jeudi 10 janvier 2013

Rick Martel AWA answer to Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair

Rick Martel 's AWA answer to WWF Hulk Hogan and NWA Ric Flair


I remember as a child being really thrilled to see Ricky Martel ring entrance where he to run to the ring bearing the Canadian flag. His match against Mr. Saito is among my earliest wrestling's souvenirs. His promo video (the last video of this post) and I also remember Stan Hansen ramming Martel's back onto the metal ring post. Good memories! I was already familiar with Martel since he was a fixture in Lutte International (Quebec, Canada) often wrestling in my location.

As described on canoe SLAM! sports wrestling: "When wrestling hit its peak in the mid-'80s, with the Rock 'n' Wrestling connection, Hulk Hogan's 24-inch pythons and Ric Flair's stylin' and profiling, Rick Martel was on top of the world."  Indeed, being the AWA World Champion, the French Canadian babyface Ricky Martel (6', 236 lbs) was elevated to the level of WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan (6'8", 302 lbs) and NWA World Champion Ric Flair (6'1", 243 lbs). 

However, a lot of people still think that Rick Martel wasn't world championship material.  My opinion is that Rick Martel was a thrilling world champion in a wrestling federation enphasizing scientific wrestlers.  Martel was blessed with good look, charisma, youthfulness, athleticism and good amateur wrestling skills.  Martel was a complete wrestler.  Martel was a great worker.  He could brawl, he could wrestle, he could fly, and he could cut a promo.  He got it all.  But he sure as hell, never had half of the aura and charisma of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. 

For the style of booking of AWA honcho Verne Gagne, Rick Martel was the perfect choice for a World Champion.  Verne Gagne's favorite champion was the creepy old, around 50 years old Nick Bockwinkel  refused to make the ultra-charismatic Hulk Hogan his World Champion.  And once cherish the project of making the 5 ft 9, 420-pound of pure fat Jerry Blackwell is number one babyface.  So with this kind of horrific, short-sighted booking oblivion, Rick Martel was a fantastic choice AWA champion.

Comparing Rick Martel to Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan.  Ouups!  Just as any AWA World Champion before or after him, Martel is totally and completely outclassed.  Hogan and Flair were larger-than-life.  Hogan and Flair are THE two greatest icons in pro wrestling.  None of the AWA World Champions were in these league, not even close.

Now let see the post-AWA championship reign of modern-era AWA World Champions.  Let see if those worthy AWA champions were as successful elsewhere.  Look at the fact, former AWA World Champions Jerry Lawler, Rick Martel were nothing more than mid-carder in the WWF/WWE.  Larry Zbyszko was a mid-carder in WCW.  Curt Henning was a great WWF Intercontinental champion but still wasn't a main eventer.  Verne Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel were both past their prime as AWA champions.  Mr. Saito never was a "world champion" anywhere except in AWA.  Nonetheless, Otto Wanz and Jumbo Tsuruta were both "world" champions in Europe and Japan respectively.  And Stan Hansen was highly successful in Japan.


RICK MARTEL
REAL NAME: Richard Vigneault
HEIGHT: 6'0" WEIGHT: 236 lbs
BORN: March 18, 1956 - Quebec City, QC, Canada
PRO CAREER: June 7, 1972-1998
AMERICAN WRESTLING ASSOCIATION  CAREER: 1982-1986
AWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP REIGN: 
Nearly 19 months 
May 13, 1984 - December 29, 1985 from the age of 28 to 29.  
Defeating Jumbo Tsuruta and losing it to Stan Hansen submitting to a Boston crab.
TITLE DEFENSES: Several matches against  NWA World Champion Ric Flair, as well as with Jimmy Garvin, Nick Bockwinkel and King Tonga
CHAMPION FINISHING MOVES:  Boston crab, slingshot splash or an atomic drop/back suplex combination.

