Pulse Wrestling Answers #011


Yet another week, yet another PPV. This time around it was Against All Odds and… oh, hell, I just don’t care. I’m far more impressed that Bret Hart’s WCW theme is currently playing on Winamp. WWE should absolutely use it for Teddy Hart should he be signed and behave. Anyway, as for TNA, I stand by my views in the Roundtable.

Before we get to the meaty questions, and there are plenty of them this week, let’s take a peek at what else is on offer at Pulse Wrestling:

Aaron keeps on modestly responding to events, news and every single thing that ever happened in ROH, ever. I should really get around to ordering more of those DVDs. Better yet, I should really get around to the DVDs on my shelf I haven’t watched yet (Simpsons Season Nine, Police Squad! and Bob Dylan: No Direction Home).

Widro, king of the realm of the short attention span, has WSX coverage for his kindred spirits.

Hulk Hogan is NOT going to be at WrestleMania XXIII, making Ann Russo my hero.

If you haven’t found them already, Scott Keith is on a nostalgic Smark Rant spree. FUJI VICE!

Brashear dedicates a column to Kwee-Wee, instantly surpassing Ann Russo to become my new hero.

Phil Clark talks about Japanese stuff but also finds time to have a go at Vince Russo. Perhaps he should be my hero instead?

In case you haven’t heard WWE is releasing a Royal Rumble Anthology to go alongside the WrestleMania one they brought out last year, and you can find the complete contents of it here. It doesn’t quite have every single Royal Rumble event on it though, but we’ll get to that in a minute…

Eric Bischoff breaks his arm in a bar fight! Well, sort of…

Find yourself a naughty nurse

And get yourself some religious racial equality

And send in some questions


striker64 of Mississippi gets some statistical satisfaction:

“I’m hearing that the Taker/Micheals ending sequence is one of the longest there’s ever been for a Rumble. Is it, and if not, what’s the longest? I seem to remember Studd/DiBiase from ’89 being fairly long, as well as Micheals/Bulldog from ’95 if you count all the time Micheals spent flailing on the apron while Bulldog’s music played as still part of the ending… Also, I read somewhere that today (2-6), London and Kendrick become the longest reigning tag champs since Owen/Bulldog and Demolition, at 8 months and 4 days or something. How long were their reigns?”

The Michaels/Undertaker ending sequence went for 7:35, which is indeed the longest one in a Rumble. Even if you include the hilarious Vince McMahon stumble-in at the end of the 2005 version and the restart, it wasn’t as long as this year’s version. The ’89 and ’95 versions don’t come close either.

Random fact: the first Royal Rumble on PPV was in 1989, the first Royal Rumble on TV was in 1988, but the first Royal Rumble ever was in 1986 at a house show in St Louis. Junkyard Dog won it and apparently neither the fans nor the wrestlers themselves really knew what the hell it was all about. Of course, this is wrestling and if it didn’t happen on TV it didn’t happen at all, so forget I said anything.

Paul London & Brian Kendrick are far and away the longest-reigning WWE Tag Team Champions, over 264 days and counting, while MNM come second with 145 (although their combined reigns were 291 days). Bear in mind that those titles have only been around since 2002. The World Tag Team Championship currently defended on Raw (well, sometimes) has a lineage going back to 1971. The longest reign of those was indeed Demolition with 478 days in their 1988-9 reign, which will most likely never be broken, and Nodnol/Kendrick are the longest-reigning tag champs in the company since then. They’re also catching up to the Hart Foundation’s 1987 reign, which was 274 days…


mind_control of England believes:

“a few years ago there was a japanese show done in a house, can you elaborate on that at all? How did it come about?”

