It is an an old list but I found it pretty interesting to find out that film snobs consider these "Movies you've never heard of" seeing as I had heard of all of them except the Trish Stratus one.
Scott, considering how often the WWE HOF gets discussed on here I thought it only fitting to end the old year/start the new year (delete as appropriate) With a quick lightning round on whether you think the following people who were best known in a non wrestler capacity should/will be inducted into the Hall Of Fame?
the weekend, and ready to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Who is the absolute worst
wrestler you can think of … that you secretly love?
straight to the discussion, please scroll through to the end.
all time was. With 1100 episodes to choose from, you had a wide variety of
choices. Here are your answers:
Tough to choose, what with there being so
many episodes and the memory not being the best. I’m going to go old school,
and say… the January 25th, 1993 episode. Random, I know, but it was the first
episode of Raw I got to watch (and it was only the 3rd), and first time I was
actually allowed to watch a late-night primetime show on a school night.
Perfect vs. Flair was a nail-biter, even to me being 7 years old, and I liked
the opener with Savage against Repo Man. It’s an episode that still stands out
to me more than many other popular options.
turfed back to WCW on the wrong end of a Loser Leaves Town match.
It has Marty entering through the crowd, challenging Shawn, and winning the I-C
title, plus the famous Kid/Ramon upset. Basically, the night Raw became RAW.
truly stand out from the other shows the WWF was running at the time; and it
was clear from that moment onwards that this was THE show to watch. As long as
it wasn’t taped.
that there was a Raw in 96 which I believe was the first PPV-lite Raw they did.
It featured Kid v Hakushi, Dudes With Attitide v Bulldog/Yoko and Bret v Taker.
Kid/Hakushi was the only good match, but I still remember it because it was a
pretty surprising watching a tv show without any jobber matches for the time
end of a taping cycle, so fans who were smartened up to the Internet were well in
the know of the results ahead of time. Still, this stood out in the gloomy
early part of 1996; and things weren’t about to get any better with Bret Hart’s
hiatus, and half the midcard departing for WCW by the end of the year.
Austin really stands out to me, only because I remember seeing that as a kid
and being blown away by what happened.
by this point, as this happened just months after the Rey Mysterio lawn dart
incident; with both that show and the Pillman 9mm episode drawing 911 calls
from fans who couldn’t tell what was real anymore, and what wasn’t.
I would have to say Bret Hart’s tirade against Vince McMahon after he was
screwed out of the WWF Title against Sid in the lead-up to WM13. That, in my
opinion, is the true kick-off of the Attitude Era. Can’t wait to see how they
treat that on the Network.
Bret’s promo came across as one of the most genuine things I’ve ever seen in
wrestling. Whereas most promos sound tight and scripted, Bret was just ripping
into everyone and everything, but in a way that felt like it was coming
straight from the heart (likely, because he DID feel that way in light of the
off with a street fight and Bret was attacked in an ambulance. THAT show, even
to the mark in me at the time who had endured the abuse of friends who thought
WCW was superior, proved to me that the company was becoming different and
would once again regain its position as the #1 wrestling company in North
my favorite running gags in the subsequent weeks.
Absolute anarchy culminating with Jim Neidhart’s surprise return, leading to a
wheelchair-bound Bret Hart whacking Austin off the ramp with a crutch.
title was classic. “LOOK AT ALL THE GOLD! WE’RE RICH!” Pillman’s prayer
sessions were incredible, but then just about everything he did from late 95
until his death were brilliantly crazy and people bought in.
heel up to ten with “And I… will BE… the SPECIAL… referEE!”
cheering the hell out of the Hart Foundation, and not buying Brian Walsh’s
sucking up by carrying a mini Canadian flag.
event with Brian Pillman’s run-in.
