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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling 03.05.14: Russians, Point Systems, Politics, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 03.05.2014

Welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling! I am your host, Mathew Sforcina and… Yeah, how's that WWE Network going? I bet it's all awesome and stuff.

Jealous? No no, why would I be. I mean, I only have to wait several months to see Zayn/Cesaro and stuff, and I know that now it'll be really hard to find video of old stuff online under the "Daily Show/Colbert Report" logic, and I don't have access to all the PPVs, but no, I'm not jealous, nope, not at all.

*infinite Chandlers*

Although just to be clear, because they are starting to trickle in: I have no problems with you starting a question along the lines of "So I was watching X on the Network…" or whatever, but just be mindful of the fact that I don't have access to said Network, so directing me to a show or whatever on the network does not help me. Just to be clear.

Got a question for me? ask411wrestling@gmail.com is where you send it.

And while the Network only works in the US (and anywhere people who are better at IP Fooling than me are), Banner is universal.


Check out my Drabble blog, 1/10 of a Picture! I posted a popular one a few days ago about cutting and pasting, so go me!

Me On Twitter~!

Feedback Loop

Demolition are/n't LOD knockoffs: There are differences between the two teams, yes, but the fact is that Demolition was created specifically because Vince didn't get the Road Warriors and thus he ‘made his own'. That's not a bad thing, wrestling is full of rip offs and remakes and the like, I'm not saying Demolition is bad, just that I wouldn't have inducted them before LOD. And since LOD is in, Demo going in is fine by me.

Total Opinion Weeks: I know that my TOWs aren't universally popular, that's why I make it clear and upfront that I'm doing one, so that if you don't like them, you don't have to read it. No-one is forcing you to read my work. Well, OK, maybe someone is, and if so, ask them to stop, and if they continue, call the police.

The Trivia Crown

I am a second generation wrestler. My names (staged and real) are very much like the name of a well known cartoon character and a former world champion. There's something I did no one did it before me. On of the wrestling strikes I've done is named in honor of a former tag team champion. I usually don't like dancers that much and my biggest victories have been against people who like to dance. CM Punk would probably be proud of me, but he wouldn't say it in front of someone who loves him. Oh, one of my wrestling names revealed where I come from. Who am I?

Asaimoonsault has it.

I am a second generation wrestler. (Daughter of Sweet Saraya and Ricky Knight)

My names (staged and real) are very much like the name of a well known cartoon character and a former world champion. (Drawing a blank here)

There's something I did no one did it before me. (First British woman in NXT)

On of the wrestling strikes I've done is named in honor of a former tag team champion. (Stan Lane)

I usually don't like dancers that much and my biggest victories have been against people who like to dance. (Emma)

CM Punk would probably be proud of me, but he wouldn't say it in front of someone who loves him. (He wouldn't say it in front of AJ Lee)

Oh, one of my wrestling names revealed where I come from. (Britani Knight - she's from England)

Who am I?


(Although Matt Boogie had the name thing down, Beavis and DDP were the idea.)

I've got this week's question.

Who am I? I wrestled in the NWA in 1985, and the WWF in 2000. In the last battle royal on TV I fought in, I was eliminated by a guy I once held a tag title with (although it wasn't my sole tag reign in the big leagues, a reign that ended in forfeiting the belts). Both of my impact finishers featured scientific terminology in their names. I've managed one world champ, and another guy who has a connection to this week's Raw. I share a dubious record with Daniel Bryan, a naming insistance with Vince McMahon and Chris Benoit once broke something of mine. I have a duplicative designation verbiage, and I'd probably say it like that too. Who am I?

Getting Down To Business

Ron Gamble is first up, Comrade.

Since the Winter Olympics (C, R, TM) are in Sochi, Russia, I thought I should ask a couple appropriate questions.

Out of all the Russians who have ever appeared in a wrestling ring, either from the Soviet Union or afterward, how many of them were actually Russian? Also, how many of them had actual Russian heritage?

