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Ask 411 Wrestling 12.29.10: Booking Wrestlemania XXVII, Superplexes, & The Curse Of Ready To Rumble!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 12.29.2010



Ask 411 Wrestling is live and in your face!

Sorry about that, we have problems with personal space here at the institute.

Anyway, I hope you got some good stuff in the last week, be it physical material objects or the supposedly more important intangible spiritual need fulfillment stuff like family and friends and stuff.

Personally, it was just being able to sit down and play Dead Money and eat and drink and not have to go to work or anything that I really appreciated.

Anyway, onto the column. No plug for the Tom Tom Club this week since I wasn't on it, just my award picks for the year.

But I always plug Banner, because Banner is cool.



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Backtalking



The Rock Losing His Voice: Brandon managed to find the video of Rock losing his voice that I couldn't, which was as near as I could remember of someone having a coughing fit during a live promo.



So there you go.

Steph = Higher Power: Steph was never going to be the Higher Power, I was just pointing out that her name was talked about online, people were expecting it (since, I think, it made no sense and people were beginning to cotton onto Russo). Just like Rock coming back has been talked about online, and people predicting TNA will die within 6 weeks, Steph, Foley, Shane and HBK were the most common thoughts of the infant IWC at the time. It was going to be Foley, then it became Vince, but those 4 were what the internet thought was going to happen, not what WWF had planned.

No More Fantasy Booking!: I only do it when asked. I'm not going out of my way to create questions on the subject.

And if you really do hate my Fantasy Booking, probably want to avoid the last question this week, even if it's me predicting what will happen…

Cena, Hogan, Sting, Austin. Santino???: Hmm. I didn't mean Bruno, I'm fairly sure. I think that was either a point where I forgot to Chandler it or I was saying Santino's constant winning qualified him (which isn't accruate) or I was making a point that no matter who it is doing the act, some people hate it.

I dunno, I don't always recall exactly what I mean, sadly.

Ending Wrestlemania on a cliffhanger: That wouldn't be at the very end of the show, for the record, but I understand the logic that everything should end at Wrestlemania. But then, nowadays that doesn't happen, almost every angle and storyline keeps going, so why not?

And if you don't want to cliffhanger it, just show that it's Brock Lesnar winning it, make it not so much a cliffhanger as a What the hell moment.

Johnny Polo on Commentary?: Yes, yes it was. He said so at the start.

I'm a troper?: Yes and no. I do like the site, but I don't treat it as gospel like some people.

Your Turn, Smart Guy…



Who am I? I was once managed by Jim Cornette, Ted Dibaise and Jimmy Hart (not at the same time, obviously). I was part of two important stables, getting kicked out of both (although one time was just a ruse). I helped McMahon pin Austin, and the McMahon boys screw over Austin. I've been pinned in under 10 seconds, and been a dual champion. I've passed on and my last match in WWE saw me job to Tommy Dreamer. I am who?

Bradley gives us the explanation.

You are the late Ray Traylor.

You were managed by Jim Cornette (as Big Bubba Rogers), Ted Dibiase (as Ray Traylor) and Jimmy Hart (as Big Bubba Rogers). You were a member of both the nWo and The Corporation. You battered Austin with a nightstick during a Corporation gauntlet match on Raw allowing McMahon to get the pin. At Survivor Series 1998, the Rock pinned you in under 10 seconds to advance in the tournament. You also held both the Hardcore Championship one half of the Tag Team Championships with Ken Shamrock during your run with the Corporation. Sadly, you have passed on due to a heart attack, but your last match in WWE (a defeat to Tommy Dreamer) will not be your legacy.


Who am I? I made it into 411's Top 50 WWE Superstars poll, despite only having a couple of tag reigns to my credit. Although I did hold a major Australian title once. I had several catchphrases, and at least one celebrity involving moment in the ring. A Hall of Fame inductee, and at one point an on air authority figure for a wrestling company, I've lost a retirement match and have a namesake in the business right now, sort of. I am who?

Questions, Questions, Who's Got The Questions?



Leonard gets to be first cab off the ranks this week.

first off thanks for your continues dedication to the column.

