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Shiki Dan
Oct 27, 2010

If ya can move ya toes ya back's fine


Renaissance Spam posted:

But while this sounds like a stealth defense, rewatching a lot of those matches I can't help but think "drat, he really was rather boring in the ring".

Well part of this is also the style of the time, too. Vince wanted his monster heels to be immobile and for everyone to bounce off of them.
Part of it was protecting his investment I suppose, which is reasonable enough, but also because he didn't want Andre to show up the lovely roided up bodybuilders and circus freaks that constituted the WWF roster for the majority of the 80's.

You can see it in the WAR videos I linked to earlier in the thread. The Natural Disasters were able to have a fun, watchable brawl with the LOD in Japan when they were allowed to cut loose and more motivated to put on a good match for a Japanese audience.
Quake was certainly no Bam Bam Bigelow, but he could do a 20-minute match without being winded and that's pretty impressive. Not to mention his amazing feats of strength--like catching 300-lb. Bossman FROM THE TOP ROPE without budging an inch.

It's the same with Andre, even before he physically deteriorated rapidly in the PPV era.
Watching Andre move in early 70's matches from Montreal and Japan is absolutely surreal--absolutely surreal seeing him do dropkicks, top rope moves, and MMA submissions.
You would never believe it was the same Andre from watching WWF PPV.
Even in his famous (forgotten) Shea Stadium match with Hogan in 1980, he doesn't even look the same.
Andre in his prime was way better and mobile than the likes of King Kong Bundy or One Man Gang could have dreamed of being.

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Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

Jeremy Corbyn has been made the subject of an official complaint to the Labour party over his suggestion in 2013 that some British Zionists do not understand 'English irony'.

Are you offended?

Why not put in a complaint?




Rarity's FAVE FIVE

5. Rick Martel – Out of all the wrestlers in this list of top guys Martel has got to be the one who snuck up on me the most. Hell, this was so unexpected I didn't even bother to give him a proper introduction when he debuted. When he teamed up with Tito I was into it but not crazy or anything and then when he turned heel I was down on that for a little while as well. Then he developed a poncey French accent (he definitely didn't have that at WM5) and kept his character changing all while being a smug rear end douche. It was fantastic to watch and I really appreciated seeing somebody grow at a time when the roster was very stagnant. The feud with Jake went a long way to establish his credentials and it's such a shame that his protracted absence right after killed his momentum. There's still so much you can do with this character and he's got so much potential in the ring that we haven't fully explored. Of all the guys on my list here, Martel's the one we've seen the least out of and I hope he gets a chance to fully let loose before he says his goodbyes.
4. Bret Hart – I'm going to level with you guys. I've been thinking about this list for a long time now and for most of the Golden Era I didn't even have Bret cracking into my fave five. Sure, the Hart Foundation were one of the best tag teams of their day and Bret held up his side of that well but he still hadn't fully connected with me. But then these last few shows hit and it's on the strength of that singles run that Bret has managed to place where he has. In less than a year he's delivered two of the best matches we've seen yet and he's wrestling on another level to almost everybody else around him. It helps that he looks more and more like a badass with every appearance but at the end of the day he really is just too good at what he does to ignore.
3. Randy Savage – Oh yeah! There was no way that I could leave the Macho Madness out of my fave five. It's funny, out of all the guys on this list he's got the least in-ring technical ability but what Savage got better than almost anyone was the art of storytelling. If we're going to use my definition of this era's style of wrestling as '80s wrestling' then Savage was the best 80s wrestler out there. He was capable of taking this style and creating something dramatic and emotional because he understood exactly how to take an audience along with him on his journey. Then there were the promos – oh god, the coked up promos! No one was better on the mic in this era than Savage. Everything he did was entertaining and everything he said was meaningful. And of course, I have to give shoutouts to Elizabeth and Sherri here too. Ignoring all the issues I brought up in my feminist critique of their characters, the dynamic they each had with Savage was a huge part of his appeal and were a big help in building his aura. This last year of shows, especially, Savage has been the real highlight. I'm so glad he got to reunite with Elizabeth, I'm so glad he came back and I'm so glad he got to be WWF champion one more time. I know that his star is close to fading now, we don't have long left to go so let's make sure we enjoy every second.
2. Curt Hennig – If you'd asked me before this thread to describe Curt Hennig then the words I'd have used would be along the lines of 'boring', 'outdated' and 'washed up'. Now that I've had a chance to check out Hennig in his prime there's only one word I could ever go with and that's perfect. When he arrived on the roster he was such a breath of fresh air. You could tell from the way he walked to the way he talked through the way he wrestled that he was different to anyone else we'd seen. It was the first warning sign that the days of the Golden Era stars were on their way out and a new generation was rising up beneath them. He had workrate to get the crowd buzzing, he had charisma to get them riled up and he had a hard-working attitude that meant he always gave his all. How else could you describe him? He was just... perfect. Although not quite as perfect as...
1. Rick Rude – Could it ever have been in doubt? The #1 spot in my fave five could only ever have gone to MAH BOY Rick Rude who's absence still leaves a hole in my heart that begs to be filled. Holy poo poo, what can I say to gush about this guy that I've not already said at some point in this thread? He was just everything you could want from a professional wrestler. He could go in the ring like few others, he wasn't afraid to put his body through hell to make his opponents look good, he was creative and innovative, he cut fun promos, he looked amazing... he was legit the total package. And the gimmick! Oh my god, he had that poo poo absolutely nailed down to perfection. He lived and breathed that gimmick and it infused everything he did. Just look at that amazing array of butt costumes that were so fun they inspired a segment in this thread that will on long after he's gone. And really at the end of the day that's what Rude did better than anybody in this era. He was just plain fun. Whether he was calling the crowd 'sweathogs' or showing us his most muscular poses or jumping off the top of a cage he was committed to entertaining. It's kinda funny, when I wrote up my introduction for him I described him as the 80s version of Dolph Ziggler. And anyone who knows me well knows how much love I've had in my life for Dolph Ziggler. I didn't even know it and I was already calling out my own fangirling. I really shouldn't be surprised that this is where we've ended up. So as this is the last chance I'm ever going to get to talk about Rick Rude I want to take one final moment to appreciate this brilliant, hilarious, talented, amazing man. You're time in the WWF was all too short.



