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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Smart Marks 3.08.14: Stylish Personalities
Posted by Dino Zee on 03.08.2014

Welcome again to another installment of Smart Marks your spot for the serious and stupid wrestling talk! I'm Dino, your host, and we're only a couple of days away from TNA's Lockdown event! I mistakenly called Lockdown an Impact special a couple weeks ago, so I just wanted to check myself and say this is a pay per view, not an Impact special. I'm glad I could clarify that to everyone who already knew that.

Last week, I talked about how I'm not too thrilled about Brock/Taker, praised EC3, and talked about how the Usos still not having won the tag straps was ridiculous. And then, after reading my column, WWE writers went ahead and gave the Usos the straps on Raw. It's the small victories for the fans, sometimes, right? Congratulations to Jimmy and Jey for getting the belts in a fun little match, and good luck to them in their reign as champions!

All sarcastic back patting out of the way, let's hit this week's marks!

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Hall of Fame Style

About 8 years ago, in my prior column Marking My Territory, I wrote a column about Sting, and how we were going to approach a time where younger fans have no idea who he is, due to only wresting in WCW. I expressed sadness about this, as I've always been a gigantic Sting fan. Still, the idea that kids would grow up not even knowing what a WCW is- let alone who Sting was- was something I wasn't thrilled about. Only a few months later, Sting decided to work with TNA on a more permanent basis, where he would stay until recently leaving. I've always joked with my friends that THAT column is the reason Sting came back. Because he reads me or whatever. Still, it is with that power in mind that I'm starting a new campaign.


This is not a difficult concept. I was shocked when checking the Hall of Fame a week ago to see that Slick was nowhere to be found. This is Slick we're tallking about here, one of the most popular managers from his era! He's the Jive Soul Bro! The Doctor of Style! His lack of inclusion is appalling.

This is usually where the Koko Crowd starts talking a bit. You know, the guys who pretend that Koko B Ware was a huge jobber that meant absolutely nothing to wrestling at any time, and is thus the worst inductee in the Hall of Fame. If Koko is in, the line goes, then anyone should get in. I'm not wasting my time with these ridiculous comparisons. Koko B Ware had a fine career- both in Mid South and in the WWF- and I don't find his inclusion insulting at all. I don't think Slick should be in the Hall because Koko is in. I don't think Slick should be in because Drew Carey or James Dudley made it, either.

I think Slick should be in because on his own credentials, he's earned the right to be immortalized in Vince's Vanity Hall. He may not have been Bobby Heenan, or even Jimmy Hart, but Slick brought to the table a different dimension of what a manager can be. He was just a hustler, looking to make whatever money he could with whatever charges he could keep. Whether that was Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, or Butch Reed, or the One Man Gang, or the Big Boss Man, or even the Warlord was irrelevant; Slick would constantly try to keep his guys in big matches at all times. Plus, he was always good for an interview.

Let me again mention Jive Soul Bro, one of the best examples of wrestling entrance music I can think of. Some will mention the racism in the video (and rightfully so), but this song has always been a welcome addition to any situation. When it's on, I'm happy. And really, so is anyone else who draws from the nostalgia this song can induce.

The man, on top of managing some of the biggest stars of the era and packing one of the best themes wrestling's ever had, was also involved in some of the bigger moments as well. Who managed the Twin Towers the night the Mega Powers exploded? Slick. Who was the reason for the Big Boss Man turning face? Slick, and his attempt to sell the Bossman as hired help to Ted DiBiase. Slick was the one who got the One Man Gang to turn into Akeem, AND got Kamala to embrace his "human side." Okay, maybe that last one can be forgotten. In fact, yeah, let's ignore the Reverend Slick time.

Bottom line is this: Slick needs to be in the Hall of Fame. I'm arrogant enough to believe that we as fans can make this happen. Let this be the starting point. Tweet it to the heavens. Write WWE. Call WWE. Let the message remain the same: PUT SLICK IN THE HALL OF FAME.

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Double Duty

This past Thursday on Impact, MVP made the announcement that joining his team for the big battle at Lockdown this Sunday, would be none other than the Charismatic Engima himself, Jeff Hardy! What a big return this will be for Jeff, who looks to take control of TNA away from Dixie Carter and give it to someone he knows he can trust (I wonder if he talked to Matt about this, first), restart his career, and rise back to the top of the rankings!

