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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Ask 411 Wrestling 03.19.14: Hating Bryan, Learning Russian, Cena's Superman, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 03.19.2014

Hello, welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling, the only column that now thinks Bryan will end up not winning the title in a fatal four way rather than a triple threat match at WM! I am your Answererer…er, Mathew Sforcina, and I have a swollen pinkie.

That's not a euphemism, I genuinely injured my pinkie finger on the weekend at wrestling. I understand that on the grand scheme of things this is somewhere between ‘small paper cut' and ‘mildly infected toenail' on the rank of serious injury, but it does mean that typing is just uncomfortable enough to be annoying. So, if this week seems short, my apologies. But I'll make it a Total Opinion Week just to make sure this week is unpopular. Apologies for that too.

Wellwishes, insults and maybe even questions if you got them can be sent to ask411wrestling@gmail.com

I'm hoping to make the April 2nd edition of Ask 411 Wrestling a Wrestlemania themed one, so if you got WM related questions, do send them in and I'll make a go of a theme until I get bored halfway through and start answering questions about IWA or whatever.

Banner, on the other hand, never bores me.


Check out my Drabble blog, 1/10 of a Picture! Almost finished the Zodiac theme week and a half, so do check them out. Please. But you know, your choice and all.

Me On Twitter~!

Feedback Loop

AG's Question: Yeah dude, I did read your reply. But like I said in the answer, I can't answer either question for actual wrestlers. There's no resource online that has a list of segments a wrestler appears in. And unless you're willing to pay me a weekly wage I can't sit here and count, so yeah. Sorry, but some questions are just unanswerable.

Unless Fink knows. Go ask him.

Steamboat on Steamboat/Savage: Someone, let's call him… William The Worker, emailed me and said that he had the chance to meet and train with Steamboat on a few occasions and when the match came up, he did indeed say that he hated it due to how detailed it was planned. Certainly that matches up with what I've heard, how he much preferred just grabbing Ric Flair's head and going from there rather than #146: Armbar situation.

Russians in Wrestling: I'm always happy to be corrected and/or be given info about stuff that I've gotten wrong or at best just not fully right. And so it is with the topic of Russians in wrestling, Alexei, being Russian himself, has written in to set me straight on a few things. So take it away man!

I decided to write this letter to add something. First of all "Russian" and "Born in Russia" are quite the different things. There's a simple rule: the guy is a Russian if his native language is Russian. Of course the majority of USSR people spoke Russian, but that's the difference - speaking the language and having it as a native language.

Of course you can have Russian passport, but that makes you a "Russian citizen" and not "a Russian". For example Victor Ahn won 3 gold medals for Russia during recent Olympic games. He has Russian passport, but he is NOT Russian, see?

So Kila Kwariani definitely was not Russian. He was Georgian. He knew Russian language, but he was not Russian. Or you can say he was "soviet".

Same with Hasimikov and Zangieff. Technically they represented Russia (and as far as I know they reside in Russia), but they were not Russian. Victor was born in Georgia and he is Osetian (region on Russian/Georgian border) and Salman was born in Kazakhstan and he is Chechen. It is great honor that they represent Russia, they have Russian passports, but technically they are not Russian. Again: Zinedine Zidane represented France in football, but he is not French by his birth (only by his passport).

Similar thing with Alex Koslov. He speaks perfect Russian (his promos with Russian swearings are so fun..) and although he technically was born in Moldova, he can surely call himself a Russian.

Small note about Anna Bogomazova: she was a kickboxing champion on amateur level. You can see highlights from her World Championship performance here:

And some names that you missed.

Ilya Dragunov. He performs in Germany and has Russian origins. But that's gimmick name (real name Ilja Rukoder (??), and he has little connection to Russia. He is from Berlin (but I'm not quite sure).

His valet Svetlana Kalashnikova also has Russian origins, although she was born in Kyrgyzstan. But you can see by her looks that she's more Russian than Kyrgyzs.

They both speak decent Russian. Some time ago they did a nice promo. The language is not good all the time, but they do speak it.

You can definitely add Victor Kosmo (Victor Kosymov) to the list. He studied wrestling in Massachusetts (in Killer Kowalski school), last year he was invited to ZERO1 (Japan), a couple of years ago he performed in US Indy, he's Russian and he regularly performed in Russian Indys.

