Thursday Sports Entertainment News Report 01.10.13
Posted by Sean Kelly on 01.10.2013
Wherein we discuss Lesnar vs. HHH, Superstar Billy Graham vs. CM Punk, Zack Ryder vs. The Miz and more. Plus, see photographic evidence of John Cena's heel turn, and learn why the Attitude Era is...overrated?!
Greetings, folks, and welcome to another edition of Thursday Sports Entertainment! Who knew Colt Cabana and Stanley Wilson could generate so much discussion? Many of you faulted the ‘E for dropping the ball with Colt, while others felt that Mr. Cabana's lack of success fell on his own shoulders. As for me? I think the truth is somewhere in between.
When a new talent debuts in WWE, they either debut as a winner or a loser. For example, Ryback, Antonio Cesaro and even Brodus Clay are recent examples of fellas that started out as winners. All three men went on impressive winning streaks and got the opportunity to display their skills on the world stage. There are advantages to this, because a true talent can take that ball and run with it as far as possible, perhaps even to a permanent main event spot. (e.g. Kurt Angle, Sheamus). Often, though, the "winner" talent can start of hot but then languish in the midcard for a time until they figure out what to do with him (Brodus Clay, Wade Barrett).
On the other side of the coin, there's the loser. This is someone who's given a bad gimmick and is essentially a jobber. Most of the time, these guys don't last long. Anyone remember Braden Walker? Gunner Scott? These guys had okay debuts, but nothing special. They won a few matches, lost a few matches, and had no real, consistent direction. They hung around for a little while before they were let go. Colt Cabana seems to fall into this category. We don't work behind the scenes at WWE, so any explanation as to why these Superstars were released can only be speculation. Maybe they rubbed the wrong person the wrong way? Maybe they were content to wait for an opportunity instead of seizing one? Who knows?
However, there are others that had this happen to them as well. Steve Austin as the Ringmaster. Dolph Ziggler as Nicky in the Spirit Squad. Hell, Daniel Bryan was fired before coming back to win the World Heavyweight Championship. What makes them different from the Brent Albrights, Gunner Scotts, and, yes, Colt Cabanas of the world?
It's a rhetorical question – there is no real answer. Every case is different and we lack the inside knowledge to form a complete picture. If I had to guess, the WWE seems to have a Darwinian attitude toward its talent. There are certain "rules" you need to follow when working at the company, and you either adapt or you die. There also seems to be a certain attitude where wrestlers are expected to contribute heavily to their own success, rather than waiting for "creative" to create opportunities for them. It seems ass-backwards – more reactive than proactive when it comes to making stars, but that's the way it is. Talent can either embrace it and find success, or reject it and risk being "future endeavored." It ain't exactly fair, but who said life was fair?
Anywho, let's see what else you folks had to say last week:
The Orton comment(and agreement with it) proved you dont know anything about what a great wrestler is. Please find another line of work that you can actually know something about. Pro wrestling isn't it.
While your blind loyalty to Randy Orton is admirable, Mr. Ice Dagger was 100% spot on in saying Orton should be a Jobber to the Stars. Let's face it, the guy is one wellness violation away from oblivion and hasn't exactly shown he's mature enough to show enough restraint from getting that third strike. The WWE pays him a lot of money – how do they maximize their investment in him knowing that he presents a huge risk?
At this point in his career, Orton SHOULD be putting up-and-coming people over. After all, plenty of veterans did that for him when he was starting out. Give back a little bit, prove you're not going to screw up, and then re-enter the main event scene to freshen things up. After all, some of these guys need a break from the main event – otherwise it gets stale really fast.
Loved the Awesome Ladybug Girl update...she carries the column...haha...
Wait…you just noticed this??
And now…the news!
WORLD (WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT) NEWS TONIGHT
At this time, it appears as if a Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H rematch will take place at WrestleMania. Lesnar is expected to return to WWE TV sometime in February, and will then make regular appearances to build to the WrestleMania match.
