wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: Is WCW’s Death The Worst Moment In Wrestling History?

May 25, 2016 | Posted by Mathew Sforcina
WWE Vince McMahon

Hello, welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling, and I made that twitterbot!

It’s called WWE Turn Alerts and basically every couple of hours a frequent turner turns yet again in a hopefully bemusing way. It’s a little clunky right now, to be sure, and I hope to get it more in line with my original vision at some point, but hopefully it’s good for a chuckle. Look, follow, complain, suggest improvements, do what you like.

Anyway, onto the main event, but first, got a question? Send it to [email protected] and it might well be answered.

And now, MAIN EVENT!

Zeldas!

Check out my Drabble blog, 1/10 of a Picture! This will continue, btw.

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Racism/Religion/Wrestling: Yes, the KKK use Christianity as a cover for their hatred, so I take the point, but last time I dipped into religion I set off a months long flame war, so I’ll just reinforce that there’s not any direct evidence of the Harris Brothers being racist in wrestling, in terms of refusing to work with people or whatever.

The Trivia Crown

Who are we? We’re a tag team, although we’ve both had success in singles competition. One of our members had his first ring name stolen by a major company. Our first win as a team in the big leagues was over a couple of evil guys. We’ve had four managers, two at once at one point, two of them hall of famers, one a former champion, and the fourth was just recently back on your computer screens. We’ve teamed in every major company we’ve both worked for with one notable exception. We’ve had a couple different names, and been a apart of a couple different stables, one new, one timeless. And you can thank the Greeks for our backgrounds. Who are we?

Jayden has it all down pat.

Who are we? We’re a tag team, although we’ve both had success in singles competition. One of our members had his first ring name stolen by a major company (High Voltage, stolen by WCW). Our first win as a team in the big leagues was over a couple of evil guys (in WWF vs Kaentai). We’ve had four managers, two at once at one point, two of them hall of famers (Lita and Michael Hayes), one a former champion (Terri -Hardcore champ), and the fourth was just recently back on your computer screens (Gangrel – E&C show). We’ve teamed in every major company we’ve both worked for with one notable exception (both worked in RoH but never teamed?). We’ve had a couple different names, and been a apart of a couple different stables, one new (New Brood), one timeless (Immortal). And you can thank the Greeks for our backgrounds (OMEGA, 24th letter of Greek alphabet) . Who? HARDY BOYZ

Who am I? I’m linked to Hulk Hogan via an award, Rey Mysterio via a title, and Katie Vick by a couple of steps. I’ve been a prescriber and an addict, although I lost the biggest match involving drugs of my career. (I didn’t mind too much though.) I helped end my first stable, although I wasn’t officially involved in the match. I had a one day reign once, I beat John Cena once, and I ended a title once. Of my three managers, one of them was the most important to me. A youthful guy who just wants some social media attention, I am who?

Getting Down To All The Business

Let’s start with Stewart and his couple of questions.

Was the fight between Bob Holly and Bart Gunn after their brawl for all match a shoot?

Bob Holly and Bart Gunn were working as the New Midnight Express, and then the two of them fought in the Brawl for All, and then afterward the ‘match’ they fought again. Was that second fight a shoot?

No.

(For those not able/willing to watch the video, it’s a little scrambled alas, it was in Bob Holly’s YouShoot vid, he said the fight between Bob and Bart was not a shoot, it was an angle to break the team up to be something different.)

Becky said Charlotte is 11 for 11 on PPV matches. Is this true and is this the longest PPV win streak?

Well, sort of.

Battleground ‘15, Summerslam ‘15, Night of Champions ‘15, Hell in a Cell ‘15, Survivor Series ‘15, TLC ‘15, Royal Rumble ‘16, Fastlane ‘16, Wrestlemania 32, Payback ’16, Extreme Rules ’16.

She has indeed won 11 times on PPV out of 11. But the problem is, if you include Network specials, although she won at Roadblock, she lost on the ‘Live from MSG’ special from October 15. Plus she’s lost a few times in NXT. So strictly PPV, yes she’s 11 from 11 for a perfect record. But in PPV style events, not so much.

As for a longer streak, I’m not sure if there is one, Hogan doesn’t have it, Warrior doesn’t… That might well be a record. Readers? Any suggestions on better streaks?

Speaking of PPV and picking people, Rahil has a few questions, here’s two.

Who were the Sting`s in the Halloween Havoc 2000 match between Jeff Jarrett and Sting ?????

