Wrestling thread

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Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:12 pm

Since I know Tom and I are fans and I have a sneaking suspician about Dave, let's have an open wrestling thread for us to talk.

Booking idea for WrestleMania in March: Two things that have to be dealt with are that Shawn Michaels is apparently retiring directly afterward and WWE desperately needs to create a new top-line heel. So here's my fantasy booking scenario: Michaels publically discloses, sometime around the Rumble, that he's going to retire after 'Mania and he'd like to retire as champion. So he issues a challenge to John Cena (champion going in although you could switch Cena for anyone here). Challenge is accepted.

On the undercard, we reduce the Money In The Bank match back down to six entrants, two from each roster. Now, I think MiTB should be a place for guys on the up, workers ready to move from the mid-card to the main event so my entrants are: Jack Swagger and MVP (from RAW), Matt Hardy and Drew McIntyre (from Smackdown) and Christian and Paul Burchill (from ECW and yes, Burchill can keep up in this kind of match). Match goes ahead, usual stunt-wrestling showcase. In the end, Christian grabs the briefcase to claim himself a title shot anytime he likes within the next year.

We get to the main event: Michaels/Cena for the title and they go a 30 minute donnybrook. They beat the living hell out of each other. We're talking brawling through the crowd, weapons, double juice, the full works. Finally, eventually, Michaels hits the superkick and scores the pin. He's handed the title, Cena congratulates him and then leaves and a bloodied, exhausted Michaels drinks in the cheers on his last night.

And right then, Christian hits the ring and cashes in his title shot right there and then. Naturally, he makes quick work of the exhausted Michaels and takes the title. Since he's just deprived the beloved Michaels of a happy ending to his career, that automatically turns him heel and straightaway, you have a new top-line heel.

Won't happen since Vince doesn't like Christian but that's how I'd book it.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:30 pm

Ebon wrote:Since I know Tom and I are fans and I have a sneaking suspician about Dave, let's have an open wrestling thread for us to talk.

Booking idea for Wrestle-mania in March: Two things that have to be dealt with are that Shawn Michaels is apparently retiring directly afterward and WWE desperately needs to create a new top-line heel. So here's my fantasy booking scenario: Michaels publicly discloses, sometime around the Rumble, that he's going to retire after 'Mania and he'd like to retire as champion. So he issues a challenge to John Cena (champion going in although you could switch Cena for anyone here). Challenge is accepted.

I question the lack of main event heels in the company. True, there is only one, Randy Orton, on Raw although Sheamus shows promise. I want to see him go against someone other than a jobber. When Edge returns from injury there will be four, Edge, Batista, Jericho, and C.M. Punk on Smackdown. As I've said before, I'd solve that problem by turning Calaway heel and moving him along with Edge to Raw. You would then have three main-event heels on each show. Also, the odds are Booker T will be back in the WWE before Wrestle-mania. He can also be a main-event heel. I would also turn Paul Wight face because he really doesn't seen to like the heel role he's always had. A Show/'Taker match could be a main-event Wrestle-mania match.

Ebon wrote:On the undercard, we reduce the Money In The Bank match back down to six entrants, two from each roster. Now, I think MiTB should be a place for guys on the up, workers ready to move from the mid-card to the main event so my entrants are: Jack Swagger and MVP (from RAW), Matt Hardy and Drew McIntyre (from Smackdown) and Christian and Paul Burchill (from ECW and yes, Burchill can keep up in this kind of match). Match goes ahead, usual stunt-wrestling showcase. In the end, Christian grabs the briefcase to claim himself a title shot anytime he likes within the next year.

I agree that two from each brand in the MiTB match would be sufficient. If you want the guys on the way up I'd go with Swagger and Miz from Raw, they already have a feud brewing. I'd pick Morrison and either McIntyre or R Truth from Smackdown. Matt Hardy has been there forever, and I remember how good Ron Killings was in TNA. I don't watch ECW, but I'd go with Christian and William Regal even though Regal is not someone on the way up. Paul Burchill is no longer listed on the ECW roster. If Vladimir Kozlov had even basic mic skills he would be a given main-eventer given his pure talent.

Ebon wrote:We get to the main event: Michaels/Cena for the title and they go a 30 minute donnybrook. They beat the living hell out of each other. We're talking brawling through the crowd, weapons, double juice, the full works. Finally, eventually, Michaels hits the superkick and scores the pin. He's handed the title, Cena congratulates him and then leaves and a bloodied, exhausted Michaels drinks in the cheers on his last night.

And right then, Christian hits the ring and cashes in his title shot right there and then. Naturally, he makes quick work of the exhausted Michaels and takes the title. Since he's just deprived the beloved Michaels of a happy ending to his career, that automatically turns him heel and straightaway, you have a new top-line heel.

Won't happen since Vince doesn't like Christian but that's how I'd book it.

I hope Cena doesn't still have the title when Wrestlemania comes around. His act is getting old. The trouble is, the person with the stroke on Raw is HHH. That's what happens when you marry the boss' daughter. If Trips wants the belt, it's his. The only positive would be he's talented enough in the ring and, more important, on the mic to handle both the face and heel roles. I don't see Michaels winning the belt in his retirement match, then losing it on the same show. I can see him breaking a heel 'Taker's Mania undefeated streak, to win the belt, then retiring the following night on Raw, setting up a title tournament in the process, but I still would prefer a Calaway/Wight main-event.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:47 pm

TPaine wrote: I question the lack of main event heels in the company. True, there is only one, Randy Orton, on Raw although Sheamus shows promise. I want to see him go against someone other than a jobber. When Edge returns from injury there will be four, Edge, Batista, Jericho, and C.M. Punk on Smackdown. As I've said before, I'd solve that problem by turning Calaway heel and moving him along with Edge to Raw. You would then have three main-event heels on each show. Also, the odds are Booker T will be back in the WWE before Wrestle-mania. He can also be a main-event heel. I would also turn Paul Wight face because he really doesn't seen to like the heel role he's always had. A Show/'Taker match could be a main-event Wrestle-mania match.

I'm surprised Sheamus has gotten such a push. I can remember him as Seamus O'Shaunessy in IWW and he struck me then as competent but nothing special. 'Taker has always worked better as a hell and although Show is never going to be a genuine main-event draw again (since the WWE has turned him too often and promoted him too badly), a face role lets him make the most of his natural likeability (Show is apparently an incredibly nice guy backstage). I didn't want to include Booker because, although his contract with TNA has expired, there's always teh chance that he'll choose to take a few months off or even retire entirely (he has mentioned it a few times). My concern was the weakness of RAW's main-event heels. Smackdown is fine but RAW only has Orton and he's been programmed with pretty much everyone.

Ebon wrote: I agree that two from each brand in the MiTB match would be sufficient. If you want the guys on the way up I'd go with Swagger and Miz from Raw, they already have a feud brewing. I'd pick Morrison and either McIntyre or R Truth from Smackdown. Matt Hardy has been there forever, and I remember how good Ron Killings was in TNA. I don't watch ECW, but I'd go with Christian and William Regal even though Regal is not someone on the way up. Paul Burchill is no longer listed on the ECW roster. If Vladimir Kozlov had even basic mic skills he would be a given main-eventer given his pure talent.

I disagree on Kozlov. He has a fantastic amateur wrestling background but he's really struggled to adapt to the pro style. Plus, as you said, his mic skills are nonexistent, not helped by his shaky English. Agreed on Morrison and Miz, they've just come off a program together so there's some existing chemistry there and they can keep up in what is essentially a stunt match. I didn't know Burchill had been removed but that makes Regal the logical replacement then. The only concern I would have with Regal is that his mat-based style doesn't really fit into a stunt match and, unlike Kane a couple of years back, he's not big enough to be used as a prop.

Ebon wrote: I hope Cena doesn't still have the title when Wrestlemania comes around. His act is getting old. The trouble is, the person with the stroke on Raw is HHH. That's what happens when you marry the boss' daughter. If Trips wants the belt, it's his. The only positive would be he's talented enough in the ring and, more important, on the mic to handle both the face and heel roles. I don't see Michaels winning the belt in his retirement match, then losing it on the same show. I can see him breaking a heel 'Taker's Mania undefeated streak, to win the belt, then retiring the following night on Raw, setting up a title tournament in the process, but I still would prefer a Calaway/Wight main-event.

