Wrestler of the Day – January 19: R-Truth

This was originally going to be Truth and Pat Patterson but since tomorrow’s wrestler was Ivan Putski, we’ll split them up and just go with Ron Killings today. R-Truth and Ron Killings are the same person if that’s not clear.

Truth debuted in the WWF as Road Dogg’s buddy K-Kwik. The two of them teamed up with Chyna and Billy Gunn at the 2000 Survivor Series to face the Radicalz.

Radicalz vs. Team Chyna

Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero

Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, K-Kwik, Chyna

Kwik is R-Truth, which is what I’ll be referring to him as more than likely. Eddie is IC Champion and Dean is Light Heavyweight Champion. I would call this Team DX but they’re not together anymore. Saturn and Gunn get things going here but it’s quickly off to Chyna for a double suplex. Chyna pounds away in the corner as we’re waiting on the Eddie vs. Chyna showdown. A powerslam gets two on Saturn and there’s the handspring elbow but Saturn catches her. A DDT puts Saturn down but everything breaks down. Eddie hits Chyna in the back with a title belt and Saturn gets the easy pin.

Roadie comes in next but gets suplexed down almost immediately. Off to Eddie who pounds away and dropkicks Dogg’s knee out. Dean comes in but it’s quickly back to Eddie for a slingshot hilo onto the knee. Eddie goes up but runs his mouth too long, allowing Roadie to superplex him down. There’s the hot tag to Billy who immediately charges into a triple team in the Radicals’ corner. Smart guy that Billy. Billy fights them off and takes over on Eddie with a gorilla press and the One and Only (sleeper drop) for the pin and elimination.

Off to Dean vs. Truth with the latter flipping out of a hip toss. Truth tries a Downward Spiral but Dean falls backwards instead. Eh they screwed that one up. Off to Benoit who wants nothing to do with the hipping and the hopping so he Germans the tar out of Truth for the pin to make it 3-2. Off to Saturn vs. Road Dogg with the former taking over. Dean suplexes Dogg down for two and it’s back to Saturn for a northern lights suplex to get us down to Saturn/Benoit/Malenko vs. Billy.

Billy gets to fight Dean first with the Radicals taking over quickly. Benoit low bridges Billy but Saturn accidentally superkicks Benoit on the floor. Back in the ring Dean ducks his head and the Fameasser makes it 2-1. A Jackhammer gets two on Saturn as Benoit makes the save. Benoit hits the Swan Dive for two and the Wolverine is shocked on the kickout. Benoit is sent to the apron and Gunn tries to suplex him back in, only for the Warrior/Rude ending with Saturn tripping Billy and holding his foot for the pin.

Rating: C. This was fine but it never got to be anything interesting. Truth never worked in the WWF in his original run and the whole tandem rapping thing with Road Dogg didn’t work at all. Gunn was into that awkward singles stage of his which never worked the way the company wanted it to. Not bad here but it was nothing better than fine.

Even though he was around for over a year and a half after that, Truth would do almost nothing else in the WWF. After a year of Heat matches and little more, it was off to the upstart TNA, where Truth (as Ron Killings), would get an NWA World Title shot at the 8th weekly PPV. Truth was on a “I’m black and being held down” kick and somehow became one of the most popular guys in the company as a result.

NWA World Title: Ken Shamrock vs. Ron Killings

Steamboat jumps in on commentary. Shamrock (defending) grabs a leglock almost immediately but Truth fights up. Ken almost falls over trying a kick to the face and then puts on an armbar. Ricky talks about why he gave Truth the match. He talks about how he was IC Champion but didn’t get a title shot at Hogan. In this case, the real story would be better: he didn’t get a title shot at Hogan, but then he went to the NWA and they gave him the opportunity. Instead they took a shot at the WWF but that’s more important right?

Truth snapmares him down and puts on a chinlock. That doesn’t last long so Truth hits a spinning forearm for two. Shamrock messes up a sunset flip as Steamboat talks about going sixty minutes a lot of the time. Truth pounds away in the corner but gets caught in a powerbomb to counter. Ken comes back with a powerslam but he’s looking haggard already.

