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"DiBiase is in because he was generally a headliner everywhere he went from the late 70s until his retirement, and for most of that period was considered to be one of the five or ten best workers in the business. The others mentioned were all major players but I wouldn't consider any of them seriously as Hall of Fame candidates. Rude was a star and a good worker, but his run at the top was only a few years and he did a good job carrying Warrior but they didn't draw, and a great job with Sting but it was in that program that he suffered the injuries that led to ending his career. Valentine had some good runs but to me he's way short of Hall of Fame status. Hart in Memphis was the greatest manager I ever saw at carrying a territory, but he wasn't close to a Hall of Fame level performer once he went national. Pillman no way at all. He was a good worker, but never one of the very best, and he was never a headliner. Orndorff I'd consider more than the others due to the Hogan run but he still falls short. Anderson was a very good worker and a fantastic talker but was never a headliner on his own. To me, Hall of Fame should be reserved for legends of the sport. To me, the litmus question is always, was this person a bigger star world wide or a better worker than Dick Murdoch, who to me is the level of guys who don't make it by a hair? DiBiase was on the same level as a star and a more consistent worker (probably better as well, although some would debate that but nobody could debate that DiBiase was more consistent). Rude, Valentine, Pillman, Orndorff, and Anderson weren't close to Murdoch as a worldwide star, particularly when longevity and different areas are factored in, and of that group, none were better workers although Anderson and maybe Orndorff come close and Valentine in his prime may have come close." - WON, 04-20-1998

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Does anyone really think Ted was a better worker than Arn anymore? Personally I think the only person on that list he was a better worker than was Orndorff. And consistency strikes me as an odd thing to cite as Dibiase strong point. I think Ted is probably a better HoF candidate than anyone on that list (other than Jimmy Hart) but I don't think I agree with anything else Dave says there at all.

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I've made the comment before: Ted and Murdoch weren't as big of stars in Japan as Dave thinks they were. They both worked over there a lot. They both had decent tag team runs for a few years (Dick with Adonis and Ted as one of Stan's many partners over the years). But their singles pushes would surprise a lot of people when compared to other people.

 

I know a lot of people won't buy that. It surprised me when putting together my chart of title defenses. But if I were to chart every tour of Ted and Dick, and who got title matches in them, it would become a little obvious.

 

Not saying that they weren't known gaijin on a certain level. But Doc and Gordy were bigger stars *individually* in Japan than Ted and Dick, while their tag work (together and seperately) swamps them as well. And Doc and Gordy is scratching the surface.

 

John

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Murdoch would be more regarded than DiBiase though, correct? DiBiase teamed with Hansen for most of his run, and didn't really have very many memorable matches on his tours with Baba. Murdoch worked for both Baba and Inoki, did way more tours than DiBiase, and had singles and tag runs that spanned a much longer period of time.

 

Maybe Dave is close on his point about Murdoch being the HOF cutoff guy, but maybe DiBiase would be better in that spot. I like the idea of DiBiase as the "almost, but not quite" entry, but I would put Murdoch above him.

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I would think Dick would be more highly regarded by "fans" in Japan than Ted, but the gap between Dick and Ted is much less than the gap between them as say Billy Robinson. In turn, Abby was a bigger star than Billy. The gap between Dick & Ted to Harley is massive. The gap to Brody and Stan is massive.

 

I'd again say that Gordy was a bigger star in Japan. Doc reached a much higher peak (winning the freaking TC), and the balance was better than both Ted and Doc (he had *many* challenges of the TC along with as many challanges of the IWGP as Dick).

 

I'm not sold that Dick and Ted are clearly among the biggest 30 gaijin from 1960-97. If they are, they're deep into the 20s rather than in the Top 20.

 

John

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Don't know how I'd exactly rank people in an order, but guys like Kiniski and Bobo were bigger stars in Japan than Dick and Ted. Abby, Tiger Jeet, The Destroyer, Thesz, Gotch... it's not hard to get 30 of them. Lots of touring NWA Champs, along with Bockwinkle. Bock even challeged Jumbo for the Int'l Title after his last AWA reign.