Cena's act was getting old three years ago and he still can't throw a convincing punch but WWE refuse to turn him (which would be the logical option) because he sells truckloads of merchandise. I can't see my scenario happening either, I just think it would be a cool angle to set up an entirely fresh set of options. Wight won't be allowed to topline 'Mania. Vince sees him as a mid-carder for life and his drawing power isn't at the level expected of a main-eventer. Agreed, that could easily be solved with a few months effective build-up but Vince's history says that, having given Show a crack at the topline (albeit with that atrocious angle involving his dad dying of cancer), he won't give him another chance.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:30 pm

Damn I hate it when I almost finish a post and my browser crashes.
Ebon wrote:I'm surprised Sheamus has gotten such a push. I can remember him as Seamus O'Shaunessy in IWW and he struck me then as competent but nothing special. 'Taker has always worked better as a hell and although Show is never going to be a genuine main-event draw again (since the WWE has turned him too often and promoted him too badly), a face role lets him make the most of his natural likeability (Show is apparently an incredibly nice guy backstage). I didn't want to include Booker because, although his contract with TNA has expired, there's always teh chance that he'll choose to take a few months off or even retire entirely (he has mentioned it a few times). My concern was the weakness of RAW's main-event heels. Smackdown is fine but RAW only has Orton and he's been programmed with pretty much everyone.
I've only seen Sheamus squash jobbers so far, but he seems to have an idea of what he's doing in the ring, and seems to have basic mic skills. I see him going against Lawler either next week or the week after and squashing him. I think Vince sees him as a major heel, but then Vince saw the Ultimate Warrior as a superstar so that should tell you something. Do you remember the gimmick between Warrior, Jake Roberts, and 'Taker ("I trust you, Snake Man")? I don't remember when the inter-program draft is, but that could be used to balance the heel presence between the shows. I wish Vince would totally drop ECW. They don't have the talent to sustain three programs, and the current ECW is an insult to the company Paul Heyman founded.
Ebon wrote:I disagree on Kozlov. He has a fantastic amateur wrestling background but he's really struggled to adapt to the pro style. Plus, as you said, his mic skills are nonexistent, not helped by his shaky English. Agreed on Morrison and Miz, they've just come off a program together so there's some existing chemistry there and they can keep up in what is essentially a stunt match. I didn't know Burchill had been removed but that makes Regal the logical replacement then. The only concern I would have with Regal is that his mat-based style doesn't really fit into a stunt match and, unlike Kane a couple of years back, he's not big enough to be used as a prop.
Kozlov's background is in judo, kick-boxing, sambo, and shoot-fighting. His natural opponents would be Brock Lesner and Bobby Lashley. I'd turn Morrison face and put him in an extended feud with Miz. They have the potential for main-event status in a year or two if booked correctly. If Regal doesn't fit the mold, how about Shelton Benjamin?
Ebon wrote:Cena's act was getting old three years ago and he still can't throw a convincing punch but WWE refuse to turn him (which would be the logical option) because he sells truckloads of merchandise. I can't see my scenario happening either, I just think it would be a cool angle to set up an entirely fresh set of options. Wight won't be allowed to topline 'Mania. Vince sees him as a mid-carder for life and his drawing power isn't at the level expected of a main-eventer. Agreed, that could easily be solved with a few months effective build-up but Vince's history says that, having given Show a crack at the topline (albeit with that atrocious angle involving his dad dying of cancer), he won't give him another chance.
It wasn't that long ago that Cena was getting as many boo's as cheers despite the fact that he was booked as a face. That seems to have changed except in Canada. Vince pretty much screwed everyone who came over when WCW folded. Paul wasn't the only one. The only wrestlers I can remember who came from WCW that had any success were the ones who came before Vince bought the company. I'm thinking of Austin, Guerrero, and Benoit. How about a face Shawn Michaels vs. a heel Undertaker in a loser must retire WrestleMania main event?
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:47 pm

TPaine wrote:I've only seen Sheamus squash jobbers so far, but he seems to have an idea of what he's doing in the ring, and seems to have basic mic skills. I see him going against Lawler either next week or the week after and squashing him. I think Vince sees him as a major heel, but then Vince saw the Ultimate Warrior as a superstar so that should tell you something. Do you remember the gimmick between Warrior, Jake Roberts, and 'Taker ("I trust you, Snake Man")? I don't remember when the inter-program draft is, but that could be used to balance the heel presence between the shows. I wish Vince would totally drop ECW. They don't have the talent to sustain three programs, and the current ECW is an insult to the company Paul Heyman founded.

I'd actually forgotten/repressed the whole "snake man" thing. It says something about how good Jake's heel persona was that he could manage to turn the 'Taker face. As for Warrior, he had a good run for about a year, then the fans saw through him and he never drew again. Now, he appears to have gone completely tonto.

Got to agree about ECW. When the idea was first raised, it was positioned that all the still-active ECW alumni would be transferred over, the roster would be filled out with up-and-comers and Paulie would book pretty much what he liked. And I was all in favour of that. A seperate show, one step below the main roster, that would have it's own atmosphere and it's own headliners but with a rotating cast of mid-carders getting some seasoning before they were moved up to the main roster. That sounded great and the initial signs were good: CM Punk fit in great (although I was surprised he didn't use his current obnoxious straight-edge gimmick), Mike Knox occupied the New Jack position (come in, blast somebody once a show), Angle filled the pure wrestling spot and I could even live with Wight doing an updated version of the 911 gimmick.

Then came December To Dismember. In twenty years in and around wrestling, that was the second worst show I have ever witnessed and the worst ever from a mainstream promotion (Israeli Pro Wrestling had the excuse of being zero budget and everyone being green as grass). And what came out in the days afterward was that Paulie had submitted his script, Vince had completely rewritten it and then blamed Paulie and effectively fired it when the show tanked. Then Vince took exactly the wrong conclusion and decided it needed to be more like WWE.

Paulie's been very good about it. He's on record that Vince owns the copyright and can do what he likes with it but you're right, it needs to go. The roster isn't deep enough and it's turned into a lackluster extension of the main shows, a fifth hour of programming that often isn't strong enough to sustain four hours.


Ebon wrote:Kozlov's background is in judo, kick-boxing, sambo, and shoot-fighting. His natural opponents would be Brock Lesner and Bobby Lashley. I'd turn Morrison face and put him in an extended feud with Miz. They have the potential for main-event status in a year or two if booked correctly. If Regal doesn't fit the mold, how about Shelton Benjamin?

Benjamin's perfect, he can do the stunt-wrestling bit as well as anyone on the roster. Speaking of which, I have to wonder who he pissed off. Few years back, he was winning a feud with Triple H and seemed on the fast-track to stardom. Since then, nothing.

Didn't Morrison and Miz just have an extended program? However, a heel Benjamin against a face Morrison should be damn good and let's us rehabilitate Benjamin somewhat. Miz can be matched with most anyone. The guy is so wonderfully punchable (in the desired way) that... Actually, there's an idea. How about matchng Miz up with Christian?

Ebon wrote:It wasn't that long ago that Cena was getting as many boo's as cheers despite the fact that he was booked as a face. That seems to have changed except in Canada. Vince pretty much screwed everyone who came over when WCW folded. Paul wasn't the only one.

Paul actually came over about eighteen months before WCW folded. First, he joined Vince's Corporate faction, then turned face at WrestleMania (a face turn within the first month? See what I mean about too many turns?). Then he laid down clean for Austin the following night, blowing what could have been a mega-money program.

The only wrestlers I can remember who came from WCW that had any success were the ones who came before Vince bought the company. I'm thinking of Austin, Guerrero, and Benoit.

But he often misfired with them. Remember "Ringmaster" Steve Austin? Eddie and Benoit spent years stuck in the mid-card shuffle too. It was only when Eddie and Chavo created the "lie, cheat and steal" gimmick that they broke out from the pack. Likewise, he went out of his way to make Booker look like a fool before finally rebuilding him as a WWE-creation (the King Booker gimmick).

How about a face Shawn Michaels vs. a heel Undertaker in a loser must retire WrestleMania main event?

