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thee Reverend Axl Future

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Everything posted by thee Reverend Axl Future

  1. I might like Super Porky more than Brazo de Plata, as per the past-physical prime workers. I considered Lawler but he was always a smart worker. All incarnations of Terry Funk are great - we all love later era Middle Aged Crazy TF but he was amazing in his younger days as well. I don't think he ever really slowed down. - RAF
  2. New year, new hopes, y’all, and time to look to thee future as well as reflect on more innocent times. I was thinking about what I used to know, and here’s what emerged. I hope you will indulge me and hopefully think about how your certainties have evolved and maybe share them. Merry Hogmanay, my tribespeoples. THINGS I WAS SURE ABOUT IN PRO WRESTLING WHILST I WAS A LAD (let’s say, pre-Hogan era, WWWF/WWF bias, some UHF stations and magazines I bought at Gem Spa (RIP)) - Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was so obviously a nutter, babyface status notwithstanding. We heard the rumors of his crime; his unhinged interviews made it believable. (note: this is not to trivialize his “alleged” horrid deeds, that shiazit is hard to parse now, let alone when you’re 40 years younger) - Never mess with a Samoan, ever. Sure, sometimes they did (great) looney tunes in the ring but no doubt they were double tough. And their heads were the hardest. - Greg “The Hammer” Valentine’s pageboy hairstyle and odd bodily proportions really unnerved me. However, he was a damn fine IC champ. - My pal Crazy Bob’s film school buddy got a job dragging the video camera cables around ringside at MSG. We begged for inside dirt. Dig this: the funereal looking gent by the bell at the ringside official’s table had the sole job of monitoring the time of the matches, for (I assume) the MSG Network. He would gracefully place a pencil behind his ear when it was time to “take it home” (a term I would later learn) to signal the ref if the wrestlers were running long. This was before any ear piece tech, kiddies. We were dumb but we were smart - or vice versa, I dunno. We knew it was a work but we didn’t know how so it was no less fascinating to us. This curiosity certainly drove me to get into thee biz (in my very small way). The pencil shtick was confirmed for me years later, but I wish I knew more details. WRESTLING!!! - Having a manager was a big help, even in the manager-free Madison Square Garden. How could you not want one? This is yet more proof that the rulebreakers were much wiser than the silly fan favorites that cared so much about what the half-wits in the cheap seats thought. Sure, Albano’s interference sometimes backfired or Blassie kept the money and paid you in camels or The Grand Wizard watched you shower, but you got to hang out with The Captain, thee Hollywood Fashion Plate and/or Abdullah Farouk and that sounded awesome to us. - George The Animal Steele wasn’t as savage as he would have us think. We all heard he was a teacher in Michigan, and one time Arthur A and I were running late so we hopped in a taxi to MSG. The cabbie asked if we were going to see “the ‘rasslin’” (and we knew enough to heed the words of a gent who says “the ‘rasslin’”). We nodded our pimply heads, and while cutting multiple lanes on 6th Ave he told us that that stuff is fixed, see? He picks up that Steele guy in his hack a couple years ago and he talks just fine, not like on TV, AND he had to stop at newsstand on the way, ‘cause you know how his tongue is green, well it ain’t green because he’s a caveman or nothin’, it’s because George Steele bought a pack of CLORETS there and that’s what makes his tongue green, get it? Whatever we tipped that man, it was not enough. - Everybody loves the midgets. - There were a lot of old, fat, masked and/or small wrestlers in those other territories. Some didn’t look all that threatening in the magazines (Verne Gagne? Dory Funk Jr.?!?!) but we sometimes caught different wrestling shows, and other folks were no joke (Abdullah the Butcher, Harley Race). I wanted to know more about what was out there... Upon transcribing these thoughts, I can still stand behind them: they as yet hold true (esp. the one about Greg Valentine). I guess I wasn’t so naive after all. -the more i learn the more I find I don’t know, RAF, 2021
