Lampshade Hanging: Professional Wrestling
"If I live to be a hundred I will never understand why they keep so many damn weapons under the ring. It's almost like they want the competitors to use them on each other."
Good ol' Jim Ross
on life's big mysteries.
Lampshades hung in professional wrestling.
- On WWE RAW, announcer Jim Ross lampshades the practice of putting weapons underneath the ring for the wrestlers to use, resulting in the page quote.
- A cheap way for face wrestlers to get over is by referencing the city they're performing in. (We're going to do this tonight, in front of all these Detroit/Austin/New York/Milwaukee/Chicago/Los Angeles/Philedelphia fans!) Mick Foley, a wrestler who has spend most of his career as a face, has joked about "cheap pops" and turned this into a bit of a joke catchphrase for himself. "I'm going to win that title, and I'm going to do it (pause) RIGHT HERE! in (where ever they are.)
- The Rock once did the heel version lampshade. As a face, he would come out and say "Finally The Rock has come back to (name of city.)" Then after a Face-Heel Turn, The Rock gave us this Crowning Moment of Funny: "And then Vince McMahon did The Rock a favor. He said, 'Rock, you can go wherever you wanna go, you can do whatever you wanna do!' So The Rock said he wanted to go live Monday night on RAW. More importantly than that, The Rock said he wanted to come right here to Toronto, Canada. (crowd cheered) And then The Rock said... Ugh, are you kidding The Rock? What, is this the first time you've ever heard someone mention your city, is that it? 'Ooh yay! Hooray! He said Toronto! Woo! Yay! That's where WE live! We live in Toronto, yay!'... Shut up!"
- One of the practices that led to World Championship Wrestling falling apart was its tendency to suspend wrestlers and then continue to pay them ridiculous salaries while they were at home and not working in the slightest. Near the end, in addition to many other Lampshade Hangings the writers threw in a quip about it — the commissioner yelled at two misbehaving competitors that he was going to send them to jail, because, "I'm not going to send you home! If I do, someone at the office might pay you!"
- WCW's problem with lampshade hangings show there can be a fine line between hanging a lampshade and exposing the business even more so than it was at a time when Kayfabe was relatively more alive and well.
- By that point, Vince Russo had already had wrestlers discussing their scripts on-camera. Kayfabe in WCW was long dead.
- In ROH, Samoa Joe would sometimes hang a lampshade onto the... questionability of doing certain diving moves from the top rope, by actually walking out of the way and letting his opponent hit the mat with no ill effect to him. In 2008, Kevin Steen hung his own lampshade this way on Nigel McGuinness' infamous rebounding-off-the-ropes lariat.
- ECW sometimes did this, by way of showing what would happen if someone used what seemed to be the obvious counter to a finisher- only to have it turn out much worse than if they just took it. (example: Someone avoided a Van Damminator by swinging the chair. RVD ducked, swept the guy's leg, making him fall with the chair over his face and chest- which RVD then did Rolling Thunder onto. Announcer Joey Styles: "If you wondered? Now you know."
- Jerry Lynn eventually went one better by just hurling the chair back at RVD.
- And later during the WWF Invasion, Rock just ducked, dropped the chair, and caught RVD after the spin with a DDT on said chair.
- At ECW Ultra Clash 93, Terry Funk and Stan Hansen faced Kevin Sullivan and "The Madman from the Sudan" Abdullah the Butcher in a "Bunkhouse Match." The match went to a DQ when "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert, who had left the company the night before and announced his "retirement," interfered and attacked Funk. Joey Styles explained that in Eastern Championship Wrestling you can use weapons but can not have outside interference. Eventually, ECW got rid of the "no outside interference" rule.
- Kofi Kingston debuted on WWE as the supposedly first Jamaican-Born wrestler in the company's history. His character underwent an overhaul out of nowhere, now being billed from his real life homeland of Ghana and dropping his accent completely. How did WWE reconcile this? They had Triple H (who seems to live beyond the fourth wall) ask him, "Hey, what happened to your accent, man? Didn't you used to be Jamaican?"
- Well there was also the fact that they started talking about him being from Africa after Trip said that, and given Kofi's expression and the look Shawn Michaels gave him during the same spot, it looked like one big screw-up. He started to explain "respecting the Jamaican heritage of my extended family" or some such in a backstage interview the next week, only to get interrupted. A case of accent slippage mixed with Throw It In?