Guest Post: Sports Review Wrestling PREDICTIONS!

Sports Review Wrestling Predictions into 1998…What They Were And Why They Weren’t As Ridiculous As You Might Think. Took some inspiration from the ongoing WWF Magazine recaps on the BOD, and remembered that I had this in my possession (not for long…as of this writing you can purchase it from my eBay store at jmfabianorpl, with other wrestling goods and more!  Jeter421 on Half.com has even more great items.  Anyway…) http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjQwWDQ4MA==/z/zPUAAOSw~uhUmvC8/$_57.JPG Back when I started being a wrestling fan, I had to have EVERYTHING related to the sport.  The action figures, the books, videos, I had to be around when anything even resembling wrestling was on television and I watched it ALL.  And of course, there were the magazines.  Like others, I started with the WWF Magazine, but then as I discovered other companies on TV, I took notice of other titles on the newsstand…especially those coming from Bill Apter and “TV Sports.”  Yes, the trinity of The Wrestler, Inside Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Illustrated especially…though I liked many of Apter’s side publications such as Wrestling ‘8x/’9x, Wrestling Superstars, and why I am here today, Sports Review Wrestling.   SRW really didn’t have anything that jumped out at you like the other Apter mags did…for example, Inside’s strengths included One on One (a phone conversation between rivals); Top 15 rankings, instead of the usual 10, for the major companies and a roll call of champions; and a “Where are they now?” page.  PWI had arena reports, “breaking” news, and full-color centerfolds.  SRW seemed to mostly be straight news most of the time.  Wrestling Superstars, while one of the B-listers, still had monthly dream matches, complete with storylines (such as a masked Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake assaulting Sting and Davey Boy Smith; El Gigante taking Andre the Giant’s mainstream popularity, causing the latter to get in bodybuilder’s shape for one big blowout; and the Road Warriors having a singles match competition for a car, ending inevitably in them facing each other).  However, more often than not, the other magazines would get something interesting, and the September 1988 SRW was no exception, as you can tell from the cover.  For this issue, the writers would attempt to guess what way the wrestling world would go in the next 10 years.  I am a sucker for this kind of thing, and love revisiting the fans’ predictions in the year-end PWIs.  So I had to have a look at this article and some of the things it foresaw.  I expected far-fetched weirdness and got some, but I must tell you…some of SRW’s predictions actually weren’t as far off from the truth as you may think… C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8209.JPG So, we start out with the bold prediction that a major corporation would take over the NWA by 1993, helping it compete with the WWF and even surpass it.  Coca-Cola (which would have lost Columbia Pictures years ago) and MCA (which would lose Universal in a couple of years) are named…BUT…we know how things really went down.  As the NWA would be purchased by Ted Turner, rebrand itself WCW, and would of course become a part of Time Warner eventually.  Now the article is 5 years off with the year of the purchase, which would actually be coming within months.   However, think about this: 1993 was when Eric Bischoff came to power, and though it took some more time, he would be the one in power when WCW did overtake the WWF.  And hey, the article is off by just one year as far as when that really happened.  You could even stretch things and say 1995 was the debut of Nitro, which was a catalyst in WCW becoming number one.   Next prediction involves “Sean” McMahon, Vince’s son (typo?  Misinformation?  DIDN’T KNOW BUT CAME REALLY, CLAIRVOYANTLY CLOSE?!!?), taking over the WWF by 1997.  Either that or you can say another Sean (or Shawn) was practically family with Vince by then, of course, being favored in the Montreal Screwjob and pretty much being allowed to get away with anything and, well, practically running the joint.  Name play aside, the dates again are still not that far off, and competition with WCW would indeed push the WWF harder, all the way into the Attitude Era, as the prediction states.  As for the prime-time comedy-drama, isn’t that one of the things they insist/insisted Raw and Smackdown are?  Then again, the XFL was pretty unintentionally comedic…but that was years off anyway.  This column also predicts that “Sean” will make WrestleMania 14 the first to be held in outer space…yeah, let’s pretend that SRW was actually seeing Steve Austin beginning the company’s rise into the stratosphere for the next 3 years.   C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8407.JPG C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8211.JPG OK bear with the blurriness here.  We have Michael Jackson signing a 10-year contract with the WWF in 1992 after doing an album of standards with Frank Sinatra.  MJ would be getting $50 million and by 1994 would primarily serve as a manager who loads his sequined glove to pass to his wrestlers.   I could simply say “no, but both would be dealing with PR scandals at the time.”   The Road Warriors were predicted to break up in 1990 and become singles wrestlers, only to feud when both Animal and Hawk wanted Paul Ellering for a manager.  They would have a one-on-one match at Great American Bash ’91 or Starrcade ’91 and cripple each other, ending both their careers, so the article said.  Now, any LOD partings in the ‘90s happened with whimpers (their split in 1992 when Hawk left the WWF; the teased feud in 1998 that was abandoned for the formation of LOD 2000…sup, Russo?).  Interestingly enough, Bash ’91 did feature a grudge match between the former members of a long-standing NWA/WCW tag team in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express.  And Starrcade of that year ended with a confrontation with ex-friends Sting and Lex Luger, in the Battlebowl finals.   Steve DiSalvo will be NWA world champion in 1993, managed by Harley Race, and he’ll run rampant until losing the title to Owen Hart in ’94.  The closest level of infamy DiSalvo achieved was becoming the first, or one of the first, IWC internet memes in 1991.  But a dominant world champion in NWA/WCW, managed by Race and dominating throughout 1992-94, sound familiar?   Also, Owen DID use the Sharpshooter/Scorpion Death Lock as a finisher, like someone’s arch rival during his tenure in WCW.   C:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8408.JPGC:UsersStaff.INTERNALDocumentsJames folder151___12IMG_8214.JPG When making a predictions article, Apter always loved to throw in a tease that Hulk Hogan would be turning rulebreaker.  This was no exception, as the writers saw Hogan beating Brutus Beefcake for the Intercontinental Title in ’93, then going to the NWA…to join the Four Horsemen.  Again, SRW was a few years ahead, but we all know that this basically happened with Hogan returning to his heel roots with a new elite group in the company.  And hey, Hogan did leave the WWF in 1993, although it took time for him to first show up in WCW.   Other predictions made in the column included: Larry Zbyszko getting his own talk show on WWF TV and beating the Ultimate Warrior for the I-C title; Elizabeth beating Wendi Richter in a 26-minute classic in ’94 to become WWF Women’s Champion; and Nick Bockwinkel coming out of retirement and regaining the AWA title in the mid ‘90s.  (Well, the latter can be likened to a certain legend winning the #3 company’s world title, on their first pay per view…) So Sports Review Wrestling…second coming of Nostradamus, or not worth the $1.75 it cost?  You decide…

