Obscure Wrestler Lightning Round

Good afternoon Mr. Keith.  When we hear “One of the Greatest matches of all time”, there is a lot of usual suspects.  But i’m curious on a couple childhood favorites of mine that I wonder if I ever even seen their greatest match.  Indulge me: None of these would be particularly “obscure”, I’d say.  Greg Valentine Most of his really great stuff came pre-WWF.  The dog collar match with Roddy Piper at Starrcade 83 would probably be the concensus pick, although he had some tremendous tag matches with Beefcake against the British Bulldogs.  There’s a really great one on an early SNME.  Tito Santana The IC title match with Mr. Perfect on SNME is likely his best major televised match.  The cage match where he regained the IC title from Valentine in 85 is also a hell of a deal.  Rick Martel He had some really good ones as AWA champion, but nothing I can remember vividly off-hand.  Bam Bam Bigelow He had some awesome ones in Japan.  A tag match with Vader against the Steiners comes to mind.  Big Bossman Probably the Hogan cage match.  Demolition I don’t think they ever had a definitive great one.  Against the Harts at Summerslam 90 or against the Rockers on SNME were probably their best.  Jake Roberts Most of his great ones were in Mid-South, well before he made it to the WWF.  Can’t think of a great definitive one off-hand.  Best from his WWF run would have to be the Randy Savage match at Tuesday In Texas, but even that was really short.  Rick Rude The Masa Chono NWA World title final is actually shockingly great.  Sid Vicious Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 96, and it’s not even close.  Andre The Giant Probably something from Japan, although I’m blanking on specifics. 

Wrestler names (again)

Hey Scott, 

Long time blah blah…

Anyway, in the comments we are always complaining about the WWE Random Name Generator and the reason is obvious – Trademark and merchandising. But the most common example is always, "Vince let CM Punk keep his name, and he's the last person who will get that treatment."

But didn't both Cody Rhodes (yeah, I know, Runnels, but does Vince own Rhodes?) and Ted DiBiase (Jr) sign with WWE after Punk? I know neither of them have been the merchandising machines Punk was.

But can you imagine Legacy with Curtis Axel like names for those guys?

And would Joe Hennig have done any better as Axe Curtis?

The Legacy thing was actually during the period where Vince's crazy whim was guys keeping their wrestling namesake for marketing purposes.  So that was actually deliberate, believe it or not.  

And I feel like Axel Curtis might have been a better name.  

QOTD #41: Your Favorite Wrestler

Today’s Question:
Who is your all-time
favorite wrestler, and why?
That question will be looked at deeper tomorrow, as my final
QOTD installment. Start the party early by writing your soliloquys to the
wrestlers you’ve come to love by scrolling to the end of this. Otherwise, stick
around to talk a little TNA.

