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View Poll Results: Most Underrated Territory
Stampede 1 33.33%
Detroit 0 0%
WWA 0 0%
Southeastern/Continental 1 33.33%
ICW(Poffo) 0 0%
CWA-Memphis 0 0%
Southwest 0 0%
Pacific Northwest 1 33.33%
San Francisco 0 0%
Other 0 0%
Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old Today, 02:29 AM
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tdmoon tdmoon is offline
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Default Most Underrated Territory

Territories like Georgia, World Class, Mid-Atlantic, St. Louis, Florida, Mid South, etc. are even now frequently discussed and still revered to this day. My question is, which were the best territories that you see as underrated? What were your favorites? And most importantly, why?

It isn't easy-and it's very subjective-to determine what is underrated and what isn't and what is best. So please feel free to argue whether my selections should be included or make a case for something I neglected. Believe me, I struggled with a few of them. Hopefully, it can generate some interesting discussion, at the least. Here goes:

Stampede
Probably the most famous of the Canadian promotions and home to some terrific technical and aerial wrestling, this company was the launching pad for many future stars. Synonomous with the legendary Hart family, this territory was also home to great talent such as Brian Pillman, the future British Bulldogs, Jos Leduc, the Singhs and so many more.

Big Time Wrestling-Detroit
Owned and dominated by possibly wrestling's greatest heel, The Sheik, this promotion was known for brutal feuds and was one of the early fore-runners of hardcore wrestling. Abdullah the Butcher, Wild Bill and Fred Curry, and Bobo Brazil among others plied their trade here. Detroit was also the subject of the mockumentary I Like To Hurt People.

WWA
A competitor of the above-mentioned Detroit, this company was owned by legends Dick the Bruiser and Wilbur Snyder. They were affiliated with the AWA, recognizing their World Champion, but had their own belts as well. The Crusher, Baron Von Raschke, Bobby Heenan, Ernie Ladd, Ox Baker, Sailor Art Thomas, and The Valiants had great runs here.

Continental/Southeastern Championship Wrestling
Headed by the influential Welch/Fuller family, decent payoffs, easy travel and location made this a popular promotion for wrestlers. Austin Idol, The Freebirds, Eddie Gilbert, the criminally underrated team of Phil Hickerson and Dennis Condrey and the Armstrongs all starred here. This is often referred to as The Lost Promotion because even with its success and great roster, it got little outside attention.

ICW(Poffo)
This promotion gained a lot of notoriety and is viewed by many as the most successful "outlaw" promotion ever. Seen as ahead of its time with storylines and characters and famously feuded with both Memphis and Southeastern Championship Wrestling. It was here that Angelo Poffo launched the careers of Randy Savage, Miss Elizabeth and Lanny Poffo. Other notable names included Ronnie Garvin, Bob Orton, Jr., and Bob Roop.

CWA(Memphis)
I didn't originally intend to include this. I see this promotion as one of the more popular and probably the most enduring of the territories. However, I see it dismissed by a lot of people and concede I may be biased as I grew up watching a lot of Memphis wrestling. The CWA was innovative in the structuring of feuds and match-types, the use of music videos and with tag team wrestling. Jerry Lawler, Jackie Fargo, Bill Dundee and Tommy Rich were all stars here, but pretty much everyone who is anyone passed through the promotion.

Southwest Championship Wrestling
The Joe Blanchard owned promotion was infamous for bloody feuds and for being one of the first wrestling companies aired nationwide on cable(USA Network). Tully Blanchard, Manny Fernandez, Gino Hernandez, Bob Sweetan, Iceman Parsons, Dick Murdoch, The Sheepherders, and many more were area stand outs.

Pacific Northwest
Because of its location, this area doesn't quite get the publicity of many others, though it had loads of talent. This Don Owen owned promotion was littered with stars like Roddy Piper, Buddy Rose, Billy Jack Haynes,"Dr. D" David Schultz, Rip Oliver, Matt Borne and Chris Adams.

