wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: Who Self Sabotaged Their WWE Career The Most?

September 15, 2017 | Posted by Mathew Sforcina
Ken Kennedy Rob Van Dam

Greetings, welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling! I am your host, Mathew Sforcina, and I do hope you and yours are safe right now, given the various problems impacting various parts of the world right now.

Lots to talk about this week, so let’s get down to it. Got something you wanna talk about? [email protected] is where you should send an email describing said discussion topic.

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WCW’s Faults: Fun fact: From 96 through to 2000 or so, I only got to watch Nitro and one of WWF’s clip show deals since I had the wrong cable service provider to get WWF stuff until just after Wrestlemania 18, although I had access to WWF PPV for most of that time. So yes, I did watch WCW during their rise and their fall. However, that doesn’t excuse the fact that my opinion on where WCW went wrong is… Well, my opinion. I apologize if I don’t make it clear all the time where the line between “stuff that has been reported by other people without any proof to the contrary beyond statements by people who look bad in said stuff” and “my interpretation of said stuff” is drawn.

I will admit that the Death of WCW book does color my thinking on the subject somewhat, since they make good points in the book. But I disagree with it on some points, the nWo expansion, and Goldberg’s first title win, to name two off the top of my head, in those cases I agree with WCW’s actions, if not their motives. But at the end of the day, the company died, and regardless of the WWF conspiracy theory and the like, they obviously had to have done some things wrong to get to that point. Not building new talent, not doing new storylines, not focusing on their positives, I don’t think those are particularly controversial stances to have on WCW’s mistakes, but obviously some people will disagree. And that’s more than fine.

The Trivia Crown

Who am I? I have the same amount of Hardcore title reigns as the above. My last match in WWE was a qualifier, although I finished my contract on a brand other than the one that I last wrestled on. I’ve been part of a tag team with a math related name (although it’s off by a factor), part of a tag team with an acronym name, and part of a tag team that formed out of a third person getting injured. I’ve been Italian, I’ve represented a musical genre, and in storyline, I’ve seen more of Trish Stratus than you, probably. Who am I?

The Ghost of Faffner Hall rises from the dead with the answer.

Who am I? I have the same amount of Hardcore title reigns as the above. (One) My last match in WWE was a qualifier (Money in the Bank qualifying match vs. CM Punk), although I finished my contract on a brand other than the one that I last wrestled on (drafted to Smackdown from ECW but never wrestled there). I’ve been part of a tag team with a math related name (although it’s off by a factor) (V-Squared with Val Venis– should be V-Cubed), part of a tag team with an acronym name (M.O.M.), and part of a tag team that formed out of a third person getting injured (teamed with Charlie Haas after Shelton Benjamin was injured). I’ve been Italian (one night only member of the FBI), I’ve represented a musical genre (rap, obviously), and in storyline, I’ve seen more of Trish Stratus than you, probably. (Trish once showed him her “puppies”) Who am I? You are Nelson Frazier/Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V!

The Charlie Haas team developed out of Lillian Garcia’s injury, but other than that, spot on.

Who am I? I once beat the above in a tournament. Despite not being a luchador, I trained under a guy who wore a mask. I once gave away a title, as well as a battle royal win. I’m the only man to manage a two time feat with a fearsome tag team with two names. Although I’ve held multiple singles titles, I’m more well known for my tag team reigns. I’ve been managed by a cheerleader, a make up lady, and someone holding a title I would later claim myself. A man in WWE right now, both personally and via lineage, I am who?

Getting Down To All The Business

Ron gets to go first, per the rule.

When professional wrestling was first broadcast on tv in the 1950’s, there was one camera for the wide shot of the ring (the “hard” camera), one camera for close-ups, and maybe one camera for the commentary desk area. With that set-up, most wrestlers learned to turn their opponent toward the hard camera before a finishing move, so the viewing audience would have a better look at the end of the match than the live crowd.

