Pulse Wrestling Answers #28


Current laptop crash count – a mere three. Hmm.

Anyway, this has been one of those weeks that just makes the brain of any wrestling fan want to shut up shop and leave, to go become a fanatical follower of something far more sensible, like Richard & Judy. First there was the WWE Draft Lottery 2007, which was going to provide plenty of muttering material no matter what. Then this happened:

Then we got a real death, as premature and sad as usual:

While TNA celebrates its fifth anniversary by having their big dream tag match ruined by injury and inadequate booking preventing all but the most faithful and/or stupid from giving a shit whether Samoa Joe wins the belt or not.

It’s all rather overwhelming, isn’t it? I’ll address them all in turn as we get down to the questions, which you can send in here for next time if there’s anything you’d like answered.

First, allow me to cleanse my mental pallette by ranting about Fantastic Four 2. Or, as the reel referred to it, 4 – The Rise of the Silver Surfer. Not using words is, uh, fantastic.

The Good:

– It lasts for barely as long as it needs to. After the excessive running time of Spider-Man 3 and the vast majority of post-LOTR ‘event’ movies, this was something of a relief.

– The character of Reed Richards begins to act as a leader worthy of respect rather than just being someone you might befriend if you collect sweater-vests or want to make your DVD player into a region-free HD one via weird science.

– Galactus. A cloud? Yes. A man? If you like. It works though, trust me. Unicron would still out-eat him though. That sounded dirty. Intergalactic planet munching porn! Yes!! Alert Spielbergio!!!

– The Silver Surfer effects are great. A thousand stars to Doug Jones for being the most believable fake human in Hollywood today.


– The Transformers trailer was fun.

– It was better than Police Academy 5.

The Bad:

– The way the Big Bad is defeated is neither explained nor set-up; it simply just happens.

– Doctor Doom serves absolutely no purpose by being in this film other than providing more merchandise opportunities and presumably honouring an appearance clause in Julian McMahon’s contract. He minces around the screen like John Barrowman pretending to be a Bushwhacker, while the reason for Doom’s return is even less well explained than Worf’s appearance in Star Trek: Insurrection.

– The Silver Surfer’s voice is badly out of synch in many scenes, particularly during his conversation with Sue. A shame, since that’s the one that is meant to provide his motivation to fight alongside the 4.

– Johnny Storm went from being kind of amusing in the first film to just plain irritating in this one.

– They still haven’t got the Mr Fantastic effects worked out.

– Jessica Alba looks like an alien mermaid pornstar in that wig and those contacts.

All in all, a rather tedious way to spend 90 minutes. It’ll play great for kids though, or for those lucky enough to possess beer.

So now all there is to look forward to on the superhero movie front is Fantastic Four 3, Spider-Man 4, Batman: The Dark Knight, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Teen Titans, Wolverine, Magneto, Silver Surfer, Superman Carries On Returning, Deathlok, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Ant-Man, Hellboy 2, Punisher 2, Watchmen, Sub-Mariner, Nick Fury, Luke Cage, Invincible, Zatanna, Green Lantern, Doom Patrol, Deadpool, Justice League, Black Panther, Ghost Rider 2, Power Pack, Thor, Werewolf by Night, Stardust, The Flash, Constantine 2, Death, Captain Marvel and The Spirit.

Alert the authorities – we’re going to need another well to run dry.

So, the Draft Lottery. I’ve already written plenty about it for an upcoming edition of VS but let’s look at what the newly-shifted will be getting up to on their new brands:

