QOTD #56: The (looong) Road to Wrestlemania

Today’s Question: I’ll piggyback from a comment from yesterday and ask….how would you book Brock Lesnar (and the WWF World title) from now until Wrestlemania?

Yesterday’s Question: I’ll keep it short and sweet…..What would you say is the high point, and what is the low point from the Summer Slam 2014 PPV Special Event?



Going back to Friday, watching the SNMEs on the Network was the inspiration for the Opening Credits question last week…..the “Obsession” theme was one of my favorites, but eventually they switched music (the 2nd theme was almost as good)….anybody who knows the name of that one feel free to comment with the answer

Anyway, other than SNME, mine is a toss-up between the old World Class house show that played in local markets (KTVT 11 Championship Sports – NOT the World Class syndicated show)

And the old Mid-South theme

As for yesterday, obviously, everyone thinks (as I do) that Lesnar demolishing Cena is a step in the right direction. A small sample of the comments….

Devin Harris: “High point: Brock’s zombie situp. Brock tries to play the “too cool for
school” deal but this guy cares about his ring work. The little details
he adds to his character shows he is a guy isn’t just about collecting
checks”

Jared Bellow: “High point: Lesnar destroying Cena to leave him lying in a heap.”

Mike Mears: “High point- obviously the Lesnar/Cena slaughter. I don’t even know how
to classify that match in terms of how good it was because it was so far
outside the norm for a main event match. Not just by today’s “WWE main
event style” standards. ….”

cabspaintedyellow:”High point: Cena having only signed up for the Six Suplex Commitment, but forgetting to turn off Auto-Renewal.”

As  for the low point, the Bellas angle left a pretty big stink on the show……personally, I’ve always hated when real-life siblings turn on each other. a) Its overdone, and b) We know its a work, but what person would beat up their twin and side with Stephanie? It’s kind of like Bill Watts said a while back….just because there were no Indians really killed in the movies doesn’t mean we want to see John Wayne ride off into the sunset with his arm around them either…anyways, tangent over. See you tomorrow with a new post.

QOTD #53: Opening Theme Music

Today’s Question: Completely random, and I’m pretty sure one that hasn’t been done already…..Of all of the wrestling TV shows in the history of the business, Which company/territory’s opening TV show theme/credits got you most excited to watch their TV show?


Yesterday’s Question: Who would you put on your Mt. Rushmore of all time wrestling managers?


damaverickridesagain:
Okay now, are we talking different styles for managers? If so good because thats how i would built my mount rushmore
for the WWF -no one did it better with tag teams than Captain Lou Albano or Heenan for his work in two promotions (AWA and WWF).
for one stable and the WCW/NWA: its got to be JJ Dillion- the horsemen would be the prototype for every super stable since, although I will concede and admit that Paul heyman could give JJ a run for his money
For women managers and one of the best jobs of promotion of one client, lets give a spot to Elizabeth. Some nansayers are going to say Savage managed himself but I think Liz was brilliant in her WWF run eliciting sympathy while driving male fans to want to defend her against her lunatic of a boyfriend/husband. Runner up has to go to Jim Cornette for taking the midnight express team (all of versions except WWF) to the top and making them more than a team named after a 80s movie
Last how about a manager that was a former wrestler, for this I would say Freddie Blassie, the dude legitimately scared me as a kid with his promos.


A lot of thought into it….Capt. Lou, Liz, Cornette and Blassie…I think this may be the only person who didnt mention Bobby Heenan

parallax1978: Heenan, Heyman, Bearer, Blassie

4 of the best…..thats for sure

BooBoo1782:
Heenan: The best, without question, although if there were a question, it would be how much his commentary work influences our perception of Heenan as a manager. To me, the classic memory of Heenan is him tossing out some completely ridiculous comment and an annoyed Gorilla saying, “WILL YOU STOP?” That having been said, he was never afraid to show ass when the story dictated it – from the Warrior right on down to the Red Rooster – and he was a great mouthpiece for guys who weren’t great talkers on their own (Andre being the most obvious example. The other thing about Heenan was that even when he was paired up with a good promo guy – Perfect and Flair come to mind here – he was able to contribute without getting in the way.

Cornette: I’m a bigger fan of Cornette when he’s shooting, but the fact remains that his fiery Southern preacher style, loud outfits, and goofy mannerisms made him a blast to watch.

Heyman: The Dangerous Alliance is one of my favorite things that WCW ever did. His promos during the Invasion were one of the only good thing about the whole shebang. And of course, his current WWE run has been wonderful to watch.

Jimmy Hart: The megaphone, the rapid-fire speech, those airbrushed jackets…you wanted to see him get clobbered, and that’s the defining characteristic of a successful heel manager.

Devin Harris:
Dillon – He was an actual manager. He didn’t order the Horsemen around, he just took care of their business affairs. That’s what an actual manager is supposed to do. He did it the best making sure they got the best deals and the best spots on the card.

Heenan- He was more like a pimp than a manager cause he bossed all his clients around. He never managed a world champion so points are deducted. Some of you will want to count Andre but I don’t. I want to say he was terrible at his job but he at least got his guys title shots.

Cornette – Points deducted for being bankrolled by his mama but he took all three versions of the Express to the tag titles. Points deducted for never managing a singles champion. Yoko doesn’t count. That was Fuji.

Race – Managed two world champions that had pretty long (for the time) title reigns. He did what a manager is supposed to do. He retired on top, unlike his in-ring career. Guy learns fast.

I think someone mentioned it on the blog, but Heenan managing Nick Bockwinkel as AWA Champion for 5 years has to count

Extant1979:
Most evil Mount Rushmore ever – Paul Heyman, Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji and JJ Dillon. The image must, however, have Virgil standing behind them all as the bodyguard to the stars.

kbjone:
Old School: Grand Wizard (or Eddie Creatchman)
WWF: Heenan (or Jimmy Hart)
NWA/WCW: Cornette (or J.J. Dillon)
Other: Gary Hart (or Paul Heyman)

The Fuj:
MR. FUCKING FUJI!

Seriously

Right now.

Bobby Davis, Paul Heyman, Bobby Heenan, Jim Cornette

Darren X:
Jim Cornette – The greatest manager of all-time. He took a surefire gimmick (momma’s boy/wimp/rich kid who could fight his way out of a wet paper bag) and ran with it
Bobby Heenan – The most talented overall of the managers, in that he could work damn good as well, and sell like nobody’s business
Gary Hart – The ultimate shady, cut-throat mafioso type manager
Paul E. Dangerously – So would this make me a Paul Heyman guy? Seriously, his work the last 2 1/2 years with CM Punk and Brock Lesnar has pretty much cemented his legacy. Tough to leave off Paul Ellering, Bill Alfonso, Jimmy Hart, and a few others, but there’s my four.


The blog is on hiatus for a couple of days (I have to be in a wedding) but I will be back with a new topic on Monday

QOTD #52: Mt. Rushmore

Today’s Question:  This one comes directly from a conversation with one of my closest friends after watching the Heyman DVD – With all of the talk recently about Mt. Rushmores, who would you put as the 4 faces on your Mt. Rushmore of Wrestling Managers?

Yesterday’s Question:  Sticking with the humor for one more day…..What were your funniest 3 (in order) “Chappelle Show” skits?

This one got a ton of responses, with the expected ones being mentioned a lot. Some of the best comments……




Elmo Machete: It’s not even really that funny, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the “Blackzilla” sketch because I lost my virginity with that on in the background. To a black girl, actually. That makes me part black, right?

Adam “Colorado” Curry: Clayton Bigsby, Reparations, and the Niggar Family. HMs to Prince and the R. Kelly videos.

Not from the show, but the whole thing about what white people eat (What the FUCK is juice?) from his stand-up might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

The “For what its worth” HBO special (or was it Showtime?). I would agree – his “grape drink” rant about the Sunny Delight commercials is probably as funny as anything on the show, but watch the skit below…..at about the 2:42 mark – when the kid says “O.J…..purple stuff…..we got Sunny D yeah!”…….

The brother really did want that purple stuff!

Lenny Vowels: “Buck Nasty, what can be said about your outfit that hasn’t been said about Afghanistan? It looks bombed out and depleted.”

That skit isn’t even in my top 3, but that’s still my favorite line in the history of the show.

There’s a section in the outtakes where Dave (as Silky Johnson) goes back and forth with Charlie Murphy and Patrice O’Neal worth the price of the DVD alone.

Devin Harris:
Everyone has already listed them all at this point so I won’t bother. A better question would be how did SNL miss out on this guy?

Good question. Especially when they have had Kenan Thompson all these years

Stuart_Chartock:
I’m gonna go a little against the grain, and NOT mention Prince or Rick James – they were good, but I don’t think they were the best skits of the show. I’ll go with:

1) Piss On You
2) Pop Copy
3) Wayne Brady

… but it’s so hard to narrow it down. “Mad Real World” and “Clayton Bigsby” should be on there, too. Yes, my Top 3 should somehow encompass five entries.

I also think that Lil Jon should give all of his money to Dave Chappelle. If it weren’t for Dave, nobody would give a fuck about Lil Jon.

jobber123:Actual Rick James: Come on, what am I gonna do? Just all of a sudden jump up and grind my feet on somebody’s couch like its something to do? Come on. I’ve got a little more sense than that.
*pause*
Yeah, I remember grinding my feet on Eddies couch.

Dave Chappelle actually made Rick James more relevant in the New Millenium than he ever could have possibly hoped – short of doing something stupid like a reality dating show with 20 skanks

npavlou22:You’ll get a bunch that are all the same: Rick James, Wayne Brady, Racial Draft, Making the Band, because they are all awesome.
But goddamn if Samuel Jackson Beer isn’t one of the funniest things I ever saw.

I figured I’d make it a numbers game, and go on a 3-2-1 point system (3 for 1st, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd, etc.). My 3 faves being 
1. Rick James True Hollywood Stories – Maybe the funniest skit ever
2. Clayton Bigsby – Dave made “Cunnilingus Rice” a household phrase. Nuff said.
3.  The Mad Real World


Based on that, I would say it evened out about like I thought
1. Rick James – 32 points
2. Prince – 21
3. Clayton Bigsby – 15
4. Player Hater’s Ball -7
5. Wayne Brady – 5


A lot of people liked the Racial Draft, and Keepin it Real goes wrong (surprised the Mad Real World didnt place! Whats up with that????) but overall, its just fun to remember how much people just really dug the show in general 10 years later.

QOTD #51: More comedic genius

Today’s Question: Sticking with the humor for one more day…..What were your funniest 3 (in order) “Chappelle Show” skits?

Yesterday’s Question: With the untimely passing of Robin Williams, having met his untimely demise, today’s question is: Of all the comedians that are no longer with us, whose comedy do you consider the greatest?



  
grizzlybear:Hicks, Pryor, Carlin.

Reading down the thread there are lots of decent suggestions but those three were transformative comedians and should be remembered as much more than men who stood up and made you laugh.

Sweet Lee:
I wonder if the almighty will swing a trade…you give us Kinison back and we will gladly give you Dane Cook and Kevin Hart.


I know I said this, and I mean absolutely no disrespect to Sam Kinison, but Dane Cook and Kevin Hart? Have you gone mad??????


TheGrailspiral:
Hope someone already mentioned Patrice O’Neil. Dude was hilarious in standup, roasts, and as a regular on Opie and Anthony. Loved the guy. George Carlin’s early stuff is just amazing too.


LJFCAT:
Oh, and as for comedians… I’ve never been huge into stand up, but anytime I watch Dave Chappelle I’m practically in tears (“bitch, I live in a fucking trash can!” *did* induce tears). Definitely my favorite, out of those I watched. I love Robin Williams and was CRUSHED by his passing, but for many other reasons – I’ve seen little of his stand up.

I think I probably should have clarified what I meant by “Gone too soon”. Fortunately, Dave hasn’t gone anywhere but Africa, with his crazy ass (and if you like Chappelle, you’ll like tomorrow’s topic).

THE YETAAAAY:
While not my all-time favorite, Lenny Bruce should get some recognition. Like with Carlin, I don’t find myself laughing at his humor for minutes at a time but I feel incredibly educated by it. Bruce did a shitload for free speech in this country as far as entertainers are concerned.

As for Carlin, the shelf-life for anyone in a mass-marketed medium is growing smaller by the day. With the overexposure of internet, social media, tabloids and television, the general public is growing tired of entertainers much more rapidly. That’s why I think a guy like Carlin will never come along again, who can evolve and adapt for over two generations.

X-Man:
Pryor and Carlin are my all-time two favorites hands down. Pryor was the saddest since MS robbed him of the ability to do standup in his last days. Carlin was able to perform up until the week before he died.

I was also a big fan of Robin Harris & Bernie Mac.. two Chicago comedians with the ability to make people laugh without even telling jokes. Very similar styles and even thought Bernie achieved greater success, they both died way too soon.

Marv Cresto:
For me this conversation begins and ends with Sam.

The man was a lightning bolt wrapped in flesh, no one was as funny, as quick, or as surprising as Sam Kinison. “Go to where the food is” is one of the funniest bits of all time as far as I’m concerned. The tragedy is that when he was killed in a car wreck he had allegedly been sober for quite some time and was finally getting his life together, had he remained alive we never would have heard of Lewis Black.

HM’s to Hedberg and especially Patrice O’Neal, there are hours and hours and hours of YouTube videos up of Patrice on the O&A show where he talks, by himself basically, for entire hours at a clip and it never for a second stops being uproariously funny.

How ironic that he used to be a writer for RAW!


The Polish Hammer:
Another vote here for Bill Hicks. His stand-up special “Revelations” is still one of the top 3 stand-up performances of all time to me.
(Insert mandatory rant hating Denis Leary for stealing his material)

The Fuj:
Who is no longer with us?

Bernie Mac: The KING of Comedy.

He was a fucking genius at observational humor. He could take anything and make it hilarious.

I think to anybody who watched Def Comedy Jam in the 1990s, the clip below is the 3 of the funniest 6 minutes in the history of the show. Kick iiiiiit!



Jared Bellow:
Though I love Bill Hicks’ rants and how ahead of his time he was, even in his personal life (his story about being a 30 year old man checking out Sonic The Hedgehog and Porno from the video store putting him in the realm of a creep, now video games and porn are the mainstream) – as some have pointed out he was a bit more in the realm of a political performance artist than a comic. He sadly predicted our political and intellectual decline. The “readin'” bit pretty much sums it up.

I would still say Richard Pryor is the best answer to this. He was “taken away” by his illness years before he died, and before that by a terrible, ill advised misadventure into mostly bad films. Pryor really got both down the soul bearing, personal side of comedy while being fucking hilarious. That he turned his very public incident with being caught on fire freebasing into one of the funniest routines of all time shows his depth and really exposes current comics outside of some of the more special
 talents like Louis CK and Patton Oswalt for how shallow they really are.

Bill Hicks is getting a lot of love from the blog! I have to admit – despite being from the same hometown (Little Rock, Arkansas), I’m not all that familiar with his work. I didn’t know who he was until the Letterman controversy, but other than Richard Pryor, Bernie Mac,  or George Carlin, he – by far – got the most responses.

Of course, the Godfather of Comedy hands down is Richard Pryor. No disrespect to Bernie Mac, Sam Kinison, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, or the very underrated Patrice O’Neal, but Richard Pryor is the greatest comedian of all-time.

There’s a popular saying that I believe Richard Pryor is very fond of saying: every comedian is funny to mask the pain – he alludes to this briefly here. I can’t help but think of this idea continually as we get more and more details on Robin Williams death.



One name I can’t leave without mentioning – a lot of people may not have heard of him, but I believe X-Man alluded to him: The guy who would have been the funniest comedian of the 1990s – by far was Robin Harris. It’s a shame he passed away in 1990 at 36 just when he was beginning to blow up.

Robin Williams said recently when asked what he thinks heaven is like “I hope a lot of humor.” Hopefully, he’s contributing to that cause as we speak. Robin Harris, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Bernie Mac, Lenny Bruce, Freddie Prinze Sr. AND Robin Williams – 

May they all rest in eternal peace.

QOTD #50: Comedians gone too soon

Today’s Question: With the untimely passing of Robin Williams, having met his untimely demise, today’s question is: Of all the comedians that are no longer with us, whose comedy do you consider the greatest?

Yesterday’s Question: Side note time: You ever have someone at work you just don’t like….and
you don’t know why????? They’ve done nothing to you, but for some
unknown reason, they just rub you the wrong way – and you don’t like
them at all. I have one of those (but I’m working on it), and I
figured I would try to relate that to the blog……with that in mind, I
just have to ask, because I have seen it discussed on the blog a few
times, but there was never really one consensus answer. There is really
no right/wrong answers, but I am dying to know 2 things in regards
to……….Shane Douglas:

a) What is your lasting memory of Shane Douglas (or the first thing that comes to mind)?

b) What in the world has he done in the wrestling business (as you see it) that is worthy of soooo much hatred?

greaterpower99: The thing that comes to mind with Douglas isn’t anything he did in the ring (average-to-good worker and talker, never anyone I especially WANTED to see), rather it’s an interview he gave to Power Slam in early ’96 following his failed run as Dean Douglas.

He claims that he mostly went to WWE to pay for medical school, predicts failure for new signing Mankind, calls McMahons basic integrity into question, and naturally, goes to town on the clique. It’s the same spiel about the clique that every wrestler who failed to get over in 94-95 invariably rattles off, but it was the first I’d even heard of the term. He also aired, may even have been the first, the rumour that HHH ingratiated himself with the clique by carrying their bags.

Not earthshattering by today’s standards, but in ’96 a bit of an eye-opener.

Actually, while we’re on the subject of Douglas, has anyone on here seen his “legendary” 60 minute draw with Tully Blanchard? Is it as bad as its reputation suggests?

I’ve seen about 45 minutes of it….and yes. They would have been better off sticking to 20-30 minutes. Lots of restholds, and old-school heel spots that didnt work in the 90s. Tully himself even admits it sucked. I’m guessing this was all part of his Flair obsession.

damaverickridesagain: On the subject of Shane Douglas: three thoughts come to mind
1. On the subject of burying the NWA back in ’94, yes it launched ECW into the upper level but lets be serious for a moment, if he didn’t win the belt, whoever did might had done it as well.
2. Despite what most people think, yes the Dean Douglas gimmick did suck, but he could had easily gone to WCW and have five star matches with Pillman, Malenko, Benoit, and a soon to be debuting Jericho. hell if Flair and him hated each other so much, why not have the match five years earlier? money can make people forgot a lot if it means we are getting richer
3. Overall the best period for me for Shane would have to be his tag team with Bagwell during WCW 2000, He was the perfect tag partner, not completely exposed but he could have you believe that he was capable of better things

BTW: the hottest woman for me in ECW would have to be a composite of Woman, Beulah, and Lita.

First of all, Dawn Marie could get it before any of those three…..secondly, I’d have to agree with you on the Bagwell thing: for a brief minute, it looked like their team had life….then Buff had to go and get himself suspended.

 jabroniville: The first thing I think of with Douglas is all those whiny-ass interviews calling out Ric Flair. Retrospect paints that as basically desperately-linking himself to a more successful wrestler in order to get heat. Then I think of all Douglas’ promos- mediocre, swear-filled nothing. People only paid attention to them because he was one of the first guys to drop F-bombs regularly.

He was also drastically overpushed in ECW. He was at-best an okay worker, and yet was booked to go in 25-minute “classics” that were in reality just overly-long and dull as shit, especially since his finisher was a Belly-To-Belly Suplex in an era of chairshots and Tornado DDTS through tables.

There’s one thing that comes to mind in regards to his hate for Flair: Around 95 or 96, ECW TV had an hourlong episode, and the first 30 minutes consisted of Douglas ranting and raving about how much he hates Ric Flair, and the question the entire world wants answered: “yes, Ric Flair – I hate your guts” being the payoff. Paul E. is a genius (Sidenote: The new DVD is AMAZING) but I really have to question why he let Shane Douglas spend half his show getting Ric Flair over as their lead heel.

 THE YETAAAAY
: 1) The thing I think of most is a few weeks after he broke Pitbull 1’s
neck, Gary Wolfe tried to get in the ring and Douglas shook his surgical
halo and threw him to the ground. It was the most genuine heel heat
I’ve ever seen someone get in the ECW arena.

2) He compares himself to legends way too much.

I wrestled with Ric Flair. I knew Ric Flair. Ric Flair was a friend of mine. Mr. Douglas, you’re no Ric Flair.

I think I really started to dislike him at the one ECW PPV when he was supposedly injured but still had a match with Al Snow and he went on that ridiculous self-blowjob rant about how people would be telling their grandkids about the time they saw Shane Douglas wrestling with a busted arm.


