wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling 05.01.13: Rude’s Back, Vince’s Questions, ECW’s Rules, More!

May 1, 2013 | Posted by Mathew Sforcina

Welcome to the only column that isn’t going to joke about Cena’s Achilles tendon injury since the author has had one himself and it’s not fun, Ask 411 Wrestling! I am Mathew Sforcina, and I didn’t get any Tara pictures or videos from anyone. Most disappointed. But on the other hand, it was a joke request, so I guess in the grand scheme of things it evens out.

Anyway, not much to discuss in wrestling, at least in this format. If you want my opinion about something that happened in the last week, let me know on twitter and I’ll bring it up on Cheap Heat Radio since that’s much more current based. Right now, it’s more wrestling history and what have you.

Got a question about wrestling history? Email me at [email protected] and you can see your chosen nickname here!

And go listen to Wrestling PodClash already.


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On the Road for WWF: Re Martel’s leaving the AWA for the WWF, there is a point where money overrides your concerns, plus being World Champ is a lot more stressful than being midcard.

Oh, and yeah, Martel’s return to the TV title picture in 97/98 was one of the best comebacks I’ve ever seen. So upset that it got cut short,

Your Turn, Smart Guy…

We are a tag team. One of us was an original member of a very famous tag team and formed a memorable tag team with a veteran wrestler which was very famous for fighting for our rights. The other one of us was the first person to do something that many other wrestlers would die for it. Our name and image was a tribute to an iconic figure in modern history. Besides that, we used, as single competitors, wrestling names that a more famous wrestler also used and made more famous and one of used used a gimmick that was terminated following a tragedy.

Who are we?

I don’t think anyone got this one. So here’s the answer, from Maravilloso!

We are a tag team. One of us was an original member of a very famous tag team (MIDNIGHT EXPRESS) and formed a memorable tag team with a veteran wrestler which was very famous for fighting for our rights (SPUTNIK MONROE). The other one of us was the first person to do something that many other wrestlers would die for it (first wrestler ever to compete on RAW). Our name and image was a tribute to an iconic figure in modern history (MICHAEL JACKSON). Besides that, we used, as single competitors, wrestling names that a more famous wrestler also used and made more famous (STAGGER LEE AND JUNKYARD DOG) and one of used used a gimmick that was terminated following a tragedy (BLUE BLAZER, ENDED AFTER OWEN HART DIED).


DB is back with this week’s question.

I have wrestled for each of the “Big 3 promotions.” I have wrestled under a number of names, most of which have been gimmicky. I have held one major singles title, having held it twice. I was also a transitional champion where I won a tag team title with one partner and lost it with another. I’ve been both a member of many stables, as well as the leader of one. I’ve been known to jump start a number of careers, mainly as a trainer, but also in one other sense. I tried to put a new spin on an old gimmick, but that did not go over well. In fact, there is another old gimmick I used that would not be welcome today. Who am I?

Questions, Questions, Who’s Got The Questions?

… Actually, look, I know I’ve asked this before, but I’ve been thinking about it again. Put a comment in the section below and/or send an email on the idea of ditching the separation of ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’ questions. I’d still be roughly aiming for the same ratio of them, but it would save me some time if I stopped being so strict about it. But it’s up to you, dear readers. Should the ‘My Damn Opinion’ section be retired or kept in place? You decide!

Manu has our first proper question.

Hey Mat – hope all is well. turning 31’s not all bad.

Question about Saturday Morning Slam – I see A LOT of censorship on this show. I can understand blurring out things like cups of beer and logos (although I’m not sure why logos, such as a large Nike logo on someone’s shirt, weren’t blurred out on SD when it was on network tv), but one thing I’ve noticed is that the back of the gloves (not the palm-side, but the other side) worn by the Usos and Killings are also censored out when on camera – any idea what’s on them and why they’re blurred?

Also, any idea why logos have to be blurred out on this show, but weren’t on SD (I don’t remember seeing it on SNME back in the day, but I could be forgetting it)? Has it been decided that children shouldn’t be exposed to company branding? Is it a copyright thing that either didn’t apply to SD on UPN/CW, or wasn’t being enforced?

thanks in advance.

