QOTD #16: Insulting Your Intelligence

Welcome back to a quiet Sunday as we round out the long
weekend.
Today’s Question:
What was the most
intelligence insulting wrestling segment you’ve ever seen?
We’ll look back on your answers tomorrow. To jump right in
to the discussion, hit the comments button above, or scroll to the end of the
article.

Yesterday, I asked you about the most ill conceived heel
turn in wrestling history, and you guys delivered in spades. Your answers are
below.
flamingtoilet: Duggan joining Team Canada. After making his
entire career as Mr. YOO-ESS-AYYY! and waving the flag nonstop, he suddenly
shaves his beard and becomes a Maple Leaf-loving, O-Canada singing cohort of
Lance Storm and company less than a year after he refused to renounce the flag
after losing the Revolution?
Truth be told, I think Russo’s plan was to turn Duggan
around the time he was feuding with the Revolution the first time, only he got
fired before he could get it done. As soon as he came back, he made sure to
right his wrongs, and took it out on lifetime patriot Jim Duggan. I once wrote
an article detailing 5 things Vince Russo killed in WCW, and Jim Duggan was on
the list. I just reposted on my WCW blog, so check it out here (shill shill
shill): http://shootingstar-press.blogspot.ca/2014/07/5-wcw-characters-systematically.html
White Thunder: CM Punk in 2012 was awful. He was one of the
most over guys on the roster, fans didn’t buy it. He did everything short of
stomping a box of puppies in the ring and still got cheered, and not good
“cool heel” heat but actual babyface heat. He ended playing a cheesy
Southern style heel and exploiting his Memphis fetish, just awful. When he
finally got the chance to be the actual last match on a PPV not involving Cena
he choked big time failing to do his promised “Flair carry job”
against Ryback. That match sucked. Now had they turned Rock heel instead of
Punk, fans would have eaten that shit up with a fork and spoon. Imagine how
cool that Mania season would’ve been with Hollywood Rock battling CM Punk and
then going to Mania against Cena.
I have to disagree with you here. Had CM Punk not turned
heel, he wasn’t getting through the summer with the belt and he knew it. The
writing was on the wall. If anyone was hurt by his heel turn, it was Ryback who
was running as hot as any babyface at the time, but they couldn’t put the strap
on him because The Rock had been promised to beat the longest running champ in
25 years. I realize a lot of people weren’t interested in re-running Punk as a
heel, but it was the only option he had if he wanted to be taken seriously as
the lead dog.
Tom Dawkings: Austin Aries in 2012. He worked his way up
in TNA to become the most over face in the company and then inexplicably turned
heel because he was feuding with Jeff Hardy and TNA wanted to back Hardy as the
#1 face in the company.
jobber123: My answer is one that doesn’t matter in the
grand scheme of things but it underscores most of what’s wrong with the wwe.
Titus O’Neal turning heel on Darren Young and splitting up the ptp was
terrible. Was the ptp going to revolutionize the industry? Of course not. But
they were a fun tag team that was over and helped round out the roster. Theres
a certain value to having over mid card tag teams the crowd can pop for. But
the wwe turned one guy and broke up the team. For what? Neither guy got a push
and both are half as over as before. Just a waste.
I’m with you. The tag-team division these days is so weak,
that the company’s in no position to be rushing through them, but of course
that’s only a point if the bookers actually cared about it. The division was
positively loaded as we headed into this millennium, but ever since the Edge
and Christian split at the end of 2001, and the subsequent dicking around of
the Hardys, the division has been an afterthought.
Glen4321: Cesaro’s heel turn from the week after
Wrestlemania XXX was a bad heel turn. Cesaro seemed to turn face at
wrestlemania by showing Big Show respect. Then they turned him again by
aligning him with Heyman. He seems to have stagnated since. He has a very face
oriented moveset, and the fans want to cheer him, so they probably should have
let him turn face. Also the fact that Bryan was injured would have opened up a
spot for him higher up the card as a face.
I thought for sure they were going to have Heyman be the
ultimate tweener between his two clients, especially after his promo the night
after Mania, but it wasn’t meant to be. Cesaro continues to tread water, and
while this pairing certainly hasn’t worked, I’m not sure we’re not going to be
seeing bigger things from Cesaro yet …
Petrock: TNA does not get enough credit for fucking
up Monty Brown when they had him join Planet Jarrett.