I remember the entire locker room hoisting both men on their shoulders……and the following week, Al Snow and Head Was putting over Brian Christopher and Scotty 2 Hotty on RAW. Tells you all you need to know.

BooBoo1782: Oddly enough, my most vivid memories of Shane are from his bouncing babyface era. I came along too late for the Dynamic Dudes, but I remember his brief early 90s WWF run (highlighted by a longer-than-you’d-expect stay in the ’91 Rumble and those ugly peach-pink tights) and his move to WCW in ’92 as Ricky Steamboat’s new partner. I know that his best work came later, but that’s what sticks in my memory from my own viewing experiences.

As for why everyone hates him…I think it’s largely because he blames just about everyone but himself for his failures – Flair, the Kliq, etc. – when he really was never THAT good. Yes, he was a solid worker, but there was never anything about him that screamed “future World Champion” to me, and yet my perception is that he goes on like he was supposed to be a an Austin-Rock level star.

Jason Clark: a) Agree on NWA title toss down. Probably the most memorable promo of his career and the touchstone of his entire ECW run.
b) I’ve wondered if there isn’t a worked shoot element of his ego. It really rubs wrestling fans outside of ECW the wrong way, and I’d say it has defined the IWC’s take on him. I don’t recall anyone calling Charles Wright a dick for stealing Undertaker’s urn, but we seem to take shoot comments on Ric Flair as being the actual opinion of the person making them. It could just be that Troy Martin has an ego and that Shane Douglas is just that ego turned up to 11.

Mike_N: I don’t hate Shane, but it’s not hard to see where the hate comes from.

If you’re that bitter and you talk that much shit, you’ll end up in a very bad place unless:

a.) it gets you ridiculously over. (see Punk, CM)
b.) it’s part of an angle with a clear payoff. (see Austin, Steve)
c.) you come out on top in the long run.

None of those three ever really came through for Shane. Flair and Shawn keep making money IN THIS BUSINESS, though I’m pretty sure Shane wouldn’t trade bank statements with Flair right now.

The Fuj:
A. Him throwing down the NWA belt in 94 is his legacy IMO.

B. Its his over-inflated sense of self-worth that has drawn the ire of most. I haven’t seen a 1v1 match with Shane that I would call good. Alot of his multi-mans or tags have been great. His promos in early ECW were so against the grain and not cookie cutter, but once everybody started following suit, there were people who did it better than him. He parlayed an ECW tenure where he was pushed as the flag-bearer into a dismal WWF run and when he couldnt cut it, he went back to ECW where he could be the big fish in a small pond. That was his problem as well. He always thought he should have been bigger thn what he was. If he had the talent, he would have shed the Dean DOuglas gimmick once the AE started for something more comtemparary. He just bitched about his run and left before shit got hot in NY. It was just piss poor timing because he could have the wave in NY and been something. I mean Val Venis and Rikishi got over, he would have gotten over. He just bitched and moaned about it.

By the time he got to WCW, he was too pilled up and injury riddled to be worth anything.

Fuj, I think you summed it up succintly as usual.  

The unfortunate part is that Shane Douglas actually was a decent (not exceptional) worker, but in this entire blog, did anybody mention the Triple Threat? He, Benoit, and Malenko as a faction whould have been one of the great ones, but that isnt his legacy. People remember him for all the whining about Flair. Well, there’s that, and his throwing up in the ring in TNA…….

QOTD #49: The Franchise

Today’s Question: Side note time: You ever have someone at work you just don’t like….and you don’t know why????? They’ve done nothing to you, but for some unknown reason, they just rub you the wrong way – and you don’t like them at all. I have one of those (but I’m working on it), and I figured I would try to relate that to the blog……with that in mind, I just have to ask, because I have seen it discussed on the blog a few times, but there was never really one consensus answer. There is really no right/wrong answers, but I am dying to know 2 things in regards to……….Shane Douglas:

a) What is your lasting memory of Shane Douglas (or the first thing that comes to mind)?

b) What in the world has he done in the wrestling business (as you see it) that is worthy of soooo much hatred?

I am by no means a Shane Douglas apologist, but I’m curious as to why.




Yesterday’s Question: Going back to a question last month on this
very blog about the greatest promo you’ve ever seen, in the career of
Mick Foley (as Cactus Jack, Dude Love, Mankind, or Mick Foley), I’m
curious: What one promo/interview in the career of Mick Foley stands out as his best?

Mostly great responses…..

Paul Meekin: I gotta go with the whole “Well Rock, how’s it feel to be back in the
WWE?” and then Foley cuts him off with the “It doesn’t matter what you
think!” and then he ran around the ring getting Foley chants.

Yes……one moment that absolutely NEVER gets old. That – to me – was the high point of Mick Foley as the Commissioner. Foley wouldn’t be a bad choice if they ever decide to name a new one.

chefazzy: I’d have to go with the one where he becomes Cactus Jack again leading up to the Royal Rumble against HHH. Coming
out still in the bloody shirt, he admits he was a defeated man and
couldn’t beat him as is. When he says the fans deserve a substitute and
hits the line “I think you know the guy,” then rips the mask off, I
marked out like crazy. And the look on HHH’s face really sold it. I was
already excited about the match, but this amped it up x100, and led to
what is still my favorite match of all time.

White Thunder: The Jim Ross sit down promos are what made him a star. Captivating television.

Another gem……complete with the Mandible claw. Keeping in mind this was 1997, so basically the edge of shock TV if you will.

Jabroniville: Either Cane Dewey, or that Orton one where he discusses the disgusting,
violent things he did to all those men in that tournament in Japan…
then adding that those men were his FRIENDS. “I HATE you, Randy Orton…
so what do you think I’m going to do to YOU?”

Stagger Gee: This isn’t exactly the longest promo Foley ever did but I’d say it ranks as the funniest

“Rock, on my best early to mid afternoon I could beat you on your worst late evening”
“Ken
Shamrock, you think you could put me in one of those holds, well I’ve
got news for you, I don’t know how to get out of a damn one of them”
“It takes a good man to beat Mankind, it just doesn’t take him very long”

Michael Weyer: I always had a soft spot for the bit of him and MIkey Whipwreck after winning the tag titles
“Mikey, the Public Enemy is really mad. You know what that means?”
“It…means I’m gonna die!”
“Hey, kids! Mikey likes it!”

WiffleBat: Any of his SMW stuff. I can’t find the speedos promo or the yabba dabba
doo time promo but I did find the funeral for Boots the cat

I remember there being one interview where Cactus referred to Boots the Cat and Boo Bradley saying “he’s not the first athlete to be derailed by his fascination with a pussy” or something along those lines, and nearly spitting out my drink with laughter.

Johnathan Meisner: Cane Dewey. Or, the promo against Dreamer and how the ECW fans wouldn’t piss on Tommy, if he were on fire.


 

Great choices all. I have to say, that if all of the promos in the history of wrestling were erased from Cyberspace, or from DVD collections, except for any one-given time period, I think I might have to say either Flair’s TBS promos from the mid-80s or Cactus Jack from 1995 would be my choice. Foley was clearly on a ROLL. I always had an appreciation for how he could ramble on about a topic, go on a completely different tangent, and then sum it up at the end and tie it all back into wrestling.

A prime example – and I am SHOCKED that nobody mentioned it, is the “Uncle Willy” promo. His explanation of why turned on Tommy Dreamer somehow relates to his Uncle Willy serving in WW2, and sharks eating him, etc. etc. then to sum it up lamenting Uncle Willy’s sacrifice for the greater good “Tommy Dreamer taking a DDT on a chair is PRETTY DAMN INSIGNIFICANT!”. I’m looking at the transcript of the interview (I know, it’s not the same, but unfortunately, our fine friends at WWE had the clip removed (copyright claim), and I only have it on VHS).

Another personal favorite: “Guns N’ Roses/How to stay awake in the midst of a long drive.” Words can’t really do it justice…..watch.

“Pass me the french fri-iiiiies”

There’s also one from  Wrestlepalooza 1995 where he assessed Dudley Dudley (“I find him to be….repetitive”), Big Dick Dudley (“Hes a big man…and a big dick”), Steve Richards (“…and where theres a Big Dick, kneeling before it will be Steve Richards”), and Raven (Basically, he’s cool) in short order – setting the stage for his heel turn….but I couldn’t find it.

I’m on an analogies trip, so I think these three, and of course “Cane Dewey” would perhaps constitute the Mt. Rushmore of Mick Foley promos…..but that’s just one guy’s opinion.


ECW 1998 Mick Foley Cane Dewey Promo by 2cool4you2

Bang Bang!

QOTD #48: The Digest Version

Today’s Question: Going back to a question last month on this very blog about the greatest promo you’ve ever seen, in the career of Mick Foley (as Cactus Jack, Dude Love, Mankind, or Mick Foley), I’m curious: What one promo/interview in the career of Mick Foley stands out as his best?

Yesterday’s Question: Besides Hulk Hogan, who’s heel turn surprised you the most?

I’m calling this a digest version, because work stuff, and a last-minute doctor’s visit has me swamped for time, so I couldn’t go through everyone’s responses and comment specifically. However, I would have to say this was tough to choose just one….The Horsemen alone, for example, could put together a greatest hits (Dusty, Ole, Luger, Sting – numerous times, Kevin Greene – all memorable). Barry Windham and Shawn Michaels also had awesome turns. I also liked Austin Idol’s 1987 Memphis turn against Jerry Lawler, and the Road Warriors turn on Sting, but as far as the most surprising, along with possibly the best executed, there is only one choice. The Holy grail of all Heel Turns – The 4 Horsemen dump Sting, 1990.

What takes the cake for me is how Ole Anderson very calmly in a “You know, at any time, we can stomp you in the ground” tone of voice, very calmly tells Sting…….”You’re not a Horseman anymore….Its…..OVER.” (The look on Sting’s face: Classic).
See you next time with a new topic, and hopefully a full rant

QOTD #47: Heel Turns

Question of the day: Besides Hulk Hogan, who’s heel turn surprised you the most?

Yesterday’s Question: Who’s your favorite professional athlete of all-time – outside of the wrestling business? 


As usual, you guys didn’t disappoint with the responses……………….





ToddLorenz: It’s not even close. Earl Campbell.

Yeah
Earl was pretty awesome – no argument there.

Aric Johnson: Tom Brady. Anybody you doesn’t like it can seriously kiss
my fucking ass.

Alrighty
then (talk about a complete 180)….



Mikey
Mike
: Albert Belle. He was my favorite player when I
started watching baseball in the mid 90s and was such a badass on top of being
one of the best hitters in baseball. Two favorite memories of Albert are when
getting his bat checked for cork in the 95 playoffs he pointed at his bicep and
told Red Sox mgr Kevin Kennedy “The Cork is right here bitch.”

My
favorite baseball moment of the 1990s. I was kinda sad at the way he went out….can
you imagine how those Capital Hill hearings would have ended if Albert Belle
was on the stand instead of McGuire? I’d pay MONEY to see that

jobber123: I used to be a die hard boxing fan and RJ was my guy all the
way. That fucking chicken wing punch was the coolest shit ever. Now a days my
favorite fighter is Andre Ward. Mostly because I’ve followed him from day one
because James Prince and rap a lot were his promoters.



I
thought Roy Jones was awesome too….but I have to admit: this clip is HILARIOUS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dcl0u5OfD_M


TMCoolTrainerBret: It was Steve Yzerman at first but reading Alan
Eagleson’s demolition job on hockey got me off that sport. I was partial to
Marc Bulger, but then he got sacrificed so badly by the Rams that they might as
well have painted a six pointed star surrounded by a circle with candles and
Latin tomes and shit and just done it there instead of behind the worst
offensive line in football.

Nowadays I like Mike Trout. I’m getting into boxing a bit because I did
research to write up a boxing match for BoD Raw, so Gennady Golovkin is someone
I’m keeping an eye on. For MMA, I’ve always been impressed by Jose Aldo, and
think hes basically the best in the world right now.

If we go into fiction? Well that really opens things up. Chris Smoove on
YouTube in his NBA series is my ideal type of basketball player, a point guard
that can direct the offense, make 3 with high levels of accuracy, and posterize
noobs when necessary. I also like Shin Seijuuro from Eyeshield 21, a football
comic in Japan, where Shin is a decently powerful high school linebacker capable
of running a 40 in 4.2 seconds. Another Japanese comic guy I think is hype is
Maruo Eiichirou from Baby Steps, who is a tennis player that relies on
intelligence and guile rather than power and speed, although he does undergo a
physical transformation that enables him to play tennis at a higher level and
be able to hold his end of the game power and speed-wise.

X-Man: Easy.. Muhammad Ali… the Greatest. I idolized him growing up,
his swagger, his boxing acumen, and his rags to riches story. He fought for
America in the Olympics, he fought against America during the Vietnam War, went
to jail for it, and came out a hero.

Muhammad
Ali – The Greatest. Gotta respect a man willing to pay the ultimate price.
Courage gets thrown around a lot, but he epitomized it.

parallax: Ken Griffey Jr. he was so good that he kept up with the
steroid monsters in the 1990’s in home runs and to my knowledge never once got
accused of taking any. If he wasn’t such a show off in the outfield causing him
to get hurt so much he would have broken Hank Aaron’s record. If he had a more
engaging personality and wasn’t so reserved he would have been the Michael
Jordan of baseball.



Jobber123: My favorite football player of all time is the great Steve Young, and
the closest I ever came in my life to a bar fight was against some dude who
called him a one hit wonder and a Mormon faggot. I was ready to fucking step
outside right then and there but cooler heads prevailed. I was born in 1982 and
have watched football as long as I can remember, and I love the 49ers but I
have never seen a more bad ass football player than young. He was fucking crazy
tough, super clutch, played with a total flair and was 15 years ahead of his
time. The 1994 Superbowl was awesome but my greatest Steve Young memory was him
firing a picture perfect pass to TO to finally beat the fucking packers (who I
hate more than any other football team including the cowboys)



Riraho: Whoa, tough one. With honorable mention to Larry Bird, Kevin McHale,
Martin Brodeur, Patrik Elias, Wayne Gretzky and Tom Brady…
…I’d have to say Drew Bledsoe. He was my clear favorite in my hardcore
growing up sports crazy time frame. Which made for a bizarre dynamic for me
when Brady took his place and started winning.

Jared Bellow: It’s a tough call…and maybe more of a personal
fascination…Mike Tyson. The kind of power and drive he had was just unreal,
he was a force of pure malevolence.

Generally I lean more toward “all time greatest” types like Jordan or
Anderson Silva but Tyson, and especially his story and what became of him, are
fascinating to me.



WILLYOUSTOP?: Being from Denver, no question: John Elway. His winning two Super Bowls
at the end of his career was the perfect storybook ending, particularly when
you consider that the only reason the Broncos got the “privilege” of
being slaughtered in three previous Super Bowls was Elway carrying the team to
the big one.

After that, George Brett has always been a favorite.

Great
answers from the blog. We also got the requesite handful of Michael Jordan
responses as well, and there’s no question hes the greatest. My personal choice
would be Deion Sanders – without question. I’m a bit surprised nobody said it,
but still. How many guys can be so great at 2 different sports as Primetime?






QOTD #46: Favorite Athletes

Today’s Question: Kind of a random question of the day, but who is your favorite professional athlete of all-time – outside of the wrestling business?
 .
Yesterday’s Question:
In sort of a continuation of yesterday, I hear people talking about WWE
Style. Strictly focusing on the in-ring product, I think we are headed
for a more homogenized product, as WWE insists on new guys going thru
developmental first. So my question is: What automatically comes to mind when you hear someone refer to the “WWE Style”? 


 .
Yesterday’s question was sort of an extension of Tuesday’s topic, but I just wanted to get a feel for what everyone was referring to when they mentioned WWE in-ring style. 


Kyle Fitta: WWE matches typically follow the same format. The beginning starts with
the babyface’s fire period, with him or her going crazy and avoiding
everything the heel throws at him. In more strategic matches, the story
establish that the babyface is superior because of their strength,
power, technical, highflying skills, or whatever. The next portion is
where the heel takes over. This could happen for a number of reasons –
the heel could have cheated, the babyface could have failed to deliver
high-spot, the heel could have found a weakness, etc. The heel will then
methodically dictate the pace of the match. A good heel will listen to
the crowd’s reactions to know the right time for cut-off a comeback and
when babyface should get in hope-spots or make their comeback. This all
builds to the finishing sequence, which usually occurs after the
babyface makes their full-blown comeback. Generally, this when the
wrestlers go for the deathblow as they try to hit their trademark spots
and finishers. The structure has stayed simple, but all the twist and
turns, the psychology, the wrestlers’ personalities, and the story can
make it a masterpiece.



Stuart Chartrock:

Not really answering the question here, but just something I want to say about “WWE Style”:
As
much as many of us in the IWC may loathe the so-called “WWE Style” or
“Main-Event Style”, it doesn’t automatically mean that everybody
wrestles the same bland, chinlock-filled style.

Yes, it’s a bit
“toned down” from the 100mph indy style of doing a billion dangerous
spots in a row, and it does focus more on telling a story than just
stringing a bunch of cool moves together. And, yeah, it also means being
able to condense a few signature spots into three-minute matches. That
doesn’t mean that it can’t be exciting, though: Austin, Rock, Trips,
Shawn, Bret, Taker, Cena, Brock, Punk, Bryan, Savage, Hennig, Jericho,
Angle, Eddie, Benoit… all of these guys wrestle(d) within the
boundaries of said style. Sure, there are limitations placed on the
workers, but the truly talented can overcome those limitations to put on
consistently great matches that engage audiences.



redman:Main event matches-Punch, kick, chop, chinlock, at one point someone has
to be outta the ring for the commercial break. Then another chinlock
when the break is over. Then a nice nearfall sequence at the end with a
finisher always being what is used to win. Absolutely no story
Midcard marches- punch, kick, chop, chinlock, distraction, roll up finish
As
far as entertainment goes, the matches are consistently better today
than they ever have been IMO. But I see so many of them every week and
they are a ALL THE SAME kind of match that I get bored of it. 



Garth Holmberg C.C.:WWE Style has always been focus on working for the production crew than
the live audience. Yes, the audience is a major part of the show, but
look at the latest Rumble: There’s a horrible production botch where we
see Kane sitting at ringside 20 minutes before his due run-in. Why?
Because they were trying to catch something else going on that was
important to production than the in-ring product, and they fucked it up
rather than the performer. Just one of many examples that come to mind,
but one that had me scratching my head at such a bush league move.



Jason Clark:

In ring, I see “WWE style” as
(1) having an emphasis on brawling and size instead of technical wrestling or MMA-like submissions.
(2) as much as possible, having matches templated and paced for a television audience vs. a live arena.
(3) wrestlers being booked “50-50”, unless you are a US or IC title holder, in which case you are losing most of the time.
Overall,
I see it as brand over individual component. They want to sell the WWE
product rather than DB, Brock, or even Cena. That way, the company is
protected when those individuals retire, go elsewhere to wrestler, or
get injured. When you own a lot of stock like the McMahons, why *try*
to make billions when you can guarantee yourself to make millions.



Chris B:Two things: Learning to put a match into 3 minutes – that is what most
of the indy guys say is the hardest thing to transition to. The other
thing is brawling into the crowd … classic WWE style.



VintageECW: WWE Style: Dolph Zigglers ridiculously dumb finisher. (agreed….)




Based on the responses, it follows a basic format…..


* Authority has 20-minute talking segment
* Authority makes a match (which if its early in the show, starts….RIGHT NOW)
* Punch, kick, punch, kick for about 2 mins, then take a powder
* Michael Cole changes inflection and goes to commercial
* resthold, chinlock, etc. etc.
(No new spots whatsoever)

The only variation is the finish which depends on a few factors:

– If the match involves John Cena, then Cena hits 5-knuckle shuffle (100% of the time) and gets the AA after one failed attempt
–  If the match involves mid-carders, then the finish will include a distraction (either by the next PPV opponent or the MUSIC OF the PPV opponent) followed by a roll-up or caught by their finisher
– 90% of ALL matches must end with the winner hitting his finisher – with the exception of the aforementioned distraction/roll-up. Also, the recipient must be in PERFECT position to recieve the finisher at the perfect time. For example, for RVD, the victim is perfectly positioned underneath RVD at an angle as to be perfectly 5-star splashed. Or, for Rey Jr. the recipient must always land with head sticking out of the ropes for the 619, then after getting kicked, land perfectly to recieve West Coast pop. I could go on but you get the drill.
– WRESTLEMANIA VERSION: The main event includes the above, except each man must kick out of the other’s finisher, then ATTEMPT the opposing wrestler’s finisher at least once.

Pretty predictable when you spell it out. Or as The Fuj put it……


ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!