 

Ted never challenged Jumbo for the Int'l Title, nor Baba for the PWF. He was a UN Title challenger, and once Jumbo won the Int'l Title, Ted transitioned instantly over into being a guy to put the next native UN champ (Tenryu) over.

 

Here's a contrast:

 

03/01/82 PWF Title: Baba vs Gordy

04/01/83 UN Title: Jumbo vs Ted

06/18/83 UN Title: Jumbo vs Ted

10/14/83 UN Title: Ted vs Tenryu

10/23/83 UN Title: Ted vs Tenryu

03/24/84 UN Title: Tenry vs Ted

10/29/84 Int'l Title: Jumbo vs Gordy

06/04/85 Int'l Title: Jumbo vs Gordy

03/10/86 Int'l Title: Jumbo vs Gordy

04/26/86 UN Title: Tenryu vs Ted

05/17/86 PWF Title: Choshu vs Gordy

 

Ted was UN Title level, which was the #3 belt in the promotion by the time Tenryu got it. Gordy instantly was at the top level, and stayed there. He wasn't as big of a star as Hansen, who was winning the PWF and Int'l titles. But Gordy was clearly a bigger star.

 

Ted's biggest run ever was as Stan's partner from 8/85 to 7/87. It's not exactly a legendary team like Hansen & Brody. Heck, are there any memorable defenses? Historically they're most known for Misawa's first heavyweight title coming with Jumbo against Stan & Ted. They had just three title matches in 1985-86 combined. They had five in 1987, *four* of them on their final tour including the two title changes.

 

Frankly they're a pretty overrated team. The buzz was for Jumbo & Tenryu vs Choshu & Yatsu.

 

John

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Who rates them highly?

I've never seen any praise of that team...well any praise significantly greater than praise for Hansen/Spivey.

 

Was there a point where that team was highly regarded/praised?

What was said about them?

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Dave thought highly of them at the time. December 1985 rankings:

 

1. MX

2. Bulldogs

3. DiBiase & Hansen

4. Choshu & Yatsu

5. R'n'R

6. Jumbo & Tenryu

7. DiBiase & Williams

 

Of course he had DiBiase as the #1 male worker in the world at the time, with Hansen #6.

 

In the Who's Who, which was written in the middle of 1986, he had this in the DiBiase piece:

 

"His tag team with both Stan Hansen and Steve Williams have both been rated amongst the top in the world as well."

 

They fell as 1986 went on, but I'm pretty sure we'd find more stuff since then where Dave talked about them being a major and legendary team, though not as major and legendary as Hansen & Brody. Suspect looking at stuff when Hansen came back to All Japan in 1993 would give some insight, and it's probably up on the WON site (or shortly will be).

 

Again, my comments in the early post shouldn't be read as me saying that people rated them with Brody & Hansen. We all know that team had special love back in the day. But Hansen & DiBiase got run, which in hindsight was a bit too high of praise.

 

John

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I'm not really sold on Terry Gordy being a bigger star in Japan than Dick Murdoch because he won the Triple Crown. I don't really see what title matches have to do with it.

If you look at the list of title matches from the 60s on through the 90s, you see the Big Stars among the gaijin. You also see how they're stratified by what belts they go after. You'll see two stars come over like Snyder and Hodge, you'll see how they get treated in the tag title matches, which one gets to challenge Baba and which one doesn't. It gets very clear which one is the bigger star. Then if you see them get later big matches, it's very easy to see who are the bigger stars. Fritz for example relative to Snyder and Hodge.

 

If you actually have the series results, which exist through Scott Teal for the 60s and first few years of the 70s, you can actually track things even closer as the series progresses and how things are set up, and again who gets the title shots.