Guest Thoughts on UFC 167

Hey Scott, Don’t know if you’d be interested, but here’s a little write up I did on my tiny blog – please feel free to share it on yours if you think it’s interesting. If not, that’s cool too. foeaminute So I’m writing this after the semi-controversial Hendricks vs GSP UFC fight.     If you even understand the combination of words and acronyms in that last sentence, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  If you don’t – here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: Johny Hendricks (that’s the correct spelling) pretty much handed Georges St. Pierre (GSP, and also the correct spelling) his ass in a televised, pay-per-view fight on Saturday night for one of the handful of weight divided, UFC Championships.  And no, I’m not going to explain what UFC stands for.  Do some Goddamned googling for yourselves.  And also, no, I’m not going to dwell on how “UFC Championship” is  redundant.  Anyway, the fight on Saturday staged the wonderful, sweet, handsome, intelligent, hairless, and supremely skilled defending champion of the UFC Welterweight Division, Georges St. Pierre, vs. the thuggish, one punchish, beardish challenger, Johny Hendricks. Let’s dummy this down for a second to something we all can relate to.  Schoolyard fights.  When you watched your friends in a fight in 5th grade, did you say to yourself, “Wow, George really had a slightly advantageous offensive position during a few seconds of the 2nd and 4th fifth of the fight, so he won, even though Johny made him make poopy and cry on the way home.”? You probably didn’t, but that’s kinda what happened tonight. It’s not a problem with Georges, who really is an impossibly great ambassador for a sport that should (and typically does) reward disgusting brutality.  He’s a smart, compassionate, knowledgeable guy.  He’s nearly impossible not to like, other than his accent.  And even if you said “You have a stupid accent” RIGHT TO HIS FACE, I’m sure he would slap you on the back and say, “C’mon fella.  I am not impress with your humourrr” – at worst.  Or at least I’m banking on that.  He has been scary, record-breakingly good during his tenure as (one of the) UFC Champion(s), but he still lost tonight. The problem is: the judging.  As has been a thorn in Boxing’s side for the last…ever, UFC is finally starting to feel the heat of putting the decision in the judges’ completely incapable hands.  And it’s not even the judges fault, per se.  It’s the issue of the rules in which they must score.  Theoretically, in a UFC fight, a guy could literally just lay on top of another guy for the first three rounds (assuming it’s a championship fight), and then get his eye removed, his nose blasted around the back of his head, and a fucking hole in his neck punched completely through during the last two rounds, and the judges would still have to judge his rotting corpse the winner over his Macarena-dancing, not very good current celebration dance having opponent.  And this isn’t a UFC specific problem, it’s a Boxing problem, too – except Boxing is even more problematic and corrupt, because it’s such a big business, and …hey.  It’s not.  UFC has finally reached Boxing levels of legitimacy! So they say, “Don’t leave it in the judges’ hands”.  But shouldn’t you be able to?  Shouldn’t you be able to trust a trained expert to see things in the favor of the person who did more right than the person who did more wrong?  Isn’t that the way justice wor…oh. So, here are my possible solutions: 1) If you’re gonna have judges, make them judge the fight as a whole. 2) Failing that, we have the fucking internet.  Let us judge. 3) Failing that, just let the guys fight until they can’t anymore and let them tell us who they think won at the end. In fact, let’s just go with 3.  It shouldn’t really matter to any of us more than it does them.  And they know.

