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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Smart Marks 5.24.14: Everybody in the Bar's Getting Tipsy
Posted by Dino Zee on 05.24.2014

Hello again, and welcome back to YOUR weekend destination for wrestling talk on all things relevant and irrelevant. This is Smart Marks, I'm Dino, so let's get the party started!

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Last week we discussed the formation of the Lashley/MVP/Kenny King group, MY BOY EC3 starting up a feud with Bully Ray, and listed off the moves that made our jaws hit the floor. There were some excellent additions from you guys, including the Canadian Destroyer, the time HHH Pedigreed some jobber in a piledriver fashion, the Elix Skipper cagewalk rana, and Edge spearing Jeff Hardy from a ladder while he dangled over the ring at WrestleMania 17. Great, great picks from you guys!

This week saw more uncertainty in WWE with regards to the World Heavyweight Championship, the Wyatts continue to go after John Cena, Eric Young and Austin Aries stand up to the MVP Stable, James Storm show how dumb he is, and Rush, La Máscara, and La Sombra go at it against Mr. Niebla, Negro Casas and Reapper, with Niebla and Casas laying down a challenge for the Tag Championships held by Rush and Máscara! Don't forget about EC3 being there to help his Aunt, and Adam Rose letting us all know what a Rosebud is. Let's hit the marks!!

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Los Luchadores Locos

I've talked about this before in this space, but I want to emphasize that I really, really dig Rush in CMLL. His persona of El Técnico más odiado (the most hated good guy) has sat well with me from the start. On top of that, the guy is vicious as all hell in the ring. If you don't see at least 8 running dropkicks at an opponent (most likely seated in the corner), then he must be ill or something. Either way, I've long thought that Rush was awesome.

His partners, however, not so much. I've found La Máscara to be inoffensive, but something about La Sombra has prevented me from really becoming a fan of his. They just weren't my type of wrestler. Lately, however, the two of them have seemed to take after Rush's mentality, and have gone about their business as huge jerks. They sat and waited for Shocker, Negro Casas and Mr. Niebla to make their entrances last week and immediately assaulted them, just like heels would. This week it was nearly the same thing as the three took on Niebla, Casas and Reapper (the former Psicosis II who seemingly changes his name every week. Psisocis became Psyco Riper became Psyco Ripper became Ripper became Reaper became Reapper). Again, the técnicos wrestled the majority of the match like a bunch of jerks. Meanwhile, the fans 100% had the backs of the supposed rudos, as had happened the week previous.

Here's where I'm confused. In American wrestling, we'd talk about how Rush and his friends are seemingly turning, not acting like a real hero would. We'd also talk about how Niebla, Casas, etc. seemed to be realizing that the fans like them, and that they aren't such bad guys. Basically, we'd switch their roles, or at the very least, cast them as tweeners.

However, in CMLL, the guys who cheat all day and attack wrestlers and talk shit to the fans still get to roll under the técnico umbrella. Rush will still team with other técnicos, and they won't have a problem with him. And the rudos will remain as such, even though the fans love them and hate their opponents.

So, to those who have better lucha knowledge than me, I'm asking your help. What makes one a técnico? What makes one a rudo? I've read the wiki definitions, thank you, but I need something a little more in-depth. I don't understand what makes Rush and company "good guys" in any way, outside of them saying "hey, we're técnicos!" Especially when they're feuding with guys who are clearly more popular than they are. And why are these wrestlers, so popular with the fans, still considered rudos? I've seen nothing overtly evil from Negro Casas or Mr. Niebla in this feud, and in fact their actions seem just fine when taking into consideration the attacks from their enemies.

I'm not complaining, or saying it's stupid or anything like that. It just hurts my American sensibilities to see someone wrestling so dirty, showing such contempt for the fans and officials, still getting to call himself a "good guy."

So if you can help me out with this, it'd be greatly appreciated. This feud is my favorite part of CMLL at the moment, and I do think that the backwards role associations for both groups actually helps contribute to my enjoyment. Hearing the commentators trip over themselves in trying to describe each faction is hilarious, as they certainly don't want to cheer the rudos, but they know the técnicos are also huge jerks.

