Posts Tagged ‘Attitude Era’

One performer from WWF’s Attitude Era who Shawn Michaels believes would have been “phenomenal” in today’s WWE is Chyna.

A founding member of D-Generation X, alongside Michaels and Triple H, Chyna was a former WWF Women’s Champion and two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion. She died in 2016 at 46 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of DX three years later.

In 1999, Chyna became the first woman to appear in the Royal Rumble match, a groundbreaking moment. The WWE did not introduce a Royal Rumble match for the women’s division until its 2018 Royal Rumble event.

In a recent interview with The New York Post, Michaels said he believes the Chyna would have fit in great with WWE’s current roster.

“From a performer standpoint, she would clearly fit in and be phenomenal,” Michaels, 57, said. “I think what makes her the awe-inspiring, innovative and transforming woman that she was was that she did it earlier than all of them.”

Michaels said her style and character “would be a bit more commonplace today.” “She would certainly have an incredible career — but I don’t know that she’d be the trailblazer today that she is if she were currently doing it today,” he added, pointing out her status as a pioneer in wrestling world by competing for titles in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

Michaels’ interview comes as D-Generation X celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The group is scheduled to make an appearance on the October 10 episode of “Monday Night Raw” at the Barclays Center in New York City.

Billy Gunn and Chyna were part of WWE’s iconic D-Generation X faction during the Attitude Era. While Gunn stuck mostly to tag team wrestling alongside Road Dogg, Chyna acted as a singles star, winning the WWE Women’s Championship and the Intercontinental Championship, becoming the only woman to accomplish the feat. Chyna, unfortunately, passed away on April 17th, 2016, due to an accidental drug overdose. However, Billy Gunn has fond memories of working with her.

“My best friend, she was amazing, she really was in all aspects of life,” Gunn said on “The Sessions with Renee Paquette.” “To this day it will still get me a little rocked up because she was that special to me, like she really was. When she first passed, I was so mad at her, like, it’s just a, like that’s just life … My wife is one of the most special people on the planet, so she is awesome. And she knew [my relationship with Chyna] and never had a problem with it. It was more of a brother-sister thing.”

Gunn also discussed Chyna’s long-term impact on professional wrestling. “I think towards the end of her run up there she kind of knew, ‘Hey, I’m doing something special. I’m empowering the… know where I don’t just have to have a match where somebody rips my clothes off.’ I think what women’s wrestling has become… I mean for God’s sakes, they’re main eventing everything … I don’t think she knew the total impact of what she did but she was definitely the main one to do it.”

During the ’90s and early 2000s, a number of former WWE female talent appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine during their tenures with the company. That list includes Sable (three times), Torrie Wilson (twice), Christy Hemme, Maria Kanellis, the late Chyna (twice), the late Ashley Massaro, and Candice Michelle. That list could have been expanded to feature another Monday Night War era star, but former WCW boss Eric Bischoff revealed that he managed to talk the individual in question out of posing for the famous brand. 

“Stacy [Keibler] came to me, and she wanted my opinion,” Bischoff said on his “83 Weeks” podcast. “I was like, ‘OK, how’s your dad gonna to handle it? It ain’t gonna bother you at all, but how’s your dad gonna handle it? Because he still goes to work every day.’ And then she went, ‘Oh yeah, you’re right.’ That was the end of it. What was I supposed to say, ‘Sure baby, I can’t wait to get a look at those legs!'” Although Keibler never posed for Playboy, she did appear in the first and only “Playboy Evening Gown match” at WrestleMania 20 in 2004, teaming up with Miss Jackie against that year’s cover girls, Torrie Wilson and Sable. 

WWE’s relationship with Playboy began in 1999, and saw former WWE Women’s Champion Sable appear on the cover of the famed magazine twice in April and September. Playboy’s trademark nude pictorials went hand-in-hand with WWE’s adult-oriented image at the time, but it was later a partnership that became inappropriate when the organization transitioned from a TV-14 to TV-PG rating on television in 2008. Kanellis ultimately became the last person to pose nude for Playboy while performing under a WWE contract.

Chris Jericho remembered the “terrible” time he had working with Chyna during a recent appearance on the Geordie podcast.

The AEW star recalled matches against the ex-WWE favourite at both Survivor Series and Armageddon 1999, and said that he “never got any credit” for “carrying” Chyna to passable bouts on either pay-per-view. In fact, after being encouraged to treat her like he would any other wrestler, Jericho was reprimanded by Vince McMahon for accidentally giving Chyna a black eye in-ring.

Jericho was a company newcomer at the time, so he kept his head down and tried to make the best of a bad situation, but he could see that hauling Chyna to good matches was going to be an uphill struggle; “She wasn’t good, but she thought she was. She also was in a position where they were pushing her really big that she could beat up guys. She couldn’t”.