AAAnd I just can't end this letter without some PR for our Russian indy-wrestlers. You mentioned some guys who regularly perform in Russian Indy company - Ivan Markov and Pavel Kurkin are IWF (Moscow) regulars. Kurkin does "Joker" gimmick that looks like if Jeff Hardy took that mask and mannerisms,)) But he's quite good high-flyer.

I'd like to add some notes to your research - notes about Russian wrestlers who have performed in foreign countries.

Markov of course is headliner. He has performed in Japan, Middle East, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Israel. He had a rather bad miscommunication incident in Germany on wXw Dead End XII show. Still he's positioned as the best.

First of all Markov's wife Bonnie. They both performed in Japan (DDT, Union Pro, WNC) and in Europe (Italy and Denmark).

I just can't miss one of my favorite Russian wrestlers and one of the nicest guys I've ever met, Ronnie Crimson. In 2011 he had a trip to DDT (with Markov and Bonnie).

Then Ilya Malkin, the current IWF heavyweight champion. He recently performed in Singapore and had 2 matches against Zema Ion (for IWF championship). The sinpagorian one you can see here:

The thing is that Ilya was invited to US indies. He goes to International Wrestling Cartel for March 22 show and then he stays in US for some time

Also there's young kid Serge Bely (or Serge White). He had a match against Sonjay Dutt in Singapore

And he also goes to US next month. So if your readers reside in Pennsylvania, they can watch them live on IWC show "Uncivil War".

And of course, "Russian John Cena" (that's a rib of course) Anton Deryabin. A tough and big guy with great speed in the ring and great sense of humour outside of it. He also went to Singapore in the beginning of the year.

Again, there are lots of great guys who perform only in Russia (they have a monthly show) - Maxim Kremnev, Alexei Schukin, Vulkan, great comedy wrestler LaPatka (see the pun?), Mikhail Vakhneev, Gladiator, Blue Thunder, Slava Neskubin, two of my all-time favorites Vladimir Kulakov and Chris Rave, a great rookie Vertigo and more and more. But only perform in Russia.

So that's what I wanted to add. And your final statement was completely right: modern Russians tend to be legit, older - aren't.

I hope that was interesting and not boring.

It was indeed interesting and not boring. And for a week when I need time off, it's super awesome, thanks dude!

The Trivia Crown

I was born in the same state as two former world champions who are still active. I won a title those two former world champions also won. I had tryouts in two major promotions, one in singles match (which I won) and one in a tag team match (which I did the job to the tag team champions at that time). I also won a tag team championship outside of United States teaming with someone who was supposed to have a feud with a guaranteed future Hall of Famer, but was released just before that feud would ever happen. I've fought with royalty, and I'm a firm believer in something. Who am I?

Chris has it right.

"I was born in the same state as two former world champions who are still active. I won a title those two former world champions also won." - born in Ohio, same as Dolph Ziggler and The Miz, both former World champs and fellow WWE US champs

"I had tryouts in two major promotions, one in singles match (which I won) and
one in a tag team match (which I did the job to the tag team champions at that time)." - beat B-Boy in his Dragons Gate US tryout, lost to MNM in his WWE tryout

"I also won a tag team championship outside of United States teaming with someone who was supposed to have a feud with a guaranteed future Hall of Famer, but was released just before that feud would ever happen" - tag champ in Puerto Rico with Hade Vansen, who was supposed to wrestle Undertaker @ WrestleMania 25

"I've fought with royalty" - um, William Regal? don't know this one...

"I'm a firm believer in something." - The Shield

"Who am I?" - Dean Ambrose

I'll provide this week's question.

Who am I? I've fought for the ECW Title, been a Hardcore Champion, been beaten by a future Women's Champion, lost to Zack Ryder, helped a bad vaudeville routine be attempted (and on one occasion a genuinely funny show opening), been injured by someone almost half my size, become the first person to do something (only for someone to do it again within a year), injured a GM, and I've never fought against Daniel Bryan. But hey, every one of my tag team title reigns was with a world champ… Who am I?

Getting Down To Business/One Man's (Important) Opinion

Chris has an emergency, apparently.

