Timeline: History of the WWF 1963-1969 with Bruno Sammartino
From November 23, 2013
Introduction - So, along with ECW, what got me into retro reviewing is this exact shoot. I think the words of important people should be propagated and analyzed for all of time, not stopping at just their words, but allowing people to analyze what they're saying. And seeing as Bruno is one of the most important wrestlers of all time, and quite frankly doesn't get enough love on the internet, so it's my honor to analyze this story.
One thing that might throw off people who like the Timeline format is that they don't go show by show because back then, angles weren't done on a show to show basis. Thus, the only "heat" they get into is with that of Bruno's heat with Buddy Rogers They talk about the title change, and the time Buddy attempted to sabotage Bruno's drawing power when he was an agent. Beyond that, Bruno addresses those who would question how many times he sold out Madison Square Garden. He compares how the Garden ran as opposed to say, arenas down south and how they organized their arena shows. There's also an interlude in which Bruno talks about wrestling a past-his-prime Gorgeous George and the crowd heckling George (and how it effected Bruno). He also talks about kayfabing a to save Freddie Blassie from an angry Jilly Rizzo
You do get random educational tidbits relevant to the time such as how the NWA/WWWF split came to about (the weakest bit of the shoot, as Bruno was a relatively young wrestler not on the inside of it), how to educate a celebrity referee without breaking kayfabe, how buying into a company works, as well as the dangers therein. how filming wrestling TV worked in the 60s, how to keep a champion fresh by keeping them off TV except for very special occassion, his strongman feats and how important that was to his character, the importance of babyface vs babyface match occasionally , and the key to great psychology.
The meat and potatoes of the shoot is "What was (wrestler) like?" This is the best part, as Bruno talks about relatively underlooked stars like Waldo Von Erich, and Bruno doesn't have anything negative to say about most of his contemporaries. There are some people that get less vibrant praise you can tell Bruno had heat with at some point, like the Vinces, but he's very careful to just allude to it instead of outright burying people, which I wish more shoots with old timers had going for them. The only people he outright buries besides Rogers is The Original Shiek for being a bad promoter, and Dr Bill Miller who shot on him. He is very protective of wrestling as an art, and if anything he buries gimmicky wrestlers Bruno is also very sentimental for
If you're into shoots with salacious dirt and burials, this isn't the shoot for you. But if you're looking to learn about the times and wrestlers from times gone by. Watch this shoot
Overall grade: B+