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Ask 411 Wrestling 03.10.10: The Flight From Hell, Checking Zingers and Wrestling with… Dice?

March 10, 2010 | Posted by Mathew Sforcina

Hello, and welcome to a somewhat streamlined edition of Ask 411 Wrestling! I am your usual party host Mathew Sforcina, but I’m also a guy with a workplace who needs me for a day shift. And I normally write this column into the wee hours, since my normal work hours are late anyway, hence with sleep and then work, that doesn’t leave too many hours left over.

That’s not very clear, so let me simplify: I can’t spend too long on this, and it’s too late to get someone else to do it. So this will be the first (and hopefully last) Ask 411 Wrestling Speed Run!

I’m going to spend 2 hours and try and answer as many questions as I can (which is a fraction of my usual time limit). Thusly, this week will probably be shorter, and filled with questions that don’t need massive research time. Nor will there be Backtalking or Your Turn, again due to time. Next week, however, will be a double decker for both to make up for it. I apologize if this upsets you, but… I’m just a guy.

But at least the banner’s still awesome.

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If you don’t sign up, then your next X Division Champion will be Bubba The Love Sponge.

Questions, Questions, Who’s Got The Questions?

Cyrith starts us off with an old, but still damm effective move.

Love the column, I was wondering about the genesis of the DDT. Obviously Jake “The Snake” gave the move its current name(at least if the story of DDT standing for Damian’s Dinner Time is correct) but was he the first to use the move?

Well OK, let me cut you off there. Yes, Jake is certainly credited as the inventor or at the very least innovator of the move, but it does not stand for Damien’s Dinner Time, that came afterwards. DDT was the name given to the move because of the pesticide DDT, which causes serve damage to the brain and spinal column of insects and animals, killing insects instantly, just like the move. Supposedly that’s the origin of the name, the story changes every time Jake tells it. It’s somewhat of an orphan acronym, not standing for anything. But Damien’s Dinner Time specifically was thought up afterwards, given that at the time he ‘invented’ the move, he didn’t have a snake, so there was no Damien.

Personally I prefer the response he gave later on, when asked what DDT stood for.

The End.

Also does it have another name that doesn’t associate it with Roberts?

I have heard it referred to as a Side Piledriver, but that was long ago when Roberts was still active and the move was still fresh. Which leads into your final section…

And finally, why does it seem anyone can call it a DDT if it was in fact coined by Roberts? You don’t see other companies calling a double-underhook facebuster the Pedigree. Thanks for your time.

No you don’t, but that move had/has a name prior to HHH naming it, and more importantly, Hunter’s still around. Sometimes, wrestler specific names catch on and are used for a move, even if it has another name, but normally long after the wrestler has retired or faded into the background. Certainly people call is a Figure 4 Leg Lock, they don’t call it a Modified Spinning Toe Hold Into A Double Leg Lock.

And heck, a wrestler doesn’t have to be gone long for his move name to become generic. The F5 is now called that, regardless of who uses it.

The fact is that if someone is using that move at the time, for the competition, then a company will think up a new name. But after several years, names can stick. Hence why the DDT is still called the DDT. Because it’s been several years, and that’s a catchy name.

From moves to gestures with Justin.

was wondering if you know what cm punk says when he gets on the turnbuckle and gives the “safe” signal i know when he does the watch thing on the ramp he says “its clobberin time” help me out

Well he’s not so much giving the safe signal as he is giving the Straight Edge signal. And thus, I have to assume he’s saying “Better than you” or “Straight Edge” or words to that effect. I couldn’t find clear video of him doing the signal WHILE being heel. Face periods, it seemed generic “Come on” and “I’m the champ”, but as a heel, couldn’t find proof. Anyone want to correct me here?

C. Clown wants to talk money.

How much money do wrestlers make per annum?

Main eventers make about 1-2 million a year, midcard guys in the 6 figures, jobbers/developmentals/women make about 30-70k, known indy names can make that or more depending on the circumstances, and your average run of the mill wrestler at your local indy fed might get a couple hundred bucks a show if he’s lucky. If you work the indys, your per annum income from wrestling is directly related to how many shows you work. Higher up you get, the more guaranteed money you get.

Plus stuff like merchandise, video games, PPV payoffs, that can all inflate the figures.

Chet Lemon asks about checking zingers ahead of time.