QOTD #45: WWE Style

Today’s Question: In sort of a continuation of yesterday, I hear people talking about WWE Style. Strictly focusing on the in-ring product, I think we are headed for a more homogenized product, as WWE insists on new guys going thru developmental first. So my question is: What automatically comes to mind when you hear someone refer to the “WWE Style”?

 
Yesterday’s Question: Let’s say that hypothetically speaking, of course, that Vince McMahon were to hire you to run WWE, with one mission: fix what’s wrong with the company, and turn things around. He would (again, hypothetically) give you complete autonomy over RAW, SmackDown, WWE Network, etc. with one caveat: You cannot turn John Cena heel. What would be the first 3 things you would do as the new head of WWE?
 
Lots of responses. some of the best ones:
 
cultstatus:1. Fire all the writers/re-assign Stephanie to a division that has nothing to do with the on air product. 2. Overhaul TV/PPV. Cut the shows to just Raw and Smackdown. Raw is a 2 hour live show and Smackdown is a taped jobber/recap show. Cut the PPV lineup to 6 and make them PPV exclusive. Rumble, WM, MITB, Survivor Series, SummerSlam and one tbd. The remaining 6 would be Network exclusive live Clash style specials. 3. Change the in-ring product and presentation. Very few in ring promos, 2 man booth at ringside calls the action, 4 man panel analyzes matches and feuds in between matches near the stage. UFC Countdown style video packages hype big matches like we saw on Raw. Way less goofy gimmicks. Treat it like a legit sport. Ring style would be a mix of WWE style and ROH style.
 
SweetLee:1) Hire Judy Bagwell
2) Place her on a pole
3) ????
4) Profit
But in seriousness…
1) Dark, edgy face Cena.
2) Hire Jim Cornette just to let him fire Kevin Dunn.
3) Build new stars by remembering who I am trying to push.
 
To which Judy Bagwell are you referring: Buff’s mom or his wife????? (does this guy have issues or what? and that is one movie I won’t be watching)
 
Stan Ford:Lots of suggestions that would never fly with concerns like stockholders, the USA network, etc. Three that would:
1. Fire Kevin Dunn. The WWE’s video production machine at this point is an autonomous beast that requires little to no one-man micromanaging, especially from a bigoted dipshit sexist who thinks his opinion about what he’s in charge of recording properly matters. 2. Visual overhaul. Something. Anything. Think tank or focus group it. Just… No more weird color cubes surrounding the Titantron and video wall behind the wrestlers. Make it look new and fresh. 3. If champions are going to wrestle, it should only be for the title or sparingly in tag team matches. Hulk Hogan wasn’t wrestling on every show in the 80s and when Shawn Michaels was IC champ, he didn’t eat music distraction roll ups from every Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart on the roster every time he was on TV.
 
Extant1979: All these people posting that Dusty should get the book… not sure it’s the best idea. Are we ready for Goldust or Stardust, new world champ? No? Good, because there would be Dusty finishes any time we’re expecting a title change…Dusty Rhodes may be a better option than what we have now, but surely there are better wrestling minds out there available than the ol’ Polka Dot Plumber.
Big Dirty Murph: 1: Jobber matches. Build characters by having them squash some indie geek every week. They get to show off all their offense and get their character over without any 50/50 treadmill bullshit. Plus you can save money by paying the jobbers peanuts and only having one or two “real” matches on TV. 2: Change the look. I’d ditch the big ramp and video wall. Go to an MSG style smaller tunnel entrance, and instead of pushing the live entrances so much, i’d have them cut to a video of some sort, so you get the effect of an entrance without doing it in the arena. And that way you can book slightly smaer arenas and make up the difference by not blocking off a quarter of the seats. 3: Goals. Every angle exists because both people have goals and they need to beat their opponent to achieve them. Titles, opportunities. I’d hype up the idea that the winner gets paid more, so that each match has more at stake. only when an angle calls for it do we then have personal issues be at stake. Every match has a logical conclusion when there’s stakes involved.
 
I couldn’t agree more with the jobbers. This would eliminate the 50/50 booking altogether….an interesting take from Dusty Rhodes RF Video Shoot: He actually said his son Dustin and Steve Austin were the most gifted athletes to hit the business in that generation. Nothing against Dustin, hes a good worker and athlete, but that sums why: Dusty + in charge = bad idea
 
grizzlybear:Sorry if this sounds like I’m deliberately undermining the point of the question (you are)… but ‘one mission: fix what’s wrong with the company, and turn things around’ kind of assumes that those enlightened folks at WWE think there’s anything wrong with their business model in the first place. Unscripted promos, less exposure by cutting back on TV, PPV’s etc and rig up an elaborate stunt for John Cena to rappel to the ring from the rafters but tragically fall to his doom. Can’t turn him, but you didn’t say anything about bumping him off.
 
This would be why its hypothetical: No way in hell these things will ever happen….but you do make a good point.
 
Stelio Kontos: 1. Get ex-wrestlers with an aptitude for booking to write the shows, instead of the Hollywood types they have now. 2. No more heel authority figures. Just get Hogan to come out every so often for a big announcement. 3. Hire back Kaitlyn and have her writhe naked on my desk all day. OK, seriously…..3. Change up the announce teams. Give King an ambassadorial role. Keep Cole on RAW, but put him on with Regal. Philips and Renee do Smackdown, JBL becomes a manager, because I can’t stand him for five hours a week anymore.
 
Redman: 1. Stop having 2 or 3 *** matches every night on raw or smackdown. One reason no one buys ppv anymore. Still have plenty of wrestling but shorten the matches on free tv and have more of them so you can have more storylines and characters. Then have the awesome matches at the “special events” every month.
2. Stop the 50/50 booking nonsense. Dont think I have to explain that one.
3. Fire michael cole and jerry lawler. Replace cole with anybody it wont matter and let jbl be the great heel commentator he used to be. And when someone is getting destroyed in a beat down, the commentators should be calling it and talking about how horrible it is. Not sitting there in completely silence and then softly saying “he kicked him in the head” so I would put a stop to that too
 
You kinda lost me on #1
 
Jason Clark:1) Analytics driven booking decisions – I’d build a database of Nielsen ratings of Raw & Smackdown, volumes of crowd pops, and weekly merch sales along with who appeared in segments. Based on that, I’d score how much revenue & ratings each wrestler, manager, etc is providing the company. I’d then use that information to inform booking & creative who is actually “over” and craft story lines and matches around this information. The current system looks too subjective
2) Heavy creative cuts – The scripts and storylines are not very compelling. They could save a shit-ton of money by reducing the amount of scripting, have a single booker stick to making finish decisions, then let the road agents lay out the match. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
3) VP of Common Sense and Continuity – new position: Person’s job is to be familiar with the history of the product and of each wrestler, feuds, and matches. As booking decisions are made, their job is to inform bookers of any breaks in continuity or any actions which are not in the scope of the wrestlers’ character. After discussion, the VP has limited veto rights to a number of booking decisions. They can also support match finishes and lay-outs, recalling past finishes and allude to those during the course of the match.
 
J.T.Murphy: 1. Suspend all other productions by the WWE Network staff until every single bit of useable footage from 1995-2001 is up and running online. WWF, WCW, ECW, the whole lot of it. Then, run outside advertising begging lapsed Attitude-era fans to join in the big-ass nostalgia party. For the next few months, the late 90’s should be the secondary focus of promoting the Network after (the events formerly known as) PPVs. Unearth guys like Ken Shamrock, Steve Blackman, Val Venis, The Godfather, Bob Holly, the Headbangers and Bull Buchanan, and align them with the Attitude stars already on board (Rikishi, Too Cool, The New Age Outlaws) to convince old-school fans to party like it’s literally 1999. Tell Mick Foley and Steve Austin whatever the hell they need to hear to win them over again, and if this initiative starts to take off, spring for a Rock cameo. If TNA goes under one night, then Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, and Bubba Ray Dudley should have Legends contracts (if nothing else) FedEx’d to them by sunrise, followed by attempts to bring in the likes of Matt Hardy, Taz, D’Lo Brown and Al Snow if their requests are at all reasonable.There were more eyeballs on wrestling shows during that era than there ever were before or have been since, and it’s a waste to barely even try to appeal to that goldmine of nostalgia when they need subscribers more than anything else in the world.
2. Quietly, with no fanfare, convert NXT into a haven for indy wrestling geeks. They’re already quite a bit of the way there already, all that needs to happen on this end is bring in more high-profile indy guys and foreign stars on furloughs or developmental deals (again, already happening) and then crib a few ideas from ROH or Chikara to make the product feel noticeably different from WWE. NXT can be the Touchstone Pictures to WWE’s Disney just by nudging it even more in its current direction, and it would result in the company’s first true success at brand extension. In order for this to work, though, NXT should only get passing mentions on WWE TV, as if it were an independent company renting air time. Word of mouth and social media should be doing the heavy lifting here. If NXT starts getting the same fanfare as WWE’s other events and shows, that’s the end of it right there.
3. Reverse course completely on the Zack Ryder rule. Encourage performers to interact with fans on social media and YouTube in particular. Keep some producers on staff to help the superstars and divas build custom video content, and reward them by letting them keep a major portion of the revenue of their WWE-approved channel. Study and replicate the recent successes of independent YouTube stars, and use that goodwill to put butts in seats and cash in the Network’s hand. Things I wouldn’t touch: WWE.com as it stands (they’re holding their own and then some in creating content). The main shows in general (The storylines and booking decisions can be suspect, but the wrestling and promo delivery have been improving dramatically over these past 12 months. If #3 works, it could give Smackdown a new lease on life as a showcase for fan-driven stars while the uppercard does its thing on Raw. Real change in the main event can and should come from the ground up.). Total Divas (I don’t think enough is made of how WWE, at long last, produced a successful, profitable program that isn’t wrestling)
 
Stuart_Chartrock: The solution is pretty simple: actually CARE about the entirety of the roster, not just two or three guys on top.
It can be hard to predict who or what is going to get over, but it’s better to keep throwing ideas at the wall than to just arbitrarily decide that nobody other than Cena is worth anything. If a guy debuts a new character, run with it! If a guy wins a title, run with it! If a guy begins to gain popularity, run with it!
And in the mean time, for people who AREN’T being utilized well, COME UP WITH SOMETHING! Come up with ideas for the entire roster. I’m not even saying that it’s easy or possible to come up with GOOD ideas for everyone, just brain-storm and do something other than having guys under contract for YEARS, but only allowing them to pop up once every six months on your D-level show.
Don’t just say “this guy isn’t Cena” or “nobody cares about the IC title” and then rush through 2.5 hours of filler just to spend thirty minutes on your biggest name.
 
riraho: 1a. Make the belts mean something. No champion should ever lose if it’s not for losing the title.
1b. Stop being embarrassed about WRESTLING. It’s what the fuck it is. It’s why people watch.
2. Continuity. Tito Santana and Rick Martel kept their feud going for years, as long as each of them were in the Fed. Now, HHH can hit HBK in the spinal cord with a sledge hammer and then they become best buds and reform DX.
3. Have the balls to create new stars. SK mentioned something along these lines this week. Hogan’s spot on top of the WWF lasted 9-10 years. Bret’s lasted 6. Austin and Rock, about 5 years. Now, Cena and Orton have been on top for nearly 15 and there is no chance of them fading any time soon.
Between 1a, 1b, 2 and 3, it’s an absolute wonder to me why any one even cares about what they knew as wrestling from their childhood. It’s not even the same thing anymore.
It’s not freaking rocket science. If they fix those things, ratings and the Network will take care of themselves.
 
BooBoo1782: 1. Hire Mick Foley as head of creative. I feel like Mick, given his creative talents (have you read his novels? I really like them…shame they didn’t sell better), his knowledge of the business, and the great character work he did as an active wrestler, is probably the individual best suited to leading a wrestling promotion on the creative side. He clearly has a lot of ideas about the business, and an eye for talent. He’s also seen more than enough bad bosses that he knows what NOT to do. I feel like a CEO should probably stay a level or two removed from individual storylines and booking decisions (except in extreme cases), but I would trust Mick to head up Creative.
2. Give Mick a directive to emphasize long-term booking: for every angle and character, a member of the creative team should be able to answer the question: “Where are we trying to go with this?” That doesn’t mean that we should doggedly attempt to get there when it isn’t working, but there should certainly be a Plan A, and probably a Plan B and/or C. I think there’s too much throwing guys on TV with a cutesy gimmick – Fandango, Bo Dallas, etc. – but without a plan. I would want that changed, even if the plan is “get a few wins to establish the character, then settle back as enhancement talent.”
3. Change the overall structure of RAW (and I’m assuming Smackdown as well…haven’t watched it in a long time), and divert from the 20-minute opening promo at least once in a while. I’d probably reinstitute the Cruiserweight title and use it to pop the crowd early (a la Nitro), then maybe get into the big angles.
 
Thats a LOT of Mick Foley….and people would get tired of him in short otder.
 
TheConvictor: I don’t think there’s any point in talking about creative stuff because you can never plan on a guy catching fire a la Steve Austin or the NWO. Instead, I’d focus on fiscal and employment issues.
1. Find a revenue source to replace the loss of PPV money. If the Network is here to stay, then it must generate more revenue. This could be accomplished by increasing the price of “Special Events,” charging a one-time “installation fee” in order to discourage people from cutting off service, or creating “premium content” for customers to pay additional money for. Maybe live events cost $2 to watch in real-time, or maybe RAW and Smackdown replays are $1 if you want to watch the same day or the day after. Basically, unless there are a bunch of customers clamoring for the network in the UK and overseas, then they have to make due with the subscribers they have and figure out ways to get more money out of them.
2. Figure out ways to combine the network with other content providers. It might be anathema for the WWE to consider this, and I have no idea if this would be feasible, but why not enter into a joint venture with UFC, HBO/Showtime, AAA and New Japan to create one gigantic fighting network? At the very least, they should be looking for ways to cross-promote. Heck, they could throw the WWE Films onto the Network, too (who wouldn’t want to watch Fandango in “The Marine 8?” A diversity of programming is what makes Netflix and Hulu successful. Obviously, the WWE Network isn’t Netflix or Hulu, but there’s no reason why they can’t broaden their offerings a little without losing their core identity. Hell, put the old XFL games on there, too. I wouldn’t mind reliving the Tommy Maddox Era.
3. Mandatory off-seasons for wrestlers. It’s not healthy for wrestlers to work all year. I’d institute rotating off-seasons where wrestlers can’t have matches for 2 months. They can still appear on TV, but best case scenario is that they go home and rest. Wrestlers might not be in favor since it would decrease their earnings, so I’d compensate by offering them benefits, such as health care and disability. In addition to having healthier wrestlers, I’d also get a nice PR bump (don’t scoff at the value of this – Linda McMahon would have killed for some good PR in 2010 and 2012).
 
Paul Meekin: For starters I’d make the Network available in two options, and add some incentives.
1. a Free to Watch model where you can watch X number of shows for free, but you’ll get ads every few minutes like a TV show, and it wouldn’t come with PPVs, which would run around…29.99.
2. The current model we have now, 9.99, BUT with exclusive discounts and bonuses on merch, tickets, and other neat perks for long-time subscribers.
3. Add in a rating system for the WWE Network, per match, which would allow people to rate matches and segments on a 1-5 scale, allowing the best of the content to rise to the top.
Second:
Establish the belts more. The World Title is fine, and it seems the Tag division is actually decently decent for the first time in quite a long while. WWE seems obsessed with their legacy and prestige and legacy, but rarely does that translate in wrestlers bitching about needing a title.
Third:
I’d love it if they shot some of their matches on film for special segments or parts of video packages, it’d look amazing.
Fourth:
Re-ignite Kayfabe. I want wrestlers to appear on TMZ then get attacked by ‘a masked figure’ that turns out to be their opponent on the PPV, the more I question “Is this for real?!” even if I know it’s not, the more engaged I am in the product.
 
I hate to break it to you, but there’s no way the toothpaste is going back in that tube. Kayfabe – for better or worse – is dead. The dual Network idea is a good one – all about profit.
 
X-Man: 1) Fire EVERY single member of the writing staff.. Every one. Hire some younger writing talent with an emphasis on people that are longtime fans of wrestling. Have one Head writer (not named McMahon) that can make the decisions, but he should get input from the others.
2) Talent shift. Bring up Sami Zayn, Aiden English, Devitt, Kalisto and Kenta. Change the announce teams using wrestlers like Christian that are collecting dust.
3) Immediately bring back the cruiserweight division. Hire some cheap luchadors and Japanese talent to build up people like Kenta and Zayn and watch them lead the company into the future.
joedust: 1) Put commercials on the Network as an additional source of revenue. Try and pursue high end advertisers almost exclusively to change the narrative about how wrestling fans are low-brow and while the ratings are good, the add rates suck, so that when my next TV contract comes due I can show Universal that my ratings are worth more and improve those TV rights fees.
2) Book my own version of the G-1 Climax. Two matches on Raw, two matches on Smackdown, two matches on Main event = 6 matches a week. Run it over the dead fall period and promise the winner a title match at the Royal Rumble. This can sort of start the clock on the WrestleMania season earlier, since they can promote that the winner of the tournament could win the WWE title at the Rumble, which almost guarantees a title defense at WrestleMania. It makes all the TV shows more important because now there’s six matches a week that could determine who is main eventing WrestleMania. No convulted rules either: 2 pts for a pin/sub win, 1 pt for a dq/COR win or draw, 0 points for a pin/sub loss, -1 for a dq loss.
3) No more four way matches for the WWE Championship or NXT Championship. These matches are a bad idea, and if a match with four guys is the most interesting thing you can book, and some more guys and throw it in a cage or something. Look at Battleground — how many problems with the booking of that show could have been solved if they didn’t even bother with that stupid four-way, and instead did Cena/Abrose/Reigns v. Kane/Orton/Rollins in a cage?
 
I gotta say: AWESOME idea with the G1 concept. I think this is what TNA was going for with the Bound For Glory, but could never quite get people to care (well….because it sucked) but the talent in WWE could pull it off.
 
Stranger in the Alps: 1. Dump the screenwriters trying to work their way up to The Big Bang Theory. This does not translate well to wrestling, and gets you segments like Hornswoggle hanging with Fandango for “comedic” purposes. You can go back to the traditional style of booking angles.
2. Bring back squash matches. It saves you from having to book yourself into a corner where some guy trying to work his way up has to lose to a more established star. That way when two guys meet, chances are good that they have not met before, and people would believe that it really can go 50-50 on the outcome.
3. Replace the commentary team with people who understand storytelling and wrestling holds and let them do their thing and tell Vince to get the fuck out of their ear. Michael Cole would be a backstage interviewer, or fired altogether, JBL would be allowed to stay on color provided he went back to his insider knowledge, and Lawler would be sent home to retirement. Since TV is very important in getting the message across to the audience, you need commentary that is interesting.
Crikey Mate Down Aussie: 1) clamp down on illegal streaming and torrents, remove them around the clock. Having matches on YouTube does promote the product, but having people watch network specials for free is costly.
2) buy TNA, have them invade in a total overhaul of the company, like all storylines just come to an abrupt halt as The Authority, after failing to have there guy as champion, back another company to get it done. This would get the same level of mainstream attention the Punk walkout of MitB did. Once the storyline runs it’s course the majority of TNA’s roster settle on Smackdown, using the World title again as the show’s centre piece. Specials like battleground and survivor series have meaning again.
3) allow blood again. If they are serious about drawing in the lost attitude era fans for the network then they have to allow it to some extent. I’m not condoning chair shots to the head or piledrivers or anything, they can still be safe and protective, but blood feuds draw, and blood feuds need blood.
 
Jason Andreas: 1) Implement a definitive “league structure” for the shows. NXT is the Minor League show, as now, where talent is developed and honed. Talent then is promoted to Smackdown, which has a focus on technical wrestling and has a guaranteed mandate that more than 50% of the show run-time will be actual matches. It will have a league structure and every quarter, a special match will be held between the top two/three/four (depending) to determine who is promoted to Raw, with a bottom tier talent coming back from Raw (either for losing too much or as storyline punishment/stipulation). Raw will be the show it is today, mainly story-driven, with the top echelon of talent, big guest stars, etc. If a talent wins the Rumble and isn’t a Raw star, they gain immediate promotion to Raw. Same goes for MitB, which would have 2 entrants from each of the three shows. There will also be a “you won’t see this elsewhere” theme to the shows, meaning recaps of eventa on other shows are at a bare minimum and only used for big events.
2) Tag Team wrestling will be given a new focus. Any team entering tag competiton must have a team name and something, whether it’s gear, paint, etc, that makes them feel like an actual and definitive team unit, not just two guys shoved together because there’s nothing else to do with them. Teams will be kept together an absolute minimum of 6 months, barring injury/sacking. Teams made of two singles stars cobbled together for storyline reasons will only beat an established team unit on rare occasions, as a nod to the fact it’s a different and specialises style of match.
3) The gimmick ppvs (HiaC, TLC,etc) would be no more. They would get generic names again and these matches would be reserved as genuine special attractions (a HiaC should end a huge, bloody feud, not just happen because it’s that month’s gimmick). The exceptions to this woukd be Elimination Chamber and, of course, the Rumble. I would also make Survivor Series unique again: all matches are SS style matches, barring the world title match.
 
