Hello, wrestling fans, and welcome to another weekend edition of the Four Corners. This is the TJR column where we discuss four different stories from the world of professional wrestling and deliver them to you. There is plenty of information to sift through this week, so let's get to it!
*Black Thursday fell yesterday, and it was not pretty for more than a few members of the WWE family. World Wrestling Entertainment dropped the hatchet on ten wrestlers (and a referee) over the course of yesterday, and while the list wasn't exactly long on surprises, it was sobering news nonetheless. As an homage to the future endeavored crowd, Four Corners offers a nifty little primer:
Name: Brodus Clay
Time Employed: September '06 to February '08 on the first run, January '10 to June '14
Known For: Protecting Snoop Dogg, Debuting "Next Week" on Raw, No One Lives, Dinosaur Dance Moves
Notable Feuds: Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Xavier Woods, Being Taken Seriously
Titles Held: None, but that Slammy for "Best Dancer" is the next best thing
Name: Drew McIntyre
Time Employed: October 2007 (!) to yesterday
Known For: Being Mr. McMahon's "Future World Champion," Lusting After Kelly Kelly, Getting Fake Fired, Three Man Band
Notable Feuds: R. Truth, Kofi Kingston, Matrimony with Taryn Terrell, Team Hell No
Titles Held: Intercontinental Championship (1 Time); Tag Team Championship (1 Time w/ Cody Rhodes)
Name: Evan Bourne
Time Employed: October 2007 to yesterday
Known For: WWE's ECW, Air Boom, Wellness Violation, Injury Bug, Wrestling In Just About Every Promotion In History
Notable Feuds: Edge, Chris Jericho, WWE's Creative Team, Primo & Epico
Titles Held: Tag Team Championship (1 Time w/ Kofi Kingston)
Time Employed: October 2009 to yesterday
Known For: Bodybuilding, "Wedding" with Goldust, Flirting w/ Teddy Long, Attacking Kaitlyn, Foxsana
Notable Feuds: Ted DiBiase, Goldust, Deportation, The Bella Twins
Titles Held: Um, nope.
Name: Curt Hawkins
Time Employed: February 2006 to yesterday
Known For: YouTube, The Rated R Entourage, The DudeBusters/Gatecrashers, NXT Janitorial Duty
Notable Feuds: Vance Archer, Trent Barreta, The Usos, Matt Striker, WWE's Embracing of The Digital Age After Canning Midcard Mafia
Titles Held: Tag Team Championship (1 Time w/ Zack Ryder)
Name: Jinder Mahal
Time Employed: 2010 to yesterday
Known For: Feuding with The Great Khali, Promo Interruptions, Gold Rush Tournament, Three Man Band
Notable Feuds: Khali, Sheamus, Team Co-Bro, Little Mac
Titles Held: You did read the notable feuds list, right?
Name: Yoshi Tatsu
Time Employed: Late 2007 to yesterday
Known For: WWE's ECW, Teaming w/ Goldust, Battle Royals, Necklace on a Pole Match
Notable Feuds: Zack Ryder, The Nexus, Tyson Kidd, WWE Matchmakers
Titles Held: Nashi
Name: Theodore Long
Time Employed: December 1998 to yesterday
Known For: Where do I even begin, playa? Refereeing, Back the Mack, General Manager, New Talent Initiative, "Marrying" Kristal, The "I Do" Coma, Getting Kidnapped by The Undertaker, Having 17 Assistants, "Why Teddy?"
Notable Feuds: Singles matches, Booker T, Drew McIntyre, Vickie Guerrero, Johnny Ace
Titles Held: N/A, but gets complete credit for Thuggin' & Buggin' Enterprises
Time Employed: 2006-September 2007 (First Run), April 2008-yesterday
Known For: Cryme Tyme, Theft, Money Money, Losing for about 2 years straight
Notable Feuds: Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch, The 5-0, JeriShow, Shad, William Regal
Titles Held: Only in OVW, but I can get you a really good deal on some Cryme Tyme memorabilia
Time Employed: 2009-yesterday
Known For: Haku's son, Teaming w/ Hunico, NXT, Not Being Sin Cara
Notable Feuds: The Usos, Big E Langston
Titles Held: None, but Camacho IS catchier than Donny Marlow
So there you have it. A tip of the homburg to this group. Far less people that could win the Royal Rumble this January.
*Have you been watching Legends House? If not, you need to, and perhaps not for the reasons you're thinking. What began as just another reason to watch patched-together contests with a bunch of also-rans in an attempt at reality programming has become, oddly, one of the most satisfying shows WWE has ever done. Last night's episode was particularly compelling, as the eight WWE legends came together for their "Last Supper" of sorts and ended up discussing just about every human emotion there is with each other. It provided an all-too-rare insight into the men behind the curtain, and it's a must watch for any wrestling fan. From Jim Duggan to Jimmy Hart and everywhere in between, these performers broke beyond the camera set-up and let fly with truly emotional and compelling stories straight from the gut. Tony Atlas almost died on the street? Gene Okerlund had a kidney transplant from his wife? This is not stuff you find out on your average documentary.
Above and beyond all this, perhaps, was the poignant and captivating story of Pat Patterson. Having grown up a wrestling fan in the 1980s, I was aware of Patterson and his legacy to the sport, but did not really have the opportunity to experience his work firsthand. (Excepting the Vince's Stooges bit, of course, which was legendary fun and proof that taking the backstage and turning it in on itself can and does work.) Patterson's sexual preferences have been rumored and documented by many, and his admission to the table of being gay and being proud of it after not being able to do so for his lengthy career was sobering. It's a stark reminder that wrestlers were not always celebrated for announcing who they are, and that life is too short to live pretending to be someone you're not. By the time Patterson performed a Frank Sinatra tune to close out the show, there wasn't a dry eye in Legends House. I'm proud to admit there wasn't one in my house either. Bravo.
*There was more discussion to be had this week concerning a possible physical Hall of Fame for the WWE. According to the reports, it's something Triple H is hot and heavy on. I for one am stunned that this hasn't become a reality, particularly in these days of what WWE has done in other avenues. Wrestling fans are some of the most ardent, passionate folks I know, and they deserve an opportunity to see the plethora of excellent memorabilia that WWE has housed. It goes without saying that WWE's production values are excellent, and I'm salivating at the opportunity to see what they could do with a Hall of Fame-type building. I can't imagine that if, assembled correctly, the return on the investment wouldn't be a good one. The fans (and the wrestlers themselves) deserve it.
Some of WWE's biggest successes have been the Fan Axxess events surrounding WrestleMania and other big shows, and that should serve as inspiration to those tasked with making this a reality. Wrestling is a business that has always been partially shrouded in mystery, and that makes for a potent catnip indeed to rabid fans who want to know more. This is a perfect occasion to make that a reality by investing some time and money in a space that celebrates the best moments in the business and makes wrestling a more mainstream commodity. Past due to say the least.
*Last but not least, rumors have run rampant that the WWE may or may not planning on introducing a new member into The Shield following Seth Rollins' shocking defection to The Authority. While The Shield angle worked really well, keeping it going in its original trio form would at this point be a mistake. While I've gone on record saying I didn't like the timing of the Rollins turn, what's done is done. Keeping Ambrose and Reigns aligned while awaiting their next big move makes sense, and they frankly don't need anyone else to be effective. It's known that Roman Reigns is headed for big things in 2015, and his presentation thus far has reflected that. Ditto Ambrose, who has proven to be an MVP on the microphone and a lengthy titleholder already. The future looks bright for all three men, so there's no need to go backwards. Let the two remaining members feed off the fan support and play out the string.