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Ask 411 Wrestling: What if Steve Austin Didn’t Walk Out on the WWF?

Ask 411 Wrestling: Who is the Next Rob Van Dam?

Welcome guys, gals, and gender non-binary buddies, to Ask 411 Wrestling. I’m your get together host, Ryan Byers, and I’m right here to reply a few of your burning inquiries about skilled wrestling.

When you’ve got a type of queries searing an entire in your mind, be happy to ship it alongside to me at [email protected]. Don’t be shy about capturing these over – the extra, the merrier.

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John “The Royal” Tannenbaum needs to take us again to the flip of the century:

When Steve Austin walked out on the firm in 2002, he was feuding with Ric Aptitude. In his final match earlier than leaving, he beat Aptitude on Uncooked with the stipulation that Aptitude would turn out to be Austin’s assistant. On account of Austin leaving, the storyline was dropped and Vince randomly appeared on Uncooked the subsequent week to problem Aptitude for 100% management of WWE (Aptitude was storyline co-owner at the time) and regained full management of the firm.

If Austin had not left as a consequence of disagreement together with his reserving, how do you assume the Austin/Aptitude story would have ultimately ended? Additionally, would Vince have nonetheless regained 100% possession of WWE (in kayfabe) and the way/when would Vince have regained storyline management of the firm?

Let’s begin with the straightforward a part of the query first: It seems that Vince McMahon defeating Ric Aptitude to regain full management of the promotion in all probability wouldn’t have occurred however for Steve Austin strolling out on the promotion. In accordance with the June 17, 2002 version of the Determine 4 Weekly publication, the choice to e-book the Aptitude/McMahon match was made Monday afternoon, just some hours earlier than the Uncooked present started. It was the begin of a face flip for Aptitude, who had been a heel feuding with Austin up till that time, as the promotion thought that they wanted the Nature Boy as a very good man to assist decide up the ball that Austin had dropped. Thus, the reunification of WWE’s kayfabe shares was a complete last-minute hotshot angle.

When would Vince have regained management of his firm however for the Austin walkout, and the place would the Aptitude vs. Austin storyline have gone?

That’s a bit more durable to say. There’s not any strong reporting on these points that I used to be capable of finding, and which will have one thing to do with the undeniable fact that considered one of Austin’s reported frustrations with the promotion at the time (which, regardless of typical knowledge, went past the proven fact that he was requested to lose one match to Brock Lesnar) was that none of the promotion’s storylines appeared to have any long-term planning behind them.

Thus, the greatest that I can do is try and make some kind of educated guess. So far as Aptitude/Austin is worried, my thought is that it was primarily going to be extra a rehash of Steve Austin and Vince McMahon’s feud than it will a full-fledged Austin/Aptitude rivalry with Naitch as an all-out in-ring performer. In case you return and watch the exhibits round that point, Austin was not simply having issues with Ric Aptitude. He was additionally getting set as much as have a collection of matches with Eddie Guerrero. Based mostly on that, I think that Latino Warmth would have been one in every of the first in a long-line of heels that Aptitude would have used as his proxy to take out Stone Chilly.

On the “Vince McMahon needs his company back” aspect of issues, I by no means thought it made plenty of sense to place the firm in the management of 1 individual as long as there was going to be a continued model cut up. I feel that the reunification all the time would have been a play that the promotion stored in its again pocket when it felt determined and in want of a serious angle to shake issues up, however, with out that, I don’t know that you simply actually wanted to go down to at least one proprietor until and till you have been going to place the rosters again collectively.

Night time Wolf the Sensible has two unrelated questions:

1. In your opinion, who’re the prime 10 wrestlers WWE missed the mark with? This implies that they had the look, mic expertise, and so on. however WWE didn’t push them for no matter cause.

I’m going to shoot by means of this in a little bit of a “quick and dirty” style to keep away from it turning into a column inside a column. Additionally, relatively than solely focusing on wrestlers that WWE “didn’t push,” I’m going to recommend that this may be a extra helpful train if we take a look at wrestlers who weren’t pushed to the degree of their potential.

