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Ask 411 Wrestling 12.25.13: Hating Vince, Hating Eras, Hating Me, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 12.25.2013



Hello and welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling!



Although really, who's reading this? OK, maybe people might be looking this over Friday or something, but if you're reading this on Christmas Day, while I sure as hell appreciate the compliment, maybe spending the day with family and friends is a better use of your time. I mean, this will be up forever. You only get a limited amount of time with loved ones.

Having now told off my audience, I further anger them by pointing out that this and next week's editions will be Total Opinion Weeks, which for new readers means that I focus on questions that are either totally opinion based or that I know the answer to off hand. Originally I thought it would only be this week, but I got sent a huge email with very interesting opinion questions, so they'll be the focus of next week. Besides, holiday periods always lead to phone ins. I mean, this is hardly the worst thing I've done on an Xmas…

Got a question? Email it to ask411wrestling@gmail.com and it'll be answered, eventually.

And now, the true gift that keeps on giving, BANNER!



Zeldas!



Check out my Drabble blog, 1/10 of a Picture! It'd take you like a minute to read the 7 stories from last week. You can give me a minute, surely?

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Champ Eliminated: The question specified elimination matches, so WM2000 is out, as is Jericho winning the Scramble match.

Savage Title Shots: Some of those defences were squash matches on TV to showcase Savage.

Hero Belt: As Space Australia pointed out, the Hero belt is the main TV one (a.k.a the belt Orton carries with him to the ring on Raw), the Appearance belt is the one for public appearances (a.k.a the belt Orton carries with him when he appears at your local shopping mall) and the Back up (a.k.a the belt Cena will use if Orton somehow loses one of the other two.)

You don't have 88 Reasons to worship Lisa Marie Varon!: I totally do, here!



Oh wait, no-one said that.



No no, it's fine. Not like I had a big huge bit planned or anything. Nope.

*deletes stuff*

The Trivia Crown



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?

James!!!! (did I get the number of exclamation points right?) has the answer.

Who am I? I'm an on-air authority figure, although I was very important to the company I worked for in another capacity: President of WWF Canada
During my tenure I suspended several people; one of them left the company shortly after (Rick Rude) while another stayed (Danny Davis), but did a different job for a while (wrestler) I also stripped three wrestlers of their championships (Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan & Shawn Michaels) refused to sign a famous rematch (Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior) and got assaulted on television (Bad News Brown). In my last appearance I was involved in a coin toss (Lex Luger and Bret Hart, Who faces Yokozuna first?), and Kevin Nash is not a fan of mine. Who am I?

YOU ARE PRESIDENT JACK TUNNEY!!!


Maravilloso has this week's question.

I am a wrestler with no testicular fortitude. I was part of a wrestling segment which was never done before and since then hasn't been done again. My real last name is pronounced the same way as a current wrestler's fake last name, but spelled differently. I've been managed by a world champion and have managed two world champions. In a kind of irony, my finisher shares part of its name with the finisher of another wrestler and both have parents from the same ethnic heritage and have relatives with Armed Forces experience. I've shared tears with former ladies' titlists
and many men have fought over me. Oh, and I write left-handed. Who am I?


Getting Down To Business/One Man's (Important) Opinion



Michael is first cab off the rank.

1) My first question pertains to the 2014 Royal Rumble: Do you think there's a chance the Undertaker could be this year's "surprise" entrant? My logic is, the Shield were the group that allegedly put him out all this time due to the powerbomb through the announce table(even though guys get slammed through tables on a weekly basis and are always back the next day/week but I digress) so, one would think, before he makes his big annual WM decision, there should be resolution(or at least some matches) with the Shield first. I say he enters the Rumble, doesn't win but goes after the Shield. Maybe then goes after them again at the Elimination Chamber PPV the following month. To me it would be odd for Taker to come back and start a program with someone(say, Cena) for Mania without settling up with the Shield first. if wrestling has taught us anything it's when a wrestler gets taken out, they're first priority when they return is to seek revenge on whomever took them out to begin with.