I’ve heard two names, a young Chris Harris is one of them, and another one is Bill Eadie, a.k.a Demolition Ax, which is a little odd, but I trust the source. Beyond that, there’s no information out there to my knowledge, so I doubt there are huge names hidden under facepaint there.

Are July 6th 1998 and Aug 24 1998 (NITRO) the only times Hogan wrestled against Goldberg, i know they teamed once or twice, in 99 for example before road wild in a 6 man tag match ?????

There are four matches in which Hogan and Goldberg were opponents, on TV.

Jul 6th, 1998, Nitro, Goldberg beats Hogan to win the WCW World Title.

Dat pop tho…

Aug 24th 1998, Nitro, Goldberg teamed with Kevin Nash and beat Hogan and The Giant.

Mar 15th, 1999, Nitro, Hogan and Nash team up to beat Goldberg and Ric Flair.

And finally, also on Nitro, Apr 5th, 1999, Ric Flair won a four way match involving Goldberg, Hogan and DDP.

Every other match was a tag match they were on the same team for.

Speaking of Hogan and Flair, Pedro has two questions.

a) What’s the deal with the 1999 Hogan-Flair match…? The match was stipulated as “First blood, Flair’s covered in bllod, then pin Hogan and wins.. How was that..???

Ah, the ‘First Blood’ cage match where they couldn’t say the word Blood on Nitro leading up to it.

Anyway, this match is a Russo style problem, in that there is a logical explanation, sort of, they just didn’t spell it all out clearly. Big Bossman lifted the briefcase at KOTR99, they just didn’t expressly say it.

Likewise, that match, at Uncensored 1999, in a First Blood Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match against with Flair’s presidency of WCW and Hogan’s WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the line… Flair bled first. By like a lot. And then Hogan bled, and then ended up losing via pinfall in a figure four. The hell?

Well, the ref was Charles Robinson, you see, and the point was that Flair cheated. He had a crooked ref in his back pocket who changed the rules midmatch without telling anyone, and screwed over Hogan to give Flair the title, and thus do a double turn. Flair, mad with power, conspires to steal title from rightful champ, makes sense. Problem is WCW didn’t spell it out during the match, nor drive the point home afterwards.

But that was the idea, Flair and his ref screwed over Hogan by changing rules.

b) Often, when there’e a tag match, involving three performers, people use to call ’em “Australian tag match”.. Why is the term, where it was originated or who invented it..?? Since you’re from Australia, can you give us some lights…???

There’s an old rule in pro wrestling, before the internet ruined it: If you’re bringing in something new but don’t want to admit you’re just making it up, say it’s from far away. Don’t want to admit you’re just upgrading a North American Title into an Intercontinental one? Claim there was a tournament in Rio De Janerio. Want to have a phantom title change? Oh it happened in Georgia, many miles away.

Team Wrestling was invented in either San Francisco or Tennessee, there’s different claims. The first ones tended to have all 4 guys in there at once, and the name Texas Tornado became the standard. Then someone invented the tag system, and to make it seems exotic and fancy, it was called Australian Rules Tag Team Wrestling. It wasn’t invented in Australia, although Gordon Solie would claim it became popularised in Australia as an excuse if someone said that.

The notion that tag wrestling began in Australia is helped along by one of the first truly big tag teams being The Fabulous Kangaroos, Al Costello and Roy Heffernan worked as ultra-patriotic Aussies from ’57 to ’65 and were very successful as a heel tag team, and one of the first wrestling acts to be big on gimmick, personality and charisma. They would often come into a promotion and already hold a tag title, the promoter giving them the belts and having them come in as ‘long time undefeated tag team champions’. This led to the belief they invented it, or helped bring it to America or something.

But tag team wrestling was invented in America, the Australia bit was just some color.

Now the three performers thing is in Lucha, where the ‘Australia invented tag team wrestling’ thing has evolved into 6 man tag matches where there’s usually relaxed tagging rules and also each team has a captain and you have to either beat the captain or both of the other members of the team, and also they can be 2/3 falls. And these matches are called ‘Relevos Australianos’ or… Australian Rules.

As for how that came about, that I’m unable to tell you. I presume it’s a similar situation, wherein a lucha promoter wanted to do Captain matches and since he’d heard of the whole “Australia invented tag matches” thing he and/or she stole it… The Kangaroos had managers but not six man tags, so I can only assume it’s just a stealing of a fictional gimmick.

