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Ask 411 Wrestling 09.05.12: Perfect Finishers, Trish Barking, Cena Losing, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 09.05.2012

Hello and welcome to this, my final edition of Ask 411 Wrestling!

Yeah, like I'd just spring that on you. Believe you me, if I get to pick when I leave, it'll be after MASSIVE build up. Weeks of self-congratulating video packages and then the last week is Mathew Sforcina Appreciation Week, where every writer on 411mania has to state just how I've personally touched their lives, before I'm presented with the World Title and get to ride off into the sunset, undefeated.

Or at the least I'll beg for ass-kissing for a few weeks. One of the two.

Anyway, this is a Pseudo-Total Opinion Week, in that I think the ratio between opinion and fact will probably end up balanced, I just can't be arsed to sort them this week.


Anyway, for more professionalism, tune into Just Another God Damned Rasslin' Show, 411mania's podcasts and Wrestling PodClash!

And Banner is always professional.

411 on Twitter!

Me On Twitter~!


Hart Foundation/Dynasty & Money in Tag Teams: OK, yeah, Hart Dynasty makes a lot more sense there. Basic point still stands though, WWE sees more money in single superstars than tag teams. The Dudley/Hardy/E&C war only happened when someone in power pushed VERY hard for it. Right now, no-one is pushing for new tag teams.

And there can be money in tag team wrestling. Beer Money drew in TNA, the above three way war was very profitable for WWE, tag teams can draw. It's just that WWE doesn't think so right now. But hey, if Hunter brings them back, more power to him, although right now I think most of us, me included, are betting far too much on the magic bullet of ‘Hunter Taking Over = Golden Sunshine Lollypop Happy Times'.

Your Turn, Smart Guy…

Who am I? I debuted in WCW, but am most famous for my run in WWE. A former WWE Hardcore Champion, I did more work as a manager than a wrestler. I've managed 6 world champions in my career (8 if you include the ECW Title as a World Title, both versions…). I quit WWE right before one of the traditional Mass Bloodlettings (although I've bled myself on occasion…). My first stint as a manager involved me carrying an inanimate object and my last saw me destroy another one. Jim Cornette HATES an angle I was involved in, and I was the first of my kind of person to take a certain move from a certain wrestling through a certain object. I am who?

Mark had it mostly right.

I debuted in WCW (Alexandra York), but am most famous for my run in WWE (Marlena).

A former WWE Hardcore Champion, I did more work as a manager than a wrestler.

I've managed 6 world champions in my career (8 if you include the ECW Title as a World Title, both versions…) (Let's see....Tommy Rich, Edge, Christian, Chris Benoit, Eddie Gurrero, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Raven)

I quit WWE right before one of the traditional Mass Bloodlettings (although I've bled myself on occasion…).
(March 2004)

My first stint as a manager involved me carrying an inanimate object (a laptop) and my last saw me destroy another one (poor Mopy).

Jim Cornette HATES an angle I was involved in (Triple X Files?), and I was the first of my kind of person to take a certain move from a certain wrestling through a certain object (first table bump from Bubba Ray?).

Who am I?
Terri Runnels

The angle I was thinking of was the miscarriage angle, for the record.

Who am I? According to WWE, I've never won a World Title. My main in-ring name shares one half with my shoot name. I once debuted a manager who was a direct parody of someone else, although they ended up sticking around after a slight gimmick change. One of my more memorable angles was supposedly due to a bet/joke backstage, although it did lead to an ‘amusing' acronym. I've worked for all 3 of a ‘Big 3' company trio. I was the first person of a certain group to do something on WWE TV, I once lost to Jerry Lawler, and I've been a player in two different situations. Who am I?

Questions, Questions, Who's Got The Questions?/My Damn Opinion

Damien begins with the Ask 411 Wrestling Greatest Hits Package! Yes, all your favourite Ask 411 Questions, in a deluxe collector's edition made of real pleather…

Hi!! I'm a great fan of your column, it's a pleasure to read it every week, even from France. Excuse me if my writting has some mistakes.

My first question is about Wrestlemania 14. As you know, Shawn Mickaels wrestled despite being injured against Steve Austin, and he delivered a pretty good main event otherwise. But was there any other plan, i mean, what if Shawn would have been unable to compete at this show, was there any other plan-b storyline to main event Wrestlemania?

