wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: Should Donald Trump Make Another WWE Appearance?

September 20, 2020 | Posted by Ryan Byers
President Donald Trump

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.

Hey, ya want a banner?

I’ve been told I should promote my Twitter account more. So, go follow me on Twitter.

Tyler from Winnipeg is engaging in a bit of a Wrestlemania rewind:

Do you think a second encounter between Vince McMahon and Donald Trump would be entertaining?

Honestly, no.

I was a big fan of the original Battle of the Billionaires, and the fact that it main evented Wrestlemania XXIII made that show the most-purchased WWE pay per view in history up to that point. (Depending on the source, it may still actually be. There appears to be some discrepancy as to whether Mania XXVIII got more buys.)

However, that was over thirteen years ago now, and things have changed significantly since then. With Donald Trump having gone on to become not just a politician but also one of the most polarizing politicians in recent memory, many if not all viewers won’t be able to see him on screen without thinking about how he’s impacted the real world over the course of the past three years and change. I can’t see that happening without it taking a large amount of the audience out of the fantasy of whatever wrestling storyline he is involved in at the time. Also, though wrestling fans have a reputation for being right-wing politically, you have to imagine that at least some of them would just tune out altogether as opposed to supporting a product in which the man is involved.

Maybe that will change a few years down the road once the Donald is out of office and history has had a chance to reevaluate him a bit, much in the same way that America’s view of George W. Bush appears to have softened with time. Even that is questionable, though, because Trump is 74 years old at the time that I write this column, meaning that he may well not live long enough for people to come back around on him.

For the time being, it’s best that he and WWE stay away from each other.

Believe it or not, it says Night Wolf the Wise on his birth certificate:

1. Does Chris Jericho hold the record for most nicknames used by a wrestler? His nicknames have been: Y2J, The Ayatollah of Rock & Rolla, The First Ever Undisputed Champion, Lionheart, the Man of 1004 Holds, the Highlight of the Night, Le Champion, Demo God, Sexy Beast.

I suppose some of this depends on what you want to count as a nickname. First off, I wouldn’t count “The First Ever Undisputed Champion” as a nickname for Jericho, as it’s not so much a nickname as a real historical distinction that he holds. That would be like saying Michael Jordan’s nickname is “The 1996 NBA MVP.” That’s not a nickname. It’s just a thing that happened.

You also have to ask yourself whether a ring name counts as a nickname. Ed Leslie has wrestled as Brutus Beefcake, Dizzy Hogan, Dizzy Golden, The Disciple, The Butcher, Brute Force, Brother Bruti, The Man With No Name, Ed Boulder, Eddie Hogan, Eddie Golden, and probably a few others that I missed, none of which are his real name – but do they count as nicknames for purposes of this question? If they do, he’s got Jericho beat, but if not, you’re probably just left with “The Barber” on his nickname list.

Even if you make a distinction between gimmick names and ring names, I think that there’s somebody who’s got Jericho beat, and it’s somebody who’s had an even longer career than he has:

The Undertaker

If you give Jericho credit for everything on Night Wolf’s list, he’s got nine nicknames (or eight if you want to DQ the “undisputed champion” thing, which you should). Meanwhile, I can come up with ten for the Undertaker, including:

The Phenom, The Deadman, The Man from the Darkside, The Deadman, The Lord of Darkness, The Demon of Death Valley, The American Badass, The Red Devil, Booger Red, and Big Evil.

We’ve got those ten, and there’s a chance that I might even have missed a couple in there somewhere.

2. Has it ever been explained why they sometimes use the same nicknames for wrestlers? Like there George the Animal Steele and the Animal Batista, The Nature Boy Buddy Rogers and The Nature Boy Ric Flair, etc.

Sometimes it’s just a coincidence, with two wrestlers coming by the same nickname through different circumstances. For example, as Night Wolf points out, both George Steele and Batista were “The Animal,” though they had very different personae that fit with that name. Similarly, Ole Anderson, Don Muraco, and Rocky Maivia all called themselves “The Rock” at different points, but it was all due to coincidence and not some unified plan that resulted in bookers coming up with a kayfabe through line.

In other circumstances, though, there are other explanations for why wrestlers share the same nickname. In the instance of Buddy Rogers and Ric Flair, it was done because Flair lifted basically his entire gimmick from Rogers, and taking the nickname was part of that. The same thing happened with the lesser known Nature Boy, Buddy Landel. In a slightly different twist on this, the WWF referred to Chyna as the Ninth Wonder of the World after Andre the Giant was the Eighth Wonder of the World – a reference to the famous landmarks known as the Seven Wonders of the World.