I have an ask 411 emergency which I have searched for far and wide but can't find an answer for and you're my last hope. I'm watching an episode of ECW on the network marked 6/6/94 and there's a stand in commentator and I have no idea who he is. He says at the start of a Kevin Sullivan match that Joey Styles is "vacationing" and his name is something like "Willie Coopwatch" but I can't make it out exactly. He sounds a bit like Shane Douglas but I can't find anything anywhere about who this guy is. Is it Shane filling in? Please help and keep being amazing.

Shane Douglas did occasionally do commentary on home video releases, but the guy you're thinking of is one ‘Willie Watts'.

See, in mid-1994 Joey Styles briefly quit ECW because he hated the commute to Philly, plus Joey had always wanted to be a heel announcer but they made him face (until they worked out that he could heel on every other company and that sorted that out). At the time ECW was ‘Eh, no real loss', and they got a new announcer. The new guy happened to be African American, so they named him Willie Watts, as a rib on Bill Watts and his supposed Racism.

The thing was, Mr. Watts made them really appreciate what they had with Joey, as they had to do take after take with him to get things right. So after a few weeks, they worked out a deal with Joey Styles and the rest is history.

Sadly I was unable to find video or audio or a picture of Mr. Watts, but that's the guy.

James has two unrelated questions.

Mathew I love reading your column and thanks for answering my previous questions. I only have two today.

1. Has the Undertaker ever tapped out?

Once. Sort of.

On an episode of Smackdown, 4th of July, 2002, a bit before the Vengeance PPV, Taker defended the WWE Undisputed Title against Kurt Angle. And then from 1:20 onwards happened.

Apart from that, and a couple of screwjobs, he's never tapped out to end a match cleanly.

2. In your opinion has there ever been a five star women's match?

Thanks for doing what you do

Sure. Manami Toyota's had lots and lots of them. Here's her vs. Aja Kong from 1994 to pick one at random.

But in North America? See, the thing is, Toyota's the default name here, which I agree with, but I don't tend to grade on a star basis. I tend to just go bad to ok to good to great, and then I just have the occasional match I love to bits.

So while I love to bits the Jumping Bomb Angels vs. the Glamour Girls at the 1988 Royal Rumble…

Is that a ***** match? To me, maybe, but I don't grade with stars. Why I've never done a review for 411 really.

I haven't seen enough Shimmer to say for certain if there is or isn't a ***** in their back catalogue, but I suspect there is.

But again, I don't grade on stars. A great match I love is the most praise I tend to give, and that can range from undeniable ***** affairs (HHH/Cactus RR2000, the match that made me a wrestler) to nowhere near that level but I still love it (Jericho/Christian WMXX, for instance). I'm sure the comment section will be alive with this topic, so I'll let them fight it out.

Duane asks a hard one.

Here's a question for you, and this is an honest to god serious question, ..why do I hate Daniel Bryan? What am I missing?

Now first, I don't think he is that awful of a "wrestler" by any means but I really don't think he's that great either. I feel he has this out of control clumsy style in the ring, always flailing his body at people. He does this thing where tries to "bounce" off the turnbuckle which I think is dumb and doesn't make sense as well. Also his matches to me are very predictable in set up and his moves, like the flying knee, are just weak. I mean what is he going to beat Brock lesnar with the flying knee? C'mon. Get beat up, send your opponent outside the ring and dive through ropes slamming your hands into them, get beat up, girly kick them so the crowd can chant yes, get beat up, go nuts with two to three flying ass to chest moves, the brutal flying knee (which is like the super kicks twice removed distant mentally handicapped cousin), match over.

Further, he has average to bad mic skills and has been routinely outclassed by hhh lately. He also clearly doesn't have a cool look, as a person or wrestler, and is borderline chubby.

Last, this is harder to put into words but something about the yes chants and yes movement seems juvenile and unoriginal. It's like well the wwe universe has nothing to chant right now (which is like half the reason to go to a live event) so let's just randomly pick a simple word and start screaming. At least the what chant from Austin had a somewhat sophisticated purpose behind it to mock and/or interupt and piss off your opponent.

You said recently that kids like cena and older people like Bryan. That seems backwards in the sense that kids should like the lame shit Bryan is doing. Clearly I'm in the minority on this.

