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Ask 411 Wrestling 07.28.10: Booking Changes, Clique Power and BEST. MUSIC. VIDEO. EVER!

July 28, 2010 | Posted by Mathew Sforcina

This is Ask 411 Wrestling!

*waits for pop*

*gets not even a sausage*

Sigh. Well, I’m Mathew Sforcina, and this time next week (if I have my timing right), you’ll all learn a valuable truth. That I can’t do your daddy’s normal match review.

And on that cryptic note, BANNER!!!

411 on Twitter!



IWC V Vince: OK, to clarify: You can certainly argue that the IWC were heavily behind the chanting for Matt Hardy, but that still doesn’t change the fact that it was the CHANTS, not the online furore, that led to his rehire. The fact that the chants reflected what happened online was just an added push for him, if the IWC hates a guy but the live crowds love him, he’ll get pushed.

And Cena said ‘Five Moves of Doom’ in a rap once, that’s the reference I meant. Pretty clear one.

Gimmick Matches: Whoo boy.

As pointed out by Jeff, it does get complicated once you start moving out to multi man matches.

Plus, can a feud have matches without the guy involved? HHH had to wrestle 5 gimmick matches to get into the 6 pack challenge for the vacant WWF title, as part of the Vince/HHH issue. Do they all count? What about all the Austin V Vince cronies? Do they count?

APinOz also had a decent list of some not mentioned by the commentators.

That question about what feud produced the most gimmick matches has opened up a can of worms for me – the guy asking did mention singles, tag teams or stables.

For singles, HHH vs Mick Foley goes close as I believe they had Falls Count Anywhere, Streetfight, Guest ref and HIAC which doubled as retirement (That’s 5)

Tommy Rich vs Buzz Sawyer lasted almost 3 years in Georgia, and included loser leaves town, cage match, no DQ, strap match, Texas Death, lights out and lumberjack match.

For REALLY old school, right here in Australia, The People’s Army vs Big Bad John’s Army included matches among the various participants that covered just about every gimmick match of the day – mind you, there weren’t as many variants as now but No DQ, No Countout and No Time Limit were hugely over as gimmicks in the day, and there were cage matches and barbed wire matches when things got REALLY loopy.

The Midnight Express vs The Rock ‘n Roll Express included Texas Tornado, 2 out of 3 falls, Cage Match, Guest Ref, Scaffold Match and Country Whipping Match.

Dusty Rhodes vs Tully Blanchard included Cage Match, Barbed Wire Match, Ladder Match, First Blood, Winner Gets Services of Baby Doll, and they were on opposing sides in War Games.

Barry Windham vs Brian Pillman opposed each other in War Games, Cage Match, Lumberjack Match, Taped Fist Match and Loser Leaves WCW match.

And it seems like the Motor City Machine Guns and Beer Money are about to embark on 5 different gimmick matches in the next 5 weeks, unless that’s just too long term for TNA and they give up on it next week.

But I think HHH/Rock makes the most sense, certainly as a strict one on one, so let’s go with that.

Longest Gaps In Title Wins: If you discount Terry Funk, and go via the start dates (as in, you interpret the question that way) then yes, Bob wins. But if you go via the time between the two points they were champion, Kane wins. So everyone’s right!

And everyone’s wrong.

Your Turn, Smart Guy…

Who am I? I got pinned by Kane in a title match, giving Kane a title I didn’t have at the time. I’ve had 7 different partners in Tag Team Title reigns, with someone close to Kane as one of them. I have 1 Slammy to my name, and I won a ‘big’ WCW Gimmick Match. Who am I?

Wellllll…. It’s The Big Show!

Who am I? Part of the 1996 WON Fall of Fame, I’m still currently active in Wrestling, in some way or another. I’m a WWE Triple Crown Champion, under the ‘True’ a.k.a Classic definition. I’ve had lots of classic moments in the ring, and a bunch that most people would rather forget. I’ve been pinned to the mat with William Afflis counting the fall. My son has stepped in the ring, and I’ve teamed and feuded with him. I had a match with Vince McMahon, and one with Eric Bischoff. Who am I?