Actually, that's not been asked before off the top of my head, so forgive my above sardonic introduction by 25%. And I never make fun of non-English speakers speaking broken/poor English. It means you speak more than one language, and I respect that.

As to the question at hand, Shawn would have had to have been dead or near as to make no difference to get out of that match. While he may have needed Taker to reinforce it a little on the day, short of him being confined to a wheelchair, hospital bed or coffin, Vince would expect him to make it. Hell, 2 out of 3 of those Vince would still wheel him out.

However, I recall rumors that Sid was going to be the replacement for Shawn at No Way Out of Texas, and having him become champ and then lose to Austin is plausible. You could also make it a handicap match, either in all but name or straight out say "Austin V DX!" and that way Hunter and Chyna can do the work while Shawn stands on the apron for 95% of it. Or maybe hot shot an Owen heel turn (hey, he has history with both of them) or get Vader out of mothballs… Although really Undertaker's the only guy with credibility they had. Foley I suppose you could argue too I guess…

Of course, there is one other option. If Shawn's back truly is screwed… Then Vince could get a semi-trailer, fill it with all his money, then dump it on Mike Tyson's lawn and beg him to wrestle just one match against Austin… It would be a hell of a risk and require a very lucky Hail Mary pass, but the heat/attention would be off the charts…

But it would probably he a handicap or Heel Owen, depending on how bad the back is screwed.

Secondly, i remember In you house 13 as being a good little ppv, but something is intriguing me. During the main event, rumors say that Austin injured himslef and so they decided to change the result of the match, and Bret Hart won the title. So that would mean that Austin was supposed to win the big one. But if ever this rumor is true, what would have been the main event of wrestlemania 13? Was Austin supposed to drop his first title reign to Sid the following night on Raw instead of Bret Hart?

That is the supposed idea that floats about the interweb, that Austin was meant to win the title and then lose it to Sid the next night. It's not true though. Sid has gone on record saying that he was told flat out he was winning the title off Bret, with no reason to lie and no-one correcting him. Bret winning and losing within 24 hours was always the plan, as a way to further cement his upcoming heel turn.

Thirdly, concerning Wrestlemania 2000. The main event was a fatal four way, but i'm kinda upset at it, believing that they just should have done the single match between HHH and The rock, and on a other side Mick Foley against the big show in some kind of gimmick match. Was this final four the original plan? O just a way for all MacMahons to main event implicitly their Wrestlemania? Cause the HHH VS Rock from Backlash and Judgment day could have easily main evented a Wrestlemania, considering their quality.

Sure they could have gone with Rock/Hunter. But it was simple a money grab. Wrestlemania was going to sell regardless, and by having a four way, they could have a massive main event at WM that was huge, and then do Rock/HHH next month and do an equally big buyrate. It was a way to have their cake and eat it too, without needing to burn out Rock/HHH too early.

The four way was the original plan, although there is some debate about the participants. At one point Jericho was the 4th man, supposedly, and/or a triple threat might have been on the cards as well. But the idea was always to do HHH wins a multi-man match so as to build to massively successful PPVs down the line.

And finally, about the classic Wrestlemania 10. There is this rumor claming that Lex Luger was supposed to win the title over Breat Hart in the final, which would have been a rare face vs face match for this period, but it was the match i wanted to see back on this time. Instead, Luger lost in a weird way, but understandable because of his win over Mr Perfect the year before, and Bret defeated Yokozuna, which sounded like a paybakc from the previous wrestlemania too, and like a mark of respect from Mac Mahon who finally believed in the new generation instead of needed Hogan. So every thing seems believable, but wat if Lex Luger would have really won the title? What were the plans? Was Bret supposed to continue his familly feud?

Thank you for your time,
greeting from France.

Luger was NEVER going to win the title at WMX, not after the Rumble being his last chance, and where he didn't out-pop Bret. The supposed paper spoiler never happened, Luger was never going to champ, it was always going to be Bret losing to Owen then beating Bret, both as a way to apologize to Bret for IX and as a simple, effective way to run Owen V Bret for the rest of the year at every show in the world.

