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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Ask 411 05.03.06: JBL, Brock, The Lightning Express, The World X Cup, Steve Austin in ECW and More!
Posted by Gavin Napier on 05.03.2006

Honesty time. I almost threw in the towel this week. I'm not burnt out or anything, last week was just an exhausting week for a variety of reasons, and now, sitting down to type this thing up, I have absolutely zero motivation. I'm going to give it a couple of weeks to see if things pass, but man oh man am I just plain worn out right now. I've been to a wake and a funeral, suspended from work, and I'm getting ready to hike the Grand Canyon at the end of this month. Those are the things that kept the column from going up last week, and while I'm sorry there wasn't a column, I can't really say I'm sorry that I didn't get it in given the circumstances. It was the furthest thing from my mind. But we're all here now, and there are questions to be answered. So let the games begin.

Erick begins things by asking when things changed.

Sorry if this question was already raised & I somehow missed it, but was there any specific defining moment when John Cena started getting booed??? I don't recall any other than it being a steady build of the fans booing him ala The Rock years ago.

No "defining moment" really, but if I had to guess at what started it, it would be watering down his raps and then forcing him down our throats as a super-babyface that scored wins in handicap match after handicap match. It took the drama out of the character, it got irritating, and it just got old. Take that along with the fact that people naturally gravitate towards HHH (yeah, I said it), and you're going to get some boos. Cena's dealing with them just as gracefully as The Rock ever did, though.

Victor Joel Rosario just wants a little clarification.

Could you please explain the World X Cup to me? I don't get the whole points thing and it would really be a help, seeing as TNA just started it again.

I can try. The World X Cup had four teams enter at the same time competing in a variaty of matches; the first being a Gauntlet Battle Royal, where the last two remianing would earn a point for their team and would compete against each other for another two points. From there, there were tag team matches for two points. The third round was a ladder match where a member from each team would compete for four points. After this, the team with the lowest score would be removed allowing one member from each team to compete in an Ultimate X match for the final five points. Winning team gets a big shiny trophy.

Chris Wingert has a couple of timely questions about ECW.

1) How long was Steve Austin in ECW and what kind of overall impact did he make (titles, major feuds, etc.)?

2) Why was Vince so interested in helping ECW financially and giving them air-time on RAW? Was he interested in stealing their talent back then and trying to get in their good books? And why was he so helpful back then, yet now he is so fearful of TNA to the point of signing talent, just so they don't go to TNA?

Austin didn't stick around for long. He had some high profile promos venting about his experience in WCW, and he had a handful of matches at best, most notably against Mikey Whipwreck, who he put over. As for the difference in TNA and WWE...Vince lent ECW money to help them survive, and saw potential in a lot of their guys. For obvious reasons, that put ECW and WWF/E in a "working" relationship. Vince has no financial stake in TNA, and I'm not sure they'd take the money if it were offered. I'm sure Vince remembers NWA/WCW working their way up from almost nothing other than a regional promotion to a juggernaut that almost sank the WWF empire. If he's signing talent now, it's to make sure that doesn't happen again with TNA, no matter how unlikely that scenario.

HazMatt asks about a non-WWE tape library. A rarity.

When Panda purchased TNA, did they purchase the existing tape library? They seem to release very little in terms of the first two years. While I'm aware that not all was well and good in terms of talent and performance, I would think there is enough material for a two-disc "Classic" collection. And with the World X Cup returning, releasing the original 2004 Cup on DVD wouldn't be too bad of an idea, either.

From what I understand, the reason for not releasing a lot of the early stuff is the desire to push the 6-sided ring. It presents them as an alternative and lets them showcase a difference in them and WWE. It makes sense. You don't want to release a DVD that could be picked up by fans that aren't necessarily watching that doesn't show them the product you've got now. I'm sure these things will be released in time, either after TNA is more well-established and it won't matter that they were in a four-sided ring about 10 years beforehand...or after they go under and Panda wants to salvage everything they can from it.

My good buddy Stu Carapola checks in on the whereabouts of everyone's favorite neanderthal.

Here's one that may seem easy enough, but I honestly have no idea where to begin looking for the answer. What matches has Brock Lesnar wrestled since Wrestlemania 20? Obviously there's the match where he won the IWGP Title, but what else? Has he wrestled for anyone besides New Japan, or have all his matches been there?

