View single post by tamalie
 Posted: Tue May 14th, 2019 06:19 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 22nd, 2007
Posts: 4842
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