wrestling / Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling: Who Has Turned More – Kane or Big Show?

June 26, 2020 | Posted by Ryan Byers
Kane Big Show

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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My question list is getting so long that it actually contains a few queries that are duplicative of each other, so I’m going to knock out two related questions at the same time. First, IMissMarkingOut asks:

How many face/heel turns has Big Show actually had?

Then, Michael L. takes it a step further and asks:

I tried to do this one in my own mind, but my head nearly exploded with the effort, so I’m throwing this question to you: Which wrestlers has had more face/heel turns–Kane or the Big Show? Would the answer change if you included Big Show’s WCW run as the Giant? I think the answer is Big Show by any measure, but I’d appreciate a more official confirmation.

I was getting ready to hunker down and do quite a bit of research to answer these two related queries, but then I happened to run across a YouTube channel named, appropriately enough The Face Turn. The channel includes several videos in which all of the turns of a particular wrestler are chronicled and counted.

In March 2016, the Face Turn released a video in which it recorded 23 turns for Big Show. The video ends with Show turning face against the Wyatt Family in 2016. Since that time, he’s actually turned twice more by my count, turning heel when he teamed up with the Bar in October 2018 and then turning face a month later when he broke off from that group by punching Antonio Cesaro in the face. So, that would bring the seven-footer’s turn total up to 25. Of those, four of them were in WCW, so he would have 21 turns in WWF/WWE.

The Face Turn’s video listing Kane’s flip-flops was made in 2015 and records 19 turns, ending with his 2015 return as a face to battle Seth Rollins. Since then, he’s turned twice more, going heel against Roman Reigns on October 16, 2017 but then reverting to a face in June 2018 when he made a surprise return to reunite Team Hell No with Daniel Bryan. Though his subsequent appearances have been sporadic, Kane has essentially been a face since that time. That brings Kane’s turn total up to 21, which means . . .

If you compare only the men’s WWF/WWE careers, we actually have a TIE. Of course, given how close the stats are, you can probably argue whether some of the turns should actually count in order to give one man a slight lead over the other, but they’re essentially in a dead heat.

HBK’s Smile has us going deep on Money, Inc.:

This time, I have questions regarding an oft-overlooked early 1990s tag team, Money Inc.:

1) Did they even exist as a regular team at the time they first won the WWF Titles or were they thrown together and then christened “Money Inc.” after they won the titles? If the latter, then why were the ones to dethrone the LOD instead of a more established tag team?

DiBiase and IRS started working as a team on house shows in June 1991, usually wrestling Virgil and a rotating partner. They did have one televised match as a team prior to winning the championships, a win over the Bushwackers that was taped on October 22, 1991 and aired the week of November 17 on Wrestling Challenge. They also had a squash match taped for an episode of WWF Superstars before they picked up the belts, but it didn’t air until after they won the titles. (The title change, for the record, occurred on a February 7, 1992 house show in Denver.)

It’s not entirely clear why they of all teams were selected to defeat the Legion of Doom, but it doesn’t appear to have been a last-minute change of plans, either. There was an issue of WWF Magazine previewing Wrestlemania VIII that listed DiBiase and IRS as the champions defending against Jim Duggan and Sergeant Slaughter at WM, while the Legion of Doom was to face the Natural Disasters in a no disqualification match on the same card. Thus, even though the LOD disappeared around this time and didn’t work Mania before coming back in the summer (due to Hawk being suspended), the fact that they lost the titles seemingly had nothing to do with the suspension, as DiBiase and IRS having the titles in the early part of the year was planned all along.

In an interesting side note, apparently before Money Inc. was paired up, the new heel team being considered by the WWF was actually Ted DiBiase and Shawn Michaels, given the association both men had with Sensational Sherri. Ultimately, though, they decided to keep Shawn as a single and decided Money Inc. would be managed by Jimmy Hart, even though Sherri was still paired with the Million Dollar Man immediately prior to his teaming with Irwin.

2) When LOD lost the titles to Money Inc., was this done on a house show solely because it was the first opportunity to take the titles off them prior to their suspension? Or was it also at least partially done this way to keep the global audience from seeing LOD suffer a pinfall loss in order to keep them looking strong?

