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Alex Wright: His Failed Rise To The Top In WCW

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 In mid-1994, a nineteen year old prodigy from Germany joined World Championship Wrestling. Alex Wright quickly became an important part to WCW television for next several years and had a few chances to become a major star, but never made the impact that fans were often told to expect from the young rookie sensation.
Wright came to WCW during the middle of the summer and often would compete against enhancement talent to get him over with the fans. Wright’s gimmick was that kid who danced to techno music and had the nickname of “Das Wunderkind”, meaning wonder child. His first major opponent would be Jean Paul Levesque, who some may now know as being Triple H on WWE television. By Starrcade 1994 in December both men were undefeated and easily defeating opponents. After fourteen minutes of action, Wright picked up his first substantial victory since joining WCW. 1995 would mark an either make it or break it year for Alex Wright.

Alex Wright in action against Jean Paul Levesque.

Before I go further, I want to address his gimmick. At a time when fans were tired of the over the top good guy, squeaky clean babyface, Wright would develop a fan base that would be vocal about their disapproval for him. It was similar to what Hulk Hogan was dealing with. Despite the character persona, Wright was capable of putting on entertaining matches.

Early in 1995, Wright would feud with Bobby Eaton, one of the easiest guys to work with ever in wrestling as often stated by wrestlers. Wright easily won the brief feud and ventured into a minor feud with Paul Roma that came to a head at Superbrawl V. Roma, not liking that he had to put Wright over, didn’t follow the plans of the match, though he still lost, and was promptly fired. Over the spring Wright continued to pile up victories over the likes of Paul Orndorff and Diamond Dallas Page.

With this momentum, Wright was awarded a WCW Television Championship match against Arn Anderson at Slamboree. Wright would end up losing the match and his undefeated streak came to an end as well. Oddly enough, Anderson would lose the belt the following month to the Renegade. So, why not put over Alex Wright, who was being build as the future of the company, to win the undercard championship? I must have a different logic than the higher ups at WCW.

At the Great American Bash, Alex Wright had perhaps the best match of his WCW career against Brian Pillman, which he won. I recall reading a PWI magazine where Wright had been concerned about breaking his neck due to a dream he had prior to the contest. The opener was one of the best openers the company had managed to book in quite some time the summer of ’94.

The remainder of the year saw Wright team with Marcus Alexander Bagwell, which typically spelled doom for a wrestlers career at the time, and often times competed against Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Diamond Dallas Page in losing efforts, for the most part. With the influx of talent such as Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero, the spotlight was dimming on Wright and shifting towards a more exciting form of wrestling.

For most of 1996, Wright was lost in the shuffle losing often to guys like Ric Flair and Chris Benoit. He did get some television time throughout the year, but he didn’t have a lengthy feud nor did he have a storyline for fans to care about him.

For most of the year, Wright would feud with the Disco Inferno, which I guess was a natural feud due to their differences in musical taste. Certainly not a memorable feud. For the first half of 1997, Wright would have some good matches with the likes of Benoit, Chris Jericho and Ultimo Dragon. However, his baby face persona had really ran its course.

Thus, on June 30th in Las Vegas on Nitro, Wright turned heel and claimed that he was being held back because he was German.

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Of course, the heel turn took place at the peak of the New World Order and largely forgotten about. However, the turn by Wright was nicely done and he played the role extremely well. It was during the heel run that Alex accomplished the most in WCW. On the July 28th episode of Nitro, Wright would win his first WCW championship he pinned Chris Jericho to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.

He held the title until August 16th where he lost it back to Jericho. Five days later, Wright captured new gold when he defeated the Ultimo Dragon to win the WCW Television Championship on COTC #35. Wright’s annoying dancing habits and overall cocky attitude was rewarded with a decent push during the second half of 1997.

Wright lost the TV Championship to rival Disco Inferno on the September 22nd episode of Nitro. For the remainder of the year, Wright would often be on the losing side of matches and by the time 1998 rolled around he was virtually forgotten about.

