Ask 411 Wrestling 02.19.14: F Bombs, PPV Records, HOF Calculations, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 02.19.2014
Was CM Punk right to walk out on WWE? Has the internet turned on Dolph Ziggler? Is the time right for John Cena to turn heel? Why is the WWE Network only launching in USA? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Wrestling!
Hiya, and welcome to the only column hoping that the next jobber on NXT is called Antonio Langston, Ask 411 Wrestling! I am your host, Mathew Sforcina, and I'll admit, my head's a little all over the place this week. Not in a bad way, or a good way, just a real life has me going in a few different directions. Which is normal for people living in the real world, but that, coupled with internet issues, means this is a, say it with me, Total Opinion Week
… Sorry AG. Next week.
Oh great, I have a running gag now. And the payoff's about as good as the Funkasaurus…
Anyway, got a question for me? email@example.com is where you send it. And also, I can now say that if, for whatever reason, this column, or the Evolution Schematic, or my podcasts or my wrestling or my blog or Twitter or Sid Meier's SimGolf stories or anything I've ever done has been you've liked and you've thought ‘I want to buy this Mathew guy a drink!', you now can, sort of. At my blog I have set up a donate button if you want to send me a couple bucks for sugar free soft drinks or something. It is totally optional and in no way shape or form do I wish to pressure you or hold anything hostage or whatever. I'm just putting it out there if you want. Or you can go buy Massive Q Merch. Or continue enjoying my work for free, whatever you want. Your continued readership and support is all I require, anything else would be unbelievably generous of you.
The Market: So Jon, as someone who moves in the high class world of stocks and trades and all that sort of stuff that I need Prag to explain to me in tiny words, was kind enough to drop a line about the WWE's stock.
Matthew, as a "stockbroker" (we hate that term) I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the WWE stock move can be summed up in two words: WWE Network. The market sees this as the potential new Netflix, which has made all of its hay off of the addition of streaming original contract. The market is taking the risk that WWE will become to sports what Netflix has become to entertainment. If six months after the launch, the original subscribers start leaving (call them the WrestleMania lookiloos) then the stock will plummet. If they stick around, the stock will probably surge again.
Turning Ryder: In the scenario I gave, Ryder going serious isn't required but wouldn't hurt. I mean, you can certainly have him ditch the tights and start dressing like Orton and having that hair cut and maybe a couple tattoos if he's willing to go that far, make him turn into the ‘look' that we all hated of the Johnny Ace hiring time. But you can also have him keep the current look and make it he's the yap dog that the Authority really want Bryan to become. Either's doable. And certainly him being right isn't that big a handicap in that A) He'd be going against Bryan, no-one is cheering anyone doing that and B) the fans never react well to being called out on their hypocrisy or their fickleness. Ryder blaming them for his failure will be booed, it'd have to be a "Raw after WM on Snark pills" to have a crowd agree with him on that.
Miz: I'll cop that the Miz idea was fairly spur of the moment and, if I'm honest, very generic. That's sort of my default "Comedy guy snaps" idea, be it Eric Young or Santino or Emma or any sort of comedy character, I tend to want to make them serious via snapping, which also feeds into my desire for the occasional Raw/SD to just be different. Theme Raws are good, but I want the occasional out of nowhere plot development that sends the shows schedule into a tizzy. After all, these are all athletic young men and women, many of whom are not very stable. The occasional chaos is expected. And if Orton comes out randomly during a Divas match to do something, it also teaches the audience to not tune out, since if anything can happen at any time you gotta keep watching to make sure you see everything. nWo logic, and one (of many, many things) missing from wrestling today.
Rikishi's signals: Yeah, ok, I'll cop to that, not sure how I got my ends mixed up there, thanks blb1983. But I don't answer comment questions for the record…
James Dudley: I have nothing but respect for Mr. Dudley as a figure in the industry. But he is, alas, the default go to example of why the WWE HOF is a ‘joke', and that was my intention. It's more just that the WWE HOF is chosen by the WWE so worthiness is a meaningless question…
The Trivia Crown
I've been involved with royalty, the elder, and demonic characters. I've been in USA, Japan, Canada, and in many other countries. A wrestling legend recalled that arguably his greatest match ever was one in which I was part of and did damage to him and his rival. I was a faithful companion of other two legends. Thanks to me, two wrestling relatives reunited (with one of them turning face) and my importance and legacy is so important, WWE, WCW, ECW, TNA and many more companies STILL ask me from time to time to make an appearance. I am. . .
rapscallion has the answer.