Worst Wrestlemania Celebrity: Bob Uecker (WM4)

The practice of parading out celebrities at Wrestlemania each year in a desperate attempt to gain some mainstream credibility is one I have come to accept, both in this age and the present day. And there's nothing inherently bad about using celebrities, some have even made for some of the most memorable Wrestlemania moments out there. I'm talking about Tyson, I'm talking about Mayweather, I'm talking about Herb. None of this is an accurate way of describing Bob Uecker's appearance at WM4 in which he gets numerous spotlights throughout to display how much of a racist, sexist wanker he is who promotes himself over the wrestlers. This hiedous attitude is eventually rewarded with confirmation and gratification when he meets Vanna White and she does not immediately run in terror, allowing him to literally explode with excitement. Remember girls, if a dirty old man is interested in you it's your duty to make him happy! gently caress this whole thing.

Best Hulk Hogan Match: Hulk Hogan and Burtus Beefcake vs. Randy Savage and Zeus (No Holds Barred)

While it's very clear by now that I am far from a Hulkamaniac I still think we should take a moment to step back and recognise the importance he had to this era by celebrating his best match during this time. And surprises of surprises, it's a match that includes both Burtus, who couldn't wrestle for poo poo, and Zeus, who also couldn't wrestle for poo poo but at least the excuse that he wasn't a trained wrestler. Despite these obstacles as well as the issue of Hulk's own less than stellar workrate these four men (and Sherri) manage to tell a compelling and exciting story. Savage is giving it his all here, going to extreme lengths to provide excitement by taking some high-risk for the era bumps. Meanwhile, Sherri is a constant irritant from the sidelines, Zeus shows commitment to the role by taking a few moves and for all his shortcomings Hulk was always very connected to the fans so he gets the crowd heated up well. And Burtus is there too, I guess. All in all, the success of this match goes to show that you don't need to be a technical wizard or an acrobatic daredevil to tell a good story.

Biggest Marty: Marty Jannetty

I know, I'm shocked he won this one too. That's because Marty was in many ways a fine performer. He could match his tag team partner for athleticism and was just as capable of showing that babyface fire. The only problem was he had a tendency to... well, Marty things up all over the place. Whether it was stumbling into the crowd while blinded or accidentally knocking his own partner out with his opponent there was no match where Marty couldn't clutch defeat from the claws of victory. Hell, he Martied things up so bad that he couldn't even not break a window when he headbutted it. To be fair, it's probably a good thing that his run ended where it did before he could Marty even more things up. At least this way he doesn't have to worry about his name becoming synonymous with tag team failure and obscurity for the rest of existence. Boy, that sure would be embarrassing!