I can see some vague logic in Luger winning, in that if you went that route, when Bret beats Luger, you can then run Yoko/Owen V Bret/Luger, with Bret having to fight off both his brother (I beat you the same night you won the title!) and Yoko (You never beat me for the title!) and then when he finally gets past them, BAM, Luger heel turn (You beat me for the belt you bastard!), which would be an OK approach. But it was never going to happen.

Mindless asks about a ring.

Hey Man,

Never asked a ? before but thought of one the other night.... Back at the height of the original DX era I noticed Shawn Michaels wore a black choker around his neck with what appears to be a ring be it engagement or wedding attached to it...I believe it was present during one of his encounters with taker and perhaps even during a match or two... I was wondering if anyone knew of the signifigance of this ring since he wasn't married till much later....Thanx for the column

You can see it around 06:30 there. What ‘it' was was an engagement ring. During this time, he was in fact engaged to a woman named Jennifer, but they broke up soon after this point. I do recall reading and possibly writing about this before with slightly more detail, but I do remember the salient details, Jennifer, Engaged, Broke Up.


Justin tries again.

This will be my 2nd round of questions for 411mania and hopefully you will answer them.

1. Who do you think (and why) has a better shot at getting inducted into the WWE HOF??
Warrior, Savage, and Demolition

Demolition, on the basis that they are alive and not crazy.

The thing is, being dead does reduce your chances of being inducted slightly, since they have a limit on how many dead people they include in any one show for fear of it becoming too morbid. Likewise, being insane does not help your chances, if said insanity is the controversial, non-kooky kind. Demolition just have issues from past dealings, and considering they were in WWE '12, I would not be all surprised if they get inducted next year.

Demolition first, then Savage. Warrior… Not till he drops dead or becomes more managable.

2. Why is Scott Hall NOT a former WCW World Champion?? He certainly had enough backstage power (I'm assuming) and all of his buddies held the title at some point.

Trust. For all his buddies, for all his backstage pull, even said friends whom he had pull with knew he was far too untrustworthy to get the Big Gold Belt. He was a drunken wreck most of the time, and they just couldn't be sure he wouldn't turn up under a flipped SUV or doing some sort of drug with some sort of undesirable person. To have a big star go into rehab is bad, but manageable. Having your world champion? That's a PR disaster.

But yeah, they just couldn't trust him enough to risk pushing him all the way.

The Chairman is in!

And this is very funny.

And this… Has nothing to do with wrestling, but I like it, so in it goes.

Micheal is back yet again!

1)Why do people consistently say that Cena never jobs or pushes guys? Dude lost the title to Sheamus, helped put over Wade Barrett as a threat by losing to him in a retirement match, lost to CM Punk a few times in the Summer of Punk 2, lost to both the Miz and the Rock at consecutive manias, lost to Batista at Summer Slam, lost to Johnny Ace(I don't care how he lost, he lost) and lost to Kevin Federline for Christ's sake.

I think people are so wrapped up in hating this guy they forget he hasn't held the WWE title in almost a year.

Meanwhile guys like Hogan get a pass for holding the title for years on end and, even when he comes back now, either wins or gets a huge rub. Either way, he gets his ego stroked. Flair refused to drop the title to Luger(and God knows who else he refused to lose to) and no one batted an eye. Taker always wins and the only guy I can remember him putting over was Lesnar. And don't even get me going on Rey Mysterio.

Is it just a case of anti-Cena, are people's memories that short, or both.

A loss is not a job. And a job is not a loss.

Sorry to get all Yoda on you, but there is a distinction here between losing a match and putting a guy over. After all, Flair as NWA World Champion, while he travelled around, put over each and every guy he wrestled, even when he beat them. When he left the ring with his hand raised and the title still in his hands, he made you believe that the other guy in the ring was a God Among Men, and that Flair was insanely lucky to get away with cheating like that, and lord knows, if our local hero ever got another shot, he'd be champ for sure!

And then you have, well, Cena. Cena does indeed lose, relatively often for a man in his position. But he never really, deep down, puts anyone else over, in the sense that when Cena feuds with a guy, you never get a sense of his opponent being a real threat to him, even if he ends up beating Cena. Cena just doesn't put over anyone else as a threat, in the way he reacts and sells their stuff. It's a weird combination of booking and in-ring work, where you're not entirely sure who to blame.