Jared Bellow: McMahon being announced as the Higher Power
was a really bad one but it doesn’t get the shit it should for being a bad heel
turn because Vince McMahon turned back and forth so many times. It was at a
time where they really needed to keep following the direction of McMahon losing
power and control to build up the Undertaker more and start going down some
different avenues. The nonsensical alignment with the Ministry of Darkness
began 15 years of nonstop authority angles and GMs; a cycle of bullshit we
still lament today.
Great choice. Vince was the one choice *nobody* wanted to
see. It was too obvious, and given that he’d gone from being the guy who
screwed Bret and tried the same with Austin, to a sympathetic, vulnerable
babyface was a lost opportunity. The entire angle was sharted away within 5
minutes anyway, when Stephanie and Linda sold their controlling stock to Steve
Austin, so the previous several months was rendered moot. ATTITUDE ERA~!
BeardMoney: Bret Hart’s heel turn in WCW was terrible
and made it clear the company had no idea what to do with the guy. It really
left him in the middle of nowhere–not an actual member of the NWO; not a rival
of the NWO (meaning no Hogan match); just a bitter dude who really wanted to
make sure everyone knew that he’d been screwed.
I’m tempted to ask which heel turn, but truthfully every WCW
turn was ridiculous. The guy came in the middle of the most controversial storm
in wrestling history, starts stuff with Hogan right from the get-go, and …
promptly wastes most of the year wrestling DDP and Lex Luger, while turning
heel as some vague nWo ally. Then, his brother passes away, Bret is as
sympathetic as ever, and he joins the nWo for whatever reason was convenient
that week. Vince was right – WCW had no idea what to do with the Hitman
character.
davidbonzaisaldanamontgomery:
Eddie in 2003, when he was over as fuck
in Los Guerreros then they tried to turn him via putting Tajiri through his
windshield. Except that he was so over, they still popped for him. It was
awesome when Eddie tried to cut a heel promo the next week on SD, saying stuff
like “FROM NOW ON, I’M ONLY GONNA LOOK OUT FOR NUMBER ONE” and the
crowd was still cheering like crazy that they didn’t even bother using the heat
machine.
I think it speaks volumes about where Eddie was as a
performer that even when a heel turn failed, rather than have his character
tailspin, he managed to turn it into World Championship babyface heat. The turn
led to the era of Lie, Cheat, and Steal, I can’t agree with you.
Devin Harris: My vote is Flair after 99. I don’t know why
WCW kept trying to turn the guy heel. No one was interested in booing him after
the Horseman reunion.
Especially after getting screwed around all year by Eric
Bischoff in REAL LIFE which everyone knew about. The nWo turns his own son
against him, tries to kill him in a field, Eric Bischoff having been stripped
of his power does everything Flair asks of him poorly, but he hits Hogan with a
tire-iron so he’s a heel. WCW, ladies and gentlemen.
Extant1979: A lot of the heel turns mentioned so far
were bad, but most ill-conceived? The most ill-conceived heel turn in recent
memory was turning Michael Cole heel a couple years back. While commentary with
Cole and King has never been as good as the all-star lineup we had in the 1980s
and early 1990s, it was downright horrendous when Cole was heeling it up,
ostensibly as the play-by-play guy. It handcuffed the commentary even worse
than it was, not to mention leading to one of the worst WrestleMania decisions
in a long time – Cole winning by DQ over Jerry Lawler. There have been a LOT of
stupid heel turns over the years, none of them made less sense than turning the
play-by-play announcer.
They’ve tried it a bunch of times (Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross,
Mike Tenay), and it never, ever works. Most of the time it’s recognized quickly
and the status quo returns, but they drew this out for about 2 years. I’ll give
them credit for taking it as far as they could, by even giving Cole his own
private bulletproof booth for protection, but let’s all agree to leave the
announcers out of the storylines whenever possible.
Marv Cresto: Gotta be Austin at 17 as so many others have
said, unlike Hogan’s turn that kicked business up a notch Austin’s turn is
pretty much the bookend of the highest grossing era in history. Despite being
some of the best character work of his career it all just seemed so forced and
pointless, and then the Invasion happened and the business itself became such a
clusterfuck there was just no saving it.
This was one of the most popular answers of the day. I don’t
think anyone disagrees that Austin probably needed to try something different,
after 3 years on top as the beer drinking, ass kicking Texas Rattlesnake.
