Ask 411 Wrestling 07.30.14: Usos Cooling, Goldberg Turning, More!
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 07.30.2014
Should WWE have turned Goldberg heel? Did Ric Flair have heat for stealing Buddy Rodgers' gimmick? Who no-sold Jake Roberts' DDT? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Wrestling!
Hello, and welcome to the column I was expecting to bring you, Ask 411 Wrestling! I am Mathew Sforcina, and I'm just so bored right now. If only there had been some sort of major news event in the past couple days. Ah well, not every week can be interesting.
Starting early this week, at least with the Chandlers. Due to doing Movie Fact or Fiction this week, I'm actually starting to write this late. So…
Total Opinion etcetc. You know the drill.
As part of the drill, hate mail should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, where I will read it and then do nothing about it because it takes me months just to get round to questions, let alone hate mail.
World Champ Hometowns: The problem is that wrestlers change locations sometimes. Undertaker, for instance, has been from California and Texas at various points. In the list, I tried to minimise as many of the non-standard ones as I could. So with Sid, he has hailed from Arkansas as well as Wherever He Damn Well Pleases, so I took the actual one. Your mileage may vary, feel free to alter the list how you see fit, that's why I put the names in.
Short matches: I did look up the Chavo/Stevie match, but as you can see here…
There's a long delay between the bell ring and the handshake. A lot of ‘short' matches are like that, the actual in ring stuff is short but there's delays and stuff.
My WCW booking: The winner of the WW3 match nominally got a world title shot. Sometimes. If they remembered. So I had Goldberg win and cash in at Starrcade. The rest… I know full well Hogan would NEVER agree to being off for so long. But again, perfect world and all that.
The Trivia Crown
What am I? I'm a title, currently active, and held by a first time champ. My first champ was crowned via a battle royal, and one of my last 5 champs won me in a tag match despite my not being a tag title. The longest reigning holder is currently in WWE in some form or another, while one of the two guys who held me for less than a day is a WWE vet. It took me a little over two years to change hands outside my home country, although the vast majority of my title switches have taken place in one city. Five men with one sole name have held me (unless you count a hyphen as a break), I've changed hands at shows not run by my home company, and also I've changed hands at a tribute show. I am what?
I never doubt El Dandy.
I'm a title, currently active, and held by a first time champ. - Biff Busick
My first champ was crowned via a battle royal - Nick Gage at "The Staple Gun"
and one of my last 5 champs won me in a tag match despite my not being a tag title. - Devon Moore won it in a six-man with the Briscoes against Robert Anthony, Joker, and Sabian
The longest reigning holder is currently in WWE in some form or another - Drake Younger is training to be a referee.
While one of the two guys who held me for less than a day is a WWE vet. - Tajiri
It took me a little over two years to change hands outside my home country - Wifebeater, in the UK
although the vast majority of my title switches have taken place in one city - Philadelphia.
Five men with one sole name have held me (unless you count a hyphen as a break) - Lobo, Wifebeater, Ruckus, B-Boy, and Masada
I've changed hands at shows not run by my home company - One of Zandig's wins was in Irish Whip Wrestling.
and also I've changed hands at a tribute show - Eddie Kingston won it at the Chris Ca$h show.
I am what? - The CZW World Heavyweight Championship
Maravilloso has this week's question.
I'm a former world champion, who's won titles in different wrestling promotions which, at different times, were part of the unofficial "Big 3." I suffered a personal wrestling tragedy very early in my career, which was later used to ignite a very infamous feud which I was a part of it, teaming up with a kayfabe brother who was my trainer and, at one time, a manager of a former champion in WWE. I've had memorable feuds with kings, bullfighters and my first PPV singles match was a win against someone related to things that fly. I used something that caused the biggest loss of my career to win matches. I have a link with a religious man and I had one thing in common with Shawn Michaels and The Miz besides being a world champion myself. And for some reason, I couldn't stand the heat. Who am I?
Getting Down To Business/One Man's (Important) Opinion
Chris starts us off with a storyline idea.
If the heels really wanted Cena to lose in a match where someone else could be pinned and the title can change hands, why not just announce that a jobber (Heath Slater or Zack Ryder come to mind) as the 4th or 5th entrant in the match as it forces Cena to be even more backed into a corner having to defend himself against three or four others but also being forced to protect the jobber from doom? Maybe don't advertise it prior to PPV and just announce as 'surprise' entrant into the match but being careful to not cause it to feel like a bait and switch. Maybe if done right, it can provide a push for the jobber (would require the right guy for the spot), show that Cena can keep overcoming the odds in a situation that is pretty unique from what he is used to, and make the match more interesting in my mind at least.