Lesnar's current deal will end right after WrestleMania. The feeling is that WWE will offer him another deal, as they were happy with the PPV numbers as well as Lesnar's performances against John Cena at Extreme Rules and Triple H at SummerSlam.
If Lesnar doesn't sign, WWE will be faced with a the annual "WrestleMania hangover" dilemma of their special attraction talents (Lesnar, The Rock, The Undertaker, Triple H) leaving.
Ahhhh yes. It's that time of year where everyone speculates on the WrestleMania card. As for Brock - here's the problem – we've seen HHH vs. Brock and their program didn't exactly light the world on fire. I don't know of a single person clamoring for HHH/Brock II. Also, if Rock vs. Cena II is also in the cards, that will be two rematches of 2011 pay-per-view main events. Hardly "special" enough for WrestleMania, if you ask me.
Personally, I'd love to see a Brock/Ryback clash. There were very unconfirmed rumors of a kerfuffle between the two earlier last year, and who wouldn't want to see two big beasts go at it? Win or lose, the fact that Ryback gets in the ring with and (presumably) holds his own against someone like Brock Lesnar can only help him. Save the match between the two part-timers for another event. Actually, the event is so stacked that they don't need HHH involved. Think about it – you have:
Those are enough right there to sell the PPV. People aren't going to say "I dunno…that looks good but if they threw in HHH they'd have my money." The name "WrestleMania" plus the stacked card is enough to get people to part with their hard-earned cash. So why not mix it up a bit?
Take, for example, the World Heavyweight Championship. What better way to showcase the title and show the world what real WRESTLING is about than to have the WHC match be between two superior technical grapplers? Ideally, Dolph Ziggler will cash in his briefcase prior to WrestleMania, become the World Heavyweight champion, and face the Royal Rumble winner at WrestleMania. Personally, the Rumble winner should be either Daniel Bryan or the man with the most mesmerizing nipples in sports entertainment, Antonio Cesaro. Think of the match that either of those two could have with Ziggler. Ah well.
Last night on Raw, WWE posted a "The World Follows WWE On Twitter" list. The Rock, John Cena, Randy Orton and CM Punk were in the top four spots, while the Miz was in 5th place with 878,011 followers. This upset Zack Ryder, since he has 990,324 followers. Here is what he posted on Twitter last night…
So on #RAW it just showed the most followed superstars in @WWEand they just skipped me? #AREYOUSERIOUSBRO
Can @WWE read? I have 989k twitter followers. @mikethemiz has 879k. #AREYOUSERIOUSBRO #HMMM
The world follows me on twitter too. @WWE just doesn't want you to know. I have 100k followers more than @mikethemiz.pic.twitter.com/J6k3DFx0
Hey @WWE. Whose decision was it to leave me off the "The World Follows WWE On Twitter" list? You can just DM me the answer. I won't tell.
Hey @WWE…#RyderHasMoreFollowersThanMiz is trending worldwide. :) Sorry @mikethemiz.
Man, Ryder sure likes to bitch in public, huh? Newsflash, dope, those 5 men have all been WWE champion. Sure, maybe "The World Follows People in WWE Who Matter" might have been a more accurate description, but that would be too long, wouldn't it? Jesus, we get it. You feel criminally underused. And you're right! But airing grievances in public isn't going to do you any favors. Ask JTG how well that worked out for him. Try taking the time you'd normally use to complain on Twitter and use it instead to learn how to come across as less of a doofus.
The Miz puts in a ton of hours doing media for the company and is really good at it. Ever see him on a talkshow? He's a charming sonofagun. Maybe WWE wanted to spotlight someone who is valuable to them. You know, someone they want to build as a babyface, who's starring in one of their soon-to-be-released movies. Think it was smart to generate a bunch of bad will for him? Fucking dummy.
