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Ask 411 Wrestling 10.24.12: Hogan in Japan, the 1991 Royal Rumble, the NWA, More!

October 24, 2012 | Posted by Craig Wilson

So it’s an absolute honor to fill in for Mathew Sforcina on this week’s Ask 411 column. As someone that’s read this column from a fairly young age and someone that has only recently joined the 411 team, this is pretty cool.

One thing I’ve learnt from doing this is that it takes a great deal longer to do than writing a column does and maybe I should have kicked this off at the weekend rather than on the Monday night into Tuesday morning. If it looks rushed then I apologize and blame my poor time keeping in this instance.

If by the end of this you’ve taken to me and want to read more of my scribblings then why not check out my ‘Moments that Changed Wrestling History’ column every Sunday which this week looked at Wrestlemania. You can find my various other links at the bottom of that column.

Anyway, things will return to normal next week but in the meantime do email in your questions to
Email here

Just Another God Damned Rasslin’ Show 411mania’s one! Wrestling PodClash!

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Your Turn, Smart Guy…

Who am I? I was born in a city that is unusual, if you’re interested in the minutiae of American local government. Although I am announced as hailing from my home town, like most wrestlers I now live in Florida. I was the first person in my state to do something while under the age of 18. My independent wrestling ring name developed over time, as I began with one half by itself, before I added the other half later on. I was part of one of TNA’s firsts, and when I debuted in ROH, I came in with a manager. In Dragon Gate I was part of a stable with a 4 word name. My younger brother is also a wrestler, and I’m currently on the WWE payroll, I am who?

Ausjimmy got it.

I was born in a city that is unusual, if you’re interested in the minutiae of American local government. (St. Louis has the Gateway Arch, so is the middle of East and West America)
Although I am announced as hailing from my home town, like most wrestlers I now live in Florida. (Lives in Tampa, FL)
I was the first person in my state to do something while under the age of 18. (He was the first person under the age of 18 to receive a wrestler’s license in Missouri.)
My independent wrestling ring name developed over time, as I began with one half by itself, before I added the other half later on. (Matt, Lance Sydal)
I was part of one of TNA’s first Victory Road (TNA’s first monthly PPV event)
and when I debuted in ROH, I came in with a manager.(Daizee Haze)
In Dragon Gate I was part of a stable with a 4 word name. (New Blood Generation International)
My younger brother is also a wrestler. (Mike Sydal)
and I’m currently on the WWE payroll, I am who? Matt Sydal, the man now known as Evan Bourne!

Who am I? I debuted in Continental Wrestling Association in 1988. I am an alumni of WWE, ECW, SMW and TNA. I have been in a stable with a former WWF tag team Champion. I have also held a tag team title with Chris Candido. I was also the first wrestler to be managed by his future manager Sunny. I have headlined a Summerslam event wrestling a member of my family. I appeared on the big screen playing a wrestler I previously feuded with and in 2004 I retired from wrestling.

Questions, Questions, Who’s Got The Questions?

TGF174 starts by asking about who was supposed to win the 1991 Royal Rumble

Allllllrighty then here goes

I was online the other night trawling through some wrestling blogs, one referred to the original plans for Royal Rumble 1991.

It went on to say that the original booked winner was supposed to be Andre the Giant. Kind of a swan song for the king of battle royals. Andre went onto injure himself on an AJPW tour thus unable to compete in the Rumble.

If this scenario took place it is said that Andre’s next target was wrestling Undertaker at WrestleMania 7. There are said to be footage of various Andre promos from WWE TV where Andre in fact calls out in Deadman issuing some sort of challenge.

Do you know if there is any truth to this at all? What are your thoughts?

Personally I don’t find it completely inconceivable that this was Vince’s original plans. His admiration for the Giant was always high, everyone knew he was on his last legs, wins the Rumble & then passes the torch to Taker at WrestleMania.

Cheers mate

Without doubt the admiration Vince had for Andre is very well documented and rightly so. Andre was an enormous draw for Vince and Vincent McMahon Sr. before him and it’s difficult to think of any other superstar that could have headlined WM3 with Hogan.

