Back in 2012, I wrote three articles about Mega Man Tom Magee — a buff young pro wrestler who, back in 1986, was expected to be the next Hulk Hogan, the next top Baby-Face in the sport. In what I refer to as the “Mega Man Mystery,” Magee was instead suddenly buried, shipped off to Japan, and fired a few years later. Why??
I’ve speculated that his failure was NOT due to a lack of talent (as many have claimed, but which I disproved in my 3 articles based on video evidence), but instead due to his homo-erotic sex appeal, which would’ve exposed pro wrestling as a form of gay pornography and outted the entire sport or every guy who loves watching it. The last great secret being kept by pro wrestling (at least in 1986) is NOT that the “sport” is fake, but that it is super gay.
Wrestling fans have wondered what drew Vince McMahon’s eye to this hunk in the first place (besides his amazing musculature) — what caused Vinnie Mac to declare that this stud should be the next major Champion?
The story goes that McMahon made this declaration after watching Bret Hart job for Magee in an epic bout in Rochester on October 7, 1986 during which Hart sold his ass off and made Magee look like a million bucks. We’ve heard that Hart bumped so convincingly, and made Magee look so powerful, that McMahon was blown away by the swole rookie’s awesomeness and decided to push him to Super-Stardom immediately (only to soon realize that Magee was too green and lacked that Something Special necessary to be a top wrestler.)
But almost nobody in the world has ever seen this legendary match. To convince Hart to throw the match to this rookie, McMahon had to promise that it would never air on TV. Bret Hart had one of the only known copies of the video in the world, but couldn’t find it in his collection.
Apparently WWE trainees may request videos of old matches from the company archives to help them learn how to perform. However, if anybody asked for the infamous Magee-Hart match (to watch Bret’s Sales Job that supposedly made Magee look super-human), their request would be denied. So it was assumed the WWE didn’t have a copy either and the match became known as the “Holy Grail” among tape traders– the secret artifact of wrestling history that everybody talked about but nobody could get their hands on.
So, back in March, a podcaster was discussing the Holy Grail match when out of nowhere, a woman named Mary-Kate suddenly Tweeted that she actually has this rare match on VHS tape. What?? Had the Holy Grail been unearthed just like that? Apparently Mary-Kate had been hired years ago to convert Bret Hart’s VHS library to digital and had then kept the VHS copies, which included the Hart-Magee match. You can read about the discovery of the Holy Grail on Deadspin.
Now that the long-buried match was out in public, the WWE Network aired a half-hour documentary last month called “The Holy Grail” telling the story of the match and the quest to find the footage, which concludes with the rarely-seen bout.
Both Bret Hart and Tom Magee appear in the documentary and talk about their memories of the match and their careers, which is pretty cool. Magee is humble and soft-spoken, happy that people still care and want to see the match. There are also plenty of images of Magee looking swole in the skimpiest of bikini-style trunks, and plenty of comments from other wrestlers and fans about how attractive and spectacular he looked.
Bret meanwhile takes most of the credit for putting together a good fight and for making Magee look like a legitimate and effective talent.
The documentary also includes clips of Magee in action in the ring and looking spectacular: gorilla-pressing Terry Gibbs (see above), intimidating the fuck out of Tim Horner, working on Arn Anderson and Ted DiBiase and so on.
If the WWE’s intent was to convince us that Magee was clumsy and lacked charisma, they probably shouldn’t have included so many breath-taking and boner-popping clips in their documentary.
Some have claimed that Magee was so pathetic that he would trip just walking across the ring. But these clips of his spectacular flip off the ropes, his Leapfrog into a Spinning Heel Kick, reveal his true talent.
I’m not saying this rookie was perfectly polished right from the start (it takes time to learn any job) — but his athleticism was s9lid and I’ve seen much klutzier wrestlers get big pushes.
So this gives you some background on the Mega Man Mystery and the history of the Holy Grail tape. The match is considered historically significant because it marked the beginning of Bret Hart’s ascent as a superstar. McMahon actually WAS watching his next champion in the ring in Rochester that day, but it was the other guy — it was Bret, not Tom, who would rise to the top.
In a couple days, I will continue the story with images from the actual Holy Grail match along with my reactions as I watched it.