Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vader

The story has it, that when Vader wanted to start wrestling, he walked into the AWA locker, walked right up to promoter Verne Gagne and demanded a spot.

Another story has it, that from the start Vader was one of the most intimidating, and hard hitting stars in the sport. One day Verne got a complaint from the boys that Vader had been roughing them up. He spoke to his man, and asked what was up, he'd never had that problem before. Vader said he'd just worked a year with Crusher Blackwell, Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody... he just assumed that's how things were done.Then he went to Japan, and was reinvented as Darth Vader's much bigger, much nastier, brother, and suddenly the world went crazy. He pinned the unbeatable Antonio Inoki his first match in with New Japan, causing the normally reserved Japanese fans to go absolutely ECW and throw everything that wasn't nailed down at them, then set fire to the arena... having eventually to be dispersed by the riot squad.By 1990 he held World titles on 3 continents ( the CWA title in Europe, the IWGP title in Asia, and the UWA title in North America ), so it was only a matter of time before the U.S came knocking. And knock they did, ending up in Vader continuing his dominant form in WCW. His matches with Mick Foley beoming the stuff of legend. In one match, Foley suffered a broken nose and needed 27 stitches for wounds on his face. The match was heavily edited for television, as outside of footage of war, U.S television of the time was generally against showing bleeding that severe. The match can be seen in it's entirety on "Mick Foley's Greatest Hits and Misses" dvd (in which Foley claims the viewer can literally hear his nose breaking due to a Vader punch). Their rematch, a less demanding affair, saw Foley powerbombed onto the concrete floor causing him to suffer a concussion and temporary loss of feeling in his left arm and leg. And don't let us get started on poor Joe Thurman's back.
But let us cut a long story short. Aside from scuffles with police officers, and the occasional Saudi journalist, Vader has all but vanished from our great sport, and personally I think him missed. He brought fear to his opponents, fear to the fans, and even announcers. During the telecast of Wrestlewar 91, he and his opponent collided with the announce table a couple of times scaring 48 shades of brown out of commentator Jim Ross. " That really got me flowing" said Ross " You don't KNOW how much it got me flowing".

That is one thing missing from todays sport... intimidation. Tho don't tell Awesome Kong I said that.

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