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DECEMBER WRESTLING CHIT CHAT

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Orton's biggest problem is that he's been around the main event seemingly since he was 13. There's just nothing left to see him do at this point. With the tag team renaissance, I'd say the best bet would have been to pair him up with an NXT guy as the veteran member of a team. Orton/Kruger as psychotic douches going after the PTPs would be nominally more interesting then Orton-Cena Best of 239485, at least.

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I hung out with Shelton Benjamin in a strip club. Nice guy.

 

Also got drunk with Eric Watts from Tough Enough at 'Mania a few years back. He sat talking to my table for a while. Said, I quote, "fuck the pussy. I'm gonna sit and talk wrestling. I'm a fan like you guys."

 

This is the problem with modern wrestling.

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I feel like Orton is fine as a heel. He definitely has a "backwoods redneck who likes torturing raccoons for fun" sort of look to him, I think, when he gets all sleepy-eyed before he goes all sadistic on someone. 

 

As a face, he had a really fun 2011, especially those matches with Mark Henry. Their match at Vengeance was super-awesome, maybe one of my favorite WWE matches of the past five or six years because it had a story that was followed through on. Henry was of course great, but Orton did his part, as he sold like crazy and then just came off as completely desperate to try and put Henry away before succumbing to what really was inevitable to anyone paying attention to the developing narrative.

 

As awesome as Henry shoving off that second RKO was and then talking shit before hitting the World's Strongest Slam was, the visual was helped by Orton, unable to stand, trying to pull himself upward pathetically as Henry glared down at him. Probably, this is one of my favorite WWE moments ever, and Orton had his part in it.

 

I get the sense that he is harmed by what most WWE guys are harmed by - the bad booking - more than he is the issue himself. 

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TRUE WRESTLING ENCOUNTERS -

 

1) I already recounted on here about the time I peed next to RVD and saw him lift up the right leg of his singlet to do so.

 

2) So I moved to Philly for college in 1995. I used to go to the message boards on Prodigy way back then. Stevie Richards was known to post there. As a joke, I told him he should come up and hang out w/ me at my college. He took me up on that offer! It was like my second weekend of school and I hung out with The Original King of Swing. He was a blast! We went to some dumb party and then left. We then went to the lounge to watch that week's ECW. There were these lunkheads in there and I asked to put on ECW. One of them saw the credits and started saying stuff like "Wrestling is such crap. This stuff is fake--" and right then is when they showed a clip of Stevie getting his ass thrown through a table. I've never seen someone backpedal from a moment quicker. The episode in question had one of Foley's legendary anti-ECW promos and he was telling me about where they filmed those clips and stuff like that. He got in touch w/ me a few days after because he used his gym ID to get signed into the dorm and begged me not to get it so I could protect his real name. I did just that. KAYFABE LIVES! It was seriously one of the funnier nights of my life.

 

3) I was not there for this. But my buddies were at the Melrose Diner in Philly in like '98/'99 or so and ran into FIT FINLAY and MENG who were in town for a house show or something. My buddies were completely hammered. They struck up a conversation by saying "Yo Fit!" My buddy touched The Monster Meng's hair and also asked to get into a Tongan Death Grip. "You fucking with me maan." That was Meng's response.

 

4) I hosted a comedy show here in Philly for years. There's a decent crossover w/ Philly comedy and Chikara. I managed to co-host one with Colt Cabana. He's also been on my brother's cable access show in NYC a few times. Colt's a truly great guy and hilarious. The then-Claudio Castiglioni and Sara Del Rey came to this show and judged the Alex Wright Memorial Dance contest. Claudio and Sara are also ridiculously nice human beings and great people.

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Since we're doing the chance encounters with wrestlers-

 

I worked catering at the Greensboro Coliseum on and off for about 4 years, but the only wrestling show we actually did any work for was a Raw house show at the very end of 2006.  Not sure if that counts.  We aren't supposed to interact with performers backstage unless they ask us for stuff so I didn't talk to anyone that much.  Myself and some security guards were watching a football game on tv right next to the gorilla position.  Cena and Flair both came over to watch with us for a bit, Cena came off as the nice guy everyone says he is.  Flair and Arn Anderson both wished us a happy new year as they were leaving.  Shelton Benjamin came off as a really cool, goofy guy.  Mickie James and Victoria were both really nice. 

