Vince McMahon has recently ordered for his company, World Wrestling Entertainment, to be solely branded as WWE, thus eliminating the word “wrestling” from its title. While it's true that in recent years, wrestling – specifically the WWE – has become more of an entertainment spectacle rather than a wrestling spectacle, the truth is that you can't take “wrestling” out of a wrestling company. If you do, then what you've created is a soap opera.
Most people look down on the sport of professional wrestling because of the fact that everything is scripted. If you think about other sports such as hockey, baseball, basketball and football, what you'll notice is that, unlike wrestling, they are not scripted. Even the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Challenge) is real or not scripted. Because wrestling is scripted, it has caused many to question whether wrestling should even be considered a sport or not. This is the argument that is often brought up when people try to classify wrestling as a sport or just simply as a form of entertainment. I personally think that even though everything is scripted, wrestling is still a form of sports entertainment. For those who do not follow wrestling, you'll often hear them say that “wrestling is fake” or “wrestling is not real.” They are referring to the fact that everything is scripted or planned beforehand. What they fail to realize are things such as the performances that the wrestlers have to pull off inside of the ring for every match, the grueling road schedule that accompanies the job (which offers very little time off and no off-season), the high risk of receiving various injuries while working, etc. Therefore, to say that the life of a wrestler is easy is a vast understatement!
On Friday, May 20th, 2011, Randy Mario Poffo (a.k.a. “Macho Man” Randy Savage) was involved in a fatal automobile accident in Seminole, Florida. In light of his passing, a recent report was posted online comparing WWE wrestler death stats to similar sized samples in other fields of sports and entertainment. The report states that... “51 talents who appeared at the 1991 WWE Pay-Per-View WrestleMania VII, 14 have died prematurely - “The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich, Dino Bravo, Andre the Giant, Joey Marella, “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, Mr. Perfect, Miss Elizabeth, Hawk, Hercules, Big Boss Man, Earthquake, Sensational Sherri, Crush and Randy Savage. This list does not include Gorilla Monsoon (62, natural causes) and Lord Alfred Hayes (76, series of strokes). By comparison, of the 44 professional football players who started on both offense and defense at SuperBowl XXV between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants, all remain alive. For professional boxing, of the 44 boxers to hold a major world championship in 1991, two are dead. Of the 50 musicians to perform at the 1991 and 1992 Monsters of Rock festivals in England, which is an annual music festival that attracts the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal music, all remain alive.” These frightening stats just go to show the toll that professional wrestling takes on a wrestler's body, and should make non-wrestling followers realize that despite being scripted, wrestling is real, wrestling is damn real!
Far too many wrestlers have died way before their time. That is why I have decided to write this blog. I have decided to pay homage to these wrestlers by participating in the following challenge:
Challenge: You are Vincent Kennedy McMahon, chairman of the WWE, and you have to book WrestleMania, your biggest pay-per-view event of the year, using only deceased wrestlers. The catch is that every wrestler, manager, announcer, etc. that you book has to have been employed by you at some point in their career. You have the luxury of having every wrestler in their prime as well, so age will not play a huge factor in your booking decisions. All of the current championships in the WWE are fair game for you to use, but keep in mind that all of them do not have to be defended. If there is either retired championship that you wish to reinstate, then you can because you're the chairman. The only rule is that you cannot create a championship. You have to list your roster of wrestlers, managers, announcers and other on-air personalities that you plan to use, and you have to plan the greatest extravaganza of the year, while also paying one last tribute to all of these great performers who are no longer with us! Finally, you should provide the results showing who you would put over in each of your matches.
Here is my response:
WWE WrestleMania: One Last Stand!
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes
20 Man Over the Top Rope Battle Royal:
Adrian Adonis vs. Bad News Brown vs. Big Boss Man vs. Bastion Booger vs. Dick Murdoch vs. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams vs. Earthquake vs. Ernie Ladd vs. Giant Gonzalez vs. Hercules vs. Junkyard Dog vs. Lance Cade vs. Ludvig Borga vs. Road Warrior Hawk vs. Skip vs. Stan Stasiak vs. Stu Hart vs. “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich vs. The Executioner vs. The Missing Link
Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Divas Championship:
Bertha Faye vs. Fabulous Moolah vs. Luna Vachon vs. Sensational Sherri
Tag Team Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship:
The Jersey Triad (Bam Bam Bigelow and Kanyon) vs. Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock)
$15,000 Body Slam Challenge (WrestleMania I Rematch):
Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd
Extreme Elimination Chamber Match for the reinstated WWE Hardcore Championship:
Brian Pillman vs. Crash Holly vs. Crush vs. Mike Awesome vs. Test vs. Umaga
Triple Threat Match for the WWE United States Championship:
Mr. Perfect vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. Dino Bravo
Stipulation: If Dino Bravo wins, he will rename the WWE United States Championship to the WWE Canadian Championship!
Singles Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship:
Owen Hart vs. “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
2 out of 3 Falls Match for the World Heavyweight Championship:
Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero
Fall #1 - Street Fight; Fall #2 - Steel Cage Match; Fall #3 - Ladder Match
Singles Match for the WWE Championship:
“Macho Man” Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth vs. Yokozuna
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Match #1: "Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich wins the 20 Man Over the Top Rope Battle Royal (Last Eliminating Earthquake)
Match #2: Fabulous Moolah wins the WWE Women's Championship (Pinfall on Luna Vachon)
Match #3: Public Enemy wins the WWE Tag Team Championship (Pinfall on Kanyon)
Match #4: Andre the Giant wins the Body Slam Challenge (Body Slam)
Match #5: Brian Pillman wins the Extreme Elimination Chamber (Last Eliminating Crush)
Match #6: Mr. Perfect wins the WWE United States Championship (Pinfall on "Ravishing" Rick Rude)
Match #7: Owen Hart wins the WWE Intercontinental Championship (Submission)
Match #8: Eddie Guerrero wins the World Heavyweight Championship (3rd Fall - Climbing the Ladder)
Match #9: "Macho Man" Randy Savage wins the WWE Championship (Pinfall)
I welcome comments from all readers about my blog as well as responses back about how you would book WrestleMania using only those wrestling personalities that have passed away!
Next Blog: A Tribute to the "Macho Man" Randy Savage! OOH YEAH!