Ask 411 Wrestling 12.18.13: Debra's Affairs, WWE's Incompetence, Undertaker's Fashion, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 12.18.2013
Did Randy Savage ever actually defend the WWF Title? When did WWF know that Ted DiBiase was leaving the company? Did Vince McMahon try to tank Adrian Adonis? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Wrestling!
Welcome to the only column written by a guy annoyed that Damien Sandow totally ripped him off, Ask 411 Wrestling!
I am your host, Mathew Sforcina, and I swear that "I > U" was part of my original character idea back when I first started training and knew nothing. See, I was sure I was going to be the genius giant, and that was going to be on my shirts and… Yeah. It sucked, but it fits him and it's not like my computer has been hacked or anything.
*deletes some stuff anyway*
Now, long time fans of my work, both of you, know that I used to do Ask 411 Games here on 411mania for a while. I enjoyed it, even if I focused far too much on that Sega column. But in the new year Stewart Lange is rebooting it, and I know he'll be awesome at it. So if you have any video game related questions, send them on through to Stewart.411Games@gmail.com and he'll answer them for you in the new year.
*ticks off Good deed from list*
Anyway, you got a wrestling question? Then send it on through to Ask411wrestling@gmail.com and I'll answer it. Next week will be a Total Opinion Week, so if you want to get my opinion or pick my brain on something, send it in. Else I'll be forced to fill time with "88 Reasons Lisa Marie Varon is My Goddess" and no-one wants that.
AWA Booking: Given that Gagne is a punchline for bad booking choices, the question of "Why didn't he do X" is always hard to answer…
Xmas down here: Yeah, it's bloody huge. And although there is the thread of "Xmas on the beach" in media, we still have snowflakes and the like as well. Although we have lots of little bits from all over the world in our culture, we're still historically British with American overlay.
Although while I'm not too fussed about Thanksgiving overall, I will fight to the death mild pain against Halloween getting any bigger than it already is.
The Trivia Crown
I am a wrestling name. I've been used by more than one wrestler and at least two different wrestling promotions. Between the men that have used me there are more than 20 World Tag Team championship reigns (in different promotions), more than ten world singles championships, eight Pro Wrestling Illustrated awards won and more than 25 Wrestling Observer awards won. One of those wrestlers also used a wrestling name which was also the title of an infamous song performed by a former wrestling manager and his most famous name came from a great musician. Two of the men who used me share these (but not necessarily the same two in each case): the same birthplace, a current wresting manager, female managers who has won a ladies' world championship and ALL of them have used gimmicks or names related to hot things. What am I?
DarthDaver got it pretty close to perfect.
For the trivia question, the closest I can come to it is Kane. It has been used by Mark Calaway, Glenn Jacobs and Lash "Stevie Ray" Huffman, by WWF/E and WCW (and possibly more). Their tag team titles are probably closer to 30 between them. More than 10 World singles championships if you include 'Taker's USWA World title as Master of Pain. Exactly 8 PWI awards. According to wikipedia there are only 22 WON awards. Stevie Ray (named after Stevie Ray Vaughn) also used the name Jive Soul Bro, a song by Slick. Taker and Stevie Ray were both born in Houston. Current managers... Kane was once managed by Dutch "Zeb Coulter" Mantel, Taker was once managed by Paul E. Dangerously. Female managers who have won titles... Kane was managed by Chyna and Lita, Stevie Ray was managed by Sherri Martel. The hot things... Stevie Ray was in Harlem Heat, Kane has used flames as a motif since his characters inception, but I can't really come up with any for Taker.
disqus_Q0z2pn8TE2 also gets some credit as requested by Darth. I believe Taker's hot thing is Hell's Gate. But Maravilloso might correct me on that.
The Ghost of Faffner Hall gives us this week's question.
