Ask 411 Wrestling 07.16.14: Fixing Wyatt, Firing Everyone, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 07.16.2014
How can Bray Wyatt be prevented from failing? Is Mick Foley overstaying his welcome? What are the best and worst WWE, WCW and ECW PPVs of all time? All that and more covered this week in Ask 411 Wrestling!
Hello, welcome to Ask 411 Wrestling, and this is not the column I thought I'd be bringing you this week. See, I had something special lined up and then reality decided I needed to handle something totally different. So next week, hopefully, I'll bring you a very Special Edition of Ask 411 Wrestling that I'm sure you'll all hate you'll find interesting.
Note the capitals there.
Anyway, because of these factors, and also because I've spent most of the last 24 hours watching Weird Al's latest video on loop, this will be a 'Total' Opinion Week, just to prep you for the data dump you'll get next week. Hopefully. Maybe. If reality gives me the ok.
If you want to send me a question, then you can totally do that, assuming you have an email program, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and it'll get onto the list.
And now, the only thing that keeps me from getting fired, BANNER~!
The Aussie Corner: So no-one really hated the idea, and several people liked it. I'm not entirely sure it'll happen, I'm still mulling it over, so just watch this space, I guess. If/when it happens, it'll be at the end of a column so if you don't want to read it, you can easily skip it.
Booker T's Theme: … It's ‘Ice Cold' not ‘Yes No'?
*head explodes like in ‘Scanners'*
The Trivia Crown
Who am I? I was part of a special match with the guy who just retired due to a broken neck. Raven once injured me, deliberately even. I debuted in the company now called WWE with a female manager although she wasn't one I'd had previously (and I'd had a couple). My name references an older wrestler although I don't claim any connection to him. My second debut match saw me beat someone no longer with the company, who shares an aspect of themselves with a person I beat in my first debut match. I've played an authority figure, a musician and a bunny. Not Adam Rose's once though. A guy who's also had one of that just retired guy's girlfriends as one of his own, I am who?
Dirty_Dave_Delaney has the answer.
Who am I? I was part of a special match with the guy who just retired due to a broken neck. (MITB 2012 with Santino)
Raven once injured me, deliberately even. (Broke his fingers on Sunday Night Heat)
I debuted in the company now called WWE with a female manager although she wasn't one I'd had previously (and I'd had a couple). (Michelle Mccool, Beth Phoenix and Shelly Martinez in OVW)
My name references an older wrestler although I don't claim any connection to him. (Aaron Idol Stevens after Austin Idol or Sandow after Gold Dust Trio's Billy Sandow)
My second debut match saw me beat someone no longer with the company, who shares an aspect of themselves with a person I beat in my first debut match. (Yoshi Tatsu, Funaki)
I've played an authority figure, a musician and a bunny. Not Adam Rose's once though. (Vince McMahon, Bruce Springsteen, ????)
A guy who's also had one of that just retired guy's girlfriends as one of his own, (Beth Phoenix in OVW) I am who?
(As Harry F. adds, the Bunny was his role as the Easter Bunny at Vengeance 2003.)
What am I? I'm a PPV, one that didn't quite go to plan. The dark match saw a guy who normally didn't win that often beat a guy whose name was a play on the real name of a former wrestler. The first televised match saw a current WWE agent lose to a flip. The second match ended with a foreign object that belonged to the guy who got hit by it. The third match saw two guys who started in the same place wrestle each other. The fourth match saw a champ not defend his title in a gimmick match which he lost. The fifth match was not going to win any Women's Rights awards. The sixth match saw a movie star lose by DQ. And the main event saw a world title change due to a heel turn. A PPV that has a three word phrase indelibly linked to it, I am what?
Getting Down To Business/One Man's (Important) Opinion
Silly Billy HaulAway Scotsman gets to start us off with a timely question.
What has been Ric Flair's purpose his last few appearances on RAW? He gave The Shield the nod in a weird promo a few months ago, and tonight on RAW he basically came out to say that John Cena was going to win the Fatal Fourway match. Is there some sort of long term plan for Flair? I think even the Flair loyalists have to degree his recent appearances haven't made any sense.