Bret’s nuclear heat had caused the first real instances of “Bizarro World”. Shawn
Michaels drawing “faggot” chants without offending all of North America (was
this really acceptable that recently?). The McMahon/Hart fight was the usual heel
Bret goodness, who despite HATING the role played it like a champ. When he
jumped the announce table to pound McMahon for naming Shawn the special referee
at SummerSlam, the place exploded. How the Survivor Series WASN’T a total work
is beyond me, because they set that whole story up for an entire year.
First Raw I went to December 8 1997. Had
the DX strip poker game, Sable in the potato sack (later an incredibly small
bikini), Mero outing Sal Sincere as a jobber, and Stone Cold forfeiting the
belt to The Rock.
attended. Sadly, I’ve only been to 1 episode of RAW, which aired in 2001. If
you asked me, gun to my head, what the main event was, I don’t think I’d be able
to come up with an answer.
amazing. Dan Severn and Kaientai debuted. The Rock turned on Farooq and claimed
leadership of the NOD. X-Pac returned and later the Outlaws joined DX
solidifying the new line-up, and sewing the seeds for Foley’s heel turn. Austin
Stunned McMahon. The show genuinely established a new direction for the
company, and kicked off what was arguably the greatest era in the history of
the WWF/E. Sadly, today’s post-‘Mania Raws just let us know which rematches we
get to look forward to.
100 miles an hour. Within weeks the stupid NWA titles would be phased out, we’d
have a wrestling porn star, NoD turning up our racist meters to full blown, and
DX making a mockery out of everyone and everything. Oh, and some guy named
Steve Austin swearing up a storm and getting drunk at every
to wrestle. From the start where they said they would–through Vince’s training
with the stooges–to the hand behind the back deal–to them brilliantly not
giving it away on free tv. That was prime.
year, without it ever feeling dragged out. Very little can come close to this
feud. This is also the RAW that ended WCW’s hold of the ratings lead.
on the fast track to the World Title. He had just turned face, and having him
pin the Undertaker was a sign the company was fully invested.
show after watching on TV is “Raw is Owen.” It’s obviously in a very
different category than everything else, but I remember X-Pac and one of the
Hardys working the enziguiri into their movesets that night as a tribute, Mick
going over Billy Gunn with a nice tribute after, Rock dedicating the People’s
Elbow to Owen in his match with Val Venis, and the Austin beer tribute closing
the show. I wouldn’t call it a favorite, but it’s really the only Raw I
remember as a full show.
not able to. Definitely a lot of raw, real emotion here, and memorable top to
bottom under the most unfortunate and tragic of circumstances.
Rock/Sock/Too Cool RAW. It told a great story throughout the show from the
Radicalz betrayal to Rock stepping up with a great promo to Too Cool running in
to join the fray to nuclear heat throughout the whole match for everyone’s
spots and feuds to Kane’s big return with Paul Bearer. Just an awesome RAW.
retirement match booked against Triple H. This was also the legendary “Viscera
slips” show. But yes, the true meat was that main event, which basically served
as a “Fuck You, WCW” – putting over the quartet of newcomers as hard as they
possibly could, against an absolutely loaded opposition.
working a lot that weekend and didn’t know about the purchase in advance.
entire show being the most ground-breaking “WTF IS HAPPENING HERE” show in
history. Even then, seeing McMahon talk openly about WCW talent, fire Jeff
Jarrett on national television, and the Shane McMahon “purchase” made for a
strong finish to the Monday Night Wars.
Jericho/Benoit vs HHH/Austin for the Tag Titles. I remember being a little down
on the product at that point after WM X7, and that match brought me back.
having him submit clean as a whistle gave the Canadian lads all they needed to
make a run at the main event.
RVD and Dreamer hop the rail and ECW
returns to punk out Jericho and the coffee-fearing monster Kane in 2001.
represented by the likes of Tazz, Raven, and the Dudleys, with Lance Storm and
Mike Awesome already in the ring was an absolute goosebump moment in time.
