Ask 411 Wrestling 05.28.08: FAQ Part 1!
Posted by Steve Cook on 05.28.2008
This week we cover some of the most frequently asked questions in Ask 411 Wrestling history in hopes that we won't have to talk about them again. Join us, won't you?
It's time to Ask 411 Wrestling! I'm Steve Cook, and I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. I am having a great week, but unfortunately for you that will mean that this column will be a bit shorter than usual. It's all right though, because this week I am presenting Part 1 of the Ask 411 Wrestling FAQ~! In the FAQ series I will touch on the most commonly discussed topics by the IWC in order to prevent them from continually popping up in the Ask 411 Wrestling column. How many times do you want me to talk about Randy Savage not being in the WWE Hall of Fame? I know it irritates you as much as it does me, so hopefully this will be a way for us to avoid such things in the future.
And I can already hear people complaining that there aren't enough questions this week…if I wasn't on vacation and celebrating my 24th birthday this week, I would feel your pain. Don't worry, I'll be back in full force next week. Until then, feel free to satiate your desires with Part 1 of the Ask 411 Wrestling FAQ. When will Part 2 come out? Stay tuned…
Also, it would help if my Internet didn't crash every time I try to access our website.
On with the show!
Vince McMahon vs. Randy Savage
3. I guess I'm left in the dark or haven't been paying attention enough, but what exactly is the beef between Vince McMahon and Randy Savage? I remember being so happy when I heard they were finally working on a Macho Man DVD and then it got cancelled, supposedly because of the two disliking each other. Maybe I heard wrong? – Brandon
The Savage/WWE situation is by far the most frequent topic of discussion in this column. If there's one thing that I've been surprised to learn since taking over Ask 411 Wrestling, it's that Randy Savage still has quite the legion of fans on the Internet. I remember back in his later WCW years when he was getting crapped on for not being what he once was, and then when he went to TNA everybody (myself included) complained because he accomplished nothing except taking TV time away from younger, better talent and giving TNA management major headaches. It seems like most have forgotten that stage of his career and choose to remember him as either the mega-worker he was during the 80s or the happy-go-lucky Slim Jim spokesperson he was during the 90s. Which I have no problem with.
The Macho Man left the WWF in late 1994 for more money and a chance to wrestle on a regular basis in WCW. Prior to his departure from the WWF, Savage had been spending most of his time commentating on Monday Night Raw because higher-ups felt he was more useful in that role than as an active competitor. I'm assuming that everybody who reads this column has heard the old story about how Savage allegedly had sexual relations with Stephanie McMahon, and how that led to the bitter feelings. As far as I know, that's purely speculation. It might have happened, it might not have. Unless proven otherwise, I choose to file that story under "silly Internet rumor". Bret Hart wrote in his book that Savage informed Vince of his decision to go to WCW in 1994 via a drunken phone call. Vince probably didn't care too much for that, but let's face it, he's forgiven people for things that were much worse for business. There's obviously something going on here that WWE really wants to keep under wraps, and generally they do a good job with keeping secrets. I'm not sure how far production on the Savage DVD got, but the Wrestling Observer said that Vince nixed the project.
Another popular Macho Man topic is his relationship with Hulk Hogan. The hatred seems to mostly be on Savage's side of things, as he's a bit jealous that Hogan made most of the money and got most of the fame. He's not the only one, but something tells me that people aren't quite as jealous of the Hulkster these days. Savage did not punch Hulk Hogan in the face prior to WrestleMania IX and give him a black eye, that was caused by a jetski accident.
"Note to other readers: please don't send me any more questions about Savage & Vince. My head will surely explode if I see that question many more times." (01.16.08)
To close this topic up for good, I'd like to remind you of one thing that's always true when it comes to professional wrestling…when it comes to Savage one day being welcomed back into WWE's open arms, never say never.
Kane = Glen Jacobs
Kane has always been Glen Jacobs, except for one episode of Raw where Undertaker donned the Kane mask to trick somebody.
Who were the Knights at Survivor Series 1993?
