Ask 411 Wrestling 05.21.14: WWE = WCW, NXT = SOL, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 05.21.2014
Why did Sting go along with ripping off The Dark Knight's Joker in TNA? Is WWE turning into what WCW was in the late 1990s? How much of the InVasion's failure is Buff Bagwell's fault? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Wrestling!
Welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling, I am your host, Mathew Sforcina, and boy did I get a virtual kick in the nuts right before I started this!
Well, not so much a kick to the nuts as a punch to the upper thigh. Or a slap across the face with a few rings on the hand.
I'm not in the best of moods right this second, is what I'm saying. I'll probably be fine once we get going but if I'm Grumpy Mathew this week, don't worry, and I apologize if I take any lingering annoyance out on you, dear reader.
But due to that and a mass influx of opinion questions, Total Opinion Week this week. Feel free to tell me off below if you like.
The Origins of DAVE: Well, turns out I was a bit off base with that, as former 411 writer Ross Williams wrote in and owned up to it.
Hands up -the calling Batista DAVE thing was started by me, back in my 411 heyday. When Hyatte, Eric S, Burnside and I all wrote for the site. I'm sure that, if the archives were dredged out, you'd see a whole heap of DAVE in my stuff mid 04. It was around the time when he wasn't particularly over and very much the fifth wheel in Evolution.
It came about because I was amused that you had this huge, imposing guy called Batista and then, in one interview, Flair or Hunter casually referred to him as Dave. I liked the idea of this killer, beast - wrestler who also happened to be called Dave. You know, just like any other guy called Dave.
So I started referring to him in my columns as DAVE. And then Iain Burnside joined in with the DAVEness and commenters started doing it and it stuck. Which I always thought was pretty cool.
I even went through a phase of amusing myself at live events I would go to by waiting for a quiet moment in a Batista match and then screaming DAAAAAAAAVE as loud as I could. Always good for a giggle and there was at least one time where DAVE turned around and looked in my direction with a 'what the fuck..?' look on his phizogg. Yeah, I'm easily amused apparently...
Anyhoo, there you have it! Keep it up and give the book Bob Holly and I wrote a nice cheap plug right here in Ask411!
I am royalty, I've been a bird and I've been cold. Way before the wrestling world recognized someone being the first to do something, I did it, but was not recognized and probably very few would remember what I did. My finisher is now being used by a well known female wrestler. I've feuded with kings, warriors, twisters and military men. I've teamed with felines, hall of famers, rockers and movie characters. I've been managed by a hall of famers. One more thing: I DON'T LIKE COOKIES!!!!! Who am I?
Mark has it mostly.
I am royalty,
I've been a bird and I've been cold.
A Blackbird and Iceman
Way before the wrestling world recognized someone being the first to do something, I did it, but was not recognized and probably very few would remember what I did.
Without a lot of research I'm lost here. Maybe the hair cream thing...
My finisher is now being used by a well known female wrestler.
Naomi's Rear View
I've feuded with kings, warriors, twisters and military men.
Let's see…King Kong Bundy, Dingo Warrior, Texas Tornado and Sgt. Dusek off the top of my head...
I've teamed with felines, hall of famers, rockers and movie characters.
Plenty to pick from…unsure about the movie character though...
I've been managed by a hall of famers. One more thing: I DON'T LIKE COOKIES!!!!! Who am I?
Don't get the cookies bit but ran out around with The Von Erichs a lot.
You are "Iceman" King Parsons…
As MikeK pointed out, the cookies was a reference to him calling people ‘Oreo Cookies'.
Who am I? I owe something to one of the men inside the WWE Legends House. I once won a tag title with an ECW Legend but it's not technically valid. My last ever match isn't the one you probably think it is. I've been a ref on occasion, I've feuded by proxy with a ‘good' guy while remaining good myself, and I've been at the launch of three major long running PPV series. I'm mostly remembered for my singles title reigns, but I've won a lot more tag gold than singles gold. Currently employed by WWE, I am who?
