Welcome to Forever Heel, lads. Let’s get to some quick heel happenings.
Current State of the Heel
TNA: I guess Dixie Carter came out with a t-shirt. I think the Facebook marks worry about TNA too much, but the Dixie t-shirt would look great on Bully Ray, and would give him mega heat at Bound for Glory. It’s funny that the Fb marks’ answer to saving TNA is Jeff Jarrett. I guess they’re too young to remember Planet Jarrett, and the fact that Jeff gave Russo carte blanche. I really don’t think anyone will ever make TNA huge, but they can make it a viable alternative. It really isn’t much worse than WWE, and the limited TNA roster of 2013 is doing a lot better than the limited WWE roster of 1995.
WWE: It appears that WWE started watering down Damien Sandow because some guy in NXT is doing cartwheels, so the fans are being punished by turning Sandow into another cookie cutter character who also isn’t allowed to sing anymore. And now, they randomly turned him face on SmackDown last week to face Alberto Del Rio, so that’s that.
I also wish Miz would turn heel and join Corporation 2.0. He’s bad at playing the rebel and he is a self-described “company man”. Miz was even my favorite heel for a little while, but now I have to throw my vote behind Alberto Del Rio. Even after they took away Ricardo and his millionaire gimmick, Del Rio still looks at the audience like he truly enjoys ruining their heroes.
Okay it’s Ministry Time
From WWE King of the Ring 1998 to Judgment Day ’98, all Steve Austin did was fight either the Undertaker and/or Kane. After Summer Slam Vince wanted Austin to lose the belt so bad that he put Kane and Undertaker in a match against Austin for the WWE title. The Brothers of Destruction ended up pinning Austin together, so Vince decided to declare the title vacant. Vince than decided that Undertaker would face Kane for the vacant WWE belt at Judgment Day and forced Austin to referee. During the match, Paul Bearer turned on Kane and rejoined The Undertaker for the first time since 1996. None of that mattered though because Austin was busy being an asshole and gave Taker and Kane a pair of stunners and even though he was just the ref, Austin declared himself the winner and WWE champ. So the title was still vacant until The Rock finally “saved the company” by winning his first WWE title.
By December of 1998, Undertaker had tried to kill Steve Austin twice and even crucified him, but Austin was able to beat Taker in a buried alive match for his Royal Rumble spot. A frustrated Undertaker left the WWE to forge his own faction to be called: The Ministry of Darkness.
In early 1999, Undertaker returned as more of a death cult priest than the humble zombie we all knew and loved. Taker’s first order of business was to recruit Bradshaw and Faarooq to kidnap Dennis Knight, who was Taker’s real life best friend. Knight became Mideon after some bizarre ritual was performed on him. At the 1999 Royal Rumble, King Mable was kidnapped by The Acolytes (Bradshaw and Faarooq) and Mideon, and was then renamed Viscera. The Brood also joined The Ministry, which made this a super faction rivaling the NWO.
Now that M of D was large enough, Taker began to set his sights on Vince McMahon and his Corporate faction. This led to each faction’s B-team fighting each other until it was announced that Undertaker would face the Big Bossman at WrestleMania 15 in a Hell in a Cell match. The build up to this match was great, and even featured Bossman breaking himself off the Undertaker’s cross and refusing to be crucified. The match itself, however, was the worst Hell in a Cell match of all time. The match ended with The Brood giving Bossman a beat down and hanging him by the neck from the cell. Apparently, the whole point of the match was to continue the feud between the WWE’s top heel factions.
Undertaker also had been threatening Vince for weeks, and even threw a flaming teddy bear at McMahon. The bear belonged to Vince’s daughter, Stephanie. This pretty much turned Vince into a face. Vince now played the role of the sympathetic father trying to protect his daughter from the Undertaker’s vindictive attacks. By this time Shane McMahon had ousted his father as leader of the Corporation. The sole Corporation member to take Vince’s side was Ken Shamrock, and he would face Undertaker at Backlash ’99.
Backlash 1999 would lead to The Ministry of Darkness’ peak. The Acolytes and Mideon took on The Brood, who had left the group, in a six man tag match. The Brood would lose against The Ministry, and the Undertaker would dispose of Shamrock. The big part was how Backlash ended, with Undertaker kidnapping Stephanie McMahon and driving off with her. This led to a controversial scenario where fans assumed Undertaker was insinuating that he had raped a captive Stephanie off camera. I never really noticed that, and thought it sounded more like Taker was taunting Vince.
Undertaker would attempt to marry Stephanie, against her will, but his plan is ruined when Austin saved her and returned Stephanie to Vince’s waiting arms.
At this time The Ministry of Darkness was down to six members and Shane McMahon’s Corporation had been hemorrhaging members since Backlash, so it was time for each side to discuss a truce. The McMahons/Undertaker truce would merge the Ministry of Darkness with The Corporation, creating The Corporate Ministry. Together they created the greatest entrance music mash up in history (see below).
Corporate Ministry entrance theme. Awesome McMahon laughing version.
And that’s all for this week’s Forever Heel, where it’s always OK to be the bad guy, chico.
Tags: attitude era, Backlash, Big Bossman, kane, ken shamrock, Paul Bearer, Shane McMahon, Stone Cold Steve Austin, undertaker, Viscera, WWE