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Ask 411 Wrestling: Who Broke Chris Jericho’s Arm in Smoky Mountain Wrestling?

May 3, 2021 | Posted by Ryan Byers
Chris Jericho AEW Blood and Guts

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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Tyler from Winnipeg is headed to Knoxville:

This is really deep in the weeds. Did Chris Jericho while shooting some type of indy backstage altercation with his tag partner of Lance Storm as The Thrill Seekers versus some other team, legitimately break his arm in Smokey Mountain Wrestling, only to take a bunch of blood thinners/legitimate pain pills after a cast had been applied, come back out that same night and have a Mass Transit type of excessive bleeding incident/botch in another same night match before he was in even in WCW?

Kind of.

The show you’re referring to is Smoky Mountain Wrestling’s Night of Legends, which took place on August 5, 1994 at the City Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was headlined by “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, Road Warrior Hawk & Tracy Smothers facing Bruiser Bedlam, Dory Funk Jr., and Terry Funk in a “Coward Waves the Flag” match.

However, it was an undercard tag match on that show which is the one that people remember.

The Thrillseekers, Chris Jericho and Lance Storm, were scheduled to face their rivals, The Heavenly Bodies of Tom Prichard and Jimmy Del Ray in a street fight.

There definitely was an incident prior to the show in which Jericho broke his arm, but I wouldn’t call it an “altercation” as Tyler did. Instead, prior to the show, Jericho was working out in the ring and trying to see whether he could hit a shooting star press, which he most likely would have seen Jushin Liger performing around this time. The tryout did not go well, though, as the future Y2J, under-rotated, tried to catch himself with his right arm and snapped it like a twig.

He did come back after this injury and wrestled the scheduled match, which was intended to include a spot in which Jericho bladed himself. He proceeded to that spot, and it turned out to be one of the biggest gushers that you could ever hope to see. Jericho did claim on an episode of his podcast that he was given medications at the hospital that turned out to be blood thinners, but, Jim Cornette, who was running the show that evening, did not mention blood thinners on the episode of his podcast reviewing the match. However, Cornette did say that Jericho, who was right handed, tried to blade with his left hand and cut deeper than he intended, leading to a total crimson mask.

But, yes, it happened, and it’s fairly well documented. The fully Night of Legends show did get a national DVD release in the U.S. as part of the “Wrestling Gold” series of DVDs back in the early 2000s, which you can probably still find a copy of if you want to look hard enough.

Dr. Ben made a big mistake when he stepped to Ron:

I was wondering if you could answer this query as I found no results when searching online for myself. Who was the house writer for WCW music in the early 90s for themes such as “Man Called Sting.”

This one isn’t too difficult once you realize that “Man Called Sting” and ten other WCW theme songs from the same era were actually recorded for an album called Slam Jam: Volume 1 (there was never a Volume 2) released in 1992.

The official track listing for the album is as follows:

1. “Don’t Step to Ron” – Ron Simmons
2. “Man Called Sting” – Sting
3. “Mr. Bang Bang” – Cactus Jack
4. “Master of the DDT” – Cactus Jack
5. “Freebird Forever” – Fabulous Freebirds
6. “Simply Ravishing” – Rick Rude
7. “Johnny B. Badd” – Johnny B. Badd
8. “The Natural” – Dustin Rhodes
9. “The Dragon” – Ricky Steamboat
10. “He’s Smokin’” – Barry Windham
11. “Steinerized” – The Steiner Brothers

Obviously “Man Called Sting” and “Steinerized” were used for many years and are recognizable by just about any wrestling fan from the era. The others . . . not so much.

As to Ben’s question, the people credited with writing the songs are actually printed on the physical Slam Jam albums. There are eight writers/composers in total, all credited by a first initial and last name, as follows: S. Tatum, J. Papa, M. Williams, M. Seitz, D. Conart, L. Valez, D. Tagliali, and K. McNulty. Each song has at least three of those names credited towards creating it, so it was a collaborative process.

