Ask 411 Wrestling: What Would WWE Do With Trump Today?
I really don’t know if I should bother putting anything here, given the troubles I’ve had with the site not being able to handle my awesomeness. But here’s hoping…
So hello, and welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling, for the week of the 11th of January, 2017. Assuming you’re reading this then. But whenever you’re reading it, thanks for taking some time to come in here, skim through the column then post a comment down the bottom about how I’m an idiot, or whatever you wanna do. Let’s get into the questions, shall we?
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Don’t Ask Yourself Questions: To be fair, last week’s edition was meant to be the one from two weeks ago, in the gap between Xmas and New Years, a.k.a the dead zone where goofy stuff like that is okish. But it won’t happen again.
Why Christian and Kane?: Because they were the two biggest/best names I had left for that match. Had nothing else for them (solely because Pete Rose never actually wrestled…)
Bundy:… Dammit. Fine, Mark Henry then.
The Trivia Crown
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?
Ben Parker (with a little help from Scruffy The Janitor) has it.
Who am I? I’ve wrestled one of the two main champions in WWE on PPV in another company (AJ Styles in TNA), while I hail from just one border away from where the other one was born. (KO Ontario) My last match in WWE, as of writing, was a four way match where I fought a guy no longer in the company (Del Rio), a guy who just held a title(Ziggler), and a guy who is a current champion(Sheamus), all for a shot at a guy who lost the belt to the guy who is currently a champion (Big E.), who at the time held the title that the second guy recently held (Ziggler as IC Champ).
And if you think that’s confusing, there’s a chance I find it even more confusing (Concussions). A Grand Slammer (Held World, IC, Euro, Tag) and a guy who was also involved in that really bad match from last week’s question(The Reverse Battle Royal), I am who? You are Christian!
Who am I? A multi time gold holder in WWE, WCW, and ECW, I’ve never won a Luchas de Apuestas match. Historical moments I’ve been involved in have featured boxing gloves, a bottle of beer, and a streak that technically didn’t exist (but the first matches were at house shows, so I guess that’s ok then). I’ve been animal, mineral and a chemical found in plants and fungi. I’ve embraced nothingness (in relation to time) and yet also fought against it (in relation to something you shouldn’t stare at). A guy who is the record for most title runs in a company ever, thanks to a gigantic number of a specific belt, I am who?
Getting Down To All The Business
Richard gets to go first.
Was the “Last Battle of Atlanta” really lost for 33 years? Really? How could that happen? Do you think footage of this match being unavailable for so long diminished its importance in wrestling history? Where do you rank it on a list of the greatest culminations of feuds ever in professional wrestling? Or on a list of bloodiest matches?
All the usual “You should have the WWE Network because it’s awesome, but also have it before you watch the video” stuff applies, but on the other hand, it’s the Last Battle of Atlanta, from a wrestling historian purist standpoint I feel like everyone should watch it at least once for the sake of history, so go nuts.
And yes, it was really lost for that long. A lot of old wrestling, and for that matter a lot of old TV has been lost. Back when film was expensive, the notion of filming TV programs just to keep them for later use seemed a bit silly. You’d make the show, broadcast it, maybe ship a copy or two to another country or something for showing there, and then wipe the film and reuse it for another show. A lot of classic BBC stuff is gone, Not Only… But Also and Doctor Who the main ones. Heck, in the US, pretty much the entire DuMont TV Network output, around 175 series, all gone. TV was viewed mostly as a one shot medium.
And wrestling was no different. Well, a little different, you can argue that you should keep tapes so you can bring stuff up for later feuds, but wrestling could be seen as being just like any other weekly show, once the show is broadcast, that’s it. Next show coming up. So why bother keeping old tapes that are expensive to maintain, when you can reuse them or just throw them out?
