the tar out of people.

 

Magnum TA: The DVDVR Mid-South Project really opened my eyes to this guy. This is a guy with a long-standing rep as someone who got over mostly on looks and a really strong push despite having minimal ability, and that's really just not true at all. Frankly, if he hadn't been cut down in his prime the way he was, we'd probably be looking back at him as one of the all-time great workers, and likely an all-time great in other areas, too. He was a really effective babyface, he was a great brawler, great seller, and he made the side belly-to-belly suplex look like a credible finisher. What more could you want from a guy?

 

Jerry Estrada: The second best working murderer of all-time. Well, that I know of, anyway. Estrada has been a favorite of mine for a while now, as he is one of those dudes who is just a master of bullshit. Everything in wrestling that doesn't involve actually attacking your opponent, Jerry can do better than 95% of wrestlers ever. Everything that does involve actually attacking your opponent...well, it's not like his offense is actively bad, it's just that it's not what you remember his matches for. Never do I so fondly remember matches where I can't actually remember a single move that was performed than when I remember Jerry Estrada matches.

 

Marty Jannetty: Oh, Marty. He was more than talented enough that he should've been able to sustain employment as well as his more famous tag partner, but...well...it's Marty. What can you do?

 

Kuniaki Kobayashi: I haven't seen enough to offer a really informed opinion of the Tiger Hunter, I just know that what I've seen of him against Tiger Masks Sayama and Misawa, I really liked, and it wasn't because of his opponents. Kobayashi really had this hunter-like attitude in the ring, a sort of quiet intensity that would lead to him just taking his opponents apart. Frankly, I liked his matches with Sayama better than Dynamite's.

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Guest Semaj

Michael Hayes is someone whose in-ring work has grown on me. I was familiar with his excellent promo skills and ability to wind up a crowd, but years of reading negative opinions towards his wrestling and growing up watching WCW from 1991, lead me to believe he was the shits. As I've grown older and worked my way through my growing collection of Freebirds comps, I've found him to be a perfectly enjoyable performer. One minute a cowardly runt hiding behind Gordy & Roberts, the next delivering a stiff left jab that makes you think, "hey, he's tougher than he looks".

 

Dean Malenko - My favourite wrestler in WCW during the Monday Night Wars. He had that quality where he was popular because you knew he was excellent at what he did and worked hard at his job. Deserves his role today as an agent and trainer. He can look back at his in-ring achievements and be satisfied he reached his potential as a wrestler.

 

Tommy Rich was someone who was a solid hand at whatever role you had. Be it: the fiery white-meat babyface, blood thirsty heel, or deranged redneck veteran I enjoyed his work. I am a huge fan of his run as the FBI's manager and ability to work the crowd to scream bloody murder in his direction.

 

Marty Jannetty - It's a shame he didn't have better control over his vices - or at least made enough political allies to cover his back - as he could have had a very nice extended run for a promotion as a babyface or even as bitter heel against Michaels in 1995-1996.

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Michael Hayes - it's funny how big of a kiss ass he's become. Just watch WWE 24/7 to see. I always think of him as Dok Hendrix, especially as the queered out host of the HBK BoyHood Dream DVD. Watched his old stuff and it led me to get into some Terry Gordy stuff so I'll give him credit on that.

 

Dean Malenko - He always seemed much different from everyone else at the time because he didn't change facial expressions. I always thought he was "man of 1000 Holes" as a youngster for some reason. That seemed like a cool name, then I realized it was "holds" and the coolness kinda wore off. But I give him credit for not going crazy by now.

 

Marty Jannetty- Has the best Myspace in the business. He talks to his fans directly on there which is rare. He seems like one of the few wrestlers I could chill at a bar with and not feel intimidated or awkward and just have a good time. I'd be sure to pay the tab, I'm sure he would appreciate it.

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Michael Hayes - it's funny how big of a kiss ass he's become. Just watch WWE 24/7 to see. I always think of him as Dok Hendrix, especially as the queered out host of the HBK BoyHood Dream DVD.

He may have been the worst offender (orgasmically yelling "YEAH, WORK IT!" while Michaels danced), but I get the impression that all of the announcers were ordered to act like they wanted to fuck Michaels during the '95-'96 babyface push. Even Vince did it and it's not like Michaels is really his type.

