The Professional 3 5.05.13 The Dirt Sheet
Posted by Jon Harder on 05.05.2013
411's Jon Harder talks about how the Dirt Sheet enhanced the careers of both John Morrison and the Miz. BE JEALOUS.
Welcome to another edition of the Professional 3 HERE on 411mania.com! I'm Jon Harder and I'm incredibly happy on the response for the P3 within the last week. That was awesome to see a poll based off my column about Underrated Specialty Matches on the 411 page this week. It means a lot to know that maybe the P3 is slowly starting to take off. I'm proud of the first 10 pieces and it will be NO different with #11, as I plan to showcase another inch of my nerdy wrestling knowledge.
Before we go any further however, please check out this week's Hardway Podcast exclusively on TheJonHarder.com, as I interview "Brutal" Bob Evans, the trainer and confidant of "the Prodigy" Mike Bennett. More importantly, Brutal Bob gives some great insight into the hottest independent wrestling territory going today, the New England area. It truly is an informative listen. Also, go check out the Hardway Facebook page and like it. The first 100 people to like the page will automatically be entered in the contest where one at random will win a FREE Hardway shirt! I'd do a lot of things for a free t-shirt. I think a lot of other people would as well!
Now, it is onto this week's column. A few weeks ago, Zack Ryder posted a little teaser to possibly a re-starting of Z! True Long Island Story. Ultimately, it was just a ruse, but it got me thinking about the infamy of being in the WWE and having an internet web-show.
The main question that kept popping in my mind was simple: Have internet web-shows genuinely elevated talent long-term for WWE? The answer for the most part is NO. Although Zack Ryder received short-term success for his self-made stardom with Z! TLS, he hasn't received the long-term stability others have received at the upper-midcard level, due to his deserved success being "unexpected" and not fitting in the machine's scheme of things. Shows like "Santino's Casa" and "Word Up" with Cryme Tyme was a vehicle solely to keep up the fun babyface stature that both Santino and JTG & Shad had already with the WWE fan base. As I stated in an earlier column, "What's Crackin'" with Scotty Goldman was simply a blip in the radar and was not perceived as anything within the WWE Universe. The JBL & Cole Show is a great little show; however, JBL and Michael Cole aren't necessarily young wrestlers looking for a breakout moment within the company.
By all accounts, every possible attempt at a web-show establishing talent to another level long term has not been there. HOWEVER...there has been one show on WWE.com back in 2008 that has done such. There was one show that showcased next-level charisma, established rivalries, made two men look like an incredible duo, which led to such LONG TERM upper-midcard to MAIN EVENT elevation. The men: John Morrison and the Miz. The show: The Dirt Sheet.
Debuting in February 8, 2008 on WWE.com, Morrison and the Miz, then-WWE Tag Team champions, started the Dirt Sheet, which was a formatted show in which both men would lash out at WWE/ECW talents and ridicule them, while utilizing their unique brand of comedy and modern styling to the forefront. Instantly, you could see the chemistry that Morrison and Miz had with one another, and more importantly, their love for pro wrestling. Howard Finkel, the Hall of Fame ring announcer, even recorded the introduction for their show! So many dated, yet current, pop culture references were a beacon for entertainment on the Dirt Sheet.
More importantly, Morrison and Miz's stock rose. Due to their working for ECW and the ability to work on both Raw and Smackdown with their "business arrangements", the Dirt Sheet hosts were able to wrestle all of the top talent on all shows. Most notably, Morrison and Miz did it all as a tag team. Winning both sets of WWE Tag Team Titles, a pair of Slammy Awards, even taking D-Generation X to their absolute limits.
If it wasn't for the Dirt Sheet, John Morrison and the Miz would not have been able showcase their charisma as well as they could have. If not for the Dirt Sheet, the love of pro wrestling Morrison and Miz have would not been shown through as well as it ultimately was on the web-show. Most importantly, if it wasn't for the Dirt Sheet, Morrison and Miz would not have been elevated to the next level at all.
The Dirt Sheet was the platform, and John Morrison and the Miz made it into a way to get to another level in the realm of WWE.
THE PROFESSIONAL 3: Top Dirt Sheet Moments
1) BUILT UP TAG TEAM TITLES FEUD WITH COLONS
In late 2008-early 2009, quite the budding rivalry was developing between both Raw and Smackdown's Tag Team champions. Carlito and Primo, who won WWE Tag Team championship on September 21, 2008, and Morrison and Miz, who won the World Tag Team championship in December 2008, had a series of classic tag team matches where both set of tag team belts were on the line in two back-to-back Smackdown matches. Feeling the heat from the Colons and possibly the Bella Twins, the Dirt Sheet was utilized blasting the brothers from Puerto Rico, calling them "the colons", as in the rectal area colon. In this clip, the Colons' invaded with their "Cabana", blasting and making fun of both hosts. Quite simply put, it was entertaining web-TV. Ultimately, both teams faced off at WrestleMania 25...in the DVD Exclusive, to unify both sets to the Tag Team championships. Although the Miz and Morrison lost their opportunity to become the first ever Unified Tag Team champions, the Dirt Sheet was a great place to elevate the feud between two great tag teams. More importantly, it put tag team wrestling back on the map in WWE.
2) MIZFITS AND MOFOS
On the thirtieth episode of the Dirt Sheet on August 29, 2008, Morrison and Miz were feuding with Cryme Tyme's JTG & Shad, hosts of the WWE web-show "Word Up", over who had the better WWE.com web-show. To further spice up the rivalry between the two tag teams, "the Shaman of Sexy" and the "Rabbi of Radiance" turned it up a notch, releasing their rap music video "Mizfits and Mofos" to the world. Needless to say, it was a very entertaining rap song, which lit up Cryme Tyme and furthered the innovative use of the Dirt Sheet. Morrison and Miz truly enhanced their characters and their creativity with the rap video and took them to another level. Most importantly, they won the battle of the web-shows hands down.
Be Jealous. (I waited the entire column to get this in. Yes! I definitely need to get out more.)
3) BROADCAST LIVE
The Dirt Sheet started to catch up with popularity so much on WWE.com that ECW on SyFy, the Tuesday night program brought to the world by a WWE's own Extreme Championship Wrestling, wanted it on their program. And on August 5, 2008, the Dirt Sheet kicked off its first live episode on the opening segment of ECW. After badmouthing both Matt Hardy and Mark Henry, who had a match ready for one another at Summerslam 2008, both combatants came out and in separate matters, beat up the Dirt Sheet hosts. Although there was a bit of ripping off Late Night with Conan O'Brien (the best of the Late Night TV shows in my honest opinion), it was a solid way to show that the Dirt Sheet was for real and that Morrison and Miz were on the way up.
BONUS: MIZ AND MORRISON VS COLONS WRESTLEMANIA 25 PRE-SHOW MATCH TO UNIFY BOTH SETS OF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
I personally enjoy this last high-profile match that Morrison and Miz had as a team, and it closed off a feud that had been jump started due to the Dirt Sheet build.
Once John Morrison and the Miz split up, both men went their separate ways. Morrison became the Intercontinental champion and had an electrifying array of maneuvers, due to a great training method called parkour. This led to a solid 2 1/2 years in the upper midcard for JoMo, before leaving WWE in 2011. The Miz rose through the ranks, winning the US, Intercontinental, Tag Team, and ultimately the WWE Championship. He even defeated John Cena in the main event of Wrestlemania 27!
To date, this one web-show has truly advanced the careers of both men involved with it. The Dirt Sheet spawned creativity and innovation. The Dirt Sheet also showed that within the system of WWE, you can make it through the internet. John Morrison and the Miz certainly did.