Smart Marks 5.10.14: Horrifying
Posted by Dino Zee on 05.10.2014
Join me this week as the discussion centers around Wrestling vs. Sports Entertainment, Thedemonkane, and High Flying Moves!!
Hello again, and welcome back to Smart Marks, your weekend stop for some good time wrestling talk! We're all fans, and we all have our own takes, and they're all welcome! I'm just providing my takes, and I hope you'll tell me why I'm right (or wrong) down in the comments when you're done! You may (or may not) have noticed a small name change. Rest assured it's still the same Dino, but due to a new job, I've had to switch things up a little bit. Being a grown up is kinda stupid.
This week is coming to you ON LOCATION from Oregon as I will be attending a wedding over the weekend, which I'm sure just makes your day. I miss my California, but somehow, some way... I will survive. Just a heads up that, due to the travel, I have not seen this week's Impact, and will probably have to wait until Sunday night or even Monday to finally catch up. Maybe I'll wait for Monday, so I can relive the 2010 Monday Night Wars one more time!
Last week saw some good discussion regarding Eric Young as TNA's fighting champion, our favorite submissions, and even a little talk about Averno leaving CMLL for AAA. Commenter RavenwolfDX (if that IS your real name...) brought up high flying moves, which we'll get to in Mark 3! So let's hit the Marks!
And I'm Coming to Get You!
So, first things first: I love professional wrestling. Duh, they said in unison. Perhaps I should elaborate. I became a fan of professional wrestling because I actually enjoy the matches. I enjoy the feuds. I enjoy the moves. It's a reason I love MMA as well- I like watching head to head competitions, whether legit or scripted, where one wins, and one loses. It's a pretty simple formula, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Sadly, every so often, wrestling forgets that it's called wrestling. It wants to be entertainment. And, judging by this past Monday's Raw, it's not even sports entertainment anymore- it's a D-Level movie. I spent quite a few weeks complaining about all the stupid things I felt TNA was doing with the Sam Shaw storyline (select hidden cameramen, no one helping a woman who was being harassed, etc. etc.), and it seems that the WWE team got a little jealous of all the attention I was giving, and decided that they'd go out and try to top it.
*Tips hat* Well done, WWE. You did it. This Kane nonsense has really gotten out of control, right? I mean, look, I'm all about suspension of disbelief when it comes to wrestling. You pretty much NEED to have it. I have no problem with Kane being a burned "monster" who is also the Undertaker's half brother. I have no problem with Kane being a menacing force who perhaps crosses the line of legal actions with no repercussions outside of an Inferno Match or something. What I do have a problem with, however, is when everything that's been estabished prior is thrown out the window just for the sake of some ridiculous new idea.
Daniel Bryan spent the last year telling us that he's not the weak link. He spent the last year fighting every obstacle thrown in his way. He's his own man, and he's not afraid of anything. Yet, now that Kane is supposedly stalking him and Brie, he has to sit there and instead of, you know, going after Kane and beating him down for threatening his family, he instead creeps around backstage, hesitantly approaching cars, etc. etc.
Look, I'll make it simple: If I want to watch a horror movie, I'll watch a horror movie. There are a few out there, I believe. If you want to have Kane launching vicious assaults against his opponents, that's also fine with me. But when we have Kane magically appearing in cars, or cameramen in the backseat of said car that apparently no one sees, then I'm not having it.
It's like I've always maintained- I hate garbage, regardless of who does it. Monday night, as we watched the shenanigans unfold (as written by Steph's "heavy hand"), I said to my friend "Oh man, WWE is trying to be like TNA, and the result is just as bad as when TNA tries to be WWE." Look, I understand that skits and backstage segments, in today's wrestling world, have to happen. But do they have to be so stupid? We've broken the cameraman wall long ago by having wrestlers threaten them for being too close, so I shouldn't be expected to pretend that the view I'm being given is done by an invisible guy anymore. And I won't pretend, either.
I think the best example I can think of would actually be The Undertaker. He is, on paper, probably one of the dumber characters we've been handed. A dead man, nearly impervious to pain, able to manipulate light, lightning, smoke, and even float to the heavens from a casket. This is all really dumb. However, it's what he's always been portrayed as. So when he shows up and does his magic, no one has a problem with it. However, if Taker were to return and suddenly his face was appearing in the mirrors of everyone he has a beef with, well, that'd be a bit much for me.
Wrestling, in my opinion, is just trying way too hard to be something that it isn't. Wrestling is A vs. B, settle it in the ring. Wrestling is grudges being settled. Wrestling is earning a title shot. Wrestling isn't Thedemonkane appearing out of nowhere in a car whose hood was luckily up for the 4 minutes that it took Kane to get there in the first place, or trying to pull Brie Bella into hell via the portal underneath the ring. Turn left for Hell, right for Little People's Court.
And that's the other thing- if not for Total Divas, we don't have this crap happening, either. I'd love to find out the number of diehard wrestling fans who watch Total Divas. I feel like it can't be higher than, say, 4 people. I don't watch that show. I don't know what fake stories they tell on that show. But I do know that I have to watch Daniel Bryan protect his wife now because Total Divas told us they're married. Who cares if they nearly never interacted on screen prior? TOTAL DIVAS, baby!
Like I said, I like wrestling. The worst match in the world is more entertaining to me than the better done skits, most of the time. But when wrestling tries to pretend it's a movie, I have a huge problem. Monday night certainly didn't help.
What do you guys think? Butthurt overreaction to a campy skit? Did you guys like the Kane/Brie/Bryan stuff? Hate it? Let me know what you think down in the comments!
