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thee Reverend Axl Future

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  1. "The Sandma'am" is such a good indie gimmick that I am giddy just thinking about it. - PATENTPENDINGCOPYRIGHTTRADEMARKPRIORUSE, RAF
  2. "Avalanche" Buzz Tyler is certainly a Premier Charter Member of the Forgotten Workers Club. In hindsight, he is a solid worker but completely colorless to me. It is like the man left no footprint in the business at all. NE longhair pinhead bias, RAF
  3. Did the system for notifications change recently, is it wonky or am I and/or my chromebook crazy? Did all the notifications one receives since last logging in count as one for purposes of the number on the bell icon or were they once counted separately? - RAF "My legs are grey. My ears are gnarled. My eyes are old and bent." - Matthias of Judea
  4. I look at ring psychology as the means to elicit an emotional response from the audience, whether to engage or to tell a story. It encompasses timing, gestures, selling, pacing, charisma, and speaking. It can be overt, subtle, broad, violent, comedic, innovative and traditional. Psychology is instinctual (ya get it or you don't) as well as learned (by being taught, by observation or experience and by experimentation). I listened to Baron Von Raschke break down the psychology of a classic cage match to such basic elements that the formula was unassailable in it's effectiveness, and so simple as to be baffling as to why it was not obvious to all (me!) beforehand. Psychology is about providing the expected and unexpected in the correct amounts at the correct time. It is the confidence for the worker to listen to themself to get the biggest long-term impact with the least effort. Shawn Michaels is a great story-teller in my opinion, but his ring psychology is sub-par (these valuations (and all my others) are relative to his status and experience: his work is better than 90% of what you will see from non-major leaguers/main eventers). An early career in tag teams is a great way to learn the business, especially the building blocks of making a great match. His tag stuff is outstanding. Bret Hart used move and psychology to tell a story in the ring that was logical and solid. A little to clinical in fact, for me. John Cena isn't very innovative psychology-wise, but he picked it up fast, and his matches (by a modern standard) are textbook. Read Gary Hart's bio - he really emphasizes ring psychology and gives good examples. Limiting myself to workers I have seen live, these folks come to mind: Tully Blanchard: so so great in setting up to conflict, and drawing out all the heat possible. Jerry Lawler: yeah, lots of comedy and stalling, but a genius at reading the crowd and giving them what they want/need/didn't know they wanted and/or needed. El Hijo Del Santo: brilliant timing, makes the easy stuff look hard and the hard stuff look easy. (honorary luchador mention: Brazo de Plata, can engage a crowd and switch from loony toons to drama on a dime) Ric Flair: can work with any opponent. In later years, he was formulaic but man what a formula, and if he felt like turning it on he gave a clinic in RP. A real Sigmund Freud, if you will. Really, you are not going to get surprises in a list like this until you get down to the "lesser" numbers. How about these folks for me: Matt Bourne, Sgt. Slaughter, Rob Van Dam, Sandman, Muta, Muraco, Freebirds, Snuka. For younger workers, it's harder to commit: Ciampa, BMurphy, Cody, Samoa Joe... more of a Jung man myself, RAF