Take a moment and try to think of what Alex Wright accomplished in 1998. Did you think of anything? I didn’t think so. Wright didn’t compete in 1998 until May and for the year he was saddled into a tag team with Disco Inferno known as the Dancing Fools. They feuded with teams such as the Public Enemy, High Voltage and the team of British Bulldog & Jim Neidhart.

Change of look didn't help Alex Wright as Berlyn in 1999.

Vignettes started to air for a new wrestler named Berlyn in the spring of 1999. The wrestler who was anti-America and obviously pro Germany, was none other than Alex Wright was a drastically different look. He made his official debut on August 30th with a promo. During the promo, Berlyn and a female speaker, who wouldn’t last long, talked about how disgusting Americans are and that Berlyn refused to speak the English language.

His first target was Buff Bagwell. And, yet again, Alex Wright just couldn’t get momentum. They were scheduled to wrestle at Fall Brawl, but Bagwell refused to lose the match. WCW replaced him with Jim Duggan, who none to happy about it and didn’t elevate Berlyn at all. The character, which could have had poetiental to give WCW a new top level heel, quickly sputtered and ended feuding with the likes of Brad Armstrong, who defeated Berlyn at Halloween Havoc.

By the end of 1999, Alex Wright was off television yet again. It would be nearly a full year before Wright appeared on WCW television again. Wright changed his look again and returned on the September 27th edition of Thunder. Wright was sporting a completely bald look and associated himself with Disco Inferno once again to form the Boogie Knights.

Shortly after their reunion, Disco would get hurt. Wright briefly won the WCW World Tag Team Championships but lost them four days later on Nitro back to the Natural Born Thrillers. Following a brief angle where he hired Kronik to destroy smaller wrestlers that lasted to November at Mayhem where Wright lost to the Filthy Animals, Wright wouldn’t be on television again for WCW.

So, why didn’t Alex Wright become a top star for WCW? I think a lot of it was WCW not knowing their audience and being behind the times. Coming in as a clean cut nineteen year old foreign kid isn’t going to really connect with a largely southern based company. He was a good hand in the ring, but appeared to lack the ability to connect to fans as a baby face.

As a heel, I thought Wright was great. The summer to late fall run he had in 1997 showed he was a capable heel and had the New World Order not been happening, I think Wright could have been a more important piece to their television product. I mean, throughout 1998 Wright could have been involved with guys like DDP, Booker, Benoit and others and fit in perfectly fine, in my opinion.

The Berlyn gimmick was supposed to be a big deal but again, bad timing. I’ve read that because of the Columbian shootings that the company held off on the push. While the character had some strength to it, it did appear that Wright wasn’t the same in-ring performer, which may have been a necessary evil considering his new heel persona.

But, really at that point would anyone be able to buy into Berlyn feuding with a guy like Hulk Hogan? Sure there would be the ready made America vs. Germany feud, but I don’t see money to be made there. Ultimately, I think Alex Wright fell victim to the company promoting him as a huge deal and then never delivering the goods.

At some point you need to pull the trigger on the prospect, which WCW never fully did.

What are your memories of Alex Wright? Did you see him as a main event guy? Leave your thoughts below.

For more wrestling reviews and columns, head over to WRESTLING RECAPS!

Thanks for reading.

Comments

  1. A great story that absolutely nobody was clamoring to hear.

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  2. Maffew posted the Wright/Roma match on Botchamania's Facebook today (20th anniversary and all)...and I actually did some Google searching to find out of someone had written up something about why wrestlers like Roma & Duggan hated Alex Wright so much.

    Shame I can't read Bob's article because of the awful font that his posts get published with...but it actually was something I was looking to read about tonight.

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  3. What's the story with the Alex Wright vs Paul Roma match not appearing in full on the WWE Network?

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  4. I'm so confused by the font... for me to comes up completely normal.

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  5. Wright's story is one that WWE creative should pay attention to. Its very similar to their current style of never pulling the trigger.

