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Vintage Independent Wrestling Thread: Discuss the Stars of Today Yesterday When They Were Stars of Tomorrow

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
My mind drafted more to if Drake Younger loved Jesus enough in 2010 for two workers in that match to feel safe given the extent of how Drake perceives actions that tie to Jesus in 2020.

Bobby Fish there too. They are a Gunner away from a Prayer CirQle.
 

Kamala The Simp

Integral Poster
This makes me wish TNA had brought Vader in during Samoa Joe's undefeated streak to have a 8 to 10 minute slugfest on some PPV.

Then again, that would be around timeframe, Vader was falling off the ring apron in dumb comedy matches with Goldust and Coach so maybe it's best things went the way they did.

Also note--- this match was Samoa Joe & Dan Maff Vs Vader & Mike Awesome. Great googly moogly!
 

Laz

0101100101
I really, really wish Awesome could've found a steady gig after WCW. His ONS match with Tanaka was their usual greatness, and that was in 2005. Imagine if he'd been able to get a solid gig in TNA around that point.
 

Valeyard

Burn
He needed a longer TNA run than he got. Being the stand-in for Malice while he was in Japan was such a waste. X division needed a big dude who could fly at the time. No slight to PCO and his awesome but forgotten run.
 

Laz

0101100101
When I say that indie wrestling was cooler back then? Shit like that is what I mean. Half of the craziness was still based in wrestling to one degree or another.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
I’ve seen the pictures of him with green hair before and somehow this one even tops that.

Then again, when his name was first getting on my radar and I just saw a guy going by all caps WALTER, I half-assumed he was working a gimmick similar to Eugene’s.
 

Kamala The Simp

Integral Poster
Yeah. First I heard of him was when he faced Donovan Dijak in Dijak's last indy match and I was like "Who's WALTER!?" and someone told me he was a German wrestler. For some reason, in my head, he was a big old goofy looking fat German ala Otto Wanz.
 

alkeiper

Welcoming our new insect overlords
WALTER reminds me a bit of Waldo Von Erich, which is a compliment. If this were the territory era he would be a great traveling heel.
 

Kamala The Simp

Integral Poster
In the world of independent wrestling, five years ago is vintage
With that in mind
I'm glad I was old enough to realize how good I had it when I really got into indy wrestling in the mid 2010s. It's insane I got to see talent at this level so close. Never saw Tommy End live until he became Aleister Black though. His only New England indy appearance IIRC was at some Beyond Wrestling/Blitzkrieg Pro joint show in some parking lot on the MA/CT border. I think it literally might have been his last indy match if not close to it.
 

Laz

0101100101
Been saying for years that WWE fucking up End is one of those unforgivable sins to me. The dude has a legit background, can work a very satisfying style, and carries a "shit is about to get real" presence with him. I can't wait for his contract to be up and see him work Bloodsport.
 

Kamala The Simp

Integral Poster
As someone who really only saw the '00s indies if they were close enough for my parents to be willing to drop me off, I always wondered as a budding smark as to why the original MLW didn't make more of an impression? Did it remind people TOO much of ECW? Did it get all of its thunder stolen by ROH? Did the product just suck and/or was kind of forgettable?

On paper, its roster seemed like it could've been at the very least a strong #3 (ala ECW in the mid-late '90s) and possibly competed with early TNA for #2 but it never seemed like it got that much buzz.
 

Laz

0101100101
Oh, a few reasons, really.

1. Lots of "money mark" mistakes. Bauer was always great in handling the production value of his product, but he was too willing to throw money around and not stringent enough.

2. Shortsightedness. Court made a lot of bad decisions in quick time. Bad TV deal with a Florida-exclusive (unless you had a certain satellite package) TV channel, horrible tape/DVD distribution deal, trying to run the already crowded NY/Philly markets at the same time as CZW, ROH, and even XPW (who had a leg up in tape distribution and notoriety).

3. Simply put, the booking. It was too similar to ECW, but also was booking talents that were being given grander stages elsewhere (CM Punk, Jerry Lynn, Samoa Joe, Homicide, LowKi, etc.) in increasingly annoying ways. There's a great Ki/Cide match from one of the later MLW v1 episodes that demonstrates everything good about what MLW could have been, but also came at a point where ROH and TNA were all the rage with the indie fans, and MLW couldn't compete with the tape distribution or positive word for ROH, and they definitely couldn't match the weekly PPV market penetration that TNA had.
 

Valeyard

Burn
I barely heard a word about them because the buzz was all ROH, TNA, and CZW. The only times I remember them really mentioned were when I followed Corino for a bit and any time they brought legends in. Were my go-to in EWR all the time though.
 

Kamala The Simp

Integral Poster
Yeah, I always played as MLW in EWR too cause they had such a fun, grab bag roster. It's probably best that Court Bauer's now taking a Moneyball approach to running MLW 2.0 rather than the 1999 Tampa Bay Devil Rays approach he used for the first MLW.
 

Valeyard

Burn
MLW is the promotion I want to succeed the most, just because of nostalgia and because there's genuinely no shame in fighting for (arguably) fourth place and playing the long game.
 

Laz

0101100101
Yes and no. I think he has the best mind in terms of overall presentation of a wrestling program, at least in terms of flow and tone, but the talents he's hitched himself to either regularly disappoint in their work (DBS Jr., Lawlor) or are unprofessional assholes (Aries, Ki, Teddy Hart). It's down to his ties to the Fatu/Anoa'i families that he's managed to keep Jacob Fatu on the roster for so long, and it's bound to be because of his relationships with Kevin Sullivan and the late Gary Hart that he's able to keep the Von Erichs around in any capacity (IMO, they're underrated).

Bauer is too cheap to keep the name talent he's tried to build the shows around for any particular time, and he's too reliant on MSL's trainees to fill out the undercard. Kotto Brasil is probably the only true undercard jobber type that seems worth watching, and I'm almost positive he's taken off, too.
 

Valeyard

Burn
If AEW were to want a development system, MLW is who I'd talk to first. If they need policing then they'd have it. The thing is I see room for as much growth as they want but they're rightfully gunshy about a lot of things and people. And yeah, you use guys like Teddy and Aries in 2021 that's using a broken crutch and for me a deterrent. They still seem far more interesting than the NWA, at least.
 
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