Posts Tagged ‘Attitude Era’

As noted, WWE has confirmed that former Women’s Champion Ivory will join Bill Goldberg and The Dudley Boyz in the WWE Hall of Fame this year in New Orleans. Ivory spoke with ESPN about the induction at this link. Below are highlights from the interview:

Going into the Hall:

“[This Hall of Fame recognition] means that it’s a full circle in your career, in your wrestling chapter. It’s great bragging rights for your family that have seen you go through the eras and I also feel like it’s an awesome tribute to the women in wrestling as a whole.”

“I liken it to almost getting married, it’s my wedding day, which I’ve never had one, so, this is probably as close to a wedding production as I’ll ever get. Hair and makeup, I will be speaking my vows — with regards to my wrestling career — to all these people I adore and love and we want it to all happen without a hitch.”

Her December 1999 Entertainment Weekly cover with Steve Austin:

“I don’t think either one of us at the time knew what an honor that was — to be having her take our photograph. That was a highlight for me — it’s small because it’s not taking bumps or a big pay per view event or a big championship, but that was one of those amazing sidebar things that I got to do.”

Vince McMahon’s approval:

“I always felt embraced by the family. I didn’t chat with Vince McMahon all the time, but he always gave me great opportunities. I always felt like I had his seal of approval like, ‘Yeah, give it to Ivory, she will do it right.'”

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Former WWE superstar Terri Runnels was one of the legendary female wrestlers to be honored at the 25th anniversary of Monday Night RAW. On her Cigars, Scars and Superstars podcast, Runnels discussed some things that happened behind the scenes at the show.

RAW 25 was shot in two locations, the Barclays Center and the Manhattan Center, which was the home of the first-ever broadcast of Monday Night RAW. There were only a few matches and segments at the Manhattan Center, which drew the ire of the crowd. Runnels revealed that she was disappointed in the presentation even though she understood the necessity for two locations.

“I was very disappointed [with Raw 25]. I really was,” Runnels said. “First of all, I was proud to be there and proud to be with my WWE family again; that was wonderful, but pretty much after that, it was kind of like, ‘Wow, really?’ I thought that [two locations] was a great idea because there’s no way that you can fit capacity crowd that would want to see it in that tiny Manhattan Center location. In order to have it at the Manhattan Center you would have to have it at some other place. I heard from friends that were at the Manhattan Center felt that they got jipped because they only had a few matches and it was dead in between.”

The female wrestling legends were featured in only one segment that night in which they were simply introduced to the crowd in the Barclays Center. Even though she’s aware of how the WWE had to balance the 25th anniversary with the go-home show before the Royal Rumble, Runnels admitted she was disappointed the female superstars didn’t get more shine on the show.

“I think I am disappointed. I don’t feel like I was disrespected, but I just think that they had; this is my guess, but I believe they had a monster of a show to try to do and figure out,” she said. “This many talents coming into Raw that is normally not there like past legends, and I just think it ended up being a time thing; ‘We don’t know what else to do, let’s just have them come out and wave.’ I don’t know, it was just disappointing because I loved my WWE family and all of that and it was just disappointing. It was a let down.”

Runnels said none of the other female superstars were angry while they were at the show. She did, however, reveal that the conditions they were preparing in while they were backstage were less than ideal.

“Nobody was pissed off. It was a ball of fun in our dressing room, but I had to tell you, that was another interesting thing,” she said. “We were put in a basketball court; we were blocked off with black curtains, and there was another area where male legends were blocked off as well. Next to that they were filming all day the APA vignettes so because of that the overhead lights couldn’t be on. We were trying to be ready in almost pitch black dark. They brought one little light and shun it over but it was still dark over there. We kept asking if we can please get lights and how much longer the vignettes were done and they’re like, if we don’t get them done we have to get them done live so we may not be able to put the lights on at all. I couldn’t see to get in my suitcase; I couldn’t find stuff, it was dark. We did not have a mirror. I asked for a folding mirror; they actually gave me that, but there was no running water to wash our hands close by. That was very interesting.”

Runnels left the WWE in 2004 after a successful run as a manager and valet to multiple superstars. She said the big difference now within the company is the environment is more buttoned-up than it was in the past.

“It is very different now. It’s just very corporate. The word that comes to my mind is that there is a bit of antiseptic feeling,” she said. “I would that maybe in terms of the whole sexual harassment; there’s so many things like Wrestlers Court and hazing that used to go on very rapidly in our business, but in a lot of ways that fun is taken out.”

