It was on this day in wrestling history one year ago when WWE Hall of Famer William Meyers aka George "The Animal" Steele would pass away. It is always tough when we lose legends of the wrestling business and it's always looking back when a former legends name enters the spotlight once again. Though most fans may remember George from his time in the WWF, but his career would actually get going in Detroit as a protégé of Gary Hart. His career would really start to take off after meeting Bruno Sammartino who encouraged him to join the WWWF & Steele would get a full run with the company as a lead rival during his title run.
George would in fact end up leaving WWE in the 1970's and would return in the early as more of a crazy heel then before, and this would become the most successful run of his career. In particular most fans remember his feud with Macho Man Randy Savage in 1986 and how he fit into the Savage/Steamboat feud. In 1988, George would be forced to retire after being diagnosed with Crohn Disease. Steele would retire and move to the backstage area as an agent and would be let go from the company due to budget cuts in 1990.
After a few years away George would be brought back to the company as an agent and would remain with the company into the late 1990's. For those fans who may not be aware in the early days of the WWE Hall of Fame he would be among those to be inducted in the original days of the HOF. Though at this point in time most fans may not think that Steele had much of an impact within the wrestling business, but he was in a way an innovator in the company as he was one of the early talents to portray a crazy heel in top card level.
There is no doubt in looking back at ECW that it was a very special company with a roster that was more like a family as oppose to co-workers. Don't believe me just watch interviews with those who there at the time and that should change your opinion. In those interviews one name is usually mentioned as the heart and soul of the promotion that being Tommy Dreamer. If you wanted to look at someone who gave everything he had for ECW then look no further then Tommy for that as he legitimately gave everything he could to make the company a success.
Nowadays, Dreamer does occasionally even still appear in the WWE & for a time was also a member of TNA back a few years ago as he is one of the few veterans that never really made many enemies. This has really helped his company House of Hardcore thrive as both TNA & WWE has lent Dreamer talent since his companies beginning a few years ago. Now even though his company isn't anything like ECW in terms of violence it could be very comparable to said company in terms of just the overall product. This connection would make lots of sense considering Dreamer getting his booking education from Paul Heyman.
With Dreamer celebrating his birthday tomorrow it felt a perfect time to look back at some of the accomplishments that Tommy has made in the world of pro-wrestling. It is fair to say now that Tommy's house of hardcore has reached the place of influencing a new generation in the world of wrestling.
Trying something new this week with the match of the week as I am looking into the WWE games franchise for this week. For someone who has been playing the WWE games for over a decade at this point it is crazy to see how far certain aspects of the game have come throughout the years. I thought the best way to spotlight this would be to put the ball in the court of two famed Hell in a Cell performers.
The name or the picture might ring a bell, because this man is best known for his time in TNA Wrestling as one half of the Rock N Rave Infection with Lance Hoyt. However, his career started way before he was one of half of a lackluster "rock band." Rave has wrestled for numerous Independent companies around the including: CZW, ROH, NWA Wildside, FIP and others, but by far he is most known in my mind for his time as the "Crown Jewel of the Embassy" in ROH. From the time he debuted till the time he left Jimmy showed so much untapped potential and the proof of that showed when Jimmy would be able to draw enough heat from the fans where they would toss rolls of Toilet Paper at him. Let me just say you gotta be really good to be able to piss people off enough that they would toss rolls of toilet paper at you.
But then again Jimmy didn't reach mainstream exposure until he began with TNA in 2007 as Lance Hoyt's (Lance Rock or Lance Archer) tag partner in the long run and their team was called Rock N Rave Infection the team really never took off and both were let go from TNA by early 2009. Then Rave began again in Ring of Honor as a part of the Embassy again and once again was termed the "Crown Jewel of the Embassy" however, before his run could gather any momentum he was let go by ROH. Sadly a few months or so after he was let go from ROH a second time Jimmy admitted to having a drug problem and checked himself into Rehab. In many respects I think his drug problem robbed him of his potential, but at least Jimmy got help and fixed the problem before it became deadly like it has for so many others. Now enjoy a look back at the man named the "Crown Jewel of The Embassy" Jimmy Rave: Did he get lost in his own Potential?
The old series I back for the first time in the new year and for the first time I actually am taking it from the new archive site. Check out the article from the past:
For the longest time the Television title was a staple of various companies during the territory era of pro-wrestling in companies like MACW, MSW, PNW, and a variety of other companies. Though it seems to be that this title was more present in southern wrestling companies. In modern pro-wrestling the idea of having a television title seems to be lost as only Ring of Honor has had the TV championship for any length of time.
Now to really pull out an obscure championship I bet not many of you knew that the American Wrestling Association had a Television Championship for a time. It should tell you something that at this point Ring of Honor has had the TV title active for longer than AWA did as even though the AWA went under in 1991 they retired the title less than year after creating it. Due to the fact that there were only two different wrestlers to hold this title there are no matches available showing this title on the line. So instead I chose to give you a tribute video of the AWA and a link to the very short title history of the AWA International Television Championship.
