On a recent episode of his Something To Wrestle With show on YouTube, Bruce Prichard reflected on Rick Martel. He also recalled how Vince McMahon Sr. structured deals with talents. Prichard mentioned how, at that time, the talent were given a start and end date. So for the most part, they knew exactly when they would start and leave the New York territory and how much money they were going to make during their run with the promotion.
“Yeah, we had seen [Rick Martel] in Houston,” Prichard said. “He actually worked the territory for Dallas and Houston. I’d seen Martel work live, and Rick now was coming through New York and I think he was teaming with Tony Garea at the time as two young good-looking babyfaces. And that’s always good to have on the card.
“What was unique to Vince Sr. is when you came in, and you started with Vince, you started– and for the most part, you also had your ending date the day that you started,” Prichard added. “So, you knew when you were going to start. You knew how long you were going to be there. You had a general idea of how much money you would make, but you also knew when it was going to come to an end. And you would work your way into the territory, get over, and then you would work your way out of the territory, and that was one way that Vince [Sr.] was able to keep that talent fresh all the time while coming through there.
“Obviously, the top guys like Bruno [Sammartino] were able to stay there for a long time,” Prichard continued. “Bob Backlund, Pat Patterson as a heel was able to stay and have a run, not only as a heel but also a babyface, and later on, an announcer. But that was the uniqueness of New York, was that you went in, you knew when you started and when you were going to end.”
Martel was highly regarded as a babyface during his run with the company, and Prichard continued on saying he strongly believes Martel we will wind up seeing him being inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
“I definitely think we will. I think that Rick deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” Prichard said. “He’s had a Hall of Fame career, and I believe that Rick will be in the Hall of Fame someday. [He was] the quintessential babyface, and yeah, I really do because Rick checked all the boxes as far as in a territory, as a promoter, what you would want as a babyface. Just to me, and looking at it from a business point of view, he was a quintessential babyface that you could build your territory around.”
You can see the show in its entirety in the video above.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something To Wrestle With with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.