Source: Wrestlinginc.com

WrestlingInc.com owner Raj Giri recently spoke to women’s wrestling legend Molly Holly before she was a surprise entrant in last Sunday’s women’s Royal Rumble match. The two-time WWE Women’s Champion discussed how she got her start in the WWE.

Holly began her wrestling career in WCW before joining the WWE in 2000. She said the WWE had never reached out to her, but instead she proactively sought out the company after her release from WCW. She revealed she had an assist from her mentor Dean Malenko, with whom she trained under.

“They didn’t contact me, I contacted them,” Holly said. “[Someone] told me that they weren’t going to exercise the second year of my contract, so I called Dean Malenko, who is a mentor and a friend of mine, and I asked him, ‘I’m not staying on with the WCW, how do I get in with the WWF?’ And he said, ‘Come to a show, come backstage, and I will introduce you to Jim Ross.’ The show was actually in Atlanta, and the WCW actually already bought me a plane ticket to Atlanta, so I just took the ticket that Ted Turner bought me to go backstage to the WWF and I met with Jim Ross, and Jim Ross already had the heads up.”

Holly said the meeting didn’t start out as she expected. She was a bit taken aback when Ross told her where she’d have to start her career. But when she realized it would be just a stepping stone to future opportunities, she was happy to accept the role.

“So we had a meeting, where he informed me, ‘We start out our girls as one of The Godfather’s ladies.’ I was like, ‘Oh, great. Yeah.’ And he was listing all the girls who went on to be famous as a result, and then he said that he’d like to offer me a developmental contract. And I said, ‘Yeah, that’s great,'” she said. “So I flew home and started making money right away – I was getting severance from WCW, and I was getting developmental guarantees from the WWF. The highlight of my career was sitting home and getting paid by two companies. But eventually, they sent me to Memphis to train with the likes of Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), the Mean Street Posse, Victoria (Miss Kitty) – there was a whole group of us that trained there.”

Holly also discussed her favorite moments from her time with the WWE. She explained that most of her favorite experiences happened off-screen, but she pointed to her on-screen relationship with Spike Dudley as the best time of her career. The two of them were involved in a love story amidst a heated rivalry between her cousins, Crash Holly and Hardcore Holly, and Spike’s brothers, The Dudley Boyz.

“I don’t know. A lot of my favorite moments didn’t have anything to do with being on TV. 49 states, 15 different countries – I mean, there’s so many awesome things that I thought, ‘wow, people save their whole life to go on vacation to Melbourne Australia, and I’m getting paid to be here.’ Or, Helsinki Finland. Or wherever these gigs took me. I would be the one who would skip the gym to go see the sites,” she said. “As far as my television career, I really enjoyed my character’s storyline with Spike Dudley. It was fun to have acting skits and the things that the fans could get involved with, get behind, root for. So my Disney romance with Spike Dudley was by far one of my favorite things in my time with the WWF.”

Holly currently serves as a female coach at “The Academy School of Professional Wrestling” in Minneapolis, Minnesota owned by Ken Anderson and Shawn Daivari, so she’s helping to mold the future of women’s wrestling. As far as current female superstars, Holly said she’s a huge fan of SmackDown Live women’s champion Charlotte. She said she’s impressed with Charlotte’s combination of strength and high-flying abilities, so she enjoys watching her compete.

“Charlotte really impressed me when she started doing some gymnastics things,” she said. “These are things normally done by girls when they’re five-foot-one and eighty pounds. But the fact that she can do them and she’s so big is remarkable. I remember the first time I saw Brock Lesnar do this top-roll thing, and I was like, ‘What? Wow! But he’s huge!’ So that’s how I feel with Charlotte – she’s doing things that gravity is screaming, ‘Don’t do that!’ And she’s like, ‘F you gravity!’ So, she really blows my mind.”

WWE this afternoon announced that former 10-time tag-team champions The Dudley Boyz are to be inducted into their hallowed Hall of Fame at the 2018 edition.

‘Brothers’ Bubba Ray and D-Von join Bill Goldberg as the names already confirmed to receive the special ring come 6 April at New Orleans Smoothie King Center.

The reveals so far correspond with those touted a few months back, meaning we can probably expect a few more names from the list to be announced in the coming weeks.

After establishing themselves in the business as part of Paul Heyman’s renegade ECW troupe, the Dudleys – just two of the Philadelphia promotion’s extended family – made the jump to Stamford in 1999. The story goes that the pair asked Heyman for a raise of one single dollar to stay with his company, but as the ECW honcho was already in cahoots with Vince McMahon as a supplier of talent, it was denied.

