AS I SEE IT
by: Bob Magee
Since we're in the middle of Labor day weekend, I thought I'd make this weekend's column a little lighter....well, sort of.
As most of you know, Bruce Mitchell of the Torch does a yearly "Quiz" based on events in the wrestling industry that reflects some of his personal opinions.
I did a similar "quiz" back in June of this year in PWBTS. For those of you who read that PWBTS column, you've seen a few of these "quiz questions" before; but I wanted to share them with the readers of the 7 sites that have added the AS I SEE IT column over the summer. Many of those "questions" also have updated answers as well. There are several new ones as well.
Oh, and don't worry, if you think I'm being unfair to your favorite promotion or worker...hang on, I'm equal opportunity. Everyone gets brought up here.
By the way, any incident referred to in a question in this quiz ACTUALLY HAPPENED. None are created for humor or making a point. There are real answers to ALL of them. Other than my question about drug testing, that is the most serious part of this column.
Here we go...
1) 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.
2) Eric Bischoff made a statement referring to the WWF's TV product, criticizing the sexual content and violence; and stated that WCW's product would be nothing at all like it. It would, in fact, be "G-rated". How did Eric Bischoff prove this to North American TV viewers?
a) By proposing an angle for the WCW Nitro and a Georgia Dome Nitro; where Bill Goldberg would be accused of raping Elizabeth Hewlette.
b) By showing children that drugs are bad, by allowing Scott Carl Rechsteiner to look like a Chernobyl-steroid-mutant- from hell on a weekly basis; including having him do a "roid rage" angle with Kim Falkenberg, which involved her being "thrown out of a car".
c) By glorifying street gangs by showing NWO members "tagging" opponents of other "organizations" with spray paint.
d) By having continued promos cut where Charles (Konnan) Ashenworth makes frequent references (using street slang) to various forms of "prison sex", and uses language in the Spanish language portion of those promos that can't be repeated in this column.
e) By having an angle where Dennis Rodman "kidnapped" Randy Savage's real-life girlfriend and storyline valet, "Gorgeous George" and "raped" her.
f) By staging an angle where Randy Savage was committing domestic violence against his real-life girlfriend and storyline valet "Gorgeous George" and "Miss Madness".
g) All of the above.
3) What was Eric Bischoff's reason for claiming on a PRODIGY chat that took place just after the death of Louie Spicolli, 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) How did independent wrestling promoter Ronn Hicks honor professional wrestling legend Bobo Brazil this past winter?
a) By promoting a memorial to the life and name of Bobo Brazil.
b) By establishing a Houston Harris scholarship in the name of the former wrestler at his alma mater.
c) By establishing a fund to help pay for tickets to wrestling shows for minority and other people who are unable to enjoy the business Brazil so loved.
d) By stiffing several local Philadelphia area workers and others on airfare and payoffs the week of the show, when it appeared the event in Indianapolis would draw less than a hundred people.
5) How did Dave Scherer and Bob Ryder of 1wrestling.com show that they would produce a higher quality product of tapes than rival merchant and tape dealer Rob Feinstein?
a) Set up a 800 number where fans could order merchandise, tapes, and other items available on 1wrestling.com to allow for speedy delivery of quality products for the average wrestling fan.
b) Bought the available stock of Championship Wrestling from Florida masters, so as finally open up this treasure trove to fans all over the United States.
c) Contracted with the legendary Lou Thesz to sell a series of tapes, where the former NWA champion told a lifetime of wrestling stories to a generation that has never gotten to know his name.
d) Promoted and sold a tape where a former east coast-based wrestling promoter slandered the wife of a rival webmaster to their own site.
6) Earlier this year, in what might have been an attempt to show that he has the "street" attitude of his in-ring character, Kevin Nash often talked about the "Vanilla Midgets". What were the "Vanilla Midgets"?
a) A new rap group signed by Tommy Boy Records, in an attempt at crossover promotion with the record label.
b) A bad tag team idea from Jim Herd that Herd proposed just after he came up with the "Hunchbacks".
c) A Saturday morning TV cartoon show that airs on the TV Land cable service.
d) Two of the top wrestlers in the planet, who have the misfortune to work for WCW....two wrestlers who can outwork 50% of the WCW talent roster combined...named Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko.