 

Dean Malenko

"man of 1000 Holes"

Speaking of gay...
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Speaking of gay...

Your sig?

 

Of course the deal was, I wasn't in on the joke then, I didn't know a hold from a wrist watch. I just saw dudes beating each other up.

 

Also I can't really see any defense for Dok Hendrix's actions tbh..he was way too into it.

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Michael Hayes

- Much better wrestler than given credit for.

 

Dean Malenko

- One of my personal favorites and one of the reasons I became interested in wrestling again after it had been dormant for 7 or 8 years.

 

Masa Fuchi

- I have seen some great Fuchi matches lately. I think when the All Japan 80s set omes out, Fuchi will look good on there.

 

Tommy Rich

- I have seen some great Tommy Rich and shitty Tommy Rich. I don't give a fuck what anyone says but he was fucking OVER in Georgia. He was also one of the first wrestlers I can remember watching back in 1980 or so.

 

Magnum TA

- I have been screaming his praises for awhile now. I am glad that others are now experiencing the same appreciation.

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Michael Hayes

Charisma

 

Dean Malenko

Solid but stupid.

 

Masa Fuchi

Solid and smart.

 

Tommy Rich

Only in the South

 

Magnum TA

When does it get good?

 

Jerry Estrada

Loveable Villan

 

Marty Jannetty

Poster Boy For Pro Wrestling

 

Kuniaki Kobayashi

Bad Luck

 

John

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Lately, what's stuck with me about Magnum TA is what Phil said while narrowing down Mid-South stuff: That idea that he needed to be protected from being exposed by only having 10 second squash matches or matches with the very best guys on the roster is really blown to hell after watching a bunch of his Mid-South work.

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Magnum TA

When does it get good?

 

The cage match with Mr. Wrestling II against Reed and Neidhart,

 

Haven't watched that one yet. Is Maggie great in it, or are the rest carrying it?

 

 

the series against DiBiase,

I watched the two that occurred on one day off the DVDVR set, which seem to be getting praised as his best singles matches on the set. They really did nothing to convince me he was a "good" worker. Ted didn't blow me away in them either, though at least he was solid.

 

 

the epic against Blanchard,

Never has done a thing for me. That goes back to watching the original Best of Starcade set when it came out two decades ago. I don't recall anything about Maggie's performance that struck me as "great". I like Tully, and frankly think his World Wide match Garvin is more the epic of great wrestling.

 

the matches with Flair.....

The next Flair vs. Maggie match that I think is good will be the first.

 

 

where wasn't it good?

Again, when does it get good.

 

The Warrior was in a great match with Rick Rude. Quite possibly the best laid out WWF match of the 80s. Warriors performance in it is actually pretty good as it wasn't 100% Rude carrying it... and as someone who loaths the Warrior, I hate admitting he had a good/strong performance that helped make a great match.

 

But I'd never say Warrior was a "good worker" even if he pulled one good performance in one great match out of his sorry ass.

 

Perhaps there are really good performances from Maggie out there that I need to watch. What people have pointed to as good performances that I've watched don't strike me as such, and I really can't think of anything over the years that I've seen of his that I've thought was a revelation or made me think he was overall a good worker. The comments above that he'd blossom into one of the great workers of all-time if he hadn't wrapped the Porsche up struck me as kind of goofy.

 

But perhaps at some point I'll get Will's Maggie set, and whatever supplimental stuff he might have found since then that he thinks helps make the case for Maggie The Good Worker.

 

 

John

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Magnum TA

When does it get good?

 

The cage match with Mr. Wrestling II against Reed and Neidhart,

 

Haven't watched that one yet. Is Maggie great in it, or are the rest carrying it?

Maggie was great, but something tells me you would say otherwise.

 

the series against DiBiase,

I watched the two that occurred on one day off the DVDVR set, which seem to be getting praised as his best singles matches on the set. They really did nothing to convince me he was a "good" worker. Ted didn't blow me away in them either, though at least he was solid.

The third was even better, but you probably wouldn't like it any more than the others.

 

Perhaps there are really good performances from Maggie out there that I need to watch. What people have pointed to as good performances that I've watched don't strike me as such, and I really can't think of anything over the years that I've seen of his that I've thought was a revelation or made me think he was overall a good worker. The comments above that he'd blossom into one of the great workers of all-time if he hadn't wrapped the Porsche up struck me as kind of goofy.