That came about when they put on what is known in the business as a ‘house show’, although it was not actually a wrestling event. It was just after the WWF had started billing a fat Californian of Samoan descent as an evil Japanese sumo wrestler. The Institute of Justifiable Japanese Portrayals invited Mr Fuji over to their house to discuss the matter and they had a nice spread of cakes, cookies, cereals and Brussel sprouts, while they also put on a cinematic show that included Breakin’, Breakin’ 2 and Schindler’s List. It was all going swimmingly well until Vince McMahon made a video conference call and Mr Fuji was in the background making lewd gestures at a waitress. Vince told him to cut it out and show some respect or he would be sent home to Hawaii in disgrace. Mr Fuji stopped but the genie was out the bottle, the worms had been spilled, the cat had come out the bag, and the IJJP turfed out Mr Fuji without even giving him a doggy bag. Yokozuna heard about this and sent them a disgruntled letter, which brought IJJP representatives to Hawaii to state their case with violence. It was up to Lex Luger to defeat them, which he did, but only because they went to the wrong place. Clint Eastwood was going to make a movie about all of this but he was apparently asleep when Vince went round with the contracts (in reality he was having a staring contest with his eyelids) and when he woke up he was on Iwo Jima instead. True story.


Cash_Kerouac, who has one less than no Pulse Points, asks:

“Alright Burnsy, I have one for you.

It’s a well-known fact that in WWE, you cannot win a title via disqualification. However, there have been many times in WWE history when there have been tournaments for titles, and my question is whether any of these tournaments have been won by disqualification and if any of those decisions stood.”

I’ve been racking myself (yuck) trying to think of an example but can’t come up with one. I’m sure there has been though, so if anybody knows please write in. It would be a good way of getting some heel heat for the winner, and an easy set-up for a rematch. Still, this ain’t the Olympics. It all comes down to what management wants to happen, so the decision could stand, the title could be held up, the match could be restarted, a Monty Python foot could make the call, and so on.


EverTheMartyr, never the bride wants to know:

“Do you get as angry as I do when you hear the name Kenny Dykstra? I can’t explain why, but that name makes me want to hold children underwater.”

The headband makes me want to hide prematurely born babies under it and bash them with rusted metal spikes, but the name? No, not really.

Perhaps his new gimmuhmick should be the beating of defenceless children. Hey, it worked for Superman!


Ryan Ro joins in the validation:

“Thank you! I fail to understand the praise such a dull, boring
Rumble has been receiving. NOTHING happened until Khali came in at
29. No props to Khali – it was pretty sad watching HBK sell for him
like a bomb went off in his face. Just zero happened. A bunch of
guys standing around. Even Kane didn’t get to do his standard “enter
and kick ass” spot. He came in save put Sabu through a table, and
then stood around randomly punching people until Booker T beat the
shit out of him (huh?). Sandman was EXTREMELY over. No pun
intended. The crowd shit all over his rapid elimination.

WSX episode 1 was fun. Episode 2 was actually pretty decent.
Ironically, the WSX announcers do a better job of getting across the
WRESTLERS in the ring and their gimmicks/motivations than
Tenay&West. In a 22 minute episode there is more wrestling than TNA
and everybody who showed up had a clear personality and “hook.” Is
it gimmicky? Yes. Is it going to change the biz? No. Do the
announcers oversell every move? Yes. Is it fun? Absolutely. WSX
is goofy but fun, and well, better than TNA.

Do you think TNA will go out of business in the next couple years, or
is Dixie Carter so loaded she’ll keep pumping $$$ into such an
abysmal product?”

She does appear to be one of those ‘more money than sense’ types, or at least a very rich person with a fondness for wrestling, which may well be the same thing. It seems that she used to be Jaff’s next-door neighbour in early ’90s Dallas too, so we’ll just let unfounded speculation spread as to whether they were more Chandler/Monica than Joey/Rachel.