As noted above, it appears that the plan was always for the Legion of Doom to drop the titles prior to Wrestlemania, which almost certainly meant a house show title change because that was more likely than seeing a championship switch on syndicated television programming. So, the suspension of Hawk might have resulted in the title change coming earlier than it would have otherwise, but the suspension does not appear to be the reason for the title change or the reason that it occurred on a house show as opposed to on television.

3) Money Inc. were three-time champions. However, if I recall correctly, only one of their title victories was televised (over the Natural Disasters) and none of their title losses were televised. Was there any specific reason for this? Seems like a near-impossible coincidence if not.

I don’t think that there was some sort of scheme to keep Money Inc.’s title matches off of television. It just appears to be, as you said, a series of coincidences where the team just kept winning and losing the titles off camera. Let’s take a look at each of those individual circumstances after the team’s original championship victory over the LOD.

When the Natural Disasters ended Money Inc.’s first title reign at a house show in Worcester, Massachusetts on July 20, 1992, there was not a lot of reporting on why the Disasters won or why they won when they did, but the September 1, 1992 Wrestling Observer Newsletter does talk about Ted DiBiase having some negotiations with WCW over the summer, so that seems like one possible explanation.

Money Inc.’s next championship victory, taking the titles back from the Disasters, was televised on an episode of Wrestling Challenge. Interestingly, though that match was taped on October 13, 1992 in Regina, Saskatchewan, DiBiase and IRS had the title belts and were cutting promos with them on the TV taping in Saskatoon that took place the night before. However, that was overshadowed by the fact that the October 12 TV taping included Bret Hart’s WWF Championship victory over Ric Flair.

The Steiner Brothers and Money Inc. then did some quick trades of the tag titles in untelevised matches, with the Steiners winning them on June 14, 1993 in Columbus, Ohio in a dark match at a Wrestling Challenge taping, Money Inc. taking them back on June 16 in Rockford, Illinois, and finally the Steiners winning one more time on June 19 in Saint Louis. According to the June 28, 1993 Observer, the reason for these rapid fire title changes on the house show circuit was an attempt to educate fans that they could see something major if they bought a ticket to a live event, with the goal being to boost attendance. It didn’t really seem to work, though.

4) Is there any footage of any of these five title-changing matches that you are aware of? If not, are there any details about these matches (e.g.; who pinned whom, what the finish was, etc.)?

Let’s take them in order:

a. As to Money Inc.’s first title win on February 7, 1992, I’m not aware of it being taped. However, the finish has been described as Sensation Sherri, who was still Ted DiBiase’s manager at the time, distracting the referee and setting up the Natural Disasters attacking Road Warrior Hawk with a chair, allowing DiBiase to pin Hawk.

b. When the Natural Disasters upended DiBiase and IRS for the championships, it was at a WWF Superstars taping on July 20, 1992. However, the match did not air on Superstars and was instead included as an “exclusive” match on the Coliseum home video release “Grudges, Gripes, and Grunts.” Earthquake pinned DiBiase after IRS had accidentally hit his partner with a briefcase.

c. Regarding the three title changes with Money, Inc. that occurred in one week in June 1993, I’m not aware of there being footage of any. In the June 14 match, Scott Steiner pinned Ted DiBiase. In the June 16 match, it’s not clear who pinned who, but IRS’s briefcase played into allowing Money Inc. to take the titles back. In the June 19 match, Scott pinned DiBiase again, with the reported finish being a frankensteiner.

5) Did Money Inc. ever suffer a pinfall or submission loss in a televised match? The closest thing I remember is them losing a cage match to the Steiners by escape.

The Legion of Doom beat Money Inc. at Summerslam 1992 when Animal pinned Ted DiBiase after a powerslam.

There was also an eight-man elimination match at Survivor Series 1992 in which the Natural Disasters and the Nasty Boys defeated Money Inc. and the Beverly Brothers. That match came down to the Nasties against Money Inc., and Jerry Sags pinned IRS to end the match.

In another eight-man tag, this one held at King of the Ring 1993, the Steiner Brothers and the Smoking Gunns worked together to down Money Inc. and the Headshrinkers, with Billy Gunn pinning Ted DiBiase. Gunn and DiBiase are two guys who I do not think of as overlapping in the WWF at all, but there it is.

