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20 Days of Battle Royals: Day 6

January 12th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Date: February 16, 1997
Company: WWF
Show: In Your House 13: The Final Four
Rules: Pins and submissions allowed
Stipulation: Winner becomes WWF Champion
Roster (4): Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the Undertaker and Vader

The 1997 Royal Rumble ended with some controversy. Bret Hart eliminated Steve Austin while the refs were too busy dealing with an eliminated Mankind. Despite the crowd and cameras seeing everything clearly, nobody official noticed Austin was gone, so he got back in, threw out the Undertaker and Vader at the same time, waited for Bret to finish off Fake Diesel, then eliminated Bret to win the match. Bret was understandably pissed and Undertaker and Vader weren’t so happy either. For the next In Your House PPV, it was decided that they’d redo the final four (minus Fake Diesel, who was eliminated fairly) and the winner would become #1 contender against champion Shawn Michaels.

Plans change. Michaels made this big announcement that his knee wasn’t up to snuff and that he “lost his smile”. He gave up the WWF Championship and walked off into the sunset. Because of that, the Final Four match became for the vacated championship.

Really weird to have a PPV main event that’s just a four-man battle royal, but at the time, there’s a real feeling that any four of these guys could come out the winner. Remove the battle royal aspect and make it pin/submission only and it’s suddenly far too big for just an In Your House show. One cool little aspect of this match is that there’s no battle royal teamwork that you’d usually see, other than a brief instance of Bret holding back Austin so Undertaker can get a shot or two in. Our two heels are so independent that at no point do they want anything to do with each other.

The match goes a full 25 minutes and it helps that the weak link in terms of workrate is Undertaker. It’s a ton of brawling that’s mostly focused on Bret vs. Austin and Undertaker vs. Vader. They do mix it up quite a bit and the brief Austin vs. Vader heel/heel stuff is intriguing to watch, but we’re mostly treated to two matches going on at the same time. There’s a lot of guys going under the bottom rope for the sake of brawling on the outside.

Very early into the match, Vader runs at Undertaker with a chair and gets it booted right into his face. Vader’s eye pretty much explodes at this point. He doesn’t have a gusher, but it’s open enough that by wrestling for another 20 minutes, his face gets increasingly grosser to the point that it eventually looks like his face is a volcano.

Towards the end, he gets very wobbly and even removes his mask for the sake of vision.

Nearly 20 minutes in, we randomly see a shot of Bret holding Austin across his shoulders and he drops him out with a fireman’s carry. Since we don’t see any lead-up to this, it comes out of nowhere, but Austin is gone. Bret and Undertaker trade headbutts until Vader clips Undertaker’s knee and rolls him to the outside. As Undertaker gets to his feet, Paul Bearer – Vader’s manager at this point – smashes his skull with the urn. Bret wins out against Vader and puts him in the Sharpshooter, but Undertaker gets back in there and breaks the hold just because.

Soon Austin comes back and continues fighting with Bret, leaving us with more Undertaker vs. Vader. Vader takes down Undertaker and sets up for the Vader Bomb in the corner. Undertaker sits up and exploits the open advantage.

Out goes Vader, who later wanders around ringside screaming while covered in a disgusting amount of blood. We’re left with Undertaker vs. Bret, but Undertaker notices Austin is still stomping down on Bret. Undertaker clotheslines him out of the ring and begins to finish Austin’s job by chokeslamming Bret. He holds him up for a Tombstone, but Austin still wants a piece of Bret, so he pulls him off Undertaker’s shoulders. Undertaker keeps getting distracted by having to punch down Austin and after the third time, Bret is able to catch him with a clothesline, sending Undertaker over the top.

Bret Hart is champion for the fourth time while Undertaker wonders what the fuck just happened. Of course, this was originally supposed to be Bret winning a title shot for Wrestlemania so he could get his win back against Michaels, but that guy has a bad knee (which appears to be just fine shortly after) and he lost his smile and… well, what I’m saying is that 90′s Michaels is a jerk.

If anything, this match is an entertaining prelude to the infamous Montreal Incident.