Through the years wrestling has had a tough time with a number of our favorite stars leaving us way to early and leaving us to question what if. One of the things I have really tried to with this site is to tell the story of the past and part of the past is looking at those who had potential but for whatever reason didn't reach it. This is not a series but more an occurrence that will happen when the opportunity presents it. The focus of this is Mike Alfonso who made a name for himself as The Gladiator and Mike Awesome during his in ring career. Though Mike fit in quite well during the 1990's due to the size he posed and how well he fit in with other big competitors from the era. One main difference between Awesome and other big men from the era is that he actually was athletic in the ring and could fly unlike any other talent from the day.
Mike's career would start to take off when he made his way to Japan while working for All-Japan Pro-Wrestling and Frontier Marital-Arts Wrestling. It was overseas that Mike would begin his career long feud with Masato Tanaka which is one that would actually make its way over to the US specifically ECW. Heyman would be the first American promoter to really give Mike a shot by giving him a push right out of the gate to allow to lead the company. Awesome would however not stick around as a full time competitor and until his third stint with ECW when Mike won the ECW World Title in a three way dance against Taz & Masato Tanaka. However, around the time that Mike was given the ball ECW was starting to have financial distress and would move onto WCW where they gave him a chance.
At first Mike was given a massive push as the "Career Killer" but then bad booking got the better of the potential ridden Awesome. Mike would lose his way after the WCW went away and never really did anything of note in the WWE which is surprising, but I guess timing wasn't the best. Overall Mike was a tremendous talent and someone that really fit well with a manager due to his lack of charisma and just being someone who would kick ass over cutting a good promo. Either way though Mike had no pun intended Awesome Potential that was halted by outside circumstances that plague the business at the time.
The WWE has taken major steps forward in the booking of the women's division and just how they allow the female talent to be perceived on television is a lot different then how it was years ago. Now with how well they have booked talent like Asuka, Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and others it would be almost impossible for me to imagine them booking them as weak as they use to handle the division. However, with the Women's Royal Rumble on the horizon they seem to be taking even more steps forward then anyone thought. This makes me want to look back at how things use to be in the WWE and find some positives in a mess of garbage. With that being said there was only one woman I could think of as she was "flawless."
I'm aware that there were two "flawless" women from the team formerly known as LayCool but I am focusing on just on of them as I do think that Michelle did more during her career. Now at first I don't think any fans would have thought that McCool would be anything more than just another manager but she proved everyone wrong and showed a lot more skills then I'm sure anyone thought they would've. Originally, McCool was a member of the 2004 diva search and though she eliminated early much like Tough Enough the winner wasn't the only one that got a contract. By the end of 2005, McCool was heading into Deep South Wrestling which was one of the developmental territories for the company at the time.
Michelle would then be brought to main roster as the manager of K.C James & Idol Stevens and though this didn't really last to long it did open the door for McCool remaining on the main roster. Two years after being nothing more than a manager Michelle would defeat Nattie to become the first Divas Champion and her first taste of WWE gold. In my opinion it was around this time that Michelle began to hit her stride and really show just how good she was in the ring and the potential she was really putting on display.
Though I won't go through it all it is fair to say that Team LayCool was one of the few good thing about the WWE during this time period. Even though Michelle wasn't around to long in the company she did really leave a legacy behind but not really because of the legacy she left behind, but more how weak the division was at the time. Now I'm not trying to bash McCool or anything it just that she made the most out of a weak division and really earned everything she would receive in her career and very much should be consider a legend in the wrestling business because of this.
As always wrestling gives us both great memories and memories we try and forget, but with the amount of moments worth remembering that have happened we are bound to forget some. The same could be said about some talent that were very much underrated during their career or never at the top of a company during a run this unfortunately makes it easier for fans to forget certain talent. For those who actually don't remember or never knew Maryse actually did use to wrestle before she stepped away from the ring a few years ago. I would like to wish a very big Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating their special day today and especially to the one featured below.
Over the last few years I have made a tradition out of making special announcements in the month of January due to the site starting in January 2015. During that time the site has gone through a lot of changes and different stages with sections & series coming and going. However, once a section gets closed it disappears and in some cases never to return though some might not care I have always been a believer in conserving history. It was for this reason that I decided to preserve my history by making website to house the past of this site.
With that being said some sections will be disappearing and I don't just mean inactive section I mean sections that have been active for a long time on the site. The reason other reason for this decision was to try and shrink down the amount of pages on the site & not make the site look so congested like it is at least on my end. Overall though this has been an idea I've been playing with for a while as in I have been thinking about ways to expand the brand of Wrestling Express & this was the easiest way to do it.
Though this might not seem like a big deal to some it can be and for those who think it is, your the reason I do this and have enjoyed this ride so much. I'm not asking for the same support you give wrestling express or to shift attention as if anything the archives site is just another car on the roller coaster we are on.
As always wrestling gives us both great memories and memories we try and forget, but with the amount of moments worth remembering that have happened we are bound to forget some. The same could be said about some talent that were very much underrated during their career or never at the top of a company during a run this unfortunately makes it easier for fans to forget certain talent. I would like to wish a very big Happy Birthday to all who are celebrating their special day today and especially to the one featured below.