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Disco Inferno vs. Alex Wright
The mid to late 90s was a glorious time for professional wrestling; the Monday Night War was in full flux, the nickname Big Poppa Pump was but a twinkle in Scott Steiner’s eye, lucha libre was in the midst of its first ever boom period in the US and most importantly, there was all those dancing wrestlers. Actually history has been littered with wrestlers who have a dancing gimmick, including the last ten years which have seen the likes of D.J. Gabriel, the Funkasaurus and the immortal Fandango. For my money however the 90s had the best crop of dancing wrestlers and most if not all could be found in WCW. There was Ernest “The Cat” Miller, a man both known for his martial arts ability and a fixation for James “I FEEL GOOD!” Brown. There was 3 Count, the N’Sync of wrestling and the only entity to ever make Tank Abbot entertaining. To lesser extents there was “Black Magic” Norman Smiley and La Parka, two lucha legends who parlayed a wiggle and a strut to help them become cult wrestling heroes. And then there were the two kings of the dancing gimmick and arguably to this day the most famous dancing wrestler’s of all time; the 1970’s throwback Disco Inferno and his rival turned tag team partner, the techno loving German Alex Wright.
Now there are certain people out there, including a man who may or may not be a lucha libre legend, who have accused me of having a fixation with one of these performers. This man is not wrong. Alex Wright is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, not just because of the dancing but because a) he was a pretty underrated in ring performer and b) I absolutely loved the Berlyn gimmick and its failure to go anywhere haunts me more than the Steve Bartman game. Naturally when you bring up Wright you have to bring up Disco; the two were so linked throughout their WCW tenure that to mention one without the other is the equivalent of leaving out Sir Paul McCartney in a Beatles discussion (you know, if the Beatles had been a dance group that tried to look like John Travolta before he became a wax mannequin). The fact that Disco has yet to bring up Alex once during his short tenure as Konnan’s lackey on the Keeping It 100 podcast is perhaps the only criticism I can give to the show. It’s also the reason (along with the conversation about my Alex Wright fixation) why we’re here today. Ladies, gentlemen, true believers and non believers alike; it’s time to find out who the better man is. Is it Das Wunderkind himself? Or is it the man with who stole Steve Austin’s finisher and called it The Chart Buster? We answer that today. Oh and to show that I won’t be completely biased towards Alex in this break down, let’s begin this jam with Disco’s WCW theme. Never has a wrestler’s song been more appropriate and contained worse lyrics!
In Ring Ability
Ooof; not a good start for Disco. I actually think the poor sap gets a bad rap for his work rate. One of the most underrated bouts I can recall seeing was a match between him and Dean Malenko at Bash at the Beach 1996 and it wasn’t just all Malenko; Disco actually put in some pretty nice work into that match and I will admit right now that I actually thought he might beat Dean. One great match against a top notch performer however isn’t enough for Disco to compete with Alex, a proficient technical and high flying wrestler who was able to work high quality matches with many of the luchadors and even the heavyweights (go look up several Alex Wright vs.DDP matches if you don’t believe me). And so this category is pretty easy. You know what sucks even worse for Disco though; that Malenko match took place on the same PPV where the nWo officially formed in one of the greatest moments in wrestling history. Leave it to the Disco Inferno to have his greatest performance on the worst night possible. It’s like that time Duchovny stole the show in Evolution and everyone went to go see…every other movie alive instead. I don’t know where I was going with that either. Advantage: Alex Wright
Head to Head Combat
I actually thought Disco was going to do pretty well in this category. It’s kayfabe after all and if anyone is the king of kayfabe it’s Disco. Then I went and looked at the results and…it’s bad, like Ryan Lochte making up a robbery story and then being caught in the lie bad. In fairness to Disco, most of his defeats to Wright took place on house shows and WCW Saturday Night/Worldwide tapings (the C and D shows as it were) and when it counted the most Disco was the better man, defeating Wright for the WCW Television Title and then retaining it in a rematch. Of course it’s tough to take that seriously when in 28 against Wright Disco has a record of 5-23, the sort of numbers you only see on a bad shooting night for Kobe Bryant or after the Edmonton Oilers have played 28 regular season games. Even in kayfabe poor Disco get things to go his way. Major Advantage: Alex Wright.