Speaking of taking trips to WCW, tomorrow I’ll cover that company’s three-ring circus.

Oh! Oh, wait! Before you go, I almost forgot. One of the things talked about was that the winner would have to face Sycho Sid on the following Raw. To illustrate that, they’d occasionally show Sid backstage watching the match. Here’s a gif of Sid being King Galoot.

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Wrestling History (From My Recollection): Part 3

May 14th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

In yesterday’s installment, I told the tale of how WCW took over the wrestling industry with their triad of successful ideas: the New World Order, the concept of a heel Hulk Hogan and the rise of Bill Goldberg. They ended up squandering all of this through a whole lot of hubris and ego. I can go on and on about the stupid mistakes WCW made, but you might as well just read the book Death of WCW by RD Reynolds and Brian Alvarez. WWF fell on its ass and got itself back up by finding its new identity and putting everything behind Steve Austin and the Rock. Their head writer Vince Russo, fed up with a lot of stuff, decided to take a hike and become WCW’s savior.

A lot of Russo’s success in WWF came from having a filter to take out some of his worse ideas or reshaping them into something better. With no filter and a bit of an ego trip, Russo’s time in WCW can best be described as a Dadaist dream that involved professional wrestling. Nothing made sense and stories would simply vanish completely with no explanation on a weekly basis. Worst of all, he had an obsession with trying to cater to fans who followed backstage goings on (like guys who write overly long history of wrestling blog posts), which was only a small fraction of the audience. He’d write the show so that everyone was just about admitting it was fake, except from whatever they were doing. Like during a match, Goldberg would leave and the commentator would scream about how he’s going off-script. Russo tried to add some kind of meta realism that instead came off as faker than the regular stuff. He ended up getting fired after the brass found some of his ideas too stupid for even them.

In the transition, wrestler Chris Benoit won the WCW Championship on a PPV. Benoit was a staple of sorts in WCW as a shorter guy who could wrestle an incredible match, but wasn’t so good at talking or showing charisma. Basically, he was the anti-Hogan and represented everything that original WCW fans loved. It’s just that with Russo out, the new head writer was Kevin Sullivan. Kevin Sullivan, a former WCW wrestler himself, was the head writer during Hogan’s initial WCW days (would it surprise you that Sullivan made himself the top villain against Hogan during that time? No?). Back when he was writing, Sullivan put his wife Nancy in a storyline with Benoit and decided that they needed to travel together and share hotel rooms on a regular basis to really drive home that on-air chemistry. Long story short, she left Sullivan and went on to become Nancy Benoit. Damn. Benoit and his friends were understandably afraid of what it would be like to have the scorned ex-husband writing the storylines, so they wanted out. Luckily for them, the guy who temporarily replaced Bischoff in terms of being in charge of WCW had no clue about the business and was fine with letting them go with no strings attached. Even though Benoit just won the title hours earlier! The four of them – Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko – showed up on Raw very shortly after and each went on to shine in that company to different extents. Just like other misused talent in WCW like Chris Jericho and the Big Show. Little by little, WWF was siphoning away WCW’s potential.

WCW was also able to bring in an underutilized mid-card wrestler from the competition and push him to the top. When Russo made the jump to WCW, he brought his good friend Jeff Jarrett with him. Jarrett could never break into the upper echelon of the WWF’s names and he spent his days in WCW being shoved down everyone’s throats as a big deal, winning the championship multiple times with few caring. No matter what they tried, it still showed that WWF was right. He wasn’t a big deal. But on the subject of bad choices for world champion…

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Wrestling History (From My Recollection): Part 2

May 13th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

In Part 1, I lazily glossed over the first century of pro wrestling and stopped at the early-mid-90′s. WWF was focused more-or-less on Bret “The Hitman” Hart, though they shoved him in the background to push a badass, near-7-foot-tall trucker named Diesel as champion. As a heel, Diesel got popular due to his ruthless and cool demeanor, but when they turned him face and made him champion, they wussed him down by making him a smiling good guy with no edge. His year as champion was a financial failure as his presence simply failed to draw money. Bret was eventually made champion again.