  5. This made me quite giddy. I am a Catweazle mark, since he is mostly a Celtic Boogie Woogie Man Jimmy Valiant, hedge wizardry vs. street magick. Highlights include: the bridgework spot, the chyron "FUNNY MAN CATWEAZLE", the leg-spreader sequence, KASHMIR SINGH daddy!, GLPeacock being Adam Cole with more believable offense, young'uns paying dues, getting over with the grannies, and "natural blonde hair". Matt D's assessment of CW body of work is essentially correct, but this world could use more grabass and titty twister spots these days, alas... so good, RAF
  6. I get ascared whenever the "Wrestlers RIP" gets bumped up, and when the board was down for holiday repairs I had a flashback to the board crashing from the Benoit massacre traffic. Did it not crash also when Eddie Guerrero died? - RAF, a delicate flower and drab introvert
  7. Gaylord Peacock is now my favorite wrestler that I have never seen. - RAF (not that there's anything wrong with that)
  8. Hey, I was at that card (this past Thursday in Philly). Mostly twink gymkata (see above) and meaningless fatboy death matches. Nice showings by Homicide, Dan Maff and Ophidian however, and a couple local standouts. As you can see, the small (18') ring fits snugly betwixt the bar and the stairs, leaving room for three standing rows on two sides to block the bathrooms. Indie intimacy... - RAF
  9. This is all true, and I liked watching the Pierce/Slazenger team, but the faces Naked Mideon would make whilst doing his thing always crack me up. Naked Mideon: one of those gimmicks that is impossible and awkward to explain to non-fans. - RAF
  10. Baszler is one of the best new talents. She really gets it. It is hard to do a MMA gimmick, and have to show ass whilst remaining effective but she does it well. She comes off as a true heel. Great look, good gear, nice stooge back-ups, and a unique persona among the women - she is a stand out and this makes me mark out even more. - getting verklempt, RAF
  11. Ecumenical councils are like contract signings or arm wrestling matches: it always ends in a brawl. Arius was lucky he was merely banished, and there wasn't a birthday cake. - believe you me, I know, RAF
  12. I lost touch with Arthur but he was a great guy and funny as heck. He brought his camera to the MSG show to fulfill his HS photography shop assignments. His mom was pals with one of the MSG families, so we had access to their ringside seat privleges. We saw a lot of great matches but saw much Tiger Chung Lee vs, Mr. Fuji openers. misty & water-colored, RAF
  13. This justifies my recent cancellation of the Network, which was mostly a reaction to the crappy policies of the WWECorp. I'm gonna be a-diggin' those boxes of tapes and DVDs out of the basement soon. I will miss seeing certain workers (Cesaro, Asuka, Velveteen Dream, Ciampa, et al) but this really clinches it. My missing $10 a month won't matter to them, and it is a paltry gesture on my part, but it is important to me. subscriber since the beginning but NO MORE, RAF
  14. Hey, Young RAF was there! My pal Arthur and I always stood for the Russian National Anthem and were scolded by various NYC cab drivers and newsboys for it. I dunno if I have the gumption to watch through this mishegas to see if we made hard cam, although we are visible in several other MSG tapings from that era. The work moves-wise is minimal but the work working-wise is deliciously old school. This is a very interesting time as they are clinging to tradition but discovering the new ways, casting off and trying on and adapting as they go with no template. So many crap workers, tho', so if you didn't grow up with it it can be a slog. On the other hand - MEATHEAD (a.k.a. Thee Fink)! - time, the script is you and me, boys, RAF p.s. - youthful RAF and his chum Vinnie C are also visible in the WM1 home release and Arthur appeared in the WWF Victory magazine. Collect and trade with your friends.
