Wrestling questions thread

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Big Boss Man
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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:36 pm

OK thanks. Just a real weird angle in hindsight and even today that comes across really wrongly. It's one storyline they should have left on the back burner. The Stacy/Test one was weird too as that implied an abusive/subservient relationship. I mean I get WWE likes to think its a soap opera but when you had the real life Austin/Debra domestic abuse drama they shouldn't have touched things like that with a barge pole.

Speaking of worse angles which had the complete opposite effect of generating heat surely the Sgt Slaughter Iraqi sympathiser and Muhammad Hassan are up there.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:58 am

Was watching the Austin podcast with Paul E and Paul talks about Vince Sr and how he honoured the territory system. Although the WWWF broke away from the NWA & wasn't officially part of it although you had the NWA champ defend his belt on WWWF shows sometimes. Plus I don't think Vince Sr was on the NWA board of directors.

So if the WWWF was part of the NWA and Vince Sr was on the board could he have blocked Vince Jrs expansion and had the other promoters blackball him from the industry?. Also and it's more of a what if scenario, if Vince stayed in his lane and there was no Hulkamania, Rock & Wrestling era etc what would the business be like now, would it even still exist and/or would it be a weird worked MMA/wrestling hybrid like UWF/UWFi?

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Bandit » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:30 am

Vince Sr. quit the NWA in 1963 because he wanted Buddy Rogers to continue being NWA champion but the rest of the board voted for him to job to Lou Thesz. So he quit and made the WWWF heavyweight title for Rogers. But Buddy had a heart attack so ended up having to lose it fast to Bruno. And Bruno was a huge draw so Rogers never got that title back even when he recovered.

Vince Sr. was friendly with the NWA after that. And he'd send Bruno, Backlund and Superstar Graham to NWA territories to wrestle Harley, the Funks and the Briscoes. And he'd send Andre out once in a while. But that was as a favor to guys he was friendly with, he didn't care about the NWA.

Vince Jr. didn't let anybody know his plans besides Pat Patterson and Gorilla Monsoon because he thought they'd tell his father and he'd cancel the sale to him. Vince Sr. was blindsided by the national expansion. But he couldn't do anything about it because Vince Jr. owned everything now. And he had cancer so he was more concerned about that obviously than the wrestling business.

But the bottom line is if Vince didn't expand Crockett would have. Cable television changed everything, since now the whole country could see you so it didn't make sense to not make money running in more states if you had fans who wanted to go to a show. JCP dipped a little into Verne's territories like Chicago but Vince was the one running all the big markets from New York to Los Angeles. But they bombed in a lot of places that were still loyal. Like they drew in Houston but bombed in Dallas because the World Class territory was still really strong. And New Orleans, Memphis, and Atlanta hated the WWF since their territories were still strong. Vince did do huge business at AWA territory cities because he had Hogan and Jesse Ventura who were big stars in those areas. So in a scenario where Vince doesn't expand, then that means JCP being on TBS, which was a cable station that more people had than USA in those early days of cable would have sent Flair, Dusty, Windham, Magnum, Tommy Rich, Road Warriors, Luger, etc. around the country. And with the extra money probably would have raided Vince for Hogan and Savage and others.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:24 am

Thanks, that's an interesting scenario with JCP. But I'm wondering though would they have went mainstream since there's no Mr T, MTV, Cindi Lauper et al. You could have the biggest star in the world but if they aren't given the marketing & promotion they won't break out. Case in point, Ric Flair, as great as he was in his prime, Hogan was a much bigger star and had crossover appeal.

Naitch was ahead of his time really and was more so in the mold of The Rock & I don't see him appealing to youngsters like Hulk did. He was also much better as a heel. HH on the other hand, back then he was like the equivalent of say a Superman & because of that you could market him as such.

In hindsight Vince Jr was incredibly either lucky and/or wise, possibly both, to hit it out of the park with Hulkamania. Again as good as Ric is, I can't see Crockett pushing him to the moon that Vince Jr did with Hogan. You could have put Magnum as the #1 guy but sadly he had the accident so his run would be very short term.

It's very plausible Crockett could have took Hulk, Macho, Piper et al to JCP. But I can't really see Hogan being the same level of star he became without the Rock & Wrestling and Mr T connection. It's real interesting knowing what we do now how Ted bought Crockett out, JCP merging with Mid South/UWF and how mismanaged WCW eventually became. So I doubt Crockett would have lasted the distance, but who knows, had they did, the NWA would still be in place since Vince Jr wouldn't have gone national.

