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FEBRUARY 2019 WRESTLING DISCUSSION.

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3 hours ago, Dog said:

Might be worth noting on the Nigel doc on the Network, when Bryan texted him after winning his first WWE championship, Nigel called him "Dragon."

And that's an exception that proves the rule: apparently the common rule of thumb on the wrestling scene is 'call another wrestler by the first gimmick you met them under"...which works for wrestlers, but becomes yet another way that a smarky wrestling fan thinks they're acting like an insider but just makes themselves sound like a twatwaffle of the nth degree. 

...besides, it also hurts your "insider cred"- if, as we said, we're in a post-kayfabe world of wrestling, calling people by their kayfabe names- or even the smarky "by their real names", shouldn't matter.

Just call the wrestler something that has nothing to do with their gimmick or name in the first place.  To me, there is no Dana Brooke, there is only Zuul.

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3 minutes ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

Rick Martel did this too...

Is there a trick to this? Do they pre-break the bottle? 

Piper wrote in his book that the trick is to just smash it on your head going 100 miles per hour so the bottle will break.

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Just now, Web Conn said:

Piper wrote in his book that the trick is to just smash it on your head going 100 miles per hour so the bottle will break.

Jesus, dude...

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Piper was a nut there's no bones about that.

Here's the match Piper cut that promo for

 

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"On this week’s episode of his podcast, Jerry Lawler said Vince McMahon called him during the Royal Rumble pre-show and told him to move his crown from one side to the other." From an Observer news update. The man is not right (Vince too). 

And Corbin had to wait 8 months to cut his not so luscious locks off. He also wants to get tattoos on his head. 

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Bam Bam Baron?

Or Lord Tensai 2?

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Thinking about some of the topics discussed the last few days (and having recently binge-watched The Good Place), it is important to recognize that the classic wrestling storyline is David v. Goliath. Can the underdog overcome the odds. WWE understands this. Which is why John Cena, a genetically gifted superman, spent his career not mowing people down, but selling, selling and selling some more. Hogan, all 6'7, 302 pounds of him, did the same. Yet these types are not traditional underdogs and are not particularly compelling when positioned is such. When Roman keeps on losing to Brock, he's just a badass who couldn't take down a bigger, stronger badass. When Finn or Bryan give it their all and come up short, it's elicits a different type of reaction.

Is it inevitable that fans are drawn to underdogs? Is it fate? 

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Wouldn't it be great if someone just called wrestlers by their Michael Cole nicknames?   He's not Seth Rollins,  he's  "THE ARCHITECT" 

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1 hour ago, SorceressKnight said:

And that's an exception that proves the rule: apparently the common rule of thumb on the wrestling scene is 'call another wrestler by the first gimmick you met them under"

Or as they introduce themselves to you when you meet them.

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6 hours ago, cwoy2j said:

Scott Hall will always be American Starship Coyote in my mind.

That's because American Starship Coyote is an unbelievably epic name.

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1 hour ago, Web Conn said:

I've been watching all the Portland Wrestling I can find on YouTube. What a criminally overlooked territory. MAybe it's because I'm from the Pacific Northwest but this is some straight shootin no frills wrestling. Dutch Savage is a fucking boss who never gets his due.

 

I made many trips to Portland to watch the wrestling... Great, great stuff, arguably the last bastion of the territories, even if ECW and Smokey Mountain came along later. The one question that has remained unanswered all these years concerns Dutch Savage and his fondness for "Coal Miner's Glove" matches. How would someone in the Pacific Northwest even know what a coal miner's glove was, let alone where to get one? We have lots of things in the Northwest, but coal ain't one of 'em.

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36 minutes ago, JohnnyJ said:

Thinking about some of the topics discussed the last few days (and having recently binge-watched The Good Place), it is important to recognize that the classic wrestling storyline is David v. Goliath. Can the underdog overcome the odds. WWE understands this. Which is why John Cena, a genetically gifted superman, spent his career not mowing people down, but selling, selling and selling some more. Hogan, all 6'7, 302 pounds of him, did the same. Yet these types are not traditional underdogs and are not particularly compelling when positioned is such. When Roman keeps on losing to Brock, he's just a badass who couldn't take down a bigger, stronger badass. When Finn or Bryan give it their all and come up short, it's elicits a different type of reaction.

Is it inevitable that fans are drawn to underdogs? Is it fate? 

Well not only were Cena, and Reigns portrayed as underdogs. They were also portrayed as wrestlers that the “Authority” were completely against being top stars. Which is completely fucking ridiculous. It worked with Austin because he was the complete opposite of the previous eras stars. Cena, and Roman have never been, or will be anti-establishment guys.