I grew up in the attitude era. Loving Austin rock taker hbk etc. I'm not nearly the fan I was back then but guys I could appreciate nowadays would be like punk, orton to an extent, and I like what they do w the shield. To me to be a mega star like people are trying to make Bryan be you need to be pretty good at a combination of things or really good at a couple. Austin had the look the gimmick the attitude the mic skill the style everything. Rock was similar and obv had great mic skills. Taker has the look and greatest gimmick of all time. Hbk was a phenomenal wrestler and had great charisma. I just do not at all get the love for Bryan. He's decent in the ring aaaand....? Seriously, aaaaaand?

So from your view WHAT am I missing or WHY is it that so many people love this guy?

And the underdog story is not an acceptable answer to me bc smart fans should be able to see through that


Well on the most basic level, you don't like Daniel Bryan because you don't like him. Which is fine, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. You can like whoever you like and dislike whoever you like. I'm not giving you permission to force your opinion down anyone's throat, but the idea that everyone has to like Bryan or hate Batista or worship Victoria is silly.

However, if you want me to give you the opposing viewpoint, I can do that. So, taking each point in turn…

His style isn't clumsy, it's realistic. Bryan is not a big guy, and the idea that he can stand toe to toe with a guy like Batista or Brock is silly, and if he did you'd cry foul. So he wrestles like a madman because he has to, he has to go all out all the time to get the win, which makes his matches more interesting since he could lose at any time, in theory. (Christian's like this too, he wrestles with desperation, in a good way).

He doesn't have great mic skills, sure, but maybe you don't need to be able to talk like The Rock to be a good wrestler. And he doesn't have a bodybuilder's body, no. He has a fit 32 year old's body. If you want to call that chubby, fine. But if Yokozuna can be a champion, body shape shouldn't really matter…

The Yes chants are simple, easy to do, and come with a hand gesture. That's pretty much ticking every box in terms of how to get a chant over. And while the majority of Bryan's fans are older, sure, he does have a decent kid following.

But overall… I think the problem here is that you actually represent a section of the fanbase that the IWC, or at least most of it, ignores and tries to shut out, the semi-casual fan. Not the millions who tuned into ‘This is your life Rock!' because it was cool, but the guys who might catch Raw if they're home or who are weighing up getting the Network for the Attitude Era. The semi-casuals can be used as a scapegoat, a target the WWE wants to chase (Brock is back! Hogan! New Age Outlaws!) to the ‘detriment' of the ‘loyal fans', a.k.a the people complaining.

But the flip side of that is that we've seen the evolution of Daniel Bryan. From his work on the Indies as the American Dragon, to the unthinkable of getting to the WWE, to his NXT burial, the firing, the hiring, the pushes, the depushes, the Title Reign, the 18 seconds, Daniel Bryan has been the guy we've wanted to succeed because he's our guy. He's not flashy, he's not a muscle bound idiot hired and given chances after chances because he's good looking, he's a workhorse in the ring who's been jerked around time and again but he keeps working hard and keeps taking every step the WWE pushes him back from. And now, he's gonna get to main event Wrestlemania and win the title and our guy will be Champion and everything will be super-mega-awesome!!!!!

But that's the thing, Bryan is a guy the average IWC fan has invested time and emotion in. So any flaws he has that others will see, we may not. I think this is a very important thing to think about though, as Bryan has to win over the guys like Duane here to truly get given the ball and run with it. And if he doesn't, no matter how many awesome matches he has, he'll never be The Guy like we want him to be.

But again, if you don't find his matches entertaining or his character interesting or his chants fun, that's fine, really. The idea that everyone has to group think is something the Attitude Era did away with, and for the better, I think. But yeah, many people like him, since he's Our Guy, Fighting The System. Just that instead of Stevewisers and Stunners it's Yesing and Kicks.

Wrestlemaniamania V: Go For It!

Hey, this is a thing.

As is this.

… I kinda hope they never bring back the Hardcore title now, or else there'll be a dozen questions if it's this belt or not.

(Hey, when Miziggleryder is born, you'll need to know this stuff…)

And here's the hot current trend. Gets super NSFW at 11:00.

Although here's the best one.

Justin asks a question that's sort of WM related but not really since it's the HOF related.

You may get this question all the time but why hasn't the WWE inducted Andy Kaufman into the Hall of Fame? I felt that with Raw being in Memphis this past week, and announcing the Hall of Fame inductees on a weekly basis, it would have been an opportune time for them to make the announcement. Is there some sort of beef with the WWE and Kaufman? I mean his and Lawler's appearance on Letterman really gave professional wrestling some mainstream notice, before Mr. T or Cindy Lauper did. What's the deal?