I asked you that if this is truly the end of TNA, what’s the
one memory you’ll have of the company? With over 12 years of footage, you had
lots to choose from.
The Jessexpress: A midget wanking in a trashcan
Wasn’t filling enough, Jess?
dffggtyrtwe: just as Leonard answered I am taken by
surprise that a single mom can make $7907 in a few weeks on the internet .
check my source
Well dffggtyrtwe, I’ll make sure that Vickie Guerrero is
aware of yours and Leonard’s money making scheme. Thank you for your valid
Garth Holmberg, C.C.:
Missed Opportunities. TNA had 12
years to hook fans, but found new ways to muck things up at every possible
turn. Instead of going in the direction of being an alternative product to WWE,
they slowly regressed into being a painfully mediocre, watered-down version of
WWE, or if you want to get really nasty, later year versions of WCW. Poor
management and nearly non-existent advertisement campaigns have almost made
their decade plus history completely irrelevant.
White Thunder: The 2003 Super X Cup weekly PPV show was
just classic. Juvi was in the zone, and I thought for sure Teddy Hart was going
to star in the promotion after this. One of my all time favorite wrestling
shows, a perfect tournament. Plus I think the show ended with a War Games style
cage match.
This was right in the middle of my TNA recapping heyday.
The War Games itself was pretty awful, but holy hell what a show Juventud
Guerrera put on that night. I was so bloody upset that Sabin, who I LOVED,
wound up winning this thing – that’s how strong Juvi was performing at this
MyronB: The Scott D’Amore and Dutch Mantell booked
Knockout Division. When they booked the division they had compelling
storylines, good matches, and interesting characters. The Gail Kim-Awesome Kong
feud, the Beautiful People bullying Roxie LaRue, ODB being outrageous. Even
when the rest of the roster was involved in badly booked nonsense you could always
count on the Knockouts to be entertaining. Of course once Vince Russo started
booking the division and it got integrated into the rest of the TNA booking it
became really bad, really quickly.
I have a friend who couldn’t stand the Awesome Kong era,
because he felt it was FAT WOMAN SQUASH, one after another. I loved it, because
I couldn’t remember the last time we had a truly dominant champ of any division
who you believed could NOT be beaten. And lord knows she could wrestle. That’s
what made the Gail Kim win so awesome, finally someone was able to outperform
the unstoppable force. In fact, that’s straight up wrestling in a nutshell.
Chris Hirsch: That they gave their company the acronym
most closely associated with tits and ass.
Numerous posters would make this point, but Chris was the
first. Yes, their initial concept was more than a little short sighted. It’ll
be called TITS N ASS, and feature WOMEN IN CAGES, WRESTLING PENISES, and 600
POUNDS OF CHEEX. Is it a wonder they were nearly dead by week 10?
Darren X: TNA Had as close of a chance at re-creating
the Goldberg-like phenomenon that they needed: Monty Brown….and they dropped
the ball by turning him into a heel gopher for guess who? Which in a sense goes
back to #1: Jeff Jarrett has to be the centerpiece of everything. Monty Brown –
if used correctly – could have been big enough to singlehandedly save the
company…..and they screwed it up, and he left to become a little-used bit
player in WWE and left the business entirely. It’s a shame really. The guy was
a monster and should have been allowed to be just that, not to mention he had
the “look” and possibly could have went more mainstream. TNA has
screwed up other ways (releasing Jay Lethal, not pushing the X-Division, incredibly
botching the whole Pacman Jones thing, Vince Russo….period) but that is #1.
We’ve covered this at least once before, but the lost
opportunity with Monty Brown was unforgivable. The first time I turned off TNA
was in the first (forgotten!) Hulk Hogan era, where suddenly the likes of Jim
Duggan, Buff Bagwell, and Lex Luger were being given prominent roles. The
second time was after the Monty Brown heel turn, that just sapped the life out
of the entire babyface side of the company, and once again put all the
attention on Jeff Jarrett. I never fully came back after that one.
Ryan Yoder: The one negative I will think of is how
Samoa Joe never got to the level he could have. I’m still foggy on the details,
but I just remember he was going to be the top monster badass heel, and then he
was just some guy.
Joe was hot off his 2 year run as ROH champion, and was
putting on performances the likes of which mainstream fans had never seen. Joe’s
shelf life was obviously limited due to his size, but the fact they didn’t just
go balls to the wall and put this guy directly on top of things until Angle’s
arrival was another obvious gaffe. By the time he WOULD eventually get anointed
the champion, a lot of the mystique of Joe was gone. To compare Joe today to
who he was in 2005 isn’t even possible. They are completely different
The Fuj: Elix Skipper walking the cage.
Sexy choice, Fuj. That was straight up one of the ballsiest
things you’ll ever see done inside a professional wrestling ring. If he slips,
it’s all for naught, and lord knows it’s hard enough to concentrate on
something like that without the added pressure of performing in front of a
crowd. Great spot.
Q. Ross: Maybe I’m getting too deep here, but I think
about all of the arrogance and contempt they rolled up. They were arrogant enough
to blow off Jim Ross and Paul Heyman. They were arrogant enough to drive Jeff
Jarrett off. They were arrogant enough to even lie to the same people who have
been spending the past four years trying to prop them up. I know lying is a
part of business, but the fact they never even took the steps to make sure they
