Welcome to The Armpit wrestling quiz for the week of February 27, 2017.
There was no quiz last week due to the President’s Day holiday.
Been a sad week with the passing of so many wrestling personalities of late, including Ivan Koloff, George Steele, Nicole Bass, and a couple others at the indie level. WWE did a nice piece on Steele, but considering Koloff was their former world champion in one of the great upsets in company history, his legacy was entirely overlooked. They also said nothing about Bass, although that was expected because she had sued them.
How wrestling companies handle deaths of former stars is often controversial, and this week we’ll take a look back at some of those moments. Thus our theme this week is, “Television Tributes.”
Congratulations to last week’s winner: Richard Welsh
Last week’s answers:
1) The first WarGames matches in 1987 took place on the Great American Bash tour. The GAB name is the one (and only) concept of Dusty’s that the WWE later used, including last year.
2) In the Tower of Doom cage match at Great American Bash ’88, the key was held by Jimmy Garvin’s valet (and real-life wife), Precious.
3) At WarGames ’91, held at that year’s WCW WrestleWar PPV, Brian Pillman was legitimately injured in an errant powerbomb from Sid Vicious. Sid was so tall that when he powerbombed Pillman, his legs hit the top of the cage and it all went wrong from there. It was not a good night for Sid, as the camera mic also caught him calling audible spots during the match.
4) At WrestleWar ’92, Sting led the babyface side of the WarGames match, teasing tension with Nikita Koloff, who had just returned to the company for a brief stint. When examining Ivan Koloff’s career last week, it again hit me how much the NWA blew it with Nikita. While he wasn’t the best worker, he could be carried (and was better in the ring than Goldberg, whom he was often compared with) and would’ve been a huge babyface star in the late 80s with a few tweaks to his character and booking.
5) The WarGames match later became an annual tradition on the WCW Fall Brawl PPV.
6) In the Thunderdome cage match at Halloween Havoc ’89, the special referee was none other than Bruno Sammartino (yet another Ivan Koloff quiz tie-in that was completely inadvertent).
7) In the Chamber of Horrors cage match at Halloween Havoc ’91, it was Abdullah the Butcher who was “electrocuted.” The one thing about that show was that on the undercard, Steve Austin wrestled Dustin Rhodes and I recall Dave Meltzer saying that if anyone could be the next Ric Flair, it was Austin. As it was, he ended up becoming the next Hogan and the single most important person in turning the WWF around and launching the company to heights nobody ever thought possible. In fact that entire Havoc ’91 card was loaded with guys who went onto become 90s legends.
8) The Thunderdome cage match at the Clash of the Champions in January ’93 was notable for the babyface turn of Cactus Jack. Bill Watts was fired shortly thereafter, ironically just as the booking was starting to gain momentum. 1993 was among the worst years ever for WCW (only 2000 may have been worse), but it was for the best because the guy they put in charge (Eric Bischoff) ended up turning that turd of a company into the biggest, most profitable wrestling promotion there had ever been at the time.
9) Speaking of Bischoff, he was the authority figure who in storyline created the first ever Elimination Chamber match in 2002.
10) In the first Hell in a Cell, taken place the same day Brian Pillman passed away, the Undertaker wrestled Shawn Michaels. Given the circumstances, it’s a miracle they had as good of a match as they did.
This week’s questions:
Aside from Chris Benoit, the wrestler whose death received more mainstream coverage than anyone else was Owen Hart. It wasn’t because Owen was such a big star, but because of the nature of his death. Raw the next night was a real tear jerker and most of you reading this, even if you won’t admit it, were bawling your eyes out watching it. Who read a tearful, handwritten, heartfelt poem to Owen on that show?
a) Lanny Poffo
b) Mark Henry
c) Jeff Jarrrett
d) The Godfather
Steve Austin didn’t attend the funeral for Owen, saying he “doesn’t do well” at funerals. While Austin never fully forgave Owen for carelessly breaking his neck at SummerSlam ’97, that’s not why he didn’t go to the funeral. How did Austin pay tribute to Owen on Raw the night after he died?
a) Cut a tearful, emotional promo about him.
b) Dedicated his stunner that night to Owen.
c) Had Owen’s name emblazoned on his pickup truck.
d) Cracked open a beer and saluted Owen to the live crowd in attendance.
The most controversial tribute show ever was the Raw following the news of Chris Benoit’s death. Vince McMahon called him a “damn fine man,” and the whole show made him out to be a hero. The lone exception was William Regal, who knew Benoit’s dark side and gave an eerie promo not wanting to say anything nice yet (at first it was believed the Benoit family was murdered by an outside party). True or false: WWE knew before the show aired that Benoit was suspected of killing his wife, son, and himself.
