Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
Sign in to follow this  
OSJ

Mt Rushmore of Pro Wrestling

Recommended Posts

Okay, who are the four people that you would point to as who made you a fan or more importantly perhaps, made you remain a fan even if many things about the business were turning you off. There are certainly no right or wrong answers, as this is as subjective as it gets. I've been watching a long, long time but late 1980s - early 1990s tape trading expanded my horizons in ways that I couldn't have believed possible. So without further ado:

1. Johnny Valentine: Quite simply the greatest North American pro wrestler who has ever lived. Whether heel or face he employed the same slow, deliberate style that made him seem a walking engine of destruction. Johnny Valentine wasn't there because he cared about titles, accolades, or any other traditional motivators; he was there because he was going to fuck someone up for having the sheer effrontery to get in the ring with him. If you haven't watched him in action, think of Greg Valentine cranked up to the nth degree (though Greg was/is a good deal saner), and then imagine him being able  to work heel and then come back to the same arena a month later and work face after being booed out of the building in his previous appearance for leaving the local boy a pulverized mess on the mat. Johnny V. could do that, what's more he made a career out of it, imagine the most hated heel you've ever seen doing a face turn and that's what Johnny V. could do on a regular basis, and he still left you with the feeling that good/evil were simply the same sides of the coin to him, what was important was having the excuse to fuck somebody up.

2. Dump Matsumoto: Nothing that I had seen in my years of being a fan could have prepared me for Dump Matsumoto. By the 1980s everyone knew that wrestling was scripted, the Sheik could be spotted in Detroit having breakfast with guys that he'd been carving up with a fork or throwing fireballs at the preceding night. Sure, fans would act scared but they did so with big grins on their faces because they weren't really scared, it was all part of the show. However, in Japan something very different was happening, a large woman brandishing a kendo stick making her entrance was generating actual fear on the part of the audience. Sure, Japan was filled with smart fans who knew the score, but the thing is no one was sure just how crazy Dump really was, she would attack her own entourage just as readily as her opponent if they did something to displease her. It's been a long time since a wrestler generated actual fear in the audience and Dump may have been the last one to do so as effectively. 

3. Jumbo Tsuruta: A large man (hence the nickname) that moved like a cruiserweight when he wanted to. Quite simply, I don't think that there has ever been anyone quite as good in the ring as Jumbo. Misawa comes awfully damn close, but he had the advantage of regularly working with Kawada to up his game. Jumbo could carry the greenest, most inept worker to a **** match without making himself look weak in the process. His passing of the torch to Misawa (under the Tiger Mask gimmick and eventual unmasking) was a thing of beauty. I don't know of any other worker anywhere in the world that could have pulled it off so well. We've spoken a lot about guys that could vary their game to get the most out of an opponent, I don't think there's ever been anyone better than Jumbo at doing so, and he did so with what we must consider a tremendous handicap. That handicap was quite simply his size, it's much harder to be a sympathetic face when you're the biggest guy in the ring, (see how Hogan had to be fed monster of the month), Jumbo was good enough to give a smaller opponent credible offense without looking weak himself. that's a remarkable skill that not many guys can cultivate. Out of the current crop of wrestlers who are regularly putting on great matches I think Okada is the only one I could point to as a direct successor to Jumbo and that's pretty damn high praise.

4. Arn Anderson: Yeah, I had to agonize about this fourth spot, as I could on any given day put  Jushin Liger,  Ric Flair, Dynamite Kid, Barry Windham, Chris Benoit, Bret Hart or even current favorite Tetsuya Naito in this spot, but the more I thought about it and looked at my permanent DVD collection it became obvious that this spot belonged to the Enforcer. I don't think that there was ever a period of time that I looked forward to watching wrestling on Saturday more than when Arm held the TV title. You knew that no matter what else went down, no matter how much time would be wasted with Dusty putting himself over, you were going to get at least one fifteen minute match that would be good no matter who the opponent was because that's how Arn rolled. A guy that knew from the get go that he was never going to be the man, (though he could've been), Arn took to the role of the number two guy behind Flair like a duck to water. When he'd cut a promo and describe himself as "the measuring stick" that you had to get past in order to get a shot at the Nature Boy, you knew that seperated the contenders from the pretenders with a quickness. Like Johnny Valentine before him, Arn didn't do a lot of yelling and screaming; instead in a very matter of fact way he let you know that he was no one to be screwed with and provoke him at your own peril. In a world that knew it was all fake, Arn Anderson could still make you believe. Higher praise than that simply doesn't exist.