As iconic as that main event was, Andre was on a downward trajectory at that point: he was in constant pain, had recently had back surgery and wore a brace under his singlet. The best days of his wrestling career were behind him at this stage and this match was his swansong in the ring and that was in 1987.

A Rumble win nearly four years later? I wouldn’t rule out that as a consideration but not sure how seriously it would have been taken. The nature of the Royal Rumble best has led to many rumors about who was meant to win the many Rumble match-ups and 1991 is no different. A popular rumor being that Mr. Perfect was all but set to win the match until Hogan put pay to that idea backstage and it was the ultra-patriotic Hogan that eventually went over in that match in the run up to his encounter with Sgt. Slaughter in the main event of that year’s Wrestlemania.

As for Andre, his tag team title reign in the run up to WM6 was widely seen as a thank you to him for all his efforts and even at that stage his appearances for the organization were sporadic at best. As for a torch passing at WM7 wasn’t really on the cards owing to the state of Andre by that stage and he had already passed his torch – to Hogan four years earlier.

Matthew asks questions about Hulk Hogan’s repertoire of in-ring moves, a question you wouldn’t think would take all that long to answer…

1. Why was Hogan’s finisher in Japan “The Axe Bomber”? Was it to feed into the feud with Stan Hansen? I saw a video where Stan Hansen called it a cheap imitation of The Lariat. It just seems confusing to me. Did someone in Japan already have the Atomic Leg Drop as a finisher?

It was used due to how impressive it looked in Japan. The Japanese fans were in awe of Hogan due to his gargantuan size and this move looked devastating against the smaller competitors in Japan.

His repertoire of wrestling moves in Japan was radically different, relying on more technical, traditional wrestling holds and maneuvers as opposed to the power-based, brawling style American fans grown accustomed to seeing from him.

2. Is there any Gaijin who has ever gotten as much respect as Stan Hansen in Japan? Besides maybe Vader? I don’t even see Dr. Death or Terry Gordy being as big of a deal in Japan as Hansen was.

It’s very difficult to look beyond Hansen here. He was the only man to pin both Antonio Inoki and Giant Baba in championship matches and held around 30 titles in total in Japan. Honorable mention, in addition to the three you mention, to the Dynamite Kid. He enjoyed his greatest success in Japan. It was also his success in Japan that led other Gaijin’s such as Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho to make it overseas. While in Japan he mainly wrestled in the junior division, putting on many classic matches with stars such as Tiger Mask and Kobayashi.

3. Who in the past 10 years has been the most respected American Pro Wrestler to compete in Japan?

As woeful as his WWE runs have been, it’s got to be Matt ‘Albert/A-Train/Lord Tensai’ Bloom for this one. Over in Japan he was a three-time tag team champion holding the New Japan Pro Wrestling’s IWGP Tag Team Championship twice (complete with the records for both the longest reign and the most title defenses) and the GHC Tag Team Championship in Pro Wrestling Noah once.

Currently David Hart Smith is enjoying a good run in Japan, where he’s known as “Davey Boy Smith, Jr.” He’s currently one half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions. You’ve got to wonder why the WWE didn’t think to brand him Davey Boy Smith Jr. That said, you’ve also got to wonder why the WWE broke up the Hart Dynasty when it had plenty gas left in the tank.

4. Who is your top five or ten if you feel up to it stiffest workers of all time, let’s just say, American Pro Wrestlers. Consistently stiff/snug in the way they worked.

Probably going to have to go for Hansen and Vader as my top two here. In my many years watching wrestling I’ve never seen any superstars wrestling as stiffly as these two. Honorable mentions for the Road Warriors as well. In terms of current WWE talent I think Daniel Bryan and Drew McIntyre always look stiff and in TNA I’d plump for Bubba Ray or maybe even Angle.