Well, obviously he's not getting in this year since Mr. T is getting in. And he should, for the record, given that he was a pretty big part, for better or worse, of WM1 and its success.

But Lawler is pushing for his inclusion, he gave an interview a couple years back and had this to say…

"I've pushed for him to be there… The match I had with him, and that whole scenario I think opened the door and changed the face of wrestling to what it is today. There was the Hollywood involvement, the showbiz aspect, but especially the Hollywood involvement. When Andy came along and he and I had those matches, all of a sudden we were on national television on David Letterman, Saturday Night Live and these sorts of things. Our industry got the big Hollywood rub from Andy Kaufman."Then Mr. McMahon just took that ball and ran with it. Next thing you know you have Cyndi Lauper out there, Mr. T, Hulk Hogan in the Rocky movie. It just snowballed to what we have today. We have so much Hollywood involvement. Every time you look around Hollywood stars want to be on Monday Night Raw or involved in WWE. I think it all started with Andy Kaufman. I think he really deserves to be in there."

Other names like Bill Apter also think he should go in (as do I, for the record), and the topic has, supposedly, been brought up in discussions. And I suspect the family would probably be OK with it.

But, the thing is, it keeps coming back to the whole ‘not too many stiffs' policy WWE has. WWE wants to keep it to one dead guy per year max, it seems. So if Andy gets in, not only have they used up their posthumous induction, but also their celeb one. And also their not-really-in-WWE one as well. That's a lot of their boxes ‘wasted' on one guy.

(And if you're about to suggest he's not really dead, you honestly think the Hall of Fame is what would bring him back? … Actually it is, but still.)

Again, totally deserves to be in there, but WWE has their system now. Andy doesn't fit into that system nicely. You'll need a class of alive wrestlers who were active in WWE mostly to slot him into. I mean, what, you gonna get a class of Nash, Hall, Luger, Money Inc, and Rockin' Robin to go in with him?

It's not that WWE hates him, they just like to have nice boxes to tick. Once.

Doyle asks about someone getting a pass.

Mr. Sforcina,
Love the column. It is the highlight of my Wednesday. My question is regarding the Undertaker. Seeing as certain people seem to have issue with part time performers ( hi Punk), do you think this also applies to the Undertaker coming back for 1 show a year, or given his history and reputation, does he get a "pass" as it were?

Thanks for the great column.

Taker is very much excluded from that sort of discussion, at least in most people's books. I'm sure some people think it's wrong, but the fact is, Taker's been around for a long time, and The Streak is pretty much the only thing he's still doing because it's THAT important. If he had lost to Bundy or Kane or whatever, he'd have retired a couple years ago I bet. But because of the Streak, he sticks around.

Plus the issue isn't so much part timers as it is part timers coming in and getting main event slots. Taker gets an almost main event slot at WM, sure, but because he's defending The Streak. If we were heading to Orton/Taker for the belt, that would be different. Plus Taker isn't trying to leave wrestling behind. He hasn't quit, gone to try and become a movie star then come back to sell a movie and assume he'll be beloved and a popular champion because of said movie. He wrestles once a year because he pretty much can't do much more, then goes home and recovers from said match and then comes back when he's healthy again. If Taker could handle a full schedule, WWE probably wouldn't let him but he'd certainly be working Summerslam and stuff.

So yeah, Taker is seen as a different case simply because he is a different case to everyone else. Taker isn't stealing spots when he waltzes in from Hollywood. He makes his own spot once he recovers from the last WM.

Ben asks a very simple question.

Enough already….. Is Punk done with WWE or not???

Short term, yes. Unless we get the 8/20 ending where Punk saves new champ Bryan from beatdown and hugs for all.

Long term, maybe. See, Punk has done what I and some others have been saying for years. If you don't like how the WWE is run, quit. Force WWE to come to you. Prove you have the guts to walk away. It's just that Punk is in a much better position than a Zack Ryder since he has a lot more name branding and money on hand (unless Pepsi costs a lot over there). So he can go home, rather than have to turn up to keep the lights on.

