Old School Observations/Questions Thread 2020-21


Integral Poster
I watched the main event of Survivor Series 1987 for the first time in decades this AM. The match definitely suffers from SSeries-itis where guys who usually need to be hit with a tank to go down are being pinned fast and furious via clotheslines and such.
Hogan and Andre tease a confrontation, but Hogan had high fived his team mates and thus was forced to leave the ring. Hogan protests on and on and on instead of just tagging back in. Andre then sees Hogan isn't going to be in the ring, so he just tags off. It really didn't work as a spot if you put any thought into it.
The big Hogan/Andre clash sees Hogan mostly no sell Andre's stuff, and of course leads to Hogan fighting the other fatties on the floor and being counted out. Hogan complains again, and Finkel has to do a special announcement stating Hogan must leave or his team will forfeit the win. The fans seem legit flattened that the big show down only went a minute or 2.
Andre ultimately wins the match, and Hogan charges in and assaults Andre, then poses. The fans seem more muted for this than one would think.

This was all a fine example of Hogan's heelish habits while ostensibly being the top face.

King Kamala

Integral Poster
I watched that match this weekend and listened to a podcast review afterward, it really is an early obvious example of Hogan being a big annoying whiny baby. It would get way worse ‘89 to ‘92 then go to another level when he jumped to WCW.
That first first Survivor Series is an all time classic and could be the best top to bottom show of '80s WWF. But that said I always like how Survivor Series never needed to really be a good show, but just an interesting one. Rumble or Summslam, I expect good shows (Wrestlemania is a different beast entirely now). Survivor Series is always where things build up and there's a surprising amount of engaging things, good and bad. If it's a good show on top, all the better, but you don't have to be the best show in the ring when you have debuts like Andre and Hogan buildup or guys like Taker debuting or Austin killing HHH with a forklift.


Integral Poster
30 years ago this week was a p good time to be a wrestling fan. In addition to the usual tv, there were 4 different special events.

USA had a prime time special, Survivor Series Showdown, and TBS did a Clash a few nights later. The Showdown had 5 different singles matches from the Series teams. The Clash had more Black Scorpion silliness and a main event with about a half dozen stips (Flair vs Butch Reeds in a captains match; if Flair won, the Horsemen got another tag title shot vs Doom and Teddy Long would be their limo driver...if Reed won, no title shot for the Horsemen and Long got Flair's Rolls Royce and yacht.)

Thanksgiving night was the Survivor Series ppv. One of the better nostalgia shows, imo. And the Dream Team vs Million Dollar Team is one of the most historically significant matches of all time.

And the next night was a Main Event on NBC with Ultimate Warrior vs Ted DiBiase. A Rockers-Harts tag title switch was going to be on that show as well but they decided to resign Jim Neidhart instead.

What a great time to be a 7 year old geek.

If I remember right, only Russo and Jarrett knew about this and worked everyone. There had been so many rumors since TNA brought Russo in the very first time that he would be an on screen character, they all kept denying it, and guess who was the Bullet, bro? Tenay's "Oh shit!" was genuine.

I gotta say too, in my opinion, that TNA even this early is much more visually appealing than Impact is now.


If it wasn't actually booked by Russo and full of his usual shitty "uhhhhh bro this ain't gonna have an ending" ideas, I still think the S.E.X. vs. Tradition angle would've been a classic. It was meta in the right ways and was only lacking that proper blowoff to really work.
The SEX storyline had such potential. I don't even know what kind of potential because of how you could play the whole thing. I mean, thinking back, you have a story about sports entertainment vs pro wrestling and you have Dusty Rhodes right there, you could've done a whole lot more. Russo and Dusty booking that story with no bullshit might've been something. End it with Jarrett finally beating Raven in a bloodbath Magnum vs Tully-style brawl (Raven wins at Destiny and fucks with Jarrett et al until October or so).

I'll always be annoying and say it but that first year and a half of TNA was so special and had so much going for it.

King Kamala

Integral Poster
How different do you think wrestling landscape is if Ric Flair's career ends in plane crash in 1975?

Who do you think emerges as perennial NWA World Champion in the '80s? Who ends up being the top non WWF guy in the '80s instead?


Integral Poster
Harley is probably still the top guy until 84 or 85. I imagine then Magnum is the top dog after that and if his motorcycle accident never happens. Barry Windham might of been turned heel earlier and given a big push. And of course Dusty would probably of held the belt for longer runs if Flair was gone.


Welcoming our new insect overlords
With Fritz as NWA president and without Flair as top draw I imagine the prospect of a Von Erich child as NWA champion becomes much more enticing. Ted DiBiase in the mix as well.

King Kamala

Integral Poster
I feel like Greg Valentine has a much bigger career if we never see Ric Flair at his best cause he was kind of a rougher, uglier version of Naitch.

Maybe Tully Blanchard takes the top heel spot in mid-late '80s JCP?

Has anyone ever explained why David Sammartino did this? Him having a hissy fit and deciding to job to Ron Shaw triggered the downfall of Bruno and Vince's relationship!
tl;dr fantasy booking with Piper in Flair's spot, chance of Hogan, probably Lawler

Without Flair, it has to be Piper. A Piper run up until Dusty would want him to job, Piper jumps to the WWF, comes back when Turner buys in and he gets a Hogan-like contract. I don't know how high Tully gets, but since Flair brought in Arn his career is completely different and by association so is Magnum's.

If Hogan is still blackballed by Vince Sr., he'd absolutely wind up in a top spot. Depending on what the expansion looks like, he'd either settle into his real role or be Dusty's golden boy. Rocky III happens, he goes to whoever pays him the most and lets him hit Japan once a year.

