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1986 AWA  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 12:27 am
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silentkiller



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At the beginning of 1986 the AWA was a major league promotion but by the time the year ended the promotion appeared to be on its last legs. What caused the promotion to take such a drastic downturn during the year and was there anyway that the promotion could have avoided the massive fall that they took in 86?



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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 12:38 am
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khawk
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The beginning of 86 was smoke and mirrors. They had a lot of talent in place that was not going to be sticking around for the long haul and I think they knew it.
Look at all the talent at Wrestlerock that was basically gone after that event...that's when things changed as a marker for me.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 12:38 am
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Angelic Assassin



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silentkiller wrote: At the beginning of 1986 the AWA was a major league promotion but by the time the year ended the promotion appeared to be on its last legs. What caused the promotion to take such a drastic downturn during the year and was there anyway that the promotion could have avoided the massive fall that they took in 86?

Vincent Kennedy McMahon happened.  He raided the AWA of most of its bigger names as well as making it difficult to run cards in many of its hot spots..
Here in Winnipeg I'm pretty sure t That was when cards stopped being held at the Winnipeg Arena and started being held at the Convention Centre or elsewhere.
Verne or anybody else out there could afford to pay what the WWF was paying and Vince wasn't even really using many of the guys or he was jobbing them out.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 12:39 am
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khawk
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Angelic Assassin wrote: silentkiller wrote: At the beginning of 1986 the AWA was a major league promotion but by the time the year ended the promotion appeared to be on its last legs. What caused the promotion to take such a drastic downturn during the year and was there anyway that the promotion could have avoided the massive fall that they took in 86?

Vincent Kennedy McMahon happened.  He raided the AWA of most of its bigger names as well as making it difficult to run cards in many of its hot spots..
Here in Winnipeg I'm pretty sure t That was when cards stopped being held at the Winnipeg Arena and started being held at the Convention Centre or elsewhere.
Verne or anybody else out there could afford to pay what the WWF was paying and Vince wasn't even really using many of the guys or he was jobbing them out.The AWA was right out of Winnipeg after January of 1986.
Vince did his damage over time and mid-1986 was when it really started to show.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 12:50 am
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Blazer



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The AWA shows in the Summer and Fall of '86 started to look a little bit better, but the writing was on the wall big time.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 12:58 am
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Angelic Assassin



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khawk wrote: Angelic Assassin wrote: silentkiller wrote: At the beginning of 1986 the AWA was a major league promotion but by the time the year ended the promotion appeared to be on its last legs. What caused the promotion to take such a drastic downturn during the year and was there anyway that the promotion could have avoided the massive fall that they took in 86?

Vincent Kennedy McMahon happened.  He raided the AWA of most of its bigger names as well as making it difficult to run cards in many of its hot spots..
Here in Winnipeg I'm pretty sure t That was when cards stopped being held at the Winnipeg Arena and started being held at the Convention Centre or elsewhere.
Verne or anybody else out there could afford to pay what the WWF was paying and Vince wasn't even really using many of the guys or he was jobbing them out.The AWA was right out of Winnipeg after January of 1986.
Vince did his damage over time and mid-1986 was when it really started to show.

There were a couple of Winnipeg shows after. In 88 with an attendance of 500. And 1 or 2 others I saw. Pretty sure those would have been Convention Center  shows and one time in Brandon where they got over a thousand.  
Sad to see when they had been here every 3 weeks for so many years.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 01:20 am
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khawk
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Angelic Assassin wrote: khawk wrote: Angelic Assassin wrote: silentkiller wrote: At the beginning of 1986 the AWA was a major league promotion but by the time the year ended the promotion appeared to be on its last legs. What caused the promotion to take such a drastic downturn during the year and was there anyway that the promotion could have avoided the massive fall that they took in 86?

Vincent Kennedy McMahon happened.  He raided the AWA of most of its bigger names as well as making it difficult to run cards in many of its hot spots..
Here in Winnipeg I'm pretty sure t That was when cards stopped being held at the Winnipeg Arena and started being held at the Convention Centre or elsewhere.
Verne or anybody else out there could afford to pay what the WWF was paying and Vince wasn't even really using many of the guys or he was jobbing them out.The AWA was right out of Winnipeg after January of 1986.
Vince did his damage over time and mid-1986 was when it really started to show.

