BeefCAAAAKE!

   Hey Scott,
     Two part question, both involving Brutus the Barber Beefcake. Back in 88 he was gaining momentum as a face and was pretty much scheduled to win the IC title from the Honky Tonk man at Summer Slam. As we know he was pulled out , replaced with the Warrior and history was made. Was this just a case of wanting to put the title on Warrior instead or were there other factors at work.
   Two in 1990, before the accident there was no question that he was going to win the title from Mr Perfect. My question is, what were the plans for him after that? The most obvious would be that he became yet another one of Hogan’s "best friends" to turn on him but he was so over as a face at that point that the was no sense in killing the momentum.

He was never scheduled to win the title in 88.  He was always just the guy to give Honky someone to beat without wasting any of the real stars.  It was all, as the kids say, an angle.  Beefcake was doing jobs for Honky at the house shows every night that summer and was already married to Ron Bass for the shows after Summerslam. The 90 one is tougher,  because it’s really hard to say what would have happened and how his career would have developed.  He was certainly much better at that point, but it’s not like he was a great worker at any point in his career and after he came back he was downright awful.  I think that Beefcake-Hogan might have done business, but really Sgt. Slaughter overshadowed everything else anyway. 

BeefCAAAAKE!

   Hey Scott,
     Two part question, both involving Brutus the Barber Beefcake. Back in 88 he was gaining momentum as a face and was pretty much scheduled to win the IC title from the Honky Tonk man at Summer Slam. As we know he was pulled out , replaced with the Warrior and history was made. Was this just a case of wanting to put the title on Warrior instead or were there other factors at work.
   Two in 1990, before the accident there was no question that he was going to win the title from Mr Perfect. My question is, what were the plans for him after that? The most obvious would be that he became yet another one of Hogan’s "best friends" to turn on him but he was so over as a face at that point that the was no sense in killing the momentum.

He was never scheduled to win the title in 88.  He was always just the guy to give Honky someone to beat without wasting any of the real stars.  It was all, as the kids say, an angle.  Beefcake was doing jobs for Honky at the house shows every night that summer and was already married to Ron Bass for the shows after Summerslam. The 90 one is tougher,  because it’s really hard to say what would have happened and how his career would have developed.  He was certainly much better at that point, but it’s not like he was a great worker at any point in his career and after he came back he was downright awful.  I think that Beefcake-Hogan might have done business, but really Sgt. Slaughter overshadowed everything else anyway. 

Burger Plug

Hey Scott,     So since you’ve plugged every project I’ve started over the years, and the plugs you post these days are about as random and obscure as they get, I was hoping you’d give some attention to my new Burger Blog.  A buddy and I are risking our health by eating a burger a week, every week, to find out who makes the best burger but more importantly, what a perfect burger is really made of.  We’re at: http://www.burgerweekly.com http://www.facebook.com/burgerweekly http://www.twitter.com/burgerweekly Thanks! And it’s nice to see you reviewing wrestling so consistently again.

I thought I had already plugged this project, but I’m always up for people risking their own health for others’ amusement.

Burger Plug

Hey Scott,     So since you’ve plugged every project I’ve started over the years, and the plugs you post these days are about as random and obscure as they get, I was hoping you’d give some attention to my new Burger Blog.  A buddy and I are risking our health by eating a burger a week, every week, to find out who makes the best burger but more importantly, what a perfect burger is really made of.  We’re at: http://www.burgerweekly.com http://www.facebook.com/burgerweekly http://www.twitter.com/burgerweekly Thanks! And it’s nice to see you reviewing wrestling so consistently again.

I thought I had already plugged this project, but I’m always up for people risking their own health for others’ amusement.

Goldberg

Scott,
It’s 1998 in WCW…If you had to choose one, re: Goldberg’s streak:
1. End it before he gets the title–Someone beats him, he regroups to decimate the nWo, and claims his first World Title.
2. End it via screwjob, build to rematch mercy-killing–something like the Nash loss, but with a satisfying blowoff victory in the rematch.
3. End it clean–ala Hogan-Warrior, building another star in the process. Either an established guy like Sting or a new star-in-waiting ends his streak.
4. The Bobby Heenan Plan–have him NEVER lose.
Was there a ‘right’ way to go about things, or did they just book themselves into a corner with Goldberg’s streak and title reign?