But another thing, I don't know if JCP would have broke internationally like the WWF did. I think WCW first aired here around 1990 time. The WWF as early as 1984/85 if I'm correct, but it was the 1990-92 WWF boom that paved the way for its popularity here. British Wrestling on TV was cancelled in the late 80s so some of that audience tuned into WWF etc but majority stopped watching it altogether.

Without the international expansion again it's interesting because wasn't domestic business on the wane the same time it was starting to boom in the U.K.?. WCW was fairly popular to a degree but the VHS, figures and other merch was no where near WWF level. Which is weird since WCW was on network TV (ITV) and WWF was behind a paywall on Sky (the PPVs were on Sky Movies before Sky Sports) so you had to have had that to even see the shows.

I guess had JCP was the #1 promotion around Sky would have done the same they did with the WWF and put it on satellite as a form of programming to fill their schedule. I'm not sure how WWF first caught on here, who was watching it etc but they did a UK tour in like 1989 I read and in France & Germany so they were branching out.

I don't know if JCP would have had the same foresight that Vince Jr did with his expansion plans. You take the WWF out of the picture and I dont know what the wrestling landscape would be like today. Something akin to when Vince Jr bought WCW & ECW and you just had the small indies til ROH, TNA etc popped up.

I mean like Vince or not he's done a tremendous job with how the WWE kept wrestling relevant in the 21st century. I really don't know if it would have fell off the map so to speak without the WWE branching out. I don't really agree with his tactics but like you say Crockett or I'm thinking Watts for Mid South and/or Fritz with World Class would have done the same also. Just that Vi ce Jr was ahead of the curve. He has made mistakes since but I think the national expansion of the WWF was one where he could have failed had the first WrestleMania tanked and since he's pissed everyone else off would be in a position where he'd have lost a ton of leverage and JCP/Mid South/AWA/WCCW would have picked off the best talent to get back at him.

Another promotion comes to mind too. Memphis. They did the Lawler/Kaufmann angle, so they could have broke out if they expanded out of the in house taped shows and ran big weekly events at the Mid South Coliseum. I have read/heard that Elvis wanted to be involved in a storyline so had he lived, imagine having Elvis work an angle with Jerry Lawler and the press that would have generated. Not just domestically but internationally. They could have been just as impactful as the Rock & Wrestling/MTV connection was for the WWF.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Bandit » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:58 pm

Thanks, that's an interesting scenario with JCP. But I'm wondering though would they have went mainstream since there's no Mr T, MTV, Cindi Lauper et al. You could have the biggest star in the world but if they aren't given the marketing & promotion they won't break out. Case in point, Ric Flair, as great as he was in his prime, Hogan was a much bigger star and had crossover appeal.
My point was touring nationally would have given them the money to afford everyone WWF was able to afford, including Hogan. Those guys didn't stay in the WWF because they were loyal to Vince, it was because he paid better than anybody else. So take Vince's money away and everybody leaves or never goes.

They wouldn't have done the celebrities, since they were old school and plus Atlanta is a different market than New York where it wouldn't have been as appealing as telling Mr. T to come to Madison Square Garden. But at the end of the day Hogan was the draw. And imagine what Hogan teaming with Dusty and Magnum and someone else against the Four Horsemen would have done. Maybe even put Piper in the Horsemen instead of Ole. Or Andre turns heel earlier and joins the Horsemen.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:33 am

Good points, I definitely like the idea of Hulk, TA, Dusty and I'd put in Andre vs the Horsemen (you could swap out Ole for Pipes like you say). Do that plus turn Andre whilst he's aligned with the faces in a double cross type angle.

But what Vince Jr had was wise foresight in taking wrestling out of the smoke filled arenas,polishing it up and making it family friendly. I think Crockett was more adult orientated, not in ECW type way, but TV14. Plus Vincent presentation was better and I don't know if JCP could have presented themselves the same way. They were "wrasslin", WWF was "sports entertainment". That's not a knock on JCP as in some ways I actually prefer it to WWF because the match quality and angles were arguably better. Just that visually WWF looked like the big leagues. Only until the Monday Night Wars did they up the presentation level to be on par or better than Vince. The old mismatched ropes, smaller ring etc made it look kinda janky. Whereas WWF looked real professional.

