December 19, 2012
Great 1,024 Wrestler Tournament has been great to play
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling

Terry Gordy versus Kurt Angle ... if only!

When Dave Hillhouse sent me the link to his "The Great 1,024 Wrestler Tournament," I immediately jumped on board and tried to incorporate it in SLAM! Wrestling, with links and plugs on our news page.

I hope you have been as intrigued and fascinated by it as I have been.

There have been some real dream matches that I would love to have seen.

Today, the random seedings have Kurt Angle against Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy. Man, what a battle that would have been! Two of the best workers ever, with distinctly different styles and lifestyles ... to say the least. Gordy was a pro wrestler by age 16, and Angle was an Olympic gold medalist. Who did you vote for? I took Gordy, and, being honest, Gordy in his prime might have even been a great match in a shoot fight with Angle -- size and brawn against skill and speed.

Another Fabulous Freebird, Michael Hayes, is up for battle too, against Edouard Carpentier. Both were certainly showmen, but there's no way that Carpentier doesn't come out on top -- even if that is not the case early in the voting process.

Or how about Tiger Mask against Rey Mysterio Jr.? There is not a fan anywhere who wouldn't have paid to have seen them both in their prime against each other. Both are revolutionary figures, and Mysterio wouldn't have had any popularity worldwide without the innovations of Tiger Mask (Satoro Sayama in this case, but to a lesser degree, those who later wore the mask) in the 1980s.


I'm not sure I completely agree with the idea of the women being in the tournament, but what is done is done, and there have been a couple of times that I have really gone, "Hmmmm..."

Again, in the random set-up, the tourney pits Mercedes Martinez against Bert Assirati. Now Mercedes is easily one of the toughest woman wrestlers in the game today, maybe one of the best ever in that category, but, well, Assirati was among the greatest shooters ever. He would just have to look at her and she would be turned into a pretzel, wincing in pain. Unfortunately, Assirati is one of those old names that today's fans just don't know. He'll never be in a WWE Encyclopedia or up for discussion on a WWE Roundtable. A shame. (I do, however, agree that Sara Del Rey should go over Jeremy Buck, and Trish Stratus decimating Zach Ryder seems appropriate somehow.)

There are a lot of mismatches that happen, which is the reality of a tournament this big. Poor El Fuego never stood a chance against Dewey Robertson, The Beast Yvon Cormier ate Antonio Thomas of the Heartbreakers up, Mr. Fuji over Bull Pain

I also can't believe how some of the matches have turned out. Vader just ran away from Jos Leduc, but if I was booking, it would be Leduc all the way; he had a staying power despite the crazy man act that Vader never had and a charisma that made you believe that Vader never had. Or "Judo" Gene Lebell against Billy Gunn. While Gunn has just gotten hired by WWE to help in their developmental territory in Florida, man, it's Lebell that I would rather have teaching -- teaching these kids to make it believable, like he was. Even today, "Judo" Gene is intimidating, and meeting him is a reminder that he still has the ability to turn you inside out while still sipping his coffee.

There are close battles that bear watching too, like Pat Patterson against Sheamus, or Chris Masters against Ernest "The Cat" Miller.

If you have been voting in the "The Great 1,024 Wrestler Tournament," run through Facebook, great -- keep it up.

If you haven't, go for it. You won't regret it. But if you are joining "The Great 1,024 Wrestler Tournament" now, you will have a lot of catching up to do!

RELATED LINKS

  • Vote in The Great 1,024 Wrestler Tournament
  • Introduction: The Great 1,024 Wrestler Tournament
  • Previous Mat Matters Editorial columns Greg Oliver is the Producer of SLAM! Wrestling. He can be emailed at goliver845@gmail.com.


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