When I first came on board to Wrestleview I had a conversation with Managing Editor Hunter Golden. We talked about the kind of column he wanted and the kind of column I could do. One thing we both agreed upon is we hate the typical big story of the week and you get 12 columnists talking about the same thing. It’s obvious that the big story of the week is Hulk Hogan signing with TNA and while I do have my own thoughts about it I will hold those in reserve for another time. I could join the bandwagon or I could be different. So in thinking of what is relevant that I could talk about this week I had a thought dawn upon me. It would seem as of late that every major angle in WWE centers on a split or a possible split. Batista split from his loose tag team/friendship with Rey Misterio, DX is teasing a feud with their match with John Cena at Survivor Series, same could be said for Chris Jericho and The Big Show and of course we all see the angle that is brewing between Randy Orton and Ted Dibiase possibly splitting up in Legacy. I can?t recall a single period in history where one company teased or ran so many split angles simultaneously. They can?t all possibly be successful can they? So I started thinking what were the best and worse splits ever in wrestling history? You?re reading “Wrestling Rumblings.”
Good Split: The Rockers Explode
This is the split that all other tag splits are often compared to as it set the standard for tag splits. One guy gets pushed and the other guy eventually settles into obscurity. Believe it or not there was a point in time where many people believed Marty Jannetty was the better worker in the Rockers or at the very least he was just as good as Shawn. After this split Shawn would morph into The Heartbreak Kid and Marty?well Marty would never seem to shake the Rocker gimmick. While it’s true that drug problems probably derailed any momentum he might have established at points of his career (He did win a Intercontinental Title and a Tag Team Title post split) it can be argued that in the end he was the weak link of the Rockers and unlike Shawn whose name will be lumped with the all time greats Marty’s will be a derogatory word for the weakest link in wrestling. Still with that being said where would we all be as wrestling fans if this split didn?t happen? Can you imagine if Shawn Micheals stood with the Rockers? What would have been in the Monday Night Wars, what would have become of stars such as Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and even Bret Hart? Although I am sure the latter sometimes wishes that Shawn stood a Rocker the business was definitely better for it and this was definitely a split angle that winds up in the good split category.
Bad Split: The World’s Greatest Tag Team
WWE thought they had the next version of Shawn Micheals and Marty Jannetty here when they decided to split up the duo of Benjamin and Haas before they really got out of the blocks. I don?t think this would have been such a bad split if it wasn?t done so soon. I think both Shelton and Charlie are very talented performers and could have grown more as performers if they stood together instead look at them now. Shelton while having won the US title and the Intercontinental title has been sort of a forgotten man on the ECW roster and Charlie Haas is not even on TV. This definitely qualifies for the bad split category.
Good Split: The Hollywood Blondes
I could probably make as strong of a argument to throw this in with the bad splits because the Hollywood Blondes tag team of Steve Austin and Brian Pillman were awesome together and probably could have done more as a tag team but it would be very hard to argue that both didn?t benefit from this split. Sure the feud that the two had was lackluster but look at how both of their careers went from then on out. Brian Pillman would go on to create ?The Loose Cannon? gimmick that was the talk of wrestling in the mid 90’s. He was even one of the very first wrestlers to get a guaranteed contract in WWE when at the time no such thing existed. If his career wasn?t at that point wracked by injuries and drug use who knows where he could have gone in this business as there was heavy talk when WWE first bought him in to push him as a main event guy and give him a run against then champion Shawn Micheals. Of course we all know how it turned out for Pillman as he left this world way too soon. It cannot be argued though that he didn?t make an impact?after all he did have a very successful WWE DVD in his honor and well they don?t just give those out to anyone. As for Steve Austin, to say he didn?t turn out bad would be a understatement as here I am talking about Pillman’s one WWE DVD and well Austin has had tons of DVD’s and merchandise all in his honor as he has gone onto become one of the top box office attractions in the business. The feud may have been a bust but the split was definitely good for both men and definitely winds up in the good category.
Bad Split: The New Age Outlaws/Voodoo Kin Mafia
Sometimes you just find that dance partner in your career that you are just linked to and should stay linked to. Billy Gunn/Kip and Road Dogg/BG James are the perfect example of that. In WWE they were one of the hottest duos to hit the tag team scene in years. They were so hot that they had to be paired with the company’s hottest act: Degeneration X and then somewhere in all of this WWE figured it was time to make Billy Gunn a star?because that worked out so well the last time they tried that with the Smoking Gunns but I digress and well we all saw it didn?t work out too well for ?Mr. Ass? as other than a strong run with the Rock he really missed his partner. That’s not to say Road Dogg fared much better and it would just be a matter of time before this team was reunited again but of course the spark was gone from having them split in the first place. Somehow, someway TNA managed to recapture a bit of the old magic and had them reunite there as VKM or the Voodoo Kin Mafia and some of there skits were some of the most entertaining stuff TNA was doing at the time. So what happened? I?m not really sure, I don?t think TNA thought they were going to make anyone a star out of that one, it just seemed like they had nothing for them to do so they just split them, and well here we are now. Kip is the backstage janitor on camera and BG doesn?t even have a job in the company anymore. You can?t pick anymore worse of a split than this.
Good Split: The Mega Powers Explode
This feud always brings back good memories for me because it was at the peak of my early wrestling fanhood. There was no bigger hero in wrestling back then than Hulk Hogan and the Macho Man was the smart fans hero at the time. It seemed like the perfect marriage in wrestling and the pairing did great business for the year that it existed and when the split finally occurred it did even better business. I will never forget watching the Saturday Night’s Main Event where Randy Savage accused Hulk Hogan of ?lusting? after Ms. Elizabeth and pearl harbored Hulk Hogan in the back to signify the end of the partnership. I?ll never forget the awesome match at Wrestlemania V or one of their many rematches which involved the newly christened ?Macho King? and then special guest referee James ?Buster? Douglas fresh off of his upset for the man who was initially supposed to ref the match ?Iron? Mike Tyson. These guys had so many moments together and neither of their careers suffered for this split and the split itself is one of the many great moments in WWE history. This is definitely one for the good category.
Bad Split: The NWO
Sometimes things just have to come to an end and well the NWO was one of them. It’s funny but earlier today before writing this column I was talking to a friend about Eric Bischoff and we were talking how in my opinion he was never really that creative at all and the reason I say that is because the NWO which was his greatest creation was never really an original idea to begin with and because of the abomination that would become the NWO split. You see part of being a booker is to not only know how to create good storylines but to know how to end them as well and Eric for all his ingenious had no idea how to end the NWO, so he didn?t and we were treated to NWO Hollywood and NWO Wolfpack and some of the worse faction warfare ever. The split lasted a year and it was really where the beginning of the end for WCW really began and instead of just cutting their losses and trying to figure out something other than the NWO they tried to unite the NWO which of course lead to a split of a different kind as we were treated to NWO Red and Black which for you history buffs was originally known as NWO Elite and NWO Black and White a glorified B team and that was where the wheels really started falling off the bus that was known as WCW. This was about as bad of a split as you can have.
I can go on forever about splits in wrestling but we are already closing in on the 3 page mark and I think it’s time to wrap this week’s edition up. I would really like to hear some of your most favorite and least favorite splits in wrestling as I feel I really only touched the tip of the ice berg here and there are so many splits that can be judged either way in wrestling’s long history. Of course the only way I can know is if you email me and you can do that by sending your mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course next week I will try to do better, and until then I am out.