I am such a Hogan mark for this one but I
have to go with Raw the nights after WM 18. First off I was pretty baked so
every cool moment was increased tenfold. Second Hogan’s ovation and the Rock
encouraging him to rip off the NWO t-shirt was fucking awesome and then later
Brock debuted and I just remember being like “what the fuck was that?”
Plus I think the stooges did something wacky which caused me to giggle on my
bed for like ten minutes. Did I mention the pot was hydro?
thought initially that Brock’s run-in was Sid Vicious for some reason, until
the camera got a better look and the announcers clarified who it was. One of
the strongest rookie debuts ever.
ECW invades to wrap up the show, and on a personal note-The best dark main
event I’ve seen in all of the 86 T.V. tapings I’ve been too-Triple H and
Batista in a 20-minute bloodbath.
have to choose the 2008 WWE Draft mainly because it was the one draft with the
real shocker factors. By that I mean the guys that switched brands. Hardy, HHH,
Umaga, and Kennedy all going to Smackdown, and then how Rey, Batista, and Punk
went to Raw. It also then lead to later in the night when Vince got
“injured”, causing the next week, and the rest of the summer, to
become total anarchy.
pissed off curmudgeon, and it was all real. This was also CM Punk’s ascension
to the main roster, as he was drafted over to RAW as a major player holding the
MITB briefcase, from the dying ECW brand. Good forgotten pick!
episode the night after “WrestleMania 28” was friggin’ fantastic. The
non-stop “Yes!” chants, Rock declaring that he’ll be back for more,
and BROCK FUCKING LESNAR!
a lot of fun as well. In fact, the only time they shut up all night was during
with the first ECW invasion … in 1997. This was the type of show that simply
isn’t going to happen in the corporate world of 2014, but anything was possible
with the ratings in the toilet back then. With only a skeleton crew of
wrestlers on hand because the main roster was in Europe, the show was used as
both a selling point for ECW’s Barely Legal, but more importantly for McMahon,
a chance to make some noise and grab some audience share.
finally grew tired of it and took over Monday Night RAW. We got complete
anarchy. Even as someone who’s not an ECW fan, the idea of another promotion
walking into enemy turf and literally holding the show as one of their own is
just unfathomable. Vince couldn’t even allow this to happen when he OWNED WCW.
The wrestling itself wasn’t great, but this painted the idea that anything and
everything could (and was going to happen). Jerry Lawler was at his absolute
best on this night, and everyone was on their games trying to stand out to the
national crowd. Competition truly does bring out the best in everyone.
Hey everyone, I’ll be interviewing “The Franchise” Shane Douglas and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan about Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies, and obviously about their careers. If there’s anything you might be curious to ask them, leave it below in the comments.
Counting everything (DVDs, shirts, PPV bonuses, ect) your best guess on if they make more or less.1. John Cena- $5 Million2. Randy Orton- $3 Million3. C.M. Punk- $3 Million4. Undertaker- $500,0005. Kofi Kingston- $300,0006. A. J. Lee- $80,000
> According to Larry Zbyszko: "Half the guys wrestling there are on food stamps I was shocked when I heard that one" this can't be right can it? Thoughts?
As usual , Larry is full of hot air.
A little bit of a departure for me from the normal wrestling biographies. This book is a response from a long time industry insider who took umbrage to WWE’s 2010 list of top 50 “Superstars of All Time.” To the shock of EVERYONE, he derides WWE’s list as, GASP, promotional propaganda!!! Those are fighting words friends. So does the book live up to the author’s advance billing? Read on!!!
Larry Matysik is a uniquely positioned individual to write on the sport we love so much, professional wrestling. Larry is an insider who can offer many unreal insights to the denizens who follow our favorite pastime. For those who are not aware, Matysik was an announcer for Sam Muschnick’s St. Louis territory in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and was also an announcer for KLPR’s “Wrestling at the Chase” emanating from the same municipality. Once Muschnick retired in the early 80’s, Matysik carried the torch and tried to carry the St. Louis territory into the mid 80’s, but, as we all know, Vince McMahon happened. Larry’s territory was one of the first absorbed, and Matysik ended up working for the man himself, Vinnie McMahon, who he refers to as VKM (as per Mr. McMahon’s preference) throughout the book.