The WWF had a video tribute to Andre the Giant, and even though he did little with WCW, he was such a huge star and legend that WCW couldn’t ignore him. His death overshadowed WCW SuperBrawl III, one of the all-time great PPVs ever that has been forgotten. The following weekend they teased the whole show a tribute to Andre in the final segment, which ended up a huge disappointment because they didn’t own any footage of him. So they ended up showing a very brief clip of Andre just months before his death, when he attended WCW Clash of the Champions XX at Center Stage in Atlanta (summer of ’92, the 20th anniversary of wrestling on TBS). In that clip, he was greeted in the parking lot and interviewed by another Atlanta legend, who had already retired from announcing but came back for this special night. Who was he?
a) Jim Ross
b) Tony Schiavone
c) Gordon Solie
d) David Crockett
WCW never really knew how to handle deaths of their stars. When Louie Spicolli died during the peak of the Monday night wars, they got a lot of criticism for something that was said on the air. This person said he wanted to talk about Louie, but out of respect for his family, he wouldn’t say anything. This person was involved in an on-air feud with Spicolli at the time. Who was it?
Elizabeth was a gigantic star for the WWF, and really the catalyst for the most profitable feud they ever had in the 80s: Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage. And so it came off terribly sleazy when not long after she passed away, WWE reported on the story and gave subtle hints that Lex Luger may have been involved. Even though Vince despised Luger for his last minute jump to WCW on the first Nitro, this was totally unfair to him. What was the name of the short-lived TV show that this segment appeared on? Hint: it was the same show that first “broke” the news that Shawn Michaels knew about the Montreal Screwjob.
a) WWE Main Event
b) WWE Sunday Night Heat
c) WWE Confidential
d) WWE Mania
You couldn’t possibly script a more surreal series of events than those that surrounded the death of the Ultimate Warrior. Even if you could, nobody would believe it. Here’s a guy who was on the outs with WWE for years, finally makes a return at the Hall of Fame, gives a memorable speech the next night on Raw, and then drops dead the day after that. The whole thing is simply unbelievable, but at least Warrior got one last moment in the sun and the chance to say Goodbye to the fans who grew up loving him. How does the WWE still honor Warrior to this day?
a) They’re planning a special wing in his name at the physical Hall of Fame they’re building.
b) All proceeds of Warrior’s merchandise go entirely to Warrior’s children.
c) Every year on the WWE Network they produce a program featuring his most famous matches.
d) They created the Warrior Award, given every year at the Hall of Fame to an inspirational person who has shown good spirit.
Another surreal moment, in hindsight, was the sight of Chris Benoit sobbing uncontrollably as he paid tribute to one of his best friends. This person had passed away on a Sunday in 2005, and the following week several on the roster talked about their favorite memories of him. His brother passed away two weeks ago as well. Who was this well-liked person?
a) Chris Candido
b) Lord Alfred Hayes
c) “Pistol” Pez Whatley
d) Eddie Guerrero
One of the most memorable PPVs of the 2000s was ECW One Night Stand in 2005. Booked by Paul Heyman, there were several highlight moments in what was a thoroughly enjoyable blast from the past. How did the company pay tribute that night to the many ECW stars who are no longer with us?
a) As they do in Japan, they had framed photographs in the ring and rang the bell in a moment of silence.
b) They ran a video tribute that showed all the fallen stars in one segment.
c) There was a simple video graphic listing everyone who had passed away.
d) There was no tribute or mention at all on the show of any deceased ECW stars.
WWE has now settled into a familiar pattern whenever someone of note passes away. They’ll produce a nice video and maybe feature several segments of stars on the roster describing their fondest memories, as well as screen shots of their tweets. They did this for Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Piper, Chyna, Randy Savage, and most recently George Steele. This one’s a freebie; for as long as you’ve been a wrestling fan, which wrestler’s death has affected you the most?
There are three ways to send us your answers to the quiz:
We will randomly generate a number to determine the winner. For example, if the number is 25 and you’re the 25th person to contact us with correct answers, you win. Winners receive a free copy of our brand new e-book, “The Armpit Wrestling Quiz Archives: Volume 1.” It features 128 quizzes we’ve written over the years and clocks in at 420 pages and a whopping 1,079 questions on pro wrestling history dating back to the 1980s. We’ll also announce your name here next week as the winner.
Answers will be posted next week. Have fun and good luck.