See, in my mind, if you do that, the only outcome that makes sense is the jobber ends up winning ‘by mistake'. Not so much in normal logic, since that would be the moment Cena is down the jobber gets pinned, or indeed Cena tosses out heels then pins jobber himself, but in wrestling logic, if a heel tries to use a third man to win a title off someone, the only outcome that you'd book is that the third man wins. Same basic idea behind the ‘Softening Up For Ya' title win, where friend of guy getting title shot wrestles champ right before that and wins belt. The most famous example of that is RVD's TV Title reign.
That said, it might add some small amount of intrigue to a Cena title defence so I guess it isn't a bad idea. Would have been better back when Ryder was Cena's buddy, since then Cena would be conflicted about the whole deal, but yeah, couldn't hurt. But again, I'd only book it if I wanted to put the belt on the guy. So if I wanted to push say, Dolph Ziggler, he'd be perfect as the jobber!
Jeremiah asks about Nature Boys, stemming from last week.
You mentioned Buddy Rodgers and the Figure Four this week which instantly brought this question to mind: was it considered odd or cheap or even disrespectful at the time that Ric Flair basically lifted his whole gimmick, from the character to the nickname to the, you guessed it, finishing move wholesale off Rodgers? Granted, it's a different wrestling world now, but there's no way we'd ever see a "Heartbreak Kid" Gabe Spaweldacheck entering the ring in studded chaps and winning with a superkick.
… No, Gabe would probably be forced to become Gabe Spell-Check and used ‘Word Crimes' as a theme song and…
Sorry, sorry. Anyway, it wasn't odd or cheap or disrespectful, for two main reasons.
The standard one is that wrestling back then was full of rip-offs, because you could get away with it. Almost no-one saw more than one or two promotions, without cable or the internet you had only your local companies. And thus if you were booking in one state and heard of someone getting really popular in another state, you'd find someone similar and give him that gimmick. The American Dream getting over in Florida? Memphis gets his ‘cousin' Dirty Rhodes! Hell, how many Road Warriors rip-offs were there?
But the specific one is that Rogers and Flair actually had a program over this. In the late 70's, as Ric Flair was being groomed as a future world champ, and as he was really getting to grips with his new style, having to move away from being a power wrestler before the plane crash to the style he would use from then on, he started referring to himself as The Nature Boy and going full bore with it right when Boddy Rogers came into the Mid-South territory. The two had a short feud over who the ‘True Nature Boy' was, and in this case, Flair won and thus was now the ‘Official Nature Boy', as much as one could be.
There was to be a rerun of this in the 80's between Flair and ‘Nature Boy' Buddy Landell that might have led to Landell being World Champ for a time, if he can be believed, but it never got the go ahead. Likewise a teased Rogers/Landell match didn't take place due to Tri-State going under in the 90's.
But yeah, back in the day gimmicks were stolen all the time, but Flair's a special case since he won the rights off Rogers, sort of.
Video Beagle wants facts. And despite the edition, he's gonna get them!
When I was growing up in New Orleans, I'd watch Mid-South Wrestling. It always seemed "real" as opposed to the obviously fake WWF. WWF had people with fancy logos and silly gimmicks. Mid South had Dusty Rhodes shilling for Tulsa Welding School. And Mid-South had Jake the Snake, the master of the DDT: cruel, but fair (I always wanted that T-Shirt...Can't even find a picture of it online:(
Anyhow, this must have been early 80's, no one kicked out of the DDT. But then, and this is the question, I remember a new guy showed up. I want to say he was some kind of berzerker/monster/road warrior (the movie) gimmick. I remember he wore a hockey mask (I want to say it was silver). And he fought Jake, and Jake hit the DDT, and the guy sat up (or maybe it was just a kick out) and WE WENT NUTS! I remember my friends and I freaking the next day at school about this guy getting up from the DDT!!! I seem to recall the name, was something like Gargantua, or I don't know.
Since I recently started watching wrestling again, I've been trying to remember who that was or anything about it more than what I typed above. Not much to go on, and as I know more about things today, likely not even that unique, but if anyone might be able to help a beagle out.....