The Ask 411 Ultimate Summerslam!
Well, we had some votes, but hopefully we'll get some more interaction as we go along. This is your show, after all, dear readers, it lives and dies by your hand.
Anyway, last week we decided that the ring announcer for the Ultimate Summerslam will be…
Yes, this was pretty much a gimme, but one I like to do anyway.
MITB was decided, and email votes were very interesting. A holder has been decided, but I think I'll be holding back for now. The case is in the hands of an unknown person at this time…
So now, this week, we vote on the announce team. We do it in a two week deal so that emailers can have their say. Your nominees are (those in bold had more than one nomination)…
Bobby Heenan, Gorilla Monsoon, Jim Ross The classic double team and the voice of a generation.
Bobby Heenan, Jesse Ventura, Jim Ross One straight man and two classic color commentators.
Bobby Heenan, Jim Ross The Brain and Good Ol' JR.
Bobby Heenan, Jim Ross, Mr. Perfect Poor old JR might be outnumbered here.
Bobby Heenan, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman This doesn't help JR much.
Bobby Heenan, Jim Ross, Vince McMahon Three generations, three voices.
Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura Classic.
Jesse Ventura, Jim Ross, John Bradshaw Layfield Old School, New School and the guy who taught everyone. Jesse Ventura, Jim Ross, Vince McMahon Whatatrio!
Jim Ross, Paul Heyman Don't worry, we'll get through this.
And, we're starting on choosing the matches. This week, we accept nominations for the Hot Opener. The Dudley Boyz w/Stacy Keibler vs Eddie Guererro, Rey Mysterio and RVD? Jeff Hardy vs Shawn Michaels? Kurt Angle V Lance Storm? To find out who is available, The List is available here for your perusal.
You can only vote once for the commentary team, but you can nominate as many matches as you like. Remember, this works or doesn't work based on you, so do have your say!
Getting Down To Business/One Man's (Important) Opinion
Brian starts us off with a simple fact based one.
I recently heard on a local radio station in the US from Cesaro that the reason that the European uppercut is used is because a punch is/was illegal in Europe in wrestling. Is this true or just story?
It's true that it's the story. There's a simple explanation, and a slightly more detailed one.
See, pro wrestling in England and Europe has a slightly different trajectory than American pro wrestling. Hackenschmidt began conquering the world in Moscow and St Petersburg, but it was England where he developed his showmanship and his style. And that style was catch as catch can.
Catch as catch can wrestling was developed in England in the late 1800's, and merges together a wide variety of different types of wrestling into one simple premise, that you catch a hold wherever, whenever you can.
This was popular on both sides of the sea of course, America and England/Europe both had similar styles at the time, as the fabled Gotch-Hackenschmidt matches took place in America.
But then came the Great War.
And while America had the Gold Dust Trio that revolutionised the sport, England had people copying that. And while they took the flashy style, they also took advantage of all the young men who had grown up learning catch as catch can wrestling, so the style was a little more traditional, at first. Dubbed ‘All In' wrestling, it was wildly popular. But then a lack of talent available forced promoters to start hiring less talented grapplers, and that led to a rise in weapons and more violent matches, as well as women and mud and what have you being booked.
This then led to the main turning point, in that professional wrestling was banned in London in the late 1930's. And then World War 2 occurred, which didn't help matters.
After the war, when people tried to revive pro wrestling, it was viewed as ‘fake' and derided. So, Admiral Edward Ratcliffe Garth Russell Evans, 1st Baron Mountevans, a fan of the ‘sport', brought a committee together of a radio personality, a member of parliament and a noted amateur wrestling champion and wrestling promoter, and together they created the Admiral-Lord Mountevans rules for professional wrestling. These rules dictated what holds were legal, created weight divisions, rounds, how falls were decided, so on and so forth. And as part of those rules, it states what strikes are legal, to whit:
The use of the forearm for offensive and defensive purposes, the use of the sole or side of the feet, the shoulder charge and the leg dive shall be permitted.