    Arn Anderson was a guy who essentially couldn't be hurt by losses at that point, but they couldn't job him because they were planning to do so to someone else. Then why book the match?

    We see it all the time these days.

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  6. Just tweeted you a PrtScrn of what I'm seeing. Your posts are the only one that use a different font...

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  7. I feel Alex Wright may have had more success had he used the gigantic foreign object he alway hid in his tights.

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  8. I published it differently, hopefully the font is normal.

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  9. Looks like he had some white thunder down there!

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  10. I liked Alex Wright, I thought he was a good talentall he was missing was a good committed push.

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  11. Roma's top rope elbow drop in that match is fantastic.

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  12. Steve Austin buried this guy dead in one of his ECW promos.

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  13. Thanks for reducing all Alex Wright matches to nothing but immature dick jokes.

    Ha, "foreign object". It works on many levels!

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  14. Was there anything behind the hatred toward the guy? I always wondered about that myself.

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  15. Much like Vince does, I think they were losing confidence in Wright (who was bombing in his role) and decided to play with their new favorite toy in the Renegade.

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  16. I liken Wright to Chris Masters where they both got monster pushes right out of the gate due to their looks before they were even ready for such a push and when they failed, management lost confidence in the guys and never pushed them again because of it, despite both guys improving leaps and bounds much later in their careers.

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  17. "They tell Steve go out there and make this 19 year old German kid look good"

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  18. I don't think that this picture draws enough attention to his package. He really ought to have an arrow drawn on his stomach or something.

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  19. Please let this end up on People's Court!

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  20. The other competitors disliked how much he loved David Hasselhoff.

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  21. I thought it was, could be wrong

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  22. Everyone now has a law degree from Netcop U.

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  23. Well, if he had a role, he would have been fine. But he was just some dude on top of the uninspiring wishy washy push.

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  24. CM Punk and Colt Better Call Saul!

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  25. Those are very serious allegations. I thought wrestlers were allowed to get second opinions?

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  26. Samuda? When did you get out?

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  27. Punk already took WWE to the cleaners once. I'm sure he's more than confident he can prove just about everything he said on that podcast. Is Dr Nick not aware that Punk got everything he wanted from WWE and then some?

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  28. Does the WWE REALLY want their medical practices open for scrutiny in a court of law?

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  29. They had him on NXT talking about Sami Zayn in kayfabe and I was waiting for him to say "I told Sami to take a z-pack."

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  30. If they're confident enough, I'd say yes. A win here would set a strong precedent.

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  31. I'd wager WWE has more chance of winning an emmy than a lawsuit against CM Punk.

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  32. I guess that's what I'm not clear on. Is the doc filing on behalf of the fed or as a single entity?

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  33. But he lost against Arn because of a rookie mistake. Getting puched the first time, ducking the second punch, faked by Arn and instead leaving himself open to the DDT. It made sense. Pushing Renegade that hard otherwise...

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  34. I'm no lawyer, but doesn't all Punk have to do is show up with medical proof from the doctor that actually treated his staph infection?

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  35. I don't think so. Doctors making mistakes happens all the time. I believe he's required to prove that the fed dr knowingly lied about the diagnosis.

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  36. God he was awful. To watch, listen to, be aware of. And if I was an old timer, and some ripped pretty boy in tiny trunks came in, entirely clueless and unable to work, I'd probably bury that fucker too. Awesome theme though! And he taught me the only German I know. "Achtung, achtung, hier ist Alex Wright."

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  37. Isn't Heyman a lawyer? I would pay to see the opening statement of 'my client. Cm punk...'

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  38. One good about this is that it should put to an end to some silly speculation from last year that the podcast was all part of a work for Punk's eventual return, which seemed to continue even AFTER he signed for UFC.

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  39. Just him, I think. I imagine he's a doctor not just for WWE.

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  40. Yeah there has always seemed to be genuine animosity there. I'm a little surprised AJ is still employed.

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  41. I obviously don't know, but it seems like that would be a full time job.