 

Murdoch made 43 trips to Japan for JWA, All Japan and New Japan from Feb 1968 to Aug 1989. 21+ years. One challenge of Baba's top belts from 1968-81 in 19 tours. One challenge of Inoki's belt, though he likely would have gotten one bite at the NWF if they hadn't shelved it.

 

If you doubt it, I'll be happy to walk through the 19 series in JWA and All Japan and who got the title shots.

 

In New Japan, since Dan has translated all the TV from NJPW through 1988 and I have the JWJ covering Dick's one series in 1989, I'd be happy to walk through who was getting the big Inoki matches each tour. Folks might find it enlightening that the long await Dick vs Inoki match was blow off on the 2nd tv show of his initial tour with NJPW, that on the first show Dick lost to Tiger Toguchi to set Toguchi up for a bigger match with Inoki later on the series, and that actually "big" singles matches for Inoki that series were against Toguchi (the main event of the card with Andre-Hansen that folks are fond of), along with Inoki's 800th matches against Hansen and Andre.

 

That's pretty common for Inoki vs Dick matches: they never were really that big of deals in New Japan. Their "big" match in the IWGP Final came about only because Maeda cracked Fujinami's skull open, which:

 

* prevented the planned Inoki vs Fujinami final where Inoki would get his pin back; and

 

* left them with a choice of Murdoch or Maeda to book into the revised final

 

They couldn't book Maeda into it due to the pretty famous lack of desire of Inoki and Maeda to work together in a singles match in those two years. So Murdoch was it.

 

The other "big" match for the IWGP Title is largely a throwaway: a name on the list. Lots of wrestlers are on that list one time. Sid is.

 

Dick might be a more well known "name" to people you talk to because he wrestled in the showa era when wrestling was on primetime slots with bigger ratings. But I'm also talking about other people from that era who were big. Robinson, Abby, the Funks, Mil, The Destroyer, Tiger Jeet... these were bigger stars. Backlund had more big matches in Japan than Murdoch did.

 

John

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I was with Tom and never heard of anyone rating that team highly before. DiBiase didn't exactly set the world on fire in Japan. He wasn't bad but he didn't fit in well.

I roll out Meltzer. :)

 

I don't have a huge desire to pull out the 1993 WON's and find what Dave has to say about the team when Ted left the WWF for All Japan. I do recall it dawning on Dave that time passed Ted by in All Japan, and that it hadn't passed Stan by in 1993 (which was kind of obvious). I think even in those you'll see the comments of how they were a good team in the 80s, but not anymore.

 

Again, I'm not saying he held them up to be Brody & Hansen. Dave didn't think *anyone* was quite that Legendary. :) But you'll probably find more WON positive comments for Hansen & DiBiase than for Jumbo & Tenryu. Positive comments for Jumbo & Tenryu tag *matches*, but as a team they didn't get much run.

 

John

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Meltzer liking Dibiase/Hansen isn't surprising, but in this day and age I think when most people read about a tag team or wrestler being overrated they aren't assuming that the reference is to 25 year old opinions of Meltzer but rather the consensus of the general IWC/smark/hardcore fan universe. And Hansen/Dibiase is a team that I don't EVER remember being talked up in those circles and I've been around them for over fifteen years.

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Hansen/Dibiase were good, but no way were they ever better than Jumbo/Tenryu or Choshu/Yatsu. I will say that with Ted, Hansen sometimes worked smarter/more focused, like the excellent 8/31/85 match vs Jumbo/Tenryu. Definitely a better unit than the uneven Hansen/Spivey duo.

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Meltzer liking Dibiase/Hansen isn't surprising, but in this day and age I think when most people read about a tag team or wrestler being overrated they aren't assuming that the reference is to 25 year old opinions of Meltzer but rather the consensus of the general IWC/smark/hardcore fan universe. And Hansen/Dibiase is a team that I don't EVER remember being talked up in those circles and I've been around them for over fifteen years.

The subject line of the thread contains Dave Meltzer. The first post relates to Dave's opinion of Ted and Dick. That's the relevancy of my comments about Meltzer relating to Hansen & DiBiase.