Well obviously we know who was supposed to be the surprise, in Batista, but then someone released an ad far too early. And Taker is supposedly in for WM, so it's entirely possible that he'll come in.

But the thing with him and Shield is an example of WWE continuality, in that if they want to include it they will but if they don't then it never happened, don't know what you're talking about. History is littered with examples of things that WWE has ignored or wilfully twisted because they can't be bothered to keep things like that in line.

Sheamus will be the big twist #30, and Taker may or may not be there, and if he is, he'll probably only be involved with the Shield if they decide to make him the guy who stops Roman Reigns' Diesel Push run.

2)How do you think the majority of internet fans would have reacted during the Hulkster's first WWF title run if the internet was as thriving as it is today? I figure for one, he was champ for over four years straight. Secondly, he was always the same character(except when he fought Kamala and he said HH didn't stand for Hulk Hogan but stood for "Head Hunter"…ahh the good ole days), and last, he always won the same way: Kick out of the opponents finishing move, Hulk up, three punches, a boot, and a legdrop later and it was all over.

With the non-stop cries for Cena to turn heel for the sake of being a heel apparently, how do you think people who have reacted to Hogan back then? Think they'd bitch about him being champ for so long or complain about him winning all the time?

Thanks as always


Man, I wish the internet was as thriving as it is today back then! That would mean that by now we'd have robot servants I could hologramatically overlay Lisa Marie Varon over and then totally void the warranty.

Anyway, the problem is that because they wasn't an internet, Hogan could be champ for that long. When all you had was WWF TV each week on your local network, or Jim Crockett, and maybe a tiny indy company, when the only access you had to wrestling was the TV, and Hogan only would appear once a month, you didn't get tired of him, so you could run a program for three months, do Hogan V Big Fat Heel up and down the country, you'd go see it when it was local and then eventually Hogan would get a PPV victory over them and that would lead to the next storyline for a few months. If you had access to the internet and Facebook and Youtube back then, there would be just as much entitlement to new and exciting product every week, for better and worse.

If Hogan was on TV every week wrestling the big fat heel, and you had access to almost every wrestling show ever via a simple typed command, Hogan would never have lasted so long with the same act.

But that does not mean, for the record, that I advocating a return to the 80's style of wrestling show full stop. That would be horrible, even if WWE suddenly remembered how to book. The market has changed, you need to have a bigger number of stars who you can cycle in and out. WWE has plenty, WWE could run for years with a variety of major stars trading the focus back and forth with a stable, consistent profit margin.

But that would mean taking a hit in the short term as it would require depushing Cena a bit. And that would mean Cena wouldn't sell his millions of millions of dollars worth of merch. So clearly they can't do that. Far better to ride Cena long and hard. I mean, he's going to be around forever, right?



(I apologize for the abundance there, but I have to be really clear for WWE. Even now they'd go "Hey, this Matthew Perry fan has the right idea!")

Golly Jolly Willy Nilly StubbleFace Bellboy

(I'm going to get an email from that guy one day where his name is the opening chapter of War and Peace, I just know it…)

Anyway, he wants to talk tag teams.

Is it just me, or does WWE seem to be running the same angle with its roster? It seems like there are several tag teams or close friends that are currently being built to turn on one another. For example:

Brodus and Tensai (already happened)
AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka
Big E Langston and Mark Henry
Goldust and Cody Rhodes
The Shield (Reigns and Ambrose)

Am I forgetting any others? Why is it WWE feels the need to run essentially the same angle where a partner/ally turns one another? Is this an oversight by creative, or just flat out laziness?


Because WWE sees more money in singles then in tags. Beyond the occasional moment of either intense clarity (‘Hey, tag wrestling is simple and effective storytelling that almost every wrestler can at least be competent act, AND it can help teach people and hide weaknesses… We should do more of that!') or flat out insanity (‘Hey, Russo, you book!') they view tag teams as a means to an end, and that end is to get 1-2 singles stars out of it.

Basically, while WWE could be having this more often…



They are just focused far too much on this.



Which is not to say that splitting tag teams is bad in of itself, Rockers say hi, but not everyone can and will be singles stars. Some guys will always be midcard, and although it sucks for them, it helps the business and show overall. Not everyone can beat Cena for the World Title. Stop assuming that you have to only have them, given that you can't even do that right!