WCW wasn’t doing much better. This was a company where Hulk Hogan was being dry-humped by a giant mummy that the commentator kept insisting was, “THE YET-AAAY!”

ECW had brought in Steve Austin, fresh off his firing from WCW. He was injured at the time, so he could only do interviews for a while, but good gravy, were they good interviews. It was a weird fit because on one hand, he spent all of his time ranting and raving about how badly WCW treated him, which we were supposed to like. But he’d also run down ECW for being garbage, which we were supposed to hate. It was a definite prototype for what would change the business in the near future. He was soon scooped up by the WWF.

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Wrestling History (From My Recollection): Part 1

May 12th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

I talk about wrestling a lot. I’d like to think that in my 20+ years of following it, I know at least a thing or two. I’ve said it a million times before, but to reiterate, it really is the most intriguing and fascinating business. Maybe that’s why I shrugged off the whole Before Watchmen/Alan Moore controversy going on in the comic world because honestly, that’s nothing compared to the petty and deplorable stuff I’ve seen in the wrestling business and I’m too jaded to care. It has its ups and it has its downs, but ultimately, the history of it all tends to be more entertaining and worth paying attention to than the scripted stories they’re portraying. After all, it’s a business run by power-hungry egomaniacs who act like man-children with many of them either delusional or on drugs.

Just because I thought it would be fun to write about, I thought I would go through the basic history of wrestling in the United States. Something to educate the outsiders looking in, the new viewers who are curious, the people who’ve skipped around, those who stopped watching years ago or the longtime fans who wouldn’t mind sitting back and enjoying a refresher. I want to make this accessible, so I’m going to stray from most insider terms. Since it’ll annoy me, there are some exclusions, so let me get these out of the way:

Face: good guy
Heel: bad guy
Turn: go from good to bad or vice versa
Push: promote and move up the card
Bury: drop down the card or make someone look foolish
Booker: writer

I should reiterate that this is my take on everything. I’m sure it isn’t accurate, but I figure it’s close enough. Again, I only intend to cover the US stuff, since I don’t know the slightest about Mexico, Canada, Japan or Europe.

Professional wrestling started up in the late 19th century, usually in the form of a carnival sideshow. At first, it was a legitimate fight, usually between the wrestler and anyone who thought they could take him, but over time, the brains behind the operations realized that if the challenger was in on it, they could make more money with less risk. The popularity spread across the decades enough that federations were built up, each with their own championship and everything. The territory days made it pretty easy for a wrestler to keep himself fresh, as once things got sour, they were able to simply move on to the next territory and start anew. For instance, a wrestler could gain a reputation as an unbeatable monster villain, eventually make a couple other wrestlers look better by beating him. Eventually, he’ll lose his fictional luster and is no longer considered much of a threat, but then he can travel elsewhere and be seen as an unbeatable monster again, starting the cycle over.

The first wrestler to truly catch the public’s eye was Gorgeous George, a heel who decided to add an excessive amount of flair to his pretty boy character to the point that the fans were in a frenzy whenever he showed up. He was rude, vain, pampered and insulting and the fans paid hand over fist for the possibility of seeing someone shut him up. With the advent of television, he became a media superstar and would be credited for inspiring Muhammad Ali’s charismatic personality.

With the territory system, many federations were able to coexist without too many problems and they even did business with each other regularly. Vince McMahon Sr., who ran the World Wide Wrestling Federation, would rent out his superstar Andre the Giant to other territories and bring them huge business. In the early 80′s, Vince Sr. sold the WWWF to his son Vincent Kennedy McMahon, a genius in his own right who has more issues than Time Magazine. Soon after Vince Sr.’s death, his son went against the big territorial truce and decided to dominate professional wrestling. While wrestling companies were shown on local TV, Vince made his renamed World Wrestling Federation national and overshadowed the rest of the market. He bought off the biggest names from different territories and stacked up the WWF to the point that it was like the Yankees.