If they limited his wrestling appearances to PPV main events, he never needed to lose.  The money wasn’t in finding someone who could beat him, it was in people paying to watch him destroy people.  Had they kept legitimate numbers for the streak and not overexposed him, they could have rode that horse for years.  So I’m going with the Brain on this one. 

Goldberg

Scott,
It’s 1998 in WCW…If you had to choose one, re: Goldberg’s streak:
1. End it before he gets the title–Someone beats him, he regroups to decimate the nWo, and claims his first World Title.
2. End it via screwjob, build to rematch mercy-killing–something like the Nash loss, but with a satisfying blowoff victory in the rematch.
3. End it clean–ala Hogan-Warrior, building another star in the process. Either an established guy like Sting or a new star-in-waiting ends his streak.
4. The Bobby Heenan Plan–have him NEVER lose.
Was there a ‘right’ way to go about things, or did they just book themselves into a corner with Goldberg’s streak and title reign?

If they limited his wrestling appearances to PPV main events, he never needed to lose.  The money wasn’t in finding someone who could beat him, it was in people paying to watch him destroy people.  Had they kept legitimate numbers for the streak and not overexposed him, they could have rode that horse for years.  So I’m going with the Brain on this one. 

Gear Plug

Hey Scott, long time reader (since Rantsylvania) though it was the King Lear rant that truly won me over. If there’s one thing I have learned through the years, it’s that you hate Gedo and will plug anything. Well, I have a plug for you: My website, 360voice.com, is running a big achievement challenge for Gears of War 3 which can be found here:http://360voice.gamerdna.com/gears. Essentially you get a group of 40 guys together, and compete to score the most Gamerscore in one month. The prize pool is $10,000. No really, $10,000. You can also get a prize share by simply referring people to the event. So there you a go, a plug with absolutely nothing to do about wrestling but would still be awesome to see on the only wrestling blog I ever bother going to anymore.
Glad to see you reviewing shows again!

I don’t hate Gedo anymore.  Stop living in the past, man.  1996 was a long time ago. 

Gear Plug

Hey Scott, long time reader (since Rantsylvania) though it was the King Lear rant that truly won me over. If there’s one thing I have learned through the years, it’s that you hate Gedo and will plug anything. Well, I have a plug for you: My website, 360voice.com, is running a big achievement challenge for Gears of War 3 which can be found here:http://360voice.gamerdna.com/gears. Essentially you get a group of 40 guys together, and compete to score the most Gamerscore in one month. The prize pool is $10,000. No really, $10,000. You can also get a prize share by simply referring people to the event. So there you a go, a plug with absolutely nothing to do about wrestling but would still be awesome to see on the only wrestling blog I ever bother going to anymore.
Glad to see you reviewing shows again!

I don’t hate Gedo anymore.  Stop living in the past, man.  1996 was a long time ago. 

Did It Happen?

Hey Scott, I was wondering if any of the following matches had happened, if you knew where to find them, and if they were good enough to warrant hunting down: 
1) Randy Savage vs. Bret Hart, ideally somewhere in the mid 90s while they were both reasonably close to the top of their game (i.e., pre WCW)?

They had a pretty famous match on Saturday Night’s Main Event in the fall of 1987 where Savage was at the very tippy top of his game, and it’s considered one of Savage’s greatest matches and the match that directly led to Bret getting a singles push.  So yes, definitely worth checking it out.  Pretty sure it’s on the Best of SNME DVD set. 

2) Roddy Piper vs. Jake Roberts, before Jake completely lost his shit?

Dude, that would have been such a car wreck in WWF.  Wouldn’t have worked at all.  However, they met a bunch of times in Georgia, although I don’t recall any standouts. 

3) Rick Rude vs. Curt Hennig (before Hennig’s injuries started piling up)?

Rude was long gone from the WWF by the time Hennig turned babyface, and he never passed through the AWA that I know of, so they’ve never met.

4) Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin, pre-KOTR 97 (I feel like they fought a bit during Michaels’ first reign, maybe)?

I think they had one match on RAW in late 96 that was the bee’s knees as the kids say, but I don’t recall specifically. 

5) Shawn Michaels vs. CM Punk (maybe at a house show? Seems like it would have happened, but I can’t seem to find it…)

We’ve seen HHH v.  Punk and HHH/Shawn v. Punk/Gallows, but not a Shawn/Punk singles match. 

6) Chris Jericho vs. Bret Hart

The only possibility would be WCW in 1998, and I can’t think of any matches between them. 

