Hey, speaking of Jesse…. > Since you have two people writing in about Randy Orton, might as well give you a lucky number three on the subject in terms of a third email on him.
> Any reason why the WWE refuses to turn Randy Orton heel? With the ascension of Punk, the WWE has been struggling with the need to find heels and let alone those who are big enough to be credible threats. And as it has been said, Orton seems to know that his days as the top face is over what with him wanting to go heel.
> This is most notable when you consider that Sheamus has effectively upstaged Orton as a top face on Smackdown and the fact that Orton would have been tailor made for a rival for Punk during his time as a good guy world champion, far better than Jericho in terms of a filler feud during the first half of 2012.
> Does Vince fear that turning Orton heel might hurt his merch sales? Or is it more or less him being contrary simply for the sake of being contrary, especially since Orton himself has requested a return to the dark side for his character?
> Jesse He just turned on Smackdown, didn't he? Unless he was possessed by Dr. Octopus.
> Jesse Baker Mode: ON
> Noticing that HHH has been "high" on certain talent over the years (Sandow, Sheamus, Ambrose) and Bryan being HBK's "star pupil" do you think that a new Kliq: TNG could form in the the next 2-3 years? Uh, let's leave Jesse Baker mode off, please. Unless you want me to troll you with how awesome Superior Spider-Man is. Because its pretty fucking awesome. Anyway, the total neutering of talent combined with HHH's bullheaded ego pretty much guarantees that there won't be another Kliq any time soon. That would mean that someone else was on his level, you see.
The Feedback Feedbag! Four-11 Edition! Greetings and welcome to a new era here for the Feedbag, as I mock my readers on 411wrestling.com for the first time! Smell the ratings! I’m pretty backlogged, so if anything here is horribly out of date, you know why. (Man, I wish my inbox was only as “backlogged” as it was in those days. Currently sitting at 192 mails dating back to January.) We start out with Daniel, who goes right for the jugular by asking the philosophical equivalent of “What is the meaning of life”…
Oh well. Thanks for the short(if not to the point) reply about it. I was just curious to know if you could answer a question I have concerning your star ratings: They seem to be totally different then most puro heads. For instance, i see people give the ladder match from WMX ***3/4, while they give matches from NJPW and AJPW higher ratings then you do. Is there some kind of weird acquired taste that you reviewers have in regards to these matches, because I just don’t understand why there is a rarely a match that is universally given the same rating.
Geez, don’t give me a HARD question or anything, dude. Why can’t anyone ask me for my top 10 Friends episodes or something? (Before you e-mail, that answer will follow at the end of the e-mail) Anyway, match ratings vary WILDLY according to personal taste, experience, state of mind, drugs taken, alcohol consumed, time of day, number of times watched and who you voted for in the 2000 election. For instance, when you read my reviews, you’re reading someone who didn’t get introduced into the real hardcore puro stuff until fairly late in the game (and by hardcore I mean “40 minute Misawa matches” not “Atsushi Onita”) so when I’m watching the heavily-historically-influenced AJPW stuff, my thoughts on the match don’t tend to include all the little nuances like such-and-such psychology being used to negate such-and-such a move that was used in such-and-such a match 5 years ago type of thing. Plus I fucking hate the whole NJPW heavyweight style outside of a couple of guys, so I just tend to ignore it altogether. As for the ladder match, most of the people who give it ***** were watching it live on the PPV in 1994, and most who give it lower only saw it afterwards. That’s my generalized take on it. It’s a very powerful match the first time you see it, but if you’re watching it compared to the more psychology-driven AJPW stuff or the more spot-heavy late 90s ladder stuff, I can see where it might get dragged down as a result. But that’s the wonderful thing about subjective star ratings — what people give different matches helps you, the reader, determine for yourself what their tastes are going to be, and you can adjust your own mindset towards their work accordingly. If star ratings were objective and truly universal, it’d be pretty boring and stifling, creatively speaking. In my opinion only, of course. John Ratchford writes to ask…
I am writing a piece about pro-wrestlers in feature films, with specific reference to WWF wrestler The Rock’s upcoming role in The Scorpion King. As the author of ‘The Buzz on Professional Wrestling’, I was hoping I could ask you a few questions: The Rock has shown he can be a proven draw in the wrestling arena. Do you think this popularity will transfer across to the box office? Is The Rock getting film roles purely because of his popularity as wrestler, or does he have some genuine acting ability? Can The Rock transcend the stigma of being a wrestler and become a legitimate actor, or will his Hollywood career resemble Hulk Hogans (star of ‘Santa with Muscles’, quite possibly the worst movie ever made)?