Great Khali & Rinjin Singh – it is a well-known secret among certain select circles that all Gary has been doing since arriving in the USA is geared towards finding his cat, Snatchykins. It went missing and this caused Gary great distress. Gary thought Undertaker might have buried it for a laugh but that turned out to be not a correct guesstimation of intent. Gary thought that young buck’s shiny, spinny toy might be shiny and spinny enough to attract the attention of Snatchykins and bring her home. Sadly, he was thwarted in his efforts. There is always someone around to prevent Gary from getting the peace and quiet to find his cat. He brought in a translator to help as this is very important. The cat is actually the head of Gary’s village and the two of them are arranged to be married. If he gets to go through with the wedding then Gary stands to gain access to all the regal delights of his native land – and that includes CRAYONS!! It will be revealed in due time that Snatchykins has been hiding in Michael Cole’s pants. Plus, let’s not make it a cat, let’s make it a fish. Cat can just be the only word Gary knows how to pronounce. SWERVE, LOL. Afterwards, the fish is stolen by Chavo Classic, coated in breadcrumbs and fried in a nice lemon dressing. This leads to Gary vs Chavo in an Underwater Punjabi Aquarium in a Cell Match, where the ring is surrounded by sleeping haddock. Gary loses the match and beats up Rinjin in frustration, which leads to him realising that he has had his crayons jammed up his nose this whole time. Afterwards, a newly smart Gary goes off to read Scott Keith books and explore the internet.

The Boogeyman – in an effort to take things to the X~TREME, Boogey stops eating worms and starts eating snakes. Well, trying to, at any rate. You can imagine how well this will go. It’ll be worth it if every time Boogeyman makes an appearance we get a close-up of C.M. Punk gurning like a fruit-squasher, trying to pretend that there isn’t a black hollow hole gaping up inside his soul for agreeing to put up with this shit in the first place.

King Booker & Queen Sharmell – you know what? The English don’t need any fake royals, they’ve enough on their plate as it is. The Scottish are supposed to have the same royals but that doesn’t really count anymore, since they’re all just a bunch of inbred Germans anyway. Shocked and appalled to hear this, Booker decides to start speaking in a German accent instead. ACHTUNG, SUKKAAA! Sharmell gets upset. She wanted to be French on account of how tired she is of keeping her armpits bald. Friction develops between them until Das Book snaps and conquers her. He’s a bit perplexed by this. He’s utterly bewildered when his pyro starts to appear in the shape of flaming swastikas. When he awakens to find himself with a greasy short back-and-sides haircut and an exceptionally well-trimmed and curt moustache, he knows it is time to take action. Through the powers of persuasion, Funaki lobs a dungbomb into Sgt Slaughter’s car. This leads to the rallying of the troops, who are led by… G.I. Bro?! Could it be true?? Watch as the Three Faces of T unfold, live on USA! German would-be dictator, upstanding and comical American soldier, or Harlem stereotype from Texas?? Bet now!!

Chris Benoit – scheduled to leave WWE in 2008 to become a game show host. Look out for Name That Odour, debuting soon on MTV5!!

Torrie Wilson – desperate to stop being thought of as such a slut, Torrie defends feminists everywhere by embarking on a career in gonzo porn. I’m told her first film has a turnip as a guest star. It’s called Black Had Her. Apparently this shows just how much women do not need men, on account of how she CHOSE to do it because she’s empowered and able to show it to her grandkids one day or something. Nobody listens.

Chris Masters – we all know he looks like the dad from Dawson’s Creek but did you know that he is actually on an inverse career path with that guy? It’s true. WWE is bring back da Creek! Keepin’ it real on the see-dub network! It all starts with a special crossover episode with Smackdown, in which Rey Mysterio took a wrong turn and leaps out of the Creek instead of out of his cubbyhole at the top of the stage. His opponent, Masters, goes to explore. Eventually he winds up confronting his son, Dawson Wang Yang, who is all confused because Joey is now a Scientologist married to an evil midget, Cruisewoggle, while Pacey got fatter and drunker and the blonde girl is now played by Finlay in drag and ‘courts’ clients at the local watering hole. It all ends in another crossover episode, this time with Smallville, when Clark Kent comes to town and Masters gets to become The Flash to go off and stop Kane from making more movies. By this point, the guy who was the dad in Dawson’s Creek, vol. 1 is in WWE and winning tag belts with a Colon. Weird.

Bobby Lashley – his head keeps growing and he turns into MODOK.