Yes! I HATE the gimmick PPVs! The league structure sounds too much like the NBA Summer League (and nobody watches that either).
 
Brian Scala:1) Build a physical WWE Hall of Fame building and make voting requirements for future inductees.
This is my biggest pet peeve. A physical HOF would add an aura of legitimacy to an area that is in desperate need of it. Yes, we’re talking about a form of entertainment that is pre-determined, but that’s no reason to make a mockery of something (Koko B. Ware?) that is supposed to be as prestigious as main-eventing WrestleMania. A HOF museum would add another form of revenue. WWE network subscribers get in at a discounted rate. Voting is open to all subscribers every year from December 1 to December 31. Those who acquire 80% of the vote get in. Announce the inductees at the RAW after the Royal Rumble.
2) Cut the PPVs down to six per calendar year & charge an extra $10 for each
WWE has already cannibalized their PPV revenue thanks to the network. They can have as few or as many as they want. Cutting PPVs to every other month would make them special again and would make the buildup that much more special to boot. Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, King of the Ring, SummerSlam, <insert random=”” title=”” here=””> and Survivor Series is all I need. Charging subscribers an extra $10 for the PPVs isn’t going to blow up the internet. That’s still $180 for everything in one year. Not a bad deal.
3) No more Heel Authority Figures (at least, not for a few years)
One of the dynamics I loved about WWE growing up was seeing heels get punished by Jack Tunney for doing dastardly things. If he got involved, you knew this was a big deal and there would be hell to pay. Plus, it gave the heels a chance to outsmart the boss and make them appear more evil (i.e. Jake Roberts / This Tuesday In Texas). Write the Authority off of TV and hire a new figurehead to act as WWE President.
 
AlexBull: 1. Ditch the U.S. title and establish a “Beat The Champ” TV title. Defended only on Raw; gimmick it so opponents are drawn at “random”. Five victories in a row as champ earns you a World title match. In the same vein, stop booking the IC champ like a JTTS. The IC champ should be the top midcard guy, not fodder for the main eventers.
2. Establish an annual tournament a-la the G1. Use the well-established King of the Ring name. Stretch it out over several months, like TNA did for the Bound For Glory series… just don’t screw it up like they did. A format similar to the World Cup would work — put four guys into a group, have them round robin, then the top two from each group advance to single elimination. Book the finals at Night of Champions. Make it important, use it to elevate new talent, create storylines, etc.
3. Make the dialogue and the flow of the show more organic. Let guys cut promos that aren’t read off of cue cards, bring back promos in front of the live crowd, let the announcers call the matches without Vince coaching them through their headsets.
Can think of many other changes, but those would be my top three.
 
Mike_N: 1. Get rid of the 50/50 booking in the midcard. You can’t elevate anyone with it. If everyone always trades wins and losses, no one stands out. That’s part of the reason every six-man match is Cena, Orton, Sheamus, Bryan (when healthy, HHH when he’s not), and Random Midcarder A and Random Midcarder B. RMA and RMB have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, and they always feel like they’ve been stapled on to the main event.
The ex-Shield seems like the first three guys in a million years (other than Daniel Bryan) to escape the black hole of the midcard.
2. Bring in guys with different looks/different styles. So what if they don’t have generic looks, names, or styles? We’re going to make money off them anyway. Hell, we might even make more money because they’re different. Variety is the spice of life, right?
Sure, some of them might not pan out, but some of the generic WWE guys won’t either. If they don’t work WWE style, that’s OK, as long as the crowds are responding and they’re not hurting guys.
3. New announcers. Jesus Christ, new announcers. Or just get let them improvise (without Vince in their ears, I mean), and see if the commentary improves.
 
Starscreamlive:1. Build up the midcard. Restore prestige to the IC title and create storylines/feuds that are meaningful and compelling. There is a lot of talent in the mid-card/tag division that goes by wasted just to fill time. Kofi and Ziggler are two of the most talented guys on the roster and their talents are wasted week in/week out because no emphasis is put into midcard feuds anymore.
2. Bring back the brand split. Too many guys on one roster right now and all these guys sit backstage with nothing to do. It’s a similar situation to late 90s WCW with all the guys just showing up to do nothing, or just to do a nothing match on Superstars.
3. Cut out scripted promos for most talent. Some talent need scripted promos b/c they don’t have promo skills, but the gifted guys on the mic need to be turned loose. Go back to bullet points and have wrestlers/Superstars speak from the heart. If they can’t cut it, send them packing. These scripted promos that we are forced to watch every week just makes most of these guys’ characters so bland. CM Punk got over as big as he did b/c they turned him loose on the mic. Imagine just how much more awesome Ambrose would be if they turned him loose on the mic. NXT is a great idea for talent development; they need to focus on NXT wrestlers cutting promos so their promos will be much more natural when they get to the main roster. I think they’ve given Bray Wyatt a little bit of freedom on the mic. How much better would Bo Dallas’ charachter be if they let him loose on the mic rather than having to memorize his lines before coming out on camera. I think Bo would get over a lot better if he was allowed to speak his mind.
 
RosAlGhulScoe:1. Institute a top 10 where the top three are guaranteed a world title shot within some period of the time and the IC title holder is guaranteed a top three spot. The goal is to bring the sport back to wrestling and make matches have a little more meaning as wrestlers try to get into the top 10 and top 3, so when Heath Slater beats Seth Rollins, there’s some actual value to him.
2. Start doing big surprises on the WWE Network shows. One of the ideas that came to mind after someone posted the awesome Brock backstabbing Triple H idea was making it mandatory that Brock defend the title, everyone assumes he’s going to Raw but instead, he shows up on NXT and murders Zayn (playing plucky underdog). Since the Network shows are replayable, you don’t need to announce big moments in advance and it will actually drive people there to subscribe to see, say, Chris Jericho’s surprise return on Main Event more than them trying to heckle you into subscribing all night during Raw. You don’t need to announce things in advance there because you’re not trying to drive ratings, you’re driving subscriptions.
3. Demand that everyone respect continuity. Know the history, utilize it in storytelling, not just long term continuity, but short term. Make sure everything done at any time is taken into consideration going forward. Understand what you’re trying to accomplish with, say, Cesaro taking Cena to the limit, and how that impacts booking two weeks later.

Charismatic eNegro Jef Vinson: After making Layla, AJ and Naomi dance on my desk wearing nothing but thongs and high heels I’d:
1.) Redo the roster split. Heyman books Smackdown, Dusty or Dutch books RAW. Unify the IC and US belts and make it the main belt on Smackdown. Both shows to be independent of each other except for PPV’s. (save the Diva’s and tag titles which will float between shows.) All wrestlers that are not doing anything will be forced to find a tag partner, become a manager/valet or be fired. Wrestlers need TV time to develop their characters, and they can’t do that if they’re not booked. Go to the picture in picture interview style to maximize match time. The more established wrestlers like Cena do not need a lot of TV time so give it to the up and comers that could use it.
2.) Find a new announce team that acts like they care about the product. I’m tired of the rambling, schilling and overall incompetence of the three idiots they have on RAW.
3.) Whether it be through Facebook, Twitter or planting people in the crowd do whatever it takes to find out what the current fanbase wants and tailor the product to it. If there is an overwhelming desire to push a certain wrestler give him the opportunity to have his moment. If he drops the ball no one can say you didn’t try. If you hear that the crowd is not responding favorably to something tone it down or scrap it.
 
Possibly my favorite post……Honestly, I was sold before you got to #1
 
 
My first 3 things would be:
1 – by hook or by crook, shorten RAW to 2 hours
2 – Bring back the brand extension, with 2 separate products. After seeing what he did with the “Smackdown 6” back in 2004, Smackdown would be Paul Heyman’s gig. The emphasis on keeping the brands SEPARATE (but equal). Rarely having them interact AT ALL.
3 – Focus on making the titles mean something again. I can’t say how crucial this is. Why would I tune in to see the champion….if he just lost 3 weeks in a row because of ridiculous 50/50 booking? This is where the occasional jobber would be beneficial as well.
 
Some things I’ve discovered reading this blog:
* I have too much time on my hands
* You guys REALLY hate Kevin Dunn. REALLY!
* Not much better are your opinions of the announcers
* People overall want to see a better product…..but the WWE ain’t listening….I’m guessing they really DO believe they are doing whats best for business.
 

I think the #1 problem that faces the WWE is that the matches mean…..nothing! Why did Austin and Rock fight like hell? Because both wanted to be the champion. If you needed a new star, back in the old days the I-C champ was there waiting in the wings. Thats whats missing. Nobody cares who wins – the champions lose EVERY WEEK to build up the PPV. It’s become a cliche. The Intercontinental title used to be a ticket to stardom. Now its a ticket to a 3-month losing streak. They are so busy trying to build the “Face of the WWE” that they have all but ruined the titles…..reason #1 nobody cares.

 
The main things I think we can take from this is that people want to see….

* Blood. I think we can safely say the PG TV isnt working. The main thing is that the sponsors would get upset, but heres a thought: dont the PPVs on the Network have blood? Why not have a special a few times a year geared towards the TV14 audience? (Hell I would even tune into HBO!)
* The people they WANT to get behind get pushed! Let those who get over run with the ball. We dont care whos the face of the WWE…..give us more Bray Wyatt. More Daniel Bryan.

What we don’t want to see:
* Heel commissioners. Honestly, its gotten to the point where I honestly saw no point in Brad Mattox.
* Gimmick PPVs. Hell in the Cell once every year or two? Special. A card full of them? Not so much.
* Kevin Dunn. Or anybody associated with the writing team
* 50/50 Booking.
* New announcers. I think they screwed up by running Jim Ross off because new announcers mean we get….well….Mike Adamle (yikes!). I think its irrelevant as long as the announcers spend more time talking about what’s trending worldwide than whats going on in the ring (though THANKFULLY, it appears the Tout era is over)

QOTD #44: CEO of WWE

Today’s Question: Let’s say that hypothetically speaking, of course, that Vince McMahon were to hire you to run WWE, with one mission: fix what’s wrong with the company, and turn things around. He would (again, hypothetically) give you complete autonomy over RAW, SmackDown, WWE Network, etc. with one caveat: You cannot turn John Cena heel. What would be the first 3 things you would do as the new head of WWE?
Yesterday’s Question: I’ll keep it pretty simple. What do you as a wrestling fan consider to be the greatest gimmick/character in the history of Wrestling?
Some of the answers for this one were fairly across the board, bit the first post set the tone….
Chris B: Basically its the Undertaker so everyone is going to argue about second place. That would be, IMO, “Mr. McMahon.”
Marv Cresto: Raven, duh. People are mentioning lots of cool gimmicks but almost all of them were just the guy “turned up to 11” as Austin would always say. The character Raven and the person Scott Levy couldn’t be more polar opposites. Though Taker’s a great choice too, hard to really argue that one. 
A few people said Raven – this would be Paul Heyman’s greatest creation, and I’m not all that sure Raven and Scott Levy are polar opposites. I find the Raven character fascinating to this day.
The Lurker: He gets a lot of praise and a lot of grief, but the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes is a great character. The son of a plumber came from nothing to achieve his American Dream and take on the forces of EEE-vil in the form of the Horsemen. One of the best things about the character is he didn’t always win like hogan/cena . . he won just often enough.
Dusty didn’t always win????? I think we were watching 2 different things in the 80s?
Wow: John Cena. He rises above hate, beats the odds and of course because Cena wins.
Wow indeed
X-Man: The Road Warriors. Turned a couple of average wrestlers with awesome physiques into one of the most decorated tag teams of all-time. Drew money everywhere they went, whether as heels or faces… influenced UW, Sting, Powers Of Pain, Demolition, and more.. and yes I know that the movie inspired them, but the gimmick’s success inspired those wrestlers.
Kind of surprising The Road Warriors didn’t get more responses. The look. The face paint. I think as far as ring attire, the spiked shoulderpads have to be the most awesome visual anybody had ever seen up to that point (and probably since).
Sweet Lee: Mr. Perfect and Stone Cold. Such simple ideas, really – and nobody could have pulled them off but the guys that played them. At least that’s how it feels to me.
Paul Meekin: Mean Gene Okerland. It takes a strong personality to take all the insanity of pro wrestling as seriously as he did. He felt like a ‘real’ broadcaster interviewing ‘real’ competitors, and was always stuck in the middle of the insane happenings, which he always played off with a strange gravitas. I remember staying up late as a kid just to watch WWE Confidental to get some good ‘drama’ tips from the guy as it pertains to reacting realistically to unrealistic situation.
Starscream Live: Kamala the Ugandan giant! A vicious svage who is in the ring not to win a match, but to destroy his opponent. He made his rounds through all the territories and drew money in most of them.
These were the type of responses I was hoping I would get. By the way, to hear Lawler describe how he came up with the idea a few weeks ago on Stone Cold podcast: genius.
Jeremy Rineheart:  Stone Cold Steve Austin. The character was a huge breath of fresh air in the stale WWF. Off topic, but has anyone noticed how butthurt fans of The Rock get if you don’t say he’s the greatest of a time?
Bobby: That’s an easy one: Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Mike_N: Stone Cold Steve Austin. Does what he wants when he wants to whomever he wants. Either that or Battle Kat.
Battle Kat huh? Yeah this was pretty much a two-horse race. Stone Cold or The Undertaker
Jeremy Rinehart: Vince Russo because he booked a huge retirement for QOTD only to bring it back days later.
Kind of like you did with your answer earlier in the blog?????
Brian Nielsen: Million Dollar Man. Bought his own belt and everything. Stone Cold is bad-ass, but he never KICKED A BASKETBALL AWAY FROM A KID to save $100
The Fuj: CM Punk comes to mind as well. As a heel, he is drug free so that makes him better than you. As a face, he channels that straight-edge discipline into being the best in the world. It never is a stretch for him. Plus it works that he is so damn good on the mic to convey his messages. Because he could just be Bret Hart as a face, but it means so much more.
As a heel he could be generic heel #580584, but his real lifestyle gives him so much character depth.
Well said. It resonates because most of us know somebody like that – who lived the straight-edge goody-two-shoes lifestyle, and acted all “I’m better than you” in High School. In a similar sense, it’s what got Kurt Angle over with his 3 I’s all those years ago – albeit in a different manner. Plus, it’s pretty easy to dislike a smartass. 
BooBoo1782: As Scott noted – in the King Lear Rant, right? – there’s a fundamental difference between gimmicks and characters: Gimmicks sell T-shirts, characters sell tickets. So, it makes sense to divide the answer into gimmicks and characters.
Best gimmick: Hulk Hogan, “Hulkamania” era. As a character, let’s be honest, there was never much to Hogan: he loves his country and he’s really bad at keeping friends. But the gimmick…well, he certainly fit the bill in the t-shirt sales department, and the whole shirt-ripping, Hulking-up thing fit perfectly into the over-the-top 80s zeitgeist.
Best character: Stone Cold is a great choice here, but I’m going to go with the Three Faces of Foley from Mick’s main WWE run (1996-2000). From the “deranged Mankind” who was able to take Undertaker to places he really hadn’t been before in terms of both match quality and character work, to the self-deprecating fun of Dude Love, to the “human Muppet” Mankind of 1999 and the 2000 return of Cactus Jack on a mission to destroy HHH, finishing up with the “role model for nerds” Commissioner Foley, Mick did great character work for five years, working with a wide range of partners and opponents and really getting the best out of just about all of them.
LeeLeePhoenix: Legend Killer, Randy Orton. That’s a gimmick you basically can’t screw up. The negative is that you can only use it very sporadically, so you must choose wisely. And Randy wasn’t a wise choice (to most of us).
Petrock: Bikertaker. That was a license. To. Print. Money.
Lenny Vowels: For gimmick commitment overall, I’m going with pre-2000 Undertaker, no question.
Mike Mears: Maybe I’m being too cute with the answer but I think I’d have to say Undertaker, if for nothing else but efficiency’s sake. So little to that gimmick, and just about any tall wrestler could’ve pulled it off because he really had very little- almost nothing, really- in the way of match quality until the second decade of his career. Maybe I’m being too dismissive of Mark Calloway’s talents in saying any tall dude could’ve done it- he did nail it, after all, and started having near-annual MOTYCs in his fucking mid-40’s- but think about how little he actually had to do for such a long time. And he was a main eventer for 20 years with that character, with only a three-year interlude doing anything remotely different, without any drop at all in popularity from 1990 to 2014. Perhaps he never was a singular draw the way Hogan/Austin/Rock/etc. were, but he wasn’t…not a draw either, if that double negative makes sense. Also, as we know most of the best “gimmicks” are extensions of a performer’s real-life personality. That’s why wrestling is so great, because it blurs the line intentionally. Punk, Bryan, Stone Cold, Bret, HHH, Flair, and so on…we know we’re seeing a lot of who the real person is in those fictional characters. But Undertaker was a straight-up cartoon character that remained insanely over through Hulkamania, the New Generation, the Attitude Era, the post-AE doldrums, all the way into the “Reality Era” of today. He was over as fuck all the way from Hulk to Punk.
The more I think about this, the more I think it’s a really obvious answer.
I would have to agree with the consensus of the blog that The Undertaker’s gimmick is the greatest ever. What’s the worst thing you can do to another man? Kill him? So What if he is already dead? The intimidation factor is through the roof. To basically piggyback off what Mike Mears said, the gimmick can’t be too far from what his personality. Over the years, Mark Calaway and The Undertaker have become essentially the same entity.
I’m working out the kinks here, during a classic day of BS-ing here at work (and don’t act like I’m the only one) but I’ll be back with the new blog tomorrow.

QOTD #43: The Return

The QOTD is back. After having so much fun reading some the insanity of the last couple of months or so, I – like I’m sure many of you – was sad to see the blog come to an end. With that in mind, Scott has given me the opportunity to bring back the QOTD, so I am basically picking up where Chris Fothergill-Brown left off on Saturday for the time being. I don’t plan on changing the format – unlike the WWE, I prefer not to screw with whats working. Some of the blogs will be wrestling related….and a few will be just random stuff with nothing to do with the business. With that in mind……

Today’s Question: I’ll keep it pretty simple. What do you as a wrestling fan consider to be the greatest gimmick/character in the history of Wrestling?