Works for me. Their match at last year's 'Mania was amazing (albeit, 'Taker almost killed himself with that plancha).
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:49 pm

Ebon wrote:
I'd actually forgotten/repressed the whole "snake man" thing. It says something about how good Jake's heel persona was that he could manage to turn the 'Taker face. As for Warrior, he had a good run for about a year, then the fans saw through him and he never drew again. Now, he appears to have gone completely tonto.
Jake was a master of either the face or heel role, and his mic work was among the best in the business. I remember Jake when he was back in the Crockett promotion in the Carolinas and used a high knee lift as a finisher. He was raw at the time, but his mic work was still top of the line.
Ebon wrote:Got to agree about ECW. When the idea was first raised, it was positioned that all the still-active ECW alumni would be transferred over, the roster would be filled out with up-and-comers and Paulie would book pretty much what he liked. And I was all in favour of that. A seperate show, one step below the main roster, that would have it's own atmosphere and it's own headliners but with a rotating cast of mid-carders getting some seasoning before they were moved up to the main roster. That sounded great and the initial signs were good: CM Punk fit in great (although I was surprised he didn't use his current obnoxious straight-edge gimmick), Mike Knox occupied the New Jack position (come in, blast somebody once a show), Angle filled the pure wrestling spot and I could even live with Wight doing an updated version of the 911 gimmick.

I have a friend who can't believe that Vince took CM Punk when he had a choice of either Punk or Samoa Joe. Frankly, I would have gone with Joe myself. My memories of New Jack are different. I remember his time with Mustafa as the Gangstas and the feuds they had with the Eliminators, Public Enemy, and the Dudleys. New Jack was known for his insane high-spots and bumps. I remember his elbow drop off the second deck of the ECW Arena and his almost fatal fall with Vic Grimes off a 15 foot scaffold. They missed the tables and Grimes landed on New Jack's head. New Jack was also known to shoot on opponents who he thought disrespected him.
Ebon wrote:Then came December To Dismember. In twenty years in and around wrestling, that was the second worst show I have ever witnessed and the worst ever from a mainstream promotion (Israeli Pro Wrestling had the excuse of being zero budget and everyone being green as grass). And what came out in the days afterward was that Paulie had submitted his script, Vince had completely rewritten it and then blamed Paulie and effectively fired it when the show tanked. Then Vince took exactly the wrong conclusion and decided it needed to be more like WWE.

Paulie's been very good about it. He's on record that Vince owns the copyright and can do what he likes with it but you're right, it needs to go. The roster isn't deep enough and it's turned into a lackluster extension of the main shows, a fifth hour of programming that often isn't strong enough to sustain four hours.
Vince kept ECW running for much of it's existence, so Paulie is just what he believes is paying a debt. Frankly, I've stoped watching the show and refuse to buy ECW (WWE style) PPV's

Ebon wrote:Benjamin's perfect, he can do the stunt-wrestling bit as well as anyone on the roster. Speaking of which, I have to wonder who he pissed off. Few years back, he was winning a feud with Triple H and seemed on the fast-track to stardom. Since then, nothing.
He's been put in some pretty bad angles. The one that had his "Momma" at ringside was horrible. Personally, I have a problem with Vince's policy of using just about all his legitimately talented amateur wrestlers as heels. You would think he would want to showcase the wrestling talent rather than have it wasted on punch, kick, and stomp offense. Maybe he's jealous of the real talent. Look at the record. Angle, heel: Lesner, heel: Benjamin, heel: Swagger, heel.

Ebon wrote:Didn't Morrison and Miz just have an extended program? However, a heel Benjamin against a face Morrison should be damn good and let's us rehabilitate Benjamin somewhat. Miz can be matched with most anyone. The guy is so wonderfully punchable (in the desired way) that... Actually, there's an idea. How about matchng Miz up with Christian?
If a two or three week feud qualifies as an extended program today, yes. I'd love to see Miz standing in the center of the ring saying, "I don't care who my opponent is. my hand will be raised at the end because I'm the Miz and I'm Awe..(music hits)"Well, it's the Big Show, it's the big bad Show now." Miz runs out of the ring. If I'm going to rehabilitate Benjamin the first thing I'd do is turn him face and move him to Raw. Maybe he could be the one to give Sheamus his first loss. Maybe you could team him with Jack Swagger with some team name that references their NCAA wrestling success.

Ebon wrote:Paul actually came over about eighteen months before WCW folded. First, he joined Vince's Corporate faction, then turned face at WrestleMania (a face turn within the first month? See what I mean about too many turns?). Then he laid down clean for Austin the following night, blowing what could have been a mega-money program.
Typical, Vince screwed another ex-WCW performer. Austin was money to Vince back in the day. Remember, WCW fired Austin. Vince had the opportunity to screw the competition, and he did so.

Ebon wrote:But he often misfired with them. Remember "Ringmaster" Steve Austin? Eddie and Benoit spent years stuck in the mid-card shuffle too. It was only when Eddie and Chavo created the "lie, cheat and steal" gimmick that they broke out from the pack. Likewise, he went out of his way to make Booker look like a fool before finally rebuilding him as a WWE-creation (the King Booker gimmick).
The Ringmaster gimmick was one of Vince's biggest mistakes. No only did he underestimate Steve's ability in the ring, He gave him the Million Dollar Man as a manager because he didn't believe Steve was able to cut promos. That's like saying Joan Baez can't sing. The "Kevin Sullivan four" is a somewhat different story. After Benoit stole Nancy Sullivan from Kevin (due to a gimmick Kevin insisted upon) Chris was afraid of retribution when WCW gave the book back to Kevin. The four (Benoit, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Eddie Guerrero) went to WWE. Their biggest problem was Vince doesn't like smaller wrestlers no matter how much talent they may have.

Ebon wrote:Works for me. Their match at last year's 'Mania was amazing (albeit, 'Taker almost killed himself with that plancha).
The thing is do either of the two really want to retire? Having such a match and then having the loser come back in six months is stupid booking. Both guys are 44-years-old which is not that old for this business. Sting is 50 and still working. Flair is 60 and still shows up at times.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:37 pm

TPaine wrote: Jake was a master of either the face or heel role, and his mic work was among the best in the business. I remember Jake when he was back in the Crockett promotion in the Carolinas and used a high knee lift as a finisher. He was raw at the time, but his mic work was still top of the line.

I remember loving Jake's work back in the day. Watchign his biodisc from last year (WWE has gotten really good at those when they don't have an axe to grind), I'd forgotten how much his matches relied on his presence. You can watch them now and, while Jake's no exactly Dean Malenko in the right (although he was respectable), it's the power of Jake's personality that makes them. I think Jake is one of those guys, like Rick Rude/Rood (another favourite of mine) who never really got the credit or accolades they should have done.

I have a friend who can't believe that Vince took CM Punk when he had a choice of either Punk or Samoa Joe. Frankly, I would have gone with Joe myself.

Rumour is that Joe turned it down. I don't know if that's true but if it is, I can certainly see why. For all his amazing talent, Joe's not especially tall, slightly overweight and, most importantly, his ring style in light years from the WWE approved style. Punk spent almost two years in the feeder groups being taught how to wrestle "the WWE way".

My memories of New Jack are different. I remember his time with Mustafa as the Gangstas and the feuds they had with the Eliminators, Public Enemy, and the Dudleys. New Jack was known for his insane high-spots and bumps. I remember his elbow drop off the second deck of the ECW Arena and his almost fatal fall with Vic Grimes off a 15 foot scaffold. They missed the tables and Grimes landed on New Jack's head. New Jack was also known to shoot on opponents who he thought disrespected him.

Now, I came in on the tail end of this era, just prior to the Eliminators split (which is a shame, because watching their stuff later on, they were amazing). My memories of New Jack are figured largely on his interminable feud with the Baldies where he'd turn up once a show, blast them with a variety of creative weapons, hit a borderline-suicidal dive and the music would keep playing through the whole scene. Watching him, I can see why New Jack was never picked up by WWE or WCW. While he was an outstanding brawler, his suicidal dives regurlarly injured him and his hair-trigger temper made him a PR timebomb.

Vince kept ECW running for much of it's existence, so Paulie is just what he believes is paying a debt. Frankly, I've stoped watching the show and refuse to buy ECW (WWE style) PPV's

Absolute agreement here. D2D was so bad, it killed the brand stone dead to me.

He's been put in some pretty bad angles. The one that had his "Momma" at ringside was horrible. Personally, I have a problem with Vince's policy of using just about all his legitimately talented amateur wrestlers as heels. You would think he would want to showcase the wrestling talent rather than have it wasted on punch, kick, and stomp offense. Maybe he's jealous of the real talent. Look at the record. Angle, heel: Lesner, heel: Benjamin, heel: Swagger, heel.

I hadn't noticed that before but now you mention it, you're right. The last legitimatly talented amateurs that Vince promoted as faces were probably the Hart brothers. He might well be jealous. It's common knowledge that Vince wanted to be a wrestler but his father forbade it. On some subconscious level, it's entirely possible he's using his promotional muscle to "pay back" the accomplished amateurs on his roster. Then again, it's also possible that Vince genuinely believes that teh only wrestling is WWE wrestling because, frankly, Vince is a nutcase.