Since I have yet to watch Impact, I can't speak on what happened. I briefly skimmed results, but I know that reading what happened can lead to a much different reaction than seeing what happened. I noticed that MVP named himself the number one contender, which most likely sets up his being removed from power. However, I'm going to ignore his latest decree, just for the sake of this mark.
With all apologies to Eric Young, I feel like Bobby Lashley should be the dominant TNA World Heavyweight Champion at this point in time.
Hear me out, hear me out... it's not because he's a WWE guy and thus I think he's better than everyone else. And as I've established, I love Eric Young as the champion, which makes this whole Mark somewhat difficult. Luckily, I've got a plan!
The way I see it, Bobby Lashley clearly passes the Eye Test that I've mentioned in this space before. No one on the roster looks like Lashley- and it's not even close. His match with Kenny King a couple weeks back also showed the power he brings to the table. So, what if Lashley was unleashed on Eric Young by, say, Dixie, in an attempt to regain control. Lashley wins the belt, and suddenly TNA has a World Champion that looks like he can dominate the entire roster.
And for a while, he absolutely does. He decimates everyone in his way. We even get him a mouthpiece so we don't have to sit through any You're a bathturd! moments. Meanwhile, Eric Young continues to win his matches, and continues to make a challenge to Lashley. Maybe Lashley even wins the rematch. Eventually, though, Lashley has to fall. Is it EY that does it? I like that idea the most. But you could basically make anyone a huge face for being the TNA Guy that toppled the old WWE Created Monster. In that vein, the only names I'd like to see end the Lashley reign would be EY, James Storm, or Gunner in a wildcard pick.
I know this is a little out of nowhere, and ventures ridiculously close to the fantasy booking that I usually try to avoid, but Lashley is a guy that needs to be maximized, and beating X Division guys isn't doing it. We all know he's a bad dude, so why not treat him like one? Maybe give him the 2004 Smackdown Booker T attitude of thinking he's above the whole place, that way when he's finally beaten, he can emerge as a humbled face who says that TNA is, indeed, the real deal.
Or we can just keep EY champ for as long as possible. But if not, the above wouldn't be the worst idea.
Or would it? What would you guys like to see TNA do with Lashley? Does EY need a feud, or can simply defending his belt every week be enough of a storyline for the guy? Got a different borderline fantasy booking idea? You know the drill- be heard in the comments!
Born to Fly
All right, RavenwolfDX, you asked for it, so you're gonna get it! We've covered submissions, and we've covered suplexes... so this week, let's break down our favorite flying moves!
I can think of no other move to start it off than the Top Rope Flying Elbow Drop. And yes, I'm going with the Randy Savage variant (though HBK, Test, Magnus, and Eric Young deserve some props, too), because to me, Savage's elbow was, quite simply, a work of art. I was recently lucky enough to find myself inside a wrestling ring for the first time in my life, and I immediately went to the top rope and unleashed an elbow drop of my own. It was, literally, a bucket list item that I am so happy I could cross off. I could gush about the Savage Elbow forever if given the chance, but in the interests of other flying moves, I'll cut it short. Bottom line: To me, there is no other move from the top rope that touches the majesty of Randy Savage's Elbow, and I know that sounds silly in a world of twists and flips, but damn it, that's just how it's always been for me.
Next for me is another move by a personal favorite, the Firebird Splash by Hayabusa. Facing the opponent, Hayabusa would leap, and execute a full flip with a twist, landing with a body splash to his opponent. The first time I actually saw the move was in WCW vs. nWo World Tour, and I couldn't believe this move existed. After buying some FMW tapes at a local store, I realize that Hayabusa ruled the world. Just like the flying elbow, there are many guys who have busted this move out since, but I'll always give the credit to Hayabusa. Just another unbelievable move.
Booker T's Harlem/Houston Hangover is another move I loved. Really, I mark hard for the guillotine legdrop in any fashion (Psicosis had my favorite, but I always dug 1-2-3 Kid's variant done to the back of the opponent's head), but seeing a guy the size of Booker execute a full front flip into a guillotine legdrop always amazed. I even got to see it live and in living color when I attended WrestleMania 19. Yeah, the Booker/HHH match makes nearly everyone angry when it's brought up, but that Hangover was a thing of beauty.
A weird move I always dug was one executed by Scorpio, and no, it's not the 450. I always liked his Sidewinder Splash, that saw him leap, and then rotate 180 degrees while in the air. It was a pretty simple twist, but I can't remember seeing anyone else do it, and I always dug it. In that vein, I should probably give a shoutout to Jimmy Snuka's Superfly Splash, which I thought would kill people as a kid. Val Venis tried his best to emulate it with the Money Shot, but no one can touch Snuka in that department.
As far as a flying move I hate? How about RVD's 5 Star "Frog Splash." I guess I didn't realize that wiggling your arms and legs in the air constitutes a frog splash. It's a good big splash, but the amount of ECW/RVD lemmings who claim it's the best frog splash in wrestling have just made me hate it altogether. Even Chavo has a better frog splash than this. Hell, Rey's is better. Just never got on board.
But, in RVD's favor, he does have the Van Terminator, which fricking rules. So I'll count that as another high flying move I've always dug.
What about you guys? I know I kept it pretty simple, but what did I miss? Whose moonsault did you like the most? What about the shooting stars and sentons of the world? Dick Togo had a sick senton, for the record. Let me know what I missed, and what flying moves you dug down in the comments!
PUT SLICK IN THE HALL OF FAME!!
And that should do it for this week! Have a great weekend, tell me what you liked/hated in the comments, and until next week... enjoy your WWE, your TNA, your Lucha, your Puro, and your Indies.