The King of Stats names the Tsar of Steel (Part 5: 30-26)
Oct 10, 2013 - 6:19:36 AM
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So here we are once again delving further into our countdown to find out who is the greatest wrestler to have ever set foot into a wrestling ring which has a steel enclosure around it. I am of course The King of Stats and this is the 5th edition of my search to name the Tsar of Steel where today I look at numbers 30 through to 26. Of course though I am not alone as my trusty sidekick Mizfan is along for the ride, Mizzie you got anything to say before we get this thing started?
Apparently not, as I almost forgot to write this intro! But really, what can be said that our beloved readers won’t already know? We are here to scrape away the skin and muscle of bias and prejudice and reveal the gushing red truth of the true CageMaster! We’re basically heroes at this point, and need no introduction! ONWARD, SIR WAYNE!!!
Seriously why did I even bother to ask you to help me with this series, you seem to be more hassle than you are worth. Oh I remember now, to make it less work for me, yeh that doesn’t seem to be working. Anyway time to move on, lets crack open the top 30 shall we.
30. Scott Steiner
w/ Flyin’ Brian, Sting & Rick Steiner lost to Larry Zybysko & The Four Horseman - War Games, February 24, 1991, WCW WrestleWar
w/ El Gigante, Sting & Rick Steiner beat Abdullah the Butcher, Big Van Vader, Cactus Jack & The Diamond Stud - Chamber of Horrors, October 27, 1991, WCW Halloween Havoc
w/ Rick Steiner beat Money Inc - Steel Cage, Tag Titles, August 16, 1993, WWE Summerslam Spectacular
lost to Kevin Nash - 9-Man War Games, WCW Title, September 4, 2000, WCW Nitro
lost to Goldberg - Caged Heat, September 25, 2000, WCW Nitro
beat Booker T - Steel Cage, WCW Title, November 26, 2000, WCW Mayhem
w/ Chris Harris, James Storm & Jeff Jarrett lost to AJ Styles, Rhino, Ron Killings & Sting - Lethal Lockdown, April 23, 2006, TNA Lockdown
w/ Abyss, AJ Styles, Tomko & Christian Cage lost to Team Angle - Lethal Lockdown, April 15, 2007, TNA Lockdown
w/ Booker T & LAX beat James Storm, Robert Roode & The Rock ‘n Rave Infection - Steel Cage, December 10, 2007, TNA Impact
w/ Petey Williams lost to Kaz & Super Eric - 6-team Steel Cage, April 13, 2008, TNA Lockdown
lost to Samoa Joe - 20-man Gauntlet Steel Cage, March 17, 2009, TNA Impact
w/ Booker T, Kevin Nash & Kurt Angle lost to Team Jarrett - Lethal Lockdown, April 19, 2009, TNA Lockdown
w/ Booker T & The British Invasion lost to Beer Money Inc & Team 3D - Lethal Lockdown, September 20, 2009, TNA No Surrender
w/ Crimson lost to Ink Inc - 4-team Steel Cage, April 17, 2011, TNA Lockdown
Ah so we start of today with Mr Steroids himself Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner. One thing I can say for sure is that when I think of cage matches the name Steiner is not something I would normally associate with it. However the stats are there to prove that he had at least a somewhat career inside the structures managing to step inside the confines 14 times, it is just my problem I can’t really remember any of them. Looking of his stats though I find it funny how a guy who eventually became a successful singles wrestler has only had 2 cage matches where we saw a simple 1on1 match, both of which happened within a few months of each other in the tail end of WCW’s career. I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t see Steiner being a worthy cage match wrestler.
Maybe he was less memorable because his contributions were so sporadic? Look at this, he had a few at the start of his career then nothing for seven years, then a few more followed by another six year gap! I guess the man just had a little itch to scratch every once a while, didn’t want to make a full time habit out it. If I had to pick one memorable moment out of the list above, it would probably be a 45 year old Scott busting out the ol’ Frankensteiner mid-Lethal Lockdown in 2007. That was quite the shocker, to be sure, but as moments go it’s pretty much the only one I can even conjure up. For the past decade plus Steiner has been more known for his psychotic rants than his freakish muscles anyway, so perhaps it’s just as well he spends some time in a cage every few years. Might be best for all of us.
