Random old WON tidbits

I find reading the archived Observers from the early 90s endlessly fascinating, partially because I’m finding all these crazy details I never realized before, and partly because of all the hindsight involved.  For instance, the initial Hogan v. Flair main event of Bash at the Beach 94 was not as set-in-stone as you’d think.  Even into June, the main event was presumed to be Hogan & Sting v. Flair & Curt Hennig, but Hennig was still locked into his WWF deal until September so they would have had to do some legal wrangling.  Before that, it was going to be Hogan & Sting v. Flair & Rick Rude, but Rude refused to job for Hogan, and THAT led to him getting fired after the neck injury in Japan.  Meltzer was very skeptical about the injury back then, although obviously Rude never wrestled again.  With those possibilities shot down, we were left with Hogan v. Flair.  Huh. Here’s his thoughts in 1994 on how to best use Hogan: 

“Many would argue that just as Vince McMahon didn’t get the most out of the late 1991 Hogan-Flair series because Flair wasn’t cast as an outsider who wasn’t part of the WWF, that Hogan’s best role to draw money would be as an outsider who isn’t part of WCW rather than a new fixture talked about incessantly on every weekly television show.” 

Give that man a cigar.


http://www.f4wonline.com/more/more-top-stories/96-wwe/21757-report-that-ufc-new-tv-deal-is-complete This could have HUGE ramifications for the business, as Zuffa now have major network backing and presumably better sense with what to do with that exposure than Strikeforce or EliteXC did.  Thankfully this won’t affect us here in Canada as UFC has a separate deal to air their stuff on Sportsnet, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they would pull out for a live show on FOX.

Goofy Spots

I was just thinking the other day about goofy/strange (but consistent) spots, and I was curious what your favorites were. As an example of what I’m thinking of, the old "you can’t headbutt a Samoan" was always a favorite of mine, and damn if almost every single opponent didn’t give it a go anyway. I think my favorite of that spot has to be anyone trying to give the Headshrinkers the double noggin’ knocker. More recently, Santino’s Cobra always cracks me up, and to his credit he has gotten it over – the crowd always pops huge and for some reason I’m always surprised if someone kicks out of it. Any favorites of yours that never seem to get old?

The Iron Claw! The Garvin Stomp! Lex Luger no-selling Ric Flair’s chops and then flexing his pecs at him, which FLAIR SELLS! Basically anything that falls so far out of the bounds of reality that your brain explodes if you think about it too long, and yet gets over, I love.  I also love snarking on it, but it’s a complex relationship I have with our so-called sport.

As a precaution tonight

Just in case CM Punk wins the title again and, I dunno, Steve Austin returns and gives him a stunner or something and everyone goes crazy and crashes the blog, I’m taking the blog offline tonight from the start the show until shortly after.  There will be a recap posted (I’m assuming) by either Tommy Hall or Michael Bradley and once that’s up, we should be good to go again. 

Clash Plug

Joel Geraghty Hey Scott, remember me? You used to post my TNA Impact recaps and got me in at InsidePulse. Well, now I’m over at 411 doing a series of Clash of the Champions recaps, starting with the first one in March of 1988. Would you be so kind as to give me a plug on your blog?

People don’t like 411 round here much, but I’m always happy to assist.

But I Was The Champion!

Hi Scott,
I was wondering if there have ever been an occasion when winning a championship was actually detrimental for a wrestler or tag-team? In that, the wrestler’s career would have been better off in the long-term if he, or she, did not win a title when he, or she, did.
The only examples I think come close are Tommy Rich and Ronnie Garvin. Neither guy was believable as champion during his respective reign and was unable to keep any momentum after he lost the gold.
One could argue that winning the gold did Jack Swagger no favors. However, his career is still ongoing. So things might turn around for the All-American American.
Are there any others that fit this bill?

Oh, what a great question!  Ron Garvin actually should have won the title much earlier.  There was a while there on the old NWA shows on 24/7 where I was hoping I could change history by willing it and have him beat Flair at the Bash instead of Dusty Rhodes, because he was pretty awesome at times.  By 87, though, he was getting overshadowed by his brother (well, stepson, but let’s keep this simple) and he just had no momentum going when he won the title.  Jimmy Garvin was no great shakes as a worker, to say the least, but that Precious storyline was begging for him to give Flair his comeuppance, and it just never happened. Here’s a controversial pick for you:  The Road Warriors should not have won the NWA tag titles in 1988.  They didn’t need them, and there was no way to change them because the Warriors didn’t do jobs.  It actually made them weaker because before then they were “above” the titles, and now they were just another tag team.  David Flair winning the US title in 1998.  99?  Whatever, it sucked.  It also ruined any future career he might have, because the whole thing was a sort of broad satire of promoters pushing their idiot kids to undeserved titles (during Flair’s “crazy WCW president” phase), and now no one would ever be able to take David seriously following that.  Once you’re booked as the buffoon, it’s hard to go back.  Ask Matt Borne and Nick Dinsmore.  I can think of some other good examples, but I’ll let others play.

