AS I SEE IT - 3/30/2000
by: Bob Magee
Welcome to Wrestling Resources.com, Wrestling Headliner.com
WrestlingWord.com, Wrestling Unlimited, TheWrestlingNews.com e-newsletter, and Wrestling
Planet.com, which started carrying the AS I SEE IT column this week, making 68 websites
and e-newsletters carrying the column.
For the last several years, Bruce Mitchell has done his yearly "Quiz" in the Pro Wrestling Torch, letting him quiz readers on their grasp of recent wrestling events. Last April, it occurred to me to thinking that I might give it a shot. So thanks to Bruce Mitchell for the idea (even if Mitchell's legendary for not liking a friend of mine, Jim Cornette).
As did last year's, this "quiz" will measure how much you've read our website and this column over the last couple years or so....and a few items you might be aware of just from being the type of fan that reads this site. Cheating on this quiz by going back and reading some of the past AS I SEE IT and other PWBTS columns is both allowed and recommended.
If as you read the Quiz, you think I'm being unfair to your favorite promotion, hang on and keep reading...this Quiz is an equal opportunity commentary.
Let me also mention to readers that NONE of these answers to the following questions are April Fool's Day jokes (although one refers to an April Fool's joke from last year). The actual answers to the questions ARE ALL REAL.
So if you react in a negative way to some of what's below, stop before you send me hate mail, threaten to sue me or whatever, and ask yourself this question: WHY did those individuals and promotions (or you yourself) do what's mentioned below?
Here comes the Second Annual AS I SEE IT Wrestling Fans Quiz...
1) When ECW employee Debbie Beaumont, in her conversation with Jerome Young at the Stadium Holiday Inn bar on the afternoon of April 3, 1999; referred to Paul Heyman as a "90 minute man", she was referring to the amount of time that:
a) Paul Heyman enjoyed a particular skill of hers that got her the job she holds now.
b) An ECW check was good in 1999 before it would bounce.
c) Heyman could continue to tell the truth before telling a lie.
d) All of the above.
2) Joey Styles, commentator of Extreme Championship Wrestling TV on The Nashville Network, on the syndicated "Hardcore TV" program and on pay-per-view has been seen by a far larger audience than he had been as little as a year ago. How have Joey Styles and ECW capitalized on this increased visibility?
a) By commentating on a new series of tapes of ECW's history, showing new viewers the history of ECW leading up to the present day and featuring such historic events for the promotion as 1994's "The Night the Line Was Crossed", 1995's "Malenko-Guerrero Showdown", 1995 and 1996's classic lucha matches and the first ECW PPV Barely Legal from 1997; thus making new TNN viewers aware of the promotion's history.
b) By using the promotion's current connection with TNN to start commentating on Arena Football beginning this year.
c) By doing voice-over commentary on current tapes of ECW TV shows marketed to potential new markets like Japan.
d) By selling painted silver dollars from the New England Mint, marketed as the "First Silver Dollar of the New Millennium" on those informercials you see when you can't sleep at 4:00 am.
Since Eric Bischoff is back in WCW, I can use this next question again....
3) What was Eric Bischoff's reason for claiming on a PRODIGY chat that took place just after the death of Louie Spicolli (and now Rick Rude) that the use of somas couldn't be tested for with WCW performers and office staff?
a) Because no effective test exists.
b) Because the cost would be prohibitive.
c) Because it would require admitting that there is a problem with the prescription muscle relaxer in his promotion.
d) Because he says so.
e) Both c and d.