29. Eric Young
w/ Petey Williams lost to AMW - Strap Steel Cage, NWA Tag Titles, April 24, 2005, TNA Lockdown
w/ Bobby Roode lost to Team 3D - Steel Cage, March 14, 2006, TNA Impact
w/ A1 & Bobby Roode lost to Team 3D – Anthem Steel Cage, April 23, 2006, TNA Lockdown
w/ Kaz beat Dark Reign & Relik, Petey Williams & Scott Steiner, LAX, Motor City Machine Guns & Rock ‘n Rave Infection - Steel Cage, April 13, 2008, TNA Lockdown
lost to Jay Lethal - Steel Asylum, October 12, 2008, TNA Bound for Glory
lost to Samoa Joe - 20-man Gauntlet Steel Cage, March 17, 2009, TNA Impact
beat Danny Bonaduce - Steel Cage, April 19, 2009, TNA Lockdown Pre-Show
w/ Jeff Hardy & Rob Van Dam beat The Band - Steel Cage, March 23, 2010, TNA Impact
lost to Kevin Nash - Steel Cage, April 18, 2010, TNA Lockdown
w/ Orlando Jordan lost to Ink Inc - Steel Cage, April 17, 2011, TNA Lockdown
w/ ODB beat Rosita & Sarita - Steel Cage, Knockouts Tag Titles, April 15, 2012, Lockdown
w/ James Storm, Magnus, Samoa Joe & Sting beat Aces & 8’s - Lethal Lockdown, March 10, 2013, TNA Lockdown
Now here is a guy I can get behind in a cage match but just like Steiner we find a guy who the company just can’t get behind to put in a singles match in a steel enclosure. In his 12 matches EY only manages the two 1on1 matches and one of them is against an actor, the other an aging superstar, definitely not high stakes matches to say the least. However good faithful Eric Young is always there to put on an entertaining match whether it is against an actor or while he was trying to be a superhero or being the only knockout to have a beard. It is that last match in his stats that really grabs my eye though with 3 of his partners forming the Main Event Mafia later in the year. I have to think to myself how much more interesting the Mafia storyline would be if it was EY who had joined the group, say instead of Magnus.
Hey man, I’m a big fan of EY but in the Mafia? I don’t think he really fits the profile! I can’t imagine him walking around in a suit and taking the issue seriously. On the plus side, I did love his excellent cage-top elbow drop in that most recent Lethal Lockdown match, so props to him on that account. Also always very much enjoyed his work with Roode in Team Canada, so cool to see a few of those make it up here as well. His record isn’t exactly impressive though on the whole. Who the hell is Danny Bonaduce? ODB, Orlando Jones, nWo remixes… it’s quite a mess in there Eric! And something tells me he may end up in there again, especially if he ever solves the mystery of Joseph Park. Note that I said IF...