Another kick takes Truth down and Shamrock is all fired up. He tries the standing rana but it looks like he’s going in slow motion. There’s the ankle lock but Truth gets to a rope quickly. The New Church is watching from the stage as we head to the outside. Monty Brown is on the stage too. Truth suplexes him on the floor and they head back in with Shamrock taking over almost immediately.

The champ pounds away and hooks a cross armbreaker. Truth slaps Shamrock’s knee which looks a lot like tapping out. Shamrock lets the hold go for no apparent reason and is getting ticked off. Truth gets thrown to the floor and here’s the interference. We’ve got Apolo attacking Truth, the New Church attacking Shamrock, and Don Harris and Monty Brown attacking the New Church. Apolo fires a superkick but misses Truth and COMPLETELY misses Shamrock, but Ken sells it anyway. That was embarrassing. Steamboat throws Shamrock back in and a Diamond Cutter gives Truth the title.

Rating: D. Changing the title here was a good idea as Shamrock looked horrible. In a less than ten minute match he botched at least four moves. That’s not acceptable for a world champion, especially in a company that is brand new like this. Steamboat didn’t really add anything here but it was a good idea to have Truth win the title, as he’s involved with the main storylines. Shamrock wouldn’t have another match with the company until 2004.

Truth would hold the title for a few weeks before hooking up with Konnan and BG James in 2003 as the 3 Live Kru. They would hold the tag titles a few times and get involved in some main event feuds. Killing was in a six man tag at Victory Road 2004, though not with the Kru.

Ron Killings/Erik Watts/Johnny B. Badd/Pat Kenney vs. Dallas/Kid Kash/Naturals

Oh look MORE people in the same match. Could this get any worse? Why would you sign Mero at this point? Seriously, why? Dallas is now known as Vance Archer and Killings is RTruth in case you didnt know. This is just what you would expect it to be: bad wrestling but overhyped by West and Tenay. Badd is said to be a legend. Even in his own mind I dont think hes that dumb.

 

To the shock of no one, this turns into a big brawl. They do the random people jump into the ring and get knocked out again spots as this has no flow to it at all. Badd hits a hurricanrana to set up something resembling a Pedigree from Truth for the pin. Badd was gone in a few months as was Watts. Kenney (Simon Diamond for you ECW guys) was seen once in awhile I think.

Rating: D+. There was just no point to this at all. It was all over the place and had no flow to it. This makes 28 wrestlers in two matches. Do you think that’s enough? It’s complete overkill at this point and is just insane. The match was nothing to see either and that’s a bad way to start a major show.

Here’s a match with the 3 Live Kru as a unit against the six man jobbers known as the Diamonds in the Rough from Unbreakable.

3 Live Kru vs. Diamonds in the Rough

The Diamonds are Simon Diamond, Elix Skipper and David Young. After Konnan does his usual schtick, Elix and BG start things off. This was the same pairing that started off the match at the previous PPV I did. Elix uses his speed to control early but BG comes back with the same moveset he’s been using for years. Young tries to come in and gets double teamed by Killings and James. Back to Skipper and the Diamonds get in some triple team action on the former Road Dogg. Seriously, that’s what they call him quite a few times. BG escapes, hot tags Konnan, a shoe is thrown and the X-Factor pins Young. Seriously, that’s it.

Rating: D. What in the world was the point of this? It was like four minutes long and the match sucked. This was a horrible choice for an opener but I guess the fans are happy with the ending. The Diamonds were a really weak mini stable and I don’t think anyone ever cared about them in any way, shape or form. Really bad choice to start the show here.

Once the Kru broke up, Killings would go back to the world title scene and take part in the King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary 2006.

NWA World Title: Christian Cage vs. Ron Killings vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting vs. Abyss

King of the Mountain, which has some complicated rules. It’s a reverse ladder match, meaning you have to hang the title above the ring to win it. However to be eligible to do that, you have to gain a fall over someone else. If you pin or submit someone, they go to the penalty box for two minutes. After the big match intros we’re ready to go.