Who am I? I'm an on-air authority figure, although I was very important to the company I worked for in another capacity. During my tenure I suspended several people; one of them left the company shortly after while another stayed, but did a different job for a while. I also stripped three wrestlers of their championships, refused to sign a famous rematch and got assaulted on television. In my last appearance I was involved in a coin toss, and Kevin Nash is not a fan of mine. Who am I?
Getting Down To Business
Aqua Reef Spatula Remover starts us off with threeways. Kinky.
I was thinking about the concept of the three-way dance (as well as other multi-men matches), and a few questions came to mind:
1. Was the Sabu v. Funk v. Douglas match in ECW's The Night the Line was crossed the first time for that style of match? If not, what was the first three-way match?
Anyway, that was certainly the first high profile three way match. Thing is, wasn't even the first one in ECW. At "NWA Bloodfest: Part 2" on October 2, 1993 there was a Triangle Steel Cage Match. Public Enemy beat Ian and Axl Rotten and Badd Company (Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka).
However, that was beaten by Jim Cornette, as he claims he booked the first three way match in North America in SMW, and I found one such match, March 28, 1993.
The Rock 'n' Roll Express vs. The Heavenly Bodies vs. Dutch Mantell and Jimmy Golden.
WCW had triangle matches a year or so later that was just two one on one matches, so until someone who knows more about Japan and/or Mexico corrects me, Cornette wins.
2. The WWE usually has a Triple Threat match rather than a three way dance. I believe the difference is that the triple threat is 1st pin wins, while the three way dance is elimination style. Why does the WWE prefer the former? I would think that a three way dance seems a bit more legitimate because the champion has to be defeated to lose the title.
Yeah, which is kinda why they don't like it, sorta. It's complicated, given that it's frankly impossible to say why WWE does something over another thing since sometimes even they don't know. But I think their logic is that triple threat is easier to understand, more dramatic and leads to more storylines. I mean, you can run angles off the match when the champ isn't involved in the decision, you can't do that the other way. And if you swap back and forth, that's just confusing. So they stick to one fall because it's easier to understand and follow and gives them more options. Probably. Again, WWE is not a hive mind, and given that they don't always seem to know what they think…
3. Speaking of which..how often in an elimination style has a champion lost his title before the final fall? In other words, can you tell me all of the multi-man elimination matches in which the champion lost the title, but was eliminated before the final fall? Here are some examples that come to mind:
No Way Out 09: Edge was the 1st person pinned in the Elimination Chamber, and HHH went on to win the World Title
November 2 Remember: Mikey Whipwreck was pinned first in a three way dance, and Sandman went on to defeat Austin to win the ECW title.
What are some other examples of this?
Oh Lisa Marie, one of these questions. And worse, no limitations to companies. We could be here all day going into every company.
OK, I'm limiting this to WWE, WCW, ECW and TNA world titles, and then if you, dear reader, know of any others do say so below. I gotta draw a line, or else I'll go insane.
WWE: No Way Out 09 saw two matches actually. Edge lost the WWE Title by being first out, then won the World Heavyweight Title from Cena in the main with Cena being third out. Elimination Chamber match the following year at the same called PPV, Cena won the WWE title off of Sheamus, eliminated fourth.
WCW: None for WCW.
ECW: Mikey in 1995 as you pointed out, Hardcore Heaven 97 in a rematch from Night the Line was crossed, Sabu pinned first by both Douglas and Funk, then Douglas won the belt. Same at Anarchy Rulz 1999, Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka team up to pin reigning champ Taz, then Awesome pinned Tanaka to win the title.
TNA: Final Resolution 2007. Abyss was NWA champ, Sting pinned him, then Cage pinned Sting to win the belt.
Any lesser ones, dear readers?
Xan wants to talk belt costs.
