QOTD #29: ECW on TNN

Today’s Question:
What was the best angle
during the “ECW On TNN” era?
We’ll check your answers on this tomorrow. In the meantime,
let’s get back to where we left off yesterday.
I had asked you about your favorite forgotten moment; the
ones that are rarely talked about, but are still absolute goldmines. I’m not going
to provide much commentary today as my time is limited, but I would like to
highlight your answers with lots of accompanying video content.

Petrock: Pat Patterson winning the IC tournament in
Rio De Janeiro. It was such a great moment when he held both titles high as the
confetti breezed through the air. You’d think it never happened by how little
people talk of it.
And we’re off …
Dean Andrews: I’m just amazed still that they never
stopped the match for excessive bleeding. Pat pulled out like a 1.5 Muta. Sick.
Out of your system yet?
Chris Hirsch: I want to contribute something but I can’t
remember it.
I think we’re done. Let’s get to the real stuff.
Extant1979: The set-up between Jake and the Undertaker
for WrestleMania VIII, where Jake slammed Taker’s hand shut in the casket on
the Funeral Parlor and then just beat the shit out of him. Didn’t that segment
end with Taker dragging the casket, his hand still locked in it, going after
Jake?
Chris B: Trish Stratus vs Stephanie from No Way Out
01, before Trish was even considered a wrestler. An absolutely insane brawl.
What’s great is JR and King are just as surprised as the crowd at how good the
match was.
The shocking part was that Trish could WRESTLE. She had been
treated as nothing more than your usual fitness model bimbo, and there was no
reason to expect she had any more in-ring flair than Torrie Wilson. Welcome to
the show, Trish.
Basscase: Sting joining the nWo. Not Fake Sting, but
Real Sting walking with Hollywood and his crew a couple of weeks before
Uncensored 97.
Daniel Swinney: Commissioner Foley saying that HHH can
attack him but it will cost him $100 a punch, as well as his pride, because
he’ll book him at every circus sideshow in the country, and that while he wants
him at the pay-per-view because he is that damn good, he does not need him. One
of the better acting jobs in WWE history, from both sides.
Ryan Norcross: Mike Rotunda putting up $10,000 if anybody
can beat him for the Television Championship and then Sting coming out and
beating him.
This was Sting’s first singles title to boot; great
atmosphere, fantastic match.
David: CM Punk’s 1 month stint as color commentator
about 3.5 years ago. He gave really great points from the former wrestler’s
perspective that you rarely get anymore.
He was really outstanding. It was like having our very own
smark on commentary, with ENOUGH of a filter to keep from being too inside. He
kept it funny and fresh. The man is talented enough to do whatever he wants in
the industry, and hopefully he’ll wind up in this kind of role down the line.
Mike_N: The crowd’s reaction to the Horsemen v.
J-Tex match. The Horsemen had just turfed Sting from the group on the same
show, so the crowd started cheering Terry Funk (who was practically running
over old women and puppies at the time) and especially Muta. You could tell
they’d wanted to cheer for Muta, but the timing just wasn’t right. Wild to see
that reaction.

Jared Bellow: Steven Regal repeatedly retaining the
television championship by using stall tactics to get to the 15 minute time
limit draw and watching his opponent try to catch him and force him to compete.
And then they positioned Larry Zybyszko as the conquering hero and the
storyline WORKED. It was a great storyline based on ring psychology that got a
harder to latch onto ring style some unreal heat.
This angle was repeated with Tazz vs Lawler on a smaller
scale a couple years later. This one is wide open for theft anytime they want
to as far as I’m concerned the next time they have a credible announcer at the
booth. Sorry JBL.
White Thunder: Flair vs. Austin from Raw in 2002. This was
Austin’s second to last match ever, and his last match ever on Raw. Just an
absolute classic, and everyone forgot about it and remembers Austin walking out
the next week. One of my favorite Raw main events ever.
Flair was ridiculously over the hill at this point, but he
was still able to pop out a *** match against the right worker. I was so
disappointed a couple of weeks later when they jobbed Flair out to Brock due to
Heyman’s interference as opposed to going the Ivan Drago / Apollo Creed route.
Brock still needed cred at that point, and Flair was getting back in his
groove.
PrimeTimeTen: Everybody
talks about Marty Jannetty going through the Barbershop window, and when he
came out of the crowd to challenge Shawn Michaels on a 1993 episode of RAW. What
people ALWAYS skip over is his actual return from going through the window on a
1992 episode of Superstars. Shawn looking into the mirror being held up by
Sherri, then seeing Marty’s reflection standing behind him is one of the most
perfect camera shots in the history of the company. Then Jannetty kicks his
ass.
DJ Sprite: Rikishi/HHH from some random smackdown circa
2000. They had a “random drawing” for a title match with hhh, rikishi
won, had a rather good main event that hunter got himself dq’d in to save the
title. Never mentioned again.
Rikishi was a made-man from that point, and this match gave
the company enough faith in him to be the “Diesel” in that year’s Rumble match.
Rusty Shackleford:
Back in the Shotgun Saturday Night days,
the way that Kurrgan used to beat up jobbers and then palm their heads like a
basketball whilst dragging them back up the ramp. Just a crazy spot to finish a
match on, and something that a newcomer could easily plagiarise where nobody
would bat an eyelid.