Bonus Round: What is it with guys who never job clean? How many clean (defined here as: no extenuating circumstances, outside interference, or cheating; the better man won) jobs can you tell us about for:

Yes!  I rule at Bonus Rounds!

1) Bret Hart, post 1st title win (I can only think of 2; vs. Owen at WMX, and Michaels at WMXII)? 

Bret Hart was kind of a big star, so jobbing a lot would be counterproductive.  Also considering that Bret Hart lost to EVERYONE up and down the card for most of the 80s, calling him out for not doing jobs is kind of hilarious.  The fact that only a few people got the big, clean wins over him and we still REMEMBER those wins shows how important that made them. 

2) Roddy Piper (I can only think of 1, vs. Hart at WMVIII)

Well again, Piper was the second biggest star in the world at one point, so he shouldn’t have been doing jobs and was smart enough to know that.  However, again, pre-WWF he was more of a cowardly manager and yes, he did tons of clean jobs to lots of people.  If you mean during his heyday in the 80s and 90s, the only people to pin him clean were indeed Bret Hart and Jimmy Snuka.  Otherwise you are correct, Piper did not do jobs.  The Snuka one is on a Best of the WWF Coliseum video tape if you’re curious.

3) Goldberg (I don’t know any)

Hector Guerrero!  Just kidding.  I don’t know of anyone who Goldberg laid down for without a caddle prod involved.

4) Lesnar (Goldberg is the only one I know)

Well Cain Velasquez beat him pretty clean.  As for the WWE run, he was only around for two years and was World champion for most of it, so that didn’t leave a lot of time to be returning the favor to people. 

5) Austin, post 1st title win (WMXIX is the only one I could think of, but I feel like Angle or Michaels probably got him at least once, right?)

HHH, No Way Out 2001.  You could kinda sorta count Kane at KOTR 98 as well.  Austin really lost quite frequently for the biggest star in history, actually, even though a lot of times interference was involved. 

 
6) Hogan (Rock, Warrior, sorta Goldberg, sorta Lesnar… not a lot for a 30+ year career… did I miss anyone?)

Not sure how Lesnar is “sorta”.  He made Hogan submit to a bearhug, that’s pretty substantial.  Kurt Angle made him tap to the anklelock as well, although I forget if interference was involved.  I think the Luger win in 97 was pretty clean.  I’d like to think that Rocky Balboa got his win back between Rocky III and Rocky IV. 

7) Cena (despite his rep, he lost clean to Batista, Michaels, Angle, almost Punk, and probably some others… but I wasn’t watching for most of his run)

Jericho, Lesnar, Carlito, too many to name here really.  He paid his dues on the way up.

8) Orton (I know he’s lost to Cena clean, but that’s the only one I can think of)

No way man, plucky babyface Randy Orton was not protected very much until joining Evolution.  I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I remember him staring at the lights a lot between his debut and the Legend Killer era. 

9) Trips, post WM2000 or so (I vaguely remember him losing clean to Rock or Austin occasionally, but beyond that…Michaels at the Street Fight, ??? at WMXX, and…?)

Didn’t Goldberg win the title from him clean as a sheet?  HHH is a smart guy and he also realizes that spacing out the clean jobs makes them more important.  Plus he laid down Jericho’s Lionsault in that tag match, unless you’re only counting singles. 

10) Warrior (did he ever job clean? Like, even once?)

I wanna say Undertaker in 1991 on a bunch of house show matches, but otherwise, no, Warrior did not take well to being on the losing end of fake wrestling matches.  I’m sure the comments section will be entertaining for this one. 

Did It Happen?

Hey Scott, I was wondering if any of the following matches had happened, if you knew where to find them, and if they were good enough to warrant hunting down: 
1) Randy Savage vs. Bret Hart, ideally somewhere in the mid 90s while they were both reasonably close to the top of their game (i.e., pre WCW)?

They had a pretty famous match on Saturday Night’s Main Event in the fall of 1987 where Savage was at the very tippy top of his game, and it’s considered one of Savage’s greatest matches and the match that directly led to Bret getting a singles push.  So yes, definitely worth checking it out.  Pretty sure it’s on the Best of SNME DVD set. 

2) Roddy Piper vs. Jake Roberts, before Jake completely lost his shit?

Dude, that would have been such a car wreck in WWF.  Wouldn’t have worked at all.  However, they met a bunch of times in Georgia, although I don’t recall any standouts. 

3) Rick Rude vs. Curt Hennig (before Hennig’s injuries started piling up)?

