Ask 411 Wrestling 12.16.09: Lita's A Slut, Wargames, and Cookie-Gate!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 12.16.2009
Who graduated ECW fastest? Is a Coffin Match a death sentence? How many times has Big Show turned via t-shirt? Why did they turn Stone Cold and JR heel? Did Edge's debut get cut short? And how big an idiot is Sid? All this, and an explanation as to how and why WWE has broken my brain! Come see, pretty please?
Hey, welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling. Been a somewhat unusual couple of days, huh? I mean, Sheamus holds the WWE Title. The Glowing One himself.
I know it's been discussed half to death already, and it will continue to be talked about until it IS dead for the rest of the week. I'm sure I'll have to discuss it in Fact Or Fiction this week, for instance.
You didn't come here to hear me talk about the MasterPecs, or the Slammys, or anything like that. So let's just stop this stalling and get on with it, since due to time constraints this isn't the longest Ask 411 in history.
HHH Losing Clean: I thought I was clear enough in my answer, but at least one person asked, so to clarify: If you just want the last time HHH was pinned clean in any match, Survivor Series to Cena. If you want the last time HHH was pinned with no legal problems in a 2 sided match, then when he got pinned by Cody Rhodes in the HHH/Legacy 2 on 1 Handicap match is your answer. But, as I said in my answer, the last time HHH got pinned clean in a 1 on 1 match was Armageddon 07.
Disco Inferno's Leg Lock: Well, this is interesting. Several people, including Jef, Matt and Disco himself *cough* told me flat out that the move had a name, the Last Dance, as dubbed by Bobby Heenan. Thing is, that's a name he used for his Stunner near the end of his run in WCW. Most of the videos of Disco in 95 show him winning matches with Swinging Neckbreakers, not with Leg Locks. And a google search tends to show little use of the term for the move. So, for those who claim that it was called the Last Dance, you got video proof at all? I'd even take Audio…
Insightful Comments about Sunday Night: I think you got what I meant, but to clarify: Sunday Night is now the established night for Wrestling PPV. Hence, historical momentum means that people expect Wrestling PPVs to be on Sunday Night. WWE has tried to estabalish Tuesday as a PPV night, and it didn't work, Sunday has momentum as a night for Wrestling PPV.
Foley's Boots: Yeah, you're right, I forgot that chapter in the book.
Kane's Tombstone: Kane is allowed to do the Tombstone, he just chooses not to because his knees are bad.
A little bit of Nostaglia: If you want to reminisce about what might have been, NWA88 sent me the promo shot they used to announce Hogan V Flair at WM. Here you go.
Your Turn, Smart Guy…
So, last week, I gave you some old time sayings, and asked you translate them. Here you go, the translation of each of them. You can work out who they refer to.
1. Thrice times an attempt to court a lady. You are aware of this fact. = Woo Woo Woo, you know it!
2. A source of water, this item is a spectacle of substantial proportions. = Well, It's The Big Show!
3. Achieve victory if you are capable. Concede if there are no viable alternatives. Disregard the rules regardless. = Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat.
4. A naturally-occurring aggregate of minerals with a low temperature. I repeat, a naturally-occurring aggregate of minerals with a low temperature. Yet again, a naturally-occurring aggregate of minerals with a low temperature. = STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD!
5. Hark! I can assure you that this is no illusion. = Now Listen! This ain't no make believe!
6. Please cease your repeating of statements delivered by this member of the Corvus genus. = Quote The Raven, Nevermore
7. You were not in possession of this information? The pack animal that is a part of your net worth should use the telephone to contact someone who has this vital information. = Oh you didn't know? Your ass better call somebody!
8. Lie about your true skill level for financial gain. Faith and devotion to a person or cause. Esteem for a person or cause. = Hustle. Loyalty. Respect.
9. O, Affirmative! = Oh Yeah!O Hell Yeah would also have been acceptable.
10. The person reading this has the belief that they are fully appraised of the one writing this. = You think you know me.
Here's this week's question.
