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Ask 411 Wrestling: How Much Did CM Punk’s Ice Cream Stunt Cost?

November 8, 2021 | Posted by Ryan Byers
AEW Rampage CM Punk

Welcome guys, gals, and gender non-binary pals, to Ask 411 Wrestling. I am your party host, Ryan Byers, and I am here to answer some of your burning inquiries about professional wrestling.

If you have one of those queries searing a hole in your brain, feel free to send it along to me at [email protected]. Don’t be shy about shooting those over – the more, the merrier.

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We’re doing something a little bit different this week. If you pay attention to this column week-to-week, you know that I have some people who are rather prolific when it comes to submitting questions. One of those people is Tyler from Winnipeg, who typically sends in multiple brief questions every week. In fact, I’ve got over 100 questions from Tyler alone waiting in my queue. That’s why, this week, we’re clearing out some of that backlog by exclusively answering questions from our favorite Winnipegger.

Here’s to you, Tyler:

When CM Punk first showed up in All Elite Wrestling what was the cost of all the ice cream bars?

ESPN’s Mark Raimondi covered this in an article about Punk’s AEW debut. There were 15,000 bars purchased from Chicago’s Pretty Cool Ice Cream, which normally would have had a price tag of $84,000.00 U.S. The owner of Pretty Cool mentioned in the article that she did give Punk a discount on the order, though the amount of the write down was not revealed.

You’ve been around a long time. “Moles”, the classic ECW Tod Gordon being a WCW mole. In these current times; wrestlers are switching companies; are there 2021 “Moles”?

First off, thanks for making me feel old with that “been around a long time” comment. As to modern day moles, I am not aware of any in the old school sense of somebody affiliated one company who is actively funneling information to another. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that, with wrestling becoming much more corporate than it was twenty-five years ago, the people involved in it are going to be more cautious about claims of things like contract tampering, which can get you into a heap of trouble from a legal perspective (civilly, not typically criminally).

The second is that, if you look at the jumps that have occurred these days – particularly WWE to AEW jumps – you don’t need “moles” in the traditional sense because there are so many personal relationships between the wrestlers. Take Adam Cole as an example. He was tight with Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks well before he showed up on NXT television, so there didn’t need to be a Tod Gordon-esque intermediary between them. They were already communicating as pals, and if that spilled over into business . . . it spilled over into business.

When The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania so many years ago, can you recall and dictate, what you felt in that moment in your life?

I hadn’t started watching wrestling at that point, so, whatever I was thinking about at the time had nothing to do with the match. Hogan/Warrior was in 1990, and my first memories of wrestling are in 1992 with Wrestlemania IX in 1993 being the first pay per view that I have a strong recollection of. I didn’t even watch WMIX live – I just remember the results being recapped on syndicated WWF programming over the next couple of weeks.

What would you say to people who do not give the Hogan-Warrior match in Toronto 5 stars?

I would tell them that they are correct. It’s an awesome moment with some legendary crowd reactions, but, as a match, I would peg it around ***1/2.

Who’s better: Dolph Ziggler or The Miz?

In my opinion, the answer is Dolph Ziggler and it’s not even close. I have never really cared for the Miz. His in-ring work has always looked soft, and, while some claim he’s a great promo, I’ve never gotten it. I have never once seen a Miz promo where my immediate reaction wasn’t, “This guy is acting.” He’s never pulled me in and caused me to suspend my disbelief as the true masters have.

I have my issues with Ziggler as well, mainly that he has never updated his character and is now very stale after 13 years of essentially doing the same damn thing. However, I can’t think of a single Mike the Miz match that I would rather watch over even the worst Ziggler match, and, while Dolph doesn’t light the world on fire as a promo, his delivery is much more natural that the Miz’s’s’s’s’s’s.

When it comes to “selling” during a match, what grade would you give John Cena overall?

B bordering on a B+. He’s not what I would consider an elite-level seller like Ricky Morton, Ricky Steamboat, or AJPW’s Four Pillars of Heaven, but what he did turned him into the biggest babyface of the current era and inspired quite a bit of sympathy among his fans. That is more important than forgetting to limp when you took a dropkick to the knee earlier in the match, which will likely only be caught by somebody watching the match with a notepad and stopwatch in hand.

Will we see Kurt Angle sign to wrestle again?

Anything is possible, but I doubt it. The last several matches he had were not outright embarrassments, but it is clear that they were not at the level of his peak work, and Angle strikes me as one of those guys who is not going to be interested in performing if he cannot perform at what he believes to be his highest level.

Do you know anything about how tight The Rock and The Undertaker were through the years?

They have talked about each other in a variety of interviews with a variety of media outlets, and the general impression that I get is that they share quite a bit of mutual respect but do not have the sort of close friendship that saw them traveling together when they were both in the WWF/WWE or hanging out on off days.

What did you think of the mini rivalry between Brock Lesnar & Hardcore Holly?