You'd be thinking of (Lord) Humongous, who was a variety of people across the years, ranging from the future Sid Vicious to the future Bull Buchanan. Originally shamelessly stolen inspired from Mad Max 2's The Humungus, he was brought into Memphis by Jimmy Hart to try and beat Jerry Lawler once and for all in 1984.
Yeah, that clearly didn't work too well.
Anyway, the version you're remembering was played by Jeff Van Kamp, who came to Mid South and had the character's most memorable feud with Jake Roberts where he did indeed no-sell the DDT, thanks to the hockey mask. After complaining about it, Roberts eventually got his own hockey mask (in a very fetching baby blue) and it built to a match between the two, No DQ, and if Jake won he'd get 5 minutes with Humongous' manager, Oliver Humperdink. Shockingly, Jake lost that feud, but he'd be alright in the end.
This isn't that match, but it does show you all the important points.
So there you go.
Nightwolf has a few things he wants my opinion on.
1. In recent weeks, We've seen Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter turn face and stand up to Lana and Rusev. It got me thinking about something. Do you think Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter are going the Hulk Hogan/Sgt. Slaughter route. You know defending America against foreign enemies. The same thing that made Hogan and Slaughter legendary?
Sort of, but they're playing by the new rules, in that there's no such thing as a pure face or a pure heel, which is why I think there's going to be issues later on. See, you'll notice that Colter and Swagger haven't apologized for all the attacking of good guys they've done, and are pretty much just being dicks to people we now dislike.
Now, that's not automatically a bad thing, consistency of character is a good thing, usually. But with Hogan and Slaughter and Duggan, while they were all about Old Glory and being American, they were still nominally good people. (Just ignore how Hogan wrestled for now, kay?) They beat up bad guys because they were bad, and if they were foreign, so much the better. But because they were good guys who loved America, when they went elsewhere, they were still liked because they were good guys first.
Swagger and Colter are still not very nice people, and while most everyone dislikes Russia right now, what happens next? There's Del Rio maybe, Barrett if he comes back in time, they've done Cesaro… Who else is a heel and foreign? Because eventually you have to have Swagger feud with someone who is American. And running Swagger vs. the Noble Alignment of Ably Competing Professionals of Woods/Kingston/E is asking for trouble.
I'm all for keeping characters consistent, but a little humility and owning up to past mistakes will make things a lot smoother in the future. But again, WWE doesn't want strict heels and faces (unless the fans don't react strongly enough in whichever way WWE wants) so they probably won't do anything about it.
2. How would you book Ketna in the WWE now that he is signed? I'm hoping WWE doesn't fu*k his career up like they tend to do to other people who come from outside WWE
I wouldn't exactly reinvent the wheel here. Short answer: Tajiri in ECW.
OK, not EXACTLY like Tajiri in ECW. But Tajiri in ECW was basically The Terminator in a Japanese body, with his mood set to pissed off at all times. The Tazmission was a hold that took out everyone sooner or later, everyone fell to it. Tajiri only lost to it because Taz wrapped barbed wire around his arm before applying.
Now I don't need Kenta to be a CZW wrestler here, but I'd start with him debuting in NXT after a month or two of working in the developmental system, and have him begin as a calm, focused wrestler. Keep Funaki around as a spokesman, as Kenta works out the kinks and puts on clinics against all of NXT.
And then he is still stuck there after a couple months.
At that point he gets more and more pissed off, as he begins to wrestle much more aggressively, the politeness vanishes as he clearly begins to seethe about his place. He slaughters Funaki after he fails to win the NXT title off Sami Zayn, he goes into silent killer mode.
And then he gets the call up. And then he doesn't lose for maybe 6 months until finally Cena beats him at Summerslam 2015 because of course he does. And by then he should hopefully be able to speak English enough to satisfy the higher ups, and a serious push can begin.
3. I wish The Ministry of Darkness had been around longer. It was one of the most badass stables ever. My question is how did they decide who would fit into the whole Minsitry of Darkness thing. I mean the Brood was easy to see, but what about Mabel, Dennis Knight, Bradshaw, and Farroq?
I don't have exact info by any means, but I'm fairly sure it was a case of ‘Who do we have we want to use?" and they just picked whoever they wanted and stuck them in, and then made them fit afterwards.