See now, I know that I'm gonna forget guys here, so apologies up front. But cobbling together lists from a few places, here's a list of what I hope is every major ‘Russian' wrestler ever…

Aleksander Chekov: We start with a legit Russian from the current US Indy scene. Mr. Chekov was born in Leningrad, although he now lives in Fort Lauderdale.
Alex Koslov: Sort of. He was born in the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR, so he certainly has Russian ties and links, but he's not technically Russian.
Alexander Zass: A strongman and VERY old school Pro Wrestler (He was born in 1888), he had Russian heritage, although he was born in Poland.
Alexei Smirnoff: Nope, this 70's NWA Russian was a French Canadian.
Anna Bogomazova: She was in NXT for about a year as Anya, and she's very much Russian. And she could probably kick my ass…
Boris Alexiev: I still don't know if Santino Marella was worth losing Boris… But yeah, another Canadian, this one Italian.
Boris Malenko: The father of Dean Malenko and trainer of Buddy Landel was from Florida.
Boris Volkoff: He was a Merchant Marine known as Frank before starting wrestling in the 60's. Not Russian.
Boris Zhukov: Before he was Russian he was ALL-AMERICAN as part of Sgt. Slaughter's ‘Cobra Corps' in the NWA. Not Russian.
Chris Markoff: From Minnesota. Might have Russian ancestry, but since he was active in the 60's-80's, probably not…
Crusher Yurkoff: Bam Bam Bigelow's first gimmick. So, no.
Igor Kalmikoff/Stan Pulaski/The Mad Russian: All one guy from Nebraska. Nope.
Igor Volkoff/The Russian Stomper: Another fake Ruskie from Canada.
Iron Russian #1: A mask hid Lou Newman, a non-Russian.
Iron Russian #2: Hans Scrabnel, same as above, I assume. Found nothing on the guy.
Ivan Gorky: One half of the Russian Wolfmen, non-Russian.
Ivan Kalmikoff/Original Mad Russian: Ed Bruce, Michigan.
Ivan Koloff/Ivan Zukoff: Yet another Canadian.
Ivan Markov: Hey, born in Moscow, a legit Russian!
Ivan Rasputin: Another ‘Mad Russian', but this one from Boston.,
Karol Kalmikoff: His real name was Karol Piwoworczyk, and he was born in Oklahoma. So, I don't think so…
Kola Kwariani: Perhaps the only ever Professional Wrestling/Chess Champion, ‘Nick The Wrestler' was from Georgia. The USSR Georgia. So, depending on how broadly you draw Russia…
Korstia Korchenko: I don't think he was, but I've got no proof either way. But hey, he likes Hamburgers and Hot Dogs…
Krusher Khreschev: Mr. Hole in One? Nah, Barry Darsow wasn't Russian.
Lana: Our newest Russian beauty who is controlling Mr. Rusev is in fact of Portuguese and Venezuela descent and was born in Florida.
Mikhail Ivanov: The other half of the Red Devil Fight Team with Mr. Chekov above, he's a true blue Russian. (True Red Russian?)
Mr. Strongko: Boris Alexiev's corner man and partner. Also not Russian.
Nicoli Volkoff: Not Nikolai. But also not Russian.
Nikita Kalmikoff/Nikita Mulkovich: None of the Kalmikoff's were legit Russian.
Nikita Koloff: Sorry, The Russian Nightmare is from Minnesota.
Nikolai Volkoff: He was born in Croatia and he has some Russian heritage, but not a whole lot.
Oleg Prudius/Vladimir Kozlov: Born in the USSR, but actually Ukrainian.
Pavel Kurkin: Good Moscow kid.
Pete Kameroff: Uh… No idea. He existed though!
Russian Assassin #1: A.K.A The Angel of Death. Texan.
Russian Assassin #2: A.K.A Jack Victory. New Jersey boy.
Salman Hashimikov: True Russian, although he was born in Kazakhstan.
Sergei Petroff: … *shrugs*
Soldat Gorky: Other half of the Russian Wolfmen, former name? John Smith. So he may be a time lord, but not a Russian.
Soldat Ustinov: Another Minnesotan.
The French Angel: Given that I'm including a guy who was billed by that name, yeah, he's a legit Russian.
The Russian Brute: American.
The Russian Crusher: Also known as Tony Angelo. Not Russian.
Victor Zangiev: A Russian who worked in Japan.
Vladamir Koloff: He's now a Chicken Farmer. Not Russian.
Vladamir Petrov: Yet ANOTHER ‘Russian' from Minnesota.
Yuri Gordienko: Canadian.