4) Rena Mero, known professionally as "Sable" in the World Wrestling Federation, has claimed on more than one occasion to be a born-again Christian. How did she act out her personal witness to that faith while working in the WWF, and to the present day?
a) Posing in Playboy, the most well-known softcore porn magazine on the planet, with surgically enhanced breasts.
b) Coming out in on a WWF PPV with nothing covering her breasts but glorified pasties the shape of hands on a show that could be viewed by children.
c) Suggested that Luna Vachon shot on her during a WWF match by saying in an interview: "Each match has a predetermined outcome...But it doesn't always turn out that way. A lot of tempers get very heated in the ring."
d) Conveniently timed a lawsuit against the World Wrestling Federation for "unsafe working conditions" shortly after the accidental death of Owen Hart.
e) All of the above
5) Over the last two years, how did Bob Ryder of 1wrestling.com show that he could stand above the criticism directed at him by a variety of wrestling fans, websites, and chat rooms; and act as a real wrestling journalist?
a) Threatened to sue a parody news website for allowing them to have a column called "Notes To Bob", claiming his material was "copyrighted"; then backed off and stated that he had over-reacted to this parody. This (perhaps coincidentally) after other sites offered to host the "Notes To Bob" column.
b) Threatened to sue a reviewer of RAW and NITRO for a major news website after he "revealed" information about Ryder; an action IDENTICAL to that which Ryder himself engaged in as a WCW employee with operator status within the official WCW chat room against a lead operator with whom he had a personal rivalry.
c) Continued his employment with World Championship Wrestling, while stating that he could report news about his employer's business competitor, the WWF, in a fair and impartial manner.
d) Knowingly promoted and sold a tape on his 1wrestling.com site where a former east coast-based wrestling promoter falsely claimed a webmaster of a rival site to 1wrestling.com was "pimping out his [pregnant] wife for wrestling interviews".
e) All of the above.
6) In a continuing effort to be "topical", North American wrestling promotions engaged in controversial storylines in 1999 and 2000. Match the promotion with the angles they employed during that period.
ECW WWF WCW Memphis Power Pro
a) A "terminal illness" of a character's family member who had, in reality, died 2 years before.
b) An statement on live TV by another wrestler who was his storyline rival (and real-life friend until the incident) that a wrestler wasn't fathered by his well-known wrestler father.
c) Crude on-air sexual comments about the Kennedy and Bissette families days after the airplane accident that took the lives
of JFK, Jr., his wife, and sister-in-law.
d) Sexual addiction
e) A televised 10 bell count traditional to wrestling and boxing being given for a "deceased family member", to the point that one of the show's own announcers was disgusted.
f) Ridicule of a physical handicap
g) A full-scale "funeral" at a live TV show, while the promotion was hosting the unsuspecting wife of a company employee who had died only days before.
7) Back in 1999, after the death of WWF star Owen Hart, various promotions and individuals responded by doing the following in the weeks and months after the accident that took Hart's life:
a) Both WCW and the WWF dedicated their Monday night shows as memorials to Owen by airing various reminiscences and matches dedicated to their friend and co-worker.
b) A joint WCW-WWF interpromotional show was proposed with funds going toward the Alberta Children's Hospital and toward establishing a fund for Owen Hart's family.
c) The WWF did the next night's Monday Night RAW as a memorial to Owen by airing various reminiscences and out-of-storyline matches dedicated to their friend and co-worker.
d) WCW used Owen Hart's death as a ploy for ratings in the very Monday night war the Hart family criticized as a reason for Owen's death by staging Bret Hart's appearance on his first night back at precisely 8:57 pm EDT, immediately before RAW was scheduled to air.
e) Both c and d
8) Since we're coming up on WrestleMania this weekend, let's look at a question about last year's event...
In 1999, WrestleMania XV occurred in Philadelphia. Given the tremendous response of Philadelphians to the WWF over the years, and the fact that the buyrate for wrestling PPVs in Philadelphia is three times the national average....how did the WWF allow its fans to reach out and meet the performers that they've seen on house shows; and on TV with Monday Night RAW, Sunday Night Heat, and weekend Titan programming?
a) They had a Fan Fest at the Philadelphia Convention Center at affordable prices, with merchandise available for purchase, from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, allowing fans (especially children) to meet these larger than life figures.
b) They had Internet chats with various WWF performers live from the Philadelphia area all throughout Wrestlemania weekend on WWF.com.
c) They had call-in shows, utilizing the old Live Wire format on their Saturday "Live Wire" program on USA Network.
d) They had a "WrestleMania Rage Party", where fans were charged $80 (after spending premium prices for WrestleMania tickets), were told they couldn't bring cameras in (when no such prohibition had been announced prior to ticket sales), and jammed in with 2,500 other people to listen to musical acts that they largely didn't give a damn about.