In other words, you can't punch. And so to get around that. The European Uppercut was created, as it's a forearm shot and thus is permitted under the rules that almost all English and European wrestling performed under for decades, until American style promotions began to become more popular.
So yeah, short version, yes, in traditional English/European wrestling, punches are indeed illegal.
Willy Dope has another facty question. Huh.
I'm channel surfing at the moment and came across the episode of Crlebrity wife swap featuring Ric Flair and Roddy Piper. There's a scene where Piper is training his son in the ring, I was just wondering what has become of his sons wrestling career?
Not much. Roddy's son goes by Colt Toombs. He's apparently more into MMA then wrestling. He's in the black here.
But he does work for Portland Wrestling Uncut, a small company based in, well, Portland. You can see him at 8:30 in this video.
He has wrestled in a few places, but he seems to be focused more on MMA at this point, although his website hasn't been updated since last year, so who knows. But suffice to say he hasn't made any huge leaps in the business just yet.
Nightwolf has two unrelated questions about stables and titles.
1. Why was the 4 Horsemen the only stable to have so many incarnations? Didn't they know the 4 horsemen would never be the same after the classic line up of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham, and J.J. Dillon?
I think the fact that that wasn't the original line up is the problem. Not to say that the Barry Windham version wasn't definitive (it was), but since he was the third guy to fill that role, it seemed logical that if you could replace one guy and have it work out, then replacing a couple shouldn't be an issue.
You couple that with the fact that the Horsemen made SO much money for the NWA, they carried the company and did so well that successive bookers kept going back to it to try and recapture the magic and thus the money. You then season it with the fact that as the first great heel faction, the rules weren't so clear cut at the time, you didn't know back then that you shouldn't keep swapping members. Stables of wrestlers under managers did that all the time, why should this be different, just because it's a different thing altogether?
So yeah, given that the rules weren't known, that it made so much money in more than one version, why not keep going back to the well. Hell, the nWo had a hell of a lot more versions and members, and that did so well, remember?
2. In your opinion tell me how you would make the Intercontinental and U.S. Title relevant again?
Gather a few talented wrestlers in the company together.
Have them each, via words or actions, declare that they want to become IC and/or US champion. Try and give each of them a slightly different reason for doing so.
Schedule them long stretches on Raw and Smackdown to engage in professional wrestling matches and/or promos and/or skits that are entertaining and interesting and that progress the story of these men and their desires to become champion.
Have said champion win most matches and appear to be a particularly good professional wrestler.
Build up one of the challengers to appear to be this champion's equal.
Have them wrestle at a major event for the title. Have one win. Ensure that both men have appropriate emotional responses to this result.
It's not exactly hard. Good wrestlers, time, simple but clear motivations, story progression and emotional investment makes for titles meaning something.
Specifically though, right now? I see the argument for unification, but on the other hand you can just choose which one you want to mean more (Hint: The older one that covers the other title AND another whole continent) and push it a little harder. WWE's not doing too badly right now with the IC title, although would they stop having the champ lose non-title matches please? And if Sheamus goes through with the heel turn fully and commits to it, that'll help the US title as a belt that is on someone given time and attention gets elevated by association. Usually.
Craig asks about bringing in strongmen.
With Adam Scherr being in NXT and a former strongman, say the WWE brings in the current worlds strongest man Brian Shaw. How would they use his moniker if Mark Henry is still active?
Option 1, you give him a totally unrelated gimmick and never mention it. He becomes Bartley Evans, 90's obsessed nerd who doesn't know his own strength and you never mention him entering strongman contests.
