Sex, Lies and Headlocks Part 3 (Potpurri Edition)

Back from a nice vacation in the Outer Banks now and while I’d like to do a 3000 word rant on why Triple H’s recent comments to ESPN are full of shit, along with a side piece on why ESPN is full of shit in general too, instead you’ll get part 3 of Sex Lies and Headlocks because I’ve read even better books and want to get to them. Like Pat Patterson’s book Accepted (released last week) which was a great read. This edition is a random collection of 90s stuff:

With a heavy tan that he deepened with skin creams so he could pass for black, he became a modestly successful midcard act at WCW.

I always thought Johnny B. Badd/Marc Mero was black. When I first saw him in 1991 WCW, I thought that and it’s not like you could pick up a wrestling magazine to get that sort of information. His initial act was very much like a Little Richard type, probably leaning too much to homophobic stuff which is why it got changed. And yeah, I thought PN News was black too. None of this really matters, though.
But the biggest problem Hammer saw was that it was hard for a newcomer to pick up the stories in midstream. “If I can’t understand what’s going on in the first five minutes of the show, then we’re in trouble,” she told Russo. “You have to get viewers in right away, tease them.”

Simple old school wrestling booking has been around forever because IT WORKS. It’s not too difficult: give two guys a reason to hate each other and want to fight. It doesn’t have to be too complex, you can pull any number of reasons. Professional jealousy, wanting titles, Japanese shampoo commercials….actually scratch that last one. Or even just wanting to beat people up.

So many new voters registered that Minnesota’s turnout rate was 61 percent, the highest in the nation. By evening, a majority of them had elected a wrestler as their governor.

That is an insane turnout for a non-Presidential election year (1998). I was talking about this with the wife earlier when an commercial came on TV for a local furniture place; the gimmick was that if the turnout nationally in the Presidential election this November was 75% or more, people who buy furniture during some current period get it free. The last time it hit 75%: in 1896 when William McKinley won. And there were some, uh, stuff like “white guys only”. Turnout was 54.9% in 2012.

As for Ventura, that was a right place, right time situation. He was certainly helped by the fact that wrestling was red hot in 1998 and that is where he literally made his name (since he was born James Janos). Much like Donald Trump, Ventura tapped into an anger at professional politicians. The difference between the two is that Ventura actually sort of stood for something other than his own celebrity and brand.

His opponents were unusually weak: the Democrats (technically Democratic Farmer-Labor Party) nominated Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III, son of the original “Triple H” the former Vice President to Lyndon Johnson. Attorneys General tend to be crappy political candidates from what I’ve seen in places I’ve lived (Martha Coakley, Tom Reilly, Mark Earley). The Republican was Norm Coleman, mayor of St. Paul and a guy who only became a U.S. Senator later on because the incumbent (Paul Wellstone) died in a plane crash.

As someone who regularly votes third party, I look back fondly on Ventura’s campaign. I do recall that he used the internet to greater effect than anyone else up to that time.

Inevitably, the whole thing turned into a disaster when they were thrown into a rap-country angle with a heel group called the West Texas Rednecks.

The Master P and No Limit Soldiers thing never made sense for WCW, until you learn that Eric Bischoff harbored aspirations to be a music mogul. Of course there was probably no worse time to be that than the late 90s, when Napster and other file sharing was coming down the block.

I don’t hate rap or love country but I LOVE “Rap is Crap” because it is wonderfully catchy. And yeah I know Curt Hennig was from Minnesota and not Texas but at least he was legitimately a country music fan.

Only thirty-eight hundred paying customers came to the sixteen-thousand-seat Miami Arena for a show to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Nitro on September 6; another five thousand tickets were given away just so they wouldn’t have to be embarrassed about holding their anniversary in an empty building. Bischoff had lost $8 million in two months.

And this was why Bischoff was let go in late 1999. Here is the card, other than possibly the novelty of Hogan teaming with Goldberg is there anything that would make you pay money for this? (from Naturally the Benoit-Malenko match was a no contest and not promoted beforehand. AS IF one of those guys would be allowed in with WCW Hogan.

WCW @ Miami, FL – Arena – September 6, 1999 (8,623; 3,190 paid)
Monday Nitro:
Lodi defeated Evan Karagias
Barry Horowitz fought Al Greene to a no contest
WCW US Champion Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko co-won a battle royal; other participants included: Hugh Morrus, Curt Hennig, Perry Saturn, Jerry Flynn, Brian Knobbs, Shane Douglas, the Barbarian, Kendall Windham, Barry Windham, and Vincent
Prince Iaukea defeated Johnny Swinger
Buff Bagwell defeated Lord Steven Regal
Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero Jr., & Billy Kidman defeated Juventud Guerrera, Blitzkrieg, & Psychosis
Shane Douglas defeated Kendall Windham
Barry Windham defeated Jerry Flynn
Perry Saturn defeated Hugh Morrus
WCW US Champion Chris Benoit fought Dean Malenko to a no contest; stipulations stated the winner would earn a WCW World Title shot
WCW World Champion Hulk Hogan & Bill Goldberg defeated Sid Vicious, Diamond Dallas Page, & WCW TV Champion Rick Steiner in a handicap steel cage match

Was it when the World Wrestling Federation lost the use of its trademark in a case brought by the World Wildlife Fund, prompting the Wall Street Journal to cluck that it “got beat by a panda”?

I know that was around the point I stopped watching, partly due to that and also because of the brand split. Oh yes, and the weekly TV was garbage at that point. I’m just glad I got out before the complete shitshow that was 2003, though I have been told that Smackdown was okay. I have zero interest in watching any RAWs from 2003 through 2010.

Personally, I wondered why they didn’t just go back to WWWF as World Wide Wrestling Federation. Apparently it was as simple as “we already know the world is wide” so that is why it was dropped around 1979.

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