Now, it seems like televised wrestling shows have a hard camera and about twelve roaming cameras that can go anywhere in the arena, especially around the ring. Why, then, do most wrestlers still turn their opponents toward the hard camera before their finishing move? With all the cameras, why not just wrestle the match, and let the director in the truck worry about setting up the shot for the home audience?

Because WWE is very insistent on working the hard camera only.

WWE tends to focus on the TV look above all else, the live crowd is nice but not the main audience. After all, why focus on 20K or so in the building when you have millions watching at home, right? So WWE teaches in the Performance Center now to always focus on playing to the hard camera wherever possible. That’s what they are focusing on, so they drum it into their wrestlers. Other companies are presumably following suit.

That said, there are some benefits to it, such as only needing one side of the arena to be full, you can get everyone on the camera side and then if people play to the hard camera, you can avoid showing rows of empty seats. Also you can’t be sure that there will be a camera in a corner when you need it, or that it’ll be in focus and such, but you always know where hard cam is. And it does help with blocking and making sure everyone is on the same page if you always know which way someone will be facing relative to a fixed point.

Kayfabe though, it’s just that they want to look cool for their fans, obviously.

But yeah, WWE is fixated on only working to the hard cam where possible, so that’s what people do, and the rest of the industry just follows suit…

What a Maneuver asks about elbow drops.

Here is a question you might not have heard before, regarding the delivery of the top rope elbow. Most wrestlers perform this move as basically an elbow drop delivered from the top rope: landing more or less flat on their back, with the triceps hitting the prone opponent’s chest. Macho Man Randy Savage, however, used a much more sensational-looking version, landing on his side, elbow-first, so his elbow and shoulder took the brunt of the deliverer’s impact. (No wonder he had to have elbow surgery) Nowadays, every time a wrestler delivers the flying elbow and signals he’s making an homage to Savage, he still lands back-first. My question, and I do have one, is: Has anyone besides Savage performed this move so the point of the elbow would (appear to) hit the opponent on the chest, as he lands on his side?

The problem with this question is that finding video of someone landing the elbow drop on their side doesn’t automatically mean they always do it like that. I mean, here’s Bayley landing on her side, pretty much, I think. Assuming I have your description right in my head.

Does that mean she always does it like that? I think so, but there’s a few factors in how you hit a move like this, distance from the ropes, the orientation of the victim, if your side and/or back is hurting…

I don’t know anyone who drops an elbow exactly like Macho Man, no. But Bayley and Kairi Sane sprung to mind as being obvious sideways elbow dropers. Maybe a reader has an idea as to someone else obvious I’m missing.

Mick takes us into slightly firmer footing, albeit the other side of the body from the feet.

Re. Lucha de Apuestas matches (hair vs mask, mask vs mask, career vs hair etc) Has there ever been an example of a losing wrestler being made to WEAR (as opposed to removing) a mask? Say a Rick Martel / early HBK / Dashing Cody type heel faces an opponent who they deem “offensively ugly” in a match where the loser has to wear a Lucha Mask to cover up their face? Any examples of this? Can you see it working? Is the closest example where the loser has to wear a dress ala. Saturn / Jericho?

It’s technically cheating, but I know it was done at least once… In NewLegacyInc’s WWE 2k15 Universe Mode.

Most of the time, if someone is forced to wear a mask, it’s because they’ve been fired or suspended or such, and they have to come back under a hood to get around that. Brian Pillman as the Yellow Dog, Hulk Hogan as Mr. America, the Machines, and so forth. Not really the same thing.

I wasn’t able to find a real life case where wearing a mask was a punishment specifically dictated in a match. People have to wear masks due to injury, sure, but wearing a mask because of losing a match, I wasn’t able to find one.

And sure, if the people involved sell it well enough, it could work. A guy who prides himself on his good looks, forced to wear a mask and getting upset because of it would be a good way to turn a pretty boy heel into a stronger all round one, actually, have the hidden looks make him angrier and tougher as a result… Or as part of a deal wherein losing the match forces them to join the stable, and wearing the mask is part of that, a constant reinforcement of their new role… There’s possibilities, sure, but it’s not a common idea, mainly because you’d need to take masks seriously but not too seriously, which rules out pretty much everywhere… But hey, first time for everything.