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  42. Not the way he does it, apparently!

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  43. I think there's a word for that. Extortion maybe?

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  44. Contract disputes and medical malpractice claims are very different.

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  45. Good luck winning a defamation suit, sir.

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  46. The Nelson Frazier story is funnier. Dude weighed 500lbs and died of a heart attack. Maybe someone should sue her for over-feeding the guy

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  47. If you can't see that this is leading to a Punk / Doctor match, then you are BLIND sir!

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  48. I was blind but now I can see!

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  49. I remember he put over Flair on an episode of Saturday Night in early 95 (?) and it was made to be a big deal because he took it to Flair. Never thought of him as a world title contender but I felt the same way as Austin in WCW, so really anything was possible. But you're right Benoit and Eddy etc debuting really pushed him down because he was no where near those guys in ring.

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  50. I remember Larry Zbyszko kicking off the April 1 1995 edition of WCW Pro by claiming Alex Wright had upset Hogan for the belt in Chicago the night before. April Fools. That is my most vivid memory of the thoroughly unremarkable Alex Wright.

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  51. I think him having no backstage "pull" and not trying to stir up conflicts (at least as far as I know) didn't help either. there are dozens of other guys that wouldn't have accepted their opponents not selling for them etc.

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  52. I don't think a doctor needs to knowingly lie about a diagnosis (I would imagine nobody would ever successfully be sued for malpractice if that was the case). I think he just needs to prove that somebody with the same specialty would have reasonably made the proper diagnosis.

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  53. Wait so, the lawsuit is basically "WAHHH PUNK WAS BEING A BIG MEANIE!" Not even about whether Punk's words were true or not? El oh el.

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  54. AJ Lee's doctor can provide nothing but heresay. So, not cut and dry. Plus, the big thing that everyone is overlooking is that Amann claims he never gave Punk a prescription for the Z-Pack. That is something so easy for Punk to prove, why would Amann make that claim unless Punk genuinely couldn't prove it? I'm thinking Amann never wrote the prescription, another doctor did, and Punk fucked up in the interview (where he admitted to being severely concussed).


    I'm guessing this all ends with Punk publicly apologizing to Amann.

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  55. The big thing that everyone is overlooking is that Amann claims he never gave Punk a prescription for the Z-Pack. That is something so easy for Punk to prove, why would Amann make that claim unless Punk genuinely couldn't prove it? I'm thinking Amann never wrote the prescription, another doctor did, and Punk fucked up in the interview (where he admitted to being severely concussed).

    I'm guessing this all ends with Punk publicly apologizing to Amann.

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  56. It wasn't for the lack of a huge hog, that's for sure.

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  57. Paul Roma's true character and talent was probably best shown in that match. He could have been more.

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  58. Oooo this gonna be awesome when get to see all the wwe medical dirt in discovery! Love it

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  59. Finally, it's David Otunga's time to shine!

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  60. With the amount of dodgy shit this guy's probably done during his time in the WWE you'd think he'd want to steer clear of having anything investigated.

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  61. Punk just said the guy didn't really put much effort into his diagnosis. It's more a claim of neglegence then it is lying.

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  62. Alex Wright's "Choose Me" rant on the WCW Nitro video game was lame too!

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  63. "Indicating that the plaintiff is unable to perform or lacks integrity in performing his or her employment duties" falls under the definition of defamation per se--"in itself." That is, harm to Amann's career is automatically presumed by law.


    Not saying that his is the case, just that this is the tack Amann will go with.

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  64. Publication/disclosure to a third party is part and parcel of defamation lawsuits.

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  65. "....and can no longer enjoy conjugal bliss with his wife."

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  66. Check out RSG's reflection on SuperBrawl V to find out! http://rspwfaq.boards.net/thread/227/rock-star-gary-reflects-superbrawl

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  67. Alex Wright got sandbagged more times than a military base. Poor guy.

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  68. Alex Wright's heel run in 1997 was one of the best parts of Nitro. It was so funny

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  69. Oh way OOOOO! Oh way ooooo.