Everyone’s character grows stale without change. With that in mind, Austin as a
heel was the least preferred choice. He tried. Man did he try, and he went
balls to the wall. His work through the InVasion pay-per-view was top notch,
but once he joined WCW the entire concept of his turn in the first place was
now nonsense, and he was just doing stupid heely things to stay heel.
Unfortunately, Austin’s heart was no longer in it by the time he turned back,
he legitimately didn’t trust anyone, and one of the best performers in history
went out with a whimper instead of a bang. (Even though his last match was a
doozy)
ETB757: It’s hard to get any more pointless than
Bischoff’s “BIG SURPRISE” in 2000, which was that stupid Goldberg
heel turn.
This was another very popular choice. Goldberg hadn’t done
anything of note since dropping the belt some 18 months earlier, but this was
only because the company had it in their heads that the direction Goldberg
needed was the “chase” but without ever pulling the goddamn trigger. Despite
that he was the only organic product that fans really loved and identified with
the brand. Of course, they needed to turn him heel, because Bischoff promised a
major pay-per-view happening that Vince McMahon couldn’t do anything about, but
had nothing in his pocket. It’s making me mad just thinking about it all over
again. Then he did heelish things like kill Jim Duggan dead on Nitro, and eat
Scott Hall’s contract (LITERALLY). Then he turned face against and lost to Buff
Bagwell and we never saw him in WCW again.
BooBoo1782: As another commenter noted, it’s awfully
recent to be in the conversation, but the Daniel Wyatt turn was a really bad
idea. Thing is, I can see why WWE wanted to do it. I still like the idea of the
Wyatts adding new family members, particularly former babyfaces. I still think
there’s a great arc that could be done along these lines with Zack Ryder – he
was Cena’s friend and it got him nowhere, so now he’s with the Wyatts because
he knows what Cena really is – but it would involve Ryder getting enough TV
time for it not to be patently obvious that he was being brought back for the
express purpose of turning on Cena and joining the Wyatts. The problem was that
Creative was just so tone-deaf to how over Bryan was, and the crossover appeal
of the “Yes Movement” ™. It was the right idea with the absolute
wrong guy, and I think it killed a lot of the momentum the Wyatt family angle had.
The only positives I can give this is the writers recognized
within weeks how bloody bad this deal was and hit the abort button as fast as
they could before his heat was hurt.
KJP: Hennig turning on the Horsemen anyone?
Though that one was not bad so much in concept as it was in the execution. The
last big faction feud WCW had in their arsenal and they couldn’t wait to flush
it.
KJP, you win my heart here. Had Hennig been a Horsemen
member longer, it wouldn’t have been bad, but it’s like they could not wait to
screw over Flair and move Hennig into the coveted 19th guy on the
nWo totem pole slot. The Horsemen really needed to over here to help keep some
hope that WCW could beat the nWo threat, but it was more of the same.
Adam “Colorado”
Curry:
Sting in 2000. Why the FUCK
would ANYONE think turning Sting heel would be a good idea? Oh yeah, Russo…
It was 1999, but you hit my choice square on the head.
In late 1996, Sting, the ultimate WCW loyalist, had his
integrity questioned by everyone including his closest friend Lex Luger
regarding the nWo. So humiliated and frustrated at the stupidity around him,
Sting hid in the rafters for the next 15 months, sulking and periodically
beating the ever loving shit out of the nWo with his baseball bat.
Going in to 1998 as the champion, Sting proceeds to get
dicked around by shady referees, fake fast counts, and somehow Hogan winds up
with the belt again. He is taken out by nWo ally Bret Hart and shelved for 6
months. Upon return, he wins the World Title against lifetime midcarder DDP,
only to defend it later that night and lose it back. So when he finally gets a
title shot against Hogan that fall, Sting makes the best of it, and 3-years
worth of frustration come boiling to the surface and he hits Hogan square in
the face with a baseball bat. How is this the work of a heel? He’s then booked
in a feud with Ric Flair … you know, the guy who turned on Sting about 14
different times from 1989 through 1995. Again, how is he the bad guy? The fans
flat out rejected the entire thing, and within 2 months Sting is back to face
status and hiding in the rafters.

Then he brawled in a graveyard and got set on fire later that night, but we’d
all prefer to think that never happened.
Have a great day, BoD.