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Ray Stevens

Ray Stevens

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#1 Grimmas

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 05:47 AM

Discuss here.



#2 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 05:50 AM

Pretty much every worker who got their start in the 70s seems to name Ray Stevens as the GOAT. Flair does. Kevin Sullivan does. I've heard numerous guys on shoots name Stevens too.

Just noticed he wasn't nominated.

Even though there is a footage issue, I think Stevens is just an interesting case in general since from the footage we have -- and we have hours of Stevens post-prime on tape -- it's very hard to see where they are coming from.

What is interesting though is that a lot of guys in the business also think Shawn Michaels is a contender for GOAT and superficially at least, he had similar skills to Stevens, i.e. he was a huge bumper who made other people look good. I wonder if there's anything to a Stevens vs. HBK comparison in terms of how they are perceived by the workers and how they are perceived by people who post on PWO.

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#3 Matt D

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 05:59 AM

Wrestlers' praise for Michaels and Stevens:

 

"Could do anything in the ring"

"Could go all night"

 

At least part of this community tends to care more about a wrestler doing the right thing in the ring at the right time for the right reason.

 

The difference between Michaels and Stevens is that we have the footage to at least understand the argument with Michaels.



#4 Grimmas

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:09 AM

I haven't watched much Stevens, but I am suspicious. I feel like he is treated the same way Angle and Michaels are by wrestlers.



#5 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:09 AM

The guy is basically hero worshipped by an entire generation.

#6 Grimmas

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:11 AM

The guy is basically hero worshipped by an entire generation.

So is Michaels and Angle. They both stink.



#7 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:17 AM

The bizarre thing is though that his tag partners and contemporaries, Bockwinkel and Patterson could still go in their 40s.

In the footage I've been watching, Stevens seems done by 73. Like there's not even the shadow of a guy who could go like we're led to believe. I watched that match from the 1960s vs. Al Fredericks and .... really Stevens didn't look that much different from what he did in the early-mid70s tagging with Bock.

He remains the biggest mystery to me.

#8 Grimmas

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:19 AM

The bizarre thing is though that his tag partners and contemporaries, Bockwinkel and Patterson could still go in their 40s.

In the footage I've been watching, Stevens seems done by 73. Like there's not even the shadow of a guy who could go like we're led to believe. I watched that match from the 1960s vs. Al Fredericks and .... really Stevens didn't look that much different from what he did in the early-mid70s tagging with Bock.

He remains the biggest mystery to me.

Michaels before his comeback was pretty good and then when he returned (got older) he stunk. I think Stevens probably had that. While he was athletic I am sure he was pretty awesome, once he started to lose his athleticism he stunk.



#9 Matt D

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:21 AM

Well, Ric Flair doesn't talk about Stevens' in ring skills, really. He talks about how he was the most insane drinker and mayhem-causer in the world. 



#10 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:22 AM

Elsewhere he does talk about Stevens as GOAT. On the Funk-Flair joint shoot, for example.

#11 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:23 AM

Pretty sure Bob Orton Jr, Dick Slater and Black Jack Mulligan all name Ray Stevens when asked about best opponents or GOAT workers too, in their various shoots. Bockwinkel also names him.

#12 Matt D

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:24 AM

Elsewhere he does talk about Stevens as GOAT. On the Funk-Flair joint shoot, for example.

 

The point is that Stevens probably nuked his body with the partying. 



#13 Al

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 09:14 AM

Partying, hard bumping as well. There's good reason to think/believe he didn't age well. His prime work is barely even documented by San Francisco title histories, let alone videotape. Generally I think there's just not enough evidence to discount the opinions of his peers.

 

Though I'll note that a lot of praise isn't just Stevens. It's Patterson and Stevens. So it's possible that Stevens was this great spot man ala Antonino Rocca (granted a better version) while Pat Patterson played Miguel Perez and kept the match together.



#14 peachchaos

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 10:45 AM

Flair called him "the greatest worker" on his podcast with Bret and said something similar when he was on Austin's podcast last year.



#15 JRGoldman

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 11:56 AM

Knowing what we do about wrestling culture, especially from that time period, is it particularly surprising that Stevens is lauded? I mean, the ability to maintain your athleticism while still drunk/hungover is probably enviable as most who try wrestling can barely figure things out sober. I'm not saying he wasn't a great wrestler, but every generation of workers have traits that are valued highly amongst peers and less so with fans. Flair and others looking at Stevens and seeing a guy who could rock and roll and still make it through the next day six times a week was probably more impressive than another guy with better in ring stuff. 



#16 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 11:28 PM

I liked his promo after the Fredericks match. His work seemed pretty standard for a guy cut from the Buddy Rogers cloth. 



#17 mrwaukegan

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 07:21 PM

A couple of things that stand out about Ray is that he was one of the few non wwf guys whose name would be mentioned in the 1980s. So if monsoon thought enough him and wasnt edited out in post production it says a lot. He was still thought high enough by the AWA that they thought by tossing him on misc shows he could pop a gate.

That all being said, the fact he never worked out and let his body deteriorated to where he resembled a middle aged appliance repairman is really hard to ignore and separate even in light of all the greats vouching for him.





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