28. Randy Savage
w/ Adrian Adonis lost to Bruno Sammartino & Tito Santana - Steel Cage, July 12, 1986, WWF on MSG Network
lost to The Honky Tonk Man - Steel Cage, Intercontinental Title, January 9, 1988, WWF on PRISM Network
w/ Strike Force beat The Hart Foundation & The Honky Tonk Man – Steel Cage, March 5, 1988, WWF on NESN
beat Ted DiBiase - Steel Cage, WWE Title, June 25, 1988, WWF on MSG Network
beat Ted DiBiase - Steel Cage, WWE Title, September 24, 1988, WWF on PRISM Network
w/ Zeus lost to Brutus Beefcake & Hulk Hogan - No Holds Barred Steel Cage, December 12, 1989, WWF No Holds Barred
beat Ultimate Warrior - Steel Cage, January 21, 1991, WWF on MSG Network
w/ Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger & Sting beat The Dungeon of Doom - War Games, September 17, 1995, WCW Fall Brawl
lost to Ric Flair - Steel Cage, WCW Title, February 11, 1996, WCW SuperBrawl VI
w/ Hulk Hogan beat The Alliance to End Hulkamania - Tower of Doom, March 24, 1996, WCW Uncensored
no contest against Hulk Hogan – Steel Cage, March 15, 1998, WCW Uncensored
no contest against DDP - Steel Cage, June 15, 1998, WCW Nitro
Ooohhhh Yeahhhhhh!! It honestly feels so different writing one of these series and actually getting to talk about legends from long ago. Most of the ones I do are limited to the more recent years but with the fact that cage matches have been around for a very long time a few of these stars of the past are finding their way in, and The Macho Man is one of the best. On taking a look at the matches that Savage was a part of I feel like there are two distinct halves to his booking, something that in a lot of ways resembles the true live scenario. The first half was his WWE run where he was taken as a serious competitor and was therefore booked in well-booked matches. The other half was his WCW run which looks like it was more an over-booked mess including two no-contests and a 2on8 handicap triple cage match. Yep no wonder WCW went under.
Aha, just as I predicted! Old time-y stars get a certain boost in this contest due to the cage being one of the only feud ending gimmicks available back in the day. No ladders in the 80s, folks! Wayne my friend, you’re spot on that Savage is one of the greatest of all times and a true trail blazer in much of what he did. Those matches with DiBiase and Warrior are surely forgotten classics, though let’s not give the WWF a complete pass on wacky booking. They did put Savage in there with Tiny Lister, after all! But shame on WCW for that horrid Tower of Doom affair, there’s really no forgiving that one. Karma may have taken 5 years to fully take effect, but it did come back around. Hey, almost to the day no less!
w/ Edge beat The Hardy Boyz - Steel Cage, December 13, 1999, WWE Raw
w/ Edge lost to The Hardy Boyz - Steel Cage, Tag Titles, September 24, 2000, WWE Unforgiven
lost to Edge - Steel Cage, Intercontinental Title, March 11, 2001, WWE Rebellion
lost to Goldberg - Steel Cage, May 12, 2003, WWE Raw
lost to Chris Jericho - Steel Cage, May 10, 2004, WWE Raw
beat Abyss - Steel Cage, NWA Title, April 23, 2006, TNA Lockdown
beat Rhino - Barbed Wire Steel Cage, November 6, 2006, TNA Impact
w/ Abyss, AJ Styles, Tomko & Scott Steiner lost to Team Angle - Lethal Lockdown, April 15, 2007, TNA Lockdown
w/ AJ Styles & Tomko lost to Abyss, Andrew Martin & Sting - Doomsday Chamber of Blood, August 12, 2007, TNA Hard Justice
beat Kurt Angle - Steel Cage, February 26, 2008, TNA Impact
w/ Kevin Nash, Matt Morgan, Rhino & Sting beat Team Tomko - Lethal Lockdown, April 13, 2008, TNA Lockdown
beat Alberto Del Rio - Steel Cage, March 15, 2011, WWE Smackdown
lost to Randy Orton - Steel Cage, World Title, August 20, 2011, WWE Smackdown
Coming in at 27 we have the man who went out and surprised everyone to be named the Lord of Ladders Captain Charisma himself Christian. While he has shown himself capable at dealing with the little bit of steel that makes up a ladder Christian finds himself a little more out of his depth when more is used to make up a cage. It’s not like his record is that bad though with the fact that he has managed to win 6 matches out of a possible 13 it is just that with how many more types of matches in enclosures out there then ladder matches he has managed to be in more of the ladder variety. Whatever type of match Christian gets put into though he seems to be a person who can adapt and does his best to make the match type his own.
