Ask 411 03.20.03 – Faster Than A Speeding Bullet Edition!


Ask 411 03.20.03 – Faster Than A Speeding Bullet Edition!

– I’ve got about 90 minutes before Smackdown, so let’s see how quick we can make it through the archived questions…

“Did the Mountie actually score a pin on Hogan? If so,
please, please share the sordid story behind this.
What could Rougeau possibly have on Hogan to blackmail
a pinfall out of him? This is the guy who would put
over no one and he jobbed to the Mountie?!?”

It was Jacque’s retirement show in Montreal, and since Hogan was a friend of his and the house was big enough to make it worth his while, Hogan decided to put him over. Thus Rougeau holds the distinction of being one of the only people to score a clean pinfall win over Hulk Hogan.

“During the
late eighties/early nineties, two rather strange spots
occurred on WWF shows that stick out in my mind. The
first was Randy Savage getting “bit” by Damian the
snake. When I saw it on television it looked real. Was
that legit?

Second, I also recall the period when Jake Roberts was
feuding with Rick Rude and Jake pulled off Rude’s
tights, leaving Rude jumping around the ring with a
black censored sign over his midsection. Was that

As for the first question, the snake was real but devenomized and rather more docile than most poisonous snakes tend to be. Savage had to augment the poor thing’s attack by shaking it himself. Such is the price of art sometimes.

As for the second question, Rick Rude lost his tights, but was wearing a g-string underneath them. The miracle of television made him appear naked.

“Hey, I have two questions for you. Both involving the WWF of old. I was watching the Michaels/Hart ladder match, and noticed a blonde female ring announcer wearing a hideous shiny blue outfit. Any idea who she was??

Also, I was a John Studd fan as a kid, and I have been wondering for a while, why the decision was made to have him win the 1989 Royal Rumble. Was there supposed to be a big push or something??”

The ring announcer is Mike McGuirk, the 80s version of Lillian Garcia. She did B-shows for the WWF until the early 90s. Dunno what happened to her. She was rumored to be linked to Lex Luger but the jury seems to be out on that one.

And John Studd was indeed due for a big babyface push, but the illness that eventually killed him took him out of action and he was gone by midway through 1989.

“just wondering about this. what was the coolest angle you ever saw between two characters that couldn’t work worth a damn but captivated you still? for me it had to be the Vito-Reno thing.”

The Shane Douglas-Gary Wolfe angle from 1997 with the broken neck and Rick Rude under the motorcycle helmet made me infinitely sad that Heyman thought it up and then gave it to two broken-down workers in a midcard feud. Done right in a main event slot, that thing could have drawn HUGE money for someone.

“Hi Scott. I was wondering if you could define the following moves for me:

1) Avalanche

2) Pump splash

3) Splash Mountain

4) Stump-puller

5) Shining Wizard

6) Space Flying Tiger Drop”

1) A running splash into the corner. Generally called a Stinger Splash if done by skinny guys and an Avalanche if done by fat guys. It was named for King Kong Bundy as far as I know.

2) Same move as the Vader Bomb — a splash done feet-first from the second-rope. Named because of the “pumping” action done on the middle ropes that generates the theoretical momentum.

3) Without getting into the gory details, basically a Razor’s Edge. Sometimes done off the top rope.

4) The finisher for Doink the Clown and Big Bully in the 90s: The opponent is in a seated position on the mat, and you come up behind them, straddle their shoulders with both legs, and grab one of their legs and pull it into the air until they submit. The joke backstage when Busiek did it was that the opponent would submit not due to the pain, but because he had a hard-on that was digging into their neck.

5) Jumping knee to the head, delivered by springing off the knee of a crouching opponent. Hurricane does a variant of the move all the time.

6) Toss your opponent to the floor, do a handspring from one side of the ring to another, and backflip over the top rope and land on the opponent.

“I also have a question about dvds. How much money does the wwe make off of dvds? Would it be profitable to make a bunch of wcw dvds for old school fans.