There's my four, who ya got?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Terry Funk

Constantly overlooked and underrated, possibly due to his transient nature and never being around anywhere/on top for too long, the guy could literally do it all. A great technical wrestler in that snug 70s NWA/AJPW mold (my favourite form of wrestling), a great brawler, a great hardcore worker due to always having this unhinged aspect to his character, a great promo, great gaga, and a great mind for the business. You could bring him in as your top guy (WCW), slot him in as a back-up (Stud Stable), bring some legitimacy to your promotion (ECW), he'd do it all. He always had his finger on the pulse and knew when to change stuff up and could see the big picture, and to me it says a lot that Ted Dibiase would never make a move before consulting with Funk.

2. Bret Hart

Time has been kind to Bret Hart. While people might not like his personality, or the things he says, or his seeming inability to let go of a betrayal long since smoothed over, you can't fault his work and it's rare that someone's body of work holds up across the generations but his does and that's down to his flawless execution and ability to tell a story in that ring. When I got into wrestling in 1991 it was the glitz and glamour and larger than life personalities of Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior that drew me in, but by Summerslam 91 it was Bret Hart's performance that made him my favourite as it seemed so real and cerebral (to the point I wanted an illuminous pink BMX for my birthday much to my parents misgivings). That fandom carried me through the dark days of the New Generation, and no one else around then could have done that - that's about as big a tick as you can give I think!

3. Ric Flair

I am a big critic of Ric Flair. He's formulaic, cliched, cringey, cheesy, queer for the blade (his Superbrawl match against Fujinami remains the most pointless bladejob I've seen in wrestling), and if you've seen one match you've seen them all with minor discrepancies, but my god he draws you in. And in spite of those criticisms he is continually one of the wrestlers I have the most fun watching. From his OTT promos, his glittering entrances, his selling, it's just fun and there is so little fun to be found in wrestling these days. Whereas the two above have a more refined body of work and you get something different every time, Flair is my comfort food - I know what I'm getting, I know it's not good for me, but man is it satisfying.

4. TBC

I could say Barry Windham or Mark Rocco, but neither has the longevity or influence. I could say William Regal for similar reasons to Terry Funk but I figure he relied on gaga a bit too much. I could say Shawn Michaels but he's one of those people I have trouble separating the history of the personality from the body of work. I could say Stan Hansen but it would be for selfish reasons rather than thinking he's the pinnacle.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about Piper?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. "Macho Man" Randy Savage
IMO just the complete package. Great character work, intensity, excellent matches, insane promos. Randy Savage IS pro wrestling for me. When he was a heel, he was always justified in my mind. When he was a face, the crowd ADORED him. having Miss Elizabeth at his side didn't hurt, either.

2. Shawn Michaels
i drifted in and out of pro wrestling in the early-mid '90s, but HBK was always blowing my mind with his matches at the time. when i came back full-time, it was when i was a teenager and thought D-Generation X was the greatest thing ever (well, after the nWo) and it largely got me to stick with WWF. When he came back full-time after the back injury, he was solid and a bright spot for me when much of the company's stars were people i couldn't care less about.

3. Ultimo Dragon
if i had been exposed to Jushin Liger regularly, earlier, he would be in this spot. Dragon having a regular spot on Nitro during the Monday Night Wars made a big impression on me, and my interest in him made me start tape trading for stuff like the Super J Cup and even looking up some of his lucha stuff from Mexico. Hard to deny somebody who makes me crave more wrestling.