The then-Y2J was glad when creative moved him onto something else after a follow-up three way that also included Hardcore Holly at the 2000 Royal Rumble show.

He said there were “a lot of issues” when the pair worked together.

Former WWE star Raven “had heat” with Vince McMahon during both of his runs in the company.

Raven told Soundsphere that (in particular) he “didn’t get to do everything [he] wanted” during his second stint with WWE between 2000-2003. The celebrated ECW original actually viewed his career as a failure because he didn’t win Vinnie Mac’s World Title – Raven later “had to spend time on a psychologist’s couch to be happy” and “accept the fact that [his} career was incredibly successful”.

He admitted during the interview that he always held himself “to a higher standard” than others around him. That, Raven says, was “arrogant” and “pretentious” behaviour. Had a peer moaned about a career as successful as his, he’d have cut them down and then helped them see that they still had a great time.

Raven couldn’t see that at the time. He had quite the chip on his shoulder.

Some of this “heat with Vince McMahon” may have been born during his first WWF/WWE run in the early-1990s. The then-Johnny Polo partied with a young and impressionable Shane McMahon, and that could’ve raised the ire of Vince.

Seven-time WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus may go down in history as the greatest WWE Female talent of all time thus far. Recently, while appearing at the For The Love Of Wrestling convention in Liverpool, Stratus discussed perhaps one of the most controversial moments in her time in WWE.

During the build to WrestleMania X-7, there was a controversial angle where Vince McMahon, who was involved in an on-screen romance with Stratus at the time, humiliated her and made her bark like a dog while in her lingerie.

“Vince pitched the angle to me like this — ‘so we’re going to have this angle where you are barking like a dog and get really humiliated, and basically hit rock bottom.’ And I was like, ‘amazing!’” said Trish. “Because I knew a couple of weeks later, I would be getting my comeuppance on him and I would be slapping him on the grandest stage of them all, which is Wrestlemania, and turning on him. I was going on to stand up for myself, not needing a man to lean on and fighting for what I needed to fight for.”

Stratus would then continue on in regards to how she saw this moment for her on-screen character, and how the moment stood the test of time.

“I get questioned about that a lot, and most people go, ‘oh, remember you had to bark like a dog and you had to do that thing that was so degrading, right? For the character, it was, yeah, because that was what the character had to go through. We don’t talk to Halle Barry when she had to get abused by so and so, you know, it’s a character.

“That, for me, was integral for the character to be at that rock bottom, to have the foresight to say, ‘I can break free from this. I won’t let this happen to me again and let’s move on.’ And you know what? 22 years, we’re still talking about it!”.

Trish Stratus last competed at SummerSlam 2019, losing to Charlotte Flair by submission.

First off, thank fuck this didn’t happen.

Christian revealed via Matt Hardy’s ‘Extreme Life’ podcast that then-WWF writers wanted to split he and Edge up right after WrestleMania 2000. Yes, that means there wouldn’t have been an iconic TLC match at SummerSlam (at least not one involving the kayfabe brothers).

WWE history could’ve been very, very different.

Something changed during the build up to ‘Mania though. Creative started to realise that Edge and Christian had way more to give as a tag-team than they first thought. That’s why the Canadian pair won the belts in that three-way ladder match, and it’s why they quickly turned heel for what was supposed to be one last gasp as a team.

Christian eventually stabbed Edge in the back during the ‘Invasion’ story in late-2001. That came after Edge’s King Of The Ring win, and it meant Christian jumped to the WCW/ECW side temporarily. It’s incredible to think that WWE fancied trying that split storyline out around a year and a half earlier.

Would it have worked? Maybe, but they wouldn’t have had those historic TLC bouts vs. The Hardys and The Dudley Boyz.

Most wrestling fans out there might imagine that Billy Gunn and Road Dogg became good friends behind the scenes when they started tagging together as the New Age Outlaws in 1997.

Not quite.

Road Dogg told listeners tuning into his new ‘Oh…You Didn’t Know?’ podcast that he and Gunn never actually spent much time together on the road; Billy was disgusted to see an inebriated Dogg pissing into an air conditioner when they tried rooming together, and that was that.

Billy lasted one night in a hotel room with his new onscreen partner!

It was X-Pac who became Road Dogg’s regular roomie instead. This doesn’t mean that the Outlaws hated one another, but they definitely “lived totally separate lives”. Gunn was a body guy, and he took care of himself during tours. Meanwhile, Dogg loved a party and was lapping up the fame that came with being part of the WWF’s ‘Attitude’ days.

Road Dogg and Billy didn’t become firm friends until years later. They’ve been through a lot together, including getting sober. Today, their relationship is “ironclad”, and Dogg counts Gunn as one of his besties.

WWE Hall of Famer Tammy “Sunny” Sytch was allegedly involved in a fatal three-car crash in Ormond Beach, Florida on Friday, March 25.

