Ask 411 Wrestling: Vince vs. Eric, HBK vs. Numbers, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 08.06.2014
How did Shawn Michaels end up refereeing a match in FMW? Why did Bobby Heenan stop being a manager? Why didn't Vince McMahon accept Eric Bischoff's challenge to fight? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Wrestling!
Welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling, the only column called Ask 411 Wrestling. At least, the only one I know about. Maybe someone is ripping me off more than I rip myself off, and if so, lawyers with bad home lives are coming for you.
And for the record, I am fully aware that Chandler is a very dated reference and bears little relevance to wrestling. But he's an institution now, and besides, the more you complain, the more I dig in with keeping him. And if a bunch of people write in saying they like him, then I'd be a fool to get rid of him. And if no-one says anything, then I assume that you're cool with him so I'll keep him.
TNA Dying: Uh… I was kinda joking. I had a couple of thoughts but not really a fully fleshed out argument. If I did, I probably would have dusted off the NAES Report and done something as part of 411's full coverage. But, relax, you'll get what I got later on…
Hollywood Rock: I put Hollywood Rock in the same basket as My Name Is Stone Cold Steve Austin. Awesome characters that I loved watching and who totally failed as business propositions. Austin moreso, since it killed his drawing power, while Rock just didn't help out his opponents too much. Some of it wasn't his fault (he put over Hurricane kinda weak but he still did it, then HHH squashed him a week later) but he totally buried Goldberg in their feud. He was supposed to give Goldberg a springboard to re-become huge, but he didn't. That was the problem.
Padding: Yeah, I ‘pad' this column, both to share relevant/cool stuff I find, and to ensure it meets the high standards of interesting and non-text-blocky. If you don't like that, I totally understand, wish you well, so on and so forth.
The Trivia Crown
I'm a former world champion, who's won titles in different wrestling promotions which, at different times, were part of the unofficial "Big 3." I suffered a personal wrestling tragedy very early in my career, which was later used to ignite a very infamous feud which I was a part of it, teaming up with a kayfabe brother who was my trainer and, at one time, a manager of a former champion in WWE. I've had memorable feuds with kings, bullfighters and my first PPV singles match was a win against someone related to things that fly. I used something that caused the biggest loss of my career to win matches. I have a link with a religious man and I had one thing in common with Shawn Michaels and The Miz besides being a world champion myself. And for some reason, I couldn't stand the heat. Who am I?
I never doubt El Dandy…
I'm a former world champion, who's won titles in different wrestling promotions which, at different times, were part of the unofficial "Big 3." - WWF World Tag Team Champion, WCW Television Champion, and most importantly AWA World Heavyweight Champion
I suffered a personal wrestling tragedy very early in my career - the death of his older brother Michel
which was later used to ignite a very infamous feud which I was a part of - Pierre Martel and he faced the Invaders over the death of Michel in WWC.
teaming up with a kayfabe brother who was my trainer and, at one time, a manager of a former champion in WWE. - Pierre Martel was also known as Frenchy Martin, who managed WWF Canadian (and Tag Team) Champion Dino Bravo.
I've had memorable feuds with kings - Harley Race, Booker T, and Bret Hart.
bullfighters - Tito Santana
and my first PPV singles match was a win against someone related to things that fly - Koko B. Ware at WrestleMania VI
I used something that caused the biggest loss of my career to win matches - Arrogance, the special scent he used, which resulted in the blinding of Jake Roberts and his loss in a blindfold match at WrestleMania VII.
I have a link with a religious man - managed by Slick
and I had one thing in common with Shawn Michaels and The Miz besides being a world champion myself. - They were all the more successful member of their tag team after they broke up?
And for some reason, I couldn't stand the heat. - A feud with Booker T.
Who am I? - You are The Model, Rick Martel!
Although as El Atomico pointed out, the HBK/Miz thing was ‘Not the face!'
Maravilloso also has this week's question!
