WowBB Forums Home 
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register
WowBB Forums > Sports And Wrestling > The Clawmaster's Archives > Larry Zbyszko Record Book Comments

 Moderated by: Ron
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
Larry Zbyszko Record Book Comments  Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Sat Dec 1st, 2007 09:59 pm
  PM Quote Reply
1st Post
beejmi
The Big Kahuna


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
Location: Philly
Posts: 41714
Status: 
Offline
I am shocked these start in 1972. I seriously would have guessed he started in 1974 at the earliest.

Also surprised to see that even early on he has a good "won-lost" record. As opposed to doing alot of jobs at first. Guys that ended up as "decidely bigger stars" (we have the record books here of Flair, Hogan, Piper and Andre) -- and all of them at least seemed to have went through losing streaks. Zbyszko seems to incur some tag team losses but seemed pretty protected on the singles side.

No discussion about Larry would be complete without debating on just how big a star he was, whether he is Hall Of Fame material, whether his relationship with Verne (married into the family) was the only reason he was an AWA champion and of course whether or not he was a "draw".

I give the Larry the benefit of the doubt -- but note I was not a big fan of his "stalling" gimmick. Great on the mic. The turn on Bruno was great stuff.

Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sat Dec 1st, 2007 10:02 pm
  PM Quote Reply
2nd Post
kargol



Joined: Thu Oct 18th, 2007
Location: Brum, United Kingdom
Posts: 4388
Status: 
Offline
Did he always wrestle as Zbyszko then?  There was never a period under another name beforehand?  Perhaps he was immediately promoted as Stanislaus' grandson or something so he was meant to be a well-trained and with it rookie?



____________________
superfunkymean
Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Sat Dec 1st, 2007 11:19 pm
  PM Quote Reply
3rd Post
khawk
Hall Of Famer


Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 15788
Status: 
Offline
Regarding his AWA title run:

True, he got the AWA belt in 1989 because being an in-law meant Verne could trust him not to leave with the AWA title in his briefcase. In fairness, he was probably the best available choice at the time from the pool Verne had to draw from when picking another champion after Lawler left.

He had been mostly an also-ran in the AWA for so long, though, that by the time he got the belt, he didn't have as much credibility as a champion that he might have, say, coming in fresh and on a winning streak at the time of the title win. he'd come out on the short end against most of the AWA mainstays over his tenure there. That hurt him.

As a talker very few could keep up with him once he got going. He was such a good talker that I was actually disappointed with his in-ring performances because of it. Put his vocals on someone with more than a basic, meat-and-potato skill-set and you've got a MAJOR superstar.

At a time when larger-than-life champions in the WWF and NWA/WCW were in place, Larry came across a physically ordinary, and no matter how great his promos challenging the other champions were, you just couldn't believe he could compete against them.

Where he fell into place during his WCW run seemed to be about right for what I thought of him...more than the average mid-carder, but not someone that would ever be a "major" player.

 

 



____________________
Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sat Dec 1st, 2007 11:31 pm
  PM Quote Reply
4th Post
mrwaukegan

 

Joined: Mon Oct 15th, 2007
Location: Kenosha
Posts: 322
Status: 
Offline
beejmi wrote:No discussion about Larry would be complete without debating on just how big a star he was, whether he is Hall Of Fame material, whether his relationship with Verne (married into the family) was the only reason he was an AWA champion and of course whether or not he was a "draw".

I give the Larry the benefit of the doubt -- but note I was not a big fan of his "stalling" gimmick. Great on the mic. The turn on Bruno was great stuff.

Larry could be classified as the definitive true upper card guy/semi-main event wrestler?He may not necessarily draw main event money/crowd but at the same time was all around solid. I think people really hated him but did that hate translate to drawing people to see him lose? 

One thing that needs to be considered when evaluating his drawing power was the fact that he worked on top or near the top in 3 major areas for pretty much his whole career. I realize that Georgia wasnt on fire during his time. As for the AWA he was there from the last days on top to literally their last days.

 

Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Sat Dec 1st, 2007 11:34 pm
  PM Quote Reply
5th Post
clawmaster
Hall Of Famer
 

Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: The Bowels Of East Central Illinois
Posts: 48216
Status: 
Offline
Larry Z used his real name Larry Whistler in Vancouver and Portland very early in his career. Terry would know if he used the LZ name early on in Pittsburgh.



____________________
"We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
Our great computers
Fill the hollowed halls
We are the priests
Of the temples of syrinx
All the gifts of life
Are held within our walls" 2112 By Rush!!
Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Sun Dec 2nd, 2007 10:33 pm
  PM Quote Reply
6th Post
Heretic



Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3883
Status: 
Offline
khawk wrote:
Regarding his AWA title run:

True, he got the AWA belt in 1989 because being an in-law meant Verne could trust him not to leave with the AWA title in his briefcase. In fairness, he was probably the best available choice at the time from the pool Verne had to draw from when picking another champion after Lawler left.

He had been mostly an also-ran in the AWA for so long, though, that by the time he got the belt, he didn't have as much credibility as a champion that he might have, say, coming in fresh and on a winning streak at the time of the title win. he'd come out on the short end against most of the AWA mainstays over his tenure there. That hurt him.

