Rajah.com Mailbag – Edition #73

January 3, 2021 0 By HearthstoneYarns

If you have a wrestling or site related question you would like answered, you can send it in to the Mailbag by clicking HERE (please select the “Mailbag” drop-down).

From: Nate M

One day recently, I was reading the Wikipedia article on the original ECW.
When I got to the part about the company’s bankruptcy, it stated that part of
the balance of their assets at the time was “the remaining inventory of
merchandise” valued at a whopping $4. This is probably a long shot, but have
you any idea what item(s) comprised such a small amount? A foam finger? A
bumper sticker, maybe? I know I probably shouldn’t be, but I’m astounded at
how that could be, even for a promotion on its last legs.

Cewsh: Now THAT is a really specific question.
I did some digging on your behalf, and obviously finding detailed financial records for independent wrestling companies that went out of business in 2001 is a task that would make even a lifelong accountant drink himself into an early grave. I wasn’t able to track down this mysterious piece of merchandise, but I did find out that both Sabu and Steve Corino were owed exactly $2 each when the company filed for bankruptcy. So it seems possible that Paul Heyman was attempting to sell them both on the wrestling black market and filed them under Merchandise. It’s as good an answer as any.
Also amusing is that one of the assets that Vince got when he bought ECW was a 1998 Ford truck that was co-owned by Tommy Dreamer. I wonder if Tommy got to keep it. Because if so, Vince McMahon basically paid off the car payments in passing, so pretty sweet deal there, Tommy.

From: Bill Helegers

Hey guys. Great to see the mailbag back. My question is in regards to Test.At
one stage it seemed that he was set for a Main Event run. What happened to
that? Apart from a brief feud with HHH and DX he never broke through. He had
potential and I think could have made a pretty good main eventer if given
time to develop. It was a shame he passed away so young. Thanks guys.

Cewsh: What happened to Test, in life and in wrestling, is a sad and cautionary tale. Tackling this question requires addressing the 3 different times that Test was set to get a serious push, and the reasons why each of them fizzled. The first time, in 1999, when Test was being pushed as Stephanie McMahon’s love interest who she scorns for Triple H, it’s pretty universally acknowledged that test wasn’t ready for that big a role on the show. His matches weren’t good enough and his promos were awful, and he just needed more seasoning in general before it was his time. Nothing wrong with that, happens to the best of us.
Then came the push at the end of the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline where Test won the immunity battle royal and joined the hot Unamericans group. The group was positioned for a serious, serious push by all accounts, but was ultimately torpedoed by Test, (and to a lesser extent Christian,) for the stupidest reasons possible. He wouldn’t cut his hair or wear regular wrestling tights. Allegedly he also told WWE that he felt his future was as an actor, not a wrestler. So his days were numbered.
Finally, there was his big return in the new ECW, where he was much more muscular and initially got a big push as a monster. Legend has it that he cut the promo of his career to Vince McMahon before a show, and then promptly tanked it in front of the live audience, causing McMahon to lose all faith in him. True or not, he was gone shortly thereafter.
Test career didn’t lack for opportunities, but for one reason or another, he never rose to them. It’s a shame, but there it is.

From: Jordan D
I was just wanting to ask if you could do a talent evaluation of NXT stars. I
saw a house show post saying that bray Wyatt and Alex Riley were awful and no
one knew who they were. Bray Wyatt is hopefully going to be given the right
push, because he can be a star. His NXT gimmick is amazing. I just would like
for everybody who reads this site to not be in the dark on these NXT
guys/divas that get called up. People need to know these stars so they can
get behind them faster/easier when they do get the chance.

Cewsh: As it happens, I did just that sort of talent evaluation on this very site at the end of last year. Enjoy!

From: Max
Good job with the website. Longtime reader. Two questions:

A) What are wrestlers really like in real life? We’ve heard stories about
Virgil and how “lame” he’s reportedly in real life; same goes for other
wrestlers who have dropped out of the main circuit and gone on to lesser
things, but what about the superstars themselves? Like Hulk Hogan, Triple H,
the Rock, John Cena, and so on? Which wrestlers are true “douchebags” and
which ones aren’t? Can you give a few examples?