Yay, lists, everybody loves questions in the form of a list. 1) Box office is a different animal than wrestling completely. No one has any clue what causes people to draw at the box office, despite what industry weasels may claim while relentlessly shilling the latest Brendan Fraser vehicle before it tanks. I mean, for proof of that, try to explain the popularity of Robin Williams or Adam Sandler. For instance, if movies were wrestling, someone like Fraser would become a draw, because he’d get pushed and repackaged until he got over due to having the “movie star look”. Hollywood is in some ways a lot more unforgiving, and if something tanks once, sometimes you don’t get another chance at it, no matter how you look or act. Personally, I don’t think Rock can carry a $200 million blockbuster, but god knows I’ve wrong about stuff like that before. (Yeah, I was wrong about that one, for sure.) 2) Rock is getting roles due to his incredible natural charisma and sucking up to the right people in the right places at the right time. Rock was put into a very public Hollywood position early on, and he carried himself like one of the homegrown LA parasites and as a result he’s part of the “in club” now. And good for him. I’d rather see Rock making $20 million a movie and having his biggest concern be the temperature of his bottled water, rather than wasting his time carrying the WWF through bad times and killing his body. 3) I think if any wrestler can transcend wrestling, it’s the Rock. He’s one of the only ones to not get caught up in the politics of being a wrestler, and not take themselves so seriously in such a ridiculous profession. People who think that online fans take this shit too much to heart should talk to a worker, even a low-level one, sometime. The biggest marks are the ones in the ring, and Rock is so far above that sort of nonsense that leaving the business doesn’t have to be like leaving the Mafia, like with every other guy who “retires”. (And good for Rock, he did transcend wrestling.) MR FTW writes…
“The replay is obviously doctored by the biased American production crew in order to simulate someone holding the tights.” …You do realize this doesn’t really make any sense considering both Edge and Jericho are Canadian don’t you?
That’s exactly the sort of response I was expecting from those trying to throw me off the scent! The truth is out there, I knew it. GBK from AOL writes…
I’m sure others have covered this better, but why were d’lo brown, DDP and Sean ‘o Haire burried like they were. It doesn’t make any sense. I love the rants and keep up the good work.