HHH Guest Referee Question

Hey Scott.

Just a quick question about HHH inserting himself as guest referee into the Summerslam main event. Do you think it will hurt or help the buyrate?

Im sure Summerslam will get a great buyrate regardless but if people were unsure about ordering before RAW I think HHH might of turned people against it. The Cena-Bryan match should be awesome and didn't need any sort of stipulation to it to try and improve buys. Now we are expecting some kind of screwed up finish and feel it may put people off ordering. 

What do you think?

Martyn

Buyrates are pretty much set in stone year to year right now and it takes a LOT to move the needle now.  Rumble does what it does, Wrestlemania does around a million give or take, Money in the Bank does 100K-120K, and Summerslam is pretty steady because wrestling fans are creatures of habit first and foremost, and only big things like Brock Lesnar influence their decisions.  People who were gonna buy the show (ie, me) aren't gonna suddenly change their mind because HHH is now there to fuck with the main event.   I think the show was gonna do the same as last year, and will continue to do so even with HHH in the referee role.  

Guest Column: THE TRUTH IS…

Good discussion fodder here, presented as is from the original e-mail:

No, not R-truth…..these are just some truths about pro wrestling/sports entertainment, based on my own observations.   Thought it would be cool if the blog could pick and choose ones they wanted to discuss.
 
THE TRUTH IS:   There never was, and may never be, another Hulk Hogan.   Some guys never change the landscape of a business even once……..yet Hogan did it twice  (Hulkamania, nWo).
 
THE TRUTH IS:   If The Rock were a full-time performer,  people would get just as sick of him as they do John Cena.   Absence does make the heart grow fonder.
 
THE TRUTH IS:   CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho had MAYBE 1/4th  of the "big fight feel" that Taker/HHH  and Rock/Cena had at Wrestlemania 28.  And it wasn't for lack of effort.  It's because neither guy is the impact player that people like to pretend they are.
 
THE TRUTH IS:   Daniel Bryan losing in 18 seconds seems to have garnered him far more recognition than a 20-minute wrasslin classic with Sheamus would have done.
 
THE TRUTH IS:   Bret Hart could have saved himself a ton of stress and aggravation if he'd just agreed to lose a SCRIPTED match on his way out of the WWF, regardless of the location.   Hogan lost to Yokozuna on his way out…Austin would later lose to the Rock on his way out….so who the hell was Bret Hart ?   A guy who "cared so much about the fans" that he was perfectly content to have a WWF title match at the 3rd biggest PPV of the year end with a Hart Foundation run-in?  Vince did the right thing.  RING THE BELL !!
 
THE TRUTH IS:  Nash did not kill WCW by beating Goldberg.  The same people who say that like to conveniently forget that Bret Hart beat Goldberg 3 times over the course of the next year.   And at least Goldberg eventually got his win back vs. Nash.   Wanna know why Kane beating Austin for the title in '98 never gets bashed to pieces?  Well, aside from the fact that it only lasted one night…..the fact is, WWF continued to put out an entertaining product after that happened.   WCW, on the other hand, decided that The Demon, The Dog, Master P and the No Limit Soldiers,  The Maestro, David Arquette,  Vince Russo's "are they shooting on each other???" moments  and various other nonsense would be extremely entertaining.  Not only that, but nobody who based Nash for beating Goldy ever offered a better alternative for Goldberg to lose to.  And at some point, he had to lose.
 