Option 2, you bring him in as Mark Henry's partner. He's Bartley Evans, and together they are the World's Strongest Team. You run them as a duo for a couple months and then Evans turns on Henry and becomes the World's Strongestest Man or something, they feud over the name and the gimmick. And, assuming Mark is nearer the end of his career, he puts over the new guy and the new guy takes the gimmick full bore, as Henry either rides off into the sunset or they modify his gimmick a little.
The silly options would be to call them both the World's Strongest Man and never have them interact and sidestep any question about how you have two men on the roster with the same gimmick, or you say that Shaw's actually the real child of Mark and Mae Young or something…
Rich asks about The Godfather and that… other guy.
I recently saw the great Charles Wright perform at a big time wrestling event in mass as the Godfather. Then do an autograph singing as Papa Shango Then did autographs as the Godfather all at the same event. Does he have the "best" two separate gimmicks of all time?
Only if you get very specific about it. In that if you limit it to just two, he's in the running. I'd give the nod to Keiji Mutoh/The Great Muta, but that's more for match quality I guess, and you can argue that his gimmicks are possibly just different variations of the same guy. I'd disagree, but it's debatable.
However, if you just want to talk about having different gimmicks overall, and who has the best set of distinct gimmicks, then the choice is quite clear. Mick Foley has 3-4 distinct, clearly separate, awesome gimmicks. Mankind is not Dude Love, and Mick Foley is sorta but not really Cactus Jack. He has to be the top name on the list for having awesome separate gimmicks.
But by all means leave your own suggestions and arguments below, while HBK's Smile makes me do some legwork.
What are matches that would make the short list of best matches in the history of Global Wrestling? I remember liking many of the personalities at the time but never saw a great or very good match. Watching some replays of Global lately on ESPN Classic has not changed that opinion.
Well I'm having to base this on recaps and stuff, as the amount of Global Wrestling Federation I've watched in full can fit in a shoebox.
With the shoes still in it.
And a pile of rocks tossed in as well.
Anyway, probably the most obvious feud would be the Jerry Lynn V Lightning Kid (Sean Waltman) feud that lasted nearly 2 years, encompassing the Lightheavyweight Title and the Tag Titles. Although they were both young guns, the two worked together a lot and this is brought up a lot about good matches in the GWF.
Eddie Gilbert V Terry Garvin was also a long running feud that was pretty good, all things considered.
Booker T and Stevie Ray, as the Ebony Experience, had some decent tag matches in the company, as did Terry Sims V Eddie Gilbert, and Cactus Jack V Terry Gordy had a pretty good match too.
Toss in some Patriot V Dark Patriot, that'd probably fill the list out. Lynn V Kid would take the top spots for sure though.
Also, you may or may not have heard that Maffew, who is not me, now has a Patreon site to help support him making videos. So go check that out if you want. Here's what you'll be getting more of if you do.
Adrian asks about a very infamous match.
Concerning the whole invasion period. Why did the Booker T vs. Buff Bagwell match get the blame for WWF not getting a redux Nitro program on TV ? Much larger factors were at play here, including the network not wanting to be associated with a poison name like Nitro, Yet this one match gets all the poo dumped on it as the main reason….and Buff was practically unemployable after it.
… WWE put ‘highlights' of this on Youtube. Why am I not surprised.
Anyway, it's not so much the match itself that killed everything. It's more the abject failure of it that caused the problems.
See, at the time, as you say, there were issues with the launch of WCW as a separate entity. Viacom didn't jump at the chance of getting Saturday Nitro on their network, and thus the soft launch occurred. The soft launch was where WCW guys appeared on Raw and Smackdown, with the idea being that they'd get over, it'd build to the InVasion PPV, and then the night after that, Vince and Linda would divorce and thus split their assets, including the WWF, which would lead a draft, and then WWF Smackdown and WCW Monday Nitro would be the shows and eventually WCW would run shows and PPVs and everything.
Now yes, there are plenty of problems leading into that match (Lance Storm becomes the first WCW guy to run in and attacks… Perry Saturn, the fact that the Raw was built around Vince and Torrie trying to bang, WWF telling the audience that WCW sucks over and over again) but that match being pedestrian and having lots of blown spots, coupled with the fan reaction, that's what killed Vince having any faith in WCW as a concept.