Ebon wrote:If a two or three week feud qualifies as an extended program today, yes. I'd love to see Miz standing in the center of the ring saying, "I don't care who my opponent is. my hand will be raised at the end because I'm the Miz and I'm Awe..(music hits)"Well, it's the Big Show, it's the big bad Show now." Miz runs out of the ring.

I officially love that idea Smile And I can just see Miz doing the chickshit heel routine, "Um, I had an urgent phonecall in the back".

If I'm going to rehabilitate Benjamin the first thing I'd do is turn him face and move him to Raw. Maybe he could be the one to give Sheamus his first loss. Maybe you could team him with Jack Swagger with some team name that references their NCAA wrestling success.

Either one works but of the two, I prefer putting him with Swagger. Turn them face, tag them up for an extended period and make the most of their amateur backgrounds with the kind of hyper-aggressive mat-based style Angle used in his brief ECW run. And no teaming just so they can be split up either, I'm sick of that angle. The median life of a team should be two to three years not two to three months.

Typical, Vince screwed another ex-WCW performer. Austin was money to Vince back in the day. Remember, WCW fired Austin. Vince had the opportunity to screw the competition, and he did so.

Yep. Vince did it to Jericho as well. Big build-up, great first promo (against the Rock). Then had him lose clean to the Rock on his first major match. Of course, Jericho eventually recovered but it took him years to build that kind of momentum again.

The Ringmaster gimmick was one of Vince's biggest mistakes. No only did he underestimate Steve's ability in the ring, He gave him the Million Dollar Man as a manager because he didn't believe Steve was able to cut promos. That's like saying Joan Baez can't sing.

As much as people liek to paint Vince as an evil genius, he's made as many spectacular cock-ups in recent years. "Ringmaster" Steve Austin (I actually thought DiBiase was a good manager but a bad fit with Austin); signed Vader, a money-drawing superstar all over teh world and probably the most dominant wrestler in history, then did nothing with him. Goldberg's WWE run was totally mishandled to the extent where Goldberg refused a contract extension. And then there's the calamity that was the Invasion. Could have been a goldmine for years but Vince's ego meant it sank inside six months.

The "Kevin Sullivan four" is a somewhat different story. After Benoit stole Nancy Sullivan from Kevin (due to a gimmick Kevin insisted upon) Chris was afraid of retribution when WCW gave the book back to Kevin. The four (Benoit, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Eddie Guerrero) went to WWE. Their biggest problem was Vince doesn't like smaller wrestlers no matter how much talent they may have.

I remember this. Sullivan because teh first man in history to book his own divorce. When teh Benoits died, there was a black humour joke about whether Sullivan had an alibi (which became a lot less funny as teh details came out 24 hours later). I remain astounded that smaller workers continue signing with WWE. OK, I can understand the security of the steady paycheque but surelym guys liek Evan Bourne must know they'd get more exposure and chances in TNA's X-Division or one of the Japanese leagues? Also, and I hate to say it because I really don't think it's intentional (I think Vince would promote Martians if he thought it'd make money), Vince has never managed to capitalise on his potential headliners who were black (exception for the Rock who was black/American/Samoan). Over the years, D'Lo Brown, Ron Killings (I refuse to call him "R-Truth"), Shelton Benjamin and Ron Simmons have all had superstar potential but Vince has failed to capitalise on them.

The thing is do either of the two really want to retire? Having such a match and then having the loser come back in six months is stupid booking. Both guys are 44-years-old which is not that old for this business. Sting is 50 and still working. Flair is 60 and still shows up at times.

Michaels apparently genuinely wants to hang it up. He wants to spend time with his growing children and his church. 'Taker has been talking about it although how serious he is is anyone's guess. While he's not all that old, his body is starting to fall apart now.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:32 am

Ebon wrote:I remember loving Jake's work back in the day. Watchign his biodisc from last year (WWE has gotten really good at those when they don't have an axe to grind), I'd forgotten how much his matches relied on his presence. You can watch them now and, while Jake's no exactly Dean Malenko in the right (although he was respectable), it's the power of Jake's personality that makes them. I think Jake is one of those guys, like Rick Rude/Rood (another favourite of mine) who never really got the credit or accolades they should have done.

My only problem with the Jake/Rude feud was that it centered around Jake's wife, which I think is bad booking and has historically screwed up many a relationship. Despite the terrible angle the two worked well together

Ebon wrote:Rumour is that Joe turned it down. I don't know if that's true but if it is, I can certainly see why. For all his amazing talent, Joe's not especially tall, slightly overweight and, most importantly, his ring style in light years from the WWE approved style. Punk spent almost two years in the feeder groups being taught how to wrestle "the WWE way".

Quite frankly, Joe, despite his weight moves like a middleweight. He's 6'2" and 250 lbs. His style would fit in the WWE as well as Punks kickboxing style. I like his rear naked choke, his rear naked choke suplex, his Island Driver, and his muscle buster from the second rope.

Ebon wrote:Now, I came in on the tail end of this era, just prior to the Eliminators split (which is a shame, because watching their stuff later on, they were amazing). My memories of New Jack are figured largely on his interminable feud with the Baldies where he'd turn up once a show, blast them with a variety of creative weapons, hit a borderline-suicidal dive and the music would keep playing through the whole scene. Watching him, I can see why New Jack was never picked up by WWE or WCW. While he was an outstanding brawler, his suicidal dives regurlarly injured him and his hair-trigger temper made him a PR timebomb.

He also had the habit of actually shooting on opponents he thought disrespected him. In a match against Da Baldies The Spanish Angel used New Jacks staple gun to staple him in the eye which kept him off tv for several months.

Ebon wrote:Absolute agreement here. D2D was so bad, it killed the brand stone dead to me.

Ebon wrote:I hadn't noticed that before but now you mention it, you're right. The last legitimatly talented amateurs that Vince promoted as faces were probably the Hart brothers. He might well be jealous. It's common knowledge that Vince wanted to be a wrestler but his father forbade it. On some subconscious level, it's entirely possible he's using his promotional muscle to "pay back" the accomplished amateurs on his roster. Then again, it's also possible that Vince genuinely believes that teh only wrestling is WWE wrestling because, frankly, Vince is a nutcase.

Even there Vince used the Hart Foundation as much as heels as he did as faces. The whole border war angle had the Harts as heels in the US and faces in Canada.


Ebon wrote:I officially love that idea Smile And I can just see Miz doing the chickshit heel routine, "Um, I had an urgent phonecall in the back".

One of the few things that went right tonight was when Batista came out, made his heel speech, challenged everyone on Smackdown, and had to deal with Kane. He was perfect doing the chicken heel backdown

Ebon wrote:Either one works but of the two, I prefer putting him with Swagger. Turn them face, tag them up for an extended period and make the most of their amateur backgrounds with the kind of hyper-aggressive mat-based style Angle used in his brief ECW run. And no teaming just so they can be split up either, I'm sick of that angle. The median life of a team should be two to three years not two to three months.

I always like teams that can actually wrestle. Benjamin and Lesner actually teamed in OVW as the Minnesota Stretching Crew, but were broken up when they made it to WCW. That's why I like to watch the Motor City Machineguns in TNA. They move as if they have one mind and always know what the other is thinking.

Ebon wrote:Yep. Vince did it to Jericho as well. Big build-up, great first promo (against the Rock). Then had him lose clean to the Rock on his first major match. Of course, Jericho eventually recovered but it took him years to build that kind of momentum again.

In his book, Jericho said the problem was he was a smaller wrestler and Vince loves size above everything else including talent.

Ebon wrote:As much as people liek to paint Vince as an evil genius, he's made as many spectacular cock-ups in recent years. "Ringmaster" Steve Austin (I actually thought DiBiase was a good manager but a bad fit with Austin); signed Vader, a money-drawing superstar all over teh world and probably the most dominant wrestler in history, then did nothing with him. Goldberg's WWE run was totally mishandled to the extent where Goldberg refused a contract extension. And then there's the calamity that was the Invasion. Could have been a goldmine for years but Vince's ego meant it sank inside six months.

To me Goldberg was a total loser. He had no wrestling talent, no interest in learning how do do the moves correctly, and as a result injured several of the boys. He was perhaps the only wrestler that ever made it to the top with less talent than Hogan and Warrior.