QOTD #42 – The End

Yesterday, I asked you about your favorite wrestler of all
time, to cap off my run of QOTD. We had some very passionate responses, as well
as some folks who just couldn’t make up their minds. Here’s what you said:

Night81: Abraham Lincoln. He freed the slaves.
My issue with Abe is that he wasn’t active long enough for
us to make a fair assessment. He was gone with a bang.
SodiePop: Gotta go with Bret myself, although Stone
Cold is a *very* close 2nd. Probably the most overall fun I had as a fan was
the Attitude era with guys like Austin, DX, The Rock, Mankind, etc, but when it
all boils down to the one guy I most associate with growing up with wrestling
and have the fondest memories of, it’s Bret.
The first live show I
ever went to featured Bret vs. Owen. I was a young mega-fan during his 1994 WWF
Championship reign. I started ordering PPVs as a kid during his main event run.
He participated in two of my favorite matches of all time (WM13 with Austin and
SS91 with Perfect). I’ve met him at a book signing and he was about as
personable and professional a guy could be. He was likely the hardest worker
the company ever had. All jokes aside (many of which are probably warranted),
he wrote my favorite book pertaining to pro wrestling, and I’ve read it about 3
or 4 times. He uses my favorite submission move ever… Yeah, Bret.
Peyton_Drinking: Bret Hart. reason number one is because
because my favorite wrestler had a bad weekend and then no longer existed. Bret
was just the man for a long time and you knew you would get effort to entertain
out of him every time he was in the ring. Also you have to be bad ass to wear
pink tights with a pink and black leather band leader jacket with tassels.
Johnny Polo: Bret The Hitman Hart. Total mark, had the
pink shades, cried when they lost to the Nasties at WM7, had him on my birthday
cake when I was 9, attended and enjoyed King of the Ring ’95, was an honorary
Canadian in 1997, lost ten bucks betting on him in the 1997 Survivor Series,
marked out like a 12-year-old when he returned in 2010, spent two hours
yesterday watching him do a 1992 Timeline shoot, would eagerly watch him do
two-hour shoots on any years from 1994-1999, agree that Hemlsley is a 4/10
I always had a soft spot for Bret. I admit I wasn’t fully on
with a lot of my Canadian brethren, largely because when he mailed it in, it
was unbearable. But that heel turn … man that heel turn. We have never seen
anything like it since. A regional heel was brilliant on paper, and better in
execution. I was 15 years old when Bret was screwed, and that severed my
relationship with the WWF for quite some time because I didn’t want to watch a
product who’d do that to anyone. I went to Mayhem 1999, and was thrilled to see
Bret finally get his moment in the sun once again, as they tried to erase the
stink from 2 years earlier (or, so they’d make us believe – of course Bret himself
wasn’t even in to it). As the years have passed, I’ve come to find myself
agreeing with the WWF’s decision to do what they did while dealing with an
unreasonable employee, but I’ve also come to appreciate everything Bret did
throughout his career a little more too.
Chris Hirsch: Tough question, but I think I would go with
Owen Hart. He was my favorite wrestler as a kid and was the total package in my
mind. Could bring it in the ring, entertaining on the mic and just fun to
watch.
Owen is one of those guys that I came to appreciate more
after he passed away. Prior to that, I always saw him as Bret’s “less talented”
younger brother (since, he was booked that way). Once you looked at the body of
his work, you can see all the little things he did. With years of being the
spoiled little snot of the Hart clan, he was able to take all the worst
qualities and amplify them on a big stage. And he was FUNNY. Damn funny. From
his ridiculous overselling of the Slammy awards, to his infamous backstage ribs,
Owen was a hell of a performer that left us far too soon.
Darren X: Hacksaw Butch Reed….without question. You
gotta remember: a) I’m black, b) I’m from the South, which pretty much was
Mid-South country, and c) I’m always going to be partial to the 80s….because
it was awesome. All my friends liked Junkyard Dog, but I always dug the heels.
Reed was the first black heel that I saw that could be this big badass
football-player type, instead of being made to look like a buffoon…which also
made his babyface run awesome. It doesnt hurt that he kinda reminded me of my
dad also, and he always threated to put soup bones on somebody’s head. I’m
referring to the Mid-South ass-kicking Butch Reed, not the ridiculous blond
haired Natural Butch Reed he became in the WWF. No crazy gimmicks, no bleach
blond hair or anything just I’m Hacksaw Butch Reed….I used to play
football…im big, im bad…and I’m tougher than you, and I’ll kick your ass.
VintageECW: Raven. He’s the one guy I wanted to be more
than any athlete or celebrity when I was a teenager. He got the girls, the
drugs, had the bloodiest matches and his gimmick was a combination of the best
parts of so many wrestlers.
Raven was the perfect storm of the grungy mid-90’s, that
started with Nirvana. The leather and denim, the surly sulking, but still
walking around with all the confidence in the world – all while snorting
mountains of cocaine. I certainly wouldn’t want my children looking to him as a
role model, but he was a hell of a lot of fun in his prime.
Matt Johnson: It was and still is totally Ric Flair for
me. I grew up in JCP country and got introduced to wrestling by my uncle who
was a firm heel supporter. I know it sounds cliche to say in the IWC but I was
the only kid in 2nd grade who was sporting a Horsemen t-shirt while all my
friends were rocking Lex Luger and Dusty Rhodes shirts. I just remember thinking
that Flair was sofa king cool. Here’s this dude who comes to the ring in a
goddamn helicopter sometimes and sometimes he has like 50 hot women line up on
the aisle for him and he’s got a badass robe and a giant belt. In addition to
all that, he would turn your kneecap into mashed potatoes and chop you into
oblivion.
Jobber123: I don’t understand how this question isn’t
“what’s your favorite version of this Ric Flair”. Mine is WWF flair
1.0 and that’s one of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make
The Fuj: “My God…thank you…thank you very
much…I’m almost embarrassed by the response, but when I see this, I know that
the twenty – five years that I’ve spent trying to make you happy every night of
your life was worth every damn minute of it. Now, somebody told me that the
Horsemen were having a party tonight in Greenville! Could that be true that the
most elite group that Eric Bischoff said was dead is alive and well? Bischoff,
this might be my only shot, and I gotta tell ya, I’m gonna make it my best. Is
this what you call a great moment in TV? It’s wrong, because this is REAL! This
is not bought and paid for! It’s a REAL – LIFE – SITUATION! Just like the night
in Columbia, South Carolina, when you looked at me – tears in my eyes – and
said ‘God, that’s good TV’ – it was real! Arn Anderson passed the torch – it
was real, dammit! You think Sting was crying in the dressing room like I was on
TV if it wasn’t real? This guy, my best friend, is one of the greatest
performers who ever lived, and YOU – you squashed him, in one night. Then you
get on the phone and tell me, ‘disband the Horsemen, they’re dead.’ Disband the
Horsemen, me. You know what, I looked at myself in the mirror the next day and
I saw a pathetic figure that gave up and quit! And for that, I owe you, the
wrestling fans, I owe these guys an apology. Because it won’t happen again!
[Bischoff is coming out.] Bischoff, whatever you think…no, you’re an overbearing
asshole! That’s right! You’re an obnoxious, you’re an obnoxious, overbearing
ass! Abuse of power! You! Abuse of power! Cut me off! Come on! It’s called
abuse of power! You suck! You, I hate your guts. I hate your guts. You are a liar,
you’re a cheat, you’re a scam, you are a no good son of a (mute). Fire me! I’m
already fired! Fire me! I’m already fired!”
White Thunder: Ric Flair (as a heel) – The greatest
wrestler of all time, the total package. He made everyone around him look like
a million dollars. Great look with the robes, suits, color combos, blond hair,
etc. Fantastic bumper, Flair was never afraid to make someone look good. Just
the best on the mic. Flair was able to have 4 star match into his 50’s in WWE.
The greatest of all time, period.
Ric Flair was the first wrestler who was able to make you
believe he was living a legitimate rock star life … because he was. This man
breathed the gimmick. His book only made me realize further just what kind of
energy went into being the Nature Boy. Drinking all night, sweating it out at
the gym in the morning, wrestling like a god for 45 minutes at night, and doing
it all again. It’s amazing he’s still alive in his mid-60’s! I didn’t get to
see him perform until much later in his career, but the man was still tearing
it up right through 1999, when he was 50 years old. His return on Nitro after
the 8 months of Bischoff torture was one of the most emotional things you’ll
ever see on TV, and should have led to one last mad run for Ric instead of the
self-parody he’s become over the last decade. I have a lot of love for Flair.
Andy PG: Shawn Michaels. He was a guy who went
through the ranks, fought alongside Marty Jannetty in one of the best and most
innovative tag teams ever, took over in the singles scene (and yes, he had
backstage help, but he still was able to go at 90 mph in the ring), suffered an
injury that by all rights should’ve put him in a damn wheelchair, then returned
to be the old veteran who gets by on just not dying. Very few wrestlers can say
they’ve had two Hall of Fame careers. Plus, I respect his personal metanoia
from drug-fueled jerk to humble family man.
MikeyMike, Witness:
Shawn Michaels. I was especially drawn to
Shawn post comeback. He was still the best guy in the company despite breaking
his back and having a horrible drug problem. No matter who he was paired with,
you could expect a great match. That goes for his whole career. If it wasn’t
for HBK, I probably wouldn’t have given wrestling a second chance when I
started following wrestling again in 06-07. I can say with pride that I cried
when he lost his match to the Undertaker at WrestleMania 26. His match with
Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 is still, in my opinion, the greatest wrestling
match I’ve ever seen. I had a bunch of buddies over to watch at my College
house and served as the designated driver for the evening. Despite this, I
blacked out after that match. I remember having a smoke after the match and
don’t remember anything after that Mania until I drove my friends home to their
houses/dorms.
HartKiller_09: Shawn Michaels was always my favourite. Even
when I was a kid and he was a heel. He wore leather jackets and sunglasses, I
thought he was cool. I was even torn when Jannetty came back – on one hand,
Shawn’s my guy. On the other, I could see why Jannetty wasn’t happy over that
whole window incident. Royal Rumble 1995 was one of my high points as a fan
because I was a mark who was expecting King Kong Bundy to win because I’d
subconsciously picked up on big guys main eventing and guys like Shawn not, so
his win came out of nowhere for me.
I see Shawn Michaels as two very talented, but very
different people. The Shawn Michaels I knew at a younger age was pretty much
public enemy #1. This pansy-ass pretty boy was being groomed as the future of
the WWF? I wanted nothing to do that. As I entered the Internet age, and
learned how much of a prick he was backstage too, that only made me hate him
even more. Then he came back, and it took me years to realize that he had in
fact changed. Once I came around … I found Michaels to be one of my all-time
favorite guys. In fact, Shawn Michaels V2.0 is probably my favorite wrestler of
all time. His first run is now just that much more enjoyable because of who he
became. I remain convinced that DX 1997 would have HATED DX 2006, and done
everything in their power to embarrass those sad old men out of the company –
but I let it slide because Shawn was such an amazing performer when the bell
rang. And what a great way to go out; few performers have that 5 star match and
walk away for good. I genuinely believe we’ve seen the last of Shawn Michaels,
and good for him for doing it on his terms.
AverageJoeEveryman:
Foley is my pick. Remember watching him
back to his early WCW days and through Herb Abrams UWF (which I enjoyed
thoroughly) and then back through WCW. I didnt get ECW around here but when
Mankind appeared in the vignettes after WM12 I was like, holy shit thats Cactus
Jack. His promos and ability to work his style with anybody made me a huge fan.
After Foley it is probably HBK, Vader, and Savage in that order.
John Corrigan: Mick Foley…I’ll listen to his promos and
watch his matches more than anybody else. And it helps meeting him a few times
and him being just as great as you’d like your hero to be.
Daniel Swinney: Foley. Could work a good-to-great match with
nearly anyone, cut absolutely my favorite promos of anyone, was the best ever
in the commissioner role, and I think at least through his initial retirement
he had one of the deepest on-screen characters in history. And above all else,
he was FUN in a way that didn’t sacrifice the intensity or emotion of what he
was doing.
I am a big, big Mick Foley fan. So much so, that even
through his run in TNA, I believed deep down inside that he was still
physically capable of having a 5-star performance if the right situation
presented itself. Of course, that turned out to be false; but Mick was one of
those guys that I could always count on to give everything he had. He was
calculated. He was smart. He knew how to emotionally invest you in everything
he was doing. He was a great commissioner, because he was literally that – a fun
loving guy responsible for booking the shows. He never made himself the show,
and he never turned heel. His match with Randy Orton was one of my five
favorite matches (and possibly my favorite depending on the day you ask me),
and capped off one of the best un-retirement angles I’ve ever seen. All that,
and he seems like a genuinely all around great guy.
Garth Holmberg, C.C.:
Hulk Hogan. Pure mark answer. Why? I was
a grown man marking the fuck out at WrestleMania X-8 when he hulked up on the
Rock and had the entire stadium completely bonkers. I was always a Hulkamaniac
as a kid, but during the Monday Night Wars, I was all in for WWF and hated
Hogan’s n.w.o. character. Mania X-8 went from being a 2 hour snorefest to
hosting one of the greatest matches in Mania history (for enjoyment, not work
quality).
Hogan is one of the most polarizing characters of the
Internet era. Poor wrestler. Great character. Selfish politician. Amazing
performer. I never “got” Hulk Hogan, and as a result things like Bash at the Beach
2000 were moments I thoroughly enjoyed as a late teenager. I was happy to see
the nWo reunion in the WWE, but expected the absolute worst from the useless
Hogan. Then came the magic. I was totally taken aback by the crowd response,
and it’s very unlikely we’ll ever see an old return ever embraced like that
again. All the old spots suddenly had me on the edge of my seat, and wondering
if this was going to lead to a Rock heel turn and have HIM side with the nWo
instead? Then it was all downhill from there, and other than the fact he tapped
out to Kurt Angle, I didn’t have much use for Hulk Hogan again. Just not my cup
of tea.
redstorm11: Jeff Hardy. First WWF match I ever saw was
the 99 No Mercy ladder match. As an 11 year old who loved jumping off high
things I was instantly hooked and Jeff was that reason. Followed him ever since
no matter where he’s at.
Full disclosure; I have some unexplained blind hatred of
Jeff Hardy. There really is no rhyme or reason to it, but when he used to come
out in his mesh shirts and covered in glow in the dark body paint, I was hoping
the set would fall over on him. Never understood the cult following, and I
never saw him as a great performer. Though, I’m also not an idiot – and his
World Title run in 2009 was obviously the best thing to do for business, since
nobody has moved more merchandise than this guy in recent years, or has a
larger following of women and children.
LeeleePhoenix: Kurt Angle 1999-2001. Extremely entertaining
heel character that really fit into what I enjoy. Rapidly improving worker
rising through the ranks. Very handsome young man. He had it all. And then he
went bald and ugly and crazy and I feel depressed every time I see him for a
decade now because he’s probably going to die in a horrible fashion. But,
that’s wrestling.
Kurt Angle was the first performer I really embraced as “my
guy”. Those first two years were magic. From coming in believing that
pro-wrestling was the same thing as amateur, and playing the deluded egomaniac
was a great start, and I was all-in. I found his bizarre feud with Steve
Blackman entertaining, and I yelled so loud I woke my parents up when he beat
Chris Jericho for the IC title just months into his career (back when things
like this WEREN’T commonplace!). I was devastated when he dropped both of his
titles, but when he finally moved into that Triple H feud I knew big things
were coming. Then, of course, the booking fart to end all booking farts
happened, but Kurt still got his World Title anyway. And he just kept getting
better at a scary rate – to the point that by the summer of 2001, just 18
months into his career, he was far and away the best worker the company had
under contract since Shawn Michaels. He was everything you’d ever want in a
pro-wrestler. His struggles over the last 8 years have been the ugly underbelly
to professional wrestling we try not to pay attention to, and it’s a damn shame
he wasn’t able to control his demons because he was well on his way to being
one of the greatest of all time. Hell, he probably is anyway.
Piperfan01: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. A lot of
personal reasons actually, I was an abused kid, and as a result of that abuse,
I was a very quiet kid. Piper was the attitude I wished I could project. He was
cool, cocky, and full of piss and vinegar. He talked loudly and then backed it
up when he wanted to. Don’t get me wrong I was a Hulkamaniac, and a huge fan of
the Junkyard Dog, but Roddy will always be number one because he was who I
wished I was at that age, I kinda lived vicariously through him and his
character got me through a lot of stuff.
I love reading stuff like this. Everyone has their
personality traits that draw them to certain characters more than others. There
are probably even people out there who like the Miz. (Of course, they’re all in
the WWE booking meetings, but still.) You don’t have to justify why you love Piper,
but I’m glad you shared regardless. Piper as a role model isn’t something I
could ever imagine – but in your shoes, it makes sense. One of the best mic
guys of all time, and he could rile you up just by casting a glare.
Michael Weyer: Ricky Steamboat. A brilliant worker, great
arm drags and leaps, a babyface his entire career and more importantly, one of
the absolute greatest sellers ever. When Steamboat took a hit, he made you feel it with staggering, blowing out
cheeks and such, sucked you in totally and you had to cheer him on. A true
professional with so many classic battles, I can never not be entertained by
him.
I never got to see the Ricky Steamboat era until long after
it was over, so I have no strong feelings on him one way or another. I will say
this though – his matches with Flair are some of the most intense battles I’ve
ever seen, and the man could simply work. He didn’t have a huge personality,
but he knew how to make what he did look as real as anyone who’s ever laced up
the boots.
jabroniville: “The Macho Man” Randy Savage- he
was easily my favourite when I was a kid, and it’s a great thing to look back
and realize that he was EVEN BETTER than I’d thought. One of the best
carry-artists of all time, and excelling at both promos and in-ring stuff on a
level nobody else could match.
I believed for the longest time that Macho was more likely
to snap and legit kill someone on air than anyone else on TV. From his frantic
pacing around all the time, to that insane gravely familiar voice, to the raw
intensity with which he dropped those elbows as his eyes looked about ready to
pop out of his head, Macho was a true character through and through. It’s a
shame he got stuck playing second banana to Hogan, because in any other era he
was the kind of guy people built companies around.
Crikey Mate Down
Under Aussie:
Punk. “The only
thing that’s real is me, and the fact that day in and day out, for almost six
years, I’ve proved to everybody in the world that I’m the best on this
microphone, in that ring, even at commentary! Nobody can touch me!” He is
the reason I got back into wrestling, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt as
defeated and empty as a fan when Rock took the title off him.
I’ve never hidden my man-love for CM Punk, as he’s pretty
much the only modern main eventer I have any use for (save Brock Lesnar who I
still harken back to the tail end of the Attitude era). There is nobody who is
better at everything he does than CM Punk. Hell, I’m convinced he could take
over the booker’s office tomorrow and put together a thoughtful, organized show
that made everyone a little better for being part of it. He has an ego that’s
raging out of control, but honestly, he’s earned it.
X-Man: Damn this is a hard one.. For me
“favorite wrestler” has shifted over the years. It all started with
Hogan, then Flair, Savage, Steamboat, Billy Jack Haynes, British Bulldogs, Road
Warriors, Jake The Snake, Ultimate Warrior, Bam Bam Bigelow, Jericho, Angle.
Benoit and Malenko… All of those guys were my favorites at one time or
another.. But my all-time favorite would have to be the Rock. He wasn’t the
best technical wrestler, but he had me glued to the TV set EVERY time he
appeared onscreen, especially during his promos.. and here I was a grown man,
knowing it was fake and still spending money to watch him perform. My level of
interest in the product left around the same time he did. Truly one of a kind.
I’m with you. I could probably name a dozen different
wrestlers from a dozen different time periods as my favorite. This is one of
those questions I simply have an impossible time answering – because it’s like
picking your favorite child. So many of my favorites were listed above. Like a
lot of people I was really attached to Chris Benoit for years, but after taking
nearly a year to accept that he did what he did, I haven’t been able to enjoy
him anymore.
Guys – thank you so much for making QOTD fun. I know there
was a stigma attached to this column, and I hope I was able to bring it back to
what it was meant to do … discussing wrestling every day. And even if I
sodomized its spirit (twice in one week!), I loved writing it. I wish I was
able to continue, but I simply cannot commit to a daily piece with the changes to
my personal life that are upcoming.
I’m going to stay on the blog, and write other pieces periodically
(sorry cultstatus), so I’ll see you around. I apologize for not finishing with a meltdown, I’m sure I cost a few people some bets. Have a great weekend, and thank you
again for your participation every single day.

QOTD #41: Your Favorite Wrestler

Today’s Question:
Who is your all-time
favorite wrestler, and why?
That question will be looked at deeper tomorrow, as my final
QOTD installment. Start the party early by writing your soliloquys to the
wrestlers you’ve come to love by scrolling to the end of this. Otherwise, stick
around to talk a little TNA.