And so he brought in ECW (good), unified them against WWF (OK, fast, but good) and then had Steph as owner of ECW (… THE FUCK?), because the fan reaction to that match was so poor.
So no, Booker/Bagwell wasn't the sole death blow to WCW Nitro reappearing, but it certainly didn't help matters and was a major reason why Vince gave up on the concept. So that's why it gets the reputation, it's the match that killed Vince's faith, not so much the chance of Nitro existing with other people.
Oh, and Bagwell is unemployable now because he sucks.
Speaking of WCW and sucking, Poltergeist Gorilla Chain Bistro CafeDiggigtyDig has a question.
Why do you think WCW's Hardcore division did not survive? They had some decent matches and brought in some well known hardcore talent from ECW. Were they just too late to the party, or did they fail elsewhere?
It was a combination of factors. First of all, it was WCW, so you naturally expect them to suck at whatever it is they are trying.
You can argue that they chose the wrong guys to build around, in that Knobs and 3 Count and Norman Smiley shouldn't have been the guys you build around, although I'll defend Screamin' Norman to the barricades.
You could argue that it was just too late, that they were doing stuff that had been done for years, and done better, in ECW and WWF.
Plus there's the fact that Hardcore wrestling existing for the hell of it goes against what WCW nominally stood for. Yes, they had Wargames, but in the south you want violence to mean something, you don't throw a trash can around unless you really hate each other.
Overall though, while these are factors, the main issue was that the division wasn't really pushed, wasn't really given any reason to exist, got vacated multiple times and was treated as a joke. It was renamed the Saskatchewan Hardcore Invitational Title, on air, by someone who wasn't beaten for it and wasn't working an angle where he paid for the disrespect.
Anything can be pushed and get over as important, as something that can work. The sillier the item or idea, the harder you probably have to work, but in a business where a sock puppet is a legit finisher, where a beloved moment in history is one guy talking to himself twice over, where a guy who never got to the main event and the worst drawing world champ of all time almost instantly became the hottest thing in wrestling by jumping a barricade, if you push it and treat it with respect, it will probably get over.
The WCW Hardcore Division was not pushed, and not treated with respect.
Yet more WCW, this from Joe
Before I get to my question, thank you for letting me know about newLegacyinc. It's become my new favorite thing on the internet (especially Dino). Anyway, do you think WWE programming is mirroring WCW from back in the late 90's? The main stories, and wrestlers are NOT the ones that the fans care about. It's the undercard that is holding the show together. To me, this version of The Wyatts, The Shield, Bryan, Punk, The Usos, Goldust and Cody remind me of when Jericho, Eddie and just about every cruiserweight highlighted the show in WCW. What do you think? Is this bad news for WWE if they don't change?
Clearly this is another "insanely long slightly delayed question" where the situation has changed from when it was asked.
But, I think that even at its worst, WWE isn't as bad as WCW was at the end. After all, WWE eventually listened to the fans and Bryan won the World Title at WM and the Shield is still together and stuff.
On the flip side though, WCW wasn't bad at first. The nWo angle was hot and for all the crap that they get (rightly) afterwards, Hogan's initial run as champ did very good business. Hogan V Piper drew well enough, and Hogan V Sting was one of the better booked angles of all time, right up until the match itself.
WCW had a great formula there for a while, with lots of great wrestling leading into slightly less great but very interesting and heated angles on top. Eventually, yes, they failed to take the next step of working in the guys in the great wrestling category up to the main event, but it wasn't as if Hogan turned heel and everyone was sick of him immediately.
WWE may push the ‘wrong' guy at times, but they at least do cycle. We all joke about SuperCena and how he he's always in the main events, but WWE does push new talent all the time. Sometimes they do it badly, sometimes it doesn't work, but they do try. For every old timer they keep around, there's a couple new talents coming up.
