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Brody and Friends talk about the AWA (Brody has no friends)

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
I listened to the AWA Unleashed Pod on the World champions. Another hour of "Hey Member him?" with the pretty much well known tidbits sprinkled in. Henning got the belt to appease him from jumping to the WWF. Otto Wanz paid 50K for his run. etc etc
They did mention Nick was supposed to get the belt in 72 but Verne decided to beat Bruno and kept it until 75.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Brody Tazmanian Devils to his podcast feed
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
Brody Tazmanian Devils to his podcast feed
The AWA Unleashed podcast host said in his comment section on YT this week that they may not have Greg as a guest as they are concerned with the BS he will say which Shire/Karsch may have to push back against.

-
Shire actually made fun of me a month or so ago in the Q and A episode as I asked about a random memory I had of Boris Z training with a bear in 86/87 in a vignette. Shire went off about how I was clutching my teddy bear as a kid and made it up in my head. Then someone in the comments on YT pointed out it is on the WWE's AWA Doc at the 1:10ish mark when the WWF does a montage of stuff.

--
Edit: Sweet it's on youtube so I can blast it across Brody Manor.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Schire quit the pod. Apparently the dirt is online....somewhere.
If you don't know where it is, we don't!

Between this and John McAdam finally snapping over all of the threads badmouthing him on WrestlingClassics and getting fired up & sassy, it's a good time for IWC drama only me and/or Brody care about.
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
Andre AWA title shots (To finish Kamala's NWA questioning)
Wild to look at 1975 and see Verne went months in between title defenses at times.
76 1 vs Bock in Chicago
77 1
78 1
79 4
80 0 Verne wins title in July and apparently sits on it until November before defending!
81 0 Verne retires in May - Bock awarded title. (Interesting to see Tito Santana is possibly Nick's most consistent challenger the rest of the year)
82 2 Bock loses belt for a bit to big Otto. Andre gets 2 shots in Nov once Bock gets it back.
83 1 in Nov (Andre getting Nov shots makes sense as the AWA traditionally brought him in for the yearly November battle royal loop) Also of note is Davey Boy Smith gets a title shot in Stampede.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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4525EBBF-C9F5-4577-A2F8-2C7959CCD785.jpeg
YES I AM A CHAMPION!

Why was Martel selected as the first babyface to get an extended AWA World Title run after Verne retired ? Great wrestler/great face but seems like a weird back up plan to go to when Hogan left.
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
View attachment 1415
YES I AM A CHAMPION!

Why was Martel selected as the first babyface to get an extended AWA World Title run after Verne retired ? Great wrestler/great face but seems like a weird back up plan to go to when Hogan left.
Martel was being courted by Vince (like every wrestler in the world was) and Verne made Martel champ to keep him from jumping ship.
The fact that Martel had chased Bock in the recent past and was tied into the Montreal office didn't hurt. Montreal was being invaded by the WWF and was using AWA talent to beef up cards.
WWF would wind up "working" with Montreal within a year or so. Partnering with them as the Rougeaus/Garvins feud was setting the area on fire. WWF then claimed the big houses as their own doing.

Incidentally Martel's title win came the same month Vince got WWF on Twins Cities TV and AWA fans watched Jesse Ventura vanish in the middle of an angle with the Fabulous Ones as the WWF came calling.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Martel definitely seemed like a future World Champion in the early '80s but by the time he actually got a World Title, his bland babyface schtick seemed so tame and boring compared to Hogan and Flair that he already felt like somewhat of a relic.

There's probably an alternate universe where Vince Sr doesn't get sick and Martel is in running to replace Backlund as top babyface of WWF.
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
Martel definitely seemed like a future World Champion in the early '80s but by the time he actually got a World Title, his bland babyface schtick seemed so tame and boring compared to Hogan and Flair that he already felt like somewhat of a relic.

There's probably an alternate universe where Vince Sr doesn't get sick and Martel is in running to replace Backlund as top babyface of WWF.
Wrap your head around the fact that he was the first long term babyface champ since 1975 (Hi Otto! Hi Jumbo!) and the first one not named Gagne since 1967ish.
We might be lucky Verne didn't just book 50 year old Bock for his 9th and 10th straight year of being champ. Gagne was trying a new thing! It's hard. Crusher and Baron were a few weeks away from winning the tag belts when Martel won his.

I did love writing that series as it helped me perceive things like Kerry winning the NWA title happened with 2 weeks of Martel's win.
 

Valeyard

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I don't think I'd say Martel was aggressively bland, either. You had Hogan doing superhero Hogan things on end, then Flair being the most entertaining scum of the earth on the other. Martel was all about wrestling and being a good guy, a Steamboat type who let his actions speak for him and put on solid work throughout. He also had a style and image just different enough from the rest of the AWA legacy to that point that helped a little.