Ormond Beach Police say Sytch failed to stop around 8:28pm while driving southbound on U.S. 1, just north of Granada Boulevard that Friday night, when she crashed into a stopped vehicle. That vehicle then crashed into the vehicle in front of it.

The driver of the vehicle hit by Sytch, identified as Julian Lafrancis Lasseter of Daytona Beach Shores, was transported to Halifax Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Sytch was transported to the same hospital for treatment, but was later released. A search warrant was approved and executed to obtain a blood sample, which police are using to investigate if Sytch was impaired at the time of the crash. Toxicology results are pending, according to The Ormond Beach Observer, and police say the ongoing investigation may result in criminal charges.

The driver and passengers in the third vehicle suffered injuries, but were not transported to the hospital.

Ormond Beach Police have requested an expedited timeframe on the processing of Sytch’s samples. The results will be made available once the department receives them, and criminal charges may be filed.

Sytch has not publicly commented on the accident as of this writing, but she did make a tweet that same day. While the crash happened around 8:30pm ET, Twitter shows Sytch posted a tweet at 2:33pm.

She wrote, “Well assholes since my name has been towards the top of the kill list for the past 20 years, and I’m still fucking alive, s–t, my autograph is worth more now so once I do croak you can sell it for a lot more money?! Come see me out at a signing”

Sytch has dealt with numerous legal issues in recent years, and at different times she was incarcerated for various charges. She was released from prison after serving almost one year last summer, but was then arrested again back in January of this year following a domestic incident where she allegedly threatened to kill a man with a pair of scissors. Sytch was then arrested again in late February on multiple charges, including Operating Under the Influence of Liquor & Drugs, Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License, and more.

In the latest episode of the DDP Snake Pit podcast, Jake Roberts and DDP, Diamond Dallas Page, focused on the Rhodes wrestling family. In particular, they talked about Goldust, the WWE character portrayed by current AEW star Dustin Rhodes, one that Jake Roberts is a big fan of.

“I love that character,” Roberts said. “He (Dustin) did a phenomenal job. Sometimes, you got to be careful when you’re playing characters because you can let yourself become part of that character and I think for a while there, Dustin was flirting with disaster. And maybe it caused him some problems, but that character was done so well. He carried it off not just to here, but to here. It was mesmerizing for me to watch.”

Jake Roberts believes that Dustin Rhodes was determined to make the idea work at all costs and ultimately did so. The AEW performer also commented on the rumor going around that Dustin took the gimmick due to issues with his father, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, something Roberts believes isn’t the case.

“He was going to make it work too, beyond all expectations,” Roberts said. “It was a great idea. At the time, Vince (McMahon) loved vignettes. Man, he loved making vignettes because you could explore a character and that’s what he did. He used vignettes to get Goldust started and people loved the fact that it was the natural becoming Goldust. The fans did. They thought that was very interesting. And what happened and all the bullsh-t that went around at the time. There were rumors of Dusty and Dustin had gotten into a fight and just crazy sh-t that he was doing this to slap his dad in the face and all this crap, man, they fooled around with at the time.

“So, that’s not true, you know? Vince just did a character and went with it. Let’s face it, if you want to get to the big show and a guy offers you ‘you’re going to carry a snake and wear like green and purple tights.’ ‘D-mn right I am. I’m not John Wayne yet, and I can’t tell you what I will and won’t do.’ But when you’re given that opportunity, you’ve got to take your tools and go to work. Because the bottom line is you still gotta work at it. You’ve got to make it believable. You’ve got to make people believe that’s who you believe you are.”

As for whether or not the Goldust gimmick was a rib on Dustin Rhodes or not, DDP stressed his belief that it was not a rib. He cited the commitment of both Dustin and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon as the reason for this belief.

“Nah, I don’t really think so,” DDP said. “In the beginning, I kind of did a little bit because of the Stardust. But then I saw the commitment that not only Dustin was putting it, but Vince was putting in. Like, when he gets behind something, that’s not a rib. And again, I think Vince, in a meeting, giving you that when he started to spend the money and give the vignettes they do that, that was the smartest way to bring everybody in. I don’t know why that ever changed anywhere about anything because that was just a really great way to build people caring or wondering or interest in the character and he put that in and then Dustin went out there was committed to it like I said earlier.

“And like, he really committed to it, and that’s a redneck cowboy, that’s who he is. And he can play that character like I told you in the back, he can be anybody. He could play anybody. So he had been doing for so long, so what are you going to do? Is he going to go out there and quote things from different movies? He’s going to nail it. Because that was his commitment that he put into it and then I realized, this is not a rib at all. Like Vince is really pushing this. And it got pushed to a point where, I can’t remember what pulled it back, but it was something that had to do with… I can’t remember at the time to be perfectly honest. But, it got a hell of a run.”