No, there's no long term plan with Flair. Well, that is, there IS a plan, and that plan is "Have Ric Flair on TV more", the problem is that they don't know exactly how they are going to do that. It's not like the old days where you could give him the ring, a mic, Mean Gene and he'd be able to give you 15 minutes every week because that required him to wrestle on occasion, and he won't be doing that.
The Evolution/Shield thing weeks ago was a one off to stop people going ‘If this is Evolution then where's Flair?', and to remind people that Flair is here and awesome and all that. And this week's appearance was to try to get a few more viewers for Battleground, get rid of the Big Gold Belt, and to remind people of Flair's existence. So when they eventually work out what they want to do with Flair, they're good to go.
You know what I'd do? Bring back A Flair For The Gold, Ric's interview segment. Get Arn out there again, put Jojo into a maid's outfit to give her something to do, and let Flair talk and help try and sell the storylines. Better than managing The Miz…
CactusDudeMankindFoleyHATER!!!! has a somewhat predictable opinion…
Is it just me, or does anyone else get the feeling that Mick Foley has overstayed his welcome in wrestling. Don't get me wrong, I loved the guy's work and I respect the heck out of him as a performer and how he helped put over young guys in the twilight of his career. But in the past five plus years, I feel like he always seems to feel the need to publicly shoot his mouth as if he were the biggest mark on the planet about any active storyline. Bashing his TV because Bryan wasn't at the Rumble? MARK! He see s to always make his opinion so public, it amazes me that the WWE continues to work with him as negative as he can be. He seems incredibly attention starved. What's even more annoying is what a kiss ass he is to the Divas. He comes across (especially in his books) like a superhero coming to save the day to protect and help the poor Divas. He comes across like an old closet pervert to me. Man Mick Foley has been pissing me off lately. I'm to the point whereby I don't think I'd care if I ever saw him on TV again unless it was an old match/promo. I just don't get what value he even brings to the table these days? Am I the only one that feels this way? GO HOME MICK!!!
Except that WWE isn't working with Mick right now, and that's kinda the reason he is being so outspoken now. WWE and Mick don't have a contract right now, and so Mick's been free to speak his mind since he can't be fired or get told off. And WWE is free to then refuse to mention him unless absolutely necessary, which they are doing.
I'm fairly sure you're not alone in not being too enamoured with Mick, and certainly I've read a few people call him a Mark and such for his opinion about Bryan and WWE's handling of him. But then, I can see how he would feel some affinity for Bryan, since they two do have some similarity, in the sense of not fitting the mould of a WWE Superstar but through hard work and injury they got to the big leagues, and Mick obviously thought/thinks they gave Bryan a bum deal until they didn't.
And he's got every right to his opinion, and you have every right to not care about his opinion. He just has a very strong love for wrestling, considering everything he gave to the business, and so when stuff happens that he disagrees with, he'll say so, since he's not having to hold his tongue. I can understand that it can come across as whining, in that while it's no worse than can be found in any comment about how WWE sucks right now, given how Mick has gotten a lot out of the business and the WWE specifically, should he really bite the hand that fed him and his children?
So yeah, you're not the only one, and while I do value his viewpoint, in that I do think he has a great mind for the sport, I can see why he can come across as overstayed and such. So I won't begrudge you that opinion.
And the women issue… I'm not going to try and psychoanalyse Mick, but suffice to say, could be worse. The fact that he champions women's rights outside of wrestling with his work with RAINN kinda explains why he tends to treat the Divas as, you know, equals…
(And then just as I write this, Mick appears in a WWE video.
So… Forget everything I just said I guess?)
B has a bunch of questions that are fact and opinion based!
1. I recently watched Capitol Combat '90: The Return of Robocop on the Network, but I haven't found any other appearances by Robocop. Am I missing something? How could they bill it as Robocop's return if it was his first (and possibly only) appearance?
I could be very picky and say that a promo with Sting and Robocop was shown on WCW TV in the weeks before Capitol Combat. But that's not the reason. The ‘Return of Robocop' was because he was returning to the big screen, as his saving Sting from the Four Horsemen…
That was to promote Robocop 2 that was a few weeks away from debuting on the big screen. So he was returning to the people, basically.
2. At Starrcade '85 Ronnie Garvin wrestled as Miss Atlanta Lively. There must be a story to that but I don't know what it is. Do you?
