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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 05:23 pm
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WongLee
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tamalie wrote: In the documentary, I thought Tom Magee came off as a nice, down to earth guy who seemed at peace with not making it big in professional wrestling and genuinely flattered that fans considered this match to be an important part of pro wrestling folklore.

The match and Tom Magee need to be looked at through fall of 1986 eyes, not weathered 2019 eyes. In 1986, the average WWF match was pretty lousy. Guys were already largely on the juice and the roster looked much different physically compared to 1983, but things were still a ways from the freakish looks of 1989.

So here comes Tom Magee. He is muscular. He has great strength. He is ripped and defined to a degree I don't recall anyone in pro wrestling being at that time except for Rick Rude. He can do flips that next to no one in the United States and Canada was doing at the time except Owen Hart and Lanny Poffo who were much smaller guys. He wasn't handsome, but neither was Hulk Hogan, but at least this guy had good hair. Tom Magee was very green, but Bret Hart did a great job of carrying him and making him look decent and certainly full of potential. The idea then was not to get him on TV, but keep him off of it and get him more experience and skill. He wasn't close to the finished article, the holes in his game are evident, but I can absolutely see why Vince was so enthusiastic.

The match was fine, but wasn't spectacular. The aura about it was the idea that people knew it existed, but no one had ever seen it. The unavailability and the hope it might be out there somewhere was what drove interest.
And this response is what causes me to say that The Network was trying to manufacture something out of a big, fat nothing. You wouldn't even be able to call Magee a footnote in wrestling history. Tiny Lister actually accomplished a whole lot more. So what's the next big doc they'll do, Zeus vs. Les Thornton? They can wake me up when they find something REALLY significant. I consider the Last Battle of Atlanta really significant. I would consider the matches I had mentioned in my earlier post (Rogers vs. Sammartino, Sammartino vs. Morales, Tolos vs. Blassie at the Coliseum) would be HUGE. However, it would only matter to a few of us here and Ken Viewer. Anyway, the doc was well done and proves you can make a mountain out of a mole hill.



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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 05:27 pm
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Superstar wrote: Second note - is X-Pac's dog alive?That's exactly what I kept saying to myself. I was half expecting Christopher Moltlsanti to stumble in with a spoon in his hand and apologizing to Pac for sitting on his dog.



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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 05:29 pm
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Superstar wrote: Second note - is X-Pac's dog alive?
I'm not sure when X-Pac became a crazy old dog person, but he dragged that poor pooch with him everywhere (strapped to his chest or back in a baby carrier) during WM weekend.  I felt bad for the dog, who clearly would've preferred to have been anywhere else than with wrestling fans.



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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 05:30 pm
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Superstar wrote: The only reason anybody made a big deal out of it is because Hitman wanted it released on his DVDs and WWE couldn't find it. Hart said it was one of his best matches because he pulled a decent match out of Magee. Otherwise, nobody really knew anything about this match until the past ten years or so.This whole thing was started by Dave Meltzer on his old eYada net/radio show 19 years ago. Dave hyped the story of the match big time and the legend grew from there.



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"When I can't tell the difference between Vince's actual ideas and Heenan Fan's jokes, it's definitely time for Vince to kill himself." - srossi 2019

"Pro wrestlers are like comedians...all the good ones are dead!" - Heenan Fan 2019
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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 06:19 pm
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tamalie
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WongLee wrote: tamalie wrote: In the documentary, I thought Tom Magee came off as a nice, down to earth guy who seemed at peace with not making it big in professional wrestling and genuinely flattered that fans considered this match to be an important part of pro wrestling folklore.

The match and Tom Magee need to be looked at through fall of 1986 eyes, not weathered 2019 eyes. In 1986, the average WWF match was pretty lousy. Guys were already largely on the juice and the roster looked much different physically compared to 1983, but things were still a ways from the freakish looks of 1989.