The biggest problem Martel had was timing, though. All his best options for opponents jumped and that made him stick out, at least to me.
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
Babyface options for the AWA circa Jan 1984 (assuming to build a few months to beating Bock/Jumbo:
In house:
- Greg Gagne - supposedly Verne knew this was taboo, but the fans in 84 would have been okay with it, but it would be historically seen as a disaster given Gagne wasn't a charisma machine or a body guy. A HELL of a worker though.
- Jim Brunzell - yes Vince used him as cannon fodder, but he would have been "fine" as a top AWA guy. Probably the near exact same level that Martel achieved.
- Brad Rheingans - Verne tried for years but Brad was "aggressively bland"
The over the hill gang: The Blackjacks, Mad Dog Vachon, Baron VR, Crusher, Billy Robinson.
Montreal - Dino Bravo (Bleh)
- Prelims; Rapey Zumhofe and Steve O
Soon to come in:
Tony Atlas in summer.
(Heel side is F'N loaded BTW: Patera, Blackwell, SS Graham, Saito, Ventura, Ray Stevens, Harley Race, and Brody and Abby were coming in for the spring/summer)
--
The perfect answer would be for Verne to see the future in Oct of 83 and instead of figuring Hogan is staying around, Verne instead knows he needs to court Dusty Rhodes to come in and book. Dusty is by no means going to come in with Hogan entrenched as the top mega face. Dusty can book himself in the top circle while building up the next batch of stars.

Steamboat - Fresh off retirement in early 1984, perhaps Steamboat skips the business quitting and jumps from JCP to the AWA to be the champ. Potentially excellent matches, but the promos are at best slightly better than Martel's.

Bob Backlund - If Bob realizes sooner he's old news to Vince Jr, he can hop right to the AWA off his title loss and win the AWA title. He was the pure athlete Verne loved and from Minnesota. His AWA run in late 84/early 85 didn't get over. As I've mentioned many times on CXF, Bob's Pro Wrestling USA promos were more like Waylon Mercy than a top babyface. AWA wanted to give him a belt in 85 and created the Americas title for him to chase and win so he could be a major champ again and restore himself, but he fell so flat that the plan was scrapped and Sarge won it from Zybyszko instead.

Young guns - Windham, Rotunda, Magnum TA, Terry Taylor- Windham was probably the closest to being ready for a major run, but he proved in 84/85 that he was very flaky and quit both JCP and WWF in the middle of big pushes.
Magnum wasn't ready and would need 1984 to build himself up.
Taylor was also better served as the friend of Denzel and not Denzel...err the buddy of the top face. Taylor wound up screwing himself over the rest of the 80s, but the before 1985 he was a hot prospect.
Rotunda was also a prospect with a legit background, but his charisma wasn't good in the least. He was hyped in the early 80s as a future NWA champ prospect.
JYD - He might get over by the sheer force of charisma, but by 1984 he was getting chunky and he was a 3 out of 10 in the ring, which Verne would not sniff as a champion option. (JYD did squash Bock in Houston in 83)
Dr Death - too raw and no promo
Curt Hennig - too young/bland promo yet He and his Dad forming a team was perfect for 84.
Lawler - not loyal to Verne, small, good promo but didn't have the rabid fanbase anywhere but Memphis despite touring the AWA etc.
Wahoo - aging out - would have been fine for a short run. Just had a big feud w/ Bock in 83 IIRC though.
Austin Idol - if he had an extended run, he may have gotten over? I'm not sure he ever worked for Verne other than Pro WUSA
Tommy Rich - southern brawler, getting flabby, maybe too small for a serious champ in a territory he wasn't already beloved in?
Hacksaw Duggan - good size, good promo, legit background, maybe a dark horse to be the "Crusher" of the 80s for Verne. (Again only worked for PWUSA and never the AWA IIRC)
Macho Man - Had he been more nationally seasoned, Savage could have been a phenom for Verne, but Vince would have likely sniped him ASAP instead of waiting for June of 1985.

Do you hold off for the Blackwell babyface switch and put the belt on him? He was massively over and probably didn't need the belt given he was part of the hottest program of 1984-1986 vs Sheik/Brody and friends.


** Jesse Ventura leaves in May, but Verne had asked him to turn face to replace Hogan. I don't see Verne slapping the belt on Jesse given he was dreadful in the ring, but I figured I should add this note.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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I feel we discussed this a few pages ago but wasn't Bruno Sammartino rumored to be an option for an AWA and that's why WWF brought him (and David back) out of nowhere in the Fall of '84? Not a lot of life left in his career but at 49 years old ATT, he would've been right age to be AWA World Champion. And unlike Backlund, the Northeast audiences hadn't lost any of their fondness for him.
 
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