Most Underrated Territory

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by tdmoon, Nov 18, 2017.

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Most Underrated Territory

  1. Stampede

  2. Detroit

  3. WWA

  4. Southeastern/Continental

  5. ICW(Poffo)

  6. CWA-Memphis

  7. Southwest

  8. Pacific Northwest

  9. San Francisco

  10. Other

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. tdmoon

    tdmoon Pre-Show Stalwart

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    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.
     
    #1
  2. Jonyboyuk2

    Jonyboyuk2 Getting Noticed By Management

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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?
     
    #2
  3. tdmoon

    tdmoon Pre-Show Stalwart

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    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.
     
    #3
  4. Jack-Hammer

    Jack-Hammer YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!
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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.
     
    #4
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  5. tdmoon

    tdmoon Pre-Show Stalwart

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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.
     
    #5
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  6. stingray11214

    stingray11214 Cena is no Bruno & Cole is no Solie

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    If you did not mention Portland, I would have. Jack is so right Pacific Northwest was SOOOO unappreciated, never mind underrated. And, the reason was that you had a saint like Don Owen running the place. People forget that he was one of the pioneers of Wrestling on TV. Portland Wrestling lasted 5 DECADES on Local TV in the Portland area. What is more incredible are the stars that PNW produced: Pat Patterson, Stan Stasiak, Buddy Rose, Roddy Piper, The Bornes, Tony and his son Matt, Big Josh, Steve Regal. My God, the place looked like a Who's Who in Pro Wrestling.

    Their was no drama. Almost no politics. Everyone got paid and treated fairly. If Don Owen was not cracking 80, PNW might have been able to be what ECW was on the East Coast: A solid First-Tier promotion.
     
    #6
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  7. HeenanGorilla

    HeenanGorilla Championship Contender

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    Enjoying these responses. I missed the territories, but always thought it sounded like a great time to be a fan. Don Owen sounds like a great guy. Shame I hadn't heard of him until now. The good guys don't get the press, I guess. A shame. But thanks for these responses--enjoying them.
     
    #7
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  8. stingray11214

    stingray11214 Cena is no Bruno & Cole is no Solie

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    The Territorial Era was a great time to be a fan. In NYC, we got to watch WWWF, Championship Wrestling from Florida, Mike LaBell's L.A, Territory, The WWC in Puerto Rico, Fritz von Erich's World Class. If you had cable, add to that Georgia, Memphis and the Carolinas in the early '80's. And, even if you didn't, cards were being booked DAILY in the NY area. What this did was that you would always have the great debate of who would beat who: Wahoo McDaniel vs Jay Strongbow, Rick Martel vs. Chris Adams. The von Erichs vs the Horsemen. And, if you could not stay up late, or, later on, you did not have cable, you had the Apter Mags to keep you up to date.

    I believe we are coming to a new "territorial era". The Indies are doing spectacularly well. The Young Bucks have developed the blueprint where a solid wrestler does NOT need WWE to make money. Ridgewood, NY based
    House of Glory is about to sign a deal with MTV. CW from Hollywood, Minnesota's AWF, Las Vegas' Paragon and Rocky Mountain Pro have weekly deals to deliver content. Why do you think WWE is making it harder for people to do stuff during 'Mania Week?

    Yes, my son, the Territories are returning. Which is better for ALL fans of Professional Wrestling.
     
    #8
  9. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    Smokey Mountain should have its own place in the poll...

    The sheer level of talent through there is huge and it was in essence the last "real" territory , with Cornette running it as a legit business rather than "developmental" and 3 former WWE World Champs (4 if you count their ECW title) got their significant break in SMW (Kane, Jericho and The Hardyz) that's before you add in the other potential future HOF'ers like Al Snow, Lance Storm, Hardcore Holly, Chris Candido/Sunny and Road Dogg who started there.

    Like Cornette or hate him, he had something special going for a short time with SMW, before Nitro came and there was no more room for the "little guy".
     
    #9
  10. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    I don't think it's "a new territory era" but I do think that WWE has realised that the old NWA model wasn't actually that bad... they're positioning themselves to be that umbrella with their network and performance centre.

    Already they are doing bits with indy's around the world and it's quite conceivable that once the UK show starts that ICW is part of it. The NWA was often about promoters controlling the money, where now for WWE it's about the perception of being "THE" big name and having the pipeline to talent... the smaller companies will join up as its exposure means they get infront of far more eyeballs than they could otherwise and that will help fuel new recruits.

    Ironic that Vince killed the territory system against his dad's wishes, now Trips seems intent on bringing it back with him at the helm for when Vince is gone...
     
    #10
  11. GhettoV1

    GhettoV1 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    I voted for WWC because it's the last territory standing in the United States and they outlived both WCW and ECW.
     
    #11
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  12. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    and they killed Brody... so they don't get my vote!

    In all seriousness, WWC is a unique place because P.R is a unique situation... not being an official state but a free state lends itself to their business, that the Colon's had ties to Vince all these years hasn't hurt either... but that territory still let a man die in their shower and the killer escape justice... so whether they deserve to still be there is another matter entirely.
     
    #12
  13. GhettoV1

    GhettoV1 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    It's suprising that WCW never bother to invade Puerto Rico by sending their show Worldwide on local TV during the 1990s as another open territory and not leave it all to the WWF and WWC.
     
    #13
  14. LibSuperstar

    LibSuperstar Occasional Pre-Show

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    Trips is a student of the game so it's not surprising.
     
    #14
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  15. tdmoon

    tdmoon Pre-Show Stalwart

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    Was reading an article this morning by Dory Funk, Jr. and his words of Don Owen brought to mind this thread, where Owen has been getting deserved praise:

    "Don Owen was the fiery promoter in Portland. Don used to like to say he had a turkey farm with 10,000 turkeys and he could eat one turkey a day for the rest of his life so all the promoters in the NWA who might be upset with him could go "f" themselves, he could survive and would run his town like he wanted to. Percentage wise, Don was the best pay-off man I ever worked for. He ran his show in a remodeled bowling alley. One night I worked there and Don said, "Come with me, with all this cash someone may want to hit me over the head. As we drove away he said he had just made his last payment on the building. He owned it along with his turkey farm now and once again affirmed to me what all the other promoters could do. In the Portland Territory I faced Lonnie Mayne and Dutch Savage in world title matches."
     
    #15

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