Who am I? A man with a run in WCW, WWE and ECW, as well as being a man I've met and shook hands with. An ECW Triple Crown Champ, I've made one and only one appearance in the PWI 500. A second generation star (technically), I've broken my neck twice and yet I'm still wrestling today. Undefeated at Wrestlemania and on WCW PPV, I am who?
Questions, Questions, Who's Got The Questions?
Brendon has been waiting patiently for this, I'm sure.
For some reason, I remember during a WWF Superstars or Challenge on a Saturday morning the Headshrinkers were wrestling. They had been fairly new. I remember Gorilla Monsoon mentioning that one more Shrinker was going to debut soon, who was more than twice the size of them or something like that. I assume he was talking about Yokozuna. So, my question is did he ever debut as a Headshrinker? and/or could I be getting the story wrong. Thanks
Well, I cannot definitively prove that Gorilla did or did not say that. And it is plausible, the Headshrinkers debuted in July of 92, going by the Samoans at first before becoming the Headshrinkers. Yokozuna didn't debut until October, but was signed at roughly the same time. So it is plausible.
But Yokozuna never wrestled as a Headshrinker. When he debuted, he was with Mr. Fuji, and a Sumo Wrestler from Japan, October 12th, 1992. He did not have any match as a Samoan or Headshrinker prior to this point.
Laszlo asks a question older than time itself, it seems.
What are the first documented examples of a face turn and a heel turn in wrestling? I know wrestlers back in the day would sometimes play heel or face in a certain territory and the opposite in another; this is not what I'm looking for. I'd like to know of the first actual angles that saw a good-to-bad and bad-to-good transformation of a wrestler within the same territory. The earliest one I could think of is Larry Zybisko's turn on Bruno Sammartino but I'm sure there are earlier examples.
Next up is Skios, who…
All right, all right.
The thing is, heel turns and face turns are as old as wrestling began to become rigged, so I cannot say with anything resembling authority that there was a first one. However, I can find the earliest ones I can, then wait for the comments section to become filled with posts that Paul Roma and Erik Watts were the first ones when they were born or some such nonsense…
I'd wager that the first turns were conducted by the famed Gold Dust Trio, but since no-one has a record of their show results, it's hard to measure.
I'm going to say that one of the first men to turn was Whipper Billy Watson, who came into Frank Tunney's Maple Leaf Wrestling promotion in late 1940. He began as a heel, complaining that the promoter wasn't pushing him, was reneging on his contract for main events. Eventually, he entered himself into a #1 Contender's Tournament, winning 4 matches in one night to earn the position. Within a couple of years, he was firmly established as a beloved man in the region.
That said, there is simply no way to say who turned first. But I'd say that Stanislaus Zbyszko's double cross to win the World Title in 1925 comes close, even if it was a shoot heel turn. But I'd like to say that the comment section will now be filled with lively debate, but that's not going to happen.
So, away from the historical stuff that I'm not great at, to Skios who expects the answer he's gonna get.
Alright, I have a question for you that might be a bit of a stretch:
At a local Pro Wrestling Holland show a few years ago, there was a wrestler named Salvatore Bellomo. He was a fat, old Italian guy that wrestled a very brief match that he won with a running splash (which I guess is as good a finisher as any for someone his size). A while ago I read a review posted here on some old WWF show, and it mentioned the same Salvatore Bellomo. This surprised me a bit, and when I read into him a bit more I found out that he actually had a pretty successful run, and is apparently remembered well enough to get invited backstage to a SmackDown! house show in Brussels to meet up with some of the talent. His website shows pictures with Finlay (which I guess makes sense because they both wrestled in Europe in the seventies), but also Batista and The Undertaker.
I've been able to track down most of the information I need on this guy, but one small and potentially juicy bit of information escapes me: the gallery on his site also shows mugshot photos here. Other than the "Washington County" bit, all information appears to be blurred out. Could you tell me more about this incident?
Well, I tried. I even emailed Mr. Bellomo. But I couldn't find any information on this arrest. Anyone out there know?
And with my "Questions I can't answer" ratio full, I head to easier questions.
Mark is up next, and gets split in half since he wants to talk about my career, which I'll put in the Opinion section so you can avoid it easily if you so choose.