 

We all have had discussions on *Brody* being overrated. The current online hardcore view of Brody is wildly different from what the view of hardcore fans while Brody was alive, and even through the mid-90s. That doesn't mean it isn't relevant to a discussion of Brody to mention how he was thought of back when he was alive.

 

The reverse on Backlund. The whole discussion and analysis of Tiger Mask over the past decade online is framed in the context that Tiger was an iconic figure in the hardcore world all the way up to the point that people started to point out the flaws.

 

This isn't a common or new thing online. And in this case, it ties right into the topic of the thread.

 

John

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I'm watching the Classics that cover the mid-'80s as I make nominations for the DVDVR All Japan set, and it's really striking how little Dibiase stood out. His offense was bland, and he did nothing to establish his character beyond "generic sidekick for Hansen." So that's exactly how the crowd treated him. I assume a hardcore All-Japan fan would have scoffed at the idea of Ted as the best male worker in the world during that time. I would actually use his Japanese run as evidence against his inherent star power.

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Dick might be a more well known "name" to people you talk to because he wrestled in the showa era when wrestling was on primetime slots with bigger ratings. But I'm also talking about other people from that era who were big. Robinson, Abby, the Funks, Mil, The Destroyer, Tiger Jeet... these were bigger stars. Backlund had more big matches in Japan than Murdoch did.

I don't think Dick was one of the biggest gaijin stars in Japanese pro-wrestling history and I don't even think he was one of the biggest stars during his tenure with New Japan, but he was extremely visible and Japanese records have him with even more tours to Japan than 43 (which could be wrong, but any rate he was a mainstay.) I think he was a second tier guy. An upper second tier guy maybe, but a second tier guy. But were guys like Nick Bockwinkel or even Ric Flair bigger stars than Dick Murdoch just because they were touring champs? At a certain point visibibility and longevity must count for something regardless of where Dick was used on the card, especially given the new audiences that Japanese wrestling was reaching in the 80s.

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I don't think Dick was one of the biggest gaijin stars in Japanese pro-wrestling history and I don't even think he was one of the biggest stars during his tenure with New Japan, but he was extremely visible and Japanese records have him with even more tours to Japan than 43 (which could be wrong, but any rate he was a mainstay.)

I listed the ones with specific companies from his first tour to his last one in his long run with New Japan. That he worked indies after that wasn't really relevant to what I was getting at.

 

I think he was a second tier guy. An upper second tier guy maybe, but a second tier guy. But were guys like Nick Bockwinkel or even Ric Flair bigger stars than Dick Murdoch just because they were touring champs? At a certain point visibibility and longevity must count for something regardless of where Dick was used on the card, especially given the new audiences that Japanese wrestling was reaching in the 80s.

Of course Flair was a bigger star. As was Nick. Touring Champ having major singles matches with the biggest stars in the country help make someone a bigger star.

 

Here's another example of how big of a star Dick was in Japan. The only matches from All Japan that made it onto any of the Classics (original Sammy and G+) were:

 

12/09/75 Dick Murdoch vs. Anton Geesink

12/15/75 Pat O’Connor vs. Dick Murdoch

12/09/76 Dick Murdoch vs. Killer Karl Kox

 

Did the 11/05/74 PWF Title match with Baba air? No. The 11/27/75 Int'l Tag match between Baba & Jumbo vs Dusty & Dick? No. Either of his title changes with Jumbo, despite the historic nature of them? No.

 

*Any* match between Dick and a native? No.

 

Three matches between Dick and other gaijin. Nothing from 1977-81 from this alleged big star.

