As dramatic as wrestling can be in real life, the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling are all part of the story.
At this point, all of the real ones will get covered on Dark Side Of The Ring, anyway.
These are the storylines and angles that raised questions. But they never provided answers. And believe it or not, not all of these are the fault of Vince Russo.
So, put on your deer stalker (that’s a Sherlock Holmes hat). Go to your mind palace (that’s a reference to BBC’s Sherlock). Or pick up a magnifying glass (that’s just a generic detective thing).
We’re gonna dig deep into the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling.
DDP And Raven’s Past
The first of our greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling comes from WCW. And, believe it or not, it isn’t, “How did WCW screw everything up so badly?”
I’m hilarious, you see.
No, this one revolves around one Diamond Dallas Page and his spring 1998 feud with Raven. See, WCW thought they could buy themselves some hardcore credibility by bringing a true ECW original into Billionaire Ted’s wrasslin’ rumper room.
And Raven thought he’d earn a crap ton of money by doing almost nothing. Heading into Spring Stampede 1998, the two were feuding over DDP’s United States Championship. During a promo, DDP dropped a hint that he and Raven went way back. And he hinted that a certain serpenty someone taught them both everything they knew.
“The sn-,” DDP said on Nitro before catching himself. “Jake.” Because DDP is a man of subtlety.
Wrestling message boards and news sites had been reporting for weeks that WCW was close to signing Jake Roberts to a deal. And it almost happened, but Jake in the 90s was, well, Jake in the 90s. Instead, the angle was dropped, and Raven won the US title from DDP, only to drop it to Goldberg the next night on Nitro.
And the secret connection between DDP and Raven was never spoken of again. Because WCW.
Jake coming into the fold would’ve spiced things up for WCW at the time. At the very least, it would’ve at least been something that wasn’t the nWo. Instead, it’s just one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling.
Okay, Vince Russo is all over this one. But don’t worry, the Russonator doesn’t own the whole list of the greatest unsolved mysteries. Just 40% of them.
Believe it or not, G-TV was actually a decent idea from the Attitude Era. At least in terms of suspension of disbelief. It was basically the 1998 version of WWE’s current hacker storyline.
Rather than wrestlers completely oblivious to cameras in their face as they scheme backstage, G-TV was a hidden camera segment. It started out innocent enough. There would be footage of Al Snow picking his own nose, stuff like that.
But gradually, G-TV began catching WWE stars in the act of some insidious actions. They caught Shane McMahon and his Mean Street Posse faking injuries, and they caught Meat (look it up, we don’t have time) cheating on Terri Runnels.
The intention was to reveal Goldust as the man behind the camera. But Dusty’s oldest boy wound up on the outs with Vince’s Muscleman Circus and split for WCW.
As such, the angle was left in the graveyard that is the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling.
Flair Betrayed Triple H – Somehow?
In 2005, we were about 18 months removed from Triple H’s awful reign of terror. But Vince’s son-in-law returned from an on-air absence to a big babyface reaction and teamed up with Ric Flair on Raw.
But after Triple H and his Evolution teammate picked up the win, Hunter smacked the Nature Boy in the face with the Sledge-O-Matic. And as the beatdown continued, Triple H audibly screamed at Flair, “Did you think I was just gonna let it go?!”
After three years as the best of friends, what could Flair have possibly done to the King of King of Sons-In-Law? Was he stealing his money? Not likely. Did he owe Triple H money? More likely. Because Ric tends to fall into debt quite frequently. There were multiple ways that this could’ve been one of the best reveals of all time. Instead, it became one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling.
The truth is, we never found out. They had a couple matches at Taboo Tuesday and Survivor Series 2005. But Flair’s slight against the Game of Games was never mentioned again.
They could’ve gone a number of ways with this. But something tells me that Vince McMadman couldn’t come up with anything other than Flair seducing Stephanie. I have no evidence besides the circumstantial evidence that is Vince’s diseased soulprints on his own product.
As it stands, it’s one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling.
Who Blew Up Vince’s Limo?
Okay. So, as with all things from 2007, this is tainted by the Chris Benoit incident. The failure to resolve one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling is an understandable one.
In storyline, Vince McMahon was having a pretty crappy year. Donald Trump shaved his head, and Vince’s ego just slunk further and further into a deep depression. After losing the ECW Championship (no, seriously) to Bobby Lashley (no, seriously), Vince was inconsolable.
The WWE roster decided to have “Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night” on Raw, but even that wasn’t enough to cheer up the Chairman. At the end of the show, Vince solemnly walked to the back, stepped into his limo, and closed the door. And the limo subsequently exploded.
Yeah, WWE killed Vince McMahon on live television. But then the Chris Benoit thing happened. And before the awful details were known, WWE put on a Chris Benoit tribute show on Raw, on which McMahon appeared.
The exploding McMahonMobile was never referenced again. There wasn’t even a reference to how Vince survived the explosion when things returned to “normal.” Let alone any speculation as to who placed the bomb. It was just another check on the list of the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling.
The Moving Briefcase
Hey, Russo’s back! Do hold your applause.
C’mon, did you really think we were gonna get through a list of the greatest unsolved mysteries in wrestling – all involving sloppy storytelling – without coming back around to the King of Swerve Style?
It was 1999, and WWE was on top of the world. And the Austin vs. McMahon storyline was at the center of everything. Heading into King Of The Ring 1999, Austin had forced Vince McMahon out of power and became the CEO of the company. Full disclosure, I don’t remember how that happened.
But Vince had a plan to get his stroke back. He challenged Austin to a handicap ladder match against himself and Shane McMahon. Hanging above the ladder was a briefcase that basically just held papers saying, “Hey, you’re the CEO of WWE now. You can either ride this wave of prosperity wisely, or you can found the XFL.”
The match was, well, crappy. But with Austin atop the ladder and victory literally within his grasp, the briefcase was raised out of the Rattlesnake’s reach. Vince was back in power, and surely he would owe a big favor to the person who raised the briefcase.
Whoever that was.
Go figure, we never found out. It became one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling. And the frustrating thing is, WWE clearly didn’t have an ace up their sleeve and just hoped we would never bring it up again.
Like, there weren’t even rumors of a big name coming into the company. It was known to any and all that Chris Jericho couldn’t come over until August of that year. It was a mystery brought up for the sake of bringing it up with no plans of resolving it.
You’re awful, Vince Russo. You are awful.
And really, that’s the epitaph for the greatest unsolved mysteries of wrestling. So fitting that I think I’ll say it again.
You’re awful, Vince Russo. You are awful.
All images courtesy of WWE.