Anyway, it’s hard to imagine TNA would go so far down the tubes so quickly that they could fold by 2009. Of course, this is the wrestling industry and such statements often wind up being shat on by the unforseen movement of Father Time’s bowels (what the hell?) but they do have many new opportunities ahead of them. They’re starting to put together a touring schedule that should help with word-of-mouth and get some extra revenue – and they even had a couple of lucrative dates in Mexico and Portugal. The PPVs are going to start being hosted outside of Orlando more regularly as well, which is great as the Impact Zone crowd is one of the most irritating aspects of the program nowadays. All that means box office revenue and increased merchandise sales and, provided they don’t try too much, too soon, they could very easily expand their touring circuit in the years to come. WWE domestic house show business is the strongest since 2002 at the moment, so there is an appetite for live wrestling events out there. A second hour of TV a week will help the product, in theory at least, and that’s all but confirmed to happen later this year. Plus, even if they bomb, they do have the advantage of sharing a network with the red-hot UFC product, which will give them some sort of rub as Spike TV cross-promotes to its heart’s content.

However, none of that will mean anything if they alienate the potential and actual audiences with a piss-poor product. That’s their biggest danger at the moment, as the frantic pace of Impact has been upped yet again since Russo returned, to the extent that characterisation has succumbed to fake, storylines are rushed into meaningless, and matches are treated as an irritating distraction. If somebody started watching TNA for the first time now, would they know what A.J. Styles is capable of doing? Would they be convinced that a potentially quality match featuring Styles, or any of the other talented wrestlers there, would be worth shelling out for a PPV or DVD? Getting people to buy such things is imperative to their success but lord knows how things like Abyss shooting his dad twenty years ago are meant to help in that regard. Any WWE fan tuning in would see Kurt Angle (talented but never a draw; now crazy) and Christian (funny like Joe Pesci; midcard) and that stubby little fella (enjoys running into solid objects) and a whole bunch of crazy, random filler. Chances are they’ll still be around in two years, but they’d better start making the most of their fresh home-grown talent, not let another Monty Brown slip away, and find a more stable booking direction.

Or just start a sitcom vehicle for Jeff Jarrett. Actually, I’d prefer that. They could get the sets and supporting cast of Joey and just start where Matt LeBlanc left off. “How you, ha-ha, doin’, ha-ha?!” It would totally work. Jeremy Borash as Chandler!

I should stop seeing all those Friends repeats on E4, it’s clearly doing me harm.


David Morgan takes the flattery approach:

“I haven’t read anyone get it right yet, so I’ll tell you. The first time the black padded ring barricades were used was at Summerslam 1999. I remember it vividly because I was there at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN that fateful night when our infamous former (then current) Governor Jesse Ventura said the word “sh*t” on the air!

At Wrestlemania 9, why did Yokozuna beat Bret Hart for the title only to lose it to Hogan a few minutes later. That seems a little complicated and unnecessary. Why didn’t they just cut out the middle man? And while I’m on the subject, why did Hogan have a black eye? I heard Randy Savage punched him backstage. Is that true?

Thanks Iain, you are a modern day pro wrestling God!”

Well, there you go.

When Hogan returned to the WWF in 1993 business was bad and the company wanted him more than the other way around, giving him lots of money and a greater degree of creative control. After agreeing to the tag team with Brutus Beefcake scenario, he later changed his mind and decided he should get the title back at the show. Unable to go back on the adverts that had already started for WrestleMania IX, Vince agreed but wanted Hogan to subsequently put Bret Hart over for the belt at SummerSlam that year. Hogan agreed and things were good to go, although of course he took no interest in actually defending the title until the next PPV and by then he had decided he didn’t want another face to beat him, so the belt was put back onto Yokozuna in an incredibly wonky finish and the company had nothing to do with him for a decade.

As for the black eye, it depends on which version you want to believe. If you want to believe the WWF’s version, he got it off of a group of thugs that Ted Dibiase paid to beat him up before the event. If you believe the version I want to believe, he got it off of Randy Savage backstage after failing to adequately convince the paranoid Macho Man that Miss Elizabeth had never experienced some Real American lovin’. If you believe the real version, Hogan got it from a jet-ski accident.