In 2010, the WWE put out a list, and subsequent DVD, on the 50 greatest “Sports Entertainers” in history. Mr. Matysik took umbrage to the list, to say the least, and for a couple of years formulated his version of the history of wrestling; the best 50 who have ever done it. For those not familiar with the WWE list, well, let me list it for you.
50. Killer Kowalski
48. “Ravishing” Rick Rude
47. Bob Backlund
46. Dory Funk Jr.
45. Jeff Hardy
44. Nick Bockwinkel
42. Sgt. Slaughter
41. Jack Brisco
40. Big Show
39. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
38. “Superstar” Billy Graham
37. Junkyard Dog
36. Gorilla Monsoon
35. “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers
34. Kurt Angle
33. Mick Foley
32. Jimmy Snuka
31. Iron Sheik
30. Pat Patterson
29. Randy Orton
28. “Classy” Freddie Blassie
27. Fabulous Moolah
26. Ted DiBiase
25. Chris Jericho
24. Bruno Sammartino (!!!)
23. Hulk Hogan (!!!!!!!!!!!)
22. Terry Funk (!)
21. Lou Thesz (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
20. Jerry Lawler (WTF!)
T-17. Dusty Rhodes
T-17. Ric Flair (!!?!?!?!?!)
16. John Cena
15. Curt Hennig
14. Macho Man Randy Savage
13. Gorgeous George
12. Triple H
11. Eddie Guerrero
10. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
9. Rey Mysterio (!>**!^!%!??)
8. Andre the Giant
7. Ricky Steamboat
6. Harley Race
5. The Rock
4. Bret Hart
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin
1. Shawn Michaels
Well then. Can anyone, in good conscious, say that is a good list that is totally representative of the entire history of the genre of wrestling? I hope not. That list looks like a hunk of shit to this fan. Shawn Michaels at the top of the list is like listing Mama’s Family the greatest sitcom of all time, Party of Five the greatest drama of all time, Gangs of New York the greatest movie of all time. It is straight up, unadulterated hogwash perpetuated by the WWE propaganda machine. It smacks of bad politics, bad ideas, bad feelings, and is just plain BAD.
Well, Matysik decided to try and write an objective list of the top 50 of all time. Now, before we get to that, I want to state this: there is really no clear cut list of guidelines to follow when deeming the top 50 wrestlers of all time. For example, baseball has always had its counting stats: average, home runs, runs batted in, et al. Most sports have them. Matysik spends almost 100 pages explaining his criteria. Money drawn, working ability, toughness, charisma, mic skills, all of those wonderful factors. And he does just a fantastic job at it. What makes a book like this so great is that there are just SO many working arguments AGAINST what the author might state as his opinion, yet just as many to bolster his point. Listen, I HATE HATE HATE going to the WWE website (and many others) and subjecting myself to the whims of either the author or the company telling me why so and so deserves this spot while so and so other deserves to be left out. Its all completely subjective. That said, I WILL recommend this book for these reasons: 1. The Author is a total insider, Sam Muschnick’s (did you know Irv is his nephew?) right hand man. 2. He did his homework here. I am not going to list all 50. I figure I will list half. Here is Matysik’s top 25:
25. Randy Savage
24. Andre The Giant
23. Edouard Carpentier
22. Dick The Bruiser
21. Bret Hart
20. The Rock
19. Jack Brisco
18. Nick Bockwinkel
17. “Wild Bill” Longson
16. Johnny Valentine
15. Shawn Michaels
13(T). Terry and Dory (Jr.) Funk
12. Harley Race
11. Verne Gagne
10. Frank Gotch
9. Gene Kiniski
8. Buddy Rogers
7. Jim Londos
6. Stone Cold Steve Austin
5. Bruno Sammartino
4. Hulk Hogan
3. Ed “Strangler” Lewis
2. Ric Flair
1. Lou Thesz
Doesn’t that list seem a little more palatable to true fans of the industry? I mean, WWE had Hogan and Flair (TNA fodder) in the 20’s. That is straight horseshit. Flair and Hogan are the two main catalysts of wrestling in the 80’s. Strangler Lewis is the man who bridged the gap between pure shoot and work. Austin was the biggest draw ever in a single year. Londos is right there, the Golden Greek. Buddy Rogers was Flair before Flair. Bruno goes without saying, especially since WWE now acknowledges him again. Harley is universally loved, Gotch turned over the 1900’s and is generally considered one of the best, if last, pure shooting wrestlers of all time. We all know Verne’s amateur and pro credentials (He falls because the author realizes he owned the promotion). The Funks….amazing. And the author gives detailed explanations of his picks, both from a fans perspective and from an insider perspective.