didn’t get caught is something else. Contempt? Where do we start? Contempt for
the fans by depicting them as the most undesirable losers whenever they appear
on camera, having Desmond Wolfe get destroyed after winning the #1 Contender
poll, and then letting Jeff Hardy wrestle when he was in no condition. Contempt
for the people who work there, whether they are on screen or off: Jesse
Sorensen, any of the women (Awesome Kong and Daffney in particular), AJ Styles,
their production crew, Rob Terry. Contempt for the realities of the business
today. The fact I associate them with those two things instead of their
talented roster is not something I take glee in.
It speaks volumes about his burial that I have completely
forgotten about Desmond Wolfe. You make some excellent points here about where
the company went wrong. They never truly found their direction, because like
WCW in the past, there was always tons of different people in charge, and their
later years were spent placating the egos of the bigger stars instead of doing
the right thing. I’m still wondering if at nearly 40 years old, AJ Styles will
ever shake off the table of being “The Future” of TNA.
Chris B: X-Division. When I first started getting to
watch it in ’04 that is what always stood out. You heard names like AJ Styles,
Daniels, Low Ki, Amazing Red, Samoa Joe, etc etc on the Internet but I never
really saw them wrestle. At its height – which for me was the AJ-Joe-Daniels
matches from 06 (right?) it was as good as wrestling got.
The X Division was such a brilliant concept that they nearly
killed in year 1. Kid Kash’s never ending run of the title, and subsequent
nearly DROPPING of that belt to Trinity would have finished it quick.
Thankfully, a solid run of Sabin / Michael Shane / Kazarian brought it back to
life, and it held on for years, right through the absolutely sickening
Joe/AJ/Daniels series you mentioned above. Had they continued to promote this
as a main event title for a specific breed of wrestlers (much like UFC will
promote any of their titles as a main event title), they could have run that on
Piperfan01: The very first thing I associate with TNA?
The very first thing is Jeff Jarrett. Which is unfortunate because he never had
any favor with me and that wasn’t ever gonna change.
I don’t even know where to start where Jeff Jarrett is
concerned. From week 1, literally, it was the Jeff Jarrett show whether we
liked it or not. Because of his favor in WCW through the end of the company,
Jarrett was largely considered the best wrestler on the indy scene available,
and as TNA owner, he could pimp himself to no end. In the first show, Jarrett
was featured in every other segment. And it didn’t stop until he got the belt
that December. He was put in insipid feuds with folks like Joe Legend, and a
directionless Chris Daniels, which he used to idle himself when he wasn’t
holding the belt. He booked himself against Hulk Hogan as some sort of Bash At
The Beach 2000 Wet Dream or something. He looked to be moving away, only to
swerve us and take the belt back from Rhino at a HOUSE SHOW of all places. We’ve
mentioned the Monty Brown fiasco. He called himself “PLANET JARRETT”, and with
the way TNA was booked for its first 4 years, it was a well deserved nickname.
Devin Harris: in the beginning, I thought it might be a
good alternative to the WWE. Throughout the years I have tried giving it a
chance but I could never get into it. So, I guess my overall impression is that
it never had a clear cut direction. If you want me to join you on a journey
then at least give me some idea of where you are taking me. TNA could never
tell me cause they never figured it out themselves. Shame though. Could have
really been a contender.
joedust: They knew exactly what they needed to do to
be different (X-Division and Tag Teams) and instead de-emphasized those things
to become a second rate cheap impersenation of the WWE.
It’s almost laughable. James Storm was the perfect face for
everything you’ve just described. He could wrestle any style, with anyone. He
was making hay 3 years ago, and since then has done … what? A series of
mid-card feuds? This is a guy who made himself a superstar with Chris Harris
early, then left without a buddy he did it again with Bobby Roode. Meanwhile,
Eric Young has been completely rejected as any kind of serious player, so
naturally he was rewarded with a World Title run he didn’t deserve, and was
featured prominently as the face of the company because he bore a slight
resemblance to Daniel Bryan. Kudos to you, TNA.
TheConvictor: The title match at Victory Road in 2011 when
a clearly disgusted Sting had to pin an inebriated Jeff Hardy in less than 3
minutes. The pre-match stuff (Hardy’s entrance, Bischoff coming down to relay
last minute instructions and Hardy trying to figure out where to throw his
T-Shirt) lasted nearly three-times as long as the actual match. As for the fans
that just paid their hard earned money to watch the match – sorry, but you’re
out of luck! They enabled a troubled figure like Hardy solely because he had
been a name in WWE (and refused to fire him after he pulled this crap). When it
was clear he wasn’t going to be able to work that day, they still sent him out
there, knowing he could hurt himself or Sting (luckily they called the
audible). That, in a nutshell, summed up TNA.
Irresponsibility at its finest. And there’s your difference.
WWE realized that Kurt Angle was a liability and let him go. TNA hired him a
month later, and happily had him wrestling a more dangerous style than ever,
ignoring his growing substance abuse problem.
thebraziliankid: AJ Styles. He was the guy that made me watch
TNA in first place. I might be wrong but he was the Spirit of TNA, they