After watching RAW tonight with the Springer segment I just had to ask. When Santino makes a comment about Brian Christopher being a screw up,is something like that planned ahead of time? does Santino sit down and ask Jerry if he can say that or how does it work?? or when Vince dissed Piper about the black hair cream or something like that, like does Vince sit down and tell Piper he is gonna say that? and also has there ever been a time a wrestler said something in an interview that someone really took exception to? Thanks

The vast majority of the time, yes, people check before hand. In the WWE certainly, when they run through the script, the writers will probably check and make sure comments like that are cool (or rather, they might just tell the talent “We’ll be making this joke about you tonight”). WWE writes everything out now, so most of the time it’s not the talent making the comments, they just repeat the words the writers say, so it’s not their fault. Of course, sometimes as a rib they won’t tell people ahead of time, and that can problems. For example, at Backlash with the Khali Kiss Cam, when Santina declared her love for JR, that was not cleared ahead of time with JR. And he was none to pleased, as you can tell when you watch it. (I couldn’t find video, sorry)

As for people getting really upset, that’s happened all the time in the past. The whole Shawn/Bret issue was based, in part, on Shawn and his ‘Sunny Days’ comment. The nWo parody of Arn Anderson’s retirement hit hard, as did Oklahoma. Scott Steiner is notorious for being on both sides of it, in that he cut ‘shoot’ promos about Ric Flair that really hurt Flair’s feelings, and yet, supposedly, when Bagwell made fun of him during a build up to a match they had, he was very much hurt by those comments. Thus the match is more of a beating than anything.

You can see both Steiner’s beating on Bagwell and his ‘shoot’ promo on Flair in this video, if you’re interested.

Bash has two unrelated questions.

Hello! Love your column! Long time reader and fan!

I remember reading on the internet back in 1999 that prior to Chris Jericho’s television debut in the WWF he won the Light Heavyweight Championship at a House Show. Obviously if he did then the WWF never recognized it but is there any truth to this?

Well, let’s see. Chris Jericho debuted with the WWF August 9th, 1999. Checking the still superb History of WWE site, I look at the whole year of 1999 and… Nope. Jericho did not win the Light Heavyweight Title in 1999. Hell, that was well into Gillberg’s ‘reign’ that saw him win the title in late 1998 and then vanish until 2000 when they brought the title back and put it on Essa Rios.

Jericho wrestled on the Curtis Goes Home tribute show to Brian Curtis Hildebrand which featured some WWF guys in July, but Jericho’s first official WWF appearance was when the Millennium Clock hit all zeros and he interrupted the Rock. And let’s watch that again, why don’t we? Hey, it’s still an awesome little moment…

Jericho’s first actual MATCH in the WWF was 2 weeks later, August 21st, the day before Summerslam 99, when he replaced The Rock in the main event against then Hardcore Champion Big Bossman in a non-title Nightstick match. Rock couldn’t fly in due to Miami airport being closed.

My second question comes from the famous “Flight From Hell” in 2002. I remember reading that Curt Hennig and Brock Lesnar got into an impromptu wrestling match on the plane and Goldust got drunk and was singing to his ex-wife, Terri Runnels, over the airplane’s intercom system. What actually happened?

Well, pretty much what you described. The Flight From Hell was a plane trip back to the US from England, after a long European tour in 2002. The Smackdown roster had visited Finland, Northern Ireland, and England in four days, having 4 events including one English only PPV. And it was a long flight back home, and given that almost the whole SD roster was on the flight, and the booze was flowing into practically every wrestler’s body and thus… Stuff happened. Here’s some attempt to list all the indiscretions, every one of which is, for the record, merely alleged and never proven in a court of law.

1: Ric Flair was travelling in one of his legendary robes… And nothing else, and was showing off, uh, ‘Little Naitch 2′ to the stewardesses, to the point of ‘terrorising’ them with it.

2: Scott Hall then got into the act as well, showing off, uh, ‘Razor’s Inside Edge’ to Steph.

3: Goldust, as you stated, sang a song to Terri over the PA system. Sadly the song he chose has been lost to time, but I’d like to think it was ‘Golden Slumbers’ by the Beatles, or at least “The Inquiry Of Ms. Terri” from The Dear Hunter.

4: Michael Hayes chose a bad time to try and sleep, X-Pac choosing this flight to shave off Hayes’ trademark mullet.

5: The biggest and most dangerous one of all was Hennig and Brock, though. Hennig apparently pushed and prodded and poked and generally demanded a shoot fight with Brock then and there. Brock agreed, and the two went at it, and at one moment during the ‘match’ the two slammed, very hard, into one of the emergency doors. It held, obviously, and probably would not have opened, but still… How dumb can you get?

Suffice to say that once Vince heard about it, he was non too pleased, in fact he was, apparently, angrier than anyone had ever seen him. Hennig and Hall got fired, and everyone else got reamed out.

So remember kids, don’t drink and fly with the WWE.

Sigh, if only CM Punk had been there. Still would have happened, but he could have got one hell of a promo out of it.

I’m too tired to think of comedy intros, so here’s just two videos.

