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Old School World Title winners that hurt them in the long run  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sat Feb 13th, 2021 05:03 pm
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khawk
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Winning the NWA or AWA or WWF title back in the day was an ellite level thing, yet some wrestlers title wins over time have made these guys mostly mockable for their career trajectory after the fact.

Would their legacy be better off if they hadn't gotten a short title reign?
Otto Wanz was Austria's Hulk Hogan, and maybe with a retrospective study of his work minus an AWA title win, he would be thought of differently than just the guy that paid to win it for six weeks.
Would Tommy Rich be thought of differently had he not gotten 4 days with the NWA title? No rumours of him fellating Barnett ever happen if he doesn't win that belt. His peak may have been the Idol-Lawler haircut in the cage in Memphis, which everyone thought was an amazing angle and heat grabber.
Ron Garvin was an exceptionally solid hand, always put on good matches, but people mostly talk about his lame duck title reign in context to the NWA wanting a Flair title win at Starrcade.
Conversely, some short title reigns seem better suited in retrospect. Jumbo Tsuruta winning the AWA title for a couple of months, for example. His body of work was so expansive in Japan before after that, old school fans know looking back he was a "good" choice for that short term role. Same with Ivan Koloff. So short one-shot reigns weren't always a negative looking back.

Point is, those things are 99% of the time the starting point of any discussions about those wrestlers. Take that away and how does history (and more importantly us as old school fans) view them?

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 Posted: Sat Feb 13th, 2021 07:11 pm
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Blazer
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khawk wrote: Winning the NWA or AWA or WWF title back in the day was an ellite level thing, yet some wrestlers title wins over time have made these guys mostly mockable for their career trajectory after the fact.

Would their legacy be better off if they hadn't gotten a short title reign?
Otto Wanz was Austria's Hulk Hogan, and maybe with a retrospective study of his work minus an AWA title win, he would be thought of differently than just the guy that paid to win it for six weeks.
Would Tommy Rich be thought of differently had he not gotten 4 days with the NWA title? No rumours of him fellating Barnett ever happen if he doesn't win that belt. His peak may have been the Idol-Lawler haircut in the cage in Memphis, which everyone thought was an amazing angle and heat grabber.
Ron Garvin was an exceptionally solid hand, always put on good matches, but people mostly talk about his lame duck title reign in context to the NWA wanting a Flair title win at Starrcade.
Conversely, some short title reigns seem better suited in retrospect. Jumbo Tsuruta winning the AWA title for a couple of months, for example. His body of work was so expansive in Japan before after that, old school fans know looking back he was a "good" choice for that short term role. Same with Ivan Koloff. So short one-shot reigns weren't always a negative looking back.

Point is, those things are 99% of the time the starting point of any discussions about those wrestlers. Take that away and how does history (and more importantly us as old school fans) view them?


I've always believed Garvin's been dealt a bad hand by history.  Garvin was a great choice.  He wasn't Windham in terms of all around talent and didn't have the charisma of Dusty.  He was "bland" when looking at the two guys they signed in the year leading up to it (Luger and Sting).  But, if you look at the title win within the context of what had happened over the past year and a half, it made total sense.  Ronnie had a huge angle going with Flair in the Spring of '86 on tv.  That cooled off, but going into '87 the Flair-Jimmy Garvin angle took off, and then Ronnie got involved in the blowoff of that feud.  It made sense.  History has sort of been revised to state Ronnie was chosen out of nowhere in the last minute, but this really built up over six months, and I don't think even JCP had long range plans back in those days.
The match itself at Starrcade wasn't great, and the Chicago setting may have hurt because Garvin was getting booed out of the building.  Not sure that would have happened in Greensboro or Charlotte.




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 Posted: Sat Feb 13th, 2021 07:39 pm
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What hurt Garvin more than anything, IMO, is when Jim Crockett went on TV and said that he wouldn't have to defend the title again after a certain date until Starrcade. It made him look like the promotion was protecting him and he wasn't a fighting champion. 



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 Posted: Sat Feb 13th, 2021 08:22 pm
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indikator

 

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I am not sure if I can ever take the criticism of Wanz, Garvin and Tsuruta seriously. We only ever hear the dislike by the boys in the audience who hadn't reached adulthood, who later posted on the internet. Boohoo, you wanted someone like Rambo and you only got Greg Gagne later on.

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 Posted: Sat Feb 13th, 2021 08:34 pm
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kargol



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The story that Garvin was the only one willing to take a short-term interim title strikes me as being a bit weird. Surely there must have been loads of midcard guys who would have jumped at the chance for a quick reign? Tommy Rich being a 4 day champ gave him a job for 20 years no matter how fat and boring he got. Indeed Sting was basically made because of a draw with Flair. Looking at the other wrestlers on the card, why wouldn't someone like Eddie Gilbert have gone for it?