Greg Guity gets adventurous:

“Hey Iain, Greg from NYC again

I was intrigued by some of the thoughts you offered up in your PWA #010 – you’re the first person I’ve read who actually advocated Matt Hardy as a main eventer. I wonder if there are some people in the WWE who see that as well, as JR has mentioned him in a couple of his recentmost blogs, and after their tag match in the Royal Rumble, Matt Hardy mentioned on WWE.com that he’d like a shot at the US title.

So I wanna ask – if you’ll indulge me and play fantasy booker for a moment – how would you elevate Matt Hardy into the main event realm, whether the starting point is right now 2007, or 2005 when the whole business with him and Edge began? Also, besides CM Punk, (1) who else would you point to as being held back against the greater interests of the WWE, (2) what reasons would you deduce for their being held back, and (3) where would you pinpoint exactly where said superstar hit that glass ceiling?”

Just to clarify, I wasn’t advocating Matt Hardy as a main-eventer per se, more as an example of somebody the WWE could have done a lot more with were it not for their politics. He’s not fluid enough on the mic or diverse enough in the ring to be able to justify such a high spot, but he’d definitely be a great at taking one of those perennial secondary title roles. The definite FUBAR moment was SummerSlam ’05. Losing a match by stoppage is not enough to derail anybody’s momentum (hell, it made Austin’s career) but that match was far too short for the decision to make any sense and only made it clear that the company had no real interest in Hardy.

Another example is Shelton Benjamin. He has put on some fantastic performances against none other than Shawn Michaels and Triple H, plus he stole the show in two Money in the Bank matches, but he’s past the point of no return and won’t get that major singles push now. The chief criticism is that he can’t cut a good promo but they don’t seem to have given him many opportunities to improve that and never gave him a mouthpiece like Coachman or Daivari. I guess after the debut of Momma Benjamin it was all downhill. Also, he’s not doing himself many favours backstage and gives the impression of being a lazy f*ck who just sits around playing video games rather than contributing to the production. It’s not too late though and he could potentially still reach a Ricky Steamboat level.

They really missed the boat with Nick Dinsmore too. They had a golden opportunity to turn him heel back in spring 2004 by revealing that the Eugene gimmick was just a ruse concocted by him, Bischoff and Evolution to get one over on Chris Benoit. Instead Triple H’s masterplan was revealed to be nothing more than getting Eugene to hit Benoit with a foreign object. You know, other than Triple H doing it, or Flair, or Orton, or Batista, or even Bischoff. The Cerebral Assassin was suicidal that day. Now Dinsmore is lumped with that ludicrous gimmick for the rest of his WWE days and another potential ring general is lost to us. It’s 2007 and they still rely on Benoit, Finlay and Regal to fulfil such roles while guys like Dinsmore, Brent Albright and Rob Conway never caught a break.

But come to think of it, Benjamin could be a great fit in ECW, especially once RVD is gone…


Legion of Parts Unknown – speak:

“I have a few questions.

I heard that the original idea for the brand split was to have it WCW and WWF. Then the idea got scrapped in favor of the Invasion. Was this true? Why the change in plans? And what do you think would have happened if plans didn’t change?

What’s the story behind all of the times Austin has left the company? He’s left like 3-4 times, hasn’t he? I honestly can’t keep track of them all, or the reasons he left each time.”

That was the original plan. Unfortunately by that point the WCW brand name had been tainted by stupidity and the WWF’s networks were not confident enough to air a WCW show rather than the popular WWF version. That gave Vince the idea of running two separate touring products under the banner of his own company, which led to the brand extension a year later. In the meantime there was money to be made in the WWF/WCW feud, so they stumbled through the Invasion storyline regardless. The lack of TV and the McMahons’ pride meant WCW was destined to lose and lose badly, hence adding ECW to the mix to try and stretch it out over the summer.

