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This Day in Pro Wrestling History

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
4/16/78 Macon, GA

Dusty Rhodes beat Stan Hansen

Mr. Wrestling II won via disqualification over AWA Champion Nick Bockwinkel

Ole & Lars Anderson topped Rocky Johnson and Adrian Adonis (sub for Wahoo McDaniel)

Abdullah The Butcher defeated Tommy Rich

Jacques Goulet stopped Pierre Lefebvre

Ken Dillinger lost to Paul Ellering

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Tag teams you never knew existed.....
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Maybe it's the grandfatherly vibe he projected for the last 15 years of his life but I always assumed Gorilla knew he was better off as a lieutenant than a general.

All of Vince Sr's underlings seemed so loyal to him that they weren't going to mess around with Junior. I feel like in scenario where Vince craters in debt, the bigger threat is from Crockett!

I also don't buy the old fart "Vince Sr would have never sold the territory if he'd known what Vinnie was going to do!" Look at how he responded to the IWA shoohorning in on his turf (@alkeiper nods sagely). It was a matter of when not if Titan was going to expand nationally.
 

alkeiper

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Anyone who wasn't eyeing expansion eventually was going to get trampled on. You look at the 1970s and what a typical broadcast station offered. They're doing their own game shows, kids shows, etc. Most of them are gone. I don't think it's a stretch of the imagination to think if no one goes national, wrestling simply gets replaced by cheaper programming on a local level.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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Wrestling and early cable TV were a match made in Heaven. There's a reason that Terry Funk sold the Amarillo territory after he turned on his TV and saw Georgia Championship Wrestling on TBS in the late '70s. If it couldn't be Vince Jr, it was going to be someone else. Maybe Watts, maybe Crockett or maybe even Ted Turner gets in the biz a few years earlier. Wave would probably smaller coming from Tulsa, Charlotte, or Atlanta than NYC and it probably isn't as mainstream but to me, it feels like an '80s wrestling boom feels inevitable. Right kind of content at the right time.
 

snuffbox

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My guess is, around the time he gave his company to him, Sr told Jr that he was aware of expansion plans and didn't care. Because he was going to be dead and it wasn't 1960 anymore.

I like the idea of the 80s boom being inevitable. AWA could've done it with Hogan, Crockett/Turner would have a few options, Watts too. I agree about the right thing/right time as well. All the loud over-the-topness. Any number of wrestling promotions could've gobbled up the others instead and fit right in with Reagan, JR Ewing, Trump, Tyson and Magic.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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At risk of enraging @BruiserBrody (again), I don't think Verne Gagne could have picked the ball that Vince Jr dropped in this scenario. Idk if he'd make my Top 5 choices for guys who picked up the slack if Vince Jr couldn't buy his dad's promotion. I don't get any sense that he had his finger on the pulse of what was going on culturally in the '80s. This is the guy that didn't even bother to get cable TV to watch his own show!

If I had to pick anybody to become the alternate universe #1 promotion in the '80s, I might go with World Class tbh.
 

King of Summer Kamala

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So did Polynesian Pro Wrestling and California Championship Wrestling though tbf. It wasn't exceedingly hard for wrestling to get airtime in the '80s.

In These Guys Have All The Fun, the oral history of ESPN that came out 10-12 years ago, there's a great little story about the pitch meeting AWA had with ESPN in '84/'85 where one of buttoned up ESPN executive marks out and embarrasses himself when the AWA exec (I can't remember who it was but I don't think it was Verne) mentions Sgt. Slaughter is coming in.

It's also mentioned in the book that a few years earlier, ESPN turned down the chance to air WWF. By the time wrestling got popular enough that the ESPN executives were willing to hold their noses and offer it airtime, USA and Turner Networks had taken the top two and they had to figure out if they could work with #3. IIRC, wasn't Watts in the running too, @BruiserBrody ?

In retrospect, that was the better fit. At the very least, JR droning on about the wrestlers' athletic background may have been appreciated for once.
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
Wrestling and early cable TV were a match made in Heaven. There's a reason that Terry Funk sold the Amarillo territory after he turned on his TV and saw Georgia Championship Wrestling on TBS in the late '70s. If it couldn't be Vince Jr, it was going to be someone else. Maybe Watts, maybe Crockett or maybe even Ted Turner gets in the biz a few years earlier. Wave would probably smaller coming from Tulsa, Charlotte, or Atlanta than NYC and it probably isn't as mainstream but to me, it feels like an '80s wrestling boom feels inevitable. Right kind of content at the right time.
Funk's actual reason that he realized cable was the future came from cutting racist promos in Los Angeles (vs Chavo? I assume) and his local Mexican Amarillo fans yelling at him for it. (Hometown babyface Funk)
 

BruiserBrody

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[quote author=BRODY link=topic=7317.msg606823#msg6
At risk of enraging @BruiserBrody (again), I don't think Verne Gagne could have picked the ball that Vince Jr dropped in this scenario. Idk if he'd make my Top 5 choices for guys who picked up the slack if Vince Jr couldn't buy his dad's promotion. I don't get any sense that he had his finger on the pulse of what was going on culturally in the '80s. This is the guy that didn't even bother to get cable TV to watch his own show!

If I had to pick anybody to become the alternate universe #1 promotion in the '80s, I might go with World Class tbh.
AWA was running their all time best attendance in 1982-83. Had Hogan or Baba switched alliances, Verne Gagne might have died filthy rich. Hogan not getting the title was largely due to the AWA's All Japan alliances. It's not like Verne didn't have Crusher and Mad Dog Vachon as brawling champs.
He put the title on freaking Otto Wanz (who was in fact New Japan aligned) for a 6 week payoff.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

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If you had asked me thirty years ago, which wrestlers were most likely to make it to 79, I don't think I'd have had Superstar Billy Graham in my Top 10.
 

Epic for the Summer

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Especially with the number of health scares he's had. Sort of got to hand it to him for staring death in the eyes at least a dozen times.
 
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