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OCT WRESTLING DISCUSSION THREAD

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William Regal is doing some spoken word shows in England. For once, I wish Iived there.

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They did the cruiserweight thing to counteract WCW's strength and to take advantage of Taka. Taka didn't get over to their expectations, Vince loves big guys, and it was scrapped. Christopher was perfectly acceptable as a foil to Taka, and the borderline racist slant of Lawler's commentary was interesting, but I don't think they were convinced he was a star in the making against the heavies. Or maybe he was a drug addict and asshole, just repeating what I read.

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Actually, at the time, word on the net was that they were interested in Sasuke, but then after the two matches between him and Taka, they liked Taka more.

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Didn't Sasuke have demands they weren't crazy about?

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I think the main thing was that he said he'd never defend the title in the US or something.

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They did the cruiserweight thing to counteract WCW's strength and to take advantage of Taka. Taka didn't get over to their expectations, Vince loves big guys, and it was scrapped. Christopher was perfectly acceptable as a foil to Taka, and the borderline racist slant of Lawler's commentary was interesting, but I don't think they were convinced he was a star in the making against the heavies. Or maybe he was a drug addict and asshole, just repeating what I read.

I think this post is pretty spot on, but I'm not sure we can refer to Lawler's commentary as 'borderline' racist, unless borderline now means 'totally and completely'.

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Is Vince has obsessed with giant dudes as we insist he is? The New Gen was led by Bret, a smaller technical guy, and Shawn the smaller high flyer. Austin wasn't really a Hogan/Sid level giant dude. 90's Flair, Edge, Rey, D-Bry, Christian, CM Punk...all top of the card/top guy wrestlers that weren't hosses.

On the giants side, there's Hogan, Warrior, Diesel, I guess The Rock...Cena. I don't think I'd count Undertaker, he's a top of the card legend because he's Taker, not because he's massive.

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Cena's only 6 foot but has a bodybuilder physique 

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Is Vince has obsessed with giant dudes as we insist he is? The New Gen was led by Bret, a smaller technical guy, and Shawn the smaller high flyer. Austin wasn't really a Hogan/Sid level giant dude. 90's Flair, Edge, Rey, D-Bry, Christian, CM Punk...all top of the card/top guy wrestlers that weren't hosses.

On the giants side, there's Hogan, Warrior, Diesel, I guess The Rock...Cena. I don't think I'd count Undertaker, he's a top of the card legend because he's Taker, not because he's massive.

 

Bret, Owen, Shawn, Kid, etc. were on top because of the pressure from the feds during the steroid trial-- it's a happy accident that they were incredible workers. Nash himself admits they put the title on him because he was the only guy who was still gigantic once the steroids disappeared. Flair admitted in his book he did steroids "a little bit" in '92-'93. Austin wasn't gigantic, but he is deceivingly big. But using Austin as an example is kinda cheating because both he and the company were both, so, so, so hot, and his rise was anything but typical. But that's just my opinion.

 

As for the recent guys, I'd have to say a lot of it was the brand split. There were simply more top spots (and two world titles). Also, even though a couple of the guys you mentioned had experienced success before it, a case could be made that Vince was taking a page from the '90s playbook and playing it safe because of the publicity surrounding Benoit.

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And Vince had to be persuaded to go with Bret instead of Luger, despite Bret being a former champ already, and Lex Luger being Lex Luger.

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Vince can be nutty obviously, but hey, I'd be pissed off too if business was down, and I just bent over backwards for a guy using a crazy WBF contract scheme, spent a million dollars on a bus tour and windbreakers and an aircraft carrier, and it still couldn't get the dude as over as Hogan

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Probably isn't defined by his successes so much as the lopsided scale of monster guys pushed down throats to little/no success vs. guys who were smaller and didn't get there.

 

Ones that didn't work out with similar pushes? Punk....Benoit.......RVD.....maybe Shamrock.

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My take is Vince is obsessed with the giant dudes but despite his best efforts, that's not the way the cards always fall. It has been the same cycle for the last 30 years.

The latest example was Reigns. He was a Vince prototype and was on the rocket ship. Despite the obvious talents of Rollins and Ambrose he was clearly bring positioned at "the guy" because of his great look.

An unforeseen injury later and a non Vince prototype in Ambrose slid into the Reigns spot. The cycle continues.

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And Vince had to be persuaded to go with Bret instead of Luger, despite Bret being a former champ already, and Lex Luger being Lex Luger.

 

Hey now, Luger is awesome.

 

Not as All-American Lex, to be sure, but it's also pretty telling that the only time Luger wasn't even remotely interesting was as the All-American. Luger was best used with a petulant, grating, coddled premier athlete gimmick, or at least something like the Narcissist where Luger's natural douchebagginess could take over. 

 

On another note, trudging through 1995 WWF and Bret is stuck in so many crappy midcard feuds, and the Lawler feud is doing nothing for Bret because, as a fan that didn't really know much of Lawler at that pre-internet point, it just looked like Bret somehow couldn't beat a pudgy color commentator, which is how I'm guessing most twelve-year-old kids around the country also saw that feud. I enjoy Lawler and Backlund and Carl Ouellet quite a bit, but those are Bret's feuds as he's shunted down the card while Diesel, HBK, and even Razor and Kid all have more interesting things to do at this point. He was pretty misused for that year between SurSer 1994 and SurSer 1995.

