Ken Resnick on Verne Gagne's reaction to the first Wrestlemania; Bill Apter on the evolution of the business

Posted on 1/22/121 by VOC Nation

On the latest edition of Wrestling with History on VOC
Nation, Ken Resnick and Bill Apter discussed lead up and
reaction to the first Wrestlemania, as well as the
difference in psychology with todays product. Here are
some highlights:

Apter on why he is still active into his 70s: Part of the
reason I still cover this is because Im a fan. I dont
even say mark, I dont use any of the inside jargon.

Resnick on the Lashley/Riddle segment on Raw, and the lack
of believability: If you look at it againwhen Bobby
Lashley stomps on Riddles foot, the camera was wide enough
(to show) he missed his foot by two feet. It wasnt even
close, and then Riddle sold it as if his foot had just been
crushed with a sledgehammer. I was kind of thinking back in
the old days, we heard the term bantered a lot if you dont
feel it, dont sell it. When they went to it I was a
little surprised that the camera was back far enough that
you could see it In the old days, Vince probably would have
gone (crazy) about that Coming up in the kayfabe era when
you did everything you could to make it believable, and then
you see something like that, you just go oh come on.

Apter on the evolution of the style of the product: The
moves are different now (and) the psychology is different
now. (In the past) a guy or girl might work on one body
part, but right now thats not where pro wrestling is. Its
faster, they go after every body part. It used to be that
killer instinct; if you hurt that guys leg, you went after
(it) and wound up with the figure four leglock. The whole
match was you going after that guys weak point. It doesnt
happen anymore today, even in AEW (or) Ring of Honor, you
rarely see them concentrate because the matches now are
faster moving. Its a different paceAgain, theyre trying
to make a TV show thats entertaining, not a sports

Apter on Vince thinking differently than other territory
promoters leading into Wrestlemania: These other promoters
tried everything they could to stop it by putting on classy
wrestling, but what this did was it brought into prominence
fans that had no idea what pro wrestling was about anymore
they thought it was the old seedy arenas and (Vince)
promoted this as a worldwide spectacle, not a wrestling
show. Even Jim Crockett, who I used to talk to everyday,
said were not doing this stuff with all these stars, were
a wrestling company.

Resnick on Vince taking a calculated risk on Wrestlemania:
I wasnt involved, I was still in the AWA. But when you
think about it, Vince even then with the risks he took was
such a great marketer. It was at Madison Square Garden so
who did he have? Billy Martin from the Yankees was
involved, he had the Rockettes involvedhe was really smart.
That pioneered really locking in rock music and wrestling
with Cyndi Lauper If you think about what happened in terms
of WWF wrestling following Wrestlemaniahe had all the chips
pushed into the middle of the table, but he knew exactly
what his hand was Im not a huge Vince fan, but I dont
think he gets the credit for putting that whole package
together and then what they brought out of Wrestlemania for
what they moved forward with.

Resnick on Verne Gagnes reaction to the first Wrestlemania:
It was just a spectacle, it was a one off, nobody was going
to care It was poo pooed in the beginning, it was poo pooed
right after He got a request from the New Yorker; the New
Yorker Magazine wanted to do an interview with him (to get
his opinion of Wrestlemania)and Verne said Yeah I turned
them down; now all the sudden they want to know about
wrestling. For years they wanted nothing to do with us and
put us down, Im not doing it. That was the difference in
attitude. Vince would have sent a limo to pick up the

Wrestling with History is part of the VOC Nation Radio
Network and drops each Wednesday on all major podcasting
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version that airs on YouTube. Pro Wrestling Journalist Bill
Apter and former WWE and AWA broadcaster Ken Resnick team
with former Philadelphia Radio Personality Bruce Wirt to
talk about wrestlings past, present, and future.

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Notable show hosts include legendary pro wrestling
journalist Bill Apter, former WWE/TNA star Shelly Martinez,
former WWE and AWA broadcaster Ken Resnick, former WCW
performer The Maestro, former TNA Impact talent Wes Brisco,
Pro Wrestling Illustrateds Brady Hicks, independent pro
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