Rude was long gone from the WWF by the time Hennig turned babyface, and he never passed through the AWA that I know of, so they’ve never met.

4) Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin, pre-KOTR 97 (I feel like they fought a bit during Michaels’ first reign, maybe)?

I think they had one match on RAW in late 96 that was the bee’s knees as the kids say, but I don’t recall specifically. 

5) Shawn Michaels vs. CM Punk (maybe at a house show? Seems like it would have happened, but I can’t seem to find it…)

We’ve seen HHH v.  Punk and HHH/Shawn v. Punk/Gallows, but not a Shawn/Punk singles match. 

6) Chris Jericho vs. Bret Hart

The only possibility would be WCW in 1998, and I can’t think of any matches between them. 

Bonus Round: What is it with guys who never job clean? How many clean (defined here as: no extenuating circumstances, outside interference, or cheating; the better man won) jobs can you tell us about for:

Yes!  I rule at Bonus Rounds!

1) Bret Hart, post 1st title win (I can only think of 2; vs. Owen at WMX, and Michaels at WMXII)? 

Bret Hart was kind of a big star, so jobbing a lot would be counterproductive.  Also considering that Bret Hart lost to EVERYONE up and down the card for most of the 80s, calling him out for not doing jobs is kind of hilarious.  The fact that only a few people got the big, clean wins over him and we still REMEMBER those wins shows how important that made them. 

2) Roddy Piper (I can only think of 1, vs. Hart at WMVIII)

Well again, Piper was the second biggest star in the world at one point, so he shouldn’t have been doing jobs and was smart enough to know that.  However, again, pre-WWF he was more of a cowardly manager and yes, he did tons of clean jobs to lots of people.  If you mean during his heyday in the 80s and 90s, the only people to pin him clean were indeed Bret Hart and Jimmy Snuka.  Otherwise you are correct, Piper did not do jobs.  The Snuka one is on a Best of the WWF Coliseum video tape if you’re curious.

3) Goldberg (I don’t know any)

Hector Guerrero!  Just kidding.  I don’t know of anyone who Goldberg laid down for without a caddle prod involved.

4) Lesnar (Goldberg is the only one I know)

Well Cain Velasquez beat him pretty clean.  As for the WWE run, he was only around for two years and was World champion for most of it, so that didn’t leave a lot of time to be returning the favor to people. 

5) Austin, post 1st title win (WMXIX is the only one I could think of, but I feel like Angle or Michaels probably got him at least once, right?)

HHH, No Way Out 2001.  You could kinda sorta count Kane at KOTR 98 as well.  Austin really lost quite frequently for the biggest star in history, actually, even though a lot of times interference was involved. 

 
6) Hogan (Rock, Warrior, sorta Goldberg, sorta Lesnar… not a lot for a 30+ year career… did I miss anyone?)

Not sure how Lesnar is “sorta”.  He made Hogan submit to a bearhug, that’s pretty substantial.  Kurt Angle made him tap to the anklelock as well, although I forget if interference was involved.  I think the Luger win in 97 was pretty clean.  I’d like to think that Rocky Balboa got his win back between Rocky III and Rocky IV. 

7) Cena (despite his rep, he lost clean to Batista, Michaels, Angle, almost Punk, and probably some others… but I wasn’t watching for most of his run)

Jericho, Lesnar, Carlito, too many to name here really.  He paid his dues on the way up.

8) Orton (I know he’s lost to Cena clean, but that’s the only one I can think of)

No way man, plucky babyface Randy Orton was not protected very much until joining Evolution.  I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I remember him staring at the lights a lot between his debut and the Legend Killer era. 

9) Trips, post WM2000 or so (I vaguely remember him losing clean to Rock or Austin occasionally, but beyond that…Michaels at the Street Fight, ??? at WMXX, and…?)

Didn’t Goldberg win the title from him clean as a sheet?  HHH is a smart guy and he also realizes that spacing out the clean jobs makes them more important.  Plus he laid down Jericho’s Lionsault in that tag match, unless you’re only counting singles. 

10) Warrior (did he ever job clean? Like, even once?)

I wanna say Undertaker in 1991 on a bunch of house show matches, but otherwise, no, Warrior did not take well to being on the losing end of fake wrestling matches.  I’m sure the comments section will be entertaining for this one. 

