Induction: LaVar Ball on MizTV – It takes a lot of Balls to put on a segment this bad

25 Submitted by on Mon, 27 January 2020, 20:29

WWE, 2017

As hinted earlier, this induction is about Balls.

LaVar Ball and his sons Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, to be specific.

You remember LaVar Ball, don’t you? The overbearing basketball dad who’d make ridiculous boasts about his son Lonzo? He was certainly a character, in much the same way that Mr. McMahon was a character during the Attitude Era (so much so that the fans all used to chant “Character! Character!” at him during promos).

Now, I’m careful not to dismiss bold athletic claims out of hand; back in the mid-90s, I remember seeing some teenage tennis prodigy on TV say that in five years, she’d be the #1 player in the world and that her younger sister would be #2. Yeah right, I thought.

If she hadn’t been named for a planet, I probably would have forgotten about this news segment entirely, but it turned out she was exactly right (except for which one would wind up #1)

So in 2017, I thought, Maybe Lonzo Ball will be an all-time NBA great.

And maybe his brothers will make it to the big league, too.

And maybe LaVar will make a great on-screen talent for WWE.

At least the jury is still out on two of those predictions.

It was June 26th, 2017, mere days after the Los Angeles Lakers picked Lonzo Ball in the NBA Draft, just as his dad had predicted.

And so with only two weeks left until the first and only Great Balls of Fire event, WWE invited some other famous Balls onto Raw. That’s called synergy, baby!

LaVar, the Laker-bound Lonzo, and his youngest brother LaMelo would appear at the Staples Center…

UCLA-bound middle son LiAngelo Ball did not participate, perhaps not wanting to compromise his eligibility by appearing with WWE (which still has a whole lot to learn from NCAA about restricting and exploiting its athletes).

…on Miz TV, whose hosts were big stars in LA themselves.

There was Miz, star of the Marine films…

…and his wife Maryse, best known for her role as Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth.

An excited LaVar Ball ran to the ring like a… hmmm… how can I put this?

Like someone with childlike innocence.

Speaking of which, Miz had heard LaVar was going to team up with a WWE Superstar as part of his Big Baller Brand, whose business model was also full of childlike innocence; Ball planned to market his crappy, overpriced sneakers solely off the reputation of three unproven talents.

But if Miz thought he was going to be the one to partner with the BBB, he had another thing coming! And so did LaVar if he thought the LA crowd would rally behind him and his brand.

LaVar, it seemed, didn’t think someone like Miz was on his level. Incensed, an incredulous Miz demanded to know how many championships he’d ever earned.

“Two!” said LaVar, who thought Miz had said, “points per game”.

Undeterred, Miz then asked the recently-drafted Lonzo (Remember him? He was in this segment, too) the same question, to which he responded, “Three”. Miz rightly pointed out that whatever championships he was talking about, they weren’t with UCLA. This garnered some major heat from the LA crowd.

LaVar then declared that “Miz” stood for Mis-Interpreted Zone, which garnered no pop whatsoever from the LA crowd because no one knew what the hell that meant.

And that’s where the segment fell apart. As Miz attempted a retort, LaVar talked over him to give another zinger: “Miz” actually stood for “MIllion Zippers.”

Miz, shouting over LaVar’s further outbursts about zippers, then brought up the fact that the delusional Ball said he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one. LaVar confusingly replied, “It’s only two dudes better than me, and I’m both of ‘em!” Those dudes never made it to the pros, either.

He then tried to sic his 16-year-old son LaMelo on the Intercontinental Champion (or as Miz put it, “unleash all the Balls” on him)…

…before scaling the first rope and shaking like the Ultimate Warrior’s obnoxious dad.

When Miz dared LaVar to back up all his boasting, LaVar told him he’d better stay in his lane, or else “the hunt is on and you the prey!” Even LaVar couldn’t take that line seriously, nearly cracking up.

“You want that belt?” he then asked Miz, who, for the record already had that belt. “Hey?”, he continued. “Ooooh, you makin’ me swwwwwwoooooo!”

Pitching a fit, LaVar imitated that comedian sampled in Harlem Heat’s theme music, then began to disrobe and practice his karate stance.

If all of this makes you think LaVar and the rest of the Ball family never coordinated with Miz ahead of time, it’s because they didn’t; LaVar simply decided he’d rather “wing it” than get even the gist of what the segment was supposed to accomplish.

Thankfully, WWE sent a very confused Dean Ambrose out to the ring to end the segment, but not before LaMelo repeatedly egged on his dad to “beat that n***a ass!”

This was a big no-no for WWE, which won’t even let Martin Luther King say, “Negro”.

Bottom line: Vince McMahon won’t tolerate anyone using that word (except for that one guy).

Clearly, with Ambrose in a BBB shirt, the payoff to this segment was supposed to be LaVar revealing Dean as the latest partner of Big Baller Brand…

…but somewhere between the stripping, the racial slurs, and the simulated salad-tossing, LaVar and company lost sight of this.

This payoff did come, but only during an abrupt commercial break.