Okay, here we go… 1) D’Lo Brown was buried, fairly or not, because he broke Droz’s neck with a botched powerbomb, and politically speaking the only way to keep everyone happy was to punish him. I don’t necessarily agree with that move, but that was their decision to deal with it, and there’s nothing to be done about it now. Personally I think they had high hopes for Droz which were totally unfounded in reality and D’Lo is paying the price despite being a better long-term prospect, but Droz is a tall, muscular white guy who played football while D’Lo is a short, chubby black guy who used to be an accountant, so draw your own conclusions. 2) I go over the DDP situation in the new book, Tonight…In This Very Ring, in great detail, but basically my own theory is that DDP got buried as a message to those from WCW who used their political influence to get their spot, rather than “hard work”. This is of course a bunch of crap, and hypocritical crap at that considering who the WWF champion is today, but then DDP is the one who signed the lucrative deal in WCW while the buyrates were dropping faster than Missy Hyatt at a Viagra testing lab, so he knew what he was getting into. 3) Sean O’ Haire is another one of those Mafia-type “messages”, and in this case the message was “WCW wanted to push this guy to the moon, so we don’t want to.” They might spew crap about how he can’t work “WWF style” and he’s “not ready”, but I’ve got two words: Big Show. Hell, you’re telling me that Brock Lesnar is such an original and difficult idea to pull off that Sean couldn’t have been used in the same role? Of course not, but O’Haire is a WCW product, so he has to be deprogrammed and buried to let everyone know that indeed Vince has a bigger dick than Bischoff. (Turns out there was other stuff with O’Haire, like his total inability to cut a promo outside of the pre-taped vignettes, but then that’s what pairing him with Roddy PIper as a mouthpiece should have solved. O’Haire should have been HUGE.) Mr. DHS has some stuff on his mind…
Hey, Scott, just wanted to submit my two cents about this week as well as say that I think you’re still the most right-on ranter/recapper/columnist in the internet biz. You may not always be right, but you at least have the most thought-out and rational complaints of anyone out there. First off, I enjoyed Wrestlemania thoroughly. Okay, Rock-Hogan was a workrate nightmare, but I was predicting that from the start. Hulk can’t even take a punch or a simple back bump worth a shit. But the reaction he got in Toronto was truly awe-inspiring, and I give him credit for letting himself be emotionally affected by it instead of just acting like he deserved it. The match was well-booked for who was involved, and that will make it worthy of going down in history like it will. The rest of the card was lackluster, and the crowd wasn’t buying it. The bands? Bad fucking idea. I always say above all else remember: it’s the World WRESTLING Federation. Need I say more? As for Monday, Hogan’s inability to execute the legdrop with the left leg or just do the extra rope bounce to right himself was rather pitiful for me to endure. I am sick of nWo finishes. Really sick. I really dig RVD. He deserves 20 minutes and free reign to attempt as many suicidal spots as he wants every week. Well, maybe not, but he at least should get 15 minutes to work with Christian again. Give Edge-Angle 15 while you’re at it. I hate Stephanie. And she isn’t even hot. The boob job makes her look fat, that’s it, I swear. And Thursday? I’m already sick of Brock Lesnar. Beating up on Spike, Hurricane and Molly does NOT impress me, nor should it anyone. I hate to say it, but they’re actually wasting Heyman with this mongoloid. He isn’t even as BIG as Goldberg (or Jewish), how is he gonna get over like Goldberg? Hey, I think Nash actually worked better than Hogan, call me crazy. Well, except for that Fucking Bearhug of Hideous DiscomfortTM he pulled out. X-Pac looked in good shape, and the new duds are really working for those nWo boys. And that’s…about it for them. If not a SPLIT, at least fucking call it a DRAFT. Who knows, you might pull in a couple of random sports fans instead of driving away lots of confused wrestling fans who think “brand extension” means the WWF is gonna start selling breakfast cereals and toiletries on Monday. With all that said, you have continued to be fair and either postive or negative depending on your honest opinion of things throughout everything, and that is why I remain loyal to your rants and refuse to give in to the negativity that surrounds your good name. Maybe you can escape the AOL Criticism Zone by switching places with a Mirror Universe Scott Keith who types all his rants in pure white on black backgrounds and offers to sodomize Vince Russo for his benevolent brilliance at the end of every column. Just a thought.
Even the Mirror Universe Scott would not want to sodomize Vince Russo, of that I can assure you. I think Paul Roma might need the money, though, so perhaps he’s available in my place. Stephen Osborne asks…
Since this isn’t about me, it’s about you, let’s ignore the facts that I’m not a big fan of AOL and that I’m not taking the Scaia ground on your original Monday column… All the credit in the world to you for finding a way to entertain yourself when Monday’s show certainly couldn’t do it. My only disappointment with the column is that I was looking forward to your bashing on Tuesday and had to wait an extra day for it. At this point, do you think the WWF needs something of the same magnitude as when the nWo was introduced or a “Montreal”? Or what kind of small steps can they take? Lastly, if the WWF is on a WCW-like slide, do you think there will be some promotion there to pick up the slack? Or is it time to stick the proverbial fork in wrestling / sportz entertainment as we know it?
