I hope Neil Young will remember......
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The South
Re: Forgotten Legends35: Rick "The Model" Martel
Never liked Martel either...
For the life of me I still have no clue why the AWA went with him as their World Champion.
I think a lot of wrestling fans overlook the fact that in the territorial era the AWA was considered a World Title....and for many years it was held in much higher esteem than the WWF title, that is a fact.
The AWA title was still a major deal when Martel had it, even if the WWF had started it's talent acquisitions.
This is why I questioned the AWA.
1. Martel's accent improved with time especially by his "model" days, but in the AWA he was horrid on the mic.
2. The "pretty boy" good guys of the era rarely held world titles. It just did not work, the champion in my opinion needed to work strong, and the pretty boys of the era relied on getting sympathy.
3. The AWA champ, although their territory did not include many associated territories like the NWA, had to tour and defend the belt in other regions. He had to go to Chicago, Memphis, Las Vegas, etc...where the top faces of their territories got shots at the champ. This meant Martel was forced to work heel in those areas, since that was the prevalent system of the day. This led to confussion, as Martel was smiling and waving on AWA television, and cheating and trying to get heat against other faces in the associated territories. This is why Bockwinkle worked and Martel did not.
4. He was to that point seen as a tag team guy although he had a decent NWA run, still it made the AWA title look weaker at a time when Hogan and Flair ruled the world. They really needed someone better.
Just some thoughts.....I think most of us older fans remember him best as the guy who should not have been AWA World Champion.
Last edited by Greenlawler; 08-26-2012 at 02:15 AM.