Hogan won most of his matches, but if you watch those matches, after the initial flurry, Hogan would spend a few minutes in pure, total agony, as he writhed on the mat, grimacing, as the heel beat him down. Hogan made you believe that he was done, finished, he was dying before your eyes. And then he'd begin to Hulk up, and the usual would happen. But for those brief seconds, he'd have you believing this was it.

Taker put over Mankind in his debut, as well as helping to establish guys like Kane, Khali, Edge, Batista and Angle, albeit not as cleanly as some people would like, sure. But Taker gets called on it.

And Mysterio… That's a complicated one.

But the issue with Cena is not his win/loss record. It is instead the fact that Cena never puts over any other wrestler as a threat to him, either by how he reacts to them leading into the match or when he decides to stop selling mid-match. The fact that he loses matches is practically irrelevant.

Go back and watch MITB 2011, and see a John Cena that visibly thrown by the crowd reaction. Go watch Cena in ECW ONS2 for a slightly less notable but equally effective version of that. Go back and look at the Cena appearances between WM and Extreme Rules, and watch how Cena almost immediately blows Lesnar's reaction by smiling and being happy as Lesnar comes out.

Fear would have been good. Shock better. Confusion might have worked too. But why the hell should Cena have been happy there? That's the problem, the Cena character cannot or will not show any weakness, any sense of doom, he never makes you think he might not make it.

And that's boring, and also doesn't help his opponent. No matter how many times they have their hand raised. Have Cena show anything other than bemused humor towards a threat, then we can talk.

2)has anyone ever said a bad word about Ricky Steamboat or is he really that angelic?

No, he has detractors, and not just ‘CM Punk in their feud from ROH' detractors. Honky Tonk Man and New Jack both dislike him, HTM since Steamboat became a Road Agent for WWE and HTM seems to hate everyone who takes that job for some reason and New Jack hates Steamboat because… God only knows with him. Iron Sheik in the same shoot interview (yes, those three did a shoot interview together. Yes, it is a train wreck of epic proportions.) had some disparaging words as well, but that might have just been the company he was keeping.

That's about it, with people who dislike Steamboat being a short list. Those curmidgenons above… And Vince, of course. Some of the time. Right after Wrestlemania III for instance.

3) If you had to redo the Summerslam where Orton beat Benoit for the title, how would you have booked it and the months to follow? I get orton beating Benoit to a degree. Benoit had been dominant as champ, Orton was a young stud on the rise so him beating Benoit cleanly was a shock and immediately gave Orton legitimacy. I can even see HHH turning on Orton as hhh never could beat Benoit so the fact that Orton could was insulting to him. So how would you have booked this whole angle?

The angle that we got was OKish up until the gorilla promo.

I would include that as an embed, but the internet has had a rare show of decency and I can't find it.

Anyway, the main problem with the angle was that Orton reacted, rather than acted. A truly effective face turn sees them do the turning, rather than be turned on. A heel turn, sure, that's a turn on someone. But a face turn should be more you turn of your own volition. The pandering that happened later didn't help.

So, how to fix? The start is fine, Orton gets title shot, wins, Benoit shakes hand. The next night as well, cool, up until the thumbs up. HHH gives the thumbs up… And then does nothing to Orton, although when Batista turns back around, he shares a knowing glance at Flair. But outwardly, Evolution has the gold, so it's cool.

They build to one more match with Benoit at Unforgiven, when Orton has to defend the title in a Submission match. Hunter and Flair team up against Hurricane and Rosey on the PPV as well (you play this for laughs as Hurricane and Rosey are out to ‘stop' Evolution, which Evolution ignores until they cost HHH a match against Regal which gives Benoit choice of stip at PPV) while Batista fights Regal. HHH/Regal squash Superheros, Batista beats Regal, and then Dave helps out Orton by KOing Benoit on the outside, so when Orton locks in a headlock Benoit is out and so Orton ‘wins' by submission.