I asked you that if this is truly the end of TNA, what’s the
one memory you’ll have of the company? With over 12 years of footage, you had
lots to choose from.
The Jessexpress: A midget wanking in a trashcan
Wasn’t filling enough, Jess?
dffggtyrtwe: just as Leonard answered I am taken by
surprise that a single mom can make $7907 in a few weeks on the internet .
check my source
Well dffggtyrtwe, I’ll make sure that Vickie Guerrero is
aware of yours and Leonard’s money making scheme. Thank you for your valid
contribution.
Garth Holmberg, C.C.:
Missed Opportunities. TNA had 12
years to hook fans, but found new ways to muck things up at every possible
turn. Instead of going in the direction of being an alternative product to WWE,
they slowly regressed into being a painfully mediocre, watered-down version of
WWE, or if you want to get really nasty, later year versions of WCW. Poor
management and nearly non-existent advertisement campaigns have almost made
their decade plus history completely irrelevant.
White Thunder: The 2003 Super X Cup weekly PPV show was
just classic. Juvi was in the zone, and I thought for sure Teddy Hart was going
to star in the promotion after this. One of my all time favorite wrestling
shows, a perfect tournament. Plus I think the show ended with a War Games style
cage match.
This was right in the middle of my TNA recapping heyday.
The War Games itself was pretty awful, but holy hell what a show Juventud
Guerrera put on that night. I was so bloody upset that Sabin, who I LOVED,
wound up winning this thing – that’s how strong Juvi was performing at this
stage.
MyronB: The Scott D’Amore and Dutch Mantell booked
Knockout Division. When they booked the division they had compelling
storylines, good matches, and interesting characters. The Gail Kim-Awesome Kong
feud, the Beautiful People bullying Roxie LaRue, ODB being outrageous. Even
when the rest of the roster was involved in badly booked nonsense you could always
count on the Knockouts to be entertaining. Of course once Vince Russo started
booking the division and it got integrated into the rest of the TNA booking it
became really bad, really quickly.
I have a friend who couldn’t stand the Awesome Kong era,
because he felt it was FAT WOMAN SQUASH, one after another. I loved it, because
I couldn’t remember the last time we had a truly dominant champ of any division
who you believed could NOT be beaten. And lord knows she could wrestle. That’s
what made the Gail Kim win so awesome, finally someone was able to outperform
the unstoppable force. In fact, that’s straight up wrestling in a nutshell.
Perfect.
Chris Hirsch: That they gave their company the acronym
most closely associated with tits and ass.
Numerous posters would make this point, but Chris was the
first. Yes, their initial concept was more than a little short sighted. It’ll
be called TITS N ASS, and feature WOMEN IN CAGES, WRESTLING PENISES, and 600
POUNDS OF CHEEX. Is it a wonder they were nearly dead by week 10?
Darren X: TNA Had as close of a chance at re-creating
the Goldberg-like phenomenon that they needed: Monty Brown….and they dropped
the ball by turning him into a heel gopher for guess who? Which in a sense goes
back to #1: Jeff Jarrett has to be the centerpiece of everything. Monty Brown –
if used correctly – could have been big enough to singlehandedly save the
company…..and they screwed it up, and he left to become a little-used bit
player in WWE and left the business entirely. It’s a shame really. The guy was
a monster and should have been allowed to be just that, not to mention he had
the “look” and possibly could have went more mainstream. TNA has
screwed up other ways (releasing Jay Lethal, not pushing the X-Division, incredibly
botching the whole Pacman Jones thing, Vince Russo….period) but that is #1.
We’ve covered this at least once before, but the lost
opportunity with Monty Brown was unforgivable. The first time I turned off TNA
was in the first (forgotten!) Hulk Hogan era, where suddenly the likes of Jim
Duggan, Buff Bagwell, and Lex Luger were being given prominent roles. The
second time was after the Monty Brown heel turn, that just sapped the life out
of the entire babyface side of the company, and once again put all the
attention on Jeff Jarrett. I never fully came back after that one.
Ryan Yoder: The one negative I will think of is how
Samoa Joe never got to the level he could have. I’m still foggy on the details,
but I just remember he was going to be the top monster badass heel, and then he
was just some guy.
Joe was hot off his 2 year run as ROH champion, and was
putting on performances the likes of which mainstream fans had never seen. Joe’s
shelf life was obviously limited due to his size, but the fact they didn’t just
go balls to the wall and put this guy directly on top of things until Angle’s
arrival was another obvious gaffe. By the time he WOULD eventually get anointed
the champion, a lot of the mystique of Joe was gone. To compare Joe today to
who he was in 2005 isn’t even possible. They are completely different
wrestlers.
The Fuj: Elix Skipper walking the cage.
Sexy choice, Fuj. That was straight up one of the ballsiest
things you’ll ever see done inside a professional wrestling ring. If he slips,
it’s all for naught, and lord knows it’s hard enough to concentrate on
something like that without the added pressure of performing in front of a
crowd. Great spot.
Q. Ross: Maybe I’m getting too deep here, but I think
about all of the arrogance and contempt they rolled up. They were arrogant enough
to blow off Jim Ross and Paul Heyman. They were arrogant enough to drive Jeff
Jarrett off. They were arrogant enough to even lie to the same people who have
been spending the past four years trying to prop them up. I know lying is a
part of business, but the fact they never even took the steps to make sure they
didn’t get caught is something else. Contempt? Where do we start? Contempt for
the fans by depicting them as the most undesirable losers whenever they appear
on camera, having Desmond Wolfe get destroyed after winning the #1 Contender
poll, and then letting Jeff Hardy wrestle when he was in no condition. Contempt
for the people who work there, whether they are on screen or off: Jesse
Sorensen, any of the women (Awesome Kong and Daffney in particular), AJ Styles,
their production crew, Rob Terry. Contempt for the realities of the business
today. The fact I associate them with those two things instead of their
talented roster is not something I take glee in.
It speaks volumes about his burial that I have completely
forgotten about Desmond Wolfe. You make some excellent points here about where
the company went wrong. They never truly found their direction, because like
WCW in the past, there was always tons of different people in charge, and their
later years were spent placating the egos of the bigger stars instead of doing
the right thing. I’m still wondering if at nearly 40 years old, AJ Styles will
ever shake off the table of being “The Future” of TNA.
Chris B: X-Division. When I first started getting to
watch it in ’04 that is what always stood out. You heard names like AJ Styles,
Daniels, Low Ki, Amazing Red, Samoa Joe, etc etc on the Internet but I never
really saw them wrestle. At its height – which for me was the AJ-Joe-Daniels
matches from 06 (right?) it was as good as wrestling got.
The X Division was such a brilliant concept that they nearly
killed in year 1. Kid Kash’s never ending run of the title, and subsequent
nearly DROPPING of that belt to Trinity would have finished it quick.
Thankfully, a solid run of Sabin / Michael Shane / Kazarian brought it back to
life, and it held on for years, right through the absolutely sickening
Joe/AJ/Daniels series you mentioned above. Had they continued to promote this
as a main event title for a specific breed of wrestlers (much like UFC will
promote any of their titles as a main event title), they could have run that on
forever.
Piperfan01: The very first thing I associate with TNA?
The very first thing is Jeff Jarrett. Which is unfortunate because he never had
any favor with me and that wasn’t ever gonna change.
I don’t even know where to start where Jeff Jarrett is
concerned. From week 1, literally, it was the Jeff Jarrett show whether we
liked it or not. Because of his favor in WCW through the end of the company,
Jarrett was largely considered the best wrestler on the indy scene available,
and as TNA owner, he could pimp himself to no end. In the first show, Jarrett
was featured in every other segment. And it didn’t stop until he got the belt
that December. He was put in insipid feuds with folks like Joe Legend, and a
directionless Chris Daniels, which he used to idle himself when he wasn’t
holding the belt. He booked himself against Hulk Hogan as some sort of Bash At
The Beach 2000 Wet Dream or something. He looked to be moving away, only to
swerve us and take the belt back from Rhino at a HOUSE SHOW of all places. We’ve
mentioned the Monty Brown fiasco. He called himself “PLANET JARRETT”, and with
the way TNA was booked for its first 4 years, it was a well deserved nickname.
Devin Harris: in the beginning, I thought it might be a
good alternative to the WWE. Throughout the years I have tried giving it a
chance but I could never get into it. So, I guess my overall impression is that
it never had a clear cut direction. If you want me to join you on a journey
then at least give me some idea of where you are taking me. TNA could never
tell me cause they never figured it out themselves. Shame though. Could have
really been a contender.
joedust: They knew exactly what they needed to do to
be different (X-Division and Tag Teams) and instead de-emphasized those things
to become a second rate cheap impersenation of the WWE.
It’s almost laughable. James Storm was the perfect face for
everything you’ve just described. He could wrestle any style, with anyone. He
was making hay 3 years ago, and since then has done … what? A series of
mid-card feuds? This is a guy who made himself a superstar with Chris Harris
early, then left without a buddy he did it again with Bobby Roode. Meanwhile,
Eric Young has been completely rejected as any kind of serious player, so
naturally he was rewarded with a World Title run he didn’t deserve, and was
featured prominently as the face of the company because he bore a slight
resemblance to Daniel Bryan. Kudos to you, TNA.
TheConvictor: The title match at Victory Road in 2011 when
a clearly disgusted Sting had to pin an inebriated Jeff Hardy in less than 3
minutes. The pre-match stuff (Hardy’s entrance, Bischoff coming down to relay
last minute instructions and Hardy trying to figure out where to throw his
T-Shirt) lasted nearly three-times as long as the actual match. As for the fans
that just paid their hard earned money to watch the match – sorry, but you’re
out of luck! They enabled a troubled figure like Hardy solely because he had
been a name in WWE (and refused to fire him after he pulled this crap). When it
was clear he wasn’t going to be able to work that day, they still sent him out
there, knowing he could hurt himself or Sting (luckily they called the
audible). That, in a nutshell, summed up TNA.
Irresponsibility at its finest. And there’s your difference.
WWE realized that Kurt Angle was a liability and let him go. TNA hired him a
month later, and happily had him wrestling a more dangerous style than ever,
ignoring his growing substance abuse problem.
thebraziliankid: AJ Styles. He was the guy that made me watch
TNA in first place. I might be wrong but he was the Spirit of TNA, they
should’ve made him The guy of TNA, he was someone that crowd loved and gave to
us TNA’s best matches.
Don’t give up! He’s still THE FUTURE of TNA! Even from the
sidelines of New Japan!
Marv Cresto: The Joseph Park/Abyss angle was easily some
of the best character work in any promotion in the last fifteen or twenty
years. The angles surrounding that character arc were crummy as usual but the
character by itself was tremendous stuff.
In the WWE, Glen Jacobs was unable to get over, wasn’t
particularly good looking or charismatic, so they stuck him under a mask and
called him Kane. Next thing you know he’s the main eventer they’d always hoped
he’d be. Over in TNA, Kid Kash finds a “monster” locked in a cage and names him
Abyss. He was an NWA Wildside cast-off, who’d worked a little with AJ Styles.
The thing was though … this guy was completely oozing charisma and we had NO
idea for YEARS because he was stuck under the mask for the first decade of his
wrestling career on the main stage! Joseph Park is the best pure emoter since
Steven Regal in mid-90’s WCW. Talk about a mis-cast!
Jared Bellow: The red cage from their opening Monday Night
War show. So much illogic and failure packed into one neat little package.
Quintessential TNA.
I went into that night with so much hope. With WWE stacking
the deck via Bret Hart, I figured TNA was going to go balls out. But … what the
hell was with that cage? What human being did they believe was going to be able
to climb at a near horizontal angle, and THEN propel themselves over and out?
It was failure from the start of that show, on what should have been their
defining night. Truthfully … it probably was.
LScisco: I’ll remember TNA for killing Chris Candido.
I’m gonna say that’s a little presumptuous, and a lot harsh.
Vintage: Having Aces & Eights pretty much kill
their entire roster for well over a year, unless it was against Hulk Hogan and
Sting, in which case they couldn’t help but fall like dominoes. That whole
angle was abysmal, right down to the fact that the roster cuts pretty much
murdered any chance at a satisfying payoff.
If you ever saw Sid’s push in the summer of 1999, it was the
same deal in WCW. He flattened EVERYONE in his path, unless he was standing toe
to toe with … well, Hogan, Sting, or Goldberg. Full-cycle.
Timeandtherani: Val Venis pinning Daniels on the first
Bischoff/Hogan PPV and the crowd in the front row turning their backs on the
show I’ll always remember
I actually only picked this comment to compliment the poster
on their fine name choice. I haven’t watched Doctor Who since the reboot, but I
was a big fan of Sylvester McCoy’s doctor through the late 80’s.
Andy PG: Dixie Carter’s unbelievable combination of
unawareness and ego. You are the money. Just keep writing off the losses and
let the wrestling people do the wrestling.
I never thought Dixie would make herself a main character,
but then, never doubt the power of ego where wrestling is concerned. I figured
if ANYONE would be able to avoid the mistakes of Dusty Rhodes, Vince Russo,
Verne Gagne, and leave themselves out of the shows, the “has nothing to do with
wrestling” Dixie Carter would be it. Nope. She’s been the owner we root for.
The owner we hate. Can she now be the owner who sells? Please?
Adam “Colorado”
Curry:
I’m tempted to go with TNA
fucking EVERYTHING up in spectacular fashion, right down to not even coming up
with a decent name. But my lasting memory is watching one of the greatest
matches I’ve ever seen in Styles/Daniels at Destination X 2012… and the crowd
was dead silent because it was literally like the 150th match between the two
in that building alone so no one gave a fuck, rightfully so.
I’m pretty sure that feud officially jumped the shark the
minute Chris Daniels pulled out a screwdriver and threatened to kill AJ Styles
on PPV. Where else do you go from there?
WCW1987: I refuse to participate in this discussion
because the first part of the question suggests that TNA has folded.
This man lives ON Planet Jarrett.
VadersBuffetShit:
The REVERSE Battle Royal. People actually
got paid to come up with this stuff!
How dare you bring this up but ignore the Dupp Cup. Or the
Hard 10 Tournament.
Riraho: Paparazzi Productions. Nash: They dont watch
porno tapes…what are they aliens?!
I was a huge, huge fan of everything Kevin Nash did with
Alex Shelley. The PCS contest remains Youtube gold.
Ripner Cabbit: The fact that they would give Scott Steiner
a live Mic so often. There was a time period the main draw of TNA was seeing
what Steiner would do and day that week. The percentages promos is still one of
the unintentionally funniest things in the world.
VintageECW: That string of shows early on with Russo
where they had a surprise return every single week. I nearly died when Ahmed
Johnson returned.
There it is. I am absolutely with you VintageECW. During the
first run of shows of TNA, they went through this strange periods where every
week a random “big” name would return. Vader. The Harris Brothers. Ahmed
Johnson. Paul Bearer. There was no rhyme or reason for it, they would be there,
sometimes wrestle, sometimes not, and from a storyline perspective it made no
sense.
One night in particular will always stand out to me – and this
screams “TNA” more than anything else they would ever wind up doing. With an
evil goatee, and a Hawaiian shirt, a man with a lot of rage came storming on to
the TNA set, and had a lot to say to his old broadcast colleague. What was the
POINT of this heel turn? Why was this on PPV? Why was it … impossible to look
away from it? Could it be the GREATEST night in the history of sports? Could
this be settled with a refreshing can of Surge?
This is as TNA as TNA gets. Enjoy it … and enjoy your Friday
too as we hit the weekend. I’ll be back tomorrow to wrap up QOTD. Take care.

QOTD #40: TNA

Today’s Question: If this is indeed the end of TNA,
what will be the first thing you associate with the company?
My answer is a really bizarre one, but one I’ve never been
able to shake. I’ll tackle that, plus all your answers tomorrow. If you want to
skip yesterday’s discussion about your late night snacking habits, then please
scroll right to the end and get started.

Late night cravings. We all get them. As someone who is
regularly awake until 3 or 4am due to my work schedule, I’m prone to the hunger
pangs at weird hours more than most folks. What did you have to say?
The Jessexpress: Cock. I find it most filling
I’m fairly sure you just became the most popular female
(only female?) on the BoD.
THE YETAAAAY: There’s usually some goats or young rams
floating around my cave I can chow down on.
I should have specified that the thread was limited to
non-Dungeon of Doom stable folk.
joedust: Here’s my go to late night snack, like when
I’ve had an early dinner or no dinner and I need to eat: the Special K with
chocolate, and use half-and-half instead of milk. Love it. Raisin Bran Crunch
is pretty good too.
Cereal has so much versatility. Breakfast? Dry as a snack?
Late-night craving? I usually have a couple of boxes of Raisin Bran available
as well, though not the crunch version because I’m watching my sugar. (BECAUSE
I’M OLD~!)
Starscreamlive: Pop chips
Popchips are pretty much the coolest company around. As I
approached my wedding, I sent them a note praising them for the fact that they
had developed a lower calorie potato chip, basically allowing me to get a small
hit of junk food as I worked to slim down for the big day. In response, they
shipped 6 bags of Popchips to my house, along with coupons for 3 more free
bags. And a chip clip, let’s never forget the chip clip.
Elmo Machete: Unshelled pistachios. At first they made it
feel like I was cheating, because you’re supposed to go through the tedious
process of pulling the shells off yourself, then I realized I could eat a
handfull at a time without spending ten years pulling shells apart.
I can’t do the unshelled version. It might not be cheating,
but I like keeping the shells for my Green Egg – they create excellent smoke,
especially on chicken.
Crikey Mate Down
Under Aussie:
Hey everyone, on a
health kick at the moment and was hoping for some ideas for snacks. Really
don’t want to be preparing meals every time I’m hungry, and sick of snacking on
like carrots and apples.
I usually like to have fresh salads prepared so I can eat in
a pinch. This week I roasted 6 cobs of corn, getting just the slightest char on
them. Removed the kernals from the cob, added green pepper, black beans (I was
lazy so I used canned, I usually make my own), with some fresh lemon juice,
olive oil, a touch of cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and garlic salt. It’s
a good blend, though I wish I’d added lentils or quinoa. You’ll get at least
6-8 servings out of doing this, and it lasts throughout the week. In the “doesn’t
take hours to prepare” category, consider doing air-popped popcorn with just a
touch of salt (no butter). Pumpkin seeds are a personal favorite in the fall, I’ll
always get a fresh pumpkin, and roast them drizzled with a little olive oil,
some black pepper, and dill. Some of the other posters also had suggestions in
the thread. Hope this helps. Preparation is your key; without it, you’re
turning to the chips.
Darren X: Some good old fashioned buttery
Popcorn….popped homemade in a skillet or pot – not the microwave version
Sooooo good, and soooo bad. This is a personal favorite,
popcorn done the old fashion way is hard to beat.
AverageJoeEveryman:
a lotta drunk nights have ended with me
filling a bowl with shredded cheese and pepperonis and then heating it up in
the microwave. Gets pretty messy but always does the job.
I think I just flashed back about 15 years. I can remember
coming home from a party in college, opening my fridge, and finding that I had
a pound of ground beef, and some cheese. Which I promptly fried up, and voila –
insta meal. (It never occurred to me before today that burgers would have been
so much easier)
PATRICKisLEGEND: In Rochester, NY… we have the garbage
plate… which trumps all.
I’m feeling nauseous just looking at this.
Bobby: Taco Bell. Because I live right next to it.
This must be age dependent, because I feel like at a
different time in my life, this would have been the difference maker if I had
several apartments I was settling on. “NEAR TACO BELL? SOLD!” Now I haven’t had
it in ages, and I’m pretty ok with that.
ape: An invention I call “Hog Nog” It’s
basically a pork and rum smoothie with cinnamon
What the hell?
Bruce Chung: 1st choice: Taco Bell for some burritos or
nachos
2nd choice: Wendy’s for Junior Bacon, Baconator, and a Frosty
3rd choice: McDonald’s 20 nuggets, double-quarter pounder
I was a huge Adam Richman fan when he hosted Travel Channel’s
Man v Food, but I’m certain even he’s looking at this list and saying “I don’t
know about that”.
Mister_E_KindaBuzzedAllBecause:
One of my favourite munchies is really
Ruffles All Dressed chips, but chips aren’t something that I eat much of these
days.
I haven’t had chips in months, but you chose my all-time
favorite. I am fairly sure I kept Ruffles All Dressed on the shelves all by
myself between 2002-06.
jobber123: Gotta be Mexican food, I know a lot of girls
that get the carne asada fries but me I’m a rolled taco and guacamole guy
I’m guessing the carne asada fries are the Mexican equivalent
to the Poutine. I’m curious what a “rolled taco” is, however? I’m going to
assume just a soft shelled tortilla? Canada gots to know.
ts14: Either a Jack In The Box Bacon Ultimate or
whatever they can scrape together at the Waffle House up the street.
Had my first Waffle House experience this past spring when
my wife and I drove to Florida. We stopped for it near midnight, on our way in
to Charlotte after seeing the Carolina Hurricanes play in Raleigh. I was
decidedly underwhelmed by the whole experience after hearing people talk for
years about the hash browns. And then I promptly craved them the following morning.
Do they lace them with meth?
thatguyJMM: White Castle. I’m moving back to NJ in a few
weeks and this will be one of the first stops
I’ve had White Castle once in my life. I was with a friend
in New York City in 2008 to see the All-Star game, and we stopped in on one in
the Bronx as we were headed home. I marched up to the counter, and ordered like
the boys at the end of Harold and Kumar, before realizing that the burgers were
small but not THAT small, and there was no way I could eat a case of 30, along
with all the sides if my life depended on it. And, to boot, doing this before a
10 hour car ride? This was probably amongst the worst decisions I’ve ever made,
I’m pretty sure the over/under on farts was set at 355 on the ride back.
daveschlet: Oreo cookies and milk, usually while
watching the Network or GI Joe or Transformers on Netflix.
I think I just flashed back to 1988.
Wide variety of choices, no surprise. In fact, it’s a lot
like my pantry, it varies from night to night.
One of my favorites has long been the PB & banana
sandwich. When you need a hit of something filling on the spot, it really does
the trick. However, I’ve slowly done my best to ease that out of my late night
diet because potassium before bed is amongst the worst eating decisions you can
make (well, except for that one guy who’s eating 20 nuggets and a half pounder
at McDonalds), so I’m now usually making my lunches (or supper, whatever the
hell you want to call my 7pm meal on my strange hours) for work the night
before, and leaving half of it available for when I roll in around midnight.
Tonight is a hamburger I smoked on Tuesday night with hickory wood for about 2
hours at 225.
Thank you to everyone for your continued participation in
the thread; this doesn’t exist without you. We’re nearly done wrapping up the
QOTD for good, but we’ve still got a few good days left. Have a great day, and
I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

QOTD #39: The Munchies

Off topic Wednesday!
Today’s Question:
What’s your go-to food late
at night when you’re starved and need something fast?
We’ll take a closer look at that and our waistlines
tomorrow. If you want to see what we talked about Monday, stay tuned –
otherwise skip to the head to start right away.