When Raw returned a six-man tag was under way and the Ball family had already, as Michael Cole generously phrased it, “left the ring”. In fact, they had vacated the whole ringside area and wouldn’t appear on camera for the rest of the program.

Wherever they were, let’s hope they weren’t listening to the match’s commentary, wherein Corey Grave and Booker T called Big Baller Brand’s ugly, expensive sneakers ugly and expensive.

Yes, the same Big Baller Brand that WWE had been plugging the daylights out of just ten minutes earlier.

That’s got to be some kind of record.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
25 Responses to "Induction: LaVar Ball on MizTV – It takes a lot of Balls to put on a segment this bad"
  1. mfm420 says:

    with how much the dad wants to protect his “brand” kinda surprised he didn’t try to sue titus for gimmick infringement after his trip at the saudi rumble

  2. PlasticDiverGuy says:

    This segment brought to you by IcoPro.

  3. Steve says:

    Whatever happened to the BBB by the way? Last I heard his partner was caught stealing money. I can’t blame him. I would have done the same if my friend was also a raving lunatic.

  4. JustAGuyGuy says:

    (which still has a whole lot to learn from NCAA about restricting and exploiting its athletes).
    HA GOT ‘EM.

  5. K7 says:

    You know, I think Titus had a better ring entrance than that when he went under it.

  6. Efraim says:

    Greetings from the other side of the Atlantic! Fun fact: This segment was the first and last time I ever heard of the Ball family or the Big Baller Brand.

  7. Al Boondy says:

    Having a (kinda) Lakers-themed induction postponed until Monday … What a weird (and unfortunate) coincidence considering the recent news.

  8. James says:

    Well…that was a Russo-type swerve.

    Not intended, I know, but a basketball-themed induction is kinda eerie all things considered…

  9. Chris V says:

    Yeah, I don’t follow pro sports either, so I had no idea what was going on.
    I wasn’t sure if these people were supposed to be real, or if this was some sort of strange attempt at satire about something I didn’t understand on the WWE’s part.

    I was even more confused when it seemed like the Ball family were working as heels with the Miz, who was supposed to be a heel.
    I couldn’t see the WWE bringing in some real celebrities only to treat them like insane, delusional heels against one of their heel wrestlers.

    The whole thing was like a surreal drug trip to me.

  10. RobVanDamIsABallerina says:

    Sweet jeebus, how did this not take 99% of the votes for Gooker that year?? This was probably going through Moxley’s head on replay until the day he left.

    • CP says:

      I think they try to stay away from blatantly obvious choices in most cases. 🙂

      Going a little further on Lavar Ball…wasn’t this, like, his last major appearance on any television show while his fifteen minutes of fame were just about to expire?

    • djm says:

      To be a “gooker” winner requires a certain “so bad it’s good” quality. If a segment is just dull & boring, it won’t be memorable (in a good way?) enough.

    • Si says:

      It finished sixth, in fact, though 2017 was a strong year (1 Jinder, 2 Bray-Orton, 3 Angle-Jordan, 4 Bayley-Alexa, 5 Borash-Matthews) and it’s likely most people forgot about a single segment from six months earlier.

    • RobVanDamIsABallerina says:

      Well all I can say is that this whole thing makes me…SWWWWOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  11. Presidente Clinton Dempsey says:

    Given the recent tragedy, it’s a damn shame that WWE never had Kobe as a special guest on RAW or the seven Summerslams in a row held at the Staples Center from 2008-14. I like Shaq, but he was only brought up to stank-eye Big Show whenever creative thought turning him heel would refreshen his career. At least Kobe – like Charles V – could speak to God in Spanish and bury Santino’s comedy gimmick in Italian, thus giving the fans a chance to listen to a language properly spoken by someone actually raised in Calabria. How they didn’t think of making money by featuring the most recognizable basketball player in the world since Jordan, and instead book an internet clown who rides the coattails of his sons is beyond me. Hell, even Dennis Rodman got more views for WCW, whereas the Balls dropped… the ratings

    Fun bit of trivia: LaMelo sounds like “lámelo”, which Spanish for “lick it.” That’s funnier than Abraham Washington’s entire career.

  12. Sean Bateman says:

    Art had some Big Balls for reminding us for this

  13. Thomas Moffatt says:

    I am so glad I fast forward through all things Miz and missed this shite the first time…

  14. CF says:

    Steve Austin had his day with “WHAT?”; this could be filed under “WHO?”

  15. NextChamp says:

    I will always remember Dean’s face as LaVar is just shouting the “N” word out on live TV.

    I don’t know if this is when Dean started to first contemplate leaving WWE…but I bet you dollars to donuts it was.

  16. Guest says:

    Considering some of the stupid stuff that Dean was involved before this?

    Like

    – Having a monitor blow up in his face.
    – Trying to attack a hologram
    – The feud with Lesnar
    – The storyline with Ellsworth
    – Being the odd man out when the Shield split up. In addition to them retconning Rollins as being the leader of the Shield.

    You’d be out of whatever money you’d betting

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