Questions, Questions, Who’s Got The Questions?

Kevin starts us off this week.

I notice that every year, Big Show and Kane turn heel/face, often more than once. I can’t think of any other wrestlers who turn this much. So just curious, which guy has turned more? I’m too lazy to count, so I hope you or a reader could look into it.


… OK then.

Kane: Kane debuted as a heel, with a teased face turn right before the 98 Royal Rumble, but that doesn’t count. He didn’t turn until Judgement Day 98, when Taker and Paul Bearer reunited and thus went heel and made him tweener really.

(See, this is where the joke came from. There were lots of points when the two teamed up and then feuded, and although they didn’t really ‘turn’ turn, there were changes in the alliances, hence it’s hard to pinpoint moments).

He remained a tweener, since he joined The Corporation but only because if he didn’t, he’d be put back into a mental institution.

He didn’t really turn face until Wrestlemania XV, when HHH joined the Corporation and Kane got kicked out, so we’re up to 2, if you count a turn to Tweener. He turned heel again in 2000, attacking Undertaker over the KOTR title match, then turned back face right before the 2001 Royal Rumble so now it’s 4. He stayed face for a fair while, changing the mask up, but not turning.

June 23, 2003, Kane unmasked and all hell broke loose, so that’s 5. During this heel run, he blackmailed Lita into sleeping with him so he could have a kid (which was kinda stupid given that Surrogate mothers can come fairly cheap and are less likely to break their neck) and then married her, only to turn face when Snitsky caused a miscarriage of Lita and Kane’s designer baby.

Wait, sorry, getting a late breaking message here:

I’m sorry, but apparently it wasn’t Snitsky’s fault.

Huh. Anyway, Kane was up to 6 with this face turn, and then, after some time, feuds, and a World Tag Title run with Big Show…

God I love that match.

Anyway, Kane went through a short period when voices got him crazy, May 19th and all that. But that’s somewhat like his teased face turn with Taker before the Royal Rumble, at least in my mind. So we’re still on 6, given that Fake Kane soon turned up and then vanished soon after.

In 2008 was his official heel turn, as after winning and losing the ECW title (and spanning 3 brands while he did so), he ended up on Raw, and then was furious at not being given a title shot, and thus turned heel for 7. 8 came soon after when he saved Undertaker from Jeri-Show around Survivor Series 09. And then… Has he turned heel now, with the Immediate Cash in and attacking Rey and such? Well, it’s debatable.

So, 7 For Sures, 1 Probably, 1 Not Yet Clear and 4 bonus ones if you count rage and fake out ones. So, 13 as a max. (Unless you want to start debating Russo’s Shades Of Grey booking)

Big Show: Starts as a heel as The Giant, looking for revenge, as he blamed Hogan for Andre The Giants death, and that he was Andre’s son.

And then we get a questionable one to start of with, as the New World Order forms, and thus, sort of by default, everyone not in the NWO turns, and certainly given that The Giant was the WCW World Champ, and was Hogan’s first opponent after THAT heel turn, he’s be default a face, so we call it one.

Certainly when he joins the NWO 23 days later, that’s a heel turn, so we’re at two. But despite turning for money, he eventually asks for a title shot from Hogan, and is kicked out of the nWo at the end of 96, so that’s three.

He entered into a feud with Kevin Nash, and once Nash formed the Wolfpac and turned face, he rejoined the nWo Classic in order to have back up in his war against Nash, so we’re up to 4, and then 5 when the two nWos merged in early 1999, and he got kicked out of the nWo and then WCW.

Then, you get a pre debut turn, as he starts off heel, as Vince McMahon’s bodyguard, so 6, probably. 7 comes quickly because he turns face at Wrestlemania XV, and/or when he forms The Union, depending on your viewpoint. 8 comes when he forms the Unholy Alliance with Undertaker (and a couple of scrubs). 9 comes with this feud, and the WWF title.

I love that poem.

