Smart Marks 4.26.14: Fickle Fella
Posted by Dino Zee on 04.26.2014
Join me as I break down Sheamus treading water, ask Big E to find a real finisher, and dork out over suplexes!
Here we are, face to face, a couple of silver spoons... welcome back to Smart Marks, your weekend destination for irrelevant wrestling talk. I'm Dino, and last week I posed the question of who you guys think has the best dropkick you've ever seen. I listed a few, like Davey Boy Smith, Bob Holly, and Randy Orton. You guys came through with some great picks as well, including AJ Styles (who I criminally forgot), Jumping Jim Brunzell, and even MAVEN got named! Any time is a good time for Maven, am I right?!
Jim Brunzell actually holds a pretty decent spot in my wrestling fan heart, as he was the second wrestler I ever tagged hands with at a live event. The first, for all you trivia buffs, was Bushwhacker Luke. Bushwhacker Luke and Jim Brunzell. As you can see, I kick it with main event stars at all times!
This week, I admittedly have not seen much wrestling action. I caught Raw, but have yet to watch Impact, or any of my Lucha. New job, new schedule, and a bunch of other factors that shouldn't interest you that much. So, there won't be too much in terms of recent stuff, outside of WWE. Apologies. Let's hit the Marks!
Like a Red Headed Stepson
Is Sheamus the most miscast wrestler in WWE today? From where I sit, this may very well be the case. Sheamus as a face has become one of the most grating people on television, and his feuds over the last couple years have boiled down to him being a huge bully to everyone he doesn't like, and then suckerpunching them when they try to talk back. Sheamus also seems to really draw out the "boo birds" any time he happens to be wrestling in front of an "active" crowd. I remember the Sheamus/Randy Orton match last year drawing big time boos, and even a few weeks back in the six man tag on Raw after WrestleMania, Sheamus had his fair share of fans booing him.
It's really amazing to see this, considering the reason he was turned face in the first place, was that he was getting too popular as a heel. And while it's easy to say that this was most likely due to the "cool fans" who love to boo the faces and cheer the heels, the fact is that he was presented in a way that made it easy for the fans to get behind him. Remember when he was just always ready to fight? Remember when he stood up to Mark Henry and basically dared him to fight? There were no stupid skits, no ridiculous nicknames; just two alphas, face to face, ready to trade bombs. Hell, he even LOST that match with Mark Henry at SummerSlam 2011 (via countout), and the fans were still cheering him. How can you lose sight of the very things that made him so popular in the first place?
Instead, as I mentioned, we've basically turned him into the Irish John Cena. No, I'm NOT a John Cena hater by any stretch. I like his matches, and used to be a really big fan. However, I can't hang with his interviews. Nothing is ever serious with Cena, and it just gets grating after a while. Well, same problem with Sheamus. It's one thing to boldly state that you're not afraid of any fight; it's another entirely to steal someone's car and smear burrito all over it. We don't cheer guys because they pull off crazy high school pranks- we cheer them because they bring something to the table that those of us escaping reality simply can't. If all it takes to get a main event feud is to smear food on your opponent's car, then I'm not nearly as impressed with what you're doing.
It's too bad, because I've watched and rewatched the match between Sheamus and Bad News Barrett from Raw a few times now. I've even watched a recent match between Sheamus and Titus O'Neil a few times, and the fact is, Sheamus is a good wrestler. A really good wrestler. His brawling is top notch, he's got good power moves, but still mixes in some aerial attacks as well. Sheamus, for all intents and purposes, most certainly does not suck.
Yet WWE has done nothing to help his cause. There's no tweaks to his character that the fans have clearly rejected. Instead, the poor guy just has to go out there and smile through the boos, which really, credit to him on that, too. We've all seen guys like Batista in the past lose it when the crowd didn't play along (think vs. Big Show for the ECW title), yet Sheamus never really seems to let it bother him too much. Even last year against Orton, you could see it somewhat bothered him (in my opinion), but he didn't start screaming at the fans for being jerks. It's obvious to me that Sheamus "gets it" as far as the fans are concerned.
Still, I have to wonder why we keep trotting out this lame babyface act that no one really likes. Would it be so bad to have him stand up to the bigger heels again? Maybe against someone who first strikes him down with a vicious beating, but he returns? If we don't want to make him a strong face, why not return him to his heel roots? I understand that with the current WWE landscape, throwing yet another alpha heel into the mix may not work, but then again... couldn't it? Haven't many fans harped for years on how Sheamus only has his spot because he's "work out buddies" with Triple H? Didn't Triple H just recently put Evolution back together, but with only 3 of the 4 spots filled? Wouldn't Sheamus fit that fourth spot just fine? Who would want a piece of Sheamus, Orton, Batista, and Triple H? Is it amusing to anyone else that those four guys are pretty bad babyfaces, but awesome heels?