Best Theme: All-American Boys ~ The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers

In truth, the musical pickings from this era are fairly lacklustre. We're still at a time where everyone gets generic guitar instrumental with a slight cultural bent if you happen to ethnic. Very few themes stand out because almost everything sounds identical. I dare you to tell the difference between Burtus's theme and Greg's theme. See? But not so for All-American Boys. This raucous burst of energy is a Jimmy Hart special and you can tell that must be true because of how much it stands out. The melody isn't even the best part though. It's the lyrics. Over the course of the song the Rougeaus sing about their love for Barry Mannilow and the preppy style before devolving into insulting the fans in French. It's heeling at it's finest and was a perfect mix for their subtle character work. Their time in the thread has long since passed but this theme is still a fixture on my Spotify.

Most Feels: The Randy Savage/Elizabeth reunion

Oh my god, few moments in wrestling have touched my heart like the events after Savage's retirement match at WM7. Johnny Gargano almost forgiving Tommaso Ciampa, Christian's first World Title win, Rey winning the Rumble for Eddie. It takes a lot to break through the stone exterior of the withered husk that resides in my chest but holy poo poo this didn't just break through, it shattered me into a million pieces. Savage and Elizabeth are at their best here, their emotions fully etched on their face. And after a compelling match that already leaves you drained the resolution here is purely cathartic. Years of turmoil, years of sadness, years of booing the Macho Man when you didn't really want to are all suddenly pushed aside as you get this one big release. Savage and Elizabeth are together at last. Love is real. And if these two crazy kids can finally get it right then there must be hope for the rest of us.

Biggest Disappointment: Legion of Doom

As I was rereading through the thread to gather my thoughts for these awards I reached my introduction for LOD and I was shocked to see how excited I was. Because drat, I do not give a single poo poo about of these guys any more. It's not that LOD are terrible exactly but they're not good either and in the two years they've been around they've done a grand total of gently caress all. There was a feud with Demolition we never got a pay-off for, a feud with the Disasters we never got a pay-off for, a jobber squash of Power and Glory and the loving Nasty Boys. Over the years I had built up such an image of these guys as unstoppable monsters and in the course of a few shows the WWF has turned them into a couple of boring hosses and there's not a single match or feud out there for them that I want to see.

Best Manager: Sensational Sherri

Aw yeah, I've been waiting to do this one. I finally get to spend some time talking about one of the best people of the entire era. Sherri is my jam, yo. The majority of managers we've seen in this thread are interchangeable. Sure, most of them have one defining characteristic. Jimmy has a megaphone, Heenan is a weasel, Slick is black. Yes, they all have their thing. But Sherri was different. She was more than a thing, she was many. She didn't have a defining characteristic because she was a fully defined character. And my god was that character absolutely batshit insane. She had crazy makeup, she wore crazy outfits, she pulled crazy faces and she screamed crazy stuff. She was the weird lady who you see at the park who smells like cats and carries around a bag full of leaves except back in her prime when she was the hot kind of crazy. She added so much to Savage's character by giving him someone who was just as willing to play big to bounce off of while Elizabeth might have got the ring we all know who the real power couple was in the Golden Era. Her partnership with DiBiase was a bit of a bust but now that she's with Shawn I think she has the potential to reach even greater heights from here on out.

Best Commentator: Jesse Ventura

While Jesse was mostly featured in this thread for his commitment to the fashion industry we can't forget that he was also very good at his real job as well. On the mic Jesse had a swagger that other colour announcers through the years have never really been able to match. He gave the impression that if he wanted to he could get right back in the ring and kick your rear end and that's not a sense you get from other ex-wrestlers. His attitude meant that despite everything he said to support the heels you could never really hate him. He never failed to entertain, he never failed to put the talent over and it's going to be long time before we have someone close to his level at the announce desk again.

Best Angle: The Temptation of the Ultimate Warrior (Royal Rumble 1991)

This was loving fantastic. As these segments go it wasn't particularly complicated and there weren't any major story beats, it was just the quality of the performances that made this stand out so much. Up till now we'd only ever seen Sherri go big as she played up her craziness with a manic energy but here we saw a new side of her. Rather than screaming with rage she was calm and controlled as she tried to manipulate Warrior into granting Savage a title shot. And of course, the suggested blowjob is just hilarious. Warrior also plays his part well, reacting like a kid who doesn't really get what's happening but knows that he likes it only to turn it back around on Sherri with a firm refusal. And it all ends with Savage sprinting in like a man possessed which is always a beautiful sight. This was sheer joy.

Best Show: Royal Rumble 1991

There weren't many good shows from the era to choose between for this award but we still end up with a worthy winner in Royal Rumble '91. Outside from that wonderful Rockers/Orient tag match the in-ring quality wasn't great but this show really stood out in its storytelling. Everything that goes down between Savage and Warrior is so big and so fun and they do a great job of tying it throughout the whole show. There's also the Virgil turn which was absolutely massive and for one brief shining moment it looked like Virgil was a star. That's how loving good it was, it made Virgil look like a big deal. And after all this goodness there was a Rumble as well! This was a highly watchable show and one of the first that still stands up to viewing today.

