411 Fact or Fiction 01.16.14: Hall of Fame Warrior, Daniel Bryan Being Over, Impact Being a Mess, More
Posted by Larry Csonka on 01.16.2014
Does the Ultimate Warrior deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame? Are we interested in seeing Chris Jericho return at WrestleMania 30? Is Daniel Bryan the most popular performer in wrestling? 411's Paul LaPointe and Justin Watry debate these topics and more!
Welcome back to the latest edition of 411 Fact or Fiction, Wrestling Edition! Stuff happened, people loved/hated it and let everyone else know. I pick through the interesting/not so interesting tidbits and then make 411 staff members discuss them for your pleasure. Battling this week: First, he is author of Truths and Lies, which runs every Tuesday morning, he is Mr. Mr. Justin Watry! His opponent is a multiple-zone site contributor and is an all around swell guy, he is Mr. Paul LaPointe! Lets get to work…
Questions were sent out Monday.
Participants were told to expect wrestling-related questions, possible statements on quantum physics and hydroponics.
1. Judging by what has been announced, you have faith that the WWE Network will be a success.
Paul LaPointe:FACT From its original announcement and components it would be hard to argue against it being a success really. I mean its price point is ridiculously cheap, its functionality looks to be easily accessible and user friendly and the content is 2nd to none especially with the inclusion of WM. So for an out of the gate consumer I see the WWE universe jumping all over this within the first 6 months and then being glued to a monitor or two for the following six. Fans are lucky indeed with this announcement but for it being a financial success in the long run for the WWE it will a slow burn to seeing black. Color me intrigued people, let the wrestling nerdgasm commence. (If only I did not live in Europe...MUST...WAIT...LONGER...GRR!!!)
Justin Watry:Fact - Throughout the past few years, I have predicted doom and gloom for the WWE Network launch. Since the question is about what has been announced, my thoughts flip completely. WWE rolled out the red carpet and did a great job selling this thing last week. While I was doubtful before knowing the full details, I am now putting faith into WWE. Yes, that may be a mistake. There are just so many variable at play right now that it is a tough call one way or another. We all know the history of the company branching out and trying to make other projects a success. The list of flops is fairly long. My ONE positive thought is that when WWE sticks to promoting wrestling, they make money. Once they promote something that is NOT about wrestling, they hit dangerous waters. Some work; some do not. For now, with what has been announced, I believe the WWE Network could turn a nice profit.
Score: 1 for 1
2. If there is so much heat on Ryback for being reckless in the ring, WWE should release him immediately.
Paul LaPointe:FICTION Though it seems like every other week Ryback (Ryan Reeves) does something stupid, asinine (insert word of choice here) to warrant discipline I do not see being released as one of them, at least not for the moment. Sure, splitting Dolph Ziggler's dome is a stroke of bad luck for a worker that seems to have the reputation of either working too sloppy or working too stiff but in wrestling sometimes thems the breaks. Injuries happen all the time it just so happens this time out an IWC poster boy in Dolph was the recipient of said injury. Its not like Ziggler was being used to his full potential lately anyhow so maybe now the brass can see during his recovery that they can use him better when he gets back. Seriously at this rate he may be back before Christian returns anyhow. But back on point though, if you read the Smackdown spoilers for this week along with Main Event you will see that along with the freak injury to Dolph and Ryback's tangent of tweets that creative seems to be incorporating this into his character. I mean this seriously when I say I want to see The Big Guy go from feed me more to feed me meds! What a difference a year makes going into the Rumble.
Justin Watry:Fiction - First of all, anytime the word "heat" is used, I laugh. If there was this imaginary thing known as heat, CM Punk would have been fired in 2006. If there was ALLLLL this heat on Ryback for 2013, he would not be on television every single week. He would be gone or hanging out with Zack Ryder somewhere on Superstars. Hey, remember him? Now to the story - obviously, I believe it is garbage and not truthful whatsoever. I am not even saying fiction for this statement; I am saying fiction to this entire deal. Did Jack Swagger injure Dolph Ziggler in 2013? Does RVD usually kick teeth out of his opponent's mouth? Accidents happen. Ryback has been fired by WWE before and even if his in-ring work is not very good, they obviously do not stress over it. He would not be employed if the company was concerned. If they did, he would be in NXT or gone altogether...not on worldwide television every single week still in the ring.
