Thirty Days of Dougie III – Day 9: One On One (1984 versus 2013)
December 2, 2013
I’m a few days behind here, so it’s time to play catch-up. I would have been on track, but I’ve been a bit on the downside for the past few days and didn’t want to spread my bad moods around have everyone ready to shoot themselves. Yeah, I was that down in the dumps. But I’m tired of being sad and depressed and hurt and blue and all of that stuff. Time to get my shit together and get back on the right track. And what better way than to get on here and write a little bit. So here you go… I used to do a semi-regular feature in my old “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News” columns where I would match up wrestlers from the past against the top stars of today and speculate who I think would win each encounter. It was always fun to do and stirred up a lot of debate, so what the hell. Let’s do it again. I’m going to go back to June, 1984 and use the ratings from “Sports Review Wrestling”, cover dated “September, 1984: and see how those stars and legends would do against the stars of today.
It’s the NWA of 1984 versus the WWE of 2013. Ten matches with twenty of the biggest names in this industry we all love and care for. Let’s quit the talking and get to work.
NWA Ratings (for period ending June 13, 1984)
World Champion: Ric Flair
Kerry Von Erich
The Masked Outlaw (Dory Funk Jr.)
World Wrestling Entertainment
Pro Wrestling Illustrated Ratings (for period ending November 30, 2013)
World Champion: JOHN CENA
WWE Champion: RANDY ORTON
ALBERTO DEL RIO
BIG E LANGSTON
So now we know who the folks are. Let’s speculate a bit about some matches and who would and wouldn’t win and why. Ring the bell and let’s do this…
NWA World Champion Ric Flair versus WWE World Champion John Cena
In 1984, Flair was in his second reign as the NWA World Champion and was on his way to becoming recognized as one of the very best in the world. He wasn’t quite the dirtiest player in the game yet and this was all pre-Horsemen so Flair was essentially a lone wolf and worked alone at the time. Cena has been with the WWE for ten years, and while beginning to slow down due to injuries and the heavy schedule, he’s still a young man and in his prime.
So how would this match go? Flair has the edge in speed and actual wrestling ability. He wasn’t quite the peak “Nature Boy” that we all know so well yet, but he was an amazing performer who could match up well against anyone. And Cena is just a power-house, who is also a decent wrestler. For all of our jokes about the “five moves”, Cena has shown that he can match up and have good matches against almost anyone as well He’s a tough and talented competitor who won’t take a back seat to anyone.
And to be honest, at this point in his career, Cena is better than Flair was at that particular point in his career. Flair is a tactician and wrestler, but Cena is a wrestling machine. If it was a title match, Cena would dominate and Flair would do the DQ finish to keep the title. Since all of these matches are, in my mind, just straight up matches and there has to be a winner, I think Cena would dominate most of the match and in the end, take the win over the “Nature Boy”. He’d have to fight every step of the way, but thee’s no doubt in my mind that Cena would win.
Winner: John Cena
Rick Steamboat versus WWE Champion Randy Orton
Randy Orton is actually quite a damn good wrestler and can put on one helluva match. Rick Steamboat is pure magic in the ring and during the mid-to-late eighties, was at his very best and peaking. This would be a great match to see and could easily count as a dream match. Orton and Steamboat are so evenly matched in speed, strength and size. It’s hard to pick a definite winner here, but I’m going to go with Steamboat. As he proved a couple of years later wrestling Randy Savage at Wrestlemania III, Steamboat doesn’t always get his just due, but he’s one of the best pure talents ever to step foot in a wrestling ring. Orton is damn good, but Steamboat is, in my opinion, just that much better.
Winner: Rick Steamboat
Brad Armstrong versus Daniel Bryan
This would probably be the most exciting match of all of those listed here. Both men are smaller in size and are phenomenal talents in that ring. Armstrong, if he had come along about fifteen years later, would be right there with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan as one of wrestling’s top stars. He was that damn good, but he was a small man in a big man’s era and that was used to hold him back. This match could honestly go either way and I can’t really predict a winner because both men are / were just so damn good in that ring. Armstrong was considered more of an enhancement talent (bad decision by the promoters) and doesn’t have quite the international experience of Bryan so I think Bryan might have the slight edge there. It’d be back and forth and and so quickly paced, it’d be hard to keep up, but in the end, the nod would (just barely) go to Daniel Bryan,.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Harley Race versus CM Punk
I love to watch CM Punk perform and I love his promos. And he’s truly one of the best in the business today. But give me a break. We’re talking Harley Race here and although Race and Punk would have a fantastic match and put on a wrestling clinic, there’s not really any doubt who would stand tall in the end with their arm raised. Punk may be “the best”, but Harley Race is “the man”… and he takes a back seat to nobody.