 

New Japan Classics is interesting as well because it supports my point made earlier: the first Inoki-Murdoch in 1981 didn't mean anything. It didn't air on Classics. Stuff in the +/-2 months around it that aired:

 

'81.8.6 Kuramae national skill mansion

Antonio Inoki vs Masked Superstar

 

'81.8.14 Korakuen hall

Antonio Inoki vs. Bad News Allen

 

'81.9.18 The Hiroshima prefectural gymnasium

Antonio Inoki vs Stan Hansen

 

'81.9.23 Denen Coliseum

Antonio Inoki vs Tiger Toguchi

 

'81.10.8 Kuramae national skill mansion

Antonio Inoki vs Rusher Kimura

 

'81.11.6 Kuramae national skill mansion

Antonio Inoki vs Rusher Kimura

 

Stan is Stan. Rusher was a massive feud and match at that time. But Masker Superstar? Bad News? Tiger Toguchi?

 

This is going to end up being one of those things that jdw runs into the ground and annoys people.

 

So trust me: Dick and Ted *weren't* as big of stars in Japan as people made them out to be. They toured there a lot. So to did Johnny Ace a generation later. That didn't make Johnny Ace a massive star.

 

Were Dick and Ted bigger stars than Johnny? Sure. But Doc or Gordy? I'm not entirely sold. I'd say Dick and Ted weren't as big of stars as Gordy, and tend to think if folks looked at it objectively, they'd come to the same conclusion. On Doc... I think an argument could be made for Doc being a bigger star relative to his promotion/promotions than Dick was. I think it may be a better argument than could be made for Dick. Ted isn't remotely close to the level of star than Doc was.

 

Dick and Ted were "showa stars". It's a bit like being a star in the 1980s in the WWF: it has cultural legs that wrap how people view things. Piper in the WWF in the 80s doesn't really have that impressive of a drawing record. That's not just relative to Austin and Rock in a different generation, but even within the 80s WWF. Didn't really do a lot, and theer's less to his feud with Hogan than folks would think. But Piper is an 80s Icon, and main evented the original Wrestlemania that allegedly put the WWF on the map. So he gets viewed with that halo over him.

 

Dick and Ted have a halo over them. When people go back and look at how they were actually used and booked, reality is a little different.

 

Note one thing: I wouldn't, and never have, made this argument abou Brody in Japan. He *was* a major star, quickly pushed up into matches with Baba. When he jumped to New Japan, it was major and Inoki instantly booked him into a big bout. His return to All Japan was treated as major, and he was booked to be a major played in the Tag League when coming back, and than booked into the title turn around with Jumbo to start the next year. There are things I knock about Brody: his work, and also that All Japan and New Japan didn't draw as much with him as they did later with other people. But he was clearly positioned, used and booked as a major star.

 

John

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Well, you may be right John, but I don't know if the Classics argument is fair. There was a lot of stuff that didn't make it onto Classics, particularly with All Japan since it had far less episodes. Maybe the guys putting Classics together didn't think Murdoch was any great shakes, but there wasn't a lot of rhyme or reason to how they put it together nor did it have much of an audience. I assume Murdoch made it onto the original broadcasts.

 

I wouldn't deny that there's something of a Showa influence to how Murdoch may be perceived, but I'm not sure why you're lumping Dick and Ted together aside from the fact that they were both Mid South guys. It seems to me that Dick enjoyed a fair bit more success in Japan than Dibiase ever did. From my experience, Murdoch is mostly remembered in Japan for his North/South run, his brainbuster and the calf branding. I'd say those were the major things. I dunno about Ted.

 

Doc and Gordy probably were positioned as bigger stars in All Japan than Murdoch was in New Japan, but there were big changes in the business from the Showa era to the Heisei era. It's probable that Murdoch would've never been given a top position in a Japanese company regardless of whichever era he was in, but at the same time I think the sheer volume of tours he did has to count for something particularly considering that he wasn't a touring champ and not *really* a gimmick guy. How much does being a staple gaijin count for vs. a push? Murdoch probably had the least name of the gaijins he first toured New Japan with in '81, right? But I'd wager that he came back more times than any of them. And how do you measure hardcore fan interest in the early 90s against casual interest in the 80s? Doc and Gordy weren't on TV at any sort of reasonable hour.