Speaking of childish rants…
WWE Hall of Famer Billy Graham posted the following message on his Facebook…
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR CM PUNK
I watch the last hour of WWE Raw last night. It was the worst excuse for a show I have ever seen! My agent Scott is tight with legendary World Champion Bruno Sammartino. Scott has told me that WWE has been calling Brunno regularly begging him to go into the Hall of Fame. Bruno has been polite but has always said no thank you.
Tonight on RAW for the last 45 minutes of the show all they did was have CM PUNK talk, talk and more talk! The killer line came when Vince had Punk putting over his 314 straight days as world champ and then said and I quote, " you had people like Burno Sammartino , only wrestled in Madison Square Garden only wrestled one a month."
This was by far the biggest put down of Bruno ever. Why would WWE have Punk say that about someone they have been begging to go into the Hall of Fame for untold years? When that teenager looking CM Punk made that statement he was also talking about me, Ivan Koloff , Stan Hanson etc. Find the re run and listen closely and answer me this my Facebook friends – How can they justify putting down a real icon like this, and not get called out on it?
Any news sites can quote me on my statement below:
CM Punk, I have lost all respect for you for nor saying no to the writers of the WWE for saying Bruno Sammartino only wrestled once a month in Madison Square Garden. You talk about one of the greatest icons ever in pro wrestling like he was a JOBBER??? You should be ashamed of yourself for not having the self-dignity to say NO to the writers on that line. That line you delivered indicates that I am a big loser like Bruno as well and insults me as I wrestled in the same era as Bruno. This only confirms more that I want my name out of the WWE Hall of Fame.
How many monthly sell outs have you yourself drawn at Madison Square Garden? Not a PPV or the Raw TV show. Quit talking trash about Bruno. It's an insult to him and all the wrestlers of his era including myself!
Superstar Billy Graham
What Mr. Graham seems to forget is that CM Punk is a heel. You know, a bad guy. Bad guys say things that aren't nice.
I for one loved Punk's promo. It was maybe 2-3 minutes too long, but the majority was captivating stuff. This kind of promo is the best kind of heel promo – it has kernels of truth to it. One can argue that Punk is right in saying that his 400+ day reign as WWE champion is a more impressive feat than Sammartino spending decades as champion. After all, professional wrestling was very different back then compared to today. Of course, it's also possible to argue against Punk's reasoning, which is what makes his rationale so great – there is no right or wrong opinion.
Also, MSG is an easy sellout for pro wrestling. It's much harder to sell out buildings in towns that aren't rabid wrestling venues. I went on the MSG backstage tour a few years ago, and the tour guide posed a question to the group: What is the only kind of event that consistently sells out the Garden? A few people picked basketball, hockey, the circus, etc. but I piped in with Wrestling and got the answer correct. NYC has over 8 million people in it, with even more in the surrounding tri-state area. Getting 21,000 of them to show up for a WWE event is EASY.
Superstar Billy Graham seems to forget what heels are supposed to do. Punk is, well, a PUNK who has no respect for anyone but himself and select legends that came before him. (Macho Man, for instance). All he's doing is playing up his character.
PW Ponderings reports that several sources, including two promoters and a top independent talent, have confirmed to them that El Generico has signed with WWE. Generico has has been working in PWG, EVOLVE, CHIKARA and ROH recently.
I'm not very familiar with El Generico, but I looked him up on YouTube and he seems like a heckuva talent. Congratulations to the man for making it to the big leagues. Here are my initial thoughts on El Generico's signing:
1) He probably won't be called El Generico. WWE likes to own the trademarks associated with their talent. Unless Generico signed over his name and all associated elements (mask design, etc.) then I would expect him to debut under a different name. In fact, I'd be surprised if he debuted with any sort of Mexican gimmick. Remember – WWE is a publicly traded company and is much more risk adverse than in years past. I'm sure they're having discussions right now on whether a Canadian portraying (and perhaps even mocking) Mexican culture is something they want to roll the dice with. WWE treasures its Latino market, and I'd be very surprised if they would risk alienating them for El Generico.
