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Go2Sleep

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Posts posted by Go2Sleep

  1. I can't believe no one has mentioned Finlay's Smackdown run or Terry Funk yet.

     

    Finlay's kind of a weird case. He was nearly 40 when he started working in WCW, so he should have been well out of his athletic prime by the time most of us starting watching him. Admittedly, I haven't seen much of him pre-WCW (just the odd NJ match here and there), so I don't have a lot to compare his North American work to. When he went to SD, he had taken several years off prior, so while he may have been old, he had a lot less mileage on his body than you'd expect for someone that age.

  2. Vince McMahon interrupting a Rhino match and telling Rhino to get the hell out-of-the-ring has to be in the list. How embarrassing. This was at a house show no-less.

     

    This reminded me of Austin coming out to lead "boring" chants during Lance Storm matches.

  3. I love that match, but Austin wasn't so much past his prime as coming out of a hospital bed - although you could argue that Austin still pulls out a miracle, The Rock completely carries this match. Kudos to Austin for giving The Rock such a decisive victory though; it's quite an unique match in that respect. 

     

    I'd say Austin was definitely past his prime. He may not have been super old, but injuries had wrecked him by that point. It was his last match, after all. The Rock definitely carried it (although he was a bit past his heyday at this point too), but Austin doing the bare minimum would have been commendable. You can see him struggling to get up for the last rock bottom, and he really did leave it all in the ring as the old cliche goes.

     

    Another one worth watching is Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley (I Quit, Summer Slam 06). I think it was the last great match either guy had, and it's got a great story of two crazy old guys who know they can't compete for the top championships anymore, but still want to beat the hell out of one another for personal pride. Possibly the best match I've seen live.

  4. How about Steve Austin vs. The Rock (WM 19)?

     

    That match always stood out to me as two legends finishing a story arc that began nearly 6 years prior despite neither being full time, and in Austin's case, very broken down. It's my favorite of their WM trilogy just for the storyline. The parallels to Misawa vs. Kobashi (3/1/03) which happened in the same month are rather striking. Each match features two legends, but one was always perceived as a step behind the other, and needed a big singles win to round out his legacy.

     

    Both of those matches would be worth a look for this type of project.

  5. Not to derail the thread, but this is relevant to the topic at hand...do you (the collective you) really feel like a wrestler getting buried is something that really damages a wrestler in the eyes of the fans (the fan fans, not the smart marks)? I honestly don't think it matters, I think most WWE fans have a short memory and any wrestler that's been buried there could potentially dig himself out of the hole with the right booking, granted that wrestler isn't completely horrible.

     

    I don't think there's a universal answer, it's going to depend on a lot of different things. I'd say guys like Zack Ryder, and more recently, Damian Sandow are definitely hurt by being booked like losers for a prolonged period of time. Remember that time Ryder shared the ring with Bryan and Punk and they all had gold? Compare his reactions then to now. Sometimes booking can out-stubborn the fans and make them stop caring about guys they used to really like (also see: Nigel in TNA) I don't think MVP ever really recovered from his losing streak either.

     

    On the other hand, Daniel Bryan got booked like a massive loser on a show full of terrible wrestlers for 3 months then got fired right after his "break through moment" and look where he is now. Matt Hardy went on to have a very successful and acclaimed midcard run after looking like a chump in the Edge/Lita feud. Kane and Show have come back from god knows how many embarrassing angles/losses to have credible runs at the top.

  6. Can you come up with any examples of good matches that he diminished by obviously not caring about or bad matches that he made more watchable because he cared enough to give some incredible commentary?

     

     

    I don't know if it was a product of not caring, but one example of him hurting a match that springs to mind was Bryan/Usos vs. The Shield from SD last year where he and Cole spent the first 2/3 of it having an agonizingly circular argument about the Scott Armstrong situation. 

  7. As a related note, for a match I didn't think much of when it happened, rewatching Brock/Taker and it's a lot better than I realized.  It was just so different than I expected it to be, that I think I judged it unfairly at the time.  Plus, you know, the "time froze" moment at the end when nothing in the world made sense anymore.

     

    Looking back, it would've gotten a better reception if the build was consistent with the match. If they went with Brock laughing at Taker's "superpowers" and mind games the whole time, a match that was basically putting Taker out to pasture would've made a lot of sense. It still would've gotten the same WTF reaction because we've seen that story before too where Taker still wins.

     

    Actually, the build to Lesnar/Taker was really weird looking back on it. It started with an open contract, which is like right out of "beginning storylines for dummies" and should be well beneath two guys of this caliber. Then Taker shows up, stabs Brock with a pen and puts him through a table, but this is never mentioned again. Maybe the stabbing was a bit un-PG. Then they both go off tv for a while and the build is basically one Heyman promo at a time. Next time they meet, Taker does the old druid/casket routine, which Brock stooges around for like it's the early 90s. This is also never mentioned again. The last week before the show, they do a spot where Lesnar gets the best of Taker and all of a sudden he's the biggest threat ever to the streak. The WM video package consists of that segment and clips of Heyman talking, most of which was entirely new material, not stuff taken from the promos during the build.

  8. JR was just dreadful the last few years of Austin. Whatever went on, he kept talking about Austin, and he sounded like Bobby Heenan circa Ric Flair WWF champ but in the least entertaining way possible, always complaining about it not being fair: "That's not RIGHT!" His commentary actually made me dislike Steve Austin because I was so sick of hearing JR drone on and on about him.  I don't think there's ever been a more biased announcer, honestly.