Speaking of things I can only presume, Brian?

Do you think we will ever see a money in the bank match between all faces or all heels?

Not unless something has gone wrong somewhere, i.e. a bunch of injuries. While face/face can work as a storyline, and heel/heel is sometimes required and/or a nice change of pace, such an important match, you need people you want to see win and people you don’t want to see win.

MAYBE if they decided to only have a 4 or 6 man match you might get all 6 face, but someone would turn heel either leading in or, more likely, during the match where they do something underhanded to win the briefcase and turn heel.

But no, there’s no benefit to having everyone the same alignment, unless there’s a very specific storyline being told. (Heel champ has screwed over all these faces so now one of them can screw him back, or something).

Speaking of climbing for stuff, Stu gets one question answered this week.

How many different coloured Intercontinental belts has there been?

So ‘proper’ color changes are normal, arguable ones in brackets.

The belt began as trophy shop metal on red leather.
Then it became the last WWF trophy metal title, this one on a green leather backing.
Then came the Reggie IC title, which is the one you remember. Gold metal, black trim.
(Randy Savage, upon winning it, used Brasso cleaner on it which removed all the gold plating and made it look horrible, so it was replaced in 88 with a new version of the same belt)
(Then it was redesigned slightly during the HTM run, the main color difference being a gold tip on the end, and the red WWF logo changed to gold)
Then Warrior made his with a yellow strap.
Then HBK got a baby blue one.
And a white one.
And then Goldust got a gold strapped one.
Then came the split with Reggie Parks, in March 98, the night after Wrestlemania 14, The Rock debuted a new IC title designed by J-Mar, rounder and with a purple strap.
(The strap then turned black from sweat/gunk/etc)
The belt was replaced in order to switch the block logo to the scratch one, and the strap was now black.
Eventually, Cody Rhodes brings in the current title belt, a redesigned Reggie Parks white strap one made by J-Mar, although then Reggie Parks called up, that belt got yanked off TV and Reggie Parks made the current one instead.

So 10, I suppose, more if you wanna get technical. For a full recap, here’s a SUPERB look at the evolution.

From awesome to less awesome, thanks to HBK’s Smile.

Quick question – Not counting deaths and injuries, what do you consider the worst moment in wrestling history?

No Chandler, although I suppose it’s not so much that moment specifically as it is what that moment represented.

Deaths and life-altering injuries are tragic and horrific, absolutely. And while some have far reaching consequences and impact, Owen, Eddie, Benoit certainly, they usually only really have an impact on the people directly involved. Their family, their friends, hardcore fans.

But the death of WCW, which died for many reasons, was the death of a wrestling industry that, for all its fault, had more people making more livings from it than do now. Yes, Stamford steamrolling over the territories in the 80’s did that too, but that at least had talents jumping ship more, plus Crockett stood up to it.

WCW dying not only removed WWF’s major competitor, it pretty much sealed the door shut on anyone seriously taking on WWF on that level ever again, given that TNA failed over and over again. There’s now been a generation, hell almost two, of fans that only know of wrestling as being WWE style.

I don’t mean in ring, I mean in terms of presentation and production. Unless you go totally different in what you’re aiming for (LU), any wrestling company is going to look ‘second rate’ and ‘cheap’ and ‘crap’ compared to the WWE slickness, and thus any attempt to create a genuine second brand to rival WWE is doomed to fail without megabucks and maybe not even then.

WCW didn’t have the presentation level of WWF, nor the reach, nor any metric you care to name, except one. Even at it’s lowest point, WCW was viewed as being on par with WWF, or at least being roughly on the same level. Thusly talent was roughly on the same level, and thus stars could, in theory, be on that level too.

WCW shot themselves in every limb multiple times over, yes, don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming Vince for this as such. But the death of WCW ended any real hope of WWE having a serious, legitimate challenger ever again. Maybe that had already happened with WCW’s incompetence, sure, but the purchase hammered nails into the coffin for good.

I’m sure everyone making a living on the indies would disagree with me on this, and I can rag on WCW all day long, and maybe even ECW dying was worse, but still.

Speaking of the InVasion, Connor?

What do you think the plan for Triple H would have been during the invasion storyline had he not torn his quad and gotten sidelined

Sorry, reflex.