The Acolytes were an easy fit, since they had already gone that way with the original idea of having them run under the Jackyl. They just shifted from Jackyl to Taker. Mabel and Knight, they had them under contract and had nothing else for them to do, so they had them join then changed up their look to match. I can't tell you why them specifically, sorry. Maybe a reader has seen a shoot I haven't.
And I'd mark forever if they actually happened.
Cherrypie Granola Fizzle BananaFace Toejam has a name like the worst ice cream flavor options list of all time, but he's asking about the Usos.
I have to admit that I never thought the Usos had a chance of getting over. When they debuted, they just seemed like another boring Samoan gimmick that had nothing interesting going on. Clearly they have gotten over with the audience, but I think it has nothing to do with their gimmick. Obviously they are great in the ring. One of the better and in sync tag teams that WWE has seen in a while. I also think that John's (Jimmy Uso) great personality as seen on Total Divas has brought some crossover appeal to their time, and I think their recent push could largely attributed to John's involvement with Total Divas. Having said all that, I think within six months to a year, the WWE Universe will turn on them as they have Cena. Once they lose the titles, what's interesting about them? They're just a few babyfaces who will likely be shuffled back down to the midcard. If you were doing the booking, once the Usos popularity started to wind down, what would you do to try and keep them fresh and relevant?
They're second or third or whatever generation so they'll get chances and shots at reinventing themselves if they begin to falter, but on the other hand, no-one ever got cold by bright lights, dancing and diving on stuff. Cooled off, sure, but not cold. I'm fairly sure that they'll be ok. Cena's issues are magnified by his being front and center but also because he never shows weakness. The Usos at least have hot tag moments, so that's something at least.
But if they went cold, what would I do? It depends a little on what else is going on, because depending on alignment my first instinct is ‘Reigns needs some buddies, and who better than family?' If Reigns is face and on top, then run a bunch of 6 mans with Reigns and Usos V whomever the main heels are. If Reigns is heel and on top, henchmen is a perfect fit.
But assuming Reigns is off filming The Scorpion King remake or something, then after a run of losses you turn them heel and remove EVERYTHING they have right now. No more paint, no more dancing, no more dives. They talk about how they can no longer be happy-go-lucky, no longer play the ‘tribal warrior' shtick. Maybe reference how they remembered their Dad didn't get to the top of the card until he stopped being the dancing fool, and it's time they did the same.
Hopefully after a few months of that, people will beg for the old Usos back, and then the moment they win the belts back, they look at each other, belts in hand… Dance Party!
Speaking of the Usos, Brian is up next.
1. It seems like one of the trendiest moves these days is the dive through or over the ropes onto an opponent on the floor. There are certainly variations, and a handful of neat wrinkles (like the Uso's mid-leap tag), but nearly every young male roster member has it in their arsenal. I enjoy them as well, but it's a very predictable spot.
Why do suppose they've caught on to this extent?
Because it's visually impressive, relatively safe and not on WWE's watch-list. WWE has strict rules on flips and dives that involve twists or turns, you have to prove you can do them consistently and constantly. That's hard to do with big twisty jumps.
But diving out to the outside? Anyone who can get some height with a jump can pull that off, usually. And since WWE wants high flyers, just not high flyers taking risks, you get more dives.
Can you give us a couple of examples of moveset trends from previous eras (moves that increased in use/popularity at a great rate)
Not really, at least like the diving thing. WWE didn't used to be so strict about movesets, and there were so many territories with different styles and people moved about, trying to chart an evolution is pretty tough to do accurately. Suffice to say that the 90's saw the Japanese and Lucha styles begin to permeate the American scene, so more flips and dives and stuff came with that, and as a general rule, a few months after a Japanese woman invented it, you'd see a new move begin to appear in North American wrestling.
I eagerly await being told off below.
2. So I was watching the Bo Dallas/Big E match this morning, and the commentators did a great job of making Langston seem like a big deal. They put over his "5" gimmick; talked about his powerlifting career, and praised his agility for a big dude. The fans were hyped for him, and the match seemed important, with the high stakes involved.
How was this put together by the same company that has done nothing interesting with the guy on the main roster? He has been bland as both a heel and face, and has not presented any discernable traits that make him stand out. His title reign was boring, he hasn't had a single rivalry of note (even the breakup with Dolph was a dud), and I could argue he's the only roster member, male or female, who did not benefit from working with AJ Lee.