I think you've seen his really great performances. You just didn't think they were great. Before you take my goofy opinion and throw it on the woodpile, what about Magnum's performances in these matches did you find so darn underwhelming?

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I'm honestly surprised there is a negative opinion on Magnum TA. I thought it was just common knowledge he was a good wrestler. I'm not trying to pick a fight when I say anyone who brings "when does it get good" to the discussion almost sounds like a person trying to be willfully ignorant. I mean, had things worked out differently he was probably going to be the top babyface leading the NWA into the 80s and 90s.

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I'm honestly surprised there is a negative opinion on Magnum TA. I thought it was just common knowledge he was a good wrestler. I'm not trying to pick a fight when I say anyone who brings "when does it get good" to the discussion almost sounds like a person trying to be willfully ignorant. I mean, had things worked out differently he was probably going to be the top babyface leading the NWA into the 80s and 90s.

Actually, there really wasn't an opinion among hardcores that Maggie was "great" in the 80s. I'd be surprised if he ever finished in the Top 10 in the annual WON Worker Polls (not the awards... the Worker Polls that Meltzer conducted). I'm not sure Maggie every even cracked the Top 20. Granted... those polls aren't perfect as can be seen how Jumbo rates. My point is more that the notion that Maggie was a great worker really isn't something that was out there at the time. Not like say a Bobby Eaton or a Ted DiBiase from the era.

 

No doubt there are some individual fans who thought he was a good worker. But it didn't really make a dent. My vibe in reading the stuff was that he was thought of as being akin to Good Sting as a worker.

 

From my watching him at the time before he crashed the car, he just didn't do much for me. When I started getting stuff later in the 80s and in the early 90s... he didn't do much for me.

 

 

John

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I think you've seen his really great performances. You just didn't think they were great. Before you take my goofy opinion and throw it on the woodpile, what about Magnum's performances in these matches did you find so darn underwhelming?

My thought would be to pitch to me why Maggie was great in what you are defining as his great performances.

 

You don't have to buy it when I say that Bob Backlund was a good worker. But I think there are a good number of folks here who could tell you that I've written a shitload on why I think he's a good worker, with a ton of example and detail. They probably could point you to it even before I do. Again, you wouldn't have to buy it... and I'm sure plenty of people don't. That's fine. But I *have* made my points on it over and over again.

 

When I say "when does it get good", it kind of is the court of the other person to sell me on what exactly Maggie is doing in there great.

 

If I wanted to know why Bix thinks Lawler is great, what I might be missing... you don't think he could lay it out?

 

 

John

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I'd start by saying that Magnum was really great at selling a beating. In the X-mas Superdome tag, he does a great job eating the throws into the cage and his body language is fantastic. In the tag w/ II vs the MX, the post-match beatdown benefits as much from Magnum & II's selling as it does from the MX & Cornette laying it into them.

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I think you've seen his really great performances. You just didn't think they were great. Before you take my goofy opinion and throw it on the woodpile, what about Magnum's performances in these matches did you find so darn underwhelming?

My thought would be to pitch to me why Maggie was great in what you are defining as his great performances.

 

You don't have to buy it when I say that Bob Backlund was a good worker. But I think there are a good number of folks here who could tell you that I've written a shitload on why I think he's a good worker, with a ton of example and detail. They probably could point you to it even before I do. Again, you wouldn't have to buy it... and I'm sure plenty of people don't. That's fine. But I *have* made my points on it over and over again.

 

When I say "when does it get good", it kind of is the court of the other person to sell me on what exactly Maggie is doing in there great.

 

If I wanted to know why Bix thinks Lawler is great, what I might be missing... you don't think he could lay it out?

 

The problem is that you asked "when does it get good" after seeing all the stuff where a Maggie defender like myself would say it "got good". If his best work underwhelmed you, trying to sell you on him becomes a lot harder, almost to the point of futility. I can give you the Cliff Notes version: excellent brawler, excellent seller, excellent babyface, and made a side belly-to-belly suplex into a believable finisher. Great foil for DiBiase, great foil for Blanchard, and a great foil for Flair. But you saw all that stuff and didn't dig it. What more am I expected to do if I don't know what you're seeing differently?