Big brawl to start with only Truth and Jarrett left in the ring. Christian gets back in and dances with Truth for some reason, getting himself punched in the face for his efforts. It’s Christian vs. Jarrett in the ring at the moment but they quickly go to the floor with the Canadian diving onto Jeff. The other three go into the ring and Abyss’ double chokeslam attempt is broken up.

Truth knocks Abyss to the floor and hits a huge dive to take everyone down. Sting goes tot he top of the penalty box and dives on all of them because he’s just that awesome. Sting vs. Jarrett in the ring now and Jarrett gets hit with the splash, followed by a missile dropkick from Truth, who gets the pin. Sting stood back and let him get the pin. Truth is now eligible and Jarrett is in the box for two minutes.

There are two tables set up next to the box. Truth tries to bring in a ladder but Christian launches it into his face for a two count. Abyss gets into the ring and sets for a gorilla press on Christian but Cage slips down the back and rolls Abyss up to become eligible as well. Jarrett gets out about two seconds after Abyss goes in so we’ve got four active people now with Christian and Truth both eligible.

Truth gets slammed by Sting and Jarrett crushes Christian with the ladder on the floor. Something that might have been the Death Drop on Truth gets two and Abyss is freed. He throws Christian into the barricade and now there are four tables in a 2×2 stack on the floor. Everyone but Christian is in the ring now with the good guys taking over. Sting and Abyss knock each other to the floor and Jarrett Strokes Truth off the apron into the barricade for the pin to become eligible.

The four people left fight into the crowd and Sting cracks Abyss with a chair to the head and then does it again. Christian tries to throw Jeff over the end of the balcony but Jeff fights back to prevent death. Sting throws Abyss into a wall as Christian and Jeff are back at ringside. Abyss throws Sting into the same wall as earlier and Truth is out of the box. There’s no one near him so…let’s look at the crowd.

Killings grabs the ladder and goes up but he takes forever but Abyss makes the save. Everyone is in the ring now and Jarrett/Abyss beat on everyone else with a ladder. Truth gets launched to the floor but Sting and Christian dropkick the ladder into the evil ones. Christian crushes Jarrett between the ladder but Abyss makes the save, sending both guys out to the floor in the process.

Truth goes up again but Abyss shoves him off again. The ladder swings back and falls on Hebner so there’s no referee. Jarrett goes for the title but Abyss objects and hits the Black Hole Slam. A second referee comes out to count the pin, meaning only Sting isn’t eligible. In a TERRIBLY contrived spot, Abyss sets the ladder next to the ropes, only for Sting to shove him through the four tables.

Christian and Sting stare each other down and they slug it out. A Stinger Splash hits and he puts on the Scorpion but Jarrett comes out of the box early. He hits Sting with the belt and loads up the guitar shot, only for Christian to steal the guitar. The Death Drop puts Jarrett down and he puts the Scorpion on Jarrett, telling Sting to go up. Larry Z hits Christian low and gets drilled by Sting.

Another Death Drop puts Jarrett back down but there’s no referee to count. Sting does the Austin thing and slaps the mat three times with Hebner’s hand. Sting goes up but Christian stops him. EARL HEBNER shoves the ladder over as Jarrett goes up and hangs the belt (he never went into the box) to win in a Montreal angle. Larry even gets Earl out of there to complete the stupidity.

Rating: B. Other than the STUPID ending, I liked it. Montreal is easily the most controversial moment in wrestling history and is probably the most famous ending to a show ever. I personally hate it because we’re nearly FIFTEEN YEARS LATER and I still have to sit through reenactments of it. The match was pretty fun, but Jarrett winning was just a way to set up Sting vs. Jarrett again.

Here’s a rarity that you’ve probably never seen before. In case you’re not familiar with lucha libre, AAA’s biggest show of the year is called Triplemania and features a lot of big stars making appearances. Here’s an eight man tag from 2007’s Triplemania XV.

Ron Killings/Head Hunter A/Sabu/Rikishi vs. The Animal/Latin Lover/La Parka/El Zorro

A few explanations here. Killings’ team is part of La Legion Extranjera (Foreign Legion), a catch all name for foreign heels brought in with the story of Konnan having his friends help him destroy TNA. This is La Parka II, meaning not the same guy that you know from WCW though it’s the same gimmick. This is also the only match I can find for The Animal. AAA also uses the six sided ring. Each guy gets his own entrance so we’re ready to go after about fifteen minutes of music, walking to the ring and intros by the ring announcer.