should’ve made him The guy of TNA, he was someone that crowd loved and gave to
us TNA’s best matches.
Don’t give up! He’s still THE FUTURE of TNA! Even from the
sidelines of New Japan!
Marv Cresto: The Joseph Park/Abyss angle was easily some
of the best character work in any promotion in the last fifteen or twenty
years. The angles surrounding that character arc were crummy as usual but the
character by itself was tremendous stuff.
In the WWE, Glen Jacobs was unable to get over, wasn’t
particularly good looking or charismatic, so they stuck him under a mask and
called him Kane. Next thing you know he’s the main eventer they’d always hoped
he’d be. Over in TNA, Kid Kash finds a “monster” locked in a cage and names him
Abyss. He was an NWA Wildside cast-off, who’d worked a little with AJ Styles.
The thing was though … this guy was completely oozing charisma and we had NO
idea for YEARS because he was stuck under the mask for the first decade of his
wrestling career on the main stage! Joseph Park is the best pure emoter since
Steven Regal in mid-90’s WCW. Talk about a mis-cast!
Jared Bellow: The red cage from their opening Monday Night
War show. So much illogic and failure packed into one neat little package.
Quintessential TNA.
I went into that night with so much hope. With WWE stacking
the deck via Bret Hart, I figured TNA was going to go balls out. But … what the
hell was with that cage? What human being did they believe was going to be able
to climb at a near horizontal angle, and THEN propel themselves over and out?
It was failure from the start of that show, on what should have been their
defining night. Truthfully … it probably was.
LScisco: I’ll remember TNA for killing Chris Candido.
I’m gonna say that’s a little presumptuous, and a lot harsh.
Vintage: Having Aces & Eights pretty much kill
their entire roster for well over a year, unless it was against Hulk Hogan and
Sting, in which case they couldn’t help but fall like dominoes. That whole
angle was abysmal, right down to the fact that the roster cuts pretty much
murdered any chance at a satisfying payoff.
If you ever saw Sid’s push in the summer of 1999, it was the
same deal in WCW. He flattened EVERYONE in his path, unless he was standing toe
to toe with … well, Hogan, Sting, or Goldberg. Full-cycle.
Timeandtherani: Val Venis pinning Daniels on the first
Bischoff/Hogan PPV and the crowd in the front row turning their backs on the
show I’ll always remember
I actually only picked this comment to compliment the poster
on their fine name choice. I haven’t watched Doctor Who since the reboot, but I
was a big fan of Sylvester McCoy’s doctor through the late 80’s.
Andy PG: Dixie Carter’s unbelievable combination of
unawareness and ego. You are the money. Just keep writing off the losses and
let the wrestling people do the wrestling.
I never thought Dixie would make herself a main character,
but then, never doubt the power of ego where wrestling is concerned. I figured
if ANYONE would be able to avoid the mistakes of Dusty Rhodes, Vince Russo,
Verne Gagne, and leave themselves out of the shows, the “has nothing to do with
wrestling” Dixie Carter would be it. Nope. She’s been the owner we root for.
The owner we hate. Can she now be the owner who sells? Please?
Adam “Colorado”
I’m tempted to go with TNA
fucking EVERYTHING up in spectacular fashion, right down to not even coming up
with a decent name. But my lasting memory is watching one of the greatest
matches I’ve ever seen in Styles/Daniels at Destination X 2012… and the crowd
was dead silent because it was literally like the 150th match between the two
in that building alone so no one gave a fuck, rightfully so.
I’m pretty sure that feud officially jumped the shark the
minute Chris Daniels pulled out a screwdriver and threatened to kill AJ Styles
on PPV. Where else do you go from there?
WCW1987: I refuse to participate in this discussion
because the first part of the question suggests that TNA has folded.
This man lives ON Planet Jarrett.
The REVERSE Battle Royal. People actually
got paid to come up with this stuff!
How dare you bring this up but ignore the Dupp Cup. Or the
Hard 10 Tournament.
Riraho: Paparazzi Productions. Nash: They dont watch
porno tapes…what are they aliens?!
I was a huge, huge fan of everything Kevin Nash did with
Alex Shelley. The PCS contest remains Youtube gold.
Ripner Cabbit: The fact that they would give Scott Steiner
a live Mic so often. There was a time period the main draw of TNA was seeing
what Steiner would do and day that week. The percentages promos is still one of
the unintentionally funniest things in the world.
VintageECW: That string of shows early on with Russo
where they had a surprise return every single week. I nearly died when Ahmed
Johnson returned.
There it is. I am absolutely with you VintageECW. During the
first run of shows of TNA, they went through this strange periods where every
week a random “big” name would return. Vader. The Harris Brothers. Ahmed
Johnson. Paul Bearer. There was no rhyme or reason for it, they would be there,
sometimes wrestle, sometimes not, and from a storyline perspective it made no
One night in particular will always stand out to me – and this
screams “TNA” more than anything else they would ever wind up doing. With an
evil goatee, and a Hawaiian shirt, a man with a lot of rage came storming on to
the TNA set, and had a lot to say to his old broadcast colleague. What was the
POINT of this heel turn? Why was this on PPV? Why was it … impossible to look
away from it? Could it be the GREATEST night in the history of sports? Could
this be settled with a refreshing can of Surge?
This is as TNA as TNA gets. Enjoy it … and enjoy your Friday
too as we hit the weekend. I’ll be back tomorrow to wrap up QOTD. Take care.

