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Ask 411 Wrestling 6.25.14: Japanese Stars, Rumble Screw-Ups, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 06.25.2014

Well hello there, welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling. I'm Mathew Sforcina, and my illness is your gain! I am doing most of this a day earlier that I usually would, thanksto spending most of the day in bed with Manflu, which is awesome for writing without a deadline!

And next week, I won't even have anything at all to do, since I shall not be doing next week's column. I'll be posting it, but due to a shift change I shall be handing off the actual writing to Jed Shaffer, formerly of 411mania and now of Wrestlecrap, and guy who I owe a Rewriting The Book to.

If you have a question you want Jed specifically to answer, jed316@msn.com is where you send it. If you don't care who answers it, ask411wrestling@gmail.com is the place to go.

But as always, BANNER comes before all.


Check out my Drabble blog, 1/10 of a Picture! It just past 10,000 views, which is pretty cool. Or at least I think it is…

Me On Twitter~!

Feedback Loop

Remembering Face Turns: Rereading it, I should have made clear that I was having trouble thinking of really bad face turns, in that most of the time a face turn is just bland rather than destructive to character. Plenty of face turns that were good have occurred, but really bad ones are a little harder to pinpoint.

Giant Giant: I'm billed as 2m (6'6) and 171kgs (376lbs). So I'm not a tiny boy, but I'm not a Giant Giant.

The Trivia Crown

Who am I? I am known mainly as a face when I was a wrestler but heel when I was a manager. I've been known as a number, although one of my numbers is only good enough to equal a comedic Canadian's (and that's including the reign WWE doesn't acknowledge!) Where I was born is not where I was once billed as "Mr. (Location)". I currently own a business that has a name similar to a wrestling segment of times past. Of the men I've managed, four have been world champ and two are perirenal names on the "Should have been world champ" lists. A former Brass Knuckles Champion and member of an Army, I am who?

DarthDaver has the answer, mostly.

Who am I? I am known mainly as a face when I was a wrestler but heel when I was a manager. I've been known as a number (Number One), although one of my numbers is only good enough to equal a comedic Canadian's (and that's including the reign WWE doesn't acknowledge!) (????????) Where I was born (Texas) is not where I was once billed as "Mr. (Location)" (Mr. Florida). I currently own a business that has a name similar to a wrestling segment of times past (The Body Shop). Of the men I've managed, four have been world champ (Ricky Steamboat, Ivan Koloff, Billy Graham, Abdullah the Butcher's WWC World title?) and two are perirenal names on the "Should have been world champ" lists (Rick Rude, Jake Roberts). A former Brass Knuckles Champion and member of an Army, I am who? Paul Jones

Maravilloso has the question this week for us.

I've been a reptile and I've been a bird. My real name is the same as the gimmick name of a former manager. I won the same award twice using different characters. I've been very successful at matches in which I could've lost something other than a title, including three against former World champions, but my only defeat was a great "victory" for a lady. Among my victories are crowns, bragging rights, a title win against a bullfighter and being inducted into Halls of Fame twice. Oh, and in my wrestling theme song, there is an unintentional reference to a great legend. Who am I?

Getting Down To Business

Brandon asks about an old duo.

I remember in late 2001, The Big Boss Man returning to help Booker T defeat Steve Austin in a match, but he was wearing business clothing. He was wearing a suit & tie kinda clothing. He wore that for a few weeks, even wrestled in it, before reverting back to his old attire. Any idea where things were going with the new look?

I don't know for sure, since I couldn't find any hard info, but the basic idea when they brought him back seems to be all they had anyway. Bossman went down with an injury at the start of 2001, taking off the B-shows he had been working almost exclusively. There was rumors of him being brought back as part of the Alliance (given his history with WCW that would have been quite logical, actually) but WWF didn't have any plans in that direction, instead they instead chose to have him work in the developmental leagues as a trainer for a while. But eventually he got called back to help fill time in the Booker/Austin feud. So they brought him back in the bodyguard/enforcer role he'd played for a large part of his career. But to try and make him slightly more interesting, instead of the Blues Brothers old school enforcer look…

Or the corporate private contractor bodyguard look, they went with more a modern security look, the look that you see, or rather the look that people who dress like that don't want you to notice. The guys standing behind the guy behind the podium or sitting at the business table, that was at the time the bodyguard look. Certainly the perception, anyway.