Lawler is up there, as well. The longevity and consistency of his career means they could easily rely on him, and like Flair he could be either a top face or top heel and make people look good. Jerry Jarrett becomes the top promoter.


Integral Poster
Without Flair, maybe Crockett couldn't afford a million dollars to McMahon, the Starrcades, etc. And then maybe someone else, maybe Bill Watts in Mid South that becomes the dominant NWA territory in the the 1980s. And maybe Junkyard Dog spends half the decade as world champion.


Integral Poster
Without Flair, maybe Crockett couldn't afford a million dollars to McMahon, the Starrcades, etc. And then maybe someone else, maybe Bill Watts in Mid South that becomes the dominant NWA territory in the the 1980s. And maybe Junkyard Dog spends half the decade as world champion.
I was going to say something similar. Without Flair, the power structure in the NWA doesn't swing to JCP. Dusty potentially stays in Florida or really milks his big name for hire status.

Watts isn't in the NWA, so his main guys are probably off limits as choices until they jump elsewhere. Nonetheless Dibiase was always a name in the mix and he certainly looks good to at least get a run, potentially off the National Georgia TV.

Maybe Ole uses his TV to grab more power and Tommy Rich gets a more sustained run? Stan Hansen liked Ole, and depending on his Japan alignment, could have been another fine choice to go around the country killing fools and making stars....Hansen certainly fit in the Race style of badass.

Muschnick was still using Dick Murdoch, Dick the Bruiser, and Brody alot on top. Murdoch would be the only possible choice there....except for the name I forgot....

KEN PATERA. Already a tippy top star almost everywhere he's gone, Patera is your arrogant prick heel NWA champion. He was also a star in the AWA and WWWF by 1980, so he could be dropped in anywhere.


Integral Poster
Vader should've gotten at least a short run with the title in 96/97.
I was surprised just now to see TNT (Savio) and Yoko are both high on the list of Vader's most frequent tag partners. Both thanks to NJPW tours.

A recent Between the Sheets podcast mentioned that Hogan was rumored to be in talks with the WWF in late 1995. Where in the World does he fit in at WM 13? Shawn was destined to be champ. Perhaps Yoko is kept heel and Hogan gets his win back? Perhaps Vince somehow convinces the Warrior to do the job in a rematch of their dream match? Maybe Hogan returns at the Rumble and is mauled by Vader and Yoko, leading to him asking the Warrior to return to help him conquer the fatties?
Oh gawd....Maybe Piper comes out the night after WM for his "farewell", only to reveal his last act as President was to sign a match for himself against Hogan.

Hogan coming back would almost certainly send Bret to WCW and the Warrior would probably read the tea leaves and stay away as well.
Indulge my late-night drug-induced wall of text fantasy booking:

--Hogan gets the spot in the Rumble where Vader and Yoko get dumped at once. Doesn't win because of Cornette bullshit. Hogan gets Jake's spot at Wrestlemania 12, making the six man a big upper card match. Then he gets slotted with Camp Cornette on top (likely bringing Ahmed with him as the classic Hogan buddy), beats Vader before he even touches Shawn, and it comes down to Hogan vs the Clique in a political war at Summerslam. Shawn wins, we probably get the intended Bret/Shawn match gets put on last and any negativity about the show would would be pushed on them. Hogan only goes on last . Hogan wins, we get Hogan/Warrior 2.

--If Warrior comes in, he's with Team Hogan against the Camp Cornette, specifically Bulldog and Vader, sending Yoko off with Owen back down the card naturally (all leads to a Samoan Dynasty, of course). Depending on Warrior's moves, it'd lead to more a Hogan match at Wrestlemania and be way better than it has any right to be. Then either Warrior bails for WCW to be the third man or he gets shoved down the card to deal with Goldust or Faarooq, maybe just kill HHH a couple times for good measure.

--Piper is brought in as the WWF President, causing he and Hogan to have tension in the weeks before the Warrior match. Similarly he'd be classic obnoxious Hot Rod stirring shit up between Shawn and Bret. War To Settle The Score 2 happens at Wrestlemania 13, over the top rules so no one does a job.

--Austin still gets the Bret match but is a nonfactor in the months before (like real life). Austin does well but not as huge. He, Foley, HHH, Vader, and Taker hover in and out of the main event. Only Bret would work with all of them because Shawn and Hogan would pitch fits for various reasons.

--If Hogan comes in in late 1995, he never turns heel, and if he doesn't turn heel the real nWo money train doesn't start. That happens, I'd be willing to bet Savage comes back at the end of 1996, which revitalizes everything. He gets the workrate stuff with Bret, Austin, Shawn, etc. Takes the spot Razor had with Goldust, leading to the brawl at Wrestlemania where he gets and elevates the IC title until whenever he wants to drop it. Naturally will team with and fight Hogan because it's the rules.

--Rock, though. He'd be a Hogan guy and always have something going on. He'll have to turn, though, because the fans will fucking hate him if he didn't, like reality. Mega Powers, Ahmed, and maybe Shamrock go to war with the Nation in 1997. Rock might make it out unscathed and get his destined push because Hogan backs him, but will do the job when the time comes with a smile on his face.

--Jake's run goes exactly the same way. Mero and hopefully Waltman join the efforts to rebuild the midcard and tag divisions. Big tag division has the Gunns, the New Rockers, Samoan Fire and Ice, Godwinns, and LOD. Obvious top tier superteams notwithstanding.


Integral Poster
I would've like a lot of that. But if McMahon didn't want to use Savage correctly in 1993 I don't have any confidence he would realize that was dumb and start using him well again in 1996.