     

     

     NWO era Schiavone/Dusty, WWF Heenan and Ventura, WWECW era Tazz and Styles, heel Michael Cole, heel Jerry Lawler, TNA Tenay, and A&8 Tazz were all noticeably more biased just off the top of my head.

  9. I want Lawler gone as much as anyone, but he's the color guy, Renee isn't. It would be more likely to be JBL, which is a shame because I still like JBL, but Renee is better.

     

    Lawler and JBL are equally terrible these days, but if I had to pick, I'd actually keep Lawler. His senior moments and recycled jokes are still preferable to JBL vehemently trying to get himself over in every segment. Nothing's worse these days then trying to watch a good match while JBL is desperately trying to pick a fight with Michael Cole about something that may or may not be related to whoever is wrestling at the moment. Renee and Regal need to replace both of those goofs yesterday, though. Albert and Riley can hold down the fort on NXT. Move JBL to the pre/post show panel where he can troll all he wants, and just send Lawler home with a legends deal or something.

     

    Actually, I think the heel announcer concept is even worse than the heel authority figure concept as far as wrestling tropes go. Has anyone done it right since Ventura? The best wrestling announcers are the ones that play it straight and professional, or at least try to stay objective. Even JR (who really wore his heart on his sleeve) gave HHH respect back in the day. Could you imagine Skip Bayless calling NFL games? I'm not sure why wrestling hangs on to this backwards concept for live commentary.

  10. You know Daniel Bryan has moved up in the world now that they're building up a throwaway challenger for his belt. Can't say I'm excited for "Kane is an evil monster again" Round 86, but Bryan gets to keep the gold and The Shield get the best combination of the authority to feud with too.

     

    The Shield/Evolution thing was pretty good, but less impressive than it should have been due to the recent similar beatdown on SD and HHH's beatdown on Bryan. Guess we know the Shield's threshold is 5 on 3, once it gets past that, it's all over for them. Also would've thought "Believe in Evolution" would get major heat in Alabama.

     

    Cena's promo was definitely not one of his better efforts, but I can't believe everyone's forgotten his genius opening line "The last thing I need is another push, no one wants to see that."

  11. Austin embarrasses Vince, who then tries to take it out on the Brothers of Destruction. Always loved the look on Vince's face when Taker catches him flipping the double bird.

     

    Even though the angle was written off abruptly, this moment will always stand out as one of Bryan's biggest in WWE. The Yes chant that gets faster and faster is epic face heat.

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  12. I admire how Nattie can talk in nothing but cliches. And her big (anachronistic) match featured a "restroom break" sign in the background.

     

    Also love AJ's role on this show. She is never mentioned except when she occasionally shows up to beat someone on the main cast.

     

    The Nikki house swerve really hammered home that this show is in fact the realization of Vince Russo's dream: Pro wrestling without the ring.

  13. I don't think anyone holds creating new stars against the early brand split/ruthless aggression era. Lesnar, Cena, Orton, and Batista was a strong group to build around. It's that late brand split/PG era that really screwed the pooch creating new stars. CM Punk is about the only success story between that group and Bryan/whoever that's coming into shape now. I guess you could say Sheamus too.

  14. He definitely left at the right time for himself, but WWE would've benefitted greatly from him sticking around. Even if they booked him to job a few times, he would still have been a top guy. Between him, Cena, and a potentially-not-ruined Orton, they could've pushed the old guard to the back burner a lot sooner. The flow of the talent would have been a lot more even and they probably wouldn't be relying on HHH to make guys well into the 2010s.

  15. HHH/Bryan was very good, but I think Bryan has had a couple better matches already (vs. Bray and Orton). It was kind of surreal to see HHH shoehorned into a very "Daniel Bryan" style match, but he did a great job fitting in. Some of the WM 20 callbacks were kind of weird. Like I know that they wanted to redo the ending to that show without you know who, but I'm not sure why they felt like they needed to include such direct imagery by using the crossface, rolling germans, etc. They could have replaced the crossfaces with a fujiwara armbar and it wouldn't have made a lick of difference (and don't bother pointing out one works the elbow and one works the shoulder, armbars hurt every part of the arm in pro wrestling). Those spots, especially the crossface roll through that Benoit used to make HHH tap at 20, were kind of jarring but they worked in the context of the match I guess. There were lots of other really good spots here too, like the crossface chickenwing being established to create a logical transition into the tiger suplex, the hammer lock belly to back on the apron, and the struggle for the second pedigree. It felt like HHH watched a handful of Misawa matches and WM 20 to figure out how he was gonna work this one. Bryan was Bryan with all his fire, innovative sequences, and bumps not many guys would be willing to take, pretty much his usual great self.

  16. Where there any other wrestlers, at the time, directly impacted by Brock leaving? I'm not talking about money wise, but as far as time off, planned angles, etc.

     

     

    JBL for sure. No way he's getting a 10-month reign if Brock's there to fall back on.

  17. I think another important thing to note about this era is how screwed WWE got when Lesnar bailed. It worked out great for Brock (and Cena), but WWE really had a lot invested in him. If he stayed, that whole time period is a lot more stable at the top and there is no doubt in my mind that had Lesnar stayed, he would be be considered unquestionably one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He already has a résumé that puts most of the roster to shame and he only has what? A little over 2 years worth of shows under his belt? There are a lot of interesting what if scenarios for Brock sticking around.

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