I can't get all the details. wrestling legend said it damaged he and his opponent in a great match could be Foley v. Funk in king of death match final although more of an explosion than fire. a faithful companion of 2 other legends: The original sheik and ?. reunited family members: Jimmy Garvin turned face to help Ron Garvin after Jim Cornette hit him with a fireball. Of course, still makes occasional appearances. My guess is fire
I've got the question this week, just to be different.
Who am I? I'm a former World Champion in at least 2 companies that could, arguably, crown World Champions. Plus all the guys I became tag champs with in the three biggest companies I've worked for were also all World Champions, of one sort or another. Despite all this, my biggest achievement is to do with a belt that isn't really a World Title, despite what Dusty Rhodes might say about it. My finisher is somewhat egotistical, I trained a Warrior and I hate Wednesdays. Who am I?
Getting Down To Business/One Man's (Important) Opinion
Memphis B-rad starts us off with a Doozy.
They say the cream always rises to the top. If you're good in-ring you will eventually make it to the main event. We've seen it with Benoit, Punk, Bryan & others who didn't necessarily fit the mold of a Vince champion, but they still got there. Can you think of any wrestlers who were truly gifted in ring but never made it to main event status?
Well gee, how long you got? You can find lists of guys who weren't champ and should have been on any clickbait website out there. But limiting myself to guys who are unlikely to become World Champ any more (so no Shield/Cesaro or the like), the ten I'd choose as the top ten, although I'm not about to put them in any order other than alphabetical.
I could give you reasons, I could talk about how awesome each guy is and stuff, but the thing is, you already know that these guys were damn good, and you don't need me to defend them, or explain why they should have been world champ.
Apart from Dinsmore, who is a bit of an odd duck, for sure. (Regal I've discussed before, and Owen is hard to talk about because the tragedy of how he died makes it hard to be objective about his talent/prospects). But I do feel that Dinsmore had the talent and charisma to be a world champ, had he not been saddled with the Eugene gimmick, which to his credit he got over, before it got crushed for no real reason.
Of course, if you do really want me to defend these choices, tell me and I'll do my best, but come on guys, how many times do you need to hear how Arn Anderson was awesome? You know that, I know that, let's move onto Craig
Great column as always. Keep up the great work. I have 2 questions about Demolition:
1. Did Demolition have any victories over the Legion of Doom?
Hey, a fact question!
*busts out ProfightDB.com*
… Nope. Neither Crush nor Smash ever got a win over the Road Warriors. Smash drew them at the Great American Bash 85 when he, as Krusher Khruschev, was half of the NWA Tag Champs with Ivan Koloff and they went to a double DQ with the AWA Tag Champs the Road Warriors. And Smash, as Brian Adams of Kronik once beat Animal and Scott Steiner at one of the last Thunder tapings. Ax's only matches with the LOD was 6 mans with LOD and Ultimate Warrior going over the Demolition Trio.
2. Do you see Demolition going into the WWE Hall of Fame in the future?
I'm getting this close to answering these sorts of questions with a picture of Koko. That said, LOD is in so yeah, Demolition is a team I can see getting in soon. Heck, maybe even this year, although I'm slightly worried this year they might induct the New Age Outlaws out of spite, or as part of DX so Hunter can get in twice like Ric. Hell, they can then induct Evolution and he and Ric can have three rings each!
notthemountie wants to talk WWE Network.
Good day, sir. Concerning the WWE Network, do you have any idea why in blue (meanie) hell it's only being offered in the United States upon its initial launch? I can understand why they wouldn't want those dastardly colonizing Brits involved, but why are Canada and Australia being left out of the equation?
Two main reasons, to do with demand and with laws.
The main one is demand, in that WWE is going to go from 0 to 100,000 on Monday, and it's going to be a rough few weeks. I'm not saying the launch won't work, but there WILL be problems. Always are. Any new MMO or any new online service that starts with some fanfare always has issues as they bring servers online and find out what does and doesn't work. Hence the one week trial, in that if it all goes pear shaped they can apologize but no-one is out of pocket and thus can complain. Plus it's a good idea since if they can get it working with that many people, then when they move to the subscribers only there's less people and thus it'll all work smooth. With all this, you want to focus on as small an area as possible, while also getting as much cash up front as possible in order to defray the start up costs ASAP. So launching in the US first only makes sense from the technical standpoint.
The other half of the coin is the legal issue, in that each and every video they put up online has to be rated and cleared by the classification board of each country, and also WWE has deals with cable companies that may have to be negotiated or just left to run out the clock, launching a paid on demand service isn't just a case of sticking a paywall in front of content, each country is different and so you need to do the ground work first, and that takes time.