First question has to do with a match between Benoit and Angle on Smackdown. I can't remember the year but it was preceded by a backstage promo. All I remember is Angle's face staring down Benoit from the left and he says "You talk about your wife?, This is my wife Chris. You talk about your children? these are my children Chris" Is this footage still around or because of what happened it was burned and incinerated from existence immediately?


WWE hasn't burned or destroyed any footage. They might well have it locked up, and marked "Never to be used" but it still exists, you never toss anyway any footage in case you need it for something.

Plus there's the internet. Practically everything is on the internet, somewhere. Especially if someone doesn't want it on there, then it's bound to pop up all over the place.

That said, I've looked and looked, and I can't find anything like this. There's plenty of Angle/Benoit backstage interaction out there, but nothing with Angle calling the World title his wife. Not even a context where that would make sense. Maybe someone other than Benoit, but I couldn't find anything with Angle, no matter who the other guy is.

Readers?

Second question has to do with Crowd chants in general. The chants normally range from one syllable (I.E. Slut) to four syllables long (I.E. Aus-tin Ar-ies/ Fall-en An-gel). However I was blown away when I heard the chant at Ring of Honor shows when Bryan Danielson's matches would start- "Your gon-na get your fu-king head kicked in" blowing every other chant out of the water in length at an impressive ten syllables. Can you think of any other chants that are this long and when did the chants begin?

Along these same lines I was wondering when the "Ole! Ole! Ole Ole..." was transitioned from Samoa Joe to El Generico.

Thanks for taking the time to read/answer my questions.


Well, part of that thanks should go to Ari Berenstein, my Expert ROH Ringer that I have called in for these two questions.

And I Quote…

Good lord...that's definitely testing my memory. Okay, the Danielson chant was a response to catcalling from CZW fans during the ROH vs. CZW feud in 2006. I want to say this was at The 100th Show in April. They were chanting "overrated" at Danielson, but he was blasting back at them in a shoot-style promo. He said something to the effect that CZW fans had to result to monosyllablic insults but that ROH fans were smarter and could out-do them. So he encouraged them to chant the "You're gonna get your fucking head kicked in" and stomp with the cadence. The ROH fans picked up on it right away and they used it for Danielson's matches ever since.

The Ole! chants for Generico didn't start during his few appearances in ROH in 2005. It was when he came back to the promotion in the team with Kevin Steen in 2007, as he would come out to "Ole!" by The Bouncing Souls (before ROH had to phase out using non-licensed songs) and fans picked up on the soccer chant cadence and the rest is history. Speaking of The Bouncing Souls, their song "Night Train" was CM Punk's entrance music for his farewell match at Punk: The Last Chapter (August 2005). Great punk band, look them up and give them a try if you haven't already.


Thank you Ari!

Nick helps me improve the hit rate now.

My question is: All in all, how many Divas have posed in Playboy and who were they?

Well, there's two categories of WWE Divas appearing in Playboy. Well, I suppose 3, but one of them's a sub-category. Actually 4 I suppose, there's a second sub-category... Actually 5 if you want to get really, really technical.

OK, so there are 5 types of divas in playboy. There's the two main types, being women who appeared in Playboy because they were in WWE, i.e. they made it into WWE and then posed. Then there are those who appeared in Playboy first, and then became WWE divas.

Within each of those are two sub-categories, in that a couple of divas who were in WWE first and then posed then posed again after leaving (and one then managing to pose a third time after rejoining!) and then divas who posed, got into WWE, then posed again.

And the list is:

WWE 1st, WWE Playboy 2nd: Torrie Wilson (appeared twice), Christy Hemme, Maria Kanellis

WWE 1st, WWE Playboy 2nd, Non-WWE Playboy 3rd: Chyna

WWE 1st, WWE Playboy 2nd, Non-WWE Playboy 3rd, WWE Playboy 4th: Sable

Non-WWE Playboy 1st, WWE 2nd: Maryse, Tiffany, Carmella DeCesare.

Non-WWE Playboy 1st, WWE 2nd, WWE Playboy 3rd: Candice Michelle, Ashley Massaro

Clear? If you want more information, and pictures, I did a somewhat controversial Evolution Schematic a while back viewable here.