4. Eddie Guerrero
i feel like this one is almost cliche, but Eddie was so great in absolutely every facet of pro wrestling. the perennial heel that you love to hate, he had charisma for days. he could be slotted into any spot on the card and exceed expectations. i literally could not say enough things about how he made me appreciate wrestling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd have four carvings of this guy

man_mountain_rock_-_daryll_peterson_04.j

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Wrestler

Manager

Broadcast Journalist

Author/Shoot Interviewee

 

Bobby Heenan gets all four spots

Edited by BobbyWhioux
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Austin, Eddie, and Cena. I have plenty of others I like and/or love, but those are three who probably made me love wrestling the most. Austin brought me to the table during the Attitude era. Eddie brought me fully into everything during the Smackdown Six era. And Cena was the main thing that kept my interest alive during the weakest points of the 2000s. Eddie is the only non family death I have ever cried over, and I cry so rarely in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Ric Flair 

2. Undertaker

3. Steve Austin

4. Kenta Kobashi

Flair was the first wrestler I remember seeing.  He captivated me as a kid.  The Undertaker came along at the exact time for an 11 year old, he was cool, scary and badass. He then passed the torch almost perfectly to Austin who took me through my teenage years.  When I discovered tape trading Kobashi was the guy who stood out when I got my first Japanese tapes. If it wasn’t for him I would never have “got” puro.

All 4 are guys who had great careers and are still worth a rewatch at any time.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flair, Austin, Savage, Eddy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Earthquake, Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Tomohiro Ishii.

Rumble 91 was what got me into wrestling, Quake was one of the characters that stood out to me most as a kid, with one of the best action figures, plus he sounds like one of the nicest people ever.

Bret Hart was always my second favourite wrestler, I'd have phases of loving the cool, scary heels like Adam Bomb, Ludvig Borga, Crush, but Bret was always the one good guy I was happy to get behind, because even as a kid I could tell he was a genius.

Foley got me back into wrestling in 98 when I took my only year out, because of HIAC and his subsequent rise to the title.

Ishii's been the highlight of the last few years of easy access to NJPW, he's somehow underrated even though nearly everyone loves him, and it'll be a massive shame that he never gets an IWGP title reign just because he's marginally less tall and handsome than Okada.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the formative impact of the Monsoon/Heenan broadcast team, specifically, [the Madden & Summeral of wrestling] on me as a budding wrestling fan, simply cannot be overstated.  I sat through and pretended to enjoy a lot of Not Very Good wrestling just because they were calling the action, and they had a knack for putting rose-tinted sunglasses over a lot of plot holes and dubious booking that I'd otherwise remember much less fondly [give them something actually great like Savage vs Flair and you get what I believe our own Brian Fowler describes as "the finest hour of television WWF/E has ever produced"]

as I said in the Heenan obituary thread a couple years back (and burned through all my likes on posts where others also said it) Heenan's influence and inspiration on me and my sense of humor is beyond even the boundaries of wrestling.

Even if I play nice and actually pick four different people to be the Rushmore heads, Heenan's will always be first and loom largest.

[Randy Savage and Bret Hart would be on there for the same reasons everyone else is putting them on there.  I don't know that I could ever stop changing my mind on the 4th.  Flair should probably be there.  But how do I leave out Dusty?  Or the Oscar/Emmy worthy promos of Jake Roberts?  I also wish I'd seen more of Bockwinkel to want to put him there too. Like the 4th Horseman, that spot would be ever changing]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ric Flair

Muta 

Minoru Suzuki

Arn Anderson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, RolandTHTG said:

Savio Vega.

TNT, Kwang, Savio Vega, Mystery Partner Savio

My picks: Mantaur, Razor Ramon HG, The Yet-tay, Outback Jack

Edited by Nice Guy Eddie
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking long term about making me a fan and keeping me.