 

Anyway, they're all being forgotten now. It's kind of sad, but the longer I stay here the more I think it's remarkable how long pro-wrestling was able to survive as a marketable form of entertainment.

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Well, you may be right John, but I don't know if the Classics argument is fair. There was a lot of stuff that didn't make it onto Classics, particularly with All Japan since it had far less episodes.

In original Sammy, there were 210+ one hour episodes covering 1972 through June 1990 when if stopped. There have been 86 or so two hour episodes on G+, much of it stuff that was on the original Sammy classics but a fair amount of it new (such as the Jumbo-Flair UN Title match or the Ted-Choshu match that didn't even air on original NTV program).

 

387 hours or so programing, less commercials and whatnot. Lots of time to mix in Murdoch matches.

 

 

Maybe the guys putting Classics together didn't think Murdoch was any great shakes, but there wasn't a lot of rhyme or reason to how they put it together nor did it have much of an audience.

There was a pretty good rhyme and reason to how it was put together. Most of the major stuff made it onto classics, and a decent chunk that didn't on the original Sammy made it on G+. With two wrestler-related exceptions, I think the only really major thing that hasn't gotten out is the first Harley-Jumbo draw that won Tokyo Sports Match of the Year. Granted, I've never seen that match all that much pimped in historical books and mags. When I saw the listof TS MOTY for the first time and saw it on the list, I kind of scratched my head since it wasn't a match that I'd seen get a lot of run.

 

The two wrestler related exceptions on the original broadcast were Choshu and Tenryu, with Choshu pretty much edited out of the history of All Japan while Tenryu got limited run. In the G+ airings, Choshu and Tenryu have been retored to their proper roles in All Japan, which is one of the reasons those G+ have been gold to folks.

 

Murdoch doesn't really fall into that bucket. The notion that the guys putting it together (now two sets of guys) didn't properly appreciated the greatness and historical significance of Dick is... hard to buy. A Pedro Morales challenge of Baba's PWF title made Classics. Dick's one challenge of Baba's title didn't. There are plenty of other examples, and it's very hard to buy that Classics Production loved *everyone* they put on air.

 

Dick made it three times. I listed them. They're a pretty odd selection, and the lack of any matchup with Jumbo or Baba is pretty striking.

 

 

I assume Murdoch made it onto the original broadcasts.

I talked about a pair of Jumbo vs Dick matches recently: the UN Title changes that were Holy Grail material. They turned out to both be pretty darn good matches.

 

On the other hand, I've also never seen those matches get much run in historical books or mags. In contrast, Jumbo's matches with Billy Robinson, Rusher Kimura and Mil get big run. Those made Classics.

 

 

I wouldn't deny that there's something of a Showa influence to how Murdoch may be perceived, but I'm not sure why you're lumping Dick and Ted together aside from the fact that they were both Mid South guys.

I'm lumping Dick and Ted together because of the original quote in the first post in the thread. They are linked *there*.

 

I wanted to make the point that neither was as big of a star in Japan as was pimped in the 80s, 90s, 00s and that some might still think.

 

 

It seems to me that Dick enjoyed a fair bit more success in Japan than Dibiase ever did. From my experience, Murdoch is mostly remembered in Japan for his North/South run, his brainbuster and the calf branding. I'd say those were the major things. I dunno about Ted.

I don't think the success of the two in Japan is all that different. Dick might be a little higher, but it's not that different. He's closer to Ted than Gordy.

 

 

Doc and Gordy probably were positioned as bigger stars in All Japan than Murdoch was in New Japan, but there were big changes in the business from the Showa era to the Heisei era. It's probable that Murdoch would've never been given a top position in a Japanese company regardless of whichever era he was in, but at the same time I think the sheer volume of tours he did has to count for something particularly considering that he wasn't a touring champ and not *really* a gimmick guy.

The volume of tours is simply a function of making his first one with a major promotion in 1968 (when he was 21) and his last one in 1989. Two a year for 22 years is 44 tours. It's not an insane number of tours in 22 years.