Plus WWE will (hopefully) be looking to set up servers in each country to ensure smoother running, and that also takes time, plus you add in months of ‘Welcome Canunks/Brits/Aussies/Etc' where you an add in ‘special' shows that give you easy lists for countdown shows and the like, a roll out of country by country makes sense.
At least that's how I see it. Maybe it's because Vince wants to spend the year on vacation and is planning it all out before he leaves.
"OK, so we launch in the US now, then after WM we launch in Canada, easy, I'll go to the Bahamas then, after a month we'll launch in UK, that's a month in London, then a month in Amsterdam to launch in the Nordics, then to Hong Kong for a month, then go lie on an Aussie beach for a month and then New Zealand to go see if that Peter Jackson fellow has agreed to make my life story yet or not."
Brian asks about Ziggler and Golf. In two separate questions… Sort of.
1. okay, so there is no IWC, technically, yadda yadda. Anyhow, getting past that, has the IWC given up on Dolph Ziggler? I love Daniel Bryan on a similar level to the next guy, but perhaps instead of only rooting against his perceived injustice, "we" could remember how much love we ever so recently had for Ziggy's work, and how far he has fallen.
I know "ever" is a stupid way of putting things, but if the one-belt era sustains, will Ziggler ever get a sustained top championship run?
Well yeah, but Bryan's been screwed but is also front and center of every show and thus we remember him and thus we chant for him more because he's front and center!
… Nope, that's not a Chandler there, I think…
The logic behind Ziggler's depush was an attitude problem, according to the scuttlebutt, tinged with a smattering of injury concerns. And with it came an upswing in "Ziggler deserves better!" followed by everyone losing their shit over Bryan. It's similar to Ryder in a way, Bryan just takes up such a huge amount of space over the perceived injustice (which is not to say it's all a giant work. WWE does not do that, unless you think Montreal is a work, in which case please kindly stand up and slap yourself a few times while imagining me yelling "Stop being so stupid!" at you during) that most of the IWC is busy complaining about Bryan, or defending the booking, or arguing it's a work, or pointing to the ratings or banging on and on about how NJPW is supermegaawesome guys, seriously…
So has the IWC given up on Ziggler? I doubt he's ever going to become the poster child for the IWC again, but he'll have support for a while. As for a championship run… Not unless WWE gets desperate. Like plane crash most of the roster wins a powerball jackpot each. If he improves his ‘attitude' and stops getting injured every week he might get pushed, but with the belts unified, a lot of guys are no longer in the running for a title run any time soon…
2. This is not a question, but too funny not to mention. It's your call if you'd like to print it. I've given you a different fake name pretty much every time I've written, and since my question was about Ziggler, I googled Kerwin White and was going to sign this email with it. But in Ziggler's wikipedia, it says that "He was made the enforcer and sidekick for Chavo Guerrero, Jr., who was using a golfer in-ring persona and going by the ring name of "Kerwin White"
A golfer in ring persona, HAHAHAHAHA. Sure, that was the point of the character and the takeway there, that he was an evil golfer!
But but but, Wikipedia is the fount of all knowledge and is never wrong!
But to be fair, although it started off as the "deluded upper middle class racist" character…
When he got Nick Nemeth as a bodyguard, he was driving a golf cart to the ring, and Nick was introduced as his ‘caddy', so there's some logic there.
… No video of that? Boo Hiss Internet, Boo Hiss.
Nobody wants to talk about the Rumble Hijacking.
Thanks for answering my question last week. I watched the Botchamania video in your column and I don't think I fully grasped the fans "hijacking" the Royal Rumble until now as I didn't watch live. Right or wrong, the crowd has been very vocal about what they want. It doesn't seem too surprising that what was presented was completely rejected. People on the comment boards here predicted the reactions fairly accurately so I'd guess that WWE would have as well. So why set people up for it? Do you think they honestly felt it wouldn't be that bad? Have you personally experienced anything even close to this? As a wrestler, what goes on in your head when the fans completely reject everything about a match? Would they be embarrassed? Angry? At whom? Take Rey Mysterio for example. Ever since the Rumble, everyone is saying "poor Rey." Does Rey have a legitimate beef here? If so, who should he be upset with? The fans for loudly rejecting him or the bookers / front office for (seemingly) setting him up to be booed out of the arena? Additionally, the Cena/Orton match was rejected. Both participants presumably went out and did their job as directed yet they had to deal with a hostile crowd that was angry not necessarily at them, but the booking itself. How would you suppose they feel about being thrown to the wolves? Part of me thinks that they may not have given 100% due to knowing that there was no winning over the crowd.
