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With another season of Vice TV’s “Dark Side of the Ring” wrapped up, the anticipation for a possible fourth season is already starting. The popular series which examines wrestling’s darkest and most controversial moments touched upon heavy subjects this past season, including the United States v. McMahon steroid trial in 1994, Chris Kanyon’s struggles as an openly gay wrestler and the infamous “Plane Ride from Hell.”
As with most cult followed shows, fans often like to predict what will come in the next season. While we may not have the inside track, here are five stories that we’d like to see when and if a new season drops:
Before we start, just a quick heads up about two things that won’t be on the list. The first is Chyna, as the creators of the program chose to omit her episode after it was found out that other projects telling her story were in the works. The other is “Gentleman” Chris Adams because this is already rumored to be part of the next season.
With that out of the way, let’s begin.
1. The Sandman
Extreme Championship Wrestling was filled with many outlandish characters. None may have been memorable than “The Sandman.” One of the companies most violent men, James Fullington had one of the best gimmicks, despite limited in-ring ability.
The Sandman’s involvement with various angles in ECW and World Wrestling Entertainment, including the crucifixion that saw future Hall of Famer Kurt Angle nearly avoid the professional wrestling business, would make for interesting story telling. Not to mention the fact he died of an overdose, only to be revived and wrestle the same night is something that could draw eyes to screens. He wasn’t clean like John Cena or Hulk Hogan, but he still is fondly remembered amongst wrestling fans.
2. Black Saturday
When people talk about WWE vs. World Championship Wrestling, the first thing that pops into most peoples heads is the “Monday Night War” between RAW and Nitro. However, what gets lost in the shuffle is the date of July 14, 1984, otherwise known as Black Saturday.
On this day, WWE would take over a time slot on Superstation WTBS. The previous 12 years, the slot was held by Georgia Championship Wrestling and it’s weekly flagship show, “World Championship Wrestling.” This would lead to Ted Turner purchasing GCW’s successor and rebranding it WCW – starting a rivalry with WWE and eventually culminating in the “Monday Night Wars.”
3. Abdullah the Butcher
When one of the most influential names in the history of the wrestling business requests to have himself removed from the WWE Hall of Fame, then the you may be talking about a lightning ride.
In 2013, legendary wrestling figure “Superstar” Billy Graham requested he be removed from the Hall following Abdullah the Butcher’s induction. While the two never had a match together, he claimed “it is a shameless organization to induct a bloodthirsty animal such as Abdullah the Butcher into their worthless and embarrassing Hall of Fame and I want the name of Superstar Billy Graham to be no part of it.”
In the years following his induction and the request, wrestlers have accused Abdullah of giving them hepatitis C through sharing a blade, including one that resulted in a lawsuit. Given all of this, as well as his ties to hardcore matches, this kind of piece would definitely garner some attention.
4. Crown Jewel 2019 Tarmac Incident
This past season, the “Plane Ride from Hell” was a subject of the show: this year, the 2019 Saudi Arabia Tarmac incident should be looked at.
Following the 2019 edition of “Crown Jewel,” over 200 employees and wrestlers from WWE were delayed in Saudi Arabia for what was being called “aircraft problems including mechanical issues. It was later reported that the plane was being held hostage over a payment dispute between WWE and Saudi Arabia.
This event would anger wrestlers, eventually leading some to leave when their contracts expired. It also affected that week’s edition of SmackDown! as some wrestlers couldn’t make it back in time, leading to those who stayed having to work with NXT wrestlers. A look into both the incident and response could definitely shine a light into what’s really went on, as there’s still questions.
5. The Kliq
There’s no group in professional wrestling more influential than the Kliq. There’s also no group more controversial than the Kliq. Despite all five members being together for the better part of two years, they changed the course of wrestling for better and for worse.
Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Triple H, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman helped build each other up as major stars in the company, as well as see them form two of the greatest factions in their respective companies: D-Generation X (WWE) and the New World Order (WCW). However, they also were the reason several wrestlers including Vader, Bam Bam Bigelow, Shane Douglas and various others, saw pushes to the top get cancelled.
While every wrestling company has “boys in the back” who have some pull, The Kliq should serve as a cautionary tale as to wrestling promoters about allowing talent to have too much say. With the way All Elite Wrestling, headed by a group called “The Elite” operate, a comparison between past and present would grab some viewers attention.