Tom Magee vs Ultimate Warrior
By Scott Keith on 6th October 2020
Quick question that has really confused me:
Why Jim Hellwig and not Tom Maggee?
Is this just a “Vince is gonna Vince” thing? Tom was basically the same size as Jim, more athletic, more agile and (probably) a nicer guy in general. Yet Tom had one match with Bret, was exposed immediately afterwards and discarded while Jim had a SERIES of horrid matches with Hercules, squashed a bunch of jobbers and was shot to the stratosphere.
The scuttlebutt was that Bret did a fantastic job hiding Tom's weaknesses (And BTW how did Vince NOT already know that this guy wasn't going to be amazing in the ring with some random guy. He knew how good Bret was.) but everyone already knew Jim's weaknesses and there's no way Tom's were any worse. How was Jim able to develop into a semi-decent worker while Tom was immediately jettisoned? If he was having great matches with Bret, why not just have him continually wrestle Bret and have Bret teach him the ins and outs of the ring. That's basically what Flair did with Luger and Sting and what countless other veterans had done for body guys since the beginning of wrestling.
In a world where Sids, Warriors, Stings, Road Warriors, Lugers, etc are able to fake it til they made it (and, for some, even afterward) why was Tom Magee so atrocious that he just had to leave the business?
Tom wasn't jettisoned immediately in any sense of the word. He had the Bret match and then spent MONTHS doing the house show circuit with the agents trying to make him better. Just because Vince was snowed by the Bret match doesn't mean anyone else was. I personally saw him doing undercard house show matches in Vancouver long after the Bret match, for example.
As for Warrior, it's really kind of silly to say that having some horrid matches with Hercules and squashing jobbers was all he had going on. Anyone who was in the target age and fandom category at the time who saw him wrestle instantly understood what was so amazing about him. He had CHARISMA and looked like a superstar, something that Tom could never pull off no matter how many flips he did. Same reason why Lex Luger was such a big star so early as well.