Welcome back wrestling fans to another edition of #ask7pound. I am back from vacation, and boy was it much needed.
Wrestling lost a true legend in the industry last Thursday morning when WWE Hall of Famer and former three time NWA World Heavyweight Champion the American Dream Dusty Rhodes passed away due to complications from some health issues he was suffering from for quite awhile. Dusty was a true icon in the wrestling world, with classic matches with Harley Race, Ric Flair, and a host of other great Hall of Fame superstars. Of course no one will forget when he debuted in the WWE in 1989 wearing polkadots. We at 7poundbag.com express our deepest sympathy to the Runnels family, especially Dustin and Cody. Rest in Peace, Dream. You will be missed.
Here is a Facebook post from Dusty’s oldest son Dustin regarding his father’s passing.
“Yesterday my father passed away with his four children, my daughter and his wife of 38 yrs. he was our hero and the greatest father in the world. He is the reason why I am who I am today. He taught me so so many lessons in life. He had 1 thing that he wanted to be and that was he wanted to be forever young. Now he is. Now he is dancing with angels in heaven. He was my mentor, my hero and a dad that I strive to be like. I love you dad. Thank you for all the overwhelmingly amount of love and support. He would have been on cloud 9 with this. Thank you all.” Dustin Runnels
Here is a little Did you know on Dusty Rhodes
Did you know that Dusty Rhodes was the lead booker for the NWA during the mid 80’s? Many stars in the back felt that Rhodes booked himself to win the NWA title over Ric Flair, when if fact it was voted upon by the board of directors.
Let’s get right to the questions for this week.
We start this week with Rey, with a question about Dusty.
Sad to hear about the passing of Dusty Rhodes. It made me wonder about when he started off in the WWE looking so goofy in polkadots. Who’s idea was it to have him wear polkadots? I have heard before that Vince did it to make him look like a fool.
That has been the myth that has plagued Dusty for nearly 15 years. The fact of the matter is, Dusty Rhodes came to the WWE back in 1989, after enduring so much stress with his role as a booker and a wrestler in the NWA. When the NWA went under new management after Jim Crockett sold the company, the NWA wanted to go into a new direction and thus faded out Dusty Rhodes as he was not in their plans. So Vince McMahon contacted Dusty Rhodes to wrestle for the WWE. Dusty actually did not debut wearing polkadots, that came a few months later. Vince came to Dusty and said that he wanted Dusty just to go out there and be himself, and have fun with his character. Not to worry about the day to day operations of the industry. He wanted Dusty to take a step back, and not in a bad way, but to make sure that Dusty was able to enjoy his time in wrestling, and not have to deal with back stage politics. It is said by some that this was the happiest Dusty Rhodes was, when he was wrestling for the WWE. He could be himself. The polkadots was Dusty’s idea, and Vince basically let him have free reign of his character. He even had Dusty’s then 20 year old son, Dustin join him and let him wrestle a match at the Royal Rumble 1990, giving Dustin his first shot at wrestling. Who knew where that would take Dustin Rhodes?
Joey from Austin Tx wants to know about a “what might have been” superstar.
What was the plan with Magnum T.A.? I have heard for so long that the NWA was trying to build him to overtake Ric Flair as the top guy in the NWA. I know he got hurt and ended his career, but what was supposed to go down?
Ahhh Magnum T.A. the guy that could have been the NWA’s version of Hulk Hogan (better in my opinion). So you know the back story already it appears, that Magnum was in a near fatal motorcycle accident that claimed his wrestling career. Magnum for a intensive purposes was groomed to be the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. The plan was to put the title on him at Starrcade 86 by defeating Ric Flair, and barring any setbacks would probably have been the champion for quite some time. He was set to be the face of the NWA for the remainder of the 80’s and was supposed to lead them into the 90’s. As fate would have it, Magnum was in that accident, Nikita Koloff took his place at Starrcade, due in part to they had no idea what they were going to do. Sure they could have done Flair vs Dusty again, but since they had that match the prior two Starrcade’s, they felt it was a bit much. Plus, Nikita was over with the fans and he would not have lost face, after all, he was the United States champion at the time. So yeah, Magnum T.A. really could have been the biggest thing to hit the NWA in the 80’s. In return they gave Ron Garvin a short title run, just to give Ric Flair a little break from the title. Then thank god for Ricky Steamboat coming in and having three phenomenal matches with Flair in 1989. I think it saved the day for the title, and for Flair for that matter. However, that is only my opinion. ***hey maybe I should do In my damn opinion some day*** I could do it better…. (Don’t slap me Eric)
Scotty from Pekin IL wants to discuss a former referee.