Just to clarify- I'm not confused by tweeners. I'm not confused by Bo Dallas types who play disingenuous characters. I'm confused as to why CMLL doesn't just cast Rush and his friends as rudos, while guys like Niebla, Casas, Shocker, etc. can be placed as the técnicos. You don't have to change a thing about this feud, you'd only be changing the label you apply to them.

Like I said, any help here? Hit the comments! Feel free to add your thoughts on the Peste Negra / Rush and La Máscara and Sombra feud as well!

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Sorry About Your Damn Drinks

A longtime James Storm fan, it's been really hard to see what's happened with him since he lost the TNA Title to Bobby Roode 2 1/2 years ago. What once appeared to be a guy on the cusp of being a huge star has turned into a guy with almost no direction at all, besides forming a team so it can break up and he can feud with his partner. Since turning heel by costing Gunner the TNA Championship, it's appeared that there may indeed be a plan for Storm. He may not be the top heel, but he can certainly be a high ranking one. He's been in the company for years, he's seen it all, and basically done it all as well.

When Storm inadvertently cost Mr. Anderson a match a few weeks back, I was actually pretty excited about it. The two really haven't interacted with each other during their time in TNA, and I'll always take a fresh feud. On top of that, both guys have somewhat floundered recently. Even Anderson's big feud with Bully Ray didn't seem to accomplish much, as Ray shrugged off the whole thing to become a face while Anderson got no real reward for helping vanquish the big bully who attempted to shut TNA down completely. Life's funny sometimes.

So imagine my disappointment when I saw that we were going to a bar last night on Impact. TNA, it should be noted, LOVES having things happen in a bar, especially when it pertains to James Storm. Did you know James Storm likes to drink? At first, I thought maybe we'd be headed down a road where the two don't like each other, but damn if they don't respect one another. They sat, drinking beers together, uneasily chummy. After a few minutes, though, I knew that what I was hoping for wasn't coming, and immediately knew where they were heading.

Storm kept allowing Anderson to buy the beers. I knew something was up when Anderson had green bottles. I'd assume I'm not the only one aware of "green bottles means weak beer" jokes, and that was the tip. Why wouldn't Anderson get the same beer as Storm? Why didn't Storm make fun of him for this? It didn't matter. I called the payoff during a commercial break, and just sat and waited.

And just like that, they returned to the bar, with both guys nearly falling out of their seats drunk. Well, except for Mr. Anderson. You see, he was drinking non-alcoholic beer! Yes, that's right! In order to fool James Storm, he spent his money on non-alcoholic beer. What a trickster!

There's so many leaps of faith that need to be made for this. These two hate each other, but Storm will still show up to meet him for drinks? Is he that much of an alcoholic? Storm will allow the dude he hates to buy his drinks and bring it to him? It'd be one thing if Storm had been cast as the Sting of TNA, always falling for the tricks of the heels. Then I'd be more inclined to buy how stupid he was last night. But he really hasn't been. In fact, he's usually turned on others instead.

And no, I'm not going into another TNA is dumb! rant. The segment itself was decently produced. There were no hidden cameramen or anything. I'm just surprised that we took such an unnecessary route with this feud. They already hate each other! What does Anderson's big reveal/assault add to anything?

I guess what gets me down is that these two have been treading water for so long, regardless of what they do. Then when it seems like they have a good feud going that regain some momentum, they're put into a ridiculous sports entertainment skit that really does no one any favors. Come on, TNA. These two are better than that. Just cut them loose in the ring and let them do their thing. No, Anderson isn't in the top level of wrestlers, but he's still very good, and still elicits reactions from the crowd. I feel like he's always deserved more than he's actually received, especially in TNA, where he was only champ so he could lose it to Sting or Jeff Hardy or whatever. This feud between bridesmaids could be used to actually make someone matter. But if it's all about who the bigger idiot is, no one's going to gain anything from this.

What'd you think of the Enemies Meeting for Drinks segment? Does the Storm/Anderson feud interest you at all? What do you hope to see from this feud? Be heard down below in the comments!

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This is a Happening!

