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  June 19, 1998



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Paul Who?!?


Friday,


Mat Matters


Informative views and insights on the wrestling world from SLAM! Sports.

Ellering
Precious Paul Ellering.
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Wrestling

 Man, I don't believe what I am reading -- 49% of the people answering our Precious Paul Ellering poll don't know who he is or what he's meant to wrestling's greatest tag team: The Road Warriors. You know what this means. Yep. Dust off those notebooks. Get them pens ready. Pay attention and listen up. A history lesson is headed your way.

To understand the importance of Ellering's betrayal (which in wrestling terms is sorta equal to Paul Bearer dumping The Undertaker in favour of Mankind) you must review the life and times of The Legion Of Doom.

In 1983, Ellering formed the original Legion Of Doom acting as their leader and manager. This diabolical gathering of menacing brutes included The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal), the wily Jake "The Snake" Roberts, The Spoiler, the human-condominium King Kong Bundy, the lethal Buzz Sawyer and Arn "The Enforcer" Anderson. With such a wide range of cohesive talent, the name Legion Of Doom was ever so fitting. Time passed and the other members fell by the way side each moving on to superstardom. Ellering devoted himself exclusively to managing The Road Warriors keeping the Legion Of Doom moniker. Behind the scenes, Ellering became a close friend of both Hawk and Animal serving as their business manager.

As the brains behind the brawn, Ellering led Hawk and Animal to their first tag championship as the Road Warriors, feuding with the Sawyer Brothers and the King Kong Bundy - Masked Superstar team. In 1985, Ellering guided them to a AWA tag title win. The Road Warriors bested Baron Von Raschke and Crusher Lisowski. Still at war with the Russians, Hawk and Animal brought Dusty Rhodes on board to win the short-lived NWA Six-Man Tag Titles from The Russians and The Four Horsemen.

The Road Warriors, who turned heel briefly by attacking Dusty Rhodes and driving one of their spikes through his eye, were inseparable from their brain trust Ellering. Which is why it was odd seeing them without him in the WWF where they became known as The Legion Of Doom. The name change initiated so there would be no confusion with The Ultimate Warrior. Ellering returned to his L.O.D. managing duties in 1992 then left almost as soon as he reappeared.

Ellering's contributions were so important to the group that he was seen as L.O.D.'s third member. This ain't your run-of-the-mill manager. Ellering was and is (as you saw on Raw) no push over. Though not an accomplished wrestler, he still posed more of a threat in his day than let's say Mr. Fuji, Jimmy Hart, Paul Bearer or James Vandenberg. He wasn't afraid to physically interfere in a match on behalf of his boys, tagged up with them as a six-man team and even fought alone on the rare occasion.

LOD Keeping in mind L.O.D.'s recent staggering losses to weaker but younger teams, Ellering's turn on the Road Warriors has them wallowing in new found depths of despair.

Could an L.O.D. and Puke versus D.O.A. and Ellering revenge match be in the making? Stay tuned.

Bored Through It All

Whoever greenlighted the Brawl For It All tournament should be demoted to tightening up turnbuckle pads. Honestly, I watched about half of the first bout then my finger pounded the Fast Forward button. That's about all my brain could take. My eyes started drooping. My head felt light. The Sandman beckoned. And not the ECW wrestler either.

Hasn't the WWF learned their lesson? Stage a wrestling-boxing match and you're baiting the "B-O-R-I-N-G!" cat calls. Anyone remember the snorefest that was Roddy Piper versus Mr. T? How about the thrilling Mark Mero match against that bald-headed Butterball guy? Or was that Butterbean. No matter. I still fell into a coma for about three weeks after those monotonous fiascos. Good gawd. Stop the insanity! What's next? The re-emergence of the dreaded blindfold match? I'm getting drowsy already. Nighty-night. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

WCW's Holding Pattern

History is repeating itself right before our eyes. In the 80's, WWF had the cash and the talent while cash-strapped WCW had to rely on more sophisticated storylines to maintain fan interest. The shoe is now on the other foot and WCW is starting to choke. Vinnie Mac is squeezing lemon-aid out of lemons procuring massive heat from a stable of largely mid-card wrestlers.