It’s not really clear who most of these people are, but we do have some additional background on at least three of them. “J. Papa” is no doubt Jimmy Papa, who in addition to his songwriting credits is also listed as having produced and arranged Slam Jam. Jimmy Papa is the son of Tony Papa, who has had a lengthy music career, mostly as an audio engineer on numerous albums . . . including, most notably, just about every “Weird Al” Yankovic release from the mid-1980s through 2017. Tony also broke his son Jimmy into the music industry, and, while living in Texas in the early 1980s, Jimmy made the acquaintance of a professional wrestler named Michael “P.S.” Hayes of he Fabulous Freebirds.

Papa and Hayes collaborated to create a little track called “Badstreet USA,” which Hayes and his stable the Fabulous Freebirds would use as entrance music for many years. Also credited on “Badstreet” is a Larry Valez, no doubt the “L. Valez” from the credits of Slam Jam. In other words, Papa and Valez are long-time collaborators of Michael Hayes, and it’s no doubt through their connection with him that they got the gig working on WCW’s first album of entrance music.

What is the third name that I recognize from the Slam Jam track listing?

It’s M. Seitz.

Why do I recognize the name M. Seitz?

Because “M” in this case stands for Michael, and Michael Seitz is the real name of the aforementioned Michael “P.S.” Hayes.

So, there you have it, the core of the brain trust behind Slam Jam is the same as the core of the brain trust behind “Badstreet, USA,” trying to recapture the magic of “Badstreet” a decade or so later. Unfortunately, they missed the mark in most instances.

Shaun is doing the Superbowl Shuffle:

Was Steve “Mongo” McMichael meant to be a bad wrestler?

I don’t know that anybody has ever been put on television with the intention that they would be a “bad” wrestler, Mongo included, but I think that he was put on television knowing that he wasn’t exactly the greatest in-ring performer in history. However, that wasn’t the point of his having been around. He was on television to be a rough-and-tumble badass who fans would accept as real life tough guy because of his reputation in professional football. He was also good for a big pop anytime WCW was in Chicago or other parts of the Midwest.

Granted, I never saw him in a five star classic, but I typically enjoyed watching McMichael more often than not. Again, he wasn’t as smooth in the ring as Dean Malenko and wasn’t busting out innovative offense like Rey Misterio Jr., but sometimes you want something a little different that. Sometimes you just want to watch a huge bruiser of a man slug it out with another huge bruiser of a man, and that’s what you got when you saw McMichael stepping into the ring with somebody like Meng or the Barbarian.

I’d much rather that sort of variety than modern day WWE, where everybody wrestles more or less the same match with more or less the same style.

(I should also note that I wrote this answer and it was sitting in my queue to be posted a couple of weeks before the news regarding McMichael’s ALS diagnosis broke. I wish him and his family the best in fighting that battle.)

Matt is hitting us with a hypothetical:

Which event from the following list would have the greatest impact on wrestling today had it never happened?

1. Steve Austin never gets fired from WCW
2. Hall and Nash never jump to WCW
3.Sting is the 3rd man and not Hogan
4. Montreal screw job never occurs so no Mr McMahon
5.WCW was never purchased by Vince and was still running
6. Triple H never married Stephanie
7.The Rock never went to Hollywood
8.No WWE Network

I’m going with Sting being the third man and not Hogan. You cannot underestimate how important the Hogan turn was to regenerating interest in professional wrestling in the 1990s and turning the Monday Night War from a skirmish into take no prisoners guerrilla warfare. If you don’t have that, you don’t have the competition between the WWF and WCW which lead to things such as the elevation of the Rock and Steve Austin, the Mr. McMahon character being developed, and so on . . . and without that huge shot in the arm of the WWF, you don’t have it developing into the multi-million dollar publicly traded company that it is today.

It’s always a bit difficult to answer questions of this nature simply because you never know what sort of ripple effect an historical event happening or not happening will have throughout the rest of time, but that Hogan turn is a clear cut starting point for so many other things that I envision it having the most impact.