San Francisco
Another territory I was leery of including, and another that was local to me. Roy Shire's Big Time Wrestling was a hotbed of wrestling for decades but isn't discussed as frequently as some of the other major territories. The talent was second to none, with legends such as Pat Patterson, the brilliant Ray Stevens, Don Muraco, Peter Maivia, Rocky Johnson, Mr. Fuji, and Pepper Gomez. Fun fact: my mother-who has no interest or knowledge about wrestling-can only name a handful of wrestlers she has ever heard of. They are Hulk Hogan(of course), Pat Patterson, Moondog Mayne, Bobo Brazil, and Rocky Johnson. San Francisco was famous for its annual battle royals, which were wildly popular.

Other
There are countless more promotions that deserve a mention here but I'm getting tired of writing and I'm sure y'all are getting tired of reading this. Puerto Rico's WWC, Maivia's Hawaii, Los Angeles(which didn't get its own line because fuck LA), Paul Boesch's promotion in Houston, the Funks' in Amarillo, Cornette's Smokey Mountain, the Savoldi's ICW and Central States Wrestling all have fans and are rich in history. Make a case for one of these or one of the many I have missed.

Last edited by tdmoon : Today at 02:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old Today, 07:55 AM
Jonyboyuk2 Jonyboyuk2 is offline
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Stampede got my vote here as so many great stars were born there and went on to WWF/WCW success. I just wondered where Smokey Mountain Wrestling and AWA were on this list?
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  #3  
Old Today, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonyboyuk2 View Post
Stampede got my vote here as so many great stars were born there and went on to WWF/WCW success. I just wondered where Smokey Mountain Wrestling and AWA were on this list?
Smokey Mountain was mentioned in "Other". The AWA was seen for a long time as one of the top promotions in the US, was broadcast nationally for several years, and claimed a World Title. I didn't consider it a lesser known or underrated territory. Appreciate your vote.

Last edited by tdmoon : Today at 10:13 AM.
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  #4  
Old Today, 11:53 AM
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I'd probably go with Pacific Northwest due to the sheer amount of top level talent that consistently worked the territory throughout its existence. At one point or another, I'd say a good 80%, and that's probably a conservative estimate, of the top pro wrestling talent in the US and Canada from the 50s through the first half of the 80s worked there at one time or another.

PN never had trouble attracting big names to work because of Don Owen. Owen was a top promoter but not for the same reasons exactly as most of the other NWA affiliated promoters, or really for any promoter associated with sports, in that he didn't have the mentality of a used car salesman. If you wanted to see what might've amounted to a collection of the biggest crooks on the planet, all you had to do was to put all the NWA promoters in the same room together as all of them were constantly trying to come up with ways to undercut each other. Don Owen's approach was something different: he dealt with other promoters and talent with fairness and honesty. If a wrestler showed up to work for PN, whether it was for a week or a year, Owen ALWAYS made sure that wrestler was paid every last cent he was promised. Owen never tried to weasel his way out of things, never tried to backtrack on promises that he made and if he gave his word, you could literally take it to the bank.

As a result of his honesty as a businessman and simply as an outlook on life, Owen isn't someone you hear a lot about, nor is his territory mentioned as much. We always talk about WWE, Mid-Atlantic/WCW, Georgia, Florida, Memphis, the AWA, WCCW and a few others due to various reasons. We talk about WWE and Mid-Atlantic/WCW so much because they're the companies that shaped all of wrestling for most of us growing up, we talk about Georgia & Florida sometimes for the star power brought to those territories by the Andersons, Dusty Rhodes, etc. we talk about how Memphis was essentially Jerry Lawler's playground or the various scandals that went down at any given time over the years. Pacific Northwest didn't really have any of that, it didn't have the backstage drama, in-fighting, screwjobs, politicking, rampant drug abuse or the audience a lot of other territories had; it just didn't have the juiciest of histories when compared to its contemporaries but I think that's one reason why it doesn't really get a lot of credit. Because it had so many marquee stars at any given time, you were probably treated to some of the consistently best wrestling to be found in North America, but a lot of us never saw it nor did we hear about it.
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  #5  
Old Today, 12:05 PM
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Fantastic post, Jack-Hammer, just the type of response I was hoping for. Owen was so highly regarded and I appreciate your acknowledgment of that. In an often shady business, we don't hear about the good ones often enough.
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