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July 2022 Wrestling Discussion


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53 minutes ago, Tarheel Moneghetti said:

I’ve never been able to take the claw seriously.

I was able to make the Claw painful by misapplying it in a backyard wrestling setting. Turns out that pressing your palm on the point of someone’s nose isn’t pleasant.

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Whenever I'd employ the claw as a kid, I'd squeeze the temples with my thumb on one and my middle finger on the other.  That shit definitely hurt but it was also easy to counter.

Edited by Technico Support
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I think one of the early WWF tapes on Coliseum Home Video had Gorilla Monsoon talking about how Killer Kowalski would use the claw sometimes on the stomach or knee.  Always thought that could add another layer of storytelling if someone were to start using it for a finisher today.

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I dunno if anyone has ever given The Claw to their dog (without really applying pressure of course) but they absolutely hate it. A good tactic to use while playing with them, gets them riled up real quick.

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A stomach claw seems a bit harder to pull off credibly with the whole “most everybody is in shape” thing

now a claw to the back of a knee is the sort of nerve hold that could eat up 5 minutes in a row in an old WWF match

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I’m trying to find a write up of Andre vs Mulligan I did where the claw is awesome because it was presented as effective against Andre.

but I found this Spoiler vs Ox Baker write up  from a match I don’t remember instead. 
 

Spoiler

There's a special place in my heart for matches like Spoiler vs Ox Baker. At some point along the way, the value of what was good in wrestling shifted. Or maybe it was never even really recognized. Maybe this was never fully appreciated. I have to think it was at some point. Two wrestlers, utilizing a utility of movement (for Spoiler doesn't even go up to the top until late in the match), manipulating a crowd, creating symbolic meaning with as little as necessary and then making that symbolic meaning have dramatic purpose. That's wrestling. That's the absolute pinnacle of wrestling. That's the joy of the heart punch and the claw. That's the importance of the mask. That's what this match does. It creates narrative moments based around symbols. The mask is important enough that Baker would sacrifice his advantage to go after it. To take it off would create a sort of victory for him that would be greater than physically mauling or pinning his opponent. It's worth the risk of eating punishment himself. It means so much to Spoiler that it causes him to retreat, to look weaker against an evenly matched opponent, during the brawl after the time limit expired. Everything has meaning, Ox's beard, Spoiler's height, the claw, Ox's bearhug. The second ring. Everything. This is a match that made something out of nothing. That's the magic of wrestling and we've lost so much of it because we've come to value self-important action over it.

Found it:

https://forums.prowrestlingonly.com/topic/28674-andre-the-giant/?do=findComment&comment=5726177
 

it was cool since they built it as dangerous by having him put it on other parts of Andre to raise the anticipation and dread of what would happen if he got it on for real.

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47 minutes ago, Marcel said:

I think one of the early WWF tapes on Coliseum Home Video had Gorilla Monsoon talking about how Killer Kowalski would use the claw sometimes on the stomach or knee.  Always thought that could add another layer of storytelling if someone were to start using it for a finisher today.

Please don't invite more Seinfeld references. 

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I still think my favorite claw spot is Spoiler putting rosin on his glove so he can apply the claw to Wahoo's bloody-as-hell head.

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4 hours ago, Tarheel Moneghetti said:

Maybe they’re all heels?  Lethal got in Flair’s face about being left off the card, then punched the much older guy in the stomach, then pounded on him.  Fight gets broken up, then Lethal comes back and whomps Flair while he’s still on the ground.  Jarrett gets involved, then gets mad and he ends up attacking Flair while Ric is still selling Lethal’s punches.  I thought Lethal came off as the typical jerk heel who gets angry over a minor imaginary slight.

Flair acted heelish provoking Jarrett but otherwise it seemed like we were supposed to buy Lethal as the heel.   You’re probably right, though.  Flair supposedly wants to go out as a heel

Yeah, I'm not sure who to root for except maybe Andrade, who is taking time to back up his father-in-law out of familial duty, at the very least. 

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8 hours ago, odessasteps said:

Yes. The original question was "what was highest level of success in baseball by a regular wrestler, not a guest shot or one off?" Macho being a minor league player would likely not be the answer. 