Now, the reports did say Vince wanted him back and was handling it personally, but the thing is, WWE is mocking Punk on TV. Not blatantly, but stuff like AJ walking out and giving Bryan both his own and Punk's match at WM… That's old school WWE pettiness. And if WWE was expecting him back, they'd be just not saying anything.

So, I think that Punk is gone for the foreseeable future. In a year or two, maybe, he might return at a Rumble or something to come back once he gets bored hanging out with Colt Cabana at home. So don't build up hope he's coming back soon. Just let it happen naturally, when Punk's annoyance and anger is no longer bigger than his quest for more money.

Dave wants to revamp the PPV schedule.

Well Mathew, it's Christmas Eve/Day around 6am and I can't sleep (boo illness!) so I've an opinion question for you. With the now Unified titles the WWE have a great chance to tweak and tighten their PPV schedule. Obviously they won't overhaul it so after too much some thought here is my suggestion for the WWE 2014 and onwards PPV schedule. I'd really love to get your opinion (and that of 411 readers) on these or what other changes you'd make now there's just ONE big title to fight for (and allow this to pad out one of your articles around this festive time of year)!

Late January: Royal Rumble match – No change needed here, winner of the Rumble gets a shot at the Unified title at Wrestlemania.

Late(ish) February: Elimination Chamber – Main event elimination chamber for the Unified title, and a second elimination chamber either for the Intercontinental title (filled with bigger names like Langston, RVD, Mark Henry, Sheamus etc.) which would significantly raise the profile of that belt OR make the pods bigger and do a 6 team Elimination chamber for the tag team titles which would certainly allow for some new, innovative spots.

Late March/Early April: Wrestlemania – No need to change anything here as WM is always the biggest PPV of the year (if not always the best!).

Early May: Extreme Rules – Again not much change needed, basically Wrestlemania rematches with hardcore rules and a new main event.

Mid June: King of the Ring – Now it's been long established KOTR Pay Per Views don't sell well as fans don't like unknown matches so bypass that by only having the final on pay per view. To make it a big deal you do a 64 man tournament made up of every man on the roster (minus the champion) plus add in a few surprises (like the Rumble does) with WWE alumni popping up (e.g. Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, Shelton Benjamin etc.) for a match or two. Tournament has 5/6 weeks to play out (final should be decided on night of last Raw before PPV) so you can spread it out and make it a huge deal across Raw, Smackdown and Main Event. Winner of the KOTR gets a title shot at one of the next two events.

Late(ish) July: Money in the Bank – Still gas left in the MITB concept so you have one match to decide a MITB holder for the Unified title and then turn the other MITB match into either one for intercontinental match contract or tag team title contract (basically I'd do the reverse of Elimination Chamber here i.e. do tags at EC do IC at MITB). Again the idea is to either raise the profile of the mid card title or have a twist on the cash in, how would a tag team cash in work etc. KOTR winner could have their title match here but that might clash with the MITB concept so if possible hold off to Summerslam (that way like the Rumble you get an extended title match build).

Mid to Late August: Summerslam – No real change needed here, should really just be Wrestlemania Lite possibly with the KOTR winner facing off with the Unified Champion and/or a big match revolving around the big Summer Angle.

Late(ish) September: Social Media Mayhem (Name upgrade required) - One of the more difficult PPVs as you're past Summerslam and far away from Wrestlemania. This was Night of Champions last year but honestly most PPVs should have 90% of the titles on the line so thats a cop out. Basically it needs a gimmick and why not go with the Cyber Sunday concept. In the weeks building up to it REAL options are presented (not just a title match where the options are John Cena, Jinder Mahal and Mae Young) for both competitors and gimmicks with smaller options presented on the night. Each match should involve some type of fan vote. Possible names "Twitter Trouble", "Facebook Fracas" or "WWE App Armageddon" *Insert three quarters Chandler*

Late(ish) October: Foreign Pay Per View("Anarchy in the U.K.")/Halloween Havoc – Another throw away PPV, first things first discard Hell in a Cell (not the match itself but the awkward attempt to shoehorn feuds into a gimmick pay per view). WWE should use this PPV to experiment and what better experiment then try a Pay Per View on foreign soil, London being option number one. Timing logistics would have to be worked out either a pre tape or starting the PPV earlier US time but why not give it a shot? If not that then just go basic Halloween themed. Throw in a few ‘spooky' gimmick matches and you've at least matched the effort put into Battleground last year.