From masks to music, thanks to Emperor Genghis Khan.

Hi Matthew I love your column. I was watching the Mae Young Classic and am wondering are all the entrance songs originals?

Well just to start off with, thank you for reading my work despite living 800 or so years ago and being busy with all the conquering and fathering babies and all that.

That said, while I can’t give you a break down of just how many of the songs are originals or not, it’s not a full original list. To pick one at semi-random, Toni Storm’s theme, ‘Ride It To The Edge’ by Blues Saraceno, is from 2016. Some of his music has been used by WWE in the past, Seth Rollins’ FCW/NXT theme was his.

At a guess, everyone who has been signed to a WWE contract has original music, Sane and Kai and such, while everyone else would be a combination of tunes they had lying around and cheap ones they could license. But since I can prove there’s one unoriginal, I can give you a solid answer of ‘No’ here.

Yay!

Chris asks about who lost out the most thanks to their own actions.

I ask you, what WWE/WWF wrestler has lost out the most by mistakes made either back stage or in real life? Who killed their own push the most? RVD comes first to my mind, Mr. Kennedy also. I thank you for your time.

RVD did have some issues, not doing Tribute to the Troops back in the day was a a mark against him, then there was the drug bust, but on the other hand all that drug bust did was move forward his WWE title loss a couple weeks, and then remove him from the ECW title, which was bad, but hardly career ending, but not great.

Kennedy is probably the safe bet, even if you cut out the MITB thing, which was a giant mess of injury and non-injury and the like, the McMahon’s son angle was a MAJOR angle that was set to focus solely on him running the place and all that, that’s something of a major loss, for a mistake.

Marty Jannetty has had a few losses, in terms of numbers he’s up there, but he was probably never going to be a multi-time world champ or anything so maybe not.

In terms of the push they lost, I think Kennedy probably wins, simply because we don’t know of too many cases of someone set to have such a major angle revolving around them be pulled specifically due to their actions. Maybe if the Sheik Tugboat thing is legit, but even then that wasn’t running the company huge. Of course, it’s entirely possible that plenty of people screwed up their careers multiple times over, we just never heard about it.

Now we come to the meat of the column this week, a lot of questions from Christopher about Australian wrestling, since for some reason he thinks I know a lot about that, and then onto intergender wrestling. So if you don’t care about either of those topics, this is probably the end of the column for you this week, thanks for reading, so on and so forth. Otherwise, let’s get to it.

And just to get it out of the way…

Technically not a music video, but good enough.

To provide some background it would be great to get some general history of pro wrestling in Australia? Was there ever a big nationwide icon and pioneer like Lou Thesz in the US, Rikidozan in Japan or El Santo in Mexico, and what time in history was Australian wrestling at it’s most popular?

Pro Wrestling in Australia started roughly the same time as it did in America, in the early 1900’s, but was never huge. You’d get the occasional Georg Hackenschmidt tour, names from America would do a world tour and include Australia, but it wasn’t majorly huge. It grew a little in the 30’s, with the Great Depression, and in the 40’s and 50’s you’d again have major names like Lou Thesz and Gorgeous George do a tour in the country, but often the wrestling would share a card with boxing or the like.

It wasn’t until the 60’s that we had a boom in wrestling, thanks to a promoter, really, Jim Barnett. Barnett was one of the first men to see the potential of wrestling designed specifically for TV. A friend, Johnny Doyle, who had worked with Barnett in California had moved here to Australia after marrying a local gal. He convinced Barnett to come out to Australia, as wrestling was almost unheard of. Barnett came out to have a look, and a few months later ran the first show of World Championship Wrestling on October 23, 1964 at the Sydney Stadium.

(It’s no coincidence that name. Barnett owned the American promotion that had the WCW TV show in the 80’s, so he just reused the name, and it ended up becoming the name of the whole company).