  3. I am so happy that someone chose that song instead of this one: I dig it, RAF
  4. I would much rather watch the Godfather in anything - the man with a very versatile gimmick - vs. Gooooldberg - a very limited performer AT BEST - but your mileage may vary (and be wrong). - RAF
  5. "The Snuggery in Chicago" - oh boy, I got stories and facts. Too many for typing, lazy highlights: owned by a school pal of Ric Flair and the post-card hangout of of the Horsemen, most WCW folks and many other workers. The ultimate jock/frat/yuppie entertainment boozery on a street of gimmick bars, one time young(er)RAF went in to viddy the Horsemen in action. None of my weirdo pals would come with me (damn Chicago was like a Balkan state with the cliques fighting in the streets, dirty punks don't go there) but I was treated like royalty by the staff because I worked at the biggest club in town at the time and always comped them. Flair & co. were a sight to see, the '80s were a time to be alive, for sure. Moral of the story: give away your boss' stuff to everyone and it might pay off someday and big roided bouncers will usher you around and bikini-clad part-time actresses will give you vodka'n'cranberries and people will think you are Ian Astbury slumming it and you can't even count how many times Tully goes into the bathroom. - RAF
  6. I have a ginormous soft soft spot for Mustafa's performances in The Gangstas promos. - RAF
  7. Only In Modern Wrestling, pt. 253 - Can a wrestler be the "best" is the crowd reacts negatively to him? Also, I perceive that RReigns suffered from the crap-ass lengthy year before of the mega-push of Rollins as the Chosen One of the evil GM/real-president/The Authority/VKM - Rollins was supposed to be the best, but he didn't wrestle as such, and he was aligned with the main heels, but he was still the focus. The audience was sick of being forced fed "the next Cena/Rock/Austin/cash cow" and the accompanying storylines, and so were ready to shit all over the next pick (shoot or work), whether or not he was worthy, deserving and/or "the best". Argh, I feel like I can't express this thought succinctly. I also regret not requesting before and after pics of Dolfan's calves. - RAF
  8. I am amazed when I read on this board (not on this thread, obviously) and elsewhere that many wrestling fans posting on the interWebs don't go/haven't gone to many live shows. I will get all Christopher Nolan and say that the pro wrestling form was meant to be viewed live and in person. It is uniquely suited to TV, video and to a lesser extent on-line as well but these are lesser versions of it. I certainly have consumed much resslin' on my TV and computer, and have a whole lot of tapes and DVDs but nothing compares to the real thing. I was always one to jump at seeing movies I dig in the theater as well - there is a difference. what a world, RAF
  9. I’ve been to a bunch of rasslin’ shows. It is almost always a good time, and sometimes it is transcendent, educational and/or visionary. I wanted to pick five really fun cards I attended, with a few comments on each. I noticed that a major part of my good memories was whom I went with - makes sense. (in no particular order) CWF, Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, 1983/84 - I went with Mama RAF and “Uncle” Pepe. It was a gymnasium with bleachers and folding chairs, and a mixed FLA crowd of Hispanics, trailer trash, old folks, screaming kids & inner city youth - true believers, all of us, not a single hipster or smark to be seen. Memorable match: Kevin Sullivan & Buzz Sawyer vs. Blackjack Mulligan & Dusty Rhodes, Lights Out Bar Room Brawl - The ring ropes were removed and sweet chaos reigned o’er all. The Prince of Darkness and The Mad Dog were defeated by thee cowboy heroes but afterwards Mulligan’s hair was set aflame by a fireball and Sullivan stabbed Rhodes with the Golden Spike right in the teat, and our heels had to dash through an enraged crowd. Youthful RAF stood on his chair and applauded and got to pat KS’s sweaty Bostonian shoulder as he scuttled by. Right after that life-changing event, a 9 year old Black Dusty fan jumped on Mr. Sullivan’s back and began to pummel him. Sullivan bleated out “SECURITY! SECURITY!!”, body slammed the child, onto the hardwood floor, hopped over his inert form and dashed the rest of the way to the