ASK WV 4/16/09 – Hogan/TNA, HBK

Welcome to the April 16th, 2009 edition of Ask WrestleView! If you don’t see your question answered this week, make sure to check back next week as I will always pull questions from past emails. Just because you sent it in within the last week does not mean it will never appear here on Ask WV.

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All questions were answered by WrestleView’s Chief Historian, Ryan Droste

1. The mid-late 90s saw crossover talents such as Ken Shamrock (MMA), Kurt Angle (freestyle wrestling) and Mark Henry (weightlifting) enter the WWF. Did the WWF have a wrestling school which trained these men or did they all learn the professional wrestling style on their own?
-Xavier Hernandez

In the late 90s, the WWF had a wrestling camp they called the “Funkin Dojo” where they often had new signees train. This was run by Dory Funk and Tom Prichard. Ken Shamrock and Mark Henry both also trained under Bret Hart at Bret’s home in Calgary from 1996-1997. Angle trained at the Funkin Dojo and in Memphis for the most part. A little known fact about Angle’s early days in wrestling, he wrestled a dark match for WWF in May 1999 working with none other than Owen Hart, just weeks before Owen’s tragic death.

Was Vader actually booked to win the title at SummerSlam 96? I’ve read HBK’s auto biography and while being a christian too, i’m hoping he’s actually telling the truth in this and he was mouthing off to stick it, hell we’ve all done it at times, compared to what 98% of the IWC think, most of it seems to be lying to make him look great. Also was HBK actually refusing to do jobs left right and centre or bluffing, in other words how many of HBK’s “I was only playing to the guys, i wouldn’t refuse to lose” stories from the book are true? I’m one of those who actually believed his account of the undertaker thing at WM14 until i saw takers interview.
-Adam Kennedy

I believe I have heard that at one point they were considering Vader winning the belt well in advance of SummerSlam, but it was booked for Shawn at the end. I’m actually not positive if Shawn got that finish changed or not. The part in the match where Shawn yells at Vader was legit, Shawn lost his temper after Vader blew a spot. As far as Shawn refusing to do jobs, he definitely did on more than one occasion back in the day. One of the biggest examples I can cite that I know for a fact is 100% true is Shawn got the finish changed of the match against the British Bulldog at One Night Only 1997 (Davey was supposed to win and even dedicated the match to his handicapped sister, it devastated him when the finish was changed). Shawn also repeated to Bret Hart in 1997 several times that he would not lose to him. It’s indeed true the guy was very hard to work with back in the mid 90s. I believe today even Shawn would tell you so.

Where has Big Daddy V/Viscera gone off too? Also, why did they release him?
Jo Andes

Last I heard, Viscera was getting ready to work some independent promotions around the country (one being the NWA). His release in the summer of 2008 can be looked at as one of those deals where WWE was going through some budget cuts and his character had run its course with no fresh ideas on the horizon.

After watching the Jarrett dvd, they mention Hogan. Whats the full story about this, how close was he to signing?
-Robin Hales

Hogan tried to portray it at the time as being very close to signing with TNA, but many people observing the industry at the time felt Hogan was just stringing them along and would never really follow through and sign. They did film the one segment at a New Japan Pro Wrestling event where Jarrett attacked Hogan with the guitar. This would have set up their feud in TNA had Hogan ever signed. Hogan never actually appeared at a TNA event (I believe he may have visited backstage on at least one occassion, though). Hogan pulled out of negotiations citing knee problems. He then made a return to the WWE shortly after.

That’s all for this edition of Ask WrestleView.

As always, don’t forget to check out my personal wrestling blog, Droste’s Double Shot. A few days ago I published part five in my five part series counting down the top 50 WrestleMania matches of all time. I then go back and look at the data, breaking down the statistics of the list, wrestler by wrestler. It’s an interesting take on the history of WrestleMania and who it’s biggest players have been. Make sure to check it out!

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