Anyway, soon after this face turn, he loses the title back to Triple H, and then, during The Rock’s mobilisation of the entire roster against the McMahon-Helmsley Regime, he doesn’t take kindly to being called a Jabroni, and turns heel for 10.

He aligns with Shane McMahon, loses first at Wrestlemania, then turns face for 11 with his Impersonation gimmick.

I love that … Well, I guess that hasn’t aged that well. But then, neither has Hogan.


OK, so he’s a face up until he turns heel again and forms the (sadly) short lived ‘The Conspiracy’ with Shane McMahon, the man who put him out for a bit.

(But forget logic in that case. Shane McMahon, Big Show, Kurt Angle, Edge, Christian, and that guy we don’t talk about any more but at the time we thought was cool! That’s a bloody stable right there…)

Lucky turn 13 comes when he sides with the WWF during the Invasion. Even more lucky turn 14 then comes when he’s drafted to Raw, and then turns on Steve Austin and then, after a short time of it just being him and Flair, he joins the nWo.

He’s drafted to Smackdown, still a heel. Wins the WWE title, loses it, still a heel. Eventually he leaves for a while, and becomes a face when he returns to Smackdown in 2004, that’s the 15th turn.

There’s a bit of lull, then he turns heel for the 16th time when he wins the ECW Title. He leaves, he comes back, he’s supposed to be a heel against Floyd Mayweather Jr, but the fans turn him face by Wrestlemania, 17. 18 comes when he turns heel again, siding with Vickie Guerrero by attacking The Undertaker later that year. 19 is where he’s at now, once he gave Jack Swagger what for and what have you.

So, 19 times, Big Show has turned. And even if you take out the WCW turns, Big Show has had as many solid, undeniable turns as Kane has, including questionable ones. So, thus, Big Show is the champion of Turning.

Lars has a follow up about travel schedules.

Hey Matt, thanks for answering my question re. Kane’s title reigns.

Your answer to the question regarding schedules in TNA and WWE got me thinking, especially the Smackdown tour in Oz.

Aug 1, Smackdown Live Event, Melbourne Victoria, Australia
Aug 2, Smackdown Live Event, Brisbane Queensland, Australia
Aug 3, Smackdown Live Event, Adelaide South Australia, Australia
Aug 4, Smackdown Live Event, Perth Western Australia, Australia
Aug 5, Smackdown Live Event, Auckland, New Zealand

They’ve gotta be kidding, right? I mean, can you possibly make it any more stressful for the talent on that tour? These guys are flying all over the place!!

Which begs the question: Who booked that tour??! And who is usually in charge of the travel schedules? He must have been on vacation when the venues were booked.

Cheers, mate.

It’s actually worse than that, July 31st they are in Sydney. But the thing is, travel is part of the WWE job, and you can’t stretch out a tour any more than that, in that you can’t spend 2 weeks travelling around any one foreign country, there simply isn’t any time to do so.

As for who booked it, that would be Dainty Consolidated Entertainment (the shows are presented as ‘WWE and Dainty Consolidated Entertainment present Smackdown’. DCE would be the ones who organised the trip, they book concerts, Crusty Demons, Bull Riding, lots of things. (Their website defines their scope as “From the Rolling Stones to the Rocky Horror Show, the Australian Film Institute Awards to World Wrestling Entertainment”, so that’s quite a range… Wait, they’re saying wrestlers aren’t actors?) They would be the ones who booked the tour, so if you think it’s excessive, then blame them.

And most of the time, the WWE is in charge of the schedule, as it’s only with overseas tours that they work with other production companies. And they only do this sort of thing a couple times a year. In the old days, they did it all the time…

Dan asks about generations.


been reading for a while. Had a question for you. Read recently that Sean Stasiak was looking to make a return to the wrestling ring and wanted to be the first Father/Son combo to ever hold the WWE Championship. This got me thinking a bit. What titles in the WWE have been held by multiple generations? The only one that I have been able to figure out so ar has been the World Tag Titles. I know guys like the Wild Samoans held the titles and then their kids ( The Headshrinkers and Rosey) have held the title. Others would be Rocky Johnson and the Rock, Ted DiBiase and Ted DiBiase, Jr. having held the title. Please realize that I am looking for multiple generations. So Bret Hart and Owen Hart having held the WWE Tag Titles is out as they were siblings, not Father/son. Yours thoughts?

