Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Psycho Sid Vicious - Yay Or Nay For The Hall of Fame

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement  and Yay Or Nay for the Hall of Fame…
This week’s subject… well… he hail’s from where ever he damn well pleases… most noteably West Memphis Arkansas…. He stands 6 feet 9 inches and checks in at 317 lbs… he is the man… the master… and ruler of the World…. SID VICIOUS!

Debuting in the late 1980s after a chance encounter with the Poffo Brothers, Sid got his start in Continental Championship Wrestling and had a couple of short stints in New Japan and World Class Championship Wrestling… but it was in 1989 where he got his first large bit of fame with World Championship Wrestling, where he was placed into a tag team with Danny Spivey called the Skyscrapers, having epic battles with The Steiner Brothers and the Road Warriors, and making the power bomb his finishing move. However this stint didn’t last as a broken rib put him on the side lines for a bit, and his spot was under taken by a guy named Mean Mark… wonder whatever happened to him?

Anyway, when Sid recovered from his injury in 1990, he was added to the Four Horsemen, continuing the tradition of the ‘next big thing’ in pro-wrestling being put in the group… but let’s be honest, he was brought in to be the answer to RoboCop… before going on to feud with the likes of Lex Luger, Paul Orndorff, the Junkyard Dog… even then NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting… getting his first major title shot at Halloween Havoc in 1990… nearly walking away with the championship.

His association with the Horsemen gradually demised in the following months, where Sid flirted with becoming a babyface only for his heel status to be firmed up, but he would leave the promotion by the spring, putting over El Gigante on his way out the door… but greener pastures were apparently ahead in the World Wrestling Federeation.

Renamed Sid Justice, he would first answer open challenges to wrestlers at non-televised events before making his debut in the summer  and being named the special guest referee for the SummerSlam 91 event pitting Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior against Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustafa and General Adnan. At the same event, Sid intervened and rescued Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth from an attack by the Undertaker and Jake Roberts, cementing his babyface status. According to arena reports, Sid made quick work of the Undertaker, but an injury forced him to miss the Survivor Series event that year and aborted his feud with Roberts… word is that the famous angle where Savage got his bicep bit by a King Cobra was meant to have Sid in that spot, but I’ve never seen clarification on that.

Sid would return to action at the 1992 Royal Rumble, where for the first time ever, the winner would become the WWF Champion… and Sid was a heavy favorite, not just because he was entering at #29… but because he was incredibly popular. Now for those of you who don’t know, the Royal Rumble is a match where every man is for themselves to win… and somehow the idea came up with Sid to ‘sneak up’ on Hulk Hogan to throw him over the top rope… and the crowd CHEERED LOUDLY. Hogan, being the spoiled sport that he was, would help the villain Ric Flair in eliminating Sid. This moment is extremely controversial, because it was the first notable time that the WWE would ‘re-write’ history, with Gorilla Monsoon’s commentary and crowd reaction edited for the desired effect of Sid coming across like a villain…

The reason for that is simple,  WrestleMania 8… originally was going to be Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan… but because Hogan’s popularity was waning and test-runs of their matches in some of the weakest markets the WWE had at the time resulted lack-luster attendance… so a change was made, Hogan would face Sid instead. Sid effectively was turned heel by walking out on Hogan in a tag team match, attacking Brutus Beefcake, injuring opponents and taking on Harvey Whippleman as his manager…   the match itself ended up being noteable for Sid kicking out of Hogan’s leg drop due to Papa Shango missing his cue to run in in order for the match to end in a DQ which was to feed into the return of the Ultimate Warrior, who was to be Sid’s next feud since Hogan was going to ‘retire’

However a failed drug test and choosing to quit instead serving a suspension saw Sid return to WCW. During his second stint, Sid was put into main programs, making quick work of Van Hammer and teaming with Big Van Vader in a renewed war with Sting, a feud that would last from the summer into the fall…. Where Sid turned babyface to enter a feud with Vader on his way to becoming the WCW World Champion… however yet another bad break occurred, namely an incident with Arn Anderson during a European tour saw Sid being fired…

Sid would head to the USWA and Memphis for most of 1994  before returning to the WWF in early 1995 as the bodyguard for Shawn Michaels, bu that partnership did not last as Sid turned on Michaels following WrestleMania and he would join Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation and becoming a top contender for the WWF Championship being held by Diesel, which he failed to capture. He would go on to feud with Michaels and then float around the card afterward before disappearing from TV at the end of year due to an injury

Sid would return in the summer of 1996, replacing the Ultimate Warrior in a six-man tag match and beginning a sustained baby-face run that saw him having a direct feud with Vader followed by challenging for and winning the WWF Championship at Survivor Series that same year. Retaining the title over Bret Hart, Sid would lose the title to Shawn Michaels at the 1997 Royal Rumble… however, a twist of fate then occurred, this time in his favor, when Michaels, not wanting to drop the title to Bret Hart in a return match from the previous year’s WrestleMania, ‘lost his smile’, claimed a knee injury and vacated the title, which lead to Sid winning the title for a second time defeating Bret Hart a night after he won in. Sid would go on to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania 13… afterwhich, Sid would disappear from TV for a month and half, returning for a brief feud with the Hart Foundation, then leaving the promotion in the Summer of 1997.

Sid would stick to what was left of the Tennessee wrestling scene before surfacing in ECW in 1999, but his stay was short lived thanks to Paul Heyman bouncing many checks… which lead to Sid returning to WCW that same year, first as apart of Randy Savage’s ‘Team Madness’ group before going solo and fast-tracked to a feud with Goldberg, highlighted with a mock winning streak, claiming any wrestlers he attacked during a match counted as a win. Sid would win the United States Title and then feud with Goldberg directly, losing the title to him at Halloween Havoc and then again at Mayhem.

For a second time, things feel Sid’s way… Sid was turned face as a result of Goldberg throwing a hissy fit and breaking his own arm in his feud with revived nWo… and placed in a match with Chris Benoit to determine a new WCW Champion at Souled Out… though Sid lost the match, thanks to Benoit jumping ship to the WWF, and through a series of hoop jumping, Sid would become the WCW Champion and would hold onto the title to the spring, and appeared to be on track to defend the title against Hogan at Spring Stampede… when fate reared it’s ugly head…

For one reason or another, the heads of WCW’s creative (Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff) decided to ‘reboot’ the company and vacating all the championships… and Sid was kept off of TV for much of 2000, only returning in December to challenge for the WCW Title being held by Scott Steiner.. however… thanks to the  stupidity of those thinking Sid should add high risk offense to his move-set, he would break his leg in a gruesome manner live on pay-per-view in January of 2001…

In the years since then, he would return to the ring in 2004 for a one off match up in Montreal, before working select indy dates from 2008 to 2011… however Sid would get one last match in the WWE in 2012… as apart of the buildup for the 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW, Sid would return to answer the challenge of Heath Slater, defeating him with the powerbomb… getting a nice send off for his career. Though not officially retired, I haven’t found any record of Sid having any matches since then.

Despite the start-stop nature of his career… Sid accomplished a lot, with several championships, high profile feuds and main events to his credit, and because of his natural drawing power, Sid was always found work easily.

So what’s the verdict? Well in my opinions, Sid should be in the WWE Hall of Fame… and I’ll go one step further, much like Stan Stasiak, Sid’s career appears to have been ignored by the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame as well. He has the resume and accomplishments that one could put up there against people who worked in the same time period of 1987 to 2001, namely one Mick Foley.

Still that’s just my opinion, you can judge Sid’s career for yourself, most of his body of work is on the WWE Network… and on that note, we’ll call it a night…

Catch ya next time everybody.

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