So two days ago, I asked you to tell me about your favorite promos of all time.

Starscreamlive: What happened to today’s qotd?
Oh, yeah … right. I had a particularly long work day, and
passed out minutes after I started watching RAW on the PVR. I never fully got
moving until much later than my usual wake-up time, and never had the chance to
do this. I apologize to everyone.
Petrock: “The Genesis Of McGillicuddy” will
never be replicated.
I don’t think you’re on the same page as the rest of us,
Petrock.
PrimeTimeTen: “For the Hogans! And the Pipers! And
the Macho Mans! And the Sids! Now it’s Ric Flair! And
Y’ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL… pay homage… to the mannnnn. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
Flair pretty much became the owner of the WWF right there.
jobber123: I think it was Bash at the Beach 94 (or
clash 28) when Arn turns on Dustin to help Funk and Buck house Buck win a
match. Back in the locker room the heels are celebrating and Okerlund does this
interview and Funk gets down on his knees and cuts this insane promo about
kicking little kids out of his way to get back to dressing room and before he
kicked one of them the kid apparently looked funk in the eye and said
“Why, why did you hurt Dustin Rhodes so bad. He’s a great wrestling
entertainer?” And funk like a maniac just screams “I KNOW…AND HIS
DADDY WAS TOO”
Funk had a pretty stellar 1994 on the whole. His ridiculous
appearance as a “legend” at Slamboree, followed by him taking over the entire
show is also terribly underrated. Love the choice here.
JT Murphy: There are plenty of Rock promos that are
bigger, better, or more important, but this one is my personal favorite:
“God Spake To Billy” in 1999.
This alone pretty much derailed the Billy Gunn singles push
for 2 years.
flamingtoilet: Cane Dewey. One of the all-time greatest
promos from one of the all-time promo guys.
While I have no idea why the author titled this 1998, this
is definitely one of Foley’s absolutely best promos. The fact he wasn’t brought
in to the WWF for his speaking ability remains an asinine, and embarrassing
oversight.

wnyxmcneal: Cut that music! Cut the damn music NOW!! How
dare you, Rock. How dare you disrespect me, Rock! I AM THE UNDISPUTED CHAMPION
– I AM THE MAN YOU WILL BE FACING THIS SUNDAY AT THE ROYAL RUMBLE AND YOU HAVE
NOT EVEN MENTIONED MY NAME ONE TIME! On top of that, everybody’s talking about
facing you at WrestleMania as if it’s some kind of a foregone conclusion that
you’re gonna beat me this Sunday – as if I’m some kind of a fluke champion, or
a transitional champion, but they can all go to hell if they thing that! And all
of YOU all can go to hell if you think that! But most importantly, Rock, YOU
can go to hell, too. Because there’s something a lot more painful than any
beating you can get, Rock, and that is the truth – because the truth
hurts!” Pause for “Rock E” chant. “The truth hurts, Rock,
and the truth is you had the chance to become the Undisputed champ last month
at Ven gea nce, but YOU FAILED! YOU were beaten by ME! And you wanna talk about
facing the Undertaker or Steve Austin at WrestleMania – you can face anybody
you want at WrestleMania, but it won’t be for this Championship! [“Ass
hole!”] Because this championship is not yours, Rock – this championship
is MINE – it’s MINE – IT’S ALL MINE – IT’S ALL MIIIINE – and the truth
is…Chris Jericho is the most overlooked champion in WWF history! But you know
what else is the truth, Rock? At WrestleMania, I will STILL be the Champion –
because this is MY championship – this is my championship, dammit, and this is
my show, and this is MY…
“NO!!! NO NO NO
NO NO!! THIS IS NOT A JOKE! I AM NOT A JOKE! I AM SERIOUS! AND YOU WILL NOT
LOOK PAST ME, YOU STUPID SON OF A (BITCH)!”
It was so unfortunate the company never got behind Chris
Jericho until much later in his career, because he put everything he had into
making himself World Champion material, WWE be damned.
DrFacts: This one right here:

I recommend nobody watch this with a mouthful of water.
Starscreamlive: I’m sure there are better, but the only
thing popping into my mind other than all of Flair’s promos from NWA is Dusty’s
“Hard Times” promo. Dusty connected with so many people in that
promo, especially in the South, where all the textile mills were closing down
and so many people were out of work or worried that they would soon be out of
work. If you were a working man from the South in the ’80s and weren’t a Dusty
Rhodes fan at that point, after hearing that promo, you were instantly a fan of
“The Dream”.
Dusty Rhodes always played his role perfectly. He knew how
to connect with blue collar America, which often make up the biggest slice of
the wrestling pie, and make sure he was the hero he’d rally around. He was
wrestling’s equivalent of a factory union head, strong enough to stand his
ground, and charismatic enough to make you want to buy into whatever he said.

NoCash: Backlunds promo at Survivor Series after
winning the title, because for one brief moment in his speech, he sounds
completely lucid then snaps back into crazy old man and it’s creepy awesome.
Part of what made Backlund’s run in the 90’s so successful was
his sudden ability to cut fantastic promos. He was NEVER known for his
microphone work during his pre-Hogan runs, so his complete makeover definitely
caught a lot of old school fans off guard. I have to love him being defined as “crazy
old man” with that babyface that didn’t let him look a day over 30.

Mike Mears: Oh, snap. I just remembered my favorite one
ever. We were just talking about this here a few weeks ago, too. It has no real
historical significance, but it’s Angle’s pre-Elimination Chamber promo at New
Year’s Revolution ’06:
Todd Grisham:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, my guest at this time Kurt Angle. Kurt, later
tonight you’ll be participating in your first ever Elimination Chamber Match
for the WWE Title, what’s going through your head right now?”
Kurt Angle: “Well
before I get into that, first of all I’d like to say that I hope the U.S. loses
the war in Iraq. And ah, while I’m at it, I think the greatest country in the
world is France, what do you think? And you know, truth to be told, I’m not a
very big fan of ‘the black people.’ And if I would go back in time, the one
person in history I’d like to make tap out would have to be Jesus.”
Todd Grisham:
“Kurt, what do you… what are you talking about?”
Kurt Angle: “The
point is, I can say anything I want to these idiots and they’ll still cheer for
me. Sure, when I first come out, they’ll chant ‘you suck’, but after a couple
of seconds I got them in the palm of my hands. They give me a standing ovation
every time. And why is that? It’s like a dog knows when a storm’s coming in.
Everyone, all these fans know that I am the greatest wrestler in the world. I’m
better than Cena. I beat Shawn Michaels and Kane at WrestleMania. And Chris
Masters and Carlito aren’t even in my league. Now, I won my very first title
here in Albany and tonight, I’m gonna do it again. Yeah!”
I’m looking forward to Kurt re-using much of this material
as part of his Hall of Fame 2016 induction. At least he didn’t threaten to have
“Beastiality Sex” with anyone in this match.
YankeesHoganTripleHFan:
Don’t know if its the best but certainly
worth mentioning….”They loved you. They believed in you. And dammit The
Rock believed in YOU! So you talked about headlining, you talked about main
eventing Wrestlemania, after Wrestlemania, after Wrestlemania. Well how about
you main event one more Wrestlemania WITH THE ROCK!”
The only thing that hurt this one is that it went on so damn
long, with the WWE trying to milk every second of it. With that in mind … I’ve
seen this about 8000 times.
Paul Meekin: Funny: Kurt Vs. Rey

Virgil’s Gimmick
Table:
Cactus Jack’s
“professional wrestling will never be respected” promo from ECW. It
gives me chills every time. It’s like watching a man who had realized his
entire life has been for nothing and crumbling before your eyes. God Foley was
amazing in his prime
Foley’s creativity when given free reign to say and do
whatever he wants, is unmatched by anyone. He hit more home runs in his brief
ECW period than perennial main eventers like Randy Orton ever will throughout
their entire careers.

Sweet Lee: I could name a million, but I chose the one
that I personally liked the best. “Who’s your daddy, Montreal!!” There
was guaranteed heat, because its HBK in Montreal, but the reaction he got was
more than that – it was fucking nuclear.
There was 8 years of pent up frustration from these people
just ready to tear into Shawn, and the WWE finally said “here, have at him”,
gave him a live microphone and told him to do his thing like a piñata of meat
in front of a sea of piranhas. Brilliant.

Koko B Flair: Mark Henry’s “retirement” speech
and subsequent turn on Cena was a thing of beauty. Best piece of legit acting
by a wrestler since … I don’t know, one of The Rock’s movies.
This is probably going to get forgotten within a year or
two. Hell, it’s nearly off our radars now. Great piece of business from all
involved, and quite frankly, should have bought Henry another title reign for
selling such a badass angle.

JohnPetuka: I don’t think I’ve seen one vote for
Hollywood Rock’s Toronto promo yet. That promo and character were so unique. He
could make you laugh while muttering “asshole” under your breath. You
could love everything he was doing, but still had no problem booing the guy. He
kept everyone entertained, but still adhered to the heel/face boundary lines.
He had become a caricature, but it made sense given that his character’s ego
was firmly out of control. Such a sublime balance.
I haven’t seen or thought about this promo in 10 years.
Amazing choice; I am absolutely riveted watching this again for what feels like
a crazy case of dejavous.

VintageECW: I could easily pick an ECW promo like
Shanes’ epic 30 minute promo or Cactus’ Cane Dewey from late 95 but the one
that always sticks out was a Jericho/Malenko face to face where Jericho asked
Dean if he ever wondered why he and his brother don’t look alike. Really top
notch stuff from the two of them in the abyss that was 98 WCW and this one
stood out big time for me.
I can’t find the video of this encounter, but I know exactly
what you are talking about. The Jericho/Malenko feud was an expertly crafted
work, that made fans believe Jericho was legitimately stepping over lines that
had no business being stepped on. Finally, with a working agreement that
Malenko would get a shot at the title as long as he kept his hands off Jericho,
Chris went to work trying to get under Dean’s skin with as many insults as he
could hurtle. Dean managed to keep it all in stride until Chris finally started
making insinuations about his mother’s relationship with the milkman while
daddy was on the road all the time, finishing with “have you ever wondered why
you and your brother look nothing alike?” BAM – Malenko struck and beat him
with the kind of raw intensity rarely seen in our so-called-sport. Killer.
Darren X: Does it get any better than Stone Cold in
1996, and those promos for Survivor Series? I remember seeing him in the
junkyard before Survivor Series, and thinking you could not help feeling like
Bret Hart’s ass is in trouble. His dead-panned “I dont dance, son” in
disgust regarding Shawn Michaels: CLASSIC.

New wrestlers should study this over and over. Austin was
nothing more than a glorified midcarder, with the usual on-again off-again
push, but in this promo he’s made to look like the baddest man on the planet
that NOBODY should mess with.
Lenny Vowels: No love for the CM Punk heel turn promo from
Death Before Dishonor III after he won the ROH World Title from Austin Aries in
June ’05, the original Summer of Punk? It was absolutely masterful. He had the
crowd completely on his side through the whole match, won the belt, then went
on a tirade about how he was taking the belt with him to other pastures (i.e.
WWE) and how he screwed them all over. The crowd was just rabid as could be, but
they were still eating it up. It only served to heighten the pop of a returning
Christopher Daniels as well, who returned to kick Punk’s ass and show him
what’s what. Anyway, watch it if you haven’t. You won’t regret it.
This was certainly discussed at length in the Punk thread,
but I don’t think I shared the video. The fans never saw it coming, until it
was too late.

MrJustinB: Hulk Hogan : Fee Fie Fo Fum, Andre. One Long
Year and your time has come, man! (…) As Andre The Giant falls into the
ocean, and as my next two opponents fall to the ocean floor and I pin’em, so
will Donald Trump and all the Hulkamaniacs! But as Donald Trump hangs on to the
Trump Plaza with his family under his other arm, as they sink to the bottom of
the sea, THANK GOD Donald Trump is a Hulkamaniac! He’ll know enough to let go
of his material possessions, hang on to the wife and kids, dog paddle with his
life, all the way to safety! But Donald, if something happens, you run out of
gas, and all those little Hulkamaniacs run out of gas, JUST HANG ON TO THE
LARGEST BACK IN THE WORLD, and I’ll dog paddle us, backstroke us back to
safety! (backstrokes out of scene)
Sweet Jesus.
TraitorAlex: I’ll throw out someone who probably won’t
get mentioned in here. Miz’s promo where he walked from the locker room all the
way to the front talking about how JBL wouldn’t let him change in the locker
room at first, and how everyone hoped he would have quit by now. That was a
high quality promo. And probably the only case in history of a guy talking his
way into being the champion. The only thing he was doing at an above average
level was promos but for 6-8 months he was just crushing them one after the
other. In hindsight he was saying the same thing every time but it felt fresh
at the time.
If Miz could show this level of hunger and desperation
again, I’d be willing to … nope, he’s still the frickin’ Miz. I can’t do it.
Mitch, The Godfather:
Very underrated one.

I would have much preferred to have seen these guys have
issues about 10 years earlier; but I’ll take whatever Foley/Heyman work they’re
willing to give us.
James: The Rock tore the crowd to shreds the night
after Survivor Series 1998. It was in the same vein as his initial heel promo
in ’97, but he was now fully into his Rock persona and could skillfully
articulate his beef with the fans
This is another beauty I can’t track down, but would be
thrilled if someone shared in the comments section. Just a full on shit fest
all over anyone who ever believed in him.
There were so many more in this thread, but I just did not
have time to get to everyone’s choices.
The one I’m going to share today is not the most articulate
promo you’ve ever seen. It’s probably not even the most well thought out. But
it served its purpose in front of a hungry Canadian crowd who was so desperate
to see their hero fight through the sea of crap that was WCW, and have a moment
… any moment. And lord, did he have his moment.

I also have a soft-spot for this one:

Enjoy all the videos in the thread – and I’ll see you back
tomorrow.

QOTD #38: Best Promos

Today’s Question:
What’s the best promo you
ever saw?
If you want to skip yesterday’s discussion and start right
away, scroll to the end or hit “Comments”. Otherwise please stick around to
talk about your own personal bizarro world.

