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 Posted: Sun Oct 5th, 2014 07:45 pm
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Kriss
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What was the fans' expectations of World title change when the champ came to town back in the day? Obviously if it was a special stadium event, with tens of thousands of spectators, and a challenger who had proved himself many times over, there would be a real sense of 'anything can happen tonight'. But when the NWA World Heavyweight Champion is wrestling in front of 1,600 fans in the local armory or coliseum of a minor circuit town, did the fans REALLY think that their local boy had a chance of winning the title, or did they know, deep down, that wrestling wasn't on the up and up, and tonight wasn't a night for a historic wrestling event, given that the title changed hands so rarely?



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 Posted: Sun Oct 5th, 2014 08:26 pm
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srossi
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Same mentality as going to a WWWF house show outside of NY or Philly and really thinking that someone might beat Bruno or Backlund. There was incredible suspension of disbelief. Most fans really thought it could happen. I've seen some PNW shows where a guy like Mike Miller got an NWA or AWA title shot and the fans actually went crazy thinking he could win, as if that was even a remote possibility. And Memphis fans were always rabid for Lawler beating Flair, which I suppose was a bit more possible but wouldn't have happened at the studio shows. The fans believed though with all their hearts. Every near-fall was pandemonium by the 20 fans there. 



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 Posted: Sun Oct 5th, 2014 09:51 pm
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khawk
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srossi wrote:  And Memphis fans were always rabid for Lawler beating Flair, which I suppose was a bit more possible but wouldn't have happened at the studio shows.
I'd probably change Flair to Bockwinkel when talking about his World Title chasings. Pretty sure Lawler only had the one match against him...maybe a couple.



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 Posted: Sun Oct 5th, 2014 10:43 pm
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srossi
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khawk wrote: srossi wrote:  And Memphis fans were always rabid for Lawler beating Flair, which I suppose was a bit more possible but wouldn't have happened at the studio shows.
I'd probably change Flair to Bockwinkel when talking about his World Title chasings. Pretty sure Lawler only had the one match against him...maybe a couple.

I've got a tape of Lawler vs. Flair in the Memphis studios and the fans are going nuts, assumed there were more.



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 Posted: Sun Oct 5th, 2014 11:55 pm
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Matt Farmer

 

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Every time a World title was defended here in the Northwest, a majority of those fans thought the title could change hands. Even when Flair would wrestle someone like a Brett Sawyer or Tom Prichard.

I recall when Ric Flair defended his title against Buddy Rose, I was not really very familiar with Flair. He was a new champion and I did not get to see Georgia Championship Wrestling every week yet (cable was not available where I lived but my grand parents lived 5 miles away and they could got it). I was convinced Buddy was going to win, not knowing anything about the politics of the business. Just Rose was the guy that always won the big matches.

A few years later when I was older and wiser I watched Billy Jack Haynes wrestle Flair. And the majority of the fans believed in Billy so much they figured he would win. In fact Billy was one of those guys that as a kid it was hard to think that someone could beat him. I used to feel the same way about the Road Warriors.



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 Posted: Mon Oct 6th, 2014 01:37 am
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khawk
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srossi wrote: khawk wrote: srossi wrote:  And Memphis fans were always rabid for Lawler beating Flair, which I suppose was a bit more possible but wouldn't have happened at the studio shows.
I'd probably change Flair to Bockwinkel when talking about his World Title chasings. Pretty sure Lawler only had the one match against him...maybe a couple.

I've got a tape of Lawler vs. Flair in the Memphis studios and the fans are going nuts, assumed there were more.
Yeah, it was a hot angle but only a one-shot iirc.




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 Posted: Mon Oct 6th, 2014 03:48 am
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beejmi
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It depended on the opponent and if there was a buildup. If Johnny Rodz was wrestling Bob Backlund at Our Lady Of Fatima - no chance for a change. If it was vs some guy with a manager and some incident had happened recently and you could reasonably position the champ as an underdog you had the thought of possibility.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 7th, 2014 03:56 am
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When i was a little kid i believed the title could change hands because where i live they did change hands a handful of times and I didn't know all the wrestling secrets. This was long before Vince came forward and said the business was BS.

I remember getting butterflies in my stomach when Flair was defending the title against Harley Race, Roddy Piper etc. thats why it was smart back then to show the titles could change hands in ur town.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 7th, 2014 07:39 am
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Anytime one of the Von Erichs was taking on Flair, I believed we might see a new champ. Kerry finally did it.



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