9) World Championship Wrestling's flagship program, Monday NITRO, has been losing in the ratings to the WWF's Monday Night RAW for many consecutive weeks. Over 1999 and 2000, how did WCW make changes to be more competitive with the WWF and their flagship program?
a) They decided to have a character "parodying" a Vice President and well-known TV commentator of their rival promotion, including imitating a physical handicap.
b) They created another character, a stereotype of German "Aryan superiority", who wore a trenchcoat eerily similar to the "Trenchcoat Mafia" that had massacred students at a Colorado high school earlier in the year.
c) They added Nitro Girls that danced about as well as third-shift pole girls at your local strip club.
d) They gave releases to five of their most talented workers and allowed them to walk right over to their rival promotion, where they helped that promotion's flagship TV show continue its dominance over WCW's own program.
e) All of the above...and more.
10) In the grand tradition of April Fool's pranks, many websites post non-factual "stories" that were obviously meant to be taken in the spirit of the day...but also gave some real-life opinions by the writer on certain "favorites" within the business.
However, some people don't read their calendars very well and take these stories as fact. Back in 1999, which April Fool's "stories" were posted online and taken SERIOUSLY by large numbers of people?
a) That ECW was folding as a company, and that this ceasing of operations would be announced at the ECW CyberSlam Q&A session on April 3rd.
b) That the real reason that the WWF was winning the Monday night ratings war was that a computer "hacker" had gained entrance into the Neilsen computers and changed TV ratings results to favor the WWF over WCW.
c) That an ECW office employee, Paul Heyman, and a noted newsletter/ Internet writer (with the presence of a former wrestling promoter observing) were all arrested by police for performing an unnatural act resulting in the divorce of one of the parties concerned.
d) All of the above.
11) Dennis Coraluzzo promoted independent wrestling in New Jersey under the NWA-New Jersey and Championship Wrestling America banners for 15 years.
In late December 1999, Coraluzzo was removed from the NWA board, as a NWA promoter, and from his own promotion due to business and legal issues.
Which of the following did Dennis Coraluzzo NOT do as a reaction to this change in his fortunes?
a) A series of interviews circulated widely in which he reflected on his years as a promoter, which included his promoting the first match in the legendary Cactus Jack-Eddie Gilbert feud, the 50th Anniversary NWA Weekend, a series of memorable Eddie Gilbert Memorial Weekends from 1996-1999, and years of helping develop talent like the Headbangers and Chris Candido.
b) Referred to former partner Fred Rubenstein in an interview for Georgianne Makropoulos's 1wrestling.com column with the following:
"...The @#&$ Paul E. stuck up my ass was the size of [a] @#&$*@$@'s, compared to the one Fred Rubenstein stuck up my ass. This screw job was a thousand times greater!!".
c) Referred to two hardworking assistants that had been publicly recognized as little as a month earlier as being instrumental to his success as respectively "once a thief, always a thief" and a "ring rat" after they chose to continue employment with the new NWA-JERSEY promotion.
d) Threw away a 10 year friendship with Jim Cornette after false booking WWF talent on NWA shows, and then telling NWA staff "not to kiss Cornette's ass".
e) Got a writer to construct a "sympathetic story" about Coraluzzo under a pseudonym, and circulated this story all over the Internet; a story in which Coraluzzo was depicted as claiming he would be running shows throughout New Jersey soon, with "one hundred shows in the next year".
The author of this "story" has been reliably reported to be former sheetwriter (currently working as a weekend TV sports reporter for a major network affiliate in Miami) who once dated Coraluzzo's daughter.