Bonus: Last year WWE insisted on doing two Pay Per Views in October, if they refuse to drop a Pay Per View then do both Foreign Pay Per View (even more reason to experiment) & Halloween Havoc.

Late(ish) November: Survivor Series – Not much change needed here. I don't think it should be a night of solely survivor series matches but there should be more focus on them and at least two/three including one big main event one.

Mid to Late(ish) December: TLC – Unlike say Hell in a Cell, I don't feel TLC has the same grudge match implications i.e. to have one you need to be in a ‘blood feud'. This is a fun little PPV that ends off the year with a mix of gimmick matches (ladder, table, chair and then a full TLC main event).

Obviously in a perfect world scenario these should all be booked properly, with well developed under cards and strong title holders. Well a man can dream can't he?!

Kind regards and Merry Christmas!

Well, with the network now the PPV model is going through some changes. But for comparison, here's the current list for this year.

January: Royal Rumble
February: Elimination Chamber
April: WM
May: Extreme Rules
Early June: Payback
Late June: MITB
July: Battleground
August: Summerslam
September: Night Of Champions
October: HITC
November: Survivor Series
December: TLC

Now, Dave's list was all right, I can see the logic. But here's my take:

The first three I can't touch, even though the Chamber I'm still torn on, but it does work as a ‘last test before WM' deal. So keep them. But I still think the name should go back to No Way Out, but that ship has so sailed.

Then, if you're gonna have the WM Fallout PPV, it shouldn't be Extreme Rules. Backlash worked great, but if we're not totally reverting, Payback is right there. Then you do another generic PPV to kick off the next big PPV, maybe revive Slamboree from WCW. See, MITB I kinda want back at WM as the spectacle match, so we can slip in King of the Ring back there then because I want King of the Ring back goddammit.

Then you do Extreme Rules, in the build up to Summerslam, as I'd have the King of the Ring get the Summerslam title shot like Brock got the last time it happened. So Extreme Rules decides who is the champ going in, and the King gets a warm up and maybe even has to defend it if there was controversy at KOTR.

Summerslam you don't touch, then I'd want a generic PPV, so Battleground there, maybe, then do TLC in October, leading into Survivor Series. And then Night of Champions to end the year. And thus…

January: Royal Rumble
February: Elimination Chamber
March: WM
April: Payback
May: Slamboree
June: KOTR
July: Extreme Rules
August: Summerslam
September: Battleground
October: TLC
November: Survivor Series
December: Night of Champions

So each of the three ‘big' PPVs gets a lead in, where the main event gets set up by the wrestlers battling against hardcore threats to then meet for the belt, and the other two big ones get PPVs to build it that aren't as hardcore as they are already challenges in the Rumble and the KOTR tourney.

But what do you guys think they should do?

Nightwolf has a few questions.

1. Who is the top 10 WWE superstars that you would have loved to see Sting face? Here's my list

1. The Undertaker
2. HBK
3. Ultimate Warrior
4. Triple H
5. The Rock
6. Stone Cold
7. Kane
8. Mankind
9. Goldust
10. Owen Hart


1. Shawn Michaels
2. Yokozuna
3. The Undertaker
4. Kane
5. Austin
6. The Rock
7. Edge &/or Christian
8. Randy Orton
9. Vince
10. Bob Backlund

2. Could you have saw Sting as Face of WWE instead of Ultimate Warrior back in the 90's?

Yes and no.

Yes in the sense that I know that could work, and it would have gone much better for everyone involved.

But no in the sense I don't think he would have gotten the same push since he wasn't huge, he wasn't the muscular superhero, he was much more the underdog, and Vince wasn't looking for an underdog, he wanted another Hogan.

And for the record I totally get that logic. Hogan worked as a formula, why the hell would you risk ruining it? You just find a guy just as big and charismatic and crazy and keep riding that money train baby!

3. Why do you think John Cena has been able to recover from injuries faster than any other wrestler in wrestling history?

John has incredible genetics, he's one of those guys that nature has blessed. You couple that with his degree in exercise physiology, so he knows exactly how to work out and how to best treat his body, he's a guy who knows how to handle injury and bounce back as soon as possible.