My top five, however:

Bruiser Brody
Hardcore Holly

Apple Blossom Rat Falcon asks about wrestlers with dancer gimmicks and gives me an excuse to post a great great video…

I was curious, what are the two best dancers to ever step foot in the squared circle, Alex Wright and Disco Inferno up to these days. Also, was it true in the late 90’s that Disco almost signed with WWE? I remember an angle with him and Jacqueline in WCW where she implied he was leaving WCW. There was also an odd shadow figure in the shape of

Disco Inferno in either the WWF/RAW magazine indicating that a newcomer was on the way. The shadow figure was a man doing a standard disco pose.

I sorta think Daniel Bryan may be one of the best dancers ever to set foot in the ring…

After the WWE bought the WCW, Alex Wright fell out of the spotlight and hasn’t appeared on American Television in a wrestling capacity since. He very rarely stepped back into the squared circle, appearing only a few time for German promotions. He started up a wrestling school called “The Wright Stuff” and more recently started his own wrestling promotion called New European Championship Wrestling .

As for Glenn Gilbertti, most recently he’s been involved with Future Stars of Wrestling in Las Vegas but it’s very difficult to find too much information on him. He’s very much drifted out of the limelight. He’s also made sporadic appearances with TNA and was at one point linked, although probably only by himself, with a job in the WWE creative department. But based on the fact that his ideas when part of the WCW Creative Department were as bad as they were, that was hugely unlikely. As for Disco joining the WWE, not that I am aware of and have no access to the magazines you referenced. However, any mention of the WWE and Disco only mention the fact that they were disinterested in him.

Looking at his career post WCW highlights just how correct the WWE were not to sign him up. He could have probably done with a friend putting a word in for him ahead of the Invasion angle. I doubt he’d have made that whole thing any worse.

Adam asks the first of a series of questions about the NWA.

Short & sweet, with all the recent departures of promotions from the NWA, who the hell is left?? If they’re almost down to nothing already, what are the odds that they finally go under or get the name rights bought by WWE?

It’s fair to say that recent years haven’t been all that kind to the NWA.

After WCW and ECW both seceded from the NWA in the early and mid-nineties respectively, the NWA were left looking like nothing more than a bit player during the Monday Night Wars that gripped professional wrestling at the time.

In 2002 Jeff Jarrett formed NWATNA but two years later that organization also left the NWA in an attempt to become a major promotion.

Today, there is still a group of promoters which hold membership in the NWA and continue to use the NWA name, although no members are holdovers from the membership of the promotion’s “glory days” of the 1940s–1980s. A full list of the current members can be found on the NWA website and you’ll see from that list how far the mighty have indeed fallen.

The only recent TV exposure that the organization has received has been NWA Showcase and NWA Championship Wrestling from Holywood but very recently Championship Wrestling from Holywood announced it had left the NWA and in August 2012, NWA was sold to International Wrestling Corp, LLC.

As for the question about whether the WWE would buy the NWA, there would seem very little point in the WWE shelling out money to purchase it but if the WWE Network goes ahead then it would certainly give the station some more content. It would bring to an end a staggering amount of history and give Vince even more wrestling for his library. Would also be something that would bring him much enjoyment personally considering their reaction to his 80s expansion programme. If he could get it at a knock down drag out price then I imagine that Vince would buy it. It would be mostly out of one-upmanship rather than necessarily to get what’s contained in the tapes, however.

Jamille and Gumball Stickemup Half Burrito Honcho ask about the NWA’s relationship with the WWF in 1998.

what was the purpose of the NWA Invasion in WWE? Cause I found it quite weird that WWE would promote the NWA specially since they broke away from them to get as big as there are today.

How was Vince able to get the NWA Tag Titles on RAW for several weeks while Bart Gunn and Bob Holly held them. Was there some sort of cross promotion with the WWE/NWA?

It was more than just a few weeks. It all kicked off towards the tail end of 1997 before finally fizzling out around August 1998 although it was, in reality, done as an angle a few months before then.

With the WCW still comfortably winning the ratings battle, this was an attempt by Vince to recapture some ground on the belief that some of the old school WCW fans who grew up with the NWA would switch over to Raw from Nitro.

