Magnum TA Discusses His Infamous Feud With Tully Blanchard: 'I Let Him Live'

Long time wrestling fans will know that there's a complicated history between Magnum T.A. and Tully Blanchard. The two began working together early in Magnum's career, under Tully's father Joe Blanchard in San Antonio, and then eventually became each other's greatest rival in Jim Crockett promotions, arguably having the most famous I Quit match in history at Starrcade 1985. The two stayed connected even afterwards, and Magnum eventually married Blanchard's ex-wife.

In an interview with the Norfolk Navy Flagship, Magnum discussed some of the elements of their rivalry, including how he felt the feud was "a marriage that made sense" due to their past in San Antonio. But the biggest reason he felt the feud worked, aside from the long build for Magnum to overcome Blanchard, was because of how similar of wrestlers the two were.

"The money is always, the babyface chasing the heel for the belt," Magnum said. "And we had those horrendous battles and Tully would get a win by the skin of his teeth, by cheating. The fans wanted to kill him. Because I was so intense, like I had to dial it down for Ric [Flair] because I was a physical style type performer. "

Magnum TA Discusses Why Pairing With Tully Blanchard Made Sense

"I came from the Bill Watts school of credibility," Magnum continued, "and physicality and Ric was very much more the finess, Ricky Steamboat type style performer and Tully could be just as brutal as I could from a heel perspective. So you take those two intense styles, throw them against each other and the magic is going to happen."

Ultimately, Magnum did overcome Blanchard in that I Quit Steel Cage match in perhaps the biggest win of his wrestling career. But when asked about what he'd like fans to remember from the bout, Magnum revealed it wasn't that he was ultimately the man who emerged victorious at Starrcade 1985.

"It was the fact that I let him live," Magnum said. "It was that John Wayne moment, when I had that spike in my hand, he had already submitted and the fans seriously did not know if I would finish him off and just kill him or what would happen. That poignant moment at the end where I had him and I just let him go and it was over, that to me was the complete, final conclusion of this bloodbath battle that had been going on for months, and months and months. I guess it was not forgiveness or redemption, it was mercy."