I'm not sure any wrestler is worse off for having a title reign. It instantly makes them more memorable. Would anyone other than historians remember Dick Hutton had he not been champ? Isn't holding the title the only thing that makes Dory Funk Jr interesting? Would anyone in the States have even heard of Wanz without his AWA run?



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 Posted: Sat Feb 13th, 2021 08:51 pm
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khawk
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indikator wrote: I am not sure if I can ever take the criticism of Wanz, Garvin and Tsuruta seriously. We only ever hear the dislike by the boys in the audience who hadn't reached adulthood, who later posted on the internet. Boohoo, you wanted someone like Rambo and you only got Greg Gagne later on.
That's inherently the question though...would those "boys" have had a better view of them longer term without those folks holding a World title?

I'm not sure Jumbo's reign is in the same vein from my readings about this group though, because his Japan run was so over it's never a real focal point and if it is, it's not one that's derogatory.

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 Posted: Sat Feb 13th, 2021 09:32 pm
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Tommy Rich was likely the most hurt of anyone.  A 4 day reign at the age of 24 and then afterwards outside of a couple feuds, secondary and tag titles, pfft, nothing.


I've always hated short, really short title reigns by wrestlers with a company's main title but all other guys were pretty much well established stars.


Tommy Rich needed another much longer reign somewhere, like an AWA run maybe as he likely would have been turned into cannon fodder in the WWF.  I wonder if maybe he got into his own head after getting that 4 day reign that he was going to be a big star and maybe he didn't have to put in as much effort as others might- that maybe things were going to keep getting handed to him. I always liked Rich but for the most part found myself always wanting more. 



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 Posted: Sat Feb 13th, 2021 09:50 pm
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Tommy just seemed to be content with just having a comfortable life and having a good time. He didn't work out other than with a beer can. I think the fact that he didn't bulk up hurt him more than anything. It aged him faster. He wasn't a sex symbol anymore. by 1984 he was pudgy. He said Roddy Piper tried to help him get into the Wwf but it just wasn't for him. The crazy travel was a turnoff and he prefered the south. He would have probably been a mid carder there. In his eyes it was probably better to be a top guy in a smaller southern area.

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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2021 01:20 am
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Did Mighty Igor really get hurt or helped winning the AWA title for a week in 1965?

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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2021 01:38 am
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khawk
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Principal_Raditch wrote: Did Mighty Igor really get hurt or helped winning the AWA title for a week in 1965?lol! Nobody knew and they never publicized it so it did neither I guess :)

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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2021 01:46 am
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Here is what makes Crockett an idiot: He puts the title on Garvin and then tells him he doesn’t defend it until Flair, which was about 60 days later if I recall. The backdoor story is that either the heels didn’t want to job to Garvin and look weak (because let’s face it, they weren’t getting a program with him), or Crockett didn’t want to hurt the heels by having them lose. He’s the boss, it’s his JOB to get talent to fight the Champ. The on screen storyline was shit. He could’ve come out and told the Horsemen that if they interfere in any Garvin match, Flair loses his opportunity. He could have said that no Horsemen get a title shot with Garvin because he knows they would just try to soften him up for Flair. If this is the case, put him on TV with midcard heels and have him beat Pez Whatley, Ivan Koloff, a tag team heel like Barberian or Warlord, Bobby Eaton or Stan Lane, etc. There are tons of ways to make it work while keeping Garvin and the Horsemen away from each other. Hell, bring in a surprise opponent for him, there was plenty of older talent around at that point. But no, just cut his balls off and let the belt rot on the vine.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2021 02:55 am
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Not sure if I would really call his AWA title reign as hurting his career since he went on to a lengthy broadcast career with WCW but Larry Zbysko's reign as champ in the AWA definitely wasn't a career highlight. I believe that his career peaked in 1980 with his feud vs Bruno. His title reign highlighted how thin the AWA roster was at the time and its eventual closing down with Zbysko being the AWA's last champion.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2021 03:20 am
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khawk
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I have never considered Larry's AWA title reigns as something that hurt him. Like you said he had his big moment with Bruno almost a decade before that and it helped his rep as the years went forward. His AWA title reign was ok, not his fault that the league was on it's last legs, and his work afterwards was probably the arc his career was moving towards with or without the title stints for Verne.

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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2021 05:03 am
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khawk wrote: I have never considered Larry's AWA title reigns as something that hurt him. Like you said he had his big moment with Bruno almost a decade before that and it helped his rep as the years went forward. His AWA title reign was ok, not his fault that the league was on it's last legs, and his work afterwards was probably the arc his career was moving towards with or without the title stints for Verne.
I agree.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 14th, 2021 11:34 am
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Tommy Rich
Ron Garvin

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