wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: Could Low Ki Have Worked as The Undertaker’s Son?

April 23, 2023 | Posted by Ryan Byers
Low Ki Kaval NXT MLW Image Credit: WWE

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.

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Uzoma is taking us to a bizarre family reunion:

What are your thoughts on former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz tweeting about one of the pitches that didn’t come to fruition being Low Ki (f/k/a Kaval) becoming the secret long lost son of The Undertaker?

I can’t say that I’m a fan of the idea.

First of all, I don’t think that having kayfabe family members works as well in the current era. It was one thing to pretend that the Garvins were brothers or whatever back in a day where fans didn’t have an easy means of determining that it was a bluff. The last major example that I can think of this happening was the outing of Jason Jordan as Kurt Angle’s “son,” and that went over terribly, in large part because these two men had both been publicly known in the sports world for years – decades in Angle’s case – and you’d have to think that sort of thing would have come out quite a bit before it did if it were true.

That same could be said for an Undertaker/Low Ki familial relationship. Are we really supposed to believe that Kaval, who had been acknowledged on WWE as a veteran independent wrestler, would have been able to keep his paternity a secret for that long when both he and his daddy were working in the same industry? It strains credulity.

And, yes, I know that things happen on pro wrestling TV all the time that aren’t real, but there are levels to this sort of thing. Wrestling isn’t like a scripted television show where anything goes and fans accept it, almost no matter what it is. If things stretch reality too much, they fail. There are lines. That’s why you typically don’t see characters on wrestling shows get killed off. It’s a bridge of phoniness too far, and the fake family members are getting there as well.

Even if you take that consideration off the table, there’s still a big problem with this story in my mind.

If Ki and Taker are going to be associated on television in this manner, even if they are originally allied with one another, they are eventually going to wind up feuding and having a match. That’s just how professional wrestling works these days, as we don’t really see career-long alliances anymore.

That’s where we run into our next issue. I don’t see how you make a Low Ki versus Undertaker match compelling.

The size difference is a huge issue. Ki is typically billed at 5’8” and around 170 pounds, which means he’s likely even shorter in reality. The Undertaker was billed at 6’10” and many sources seem to believe he was a legitimate 6’8”. In other words, it’s fair to say that we’re dealing with a full foot of height difference, give or take an inch either way. We’ve also got a weight difference of over 100 pounds.

Can wrestling matches work given size differences of that nature? Yes, they can. However, it becomes very difficult here when you consider the styles of the two wrestlers. If I were going to lay out a match between Low Ki and a significantly larger opponent with Ki looking competitive, I’d focus on the smaller man’s kicks and MMA-inspired offense, with the story being that he could use that technique to break the big man down.

That entire strategy gets shot in the foot in a prospective match against the Undertaker, though, because in WWE’s own kayfabe universe, the Undertaker is the “best pure striker in the business” and is adept at using his own MMA-inspired offense. He’s both significantly larger than Low Ki AND is portrayed as being a master of the very style of fighting that would normally help the World Warrior look competitive against a giant.

There are reasons that weight classes exist in legitimate combat sports, and it’s in large part because a talented big man will almost always defeat an equally talented little man. If Low Ki and the Undertaker are wrestling the same match and the Undertaker isn’t winning, the whole exercise will just look goofy.

To sum it all up, I’m glad this story found its way into Gewirtz’s dustbin.

Also, would that have made Kaval’s NXT pro Michelle McCool his mother? The less we think about that prospect, the better . . .

(Fun fact that I didn’t realize was true until I looked it up for this article: Ki and McCool are almost exactly the same age.)

Bryan is cruising down the street in his Bronco:

Why was the Hollywood Back Lot Brawl at Wrestlemania XII not for the Intercontinental Title? It makes no sense that your biggest show of the year isn’t featuring a title defense for its hated heel champion Goldust; especially since the tag title match was on a pre-show. Also, i don’t understand the logic of . . . “Oooh I hate this guy enough to fight him in a parking lot but NOT enough to take his championship. What’s the thinking? Any insight?

I think that you’re looking at the match with modern eyes instead of considering it in its proper historical context.

If you go back to the so-called “good old days,” professional wrestling matches had rules that were, more or less, enforced. There were things that you just couldn’t get away with in a standard professional wrestling bout, and it was a common wrestling angle in the territorial era for a babyface to be so fed up with a heel’s antics that they wanted to get the bad guy in a context where they could beat them much more badly than what the rules associated with a professional wrestling match would allow them to. Wrestling was supposed to be a SPORT, and something like the Back Lot Brawl was supposed to be a FIGHT, and those were two different things, just like a boxing match is different than an alley fight.