Anyway, WWF didn’t know what the hell they were doing, but the plan was to build to HHH V Austin out of the Two Man Power Trip, so probably Triple H becomes the WWF Figurehead up against the Austin Alliance Figurehead. So Survivor Series would end with Angle hitting the US title into Austin’s head into a Pedigree probably. Not too much different, it’s not as if Hunter’s absence is what sunk the InVasion.

Although I wouldn’t put it past him to try saying that…

Speaking of where Triple H would say that, Carm?

I am in Canada and subscribe to the WWE Network through my cable tv provider, which gives me access to the full online content as well as a channel on the tv that shows the Network’s live stream. It is a great set up, and awesome to tune in just like any other channel. My question is do any other countries offer the network this way? I remember when the Network was first being discussed, and I know there was talk of getting on American tv providers but it didn’t happen. Is this still something they are still pushing for, or have they accepted their role as an online entity ?

No, Canada is unique in this regard, it’s the only country where you can get the Network as a TV channel. Every other country on the planet only has the online component, although to be fair, you can tune into the live feed at any time, so it’s practically the same.

As for the future, while I’m sure WWE would love money and want to get more of it, and thus if a deal was offered they would take, the problem is that Pay TV is dying. Slowly, but it’s dying. Streaming and internet TV is building steam, and once everyone gets decent internet access (which in Australia is probably 2155) then Pay TV will die even quicker.

So WWE is probably more focused on their streaming, although really, truly, their goal is to get people to sign up for the free PPV and then forget to cancel since that’s how you get all the money, from people who pay you without using your product.

The Canadian WWE Network is unique so far, and probably for ever.

Speaking of predicting stuff, Jeremy?

When wrestlers/managers start arguing outside the ring, are they just rambling or saying anything specific? In other words, what are they actually yelling at each other?

There’s no set script, but unless there’s a rib going on, they tend to say what you’d expect someone in that character’s position to say. Whenever I’m managing someone and I distract their opponent (drink!) I tend to say that I’m not doing anything wrong, but you, my client’s opponent, you suck, and you are a horrible person and you cheat in the ring and your lovers are unfulfilled and so forth.

Just basic trash talking, maybe historical references if such exist. Nothing too shocking.

Speaking of shocks, Mike has a few questions.

1. We have herd of wrestlers in the past falling on hard times, who is the one wrestler or wrestlers who have fallen the hardest, guys who once were maybe a main event or something like that, or was once upon a time making a lot of money and now or once before lost it all..no money no house and pretty much homeless, who do you know who has fallen the hardest??

The problem is that guys these days tend to fall and then get picked back up again. Jake Roberts and Scott Hall both spring to mind, but now both are doing well to ok thanks to Dallas ‘Give Him A Hall Of Fame Induction Just For This’ Page. Ric Flair went broke, multiple times, but is back in WWF which is good.

Lex Luger got really bad there for a bit, although he was never homeless as such. The only big name I know was truly homeless for a bit I believe was Perry Saturn, certainly he vanished for a few years but is now cleaned up a bit.

I suppose Virgil is the default answer, given some of the stories of him selling merch in subways and such, Dynamite Kid’s not doing well… We’ll stick with shoot retard Lonely Virgil.

2. I just finished a book called “Sex lies and headlocks” something like that about the McMahon empire, it was written by 2 guys, one guy I believe was Mike Moneyham or something..anyways, in the book it said that Bret Hart once recived a phone call at an arena while in WCW saying his dad died, it was a pretty mean prank by a wrestler in WCW, any idea of who it was??? or what rumors are who did it:?, just curious

I have that book somewhere, decent, although the simple errors take away from the book a bit.

Anyway, that story is well known, it was in the Death of WCW book as well. But no, there is no rumor or hint about who it was. You can quite possibly make your own guess, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

3. What finisher is the most used of all time?? I am thiking maybe the spear?? I can think of 2 off the top..Goldberg and Edge, what is the most common finisher ever?

Goldberg, Edge, Rhyno, Batista, Lashley, Scott Lost, Kaitlyn…

Spear is pretty common, I’ll grant you. It’d win if you only count strict same moves, as in the Spear and the spear alone. But if you allow some expanding, if you extend the definition to types of moves, I think DDT would have it beat. Just with all the variations, DDT, Reverse, Leaping, Tornado, Double Arm, Wrist Lock, Body Scissors, Top Rope, Whatever The Hell Justin Credible Would Do…

Spear for pure move, DDT for generic. Argue with me below, and thanks for reading!