Occasionally, a nickname does trickle down as a part of a storyline. For example, Jackie Fargo, a star in the 1960s and 1970s, was referred to as the King of Memphis when he wrestled in Tennessee, but that moniker was handed off to a young up-and-comer by the name of Jerry Lawler after he got the better of Fargo in a feud.

The Dilapidated Boatman has some questions, but I also have a question for him. Which one is dilapidated – the boat or the man?

1. What are the actual kayfabe rules in tag team wrestling for breaking up pins? Is it allowed under any circumstances?

With many rules in professional wrestling, there is going to be some variance based on the promotion and the time period. However, there does seem to be some consistency on this one topic. Old school wrestling website DDT Digest has in its archives a 1974 NWA program with a listing of rules that states that it will be an “automatic disqualification” when the illegal team member saves on a pin or submission attempt “more than once.”

Meanwhile, in 2017, WWE released a book entitled The Official Book of WWE Rules (And How to Break Them, which was more a comedy book than a true listing of the kayfabe rules of wrestling. It did contain some references to supposed rules, though, and one of them was that any saves beyond one in a tag match would result in a DQ. This parallels insider reporting by those like Bryan Alvarez at the Figure Four Weekly website, who has claimed in the past that WWE has a “secret rule” prohibiting more than one save, even though it’s not something that is ever brought up be announcers.

Of course, even this leads to another question: Is the rule that saving more than once is illegal, or is the rule that all saves are illegal but the referee will let you off with a warning for the first one? That part remains unclear.

2. What is the highest profile standard tag match where tag rules are fully followed and the ref didn’t lose control? Or has that never actually happened?

WWE seems to go back and forth on this a bit, but there have definitely been some periods in recent years where they have been pretty stringent on enforcing tag rules. One of the examples of this I’ll always remember is Chris Benoit’s next-to-last match on television, where he and CM Punk took on Elijah Burke and Marquis Cor Von (a.k.a. Monty Brown) on the June 12, 2007 ECW on Sci Fi show. Burke and Cor Von were double teaming Punk and stayed in the ring together beyond the referee’s five count, which lead to a disqualification. If you watch closely, it’s readily apparent that the referee was instructed to enforce the rules like a shoot and that this was not the planned finish of the bout, as everybody stands around for a split second not knowing what to do before Benoit, obviously pissed, hits the ring and does all of the spots that he probably would have done to pop the crowd anyway after getting a hot tag.

Similarly, on the February 4, 2019 edition of Monday Night Raw, Bruan Strowman was disqualified in a tag match with Kurt Angle against Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin, when Strowman attacked Corbin despite not being the legal man. Earlier this year, on the May 11, 2020 episode of Raw, Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy lost via disqualification against Rey Misterio Jr. and Aleister Black when Rollins interrupted Misterio’s 619 despite not being the legal man. Unlike the Benoit match referenced above, it was clear in both of these cases that the DQ was the planned finish.

So, it certainly happens. It’s just that it seems to happen on a hit-or-miss basis.

Tommy Hart is all tangled up:

I’m watching NXT UK from 8/20, and during the Bret Hart/Dynamite Kid match from 1985, Lord Alfred Hayes says the ropes are steel cables.

When did WWE change to actual ropes?

To my knowledge, WWE rings have always (or almost always) used actual ropes. Regarding that particular match, my best bet is that either Hayes made a mistake in calling the action or there was something unique about the circumstances of that particular card which resulted in the company having to use a ring that did not confirm to its usual standards.

Don wants all of you Atlantic City sweathogs to shut up while he asks his question:

Everyone knew that Rick Rude was under the mask during his ECW run. My question is what was the reason for him wearing the mask? Was there some legit reason?

I’m not aware of there being any reason for the mask aside from the standard reason for doing a “masked man” angle in professional wrestling, i.e. building up to the big pop for the reveal – which can still come even when everybody knows who is under the hood, if the reveal is something that they want to see.

God save Barry:

Loving the article and really enjoying the hypothetical title lineages.

So, I have one for you. Insurrextion 2001, Chris Jericho defeated William Regal for the Queen’s Cup. Who holds it now?

For those of you who aren’t clear what Barry is referencing, back in 2018 I answered a question that involved tracing a lineal championship history, with the championship in question being Ric Flair’s designation of himself as “The Man.” From there, I traced a couple of other lineal championships, though it’s been over a year now since I’ve done one, because they’re a bit polarizing. Some people are very vocal in their love for them, and some people are very vocal in their distaste for them.

But, I feel like I’ve given the gimmick a long enough break that we might as well dust it off one more time, to follow the history of a one-off prize that was awarded to Chris Jericho on an obscure WWF pay per view from almost two decades ago. Why not?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the rules we’ve used for lineal championships in the past, they are:

1. The title can only change hands in one-on-one matches. No tag matches, three-ways, four-ways, or the like count.

2. The title can only change hands by pinfall, submission, or complying with the stipulation of a gimmick match (e.g. escaping the cage in a cage match with escape rules).

