John LaRocca talks Brad Armstrong
My mind has been in a fog since hearing the passing of Brad Armstrong, one of my favorite pro wrestlers. I know "favorite" is said a lot, but Armstrong truly was a worker who I never got tired of seeing perform in the ring.
I really don't think that I have ever seen a bad Brad Armstrong match. Some might be quick to point out Clash Of Champions 12 when the Master Blasters made a memorable (and not in a good way) debut against Armstrong and Tim Horner. Armstrong with the best of his ability made that match passable and put over the two green rookies by selling big for everything they did.
Armstrong truly was one of the most underrated workers ever to step into the ring. Armstrong is best known for his time in on TBS working for Georgia Championship Wrestling, The Crocket era and then WCW. Armstrong no matter who he was working a top worker, mid-card worker ro a enhancement talent, Armstrong would make the best of the match.
In early Janurary, on the WCW flagship show "World Championship Wrestling", Armstrong teamed with his long time tag team partner Tim Horner against Arn Anderson and Barry Windham. This match was one of those hidden gems of a wrestling back. Nearly twenty minutes of great tag team work from both teams. Once again, Armstrong shined.
Over the last few years I got in touch with Jeff Gagliardo, long time WON Newsletter subscriber. Jeff was the cousin of an old friend of mine in high school. Jeff facebooked me and we became good friends. It was fun talking with someone about the wrestling that I grew up watching and we both regret not meeting when we were younger. Jeff wrote me and e-mail telling how much he loved Brad Armstrong's work. I wrote back and I said the same thing. We sent back an forth a few e-mails talking about how great a worker Brad was.
Armstrong's work was so good, that when I was booking and young babyface workers would come up to me for advice on babyface ring work, I would recommend them study tapes of Brad Armstrong.
A lot people said the negative about Brad Armstrong was he lacked personality to go with his great in ring work. I will dispute that. I remember seeing footage of Contential Wrestling Federation back in 1989. He was feuding with Dennis Condrey over the CWF Heavyweight Championship. On that video, Brad Armstrong cut one of the best and passionate babyface promos that I have ever heard. I remember saying to myself, "Wow, why was he stuck in the mid-card". Sometimes it is just the way things go and sometimes guys never get a chance, but no matter, Brad Armstrong was a true pro and that means no matter what match he had on the card, he was going to make it the best match possible.
Rest in peace to Brad Armstrong and my thoughts and prayers go out to all his family, friends and fans.
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