On October 8, 2005, Brock defeated Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono to win the IWGP title. On December 10th, Brock retained against Nakanishi, and retained again on December 11th against Yuji Nagata. He defended against Nakamura on January 4th, and from there, things go dark for a while. I couldn't find anything else until March 19th, when he defended against Akebono. On April 29th, Yuji Nagata was scheduled to square off against Giant Bernard (aka Albert/A-Train), with the winner getting a shot against Brock on May 3rd. Brock recently announced his intentions to enter the MMA world, and as far as I know, New Japan is the only place Brockzilla has landed.

Neil wants to know about what went wrong with Scotty 2 Hotty and Kid Kash.

While bored at work I was reading up on kid kash on wikipedia and it states that he had a previous stint in wwe/f in 1995,but left after scott taylor botched a 'rana and broke both of kash's legs. I cant find any other info on this,so do you have any?

That's really about the long and short of it. I don't know which taping it happened at, and resources are slim online for it, but Kash has broken his legs several times, among other things. He may be a cocky guy, but he's tough.

Christopher Pleasants gets four questions in for being a regular.

I remember back during the NWA Mid-Atlantic days, being at a live event at the Charlotte or Greensboro Coliseum; may have even been Starrcade '83 (which is one of the greatest wrestling events ever, imo). During those days, fans could hang out in the parking lot where the wrestlers parked and greet them as they got out of their car. At this particular event, I remember a blonde wrestler pull up and everyone swarming his car and yelling that it was Ric Flair. Me, being just a kid at the time, ran over and amidst the crowd, managed to slip my paper and pen to him to get an autograph. Once returning to my parents and looking at the autograph, I noticed that it was Keith Larson. This leads me to question 1..............do you have any information on Keith Larson's career and if he ever got past jobber status?

Regarding the Shawn Michaels/God-McMahons thing, it seems as if when wrestlers are open about their faith, Vinny Mac turns it into a storyline. Do you believe that Vince may be an unbeliever?

Seeing as Triple H and Shawn are doing the DX symbol so much now, do you think there may be a revival on the horizon?

and finally, I may be missing it, but why does titles no longer change hands at house shows? I mean, if I hear of a Cena/Triple H world title match at a house show in my hometown, I don't immediately get excited because I know what the outcome will be. The unpredictability of wrestling is what makes it so exciting.

Keith Larson was the name used by Don Kernodle's brother Wallace in order to avoid comparisons to his brother. He was never the star that Don was, but he did well for himself in teaming with his brother and making rounds in the regional promotions.

Vince has openly stated that he's not a "religious man" but respects others if that's "what gets them through".

I think we may be building towards a one-night or at least one-program reunion with those two as D-X. Maybe..Vince and Shane vs. D-X at Summerslam? I would hope they wouldn't draw things out that long, but it would make sense.

And finally, because the mindset of today is "Don't give away for free what you can put on pay per view". It's not just house shows. It's free television. Title changes that don't go down on ppv are few and far between anymore. And you're right..it does hurt the unpredictability aspect.

Galen Tom wants a definition.

What is an All American athlete? I heard that term used describing several of WWE's superstars college athletic career.

From Wikipedia: An All-America team is a sports team composed of star players. It is usually used in U.S. team sports to refer to players that are selected by members of the national media. The term is used primarily with regard to college and occasionally (and more controversially) high school players. Selection to such a team is primarily of an honorary nature; All-America teams, unlike some other all-star teams, are generally not assembled for the purpose of playing games as a unit.

Hope that clears it up. It's just an honor bestowed on college athletes that are among the best in their given college sport.

Chris Vining misses something that was never there.

With The Miz ready to debut on Smackdown i was thinking about the last Tough Enough. Mister MMA Daniel Puder got cut after a year (and a quarter million), Silverback Ryan Reeves is in Deep South, The Miz is ready to debut, and Justice Smith is? I know the WWE was really high on him and signed him to an OVW contract. He had the size, the speed, and was a minority (a true advantage in wrestling). He was rumored to be a short OVW stint before a call up to work with/against Booker T. What happened to Smith?

I was under the impression that he was still in OVW, but he's not listed on their "Superstars" page. So if anybody knows where Justice Smith disappeared to, or if there's simply been a name change, give me a heads up.

Paul H gets in two WWF questions.