So here comes Tom Magee. He is muscular. He has great strength. He is ripped and defined to a degree I don't recall anyone in pro wrestling being at that time except for Rick Rude. He can do flips that next to no one in the United States and Canada was doing at the time except Owen Hart and Lanny Poffo who were much smaller guys. He wasn't handsome, but neither was Hulk Hogan, but at least this guy had good hair. Tom Magee was very green, but Bret Hart did a great job of carrying him and making him look decent and certainly full of potential. The idea then was not to get him on TV, but keep him off of it and get him more experience and skill. He wasn't close to the finished article, the holes in his game are evident, but I can absolutely see why Vince was so enthusiastic.

The match was fine, but wasn't spectacular. The aura about it was the idea that people knew it existed, but no one had ever seen it. The unavailability and the hope it might be out there somewhere was what drove interest.
And this response is what causes me to say that The Network was trying to manufacture something out of a big, fat nothing. You wouldn't even be able to call Magee a footnote in wrestling history. Tiny Lister actually accomplished a whole lot more. So what's the next big doc they'll do, Zeus vs. Les Thornton? They can wake me up when they find something REALLY significant. I consider the Last Battle of Atlanta really significant. I would consider the matches I had mentioned in my earlier post (Rogers vs. Sammartino, Sammartino vs. Morales, Tolos vs. Blassie at the Coliseum) would be HUGE. However, it would only matter to a few of us here and Ken Viewer. Anyway, the doc was well done and proves you can make a mountain out of a mole hill.

I see that to a certain extent, but the legend of the Bret Hart vs. Tom Magee match was something the WWE did little to promote and create. It was out there for years as this thing that happened and no one had seen. I wasn't involved in tape trading circles, but have recollections of people wanting it from the early internet tape trading boards and sites. I think the interest in it compared to the older matches you mentioned is a generational thing. The fans who wanted to see it all saw Bret and are intrigued about there being a new Hogan. Blassie, Bruno, and company belonged to another era. 

Bret mentioned the Magee match in his autobiography and Dave Meltzer wrote about it in the Observer which gave new life to fan interest in the match. The WWE wasn't actively looking for this bout, which it either didn't have at all or had in its archives but not in an accessible form, until it turned up with this lady in Florida who tweeted out that she had it. They got the tape from her, made a quick documentary, and put it out there. This has always been about the wrestling culture and scarcity than anything else. Seeing the match, which will now be available on demand, will demystify it and Tom Magee in a hurry.

Last edited on Tue May 14th, 2019 06:20 pm by tamalie

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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 06:25 pm
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WongLee
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tamalie wrote: This has always been about the wrestling culture and scarcity than anything else. Seeing the match, which will now be available on demand, will demystify it and Tom Magee in a hurry.
I couldn't have said it better. Hopefully they'll continue to pull more old timey WWWF stuff out. Who would have thought that there is a pristine, pro shot, multi camera of Pedro's first MSG defense against Blackjack Mulligan. But as you stated, it's a generational thing. 99.3% of the WWE Universe could care less.



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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 06:29 pm
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tamalie
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Oddball stuff turns up on WWE Network all time. They added a full World Class episode from the late 1970s and an episode from the same era from the McGuirk/Watts territory from before Bill broke off to form Mid-South. I think some old WWWF stuff will make its way through the archives, especially content not yet digitized. However, there is no telling what they have and we often get the material in drips when we want a constant flow instead.

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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 06:53 pm
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For me the "Holy Grails" would be Bruno vs. Pedro (and I know it was apparently boring). The Backlund vs. Snuka MSG match where Bob went out on a stretcher. One that was personal and seemed impossible was WWE Network showing Ric Flair vs. Jack Brisco. Ric's first Baltimore appearance and the first time I saw him wrestle in person. Could not believe that was taped!