I should have known that fantasy booking would draw out the
comments en masse, and it did. What match finish would YOU change if you had
the power to do so? Of course, this would theoretically set off a chain of
events that would change the potential direction of entire companies at times,
but that’s part of the fun.
PrimeTimeTen: In the 174th match between Dolph Ziggler and
Kofi Kingston, I would have had it end in a double-disqualification.
Here we go.
Thebraziliankid: Cena vs Brock at ER 2012. My finish would be
like this, Cena hits the AA on the steps and goes for the cover, 1…2..NO!
Brock kicks out, that was Cena’s last straw of strenght. Brock does that evil
smirk, picks him up F-5 put his foot on Cena’s chest, 1…2.. Brock takes the
foot off, grabs him again does another F-5 and locks the kimura, the referee
stops the match when he sees that Cena is out. That would make Brock a even
bigger monster than 92 Vader and would still make Cena strong for Surviving
that punishment. Brock only became a monster once more because he conquered the
streak.
We are off to the races with one of the most heavily debated
finishes in recent years (as Brock Lesnar matches are wont to do), starting
with his arrival. Cena was right off of losing to The Rock at Wrestlemania, and
a fresh Brock Lesnar was waiting in the wings. Brock, armed with a WORLD of
credibility after backing up his legitimacy by becoming UFC champion comes
back, and sets the stage by bloodying Cena’s nose during the closest thing to a
“shoot brawl” you’ll see. Then Cena wins. What the hell? By following your
story, Lesnar continues to look like the unbeatable machine we all believe him
to be, and Cena’s story of “worst year EVER~!” doesn’t change. I like this.
 Brian MacLeod: The first one
that pops to mind is the main event of WrestleMania 2000. The Rock clearly
should’ve won there instead of at Backlash. Because Rock won the next month, I
suppose it didn’t really “damage” anything long term, but I always
liked the “face walks out of WrestleMania champion” tradition and it
was kind of a bummer to see that broken…
Brian, the only reason I’m going to disagree with you here,
is because Wrestlemania 2000 was the last time Wrestlemania didn’t feel like
WRESTLEMANIA. It was built like another PPV. It wasn’t in a major stadium, it
wasn’t shot any differently, and aside from the 98-hour pre-game show, there
wasn’t anything to truly differentiate it from the other shows of the year.
They were still another year away from remembering exactly what it was that
made Wrestlemania, Wrestlemania. So with that in mind, I don’t hate the
decision of Triple H going over; and in fact stacking the deck even further
against The Rock just made the crowd even more rabid to see him take home the
gold the following month.
LScisco: Luger over Yokozuna at SummerSlam ’93 for
the title. I think that match would’ve made Luger’s WWF career.
Who needs the gold when you’ve got this:
DJ Sprite: Matt Hardy vs Edge summerslam 2005. Maybe
not the fact that edge won, but stopping the match via blood loss? Hardy was
one of the hottest acts in wwe and that’s the finish in the grudge match? Have
Lita-ferance cost Matt the match, leading to the cage match the next month.
Not a bad choice, and it truly doesn’t change much in the
grand scheme… except maybe keeping Matt Hardy hot a little longer. He lost so
much steam from not being able to come back and avenge himself for having lost
his job AND his girl to the guy with the movie-star good looks who was anointed
the future. Of course, it’s Vince McMahon we’re talking about. I figure when he
gave Matt Hardy the finish to the match, he told him “LIFE SUCKS … THEN YOU
DIE!”
 YankeesHoganTripleHFan: Hogan
vs Warrior at WM VI. Don’t get me wrong it was totally the right booking
decision, but I was 11, a Hogan fan, (obviously) and to this day it’s the only
match that actually made me feel sick to my stomach…I just never thought
Hogan would lose
My advice: Avoid all of 2002 through SummerSlam. By King of
the Ring you might be in need of CPR.
Ryan Yoder: Maybe Orton vs Undertaker at Wrestlemania
21. I really liked the Legend Killer gimmick, but I think at the time, Orton
was going to have to get surgery after Wrestlemania, so him winning and then
having to be out would probably have killed his momentum.
This probably denies us the Shawn Michaels series. You might
have to face a lifetime ban from the blog for that stunt.
Stranger in the Alps:
John Cena vs. The Miz at Mania 27. First,
because it was Wrestlemania and it deserved a better match. Second, sending the
fans home on a heel victory at Mania just feels wrong. The ending of the show
needs to be the babyface celebrating in victory……….even if it means
CenaWinsLOL
What revisionist history forgets, is that the net was FULLY
on board with The Miz. For god knows what reason, people saw star power in the
guy and were fine with him running with the belt. It wasn’t until he failed to
show *anything* new after dropping the belt that he was finally regurgitated.
In retrospect, yes, he should have been sent packing sooner, and Wrestlemania
would have been a fine time to stop.
VintageECW: No doubt, Taz v Sabu from Barely Legal. I
would’ve had Sabu pin Taz a hundred percent of the time. And I would have
murdered whoever came up with that double turn, dumbest move ever.
Great choice. Sabu had the cult following to end all cult
followings, and in his first PPV foray, he should have absolutely been built as
one of the biggest stars in the company. For hardcore fans, Sabu had been
tormented by the bully Taz, and after 18-months, it was time to stand his
ground. Instead, he taps like a bitch. Granted, to the toughest guy in the
company, but still. Then AFTER losing, he enlists the help of Bill Alphonzo?
Why not call on his assistance BEFORE having all your joints ripped apart by a
killing machine? They got too cute here, probably feeling the pressure to do
something special. They missed.
Johnny Polo: Shawn vs. Bulldog at One Night Only. Looking
back, I’m surprised Shawn didn’t also go over Owen in their title vs title
match on Raw to become IC champion. And then as both IC and Euro champ, he
could beat Bret at Survivor Series to hold all three belts by beating all three
Harts. Surly Shawn and HHH ran this idea by Vince.
This is one of those spots where it seems more clear that
Bret’s departure was premeditated. There was no reason for them to take the
European belt off of Bulldog, especially when the title was virtually
meaningless. It didn’t add anything to Shawn Michaels’ overall heat, and
considering Bulldog dedicated the match (non-kayfabe) to his sister Tracy who
would soon lose a battle with cancer, it was a pretty lousy thing to do. All it
did was get a belt off a prospective Hart ally who might jump ship a month
later if anything “screwy” might occur.
Daniel Lewis: I would have kept the WWF title on Chris
Jericho in 2000. Have Rock and HHH wrestle at Backlash in a grudge match, and
have Jericho defend against Benoit. Then move Jericho into a feud with either
Rock or HHH. Jericho at that time was the 2nd most over man on the active
roster.
I’m torn. Triple H still had unfinished business with The
Rock; but the chance to run with a surprise champion who DID get the job done
could have been a lot of fun. I don’t think Rock’s heat would have suffered in
the long run, so this is one bizarro world scenario I’d love to see play out.
Glen4321: Kurt Angle vs HHH Unforgiven 2000 would be
the one match ending I’d change Instead of Steph low blowing Angle while still
seeming like she cares about Angle (a terrible end to a very hot feud), Steph
should have came in the ring, low blowed HHH and then made out intensely with
Angle. Then the feud could have concluded at the next PPV in a much better blow
off match (hopefully with much blood). Also, if HHH and Steph were broken up on
TV this early on, maybe they would have broken up in real life if they weren’t
together so much. Changing the ending to this match could have prevented HHH’s
reign of terror from 2002-2005 on Raw.
Now Glen is a man who is into the spirit of the column. We
have it all here! A swerve finish! Live gratuitous tongue wrestling! Real life
divorce implications! I think we’re overstating the importance of a single
match just a little here, but having Angle steal Triple H’s girl would have
been the right ending here. In a world where nothing ever turns sour for Lord
Hunter, a man with the might of a thousand penises, it would have been great to
see him get his comeuppance and lose the girl here. Angle would have had killer
momentum going into No Mercy where he’d take the title, and logically he’d drop
the belt back to Triple H at Mania in this scenario. Austin still likely turns
heel, and sets his eyes on H. I like everything about this.
ts14: Raven going over Jarrett in TNA. The crowd
was nuclear for it, it should have happened. I know Raven as a champion would
have probably been a disaster but they should have gone with it for a little
while.
A forgotten classic from the weekly PPV era. I fully
disagree Raven would have been a disaster as champion. Fans were eating up
everything he was involved in for months afterwards. This was a bitter
disappointment, and moving the belt to AJ Styles weeks later was the inferior
move. Raven should have been able to take the belt and run with it. He could
have just as easily have carried it into the impending feud with the New
Church, done business with Shane Douglas, lost his hair, had his comeuppance,
and then … in the Internet wet dream … have CM Punk turn on him and recycle
their ongoing feud in ROH and MLW. I hope someone who can influence Jeff
Jarrett is currently building a DeLorean.
Starscreamlive: Sting winning clean at Starrcade ’97. Would
have brought closure to that storyline once and for all instead of the debacle
it turned into. The nWo could have still hung around afterward, but it’s
mission would have changed from destroying WCW to just being a stable of four
or five core members.
It’s mind boggling how obvious this decision was in 1997. We
don’t need retrospect for this. We need Hulk Hogan to do the right thing. And
there lies your root cause.
davidbonzaisaldanamontgomery:
Easily Booker going over HHH at WMXIX.
Not only does it erase the inane “HHH goes racist for five weeks then wins
at Mania” angle, but Booker was on the cusp of legit stardom; only HBK was
more over on RAW at the time. Instead, back down the card went Booker and it
took him three years to get back to the main event scene.
This was heavily debated on the blog today. As we may
recall, this was during the “Triple H can’t put over Booker because he needs
his heat for Nash … and he can’t put over Nash because he needs his heat for
Goldberg … and he can’t put over Goldberg, because Goldberg needs more heat
…” era. I like changing the result, I just cringe at the idea of Booker T
eating the “Miz” treatment of wrestling in the 3rd match of the card
against World Title challengers Bubba Dudley and Jeff Hardy until it comes time
to drop the belt to the first “real” main eventer he faces.
BobSacamento: Orton over Triple H at WrestleMania 25. Fuck
that shit. Orton was hot as you could be and that loss really did him no
favors. Beat Hunter, punt that son of a birch and then move to feud with MVP
and then Batista until Triple H returns for Vengeance….and loses again.
You’ve laid out a very well thought out scenario that I
would never want to watch in a million years.
ARRRRGH THE BARBARIAN:
Del Rio’s cash-in on Punk has to be up
there. I don’t think that did anyone any favors.
Now we’re talking! If we manage to avoid Alberto Del Rio,
which for the record I try VERY hard to do, Punk’s title reign now extends to
roughly 17 months on top of the promotion which is something that will likely
never be topped again. Granted, neither will the 400+ days, but I’m just trying
to pile it on at this point.
David: Barrett beating Orton at Survivor Series for
the title. He only had 1 real ppv win over those 6 months (making cena join the
nexus). Fine they lost at summerslam. However, barrett never got his big title
win. He got screwed by cena for the title at the ppv before. He lost to orton
that night and the next night on raw after the nexus kicked orton’s butt before
the match (then the miz cash-in). Next month, he lost a chair’s match to cena.
Ever since then, he has looked like a chump except as bad news barrett. Who
knows where barrett would be if he actually beat orton that night?
He might be as revered as former champion Jack Swagger. In
all seriousness, winning that match is not going to overcome the lack of
personality he showed up until he became Bad News Barrett.
Devin Harris: The Flair-Hogan double-turn at Uncensored
99. This was supposed to be Flair finally beating Hogan for the title as a
babyface and then WCW cheats us, the fans, out of it by doing a double-turn. Of
course, the fans cheered it anyway
Devin, let’s recap. Hogan comes back, and steals Goldberg’s
title away with the Finger Poke of Doom. Reunites the nWo. Has Flair driven out
to the desert, where he is beaten and left for dead. Steals Flair’s son David
away with sex (like THAT would ever work on a 19-year old). Flair retaliates by
smacking Hogan with a tire iron. And HE’S the bad guy? I’m with you. NO TURN.
Darren X: Thats easy: DDP & David Arquette vs.
Jeff Jarrett & Eric Bischoff. More than any one match, killed the business
as we know it, and put it in the hands of Vince McMahon.
I really hate to burst your bubble, but WCW was long gone by
this point. Still, I am happy to live in a world where David Arquette is NOT a
former champion.
Adam Wright: Wrestlemania 4 main event, Dibiase Vs
Savage. Have Andre move to attack Elizabeth which distracts Savage allowing
Dibiase to roll him up. After the match you can have Andre, Virgil &
Dibiase beat on Savage until Elizabeth goes for Hogan for the save to still get
the megapowers. Except now you have Dibiase as a hell champ, the first heel
champ in 4 years. Suddenly there’s a lot of faces who can get a quick run on
top as challenger, whilst Megapowers fight Virgil/Andre. You can still have the
Megapowers Vs MegaBucks match at Summerslam, and at Wrestlemania 5 you have
Savage over Andre & Hogan over Dibiase.
The only heart-breaking part of this is that Savage never
gets his proper due until about Wrestlemania 8 in your world. I’m absolutely ok
with seeing DiBiase get the run he deserves with all the hard work he put
behind his Million Dollar Man character, it’s just unfortunate that Macho winds
up on the back seat again.
greaterpower99: Nexus over Team WWE at Summerslam. After
taking the beating from Barrett and Young in the final stage of the match, Cena
manages a flurry and tags Bryan. Bryan steps in, and flattens him with a
roundhouse kick. All three men then finish him off.  The Nexus angle was more or less killed off
as any sort of serious threat by Supercena, putting them over in that scenario
(or something like it) would have given them monster heel heat and kept it
going for much longer.
This isn’t just fine fantasy booking, this is EXACTLY how it
should have played out. I rarely get excited for pay-per-views any more, but I
had a good friend over for this one and we were pretty stoked for what we
figured was either a changing of the guard, or a sure-fire Cena heel turn. Then
CENAWINSLOL. I am okay with changing this finish of this match to do one of a
thousand different things, as long as it leads to the Nexus getting the big
win.
Thank you for the quality discussion points today, good
stuff from everyone who contributed in the thread – even you Vince Jordan.
Back at it again tomorrow folks, as we kick off my last week
of doing the QOTD feature. (For those of you who’ve been waiting for this
moment – you can rejoice!) I current work nights, which allows me the free time
to do this every single day because no one’s awake at the god awful hours I put
this together. However, mirroring my wife’s schedule is gonna make it
impossible to run a daily piece.
We’ll address this more next weekend when I wrap this up,
but in the meantime, have a great Monday with whatever you’ve got planned.

QOTD #37: Changing History

Today’s Question:
If you could change one
match result from wrestling history, which would it be, and why?
We’ll get into the nitty gritty of that tomorrow. Start the
discussion right away by scrolling to the end of this. Otherwise, stick around
to talk about the ladies.

Yesterday, I asked you about the best women’s match you ever
saw? The responses varied from the WWE crowd, to the International crowd, as
you’d expect. Here’s what you said…
jobber123: Sasha Grey vs Bree Olson
Last I heard, Charlie Sheen was winning.
James: Lita vs.Trish Stratus, the match that main
evented Raw in 2004.
MrJustinB: Trish vs Lita, for Trish’s retirement is a
long time favorite of mine.
Lots of love for the Trish / Lita series that dominated the
WWE’s ladies division for nearly 5 years. Lita was always a little sloppy, but
Trish was a ring general who was able to keep it contained – and what resulted
was the absolute pinnacle of women’s wrestling on the mainstream circuit.
WILLYOUSTOP?!?: Jumping Bomb Angels v. Glamour Girls from
Royal Rumble ’88 for a North American match.
This one was brought up tons throughout the comments; and if
you’ve never seen it, you’re missing out on something special. The fact that
Vince didn’t see money in these ladies, and build the entire division around
them is a travesty.
DJ Sprite: As great as the Lita/Trish matches were,
Lita vs. Stephanie McMahon in the main event of raw is the greatest. Rock as
the special ref. Interference from Austin and HHH, the hardy boyz, and the pop
when Lita won. First time women ever main evented raw and they stole the damn
show.
This was actually a big, big deal at the time. It was obviously
a ballsy move to put the women in the main event of RAW when they still had WCW
on the other channel, though the blow was softened by having Rocky and Hunter
hanging around. The fans were absolutely rabid, and as noted, the pop was
incredible. Really made the division feel special again, even for a minute.
ONITA100: Megumi Kudo vs. Combat Toyoda (No Rope
Electrified Barbed Wire Match) From 1996, been my favorite womens match since I
first saw it in the late 90’s on a bootleg tape, so I doubt anything I will see
even in the future will top it. Absolutely brutal match that is LOADED with
emotion. Just wild. They both busted their asses to a level you wont ever see a
diva reach. The chemistry between them is great, and their matches always have
that Sting/Vader vibe. And for note, the sacrifice spot at 25:55 in the vid I
posted is one of my favorite spots ever

Holy … shit. That was a little uncomfortable to watch. I
think I’m part of the macho boat who never wants to see the women *really* get
their asses kicked, and this was a lot to watch. Great match, but I don’t think
I could do it again.
Eric Von Erich: Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki &
Cuty Suzuki & Hikari Fukuoka (JWP team) vs. Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue
& Takako Inoue & Sakie Hasegawa (AJW team) from 7/31/93. It starts off
with the “first attack,” which is four separate five-minute singles
matches. There are no “winners” in these singles matches. If you beat
your opponent your team gets a point and you keep wrestling until the five
minutes are up. After the first attack, it turns into an 8 woman ironman-rules
tag match. The team with the most points at the end of 60:00 is declared the
winner. Great action throughout and perfect booking of the falls. It’s a unique
format that I wish WWE would use for a PPV main event.
Bud, you lost me just explaining the rules. If I need it
written down, and a math teacher standing over my shoulder taking me through
what’s going on, it’s probably too much for me. But, we’ll let the readers
decide.
joedust: Micke James v. Trish Stratus is probably the
best women’s match of this era. It had a very strong angle leading into it and
the match was awesome. Mickie James in particular exclled in her role, and the
crowd gave her a babyface reaction when she won. I always loved that they
thought that Micke’s unwanted advances towards Trish would make Mickie a heel.
TONS of love from the board here. The angle was perfect. A
couple years earlier, they had tried to create the creepy stalker angle against
Trish with Victoria, and while it worked, they outdid themselves here. The
not-so-secretly in love with Trish Stratus Mickie James played her role to
perfection. And after months of subtle, and not so subtle advances, it all
plays out on the biggest stage of them all with the mock cunnilingus in the
middle of a hard fought, excellent match. Of course, this is the same company
that didn’t try to hide Edge’s boner the following year during his live sex
celebration – so class wasn’t exactly a top priority for the WWE a decade ago.
Elmo Machete: Not the “best” by any means, but
my favorite is probably Trish/Steph. It took everybody by surprise and had NO
reason to be as good as it was. That neckbreaker from Regal was siiick.
We’ve covered this at least two other times in QOTD
previously, but yes, this really left everyone in shock. I think we all expected
the usual ladies catfight, and we wound up with a pretty good brawl.
TheQatarian: Another in the “not necessarily the
best, but certainly different” department: the Ivory/Tori hardcore match
from a late-night Raw. This match had a little fire and hatred to it, which is
something that has always generally been lacking in the women’s division.
Sadly, the feud didn’t go anywhere.
Michael Weyer: Victoria vs Trish, Survivor’s Series 2002 as
they just beat the hell out of each other in a fun brawl.
Survivor Series 2002 is probably the PPV I’ve found has the
most rewatchability over the last 10 years, because every match hits the point.
Trish and Victoria was outstanding, as Trish was completely in the groove by
this point making everyone look good except Jackie Gayda. Another great choice.
It’s nice to remember that the women don’t always bring the
drek, and that there are a number of really talented women out there who take
your entertainment very seriously. Thanks for everyone’s participation in the
thread today. Enjoy your Sunday, and I’ll be back tomorrow.

QOTD #36: Women

Today’s Question:
What’s the best women’s
match you’ve ever seen?
My wife knows the divas as “nacho break”, but that hasn’t
always been the case. We’ll talk all about this further tomorrow. Start by
scrolling ahead or clicking Comments, otherwise stay tuned for talk about your
memorabilia.

I was curious about your favorite parts of your wrestling
collection. Here’s what you said.
DrFacts: A giant egg from Survivor Series 1990. It
has not hatched yet.
And we’re off.
C BREEZY: Photo of Razor Ramon arm wrestling my dad
I dig this; not only because it’s so far outside the box of
what we might consider your typical memorabilia, but it’s also such an awesome
conversation starter.
daveschlet: Personally autographed picture to me from DX
(HHH, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, X-PAC, and Chyna), also one from Jumpin Jim
Brunzell, and one from Mr. perfect , Animal, and Ken Resnick I got signed at a
Twins game. It was the program to the baseball game. I also have a Benoit
autograph and picture of me with him from Axxess at WrestleMania XIX that I’m
not super proud of now, plus my ticket stubs from WrestleMania XIX and
WrestleMania X-7, autographs from Bobby Heenan, Gene Okerlund, the natural
disasters, and William Regal from that Axxess (X-7).
That’s a whole lot of autographs.
byort: Signed 2×4 by Hacksaw Jim Duggan (and shards
of an in-ring used 2×4), signed beauty school head by Al Snow, or a piece of
Mr. Perfect’s chewing gum. Take your pick.
While I can see putting the 2×4 on display, and giving the
entire story to your friends – I truly don’t know whether to be amazed or
disgusted that you have Mr. Perfect’s gum.
Piperfan01: I have a signed script from most of the
wrestling stars of Ready to Rumble.
If it doesn’t include Sal Bandini, it’s worthless.
Garth Holmberg, C.C.:
My collection of the Hasbro figure series
is almost complete (off the cards) with the exception of the final series
(featuring Borga, Yoko #2, Kid, Gunns, Bomb, and Crush #3) and a couple from
the bloated sets that came out in 1992 (specifically Nailz and Owen). I’m going
to say that’s easily my favorite. Sitting on one of my shelves right now.
Now that’s a set worth bragging about. The only set I ever
had was the WCW Grip ‘N Flip, and I wound up breaking them all open for the
props, which I regret. Well, sorta. I used the props for the Jesus Christ
Action Figure that I kept on my desk at work. I figured he’d been using the
same gimmick for 2000 years, so I put a cowboy hat on his head that came from a
bottle of JR’s BBQ sauce, and gave him the WCW Title from the Goldberg/Hogan
set. The entire thing was scrapped, sadly, when I got an HR complaint about my
insensitivity.
mrh610: My buddy got a broken hand from Taz at an
ECW show in Buffalo. Does that count as memorabilia?
Not without the story behind it! You can’t leave us hanging
like this.
Voth22: I have a program from an NWA house show
where some of the “Young Guns” were signing autographs before hand-
the three I got were Scott Steiner, Brian Pillman and Scott Hall (as well as
local radio personality “Banana” Don). I also have a 64 Oz glass
Andre the Giant mug I used to take to parties and drink out of in college.
That’s a killer trio of Young Guns. You picked wisely. Regarding
the Andre mug, it was probably an impressive beast amongst the college crowd …
but Andre would have drank straight vodka from it, and come back for a couple
of 24’s later.
Jon Eks: I bought a set of 4 D-Generation X shot
glasses way back when, that I loved. One was the “Two words: Suck
It!,” another was “down where? down HERE!,” the third was the
bar code, and the 4th one is one I can’t even remember. During my sophomore
year of college, my roommate and I were hosting some friends and I looked for
them. My roommate, half in the bag, told me he and another of my friends
accidentally broke two of them – the bar code, and the one I can’t remember –
and that he was really sorry. I was incredibly disappointed – not pissed
because of how genuinely bad he felt – and got fucking hammered that night. I
still sometimes wish I had the two that broke. I still have the other two, and
I’m the only one who gets to take a shot from the “Suck It!” glass. I
love those things.
Lenny Vowels: For today’s question, I’m going with my
original WWF DVD copy of Wrestlemania X-Seven. Pre-network, it was still the
only way to watch the show in non-blurred full form, and I’ll still watch it
this way on occasion. Cost me a solid $30 on eBay several years ago, but I
recall it spiking a bit higher after that.
I sold off the bulk of my WWF DVD collection about 8 years
ago; but even at the time, the WWF versions of shows were going for big bucks
for exactly that reason. I remember Royal Rumble 2002 in particular going for
close to $100. The initial blurring was so goddamn distracting, that it was
unbearable. Production improved over the years, but I’m thrilled it’s finally
over.
TheGrailspiral: I’m an obsessive loser and I taped all WWF
programing and ppvs from 1987 to 2003 (I just lost my love for it then)…more
than a 1000 tapes, include some WCW and ecw. It’s hard to lie when people see
them on so many bookshelves.
I don’t think modern fans can understand the painstaking
work it took to maintain a proper collection. I had every episode of WCW Nitro
and Thunder from 1999-end on VHS, as well as every episode of RAW from
2000-2004. That took up a few hundred tapes, and tons of shelf space. I
labelled each tape carefully, and, as the true testament, I watched every one
of those shows live and carefully paused the recording during each commercial
break. Years and years of effort. I eventually gave the entire thing away to my
best friend, and I’m fairly sure they’re in a dump somewhere today.
Being an old married man, I don’t have a lot left. I have a
CM Punk “Best In The World” hoodie that I’ll bust out in the winter time. I
have a Monday Night Jericho t-shirt, and I wore it to the New York State Fair
last summer. But the neatest thing I still have is the photo of Kurt Angle and
I.
It came on the tail end of a TNA house show at the Bob
Guertin arena in Hull, QC, with maybe 150 people in attendance. I was in the
front row, and ridiculously drunk. I nearly got into a fight with Earl Hebner,
who apparently did not care for the relentlessly mean heckling. My friend,
having my best interests at heart, did his best to calm me down by constantly
buying me more beer and giving me new insults to fling at Earl.
After the show, TNA was allowing fans into the ring to meet
Kurt. Simon Diamond, who was working as a road agent, asked me to stop stomping
on the ring steps so hard when I did my Vince McMahon impression (figuring this
would be both my first and last time I’d ever step in a ring – still true). Finally
I met Kurt. With all the questions we could possibly come up with after all the
years of watching him on TV, I looked at him earnestly and asked “will you give
me an ANGLE SLAM?”
He laughed, clutched me in quite tight (which I assume was
code for, kid, seriously, shut up and sober up), let me hold the belt, and took
our picture together for $20. (Which I handed over to Simon Diamond.) I still
have it. I loved that night, and Kurt was the biggest star I’ve had the pleasure
of asking to kick my ass.
The Earl Hebner story wound up as one of those embarrassing
ones that got re-told at my wedding, and the Angle photo sits as the black
sheep amongst my mountain of Atlanta Braves memorabilia.
I also have a Sonny Siaki autograph that sits at the bottom of a storage tote somewhere, which thankfully wasn’t
brought up at my wedding because that’s far more embarrassing.
Enjoy the weekend BoD. Back atcha tomorrow.