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Ask 411 Wrestling: Why Did Heyman Stop Writing Smackdown in 2003?

Ask 411 Wrestling: Can HBK's Return Succeed?

Welcome guys, gals, and gender non-binary buddies, to Ask 411 Wrestling. I’m your celebration host, Ryan Byers, and I’m right here to reply a few of your burning inquiries about skilled wrestling.

When you’ve got a type of queries searing a gap in your mind, be happy to ship it alongside to me at [email protected]. Don’t be shy about capturing these over – the extra, the merrier.

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If reminiscence serves, in 2002, Smackdown was booked by Paul Heyman, which helps clarify the standard, particularly in comparison with Uncooked. By early 2003 or so, Heyman was demoted to being a purely on-air expertise and the standard dipped fairly a bit. Thus my query is why was Heyman demoted within the first place? Was it the standard character conflict that VKM has with nearly everybody who doesn’t share his perspective, or have been there different points at work?

This story was coated in some element by Wade Keller within the March 1, 2003 version of the Professional Wrestling Torch publication. In accordance with that article, some inside WWE complained about Heyman’s lack of ability to work in a staff setting, as he appeared to need to do his personal factor and had problem attending conferences and making deadlines crucial in a collaborative writing setting. Nevertheless, regardless that Keller’s story mentions that as a criticism of Heyman backstage, his removing as SD’s artistic head seems to return down far more on the aspect of the transfer simply being a change in course that Vince McMahon needed to see occur.

On the time, the corporate was constructing in the direction of Wrestlemania XIX, and it was reported that McMahon had a transparent imaginative and prescient for the occasion and needed any person heading up artistic for Smackdown that he would have the ability to work with extra simply in executing that imaginative and prescient. (As one can think about, McMahon and Heyman have differing philosophies about wrestling.) This concept is sensible in case you take a look at who changed Heyman, specifically Bruce Prichard and Dave Lagana, the previous of whom was an extended, long-term McMahon worker and reported “sure man,” whereas Lagana was pretty younger, new to the corporate, and desperate to please.

A.G. is taking the column again to its roots with an oddly detailed analysis query:

Please inform me what number of appearances the next individuals had on RAW the place they both wrestled and/or minimize a promo (or have been in a phase).

I’ve been interested in who has truly labored probably the most through the years, particularly with guys which have a whole lot of longevity within the firm.

The Listing: Undertaker, John Cena, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Booker T, Chris Jericho, Kane, Massive Present, Steve Austin, The Rock, HHH, Rob Van Dam, Randy Orton

If there’s anybody else who has truly had plenty of look that I left off please be happy so as to add them, although I’m positive those I listed will cowl the most important performers (or simply ones I used to be interested in).

I’m going to should train somewhat little bit of editorial privilege right here, as a result of in any other case this will probably be virtually unimaginable to reply. I’m going to focus solely on appearances in matches, as a result of there are databases that make doing that type of analysis affordable, whereas there are not any comparable databases that I’m conscious of that monitor non-match segments . . . and I’m not going to return and skim evaluations of twenty-six years’ value of Uncooked.

Apart from, I feel you could in all probability use the variety of matches a person has wrestled on Uncooked to find out their exercise degree on the present, as a result of these people who’re featured closely in non-wrestling segments are more likely to be featured closely in matches as properly, with a small handful of outliers like Brock Lesnar (who is just not on the listing offered).

That stated, right here’s the listing, reordered from fewest matches to most:

Bret Hart – 41 matches
Steve Austin – 116 matches
Booker T – 131 matches
Chris Benoit – 139 matches
Kurt Angle – 148 matches
Undertaker – 158 matches
Rob Van Dam – 181 matches
The Rock – 197 matches
Shawn Michaels – 216 matches
Massive Present – 330 matches
John Cena – 367 matches
HHH – 374 matches
Chris Jericho – 423 matches
Kane – 436 matches
Randy Orton – 488 matches

There aren’t a ton of surprises on the record for my part, apart from the truth that I might’ve anticipated Orton to be in third or fourth place versus having a robust lead over his competitors as primary. Although I don’t have an excellent reminiscence for what wrestlers have been on what model and when through the promotion’s two model splits, I assume that he will get his benefit by advantage of getting been unique to the Uncooked model for longer durations of time than Kane or Chris Jericho. Some may be stunned to see Angle, Austin, and Hart as low down the listing as they’re, however you need to understand that, regardless that they have been main stars who made vital impacts on the wrestling enterprise, the parts of their profession that overlap with Uncooked being an establishment on cable tv have been comparatively restricted in period.