Of course, with the Last Battle Of Atlanta, it had the added wrinkle of never being shown in full on air. Clips were, I believe, shown on GCW TV, but the match build was all built around trying to sell out the Omni, which was the point for most wrestling shows from that time. The TV was there to get you into the arena. So it was a case where we knew it had been taped, but then it was never shown on TV, and then eventually it came out that Ole had ‘thrown out’ a lot of old tapes and such, and thus it was deemed to have been lost, until finally it was found in a random batch of WCW owned film labelled “Omni Live Events”.
So yeah, I can totally understand it being lost for so long, and then the way it was found made sense too. As for it’s importance in wrestling, I kinda feel that it being unavailable helped its importance. Rich/Sawyer is the default old time blood feud people use when they want to talk about generational hatred outside the WWE bubble. Rich/Sawyer, Von Erich/Freebirds, Horsemen/Dusty, Raven/Dreamer. The fact that these two men, who were so perfectly matched as opponents in terms of style and outlook and such, had two years where they practically killed each other, and it all blew off in one giant, last match that very few people saw, with only bloody still photos surfacing, and second and third hand accounts filtered through the grapevine from people who were there gave it more of a buzz, as it were, then maybe it deserved. The final confrontation between these two not being seen made a sort of sense given how destructive their feud had been in terms of protracted, drawn out simultaneous destruction.
And honestly? It’s a good match, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not exactly a classic. I mean, if this had been part of a Starrcade or something, it would be a match that would crop up on “Great Starrcade Matches You May Not Have Seen!” lists for sure, but it’s not quite as good as Magnum T.A/Tully Blanchard for example, as a bloody, brutal blow off.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s still really good, I’d say top ten feud blowoffs, but in terms of bloodiest… I dunno, that sort of title is a bit meaningless when there’s been how many King of the Deathmatches and Tournament of Deaths and the like? I guess in terms of old school blood it’s up there, but there’s been a fair few bloodier.
Jon continues the topic of guys hating each other.
With Cesaro and Sheamus now getting their run, I’m reminded of Shawn and Stone Cold’s run as reluctant partners and ultimately reluctant champs. I remember liking the storyline specifically because Shawn and Austin were exceptional at playing the roles, but I don’t remember what the point of the whole thing was or how it began or ended. Your thoughts?
Ah, ‘Wacky Tag Team Champions Who Hate Each Other’ (TM Scott Keith), the concept that Vince Russo loves, so the meme goes, but which does have a history before him. Anyway, the HBK/Austin thing was born out of a unique set of circumstances and a need to create heat.
See, heading into King of the Ring 97, two of the big matches set for the show were Steve Austin V Brian Pillman, based on Pillman being the exact guy who screwed over Austin at Cold Day In Hell via premature bell ringing, and Shawn Michaels V Bret Hart, based on them being Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. But Shawn and Bret were at the height of their backstage bickering and thus couldn’t be trusted to work the match, and Pillman deciding that his ankle probably wasn’t ready for action yet.
Now, on screen, Austin and Shawn had begun to help each other, albeit by coincidence, as both of them had their issues with the Hart Foundation, and thus would often end up in the same place at the same time on the same side. But then the matches that were planned were needed to be reworked. And so, they decided to run Austin/Michaels, since neither man had an opponent left. Thus Austin came out and made it clear he had no love for Michaels, he just hated the Harts. This drew out Michaels, and the two came to blows.
So the Hart Foundation, wanting to make sure that these two guys wouldn’t team up, wanted to drive the wedge between them further, and by giving them a tag title shot against Owen and Bulldog, their thinking went, they could make them hate each other more plus get an easy title defence and thus more money. So they issued the challenge, then on the night they jumped Austin, thus making Michaels think Austin abandoned him. But then Austin came out, and they ended up winning the tag belts.
But they were still upset at each other getting in the way of attacking Bret Hart, obviously, and so they ended up needing a match to settle things, and since they hated each other so much, why not have them fight at KOTR?