Snitsky – in an effort to become even uglier, dear wee Gene decides to paint himself black. It is pointed out to him that this is sort of racist but he says it was good enough for Michael Jackson in reverse, so this is just fine and besides they both enjoy doing things to babies, right? So big diff. This builds up to Jacko’s comeback tour kicking off with a special performance on Raw, which ends with him pinning Cena whilst getting a foot job off of Snitsky. They team up as the Ebony Ivory Connection and we build to WrestleMania, where they face Paul London & Brian Kendrick and lose because Michael just couldn’t help himself… those shiny shorts… those impish young cheeks… those alluring buttocks… A distraught Snitsky changes tact and decides to go Ayran, just as Heidenreich returns after being frozen in ice. They then feud with G.I. Bro in a special tie-in feud to something that appeared a few paragraphs above.

Ken Kennedy – he says words twice and everybody thinks its funny but the joke’s on him when he orders takeaway and has to pay twice as much. Wanker.

It’s a bizarre situation. Not 8 Simple Rules, let’s-keep-it-going-after-the-father-died bizarre, but close.

Joseph Rudland has no question but provides the important opening statement:

“I hope Vince feels like an idiot. Pretending to die in a business that has a high mortality rate was the dumbest idead since greedo shot first.

Seriously, it makes me sick to visit WWE.COM and see Sherri Martel’s REAL death overshadowed by a work. On ECW and tonight on Smackdown they even go out of the way to cheapen the respect they gave to past deaths in the business by staging a 10 bell salute and putting up a picture with the birth and death years on it.

Having been a fan of wrestling for about 20 years or so now I’ve let things slide, the Katie Vick storyline, David Arquette as champion, the bastardizing of ECW, but this honestly makes me feel disgusted. Being someone who cried, I mean waterworks like someone in my family died, cried when Eddie Guerrero passed away this really makes me sick.

I know on the other hand there was no way of knowing that someone would die during this “stunt” but still, there are things you don’t use in an angle for the exact reasons I stated above. This angle has spat on the memory of Eddie Guerrero and Owen Hart more than anyone else because of the Memorial Episodes of Raw they’ve done for them.

I think the worst part is every episode of all 3 shows is going to keep talking about the “death” of Vincent Kennedy McMahon while Sherri Martel is going to get a picture at the begining of Raw and that’s about it.”

Oh, I think there have been plenty of dumb ideas since the Greedo thing. You may recall such blunders as having Kevin Federline pin John Cena, making two sequels to an enjoyable swashbuckler with a funny drunk pirate that revolve around ancient politics and mystical mumbo-jumbo, or the invasion of Iraq. Still, it’s impossible to deny that this angle fulfills all of the requirements that must be met in order to qualify as ‘loopy’.

The difficulty lies in just how many people view WWE as a soap opera. The McMahons, or certainly Vince and Stephanie, want it to be viewed as a TV serial first and a wrestling show second or ninth. In some ways that approach works and has always worked, ever since the very first characters started to be developed by carnies way back whenever. The audience can gladly suspend their disbelief to enjoy The Undertaker’s “Dead Man” entrance even after WWE pulled back the curtain and let him just be a surly guy on a bike for four years. They know that Booker T is not really royalty but they go along with it anyway, because it’s enjoyable. They knew that even if Billy Gunn wasn’t gay he damn well seemed like it. They know Kevin Thorn is not really a vampire but it doesn’t matter a jot, since he’s tedious and the crowd ignores him all the same. There is, however, only so far that such matters can be taken before the audience refuses to accept any changes being made. When they tried to layer the Stone Cold character into a psychologically damaged nutbar, nobody knew what to make of it and so they reverted to type. WCW wanted to turn the Nature Boy into Spartacus, so Flair balked and quit the company. All the greats have gimmicks that are intertwined with their real personalities to such an extent that most of them wind up genuinely confused by reality and can’t walk away from the business. Vince McMahon was irreversibly intertwined with Mr McMahon. Even the dimmest fans knew that he owned the company off-screen as well as on. Such people could suspend their disbelief when it came to something like Shane ‘buying’ WCW because it was on some level a plausible development. Had they taken Mr McMahon off TV by having him arrested or hospitalised then that may have worked. Taking him away by blowing up his car? Er, no. That could work in a soap opera but soap operas tend not to have the owner of the production company appearing in the show, reminding everybody that he owns it and then still having to attend to business matters in the public eye after being killed off. The only way this angle could have worked is if they just did it, acknowledged it whenever it was brought up, yet did not make the big deal about it that they have done since it happened. Now the only way it can possibly end is with Mr McMahon returning, saying that he faked his own death because his mental health was going and he wanted to take some time off without losing face. The fact that so many people are online suggesting who the culprit may be is ludicrous, since there is no chance in hell WWE has even decided that yet. Hell, they can’t even decide on their own policies. Remember when they said they didn’t do murder angles? Honestly, you’d be as well trying to figure out who drove the hummer or who moved the briefcase at King of the Ring ’99.