First off, love your column! My question is about WWE titles, in particular, the WWE title and the World Heavyweight title. This is not about title reigns or anything like that. I would like to know exactly or as close as possible, what are the REAL WWE title and WHC worth? In other words, what do they cost? I've heard anywhere from just a few thousand dollars like 5 or 6 thousand to as much as $450,000, this is for the WWE title. Assuming that they are made of real gold, even if it's 10K, and real diamonds, this would put the cost closer to the $450,000 mark. I remember Ric Flair saying the OLD NWA belt was 10lbs of gold. 10lbs of gold today (14k) alone is $115,840, and the old NWA title had no diamonds. While a round, 1-carat, H-color, very good cut grade, VS1-clarity diamond can for as little as $3400 to as much as $4500. Giving the WWE title a close inspection, it has at least 130 1ct diamonds that I could clearly count and countless smaller ones I couldn't. The diamonds alone at the low cost of $3400 would be $442,000. So, do you have ANY idea of how much each REAL title actually costs?
The current WWE title belt, the Giant Logo belt (is there a name for it yet or is it just Giant Logo?), I know that $50K went into developing it, but that doesn't mean it cost that much in terms of gold and jewels. I mean, the Million Dollar Championship belt was $40K in 1988, so maybe… I do know that WWE only has three of them right now, not so much for the cost as because they're really hard to make properly. They have the hero belt, the champ's appearance one, and the spare.
Given that the current belt has aluminium as it's centreplate, 50K in total is possibly a good bet. They aren't full blown diamonds or jewels, they're good fakes but fakes none the less.
As for the World Heavyweight title belt, no idea. Couldn't find any estimates beyond what it costs to get a replica. But it's certainly not real gold. That would be far too fragile.
Paul moves us into questions I'm slightly better equipped to answer.
Hello Mr. B,
I heard many rumors that Adrian Adonis was, saddled some would say, while others say he turned his "Adorable" Adrian Adonis gimmick into gold as punishment for or because Vince McMahon was trying to devalue him before his exit from the WWF. Is there any grain of thruth to this rumor?
Personally, I tend to think his fued w/ Piper ranks up there w/ the Macho Man/Steamboat fued which made Mania 3 the best Mania top to bottom (minus a few hiccups such as the Hillbilly Jim/Bundy mixed match).
This is one of those weird stories in wrestling where egos clash and people end up punishing people by going deeper into gimmicks.
Anyway, Vince was not punishing/devaluing him with the gimmick. Vince loved the gimmick, and was planning to push him hard with it. But Adrian at first hated it. After all, when you spent so long as a tough leather wearing badass…
It's an adjustment. Despite the fact that Adrian got pushed hard (hell, part of 1986, he was their #1 heel, arguably) he didn't like it. So Adrian fought back, and wore a dress on an edition of SNME, as a way to rebel against Vince.
Vince then turned right back around and made that part of the act.
At this point the weight began to pack on, and he lost a backstage fight which led to the black eye gimmick. He actually got let go for a short period leading into Wrestlemania 3 due to his behaviour backstage. (He apparently travelled somewhat ‘casually'. The suit and tie requirements weren't in place, but travelling in the same sweats he slept in was too far. That was the official reason at the time.) But after WM3 and the head shaving, WWF was apparently going to tone down the character, but then they released him, which kinda pissed him off.
And then in weird full circle, when AWA hired him they wanted the Leather Jacket version but he insisted on the Adorable gimmick, while being over 400lbs. But then after leaving AWA in 87, he seemed ready to turn his career around, he lost a lot of weight, and was working hard, with a possible comeback to the Leather at Starrcade 88. But then he was in the car crash that cost him his life.
So no, the Adorable gimmick was not meant to devalue him. Quite the opposite.
OK, so last week I wasn't able to share this. But now I can. Botchamania!
And MORE Botchamania!
And a vid from my home company.
Jeremiah asks about the Million Dollar Man.