I'm not "calling it" exactly, but Sheamus joining up with Evolution could very well be the shot in the arm the big fella needs. Or nothing can change at all, and one of WWE's better wrestlers can continue twisting in the wind.
What do you guys think of Sheamus? Is he fine as a face? Would joining Evolution work for you? Let me know in the comments!
When Finishers Go Wrong
I hate Big E's Big Ending finisher. There, I said it. The first step is admitting there's a problem, and my problem has always been people using moves as finishers that just don't look like they're finishers. And in this era, the Big Ending is the move that bugs me the most.
To start off, let me clarify that I think the move itself as a wrestling move is fine. It's not in the category of, say, the Worm or anything like that. However, the Big Ending, to me, strikes me as more of a setup move than a finisher. Especially when you consider that Big E more than likely has the strength to execute a real power finisher, like a power bomb or something. I just have a real hard time believing that a four foot fall onto your stomach is enough to take out the gladiators of WWE.
My friends have stood up for this move, telling me that it's not just a big gutbuster, but that the opponent is also being driven face first into the mat. Look, I've got no problem pretending with certain moves. We've all pretended that Kane and Undertaker's tombstone always landed perfectly, without 6 inches of space between the mat and the opponent's head. It's not hard for me to just go along with everything... except when what we're pretending isn't even close to happening. More often than not, when the Big Ending is executed, the victim usually raises his head, almost looking at the crowd, and it appears that the move is really all about driving the abdoment into Big E's shoulder.
It reminds me a lot of Edge, actually. Edge had that rad Sharpshooter variant, the Edgecator. He had the Downward Spiral. Sometimes he'd even use the Implant DDT. Yet, for some reason, Edge felt that the Flying Hug was the best finisher for him to use. All these moves designed to do a ton of damage to any opponent, and Edge's gut told him that throwing his skeletal frame at all opponents, regardless of size, was the right thing to do. Hell, remember when Diesel used a big right hand as his finisher in the early days? This guy, capable of throwing his opponents around the ring with a variety of power moves, and yet he's just gonna punch them in the face? Yowsa.
Like I said, I don't have a problem with the Big Ending as a wrestling move. I think it'd be a great setup for an actual finisher. But when I'm supposed to believe that the Big Ending is a finisher, but missing a big splash off the top rope isn't a death sentence, then we have problems.
No, it's not the worst thing in the world, but it's a minor annoyance I have with wrestling. If you're a big, bad dude, then your finisher should be a big, bad move.
What do you guys think? Like the Big Ending? Got any other instances of finishers that should not have been finishers? You know the drill - hit me up in the comments!
A Perplexing Situation
So, like I did last week, I'd like to use this final mark to discuss another move, and see who we thought produced the best. This week, I thought I'd hit suplexes (or su-plays if you're a Gordon Solie fan). I've long been a huge fan of all things suplex, and I'd probably have to credit Rick and Scott Steiner for that love. Then Chris Benoit showed WCW fans what a Dragon Suplex was, and as the 90's progressed, I learned more variants, watched Japanese wrestling to see the moves American fans never could, watched Taz in ECW... bottom line, I love suplexes.
When I was a kid, I was a big fan of the slingshot suplex. Tully Blanchard made it famous, but oddly enough, I think of Van Hammer when it comes to that move. I still remember an article in WCW Magazine where he stated his move was like a hot fudge sundae because "It's hot and cold at the same time!" Man, I loved Van Hammer.
I mentioned the Steiners, and for good reason. They had roughly 35 variants of belly to belly and belly to back suplexes, and each one ruled the world. There were release suplexes, suplexes into pinning combinations, everything you could imagine. Double underhook, over the top belly to belly, all sorts of german suplexes... the Steiners really had it all, and I honestly didn't think anyone could up the suplex game any further.
And then I saw Taz. Taz had a great habit of grabbing a body part, locking it up, and throwing you. Head and arm suplex? No problem. T-Bone suplex? Got it. Head and Leg suplex? Nailed it. Taz truly was the Human Suplex Machine, and that name fit perfectly.
So, what about you guys? Do you like suplexes? Who had the best, in your opinion? What is the best suplex you've ever seen? Do you go nuts for the Triple Germans of a Benoit or Angle? How about Eddy's Three Amigos? Do you like superplexes? Exploders? Do you prefer the release version to the pin attempt, or vice versa? Is Tiger better than Dragon? Is Dragon better than Gutwrench?
You guys know the drill - let's geek out on suplexes!
PUT SLICK IN THE HALL OF FAME!!
And with that, I'll call it a column. Hopefully Sheamus can regain his footing, maybe Big E finds a real finisher, and man, let's just gush about suplexes, eh? Until next week, enjoy your WWE, your TNA, your Lucha, your Puro, and your Indies.
It's All Wrestling. It's All Stupid. We All Love It.