I’m against the angle because it is stupid. Joseph is against the angle because it is in poor taste. Personally, I’m far too jaded to expect any taste from wrestling. Much like my taste buds have been endangered by curries, my common decency as a viewer has been compromised by WWE. But do I mind? Apparently not, though part of me does miss the simpler days:

Looks like we also have a supplemental draft to plan for…

Raw gets Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Sandman, Daivari, William Regal and Jillian Hall. They are going to embark upon a radical new angle, in keeping with WWE’s now overflowing desire to be more Hollywood. This means they are going to star in the next American Pie flick. Jim Daivari is going to be repackaged as a loveable foreign nerd, much like that dude from Short Circuit, who is desperate to pop his pomegranate (cherries are sacred to his people). He enlists the help of his host family’s older brother, a party-loving hellraiser named Stiffler Sandman, who tells him that girls really like being poked with Singapore canes. He tries poking the object of his desire, Jillian Hall, but merely winds up adding a brand new wart to her face because London Finch and Kendrick Oz gave him the wrong sort of wood. He has an uncomfortable run-in with straightlaced older guy, Jim’s Regal Dad, which involves a webcam sex show, consuming a cherry pie and getting his genitals stuck on Sandman’s beer keg. The only thing that can save him is adding more Blink 182 and Alien Ant Farm to the soundtrack, which frees him from his trap just in time to fall on Jillian’s face, fart the wart of her face and thus win her hand in a meaningless one-night stand. The moral of the story? It ain’t 1999, Durst.

Smackdown gets Kenny Dykstra, Bob Holly, Brett Major, Brian Major, Victoria and Eugene. Because the only people who are regularly at home on Friday nights are the sort who like musicals, Kenny is going to be repackaged as Joseph Dykstra, with a really lovely coat. Bob, not having any of the attempts made to turn him into Rocky Horror Holly, brings out his own special coat, composed of the same materials as Mr Burns’ vest. All he needs to complete it is the pubic hair of a retard, which leads to a Eugene’s Big Balls on a Pole match against Dykstra for the right to have the snazziest coat that there ever was. The Majors are going to break down new barriers by having one turned into The Phantom and the other into Christine Daae, because nothing says controversial like two brothers trying to make out with one another. This leaves young Victoria, who shall consider the option of Debbie Does Dallas: A Musical.

ECW gets Viscera, The Miz and Johnny Nitro. The three movie executives longing to remake Three Men and a Baby need look no further.

Gays are the new Blacks.

Cash Kerouac lets it all hang out:

“You and I are both big fans of The Simpsons. With the movie coming out this summer, there’s no better time for cross-promotion. What’s the best Simpsons related gimmick Vince could inflict on one of his unwitting pawns and what wrestler would be best suited for it?

Who is the palest wrestler ever to grace the ring?

Excluding Kennedy, who will be the next wrestler in the WWE to hold a world title for the first time?