"Barry Horowitz was red, Greg Valentine was blue, and Jeff Gaylord was black. Glen Jacobs was not one of the knights no matter what people want you to believe." (04.09.08)
Hulk Hogan vs. Sting Nonsense Part 1: Starrcade 1997
1. I have been a WWE fan since I was 4, but I didn't start checking out WCW until around 96' or 97', and one of the main things that made me watch the show at that time was Sting. I didn't know much about him but I was intrigued by the Crow look of his and how he was the real thorn in the nWo's side. Anyways, I was very into his feud with Hogan at the time, and I knew they were suppose to fight for the title at Starrcade 97', but my question is, what exactly happened there? All I knew at the time was Sting won but now I hear a lot about how there was some fast count and such. What happened in the match and what was the aftermath of it? Who's exactly to blame for whatever happened in the match?
"Casey Johnson also asked about this match, so I'll just handle it here...the planned finish was supposed to be Nick Patrick making a fast count after Sting got legdropped by Hogan, then Bret Hart comes down, becomes the new ref, and Sting wins the title. Patrick ended up making a regular count instead of a fast count, so it looked like Sting had been beaten fair and squarely. This pretty much killed the crowd since Sting had been built up as the last hope of killing the NWO for over a year, and he had just been pinned cleanly by Hollywood Hogan. Then Bret Hart came down and complained about a fast count, looking like an idiot since there was no fast count. He re-started the match and Sting won, to the confusion of just about everybody watching. The commonly accepted wisdom is that Hogan went to Patrick before the match and told him not to do a fast count. On the tape of the match you can see Hogan & Patrick discussing things before the match, and apparently that was when it went down. Regardless, it was a pretty big fuck-up." (11.08.06)
Hogan vs. Sting Nonsense Part 2: Halloween Havoc 1999
"This happened during the early days of WCW's Vince Russo Era. Basically, Russo wanted Hogan to take some time off, and he did so from October 1999 to February 2000. As for the Havoc business, it was one of those funky worked shoots that Russo loves so much, except it was a total work but was meant to come off as a shoot even though nothing about it was a shoot. Yeah. Hogan put over Sting at the previous month's PPV (Fall Brawl 1999), so losing to him wasn't something he had a major problem with. But they wanted you to think that he did have a problem with it. My head hurts, so let's move on." (04.30.08)
Hulk Hogan vs. Vince Russo
"I don't expect to see Hulk Hogan showing up in TNA anytime soon for one main reason...Vince Russo. Hogan still has heat with Russo from Bash at the Beach 2000, where Russo buried Hogan during an in-ring promo and defamed his character worse than I have in any of my wrestling columns. There was a lawsuit filed over the matter, and I'm not sure if that was ever settled or not. The bottom line is that you won't be seeing Hogan work with Vinnie Ru again if he can help it, and I don't think he's hurting for money." (05.23.07)
Whoops! Maybe that last sentence could be questioned now.
"General opinion is that it was a work that turned into a shoot after Russo went above and beyond the call of duty in his comments about Hogan. Usually lawsuits aren't filed unless there's a legitimate bone of contention between the two parties, so Hogan was obviously pissed off at the time. That may have changed in the last seven years, who knows." (05.30.07)
Backstage Disagreement between Rock & HHH/HBK
"2.I read that The Rock and HHH does not get on with each other.HHH was annoyed about The Rock being a maineventer first and even try to get Vince to make HHH-Austin for WM 15. Is this True? I couldn't believe it because Rock and HHH had such great matches together you wouldnt think they hate each other!!
I don't know about Triple H lobbying to be in the main event for WM15, but I have also heard about problems between him and Rocky. It's been said that H was jealous of the Rock and his successes in the ring and out of the ring, while on the other hand Rocky's distaste for Triple H and Shawn Michaels is a product of his friendship with Bret Hart. Bret was apparently very outgoing towards Rock and was a mentor figure to him when he was just breaking in, while HBK was a complete asshole and Rock has never forgotten about it. This was reportedly among the reasons why Rock didn't want to do a WrestleMania match with Shawn a couple of years ago. It should also be noted that one of Rock's best friends in wrestling is Chris Jericho, and Jericho's also had his problems with Triple H backstage. As for their matches...at the end of the day both men were professionals and wanted to put on as good a match as possible because their own egos would accept nothing less. I do think the problems come more from Triple H's end than Rock's end, though." (11.22.06)
"I was left scratching my head when I heard that The Rock doesn't like HBK, and refuses to work with him... I was wondering if you could tell me:
1) What is Rocks beef with HBK?