Now, as far as where it was going, he was there to be a Vince henchman and be Booker's enforcer and such, but it obviously didn't work out. Had it done so, he'd have continued on in that role, but since it didn't click, he went back to the B-shows and went back to his older look since that's what he had more of I guess before going back to training for a bit before his contract ran out.

Shame too, I always liked his work.

Jefferson asks about rings.

I got a question that's not anything special, but I've always been curious. Wedding rings... when wrestlers put tape over their rings, what's the reason behind that? I know most don't remove their rings and I get the reasons why, but the tape is what I'm curious about. Is that done to protect the ring from being damaged, or to cover it up to draw attention away from it? After all, you're supposed to be focused on the match, and not who's married.

I should point out that tape around the knuckles and the like isn't just about the ring. It also protects cuts, gives a little support and can hide a blade. But if you have a wedding ring that you can't remove, covering it with tape does a few things. It does hide it to prevent people from either being sad that the heartthrob face is taken or from wondering how the dastardly heel got a partner, they can protect the ring from damage but also it's about protecting the other guy. Although it's a small chance, a metal ring can catch the nail or outfit or skin of your opponent, causing a tear, and/or a bruise when you hit them. You're not going to kill anyone wearing a wedding ring (probably), but you can cause some damage, however small, so you cover it up.

But mostly I suspect it's about protecting the ring. I don't know anyone who is married and doesn't take the ring off during matches so I can't ask them, alas.

Damon asks if a certain wrestler has been around longer than we've suspected…

Long time reader of the column, always one of my more enjoyable reads on the site. My question involves everyone's favorite mini wrestler, El Torito. Was watching the WWE Royal Rumble 1998 on the Network, and the second match of the night involved a Lucha mini match between the team of Max Mini, Mosaic,and Nova against Battalion, Tarantula.... and El Torito?? Now I'm pretty sure that he's NOT the same raging bull that's on current TV every week (and PPV for that matter), but is there some sort of legacy with the name in the Lucha Mini circuit? Is the current version this one's son?? Inquiring minds needs to know!

The two are connected but only in a wrestling trivia way. The two probably have no blood relation (the current El Torito's personal details are vague as par for the course with most masked Lucha wrestlers) and the two characters aren't related in any way. The original El Torito wrestled in Mexico as Espectrito, where he had a long and still standing feud with the original Mascarita Sagrada that spanned companies. Espectrito was unmasked during this long feud, and when he came into WWF in the late 90's as part of the WWF/AAA talent swap, he was repackaged as Mini-Vader due to the similarities in face and build to the real Vader. This was when WWF thought mini versions of their big guys would work.

Then WWF rebooted, and he was turned into El Torito, and he got to feud with Mascarita Sagrada again (now called Mini Nova) and Mascarita Sagrada Jr (an even smaller version of the character now called Max Mini) as a human bull. After the agreement was ended he still used the El Torito gimmick until 2001 when he lost it in a mask match against Pierrothito.

So where does the connection come in? Well when the man now known as El Torito began in wrestling, he was called Speedy Gonzales. But then when the original Mascarita Sagrada left AAA, in part due to the whole "You made a mini version of me" aspect of the Jr. version, AAA put the mask and outfit on Speedy and called him Mascarita Sagrada 2000, although the 2000 part was dropped after a few months, and then he dropped it totally when he left for CMLL. So the two El Torito's share a connection via that.

So no, the two El Toritos are not connected as such. But actually WWE is keeping true to Lucha here, as companies do indeed recast gimmicks all the time, so it's legit enough to have two El Toritos.

Jeremiah wants to talk about America. And why not?

With America's Independence Day approaching, I got a pair of "Made in the USA" Lex Luger questions. First, was his face turn at all hinted at before bodyslamming Yokozuna on the USS Intrepid, or was he still a heel until the moment he stepped off that not-at-all-contrived helicopter? Secondly, was the event shown live on the USA Network, as an edition of Wrestling Challenge or Mania maybe? And as a follow up, were there any matches that took place on the program or for the live crowd? The History of WWE site only lists the Bodyslam Challenge participants.