As for Austin…

The first mini walk-out was after WrestleMania XVIII, when he failed to turn up for a couple of weeks in protest at what he thought was an attempt to put him into the midcard, no doubt spurred on by his match with Scott Hall at Mania being completely overshadowed by Rock/Hogan and even HHH/Jericho. He returned the following month in time for the brand extension and received plenty of attention on Raw.

The second walk-out was a major one. WWE had been running an Austin/Flair angle, with Flair as the ‘owner’ of Raw and Austin as his unwilling ‘servant’. A feud with the returning Eddie Guerrero was on the cards too but Austin walked out in June before it had a chance to get going. The official reason was that the planned loss to Brock Lesnar the company had planned was seen as too much, too soon by Austin. He claimed to be willing to put Lesnar over but only when it would actually mean something. WWE went on to hotshot the title to Lesnar that August. The real reason was that Austin’s neck and knees were causing him considerable pain, he was drinking heavily, he was bored with and uninspired by the product, and his depressed attitude towards his career caused him to lash out in unsavoury ways, including a well-publicised domestic abuse incident with then-wife Debra. He returned in February 2003 for one last WrestleMania pay-day, finally losing to The Rock, but his injuries were too severe and he had to retire from wrestling. They kept him around as an on-air character of little use (Co-General Manager of Raw?), he was fired in storylines in November and returned the following month as an even more useless character (Sheriff of Raw) but did get to drive a big jeep.

The third walk-out came after WrestleMania XX, at which fans had apparently forgiven him his past transgressions in light of Lesnar and Goldberg’s attitudes, over copyright issues in his contract negotiations. Austin wanted to be able to promote himself as Stone Cold in various projects without WWE getting a cut, while they wanted to protect their copyrights. He nonetheless made a couple of forgettable appearances at WrestleMania XXI and ECW One Night Stand, before seemingly returning to work an angle beginning at the Raw Homecoming show in October 2005.

The fourth walk-out came suddenly, as Austin vetoed a planned loss to Jonathan Coachman at Taboo Tuesday. Yes, that Jonathan Coachman. It was all part of a wider plan for Vince McMahon to get to publicly humiliate Jim Ross yet again, which he loves to do, but the added stipulations were dropped and we wound up with Batista squashing Coachman and Vader falling on his arse. His own arse, not Batista’s. Austin didn’t return until the first modern edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event in March 2006 for a beer-drinking contest with JBL, which seemed to retcon JBL into a refined beer drinker rather than the chugger from the APA days. It wasn’t very amusing. He went to the Hall of Fame ceremony to induct Bret Hart and not shake Hulk Hogan’s hand, and that’s all so far. He’s due back any week now to promote his WWE produced movie, The Condemned, and do something uninteresting at WrestleMania XXIII that involves beer and not wrestling Hulk Hogan. Can’t hardly wait.


Matt Reed keeps the evenflow:

”Honestly, I think you’re being way too narrow-minded about WSX. I think
it’s got a great future.

They’ve got a lot of talented people, and everyone involved with the show
seems to know how to make it work.

MTV.com’s got both episodes for free online, along with bonus matches that
ran past the TV time.

Just give it a look. Especially if you hate X-Pac.


Oh, and do you think ECW will still be around by year’s end? With last
night’s absolutely Godawful ending (Since when did anyone take a 3-count
from the Low Blow alone? It’s a setup heel move, not a finisher.)

One more thing, and you can ignore this one if I’m asking too many questions.

I heard about another Godawful PPV, Women of Wrestling Unleashed, that may
have had even worse production values than Heroes of Wrestling.

Any input from you on that?”

1. No.

2. Yes, although its survival is dependent on Sci Fi keeping them on-air. As a touring show it is dead in the water unless business gets really hot, but wrestling shows make for cheap TV filler and generally do above-average ratings for smaller networks, so it is viable. Vince seems to have gotten over his flap earlier in the year and has reverted to his usual ‘mould it in my image and force it to work’ approach. He’s never really failed at a wrestling project before and doesn’t want to start now. It’s all geared towards making Bobby Lashley look like he matters and once the ECW Originals angle dies down and RVD leaves we’ll have a better chance to see how the show could progress.