I've been recognized as a world champion in different places, even being the first person to win one of those world title belts. I lost that same belt to someone closely related to moderately famous villain in a movie about wrestling. I once accompanied (and helped to win) a former world champion and Hall of Famer in a match against another world champ Hall of Famer just because of supposed xenophobia by the latter. One of my signature wrestling moves is being used regularly by a former NXT titlist. I've competed in sports apart from wrestling and I have a connection of The Rock and Duke Droese. Who am I?
Getting Down To Business
We start in the stars, thanks to Spinny Wheel Rockabye Yaya...
Any idea what the plans are for Goldust and Stardust? They really seem to be building to this cosmic key thing. What potential scenarios do you see playing out?
For a while, all we've known is that the plan was that if Stardust got over, the Dusty Brothers would get a Tag title shot at Summerslam, and if they didn't, then they'd run Cody V Goldust at Summerslam. Given that Summerslam has 8 matches already, either they get the preshow, or they don't have a match. So, what are the options?
They get a tag title shot on the Pre-Show: This is the most likely scenario, in that ‘They' are the Usos, and the ‘Cosmic Key' is the tag belts. Hence it being of the past and such. I am fairly sure it's where they are going with this, given that Cody, like his Father, appears to be able to make anything WWE tosses at him work out…
The Cosmic Key is nothing: The other half of the original plan, Cody is just stringing his Brother along and is set to turn on him at Summerslam and denounce the Dust gimmick as being stupid and that Goldust is stupid and if Goldust ever turns up again he'll beat him even worse. We then slowly build to the two of them having a match at WM where Goldust gets retired, putting over Cody big time. Or at least a quickie blow off at the next PPV.
The Cosmic Key is in the Oculus mirror: Basically the same as the above, except slightly more stupid, wherein one of the Dust brothers looks into the mirror and turns back to ‘normal' and then beats on the other one.
The Cosmic Key is a person: Specially, Eden in facepaint, who becomes Moondust and then becomes the manager of them or something. Well why not?
Something really lame involving midgets: This IS the WWE after all.
But yeah, it's the tag titles and they'll go after the Usos. Heck, maybe they'll turn heel at Summerslam.
Ron Gamble is awesome. That is all.
I have two questions for you. I've had both of them for a while, but just kept forgetting to ask.
1. I remember when Booker T and Goldust were a tag team. They lost a match where the losing team must break up, and simply shook hands and went their separate ways. That is not typical, as most teams that lose those matches end up blaming each other for the loss, then end up feuding. Do you know of any other teams that lost a "losing team must break up" match and split amicably?
Not that specific set of circumstances, no. There's been teams that just went separate ways (Kofi/R-Truth, Hart Foundation), teams splitting up due to contracts (Powers of Pain got split when Bobby Heenan bought The Barbarian and Slick bought The Warlord) or brand drafting (Dudleys, Hollys and APA all split up in the first draft), but losing a ‘losers must split' and not blaming each other out of it? Can't think of any others for that. Readers? You got a better memory than me?
2. When I see Christopher Daniels' gear, he has three symbols on them. The top two symbols are Alpha and Omega. The third is a box with a check or slash. I get the first two, but what the hairy heck is the third supposed to mean?
I'm fairly sure that it is simply his initials, CD, smooshed together. If you take the line in the middle as the edge of the D, then there's a C on the left, you see. So it reads ‘Alpha, Omega, Christopher Daniels', in a way. I couldn't find a direct quote but I remember reading that in an interview once, I think. I did find a tweet from 2009 where his clue, in response to too much over-analysis was CD so… yeah.
Doyle is counting syllables.
Something I noticed. Most if not all wrestlers names tend to be able to be chanted in 3 syllables (john cena, roman reigns, Seth Rollins etc...) . Do you think this is odd coincidence or done intentionally? Do they do this for business reasons (where's Prag when you need him) or am I reading too much into it? Btw did you know the WWE network is only USD $9.99?
Is it really? What interesting information I wasn't aware of previously! I'm totally going to act upon this information!
(Actually if my computer wasn't held together by duct tape and wishes I probably would be paying that, but since I'm NOT AMERICAN AND THUS WOULD NEVER DREAM OF FOOLING ANY PRODUCT AND/OR SERVICE TO GAIN CHEAPER ACCESS TO MATERIAL BECAUSE I LOVE PAYING DUBIOUSLY INFLATED PRICES FOR THINGS.