I looked very hard, but there is no legal requirements to blur out advertising logos on Kids TV in America. Some other countries do have laws, but they aren’t legally required to do so. It’s entirely possible that it’s a rule by CW that applies to kids TV, in that Slam is a G rated show, unlike every other show which is PG, so it may well be a CW/Vortexx decision, no logos/branding during Kid shows. Or at least, no unpaid advertising…

Possibly to get the G rating, although it’s not legally required, branding has to be kept low. I found no resource that was able to explain exactly how ratings are handed out, so it’s impossible to say, or at least, I can’t say so.

As for why R-Truth and, I preseume, Uso’s gloves are blurred is because they are Mechanix gloves. They are a popular brand of gloves, used by racers, builders, and many other lines of work. Some wrestlers wear them, Sting wore them for a while I remember. Thing is, if you take a look at the ones used by wrestlers…

Yeah, they are covered in logos. So if you don’t allow one logo on a shirt, then you can’t allow one on gloves.

Michael starts at the in the middle here at the beginning, and then the beginning will be at the end. Clear?

2) The main angle of the Rock-Cena mania rematch was “retribution.” While I get it obviously and they did a good job of building it up it raises one big loophole credibility-wise for me. The year before Cena lost to the Rock at Mania he lost to the Miz at Mania. Granted, he lost to the Miz due to the Rock(if memory serves, sorry I really didn’t care about that match) so why didn’t he seek retribution for losing to the Miz at Mania last year? Personally, I’d be more pissed and embarrassed if I lost to the Miz(fair or not) than if I lost to the Rock. Ignore what’s the bigger draw and who’s the bigger star(Miz or the Rock) and just focus on the retribution angle. Shouldn’t Cena have wanted revenge on the Miz at Mania if retribution was Cena’s motive?

Yeah, Cena lost the match to Miz because of The Rock attacking him. But the thing is, Cena had to wait the year to face Rock, as that was when Rock would face him, no earlier. Miz he could fight right away, and did so, as the next month he beat Miz and John Morrison in a triple threat cage match to win the WWE Title back. And then he beat Miz the next month as well in an I Quit match to retain the belt at Over The Limit. So he was able to get his revenge on Miz, who he at no point really put over as a threat he had to get retribution on, but Rock he had to wait all year… And then blew it. So he had to work hard for another year to get the revenge… At least, that’s the story they pushed.

3) Old school question: I remember the start of Andre the Giant’s and Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s feud. Now maybe I’m sketchy but I remember Duggan just beat some jobber and was doing his typical thumbs up hollering crap when Andre stormed the ring out of the blue and started head butting Duggan bloody until Duggan walloped Andre with his 2X4. Question is(besides neither of them having nothing to do in ring at the time) what was the impetus for this feud? Did Duggan disparage Bobby Heenan maybe so Andre was exacting revenge? Did Duggan cost Andre a match previously? Was Andre mad that the WWE(F) employed someone as unintelligible as himself so he had to right the wrong? How did it all start?

Thanks. Keep up the great work!

Andre and Hacksaw feuded in 1988, in a feud that Hacksaw credits as the one that made him a main eventer (… OK…) and one of the highlights of his career (fair enough). But how did it begin?

Actually, this is a rare case of WWE helping me, with a video up online explaining it nicely.

Basically it began at Wrestlemania IV, where Duggan lost to DiBiase in the first round due to Andre’s interference. But then the next week (actually filmed in early March) Andre was disrespecting a jobber, and Duggan came out and stood up for jobber rights and what have you. So Andre attacked him, and then Duggan knocked him out with the 2X4. This actually was important beyond just Duggan V Andre, as Andre went nuts afterwards and attacked officials, and this was the kayfabe reason as to why DiBiase sold the contract back to Heenan, he didn’t want the hassle of dealing with Andre’s temper. So if you want to know who was the guy responsible for Heenan making $900,000, it would be Jim Duggan.

Thank you, Jim Duggan.

James has a couple of questions that are pretty much impossible to answer.