I realized when I read his obituary, that I watched Lou Albano's entire run as a manager. The best part of TV back then was the 5 minutes of interviews in the middle of the show and Lou was hilarious. He would be the constant every week for years. His guys changed every few months. His stuff with the Valiants and Muraco was great. Also I realized that WWF has been ruined since Lou turned into a babyface manager for the most part.

I will put two together because the timeline and stories are so similar. I found Japanese video rental stores in NJ around 1990. I saw Manami Toyota and Kenta Kobashi go from great youngsters to stars to retiring 20 + years later and was a huge fan of both all of the way. I've gone to Japan many times and seen hundreds of shows. I'll never forget being a ringside photographer when Toyota became 50th WWWA champion. I made a special trip to see Kobashi/Akiyama at Tokyo Dome.

They are all gone now. Someone who might keep me watching it for a long time like that is Takumi Iroha.

My historical 4 would be Frank Gotch, El Santo, Rikidozan, and Hogan.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My Mount Rushmore has changed over the years.  It used to have guys like Hogan, Benoit Punk and Austin but due to various reasons not anymore.  But at this point in time (and probably for good) my Mount Rushmore would be Savage, Bret, Eddie and Daniel Bryan.

-Savage got me hooked on wrestling when I was a kid.  He was the first star I remember seeing on TV and I was hooked ever since. 

-Bret is the guy that kept me hooked when Savage was kind of winding down and shifted over to commentary.  I remember him in the late 80s but it wasn't until the mid 90s that I really appreciated everything he was doing.  When factoring in the weird gimmicks in the early/mid 90s he was the most real and was somebody worth looking up to.

-Eddie was my guy when the Attitude Era faded and it brought on the Smackdown Six.  I loved his wrestling but also his inane levels of charisma.  The guy had it all and it's sad knowing he passed away.

-Daniel Bryan is somebody that kept my attention when WWE was really hitting some low points in the late '00s/early 10s.  The first time I really paid attention to indy wrestlers was when Bryan and Kendrick were featured in PWI.  I like Kendrick a lot but seeing Bryan in ROH was a revelation and I've been following him since.  The guy could/can do it all and no matter how much chicken shit they throw at him he finds a way to turn that into chicken salad.  And even now when there's so much to fast forward if he's on I'll always watch his stuff.

Edited by NikoBaltimore
Earlier was a "rough draft" so I added a bit more to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came of age in the 90s.. so my 4 are pretty much late 80s / early to mid 90s guys. 

Bret Hart- very few people view the ring as what it is - a canvas. Bret was one of those guys. His work gets better with age, and I dare say we appreciate him even more some 20 years later. A true artist of the squared circle... and who knew he would make such an amazing and fun heel?

Randy Savage - there's over the top acts - and then there's Randy Savage. Nobody could make you emotionally invested in a match like Savage. As a face he was miraculously booked as the sympathetic underdog going up against guys 1.5x his size. As a heel he was one of the most dangerous. Savage is the only wrestler that could match up to Jake Roberts when it came to mental psychology.

Eddy Guerrero - I don't think I've ever seen anyone as smooth in the ring as Eddy. Rudo Eddy is by far the best version. Eddy in the Latino World Order days was my favorite as he just exuded filth. 

Steve Austin - growing up and watching WCW Saturday Night made you respect the dangerousness of Steve Austin. We watched the slow and methodical credibility take place through The Dangerous Alliance, The Hollywood Blondes, and feuding with Ricky Steamboat over the US Championship. Austin was legit in our eyes. His ring work was top level before he damn near broke his neck... but his character work post injury took him to a whole new level... but we all just have to wonder what he could have really done once he reached the top of the mountain in one piece. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, ka-to said:

I'm thinking long term about making me a fan and keeping me.