2) Do you think this match will ever happen?" - Savva
Savva, you're in luck...I got an e-mail last week that further explains the problems between Rocky & HBK...here it is:
"As a little side note on the Heat between The Rock and HHH. their main problem comes from the fact that The Rock really hates Shawn Michaels. I think this stems from when Shawn said something very disrespectful to the Rocks Mother on a show she was booking in the 80's (The Rocks mum took over booking duties from her father) This was when Shawn was in full on 'I'm the best mode'. From what I've heard this led to a teenage Rock almost beating up Michaels and the two have had troubles since. As far as Wrestlemania 15 goes, Michaels was very vocal about HHH main eventing with Austin and I've heard that he tried to keep the Rock down on a number of occasions during his initial run as Rocky Mavia. This, I think led onto the fact that Hunter disliked Rock by proxy." - Dave Roberts from Wales
"I read somewhere that HBK was an asshole to the Rock's father at some point. Wish I could remember where. It may have been somewhere on 411." - Dan DeLappe
So that answers number one, and to answer number two, I don't think it will ever happen due to Rock not caring for HBK and not really needing to wrestle ever again. If Rock does wrestle, it's going to be on his own terms, not something that Vince McMahon or anybody else decides for him...and working with HBK is not something that interests him. I hear ya, it could have been quite the dream match...but I wouldn't count on ever seeing it." (11.29.06)
The plot thickened at the 2008 Hall of Fame induction...
"watching the hall of fame ceremony, and the rock just said there are 3 guys he wish he had wrestled - cena, rey, and....
...and the crowd starts chanting HBK
and the rock said "When I was 14 years old, this man came in and wrestled for my grandmother in Hawaii, and I thought even then 'man, I'd love to get in the ring with..." cause he was awesome then and he's awesome now, it would be a great match, is shawn michaels"
and HBK looks happy to hear that. doesnt look like there's any heat between them. and you know if there was heat, HBK's facial expression wouldve told the story, because he's not exactly subtle. just think of him vs hogan. sure, it was funny, but since when is a hogan match INTENTIONALLY funny? never." - Manu Bumb
Of course, the question that pops to my mind is why Rock didn't wrestle Michaels when he was offered the chance. Hmmmm.
Since the last time I covered this topic, Triple H was among the people complaining about Rock taking too long with his HOF induction speech at WM XXIV and not being "friendly" enough backstage. It seems like the bitter feelings are still more on his side than on Rock's.
I want to read Bret's book before I cover some of the commonly asked questions about him and Shawn Michaels, so we'll cover that in Part 2! It's only fair because I've read HBK's book and know what he has to say about things with he & Bret…there are two sides to every story.
Fake Razor Ramon & Fake Diesel
"Hi. I have a a few questions concerning the fake Diesel and fake Razor Ramon. When did they start appearing in the WWF? Did they appear immediately after Hall and Nash's departure to WCW or were they brought in later? We all know Glen (Kane) Jacobs was the fake Diesel, but who was the fake Razor Ramon? Does anyone know the reason why they were brought in to be Diesel and Razor Ramon? Did Vince McMahon think he could pull a fast one on the fans or were they intentionally brought in to make Hall and Nash look bad, because of how they left the WWF? Any help in answering these questions would be appreciated."
"One by one:
1. Fake Razor Ramon & Fake Diesel made their debuts on the September 23, 1996 edition of Raw.
2. Scott Hall & Kevin Nash left the WWF on May 19, 1996 after a house show in Madison Square Garden. So there were a few months between the real Razor & Diesel leaving and the fake Razor & Diesel appearing.