Love the column, here’s a couple of questions that my friends have pondered over the last few weeks. Hope you can answer them. Oh, and happy Christmas to one and all!!

1) who has taken the most stone cold stunners ever? Including house shows, TV, PPV etc,

Well, you could just count in this video and use that as a baseline…

Which would give you either Vince McMahon or Undertaker. And that’s pretty much the best two guesses. Taker and Austin wrestled many, many, MANY times, on TV and at House Shows, probably after the point Austin started using it, Taker would be the opponent he had the most. However, on the flip side, whenever Austin got his hands on McMahon, he’d get stunned. And often after TV tapings, Austin, to send the fans home happy, would interact with Vince, and by interact, I mean stun repeatedly.

If someone has a complete Austin match listing, by all means count them up and let me know, but in terms of best guesses, from where I sit? Taker in terms of in match Stunners/occasions, Vince on sheer numbers.

2) with business and tv ratings down at present in today’s economic climate, my question is…. Who earns more from their companies contract point if view? John Cena/CM Punk in this era or guys like Hogan, Nash and Hall back in 1998 time.

Thanks, and happy new year

I believe what you are asking is who makes the most money from their contracts? See, that is impossible to say directly, as we don’t know how much people earn, obviously, plus there is inflation to deal with…

But it comes down to what you consider in the contract or not. Take, for instance, John Cena’s appearance on Fruity Pebble’s boxes. Is that included in his contract? He’s getting money from an outside source, filtered through the WWE, and he wouldn’t get that money if he wasn’t in the WWE, but it wasn’t specifically laid out in the contract, just a matter of “X% from each thing with your face on it goes to you.”

But overall, if you factor in inflation, Hogan and Nash etc get more guaranteed money, their downside is much larger, but Cena’s percentages are probably higher than theirs, or at the least equal, and given that he’s ensured a lot more merch then they are, he gets more out of it. So, the answer is either of them, depending on how you specifically frame the question.

Mike takes us back to the really old days.

Howdy, so my question(s) are in regards to wrestling’s first TV era, in the 1950s. I’ve seen A&E’s Unreal Story of Pro Wrestling Documentary and read Lou Thesz and Blassie’s books, but I am still kind of puzzled on what was being shown on national TV in that time. I’ve heard wrestling was broadcast nation wide on the Dumont Network, so I was wondering how long this nationwide exposure ran for, which promotion(s) they were actually recording and which champion/stars were they showcasing on the show? Obviously Gorgeous George and Lou Thesz seemed to be household names, so where they were filming from, as the newly formed NWA was a governing body and not a singular promotion. Also wondering if there were any other national networks showing wrestling in the ‘Golden Age television era’. Thanks, always a big fan of this column since the beginning. Cheers.

Pretty much every network at the time would have wrestling somewhere on their schedule. It was cheap, exciting, and had a ready made audience since it was very popular at the time. Every local network would probably have some local promotion on their screen, even if the promotion was only there to keep other promotions off the air.

The first ever televised wrestling show was presented on July 10th, 1946, Channel 4 WBKB broadcasting a show from Chicago’s Rainbo Arena, although it only lasted a month due to technical difficulties. The first nationally broadcast wrestling show was put out by ABC, Feburary 2nd, 1949, broadcast again from Rainbo Arena with Wayne Griffin, a popular radio and TV announcer handling play by play. It lasted for about 6 years, as did DuMont’s offerings.

But while ABC had the one show, and NBC did the occasional show, DuMont was the network that really got behind wrestling and pushed it hard, and became the destination for wrestling fans, such as there were. WGN in Chicago had been running TV since it’s inception in April 1948, but on September 17, 1949, the first DuMont wrestling show, live from the Marigold Gardens, was broadcast nationally. It weas called, imaginatively enough, ‘Wrestling from Marigold’.

