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The 7 - Pro Wrestling - Old Guys in Wrestling
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AJ_Levy
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#1 Posted on 7.4.02 1123.34
Reposted on: 7.4.09 1126.27
You know, a lot of people are feeling nostalgic about Hogan's return to the WWF and his return to yellow and red. Not me.

One thing I've always been critical of in wrestling has been just how difficult it is to suspend belief at times. I'll discuss this some more in a later thread. And one of the most difficult things to suspend belief on is the idea of a 50 - something year old guy beating a guy in his prime (mid 20's - mid 30's).

And one thing that makes a federation even less credible is said old guy wearing the federation title. Titles are at least supposed to represent the best guys in each category, and the idea that a 50 - something year old is better thn any other guy in the federation is just sickening.

So the question here is, what role should old dudes play in pro wrestling? How do you shake every last ounce of marketability out of a guy you've spent millions marketing without turning off thousands of viewers?

Hows about getting them to put over your midcarders and upper midcarders. A win over a legend won't wreck said legend's legacy, but it will boost the young midarder's career. Then there's the commissioner role and colour commentary.

Or there's one other thing that they could do...

Enter the long forgotten art of the manager. Manager and former legend brings in the most promising wrestler from the minor league. Instead of being just a curtain jerker, said young wrestler gets attention and perhaps carries some of the gimmick of his older counterpart.

Get the old guys on colour. Or managing. Or putting over midcarders and undercarders. Or reffing. JUST DON'T GIVE AN OLD GEEZER YOUR WORLD TITLE!
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Notorious F.A.B.
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#2 Posted on 7.4.02 1306.47
Reposted on: 7.4.09 1318.57
whether or not an old guy is a credible in ring threat depends on the booking of the match. (surround all of this with a big "imo".) i'm no pat patterson or arn anderson, but if you approach the two wrestlers' roles as "the powerful young guy" and "the crafty veteran" and plan the spots accordingly, the match can be 100% believable (dependent upon the execution of the spots).

here are small examples: young guy over powers old guy with forearms and clotheslines. young guy goes for the pin and old guy reverses into a small package for the near fall. young guy over powers some more, runs the ropes and old guy hits a drop toe hold that makes young guy smack his throat on the top rope.

in general, have the old guy bust out veteran tricks and use the young guy's momentum against him. psychology, psychology, psychology (which i can recognize but don't pretend to know how to craft).

hogan's matches so far haven't completely broken the believability for me but they've come close. when he over powered rock and scott hall so strongly - nearly sending them out of the ring - it was a stretch.
MoeGates
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#3 Posted on 7.4.02 1314.27
Reposted on: 7.4.09 1324.48
Great explanation F.A.B. That's why Flair is still a credible wrestler (Hell, it's why Flair was a credible wrestler 10 years ago). I'd also add that the problem seems to be old Faces aren't credible. There are a million ways to make old heels credible. For instance, Old heels tend to use stables more, leading to the "if this was a fair fight OF COURSE Wrestler X would win, but it's really 3 on 1" storyline.

Moe

(edited by MoeGates on 7.4.02 1415)
odessasteps
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#4 Posted on 7.4.02 1327.46
Reposted on: 7.4.09 1329.02

I agree that it's all in the booking. You "shouldn't" have an older wrestler no-selling spots where a younger man should triumph. But there are ways (like heel tactics) where someone older can win.

The best example of an older wrestler booked correctly is Baba. He moved himself from the top of the card to the mid-card comedy match and was perfect there. People who came out to see Baba (especially in areas outside of Tokyo) got to see the legend, but the top of the card wasn't cluttered by a slow, old giant.

Inoki, of course, is another story. :>

The other thing to do is to not have the older wrestler as a regular on the circuit. Bring him out of the mothballs every so often. See Watts, Cowboy Bill.

Punkinhed
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#5 Posted on 7.4.02 1355.50
Reposted on: 7.4.09 1359.02


I agree that an old guy can be put over beliveably against a young guy. Not perhaps to the extent of Hogan beating HHH perhaps for the title, but it can be done.