I realized when I read his obituary, that I watched Lou Albano's entire run as a manager. The best part of TV back then was the 5 minutes of interviews in the middle of the show and Lou was hilarious. He would be the constant every week for years. His guys changed every few months. His stuff with the Valiants and Muraco was great. Also I realized that WWF has been ruined since Lou turned into a babyface manager for the most part.

I will put two together because the timeline and stories are so similar. I found Japanese video rental stores in NJ around 1990. I saw Manami Toyota and Kenta Kobashi go from great youngsters to stars to retiring 20 + years later and was a huge fan of both all of the way. I've gone to Japan many times and seen hundreds of shows. I'll never forget being a ringside photographer when Toyota became 50th WWWA champion. I made a special trip to see Kobashi/Akiyama at Tokyo Dome.

They are all gone now. Someone who might keep me watching it for a long time like that is Takumi Iroha.

My historical 4 would be Frank Gotch, El Santo, Rikidozan, and Hogan.

 

Very nice! There are only a few of us here that remember that before he was the fat, jolly buffoon with rubber-bands in his face Lou Albano was the lead heel for WWWF for years. Yeah, we can talk about "the three wise men", but Lou was so far out in front of everyone else that he even made the Grand Wizard seem like an afterthought. Fans that just saw him as a comedic act in the Rock N Wrestling Connection seriously don't know what they missed. The only heel manager that ever got to the same level was Bobby Heenan. When you're alone in a class with Bobby Heenan, you've done some remarkable work.

Edited by OSJ
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we're just talking guys who made/kept me a fan I'll go with 2 from the 80's as that's when I grew up, 1 from the Attitude Era and 1 other.

1. Flair--Every kid in my school loved Flair. I know it's cool to say, "oh well I rooted for the heels growing up" but every kid I knew who watched wrestling loved Flair. They might've split the rest of their fandom along the traditional heel/face lines but Flair was too cool to hate back then.

2. Bret Hart--Again, a guy I remember everyone liking. He just seemed really cool and to me, he always seemed like a "real" wrestler in the land of muscleheads.

3. Steve Austin--I'd sort of fallen out of watching wrestling in the mid-90s. Hogan taking over WCW made me lose interest and I didn't really get it back until Austin started his rise in 96. I'd always liked Austin going back to reading about his feud with Chris Adams in the Apter mags and I remember really becoming a fan of his when I saw him at a WCW house show in 91 or 92 (although Lady Blossom's ahem, managerial talents had a large part in getting a 12 year old me to notice Austin). Austin just seemed really out of place and dangerous in 1996 WWF where you had hokey crap like the Diana Hart/HBK love angle, Jerry the King making drunk jokes at old Jake Roberts, Smoking Gunns, etc.

4. I'm on the fence for my 4th guy. It's between Raven, Jericho and Punk. Three guys I've enjoyed immensely over the years. If I had to pick, I'd go with Jericho just because he's been around the longest and I appreciate the fact that he's constantly evolving his character and look. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tenryu, Vader, Piper, and Bret. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kendo Nagasaki. Because WoS was ultimately a lot of guys with real names and minimal gimmicks, and then all of a sudden there's this armoured Samurai in a mask (with a missing joint of his finger, like he'd upset a Yakuza or something), and he can't be champion because masked wrestlers are ineligible, but he's better than the Champions, because they've all lost matches in their lives, and he never has. The mask was on the line IN EVERY MATCH! Then he unmasked voluntarily and he had a tattoo on the top of his head and red eyes! You can't imagine what a big deal that was in England in the early 80s.

Brian Pillman. The first American Wrestler I liked. Up to that point, the only American Wrestling I'd seen had been WWWF and it seemed like it was all fat lumps who chased the manager around the ring and didn't know any holds. They just threw punches right in front of the referee and never even got a public warning for it. Terrible. Then ITV changed it to WCW Worldwide, and they had guys who knew holds and could do moves, and this one young skinny guy with long curly hair who could fly. Being a young skinny guy with long curly hair at the time, I found him relatable. He didn't always win, but that was OK, because he always had the best match. Then the world changed, the wrestling business changed, and he changed with it. And his first big heel turn kind of happened at around the same time as certain things happening in my life that turned me from the hopeful optimistic kid into the embittered cynic I am now, and... it fit. And then he died. And a part of me felt he should have been immortal.