So, for the most part, modern Russians tend to be legit, and old school Russians aren't.

And that took a lot of time, so let's get cracking on the next one, from Paul.


Quick question about Mick Foley, what is the story behind Foley's constant ‘ribbing' of Snow? Was it always in jest or was there any actual motivation behind it? Just, I saw the recent Foley DVD and his passing comment about Snow seemed really out of place and petty.

It's gone from work to shoot and back to work again over time.

It began as just a long running joke between the two, they would travel together to shows, and like good friends, they would joke around. And Mick loved to make fun of Al, who would return the favor on occasion, but in his own words, he wasn't as obsessed with Mick as Mick is with him.

So Mick liked to do it, and then as became the loveable muppet, and had time and outlets to make jokes, he'd do so at Al's expense (and Test, and the Mean Street Posse…). Just harmless ribbing…

Until the chair incident.

See, on a show, Al, in some attempt to show how crazy/tough he was, no sold some chair shots, laughing, until one gave him a concussion, at which point he stopped. Al got into trouble over that. And then a couple days later, Mick said something along the lines of ‘Congrats to Al on his new sponsorship with Laz-Y-Boy, which is odd, since he doesn't usually sell chairs'.

Al then got really angry since he felt that just reminded everyone and got him in more trouble. So Al was given a chance to return the favor by doing commentary on a Mick Foley match, and he was horrible, just unfunny and ruined the segment, which ticked Al off even more as he got further in trouble (with Mick apologizing to Vince about the escalation, and him telling Mick ‘It's fine when you do it, it's entertaining, but that sucked'). But the two have made up somewhat, and they are back to being friends. I believe.

… OK, let's bite the bullet here. AG Awesome?

Hey Matthew,

Welcome back! Youve done a great job since returning and havnt lost a step. Hope you dont leave us again anytime soon.

Moving on. My question is one that may or may not have been asked before, though the answer is also something that will constantly change as time goes on so it may not be a big deal.

Ive been watching wrestling since around 1993 and in that time Ive had many conversations with my contemporary fans about who we've seen wrestle the most on TV. It's time to get the facts though, and find out for sure. I would like you to find out top five wrestlers that have WRESTLED on TV more than anyone else. You can use as many promotions as you feel appropriate. Wrestled being the key word, because I know for example Undertaker probably has only wrestled half the time he has been on TV, the other half would be promos/segments. If you want to make it easy you can stick to ECW, TNA, WCW, and WWE (maybe AWA too if you want).

If I had to guess based on who I have personally seen wrestle the most growing up, I would guess:
5) Eddie Guerrero (ECW, WCW, WWE)
4) Triple H (WCW/WWE)
3) Chris Benoit (ECW, WCW, WWE)
2) Booker T (WCW & WWE)
1) Chris Jericho (ECW, WCW, WWF)

I found something!

Back in early 2010, a reader of the Observer compiled a list of matches for wwf from 1980 to 2009. Not a perfect scenario, but it does give us an idea.


1. Bret Hart (1984-97) 14 2,403

2. Undertaker (1990-09) 20 2,226

3. Tito Santana (1980; 1983-93) 12 1,885

4. Shawn Michaels (1987-98; 2002-09) 20 1,862

5. HHH (1995-09) 15 1,799

6. Kane (1995-09) 15 1,748

7. Greg Valentine (1980-94) 15 1,629

8. Randy Savage (1985-94) 10 1,614

9. Davey Boy Smith (1984-88; 1990-92; 1994-97; 1999-00)14 1,602

10. Billy Gunn (1993-04)12 1,444

11. Owen Hart (1986-89; 1991-99)13 1,439

12. Matt Hardy (1997-09)13 1,432

Hulk Hogan (1980-81; 1983-93; 2002-03; 2005-06)17 1,432

14. Steve Lombardi (1983-03)21 1,409

15. Edge (1996-09)14 1,406

The remainder of the top 30 would be Jim Neidhart, John Bradshaw Layfield, Big Bossman, Bob Holly, Jim Duggan, Ted DiBiase Sr., Chris Jericho, Big Show, Christian, Brutus Beefcake, Jake Roberts, Mike "IRS" Rotunda, Jeff Hardy, Rick Martel and Val Venis.