Sabu does his point in the air and La Parka tries to see what he’s looking at in an amusing bit. We spend awhile picking who starts with La Parka until it’s finally Sabu. They hit the mat with Sabu grabbing an armbar as we cut to a shot of the crowd for some reason. Off to Rikishi who is WAY fatter than he was in WWE.

We get a dance off until Rikishi pounds him into the corner and it’s off to Latin Lover vs. Headhunter. The much larger Headhunter takes him down with a clothesline and get two off a splash before getting caught by a running clothesline to send him outside. That’s as good as a tag in lucha libre so Truth comes in with some fast shots of his own. A double clothesline puts both guys down before Latin Lover scores with an enziguri. Off to Sabu who eats a superkick before it’s time for Animal vs. Rikishi.

Animal tries a sunset flip and has to avoid the falling fat before it’s off to Zorro and a big pop. He calls out and gets Killings, who immediately decks Zorro in the face for two. La Parak gets a tag but the referee doesn’t see it so Zorro is playing Ricky Morton. The fans get on Truth as he bars Zorro’s arm before it’s off to Rikishi. Seriously the guy’s fat must have its own gravitational pull. The fat guy does nothing at all before bringing in Headhunter who gets two off a legdrop.

Back to Sabu for a camel clutch followed by a splash from Headhunter. The Foreign Legion is tagging in and out very fast. Rikishi misses the running backsplash in the corner and a hot tag brings in La Parka as everything breaks down. Latin Lover and La Parka backdrop the 350lb Headhunter and the Foreign Legion is in trouble. Killings comes back with a quick ax kick to Latin Lover but some guy who might be Joe Lider (my Spanish is only conversational so I can’t quite make out the commentary) comes in and lays Killings out.

It’s down to Zorro vs. Rikishi with the fat man taking over. The Banzai Drop hits knees though and it’s back to La Parka who goes OFF on Killings with right hands. Konnan sneaks in with a big right hand (presumably loaded) to knock Zorro out cold, allowing Rikishi to flip off the crowd and sit on Zorro’s chest for the pin.

Rating: D+. Me not knowing the story aside, this was a dull tag match. The biggest part was spent on Zorro and La Parka playing technicos in peril but it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Rikishi was just massive here and it took away from Headhunter who was smaller and faster than the Samoan. Nothing good here and the ending went on too long.

This brings us to one of the worst ideas in wrestling history. Back in 2006/2007, a football player named Adam Pacman Jones got arrested. A lot. One of his incidents involved a part time wrestler being shot (Jones was never accused of being the shooter) and paralyzed from the waist down. Since TNA is TNA, they decided not only to bring Jones in, but to give him a Tag Team Title match to prove he was a “team player” at No Surrender 2007.

Tag Titles: Team Pacman vs. Sting/Kurt Angle

Oh that’s right: Sting won a match to be get a title. What a concept. Team Pacman is R-Truth (Ron The Truth Killings) and Adam “Pacman” Jones. He was a guy that was arrested like 13 times and was involved in a shooting where a part time pro wrestler was paralyzed outside a club. Naturally TNA saw his suspension from the NFL as a great ratings grab so they signed him. Yeah it didn’t go well.

Angle has a shirt on that says Tap or Snap, making me think of Daniel Bryan’s first promo. Shocking no one, Truth starts us off here for his team against Sting. He and Angle are a dream team apparently. Pacman won’t come in so more or less this is a handicap match. Off to Angle now as it occurs to me the football intro was about him. Why do I have a bad feeling he’s going to pin Sting or Angle? Pacman drops to the floor again and gets chased by Angle.

Back in the ring Truth gets a chinlock which Mike calls a sleeper hold. Karen, still Kurt’s wife here, comes to ringside. Sting can’t stand her so that’s an issue with the champions. She slaps Sting who…doesn’t shove her. He motions for her to go to the back and she throws herself down. Hey look the fans have a chant about it. Death Drop gets two on Truth. Sting hits the splash on Truth who falls onto Pacman for the tag. Angle hits the Slam on Sting and of course Pacman pins him for the titles. Screw you TNA, screw you to death.