Alas, only the most hardcore of wrestling fan was really aware of the NWA at this point whilst virtually everyone was really left in the dark. It showed quite a level of desperation from Vince at this point to bring Dennis Coralluzzo, the head of the NWA along with Jim Cornette, an NWA mainstay. The real problem was the titles the NWA brought with them: Nobody really cared about the NWA North American title and cared even less with Jeff Jarrett defeated Blackjack Windham to win it. The other titles that made their way over were the NWA Tag Team Championship which were awarded to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, a team long past their prime.

The run began to drag even when Cornette formed the New Midnight Express – Bombastic Bob Holly and Bodacious Bart Gunn. The duo who were then joined by the ‘defecting’ Barry Windham and the NWA Champion Dan Severen before Windham rejoined the WCW.

It was a desperate attempt to steal WCW fans that failed for much the same reason as the New Midnight Express and the New Blackjacks failed – working once doesn’t necessarily mean it will work again. And it didn’t.

Mr. Perfect and his manager, the Coach, is the subject of the next question, this time from Mike

I’m watching the Mr. Perfect DVD, and saw Coach again…I had almost forgotten. WTF? The guy was worthless, and for that matter, IIRC, he was only brought in very briefly before Perfect went on extended hiatus with his back injury.

For that matter, if any heel didn’t need a manager at all (especially once his initial push as a “rookie” was over), it was Perfect – he was both a great talker and a great wrestler. Why did the WWF seemingly insist on giving managers to all their heels? I guess it’s for the sake of outside interference, but it just seemed silly to pair a great talker like Heenan with another one who didn’t need one like Rude or Perfect (or BOTH Perfect and Heenan for Flair, for that matter).

Ah, John ‘Coach’ Tolos. I was just watching UWF Beach Brawl 1991 in which Tolos was managing the team of Cactus Jack and Bob Orton Jr. as they lost to Steve Ray and Sunny Beach in one of the series of poor matches on that card.

Soon after he joined the then WWF as manager of both Mr Perfect and the Beverley Brothers. His run didn’t lost all too long and after Perfect took a break with an injury, Tolos quietly left the WWF and returned to UWF.

As for the rationale behind Perfect having a manager, a really good manager can take a great wrestler to that next level and that’s exactly what happened with Bobby Heenan who helped elevate Perfect and many of the others in his stable. Alas, Tolos wasn’t able to do this.

It really just harks back to the glory days of the territories where heel managers would bring in various outsiders to join their stable in attempt to dethrone the local hero face. It also served as a way of getting cheap heat and I can’t think of any manager in the history of wrestling that is better at drawing cheap heat than Heenan was. Perfect had everything to get him over in the ring and with the addition of Heenan getting the crowd going, it was a sure fire hit.

That’s essentially the reason why CM Punk currently has Heyman with him. It just increases the heat from the crowd.

Alasdair asks about The Legacy

With the recent interactions between Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase and Randy Orton on Smackdown I was wondering what was the original intention for the Legacy angle? Was the plan always for Orton to turn face against Rhodes and Dibiase?

Ah, the Legacy. A thoroughly entertaining stable that would be of a great benefit to a whole host of superstars currently on the WWE’s roster who are second, and in some cases third, generation superstars but find themselves with at best a very limited role in the promotion.

The problem for Rhodes and Dibiase was that Orton rapidly outgrew the group and it was only natural for him to go on to bigger and better things, which is exactly what Randy Orton did. It’s inconceivable to have Orton with that group all that long. The Legacy was there to elevate him further and that’s exactly what it did do. I’m no’ fan of Orton, I find him the modern equivalent of a DDP, but he’s benefited a great deal from the time spent in the stables he was in in the WWE.

A casual watch of NXT shows a vast array of talent bubbling under the surface that would benefit from a spell in a stable such as the Legacy and the rub that they would get from being in such a group, as Randy Orton did.

Shady Wright sticks with stables and asks about one of my favorites, and the closest thing to the Four Horsemen, Evolution.