Or is this somehow all part of a master plan to give Daniel Bryan a mega-push...? (Chandler)
Thanks for your time,
All right, complicated issue, many questions. Let's take them in turn, shall we?
Why set people up to that crowd? Well, firstly there's a difference between a crowd hating the product and what happened at the Rumble. WWE was probably hoping for a ‘proper' crowd, i.e. a crowd that reacts how they wanted them to, but was gearing up for silent annoyance. But now when audiences are upset, they don't go silent (which is what you used to do to ruin a show) or leave (which really you kinda should be doing if you're that upset), now they hijack shows.
Which to be honest, as much as I may or may not enjoy it when I call it, and even with the old adage of the crowd can do what they like, I'm not a huge fan of the hijack. I kinda want to blame the ‘smark Indys', lead by CHIKARA and the like that play to the smarky fan and carry on the tradition of the ECW fans who thought they were as much a part of the show as the wrestlers. Yes, without the fans there is no show, and yes you are important, but fans are like hecklers at a comedy show. At best you make the guy on stage look better, at worst you ruin the show, and either way no-one came to hear you talk. There are better ways to send a message, because any crowd noise can be spun as a reaction. Booing the whole thing is borderline positive or negative. Silence is better. Walking out is a nuclear option. Witty chants are funny and will make me smile but will change nothing.
So yeah, WWE probably knew that what happened was possible, but were hoping for the best. And either way, they had the story they wanted to tell come hell or highwater, and so one show with one bad crowd, from their view, was worth the effort to get to the Orton/DAVE match they want. Unless they panic and go Cena/DAVE again…
Have I gotten that myself? Not as such. Indy shows are a slightly different beast, at least the ones I've stuck to, which are either standard indy companies (AWF!Newy Pro!) or tangentially related wrestling themed children-centric entertainment ventures (Super Wrestling Heroes!), neither of which tend to draw hijacking crowds. Working Supanovas, which are pop culture festivals, is as close as it comes and that's more trying to get a reaction rather than deal with hijacking.
What goes through a wrestler's head? Depends on the wrestler, which is sort of a cop out, but it's true. Some wrestlers cannot handle a crowd turning on them, and will panic/freak out. Some of them will view it as a challenge, they might well relish it and seek to get the fans back by the end, which if they do can be a feather in the cap, as it were. Most of time you just suck it up and get though it, although the crowd turning on the entire show is different to just turning on your match. If they turn on your match, like in a big way, just cut to a finish and call it a night. The show in general? Do you think and hope post-production saves it.
But as for blaming or wrestlers being angry… If you don't already have some issue with the Bryan thing (don't bother working hard and getting over, we will only push you so far), the crowd turning like that isn't going to do that much to you, certainly not a one off. I think everyone involved just takes it as a one off aberration that wasn't directed at them and will move on. Hell, Cena's probably used to it.
In the end the Rumble crowd, taken by itself, didn't and wouldn't change anything. Consistent chanting and hijacking, that's led to WWE second guessing itself, sure, but if the crowd had reacted how WWE wanted up to and from the Rumble, if the Rumble had been even worse but just in itself, nothing would change. Consistent chanting may well lead to something, but probably won't.
And walking out after Bryan has wrestled? That's the strongest possible message. Beyond refusal to support at all, but the Network has sort of ruined that option for most people now…
Rockefeller Captain Stan Wonkavision Goatboy makes me want to bust out the Koko picture I don't have..
If his career ended today, do you think that Christian truly deserves a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame? I don't want to hear the response "Well if Koko B. Ware is in, it opens the door for anybody." I simply mean, based off of his accolades, accomplishments, etc, as "singles" competitor has he done anything to really make himself stand out as a Hall of Famer. As far as I am concerned, the answer is no. Having said that, I would fully support his induction with Edge as a tag team. What are your thoughts on both as a singles and tag team competitor?
Well see, ignoring Koko, there's a problem with these sorts of discussions, in that it often comes down to what someone values more, because the WWE clearly doesn't have any sort of clear, obvious, hard and fast rule about what counts as a HOF career. There's no simple to calculate spreadsheet.
WWE Title = 0.5 of an induction per reign.
IC Title = 0.25 of an induction per reign.
WM match = 0.2 of an induction, capped at 0.6.
Being 1st (positive record) = 0.45 of an induction.
Being Randy Savage = -100 inductions.
So instead you're left arguing over if holding belts is enough, or if you need a WM moment, or need to revolutionise this or pioneer that or whatever. It's like arguments about the best ever wrestler, it is subjective unless you narrow it down to a specific criteria, at which point it becomes quantifiable and useless.
