I like to think of myself as having a vivid memory of 1980s WWF wrestling, and I can recall most angles and wrestlers from that decade. The last time I was truly surprised by something I never knew from that era was the original Royal Rumble that One Man Gang won in St. Louis.
But my friend, Ed, who is another long-time fan, mentioned to me a card he had just learned of from the early ’80s at the Hartford Civic Center that featured an unusual array of steel cage matches.
I’m not sure how or why I’ve never run across this, but sure enough, the great The History of WWE website lists the results as part of a show called “Steel Cage Turmoil,” which took place on November 23, 1984.
The highlight was a 19-match steel cage gauntlet, in which the winner of each contest kept advancing until they lost or won the whole thing. In the end, Big John Studd beat Continue reading
A certain segment of the pro wrestling community was up in arms after Monday Night Raw featured an angle that played off the real-life heart attack and near death of Jerry “The King” Lawler.
Some said the angle was in poor taste, particularly when Paul Heyman feigned his own heart attack and WWE Heavyweight Champion CM Punk pretended to administer CPR.
But such garish actions on wrestling aren’t exclusive to 2012. Unfortunately for all of us, the McMahon family has set a low bar at least since the early 1980s about what types of angles and heat are appropriate.
Here are some less-than-stellar moments that I can recall growing up Continue reading
Back in 1984, the WWF presented a vignette that showed a day in the life of “Dr. D” David Schultz, who was one of the new breed of heels who entered the federation in early 1984 and aligned himself with Rowdy Roddy Piper.
The premise is that Schultz invited the “television station” cameras from the WWF to his house for dinner, but that the rest of his family doesn’t know about any guests coming.
I have no idea whether Continue reading
If you follow the WWE currently, you know CM Punk kicked the wrestling world in the ass with his worked shoot promo on Monday Night Raw this week. When a pro wrestling interview gets mainstream attention, you know someone hit a nerve.
Punk’s promo was reminiscent of mic work we saw nearly every week during the Monday Night Wars between WCW and the WWF in the late 1990s. So what Punk did isn’t new, but it hasn’t been seen in a long, long time.
However, in the WWF of the 1980s, when I first started watching as a kid, you almost never saw promos that pushed the line of a worked shoot.
I remember the occasional shoot interview — the most famous probably being when 20/20 reporter John Stossel told “Dr. D” David Schultz wrestling was fake and then got a nasty smack to the ear in response — but I don’t remember wrestlers of that era coming out and talking as if they had gone against the script.
While checking some of this blog’s stats recently, I saw that a visitor had gotten to my website via a search about whether WWE promos are scripted.
Certainly these days most of them are, which in many ways is obvious given their lack of fire and real emotion. Sure, there are exceptions. I’d be willing to bet Edge’s retirement speech on Monday Night Raw wasn’t entirely memorized by him ahead of time. He went with the flow, reacted to the fans, and got a more memorable promo out it.
Regardless of the interview arrangements today, I can guarantee you that in the 1980s, WWF promos were not scripted beyond maybe a loose idea of what Continue reading