They had the match, went to a double DQ, the two men still not trusting each other but champions and both of them united in their hatred of the Hart Foundation. This could, would, lead to a long storyline, perhaps, of the two of them coming together to fight Bret and then maybe, just maybe, the two open up, and Austin maybe starts to trust Shawn, and then BAM, Superkick, DX forms over Austin’s corpse, Austin V DX rides for a bit. Or something along those lines.
Or maybe the other way around. Or something else, the point was, it was a newish angle, at the time, and had decent possibilities for storylines to flow from it. It ended abruptly, when Michaels and Bret had an actual fight backstage and Michaels then walked out of the company. Austin and Michaels were then stripped of the titles, a tournament was held to decide who would fight Austin and a partner of his choosing for the vacant belts. Unsurprisingly, Owen Hart and the Bulldog won the tournament, and seemed poised to win the belts, as Austin had no partner, didn’t want a partner, and claimed he didn’t need a partner. And then, among all this hatred… Love debuted.
And given Dude was Mick’s version of Michaels… It worked out ok.
Until Austin’s neck got broken at Summerslam. But in a way, that worked out too, I suppose…
*1/4 of a Chanlder*
Vince was in that last video, as a commentator. Let’s discuss him as a
steamrolling bastard businessman, shall we? Verne?
Your column is awesome and I learn something every time I read it. I’m hoping you can clear up some confusion. I just finished reading Jack Brisco’s book and in a section of the book he talks about how he and his brother Gerry sold their stake in the Georgia territory to the WWF. That got me thinking about what did Vince actually buy? They didn’t have contracts like they do now and Vince could just start running shows in the territory and buy out the top talent like he did in other places. So could you enlighten me as to why Vince would take the purchase route for that territory and what he had to show for his money?
Vince would have liked to take over the wrestling world bloodlessly. It would have been a lot simpler if every time he offered money to buy out a promotion, if they had just taken the deal, he’d have given them all a payoff and they would have saved themselves the hassle of dying a long, slow death and only he could see what wrestling would become and how only he could do it, so on and so forth. There is something to be said in just killing off a possible thorn in your side with a briefcase of cash. You never know just who might suddenly catch the zeitgeist and suddenly explode in popularity and suddenly become a threat both in terms of audience but also in terms of breaking the stranglehold he wanted. That was the general reason why, in theory, Vince wanted to buy everyone out.
Georgia, on the other hand, wasn’t about getting a specific talent, or even promoting in the Georgia area. It was about achieving total dominance over cable TV.
Back in the early 80’s, syndication was the main outlet for national coverage, you needed to be syndicated if you wanted to have a national presence. However, national cable TV did exist, and so it would be nice to have that as well. There were two wrestling companies that had gotten slots on national cable TV in the early 80’s, Georgia Championship Wrestling, later renamed on TV as World Championship Wrestling, on Ted Turner’s TBS Superstation, owned by Jim Barnett, the Briscos and Ole Anderson, and Southwest Championship Wrestling, on the USA Network, owned by Joe Blanchard, Tully Blanchard’s father.
SCW had problems though, as although the ratings for their show were good, USA had issues over content, a big one being a rather bloody match between Tully and “Bruiser” Bob Sweetan which they refused to air, plus SCW was having issues with paying the $7,000 per week to keep the slot. But they were bringing in ratings, so USA wasn’t that worried about the money, for a while. And then here’s Vince, offering more money for a far less controversial product. So USA cancelled the SCW show and gave the timeslot to Vince, and it became All American Wrestling. Tuesday Night Titans soon followed.
But Vince decided that WWF clearly needed a second timeslot on Cable. Not to hurt anyone else, of course, but just because the WWF really needed that extra time in order to better tell their stories and such.
So, the only other national Cable TV wrestling show on air was the WCW one. Vince tried the same deal as with SCW, and offered Ted Turner a big pile of money for the timeslot, but Turner said no almost immediately, due to the fact that GCW was one of the main reasons his station got popular. But then Vince got wind of the issues in GCW’s ownership, and thus by swooping in and convincing Barnett and the Briscos to sell their shares in GCW to him, he became majority owner and thus he controlled the company, and more importantly, he controlled the time slot. And so Black Saturday happened, as the moment Vince achieved total dominance of wrestling on cable TV.
