Originally Posted by theidealstranger
Oh based on the squash matches I saw in youtube, he was a real damn Beast for his relatively small size considering the character he was playing.
A squash match
I was led to believe based on what I read that AWA was plugged because of Vince pulling out all the major talent from under starting from Hogan to Ventura to Heenan.
Yes that was certainly part of it, but just because Hogan, Adonis, Okerlund and Ventura left it did not mean the AWA was dead. That is more of that WWF revisionist history.
They like to take credit for destroying the AWA. Truth be told the AWA was as much responsible for its own demise as the WWF.
Here is the reality of what was happening: The AWA had the corner on some big markets, Chicago, Las Vegas, Millwaukee, St Paul/Minneapolis and they were holding their own. They got a deal with ESPN, and in spite of loosing Hogan they had the Road Warriors, Sgt Slaughter, and some really good upcoming talents but they put all their chips in the "proven stars" basket and they hardly developed anyone other than guys who were already way passed their prime. They had Slaughter, but never let him win the title, they had Scott Hall but made him a tag team with Curt Henning who still looked like a baby then. Verne wanted his son Greg, Bockwinkle, Bruser, Crusher, Von Rashcke, and Kasey to still dominate his company. When the Warriors came in it literally changed the perception overnight. It was like we all realized these dudes were old. Having Martel as champ did not help at all, he could not hardly speak English.
To me the nail in the coffin was in fact the ESPN show, which highlighted a stream of older talent. They took what should have been a win for the company and made it a bust by rarely showing competitive matches,featuring outdated camera work, and having very few charismatic stars. As soon as the WWF would release someone like Adonis, Garvin or Orton,the AWA would snatch them up and in spite of the fact that they were all considered mid card guys who were not charasmatic on their own. By this time all were approaching advanced years for wrestlers. This only excelerated the death. As the product began to really deteriorate by 1987 the AWA got desperate. I think you guys all know what happened from here. But in summary the WWF probably helped the AWA crawl to its death but the AWA was just as responsible with their booking choices, obviously one of the major ones being not putting the belt on Hogan.