That said, I know Kane has had the most matches on WWE TV of all time, so he's gotta be near the top of the list. Chris Jericho has the most records in the profightdb of non-Japanese wrestlers, with Kane, Bully Ray, Big Show and Devon close behind. Certainly neither is a perfect list, but Jericho/Kane/Bully Ray/Show/Devon seems a good enough bet to me.

Actually. If you want to do a two parter for me... speaking of the Undertaker situation of being on TV but not wrestling all that often. Who has been on TV the most but not actually wrestled? I guess this info would be # of appereances vs amount of promos & segments divided by matches? I dont know if that formula is correct though.
My guesses:
5) HBK
4) Bret Hart
3) Stone Cold
2) Undertaker
1) Ric Flair

Sorry for the head ache in advance!!

See, that one is easy to logically guess, it'd go something like:

1. Howard Finkle
2. Jim Ross
3. Josh Matthews
4. Michael Cole
5. Bobby Heenan.

Although 5 could be Lawler, or an authority figure, or another manager. But Fink HAS to be #1…

So if this isn't a show on the WWE Network, it damn well should be…


Bonus thingy!

Marshmellow Dragon has a bunch of ECW questions.

Hey Maffew,

… Don't call me that.

Glad you're back! I have a few questions that have always nagged me.

1) At ECW's last PPV Guilty As Charged 2001, did they know it was the last? They did have two or three house shows later in the week, but if they did know, why did they make RVD vs. Jerry Lynn (who was not even on the card or get paid) the main event and not RVD vs. Rhino with RVD taking the belt. I recently read that the plan if they didn't not go out of business was for RVD to feud with The Network and win the belt in the summer. This makes me think they didn't know, but I've always wondered about this.

They didn't know. Sure, there were rumors that ECW wasn't doing too well, and Heyman might have known he was against the wall, but they didn't know it was the final show, by any means. After all, they were forming New Impact Players and setting up Rhino as the Rookie Monster Super-Champion to give RVD something to chase, they could clearly continue storylines. It did turn out to be the last show, but they had no idea at the time. Unless they were Paul Heyman, and he might have been in denial at the time…

2) At One Night Stand 2005 why did they put Mike Awesome over Masato Tanaka? Joey made it clear on commentary that Awesome's quick departure helped kill the company so why have him go over? A cool story line would have been Paul E. hiring tough wrestlers to get revenge on him for his leaving. Any fan of the original ECW knows that unless it was a falls count anywhere match, the count must be made in the ring. Was the count on the floor in the match due to Japanese politics? Is it because both guys worked for different Japanese promotions at the time and they couldnt have a AJPW guy beat a ZERO-1 guy clean? Of course of the two, Awesome would be more likely to be signed to WWE.

You're overthinking that a bit. The result was that way for the same reason Storm went over Jericho in his ‘last' match at the start of the show, Heyman booked the show to surprise people. After all, if every good guy/non bad blood guy won, the later matches would have less heat. So Heyman deliberately went the other way to surprise you and keep you interested.

(Which is part of the reason Heyman > Russo in most regards)

As for the count on the floor, after that finish, you really want to waste the 20 seconds it would take to get them back in the ring? And hey, ECW was pretty lawless so it wasn't totally out of place…

3) Lance Storm mentioned in his shoot with ROH that Christoper Daniels had heat and was banned from ECW but doesn't say why? I can't find any info about this anywhere.

I found a copy of Christopher Daniels' shoot interview, and despite the claims it would go into ECW, it didn't mention it.

He has said in some interviews that since he was living in LA, flying to the ECW shows was too cost prohibitive. Plus some viewed him as not really fitting into the show's dynamic and style at the time.