I also think Vince Jr was way ahead of his time with cable & PPV. I mean the concept of paying money to watch a predetermined event for 3+ hours is something most people would have balked at, but Vince somehow pulled it off and helped revolutionise the PPV format for wrestling. If I'm correct Crockett entered the PPV market a bit later than Vince and the first few Starrcades were closed circuit broadcasts. So if there's no Vince and WWF does Jim Crockett actually consider PPV or do they stick to live shows and Starrcade on closed circuit once a year?.

Vince Jr betting the house on the first Maniawas probably ranks alongside the best business decisions but it could have backfired greatly where like you say Hogan, Piper, Andre et al jump ship.

Long term too, does JCP last the distance like WWE has. Somehow I think not because Vince moved with the times once ECW had a buzz and WCW stepped up to the plate. Would Ted still bought them up?, again we don't know. He was loyal to JCP, but even with his investment if the business goes thru the early 1990s lull does it sustain itself. Because WWF was helped by the international market when domestic was on the decline. I don't know if Crockett would have considered international TV distribution. Not sure how the original Sky/WWF deal went down but wrestling was on there as early as 1984.

Image

So when you can grow an international fan base it gives you a sort of safety net so to speak if its big enough. To my knowledge, JCP never ran any shows in Europe, Japan etc. The WWFs popularity here from like 90-92 fell into the popular trend/"fad" category but a portion of that fan base stuck around which is why they still see it as a big market for them.

So again, take Vince and the WWF out of the picture, would there be a JCP or a WCW in 2018, really we don't know. But I am veering more towards likely not. Because I don't think even with Hogan they'd have brought in the mainstream audience and wrestling needed that to rebrand itself as family entertainment. Most fans from back then probably have tuned out years ago but again like with the UK audience a percentage stuck around and became longtime fans. So you really need a big audience so once the "fad" is over the diehard fans stick around. To use an analogy it's like when a group go mainstream, have a hit or three then go back to performing in front of their core audience. With Crockett they didn't really have the foresight to expand like Vince did and if they did I think they'd need to have updated the production values, cut the bleeding down to a minimum, made the product more family friendly, syndicated both nationally and internationally and I do think they needed a mainstream celeb to endorse them. Because like I've said you need as many eyes on your product as possible. Vince Jr got T involved and that opened the door to Mr T and Hulk on Saturday Night Live, the MTV connection with Cyndi and WWF on NBC for SNME was a huge game changer too.

I doubt JCP would have given that a second thought and if business is up via live events that's fine. But with WWF you had the TV cartoon too, money through merch etc and even if we saw Andre vs Hogan in JCP, I doubt they'd have sold out the Pontiac Silverdome. Would it have drew big business?, sure, but not on that level the WWF did. That's not a knock on the actual Crockett product because in most ways it was superior but Vince Jr had the knack of making the WWF look more professional with the presentation etc. The actual matches of that time frame aren't really thought of, it's more about the pomp & circumstance of it all. Only really Steamboat/Savage stands out from a wrestling standpoint as a great match, work rate wise. Crockett won the match quality stakes because you had real workhorses like Harley, Naitch et al and of course the Steamboat/Flair matches a bit later down the line. They had the WWF beat with their angles majority of the time too. But they never really push forward so they were #1. I actually like the scenario of JCP within Vinces WWF framework since it's the best of both words. Just tone the gore down for TV and keep it for the big matches.

If WWE opted to do the same type of thing now they'd probably see an upturn in business. With JCP they blurred the lines where you'd question whether what you were seeing was legit or not and that's greatly missing in WWE today. It's too cookie cutter now and the promos seem antiquated. You have talent like Becky if they gave her the ball she could actually cut really good promos and draw money. But instead it's all scripted and robotic. Even Renee who had a bit of personality sounds like a robot reciting a script. Even if they brought in DC he'd sound like a robot as soon as he's on the announce team. I guess Vince doesn't want the announcers to be stars or whatever but they need to break away from their current presentation. JR made the big matches seem legit before they turned him into Good Ole Jr. Gordon Solie was one of the best because he put over the action as legit. For 3 + hours you need that suspension of belief but with everything so scripted now it's lost that.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Bandit » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:13 am