3. The fake Razor Ramon was Rick Bognar, who was known in other wrestling promotions as Big Titan.
4. Out of spite, mostly. Hall & Nash were helping revive the WCW product and WCW had actually become more popular than the WWF after Hall & Nash's departure. Also, they thought it would be fun to try to trick people into thinking they had re-signed Hall & Nash. Wrestling is a work first and foremost, and people in wrestling love to work the fans. They really, really do." (11.08.06)
"Last week you where asked a question about what I think is one of the most under rated angels of all time the fake Diesel and fake Razor Ramon. You said that the WWF used them "Out of spite, mostly... Also, they thought it would be fun to try to trick people into thinking they had re-signed Hall & Nash." but I believe that the real reason was that they had sued WCW for copyright violation and had to prove that they were still going to use the gimmicks.
However I find the story line reason for theme being brought in better, first after J.R. announced they were coming back the WWF made it clear that is was not going to be Hall and Nash. When J.R. finally reveled them on raw he cut a great promo where he said that Vince McMahon was the chairman of the WWF and had fired him two times, and was trying to bury him now because McMahon did not want any one to upstage him as the top play-by-play man. J.R. then revealed that he was the Executive Vice President Of Talent Relations and showed his power by bringing out two new wrestlers that he had hired and hade given the Razor Ramon and Diesel gimmicks.
This was a very big moment to the average fan at the time because until then both McMahon and J.R. had only been shown as announcers and this showed that they were both powerful men in the company. they never tried to pass the new Razor and Diesel as Hall and Nash, and it set the seeds for the evil Mr. McMahon character" - rafff18 (11.15.06)
The Rob Feinstein Incident
"Gotta ask. What exactly is the Feinstein Incident i always hear about
regarding ROH?" - Andy
Ah, the Feinstein incident. To make a long story kind of short, ROH founder Rob Feinstein was caught on Philadelphia television in March 2004 in one of those things where they ambush dudes that think they're meeting up with teenagers that they met online. In Rob's case, he thought he was meeting up with a 14 year old boy. Well, actually, he pretended the kid said he was 18. lol. It was pretty embarassing for everybody involved with the company and resulted in a lot of bad publicity and TNA refusing to allow most of their wrestlers to work for ROH for well over a year after they found out Rob was still involved with the company in June despite his claim that he wasn't. Rob sold his stake in the company to current owner Cary Silkin, and to this day you can't mention him on the ROH message board." (02.21.07)
Why was WrestleMania VII moved from the L.A. Coliseum to the L.A. Sports Arena?
Well, there's the infamous venue change for WrestleMania VII, which was originally supposed to be held at Los Angeles' Memorial Coliseum but was moved to the Sports Arena. The WWF claimed that the move was due to security concerns, but the real reason was sluggish ticket sales that would have resulted in most of the 92,000 seat Coliseum being empty. (02.20.08)
Why did WWE get the F out?
"I've been a long time wrestling fan, but I'm still not 100% clear about something.
Why was the WWF forced to change its name to WWE? I know it has something to do with the World Wildlife Fund, but why the sudden uproar? If memory serves me right, the WWF had been around for years without any complaints from the World Wildlife Fund.
Basically, I just want to know why it seemed so sudden after all these years. I also remember reading that the wildlife fund were worried that people would confuse the two companies, which I think is pretty funny.
Anyways, if you could clear this up for me, I'd really appreciate it." - Ryan
"The short version: The World Wildlife Fund and the World Wrestling Federation had come to a legal agreement in 1994 that the Federation would not use the "WWF" initials outside of North America. In 2000, the Fund had decided that the Federation had violated this agreement by running shows in Europe with their WWF initials all over the place, and sued for unfair trade practices. The British court this suit was filed in agreed with the Fund, and the Federation was ordered to stop using the WWF initials on August 10, 2001. The Federation appealed the ruling, but eventually decided that it wasn't really worth fighting and changed their name to World Wrestling Entertainment on May 5, 2002. The uproar wasn't really sudden, but the name change did come as a surprise to anybody not in the know." (11.01.06)
The History of the Big Gold Belt by Ryan Byers
"When exactly did the Big Gold Belt the one we know today as the World Heavyweight Championship become the NWA title, and then the WCW title? I remember the NWA belt as the one that is currently used today in TNA. At some point during the NWA in the 80's, it was replaced with the Big Gold Belt. Flair used the TNA belt, and then the Big Gold Belt. WCW split off from the NWA and had some random belt they used, I believe Ron Simmons held that belt, and NWA still used the Big Gold Belt, I believe Masahiro Chono held that at some point. Then myseriously, the WCW belt was again the Big Gold Belt. How did this happen?"