And there's another way an older wrestler could be used to put over a directionless younger guy: the protege. Make it someone the fans care about, as opposed to the Bossman/Buchanan/Albert idea. As it may have been suggested elsewhere, have Mr. Perfect choose someone to hand the mantle of Perfection to. They could have some vigettes or matches where he teaches the youngster his heelish tricks.
AJ_Levy
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#6 Posted on 7.4.02 1813.03
Reposted on: 7.4.09 1829.03

    Originally posted by Punkinhed


    I agree that an old guy can be put over beliveably against a young guy. Not perhaps to the extent of Hogan beating HHH perhaps for the title, but it can be done.

    And there's another way an older wrestler could be used to put over a directionless younger guy: the protege. Make it someone the fans care about, as opposed to the Bossman/Buchanan/Albert idea. As it may have been suggested elsewhere, have Mr. Perfect choose someone to hand the mantle of Perfection to. They could have some vigettes or matches where he teaches the youngster his heelish tricks.



This is what I meant when I made the comment about managing...
Downtown Bookie
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#7 Posted on 7.4.02 2024.19
Reposted on: 7.4.09 2029.06
Perhaps it's increasing number of gray hairs coming out of my head each day, but I personally don't have a problem with an "old" former champ regaining a title he once held by defeating a man young enough to be his son. As to it being credible (i.e., could this happen in real life) remember it wasn't that many years ago that a 45 year-old George Foreman won the heavyweight boxing title by knocking out 26 year-old Michael Moore. Indeed, as I recall, that match pretty closely followed the scenario given by FAB above, where the younger man dominated most of the fight only to get careless in the final round, allowing the old-timer to pull lightning out of his bag of tricks. So if a man in his mid-forties can be a world champion in boxing, I don't think it's too big a stretch to accept a similar occurrence in pro wrestling.
AJ_Levy
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#8 Posted on 8.4.02 0346.27
Reposted on: 8.4.09 0359.01

    Originally posted by Downtown Bookie
    Perhaps it's increasing number of gray hairs coming out of my head each day, but I personally don't have a problem with an "old" former champ regaining a title he once held by defeating a man young enough to be his son. As to it being credible (i.e., could this happen in real life) remember it wasn't that many years ago that a 45 year-old George Foreman won the heavyweight boxing title by knocking out 26 year-old Michael Moore. Indeed, as I recall, that match pretty closely followed the scenario given by FAB above, where the younger man dominated most of the fight only to get careless in the final round, allowing the old-timer to pull lightning out of his bag of tricks. So if a man in his mid-forties can be a world champion in boxing, I don't think it's too big a stretch to accept a similar occurrence in pro wrestling.


I accept this is true... but when it is a constant occurance (see the old WCW) then it's not such a good thing!)
Mandingo
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#9 Posted on 8.4.02 0446.01
Reposted on: 8.4.09 0449.01
It's all about the "Old Man Strength"... it just enables any old guy to just randomly whup ass like no body's business...

I dunno.. With Hogan.. he still looks in shape enough to LOOK like he's capable.. not saying that he really is..

I also like the idea of the crafty veteran.. I'm sure that the Nature Boy could actually bust some of the new guy's heads in a little free for all.
Trineo
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#10 Posted on 8.4.02 1014.06
Reposted on: 8.4.09 1015.08

    Originally posted by Downtown Bookie
    ... remember it wasn't that many years ago that a 45 year-old George Foreman won the heavyweight boxing title by knocking out 26 year-old Michael Moore...


The problem here is that when Foreman beat Moore, Moore was professionaly finished in boxing. I cannot remember if he won another World Title or not, but by getting beat by Foreman it killed Moore's career. The same can be said for wrestling, but in a little different way. If Hogan were to beat HHH it has to (a) be almost a total fluke, and (b) be a short Hogan Title reign.

By doing something where HHH loses the belt, they would have to get over HHH's weakness for "Putting away his mentor" than Hogan's "Beating the odds." It's sad, because nearly everybody was a Hogan mark in their youth, but Hogan would have to be a fluke Champion. This way, HHH showing no remorse when he takes the Title back can have some heat, and it gives Rock a reason to go after the Title when he comes back from his break.

