wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: Was Goldberg vs. Brock the Shortest WWE PPV Main Event Ever?

January 4, 2017 | Posted by Mathew Sforcina

Hello, and welcome to a very special Holiday edition of Ask 411 Wrestling! How is it special, you ask? Well, this week, I’m the one asking the questions!

And also answering them.

Yep, I’m answering questions I want to answer, and not even looking at the question sheet. So this should be interesting, and easy, hopefully, given the weather and the post Holiday lurgy. And there will still be a couple facts in there, don’t worry.

Got a question for next week when things are back to normal? [email protected] is where you send it.

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Zeldas!

Check out my Drabble blog, 1/10 of a Picture! That’s almost always stuff I want to write about on there!

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Kofi/Orton: My apologies, same as with the Orton Gorilla clip, I’m occasionally slipping up in assuming everyone knows what I’m talking about. My bad, I’ll try and avoid that.

In this case, this was the match where Kofi’s push went from existing to not existing after a mistake, or at least a second one. Orton was already not thinking much of Kofi after his music was late to cut him off from punting Roddy Piper at MSG, thus forcing Randy to look silly by stopping for some reason.

And then he ruins the ending to a match by not staying down for the Punt, even after Orton reminds him physically of the spot, in the clip from last week. Now, while you can argue that if he was getting punted he probably wasn’t going to win the title or anything soon, given they were building to Orton/Sheamus, his flirtation with the main event sure as hell ended there.

I’ll try and be clearer/more detailed in future on these matters.

The nWo Angle From Japan: The basic gist of the nWo angle, two companies fighting each other, that was lifted from Japan, sure. But that’s about it, the camera changes, having stuff happen at random times, having one side be an anarchic invading force, they weren’t lifted whole cloth from Japan. That was my point.

Bullet Club/The Bullet Club: I understand that NJPW refers to them solely as Bullet Club, but to my ears/writing style, it needs a The before it, unless I think about it while I’m writing it. I will attempt to do so.

The Trivia Crown

Who am I? Although I’ve never held a singles world championship, I’ve both controlled one and been a champion of the world. My first tag partner on a major stage would later go on to gain a biblical name. I’ve been involved in a match that was deemed perfect, and also a match that was the worst of the year. I’ve utilized Freebird rules, won a briefcase in a match, and am currently signed to a major company. A man who once got involved with Oyl, I am who?

La Parka, Bobby Wonderbread & DarthDaver combined had the answer. I’ll fill in the gaps in the original answer.

Who am I? Although I’ve never held a singles world championship, I’ve both controlled one (Xavier in ROH) and been a champion of the world (World Tag Team Champion Of The World). My first tag partner on a major stage would later go on to gain a biblical name (the other Conquistador went on to be Jesus). I’ve been involved in a match that was deemed perfect (5* vs Samoa Joe and AJ), and also a match that was the worst of the year (Reverse Battle Royal). I’ve utilized Freebird rules (Triple X), won a briefcase in a match (Feast or Fired), and am currently signed to a major company (ROH). A man who once got involved with Oyl (Claire Lynch was previously Olive Oyl at Universal Studios). You are Christopher Daniels.

Who am I? I’ve wrestled one of the two main champions in WWE on PPV in another company, while I hail from just one border away from where the other one was born. My last match in WWE, as of writing, was a four way match where I fought a guy no longer in the company, a guy who just held a title, and a guy who is a current champion, all for a shot at a guy who lost the belt to the guy who is currently a champion, who at the time held the title that the second guy recently held. And if you think that’s confusing, there’s a chance I find it even more confusing. A Grand Slammer and a guy who was also involved in that really bad match from last week’s question, I am who?

Getting Down To All The Business

So then, the first question is from… Well, it’s from Me.