As a talker very few could keep up with him once he got going. He was such a good talker that I was actually disappointed with his in-ring performances because of it. Put his vocals on someone with more than a basic, meat-and-potato skill-set and you've got a MAJOR superstar.

At a time when larger-than-life champions in the WWF and NWA/WCW were in place, Larry came across a physically ordinary, and no matter how great his promos challenging the other champions were, you just couldn't believe he could compete against them.


This is an excellent point. The Apter mags back in the 80s ran one of those hypothetical tournaments that are now commonplace on message boards. People were supposed to write in, and the wrestlers would advance month after month. The idea was that all the major stars of wrestling across all promotions were involved.

Well, at the time the WWF champ was the Ultimate Warrior and the AWA champ was Larry Zbyszko. Unfortunately in this apparently random bracketing, Zbyszko drew Warrior in the first round. The readership polling was something like 89% to 11% or something like that. In favor of Warrior, obviously. This is all from memory.

What the unfortunate pairing puts into sharp relief is Khawk's basic point. Now, Zbyszko is a solid champ cut in the AWA mold; the second coming of Nick Bockwinkel, essentially. A solid mat technician with a stocky, if unspectacular, physique, considerable verbal skill and an uncanny ability genuinely to piss people off.

But when the WWF's champ is Warrior and the NWA's champ is Sting, the degree to which the AWA is seen as irrevocably out of touch cannot be denied.

Then again, I'm not sure who would have wanted the AWA to abandon its principles and just go with the times at that point. Whomever they would have had would have been just a pathetic, fourth-rate also ran by comparison (e.g., Nightstalker, a musclebound hack they had painting his face in the Team Challenge Series). Even if Zbyszko looked like the poorer champ by comparison, you could at least accept him as the credible alternative representing a promotion that stood for the old days of wrestling skill, and substance being more important than style.

Last edited on Sun Dec 2nd, 2007 10:35 pm by Heretic



____________________
Nick Hoodwinkel Jerkwinkel
Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Sun Dec 2nd, 2007 10:38 pm
  PM Quote Reply
7th Post
srossi

 

Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: New York USA
Posts: 49815
Status: 
Offline
It was all a moot point by then anyway.  They were done.  Their best bet might've been to use the AWA, which still meant a lot in Japan, to get more of their guys booked over there and then send AWA vs. Japan tapes back to the States.  They sorta did that anyway with the big Saito push.  The only way they could draw a crowd or get a reasonable challenger was by piggy-backing on Japan, sorta like ECW and SD! today.  They probably should've given the belt to a Japanese guy in exchange for them handling all production costs.  That might've bought time and saved money for Verne to re-launch.  But really I don't think anything could've delayed the inevitable.

And yes, I did vote in those PWI tournaments when I was a kid.

Last edited on Sun Dec 2nd, 2007 10:41 pm by srossi



____________________
This thread was great before AA ruined it.
Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 02:23 am
  PM Quote Reply
8th Post
srossi

 

Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: New York USA
Posts: 49815
Status: 
Offline
This is all great stuff.  I had no idea he was working undercard in the Mid-Atlantic for so long.  I'm definitely learning a lot.  Thanks Claw.



____________________
This thread was great before AA ruined it.
Back To Top PM Quote Reply

 Posted: Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 03:27 am
  PM Quote Reply
9th Post
khawk
Hall Of Famer


Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 15788
Status: 
Offline
srossi wrote:   Their best bet might've been to use the AWA, which still meant a lot in Japan, to get more of their guys booked over there and then send AWA vs. Japan tapes back to the States.  They sorta did that anyway with the big Saito push. 

 

I'd be willing to say "not really" to the still meaning a lot in Japan point. The Saito title win was merely to done to show the AWA title chanign hands in front of a big crowd in Japan to make it look llike it was still a viable title. Saito defended the AWA title once against Bam Bam Bigelow in Japan, and his only North American title defense was his loss to Zbyszko in St. Paul.

That's it for a title reign that ran from February to April. I'd like to think that if the AWA title had any merit Saito would have at least been booked to defend it in Japan a few more times than that.

 



____________________
Back To Top PM Quote Reply  

 Posted: Mon Dec 3rd, 2007 01:18 pm
  PM Quote Reply
10th Post
Franchise
Low key big hog


Joined: Mon Oct 15th, 2007
Location: Cincy, Ohio
Posts: 3640
Status: 
Online
Larry's WCW work was the only stuff I saw as it happened & I always enjoyed his matches. His tag work w/ Arn Anderson & his singles matches against Lord Steven Regal rank pretty high in my book.

 



____________________
"Beginning this week, Nitro is going head-to-head with Thunder in Australia" - The Wrestling Observer Newsletter: January 22, 2001
Back To Top PM Quote Reply

Current time is 10:01 pm  
WowBB Forums > Sports And Wrestling > The Clawmaster's Archives > Larry Zbyszko Record Book Comments Top




UltraBB 1.172 Copyright © 2007-2013 Data 1 Systems