… Sorry, just had to make sure the Australian Government doesn't get the wrong idea.
Anyway, it's a deliberate thing, in that there are ‘rules' to a good wrestling name. Stuff like being able to rhyme or pun out of it or even to have alliteration, that's all secondary to the main thing, which that it should be able to be easily chanted and ideally in multiple ways. Having a three syllable name is the best case scenario, as with Hulk Hogan for example. That way, you can chant using one syllable (‘Let's Go Hulk!'), or two (‘We want Hogan!') or three (‘Hulk Ho-gan!'). It allows for more possibilities with signs and phrases, as whatever the situation, you can have the best chance to be able to fit the name into whatever cadence and/or situation you need.
Hell, even I do it, Massive Q is three syllables after all, although to be fair that was accidental, I always intended to be just Q but then… But you've heard all that before.
Brad has a simple enough question.
What ever happened to Heidenreich?
Heidenreich was another big, muscular hoss who wasn't THAT good at the whole wrestling thing, although he made up for it with some… interesting gimmicks, from Little Johnny through to Evil Poet and LOD member, and that's not even counting the Frozen Nazi gimmick that almost happened, supposedly.
In 2005, he took some leave to go spend time with his family, since they had been in New Orleans when Katrina hit. A worthwhile thing to do, and I'm totally fine with that. And like Monty Brown, he never returned from said family leave, and was let go in January 2006. Although Bob Holly in his book claims he would turn up late and after getting into an argument with Johnny Ace, he got fired because of that.
Since then he has worked for some smaller companies, WWC in 06/07, the Hulkamania tour of Australia in 09, that was the last big thing he did. I can't find anything past that, but I presume he's still working the smaller indies, taking bookings when he can. Anyone seen him recently?
frankiemon wants to talk about Bobby Heenan. Always happy to talk about him.
Firstly, what were the reasons either onscreen, off-screen or both for Heenan moving from a manager to a "Broadcast Journalist" in 91 after Wrestlemania 7? Was it officially addressed on TV in anyway? Was the Heenan family officially dissolved or just left to slide quietly off in to the long good night?
Off-screen is easy, Bobby's neck was shot, and he was unable to take the bumps he used to, and so he moved away from managing and focused solely on commentary, which he had already begun to do for years before the point when he became a Broadcast Journalist. Onscreen, The Heenan Family was thus officially disbanded on the 15th of June, 1991 edition of WWF Superstars, when he officially retired on the Funeral Parlor.
The reasons given was that Mr. Perfect, the IC champ and his crown jewel, encouraged him to move into Broadcast Journalism because gosh darn it, Heenan would just be so swell at it. He then took Coach on as his new manager.
Don't take my word for it, I have the video!
Michael asks about Davey Boy Smith and a Trap Door.
Davey Boy Smith was allegedly almost paralyzed after he fell onto the trapdoor that the Warrior used to disappear through during his WCW run. What happened during the match that caused this injury? Was he slammed onto the door?
It occurred at Fall Brawl 98, in the opening tag match of Davey and Jim Neidhart vs. The Dancing Fools, Alex Wright and Disco Inferno. We join the match already in progress.
The back body drop is the one given the credit, 5:30ish, although it's hard to tell watching it given that the problem wasn't an immediate paralysing injury. One of those bumps was on the trap door in the ring that Warrior would use for his dramatic entrence. Taking on bump on it caused him to get a staph infection in his spine. Staph infections are serious business, as they can be caused by very minor injuries getting infected by the Staphylococcus bacteria. In this case Davey got an injury to his back, it got infected, it then grew and developed pus, as staph infections do, and in his case it put pressure onto his spinal column, thus leading to the paralysis and the problems, although the original back injury also didn't help. WWE went into this in the Hart and Soul DVD.
Nightwolf wants an explanation, dammit!