In recent years we have seen guys like Masters go from challenging for the World Title to jobbing to Supercrazy. We’ve seen Shelton Benjamin go from getting wins over Triple H to main eventing Velocity. Many wrestlers have had precipitous declines, but I’m looking for the best of the best. What wrestler has fallen the furthest down the totem poll after climbing the highest? I do not mean a decline in the sense of being fired, dying, or turning to drugs. Who has reached the highest level on the card only to sink the lowest, while still keeping their jobs/lives/sinuses?”

I changed the quote source this week to keep you on your toes. At first I thought it would be great if they could do a Smithers and Mr Burns deal in WWE but that’s more or less what we have with Coach and Vince anyway. Then I thought that we could get the perennial underrated greatness of Lenny & Karl but they would just wind up as Benjamin & Haas. In fact, it’s amazing how many Simpsons characters are already almost present in WWE. Patty & Selma (Mae & Moolah), Krusty (Doink), Barney (Sandman), Groundskeeper Willie (Roddy Piper), Poochie (Cena), Troy McClure (The Rock), Rainier Wolfcastle (Batista), Kent Brockman (JBL), Hans Moleman (Teddy Long), Gil (Tommy Dreamer), Ralph Wiggum (Eugene), Cletus (Jamie Noble), Apu (Daivari), Nelson (Tazz), Hank Scorpio (Triple H), God (God), Milhouse (Punk) and Disgruntled Goat (Bob Holly) and so it goes. I would fully support the notion of having everybody turn into a Simpsons character for a special 2-D edition of Smackdown when the movie comes out. There are, however, a few potential additions that would just plain rock the casbah:

Stampy. Belligerent elephant does run-ins that involve putting people’s heads in his mouth! Enjoys rutting contests with Mark Henry! Permits JR to get a second volume of silly metaphors!

Mr Teeney. C’mon, who doesn’t like monkeys?

Frank Grimes. Now this would rock. A perfectly sensible guy who just goes around pointing out the blatant flaws in logic and sense throughout the WWE. Just imagine him going up to Shawn Michaels and reminding him about how Jesus Christ probably never chopped his own crotch, or going up to Undertaker and highlighting the ‘Sara’ tattoo on the Dead Man’s throat, or producing the Stephanie/Levesque marriage certificate and reacting with bewildered disgust when they still refused to admit it on TV. If Chris Jericho ever does return, this sort of thing would be right up his street. Of course, he would have to die pretty quickly.

Samoa Joe once announced Bryan Danielson as ‘the palest wrestler in the world’ and it would be hard to disagree.

I’m hardly one to advocate the use of tanning salons but, geez, who wants a world champion who looks like a leukemia patient?

As for the next WWE guy to win a world title for the very first time, I suppose the most likely candidate is young Mr Vontavious Porter. I’ll be kind and not count Lashley since we’re meant to pretend the ECW belt is a world title. I’ll be generous and not count Punk on account of the ROH belt carrying more prestige, albeit on a smaller scale. The only other candidates are either people in developmental that might randomly be given a call-up with a side-order of over-push, like Dan Rodman or Cody Rhodes, complete long-shots like Johnny Nitro or Elijah Burke, or last-ditch resorts like Finlay or Umaga. Your reigning benevolent United States Champion possesses all the necessary attributes and, barring serious injury or cock-up, no doubt he will get moved into the main event title scene within a year or so.

On the depush front, well, Billy Gunn springs to mind. Remember the scintillating summer of ass in 1999? He got to win the King of the Ring, got to participate in the semi-final of SummerSlam in a high-profile feud against The Rock, completely failed to convince the audience that he was anything more than a goober, then got shunted back down into the tag ranks with added haste. Or how about dear ol’ Yokozuna? After his mammoth title reigns and, uh, unique feud with The Undertaker, he mainly focused on being fat. By 1996 he was jobbing in a pre-show match instead of getting onto the SummerSlam card. And it would be remiss of me not to mention Renegade, who went from being Hulk Hogan’s ally du jour to jobbing to barely making the grade for the 60-man battle royals to killing himself. Can’t really fall much further or harder than that, can you? Let’s see him in action:

Best match finish ever for someone facing Eugene – they do the ‘Got Your Nose’ bit, he freaks out and submits in order to get it back. Easy.

