Well hello, guess what day it is? Nope, its not hump day, its Monday!! That only means one thing. No its not just the start of your work week. Its time to answer your questions that you fans have sent me about the world of professional wrestling. This week one of our readers wants to know about the Bob Backlund championship reign that lasted four days. We touched on this once before, be he puts a twist on things. Also, other than Hulk Hogan, who could have been the leader of the WWE had Hogan not been there? This and much more!
Do you have a question? Send me a tweet @StephanHall #ask7pound, or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be glad to answer any question that you throw my way. If for some weird reason I don’t know it, then I will research it. Note: I do take some of your questions and put them on the Wrestling Roundtable, which can be found every Friday right here on 7poundbag.com, I may even let Eric take a swing at your question during In my Damn Opinion every Thursday. Or shit, If your question is off the charts, we may discuss it in all three segments. So don’t be shy, send them my way.
Let’s start off with a little bit of Bad News.
So here we are in April of 2016. I know last week I talked about I felt the WWF dropped the ball by not having Jericho keep the win vs HHH on an episode of Raw which can be seen on the WWE Network for 9.99. But were are old friends in WCW doing at this point. I have some bad news they were rebooting WCW in a segment of Nitro where they stripped everyone of their belts to have matches for them at Spring Stampede and christened the era of the New Blood…the company folded 11 months later.
Did you know?
Did you know that before Triple H was in the WWE. He competed in WCW known as Terra Ryzing also he wrestled under the name Jean Paul Laveque? He wrestled Alex Wright in his one and only Pay Per View appearance at Starrcade 94.
Here are the questions this week.
Patrick kicks us off about the Backlund title reign.
When was it decided to have Bob Backlund win the title off of Bret Hart, I know that they used him as a transitional champion to Diesel, but when did they decide that, it happened very quickly.
It really did happen quickly. Bret was needing to take a short time off to nurse some nagging injuries, much like John Cena is now, but for a shorter time, and nothing that serious. So they decided a little bit before Survivor Series to have Bret drop the championship to Backlund. As most of you know, Vince loves big guys, and Diesel was the one he wanted to be his guy for the foreseeable future. He was part of the tag team champions with Shawn Michaels, so they started the face turn at Survivor Series, the same night as Backlund won the WWF Championship from Bret Hart. The following week, Diesel won the WWF Championship in about 10 seconds, defeating Backlund and went on to hold the championship for a year, before losing it back to Bret Hart. So you are correct, it was a quick transition.
The original plan was to have Bret beat Backlund, and would continue his feud with Owen Hart, and there was some talk that Owen would capture his first WWF Championship sometime in 1995, however he went on to team with Yokozuna and win the tag team titles on a couple of occasions. Owen would get his singles gold a couple years later when he defeated The Rock for the Intercontinental Championship.
Edward from The Steel City Pittsburgh PA chimes in about my favorite wrestler
I was wondering about Hulk Hogan in the 1980’s. What if Hogan had not signed with the WWE in 1983? Who could have carried the WWF in the 80’s, and do you think without Hogan, the WWF would not be what is is today?
Ill start with your second question first. I honestly dont think the WWE would be what it is today without Hulk Hogan in the 1980’s. I have been extremely critical of Hogan on this site and other forums on 7poundbag.com. But Ill give the devil his due. Without Hogan, the WWE would not have been as successful as it is today.
As for who could have carried the WWE in the 80’s? Andre could have done it, if they would have booked him right. I think Savage could have gotten a chance early on before he was champion in 1988. Paul Orndorff was over with the fans and was a work horse. He could have done it. Fans loved the Junk Yard Dog, and while Im not sure he would have been champion, he could have been a face for the WWE.
It is really hard to say who would have been the top guy if Hogan was not around. I mean you could make a point that Vince would have recruited someone else, like a Magnum TA, or someone big in the NWA/WCW. Anything could have been possible, but as much as I hate to say it, Hogan made the WWE in the 80’s
Jarrett wants to know about mixing baseball and wrestling?
I know there have been NFL players, NBA players, NHL players that have all competed in wresting in some form or another, has there ever been a baseball player from MLB that competed in any of the major wrestling companies?
So I researched and researched this and found a couple of answers. First of all I can tell you that Randy Macho Man Savage did indeed play professional baseball for the St Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds organization before he arrived in the WWE as a future Hall of Famer. He had a lot of success before putting baseball on the backburner and coming to the WWE.
AJ Pierzynski had a breif stint with TNA, not that anyone remembers that because seriously who really watches TNA. But he did, while he never competed in active competition, he was involved in a storyline in TNA.
Dale Torborg who was the Demon in WCW played professional baseball in the minors. His father Jeff Torborg was a successful major league manager for the Florida Marlins.
Corey asks 7pound about gimmick changes
Can you tell me as many gimmick changes there have been regarding wrestlers, but you could just tell who they were?
Well I will start off with the infamous Sabba Simba back in the early 90’s. The WWE put Tony Atlas in this absolutely ridiculous costume and called him Sabba Simba. This may very well be the worst gimmick I have ever seen, and fans thought so too because it didnt work.
Then you have Tito Santana, who had the gimmick called El Matador, this really wasnt supposed to fool fans on who he was, as many times over he was called Tito Santana.
Speaking of situations like that, Ricky Steamboat was just simply known as the Dragon who actually spit fire. They rarely referred to Steamboat by his name.
Remember Ron Simmons and Butch Reed? They were known as DOOM and was possibly the worst kept secret in the history of wrestling.
Mr America was dawning a mask but everyone and their brother knew it was Hulk Hogan.
The Midnight Rider was a gimmick held by Dusty Rhodes, again not too hard to figure out who that was.
Brian Pillman wrestled under the Yellow Dog
Barry Windham was under the name the Widow Maker.
Stone Cold Steve Austin was known as the Ringmaster again horrible gimmick
Remember Ron Simmons? Okay well how about Farooq Asad, with that awful head dress he wore.
Im sure there are much more but this is all I will run with. Readers? Would you care to chime in?
Andrew closes us out this week
My question is about Shawn Michaels. I know he was with Marty Jannetty for a long time in the AWA and starting in the WWF. Whose idea was it to turn him into singles, and make him one of the greatest wrestlers of all time? Was that the original plan for him coming in?
I know for certain that the original plan was for the Rockers to be one of the top tag teams in the WWE and would eventually win the WWF Tag team championship. Which they did on an episode of Saturday Nights Main Event, that is until the top rope broke and Vince was not going to air the match on TV, so the title change essentially never happened. The Rockers would not get another chance to win tag team gold, as least with each other.
Jannetty was having some health issues and was not really able to go full time. Shawn had wanted to try his luck in the singles area, and he had Jannetty’s full endorsement to do so. Shawn, almost instantly became a top singles star, starting with his first singles victory at Wrestlemania VIII against Tito Santana, then later that year won the Intercontinental Championship from The British Bulldog, and even main evented Survivor Series for the WWF Championship against Bret Hart. This was all in his first year as a singles wrestlers.
So it was not really going to be a singles thing, and was never really discussed until late 1991, when the Rockers were close to splitting up.
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