So no, I don't think WWE is ever as bad as WCW got. At least not so far. If they get to that point and don't change, then sure, it's a death knell, but that's probably not going to happen.
Raza finally gets us away from WCW!
Right to TNA.
Sting's black and white attire back in WCW days was related to film ‘Scarecrow' (I haven't seen yet) which not that much of hit but later in TNA, Sting's character of ‘Insane Icon' based clear cut on the Dark Knight's Joker. Bedsides, members of Aces and 8s also occasionally wearing dresses very similar to that of Bane in the ‘Dark Knight Rises'. My question is that as to who and why this stuff are being written when every person is aware that what are imitating as the Batman series of Christopher Nolan is quite successful both commercially and critically and its characters are also very famous. (why wrestler of Sting's stature is agreed to doing these silly gimmicks and even, once on an Impact's episode he quoted a line from The Dark Knight i.e Some men just want to watch the world burn). It wouldn't have been looked awkward if some rookie done such gimmick.
Actually B&W Sting was based on The Crow from 1994, as suggested by Scott Hall.
As for why, there is a fine… Well, moderately sized line you draw between reference, inspiration and rip-off. Wrestling, like any storytelling medium, uses things from other storytelling mediums as bases to launch from, as short hand to tell stories, and sometimes just so that they don't have to think of anything new.
Sometimes people just don't see how much of a rip-off they are being. They think they are being clever and that they've hidden their inspiration well enough, but they haven't. Sometimes they just don't care that much.
With Sting and TNA… At the time Dixie was apparently proud of how Sting was able to ‘reinvent' himself, so maybe like Vince with Scarface she didn't realise the connection, but mostly the argument was that it worked in terms of the storyline. He was focused on getting Hogan and Bischoff separated, and by acting insane, he was trying to achieve that goal. So the Joker act was just an act.
I don't like it either, but that seems to be the justification.
David puts me in charge of WWE. Talk about inmates and asylums…
If you were tasked with running WWE tomorrow, what one (or two, or three, etc) change to the business of WWE (not creative) would you make that you think would reverberate through WWE and ultimately make the product better?
It'd be one major change with several key aspects. And that's launching the WWE Global Domination Plan I bang on and on about from time to time I've mentioned once or twice.
Basically I set up WWE Europe, WWE Asia, WWE Americas and maybe a WWE Canada if they ask nicely. Give them local names of course (WWE: Asia Pacific Wrestling or something) but set them up with a training school, a local TV deal/s if possible, and get local talent in. And then you start moving people around, shifting talent from company to company to get experience working in front of different crowds, with different talent, in unfamiliar places. You then have NXT as the gateway to the main show, and then the main show on top.
Because the thing is, WWE wants to self contain everything, they want to have the talent come to them with little if any training and then train them internally. I see the logic there, but the thing is, even they admit that the old territories helped develop talent so that when they got to WWF, they were ready to go. So why not combine the two?
Now, with this comes additional changes, such as off seasons, albeit staggered. Given that this would lead WWE to have a swelled roster to support this many small companies, people won't have to work as much, so you can start giving people time off here and there, as well as shipping them to tour the smaller companies from time to time ("This week on WWE: Euro Wrestling Alliance, Big E!!!") so everyone gets rest physically and from a character perspective. You don't shut down for months, you just have people leave for a bit then come back.
But the main thing I'd change, and I know this will be controversial, is that I'd get NXT away from Full Sail University as soon as possible.
*waits out angry voices*
Not because of the university. But the fans there.
*waits out even more angry voices*
NXT has been the best show WWE has been putting out for months now, and the fans play a part of that. They're funny, they're interactive, they play along, they get smarky at times, they're an awesome crowd.
