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  #1  
Old 01-17-2016, 10:23 AM
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Default Why Bam Bam?

When WWE booked legendary football player Lawrence Taylor to work a match with a pro wrestler at WM11 in '95, why in the world did they choose Bam Bam Bigelow as the opposition?

Obviously, a match like this was an effort by WWE to get mainstream media attention. That being so, was the guy they wanted to represent the wrestling profession someone as overweight and sloppy looking as Bam Bam, who added to the image by wearing a garish, ridiculous outfit, as pictured here?



If this was to be the non-wrestling fan's first look at a modern wrestler, wouldn't seeing Bam Bam simply reinforce their image of the 'sport' as what it was in the 1950's and 60's; fat men exchanging boring holds in smoke-filled arenas?

True, Bam Bam was a performer who knew how to work a match.....and since protecting the football player from injury and making him look good was paramount for the production's sake, it worked. In that, Bigelow did a fine job.

Still, wouldn't WWE have wanted to trot out a wrestler with a muscular, more athletic physique to give non-fans a taste of what they'd been missing?

Plus, there's the obvious contradiction in having the football player defeat the wrestler at his own game, but that's probably the only way WWE could get Taylor to participate. Still, I always thought WWE did everything to make itself look bad in this event, and wondered how they might have expected to lure in new fans by handling it in this manner.

Why Bam Bam? Do you agree with the choice.......and if not, who would you have sent out to face Lawrence Taylor?

Or, would you have advised WWE not to try something like this at all?
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2016, 10:54 AM
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Excellent choice. Bigelow did everything in his power to make that work. He was utterly selfless in that match.

Good worker, intimidating guy with a marketable look. Obviously the event was a bust and maybe some of that can be attributed to Bigelow's standing in the company prior to that even, but his look was more likely to entice non fans than a Diesel ir Sid. Two guys who couldn't have got as much out of Taylor and probably would've protected themselves more.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2016, 11:00 AM
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Really nobody else worth noting that were as agile in the ring at the time other than Bam Bam. When I say that I mean weren't already involved in their own storylines. Bam Bam was looking like the modern day Ziggler in terms of booking - always put on solid matches and convincing but never could go over.

Apparently he was a good professional and WWE felt comfortable enough that he would protect Lawrence Taylor in the ring. He was about the only star that would be a believable matchup in which LT could go over on and it not greatly hurt their status on the card. I believe at the time Bam Bam was just floating about with The Million Dollar Man

WWE didn't really have any agile workers to put up at the time. King Kong Bundy? Lost all his steam at the Royal Rumble. Mabel? Too big and was on the cusp of his own push. Mo, Yokozuna and Diesel were either too over weight, would lose credibility from losing. At the end this is all a general assumption but remembering the relevant big men during that time he would be the only decent one that could protect LT in the ring.

Overall that is a forgettable year for WWE and WCW. Overall it was a good match and Bam Bam did a great job in making LT look like a legitimate professional wrestler. This match and the tag matches that year were more entertaining than anything else in the card.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2016, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Y 2 Jake View Post
Bigelow did everything in his power to make that work. He was utterly selfless in that match.
Definitely true.....and if WWE's only goal in staging this event was to improve the PPV numbers for one night, it probably worked.

Still, if any type of entertainment organization is trying to produce a program that draws in people outside their normal audience, I would think they would try to hold on to some of the new viewers.

To that end, wouldn't football fans buying the PPV say: "That's what wrestlers today look like?" and never have the impulse to check out what WWE is doing on their weekly program?

The match itself was rather interesting, solely because of Bam Bam. Taylor's only weapon seemed to be a clothesline, and he delivered it over and over. That Bam Bam took it and sold so well was a credit to his unselfishness ......and probably also necessary if he wanted to keep working for Vince McMahon.

I also agree about the factors you name of having Sycho Sid or Diesel working with L.T. But surely they could have found a more impressive physical specimen than Bam Bam. I liked the guy, but not for a spectacle such as this.
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2016, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
why in the world did they choose Bam Bam Bigelow as the opposition?
Quote:
Bam Bam was a performer who knew how to work a match.....and since protecting the football player from injury and making him look good was paramount for the production's sake, it worked. In that, Bigelow did a fine job.
You just answered your own question.