Next night on Raw, Orton thanks Dave, then asks, in passing, where Hunter and Ric were. Oh, in the back preparing for the party, obviously. Orton seems to accept this. But as the weeks pass, Orton slowly seems to distrust Ric and Hunter. Orton gets into a couple of close scrapes in title defences against Chris Jericho and Shelton Benjamin on Raw, where Flair and Hunter are ‘out of position' or ‘get unlucky with timing' and get caught cheating or hit Orton by mistake. He doesn't lose the title on these occasions, but only due to luck and RKOs. In quiet asides backstage with Batista, in full view of the cameras of course, he voices his suspicions that Hunter and Ric are trying to cost him the title. Batista seems sceptical, but tells Orton that if worst comes to worst, they have each other's backs. Because of this suspicion, and due to how whenever Hunter and Ric try to ‘help' it backfires, Randy begins to wrestle cleanly, face like. Vicious still, but without actual cheating.

And then in the lead up to Taboo Tuesday, you have Edge, Shawn Michaels and William Regal (screw it, if I'm rebooking, might as well push Regal while I'm at it) all get falls over Orton in non-title or tag matches, mostly due to Flair and Hunter's "help". This leads to a huge 6 man tag match 2 Raws before TT, Flair/HHH/Batista V Edge/Michaels/Regal, winning team gets to be the three wrestlers voted on to challenge for the World title at TT. Orton is at ringside doing commentary, and despite HHH and Flair's enthusiastic support for the idea earlier in the night ("We can ensure the belt stays in Evolution! Score!") Orton is clear that he wants the other team to win, since he has beef with them. Evolution he has no beef with… yet.

But he refuses to elaborate as he instead watches the match which is long, but eventually there's a ref bump, and Hunter goes for a steel chair… Stopped by Orton. He and Hunter get into an argument, and it's cut off by Edge from behind, running HHH into the chair into Orton. Edge then has a visible pinfall on Hunter… But Batista is there, having gotten the brass knuckles off of Regal. One shot later, Batista pins Edge, and it's Evolution explodes at TT, while Edge turns heel at Regal for costing him the title match by bringing in the weapon, leading to their Wrestling Match/European Rules/No-DQ voted match at the PPV.

But Orton is very unhappy, despite Hunter and Ric's enjoyment of the result. They have a party mid ring on the Raw prior in the main event, as they all agree (not Batista, he's off getting more girls) that they want the fans to vote for Hunter, the two best wrestlers in the business, one on one… Orton then cuts them off, telling them that he's sick of this. He is sick of this buddy buddy crap, when it's clear that Hunter and Ric have been trying to make him lose the title from day one. Hunter and Ric declare their innocence, but Randy turns to the fans and tells them to vote for Batista, as- HHH and Ric jump him, but then Batista returns and cleans house, helping Randy up as Jim Ross screams that Evolution is breaking up!

Now, this would seem to indicate that I need three different booking ideas here, but really there's one basic idea: Orton loses the World Title because of Batista, it's just a matter of how. If HHH wins, then Batista turns heel and costs Orton the match straight up. If Flair or Batista win, then Batista turns heel and wins the title by cheating/helps Flair win it. Next week on Raw, Flair or Batista, if they are champ, announce that, with the blessing of Eric Bischoff, they give the title to Hunter, maybe even toss in a ‘retroactive' clause that states that, at their request, HHH will offically be listed as champion since TT, just to rub it in how much Evolution are dicks about this.

And then Orton runs in and RKOs everyone.

Survivor Series can be the Survivor Series match we got pretty much, Orton's team beats Hunter's, and Orton gets a week on Raw where Triple H and Batista end up not turning up due to ‘flight difficulties', so Orton has to settle with destroying Flair who was the sole one to show.

Orton chases and then gets a title shot at the Rumble, Evolution banned from ringside, but HHH wins thanks to Edge running interference, for, it is revealed later on, a huge payoff and a title shot. But sadly for Evolution, Bischoff, to save face in front of Teddy Long, then says that since Edge has a title shot, he can be removed from the Rumble and replaced by… Orton! Orton wins Rumble, (Edge/Hunter can happen in Japan again), and then beats Hunter at WM to win back title as #1 Babyface.

Well that's one idea at least.

4)Tie in question: Did Benoit want to drop the belt so that was part of the whole booking or was he basically told too and did so begrudgingly? I think that's why benoit shook Orton's hand at the end of the match because he figured, if I'm going to lose, and lose cleanly, I may as well look heroic in the end.

Benoit's thoughts on the matter were not really known at the time, and are pretty much impossible to know now, but that wasn't something Benoit did on his own, that was the start of the ‘Let's Turn Orton Face' storyline that they rushed through in one Raw rather than a couple months.