It was never meant to be an epic, memorable rivalry in the vein of Hogan/Orndorff or Rock/Austin, but it was generally enjoyable and worked well for its context. I am always a fan of incorporating a bit of reality into wrestling angles, and Holly legitimately did suffer an injury in a match with the Next Big Thing, so the basis of the feud was sensible. They also worked well in the ring together, despite the fact that, given Holly’s history in WWE, nobody bought into the notion that Holly could actually beat him. However, that wasn’t the point. The point was to give Lesnar something to do during the time period surrounding the Survivor Series and Royal Rumble, when he and his championship were not going to be focal points of the promotion and instead more emphasis was going to be placed on building up the individuals who would be headlining Wrestlemania in championship matches.

Watching the Chris Benoit tribute video WWE put out before the details flooded, can you still watch that specific tribute video and feel love?

No.

He killed his wife and child.

I feel no love for him in any context, brain damage or no brain damage.

At the time it happened, the World Heavyweight Championship at WMXX, was it considered the changing of the guard?

Man, again with the Benoit questions. No, it was not seen as a changing of the guard for two reasons. First, I do not think that anybody believed Chris Benoit was going to be a long-term champion or perennial face of the company. Yes, he was being given his moment, but, in light of the recent history of WWE around the time, it seemed far more likely that we were eventually going to go right back to Triple H as the biggest star of the Raw brand.

Second, at least in my mind, a “changing of the guard” in wrestling usually involves a switch from one generation of wrestlers to another. HHH and Benoit were not of different generations, and, in fact, Benoit debuted in wrestling almost a decade before Trips first laced up the boots.

Do you think Hulk Hogan and Curt Hennig were pals?

There was a tribute song to Hennig on Randy Savage’s ill-advised vanity rap album, but Hulk Hogan never put out a tribute song for Hennig.

I think that tells you all you need to know about who Mr. Perfect’s true friends were.

(And, before anybody points out that Hennig was still alive when Hogan released his Hulk Rules album, I know. It was a joke.)

Seriously, though, this is like the Rock/Undertaker question up above. There is no evidence that the two men were best buds, but from everything that is out there about their relationship, it appears that they had a healthy professional respect for one another.

Which of The Undertaker’s WM entrances is your favorite?

There are a ton of great options, but I have always been partial to his entrance at Wrestlemania XXIX for his bout against CM Punk, which saw the dead man emerge from among a sea of ghoulish arms rising up and attempting to drag him back to hell. Not only was it unique and consistent with Taker’s historic motif, but it was also timely because this was 2013 when The Walking Dead was at the height of its popularity, and the hands felt like WWE’s attempt to capitalize on how hot zombies were at the time without beating us over the head with it.

Is the term “wrestling” a dirty word?

WWE certainly attempts to avoid using it, which is a point that has been covered ad nauseam on the internet over the years. I do not think that it is a dirty word elsewhere in the industry, though.

A bit of a silly question: If Stone Cold never went with the bald look; would he even be in the HOF?

The reason he went with the bald look was that nature was pushing him in that direction anyway . . . so it was going to happen one way or the other. If baldness somehow could have been avoided, I don’t know that having hair would’ve blocked Steve Austin’s rise to fame. The man was a once in a lifetime talent with the right gimmick in the right place at the right time, and one minor cosmetic change was not going to be enough to derail that.

How many more matches does Titus O’Neil have left in him?

As of this writing, he has not wrestled a single match since November 2020. As I noted above when answering the question about Kurt Angle, you can never fully count out an in-ring return for a wrestler until they are dead and buried, but in light of that fact and what Titus has been up to lately, I wonder whether we have already seen his career as an active wrestler silently come to an end.

Are “The Demon” Finn Balor & AJ Styles capable of closing a WM?

The main event of Wrestlemania doesn’t always close the show, so I don’t know if closing Wrestlemania is the question as much as main eventing Wrestlemania is the question. Could these two wrestlers do it? Anything is possible, but I have a hard time believing it will occur, because as of late Wrestlemania main events have focused more on part-time wrestlers who are bigger stars than any of the full-time crew. Plus, at 44 years old and having never reached the level of a legend like a Goldberg or a Rock, I suspect that Styles’ days as a potential WM headliner are well behind him.

Did you watch Scott Hall invade WCW as an Outsider live?

I did. As some reading this may recall, Hall’s original appearance in WCW came when he interrupted a match between Steve Doll (a.k.a. Steven Dunn of Well Dunn) and the Mauler (a.k.a. Mike Enos a.k.a. Blake of the Beverly Brothers). Both of them were essentially glorified job guys in the company at that point in time, so I remember it feeling odd that they would be wrestling one another. Something had to be up, but I had no idea what it was . . . and then, bam, there was Razor Ramon.

Though I remember being excited to see what Hall would do in the company, I certainly didn’t feel like I was watching history unfold at the time. Yeah, in retrospect, the nWo became one of the biggest angles ever, but I had seen wrestlers jump ship from promotion to promotion before – Hogan and Savage were already in WCW and they were ten times the star Hall was – and this did not seem to be anything different. Yes, in his promos, Hall intimated that he was still affiliated with the WWF, but I was already 14 years old and knew enough about how the world worked to realize that a wrestler from a competing organization wasn’t going to come on to another promotion’s show uninhibited.