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To that end, wouldn't football fans buying the PPV say: "That's what wrestlers today look like?" and never have the impulse to check out what WWE is doing on their weekly program?
Well I'm pretty sure Bam Bam wasn't the ONLY wrestler on the PPV. Hell, they had Nash and Michaels walking out with Pam and Jenny McCarthy for Christ's sake.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2016, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mustang Sally View Post
Definitely true.....and if WWE's only goal in staging this event was to improve the PPV numbers for one night, it probably worked.

Still, if any type of entertainment organization is trying to produce a program that draws in people outside their normal audience, I would think they would try to hold on to some of the new viewers.

To that end, wouldn't football fans buying the PPV say: "That's what wrestlers today look like?" and never have the impulse to check out what WWE is doing on their weekly program?

The match itself was rather interesting, solely because of Bam Bam. Taylor's only weapon seemed to be a clothesline, and he delivered it over and over. That Bam Bam took it and sold so well was a credit to his unselfishness ......and probably also necessary if he wanted to keep working for Vince McMahon.

I also agree about the factors you name of having Sycho Sid or Diesel working with L.T. But surely they could have found a more impressive physical specimen than Bam Bam. I liked the guy, but not for a spectacle such as this.
I always felt while Diesel and Sid were the prototype of a wrestler by size and appearance that they lacked the the ring work in comparison to Bam Bam. Take a look at their matches during that era were average at best and lacked the abilities to carry a match with someone like LT who was green in the ring. You also have to look at what WWE was facing during that the time that WWE still had that steroid investigation still looming over them. Their selection of who they chose to me made sense.

Would you have put one of your top guys to lose against LT? In kayfabe that damages your top stars credibility. You've built Diesel up to be your top guy to lose to a retired football player? It doesn't look good, especially since this was a one off appearance.
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2016, 12:04 PM
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Having Bam Bam lose was lame. The Beast from the East is one of the more underrated forgotten stars from the 90s who left us way too soon. Bam Bam was a big guy that could work. It's amazing he never held a WHC. He was ahead of his time and it's unfortunate because he and Roman Reigns could have a hell of a feud. Thank the lord for WWE2K16
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2016, 12:42 PM
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Bam Bam was a Pro's pro. He did what was expected of him without looking stupid. Remember, LT was a "celebrity". Since when did celebrities lose on WWF programming? So, they had to have someone who would be a believable tough guy. Bam Bam from Jersey did the trick.
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  #9  
Old 01-17-2016, 03:00 PM
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Bam Bam had name recognition From the 80's federation Hogan Era, no one Else on The roster at the time really did.
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2016, 03:40 PM
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I always felt while Diesel and Sid were the prototype of a wrestler by size and appearance that they lacked the the ring work in comparison to Bam Bam.
Agreed, and the last thing either WWE or the NFL wanted was a non-wrestler suffering injury at the hands of a pro wrestler. That wouldn't serve WWE well at all. At the same time, it wouldn't take a Diesel or Sid to oppose LT. On the roster at that time were bad guys Bob Backlund, Mike (IRS) Rotundo, Chris Candido and even a much younger Jerry Lawler. Any one of them had name recognition the equal of Bam Bam.....and each looked more like a serious wrestler than did Bigelow whom, as I said before, was not the body type that was going to attract non-wrestling fans, imo.

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Would you have put one of your top guys to lose against LT?
My initial reaction is: no, I wouldn't. But it could be done as a one-time event to handle the dual goal of making both Lawrence Taylor and WWE come off looking good for both wrestling fans and folks who might become wrestling fans.

Another example: Owen Hart. He was a bad guy, could make LT look good while coming out shining himself, and might induce new onlookers to check out Monday Night Raw after they saw Owen's sleek style in the ring. As we know, there are many ways for a 'ham n' egger' to attain victory with sneak tactics and storylines that pro wrestling does so well. How many times have we seen this? Owen would suffer no loss of rep by losing in this manner.

No, I liked Bam Bam but thought WWE could have matched LT with someone better suited to work a main event in a major PPV.

Still, I'll never forget Bam Bam walking up the aisle after losing, with Ted DiBiase shouting at him: "A football player!"

It was great TV, but could have been better.
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