But on the other hand, the scuttlebutt mentions that the ECW locker room did have a certain cliqueness about it, and supposedly he came in with an ego and rubbed people the wrong way. Sadly there is no ‘incident' that people talk about, just a general lack of fitting in and/or being egotistical and jerky. Unless someone in the comment section knows something I don't…

4) Was Cactus Jack really supposed to go over in the IWA King of the Deathmatch 1995? The end of the match was very anti-climatic. My theory is that Terry was too hurt or just not listening to the count, he gets his shoulder up late, a millisecond after the count. After the match Cactus who worked heel the whole tournament keeps apologizing to Terry on camera; maybe this is something Mankind would do, but not Cactus. I think that Terry messed up but, because Cactus was his friend and it got him over, no one ever said anything and forgets that Terry was supposed to go over. Another reason why it doesn't make sense for Cactus to go over was because he didn't stay in Japan much longer after the tournament, whereas Terry was a proven draw already and often returned to Japan.

Thank you!

He was supposed to go over, but the problem is that the explosion that occurred in the match were disappointing, and so the two had to improvise a finish, since the finish was meant to be the explosions. But the explosions sucked, so they had to take some big dangerous moves to stop the match from sucking.

Michael asks about Beefcake V Warrior.

Reading another old "ask 411 wrestling" column I came across the following comment in regards to Brutus Beefcake never winning the IC title:

"March '88-August '88: HTM re-signs with WWF. Beefcake slated to finally win IC title from HTM with big squash match at SumemrSlam '88. Ultimate Warrior plays politics & gets given the IC title, squash match & big push instead, although by this time WWF were a little unsure about giving Beefcake the title anyway"


1)Beefcake was super-over at this point still, he had been chasing the Honky Tonk Man for months, and he was one of Hogan's butt buddies so why would the WWF be "unsure" about giving Beefcake the title?

Please tell me I didn't say that.

*employs Google-Fu*

Oh good.

Yeah no, the plan was always Warrior. They knew at the start of the month that it would be Warrior, that's how they did the TV tapings. August 3rd, they taped a bunch of Superstars and Prime Time Wrestling matches, and they started the taping with Warrior squashing HTM like he did at Summerslam. Then they taped a bunch of matches and promos with him as champ that would be broadcast AFTER Summerslam, and then at the very end of the night, after the awesome main event of Paul Roma over Barry Horowitz, Jack Tunney came out and said that the IC title match wasn't valid and reversed the match, giving the belt back to Honky. Same as the August 23rd and 24th tapings.

But at that first show, I hear someone say, Beefcake wrestled and was ‘injured' on that night, so maybe they changed their minds on that night? Well, Beefcake for one.

He's the source of this, he claims that Warrior demanded the title or he'd walk. He has said this in interviews. But Honky has said that he knew months in advance it was gonna be Warrior.

And really, if Warrior had done this, then this would have been front and center on the Self Destruction DVD, wouldn't it?

No, Vince may have had Brutus pencilled in at some point, but in the months leading up to it, it was gonna be Warrior, to build him up to the World Title.

2)What "politics" could Warrior have played at that point? I recall him being popular at this point due to his energy and face paint but I don't think he had enough stroke to play politics. Plus, how could he possibly out-politic Beefcake since Beefcake had Hogan in his corner?


Like I said, if he had (which he didn't), he could have threatened to walk. At which point Vince probably would have pointed to the door and moved on. Hogan wasn't nearly as politically motivated in the old days as he became in WCW, he was still just the face of the company at this point, not the face of the company because he holds a knife to said company's throat…

Jay had these answered a while back somewhere else *dramatic sting*, but for the benefit of the reading audience…

This question just entered my mind. Everyone makes a big deal about Vince getting in the ear of his announce team during broadcasts, encouraging them to say certain things. Now, back in the day (80's and early 90's) during the PPVs that Vince himself did not announce, was he in the ear of guys like Monsoon and Ventura? Or did Vince take a more passive backstage role at that time?

