Tag Archives: WWF

A Chokehold On America

Newsweek – February 27, 2000
By Newsweek Staff

Readers were sharply divided over our Feb. 7 cover story on America’s obsession with the resurgence of professional wrestling. Many found the topic offensive and the trend disturbing. “Have you lost your collective minds by featuring professional wrestling on the cover of your magazine?” asked one. “Your story shows the depth of our current cultural rot,” wrote another. “It rolls us all downhill toward dumb and dumber.” But we also heard from enthusiasts who applauded the sport for its high-energy entertainment value. “As a closet wrestling fan, I’m not ashamed to say that this is one of my guilty pleasures,” one letter writer told us. “It’s the soap opera for men of all ages.” Continue reading

Why America’s Hooked On Wrestling

Newsweek – February 7, 2000
By John Leland

On Dec. 13 of last year, the World Wrestling Federation was broadcasting live from Tampa, Fla., and trouble, as they say, was afoot. Baseball legend Wade Boggs was in the house; the nation’s No. 1 author, a man in a leather mask named World Wrestling Federation Mankind, was scheduled to wrestle; the women’s chocolate-pudding match was good to go. Yet all was not right: not for the WWF, not for Vince McMahon, its chairman and mastermind. On the previous week’s broadcast, his real-life daughter, Stephanie, had been “tricked” into marrying his arch nemesis, the wrestler Triple H. Now McMahon was running into the ring with a sledgehammer, out for blood. Stephanie had a surprise for him. She was in love with Triple H, she told him. And further, they were taking control of the company. “Triple H outsmarted you by making business personal. That’s something you know all about.” Continue reading

Jesse The Ref: A Million Bucks?

St. Paul Pioneer-Press – July 15, 1999
By Patrick Sweeney

Gov. Jesse Ventura will return to the wrestling ring as a referee next month for a payday that will allow him to donate $100,000 to charity and perhaps pocket $1 million more in fees and royalties.

Ventura joined officials of the World Wrestling Federation on Wednesday at Target Center to announce that Ventura will be the guest referee Aug. 22 in the SummerSlam, a pay-per-view event that will decide who is the WWF’s latest champion. Continue reading

Ventura Defends Participation

Associated Press – July 13, 1999
By Rochelle Olson

ST. PAUL, Minn.–Gov. Jesse Ventura defended his return to professional wrestling Tuesday, insisting he’s entitled to a life outside politics. Ventura bristled when asked whether his renewed ties to the World Wrestling Federation threatened the dignity of the governor’s office.

“If I were a nightclub singer in Caesars Palace, would you ask the same question?” he asked. Continue reading

Ventura Jumps Back Into The Ring

St. Paul Pioneer-Press – July 13, 1999
By Patrick Sweeney

Gov. Jesse Ventura, who first achieved fame as a pro-wrestling bad guy known as “The Body,” will return to the ring next month in a pay-for-view extravaganza sponsored by the World Wrestling Federation at Target Center.

Ventura and his spokesmen refused to say Monday whether he’ll participate as a wrestler, referee, ringside announcer or perhaps as a color commentator for the television broadcast of the event. Continue reading

Ventura Body Slams His Critics

New York Post – July 15, 1999
By Gersh Kuntzman

Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura says he didn’t have to wrestle with his conscience before deciding to go back into the ring – and slammed his critics as a bunch of spoilsports.

“There’s no rule that says a governor can’t have fun,” the former pro wrestler said, defending his planned appearance as a referee in the World Wrestling Federation SummerSlam event on Aug. 22 in Minneapolis. Continue reading

Body’s Back… Where He Belongs

St. Paul Pioneer-Press – July 15, 1999
By Bob Sansavere

As he approached the stage, Jesse Ventura walked slowly and appeared to be biting his lip. He seemed nervous, even sheepish.

Could it be common sense finally had whacked him upside the head, and he was realizing he was about to embarrass himself as well as his state?

