Welcome back wrestling fans to another Monday, another day we crawl out of bed after a long weekend, and return to civilization. Have no fear because I am back to answer your questions related to the world of professional wrestling. This week you all challenged me to answer some really good questions. So let’s get to it.
Let’s start off with a little bit of Bad News.
Sometimes with the Bad News I like to go after a crazy event or just a bad idea in wrestling (Paul Roma in the Horsemen, the XFL, TNA) This week though I wanted to take a serious turn with this segment. Over the past couple of weeks we as wrestling fans have received bad news in two forms. The first was Bret Hart’s revelation of his fight with Cancer and the second was the announcement of Daniel Bryan walking away from the ring after a history of concussion and neck issues. So this week I will just say Bret we are all thinking of you and hope for nothing but a recovery and for Daniel Bryan we wish you nothing but the best in your retirement…and whatever you may decide to do post retirement.
He’s back for more, and he has some stuff on his mind. This week Trevor answers a mysterious question about What is in the urn that Paul Bearer carried around? What will Trevor have to say about that? Click the video to see.
Did you know?
Here are the questions this week!
Jacob wants to know about Ron Simmons…DAMN!
What was the real story behind Ron Simmons winning the WCW Championship? Was it purely a race thing, and they wanted him to become the first black champion? Was there any pressure to make him champion?
Not at all. There was no pressure at all by any groups to make Simmons the World Champion. Simmons was a work horse, and busted his ass every day no matter what he did. He also had a good back story to go along with his work ethic, as he was a college football star with Florida State, finishing in the top 5 in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. Simmons was praised by his teammates, as well as his coaches, including Bobby Bowden. This also gained some publicity for WCW during Simmons’ run as they were getting some new viewers from fans of College Football, who knew Simmons, and some who followed his career. So that helped. Ultimately, Simmons was his own successor. He worked hard, trained hard, was always the first one in the building, and the last to leave. On occasion, I have heard that Simmons even stayed late to help tear down the ring after the fans left. So Simmons paid his dues the right way, and worked hard. You can sort of say that Simmons’ career started similar to John Cena’s in 2002. Cena was not really considered to be a main eventer when he started, but he worked hard and developed into a main event player. This is how it started for Simmons. WCW saw a lot of potential in Simmons, so they paired him with Butch Reed to form the team Doom. This was simply to get Simmons some exposure and work with a real veteran to prepare him for what could come his way. They brought in Teddy Long, who helped groom Simmons, and he did what many wrestlers these days don’t do, he listened, and he was patient for his turn.
When Simmons and Reed separated, Simmons went on to singles. He faced Oz (Kevin Nash) at the Great American Bash 1991. It was during this match that Jim Ross stated “Ron Simmons has the ability and the charisma to one day be the heavyweight champion of the world.” This is said to be where the idea started to maybe push Simmons to the next level. So they gave him his main event push in the fall of 1991, where he faced Lex Luger for the WCW World Championship at Halloween Havoc 1991, in a 2 out of 3 falls match. Simmons won the first fall by pinning Luger, which really set the stage for his career. He did eventually win the WCW Championship in August, 1992, when he defeated Vader at a TV taping, not even a Pay Per View. He had a good run as the champion, and even successfully defended the title at WCW’s premier event, Starrcade. He lost the title back to Vader at the end of December, 1992. So there was no pressure by any race to put the title on Simmons, he simply worked his way to the top and earned his spot. It was actually Eric Bischoff who made the comment backstage during his run in 1991, of sorts, did you know that we have never had a black world champion? They took that comment and ran with it as part of the storyline.
Nick chimes in about Barry Horowitz
What was the point of having Barry Horowitz little winning streak against Skip of the Body Donna? I don’t understand why he ended Skip’s undefeated streak, when he was a jobber himself. Was there any plans to push Horowitz as maybe a singles champion or tag team champion?
The big reason that Vince pulled the trigger and put Horowitz over was because at the time he coined the phrase, “Anything can happen in the WWE.” In order for that quote to stay true to form, he had to shake things up a bit, so he puts Skip, who at the time had not been defeated in the WWE against long time undercardman (I don’t like using the word jobber) Barry Horowitz. Horowitz scores the pinfall and all hell breaks loose. Fans all over were talking about it that Barry Horowitz won a match. So the logic was, if you have a person who never wins a match, go over on a guy who never loses a match, then people would flock to their TV sets to see what will happen next. That is exactly what occured in the summer of 1995. Ratings that summer were higher than they have been for the WWE in many years. SummerSlam 95 had a pretty good buy rate as well, and Vince attributes some of that because Barry Horowitz was wrestling on the card against Skip. It certainly was not because of that piss poor main event between Diesel and Mabel. They probably could have done more with the Barry Horowitz thing, but then the Monday Night Wars started literally the night after Summerslam when Lex Luger appeared on the first ever Nitro, a night after he appeared at Summerslam. So that kind of threw things for a loop.