Could the wwe make a Sting DVD even though he is not under contract?”

The WWE makes pretty much 100% profit on DVDs. The footage is already theirs, and DVDs cost next to nothing to make when you control production. Unless Sony is taking a huge cut of the retail price, I’d say the WWE makes $10-$12 per disc. It would absolutely be profitable to put out WCW DVDs. And the WWE can do whatever they want with Sting’s footage, the only thing they can’t do is advertise his name on the DVD because he owns the trademark to it. Thus there’s probably not much point.

“I also have a serious question about WrestleMania, first look at the
card: Hogan-McMahon, Austin-Rock, Booker-HHH, HBK-Y2J, and
Brock-Angle…The way the storylines are running through these matches,
it would appear that the faces would win all of them, but I know that
wouldnt happen in a million years because basically it would make the
next match seem less “important” with the face continually winning so
what do you think they’ll do? How should they order the card? thanks
for reading”

I think there’s a better chance of Iraq winning the war at this point than there is of Booker winning the title. And Y2J is going over Shawn Michaels unless Shawn has an even bigger ego than I give him credit for. Which is possible.

Given that lineup, I’d put Booker-HHH VERY early in the show to keep it from killing the crowd too badly. HBK-Jericho should go near the middle because it’ll probably steal the show, and the top three matches are very touchy in terms of placement. I’d do Hogan-McMahon first and then flip a coin for the other two. You ideally want to finish with Brock’s big title win, but then you’re running the risk of repeating the scenario from last year where Rock completely stole the show with Hogan and then killed the heat for HHH-Jericho. In fact, they really should have held off on one or two of the matches until Backlash.

“Also, along the lines of reading the archives, I read
that Mr. Perfect no-showed Survivor Series 93 after
asking for time off due to his dad being ill earlier
in the month, but then not coming back due to
frustration over Ramon getting the IC belt instead of
him. I also read that he was set to debut in WCW in
1994 (they even filmed ‘perfect style’ vignettes) but
ended up coming back to the WWF. My questions: Do you
know how true the above is (the Survivor Series thing
has been bugging me since 93), where did he go after
WrestleMania X (I recall reading in the local paper he
no-showed the WMX Revenge tour and was replaced by
Crush), and if he was in wrestling conidtion, why was
he a commentator from his next return in 95 to his WCW
debut in 97?”

He actually had his sights set on the World title and was one of the guys who was trying to undermine Bret Hart when he won it in 1992. He was pretty vocal about wanting the belt. I haven’t heard about heat with Scott Hall over the IC title before. He couldn’t have jumped to WCW in 1994 because he was collecting his Lloyd’s of London insurance policy from 1991-1996 and would have given up millions of dollars in easy money to do so. He left in 1994 again because of the policy and to prevent uncomfortable questions from being asked. By 1996, he could no longer continue the charade of being “injured” and Lloyd’s cut him off, necessitating a return to the ring.

“What was with the Million $ Belt Switch in November ’91 with Virgil and Dibiase. I only got PPV’s at the time, and Heenan and Gorilla were a bit loose on any kind of explanation. I gathered it was something to do with Repo Man, but that may be wrong. Was there a TV match or an aknowledged house show match or what?”

There was a TV match, on Primetime Wrestling (I think it was still Primetime at that point), and Dibiase beat Virgil to regain the belt after an angle where Repo Man “repo’d” the belt on Dibiase’s behalf. This set up the Virgil & Santana v. Repo Man & Dibiase tag match at This Tuesday in Texas that blew the roof off the arena. Okay, perhaps I exaggerate.

“On Smackdown! tonight, there was a cage match. Why do they used the chain-link fence stuff and not the blue steel bars? Have you ever bounced off a big section of that chain-link fence? It’s nothing, and certainly doesn’t look ominous. I think the steel bars, ala Cactus Jack-HHH from about 4-5 years ago (Chyna slammed the door on Mick’s head, according to him the most pain he’d ever felt) looks much better, from a visibility POV and from an intimidation POV.”