BROTHER: Michel (Mad Dog) Martel
TITLES HELD:
Austra-Asian tag team 1977
Commonwealth title (NZ) 1977-79 (3x)
Georgia tag team 1978
WWC North American tag 1979
Pacific Northwest tag team 1980
Canadian tag team 1980
WWF World tag team 1980-88 (3x)
Hawaiian title 1980
AWA World Heavyweight 1984-85
WCW Television title 1998

* * *1,354 documented matches as of August 7, 2007

WRESTLING RECORD DURING HIS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TENURE:
American Wrestling Association:05/13 St. Paul, MN beat Jumbo Tsuruta
*Won the AWA World Heavyweight title

International Wrestling:05/14 Montreal, QC beat Nick Bockwinkel
06/23 Montreal, QC w/. Dino Bravo, beat Rick Valentine & Sailor White
06/25 Montreal, QC w/. Dino Bravo, beat Rick Valentine & Sailor White
07/02 Montreal, QC w/. Dino Bravo, beat ??
07/03 Halifax, NS lost to Leo Burke by DQ
All Japan Pro Wrestling:07/12 Goboh, Japan w/. Stan Hansen, lost to Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu
American Wrestling Association:07/14 Indianapolis, IN beat Nick Bockwinkel
07/15 St. Paul, MN beat Nick Bockwinkel
07/20 Rockford, IL beat Mr. Saito
07/21 Chicago, IL beat Nick Bockwinkel by CO
07/22 Green Bay, WI beat Nick Bockwinkel
All Japan Pro Wrestling:07/30 Tachikawa, Japan w/. Dick Slater, beat Ashura Hara & Atsushi Onita
07/31 Tokyo, Japan double count out vs. Jumbo Tsuruta
American Wrestling Association:08/11 Springfield, MA beat Moondog King
International Wrestling:08/13 Montreal, QC beat King Tonga by DQ
08/14 Quebec City, QC beat Nick Bockwinkel
American Wrestling Association:08/16 Winnipeg, MB beat Nick Bockwinkel
International Wrestling:08/20 Montreal, QC lost to King Tonga by DQ
08/27 Montreal, QC w/. Dino Bravo, lost to King Tonga & Superstar by DQ
American Wrestling Association:09/09 St. Paul, MN drew Brad Rheingans
International Wrestling:09/10 Montreal, QC w/. Dino Bravo, beat King Tonga & Superstar
American Wrestling Association:09/13 Denver, CO beat Nick Bockwinkel
09/15 Chicago, IL beat Billy Robinson
09/16 Green Bay, WI beat Mr. Saito
09/17 Salt Lake City, UT beat Mr. Saito by DQ
International Wrestling:09/19 Quebec City, QC w/. Dino Bravo, beat King Tonga & Superstar
American Wrestling Association:09/20 Winnipeg, MB beat Nick Bockwinkel
09/22 Milwaukee, WI beat Nick Bockwinkel
09/27 San Francisco, CA beat Mr. Saito by DQ
09/28 Las Vegas, NV vs. Brad Rheingans
All Japan Pro Wrestling:10/05 Yokohama, Japan beat Ashura Hara
10/06 Koga, Japan w/. Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy, beat Giant Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta & Takashi Ishikawa
10/08 Takasaki, Japan w/. Michael Hayes, drew Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu
10/09 Tokyo, Japan w/. Terry Gordy, drew Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu
10/10 Shizuoka, Japan w/. Michael Hayes, beat Genichiro Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa
10/11 Osaka, Japan lost to Jumbo Tsuruta by count out
American Wrestling Association:10/26 St. Louis, MO drew Harley Race
11/22 St. Paul, MB beat Billy Robinson
11/25 Chicago, IL beat Mr. Saito
12/02 Green Bay, WI vs. Jimmy Garvin
12/06 Winnipeg, MB beat Jimmy Garvin by DQ
12/09 Salt Lake City, UT beat Jimmy Garvin by DQ
12/13 San Francisco, CA beat Jimmy Garvin by DQ
12/16 Chicago, IL beat Jimmy Garvin by DQ
International Wrestling:12/23 Montreal, QC beat Nick Bockwinkel
American Wrestling Association:12/25 St. Paul, MN beat Jimmy Garvin by DQ
International Wrestling:12/26 Quebec City, QC w/. Dino Bravo, beat Nick Bockwinkel & King Tonga