Not really, at least nothing I can repeat with any certainty. There's whispers about ‘bringing personal lives into the show' and stuff, but I think that's just scuttlebutt.
It was just comedy. I know it sounds weird, but back in the day crossdressing wasn't common, but it was something occasionally pulled out to get a laugh. JJ Dillon was at one point before the Horsemen stripped to reveal a garter belt and stuff. Miss Lively was a joke that everyone was in on, and given that they came out right before the main event, you needed a comedy match to get the fans prepared for the main event. Today you'd put the Divas there, back then they'd put a comedy match. And seeing Ron Garvin in drag is comedy, you see.
Garvin has never bitched about it, no-one's ever said it was a punishment or anything direct, it was just for the sake of comedy.
3. This past year there's been a book and a DVD/Blu-ray celebrating 50 years of WWE. Yet back in the mid to late 1990's every show started with the same short clip saying "The World Wrestling Federation, for over 50 years the revolutionary force in sports entertainment." How does that math add up? If you could, please try to make your answer to this question less convoluted than JBL during this past week's Jericho/Orton Smackdown match. He tried to explain how Orton is the first ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion after unifying the WWE and World titles while Jericho was the first Undisputed Champion after unifying the WWE and World titles. I don't think he even understood what he said.
Well JBL is right. Jericho was the first Undisputed Champion since he was the first guy since Frank Gotch's retirement to unify the two big world titles. Orton is the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion since he is the first guy to hold that brand new title, which is the result of a unification of the WWE Title (which was/is the Undisputed Title) and the World Heavyweight Title, which was only 12 or so years old, screw what WWE says.
Anyway, as to other things WWE has said, that claim is easy. WWE could have claimed that they had been a revolutionary force for 70 years if they wanted to stretch the term, as Jess McMahon started promoting wrestling shows in 1925. So they could have gone all the way back to then if they really wanted a big number.
Now, Capital Wrestling Corporation, the company that would become the WWWF/WWF/WWE, was founded in 1953, so they might have been using some dodgy rounding to go from that point. However, I think the point they would be counting from is 1948, when Toots Mondt, part of the Gold Dust Trio, with backing from millionaire Bernarr McFadden and working with Jess McMahon, Vince McMahon's grandfather, first ran a wrestling show in Madison Square Garden. After that show Mondt and McMahon began to work together in an alliance, and thus I presume that's where they are saying they began, in the Garden. Good a place as any…
4. I must have lost my copy, what's the Writer/Asker Act of 2013?
The rules and regulations regarding the rights and responsibilities that you, the Question Asker, have in regards to having your questions answered with speed, diligence and accuracy.
Y0 TH3 R34L Rulez has a simple question.
I have always really wondered... is there something I am missing, is it a coincidence or is it a well-hidden verbal "assault"? I'm talking about the fact that Monday Night RAW and Monday Nitro are pronounced the same way.
Coincidence, in a way. I mean, they share the first part of the name (since, you know, one was put on the same day and timeslot in order to compete) and there's the same number of syllables in this exact version of the names, both happening to start with the same one.
Eric didn't choose the name to sound like Raw, given that at the time the show was mainly known as Raw is War and The War Zone. It began as Monday Night Raw and is now Monday Night Raw, but when Nitro was around it wasn't called that too often.
So yeah, coincidence.
Self Promotion Central!
Skip to 7:40 for me!
And this is awesome.
Joey Joe Joe Shabadoo has two questions
1) As far as I understand it, CM Punk is under contract until it expires sometime in the late summer. Is he presently being paid by the WWE just to sit at home? Is there any financial penalty they can exact on him for, say, an unwillingness to be on TV and honor the terms of his deal? I assume the cuts he gets on his merchandise are contractually bound, so he's still receiving that money.
He's not being paid the same amount as he would if he was wrestling, mainly because of where he is in the cycle. See, if he'd just signed a new deal and then decided to go home, he'd be in breach of his contract, and WWE could sue him, or if they wanted to avoid court, they could pay him the bare minimum downside guarantee. But the thing with Punk was, his contract had a set number of dates that he had to appear. Those dates were used up. And so each time he appeared after the number was used up, he was getting bonus money. But by going home, he's just back to the guarantee, albeit the level of the guarantee for him after fulfilling his dates.