Wrestler off season

Would you see the benefits of WWE requiring all their wrestlers to only wrestle 9 months a year?  IMO, they should introduce more wrestlers but only keep 75% of the their active roster on television at any given time so they could continue to have no real off season.  This would help wrestlers have longer careers and keep their characters fresher.  What is the downside to this? Do we need to see Kofi Kingston 12 months a year?

​People have been rallying for this idea for years now and it's always been a fantastic idea.  Keeps everyone fresh, as noted, and look at what a few months off does for making even boring guys like Sheamus seem new and different again when they return.  It's just like how guys would cycle in and out of the territories years ago, leaving before they get boring.  ​

Rumble World Title Matches & Tag-Team Wrestler getting title shots

Good evening Mr. Keith.  2 More Observations as I stroll randomly through shows on the Network:

Royal Rumble: Since the Rumble itself is the REAL selling point, why bother wasting a title match that has two PPV headliners itself (like Cena/Orton for example)?  What i would focus on is really stacking the deck of stars for the rumble itself and making it as best as you possibly can, maybe making the winner less predictable.  And what i would do with the title match, is using that 15-20 mins time and give it too a solid mid carder or a star on the rise and while it would be unlikely he'd win, it would be some good exposure.  I would say a good example is Bret/Razor, even though Razor was in that star-powered 92 Survivor Series tag match.  And this year, put Cena in the Rumble, let a Kofi( i know, i know, awesome close eliminations) or a Langston do their thing with Orton

Whatever happened to a solid tag-team wrestler getting a world title shot just for the fun of it? Remember Morton vs. Flair(i wish i had better examples, i know there are).  I love the Bryan vs. Authority , but it doesn't have to be involved in every single match from here to whatever ppv, eh, err, "special" that goes on, especially with B & C Shows of Smackdown and Main Event.  Give one of the Uso's a 15 minute match with Bryan, it'd sure be a worthwhile way to kill one of the dozens of matches that happen in your 4-5 week in-between PPV time without making the world title feud you got going seem overdone (which they do i think mostly).

Keep up the good work and NHL Playoff Predictions? I'm rooting for St. Louis, thinking Boston takes it all, calling Dallas the sleeper 

​I have no dog in the Stanley Cup fight this year.  As long as it's not Boston or Chicago, it's fine with me.  
The Usos are a weird case, given that Jimmy exists in an alternate universe on Total Divas that they completely ignore on the main shows, where he has a personality and character and everything.  Given how the show is insanely high rated for what it is, you'd think they would try to tie in with it and bring viewers across as much as they can.  And yet the Usos are still featured as interchangeable twins with nothing to distinguish them.  
Daniel Bryan can TOTALLY do the Flair "defend against every two-bit midcarder and make them look like gods" act and would it be great.  He used to do long defenses against Morton, Hawk, assorted Russians and Freebirds, you name it.  People say that getting a *** match out of El Gigante was a miracle but I submit MICHAEL FUCKING HAYES working a *** match with Flair was even more insane.  
But yeah, they'd got the Main Event and Smackdown which generally have nothing else going on, why not have Bryan wrestle an Uso or Damien Sandow or whatevs.  HHH can put a bounty on him!  That angle works every damn time and we know that HHH is loaded in real life and we know he loves old school shit like that, so you can have him be all "I'll give $100,000 to anyone who can beat Bryan" and you get all these guys coming out of the woodwork to step up and try to beat him.  ​

What’s a wrestler to do?

What is the proper way for the wrestlers to react when the crowd is brutally turning on their match a la Brock/Goldberg or Sunday's Orton/Cena? Just going about your match as if it's not happening doesn't seem like the way to handle it. Neither does clamping a chinlock or bearhug for a while and hoping it blows over. So from the performers' perspective, what's the best thing to do in that spot? And do they get any direction from Vince/HHH either before, or during the match via the referee?
Dave Batista
(just kidding)
Randy Orton

There are actually a lot of varying ways for guys to deal with it.  Generally guys will in fact just clamp on a headlock or chinlock, because part of the deal with being a main event guy is that you dictate the crowd reactions and not vice-versa.  If it's a case like Benoit v. Malenko at Hog Wild where the crowd just doesn't give a shit and aren't fans to begin with, you just go about your business and worry about the home audience.  Especially on live PPV, where you're under strict time constraints and don't have the leeway to fuck around and coral the audience again.  Personally if I'm Orton, I clamp that chinlock on and wait out the crowd, because eventually they'll get it out of their system, or else do something to cause them to reflexively get involved like chops in the corner so they'll woo and not chant.  Cena is a pro because he never takes that shit personally and just kind of shrugs it off, which is why fans rarely derail his matches even when they're doing the most vitriolic chants against him.  