And that is the exact wrong audience guys and girls training for the big leagues need. Stuff like Emma and Bo Dallas gets over in Full Sail because it's organic, and it plays to the smarky crowd there. And then they take those gimmicks to the main show and… They bomb. Badly. Because there's no backstory there, there's no connection.
If NXT becomes the final gate before the main show, then it has to be in front of a crowd that is like the main crowd of WWE. You cannot run a program where you get people ready for prime time in front of an ECW style smark crowd. Not when the main show is the opposite of that 95% of the time.
You can keep Full Sail going as the American Global location if you like, or drop NXT as a concept since you're gaining a bunch of new content in this plan, but Full Sail NXT, the longer it goes on, the more it shows the disconnect between the guys buying the network and the kids going to the shows. And that cannot be a good thing.
Ben asks about kicks to the head, which I'm sure people below are thinking I've suffered…
We're all well aware of the effect of chairshots to the head, and they've been mainly banned in WWE. But what about kicks to the head? Some of them look pretty hard, and we've already seen Dolph Ziggler suffer a concussion at the hands of Alberto Del Rio.
My thinking is it only takes a slight miscalculation to really hit someone hard and potentially seriously damage them, and with the number of kicks to the head used on WWE programming, this is going to happen sooner rather than later.
Do you think they should restrict them?
I by no means wish to make light of concussions. As people like Chris Nowinski have shown, they are no laughing matter and they are a serious injury that needs to be treated as such, and given respect.
That said, if you start pulling back on wrestling moves due to the chance of injury then eventually you will run out of moves to ban. Every wrestling move has the potential to be dangerous and to injure someone.
I agree that kicks to the head should be classed in the same category as neck drop moves, in that you should have to prove you can do them relatively safely before busting them out. Which I guess is a restriction, but I'm more than happy for people to use them if they know what they are doing.
Plus, honestly, most kicks to the head don't actually hit the head. You put the foot near the head and slap your leg and voilà, you've kicked someone in the head. So there's even less reason why people who can do them to an acceptable level shouldn't be allowed to.
Danny quickly takes us to Sunny Days.
Why has WWE not brought back former diva and HOFer Sunny. I understand with her recent issues over the past couples of years, and her comments about their drug rehab program that she's not exactly on Vince or Linda's speed dial. But prior to all her problems they did induct her into the WWE hall of fame in 2011 and she did appear in the women's royal rumble at Wrestlemania, and was a guest at Raw's 15th anniversary show. Despite all of her ups and downs through out her career she did clean up her act and got back into shape for a while. Jim Ross himself has said that she could still be an asset if given the chance. It just puzzles me that other members of their hall of fame have been used as on air talent even on a part time basis yet with Sunny not even an appearance as a ring announcer or at ring side for new talent. She was at one time a big draw for them and yet has not worked for the company since 1998. Does Vince really not see any use for her.
I think the problem with Sunny is that she's burnt bridges so many times, WWE just doesn't trust her to remain clean and sober. She's gotten cleaned up, then either fallen off the wagon, or got into trouble with the law, or doing questionable things for money, she keeps making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Certainly her relationship with WWE is strained as well from her end, since she's possibly the only person WWE has stopped paying rehab for ever since they began to offer rehab to any former employee. I don't know exactly why that occurred (I've heard Sunny's side but not WWE's) but certainly it paints a picture that the two aren't getting along.
Would Sunny have a use? Sure. Would she had a use that is unique to only her? Not so much. Sunny was a great manager and a good talker and a sex symbol. None of those are skills that are lost to the mists of time, or that solely her prerogative.
If she was totally clean and sober and happy? Sure, she could play a good role, and quite possibly WWE would be interested. But that is, according to WWE is seems, not gonna happen. So they've stopped throwing good money after bad and cutting their losses. Not good for Sunny obviously, but WWE doesn't have an obligation to hire everyone after all…
Someone Whose Name I've Lost (Sorry) gives me an either or.