 

Bix could - and has - defended Lawler until his face has turned blue, but if the other guy has seen the matches with Dundee and Mantell and Race and Funk and everyone else, and they still aren't buying what he's selling, what more can he do? If you try to sell people on Backlund, and they see the great matches with Inoki and Patera and Muraco and Adonis and they're still not feeling him, what more are you going to do? I've spent way more time and effort than I really should have trying to defend John Cena to people who have seen the matches with Edge and Umaga and Michaels and Khali and Orton, and if people still don't like him, there's not much more I can do to change their minds.

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The problem is that you asked "when does it get good" after seeing all the stuff where a Maggie defender like myself would say it "got good". If his best work underwhelmed you, trying to sell you on him becomes a lot harder, almost to the point of futility. I can give you the Cliff Notes version: excellent brawler, excellent seller, excellent babyface, and made a side belly-to-belly suplex into a believable finisher. Great foil for DiBiase, great foil for Blanchard, and a great foil for Flair. But you saw all that stuff and didn't dig it. What more am I expected to do if I don't know what you're seeing differently?

That's the cliff notes, and again really doesn't tell me much.

 

 

Bix could - and has - defended Lawler until his face has turned blue, but if the other guy has seen the matches with Dundee and Mantell and Race and Funk and everyone else, and they still aren't buying what he's selling, what more can he do?

He could actually tell me what Lawler is doing well in the match with examples.

 

I remember a discussion with Frank Jewett years ago where he tossed out one of the reasons he didn't like Kikuchi is that because he didn't have much offense. I did a double take, and not because of the typical "MOVES~!" crap that might be tossed at Frank. It was because Kikuchi in his prime did a variety of offensive stuff in the ring.

 

Frank: "Kikuchi doesn't have much offense."

 

jdw: "You're nuts. He had a lot of offense."

 

And that gets Frank to see the point... how?

 

It doesn't. Of course... there are times when I enjoy tossing "You're nuts" at Frank, but usually not when I actually want to convince him of anything.

 

So I gave examples. It was a pretty decent list.

 

From just one match that he hadn't seen:

 

01/24/93 Kobashi & Kikuchi vs. Akiyama & Ogawa

 

I'm sure I could have overkilled it by popping in a few more matches, but that one had enough to show a wide amount of offense that wasn't just punching, stomping and kicking.

 

Frank got the point. He still may not have liked Kikuchi, but at least he knew and acknowledge that Kikuchi had a pretty fair amount of offense.

 

Giving examples of matches is just the first step. They may not connect, and they may never connect. But it's also possible that the person is still just not seeing something and more eye opening would help.

 

 

If you try to sell people on Backlund, and they see the great matches with Inoki and Patera and Muraco and Adonis and they're still not feeling him, what more are you going to do?

"Inoki, Patera, Muraco and Adonis were great workers and they carried Bob in those matches. Plus, Bob was goofy in playing to the fans."

 

To get past the first sentence, there are a few things one could do:

 

#1 - point to specifics of what Bob did well in those matches

 

#2 - point out that for such "great workers", Patera & Inoki & Muraco don't really have a ton of *great* matches with other workers, and when they do how often was it with someone thought of as a Great Worker or someone they "carried" like Bob

 

#3 - do some comps of their matches with similar opponents and point to how Bob vs. Worker > Workers vs. Opponent, and how Bob also may have brough something out in that Opponent that the Worker didn't

 

On the second sentence, one can:

 

#4 - point to examples of other wrestlers being "goofy" in playing to the crowd in the era and/or setting, and how the crowd reacted

 

#5 - point to examples of the fan reaction to faces who didn't play to the crowd quite as much

 

In other words... there's a lot of shit one can do.

 

I didn't like Baklund. Yohe use to think he was goofy. We both now think that he was a good worker, and did some things about as well as anyone in the era. Part of that was due to someone pointing out things Bob did well... specifically pointing them out.

 

With Maggie... I haven't seen that yet.

 

 

John

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Bix could - and has - defended Lawler until his face has turned blue, but if the other guy has seen the matches with Dundee and Mantell and Race and Funk and everyone else, and they still aren't buying what he's selling, what more can he do?

He could actually tell me what Lawler is doing well in the match with examples.

