It's common knowledge that many expected Magnum TA to be a top guy, had his career not been cut short. However, I've never heard whether or not there were ever any specific plans for him to make that ascent. Do you have any insight into when and how he was planned to make the move to "The Man"? Or was it more of a long-term, "some day this guy will be a superstar" sort of deal? Seems like he would have worked his way through the Horsemen en route to beating Flair for the belt, but that's just my assumption. Any thoughts?
There was a rough plan to put him in the main event of Starrcade, but that's really all there was as far as plans I've ever heard.
I've always thought, had his career not been derailed by injury, that Magnum TA might have ended up having the career Sting had, minus the whole Crow thing. Maybe Magnum, when faced with the NWO tricking WCW into thinking he had betrayed them, would have retooled his look after Punisher or John Constantine.ReplyDelete
Punisher 2099, for sure.ReplyDelete
In before Fuj.ReplyDelete
He was just a bit before my time, but Magnum fascinates me now as a near mythical figure in terms of what could have been. He had the blue collar appeal which guys like Luger and Sting lacked. He was a much better worker than Rhodes. He was more composed than Windham. He had more killer instinct than Steamboat (and scheduled less family time). Do I have to bother with Garvin? If Crockette was serious about moving the belt from Flair to a long reigning face, Magnum appears to be the missing link in terms of a viable option.ReplyDelete
The best modern day comparison, I think, would actually be DDP. If you ignore DDP's early years (his stigma from being a non-wrestling manager) and pick up where he rejected the NWO's offer and started the ambush Diamond Cutter gimmick/Macho Man feud, you see a guy who really got the 'Everyman' character over. I would even go so far as to say that were it not for Sting and Goldberg, DDP would have been the perfect guy to rise to the top and knock off Hogan. Once he dropped the Vegas sleeze and glitz (and before he started calling everyone 'scum') DDP found a connection similar to that of TA, as a hardworking rebel ass kicker.
I salivate at the thought of an angle where Flair offers TA a spot in the Horseman (Ole's spot) to avoid having to wrestle him. Magnum considers the Rolex, the women, the money, even shakes Tully's hand to let bygones be bygones, then Belly to Belly suplexes everyone in sight. TA says he's coming for Flair, so Flair brings Luger aboard to stand in his way. I don't think Magnum would have eclipsed Hogan, but he would have been the foil Flair never quite had.
I can't even imagine how he would have changed things in the WCW era. Done the paranoid about his spot gimmick and heel turned on Sting maybe? So many possibilities.
Magnum was money, you can see the chemistry with Flair right from their first interaction. His charisma was very similar to Jake Roberts, except just somehow to the next level, if that make sense. And he was tailor-made for WCW's audience at that point.ReplyDelete
It was the stache he and Jake shared. That was the key to charisma.ReplyDelete
Magnum was not money...ReplyDelete
His quintessential 80s-ness would worry me. He seems like the guy the Rock and Roll Express' screamin' teenybopper fans' older sisters would be lying down for, and we know how the R&Rs aged. What would happen when he finally cut the mullet and his admittedly gorgeous soup strainer?ReplyDelete
My dad was working in the carolina during magnum's rise. He always told me when he came back home that magnum was going to be something huge. I had no clue who he was cuz we dident get nwa in canada at the time. By most ppls accounts he was like a rock star in the south tho. Maybe not money but no way the couldent push him with his popularity at the time.ReplyDelete
Curious as to why.ReplyDelete
1) Sting still would've gotten the chance. TA would've been champ, but 80s NWA was Flair's world. He probably would've gotten 2-3 months with the belt before losing it back to Flair, like Dusty did at the GAB.ReplyDelete
2) Nope nope nope. Hogan was still tremendously humongously undeniably over. Would they have taken over the WWF is TA was champ and Hogan did not become champ? Now THERE'S an alternate universe for you.
I lived on the NC border right in the heart of Crockett country and Magnum TA was HUGE back then. Coming off feuds with Tully Blanchard and Nikita Koloff, I think he was poised for a run at Flair.Honestly I think he might have had a short run as champ, but who knows where it would have went from there. Dusty was still the top face (along with the R&R Express/Road Warriors) at that time. I honestly think he might have gotten lost in the shuffle when the UWF imploded and Sting came in. I could see him at a Ronnie Garvin level of popularity until he eventually left for World Class Wrestling or even the WWF.ReplyDelete
I loved the guy, but I don't think he had the universal appeal that a guy like Sting had. He was great for his region, but the direction that WCW was headed in wouldn't have fit him or his style as well as it did Sting.
How big was Magnum's personality? Check out this video and see for yourself!ReplyDelete
Actually, not real far-fetched. Magnum and Sting are the same age.ReplyDelete
I don't know well he would've gone over nationally but I grew up in VA during the 80's and I agree that Magnum was huge. He might've had to retool his look a bit to appeal to a wider audience but I think he would've been just fine as a champ and trading the belt around with Flair/Steamboat/Sting/Vader/Luger, etc late 80's/early 90's era of JCP/WCW.ReplyDelete
Agreed. I grew up in Va as well and the guy was on the cusp of greatness (think Daniel Bryan's skyrocketing popularity today). I don't think Magnum would have had a problem evolving with the times. He definitely would have been a big deal.ReplyDelete
I do wonder what would have become of Sting though. With Magnum around, Sting might have wound up in WWF eventually.
JCP was an embarrassment of riches.ReplyDelete
Yeah, after the 7-match series with Nikita, I think he was poised to take on Flair at Starrcade 86, and if he had won there, then you have a NUCLEAR feud with Nikita over a Russian winning the World title. Flair regains sometime before Bash 87, and then you have TA possibly teaming with Windham against the Horsemen (and those matches probably would've torn down the house). Koloff eventually turns face after Horsemen interference keep him from winning the title (since Flair wants TA to himself) and you've got a HOT HOT HOT intro to WarGames:ReplyDelete
Flair, Blanchard, Anderson, Lex and JJ (or Ivan if you wanted to go that far) vs.
Rhodes, Koloff, Warriors, and TA.
Somebody needs to recreate that ish NOW.
As did I, but something trolleyed the Twitter connect feature in Disqus.ReplyDelete
You never know.. Magnum had a lot going for him, but there are other forces at work. I think Sting would have still gone to Crockett.. if anything out of loyalty to Bill Watts. As good as Magnum was, Sting (and Ultimate Warrior) represented a newer generation and and I doubt either's career could have been stopped by just having Magnum around.ReplyDelete
With so many local promotions falling left and right, I think it would have been as hard for Magnum TA to stay afloat as it was for Nikita, The Von Erichs and many other regional stars in the national TV era.
I'll just throw this out:ReplyDelete
March 27, 1988: Clash of the Champions
Flair/Magnum, Two Out of Three Falls, One Hour for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Magnum won the world title at GAB 87 after reclaiming the U.S. Title from Nikita at Starrcade 1986 (He loses the U.S. title at the start of the Bash 87 tour)... lost the title at Starrcade 1987 to Horsemen interference... and this is his first TV shot since. (Oh, and unlike a certain Mr. Garvin, Magnum DID get competition while holding the belt.)
The rest is mostly the same... Sting's at ringside for the World Tag Title Match, backing his best friend Luger, and offsetting Dillon. Also, it gives Luger an ally when Windham turns on him, as he will...
I could see him turning on Dusty and becoming a horseman.ReplyDelete
I also see him getting a dumb gimmick from McMahon after jumping to the WWE.