THE TRUTH IS:  Brock Lesnar really does bring legtimacy to the WWE.  New fans are not going to get hooked on WWE by watching Jack Swagger do pushups, or watching Santino prance down the aisle like a fairy with his arm in an upside-down L shape…..or watching CM Punk ramble on while sitting Indian style……and so on.   Brock on the other hand, has the potential to be a serious game-changer.   Everybody else can either come to his level, or enjoy the mid-card.
 
THE TRUTH IS:  Michael Cole is nowhere near as bad as people make him out to be.  Once he toned down the heel character somewhat, he's as good as any other announcer in WWE or TNA, for that matter.  Is he Jim Ross?  No.  But that's like saying Dolph Ziggler isn't The Rock.  It's already obvious.
 
THE TRUTH IS:  The YES!! chants will be dead or barely on life-support by Summerslam, unless WWE makes an effort to help keep them going.  Hell, they didn't even last a week.  Some of the DC crowd had "YES!" signs, but if there were any chants for it, I sure as hell didn't hear them.  And before anybody says "well D-Bry was only out there to help break up the Lesnar/Cena fight!!",  allow me to remind you that those same chants broke out in an NBA game last week.  There's no reason the DC fans couldn't have randomly broke in to that chant at various points.  Outside of a few smark locations like Chicago or New York, look for that chant to be gone faster than Kizarney was.
 
THE TRUTH IS:  WWE kinda sucks without the occasional bra and panties match, or bikini contest.  
 
THE TRUTH IS:  Randy Orton is the best all-around performer in the WWE.  He may not cut the most epic promos, but everything from his ring movements, to his mannerisms, to his facial expressions are usually on-point. 
 
THE TRUTH IS:  WWE tries to create new stars.  Contrary to what people online will lead you to believe, Vince is not doing his best to put a lid on certain stars to keep them from shining.  That would be stupid.  We've seen the likes of  Jack Swagger, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry, etc.  get pushed, after they'd toiled in the mid-card for a while (quite a while, in Henry's case).    The reason Daniel Bryan lost in 18 seconds is because he doesn't usually get those rock-star reactions he got in Miami.  The reason Christian isn't given overly-lengthy title runs is because he's not over enough to justify it (sorry, he's not…and I am a fan of the guy).  And the reason Zack Ryder is basically an afterthought is because WWE realizes he's not much more than a midcarder, and a prop to be used in bigger and better storylines (Kane/Cena, and Eve turning heel).  Think back…how many guys from WWF ever went to WCW and then became a star?  Hardly any.  Vince doesn't usually mis-fire often.   But how many guys went to WCW,  then didn't become a star until they were in WWF?  Several. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Guest Column: The Incompetence of WWE

Reader Steve Price writes: Hey, Scott. I need a soap box.News is beginning to leak out today (even though we’ve suspected this for awhile) that the WWE wants a “50/50 reaction” at WrestleMania XXVIII between John Cena and The Rock. After having a chuckle at this notion, I couldn’t help but shake my head at a company that could be THIS incompetent. You get on your knees and beg The Rock to lower himself by working with your company once more to boost interest in the product. It’s the main event of the biggest show of the year, in Rock’s hometown, no less… and you’re willing to fucking sabotage your programming in order to get Cena over as a FACE?!?!? Against one of the most popular draws in the history of professional wrestling? It’s an absolute atrocity, that one company could be this gorram insane. Anyone with an IQ over 80 could book this angle, because it ties into the theme of the other two main event matches: it’s all about the winds of change. There’s HHH/Undertaker, which is two guys who are fighting for closure on an era that no longer exists. There’s Jericho/Punk, which is predicated on the former generation’s Jericho proving that the new generation are imitators, with Punk representing the very best of the business today. Rock/Cena needs to take this route: two of the most decorated superstars in the promotion’s history, who do not like each other, vying to prove which one stands tall in the end. The finish should be pretty self-explanatory: Rock beats Cena, causing Cena to obsess like a madman over the next year that he’s not good enough to hang with the Great One. This begins a transition to a darker heel character, where Cena channels his inner-2001 Austin, going to the dark side in order to take down The Rock at the Meadowlands in 2013. Instead, Cena will go over in Miami despite being the most over heel in the business with his superman schtick, and will completely drop all pretenses of heelishness that has been built up over the past few months. Because fuck logic, I guess. It’s mind-blowing. Every aspect of the WWE is designed to work in opposition against one another. They plant the seeds for a Cena heel turn, only to reverse course and try to get people on his side going into a match against the world’s most recognizable pro wrestler in that wrestler’s hometown. Young wrestlers are given a chance to shine by connecting with audiences, they get themselves over… and then they get shunted off television without a second thought. Promising superstars are shot up the card with a rocket strapped to their ass, given the top prize like it was candy, then jobbed to oblivion just as quickly right after. When the company is in the doldrums in terms of popularity and television ratings, it decides to further water down the market with an entire network of content that is doomed to failure before it even gets going good. Shitty names are given out wantonly, making casual viewers scoff at the already cheesy, low-brow nature of the show. If the WWE is embarrassed to call itself wrestling, why should fans want to associate themselves with the product? Seriously: the trend of “wrestler” and “professional wrestling” becoming this dirty word that causes wrestlers to get all shady like their breaking the fourth wall or something… that’s more damaging to the product than any of the idiotic catchphrases that were loosed on us over the last decade. I really don’t know how much longer the promotion can continue to shoot itself in the foot before they do damage to themselves that can’t be undone. To have a resurgence like they have in the past, they’ve got to actually let loose and make the right decisions at the right time. But they’ve consistently managed to shoot themselves in the foot with every single angle or hot streak that could have built up the product, be it the 2001 InVasion, the hot streaks they had in 2004 and 2008, the Nexus debut or the Summer of Punk. You can’t just piss away so many Golden Eggs before you run out of ammunition to shoot with. Lest we forget, there was a fabled time when no one could imagine a wrestling world without the AWA, then the NWA, then WCW.

