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mitchejw
 Rep: 109 

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

mitchejw wrote:

In a story that might rival the screw job of 1997, an event that occurred in 1983 in St. Paul, Minnesota may have almost been the perfect foreshadowing.

In 1983, Vince McMahon's WWWF (yes three Ws) was just another wrestling organization. Much like the AWA...based in Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota, Vern Gagne stood at the crossroads of professional wrestling and its future. Less than a decade later, Vince McMahon was a millionaire and Vern was long gone out of business. The twist to the story? Nearly every integral member of McMahon's WWF that was present the very first Wrestlemania in 1985 came from somewhere else. The most integral of places? The northern midwest...

Verne Gagne...the guy that should have been Vince McMahon....

Gagne had every bit the talent in wrestling that an owner would need to have...but he didn't have the business acumen. You see...in 1983...Hulk Hogan belonged to the AWA...and he belonged to it. In fact, so did Bobby Heenan, Gene Okerlund, and pretty much every important figure of the Wrestlemania in 1985. Gagne, who would likely rather be in the ring than in the office, began implementing a philosophy of being penny wise and pound foolish. To make matters worse...it was Verne who decided his son would be the cornerstone for his company in the 1980s...and decided to trifle with the likes of Hogan over pennies. Now, no one new who Hogan would become at the time...but he was certainly showing major signs. Rather than playing ball with Hogan, Gagne threatened him, negotiating him winning the championship of the AWA. The negotiation you ask? Gagne wanted a piece of Hogan's action. Hogan quit shortly after....and you know what happens next.

You can see the match here: Hogan believes he has won. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9BzZ5KGVBE

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

AtariLegend wrote:

Did you write that yourself?

mitchejw
 Rep: 109 

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

mitchejw wrote:
AtariLegend wrote:

Did you write that yourself?

yes...why?

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

AtariLegend wrote:

American fans normally overlook Japan at the time. They still do.

mitchejw
 Rep: 109 

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

mitchejw wrote:
AtariLegend wrote:

American fans normally overlook Japan at the time. They still do.

Had a lot to do with this incident didn't it?

Japanese wrestling is not something I am an expert in....but I do appreciate it.

mitchejw
 Rep: 109 

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

mitchejw wrote:
mitchejw wrote:
AtariLegend wrote:

American fans normally overlook Japan at the time. They still do.

Had a lot to do with this incident didn't it?

Japanese wrestling is not something I am an expert in....but I do appreciate it.

That was a really good match...I don't think I've ever seen Andre so agile and quick. His condition at WM3 in 1987 had already deteriorated at least in so far as his match with Hogan was slow and boring as shit...kinda sad for one of the most historic matches in history. Too bad it couldn't look more like this one...

Curiously, I couldn't really tell who the face and who the heel was in this...they're both Americans in Japan so is it possible they're both heels?

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

AtariLegend wrote:

btw the match listed AJPW is still NJPW. The uploader labeled it wrong.

Pretty sure Andre (who's French tongue) was heel and Hansen was the face.

Andre was a big scary guy. Watch just for the entrance if nothing else.

Yep Andre was alot more Agile back then, but it's not just age. Hogan himself done more in several minutes working in Japan than he'd do in multiple Wrestlemania matchs.

Japan was about the wrestling and keeping with kafable. Something WWE eventually killed off.

James
 Rep: 612 

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

James wrote:

Without the Hogan switch to WWF at that EXACT time, wreatling never becomes the pop culture sensation that it did. I hate giving Hogan so much credit but it cant be denied. Without him, it doesn't take off. Historians over the decades have agreed that if Hogan doesn't happen, Mcmahon attempts it with Kerry Von Erich, as Mcmahon and Fritz were on friendly terms and worked together. There's a problem though...Von Erich has the looks, charisma, etc. but zero mic skills. It would've failed. Next best choice Sgt. Slaughter but the patriotic thing would've only gone so far.

Without Mcmahon pushing the cartoon direction of wrestling, only chance it would've had of going mainstream in the 80s is if the more mature presentation of the NWA could've somehow caught on. Jim Crockett almost as clueless as Gagne so that wouldn't have happened either. Crockett should've had people like Flair, Dusty, Magnum TA, Tully, etc. on the late night talk show circuit like Mcmahon did his roster and have them doing tons of photo ops, charity, etc. and pushing merch to the moon. Funny how AWA released action figures, they were superior to WWF action figures at the time, NWA piggybacked on AWA but only allowed the release of a Flair figure, the AWA-NWA figures not even promoted, and Mcmahon just floods the market with WWF figures and Crockett-Gagne gave up....in a year.

Mcmahon the only one who knew the potential of PPV and how to use it. Starrcade 85 should've been presented like Wrestlemania was but they just didn't know how to turn one of their events into an extravaganza. People try to blame Mcmahon for blackmailing cable companies in 87-88 for the failure of other wrestling organizations. Not true. They fucked up long before that incident happened.