Cactus Jack. And Toshiaki Kawada. Because both in their separate ways showed the meaning of persistence. Of relentlessness. It's all very well saying Never Give Up if you're John Cena and you always win and you're always the best. What if you don't always win? What if you lose more than you win? Who shows the people who aren't the golden ace, aren't the chosen one, who shows them that they should never surrender? Cactus Jack does. Toshiaki Kawada does. So that's who I put my faith in.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, AxB said:

Kendo Nagasaki. Because WoS was ultimately a lot of guys with real names and minimal gimmicks, and then all of a sudden there's this armoured Samurai in a mask (with a missing joint of his finger, like he'd upset a Yakuza or something), and he can't be champion because masked wrestlers are ineligible, but he's better than the Champions, because they've all lost matches in their lives, and he never has. The mask was on the line IN EVERY MATCH! Then he unmasked voluntarily and he had a tattoo on the top of his head and red eyes! You can't imagine what a big deal that was in England in the early 80s.

Brian Pillman. The first American Wrestler I liked. Up to that point, the only American Wrestling I'd seen had been WWWF and it seemed like it was all fat lumps who chased the manager around the ring and didn't know any holds. They just threw punches right in front of the referee and never even got a public warning for it. Terrible. Then ITV changed it to WCW Worldwide, and they had guys who knew holds and could do moves, and this one young skinny guy with long curly hair who could fly. Being a young skinny guy with long curly hair at the time, I found him relatable. He didn't always win, but that was OK, because he always had the best match. Then the world changed, the wrestling business changed, and he changed with it. And his first big heel turn kind of happened at around the same time as certain things happening in my life that turned me from the hopeful optimistic kid into the embittered cynic I am now, and... it fit. And then he died. And a part of me felt he should have been immortal.

Cactus Jack. And Toshiaki Kawada. Because both in their separate ways showed the meaning of persistence. Of relentlessness. It's all very well saying Never Give Up if you're John Cena and you always win and you're always the best. What if you don't always win? What if you lose more than you win? Who shows the people who aren't the golden ace, aren't the chosen one, who shows them that they should never surrender? Cactus Jack does. Toshiaki Kawada does. So that's who I put my faith in.

Well put! I have to ask you as a Brit, what you thought of Jody Fleisch?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never thought I could actually be a Wrestler, because when I was 18 I was 6'0" and 140 lbs, hence too small. Then Jody Fleisch (5 years younger than me) starts Wrestling and he's only 5 foot 5!! So I was thinking maybe I missed a trick and should have tried it. Then I saw what he was capable of doing athletically, and realised I was best staying out of it. No way am I hitting those flips and twists in my life. But now I'm 44, if I had been a Wrestler, I'd be a Heavyweight by current standards (I'm 200 lbs now. And not the way most 44 year olds are. I got into the weights in my early 20s and never really got out of them. Gained 60 lbs in 22-ish years and never had to buy a new belt, or bigger waisted trousers). Jodie Fleisch and Johnny Storm, when they started they were like two Rey Mysterio Jr's on the UK scene. They still wrestle now, and sometimes their opponents are smaller than them.

But Jodie especially blew my mind. It's one of those, you see Great Sasuke doing his flying, but he's Japanese. Different country, different culture, different language. He's an otherworldly talent, but he might as well be from a different planet. You see Rey Jr, he's Mexican. It's another world. Then Jodie Fliesch starts doing that style, and he's from London. He did the same school curriculum, took the same exams I took. Blew my mind. It's a shame the UK scene didn't really explode until he was already in his 30s, because he was probably making shit for money at his athletic peak. Even though he can still go today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made me a fan, and or kept me as a fan?

