Bearded Brock Is Back & Sunny's Search For Sexy Co-Stars: Ten Things You May Have Missed In Wrestling This Week
You can now live out your fantasy with a WWE Hall of Famer (before the next warrant is issued).
We lost a good one this week, as Paul Orndorff passed away at the age of 71.
My Wonderful was a huge figure in the industry, particularly in the 1980s, where he was involved in the main event of the very first WrestleMania and drew record-setting crowds in his feud with top babyface Hulk Hogan.
A tremendous heel who could work, talk and had an amazing look, Orndorff's career slowed down later in the decade due to a serious neck injury that caused his arm to atrophy.
When he came back on the international stage as a member of the WCW roster in the early-to-mid 90's, he continued to produce some great work and won the TV and Tag Team Titles, having some cracking matches in his Pretty Wonderful team (with Marcus Bagwell) and as a singles competitor in bouts with opponents as varied as Ricky Steamboat and Cactus Jack.
Made a WWE Hall of Famer in 2005, Orndorff had suffered with serious health issues and some hard times in recent years.
If you don't know much about or haven't seen a whole lot of Orndorff in action, now would be a good time to fix that.
After reading Ten Things You May Have Missed In Wrestling This Week, of course.
10. Mickie Pitching To The Boss
Recently-released former WWE star (and current NWA producer) Mickie James was recently interviewed for AdFreeShows.com and spoke on a range of topics, including coming up with the 'stalker fan' storyline, how Lita helped her get to WWE and meeting (and pitching to) Vince McMahon for the first time.
There's a lot to digest here, but it's all very interesting and a great look into Mickie's journey to WWE and her creative process.
"As far as Vince, obviously I met him at tryouts, but it was very brief. He's always being rushed by, power walking to Gorilla, from Gorilla, so I was scared to death. My first real conversation with Vince probably happened about six months before I debuted. We were in Cincinnati. I was in Louisville at the time for Ohio Valley Wrestling. We would go whenever it was within driving distance, all the students, or all the people that were signed to developmental deals. We would then go to the house shows, to the live events, or the TVs that were in the area for extras to get re-evaluated because it was a much different system than it is right now. I had been in the system about two years at that point. I had gone home, come back, and I really needed to do something different. I felt I needed to come up with this character or something because I was not fitting in the mold that was typically being presented because it was the start of the Diva Era, and the Diva Search, and stuff like that.
I had been in developmental for two years, and now I was having to teach new girls to wrestle because they're not from wrestling. I had devoted, at this point, seven years to it, and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong here. I've missed the mark here. At any rate, I came up with this character that kind of parallel, in OVW, I was doing that Punky Brewster kind of character. I think back to fandom, and fandom of anything, of sports, of people, that Single White Female, when it can go to the extremes, when it goes way too far in the other way. I came up with this super fan character, Alexis Laree, that was a big fan of Lita. Amy was so helpful to me when I was first getting started because I was from Virginia. The Carolinas, the Mid-Atlantic, those were a lot of my first shows. The first two or three years were Mid-Atlantic, then I ventured north once I went with Maryland Championship Wrestling when I went to Baltimore. That's how I got in the Northeast loop, and then I eventually got to Ring Of Honor, but it was mostly this Mid-Atlantic area.
At any rate, I would go to house shows in North Carolina. Amy and The Hardy Boys would often be there because they loved wrestling and it was in their backyard, it was in a bar, and it was entertaining. There were a lot of their friends wrestling like Champagne or Shannon Moore. That's really where I started. I met her. She was so kind, and always honest, brutally honest, like a real friend should be, like, 'This was really great. Please don't ever do this again. This was bad, but this is why it was bad. This is how you can make it better'.
She didn’t have to do that. I was so green at the time. I think she went to bat for me a lot. I think she went to bat for me for my job, when I first got hired. I think she then went to bat for me in order to come up to the main roster as far as one of the girls that was ready. Personally, I know her, and I just love her so much. That's why I had to ask her. She was my friend, so I could ask her, 'Can I write this?' because you don't want to pitch some random storyline for somebody, and what if they hate you, or they don't like you, and they don't want to do it? It would be a mess. I asked Amy if I can write up this idea, this storyline, with her in mind, and pitch it. When I pitched it, apparently they really liked it, obviously. They really loved it. I remember writing out 18 weeks of television where I saw this character going over the next three months. That's what I had written in my mind.
The trainers would come down when they were around the area to come and inspect everybody at OVW to see where they were. I remember Michael Hayes being there and a bunch of other people. He said, 'Vince really liked your idea'. I said, 'Oh cool. That's really cool'. I got really hopeful. By the time we made it to that set of TVs, Michael pulled me aside again and said, 'Vince really liked your idea. He liked that character. You need to walk in there and you need to tell him that you wrote it. You need to also tell him that you know that character. You wrote that character, and nobody can play it like you'. I'm scared to death and terrified. I felt like now I have to do this because Michael Hayes told me I have to do it, and if I don't do it, Michael Hayes is going to say to me, 'Why didn't you go do what I told you to do?. So, I'm going to get heat either way I go.
I sat by Vince's door for what felt like an eternity there after the show to end. I was waiting, and it was legit. I felt like he was around the corner watching me sit there and wait, pacing, and sweating. I'm sweating. I'm terrified. I can't breathe. Where is the water? He came in the office. He saw me standing there. I said, 'I would love to have a moment of your time. I would like to talk to you'. He said, 'Sure'. I came into his office and literally said what Michael wanted me to say. I said, 'I appreciate you taking the time. I heard you read my storyline'. He acted confused about it and said, 'Hmm'. I said, 'That's my character. I made that character. I know that character inside and out. I know that nobody is going to deliver that character like me. Give me a chance. I promise you I'm going to kill it'. He said, 'Hmm. You got balls kid'. I'll never forget it because I'm a lady, and I have lady balls. I said, 'Thank you so much'.
I got out the door without falling down. A huge sigh of relief, but terror, and all these things, it is a very powerful presence when you meet someone like that, especially where I was then. That was the pinnacle, and that's where I wanted to be. That was one of those make or break moments. If he hated me at that moment, I was fired the next day, right? In my mind, this could go really well or really bad for me. I went back to Louisville after that whole loop. That was probably in the early spring of that year, and then I didn't debut until October. I didn’t hear anything back for months. Then I was like, 'What did I do?'. Then they called me in October and said they wanted me to debut. They said, 'We want you to do it with Trish instead'. I didn’t know Trish. But I was supposed to debut like five times before that. I debuted with CM Punk on Sunday Night Heat, and we got back through the curtain, and Hunter said, 'I really like you, and I really like you, but the two of you together, I just don't get it'. They pulled the match, and they filled it with some type of filler for the PPV coming up, I think. That's so weird because we were together in TNA with Raven and all that stuff. It was ironic. It was weird. How different our careers would have been, right?".