The answers to this Quiz (for anyone who hasn't figured them out already) are:
1) d All of the above
2) d Styles is indeed currently selling painted silver dollars for the New England Mint, marketed as the "First Silver Dollar of the New Millennium" on those informercials you see when you can't sleep at 4:00 am.
3) e Both c and d.
4) e All of the above
5) e All of the above
6a) WWF and the Paul Wight "cancer angle"
6b) Memphis Power Pro Wrestling, with Brian Christopher coming out and suggesting that storyline rival and real-life friend (until this all happened) Doug Gilbert was a bastard, and that Tommy Gilbert wasn't his father.
This set off a Doug Gilbert tirade the next week on live Memphis TV on WMC's weekly MEMPHIS POWER PRO WRESTLING WMC show when Doug Gilbert claimed that Jerry Lawler, Brian Christopher's father, had raped 13 year olds; and that Randy Hales, the MEMPHIS POWER PRO WRESTLING promoter had been addicted to crack cocaine.
6c) ECW and Paul Heyman with their scripting of remarks for Joel Gertner to use on an episode of the ECW Hardcore TV show, making sexual references regarding the Kennedy and Bissette families; such as that both Bissette sisters were giving JFK Jr. blow jobs at the time of the accident and that he might be found under water having sex with Marilyn Monroe, the Bissettes, and Mary Jo Kopechne.
6d) WWF and the Mark Henry "sexual addiction" angle
6e) WWF as part of the Paul Wight "cancer angle", doing a ten-bell count for "Paul Wight's father". Jerry Lawler's attitude on that RAW indicated that he was disgusted with the angle and said as much to Jim Ross.
6f) WCW and its "Oklahoma" character, including a obvious mimicking by Ed Ferrera of Jim Ross's affliction with Bell's Palsy.
6g) WCW with its "funeral for Lex Luger" on the night that WCW hosted Pam Hildebrand, Brian Hildebrand's widow
7) e Both c and d.
8) d They had a "WrestleMania Rage Party", where fans were charged $80, were told they couldn't bring cameras in (when no such prohibition had been announced prior to ticket sales), and jammed in with 2,500 other people to listen to musical acts that they largely didn't give a damn about.
9) e All of the above...and more.
10) d All of the above.
11) a (The one he didn't do) ... a series of interviews circulated widely in which he reflected on his years as a promoter, which included his promoting the first match in the legendary Cactus Jack-Eddie Gilbert feud, the 50th Anniversary NWA Weekend, a series of memorable Eddie Gilbert Memorial Weekends from 1996-1999, and years of showcasing independent talents like the Headbangers, Sean Waltman, and Chris Candido.
A couple of notes...
Even a year later, the answer to question number 10 is bizarre enough to merit a special note to readers. NONE of the reactions to all of the answers to question 10 above were a joke at all. They all happened.
Two of these items were in PWBTS's 1999 April Fool's edition, one of which was lifted without credit by two (now former) writers of LordsofPain.Net, and printed with embellishments. The other was believed by several employees of a major independent promotion (perhaps hopefully).
The one about the Neilsens being hacked was a humorous one put up by Bob Ryder of 1wrestling.com/ecwwrestling.com/ WCW in the WCW chat room. He spent weeks having to deny the truth of his own April Fool's joke.
As for number 11, the truth is equally bizarre. Dennis Coraluzzo DID do all but the one thing that he could have done to put himself over truthfully: talk about such achievements as the Eddie Gilbert Memorials, yearly moving tributes to Eddie, done when no one else would; or talked about the workers who've come through his promotion and moved on to success within the wrestling business.
Instead, he did all the things listed above and more. Trust me, I couldn't have come up with the above things he did if I had tried for a year. In wrestling, sometimes the truth IS more bizarre than any work that can be concocted.
I hope this "Quiz" was interesting for you in terms of illustrating some of the shortcomings of those within the wrestling industry.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)