The Dudleys had gained some considerable momentum with their furniture-shattering antics back in Pennsylvania, and their innovative violence proved the perfect seasoning to add to WWE’s increasingly spicy product. It was through their extreme encounters with The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian that tag-team wrestling saw a huge revival in the company, with the trio of trios arguably as fundamental to WWE’s late-’90s success as anyone on the roster.

Then there was the time Bubba planted octogenarian Mae Young through a table. Who could forget that?

In 2005, the two left for pastures new, with Bubba eventually reinventing himself as top heel Bully Ray in TNA. When the so-called siblings reunited in WWE in 2015, that whole chapter was erased, and fans were treated to a straight nostalgia trip.

Just this past week, the brothers-from-another-mother joined in the Raw 25 celebrations, with Heath Slater taking the brunt of their traditional wood-splitting honours.

There have been a lot of raised eyebrows at some Hall of Fame inductees of recent years, but few would vigorously argue against the Dudleys’ inclusion.

 

For several weeks, the “Countdown to the Millenium” appeared on WWE programming, with the timer decreasing more during each time it was aired. In the media, various outlets warned their viewers of the “Y2K bug,” which was the projection of computer systems going awry in the beginning of the year 2000 since the double zero that abbreviates the year was believed to be unrecognizable by computer program coding.

WWE took advantage of this technology scare, and on August 9, 1999, the Countdown to the Millenium struck zero during a promo from The Rock. All of a sudden, the music hits, and out comes WCW-defect Chris Jericho. Jericho would commence the “Y2J problem,” and competed exclusively in WWE for 18 years before being a part of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s annual Wrestle Kingdom event, as he competed against IWGP U.S. Champion Kenny Omega.

The Cult of Whatever recently caught up with Jericho about his debut on Raw, and he shared these thoughts.

“It was definitely one of the best debuts ever,” said Jericho. “I came up with the idea of the countdown clock and Vince McMahon came up with the idea of having the clock end right in the middle of Rocks promo. I think that is the biggest reaction I had ever got, a lot of people knew it was going to me but there were also a lot of people that didn’t have a clue.

“It was a different world back then, the internet wasn’t like it is today, these days you would just go online and you can find things out right away but it wasn’t like that then.”

This moment would recently be ranked fourth in the 25 greatest moments in the history of Raw.

We noted before that Bill Goldberg was set to go into the WWE Hall of Fame this year in New Orleans, first reported by freelance writer Brad Shepard. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter has now confirmed that Goldberg will be the headliner of the 2018 class.

The Dudley Boyz were also on the original list of names reported and it’s possible WWE announces their induction during the RAW 25th Anniversary show on January 22nd as they were recently confirmed for that event. Besides Goldberg and The Dudleys, other names reported but unconfirmed as of this writing are Ivory and Bam Bam Bigelow, plus Kid Rock going into the Celebrity Wing.

Goldberg’s induction should be announced soon, possibly as early as Monday’s RAW, as tickets for the ceremony go on sale Friday, January 19th at 11am EST. The online pre-sale will begin next Wednesday via Ticketmaster.

The 2018 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on Friday, April 6th at 7:30pm EST from the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. No word yet on a special broadcast for the USA Network but it will air on the WWE Network in its entirety.

The 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw is fast-approaching. Even though he hasn’t been officially confirmed to be appearing on the show on Jan. 22, Mick Foley is likely going to be one of the legends to return. He recently spoke to Planeta Wrestling about the show.

Foley was asked what were his top three moments from Raw throughout his WWE career. Naturally, winning the WWE Championship for the first time in an all-time iconic moment was his first choice. But one of the moments he chose for his top three happened fairly recently and might come as a surprise to some fans.

“There have been so many great ones. I’ll say winning the WWE title for the first time, against a gentleman named The Rock. That was definitely number one,” Foley said. “Number two, was a really great, wild match I had with Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1996, so good that we kept being urged to wrestle longer and longer. And the third one, I really enjoyed being fired by Stephanie McMahonwhen I was general manager of Raw. I know that sounds like a strange third one, but it was a great creative rush to be fired by Stephanie.”

Foley also was asked which superstar he’d like to see return on the 25th anniversary show. The superstar he named might not be considered a legend, but he is a close friend of Foley’s.

“I imagine there’s gonna be many legends back there. I’d like to see Al Snow back,” Foley said. “I’m not sure if Al qualifies as a legend, but I’d like to see Al Snow return to Monday Night Raw.”

Returning superstars confirmed to be appearing as of this writing include The Undertaker, WWE Hall of Famers Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Kevin Nash, and Shawn Michaels. The Raw 25th Anniversary will air live from New York City at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom, the original home of Raw.


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