 

 

How much does being a staple gaijin count for vs. a push? Murdoch probably had the least name of the gaijins he first toured New Japan with in '81, right? But I'd wager that he came back more times than any of them.

Here are Dick's first there series in Japan, with the TV shows (all thanks to Dan Ginnetty):

 

Bloody Fight Series (8-21 to 9-23)

Stan Hansen

Bad News Allen

Pete Roberts

Jim Duggan

El Solitario

Brazo de Oro

Brazo de Plata

Dick Murdoch (8-12 to 9-3)

Andre the Giant (9-4 to 9-23)

Solar (9-17 to 9-23)

 

8-21-81

1. Tiger Mask/Solitario d. Brazo de Oro/Brazo de Plata

2. Tiger Toguchi d. Dick Murdoch

3. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami d. Stan Hansen/Pete Roberts

 

8-28-81

1. Tiger Mask d. Brazo de Oro

2. Pete Roberts/Bad News Allen/Stan Hansen d.

Riki Choshu/Tatsumi Fujinami/Seiji Sakaguchi

3. Antonio Inoki vs. Dick Murdoch

 

9-4-81

1. Killer Khan vs. Andre the Giant

2. Tiger Mask/Tatsumi Fujinami d. Pete Roberts/Solitario

3. Bad News Allen/Andre the Giant/Stan Hansen d.

Riki Choshu/Tiger Toguchi/Antonio Inoki

 

9-11-81 (taped 9-9)

1. Tiger Mask/Tatsumi Fujinami d. Brazo de Oro/Plata

2. Andre the Giant d. Seiji Sakaguchi

3. Antonio Inoki/Riki Choshu d. Bad News News/Stan Hansen

 

9-18-81

1. Tiger Mask/Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Solitario/Solar

2. Bad News Allen/Andre the Giant d. Tiger Toguchi/Seiji Sakaguchi

3. Antonio Inoki vs. Stan Hansen

 

9-25-81 (taped 9-23)

1. Tiger Mask d. Solar

2. Tatsumi Fujinami d. Solitario

3. Stan Hansen d. Andre the Giant

4. Antonio Inoki d. Tiger Toguchi

 

10-2-81 (taped 9-17)

1. Tiger Mask d. Brazo de Plata

2. Stan Hansen d. Tiger Toguchi

3. Antonio Inoki d. Andre the Giant

 

10-9-81 (taped 10-8)

1. Tiger Mask d. Masked Halcon

2. Stan Hansen/Hulk Hogan d. Riki Choshu/Dino Bravo

3. Rusher Kimura d. Antonio Inoki

 

Series 10-9 to 11-5

Andre the Giant

Dick Murdock

Dino Bravo

Bad News Allen

Masked Superstar

Steve Travis

El Texano

El Signo

Negro Navarro

Hulk Hogan (10-8 to 10-17)

 

10-16-81

1. Tiger Mask d. El Texano

2. Tatsumi Fujinami d. Steve Travis

3. Antonio Inoki/Riki Choshu d. Bad News Allen/Andre the Giant

 

10-23-81

1. Tiger Mask/Gran Hamada d. El Signo/Negro Navarro

2. Tatsumi Fujinami/Osamu Kido vs. Animal Hamaguchi/Isamu Teranishi

3. Antonio Inoki/Riki Choshu vs. Abby/Masked Superstar

 

10-30-81---no show----

 

11-6-81 (taped 11-5)

1. Tiger Mask d. Gran Hamada

2. Antonio Inoki d. Rusher Kimura

 

11-13-81 (taped 10-30)

1. Tatsumi Fujinami d. Animal Hamaguchi

2. Tiger Mask/Kengo Kimura d. El Signo/Negro Navarro

3. Antonio Inoki/Seiji Sakaguchi d. Bad News Allen/Seiji Sakaguchi

 

2nd MSG Tag League (11-19 to 12-10)

