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FRIDAY'S ASK PWTORCH: Why is "Superstars of Wrestling" banner blurred out by WWE, isn't Undertaker in Top Five All-Time, where did WCW line "Where the Big Boys Play" come from, forecasting the WM30 main events

Jun 14, 2013 - 12:48:49 PM
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Welcome to a new website-exclusive PWTorch feature! I am PWTorch founder and editor, Wade Keller. I've been covering pro wrestling since 1987 when I started the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter while still in high school. Over 25 years later, PWTorch reaches more wrestling fans every week than any other independent brand. When we launched PWTorch.com in 1999, one of the features I enjoyed doing the most was "Ask PWTorch." I haven't done it recently on the website, but did revive it in recent years in an audio format for PWTorch VIP members on my Keller Hotline. We reintroduced it to the website audience this month.

If you have a question you'd like me to respond to, send your question to askpwtorch@gmail.com. I, along with the Torch staff, will address you questions.

PWTorch reader Jeff from Michican asks: How can Undertaker not be considered in the top 5 of all-time WWE greats when he has a 21-0 record at Wrestlemania? Doesn't he knock John Cena out of the list or is Taker at number six?

PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: From the perspective of a 1980s newsstand wresting magazine or even a current day WWE.com list of "All-Time WWE Greats," Undertaker could be in top five, but it'd still be close as we're talking about the entire history of the company spanning 50 years. Undertaker's sheer length of tenure compared to Rock, Austin, and Cena is a consideration, but you have to factor in that he wasn't a top tier central figure for the first stretch of his time in WWE and he has never been for any considerable length of time the centerpiece champion. He's been a "gimmick performer," a modern-day Andre the Giant in the sense that he was portrayed largely as a special attraction. More than half of Taker's streak wasn't even considered a notable streak, and his matches were largely forgettable throw-away mid-card monster squashes. This sounds like I'm downplaying Undertaker, but only if you consider him a top five all-time star. If the criteria is based around wrestlers who carried the company on their shoulders, drew money, held the title, and were the "face of the company," Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and John Cena are a clear top four in that regard, and then you have to debate between Rock and Taker since Taker has a longer tenure but Rock was a big part of their best stretch and headlined two million-buy-plus WrestleManias in his comeback matches.


PWTorch reader Mark G. asks: Why does the WWE blur out the "Superstars of Wrestling" banner above the ring when it shows highlights from their 1980s TV?

PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill answers: WWE abandoned the "Superstars of Wrestling" trademark when they changed the show's name to "WWF Superstars" back in the early 1990s. A Wisconsin indy promoter trademarked the phrase 1994. WWE would have to pay the trademark owner if they used the name now. They own "WWE Superstars," which is why the words "Of Wrestling" are blurred out of the old footage and not the word "Superstars." By the way, welcome to my world.

SPECIAL NOTE We have launched a new FREE PWTorch Email Alert service where you can receive BREAKING NEWS ALERTS on occasion plus daily TOP FIVE STORIES reports. To sign up (you can easily unsubscribe anytime), click here.)


PWTorch reader Jason Q. asks: I have had this question in the back of my mind for years and was hoping maybe PWTorch's staff could answer it. Who came up with the tag line for WCW "Where the big boys play?" Or, when was the first time it was used on TV? Thanks!

PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill answers: In August 1995, Randy Savage gave a media interview with Chet Coppock, and first used the phrase "where the big boys play" to describe WCW. The "big boys" were the proven stars, (himself, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, etc.) as opposed to the unproven "new generation" wrestlers headlining in WWF. (See PWTorch Newsletter #349 for that story.) It was a memorable phrase, because Lex Luger used it again when he returned to WCW a few weeks later.


SPECIAL NOTE We have launched a new FREE PWTorch Email Alert service where you can receive BREAKING NEWS ALERTS on occasion plus daily TOP FIVE STORIES reports. To sign up (you can easily unsubscribe anytime), click here.)


PWTorch reader Brandon S. asks: This is Brandon from Cleveland, a preriodic caller on the PWTorch Livecast. I wanted to present you, James, with the same question that I presented to Bruce & Travis on Monday because you are my favorite host and would love to hear your opinion on this. Historically Speaking, it is getting close to the time (Money in the Bank, Summerslam) where small hints and different things start to occur in a month by month, step by step process building to the WrestleMania Main Event. I personally believe the Rock will not wrestle at WM30, so with that in mind, if you had to play the role of Vince McMahon and book the main event for WM30 with naturally the goal being to book the most appealing, money-making match for casual and die-hard fans, what would you go with definitively?

PWTorch assistant editor James Caldwell responds: I'm going to slide a little and give you two WM30 main events. The first main event depends a lot on how C.M. Punk is re-introduced to WWE after his WrestleMania 29 hiatus, but I would present John Cena vs. C.M. Punk as the "main roster" main event. (This also means I do not see "Stone Cold" Steve Austin wrestling at WM30.) I think WWE can refresh the recent rivalry between Cena and Punk into something epic for next year's WrestleMania, matching up the two top main-roster stars of the past three years.

The other main event would feature The Undertaker's Streak. The opponent is the question. The Rock? Brock Lesnar? Ryback? Someone else who catches fire between now and then? Sting in a dream world? Taker currently has a lingering feud with The Shield, but I don't see Taker facing an individual from The Shield, nor the group in a tag match setting. Overall for Taker, there are several possibilities, making it interesting to see who ends up facing next year in New Orleans.


(I'll now be adding a segment exclusively for VIP members to this article as a bonus for VIP members. I will select questions sent by VIP members to my VIP Ask the Editor email box that I usually answer on my VIP Keller Hotline during the week and writing a text answer. Today's question follows. To go VIP and get all PWTorch VIP content on our app and our website and our Audio RSS feed, www.PWTorch.com/govip)


PWTorch VIP member Travis from Monterey asks: Wade, I just finished reading "Chokehold" by Jim Wilson. It's a fascinating look into the history of the NWA. My question is, do you ever see someone coming out with a definitive Vince McMahon book? The couple on the market are a lot of fluff, mainly due to Vince not wanting to open up about the business. Love all the audio.

PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: (This is part of the VIP-exclusive portion of Ask PWTorch. am now adding a segment exclusively for VIP members to this article as a bonus for VIP members. I will select questions sent by VIP members to my VIP Ask the Editor email box that I usually answer on my VIP Keller Hotline during the week and writing a text answer. To go VIP and get all PWTorch VIP content on our app and our website and our Audio RSS feed, click here: www.PWTorch.com/govip)

READ PREVIOUS "ASK PWTORCH" FEATURES BY CLICKING HERE.

(Send your question for PWTorch editor Wade Keller and the PWTorch staff exclusively to pwtorch@gmail.com for consideration! You can hear expanded conversation on the above topics from Wade Keller by becoming a VIP member and gaining access to the daily Wade Keller Hotline, posted every day for VIP members for over 1,000 days straight. Sign up at www.PWTorch.com/govip)


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