The exact figures are, naturally, unknown, but basically he's not in breach of the contract simply because he fulfilled the number of dates. So he's entirely within his rights to go home, and thus WWE can't slug him for not turning up. They're not paying him as much as they could be, he's missing out on money by not appearing, but they can't dock him money that they owe him, only withhold money he isn't earning.
But that's very much supposition, Punk's contract is, shockingly, not public knowledge.
2) What, if anything, contributed to the release of Drew McIntyre? To go from the "chosen one" to a future endeavor-ed performer amongst many seems like a fall from grace. Did he have significant backstage heat still, or was the 'E upset with his work product? Was he lacking more as a promo than a worker?
There's two sides to this. The backstage and the on screen.
Backstage, according to those pesky unnamed sources, he was still paying for the incident that led to Tiffany, a.k.a Taryn Terrell, getting fired. On the weekend of Summerslam 2010, Taryn was arrested for attacking Drew at a hotel in the wee hours of the morning. Although the headlines of getting beat up by his wife didn't help matters, the fact that it took place on Summerslam weekend was the major issue, it was a black eye that WWE really didn't want, and given that Tiffany was, according to those same ‘sources' not well liked to begin with… He never got back on track after that.
But if he'd been awesome and over as anything it would have been swept under the rug, if he was over and going gangbusters he'd have been safe, obviously. But Drew, for whatever reason, never really got over. Like, ever.
OK, maybe 3MB got him over a little, but as the Chosen One, even with the awesome theme music, Drew never made the connection as a heel, and despite the Chosen One status and the push, he just never worked out. It wasn't really one aspect over the other, just the whole package didn't work.
So you take a guy who didn't get over, and had a backstage issue that cause embarrassment, and then you get to a point where WWE has to fire a bunch of people to settle Wall Street down, and it is goodbye Drew.
Andron asks what can be done to save Bray Wyatt.
Good day just a question of opinion, but what do you feel wwe needs to do, to prevent the Bray Wyatt project from failing? Keeping in mind this isn't wwe first attempt at a gothic/supernatural gimmick Character I don't know if you remember previous attempts such as Mordecai or Kevin thorn then even the boogeyman all fail for what ever reason maybe you can shed light on this failure.. It seems as if the undertaker was their only success (correct if wrong), so I question how do you suggest wwe can avoid failure with the Wyatt project?
Wyatt's not supernatural, he's a cult leader. There's a difference. WWE keeps the supernatural stuff limited to Kane only. Oh, and Cena's ability to overcome odds.
But all right, how do you save Bray Wyatt? To save him, you have to understand why he's failing. In my personally opinion, he's failing because he doesn't fit with the rest of the company. In terms of tone, he's so blatantly running against the grain. Now, standing out is normally good, and something you want to do. But the thing is, Raven was a cult leader freak in ECW where everyone else was equally broken, and then he was in WCW where he was fighting against the front office.
In both of Raven's cases, he fit in, because those he was fighting were either as broken as him or part of the system he was fighting. (And other reasons which we'll get to in a moment). But Wyatt isn't railing against the WWE, and everyone he goes against is a much more family friendly broad stroked caricature. And so he just grates and doesn't work.
Now, assuming you don't move the mountain to Mohammed and alter the entire company so that Bray now fits in, you have to alter him. And the main thing that would help there is a goal, an endpoint. Because seriously, what the hell is Bray's goal here? Spreading his message? He's had plenty of time to spread a message, and so far he's said nothing concrete, nothing substantial. It's all doom and gloom.
I mean, when did Bray work best? In the two or so weeks where Bryan gave in, when he was against Daniel Bryan and something tangible was happening. He recruited someone, which was something. So the main thing is to find something, anything for him to aim at. Winning the World Title in order to force his message to be heard is probably the simplest (and laziest) option, but again he needs a message. Is he anti-consumer? Anti-capitalism? Religious? He needs a focal point, be it to bring down The WWE as a symbol for others to fight against the system, or to just bring it down to begat entropy.
Now, once you have the message and a goal to achieve it, then you can start to play around with stuff, start to recruit again, show him to be a fraud or whatever, you can start to tell stories where other wrestlers want to fight him because they disagree with his message or because he doesn't like them because of the goal, but until he has a goal, his promos are useless and his feuds meaningless.
