Ask 411 Wrestling 10.23.13: Roderick Strong, Mark Jindrak, WM2000, NXT, More!
Posted by Justin Watry on 10.23.2013
Was Batista nearly replaced in Evolution? Why is NXT a different kind of brand than Raw or Smackdown? Will WWE sign Roderick Strong? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Wrestling!
Okay, I kid, I kid. Relax. It was just a joke! That was in reference to a comment last week I found funny. Let's just move on. What a week! My Green Bay Packers had a great battle with the Cleveland Browns. The future Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos had a tough game but will still walk into the playoffs. All the while, you can just feel the Halloween excitement around here. There is nothing better than trick or treating and having a good time...all the while collecting candy.
On the wrestling side, the past couple days were actually quite interesting. I did not see Bound for Glory, did not care for the show, and did not even think about the pre-show on Spike TV until well after football ended (too late then). WWE has their second October pay-per-view this weekend, so let's see what they can do before Survivor Series in November.
I ASK You Response: Lots of champion vs. champion matches, thanks to APinOz: AWA Champion Rick Martel vs. NWA Champion Ric Flair Oct 2 1985 Tokyo Japan, AWA Champion Jumbo Tsuruta vs. NWA Champion Ric Flair March 1984 Tokyo Japan, WWF Champion Bob Backlund vs. NWA Champion Ric Flair July 4, 1982, Atlanta, GA, WWF Champion Bob Backlund vs. NWA Champion Harley Race Sept 22 1980, MSG, and AWA Champion Nick Bockwinkel vs. WWF Champion Bob Backlund March 25, 1979, Toronto - THANK YOU!
Iron Sheik: Okay, perhaps Iron Sheik would have broken Hulk Hogan's leg! I would like to believe the opposite. While Verne Gagne was, no doubt, upset with everything happening, an attempted "hit" on somebody? We are getting awfully deep there. That is beyond hazing or roughing up a newcomer.
Picture: We are still discussing my mohawk from over three years ago? Yikes. Try to find a 2013 photo of me online or something to joke about...at least stay current with the jabs. Maybe I should post new pictures of me trick or treating...
Your Turn, Smart Guy...
Last week, I asked about the "debut" of ECW television back in June 2006. The first correct answer came to us from Jon Tannenbaum. Sabu won a battle royal to face John Cena at Vengeance. It sure was quite the spectacle. Props to you kind sir for playing along - always appreciated! This week, let's give TNA some love. The company did just have Bound for Glory, right? They deserve it.
During the Monday Night Massacre in 2010, what was TNA Impact's lowest television rating?
Questions, Questions, Who's Got The Questions?
Let's start like we do most weeks - taking a look at the best posts from the comment section without any cuss words or insults. Trust me, there were a few out there!
Darren: This is a serious question (and I'm not having a go at, or siding with, Watry or anyone else): Do writers on this site get paid for the articles they write?
I can only speak for myself. Over the course of the past five years, I have certainly been paid for writing. Not always mind you but definitely with different websites. In fact, I just cashed a check from writing wrestling columns online a few weeks ago. Again, I can't speak for anybody else nor should anybody speak in my place. Some get paid on certain websites due to clicks/hits/web traffic. Some do not at all. Others are not paid in money but the ability to garner publicity and get their names out there. Of course, the hope/belief is then THAT will land a paying gig elsewhere. No different than comedians working at bars or clubs for free just begging to get noticed eventually. Thank you Darren for providing a serious question here; I will be more than happy to answer anything thrown my way. As noted, love me or hate me, I am honest.
Beaker: "A few days ago, after my last column, I received an email from somebody inside the business on this topic." Ah yes. Joe, the dude who works catering. He's got a good inside on things regarding the biz.
Mike: Just Joe?
I am guessing you skipped the "fairly well known name actually in the trenches" part. That is okay though. It was only the very next sentence! I can see how somebody could easily miss that. More on this topic later from a TNA wrestler going public with my same thoughts - stay tuned!
Now as for Just Joe, I thought that guy was great! Seriously. Of all the ridiculous things seen on WWE TV during the year 2000, Just Joe was very intriguing. I always figured he would pay off some major story line down the road as being a "rat" backstage, but nothing ever happened. He did have a hilarious segment with Stone Cold and The Rock that still stands the test of time. Check it out:
Peter: You are right on the money, I hated WrestleMania 2000, along with WM 9, and 11. Main event should have been HHH vs. Rock for the belt, with Rock winning the tittle, plus Chyna pinning Eddie Guerrero - horrible card.