And, as Mick Foley noted, it’s also dangerous as hell and hurts. Chain-link is easy to set up and maintain, you can take bumps off it like no one’s business, and fans still buy that getting rammed into it hurts. Everyone wins. The blue steel was fine when slugs like Hogan & Bundy were dragging their knuckles around the ring in the 80s and didn’t have to, you know, take bumps, but it’s a bit outdated now.

“My question is, do you feel that Eddie Guerrero will be given a chance to step up to the next level now that Edge and Kurt Angle will both be out of action for a year or so? Do you feel that he even should be given this opportunity? I know that he is not exactly young, and that he is also smaller than the normal.”

He’s also not exactly a dependable guy to push in a featured role given his personal problems in the past. Besides, he’s a great midcarder who the fans can boo or cheer heartily and is always happy to put people over, so really he doesn’t need to go any higher.

“Does Trip really think he is a good performer at the moment? Is he walking around thinking that the Internet is completely wrong, and that he is getting massive crowd reaction and it is good for business for him to be at the top of the card?”

Actually, as far as I’ve heard, yes he does think exactly that. In fact, I’ve heard that Vince was quoted as saying that HHH is the only over guy on RAW right now. I’ve been finding out all sorts of fascinating stuff about HHH lately while doing research for the next book, and it’ll really blow the lid off some of the stuff going on with him, I can promise that.

“In your latest Ask 411 you write about Ken Shamrock, being a complete flop in the main event. I actually stopped watching WWF in 1997 for a while after WrestleMania 13 where Shamrock debuted as ref. Back then, I thought he really had it to be in the main event (of course without ever seeing the guy wrestle.) Why was he actually a flop? Could / Can he be used better. In one of youre rants I read about him being in Robocop mode (or something like that) and you kinda liked it. Wat was that?”

He was a flop because he was such a middling worker and no one outside of Bret Hart was willing to sell enough for him to get his stuff over as a serious threat. Plus he didn’t have any main event charisma as a babyface.

They tried to solve that in 1998 with RoboShamrock, where he turned heel and just started dismantling opponents with brute-force psychology (ie, pick a body part and POUND it with submission holds for 10 minutes until they submit). That should have worked, but Russo started interjecting soap opera crap with Ryan Shamrock until he was a babyface again and the character was dead in the water. Shamrock peaked as a heel when he beat X-Pac in the finals of the I-C tournament and it was downhill from there.

“And finally- why isn’t anyone in the WWE using the Jackhammer? It drew a huge pop from the fans, worked on the back (so no damage to the neck), and has a built-in fan base of being a finisher. They could give it to a big man (Sean O’Harie) and let him use it as his finisher. Why haven’t they?”

Well, Billy Gunn used it for years as a setup move. And I’d disagree that there’s no damage to the neck — the neck twists around pretty good while taking that bump. I think Randy Orton should use it if he ever comes back again, though.

“Loved the book of course but thought I’d share something that occurred to me as I read it. Interested as I am in publishing, I read this book back in 1996 by Olivia Goldsmith (same woman who wrote the “First Wives Club” but don’t hold that against her) called “The Bestseller.” Basically all about a group of authors all vying for their book to be number one.

One is a couple, the husband working hard and doing everything possible to provide for his wife while she writes a big crime novel. They decide that they have a better chance of gettting published if the husband (under an assumed name) pretends to be the sole author. So, he goes off to start selling the book and does so. Unfortunetely, the more he starts to rise as buzz for the book builds, the more he starts to get into the idea that he’s the true author. Not only does he start sleeping with his female editor, he cashes advance checks for the book without telling his wife (who, to complete the drama, is now pregnant). When the wife finally confronts him and tells him she’ll sue if he doesn’t give her credit, he laughs in her face, telling her he has notes about the development of the book and how he deserves everything. The wife is shocked to realize that this isn’t just him being a jerk and letting the attention and money go to his head; he’s actually convinced himself that he wrote the book and is dumping her.