There were a couple of Winnipeg shows after. In 88 with an attendance of 500. And 1 or 2 others I saw. Pretty sure those would have been Convention Center  shows and one time in Brandon where they got over a thousand.  
Sad to see when they had been here every 3 weeks for so many years.
You are right of course, I was thinking you meant that there were Winnipeg shows still going on more into 1986.
...and yeah what happened in Winnipeg was the bitter reality for those in towns that had the WWF take over. No more localized angles and tv, everything was generic around-the-horn sort of stuff, and that bit...which is also why the shows went from every three weeks to every couple of months (if you were lucky).
A place like St. Paul/Minny in the AWA vs. WWF case was different since a localized flavor was added to directly compete with the AWA, but when the competition was driven out of town, that was the end of that.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 02:43 am
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Spatulapup

 

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Didnt they lose The Road Warriors, The Freebirds, Rick Martel, Jimmy Garvin all around the same time ? That's a big chunk of their main event guys right there. That hurt.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 02:52 am
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khawk
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Last appearance for all those guys was Wrestlerock.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 03:05 am
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tamalie
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I think what hurt the AWA as much as anything was its adherence to outdated booking and TV production formats. The TV show was almost entirely squash matches with a great emphasis on interviews. Angles were few and far between. That made it to a sitting duck once fans had a chance to see other promotions. The AWA was the home team, but I enjoyed the more modern seeming WWF in the mid 1980s and getting to see World Class with its big main events.

The stars slowly drifted away during 1984 and 1985. The final exodus of in their prime stars happened during the first months of 1986. After that the promotion had guys that were too young, were too old, and/or were obvious second division players or lower. Yet even in the face of that, the AWA didn't go to a more modern, angle driven booking style. I don't know if it would have worked, but maintaining the status quo didn't work. Later attempts at innovation came off as amateurish.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 07:23 am
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One Fan Gang



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I think another important aspect is how WWF signing Brad Rheingans to a deal effectively put him on the road long enough to upset the routine the AWA had used for years in order to supply rookie stars for their own shows. After Verne stopped doing camps and Brad was the successor in that role, after 1985 you didn't see the cards stocked with new talents as in the past, and in 1987 with Ray Stevens and Wahoo McDaniel booking talent, you saw an influx of southern talent like Original Midnight Express, Tommy Rich and Dick Slater. The younger guys like Mitch Snow, DJ Peterson and JT Southern hadn't been pushed much elsewhere but they were used instead. By the time Brad was done with WWF and training again, the next crop of guys he trained were too green to make an impact for a group which had lost a lot of momentum during his absence.

Last edited on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 07:25 am by One Fan Gang

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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 09:35 am
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Angelic Assassin



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One Fan Gang wrote: I think another important aspect is how WWF signing Brad Rheingans to a deal effectively put him on the road long enough to upset the routine the AWA had used for years in order to supply rookie stars for their own shows. After Verne stopped doing camps and Brad was the successor in that role, after 1985 you didn't see the cards stocked with new talents as in the past, and in 1987 with Ray Stevens and Wahoo McDaniel booking talent, you saw an influx of southern talent like Original Midnight Express, Tommy Rich and Dick Slater. The younger guys like Mitch Snow, DJ Peterson and JT Southern hadn't been pushed much elsewhere but they were used instead. By the time Brad was done with WWF and training again, the next crop of guys he trained were too green to make an impact for a group which had lost a lot of momentum during his absence.

Interesting. I never thought of that.  Do you think this was a conscious decision by VKM realizing this would affect the AWA  talent pool effectively as much as taking say, The Crusher. 
Brad Rheingans is an odd choice otherwise to be signed by WWF  He didn't fit in with what they were looking for at all in terms of in ring talent.I don't remember.  Did he perform in the role of trainer with the WWF.  I can't even distinctly remember a wrestling match even.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 09:41 am
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Angelic Assassin



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Ok so it looks like Brad Rheingans did wrestle in the WWF a fair bit in 87, mostly it seems, beating Frenchie Martin. Can't remember a single match. 



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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 12:29 pm
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One Fan Gang



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I think it was a specific target, to remove one of Verne's unique tools from his arsenal. Crusher was effectively out after SuperClash 85 and didn't really get signed away, as he was effectively retired, save for one off returns with WWFcards in traditional AWA stronghold cities. With Rheingans, it appears his schedule in 1987 was frequent enough to keep him on the road, away from his home base where he potentially might double dip by training someone.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 29th, 2020 06:14 pm
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tamalie wrote: I think what hurt the AWA as much as anything was its adherence to outdated booking and TV production formats. The TV show was almost entirely squash matches with a great emphasis on interviews. Angles were few and far between. That made it to a sitting duck once fans had a chance to see other promotions. The AWA was the home team, but I enjoyed the more modern seeming WWF in the mid 1980s and getting to see World Class with its big main events.

The stars slowly drifted away during 1984 and 1985. The final exodus of in their prime stars happened during the first months of 1986. After that the promotion had guys that were too young, were too old, and/or were obvious second division players or lower. Yet even in the face of that, the AWA didn't go to a more modern, angle driven booking style. I don't know if it would have worked, but maintaining the status quo didn't work. Later attempts at innovation came off as amateurish.
I didn't get to see much of the AWA and by the time I did, it was after 86 and they were clearly on their way out.  It is interesting that you note the amount of squash matches.  The WWWF and even the WWF had that same formula as well but I guess spiced things up.  The NWA territories always seemed to have decent matches for TV and furthered story lines on TV.  Basically, Vince just spent them all to death and was probably somewhat fortunate to survive himself.  The NWA and the territories never really represented a united front against Vince and I suspected he knew they never would despite the one effort.  

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