When Jeopardy! great James Holzhauer used Scott Steiner’s legendary math promo to trash talk Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Twitter heading into their 2020 Greatest of All-Time tournament, it was fun moment for the cross-section of fans who love the Alex Trebek-hosted trivia game show AND pro wrestling.
But as someone in that area of the Venn diagram, I doubt I was alone when I wrote off the Holzhauer/Big Poppa Pump cross-over as an anomaly. Then, on the episode of Jeopardy! which aired on Fri., Nov. 29, this happened:
None of the three contestants (Gabrielle Merken, a student assessment specialist from Washington, D.C., Emma Wall, a graduate student from La Jolla, California, and Alex Damisch, a data scientist from Chicago) were “one of us”. They stayed away from the last column of the board until there were no other options. But once they got there, they did alright. Probably because the answers and questions dealt more with general pop culture than the ins and outs of kayfabe.
There was only one clue the contestants didn’t get. It was the most valuable, and will be a real blow to the Chairman & CEO’s ego...
$200 - The 1986 Slammys saw Nikolai Volkoff win “most ignominious” & as girls just want to have fun, best producer was Mona Flambé, aka her (Who is Cyndi Lauper?)
$400 - Doing the work of two and a half men, this actor beat Tyson, Schwarzenegger & The Muppets to be top social media ambassador in 2012 (Who is Charlie Sheen?)
$600 - New sensation of the ring in 1997 was this guy, who now dabbles in action films... and TV... and basically, world domination (Who is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?)
$800 - This* ex-UFC-er and armbar master got a “this is awesome” moment of the year Slammy for her work in WrestleMania 31 (Who is Ronda Rousey?)
$1000 - No winner for 1987’s song of the year - Sika ate the envelope - but this WWE head honcho was nominated and did perform “Stand Back” (Who is Vince McMahon?)
* Rowdy came with a photo hint
I’d have gotten them all, because I am a middle-aged nerd. That doesn’t mean I would have won the night, though. Damisch was the only contestant who didn’t pick up any cash in the Slammys category (and lost $200 for guessing a different 80s redhead, Molly Ringwald, on the first one), and when the dust cleared after Final Jeopardy, she beat Merken & Wall.
Oh well. We’ll always have Holzhauer.
Our next Jeopardy!/graps crossover will be... Please phrase your response in the form of a question, Cagesiders.