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 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2007 11:47 am
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beejmi
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Whether it be Hogan or Austin or Race or Flair or Gagne whoever ~ who were the top challengers that made their title run that much more interesting.... and made you thought they might lose. 

Bruno Sammartino

1. Superstar Billy Graham

2. Ivan Koloff

3. Stan Hansen

4. Ken Patera

5. Killer Kowalski

Honorable Mention: Spiros Arion

 

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 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2007 01:17 pm
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HBF



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Backlund:

Patterson

Patera

Muraco

Valentine

Snuka

Slaughter

Last edited on Mon Oct 29th, 2007 01:17 pm by HBF



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 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2007 01:33 pm
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lobo316



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Backlund, for the simple reason he was usually much smaller
than his opponents & always seemed to be the underdog.

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 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2007 05:01 pm
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amerorig



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I guess I grew up in the era of the big 2...


Flair:    Rhodes, Steamboat, Koloff, Magnum TA

Hogan:  Bundy, Andre (Obvious), Savage, Orndorff

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 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2007 05:41 pm
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BigJ



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Martel:

1. Saito
2. Bockwinkel
3. Garvin
4. Masked Superstar
5. Slaughter

Slaughter was a face too but I always waited for him to get his shot.  Hansen ironically didn't "worry" me too much and he wound up being the guy.

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 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2007 07:26 pm
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JaseSF



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Hulk Hogan: Paul Orndorff, Randy Savage, Magnificent Muraco, Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy

Ric Flair: Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Magnum T.A., Nikita Koloff, Jimmy Garvin

Rick Martel: Jimmy Garvin, Mr. Saito, Nick Bockwinkel, Masked Superstar

Dino Bravo: King Tonga, Masked Superstar, Jos Leduc (Tonga actually did win the Canadian title)



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 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2007 07:37 pm
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clawmaster
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Verne Gagne: Ivan Koloff & Billy Robinson. I was shocked when Bockwinkel beat Verne.

Nick Bockwinkel: Billy Robinson, Verne Gagne, Andre The Giant, Dick The Bruiser. I'm talking about Nick's first AWA Title reign. The feeling always was if Verne could get Bockwinkel in a match where Heenan could not interfere nor could the Heenan Family Members that Verne even as old as he was would regain the Title. Wasn't shocked at all when it happened.



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 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2007 10:38 pm
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carlton st

 

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Harley Race: Ric Flair
Ric Flair : Harley Race

always thought they would have the title switch between those two given the history up here but never happened, at the time thought the title could change hands any night but 2 others that come to mind

Nick Bockwinkel : Verne Gagne
Bob Backlund: Greg Valentine



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 Posted: Mon Oct 29th, 2007 11:04 pm
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khawk
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Favourites from each reign:

Bockwinkel (Reign 2, May 1981-August 1982): Santana, Robinson, Hogan, Kaissie, Brunzell. the Kaissie program was great and really helped re-establish Nick as the Champ after getting the belt via forfeit. the initial Hogan challenges were off the charts.

Bockwinkel (Reign 3, October 82-February 84): Martel, Hogan, Vachon. Martel was the guy everyone wanted to win if Hogan didn't do it. Vachon was tremendous in his run in St. paul in late 1984 (October Battleroyal win, November title shot (loss with Heenan interference), December DQ win with Crusher at ringside to counter Heenan, and january tag with Crusher vs. Bockwinkel and Mulligan, which led to the reformation of the Blackjacks.)

Great story: The finish was actually botched in the December title match between Vachon and Bockwinkel. Heenan was supposed to interfere for the DQ, coming off the top rope onto Vachon's pin attempt. heenan was either late climbing the turnbuckle or got caught while climbing it, forcing the ref (The iron Duke) to count one...two...and then on three, get his hand down to the mat but not slap it. heenan jumped and missed the wrestlers completely. Ref stands up and awards the match to Vachon and the place went CRAZY. Later the DQ was announced, and the fans groaned, because the ending was pretty cut-and-dry that the ref counted three before Heenan got into the ring to interfere.

If you ever see that match ending you would have no doubt at all that mad Dog was a viable challenger for the title in late 1983, near the end of his career and the fans hated Heenan and Bockwinkel with as much passion then as they did in the late 70's. Good stuff.

 

Martel (May 84-December 85): Bockwinkel, Garvin, Hayes, Zurkov (A Winnipeg exclusive that was very well done), and Saito.

I would have named masked Superstar but I didn't ever remember him trying to get in serious position for the title. Saito is there because the one bout he did get in Winnipeg was really good. the Zurkov thing was a three-match series that ended with a title match in the cage, basically unehard of in the AWA when the cage was in use. Winnipeg jets GM John Ferguson was the special referee and he sucked, but Boris and Rick worked so well that it didn't completely ruin the bout. hayes I hated so much as a challenger it made me mad when he got non-title or screwjob wins over martel. Garvin and Rick worked great together.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 1st, 2007 05:00 pm
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BigJ



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I had Superstar on my list not so much because he really got in position to take the belt but because, after seeing him a year or so earlier against Backlund, when I saw him in the AWA it was "ohhh shit, there goes Martel's title."

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 Posted: Thu Nov 1st, 2007 05:17 pm
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Kid_Naitch



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Austin: I sorta covered this in another thread, but I really thought he was going to job to Undertaker at Summerslam 1998. I was shocked, and even a little disappointed, when he didn't.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 1st, 2007 05:17 pm
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Kid_Naitch



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doublepost.

Last edited on Thu Nov 1st, 2007 05:18 pm by Kid_Naitch



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 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 01:47 pm
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ntrots

 

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Superstar Graham vs Rhoads, Mil Mascaras, Backlund

Sammartino vs Morales, Tanaka, Killer Kowaski, Hansen, Patera

Morales vs Tanaka, Stasiak

Backlund vs Mavia, Graham, Patterson, Snuka

Last edited on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 01:48 pm by ntrots

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 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 06:59 pm
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justahamandegger

 

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 Verne Gagne (60's till mid 70's)

 The Crusher, Mad Dog Vachon, Dr. X, Nick Bockwinkel and Billy Robinson. All except Robinson beat Gagne for the title at one time or another.

 Nick Bockwinkel (70's)

 The Crusher, Verne Gagne, Wahoo McDaniel and Andre the Giant. 

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 Posted: Mon Sep 1st, 2008 01:07 pm
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bpickering
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Backlund:

Muraco

Valentine

Snuka

Slaughter


Hogan:

Savage

Andre

Piper

Orndorff


Flair:

Rhodes

Steamboat

Windham

David, Kerry, Kevin Von Erich



 



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