Ebon wrote:I remember this. Sullivan because teh first man in history to book his own divorce. When teh Benoits died, there was a black humour joke about whether Sullivan had an alibi (which became a lot less funny as teh details came out 24 hours later). I remain astounded that smaller workers continue signing with WWE. OK, I can understand the security of the steady paycheque but surelym guys liek Evan Bourne must know they'd get more exposure and chances in TNA's X-Division or one of the Japanese leagues? Also, and I hate to say it because I really don't think it's intentional (I think Vince would promote Martians if he thought it'd make money), Vince has never managed to capitalise on his potential headliners who were black (exception for the Rock who was black/American/Samoan). Over the years, D'Lo Brown, Ron Killings (I refuse to call him "R-Truth"), Shelton Benjamin and Ron Simmons have all had superstar potential but Vince has failed to capitalise on them.

Bourne would be a natural in TNA as would Ron Killings. I'm not sure Vince, or someone in the booking department isn't an out and out racist. Sticking Mark Henry with the angle of getting Mae Young pregnant was pitiful. The feud between the Nation of Domination, the Los Boricuas. and the Disciples of the Apocalypse was a Ku Klux Klan delight. It was a disgusting racist angle and Vince should have stopped it unless he's also a biggot.

Ebon wrote:Michaels apparently genuinely wants to hang it up. He wants to spend time with his growing children and his church. 'Taker has been talking about it although how serious he is is anyone's guess. While he's not all that old, his body is starting to fall apart now.

In that case the match is perfect. It would give Shawn a way out, if booked right it could make Mark a major heel again and keep his Wrestle Mania win streak in tact.

Now, if you don't mind I have a small rant I can't help but post after tonight's show. But first I have a question. What the hell kind of information is Sheamus holding over Vince's head? This guy has come from nowhere on about six months to get a title shot when people who have worked for the company for years are overlooked. Here's the record: Sheamus debuted on ECW during the June 30 episode of ECW beating Goldust two weeks straight then losing to Goldust on the August 13, 2009 episode of WWE Superstars. Sheamus won the feud on the September 1 episode of ECW.in a no disqualification match. He entered a feud with Shelton Benjamin which ended with a Sheamus win on October 27 episode of ECW
On October 26 Sheamus squashed Jamie Noble, causing him to retire on Raw. On November 2 he beat an unknown (name not announced) British jobber. On November 16 he attacked the timekeeper and Lawler when no wrestler would accept his challenge. Sheamus made his PPV debut at the survivor series eliminating Finlay and John Morrison. This week he won a battle royal for a spot in a title match against John Cena at the TLC PPV. After the contract signing he took out Cena. I have never seen a push quite like this. I wonder if he has compromising pictures of McMahon.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:06 am

TPaine wrote: My only problem with the Jake/Rude feud was that it centered around Jake's wife, which I think is bad booking and has historically screwed up many a relationship. Despite the terrible angle the two worked well together

Point, although by Jake's own recollection, their marriage was shakey well before that episode.

I always like teams that can actually wrestle. Benjamin and Lesner actually teamed in OVW as the Minnesota Stretching Crew, but were broken up when they made it to WCW. That's why I like to watch the Motor City Machineguns in TNA. They move as if they have one mind and always know what the other is thinking.

That's something TNA has over WWE: TNA has an actual tag division with actual teams (rather than two singles workers thrown together to give them something to do). The Machineguns are superb workers (and has given Sabin some direction after an aimless couple of years); the British Invasion manage to be influenced by the Bulldogs (not a bad thing), rather than ripping them off; Lethal Consequences and Beer Money are competent with flashes of excellence and I'm still pissed LAX were broken up.

In his book, Jericho said the problem was he was a smaller wrestler and Vince loves size above everything else including talent.

Not read Jericho's book. Any good?

To me Goldberg was a total loser. He had no wrestling talent, no interest in learning how do do the moves correctly, and as a result injured several of the boys. He was perhaps the only wrestler that ever made it to the top with less talent than Hogan and Warrior.

But, he was also a guy who came in with a built-in fan following and a record as a massive draw.

Bourne would be a natural in TNA as would Ron Killings. I'm not sure Vince, or someone in the booking department isn't an out and out racist. Sticking Mark Henry with the angle of getting Mae Young pregnant was pitiful. The feud between the Nation of Domination, the Los Boricuas. and the Disciples of the Apocalypse was a Ku Klux Klan delight. It was a disgusting racist angle and Vince should have stopped it unless he's also a biggot.

I honestly don't know. I think Vince would promote anything he thinks will make money but he's also been proven to be so utterly divorced from normal life that he's tried to do an incest angle at least three times (the most notorious being Stephanie's prenancy) so it's entirely possible that he doesn't believe black guys can draw money.The feud you mentioned was once described as "a brawl between the Hell's Angels, the Nation of Islam and the cast of West Side Story and it's not that long since Michael Hayes told Mark Henry something to the effect of "I'm more of a nigger than you'll ever be" (once Henry had finished bouncing him around the room, Hayes was suspended for that one) and the less said about Cryme Tyme the better. There's certainly a fair few unreconstructed racists in wrestling, I just can't decide if Vince is actively racist or just plain oblivious. Vince is, by the accounts of some (most notably Chris Kanyon) fairly homophobic (remember the incident where Kanyon was dressed like Boy George and told to "go out and sing like a fag"?) so I wouldn't be that surprised to find he was racist as well. Kofi Kingston's actually African (from Ghana) and on the verge of breaking out, so he may prove to be our test case.

Now, if you don't mind I have a small rant I can't help but post after tonight's show. But first I have a question. What the hell kind of information is Sheamus holding over Vince's head? This guy has come from nowhere on about six months to get a title shot when people who have worked for the company for years are overlooked. Here's the record: Sheamus debuted on ECW during the June 30 episode of ECW beating Goldust two weeks straight then losing to Goldust on the August 13, 2009 episode of WWE Superstars. Sheamus won the feud on the September 1 episode of ECW.in a no disqualification match. He entered a feud with Shelton Benjamin which ended with a Sheamus win on October 27 episode of ECW
On October 26 Sheamus squashed Jamie Noble, causing him to retire on Raw. On November 2 he beat an unknown (name not announced) British jobber. On November 16 he attacked the timekeeper and Lawler when no wrestler would accept his challenge. Sheamus made his PPV debut at the survivor series eliminating Finlay and John Morrison. This week he won a battle royal for a spot in a title match against John Cena at the TLC PPV. After the contract signing he took out Cena. I have never seen a push quite like this. I wonder if he has compromising pictures of McMahon.

It was Robbie Brookside who got smashed on the Nov 2nd show, btw. I have no idea why Vince is so high on the guy. Watching his matches in WWE, I'm seeing much the same as I saw in IWW: A veteran who's competent but nothing special. He's neither exceptional nor atrocious in any area (although he looks like an albino next to WWE's perma-tanned). He's a guy who's almost made for the mid-card; a reliable, competent but unspectacular and colourless worker.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:32 am

Ebon wrote:Point, although by Jake's own recollection, their marriage was shakey well before that episode.
Keep the wrestler's family out of the storyline. I remember when Karen Angle (kayfabe) stalked and assaulted Sting's son Garrett. That kind of shit doesn't belong in the business, IMO.

Ebon wrote:That's something TNA has over WWE: TNA has an actual tag division with actual teams (rather than two singles workers thrown together to give them something to do). The Machineguns are superb workers (and has given Sabin some direction after an aimless couple of years); the British Invasion manage to be influenced by the Bulldogs (not a bad thing), rather than ripping them off; Lethal Consequences and Beer Money are competent with flashes of excellence and I'm still pissed LAX were broken up.
Team 3D still shows they have talent despite the fact that they've been around seemingly forever, Bubba is only 38 and DeVon is 37.

Ebon wrote:Not read Jericho's book. Any good?
Yes, it's a good book, and is not published by the WWE, which gave Chris more freedom. He talks about being trained at the Hart's school. He said the first day Keith Hart showed up, collected the money and got everyone in the ring, Chris asked Keith how many matched Keith had had, which pissed him off so he threw Chris off the ropes and tried a backdrop. Somehow Chris, when flipped, landed on his feet which really pissed Keith off so he went behind Chris, wrapped his arm around Chris' neck and took him down with a knee to the hamstring. Keith then grapevined Chris's arms behind his back and applied pressure pushing the top of Chris' head down and pulling his chin up until Chris could feel his teeth bending. After he had his fun being an asshole, Keith left the building and no Hart showed up for the rest of the training period.