Let's just pretend that WWE signs you and in your first meeting with Vince, he presents you with two options for your career:
Option 1) You will be shot to the top of the card, with multiple world title runs and make the biggest money...but your character will have to be boring/predictable in order for the kids and parents to love you and your matches will be very formulaic and predictable so the young fans can follow and you will have to wear gear that appeals and can be sold to children/parents, which teenagers/single adults will giggle at. Now your check will be the biggest with life-altering (for you and your family) money...but the hardcore fans will boo you. They will say you're boring, that you suck, that all the ills of the company are your fault, they will say you can't work and that you are petty, jealous and do all you can to bury your colleagues, which is the ONLY reason you're on top. Basically, your colleagues will be the only ones acknowledging your greatness in 20 years...while the fans and the generation of wrestlers to follow will mock you and dump on your legacy.
Option 2) You will be given a good introduction, but you will move up the card at a stop and start pace in which we test you out and make adjustments to maximize your potential...but you will be allowed to portray a character you find personally rewarding within our structure. You will be given leeway in creating your matches, stories and picking your gear, but selling it will fall on your shoulders since you wanted autonomy. You will make great money, retire when you're 50 money...but the life changing money will most likely be out of reach, reserved for true "company" men. The hardcore fans will love you and cheer regardless of heel/face status. They will say you're a great character, a great worker, and your matches will all have a baseline of *** no matter what. They will think you earned your spot without kissing up or politicking and you will perpetually be listed on websites as one of the top 50 wrestlers ever and that the only reason you weren't the champ is because others held you back and buried you.
Which option to you take and why?
Huh. That's actually a very difficult question, simply because of the one gimmick idea I have that requires a certain level of autonomy, or at least is built around playing around with conventions in wrestling as it is presented today (and social media/society in general).
See this sort of question comes down to do you view wrestling as a job, or as a storytelling medium first? It's both, obviously, but at the end of the day you have to value one or the other.
Now, in reality I'm probably better suited to the first option, but my ego and/or my storytelling side wants to take the second one, since I (egotistically) think that my gimmick is cool and should be done. Even though it's just an update on a very old wrestling gimmick that plays around with a few tired conventions.
I think it comes down to just how much pay is involved. I mean, the audience thing cancels itself out, since some of the proudest stuff I've done in wrestling has been with charities and visiting sick kids and stuff, being able to do that has been awesome, but on the other hand being recognised as being a good talent is an ego boost for a storyteller, plus having a legacy that is crapped on is never a good thing, so there's positives and negatives there.
So really it's how much more money is involved. Principal and self-respect are motivators, but at a certain point, being able to buy an island somewhere makes up for people on the internet not liking you.
I'd like to think that I'd take the second option, but honestly I think greed would win out. Plus I can always set up my own company and book it later on and prove how smart I am then.
Connor takes us from my fat ass to someone else's.
How did wrestlers protect themselves from Earthquake's butt splash? that move looked pretty nasty, also John Tenta looked like a tough guy back in his days, was there ever any stories about him, was he ever much of a locker room leader?
Pretty much the same way one would protect oneself during the Banzai Drop. You breath out, tense up and then hope that the guy doing the move protects you and lands with most of his body weight on his legs. It's not a pleasant experience, but I regularly do step overs where my entire bodyweight is on one foot on a guy's chest and I've yet to injure anyone, the human body, once trained, can take quite a lot of punishment.
As for John Tenta as a tough guy, he was an undefeated sumo wrestler, retiring only due to the lifestyle and the tattoo issue, and then there was the SWS Koji Kitao incident, where he remained professional and stood up to his opponent shooting and trying to cheap shot him. He was a very nice guy, as anyone who interacted with him on Wrestlecrap would attest, but he was still a tough guy.
Locker room leader, apart from when he ran his own school and company, he never really stayed in one place too long to become one. For better or worse locker room leaders tend to be based on years logged, not skill or ability or anything.
And on that, I bid you farewell for this week. Get in your votes and nominations for the Ultimate Summerslam!