 

1. Tony Garea. The amount of work just to carve his hair would be part of a Ken Burns documentary on my Mt. Rushmore.

2. Roddy Piper. When I really started becoming obsessed with Wrestling, all we had was WWF cause we didn't have cable. The Saturday morning shows highlight was always Piper's Pit.

3. Jimmy " The Boogie Woogie Man" Valiant. When the 80s boom started, we suddenly started getting lots of other promotions on our various UHF channels. The Saturday afternoon I found World Wide Wrestling On Philly 17 blew me away. And the big angle was the return of Jimmy after a Loser Leaves Town stip. Then during a job match where Paul Jones' guys were facing a job team, and then Jimmy and Buzz Tyler came out, paid off the losers to take their spot and brawled. There was nothing like this on WWF and Jimmy became my favorite wrestler.

4. Mick Foley. When I got back into wrestling in the mid-90's, the wrestler who became my guy was Foley. I remembered him from the late 80's as Cactus Jack Manson, I would watch WCW Clashes cause they were free on Wednesday nights and Cactus was my favorite. When I got really hardcore back in, was around the debut of Mankind. I was a huge fan, and the night he won the belt on RAW I ran around the house cheering and I was a 28 year old grown man.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

1. Tim Woods- My first memory of pro wrestling was those Damned Andersons (Ole & Gene) taking a personal dislike to young, scrappy high-flyer Dino Bravo and brutalizing him every week on TV. This Mr. Woods could not abide and he quickly formed a tag-team with young Dino. Somewhere along the line in their pursuit of the Anderson's tag titles, Tim Woods donned the Mr. Wrestling mask. Now everyone knew he was Mr. Wrestling and had previously put the mask aside. It was as if John Reid had settled down as a small town sheriff, throwing drunken cowboys in the slam and maybe chasing after the occasional cattle rustler but then the Cavendish gang hits town and it is time to break out the silver bullets and domino mask. Tim Woods made me a pro wrestling fan. Unfortunately, we lived in Florida at the time, so when we made our twice yearly trip to Jacksonville, I had to settle for Dusty Rhodes. 

2. Nick Bockwinkel- I will admit that the first time we went to the Showboat Hotel & Casino to watch AWA matches, I was standing along the aisle that led from the babyface locker, along with a lot of other people, to give Hulk Hogan a pat on the back and cheer him on against Tricky Nick. But it really didn't take long to come to appreciate just how great Bock really was. Don't get me wrong, I still appreciated a good face. Rick Martel was a helluva champ and there weren't many teams better than the High-Flyers, but when it was Bock/Saito against the Road Warriors or Bock against dull as dishwater Curt Henning, I was firmly in the corner of the Original Cerebral Assassin. 

3. Ric Flair- I only have vague memories of post-plane crash Ric Flair from Mid-Atlantic TV. But the fucker was so cocky he had to leave some kind of impression! After we moved to Vegas and I started buying Apter mags, I followed his exploits. My parents waited until after I had joined the Army to finally spring for cable so my first chance to actually see Flair wrestle was when a local independent channel started carrying World Class and they aired Parade of Champions II with Flair-Kevin Von Erich. I was sold! Many a ppv and comp tape later, I've seen a ton of Flair. I'll never buy into the "every match is the same" talking point because it is demonstrably untrue. Except for Flair-Sting. Every one of those is a Cliff Notes version of Clash I. 

4. Really hard to come up with number four. It could be Manami Toyota or Liger or Kawada. It almost certainly would have been Benoit. I don't have a problem watching those matches but I don't go out of my way to do it either. Barry Windham is certainly a contender. On any given day it could be Dusty. I'll cheat and go with the Steiner Brothers as a tag-team. Smash-mouth and technical, they re-energized late 80's NWA/WCW and helped keep me around as I was being distracted by other things.     

Edited by Execproducer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...