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THE TOURNAMENT TO END ALL TOURNAMENTS: Bracket I

I've loved professional wrestling since I was nine years old.  Since Hulk Hogan was beefing with "Iraqi sympathizer" Sgt. Slaughter in the build-up to Wrestlemania VII, I have eaten that shit up.  Shortly after that, I discovered WCW, and then a little program on ESPN called Super Card, belonging to the GWF (or Global Wrestling Federation).  Formed from the ashes of the USWA (which was forged from the ashes of World Class Championship Wrestling), it wasn't much, but as a kid I didn't see a difference.  Then as the 90's rolled on, ECW rose and fell, WCW dissolved into TNA and Ring Of Honor sprouted up.  But before all that there were the big three: The AWA, The NWA and the WWWF.  And before that still, there were men that made the modern definition of a tough guy seem like a 98 pound weakling in a funhouse mirror wearing inflatable muscles.

Point is, I know a shit ton more than I should about pro wrestling.  I've been watching it for 22 years.  I've actually done research on it.  And let me get it out of the way: Yes, I know it's fake.  All wrestling fans do, more or less.  And we don't care.   I appreciate the athleticism, the choreography, the characters, the promos, the works, the shoots, the gimmicks...the whole beautiful ball of wax.  The outcome isn't the most important thing, it's the performance that gets it there.

Anyway, what's my point?  I decided, FOR FUN, to compile a tournament of 720 wrestlers from all eras, all companies.  45 brackets of 16.  I don't know why.  (Well, I know why 720; I got to 702 and did some math and decided to draw a line, which means this isn't an entirely comprehensive list.  As to why I did this, or why I thought to do it?   God only knows.)

So, do you like wrestling?  If so, let's play a crazy game.  I have paired up 360 first round matches at random (and some of the pairings are so random they already made the exercise worth it for me), and I'm gonna blog about every last one of 'em.  I'll try not to drag this out too long, but if somebody tells me these posts are too long, I'll just post one bracket a day like I originally planned.  I'll try to keep individual match blurbs short, but some of them are crazy like I said, and may be too entertaining to pass up.

Some guidelines:

  • All Wrestlers are in their prime (whenever you imagine that is/was)
  • First Round brackets were selected at random by giving each wrestler a number and using Random.org to make the selections
  • All old-timey wrestlers from before wrestling was fake have agreed to "work", not "shoot", meaning that they're in on the whole predetermined outcome thing and won't just up and kill a guy because they can (and believe me, they could).
  • All is F.E.P.O. (For Entertainment Purposes Only).  If you've got a problem with a matchup, DISCUSS IT WITH ME!!!  I Love talking about wrestling, and odds are if you have an opinion on this shit, you do to.  Let's have a convo, even if it becomes a flame war!  I don't care!  It'll be fun!  And that's the whole point.  For this to be FUN.

Ding-ding-ding, let's crown the true king!

BRACKET I (Matches 1-8):

                          

Sweet Daddy Falcone VS Villano IV

Given that I know Villano IV as a faceless luchador and Sweet Daddy Falcone as a somewhat capable big man from Skandor Akbar's Coast To Coast Connection in the GWF, Sweet Daddy gets the duke.  Clean pin after a random beefy power move at 5:15.


                               

Chyna VS Bobo Brazil

Dude, THIS is when I knew this would be fun.  This match is just so ridiculous.  Bobo Brazil is a 7-time WWWF U.S. Champ (also the first and last in that title's history), and is called by some the "Jackie Robinson" of professional wrestling because he was one of, if not the first successful black grappler to get over.  Chyna, on the other hand, is the only woman to hold the Intercontinental title (1999), and is 6'2", 230lbs.  Of course Bobo, a WWE Hall Of Famer, stood 6'6" and weighed around 260.  Also, given the competition Bobo had to face, he could probably take down DX's muscle in short order.  Four minutes tops.


                                 

Rob Conway VS Jesse Gymini

Rob Conway is the current NWA Champion believe it or not.  (No, he didn't spontaneously cease to exist when WWE cut him in the mid-00's, though I can't rightly say the same for the twin tag team of Gymini.)  This would be a 4&1/2 to 5 min match with Conway making it look easy.


                                 

Luke Harper VS P.N. News

Luke Harper is one of the two tall dudes from The Wyatt Family, and P.N. News was a 430lb. white guy from early 90's WCW with a Vanilla Ice gimmick.  He would basically just shout "Yo Baby, Yo Baby, Yo!" over and over again, then do a dive off the top rope and make the term "squash match" literal.  I feel like Harper has the edge here, but not without a few spirited exchanges.  Make it 6:19.


                                

Jimmy Wang Yang VS Mason Ryan

Neither guy ever got much traction in WWE, but even in the face of such an impressive mustache, there's no way a powerhouse like Ryan loses to Jimmy Wang Yang.  1:28 to the cobra clutch slam.


                                 

Scott Armstrong VS Jim Londos

Scott Armstrong had a twenty year career as a wrestler before becoming the senior official on-air for WWE's referee corps.  Not a lot of people know that; technically not even me, because I had him mistaken for his brother Steve, who was the guy who teamed with Tracy Smothers in The Young Pistols back in WCW, not Scott.  But really, none of that matters a lick, because Jim Londos, known as "The Golden Greek" was one of the longest reigning champions to ever grace a ring, and he did it during the goddam Great Depression when this shit was still at least 50 percent real.  In fact, he retired as World Heavyweight Champion after seven years and change in 1946.  So yeah, this guy would eat Scott OR Steve Armstrong alive in two minutes or less.


                           

"Wild Man" Marc Mero (aka Johnny B. Badd) VS George "The Animal" Steele

Given that "The Animal" was prone to distraction, and given how his Wrestlemania II match with another robe wearing individual "Macho Man" Randy Savage went, I'm giving this one to Marc Mero.  George will kick his ass a little, get distracted, eat a turnbuckle, then get rolled up with a good healthy handful of tights and some feet on the ropes at 5:30.


             

"The World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry VS Col. Robert Parker

This is a wrestling manager against a legit beast.  No way this lasts two minutes.  Henry all day and tomorrow.


Well, I hope you enjoyed our little experiment.  What do you think?  Is there a match you think I got totally wrong?  Discuss it with me!  Lets make this a wonderful nerd-fest of wrestling!  Hey, it's the internet; why not?

See you tomorrow, at the matches!


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