Imagine If…… Vol. 2 – The WWF gets rated PG-13
Background: In the fall of 1995, the tag team known as PG-13, Wolfie D and JC Ice, made a couple of appearance on WWF Monday Night Raw. The team had been regulars for the USWA based in Memphis, and had been very successful during their two years as a tag team. Their first match for the WWF was a win against the enhancement team of Al Brown and Sonny Rogers, and two weeks later were defeated in a title match by the WWF Tag Team Champions, The Smokin’ Gunns. Afterwards, the pair went back to the USWA, and didn’t return to the WWF for over a year, when they were the rappers for the Nation of Domination.
According to Jamie Dundee (aka JC Ice), the pair were originally going to be starting full time with the WWF after the Royal Rumble in 1996. Unfortunately, Jamie’s (very infamous) partying outside the ring caught up with them. His story is that he was still drinking at a bar, and happened to see his partner on the USWA Saturday Morning TV show, and he realized that he was supposed to be there too. Jerry Lawler (one of the owners of the promotion) was so upset, that he arranged for their move to the WWF to be cancelled. One piece of information that does hold water with Jamie’s story is that he and Wolfie were slated to win a tag team match against Doug Gilbert and Tommy Rich, with the winners getting a spot in the Royal Rumble, but Lawler had Rich and Gilbert go over. Indeed, Doug Gilbert is one of the participants in that year’s Royal Rumble match.
Imagine If Jamie hadn’t caused them to lose their shot (I’m not naïve enough to think that he’d have completely straightened himself out, given the stories he told about being on the road with the WWF in 1996-97). How would things have gone for PG-13 in 1996 if they’d come in as a tag team? There are a few things to consider here.
- Jim Cornette is about to be on the creative team. He’s well aware of just how good of a tag team they are.
- Their size is obviously a hindrance, but, this was also the time when Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were being used as top guys.
- Bob hasn’t seen it yet, since he’s not at this point in his Memphis viewing, but these guys can talk!
- Men on A Mission have a very similar gimmick, but the Royal Rumble was actually their last show, so there’s almost no overlap.
I think that it’s only natural that PG-13 would be baby faces coming in. Their size makes it easy to get sympathy on them, and the rapper gimmick is something that was “in” with the kids of that time period. One thing that the WWF always had over WCW was being able to market to the kid demographic. The only drawback here is that it means that they can’t really cut loose with their promos, although I have zero doubt that they’re creative enough to still have some fun with it. Obviously, the addition of Wolfie and Jamie doesn’t change the outcome of the Royal Rumble. But, I do think it’d be cute to have them eliminate one or both of Men on a Mission.
Coming out of the Royal Rumble, the Smokin’ Gunns had defended the tag titles against the Body Donnas, although they were about to be vacated because of an injury to Billy. They’re a natural for the tournament, although looking at who else was involved and some of the fallout of the tournament itself (namely the Steve Austin/Savio Vega feud), the only place they’d fit in would be in place of Barry Horrowitz and Hakushi, another babyface team that was on the outs with the company at the time. So, it looks like they’re losing in the first round to Owen and the Bulldog.
However, also involved in the tournament, and losing in the first round, were the New Rockers, Marty Jannetty and Leif Cassidy. This is a natural mid card feud. Two teams of guys that are good workers (as bad as the Leif Cassidy gimmick was, Al Snow could work his ass off), a natural Rock vs. Rap rivalry, and it’s a chance for Wolfie and Jamie’s aforementioned mic skills to get showcased, especially poking fun at Al Snow. WrestleMania that year is only a six match card, with the Free-For-All getting the tag title tournament finals, so, this feud doesn’t make it to the biggest show of year. But, they can certainly play it out on Raw and Superstars, and a blowoff at the In Your House PPV in April seems reasonable.
Following the feud with the New Rockers, there’s an easy opportunity for a tag title program with the Body Donnas. Just like Jannetty and Snow, despite the lame gimmick, Chris Candido and Tom Prichard were both great workers, and all four men had experience working in the south. As long as Jamie and Wolfie can show up in shape to perform, there’s no reason to assume that they couldn’t tear the house down. Once again, the mic skills come into play by poking fun at any number of things. I don’t know about taking shots at Sunny, that’s a little edgy for 1996 WWF, but making fun of Skip and Zip’s haircuts and outfits, and even the fact that his name is Zip. As much as it saddens me, I don’t see them being able to win the titles here. Despite being fresher than the retread of the Hillbillies gimmick from 1985, the Godwins were very over at the time. Plus, it’s Phineas Godwin’s infatuation with Sunny that leads to the title change at MSG, and establishes her as a something of a gold digger for the tag titles.