Unfortunetely for the husband, Goldsmith’s specialty is making sure that the scumbags in her books get what they deserve. In his case, the husband recieves a bit of poetic justice O Henry would be proud of: The book he has gone to such lengths to take sole credit for bombs big time and he’s left holding the bag, having quit his job, spent the money, kicked to the curb by his wife and mistress and no idea on what to write next. The wife later goes on to write her own book which promises to succeed.

I remembered this as I read your book and it hit me how similar this was to Russo. He came in, worked hard behind the scenes and did some good for the WWF. But then he let the fame and success go to his head and convinced himself that he and he alone was responsible for the WWF’s comeback and so took it to WCW where he destroyed the company while the man he had refused to give credit to is still around.

Forgive me for this little rant but I just thought I’d share.”

Consider it shared.

“Feedbag question: Is barbed wire, by and large, fake in wrestling? I’ve
seen a lot of FMW tapes and one Raven-Sandman wire match from ’96 or so, and
I couldn’t tell for sure-it looked fake until Raven’s back scarred up from
getting whipped with it. Ditto with the Japanese wire, they were pulling it
apart like scotch tape. Also, when did barbed wire matches start, and who was
responsible? (My guess is Dusty Rhodes.)”

Barbed wire, by and large, is real but filed down to prevent serious injury. It still hurts, but you’re not gonna accidentally take an eye out with it.

Atsushi Onita is generally given credit for pioneering the use of barbed wire, but I think Abdullah the Butcher and Dusty Rhodes were doing it in Florida and elsewhere years before. I’ve never personally looked into the subject, so if anyone has earlier examples and would care to share, feel free.

“Why did the Southen Boys stop being called the Southern Boys and repackaged as the Young Pistols?”

The kayfabed reason was to pay tribute to Steve Armstrong’s father, “Bullet” Bob Armstrong. The real reason was because Southern Boys just sounded too regional and redneck.

“Hey Scott just want to say I loved the book, my girlfriend did too. Anyway I just got through watching Chi-town Rumble and Wrestle War 89 and it got me thinking. 1989 is considered a great year for the NWA creatively, and 1990(when ole took over) basically sucked. My question is what would you have done in 1990 so it lived up to 1989?”

Let Flair keep the book and told the workers complaining about Flair pushing himself to put on better matches until he had no choice but to push them instead. Flair’s firing as booker was all political and he couldn’t possibly have done any worse than Ole Anderson did.

“After reading the first book I bought the second off the internet and it is greatness. Anyways, while reading the first book you talk about Honky Tonk Man setting the future financial destiny for the WWF with a match with Savage, how did this exactly send shockwaves through the WWF years to come?

Also, what exactly did you do as a consultant for Goldberg’s book?”

It was more a series of connected incidents — had Honky not thrown a tantrum and demanded to keep the title against Savage, Savage wouldn’t have won the WWF title at Wrestlemania IV. If Savage hadn’t won the title, they wouldn’t have had Savage v. Hogan at Wrestlemania V and the millions of dollars it drew. And Savage probably never would have broken through the glass ceiling and become a draw later on against Flair once Hogan was “retired”.

And my role on the book wasn’t very exciting — the editor just wanted to confirm that Scott Hall used a tazer on Goldberg at Starrcade, and he wanted to clarify the timeline on a couple of things.

“Another thing I’m not getting is the whole FINGER POKE OF DOOM thing. Hogan pins Nash after poking him, reforming the NWO to feud with Goldbeg. Um, so what? Was the whole thing a shoot or something? How did it show that Hogan and Nash could do anything they want? Watching it looked to me (admittedly I was still a mark at the time) like a creative way to start a feud.”