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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 07:08 pm
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Superstar
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The Doc wrote: For me the "Holy Grails" would be Bruno vs. Pedro (and I know it was apparently boring). The Backlund vs. Snuka MSG match where Bob went out on a stretcher. One that was personal and seemed impossible was WWE Network showing Ric Flair vs. Jack Brisco. Ric's first Baltimore appearance and the first time I saw him wrestle in person. Could not believe that was taped!I was stunned to see that Flair vs Brisco, but even more stunned to see the Battle of the Nature Boys.  We all say bad things about WWE but we all owe them a debt of gratitude because if they pulled the plug tomorrow we've all received so much from this network it's not funny.  I really wish they'd go back to what they were doing on 24/7 and put up the rest of Championship Wrestling that they started with in 1977, but considering that they put up All Star, lots of collecting holes were filled.



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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 10:03 pm
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WongLee wrote: Papa Voo wrote:
One of my Holy Grails just recently had silent clips released from somebody who filmed it from the TV screen......The Valiants vs Rivera & Denucci.

I was holding out hope for a clean copy if this, but I think I was wrong about what remains in the vault.
I know which one you mean because I belong to the same FB group. The match was really unwatchable. I mean the concept that you could so anything from that era no matter how lousy is pretty cool but this was just a mess. The same guy also had an even holier grail when he put up Arion turning on Strongbow. Once again though the video quality, no sound, and the black and white TV it was recorded from with a 1970's camera just made it a horrendous experience. I had to laugh at the mod in that group getting all butthurt because he posts a stock publicity picture of Frankie Williams which gets like 80 "likes" and the Valiants title change only got around 15 "likes". Wrestling fans......sheesh.


Randy Barrier

Both the Arion turn and the title switch of Denucci & Rivera over The Valiants are both near the top of my list.  As you can tell, I was a huge fan of The Valiants.  


Last edited on Tue May 14th, 2019 10:06 pm by Papa Voo



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 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 10:10 pm
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The Valiants are probably exhibit A when it comes to comparing wrestler to worker. The Valiants couldn't wrestle a lick, but they were a great working tag team. They could sell, beg off, get heat, etc. Jimmy and Johnny rarely had a bad match in the 1970's.



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"When I can't tell the difference between Vince's actual ideas and Heenan Fan's jokes, it's definitely time for Vince to kill himself." - srossi 2019

"Pro wrestlers are like comedians...all the good ones are dead!" - Heenan Fan 2019
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 Posted: Wed May 15th, 2019 12:52 am
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Superstar
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Heenan Fan wrote: The Valiants are probably exhibit A when it comes to comparing wrestler to worker. The Valiants couldn't wrestle a lick, but they were a great working tag team. They could sell, beg off, get heat, etc. Jimmy and Johnny rarely had a bad match in the 1970's.And both of them could talk.  They made you want to see them get their asses kicked.  I wish more tag teams were like that today.



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"Jack Brisco grabbed my testicles once but I told him "Brisco, you have exactly 15 minutes to get your hands off my balls"." -WongLee 7/22/2017
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 Posted: Wed May 15th, 2019 12:57 am
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Heenan Fan



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Superstar wrote: Heenan Fan wrote: The Valiants are probably exhibit A when it comes to comparing wrestler to worker. The Valiants couldn't wrestle a lick, but they were a great working tag team. They could sell, beg off, get heat, etc. Jimmy and Johnny rarely had a bad match in the 1970's.And both of them could talk.  They made you want to see them get their asses kicked.  I wish more tag teams were like that today.Absolutely. I think only Stevens and Patterson were better in that era.



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"When I can't tell the difference between Vince's actual ideas and Heenan Fan's jokes, it's definitely time for Vince to kill himself." - srossi 2019

"Pro wrestlers are like comedians...all the good ones are dead!" - Heenan Fan 2019
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 Posted: Wed May 15th, 2019 02:02 am
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The US title change in Toronto when Steamboat beat Flair in 1978. Also the Backlund vs Bockwinkel double title match from Toronto also.

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 Posted: Wed May 15th, 2019 04:12 am
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Colt Cabana did an episode of his podcast about Bret vs Magee and said how as a WWE employee they could request a copy of any match from their library. He requested this match and his request was denied.



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