Who is this wrestler

Who was Mark Van Halen? – Never saw this territory as a kid, but that guy I am sure I have seen wrestling under another name. It is eating at me, that I can't figure it out

He's a bit of a wrestling mystery, actually.  I did some digging and found lots of other people equally flummoxed.  Sounds like he was just a one-off deal and never went anywhere, but here's what we know:
– He was active in 1983 in Texas.
– His real name is Mark Hildreth, so he might be related to Van Hammer somehow.
Other than that, no idea.  He kind of has that early Steve Austin / Austin Idol look going on, and probably should have been money for someone what with a great look and great name, but he just disappeared apparently.  Maybe someone who knows will find this on Google and educate us.

The 10 Greatest Wrestler Glamour Shots of All Time

Hey Scott,
I don't know what to say about this. I'll just say it involves pictures of the Fabulous Ones. If you still want to click, you do so at your own risk.

You know what's sad/funny is that I got about halfway through that list and I was thinking "Man, if this guy thinks these PICTURES look gay, he should see the VIDEOS they used to put out." and then we got to the end of the list and I laughed even harder as a result.
Just think — Skinner used to be half of a cheesecake babyface team.  

El Dandy is the Greatest Professional Wrestler of All Time

This is the first in a series of reminders that El Dandy is objectively and undoubtedly the Greatest Professional Wrestler of all time. No other individual performer comes close his level of real jam up and extremely underrated performances, innovation and working attitude.

– El Dandy was one of the first wrestlers to study the tapes from japanese UWF promotion and incorporate it's shootstyle into the regular lucha libre, roughly 15 years before Bryan Danielson, Davey Richards and other assorted goons received lots of attention for using sloppy ankle locks and weak looking "MMA" elbow smashes

– El Dandy is the greatest single match worker of all time excelling at a variety of styles including long, technical masterpieces working with matwrestling skills several leagues ahead of anyone else at the time, or right now, epic bloodfeuding payoff brawls as well as a mixture of all the above.

– El Dandy is the greatest multiman match worker of all time, always knowing exactly when to work high end, fast paced exchanges or focused technical wizardry in order not to draw the focus away from other wrestlers.

– El Dandy had the greatest most durable workrate of all time carrying sloppy wrestlers like Black Warrior and Antifaz del Norte to great matches and having an epic feud with Negro Navarro many, many years after reaching his peak, starting with his series of great performances during the 80s and still going after having a very good showing in 2011's Torneo De Maestros and good matches against El Solar, Fuerza Guerrera and others in 2012.

– El Dandy was the most selfless wrestler of all time sacrificing himself to jobber duty without hesitation in order to not take the spotlight away from lesser talent such as Chris Jericho, Lance Storm etc., even willing to put over the useless David Flair.

– El Dandy was involved in the greatest feud and angle of all time when El Hijo del Santo turned heel in 1996, producing several of the greatest matches ever including their epic mask vs. hair match, where Dandy was still selfless enough not to shove himself down the fans' throat as the babyface of the match when many of them decided to side with Santo.

El Dandy far surpasses the likes of Ric Flair, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kurt Angle and Rob van Dam.

What follows is a list of video clips that should convince anyone who has the gall to dismiss El Dandy's abilities otherwise.


And, finally, a professional and known ring mastermind testifying to the greatness of El Dandy:

Who are you doubt El Dandy?

I'm honored that Dave and Bryan were also CC'd on this one.

Least Valuable Wrestler awards by year

Here's an interesting e-mail that I'll throw out there for discussion purposes…

So I had a long drive today, and while bored I suddenly came up with this idea: What if the Blog of Doom crowd picked their anti-MVP (or Least Valuable Wrestler) for specific promotions, by year?  I'm looking for someone who received some sort of push on TV and brought absolutely NOTHING to the table: couldn't work, couldn't do a promo, had no heat whatsoever, etc.  In short, a wrestler who was given a real chance, didn't entertain the fans, and did nothing of value for the promotion itself.  I also generally prefer someone who worked at least half of the year in question.  This can be an individual wrestler or a tag team/stable.  I'll start with the WWF, from Hogan through the 90s:

1984: I admittedly haven't seen much of this, so I'll leave this one to the blog!

1985: A veritable (Consciousness) Murderer's Row, with no less than 4 guys who would dominate most other years.  Uncle Elmer and Cousin Junior were almost Rocky Mountain Thunder-level in the ring and had no other real talent, but Elmer at least had that wedding skit people still remember so he's out.  Brutus Beefcake was also the complete package of suck, but he was less of an embarrassment in the ring than the hillbillies so he's out.  With that in mind, my pick would be David Sammartino.  As terrible as Beefcake in the ring, but unlike the others he didn't have a distinct look or a real gimmick beyond his name; he came across like a 70s jobber in every way, and he was completely overshadowed by his father in his one big angle.  Also worth noting that David worked almost the whole year, while the hillbillies didn't debut until July-August.  You can't really go wrong with any of these, though!