Mcmahon was giving us PPV worthy matches for free on TV, with Saturday Night's Main Event being a stacked card. NWA was giving us 2 hours of squash matches and with 60 seconds left in the program, for their main event they'd infamously say, "Fans, we're out of time!" and you'd never get to see the full match.

Mcmahon just had his finger on the pulse of pop culture and knew what to do.

He didn't just poach from the AWA. He went after NWA guys as well(Piper the best example). How did Mcmahon do it so easily? Simple....

He paid them. Promoters in wrestling were notorious for not paying guys and when doing so, chump change. Mcmahon changed all that. Big money, actual contracts, but you had to work 24/7 and live on the road....which of course led to the epidemic drug use and now half the guys alive back then are now dead.

He took wrestling from high school gyms and back alley clubs and turned it into a touring juggernaut in stadiums, arenas, and every household in the country had access to at least one WWF show every week on TV.

He turned it into a war and had a vision to monopolize the industry. In hindsight its unfortunate that the media did not cover this aspect of wrestling because it was historic and unprecedented.

Brett
 Rep: 20 

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

Brett wrote:

Without Hulk Hogan, WWF would have still exploded beyond belief, maybe not quite to the heights Hogan brought, but still very, very high. It's one of those "what if" scenarios there's really no answer. What if Pong hadn't existed, or had sucked? Would video games have imploded? I doubt it. What if the first book sucked? Well it probably did, but there's been many more. Without Hulk, there's no "x", but guys like Undertaker, HBK (ugh), The Rock and Stone Cold did come along and WWF managed to make more money with them. That's the thing about wrestling - no one is bigger than wrestling. Not even the Hulkster, brother.

The facts of the matter are in 1984 WWF through offering the Briscos lifelong jobs, got them to sell their stake in Georgia, which sent a tidal wave down, obliterating the major territory that had airing nationwide on TBS. This was lost to WWF and Georgia was off TBS. It drew poorly in the ratings and Vince actually sold the time slot to JCP for a huge profit. If memory serves me right, he did the same to get on USA by buying out the Blanchard territory, and he began paying stations just to carry wrestling. Being the only game in town and with a lot of regional territories losing major TV saw him become incredibly exposed. He couldn't lose when no other promotions could have major TV, and he could run 3 shows a night from the syndicated/national TV programs.

Vince, being based out of New York, had the hugest territory with the biggest markets and his finger on the pulse. And with that said, PPV absolutely was a huge factor in his dominance, it made JCP PPVs in the 80s, essentially, non-existent, along with JCP mismanagement, created a perfect storm for him to wipe them off the map. And when WWF got on NBC for SNMEs, good night Irene!

AWA, Memphis, JCP, Florida, Mid-South, basically there were about 15 major territories in the USA that'd sell 5000+ seats per night (and for major cards in the 70s/early 80s, they'd have to have shows in outdoor domes, even in "small" territories), every night. So wrestling was really big, much bigger than a lot of people fathom in comparison to how big it is now, even with the current global reach of WWE.

I have watched thousands of hours of wrestling shoot interviews and I've never heard of the Kerry von Erich thing before. I highly doubt Kerry would want to go when he faced Ric Flair in front of like 45 000 people in 1984 in his dad's own territory. Plus, Kerry had major drug problems and never jumped to WWF until WCCW had totally died after all the von Erich tragedies. I'd like to know where that anecdote came from because that is an interesting one! It's really too bad about Kerry.

mitchejw
 Rep: 109 

Re: Hulk Hogan the star of the...AWA...1983

mitchejw wrote:

If you blinked...you missed Kerry's stint in WWF before his death/suicide.

I am inclined to agree that the likelihood of any kind of success being slim at best. Von Erich had the look to be sure...but was as bland as they come.

The art of wrestling (at least since I've been watching) has always been about making you give a shit about the outcome of a fight.

Allow me to make this comparison. The UFC...largely considered to be WWF's biggest competitor today...has a big problem and it comes with regard to continuity. See, a wrestler who 'gets over' can be used in a multitude of ways to make the company/industry flourish. They can manipulate outcomes and stretch out a pay day over months and years...even decades for guy like Hogan.

But what happens when the fighting is real? Careers are much shorter...stars that take years to cultivate can fizzle out with one loss (see Ronda Rousy) decimating mainstream appeal and curtailing even her most ardent supporters. And then what happens? Holly Holms, who beat Rousy, loses her next fight. Any steam that Holms might have been able to capitalize on vanishes within months. Any and all prestige/relevance is lost....most UFC fights are between two people who beat the shit out of each other for real...but for no reason at all. From the audiences' perspective, there is no reason to fight....but they're still fighting anyway. There's no context for your standard UFC fight....but the fact that it's real is supposed compensate for that fact. The fact that one man is punching another man (or woman vs. woman) in a legit way is what makes it 'better.'

I've probably rambled on too long to make this simple point....Hogan made you give a shit about the fight. He made you understand the context and created contrived relevance. That's the skill...making people give a shit.

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