Dylan is also focusing on something that never was, albeit in a different fashion:

I recall hearing Lance Storm commenting that surprisingly he never wrestled Chris Benoit (I believe). What do you think are some of the most surprising one-on-one match-ups that people would assume must have happened at some stage, but never actually did. So, wrestlers in same era, wrestling in same company at times, but just never had a match for whatever reason.

Storm and Benoit is certainly an odd one, not just because they never had a singles match but also because they never set foot in the ring together in any fashion that I could find record of – not even a tag team match and not even a battle royale or other large multi-person affair.

As to other matches that never occurred?

Probably the most infamous example is Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin, as the two never had a singles match and only shared the squared circle once, in a tag match on the November 11, 2002 Monday Night Raw. Austin also never stepped foot in to the ring with Bill Goldberg, though that’s a little bit more understandable because, by the time Goldberg made his way in to the WWF, Austin’s in-right career was essentially over. At least with Hogan/Austin you could maybe envision Hogan squashing Stone Cold when they were both in WCW together, prior to Austin becoming the star he is today.

There was also never a Lex Luger/Steve Austin match. Though the two men’s careers did overlap in WCW for a time, I’m not certain that the heel/face dichotomy ever worked out in the right way long enough for that to take place.

Another match we missed out on was Shawn Michaels and the Rock, not even in the days prior to Rock becoming a mega-star. It feels like that should have taken place at least once over the years, but there’s nothing doing . . . though HBK was a guest referee for a couple of matches that Rocky had against Triple H.

Also, Mick Foley has never wrestled either of the Hardy brothers, with the exception of appearing in the 2004 Royal Rumble, in which Matt was also a participant. I am sort of amazed that we didn’t see one of the Hardys being put into the mandible claw by a new-to-WWF Mankind back when they were on job duty.

I am sure that there are scads more examples, but those are the ones that jump out at me immediately. Readers are free to drop their own examples in the comment section.

Paul F. is always a bridesmaid:

With the recent announcement of Eric Bischoff entering the WWE Hall of Fame for 2021, I could have sworn he was already in it because I remember him speaking at one of the ceremonies. Turns out this was as an Inductor for DDP. I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet most of the inductors will eventually make it to the Hall one day, but that made me pose this question to you: How many WWE Hall of Fame INDUCTORS are not a member themselves?

First off, thanks for keeping the question objective and not asking me who of the inductors I think will get into the Hall of Fame someday, because, as I’ve mentioned in this column numerous times before, you might as well flip a coin as to whether somebody is going to get in, because at the end of the day it’s all the decision of one man with no actual criteria being applied.

As to the question, there are quite a few. By my count, there are 60 people who have inducted a WWE Hall of Famer without having ever been inducted themselves. (That’s counting the people who are scheduled to be inducted in the 2020 and 2021 classes as having already been inducted.)

If you take a look at the list, there are some patterns as to why some non-HOF-ers wind up putting others into the Hall. In many cases, family members induct each other, even when the inductor is not a wrestler or a wrestler who is nowhere near being an HOFer. In other cases, celebrities have been chosen to induct wrestlers into the Hall, and those celebrities are either not appropriate to go in or have schedules that won’t allow them to go in. Finally, the McMahon family has done a fair number of inductions, and I do not know that we will see any of them get inducted while they are still living.

Also, in an interesting bit of trivia, Nattie Neidhart holds the record for being the individual who is not in the Hall of Fame who has inducted the most Hall members. She’s put four different acts into the Hall in total, first participating with the rest of the women’s roster in inducted Sunny in 2011, then doing the honors for Alunda Blayze in 2015, then overseeing the induction of her former tag team partner Beth Phoenix in 2017, and finally paying tribute to her father and uncle when the Hart Foundation was inducted in 2019. Given her longevity in the company, I anticipate that Nattie eventually will earn her own induction and lose this distinction, but, for the time being, she’s got the record.