The WWF’s poster boy was Hulk Hogan, an entertaining big man who became a breakout star after appearing in Rocky 3 as Thunderlips. McMahon started a partnership with the then-new cable channel MTV as a way to team up and play off each other in the name of promotion. The Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection was created, pushing both sides harder into the media limelight. McMahon incorporated as many celebrities as possible, leading to the first installment of his big event Wrestlemania. While the show is a bit rough to watch due to today’s standards, the main event, which featured Hogan teaming up with Mr. T, helped it do gangbusters.

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The Top 60 Wrestling Matches That Surprisingly Happened (20-1)

December 18th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Before I finish the countdown, here are some honorable mentions.

Bob Backlund vs. Shawn Michaels happened after Michaels initially went heel and before Backlund went all crazy. I was told that in IWA-Mid South, there was Austin Aries vs. Mr. Anderson in a match where CM Punk was on commentary ragging on how terrible Daredevil was. For comedy entries, there was the time Carl Winslow and Steve Urkel fought the Bushwackers as well as a masked Mr. Ernst vs. Captain Lou Albano on Hey Dude. Brock Lesnar and Ron Waterman vs. Rico and Randy Orton as a Raw dark match is an oddball encounter, but I thought Lesnar and Orton were better represented elsewhere on the list. Umaga vs. Kamala on Raw was a cool generational gimmick pairing in the same light as Hall vs. Carlito, but their encounters were set up strongly enough on TV that there’s not enough obscurity in there.

To refresh your memory, 60-41 is here and 40-21 is here.

Now let’s get to the good stuff.

20) ESSA RIOS vs. SAMOA JOE
WWF, 2001
YouTube
Suggested by Dr. Video Games 0055

This one’s a bit of shock to me, not for the appearance by Samoa Joe, but the knowledge that Essa Rios was around in 2001 WWF. I have no memory of that. For those who don’t recall, Rios was a highflyer with an amazing moonsault who’s biggest claim to fame is introducing Lita as his manager. Once Lita split, he faded into obscurity and unemployment. His match with the wonky-looking-compared-to-how-we-remember-him Samoa Joe was good for the in-ring stuff, but only if you watch it with the sound off. The commentary had Coach and Michael Hayes not only discussing the XFL for way too long, but discussing the storyline between Jesse Ventura and Coach Rusty Tillman. God, that was one of the saddest things. McMahon really wanted some kind of on-air rivalry, so he had Ventura try to overly criticize Tillman. Ventura got into it, but Tillman refused to care. He just wanted to coach football and leave this soap opera crap out of it. Yet you had this awesome match going on and the commentators were forced to talk about this made-up hatred. Even when they got to actual wrestling angles, their dialogue came off as extremely forced.

With the actual match, we got some really keen spots, including a Samoa Joe powerbomb reversed into a DDT. Essa Rios won, but Samoa Joe looked pretty good for a guy taking the nameless jobber role.

19) ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER vs. ZEUS
WWC, 1990
YouTube

Normally I wouldn’t have cared about this match if it wasn’t for how brief Tiny “Zeus” Lister’s wrestling career even was. The guy was an actor whose role in a bad movie spun off into a feud with Hulk Hogan that lasted about four months. So what the hell was he doing against Abdullah of all people? What made WWC think he was worth bringing in other than his status as having main-evented Summerslam?

Not only was it a bad match, but it was bad and way too long. Zeus was only able to do four things: flail his arms around like windmills as a way of punching, bearhugs, strangleholds and pounding his chest while looking intimidating. The last thing was the only one he could do believably. While Hogan and Beefcake were good enough performers (yes, I’m serious) to work around Zeus and make him seem almost acceptable, Abdullah had none of that magic. He just stood there for the 12 minutes and absorbed the punishment while looking bloody and dazed. When Abdullah got offense in, the only reason Zeus sold any of it was because he looked like he had tired himself out more than anything else. The match ended with the two brawling to the back and being counted out. Throughout the match, the Puerto Rican crowd rained garbage into the ring and I think at one point some of them left the building to gather more garbage from neighboring buildings so they could throw that too!

Front row kid in the pink shirt loved that shit, though.

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The Top 60 Wrestling Matches That Surprisingly Happened (40-21)

December 9th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

No snazzy intro to take up space this time. Let’s go right back into the list of crazy wrestling footnotes.