Give him a message, and then you can rebuild him. You have the technology, WWE.
Craig brings us back to Nailz V Bossman.
My question is on the old Big Bossman/Nailz feud. Nailz had alleged that the Bossman beat him while he was in prison, which timeline wise would've made sense. Since the Bossman was a heel for the first part of his WWE run and would routinely handcuff opponents and beat them with a nightstick after the match. Even would use a ball and chain sometimes. But now because Bossman was a good guy we were supposed to forget about his shady past? I was only a 10 at the time and even I could poke the holes in the storyline. I had no sympathy ffor Bossman and was rooting for Nailz.
Yes, you are supposed to forget about that. Really until Russo came along, it was standard practice that anything you did prior to a turn was either forgiven or forgotten depending on which way you went. It was just assumed that you wouldn't care about what happened prior, because now he's a good guy, yay!/bad guy, boo!
Then Russo got in, and he began to actually remember things, he wouldn't forget history. Some of the time.
So yes, with Bossman/Nailz, you were supposed to believe Bossman when he said Nailz was lying, despite the fact that is you extrapolated, he probably did treat Nailz badly. Because Bossman was the good guy and thus he had to be telling the truth, and Nailz, as a bad guy, MUST be lying.
I mean, I do feel there are some aspects of old school wrestling that need to be brought back and applied to wrestling, but this is not part of it. I do prefer my wrestling to have continuality. But wrestling rarely does.
Uzoma asks about LayCool's favorite wrestler.
While I don't mind that Low Ki is returning to TNA soon, what I can't get over is his stint in the WWE under the ring name, Kaval. In 2010, he won NXT Season 2 and had an IC Title shot against Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series but came up short yet for the most part, he lost all but one (or two) of his matches before he was let go. Why wasn't Low Ki able to succeed in WWE and did he ask for his release or did they actually fire him?
He's said different things at different times, so it's hard to tell, but the more recent comments he's made have said that WWE released him and he agreed to say he asked for the release in order to cause less fuss. Suppseodly WWE said to him they could tell he wasn't happy. And when asked about why it didn't work out, Low Ki has said, and I quote…
"It's simple: I'm a professional wrestler. They're looking for entertainers. They're looking for people who are going to make fools out of themselves in order to entertain people. That's not me. I've performed for nearly 15 years, because I wanted to become a professional wrestler. I wanted to earn the respect of the audience, people who paid their hard-earned money to see professional wrestling and not insult their intelligence. Unfortunately, that's not what the WWE presents. This is not an instance of me being bitter & angry at them, I knew what I getting into when I got there."
Now, the flip side here, Low Ki… Has a rep. You can sorta see it in that quote, he's a very serious man, he takes wrestling very seriously. And sure, I love wrestling and I take it seriously, but… It's a show, not a sport. It's a business, not a competition. It's entertainment, full stop. So the ultra-serious ‘Professional Wrestler' attitude? That could, if it's part of a package of a smaller guy who can't really deliver anything outside of solid in ring performances, if it's in a young guy who doesn't really fit in to begin with? You can see the argument to why you'd want to cut that out.
But I wasn't there, nor have I ever met Mr. Ki, so I can't say for sure. Just going on the scuttlebutt and such.
Please don't kill me Low Ki.
As for succeeding or lack thereof, I think splitting him from LayCool was a huge mistake. Sure, he probably wasn't a fan of the arrangement, but having LayCool around totally made up for all the issues WWE could have had with him, as he could go in there, kick all the ass he could, and the entertainment aspect could be left to the ladies, who had all that in spades. He's many things, but Low Ki can be a damn good straight man if he wants to be.
Had they stuck with that trio, he may well have stuck around longer. Or maybe he would have legitimately asked for his release, who knows…
Nightwolf has a few opinion questions.
1. You know if you ask me, WWE needs to fire all its writers and bookers. They need to hire people who know strictly 100% wrestling. Maybe try real world type storylines? What's your thought on that? They aren't even allowing storylines to build properly. Give the builds at least 2 months before the showdown at a PPV. Maybe eliminate unnecessary PPVs.
