You're going to be put in a 60-minute Ironman Lumberjack Match against some randomly-drawn in-his-prime wrestler -- either current or historic. And it's a shoot.
You're going to have to cut a promo beforehand declaring that wrestling isn't real, and the wrestler's job will be to convince the audience that it is. He will also be told that you've been insulting his mother for the past month to anyone who will listen.
The only saving grace is you get five vetos -- five wrestlers who won't be your opponent. In other words the five you'd least like to face.
Who and why?
1) Andre the Giant -- made full-grown men like John Studd quake in fear with the damage he'd inflict in matches, and that was just being stiff. Anything he wants to do, no force on the planet can stop him. JPlus, he's a friggin' giant.
2) Kurt Angle -- has the knowledge and skill to break a man, and really make it hurt.
3) Abdullah the Butcher -- no forks for me.
4) Stan Hanson -- a big brute of a man who had the strength to body slam Andre and a fellow who was known for his beating up opponents with his stiffness
I wouldn't need that setup to chose, since there are plenty of wrestlers I would never want to get in a ring with, even with everything being predetermined. So here's my list -
The Moondogs circa 1991. They legit mauled the enhancement guys. The Road Warriors circa 1983. Green and encouraged by the booker to go stiff on their opponents. Buzz Sawyer, any era. Guy was legit nuts and usually high. Who in their right mind would want to get in the ring with him? Dick the Bruiser. He never, ever washed his tights. Tales of his stinky drawers are legendary. Stan Hansen. Strong as an ox and blind as a bat. Not a good combination if you value your health.
Most oldschool guys (or anyone with an oldschool mindset) would stiff and stretch you after a "wrestling is fake" promo. Meng/Haku should get a mention for being legit crazy enough to disfigure you. Stan Hansen, Bruiser Brody, and Bruno Sammartino would certainly try to make you pay.
Post by BlackoutCreature on Dec 25, 2010 23:09:00 GMT -5
Say what you want about most hardcore wrestlers, but for them to have become the legends they did they had to have some sort of professionalism to them. If you went to them before the match and said "listen, I'm in way over my head here, please don't kill me", they'd probably rough you up some, but you'd still probably be able to walk away from the fight. New Jack I get the impression would genuinely try to kill you simply for asking him not to.
Post by 'Smart' Mark Poindexter on Dec 26, 2010 1:37:35 GMT -5
1:Vader..I mean come on... 2:Stan Hansen..for reasons already mentioned..I'd hate to take one of his lariats 3:Ric Flair I think even at his age now if he wanted to hurt you..he could. 4.New Jack...I got to admit,blackout creature makes a good argument. 5. Terry Funk in his prime..I mean good lord...I have no doubt he would bludgeon to death if he felt he had too.
Vader. I have read book after book and story after story about him stiffing the crap out of everyone he worked. The idea is to make it look like it hurts but to be as close to lite as a feather as you can be. Bret Hart, Sting, Flair(except for his chops), Hogan, cactus all have reps for working lite but looking great
Treat stressful situations like a puupy would. If you can't hump it or chew on it, than lift your leg to it and walk away
Andre is in something of a special category I think, in this regard because no one could legit go toe-to-toe with him in his prime.
Beyond that, I'd say this is more of an "old-school" thing as the guys back in the day were trained and prepared to legit defend themselves as became necessary. In the old territories, there were instances of guys going into business for themselves, particularly on the touring world champions, since the opportunity to retaliate was limited. (The champ was always moving on, so the local challenger knew he probably wouldn't see him again for a long time if ever.)
For my list I'll only go with guys I actually saw perform in or close to their prime. I'm sure Strangler Lewis, Karl Gotch and many others could defend themselves quite adequately, but I say that only from reading about them.
1) Harley Race-no one commanded more respect in the locker room. Not only could he take it to anybody inside the ring, he also was almost always armed with one or more handguns that he was licensed to carry. An old story my dad told me from his days in the Memphis promotion confirms the Race legend. Memphis was notorious for bad payoffs. Once in the Welch-Gulas era, (pre-Lawler-Jarrett) Harley was in town for a match. Before the show started, he confronted Nick Gulas backstage, in front of the boys. He calmly sat in a chair in front of Gulas' desk, got his .357 magnum out and placed in on the armrest in plain sight of everyone and within easy reach. He politely told Gulas that he'd seen and counted the house, and he wanted his pay off(which was based in part on a percentage) at that point, or the show would not start.
Gulas stammered a bit, and proceeded to count out the appropriate amount. Harley then casually remarked(leaving the gun in sight) that it be easier for everybody if the rest of the boys got paid then also. They all got in line to collect, and Gulas sweated it out until every last jobber on the card(including my dad) had been paid. Everybody knew NOT to get on Harley's bad side.
2) Stan Hansen-the big cowboy was not only immensely strong and tough, he had a legit mean streak a mile wide. He probably had what would today be called a "borderline" personality with antisocial tendencies. The smallest perceived slight could set the Borger, Texas native off to near irrational levels of anger.
3) Kurt Angle-his credentials are unquestioned, and he therefore breaks into this group otherwise dominated by old-schoolers. His Olympic Gold Medal victory was over an opponent nearly 100 lbs heavier. And he did it with what was later found to be a fractured vertebrae in his neck.
4) Terry Funk- a fine legit athlete, (he turned down an NFL career coming out of college to wrestle for his dad) the Funker was trained by his shooter father to command the ring when necessary. And NOBODY was tougher. Doctors have marvelled for years at his ability to work thru pain from injuries that would cripple most men.
5) New Jack- a legit psychopath and additional exception to the old school domination of this list. He didn't have the wrestling skills of most of the others here and therefore didn't command the respect they had. However, didn't you always wonder if/when Jack would "snap" during a match and actually commit murder in the ring?
Honorable Mention: Bruiser Brody-just misses the top 5. Intense, volatile, but less technical training and ability in the ring. He could be out-wrestled guys like Race, Funk, etc. Dory Funk, Jr(see Terry Funk above-Dory was always seen as the less volatile of the two, and so moves down this list) Jack Brisco-NCAA wrestling national champion. doesn't make the top 5 because he was too nice a guy. Brock Lesnar-another NCAA champion, but lacked the exposure to the old school mentality of self-preservation in the ring. Meng/Haku-legit pulled an attacker's eyeball out of the socket in Puerto Rico, but known as a gentle giant in the ring.
"I'll go through Handsome Jimmy like Ex-Lax through a widow woman." -Jerry "The King" Lawler