1985American Wrestling Association:01/06 Rockford, IL lost to Jimmy Garvin by DQ
01/08 Salt Lake City, UT lost to Jimmy Garvin by DQ
01/13 Chicago, IL lost to Jimmy Garvin by DQ (matinee)
01/13 St. Paul, MN lost to Jimmy Garvin by DQ
01/16 Vancouver, BC beat Jimmy Garvin
01/17 Las Vegas, NV lost to Jimmy Garvin by DQ
01/18 Denver, CO vs. Jimmy Garvin
01/25 Reedsburg, WI vs. Jimmy Garvin
01/26 Sheboygan, WI w/. The Crusher, beat Nick Bockwinkel & Masked Superstar
01/30 San Francisco, CA lost to Jimmy Garvin by DQ
02/01 St. Paul, MN beat Tom Stone
02/02 Milwaukee, WI lost to Jimmy Garvin by DQ
02/10 Denver, CO beat Jimmy Garvin
International Wrestling:02/11 Montreal, QC beat Sailor White
02/12 Quebec City, QC beat King Tonga
American Wrestling Association:02/15 Middleton, WI vs. Jimmy Garvin
02/16 Waukegan, IL vs. Nick Bockwinkel
International Wrestling:02?? Quebec City, QC beat Sailor White
American Wrestling Association:02/20 San Francisco, CA beat Jimmy Garvin
02/21 Salt Lake City, UT lost to Jimmy Garvin by DQ
02/22 St. Paul, MN double CO vs. Bob Backlund (WWF World)
02/24 E. Rutherford, NJ lost to Jimmy Garvin by DQ
03/01 Hammond, IN advertised for APro Wrestling USA@ T.V. Taping
03/04 Vancouver, BC beat Jim Brunzell
03/07 Winnipeg, MB beat Jimmy Garvin
03/08 St. Louis, MO beat Nick Bockwinkel
03/09 Chicago, IL beat Jimmy Garvin
03/14 Balitmore, MD beat Mr. Saito
03/15 Passaic, NJ beat Jimmy Garvin
03/16 Oakland, CA beat Nick Bockwinkel
03/17 Milwaukee, WI beat Jimmy Garvin
03/19 Salt Lake City, UT beat Jim Brunzell
03/20 Setauket, NY beat Kendo Nagasaki
03/21 Staten Island, NY w/. Sgt. Slaughter, beat Kendo Nagasaki & Mr. Saito
03/22 New York, NY beat Kendo Nagasaki
03/23 New Haven, CT beat Jimmy Garvin
03/24 St. Paul, MN beat Jimmy Garvin
International Wrestling:03/27 Quebec City w/. Dino Bravo, double DQ vs. Animal & Hawk
American Wrestling Association:03/28 Winnipeg, MB beat Nick Bockwinkel
03/30 Rockford, IL vs. Jimmy Garvin
03/31 Chicago, IL beat Nick Bockwinkel
04/05 Salt Lake City, UT beat Jimmy Garvin
International Wrestling:04/08 Montreal, QC w/. Dino Bravo, beat Animal & Hawk by DQ
American Wrestling Association:04/15 Salt Lake City, UT beat Jimmy Garvin
04/17 Baltimore, MD beat Masked Superstar
04/18 Washington D.C. beat Bob Backlund
04/19 E. Rutherford, NJ beat King Tonga
04/20 Lacrosse, WI vs. King Tonga
International Wrestling:04/22 Montreal, QC beat Sailor White
American Wrestling Association:04/24 Winnipeg, MB beat Mr. Saito
04/26 Rockford, IL beat Jimmy Garvin
04/27 Madison, WI beat King Tonga
05/03 Denver, CO beat Jimmy Garvin
05/05 Milwaukee, WI beat Nick Bockwinkel
05/12 Minneapolis, MN beat Nick Bockwinkel
05/23 Winnipeg, MB beat Larry Zbyzsko
05/25 Chicago, IL beat Buddy Roberts
International Wrestling:05/27 Montreal, QC w/. Jos Leduc, beat Animal & Paul Ellering by DQ
American Wrestling Association:06/07 Salt Lake City, UT beat Billy Robinson
06/08 Milwaukee, WI lost to Nick Bockwinkel by DQ
06/09 St. Paul, MN lost to Michael Hayes Non-title match
06/15 Denver, CO beat Billy Robinson
06/21 Chicago, IL lost to Michael Hayes (Decision over-turned)
06/22 E. Rutherford, NJ beat Nick Bockwinkel
07/14 St. Paul, MN beat Michael Hayes by DQ
07/18 Winnipeg, MB beat Larry Zbyzsko
07/19 E. Rutherford, NJ beat Nick Bockwinkel
07/20 Chicago, IL beat Michael Hayes
07/22 Merrillville, IN advertised to appear on APro Wrestling USA@ taping
07/27 Atlantic City, NJ beat Michael Hayes by DQ
08/08 Las Vegas, NV beat Michael Hayes
08/09 Salt Lake City, UT beat Michael Hayes
08/11 St. Paul, MN w/. Curt Hennig, lost to Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy
08/16 E. Rutherford, NJ beat Larry Zbyzsko
08/17 Landover, MD beat Larry Zbyzsko
08/18 Chicago, IL w/. Larry Hennig & Jerry Blackwell, lost to Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, & Buddy Roberts by DQ
08/21 Winnipeg, MB beat Man Mountain Mike
08/22 Winnipeg, MB lost to Boris Zhukov by DQ
08/24 Monroe, WI vs. Michael Hayes
08/25 Green Bay, WI beat Michael Hayes
08/26 Boston, MA drew Nick Bockwinkel
09/07 Las Vegas, NV w/. Jerry Blackwell, beat Buddy Roberts & Terry Gordy
09/08 St. Paul, MN beat Kamala by DQ
09/13 Denver, CO beat Michael Hayes
09/14 Milwaukee, WI beat Michael Hayes
09/19 Winnipeg, MB beat Boris Zhukov by DQ
09/20 St. Louis, MO beat Jimmy Garvin
09/21 Rockford, IL w/. Jerry Blackwell vs. Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy
09/22 Green Bay, WI w/. Jerry Blackwell & Baron Von Raschke, beat Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts, & Jimmy Garvin
09/28 Chicago, IL no contest vs. Stan Hansen
09/29 St. Paul, MN beat Jumbo Tsuruta
10/02 Denver, CO w/. Jerry Blackwell & Little Mr. T (midget), beat Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts & Jimmy Garvin
10/05 Milwaukee, WI w/. Jerry Blackwell & Little Mr. T (midget), beat Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts, & Jimmy Garvin
10/15 Anchorage, AK lost to Michael Hayes by DQ
All Japan Pro Wrestling:10/21 Tokyo, Japan double count out vs. Ric Flair
American Wrestling Association:10/22 Brooklyn, NY beat Kamala
10/26 Rockford, IL vs. Stan Hansen
10/27 St. Paul, MN no contest vs. Stan Hansen
11/05 Utica, NY beat Nick Bockwinkel
11/06 Setauket, NY beat Nick Bockwinkel by DQ
11/14 Winnipeg, MB beat Boris Zhukov Cage Match
11/15 Denver, CO drew Stan Hansen
11/22 Brooklyn, NY beat Kamala by DQ
11/24 Baltimore, MD beat Kamala by DQ
12/01 Chicago, IL beat Terry Gordy
12/13 San Francisco, CA beat Jimmy Garvin by DQ
International Wrestling:12/21 Montreal, QC beat Jimmy Garvin
American Wrestling Association:12/25 St. Paul, MN beat Stan Hansen by DQ
12/29 E. Rutherford, NJ lost to Stan Hansen, *Lost the AWA World title



