Intl. Region, Los Angeles Subregion, First Round: (16) JBL vs. (17) Verne Gagne

Discussion in 'International Region' started by klunderbunker, Mar 28, 2014.


Who Wins This Matchup?

  1. John Bradshaw Layfield

  2. Verne Gagne

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Results are only viewable after voting.
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  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Jan 8, 2007
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    This is a first round match in the International Region, Los Angeles Subregion. It is a standard one on one match held under standard wrestling rules. It will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.



    #16. John Bradshaw Layfield



    #17. Verne Gagne

    Polls will be open for four days following a one day period for discussion. Voting will be based on who you feel is the greater of the two competitors. Post your reasons for why your pick should win below. Remember that this is non-spam and the most votes in the poll win. Any ties will be broken by the amount of posts of support for each candidate, with one vote per poster.

    Also remember that this is a non-spam forum. If you post a response without giving a reason for your selection, it will be penalized for spam and deleted.
  2. FunKay the Inevitable

    FunKay the Inevitable People Like Me, We Don't Play

    May 11, 2008
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    So, Verne Gagne. Here's a guy who is a legend. No doubt about it. He trained legends (Flair, Steamboat, the Anderson's etc...), was world champion in a noted territory for long(ish) periods of time and his name is still respected and revered the world over. I'm voting for JBL.

    I know what you're thinking, I can see it in your eyes: "Oh here's FunKay again on the JBL bandwagon" and sure, that's partially right. Dude is my favourite wrestler. Can't deny that is part of the reason I'm voting for him. However, there's more to it. Let's take a look at JBL's prime, that 10 month WWE Championship period.

    He didn't always get the pin. Aye, that's right. He wasn't setting the world alight with 5 star classics. True, very true. And he wouldn't draw as well as say, Brock Lesnar, the previous main-stay champion on the SmackDown brand. Correct, sure. But that doesn't matter. It's not part of the conversation, or at least in this case it shouldn't be.

    JBL defeated Eddie Guerrero (three times), The Undertaker (three times), Booker T, Kurt Angle and The Big Show. For ten months, JBL would escape with victory. He would win over and over and defeat this Hall of Fame calibre list of adversaries. He was the longest reigning champion for ten years. It is incredibly difficult for anyone to hold a world title for more than a few months in the modern era where you are on television at least once per week.

    Now Verne Gagne, we've established is a legend. He is a Hall of Famer. I think Gelgarin (who may or may not appear here in the future) said something like Lou Thesz fought Gagne and neither backed down. That's impressive for sure. He's also a 10 time World Heavyweight Champion in the AWA. 4,677 days to be exact. Impressive statistics. Multiple world titles across three decades, 60's, 70's and 80's. Except, of course this was Gagne's own territory.

    He booked himself to win the belt and in doing so, forced many out of his territory out of frustration, ultimately causing the AWA's downfall; see Hogan, Hulk. AWA was based in Minneapolis. You may notice we're on the other side of the country, Los Angeles, California.

    The 60's, 70's and early 80's were hardly full of television exposure for wrestling as well. Holding a world title for an extended period of time in those decades was the norm. Television exposure causes a need for quicker changes.

    Oh dear.

    Verne, meet JBL's clothesline. 1...2...3. There's the ring of the bell. I can hear the announcer now: "And the winner, J-B-L!"
  3. Gelgarin

    Gelgarin Gentleman of the Old School

    Oct 10, 2007
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    I have literally lost count of the number of times I have explained why this is stupid and factually inaccurate. How inaccurate; let me count the ways.

    1) Hulk Hogan had the entire AWA built around him as the number one guy before he left. You are buying into a myth that has no factual grounding.

    2) The mass exodus from AWA happened the best part of a decade after Verne Gagne retired from in ring competition. So where the fuck this 'he forced people out of the promotion by booking himself to the top' nonsense is coming from I don't know.

    3) Gagne was one of the most over talents in the world well before he founded the AWA. He was heavyweight champion all over the west and central US pre AWA - as well as being selected as an alternative (due to questionable amateur status) for the US Olympic wrestling team. He was recognized NWA heavyweight champion, which at the time put him on near equal footing to Lou Thesz. In fact at the time much of the media element viewed him as the real world champion.

    4) Gagne mattered. JBL didn't.

    I seriously doubt I really have to explain this to people, but Verne Gagne is up there in the top ten most influential people in the history of professional wrestling both for his actions in and out of the ring.

