The Live Wire - By Tony Cottam

TLW: Brutal

Well, hello. Welcome once more to The Live Wire – the home of the only column that has an intro like this! Granted every other column is damned proud of that, but hey, whatcha gonna do?

Well, hello. Welcome once more to The Live Wire – the home of the only column that has an intro like this! Granted every other column is damned proud of that, but hey, whatcha gonna do?

Not that any of you care, or probably read this, but this week’s column is powered by the totally amazing, utterly fantastic and all round stupendously good new Andrew WK record ‘The Wolf’ – he’s back folks, and he’s not going away… whoo! Buy it, download it, borrow it, whatever – get this record. Between him and The Darkness, Rock n Roll can be saved!!!

Ahem. Back to wrestling.

If, like me, you’re stuck in the televisual equivalent of the Sahara Desert that is the UK, then you will have been watching SmackethDown this week and wondered where the final 20 minutes went. Yes, that’s right, in their infinite wisdom the WWE and/or Sky decided that no, UK fans aren’t mature enough to watch Brock Lesnar beat the snot out of Zach Gowen and throw him down a flight of stairs.

This was edited from the morning showing (fair enough), the late evening showing (well… I suppose) and even the 2am showing, which is diabolical! 2am and we can’t see what went out on US television at about 10:45pm… Why they thought we couldn’t see it, I don’t know.

Hell, I’d have paid to see that on pay per view! But there we go… we’re good enough to get 24 hour coverage of David Blaine sitting in a glass box, but not for that. Go figure.

Anyway, that got me thinking of other moments of brutality that we’d seen in the WWE over the years, and no, I’m not talking about any of Ric Flair’s shirts over the past few weeks either. With that in mind, I bring you my top3 moments of brutality in the WWE. Remember, this is just from how I remember it, and no doubt I’ve missed out several moments, but hey – I’ll give it a shot anyway.

#3 – Crush and Randy Savage beat lumps out of each other

Yeah, I know, kinda leftfield… but I’d just got back into wrestling after a few years of not seeing it, and I remembered Randy “OOOOOOH YEEEAH” Savage as being pretty damned good. And they had this big guy they kept insisting on calling Kona Crush that was his best friend. Right then, you should really know something is up. Anyone who declares themselves as the best friend of another guy is either Billy and Chuck or about to beat the crap out of them.

Anyway, there was an issue between them – Yokozuna had demolished Crush, and even though Savage pulled him out and saved him, Crush felt it shouldn’t have happened at all as Savage “had his back”. A few months later, and the two men were called into the ring to talk it all out. Crush had his new manager, Mr Fuji, with him, but it looked like the two men had settled their differences…

Until Crush unleashed a beating on Savage that was… well, savage! Crush really did demolish the Macho Man. Beat him around, dropped him across the guard rail, and Savage either bit his tongue or broke his jaw, not too sure… either way, there was blood, and Savage sold it like he’d been shot through the head. Classic stuff for me.

Like I said, at the time, I was me just getting back into things and this made such an impression that whenever I think of a heel turn followed by a beatdown, I always compare it to this. Maybe it was gentler times, but man, was this brutal…

#2 – Mick Foley. Hell In A Cell. ‘Nuff said.

What else needs to be said about this? JR was at the top of his game for this one, and his call of “Good God almighty – He’s been broken in half!” just made Foley’s beating seem all the more damning.

Everyone remembers the throw from the top of the cell, the seeming eternity that Foley took to fly from the cell roof and crash through the table below… it’s been replayed constantly, and for my mind, it still stands out as THE single most mind blowing spot in wrestling history. But that’s not the most brutal moment of this match.

Foley, amazingly walked away. Not only that, he climbed the cage again and resumed the battle with the ‘Taker on the roof. Once again, The Undertaker sent Foley spiralling groundward, this time through the roof of the Cell. Foley landed in a heap on the canvas as the world watched wide mouthed in shock. Foley somehow got to his feet and the match carried on. Here would be the brutal moment – Foley managed to smile for the camera – and the close up revealed his TOOTH was hanging out of his NOSE.

Yuck! I mean, just YUCK! On a scale of yuckiness, that is on a par with listening to a Justin Timberlake record… Yes!!! That bad indeed!!!

#1 – Shawn Michaels takes a beating in the first Hell In A Cell

For all that Mick’s bump – and tooth – are synonymous with Hell In The Cell matches, it’s the very first one which I always considered to be the better match… one of the best in WWE history, to be honest. The story that Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker told during this bloodfest was superb, and not even the screwy finish with the debut of Kane could tarnish it.

Michaels was probably at his peak at this point, and he bumped round the cell like a pinball for The Undertaker, and he was already on the receiving end of a hellacious (copyright JR) beating when he managed to escape from the cell. Sadly for him, ‘Taker caught him and slingshotted back into the cell…

If you’ve bought the recent Shawn Michaels DVD – watch that moment on slow motion and see one of the greatest bladejobs in history. Not only was it superbly done, but it was massive. Michaels was leaving pools of blood all over the canvas, and when he climbed up to the top of the cage to try and escape, we were treated to the single most memorable camera shot ever.

Michaels was dripping blood into the ring, and as the cameraman got underneath him, and looked up, Michaels bled onto the camera lens. That moment, combined with the general brutality of the first Hell In The Cell, and the HUGE pool of blood that Michaels leaked after he managed to pin ‘Taker (with Kane’s help) make this whole epic match my most brutal moment in the WWE.

Now, no doubt you disagree – all three of you that are still here by now (hi Mum!) – so, hey, feel free to drop me a line and let me know your most brutal moments – or even swing by the forums and start a discussion! I’ll see ya there!

Until next time, have fun, go mad – and remember! WK can save us ALL!!!

Tony Cottam

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