From stuff I can answer to stuff I can't, Edward asks about WWE's business…

Hello once again, got a question:

I'm really interested in the ups and downs of the wrestling business (the cyclical nature of it, as you might say). We all know that the WWFs business and mainstream acceptance declined between 1990 and 1996, but if you look at most of their PPVs and TV tapings you obviously wouldn't notice (the arenas normally looked full, minus some shots to the hard camera side showing completely empty stands).

So my question(s):

How much did the WWFs business tail off from (around) 1990 to 1996?

Is there any data around on house show attendance, merchandise sales etc etc that might show this decline?

When did their business go from being "a little down" to "near death"?


Sadly there's little data available in regards for WWF's financials prior to the 95/96 financial year. WWF, as a private company, was not obliged to give out any data until they went public in late 1999, and thus was forced to give the last 5 years worth in their first annual report in 2000. And that data is pretty simple, in the Financial year ending April 30;

1996: Net income was $85,815,000 for a profit of $3,199,000
1997: Net income was $81,863,000 for a loss of $6,505,000
1998: Net Income was $126,231,000 for a profit of $8,466,000
1999: Net Income was $251,474,000 for a profit of $56,030,000
2000: Net Income was $379,310,000 for a profit of $58,908,000

1996 till 1997 was the run of near death, they started to lose money badly, and only picked up with Austin and then the Screwjob.

While merch sales aren't publicly known, I do have access to a list of, for an example, the WWF's attendance records for MSG, which might be of interest, for the 1990's.

(Show, Date, Attendance)

MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - January 15, 1990 (11,500)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - February 19, 1990 (13,800)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - March 19, 1990 (9,500)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - April 30, 1990 (9,500)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - September 21, 1990 (11,000+)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - October 19, 1990 (9,000)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - November 24, 1990 (15,700 paid)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - December 28, 1990 (13,700)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - March 15, 1991 (14,500)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - April 22, 1991 (12,200)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - July 1, 1991 (8,800)
Summer Slam 91 - August 26, 1991 (20,000)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - October 28, 1991 (9,000)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - November 30, 1991 (15,000)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - December 29, 1991 (11,000)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - January 31, 1992 (9,000)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - February 23, 1992 (matinee) (14,000)
MSG Network/Prime Time Wrestling - March 23, 1992 (9,000)
House Show - September 11, 1992 (9,000)
House Show - November 28, 1992 (12,300)
Benefit Show - January 29, 1993 (12,000)
House Show - March 21, 1993 (10,400)
House Show - June 12, 1993 (9,100)
House Show - August 13, 1993 (13,000)
House Show - September 25, 1993 (11,500)
House Show - November 27, 1993 (12,600)
House Show - January 17, 1994 (9,000)
WrestleMania X - March 20, 1994 (18,065; sell out; 4,200 in Felt Forum)
House Show - May 20, 1994 (15,000)
House Show - August 25, 1994 (4,300)
House Show - October 29, 1994 (9,646)
House Show/Action Zone - November 26, 1994 (7,300)
House Show - January 16, 1995 (5,400)
House Show - March 19, 1995 (15,000; 10,000 paid)
House Show - June 10, 1995 (8,340)
House Show - August 12, 1995 (8,800)
Benefit Show - October 6, 1995 (9,000; 7,900 paid)
House Show - November 25, 1995 (7,400)
House Show - January 26, 1996 (15,000; 12,800 paid)
House Show - March 17, 1996 (17,000; sell out; 14,824 paid)
House Show - May 19, 1996 (18,800; 16,564 paid; sell out)
House Show - August 9, 1996 (11,314)
House Show - September 29, 1996 (matinee) (6,747; 3,917 paid)
Survivor Series 96 - November 17, 1996 (18,647; 16,266 paid)
House Show - January 25, 1997 (matinee) (16,634; 13,480 paid)
MSG Network - March 16, 1997 (8,513)
House Show - May 17, 1997 (15,000; 10,702 paid)
Raw - September 22, 1997 (14,615; 10,672 paid; sell out)
House Show - November 15, 1997 (15,479; 12,525 paid)
House Show - January 10, 1998 (19,259; 15,712 paid; sell out)
House Show - March 22, 1998 (18,199; 15,297 paid)
House Show - June 5, 1998 (19,506; 16,814 paid; sell out)
Summer Slam 98 - August 30, 1998 (19,066; 15,274 paid; sell out; 2,522 in Theatre; 1,816 paid)
House Show - October 25, 1998 (18,086; 15,226 paid; sell out)
House Show - December 27, 1998 (16,282; sell out)
House Show - February 7, 1999 (16,399; sell out)
House Show - April 24, 1999 (16,821; sell out)
House Show - June 26, 1999 (16,543; sell out)
House Show - August 28, 1999 (16,452; sell out)
House Show - October 30, 1999 (16,678; sell out)
House Show - December 4, 1999 (16,510; sell out)