One thing, though- what about Willow? The black and white painted, masked man who bears more than a striking resemblance to Hardy? Has that been ditched? Was it all a trick to make us forget about Jeff Hardy? As we saw later in the show, there's nothing to worry about: Willow is still coming, too.

Ah, TNA sure loves its split personalities, no? And sure, this isn't something they've created, but in the short time they've existed, we've seen: Abyss/Joe Park, Eric Young/Super Eric, Christopher Daniels/Curry Man, Kaz (and others)/Suicide... and now we'll add Jeff Hardy and Willow to the list.

So, do I make fun of it? No way! I love this stuff. It's so stupid, that it's so perfectly wrestling. All I really want is constant winks to the camera. Willow challenging Jeff to a match, or Jeff talking about how Willow may be the greatest of all time. Talk of how they'd like to meet, but schedules just don't work out would be fantastic, too. There's plenty of stupid fun to be had with this.

Just please, PLEASE don't go the Abyss/Joe Park route of dragging it out for two years with some ridiculous hinting of not knowing who you are, or multiple personalities, or any of that. Have fun with this. There's plenty that can be done without rehashing something you literally just finished.

I've never been the biggest Jeff Hardy fan, which is probably why I'm looking forward to seeing this Willow character. I read about WIll O'TheWisp back in my PWI days, but I never got to see it happen. This could be a great chance for Hardy to get even weirder, without being hampered by having to live up to what "Jeff Hardy" means to wrestling fans nowadays. Maybe we can get some new moves, anything to change up the usual? That'd be pretty fun, too.

Either way, I'm not going to attack TNA for this. Yet. If it gets to a level I can't hang with, you'll hear about it. Until then, let's see what kind of shenanigans Jeff Hardy and Willow can bring to Impact for the next few weeks.

What do you guys think of TNA having guys pull double duty? Looking forward to Willow? Let me know how amazing TNA is down in the comments!

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Trouble Trouble Trouble

Let's end this week with another shout out to Ethan Carter the III, shall we? With only a couple days left until his now cancelled matchup with Kurt Angle, Dixie's nephew continues to be one of the brightest points on Impact, but without an opponent for Lockdown. The American Icon is in a great position right now, seemingly ready to break from the pack and put his stamp on TNA. However, with Magnus currently the champion (and his partner in the NOT a stable of Dixieland) and the X Title with Austin Aries, one has to wonder just what Carter can possibly do to continue his rise.

Obviously, step one was to beat Kurt Angle. With that sick new leglock he debuted on Impact, surely we would have gotten some Classic EC3 on Sunday, and hopefully a big win. Angle's injury definitely puts a damper on things, but can still be used to push Carter as the guy who took Angle out.

What I'd like to see (and pardon me for the fantasy booking, that's not usually my thing) is, following Lockdown where Magnus again sneaks away with the belt by the skin of his teeth, maybe we have EC3 challenge the champion, saying how weak Magnus is, and how embarrassing it is to be associated with him in the NOT a stable of Dixieland. Have Carter gloating about how he got rid of Angle, and how Magnus hasn't done anything on his own in a while. Then, Carter beats Magnus for the title. All the while, Dixie is getting angry because he's not following the plans. Meanwhile, EC3 reminds his aunt that he's for the long haul, because the world needs us. Maybe I'm just tired of TNA Champion Magnus, and I know that didn't take long. I just see a lot more potential in EC3 than I do with Magnus at the current time, and I feel like a match between the two could actually be fun.

Maybe after Lockdown, once we know who's running the show for a while, we'll begin to see some cracks in the NOT a stable, and then we'll get some infighting. I personally think hitching their wagon to EC3 as soon as possible wouldn't be the worst move. If it doesn't take, that's fine. But if it does, you could have a pretty big star on your hands, TNA. Get that rocket ready.

What do you guys think about an EC3 takeover? Is he ready to be so high up the TNA card at this time? Would he be a better champion than Magnus in your opinion? Hit me up in the comments!

And that should do it for the week. I hope you all stay safe and have fun, and as always... Enjoy your WWE, your TNA, your Lucha, your Puro, and your Indies.

It's All Wrestling. It's All Stupid. We All Love It.


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