Friday, April 27, 2012

Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Tom Magee for Never Making It


As quite possibly the one and only Tom Magee fan out there, I've always enjoyed it when his name has come up. I feel to this day that WWF dropping the ball on him was one of the biggest mistakes they have ever made. A person with a background like his is quite rare and combining that with some of the physical tools he had available, it's shocking that he never made it.

Backstory:
Tom Magee was a former Canadian everything. A runner up in the 1982 World's Strongest Man competition, a former Canada's Strongest Man(eat your heart out Dino Bravo), a blackbelt, a subject of a documentary(Tom Magee: Man of Iron - about 90% is available of it on youtube) and a man with a background in gymnastics. Let's not forget his 6'5, 275lb ripped to shreds frame and you can clearly see why promoters might be interested in him.

After making a name in gymnastics circles and the World's Strongest Man competition(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BopjDnB_guo&feature=relmfu), Tom got trained in the Legendary Hart Family Dungeon.

Tom made his debut in an interesting different style fight with Riki Choshu at All Japan on 2/22/1986. Their match also featured a British style rounds system. The match was atleast passable for Tom's debut, but it is said that the match was considered so bad by Riki Choshu that he won't even talk about it.

Tom would then make his debut with the WWF on 10/6/1986 against Bret Hart in a match that had Vince proclaiming him to be the next Hulk Hogan. It has been considered to be one of the greatest carry jobs ever and is one of tape collectors Holy Grail's.

Now that Vince had found his next big star, he wanted him to get some experience before making his big debut. Tom was put on WWF C-shows throughout 1987 as part of the 800+ shows WWF put on that year. No, I am not exaggerating that number.

During this time Tom would mostly go up against Terry Gibbs(including a good one here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMMWTxD1v9Y). However, by 1988, Vince's fascination with Tom would disappear. Tom would never make it past the "C" rotation.

Tom would then go on to have "The Worst Match of 1988" Observer award winning match with Hiroshi Wajima(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4zYfaTBLk0) and a televised tag match on All Japan TV before moving on.

Tom then did a few matches with Tim Horner in the WWF in 1989 including one that made youtube(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zylbKZhoHPQ).

Tom then made an appearance in an episode of Star Trek(TNG: Devil's Due) and an appearance in the movie "Stone Cold" after getting out of wrestling. Today, Tom is a personal trainer.

One last note is that Tom was known for his nosebleeds during big lifts in powerlifting.

So with all that said, let's get started.

Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Tom Magee for Never Making It:

Reason #5: Other interests
If you noticed Tom's background, you will see that he did a lot of different things. While it is great that he could do so many things, it raises the question, why? Was Tom an early peaker who lost interest quickly or did he just have a lot of things going on? Only Tom could really answer this, but as you'll see later in the list, there could be an explanation.

Reason #4: Not enough experience
Tom had his now infamous match with Bret Hart less than 1 year after he debuted. While it is natural to expect continued success, Tom had a lot of things that just happened to click that night. After lightning strikes, the rain eventually clears and for Tom, everything cleared shortly after. Did Tom just get it for one night or was there something else...

Reason #3 Bret Hart vs Terry Gibbs
Let me ask you, the reader, a question. If you are going to debut, and you could choose either Bret Hart or Terry Gibbs as your opponent for the next 6 months, who would you choose? The WWF chose Terry Gibbs. Why Terry Gibbs was chosen after Tom had a supposed amazing match with Bret is beyond me. The Bret match would have probably told me a few things in 1987. If I was Vince, it would have told me that if this match was that good, then why wouldn't it be just as good the second time around. The second thing it would tell me is that Bret Hart may have been a better worker than I was giving him credit for. While this is easy to say in hindsight, it was pretty obvious who the workhorse of The Hart Foundation was.

Reason #2 The Ultimate Warrior
If I told you that I had a prospect with a ripped physique who had long hair and little experience and then made you guess who it was between The Warrior and Tom Magee, could you figure out who I was talking about? Tom and the Warrior were both pretty similar, but Vince ended up going with the Warrior. While I do love the Warrior, I can't help but wonder what would have happened if Tom was put in his place instead. Give Tom a bunch of squashes on Superstars where he can show off his cartwheels, moonsaults and where he doesn't have to do much else, and I could see Tom Magee in the exact same place as the Warrior. While Tom was not seen as a good worker, The Warrior definitely was not seen as one by the majority of internet fans(I think he is a little underrated myself).

Reason #1 His booking sucked
Whether it was due to his weak strikes or due to him being in the land of no return on the C-shows, Tom made it nowhere in the WWF. He had one appearance on an edition of International Wrestling Challenge, which no one in the United States ever saw and he never appeared on WWF television again until his match with Tim Horner. No matter how good he was or wasn't, it was unlikely that Tom could have ever made any progress with the way he was booked.

Have I changed your mind or have I further solidified your stance on Tom? Either way, thank you for reading and keep an eye out for more!

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