Guest Column: The Incompetence of WWE

Reader Steve Price writes: Hey, Scott. I need a soap box.News is beginning to leak out today (even though we’ve suspected this for awhile) that the WWE wants a “50/50 reaction” at WrestleMania XXVIII between John Cena and The Rock. After having a chuckle at this notion, I couldn’t help but shake my head at a company that could be THIS incompetent. You get on your knees and beg The Rock to lower himself by working with your company once more to boost interest in the product. It’s the main event of the biggest show of the year, in Rock’s hometown, no less… and you’re willing to fucking sabotage your programming in order to get Cena over as a FACE?!?!? Against one of the most popular draws in the history of professional wrestling? It’s an absolute atrocity, that one company could be this gorram insane. Anyone with an IQ over 80 could book this angle, because it ties into the theme of the other two main event matches: it’s all about the winds of change. There’s HHH/Undertaker, which is two guys who are fighting for closure on an era that no longer exists. There’s Jericho/Punk, which is predicated on the former generation’s Jericho proving that the new generation are imitators, with Punk representing the very best of the business today. Rock/Cena needs to take this route: two of the most decorated superstars in the promotion’s history, who do not like each other, vying to prove which one stands tall in the end. The finish should be pretty self-explanatory: Rock beats Cena, causing Cena to obsess like a madman over the next year that he’s not good enough to hang with the Great One. This begins a transition to a darker heel character, where Cena channels his inner-2001 Austin, going to the dark side in order to take down The Rock at the Meadowlands in 2013. Instead, Cena will go over in Miami despite being the most over heel in the business with his superman schtick, and will completely drop all pretenses of heelishness that has been built up over the past few months. Because fuck logic, I guess. It’s mind-blowing. Every aspect of the WWE is designed to work in opposition against one another. They plant the seeds for a Cena heel turn, only to reverse course and try to get people on his side going into a match against the world’s most recognizable pro wrestler in that wrestler’s hometown. Young wrestlers are given a chance to shine by connecting with audiences, they get themselves over… and then they get shunted off television without a second thought. Promising superstars are shot up the card with a rocket strapped to their ass, given the top prize like it was candy, then jobbed to oblivion just as quickly right after. When the company is in the doldrums in terms of popularity and television ratings, it decides to further water down the market with an entire network of content that is doomed to failure before it even gets going good. Shitty names are given out wantonly, making casual viewers scoff at the already cheesy, low-brow nature of the show. If the WWE is embarrassed to call itself wrestling, why should fans want to associate themselves with the product? Seriously: the trend of “wrestler” and “professional wrestling” becoming this dirty word that causes wrestlers to get all shady like their breaking the fourth wall or something… that’s more damaging to the product than any of the idiotic catchphrases that were loosed on us over the last decade. I really don’t know how much longer the promotion can continue to shoot itself in the foot before they do damage to themselves that can’t be undone. To have a resurgence like they have in the past, they’ve got to actually let loose and make the right decisions at the right time. But they’ve consistently managed to shoot themselves in the foot with every single angle or hot streak that could have built up the product, be it the 2001 InVasion, the hot streaks they had in 2004 and 2008, the Nexus debut or the Summer of Punk. You can’t just piss away so many Golden Eggs before you run out of ammunition to shoot with. Lest we forget, there was a fabled time when no one could imagine a wrestling world without the AWA, then the NWA, then WCW.