Jack Brickhouse, who sounds like he should totally have been a wrestler, was instead a legendary sportscaster, known for being the voice of the Cubs, Bears and White Sox, served as host for these weekly Saturday night broadcasts. Vince Lloyd, his usual sidekick for sports games, also served as ring announcer and would do live ads during the show. They also added a second show, a 2 hour live show that would be broadcast from various New York arenas, hosted be a game show indentity, Dennis James, complete with his own catchphrases, the most famous of which was “Okay, Mother” which is better than Vintage, I’ll give you that.

But overexposure and advances in technology meant that by the time the 50’s ended, wrestling was no longer as popular nor as satisfactory for filling time, they were phased out, and it was left to small independent networks and late night programming.

So who was the promoters in question? DuMont, as the main one, was run by Fred Kohler, as ‘Wrestling From Marigold’ was part of the NWA, and thus recognized Lou Thesz or whoever as their champion. Pretty much every televised promotion was in the NWA, and thus you found that although each show had it’s own stars, the really big names, Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George, ‘Nature Boy’ Buddy Rodgers, they would appear in every major show sooner or later.

So technically Lou was the champion for most of it, but he was rarely on. It was whoever was in the region at the time. It was the start of the NWA, before the government got nosy and before any one promoter got bigger than the rest.

Hopefully that gives you a very brief overview, it’s a complicated subject with a lot of details and few overarching names, alas.

Squid Vicious, which is still an awesome name, asks about a seemingly missed opportunity.


Quick question. When Punk lost the Hair vs Mask match to Rey, and subsequently donned that badass mask, was the intention ever to work toward some kind of blow off Mask vs Mask at WM 27(?)? I remember him losing his mask in a very anticlimactic manner to Big Show, and I think this was due to injury, but still, very disappointing.

Yeah, that was rather anti-climatic. Punk runs around for a while with the mask, and then, eventually, on an episode of Smackdown, Punk lost it.

Of course, the storyline itself went through several changes. According to the reports around at the time, the original original plan was for Punk to eventually recruit Mysterio’s family and have them join the SES, ala Raven/Sandman/Tyler Fullington. But that was nixed due to PG ratings, so then Punk, the story goes, was pushing hard for Hair V Mask, but WWE wasn’t interested since they felt no-one would believe Rey would unmask. So we got the 3 months building to Hair V Pledge, which was actually more interesting, and could have led to some interesting TV had Rey lost and forced to Pledge. But they did the hair thing instead, and then they ran with the mask thing for a bit, and then they lost interest, and so had Show unmask him so they could give Punk a reason to be pissed off with Big Show.

WWE, losing interest and ditching a potentially interesting storyline? NO!

But yeah, by the time Punk got the mask, the WWE was moving on from Punk/Rey, and so there were no plans for a final blow off. By the time WM would have rolled around Punk’s hair should have regrown, after all…

This was sent to me a few weeks back, and I kept forgetting to include it. My apologies. After all, they asked so nicely. My bad gentlemen.

While this is just painful.

David illustrates just how long the question list has gotten in parts…

Got a couple of questions for ya, not related in anyway, just two I’ve been thinking about recently.

1. As far as I remember, Muhammed Hassan was supposed to face Batista at Summerslam 2005 for the WHC. Makes sense, foreign heel challenging popular face in not only his hometown, but the nations capital. Obviously that never came to be, and JBL ended up challenging. How much did the whole Hassan terrorist angle affect the SS card? I can mostly see a simple switch out with Hassan and JBL but that’d mean JBL not even being booked during one of his hottest periods so I’m not sure. Any guesses?

Not really, since WWE probably didn’t have much planned themselves. The original plans for Summerslam were Hassan/DAVE and Orton/Taker, with DAVE and Orton retaining to lead to a match between the two later. JBL would then, theoretically, be left with nothing. If he was considered on fire enough, they might and included him in the World Title match (Batista defends against Evil Rich Guy and Evil Sorta-Foreign Guy!) or maybe Booker T, he didn’t start turning heel until after GAB, so they could have delayed it a month or two.

But we never found out the full plans for the show, just what Hassan directly impacted. And speaking of Impact…

2. Bit of a random one this, but why do you reckon none of Hulk Hogan’s kids have ever really tried to follow their father’s footsteps? Considering the amount of second gen superstars around today, it just seems a bit weird that the children of the biggest star of them all have never even trained to bump to the best of my knowledge.