The key to the sudden rise of the company was TV, as WCW had a sweet deal, noon on Saturdays and Sundays on the Nine Network, the biggest commercial channel at the time. From 1964 to 1978, the company ran consistently and was very popular. Although there were a lot of guys who did tours with this WCW, the nearest to a national icon was Mario Milano, where a three month tour in 1967 became a permanent move, and he was the biggest name in the company. Most of the big names were foreign, local guys tended to be used as jobbers, although Ron Miller and Larry O’Dea did get some prominence, especially after they got some stake in the company due to a change in government leading to a need to ensure there was some local ownership.

But yeah, the company tended to play up the other nationalities, Milano was the Italian, Spiros Arion was the Greek, playing to the big ethnic centers in Sydney and Melbourne. There was never a cross over superstar, Milano was the nearest.

1978, however, saw Channel Nine cancel the TV slots, due to bringing in World Series Cricket, and that pretty much killed Wrestling in Australia, at least in terms of being a major thing.

Huh, I never thought out that, both WCWs were killed by losing TV deals. Huh.

Anyway, mid 80’s saw WWF begin to be the only real wrestling presence in the country, the very rare tour coupled with TV. Eventually the local scene started to, well exist around the Attitude era, the early 2000’s saw an influx of companies, slowly but steadily growing, to where there is probably 30 or so companies now, ranging from small training gym ones through to the ones you may have heard of where Will Ospreay just had some awesome matches and such.

What about local wrestling on television? Are there now (or has there ever been) Australian promotions with national TV coverage? How about smaller regional television?

Apart from WCW, and a couple of ‘supershows’ that got on cable, no, there’s been no national promotions on broadcast TV, yet. Wrestlers have appeared ON national TV, yes, but not as a full wrestling show. When I can make a (slightly shaky) case for being the most well known Australian Wrestler in Australia, that’s a problem.

Well, OK, I tell a lie, there’s been a couple of companies that got TV slots on Aurora, which is the cable TV public access channel, I suppose you’d describe it, those are national, but on cable, which is not universal. Likewise, some companies have gotten onto equivalent local broadcast channels and the like, but no-one’s really gotten onto mainstream TV.

Yet.

Which are the biggest current promotions and how big are they? Obviously Australia is a giant country so I’m guessing it’s hard to run a promotion that tours nationwide. Am I right to assume that most independent promotions run local shows centered around one large city like Sidney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth?

Yes, most companies focus on one city, you have Pro Wrestling Australia in Sydney, Newcastle Pro Wrestling in Newcastle, Melbourne City Wrestling in Melbourne, Explosive Pro Wrestling in Perth, to pick an example in each city. The nearest to a national company is still the Australasian Wrestling Federation, due to running shows connected to the Supanova Pop Culture Festival around Australia, but for the most part most companies tend to stay in one general location.

Size is hard to measure, in that no-one’s really running huge arenas, but certainly shows do draw in the hundreds, and it’s slowly but surely growing, so yay that.

How much interaction do independent wrestlers from different parts of the country have? Does a wrestler who live in say Perth, often work shows in Sidney? In what part of Australia does occasional column contributor Massive Q live, and which promotion does he work for?

I think we’ve established that’s me already.

There is some interaction, certainly in Sydney it’s easier because you have Newcastle and Wollongong within driving distance, so there’s a lot of intermixing with those areas, but while someone from another city isn’t unheard of, it’s a special occasion for the most part. There will be a State of Origin match on the show, or a special title defence or something, you tend to build it up a little.

I personally live in Sydney, and I wrestle mainly for Newcastle Pro Wrestling and Wrestling Go these days, although I do appear on AWF shows and have made some appearances on PWA shows. But hey, if anyone does want me, I’m more than happy to travel…

How frequently does the average Australian wrestler travel to other countries and where do they in that case go? Japan is the closest geographically but Canada and the US seems to be closer culturally. Would you say there is a specific Australian style of wrestling or is it very similar to the US and Canadian style(s)?