7) WrestleMania XV occurred in Philadelphia this spring. 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.
8) World Championship Wrestling's flagship program, Monday NITRO, has been losing in the ratings to the WWF's Monday Night RAW for 40 plus consecutive competitive weeks. How did WCW make changes to be more competitive with the WWF and their flagship program?
a) They decided to have a series of best 2 out of 3 fall trios matches with the luchadors on their roster to allow them to perform in their element.
b) They decided to bring fans to booking committee advisory meetings on a periodic basis to hear feedback on what fans think WCW ought to do with their storylines.
c) They phased down Terry Bollea to being a special attraction, and nothing else.
d) They put the WCW belt on Ric Flair one last time before retirement in a classic 35 minute match with Terry Bollea on a Thunder TV program from Charlotte, NC that set a record for the show's ratings... where the live crowd went wild in a prolonged ovation and gave Flair a curtain call... a just tribute for all his years of work with the company.
e) They changed their logo.
9) 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. Which April Fool's "stories" were posted this year 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 Internet writer, with the presence of a former wrestling promoter observing, were all arrested by police for a situation resulting in the divorce of one of the parties concerned.
d) All of the above.
10) Given the debut on ECW's TV program on TNN a weeks ago, and given the challenge of the new WWF Smackdown program on UPN; what did Eric Bischoff do as a response to this challenge to his secondary TV show?
a) He signed the luchadors that the WWF was letting go from its SuperAstros show, and finally began devoting a segment of Thunder to a different style of wrestling that might challenge the WWF for a segment of its viewing audience.
b) He raided talent from ECW, signing away their three best workers: Lance Storm, Rob Van Dam, and Jerry Lynn.
c) He re-established his relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, in order to freshen up his talent roster with exciting new stars and established Japanese stars like Jushin Liger; and sent several of his stars over to New Japan to help those workers learn skills that might freshen up their careers.
d) He handed the WWF one of his most marketable stars, Chris Jericho just in time for their Smackdown show's debut on UPN; and handed ECW one of the creative minds that helped ECW in its glory years, Scott (Raven) Levy, just in time for ECW's debut on TNN.
11) Vince McMahon, in his attempt to find new ways to improve his entertainment product, did the following:
a) Became the first major US promoter to successfully market the concept of lucha style wrestling to a mainstream audience.
b) Built on the "Brawl For All" matches earlier held months previously by developing a shoot/submission division featuring workers like Ken Shamrock, Steve Williams and Steve Blackman, and put that division on his brand new network TV show Smackdown.
c) Had a worker doing a parody of a 1950s TV show with double-entendre directed toward his "mother"; then had the same worker re-appear as himself weeks later, with the same woman playing his girlfriend, figuring no one would notice the resemblance.
12) When Hart family member Davey Boy Smith chose to re-sign with the WWF, Bret Hart did the following:
a) He understood that Davey Boy had to continue his career wherever a job was available, since WCW had released Smith only months earlier.
b) Said that Davey Boy was family, and he loved him, no matter what.
c) He wrote numerous articles in the Calgary Sun comparing Davey Boy to a pig and a prostitute.
d) That he would run over his own sister in the street if he saw her.
e) Both c and d.
The answers (for anyone who hasn't figured them out already) are:
1)e 2)g 3)e 4)d 5)d 6)d 7)d 8)e 9)d 10)d 11) c 12) e
Like I said back in June, the answer to question number 9 is bizarre enough to merit a special note to readers. I assure you that the reactions to all of the answers to question 9 above are NO joke whatsoever.
Two of these items were in PWBTS's April Fool's edition, one of which was lifted without credit by two writers of LordsofPain.Net, and printed with embellishments. Another was believed by at least two employees of a major independent promotion (perhaps hopefully).
The other was put up by Bob Ryder of 1wrestling.com/WCW in the WCW chat room as a kind of joke to WCW lemmings. One problem. They took it seriously. He spent weeks denying that his April Fool's joke was the truth.
So I hope this "Quiz" was interesting for you...
Until next time.....
If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org