It just seemed like a very run of the mill angle as it was unfolding. What it turned into later is what has elevated it to its present status in fans’ minds.

Can you name 3 wrestling theme songs that you enjoy?

Sure, I can. Most people reading this will know about the absolute classic wrestling theme songs (Real American, Badstreet, etc.), so I am going to try to go with a few deeper cuts that, as a the kids say, slap:

“Mr. Egoist” – Magnum TOKYO – Toryumon/Dragon Gate wrestler Magnum TOKYO actually holds the distinction of having not one but two of my favorite wrestling themes, one being this track and the other being “Tokyo GO!” by John Robinson. However, I give “Mr. Egoist” the nod for this column, because I believe it was written specifically for wrestling whereas “Tokyo GO!” was an existing song.

“Jungle Emperor” – Aja Kong – Look, you have to love any wrestling theme that describes the wrestler entering to it as a big piranha made of broken glass and glue with two legs and a nasty attitude. I don’t make the rules. That’s just what they are.

“I’m All About Cool” – Deuce n’ Domino – Yeah, I threw you a curve ball on this last one, didn’t I? I’m not sure that there was ever a kayfabe explanation given as to why these two wrestlers had a 1950s greaser gimmick in 2007, but they did, and this song was perfect for it. Stay gold, Ponyboy.

Do you think if Billy Gunn came up in a different era he might have had more of a sniff at the World Title?

No, because in every era of wrestling that I can think of, there were better wrestlers than Billy Gunn. That’s not meant to be a knock on Billy, but as I think back to the world champions and their contenders as far back as I can remember, the top guys were just better.

I know Vince paid a lot of coin to bring Goldberg to WWE, Vince himself has said the investment was well worth it, do you agree?

Yes, absolutely. If you look at how WWE has used Goldberg during his most recent run, it has been in large part as a focal point of its shows in Saudi Arabia. This tends to show me that there is some contingent of the Saudi audience that wants to see him in the ring. These Saudi cards are generating absurd amounts of money for the E – approximately $50 million per show – which is a pretty damn good return on investment for any amount that they are paying Bill.

Who would win a triple threat legit bar fight: The Barbarian, Yokozuna or Haku? Shots of booze involved.

In a legitimate fight, anybody can get a lucky shot and win, but, if I were a betting man, my money would be on Haku here. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of stories out there about the Barbarian being able to hold his own in a bar fight, but, even with those stories, it’s Haku who everybody cites as having been the toughest man in wrestling, and it’s a situation where, once you hear something enough from enough different sources, you figure there has to be some degree of truth to it. Regarding Yokozuna, I’ve actually not heard much about him being a bar room brawler. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he would destroy your average person – as would just about any wrestler of the 80s or 90s – but among other tough guys I suspect that he would have difficulty coming out on top due to his mobility issues if nothing else.

Kind of a personal question here but which Royal Rumble actual Rumble over the top match is your favorite?

This might seem like a cliched answer, but I don’t see how anyone can say anything in response to this question other than the 1992 Rumble, won by Ric Flair.

How did Chris Jericho go from being called the GOAT not long ago do being the subject of ridicule on 411’s comment section?

Though I still consider myself a fan of Chris Jericho, I think that there are three things which contribute to the fact that there is currently a bit of a backlash against him.

First, there is some sentiment that he has held on for too long and should not be wrestling in his 50s. Many people who say this also like to make fun of his physique, which is obviously quite a bit different than it was in his prime.

Second, some people have gotten on him for his political views, particularly when it came out that he donated money to Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign and when he held a Fozzy concert a the 2020 Sturgis motorcycle rally at a time when many felt it was irresponsible to hold the rally at all in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Third and finally, there is a segment of the wrestling fanbase out there that has decided they are going to be WWE homers and criticize anything affiliated with AEW, no matter how good or bad the product actually is. (And, don’t get me wrong, there are some AEW fans who do the same thing in reverse.) Those individuals have either signal boosted the two items above or launched other bad faith attacks on the former Y2J.

Should Booker T have beaten Triple H at WM or are you ok with Hunter going over?

Booker should have won. The buildup to the match involved Triple H making comments in which he implied that black people are inferior to white people. I’m not a fan of heels using those sorts of remarks to get heat in any circumstances, but, if you’re going to do it, you damn well better have the face win in the end. Otherwise, the story that the promotion is telling is that the heel’s racist burials of the good guy are accurate, and I cannot fathom why THAT is the story a promotion wants to tell.

That will do it for this week’s installment of the column. We’ll return in seven-ish days, and, as always, you can contribute your questions by emailing [email protected]. You can also leave questions in the comments below, but please note that I do not monitor the comments as closely as I do the email account, so emailing is the better way to get things answered.

article topics :

Ask 411 Wrestling, CM Punk, Ryan Byers