(1) I was watching the Pillman DVD and the Wargames match. I can only assume that the finish was planned ahead of time. (Vicious powerbombs famously Pillman several times and El Gigante makes the save/surrender.) Surely WCW had to realize the low ceiling presented a problem.
One could even argue JCP/WCW new it was a problem in general all the way back to the very 1st Wargames in 1987, when JJ Dillon could not properly take the Road Warriors finish due to the low ceiling and injured his shoulder. I know WCW had Wargames matches in 87, 88, and 89, so why on earth didn't anybody think that maybe the should spring for a special cage that raised the ceiling an extra 5 feet or so?
Such a move would allow for the wrestlers to be at their creative best and, more importantly, it would be safer for them. Do you think the lack of change was due to stupidity, laziness, it's cost was too great, or some other reason that escapes me?
Well, to back up, you've assumed wrong. The ending was not going to be Brian getting powerbombed into oblivion and then El Gigante coming in, according to popular fact. El Gigante's involvement was on the fly, by most accounts. Not sure what the ending was planned as though, however.
Anyway, the infamous ‘Wargames where Pillman almost dies' was the 18th Wargames overall. And in every previous one, no-one had come near the height of Sid (albeit by just a few inches), and thus the cage being so low wasn't seen as being a problem. Dillion's injury was due to him bumping wrong and not the cage, they thought. It would have cost a great deal of money to build a new cage, and they didn't see the problem. It wasn't until Pillman nearly died that they realised it might be an issue.
(2) In the same Wargames match, I was reminded just what a great wrestler Barry Windham was. He was bumping all over the place and really put on a great show. Amazon.com has a self-publishing service, where an author places his book on Amazon's "shelves" and the book is only printed on demand. This way the author only prints copies that he sells. Pretty cool idea. My question is why couldn't WWE do something similar with their video library?
I'm assuming the DVD business is fairly lucrative for WWE and there a many fans like me who would eagerly buy a DVD devoted to the Barry Windham's, Magnum T.A.'s, and Nikita Koloff's of wrestling who will never receive the full WWE DVD treatment. So WWE creates a new department to single out "popular" wrestlers, create a match-list of famous bouts from their library, do any necessary editing (WWF), and then list that DVD on their website or wherever. Then when I buy a Barry Windham DVD, they simply burn a copy. This way they don't spend the capital needed to create an inventory, rather they only spend money after they've made it. WWE charges $10-$15 and finds another lucrative manner in which to utilize their massive library. Can you think of a reason why this is an bad or unworkable idea?
Thanks so much Matt
It would be a nice idea, and certainly workable. I don't see any problems outside the issue that you'd need to hire people to sit there and churn out these things, and have a printing press and DVD burner working all the time. WWE may have done cost estimates and decided it's not worth the investment (how many people are really going to buy a Nikita Koloff DVD?), or they just haven't thought of it. Or they've decided to just put them out on Classics on Demand or something. WWE just put the WWE Title on Sheamus, I wouldn't even begin to try and guess their logic.
Rob S had some questions, but I must have answered most of them, coz I only have one left.
1) I distinctly remember a match where Kane (with his mask on) either blading, or being busted open accidentally. I believe he was wrestling stone cold, and i know it was sometime awhile after their king of the ring 98 (first blood) match, and i vaguely remember seeing it on pay per view. Do you know off hand when this match occured and what the match was? I was also wondering how rare it is to see a wrestler bleed, despite wearing a mask? Are there any other notable occasions where this has happened in wrestling?
Hmm. Well, I'm gonna bust open History of WWE again, because I remember Kane bleeding through the mask against Undertaker at a Summerslam, but I don't recall Kane and Austin having a rematch…
Are you sure this isn't it?
Because Austin and Kane never really had a PPV match after KOTR 98, certainly no one on ones. They were the last two at the 01 Rumble, but never a one on one match. So I think this is the one you mean.
Josh asks about a man who apparently either wasn't WWE Champion or was born in the US.