Down South, too many wrestlers and not enough air time is contributing to poorly conceived angles that are as cold as ice. Some don't even make sense. Why would Liz go back to Hogan? Didn't nWo Hollywood publicly embarrass her a few months back spraypainting her in the middle of the ring? How about The Giant's situation? I guess he's forgot about the various bat attacks and other attempts by the nWo to end his career. All is forgiven? Yeah, sure.

WCW is all over the map and it shows. Focus. Focus. Focus. Scale back. Cut the dead weight. Even with the threat of Vinnie Mac picking up the cast-offs, WCW has gotta clean house to re-ignite interest. I can name at least ten guys I'd happily hand walking papers to. The Benoit and Booker T. series rocked. Saturn and Raven has enormous potential. DDP and Hogan. Sting and Kevin Nash vs Bret Hart and The Giant. The teamates are ready, willing and able but the coach needs to spend more time and energy on the plays. Keep the faith. Uncle Eric will come to his senses. You just wait and see.

Take A Bow

I feel like I living in real life Wayne's World movie. Why? Because...I'm not worthy...I'm not worthy. My last editorial - a tirade against the mainstream sports media's view of professional wrestling - drew numerous supportive responses from devoted SLAM! Wrestling readers. It's a damn shame that I can't include them all below.

Being a journalist can be trying at the best of times. Banging out a piece until three in the morning then getting up for work at six. Playing phone tag with your sources. Computers blowing microchips erasing the story you've put your heart and soul into. You can write it again from memory but it'll never be the same. Transcribing taped interviews. Sometimes you truly wonder whether it's really worth the effort especially if the majority of the labour is completed in your own spare time, as is the case with Greg Oliver and I.

I know I speak for Greg too when I say the e-mails, faxes and letters make all the time and effort we put in worth while. Your kind words and comments along with your constructive criticisms are worth more than an extra pay cheque any day of the week. Money can't buy true mutual respect. So, here's a big high-five from yours truly.

Check out The Road Warriors attack on Dusty "Pay Window" Rhodes in our Video Clips Gallery.




Agree? Disagree? .E-Mail me your response and let us know. jpowell@canoe.ca. Some responses may appaer in the next column.


MAILBAG


The previous SLAM! Wrestling editorial

I absolutely agree with you. Perhaps, lesser jealous intellects like Mr. Costas and other prowrestling critics may think that prowrestling is just another live action soap opera. But little did they know is the fact that these wrestlers are sacrificing their bodies for the total entertainment of the fans. Why don't he try to jump someone over the top rope...or body slam someone and see if it does not hurt. Costas et al can't just accept the fact that wrestling is TOO SWEET!

Jocel de Guzman Manila, Philippines.




I agree wholeheartedly with all of your points in your editorial. Not only did Bob Costas appear as a ring announcer, but a lot of people forget he hosted a 1985 documentary on NBC-TV about the world of Professional Wrestling. It appeared right around the time of Wrestlemania I so it focused on the WWF. The show also featured clips from the Madison Square Garden MTV show that was the prelude to Wrestlemania 1. In the show Costas admitted to being a wrestling fan and claimed to know facts about it. Costas has also had wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura and Ted Dibiase on his talk shows, although he was interviewing in what I thought was a condescending tone of voice. So he is being very hypocritical.

Gary Williams.




Your article on pro wrestling was GREAT! This kind of writing makes me proud to be a wrestling fan! Bob Costas is dork.

Zachary Rice




I could not say it better.I am a 52 yr old fan who has been watching wrestling since I was 10 yrs old.I enjoy the entertainment value and the athleticism by the wrestlers.I understand there are story lines,that not all is reality but as you said so correctly so are the movies.I really love it when people berate me for enjoying wrestling but these people went to see Titanic.Hello folks -Did you not know the ending before you went? -The ship SINKS!!!-That still did not prevent them from enjoying the movie did it? I think the detractors will never understand our enjoyment from wrestling but then I never understood people golfing! Keep up the good work

Joel Cadesky