Sometimes he was doing commentary, and often when he was, Gorilla would be in, well, the Gorilla position and doing what Vince does now. But Gorilla had Vince's respect since the two had worked together for so long, so he was more hands off, plus it wasn't until the Monday Night Wars where he became the micromanager, because it wasn't until the MNW when you had to watch every moment because a wrong word or bad segment would send viewers to the competition. So no, Gorilla got away with no Vince in his ear every second.

Also, a quick Hulk Hogan question. Much has been made of Hogan's physical problems (such as his back) recently. Not to sound like an A-hole, but how did Hulk end up in such bad shape? From my viewpoint, Hogan never wrestled an extremely physical style. It was always the same paint-by-numbers match for most of his career. It's not like he was constantly getting put through tables or dropped from the top of a cage. I don't mean to sound crass about it, I was just wondering.

Thanks in advance.

Wrestling is not an easy job, believe me, even a safe, soft worker ends up with injuries (ankle, shoulder, chest and neck for me…) and problems, and taking steroids gives you extra weight your body isn't prepared for. But the thing is, Hogan's not in bad shape for your average 60 year old. But the fact is that you do not wrestle for 25 years fairly consistently and not end up banged up somewhat. Add in some problems with medical procedures going badly, and you get a guy who can't wrestle any more. But then a 60 year old probably shouldn't be doing so anyway.

Hogan didn't fly, but he did land on his tailbone all the time, and wrestling leads to injuries, fact of life. What one big drop can do, so can 100 little ones…

And Ego brings us full circle.

Hi Matt,

I have a question about a phrase that Nikita Koloff used to slip into most of his promo's. The word was clearly Russian but I've never heard anyone on tv or on the net transcribe it's meaning.

Phonetically, it sounds like "ja-toa-ta"

At the 25-27 second mark in this shoot trailer he sort of goes into his character's voice and says the word.

Nikita: "I had worked hard on the Nikita Koloff character and developing that character....ja-toa-ta"

Any idea or suggestion on how to find out? Something that's stuck out to me for over 15 years!

Well, this is why they say I have Google-Fu!

OK, no-one but me says that, but bear with me.

Anyway, I've read a claim that someone who has spent time with Nikita in a non-wrestling capacity asked about this, and Nikita claims that it is "What is this?", which is a ‘common' expression of confusion and disbelief in Russian.

And certainly, checking that out using Google Translate, ‘What is this?' translates to ‘×òî ýòî?', pronounced ‘Chto eto?' so it looks about right, he's just mispronouncing it slightly.

Not that I'm about to tell him that…

One Man's (Important) Opinion

Danny has an interesting what if…

Sting is often mentioned as the biggest star to never work for WWE. If he does sign a contract with WWE soon, who do you think becomes the next "biggest star to never work in WWE". Basically who do you currently list as the second biggest star to never work for WWE. I thought of Nikita Koloff, Samoa Joe, Jushin Liger and Bobby Eaton but i would think there are bigger names than these I am missing
.(PS yes I think the criteria should be they worked significant matches in the US, or at least had big enough notoriety in the US through wrestling magazines or the Internet that WWE would know they exist.)

For the record I don't think he will sign, but it is a good what if, if Sting does go, who's next? WWE actually had a pretty good list in the middle of last year, to whit:

10. Magnum TA
9. Akira Hokuto
8. The Midnight Express
7. The Sinister Minister
6. Nikita Koloff
5. Vampiro
4. New Jack
3. The Great Muta
2. Abdullah the Butcher
1. Sting

I'd quibble over that order a little (Vampiro over Koloff? Really? Really?), but that's a damn solid list. Joe has done some shows for WWE…

As has AJ Styles.

I wanted to say Lou Thesz, but he did wrestle in the very very early days of WWWF. So by default, I have to go with Verne Gagne. Never worked WWE. But you might disagree, do tell me below if you do.

Chris wants to talk about a popular fantasy booking theory.