It seems like the answer might just be Baba, since I guess Dale Torborg didn't reach the majors. 

One of the issues with the question though is American baseball has always been one of the higher paying pastimes consistently for a very long time. Pro football wasn't always like that, which is why you saw a run of American pro football players get into pro wrestling and actually make more money in pro wrestling. Even as the profile of the NFL rose, you had people leaving for pro wrestling because of the lack of options. We had a similar discussion about this not too long ago. I am sure you're going to find some anecdotal examples of people who are/were able to make decent living or more than a livable wage playing semi-pro football somewhere and don't have aspirations to go much higher. However, the dream is to get to the NFL. You can stay in minor league baseball for what seems like forever. So it's much easier to pick from the selection of "failed" football players. As a result, you're not going to have a bunch of great examples of Americans who chose baseball as their vocation and then jumped into the world of pro wrestling.

Unlike Randy who had Angelo Poffo as his father, there was no natural way for someone playing baseball to transition to pro wrestling. Many football players were able to break into pro wrestling because they got spotted at a gym and someone in the business convinced that person to get in. Keep in mind, even a guy like Randy was small coming into pro wrestling. Yeah, you have folks like Pillman who were undersized and played football but he's the exception to the rule. Pre steroid era baseball didn't have a bunch of folks you would think should be pro wrestlers especially ones who weren't already making good money.

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Man, I wish Yogi Berra had wrestled. His promos would be worth it in how they would make no sense

Didn't Dusty go to college on a baseball scholarship?

James

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also, football players worked 3-4 months a year with a limit to the size of leagues that paid enough to make a living and baseball is closer to 6-7 months with hundreds of non-major league teams which paid in some form of money

it took more time to wash out of baseball than football. The wrestlers who went to preseason camps with NFL teams would have been in the minor leagues instead of unemployed after going to MLB Spring Training

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In a similar vein, is Kevin Nash the best basketball player to make it in wrestling? Or is it Omos? It's gotta be Nash, he went to Tennessee. Omos went to South Florida. 

I feel like I'm forgetting someone, though.

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11 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

In a similar vein, is Kevin Nash the best basketball player to make it in wrestling? Or is it Omos? It's gotta be Nash, he went to Tennessee. Omos went to South Florida. 

I feel like I'm forgetting someone, though.

Giant Gonzalez played for a couple pro teams in Argentina, played for the Argentinian national team, and was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks (but never played in an NBA game).  A lot of his pro career amounted to sitting on the bench with knee injuries, so I suppose it depends on your definition of “making” it.

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12 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

In a similar vein, is Kevin Nash the best basketball player to make it in wrestling? Or is it Omos? It's gotta be Nash, he went to Tennessee. Omos went to South Florida. 

I feel like I'm forgetting someone, though.

I guess it's Satnam Singh by default since he got drafted but only played in the D-League.

Paul Wight played D1 college ball at Wichita State but had a pretty undistinguished college career.

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22 minutes ago, SirSmellingtonofCascadia said:

In a similar vein, is Kevin Nash the best basketball player to make it in wrestling? Or is it Omos? It's gotta be Nash, he went to Tennessee. Omos went to South Florida. 

I feel like I'm forgetting someone, though.

I keep failing to realize that Nash had a whole good while before he actually became a wrestler. Back in the heyday of the Monday Night Wars and before Google/Wikipedia were the hotness, I kept wondering in 1998 and 1999 why this guy looked like someone's (extremely tall) forty year old beach bum dad who came to pick them up from school. 

It's because he was 40 years old. 

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Some of the basketball for the mix. Again, there are different answers to most successful wrestler who played (sport) vs best (sports player) to become a successful wrestler.

basketball: Ron Fuller (center at Miami), El Gigante (Arg national team i think)

Now, imagine if Karl Malone from Louisiana and Charles Barkley from Alabama had wanted to be wrestlers instead of basketball players. Karl Malone teaming with JYD in 1983 Mid South. 
 

also. Why were there not more Canadians who went from either Junior Hockey or the semi pro leagues below the NHL pre expansion into wrestling? 