Outside of calling up the NXT writers (which may happen sooner rather than later), will Big E reach the next level? Can you pinpoint where his trajectory went off target, and what they can do to right the ship?
Or am I reading this wrong-is this all part of the learning curve, to master the midcard before you make the leap? If so, then perhaps similar situations, like Sandow, Clay, and Axel got exactly as far as they were supposed to, because they didn't take that next step.
Big E went off the rails the moment he won the IC title and didn't start the five gimmick.
Everything up to that, while not perfect, was acceptable. The alliance with Ziggler and AJ was over far too soon, the face turn was solid enough, and then he won the IC title.
And did nothing with it. No interesting matches, no interesting feuds, the only thing I remember from his reign is watching the TV for the tourney that led to Bad News Barrett beating him for the belt. That was when it all went to hell.
Now, between this question being sent and today, stuff has changed obviously, and he's getting a new storyline (even if it's another instance of the supposed Michaels Hayes philosophy that being Black is a gimmick in of itself…) that may or may not work. The ship has sailed on the five count, they blew the only chance to organically bring that in with the title, so Angry Black Male In Team Of Angry Black Men may well work out for him short term.
But I suspect the break up when it happens will be better. Because I think if they let Big E show some of his charisma as is, they give him some time to be his goofy self and then have him crush guys, that'll get over. A guy who's funny and can probably break your skull like a grape? That can work.
Raza wishes to discuss Goldberg in WWE. If I must…
I have two questions again regarding Goldberg's WWE run, firstly, why WWE, for kicking things off, started Goldberg with a lack luster feud with ‘The Rock' as we all know how Goldberg dominated Rock in a month old feud. WWE could have started things for Goldberg by giving him any other wrestler of relatively lower cadre than ‘The Rock' or they could have made a face-v-face match between them later at Summerslam, Survivor Series or Royal Rumble with a proper buildup/storyline (obviously not at WM XX since Goldberg-Brock was in mind of WWE for quite some time). The Rock was/is one of the biggest name and top box-office draw of WWE so why was he had to job to Goldberg in a haste when there was a dozen of others who could have served the purpose?
Because Rock was on his way out back to Hollywood, and the idea was to set Goldberg up as what had worked in WCW, a Steamrolling Monster. Rock wasn't back to Wrestlemania 20, so there was only one chance to do Rock/Goldberg, and that was at Backlash, in a match to write Rock out, set up Goldberg as a huge deal to anyone who hadn't seen WCW, and prove that WWE knew better than WCW, that they weren't going to make the same mistakes WCW did with Goldberg. Which, to be fair, they didn't.
They made new, exciting mistakes.
Secondly, Goldberg never made to turned heel during his WWE run which is also not understandable as we have seen in the past that when a big wrestler joins/returned to a large promotion, he either starts as a heel or tuned heel sooner or later . For e.g. Hogan and Bret in WCW in mid 1990s, Ric Flair in WWE in 1992, even Stinger in TNA in late 2000, Brock and Scott Steiner 2nd WWE run and so on. Then why WWE gone against their own SOP by not opting to or asking Goldberg to turn heel. For me they won't had any proper storyline line or a wrestler or they may be afraid that fans won't except or was Goldberg's contract's creative control clause?
Again, they wanted Goldberg the same as he was in WCW, the Steamrolling Monster Face, so turning him would have been counterintuitive. Plus, more importantly, Goldberg's sole heel run (post-success) SUCKED. As much as the booking and such didn't help, Goldberg didn't really work as a heel. So turning him within the one year they had wouldn't have done much of anything to help. Probably.
Goldberg didn't have creative control (he'd have killed the wig segment on the spot if he had), they just didn't even consider the idea because it wasn't going to help anything. They made their bed with how they booked Goldberg, and they lay in it, scratches and all.
Connor has a couple questions.
I might be old in thinking this, but I always enjoyed the Royal Rumble just for the bragging rights like in 1989, 1990 and 1991, but after that it became a tool to earn a title shot at Wrestlemania, and it began to lose it's mystique
also the Survivor Series, I used to love watching my favourite wrestlers on teams of 5 and 4, but then after 1990, they started adding singles matches
is it just my way of thinking that Survivor Series should of only EVER had Survivor matches and that the Royal Rumble should only ever be used for bragging rights?