 

Shannon Moore was dating (and I think later married and divorced) a girl I went to high school with.  He was at my senior prom right before or right after he was initially signed with WCW (this would have been spring of 99).  I'd see him come in to the grocery store I worked in to go shopping sometimes.

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Summer, 1988, I'm 14 and it's one of the 10 times in 30 years that live wrestling has come to Idaho. My buddy Tom and I have tickets AND we, along with his folks) have rooms in the same hotel the wrestlers are staying in. Thus, I met, not saw, MET the following:

 

Jake the Snake (while wearing a Jake the Snake shirt): "So boys, did ya like the show?"

 

Sam Houston: "I left the NWA because I was in the top 10 and kicking Flair ass and they keep putting Jimmy Garvin on TV." Yes, he stayed kayfabe 100%.

 

Andre the Giant: He was tired and obviously hurting but stopped on his way from his room (1st room from the lobby, 1st floor) to the bar to shake hands with my buddy and I and tell us he was "happy that he made us smile."

 

Harley Race: A TOTAL class act. The guy was dressed to the nines when we saw him before the show and he told us he was going to "show you young men what a REAL king looks like" before signing autographs for both of us.

 

We saw Warlord (Powers of Pain) throwing his gear in a washing machine.

 

This experience and masturbation were the best parts of my teens.

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It is funny how the board seems to not be up to date on guys being over. Like Orton just got moved from main events from the mid card and this is a big test for him. He has been over for years and is still over. Frankly he is entitled to being pushed since he survived that Shane McMahon feud years ago.

Then you have people debating over whether CM Punk is a main eventer. When he was champion for a year and had a two month feud with the Rock. Now he is the most over face on the roster. 

But like Bryan, apparently the people who buy tickets don't count. Only invisible Nielsen families get to decide who is over. 

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Orton is indeed over. He is, however, not a draw.

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Nobody is now. WWE has went to a great deal of trouble to make sure no wrestler is a draw. 

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Orton should drop the belt at TLC and then be kidnapped by the Wyatts the next night.

 

Him coming back the night after Elimination Chamber with a dirty beard as Bray's right hand man would be fantastic.

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If we're going with chance meetings of wrestlers, I almost ran over Harley Race at an indy show a couple years back. Not in a car, but I turned around right into him. I didn't even realize it was him at first as I was looking down. I was in the middle of apologizing when I looked up and realized who it was. My reaction was to completely deadpan and say 'Holy shit, you're Harley Race.' Totally awesome guy, and probably the only one the near mine or my brothers height. It was really awesome. Also met and talked to Shane Douglas, who seemed legitimately flattered when I told him he was one of the guys that made me fall in love with wrestling

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Orton should drop the belt at TLC and then be kidnapped by the Wyatts the next night.

Him coming back the night after Elimination Chamber with a dirty beard as Bray's right hand man would be fantastic.

Have you seen Orton's beard? You're expecting a lot out of him.

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Aside from meeting and chatting with wrestlers at shows and conventions, the most meaningful interaction I ever had was with Justin Credible, who was a super nice guy. I met his wife a few years after and she was great as well.

After the first ROH PPV, Morishima came up to me at an all night diner and asked to take a picture of one of my tattoos with his cell phone. It was flattering, he was a humble, quiet man.

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I got shitfaced doing shots from plastic shotglasses with Homicide at the Rexplex after an ROH show.

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You are all sleeping on how awesome it was to get to say "I'll pretend you said $18" to some guy who probably deserved that shit. Bra. Vo. Sir.

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You are all sleeping on how awesome it was to get to say "I'll pretend you said $18" to some guy who probably deserved that shit. Bra. Vo. Sir.

I already put him over on Twitter for that haha.

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You are all sleeping on how awesome it was to get to say "I'll pretend you said $18" to some guy who probably deserved that shit. Bra. Vo. Sir.

Yeah, that was phenomenal.

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Yeah, the weird thing with Orton is that when he was doing jackall in the midcard for most of the previous year, he was having these great matches and you got the feeling that he was being under-utilized. Now, though, it feels that he's a bit overpushed.