It would have been a creative way to start a feud if a feud had actually been STARTED there. Instead, Hogan feuded with Flair and Nash went on to get the title from DDP. And it showed that Hogan & Nash could do whatever they wanted because the whole thing was basically booked by them, with Eric Bischoff doing little more than nodding his head while endeavoring to suck both of their dicks at once. Figuratively speaking, of course. And while it wasn’t a shoot, the rest of the dressing room wasn’t exactly kept in the loop on what would be happening that night, Goldberg included. It’s not so much the actual event, but what it represented, that destroyed WCW.

“ok…. you may have covered this….. in Foley-Taker’s first Buried Alive match, how did they manage to “bury” Taker convincingly? Did the camera pull away at a certain moment? Hidden trap door in the “grave”? Oxygen tank? Always wondered about that one, especially since his hand was portrayed to come out of the dirt a la horror movie style. Was that Calloway too?

Whatever happened out of the Charles Austin situation? Was it appealed? (lawsuit against Marty Jannetty for the “Rocker Dropper” accident)

It is true that before the first Summerslam main event with Warrior as champ, he held up Vince for a huge cash payout before he would go out and work? (presumably why Hogan-Quake came out first)

Does Hogan still pay Marvel for the “Hulk” trademark name use? (I would imagine so, but perhaps the rate has gone up with the big movie on the horizon)”

1) Hidden trap door. And yes, the hand was Undertaker, too.

2) I don’t know the legal details behind the Austin lawsuit, but it wasn’t appealed that I know of. Charles Austin made a shitload of money and still can’t walk.

3) I haven’t heard that one, but it wouldn’t shock me. The next year (Summerslam 91) he DID hold up Vince for cash and then left right after the match, so maybe you’re thinking of that?

4) Hogan still pays Marvel to the best of my knowledge. On the other hand, the WWE could so easily buy and sell the entire comics industry that I don’t know why they bother.

“When Lex Luger jumped back from WWF to WCW in 95, was
it that much of a shock to the WWF? I ask because
they had Luger do a save of the WWF champ Diesel in
the Summerslam main event. That seems like an odd
thing to do for someone whose contract was about to
run out and had not re-signed.”

That’s because Luger lied and told Vince that he would re-sign, and then showed up on Nitro the next day. Vince was, to say the least, unhappy at Luger’s lack of class. To say that it was a shock to everyone would be an understatement.

“I have a quick question for you. If you were on a deserted island, with nothing but food, water, a working t.v. and vcr (with electricity of course) and only one vhs tape to watch compiled with only wrestling matches, which matches would be on the tape? Let’s be nice and give you one of those nice long 8 hr. tapes.”


– Wargames 1987, 1991 and 1992.
– A couple of Royal Rumbles
– Flair-Steamboat I, II & III from 1989
– Bret v. Owen, Wrestlemania X
– Benoit v. Sullivan from Bash 96
– Savage v. Steamboat from Wrestlemania III
– Bret Hart v. Mr. Perfect from Summerslam 91
– British Bulldogs v. Hart Foundation 2/3 falls from SNME
– Savage v. Hogan from Wrestlemania V
– Ric Flair v. Barry Windham from Worldwide in 1986
– Rock N Roll Express v. Tully & Arn from World Championship Wrestling in 1987
– Midnight Express v. The Fantastics, pick one or two.
– Curt Hennig v. Nick Bockwinkel, 60-minute draw from AWA.

That should about cover it.

“On those old Saturday Nights Main Events and Superstars from 89 to 91, they always showed Vince at the announce table with his broadcast partner and you could see the crowd behind them. Were the announcers actually standing in front of the live crowd, or was it just added in later by having them stand in front of a green screen?”

As a veteran of those brutal tapings, I can testify that they were really there…for the opening. Generally they left unless it was for an angle involving them there and then dubbed the commentary in via post-production, just like today.

“Quick question: Why did Backlund drop the belt to Diesel in an untelevised house show? I remember tuning into RAW one night and just seeing grainy video of the new champ beating the “legend” in 8 seconds max. “

Because Vince has always been a mark for MSG and wanted Diesel’s big win to start on a special note.

And on that note, Smackdown is on and I’m outta here!

Until next time, BUY THE BOOK!