So you can see the sudden drop there, and the slow recovery.

But yeah, from most sources, it was steady at best in the early 90's, and then it slowly declined and then at 96 went south quick, but just as quickly went back up again.

Conor continues the business questions, at least at first.

Q1.I finished watching the Spectaclar Legacy of AWA DVD and they talked about Stan Hansen was the AWA Champion but went to Japan and never went back.So does Stan still have that belt?I know Jerry Lawler has an AWA title,but the DVD never mention if Stan kept the belt.

No, he doesn't. The story goes that Hansen, while working for All Japan Pro Wrestling, became AWA Champion. All fine and good, and then on June 29, 1986, Hansen was stripped of the title, and it was awarded to #1 Contender, Nick Bockwinkel, for no-showing the match they were scheduled to have.

However, what actually happened, apparently, was that upon being told he was to drop the belt, Hansen called up All Japan owner Giant Baba to ask him if he was OK with this loss. Hansen wasn't loyal to the AWA, he saw himself as Giant Baba's guy first and foremost. Sure, he didn't mind being AWA champ, but he viewed it as secondary, his main focus was All Japan. And, on the over end of the phone, Giant Baba said that he didn't OK the switch, he had title matches lined up in Japan. So Stan said no. AWA insisted. Stan left with the title. He the began to defend the title in Japan, while Bockwinkel got to carry around a tag belt.

Then comes the interesting bit, wherein AWA threatened to sue if Hansen didn't stop calling himself AWA champ and also stopped carrying around the title belt. Hansen responded by driving his truck over the belt and shipping it back to AWA, muddy tyre tracks still over it.

He has since said he regrets this, like most people in the business do when they deface a title belt (Madusa springs to mind). But no, he doesn't have the belt anymore.

Q2.I saw a promo of The Freebirds in WWF,so I never knew The Freebirds was in the WWF,so what happen?I think it was in 84.



Yeah, the Freebirds were in the WWF in 1984 for a brief period. They debuted on August 4th, 1984, beating Ron Shaw, Rene Goulet, & Charlie Fulton. And the most interesting thing was that they were managed by Cyndi Lauper and David Wolff.



The Freebirds were brought in as allies of David Wolff, Cyndi's manager, and they were to play, you'd think, something of a big role in the Rock n Wrestling Connection saga. But then the Freebirds left after a couple of months, their last match on September 30th, with the story being that WWF wanted to split them up and the Freebirds not wanting to. So they left instead.

Q3.Who was booking/writing WCW the last months of the company when Russo was gone (late 00-early 01) and only how long was Kip Fray in charge in WCW,i knew it was in 92 and the time was awesome.

Kip Allen Fray took over on January 8th, 1992, replacing Jim Herd. Bill Watts replaced him on June 1st that same year. So he was only there a few months, but he made quite an impact, and who knows, he might well have done some good work. Despite being another suit, he did seem to grasp basic ideas quite quickly, which is more than others. But then, he's not a dumb guy. He's a professor at Duke University now, you know.

As for who was booking in WCW near the end, it's slightly murky in that, long before WWE did it, they had a booking committee, with writers and groups. But Terry Taylor was put in charge after the Russo/Bischoff experiment failed. And then after Bischoff announced he was buying the company, while due diligence was done and the deal was set up and such, he came up with the main storylines and Johnny Ace, John Laurinaitis, he who is the devil according to some people now, was the head booker.

Neal has a simple question.

Has there been any wrestler other than Mankind who 1 entrance theme, and then a different theme to exit after he won a match?