I really hope Brooke doesn’t start wrestling.

Well, OK, that’s unfair. It is possible, however unlikely, that despite being passable at best in terms of acting (Bully and Hulk have totally been carrying their storyline after all), she might well have hidden depths of talent and/or charisma in the ring. I’m not willing to risk it, although I’m sure eventually it’ll happen, but until then, I’m happy to live in ignorance.

As for Nick Hogan, he actually did have some training in 2009, at Rikishi’s school, but given his legal troubles, that hasn’t seemed to have gone anywhere. But there you go, Nick has had some bumps in his time.

Hole in the Wall Cadillac Sockpuppet manages to stump me somewhat.

In either 2010 or 2011, on the go home RAW to the next PPV either
Jerry Lawler or Michael Cole (or both) would get into the ring and do
the rundown of the upcoming PPV. It made sense to me as it filled some
TV time for them, and it would give folks who don’t watch Smackdown a
final run down of the card. Any idea why they stopped doing it?

I’m racking my brain, and I’m following that up with tossing it into an iron maiden, but I do not recall anything like this happening. I know the two of them had interviews and the like in the ring to set up their matches, but running down the card, I really don’t recall that. So I can’t tell you why they stopped, although it might well have something to do with the whole Cole/Lawler feud coming to an end, perhaps. Readers, am I insane or is Hole here misremembering something? Or both?

Ben asks about a famous cage match leading to heat…

I have another question for you concerning the feud between Magnum T.A. and Tully Blanchard from 1985. Did the 2 of them have legit heat with the I Quit match wrapping up the feud? I’m guessing they didn’t because I saw a video of Bill Apter at a reunion show interviewing Magnum and asking him to give a old school promo if Blanchard was there, then a minute later the camera pans to the left and there’s Tully doing the same thing. On a side note, Apter really needs to just shave his head. That 2 hair combover is really disturbing. By the way, thank you for posting my previous question.

… Was this question just to insult Apter? Not that I’m complaining, just an observation.

Actually, I found the video in question.

Anyway, although there is some situational heat (Blanchard has complained in shoot interviews about Magnum beating him up a fair bit, and how the I Quit match was tough, which is fair enough I suppose. I’d be bitching about that too), and there is certainly enough juicy possible causes for heat (Magnum is married to Tully’s Ex, and is raising Tully’s children) the two are apparently friends and have no long standing heat. At the time, they probably didn’t like each other or at least they didn’t want to spend time together just because they remembered the pain they went through, but they are supposedly cool with each other now.

Oh, and I assume you’ve seen the I Quit match. But if you haven’t, or you haven’t watched it recently, here it is again. Backstory: They hate each other. All you need baby.

Matthew asks about ECW.

This is a question that has been going through my head for quite some time. I know that ECW is known for it’s hardcore antics and no holds barred style, but were there rules to their matches?

I’ve been watching several dvd’s with matches from that times period and whenever a person is using a weapon or a hold that would be considered illegal in another promotion the ref’s initiate counts just like in any other promotion but they never call for a DQ. Another example is that refs generally start a 10 count when the action goes to the floor but soon afterwords the ref exits the ring and the count ends.

So the question is, were the matches supposedly held under a certain set of rules and they just disregarded the rule book in order to seem more edgy or were there no rules and the ref actions just make no sense?

A little bit of everything, actually. It depends on what you’re asking. To my knowledge, they never came out and said “There are no rules”. It was just that ECW played hard and fast baby!

In practice, yeah, the only rules for most of the matches were that refs were there to count pinfalls, signal for submissions, hold for rope breaks, and you shouldn’t touch the ref, although that last one was more of a guideline.

But in terms of storyline, yes, ECW had a strict rule book, they had to abide by the statues and laws laid down by the Athletic Commission. So when Bill Alfonso came in and enforced said rules, he became the most hated man in the company.

So officially yes, they had rules that were never enforced. But in practice, nope, they didn’t.

Ace goes from here to there.