I don’t think this is a “WCW-like slide” at all, my point has always just been that you can see vestiges of WCW in what they’re doing, and following WCW’s lead on ANYTHING cannot possibly lead to good. I think it’s easily turned around in the long run, they just need to tweak the product with some Pride-like realism in terms of the in-ring action and train the fans to accept the wrestling portions of the show as important again. (Which they did. It was a LONG re-training period to get Attitude era Russo fans back into stuff like submissions and long matches on RAW.) Not to say that everyone should go around working the arm with cross-armbreakers for the whole match, but using high kicks instead of punches can go a long way towards dispelling the whole stereotype about “stomp stomp punch” type of lame matches and establish that indeed there’s something new and different on the horizon. Wrestling is a change-or-die industry, and if nothing else, at least the split shows SOME willingness to admit that a major change was necessary to prevent the business from getting too stagnant again. You never would have seen that from WCW — it would have been lost in the beancounting bureaucracy and filed in a manila folder under a mayonnaise jar in the basement of CNN Center before anyone knew it existed. Chris Tayler writes…
“I’m kinda suprised you didn’t at least enjoy that Benoit was the fifth overall pick, ahead of hogan and kane and such. That has to at least hint that the WWF has plans for him. Plus, they put him in the same division as Angle, which can only lead to good things. A quick questions. Who do you think is a better technical wrestler, Benoit before he was hurt or Angle. I’m not really sure myself, although I think Angle gets more out of his opponents(witness his KOTR match with Shane). At any rate, I enjoy your work, you’re one of the few I still read, and, god help me, actually look forward to your next book. Later.”
Well, Angle WAS an Olympic gold medalist, so I’d say he wins that one by default. I don’t actually agree that Benoit’s placement means anything in terms of plans, it was just one of those weird political things to keep everyone relatively happy. And on that note, we close up the Feedbag Feedbag!
The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 06.06.13 So I’m assuming that Rampage Jackson was the “major free agent” Dixie Carter was talking about, then? Live from Atlanta, GA Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Tazz. So long, whoever the third guy was. Bully Ray joins us to start, and the crowd is not very happy to see him. Bully single-handedly defeating Sting on Sunday, you see, and Sting might even retire now. He’s destroyed everyone, no one’s left, so he should be in the Hall of Fame now. Bully is such a great dickhead. Hulk Hogan interrupts the monologue to announce that it’s the Bound For Glory Series Selection Show, and also Bully is facing Jeff Hardy tonight in a ladder match. Meanwhile, Chavo and Hernandez talk about getting added to the BFG Series, and seemingly dissolve the team. Hernandez v. Chavo Guerrero Winner of this gets added to the Series. Chavo tries some uppercuts out of the corner, but gets thrown down, so he goes to the arm instead. Hernandez misses a splash and Chavo hits a senton and goes back to the arm. Hernandez comes back and pounds away, and a backbreaker gets two. Slingshot shoulderblock misses and Chavo hits the Three Amigos, but Hernandez powers out. Chavo keeps coming with a rolling kick in the corner and he goes up, but the frog splash hits the knees. Border Toss is reversed by Chavo, but Hernandez rolls him up for the pin at 5:04. Chavo teases a heel turn, but then puts him over instead. **1/2 Meanwhile, Rampage is here. Devon is out, bitching about losing the TV title to Abyss. Joseph Park answers instead, and he attacks. That advantage doesn’t last long, as Devon beats the hell out of him…but Abyss’ music interrupts. Devon leaves to find him, apparently still not catching onto the gag. Robbie E v. Samoa Joe Robbie E feels confident in his chances here…for some reason. Last year, he got 5 points, you know. Joe destroys him and