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tiger_rick
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Spent an insomnic hour during the night watching some matches on YouTube with really old workers. Like Tito Santana working an Indy show in a car park and the Powers Of Pain battering some indy geeks in a high school basketball gym. Then woke up to see a story on Twitter, RTd by our own Ian I think, of Terry Funk working a show at 73 and bleeding a gusher.

POP still look great for their age and were fine powerbombing the fuck out of some poor sod repeatedly. Tito took bumps on his knees rather than his back but still throws a punch that would make Cena weep with jealousy and a clothesline better than Lex Luger ever threw in his life.

What's the motivation to still work at that age? I can understand a Ric Flair still being on TV or a Jerry Lawler working his territory but the others must really love it or really need to the money to travel to work in front of a couple of hundred people in a rag tag "promotion". I love that they do it but I just wonder what they get from it.

Here's Tito:

 

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I suppose it's akin to a retired cantona playing beech football, or Sonia doing Reborn in the USA. There's for the most part just a pure passion as you say. In many cases 'all they know' and on top of that, its egotistical and a desire to be applauded and cheered. Nothing wrong with that, but if it's what you've had for most of your career, chances are it's bloody hard to give up. On top of that there's a pay day, although I thought Tito had his own barber business, so assumed he was doing ok. It's also not just the fans, but the majority of other workers on the show will be stroking their egos too, listening to every story they want to tell, soaking up all of the knowledge they are chatting, getting them food, beers a place to crash, drive them around. It's probably fairly easy to score drugs and get laid too compared to being a hairdresser.

So aye, plenty of reasons all related to lifestyle. It's like being a consultant in a way. Bring them in for a week, pay them 4 times as much as whoever is working the shows full time. If they are useful (name value draws) word spreads and the next company in line will be willing to do the same.

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Surely a lot of these guys have wrestling schools. They do some of these shows but on condition they book a couple of their trainees so they can say people they train get on shows and various crap. I would also assume many of them do 5 minute matches not doing much so they can then sign pictures for $20 or sell them a "retro" t-shirt for $30-40.

I must say if I saw Tito advertised I would probably want to see just out of curiosity.

Edited by westlondonmist
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I do remember wondering to myself recently if its possible to put together a show of 80's wrestlers who still wrestle, or are at least capable of working a professional wrestling match (not expecting 5* classics of course).

Jim Neidhart's still working isn't he? I'm sure I saw Sid Justice wrestle a few matches recently too, Sgt Slaughter, Marty Jannetty, Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine, Honky etc.

 

Edited by garynysmon
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7 minutes ago, garynysmon said:

I do remember wondering to myself recently if its possible to put together a show of 80's wrestlers who still wrestle, or are at least capable of working a professional wrestling match (not expecting 5* classics of course).

Jim Neidhart's still working isn't he? I'm sure I saw Sid Justice wrestle a few matches recently too, Sgt Slaughter, Marty Jannetty, Brutus Beefcake, Greg Valentine, Honky etc.

 

If someone did that and it was in London I would probably go. Put some guys on the UK scene to take the bumps and stuff and I think you could make it fun. People would just pop for finishers and stuff. Have your photo taken with Marty in founatin and stuff like that.

Me and a guy at work discussed a Celebrity Wrestling Big Brother, 11 old wrestlers and Sunny and see where it goes.

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Its quite sad seeing the states of some of the old timers still out there trying to re-live past glories, especially when they try to squeeze into their old gear. Its the kind of business very few fully get away from (not sure if that sort of thing will carry on to this generations wrestlers though). Like Tiger Rick though, im still drawn to watch them do their thing.

Edited by Egg Shen
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For a lot of them they need the cash - either directly, or through other ventures; if they have a wrestling school or promotion of their own, popping up on a show can help them secure bookings and whatnot for their trainees, or get some publicity for their school. Sometimes, it's the buzz and reliving past glories, or just because they enjoy it.

And, like all things wrestling, they're workers. You phone one of them up and say, "hey, I'll give you $500 if you work a show on Sunday", chances are almost any wrestlers going to jump at the opportunity. Some of them might charge you a little extra to put your hometown guy over, and some of the older guys might even charge by the bump, but ultimately you're paying them to work, why would they turn it down?

I'd book all sorts of old-timers, given the opportunity. I bloody love angry old man wrestlers.

 

I worked a couple of shows with Tatanka, and it's whole different ballgame to working with your modern-day indie guys. Far stricter on what he would and wouldn't do, how he could be booked, and so on. Contractually, he had to do a standalone meet and greet, and charged about £20 for it - bearing in mind tickets for the shows themselves were around £6.50 - and was flogging 8x10s and fridge magnets. Fucking fridge magnets! Barely anyone showed up, but in a bigger promotion, or even just a promotion in a better location, he could have made a killing off that, and hardly put a shift in. Wrecked one of our guys with chops, hit a Samoan Drop, done. I took more bumps than him that weekend, and I took one.

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1 hour ago, Kaz Hayashi said:

I thought he had a foot like a meat pie now, with his ankles hanging over the sides of his boots.

Wasn't there a fund raiser page for  his feet? If I haven't dreamt all of that up, what the fucks he doing wrestling the daft twat?

The mental image of someone with a meat pie for a foot has just had me in stitches in public. Thanks for that! :D

What’s this about? Some medical condition or something? “I’m sorry, sir. You have meat pie foot.”

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1 hour ago, Carbomb said:

I must admit, I'd love to see a Wrestling Masters tournament. There must be enough guys around who can still move and work well enough to make it fun.

This is something I've wanted for years, though I doubt we'll see it because wrestling - or WWE, at least - seems reluctant to acknowledge that wrestlers get older these days. You're treated as if you're just as good as you were in your prime, until you retire, when you become a bumbling comedy act spouting catchphrases in backstage skits.

There's so much more narrative potential in an old bloke wanting "one last run", or the angry veteran resentful of the young lot, or even something like Backlund in the '90s, where the announcers are encouraging you to question whether this old timer can keep up with the new generation.

I'd love a Masters tournament on the Network, with the winner earning a contract to make his WWE comeback, or to get a title shot at a PPV, or whatever. Even just stuff like the Gimmick Battle Royal I bloody love! And you used to get "Old-Timer Battle Royals" all the time in the territory days, why not bring that back from time to time?

 

And, yeah, Marty Jannetty's ankles are utterly mangled and held together with tape, but he needs the money.

Edited by BomberPat
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The thing about a Masters tournament is that it's been proven to a limited degree that there are wrestlers still out there available outside WWE to make it work. I'm thinking primarily of Team WWF in Chikara's King Of Trios tournament, and sure - it's only three guys - but I'm pretty sure more could be dug up, especially when you consider Legends and Hall of Famers aren't exclusive to WWE. Maybe even the commentators could take part?

A tournament with some of these:

1-2-3 Kid/Ex-X-Pac
Kevin Nash
Ken Shamrock
Greg Valentine
Honky Tonk Man
Tito Santana

Sting
Raven
Tommy Dreamer
Stevie Richards
Jim Neidhart
Ricky Morton
Robert Gibson
Chavo Guerrero
Villano IV
Blue Panther
Negro Casas
Dr. Wagner Jr.
El Hijo del Santo
Octagon
Ric Flair
Barbarian
Warlord
Meng/Haku
Terry Funk
Dory Funk Jr.
Jerry Lawler
Booker T
JBL
Mick Foley
Great Muta
Masahiro Chono
Jun Akiyama
TAKA Michinoku
Great Sasuke 
Jushin Liger

There's a load more that didn't occur to me straight away, but that shows just how many guys are out there to do this sort of thing with.

 

 

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