Bollywood Undertaker

Hey Scott, Did you know the Undertaker (and Crush) appeared in a bollywood movie back in the mid-90s?  From watching this clip it is obviously not the real Undertaker but based on the comments it sounds like it’s Brian Lee during his fake Undertaker gimmick.  Can you tell if it is him or an actor? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_4Hhd0RGFE&feature=related I’m wondering how this random casting came about.

It’s absolutely Brian Lee, because his hair is totally different from Mark Callaway’s and it’s easy to tell them apart.  And of course Lee and Brian Adams were good friends so it’s not terribly surprising that they’d be hanging out and doing a movie together.  Why the fuck they did that movie in India, I don’t know.  1994 was a weird time for the WWF, that’s all I can say about it.

Judy Bagwell On A Pole

Hey Scott, Colin from the Blog here. So I’m just sitting back and watching an old Nitro from 2000 (I know, I’m a glutton for punishment) and once again here comes Judy fuckin’ Bagwell on my television (or rather, computer) screen. What gives man? Was this all some big rib on Buff by Nash and the boys backstage? IIRC Buff was infamous for being a "momma’s boy" or whatever, and isn’t that why he was fired from the WWF in 2001 when the Invasion started, because he had his mother call him in sick or something along those lines? You were a stalwart of the IWC at the time so I figured you’d be the best person to ask about this one. It just seems like it was all a big rib on Buff. I wonder if he noticed.

Yeah, you’ve got it right.  The whole thing with Judy Bagwell was basically a huge rib on Buff (and one on the fans, really), and “his mama called in sick to WWE” really did happen as well.  That’s what WCW does to you, I guess.

WWE Vintage Collection–August 12 2011

  The SmarK Rant for WWE Vintage Collection – August 12 2011 When I subscribed to the Score to get Smackdown and RAW again, I didn’t even realize this show was included. Well you know I’m gonna be all over THIS. Hosted by Mean Gene. This week: Summer spectaculars! This would be stuff from Summerslam and Bash at the Beach, etc. Intercontinental title: Honky Tonk Man v. Brutus Beefcake This is from Philly in June of 1988, and I reviewed a Boston show from the same month on WWE 24/7 years back, so it’ll probably be the exact same match. Beefcake pounds away with elbows to start and the dreaded WINDMILL PUNCH OF DEATH, operating under the principle that winding up the punch gives it more force. Isaac Newton would love wrestling. Honky gets a cheapshot and chokes Brutus out on the ropes, but irony strikes as Brutus sends him into the turnbuckles 10 times and follows with an atomic drop. Honky bails for some advice from “Peggy Sue”, but gets beat up on the apron as a result. Honky’s bumping is so spectacular that it almost overcomes how shitty Brutus was at this point. Brutus pummels him in the corner, and that gets two. Honky tries a kneelift, but Brutus moves out of the way and Honky takes a nice flat back bump off that. I’m gonna say it: Honky was a really underrated worker. And I’m not just saying that because he cut a promo on my voice mail. He goes to a chinlock and we take a break. Back with Honky turning that into a full blown sleeper, but Brutus fights out and makes the comeback. High knee and he signals for the sleeper, but Honky is clearly still conscious and not at all stunned. That’s why he wasn’t IC title material. Honky bails to the apron and Beefcake stupidly pus the sleeper on him, but Honky uses BRASS KNUCKLES~! and knocks Beefcake out cold for the pin at 9:33. Brutus was like Lex Luger to Honky’s Ric Flair here. *** The Un-Americans (Lance Storm, Test and Christian) v. Booker T, Goldust & Undertaker. From RAW, August 19 2002. Booker gets a flapjack on Christian for two, and cleans house on the heels before getting caught in the corner. Test with the corner clothesline, but Booker catches him with an elbow to block a charge. Test comes back with a chinlock, but Booker fights out for the hot tag to Goldust. He sets up Christian for Shattered Dreams, but it’s BONZO GONZO and Test lays him out with the big boot. Undertaker and Test fight it out in the chaos, setting up Test getting squashed at Summerslam 2002, and Taker chokeslams Lance Storm for good measure. Christian gets two on Goldust, but Booker hits Storm with an axe kick. Goldust fights off the heels, but Christian hits him with the tag belt for the pin at 5:23. Not much of note here. ** US title,30 Minute Iron Man match: Rick Rude v. Dustin Rhodes From Beach Blast 93, during the really boring period for WCW where the US title was held up seemingly forever. There’s only 30 minutes left in this show, so this is JIP about 3 minutes in with Dustin getting a backdrop on Rude and tossing him into the corner. Dustin with a chinlock and some hip swivels (“Looks like a big fat Texas steer in heat” notes Jesse Ventura). He tries to swivel again, but Rude clotheslines him instead and goes up with a flying axehandle, then shows him the proper way to swivel. Rude starts working on the back and gets a bearhug (really? We’re only about 6 minutes into this thing!) but Rhodes elbows out of that. Rude goes to a camel clutch now,and we take a break. Back with Rude getting the Rude Awakening for the first fall at 6:37 aired. Rude quickly goes up with a flying clothesline for two. Rude keeps trying pins, and we’re suddenly at 15 minutes gone. The magic of editing, I guess. Rude goes to another chinlock, but Dustin fights out, only to run into Rude’s knee in the corner. Rude tries a piledriver, but Dustin reverses to the tombstone for two. Dustin does his patented bodypress whiff and lands on the floor, and we take another break. Back with Rhodes reversing a suplex attempt for two. Rude hammers him into the corner and lays some quality badmouth on him (was there any better smack-talker in the ring than Rude?) before dropping him with a kneelift. Rude, Jesse notes, always has time to pose. And we’re back to the chinlock as Tony is actually insightful and points out that he might be “putting it in the deep freeze” a bit early. Dustin fights back, but walks into a sleeper. Sweet Jiminy Christmas is this a boring match. And so we take another break. Back with 4 minutes left and Rude slugging away in the corner, but Dustin has had ENOUGH. He spits on Rude and fires back, but tumbles out of the ring, allowing Rude to blow a snot rocket on him. That’s the farmer’s handkerchief, according to Jesse. Back in, Dustin gets a fluke bulldog for the pin to even it up with 3 minutes left. Dustin presses things with an elbow off the top for two. Dustin with a piledriver for two. He slugs away on the mat and drops the elbow for two. None of these are particularly convincing near-falls. With time running out, he gets three clotheslines for two and follows with a sleeper, but Rude escapes with a jawbreaker and goes up. He’s too slow, and time expires at 30:00 (20:00 aired) with a draw and still no US champion. This was duller than dull and just didn’t work with only the 2 falls. Dustin was getting better as a worker at this point, but nowhere near what he’d be later. ** That was a very eclectic mix of stuff, and I kind of like that about it. I shall continue watching!