Immortal words from the late, great Gorilla Monsoon to start off our final Mark for the week. We've spent the last few weeks using this space to talk about our favorite types of moves. Suplexes, submissions, flying moves, moves that made your jaw hit the floor, things like that. This week I thought I'd go in a slightly different direction, and discuss my favorite wrestling shows, period. These will be mainly pay per views, as it's hard to remember specific Raw/Nitro/Impact/Thunder/Superstars/etc. episodes, but I'll do my best to get something from TV in there. These can be the shows that made you a fan, reignited your fandom, or just shows that you have a weird spot in your heart for.

Since I was basically born a wrestling fan, I don't have any show that "made" me one. I've always loved it. But I'd love to hear from any of you who were made fans by watching a specific show!

I'll start off with my favorite episode of Monday Night Raw ever, which took place in April of 1997. Bret Hart and the Hart Foundation were searching for Steve Austin, and Hart and Austin were set to lock horns in a no holds barred match. I believe this was the night after the Revenge of the Taker pay per view that saw the Harts cost Austin the match in his title shot against the Undertaker. This whole episode was pure chaos, with the start of Attitude being seen in spades. The brawl between Hart and Austin was great, with Austin destroying Hart's knee. He jumps him at ringside, backstage, and even in the ambulance. The ending where Bulldog and Owen jump Austin, only for Shawn Michaels to make the save, only to see BRIAN F'N PILLMAN appear and destroy Austin as the show closed still gives me goosebumps. It wasn't 2 hours of non-stop action by any stretch, but this episode- and the fact that it really kicked off the Hart Foundation vs. The World storyline- remains an all time favorite for sure.

Another show I love, and one I've talked about here before is WrestleMania 8. It's my favorite WrestleMania. I talked about this only a few weeks ago, so I won't completely rehash it. To recap: Savage/Flair rules your world. Hart/Piper comes in a close second. A ridiculously fun 8 man tag with no real implications. The LOD returns. The Ultimate Warrior returns. Ah, I could watch this show on a loop and be happy for the rest of my life.

SummerSlam 1992 is another show I have a soft spot for. I remember thinking there was no way in hell Bret was losing to the Bulldog, and then sat there in shock when it was all over. Still, that match was amazing, and while I was definitely bummed for Bret, I could find it in me to be happy for Bulldog. Plus, it brought an end to Diana Hart crying about who she was rooting for. Still, we got a fun LOD/Money Inc match, Savage/Warrior was crazy fun, Demolition EXPLODED as Crush took on the Repo Man, Undertaker and Kamala had a fun little match as well. Another really fun show. I'd like to also call out SummerSlam 1991 here. However, it's the commentary that does it for me. Piper and Heenan trade barbs so often in this show, that one is dying by the end of it. Specifically, Piper's commentary during Virgil/DiBiase is so over the top amazing, I am still awestruck by it. SummerSlam 91 also had some fun with the Bossman and the Mountie, the Match Made in Heaven Wedding, and the Match Made in Hell handicap match. But really, the commentary makes the show awesome from start to finish.

Of course there are the easy picks like WrestleMania 17, 19 (I was there live for it, and what a stacked card it was), 21 (another one I was there for, and seeing Michaels tap to Angle is my favorite live moment ever), and 3 (the best moment in wrestling history).

Too much WWF/E? That's fair. I enjoyed the first SuperBrawl pay per view, with the insane Steiners vs. Luger/Sting main event. I also loved TNA Turning Point that saw the aforementioned Elix Skipper cage walk rana. That moment, actually, made me a TNA fan. So thanks, Elix!

I also really, really liked the WCW Nitro that started with Randy Savage getting in the ring and demanding Bischoff or he wouldn't leave. After a commercial break or two, Sting appeared, and got Savage out of there. What could have been a really fun pairing was used just to have Savage nonsensically join the nWo later on, but that episode was still fun.

The Positively Kanyon episode of Nitro that saw him running around dropping everyone with Kanyon Kutters cannot be ignored, either. Ah man, so many great episodes. So many great shows. I know I've left out a ton, and that's because, quite frankly, I wanna hear from you guys! You know the drill- tell me your favorite shows below in the comments!

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And that should do it for another week in Paradise. Enjoy your long weekend, and along with that, don't forget to enjoy your WWE, your TNA, your Lucha, your Puro, and your Indies.

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


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