With that said, here are all 60 people who have walked legends up to the threshold but not crossed it themselves:

Tatanka (inducted Chief Jay Strongbow in 1994)
Regis Philbin (inducted Freddie Blassie in 1994)
Vince McMahon (inducted James Dudley in 1994, Steve Austin in 2009, Donald Trump in 2013)
Doink the Clown (Steve Lombardi version inducted George Steele in 1995)
Scott Putski (inducted Ivan Putski in 1995)
Savio Vega (inducted Pedro Morales in 1995)
Joe Franklin (inducted Lou Albano in 1996)
Vincent J. McMahon (inducted by Shane McMahon in 1996)
Owen Hart (with British Bulldog, inducted the Valiant Brothers in 1996)
Big Show (inducted John Studd in 2004, Mark Henry in 2018)
Tyrell Janos (inducted Jesse Ventura in 2004)
Sylvester Stallone (inducted Hulk Hogan in 2005)
Randy Orton (inducted Bob Orton Jr. in 2005)
Chris Benoit (inducted Eddie Guerrero in 2006)
Rey Misterio Jr. (inducted Eddie Guerrero in 2006)
Chavo Guerrero Jr. (inducted Eddie Guerrero in 2006)
Greg Gagne (inducted Verne Gagne in 2006)
John Cena (inducted William Perry in 2006, Snoop Dogg in 2016, Kurt Angle in 2017)
Cody Rhodes (inducted Dusty Rhodes in 2007)
Dustin Rhodes/Goldust (inducted Dusty Rhodes in 2007)
Wade Boggs (inducted Curt Hennig in 2007)

Sabu (inducted the Sheik in 2007)
Samu (inducted the Wild Samoans in 2007)
Matt “Rosey” Anoa’i (inducted the Wild Samoans in 2007)
The Rock (inducted Peter Maivia and Rocky Johnson in 2008)
Ted DiBiase Jr. (inducted Ted Dibiase Sr. in 2010)
Brett DiBiase (inducted Ted Dibiase Sr. in 2010)
Dick “Best Wrestler Born in New York” Beyer (inducted Gorgeous George in 2010)
Dick Ebersol (inducted Bob Uecker in 2010)
Scott Armstrong (inducted Bob Armstrong in 2011)
Brad Armstrong (inducted Bob Armstrong in 2011)
Layla El (inducted Sunny in 2011)
Michelle McCool (inducted Sunny in 2011)
Eve Torres (inducted Sunny in 2011)
Natalya Neidhart (inducted Sunny in 2011, Alunda Blayze in 2015, Beth Phoenix in 2017, The Hart Foundation in 2019)
Gail Kim (inducted Sunny in 2011)
Tamina Snuka (inducted Sunny in 2011)
Melina Perez (inducted Sunny in 2011)
Kelly Kelly (inducted Sunny in 2011)
Alicia Fox (inducted Sunny in 2011)
Maryse Ouellet (inducted Sunny in 2011)
Christian Cage (inducted Edge in 2012, The Dudley Boys in 2018)
Alberto Del Rio (inducted Mil Mascaras in 2012)
Jey & Jimmy Uso (inducted Yokozuna in 2012, Rikishi in 2015)

Maria Menounos (inducted Bob Backlund in 2013)
Stephanie McMahon (inducted Trish Stratus in 2013)
Linda McMahon (inducted Ultimate Warrior in 2014)
Carlito (inducted Carlos Colon in 2014)
Primo Colon (inducted Carlos Colon in 2014)
Epico Colon (inducted Carlos Colon in 2014)
John Laurinaitis (inducted the Bushwhackers in 2015)
Slick (inducted the Big Boss Man in 2016)
Vader (inducted Stan Hansen in 2016)
The New Day (inducted the Fabulous Freebirds in 2016)
Jim Cornette (inducted the Rock n’ Roll Express in 2017)
Paul Heyman (inducted Goldberg in 2018)
Stacy Keibler (inducted Torrie Wilson in 2019)

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

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Ask 411 Wrestling, Ryan Byers