3. The results that I’m using all come from CageMatch. There’s a chance they could be missing some results, but checking multiple databases/sources could become pretty unwieldy pretty quickly.

With all that said, let’s get into the fake title history.

Of course, this begins with Chris Jericho defeating William Regal via submission at the May 5, 2001 Insurrexion pay per view, which aired exclusively in the U.K. and emanated from London, England.

Just three days later, Christian takes the Queen’s Cup from Jericho, defeating him on the May 8, 2001 Smackdown taping in Hartford, Connecticut.

Kane pins Christian on the June 4, 2001 episode of Monday Night Raw in a match that also had Kane’s real-life WWF Intercontinental Championship on the line.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPBWr6HCug4

In a bit of an upset, Christian defeats Kane one week later on the June 11, 2001 Raw after interference from Albert. In addition to retaking the lineal Queen’s Cup here, Christian qualifies for the 2001 King of the Ring tournament through his victory.

Speaking of the King of the Ring, in the semi-finals of that tournament, Kurt Angle beats Christian on pay per view, which took place on June 24.

Of course, Angle did not win the 2001 King of the Ring, as Edge beat him in the finals later the same evening. He receives a fancy KOTR trophy to go along with his fictional Queen’s Cup.

Though we’ve seen him referenced in this lineage previously, now Albert has his first run with the Queen’s Cup, defeating Edge on the July 3, 2001 Smackdown tapings in a match where Albert’s Intercontinental Title (which he had taken from Kane) is also on the line.

As part of the recently-launched Invasion angle, Lance Storm takes the IC belt off of Albert on the July 23, 2001 Raw from Buffalo, New York, also making him our new Queen’s Cup holder.

Kurt Angle becomes a two-time Queen’s Cup holder, as he beats Storm in a match where the Intercontinental Championship was not on the line. This is taped for Smackdown on July 31 in Washington, D.C.

WWF Champion Steve Austin successfully retains his championship against Angle at a house show on Long Island, New York on August 11, 2001, also bringing the Queen’s Cup firmly into the WWF’s main event scene.

In perhaps the biggest victory of his career before or since, Rob Van Dam upsets Steve Austin at a Smackdown taping on September 4, 2001 in Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

Kurt Angle picks up his third lineal Queen’s Cup, beating Van Dam on the September 10, 2001 episode of Monday Night Raw, in a match where Angle also wins RVD’s Hardcore Championship.

At the 2001 Unforgiven pay per view, Angle beats Steve Austin to win the WWF Championship in a move largely spurred on by the patriotic fervor following the September 11 terrorist attacks. While Angle is champion, Rob Van Dam pins him at an October 2, 2001 Smackdown taping, though the WWF Title is not on the line.

One week later, the original holder of the Queen’s Cup, Chris Jericho, retakes his prize by beating Van Dam at the Mark of the Quad Cities in Moline, Illinois on October 9. Jericho also becomes the number one contender to the WCW World Heavyweight Title by winning this match.

After becoming the number one contender, Jericho does also become the WCW Champion, though he loses it on the November 5, 2001 Raw to The Rock, also making the most electrifying man in entertainment the Queen’s Cup holder.

Chris Jericho wins the Queen’s Cup yet again at the 2001 Vengeance pay per view in San Diego, California, pinning the Rock in a match that is part of the mini-tournament to unify the WWF Championship and the “WCW” World Heavyweight Championship.

Jericho does not suffer a clean loss until Wrestlemania XVIII in Toronto, when he drops both the WWF Undisputed Heavyweight Championship and the lineal Queen’s Cup to Triple H, meaning that we’re probably going to have the Cup trace the WWF Title history for a while.

On April 21, 2002 in Kansas City’s infamous Kemper Arena, Hulk Hogan pins HHH at the Backlash pay per view, taking the Queen’s Cup in addition to the WWF Title.

At the very next pay per view – and the first pay per view after the WWF got the “F” out and became WWE – The Undertaker defeats Hogan to become the Undisputed Champion and the Queen’s Cup holder. That’s at Judgment Day on May 19, 2002.

Surprisingly, the Undertaker loses a non-title match, going under Kurt Angle at the June 18, 2002 WWE Smackdown tapings at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. This is Angle’s fourth time holding the lineal Queen’s Cup.

Four days later, on a house show in Huntington, West Virginia on June 22, Rikishi beats Angle to win our lineal championship.

Starting his second run with the Queen’s Cup, Lance Storm defeats Rikishi in Boston, Massachusetts on July 2, 2002 in a match taped for that week’s episode of Smackdown.