Guest Column: The Incompetence of WWE

Reader Steve Price writes: Hey, Scott. I need a soap box.News is beginning to leak out today (even though we’ve suspected this for awhile) that the WWE wants a “50/50 reaction” at WrestleMania XXVIII between John Cena and The Rock. After having a chuckle at this notion, I couldn’t help but shake my head at a company that could be THIS incompetent. You get on your knees and beg The Rock to lower himself by working with your company once more to boost interest in the product. It’s the main event of the biggest show of the year, in Rock’s hometown, no less… and you’re willing to fucking sabotage your programming in order to get Cena over as a FACE?!?!? Against one of the most popular draws in the history of professional wrestling? It’s an absolute atrocity, that one company could be this gorram insane. Anyone with an IQ over 80 could book this angle, because it ties into the theme of the other two main event matches: it’s all about the winds of change. There’s HHH/Undertaker, which is two guys who are fighting for closure on an era that no longer exists. There’s Jericho/Punk, which is predicated on the former generation’s Jericho proving that the new generation are imitators, with Punk representing the very best of the business today. Rock/Cena needs to take this route: two of the most decorated superstars in the promotion’s history, who do not like each other, vying to prove which one stands tall in the end. The finish should be pretty self-explanatory: Rock beats Cena, causing Cena to obsess like a madman over the next year that he’s not good enough to hang with the Great One. This begins a transition to a darker heel character, where Cena channels his inner-2001 Austin, going to the dark side in order to take down The Rock at the Meadowlands in 2013. Instead, Cena will go over in Miami despite being the most over heel in the business with his superman schtick, and will completely drop all pretenses of heelishness that has been built up over the past few months. Because fuck logic, I guess. It’s mind-blowing. Every aspect of the WWE is designed to work in opposition against one another. They plant the seeds for a Cena heel turn, only to reverse course and try to get people on his side going into a match against the world’s most recognizable pro wrestler in that wrestler’s hometown. Young wrestlers are given a chance to shine by connecting with audiences, they get themselves over… and then they get shunted off television without a second thought. Promising superstars are shot up the card with a rocket strapped to their ass, given the top prize like it was candy, then jobbed to oblivion just as quickly right after. When the company is in the doldrums in terms of popularity and television ratings, it decides to further water down the market with an entire network of content that is doomed to failure before it even gets going good. Shitty names are given out wantonly, making casual viewers scoff at the already cheesy, low-brow nature of the show. If the WWE is embarrassed to call itself wrestling, why should fans want to associate themselves with the product? Seriously: the trend of “wrestler” and “professional wrestling” becoming this dirty word that causes wrestlers to get all shady like their breaking the fourth wall or something… that’s more damaging to the product than any of the idiotic catchphrases that were loosed on us over the last decade. I really don’t know how much longer the promotion can continue to shoot itself in the foot before they do damage to themselves that can’t be undone. To have a resurgence like they have in the past, they’ve got to actually let loose and make the right decisions at the right time. But they’ve consistently managed to shoot themselves in the foot with every single angle or hot streak that could have built up the product, be it the 2001 InVasion, the hot streaks they had in 2004 and 2008, the Nexus debut or the Summer of Punk. You can’t just piss away so many Golden Eggs before you run out of ammunition to shoot with. Lest we forget, there was a fabled time when no one could imagine a wrestling world without the AWA, then the NWA, then WCW.