In 1990 Greg Valentine used to wear a “hammer jammer” shin guard. Was this part of a storyline or did he have a legit shin injury? I also remember at the 1990 Royal Rumble that Ronnie Garvin wore one as well in his match with Valentine. I believe the story was this was his way to counter the figure 4 leg lock that Valentine used as a finisher at the time?

Actually Valentine’s guard was the Heartbreaker. Garvin’s shin guard was the Hammer Jammer (because it was to jam the Hammer, you see). But there was no injury, it was simply another in a long series of loaded weapons that heels swear they need and use to cheat. From D’Lo’s chest protector and Chris Hero’s elbow pad through to that pesky broken arm of ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton which just refused to heal…

Bad guys will often do this. Sometimes they do begin from actual injuries, true, but in this case Greg had no shin injury to my knowledge.

My next question has to do with the Ravishing one. Bobby Heenan has come out in the past and stated that Rick Rude didn’t like Heenan as his manager because he took heat & spotlight off of Rude, and on to him. If that is indeed true, do you know if he felt the same way about Paul Heyman in WCW while in the Dangerous Alliance?

To the best of my knowledge, Rude wasn’t nearly as hostile to Heyman or indeed Percy Pringle who managed him early in his career. Neither man said that Rude didn’t like him, unlike Heenan. Possibly it was due to the timings, since Percy managed him when Rude was first starting out and with Heyman, it was part of a stable/big angle so that might have mollified his feelings somewhat. Plus the talent around him with him as the center/world champ probably helped. But Heenan and Rude didn’t seem to get along too much personally, and he, at the time, he felt he didn’t need a manager. Of course, often guys who can talk still should have a second so they cheat, but whatever.

But no, Rude didn’t dislike Heyman as much as Heenan, unless he hid it well.

Also, speaking of Rude, what was the deal with him being a commentator in ECW in 1997 & then joining RVD & Sabu’s “team WWF?”. I know he retired in 1994, then disappeared for 3 years until showing up in ECW. Where was he during this time? Did he just use ECW to get back into WWF, & then use WWF for a higher contract in WCW?

During the 3 years away from the business, Rude was basically sitting at home, making cash for doing nothing. Rude was one of several wrestlers who took out insurance polices with Llyod’s of London, and so after he injured his back and had to retire…

He got nice fat payouts from Lloyd’s, as long as he never wrestled again. So he didn’t wrestle. Instead he stayed home and got money that way. But eventually, Heyman was able to convince him to come back to ECW as a personality, as the Masked Man harassing Shane Douglas.

… So yeah, Rude was a face then at one point.

And so he worked with ECW as a manager/bodyguard dealy, as well as working as a color commentator, when WWF noticed he was back and came calling, and they worked out a pay per appearance deal, where he worked for both ECW and WWF, doing shows for ECW, as well as being DX’s insurance policy.

Now, he seemed happy with this deal, he wasn’t using them to get into WCW, that is, until the Montreal Screwjob occurred. He was genuinely upset about it, feeling that what Vince McMahon did was wrong. According to reports he was on the phone with Bischoff during the night to tell him it was a shoot, and it was a big reason why he called WCW and arranged a deal. After all, he was working without a contract in WWF, just pay per appearance, and ECW certainly couldn’t keep him, and so he was free to negotiate, which he chose to do in secret and thus became the only man to appear for all three promotions in the same week.

So yeah, he didn’t use promotions to get into other ones, he instead came back to maybe help a friend, which led to further opportunities, and then he made a moral stand via arguably immoral means.

My Damn Opinion

Jonny is first up here with a hypothetical.

one for the opinion section maybe, but If you could ask Vince McMahon 5 questions on the business what would they be?

OK, so I’m going to assume that he has to answer them truthfully and that I get to tell people about the answer. I mean, if you have him on speed dial and can line up an interview I’ll ask him safe questions, but if this is a thought exercise, then I’ll ask the questions I want answered.

Q1: Looking back over the InVasion, do you regret the choices you made, the way you did it, or are you truly happy with how it turned out, and if so, why?

Q2: Randy Savage leaving. What the hell happened there man?