Hey man, been reading the column since back when it was Lansdell and Keith, and I just want to say that you are by far and away the longest guy to be doing this thing. Anyway, I was wondering about when WWE brings in a new title, if they usually put it on someone established or if they go ‘new person, new title’. I know the first few will of course be totally new since no-one had a belt in the company prior, but out of the entire run of WWE titles, there’s been enough where they had a choice where we can look at it, right? So which is more common, for a first ever champ to have never held a title in WWE before or for them to go with someone established? (I guess the WCW ones don’t count, since they came in as being held by someone…)

… I’m writing the questions and I STILL get something like this? Oh fine. Televised titles only, so no FCW/OVW titles count. And only titles where there was a brand new one that was the launch count, so Women’s and Cruiserweights titles don’t matter.

Raw

WWE Universal Championship: Finn Balor, former champion.
WWE United States Championship: Eddie Guerrero, former champion.
WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte (Flair), former champion.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle, both former champions.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship (current): T.J Perkins, new champion.

Smackdown

WWE Championship: Buddy Rogers, new champion.
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Pat Patterson, former champion.
WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch, new champion.
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Heath Slater & Rhyno, both former champions.

NXT

NXT Championship: Seth Rollins, new champion.
NXT Women’s Championship: Paige, new champion.
NXT Tag Team Championship: Adrian Neville & Oliver Grey, both new champions.

Defunct

WWWF United States Tag Team Championship: Don Curtis & Mark Lewin, both new champions.
WWWF United States Heavyweight Championship: Bobo Brazil, new champion.
WWF North American Heavyweight Championship: Ted DiBiase, new champion.
WWF International Heavyweight Championship: Antonino Rocca, new champion.
WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship: Paul DeGalles, new champion.
WWF International Tag Team Championship: Toru Tanaka & Mitsu Arakawa, new champions.
WWF Canadian Championship: Dino Bravo, former champion.
WWF Women’s Tag Team Championship: Velvet McIntyre & Princess Victoria, new champions.
WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship: Antonio Inoki, new champion.
WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship: Perro Aguayo & Gran Hamada, new champions.
WWF Light Heavyweight Championship: TAKA Michinoku, new champion.
WWE European Championship: The British Bulldog, former champion.
WWE Hardcore Championship: Mankind, former champion.
ECW Championship: Rob Van Dam, former champion
World Tag Team Championship: Luke Graham & Tarzan Tyler, former and new champions respectively.
World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H, former champion.
WWE Divas Championship: Michelle McCool, new champion.

11 former champions, 17 new ones, with one tag title that was both. Out of the mainstream ones, 11 former, 8 new, with the double up still there. And three of those new champions are developmental, and thus you can argue the point either way.

Well that’s an unsatisfying ending. Let Myself ask about crafting a nicer one.

Dude, remember that thing you did once where you had a whole bunch of people write little bits about how awesome you were and how sad they were that you were quitting? Man, that was really cool, you think you’ll be doing that again soon? Either way, a bit of a twist on the old standby of fantasy card making. I dare you to make a fantasy Wrestlemania, with only wrestlers who wrestled on the show, but you can’t use anyone who wrestled in a main event, which in this instance means just the final match of the show. No Streak, no Hogan, no Austin, no Rock, etcetc. You can include dark and preshow matches if you want, and managers and interference in the main isn’t a DQ, but can you do it?

Probably not, but alright… So the list of guys I can’t use is Andre The Giant, Bam Bam Bigelow, Batista, Big Show, Bret Hart, Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Hulk Hogan, John Cena, King Kong Bundy, Kurt Angle, Laurence Taylor, Mick Foley, Mr. T, Paul Orndorff, Randy Orton, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Sgt. Slaughter, Shawn Michaels, Sid Justice, Steve Austin, Ted DiBiase, The Miz, The Rock, The Ultimate Warrior, The Undertaker, Triple H, Yokozuna

Well that’s a hell of a list of guys who I can’t use. But ok, let’s see here…

Dean Ambrose V Raven V Sabu V RVD Extreme Rules Elimination match (Violence!)
Bob Backlund/Bruno Sammartino/Pedro Morales V The New Day (Comedy!)
Trish Stratus V Victoria V Wendi Richter V Charlotte V Sasha Banks V Becky Lynch (Revolution!)
Vince McMahon V Dusty Rhodes (Territories!)
William Regal V Mr. Perfect (Technical!)
The Outsiders V Kane/Christian (Marketability!)
King Kong Bundy V Bill Goldberg (Squash!)
Owen Hart V Cesaro (Wrestling!)
The Dudley Boyz V The Hardy Boyz V Zayn & Owens V Rhodes Brothers, TLC (Spots!)
Sting/CM Punk/Eddie Guerrero/Ricky Steamboat/AJ Styles V Ric Flair/Arn Anderson/Tully Blanchard/Barry Windham/Vader w/Bobby Heenan Wargames (Awesomeness!)

