Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Adrian Street [57Talk Shoot Interview]

The Good
I am fascinated by British wrestling and unfortunately there is not a lot of media coverage (that I've seen) given to those men who were such big stars years ago. Adrian Street was probably the amongst the hottest acts in Britain that became a hot act in the States, whereas many like Billy Robinson, Tony Charles, Al Hayes and such found mixed results. He, however, had this totally different life in the US while in his forties and kind of established himself in a way few others have been able to. Not one to downplay his legacy, Adrian Street explains how rough things were when he broke in, he spends a lot of time talking about Wigan's Snake Pit (which he did not attend) and just how accomplished he became during his time in Europe. In fact, his unpublished autobiography is 600 pages of just his life before coming to the US in the late 1970s. He admittedly blows his own horn and I came away knowing much more about this downplayed gimmick wrestler from the 1980s. Gary Cubeta does not have great knowledge of Adrian's career and practically none of his pre-US tenure, but he is able to get the ball rolling and how it rolls!

The Bad
Although this was excellent, 80 minutes was just not long enough. Adrian Street's career realistically spanned 30 years, but he's been active since his final run in Continental. Gary Cubeta mainly focuses on his years in the US and the development of his "Exotic" character, but Adrian clearly has much, much more to offer. They talk about the standard things, what it was like here, what was it like to work so-and-so and general reflections on Adrian's career. This was great, but it seemed to only be a scratching of the surface. Adrian Street is a braggart, no question about it. I've never thought he was a great draw, but to hear him, you'd think he was the great thing around. I tend to believe his act was a bit of a hotshot act that worked to pop houses, but he never had very long runs anywhere. I certainly rethought his contributions to pro-wrestling, but I still question just how huge he was.

The Rating: ****

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