There’s an old saying in professional wrestling that “funny doesn’t equal money”. But, when you look at some of the major money players of the last fifteen years, I think that theory goes straight down the toilet. Chris Jericho, while never reaching main event status in WCW, if not given the opportunity to show off his comedic chops, would have forever been relegated to WCW Saturday Night hell. It was his humor that ultimately gained him a cult following, thus placing him on WWE’s radar, allowing him to become not only the first undisputed world champion, but a television and music personality, as well as one of the only notable stars that is able to call his own shots and make his own schedule today.
Some may say that this was the era of the “cool heel” where you had both sides of the clique: Kevin Nash and Scot Hall in WCW and Shawn Michaels and Triple H in the WWE as the supposed bad guys doing their best to get the fans to cheer them on. With Shawn Michaels’ leave of absence after WrestleMania XIV, it left Triple H as the face of Degeneration X, along with Chyna, X-Pac, and the New Age Outlaws.
Would Triple H be the legend he is today if it weren’t for the juvenile antics of DX? The Nation parody, the “invasion” of WCW, the DX “split”, just to name a few, if it weren’t for situations such as these, would we be looking at the man poised to take over the wrestling world?
If funny doesn’t equal money, no one must have sent Shane Helms that memo. At one time Helms as The Hurricane was one of their top merchandise sellers. His mini-program with The Rock, during the build-up to Rock/Stone Cold Steve Austin 3 at WrestleMania XVI, is the stuff of legend (don’t believe me, look it up on YouTube). Speaking of Austin, think of all of the humorous moments he has taken part in over the years. Riding a Zamboni to the ring, showering the McMahons with beer, playing (or at least trying) the guitar, singing a duet of Margaritaville with the Rock, reciting the lyrics to the Beverly Hillbillies, and much too many to mention here. You’re gonna tell me he wasn’t money?
Just some food for thought.
Bill “Halfway” Hamill is a lifelong professional wrestling fan and musician. You can visit his website at http://HalfwayHamill.com, listen to his podcast at http://HamillsHalfwayHouse.Podomatic.com, and follow him on twitter @HalfwayHamill.
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