What was the real life deal with Elizabeth and Macho Man form go to the end. Can you list Elizabeth real life love intersests and if so was it also played out in the storylines of the wrestling?

On one of the tapes there was a match at LA Collesioum between the The blue (it was not the meanie) but I am pretty sure it was Owen Hart vs Barry Horowitz. Was this Owen Hart and is Barry Horowity Barry O?

Elizabeth was romantically linked to Randy Savage, including a marraige, and Lex Luger, including a drug overdose. She had one other marraige to a man outside of wrestling, but it fell apart after just a few months.

The match you saw was Owen Hart as the Blue Blazer vs. Barry Horowitz. Barry H was not Barry O, as Mr. O is a member of the famed Orton clan.

Bryan Jones gets it.

Is the character JBL supposed to be some thinly disguised parody of President Bush? That seems counterproductive since a lot of wrestling fans are probably Republican.

I think he's supposed to be a parody of Republicans in general, even though he is one. It's just an amplification of his real-life self. Now, as for the logic that a lot of wrestling fans are probably Republican...I don't get it. Sure there are wrestling fans in the South, but there are wrestling fans all over the country, many of which are 18-25, a stronghold for the Democrats in most areas. But I'll leave the politics to their own zone and say that JBL is probably incorporating some Bush parodies into his character, but it's working.

Crash asks about rules and regulations.

What's the deal with the door in cage matches? Has there ever been any rules as to when it is opened or closed? It seems like halfway through cage matches the door suddenly becomes a viable way to end the match. Or is there no rhyme or reason involved and it is just one of those things that goes without explanation in the world of wrestling?

Wrestlers in World Class and in the WWF/E could "ask" for the door to be opened as a means of escape in the cage matches where escaping signaled victory. That never made sense. EVER. You WIN a match by running away? That's retarded. In NWA/WCW, the door stayed shut until there was a winner or until the Horsemen used bolt cutters to cut the chain away and interfere.

Big Mike in TX brings up an obscure character....that I remember!

I remember watching WCCW/USWA back in the late 80s and early 90s. There was a down right hilarious part after one of the matches that I will always remember. I remember the match had Captain Frank Dusek?? I hope that's correct, playing the heel and always bothering the ref. Show after show he would do this until the Ref totally caught him off guard one night. After a match in with Capt. Frank lost, he was upset w/ the Ref. After punching the Ref, the Ref drop kicked Dusek into the ropes and he was tied up in the ropes. The crowd went ballistic! Cheering their butts of for the ref. My question. Who was that Ref and What are both Dusek and the ref up to today?

Do you know how hard it is to find Frank Dusek info? Like...impossible. Seriously. It's out of this world. I know the guy retired sometime in the mid to late 1990's, but don't have any idea what he's up to these days. The ref? I don't know. My guess would be Tony Falk, but that's anything but a gaurantee. Again, if somebody has something concrete, lemme know, please.

Glen Benbow isn't aware of the curse.

As I was reading the previous message about Mike Jackson going over Ric Flair, I do remember one fellow who did get an upset victory over Flair and I think it was on WCW WorldWide or something because it was on a basic channel. The man was Brad Armstrong. Flair got caught cheating by clobbering Armstong over the head with a bag of coins or something and Armstrong got the upset victory. I thought personally that he was a great wrestler, as I recall seeing him and Malenko duke it out for the CruiserWeight Title back in 96. Any words on where he's at now and does he and B.G James have problems or something because I would think a man of Brad's talent would get noticed by TNA.

Armstrong was an outstanding wrestler that could never break through to the upper level of guys. He worked very smooth in the ring and wasn't TERRIBLE on the mic. Fans got behind him, and I always wished he'd get pushed at least to the television title. As for bringing Brad in? Maybe for a one time thing in TNA, but that would be about it. Brad's 45 years old now, and does mostly indy shots every couple of months.

RJEVH01 brings up Mr. Armstrong's old partner.

What ever happend to Tim Horner?

Mr. Horner is still active, usually doing appearances with Brad Armstrong on reunion shows or legends shows, taking on the Midnight Express, Heavenly Bodies, or Terry Taylor and Tom Pritchard. Horner, like Armstrong, was a very good worker that never could break into a push. They did hold the UWF tag straps though, so at least they didn't end their careers empty handed.

Brad McLaughlin lets me plug another column.