lockerroom. I decided to try to get into the business tight then. WWF, Madison Square Garden, NYC, 03/25/84 - My chum Arthur A. and I would go all the time and his mom was neighbors with a MSG family member who had access to great tickets but never used them so we did - always within the first 10 rows. Our pimply faces can be seen on several Coliseum Videos and MSG Network broadcasts. Memorable match: Roddy Piper & “Dr. D” David Schultz vs. Jimmy Snuka & Andre the Giant - As usual, Arthur and I were taunted by our neighboring fans for cheering the heels, but that worm turned right fast when Andre was carried out after being tied up in the ropes and bloodied by Piper and Schultz. Snuka continued on in a handicap match and was going down when The Giant did a lurch in, Spirit of 1776-style in bloody head bandages causing the DQ for his team and a win for “our” team. SWEET VINDICATION, YOU PENCILNECKS. WCW, Superbrawl II, Milwaukee, 02/29/92 - A crew of us made the road trip from Chicago for this; I remember Mama Trauma, Tony T and 5 or 6 other miscreants that worked the nightclubs. We did a tour of Jeffery Dahmer’s favorite gay bars and had some cocktails. We had great seats for the PPV (remember waiting in line at Ticketmaster?) and many beers. Afterwards we went back to Chicago and frequented more water-holes w/libations. I almost picked Spring Stampede ‘94 instead (with a similar posse) which was a better card but the pre-game on SB2 was more festive. Memorable Match: Jushin ”Thunder” Liger vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman - The choice was obvious. My Meltzered-up self was super psyched for this. The cheeseheads in attendance were barely enthusiastic - well, it was the opener (after the dark match). Ignorant heathens, then and now. It was a great match, but seems almost quaint now upon rewatch. Sic transit gloria mundi. AAA/ECW combo show, International Amphitheatre, Chicago, 10/21/95 - I promise to finish my write-up of this event, umm… soon? This was fun. Lance and John and Margaret and me at this unique undocumented show at a pivotal period for U.S. pro wrestling. One of two wrestling-related riots I have been in occurred at this card: thank you, Terry Funk. Come for the rasslin’, stay for the great concessions, and we had great seats for this as well. Memorable match: 2 Cold Scorpio & The Eliminators vs. Tommy Dreamer & Public Enemy - This was the very first time I ever saw someone go through a flaming table live and in person, as did every damn other person in the place as they were dumbfounded. ¡Ay, caramba! SFLL, San Francisco, 03/11/01 - Blurring the rules a bit here, as this was a card I worked. I only knew the promoter, but I got to smoke cigars at a jazz club with El Hijo Del Santo and Tinieblas Jr. (sadly, no Alushe). I also got to hang out with Rey Misterio (Sr., the uncle), watching the openers and dishing in spanglish, so this was a big deal to me. Plus, I got paid. Memorable match: It goes without saying my match was not the best on the card, but it was memorable for me. I worked Chango Loco (for the third time, three different promotions). My promos for the radio spots were good and we did a pull-apart at a press event. Hijo later showed me how to rip a mask and gave me more respect and attention than he had to - a real class act. Color all around and I was shorn of my locks, and shaved my head completely to honor tradition the next day. Well, there you have it. These were the ones that came to mind but there are many more. Of course I tripped down memory lane and added much florid word-stuff, so thank you for indulging me. I trust it was worth reading. Please add your own personal bests with stories! Your loving RAF
  10. Pardon me for interrupting, but those Tony Atlas dropkicks are UNREAL - they look like some kind of special effect! carry on, my SSHS2020ers, RAF
  11. This is one of my favorite post-match promos ever, partially because they are so happy. It's very positive and enervating. The match is one of the best ever, and I bought the VHS tape by mail - $60, I think and worth every penny - which is such a great tape: one match, but all the set-up, match highlights and promos leading up to it, hosted by thee great Lance Russel. - RAF
  12. This is deliciously money mark indy - AWF 2.0! I hope it is not a gag/hoax and someone is sincerely believes they can pull this off. - RAF
