Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Val’s Got a Secret and Ken’s Not Going to Like It

Looks like Val Venis is up to his old tricks again…

Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Val’s Got a Secret and Ken’s Not Going to Like It… – WWF, 1999

History
By late January of 1999, Val Venis had certainly made an impact on the WWF. He’d slept with Taka Michinoku’s sister (who also happened to be Kaientai leader Mr. Yamaguchi’s wife). He’d slept with Goldust’s ex-wife Terri Runnels. Well, you get the picture.

On the January 25 episode of Raw, Val was up to his old tricks again as he debuted his newest video – Saving Ryan’s Privates. This time Val was seen in the shower with Ken Shamrock’s sister Ryan.

That was followed by Val facing off against Test. Val held the upper hand until Test pitched him out of the ring, which allowed Ken Shamrock to attack. Shamrock beat on him for a few minutes until Billy Gunn ran in to attack him. Val turned around and saw Billy instead of Shamrock, so Val attacked Billy.

The next week Val faced off against Billy while Shamrock sat in on commentary. Shamrock informed us that he’d forbidden Ryan to go out with Val. She’d also made him promise not to lay a finger on Val. Shamrock got madder and madder as Jerry Lawler kept bringing the video up. Finally Shamrock got fed up and hit the ring, where he blasted Val with a chair. Billy chased Shamrock off and Val thought that Billy’d attacked him again.

The blowoff came at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre In Your House. Val faced Shamrock with Billy Gunn as the special guest referee. The match saw Ryan turn on her brother and try repeatedly to help Val win the match. Val did (with the help of a fast count from Billy) and got attacked by Billy after the match.

Val faced off against Billy Gunn on the next night’s Raw. Val got the win after Ryan kept trying to interfere. After the match, as Val celebrated, Ryan tried to take some of the credit. In response, Val dumped her.

Don’t feel bad for Ryan, though. She turned to Billy Gunn for comfort, and then dumped him for Goldust – all in under a month.

Analysis
When Val Venis debuted, he was a shocking character. Unfortunately, the WWF never allowed him to have any depth. He stole Mr. Yamaguchi’s wife. Then he slept with Terri Runnels. Then he slept with Ryan Shamrock. Notice a pattern?

Every one of Val’s feuds had to do with a woman he was going after and would conveniently dump after the feud ended. The problem was that it didn’t take long for that storyline to begin wearing thin, so Val was pushed to the back burner and finally into the Right to Censor.

Although Val is a talented wrestler, the WWF never gave him an angle that really left a lasting impact. Without that, he simply slid down the roster to his current role, which is putting the younger guys over and making them look better.

Where Are They Now?
Val Venis remains with the WWE today. After his stint with the RTC ended, he returned to his old persona before being repackaged into Chief Morley, Eric Bischoff’s chief of staff. Following that, he was returned to his familiar role of Val Venis, which he is still doing today.

Ken Shamrock left the WWF in 1999. He returned to pro wrestling as a referee for Ring of Honor in 2002, and then signed with TNA. He left in August of 2002 and only made a quick reappearance in 2004. Since then, Shamrock’s focus was on his return to MMA. In October of 2006 Shamrock retired from MMA, and was released from his UFC contract in June of 2007. Shamrock then headed to the IFL, where he coached the Nevada Lions.

Ryan Shamrock left the WWF in July of 1999. In November, she signed a one-year deal with WCW, where she was paired with the Maestro under the name Symphony. She left WCW in August of 2000. In 2002, she made a few appearances with TNA, but the angle went nowhere. She is currently working in Mexico’s AAA promotion with her boyfriend, Sean Waltman.

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