  15. The intensity of this segment is heightened muchly from it's length, but redneck bully Austin is as intimidating as Dr. D Davis Shultz and that is great praise from RAF. Heel Cole's run was so so painful, again muchly because of it's length and how much he was protected (and Mr. McMahon). I still have the PTSDs from the Guest GM Era. However, there were Cole highlights, usually when he shows ass, like: "The Cole Mine" - it still makes me chuckle. - RAF
  16. I'm aware that it is from a house show, but the cartoonishness of this is of a very modern self-aware mode that differentiates itself (for me) from the lengthy swaths of time in my life spent watching the Looney Toon stallings of Ivan Putski, Wild Samoan head butt challenges or Bugsy McGraw cosplaying Curly Howard. In it's deconstruction, detournement, subversion and fannish perspective of the concept of a wrestling match; this stuff reminds me of a midget match (which I loved because everybody loves the midgets). Rassling can contain multitudes, and all folks have a line - personally I can't stand the Invisible Hand Grenade shtick but but I love when Tiger Jackon would bite referee Dick Whoerle on the ass. For me, the comedy stuff when done well can make the violent or soap opera parts seems more dramatic, in the same match and/or card. a little of this a little of that, RAF -
  17. This was some primo tape-trading stuff during a hot period for that activity. I would often pad out a request with a random lucha shows from that time, because there were so many amazing workers, hot feuds and crazy angles that it was a sue fire crowd pleaser for those with elevated taste. - RAF
  18. This is a great hypothetical. In my opinion, and trying to summarize my answer as much as possible, running a promotion during the pre-cable era was based on live shows being the cash cow. Later, even as PPV dollars supplemented arena tickets sales, the model was "don't give away the big matches on TV". It seemed to worked, as it always had. Stick with what works was the motto, innovation was not a virtue to the people who were putting up the money (i.e. the promoters) Just as the earlier (pre-TV) business model of wrestling was based on boxing, when a new medium came along the business and business model adapted. Mr. McMahon's genius was in capitalizing on this modern media landscape (inspired, aided and abetted by folks like Jim Barnett, Joseph Cohen, Dick Ebersol, even Pat Patterson and Ted Turner) and radically changing the old rassling promoting style (not necessarily the in-ring stuff) to benefit from these new money streams. The heart of your inquiry: some workers were best displayed in the old (squash-heavy) format, but no one would have lasted long if they couldn't deliver live. Certainly the most talented folks could have thrived in either era - working is working - and there are probably a few "top" guys now that wouldn't have gotten over as well back then. It is about the presentation of the product and the style of the TV shows more than the actual wrestlers. The emphasis these days is about the actual in-ring product and less about the "working"/hype/kay fabe. I hate to maybe misuse an analogy, but if we take movies as a comparison, it is less about the story and cinematography these days and more about the acting and dialogue. I will mention that the wrestling style of today (and the schedule, travel, etc.) is not as conducive to a long term career. The more working, the less strain on the body. But of course, why would management care about that? These are independent contractors, after all... - RAF
  19. This is some Chikara (circa 10 years ago)-style stuff. It is odd seeing it on a big league stage. I dunno, I like my indie stuff indie level and my major label stuff in that level. feelin' old & confused for some time now, RAF
  20. I don't watch wrestling to see wrestlers that look like me - I want larger than life people that I would want to befriend or learn from, or to merely stand in wonderment that we all walk the same planet together. If I am paying, I want to witness some folks that make me speculate things like - "has Abdullah the Butcher ever walked to the bodega to get some milk?" "what happens when Terry Funk gets a jury duty notice?" "what would a seder at Fred Blassie's home be like?" "does L. A. Park like roller coasters?". The lines between work and shoot should blur, whether it is because I want them to or because those lines weren't lines but waves or particles or psychedelic pandemonium. Anyway, the Gangstas were always an successful anomaly. Great gimmick, intensity, interviews - for me, everything but the ring stuff. New Jack certainly found a niche and could work his work, but Mustapha was my fave because of, not despite, his very limited skill set. In thee Rev's book, he was second to none for being the background man in promos: better than the savage Wild Samoans, better than flexing Road Warrior Animal, better than the arcane martial arts of the Great Kabuki, yea even better than Lysol & raw chicken Abby. These are the aspects I notice and note. It is always worthwhile to be great at a small thing if you can't be better than everyone else at most things. Dig it - Mustapha's Greek chorus, intimidating facials and running support are brilliant here, but his onomatopoeia-as-coda makes this a fave rave for me: he's gotta be high, right?, RAF p.s. - NJ's rant is top notch and this era of ECW is transcendent and still holds up today.
  21. I'd feel sad for TCLee for being the most obvious"helloImgoingtobetheonetoeatapin" fellow ever, but I had to suffer thru his face turn and interminable matches with Mr. Fuji at MSG show so forget him. I like to imagine Murdoch, Adonis, and Andre argued over who gets to do the "tied up in the top and second rope" spot and finally deciding no one gets to do it then. - RAF
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