I'm being a bit hard on WWE right now. I guess the holidays are making me cranky. I am listening to this song on a loop at the moment…

Hey, it's appropriate for the time!

And also should totally be the theme song for the next Big Heel Power Stable…

Ron Gamble, Friend and Role Model For Us All, was very happy to have found this match. Not sure why but hey, old school wrestling, always good!



Very cool and informative. Didn't know WWE went for the corner struts…



And Self-Promotion V: A Good Day To Self-Promote!



Oscar gets me back to my fav topic.

Me.

An opinion column next week? Sounds like I might finally get an answer. I hope you don't dodge your opponents the same way you have been dodging my opinion question. :0

Do I have your attention now, Supersforcina? I challenge you to a match. Loser…leaves…town!

VTime!




*searches his question list*

OK, I'll do that next.

And the thing is dude, you challenge me to a Loser Leaves Town match, if you win, then congrats, you're now worse than Hitler to the comment posters. That's a level of heat I'm not sure you want…

If I can be serious for a minute, and I am just going to throw it out there, how about adding a waiting list to your column? Just a section to list the names of people whose questions are on deck. It should be simple enough, an extra 5-10 minutes a week. If you make your matches 10 rest holds shorter it should even out your time.

Thanks,


Except that I don't have times. I cut and paste every question into a giant word document, and after the years of me doing the column, me not doing the column, emails back and forth, the questions that are really old I don't have a time frame for when they came in. So I can't really do it properly.

Plus if I do that, then people get upset when they see how their questions asking me to count how many times Bret Hart defended the WWE Title on a Sunday or whatever is passed up week after week to answer questions about made up titles. Speaking of…

*3/4 of a Chandler*

I was reading your response regarding Dibiase and the WM 4 tournament; I agree that the story says Dibiase was supposed to win. This made me think of all the greats that would've been great as World Champions; Rick Rude comes to mind, ousting the Ultimate Warrior at Summer Slam only to lose it back at Survivor Series. Mr. Perfect getting a 1 week reign from Hogan would've made sense. Even Owen Hart getting the big one at Summer Slam 94 or Survivor Series instead of Backlund.

In thinking all of this, wouldn't it be great to have an "honorary" WWE Championship belt? (i.e. like an honorary doctorate).

It can even be part of the Hall of Fame, and why not, be an interactive poll? Give the fans 3 choices each year to crown a new "honorary" champion. In the cases of Rick Rude, who has passed, have a family member or even Bobby Heenan accept the honors for him, give a speech, raise the belt and receive the standing ovation.

I can easily think of a dozen guys that can fit into this: Owen, Bulldog, Scott Hall, Dibiase, Rude, Perfect, Anderson, Andre (why not? His solitary win is overlooked by many), Bam Bam Bigelow, Vader, Ron Simmons and Sting. Some have been world champions, but never holding the big one, the WWE Title.

If the fear is that you will run out of candidates after 15 years, make it a life time achievement award type of Championship belt. The Eagle winged belt would be ideal for this. What do you think?


I dunno, it would just muddy the waters about who is and isn't a world champ. Especially when being in the Hall of Fame (there's a point, who's this year's class?) is pretty much as good as this anyway.

I mean, I do get where you're coming from, by all means, but I don't think it's that good an idea. Hall of Fame is good enough.

I don't really want to burst Pi's bubble, but…

Glad you're back doing the Ask411 column!

Now, I have more of an opinion question for you. Vince McMahon has been the most powerful man in the wrestling industry for the last 30 years. You can't achieve such dominance without making a lot of ennemies. It is a given. However, with the profitable shoot interview business, why don't we hear more "dirty"/bullshit stories about him? I can't remember anyone coming up publicly to low blow him on some road anecdote, drunk disorder, adultery, bullying talent, hazing or whatnot. I mean, even if he IS careful not to put himself into controversy in front of his employees, there would have to be someone willing to "bent" reality (or invent some shit) in order to grab attention, no? I mean, geez, not event a diva claiming sexual harrassment, real or fake? No hard-rock-star-partying from McMahon with Flair? Sounds strange to me.