Thanks!


Technically there's dozens, in that often WWE will have one theme, and then a slight variation on it, without perhaps the first hook, to play upon winning. And there are cases of wrestlers entering with a solo theme each and then having a team one play afterwards and such. But in terms of totally different themes, Triple H having a couple different themes counts, he had two different ones play on occasion. I believe he's the only major name, apart from Mankind, to have this, although I'm sure I'll be disagreed with in the comments.

Yes! New Botchamania!!!


Wade has a few questions as well.

I reader Long time. just 4 dolla. lol

Just a couple Q's

1) I was watching ready to rumble, and after observing the WCW talent in the film I realized that none of the performers were major stars today except Rey Mysterio. BUT that was when he was mask less. Am i missing something or is there a curse on the wrestlers in that film?


Well, yes, there is something to be said for there being a ‘curse' on the cast list. The only other wrestler in the movie who's not dead, retired, or on the indies is Sting. Although Charles Robinson, Mike Tenay and Mean Gene are all still active, so it's not a total loss if you include the non-wrestlers. But then, there are guys like Booker T, DDP, Goldberg, Shane Helms and the like who did have careers post-R2R, but just aren't big now.

But overall, it's a WCW movie with guys in it who all were WCW born and bred (with a couple notable exceptions). It's now a WWE dominated industry. You're surprised that WWE isn't pushing older talent from their major rival here and now? I mean, logically yes, some of them should still be around in a perfect world where Vince uses only the best talent to it's full potential, but this is not that world. I know, I just checked my room, Tara's not there.

2) Also in the film was Prince I-O-K-a. or however you spell it. Someone once told me he was the son of Jimmy superfly Snuka. Is there any truth to that?

No. No there is not. Prince Iaukea, real name Michael Hayner, is in no way shape or form related to Jimmy Snuka. He took (or rather, was given) his name from King Curtis Iaukea, but he has no relationship at all with Snuka.

C) and finally, I heard that people didn't want to wrestle New Jack because he was so stiff in the ring. Has a REAL fight ever broken out between two wrestlers?

Thanks for taking the time to read me. Deuces


… Sure it has. All the time. Doink V Hacksaw, DDP V Steiner, Dynamite Kid V Everyone, fights break out all the time. Puder V Angle wasn't so much a fight as Puder almost breaking Angle's arm.



But the quintessential Wrestling Match turned Shoot Fight was something more akin to a shoot rape, but Great Antonio fought Antonio Inoki and… well…



Adam forces me to do some legwork.

I was randomly wondering about the WWF and their coverage in the US.

1) Has the WWF ever been able to do a show, even just a house show in Hawaii and Alaska?


Hawaii they had a house show there this year, August 18th, Raw. Alaska you have to go back to 2008, Raw had a house show there February 7th, 2008.

2) Has the WWF staged a PPV from every one of the mainland US states?

Thanks


Well, let's fire up the list, the first WWE PPV from that state (Washington D.C. has had at least one, Backlash 2000, and Puerto Rico had New Year's Revolution 2005, for those who care)…

Alabama: Armageddon 2000
Arizona: Summerslam 2003
Arkansas: No Mercy 2002
California: Wrestlemania 2
Colorado: Vengeance 2003
Connecticut: Survivor Series 1990
Delaware
Florida: Royal Rumble 1990
Georgia: Royal Rumble 2002
Idaho
Illinois: The Wrestling Classic
Indiana: Wrestlemania VIII
Iowa
Kansas

Kentucky: In Your House 6: Rage in the Cage
Louisiana: Royal Rumble 2001
Maine
Maryland: King Of The Ring 1994
Massachusetts: Survivor Series 1993
Michigan: Wrestlemania III
Minnesota: Summerslam 1999
Mississippi
Missouri: Badd Blood: In Your House
Montana
Nebraska: In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies
Nevada: Wrestlemania IX
New Hampshire: Backlash 2005
New Jersey: Wrestlemania IV
New Mexico
New York: Wrestlemania
North Carolina: Unforgiven: In Your House
North Dakota
Ohio: Survivor Series 1987
Oklahoma: Unforgiven 2005
Oregon: Unforgiven 2004
Pennsylvania: Summerslam 1990
Rhode Island: Royal Rumble 1994
South Carolina: In Your House 8: Beware of Dog
South Dakota
Tennessee: No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie
Texas: Royal Rumble 1989
Utah
Vermont

Virginia: In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell
Washington: Wrestlemania XIX
West Virginia
Wisconsin: King Of The Ring 1996
Wyoming

So there's still a few to mark off on the bingo card.