    From an promotion perspective he managed the second most successful US promotion of all time. He trained, created or got over a near majority of the stars who went on the dominate the industry for the next twenty years. If you trace back the non-Canadian, legends of the North American wrestling scene almost everyone leads sooner or later back to Verne Gagne or the AWA. Flair, Backlund, Shiek, The Andersons, Henning, Slaughter, Snuka and many, many more.

    What's less well reported is the effect that Verne Gagne had on the in ring product we have today. Verne Gagne's AWA is the primary reason that what people now laughably refer to as technical wrestling survived past the 1980's. The AWA remained relevant keeping that style alive, and the WWF's purge of the AWA roster is the reason that today's product looks like it does, and non like it did in 1975.

    Of course, none of these out of ring actions are reasons why you should vote Verne Gagne over JBL, I just like to spread a little bit of knowledge in the early rounds before people become too stupid to read.

    Why you should vote for Verne Gagne is very simple. He was a better wrestler in every way.

    He won more often and more regularly against higher level competition.

    He was more over in comparison to his peers - JBL managed to be a borderline top guy for about two years - Gagne managed to be more over and more relevant for well over a decade.

    Gagne was one of wrestling's first ever national television stars and was a top draw in two separate decades in spite of working in a part of the world where nobody fuckin' lived. He was probably the second top earner in the industry during the 50's - on account of being the second best man in the world at drawing money.

    Gagne has better amateur, legitimate and kayfabe credentials as a wrestler. He won more often and he won more frequently. He drew more. He inspired more. He won more titles and held them for longer. He also changed the industry.

    JBL's one accomplishment of note was making me briefly forget how bad at commentating Taz was.

    This isn't a question for anyone with a functioning brain. Please don't let fanboys spoil the tournament for everyone.
    jmt225 likes this.
  4. Dan Severn's Moustache

    Dan Severn's Moustache Patent Pending

    Apr 27, 2013
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    I respectively disagree with Funkay, but not because he's completely wrong or anything, it's just that I'm looking at this match from a different perspective. And that's the fact that JBL is at the very best a four-star talent, while Verne Gagne is easily a five-star talent.

    It's kind of the same reason I supported Moolah to be inducted in the WZ Hall of Fame; yes they both MAY have pulled strings to keep their respective titles, but you can't deny the fact that they kept those titles for as long as they did. What's more, as a fan of Bradshaw and JBL, I can't deny that JBL's title reign was AWFUL. Before his reign, Smackdown was red-hot with stars such as Lesnar, Angle, Undertaker, Booker T, Mysterio, Edge, Eddie, Benoit and the rising John Cena. Compared to 2003 Raw, it was an absolute godsend. 2004 was a failed recovery effort from RAW, but 2004 also saw Smackdown take a massive toll because of JBL's reign. Great American Bash 2004 could be WWE's worst PPV KOTR 95 and D2D aside, and JBL didn't put on any exquisite matches during his reign. The Cabinet was a massive failure that nobody cared about that tried to replicate the Million Dollar Corporation. JBL's time at the top didn't exactly book him strongly, having him lose to Cena in 11 and a half minutes at Wrestlemania clean, and escaping with the skin of his teeth with the title, a lot of the time via DQ. That's fine for the upper-carder challengers, and Undertaker was used to segway the appalling Heidenreich feud, so I don't count him. But against the top babyface of Smackdown at the time Cena, it wasn't enough, and he was beaten quite quickly for a Wrestlemania World Title match and cleanly. This set the way for JBL to be a main event jobber for the rest of his WWE tenure.

    And Gagne is the main eventer that should dispatch him. If this was someone like Booker T or Raven, I'd probably support JBL for the reasons Funkay mentioned, but Gagne is significant enough of a star to crush the champion, just like Cena finally was at Wrestlemania 21.

    JBL, I love you, but Gagne outclasses you here quite easily.
    jmt225 likes this.
  5. Poop Master Flex

    Poop Master Flex Mid-Card Championship Winner

    Mar 1, 2008
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    JBL would have less than zero chance in this match if it really happened. Verne started AWA because he was one of the top NWA draws (many felt even bigger than Thesz at the time) and wanted the title and even though he deserved a run politics ultimately prevailed. Sure he booked himself AWA champ but for a lot of wrestlers were guilty of it, Lawler immediately comes to mind but there is one thing that needs to be taken into consideration, he was champ but he was also the top draw of AWA and should have been champion.

    Verne is a fantastic wrestler with fantastic charisma, was getting merchandise deals at a time it wasn't common and although this has nothing to do with the match knew how to make stars which means he probably was a star himself. I love JBL, I love the JBL character but there is no good arguments for why he should go over Verne.