Matt! Love the column. I feel that their booking conundrum has such an easy and obvious answer. They could set up a match where Daniel Bryan challenges Triple H at Mania with the idea that he wants to prove to him once and for all that he's an A+ player. The stipulation would state that if Bryan loses, he'll never sniff the WWE World Title again, but if Bryan wins and proves his "A-plusness", he gets inserted into the main event of Wrestlemania. It feels like the ultimate way to capitalize on Bryan's momentum and underdog status having him overcome crazy odds to finally reach the top of the mountain. This would be a huge moment. What do you think?

I think that assuming Vince doesn't back the truck up to Punk's house enough to coax him back, this will be a very popular theory leading up and including the moment Hunter pins Bryan at WM.

It's decent enough booking, and would be a hell of a moment, I do like it, I just don't think it'll happen. I suspect that they'll end with Brock/Taker, so that Orton/DAVE/Other can end with DAVE walking out with the belt and the fans can still go home ‘happy'. And given that I think DAVE is walking out with the belt, I'd rather someone like Sheamus or Ziggler or Miz or someone is in there rather than Bryan. Bryan doesn't need another plucky loss, especially not at WM. If Bryan isn't winning, don't put him in. Same as the Rumble.

And finally, Me, not Me me, Me.

Hi, Mathew.

So, I was thinking about the various ranking systems and their inefficient use in wrestling. The TNA BfG Series came to mind immediately. Don't get me wrong, it was a strong attempt, but it had all those random numbers which really made me cringe every time I saw them. What was it *fires up wikipedia* Submission Victory - 10 Points; Pinfall Victory- 7 Points; Countout Victory- 5 Points; DQ Victory- 3 Points; Draw- 2 Points; DQ- -10 Points. It's just kinda... blah... I mean, don't you have to fight harder for a draw than for a countout? Most matches that I've seen end in a draw were brutal and most countouts are just that - countouts. Anyway, It got me thinking about wrestling using an ELO system, like some competitive sports do.

Here's an example of how it's used in chess.

You could also use this calculator I found online.

Check this for more details, if you like.

We could apply the same formula to 1 on 1 competition in wrestling and wins and losses would actually mean something + think of the awesome heel tactics that could go with it.

Here's an example. Imagine someone like Cesaro, who has scratched and clawed his way up to a 1600 ELO score. Due to one circumstance or another, he manages to get a match with Cena, who would have, let's say, an 1800 ELO score. Then, by some miracle, Cesaro pulls an upset win. According to the formula, using a K=25 both, men's ELO scores would have to be readjusted. Cesaro gets 19 and Cena loses the same amount. If Cena wins, however, he only gets a mere 6 points. It's not much in wrestling terms, but you could play around with the variables in the formula to make it suit the purpose, or you could simply put the ELO caps closer together. You could also account for the different ways you can win a match if you want to be really specific with the math, but you see what I mean. A win over a high-ELO opponent constitutes a greater reward than a win in a jobber match, for instance. If someone gets a push into the main event, it's slow and on a consistent dominant basis. If someone is being a cowardly heel, they try to keep their ELO high with low-risk matches and simultaneously stomp down the competition by screwing with their ELO. Endless possibilities right there.

So, here's my question: Has any wrestling organization ever used something similar and do you think it could work in today's environment?

Thank you for the great column and thank you for taking the time to read my demented semi-researched ramblings.


No, no wrestling company has used anything like that. Nearest thing apart from the BfG series would be the WCW Top Ten, where they would talk about victories moving people up and down the list.

And the thing is, I understand this theory of how to make matches important and how every match should mean something, but the thing is, there's a difference between making matches important and creating a system where you have to keep tabs on everyone and every match is going too far the other way.

Now, to be fair, this is just my opinion, but I like my wrestling to be chaotic and seat of your pants. I tend to view it as a sport, yes, but a sport filled with crazy people. Crazy people tend to do crazy things.

While on the other end of the spectrum, if you view it as a scientific sport, then such a scoring system makes sense. And I'm sure a good booker can make it work.

But I like chaos. I like having guys come from nowhere and win shockingly big matches, tag teams being thrown together, wild brawls, I want a show to be unpredictable. Not an exercise in scorekeeping.

But that's just me. What about you guys? You like this idea? Hate it? Ambivalent? Let us know below, and we'll be back next week for more Ask 411 Wrestling! Yay!


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