The only singles title that I can think of that has been held by multiple generations is the US Title. Ric Flair and his son David Flair both held the title.

Are you aware of any major titles outside of the WWE which have been held by multiple generations? I know the NWA North American Title was held by Iron Mike DiBiase (late ’50’s), Ted DiBiase(’79) and recently by Mike DiBiase(’07) (Ted’s son).

Well, if and when either Uso boy wins either WWE Tag Title or the Intercontinental title, then that’s one, since they are Rikishi boys.

Chavo Guerrero Classic and Jr both held the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Since this was asked, DH Smith won the Tag titles, so that’s a new one, him and Davey Boy Smith. And that’s all I could work out from WWE.

Outside the WWE, one only needs to look at WCCW. The Von Erichs had the NWA American/WCCW American/WCWA World Heavyweight Championship, NWA American/WCCW American/WCWA World Tag Team Championship, NWA/WCCW/WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship, NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship and NWA World Tag Team Championship held by both Fritz and any number of his boys.

Dusty and Dustin Rhodes both held the NWA/WCW US title. Curt and Larry Hennig both held the AWA Tag Titles. Verne and Greg Gagne both held the AWA Tag Titles as well, and Bill and Jamie Dundee held the USWA Tag Titles TOGETHER, which may be a record.

However, I am happy to add to this list if I’ve forgotten anyone (and I haven’t touched Japan, so who knows with them…)

I’m hedging my bets here, because ROH keeps taking this down (which is their right, it uses their footage after all). But this is one of the finest Music Video’s I’ve ever seen. And thus, if the video doesn’t work, download this HQ version here.

Seriously, watch and/or download this. It is AWESOME.

Victor is third time lucky!

Long-time reader. Anyway, I seem to have the worst luck when it comes to this column. I’ve only written in twice, and both times, my questions were answered in subsequent columns before you had a chance to address me directly. Maybe third time will be the charm.

Anyway, I had a question about Summerslam 94. I remember that the Headshrinkers were the champions and they were supposed to take on Bigelow and IRS from the Million Dollar Corporation. The night before the event, however, the Headshrinkers dropped the titles to Shawn Michaels and Diesel. The tag match at Summerslam went on as scheduled, only now there were no belts on the line. Why did the WWF do this? Why not just have the Headshrinkers retain their titles and then drop them to Shawn and Diesel the next night on RAW (or whenever the next live RAW would air)? Was this another instance of the Kliq abusing their power? Or were there other reasons?


It was mostly a matter of timing. The following two days, they filmed shows for use between mid September through to the middle of October. And this was the last two days of August, for the record. They wanted the tag titles on Michaels and Diesel, but there was no Raw near enough to Summerslam (nor one right after Summerslam), where Diesel lost the IC title to Razor Ramon, and began his face turn. And with the tag titles, it gave a tangible thing that could be shown as the break up between Diesel and Shawn, see, they’re no longer together, they forfeit the tag titles and everything!

Now, you can argue that given everyone involved in that, that it was Clique power plays, but the fact is, timing and taping meant that having them win the tag titles at a house show made sense.

Plus, it was only the Headshrinkers after all. It’s not like they were a super over, super mega awesome tag team or anything.

-rOb- asks about a guy.

hi there
base on the attachment photo, just want to inform u that, it was a match between mark henry & oliver biney on wwe ecw 11/11/08.
i would like to know what is the real name or other ring names for Oliver Biney???
really appreciate your help…


Rob with the funny formatting had a photo, but I found the video (albeit after some Cena worship).

Oliver Biney is mainly known as “Bad News” Rampage Brown, in All Star Wrestling out of England, where he’s the current British Heavyweight Champion, having won a 4-way elimination final of an 8-man tournament against James Mason, Doug Williams, and Karl Kramer.

Here’s a match in All Star with him.