Now, while I have listed the best of the author’s breed, I have left out a section he writes. Matysik actually writes about those he left off his list. Wrestlers like Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Rey Mysterio, Sting, and others. The first 100 pages basically deal with this subject, and, to be honest, I do not agree. I feel a guy like Chris Jericho should be on this list. Not to ruin anything for the reader, Randy Orton is ranked at 50. I feel Jericho should have been 50, what with all his championship reigns, being in WWE at the peak of their powers, and being, lets be honest, a better wrestler and (allegedly) a better human being.
Eddie Guerrero is also left off the list, and I am dismayed by that. I am sorry, Eddy was one of the greatest performers the industry has ever seen, PLUS he DREW from 2002-2005. That is a solid period of time, as he was probably, outside of Austin or Rock, the best draw the company had simply because of the Latin American demographic. To put Orton on this list and not Eddie (Eddy) seems almost sacrilegious.
Make no mistake about it though, if you are a wrestling fan, a TRUE fan, read Larry Matysik’s “Top 50 Professional Wrestlers of All Time.” If you don’t, you are doing yourself a disservice. Is Matysik always correct, always spot on? HELL NO. But that is the beauty of lists like this….they are completely subjective, completely there for feedback or criticism. But you know what else? Books like this one educate you. You want to read about Joe Stetcher, Thesz, Strangler Lewis, and many others of his age? How about Fritz Von Erich, Killer Kowalski? There are detailed four to five page bios on everyone here, so this book gets my highest recommendation, especially to those not well versed in the rich history of our richest sport.
Something for the blog if you'd like and/or think it will get some discussion:
In the "midcard mailbag" thread, someone mentioned Angle, and it got me thinking about how excluding his time in WWE developmental, Angle has now been in TNA for the same amount of time he was in WWE. But when people think of Angle, will they think of him as a TNA guy or a WWE guy? It kind of brings to mind the weird phenomenon of how some guys can be associated strongly with one company despite not having been there very long.
A perfect example is Rick Rude. Even with the few months in DX, Rude was only with WWF for three years or so. And while I'm betting most people will always think of Rude from his WWF days, the fact is he really was an NWA/WCW guy through and through. Another example might be any given ECW guy, say RVD: he really was only visibly with ECW for about 4 years or so (got on TV in early '96, and then was gone in mid 2000 through the last PPV in '01), He surpassed that with his time in WWE, and is on his way this year into next doing that with TNA. But he'll always be an ECW guy.
Can you think of any other notable examples where someone was very much associated with a given company despite only being there for a fraction of his career? The simple explanation for it all is probably just exposure/how someone is used, but I still thought it might make for some interesting debate.
What the fuck happened to Bo Dallas, anyway? One week he's engaged in a feud with Wade Barrett and the next he's wiped from existence. For that matter, what happened to the Wade-Sheamus feud? They were fighting over movie trailers for weeks and then POOF, dropped out of nowhere.