Picking up where we left off yesterday.

40) EDGE vs. MENG
WCW, 1996
YouTube

Someone suggested including Owen Hart’s very brief WCW tenure on the list, but the truth is, he didn’t do anything interesting. He didn’t fight anyone worth talking about. On the other hand, Edge – or should I say Devon Striker – got to face the Taskmaster… who is also not worth talking about. I can’t think of a more sorry main event villain than Kevin Sullivan. The guy looks like his gimmick shouldn’t so much be “top heel” but “drunken uncle who also wrestles”.

Luckily, young Striker got to take on Meng. Meng, unlike Sullivan, is awesome and is worth talking about. Striker was an ill-fitting jobber for Meng to squash, considering he was a little bit taller and didn’t do such a good job making him look like a monster. Then again, he didn’t do a good job of wrestling either. He’s so green that his attempt at a crossbody is more like him telling Meng, “Hold on. Give me a sec. I’ll get there eventuall—there we go!” The only thing he did a good job on was, well, doing the job.

39) UNDERTAKER vs. RAZOR RAMON
WWF, 1992/1993
YouTube

Undertaker vs. Scott Hall is one of those matches that didn’t seem like a big deal until I thought about it. Hall spent most of his time in WCW and when he came back to the WWE as part of the nWo, the two never crossed paths due to both being heels. When he was in the WWF as Razor Ramon, he spent most of his tenure as a face, so there was no reason for him to take on Undertaker. Even when he was a heel for his first year, he was so protected in their attempt to make him a star that the idea of putting him up against the more-protected Undertaker was unlikely.

Yet the two did have a couple matches. The first time was in 1992 during a European Rampage tour. The second one happened months later as part of a Coliseum Home Video release. The second match is like the first one, only far better due to better chemistry, booking and commentary (Jim Ross, Bobby Heenan and Randy Savage). Both included the same lame ending where Razor decided that he was getting nowhere and simply walked off, getting himself counted out. Like I said, he was protected.

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The Top 60 Wrestling Matches That Surprisingly Happened (60-41)

December 7th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

While in the midst of dropping the ball on their epic CM Punk story, WWE put together a match between John Cena and Rey Mysterio for the WWE title with no prior advertisement on free TV. Now, while Cena and Mysterio are not my favorite guys in the company, I can’t help but think that they screwed up by not trying to siphon money out of what could have been a major money match. Not only is Cena – the guy who claims to be an underdog – taking on someone who is actually an underdog, but the whole thing is like Hogan vs. Warrior for this generation of wrestling-watching children. More than anything else, it’s one of the few fresh matches.

I looked into it and found that prior to this, they had clashed years earlier on Smackdown for a tournament. That got me to thinking about the surprising nature about wrestling’s history. There’s always plenty of trivia to be found, no matter how long you follow it. Who knew that the tag team the Blade Runners would each go on their separate ways to become two of the most popular names in the late 80′s/early 90′s as Sting and the Ultimate Warrior? At a Tribute to the Troops show, when Steve Austin entered the ring and delivered a Stone Cold Stunner in response to John Cena giving him the “You can’t see me!” gesture, who knew that this would be such a significant footnote?

There are a lot of matches in wrestling history that fit this bill. Dream matches that aren’t in the right time frame to be labeled a dream match. One man might be in the twilight of his career, facing a new up-and-comer who’s yet to prove himself but one day will. Maybe a classic matchup will take place a decade before either man is worth knowing. Two men regularly separated by story and company may have mingled ever-so-briefly on a TV match that nobody truly remembers.

With the help of Something Awful’s Punchsport Pagoda sub-forum, I’ve put together a list of the 60 matches that make me lift my eyebrow and say, “Wow. That match actually happened.” Jobber matches, house shows, C-level shows, forgettable Raw segments and more that look more interesting in retrospect. Today we’ll start with 60-41.

I should note that while I’ve been watching wrestling forever, I don’t know enough about Japanese wrestling to include it. Granted, I have some matches that take place in Japan and even a few with Japanese wrestlers acting as tag partners, but I’m too out of my element to measure matches like Inoki vs. Sid and Great Sasuke vs. Bob Backlund. For that, I apologize.