B) How is it that the Undertaker has gained so much backroom respect? Sure,
he’s a hard worker, and is loyal to WWE. He does put on good matches. WWE
has rewarded him for his hard work, too (like by giving him a full-size ring
at his home). But my real question is, what makes him so special behind the
scenes and sets him apart from the countless other wrestlers who have worked
just as hard? What is his actual relationship like with Vince McMahon?
Cordial? Professional? Friendly? Or all three? We know how Hulk Hogan was
once very close to Vince McMahon, but what about Undertaker? And does Triple
H really not get along with Undertaker? Or is it a matter of mutual respect?

Sorry; a lot of questions here, but many of which a lot of people would like
to know the answer to, I’m sure. Thanks!

A) We can only go on what other people say about them, when it comes to figuring out wrestler personalities, and those reports are often contradictory. For example, some people say that Triple H is cruel, aloof and political, and some say that he is driven, knowledgeable and generous. Which one is true? No way to know beyond getting to know him yourself. But when it comes to people who are thought well of universally, John Cena, The Undertaker, Bobby Eaton, Diamond Dallas Page and The Rock are all people who I have never heard one reputable bad word said about.
B) Respect is why the Undertaker is so well thought of. He’s been around longer than any other active WWE wrestler, he’s worked through horrible injuries and carried the company through it’s darkest periods, and from what I’ve heard, he’s helpful, accessible and looks after the more inexperienced people. It’s a rare wrestler that commands utter respect and appreciation, and the Undertaker has been that guy in WWE since some of it’s wrestlers were in diapers. As for his relationships with Vince and Triple H, I wouldn’t begin to speculate. But I guarantee you that both are built first and foremost on respect.

From: TC
Im pretty sure Im not the only one who thinks DZ is terrible and quite
frankly I dont care what the people have to say. Hes terrible, and deserves
no title.

Cewsh: Nope.

From: Anupam
Now that Dolph Ziggler is the Champ who do you think would be the best feud
for him now. Alberto Del Rio or Jack Swagger or someone else.

Cewsh: The best thing about having a champion like Dolph Ziggler is that there really isn’t anyone on the roster that he CAN’T work with. I would eagerly anticipate title defenses against Del Rio, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Wade Barrett, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, CM Punk, John Cena, Ryback. Basically everyone. It’s going to be a good year for Smackdown title matches.

From: Johnny
I’ve read interviews with Ryback where he says he wants to be the face of the
company. Is he delusional? In my opinion he’s quite poor in the ring,
unless he’s squashing, his mike work needs vast, vast improvement, and he
looks like he’s trying to hard to be intimidating.

How long do you think Ryback will last for? I think he’ll become champion,
fail miserably, and then feud in the midcard until he’s released. Unless
they have him become Skip Sheffield again.

Cewsh: These days we get more questions about Ryback than about any other topic. It’s not even close. I think he’s still growing as a performer, and his booking over the past few months has not helped him at all, (he has now lost at 6 consecutive pay per views, and doesn’t look likely to beat Cena at Extreme Rules.) But any time you have a guy who has a look like his, and aggression like he has, you have the potential for something incredibly special. And it’s entirely possible that, if given a good chance, he could become a top guy one day. Guys who have both the look and the intensity don’t come along often, and WWE are not going to give up on Ryback until they are absolutely certain that he can’t succeed for them. Seeing as he already has once at Hell in a Cell, Ryback isn’t going anywhere for a long time.

From: Wendy
I have heard Colts punter Pat McAfee talk about how hard it is to find jeans
due to the size of his legs. Ryback has massive legs. I would like to see a
picture of him in jeans and not a singlet. I know this will sound crazy but
for some reason I find him attractive.

Cewsh: I feel like I’m about to disappoint you with the revelation that Ryback likes his jeans baggy. But here’s a picture of him out of his work clothes all the same. Never let it be said that we aren’t ready and willing to cater to reader crushes of all shapes and sizes.

If you have a wrestling or site related question you would like answered, you can send it in to the Mailbag by clicking HERE (please select the “Mailbag” drop-down).