Thaks in advance!


Really? How about Vince McMahon himself?

In 2001, he was interviewed in Playboy where he admitted to affairs, drug use, and a bunch of other stuff, as well as going into his childhood and stuff.

The thing is though, Vince doesn't party all that often with the boys. He'll occasionally do it on special occasions, sure. But he doesn't go out cruising every night with Cena or anything. He'll go back to his private jet or his lavish hotel room and, possibly, do something unsavoury in the privacy of those environments, although he's supposedly calmed down a lot in recent years.

So you add in that most guys don't see him party, to the fact that if someone hates Vince it'll probably be for business reasons. It'll be because they think he stiffed him on a paycheck or killed a push or something, so when they talk about him they'll focus on that.

And then, most wrestlers deep down play politics. It's part and parcel of the business. Real life too, but in wrestling the outcomes are much more public and immediate. In the real world, years of kissing up to the boss leads to a promotion and a corner office. In wrestling, not shaking hands with the boss's son leads you to losing your next match in 15 seconds to said son.

And the upshot of that is that deep down, no-one is going to go balls out Anti-Vince just in case he calls up one day. You always gotta stay on the trampoline. Vince could call any day now.

But people have talked out against Vince. Nailz the most notable. Plus the occasional "Vince touched me!" makes some news, and then Jerry McDevitt gets involved and they go away oddly…

So yeah, wrestlers' self-preservation mixed with a careful boss and a good legal team = Not much dirt.

Chris asks about tights and the pulling thereof.

Glad to see you back at Ask 411 Wrestling.

This is an odd question, but one that's been bugging me since I watched Savage/Flair at Wrestlemania 8 and Savage wins via 'handful of tights.'

Seriously, from a kayfabe perspective how is 'pulling your opponent's tights' supposed to make it harder for them to kick out? I just can't how having a wedgie is going to make it harder for somebody to kick out, though maybe I'm missing something.

Care to shed any light?

Have a great Christmas and an awesome 2014,


It's a leverage thing. See, if you can imagine trying to hold down a sack of kittens a certain way, if you can imagine putting all your bodyweight down on the bag full of innocent little kittens then you're a horrible person.



I kinda started on a metaphor there and got disgusted at myself. I'm very much pro-kitten and anti-anti-kitten for the record. And equivalents.

Anyway, the idea is that when you're trying to hold down someone, leverage is everything. Wrestlers are slippery, and when they are actively trying to kick out, it can be really hard to stop them. So getting extra leverage is key, it allows you exhort more pressure than you could otherwise. Feet in the ropes means you can lean into and all your bodyweight is pulled by gravity and what have you against them. And grabbing the tights is like having a big old handle on them.

Try to pick up a heavy bag by just palming it, then try by the handle. The handle makes it much easier to pick up. Well grabbing tights is like that, grabbing them gives you a convenient handle to pull and makes it easier to hold them down.

James wants to talk Racism.

Did The Big Show ever make a racial slur towards Kaientai on tv?

I remember reading an article in a magazine from 2001, where Show defended himself from allegations of racial abuse.

According to Show he called them ‘goofs' instead of ‘gooks'. Do you remember this?

Thanks,


I don't recall the incident exactly, but I remember the aftermath and… Hey lookie here! I found the episode!



Skip to 28:30.

Basically he was speaking casually, and he claims he meant goofs. It just really, really, REALLY sounded like Gooks. I can totally see both sides, in that if he had said gooks I know someone would have called him on it between that being filmed and it going to air. And nothing else has been heard about him attending White Power rallies or anything. If the KKK had a hooded figure that big, people would notice.

So yeah, he didn't clearly…

Pronounciate isn't a word? Gee, thanks Mother…

Anyway, he didn't speak clearly, and he got into some trouble about it. That's what happens when you don't speak clearly. So speak clearly.

*The preceding was paid for by the Royal Society Of Speaking The Queen's English*

Paul talks about the Hogan Heel Turn.

