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  #1  
Old 03-14-2012, 06:26 AM
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Default Before His Time

Everyone says this right? Everyone who looks back at a character and realizes that that cat could've been gold now. The most discussed and featured is this guy:


Superstar Billy Graham

I have been dying to get a hold of his DVD. It has received a lot of praise and it is the kind of video that I enjoy. Men in grainy footage playing with each other.


Now then this a guy that impressed the likes of Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura to name a few. He was charismatic, came up with his own rhymes (Ali infringement) and had so much heel charisma that we take for granted these days at times. Having gone through a lot of his articles and history recently, he is a story that is still going on, and would make a helluva documentary. A tale of fantastic peaks and valleys.



However,





Yeah, this guy. I remember catching his WWF angle with Austin with the whole shooting deal. One feud that would've moved continents if happened a year or so latter. Not to be. Looking back I find this man. Who would've been on the threshold of greatness. this is how I see it. One of those Attitude Raw. Pillman lets loose on a mic. Pipebomb when Punk was dropping loads in his sock!

I really do feel Pillman could've gone to be something else. All the net hoopla of his intrigued and I always paid more attention of all those WCW Horsemen Vigenettes with Pillman in him. Charisma yo.


Yours?
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La PaperGhostique View Post
He was charismatic, came up with his own rhymes (Ali infringement) and had so much heel charisma that we take for granted these days at times.
For sure. I wish our generation could've seen this guy perform because it was reported he was certifiably nuts; probably the 'roids affected his brain as much as his body. I saw pictures of him "before and after" his chemically enhanced days and the contrast illustrates how much of a difference that garbage really does make.

The thing is, didn't he pin Bruno Sammartino to win the heavyweight championship? I mean, after Bruno had held the belt for 146 years or something? Graham must have been regarded as a mega-star to have the WWWF even consider doing something like that, no? Then, he held the belt for 9 months, which is an amazingly long time for Vince McMahon Sr. to allow a heel to be champion. Finally, Graham lost it to another mega-star, Bob Backlund (now there's an underrated WWE wrestler) and it's been said Graham was simply holding the title until Backlund was ready to step in.

Of course, it seems Superstar became a grouchy old man, a la Bruno, when he started criticizing his former employer after they released him from his $26,000 per year "consultant" fee.....and Billy never saw fit to start complaining until after they stopped paying him.

Consultant's fee? For what.......better living through chemistry?

Still, this guy must have been really something in his day.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:23 AM
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Pillman was definitely ahead of his time, he is the real father of Attitude, not Austin. Pillman was a unique force in that he could push the boundaries and infuriate people but still be loved for it. Think back to the legendary "Booker Man" match... It was the first time anyone had ever broken kayfabe like that, Sullivan looked stunned and it showed that Pillman could make an impact.

It was so sad that he had that car wreck right after signing for WWE. He never recovered as a wrestler, but as a manager he could have been the best of all time. His death was a massive loss and it's a travesty he is not going into the HOF with the other Horsemen or in his own right this year.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:31 AM
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When I think people who were ahead of their time, the one who immediately pops into my head is Gino Hernandez. Anyone who saw his promo work knew Gino knew how to play the cocky heel to perfection. Had he not passed away, Gino combined some of the best elements of Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels - who knows what would have been?
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:19 AM
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One person who I thought was ahead of his time in a certain way,Bruiser Brody

Had he not been killed,He would've been HUGE back in old ECW.

I've seen old clips of the battles he had with Terry Funk,imagine how much hell he could've created in the ECW arena?
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:46 PM
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There are a few ahead of their time.

Gino Hernandez: I look at Alberto Del Rio and think that Gino did that gimmick 30 years ago. Gino had the looks, talent, and charisma.

Superstar Billy Graham: was a definite. He was the role model to Hogan, Ventura, and many other muscle men.

Don Muraco: the man was a machine. He had the look, the psychology, and the talent to defeat so many superstars; yet he gets no recognition.

This last one might offend people, but Rick Flair: I say this for he lived the championship lifestyle. If he was in the ring now at the skill level he was, he'd be a superstar. His flamboyance, his ring skills, mic skills, his psychology in and out of the ring. In his day, he was THE man, if he was in the ring now (again not 60 year old Flair), he would be bigger than Punk and Bryan together.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:04 PM
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I personally don't think Pillman was really ahead of his time. He was certainly a loose cannon before it became a gimmick staple for so many others, but with him, it was real not a gimmick or persona.

As sad as it is, Pillman was ahead of his time when it comes to the era of wrestlers succumbing to their demons and addictions. Pillman was one of the very first higher profile names to pass away of unnatural causes during the internet age, at the very least the first I encountered.

He was a tremendous talent, but I don't feel as though he really paved the way for the Attitude Era, or any of the stars in it.

If anything, he is a true cautionary tale for all pro wrestlers.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProudFlairMark View Post
When I think people who were ahead of their time, the one who immediately pops into my head is Gino Hernandez. Anyone who saw his promo work knew Gino knew how to play the cocky heel to perfection. Had he not passed away, Gino combined some of the best elements of Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels - who knows what would have been?
I thought of exactly the same thing when I saw this thread! I had the pleasure of seeing Gino wrestle live in person a number of times. Whether he was in San Antonio or Dallas (saw him in both places), he drew the biggest pop from the crowd every time. His attitude and charisma outshined the "stars" of the day. I have no doubt that if he had just stayed clean, he would have been every bit as big as Ric Flair. Funny thing is I've never heard anyone who actually met him say an unkind word about him. He just had his drug problem and that eventually took over. In the ring ... he was incredible!
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