Many of you reading this are probably barely old enough to remember when Cory and Topanga finally got together on Boy Meets World, (and if you're younger than that, then I'm going to feel so old, you guys), much less dramatic events that unfolded in the mid-1980s.
So you can be excused for not being aware of this event or its significance at the time. But let me make this clear to you, Magnum T.A. was going to be a huge star. Heck, he was already halfway there.
His steady push throughout the early 80s gave him all the hallmarks of becoming one of the biggest stars of his, or any, generation.
He had fire, he had the fans, he had balls, and he was the first man ever to lay hands on an authority figure when he decked Bob Geigel, NWA president, for reprimanding him after he attacked Koloff in a press conference in defense of his wife. I believe the quote "Reprimand this!" reverberated through the galaxy that day.
It was planned for him to be groomed for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, and an epic win over Ric Flair and a feud with his best friend Dusty Rhodes seemed to be crystal clear ahead of him.
And then tragedy struck. On Oct. 14, 1986, Magnum T.A. lost control of his Porsche, and veered off the road into a tree. Two of his vertebra virtually exploded upon impact, and doctors were certain that he'd never walk again, much less wrestle.
While he was holed up in the hospital in near coma-like conditions, the hospital was besieged by well wishers both via the phones, (which were actually disconnected for the night to discourage people from calling,) and people camped out in the parking lot by firelight waiting for any word of their hero.
Never before had such an incredible showing of love and support been shown to a wrestler's misfortune, and it would not again for some time.
Oh, and as for Magnum, he may never have wrestled again, but one year later he made his return, confounding doctors and family alike, by walking perfectly, and delivering a promo on the news in a serious segment about his inspirational story. Imagine that today. Just try.
Eddie Guerrero's death was during a main-event push may have been more shocking in the moment than this was, and it's entirely possible that it could deserve to move ahead of this on another man's list.
But this was going to be the NWA's answer to Hulk Hogan, and was showing every possible sign of working, until tragedy struck. Who can say how the wrestling world would look today if Magnum T.A. had caught a ride with a friend that day?
Nobody knows, and nobody ever will.