Depends on the wrestler. There’s a bunch of guys who go to Japan, there’s been a recent move of people to the UK, a couple of friends just got back from the US, there’s a guy in Mexico doing well for himself, been some people who went to Canada, also New Zealand, Aussies are moving everywhere right now.

Frequency… Most Aussies who do travel tend to go for one big stretch, they’ll go over to the US or whatever and live there a few months and then come back, and then maybe go again, maybe stay here, it depends. There’s currently no traditional path ahead, so a lot of people are striking out on their own, there’s no consistency, and that’s ok.

Australian wrestling, generally, is something of a hybrid of pretty much everything else. There’s influences from American indy wrestling, American TV, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Europe, England, and a bit of home grown stuff to add some spice. Not everyone is like that, sure, but one of the things that’s really going to help fuel the upcoming Australian/New Zealand explosion is that a good Aussie wrestler can pretty much work anywhere. We have specialists, guys who work one specific style mostly, but you’re going to be surprised just how versatile Aussies can be when they really start taking off.

In recent years we’ve seen quite a few Australian wrestlers enter into WWE’s development program, namely Emma, Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Shane Thorne and Nick Millar, and three of the participants in the Mae Young Classic are from the region, Dakota Kai, Toni Storm and Rhea Ripley. I think Kai and Ripley are already signed to developmental contracts and based on her outing in the tournament HHH would be stupid to not sign Toni Storm. Which parts of Australia are all of these guys from, and have you ever worked any shows with any of them? And yes, I realise Dakota Kai is from New Zealand but I’m guessing New Zealanders have to wrestle in Australia whether they like it or not.

One of my go to jokes/statements is how all New Zealanders become automatically Australian when they get popular, up until they mess up, then they’re back to being Kiwis. My saying that is why I don’t think Dakota Kai likes me all that much.

Thorne and Miller are from Perth, never met them. Emma is from Melbourne, met her twice on her last solo promotional tour here, never met her prior to that. Royce and Kay were both from Sydney, although Royce moved around a little bit, I’m not sure. I did work one card with Kay, a battle royal appearance in 2013 for PWA for me, while she wrestled in a four way where Dakota Kai won. Kai worked all over the place, but that show was again the only one that we shared.

Rhea Ripley is from Adelaide, while Toni Storm I’m not sure where to place her, she seems a little all over the map, in either case, haven’t met either of them. And I know I’ve said this before, but Buddy Murphy, who you seem to have missed, is a Melbourne guy I’ve met once for 5 minutes.

So they’re from all over, and most of them have toured extensively around, or trained overseas and such. I’ve yet to do so, due to various factors. Sorry I can’t give you any juicy dirt on them.

Even before the Mae Young Classic, there was a majority of women amongst the wrestlers from Australia in WWE developmental. Why do you think there aren’t more Australian men in WWE? Is there a particularly strong women’s wrestling scene in Australia?

To answer the second part first, yes, there is a strong women’s wrestling scene down here, thanks to having someone like Madison Eagles around to be a trainer and mentor and focal point, as well having a lot of trainers who are open and willing to give women a shot, plus the general Aussie thing of being fit and young and healthy plus… Sheer dumb luck that a bunch of women all got inspired at roughly the same time and started training around the best time for it.

As for the lack of men… I think lacking something like Shimmer in this case is part of the reason. Not to discount the work and effort that people like Emma put in, training under Lance Storm and such, but having Shimmer allowed a bunch of the really talented women wrestlers to get noticed. The equally talented men didn’t really have an equivalent. Obviously some have made it, and many more will now, but I think Shimmer is the best explanation for the delay, at least in terms of my observations.