Now, before this point, had Luger shown any inkling of being a good guy? Almost certainly not. Maybe on the very last appearance before this, the night before on the WWF Mania show he wrestled Rich Myers and maybe in that 1:49 he was less douchy as normal, but given it was taped a few weeks prior and he worked heel all the way past that up to the Bodyslam challenge, I doubt it. Pretty much the first inkling that Luger had realised he was a patriot first and an egotist second was that moment there.

The Challenge was shown on several TV shows, Raw, Mania, none of them live but certainly the footage was shown often on WWF TV.

And I could find no record at all of there being any matches on the day. It was just the challenge. Unless you count the Yoko V Wrestlers segments.

Matt has sound questions.

1) Due to the WWE Network I am able to revisit Child Hood memories and nostalgia and on this occasion I watched Survivor Series 92. And this is the night stick match with Big Boss Man and the Short Term Wrestling Superstar of 1992 WWF, Nailz. My question is when he cuts his promo on Boss Man before the match his VOICE IS DISTURBINGLY low and just terrifying. And it reminded me of being scared as shit when I was a 5 year old. I looked up some of his promos from other feds and it in fact was not his real voice. Why did WWF decide to do the effect on his voice? Was it just to make him scarier? Has Nailz ever done a shoot interview? Im just confused.

I couldn't find that specific promo, but I did find this one…

And compare that with his normal voice…

Man, so many videos.

Anyway, yes the voice was altered, apparently. He's not done any shoot interviews, but later in his career when he worked for the AWF he began with a voice changer and then they dropped it, forcing them to explain why his voice was changed (he was very wound up, you see). Vince apparently made the call to change it since his natural voice is not really fitting the character they were going for. They wanted him to be scary and angry, and since his regular voice wasn't able to convey that to their satisfaction, they dubbed it ala Shockmaster.

2) Ive noticed that ECW PPVs especially Barely Legal 97' had very loud rings. Every slam , every bump just seems extra loud. I think it could be attributed to the small venue/quality of the ring but I was wondering if you may know anything about ECW mic'ing their rings to give a more impactful sound. And if you know any inside explanations/ stories of the history of what feds mic'ed their rings and why? I read something very little about it once but was always interested in that aspect.

To deal with the second part first, I can't really help you on that. I'm not a sound engineer. I know pretty much every major company since WWF started it has put mics under there, and I know that WCW and TNA had/have theirs up louder than WWE, although a smaller venue also leads to a louder noise, small live events can sound insanely loud. But as for dates or logic changes, can't help you there, alas.

As for ECW Barely Legal specifically, a small arena + unfamiliarity with the equipment + sound issues (the mics only began to work right before they went live) led to that, I am forced to assume. They don't discuss it anyway beyond the fact that they had so much to do with new stuff in a small bingo hall on the wrong side of town. But if any sound engineers are out there, do please correct me on these questions…

Ron wants to talk Japanese Wrestling. Now, I could answer that, but why ride in a somehow still running 82 Cimarron when you could ride in a top of the line electric limo? So, I will be handing over the answering of these two questions to Ryan "Calling All" Byers!

I'm going on a trip to Tokyo, Japan and want to see Japanese Wrestling. What Feds are out there and what's the best resource for a American to find schedules and buy tickets for a event?

The good news is that it is not difficult to see professional wrestling in Tokyo. If you just want to see a show and you don't care what promotion or card it is, you just need to find Korakuen Hall, which is a roughly 2,000 seat venue in the shadow of the Tokyo Dome in the heart of the city. Korakuen Hall hosts numerous pro wrestling, MMA, kickboxing, and boxing events every month, as it is a building essentially designed specifically for watching sporting events that take place in a ring.

The official English language website for Tokyo Dome City, where Korakuen is located, is here. Honestly, if you just show up there on any given day of the week, you'll probably be able to score tickets for at least one wrestling show being held that weekend. It's hard to find a Saturday or Sunday where there ISN'T something happening in Korakuen.

There will be other shows at other venues in Tokyo and throughout Japan, but, without knowing when you are going and what parts of the city you will be in, the best advice that I can give is to just show up at Korakuen and see what's playing there.