There was just so much talent to get on the card that it became a curse more than a blessing. You had how many guys just brawling aimlessly over the arena for the Hardcore Title? Then the finish was a mess. I am all for having lots of tag teams, but how many tag bouts did we need here? Only the tag team ladder match delivered; the rest felt like your standard Raw tag match. Certainly not WrestleMania level. Really, outside of the main event, what was the next selling point? The second biggest match was...Kane and Rikishi teaming up? Okay, nice try. The main event build and ending just topped it off. One of the worst WM events ever, if not the worst ever!
JustinsUncle: I would change the ending to WrestleMania 14. HBK wins after HHH interferes and they perform...you guessed it - a DX COMBO!
Hilarious. Hello uncle! How is North Carolina treating you? Surely, this is really you. I mean people on the internet use their real names and act like how they would out in public...right?
Aaron Frame: Re: Changing the outcome of one match - Easily the disaster that was Hogan vs. Sting at Starrcade 97. The whole match in general. Had politics not been so heavy, this could have kept WCW as the ratings leader, which they lost about 4 months later. Sting should have won in a fairly equal bout; then they could have built the rematch to Superbrawl. But this was the point fans began to realize WCW was stinking up the airwaves and changed the channel. I love fantasy booking and could expand on this one match to what the next year would bring and maybe WCW would still be around...or have lived longer.
Good choice. Sort of. Another person brought this match up in the comment section.
If we are discussing terrible booking, you would be right. That was a mess. Sting should have went over 100 percent cleanly and won the title. However, we are not discussing booking. The topic was terrible outcomes that should have been changed. Sting won - that WAS the outcome. Now, if Hogan had retained, I would agree. The difference is between the terms 'booking' and 'outcome' - a fine line to be sure. Either way, you do bring up a good point about the future of WCW had that match ended differently. I will let everybody else dive into that one.
Michael L.: One thing that we don't see enough of are segments with the Rumble drawing. No, they don't have to show the entire order, but it would be pretty amusing to see some wrestlers reactions as to their numbers. Of course, back in the day, they would have an intermission during PPV's, so they would use that as an opportunity to run a bunch of promos, even from guys you know have absolutely no chance of being there at the end, let alone winning. I kind of miss those promos, as they were often entertaining. Imagine Santino cutting a promo about winning the Royal Rumble, or The Shield. Those would be awesome.
I think WWE did a fine job at balancing everything out in January during the Royal Rumble pay-per-view event. There was a funny skit with Kane and Daniel Bryan learning their entry numbers. Also, there was a cool promo video (like you mentioned) with tons of guys talking about the match looking directly into the camera. From Antonio Cesaro to the Prime Time Players to Ryback to Sheamus to John Cena to Randy Orton to Wade Barrett, check out the video beginning at the 34:00 minute mark below:
Now, to some emails! We begin with one of my most loyal readers - Damion!
I hear a lot of people say wrestlers "got out at the right time." In your opinion, do you think the "right time" is when your body says so? Or your spirit? If Sting or Flair would rather die than stop wrestling, do we have a right to tell them to stop? Is it up to the fans? I mean if 20 years from now, your readers say you are too old to write good articles anymore because your old OR will you put on a baggy t-shirt and keep writing? If Elvis were alive would we tell him hes "too old" for rock n roll? "Go away Elvis...Bieber needs some spotlight!" I just think you should chase the dream until you achieve it, and for all we know Flair and Sting haven't had that "perfect match" yet.
Fair points. That is why I enjoy your emails so much. No cuss words. No insults. Just a well worded message and something to make fans think...bravo! Since there is a lot here, let's break this down into a few separate points:
1. If WWE wanted Ric Flair to still be competing, he would be. If TNA Impact Wrestling offered him a nice deal to wrestle next month, he would. If Ring of Honor threw a ton of cash at Flair next year to compete once a month or something like that, he would do it. These guys will continue until the dry runs well. Follow the money. I have always said that. They could be 50 years old, 60 years old or 80 years old, if a company is out there willing to write a check, the decision is made.
2. To be clear, this is no different than sports or in your case - musicians. Brian Urlacher retired this off-season from the NFL. Great player, definite Hall of Fame caliber athlete. However, he left the Chicago Bears in turmoil, and there was not a ton of interest around the league. Thus, he retired. Donald Driver also retired; I would know. His best days were long behind him, and the league had moved on. If the Green Bay Packers would still want to pay him $5 million per year to go out there and stumble around, make no mistake - he would be out there. Again, follow the money. If Elvis was still alive getting offers in 2013, performing at a high level, and 'drawing' fans, he would be. It has nothing to do with 'age' necessarily.
