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Draw, pardner

The question about Savage's drawing power got me thinking about who can legimately considered a draw... there are obvious ones like Hogan, Andre, Austin, Rock, Flair etc. Etc. But i was wondering your opinions on a few guys who have claimed to be draws or called so by others. I could list off many names but i picked these 10

1) LOD/Road Warriors

HELL YEAH.  They were main eventers in the AWA and basically carried the entire promotion on their back for a while.  Everywhere they went, they boosted houses.  Until they got killed off in the 90s. 

2) Vader

Yes in Japan, less so in WCW.  His main title run in 93 was not exactly a stellar time for the company. 

3) Scott Hall in the Razor Ramon gimmick

He was never really in a position to draw on his own, but he did OK when he headlined WWF house shows against guys like Jarrett. 

4) Dibiase

Again, never really in a position to draw on his own, but his series against Hogan and then Savage in 88 did big business, and he headlined the C tour with Dusty for a good run as well.  So yeah, for a while there, I’d say so. 

5) Sgt. Slaughter

Definitely in the 80s.  Both the feud with him and Kernodle against Steamboat/Youngblood and then the Sheik stuff in the WWF. 

6) Mick Foley

Not according to Tony Schiavone. 

7) Demolition

Not really much in the way of evidence one way or another. 

8) Sid

Nope, major bomb as champion and drew one of the smallest buyrates for Wrestlemania in history. 

9) New Age Outlaws

Never in a position to draw on their own, so it’s hard to say.  They did great ratings numbers, though. 

10) Honky Tonk Man

Yup.  Drew houses for months as champion. 

Comments

  1. 6) Mick Foley
    Not according to Tony Schiavone.

    --that's not true. Tony was/is a friend of Foley and it's common knowledge he was told by his boss to say those things on Nitro.

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  2. Stranger In The AlpsJuly 3, 2015 at 12:14 PM

    So how does a guy like Sid, who has charisma and that "it factor", get handed a title and then not draw? The same with Nash. Over with the crowds, but poor draws when champ.

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  3. At least to me, Sid's whole appeal was his look and the idea of how indestructible he could be. The instant you watch him work a match that is longer than 10-seconds (as in doing more than a Powerbomb), you have no interest in watching him again.

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  4. Yeah, as soon as you see Sid awkwardly throwing up a big boot or stumbling through an elementary spot, it really ruins his mystique.

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  5. That is the joke I was going for, yes.

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  6. wasn't Dibiase a draw in Mid-South?

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  7. Man Sid was such a Boss & it seemed as if he wudda been automatic money. Not sure what the deal was but he was the perfect top tier villain. Ridiculously impressive looking & good enough in the ring with the power moves. Yes promos were barely passable. But his look & demeanor was second to none.
    Too bad he has half the brains Nash does. Maybe because softball season was his Wrestlemania season. Maybe cuz he tries to shank Double A with scissors. Or the gruesome....I mean gruesome.... In ring ankle massacre.

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  8. Ugh. Sorry dude

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  9. Not particularly. JYD and Freebirds moved the needle, as two examples, but Dibiase was always just a solid guy who was credible near the top. I can't recall any big houses that he drew, but it's not like Watts was going gangbusters at the time when Dibiase was main eventing anyway.

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  10. I remember people were in awe of him in 89-92 but they just wouldn't pay money to see him

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  11. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJuly 3, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    Sid never held the belt longer than a couple months and was never the focus of the company. Oddly enough, he headlined two Wrestlemanias where he wasn't even the focal point of the show

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  12. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJuly 3, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    Full disclosure, I have never seen the gnarly Sid leg injury

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  13. Cena vs Orton,one more timeJuly 3, 2015 at 1:06 PM

    I still cringe at the spot where he almost snapped pillman's neck like a twig in 1991

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  14. Was Sid being super over at the Garden against Michaels more attributable to fans aversion to Michaels babyface run?

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  15. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 3, 2015 at 1:12 PM

    You don't want to.

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  16. At the time, I really didn't care for Shawn's good-guy run, and cheered Sid by default.

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  17. I still love the Raw where Hart tells Sid "you know....(something)" and Sid yells "I don't know shit!"

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  18. MaffewOfBotchamaniaJuly 3, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    You're only as good as your opponents/feuds.


    Nash had Mabel, Tatanka and Bulldog, and I can't recall any of Sid's feud with Undertaker other than ''HBK did this''

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  19. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogJuly 3, 2015 at 1:17 PM

    Huge badass monster vs male stripper. At MSG

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  20. Probably. Smart fans like at MSG can be dicks.