Potato salad. Not adventurous, but it gets the job done. That reminds me, we should have sex tonight.

Lexicon Lothur has a dyslexic pretend surname but still manages to ask:

“Any word on the matchlisting for the Curt Hennig Mr Perfect DVD? Seems to me they’d struggle to fill up 2 discs on the guy, much as I love his work. In fact, at the rate they’re getting through these releases they’ll probably have to resort to thinks like the Best of Kamala soon enough!”

Don’t worry, I’m sure by the time they do run close to exhausting their DVD draws they’ll have come to agreements with the likes of Angle, Sting and Savage, be able to persuade people to double-dip on the new HD format, and be in a position to get 24/7 into more homes.

As far as Mr Perfect is concerned, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see some of the following making the list:

– Curt & Larry Hennig vs The Road Warriors (AWA, 21 May 1985, when they get a DQ win over the tag champs)
– Curt Hennig & Scott Hall vs Steve Regal & Jim Garvin (AWA, 18 January 1986, when the future Perfect Razors do win the tag belts)
– vs Nick Bockwinkel (AWA World Title, Superclash II, when he wound up getting the belt… eventually)
– vs The Blue Blazer (WrestleMania V, with rather entertaining flipping for 1989)
– vs Tito Santana (WWF, 23 April 1990, winning the vacant Intercontinental Title after WOYAH dropped it)
– vs Hulk Hogan (Saturday Night’s Main Event, 28 April 1990… a sign of what never came to be)
– vs Bret Hart (Intercontinental Title, SummerSlam ’91… duh)
– Mr Perfect & Randy Savage vs Ric Flair & Razor Ramon (Survivor Serie ’92, his return from injury and a chance to get another Macho match on DVD)
– vs Ric Flair (Loser Leaves Town, 25 January 1993, one of the earliest great Raw matches)
– vs Bret Hart (King of the Ring ’93, 2nd round match… duh, again)
– vs Shawn Michaels (SummerSlam ’93, Intercontinental Title, a bit of a letdown but still worth having)
– Curt Hennig, Ric Flair, Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael vs Kevin Nash, Konnan, Sean Waltman & Buff Bagwell (War Games, WCW Fall Brawl ’97… shit, but why not?)
– Curt Hennig, Barry Windham, Kendall Windham & Bobby Duncum Jr vs Rey Mysterio, Konnan, Swoll & Brad Armstrong (WCW Bash at the Beach ’99… cos rap is crap and we all know it, right?)
– vs Buff Bagwell (Retirement Match, WCW Mayhem ’99, where he failed to actually retire but got a nice standing ovation from the crowd nonetheless)

And that’s perhaps it. There are slim pickings indeed once we get into his WCW stint and WWE return. Luckily there are ample Perfect vignettes, promos and skits to fill out the running time with. I’m sure that given his heritage, skills, personality, antics and legacy that they’ll have enough material to do a 90-minute documentary piece so there are no worries about filling 2 DVDs with things that are… absolutely… perfect…

Such as the following!

Oh, to be nine years young again…

Best finish ever for someone facing Kurt Angle – take out a bottle of brightly coloured pills, wave it around to get his attention, then leave a trail leading away from the ring and throw some up to the back of the arena for good measure. Congratulations, you win by count-out.

Naturally, recapturing this fugitive is our top priority. Then we can track down the bastards that have been harboring it and punish them brutally. I mean, really brutally. Weird stuff. Butt stuff.

Jack the Ripper has one that will require a bit of research:

“Here’s one that will require a bit of research.

I got the ladder match dvd set and it got me thinking. Just how many times has each title been defended in a ladder match. It certainly seems the tag titles have the most, but the IC has quite a few as well. Also, I can’t think of more than a few times the world title has been defended in a ladder match. Any guesses as to why that is?

