Scott, Long time reader, occasional commenter, occasional e-mailer. Questions : 1. Do you think Rick Martel gets his due as a performer? I seem to remember him succeeding on a number of levels : (a) Lengthy reign as AWA champion, at the tail-end of the period when that actually meant something. (b) Great success tagging in the WWF, with both Zenk and Santana. Over, and really brought scientific wrestling to the ‘Ricky Morton’ formula. (c) Impressive (to me) old-school heel run as ‘The Model’, as long as we discard the blindfold match. (d) Jaw-dropping (and unfortunately cut short) run in WCW at the TV title level. Absolutely loved his matches here. 2. Who do you think would have been a bigger star if not for tragic events : Magnum T.A. or Owen Hart? 3. Did you ever do a rant for “Ringmasters. The Great American Bash”? I loved that VHS tape as a kid. 4. What could have been done to save Warrior and Sting’s aborted runs as babyface champions? Was it just bad booking?
1. I think he gets his due for the most part. He made his money and got out at the right time, and he was basically a solid midcard guy who had good matches and put people over. He’s not HOF-worthy or anything, but I think people have the right amount of nostalgic appreciation for him. Plus his run as the Model was some really epic dogging it on his part for a long time there. It was only during the brief Michaels feud that he really came to life again. 2. Magnum would have certainly got the NWA World title by 1988 without the accident. I’d argue he’s already the bigger star even with his career getting cut short, if you discount the infamy Owen gained for dying. Plus TA was juiced in as Dusty’s guy and would have got a free ride for as long as he stuck around, ala Barry Windham, and probably would have ended up with a good WWE run, too. Plus he was oozing charisma and Vince could have found a character for him ala Razor Ramon to hide whatever deficiencies he had in the ring. 3. No, but I just looked it up on YouTube and it’s only 30 minutes long. So here it is: 4. Warrior’s problem was Hogan sticking around and Hogan-ing up the main events so that no one else could get over as a top guy. Sting’s problem was a total lack of interesting heels to feud with once he had actually won the title. Really, they had Sid and then nothing. Probably should have kept Lex Luger as a heel and built to that for Starrcade.