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43 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

Some of the basketball for the mix. Again, there are different answers to most successful wrestler who played (sport) vs best (sports player) to become a successful wrestler.

basketball: Ron Fuller (center at Miami), El Gigante (Arg national team i think)

Now, imagine if Karl Malone from Louisiana and Charles Barkley from Alabama had wanted to be wrestlers instead of basketball players. Karl Malone teaming with JYD in 1983 Mid South. 
 

also. Why were there not more Canadians who went from either Junior Hockey or the semi pro leagues below the NHL pre expansion into wrestling? 

I think had there been more African-American representation at the top, then there would have more black super athletes in pro wrestling.  Yes, you had JYD and also Ernie Ladd, Thunderbolt Patterson, Bobo Brazil, and some others. However, basketball when Barkley and Malone were growing up had way way more big name black stars than wrestling did that made you want to get into that sport. Ali had a profound influence politically, but his biggest influence I would argue came in getting a massive influx of inner city African-American kids and teens into boxing. Like an absurd amount. And many of them turned out to be gigantic stars that got other big names into boxing. 

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1 hour ago, odessasteps said:

Has Malone ever talked about being a fan growing up? He was born in 63, so would have been a older teen during the peak JYD years and a kid when Ernie was often on top. 

I vaguely recall him talking about it. Vaguely.

Speaking as someone who grew up in a low income African-American household, I know kids would drift in and out obsessions and fads. However, the more accessible it was, the more likely they would stick with. I mean growing up in the Mississippi Delta, we had both Walter Payton AND Jerry Rice as influences. From my home county (Sunflower), we had Archie Manning and my hometown had "Slammin" Sam Lacey who was an NBA player. Lacey was way before my time, but still a big name and he lived in my hometown for a good long time. And we're talking about a place and region with a very small population. So everyone's goal was to play either football or hoops. A lot of the HBCUs had solid baseball programs as well so that was also an option.

Maybe the older folks would have a better answer, when did the fanaticism for pro wrestling (meaning to the point someone would want to become one) begin? Was it the late 80s/early 90s that people wanted to be pro wrestlers? It's not like you had wrestling schools everywhere.

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1 hour ago, odessasteps said:

Has Malone ever talked about being a fan growing up? He was born in 63, so would have been a older teen during the peak JYD years and a kid when Ernie was often on top. 

from the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, UT on July 11th, 1998 ("Malone living childhood dream"):

Quote

There were countless Saturdays during Karl Malone's childhood in Summerfield, La., when his mom would pack the kids in the car, bound for the Sportatorium in Dallas.

They'd spend a few hours watching, cheering and jeering ``Cowboy'' Bill Watts, Dr. X, Fritz Von Erich and others, then head home. This was pro wrestling - or rasslin' as he puts it - at its finest. It was well worth the multi-hour journey along I-20.

``I remember watching those guys back then and saying to myself, `Gosh, that's what I want to do,' '' Malone said.

 

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2 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

I think had there been more African-American representation at the top, then there would have more black super athletes in pro wrestling.  Yes, you had JYD and also Ernie Ladd, Thunderbolt Patterson, Bobo Brazil, and some others. However, basketball when Barkley and Malone were growing up had way way more big name black stars than wrestling did that made you want to get into that sport. Ali had a profound influence politically, but his biggest influence I would argue came in getting a massive influx of inner city African-American kids and teens into boxing. Like an absurd amount. And many of them turned out to be gigantic stars that got other big names into boxing. 

I think there could be an argument made for simply any representation outside of the one Black wrestler that would be on the card in some promotions. How many promotions treated Black wrestlers as a commodity and only booked one, maybe two in each territory at a time? Considering how closed off the business was, not to mention how racist a lot of people in power were, it's an interesting thought exercise to wonder if the lack of Black wrestlers during that time period was an artificial scarcity moreso than them being in other sports.

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Friends,  Macho vs. Warrior Career Match is an absolute classic. 

Maybe that goes without saying but I rewatched it today. Even without the Elizabeth and Sherry aftermath and promo the match itself is wonderful story telling and action packed. Heenan and Gorilla are on fire on commentary and truly put it over as a legit epic. 

Little kid me loved it and 31 years later it still holds up!

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