1986: I was going to give the hillbillies the win here, but I hadn't realized Elmer left not long after Mania and Junior was already gone by this year.  With that in mind, my clear pick would be the WWF's Mr. Pibb: Sivi "Superfly" Afi!

1987: My initial thought was Ken Patera, but I remembered this was the year of Outback Jack.  Besides…

1988: …I can just give it to Patera here!

1989:  Nobody stands out quite as much as in the previous few years…Dino Bravo, I guess.  I could also see arguments for the Powers of Pain and the Bolsheviks.  And I'm not picking Duggan for any of these since at least he was consistently over.

1990: Boris Zhukov, hands down.  All the Bolsheviks & Powers of Pain guys as singles wrestlers would've won the previous year, I think.  Maybe even Akeem as a single, too.

1991: Now this one is real interesting, as there's no slam-dunk pick and a bunch of guys with a decent case.  I think the DiBiase feud automatically takes Virgil out of the running.  Babyface Greg Valentine, as dull as he was, could still work.  I feel like Warlord is going to be the favorite here, but my own pick is a bit of a dark horse: Kerry Von Erich.  He was an absolute zombie by this point and scary to watch at times, and Warlord's matches vs. Bulldog were better than any Kerry match I've seen from this year.  No good matches, no real angles I can recall, just a whole lot of empty TV time less than a year into his run.  Oh yeah, and I would've considered Hercules as a singles wrestler if Power & Glory had broken up earlier in the year.

1992: This one would've been a lot easier if babyface Slaughter had hung around a bit longer!  As is…Nailz is tempting just on his ring "work", but I recall him being pretty over and I think he did the character stuff pretty well.  Virgil definitely has more of an argument this time, but I remember him being more carryable in the ring than the other guys here.  I'm thinking the Berserker (yes, however much of a guilty pleasure his gimmick may be) or Kerry Von Erich again (didn't realize he lasted until August!).

1993: Do I even need to say it?

1994: Nikolai Volkoff in the Corporation. Enough said.

1995: King Mabel, of course.  I do want to give a special mention to Goldust for some of the most painful matches you'll ever sit through.

1996: Another tough one, with some good candidates not being around long enough to count.  This was one of the all-time low points for the tag division, so I'll go with the Godwinns.

1997: The Godwinns would again be a worthy choice, but this time I'm picking the Truth Commission.  Hard to think of a worse overall stable in all facets of the business – even the Oddities were more over.  Actually the Gang Warz version of DOA is right up there as well, but I seem to recall them having at least some amount of heat.  Also…

1998: …Skull & 8-Ball were the definite fast-forward champions of this year.  My first thought was Tiger Ali Singh, but DOA were around the whole year and stank up a bunch of PPVs (was Ali on any?).

1999: Mideon, though I'd also be totally fine with picking Mideon & Viscera as a tag team.

Whew, didn't realize this would end up being this long!  Hopefully you guys are OK with that and this gets the ball rolling – would love to see some picks for NWA/WCW, ECW, TNA, Japanese promotions, etc.  Thank you for everything, Scott & co.!

Fwd: Undertaker Luckiest Wrestler?


I was thinking about the Undertaker and in many ways he's one of the luckiest wrestlers in all WWE history. There are many reasons if you think about it.

1. When he debuted the Zahorian shit hit the fan. He didn't have to have the classic roided look that Vince wanted and was free of the steroid stench of so many others.

2. His early Dead-man wrestling style probably extended his career by years with it's safe style.

3. The Streak. I have a strong feeling that the Giant Gonzales match easily could have been a DQ loss

4 He was treated like a star from the very beginning. In his first year, Undertaker was in the ring and maineventing with Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Ric Flair and Sgt. Slaughter. He really didn't have to pay his dues in WWF.

5. On his way up, Hogan was on his way out and he was spared the full brunt of the political machinations.

This may be the most important

6. More than any WWE star (maybe even Triple H and Shawn) Undertaker has always been treated as a respected star. He's about the only legend who's not a comedy figure. It's probably due to loyalty, but he more than anyone else can come and go at his own discretion.

What do you think?

I think the word you're looking for here is "protected".  He's had a lot of benefits that other guys didn't get, but obviously he was an incredibly talented person to immerse himself so fully into the role that he could survive for so long under so many different incarnations.  Certainly there was luck involved in a couple of the circumstances, yeah, but the WWF machine was behind him 100% and that created a lot of luck too.  

Bruiser Brody……what if? – (and wrestler theme music)

1. As we all know, Bruiser Brody died in 1988 at age 42, but lets say for a moment that he had not – what do you think would have happened to his career? His demise coincided with the dying days of the territories, so would he have gone to WWF? Would he have went to Japan and maybe come back for a promotion like ECW? 