To my knowledge, those are the only pinfall/submission losses that the team ever had on television.

For what it’s worth, the cage match loss to the Steiner Brothers that was mentioned in the question took place on an August 22, 1993 (taped August 16) USA Network special called Summerslam Spectacular, which was meant to hype the upcoming PPV. It was actually the very last match that Money Inc. had as a team as near as I can tell.

Bryan J. is a real taskmaster:

How come when the WWE bought WCW, Kevin Sullivan wasn’t brought on board as a booker? Was he employed by WCW or Time Warner? Do you you think the fact “he who shall not be named” was employed by the WWF at the time, would have made for a hostile work atmosphere?

At the time WCW came to an end, Kevin Sullivan was still under a Time Warner (not WCW) contract, which means that he didn’t automatically come along with the WWF’s purchase of the company and would have to have his contract brought out separately if the Fed wanted him.

However, I cannot imagine why they possibly would have wanted him, because at the time of the purchase we were only about a year removed from the Radicals of Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko walking out of WCW over the fact that Sullivan was reinstated as the company’s head booker when Vince Russo’s first run in charge failed miserably.

The Radicals were a fairly important part of WWF television at the time, and the idea of the company pissing them off when there was really no need to do so is bonkers.

Shaun is giving us the rub:

Who has Chris Jericho “made”?

As I’ve mentioned in prior editions of this column, Chris Jericho has historically been one of my favorite wrestlers, but my honest answer to this question has to be “nobody.”

Though he’s an excellent performer, Jericho isn’t a guy in my estimation who has had much of a role in elevating other wrestlers throughout his career. That’s not even really meant to be a criticism . . . he just hasn’t ever really been positioned by a company he’s worked for to strongly put over a less experienced competitor.

Probably the closest that I have seen Y2J come to making somebody during his career is actually what he’s doing right now in AEW with Sammy Guevara. Though they’ve been allies and not rivals, Jericho selecting Sammy for his stable and palling around with him has made him seem like a legitimate upper-card presence more quickly than he probably would have otherwise, since he was a virtual unknown at the start of the promotion. He’s also given a bit of a rub to the Jungle Boy in their mini-feud, though I wouldn’t go as far as saying that he “made” him.

Mohamed is making a rather deep cut:

What did you think of Terri Runnels vs. The Kat at Summerslam 2000?

For those of you who don’t remember this epic encounter, it was the first (and to my knowledge only) ever “stink face match,” in which one woman had to rub her ass on the other woman’s face in order to win. The Kat defeated Terri after about three minutes in a match which featured heavy interference from Al Snow and Perry Saturn, who were seconding the two women.

The thing was so short that it’s difficult to have much in the way of thoughts regarding it, but it wasn’t great while it lasted and was just one of the many T&A catfights that you could see all over professional wrestling television at the time. The women do look good, but the whole thing comes off as so cheap and tawdry that it has not aged well at all. Besides, this was the year 2000. The internet was already well-established, so there were far better places that you could go to ogle scantily clad women if that’s the sort of thing that you’re in to.

Emperor Genghis Khan (no, seriously) wants to talk about wrestling’s iron men:

Jushin Thunder Liger wrestled at least one match every month from August 1995 to June 2018. He didn’t wrestle at all in July 2018, though, so that streak is over. 22 years and 11 months of consistency. Or 275 months, whichever seems more impressive.

Does anyone have a longer streak?

This is one of those questions where I am interested in the concept and knowing the answer, but conducting the necessary research to come up with a comprehensive answer is so time-consuming as to be near impossible. So, what I did was take a look at a handful of wrestlers who I figured were the most likely candidates to meet or exceed this record of Liger’s and review their results to determine whether they actually met the mark.

The particular names that I looked at were Ric Flair, Dory Funk Jr., Mil Mascaras, and Haruka Eigen, all wrestlers who are known for having long and relatively injury-free careers.

After looking over their histories, none of those four men met the mark, though in at least one of the cases (Mascaras) I feel as though the wrestler being examined could have come a lot closer to the record if more comprehensive logs of their matches existed.

If anybody else out there wants to look at their own contenders to see if they are viable, feel free to do that and drop your results in the comments or in an email to me. However, until that happens, I think I’m going to have to put the answer to this one down as a tentative “no.”

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].