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  21. Until Jesus Christ Shawn Michaels resurrected in 2002, I thought HBK was completely incapable of playing a likable face.

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  22. Mick Foley got me back into wrestling after several years of not caring, so he's a draw to me dammit.

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  23. I would submit that the way 1993 WCW was booked, no one was going to draw a cent in the face of such inanity.

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  24. Uggh. Hate this question. There is no such thing as knowing who a draw is or isn't anymore and it's been pretty shaky since the expansion of the WWF in 84. Drawing was based on pulling in a house show crowd back in a time when your match was advertised the week or month before and territories were running weekly, bi-weekly or monthly shows at the same arena. You wanted to see if Bruno was a draw? Well you advertised his matches for MSG at the previous month's MSG show. If he sold out with wrestler X for their three month run, then he and wrestler X could probably be considered a draw of sorts. If Wrestler Y feuding with Bruno failed the next 3 monthsk you blamed wrestler Y.


    Once you started having SNME on every 2 months or every month and you started booking towards ppvs, the concept of who was or wasn't a draw began to become questionable. Obviously it ain't rocket science to declare Hogan a draw, but beyond that? Hard to say. PPV buyrates were sketchy into the early 90s due to technology issues (who had to go drive and pick up a special box, who even had access, who could just order it over the phone and eventualy just with a click on the remote, etc.). House shows were spread out at most places by months or even years between shows rather than focusing on a smaller group of arenas in the NE or in the case of the territories, their particular small 2 or 3 state market. JCP was chasing Philly, Boston, Detroit, etc. in addition to holding onto Greensboro and Charlotte.


    Companies reduced the advertising of specific matches and began to market more on the overall WWF or JCP experience and by advertising a list of names. Ofen tickets were sold before matches were even known, before the list of wrestlers might even be known, This phenomenon only increased into the late 90s, with most shows during the MNW era selling out before the cards were announced, often months in advance, with storylines bound to be completey different. Today? Most WWE cards aren't advertised until maybe 2 weeks before the house show. People buy tickets for Raw or ppvs "blind" with no knowledge of who will be wrestling who and even who is 100% booked to be there.


    Quarterly ratings might be somewhat of an indication if you look over them long term and do a TON of number crunching. Just pointing out that wrestler X (a different wrestler X than wrestled Bruno by the way) went up .2 from Wrestler Y at 9:15 to 9:30 is meaningless on a one time basis. Who was wrestler X working against? Did a big sporting event start at some point during that period? Is this a long term trend? It would require a significant analysis to have any sort of idea who is a draw or isn't anymore based on quarterlies. Back in the MNW era there seemed to be somewhat of a correlation, but even then some huge segments had odd names like Val Venis vs. BIg Bossman and the like, so it wasn't an exact science.


    I think we can say that two wrestlers are draws from 84 on. Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin. Those two aren't debateable. Beyond that you start getting into the "yeah...but" types like Rock, Flair, Sting, Warrior, Savage, Hart, HBK, HHH, Cena, etc. On the surface you might argue them but then someone always has a stat about ppvs, attendance, ratings, etc. that says, "yeah, but..." I would argue that Goldberg for a one year period would have to be considered a draw on his own.


    Beyond those three, I won't commit to anyone in the expansion era because the way to figure it out is simply not there.

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  25. Demolition, maybe, they were over well and the fact they held the belts for over a year during a time the WWF tag scene was at a peak says a lot of their power.

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  26. What about Luger? He was over HUGE in '88 and Crockett not giving him the title then was a huge mistake that could have given him some much needed income. But by '91 it had cooled down a bit so he wasn't really taking off (although you can argue a lot of that due to the bad feelings over Flair being gone). Still interesting to consider if he'd won the belt in WWF in '93, we might have a better judge, as is, Luger seems a guy who peaked a bit early in drawing power.

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  27. Macklin, Man Without MercyJuly 3, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    I think people often think if you aren't a star on the level of Austin/Hogan/Rock then you aren't a draw at all. You can be a draw without being one of the biggest draws ever.

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  28. I would he assume he drew well in 1997, maybe the best run of his career

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  29. at the same time many of the old timers (and folks like Hayes who desperately pretend they are old timers) who will tell you EVERYTHING in wrestling is only about who draw money will also tell you that cheers and boos didn't/don't equal draw.

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  31. Best to keep it that way.

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  32. Hayes' heyday was 30+ years ago and he's been retired for 20 years. How much older do you have to be to be an old timer?

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  33. Pay per view buyrates is a way to figure it out.

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