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March 26 "I'm pleased to announce the expansion of my pub empire. After years of war, I've taken over the Rovers Return and tonight, you'll see me on BBC and ITV." "''old on, mum.

I heard they tore the house down so much, Will Ospreay set up a GoFundMe for it.

One of Earthquake's children posted a picture on Reddit, and this great story about him was the top reply.  

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4 hours ago, wordsfromlee said:

I remember hearing that they didn’t really have anyone else to win KOTR and Taker was out injured, Austin was about to leave for surgery and because Gunn had the height and the body, they went for him. But once they realised he was nothing more than a decent mid-card safe pair of hands who couldn’t cut a promo, they binned him off. Especially with the arrival of Jericho and then the Radicalz later on, he wasn’t needed in the top spot. There was also a rumour floating round too that Austin refused to job to him

Russo put forward a late summer spell with Jarrett and a winter run with gunn to keep Austin busy after summerslam through to the rumble and Austin shot both down, if I'm remembering right. They had a plan for him well before Austin was getting shelved I believe and some on the writing team saw him as a credible top level heel. 

They were desperate for heels in mid to late 99 though, to be fair. Despite the narrative they push now HHH wasn't cutting it until the very close of the year so they had to try something and Billy had that look they like. Hell look at who else they pushed after it failed with Gunn in late 99, Bossman and a bulldog dressed straight off the building site so full of pills and roids it's painful. They were still clinging to test for a spell there too. 

That's where I have to disagree with @LaGoosh when he said "his singles run coincided with a time period where the card was stacked with some of the most popular wrestlers of all time." as a reason why he failed. The only reason he got a push in the first place was every one was a white hot face or not ready. They were desperate for a fresh heel in 99.

The political knives were out for gunn too, HHH saw him as a threat and Rock wasn't shy about how shit he was to work with at summerslam by all accounts, and ultimately he was just to generic and unremarkable to overcome it given he already split opinion in the booking meetings. Once Russo left he had no one left seeing him as a top guy. 

2000 really fucked him though. In the 8 or 9 months he was out he was overtaken by jericho, benoit, guerrero and angle. Taker and Austin were back too, and you couldn't even just stick him back in the tag ranks because even that had moved past him. In 98 and 99 he could get by as a competent hand in a struggling mid card & filling gaps in the weak availability of heels. By the time he came back the place was awash with talent. 

He had nothing else to do but get a bellybutton ring and play 2nd fiddle to chyna. 

He was in a wilderness until he groomed chuck and the product cooled down to his level. 

Edited by Tommy!
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Found episodes of the The Weird Al Show to watch online. One thing I never knew is that Randy Savage popped up in an episode. I’ve clipped it 

 

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Bruce Pritchard claims Gunn suffers from asthma and the fact he wouldnt have been able to "go" to the level expected was a reason they out him back into the outlaws.

It always amazes me how many guys dropped off at the end of 99 and early 00 due to the arrivals of Angle, Jericho, Dudleys and the Radicalz as well as the rise of the Hardy's and  Edge and Christian. They really were allowed  to shoot up the card in a way we don't see at all these days.

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12 hours ago, wordsfromlee said:

I remember hearing that they didn’t really have anyone else to win KOTR and Taker was out injured, Austin was about to leave for surgery 

Timeline is off. They didn’t realize Austin might need the knee surgery (he never had) for another 6 weeks and on the PPV where Billy won, Undertaker was the defending WWF Champion. Not that either genuine main event star would have been considered for King in 1999 anyway, it was a star-building device.

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2 hours ago, simonworden said:

It always amazes me how many guys dropped off at the end of 99 and early 00 due to the arrivals of Angle, Jericho, Dudleys and the Radicalz as well as the rise of the Hardy's and  Edge and Christian.

The fact that so much of the midcard in 99 also were strong but narrow gimmicks with shelf lives contributed to this significantly too. Guys like Val Venis, Road Dogg, Godfather etc. had really great runs from 98 to mid 99 but by that point their limited gimmicks were pretty exhausted, there wasn't really anywhere else for them to go and it was easy for a fresh batch of guys like Rikishi, Too Cool, Hardys to take over. 

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Billy never made it to the top because his act sucked. His name was Mr. Ass, his music was awful/legendary, his promos were the shits, his matches were dull, and he didn't get over as a heel because of it. @Tommy! hit the nail on the head with the story - they knew they needed fresh heels badly because the McMahon/Austin deal was played out and they had gone back to Taker again and again, and Trips was struggling. At the time, Bossman was fourth on the internal depth chart on the heel side. Big Show was the logical choice for the win, and probably would have if it wasn't for the WWF weirdness about them WCW out-of-towners.

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Billy Gunn is a classic case of having never got everything right all at once. His psychology was superb once he was slumming it on the indies in the mid-2010s; if he could have worked a crowd like that, with the body he had in '98, he'd have been the star they wanted him to be in '99. But he could never have it all at once.

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2 hours ago, Liam O'Rourke said:

Billy never made it to the top because his act sucked. His name was Mr. Ass, his music was awful/legendary, his promos were the shits, his matches were dull, and he didn't get over as a heel because of it. 

His willingness to do anything they asked probably didnt help either. His face made him look like a jacked up Ricky Butcher as well.

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Could it not be argued, also, that he was just best suited to tag-team wrestling?

Much as people talk about Greg "The Hammer" Valentine being the ultimate midcarder, and not in a pejorative sense, one could say that about Gunn. Almost every team he was in did well and was relatively memorable - Smoking Gunns, NAO, Billy & Chuck, hell - even the Gunn-Show sort of got over in the brief period they were together. 

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