The discussion in the WON reviews about Magnum T.A. getting poor receptions in some towns during some of his push brought to mind a house show experience in the pre-internet days where Magnum actually tried to rile up the fans against him before the match, and Tully Blanchard played the babyface role. Similarly, back when the WWF did local promos for house shows, the Iron Sheik got somewhat over in Pittsburgh (and some face pop at the shows) by saying "Iron City, Iron Sheik City" and not antagonizing Pittsburgh fans as much as we would fans in some other towns.
My question is, do you think that some of these regional peculiarities occurred back then due to a booker experimenting with a possible turn in small market (in Magnum’s case), or was it just acknowledging the quirkiness of certain markets (like the French loving their Jerry Lewis)?
Definitely market specific quirk. In the days before WWE was broadcast in 8 trillion countries or whatever they’re claiming now, you kind of had to cater to your individual markets. Now they actively fight against it because Joe in Bangladesh doesn’t care that RAW is in St. Louis that week and Random Midcarder is actually from that city despite being a heel. As another example, David Von Erich used to go work Florida as a heel, because he loved being a heel and just couldn’t do it in Texas for obvious reasons. Sometimes guys would just want to try things out.