2. Give me a Top 5…….who – in your opinion – has the best musical entrance in Wrestling history? (This question was inspired by CM Punks music – at this point, I wish he would go back to the theme he used until last year)

1.  It would have been awkward as hell trying to pin him with that knife in his gut, I can tell you that.  Oh, wait, you meant something different.  I think he would have stayed in Japan and then retired fairly young.  Berzerker was WWF's attempt to recreate him, so obviously that wouldn't have worked, and I don't see a place for him in WCW.  Maybe a career revival in ECW, but how many bounced checks was he gonna take before he told Paul Heyman to go fuck himself?
2.  DEMOLITION, mofo.

Greatest Push Enhancement of a Wrestler

Hey Scott,

I was looking at a WWE.com article discussing guys that weren't supposed to make it and they featured Mikey Whipwreck (he made it?) and their justification was, at one time, he beat Steve Austin. That took me back and it got me thinking to when I saw that match on DVD and how I thought to myself, "Wow, how far did Austin go in one year?"

This got me thinking, one of the necessary evils of wrestling is that you have guys who might start out on the job squad and, later in their career, are fighting main eventers. Daniel Bryan is a clear example of this where he started out jobing to everyone on NXT (back when they were being sold as green-as-grass rookies) and now beats Kane. HBK used to have trouble with Virgil (and would job constantly as a Rocker) and, later on, could polish off, well, everyone. In 1995, HHH used to get annihilated by the Undertaker (It was basically a joke to see the two of them in the ring), and in his last match, he all but beat him. This always struck me as destroying the credibility of the business 'cause as an outsider, this would make no sense. Wrestler A used to have trouble fighting Wrestler B. Now he's beating Wrestler C who used to (and possibly still does) squash Wrestler B. That never happens in fighting. Sure, in UFC, you have upsets but people basically know Kimbo Slice is losing to Rashad Evans. Once you've lost to someone, I know what your limits are as a fighter. That's life.

Like I said, it's a necessary evil because of the nature of wrestling and star-making, but I always found it funny that one guy could go from struggling against a 200-lb nobody to squashing someone that used to be a 400-lb super-monster and it's hardly remarked on.

So here is my question: Have you ever had this feeling? If so, in what match (or name a couple of examples) has this situation  been most apparent to you?

It doesn't bug me so much because a lot of times you can see guys growing as wrestlers and learning new things.  Wrestlers are essentially literary characters come to life, so if they were stuck in the same role for years on end without ever growing or learning, then they'd be static and/or John Cena.  Shawn Michaels used to get tuned in by Virgil as a tag wrestler, but he became a single and learned to how to beat big guys and also learned to be resilient.  
And I don't think your analogy works well for UFC, either.  Just because Dos Santos knocked out Velasquez in a minute the first time doesn't mean Cain isn't gonna knock his head off the second time.  People train and grow.  In a way it makes wrestling MORE realistic that someone like Daniel Bryan would become more confident and figure out how to beat Kane.  

Two weeks worth of Deadspin Wrestler run-in Stories

Quick Note: I am back from vacation so I will post my TNA weekly PPV review on Saturday and then will follow my schedule after that.

Read on to see what Matt Hardy bought at the mall and how Hornswoggle disrupted a bar. Also, a fan tells the Road Dogg that he loves him and Macho Man tells a fan to see him on the Spice Channel.


Here is last week’s installment. Read on to see which wrestler made a fan by him a kebab and who likes lemon slices with their Coors Light. Also, nice stories about Owen Hart and Hillbilly Jim.


More Deadspin Wrestler run-in Stories

Read on to find out how which two wrestlers were dicks to a young fan backstage at Nitro in 2000. Also, find out much Brock Lesnar cares about blocked fire hydrants and if Road Dogg prefers blunts or rolling papers. Also, Kevin Nash shares stories with a fan and Roddy Piper is mesmerized with the pastry case at 7-11.


More Deadspin wrestler run-in stories

Read on to find out about Macho Man at the Senior prom and view a photo with Steve Austin wearing a fanny pack at an AC/DC concert. Also, Nick Dinsmore agrees with a fan about his “Eugene” character and New Jack lets us know why black guys dont play hockey. Tons more stories inside about various other stars being nice and acting like pricks.


Deadspin Wrestler run-in stories

Decent installment. Read on to see what happens with Mick Foley and “Dollface” and find out how Lou Ferrigno is a dick. Plus, dont tell Scott Steiner what size pasta to order and don’t mouth off to Lesnar. Also, a great Virgil story and a funny one about th Bushwhackers.