Let’s get started.

60) VADER vs. THE ROCK
WWF, 1997/1998
YouTube

Vader vs. Rock isn’t an overly rare match as it happened three times on Raw over the course of 97/98, but there’s a generational changing of the guard that makes it feel unique. The first time around, it was Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia defending against the big heel Vader, who had Paul Bearer and Mankind in his corner. The match appeared rather even until Mankind needlessly interfered and hit Rocky with an urn, getting Rock the DQ win.

Later that year, the two faced off again, this time with Vader as the face and Rock as the heel. On one hand, Rock was distracted by Steve Austin watching the match on top of a monster truck with AC/DC blaring. On the other hand, Vader was constantly attacked behind the ref’s back by the Nation of Domination and the Artist Formerly Known as Goldust. Vader completely no-sold the People’s Elbow to the point of throwing Rock off of him and then took after Goldust, getting himself counted out.

Once again, they fought, this time as a qualifying match for the King of the Ring tournament. This time, Vader got taken out by interference by Mark Henry, who splashed him on the outside and made him easy pickings for a Rock Bottom. Rock won, making it 3-0.

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The Summerslam Countdown: Day Eleven

November 24th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

First off, I got to go to Survivor Series the other day. There I got to meet Zack Ryder’s buddy and supporting character on the Z True Long Island Story, the Big O.

Us internet sidekicks need to stick together, you see.

Well, this is long, long, LONG overdue, isn’t it? Again, I apologize. I simply timed everything wrong when trying for this Summerslam Countdown. I started watching too late and by the time I finished, I only had a day before the first update was due. These updates take a lot out of me, and doing them on a daily basis eats away at me. At a certain point, you just have to wave it away and decide, “You know what? I think I’d rather spend the next couple months writing about superheroes instead.”

Plus other things stepped into the forefront and put this on the backburner. Since it’s been a while, here’s our list so far.

23) Summerslam 1995 (Diesel vs. King Mabel)
22) Summerslam 1997 (Bret Hart vs. Undertaker)

21) Summerslam 1993 (Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger)
20) Summerslam 1999 (Austin vs. Triple H vs. Mankind)

19) Summerslam 1988 (Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks)
18) Summerslam 1994 (Undertaker vs. Undertaker)

17) Summerslam 1996 (Vader vs. Michaels)
16) Summerslam 2007 (Cena vs. Orton)

15) Summerslam 1990 (Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude)
14) Summerslam 2010 (Team WWE vs. Nexus)

13) Summerslam 2000 (Rock vs. Angle vs. Triple H)
12) Summerslam 1992 (Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog)

11) Summerslam 2005 (Hogan vs. Michaels)
10) Summerslam 2009 (Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk)

9) Summerslam 1991 (Match Made in Heaven/Match Made in Hell)
8) Summerslam 1989 (Hogan and Beefcake vs. Savage and Zeus)

7) Summerslam 2003 (Elimination Chamber)
6) Summerslam 2008 (Undertaker vs. Edge)

5) Summerslam 2006 (Edge vs. Cena)
4) Summerslam 2004 (Orton vs. Benoit)

Let’s finish it up with our top three.

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WWF Krozor: The World Champion of Bad Comics

September 17th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

I’ve read and reviewed every WWE comic book under the sun. From WWF Battlemania to World Championship Wrestling to the Chaos Comics stuff to WWE Heroes. As it is, the only thing I haven’t talked about yet is the 2-issue Undertaker/Rey Mysterio team-up sequel to WWE Heroes because I’ve been waiting for the seemingly canceled follow-up where John Cena is a gladiator trapped in the past. Yes, I just typed that.

Anyway, I figured I had seen it all. I had seen the worst that World Wrestling Entertainment’s checkered past could show me. Then one day, a guy by the name of Tato changed all of that. He had some old WWF Magazine issues and had been looking through them for laugh fodder. He ended up striking oil when he got to early 1997.