3. That leads me to the next point. I don't think it is due to wrestlers getting old. It is due to them performing at a high level, staying in decent shape or at least an acceptable level. Whenever that time comes, we will know. The fans will see it. Hopefully, the wrestler will notice his work slumping. Of course, the boss will also take notice in a hurry if things start to look bad. If you can be 60 years old, sell out arenas, deliver pay-per-view buys, wrestle great matches, deliver good promos, and rile up fans, then so be it. Of course, that is a rarity in wrestling. Thus, your age begins to show...right or wrong.
As for my writing? Just ask the comment section. They will tell you all about my "good articles." Nobody would want me to retire anytime soon.
*insert an old school Chandler*
Nightwolf brings up a popular rumor that may have finally been resolved in 2013.
What ever happened to Mark Jindrak? It seemed that the WWE was starting to package him really good. It almost seemed that the E was trying to make him the next Lex Luger. Is it true that he and Chris Masters were to replace the departing Randy Orton and Batista in Evolution?
Mark Jindrak is doing well wrestling in Mexico right now. At one point, it did seem like WWE had plans for him. He was released in 2005 when a ton of guys were shown the door. However, I think he was given a fair shake. Things just didn't pan out for him at every turn. From his tag team with Sean O'Haire to working with Cade to being managed by Teddy Long with a pretty good gimmick to being with Kurt Angle and Luther Reigns, none of it stuck. Blame whoever you want, but the man was given the spotlight on quite a few occasions.
Speaking of being given opportunities, we arrive at the Evolution rumor that has finally been resolved. In the new Triple H DVD, it is revealed that Mark Jindrak was indeed given a "try out" for Evolution during the filming of vignettes for the group. I highly doubt that Chris Masters was ever going to join. Didn't he debut on television right when Batista turned on Triple H and Ric Flair? Either way, no - no to Masters. The name Maven has been thrown out there for Evolution, but who knows if that is true? I have not seen the new Triple H DVD yet, but one review said that Jindrak would simply be in Evolution alongside Batista, not as a replacement. On the flip side, I read another review that said the opposite. Jindrak would be the 4th member, while Batista was out injured. If somebody has actually seen the full DVD segment, please feel free to chime in. Click HERE to see the infamous picture. Mark Jindrak recently commented on this through Twitter:
I wasn't ready for Evolution at that time in my career. I was immature and Batista fit better. It was mine to lose and I dropped the ball…But since then I've matured and understood why I missed that chance and it's helped me in my career which ended up in CMLL in Mexico.
Well said. Talented wrestler...but Batista was the better fit. As usual, Triple H (and/or Vince McMahon) made the right call.
For all the NXT fans out there, Kirk has us covered.
Being a huge NXT fan, I have been questioning my self why the heck am I watching this? Why do I feel this is better than the main shows And why is it I care more about the NXT stars than their WWE counterparts? Why isn't Paige on the main roster becoming the face of the divas?
I understand that you don't watch too much NXT, but if you haven't already you should really give it a try. I tell my other wrestling friends to watch two episodes (2 hours) and be prepared to be blown away. Anyways after watching the latest NXT episode, just after watching a DVR'd Raw, I answered all but my last. That being, the NXT stars are hungry and want to stand out and make every second they are on camera count. Either it be in ring or on the mic, they do they're very best to maximize their time.
Why isn't this happening on the main roster? Are they all just too comfortable with their jobs and positions that they lack drive and desire? Could a case be made that talent have become content with the fact that Cena is the top dog and no one wants to try to dethrone him? The main roster is so athletic and for the most part young that I should be seeing an internal "Monday night wars" every Monday where no matter what the boss tells them to do they maximize and make their 5-15 minutes of Raw better than the next.
People can say what they want about the Attitude Era and about what made it great. It had little to do with story lines, feuds or not being PG. I think what made it great was almost every one of them wanted to be the top guy (or make top $$). Either it was behind the scenes or on camera, they did everything they could to get to the top or stay at the top. This is why I believe NXT outshines the WWE and TNA product by far.
Great email. Please continue sending these in whenever your heart desires!
As you mentioned, I really do not pay much attention to NXT. If there is a great match or promo getting rave reviews, I will check that out. Watching it religiously or keeping up with story lines? Not happening. The last time I watched NXT regularly was the all female Season Three in 2010, and that stuff was excellent television. Just amazing to see. Everything else you said was correct. However, it is hard to fault anybody. Of course. the younger/hungrier talent are going to be extremely driven and giving their all every single second. No difference than a young musician having tons of passion and determination performing in front of 100 people...yet an old established act can "go through the motions" every concert filled with 20,000 fans. Just how it goes sometimes. My best guess: In 10-15 years, those exact same wrestlers in NXT showing all this passion and drive to get noticed will be on Raw or Smackdown perfectly content with their spot.
