Reading all the WON recaps has me thinking. How much of Vince’s success was due to his ruthlessness vs. the drawing power of the roster he had? It seems clear that he had his ups and downs and wasn’t always successful and a big key to his success was aggressively going after his competitors. Be it paying TV networks more to air WWF shows instead of AWA, signing talent away after they’ve advertised them for upcoming events, making deals to block competitors from using major arenas, counter programming against other federations big events, etc… Obviously he needed talent to draw fans, but it’s not like the WWF was the only wrestling organization that had good fan drawing talent at the time. I tend to wonder if some of the other Feds had done the same moves if they would’ve been on top (if only for a while) instead of WWF.
Oh yeah, Vince saw the future and he knew how to adjust. The only one who came close to his vision was Crockett, but the major difference is that Vince would live like a pauper if he needed in order to sink every dollar back into his promotion and run it like a business, whereas Crockett wanted the gold-plated jets and offices in Dallas. Look at the dogshit on Vince’s roster in 86 — outside of Hogan and Savage, who’s supposed to be drawing there? Big John Studd? Junkyard Dog? And yet the storylines were so strong by the end of the year that he made it work with what he had. Dave made a good point in an issue a couple of weeks back, where he said that the WWF was actually really good with reclamation projects, like Randy Savage and Bulldogs, because Vince was willing to take a chance on ANYTHING that might make him money.
Now, not so much…