A series where I post some thoughts about favorite cards. Previous cards in the series are available here.
Quick exercise in imagination:
Picture yourself attending one of those 1970s wrestling exhibitions. You know, the kind where the local gym or civic center puts on a challenge: "STEP INTO THE RING AND LAST FIVE MINUTES AGAINST [insert wrestler of minor fame here] AND WIN 100 DOLLARS!"
Now imagine on this particular night you're feeling some bravado. A little spunk. (After all, you've been working out more than usual, and earlier this week your co-worker said "OUCH!" when you shook his hand.)
And when no one in the audience accepts the $100 challenge issued by the master of ceremonies—not even after some major-league cajoling—you walk right up to the ring and hop in there.
The raucous, spirited cheer from the crowd only emboldens you.
"WE'VE GOT A CHALLENGER!", the emcee yells out.
You turn left and right and put a hand up to acknowledge the audience. Then you strut around your corner while the emcee takes the microphone again and introduces the wrestler of minor fame that you'll be going up against. It's a guy who locals have dubbed "Andre the Giant".
You turn to the opposite corner and watch, stunned, as the behemoth lifts one of his size-24 feet over the middle rope and into the ring, and stares you down like so:
Suddenly the crowd is no longer on your side.
Is your first reaction to take a step back and reach for the ropes so you can get out of there?
I'm pretty sure mine would be. And that would finish my exercise in imagination.
I'll let you finish your version of the story however you'd like. But that look on The Giant's face? That does it all for me. Why would he even need to trash talk? Or say anything? It's a special ability that not everyone has—not even every wrestler.
And simply for that special ability to intimidate without a word, like Andre is doing on his trading card up there, 1990 Classic WWF #130 has a spot in my box of favorite cards.
It could be $100,000 and I'd still run out of that ring before they sounded the bell.ReplyDelete
Well said, Fuji!Delete
Amen to that Fuji.ReplyDelete
I agree with you and Fuji. You'd have to imagine you'd be able to avoid his grasp by using some quickness to run around the ring for a certain amount of time, but eventually he'd be able to chase you down. And then it's trouble.Delete
More times than not, those challengers from the crowd were plants. Most promoters weren't going to risk the chance of a fan making one of their top heels (it was usually the heels participating in these gimmicks) looking like a chump, and killing all of his heat. One of the few exceptions to this was when the wrestler was a legitimate shooter, and could stretch just about anybody, anywhere. There are some stories of real fans being injured (sometimes seriously) by shooters who took things a little too far. Not surprisingly, most of these incidents happened in the days before lawsuits were commonplace.ReplyDelete
Great information there, Jon! Thanks for sharing and adding to this post.Delete