But the thing about Christian is that his run with the ECW Title was one of the best runs of any ‘World' champion of the modern era in terms of quality of matches and of elevation of opponents, and personally Christian is involved in both my favorite Hardcore Title change in history…
And my favorite turn in wrestling history.
Both of them WM moments. Add in multiple world title reigns, and yeah, he's in in my book. E&C also totally deserve an entry, that reeks of awesomeness to the max.
Joshua asks another time relevant question (which, to be honest, is kinda the reason for this TOW, to get through some of these…)
So I don't work for the WWE. I do not know how things are behind the scenes, in fact the only info I know is what I read online. That being said I can't help but feel betrayed by CM Punk walking out on WWE. Even if he feels justified it is simply not professional. If you're a wrestler, an actor, a manager of a Pizza Hut or a ditch digger, if you do not like the way things are being run you go to your higher ups and voice you opinion. Now I do not know Punk personally, but I am sure he did all of this. If he wasn't happy then he should have follow through with his contract through July and not resign. Have a big send off match and then go home. Who knows, maybe 4 years down the line he can come back and get the Batisita treatment. I just feel like he turned his back on his fans. I feel like he didn't care if fans paid to see him, he wasn't happy so he is going home. So what is your opinion on this? Do you agree\disagree? Would love to know.
Well as you say, you, nor I, work for WWE. (Despite what some conspiracy nuts might say in the comments section, no-one on site works for a major wrestling company. Joey Styles refuses to email me after all.) So we don't have any context for this. Certainly a lot has come out saying that Punk was a negative influence on the locker room, that he's an outspoken guy who wasn't happy, but that's coming from sources within WWE, so we don't know if that's legit or if that's being put out there to make Punk the bad guy.
So we're left with just the act, he ‘took his ball and went home'.
Wrestling is often said to be a unique hybrid of things, sometimes as an explanation for why as an artform it is overlooked, but mostly to try and defend the indefensible (‘No no, look, I know sexually assaulting young boys is bad, but it's just a rib, part of hazing, wrestling is a fraternity of brothers…") but in this case there is something to be said. See, wrestling is different to sports, and to other TV shows, in that the people involved aren't players doing what a coach says, nor are they, as much as WWE would disagree, just reading lines and acting under a director's orders. Each wrestler is their own person, and there is an element of ego, or self confidence, or at the very least standing up for yourself, and your character.
WWE has spent several years setting a system wherein anyone in it is indoctrinated to thinking that WWE is all, that without WWE there is nothing, and that while you should have the courage to man (or woman) up and come up with ideas you should also be equally happy to get a losing streak and a silly gimmick and don't complain and don't argue. And I totally understand why, because that's the perfect locker room to have if you're a promoter. Too scared to leave, too meek to complain, but willing to give you good ideas to steal? Perfect!
Punk is not that guy. Punk got a perfect storm of circumstances to slide into the company, and he's not a guy to sit back and take that sort of treatment lying down. And so, when things weren't going his way, he took his ball and went home. I'm sure he feels that if WWE doesn't back the truck up and drown him in 24 Karat Pepsi Cans, he'll be able to make a decent living in TNA or ruling the indies or just retire and smoke weed bang chicks all day.
And honestly? I totally get where WWE is coming from, I understand their logic and their goals and I can see the benefits to that system… For them. It is, however, bad for everyone else, and I kinda do want to see it gone. I don't want that style of company, wrestling shouldn't be like that, and while it would negatively impact WWE, selfishly, I kinda support Punk here. I wish guys like Ryder and Ziggler had the same level of confidence in themselves to walk out after how they got treated and make the WWE come crawling back.
But that's a selfish ‘I don't like the current mentality' logic. If I was just a fan, or I was a promoter, I'd be totally anti-Punk here. But in this specific circumstances, assuming what we've heard is right, if he's not happy and the company's not happy, then this is for the best. Apart from the bottom line, of course…
Raw in Roughly 5 Mins!
Me! (Sorry about the quality)
… Nah, we've had enough HOF questions. Michael asks about a guy already in the HOF.
I happened to think of Greg "The Hammer" Valentine the other day, and just wondered about his earlier career. Reading up on his career, he seemed to be a pretty big upper-midcarder (if not main event at times) through the mid-80s. Then, it seems like all of a sudden he was radically de-pushed, to the point that he's a Jobber To The Stars pretty quickly after being IC champion (with the Dream Team in between). By the time I started watching the WWF in about 1990, he was an only slightly glorified jobber, who seemed to have absolutely no personality and only average wrestling skills. My first thought was that he was probably just aging out of wrestling gracefully, but in actuality he was only in his mid- to late 30s. What gives? Was he just too vanilla for the post-Rock 'n Wrestling WWF, or did he actually have some charisma back when he was a pretty major star? Do you think he would've been smarter to stay in the NWA?