If you would like to plan a little bit more and see a specific promotion or a specific card, one English-language resource you can try out is the 2014 Puroresu Event Calendar on the excellent Puroresu Spirit tumblr, which lists upcoming events for major promotions - and even some not-so-major promotions - about two months in advance.

There are also official merchandise stores run by New Japan Pro Wrestling as well as other wrestling shops not connected with specific promotions located in Tokyo Dome City, so you can also track those down and hang out if you want to try to bump into some fans who could educate you a bit more about the local scene.

Who are the top stars or legends currently in Japan?

New Japan Pro Wrestling is far and away the largest wrestling promotion in the country, and its top three stars are Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, and Shinsuke Nakamura, all of whom were recently in the United States as part of the shows co-promoted by New Japan and Ring of Honor, so going back and catching those shows on VOD might be a good, English language introduction if you plan on attending an NJPW event. New Japan also has a lot of American wrestlers in on a regular basis, most notably AJ Styles, who, as of this writing, holds their top championship. Luke Gallows, Lance Hoyt, DH Smith, Karl Anderson, and Alex Shelley are all also competing on most of the company's shows.

The second largest wrestling promotion in the country, which has been around for a while but still has some difficulty being accepted by "traditional" pro wrestling fans is Dragon Gate, which features a faster-paced, more lucha oriented style of wrestling than what is normally presented in the country. If you were following ROH or Pro Wrestling Guerrilla when Dragon Gate guys were coming in regularly for them, the big names are still mostly the same . . . BxB Hulk, YAMATO, Shingo Takagi, and so on. Plus they've got a hot young group called the Millennials coming up, which makes me feel very old because one of the rules for joining the faction is that you have to have been born after 1990.

Two once-great promotions that you may have heard of are Pro Wrestling NOAH and All Japan Pro Wrestling, but they've fallen on hard times as of late. They still run regularly, but they are pretty watered down due to talent spreading out and, most recently, breaking off to form a third promotion at about the same level, WRESTLE-1. NOAH's biggest star these days is Naomichi Marufuji; All Japan is built around Jun Akiyama; and the biggest names associated with WRESTLE-1 are actually the office guys, Keiji "The Great Muta" Muto and Tajiri, though they wrestle infrequently. Oh, and Rene Dupree hangs out there for some reason.

Also, though they are far from being major promotions, I will also put in some plugs for DDT and Big Japan Wrestling, indy groups that still run their bigger shows in Korakuen. They attempt to focus in on more niche audiences, with DDT incorporating more comedy into its shows and Big Japan doing bloody, bloody, bloody deathmatches.

Ryan Byers ladies and gentlemen, making sure that you get the right info because I'd only screw it up!

Self-Promotion Part… Wait, they didn't include the matches I won on Day 2! BOOOO!

I like !ND¥ Starr.

Glad this is back.

And this has no right to be as funny as I find it.

Bryce asks about commentary.

My question is something that has baffled me for some time and I haven't been able to find an answer.

Why did Tony Schiavone do the play by play for SummerSlam 89 and Royal Rumble 90 and not Gorilla Monsoon?

Any light you can shed on this would be terrific.

Because he'd jump ship to WWF and so they were using him as one of their main guys. I know that he's a punchline now thanks to the "Biggest Night In WCW's History Every Week" issue, but back in the day he was a pretty solid announcer. He jumped to WWF when, the story goes, he was ‘demoted' to syndication and Ross got cable after Turner bought out the company. He didn't like that, so he jumped ship.

And got a decent push, as it were. He did the Wrestling Challenge shows with Gorilla, had a segment on Prime Time, did Prime Time and Colosseum Home Video with Hayes, did most of the MSG/Maple Leaf/Boston shows, and the PPVs. He was used fairly extensively so that Vince could step back for a bit, and because at the time he was a good announcer.

After his year was up, WCW was in a better spot in terms of the backstage, and Tony's always been mindful of the moneys given his large family, so a job closer to home was a big plus.

But yeah, he did those shows because at the time, he was WWF's lead PBP guy. The hope was that Tony would become the voice of the WWF going forward and wouldn't that have been interesting?

Raza has three questions that kinda jump over the place and is another victime of time delay.