Hey, I was watching Edge's WWE debut on Youtube. He wrestled Jose Estrada one of the members of Los Boricuas. Edge hit a somersault type move one minute into the match. After that the ref counted the Estrada out. Edge seem to be talking with Tim White right before the count out. What happened here? Did Edge legitimately hurt Jose Estrada so they had to cut to a finish? It wasn't really a great way to debut a new wrestler/character so they must of had to cut the match short.
Let's go to the tape!
Now yes, that was a on the fly booking change. Sadly you don't see it on that video, but in a botchamania they show the relevant clip. Basically, as Edge came down with the somersault, his leg caught Jose's head. He came down with such force that he cause Jose a major neck injury, one severe enough that he retired because of it. Proof that high risk isn't just a marketing term.
Ah, Manu. Where would I be without you?
Well, somewhat further along my question list, but whatever.
Who sings the Captain Lou song they've been using for his video tribute this week?
I know the Captain sang a version of it for the wrestling album, but who sings the version WWE's been using?
Thanks in advance!
The song is called "Captain Lou's History of Music", and this version was recored by The New Rhythm And Blues Quartet, a.k.a NRBQ.
The band was managed by Captain Lou legitimately, so they performed the song in his honor. Lou had a version he recorded with George ‘The Animal' Steele for the Wrestling album, Lou using both versions for entrance music at various points.
Ric Flair II: The Sequel!
That's a lot of videos there.
Christian asks a question many have wondered from time to time.
Great column as always.
I want to ask a question that has always bugged me. Why do WWE always feel the need to have everyone always have a heel/face turn even if its unnecessary. The two biggest examples i can think of is Stonecold – for me it just never worked and also JR – what the hell were they thinking with that one?! I just don't understand why they do it. Thanks.>
Well, every time they have done it, they've had logical ideas, Vince doesn't just wake up one day and decide "I'm gonna turn JR heel."
Well, he kinda does, but he justifies it to himself.
For your specific examples, Paranoid Steve Austin was actually Austin's idea, or at least he was a big supporter of it, since he felt it would freshen up the character, which to be fair, was somewhat stale. Still popular, but stale. But it didn't work out, despite Austin doing some superb work, the fans didn't go with him enough, and the InVasion complicated matters with it's suckiness.
JR on the other hand, is part of the strange obsession Vince has with trying to create a Heel Play By Play guy. Although Russo played a part with both attempts at making JR heel, for some reason Vince McMahon occasionally tries to create a heel PBP guy, maybe out of some desire to create a brand new Announcer dynamic. But hey, Heel Striker doing PBP, Face Lawler on Color? That could work…
boy liilii, assuming I have that name right, you're up.
hey man love the column! ok i got 3 questions for you!
1. After watching bragging rights and seeing the big show turned against his team didn't he do something similar to that before! i remember him wearing the team shirt then ripping it off and beating his own teammate!
Yes indeed. Sadly I had thought that he'd done it twice, but sadly he didn't do it in WCW (it was Sting instead who did it that way). He in fact turned on Raw to hook up with ECW when it reformed.
2. how much do the raw guest host make?
More than you.
That is to say, I don't know. But it's more than you.
3. When wrestlers find out their in a coffin match, do they freak out knowing their going to be placed in a coffin or are they pretty much whatever's about it? Ok I'm pretty sure that the coffins that the undertaker lies in has some sort of vent system if not how does he stay in it so long? hope you can help me out! thanks!
Well, I'm sure if there's any wrestler with claustrophobia, they aren't exactly over the moon with being told about it. Nor would be any wrestler with fear of death or something. But your average wrestler understands and is shown the gimmicks, so he's cool with it.
Your average coffin that you can expect to be buried in has in it, if you breathe normally, about 4 hours air in it. So when you look at the size of the coffins they use in Casket matches and the like, you can see how they could last for several hours if they had to.
That said, WWE coffins are built with false sides, allowing wrestlers to enter and exit it as they need to, going under the ring, like Taker did at the 98 Rumble so he didn't burn up.
It's similar with buried alive matches, they have a small cave covered with a false side that the wrestler slides into and waits while the dirt is poured out. Not the most pleasant experience, but your average wrestler should be fine with it.