Throw on a Battle Royal with everyone else, Tito Santana V Big Bossman as the opening match, a Snake Pit with The Wyatts, maybe something with Sunny, Sable, Stacy Kiebler, The Kat, Kelly Kelly and Torrie Wilson in some sort of gimmicky match depending on what rating the show is, and a running gag throughout the night where Santino Marella keeps trying to win the 24/7 Hardcore title but it keeps changing hands without him involved, starting and ending with Stevie Richards and/or Victoria.

How about you guys?

Some Videos For You!

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5644ky_botchamania-331_sport

You should keep an eye on that last one. Maybe.

Next up is I asking about where I draw the line.

Hiya, just wanted to say that I never miss seeing this column appear in the Columns column on 411mania every week. It’s almost always there, I never fail to notice that it’s up, and I appreciate that, maybe one day I’ll read some of it too! Anyway, quick question, you’ve said in the past that most angles and characters and such are valid provided they are done well. Is that true for everything? Is there really nothing that you can’t do in wrestling provided it’s done well? Surely there’s a line somewhere…

There is a line, but it’s exponential, and thus never touches the point of you shouldn’t do this.

What I mean by that, is that you can rattle off as many horrible, tasteless angles as you want from wrestling history. Terri Runnels’ miscarriage, Maw Young giving birth to a hand, Mark Henry sleeping with his sister and almost doing so with a transvestite, you can just brush them all off with “Screw Russo” you can say that they have no place in wrestling, and you’re right, but you’re also wrong.

They have no place in wrestling as WWF was doing at the time, and certainly not as badly as they were done and/or how they were used. Mike Quackenbush gave a short speech a year or so ago about the wrestling industry that is applicable here, in a way.

I disagree on the historical aspect, in that Kayfabe went on for a good long while because that was the way to make money, by giving people just enough of a doubt as to the authenticity you managed to create real emotion for less work. Which is not to downplay any emotional impact you may have had since you went smart/smarkish, I’ve been wrestling for over a decade now and I still get choked up at times, and/or mark out over stuff.

But I do agree that Wrestling can be explored in ways other than as the strict sports presentation that WWE maintains, that most wrestling companies maintain, and that Jim Cornette will steadfastly refuse to budge from insisting that it is the only way it should be because it made money before and thus should be working now. Especially when that market of old school wrestling is being filled by UFC, which replaces the smidgen of doubt that maybe it’s actually legit with a smidgen of doubt that maybe it’s not actually legit.

Instead, you have companies like CHIKARA to a degree, even WWE with Total Divas/Bellas, but far and away the most obvious one of which is Lucha Underground.

Although Lucha Underground isn’t doing all that big business so maybe there’s a point there somewhere…

But to bring this all back to the point, basically there’s a curved line that starts off pretty high, with all the PG level stuff that wrestling has in it, cheating in matches, turning on tag partners, stuff like that, and the more adult/questionable you get, the closer the line curves down to the point where you shouldn’t be doing it in wrestling. But you never truly get to a point of no return, because if you set up your show in such a way that it’s not being portrayed and depicted as a straight athletic competition, you have more wiggle room. And if you’re a really good booker and/or writer and the talent involved is good, that also gives you a little more wiggle room.

You better be damn sure of what you’re doing though, because the closer you get to the line, the easier it is to fall over, and that’s never a good thing.

So no, I wouldn’t rule out any story or trope or whatever in wrestling overall, I just feel that you need to either be in a situation where your wrestling show isn’t being presented as an athletic competition, and/or you’re doing it damn well. Although if you manage the first one and survive, you’re already doing damn well as is.

