You are here: Home>Regional Territories>PNW>#25


Search Kayfabe Memories

Regional Territories 4

This section contains monthly articles on over two dozen territories. To relive those wonderful days of old, click here.

Wrestlers 4

Enter this section for bios/profiles of various wrestlers from the regional days. To find more out about your favorite pro wrestler, click here.

Stories 4

This section contains stories from the pros themselves told exclusively to Kayfabe Memories. Want to know more as told from the wrestlers themselves? Click here.

Old School Book Reviews4

Click here to find various book reviews from old school wrestlers. 

KM Links 4
For tons of links to old school related sites, click here.
KM Micro Wrestlers4
What are Micro Wrestlers?  Click here  
to find out.
KM Interviews... 4
Click here to read exclusive interviews with stars from the regional territories.
 

View Old Guestbook

 
 

www.kayfabememories.com is 2004 AtomDesigns. All promotional art, characters, logos and other depictions are their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.

All contents save Wrestler Stories are Kayfabe Memories.

Website designed and maintained by  AtomDesigns 2004 . If you experience any problems with this site or have any questions, please contact the Webmaster.

 

Enter the Grappler

 - Steve Petersen  

In the mid 1980's Portland wrestling seemed to be struggling.  The McMahon steamroller had come forth, paved, destroyed and changed much of the old NWA regional landscapes. As is the case with nasty, urban sprawl, there are some places which resist the incessant need to dot the landscape with strip malls, fast food places and Wal Mart. Portland was one such place but as it resisted, remaining proud, true and stubborn it did feel the slap and sting of change. Portland wrestling was in a slump, there were fits, coughs and short spurts where the promotion would be seeming to heat up, Tom Zenk improved attendance for a while, but as a rule things were not as hot as they had once been. There were several reasons for this. 

The area which used to have a good mix of seasoned pros and guys breaking in, now seemed to be very green. The commission, always a problem in the Northwest, was trying to regulate and industry it did not understand, and the old standbys, like Rip Oliver had seemed to become stale. 

This was the promotion Len Denton walked into, and soon things would change. Denton was definitely fighting a tough battle, crowds were down, interest was low and the promotion was not even running in Seattle to the best of my recollection at this time. Also, the commission outlawed the blade. In my opinion Portland wrestling made good use of blood to set up angles and garner interest, now any blood meant the match must be stopped and if it was done on purpose there was serious repercussions. Matt Borne actually got the promotion shut down for a short time by blading. Now, while this could be looked at as not a big roadblock, after all the WWF of the time was doing quite nicely without getting green from red, but the fans in the NW were used to, and seemed to enjoy their blood feuds. 

To be honest I was not a huge fan of The Grappler as a performer, although he was solid and quite good on the mike, I found his matches to be just okay and often quite redundant. In fact when his 'big grudge match' was promised as being off TV I was usually pleased. However, his ability to tell stories, make stars and book feuds gave the northwest wrestling scene a B12 shot and all of a sudden things seemed interesting and entertaining once again.

In these hard and troubled times for the small wrestling company, Denton went back to basics, to simple storytelling that has been around since the dawn of time. Each story needs to have a protagonist, (face) and an antagonist, (heel) and should be told in three acts. The first act introduces characters and shows us why we should like the good guy, think a run in to save someone or the original Star Wars. The second act sets up the conflict and puts a conflict before the protagonist that must be resolved, and often has the antagonist firmly in charge, think numerous beatdowns of a face or The Empire Strikes Back. The third act protagonist overcomes the conflict, beats evil and good is triumphant, think blowoff matches and Return of the Jedi.

Denton did this so well and he did it with the restrictions of the strictest athletic commission in the United States, which seemed to actually enjoy hindering the shows. If I remember correctly we had the first hell in a cell, (not called that, called a heavy metal match) that I had ever heard of. The cage was actually not around the ring but right by where the fans sat, it was advertised as a way to keep the fans safe. I have been told that the commission would not allow any cage to be set up around the ring for safety, and this was improvised.  More...

If you'd like to discuss the PNW region with other fans, please visit the KM Message Board

KM DVD/VHS Store 4
Click here to purchase DVD or VHS products direct from the official distributors.
KM Replica Masks 4
Click here to purchase pro quality replica wrestling masks of all your favorite old school masked wrestlers.   
KM Store 4
The KM Store now features products featuring the GCW logo as well as some other very cool images.  To see what's new and to purchase T-Shirts, ball caps, mouse pads and more, click here
KM Message Board 4

Want to chat with other fans of regional wrestling? This message board has forums for over two dozen promotions. Click here.

KM Belt Gallery 4

This section contains an extensive title belt gallery... images of heavyweight, tag, U.S. and various regional title belts.  To view it, click here.

Old School Tape Review 4

Reviews of various PPV's, commercial tapes and regional wrestling TV shows are available in this section. To read more, click here.

 

Website designed & maintained by

 

 

Thanks for visiting!