Brian asks about Jim Cornette being bitter. Cornette? Bitter? Say it ain’t so…

How onto a question. I was watching Jim Cornette’s “Guest Booker” DVD from RF Video and I heard him make a comment that I didn’t quite understand. he was talking about his time in OVW working with the WWE. For some reason, me makes a big point about how the WWE sent them a new WWE-style ring (with ropes instead of cables) and Cornette said something like “I mean we are doing very good with cables, we don’t NEED a ring with ropes. But we did it and of COURSE first night with the ropes, they BROKE!”

Now, is this just Cornette’s bitterness at…well pretty much everyone taking hold? IF the WWE wants these guys to work for them in development, wouldn’t be in their best interest to give them experience working in a WWE-style ring? Also, what exactly is the difference between a WWE ring and an Indy-style ring?

Well, there’s arguments on either side on that. I’ve run ropes and cables, and there’s not a huge amount of difference, there’s a little, sure, but it’s more cosmetic than anything (it feels different when you run them), and the very minor difference in jumping off them/running them you can adapt to fairly easily, so I’ve been told (since my moveset is somewhat grounded [but not totally, I have a second rope fallaway I’ve quite proud of], I’ve had to take my fellow worker’s opinion on that matter, and they’ve never had a problem with it.)

But there is that difference. So you can see WWE’s argument, they do want them to be comfortable in a WWE ring, so why shouldn’t they be like that?

But on the other side, 2 minutes just running the ropes and doing some test jumps and you can adapt, so Jimmy has a point too.

Unless he’s referring to under the ring, in which case he’s totally right, you need steel cables underneath the ring to hold them together properly, but I don’t think WWE are that stupid.

As for differences between the rings, apart from the size thing that we’ve discussed before (WWE has huge rings, comparatively), but underneath… There’s several ways a ring can be built. All of them are basically the same, in terms of having supports running between the corner posts, steel bars on those supports, and then wood on top and then padding, but there’s lots of different ways to have them held together and in what order and in what configuration. So by default, most indy rings will be different, even removing the size issue.

Elmuerteloco manages to drag in another of my hobbies, Gaming, into this thing…

Good Wednesday,

First time ever asking a question. Great column, man, keep it going. In the 90’s there was dice game called Pro Power Championship Wrestling that you could order by mail. It was advertised in Pro Wrestling Illustrated and other Bill Apter magazines. You would use two, 6 sided dice and to my knowledge, only two versions came out. It had fantasy wrestlers like French Falcon and Ragman. Do you have any recollection of this game and if possible, would you know if there were anymore versions printed and where could I get them? Thanks for the helpful column!

Well, sadly since I wasn’t into wrestling in the early 90’s and had no access to the Apter mags if I wanted to, I don’t have any personal recollections about the game.

However, I did find Pro Wrestling Superstar, which is a game based on the dice games, now in convenient PC game form! I haven’t played the game, but it claims to be based on the old one that you’re referring to and it does look like it fits the description, with 2 dice and everything.

However, if you really want to bust out some d6s and roll your way to victory or defeat, here is Powerhouses Of Wrestling! which uses some more dice but is old school in that you actually NEED dice.

But by all means, if anyone bought this game, does PWS there match up?

boy liilii wants to talk double threat teams.

hey dude i have a question that i hope you can answer.
has there ever been a team that started together, not thrown together but debuted together and both went on to being champions in single’s action?

OK, here’s the thing. Most of the following you can argue didn’t exactly debut ‘together’, but do fit together, for a given value of singles success (Stevie Rey was only WCW TV champ, but it’s still a singles title). But if you want a true blue team that debuted together and was great in singles, The Hardy Boys. The rest of the following pretty much fit your question, but not totally.

The Steiner Brothers
Edge & Christian
Harlem Heat
Powerteam USA (Sting and Ultimate Warrior)

That’s all I could think of off the top of my head. Judges?

Finn asks 3 questions about people leaving.

Hello Matt, I’m a longtime fan of yours. The thing about your column is that I learn something new each time, or else solve a mystery that’s been bugging me for years. Definitely one of the highlights of 411mania, keep up the good work. Here are my questions.

1. Everyone knows Shawn Michaels oversold the hell out of Hogan’s broken-down, doddering offense during their match at Summerslam 2005. What I’d like to know is if Shawn suffered any repercussions afterwards, because I don’t think anyone making a mockery out of his opponent would be able to get away with it. Or was Shawn protected enough that he didn’t get any backlash for what he did?

Sort of. I think most people were able to see what was going on, but fact was that Hogan was leaving right afterwards, HBK produced some great stuff leading into the match (in which he went in as a heel under protest) and, despite the overselling… Ah what the hell, any old excuse…

As I was saying, despite the overselling, it was still a pretty good match. And with Hogan leaving, he wasn’t around to complain, so Shawn got off the hook. Had Hogan stuck around, or if Shawn had done it for no good reason (Hulk demanded the Heel/Face dynamic), or if it had been anyone other than Shawn Michaels, he would he been in trouble. But with all those, he got off the hook.

