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Who the last survivor of the territories?  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 06:55 pm
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Kriss



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There really isn't an answer to this question, but plenty of people have been described, or claimed to be, the last person who came through the territories.

Both Undertaker and Shawn Michaels have been described in this way. Michaels has a good claim, since he was around when there were actually territories. Memphis and Portland survived into the 90s, but Michaels wrestled in AWA, Central States, Southwest.

Raven has claimed to be the last survivor of the territories. He started in Portland, is that enough?

JBL claims to have come through the territories, but the GWF and the other Texas indies he worked for were not territories. He really wished he was old-school, but it's all just self-hype.

One funny thing, when looking at this, is that Ric Flair, Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler, clearly 100% territory guys, had careers that outlasted many guys who started out in the 90s after the territories have died, so maybe they deserve the title.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 06:59 pm
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Blazer
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Great question.

Do we consider Memphis/USWA a territory? Would Flex Kavana be a possible answer to this?

You’re right though- not sure there is one correct answer.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:01 pm
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srossi
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There are many guys who just always seem to be around, to keep a job, to get a new job. Lawler, Jeff Jarrett, Terry Taylor, Dusty Rhodes when he was alive, Dutch Mantell, Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes - these are a few names off the top of my head who just keep collecting paychecks from the business no matter what.

Last edited on Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:02 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:05 pm
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srossi
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Blazer wrote: Great question.

Do we consider Memphis/USWA a territory? Would Flex Kavana be a possible answer to this?

You’re right though- not sure there is one correct answer.

Memphis is a territory.  I consider USWA to be an indy.  But it's semantics.  It's like how Dallas was a legit territory, but once they seceded from the NWA and officially became World Class (prior to that World Class was just the name of the TV show, not the company) I kinda considered them one of the first indies.  The shift from "outlaw territory" to indy is pretty subtle and there is no hard and fast definition for it.  It just comes down to when you think the territory system broke down and was no longer worth referring to anymore.  I think by 1987 and certainly early '88, when Vince owned everyone, ran WM3 which was earth-shattering, Watts sold to Turner, and JCP itself was on its last legs about to sell to Crockett, the territory system was essentially dead.

That said, heavy use of the word "indy" didn't start until maybe 1991 or 1992, although it was used before then.  I specifically remember Lightning Kid and Jerry Lynn being pretty much the first 2 legit "indy darlings" for their work on the Minnesota indy scene right after the AWA died (Lynn actually did jobs for Verne in his last year) and then the GWF.  The matches those guys had almost created a category that had never existed before of smart marks freaking out over indy guys and wanting to see them in the big-time, which Vince brilliantly capitalized on during the first few months of Raw.

Last edited on Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:13 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:20 pm
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Kriss



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For me, a territory is somewhere than ran weekly, or at least regular, shows on a loop. USWA and World Class still fit that description. GWF, however, only really held TV tapings, so that wasn't a territory.

I wouldn't include guys like Flex Kavana, who were sent to Memphis for developmental reasons. To be a "territory" guy you have to at least worked in two different places.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:24 pm
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Kriss



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srossi wrote: There are many guys who just always seem to be around, to keep a job, to get a new job. Lawler, Jeff Jarrett, Terry Taylor, Dusty Rhodes when he was alive, Dutch Mantell, Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes - these are a few names off the top of my head who just keep collecting paychecks from the business no matter what.

These people have existed for decades. Before the days of writers and agents, some people always managed to hang around the business, usually as referees or local promoters.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:27 pm
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tamalie
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Here are the last survivors of the territory era.

Jerry Lawler is still a weekend warrior. He's no longer going all out like in his run with Miz a few years ago, but he's still in there.

Undertaker is down to a match per year, if he isn't technically retired. We will see about Mania this year. However, he went through Dallas and Memphis en route to WCW and then the WWF.

Raven still gets out there on some indy cards. He was in Florida, Memphis, and Dallas near the end of the territories.

Goldust started in 1988 in Florida, then went to JCP, then back to Florida, then to Memphis, then Dallas, then to the WWF, and from his arrival in WCW in early 1991 was past that era.

Kane is tougher to peg. He had a number of runs through Memphis and although it lasted from the spring of 1992 to Thanksgiving of 1995, SMW was a territory in spirit.

Jeff Jarrett is still taking bookings. He was a Memphis mainstay, was in Dallas, and worked an AWA taping in Las Vegas.

I don't think you can count someone like Scott Hall at this point due to inactivity. Abby has finally given up. Does Waltman still take bookings? I'm not sure what to say about the likes of Greg Valentine, Brutus Beefcake, and Tommy Rich. I guess Rikishi would count to some extent depending on how active he is.

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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:38 pm
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bpickering
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Waltman still wrestles..He wrestled on the last event my local fed had back in Oct.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:44 pm
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Marty Jannetty, if you call that surviving.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 13th, 2018 07:51 pm
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This is a stretch: Chris Jericho worked indies in the early 90's. If you consider SMW in 93-94 a "territory", then he might qualify.

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 Posted: Wed Feb 14th, 2018 01:19 am
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The Rock 'n' Roll Express.

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 Posted: Wed Feb 14th, 2018 01:20 am
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srossi
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Need I remind you all that Dory Funk, Jr. is still very active.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 14th, 2018 01:47 am
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Kriss



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I was more meaning who was the last person of significance who could stake a claim to having started in the territories. We'd be here all week throwing out the names of old timey rasslers who still get in the ring now and again.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 14th, 2018 02:19 am
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Christopher Daniels? Still full-time, indeed recently having the push of his life, started off in indies and I would count WWC as a territory.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 14th, 2018 02:20 am
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Scott Levy or someone else who started in the 88/89 time frame. People can say what they want about territories in the 90’s but they didn’t exist. Memphis / WCCW, SMW, dying days of Portland were all indies by then or were never more than an Indy (SMW).



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