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  70. Wright should cherish the push he did get in '94 because it was probably more than he deserved. He was bland, average in looks and wrestling ability, fit but skinny, and never seemed to be really over more than the other lower-card babyfaces on WCW's roster. Once the Nitro era arrived Wright seemed totally out of place. Amazed he was kept around as long as he was, frankly, because from '96 on he was never viewed as anything other than a jobber. Every attempt to do anything with him felt like a waste of time.

    Kudos on the thoroughness of this piece, but Alex Wright is the last worker in WCW I can think of worthy of a career reexamination. He's clearly one of WCW's failed ideas, and probably one of the least interesting at that.

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  71. More like Das Wundercock amirite?

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  72. I would agree with the least interesting, but the article has been getting good feedback and views. Regardless, I hope people enjoyed it as I enjoyed writing about a guy who was promoted as the next big deal for them and it never happened.

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  73. Oh yeah, don't get me wrong: well done piece.

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  74. ALEX WRIGHT~! and DISCO INFERNO~! The BOOGIE KNIGHTS~!

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  75. His dick was too big who wants cheer a damn horse.

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  76. You know how I know you're gay....

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  77. i am noticing more n more that jean paul lesveque was a pretty fine rassler.

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  78. yes well done Bob

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  79. Still remember when he and Disco first faced off dancing with the Nitro Girls and the announcers are groaning "What is this, the Nitro Boys?" "Good, let them knock each other out and we won't have to watch them dance anymore."

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  80. Because he has his dick in your add?

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  81. Looks normal (and readable) now. Thanks Bob!

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  82. Still in the two man club with Warrior, as in, the men Triple H never got his win back from.

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  83. This explained nothing and served as only a cheap plug for your forum post.

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  84. You didn't like my description of WWE's failure to provide the first 10 minutes of the show when it took me all of 30 seconds to find it on the web for my loyal readers?
    And if cheap plugs can work for Mick Foley then they can work for Rock Star Gary.

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  85. Alex Wright shouldn't have been booked as a babyface in the first place. His character wasn't relatable to an American audience, his dance was annoying, his moveset was boring and his look was unimpressive. He should have been a heel from day one.

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  86. Remember when he used to enter the ring by back flipping off the top turnbuckle? That was pretty cool!

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  87. Didn't he have a brain tumor or something?

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  88. I wanted to know why they didn't show those 10 minutes, not what happened during them.

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  89. Sorry, but I can't speak for the WWE video department. I'm just not going to be lazy and just deal with a “Presented in the most complete form possible, due to
    original production technical difficulties.” if I can help it.

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  90. I will always remember Wright as getting rinsed by Paul Roma. And legit always thinking bow incredibly gay the character was. That little German Shimmy shudda been an instant XPac heat gimmick.

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  91. The problem with Berlyn is that it was a huge mistake for him to take short off because he looked flabby and pale (should have gone Sting and wrestled with a rave shirt of some sort)

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  92. At least Masters is making a living on independent scene and doing well for himself... Would like to see him back on WWE one day as I like wrestlers who make an effort to get better at craft...

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  93. Nice article. I always liked Wright. "The Columbian" shootings? I think you meant "The Columbine shootings."

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  94. He was a midcarder at best.

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  95. If only Alex Wright could have been a cheap Ultimate Warrior rip-off...

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  96. You don't get the reference internet tough guy?

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  97. Actually, I don't... Let me look it up and pretend I do...


    Oh, yeah, I totally got that reference! (Or not -- I only saw that movie one time).


    But, in my defense, my answer was a super definitive way to tell if a guy is gay. Or in prison. I wouldn't recommend it if you're neither of these things.

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  98. brain aneurysm and no he didn't have one

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  99. He's a Flair project.

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  100. Dancin' Fools!

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  101. The guy's gimmick was that he was into techno music. And he danced like a total spastic. Wow, how can he have failed to get over with that kind of promotional genius behind him?

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