VintageECW: Shane Douglas’ promo outside of the hospital
after he swung Pitbull 1 by his neck halo. Just amazing how chilling and real
that whole angle felt.
DrFacts: Hulk Hogan entering the dungeon of doom’s
lair. “IT’S NOT HOT!”
Even though I JUST posted this about a week ago, it still
gets me every time. Hulk screaming in agony, before revealing … IT’S NOT HOT!
Then what the hell is your problem, Hulk?
Jon Eks: After the Austin heel turn in 2001, Regal
was Commissioner, and for some reason had Tajiri as a lackey. Austin was
experiencing some mental anguish over something and said, “I just need
someone I can talk to…” Regal asserts that he’s honored, and Austin cuts
him off. “Not YOU. I’m talking to Tie-jiri.” A couple of segments
later, Austin is baring his soul to Tajiri, Tajiri responds to him in Japanese,
and Austin – doing an amazing acting job here, and through this whole phase of
his heel turn – sincerely thanks Tajiri for his help in working through the
issues. “Thank you, Tie-jiri. You’re a good friend, and a wise man”
or something like that.
I don’t think I’ve seen this since it originally aired, but
I remember it vividly. It killed me then; as pretty much the entire Regal/Tajiri
love-affair did. Regal really should consider a role as a babyface manager,
considering the incredible work he did with Tajiri and Eugene.
303BathroomGuy: Mick Foley–as Mankind–doing a backstage
interview prior to a tag team match with X-Pac versus D-Lo Brown and Ken
Shamrock. X-Pac was the European Champion at the time. Mankind says, “I
don’t know why you two don’t get along. You’re the European champion and D-Lo,
you’re a peon.” X-Pac’s reaction is priceless.
Every company needs a quality whipping boy, and X-Pac is one
of the best. I’m reminded of Christian’s heel turn against Edge, and whining
one night to the fans that nobody there could possibly understand what it’s
like to have nobody like them. Then X-Pac’s music hit, and they shared a
moment.
YankeesHoganTripleHFan:
Jake pulling down Rudes tights on
Superstars because Rude kept wearing the ones with Cheryl Roberts. It would
have been commonplace and done for comedy in the Attitude Era but in 88 that
was serious stuff.