Greg's a case of being a guy who is really good at what he does, it's just that what he does is, to be honest, being a midcard act.
See, the thing about Valentine is that his style is very methodical, very slow, very psychological. He wrestles by taking punishment and chipping away at his opponents until he can beat them, he absorbs punishment and injures guys. All the makings for a good heel act, but in WWF… When it's all about the showmanship, and the glitz, it's not enough. But Valentine is helpful to teach guys, to get them ready, because if you can keep up with Valentine then you're on your way.
Certainly when he came into WWF, Vince Jr told him, according to Valentine, that he had a job for life, just not a main event job it turns out.
But again, not everyone can, or indeed should be, main event. If you somehow luck your way into a roster full of main event talent awesome, but that's a pipe dream, not an achievable goal. Some guys are just not cut out to run main event. Doesn't mean they aren't talented, certainly doesn't mean they don't deserve a place, they just aren't main event.
Valentine was never a great promo guy, but he could work, and cut a promo if you needed it, and with the right worker he can do really well, but I don't consider him a lost main event talent that much. He might have worked out, but I don't think so.
As for the NWA, they're attempt to keep him was to turn him face after the Roddy Dog Collar feud ran its course, which actually drove him out the door quicker, as he hated working face. NWA might have used him more, but I think he probably made more money in WWF, at least until he jumped to WCW and was paid to sit at home or rather, since he didn't like doing that, he was paid by WCW to work independent shows.
He had charisma, he had talent, just not main event tippy top talent… A solid B+, if you would. Or wouldn't as the case may be.
Jon asks someone other than me a question I can't really answer THAT well…
I saw recently that since slowing down his wrestling schedule, Undertaker has built a fairly impressive portfolio in real estate. That got me thinking what other wrestlers/former wrestlers have gone on to great success in areas that had nothing to do with wrestling or entertainment?
Great success… That's the problem. I mean, most wrestlers who aren't totally stupid with their money (Hi Ric!) tend to have investment properties or similar. Vader was talking about such a deal in Beyond the Mat, for instance. Plus without access to finances of every wrestler…
Of course, many wrestlers move into real estate brokering since it's a job that pays very well in big boosts based on what is, when you get down to it, a job based on charisma. As a broker you're selling the home as a dream, and wrestlers tend to be good talkers and charismatic and it seems to be a relatively common step, although I don't know numbers as to who did really well or really badly (although I assume Mike Awesome wasn't great at it.)
Anyway, if you say that writing and being a financial ‘expert' on Fox ‘News' as being entertainment, then you're down to three main ones off the top of my head.
JBL, despite what I just said, is a fairly successful businessman, and does know what he's talking about, I just wanted to make the ‘News' joke. He's probably the most public money maker from wrestling not involving films.
George Steele was a high school teacher and coach even while wrestling, and he was about as successful as one can get in said field, which sadly isn't that far but hey. (I do love his line, when he was asked if he was ‘The Animal', he'd reply with "You think I'm that ugly?")
And Chris Nowinski has set up the Sports Legacy Institute to "advance the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups" which is certainly a worthwhile cause and one he knows all too well.
Beyond that, you end up with most wrestlers opening stores or businesses, or going into the ministry, but none of them huge success stories… Well, apart from that guy who became Governor of Minnesota, Jesse someone…
Connor asks about Ahmed.
If Ahmed Johnson had managed to stay healthy, would he have gotten a run with the heavyweight title? Vince seemed to be very fond of him before injuries and weight made him boring
Maybe. I mean, he was never in the cards for a title run, he wasn't going to win at Canadian Stampede, or the night after Summerslam 96 or anything. But yeah, he was big and scary looking and was over, so maybe he would have, maybe not. Again, titles weren't nearly as jumping as they are now, we are talking nearly 20 years ago, and…
Damn I'm old.
Anyway, the world title wasn't something everyone had a legit chance at getting. Not like the past several years were seemingly anyone could be World Heavyweight Champ…
Bo goes back to a perennial topic.