Another question for you.

When did Shawn Michaels switch from having Sherry sing his entrance (which was god awful) to him singing it? “

My ultra-cheap Ladder Match DVD should be making its very legal way from the States to my door sometime this week. Is it wrong of me to be looking forward to 3 Count the most?

The Intercontinental Title has been defended 13 times in Ladder Matches:

– Bret/Shawn at a 1992 house show
– Shawn/Razor at WrestleMania X
– Razor/Jarrett at Raw in 1995
– Razor/Shawn at SummerSlam ’93
– Rock/HHH at SummerSlam ’98
– Jericho/Benoit at Rumble ’00
– Edge/Christian at No Mercy ’01
– RVD/Eddie at Raw in 2002
– RVD/Jeff at Raw in 2002
– RVD/Christian at Raw in 2003
– Christian/Jericho at Unforgiven ’04
– Jeff/Nitro at Raw in 2006

Meanwhile, the World Tag Team Titles have been defended just 3 times in Ladder Matches:

– E&C/Dudleys/Hardys at WrestleMania XVI
– Hardys/E&C at Raw in 2000
– Hardys/B&H at One Night Stand ’07

Of course, you could always add on the WWE Tag Team Titles:

– Eddie&Tajiri/B&H at Judgement Day ’03
– London&Kendrick/Hardys/MNM/Regal&Taylor at Armageddon ’06

Not to mention the TLC variants:

– E&C/Hardys/Dudleys at SummerSlam ’00
– E&C/Hardys/Dudleys & WrestleMania XVII
– Benoit&Jericho/E&C/Hardys/Dudleys at Smackdown in 2001
– Kane&Hurricane/Jericho&Christian/Dudleys/Jeff&RVD at Raw in 2002

And you’d get a whopping total of 9 defences, still not enough for the tag ranks to trump the midcard.

Meanwhile, WWE has had Ladder Matches to determine the world title on just 5 occasions:

– Rock/Foley at Raw in 1999
– Undertaker/Jeff at Raw in 2002
– HHH/HBK at Armageddon ’02 (* – 3 Stages of Hell Match)
– Edge/Flair at Raw in 2006 (* – TLC Match)
– Edge/Cena at Unforgiven ’06 (* – TLC Match)

The reason they haven’t tended to use it as a world title match gimmick that often is that there is still a strange stigma attached to it. The gimmick originated in the midcard and was reborn in the tag ranks, while the main event performers deemed themselves capable of being talented enough to get their match over without having to resort to cheap bumps. It also carries far more risk than many would care to expose their headline acts to. Also, most of WWE’s main eventers tend to be heavyweights like Batista who could cope fine in a Cage Match but would struggle to fully exploit the potential of a ladder. As you can tell from the above, getting the likes of Edge established as bona fide champions has helped in establishing the ladder match as something more ‘legitimate’. The MITB matches have also helped in this regard, since that is a ladder match geared towards getting a would-be future champion over. Other things to have been determined in ladder matches include the European and Hardcore titles, the right to use a tazer, the right to not be forced off of Raw, Kurt Angle’s Olympic medals, ownership of the WWF, $100,000 and Terri Runnels’ services, and Dominik Guerrero/Mysterio.

And they changed “Sexy Boy” from Sherri to Shawn after Royal Rumble ’93, when she showed that she wanted Marty Jannetty to win. To be fair, Michaels had used her as a human shield when Jannetty tried to smash a mirror on his head. Apparently, the song was originally known as “Heartburn”. Uh, okay then. It’s easily the longest-lasting in-house theme song for any WWE wrestler. Flair’s has obviously been around longer, yet they have tinkered with it more than they have “Sexy Boy” since 1993. Michaels has had the DX theme at times as well though so it would seem I am rambling and can’t remember what my point was. I shall hide my shame with more retro goodness:

Best match finish ever for someone facing Marty Jannetty – melting his urn. He keeps cocaine in it rather than the ashes of his parents, but still. It all started when Marty dressed up in Undertaker’s coat for a lark and then wound up going to heaven in January 1994, returning with superpowers bestowed by God, who then decided to have Marty blow-up Vince in revenge for stealing God’s heat at Backlash ’06. The common denominator, Shawn Michaels, who has teamed with them both, is busy listening to Take That and was unavailable to comment.