Patrick asks a difficult question.

Hey Mat

Why do those who criticize wrestling always use examples from the show to exemplify the company's moral standings? NBC has law and order who has episodes about rape, sometimes on children, movie studios have movies showing murders, both scenarios in a much more realistic environment than WWE. So why is Vince making trish (an example often used) bark like a dog a big deal? it's a tv show just like law and order is. it's not like Vince said trish come to the ring and follow my lead, then made her bark off script just to embarrass her. I'm sure trish knew she was going to do that and just did her job and was paid nicely for it too. Is Raw not a tv show like others?

This is a complicated question, in that the answer is different depending on who you are asking. WWE certainly goes this route, crying foul whenever someone criticizes them, but then again, there is some legitimate criticism here, if you don't understand wrestling, but then again WWE isn't wrestling any more and…

OK, the thing is that Wrestling isn't a TV show in the way that most people view it, at least in terms of perception. While few people genuinely believe that people think wrestling is real, wrestling is a hybrid of reality and fantasy, not really being either, and that means that what they do is harder to justify as being ‘part of the show', even though Trish herself said that about that segment. That, and she got revenge at WM at the end so it's cool. Wrestling wants to sell itself as entertainment, but some people jusut can't let go of the idea that wrestling acts like it's real. Which is does, but then so does any other TV show, but people don't get that.

However, the other side of that is the fact that the WWE is pushing itself as a PG company, a family friendly place where kids are welcome and it's not at all controversial or dangerous. Trish barking like a dog flies directly in the face of that. Yes, it's in the company's past. But that still hangs over you, you need to do a lot of work to convince people you've changed, and until you get over that hump, your past actions will get thrown back in your face.

But to your point, WWE isn't a TV show like others. It is on TV, but it is also live events, and PPV events, and is media appearances, and a whole lot of other stuff, where actors playing exaggerated versions of themselves appear in public as those characters nearly all the time. Trish Stratus was not some actress plucked from off-broadway and filmed on a closed film set for an adult TV show about S&M. Trish Stratus was, pretty much, Trish Stratus, forced by her employer playing a character of her boss, to strip and bark like a dog in front of thousands of screaming fans and many millions more watch on live TV, all in the context of a live ‘sporting' event that is nominally family friendly. It's not exactly an easy distinction to quantify, but there does appear to be one, according to most people who dislike wrestling.

Nelson has two questions for me.

Hey Mat,

Two questions for you:

1. A couple of weeks ago, you said you would rather be someone who never hit the Main Event, but stuck around a major company for several years than being someone who would hit the pinnacle for a short time, but not have a long-lasting career. Really? So you'd rather be the Brooklyn Brawler than King Kong Bundy, because that is essentially what you are saying? I see the economical aspect of this, but for sheer impact on the business and its fans, I can't see why you wouldn't want to be Bundy.

Well now hang on, Brawler, no. When I answered that, I was thinking more of a Tito Santana career, getting some minor pushes here and there but never being a major player. That I could handle, and more importantly, I kinda feel that I have just as much to offer behind the camera as I do in front.

I mean, I'd prefer Bundy to what I have now, believe me. But I think I can help more as a writer as well as an on-air talent, and a Bundy doesn't lend itself to that, while a Jamie Noble does. In the long haul, the Santana and Nobles have more impact, it's just not as noticeable. I mean, given that my tip top, absolute highest goal I want in this business is to lose a main event match at WM, I think that speaks to my attitude to the business, for good or bad.

But I intend to take the best of both worlds anyway, so it's all a moot point.

2. This question would be impossible to quantify, so I'm interested in your opinion. What is the most effective finishing move ever, in that hitting it typically led to a victory? It wouldn't be the Stone Cold Stunner or the Rock Bottom, as they got kicked out of all the time (especially in Rock/Austin matches). My guess is that from a volume standpoint, it is Hogan's leg drop. Think of it. Other than Ultimate Warrior at WM6, and the schmozz at WM8 with Sid, did ANYONE kick out of the leg drop pre-nWo? What about from a ratio standpoint? I was thinking maybe Yokozuna's Banzaai Drop. He clearly did not hit that nearly as often as Hogan dropped the leg, but did anyone ever kick out when he successfully hit that move? I don't remember it ever happening.