I have a few questions. First, I heard that Mark Jindrak was originally slated to be in Evolution, instead of Batista. They had filmed the vignettes & were all ready to roll, then made the switch at the last minute. Is there any truth to this? If so, what’s the deal?

Want to see Jindrak do a great Cornette impression?

Jindrak has said in a shoot interview that he was originally slated to appear in Evolution and it’s interesting to think how that would have turned out for him.

Ultimately, Jindrak was great and had an unreal level of potential and also had the stereotypical look that Vince likes.

What would things have looked like had Jindrak had a run with the group? Well, Jindrak would have gotten a huge rub being a member of the stable and working closely with Flair and HHH. I think Orton’s future would have been very different too and I suspect he wouldn’t be the star he is today.

Ultimately, though, the role was always for Batista. Jindrak was never supposed to be an original member, but rather the replacement for Batista when he got injured. After all, not only was that when the rumors heavily started to circulate that Jindrak was coming in but also explains why the vignettes were filmed in a helicopter since that was all filmed while Batista was out with his injury.

You have to wonder what Jindrak did to go from filming vignettes to not only not being a member of the group but also then getting released. Someone’s nose must have been put out of joint.

Why was Essa Rios fired? They seemed to be pretty high on him. He was on ‘Mania at age 19; they paired him with Lita; they even gave him a program with Angle. I heard it was because he never learned English. If this is true, then why do they continue to hire workers who don’t speak the language (eg Mistico)?

It wasn’t that he didn’t speak the language as such, but more to do with the fact that he refused to take English lessons. I thought he was pretty awesome in the WWE and made his debut at the age of 18 on Raw as Aguila before winning the Lightweight title on his “debut” as Essa Rios from Gilberg on Heat.

After leaving the WWE he returned to Mexico but did make a comeback on American soil as part of Team Mexico in TNA. Rumors circulated that John Laurinaitis had shown some interest in bringing him back to the WWE, possibly as part of a rejuvenated Cruiserweight division, but that rumors of a Cruiserweight division returning to the WWE have been swirling for an age and show no signs of going anywhere.

Ed from Holland asks about Dusty Rhodes and Harley Race’s runs in the WWF.

Could you maybe explain the story about Dusty Rhodes in WWF, in the early ninetees? I’ve read different things about it, and don’t know what to make of it.

The polka-dot thing. I read that it was a terrible gimmick, but Dusty made something of it and got over anyway. Did Vince hold a grudge against him, by giving him a bad gimmick? (Why sign him anyway, one would think in that case). Also, I read Virgil (Ted DiBiases bodyguard), was named after Dusty in real life. This than should be very funny to insiders. Which I don’t get. (Is it because they are opposites? (slim – very fat, black – white?). (or I have no sense of humor) So I guess I would like to know: was there some dissention between them? And if so, why sign him?

Bad gimmick and outfit certainly and the belief is that it was to humiliate him but as Dusty has said, both were his idea. By God did Dusty make this gimmick work and evidence that any gimmick can work if given to the correct person. Nobody at all expected Dusty at this stage to be a main eventer but it wasn’t a bad move for him considering his best days were in the past by that stage.

Mike Jones did get the name Virgil as a dig at Dusty Rhodes. It was Bobby Heenan that thought up that stage name. Of course, when Jones joined the WCW his name was Vincent which was a pop at Vince McMahon.

When Dusty debuted as ‘the American Dream’ I doubt even his most supportive fan would have expected him to go anywhere with that gimmick but boy did he get it over. I personally enjoyed his feud with Randy Savage and then with DiBiase. It was clear Dusty had something left in the tank and Savage and DiBiase were able to have good matches with anyone, add Dusty to the equation and you have yourself a series of very impressive bouts.

On a related note, I wondered about Harley Race. NWA legend, then crowned King in WWF. It was one of the first shows I saw as kid. Was this ‘king-gimmick’ a kind of appreciation? Or was it the opposite? Even back then, it seemed a bit silly to me, but then again, its WWF/wrestling/sports entertainment….

