Pro Wrestling Q&A (Horsemen, Kliq, Russo and More) – July 12, 2018

Tossing Salt Presents:
Pro Wrestling Q&A
Horsemen, Kliq, Russo and More
July 12, 2018

Last night, I spent a few hours hanging out with my brother, the Infamous K-Mak and his awesome family. And it was a good night. We discussed everything from houses to Willie Wonka to my sister’s new male friend (he doesn’t like the guy. I think he’s cute) to world domination. The usual topics. And then, I was handed a sheet of paper and on this sheet of paper were several questions. My bro explained to me that I’ve been getting slack on my writing for the site and needed to step up my game so… he was giving me something to write about. Questions about wrestling. So here we are now. He gave me many questions to answer and now it’s my turn to do just that. Thank you my brother. And now, are you ready? I said, “ARE YOU READY?”. It works so much better with a live audience than in the written form. *sighs* Let’s do this…

Out of everyone who came and went with the Four Horsemen, who was the best fit as a Horseman (excluding Ric and Arn)?

A tough question because there are a couple of guys that were made to be Horsemen and were perfect for that role at the time they became part of the group. Obviously Tully was perfect, but since he was one of the original grouping (and the one who brought James J. Dillon with him to the group), I’ll exclude Tully from this question. I’ll exclude Ole Anderson too because he too was one of the original members and some can say that without Ole and his legacy with Gene as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew and their ties with Arn and Ric (as cousins), there would never be the Horsemen. So leaving out the original four guys, who was the best fit? It comes down to one of two men. Barry Windham or Chris Benoit. Windham was made to be a Horseman and was probably the best pure wrestler of the 80’s. He could be a face or heel and his in-ring skills were right there with Flair and Tully. Windham was so good and fit in with this group so well, it was a place he was meant to be. And then there’s Benoit. He wasn’t a good promo guy, but no one can match his intensity in the ring. He was a great fit as the “silent but violent” backbone of the group and his international reputation and backgroup just added so much to the group. Windham was the best overall, but Benoit would come in a close second.

Who was the worst fit (excluding Roma)?

This is a tough call because there were not really any “bad Horsemen” that didn’t have a few redeeming qualities and bring something to the group. Roma was not a good fit, but he’s excluded in this question and was a quick solution to a bad situation (Tully’s not being able to come back). Jeff Jarrett was not a Horseman (ask Arn Anderson and he’ll tell you) so he’s not eligible to be my answer either. Some might say Steve “Mongo” McMichael, but while his wrestling skills sucked, he was a legit tough SOB and outside the ring, this former Super Bowl Champion was a Horseman in every sense of the word. I guess I’d go with Sting on this one. While Sting was a top guy in WCW and the top baby-face for so many years and had so much going for him, he was not a good fit with the Horsemen. Look at the group at the time. RIc Flair. Arn Anderson. Ole Anderson. Sting? Which one of these things doesn’t belong. I get why they made him a Horseman and for the story being told, it made sense. It was good drama and good TV. But it wasn’t a good chemistry or grouping, at least not in my mind.

What incarnation of Sting was the best?

From a Blade Runner to Missy Hyatt’s flunkie to the Surfer to Horseman to the free agent to the Crow to Joker Sting to TNA Authority figure to the Icon in WWE. Few men have successfully managed to reinvent themselves as Sting has. My personal favorite was the Joker Sting in TNA because it just looked as if Sting was having fun for a change and was just having a great time. But as a performer / wrestler, I think the best version of Sting was when he didn’t wrestle and incorporated the Crow gimmick, just chilling up in the rafters at the WCW shows, setting up the big encounter with the nWo and Hogan. Never before had a man said so much by saying nothing at all. It was great TV and great story-telling and probably the best version of Sting ever.

The four best announcers of all time?

A tough question because there are so many good announcers out there that I’ve listened to in all of my years of being a fan and they have different strong points and qualities that make them great. It’s hard to choose just one (or four). And is this just announcers or the color commentators too or are they a different category? I think I’ll split them up into two different groupings to try and give as many credit as I can. And since the request is for four, I’ll just say that this is my personal Mt. Rushmore of Wrestling Announcers. For calling the action and leading the discussion, doing the play by play, I’d go with Bob Caudle, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross and Rich Landrum (the former host of NWA World Wide Wrestling in the early 80’s). For being the color guy, my picks would be Bobby Heenan, Dutch Mantell, Corey Graves and Terry Simms Garvin (GWF).

Vince Russo. WWE Hall of Fame or Nah?

While I understand and appreciate the contributions that Russo has made to wrestling, my own call would be no for the Hall of Fame. After Ivan Koloff, Ole Anderson, Baby Doll, Baron Von Raschke, Disco Inferno and Juvi get inducted, maybe we can give Russo another look, but not until then.

