New Deadspin column!


Scott, been reading you since before I can remember. Wanted to let you know I've got a new column on wrasslin' for Deadspin and would love your opinion on it!


http://deadspin.com/is-wrestlemania-going-to-be-garbage-or-what-1691333419

​OK, but I feel like the subject matter might infringe on the Sporting News column I'm probably gonna write tomorrow night.  So fair warning if I steal all your points.  ​

Roman Reigns column


Hey Scott, James again. Roman Reigns and his push have been a hot topic, so I wrote a column about it. I'd appreciate the plug!

http://badmanbureau.com/2014/07/19/believe-in-roman-reigns/

​The Diesel comparison is a really interesting one, because you can make a similar comparison between Ambrose and Shawn Michaels, where they annointed Big Kev as the chosen one and people ended up turning Shawn into the bigger star by far.  ​

Cucch’s Random Column of the Evening: Ranking the 24 Season Finales.

Most people who follow me on facebook know three undeniable things about me. One is that I am a diehard Yankees fan. Second is that I am a rabid wrestling fan. These first two facts obviously net me a gross amount of groupie love from all the pretty females patrolling social media. The third thing is that, in the last year or so, I have become reacquainted with all things 24, almost to the point of unnatural obsession. You see, as 2012 turned to 2013, the Audience network offered by DirecTV started airing marathon blocks of the show, chronologically beginning with season one. Every Tuesday night, they would show four straight episodes of whatever season they were airing in a row, with the only commercial coming in between episodes. So for my then unemployed ass, Tuesday nights, 8pm to 11pm became a sort of appointment for me…an appointment that I could not break, much like Jack Bauer’s word, because those 3 hour blocks became one of the more effective forms of therapy for this recovering. Over the course of the last year plus, I have painstakingly combed through the 24 archives, procuring every season on DVD and watching them ad nausem. And with 24: Live Another Day right around the corner (premieres May 5th), I figured now was as good a time as any to try to stoke any old flames past fans like myself had for the show…to actually reignite them, to build towards a fever pitch. To remember what made the show so great in the first place. And I cannot think of a better way to do that than to rank the Season finales of the show. So lets get at it and proceed.

And if you are not down with that…blame the Audience Network.

Not Rated: 24: Redemption: 24: Redemption was a two hour mini movie that basically tried to describe Jack’s journey from Season Six, where he more or less is a wanted man in his own country due to some of his interrogation tactics, to Season Seven, where he faces a Senate Grand Jury for those questionable torture techniques. As it is only a 2 hour mini movie of a series that generally spans 24 forty minute episodes, you can not hold any of this up to the other 8 Season Finales.

8: Season 7: Let’s get one thing perfectly clear: Season 7 of 24 sucked. It was undeniably the worst season the show ever produced. So it stands to reason that the finale of Season 7 was the worst of the lot. The episode begins well enough, as Jack is trying to escape Evil Soul Patch Tony from submitting him to the Prion Cabal as a human guinea pig. Tony captures a weakened  and diseased Jack, but reveals his evil plot is just to gain revenge against the man, Alan Wilson, who was responsible for his wife’s death. The portion where Tony actually gets hold of Wilson is just incredibly hokey for 24 standards, as Tony tells him that the reason he has turned to the darkside, the reason he has taken such amazing character jumps from the Tony Almeida most fans knew and adored, was the hackneyed plot device that when Michelle was killed, she was pregnant with Tony’s child. Gag. Now, that all happens within about the first 15 minutes of the episode. The remaining 45 deal with the lame First Family saga and Jack embracing death. The Taylor Family nonsense is pure hot garbage, as they are easily three of the worst characters the series has ever seen. No need for them dominating the finale, especially when the Jack and Kim parts are just so emotionally powerful. A total airball by the writers here. Blame the writers’ strike of 2009, I guess.

7: Season 6: Most 24 fans malign Season 6. I am not one of them. Was it their strongest season? No. Was the Bauer family saga a little forced? Certainly. But, for the most part, the season was fairly good, with a strong heel in Abu Fayed. The problem was, Fayed was killed almost 7 hours before the final act. The end heel ends up being Jack’s father, Phillip Bauer, and the main bargaining chip of the last episode proves to be one of my least favorite 24 characters ever, Josh Bauer, Jack’s nephew. Add into the fact that Ricky “Silver Spoons” Schoreder was the prime CTU badass in charge of supervising the exchange…which he fucks up royally, of course…and it just came off as flat, even with the spectacular F-15 bombing of Phillip Bauer’s oil rig. What saves this from dead last is one thing: the very end. Jack’s confrontation of Richard Heller, in regards to seeing Audrey, was outstanding. The ending with Jack, after realizing what Heller was telling him was true, after letting go of Audrey and his past life, was amazing. Jack standing on Heller’s estate, with him symbolically throwing his gun into the ocean, with a pained, saddened look on his face, let you know just how damaged the Jack Bauer psyche was. And with good cause.

6: Season 1: SACRILEGE! I am sure many of you are saying that right now. Fact is, as good as Season One’s finale was…it just doesn’t hold up. Teri dies, we know that. Nina is exposed as the mole and traitor. Don’t get me wrong…it is great television…especially when Jack just ups and mercs the fuck out of an unarmed Victor Drazen. As good as it was, it was just a taste, a teaser, of some of the finales we were about to experience. Call it the test case, patient zero of the finales of the series. It would only get better…or in the case of 6 and 7, worse.