Sam is in search of a change of surroundings:

My questions – I’ve been watching WCW Thunder from the start and I observed that that they had a unique set (a cool wanting rock formation / medieval one with an automated doorway) for the primary three episodes after which they went to the pots & pants / aluminum metropolis wanting one with the doorway. Any purpose why they modified so shortly? I personally assume the unique set for the primary three episodes was a lot nicer.

Additionally, what occurred to all of the WCW units / rings? I assume they’re in storage, however has WWE reused any a part of these?

To be fairly trustworthy with you, I can’t appear to seek out what the rationale was for Thunder altering units after solely a month on the air. The February 2, 1998 version of the Wrestling Observer Publication famous that a new set can be approaching the subsequent episode of the present and in addition talked about that it will take up about 25% of the seating area within the venues that WCW tended to run. With the change having been made so shortly after the present’s debut, the one factor that I can consider is that the unique set was by no means meant to be everlasting and was only a momentary placeholder.

To the extent that WCW saved its previous units after they have been taken down, they need to nonetheless be in WWE’s possession. There’s a Twitter account referred to as WWE Warehouse Pics that seems to have posted footage legitimately taken from the corporate’s storage amenities (although it claims no official affiliation with WWE), and again in 2017 they did ship out a photograph that appeared to point out a part of the Thunder set continues to be sitting round.

As to WCW’s rings, WWE wouldn’t use them, as a result of the 2 corporations’ rings have been totally different sizes and in any other case structurally inconsistent with each other. I appear to recall listening to in a number of totally different shoot interviews that WCW’s rings have been despatched to the WWF’s developmental territories on the time, although I haven’t gone again and independently confirmed that.

Mike S. goes off script:

Do wrestlers follow backstage and inform one another what they will say to one another within the ring when they’re going to do a forwards and backwards in a promo? For instance, earlier than WrestleMania XXXIII with Cena, Bella, Miz, and Maryse, did Cena beforehand inform the Miz, “Yea, I’m going to smack you within the balls and say, ‘What, are ya capturing blanks?’ after which I’m going to tear into Maryse and ask her what the hell she is doing right here?”

The huge, overwhelming majority of wrestling promos today are scripted word-for-word, so wrestlers completely know what they will say to at least one one other earlier than they head out to the ring. There are some restricted circumstances through which rivals should advert lib, however most of their zingers come off the printed web page.

Connor has not forgotten the identify:

Does Goldust have the report for many occasions launched and rehired by WWE? The man appeared to return and go quite a bit.

By my rely, Goldust has had six distinct runs with the WWF/WWE. The primary began in September 1990 and continued by means of January 1991, the place he competed underneath the identify Dustin Rhodes and was primarily aligned together with his father, Dusty Rhodes. It appeared like the 2 have been set to have a unbroken feud with Ted DiBiase and Virgil, however the Rhodes household abruptly left the corporate after the Royal Rumble in ’91.

Rhodes returned within the late summer time of 1995, when the Goldust character was initially devised. It went by means of a number of totally different iterations through the years till, finally, Dustin took off in 1999 to have one other run in WCW.

When WCW went underneath, Rhodes ultimately accepted a WWF buyout of his contract with that firm and got here again in the course of the 2002 Royal Rumble match, virtually eleven years after he first left the WWF. This run stored Goldust within the Fed by way of its identify change to WWE, although it got here to an finish in December 2003 when the Golden One’s contract with the promotion was silently not renewed.

Rhodes/WWE run quantity 4 was so brief that you might have missed it in case you blinked. He returned as a part of the buildup to the 2005 Taboo Tuesday present, collaborating in an infamously dangerous match and angle through which he and Vader have been meant to help Jonathan Coachman in a match towards “Stone Chilly” Steve Austin that became a match with Batista when Austin and the corporate had variations relating to the artistic course of the storyline. (Austin was in the proper, by the best way.) Goldust was fired once more the next summer time after an unimpressive stint.

Runnels was again beneath Vince McMahon’s huge prime in October 2008, initially feuding with Santino after which forming a tag staff with Hornswoggle of all individuals. Ultimately this is able to flip into Goldie wrestling totally on c-shows like Superstars and as a “professional” on the unique iteration of NXT earlier than he tried to transition right into a street agent place after an damage on the finish of 2010. That didn’t final, as he parted methods with the corporate once more in mid-2012.

We obtained to see Goldust return to WWE another time in 2013, when he and his brother Cody Rhodes turned a workforce as a part of a feud with the Authority and the Defend. This may truly grow to be Dustin’s longest steady stint with WWE, as he had a spread lower-card roles within the firm earlier than finally requesting and being granted his launch earlier this yr in order that he might bounce ship to AEW.