It was in appreciation of his in-ring efforts. At the time the WWE went to great length to avoid acknowledging other wrestling promotions any success that the wrestler had at other promotions. As a result, WWE officials had to come up with another way to recognize his pedigree in the ring and this was what they came up with after he joined in May 1986

His run with the WWE was fairly short lived and he left the promotion in early 1989 and wrestled up until 1991 when he turned his hand to management. Although his spell with the WWE was shortlived, and he never won a Championship there, his career was notable enough for him to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.

Sticking with accomplishments in other promotions, Matt asks why the WWE don’t acknowledge title wins in other wrestling companies.

Why doesn’t WWE ever recognize title wins in other companies? even though mentioning the other company might give them publicity, it would also legitimize wrestlers, Christian and Daniel Bryan come to mind…they could come in/back as multi-time world champs.

Does Pepsi mention Coca Cola in its advertising or history? No and why would WWE mention another promotion, such as TNA, in any capacity? It would not help them out in any way in the current climate, all variables and that’s really why the WWE don’t acknowledge other promotions Champions, unless they own the rights, and even then it’s not always the case.

Right now Vince owns the rights to every title that ever mattered as a “World Title”, the WWF, NWA/WCW and the AWA. Therefore he acknowledges, in most cases, those champions when referring to “world champions”. There are a few anomalies however. Despite it stating he is a former AWA World Champion on his WWE profile, Mr. Perfect isn’t referred to as a former World Champion.

Essentially, the selectively mention world champion reigns. It took years for Booker T to do the “five time” stuff in the WWE and Ron Simmons WCW title reign was never mentioned during his APA time.

The WWE knows what it wants to promote and that is the WWE. Wrestling fans will recognize AWA and all WCW/NWA title runs, as well as those in some other promotions, but Vince is all about the WWE’s position not, per say, about continuity in terms of wrestling history.

Andre the Giant crops up again in this next question about the 1989 Survivor Series from Adam.

Love your column. I’ve been a wrestling fan since the early 80s and it’s great that you have knowledge of the sport that goes back more than the last decade or so. I truly believe that wrestling has gone downhill since Vince bought WCW and eliminated his main source of competition (taking away his edge, if you will). I think I enjoyed seeing which wrestlers would jump from one fed to the next more than I enjoyed watching the actual matches, so that aspect of pro wrestling is virtually lost to the ages unless TNA or someone steps up and can actually give the WWE a good challenge.

Anyway, the reason I write is because I had a question on Survivor Series 1989. I read that Tully Blanchard had failed a drug test the day of the event, explaining why Bobby Heenan was in his place for the match against the Warrior’s team (side note: it’s pretty cool watching Shawn Michaels and the Warrior on the same team…wonder what they think of each other?). There were also a couple other substitutions: Bad News Brown for Akeem and someone else for the WIdow Maker. Not sure why these guys couldn’t make it, so any info would be cool.

My main question is about Andre the Giant. Before the bell even rung he looks extremely agitated, possibly drunk? From what I’ve heard about him, this would probably be pretty common around this point in his life/career. He even shoves Hebner out of the corner of the ring just for the hell of it. So with the team already short one viable wrestler (Blanchard), the match doesn’t even officially begin and Warrior storms the ring and ends up clothes-lining Andre to the outside, where he is quickly counted out. My initial thought watching this now (as opposed to when I was 16) was that Andre was probably in no condition to fight due to injury or drunkenness, so they probably thought it best to just get him out of the way. He actually spilled over the top rope and to the ground pretty good, like a cat landing on his feet.

So do you know if he was hammered and considered a liability or maybe just too beat up to last the whole match, seeing how they were already going to have Heenan warming the ring post most of the match? I’d like to just think an irate Vince McMahon was out back before the match pulling his hair out wondering what to do with the drunk giant and just said f#&k it, have Warrior get over by eliminating him quick.

Would love to hear your take on this, if you haven’t answered it in a previous column that slipped by me.

Also, I counted 10 dead wrestlers on the show (Sherri included)…sad.


Without doubt one of the sadder aspects of watching old school WWE events, and I spend a lot of time doing that, is seeing the number of wrestlers that have since passed. I believe that Wrestlemania 5 has some sort of record for the number of wrestlers on the card that have since passed.