Well, the thing was Vince got to PPV first since he was running in the Northeast and that was the first section of the country where PPV boxes were more common (before boxes people directly hooked their cable into their television) so he was able to strongarm PPV providers into giving him priority. And when they finally went in in 1987 Vince ran a PPV against them and told providers he'd start his own PPV company if they didn't block Starrcade and put on Survivor Series on instead. So they pretty much all did except in the South where JCP was big. So Crockett knew he was going to get screwed with as soon as he tried PPV and he was right. They lost their ass on the show and it was a big reason why they had to sell to Turner months later.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:08 am

Thanks, yea Vince put the first Royal Rumble on up against one of Crocketts PPVs too. I guess he targeted JCP because they were direct competition but I don't think they ever ran in the Garden or the old Capitol Sports/WWWF territory did they?. Also had the JCP fans been more vocal in their support that might have changed things and had PPV carry their shows. Like when Vince Jr took over Georgia Championship Wrestlings time slot and the fans complained about it.

Also I know he took Jimmy Hart from Memphis but Vince mainly left that territory alone. How come he didn't take Jerry Lawler though since it would have made sense he took him too if he's signing up Hulk, Piper, Savage, JYD, Jake etc. He kinda left World Class alone too, only Kerry went up later in like 1989 if I'm correct. He could have brought in the Freebirds (I know he did for a short time), The Von Erichs, Great Kabuki and Gary Hart etc.

When you think about it the NWA should have banded together and fired back by trying to poach talent from him too. As in theory the NWAs reach was much wider & could have counter booked to what he was doing. Say he ran a B team show somewhere Crockett or a NWA super type show could put an A level show on with Flair, Dusty etc and done that around the horn to get one up on him. Didnt he do that anyway but fans want to see the WWF?

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Bandit » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:27 am

World Class and Memphis were big territories so people didn't want to leave if they were a top guy (the lower guys wanted to leave Memphis because they were paid $40 a night.) Lawler had a great thing going in the 80s, he made money as the top guy plus the promoter 6 months a year (he alternated half a year with Jerry Jarrett.) He was making enough that it wasn't worth it to him to be on the road 300 days a year if he could make hundreds of thousands of dollars and sleep in his own bed most nights. And Jerry is a huge celebrity in Tennesee, so he got treated like Hogan did in the rest of the country but got to stay home.

It was the same with the Von Erichs. They liked being home in Dallas and made enough where it wasn't worth traveling every day for WWF until business died out in 1989 and Kerry didn't have a choice but to go to WWF a year later. The Von Erichs did travel more than Lawler, but those were still rare dates when they did matches in Kansas City, St. Louis and Oklahoma City. Plus they went to Japan for Baba once a year.

Vince actually really did want Kerry. When it looked like he might not get Hogan Kerry was his back up plan in his mind (he wouldn't have gone.)

The main places JCP ran shows against WWF were Baltimore and Philadelphia. WWF was slightly bigger in Philadelphia, but Baltimore was always bigger into JCP/WCW. Flair and Dusty were mobbed like a huge celebrity when they came.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:02 am

Thanks. Forgot Jerry was a co-promoter in Memphis. I guess the Von Erichs didn't want to go either out of loyalty to their father. Having Kerry as the alternative to Hulk would have been real interesting. I think Kerry had the movie star type looks so Vince could pushed him to the moon but Hogan had arguably more personality. Had Kerry been a better promo and more charismatic then definitely he'd have been a great choice, arguably you could have put him in the number one position instead. They did put the IC belt on him but I'm assuming there wasn't any plan to put the World Championship on him since outside of HH, you had Warrior, Macho etc. Plus you had Naitch coming in, Taker, Bret, Shawn etc.

Interesting that JCP/WCW ran shows in Philly and Baltimore. Didn't WWF tape shows in Baltimore too back in the day?. Surprised Crockett didn't venture into New York. Had he did and say they somehow ran the Garden, I'm assuming it would have pissed Vince off to the nth degree and he'd have ran in JCP strongholds and tried to take their top talent in revenge.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Bandit » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:57 am

Nobody could run in MSG as long as Vince ran regularly, and they ran once a month. ROH got in because Vince started running in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn since it was cheaper (due to the MSG worker's union and Manhattan being expensive in general.) So they told him doing one or two shows a year wasn't good enough and they'd let in any wrestling promotion who wanted it now.

