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THE TOURNAMENT TO END ALL TOURNAMENTS: Bracket XXXI (Matches 241-248)



Hercules Hernandez VS "Gorgeous" George Wagner

Gorgeous George is one of the most famous World champions in history (they used to say his name in the opening of all WWE programming from 2005 to 2013).  Hercules had power, but ultimately never got off the second from the bottom rung of the WWE ladder.  Easy win for Mr. Wagner.




"Hebrew Hercules" Abe Coleman (no relation) VS Bully Ray (aka Bubba Ray Dudley)

Abe Coleman has the record for being the longest living professional wrestler (he passed away in 2007 at the ripe old age of 101 and 1/2, though he'd retired some 60 years prior).  I think there's been one other guy to come close to the century mark, that being Angelo Savoldi (who prior to his death and the tribute at the beginning of Raw back in September, I had no idea existed, which is why he's not in this tournament; in fact there's a lot of wrestlers in this Wikipedia article about the oldest pro wrestlers that I'd never heard of, like Nick Bockwinkel's dad Warren.  Also, did you know Ax from Demolition turns 66 next week?!?!?!  Holy fuck, I just saw that guy wrestle on the 7th!)

Wow, that got tangential real quick.  Anyway, Coleman also invented THE DROP KICK.  That's how long ago he wrestled.  He also broke the ring by slamming Man Mountain Dean without having to gimmick it first.  But with all that, he still wouldn't be able to overcome Bully Ray, who's not only strong but ruthless as well.  He's also a two time TNA World Champion and a 23 time tag team champion with his "brother" D-Von.  Calfzilla's got this on lock.




Armando Alejandro Estrada VS Jim Powers

Using sneaky heel shit, Armando gets the duke over babyface powers, because Good is dumb.




Antonio Cesaro (aka Claudio Castagnoli) VS "Classy" Freddie Blassie

Blassie was a decent wrestler; he feuded with Bruno in the early 60's, claiming to be the "Pacific World Champion" and seeking to unify the title with the WWWF, then later beefing with WWWF Champion Pedro Morales in the early 70's.  It would be interesting to see how he stacked up against a dynamo of pure strength like Antonio Cesaro (who we will, mark my words, one day see apply the giant swing to The Big Show).  I think if you extrapolate Cesaro's potential and take away all the politics, you have a several time world champion.  I'm going with Cesaro (even though one of his mannerisms in the ring is to crack his neck, which would no doubt add to Mr. Blassie's consternation at being beaten by a "pencil-neck geek").




Maxx Payne / Man Mountain Rock VS CW Anderson

Though CW is not related to the Andersons (and neither are most of the Andersons truth be told), he does share their propensity for technical wrestling.  Maxx Payne just hit people with stuff, and not very convincingly.  It's the first time I'm taking anything called CW over something else, believe you me.




Typhoon (aka Tugboat, aka The Shockmaster) VS Brad Armstrong

Yeah, yeah.  Get your laughs out of the way now.  Fred Ottoman is most well-known for his disastrous debut in WCW as The Shockmaster where he accidentally tripped and fell through the wall he came crashing through and lost the bedazzled foam Storm Trooper mask that he was supposed to hide his identity with, then "cut a promo" after hastily putting it back on (which was really Ole Anderson's voice over doing his worst death metal voice possible).

Okay, let's look at that.  Even if he hadn't tripped, WHO THE HELL THOUGHT THIS GIMMICK WOULD EVER GET OVER IN THE FIRST PLACE?  Not even GOD could've made that work.  Don't blame Fred for that.  Even as a 12 year old kid, when I heard Sting announce his team's mystery partner as The Shockmaster about two seconds before his crap-tastic entrance, I groaned and thought "Really?".  Even as a child, a mark of marks, I thought the idea was bullshit.

You'd also be mistaken to take a man who's 6'3" 380 pounds and with mad agility for his size as a joke.  This guy was one half of the Natural Disasters, the heaviest tag team champion combination in WWE history.  Once he drops the Typhoon splash on you, there's no getting up.

His opponent, the recently departed Brad Armstrong, was maligned by the WCW bad gimmick machine his entire career.  He occasionally got to be himself, but the one good run he had as Light Heavyweight Champion in 1991 was cut short when Bill Watts took over booking and banned top rope maneuvers, effectively killing the division.  Other than that, he was Badstreet, the masked third Freebird, which afforded him the opportunity to interfere in his brother Steve's U.S. Tag Title Match AS BOTH HIMSELF, THEN AS THE MASKED BADSTREET.  The same match.  That's somehow dumb and awesome at the same time.  Then they stuck him with the Arachniman gimmick where he wore a shitty knock-off blue and yellow Spider Man costume, and then later in the Attitude Era, they made him into a parody of his other brother Road Dogg and called him Buzz Kill.

WOW I got off track.  Typhoon wins easily, but holy shit was there a lot of backstory.




"Butcher" Vachon VS Doink The Clown

Butcher takes it, as I already had Matt Borne wrestle in a different bracket and Doink was nothing without him.




Kid Romeo VS Samoa Joe

Romeo must die, cuz Joe's Gonna Kill You.


RECAP:

"Gorgeous" George defeats Hercules
Bully Ray defeats Abe Coleman
Armando Alejandro Estrada defeats Jim Powers
Antonio Cesaro defeats Freddie Blassie
CW Anderson defeats Maxx Payne
Typhoon defeats Brad Armstrong
"Butcher" Vachon defeats Doink
Samoa Joe defeats Kid Romeo


Come on back for Bracket XXXII!

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