Saturday, April 29, 2023

Jerry Springer And How He Inspired Pro Wrestling's '90s Boom Period

I'm not going to lie and say I was a fan of The Jerry Springer Show back in the day. The fact is - I recall times when I would channel surf my cable box in the living room back in the 1990s and see it on. 

I cannot recall ever stopping to watch the programme back then. Maybe it's simply because I could tell it was a work. 

The Jerry Springer Show

Speaking of works - and this is the main reason why I chose this approach to pay tribute to Jerry Springer following his passing a couple of days ago - Springer's programme does have a loose tie to the largest boom periods in professional wrestling history.

You know back in the latter part of the 1990s, when 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and The Rock were kicking it in the over-the-top, far risqué World Wrestling Federation that drew huge audiences on a weekly basis?

Well, you have to thank Jerry Springer's popularity for that.

Vince Russo - who was the WWF's head writer back then - has never shied away from saying that watching The Jerry Springer Show inspired some of the things he came up with as the company's lead writer under Vince McMahon.

Speaking of Vince McMahon - I also have another Jerry Springer linked to WWF story. I should have shared last year.

Back in what I guess was early 1996, Scott Hall - under his Razor Ramon alias - appeared on an episode of Springer's programme and met two children with AIDS.

Hall invited the duo to watch WrestleMania XII and then, in an alleged unscripted move, he took off the Intercontinental Championship belt he was wearing around his waist and gave it to the two children to keep.

According to Hall, he phoned Vince McMahon after his segment was filmed and told his boss that a new belt was required for his match later that night.

McMahon asked his champion what had happened to his original strap. 'I gave it to some kids' (or something along those lines) was Hall's reply. 

'Whaaaat?!' was the WWF owner's response before his employee explained what had happened.

According to Hall, McMahon agreed that the wrestler had made the right call in that moment.

Obviously, considering this is professional wrestling, Ramon could very well have been instructed to give the children the belt beforehand. However, I'd like to believe that - on that one single occasion - both pro wrestling and the Jerry Springer show were not scripted and Hall acted alone.

Jerry Springer Show - Razor Ramon

No comments:

Post a Comment