That stated, listed here are my ten names, in no specific order:

Diamond Dallas Web page: Again throughout the Monday Night time Warfare, the huge knock on WCW was that they by no means created their very own stars and simply relied on huge names that the WWF created for them. Nevertheless, there have been a handful of stars that WCW legitimately did create, and certainly one of them was DDP. Many individuals overlook this, however, for a few years, Web page was as huge as another babyface in the Turner-owned promotion. Then, he jumped to the WWF, the place, as an alternative of trying to capitalize on his reputation, they made him right into a chew toy for the Undertaker, after which he was a low-card comedy goof.

Doug Basham: Return and watch some Ohio Valley Wrestling tapes from Basham’s prime in the promotion, circa 2001 to 2002. He did a superb job being the centerpiece of the firm and, although I don’t know if he fairly had the mic expertise to be a tip-top WWE wrestler, he undoubtedly might have been a serviceable higher midcard performer who broke into the title image from time-to-time. As an alternative, he was put right into a bizarre S&M-themed tag staff with the man who was maybe his biggest rival and washed out virtually instantly upon making it to the essential roster.

Val Venis: Venis was a very strong skilled wrestler, he minimize a great promo, and he had a reasonably strong look. Nevertheless, he by no means actually went so far as I might anticipate anyone together with his skillset to go. When it comes to expertise, I feel he’s truly corresponding to a man like Edge, however Edge is in WWE’s Corridor of Fame whereas Venis barely if ever will get talked about as a part of the promotion’s historical past. The issue? He was initially saddled with a gimmick that, although entertaining for what it was, was limiting and was by no means going to permit for the promotion to be constructed round him. Then, in the instances the place they tried to transition him out of being a porn star and into doing one thing else, the viewers wouldn’t settle for it as a result of that they had such a hard-on for lame intercourse jokes.

Dynamite Child: By nearly each account that I’ve heard, the Dynamite Child was a reasonably horrible human being. Nevertheless, as horrible as he was as an individual, he was a reasonably superior in-ring performer, and, between Chris Benoit and Daniel Bryan, WWE has managed to make fairly massive stars out of wrestlers who emulated his fashion. Nevertheless, he got here alongside at a time when wrestlers his measurement weren’t going to be taken very significantly, which is a little bit of a disgrace on reflection.

Maxx Payne: Referred to as Man Mountain Rock in his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it WWF stint, the wrestler truly generally known as Darryl Peterson was fairly underrated for his complete profession. This can be a man who got here up in the NJPW dojo system alongside Chris Benoit and had Dangerous Information Allen there to mentor him, he hung out in CWA, the similar European promotion the place guys like Match Finlay and Lance Storm developed their chops, and he had some groundbreaking hardcore brawls alongside Cactus Jack in WCW. He additionally appeared like a man who would abduct you at a truck cease, kill you, and unfold your organs throughout the tristate space. The issue was that he signed with the Fed throughout maybe their most cartoonish interval, when he was actually suited to be a grittier performer.

Kaientai: Yeah, yeah, I do know. “Byers can’t help but talk about the Japanese guys.” However, in the 1990s and early 2000s, I watched a LOT of junior heavyweight wrestling from Japan, together with Michinoku Professional, and the 4 members of Kaientai who wound up in the WWF – TAKA Michinoku, Dick Togo, Males’s Teioh, and Shoichi Funaki – have been amongst the greatest in the world and had a terrific gimmick the place they have been brash, disrespectful thugs. Given the stereotypes round race and measurement in the period once they have been a part of the WWF roster, I don’t know that they ever would have made it to the prime of the card, however they might have finished higher than being job guys who’re greatest remembered for being in an angle with John Bobbitt.

Dan Severn: They referred to as Dan Severn “The Beast,” and it was a becoming nickname. He had the aura of a man who might homicide you together with his naked palms, in all probability as a result of he was a man who might homicide you together with his naked arms. Sadly, the WWF throughout Severn’s run there was a interval if you wanted to have an over-the-top character they usually, for some silly purpose, didn’t actually consider in utilizing managers to provide that character to individuals who didn’t have it on their very own.