5: Season 3: Anyone who knows me knows that Season 3 of 24 was my favorite, for it was when I started watching the series as event viewing. I still adore it to this day, and no one can tell me otherwise. That said, the Finale felt a little flat after a TREMENDOUS build. Saunders gets killed by Gael’s wife. Some random dude has the last vial of the virus, and Jack and Chase (I still maintain Chase was Jack’s best sidekick) have to chase Random Evil Guy to a grade school. Now, there it is fun, as Chase engages the mysterious Dr. X in a fist fight…which X (Arthur Raburn…I know, I know) defeats him. But Chase locks the virus device on his arm, allowing Jack to emerge and bullet fuck Raburn. The caveat was that the locking mechanism Chase activated around his wrist could not be broken. So, after failing to disarm it via the wiring, Jack has to chop Chase’s thumb off with an ax, then run the virus down to a teacher’s room and throw it in their refrigerator. From there….fairly mundane. The Chase sequence was great, but as compared to some of the seasons upcoming here…nothing special. But still my personal favorite season of the show.

4: Season 4: I just finished watching Season 4, so I viewed the finale about 2 hours ago. It is criminally underrated. Whereas most seasons of the show have 2 or maybe 3 main antagonists, Season 4 had just one: Habib Marwan. For what feels like an eternity, Jack and CTU track and attempt to trace Marwan…only to find one well placed road block after another. Marwan succeeds in melting down a nuclear power plant, shooting down Air Force One and gaining possession of a portion of the nuclear football. It all leads to Season Four’s crescendo, where Jack finally, and ultimately, gets to the terrible Turk. Jack gets to Marwan through a character only true 24 fans would really relate to, Mandy, and is able to track Marwan’s chopper to the Global building in downtown Los Angeles…minutes before Marwan’s missile, armed with a nuclear device, would hit its payload. However, as Jack engages Marwan on the roof of the enormous structure, he slips and falls off the edge…only to be saved by Jack, who just wants to know the who, what, where, why and MAYBE how of the missile about to impact the continental United States. He holds Marwan by his hand, for which Marwan repays Jack by slicing the ever living fuck out of it, just so an already weakend Jack can let Marwan drop to his death, a martyr to his cause. But Jack and Curtis Manning are able to locate and shoot down the device, saving millions of innocent lives. There is a caveat to that, though: to obtain Marwan’s position, Jack had to, unlawfully, enter the Chinese Consulate and kidnap a Chinese foreign who had the backing of his government, even with the shady shit he was perpetrating. It caused a fire fight where, while Jack’s US soldiers used non lethal force, China used VERY lethal force, resulting in the friendly fire death of their consul. After the missile is disabled, former President David Palmer alerts Jack that, not only do the Chinese want to take him as a suspect in the death of their consul, on their soil (watch it and look up the name BERN…biggest bitch in the history of the series), but someone inside the White House wants him dead, for fear that he may expose secrets that would be detrimental to United States National Security. To that end, Jack fakes his own death and disappears. A fantastic, forgotten finale.

3: Season 8: After Season 7, I was not expecting much from Season 8. Boy, was I wrong. The last few hours of Season 8 revolve around Jack trying to get revenge for two things: The death of his love, Renee Walker, and to prove that President Allison Taylor was totally delusional in trying to bring peace to nations that clearly had no peace. In the buildup, he eviscerates the man who killed Renee. He impales the Russian Ambassador with his own sword. Jack just goes fucking off the grid bonkers…and it is a glorious site. The finale sees Jack with his sniper trained on epic baddie Charles Logan, telling him to bring the fucking PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA, into his view…because Yuri Suvarov is the man behind everything in Season 8…so Jack can kill him. That is pretty heady stuff. Now, Chole talks him out of it, and the episode DOES include Freddy Prinze…but trust me. This was just an awesome finale, the series finale. It reaches critical mass one wet blanket…I mean President Taylor realizes she has fucked up and orders Jack’s recovery. Charles Logan is just deliciously evil. Fun stuff for all 24 wonks…like myself.

2: Season 5: The Charles Logan Season. For episode after episode, you try to figure out who is the main heel within the White House…is it Walt Cummings? Is it VP Hal Gardner? Maybe Mike Novick? Nope. It was the Grand Poobah himself, POTUS, Charles Logan. Jack figures it out…that is what Jack does. He interrogates the Prez…but gets nowhere. Logan figures he has won, after all the ignominy he has shown the office. It takes his mentally unstable wife, Martha, to bring the whole thing down…and it is glorious watching evil scumfuck Logan being led away by Secret Service as David Palmer’s casket is being readied to be flown to DC. A truly epic episode that ends with Jack, as always, doing the right thing, but paying the most ultimate of costs.

1: Season 2: Number one with a bullet. Season Two of 24 was probably the best the series has ever pumped out (Season 5 was damned fine as well), but no finale has come even close to matching Season 2’s sheer brilliance. From the time Jack is tortured by Kinglsey’s men, from his arrival at Alex Hewitt’s loft, from the unexpected appearance of Sherry Palmer…if you want to introduce a friend to the 24 Franchise…this is the episode. After Jack is tortured to death, then revived, he counts on a computer programmer and the ex wife of the President to help save the country from entering into an unnecessary strike against innocent nations. It sees Jack Bauer use Sherry Palmer as bait, at the LA Coliseum, no less, to lure out the true madmen behind the day’s events. The final episode of Season 2 is television at its finest. We are all indebted to the Gods that are John Cassar and Kiefer Sutherland for this very episode. It is one of the main reasons I cannot wait for 24: Live Another Day. And its the reason you count down the days as well. 

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.