Are you asking me to or stating it as a fact: "Yes, Bix gives examples when challenged"?

 

If you're asking, I'd be glad to.

 

I remember a discussion with Frank Jewett years ago where he tossed out one of the reasons he didn't like Kikuchi is that because he didn't have much offense. I did a double take, and not because of the typical "MOVES~!" crap that might be tossed at Frank. It was because Kikuchi in his prime did a variety of offensive stuff in the ring.

 

Frank: "Kikuchi doesn't have much offense."

 

jdw: "You're nuts. He had a lot of offense."

 

And that gets Frank to see the point... how?

 

It doesn't. Of course... there are times when I enjoy tossing "You're nuts" at Frank, but usually not when I actually want to convince him of anything.

 

So I gave examples. It was a pretty decent list.

I seriously don't get asserting that Kikuchi, a guy who idolized Dynamite Kid and used his trademark moves in addition to a variety of double team moves and early springboard moves, and I believe even added moves after his prime (did he use the Spider German Suplex before his Noah resurgence?) has a limited arsenal. That seriously sounds like trolling someone for an argument more than anything, as I'm sure Frank has seen plenty of Kikuchi.

 

Snipping the Backlund portion of your post, you have the realize that given how mechanically, he did look awkward, and his facial expressions & body language were largely goofy looking, he is going to be off-putting to a number of people even if he did have strengths in other areas. I tend to fall in the middle of the Backlund camps: The haters are too harsh, and those who pimp him might be a little too positive given his deficiencies.

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Bix could - and has - defended Lawler until his face has turned blue, but if the other guy has seen the matches with Dundee and Mantell and Race and Funk and everyone else, and they still aren't buying what he's selling, what more can he do?

He could actually tell me what Lawler is doing well in the match with examples.

Are you asking me to or stating it as a fact: "Yes, Bix gives examples when challenged"?

 

He's stating it as fact, trying to get me to provide more in-depth analysis of why Magnum TA was a good worker. I haven't done that, because I'm considered to be too long-winded as is, and if I'm going to sink that much time and effort into this, I'd like to be sure that I'm not just repeating stuff John already knows. John doesn't want to tell me what he already knows, so we're at an impasse.

 

I didn't like Baklund. Yohe use to think he was goofy. We both now think that he was a good worker, and did some things about as well as anyone in the era. Part of that was due to someone pointing out things Bob did well... specifically pointing them out.

Had you seen all the great available Backlund matches at that point before somebody else changed your mind? I don't dispute that sort of thing can get you to see a wrestler in a different light, but when you've already seen all the greatest hits, and nothing worthwhile is jumping out at you about the guy, odds are that any deeper explanation on my part is pointless. If he was up your street, the matches would have spoken for themselves. Best guess I have is that he's not selling what you want to buy....and since you don't want to tell me what you want to buy, I can't sell him to you beyond the basics.

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I'm honestly surprised there is a negative opinion on Magnum TA. I thought it was just common knowledge he was a good wrestler. I'm not trying to pick a fight when I say anyone who brings "when does it get good" to the discussion almost sounds like a person trying to be willfully ignorant. I mean, had things worked out differently he was probably going to be the top babyface leading the NWA into the 80s and 90s.

Actually, there really wasn't an opinion among hardcores that Maggie was "great" in the 80s. I'd be surprised if he ever finished in the Top 10 in the annual WON Worker Polls (not the awards... the Worker Polls that Meltzer conducted). I'm not sure Maggie every even cracked the Top 20. Granted... those polls aren't perfect as can be seen how Jumbo rates. My point is more that the notion that Maggie was a great worker really isn't something that was out there at the time. Not like say a Bobby Eaton or a Ted DiBiase from the era.

 

No doubt there are some individual fans who thought he was a good worker. But it didn't really make a dent. My vibe in reading the stuff was that he was thought of as being akin to Good Sting as a worker.

 

From my watching him at the time before he crashed the car, he just didn't do much for me. When I started getting stuff later in the 80s and in the early 90s... he didn't do much for me.

 

 

John

 

How much weight should be put into the opinion of the "hardcores" when time and time again they are shown to the biggest marks in all of wrestling fandom? They're also some of the hardest to please as well, so not being considered a favorite of theirs is almost a plus when it comes to evaluating someone as a worker.

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