FGB Radio is back with a podcast about the Cauliflower Alley Club. “Double D” Dave Dutra (@DaveDutra) and Premier president John LaRocca (@LaRoccaJL) join me, as they did in Las Vegas, where we spent some time together at the 51st Cauliflower Alley Club.
We first start out with the news of Chyna’s passing which just hit as we started recording.
We talk about past CAC experiences by both Dutra and LaRocca who have been before. We talk about what has changed and what has stayed the same. I was there a day early, so I talk about the Bockwinkel blowout. We discuss the panels including the one on Minnesota wrestling with Larry “The Axe” Hennig, Greg Gagne, and Jim Brunzell and the broadcasting panel that should’ve been. We all have our thoughts on what went well and what didn’t go so well. What a star studded panel it was.
Then we talk about the banquet with great speeches by JJ Dillon, Arn Anderson, Jerry Lawler, Lance Russell, Paul Orndorff, and Trish Stratus. We quickly go over Ken Patera’s polarizing speech.
Right click to download the show or stream below.
This is the third “He’s The Booker, I’m The Blogger” feature. We discuss Starrcade 1985: The Gathering. Continue reading
The FGB crew has been working hard for the last month, putting together a list of the top 25 greatest wrestlers of the WrestleMania era. The WrestleMania era started in 1985 with the original WrestleMania and now in two weeks, the Rock and John Cena will main event the 28th version of WrestleMania.
Here’s how we determined who the best wrestlers of the era were:
– The WrestleMania era started in 1985 and is still ongoing. Basically, any wrestler who wrestled within the last 28 years was open to being on the list.
– This is not simply a WWE list. The WrestleMania era doesn’t mean only WWE wrestlers. Because WrestleMania kicked off a new direction for pro wrestling, it affected every organization going forward. Everyone who made our list at one point worked in WWE, but their career didn’t have to be defined by WWE in order to be ranked.
– We decided that wrestlers who spent most of their career in Mexico and Japan weren’t going to be considered because our cumulative knowledge is best in US wrestling. However, wrestlers who spent some time in the US were open to be selection.
– There were six of us who voted and all six of us are fans in different ways. Alan has a wide-range of tastes in wrestling, while my wrestling fandom includes mostly WWE and NWA/WCW going back to 1984. Jason, Alan, Duan, and Big D are all in their mid-20s or younger, while Don and I are older. Thus, our lists were wildly different at times. While Hulk Hogan may have been number 1 or 2 on the list of more casual and older fans, because his legacy has been on a downward spiral since 1996, he wasn’t ranked as highly on our list. But someone like Curt Hennig, who shaped the vision of what great pro wrestling was to some of us, was ranked higher.
For every post, you’ll see an overview of the wrestler and why they made an impact. And you’ll get our opinion on what the defining match of the era was for that specific wrestler.
To give you an idea of the breadth of our list, these were the 10 best who missed the cut:
35. Samoa Joe
34. Barry Windham
33. Arn Anderson
32. John Cena
30. Stan Hansen
29. Dean Malenko
28. William Regal
27. CM Punk
We’ll begin posting our list tomorrow, starting with number 25, written by none other than Big D from the Superfriends Universe.
When it’s all said and done, what Wrestlemania 23 will be remembered for is a haircut match. This isn’t any random old haircut match. This was a billionaire’s haircut match. Well, at least one of them was a billionaire.
Donald Trump has been affiliated with wrestling in the past. He hosted Wrestlemania IV and V at his Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They were two of the worst Wrestlemania’s ever, but that didn’t stop Vince McMahon from calling Trump’s name some 18 years later. And McMahon needed it.
Wrestlemania is what Vince McMahon and company build to every year. It’s their Super Bowl. It’s always the biggest PPV of the year, and the one in which they pull out all the stops. This year, the stops was Donald Trump. You might wonder why putting Donald Trump on a wrestling show, and one that he won’t even wrestle on, is important. The reason it’s important is because people wanted to pay to see who would get their hair cut between Vince and the Donald. Can you imagine a bald Donald Trump? Everyone wants to see that right? Even though anyone in their right mind would know that Trump would’ve never signed on to a match in which he’d lose his hair, it was built up so well, and it went on to be the main event in the biggest money making event in company history.
Donald Trump is still a big name. Even though his television show, The Apprentice was struggling mightily, he’s a well known public figure. And to get a well known public figure who isn’t a one hit wonder (like Kevin Federline) was a major coup for the WWE. It allowed them to enter the main stream media for a short while. The media picked up on Donald Trump being involved with wrestling and it sparked a little bit of a buzz. The wrestling fans are going to buy Wrestlemania. The goal is to get everyone else to do so.
It was the night the Mega Powers were about to explode. But to the fans, that night happened at The Main Event which was broadcast on NBC. Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage were wrestling the Twin Towers of the Big Bossman and Akeem (One Man Gang). Tension had already been building between Hogan and Savage on television as the storyline had been built up for over a year. Ever since Vince McMahon made the decision to put the belt on Savage as Hogan’s replacement champion, he had a blueprint on how Hogan was going to get the belt back. And it involved the lovely Elizabeth. At The Main Event, Savage was whipped towards the outside of the ring and plowed into the Elizabeth. Elizabeth was “knocked unconscious” and with Savage out of his wits from being thrown to the outside, Hogan had to save her. He picked her up and took her to the back, leaving Savage to fight on his own. After the match, Savage jumped Hogan from behind with a groggy Elizabeth pleading with the two men to get a long. Hogan couldn’t believe Savage was jealous and Savage couldn’t believe Hogan couldn’t believe Savage was jealous. The build up towards this match was excellent. It started the prior summer.
At the very first SummerSlam in 1988, the tease to the breakup first started. Hogan and Savage were in the midst of a bro-mance. They had a goofy handshake and were called the Mega Powers, which was supposedly a name to make fun of the Super Powers, who were Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff. The Mega Powers were to face Andre The Giant and Ted DiBiase. Jesse “The Body” Ventura was the designated special guest referee. And Hogan promised that Elizabeth was going to wear an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini. Randy Savage probably put the kibosh on it and as a twelve year old boy with a mighty crush on Elizabeth, I was disappointed. Elizabeth did wear a bikini bottom at least and helped the Mega Powers win the match, and the tease started. As they won, Hogan hoisted up Elizabeth on his shoulder to celebrate, and Savage gave him one slightly disgusted look before they went off air. That’s all it took. You knew right then and there, it was going to happen. And you knew it was going to happen at Wrestlemania. So the big question was that if you already know what is going to happen, why watch it? I don’t think movie plot lines are all that hard to figure out. I don’t think sitcom plot lines are all that hard to figure out. Same here. They just lead to a logical path. And if they are done well, it doesn’t matter if you know what is going to happen.
From SummerSlam, to The Main Event, to Wrestlemania, there was a logical story thread that led to their first meeting in at least a couple years. Savage as the heel, had been a fan favorite, and he had some good matches with Ted DiBiase, but when Hogan was ready to come back from his first movie role, the belt had to come back to Hogan. The match itself was anticlimactic, but the buildup was still great. Savage was the ultimate jealous heel and he let Elizabeth know that she was his woman. Elizabeth played the damsel in despair role and she did it well. She understood her role perfectly and had great facials. And while Hogan couldn’t understand how Savage could be upset, the storyline arc was completed. You were lead to believe that whoever won would get Elizabeth. It didn’t exactly happen that way, but that’s what you were lead to believe.