Some people may well agree with you, and might say so below, but I don't, to be honest. I think the Rumble being for the WM title shot is something they should be doing more of, not less, more regular beats where important stuff is on the line. King of the Ring at the last PPV with the title shot at Summerslam was perfect, I mentioned this a few weeks back, each PPV should led to the next one, with regular valleys and peaks where the lesser PPVs lead into the bigger ones.
Given that the WM title shot is, nominally, the most important title match of the year, certainly the biggest, it makes sense that a match like the Rumble is used to determine it, since by beating 29 other men, you prove you are a step ahead of everyone else, and that you deserve the shot.
As for Survivor Series, I can see the logic there, and certainly if you want to separate the PPVs, that is a good way to make it clearly different, but I think you need some non-Survivor Series matches. Just for the sake of not making all the matches the same. I'm not in favor of ditching them completely (unless there's a really good reason… 98 was a good reason) but no PPV should have the exact same gimmick running through it unless you're telling one giant storyline which you almost never are. Survivor Series 98 was, but that's the exception, not the rule.
Is it easy to get a job as a wrestling referee? and also how would I go about applying
It's certainly easier than being a wrestler, but it depends on the company.
At one end of the spectrum, a company will have a wrestling referee course, where you'll basically do a chunk of wrestling training, so you learn how to bump and the basics of working a match so you understand what you need to do as a ref. So for some companies, you need to apply like you wanted to train as a wrestler, do the course and then they might book you.
At the other end of the spectrum, if you hang round the company long enough and start doing odd jobs, you might be tossed a striped shirt and told you're ref tonight. No training, no real indication you'll be doing it, just thrown in the deep end.
You may detect a certain leaning I have in those descriptions. I don't think that you have to be a fully trained wrestler to be a ref, but certainly I think that you do need some training, simply because being the ref is really important to a match. I've had some matches and segments get totally derailed due to a ref messing up, not as many as I or another wrestler has messed up by any means, but it has happened. You need to have a solid grasp of wrestling to be a good ref. So if you want to become one, which I do encourage if you want to experience wrestling without having to actually wrestle, contact your local wrestling school and see if they have a ref course.
Matthew wishes to discuss the WWE Network.
Isn't there a danger that with WWE releasing all this amazing content from several different promotions on it's network for people to watch on demand, fans will latch on to eras of wrestling that were so much more entertaining than the current product? By consequence it could lead to a reduction of fans wanting to see WWE in 2014 as opposed to WCW in 1997/8 or WWE in 2000/01. I know that's where I'll be heading when I am able to get my hands on it! What are your thoughts?
It is a risk, obviously, that the Network might be used by some to just watch old stuff and ignore the new stuff. Thing is, WWE would love for you to watch every show and buy lots of merch and stuff. But if you just subscribe to the Network? Fine by them! That's money they now have, and another tiny step towards membership numbers they can be happy with.
Plus the thing is, the odds of someone who is currently an active viewer who wasn't aware of the older stuff finding it then stopping their current viewing is lowish, just because people are creatures of habit. Chances are the network would lead to people watching more wrestling, especially if they use it for the PPVs, since they'd watch those to get their money's worth, and then watch to watch the shows to work out what's going on.
I'd like to think WWE would have made some assumptions for this going in, that they'd have made allowances for some losses, but who knows considering what's happened since then. But old stuff has a limit of appeal, since it is old, and new will always have a draw because of being totally new.
But hey, do you have the Network? And have you stopped watching because of it? Let us know below!
Rahil asks about wrestling documentaries.
On documentaries about wrestling, are beyond the mat, slammed, death grip, unreal story and wwe unathorized the only neutral ones ?????
I kinda feel like a heel for saying this, but just because a documentary isn't made by a wrestling company, doesn't mean it's neutral. Often when you make a movie, even a documentary, they have a slant, an angle they intentionally or unintentionally make the movie towards.
Certainly anything WWE makes will be slanted, some more than others, but just because Vince isn't pulling the string doesn't mean the strings are left unpulled. Plus there's always someone who thinks something is biased because it disagrees with their own opinions.
But those you listed aren't too bad in that regard, certainly Beyond The Mat is regarded as the gold standard, but even that has had shade thrown on it.
Perhaps readers below will have opinions they can share about which documentaries they like and that are neutral.
OK, OK, I've avoided it long enough. There's the big ticket issue, and clearly everyone wants to hear my take, so, question please.
Oh, no-one asked me about TNA possibly dying? Oh.
No no, that's fine, not like I really had anything to say about that.