Storm remains undefeated in singles action for over a month, largely because this is the period where he held the WWE Tag Team Titles along with Christian as the Un-Americans. However, on the August 12, 2002 episode of Raw, Booker T. pins Storm to win the Queen’s Cup, years before he would become King Booker.

The original Queen’s Cupper Chris Jericho reclaims his prize for the fourth time when he beats the Bookman on a house show in Beaumont, Texas on September 29, 2002. This is also a defense of Jericho’s Intercontinental Championship.

The very next night, Kane, in the middle of a mega-push at the time, beats Chris Jericho on Monday Night Raw to win not just the lineal Queen’s Cup but also the Intercontinental Title AND the number one contendership to the World Heavyweight Title.

After humiliating him in the Katie Vick angle, Triple H pins Kane at the 2002 edition of the No Mercy pay per view on October 20 in order to unify the World Heavyweight Title, the Intercontinental Title, and the lineal Queen’s Cup.

Kane takes the Queen’s Cup back eight days later, in a bit of an unusual fashion. He beats Triple H in a casket match on Monday Night Raw on October 28, 2002. Normally in these lineal title histories, championships only change hands by pinfall or submission, but, as noted above, our “house rules” have long held that a title will also switch when someone wins a gimmick match by complying with the stipulation of that match, so this counts. It’s worth noting that the World Heavyweight Championship was not on the line here.

Kane and Triple H’s feud sort of fizzles out at this point without there being another major singles match between the two. Instead, Kane’s next clean singles loss comes at the hands of Batista, who pins him on the November 25, 2002 episode of Raw to kick off a new monster heel push.

Because of that monster heel push, Batista remains undefeated on television for a while, but he does drop a fall to Rob Van Dam on a January 12, 2003 house show in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This is RVD’s third time holding the lineal Queen’s Cup.

In our first instance of the Queen’s Cup changing hands outside of North America (after it was initially decided, anyway), Chris Jericho defeats RVD on a January 25, 2003 house show at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

Getting the the Queen’s Cup back into the World Title mix, Scott Steiner beats Jericho on the February 3, 2003 episode of Monday Night Raw in a match where Steiner also becomes the number one contender to Triple H’s World Heavyweight Title.

At the February 23, 2003 No Way Out pay per view, Triple H successfully defends the World Heavyweight Championship against Steiner and takes the Queen’s Cup from him as well.

For those of you who weren’t around in the early 2000s, HHH had a reputation for not losing a lot of matches. That holds true here, as he goes without a clean singles loss until Unforgiven on September 21, 2003, holding the Queen’s Cup for just under seven months, the longest reign we’ve seen by far. His loss comes at the hands of Bill Goldberg.

Speaking of guys who are known for not losing, Goldberg falls into that camp as well. He doesn’t drop the fall in a one-on-one singles match until April 2, 2017 – yes, over 13 years later – when Brock Lesnar defeats him for the WWE Universal Championship at Wrestlemania XXXIII. (Before anybody asks, yes, Goldberg did drop the World Heavyweight Title in 2003, but that was in a triple threat match, which historically haven’t counted in these lineal histories.)

Lesnar remains unbeaten until August 19, 2018 at Summerslam, when he drops both the Universal Title and the lineal Queen’s Cup to Roman Reigns.

In a truly bizarre twist on this whole thing, Reigns’ first singles loss after that match comes on June 7, 2019 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at Super Showdown, where he is upended by none other than Shane McMahon.

A few weeks later, Kevin Owens defeats Shane-O-Mac at Summerslam 2019 in Toronto, once again putting the lineal Queen’s Cup on the shoulders of a proud Canadian.

Two days later, on August 13, 2019, Owens is defeated by Samoa Joe in a match taped for that week’s Smackdown.

Four days later, Joe returns the favor to Kevin Owens, as Owens defeats him at a house show in Houston, Texas.

We’re getting into some rapid-fire lineal title changes here now, as August 20, 2019 sees Elias Samson beats Owens for the Queen’s Cup in a match that also serves as a first round bout in the most recent King of the Ring tournament.

Due to some unfortunate issues with injuries, Elias has only wrestled very sporadically over the course of the past year. Because of this, he has not lost a singles match since that King of the Ring victory over Owens, meaning that he is STILL the lineal Queen’s Cup holder as of the time that I’m writing this.

I have to say, of all of the lineal championships that I’ve gone over in the column, this may be among the most boring, as it largely stayed in the WWF/WWE main event or upper midcard scene and never traveled outside the company or into the hands of unexpected champs as others have. Oh well, it was at least worth a shot.

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].

article topics :

Ask 411 Wrestling, Ryan Byers