Finally something Disco Inferno can sink his teeth into! Das Wunderkind just can’t compete here guys. Sure Alex is now a trainer in Germany and all, but that pales into comparison to all of Disco’s activities. Disco is the man who once joined the WCW Creative team and may or may not have pitched angles about alien invasions or invisible men! Disco is the guy who somehow managed to bypass second banana status on a podcast all the way down to the fourth banana spot behind Konnan, Kevin Gill and Juventud Guerrera (sometimes he even falls to fifth when the Masked Republic minute happens). Disco is the guy…actually that’s pretty much it but still! Two extracurricular activities always beats one, even of that one is training the future superstars of German wrestling. Disco is on the board! Advantage: Disco Inferno
This looks to be another one in the win column for Disco! After all, Mr. Inferno (does he liked to be called that?) had four title reigns to Wright’s three, winning the WCW TV title twice, the Cruiserweight title once and the Tag titles once (with Wright). So this one goes to Disco right? NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS! As it turns out Disco Inferno has actively been lying to the American public for years about his Tag Title victory with Wright. While Wright certainly did become one half of the WCW Tag Team Champions back in 2000, records show that Wright won the titles not with Disco but with General Rection (former Tough Enough trainer and haunter of many dreams Bill DeMott). It doesn’t get better folks; it turns out Rection was supposed to just be a fill in for Disco and that he and Wright would indeed be the tag champions following that match. Once again, NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND. Wright would defend and lose the titles immediately afterwards, but once again with a partner not named Disco Inferno. Well unless Disco Inferno is really Elix Skipper in disguise, which I wouldn’t put my money on. What I’m getting at here people is that Disco’s Tag Team title reign in WCW is a scam, a fraud; a Ryan Lochte esq scandal for our troubled wrestling times! And while WWE and Disco continue to uphold these lies I shall not. We will scratch that Tag title reign off the books, which means this category, much like the minis match on last week’s Puebla, is a draw. Although I really should give it to Alex for Disco’s blatant attempts to fool America! You’re lucky I’m a nice guy Mr. Inferno, IF THAT IS YOUR REAL NAME! Draw.
Victories Over Triple H
It’s not enough to be a great wrestler, to beat your opponent numerous times in a predetermined sport or to have more champions than him in a predetermined sport. What separates you is also what you do against the highest form of competition. One of these two did that when they defeated future WWE boss Triple H over twenty years ago at Starrcade 1994. It’s kind of a big deal. How big a deal? Allow Triple h expert, former Lords of Pain writer and the bane of Arsene Wenger’s existence Mazza to explain.
You know, people love to moan about Triple H never loses. That in itself is obviously one of wrestling's huge myths. Hunter has lost plenty over the course of his career but as his CV and connections have grown, the losses have become fewer and further between. Now anyone with half a wrestling brain would be able to work out the logic of how defeating a guy that hardly ever loses will give you a huge rub. So I am not going down that road. Instead I will let you know the secret perks of going over The Game. First of all you get a membership card that will arrive in the post within 28 days of your victory. This will entitle you to a number of benefits including gym buddy time and invitations to creative meetings in addition to the monthly Cerebral Assassin Loss Report newsletter. If you have the privilege of a victory over Mr. Helmsley you will also receive a framed lock of his hair. Following Brock Lesnar's victory at SummerSlam 2012, all of The Game's majestic mane was cryogenically frozen. It is currently not known how much is left but the final locks will be given away in his retirement match. The biggest perk however is the fact that defeating HHH gives you some of Paul Levesque's special powers. The tits of any chick you bang will automatically increase by one cup size. Your political ability will improve by 50% overnight. Although beware, that victory will also mean that you will eventually become a figure of hate on the internet.