 

Honestly, he really should be in the ADR-spot. Basically, be the lead heel on the B-show.

 

This does beg the question about who really should be the top heel in the company? I mean, it's easy to say that Bryan should be champ, or Punk or whomever, but who can you really put in there for them to fight against (and before everyone says Mark Henry, the answer is, of course, but you have to factor in injuries and ability to work long main events etc etc).

 

Not that the talent isn't there but  a lot of the best heels are new. I mean, this is a case of the WWE doing that thing where they killed so many of their younger heels so they justify putting familiar faces in the top spot.

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On the chance encounter front, showing up way early for an Indy show in Fairfield, CA, walking out the door with the intent of hitting up that Dairy Queen I saw on arriving before the show, then doing a literal double-take as I walked right past Misawa entering the building. I'd like to have had some more to add to this story, but the power of speech was not at my command just at the moment.

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This does beg the question about who really should be the top heel in the company? I mean, it's easy to say that Bryan should be champ, or Punk or whomever, but who can you really put in there for them to fight against (and before everyone says Mark Henry, the answer is, of course, but you have to factor in injuries and ability to work long main events etc etc).

 

Not that the talent isn't there but  a lot of the best heels are new. I mean, this is a case of the WWE doing that thing where they killed so many of their younger heels so they justify putting familiar faces in the top spot.

They can drive the Cena-haters nuts by having HHH interfere to hand Cena a unified title at TLC to kick off Cena's two-year reign as heel champ, which includes getting his win back over Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania, successfully defending against a MITB cash-in by some young internet darling, and ending The Streak in Taker's retirement match.

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I went to a WWE press conference in 2002. I opened a door for Vince McMahon and got a hearty "Thanks, pal!" from him.

 

Stacy Keibler and Mark Henry weren't so accommodating. Have never left my air bill unpaid since that day.

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I got to watch Summerslam 2001 with Steve Corino. A friend of mine was training with ECCW at the time and they brought Corino in for a few shows (when he was NWA champ). My friend invited Corino to watch Summerslam at his house with us. He was pretty cool, real laid back. Even when I asked him how Tajiri's english was (which he said was probably the question he gets asked the most). I also got to meet Tommy Dreamer and Christopher Daniels through the same friend, and they were both really nice too.

 

A couple years earlier, the same friend and I were going to Vancouver to see a WWE house show. He noticed Mick Foley and Terry Funk getting out of a car at the border (this was when Funk was still Chainsaw Charlie). We stopped and went in. After they were done at the counter, my friend approached them. Even though they'd both just been through a tremendous hassle trying to get across the border (we couldn't help overhearing them at the counter) both were super friendly and signed an autograph. 

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Orton is a really strange case as a wrestler. He is obviously the most consistently over regular on the roster or at least top four and stays that way no matter where he is on the card. He was probably the best part of Raw during some really shitty years when he had IED. While I don't think anyone would claim he is as good in ring as Cena, I think they followed similar paths in that they both sucked during their initial push, started having good matches years later, but it took people a while to come to a consensus that they had actively improved. I think at this point, Orton has become a pretty compelling in ring competitor and actually pretty decent in backstage stuff, but is decidedly mediocre as an in ring promo. I think, like a lot of other people have said, Orton has just gotten a little stale. He has been in the title picture for a decade now and before we know it he will have been a presence on Raw for about 15 years. Aside for thirty days here and there and a couple shoulder injuries, he hasn't really ever been away for very long. Who is left for Orton to feud with that would be interesting and produce good television? One of the Shield guys once they split? For whatever reason, I don't think he is looked at as a threat to part timers; no one would care if he fought Lesnar or Taker or Rock, I don't think.

Anyway, from all these posts, I think it is clear that Orton is the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer of pro wrestlers. Everyone agrees that he has had a really awesome run and a really shitty run, but everyone has their own opinion as to which is which.

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In high school, one of my friends worked at the i-95 toll plaza and had a bunch of wreslters come through one night. He described a giant arm coming out the car window to pay the toll and it was scott steiner, with rick and luger in the car too.

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