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Matches Made in Heaven
July 23, 2004

by Denny Burkholder
Courtesy of WrestleLine.com


I'll be honest with you: I have absolutely no interest in writing about pro wrestling right now. There are approximately 53 billion (or so) things going on around me. I'm getting married in just over a week.

You know what that means. Overstressed females running around looking for flight itineraries and lavender table napkins at the last second. Money reserves flying out of many different bank accounts and credit funds. Incredibly detailed discussions with caterers, disc jockeys, banquet halls, the church, the limo driver, both photographers, the entire guest list, and future mothers-in-law. Being the groom, I had better be ready to provide answers and help to these women the millisecond they ask for it ... and otherwise, I should keep my mouth shut at all times and keep my foolish male input to myself. 

I'll be over here with the Playstation and a cheeseburger, thank you. 

Don't get me wrong. I am certainly looking forward to the wedding. But in the final days leading into the fun part, you're neck-deep in every intricate detail of every contract, design choice and scheduling decision. You

get to the point where you want to just sit the hell down and stop THINKING for five hours.

But I think I have one more Circa in me this week. Since the brain is on a singular track until August, it'll have to be about weddings in pro wrestling. I lack the time and energy to discuss the REAL weddings and all the dirty details - your Steve and Debras, your Larry and Cathys, your Kevin and Nancys ... your CHRIS and Nancys ... so let's have a glance back at some storyline weddings that ROCKED THE WRESTLING WORLD, even when they ended in a swerve:

Stacy Keibler & David Flair

Here you had the finest piece of barely legal Nitro Girl booty in WCW, paired up with the lanky son of the kiss-stealin', wheelin'-dealin', limousine-ridin', jet-flyin' sonofagun named "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. The "marriage" of David Flair and Stacy Keibler (who had been know to that point as Miss Hancock in WCW, after a brief stint as a Nitro Girl) was one of the more memorable scripted storylines of WCW's dying days. Among the peripheral players was a psychotic goth screamer grrl, the beloved Daffney, who eventually found herself fighting Stacy in lingerie.

The storyline never reached the point of Flair and Keibler actually tying the knot. Stacy moved on to WWE and a real-life relationship with Test. Along the way, she made an appearance on Howard Stern where she admitted that David Flair - while the faux-wedding never happened even in storyline terms - did, in fact, get to find out how far up those legs went. Wooooo!

Col. Robert Parker & Sister Sherri

To paraphrase Beavis and Butthead, what the hell was this crap? In a nutshell, WCW was struggling to come up with a storyline that appealed to people educated beyond the third grade in the mid-1990s. They had snagged a bunch of new talent, including WWF stars like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Jim Duggan. They just had no idea how to make these wrestlers interesting on television.

One of the WWF stars WCW picked up was "Sensational" Sherri Martel. After managing Ric Flair during his early WCW feud with Hulk Hogan, Sherri moved on to accompany Harlem Heat - Booker T and Stevie Ray - to ringside. Due to her newfound love for the streets (yo), she adopted the monicker "Sister Sherri." Because yeah... she's not the whitest chick ever, or anything.

Completing the storyline's progression into total nonsense, Sherri and manager Col. Robert Parker - a Col. Sanders ripoff known previously as Robert Fuller and known later as Tennessee Lee in the WWF - became smitten with one another. So smitten, in fact, that they planned a wedding during an edition of WCW Clash of the Champions in early 1996. So yeah, that went well.

Disco Inferno even missed his match on the show to serve as the wedding entertainment. The man's got his priorities.

Randy Savage & Elizabeth

The infamous "Match Made in Heaven" of Summerslam 1991, Savage and Liz weresort of the pioneers of the romance storyline. They weren't the first, but they were probably the best. And they definitely took the angle to soap opera lengths that wrestling had yet to explore.

In a way, this is cheating, since Savage and Liz were indeed married in real life. They did divorce before the storyline officially ended, but in the interim, they created plenty of upper-card drama from 1986 through the early 1990s. "Macho Man" was such a lunatic when it came to protecting Elizabeth that most of his early WWF feuds were based on his opponent sending Savage into a jalous rage. George "The Animal" Steele and Hulk Hogan were the most notable examples, but even the married Ricky Steamboat worked the protection of Elizabeth into his feud with Savage.

