Hey Scott – was reading your reposted rant on Rumble 91 tonight, and your aside about how someone else in the Slaughter role would’ve gotten them over for life.
I disagree. Naturally, Sarge had the All-American Hero turned traitor thing that made the angle hot (not that Kerry didn’t, but even as a former NWA Champion for a cup of coffee, Kerry’s rep as All American boy wasn’t based off the hottest feud of 1984 and a GI Joe doll). But, it also worked with Slaughter because he WAS past his prime.
The heel character and angle totally had a limited shelf life, so if they used someone like Tornado, he’d have been dead in the water by mid-91. He comes in, conquers, then gets vanquished by Hogan…and then what? Feud with Warrior? Once the Iraqi shit ends, he’s a midcarder with no direction because his initial venture into the mainstream is as a character from a dead angle.
Sarge, however, had been gone for so long from WWF that he was “fresh” for the main event scene, but wouldn’t jeopardize anything long term. They do the angle, he does his shit…and then goes back to his established gimmick for a bit while riding out his contract. Sort of like Andre, in a less sad way.
I think the only real outsider that would’ve worked is if they could’ve lured Nikita Koloff in finally. Even though he was a happy Russian in NWA/AWA at the end, he comes back pissed that the US ends the Cold War and then goes and picks on someone else now that no one can fuck with them…instead of, say, trying to do something about the country’s own problems, like the cancer his wife died of. That would draw heat, and then once he does the job to Hogan, he can at least go fight Volkoff for a while if he sticks around.
Or they could’ve used Duggan, since he had the same persona as Sarge and wasn’t going anywhere anyway.
Ooo, Nikita Koloff, yeah that would have been awesome, actually. Plus he was definitely available around that time. Come to think of it, not sure why he didn’t end up in WWF instead of WCW again. The Kerry Von Erich idea was definitely one of those “off the cuff” ideas I threw out without thinking about it too deeply, and Koloff makes much more sense. I don’t think Duggan could have pulled it off, though. Would have seemed too campy. At least Slaughter could play a convincing heel.