Ebon wrote:But, he was also a guy who came in with a built-in fan following and a record as a massive draw.
So did Hogan, Warrior, Sid Vicious and many others who were big yet had no wrestling talent. The sad thing is the fans bought the cartoon show and the cartoon characters. Wrestling was lost and brawling was the rule of the day, possibly because that was all the muscle bound freaks could do. It's hard to have a wrestling match when the wrestlers don't know a wristlock from a wristwatch.

Ebon wrote:I honestly don't know. I think Vince would promote anything he thinks will make money but he's also been proven to be so utterly divorced from normal life that he's tried to do an incest angle at least three times (the most notorious being Stephanie's prenancy) so it's entirely possible that he doesn't believe black guys can draw money.The feud you mentioned was once described as "a brawl between the Hell's Angels, the Nation of Islam and the cast of West Side Story and it's not that long since Michael Hayes told Mark Henry something to the effect of "I'm more of a nigger than you'll ever be" (once Henry had finished bouncing him around the room, Hayes was suspended for that one) and the less said about Cryme Tyme the better. There's certainly a fair few unreconstructed racists in wrestling, I just can't decide if Vince is actively racist or just plain oblivious. Vince is, by the accounts of some (most notably Chris Kanyon) fairly homophobic (remember the incident where Kanyon was dressed like Boy George and told to "go out and sing like a fag"?) so I wouldn't be that surprised to find he was racist as well. Kofi Kingston's actually African (from Ghana) and on the verge of breaking out, so he may prove to be our test case.
I'd like to see Kofi Kingston team with Ron Killings. With a bit of time together they could we the WWE version of the Shelley and Sabin.

Ebon wrote:It was Robbie Brookside who got smashed on the Nov 2nd show, btw. I have no idea why Vince is so high on the guy. Watching his matches in WWE, I'm seeing much the same as I saw in IWW: A veteran who's competent but nothing special. He's neither exceptional nor atrocious in any area (although he looks like an albino next to WWE's perma-tanned). He's a guy who's almost made for the mid-card; a reliable, competent but unspectacular and colourless worker.
It almost looks like Vince is pushing him as top heel. His mic skills are below average, his moves are average or maybe a hair above. I saw no wrestling all the time he was in the ring. You realistic can't win matches against a talented wrestler with nothing more than kicks, stomps, and punches. If he could beat Vladimir Kozlov in a contest, I might change my opinion. I say he needs another year's experience before he's ready to climb above mid-card status.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:53 pm

Team 3D still shows they have talent despite the fact that they've been around seemingly forever, Bubba is only 38 and DeVon is 37.

Geez, they're not even forty yet and as you say, they seem to have been around since the invention of dirt.

I'd like to see Kofi Kingston team with Ron Killings. With a bit of time together they could we the WWE version of the Shelley and Sabin.

Problem with that is, while I agree they could make an awesome team, WWE doesn't really have a tag division anymore and their teams rarely last long enough to "click" as a pairing. It usually takes at least three months for a new tag-team to get the hang of working together and by that point in WWE, they've usually split. The result has been that the tag titles have been used as a prop for the singles division.

It almost looks like Vince is pushing him as top heel. His mic skills are below average, his moves are average or maybe a hair above. I saw no wrestling all the time he was in the ring. You realistic can't win matches against a talented wrestler with nothing more than kicks, stomps, and punches. If he could beat Vladimir Kozlov in a contest, I might change my opinion. I say he needs another year's experience before he's ready to climb above mid-card status.

In fairness to Seamus, he actually does know a lot more moves than that but, like a lot of WWE's workers, his gimmick limits what he can show. Much like Glen Jacobs, his gimmick is to be a brawling monster so he can't show off the more impressive moves in his repetoire (said moves wouldn't be enough to raise him above mid-card but they'd make him more interesting to watch). I honestly think he's a mid-carder for life. And there's nothing wrong with that. Reliable, competent mid-carders are the meat and potatoes of the business: They're not going to win you rave reviews but they're the building blocks of your promotion. If they're allowed to show some distinguishing traits, they can carve out loyal fan followings of their own (Balls Mahoney, Demolition, Curt Hennig and Tito Santana never rose above mid-card but most remember them fondly); these are the guys you build a promotion out of.

If I were starting my own promotion (which I'm not, I don't have that kind of money), I'd focus on filling out the mid-card first. You want workers like Petey Williams or Tito Sanatana: Reliable workers who never look lost, no reputation for causing trouble backstage, will cheerfully lose to virtually anyone without complaint and have just enough flair to make them memorable. Over time, a few will grow into top-liners.

It should be noted, TNA already has a rock-solid mid-card much like I outlined there. In fact, TNA has everything it should need to succeed: Rock-solid mid-card, show-stopping cruiserweights, an actual tag division and the top-line is a decent mixture of legends who can still go and home-grown youngsters. The fact that TNA hasn't become a big success yet, I blame mostly on Vince Russo's incomprehensible booking.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:55 pm

Ebon wrote:Geez, they're not even forty yet and as you say, they seem to have been around since the invention of dirt.
It's hard to believe that it's been 8½ years since the original ECW folded. I give extra credit to anyone who can name all 12 members of the ECW "Dudley Family."

Ebon wrote:Problem with that is, while I agree they could make an awesome team, WWE doesn't really have a tag division anymore and their teams rarely last long enough to "click" as a pairing. It usually takes at least three months for a new tag-team to get the hang of working together and by that point in WWE, they've usually split. The result has been that the tag titles have been used as a prop for the singles division.
True, the only actual teams there they have are DX, The Hart Dynasty, Cryme Tyme, and Legacy. I'm still waiting for Ted DiBiase, Jr. to turn face since he stars in The Marine 2 and Vince doesn't the stars in his movies playing the heel role.

Ebon wrote:In fairness to Seamus, he actually does know a lot more moves than that but, like a lot of WWE's workers, his gimmick limits what he can show. Much like Glen Jacobs, his gimmick is to be a brawling monster so he can't show off the more impressive moves in his repetoire (said moves wouldn't be enough to raise him above mid-card but they'd make him more interesting to watch). I honestly think he's a mid-carder for life. And there's nothing wrong with that. Reliable, competent mid-carders are the meat and potatoes of the business: They're not going to win you rave reviews but they're the building blocks of your promotion. If they're allowed to show some distinguishing traits, they can carve out loyal fan followings of their own (Balls Mahoney, Demolition, Curt Hennig and Tito Santana never rose above mid-card but most remember them fondly); these are the guys you build a promotion out of.
Sheamus may have a mid-card future, but getting a title shot in his first PPV appearance? Could it be that Vince or one of the bookers saw Nigel McGuinness (now Desmond Wolfe) come out of nowhere to get a shot at Kurt Angle in his first PPV and think, "Hey! We can do that too!" or does he have incriminating pictures of Vince with Pat Patterson, or Vince with one or more Divas, or most frightening Vince and Mae Young?

Ebon wrote:If I were starting my own promotion (which I'm not, I don't have that kind of money), I'd focus on filling out the mid-card first. You want workers like Petey Williams or Tito Sanatana: Reliable workers who never look lost, no reputation for causing trouble backstage, will cheerfully lose to virtually anyone without complaint and have just enough flair to make them memorable. Over time, a few will grow into top-liners.

It should be noted, TNA already has a rock-solid mid-card much like I outlined there. In fact, TNA has everything it should need to succeed: Rock-solid mid-card, show-stopping cruiserweights, an actual tag division and the top-line is a decent mixture of legends who can still go and home-grown youngsters. The fact that TNA hasn't become a big success yet, I blame mostly on Vince Russo's incomprehensible booking.
Supposedly, Hogan and Bishoff hate Russo for booking himself the WCW title, so hopefully he's out the door. Besides Russo, I blame the lack of success on the company's lack of money. They can't advertise or promote their shows to the degree necessary to compete with Vince. Another problem is that their weekly program is not televised live. They tape two weeks worth of shows at a time which the wrestlers like because it gives them much more time off than they could get with the WWE, but it also allows the opportunity for web sites to post spoilers so potential viewers can decide whether or not to bother watching the show by reading the results in advance. It is good to see them doing more live shows around the country.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:57 pm

TPaine wrote:It's hard to believe that it's been 8½ years since the original ECW folded. I give extra credit to anyone who can name all 12 members of the ECW "Dudley Family."

Cripes, let's see: Buffer/Bubba Ray, D-Von, Little Spike, Big Dick, Sign Guy, Dances With, Chubby, Snot. That's eight, nine if you count Joel Gertner.

