Several times over the last few months, I have run a section in the column comparing pro sports mimicking pro wrestling.
With it being a relatively slow week in terms of pro wrestling news compared to the last handful of weeks, I wanted to return to the concept.
Here is one to think about:
The careers of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Tom Brady.
How in the world, you ask, did I come up with think topic?
Before I get into it, read the whole way through before agreeing or disagreeing!
Without going into details, let’s look at the Cliff Notes version.
Austin won the 1996 King of the Ring tournament and away his career went.
Brady led the Patriots to a win in Super Bowl XXXVI, and his career took off.
Nothing too comparable yet, right?
Let’s start with Brady.
A sixth-round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady was the backup to Drew Bledsoe in 2000 and was going to be again in 2001.
But in the Patriots’ second game of the season, Bledsoe suffered internal bleeding and was replaced two series later by Brady.
After a few weeks, Brady found his groove, led the Patriots to the playoffs, and eventually the Vince Lombardi trophy.
Had Bledsoe not gotten hurt, Brady would have still been a backup and not gotten his chance.
Who knows if the Pats would have won the Super Bowl with Bledsoe under center?
Brady made the most of his opportunity and has become the greatest quarterback in NFL history, regardless of what anyone says.
Now let’s look at Austin.
In 1996, he started out the year as The Ring Master and was floundering at midcard status.
Or in other words, he was a backup to the stars of the company like Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Razor Ramon (Scott Hall), Diesel (Kevin Nash) and Bret Hart, to name a few.
Fast forward to May 1995 and a house show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
After a tag team steel cage match between Michaels and Ramon against Diesel and an up-and-coming wrestler, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, known today simply as Triple H.
It was well-known Hall and Nash were leaving WWE for WCW.
So, the quartet in the cage match decided to break character after the match and do a group hug.
The four of them, along with Sean Waltman (X-Pax, Syxx, and about 20 other names) were known at the time behind the scenes as “The Kliq.”
Well, the hug did not sit well with Vince McMahon.
Looking at the four wrestlers, he couldn’t punish Hall and Nash because they were leaving, and he couldn’t punish Michaels because he was the WWE champion.
That left Helmsley.
The next month, Helmsley was supposed to win the King of the Ring tournament to begin his ascension to the top of WWE.
Well, McMahon had to punish someone for the group hug, and Helmsley was the only option.
Helmsley didn’t win a match for months, and he was pulled from winning the King of the Ring tournament.
Who was chosen to win it?
Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Post-match, in his famous interview, he debuted the “Austin 3:16” line and the rest, as they say, is history.
He took advantage of Helmsley’s lost opportunity and became the biggest star the pro wrestling world has ever known.
So much like a few years later when Brady made the most of his chance and became the biggest star, Austin did the same.
They were both given the proverbial ball and ran with them.
Hence why the comparison between the two!
Jericho injury legit
Several people emailed asking about Chris Jericho bleeding on Dynamite Wednesday night.
While AEW goes way overboard with blood, Jericho was legitimately busted open and required 13 stitches about his left eyebrow.
WrestleMania 39 tickets on sale
WWE put WrestleMania 39 tickets on sale Friday.
The two-day event will take place on Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2.
There are three ticket options: you can buy tickets to Saturday’s show only, Sunday’s show only or a combo pack for both nights.
The early speculation is that The Rock will face Roman Reigns on the show, although this is not confirmed.
Royal Rumble location
While talking about 2023 WWE Special Events/PPVs, it appears the Royal Rumble will take place at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio.
New Broken Skull Sessions
On Friday, the latest edition of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions will debut.
His guest will be Charlotte Flair.
This week’s WWE block on A&E
DX will be the focus on A&E’s WWE Biography show while this week’s episode of WWE Rivals will be Triple H vs Mick Foley.
WWE fires exec
As expected, John Laurinaitis was relieved of his duties by WWE.
His name came up in the nondisclosure deals that led to Vince McMahon resigning from WWE, so it was only a matter of time.
This Week in History…
In 2011, WWE presented SummerSlam. The main event saw John Cena face CM Punk in a match between the two recognized WWE champions with Punk pinning Cena despite Cena’s foot being on the rope.
Triple H served as the referee and “missed” Cena’s foot.
After the match, Alberto Del Rio cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase to pin Punk and win the championships.
Also on the card, Randy Orton defeated Christian to regain the World championship.
This week’s question
Will Tony Khan make his wrestlers stop cutting themselves? Craig, Masontown.
He hasn’t yet, so I am not sure he will.
There is extremely too much blood in AEW, and fans are starting to get turned off by it.
Yes, Dynamite is still the top-ranked show on cable on Wednesday nights, but its ratings and numbers have fallen off sharply.
The thing is, Khan doesn’t have to answer to anyone, and who knows, maybe no one is saying anything to him. If not, someone should.
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