Welcome Welcome Wrestling fans, this is Pounding 7’s, the one and only wrestling countdown, sure to make the majority of you mad. This week, if I can quote my good friend Eric Asafailo…is gonna be a “doozy” We countdown the top 7 wrestlers who had a prior gimmick before they were stars. Keep in mind, that I omitted wrestlers who had another gimmick after they were already established, like Sabba Simba. So while I appreciate your feedback, please be aware. Let’s not waste any time, and lets get to the countdown.
Lynn wants to know about why titles change hands on house shows.
Hey Steve, so I went to a house show and there was a WWE Championship match between AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose. As a long time wrestling fan, I know there have been title changes at a house show, but you can almost forsee the outcome when you are at a show. My question is, Why does the WWE do title changes at a house show, and leave it off of TV?
Thanks for your question Lynn, so there are a couple of variables that go into this. First, there are times where the title change is a mistake. This happened with Men on a Mission defeating the Quebeccers to win the titles, because Mabel splashed Jacques and he was unable to kick out because the wind was knocked out of him. They would lose the titles less than a week later at another house show. Another reason, and more so the reason titles will change hands every once in a while. Is to keep the fans on edge thinking that it really can happen once in awhile. So it keeps fans coming to the house shows, even though you are right, there is probably less than a 2 percent chance you will see a title change at a house show. It is just to keep the intrigue though to make sure they change things up a bit. Also, if it is a house show in a wrestlers native land, like Japan or Europe, you could see the hometown hero take home the gold in a house show. This actually just happened when Nakamura won the NXT title in Japan from Samoa Joe. This was a non-televised event, but it was eventually shown on NXT, so maybe that doesnt count after all.
Stone Cold Steve Austin in 2001 was a major face and a major player in the WWE. He was arguably the top guy in the business at this time. His feuds with Vince McMahon were one of the best rivalries of all time. During his match at Wrestlemania 17, Austin faced off against the Rock for the WWE Championship. The match was epic, as most of their matches were. In the end, Austin snapped and started hitting the Rock with chair shot after chair shots, all while Vince McMahon was looking on. After Austin got the 3 count, and won the championship. He shook the hand of the devil himself and joined Vince McMahon and the Corporation. The heel turn would not last though, as the fans still got behind Austin and cheered him even more than they did before. He was a face again by Wrestlemania 18.
Here we go with the top 7 gimmicks of superstars, BEFORE they were stars.
Deacon Bautista- Before Dave Batista got his big push with Evolution thanks to Triple H and Ric Flair. Batista had this horrible gimmick with D-Von Dudley, known then as Rev. D-Von. Batista played a Deacon, who served more or less as a bodyguard to the Reverend.
The Pegasus Kid- In Japan, The Pegasus Kid was known for his high flying ability, and his great matches with Jushin Thunder Liger. When he came into WCW, he was simply known as Chris Benoit.
Rocky Mavia- Okay, so this is sort of the same gimmick, but before the Rock, became The Rock. he was known simply as Rocky Mavia. And whoa…check out that hair, and ring attire….yikes.
7. Badstreet- Do you remember Badstreet? He was the third Freebird back in the early 90’s with Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin, he even held the 6 man tag team titles at one time. Who was under that mask? None other than Brad Armstrong, who would later go on win the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship in WCW.
6. Papa Shango-The voodoo man casted spells on his opponents, and was a character that many wrestling fans feared. Who would have known he would go on to become a WWE Hall of Famer, in the Godfather.
5. Justin Hawk Bradshaw- In the mid 90’s a wrestler by the name of Justin Hawk Bradshaw, a cowboy type gimmick with a lasso and all. He would later join Farooq as a member of the APA, then moving along to John Bradshaw Layfield, also known to all as JBL.
4. The Ringmaster-Even before the Ringmaster, Stone Cold Steve Austin was known simply as Stunning Steve Austin in WCW. After he was fired, and a brief stint with ECW. The Ringmaster was born in the WWE, with the Million Dollar Man. It would only last a short time before Stone Cold became known to the world.
3. Vinnie Vegas-Call him Oz, or Master Blaster Steele, Vinnie Vegas was known in WCW as the Gambler and had a nice select arsenal of moves. When he came to the WWE as the bodyguard of Shawn Michaels. Diesel was born, also known as NWO founder, Kevin Nash.
2. Terra Ryzing-As a blue blood in WCW, Terra Ryzing was far from “terra-fying” as he was unable to win many matches. He had a little more success when he changed his name to Jean Paul Laveque, but when he came to the WWE, his success skyrocketed as Hunter Hearst Helmsley..AKA Triple H.
1. The Blue Blazer- Easily the number one gimmick here, everyone remembers the Blue Blazer when he debuted in the WWE in 1988. He even competed against Mr Perfect at Wrestlemania V. He would them morph into one of the all time greatest wrestlers, Owen Hart. It is rumored as a punishment to Owen for not doing a certain gimmick with Jeff Jarrett, the WWE put him back under the mask. This would ultimately lead to his tragic death in May of 1999, when he was to soar from high above to the ring. His harness broke, and Owen (as the Blue Blazer) fell to his death.
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