I was reading about In Your House: Beware of Dog on Wikipedia and it mentioned that the "DiBiase is fired if Austin loses" stipulation in the Austin/Vega strap match was added on the Raw after the PPV for the "rematch" on Tuesday's Beware of Dog 2. Is this true? Did Vince not learn of Ted's decision to leave the WWF until that Monday? Otherwise, why wasn't the stipulation part of the original match all along? Or was this done to try and entice more people to buy the sequel show?
Yeah, the stip was added on the Raw inbetween the two PPVs.
The storyline purpose was to explain why the match was happening again. After all, Savio won, he got his revenge, why would he risk it? So they have Ted up the stakes to goad Savio into giving him another match.
As for the reasons why it wasn't part of the original gimmick, I don't know for sure, but I have a suspicion that the original plan was for Austin to fire DiBiase on that night. See, that Raw was live, but they taped 4 episodes of Raw that night. And during that taping, Austin won his King of the Ring qualifier with the Million Dollar Dream, but then he won his Quarter final match over Savio Vega ‘two weeks later' with the Stone Cold Stunner. So they knew where they were going. I suspect if the PPV had gone off fine, in one of those 4 Raws Austin would have fired Ted and then he'd have left and then began the transformation. But since the PPV needed to be redone, they decided to change the storyline a little.
And Austin later claimed he threw the match to get rid of Ted, so it ended up in the same place anyway.
Thomas asks about a Russo storyline. Get out your pitchforks…
Hey Matt. This is by far my favorite column on 411 and I've been meaning to ask some questions for a long time. Some have been answered (such as who was really behind GTV), but there's some things I still wonder about.
1. This one has been on my mind for years, and I've actually mentioned it in another column in the comments section. A friend and I were watching tapes from the Attitude era and we watched the Raw with the Undertaker/Stephanie wedding (I was actually grounded when it originally aired). So Taker had kidnapped Stephanie, and was on the phone with Vince. Taker requests that Vince meet him somewhere with some documents. At one point it cuts to Vince waiting in the back of the arena with a folder in his hand, but no sign of Taker. Then the wedding happens, and Austin saved the day. Anyways, I've always wondered what exactly was in those documents. I asked my friend who had the tape (who was actually the one who introduced me to this site) and he said the documents were to give Taker complete ownership of the WWF. Is there any truth to this, or was that just supposed to be a diversion all along? I personally think this would've been a better route than what wound up happening with the Corporate Ministry, and Vince being the Higher Power (damn you, Foley!).
Well, see the problem is that the entire storyline is retroactively turned into a giant con game, since Vince was behind it the whole time and it was all to screw with Steve Austin.
But at the time, Taker and the Ministry had the stated goal of taking over the company. He, on behalf of his higher power, wanted the company. And as said at the start of the video there, on the night of the wedding Taker told Vince that if he gave him control of the WWF, he'd get Steph back. So the documents were whatever documentation one would require to transfer control of a multi-million dollar international company over to the head of a cult with zero business background, and probably an addendum stating that this is totally not under duress and that it's totally legal despite no contract signed under duress holding up under any serious legal challenge.
You know, those sort of documents.
But obviously Vince wasn't about to sign over the company to himself, so he got Taker to continue the charade of marrying Steph in order to gain control that way. All of which would ensure that Austin lost the title.
That he didn't have when this all started.
Brandon asks about Undertaker's clothing.
I remember The Undertaker making his return at the 1996 Survivor Series with a different look with black leather, the tear tattoo under his eye, etc., but at WrestleMania 13 he had his old attire on, with the grey gloves and boots, the attire he made his WWE debut in. I don't remember him wearing that attire any other time after his return at Survivor Series 96, just WrestleMania. Am I wrong? If not, any reason why he wore that attire at WrestleMania 13?
No, you're right, Survivor Series 1996 was the birth of the Lord of Darkness form of the Undertaker.
And then, slap bang in the middle of this period that wouldn't end until the Ministry began, he comes out at Wrestlemania 13 like he started.
