Hey everyone… I spoke with Scott and he said that if I ever had a mailbag worthy question, I could just go ahead and open dialog on it here. I think this one’s pretty good.
So one of the more unusual stories about wrestling is that Steve Blackman was offered a contract by the WWF out of Stampede way back in like 1989. All he had to do was complete his tour dates and he’d be on the roster. Well, Blackman went to Africa, and while there nearly died; it took him eight years to get back into ring shape. Amazingly, in 1997 Vince honored his promise and brought Blackman in. As luck would have it, at that time Ken Shamrock was making UFC-style wrestlers start to be viable, so Blackman was able to carve out a niche. The introduction of the hardcore belt only made things better (I still remember him and X-Pac having a legitimate kendo stick martial arts duel in the middle of a Raw match that was awesome).
But here’s the thing: what the heck do you do with him in 1989? He’d almost certainly get a mouthpiece, and the WWF had four strong managers at the time (Heenan, Hart, Slick, and Fuji). Do you pair him with one of them? Or do you have him strike out on his own as a no-nonsense babyface? Or is he a featured talent at all? If so, who does he feud with?
Really, the thought of Steve Blackman in the Hogan Era seems out of place, but they’ve made weirder work. What say y’all?