I hope you can help me out. I was not watching WCW at the time but why was Randy Savage the 3rd man on Team WCW? Also, do you think that having Savage on Team WCW helped sell the illusion to the crowd and PPV audience that if he fought against the Outsiders that when Hogan suddenly appeared it better sold Hogan as being team WCW since he was also "from you know where"? Finally, how can anyone argue that anyone but Hogan could be the 3rd man and see the success the NWO brought WCW? Even with his fading star power Hogan had mainstream appeal that Sting, Hart or Michaels didn't and to an extent still don't have (now mostly negative however). Thank sir.

Luckily I have the video for this, so lets go to the tape!



Basically for those who didn't watch that, when the Outsiders challenged WCW to a 6 man tag, WCW had 6 men they were considering. Hogan, Flair, Giant, Sting, Luger and Savage. They then drew out of a hat to see who it would be. That was the storyline.

As for the reason, I think the logic was that they didn't want a heel on team WCW, so Flair and Giant were out, and thus Savage was the only other face on that level they had, since they didn't want people to boo Hogan before the heel turn. Although Savage and Luger both being from there prior did help, when Luger got KOed it was a decent smokescreen to make people think he was the turncoat.

And Hogan had to be the guy. If Sting was the guy, as the back up plan he was the one, it would have just been an angle. But Hogan turning heel was a pop culture thing. Hogan was getting booed, yes, but him becoming evil was a MAJOR thing, it caused so much more attention to be brought to the company and the angle because of it.

Would the angle have worked with Sting as the leader? Maybe. Although he's never really done it well, Sting as a heel does have potential, provided he got a heel role he could commit to fully, and the politics might have been a little less disastrous, but the angle overall would have suffered greatly for it.

Nightwolf wants to talk eras to finish up.

1. I remember watching an Episode of Raw, where Vince gathered all the WWE wrestlers to the ring. He basically said its a new era yada, yada, yada, and he want to see wrestlers with Ruthless Aggression. So fast forward to Kurt Angle issuing an open challenge to any wrestler, and lo and behold enter one John Cena. Remember Kurt Angle laughed at him and called him a joke. Remember what he asked Cena? What do you have that other wrestlers don't? What did John Cena say to Angle? That he has Ruthless Agression. So my question is why don't you people acknowledge there was a Ruthless Aggression Era? It is mentioned on multiple online sites and was from 2004-2008

WWE does, in the last video game it was the era between the Attitude and the, sigh, Universe era. (Well, they can't say PG Era, can they…) And it does crop up. The thing is, it's very short for an era, and it was so blatantly a rebuilding phase that people rarely look at it as an era. They should, I mean it's longer than the New Generation era was, but since we're closer and it wasn't nearly as clearly delineated as that one was (Hogan leaving through to AUSTIN AUSTIN AUSTIN!) people don't tend to bring it up. But most people will acknowledge it.

Plus the fact that the era sucked doesn't help.



2. The 80's brought us a multitude of great managers ( Mr Fuji, Cpt. Lou Albano, Bobby Heenan, etc) and great tag teams ( The Road Warriors, Demolition, Brainbusters, Midnight Express, etc). The 90's brought us a multitude of great sables ( Dx, N.O.D., the Ministry of Darkness, the Hart Foundation, etc). as well as insane gimmack matches ( Hell in a Cell, First Blood, Inferno Match) so why doesn't today's wrestling have something that defines this decade like the 80's and 90's did?

Because we're too close to it, so we don't know what will be the most memorable moments nor do we know what we're losing. The 80's having the managers and the tag teams is remembered so fondly since we don't have them any more. Same with stables and crazy gimmicks. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.

But if I was to talk about the 00's, 2000-2010, I'd say it'll be remembered less for what it had than what happened. The 00's will be the era that the WWE conquered all, squandered most of it, and led to the rebirth of a new Indy resurgence that WWE then took the cream of in the next decade. Basically the 2000's is about WWE and they're dominance.

Unless you, dear reader, have a better idea. If so, do suggest one below! I'll see you all next week with another holiday edition of Ask 411 Wrestling! Yay!






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