Batista's Royal Rumble win is somewhat amazing in a sense that a person, who publicly parted ways with WWE as well as bad-mouthing and criticizing the product in the last few years, just comes out of no-where and win the prestigiousRoyal Rumble (last similar instance may be Ric Flair wining the same in 1992). Now my questions is that was it either WWE who assured him a Royal Rumble win in case if he signed with them or was it Batista himself who may have demanded a Royal Rumble win or even WWE World Heavy Weight Championship at WMXXX for getting signed with the WWE because normally WWE brought newly signed wrestlers, or should I say their contracts tenure begins, on Raw night after Wrestlemania. Brining Batista back in the midst of things is looking some what awkward when WWE have many deserving top performers like Punk, Sheamus, Lesnar, Cena already waiting in the wings to headline Wrestlemania?

Everything was screwed up by Batista's return getting leaked. Well, you can argue that it would never have worked, but still, the original idea was solid.

The first we were supposed to know that Batista was back was when his music hit at the Rumble. He comes out of nowhere, wins the shot, declares the Authority to be dicks and is back to save the day by defeating his old running buddies at Wrestlemania while on the undercard Bryan finally gets the win over Wyatt. Bryan gets his moment and WWE gets a champion who will appear in a huge summer blockbuster. Everything is golden!

But then Batista's back is leaked. So we get him before the Rumble, and we can see that he wasn't that interesting or great before the win, and we realise the direction they are going in and by golly we don't like it. Plus ‘YES!' starts to get traction outside the WWE, which didn't help anything.

The element of surprise and shock was supposed to help carry DAVE to WM, but that didn't occur. And as for the issue of people who deserve it more… Wrestling has a long tradition of respecting tradition when it suits it. If you've got some young hot acts that you want to keep around for cheap, you pull out the Respect those above you card, and talk about how wrestling is more than a business, it's a family and a brotherhood. But if you think you can make more money with a part timer or with someone from outside, you bring them in because at the end of the day, it's just business.

My second that what barred TV and news media in the world all over getting covered live WWE or other professionally wrestling promotion. CNN never broke news of any title change for WWE or even for WCW? Why is that

Nothing barred them, WWE would LOVE for news companies to cover title changes. But news companies inexplicably take the view that WWE isn't a sport but a TV show and since you don't see news reports about Penny and Leonard getting engaged on Big Bang Theory or the like. Small news outlets might talk about WWE coming to town or a Make A Wish situation but CNN wouldn't ever cover a title change.

Especially since CNN has never liked wrestling since WCW would film in the same building and the noise would travel.

Third, Why WWE has not put Warrior on TV yet, he may cut a promo against authority for supporting Bryan?

Obviously this was before… Well everything. Suffice to say that WWE wanted to hold off on Warrior till WM weekend to make it special and leave it at that.

Michael is all about the Rumble.

Since the Royal Rumble is one of my favorite match types, I've been taking advantage of the Network by watching each Rumble PPV that I didn't already have on DVD. In watching the Rumble matches, a few questions came to mind as to the logistics of booking and running such a lengthy and complicated match:

1. To what extent do the wrestlers know about the entrance order of other wrestlers? Yes, they probably know who is going to win, who they are going to eliminate and how long their role in the Rumble will be. But would wrestlers have a good idea of the when many other wrestlers are going to come in.

OK, I can't speak with 100% authority on the WWE Rumbles, since the notes and stuff for a Rumble have never come out. But I have been in Rumbles, so I can speak about the general rules, and I assume WWE is pretty similar.

As far as the order, you tend to get the full list stick up near the entrance, and during the run-throughs you go down the list so that everyone knows who is coming out before them, so they can make their cues. You focus on the few guys right before you but the entire list will be there for you if you're curious or you need to plan out spots.

2. This brings another question. How detailed is the planning for eliminations? Yes, there will be the major spots in the match where the ring is cleared so as to leave one or two wrestlers, or when a wrestler is eliminated particularly quickly, but what about your average mid-match elimination? Do they plan it out meticulously to say that Wrestler X will eliminate Wrestler Y during between the entrances of Wrestlers A and B? Or do they have a general plan of who eliminates who and let the wrestlers decide when, as long as they don't interfere with the major spots in the match?