    Verne by a landslide.
  6. The Brain

    The Brain King Of The Ring

    Mar 8, 2009
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    Wow the seeding is really out of whack on this one. Gagne deserves a much higher spot in this tournament and should certainly be seeded above JBL. I like JBL as much as anyone but he is out of his league here. FunKay mentioned JBL's ten month prime. He competed in WWE for 13 years and had a ten month prime with one title reign. Gagne's prime lasted over twenty years and included 10 AWA world title reigns, one which lasted over seven years. I'm glad Gagne's low seeding didn't result in a tougher draw for him. It would be a shame if he went out in the first round. Gagne for an easy win here.
  7. deem

    deem Getting Noticed By Management

    Apr 17, 2010
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    Probably up there with my least favourite arguments that are used in this tournament. "xxx booked himself to win/he was screwing the bosses daughter/he had it in his contract". Afaik, there are only two logical ways to vote throughout this tournament.

    1. Immediate dispensation of reality. Everything is treated within kayfabe. No "booking" ides enter consideration, it's just who did what and looked best when. It can lead to interesting arguments, such as the year Undertaker drew The Great Khali in the first round and had been roundly dominated peak vs peak against the punjabi, despite clearly having a far superior career. I find this the most fun.

    2. A smarkier approach to creating an alternate reality, where this tournament is occuring in modern day with these wrestlers alive at their peaks. Doing that, you can think about who would be logically booked to advance. I've used arguments from this in the past - like the year Edge came second in 2009. He had somehow been voted over The Rock in the quarter finals and I went along with the argument that this booking is pretty indicative of a runner up to a babyface. As such, I was on board with him going over Undertaker in the semis before losing to Bret Hart in the finals, despite the fact i'd never vote that way within kayfabe. A more recent example is last year, when El Santo was booked for two matches in Mexico City for his last 32 match vs The Rock and his last 16 match vs Sting respectively. Kayfabe, I'd put El Santo over both of them. If I were to put one over him, it'd be the Rock. However, there is no way he wasnt being booked to wrestle in both the matches to be held in Mexico City. Sting Vs The Rock woulda been shat all over by the hardcore luchas fans. However, having already had their massive moment seeing El Santo beat one of the biggest stars in the industry in The Rock, i was happy putting Sting over him in the last 16 as I felt El Santo's role in the tournament logically ended at that point.

    Also, we don't know who is booking which "federation". the WWE region is owned by Vince McMahon Jr presumably, but does he have full creative control over decisions? This tournament is being co-run by Dixie, Turner and whoever is booking the International region, would Dixie be ok with Vince jobbing out AJ Styles to Steven Richards in the first round? I think not. So really, region plays little into any decision in terms of booking, only within kayfabe.

    So when you consider Verne Gagne here; in kayfabe, JBL was fortunate to retain the title through underhanded methods that are not available to him here, largely in gimmick matches. In fact, during that title reign the only singles match I can remember on PPV was this.


    Within kayfabe, this is a pretty meek performance. Was cleanly beaten a couple of times, tons of interference (which may well be available to him here, btw, as none of the cabinet are involved in the tournament). Plus, while Booker at kayfabe peak is a very credible opponent, here he was probably the weakest of JBL's challengers during the reign (you could argue Eddie being weaker possibly, certainly not Big Show or Undertaker). The rest of this long reign was adapting VERY well to various gimmicks thrown at him, plus a huge slice of fortune numerous times - like being chokeslammed literally through the ring to win a cage match, or Michael Cole's rapist deciding he didn't like Undertaker.

    This is a singles match. And he's taking on one of the biggest stars ever, with tons of longevity and an incredible win/loss record. Very, very few ever got one over on Gagne. He's third on the list of longest reigning World Champions in North America behind Sammartino and Thesz.

    In terms of booking - it's already been said. Smackdown needed a top heel to have someone to put Cena over at Mania 21 and created one. He did very well for himself too, charismatic and able. Having been built up, he jobbed to the top star within 11 minutes on the biggest stage and never got a world title again. That was an emerging Cena too, not the titan of the industry we have today. Here he is meeting someone damn close to modern day Cena in terms of drawing power and overness, there is no way you can make a case for JBL.

    There is nothing to think about here in the sense of logical booking, it's gagne every single time. No WAY they would want him out in the first round and certainly it wouldn't be JBL out of the top stars of all time they choose to put over him. In kayfabe, the singles match argument is the best I can find - don't be flattered by JBL's title reign, if you break down the marquee traditional rules matches in there it's just a win over an upper midcard Booker T and a quick job to a rising talent.
    jmt225 and Gelgarin like this.
  8. nightmare

    nightmare ...7, 8, Better stay up late...