There's one thing I've never understood. Why did wrestling companies have popular tag teams turn on each other. I mean Hawk turned on Animal., Ricky Morton turned on Robert Gibson,etc. Was their really a point to this? I assume there would be alot of backlash from fans over this
Sometimes the companies don't have a choice, if one half of a team has to bow out due to injury for a while, having the other one turn on them gives a reason why the other one is gone and gives you a feud upon return. Sometimes the two wrestlers want a shot at doing it, they want to work singles again. And sometimes despite being over, tag teams just get stale and need a refresh.
But most of the time, it's simple. Single wrestlers make you more money than tag teams. Single wrestlers are the main event, they draw the most attention. So, if you have a tag team that is over, and you run a split, then presumably the fans will hate the one who turned and love the one who didn't more, and thus you have 2 singles wrestlers, a clear net gain. And even if one of them doesn't get over or after losing the blow off doesn't maintain the steam, you still have one singles wrestler who is still over, and thus that's still a gain.
And, worst case scenario, they both fail? Wait a little while, and reunite them.
From tag teams to guys the size of tag teams, thanks to Rahil
Who are the tallest and shortest wrestlers in history ?????
The tallest wrestler in history is Jorge González, a.k.a El Gigante, a.k.a Giant González, a.k.a that giant guy in the naked body suit at Wrestlemania IX. He was billed at anywhere between 7 foot 6 through to 8 foot, but his shoot height was 7 foot 7.25 inches, as verified by Guinness World Records when they gave him the title of world's tallest professional wrestler.
Shortest, that's a little tricker. The shortest wrestler in WWE history is Little Beaver, who was 4'4. Hornswoggle is the shortest in the world today, supposedly, at 4'5. I found Tzuki, who wrestles in various Mexican companies and is billed at 3'7 and a half.
But, technically, the answer is almost certainly the same as his next question…
Who`s been the youngest wrestler to make a debut ?????
Owen Steen, Kevin Steen's son, had a ‘match' in PWG against Excalibur when he was 6 months old.
As you can see, he is tiny there. Actual height is not recorded, but that's the winner, surely.
Manu covers ground I think I covered but I'm not sure.
Speaking of fingers - why does Randy Orton have a string (or something) tied on his right ring-finger? I'm not married, but I'm pretty sure wedding rings go on the left hand, not right.
… Yeah, I did. He wears one of his daughter's hair bands when he wrestles. You know, so that they're close to him and all that.
I dunno, Steen seems a cooler Dad. Sure, having your Dad think of you like that is cool, but Owen's got a perfect Pro Wrestling record. Does Orton's kids have that? Heck, his wife changes every time we see him, what a scumbag!
Begin padding now!
Hear ends the padding.
David goes all Japanese on us.
I have 2 questions, first of all does Tokyopop own the rights to FMW releases in America and can you see the WWE buying this for WWE Network/Catalogue?
I found someone who in 2003 was said to be negotiating to buy the rights to the FMW library, but they very annoyingly didn't mention who from. From what I could work out, one of the creditors of FMW that was owed money when it went under got hold of it. Thus, possibly, a Yakuza group owns it, or at least a front for a Yakuza group. Or maybe a legit company, it's nearly impossible to find out. Tokyopop certainly doesn't own it, they just had a standard deal to distribute.
WWE buying it? It's slightly more likely than it was, although still a long shot. See, WWE doesn't just buy libraries for the hell of it. They buy libraries that have a lot of ‘their' guys on it, or they buy libraries that they think they can use to make money. So with the imminent worldwide distribution of the Network, maybe they might start buying Japanese and European and Australian libraries, just so they can show local stuff. FMW would still be a hell of a stretch though…
A follow up question on FMW, what led to Shawn Michaels refereeing a match between H and Hayabusa II/Gannosuke? He seemed oddly out of place and also Gannosuke kept shouting at him for counting…I'm guessing this was not in the rules?
Money, money and a business deal, but also money.
At the time in 1998/99, FMW was moving from a deathmatch style to something more like the over the top antics the WWF was putting out, Russoesque, but turned up to eleven thanks to the different cultures at work. Russo never finished a match via lighting a firework inserted in someone's rectum, for instance.