That can vary. If it's a hastily thrown together rumble or battle royal, they might just tell you "everyone go out until X, Y and Z are left". But normally yes, every elimination is accounted for, and usually with timings. You know you have to toss who and between which entries, and for the bigger names you may even have specific spots if you're building to something. I've had moments where I had to toss a tag team at the same time, and have to have everyone eliminate me in a certain fashion (and nearly crack my skull open on the ring apron when they pushed me backwards rather than sideways, but hey, my head missed by like an inch so it's fine…) and always at a certain time. You just ignore everything not involving you, you work out the eliminations and maybe a couple spots with people. Like when Falco insisted on doing this when I came in back in the day.

3. In a related issue, is it up to the wrestlers to keep the flow of the match going, or do the referees and other personnel help keep the wrestlers on track during the match itself? Over the span of an hour (or however long a wrestler lasts), ot would seem very hard to keep track of who is who, and who you have to eliminate at what time by yourself. So, how do wrestlers remember all of this, particularly the ones that have to eliminate numerous wrestlers, and/or have to stay in for extended periods of time.?

This is where I'm slightly out of my depth, since all my Rumbles have been 30-60 second entry times. But WWE has producers who talk things out with the wrestlers to help them plan and such, although the moves themselves tend to be called on the fly. Of course, if you're in there a while, you do have the help of the guy you're eliminating. They know who's tossing them, so they'll call you over if they have to, and work you to the right spot if you have a brain fart and then call the elimination.

We do know though that refs can assist the wrestlers, on multiple occasions in a Rumble a wrestler has gotten some water from a ref, Mysterio and R-Truth have both gotten water during a Rumble, so that option exists. Perhaps booking points can also be conveyed. Actually that would have to be the case, since…

4. Has there ever been a wrestler in the Rumble who was eliminated at the "wrong" time? The closest I could think of is when Taka got injured during one of his 2000 Rumble run-ins, and thus was unable to take part in the latter run-ins? But what about any official eliminations, where somebody was supposed to save himself at the last minute, but did not do so?

Alex Riley being eliminated in 2011 was an accident, as he wasn't supposed to fall out as early as he was, instead he was supposed to stay in much longer and then assist in the elimination of John Cena later in the match, either by tossing John with a Miz distraction or, more likely, getting tossed by John and then Miz tossing Cena.

Usually when this happens it's not so blatant, Hardcore Holly was in a corner and was eliminated but quickly hopped back onto the apron, acting like he caught himself but he clearly hadn't. You just act like you saved yourself. It isn't usually a case where a guy is eliminated like Riley was, you don't go over if you're not sure.

One Man's (Important) Opinion

Rahil asks about a possible match.

What do you think of having a Randy Orton vs Brock Lesnar match, the youngest WWE Champion (summerslam 02) vs the youngest World Champion (summerslam 04) at a big event for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship ?????

Well heck, you might get it at this year's Summerslam, given that all signs point to Brock challenging whoever and Orton's one of about 6 or so guys in the ladder match at MITB who could conceivably win. And he's actually one of the three that has a legit chance!

That said, I think it's a little tenuous to build a match around, especially when neither of them is the youngest champ at the time. If we get that match it will be a nice little trivia to mention, but I don't see you using it as a focal point.

Robbie asks about a famous Wrestlemania ending.

I've read people complaining about the end of Wrestlemania IV, about Hulk Hogan's involvement in the end of the match, first his hitting Ted DiBiase with a chair and then being in the ring with Randy Savage and Elizabeth, hogging the spotlight and shining it on himself. I have to ask why people are upset about this, because, and I watched the end of Wrestlemania IV to make sure I wasn't misremembering it, first off, storyline-wise, I thought it made absolute sense for Hogan to be in Savage's corner, remembering his match with Andre, DiBiase was there in Andre's corner and DiBiase hit Hogan with a chair in that match, which set up the double disqualification, so that's twice now, counting the ''crooked referee'' angle in the Feb. 5 match, that he's cost Hogan the title, so to me, it made perfect sense for Hogan to jump in and smack DiBiase with a chair, costing him the title, that gains Hogan revenge against DiBiase and even Andre to a degree, and while Hogan might not have gotten the title, his friend Savage did and that seemed fine for him at the time. Also, I watched the after match celebration and it seemed to me that everything Hogan did was putting Macho Man and Elizabeth over, he wasn't putting the attention on himself, he was there to help put them over and maybe give them a rub and a good start off. I mean jeez, he kept pointing at them and raising their hands and he walked out several times from the center of the ring, letting them have the center spotlight.