"Okay, I attempted to write this answer out in a narrative form, but it got a little bit too complicated. Instead, I'm going to try this in the form of a timeline:
~ 1986: Wrestling promoter Jim Crockett has the first Big Gold Belt made for NWA Champion Ric Flair. Flair is required to put down a $25,000 deposit that he will get back when he returns the belt at the end of his title reign.
~ 1989: Ted Turner buys Jim Crockett promotions and rebrands it as WCW. WCW is still a member of the NWA. Ric Flair is recognized as both the NWA Champion and the WCW Champion, though there is only one physical belt to represent the two championships. That belt is still Big Gold.
~ 1991: Ric Flair leaves WCW. He takes the Big Gold Belt with him because the company refuses to return his deposit. He is stripped of both the NWA and WCW Titles. The Big Gold Belt appears on WWF TV as part of Flair's "Real World Champion" gimmick.
~ 1991: The vacant WCW Title is filled in a match between Barry Windham and Lex Luger. Luger wins and receives the WCW World Title belt which looks nothing like Big Gold.
~ 1992: After some legal threats are tossed back and forth between the WWF and WCW, the latter company finally agrees to pay Flair his deposit (with interest). They get the Big Gold Belt back as a result.
~ 1992: The NWA holds a tournament to fill the championship that it took from Flair. Masa Chono wins and is awarded the Big Gold Belt. The WCW and NWA Titles are now two different championships represented by two different belts. Previously they had been two different championships represented by the same belt.
~ 1993: WCW withdraws from the NWA, and the NWA vacates its title since they don't want it on somebody who is under contract to an organization that does not belong to the NWA.
~ 1993: Since the NWA Championship was being defended on WCW TV and since WCW owns the Big Gold Belt, WCW continues to recognize the belt as a valid championship. However, since they can no longer call it the NWA Title, they call it the WCW International World Heavyweight Title.
~ 1994: WCW International World Heavyweight Champion Sting and WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair have a match to unify the titles. Flair wins, and the Big Gold Belt is used to represent the unified titles.
~ 1994: The NWA holds a tournament to fill its vacant championship. Shane Douglas wins, and he is awarded with a belt that has a design similar to the one that was used immediately prior to the Big Gold Belt. This design has been used for the NWA Championship belt ever since and is currently used in TNA. (Editor's Note: TNA discontinued usage of the NWA World Championship belt in 2007)
~ 1994 – 2000: The original Big Gold Belt, or at least a very convincing replica, is used to represent the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
~ 2000: At the Bash at the Beach pay per view, Vince Russo and Hulk Hogan do a "worked shoot" angle in which Hogan's scheduled challenger for the title, Jeff Jarrett, lays down for him. Hogan keeps the Big Gold Belt, but Russo says that it no longer represents the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. He awards Jarrett with a new belt, very similar in design to the original Big Gold, and declares that he is WCW Champion.
~ 2000 – 2001: The same belt is used to represent the WCW World Heavyweight Title, even after the company is purchased by the WWF.
~ 2001: After WCW is killed off in storylines, the belt and championship that used to be referred to as the WCW World Heavyweight Title are renamed the World Heavyweight Title. At some point, a version of Big Gold with the WWF logo at the top of it is introduced.
~ 2001: The WWF Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship are unified by Chris Jericho at the Vengeance pay per view. Both belts are carried by Jericho and used to represent what is now referred to as the "Undisputed Championship."
~ 2002: A new Undisputed Championship belt is unveiled a few weeks after Triple H defeats Chris Jericho for the championship at Wrestlemania.