Anyway, as part of the change, they built to a big show at the Yokohama Arena in November 1999, where they spent half a million dollars to get ECW wrestlers Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Balls Mahoney, Jazz as well as the Funks, legend Willie Williams and Shawn Michaels as the ref for the main event. As well as the payday, supposedly Shawn was in talks to get some of his trainees from his school bookings in FMW.
Yeah, imagine Bryan Danielson in FMW. I'll wait.
Anyway, it didn't lead anywhere, but that was the apparent deal at the time.
As for the counting, Shawn clearly wasn't on the same page as the wrestlers, the two wrestlers were given carte blanche to work the match and apparently they decided they wanted to work outside the ring and forget to tell Shawn that. That seems to be the deal, but I welcome being told off below.
One Man's (Important) Opinion
Welp, let's do this. Kyle?
You asked for it, Chandler or not. What's your take on Spike failing to renew TNA? Negotiation ploy? Sincere kick to the curb? Where do TNA talents go from here? Is TNA cooked if it can't find a new TV outlet? Does Global Force Wrestling stand to step into Spike? ROH? CZW? Who's the new second tier company? Does the library get bought by Vince? Whatever you're thinking, I want to hear it.
OK, so first things first: I'm not calling them dead yet. This is a Hollywood death, TNA has been led back behind the barn, you see the shotgun raised and then you cut to a long shot of the barn as you hear the gunshot and birds fly away. Sure, the next scene might be TNA missing a head, but it's entirely possible TNA is picked up by someone else. Remember, TNA is supposedly getting canned less because of the quality or because of Russo but mainly because TNA is Spike's highest rated show but Spike isn't willing to pay the high costs required for TNA for said ratings. It's entirely possible between now and when Spike ends it that TNA finds someone who IS willing to pay for the ratings, especially now they've cut the majority of their big costs. I don't expect TNA to get back on Spike, but this isn't a Jamie Kellner situation. TNA has enough overseas deals that if they find a local US one willing to pay a solid chunk, they should be able to limp along. Hell, it's entirely possible Yahoo or Netflix or something could come in and save them, that's now an actual possibility for stuff like this. TNA needs a US base to survive, but it doesn't have to be huge, I don't think.
So, this isn't a ploy, and it's less a kick to the curb as it is a pull over and gentle shove onto the curb. But for the rest of these, let's assume they are dead and buried.
Where does the TNA talent go? For the most part, most of them are stuck going back to the Indies, since I'm fairly sure that the only guys going back to WWE are The Dudleys, Kurt Angle (if he's willing to become an agent/commentator/NXT guy who DOES NOT WRESTLE EVER), Jeff Hardy (if he passes the test) and maybe Gail Kim. Certainly there's several guys who they should take, but they won't. I think the bigger guys like Roode, Aries, EC3, they'll probably turn up in GFW. But WWE has enough young American talents right now, they'll be aiming for international talent in order to ensure the network is launched well/overseas markets get stronger.
Does GFW go to Spike? I think that's probably going to happen, but not for a while. Spike's going to want to see that GFW is good enough, and isn't just TNA Take 2. If GFW can be more family friendly than TNA was at the end, if they aim for a wider demo, I would think it would be a good fit. But it's entirely possible that the higher ups at Spike never want to deal with wrestlers ever again, thank you. Hard to tell now, but I'd bet on them getting there eventually.
ROH or CZW? ROH is owned by Sinclair, who are competitors with Spike, so that ain't happening. And CZW has done a lot to clean up their image and aren't doing too badly, but no, that sure as hell ain't happening.
Who's the new #2? ROH by default, given that they have the biggest TV presence in the US. In terms of making money and cultural impact world wide though? I can't help but wonder if New Japan might not actually be better off than ROH…
Does the library get bought by Vince? Almost certainly. There aren't any legal issues with it like there is with Memphis or anything, and unless TNA gets bought by some obscure third party who thinks they can make more using the library than WWE would offer, WWE ends up with it for a song, and makes back all of it on the Sting, Angle and Christian DVDs he makes out of them.