As far as putting a title on Barry? No, there was no talk of that, they did consider a tag team run with Marty Jannetty about a year prior, and would have put the tag team straps on Jannetty and Horowitz, but then the 123 Kid came along and that ended all that talk. So no serious talk of the matter, though they were thinking about the one day run as tag team champs. Honestly, I think it played out better how they did it against Skip.
Jeremy from London England chimes in this week.
What was going to be the plan with Seth Rollins before he got injured? Was he going to take the title all the way to Wrestlemania?
From everything that I have heard and read, Rollins was going to drop the title to Roman Reigns probably at Survivor Series, possibly TLC. Rollins would have continued a program with Reigns through the Royal Rumble, but Reigns would be the guy that went into Wrestlemania as the champion. It was thrown out there that we would see a triple threat match between Rollins, Reigns, and Lesnar, except this time from the start of the match. Reigns would have gone over in that match, and Sheamus would have came in to cash in the Money in the Bank like Rollins did a year ago, except Reigns would defeat Sheamus with the help of ….. Seth Rollins! Okay that is just the way I would book it, but Reigns was going to be the guy they were going to run with during 2016. When Rollins went down to injury in November, they had to move some things around. One thing they were certain is that they wanted to get the Money in the Bank off of Sheamus. So they had Reigns win the tournament at Survivor Series, Sheamus cash in, they start a little feud through TLC to buy them a little bit of time to figure out an alternative. Reigns gets the belt back and other than Rollins being replaced by Triple H, this is exactly how it was going to go down. Rollins was going to win back the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble, then lose it to Reigns at Mania, which would start the Reigns run through 2016. I still think that is what you are going to see this year. Reigns will beat Triple H at Mania, and he will go on to have a long run as the champion.
Gregory from Santa Fe New Mexico chimes in this week.
I know you are a Hall of Fame advocate of Mike Rotunda, and I hate to ask a Hall of Fame question but which tag team do you think should be in the Hall of Fame that isnt already? Like the Bushwhackers and Wild Samoans were inducted as a team.
Well thats a pretty good question, I thought about asking Trevor the same question, but thought nah, he would just give a bull shit answer. If it were up to me, I would induct the Hart Foundation into the Hall of Fame. Yes I know that Bret Hart is already in the Hall of Fame, but the Hart Foundation as a team were one of the best of all time. So I would pull the trigger and induct Hart and Neidhart into the Hall of Fame as a team, and why not throw Jimmy Hart in there as well. It doesnt matter to me that Bret has a ring already, so does Ric Flair. And to be perfectly honest, the Hall of Fame is a joke, Why? Well because they didnt induct Mike Rotunda into the Hall of Fame yet. Hey maybe a good tag team to throw in there would be the US Express with Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda, I would be okay with that, then later down the road, induct Rotunda by himself. When is the WWE going to learn that I will not give up until Rotunda takes his place into the Hall of Fame. Okay Im done, I don’t want to rant any more than I already have.
Joey from Baltimore MD once to know about Botching
Has there ever been a time where there was a complete screwup in the ring, and had some serious repercussions?
That is kind of a loaded question, and Im not quite sure how to answer this. I mean there has been times where a wrestler has screwed up in the ring and caused serious injury to his opponent, take Owen Hart for instance. At Summerslam 97, he landed the wrong way on a tombstone piledriver, essentially breaking the neck of Steve Austin. Now, after we spoke a little bit on more of what you were referring to, you want to know about mistakes in the ring that caused storyline effects. Well that also would fall back to Austin and Owen, but I have researched and found another one that would fit here that was not injury related.
There was a dark match at Starrcade 1995 between the One Man Gang and Kensuke Sasaki for the United States Championship. During this time, WCW was gaining some huge momentum with the International stars from Japan, and were starting to expand into Mexico. Sasaki was one of Japan’s greatest stars, but over in Mexico, there was a rising star of their own, who held the Mexican Heavyweight Championship, Konnan. From what I researched, the plan was to have a match between Japan’s top star vs Mexico’s top star for the United States Championship the following month, this was to help garner some more momentum internationally. However during the match between the Gang and Sasake, the finish was a complete botch. Gang hit Sasake with a splash, and Sasake was supposed to kick out, however one of two things happened which is not completely known. Either Sasake had the wind knocked out of him and he could not answer the three count, or he did not hear the count when the ref was on two. When the ref hit three, Sasake appeared to kick out as if he was supposed to. The referee awarded the match and the title to the One Man Gang, who later lost the championship to Konnan less than a month later. So this botch cost WCW and their fans on what could have been an epic matchup between two great international stars.
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