~ 2002: When it is decided that Raw and Smackdown should have separate heavyweight champions, Triple H is awarded a title called the World Heavyweight Championship, which is represented by another belt following the classic Big Gold design. (Though it has the WWE logo on it.) Wrestling historians differ as to whether this title should be considered a revival of what used to be the WCW Title or whether it is a new championship altogether.
That was much more complex of a story than I ever thought it would be. Hopefully it answers your question, Matt." – Ryan Byers (01.31.07)
Ultimate Warrior Debunks Popular Rumors
"1) There was only one Ultimate Warrior. That is, in Sports Entertainment there was only one person who 'did' Ultimate Warrior -- that was me. There were not different guys or a twin brother or look-a-like cousins who also "did" him. I created him; I was the only one who ever legally and legitimately performed him; and I own the USPTO legally registered trademark rights of Ultimate Warrior as an Intellectual Property.
2) I am not dead. Nor have I ever died. Don't laugh. There are plenty of kooks (too many) who write and inform me that I am or that I have -- and then demand I write back and confirm it!
3) I lead an active, constructive and fulfilling life. Despite inaccurate rumors, vindictive mischaracterizations, and flagrant defamation claiming otherwise, the reality is I have built an incredibly empowered life on my OWN terms. As a devoted husband and father, I could not have custom-ordered a more loving, healthy, spirit-filled, and happy home life. And as a man who has throughout his whole life been inspired by the setting of new goals and their different challenges, and the ability to think for oneself which accompanies these, my day-to-day life environment is creative, productive, and positive.
To find those who truly have self-destructed, keep your eye on the obituaries and visit the gravesides of other WWF/E talent who've died of various forms of self-indulgence, beginning with their refusal to mature as real men and grow up and act their age. When you are done there, go look into the hollow-souled eyes of those Sports Entertainment figures you once thought defiant, strong, proud, and independent who've crawled back into the cave to have their minds, lives and characters controlled because they were afraid of being real men, afraid of the real world and real challenges, and felt safer, as Plato showed us, viewing the shadows from the inside.
If you've believed any of these rumors you were duped. Plain and simple. If you want to continue to believe them -- as some, for whatever sick reason, do -- then I can assure you the objective, sane, clearheaded thinking going on here will be of little interest to you." – Warrior (from his website
The Death of Bruiser Brody
"July 17, 1988 – Bruiser Brody passed away in San Juan, Puerto Rico one day after being stabbed in the dressing room of a coliseum where he was to wrestle for the World Wrestling Council. He was forty one years old. His murder is officially "unsolved", but general opinion everywhere outside Puerto Rico's court is that WWC booker Jose Gonzalez committed the deed. For a first person perspective on the murder, here's an article by Dutch Mantell, who was there the night Brody was killed.
Brody was a renegade who did not confine himself to one wrestling promotion. He never signed with the World Wrestling Federation or the National Wrestling Alliance, he drifted from place to place and put butts in the seats wherever he wrestled. His greatest success was in Japan, where he was one of the first American wrestlers to get over at a major level. He has been hailed by many as being one of the greatest brawlers in wrestling history. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to see very much of Brody's work, but what I have seen with him and the Von Erichs and some stuff with him and Jerry Lawler in Memphis has been very good.
Deaths at young ages seem to be a common trend in professional wrestling, but a death like Brody's is just unexplainable. I guess you could ask Gonzalez or his buddy Carlos Colon, but I doubt you would get a straight answer out of them. Pro wrestling has never really been the same in Puerto Rico since that night, as many American wrestlers have refused to work in the country where Brody was killed. It's starting to get better, as WWE ran a pay per view there in January, and Colon's son Carlito is now one of WWE's top stars, but the death of Bruiser Brody will never be forgotten by those who were a part of wrestling during that era either as a fan or a performer." (News From Cook's Corner 07.17.05)
And with that we close the first part of the Ask 411 Wrestling FAQ. I'll be back next week with your regularly scheduled questions. Thanks for reading, and until next time, booooooooohica!