Whatever happened to that referee who was the ref during the Hogan vs Andre Wrestlemania III match? I remember seeing him in so many matches, then he just kind of disappeared? He looked young, so I can’t imagine he retired.
You are referring to Joey Marella. Sadly, Joey was in a fatal automobile accident in the summer of 1993 that took his life. Marella was one of the best referees that the WWF had during that time. His biggest moment probably came in 1987, when he counted Hogan’s shoulders to the mat at Wrestlemania III about 10 seconds into the match. I’ll get into more of that in a moment. Marella had a great run as a referee as I would really think he was the face of the referee’s in that time period. He was the one that most fans in my era remember the most, other than Dave and Earl Hepbner. What some people do not know, is Joey was actually the son of WWE Hall of Famer Gorilla Monsoon. There are times where during his matches that Monsoon is commentating, Jesse Ventura would make a little hinted reference to that fact.
Anyway going back to Wrestlemania III. Gorilla Monsoon went on record a few years after his death to say that Joey Marella actually did count Hogan’s shoulders to the mat. So Andre actually won the WWF title as far as he was concerned. Hogan could not kick out due to Andre knocking the wind out of him. Joey Marella was able to improvise a bit though and kept the match going saying that he only counted two. The camera never caught his hand hitting the mat for the three count, but it is clear that if you listen closely, you can hear the three count. Take a look for yourself at the 2:22 mark.
Damien from Washington State has a question
Why did it take so long for Kevin Owens to appear in the WWE? He was at the top of the card everywhere he went.
People think it is so easy just to get to the WWE. Most wrestlers have amazing careers in the independent circuits and never have the opportunity to compete on the big stage. Owens has had about a fifteen year career in wrestling, and has held numerous championships. To answer your question though Damien, up until the last couple of years. The WWE has never had a minor league system. Now that they have the NXT, they can afford the luxury of signing developmental talent, and working their way up to the main card. Thanks to NXT, guys like Owens, Sami Zayn, Neville, Adam Rose, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, I can go on and on. The WWE is able to find more talent out there, that before they would not have found had it not been for NXT. Sure they had Ohio Valley, and Florida Championship Wrestling as a “minor league” circuit, but that was for wrestlers that were already signed, and were actually a part of the WWE. The NXT wrestlers are all on developmental contracts with no guarantee of becoming on the main roster. If and when they move up to the main roster, they will sign new deals.
***THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SOME GRAPHIC MATERIAL, VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
Vin from Trenton NJ chimes in this week about some injuries.
What was the worst injury that you have ever seen in wrestling, that happened in ring?
That is something that can be debated over and over again, I am assuming that you are not counting the Owen Hart death. So I will just go with in ring injury here. In my damn opinion, I would have to say the injury to Sid Vicious at WCW Sin. Sid was in a Fatal Four Way match with Scott Steiner, Jeff Jarrett, and Road Warrior Animal, when he basically ripped his foot off the bone. I remember seeing this when they showed it on Nitro the next night, and my mouth dropped to the floor. It was such a gruesome injury, I was certain that Sid’s career was over at that moment in time. Then to top it all off, he just looks at it, like oh shit, I think something is wrong. While the rest of us are screaming in pain for him. Take a look for yourself and tell me what your reaction is.
The other injury that I think was pretty severe was when Owen Hart dropped Steve Austin on his head at Summerslam 1997. Owen delivered a tombstone like piledriver, but instead of dropping to his knees like he should have, he fell to his butt, causing Austin’s head to bounce off the canvas like a ball. This essentially broke Austin’s neck, and he was temporarily paralyzed. This really is what cut Austin’s career short, as he had some complications over the next 5 years of his career. He probably came back too soon as he was back in action by Survivor Series, and went on to defeat Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XIV for the championship.
That’s all for this week. Check out the Wrestling Roundtable this Thursday, and Eric Asafailo’s In My Damn Opinion on Friday. As always if you have any questions you would like answered. You can send me a tweet @StephanHall, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or just leave a comment below. Have a great week fans.
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