Winner: Harley Race
“King Kong” Angelo Mosca versus Alberto Del Rio
This would be another fun and interesting match to watch. Mosca’s other nickname, aside from “King Kong”, was “Big Nasty” and that name fit him quite well. He was a tough former football star from the CFL who became a wrestler and had a fantastic career as a monster, bully and tough S.O.B. As for Del Rio, he’s a ring technician and while I personally find his character a bit stale and boring, he’s actually damn good in that ring. It’d be a contrast in styles and wouldn’t be pretty to watch. In the end, I think the endurance factor would make the final call and while Mosca was in tremendous shape, he’d be winded after about 25-30 minutes. And then Del Rio would take over, out-wrestle the big man and get the pin.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Kerry Von Erich versus The Big Show
I liked Kerry Von Erich and he was a remarkable physical talent, but let’s be honest here. He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Big Show is many things, but stupid isn’t one of them. I don’t think his size advantage over Kerry would matter much, but I do think he could outsmart Von Erich and cause him to do something stupid. And then it’d be just a matter of time and Show would take home the win.
Winner: Big Show
The Masked Outlaw (Dory Funk Jr.) versus Big E. Langston
The Masked Outlaw was Dory Funk Jr, who, for some reason, decided to wear a mask while wrestling in the Mid-Atlantic region during the mid-80’s. I think, though not sure, that he was also wrestling in Florida under his real name at the same time and that may explain why he used the mask. Anyhow, Dory is one of the best wrestlers in history and even now, in his seventies, Dory regularly wrestles in Japan and for his own company down in Florida. His conditioning, athleticism and ring-knowledge is second to none. As for Langston, he’s a big guy with a great future ahead of him. He’s got size and presence and he’s going to be a big star one day. But today’s Langston against the Dory Funk of 1984 wouldn’t even be a close contest. Dory would wear him down with wrestling moves and a rope-a-dope style defense and then slap on the spinning-toe-told to get an easy win.
Winner: The Masked Outlaw
Superstar Billy Graham versus Dean Ambrose
I can’t remember for sure if this was when Graham was doing the “kung fu” gimmick or not, but it really wouldn’t matter because Graham was a good talent in the ring and a fantastic worker on the mic. Ambrose isn’t quite there on the mic yet, but in the ring, he’s really, really good and getting better every day. I’m not sure of the timeline, as I said earlier, but Graham had been out of the spotlight for a while at this point, nearly six years after losing the WWF Championship to Bob Backlund and I’m thinking that the health problems that have plagued him for so long now were just beginning to surface. He was beginning the downslide of an amazing career. Ambrose on the other hand, is really just beginning to show his greatness and isn’t anywhere near peaking yet. I think this would be an interesting match and clash of styles, but in the end, it would be the WWE United States Champion, Dean Ambrose, who walks out on top.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Carlos Colon versus Mark Henry
Carlos Colon is no stranger to big man, having feuded with Abdullah the Butcher and Bruiser Brody among others. He’s a tough S.O.B. who won’t back down from a fight and won’t take a step back for anyone. Mark Henry is just a walking, talking monster. Outside of the ring, he’s a gentle giant, but inside the ring, he’s tough as nails and brutal. My preference here is Mark Henry, but I’ve got that voice in the back of my head that says don’t never bet against Carlos Colon because you’ll lose. And I don’t think Colon loses very often.
Winner: Carlos Colon
Gino Hernandez versus The Miz
Talk about great promos to build a match. That would probably be even better than the match itself where these two young men are concerned. Gino Hernandez, aka “The Handsome Halfbreed” was damn good in that ring and if he hadn’t had his issues outside of the ring, he would have been a major star on the level of Flair, Blanchard, etc. He was young, cocky, and full of it, but could back it all up. And who does that sound like? The Miz, of course. This would be a fun match to see with both men in their primes, but who would win? Right now, Miz is a “face” and kind of annoying. I prefer the heel Miz. The Miz now doesn’t have that “ruthless agression” he once had and that would be his downfall. Hernanadez always had it and would take advantage and steal a win in the end.
Winner: Gino Hernandez
And there you go. So am I right? Am I wrong? Do I need to go see a good therapist? Let me know what you think and if you have any dream-matches you’d like to see me do the “One on One” thing with, let me know. Comments and thoughts welcome.
And with that, I’m out of here.