It’s true, Christian has always been better with steel if it includes steps. When it comes to clambering up a steel mesh, the guy isn’t quite as amazing. That’s not to say he’s any slouch though! Of course you wouldn’t know it, looking at his pre-TNA record. A long string of losses in the ‘E, then bingo! He crosses the line and suddenly he starts getting treated right! Then he comes back a few years later and suddenly he’s winning over there as well… at least until he ran into Randy Orton. That’s neither here nor there though, Christian’s greatest moment surely came at Lockdown ‘08 and, predictably, also involved a ladder! Go figure! The memory of him on top of a ladder that was set up on TOP of the roofed Lethal Lockdown cage will stick with me until the day I die. Rarely have I ever been so exhilarated and downright scared during a match in my life. Maybe we need to see more TLC Cage matches?
26. Shawn Michaels
beat The Undertaker - Hell in a Cell, October 5, 1997, WWE In Your House: Badd Blood
beat Booker T, Chris Jericho, Kane, Rob Van Dam & Triple H - Elimination Chamber, World Title, November 17, 2002, WWE Survivor Series
beat Triple H - Three Stages of Hell (2nd Fall) Steel Cage, World Title, December 15, 2002, WWE Armageddon
lost to Triple H - Elimination Chamber, World Title, August 24, 2003, WWE Summerslam
lost to Triple H - Hell in a Cell, June 13, 2004, WWE Badd Blood
lost to John Cena - Elimination Chamber, WWE Title, January 8, 2006, WWE New Years Revolution
lost to The Spirit Squad - Texas Tornado Steel Cage, March 13, 2006, WWE Raw
w/ Triple H beat Shane McMahon, The Big Show & Vince McMahon - Hell in a Cell, September 17, 2006, WWE Unforgiven
lost to Triple H - Elimination Chamber, February 17, 2008, WWE No Way Out
w/ Ric Flair lost to Chavo Guerrero, Curt Hawkins, Edge & Zack Ryder - Steel Cage, March 11, 2008, WWE Smackdown
w/ Triple H beat Legacy - Hell in a Cell, October 4, 2009, WWE Hell in a Cell
Today we finish off with the Showstopper. It is always annoying when you see someone the calibre of Shawn Michaels fall this far back in the list but it is what it is and compared to names that are still to come on the list he has had nowhere near the amount of matches. However not many of those still to come could say they have had the impact that Shawn has had on these types of matches. The first thing to remember is that Shawn won both the first ever Hell in a Cell and Elimination Chamber matches in what would be benchmark setting matches for all the ones that came in the future, including the ones he himself were in. He has also got the Three stages of Hell match with Triple H in his list showing just how great he was. I said with Christian he always tries his best to make the match type his own, well to put it simply Shawn doesn’t have to try.
Here’s my question… why does Triple H appear in almost all of those matches? Seriously, by my count 7 of those 11 matches include the Game. Can’t Shawn go anywhere without Hunter tagging along? HBK also only ever won a single match without help from his buddy. So why must this be so Triple-centric? No idea, but here we are. HBK excels in cage matches of course, but he excels in all matches so that’s par for the course. To me HBK’s greatest cage match will always be his first, the inaugural Hell in a Cell match. Foley’s dive may be more famous, but many say HBK and the Deadman put on a much better overall match the year before, and I’m hard pressed to disagree with them. Most memorable to me personally, on the other hand, would have to be the Hell in a Cell match 7 years later. I’d never imagined in my young fandom such a blood feud that would just go on and on and on, until finally it was (more or less) finally settled at Bad Blood. Any way you look at it, the guy is a master of what he does.
Well Mizzie that brings us to the halfway point of the countdowns. How do you think it is going so far? Any surprises or people you feel may have been left out? Also what is your gut telling you about what is still to come?
I think it’s going awesome so far, though that Wayne guy is definitely holding us back… er, what? I can’t speak to who may or may not be left out because even I don’t know who is coming next, but I know we are sure to see some shockers up at the top. The winner is always a surprise in these things, right? Can’t wait to see what the numbers tell us!
Geez I love having this power over you. The pure honesty in your responses makes the column so much better. Well readers who is still yet to come? The top 25 wrestlers to have ever stepped foot into a steel enclosure are yet to come, who will be at the top? Join us next time when we crack open the top 25.
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