You’re the Adam Sandler of this house and nobody wants punch drunk love, just give us waterboy.

Blackdust keeps up the valiant Canadian vigil:

“What the hell is Jericho up to and when is he going to stop pretending he doesn’t want to hog the limelight anymore and come back to WWE?? It’s not as though he even has to wrestle regularly, they could easily get him into a management/announcer/authority figure role…”

Frank Grimes left WWE as of the 25th August 2005, citing mental exhaustion with the business and a thirst to try new challenges. Persuading people to pay to hear Fozzy is as challenging a task as I can imagine. He signed a deal to pen an autobiography, A Lion’s Tale, a few months later and it is due for release after the summer. He’s popped up a lot on various VH1 time-fillers such as 40 Greatest Metal Songs and I Love The ’80s, while continuing to host his Rock of Jericho radio show on XM 41 The Boneyard. Why do American radio stations have such elaborate names? Seriously, over here all you need is a number for a BBC station or the name of a music magazine for something else. Anyway, in 2006 he did a comedy play called Opening Night in Toronto and appeared on Celebrity Duets yet sadly did not hit Simon Cowell with a Lionsault after being eliminated. He has also been touring with Fozzy, bless ‘im. There was a big furore when Fozzy had a music video used in TNA promotional material but there was nothing else to the deal beyond Jarrett attempting to get some more attention among wrestling fans. Jericho said he would only go there if they played him the same as Sting was getting but any extra funds they may have had went into signing Kirk Angel instead. Reading between the lines of the various interviews he has done, it seems Jericho really does plan on returning to wrestling at some point, is far too much of an egomaniac to return anywhere except WWE, yet is just having fun seeing whatever else he can do outside of the business at a time in his life when he is happy, healthy and wealthy enough to get away with exploring his options. Plus, bear in mind that he and his wife just had twin girls last year, while their son is only four years old. If he decides to spend the next decade just earning his keep with various low-key media appearances and low-selling metal albums whilst being around for his children as they grow up, who are we to complain? As you said, he’s in such a good position that even when he does come back he doesn’t necessarily have to wrestle, so there is no time limit to his sabbatical. Okay, so he might only know 962 holds by the time he returns but we can take that chance:

Next week – more questions, an exclusive interview with the Pope, a preview of the new Ringo Starr solo album and stuff relating to wrestling.

In the meantime, try fixing my laptop.

Or, check out some more Pulse Wrestling reading material:

TNA puts on a PPV and eight people care enough to contribute to the Roundtable. Which one is Chris Harris again?

Scott Keith delves into nostalgia, but it’s not the glorious year of our geekery, 1982, it is the more humble 1997, the Monday Night Wars are raging, Nitro has Super Calo and Raw has Savio Vega!!!!!!!!

VS continues to ask many questions of its own. I’ll be answering some of them next week…

Big Andy Mac admires some of the most memorable chants in wrestling. Sadly, it does not include the wondrous “Fire Russo”, which was able to get itself a MySpace page.

Mark Allen uses TNA’s fifth year anniversary to examine five years worth of change in wrestling. The business certainly was different in 2002. It had more F. We’ll have more of these features in the coming week, including a look at the TNA tag team scene from yours truly. No, I’m not sure why either. Seriously, is James Storm the one with the black chick or the Asian one?

Pulse Glazer explains star ratings but I’m going to have to knock four-thirds of a DUD off the link for having time to do a Comics Nexus column when I no longer do… for now…

Also – ULTIMATE WOYAH WOYAH discusses Paris Hilton. If ever there was a couple that ought to host a Saturday morning children’s show on BBC One…

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Captain America shoving a burrito down his pants and getting arrested