2. Why on Earth did Kurt Angle jump to TNA? Was it purely the lighter schedule of travelling only to one place for shows, or was it something more personal? It still seems shocking to me because from reading his book Vince gave Angle a chance when he was broke and desperate after not being able to cash in off the back of his Atlanta heroics, and turned him into one of the biggest and best stars in his company’s history, and one of my personal favourite wrestlers.


Well, OK, not officially. WWE let him go, the story goes, because he refused to enter drug rehab and needed time off due to his many injures. Angle insisted he did not have a problem with the pills, and that he was OK to wrestle. WWE insisted he did have problems, Kurt didn’t agree, so he left. And then went to TNA in part because of the schedual and in part because they weren’t as hard-lined about the drugs.

But that’s the story that floats around. Is it true? I cannot say for sure. Certainly Kurt doesn’t see it that way, his stance is that he went for the lighter schedule, that he didn’t want to work 300 days a year anymore. That’s the ‘official’ reason. Above is just the juicy gossip version.

3. In similar vein to the previous question, why did Chris Jericho leave the WWE a few years back? As I recall he was quite heavily pushed around the time. Was it simply a case of him wanting to recharge his batteries and take a break?

Bingo. He felt burnt out, and wanted some time away to recharge and heal up and generally extend his career but stepping away from it for a bit. And thank goodness he did, because ‘Hypocrite Suit Wearing Jericho’ came to him during the time away, so we got him thanks to the time off.

My Damm Opinion

Matthew asks about something that I have to speculate on, hence it’s in here.

Hey Matt,

Seems to me that even in this day when the business is open and exposed the wrestling community is still a very insular one. There is a strong separation between who is considered and insider and an outsider, and the idea that to earn respect a wrestler has to pay their dues first. I am curious if this attitude extends to guys who come into the business with legit amateur credentials or who come from an MMA background, especially if they get a big push from it. If a guy like Brock or Shamrock or even Sheldon comes in are they still looked at as noobs, or is there a grudging respect for the guys who can “do it for real”? Do these guys tend to get messed around with more or do the guys in the locker room think it is best to avoid a situation where they might be on the receiving end of a beating?

Well, it’s more of a case by case basis. As a rule, your pre-Wrestling accomplishments don’t tend to count, either positively OR negatively, most of the time. I man, if you’re a convicted child murderer you’re not going to get very far by all means, but guys like MVP and Booker, their criminal backgrounds as a rule would not be used against them (in any meaningful way. Many a joke would be made, but nothing concrete). Likewise, if a guy is a great football star, or a bodybuilder or whatever, those accomplishments don’t tend to be viewed on as anything to be proud of, when you wrestle, you start from the ground up.

However, being able to handle yourself in a fight, be it because you’re a MMA guy or if you’re a brawler or if you’re just bloody tough, that sort of stuff DOES get you cred, so overall an MMA guy probably would get respect out of it, but not because they are MMA, just because they are tough guys, which is because of the MMA, if that makes any sense.

But of course, even if you are a superb shoot fighter, if you’re a jerk and don’t shake the jobbers hands and don’t watch the show you’ll get crapped on regardless, because you deserve it, the locker room mentality goes.

Phil wants to talk about the Shaman Of Sexy himself.

Okay first I thank you for delivering a great article each week. Now onto my question. What are the chances that John Morrison makes it out of the mid-card and into the main event?

Well, WWE certainly WANT to push the guy, and he’s got the looks and enough charisma to get him there. The problem is the moveset. A lot of guys online were calling him the next Shawn Michaels, pre and post M&M break up. And you can see the similarities, but there’s one fatal flaw between them.

Shawn rarely does anything THAT super-flashy, all his stuff is simple and direct now, and he does it spot on practically every time. Every move, no matter how basic, is crisp and spot on, 99% of the time. (Everyone has bad days.)

John’s moveset is wide, varied, flashy as all hell, and he misses like half the time. His finisher, Starship Pain, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen him hit that well. He’s like a lot of indy guys, wanting to get everything in, regardless of rhyme, reason or effectiveness.

That’s really what’s holding him back, the moveset. If he stopped trying to be so damm special and unique, toned down some of the more out there stuff, and worked on getting his stuff to land and make contact and generally not be all flash and no substance, he’ll be a main eventer for sure. But until he does that, he’ll never get above midcard. In my opinion.

And on that note, I again apologize for the shortness of this one, but Mathew Need Sleep Now. Mathew Go. Bye Bye.


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