And everyone lived happily ever after.
Phillis has a few questions, here’s a couple of them.
Which wrestlers has Homicide trained?
Well, according to Wikipedia, which is never wrong, of course, he’s trained, at least in part, Azrieal, Becky Bayless, Boogalou, Buff E, Dan Maff, Deacon Riot, Deranged, EC Negro, Ezekiel Jackson, Frankie Starz, Grim Reefer, Hostile, Iceberg, Julius Smokes, Justin Cage, KC Blade, Laithon, Lizzy Valentine, Louie Ramos, Lord Clarence MacDougal, Low Ki, Mace Mendoza, Mayhem, Monsta Mack, Papadon, and Wrecka. A couple of those I’d question, but overall that list looks fair.
How did Jeff Hardy get eliminated from the 2001 Royal Rumble?
… This a Benoit joke?
*goes and checks the match*
Oh, right, now I remember. Him and Matt Hardy were the first and third entrants in the Rumble, and they alternated between beating up the other guy in the ring when there was one, then fighting each other when there wasn’t.
Then Drew Carey came out as an entrant, because reasons.
Anyway, as Drew mugged for the audience and let the Hardys fight, Jeff tossed Matt over the top rope, he lands on the apron. Matt then manages to suplex Jeff over the top rope so he lands on the apron beside his, so they are now facing each other across a turnbuckle. They trade blows, and then both climb up onto the turnbuckle to try and suplex the other onto the floor. In the end Matt falls…
And then you have the storyline, and what actually happened.
In storyline, Matt managed to grab Jeff’s shirt around his waist and yank on it as he fell, just enough so that Jeff lost his balance and thus flew off the turnbuckle and onto the floor.
What actually happened is that the spot was messed up, and so Jeff basically had to jump and dive out of the ring so as to be eliminated before Kane came in for the Kane/Carey spot.
Jeremy asks about the PEOTUS.
Is there a chance Donald Trump would end up on WWE programming again? Obviously, it would only be able to be a one-off (and probably most watched episode of all time), but how do you see it fitting into a story they would want to tell?
Sure, there’s a chance, if Trump called Vince and said he wanted to be on the show, WWE would put him on the show, probably. But I would be surprised if it happened while he was still in office, although him being in the crowd ringside would be something that I can imagine Trump saying he wants to do, as much as the Secret Service would hate it.
But then again, regardless of your personal opinion about the man and his politics, he’s a very divisive figure to say the least. Having Trump appear on WWE right now would get publicity, but you’ll in theory piss off a lot of people however you do it. Have him knock out Rusev with a golden presidential seal or whatever, you lose a lot of people who hate his guts. You have Enzo humiliate him on the mic, then you lose a lot of people who love him. Right now, there’s a risk no matter what you do.
When he’s a former president, there’s more leeway, sure. So if it does happen, it’ll be then.
As for a story they want to tell, my initial instinct is, if they somehow got him while he was President, they would basically do the Governor Ventura/Judge Mills Lane thing.
Basically if Trump is President, then you have some face get really truly screwed over by Steph and/or Vince, hell make it Bayley, have Charlotte drug the ref or shoot him or something at Wrestlemania, then the next night Charlotte and Steph agree that Bayley gets no more chances and then Bayley says she’s taken this to a higher authority, then Trump comes out and makes a Presidential Decree that Bayley gets another shot because he cares about women.
You can decide if there should be a Chandler here or not, or several, perhaps.
If he’s no longer President, then there’s options, but not very good ones. You could still do the above, it’d just lack some logic. Or you can use him as a deus ex machina to transition a Raw authority figure, in that you could use him to say that when he bought and sold Raw, the contract language that he used to create the Guest GM role was intentionally worded that even if he sold Raw back to Vince, he, Trump, could still name a Guest GM that would have full authority. And so, since Raw is without a GM right now because of (REASON), he’s going to use that power to put (PERSON) in charge.