In 1991, as Hulk Hogan was busy defending the WWF Title against the Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter and villainous henchmen The Iron Sheik and General Adnan - spawning the "Match Made in Hell" when the Ultimate Warrior joined Hogan's crusade - Savage was shedding his image of mistreating Elizabeth, going so far as to drop to one knee and bellow "ELIZABETT, WILL YOU MARRY ME?" on an edition of WWF Superstars. The lovely Miss Elizabeth said "OH YEAH," and at Summerslam that year, became the Lovely Mrs. Elizabeth.

Then at the reception, Jake "The Snake" Roberts showed up with a cobra for a wedding gift. Ain't no party like a Jake Roberts party!

Uncle Elmer & ...Uncle Elmer's Fiancee

The Hillbilly wedding is one of the foggiest memories from my first years as a WWF fan. Vince McMahon scored a huge win when he got air time on NBC for Saturday Night's Main Event. Always a big fan of fat rednecks in overalls, McMahon used the coveted time slot made famous by Saturday Night Live to host a wedding, right in the middle of the ring.

The lucky couple were the rotund Uncle Elmer (formerly Stan "Plowboy" Frazier) and his bride, whose story completely escapes me right now. But there was a full-blown wedding right there in the ring, with Hillbilly Jim and Captain Lou Albano serving as attendants.

And to think of all the hard work Lorne Michaels put into the late night Saturday time slot to make it something valuable. This is the best Vince could do with it? Dick Ebersol must have been proud. Surely, if WWE ever gets this close again to air time on NBC (or any other non-UPN network), there will be heavy consideration given to adding a "no hillbillies" clause in the paperwork.

Stephanie McMahon & Test

Vince's baby daughter was still pretty new to on-air storylines when she and worked boyfriend Andrew "Test" Martin decided to get hitched on Raw. This was during the era when Raw was still drawing major ratings, and the WCW war was very much alive (but with Vince winning). WWE heavily promoted the episode, which would have done big ratings regardless as compared to what Raw gets these days.

Stephanie hadn't had a chance to get on fans' nerves yet with her squawking voice or her shameless camera mugging. She hadn't even been a heel yet. She was just a dark-haired, well-mannered heiress to a wrestling empire, with the undivided attention of teenage boys despite not having her boobs inflated yet.

Then, things went all "sportz entertainment" as Stephanie and Andrew's in-ring wedding was interrupted by monster heel Triple H on the Titan Tron, showing a video of his kidnapping and apparently drugging Stephanie McMahon in Las Vegas. A shocked McMahon family watched from the ring as Triple H "married" the innocent victim Stephanie against her will, sarcastically called Vince McMahon "Dad" and completely destroyed Test's life. A few weeks later, Stephanie turned heel and the two (storyline-wise) were now the happiest of badass, powerful couples. All hail the McMahon-Helmsley Era.

Of course, real life then took over as Triple H ditched real-world girlfriend Chyna for Stephanie and wound up marrying her.

Stephanie McMahon & Triple H

Anybody ever heard of this one? Me neither.

Billy Gunn & Chuck Palumbo

One of the latest of a long history of gratuitous and blatant WWE publicity stunts, tag team life partners Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo rode their psuedo-homosexual gimmick directly into a heavily promoted gay marriage ceremony on Smackdown. As equally fruity manager/stylist Rico looked on, The Ass Man and the master of the jungle kick prepared to make network TV history. WWE made sure all the talk shows and entertainment news programs knew about it well in advance, even sending Gunn on a mini press tour to drum up ratings for that episode of Smackdown. In the end, the storyline ended with the trio admitting it was a publicity stunt gone too far in the ring, basically avoiding a follow-through on the angle and prjecting WWE's blame for the bait-and-switch onto the Billy, Chuck and Rico characters.

And then a cobra jumped out of a gift box and bit them all.

Not really.

But that wouldn't have made it any worse.

With that, now it's my turn.


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