So, that’s six turns that Dustin Runnels has had as a WWE worker. Nevertheless, I don’t assume he holds the report in that regard.

Who does?

It’s this man . . .

(No, not Sean Mooney.)

Marty Jannetty, as close to as I can inform, has seven definitive phrases within the WWF/WWE and probably as many as 9 relying on what you need to rely.

Most individuals will say that Jannetty and Shawn Michaels initially had one run collectively because the Rockers, starting in 1988 and persevering with by way of 1992, however the group of the Rockers technically had two separate durations throughout which they have been WWF staff, as that they had solely a handful of matches after initially being signed earlier than they have been fired for his or her position in a barroom brawl that each Michaels and Jannetty declare was overblown. They have been rehired not lengthy thereafter, and, thus, the workforce’s first run is definitely bisected into two.

Jannetty was fired once more after he was arrested for allegedly attacking a police officer in March 1992 however got here again as quickly as the warmth was off, as he resurfaced in October of the identical yr to feud with Shawn Michaels (now referred to as the “Hearbreak Child”) over the Intercontinental Title that Michaels had gained after turning on Marty. After Michaels was the decisive winner in that feud, Jannetty hung round for a short while longer, finally chopping ties with the corporate once more in the course of the first quarter of 1994.

In September 1995, Jannetty confirmed up within the WWF once more for seemingly no actual cause aside from that the corporate’s expertise pool was at an virtually embarrassing historic low. Although he initially got here again as a babyface, Marty ultimately turned heel after forming the New Rockers with Al Snow, then referred to as Leif Cassidy. By the top of 1996, Jannetty and the WWF had parted methods once more.

It will be virtually a decade earlier than Jannetty acquired his fifth WWE run, as he initially was to have simply a few visitor appearances as a part of Shawn Michaels’ ongoing feud with Kurt Angle in 2005, however Jannetty impressed firm brass a lot that he wound up getting a full-on contract with the corporate. Nevertheless, the stint lasted solely 4 months, as he was signed in March and launched in July when he was, as soon as once more, arrested. This time it was for an alleged DUI.

Marty had one other, one way or the other even shorter run the subsequent yr, when he confirmed up on the February 20, 2006 episode of Monday Night time Uncooked to save lots of Shawn Michaels from an assault by the Spirit Squad. A Rockers versus Spirit Squad match was presupposed to be within the works, however Jannetty was minimize by WWE once more in March 2006, considerably mockingly the identical week that the corporate carried out its new expertise wellness coverage.

In a considerably shocking transfer, Jannetty was signed to a WWE contract YET AGAIN in September 2006, as a part of an initiative through which the corporate was hiring skilled wrestlers to primarily be “participant coaches” who would sometimes wrestle however spend most of their time educating younger expertise. Rodney Mack, Brad Armstrong, and Henry Godwinn have been additionally introduced on board as a part of that effort. The Wrestling Observer Publication reported that he was fired by October.

Jannetty did present up twice extra to wrestle on WWE programming, as he had a match with Ken Kennedy on the December three, 2006 Uncooked (after his launch earlier the identical yr) and one with Mike the Miz on the October 19, 2009 Uncooked. You might rely these as runs eight and 9 for those who needed to, although I personally wouldn’t, as on this reply I’ve tried to focus solely on occasions when the wrestlers have been beneath contract to WWE.

Maintain on a second, Connor truly has yet one more query about Goldust:

Additionally, in late 1995/early 1996, what was the cope with outdoors teams complaining about Goldust forcing him to be toned down?

There’s actually not that rather more to it than what you’ve said. From the start, Goldust was very a lot an effeminate character and was not-so-subtly coded as homosexual. Conservative teams didn’t need that type of character to be portrayed on tv, notably as a result of the WWF was in all probability at its most kiddie-friendly at this level, with syndicated WWF tv airing in a number of markets on Saturday mornings or afternoons instantly following cartoons.

It’s fascinating, as a result of on the time the objection of those outdoors teams was to any kind of “homosexual” character, whereas if one thing like the unique Goldust character confirmed up on WWE tv as we speak, the complaints in all probability wouldn’t come from conservative teams however as an alternative would come from left-wing teams upset about LGBTQIAPK characters being portrayed in a damaging mild.

It’s additionally value noting that a number of the complaints got here not from outdoors teams however from the precise tv stations that have been airing syndicated WWF programming, a few of which went so far as to not present Goldust’s vignettes on their broadcasts of exhibits like Superstars and Wrestling Problem.

That may do it for this week’s installment of the column. We’ll return in seven days, and, as all the time, you possibly can contribute your questions by emailing [email protected].

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