Rating: D. The match was bad on top of all that. This was really just an angle with a match as a badkdrop. At the end of the day though, Pacman Jones, a guy that is more or less responsible for a man being paralyzed, has pinned Sting to win a championship in TNA. Celebrities in wrestling are fine, but know how to use them for the love of all things good and made of gouda.

 

Thankfully this only lasted a few months and Killings was in the WWE as R-Truth the following August. He would face Shelton Benjamin on the September 19, 2008 episode of Smackdown.

Shelton Benjamin vs. R-Truth

Shelton is US Champion but this is non-title. Truth only debuted two weeks before this. Shelton takes him to the mat but Truth makes the rope. The spinning forearm puts Shelton down and Truth stomps away in the corner. Shelton gets in a single shot but Truth will have none of it, hitting a side kick for two. Shelton hits the T-Bone Exploder but doesn’t cover.

There’s a backbreaker and Shelton bends Truth over his knee to stay on it. He whips Truth into the corner before hooking a chinlock with a knee in the back. Truth comes back with some right hands and they botch a drop toehold. Back to the chinlock which is turned into a sleeper, but Truth comes back with a jawbreaker. Shelton tries a German but gets victory rolled into the pin.

Rating: C-. Nothing to see here again as Truth was too new to mean much other than his rapping stuff. Shelton was just worthless at this point with all of the Gold Standard nonsense as he looked stupid and slowed WAY down, taking away the majority of the appeal he had. The match was just ok.

Truth would do nothing of note for the better part of two years before Ted DiBiase Jr. asked Truth to be his Virgil, leading to a match at Over the Limit 2010. This wasn’t an important feud or anything but I needed something to bridge the gap.

Ted DiBiase vs. R-Truth

Truth’s entrance is awesome. I’m not a fan of him but I have to give him that one. The real Virgil is here with him instead. You can’t beat that for old school guys. Striker says rich people are better. Amen to that brother man. We even get a Virgil chant. WOW. Cole says that DiBiase paid a couple of guys a few weeks ago to take out R-Truth. One was Carlito. That’s rather amusing.

We get a Harley Race impression from about 1983 and the bounty to take out Flair. I love obscure references like that. Truth busts out a Downward Spiral. I hate that move. Virgil looks more or less exactly the same as he used to. That’s either really impressive or bad. This is really sloppy. Truth…kind of hits the Lie Detector (spinning forearm) for the clean pin. That was bad. Virgil gets the Million Dollar Belt and tries to wake up DiBiase, despite the forearm grazing him at best.

Rating: D. Not very good and just SLOPPY. The stuff came off as weak looking and just all over the place. I didn’t like what I was seeing and the Truth pin just came off as from out of nowhere, which isn’t bad I guess. When all else fails, have the black guys be nothing but muscle since they’re all interchangeable right Vince?

Truth soon got the biggest push of his career after losing his mind. He talked about a c-o-n-spiracy, ranted about ladders and spiders, and thought imaginary children named Little Jimmy were laughing at him. Somehow this got him a title match at Capital Punishment against John Cena.

Raw World Title: R-Truth vs. John Cena

 

Truth has the belt but Cena is champion.  As scary as it is, I could see Truth getting the title here.  Big match intros set up a mixed reaction for Cena as always.  Feeling out process to start but Truth gets in a shot to take over.  Cena sends him to the floor and we stall a bit.  AA doesn’t work and Truth hits a sitout gordbuster to get two.  The dueling chants keep going as Truth gets a kick in for two.

Truth does a You Can’t See Me knockoff which ended in a legdrop for two.  Spinning forearm gets two.  Cena pulls himself up using Truth’s body.  Truth says Cena can’t see him.  This is kind of a slow paced match as Truth’s offense isn’t all that great.  Big hip toss gets two.  Lawler thinks Cena hasn’t taken Truth seriously enough.  Cena gets up but can’t get the STF, only to get kicked down again by Truth.