casually steps out of the way of a flying bodypress, a spot that I never get tired of. Muscle Buster and choke ends the slaughter at 1:40. ½* Meanwhile, Mickie James “apologizes” to Velvet Sky because Taryn stole her “day-saving” moment last week, but she’ll totally give her a rematch as soon as Velvet is healthy. Rampage Jackson is out, and Kurt Angle quickly interrupts. They do an intense staredown and that’s that. Good enough. Meanwhile, Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson discuss strategy and question Hogan’s political games. Anderson may or may not be the new VP as a result. Bobby Roode, Austin Aries & Kenny King v. Gun-Storm & Chris Sabin Sabin controls King with armdrags and the heels all bail to the floor. Sabin hits them all with a dive, but Aries trips him up on the way in and the heels take over. Sabin escapes and brings in Storm, and he runs wild on Roode, but again Aries uses a cheapshot to turn the tide. Storm takes the beating, but it’s hot tag Gunner, and the crowd is actually reacting to him because they treated him like a big deal. How about that. Slingshot suplex on King gets two, but he walks into the Roode spinebuster. It’s BONZO GONZO as everyone hits their highspots, and Sabin finishes King with the Cradle Shock at 6:40. Fun match. **3/4 Mickie James v. Taeler Hendrix Taeler goes after the arm while Mickie does the over-the-top sportsman act, and a dropkick gets two. The crowd quickly loses interest due to a fight or something in the background, and Taeler goes up while Mickie claims a knee injury. Hendrix of course falls for it, and the Mick Kick finishes at 3:45. ½* Is it me or was Hendrix looking a little rough and pudgy here? Meanwhile, Devon and Knux investigate things backstage, and fall victim to Abyss in an oddly cinematic shot done all in shadows. Ladder match: Jeff Hardy v. Bully Ray This is non-title, with a hammer hanging above the ring. Hardy attacks to start and gets the headscissors out of the corner, sending Bully crashing into the table outside. Hardy follows with a clothesline off the apron, but Bully takes over as we take a break. Back with Bully controlling with a backdrop, and he drops a ladder on Hardy. Bully clarifies that he doesn’t need the hammer, and in fact his fist is the metaphorical hammer. Had a Dr. Horrible flashback there for a minute. Bully stops to mock his father-in-law, but this allows Hardy to come back with a DDT. Hardy wins a slugfest and climbs, but Bully brings him down. Hardy dropkicks the ladder into Bully’s other metaphorical hammer, but he climbs again and gets brought down. Taz gives advice from ringside about wearing a cup next time in one of the stranger commentary conversations. Hardy climbs again and gets brought down again, but comes back with the Whisper in the Wind. Another climb, and another Hardy bump back down, and this time Bully climbs and gets the hammer, all while still selling his injured groin. Tacky but hilarious. Jeff hits the Twist, causing the hammer to fly cartoonishly out of Bully’s hand and into Jeff’s, so Bully runs away, and that’s apparently the end of it at 17:00. That was quite the brazen non-finish to a ladder match. But then the rules weren’t particularly well defined anyway. *** We head backstage, where Hogan stalks Bully with a hammer, but Brooke stops him and we’re out. The Pulse Super-fun show with a hot crowd, crappy ending aside. Of course now they have nothing to build to for four months.
CulturebUlly sent this in for the QOTD, and it’s a damn good one.
“You’re challenged with trying to turn someone into a pro wrestling fan. You can show them one match/angle. Which do you choose?”
I think I’d go with Orton vs Foley from 2004. It’s a damn great story, and the blow off from Backlash just so happens to be my all time favorite match. I think it’d be a great story to introduce someone to, because you’re clamoring to see Mick shut him up, however he doesn’t seem so sure of himself. Then the match at Backlash is such a spectacle, and so fantastic that there’s no way a person couldn’t enjoy it. It’s the right amount of brutal, and doesn’t reach the idiotic levels of something like CZW.