Guest Column: The Incompetence of WWE

Reader Steve Price writes: Hey, Scott. I need a soap box.News is beginning to leak out today (even though we’ve suspected this for awhile) that the WWE wants a “50/50 reaction” at WrestleMania XXVIII between John Cena and The Rock. After having a chuckle at this notion, I couldn’t help but shake my head at a company that could be THIS incompetent. You get on your knees and beg The Rock to lower himself by working with your company once more to boost interest in the product. It’s the main event of the biggest show of the year, in Rock’s hometown, no less… and you’re willing to fucking sabotage your programming in order to get Cena over as a FACE?!?!? Against one of the most popular draws in the history of professional wrestling? It’s an absolute atrocity, that one company could be this gorram insane. Anyone with an IQ over 80 could book this angle, because it ties into the theme of the other two main event matches: it’s all about the winds of change. There’s HHH/Undertaker, which is two guys who are fighting for closure on an era that no longer exists. There’s Jericho/Punk, which is predicated on the former generation’s Jericho proving that the new generation are imitators, with Punk representing the very best of the business today. Rock/Cena needs to take this route: two of the most decorated superstars in the promotion’s history, who do not like each other, vying to prove which one stands tall in the end. The finish should be pretty self-explanatory: Rock beats Cena, causing Cena to obsess like a madman over the next year that he’s not good enough to hang with the Great One. This begins a transition to a darker heel character, where Cena channels his inner-2001 Austin, going to the dark side in order to take down The Rock at the Meadowlands in 2013. Instead, Cena will go over in Miami despite being the most over heel in the business with his superman schtick, and will completely drop all pretenses of heelishness that has been built up over the past few months. Because fuck logic, I guess. It’s mind-blowing. Every aspect of the WWE is designed to work in opposition against one another. They plant the seeds for a Cena heel turn, only to reverse course and try to get people on his side going into a match against the world’s most recognizable pro wrestler in that wrestler’s hometown. Young wrestlers are given a chance to shine by connecting with audiences, they get themselves over… and then they get shunted off television without a second thought. Promising superstars are shot up the card with a rocket strapped to their ass, given the top prize like it was candy, then jobbed to oblivion just as quickly right after. When the company is in the doldrums in terms of popularity and television ratings, it decides to further water down the market with an entire network of content that is doomed to failure before it even gets going good. Shitty names are given out wantonly, making casual viewers scoff at the already cheesy, low-brow nature of the show. If the WWE is embarrassed to call itself wrestling, why should fans want to associate themselves with the product? Seriously: the trend of “wrestler” and “professional wrestling” becoming this dirty word that causes wrestlers to get all shady like their breaking the fourth wall or something… that’s more damaging to the product than any of the idiotic catchphrases that were loosed on us over the last decade. I really don’t know how much longer the promotion can continue to shoot itself in the foot before they do damage to themselves that can’t be undone. To have a resurgence like they have in the past, they’ve got to actually let loose and make the right decisions at the right time. But they’ve consistently managed to shoot themselves in the foot with every single angle or hot streak that could have built up the product, be it the 2001 InVasion, the hot streaks they had in 2004 and 2008, the Nexus debut or the Summer of Punk. You can’t just piss away so many Golden Eggs before you run out of ammunition to shoot with. Lest we forget, there was a fabled time when no one could imagine a wrestling world without the AWA, then the NWA, then WCW.

Guest Column: The Incompetence of WWE

Reader Steve Price writes: Hey, Scott. I need a soap box.News is beginning to leak out today (even though we’ve suspected this for awhile) that the WWE wants a “50/50 reaction” at WrestleMania XXVIII between John Cena and The Rock. After having a chuckle at this notion, I couldn’t help but shake my head at a company that could be THIS incompetent. You get on your knees and beg The Rock to lower himself by working with your company once more to boost interest in the product. It’s the main event of the biggest show of the year, in Rock’s hometown, no less… and you’re willing to fucking sabotage your programming in order to get Cena over as a FACE?!?!? Against one of the most popular draws in the history of professional wrestling? It’s an absolute atrocity, that one company could be this gorram insane. Anyone with an IQ over 80 could book this angle, because it ties into the theme of the other two main event matches: it’s all about the winds of change. There’s HHH/Undertaker, which is two guys who are fighting for closure on an era that no longer exists. There’s Jericho/Punk, which is predicated on the former generation’s Jericho proving that the new generation are imitators, with Punk representing the very best of the business today. Rock/Cena needs to take this route: two of the most decorated superstars in the promotion’s history, who do not like each other, vying to prove which one stands tall in the end. The finish should be pretty self-explanatory: Rock beats Cena, causing Cena to obsess like a madman over the next year that he’s not good enough to hang with the Great One. This begins a transition to a darker heel character, where Cena channels his inner-2001 Austin, going to the dark side in order to take down The Rock at the Meadowlands in 2013. Instead, Cena will go over in Miami despite being the most over heel in the business with his superman schtick, and will completely drop all pretenses of heelishness that has been built up over the past few months. Because fuck logic, I guess. It’s mind-blowing. Every aspect of the WWE is designed to work in opposition against one another. They plant the seeds for a Cena heel turn, only to reverse course and try to get people on his side going into a match against the world’s most recognizable pro wrestler in that wrestler’s hometown. Young wrestlers are given a chance to shine by connecting with audiences, they get themselves over… and then they get shunted off television without a second thought. Promising superstars are shot up the card with a rocket strapped to their ass, given the top prize like it was candy, then jobbed to oblivion just as quickly right after. When the company is in the doldrums in terms of popularity and television ratings, it decides to further water down the market with an entire network of content that is doomed to failure before it even gets going good. Shitty names are given out wantonly, making casual viewers scoff at the already cheesy, low-brow nature of the show. If the WWE is embarrassed to call itself wrestling, why should fans want to associate themselves with the product? Seriously: the trend of “wrestler” and “professional wrestling” becoming this dirty word that causes wrestlers to get all shady like their breaking the fourth wall or something… that’s more damaging to the product than any of the idiotic catchphrases that were loosed on us over the last decade. I really don’t know how much longer the promotion can continue to shoot itself in the foot before they do damage to themselves that can’t be undone. To have a resurgence like they have in the past, they’ve got to actually let loose and make the right decisions at the right time. But they’ve consistently managed to shoot themselves in the foot with every single angle or hot streak that could have built up the product, be it the 2001 InVasion, the hot streaks they had in 2004 and 2008, the Nexus debut or the Summer of Punk. You can’t just piss away so many Golden Eggs before you run out of ammunition to shoot with. Lest we forget, there was a fabled time when no one could imagine a wrestling world without the AWA, then the NWA, then WCW.