  13. If only astronomy was advanced enough to accurately predict when the sun will set! A pox upon those charlatans who study the solar system and it's arcane workings. - RAF
  14. Tom Lawlor grew on me, because he looks like a typical no sense of humor MMA meathead but he has a great sense of humor and is quite unselfish in the ring. He really gets it, an is quite versatile. - RAF
  15. Rusev is a slightly earlier example of my "how can you not make money with..." frustration. Yeah, I know how and maybe even the why the WWE/VKM/HHH did not, but it amazes and saddens me still. Last time I brought this up with some younger and/or newer examples, and I felt that I was (re)stating the obvious, folks seem to explain away this mystery with apologies for the WWE. Rusev played ball, was good on promotion and social media, sold merch, worked on his ring abilities, was very believable, successfully integrated his less bankable lady into the gimmick... and appeared to get the cold shoulder, push-wise. ???!?!?!???!?!?!? Bummer. - RAF
  16. Very true. Drawing power, putting asses in seats and making $$$ - taken together- is just one consideration. A fed with just "top guys" would be unbookable; you need all kinds of hands in a roster. AA and UDragon are great examples of HoF workers - how about Steven/William Regal? A HoF that spans decades has to take into consideration the guys that could be champ in a territory but just strong (but useful and necessary and draws) mid-carders in a big federation but they made everyone look credible and filled their spot. Shit, I would put in Mike Jackson or Tinker Todd or Dean Malenko or in my HoF before some of the big vote-getters in Meltzer's. - RAF
  17. The importance of drawing power is a good subject for debate. Wrestling may be an Art but it is also a business. There are no real wrestling critics like there is a vocation/industry of art critics, movie critics, theater critics, etc. The ticket buyers are one of the deciders for the greatness of a worker. Wrestlers are not created, produced or promoted like a (money-making) movie is, nor like a singular artwork (painting, sculpture, so on), nor like a mass produced book or long-running play. The promoter decides to give a wrestler a push, under the creativity of a booker - does this wrestler have the charisma and ability to draw? It is hard to be on top, and being able to draw is part of a great wrestler's skill set. You can be a brilliant worker and unable to draw (or never got the chance) but to earn your place on top is very important to qualify for HOF status - or at least for this one. Meltzer's Hall, Meltzer's rules... - RAF
  18. SP is totally channeling thee Great One, Jackie Gleason, Here - "and awaaay we go!". No wonder I mark out for him. - RAF, doing the Hucklebuck
  19. The Frankenstein's Monster-inspired mocking of The Giant always made me laugh, and was the last thing Scott Hall did that I enjoyed. It was enough. Kerry Von Erich not debilitated by his vices is a great big "what if", but if you can imagine that, and that he could have a love for the biz and an elation to be out from his pappy's control, I think I could see him becoming even better (when he in reality he cruised on Fritz's booking mandates and was a natural but coasted) and was charismatic and handsome enough to get a WWF push to the top. I only saw bits and pieces of DavidVE's work at the time, but I can agree with the consensus (Meltzer, fellow workers) that he was the pick of the litter. He was over in Japan and the lockerroom, and pushed wherever he worked (TX (duh), Central States, Florida, St. Louis). His big advantage was that he could work heel and babyface equally well, and he was a large man with endurance. His career was only 7-8 years! - just say "No, thanks, maybe later", RAF
  20. Ah, the ol' Volcano of Blood match - tape trading gold, back in thee day (of tapes, and trading, and mail, and 3td gen+ VHS, and human interactions), To the best of my knowledge, NOT a shoot just a brilliant dedicated work. - RAF, who has at least three tapes with this match on it in the basement
  21. Like for Tua- hang on little buddy! - RAF, but we all know that hawk was all #MeToo on the part of the AC, TT-RIP
  22. Is it way slow for anyone else, or is it the 1,000+ tabs I have open? - RAF
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