Q3: What was the real, honest to goodness attendance at Wrestlemania 3?

Q4: Can I have a job please, and if not, how can I improve in order to get one?

Q5: What is Victoria’s phone number?

If, however, he insists on the questions being about ‘this business’ and nothing personal/specific, if these questions to be submitted and asked by someone else…

Q1: How has your view of wrestling changed in the decades you’ve been promoting it? Do you still have the same basic concepts and mindset as you did when you began, or has it changed? And if it has changed, is that because you’ve gotten ‘better’ or is it just a side effect of the market and the world changing?

Q2: How close have you genuinely come to disaster? There’s a lot of points where it’s claimed you would have gone under without X, Y or Z, but is that mostly for show? If Wrestlemania didn’t work were you done for? Were you really against the wall in 96? Any other times we don’t know about?

Q3: There is something of a cliché that you don’t push anyone you didn’t create, that you never use outside successes in your business. And yet, it has also been said you miss the Territorial days, and the era of ready for prime time workers and gimmicks. How do you reconcile these seemingly contradictory concepts?

Q4: What has been your greatest disappointment, and your greatest triumph? What is it that you are most proud of, and least proud of, in your career?

Q5: Seriously, settle the speculation, what the hell happened with Savage?

Michael now has his first question answered here at the end. Clear?

1) People keep talking about guys like Chris Jericho who are basically around to lose to younger guys to help build them up and it’s “good for business”. I understand this as Jericho is a big name and beating him would be considered a major win. I also understand the point of building up the next group of stars which Jericho seems willing to do. But my question is, at what point does all the losing hurt a guy’s career, Jericho or anyone else? Truth be told, while Jericho is a big name and has held tons of titles, he is not on the same level as other superstars like Hogan, Flair, HBK, Savage, Rock, Austin or Cena. Maybe he’s better than some of those guys in ring skills but not in overall wrestling lore.

In my case, he’ll always be remembered as a very good wrestler, entertainer, etc. and all, but I think the losing will hurt him somewhat. Plus, for all the younger fans who aren’t as familiar with him as the previous generation is, they’ll remember him more for losing than winning titles. Am I over thinking(probably) or do you see my point?

I see your point, but on the other hand, Jericho was the first ever Undisputed Champion. The moment he did that, the moment he beat The Rock and Steve Austin in one night back to back, he became untouchable. No matter how many times he jobbed, he would always have something to fall back on. No matter how low he got on the totem pole, he’d always remain a threat, he would always be able to be slipped into the main event and make sense. After all, he was the first ever Undisputed Champion.

You’ll recognize this as the ‘Streak Breaking’ logic, with the idea that whoever breaks the Streak at Wrestlemania will be untouchable afterwards. I mean Undertaker’s streak, by the way. Just in case you had drunk the kool aid very early on and thought I might mean Miz’s. Although the difference is that you can always come up with another milestone to give to someone else. Be the guy to unify the WWE and World titles, for instance. But the Streak is a one off, you cannot be wrong about the guy, or else you’ve blown it. It’s the chance to make someone forever, so you better make sure the guy is there forever. After all, the guy who breaks the streak would, you’d assume, make that superstar level.

But it’s because Jericho is not on that level that it doesn’t matter how many times he loses, in a way. Because if he was on that level, him jobbing would have to be treated like a rare, special occurrence, otherwise that level of star power would be lost. But Jericho, as a ‘mere’ multi-time world champion, holder of countless secondary titles including the most IC title reigns of anyone ever, and as first ever Undisputed World Champion, he can go out there and lose and lose and lose and he’ll be at the same level of overness.

Which is not to say he can’t be pushed harder, the “Sycophantic Tapeworm” era proved that, just that he’ll never drop below this current level of overness/position, theoretically, and thus can be used to help establish guys. Anyone higher on the historical totem pole would need more kid glove handling, and those beneath him wouldn’t be as useful. So Jericho has found the sweet spot. That’s the theory, anyway.

Do you agree? Disagree? Don’t care? Then let me know below! Until next week, dear readers, goodnight.


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Mathew Sforcina

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