Okay, so lots of the IWC say to turn Cena heel, but how do you do that in an unforced, organic way? Because if it's just like a light switch from face to heel, then it's basically Russo-esque booking. Changing just for the sake of changing and that has no impact. So how do you turn Cena in a way that actually makes sense? Here is my opinion of one way that COULD work. Not necessarily saying it would be the only way, or that it would. Just curious what your thoughts are on this scenario.
First off, you have Cena in a match with a big heel. Preferably one that's never been a face for very long, if at all. This is important, because at the end of it all, this guy will end up being a massive face. (yes, somewhat of a double turn here) Let's say for argument's sake Roman Reigns continues getting over, and WWE doesn't turn him face yet. You have Cena brought into the "Authority" storyline somehow. That shouldn't be too difficult and I'm not gonna spend any time worrying about how to do that because for what I'm talking about it's irrelevant. Also, it's been proven so far that you don't have to have any real, tangible conflict, just say something HHH and Steph doesn't like and they can pull you into that storyline so it would be consistent. You have a one on one match between Cena and Reigns. Maybe have it no DQ and have Ambrose and Rollins interfere towards the end of the match. Give Cena an epic beat down. I mean to the point where it's almost uncomfortable to watch. Where it's clear Cena will be out for a while. At least two months, maybe three. During that time, have The Shield and The Authority running roughshod over everyone until at some point in time, Reigns is storyline injured, very seriously, away from the ring. It's important that it's away from the ring, and it's important that it's played up as potentially career ending. As kayfabe as this could be done the better. Very old school. Eventually Cena returns, with the intent of challenging The Shield in revenge for them putting him on the shelf, but with Reigns out, it would be just against Ambrose and Rollins. Cena picks a partner to make it even odds 2 on 2. Let's say, CM Punk. Shield catches Punk in the back, and destroys him to the point where Punk is going to miss the PPV match. Next Cena picks another partner. Doesn't even matter who, because Shield takes them out too. But for argument's sake, make it Mysterio. Finally, Cena comes out and says he'll have the greatest partner of all, and he brings out Undertaker to team with him. But Cena gets to him, and now nobody is willing to partner with him against the Shield, because no matter who does, they get wrecked. Cena says, screw it, I'll fight them by myself in a very John Cena like way. At this time, a video of Roman Reigns appears on the 'Tron and he speaks about how when he was injured he gained some perspective. He feels horrible for what he did to Cena, and he wants to make it right. He offers to be Cena's partner, and Cena flatly refuses. Obviously still harboring bad blood. This happens again on the following Smackdown. Lawler gets in the ring and tries to talk some sense into Cena, saying he'll just get hurt if he fights them by himself. Cena is stubborn and bull headed as ever and is still deciding to go it alone. Another video of Reigns pleading with Cena to take him as a tag team partner. Still wanting to make up for what he's done, and again speaking of the perspective he's gained. Cena again flatly refuses. Finally, someone from the undercard steps up and is going to fight on Cena's side at the big PPV blowoff with The Shield. Let's say Zach Ryder. Someone the fans can be sympathetic about, but that there is enough nostalgia to think it might just work. There is a no DQ match scheduled for the following Raw of Cena and Ryder vs…let's say The Wyatt Family. In the middle of the match, Ryder either gets knocked out, injured or otherwise incapacitated. Let's say he's handcuffed to the ring ropes. Out comes The Shield, working with the Wyatt's and it looks like Cena is doomed. Faces spill out from the locker room in twos and threes and get dispatched quickly. By all indications, Cena is done for, and just when it looks like they're about to hit him with some crazy finishing type move that will certainly put Cena out for good, our comes Roman Reigns in street clothes. Crowd erupts, Cena and Reigns clear the ring until they finally meet in the middle of the ring face to face where Reigns extends his hand for Cena to shake, and after a moment's hesitation there's the big handshake. From here, it's elementary. Reigns is now over HUGE as a face, not just for backing Cena, but for going against The Shield and the Wyatt's. In the middle of the PPV match, simply have Cena turn on Reigns when it seems as though the match is won. Cena now has a personal issue with Reigns for originally hurting him that isn't forced. Reigns has a legitimate reason to have a change of heart thanks to his injury so that is organic as well. It leaves the door open for Cena to turn back Face, since his issue was being bitter with one particular person.
And yes, I do realize that this has been done before. To the letter in the Continental/Southeastern Championship Wrestling territory between Bob Armstrong and the Tennessee Stud, but it was one of the greatest story lines ever and it made Bob Armstrong a face for the remainder of the life and the Stud a heel for life.
… If you just want to talk about that angle, that's cool…
Your idea has merit, certainly. And certainly the whole point of Cena turning is that there has to be someone there to shoulder the load, and if it can be Roman, then Cena turning on him makes sense.