Score: 2 for 2
3. You have no interest in Chris Jericho returning for WrestleMania.
Paul LaPointe:FICTION I am always game for what Chris Jericho can bring to the table. It seems more then years past that the 30th anniversary of WM will see ALOT of part timers coming in to usurp roster spots from current active guys and that kinda sucks but...its Y2J. When he returns nowadays anyhow around Rumble time it's basically just to put people over anyhow. Suffice it to say then that I think its more of a benefit really that guys can work with him unlike maybe Batista or Hulk Hogan when they get the chance because they will gain more coming out of it then a paycheck.
Justin Watry:Fiction - I am always on board for a Chris Jericho return to WWE. He comes in, wrestling great matches, works the full schedule, and has no issues losing to any new/young star on the roster. Of course, there needs to be a balance of wins and losses. Him losing to 3MB or Curtis Axel serves no purpose. However, the man has name value to wrestling fans, is in good shape and can be an entertaining heel or face. Why would anybody NOT want him back for a few months? Let him collect a WrestleMania inflated paycheck, and run off to Fozzy during the summer! He has earned the right to call his shots.
Score: 3 for 3
4. WWE running a live NXT event the week of the WWE Network launch is a good idea.
Paul LaPointe:FACT This is a no brainer. The WWE have invested a lot lately in NXT prospects and call ups over the last 16 months and being able to bring more eyes on some of these guys will only make it easier on them once they get called up to the main roster in the future. Outside of the online community clamoring for some indy darlings to get that call up people will finally be able to see what all the fuss is about. Guys like Sami Zayn or even Paige will only benefit from it because people can see what some people already know and they can truly be ready when that time comes for them to shine. This live event could be the start of so many possibilities for WWE's future.
Justin Watry:Fact - I like it. I do not watch NXT but will tune in for the live special. If the show is interesting, count me in for the following week! If the show does not interest me, I will not watch until something big or exciting is announced. Pretty simple formula. The part that is a VERY good idea is that this takes place during the free one-week trial of the WWE Network. That way, even if you are on the fence of plunking down a monthly subscription, this is your chance to sample NXT. For WWE, even if they do not get your $10 a month, you may be hooked on the stars of the future! Win-win situation here.
Score: 4 for 4
5. The Ultimate Warrior deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Justin Watry:Fact - A few years ago, I may have said fiction. Not to go on a long rant, but I value longevity. In my book, somebody who was 'good' for 20 years is memorable than someone who was 'amazing' for two years. No different than sports. If a pitcher gets 30 wins one season but 5 per season for ten years, is he a Hall of Famer? or somebody who was good for 15 wins per season for a long career? Anybody can have a quick run at the top and fizzle out in a few years. It takes a lot to be over with the crowd for a decade or longer, even if the star did not shine as bright as the other. Does that make sense? Regardless, this is the WWE Hall of Fame, so any kind of credentials or honors are just a waste of time to discuss. If WWE wants to induct you, they will. Under those terms, The Ultimate Warrior deserves it.
Paul LaPointe:FACT Growing up I was a much bigger mark for Warrior then I ever was for Hulk Hogan. When I went to WrestleMania 6 with my dad I was the only kid with Warrior make up in my entire nosebleed section and I went BERZERK when he pinned Hulk's shoulders down. Its one of my most fond memories when it comes to the crazy world of wrestling and just because of that I think he deserves it. On a more technical level, sure he was a crazy, roided up simple minded narcissists who kidnaps and rapes Santa Clause but that is what makes us want to recognize him. On an entirely other level though he is also the man that no sold the Pedigree which is a big no no now and killed HHH dead in like a minute, awesome. So mark outs aside, politics aside, craziness and DVD's about said craziness aside he was a big part of wrestling in the early 90's and deserves that recognition at least as much as say Koko B. Ware.
Score: 5 for 5
6. The booking of last week's Impact main event was a complete mess.
Justin Watry:Fact - Disaster. Trainwreck. Embarrassing. Ridiculous. Insulting. All the while, I expected as such from TNA Impact Wrestling. If you ever wonder why they are running live events in high school gyms, watch this main event match. If you ever wonder why nearly every former Knockout refuses to work for them again, watch this main event match. If you ever wonder why they are back in an Orlando sound stage, watch this main event match. If you ever wonder why their road tapings failed within a year, watch this main event match. If you ever wonder why they have yet to create one REAL star to the casual audience, watch this main event match. If you ever wonder why there are rumors of a company sale, watch this main event match. If you ever wonder why they are in the position they are in these days, watch this main event match. Yeah, I would call it a mess. However, if one 'match' ever summed up TNA, it would be this one.