WCW ran in Long Island and New Jersey as soon as Turner bought it. But they weren't successful until the nWo era because WWF fans came out to see Hogan, Hall & Nash and Bret. But their New Jersey shows before then sold 5,000 seats in an arena WWF could do 15,000 to 20,000 so it was a dud because NJ was always a WWF territory. But in the 80s in Philadelphia they were even and in Baltimore JCP was more popular. They also ran head to head in Cincinnati and JCP/WCW would get double the crowd because Ohio cable had TBS before USA so people learned about wrestling from GCW and JCP, according to what Jim Cornette said once. But in the 90s under Jim Herd WCW took a dive and WWF took over everywhere until Hogan and the nWo came in.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Ocelot » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:55 pm

I remember living in NE West Virginia and seeing ads for shows for almost every promotion talked about here during the mid to late eighties and being a young fan and wanting to see all this different wrestling and all these neat stars and angles play out live.....but the shows were advertise for taking place in places like Minneapolis and Dallas, Texas.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:02 am

Interesting, thanks. Has that changed Vinces relationship with the Garden now?. Since I, X and XX were at MSG but XXX was in New Orleans.

WCWs house show business I assume was best during the 96 to say mid 99 period. Weren't they losing money on house shows before that?. Can't remember where I heard/read it but they usually fairly poorly attended and often ran in smaller locations compared to WWF.

Interesting too what you've mentioned Oce. Were these print ads/posters or TV ads. A lot of different areas got different promos for the respective area. Think there was an outtake up on YouTube of different area promos, think it could have been a DVD extra from a WWE set. That part of wrestling I think is missing where you had the boys go out and cut promos for the different areas and tailor it to that audience.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Bandit » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:32 am

He won't run any televised shows at MSG because now they demand a big cut of the money in addition to the demands anyone use their MSG Union crew (which is very expensive compared to what WWE usually pays to set up a set.) It's worth it for ROH to pay that money for the prestige of saying they can run at Madison Square Garden. But for WWE they don't need it.

I don't think Wrestlemania not at MSG is so much that though. They figured out they can get big bids from cities to come and run their stadium. So MSG can't compete financially. If business gets really bad to where they can't sell out stadiums every year anymore (and that won't happen anytime soon unless All Elite Wrestling gets massive like WCW which it probably won't) then I can never see them doing a Mania there again. In 2004 business was a little soft so MSG for 20 made more sense.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:48 pm

Thanks. Would be weird if they never ran Mania at the Garden anymore. Was sort of a tradition when they did but like you say if they are getting big bids from elsewhere they don't really need to run there from a financial perspective.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:35 am

Watched a TNT show and they had a guy on there called Paul Christy doing a gimmick where he's a magician. Wiki says he mainly worked as a job guy for the WWF so was there any plans for him to have a run there as a heel doing that gimmick since it seems random that they'd have a enhancement talent on the show.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Bandit » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:07 am

I think they were going to build him up but cut him because the gimmick wasn't over. They also wanted USWA's Spellbinder to do a magician gimmick. He was on Superstars once or twice and they gave up on him as well. I forget when exactly but it was in 1995 when they were bringing in USWA talent. PG-13 got a few matches but Vince thought they were too small so they didn't get hired until 1997 as Nation of Domination henchmen.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:57 am

OK thanks. The guy talked a lot like Bobby Heenan but that was likely because he was from Chicago too. Also they had a proper magician on with him so if youre booking a guy to be one they should have had him kayfabe hypnotise one of the audience or did mind control on Hogan or something. The thought of that though makes me :rofl2:

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Bandit » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:41 am

Yeah, that was before my time watching WWF and I never watched the TNT shows. I just remember the guy from his Wrestlecrap article.

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Re: Wrestling questions thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:04 am

Yea I've been watching them on the Network. The content is real weird and there's like comments Vince, Alfred make and Gene too which I'm surprised made broadcast. Gene made a in poor taste joke about Chernobyl for example. The one with Paul Christy on you had the magicians assistant sitting on Alfred's lap and Gene making innuendo at her too. So yea when their main audience at the time was kids and families I'm surprised about the content of these shows. Funniest one though is Hulk who's clearly high babbling on about spies and conspiracys.

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