As you can see, beating Triple H is kind of a big deal. That’s why Alex Wright is taking this one because he was indeed the one to defeat Triple H in singles action all the way back at Starrcade 1994. Sure it was during a period of time when Triple H considered himself to be a French aristocrat, sure it’s unfair to use this category when Disco never faced off against Triple H and sure the most interesting thing about this match is Bobby “The Brain” Heenan’s commentary. To that I say so what, who cares, big freakin deal and did I mention who cares?! Alex Wright beat Triple H folks and Disco Inferno did not. That’s enough to give Das Wunderkind the edge. And if it isn’t, consider this; Wright’s win over Triple H that night did just as much for him as Roman Reigns’ victory over Triple H at Wrestlemania this year did for him. Give it a moment and you’ll realize that I’m absolutely right; take another to contemplate how sad that is that I am. Advantage: Alex Wright.
Ladies and gentlemen we have arrived. This here is the main event of the evening; the biggest factor in deciding who the true king of the wrestling dance is. First there’s Disco, a man trained in the art of Saturday Night Fever who mastered the art of looking the part and pointing his right arm up and down in a diagonal motion in a way only Tony Pete of the Disco Boys ever accomplished. Then there’s Alex Wright and his techno music, which often led to him bringing his arms up to his head in majestic rhythm, not to mention led to him coming out to dance around with the Nitro Girls every chance he got. How can you pick between these two? So graceful, so talented, so energetic, so…alright I can’t keep saying this with a straight face. Ladies and gentlemen I have witnessed many a drunk bro get down at a wedding, I’ve seen Chandler Bing flail around like a chicken with his head cut off; hell I’ve even seen a grown man satisfy a camel (true story. It was Disco!). But my goodness I’ve never seen two guys dance as badly as both Alex Wright and Disco did. Look for yourselves if you don’t believe me (and beware of Tokyo Magnum cameos!).
I mean good freakin Cthulhu; there’s enough goofiness, unintentional comedy and bad hair in these moves that you could probably pitch this to Channing Tatum as Step 12: The Retirement Ball in a few years. Jack Evans’ break dancing looks like something out of Julliard compared to these two (I kid I kid!). I guess the question comes down to which one of these two is the least worse? The answer is neither, and frankly I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a kid part of the draw of both Alex Wright and Disco Inferno was the dancing. As an adult, the draw now is the hilariousness of the gimmicks and the fact that they a) didn’t take it too seriously or b) took it so seriously that it went all the way around into them not taking it seriously. Did that make sense? Who cares? It’s at least made more sense than WWE making Fandango take that gimmick seriously. How neither Wright nor Disco was called to manage him is something only a mystical creature created by H.P. Lovecraft can answer. What, I thought that was better than referencing Cthulhu yet again! Draw.
So who is the king of the dancing wrestler’s folks? Unlike the battle between L.A. Park and La Parka this one is too close to call. Alex Wright, I think even by Disco’s own admission (though maybe not) was the better, more accomplished in ring performer and more successful kayfabe wise while Disco was the better talker. Beyond that it’s a wash. Both won the same amount of titles, both were equally good, bad or so bad they’re good at dancing; not since the race between Avatar and The Hurt Locker has there been a race this close. You know what; it’s so close that I think this might be a case where it’s too close to call. I know I know; I promised you there would be a winner. But the closer you look at it how can you pick one? They’re just so evenly matched in everything except superficial categories that it’s hard, nigh impossible to go one way or the other. What can I say; Disco Inferno and Alex Wright are co-kings of the dancing wrestler gimmick.
…holy shit I almost finished that with a straight face! Nah folks we do have a winner and it’s Alex Wright. Why? Because I have a fixation, because Disco lied about that tag title reign, because doing that arm dance looks a lot better than trying to copy John Travolta (pre or post wax mannequin phase) and because I feel like. Oh and I guess because Alex Wright also was Berlyn too. Who cares; it’s my party and I’ll do what I want. Sorry Disco. There’s always that potential segment for you after And Juicy for All if you say on Konnan’s good side. Winner: Alex Wright.
That’ll do it folks. I’m off till later. Till then, double secret footage of those Invisible Man vignettes Disco planned in WCW! Yes they actually filmed some and yes I got my hands on them. I didn’t even have to let Disco win to do it!