WrestlingClassics.com Message Board Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» WrestlingClassics.com Message Board » Professional Wrestling & General Discussion 2010 - Current » Jerry Lawler Instead of Rick Martel

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Jerry Lawler Instead of Rick Martel
Jeff Luce
Member
Member # 1822

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jeff Luce     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Me and my great and most awesome friend Tamalie were discussing this earlier last week. By the time Lawler won the AWA title over Curt Hennig, it was sort of anti-climatic. He had been chasing Nick Bockwinkel for years. They had great matches against each other. For the full effect of Lawler garnering the AWA championship, it should have been over Nick. Then it would have meant even more.

--------------------
Joey: You didn't cry when Bambi's mother died?

Chandler: Yes, it was very sad when the guy stopped drawing the deer!

"If the Universe was created by Intelligent Design then why is the world full of idiocy"? - Me

IP: Logged
Greg Ganja
Member
Member # 1677

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Greg Ganja     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Count me as one who thinks Lawler's appeal was limited to Tennessee. '80 - '82, maybe? AWA was strong enough. I just don't think he had it for what the AWA needed by '84 though.

--------------------
Wait-a-minit Mort!!! I got a number 1-900-909-4LOU!!!
------------------------
Bob Backlund fought Communists, racist Hawiians and badasses from Hell's Kitchen...Bob Backlund never fought any Gobbledy Gookers.


IP: Logged
JWLPromoter from FL
Member
Member # 3978

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JWLPromoter from FL   Author's Homepage         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Luce:
Me and my great and most awesome friend Tamalie were discussing this earlier last week. By the time Lawler won the AWA title over Curt Hennig, it was sort of anti-climatic. He had been chasing Nick Bockwinkel for years. They had great matches against each other. For the full effect of Lawler garnering the AWA championship, it should have been over Nick. Then it would have meant even more.

He wouldn't have matched up with Tito Santana in Strike Force as well as Martel did, that's for sure.

--------------------
"BANG BANG!"

"Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it."- George Santayana

"...the strongest force in the world is a woman!"- Jimmy Hart

The George The Animal Steele Fan Page!

Your uncrowned IWA World Heavyweight Champion

IP: Logged
Liz Hunter's Boyfriend
Member
Member # 7919

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Liz Hunter's Boyfriend     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lawler didn't seem too popular with the AWA crowd. He tried hard, but just didn't have the right stuff. Diehard AWA fans were used to a certain type of wrestler as champ. Lawler didn't fit that mold.

So it wouldn't have mattered if he won the belt from Bockwinkel a few years earlier, except to the Memphians. To the AWA core it would have meant the same as Otto Wanz winning it.

IP: Logged
CJ in Savannah
Member
Member # 26303

Icon 1 posted      Profile for CJ in Savannah     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by JWLPromoter from FL:
quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Luce:
Me and my great and most awesome friend Tamalie were discussing this earlier last week. By the time Lawler won the AWA title over Curt Hennig, it was sort of anti-climatic. He had been chasing Nick Bockwinkel for years. They had great matches against each other. For the full effect of Lawler garnering the AWA championship, it should have been over Nick. Then it would have meant even more.

He wouldn't have matched up with Tito Santana in Strike Force as well as Martel did, that's for sure.
I don't think he'd do well as a model either. [Wink]

--------------------
Because you know I'm all about that one, bout that one hit wonder.

IP: Logged
Dragon Shai
Member
Member # 26632

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Dragon Shai     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Ganja:
Count me as one who thinks Lawler's appeal was limited to Tennessee. '80 - '82, maybe? AWA was strong enough. I just don't think he had it for what the AWA needed by '84 though.

I guess I like to think that a wrestler that was as talented as Lawler would have gotten over regardless. It might have taken a little while to win the fans over but I think they would have eventually warmed up to Lawler.
IP: Logged
Martin Tori
Member
Member # 27175

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Martin Tori         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think Verne was willing to push Lawler at the level he needed to be pushed at to get over with the AWA fans who were educated to a different style than Memphis fans.

Lawler got over in the WWF because the WWF was basically watered-down Memphis with better production values and sillier characters. He's also a guy whose aura grows as his mythology builds. I just don't think he was ever the answer for the AWA.