2) He will be reigned in. Those cool looking flippy moves will be few and far between. With WWE limiting moves that impact the head and neck, El Generico will have to alter his style to be a little more "bland."
3) He will have a lot of people gunning for him. "Indie darlings" usually have a few strikes against them. CM Punk noted on his documentary that being a king of the independent scene was actually a stigma in the WWE locker room. In fact, I believe even John Cena commented that after hearing all the hype around CM Punk, when he (Punk) showed up, people would look at each other and say "is that it? This is what we've been hearing so much about? HA!" Look for people backstage to take political swipes at Mr. Generico.
JOHN CENA'S HEEL TURN
Well, it finally happened. People have at last been granted their wish. Internet Wrestling Commentators have been clamoring for it for years, and last Monday on RAW, they got it. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the long anticipated heel turn of John Cena.
Surely you're thinking "what is he talking about? John Cena didn't have a heel turn on RAW!" Well, I disagree. Not only that, I have PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE to prove it! John Cena did indeed have a heel turn, and here's your proof:
See! There it is! We can all see his heel turning! Expect merchandise sales to drop and ratings to go through the roof.
As an aside, while watching the Cena/Ziggler match, the following thought came to me: AJ Lee is like a basketball. She's small, orange, bouncy and passed around from man to man until they all score.
AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT
I was thinking about the Attitude Era the other day. It brought us some great moments: Austin/Tyson, Austin/McMahon, Mankind/The Rock, Degeneration X, etc. With the associated high ratings and mainstream, crossover appeal, the Attitude Era has rightfully been called a high water mark in wrestling history.
However, I get irritated when people on the internet call for a return to the Attitude Era. They attribute WWE's creative rut and lackluster ratings to the fact that the programming is now rated TV-PG instead of TV-14. Poppycock. POPPYCOCK, I SAY!
Look, the Attitude Era was full of great times. But it had a disproportionately high amount of crap, too. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we? Let's not forget that the Attitude Era also brought us:
- The Kennel from Hell
- Mae Young's Hand
- The Higher Power
- Hawk's addiction problems
- Triple H BERRYING~! everybody
- Vince McMahon wins the Royal Rumble...and WWE Title
- The Oddities
- Few technical wrestlers in prominence
- Swerves for the sake of swerves
Bad writing is bad writing, no matter the rating. In fact, today's product would seem like Heaven to the IWC members of the Attitude Era. Just imagine if I could go back in time and tell them that:
- HHH is off TV for the most part and has gained backstage power. He's using that power to revitalize the tag team division, the divas division, and to sign capable, technical wrestlers
- The undercard is fully developed with interesting characters. Sure, they may be misused here and there, but gone are the nonsensical gimmicks like Beaver Cleavage
- Technical wrestlers are lauded. Talents like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Antonio Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, Great Khali (kidding) and more are regularly in the Main Event scene. Sure, big men are still around, but smaller, more capable wrestlers are no longer just an exception
- No more crash TV. Tapings are more organized and less chaotic
- You can take your kids to a TV taping without worrying about what they'll see
- Um, you might want to stop cheering for Chris Benoit. Trust me on this one.
Anyway, you get the point. Each era has its own positives and negatives. As time passes, people tend to remember the positives and forget the negatives – it's human nature. I'm sure that 10 years from now people will yearn for the days of John Cena, CM Punk and Vince McMahon. For now, let's remember the Attitude Era fondly but also realize we have a pretty good thing going right now.
YOU'RE IN FOR A REAL TWEET
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Thank you for making Thursday Sports Entertainment your go-to destination for Wrestling News, Opinions, etc. Make sure to send me your TNA, ROH, CHIKARA thoughts and I'll include them in this column. So far, I've received a grand total of ZERO. Hit me up at Sean411Wrestling@gmail.com if you want to have your voice heard.