Now then on to final set of questions, which are more opinion based and less Australia-centered. It isn’t completely unrelated to the previous questions though as the question popped up in my mind when I read a comment in one of Csonka’s reviews of the Mae Young Classic. The person who wrote it (KH1-Yup) mentioned that they first saw Rhea Ripley wrestle a guy on an indy show in Australia, and that got me thinking about intergender wrestling. We’ve seen more and more women wrestle men on more or less equal terms over the last years, most prominently through Chikara and Lucha Underground, and I’m a little curious about your opinion on the phenomenon both as a viewer and as a male wrestler. I am personally very postive to intergender wrestling, as I feel it opens up a lot of new storyline possibilities, but there are quite a few people who are very negative towards it. It seems like there are four main arguments opponents of intergender often use, and it would be interesting to hear your take on each of them:

The first common complaint I read and hear, is that it is harder to maintain a suspension of disbelief when a woman beats a man at wrestling since that “would never happen in real life”. Do you think there is validity to this criticism? Is it that much more unbelievable that a 6′ tall top athlete, built like a brick sh*thouse, like Ripley could pin a local rookie, than Rey Mysterio regularly beating guys who outweigh him by a hundred pounds?

Pro wrestling is built on suspension of disbelief, wherein you accept, for the duration of the show, that the people involved are actually fighting and trying to win. Same as when you suspend your disbelief about dragons in Game of Thrones or that references in Big Bang Theory qualify as jokes.

But the thing that trips people up here is that there’s levels of this. There’s a baseline, where you have to accept that people will do stuff that wouldn’t make sense in reality, like run on an irish whip, or flip on a hurricanrana, stuff where you can explain it with something resembling logic, but it’s not established every show.

Then there’s levels above that, the first few which most people accept, where you start to acknowledge that stuff like a Canadian Destroyer as a move, or that mist is blinding and such. Then you start to enter the Cornette Danger Zone, where you get hypnotising people into dancing, or Joey Ryan flipping people with his penis.

Yes, that’s still a case of suspension of disbelief, but the problem most people ignore is that it’s a larger suspension, there’s more to ignore there. So no, I don’t automatically have an issue with people having an issue with stuff like that in wrestling, it depends on the context of the show overall. I accept time travel in CHIKARA, for instance, but doing that in ROH would not fly.

To bring this back to the question at hand, while there are circumstances where it’s realistic for a specific woman to beat a specific man, I do sort of see where people are coming from with that argument. But I still think it’s wrong, because we’ve clearly established that a tiny guy can beat a big guy, that’s fine, we’re just used to a few dozen years of wrestling enforcing the notion that women can’t wrestle men.

I’m fairly certain, if they were upset, most female wrestlers in Australia could kick my ass. It’d take them a while, there’s a lot of ass to kick, but if they were motivated, sure. Same as most male wrestlers. But in the ring, I hit them once, they sell, everyone buys that.

If you want to do intergender wrestling, treat them as equals, you need to educate the audience in that. Not everyone will go with you, there’s going to be some people who won’t cross that bridge, and that’s ok.

Another argument seems to be that women aren’t strong enough to believably pull off wrestling moves that involve lifting male wrestlers. Obviously a 120 lbs woman isn’t as strong as a 170 lbs man but as an example Kimber Lee (Abbey Laith) has used deadlift german suplexes against guys bigger than her, which has to be a move that requires a crap load of strength. Plus Beth Phoenix press slammed Santino (or Santina) one time on Raw if I remember correctly, and there’s a video on Youtube from her indy days where she wins a belt by picking up two guys at the same time, John Cena style, to deliver a double death valley driver. So, as someone with far more insight into how strength moves work in wrestling does this argument hold up? I’m assuming you might have been in the ring with women during training as a lot of wrestling schools seem to be co-ed. If you have, is there much difference grappling with a woman compared to a small skinny man? I’m guessing though based on your body type that you haven’t been picked up and slammed by a lot of small female wrestlers, but maybe I’m wrong?

Strength is strength. There’s going to be less female wrestlers who can pull off the same range of lifting moves as ‘average’ men, sure. But as long as you work with them according to their body type, it’s exactly the same. I’ve wrestled women a few times, with the only one near me physically was Madison Eagles, and the first time we were in the ring together was a Rumble, where for the first minute of her in ring time was spent doing a move on someone then kicking me in the face, repeat. That was fun.

But yeah, I trained with females, there’s no real physical difference in terms of working with a woman and a man of the same body shape. Beyond the issue of where to aim clotheslines and such, obviously.