3. From what I’ve heard the problems with WOW Unleashed were not as hilarious as those of Heroes of Wrestling but, yes, it was said to be very bad. The production was third-rate, the sound kept cutting out, the gimmicks were beyond inane and the wrestling talent was minimal to say the least. The buyrate was so bad that the second PPV, announced during Unleashed, never happened and the promotion folded.

Here’s a WOW sample:

Wow, indeed.


Mikey Llorin was once a L’il WOYAH:

”Good work on the column.

As a kid, I was a huge Ultimate Warrior Fan. I’m not too sure if this was before or after his return in WrestleMania VIII, but I’m pretty sure it was before WM XII. Ultimate Warrior ran out into the ring for his high energy entrance, and then, suddenly, he decides to run back from where he came from. And then, he ran back out again. The announcers didn’t make much of it(as far as I can remember). Growing up, as I recalled that instance, I started to think it was pretty funny. Maybe he was champion, and he left his belt backstage or something.

My question is, did this really happen, or is this some weird memory implant or something? It wasn’t mentioned at all in the Self-Destruction DVD. You’d think they’d include this in the segment where they make fun of him. Thanks.”

It rings a bell but I can’t place the incident. It certainly sounds like something he would do and I’m sure I’ve heard about it before. There have been ample crazy WOYAH stories over the years. One of the most bizarre ones I’ve heard was that he made a sex tape with Salvatore Sincere and the woman that Mike Tyson raped. Hell, considering who we’re talking about, it doesn’t even matter if it’s true. I mean, look:

And the second after the video cuts out he legs it to the bathroom…

Face it, if someone like him debuted on Raw next week he’d become an internet hero.





Emily Peterson tugs at the heart strings:

”Hello Ian Burnside my name is Emily Petersen and Im from Los Angeles California and Im 10 years old. Me and my brother Rob are both HUGE John Cena fans and we think all of his matches are brilliant (Rob says 5 star classics). The mean boys at school say that John Cena is not as good at wrestling as Mitsawari Misawa but me and my brother have never heard of him so it cant be true. Please will you explain why John Cena is a better wrestler than Mitsawari Misawa otherwise lll be very sad. Thank you Ian Burnside, I love you very much!!! Lots of love Emily xxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

Well, Emily, all wrestling fans love John Cena, even the ones that keep talking about him in a mean way. Those people are just not emotionally mature enough to deal with the adversity that such honesty may bring upon them from the less tolerant in society. But you clearly are, so jolly well done!


Peter Kuhnt, eh? Fine:

”What are the plans for WWE pay per views being held in England such as one of the big four cross-brand shows like Summerslam in 1992, where stuff actually happens and belts change hands etc. Also, hasnt there been plans scrapped in the past to hold a major event in England since SS92. I seem to remember something a few years back. Thanks.”

There have been discussions lately about holding one of the existing PPVs in the UK, since the product is still remarkably strong over here. They usually tour twice a year, including Raw and Smackdown tapings, and the shows tend to be sell-outs. WWE is relying more and more on their international markets that are not as over-exposed to the product as the domestic market. They are also more open to using PPV nowadays, which helps a great deal when North American buys for most of them struggle to reach the 200,000 barrier. They certainly wouldn’t be able to sell out any venue as big as the old Wembley Stadium (unless the market holds up long enough for Harry Smith to become phenomenally popular) but they could certainly get away with an arena-sized PPV. There’s a time difference to take into account of course, but realistically anybody who is going to order the PPV won’t be put off by that. SummerSlam ’92 aired in North America two days after the event and still did a higher buyrate than any SummerSlam that came after it. In this day and age the delay would only be a matter of hours. Given the logistics involved it’s doubtful that they’d host one of the Big Four events over here again without trying one of the single-brand shows out first, so let’s wait and see what 2008 brings…


Why, next is next week and the next batch of questions.