Happy St. Patrick's Day and welcome to another edition of the Professional 3 here on 411mania.com. I'm Jon Harder and what a unique week it has been. So much build and intrigue going into what WrestleMania weekend will bring, on the mainstream and independdent wrestling levels. April 4-7 will be a heavy duty time for professional wrestling and I, for one, am stoked to be a minute part of that weekend.At WrestleCon, The Hardway Podcast will have a table, debuting our new t-shirts and CD samples of what the podcast has been for a year and a half. Furthermore, we will be bringing the Kornspan Air Hockey rink (aka another name for my table top air hockey platform) and playing air hockey for the right to win a FREE shirt at that! Lastly, on April 6, Bill Carr will be doing a LIVE interview with us at our table. Come check us out at WrestleCon! The alternative wrestling podcast will be looking to make an impact! If you reading the P3, listen to the Hardway or both, stop by and if nothing else, say Hello.Now, onto this week's P3. Now, I have to admit, I am actually a huge fan of Saturday Morning Slam on the CW network. SMS is definitely a throwback, at least to this writer, to the days of Todd Pettengil hosting WWF Mania in the 1990s and Superstars on Satuday mornings in the mid 1980s. It's kid friendly, and most importanly, illustrates the simplicity of pro wrestling as a whole: for the most part, a family friendly show.With so much going into SMS, which is a half-hour show, it is completely shocking when WWE announced that they were looking for a General Manager for the show.HUH?
THE PROFESSIONAL 3: Top Jack Tunney Moments
There have been a plethora of authority figures that have been in charge within the realm of WWE television over the past fifteen years. From the Commissioner era of Mick Foley and William Regal; to Ric Flair becoming a co-owner with Vince McMahon; to the General Manager era, which ranges from the long-term stints of Eric Bischoff, Teddy Long, and Vickie Guerrero, to the short-term inclusions of Mike Adamle, Stephanie McMahon, and Paul Heyman; the definitive power position within the WWE has seemingly been a revolving door. If you include Lieutenant Commissioners, Executive Assistants, Assistants to the General Manager, Guest Hosts, and laptop computers, the term "authority figure" is a downright joke in World Wrestling Entertainment. In this day-and-age, a sense of power is missing from the world of pro wrestling. There needs to be someone who does not abuse their power by picking favorites. There needs to be someone who doesn't allow their own brand of martial law to transpire while they are in charge. There needs to be someone who calls it down the line and is not afraid to make a decision that might be considered unpopular. Old school needs to be relived. Honestly, and this is just my humble opinion, why can't someone control the wrestling scene precisely like the man, the myth, the legend Jack Tunney? Jack Tunney. Yes, I have dug back into the archives and dug out an incredibly underrated piece of WWF folklore from the Rock-N-Wrestling era, who truly defined an era of authority figure. Starting his reign in September 1984, taking over for Hisashi Shinma, Jack Tunney led an even ship for eleven years. Lasting through the first FIVE WWF championship reigns of Hulk Hogan and retiring mid-way through the New Generation, wrestlers knew the line to follow when it came to the distinguished President's law.Although there are a multitude of awesome Jack Tunney moments (the WrestleMania IV tournament announcement, the build-up towards WrestleMania VI with Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior, the 1992 Royal Rumble proclamation, etc.), I have three personal favorite Jack Tunney moments that show his utter dominance over Titan Towers during his 11 year reign as President.
1) INDEFINITELY SUSPENDING RICK RUDE FOR MAKING FUN OF BIG BOSSMAN'S MOTHER (1990)
Now although there have been suspensions for violent transgressions in the ring before, this might be the first time in wrestling history where a professional wrestler has been indefinitely banned for schoolyard insults on another wrestler. For weeks leading up to this, "Ravishing" Rick Rude and his manager Bobby "the Brain" Heenan started a rivalry with the Big Boss Man. How did they decide to infuriate the former corrections officer from Cobb County, GA? Did they jump him after a grueling contest? Did they beat him up backstage? No, they did something worse: Rude and Heenan insulted Boss Man's mother. THEY WENT AFTER HIS MOTHER. The final straw was on the Brother Love Show, when "Ravishing" Rick and "the Brain" went on for four minutes with "Boss Man's Mama" jokes. President Tunney had heard enough. After the distinguished President's historical ruling, rest assured, a lot of Superstars thought twice before making fun on someone's mother.
2) SUSPENDING DANNY DAVIS FOR LIFE PLUS TEN YEARS (1987)
Before "Dangerous" Danny Davis became a WrestleMania legend due to his pinfall victory in the six-man tag team encounter with the Hart Foundation against the British Bulldogs and Tito Santana, he was a renegade referee. In an example of two of his transgressions, his extremely lax refereeing style cost Tito Santana his Intercontinental championship to Randy "Macho Man" Savage in February 1986 in the Boston Garden, as well as the loss of the Tag Team championships of the Bulldogs to Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart in January of 1987. After Jack Tunney attempted to force an apology from Davis, which was half-hearted and the line "…even though I don't mean it" was spewed out, the distinguished President waited for one more foul-up, which happened during a Superstars match with a fast count on Tito Santana. As Davis ran out to the ring to officiate a match, the President followed him not too far behind, and proceeded, in front of a live audience on WWF Superstars of Wrestling, to suspend his referee duties FOR LIFE PLUS TEN YEARS! One of the harshest punishments ever doled out in WWF history, Davis became an in-ring competitor for the majority of two years, until 1989, where Davis was placed on a probationary period back into the refereeing position, where he was ultimately reinstated as an upstanding official who obeyed the rules. Bottom line: If you are wrong, you will pay the consequences. Jack Tunney made sure Danny Davis paid AND THEN SOME.
3) BANNING JAKE ROBERTS' SNAKE FROM RINGSIDE INDEFINITELY (1991)
Out of ALL the irrehensible things Jake "the Snake" Roberts had done after turning his back on the Ultimate Warrior in the summer of 1991, the most memorable involved the rivalry with Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Macho, who lost a Career Ending match to the Warrior at WrestleMania 7, could not get physically involved in any aspect of fighting in a wrestling venue…until Jake ruined the wedding party of the Macho Man and Elizabeth after SummerSlam 1991. Macho Man petitioned and nearly got involved in Survivor Series 1991, but then, something unbelievable took place that shocked the world. In the midst of a scuffle in the ring, the Macho Man was bitten with a King Cobra that was NOT devenomized from the evil Snake! Jack Tunney jumped into action and immediately reinstated the Macho Man, but more importantly…BANNED SNAKES AND ALL OTHER REPTILES FROM RINGSIDE! Although Jake the Snake returned with a snake in 1996 under better circumstances, President Tunney made sure that if you broke the straw on the camel's back, you were going to get your receipt tenfold. Bottom line, Jack Tunney was a VASTLY underrated cog in the WWF machine in the 80s' and 90s'. If there was no Jack Tunney, there would be no Gorilla Monsoon, Commissioner Slaughter, Mr. McMahon, and all the merry band of fools in authoritative law. Jack Tunney is the standard bearer for how a wrestling authority figure should be. For Christ sake, put him in the WWE Hall of Fame!