The SCRUM, Mad Man Pondo, Undertaker, And The Single Strangest Question RD Has Ever Answered

What a difference a week makes.

Just seven days ago, I was looking forward to a trip to Chicago and All Out with my son. We had an absolutely incredible time, more due to the 500 mile road trip where we just kinda took our time and goofed off. We met some very cool folks, and I was able to introduce him to friends of mine he’d never met, like Tommy Skinner and my buddy Bryan Alvarez. In fact, we were going to be going to breakfast the following morning with Bryan but as they say, SCRUM HAPPENS. We’ll catch up with him next time I am sure.

I’m also sure I have a few questions I need to answer, so let’s have at it!

Joel M writes…”So, TK was sitting next to Punk that whole time and never once tried to stop him. What’s with that? TK needs to dump this whole EVP experiment and bring in one person who can actually deal with these wrestlers. Someone who isn’t going to be afraid to hurt feelings. Someone who doesn’t want to be the best friend to these guys. I don’t know who that person is and I’m not campaigning for anyone. I’m just saying, it’s time for a change.”

I know folks like to bag on Vince Russo, but we actually opened our Joker’s Mustache taping this week discussing exactly this. I noted that while Tony was kinda in a no-win situation (although far less of a one than he wound up in), I would have simply pulled the mic away from Punk or simply stopped the presser. Russo said when he first saw Tony, he could tell he was a nice guy and he wanted to be able to be friends with folks and that just couldn’t happen because he had lived through that and it was a nightmare. For sure I think the idea of an enforcer is a great idea for Tony, not sure who that would be. Anyone have Ole Anderson’s number?

(That’s a joke, kids.)

Daniel M asks…”Do you think that if The Undertaker had lost a couple of early Wrestlemania matches he would have lasted as long as he did? As a kid I really wanted both Jake & Diesel to win their matches against him(not knowing at the time that they were both on the way out). The streak wouldn’t have been a thing so there would be no point in him coming back once a year for Wrestlemania.”

I think he would have lasted for a long time as I’ve heard the character was one of Vince’s all-time favorites. If you go back and listen to Vince’s commentary on those matches you could almost sense that as he would add a little more oomph to his already bombastic calls. I really don’t think anyone even noticed that there was a streak per se until like a decade into it and then it was like, “We’ve never beaten this guy, we can make money on that fact” and away they went.

What’s interesting to me is that early Undertaker matches were a lot of times not so great. The company did him no favors with his opponents (Bundy and Kama and Giant Gonzalez and…) so that didn’t help matters. Thankfully for him, the later years were much better which isn’t the case with most wrestling careers.

Sean B writes…”When will Mad Mad Pondo and you do a podcast together?”

Well, I don’t have a podcast currently so that would be a challenge. That said, I love Pondo, we had a lot of fun times together back in the day with Trash, Diamond Dan, and so many others. It’s been years since I’ve spoken with him, but that would be fun.

Theodore B gets high as a kite and asks…”Hello Rd what’s goin on? The other night i was high on weed and i was watching something from the invasion angle. I can’t recall what match it specifically was but i remember it being a huge battle royal and big name after big name rushed the ring. Huge names from ECW, WCW, and WWE were battling it out. It was like a pro wrestling orgasm. How on earth did Vince mess something up like that? Doesn’t the failure of the Invasion angle deserve it’s own book…….or at least a pamphlet?

What’s goin on with the crowd noise in pro wrestling nowadays? I think that’s the main problem with today’s product, it’s too gosh darn quiet. Covid is over with so that’s no excuse anymore. I’ll never forget the HUGE pop that jericho got when he made his WWE debut. Got goosebumps i was so excited. Ppl these days have no attention span whatsoever. I can picture those zombies in the crowd lookin at there phones watchin updated porn rather than being engaged with the show. What happened to the crowds RD?”

I mean, I more or less wrote a chapter on the failure of the invasion in Death of WCW, so while it’s not a pamphlet, it’s at least something.
For the most part, fans have been trained that only certain moments are important in a match. That’s why something like an Iron Man match never really works anymore, as if you know the match is going 60 minutes, why get too invested in the first 59? Take that now and expand upon it. Fans know until we hit the finisher spam portion of the match, the match isn’t going to end. That’s why quick finishes like Mox-Punk 1 are done, to hopefully change that mindset. It will take a long time for that to actually work though.
But the most important question isn’t for me, but rather for you – what kinda weirdo watches porn on their phone at a wrestling show?

Dominic G asks…”Loving From the Pages Of, that’s a great addition to the site. Curious as to what your all time favorite wrestling magazine article may be?”

Specific articles weren’t really my thing, I was more into the columnists, specifically with the Apter mags. So many classic characters in those mags – Apter himself, Matt Brock, Liz Hunter, all the others. Each of those columnists had different personas, almost like its own little world. In a lot of ways, it was a precursor to the so-called IWC (internet wrestling community) of today. Now we have our blocks of favorite bloggers/vloggers/podcasters. They all have their own unique quirks, skews, and views.

The real question of course: who is the Eddie Ellner of the IWC?

We all agree it’s Jim Cornette, right?

Mike M asks…”If you could play any wrestler in a Dark Side of the Ring black & white “dramatization”, who would you pick?”

I mean, I’d love to be someone like Bobby Heenan, but it kind of goes without saying I couldn’t fill his shoes and I look nothing like him. It would need to be someone tall and largely clumsy, so it’s either gotta be Giant Gonzalez or that one guy that kept coming out with Kurrgan back in the day. My hairline also resembles my pal John Tenta, so maybe him. Yeah, that would be cool. I’ll be Earthquake.

And now that I’ve set up such an unachievable goal, time for me to call it a week. Keep sending in those great questions by clicking rightchere and I’ll keep answering them!

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