Some questions after watching tonight's RAW, and the new No Holds Barred DVD (which is, for the most part, pretty disappointing, but whatever….)
Ooo, I love random musings, and we actually broke the Wrestlemania pageview record here on the blog today, so let's keep it going!
1. When did NWA / WCW switch from the mini-rings (like those seen on the new DVD), to larger rings more like the WWF / WWE, and did this change result in a noticable improvement in the in-ring match quality?
Given that most of my favorite matches of all-time were in those smaller rings, I wouldn't say they improved match quality in of itself, but both promotions used to tweak their ring construction and setup all the time depending on who their top stars were and what they wanted to emphasize. NWA was definitely notorious for having a smaller ring, but then they generally had smaller guys than the WWF so maybe they wanted to make them look bigger? The problem of course was when someone like Luger or Windham got in there and could run the ropes in two steps. I recall the ring getting bigger around 1990, when they were upgrading their TV product to try and match WWF.
2. Who trained Shane McMahon? And what's his deal? You would think, as heir apparent to the WWE, he didn't need to go out there and do crazy matches, but after watching him pull off a shooting star press in the Alliance-era Street Fight with Vince better than some of the "pros" I've seen execute it (and remebering his crazy Titan-tron bump), I have to think he actually enjoyed that. Was he a frustrated wrestler at heart, who used daddy's money to live the dream, or did he do it to help the family business?
Oh I think he was definitely someone who loved being a performer but obviously couldn't commit to the lifestyle. I don't know that anyone specifically trained him, or at least I've certainly never heard about, say, Dory Funk coming out and saying it was his dojo or whatever. If I was to take a stab in the dark I'd say X-Pac trained him given that was his first program, but that's just speculation on my part. Shane seemed to learn a valuable lesson after the X-Pac feud, though, and generally booked himself to lose every time after that unless it was something like a match against his dad.
3. Dolph Ziggler…. the biggest handicap to me (and possibly, to many wrestling fans) to taking him seriously is his name. BOOGIE NIGHTS is so 15 years ago. Was his name punishment for the whole "pep squad" routine he started with, or did someone SERIOUSLY think that was a good name? Do you think there's been any discussion about finding a way to rename him, so that people may take him seriously?
Dolph talked about the name on Colt's podcast recently, as it was supposed to be Don Diggler and he talked them into letting him have "Dolph" to pay tribute to his grandfather and "Ziggler" because it sounded better. The name has grown on me, actually. And yes, they seriously thought it was a good name because it was alliterative and heels used to have those kind of names.
4. Chris Jericho… after watching him lose the contract vs. contract match tonight, I can't help but think that his most-recent return has been bungled from day 1. From the start of bringing him in (a guy who can be gold on the mic) for a non-speaking role, to the incredibly abortive feel of his whole "feud" with Punk (just when it seemed like it might be going somewhere, there was the Brazil incident, and that whole program hasn't been mentioned since), to his current flip-flopping from face to heel from week- to week, with no real momentum, to him losing his blow-off to Ziggler, I can't help but feel the WWE has NO IDEA what to do with him right now. Thoughts?
He's gone back to touring with Fozzy anyway, and he'll be much better off doing that. Jericho used to be my favorite wrestler at various points, but I never gave a crap about his most recent return ever since he lost the Rumble and then every single other match he seemingly wrestled in.