Guest Column: The Incompetence of WWE

Reader Steve Price writes: Hey, Scott. I need a soap box.News is beginning to leak out today (even though we’ve suspected this for awhile) that the WWE wants a “50/50 reaction” at WrestleMania XXVIII between John Cena and The Rock. After having a chuckle at this notion, I couldn’t help but shake my head at a company that could be THIS incompetent. You get on your knees and beg The Rock to lower himself by working with your company once more to boost interest in the product. It’s the main event of the biggest show of the year, in Rock’s hometown, no less… and you’re willing to fucking sabotage your programming in order to get Cena over as a FACE?!?!? Against one of the most popular draws in the history of professional wrestling? It’s an absolute atrocity, that one company could be this gorram insane. Anyone with an IQ over 80 could book this angle, because it ties into the theme of the other two main event matches: it’s all about the winds of change. There’s HHH/Undertaker, which is two guys who are fighting for closure on an era that no longer exists. There’s Jericho/Punk, which is predicated on the former generation’s Jericho proving that the new generation are imitators, with Punk representing the very best of the business today. Rock/Cena needs to take this route: two of the most decorated superstars in the promotion’s history, who do not like each other, vying to prove which one stands tall in the end. The finish should be pretty self-explanatory: Rock beats Cena, causing Cena to obsess like a madman over the next year that he’s not good enough to hang with the Great One. This begins a transition to a darker heel character, where Cena channels his inner-2001 Austin, going to the dark side in order to take down The Rock at the Meadowlands in 2013. Instead, Cena will go over in Miami despite being the most over heel in the business with his superman schtick, and will completely drop all pretenses of heelishness that has been built up over the past few months. Because fuck logic, I guess. It’s mind-blowing. Every aspect of the WWE is designed to work in opposition against one another. They plant the seeds for a Cena heel turn, only to reverse course and try to get people on his side going into a match against the world’s most recognizable pro wrestler in that wrestler’s hometown. Young wrestlers are given a chance to shine by connecting with audiences, they get themselves over… and then they get shunted off television without a second thought. Promising superstars are shot up the card with a rocket strapped to their ass, given the top prize like it was candy, then jobbed to oblivion just as quickly right after. When the company is in the doldrums in terms of popularity and television ratings, it decides to further water down the market with an entire network of content that is doomed to failure before it even gets going good. Shitty names are given out wantonly, making casual viewers scoff at the already cheesy, low-brow nature of the show. If the WWE is embarrassed to call itself wrestling, why should fans want to associate themselves with the product? Seriously: the trend of “wrestler” and “professional wrestling” becoming this dirty word that causes wrestlers to get all shady like their breaking the fourth wall or something… that’s more damaging to the product than any of the idiotic catchphrases that were loosed on us over the last decade. I really don’t know how much longer the promotion can continue to shoot itself in the foot before they do damage to themselves that can’t be undone. To have a resurgence like they have in the past, they’ve got to actually let loose and make the right decisions at the right time. But they’ve consistently managed to shoot themselves in the foot with every single angle or hot streak that could have built up the product, be it the 2001 InVasion, the hot streaks they had in 2004 and 2008, the Nexus debut or the Summer of Punk. You can’t just piss away so many Golden Eggs before you run out of ammunition to shoot with. Lest we forget, there was a fabled time when no one could imagine a wrestling world without the AWA, then the NWA, then WCW.