Giant Pushes

Hi Scott,
Hope all is well. I’ve got a question for your blog, which relates to the role of giants (or just big dudes) in wrestling. Personally, I love the often-used angle where a big guy is presented as an invincible killer and built up for the top babyface for a huge payoff. Kane is my personal favourite in 1998 when he was unstoppable until he met up with Taker and Austin.
However, my big problem is how these giants are employed after their first angle. Granted, very few are great wrestlers but it’s just weird how WWE does it now, where a killer will have his big angle…then dropped down to punching-bag status…only to be built up again every few months as a killer once more. Kane, Big Show, Khali and now Mark Henry are prime examples of this although Henry doesn’t bother me as much because his promos come across like he’s a guy who’s done messing around and wants the world title at any cost. His recent in-ring promo with Bret Hart where Bret asks him if he’s trying to intimidate him and Henry responds with a fairly genuine and passionate, "I don’t need to intimidate you, Bret!" was very well done.
Anyway, my point is that all this stop-start pushing can’t make sense for the audience (I know, I know, logic in wrestling, what am I thinking?) and it bugs me. A great example is Big Show as a top wrestler and then dropped down to jobbing to Jeff Hardy (back in the day) and although Show deserved the de-push, it’s still kind of jarring seeing how it may take three finishers to put him down now. What do you think?

It’s pretty symptomatic of WWE in general, where everyone whose name doesn’t rhyme with Wena or Morton goes up for a bit, then down, then up when they need a PPV headliner, then down again, etc.  It used to be a set formula back in the day for the Hogan tour:  Mark Henry would have squashed a variety of guys in impressive fashion, drawn big money with Hogan on the circuit for two-three months, then settled into the midcard after taking the big boot and legdrop.  Now the difference today is that no one gets the sustained push up the card in the first place.  Yeah, King Kong Bundy eventually sunk down after doing a series of jobs to Hogan, but he bought a fucking mansion first and then was able to write his own ticket on the indies for years afterwards.  They seem to think that they can just skip steps now, by having guys do 50/50 booking when they come in so that no one buys them as a threat, then they push them to the main event where they bomb, and they go “Well, we tried, but you got the rub by jobbing to John Cena, so if you can’t get over it’s your fault now.”  It’s very bizarre and backwards. 

Giant Pushes

Hi Scott,
Hope all is well. I’ve got a question for your blog, which relates to the role of giants (or just big dudes) in wrestling. Personally, I love the often-used angle where a big guy is presented as an invincible killer and built up for the top babyface for a huge payoff. Kane is my personal favourite in 1998 when he was unstoppable until he met up with Taker and Austin.
However, my big problem is how these giants are employed after their first angle. Granted, very few are great wrestlers but it’s just weird how WWE does it now, where a killer will have his big angle…then dropped down to punching-bag status…only to be built up again every few months as a killer once more. Kane, Big Show, Khali and now Mark Henry are prime examples of this although Henry doesn’t bother me as much because his promos come across like he’s a guy who’s done messing around and wants the world title at any cost. His recent in-ring promo with Bret Hart where Bret asks him if he’s trying to intimidate him and Henry responds with a fairly genuine and passionate, "I don’t need to intimidate you, Bret!" was very well done.
Anyway, my point is that all this stop-start pushing can’t make sense for the audience (I know, I know, logic in wrestling, what am I thinking?) and it bugs me. A great example is Big Show as a top wrestler and then dropped down to jobbing to Jeff Hardy (back in the day) and although Show deserved the de-push, it’s still kind of jarring seeing how it may take three finishers to put him down now. What do you think?

It’s pretty symptomatic of WWE in general, where everyone whose name doesn’t rhyme with Wena or Morton goes up for a bit, then down, then up when they need a PPV headliner, then down again, etc.  It used to be a set formula back in the day for the Hogan tour:  Mark Henry would have squashed a variety of guys in impressive fashion, drawn big money with Hogan on the circuit for two-three months, then settled into the midcard after taking the big boot and legdrop.  Now the difference today is that no one gets the sustained push up the card in the first place.  Yeah, King Kong Bundy eventually sunk down after doing a series of jobs to Hogan, but he bought a fucking mansion first and then was able to write his own ticket on the indies for years afterwards.  They seem to think that they can just skip steps now, by having guys do 50/50 booking when they come in so that no one buys them as a threat, then they push them to the main event where they bomb, and they go “Well, we tried, but you got the rub by jobbing to John Cena, so if you can’t get over it’s your fault now.”  It’s very bizarre and backwards.