Suplex gets two.  This is a pretty dull match actually.  Cena starts his comeback with the shoulder blocks.  Five Knuckle Shuffle hits but Truth escapes the AA and hits the suplex into the Stunner “which we’ve NEVER seen before!”  Truth talks to himself a lot but misses a charge in the corner and there’s the STF.  Truth grabs the rope rather quickly though and the axe kick hits out of nowhere for two.  Cena was out fast.

Truth goes up for a cross body but Cena rolls through into the AA attempt.  Truth counters that into the jumping Downward Spiral for two.  Cena hits the floor which would seem to set up something fishy.  Truth goes out to the other side and is looking all crazy.  He steals a hat from a Cena fan and gets a drink of water.  The fan throws the water in Truth’s face!  The distraction is enough for Cena to pull him in and hit the AA to retain!

Rating: D+. Pretty dull match here overall and I wasn’t into it for the most part.  It’s not horrible but it’s just not interesting.  The water going into his face is kind of a nice touch given that Truth did that to a kid on Raw a few weeks ago but at the same time it really wasn’t anything interesting.  Total B show PPV match here and I can’t imagine it’ll go any further, not after Cena beat him clean.

 

Truth would eventually join up with Miz as Awesome Truth and get beaten up by The Rock and John Cena. He would then regain his sanity, win another meaningless set of tag titles with Kofi Kingston, including this title defense at Over the Limit 2012.

Tag Titles: Jack Swagger/Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth/Kofi Kingston

Kofi and Swagger get us going. Jack takes it to the mat but opts for a standing top wristlock instead. Not much happens so it’s off to Truth for a double hiptoss. Spinning legdrop gets two. Ziggler comes in but Kofi gets a blind tag and a springboard missile dropkick for two. Swagger gets in a shot from the apron and a tag to take over. He works on the arm some more and it’s off to Truth who speeds things up.

Vickie distracts the referee which results in Dolph getting his head kicked off. Swagger puts Truth down and hits the Vader Bomb for two. Ziggler comes back in with a Crossface of all things as King is talking about Vickie’s navel. Cole: “If you two were as good at commentating as you were at looking at Vickie you’d be in the Hall of Fame.” King: “I already am.” That was funny for some reason.

Swagger takes Truth down but Truth comes back with a flurry of punches. They don’t get him anywhere as Ziggler comes in for a double team, getting two. Dolph does the handstands on the chinlock which is impressive. Back to Jack who takes Truth into the corner but gets caught by a tornado DDT to put both guys down. Double tag brings in Kofi and Dolph and an SOS gets two. Springboard cross body gets two as Jack makes the save. As Kofi is coming back in he gets caught by a Fameasser for two. Truth dives onto Swagger and Dolph jumps with a Stinger Splash, right into Trouble in Paradise to retain at 12:28.

Rating: B. That’s probably high but I was enjoying this match. Kofi and Dolph have some awesome chemistry together and it worked very well here. They’re clearly building to a big rematch with the Colons, if you can call that big of course. Pretty good match here and I was really liking it by the end.

We’ll wrap things up with a quick match to send Truth out on a win. From the April 22, 2013 Raw.

R-Truth vs. Antonio Cesaro

Cole shouts WHAT’S UP and kind of dances during the entrance. Cesaro yodels as his humiliating depush continues. Cesaro takes over to start with a forearm to the back of the head and a hard clothesline. The fans start an OLE chant as Cesaro hits a double stomp for two. Truth blocks a kick to the ribs and gets two off a front suplex. Little Jimmy hits a second later for the pin on Antonio at 2:19.

Ron Killings is an entertaining guy but he’s not much more than an upper midcard guy. He’s had a few splashes in the world title scene but he’s never belonged there full time. The rapping his own theme is a good gimmick as it’s always going to get the crowd going but Truth has always been better on the mic than in the ring.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of Summerslam at Amazon for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HY4NV7Y

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

1 comment

  1. MikeCheyne says:

    Truth is someone I disdain to watch on TV, but I will admit he was entertaining live. He knows how to play a crowd and having him come out first for a dark/Superstars match got the crowd pretty pumped.