Sean O’ Haire: Although he wasn’t the biggest wrestler in the world from a technical standpoint, Sean O’ Haire might pull off some flashy, sudden strikes and had a great look. His ascension up the card was one among the few highlights in the dying days of WCW for these of us who truly caught round and watched the promotion to the very finish. Then he was certainly one of the members of the roster who instantly signed with the WWF when the firm wanted stars to construct the Invasion round, and . . . the Fed principally handled him like a no one as an alternative of making an attempt to capitalize on no matter potential he had. In fact, they tried to provide him one other run after a stint in developmental, however he was shortly made right into a flunkie for an over-the-hill Roddy Piper, and that didn’t do him any favors.

Bam Bam Bigelow: Just about all the things that I stated about Maxx Payne additionally applies to Bam Bam Bigelow, besides Bigelow was in all probability an much more gifted in-ring performer. He simply got here alongside at a time once you wanted to be a cartoon character so as to achieve success in the WWF when he was extra of a blood-and-guts performer. (Truly, he did it twice.) There have been additionally reportedly some backstage angle issues throughout his first run, and the Clique didn’t actually look after him throughout his second run, so he’s yet one more sufferer of dangerous timing.

Hideo Itami: Itami could also be the most underutilized performer on the WWE roster proper now. Roughly ten years in the past, he was extensively considered one in every of the greatest skilled wrestlers in the world, and he was having wonderful matches with guys who’re presently principal eventing WWE and different promotions round the world. Now . . . he’s a second-tier performer on a present on the WWE Community that I’m not sure anyone truly watches. (Yeah, there are stories about it on-line, however these outcomes might be made up for all I do know.) He did have some difficulties with accidents early on in his tenure with the promotion, however he appears able to go now, and in a WWE the place Daniel Bryan and AJ Types are world champions, there’s no purpose that Itami couldn’t be in the combine.

2. Do you assume it’s disrespectful how WWE makes use of deceased wrestlers of their storylines? An Instance is once they had Ruby Riott break Jim Neidheart’s sun shades so she might get heel warmth. What are your ideas on this?

I truthfully assume it’s one thing that you must take on a case-by-case foundation, and you may’t universally say that it’s nice or it’s disrespectful.

A number of the time, individuals attempt to determine whether or not it’s kosher for WWE to make use of a deceased wrestler in a narrative by saying, “What would [insert dead wrestler’s name] have thought?” I feel that’s the flawed evaluation. The wrestler in query doesn’t assume something about this anymore. He’s lifeless. I’ve but to satisfy a lifeless one that had a lot of an opinion on something.

I feel that, earlier than a wrestling promotion undertakes an angle involving a lifeless wrestler, it ought to ask itself two issues:

1. How does the deceased wrestler’s surviving household really feel about this?

2. How will the followers really feel about this?

If the reply to both of those two questions is, “They won’t like it,” you then don’t do the angle.

Because it pertains to the wrestler’s household, actually they’re the ones who will probably be negatively emotionally impacted by the wrestler’s involvement, not the wrestler himself. They’ve already needed to undergo the trauma of dropping a liked one, typically by way of tragic means, and there’s no justifiable cause for making that state of affairs worse. Nevertheless, if it’s one thing that helps them deal with the lack of their member of the family (which I might assume it virtually definitely did for Nattie Neidhart), then there’s no drawback with going forward and doing it.

That’s why I’ve all the time been against WWE inducting Owen Hart into their Corridor of Fame or releasing any media that closely options him. His spouse has stated in no unsure phrases that she doesn’t need it to occur. WWE might very properly have the authorized proper to do it regardless of her objections, however the ethics of the state of affairs get squicky at that time.

Then there are conditions through which, even if the wrestler’s household are cool with the angle, it’s one thing that followers aren’t going to be into. Let’s take the use of Eddie Guerrero in WWE storylines after his passing for instance. I don’t recall whether or not Eddie’s household accepted or disapproved of the storylines, however let’s assume for a second that they did. Even if that have been the case, it’s fairly clear based mostly on the response that followers didn’t need to see “his low rider” in the approach that it was used, they usually didn’t need to hear Randy Orton proclaim that Eddie is in hell. They didn’t look after it, and it was what we’d name “turn the channel” warmth versus warmth that will get you invested in the storyline that the firm is making an attempt to advertise.

Usually, if I have been operating a wrestling promotion, I might err on the aspect of not utilizing deceased wrestlers in storylines, however, if it’s one thing you’re contemplating doing, I feel that should be the evaluation that you simply interact in.