Also, because this wasn’t a wrestling match, you couldn’t put the title up for grabs in it, because the titles in those days were, in storyline, controlled by the promotion and the promotion was the governing body of a sport that wouldn’t let their title be put on the line in a street fight any more than MLB would allow a baseball team to put its World Series title on the line in a bare knuckle brawl.

Nowadays, wrestling has changed in such a way that the simulated sport element has been significantly downplayed, which means just about anything can be a championship encounter, whether it’s a slugfest outside the arena or a game of tiddlywinks.

Marco, a/k/a thatweirdgerman on Disqus is mashing things up:

The passing of Bushwacker Butch recently reminded me of my first live event in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Went there with my dad, who got those tickets as a birthday present for me, and it was one of the best days in my life. Got autographs from Butch and Luke and was even allowed to do the “Walk” with them.

Anyway, the Legion of Doom was advertised for the Show, but it ended up being Animal and Crush. Was Hawk injured at that time? Couldn’t find anything about it on Google. You know more?

I briefly touched on the Animal and Crush team back in 2016 when I answered a question about the number of Road Warrior rip-off teams that appeared in wrestling over the years, but I did not give a lot of detail as to why the Roadie started teaming with a former member of Demolition.

According to the November 3, 2003 Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which contained the obituary of Road Warrior Hawk, Hawk had a really bad episode when the WWF was in London for Summerslam 1992 and wound up missing his flight back to the United States. (Keep in mind that this was when Hawk was at the height of his substance abuse issues.) It was not entirely clear whether he was fired, quit, or both, but the end result was that he was done with the promotion, while Animal stuck around and tried to make something work before getting injured and sitting out for years collecting on his Llyod’s of London insurance policy.

Tyler from Winnipeg was vacationing in Rio de Jinero when he wrote this question:

What are three things that come to mind when I say Pat Patterson?

First: Battles royale. Patterson was a big star in Roy Shire’s San Francisco territory during his in-ring career, and the big annual draw for Shire’s promotion was a battle royale featuring all the biggest names on the west coast. Years later, Patterson would remember these matches and use them as the inspiration for the WWF Royal Rumble, which he created.

Second: Ray Stevens. Patterson and Stevens are largely considered one of the greatest tag teams of their era, and they are perpetually linked in my mind, even though both had strong singles careers as well.

Third: Blading. If you go back and watch Patterson matches where he bleeds, it looks unique when compared to other wrestlers. That’s because, in many instances, he bladed differently than others. Typically, wrestlers cut themselves horizontally across the furrows of their brow. Patterson would actually do vertical cuts above one eyeball or another. He’s not the only wrestler to ever do this, but he did it more regularly than anybody else I’m aware of, making it a bit of a trademark.

Paris is burning . . . to ask this question:

Would a 24/7 title work in any other sport (not as in logistics but would it be of interest/would you watch or assume it would be popular or profitable), like say if a heavyweight boxer/MMA fighter sneaks up on the current champ and challenges him to a fight (ref and judges in tow)?

I can’t imagine it would be popular, because the appeal of boxing and MMA is watching legitimate athletic competition. Having a challenger sneak up on a champion when the champion isn’t prepared for the the fight and may not have even been training puts the challenger at such an unfair advantage that you have eliminated any realistic athletic competition.

There’s a reason this concept has been confined to professional wrestling.

Big Al knows space is warped and time is bendable:

Has there ever been an issue when a wrestling show was taped before a live PPV where the announcers had to act like it already happened even though technically it hadn’t yet?

Yup, absolutely. Probably the most famous example of this is the so-called “negative title reign” of the Fabulous Freebirds. On February 24, 1991 at WCW’s Wrestle War pay per view, the Freebird team of Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin defeated Doom, consisting of Ron Simmons and Butch Reed, for the WCW World Tag Team Titles. The problem? The Freebirds had actually already lost the Tag Titles before they won them. On February 18, 1991, there had been a taping for WCW’s Power Hour television program, and that card saw the Steiner Brothers defeat the Freebirds for the championships . . . which Hayes and Garvin hadn’t actually won yet.

The Steiners’ victory over the ‘Birds aired on March 9, 1991, meaning they had a 20 day title reign if you ignore reality and only focus on TV but in actuality had a -6 day title reign.