And then eventually you can use one of Linda and Foley’s magic contracts to change it back again.
Speaking of magic contracts, Chris wants to know what I’d do with a bunch of them…
Ok so let’s say you become Emperor of all professional wrestling, worldwide. You are tasked to build a company that can directly & legitimately compete with Vince and the “E”. You have every and any resource available to you.
What is your plan…..weekly live TV & what day or days of the week will it air & what times, house shows & how many per week/month, how many PPV’s per year, what style of wrestling will you promote like strong-style with clean finishes or schmozzez or some of both but mainly one style, writers and/or bookers, would you try and run a territory system as a feeder system for your main promotion, are your shows nationwide like in Japan, Canada, Mexico, USA, Australia, etc, is there serious drug testing with a credible Wellness System, will your players be “Independent Contractors” or will Health Care be provided, will performers take mandatory breaks to properly heal up, will marijuana be acceptable, be PG or adult themed, can guys bleed hard-way/chair head shots/DVD’s thru tables/scantily clad women, how many championships will you have, would the Title Belts go by divisions/weight classes? Finally, how much start-up money would you need, how much to spend, and most importantly, because of great names like TnA & GFW, what is the name of your organization, brother!?
As far as a roster goes, fuck it, let’s just say that you can get your hands on pretty much anybody you want, willing to buy out anybody’s contract from any organization. Vince may try to keep some guys, like you would not just easily get Cena or Reigns…..possible, but difficult. HHH ain’t going nowhere. But a healthy Bryan & a returning Punk are both in play, probably in NJPW & ROH. Rock is available for a ridiculous asking price, but would only commit to a TV & PPV contract only. Same as Bautista, PPV & TV only, but obviously can’t command as much as the Rock. And for whatever reason, the Great Muta wants in, in any role, does he make the cut? Angle & RVD are free agents. Ronda Rousey & Paige Van Zant want to sign as well.
But any other talent from ANY U.S. Indy is readily available….. including TnA & ROH, AAA, LU & CMLL, and NJPW, are all in play. So off the top of your head, in some sort of order if possible, who do you start with to build your roster? Say 16-20 male players, 8-10 female players, 6-8 tag teams where they could split at anytime & be singles stars, maybe a 4 man/1 woman heel faction, a GM or Commissioner, 2 ring announcers, 3-5 commentators, and your bookers & agents, and writers, if you even want any.
… Who’s Paige Van Zant?
So, compete with the WWE. What do I do? First things first, is that I would go into this with clear expectations, which is that I’m trying to compete with WWE via not competing with them, which is to say I’m not actively chasing WWE, I’m not trying to show them up, or making grand claims about how I’m taking them down. WWE is going to see me as a threat, sure, and likewise all the same, but the goal is not ‘Kill WWE’, the goal is ‘Be the best wrestling show possible’, with beating WWE a side effect.
And even if I could kill WWE, I wouldn’t, I want competition, I want there to be both a rival show to force me to be the best I can be, but also because I won’t be able to hire everyone, and thus I want guys to have options. Although if I could maybe buy out WWE, knowing that someone else was ready to step up, so as to get my hands on the Network and get that working better… Wouldn’t say no to that.
But fine, I have the semi-magic wand. What do I do with it? There’s two ways of doing the same basic idea, the logic of which is that right now, there are a lot of really good companies out there that are all doing good work, and if I could harness them all, unify them without sacrificing their uniqueness, that would be an awesome thing. Basically what FloSlam is doing, just supercharged.
So, the simple way would be to get an hour a day, Monday to Friday, on ESPN globally, ‘Global Wrestling Unleashed’, and basically have each day be a different brand/company. New Japan one day, ROH another, one day is smaller company highlights, something like that. Spend time establishing the companies and their stars, and then maybe later on mix them up a bit.