Now, first let’s take a quick look at what WWF was like during that time. They were setting up for Wrestlemania 13, the Wrestlemania with the worst PPV ratings in the company’s history. Shawn Michaels was so much of a backstage dick that rather than lose the title against Bret Hart, he milked an injury, claimed to have “lost his smile” and put us in a situation where Sycho Sid was the champ set to defend the belt against the Undertaker. Also, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had been gaining a lot of momentum as a popular antagonist, constantly badgering honorable good guy Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Wrestlemania 13 would be the show to switch Austin into the company’s most popular good guy.

Of course, the company couldn’t know that Austin would catch on so strongly and help bring forth a new, lucrative era to the WWF. As it was, they were moving closer and closer to bankruptcy at the hands of World Championship Wrestling and their hit storyline with the New World Order. WWF was desperate and desperation can lead to some really unfortunate ideas.

In some issues of WWF Magazine, they’d show an ad for… something. Here are the two released.

Yep. They’re coming. I don’t know what they are, but they seem to have distracted Mankind from his psychedelic surroundings and what appears to be a melting ice cream bar in his hand. It looks like Steve Austin’s on Mars and while he has no trouble breathing, he’s bundling up due to lack of shirt. The more I look at the second one, the more I’m focused on whatever that is behind Austin. Is it a drill? A monster? A tree of some sort?

Of course, you can always tell quality when they use three exclamation points. That’s pretty freaking loud.

Who is coming? Who better than KROZOR?! Once you’ve gotten over the art of the above images, you might be wondering what the hell a Krozor is. Look no further than this snippet of an essay former WWE employee Kevin Kelly wrote up about WWE focusing on young viewers.

As bizarre as the concept of wrestling targeting kids, it’s been tried before. After the New Generation nearly bankrupted the company and then turned into the Attitude Era, the company tried to go back and target kids again. It was a laughable disaster. To anyone inside the Walls of Titan reading this, go to someone who’s been with the company more that ten years and ask if they remember “Krozor”? Let’s take you back to early 1997 and the Company Meeting held at a non-distinguished hotel in downtown Stamford, which is the worst town I have ever been in.

Jim Cornette and I sat in the back of the room as some old guy, who was an outsider hired for large coin, got up and began a video presentation. The audio on the tape was unmistakable. It was the theme from 2001-A Space Odyssey. Yes, Ric Flair’s theme! And right as WCW was stomping us in the ratings! So, of course, Corney and me both let out a “Whoooo!” at the right point of the song. 400 people in a room and two assholes gotta ruin it! Goddamn that was funny!

Jimmy and I are practically pissing our pants we are laughing so hard as the preview of “Krozor” rolls along. Apparently the Undertaker is going to be in space and fight monsters or some nonsense in this comic book. There was more but it’s hard to focus on the screen when you are crying from laughter. The preview ends… stunned silence followed by polite applause. It was awkward, like if your babysitter asked you and your wife to review her newest porn movie. You feel obligated to like it but it was wrong on so many levels.

Wow. Okay, let’s dive into this.

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The Summerslam Countdown: Day Two

August 5th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

I guess before I continue the list, I should do some kind of filler intro thing first. Maybe on a later day I’ll go through the matches of this year’s show or whatever. I can’t really think of much in terms of Summerslam trivia outside of an interesting factoid I noticed involving Hulk Hogan. Basically, Hulk Hogan is not only undefeated, but he’s never had a single title match his entire time at Summerslam. Check it out.

Summerslam 88: Is in a tag match with champion Randy Savage against Andre and Dibiase.
Summerslam 89: Hogan is champ, but he’s in a tag match with Beefcake against Savage and Zeus.
Summerslam 90: Singles match against Earthquake while Ultimate Warrior is champ.
Summerslam 91: Is champ again, but he and Warrior are in a tag match against Slaughter and his cronies.
Summerslam 05: Is brought in for the dream match of Hogan vs. Michaels. Neither one is champ.
Summerslam 06: Is challenged by Randy Orton. Again, neither one is champ.

Now that I think of it, Ultimate Warrior’s undefeated at Summerslam too. Hell, he even showed up more often than Hogan until all the post-WCW hoopla.

Good, that filled up enough space. Back to the list!

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