Rank the members of the Kliq from best to worst i terms of ring work and promo skills.

In terms of ring work, I’d go with HBK, Scott Hall, HHH, X-Pac and then Kevin Nash. In terms of promo skills, it’d be HBK, HHH, Nash, Scott Hall and then X-Pac.

Worst tragedy in wrestling history?

This is a tough one. Do we go with when Sable made her WWE TV debut? When Vince Russo became the WCW Champion? When WCW aired their last show and were purchased by the WWE and Vince McMahon? When Arn Anderson was forced to retire? When Disco Inferno became the WCW World Television Champion? When Vince Russo was born? So many bad times and rough spots to choose from, but in all honesty, it would fall down to one of two and I think it’s pretty obvious what they are. The Benoit murder / suicide incident or when Owen Hart fell to his death. Brody’s murder in Puerto Rico is right up there too, but on a personal level, I think that the Benoit thing probably did the most damage to pro wrestling and the business.

80’s NWA / WCW versus 80’s WWF Dream Match?

In the 80’s, it would be easy. NWA World Champion Ric Flair versus WWF Champion Hulk Hogan, both men in their prime and at the very peak of their careers.

90’s WCW versus 90’s WWF Dream Match?

The Horsemen versus The Kliq in a “War Games” match. Let Ric, Arn, Benoit, Malenko and Mongo fight HBK, HHH, Nash, Hall and X-Pac inside that two ring steel cage structure. It would be great to watch and the promos and build would be beyond belief. The Kliq would win because the Horsemen hardly ever won the War Games matches. They were the heels so that’s how it always went. But the match would be epic to see.

It’s your call. Does Chris Benoit go into the Hall of Fame or NAH?

Based on his in-ring work and career, I can see an argument being made for Benoit being part of the WWE Hall of Fame, but in my opinion, that last weekend of his life and what happened to Nancy and Daniel have totally negated any chance he’ll ever have. A great wrestler, yes. But Hall of Fame? Murderers don’t go into the Hall of Fame so I would definitely say no.

Is Martha Hart right for how she’s, in Bret’s words, “erasing Owen’s career”?

Martha needs to take the stick out of her ass and let the WWE make Owen DVD’s and induct him into the Hall of Fame. The man had a great career and legacy and deserves to be remembered for the great talent and person that he was. While I get Martha’s anger and frustration, it’s been nearly twenty years. It’s time to let it go and let Owen get the honors and respect he deserves.

Was the Montreal Screwjob a work?

I think it was a bad situation that was made worse by rash decisions, bad judgement and one person’s over-inflated sense of ego. Given the backstage situation where Bret blacked Vince’s eye, I’m inclined to think that everything that happened was not a mutually agreed upon plan. I think that they probably had one scenario in mind and the final call was changed on the fly by Vince and they just went with it and Bret was lost in the chaos, not sure exactly what was going on. It was supposed to be a work, but turned into a worked shoot that got a little bit out of control and didn’t go exactly as planned. Only Bret and Vince know for sure though.

Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels. Who was best?

Bret is the better technical wrestler by far, but so far as the all around package goes, with the in-ring work, the promos, the character and being able to bring in the fans and put butts in the seats, HBK had few peers. Of the two, Shawn was definitely the best.

Did Ron Simmons deserve his run as the WCW Champion or was Bill Watts just trying to prove that he wasn’t a racist?

Did Ron deserve his run as the WCW Champion. It was a surprise from out of left field, but it worked and Ron wasa good worker and legit tough guy so I’ll say he deserved it. Why Ron though? Bill Watts was thought of as a racist, but he had a history of putting Adrican American performers over as he did with the Junkyard Dog in the Mid-South and Simmons in WCW, plus his top booker and assistant was the legendary Ernie “The Cat” Ladd, so just how racist was he truly? While Watts was obnoxious and an ass-clown in so many ways, I don’t think it was so much a race thing as a person thing. He saw green first and if you could make money and put butts in the seat, it didn’t matter if you were black, white, green, purple, etc. He might have had racist opinions and views, but he was able to keep those and his business decisions apart and put the job first. So was he a racist? Probably. Was that the reason that Ron became the first black World Champion (not named Bobo Brazil)? I think it was the right call for the time and a good business move so while race may have played a factor, it wasn’t the biggest reason either.

And there you go. That was a long one and I’ve been warned that K-Mak will have more questions for me later this week. All I can say is bring it on, my brother. Thanks to everyone for reading. Questions, such as these or anything wrestling, music or life related, are welcome and appreciated. Drop me a line at my e-mail, or else here at the site and tell me what you think. Until the next time, I’m out of here. Have a great one and stay safe. I loves ya!


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