We have Joe-Jack next.
I'm a longtime reader of everything 411wrestling but this is my first question.
I recently watched TNA Turning Point 2004 and had forgotten about the tape TNA made of Shane Douglas, BG James, Tracy, Ron Killings, Konnan and Abyss taking balloons and cookies to the WWE taping at Universal Studios which I think was a commercial for the 2005 Royal Rumble. Two guys come up and chat with the TNA guys and are blurred out. I would assume that means they work for WWE. One guy is very short, has several visible tattoos on his arms and gives Konnan a hug. I believe this is Rey Mysterio but I could be wrong. The other guy looks caucasian and seems to have a goatee but I can't tell who he is. Do you know? Was he a wrestler or just some backstage guy/security because he comes up and greets the guys and they all seem to recognize him/each other. And was the other guy Rey? Originally I thought it was Eddie Guerrero but the tattoos don't seem to match right.
Awesome column by the way.
Ah yes, Cookie-gate.
The one who gives Konnan the hug is Rey Mysterio, that's fairly well established. The other one, the goatee, that's Luther Reigns, apparently. It's fairly well accepted that it's him. So there you go.
Aaron is another person for whom time has played havoc with his question.
Thank you for using valuable column space to answer my questions:
First question: Who has "graduated" from ECW the fastest? DH Smith of the Heart Dynasty, Sheamus, or someone who I am forgetting.
Well, let's do this properly, and by properly, I mean I'm going to redefine the question slightly to make it easier on myself. Everyone who has graduated from ECW, which is to say, debuted on ECW and then gone to either Raw or SD (and, since it's easier than deleting them, those still on ECW who debuted there). Jumping TO ECW from another brand doesn't count. Only counting wrestlers and managers…
Kelly Kelly- Debuted 06.13.06, Turned up on Raw 07.07.08 = 755 Days.
CM Punk- Debuted 07.04.06, Drafted to Raw 06.23.08 = 720 days
Shannon Moore- Debuted 07.18.06, Went to SD 02.16.07 = 213 days
Major Brothers- Debuted 05.01.07, Drafted to SD 06.17.07 = 47 days
Kofi Kingston- Debuted 01.22.08, Drafted to Raw 06.25.08 = 155 days
Evan Bourne- Debuted 06.03.08, Traded to Raw 06.29.09 = 391 days
Tiffany- Debuted 06.10.08 = 554 days so far.
Ricky Ortiz- Debuted 07.01.08, Drafted to SD 04.15.09 = 288 days
Jack Swagger- Debuted 09.09.08, Traded to Raw 06.29.09 = 293 days
Yoshi Tatsu- Debuted 06.30.09 = 169 days so far.
Abraham Washington- Debuted 06.30.09 = 169 days so far
Sheamus- Debuted 06.30.09, Free Agented to Raw 10.26.09 = 118 days
Tyler Reks- Debuted 06.30.09 = 169 days so far.
Courtney Taylor- Debuted 08.18.09 = 120 days so far
Savannah- Debuted 09.15.09 = 92 days so far
Vance Archer- Debuted 11.03.09 = 43 days so far.
So, unless Vance moves in the next day or two, your winners are the Major Brothers, at 47 days!
Second question (and more a request for an educated guess): Now that he's on RAW, how long before Sheamus is put in an angle with Hornswoggle?
Thank you for your time.
Well, given the current storylines? Assuming they do HHH/Sheamus at the Rumble, it writes itself really. Which is a good, if ironic, way to lead to the next point…
My Damm Opinion
Well, last week, someone asked me to tell you how I'd book Wrestlemania, in some degree of detail. And… I have to bail. I told myself I would lead on from TLC, that I would go from there and book WM. But then TLC gives us… What it gave us, and I have NO idea how to go where I wanted to go with that. I had Sheamus in the Dark "Everyone Gets A Paycheck" match, now I have to work with him as World Champ, even for a month or two? I just can't mentally work that out. I'm sorry. Feel free to hate on me if you really wanted to see it, but suffice to say, here would be my WM card if Sheamus quit the WWE tomorrow.