Worst Show: Wrestlemania IV

Tournaments are a bad idea for a PPV. Yeah, you heard me, guy who invented King of the Ring, I went there. But it's true, tournaments don't work on PPV for a number of reasons. The wrestlers get more and more tired throughout the night so by the time they get to the biggest matches they're too knackered to be at their best. By this time the fans have also seen these wrestlers a bunch and are likely starting to get bored of them. Then to combat these first two problems you wind up with a whole lot of bullshit finishes designed to let people skip matches so they're not so tired. Also, because it's a tournament no one knows what the main event will be so there's less to be hyped up about as well. All of these problems in WM4 a show that features such delights as a bad Steamboat match, Savage main eventing in his fourth match of the night, DiBiase being exhausted after ten minutes of work, the Bob Uecker subplot, Hoganplex '88, Jake and Rude going fifteen minutes in a snorefest, Bret being flummoxed by a trophy and the One Man Gang in the semi-finals. Ugh.

And that's our final award awarded. But we're not through with the Rarities just yet. Join me next time as we draw these festivities to a close with The Dream Matches: Then vs. Now!

DeathChicken
Jul 9, 2012

Nonsense. I have not yet begun to defile myself.

Then after Rude leaves WWF, he goes to WCW and has a run that's generally regarded as even better (feuding with Ricky Steamboat, the other really good wrestler WWF forgot to do anything with)

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


I love this thread so much

Savage reuniting with Elizabeth was seriously one of the best moments ever

The Cameo
Jan 20, 2005

icy chain with the watch now


DeathChicken posted:

Then after Rude leaves WWF, he goes to WCW and has a run that's generally regarded as even better (feuding with Ricky Steamboat, the other really good wrestler WWF forgot to do anything with)

Rick Rude in WCW goes to the finals of the second goddamn G1 Climax and he fits in perfectly. Man was goddamn incredible.

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010


His feud with Dustin Rhodes over the US title was fun, too. Rude was kinda still green when WWE first started using him, but by the time him and Warrior started feuding, he'd gotten really good, the guy was really in his prime in WCW. Sometimes I wish we could have gotten a long feud between Rude and Hogan in WCW. I also think feuds with Michaels and Hart would have been great, had WWE not undervalued him.

Dude also has a fascinating place in wrestling history because of the Monday Night Wars double appearance fiasco, plus he was the one who told Bischoff on the phone that the Montreal Screwjob was a shoot. Also one of the legit tough guys in the business who doesn't come off as a king sized rear end in a top hat.

El Gallinero Gros fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2018 around 00:29

The Cameo
Jan 20, 2005

icy chain with the watch now


triple appearance, he was also on ECW Hardcore TV as a color commentator at the time

The best Rude stories come from Austin, honestly, like when he, someone else, and Rude went and stayed at a cabin on a hunting trip. They hunted, they skinned, they cooked, they ate, and afterwards, Rude walks over to the couch, pulls a joint out of his knapsack, and lights it up, leaning back and relaxing. Austin pipes up asks: “hey, you wanna help us clean off the table?” to which Rude just replies, “gently caress no!” and continues smoking his joint.

And then of course, them doing loops together in WCW during the Dangerous Alliance, Austin watching Rude go and do a circuit of upper body exercises and then cool down. After enough times of watching it happen, he finally brings up to Rude, “you never work on your legs, man!” To which Rude just tells him, “it’s an upper body business, Steve!”

The Cameo fucked around with this message at Sep 30, 2018 around 01:28

Renaissance Spam
Jun 5, 2010

Can it wait a for a bit? I'm in the middle of some *gyrations*


I will actually say Rarity if you ever get the urge to do another retrospective I would strongly recommend looking at WCW 1991-92.

El Gallinero Gros
Mar 17, 2010


Renaissance Spam posted:

I will actually say Rarity if you ever get the urge to do another retrospective I would strongly recommend looking at WCW 1991-92.

Seconding this. It's a hell of a time capsule for wrestling and a favorite period of mine because it was pretty wild for a young Canadian who hadn't really seen NWA at all (too young and we didn't get TBS in Canada until '90, I believe).

Rarity might well go apeshit for young Brian Pillman. WCW does not get criticized enough by people for not investing in him more. Unless you're me or Jim Cornette, this is something that Jim and I wholeheartedly agree on, they hosed up huge.

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


The Cameo posted:

To which Rude just tells him, “it’s an upper body business, Steve!”

Austin quoting Rude never fails to make me laugh.

"FOR gently caress'S SAKE, STEVE!"

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