Volume is pretty much impossible to quantify, yes. I mean, you'd need to count every match for every wrestler that had a push… Hogan does seem like a good bet, certainly I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head that had the combination of a huge push and a consistent finisher. So we'll go with that.

But ratio? That's easy, Kenta Kobashi, Burning Hammer. 100% success rate.

I know of no other finisher that has never been kicked out of and has been used with anything resembling regular use. But by all means readers, do feel free to correct me if you know a better one, one with a 100% success rate and more than 7 uses.

Kevin has two questions.

What was the deal with the AWA Championship that was used when Steve Corino was champion. Was that the same title lineage as the original AWA?
Thank you

No, although you were supposed to think so. In 1996, Dale Gagner formed a company called AWA Superstars of Wrestling, and claimed lineage and a connection to the old AWA, the original AWA. He even dropped the r from his last name to further help along the lie. He made championship belts, sanctioned independent companies, and was making a go of a smaller NWA type situation.

Problem was, the WWE kinda owned the rights to the AWA name. And in 2007 they sued for trademark infringement. WWE would go on to win the case, and the AWA letters (and title lineage) was removed, the company is now Wrestling Superstars Live.

So although at the time Corino held it there was a supposed lineage back to the original AWA, there is no such link. Nor is there a title reign by TNT, for that matter. Darn lost paperwork…

I read somewhere that Finlay was returning to the WWE as a road agent but then I heard that he has signed with ROH? Do you know what is going on?

He's officially back in WWE as a road agent now, but at the time of ROH's announcement, they were somewhat coy about the situation. And I quote…

Ring of Honor officials held a private press conference on Monday April 2nd in Baltimore and one of the major things that came out of it, something we are extremely excited to announce, is that negotiations have been finalized with one of the most respected wrestlers who has ever set foot in the ring, a near 40-year veteran of the ring wars, to make his ROH debut when we return to Toronto on May 12th!

After much fan demand, and weeks of back-and-forth talks, "The Belfast Bruiser" Fit Finlay comes to Ring of Honor just in time for "Border Wars" at The Ted Reeve Arena! One of the toughest men in the sport, Finlay is as world traveled a wrestler as you are likely to find, has competed against the best competition across decades, won championships everywhere, and now wants to come to ROH to fight the best of the best of today's crop of athletes.

Which led to people assuming he signed a contract. But he had a whole 2 matches for ROH, so what happened, more likely, is that he signed to do a couple of shows, or maybe longer, but the WWE deal overrode that. So yeah, he's back in WWE, and so he only did the ROH appearances he had agreed to.

Tom finishes with a little more fantasy booking, albeit more grounded in reality.

Hey Mathew,

Awesome column and thanks for responding to my questions in the past.

My question is of the "what if" variety. I recently picked up Edge's new DVD set and I can't wait for Christian's return. It got me thinking about the month just before Edge was forced to retire. He was in a program with Alberto Del Rio but Christian's involvement in Edge's corner was a big part of that storyline. I assume that had Edge not retired, Del Rio would have won the World Heavyweight Championship from him at some point. If that was the original plan, what was to become of Edge and Christian? Was Christian's heel turn inevitable (turning on Edge rather than Orton); thus setting up a long awaited Edge/Christian main event feud with a blow-off match at Summerslam? Or had WWE planned to give them one last feel-good run as tag team champions to re-legitimize the tag titles heading into the summer? Or am I just way off base thinking either of those scenarios would have played out?


I have heard from several sources that the endgame was Edge to retire at WrestleMania XXVIII, Edge V Christian one last time. So to delay it that long, you'd need to have them do both of those plans, with Del Rio winning the world title off Edge, maybe by a mistake from Christian, and then have them do the tag run, (which gives you the bonus of keeping Edge safe) before one turns on the other and then they fight at WM one last time and, knowing the men involved, Edge puts Christian over on his way out. So that would lead to Edge being the one to turn there.

Now, that's obviously different from what we got, and they might have gone with the Christian heel turn up front (that was what people were expecting at the time… Me included) and then revisited it later, but I think the E&C Farewell Tour into the feud makes more sense.

And on that horrible missed opportunity, I must bid you all goodnight for now, as I'm collapsing here. See you all next week for more Ask 411 Wrestling!


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