May 13 1984, St. Paul Minnesota,
Rick Martel wins the AWA world heavyweight championship from Jumbo Tsuruta.



NWA World Champion Ric Flair vs AWA World Champion Rick Martel AWA/NWA title unification match in Tokyo, Japan, October 21, 1985

Great match between two fantastic workers.


July 19 1985, East Rutherford, New Jersey at The Meadowlands Arena.
AWA World Heavyweight champion Rick Martel defends his title against Nick Bockwinkel

For two supposedly good amateur wrestlers and great workers, the finishing is pure bullshit!


December 29, 1985, Stan Hansen defeated Rick Martel for the AWA World title
ending a nineteen months title reign.

What a crappy set-up for the Stan Hansen 's Boston crab!!


Rick Martel Music Video (shitty music warning)
I remember seeing this video as a child while watching the AWA.



Rick Martel links:
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/Bios/martel.html


  • Rick Martel Career Record
  • May 13, 2009: AWA World champion Rick Martel -- 25 years later
  • March 19, 2009: Rick Martel's Wrestlemania memories
  • October 11, 2004: Michel Martel: Forgotten great
  • Our April 1998 interview with Rick Martel

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    Become "The Model" Rick Martel from Cocoa Beach, Florida, 6'0", 225 lbs from 1989 to 1995 (from age 33 to 39).

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