Sheamus may have a mid-card future, but getting a title shot in his first PPV appearance? Could it be that Vince or one of the bookers saw Nigel McGuinness (now Desmond Wolfe) come out of nowhere to get a shot at Kurt Angle in his first PPV and think, "Hey! We can do that too!" or does he have incriminating pictures of Vince with Pat Patterson, or Vince with one or more Divas, or most frightening Vince and Mae Young?

I'm billing you for the therapy required to remove that last mental image. The first option would be my pick: Vince saw Des Wolfe make such a strong impression in TNA and imitated them. Wouldn't be the first time WWE has copied more innovative companies (most of the "Attitude" era being lifted from ECW). Difference is, Wolfe came fresh from ROH with a powerful presence, good mic skills and a killer ring persona. Sheamus came from IWW (average attendance, about 200) and has really done nothing else. Also, it's imperative, when creating a new star, to have the cooperation of existing stars. Kurt Angle has a bug up his butt to "make" Wolfe so the two had a superb match at Turning Point.

Supposedly, Hogan and Bishoff hate Russo for booking himself the WCW title, so hopefully he's out the door. Besides Russo, I blame the lack of success on the company's lack of money. They can't advertise or promote their shows to the degree necessary to compete with Vince. Another problem is that their weekly program is not televised live. They tape two weeks worth of shows at a time which the wrestlers like because it gives them much more time off than they could get with the WWE, but it also allows the opportunity for web sites to post spoilers so potential viewers can decide whether or not to bother watching the show by reading the results in advance. It is good to see them doing more live shows around the country.

Agreed, although I don't want to see them go the permanent touring route of WWE. They can increase their schedule without ensuring that their workers are constantly exhausted. With the style some of their boys use, especially the X-Division, a permanent touring schedule simply isn't possible.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:26 pm

Sheamus's meteoric rise becomes clearer: He's Triple H's new BFF.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:09 pm

Ebon wrote:Cripes, let's see: Buffer/Bubba Ray, D-Von, Little Spike, Big Dick, Sign Guy, Dances With, Chubby, Snot. That's eight, nine if you count Joel Gertner.
That is good from pure recollection. Just for the hell of it, they were: Dudley Dudley (Jeff Bradley), Big Dick Dudley (Alex Rizzo), Little Snot Dudley (Anthony Michaels), Dances With Dudley (Adolfo Bermudez), Bubba Ray Dudley (Mark LoMonaco), Chubby Dudley (Bay Ragni), Sign Guy Dudley (Lou D'Angeli), D-Von Dudley (Devon E. Hughes), Studley Dudley (Joel Gertner) (manager), Little Spike Dudley (Matt Hyson), Schmuck Dudley (Jeff Roth), and last but not least, Psycho Sam Dudley (Mark Vartanian) just file it under useless trivia. Alex Rizzo died in 2002. The rest are all living and are either retired or still active in the business.

I'm billing you for the therapy required to remove that last mental image. The first option would be my pick: Vince saw Des Wolfe make such a strong impression in TNA and imitated them. Wouldn't be the first time WWE has copied more innovative companies (most of the "Attitude" era being lifted from ECW). Difference is, Wolfe came fresh from ROH with a powerful presence, good mic skills and a killer ring persona. Sheamus came from IWW (average attendance, about 200) and has really done nothing else. Also, it's imperative, when creating a new star, to have the cooperation of existing stars. Kurt Angle has a bug up his butt to "make" Wolfe so the two had a superb match at Turning Point.
Given you following post about how he's Trip's new BFF, the existing stars will have no choice but to cooperate. He did spend two years in Florida Championship Wrestling (a WWE development territory) and held their Championship title for about three months. If they give him Cena's belt at the PPV, there are going to be a lot of very unhappy boys on the WWE roster. I can already hear the muttering. "I've been busting my ass here for the past X years and have nothing to show for it, and this fucking rookie walks in and gets the belt. Why should I bust my ass for nothing?"

Agreed, although I don't want to see them go the permanent touring route of WWE. They can increase their schedule without ensuring that their workers are constantly exhausted. With the style some of their boys use, especially the X-Division, a permanent touring schedule simply isn't possible.
The X-Division is their bread and butter. That's why I hate it when Russo would book someone like Kevin Nash to win the X-Division title although the angle that had Team 3D trying to make the weight was rather funny.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:54 am

Worrying sign that Vince might put the title on Sheamus: Sheamus's title match with Cena has been made a table match, which gives them a way to have Cena lose without actually being pinned and therefore, a way to extend the feud.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:17 pm

Ebon wrote:Worrying sign that Vince might put the title on Sheamus: Sheamus's title match with Cena has been made a table match, which gives them a way to have Cena lose without actually being pinned and therefore, a way to extend the feud.
As I said before, if he wins the belt there will be some pissed-off
boys in the back. The Carlito promo with Cena last night on RAW had to
be a work.
None of the boys below were never given a run with either the World or the WWE belts despite working hard for the company for many years, yet Sheamus may win it having only been in the company since June and on Raw for less than 2 months? I guess kissing Hunter's ass pays off.

Name Started Tag Belts IC Belts US Belts ECW Belts Euro Belts Hcore Belts
Shelton Benjamin 2002 2 3 1 0 0 0
Miz 2006 2 0 1 0 0 0
John Morrison 2005 3 0 0 1 0 0
Mark Henry 1996 0 0 0 1 1 0
MVP 2006 1 0 2 0 0 0
Finlay 2004 0 0 1 0 0 0
Mike Knox 2005 0 0 0 0 0 0
William Regal 2000 4 1 0 0 4 3
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:30 pm

Of the guys you listed, my first pick would be Benjamin. He has the skills (both in-ring and on the mic) and, given the opportunity, he could have the fanbase as well (remember the fans going nuts when he got a title shot at the first Taboo Tuesday?).

Of the rest: Miz and Morrison are about a year away from being at that level (a little more in Miz's case); MVP could do it but has been cast as a mid-carder for so long that he'd need a good build up; Knox has never really broken out of the pack; Finlay is too old and battered; Regal has the wrong style and Mark Henry is just a waste of space.

I was going to make the point that seniority isn't enough without the skills, you need to have the skills. A few guys are talented enough that they can carry the world title very early in their career (i.e. Ric Flair, Curt Hennig and Barry Windham). Then I remembered we were talking about Sheamus.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:53 pm

Ebon wrote:Of the guys you listed, my first pick would be Benjamin. He has the skills (both in-ring and on the mic) and, given the opportunity, he could have the fanbase as well (remember the fans going nuts when he got a title shot at the first Taboo Tuesday?).

Of the rest: Miz and Morrison are about a year away from being at that level (a little more in Miz's case); MVP could do it but has been cast as a mid-carder for so long that he'd need a good build up; Knox has never really broken out of the pack; Finlay is too old and battered; Regal has the wrong style and Mark Henry is just a waste of space.

I was going to make the point that seniority isn't enough without the skills, you need to have the skills. A few guys are talented enough that they can carry the world title very early in their career (i.e. Ric Flair, Curt Hennig and Barry Windham). Then I remembered we were talking about Sheamus.

What we see now is how far wrestling has fallen. There was a time when the thing that counted most was talent. Sure the endings were predetermined, but the workers had to actually know how to wrestle. I don't know if the downward spiral started with Hulk Hogan, but it was evident that wrestling skills were not part of his package. Lou Thesz says the spiral started with Antonino Rocca in the '50s. Rocca, like Hogan, would be defenseless against a shooter. Now it's who you know, not what you know. It's image, not talent. Sheamus fits right in to the McMahon circus. When was the last time a real wrestler held the WWE Title? As far as I'm concerned it was when Brock Lesner and Kurt Angle had it in 2003. Shelton Benjamin could correct that problem, but I'll bet Vince won't do it.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:31 pm

Hogan didn't start the trend but he mainstreamed it, sort-of. Vince Sr's WWWF always had a preference for pushing big men regardless of talent as well (see, for example, Bruno Samartino) but that was held in check by the fact that the WWWF was a strictly regional concern (Tri-State area) and the fact that the touring NWA champion would inevitibly be compared with his boys so, while differing styles were normal and it was ok for the WWWF champ to be a lesser talent, he had to have some talent to begin with. Since the regional promoters who made up the NWA board were mostly former wrestlers themselves, they'd inevitably vote to put their world title on a talented wrestler (hence Harley Race, Jack Brisco and the Funk brothers for most of the seventies and then Ric Flair for most of the eighties) and the WWWF champion had to have enough talent to at least keep up with them.