Connor has a question about Roderick Strong.
Has the WWE never shown any interest in Roderick Strong? I watch the guy all the time on the Indies; he is very solid in the ring and can pretty much hit you with a Backbreaker from anywhere. Could the E not benefit from having a guy like him?
Yes and no.
Yes, there have been rumors of WWE being interested in him. The latest was in the middle of 2012. As we now see, nothing came up of it. Either the story was bogus (shocking!), or things have been delayed big time. Either way, Strong is not signed with WWE as we speak. That is all that matters. Now, could WWE benefit from having a talent like Roderick? Yeah, I am sure they would find a spot for the guy. However, the NXT/FCW roster is already stacked as it is. It is not like there are a bunch of terrible wrestlers in developmental. It is the complete opposite. Most of the top independent stars have been picked up in the past year and are just waiting to be called up to the main roster. At some point, WWE will think they are set and go with the wrestlers they have. When some of the NXT roster starts showing up on Raw/Smackdown in a year or two, THEN sign Strong. Or Eddie Edwards. Or Davey Richards. Or somebody from TNA. Then when they debut on television, it frees up space in NXT for others to be signed. The cycle just continues on.
Since I have been challenged not to say anything on on the matter for the next few weeks, it is best if an actual wrestler comments instead. Not in private. Not through email. Not in secret. Out in the open for all fans to see - TNA wrestler Eric Young posted the following on Twitter concerning Bound for Glory:
Also if you streamed and stole the PPV. Your opinion is completely useless and not amicable!!
Credit to Eric Young. More wrestlers should speak out as well in the future...
I Ask YOU!
This week, Richard has a couple of questions related to No Holds Barred.
I recently re-watched 'No Holds Barred' as an adult who is more aware of the wrestling world than the kid who originally saw the movie, and I'm frankly bemused by the casting decisions (not to mention the plot... and them making it in the first place but that's another issue...).
1. Why, with the exception of a differently made-up Bill Eadie, did they have no other WWF wrestlers involved in the movie - bearing in mind it was a film about a wrestler... who had to wrestle... and does so throughout the course of the movie?
2. I noticed Jeep Swanson, Jos LeDuc and, most notably, Stan Hansen in the movie, none of whom were under WWF contract - again, why would they use non-WWF personnel for these roles and run the risk of giving any kind of rub to other wrestlers? Swanson and LeDuc were probably not an issue when the movie came out, but Hansen was still a recognizable figure in wrestling circles - and a star on Hogan levels (if not bigger) in Japan.
3. Tiny Lister: Not a great actor. Not a great wrestler. So WHY?! If the plan all along was to have No Holds Barred lead into a real WWF feud for Hogan, then why not have an upper midcarder on the roster play the part of the main villain and turn on Hogan 'in real life' after becoming jealous of him through the movie? That's an instant story right there - simple to make and with the right worker could've pushed someone all the way - from around the time the movie was made I believe Bam Bam Bigelow was on the books and working as an upper midcard face and had the 'larger than life big man vibe.' If they didn't want to use someone on their roster at the time then why not bring someone in following the film - Stan Hansen himself for example or Professor Tanaka? Surely, it should've been a case of either using a proper actor or a proper wrestler?! Dare I suggest Roddy Piper and reigniting the Hogan/Piper feud?!
4. Not a casting decision as such but a filming one - the opening scene with Rip wrestling Bill Eadie's character is clearly filmed in front of an actual audience. How and when did this take place? Presumably, it was at a house show, and the audience were told about it before hand. Again some odd casting choices with Ventura and Okerlund being used as a commentary team - why not Gorilla or Schivone or Vince himself?! And if you go to the bother of having Jesse Ventura - who had two major movie appearances in the previous two years behind him at that point - in the movie, why would you waste him as a color commentator WHEN YOU HAVE HIM UNDER CONTRACT?!
The whole thing just seems bonkers to me and while it was never going to be a great movie, the casting did not help one tiny bit.
Wow! I will happily turn this barrage over to all of my wonderful and VERY intelligent readers! Please, I Ask YOU - give Richard, myself, and others the answers. I thank you in advance.