John Cena V The Undertaker (Where, for the first time ever, it seems that TAKER is scared going in)
Batista (c) V (2010 Royal Rumble Winner) Kane: World Heavyweight Championship
(Heel) Shawn Michaels (c) V Triple H: WWE Championship I Quit Match
William Regal (c) V Ezekiel Jackson: ECW Championship Match (Over in a minute)
Randy Orton V Ted DiBiase: Hardcore Match, Cody Rhodes Special Guest Referee
Melina (c) & Beth Phoenix V Michelle McCool (c) & Maryse: Double Trouble Womens/Divas Title Lumberjack Match.
Jericho/Punk (c) w/Gallows V Christian/???: Unified Tag Team Title Match.
MITB: Shelton Benjamin V Zack Ryder V Yoshi Tatsu V Big Show V Kofi Kingston V The Miz V John Morrison V Drew McIntyre V Finlay.
Dark Match: Everyone Else, Winner gets WWE/World/ECW Title Match on next TV show.
I guess I can answer questions next week if you REALLY want.
Manu is back for more.
Do you think its right that people judge Lita as a slut? I mean, its her life, shouldnt she be allowed to make the choices she wants to make, without other people looking down on her for being true to herself? Or do you think that, by being a public figure, that opens her up to public opinion? I mean, I didn't hear about her ways before she became a star (well I did hear about them, I just didn't hear until after she became a star), and I haven't really heard anything after she left, it was just during her time with the company that people were talking about her the most.
Hmm, interesting question.
Basically, no, I don't think it's totally fair. If you wish to have a rich, exciting and varied sex life with a variety of people, more power to you, and I hope you enjoy it. If you wish to do so while being a professional wrestler, fine, that's ok. Certainly guys like CM Punk and other men renowned for having numerous sexual partners aren't called sluts due to their bed-hopping ways. But as soon as a woman does it, she's a slut and a whore and such.
The ‘she's a public figure so it's ok to know about it' argument I don't buy, in that she's not a public figure because of her sleeping partners, but because of her in ring work. That's where it should start and end. If she slept around to pay for her training, as one Wrestling Legend goes, so what? If she chose to do so to save money, that's her choice, as it was those who trained her in exchange, assuming it happened.
So overall, no, I do not think it's fair.
However, two small caveats. One, having a rich and varied sex life while in a monogamous relationship with another person I do have a slight problem with. You either stick with them or break up, you don't play them both. And two, after the whole Hardy/Edge/Lita thing broke out, I would have gone the same way WWE did in making her a heel slut, since the fans were going to go that way anyway. Call it hypocritical, but just because I have a moral stance, that doesn't mean I can book towards it.
So, Mark will finish us off by letting me talk about… Me! So if you don't care about me, goodbye, see you next week.
Hi Sforcina...I've been reading since you took over at 411 and look forward to it each week.
You've mentioned your wrestling career often. Is there anywhere online where I could check out some of your work (maybe you could post a link?)? If so could you list your top 5 favorite matches and possibly a brief explanation regarding their significance to the promotion?
Thanks and keep up the great work...although you can count me in favor of your exercising some editorial discretion regarding which questions are answered and which are ignored.
I checked out the youtube match and, given what you had to work with, it's not bad at all. I admire anybody with the balls to get in the ring. It's one of the reason's I hold your opinion slightly higher than the other guys at 411, who are filled with opinion, but have never taken a bump, much less wrestled a five-minute match (myself included).
OK, first things first. Sadly, right now, one, and only one, of my matches (shot with anything resembling professionalism) is online. And it's a match the day after I turned heel for the first time where I wrestle a celebrity and a cosplayer. If you really have to see it…. But some of my other matches are online, just not good quality videos of them.
As for my best/favourite matches, I can't really decide, and the names would mean nothing to you since I've yet to wrestle any huge names. But I know that the most important one is coming up, January 15th, 2010, Penrith Panthers, where I wrestle ‘Iron Jay' Coles for the Vacant AWF Australasian Heavyweight Championship and I finally get what I deserve. And if you're in Sydney, you should be there.