He also recently became the first EUWA European Champion.

He received a tryout for the WWE, along with another English wrestler, Martin Stone, with the rumor being that they would come in as a Football/Soccer Hooligan tag team. But nothing appears to have come of it.

And, oddly, I was unable to find any personal info, not even a proper bio, which is weird. But there we go.

JBG asks about George Steele V Ric Flair.

Anyhow, I have a question for you as well. Our local minor league baseball team had George “The Animal” Steele show up as a promotion this past weekend. Although I applauded for him as I passed by on the way to our seats (and he acknowledged my gratitude with a smile and, wave), the actual photo-op line was 200 deep all game and I had the kids with me so I couldn’t get some chat time with George.

Had I only had time for one question, I would have asked him if he ever had the opportunity to take on Flair in a match. I know George’s WWF years would have kept him separate from ‘Naitch, but it’s hard to figure out who encountered who back in the territory days.

Can you answer ad litem for George? Did Animal vs. Nature ever take place (outside of what sounds like a Fox reality show from the late 90’s)?

I can, and sadly, they never did. George ‘The Animal’ Steele began his career as ‘The Student’, a masked wrestler (as a way to supplement his income but not be found out), who was technically gifted. Even after he dropped the mask and began to wrestle as George Steele, he stayed as a technically minded, serious, proper wrestler.

He feuded with Bruno Sammartino in wild brawls, but he maintained a level of technical ability that is unthinkable with what he ended up as, even more so that he used to give solid, high class interviews!

But his work with Bruno led him to the WWF, where he became ‘The Animal’, and he remained there until he retired in 1989 to fight Crohn’s disease. He made a few small comebacks, but only to WWF (or one shot deals).

So he got to WWF before Flair really got going, and let the business before Flair jumped ship. Thus they never wrestled.

(Although they could have in 1974, when Ric Flair worked a couple shows for WWF, while Steele was there, but they didn’t.)

John has two questions, one fact, one opinion.

1. I was wondering if DVRs or Tivo affect the show ratings for either WWE or TNA? Ratings now seem to go down and just curious if the ratings count those who record the shows and decide to watch them later.

Mostly, yes. Nielsen do take DVRs and Tivos into account, although they present the data with the two separate, which is still leading to some problems with broadcasters and advertisers, on what rate they charge for high or low rating shows tat are different with DVR and such taken into account. As they are also trying to do with Computer and mobile phone viewing.

My Damm Opinion

And as for John’s second question…

2. Do you think some of the wrestlers are still using steriods and some how are able to get away with it? There is no way guys like Batista, Cena, Sheamus, and others are able to eat a clean diet, workout and do everything else on the road and able to maintain excellent phisque naturally.

Actually, there is a way. Some people are just totally gifted by genetics, and can put on and keep muscle as easily as I drink Coke Zero. John Cena, until such time as I see him failing a drug test, I will maintain is almost certainly natural, in that he has clearly got a perfect 18 on his Strength and Constitution rolls (and a solid 16 on all the rest), plus he studied Exercise physiology at College, so he knows EXACTLY what to do in the gym to get the most out of his work out.

Batista… Yeah, I have a problem believe he’s all natural, if only due to the number of muscle tears he had.

Now, is it possible to cheat the WWE drug test? Well, there are flaws in it, sure, it does seem like it’s possible to get around it if you put your head to it. But I don’t know the specifics, and I’m not about to go around throwing wild accusations. It is possible, if you’re determined and train and work hard, to keep up that sort of body. It’s a hell of a lot easier to take drugs, yes, but not essential.

Charlie has some questions that are kinda hard to answer definitively.

Thanks man! For always delivering the good’s… A four part Question:

I was wondering since you are a wrestler, and there fore know how the insides of the wrestling business, you seen & heard a lot of stuff of the everyday business, (all of this I asked based more on your personal experience) I have the following questions:

1) How do some wrestlers get in good’s with management? Affecting booking ideas, despite the fact that the wrestling fans reactions show the complete opposite? Affecting future long-term plans.

