The Wrestling Professor sent this in:
Welcome to the Armpit wrestling quiz for the week of Tuesday, March 24, 2009. Why are we late? Blame the worst cold in the history of mankind, which my wife and I had for two straight weeks of Hell. That thing was vicious, incurable, and horrific. I?ve got to hand it to wrestlers and fighters for hardly ever taking time off for colds, because those guys are exposed to more germs than anyone. Those are real men.
Like most of you, I got violently angry last week over the millions in bonuses being paid to AIG employees, not to mention the trial of that rat fink Bernie Madoff and his no-good wife. It amazes me how much money we are throwing away into this economy, most of which we are printing, and when you print money, you risk major inflation down the road. Waste, waste, waste.
In (dis)honor of all this bad money being thrown after bad, this week’s quiz is called ?Monumental Wastes of Money.?
Answers from last time:
-Hogan and Mr. T did ?Saturday Night Live? at the last minute to generate publicity for WrestleMania I. It worked.
-Hogan accepted Andre’s WM3 challenge during a Piper’s Pit segment.
-Piper destroyed Adrian Adonis’s ?Flower Shop? using a baseball bat. He later screamed into the camera, ?The waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar? has just begun!?
-The late Jack Tunney went on WWF Superstars and announced the WWF title was vacant. Funny how we remember exactly where we were during moments like that. When you?re a kid, wrestling is your life and you can remember every detail of every major moment.
-Savage finally turned on Hogan after Hogan left him to die in a tag team match with Bossman and Akeem in order to tend to Elizabeth. Savage raced backstage, confronted Hogan while Liz tried to calm them down while recuperating, and then left the room. Hogan said, ?Elizabeth, please try to talk some sense into him?? and then Savage came out of nowhere and knocked Hogan out cold with the WWF belt. There are very few angles today than can be pulled off like that one, and credit that to Savage. The key was Savage never broke character off camera or in media appearances, so people saw him as the real deal. He was a real life nutcase, or so it seemed, and the success of this feud speaks for itself. Savage made himself a Hall of Famer with his work in 1989.
-Slaughter set fire to Hogan’s Hulkamania t-shirt in pre-WM7 hype, playing off media controversy at the time of people burning the American flag. I think people miss the boat on why political angles fail in wrestling. It’s not the tasteless exploitation, it’s the fact that most wrestling fans either ignore current events or are too young to understand them.
-On the 1992 Fox version of Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hogan and Sid teamed up to wrestle Ric Flair and the Undertaker. That’s a lot of beef in the ring, even with WWF cracking down hard on steroids at the time (you remember the days, when Savage wore a shirt in WWF and then went to WCW and the shirt came off and the muscles were back).
-The tag team of Hogan and Beefcake was called the Mega-Maniacs.
-The WWF used a coin toss in the Bret/Luger angle leading into WM10. There were high hopes of the coin tossing leading to Raw hitting the 4.0 rating mark (unheard of back then), but it didn?t happen.
Here are this week’s questions. No winners will be declared. We’re just doing this for fun and to honor the forgotten world of wrestling history.
1. Perhaps the biggest waste of money in wrestling right now is whatever TNA pays Vince Russo. They?re paying a guy big money to write shows that convince people to not buy their PPVs. And why do people make a big deal about a 1.2 rating? They were getting close to that on Saturdays at 11pm under Scott D?Amore. If you doubled that rating, you get a 2.4, which would be considered horrible even in the dying days of WCW. And of those people watching TNA, none of them are buying the PPVs, which is how the company makes money. Fire Russo, save a hundred grand, and you might even get people to buy your shows. Anyway, name at least 3 bookers (including assistants) TNA has had since its inception in 2002.
2. WCW spent insane money in their dying days to have KISS perform on Nitro. Look, I love KISS and I know people who watched that episode specifically to see KISS perform (and it was a great performance), but what a ridiculous waste of money. To me, if you?re giving exposure to millions of young people on cable TV, a band like that should be paying for the performance, not getting paid for it. Who exactly is benefiting more here? And the whole purpose of KISS performing was equally stupid and something that could?ve been done for free and had more of an impact. What wrestler was WCW planning on pushing based on that KISS concert?
3. Speaking of wrestlers debuting as part of a rock concert, the late Andrew ?Test? Martin made his debut in October of 1998 in similar fashion. This wasn?t a waste of money, because this band was using the exposure to promote their greatest hits album, and the WWF really did build Test up for many months following this debut. And Test had a lot more upside potential than the guy referenced in question #2. What band performed when Test made his on-screen WWF debut?
4. This is MMA, so extra credit here. Not to be outdone in spending outrageous money on bands that are good but need the exposure more than the promotion does, Megadeth received a tidy sum for performing at an MMA show last year. They did a great job as well, as Dave Mustaine looks the same as he did 25 years ago. Ironically, Megadeth was another band WCW spent a fortune on to perform on Nitro, back when WCW was bleeding in red ink. What MMA promotion paid Megadeth to play on their PPV show?
5. Ahh, more money wasted but it gave us a few jollies in between commercials, and it gave Shawn Michaels a wife. The Nitro Girls cost $50,000 per year each, and since there were 5 or 6 of them, throw in medical benefits and you have over $300,000 a year being spent on glorified cheeleaders. I hope they at least generated that much in calendar sales. But for that amount of cash they could?ve hired two wrestlers, given them good gimmicks, and give them a decent shot at drawing real money. Better yet, use that money to pay the undercard guys more or give a best match bonus. Name four Nitro Girls.
6. Does WWE really need a huge screen, a big ramp, and multiple special effects? Yeah they?re nice, but couldn?t the money be better spent (or saved) elsewhere? I don?t see UFC using fireworks or fancy trappings, and they?re kicking WWE’s ass on PPV. What is the lesson here about what really draws money? As for the ramp, WCW tried that first and you wouldn?t believe how many complaints there were about it back then. Nowadays, no one cares. Speaking of that ramp, Mick Foley once jumped on Vader’s back, and then Vader fell backwards on the ramp, crushing Foley in a crazy spot on what WCW PPV show? That bump had to hurt like Hell.
7. A lot of good that million dollar giveaway did WWE last year, huh? Money down the drain. How many weeks did that last?
8. WWE would have much, much more money in the bank if they just stuck to wrestling and stopped veering into outside ventures. I mean, remember the WBF? What was it, and what was the name of the WBF TV show on the USA network?
9. WWE is also wasting millions on their film division, which has been hit and miss. And if I had any say in that division, the bland, boring Ted DiBiase Jr is the last person I?d want to star in a film, no matter how talented he is (and he’s very talented). Steve Austin may have starred in his own movie, but it bombed, and it’s not even the movie he is most famous for being in. What is?
10. By far the biggest waste of money in pro wrestling history was the XFL. Vince was Hell bent on making this succeed, and proof he went nuts in 2001 was that he wanted to continue for a 2nd season, despite a less than zero chance of it succeeding. Possibly the biggest disaster in Saturday night history, the XFL started off strong but people weren?t into the local teams. The quality of play wasn?t good, but some of the games I saw were very exciting. Nonetheless, the venture was a bomb of astronomical proportions, saved only by the fact that what company shared half the financial losses with WWE?
Answers will be posted next time.
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