More or less the same thing happened a few years later in WCW, when the Nasty Boys defeated Harlem Heat for the Tag Titles on May 21, 1995 at that year’s Slamboree pay per review. However, the match where Booker T. and Stevie Ray won the championships back had already been taped, occurring on May 3 of that year but not airing until June 25. Confusing matters even further, before the match in which the Heat regained the titles aired, the next match where they lost them had already been taped, as Stevie and Booker lost the belts they had not yet won to the duo of Bunkhouse Buck and “Dirty” Dick Slater on June 21, 1995, though that match would not air until July 22.

Fortunately, this sort of thing has not happened for a while, due to a combination of increased live wrestling on television and a broader group of fans having access to results of taped shows as they happen.

Donny from Allentown is still dealing with his nagging arm injury:

In the summer of 1987, WWF did a storyline with the tag team of Cowboy Bob Orton and The Magnificent Muraco not getting along. It appeared (at least to me) that on interviews & commentary for a while that you couldn’t tell who was going to be the face and who was going to be the heel. Allthough the face switch eventually went to Muraco, was there every any consideration in making Orton the face in the split?

Not that I’m aware of. If you look at the two men standing side-by-side, it’s pretty apparent which one the WWF of that era was more likely to get behind as an upper midcard babyface based on nothing but their physiques.

Shaun is hanging around for a while:

Is Christopher Daniels the only person to wrestle in every major company during their original periods?

No, because Christopher Daniels hasn’t wrestled for every major company during its original period. He never wrestled for the AWA, for example.

That being said, what I suspect Shaun is actually asking about is whether Daniels has wrestled for every major U.S.-based promotion that has existed since the start of Daniels’ in-ring career, which was in 1993. I also suspect that he is specifying “original periods” only to eliminate the WWE-owned reboot of ECW, even though if you take the phrase “original period” too far, you could use it to do something like limiting TNA to only the period of time that it was owned by Jeff and Jerry Jarrett, eliminating everything post-Dixie Carter’s involvement or, if not that, classifying the Anthem-owned TNA as something different than the original promotion.

That being said, my best guess is that the lineup of promotions Shaun is talking about is: WWF/WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA, ROH, and AEW. (Even ECW and ROH might be questionable inclusions on the list given how big they were relative to some of the others mentioned.)

Christopher Daniels certainly wrestled for all of those promotions, even though his runs for some were shorter than his runs for others. You can count his WCW matches on one hand, for example.
Enough technicalities and dancing around, though. Is Christopher Daniels the only guy to wrestle for that group of promotions?

Nope. I thought of one other wrestler who did it almost immediately upon reading the question:

Devon “Crowbar” Storm

Storm had fourteen WWF matches between 1995 and 2001 and four more matches in 2003, after the WWE rebrand. Probably his most noteworthy bout was on November 10, 1997 in Ottawa, Ontario losing to TAKA Michinoku in the quarterfinals of the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship tournament that TAKA eventually won.

Of course, WCW is the promotion on the list in which Storm was most heavily featured as a regular, winning the company’s Tag Team, Cruiserweight, and Hardcore Titles all the in year 2000, though he actually wrestled his first match in the promotion in 1996 as an enhancement talent for then-United States Champion Konnan.

Storm’s ECW involvement was also in 1996, during which time he tangled with Taz at Hostile City Showdown in April and then lost a “loser leaves town” match to 2 Cold Scorpio at November to Remember. Confusingly, he had two more ECW matches in December after supposedly being forced to “leave town.”

Moving to TNA, Storm had a few matches for the company, though they were several years apart. On the fourth-ever weekly pay per view for NWA TNA, the former Crowbar adopted the name “Tempest” and was a tag team partner for Slash (a.k.a. Wolfie D) in Father James Mitchell’s Disciples of the New Church stable. The pair lost a Tag Team Title match to champions AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn. Eleven years later, he appeared as Devon Storm on March 19, 2013, participating in a nine-man hardcore battle royale taped for one of TNA’s oft-forgotten “One Night Only” pay per views. Sho Funaki of all people also appeared in that battle royale, one of only two TNA matches in Funaki’s storied career.

As to ROH, Storm had four matches there, most notably getting a Television Title shot on HDNet. The match occurred on January 21, 2011, and his opponent was . . . Christopher Daniels, oddly enough the guy who this question was originally about. Storm had one ROH match in 2011, one in 2012, one in 2019, and then one more in 2020.

Most recently, on October 6, 2021, Crowbar was defeated by Joey Janela in a match taped for AEW Dark Elevation in Philadelphia, PA.

There you have it. All hail Crowbar.

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.