Let’s Talk Flashpoint

So we’re almost done the big event of this summer for DC, Flashpoint, and I had previously mentioned that the main series was kind of ludicrous, but awesome.  Well, we’re at issue 4 of 5 now, and it’s become less awesome and more glacially paced as I’m wondering how #5 is supposed to both wrap up the series and set up the New 52, considering NOTHING HAS HAPPENED in the past two issues.  The whole thing is looking kind of pointless right now, with some of the tie-ins being amazing (BATMAN!) and some being putrid (CANTERBURY CRICKET!  GREEN ARROW!) and most just being confusing as to why they exist.  Like really, I’m enjoying The Outsider well enough, but who is he supposed to be and why do we need a 3 issue series about him?  It feels like they’re gonna have to cram a lot into the last week of crossover stuff (like, we don’t even know what Zoom did to change the past yet), which just reinforces the whole “making it up as they go along” feel thus far.  It’s still a fun series, but it just feels like an Elseworlds story that’s getting way out of hand and ultimately doesn’t mean anything.  But definitely get Knight of Vengeance, it’s crazy good. 

Sting’s Legacy

Hey Scott, I’ve got a question about Sting. Sting has said multiple times that the reason he hasn’t signed with WWE is because he’s concerned about what the company would do to his legacy after seeing how they used the other WCW employees who jumped over.  And he feels like WWE would destroy the legacy and prestige.  A fair concern, the Invasion did destroy more than a couple careers. But I don’t buy it. If Sting is so concerned with his Legacy, why the hell is he working for TNA?  And beyond that, why the hell did he agree to a gimmick change that involves him impersonating Jim Carrey if he played the Joker.  It’s not as if he took the role seriously and is testing himself by taking a crappy gimmick and doing his best with it, since it’s pretty clear that he’s dicking around and putting in as much work as Ben Kingsley did in BloodRayne. So my question to you is this?  If Sting doesn’t care about his legacy (which I don’t think he does) why not sign with WWE?  Stubbornness?  Loyalty to Dixie?  Money?  Heat with Vince?  I just doesn’t make any sense.

Given how many chances he’s had to work with the WWE and how many times he’s turned them down, it would have to be stubbornness at this point.  Although I only saw the one episode of Impact featuring his Joker thing, so I can’t really comment on that too much.  I’ve always heard there was some issue with his born-again beliefs, but if Shawn could deal with it, you think Sting could as well.