Advancements in medical science every day mean that injuries get new treatments that shorten recovery times, so what took months to heal back in the day now take less months.

And finally, WWE lies. A lot. Every injury he's had practically, WWE has exaggerated the time he'll be out. So his returns are always shocking since he's meant to be out for much longer.

But the guy was up and walking after neck surgery. Even assuming the doctor was a genius, his body is just a phenomenal freak of nature. He's got a 20 in Con, for sure…

And having lost many readers with such a nerdy answer, James has a bunch of questions.

Am I the only one who enjoyed alex riley as a commentator on Smackdown and also miss people like Matt Striker who when they spoke on commentary actually sounded like they knew something about "This Business" as Triple H likes to call it?

I'm sure others will agree with you, although perhaps not in the comment section.

Commentating is a tricky thing, I've done it a couple times and wasn't any good at it, at least at first. Having authority and credibility is all well and good, but that doesn't mean you're a good commentator. I mean, Bruno Sammartino was a hell of a wrestler, mucho respect, but as a commentator he was… Eh.

Basically being able to talk about why stuff hurts, having the credibility that being a former wrestler brings is great, but that's just a cherry on top of being a good announcer. For every Gorilla Monsoon and JBL (most of the time), there's a Mick Foley, a Lita, who's not bad, maybe, but just isn't good at the job of being a commentator, regardless of the gravitas they bring.

Speaking of Foley…

If Terry Funk and Cactus Jack/Mick Foley were in their Prime today would you have them go against or with the Wyatt family?

Can I bring in Raven or Jake Roberts as a third? If I can the against for a few months before one of them turns and joins, and then the remaining two have to align with new hot tag team to take them on.

Whats up with all of these Saviour characters from WWE Y2J, CM Punk, Sandow, and now Bray Wyatt?

It's an easy pitch. You get to look down your nose at people and claim superiority, that you're better than them and will ‘save' them, that insults and belittles people. Simple, but effective heat getting.

What is going on with Brad Maddox, its as though is character keeps changing every 5 mins.
1 Then he was suppose to be a roque ref
2 He was suppose to be a heyman guy
3 Now he seems to be some dry character who has no direction but someone likes him for him to still be on tv

Welcome to the world of committee writing. When you have a bunch of people writing the show, each has their own ideas, and they lose track of what they've done and have ‘great' new ideas all the time. So they keep making people change to fit what they want them to do. Of course, you hope they only do that with people who aren't working, you'd want Maddox to keep getting shifted around because they wanted to make him work and he wasn't, but…

In regards to the last question couldn't the same be said about ryback first he was this monster and was gaining momentum and now he is a joke monster

Sometimes they change a guy for the hell of it. Or because of a short term plan, without thinking long term.

Of course, I'm not saying the old days of having a booker was all wine and roses. Booking solo is bloody hard, bloody tiring, and you get burnt out after a year, two at most, tops. That's why you have to rotate bookers, give yourself time off. But if you have a booker, then you should have consistency, as they, in theory, have a plan and they'll stick to it. Of course, then you have bad bookers…

Last but not least has anyone ever stopped to say that the appeal of big guys as champs is not as true as most would think it to be? I was thinking while people are pointing to HBK, Hitman, Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Edge and so forth and so on as guys who were the title but were not huge in stature does anyone ever put flair in that category? I mean he is and was never a big guy but he dominated for years. Isn't he the best example of size isn't everything?

Absolutely he should. But also, no, he doesn't count.

Flair was NWA and WCW champ, not WWF. It's all well and good to be proving you don't have to be huge to be champ in a place that doesn't care what size you are. Doing it somewhere where it DOES matter is much more impressive. WWE has the long standing thing of bigger is better and that little guys can't draw. Not really as hard and fast as some would have you believe, but there is some truth to it.

So when a little guy does make it and prove WWF wrong within the WWF system, that's more impressive. Flair being WWF champ was long after he'd proven that he was arguably the greatest wrestler of all time, so that doesn't really count as proving the system wrong since he had long since stopped being ‘a small guy' before that point.

But yeah, he's not huge, only 6'1 which in wrestling is small, and that's a great example for small guys, but he doesn't get the credit because he didn't break the barrier, he just went around it from the outside of the building.

And on that slightly tortured metaphor, I will bring this edition to a close. See you all next week, where hopefully my pinkie is better…


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