BeardMoney: I loved the “Big Shot” phase of
Hardcore Bob Holly’s gimmick. I remember a Raw where D-Lo and Mark Henry had to
pull out of tag match against the Acolytes because Mark Henry failed his
physical. You saw D-Lo and Mark discussing this and in the background Holly was
working out, overheard them, and rubbed his chin thoughtfully. Later on in the
show, The Acolytes came out for their match and Hardcore came out alone
demanding a handicap match against the two. Eventually Big Show came out and
tried to talk him out of it, because the Acolytes would clearly destroy him,
and Bob wound up slapping the Big Show. Hilarious. Loved the idea of a heel
who’s just stupidly ballsy. Like an unlikable Scrappy Doo.
Jeff Hardy tried something similar and got himself a world
title shot against The Undertaker, so sometimes it pays to have balls of
grapefruit. You know, I’ve long believed I didn’t actually enjoy Hardcore Holly
during any aspect of his career, but I forgot about those first couple of weeks
before stupid Crash debuted – and it was pretty good stuff once he found his
brief groove.
Jason Andreas: The Hurricane attempting to double chokeslam
HHH and Austin in the Royal Rumble. The entire segment, right down to the look
that passed between HHH and Austin, who at this time were out for one another’s
blood, was pitch-perfect.
That can be seen here
on WWE.com
.
BooBoo1782: The promo where Jim Cornette accused HBK of
making a pass at Diana Hart Smith is one that I’ve always been fond of, but
never seems to get its due. The part where Cornette lays out the accusation is
James E. at his finest, but the part that takes it over the top is the
interaction between Shawn and the Smiths. Of course, Diana really never added
much with her performances, but her job here was simple enough: saying,
“Shawn, I know you want me.” Shawn’s delivery of his response –
“Mrs. Smith, with all due respect, please do not flatter yourself” –
was just perfect, particularly his pronunciation of “flatter.”
Something about it just really worked for me. Then, of course, Diana slaps him
and Shawn says, “Well, I guess we know who wears the pants in the Smith
family,” and Davey Boy’s face just blows up like steam is going to come
out of his ears, right before he charges Shawn. My dad and I watched that one
together, and I remember him getting a kick out of it as much as I did. It’s a
little subtle, but these little things – the pronunciation, Davey Boy’s facial
expression – they just made the segment for me, but it doesn’t seem to get much
love from anyone else (it’s not on Youtube…had to go find it on Dailymotion
when I wanted to see it again, and it’s split over two different videos).
Uncruisimatic_Buck_Nasty:
not really forgotten moment, but i’m
doing something at work related to louisville, and it keeps popping into my
head one of the 5 second poses when christian said “it’s great to be here
in louis-ville!” and the crowd going nuclear

J.T. Murphy: The Headbangers chasing Crash Holly through
a Chuck E Cheese (ball pit and all) during his Hardcore Title reign.

joedust: The angle with Rick Steiner and Alex Luger
that lead to their world title match at the Clash. Luger was cutting a promo
about he was the best, and Steiner came out and said he pinned Luger once when
they were sparring (or maybe Steiner was being interviewed and Luger came out
to deny it). Anyway one thing leads to the other and suddenly Luger and Steiner
are having an impromptu match (Luger is in street clothes) and STEINER PINS THE
CHAMP! I think I remember Steiner even having to pull referee Pee Wee Anderson
down to make the three count! Huge pop and a great little angle that lead to an
okayish match, but the angle was out of nowhere, and very fun!
I think we’re all pretty big fans of Alex Luger, but I agree
most fans have forgotten just what a big star Rick Steiner was in the late 80’s.
Because he’d been taken advantage of, and the fans recognized he was a fairly
simply minded guy who probably didn’t mean any harm, they flocked to him,
leading to some pretty good stuff with Rotunda and the aforementioned Luger
feud.
Slaughterama: Random one that just popped into my head:
Foley confronting Randy Orton and telling him to spit in his face, or he was
going to basically beat him to death in front of everyone. The pure…RAGE that
Foley can bring out is just tremendous.
All in the name of making Orton prove he wasn’t a coward …
with Foley proving exactly that time and again. I had been hounding my best
friend for years to watch the Backlash match, which he finally did about a year
ago, and he has been raving about it ever since.
Mrh610: Arn Anderson turning on Dustin Rhodes @ Bash
94. While it was telegraphed, I marked out for AA joining the Stud Stable. I
was also a WCW mark and easy to please…
Will1225: Edge and Christian being obnoxious assholes
when playing the kazoo. Christian played the kazoo while Edge sang wrestlers
theme songs to it.

BobSacamano: The useage of the APA in 2000. Especially
when Jericho and Taka hired them to protect ringside during their title
matches. It was a really awesome touch.
The beauty of this is that they could flip from babyface to
heel, because they didn’t care. Fuck you, pay me.
Rando Handy: Los Fabulosos
Unbelievably, Latin America’s most desirable men can’t be
found on Youtube. What gives, World?
I’m wrapping it up here because I have to get to bed, but
before I do, I wanted to share a random spot that came to me during the writing
of this. During the initial stages of the nWo invasion on WCW, Hall and Nash were
treated as a very real, very violent threat and safety risk to the staff of
WCW. In one of their earliest appearances, they showed up towards the end of
the show with baseball bats in hands, and security dove into the ring to
protect the wrestlers, with the security ready with hands on guns.
The realism of the entire thing is what really brought
people in, JUST enough to make casual viewers ask “wait, did it just get real?”

Enjoy it. Have a great Saturday, and I’ll be back tomorrow
before Battleground.