Anyway, I digress. Blanchard did indeed fail a drugs test and Arn Anderson would leave the WWE the day after this event heading back to the NWA. Although this time Blanchard didn’t join him after the NWA heard of this infraction. A few months later he was eventually offered a deal but at a fraction of what he had been offered previously and declined.

As for the substitutions, Bad News Brown did indeed replace Akeem for some indiscernible while the Earthquake replaced Windham who asked for his release from the WWE owing to the fact his brother and father were facing jail time for counterfeiting charges. The WWE had big plans for Windham at this stage as he had been on a four month winning streak but by the following May was back in the WCW as part of the Four Horsemen. He’d later rejoin the WWF with the fairly awful Stalker gimmick but that’s probably for another time if anyone cares enough to ask about it.

The reason for Andre’s early exit was down to backstage heat he was receiving for his refusal to work with the Ultimate Warrior which would certainly explain his agitation although his drinking habits are well enough documented. Warrior was deeply insulted by the Giant’s refusal to work with him both here and in their subsequent feud. Andre being counted out in 30 seconds meant that he didn’t respect the Warrior enough to give him a match. It did kind of backfire by making the Ultimate Warrior look all but invincible at the time.

Mark asks about Christopher Daniels blink-and-you’ll-miss-it run with ECW

I saw Lance Storm’s Straight Shoot recently and in it he talks about Christopher Daniels. He mentions that he first met him when they were in ECW, until Daniels got heat and they wouldn’t use him anymore. Any idea what Daniels did and who he pissed off?

Not only was Daniels’ stint in ECW short but so was his hair:

Back in 1999, Heyman was likely pretty much everyone else in wrestling at the time and was hot on Daniels. Why else would have him beat, and unmask, Mosco de la Merced and get a win over Super Crazy. That said, the run didn’t last two long and there are two possible explanations for this.

One is that the cliquey nature of the ECW locker room didn’t take to him in the same way that they didn’t take to Mike ‘Erin O’Grady/Crash Holly’ Lockwood and Thomas ‘Reckless Youth’ Carter.

The second is that he was constantly on the verge of a deal with WWE/WCW at this stage and may have been reluctant to commit to ECW in case it hurt any big pay day with the big two.

I’m minded to believe either so a combination of both isn’t too far-fetched at all.

My Damn Opinion

Jimmy asks this week’s solitary opinion question on how the WWE will deal with the Undertaker’s eventual entry to the Hall of Fame.

Love the column and look forward to it every week. My question might be too simple/boring to be answered but I’m very curious. How do you think the WWE will handle the eventual induction of the Undertaker into the HOF? What I mean is the WWE has gone to extreme measures to never have the undertaker “out of character”. He’s never spoken at the HOF inductions, not the guy the send to do charity stuff (not that they would do that now). Does he come out in a suit and speak as “Mark Calaway”, does he somehow give a “real” speech but “in-character” or do they avoid him ever speaking at all in some way?

The most inevitable entry to the WWE Hall of Fame. I could spend a few paragraphs here waxing lyrical about the Undertaker’s in-ring achievements but none of it would be new to anyone considering how well documented his successes have been within the WWE.
Although his appearances for the WWE have been sporadic at best recently it’s safe to assume that it will be after he eventually retires from active wrestling that he will be inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame. Perhaps by Paul Bearer or Kane?

In terms of how the WWE will go about his induction, I imagine he will keep some of the characteristics of the Undertaker character but he will not be in full on Undertaker mode. It’s clear he won’t appear in full character mode as he will likely be the headline attraction of whatever year it is that he is finally inducted into the Hall of Fame and for that reason I can’t envisage him remaining in character to do this. I think it will be a suited and booted Mark Calaway that appears to take the honor and regale the crowd with his many tales from inside the squared circle.

It will be a huge deal when it happens though, that’s for sure.

Just for the heck of it, here’s the quota of Matthew Perry pictures which I didn’t get round to using this week!


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