But if you actually want a company, then you gotta get more complicated. So, starting with the backstage stuff since that’s the easiest. Yes there is a wellness policy, and it is enforced and such, I want a clean company, but like in the WWE one going through rehab and such is encouraged and allows for working off strikes and such. Pot… Would depend on the legality. I don’t have a problem with it, provided you don’t try to perform under its influence, but I don’t know the ability for me to say you can use it. There will be periods were guys will be cycled in and out to take time off, but it’s negotiable, between me, the wrestler, and the doctors. Wrestlers are employees, with all the relevant rules therein.
As for style/look/feel, I want it old school in terms of how it is presented as a sport, but not stuffy or overly pompous. You can go the LU/Broken Hardy route, that’s an entirely valid option, but for me I want a wrestling program that has larger than life characters, but a grounded one, the notion that anything can happen because these people are big and weird and exotic, but it’ll all make sense. Knowing how I book, it’ll mostly be ‘clean’ finishes, although heels (and occasionally) faces will cheat to win, but that’s practically clean if there’s a pinfall or submission finish. Hardcore and such does happen, but not often, it’s mostly straight wrestling, but storylines will lead to extreme stuff, either as blow offs or for storyline purposes. I’d say a hard PG13 vibe, I’m not doing scantly clad women and blood in every match, but blood will exist, the occasional woman will wear not much, some swear words in the heat of the moment. Just edgy enough that parents will be disapproving of their kids seeing it, since that’s the money target, officially its 18-35 adults target demo though.
I’d still want to have the various promotions around the world on side, the aim is for this to be a new age NWA, with the original storyline being that this starts off as a showcase of the best and brightest in wrestling coming together under the spirit of competition and such and then Bullet Club ruin everything and ended up forcing the company to exist so everyone can have a chance at killing them.
I’d aim for road agents who know what they are doing, and the sole guy I’d move heaven and earth for from WWE is Heyman to help book.
So, the storyline is that 16 men and 8 women, 4 groups of 4/2 each, come together for a tournament to crown the Inaugural Global Wrestling Supreme Champion in the Mens and Womens divisions (no intergender stuff). Still with the one hour show, Monday to Friday on as global a brand as I can get, ESPN in an ideal world, but if WWE has that locked in tight, then just on as big a sports brand as I can get in each market.
At first, each hour is dedicated to one of the groupings, where there’s one exhibition match, packages introducing the two competitors from that region/company/group, then the match to qualify them.
So something like…
Kazuchika Okada V Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tetsuya Naito V Katsuyori Shibata
Kairi Hojo V Io Shirai
Johnny Mundo V Bobby Lashley
Jay Lethal V Ricochet
Ivelisse V Ronda Rousey
Will Ospreay V Zack Sabre Jr
Pentagon Dark V Kyle O’Reilly
Sexy Star V Nicole Matthews
Adam Cole V Bobby Lashley
Kenny Omega V Marty Scurll
Madison Eagles V Amazing Kong
With guys like Angle, Muta, whoever in the exhibition matches.
This then leads to a special 3 hour show on a Saturday night live on the network/s, from MSG, where Jim Ross and Tazz do commentary, and the tournaments finish, Rousey wins the women’s one because of course she does, and then Bullet Club (Cole, Omega, Cody, Bucks, Fale, Tonga and Io Shirai) ruins it all, thus leading to a ‘redo’ on what was to be a recap show, which is again ruined, and that leads into the company officially forming as a company so as to allow everyone a chance to fight BC without invading all the other companies.
I’d have someone like Tully Blanchard or someone like that as the authority figure, but only as a representative of a Board of Overseers, not as the power themselves, and he’d only be around very rarely, once the company get going, everyone is able to sort themselves out for the most part.
So yeah, that’s how I’d do it. Today. Right now.
Let’s move back to slightly firmer ground with Daniel.