The next time you read an online report, ask yourself if the story actually makes sense...or is your typical gossip with no truth whatsoever. Just from the past week or so, let's take a look:
The WWE Raw rating (10/14/13) would be delayed. - No, it wasn't actually. We got the viewership/rating information Tuesday afternoon as usual.
John Cena will return to Raw before his pay-per-view match. - Oops! Someone must have had their sources mixed up. Or just guessed and was wrong. Either way, it was disguised as news.
John Cena will not return to Raw until AFTER the pay-per-view. - ...and right on cue, the story changes a few days later. From the same same source too. Unreal.
A new update on Bray Wyatt every five seconds... - I am not even going to break this down. Downright laughable.
There is heat on Eva Marie, and WWE wanted to embarrass her in the ring. - Yeah, okay. Speaking of stories with no logic or fact checking...
WWE views Eva Marie as a star and wants her on camera. - Ah, how glorious. Which one is it? Heat on her or a big star who needed to be on TV? Complete contradiction there. Make up your minds.
Kurt Angle will not wrestle at Bound for Glory. - Well, he faced Bobby Roode. Hmm, did plans change or did a 'reporter' just merely guess and say Angle wouldn't have a match?
Randy Orton will feud with Big Show next month. Wow, way to step out on a ledge there! Of course, a later story said a Big Show vs. Triple H match was planned for Survivor Series. Go figure.
The Rock is in talks to appear at the WWE pay-per-view this Sunday. - This was "reported" months ago. I laughed then and laugh even harder now as the show is this weekend. It seems some genius decided to guess that since the PPV would be in Miami, that maybe Rocky would be involved. Just go off your gut instinct with no facts, put together a story, and pass it off. Copy. Paste. Done, all over the internet within five minutes...
WWE still wants Bill Goldberg to compete at WrestleMania XXX. - Yeah, and I still want a new red Corvette. Does anybody care about that? No. Let me know when there is legitimate news on Goldberg. He has been out of WWE since March 2004 folks. These "updates" are as worthless as the monthly reports on Stone Cold and Shawn Michaels wrestling again. Yawn!
WWE doesn't want to sign ROH guys, but that doesn't mean Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards won't get picked up. - Huh? What? This is just the epitome of made up news. Guys won't be signed...or they might be...maybe.
There is a planned new focus on the tag team division from Triple H. - Sure there is; sure there is. I believe this rumor has popped up every few weeks for the past decade.
Only one match is set to take place inside the Cell this year. - Almost. A second one was announced on Raw last week between CM Punk and Ryback/Paul Heyman. Again, somebody "guessed" and passed it off as "news."
The WWE Network may launch early next year. Yeah, and I may launch into outer space early next year too.
Mr. Anderson and/or Hulk Hogan could return to TNA at Bound for Glory. - Could...but didn't. Another case of somebody taking a 'guess' and using it as 'news' for websites to gobble up. Works every time...
Brie and Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka has been "discussed" for the Heck on a Deck PPV. - Must have been a nice discussion, huh? Announced on Raw, Brie will battle AJ for the Divas Championship on Sunday.
That does it for this week! Have any more examples? Please share them below in the comment section. Until then, just remember the next time you click on an article to ask yourself first how much will be truth and how much will be pure fiction.
Nothing but the usual insults. Once again, I put this concept on the line next week! All of you have seven days to use the hashtag #Ask411 on Twitter to be featured. Seven days. If there is no response, this section officially ends...
My Darn Opinion
It's that time.
We officially building to Survivor Series. While that may be great for old school fans, the fact is that pay-per-view has lost its luster and does not mean as much as it used to. Tag team matches? Big deal. We see that every week. Why pay for that as a big main event match? Yeah, it was cool 20 years ago. Now? Not so much. In my mind, the Survivor Series PPV event means one thing.
The Road to WrestleMania is coming.
Yes, we are close. All we have to do is get past November and December. However, those two months usually feel like 'filler' anyways with much of the focus moving towards the Royal Rumble. Obviously, from there, it is open season on WM hype. That all starts to show in early November.
Along with thinking about WrestleMania is the next logical step: the matches.
Will John Cena face Randy Orton for the WWE Championship? How about a potential Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan match? Will The Rock even appear? Does Damien Sandow have the World Title by then? Will Hulk Hogan OR Sting sign with WWE in early 2014? Are The Shield still a team? Where does Brock Lesnar fit into this all? A huge showdown with Undertaker? Who knows? Then you add in the annual rumors of other legends returning, it just never ends.
Clearly, "fantasy booking" is not my thing...but every fan should be excited about seeing the WWE WrestleMania XXX card come together. I know I am.
Now, let's get some "ME!" plugs out there for all of you...