Welcome back wrestling fans to another round of Q&A in #ask7pound. I am back here once again to answer your questions that you have sent me. This week: What was the first ladder match ever done? We also discuss “Retirement” matches. This and much more.
Have a question? Please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a tweet @StephanHall #ask7pound. I will be glad to answer anything you got.
First lets start off always with a little bad news this week.
Back in 1998, Eric Bischoff challenged Vince McMahon to an actual match at one of the WCW Pay Per Views Fall Brawl. It was said that Vince was actually going to show up and “kick his ass.” Which probably would have happened. I have some bad news, Vince, with the advice of his council, and other officials in the WWE decided not to appear at Fall Brawl, making the segment a complete waste of time.
Did you know?
Did you know that Jake the Snake Roberts was in wrestling family? His father Grizzly Adams was a notable professional wrestler. He also had a half brother Sam Houston, as well as a half sister, who was also a former WWF Womens Champion, Rockin Robin.
Here are the questions this week
Brad gets us started on the start of the US Express
Was having Lex Luger slam Yokozuna and turn face so quickly the plan all along? It seems like the turn happened so fast, and didnt seem logical as he was a heel.
Well I did a little research on this and found some pretty cool information regarding this. First to answer your question, no Luger was not the original guy to start the feud with Yokozuna. It was supposed to be Hulk Hogan. When Hogan won the title off of Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX, he was set to feud with Yoko for the better part of 1993. He was set to drop the title to him like he did at King of the Ring 93, and then take a short hiatus, only to return to bodyslam Yokozuna in patriotic type fashion. I mean, who else but the “Real American” to come back and slay the giant like he did at WrestleMania III. Problem was, Hogan threw a piping fit when he was told he was going to drop the title back to Yoko, he wanted to have more of a significant run, but Vince wanted to go in another direction. To my knowledge there was no plan to put the belt back on Hogan, so what did he do? He quit, only to resurface in WCW a year later because he was on a no compete clause that not even Hogan could get out of.
So insert Luger, he had the build, and had the look to pull off a Real American gimmick. He was told that if he was able to successfully break character from the Narcissist and make this go over, he would get a chance to have the gold around his waist. And that was indeed the plan entering WrestleMania X, but Luger made the mistake by letting the cat out of the bag that he was going to win the title off of Yokozuna, so that plan was scrapped and they went with Bret Hart instead. Turns out Mr Perfect was supposed to cost Bret the championship against Luger in the main event, and Piper was going to be the referee in the Yoko vs Lex match. Crazy how fast things can change.
Vaughn has a question about ladder matches
What was the first ladder match ever? Was it Razor vs Shawn at Wrestlemania X?
This according to Wikipedia
The ladder match could have been invented by either Dan Froffat of Stampede Wrestling, out of Calgary, or British wrestler Kendo Nagasaki. In September 1972, Stampede Wrestling held the first ever ladder match between Dan Kroffat and Tor Kamata, where the object to be grabbed was a wad of money. In 1987, Kendo Nagasaki competed in a ‘Disco Challenge’ ladder match against Clive Myers on the popular World of Sport, a TV Series in the United Kingdom. The aim of this match was to retrieve a gold colored disco record suspended above the ring…..hmmm strange how far this has developed. I wonder if the Honky Tonk Man could have wrestled in one of those.
In July 1983, Stampede Wrestling held a ladder match in which Bret Hart faced off against Bad News Allen, also known as Bad News Brown. Hart went on to join the WWF in 1984, and, in the early 1990s, suggested this type of match to promoter Vince McMahon, years before the gimmick achieved its eventual popularity.
The first ever ladder match in the WWF, in which Hart defeated Shawn Michaels to retain the WWF Intercontinental Title, was held in Portland, ME on July 21, 1992. The match was taped but never aired on television, and remained widely unseen until its inclusion among the bonus material on the 2011 DVD and Blu-ray collection WWE’s Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart. The two performers tell interviewer Jim Ross how the match was planned along with an intended ladder rematch that never materialized.
Alex wants to know about retirement matches
I always wondered about retirement matches. It seems like everytime there was a retirement match where the loser would have to retire, would end up coming back soon after that. Was there ever a retirement match that the wrestler ACTUALLY retired?
Ahhh the great retirement matches. I know exactly what you mean, You have guys like Ric Flair who lost a retirement match to Mr Perfect in 1993, then went back to WCW, where he lost a retirement match to Hulk Hogan in 1994 at Halloween Havoc. Then finally he lost a retirement match at Wrestlemania to Shawn Michaels which saw the end of his WWE career. That did not stop him from in ring action as he resurfaced in TNA and still had a long career. Randy Savage lost a retirement match to the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VII, only to make a return to the WWE later that same year. So that never happened. So I am thinking after researching this that the only person to wrestle in an official retirement match and not a “loser leaves town match” that actually stayed retired was the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, who lost to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. He has made some WWE appearances since then, but has not seen in ring action since losing that match.
Eric asks about some dual champions
How many tag teams won both the World Tag Team and United States Tag Team Championships? And why did the WCW get rid of the US tag team titles?
The Steiner Brothers and the Midnight Express both won the World and United States tag team titles at the same time. The Steiners actually won the two titles along with the IWGP (Japan) tag team belts and are the only team to hold all three titles at once. The Fabulous Freebirds and The Russians Ivan Koloff and Krusher Kruschev also help both the championships. Other individuals who held both titles but with different partners are: Barry Windham, Ron Simmons, Dick Murdoch, Dick Slater, Kevin Sullivan, Dr Death Steve William, and Brian Pillman, all won the World and US tag team championships with different partners.
As for why the WCW got rid of the titles and were retired by Dick Slater and the Barbarian. They had just merged with the NWA and they had the WCW and the NWA World Tag Team titles, and having the US titles in the mix was just overkill. They did not have room for a third tag team championship. WCW was notorious for having a lot of titles, so they had to downsize a bit, and the US tag team belts were the first on the chopping block along with the WCW Light Heavyweight title, which was around for only a year.
Craig bounces off a question from last week
Bouncing off a question you had recently on the Intercontinental champions also being World Champion. Could you tell me how many United States champions went on to win the WCW World title? WCW only, not the WWE US title.
Okay so there have been a total of 81 United States Champions including the WWE United States Champion, so I will just name the US Champions in WCW as you requested that won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
Dusty Rhodes – won the US title after winning the World title.
Rick Rude- Won the US title then the WCW International World title..count it.
Vader- Won the WCW title before winning the US title.
Booker T- Won the World title before winning the US title.
Kurt Angle- Won both the WCW United States title and WCW World title while wrestling in the WWE.
So that is 33% of wrestlers that won the World title and the United States championship. Kind of a good history lesson, as well less than half the wrestlers who won the IC and US titles did not win the big one. I guess it is not the stepping stone they say it was.
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