 

All that is off the exact topic that y'all are talking about, but...yeah. As soon as he gets the gold on Nash, Vince is mostly running a bunch of hoss feuds and matches against Sid and Mabel. He clearly has an idea of what type of champion he wants, size-wise. He gave Nash's first (and only) reign a whole year to be awful; he gave Bret's first reign about five months before going back to bigger guys in Hogan and Yokozuna.

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I'm personally a huge, huge fan of the Bret/Diesel matches-- probably, outside of maybe the Shawn WM match, Nash's best work. I would have loved if they had more matches that year, maybe traded the belt back and forth, rather than get Nash's year-long reign full of crappy matches with Mabel, Sid, or Bundy. Like, I get Vince's attraction to the hoss v hoss stuff, but if that's what you wanna do, then a guy like Nash needs to be in there with a big guy who can actually go, like Yoko or Bam Bam.

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They really should've turned Nash heel when they turned Shawn face. Razor, Michaels and Bret could've given us some decent matches with Nash.

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I agree entirely. Like, no shit people aren't gonna be interested in your new champion Diesel if, outside of the big guys i mentioned before, all he gets to work with is  Backlund and Jeff Jarrett

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Probably isn't defined by his successes so much as the lopsided scale of monster guys pushed down throats to little/no success vs. guys who were smaller and didn't get there.

Ones that didn't work out with similar pushes? Punk....Benoit.......RVD.....maybe Shamrock.

On what planet did Punk not "get there"?

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Nash and Bam Bam actually have a really solid match on episode 108, I want to say, of RAW. But then they turn Bam Bam, too, who is immediately lost in the shuffle behind Razor, HBK, Kid, Bret, 'Taker, etc. 

 

We talked last month about Razor not ever being WWF Champion, and I thought that Razor should have turned heel and got the belt at some point in 1994. To me, that's even more interesting than turning Nash. I also think they should have turned Luger and pushed him as a heel instead of sticking him in a tag team with Bulldog. I think Luger/HBK and Luger/Bret are things I would like to watch develop, and as a bonus, heel Luger against Bret Hart would have given both those guys something to do beyond what they were shunted into because there were too many faces being pushed at the same time.

 

Vince's booking decisions at that point sort of mystify me. 

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The Bret-Diesel match at KOTR '94 was the first time I really saw Nash as a main-event guy.  So blame Bret for that.  :D

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The latest example was Reigns. He was a Vince prototype and was on the rocket ship. Despite the obvious talents of Rollins and Ambrose he was clearly bring positioned at "the guy" because of his great look.

An unforeseen injury later and a non Vince prototype in Ambrose slid into the Reigns spot. The cycle continues.

Reigns was getting pushed because he was more over than Rollins and Ambrose by a good deal.

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Until he got overexposed by not having Ambrose and Rollins to cover up his shortcomings in the ring and on the mic.

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Vince's attraction to the hoss v hoss stuff

 

when i was a kid renting WWF VHS tapes, i remember being super psyched for Ultimate Warrior vs Hercules. 

 

and then i watched the match and it was, of course, terrible. after that i stopped caring about bodybuilders as it pertains to pro wrestling.

 

 

 

that being said, i'm reading up on Hercules on wikipedia right now and i'm suddenly interested in Herc vs Hogan from SNME so who the hell knows?

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The latest example was Reigns. He was a Vince prototype and was on the rocket ship. Despite the obvious talents of Rollins and Ambrose he was clearly bring positioned at "the guy" because of his great look.

An unforeseen injury later and a non Vince prototype in Ambrose slid into the Reigns spot. The cycle continues.

Reigns as getting pushed because he was more over than Rollins and Ambrose by a good deal.

But why was he over? Because he got the mega push. He never took pins and was showcased at survivor series and the rumble. He was positioned as unstoppable and the next big star main event star before he had a single *** star singles match. If that's not Vince going gaga over a guy with the look I don't know what is.

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Until he got overexposed by not having Ambrose and Rollins to cover up his shortcomings in the ring and on the mic.

He was still over.

 

 

 

The latest example was Reigns. He was a Vince prototype and was on the rocket ship. Despite the obvious talents of Rollins and Ambrose he was clearly bring positioned at "the guy" because of his great look.

An unforeseen injury later and a non Vince prototype in Ambrose slid into the Reigns spot. The cycle continues.

Reigns as getting pushed because he was more over than Rollins and Ambrose by a good deal.

But why was he over? Because he got the mega push. He never took pins and was showcased at survivor series and the rumble. He was positioned as unstoppable and the next big star main event star before he had a single *** star singles match. If that's not Vince going gaga over a guy with the look I don't know what is.

 

He got the strong push because he was over and the muscle of the team. And he was pinned on tv buy the Usos which saw people on here complaining.

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