1) I asked about brawl 4 all and you mentioned that Brakkus career was ended by Savio Vega. Did Savio inure him or did WWE just give up on him.

2) I have seen some pretty bad gimmicks in my day. I was wondering if you could do a 5 worst gimmicks for me. My all time worst gimmick would have to be Gobbledy Gooker and Xanta Claus

WWE just gave up on him. No injury to Brakkus as far as I know. And you want bad gimmicks? I'll double your pleasure. Check out Julian Williams' Top 10 Bad Angles: http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/columns/40383

Jobez "Kid Cairo" Ferguson needs to vent.

Every wrestling fan has seen the reverse/charge spot where one wrestler whips his opponent into the corner and charges right into a boot to the face. This spot is mostly found in WWE, specifically on Raw. I recently watched some old tapes and noticed that veterans like Steamboat, DiBiase and even Hulk Hogan always made it look like they were attempting a move when they charged the corner (clothesline, kneelift, etc.). My pet peeve is that watching most WWE matches today, the charging wrestler makes no attempt to make it look like he's going for a move. He just runs full speed into the guy's outstretched foot, as if he can't see it. I've been a fan since 1986 but I'm finding it harder and harder to suspend my disbelief when wrestlers themselves aren't putting enough thought into how to make things look real. I can't begin to tell you how many times my fiancée has watched a match with me, seen the reverse/charge spot and said "Why did he just run into the guy's boot?" I never have an for her because there is no logical answer for why someone would run full speed face-first into a guy's boot. I may be the only wrestling fan in the world that finds this irritating, but it does take away from my enjoyment. I also personally feel that things like this expose the business much more than the IWC or dirtsheets can (like soft punches or various replays showing wrestlers slapping their thigh on a superkick). What do you think Gavin?

You could always tell her that they're going for an Avalanche, a la King Kong Bundy. But you're right, it is a problem. Stick an arm out for a clothesline, pull up an elbow...SOMETHING. My favorites were the rare occasions when Sting would go for a Stinger Splash and get caught with something, be it boot, elbow, or otherwise. There's only so much you can do with the in-ring stuff when you're worried about getting a 40 year old guy that eats worms over, though.

Connor O'Boyle doesn't recognize somebody.

If you watch the Shawn Michelas "From the Vault" DVD and you look at one of the extras for the ladder match at WM XI(i think its the history package one)you see an interview with Micheals but my question who is the interviewer??I think this is the only time I seen him and there not word anywhere ive look for who he is.Can you help me PLEASE?!!

I've never seen the DVD, so I'm only going by reviews and things like that, but my best guess is that it's Ray Rougeau, brother of "The Mountie" Jacques Rougeau, and half of outstanding 1980's WWF team The Rougeau Brothers. If it's not him, sorry.

DabidAndDon doubts the honesty of a pro wrestler.

I've heard Rowdy Piper give commentary saying that he's only been pinned twice in his career: at Wrestemania 8 by Bret Hart and years later by Hulk Hogan. What is he talking about? He was a top wrestler in the WWF for many years--I find it hard to believe that he was never pinned before Wrestlemania 8 in the WWF, much less in other federations. Can you shine any light on this situation? I can't imagine Piper not being pinned for so long, but I also don't know why he'd lie...

Your question made me think. Rack my brain actually. I couldn't immediately come up with any other situations where Piper was pinned, clean or otherwise, so I started digging around, and found this: Piper held titles. And he had to lose them, right? Piper lost to Wahoo McDaniel and Greg Valentine in the Mid-Atlantic territory of NWA, and he also lost his debut match to Larry Hennig. Piper hasn't been pinned many times, but it's mroe than twice. Why lie? To make yourself sound better, of course. It's an age-old tradition in wrestling called "putting yourself over".

I just have one word for JLAJRC: WHOOOO!

Everyone knows that Ric Flair is the 17-time WHC. But how many non-WHC's titles has he won?

Ric Flair, in addition to being a 17 time World Heavyweight Champion, is also a 6 time United States Champion, 2 time Mid-Atlantic/NWA World Television Champion, 3 time NWA World Tag Team Champion, 4 time NWA Mid Atlantic Tag Team Champion, 4 time NWA Mid Atlantic Heavyweight Champion, NWA Missouri Heavyweight Champion, 1 time Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion, and a 2 time WWE World Tag Team Champion. Also, with the tendency to recognize "house show" changes these days (See: Hulk Hogan and the AWA), Flair can be credited with 21 seperate World Title wins. Flair, along with Kurt Angle and Bret Hart, is one of three men to hold the "Big Four" - the World and US title in NWA/WCW and the World and IC title in WWF/E. Ricky Steamboat held three of the four, missing out on the WWF/E World Title.