--------------------
"16 day debreidden is hopspital and did gp crazt. Check. Peached are godd, check."

IP: Logged
Seven
Member
Member # 3904

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Seven     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To me Martel's reign was mainly notable for the AWA title really becoming secondary to other things in the promotion. I actually think Martel did a great job with what he had to work with, but it wasn't much and he was in no way the true face of the promotion or top draw even during his reign.

I doubt Lawler would have worked better though because of the geography and nature of Lawler's style. I think Lawler is one of the five best workers of all time and maybe one of the five best promos too. But the AWA fans and area seemed to be geared toward a different sort of performer.

It definitely would have meant more had Lawler beaten Bock, especially to Memphis fans. Not sure it would have helped the AWA at all

IP: Logged
Troy Lowe
Member
Member # 8575

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Troy Lowe     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Martin Tori:
I don't think Verne was willing to push Lawler at the level he needed to be pushed at to get over with the AWA fans who were educated to a different style than Memphis fans.

Lawler got over in the WWF because the WWF was basically watered-down Memphis with better production values and sillier characters. He's also a guy whose aura grows as his mythology builds. I just don't think he was ever the answer for the AWA.

I'm one of the biggest Lawler fans there is and I have to agree. He wasn't what the AWA needed. But what did the AWA need? What one wrestler as AWA champion could have made a difference? Whatever you could say about the AWA's last years, you can't say they didn't have good wrestlers as their world champion, so is there such a thing as the "Right Man" who could have saved the AWA once Hogan went to The McMahon Family Circus?
IP: Logged
Seven
Member
Member # 3904

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Seven     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hogan leaving isn't what killed the AWA. It was a factor, but they had record setting attendance runs after that point. The AWA would have eventually died no matter what, but there may have been better options as champ than what we got. I know Bock has always defended Martel and I think as a worker he was quality. Blackwell was the hottest babyface in the company when he turned and there was a clear connection to his presence on shows and drawing, but I'm not sure his health issues would have made him someone that could have carried the title. I do think he should have (at minimum) challenged more for the title though.
IP: Logged
REO Speeddealer
Member
Member # 1534

Icon 1 posted      Profile for REO Speeddealer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I thought Martel was a fine choice as champion. They just did a horrible job booking him (having him draw Brad Rheingans, having to be saved by a technicality from losing the title to Michael Hayes, giving him Bertha Von Raschke as a valet). Martel seemed major league in 1984 and a smart choice as champ.
IP: Logged
Rob
Member
Member # 4213

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Rob     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The AWA seemed 3rd rate by the mid 80's because of several factors (and this is the view point of someone who grew up in the Philadelphia TV market and did not get the AWA until 1985).

#1 Rick Martel had been a WWF Tag Team champion, not a major singles wrestler so to my friends and I it made the AWA look weak in comparison.

#2 The AWA talent roster was filled with so many old timers and the TV enhancement talent looked pathetic as well (in comparison to what you saw on JCP TV and just the size of many on WWF TV).

#3 Production value. JCP was great because by not going over the top as the WWF did it added to the intensity of the matches. WWF had the best appeal to the kids and non-fans. The AWA just looked bad even when tapped at the Showboat.

#4 One additional item, the commentary. Say what you will about Vince, Bruno, Gorilla or even David, Tony and Bob, but they all sold the product and the wrestlers. The AWA it seemed spent too much time reminising about old timers and talking down the competition when they should have been drawing your attention to the ring and selling the new talent.

--------------------
I am always right, because I always listen to my wife.

IP: Logged
Wolverine
Member
Member # 894

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Wolverine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wonder why they never gave Sgt. Slaughter the AWA belt. He had name recognition from GI Joe and was pretty over with both kids and older fans.
IP: Logged
rikzilla
Member
Member # 40778

Icon 1 posted      Profile for rikzilla     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I grew up watching AWA (Chicago) from late 70's. So, to me, I never understood why they didn't just give the belt back to Bockwinkel, instead of Martel beating Tsuruta. There was some young talent coming in that could have gained from having some shots at the belt (not winning, but getting a push). Rick Martel was pretty established, but Curt Hennig, Steve O, Brad Rheinghans, and even Tony Atlas could have been some opponents for him, and you still could have thrown in some of the old guard (Crusher, Baron, Blackwell, Lawler) now and again.