A Right Example: I mean sure, draw Heat, by pissing of the wrestling fans, makes sense (Honky Tonk Man’s IC title reign, is a perfect example) it put much more focus on the IC Title, because they wanted the guy to lose in the worst way!… getting a big payoff!

A Wrong Example: It sometimes completely kills all the built (HHH going over Orton in WM25, Orton was the logical choice to go over! It would have made Orton a Megastar, and the legit #1 Heel, in all the company… Didn’t happen! And almost 1 year later, they are trying to split up the Legacy, people instead of cheering for “Priceless” to revolt, like they had planned for it originally, they are cheering for an Orton Face-turn…. Along the way, also ignoring a full fletch Cena, Heel-turn

Well, there’s two parts here.

Getting in good with management depends on the level of the industry and who you are and your position. It can range from just going to strip clubs and bars with those in power (a.k.a the friendship route) through to working hard to help he company, be it by helping train guys, working on production, advertising, putting in hard yards to help the company.

As for changing the booking plans… OK, I’ve never seen it happen, so I can’t talk from experience (I’ve seen guys walk out and, at least once, forfeit a belt, but that doesn’t really count), but as a rule, you need to work on justifying the booking choice. You have to convince the booker that the fan reaction is irrelavent, that the long term goal is key, or that delaying the loss for a few more months will really make the fans want the pay off. I mean, you can’t just go up and say ‘I don’t want to lose the belt’.

Well, you can, but unless you’re VERY sure of your position that won’t end well. But as a rule, you have to convince the booker that your idea is better.

2) Do they pull the trigger on it, because they fully rely more on a back up plan? Or is this back up plan “The Original Plan” All along?

… Well… Any booker who thinks long term ahead, who plans things out, he’ll have back up ideas, he’ll have outs. Anyone who books week to week can adapt on the fly. It’s the guys in the middle that you have the hardest time manipulating, as they tend to be the ones that focus on certain matches the most. If a guy has you winning as a back up, then it’s easier to convince him that should be the plan than a guy who’s entire next month of shows he’s thought out require you losing the belt.

And if he books week to week, then it’s easy to bring him ‘a great idea’.

(If I’ve misunderstood that question, let me know and I’ll re-answer next week dude)

3) Based on the initial question: Do you have any example that has made you irate about a booking decision, because it screwed up Big Time?

Plenty at the time, sure. But in terms of things I’m still upset about… Well, the Starrcade 97 debacle, obviously. Goldberg losing’s another one. HHH winning over Booker T at Wrestlemania still really bugs me for the simple fact that the Racist won in the end, which I would NEVER do, as a booker. Uh… Most everything else is more ‘I’m annoyed they didn’t do more” than specific booking choices, you know? I mean, I really feel Stevie Richards should have been used more in WWE, but outside of general ideas (RTC, Inspirational Comeback, ECW GM) I don’t have specific booking moves I can point to as mistakes.

I know I’ll think of a dozen more after I post this, I just know it…

4) Based also the initial question: Do you have any personal example that has made you irate (booking wise) in your own Professional career? (That you can share, Of course…)

Keep On Being Tha’ Man!

Yeah, I hated losing like a bunch of matches when I was starting out, I should have won the title off the bat!

Honestly though, not really. I’ve really only worked for the one company so far, and a long time ago I stopped trying to guess or predict my boss’ booking, on the basis that he and I book totally differently. If I was booking, I wouldn’t be AWF Australasian Champion right now, Powerhouse Theo would be. But I’m not angry I’m the champ, and I don’t resent any win or loss I’ve ever had, it’s just a case of he books one way, I book another. Not a good thing, not a bad thing, just a thing. So no, no booking choices in my past I’m upset with. I’m not a mark for myself, I’ll lose to anyone, any time, if it’s asked (and, in extremely odd moves, if I have the logic/story explained to me). I don’t have any problems with my career.

Well, apart from my run in mixed tag matches with Shorty vs. Toxin and Webmistress. Nothing against 2 out of those 3, but with Tara as my witness, those matches SUCKED…


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Mathew Sforcina

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