What do you think?

I can see your point, and I'm sure that was the intention of the booking, Hogan rarely cheated first. It did happen on occasion but most of the time it was in retaliation, although there were often problems of scale. Opponent might rake the eyes, Hogan would beat up the manager, stuff like that.

That said, I think people take issue not so much with the specifics of the match but rather why Hogan had to be there at all, and why he had to hit DiBiase with a chair. If he'd taken out Andre, and then Savage broke up the Dream himself and then hit the Elbow and won clean, if Savage had been able to win by himself as it were, it would have been better for Savage, he'd have looked better. Instead, he only wins because Andre takes a swipe for no good reason and then Hogan cheats to win. Not a particularly strong way to win your first world title. Savage should have been allowed to carry the ball, they cry, without Hogan being there at all.

Now, in retrospect they weren't giving Savage the ball, more asking him to hold it for a moment while Hogan took a break and then took it back a year later, so it makes sense why Hogan is there, so that Savage can bitch about it later. Which again goes into the "Why couldn't Savage be The Man?" problem. You add in the Hogan centric nature of the following year despite his absence…

But yeah, given that they needed Hogan there to set up the following year, what they did was almost as best case scenario as they could. But I think that if Hogan had just kept Andre out of the way, that would have been just as effective without being so blatant as it was. Although if anyone is upset about Hogan there for another reason, do share below.

Darren has a simple question.

Do you think there should be a 3rd member of The Beautiful People if there is i think either Brooke Tessmacher or Taryn Terrel would be perfect in this role. What you think?

I think that the membership of the Beautiful People is so far down the list of issues that TNA has that it would be about 2024 before I got round to focusing on that. I mean, yes TNA has to continue putting out a product and thus you do need to pay attention to that sort of thing, but this is down the list.

That said, you put me in charge of the TNA Knockout division, I would put a third woman into the group, but it'd be someone outside the company. I'd want a new face who is big, strong and, to be diplomatic, doesn't fit in with the aesthetic of the Beautiful People. I'd pick someone like Melanie Cruise or someone like her, someone who is totally not a Beautiful Person. You bring her in as their enforcer/muscle, thus proving BP are manipulative and hypocritical, and then eventually when she turns on them and beats the snot out of them later on it's a big moment that people will enjoy. Adding in another blonde bombshell type or just someone with different color hair doesn't add anything. You give the Beautiful People a threat, you give them credibility which they sorely need, you give them heat for being dishonest, and you set up a gimme classic moment for later on. That's what I'd do.

Ben would like a follow up.

So some time ago I sent Ask411 the following (and got an answer, thank you):

Enough already….. Is Punk done with WWE or not???

Your response was pretty much in the negative. Still this site seems to continue to follow many of Punk's "non-wrestling moves".

Tell me… In your opinion. Is his return inevitable (can you tell that I hope for this in the positive since I am a huge "Punkster")?

Not as much as it was back before WM. He says he's retired, and he may or may not be married and may or may not have a kid on the way… Plus he doesn't like how the company is currently operating. And the Network isn't going away, so his complaints aren't gonna vanish, unless WWE makes massive changes that would hurt their bottom line so… Yeah.

His contract expires in July, according to him in January. Now WWE could extend it without Punk's agreement on the ‘missed time' basis, mainly to avoid him jumping ship. But he's been a vocal anti-TNA guy over the years, and I'm not sure ROH would suit his needs. He claims he's done with Wrestling, but if he were to come back it would have to be WWE for the money and the ego.

So he's probably not jumping to another company, instead it's WWE or nothing, and so far all signs point to it being nothing. If I had to take a stab, I'd say Punk would come back at the first Royal Rumble after Vince McMahon retires, assuming that's within the next 5 years or so. He'd come back for a WM payday at a minimum, but that's just my intuition.

What do you think though? Am I way off? Or right on the money? Do you care if Punk comes back? Do you just miss AJ? Feel free to discuss this below, for the column is now over. Next week Jed Shaffer takes the reigns and probably does a better job than me, so until then dear readers, stay loyal!


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