No such luck. Continue reading

Inside Randy Poffo, A ‘Macho Man’ Was Waiting To Get Out

Chicago Tribune – August 14, 1988
By Jeff Gordon, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I n the early 1970s, Randy Poffo was just another low minor-leaguer who found himself lost in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. ”He was a real nice guy,” former Cardinals player development director Lee Thomas recalled. ”He seemed like such a quiet guy at the time.”

Paul Fauks, the longtime farm system administrator, found him somewhat boring. ”He didn’t have much to say to anybody,” he said. ”He was just one of those kids trying to make it in baseball with very little chance.”

Poffo played with four Class A farm teams in three organizations before finally striking out into professional wrestling.

”We knew he was moving on to something else, we didn’t know what,”

Thomas said.

Continue reading

After the Bell

Beaver County Times – December 3, 2000

News and gossip from the wrestling world:

  • Stephanie McMahon has been added to the creative team that writes WWF television.
  • Since returning to WCW after suffering third-degree burns, Bam Bam Bigelow has reported no problems.
  • Jim Neidhart and the British Bulldog will be released shortly by the WWF.
  • Extreme Championship Wrestling owner Paul Heyman said he has no interest in bringing back Sabu.
  • Rob Van Dam will finally be looking to add the ECW world title to his resume when he returns to the company full time.
  • WWF officials are very impressed with Molly Holly, especially after “Smackdown.” Not only can she hit the high spots, but the WWF also considers her a good worker of matches.  A WWF Women’s Title run will probably be in the near future.
  • There were a lot of rumors circulating last week about Eric Bischoff taking steps toward developing a start-up promotion. Sources say Bischoff has already contacted Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior to be part of the group.  He also has a WCW employee recruiting talent from within WCW, according to one source who says he was propositioned.  Bischoff is said to have had high-level meetings with Fox about airing the promotion.
  • The Dudley Boyz will compete at an upcoming ECW event on Dec. 21 in Queens, N.Y.
  • Kurt Angle’s brother, Eric, could sign a development contract with the WWF, and if he does, he will be assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling.
  • Brad Siegel is hoping to cut $16 million off WCW’s budget, say sources, by reworking the contracts of several “mid-card and lower” wrestlers. According to sources within the WCW office, Siegel is planning to exercise the 90-day review clauses in as many contracts as possible.  He plans to release those wrestlers, and then attempt to re-sign them to cheaper day-to-day contracts.

No Holds Barred

TV Guide – December 5-11, 1998
By Bruce Newman

No Holds Barred article title

Pro Wrestling’s Outrageous Superstars Are Pinning Down The Sport’s Biggest Audiences And Ratings Ever!  Here’s Why.

Before you see him on-screen, you hear him coming with the thunderously amplified sound of glass shattering into a thousand jagged pieces.  It’s as if Stone Cold Steve Austin had just kicked in the front of your television set.  And in a way he has.  Striding into the ring for Raw Is War (USA Network, Mondays, 9 P.M./ET), the feared dreadnought of the World Wrestling Federation glowers at the red light on the top of the television camera.  But rather than rushing to drop his opponent into that orthopedic hell known as the Stone Cold Stunner, he responds to the crowd’s plea to once again preach the gospel according to him, Austin 3:16.  “I just whupped your ass!” he bellows and triumphantly raises his huge biceps into the air.  Like Hollywood Hulk Hogan, who at this moment is doing virtually the same routine on TNT’s WCW Monday Nitro (Mondays, 8 P.M./ET), Austin’s greatest strength as a wrestler is his mouth.  “I don’t read from a script out there,” Austin says.  “Everything from me is ad-lib.  You turn a camera on, put that little red light on me, I’m gonna go.”  So turn a little red light on TV’s hottest form of entertainment, because as Austin himself might say: Hell, yeah!  Professional wrestling is ready for its close-up. Continue reading