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21 August 2006

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Welcome to another edition of The Three Count and this weeks inspiration is Hancock. No not Miss Hancock, the delectable gimmick of Stacy Keibler in WCW (now partly nicked by Michelle McCool with 50% of the talent and about 60% of the legs) but Tony Hancock, the late great comedian.

So what's Tony Hancock got to do with wrestling then? Well at the moment I'm hooked on BBC 7 which has all the old comedy shows on it and one happens to be 'Hancock's Half Hour' which recently featured an edition all about professional wrestling. Sid James played a wrestling promoter (think Vince with a dirty laugh) and gives some free tickets to Hancock and Miss Pugh played by Hattie Jacques. Now my ears *****ed up when we hear James telling his wrestlers who's going to win and how. Now this show was broadcast in the 50's long before the exposes in the News of the World and Jackie Pallo's book and I wonder if the show caused any controversy in the wrestling industry in this country.

It got me thinking though how different things would be if we didn't know as much as we do now. This column would be pretty different I guess but should we know as much as we do today?

I've read plenty of books recently which show how much wrestlers of the past tried everything they could to hide the secrets of professional wrestling. Harley Race put up with tons of aggressive behaviour against him because people not only say him as one of the best heels around but believed in everything he did. They didn't read the real story of Harley Race those days. The same goes for plenty of other stars who must hate the fact so much is known about the ins and outs of pro wrestling these days, not that it stops them putting out autobiographies which tell all.

Wrestling has changed so much, you'd never see all the wrestlers chatting with the crowd after matches and you certainly wouldn't see heels and faces together. But is this for the good or bad of wrestling?

I'm an inquisitive little git so there's no problem with me knowing as much as possible but I know it does spoil things for me sometimes. If I know that a wrestler has had backstage arguments and is going to be leaving when his contract expires next month, it makes his storyline so inevitable. Hey when he has that loser leaves town match I'm hardly going to be expecting him to win am I? Remember that great match Flair had with Mr Perfect on Raw years ago. Loved it to bits but I knew Flair was on his way out.

Take the storyline with the questioning of who the father of Stephanie McMahon's baby is? We all know she's married to Triple H and the kid is going to grow up to become the WWE women's champion sometime around 2030 (rumour is she beats the Fabulous Moolah). But if we didn't know all the facts we do wouldn't that storyline be more interesting rather than us thinking it must be strange for Triple H to talk about his own flesh and blood that way.

It is a shame that we know so much nowadays and I still long sometimes for all those kayfabed articles that used to appear in WWE magazines. But this is 2006 and it's just not possible for every secret to stay that way. Wasn't it great though when at New Year's Revolution Edge won the belt and no one had a clue that was going to happen. The feeling we had when that occurred was great wasn't it?

So what do you think? Is it a good thing that we know so much, send me a email and let me know what you think.

See you all next time.

Stephen Ashfield

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