Ryan Tryzbiak busts out a classic: "If wrestling were real..."

Iron Sheik won the "Gimmick Battle Royal" at Wrestlemania XVII but that was only because he was too old to go over the top rope. In an alternate universe where wrestling is "real", who do you think would have won? Personally, I'd say Michael Hayes because he looked like he was in tremendous shape but some of the bigger guys like Earthquake could have undoubtedly given him a run for his money.

It would have been hard getting Quake out of the ring for the older guys, but Tugboat could have cancelled him out. My money would have been on Hillbilly Jim for a combination of size and reportedly ridiculous natural strength. Don't go messin' with a country boy, my friend.

Ryan Halstead gives an answer to a lingering question. Enjoy.

Did you ever notice that long-time NWA/WCW guys always wore their kneepads on their shins or just below the knee? Flair, Arn, Windham, Steamboat, & Blanchard, Pillman, etc. In contrast, WWF guys like Savage, DiBiase, Piper, & Santana always wore the pads directly on the knee. Am I the only one who's noticed this? The kneepad thing really irritates me and I have no idea why! But if they're KNEEpads why not wear them on the knee? Just a thought.

And Ryan's answer?
I know this is old, but I Thought I would pass this along since the source is good (Who would know better than Gorilla Monsoon):

I was watching a show from Boston Gardens (March 1986), and during the opener (Rene Goulet vs Siva Afi) Gorilla Monsoon was impressed that Siva Afi knew that the proper place to wear his pads were down around the calf (monsoon also lamented that not many of today's wrestlers knew this and wore them covering their knees). He further explained that you wear them around the calf so that when you go down the pad absorbs the pressure instead of the patella (kneecap). When Lord Alfred Hayes lamented that he wished he had known that fact 20 years ago, Gorilla noted that Hayes would probably be moving around a little better if he had.

Thanks much, Ryan. Nice to know somebody's paying more attention than me. Want a job?

That's it for me. Read the rules, get in touch, and I'll be back next week. I hope.

1. If you ask a question that's already been asked, I will refer you to that column instead of answering again. Why? That's what column archives are for. Now, I don't know what's been asked in older columns, so this rule applies only for MY Ask 411 columns.

2. Wrestling questions only, please. I'll allow the occasional exception for a well-written porn or sports question. Anything else may very well be answered by C-list celebrities, or impersonations thereof.

3. 11:59 PM Sunday night through 11:59 PM Tuesday night is a "dead time" on questions. If you send me a question between those times, I will NOT answer it. Not in this week's column, not in next week's column. I may give you a personal, non-column response, but that's no gaurantee. Often, it will be deleted with no response whatsoever. You've been warned. My therapist says I deserve some "me" time, and I'm taking it on those days.

4. If you send me a novel, I'm going to edit it. Don't cry to me if I cut out half of your e-mail that has nothing to do with the question. I love your praise, I love your bashing, I love all feedback. But the volume of e-mail I've gotten has quite literally quadrupled since starting this. I can't feasibly reply to everyone, and I'm sorry. But I do love you all. No, really.

5. I will work my butt off to find the answers for you. But if I honestly can't find the information anywhere, I'll be straight up with you. I'll keep looking and answer you personally and through the column as soon as I DO find the answer. But if you flame me, you get nothing and you'll like it. And hey, if you know something I don't, send it in. I'll give you full credit.

6. I'm going to have to limit you to one question, or at least one topic. Save those other questions for next week. Why am I doing this? Because I got over 70 e-mails this week. There's no way I can answer 100 + questions every single week or I'll be burnt out before this ball even gets rolling. I don't want to do that, so help me help you. One question, or at the very least one topic. Much appreciated.

7. Questions for Ask 411 v3.0 MUST be sent to Necrocide@gmail.com . PLEASE adhere to this. I don't check the hotmail address that this column is linked to. We're having a hard time getting this address set up on the profile, so don't get disgruntled at me if your question goes to the wrong place and you don't get answered. You've been warned.

I'm out for seven. God bless.


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