It seems like we’re going to get lost in the shuffle going into the summertime. The Smokin’ Gunns win the tag titles from the Godwins on the preshow of the May IYH show. So, there’s really no reason to use any other teams on the show. I suppose there can be a final blowoff to the PG-13/Body Donnas feud on Raw, with the winners getting a tag title shot, which PG-13 can win. But, they really can’t win the titles. With the Godwins feuding with the Gunns over the titles, and the Body Donnas being turned babyface after losing the tag titles and Sunny, there doesn’t seem to be much to do for Wolfie and Jamie. They can go on TV and win enhancement matches and entertain the fans, but there’s not much upward mobility for them for June or July. They can be swapped with the New Rockers for the four way tag title match at SummerSlam, and then it’s the heel champions defending against three babyface teams. Hell, just because I’m a fan of them and it’s my (fantasy, but trying to keep it logical) booking, let’s have them win the tag titles at SummerSlam. The Gunns can eliminate both other teams, but when Sunny tries to distract the ref so they can cheat, Wolfie uses the hubcap to knock out Bart, and Jamie gets the pin. SummerSlam was pretty lopsided with heels going over, so this is another chance to make the fans happy.
After winning the titles at SummerSlam, PG-13 can retain them against the Gunns the next night on Raw, this time cleanly. And with this time period being the height (or the low point, depending on your point of view) of the WWF just throwing goofy gimmicks onto guys, there’s still the chance for them to showcase their verbal skills. Put them on Superstars against Sal Sincere and The Goon, and just let them have at it (and this was before every promo was meticulously scripted out).
Their title reign is short lived though, since Owen and Bulldog would have to beat them at Mind Games. I guess, at the very latest, it could get stretched out to Buried Alive. Since both cards featured tag titles match with Owen and Davey challenging and defending respectively. But Mind Games wasn’t heavy with heels winning (in fact, Owen and Davey were the only ones to win on the PPV show), so it makes more sense to change them then. Not only that, but just imagine how much fun Owen would probably have working with these guys, especially on house shows when they might get 15-20 minutes to just go out there and entertain the people. The WWF had house shows in Nashville and Louisville in mid September, just before Mind Games, so PG-13 coming “home” as WWF Tag Team Champions would surely have been a highlight, let alone them being able to tear things up with Owen and Davey.
Having reached the pinnacle of success, becoming the WWF Tag Team Champions, only to have it taken away a month later, is the impetus for Wolfie and Jamie to decide that catering to the fans and kissing babies isn’t going to get them any more success. They decide to carve out their path to success and to do it by ANY. MEANS. NECESSARY. They join up with the Nation of Domination, and we all know how things go from there. I think they could have still done well in the ring during this time. There were some new teams coming in, like the Head Bangers and Furnas and Lafaon, which PG-13 would have worked well with, they could have stooged six ways from Sunday for Doug Furnas. But, it’s overly optimistic to think that they’d have been used much in the ring, being the lackeys for Faarooq and the NOD.
Now then, I’m fully aware that this being written as a best case scenario sort of thing. It takes into consideration the fact that Vince McMahon is willing to overlook the size issue, and let a team that isn’t a WWF creation get pushed. I’m also assuming that Wolfie and Jamie are on their best behavior. I once posed the question in a facebook group that I’m part of, as to how things would have turned out if PG-13 came in full time after the two Raw matches. One of the replies was that Wolfie probably would have been OK, but Jamie wouldn’t have made it through the first European tour. I mean no disrespect to either of them, but, Jamie’s escapades are well known (most of the best stories are directly from him!) and as Wolfie has said himself “I was no saint!” But, I honestly, think that if the stars were aligned, PG-13 as PG-13 could have had a very nice (although short) run in the WWF.
Mike Campbell View All
I was born on a cold winter morning in 1982......
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