And that was it, just one time. However, as Vince points out, he's dressed like he was when he debuted and how he looked at the first WM appearance he made. Given that this was such a big match, his first major WM match, his first big time WWF Title match (we don't count the first one, shhhh), he went old school. Sometimes wrestlers do that, they'll bust out old gear as a tribute, or as a special occasion or some such.
It was to be a nod to long time fans and a subtle reminder of how far he had travelled in his time. And it was cool for a one off.
Ace wants to talk about J-E-Double F, J-A-Double R-E-Double T and Double 36D.
That's gonna get me in trouble.
After watching loads of WWE Classics on Demand, and episodes of WCW Nitro from 1997, & WWF from 97/98/99, Jeff Jarrett & Debra McMichael were featured quite a bit in both organizations. We're they ever on off-screen item? Or did the WWF just put them together because of their past work in WCW?
No, they were never more than friends.
*resists urge to put Chandlers up*
I'm serious, there's never been any serious scuttlebutt that suggested they hooked up. Debra through that she and Jeff would work well together so she pitched their teaming in WCW, which Eric liked and ran with.
And then when she jumped to WWF after her divorce from Mongo, it made sense to reunite the two, since they knew each other and worked well together. And then she eventually did a striptease…
And thus begat the Puppies fixation.
Paul asks about Jericho and Brad Maddox (and also about Adrian Adonis, but I covered that a few pages up).
When did Chris Jericho modify the Walls of Jericho into a standard Boston Crab? If I recall correctly he used to put pressure more on the shoulder/neck area. Was it due to an injury to someone her performed it on or just for safety sake?
Before someone points it out, he does very, very, VERY occasionally lock in the old school Lion Tamer in the years since he stopped using it consistently.
That said, it wasn't an injury, it was a move. When he joined the WWF, he suddenly went from wrestling mostly smaller guys who were flexible to larger guys who… Well, weren't. I mean, there's no way you could lock on the Lion Tamer to a Kane or even a Road Dogg. So he started using the Boston Crab since it was very similar, but much easier to apply to larger opponents. Safer and easier all round. There was no actual injury that stopped him, just common sense.
Also, Brad Maddox..what is up w/ him? First he's some punk trying to get a contract and now RAW GM or Co-GM or whatever this week. Is there an injury keeping him from the ring or was he never intended to be a wrestler or like Matt Striker they feel he's better in another role?
He has wrestled several times on WWE TV, all trying to get a contract as a wrestler. And he has trained in OVW and Florida as a wrestler, he won titles and everything. So why the long delay?
He doesn't have an injury, as he's worked on and off in dark matches and live shows when they've been short handed. His ‘concussion' was a work, so he doesn't have an injury as such. And I couldn't find anything about WWE thinking he's an announcer or something.
Basically they wanted a bumbling out of his depth authority figure lackey for comedy, so they got one of their guys out of developmental and put him in that role. That's as much as I can deduce. But hey, they wrote him out with the Orton beat down, perhaps he might return as a wrestler…
Todd has a counting question, sort of.
Recently played through the 30 years of Wrestlemania mode. When I got to the period of time between Wrestlemania IV and V. Got me thinking, did Macho Man ever defend the WWE title between those two 'Manias? I know he won it at Wrestlemania IV, and lost it to Hogan at Wrestlemania V, but the only memory I have of him wrestling between those times is a few tag matches against Dibiase & Andre, and a few against Bossman & Akeem. Did he defend the WWE title during this period?
*fires up HistoryofWWE.com*
One Man Gang, Ted Dibiase, Virgil, Conquistador #1, Andre The Giant, Dino Bravo, Bad News Brown, Akeem, Red Rooster, King Haku, Raymond Rougeau, Big Bossman, Rick Rude, and The Ultimate Warrior all got title shots in the year between the WMs.
One Man's (Important) Opinion
Nightwolf has a few questions for me.
Welcome back Matthew. Glad to see you back. Anyways got a couple of questions for you.