OK, let's start from the end and work backwards.
Eliminating unnecessary PPVs: No. They have 12 a year, that's the minimum they can and will do, and it's also the right number. One a month is fine. They will NEVER go below 12. Complain if they go above that, but otherwise it's fine.
2 Month Builds: My issue with that is that some storylines can't run that long. Sometimes you only need, or should only have a month. Some stories need to go longer, some shorter. Some can be told in a series of matches, others should avoid touching each other for months. Any hard rule is wrong, you go on the story, not to a fixed schedule. You aim for stuff to climax on the PPV, sure, but if the story has to end this week, end it.
Real World Storylines: Now we get into tricky territory. I do get the logic of guys like Jim Cornette, and others who want a return to down to earth storylines, stuff that starts and stops in the ring, old school, clear, clean. I see the logic in that.
I also see that that is completely the wrong thing for WWE. Even without the fact that they are aimed at a family market, the fact remains that WWE has always been about spectacle and over the top gimmicks, and so while the storylines should be simple and easily followed, they shouldn't be ‘Me want Belt you have!" all the time. Hogan V Andre is a simple story about a man betraying his friend out of jealousy and anger, but it was told with a near superhuman athlete and a giant.
The complaints I have about WWE storylines are not that they are over the top or unbelievable. It's that they tend to be bad, and not interesting. The storylines do not have to be things that I could experience in real life. They just need to be internally consistent in both characters and the standard universe wrestling takes place in, they need to be interesting, and they need to be understandable. That's all I ask, all I want. Interesting angles that I can follow and make sense. That's it.
Firing Everyone: That's a little extreme, but scorched earth in this case is not the worst option…
2. In light of the whole Daniel Bryan injury thing, I feel they should just rotate their wrestlers. Like have 7 or 8 main event guys who could carry the heavyweight title. Then say have someone like Orton have the title and run with it for like 4 months, then have him take a month or 2 off. WWE is going to have way too many talent burning out with how they are doing things.
I agree. I think WWE should be giving people time off, and since you'll never get an ‘off-season' it should be staggered, at any one point a few talents should be resting and healing and preparing for a comeback while others are preparing to take time off. It's a good idea.
And it's one that will never happen because every show you don't turn up for is money down the drain, and every show you're not on is a little less over you might be, so talent will invariably not want it, preferring to continue until they cannot physically go, because they want the cash. As does WWE, who is happy to run them ragged because they also like money, oddly enough.
3. What type of person in charge would you put in the WWE? The whole GM thing is stale as hell. No one cares about the who Authority thing. Triple H needs to stop making this all about him because he is hurting the WWE in the long run
I presume you're talking on screen. And so, assuming that's what you mean, I think the authority figure needs serious time off. So doing it today, I'd have the Authority screw Cena over to put the belt on Brock say, and that's the last straw, and the Board of Directors strip HHH and Steph of their on air roles, they are now only office staff, and then have the Board assign a Board Representative to oversee the company. Give it to a guy like Arn Anderson, someone who people respect but who is also harsh, because he then tells everyone that they are big boys and girls, and can sort out their own problems. Arn/The Rep then only appears once in a blue moon, the Authority Figure becomes a threat that is always there but rarely used, only in rare cases will Arn appear to make a ruling, make the job mean something, in that if Arn has to get involved then Shit's Got Real, as it were. Wean everyone off the idea that you have to have an authority figure to make matches and stuff. Sure, it'll become a little wilder and less predictable of a show, and that's bad… Why?
Josh gets one question answered now, since his other one… Yeah.
2- This one sucks a bit less. Now that the WWE network is going strong i have been going through all the PPVs in order and I was just wondering, what 2 PPVs do you consider to be the best and worst from each company?
All right, here's my choices, no explanation given. Guess your own reasons! Tell me I'm wrong! Or not!
WWE: Wrestlemania X7
WCW: Great American Bash 1989
ECW: One Night Stand 2005 Barely Legal 1997
WWE: King of the Ring 1995
WCW: Great American Bash 1991
ECW: December to Dismember 2006 Hardcore Heaven 97
And with that, this edition of Ask 411 Wrestling comes to an end. Tell me why I'm wrong below, and next week we'll be back with a Special Edition. Hopefully…