Today's guest column that did a feature on Bart Gunn was very well done. And it made us think about a long-forgotten WWF/E wrestler, Bart "Lefty" Gunn. I wonder if all the stuff in the column is true? I mean, about Bart getting intentionally buried for his KO of Dr. Death. I guess that's the sort of thing I'd expect to read about in "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks".
Bart Gunn getting hugely over in Japan doesn't surprise me. The Japanese take their wrestling very seriously and as soon as they got the guy that knocked out Dr. Death (who's a legend down there), OF COURSE they went batshit! But that brings me to this question:
How IS Bart Gunn doing? I heard he has a new name down in All-Japan. How's he faring in All-Japan right now? I'm curious. And is faring better or worse than his "brother" Billy?
"That's right! You suckas better FIND somewhere to run! 'cause it's me - Booker T - not only am I the Scorpion King, but I'm the five-time WCW Champion - and I got a sword, too! Now can U dig THAT - SUCKAAAAAS" -Booker T, Hollywood's next big superstar!
And that's the bottom line, because it's false! It's DAMN false!
It wouldn't entirely surprise me if all the backstage rumors were 100% true.
I think one of many problems with the Brawl for All tournament is that it wasn't intentionally fixed. I mean, of course the judges fixed them. But apparently no one actually ordered Bart Gunn to job in a Brawl for All match like they would have in a regular match.
Karma will bite you in the ass every time, though, and I'm not surprised that Bart Gunn has gotten over in Japan. I was hardly watching the WWF at all during Bart's career, but I have seen WrestleMania XV. And if Vince did tell Butterbean to beat the hell out of Bart Gunn, let me be the first to give Vince a big “fuck you!” on that particular subject.
“I can't believe it! I just got pinned by a freaking 12-year-old!”-- Kurt Angle talking about Rey Mysterio on WWE SmackDown!, 8/9/02
Two-Time, Two-Time Randomly Selected Weiner of the Day, 5/27/02 and 7/3/02
Thank you for the positive feedback towards my column. While it is speculation that can’t be proven in a court of law, I stand by what I wrote. I believe it is 100% true. “Sex, Lies, and Headlocks” was a good book, but it didn’t mention anything about Bart Gunn.
Bart Gunn is currently wrestling in Japan under the name Mike Barton. Mike Barton was the tag team champion in New Japan from 6/9/99 to 7/23/99 teaming with Johnny Ace. I know very little about New Japan wrestling, but I have talked to someone who knows a lot about it (Jonathan Leung). He says the G-1 Tag Team Final on 12/11/01 when Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima defeated All Japan's Mike Barton and Jim Steele was a match of the year candidate. Mike Barton is doing pretty good over there, he has his own shirt too. It is a close comparison with Billy. The 2001 PWI 500 Rankings rank Mike Barton (aka Bart Gunn) at 139 and Billy Gunn at 125.
Bart Gunn was not released while in the hospital following his loss. Where did you hear that? He remained under WWF contract for some time afterwards, then was released when his contract ended. They simply never used him again, as it might have been hard for people to continue buying that he was such a tough guy considering the sound ass whooping Butterbean gave him.
Also, there is no way the WWF was hoping Butterbean would kill Bart. Why would they? Bart had beaten several WWF wrestlers and was talked up as one of the toughest guys on the roster. For Butterbean to defeat him so easily made everyone else look bad. Butterbean had a deal with the WWF for 2 "matches", one being with Marc Mero, and they used this as the second. There was legit hope that Bart would win and get mainstream attention from it.
If you want to be technical, I never said he was fired, it was only implied by how he was no longer used. And Bradshaw got just as sound an ass whooping and was continued to be built as a tough guy.
You are making my point for me. Butterbean was making his last appearance at Wrestlemania. The WWF had no long term plan for Butterbean. Putting him over made no sense. But unlike Mero, who they protected in a “worked” fight with Butterbean, this time it was legit. It is possible that they honestly believed Bart had a good chance of winning and that they wanted him to win. But even had he won the fight, he was unlikely to get mainstream attention and even less likely to get a push.
“I'm also very iffy on calling Bart a hero. What did he do that was so heroic?”
I took dramatic license in referring to Bart a hero. It can be argued that he displayed great courage as a guy who risked his life to entertain people. It can also be said that all wrestlers display heroic qualities. My dictionary gives one definition of a hero as “The principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.” Certainly he fits this definition.
I got the title from a favorite story of mine. “They Shoot Heroes, Don’t They?” a short story by Don Von Dresh, Miami Herald, Sunday, 1991. He talks about Roger Maris saying, “had he stopped at 59 he would have been a hero.” I noticed similarities in how Maris was treated poorly by writers and fans until he went to St. Louis. Whether you think a baseball player deserves to be called a hero or not, is another issue.
FWIW, Bart did get a Shotgun squash after the Dr. Death knockout (probably one Dr. Death was supposed to get) - billed as Bart "Lefty" Gunn, wearing his BrawlForAll shorts and using the punch as his finisher.
I am curious because you wrote a great column, “I Hate This Business.” I thought it was similar in theme and tone to mine. Regarding how people are given the false promise of opportunity only to have it taken away.
My piece was just a show report with some angry opinions thrown in the last paragraph - yours took more work. The similiarties between the promises to those given developmental contracts and the less than completely honest way Bart was treated are strong.