    May 26, 2010
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    Verne is an old school cat. He is also, likely a racist. While he is arguing with the ref about Ron Simmons being ringside- he turns around to take a Clothesline from Hell.


    Vote for JBL. Vote for equality.
  9. Pay Per Ghost

    Pay Per Ghost What they f*ck happened in the thread section here

    Apr 9, 2010
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    I'd take Gagne, again JBL at his best was fodder for the big cat and Gagne was a big cat in his day. He put butts in seat and that is one of the sole reasons why AWA flourished as much as it did, coz he already had built his credibility off NWA.

    He was almost on par with Lou Thesz back in the day and that really is saying something.

    JBL gets some offense in before Gagne hits him like a buzzsaw and stretches the Texan like a rubberband. Gagne here.
  10. Steamboat Ricky

    Steamboat Ricky WZCW's Living Legend

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Verne is a legend and was THE MAN in the AWA for years. JBL underwent a gimmick change and became WWE Champ on the B show for about a year during a major down period for the business of pro-wrestling.

    Verne wins this match, whether he is booking it or not.
  11. Papa Pillman

    Papa Pillman I've got more Ho's than Jim Duggan

    Sep 3, 2010
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    Thanks FunKay for making the case for Gagne in the first post while trying to support JBL. All JBL has to hang his rather sizable hat on is a long championship reign, a reign which is rendered rather inconsequential when weighed against Gagne's feats.

    A midcarder who got a gimmick change, a good push, and one long heel title run is in no position to challenge a legend of Gagne's proportions.
  12. Little Jerry Lawler

    Little Jerry Lawler Sigmund Freud On Ritalin And Roids

    Jun 17, 2008
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    Hart, Diesel, Yokozuna, HBK, Austin, HHH, Cena, Punk, Sheamus, and Orton have all done it so it must not be that difficult.
  13. nightmare

    nightmare ...7, 8, Better stay up late...

    May 26, 2010
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    If someone can show me where Verne stood toe to toe with a dinosaur, then I may change my vote.

    Till then I am voting for JBL- The man who slapped Godzilla in the face.
  14. Bernkastel

    Bernkastel Reaper of Miracles
    E-Fed Mod

    Jul 3, 2006
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    Verne Gagne made prime Andre his bitch. He's a dinosaur very much in the same vein as Godzilla.

    He's also much more accomplished than JBL. Did you know that Verne Gagne has been inducted into more Hall of Fames than JBL had days as world champion? True story.

    And what was JBL's first gimmick? Blackjack Bradshaw. Which was based on? The Blackjacks. And where did the Blackjacks get their big break? The AWA. Who owned the AWA? Verne Gagne.

    If it weren't for Verne Gagne JBL wouldn't have had a career. So vote Verne Gagne.
    Papa Pillman likes this.
  15. GI Cake

    GI Cake Thank God For Sodamy.

    Feb 18, 2011
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    Have you seen JBL's hat? No seriously, he is the best in the game when it comes to hat wearing. No other man in Professional Wrestling history could look as good as JBL in a gallon hat. None. If you ask a crowd full of normal people who don't waste their monday nights watching wrestling who JBL is, and they'll say "you mean that wrestling guy with a hat?"

  16. HBsam31

    HBsam31 Totally Reeking of Awesomeness

    Dec 4, 2011
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    Just a case of Gagne being on top for 20 years vs JBL who had just under a year as a top star. I am a fan of JBL, but isn't even really in Gagne's league. The seeding seems really messed up here. Gagne wins this one and it really shouldn't be close.
  17. Tastycles

    Tastycles Turn Bayley heel

    Jun 16, 2008
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    Lets face facts. Verne Gagne was a huge star, not just in AWA but in NWA before that. The US title (the old one, not the one that started in the 70s) was invented as a second national championship as a response to his popularity.

    JBL is the biggest benefactor of the WWE's loose end between Lesnar leaving and Cena's arrival in the main event. 2004 was full of throwing shit at the walls to see what stuck and is the reason that Benoit, Guerrero, Orton and JBL became champions out of absolutely nowhere.

    I use this argument every year, but nothing sums up JBL's career more than his progression at Royal Rumbles.

    In 2004 he was eliminated in about a minute.
    In 2005 he defended the WWE Championship.
    In 2006 he was squashed by the Boogeyman.

    The anomaly is the success, not the let down. Gagne would easily win here.
    jmt225 likes this.
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