But again, all of this relies on TNA being dead. They are in a bad way if the story is true, but even if it is, there's still time and possibilities for them. I never want people to lose their jobs, and I certainly want more options for wrestlers to make a living doing what they love, so I'm not rooting for TNA to die. But it's not looking too good…
Connor is up next, asking about a possible alternate Take 2…
Do you think Crush could have been world champion in 1993? the guy was way over, almost as over as Bret Hart but instead he was in feuds with Shawn Michaels and Randy Savage, he certainly could not have done any worse than Lex Luger.
There are several pieces of trivia that float about the IWC, never really getting examined too closely. And Crush being the alternative to Lex Luger to get the Hulk Hogan 2.0 push in 1993 is one of them. Supposedly, the story goes, Crush was set to be the guy that got the red, white and blue rocket until Vince changed his mind at the last moment and went with Luger instead.
Now, while I'm sure there's some truth to that, there are some flaws, namely that Luger was getting a lot of money and given that his Narcissist gimmick wasn't working, they'd have had to do something with him, and trying him as Hogan was as good a bet as any. And they messed it up a bit but then it was flopping even before the Summerslam fiasco.
But anyway, Luger trips getting into the helicopter say, and Vince has to go with Crush instead, could he have worked? Certainly from a workrate perspective he'd have been as good as Luger, and the leap from midcard Hawaiian good guy to All American Kane was less of a left turn than Luger's. And given that Luger might well have worked better had he won the damn belt at Summerslam, Crush winning the belt at the same event probably would have been just as good…
Except that for all the problems with Luger, he at least had a track record as being a World Champ. It sucked, sure, but he had credibility that Crush lacked. So I don't think Vince would have gone with Crush unless he had no choice. And if he had… Well it would be hard to imagine it going any worse than Luger. But I don't think it would have worked with anyone, the Hogan 2.0 thing, while being totally logical and obvious and something even I would have done was always going to fail. People didn't support Hogan because of the character, they cheered him because of the performer. For all his faults, Hogan is one of, if not the single most charismatic wrestlers of all time. Anyone held up to him who tried to be another Hogan was going to fail. Bret eventually succeeded him by being totally different, whereas Hogan was a larger than life superhero caricature, Bret was a down to earth guy you could relate to. Hogan you looked up to, Bret you respected. There's a difference there.
Hogan 2.0 was going to fail unless you had another Hogan. If Cena had been around… Maybe, but not Crush. He'd have done probably a little better than Luger, but not by much.
And one more what if, this one from APinOz.
OK, a question: Remember when Eric Bischoff challenged Vince McMahon to a fight on PPV? (Can't remember which one but he actually claimed the "win" via countout) My question is; What would have happened if Vince called Bischoff's bluff and accepted? Given Vince had DX invade Nitro in Virginia, why wouldn't he have really made Bischoff look like a patsy by accepting and then having Bischoff back down?
Slamboree 98 was the event.
Now, on the night, nothing happened. (This has been edited by WWE but the general gist is the same.)
Now, supposedly WCW had talked a little about what they would do if Vince showed up. And honestly, if I'd have been in their shoes, and Vince had been stupid crazy enough to turn up? I have the nWo do a mass run in and beat him up in a shoot. Or send Goldberg out there and have him beat him up if you want a face to do it. Sure, you'd end up with a lawsuit, but given that there wasn't any contracts officially signed, you could argue he was trespassing and so the old wrestling logic is that you get stiffed because you deserve it. It'd be a moment forever talked about.
But I think Bischoff wouldn't have backed down, he'd have fought Vince and if he won or if he lost, he'd have had the Chairman of his main competition appear on his PPV at his request. Even if he ended up in traction for months, that would have been one hell of a golden ticket for WCW to crow about for ages. But honestly, although it's joked about, Eric was a former kickboxer, and while Vince is tough and strong, he's never been a serious fighter, physically at least. Dude has a mean right hand, but against a guy with actual training… It'd be a toss up.
But what do you guys think? Would Vince have ever done it? Would it have been a good idea? Or maybe you want to talk about something else? By all means, leave a comment, share this column if you want, and I'll be back next week. Until then, dear readers, stay frosty.