Having grown up in Florida, I was raised on Gordon Solie, Dusty Rhodes and Jack Brisco. I believe in the power of the Midnight Rider, the uppercut of Dory Funk Jr. and the figure-four leglock of Ric Flair. And there was nothing more powerful than a Barry Windham lariat.
I guess you could say I bleed NWA through and through, and I also believe in the older rivalries that made wrestling in the early and mid-1980s great.
Tully Blanchard and Dusty Rhodes, Wahoo McDaniel and Ric Flair, and of course the Rock and Roll Express and Jim Cornette with the Midnight Express.
Those matches and rivalries are etched in my mind as real wrestling, the ones that were supposed to matter.
Now, I can add Bobby Roode and James Storm to the greats I have seen that make me proud to be a wrestling fan.
It was one year ago on Thursday night that James Storm captured the TNA World Title and one week later, he dropped the title to Bobby Roode. It was the turning point in TNA that helped make Roode a true heel and created the feud we all wanted to see.
See what happens when beer and wrestling mix?
We have talked for months and wanted this and last week, it became the best match of the Bound for Glory pay-per-view. We had garbage cans, we had kendo sticks and we had tacks. We even had BLOOD.
Think of this type of feud like you would with Magnum T.A. and Arn Anderson or Tully Blanchard. Think of Roddy Piper and Greg Valentine. Hell, think of Buzz Sawyer and Tommy Rich.
That’s how good this all is.
TNA has been the company (who beats the WWE week after week with wrestling, because it matters) that wants to go back to the days of Harley Race and Dusty Rhodes. Creative wants to work with vignettes and lead-in promos that make us remember Starrcade ‘83.
Roode is every bit Arn Anderson, only more athletic. He is a great in-ring performer and really has improved his microphone skills. Storm is Magnum T.A. and has some Ted DiBiase in him. Incidentally, both former wrestlers cut their teeth in Louisiana before moving on to other promotions.
And the best thing is, it’s personal. Nothing is better than seeing friends who travel the roads together to battle in the ring with others and then have one turn on another is stellar. And the way that TNA continues to run with this is classic.
But what else could we expect from a rivalry that can stand up to the greats of the past, and possibly surpass them?