Andre the Giant

Stan Hansen

Dick Murdock

Bad News Allen

Rene Goulet

El Canek

Super Maquina

Pat Patterson (11-19 to 12-2)

Hulk Hogan (11-29 to 12-3)

Samoan #1 (11-19 to 12-5)

Samoan #2 (11-19 to 12-5)

Dusty Rhodes (12-4 to 12-10)

Ron Hawk (12-4 to 12-10)

 

11-20-81

1. Yoshiaki Yatsu/Riki Choshu d. Samoans #1/#2

2. Stan Hansen/Dick Murodck d. Killer Khan/Tiger Toguchi

3. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Andre the Giant/Rene Goulet

 

11-27-81

1. Yoshiaki Yatsu/Riki Choshu d. Super Maqunia/El Canek

2. Dick Murodck/Stan Hansen vs. Rene Goulet/Andre the Giant

3. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami d. Killer Khan/Tiger Toguchi

 

12-4-81

1. Dusty Rhodes/Dick Murdock d. Yoshikai Yatsu/Kengo Kimura

2. Roland Bock d. Riki Choshu

3. Rene Goulet/Andre the Giant d. Killer Khan/Tiger Toguchi

4. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami d. Rusher Kimura/Animal Hamaguchi

 

12-11-81 (taped 12-10)

1. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Stan Hansen/Dick Murdock

2. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami d. Dick Murdock/Stan Hansen

3. Rene Goulet/Andre the Giant d. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami

 

12-18-81 (taped 12-8)

1. Tiger Mask vs. El Canek

2. Dick Murdock/Dusty Rhodes d. Rusher Kimura/Tiger Toguchi

3. Andre the Giant d. Killer Khan

4. Stan Hansen/Roland Bock d. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami

 

12-25-81 (taped 12-1)

1. Tiger Mask/Tatsumi Fujinami d. El Canek/Super Maquina

2. Andre the Giant d. Tiger Toguchi

3. Antonio Inoki d. Hulk Hogan

 

 

I wouldn't say that Dick was the *least* least name of the gaijins. I mean... there's Rene Goulet. I also wouldn't say that he came back more than any of them. I mean... there's Stan looking us right in the face. And Andre worked with major promotions *after* Dick got dropped by New Japan. Same with Hulk, and the only reason he *might* not have worked as many New Japan series from 1982-89 than Dick is because he got a Bigger Job (i.e. Biggest Wrestling Star In The World).

 

 

And how do you measure hardcore fan interest in the early 90s against casual interest in the 80s? Doc and Gordy weren't on TV at any sort of reasonable hour.

It's hard to tell. More people probably watched a typical band-of-the-month on the Ed Sullivan show than would have watched the biggest appearance of Alanis Morissette in 1995 *before* the 1996 Grammys (Feb 1996). But by that point she'd probably sold 5 million or 10 million albums. Were Freddie and the Dreamers "bigger stars" than Morissette simply because more people watched them on some TV shows?

 

No.

 

What needs to be kept in mind is that Murdoch had not just the TV advantage on Gordy & Doc, but also the era advantage: most of Dick's run with major promotions (1968-82) was when Gaijin vs Native was the key booking narrative. IWE vs New Japan started the ball rolling towards changing that, then Choshu turning on Fujinami and later jumping to All Japan shattered it. Gaijin vs Gaijin became the dominant narrative by the end of the decade. Gordy broke into All Japan as that change was happening (though over in New Japan). He not only survived in it, but thrived. Williams broke into New Japan while it was going on, and again not only survived it but thrived in it. Murdoch, unlike Hansen, lost his job.

 

 

Anyway, they're all being forgotten now. It's kind of sad, but the longer I stay here the more I think it's remarkable how long pro-wrestling was able to survive as a marketable form of entertainment.

I'm not surprised at all. The early 1950s to the late 1990s is only around 50 years. It lasted far longer here in the US. It probably could have lasted longer in Japan at a more viable level if it wasn't so poorly managed.

 

John

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