1.Is the WWE running out of ideas that they are recycling old ones? I mean you have Wade Barrett supposedly getting ready to come back as Bad News Barrett.Triple H has formed the new Corporation with Randy Orton taking over the Rock's old role, Kane being re brought back into the new Corporation, Daniel Byran taking Stone Cold's role of not being Face of the WWE material, etc. What's next, John Cena going to body slam Kahli and end his 15 year winning streaking ( that's me being sarcastic).
Hey, anything older than seven years is fair game. And since a month today is like a year back then, anything older than seven months is now fair game for WWE!
Honestly if WWE were reusing ideas and doing them well no-one would have a problem. Wrestling has a finite number of storylines and angles. When you get down to it, you have two people who don't like each other, and a ring to settle it. You can get clever if you want, but the storylines that always work are the simple ones.
The team, split by jealousy.
The unstoppable force.
The slimy, cowardly champion.
The love triangle.
The blood feud.
See, some people view this as a bad thing. That was Russo's problem, he thought that since some old school stuff didn't make sense, all of it should go. And that's wrong. Old school storylines have been around for decades, and will continue to be around, because they work. You change the actors, you change the lines, but if you slot in the right people in the right spot, it works.
WWE at the moment keeps trying to reinvent the wheel, and worse, they have nothing to replace it. WWE has only three storylines for anyone below the tippy top. Winning to get a title shot, trading wins for the rubber, and losing streak. That's it.
And when WWE does deviate, they seem shocked when it works. Ryback gets to squash a whole bunch of jobbers? Holy crap he's over. Mark Henry injures people? Over! Team Rocket? Over. When you do something other than what the WWE has been doing for months now, it works, most of the time. But nope, they'll keep going back to the well.
So yeah, I don't care if WWE has a bunch of brand new gimmicks or cut and pastes from the 1996 roster, if they do it well, then it doesn't matter, it'll work. But right now, WWE is writing their wrestling shows instead of booking them.
And worse, they're writing them badly.
2. Speaking on John Cena, how insulting would it be if John Cena surpassed Ric Flair's 16 World Title wins?
Why? I mean, I get why people put such emphasis on that number, since Flair is indeed one of the all time greatest wrestlers of all time, but at the end of the day, it's a number. A big number, but Cena having 17 does not impact negatively on Flair's number. I mean, it's an indictment on WWE's current attitude to titles, sure, but I wouldn't care that much if Flair gets surpassed in total reigns.
Besides, even if Cena or Orton or HHH or whoever gets past 16, you can get to I believe 22 reigns with little effort so Flair can always be at the head. You just gotta start recognizing the New Zealand changes and the like.
3.Which former Nexus star has really impressed you? Which one has disappointed you? Which one do you think they should have done better with?
Let's see. Which one has impressed me? Well, it's cheating but come on, is anyone really going to go to anyone other than Daniel Bryan?
If you want to limit it to Nexus members of longer than a week, then Husky Harris after becoming Bray Wyatt is very impressive for character work. Still waiting for the storyline to really show that off though. And if you're only counting the original Nexus, then Skippy Ryback I guess.
Disappointment, Barrett has been so oddly used that I'm not sure who to blame for him. Tarver vanished too soon, given that his appearance in the crowd was the first indictor that the Nexus Riot wasn't a normal occurrence. But I think Justin Gabriel is the guy I'm most disappointed in, given that he seemed to have so much potential but never did anything super-mega cool.
And who should they have done better with? Despite all the above, Otunga. He's got a famous wife, he's smart, he's a decent enough actor, he's good looking and funny when he wants to be... I mean, I don't understand how the hell WWE isn't using him as much as possible. Unless it's because he's only 5'11 maybe.
But what about you, dear reader? Who has impressed, disappointed, and confused you with their misuse? Discuss it below, and we'll be back next week with Xmas Cheer and what have you. Until then…