Everyone is aware of Lex Luger jump top WCW in September 1995 and appearance on the first Monday Nitro. However, what were the original plans for Luger in WWF for late 1995 through to 1996? He was involved in the finish to the WWF Title match on Summerslam 1995 (which he miss timed according to Nash) but he had previously tagged with British Bulldog who had turned heel leading into Summerslam. The only information on the web is that he would be positioned as a Babyface behind Bret, HBK, Diesel, Razor and Taker.
There doesn’t seem to have been any, beyond a probable heel turn in early 96 (maybe at WM, run with Michaels/Luger as the summer program?), because Luger was questionable for months prior to that.
While Luger’s appearance on Nitro was one of those giant moments that was a shock, in retrospect it had been building for months. Back then, WWF contracts were for 2 years, and you had 13 weeks at the end of that time to give written notice that they were leaving at the end of the contract, or else the contract would automatically roll over for another year. Of course, Vince could and would wave that whenever he wanted, usually if a lower card guy wanted to leave, as long as he wasn’t going to WCW, he’d be allowed to leave.
But with Luger, he gave notice months prior in the spring, as he wanted either guaranteed money (contracts were for a pittance and then everything else was on gates and such, thus allowing WWF to decide your pay) and/or a guaranteed card placement. Vince wasn’t about to give that, but the two sides seemed to be working on it, which is why Luger was still being used during that time. But he wasn’t having long term plans built around him, because he was still working on a month by month handshake type deal, while they negotiated.
There may have been plans thought up, but I couldn’t find any, and a I suspect none were made, as by the time plans would have to be laid down, he was already gone.
Joesph had a bunch of questions. Here’s one of them for today.
When Hulk Hogan got the megapush to beat the Iron Sheik and become THE Guy it seems like the Hulking Up is as much of a finish as the Legdrop. Hulking up essentially tended to come after the big heel delivered a finishing move. Now I know you mentioned in the NWA the concept of the big all-powerful finishing move wasn’t quite as powerful or at least perceived that way. My question is was there any pushback to the idea of Hogan taking that blow and coming back to defeat the heel or was it always just sort of a “hey it’s just business” idea.
For example, let’s say I’m a big moster heel. Let’s say my finisher move is the Doomsday Drop or something. If I’m put in a program with Hogan I’m basically going to use the Doomsday Drop on him and he’s going to kick out of it. Am I concerned that this will sort of ruin the Doomsday Drop for all future opponents? Do I shrug and say “this is a pretty good program?” Do I look at the broader picture of moves like the Doomsday Drop not having that same punch in other federations (like the NWA) so the whole concept is foreign to me?
I mean, maybe it’s not fair for me to ask you to color every heel who ever fought against Hogan with the same brush, but was there ever–to your knowledge–any pushback to the notion of Hulking out after the Heel’s big move as opposed to taking the Legdrop itself.
I always liked Slaughter’s selling of the Leg Drop where he’d kick out after the 3 count, selling it as a stunning thing rather than a deathbringer.
But to get to the point, it’s less a “that’s business” idea as it was “that’s what WWF does” thing. If you were a monster heel in WWF during Hulkamania, your sole purpose was to be built up so as to lose to Hogan, eventually. You get built up over a period of time, then you run through the house show circuit twice, once going to DQs/COs with Hogan, then on the loop back he wins the blow off. That was the business model, and as a heel, that was the best you could hope for, that you have a successful run against Hogan and make a buttload of cash short term. The alternative was to do the DiBiase thing, and aim to be a upper-midcard heel at best, and never work Hogan and thus never make big money, but have a steady stream on the B shows.
So while you might not have liked the Hogan method, the fact is that if you signed up to come into WWF, that was gonna happen. If you really had a problem with it, come up with a new move to use in WWF then.
I don’t know anyone really complaining about Hogan kicking out of the move, it was the more general overall Hogan formula people tended to have an issue with, kicking out of the big move was just part of it.
And with that, we’ll end things there for this week, assuming it all goes to plan. See you next week, hopefully.