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Ask the Editor
Ask the Torch: Akeem, Tough Enough 4, Green Mist Secret, Stu Hart's Dungeon

Aug 14, 2004 - 2:38:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

PWTorch.com reader Megan asks: Has there been any additional information discovered regarding the return of Tough Enough, or has there been no word since Linda McMahons phone conference? I know it has been almost a month since she let word out and I, like many others,am anxiously awaiting the news!

WK: Since Linda McMahon's press conference, I did talk to one person in WWE who said their understanding is that there are plans to make Tough Enough part of Smackdown during the fall season with weekly segments leading up to a special finale program to pick the winner. However, I have heard nothing about applications being solicited from potential students, trainers being picked, or any advertising for the feature otherwise. I assume the process will have to begin quickly if they are going to have the Tough Enough segments ready by sweeps ratings period in November.

***

Dave of Niagara Falls, N.Y.: I have a question that I have wondered about since I was a kid and have never seen an answer to. How do wrestlers (such as Tajiri and the Great Muta) spit the mist? I always thought it was cool when a guy would spit one color before a match and spit another color during the match and thought it would be very difficult to keep multiple color packets (if that is how its done) in one's mouth for a whole match.

WK: They store a tiny baggy with powder (I've heard there are such things as tiny zip locks baggies), such as unsweetened Kool-Aid, between their teeth and cheek during the match, then bite it open just before using it.

***

Will Thompson of Fullerton, Calif. asks: Was there a behind-the-scenes reason that the One Man Gang morphed into Akeem the African Dream back in the late 1980s? The One Man Gang character was brutal, imposing, and ferocious in the ring, while Akeem almost seemed a joke with the circular arm movement shtick and a really hideous costume. Then again, he didn't have to be the Red Rooster...

WK: It was just a case of Vince McMahon wanting to have a character that was created by him and not outside of this company. One Man Gang wrestled with that gimmick in Mid-South, World Class in Dallas, and other areas before signing on with WWE. I would rate it as one of the worst gimmicks ever, but I also think OMG was one of the worst all-around workers of that generation, also, so in some ways it fit.

***

Nam Whang asks: I was very interested with the Ask the Torch edition which dealt with legitimately tough wrestlers. I was also very interested in the coverage of the Jericho-Goldberg incident from last year. So from there I have a question. My understanding has always been that Stu Hart taught his students to really grapple in the Dungeon; techniques that were actual, painful, grappling. So based on that, would Stu Hart and those he trained in the Dungeon be considered legitimately tough, or at least capable of holding their own against the legitimately tough? Or am I mistaken in my understanding of the nature of the training that took place in the Dungeon?

WK: Yes, the techniques Stu Hart helped you learn legitimately painful techniques. Plus, you had to be tough not to quit on the first day when Stu "stretched" you until you cried uncle and begged for mercy. That said, the Mixed Martial Arts community has advanced its techniques considerably in the last ten years so I wouldn't say that anyone who went through Stu's Dungeon would be UFC-ready, but they would be more able to handle themselves in a legit backstage or street scuffle than the average wrestler trained primarily in the art of taking bumps and throwing worked punches and highspots.

***

To read all recent "Ask the Torch" articles, just scan down a few inches to the "Latest 12 Ask the Torch Articles" listing, or just click on the "Ask the Torch" link on the left menu bar.

Got a question? Or got more details on a question I answered? Send to: "askthetorch" (@pwtorch.com).

Note: I, along with other Torch staffers and contributors answer reader questions all the time at the VIP Forum message boards. If you aren't a Torch VIP member, here are details on signing up.

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Torch editor Wade Keller founded Pro Wrestling Torch in September 1987. He has been interviewed as a wrestling expert by dozens of TV and radio stations across the country; he has also been quoted in dozens of major newspapers and magazines across the world. Media entities that have featured Keller in stories covering wrestling include National Public Radio, Fox News Channel, ESPN Magazine, the New York Post, Entertainment Weekly, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post. He also hosted his own weekly two hour wrestling talk show on KFAN sport radio in the '90s. Over the past 16 years Keller has also interviewed, one-on-one, wrestling's top names for in-depth "Torch Talks" and feature articles including powerbrokers such as Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, Jerry Jarrett, Bill Watts, Jim Cornette, Jim Crockett, Jim Herd, Paul Heyman, Terry Taylor, Kevin Sullivan, Jim Ross, and Vince Russo; top wrestling stars such as The Rock, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Rick Steamboat, Jerry Lawler, Bill Goldberg, British Bulldog, Road Warrior Hawk, Jesse Ventura, and Hulk Hogan; and legends such as Lou Thesz, Gordon Solie, Bruno Sammartino, Roy Shires, Terry Funk, and Verne Gagne.


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