Anyway, how to do it has been covered before, with Ryan Byers and myself having a crack.
But I maintain that most of the time when someone says Cena should turn heel, they are not really saying that. They are instead asking for Cena to become interesting. Because that's the problem, Cena as a character is boring to us. Kids seem to like him still, but him overcoming the odds all the time is just so dull, and his matches, while good-great, are very formulaic and it's just been soooooooo long going to this well. They just want Cena interesting, not heel.
That said, while I still like my angle, I think now you have an option you didn't have before. The Authority exists now.
So, like pretty much every booking idea in this column, you start by committing The Authority to a direction, in this case make them heels. Have them screw Batista at WM out of the belt, Triple H crushes Daniel at WM, whatever, firmly make The Authority the bad guys.
(Side note: That's what I hate about Shades of Grey, most people forget that pure white and jet black are shades, and you need them to compare and contrast all the other shades…)
Then, Orton screws up and makes them doubt him. And this time they don't hesitate to chop his head off, screwing him over to put the belt onto… Cena.
Cena does not accept their help, but he does not brush them off. Even as the Authority screw about his challengers, Cena doesn't tell them off, nor does he accept them. When asked/pressed, he says that he IS the face of the company, and he's just doing his job, of being the roll model by defending the belt when asked and making all his appearances.
Then after a couple of months, here's Bryan again (or Roman or anyone you want as your new guy) and then at Summerslam, Authority come out again and this time Cena is complicit in the screwjob.
Cena then does not change anything about himself, except that he openly works with The Authority on the basis that they are the boss, he has to respect the boss.
…I dunno, I may just be tired, but I think that works. Works for Bo Dallas…
We finish with STD Steve who has… Fact questions? The hell?
1. How come whenever WCW had hardcore matches (A lot of them were very stiff and brutal) they were treated and called as comedy matches by the announcers? Were the announcers instructed to do so and if so why?
There's two main periods of this, when WCW did hardcore matches (outside of feud enders in the old days). When Bischoff was in control, they didn't really do them that often and they were called as well as they could be, when you spend 95% of all matches talking about the nWo and the like.
It's when Russo took over that the Hardcore division was launched and then the announcers also tended to talk about the stuff not really hurting. And that's more Russo playing to the smart fans, since they know it's not real, wink wink, might as well play to them, nudge nudge.
Honestly WCW announcers logic is fairly non-extistant at the best of times, so unless a reader has a better idea…
2. Back in the attitude era Vince McMahon had his "guarantees" and if I remember correctly they were actually very credibly built and I don't remember him breaking a single one. Did he ?
Sadly I was unable to find a record of Vince's guaren-damn-tees (Boo Hiss Again Internet!) but in my recollection there were indeed no broken guarantees. Rock too, I believe, never lied when he said he'd win/walk out as champ, but that one I'm less sure on. Again, a reader might know, and if we're talking about backstage ones there's a very long list, but no, I believe he never broke a guaren-damn-tee.
Except maybe this one.
4. Which WWE wrestler has the best PPV win loss record ? Is it the Undertaker? Shawn Michaels ?
Well, sadly profightdb doesn't offer a "PPV of company only" button, but the winner of all time PPV (given over 50 PPV matches) win/loss is Hulk Hogan, having won 63.9535% of 86 matches. Followed by RVD, having won 60.7843% of 102 matches in 3rd place, and Bret Hart in 4th with 60.5263% of 76 matches. Taker is 16th on that list, Shawn Michaels is way down there with 44.4444%.
Full list here. I await the site to work out the code to make company PPV calculations possible.
6. I remember watching the very first ECW one night stand, albeit not live and hearing Eric Bishoff use what sounded like an F Bomb on the mic. (It was censored) Did the actual f bomb make air on the live pay per view ? Is that even what he said ? Has there ever been an f bomb dropped on wwe television on the mic ?
It was mostly censored, but yeah, he said "Fuck ECW" and it wasn't bleeped out properly live.
The Rock also once said "Motherfucker" when Steph didn't cut him off at the right moment.
If you remove the ‘mic' section, there's plenty more, Scott Steiner was overheard asking to be given a fucking mic at Survivor Series 2002, Flair said motherfucker at WMXX. But in terms of into the mic, it rarely happens without bleeping simple because after the Bret Hart tirade…
All WWF/WWE shows began to be shown ‘live' on a seven second delay, so if someone does swear, it'll be bleeped, or at least attempted to.
Am I forgetting anything major, readers? Do leave your fucks, if you have any to give, below. Until next time, dear readers, goodnight.