Paul LaPointe:FACT TNA booking in general over the past year plus has been a huge mess just like the rest of the company inside and out. I still am one of the few people that want TNA to succeed much more then the common fan it seems but by god they need another overhaul. At least for once now they have some time to reflect, rebuild and maybe revitalize a lot of things they have taken for granted in regards to there audience and roster. The plus over all of this is that they have finally given the ball to somebody new and though the booking was a clusterfuck from hell they should be able to move forward. New talents coming in, new directions going forward, my fingers are crossed and maybe sometime down the line AJ if he does come back, a feud is already lined up. Vince Russo did you book last week? Score: 6 for 6
7. Daniel Bryan is the most over guy in all of wrestling.
Justin Watry:Fiction - Loudest face pops? Yes. Biggest reactions? Yes. Main event talent? Yes. Most over in terms of drawing money and casual fan interest? No! Not even close. That is John Cena and has been for the past 7 or 8 years. Right now Daniel Bryan is on fire and continues to be on the right track. His little deal with The Wyatt Family was always going to be a short-term gig before fighting back and being even MORE over than before. Stone Cold wore a suit to join McMahon. John Cena wore a Nexus shirt in the group. The Dudleyz joined Right to Censor. All of these were done with the endgame of the face beating down all the heels in an even more impactful way. I assumed Bryan would "turn" at the Rumble after Bray asked him to jump over the top rope or something. Instead, WWE had Bryan attack him inside the cage when they were alone. What am I rambling on about? Bryan is extremely popular and doing great things. Outside of Batista, Daniel Bryan is the odds on favorite to win the Rumble. Does that translate to 'most over' or loudest chants? Whatever you choose. I will take the man making WWE a reported $100 million per year. In due time, that COULD be Bryan. Right now? It is still John Cena.
Paul LaPointe:FACT He is 411's wrestler of the year so yup he's the most over. I will not waste much space here explaining why but if the end of this weeks RAW is any indication its pretty damn obvious, I mean that audience was Providence, Rhode Island for freaks sake. Also if those were unaware of Travis Jackson pulling together the entire audience into one massive YES! chant during half time of the Ohio State Vs Michigan State basketball game. It's a sight to be hold so get on that.
Score: 6 for 7
8. You marked out for Jake "The Snake" Roberts appearing on Old School Raw.
Justin Watry:Fact - Truth be told, I still am in shock over WWE trusting him. I guess Scott Hall is next? Either way, it was not only a surprise, it was the definition of a 'mark out' moment. Even though that phrase does not make a whole lot of sense, it fits here. While this probably decreases the odds of a Royal Rumble entry, it must be pointed out that Jake Roberts never hit anybody with a DDT. To me, that could imply WWE is saving that moment for down the road. If this was a one and done deal, he would have likely hit his famous move. Maybe I am looking too much into things? Either way, my stalling and filling space is almost done. Just wanted to say that I think The Snake appearing on Raw was a perfect close to Old School Raw. Where does he go from here? Nobody knows. What does that mean for long-time fans? A lot. Thank you!
Paul LaPointe:FACT Speaking of future or at least potential HOF'ers meet Jake The Snake! Themed Raws can be a chore to sit through sometimes mainly because the theme does not sustain the whole run time and in our ADHD generation that does not bode well. But for all the hokum that goes with watching them legends run amok with the new breed sometimes a true "Moment" happens. Seeing Mr. Roberts in the best shape he has ever been in post demons era was refreshing. I am truly glad DDP Yoga has made that man put a smile on that face as he did mine. In another time he would be a former Champion but albeit he never reached that milestone during the Hogan regime he has built up quite a bit of mystique nevertheless for all he's done inside the squared circle. Also wouldn't it be neat if he was inducted into the HOF this year along with Warrior? I mean at the ceremony during what is sure to be a rant of epic proportions by Hellwig, Jake blindsides him, latches a cobra on his arm like Savage and utters "Never trust a snake!".
Score: 7 for 8
MAE YOUNG WINS THIS WEEK BECAUSE SHE'S TOUGHER THAN ALL OF US!
BRING IT, MOTHERFUCKER! If you've read Bob Holly's book, you'll understand this is meant as a tribute to Mae Young.
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Larry Csonka is a Pisces and enjoys rolling at jiu jitsu class with Hotty McBrownbelt, cooking, long walks on the beach, Slingo and the occasional trip to Jack in the Box. He is married to a soulless ginger and has two beautiful daughters who are thankfully not soulless gingers; and is legally allowed to marry people in 35 states. He has been a wrestling fan since 1982 and has been writing for 411 since May 24th, 2004; contributing over 3,000 columns, TV reports and video reviews to the site.