Oh, and if you ARE going to bring in a really hot button topic like Racism or sexism or something, you should probably make sure you’re not tacitly endorsing it by having the person like that win. Unless you’re a really really good storyteller, once again…

Speaking of tropes and such, Mathew asks why I have a hang up on a certain one.

So, you gonna keep up this pretence that I’m not you, or at least not you you, and keep dedicating far too much time to think up bad self-depreciating jokes in order to frame these random assortment of crap you wanna talk about? Fine, whatever. Your fantasy booking, in the various forms it’s taken over the years, often seems to rely on this one idea of pushing a comedy guy as serious. Santino, Cabana, Stevie, Foley to a degree, hell, in the second Rewriting The Book you’re going to do if you ever get over the writers block you have on the first one, half the damn thing has Kane being a long running champ thanks to have Chyna, Debra and The Kat all by his side for some reason! You’re always either turning comedy guys serious, or just pushing them anyway. Why? Don’t you know funny doesn’t draw money?

… I’m kicking Jim Cornette more than usual this week. But I kicked Russo as well, that makes it ok, right?

Anyway, yes, if you look over the booking ideas I’ve put out there in here, or in the Indy Draft things the site did a while back (I kinda miss those…), or Fink’s Payload and EWR on 411 to really dig far back, a common thread emerges where I tend to have comedy wrestlers snap and become ultra serious badasses, or push for them to get pushed anyway, see Ryder, Sandow etc. There’s two reasons I do this, one cynical, and one more open ended, and I thought I’d use this opportunity to explain it.

The cynical one is easy. These days, especially in the big leagues, while the notion of ‘any reaction is a good one’ is a notion that needs to die in a fire, while I completely agree that aiming the bar low enough that any noise whatsoever is enough to make you feel like you’ve done your job, when it clearly isn’t, there is something to be said for any positive reaction being good enough.

Not positive in the sense of being cheered, but positive in the sense of getting the reaction you should be getting. And while heels not being heels because of mandated ‘make everyone happy’ thinking or because they don’t want to lose on merch sales or whatever, although that is the deeper problem, it’s also the harder one to fix. You need to either completely reinvent wrestling as a storytelling medium so you don’t need to have heels who are hated, or you have to ensure that you have the freedom to create and push characters who are complete assholes and who win occasionally, which in theory may well involve having to break out of lucrative contracts you may have signed with other companies. Neither of those is palatable.

But the positive reaction, in both senses of the word, that one’s easy. If someone on a major stage is getting a positive reaction from the audience, and they are supposed to, then that’s a marked improvement on some people I could Reigns. I’m not saying that they have to win all the damn belts, but at this point in time in wrestling, any hot act is good. The notion that someone is too ‘entertaining’ to be pushed is kinda done with.

And that leads to the storytelling aspect, in that as I’ve explained before at some point in here, pushing a comedy guy once, preferably via the snapping into a badass method, has a halo effect. If at some point this guy-

Had suddenly switched into something like this-

Not only do you have the anger of people feeling fooled and such, you also plant a simple idea in people’s minds, that a comedy guy, might well be actually talented and/or tough. And thus you give all comedy guys a rub, and it becomes easier to push them later on.

But enough opinion, I need to go back the other way for a bit, thankfully Mr. Sforcina has a fact question for us.

Goldberg V Brock. I want to say that was the shortest WWE PPV main event ever. But then there’s been MITB cash ins. So… Is it the shortest WWE PPV main event ever? As in, last match on the card, again? Oh, and you suck, or something.

Well, of the Big 4, it apparently was indeed the shortest one ever according to WWE on ESPN. But that only counts pre-announced, ‘planned’ main events. WWE has also said that Hogan/Yokozuna from Wrestlemania 9 was a brisk 22 seconds. So that’s the benchmark, now to look at MITB cash ins and such.