Paul asks about the last cartoonish period of WWF.

Hello,
Great read every week, Who's idea was the many weird characters in the 90's such as Mantaur, the Berzerker, The Bully, The Goon, etc? You talk about ideas that should have been laughed out of the room.


Well, it's impossible to state who came up with the gimmicks, but overall, it's Vince's responsibility. He wanted those sorts of characters, because at the time he was trying to go fully family friendly, he wanted to appeal to kids, and he thought that was what would work. And to be fair, while they were somewhat toned down, the Rock n Wrestling period did have some weird and stupid gimmicks. New Generation went overboard with them, sure, but it's not like they got there straight from Attitude or anything…

Llyod asks about the J-Crown, and then has another question later.

Long time reader, occasional question asker. This is about the J Crown title(s). Basically I wanted to know why eight belts were merged to begin with? Were things just that dead for the belts at the time? And is it true that the re-introduction of the WWF Light Heavyweight Title is what led to the demise of the J Crown?



No, the belts weren't dead, although a couple were belts from other countries that had ended up in Japan almost exclusively. The J-Crown was the work of Jushin ‘Thunder; Liger, who came up with the idea and booked the unification tournament. Given the respect Liger had, and his hard work, he managed to bring it together. As for why, the fact is that on the day of the finals of the tournament (it was held over a couple of days) Liger announced he had a brain tumour, and his career might well be over. Thankfully he survived the operations to remove the benign tumour, and he continued to wrestle afterwards. So it seems the creation of the thing was a possible last grand gesture, a final gift to the business from a man who wasn't sure if he would be around it much longer.

(For the cynical, this also explains why he didn't book himself to win it.)

And yes, when the WWF began to prepare to launch their Light Heavyweight Division to try and counter the Crusierweight division in WCW, they noticed that one of the belts in the J-Crown was that very title, although one they had never actually had themselves. They had formed a working relationship with Universal Wrestling Association in Mexico, and as part of that, UWA had been given the right to have a ‘WWF' title in their company, the WWF Light Heavyweight title. And it managed to get involved in the J-Crown. And when WWF came calling and demanded the belt back, the then champion, Shinjiro Otani, send them the title and forfeit it. And since with one gone, the whole thing lost something, he vacated all but the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, since that was the title of the company he was working for at the time, New Japan.

Rey19th has a simple question.

Has anyone ever won with a superplex? (Not including the Lesnar-Show ending) Should it not be the ultimate move... thanks

Well, Austin retained his WWF title by pinning Benoit after Benoit hit a Superplex on Jericho at King Of The Ring 2001.





But for a proper, Superplex as a finisher, Bob Orton Jr used it as a finisher at times.



My Damm Opinion



Sean goes here since it's hard to answer this one fairly.

There have been a number of guys in wrestling who have been famous for being legitimate tough guys outside the ring, with Ron Simmons, Haku and Orndorff being prime examples. Who else have I missed and which wrestlers these days manage to avoid getting ribbed in the locker room just because everyone else is scared of them?

Thanks


Well, for the first part, the tough guys, there's a lot of them. Off the top of my head, Dick Slater, Harley Race, Dynamite Kid, Andre The Giant, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Bruiser Brody… Maybe Vader, some people think he's tough, others he's just stiff.

As for guys who avoid getting ribbed… I don't think such a thing exists. I mean, Dynamite Kid was well known for being tough as hell and something of a loose cannon, and people still ribbed him. You don't avoid being ribbed by being tough, you get it by being liked. And even then some guys rib people they like most of all. Ribbing is (sadly) a part of the business it's hard to avoid. But I guess guys like Taker wouldn't be ribbed much…

Lloyd is back.