When Vince took over, one of his first acts was to make Hogan (freshly poached from the AWA) his champion. Now, if the WWF had continued to be a regional Tri-State concern, that wouldn't really matter but it coincided with Vince systematically running most of the NWA member promotions out of business (sometimes by tactics which either verged on or were illegal), whereupon, he'd put his product on to replace them. Eventually, the NWA was down to Jim Crockett in the Carolinas. Crockett sold up to Ted Turner to create WCW and you know how that went.

Meanwhile, the fans who had been watching the NWA now had little wrestling on but WWF and, while Hogan was in the main event, Vince was careful at this stage to load the undercard with genuinely talented workers (Rick Rude, Curt Hennig, Rick Martel, etc) to keep them watching. The kids of those fans (who Vince was largely aiming his product at) loved the flash and brawling-based style of Hogan, Ultimate Steroid and their collegues. Over time, the fan base who loved actual wrestling (like you and I) either drifted away to other promotions (WCW tended to emphasise talent or the indie promotions) or stopped watching or died, leaving just the kids (now grown adults) raised on the Hogan style.

So it was both of them really. Hogan was a great interview but never had much talent and Vince promoted him extensively. I tend to put more of the blame on Vince. Hogan at least knows he's not a good worker but Vince kept writing him cheques and what would any sensible man do but cash them?

Part of the de-emphasis on talent is that the boys aren't allowed to improv anymore. Up until the mid-nineties, you'd go out there with a finish and perhaps one or two big spots planned and the rest would be improvised on the spot. You'd be told something like "I want a very close match with Bob just about winning it, you got twenty minutes", you and Bob would work out the finish and you just went out and made it happen for twenty minutes. That meant that guys with talent had the chance to show it off and a lot of workers flourished under that system. It also meant that you had to have some talent to grab the fans attention.

These days, entire matches are pre-scripted. Literally, laid out like a dance, move-for-move. Whereas before, doing the touring circuit gave you a chance to mix things up and try out new spots and ideas; now, the circuit means you're constantly doing exactly the same match, night after night. That's why it sometimes looks rather robotic, because you're not playing off your opponant and the crowd anymore, you're trying to remember your steps. There have always been a few guys who preferred to do things that way (DDP being notorious for it) but before, they were very much the minority. Now, all of WWE does things that way (TNA, it depends if they trust you; ROH still does things the old-fashioned way). Likewise with interviews. Before, you'd be given some basic point ("you got four minutes and I want you to tease a heel turn") and went out and ad-libbed. As things went on, those basic ideas evolved into bullet-points and that was fine but now, every promo is scripted and memorised word for word and the boys just recite their lines. One big reason Mick Foley left WWE was that he couldn't adapt to the pre-scripted nature of everything (in TNA, he's back to being given a little direction and trusted to make it work).

I think you're probably right in that the period around 2003 was about the last time the WWE title was placed on someone with actual talent. Angle and Lesnar's talents are well known. Lesnar could have reigned for years, Angle has (although I wish he'd stop talking MMA) and, although they weren't shooters, Chris Benoit and Eddie G were titlists around that time and had talent in spades.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:37 am

News update: Eddie Fatu, cousin of The Rock, younger brother of Rikishi, probably best known for his portrayal of "Umaga" and "Jamal" in the WWE, has passed away of a heart attack at the age of 36.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:40 pm

Ebon wrote:News update: Eddie Fatu, cousin of The Rock, younger brother of Rikishi, probably best known for his portrayal of "Umaga" and "Jamal" in the WWE, has passed away of a heart attack at the age of 36.
I'm sorry to hear that. I knew that he had been fired for failing a drug test and then refusing to go to rehab. I wonder how much of a role drugs played.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:48 pm

Completely unknown as yet, he was one of those implicated in the Signature Pharmacy scandal as well. Obviously, we'll have more info after the autopsy is done.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:56 pm

Ebon wrote:Hogan didn't start the trend but he mainstreamed it, sort-of. Vince Sr's WWWF always had a preference for pushing big men regardless of talent as well (see, for example, Bruno Samartino) but that was held in check by the fact that the WWWF was a strictly regional concern (Tri-State area) and the fact that the touring NWA champion would inevitibly be compared with his boys so, while differing styles were normal and it was ok for the WWWF champ to be a lesser talent, he had to have some talent to begin with. Since the regional promoters who made up the NWA board were mostly former wrestlers themselves, they'd inevitably vote to put their world title on a talented wrestler (hence Harley Race, Jack Brisco and the Funk brothers for most of the seventies and then Ric Flair for most of the eighties) and the WWWF champion had to have enough talent to at least keep up with them.

When Vince took over, one of his first acts was to make Hogan (freshly poached from the AWA) his champion. Now, if the WWF had continued to be a regional Tri-State concern, that wouldn't really matter but it coincided with Vince systematically running most of the NWA member promotions out of business (sometimes by tactics which either verged on or were illegal), whereupon, he'd put his product on to replace them. Eventually, the NWA was down to Jim Crockett in the Carolinas. Crockett sold up to Ted Turner to create WCW and you know how that went.

Meanwhile, the fans who had been watching the NWA now had little wrestling on but WWF and, while Hogan was in the main event, Vince was careful at this stage to load the undercard with genuinely talented workers (Rick Rude, Curt Hennig, Rick Martel, etc) to keep them watching. The kids of those fans (who Vince was largely aiming his product at) loved the flash and brawling-based style of Hogan, Ultimate Steroid and their collegues. Over time, the fan base who loved actual wrestling (like you and I) either drifted away to other promotions (WCW tended to emphasise talent or the indie promotions) or stopped watching or died, leaving just the kids (now grown adults) raised on the Hogan style.

So it was both of them really. Hogan was a great interview but never had much talent and Vince promoted him extensively. I tend to put more of the blame on Vince. Hogan at least knows he's not a good worker but Vince kept writing him cheques and what would any sensible man do but cash them?

Part of the de-emphasis on talent is that the boys aren't allowed to improv anymore. Up until the mid-nineties, you'd go out there with a finish and perhaps one or two big spots planned and the rest would be improvised on the spot. You'd be told something like "I want a very close match with Bob just about winning it, you got twenty minutes", you and Bob would work out the finish and you just went out and made it happen for twenty minutes. That meant that guys with talent had the chance to show it off and a lot of workers flourished under that system. It also meant that you had to have some talent to grab the fans attention.

These days, entire matches are pre-scripted. Literally, laid out like a dance, move-for-move. Whereas before, doing the touring circuit gave you a chance to mix things up and try out new spots and ideas; now, the circuit means you're constantly doing exactly the same match, night after night. That's why it sometimes looks rather robotic, because you're not playing off your opponant and the crowd anymore, you're trying to remember your steps. There have always been a few guys who preferred to do things that way (DDP being notorious for it) but before, they were very much the minority. Now, all of WWE does things that way (TNA, it depends if they trust you; ROH still does things the old-fashioned way). Likewise with interviews. Before, you'd be given some basic point ("you got four minutes and I want you to tease a heel turn") and went out and ad-libbed. As things went on, those basic ideas evolved into bullet-points and that was fine but now, every promo is scripted and memorised word for word and the boys just recite their lines. One big reason Mick Foley left WWE was that he couldn't adapt to the pre-scripted nature of everything (in TNA, he's back to being given a little direction and trusted to make it work).

I think you're probably right in that the period around 2003 was about the last time the WWE title was placed on someone with actual talent. Angle and Lesnar's talents are well known. Lesnar could have reigned for years, Angle has (although I wish he'd stop talking MMA) and, although they weren't shooters, Chris Benoit and Eddie G were titlists around that time and had talent in spades.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:09 pm

From what I hear, Vince Sr. was the one that grabbed Hogan from the AWA in what was his last act as owner. Gagne would not let Hogan have the belt because he was old-school enough not to let someone with absolutely no talent hold the championship.
When you mentioned Benoit and Guerrero of the WCW four, you forgot to mention Dean Malenko who may have been the best pure wrestler in the group. While it's true he had no personality and zero mic skills his wrestling skills were top notch.
Thesz listed his top five wrestlers of all time in his book. They are:
1. Ed Strangler Lewis
2. Joe Stecher
3. Frank Gotch
4. Jim Browning
5. George Hackenschmidt
Of wrestlers I've actually seen work mine would be:
1. Lou Thesz
2. Danny Hodge
3. Dick Hutton
4. Verne Gagne
5. Jack Brisco
What would your list look like?
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Re: Wrestling thread

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