Ossie is a shooter, brother:

Has there ever been any commentary about the Brawl for All creating warmth between any of the individuals?

Clearly this isn’t like conventional boxing or MMA: this can be a firm of colleagues, who historically work collectively and do every thing to NOT harm one another, out of the blue thrust right into a shoot towards one another. After which presumably subsequent day they’re all backstage collectively once more, probably working matches. I respect somebody like Steve Williams wasn’t fairly “in” the firm at the time, and it appears a few members have been injured & didn’t return. However there have been 16 unique members: my sense is that there have been undoubtedly sufficient that the majority have been again to being the “boys” after their match.

I’m stunned I’ve by no means seen something about A subsequently having a gripe with B for knocking him out and so forth.? (or NOT having a gripe and it was simply one other job and so on….)

I truthfully haven’t heard of any warmth between Brawl for All rivals. You’re right that these are wrestlers who usually cooperate with each other versus trying to legitimately knock one another out, however you additionally need to take into account that these guys are usually all athletes at their core, and boxing/MMA/robust man contests are athletic competitions greater than they’re road fights. Granted, there are egos concerned and no one will like dropping any type of competitors, however, at the finish of the day, it’s usually not going to be one thing that you simply maintain a grudge over until you assume that you simply’ve been cheated or in any other case screwed ultimately.

Even “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, the man who would in all probability have the most purpose to be indignant, as a result of he was injured in his match towards Bart Gunn and brought out of the event when it was alleged to be a way for giving him an enormous push, actually understood the event for what was based mostly on the interview clip above.

Allmaninlv has a query for me to handle:

Would a Grand Wizard or Captain Lou Albano be gold on this period?

They completely can be, if that they had a chance to study and adapt to trendy sensibilities. The 2 males that you simply’re referring two have been, together with “Classy” Freddie Blassie, have been referred to at one time limit as the “Three Kings” of the northeast, as they have been primarily the three managers who have been related to each heel wrestler in the WWWF in the 1970s and minimize the promos that overvalued challengers for Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, and Bob Backlund. They have been masters at speaking followers into arenas.

Granted, trendy wrestling promo types are totally different than what the Wizard and Albano have been doing of their heyday. Nevertheless, they have been very robust, assured talkers and had an outstanding quantity of expertise working in entrance of reside audiences. These are expertise that may typically translate throughout generations, so long as you study a bit about what’s going on in the modern-day.

If you need proof that the Wizard and the Captain would work in a contemporary context, I feel that you must look no additional than Paul Heyman. Why? Heyman grew up watching these two (and Blassie) in the northeast, and he primarily idolized and patterned himself after them. He was even the president of the Lou Albano fan membership when he was a child. There are touches of what the Three Kings used to do peppered all through all of Heyman’s trendy performances, and no less than for my part, he’s fairly persistently the greatest promo in present day skilled wrestling.

Tyler from Winnipeg needs to take a look at some hidden figures:

What is the most attended, non-televised, WWE home present of all time?

It’s the Massive Occasion, held in Toronto, Ontario on August 28, 1986 at Exhibition Stadium, the former house venue of the Toronto Blue Jays. Hulk Hogan versus Paul Orndorff, which many overlook is definitely one among the best-drawing WWF/WWE feuds of all time, headlined the present in a match for Hogan’s WWF Championship. Harley Race additionally confronted Pedro Morales on the card in an fascinating conflict of former world champions from totally different promotions.

WWE promotes the attendance at the occasion as being over 74,000 individuals, although third-party sources peg it about 64,100, which is the quantity that I’m extra inclined to consider given the Fed’s documented historical past of inflating its stats for “entertainment” functions.

Even the uninflated quantity could be very spectacular, although, because it provides the Huge Occasion a better attendance than over half of the Wrestlemanias WWE has hosted, together with a number of in the trendy period.

In the event you’re fascinated with watching the Massive Occasion, a model of the present was launched on Coliseum Video, and I consider that video did discover its method on to the WWE Community.

That may do it for this week’s installment of the column. We’ll return in seven days, and, as all the time, you’ll be able to contribute your questions by emailing [email protected].

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