And no, no woman has slammed me. But honestly, I can pretty much slam myself, so they could, in theory.

Another thing I’ve heard is that there are a lot of male wrestlers against it because they feel it’s detrimental to their career “to lose to a girl”. Do you think that is a common mindset among wrestlers or is that changing? It is understandable as male pride is a powerful thing. Hand on your heart, would you personally have a problem with losing to say, Rhea Ripley or Toni Storm?

Yeah, ok, some guys are going to be upset at the concept of losing to a chick, some guys are going to be jerks regardless. But to play devil’s advocate, there is an argument against losing to someone who will then be portrayed as being weak and helpless. Just like if someone asked them to lose to Jobber McJobberson, some guys might well be concerned about losing to a woman if she’s going to go back to hair-pulling catfights the next show.

Nowadays though, that’s less of an issue, and I think most guys, regardless of their personal feelings on the matter, aren’t going to refuse point blank. They may not like it, they may try to change it, but I think most guys are ok with it.

And my personal opinion is that A) I’ve not beaten anyone ever, and vice versa since, you know, it’s a show, so I don’t care who beats me, since B) All I need to do is stand next to someone short next show, hit them once and have them crumble and I’m back to full believability. I’m not usually asked to be in that position, true, but I have zero problem with it, as long as it was logical, within the context of the company involved.

The fourth one is the one I have the most understanding towards: a lot of people are just not comfortable watching a man beat up a woman, which inevitably will happen in a competitive match. Do you think that mindset can change? Is it just a matter of getting used to women winning AND losing, or is that the one thing that will keep intergender wrestling from ever really taking off? I can honestly say that as much of a proponent of intergender matches as I am, I would never want to see for example Braun Strowman squash a female jobber. As a male wrestler, would it be harder for you to win against a female wrestler than lose to her?

That is a hurdle, yes, and is something that doesn’t have a clean answer. I mean, it’s all well and good to reinforce that this woman is wrestling by her own choice, and she’s a trained professional, and this is even, and no-one is forcing anything, and it’s all good, but the moment a woman sells a hit from a man, that can set off alarm bells, that’s understandable.

Again, not everyone is going to accept this, you’re going to have to leave some people behind here, but for the rest, there should be eventual acceptance, if it’s maintained and pushed enough. We accept Black Widow kicking ass in The Avengers, why can’t a woman wrestler win a tough fought match against a man?

Because of a lifetime of establishing that violence against women is bad, obviously, but you gotta just keep focusing on the context.

Do you think we’ll ever see intergender wrestling in WWE again, like with Chyna? It will probably not happen as long as Vince is alive, but do you think it’s more likely we’ll see it when/if Humble H ever takes over? If you would book a competitive male vs female match in today’s WWE how would you do it? I’d probably have Charlotte answer AJ Styles’ US open challenge. I think they could have a great sprint of a match and Charlotte and the entire Women’s division(s) would gain a lot of credibility, in the process. Is that a plausible scenario at all?

I count more than 25 question marks so far, so it’s probably time to wrap this up. I want to do that by thanking you for all your years of writing Ask 411wrestling. It honestly amazes me how you’re able to week in and week out, year after year, keep this column so consistently informative and entertaining. So thank you very much Mat!

Well, thank you very much.

But no, we’re not getting intergender in WWE for the foreseeable future. Apart from the issue of there still being some states that don’t allow it, because of the issue of male on female violence and the taboo that holds, there’s no way you could get back to that and maintain a PG rating, I don’t think. I might be wrong, but as long as WWE is PG, we’re not getting that, too risky, too much room for complaints.

But if I had to do it? Hold off on Askua’s debut for Raw until the Rumble… Where she enters the Rumble, lasting the longest of all competitors, eliminating a few, makes the final four and then is tossed by Miz, go from there.

And on that, I bring this edition to a close. If you don’t care about Aussie Wrestling, my sincere apologies, but better I get this all out of the way now than do it across a dozen weeks, right?

Right?