I consider Bockwinkel one of the best in the business, but after losing the title, and then subsequently Heenan, he never was the same. With that in mind, it seems no matter who beat him later on (Curt, Lawler, etc) it didn't have the same oompf, because not only had the title been diminished, but the man holding it as well. It just didn't have the impact it once would have.

IP: Logged
Seven
Member
Member # 3904

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Seven     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sarge seems like he would have been a better champion than he probably would have. I am a huge Slaughter fan and he was able to do some solid business at times in the AWA, but a combination of weak booking and poor scheduling really limited the value they got out of him.

Really the biggest problem with the AWA during the period in question was that the champions really didn't have the best opposition. It was hard to build credible programs when your challengers are people like Jimmy Garvin and Boris Zhukov (I know this was Winnipeg only but still). My view is that if the AWA had really top loaded the cards they probably could have drawn reasonably well on a consistent basis for a good while longer than they did. But Verne was to busy expanding into the thriving Alaska market and poorly managing the talent he had to try and put together mains/semi-mains that would interest the fan base.

IP: Logged
JWLPromoter from FL
Member
Member # 3978

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JWLPromoter from FL   Author's Homepage         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Martin Tori:
I don't think Verne was willing to push Lawler at the level he needed to be pushed at to get over with the AWA fans who were educated to a different style than Memphis fans.



I think that the whole AWA-CWA-WCCW interpromotional experiment leading into the disaster that was AWA SuperClash III, and the fallout from it, happened to some degree because Lawler and Verne were too similar to each other, at least in terms of keeping any profits for themselves while screwing over the rest of the roster on their payoffs.


quote:
Originally posted by Martin Tori:
Lawler got over in the WWF because the WWF was basically watered-down Memphis with better production values and sillier characters. He's also a guy whose aura grows as his mythology builds. I just don't think he was ever the answer for the AWA.

Lawler was an effective heel starting in Summer 1993 because they had him target the guy who was, after Hulk left, now Vince's #1 babyface, Bret Hart.

--------------------
"BANG BANG!"

"Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it."- George Santayana

"...the strongest force in the world is a woman!"- Jimmy Hart

The George The Animal Steele Fan Page!

Your uncrowned IWA World Heavyweight Champion

IP: Logged
Greg Ganja
Member
Member # 1677

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Greg Ganja     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you transplant yourself to 1984, Martel is a damn good choice. He's young, one of the best in-ring talents. The AWA can use him heavily in Canada. It's a good business choice despite how the AWA ended up using him.

--------------------
Wait-a-minit Mort!!! I got a number 1-900-909-4LOU!!!
------------------------
Bob Backlund fought Communists, racist Hawiians and badasses from Hell's Kitchen...Bob Backlund never fought any Gobbledy Gookers.


IP: Logged
Seven
Member
Member # 3904

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Seven     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you look at who was available in 84 he's not a bad choice, but I think "damn good" is really pushing it and I am a pretty big fan of Martel as a worker. He worked out pretty well in Canada, but I question how much of a motivation that was in putting the belt on him and he was by no means the top draw or even true face of the company for most of his reign with the title.

I always assumed Martel was chosen because Bock was allegedly pretty high on him (or so I've heard), he was a good hand who could work the style expected of an AWA standard bearer and he had a good look for the era. On the other hand he could never carry a feud as a promo and that alone was a major business negative when you consider what the talent roster looked like at the time and the fact that Martel was obviously going to be a babyface. Had Blackwell not turned face you could see Martel/Blackwell w/Adnan being a fairly effective drawing card, but then if you look Blackwell was the companies most reliable draw as a face after he turned so it's hard to imagine that would have been a better route.

I also agree with whoever implied that Martel was a bad choice to be the champ of an expanding brand. Now my argument here is that expansion was an error period, but if expansion was on the horizon a guy who was known as a mid-card performer in the WWF is not the best guy to advance as the World Champ especially with such a weak roster of heel challengers.

IP: Logged
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | WrestlingClassics.com Home Page

Click here to see the WCMB Rules and Regulations

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3