The such was Elimination Chamber 2010, but Cena/DAVE wasn’t the main event, neither was Kane at MITB 2010 or Bryan at TLC 2011, so just the ones that went on last…

Edge, New Year’s Revolution 2006, 1:46.
RVD, ECW One Night Stand 2006, 20:40
CM Punk, Extreme Rules 2009, 1:01
Alberto Del Rio, Summerslam 2011, 0:11
Randy Orton, Summerslam 2013, 0:08
Sheamus, Survivor Series 2015, 0:34
Dean Ambrose Money In The Bank 2016, 0:09.

So no, Brock/Goldberg is not the shortest main event in WWE PPV history, assuming, that is, you count MITB cash ins as matches. Obviously they should, they are matches, but still, I saw some people claim they aren’t, but whatever. Orton has the record, and there’s not too much room left for that. It’s not like you can pull something like this in a PPV main event…

Who has two thumbs and needs another question to answer? This Guy!

Dude, you’ve been around a long time, I remember the site before you got here, and that was a long time ago. I don’t have a point to that, just saying your old and all. My question is one about the territories and such. The line of those anti-Vince have is that McMahon created a steamroller and crushed all the territories dead by being ruthless and anti-competitive and all that. The WWE line is that Vince did his best to be kind and buy out territories and bring joy to the hearts of millions and give wrestlers honest, good wages and all that stuff, and besides, if he hadn’t, they would have died out anyway. Obviously the truth will be somewhere in-between, I’m sure you’ll say, but what if Vince hadn’t expanded? What if he’d run WWF the exact same way, but never tried to move past the territory of his father? What would have happened to all the other promotions? Do you think they would have died out anyway? What if Vince did expand, but made a point to treat everyone like he ended up treating Heyman and ECW, at least at first, not stealing all their talent at once, that sort of thing?

Well your premise is flawed, Vince can’t run the company the same way and not expand, the entire point was that he expanded, sucked up all the good talent and presented a slick, new product. It’s not like he can just do that for the handful of cities he would be stuck in. If Vince hadn’t tried to expand, he’d be unlikely to have done anything different from his dad, and thus he’d be just like all the other promotions, blindsided by the rise of cable TV and then run out of business by whoever would fill the void of Vince not being, well Vince. Someone would have had the idea, and while they might not have done things the exact same way or been nearly as successful, they might have been even greater at it, and we’d be in year 35 of the never ending reign of the Wrestling Global Alliance, where every wrestling promotion works together in peace and harmony, and AJ Styles is currently racing Daniel Bryan and Kazuchika Okada to be the first man to hold the WGA Pure, Extreme and Ironperson World Titles at once, which is obviously building to a giant three way match at WGA Large Wrestling Show 31, live from the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia.

Unless, of course, Vince didn’t expand not because he didn’t have the idea, but because he couldn’t expand, because everyone else had the same idea too.

That would be a more interesting world, wherein the various promotions across America didn’t stick their heads in the sand at Cable TV and/or Vince looming, nor did they wait far too long to try and mount a counter-attack, but instead everyone starting going after Cable and/or were more protective about syndication and their talent, that would either go really well or really badly.

Part of the reason Vince won was that he had his vision and it was new and all that, sure, but he got the talent from all over that could maintain interest long and well enough to make the risk pay off. Hogan was the lynchpin, sure, but you needed a lot of strong talent up and down the card in order to hold the ship afloat. If Vince suddenly can’t get Piper and Orndorff and Richter and so on, and they are all on programming that, while not automatically looking the same as the WWF, or feeling the same, or running the same, but was carving their own niches and/or appealing for different audiences, if there’s suddenly options for both consumers and TV networks… Now you have a dogfight. Now you have a true Wrestling War. And that would lead to probably a few larger companies ending up each owning a part of the company, all on Cable at various points and locked in a long, protracted but profitable war. Or, it would lead to a crash, where everyone desperately tried to outspend each other and all would fall and we’d end up with nothing on a major scale for a dozen years or so, maybe.

Not sure I’d be willing to risk that.

But what of you, dear reader? Think that would end up going well? Let me know below. That’s the end of this special Ask 411 Wrestling, we’ll be back to normal bext week, thanks for sticking with me this long, if you’re still here. And if you hated this, my apologies. Still, could have been worse. I was originally going to end up with an InVasion rebooking, so there’s that…

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