On the other hand, if Hogan were to come out with the same hokey wrestling style (which is going to clash VERY badly with the slowed HHH) and beat a younger and bigger, HHH... well HHH's career as a head-liner is finished. Hogan must want that one last run, but I hope he knows better than to kill off somebody the level of HHH just so he could have one more run. And if they were going to kill somebody off, don't you think Jericho would've get the Title then? He's nearly completely burried anyway and Hogan would've done to him what Foreman did to Moore
HBK 2002
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#11 Posted on 8.4.02 1037.35
Reposted on: 8.4.09 1038.00
A couple thoughts...

First, Baba and Cowboy Bill Wats owned their respective companies. Therefore, they did not have to pay salaries for old-time former headliners. Former headliners tend to be much more expensive than regular mid-carders. I believe last week's Observer mentioned this fact. The WWF pays a lot for Hulk Hogan. To get value back on that investment, Hogan has to be a top-level guy. Baba, Watts, Fritz Von Erich, and Verne Gagne did not have those problems.

Second, while the "put-over-up-and-coming-mid-carders" idea works in theory, in practice it cannot work for very long. If Hogan put over one mid-carder decisevely (good luck), Hogan's star-making ability diminishes. Then, if he puts over another mid-carder, his value diminishes even further. It reaches a point of diminishing returns where Hogan loses both a) whatever drawing power he may have had, and b) whatever star-making ability he may have had. It leave Hogan's character -- assuming he's a regular player -- impotent after only a few months.

I agree with this thread. And that's why I did not enjoy WrestleMania X8 to the level that others apparently did. The Rock is a legitimate top-flight athlete. He was a starter and pre-season All-American for the University of Miami. If not for a knee injury, Rock *could* have had a legit shot at the NFL. Regardless, he looks like a good athlete in the ring. On the other hand, Hogan can barely move and his offense of face raking, back raking, and finger shaking looks silly. The WWF has hurt The Rock by having Hogan stand toe-to-toe with him. They have hurt him even more by making him Tatoo to Hogan's Mr. Rourke.
EvilActivity
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#12 Posted on 8.4.02 1401.39
Reposted on: 8.4.09 1410.17

    You know, a lot of people are feeling nostalgic about Hogan's return to the WWF and his return to yellow and red. Not me.


Not me as well. A few years ago I laughed my ass off when I imagined how these seniors would look like in a fight with the "new generation" wrestlers, and I thought of a total squash where the old guy gets his ass kicked all over the place. But somehow nobody seems to care today. I see Hulk Hogan being a legitime threat to The Rock and HHH? In my eyes it's the goof of all time. WWF is booking every match the same way, and they forget about logic and about making sense that it's impossible to take this match for real. Nothing will ever beat No Way Out 2002, where Tazz and Spike (I repeat, TAZZ and SPIKE!!!) defeated (DEFEATED!!!) Booker T and Test (okay, you get it), two guys of which each one should have won the match by himself, and this match made me kind of wonder what the fucking hell I was watching there, but it looks like with another Hogan title reign we are on the best way to top that.

Oh, and with maybe the best roster ever, it's an impertinence that they put the oldies on top.............
deadbeater
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#13 Posted on 9.4.02 0156.56
Reposted on: 9.4.09 0159.02
I can't believe you are the same type of guys went apeshit when the amazing Terry Funk won the ECW World title at the age of 52. Hogan probably shouldn't win it this time because he isn't the athlete Terry is, and the WWF talent is deep, so deep that Angle-Booker T is the first match of the night. But still the hypocrisy...

Oh BTW, Tazz and Spike are depicted as crafty wrestlers; brains over brawn, you know.
Saruman
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#14 Posted on 9.4.02 0232.20
Reposted on: 9.4.09 0236.18
#1: Some of us aren't EcW junkies.
#2: Terry Funk won the title by hitting (oh, gawrd, I can't remember who it was...) by beating the crap out of him with trashcans and chairs and frying pans. It's not the same as HHH jobbing to bodyslambigbootlegdrop (which he'll probably do at backlash).
Like those above said, it's all in how it's booked.
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