Also for the opinion section: Do you feel that the gimmick PPVs would be better served if those gimmicks were otherwise "banned" year round? For example WWE has a Hell in the Cell PPV. So there would be no HIAC matches booked the rest of the year. I think it would help buyrates because the idea is it's the ONLY time you can see this particular stipulation for twelve months.

Well…. Yes, that would help, but I personally feel that's going the wrong way. I mean, if you're committed to the idea, then sure, ban the gimmick matches for the rest of the year. Don't do any HITC matches outside the PPV, don't do TLC matches outside the PPV (Money in the Bank doesn't count), so on and so forth.

But the general idea behind the question I maintain is bad. I'm all for gimmick PPVs, you gotta try something, but linking them to match types is a horrible idea since it removes the special nature of the matches themselves. I mean, The Rumble is on the Road to Wrestlemania now, it's not just the match drawing, it's the WM slot as well. And as much as I dislike the name change, Elimination Chamber's not in a bad spot as well, in that it's the Champion's last hurdle before they fight the Rumble Winner.

But having all the other blow off match types linked to the right time of year is wrong, in that it weakens the gimmick. And, worse, it removes the option of using the gimmick for a hot feud. If two guys really hate each other, if they catch on fire and have an epic feud, HITC would be a great way to end it. But if it's not the right month, whoops, sorry, you'll have to make do with a 4 way match instead.

You can make gimmicks without sticking to match types. But if you're sticking with the idea, then yes, ban them everywhere else, make them special.

And finally, Simon wants to look ahead.

Hello,

Great column. It's getting to that time of year again when Wrestlemania is approaching.

What would your card be at this stage?

Mine would be

Dark Match Battle Royal

US Title - Intercontinental Title Unification Match
Daniel Bryan - Dolph Zigler

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
The Miz - Rey Mysterio - Jack Swagger - John Morrison - Alberto Del Rio - Ted Dibiase - Kofi Kingston

Raw v Smackdown
Big Show - Sheamus

Tag Team Turmoil
Santino Marella & Vladimier Kozlov
The Usos
Men on a Mission
Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre
Money Inc
Mark Henry & Evan Bourne
Dusty Rhodes & Goldust

WWE v WCW
Chris Jericho (w/ Vince McMahon) - Bill Goldberg

WWE Title
John Cena - CM Punk

The Miz cashes Money in the Bank

The Brothers of Destruction - The Nexus

Divas

World Title
Edge - Randy Orton - HHH

Cheers,


Well, there's two answers to that. What I would book, and what I think WWE will book.

So, let's go with what I think WWE will do.

WWE Title Match
The Miz (C) V John Cena

World Heavyweight Title Match
Edge (C) V Alberto Del Rio

Money In The Bank
Dolph Ziggler V Rey Mysterio V Kofi Kingston V Ezekiel Jackson V John Morrison V Evan Bourne V Mark Henry V Tyson Kidd

Randy Orton V Kane

HHH V Sheamus

US Title Match
Daniel Bryan (C) V The Great Khali

CM Punk w/Nexus V Wade Barrett w/Young

Divas Title Lumberjill match
Natalya V Beth Phoenix V Layla V Michelle McCool

The Undertaker V Someone from UFC, or UFC affiliated, or was at some point in some way shape or form UFC-ish.

Dark Match, WWE Tag Team Lumberjack match
Santino & Kozlov (c) V Gabriel & Slater V The Uso's V Big Show & Hornswoggle

Now, what I would book…

WWE Championship Elimination Match
The Miz (C) V John Cena V Randy Orton

World Heavyweight Title
Edge (C) V Alberto Del Rio

Money In The Bank
Raw: Evan Bourne, John Morrison, Tyson Kidd
SD: Kofi Kingston, Big Show, Kane
Nexus: Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, David Otunga

US Title Submission Match: Title V Career
Daniel Bryan (C) V William Regal

IC Title Match
Dolph Ziggler (c) V Rey Mysterio

Divas Title match
Natyala (C) V Beth Phoenix

Extreme Rules
Wade Barrett V CM Punk

Sheamus V HHH

Dark Match
Battle Royal for Unified Tag Team Titles
Santino/Kozlov (C) V Everyone else split up into teams.

What about you guys? Leave your detailed reasons as to why I'm wrong below, and I'll see you next year.





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