That’s why Becky has completely worked. Sure she’s pretty. But she’s also foreign, wasn’t home grown, isn’t blond, and has a funny accent. She’s the opposite of the previous women’s stars, and fans have grown to organically love Becky because of it.

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She was also shunted to the side to make way for Charlotte. That's another part of the formula: being undeservedly demoted for Vince's Pick. It was a perfect storm, just like with Bryan.

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Bryan's was great. They had this fun little idea about "ha this tiny guy keeps getting lucky but he thinks he's really beating these giants haha" except the audience took it seriously and didn't think he was a joke.

Then it kept getting hotter, right up until the pay off, with Sheamus ending the "lucky streak" and then it all changed.

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Roland Barthes thought the archetypal endless struggle that all wrestling boils down to was masculine vs feminine. The masculine being the straight ahead simple fighter and the feminine being the ostentatious show off. Gender politics didn't really exist in the 1920s. But if you think of all Pro Wrestling history as the eternal struggle of butch vs bitch, it's funny how much of it actually fits.

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1 hour ago, OSJ said:

I made many trips to Portland to watch the wrestling... Great, great stuff, arguably the last bastion of the territories, even if ECW and Smokey Mountain came along later. The one question that has remained unanswered all these years concerns Dutch Savage and his fondness for "Coal Miner's Glove" matches. How would someone in the Pacific Northwest even know what a coal miner's glove was, let alone where to get one? We have lots of things in the Northwest, but coal ain't one of 'em.

That's actually brilliant though. The average PNWer would have no clue what a coal miner's glove actually is so you can build it up as dangerous. 

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Cena and Roman weren't anti-establishment, both have shown they're willing to play by the rules. They didn't want to be in the Authority's pocket, which caused the strife. There were indicators both would have been accepted with open arms had they wanted to be partners with the Authority. 

As for Becky being the underdog:

* She was the first-ever SDL women's champion

* Was inserted into the Sasha-Charlotte match at WM 32 despite clearly not being part of the original plan

* Has always been popular with fans

* Has never been mistreated by GMs and commissioners by and large

* Is part of the WWE's 4HW, who all have received shine over the years

While I do think Creative recognized her popularity and used that to sometimes justify not pushing her toward the title, I never took Becky as the poor little underdog who never got anything.

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2 hours ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

Well not only were Cena, and Reigns portrayed as underdogs. They were also portrayed as wrestlers that the “Authority” were completely against being top stars. Which is completely fucking ridiculous. It worked with Austin because he was the complete opposite of the previous eras stars. Cena, and Roman have never been, or will be anti-establishment guys.

That’s why Becky has completely worked. Sure she’s pretty. But she’s also foreign, wasn’t home grown, isn’t blond, and has a funny accent. She’s the opposite of the previous women’s stars, and fans have grown to organically love Becky because of it.

 

1 hour ago, Oyaji said:

She was also shunted to the side to make way for Charlotte. That's another part of the formula: being undeservedly demoted for Vince's Pick. It was a perfect storm, just like with Bryan.

it also helps that Charlotte is so innately believable as the "Corporate Champ" in her own right.  She's a wonderful foil in this regard.  Ric Flair's daughter, classic blond bombshell look, bigger and stronger than the other woman such that she can plausibly overpower them without having a Nia Jax bodytype that would instead typecast her as "monster heel".  Of Course the office would pick her.

Austin eventually had The Rock as an establishment foil, and while The Rock had plenty of his own "un-corporate" Attitude Era swagger about him, he was plausible as a preferable Establishment Option to the defiant Austin.  After all, The Rock had movie star good looks (as was eventually proven), the family legacy, and the unintentional context of the failed Rocky Maivia experiment to prove that Vince/The Office was willing to force this guy on the unwilling audience at the expense of "Their Choice".

[Now, why Austin was supposed to be so much worse of a "rebel" and "anti-establishment" Corporate PR nightmare as a champion to be opposed at all costs when DX era Shawn Michaels was the current champion, I have no idea.  But Austin was so over it didn't matter, I guess.  And Vince McMahon was directly intervening and there was the Bret screwjob on Michaels' behalf even if that could no longer be overtly referenced.  But I digress.]

Cena and more recently Reigns seem to have lacked that foil, and that makes it harder to "buy" them as anti-establishment choice.  Orton should be this for Cena (they came up from OVW together and wrestled for the belt like 500 times so they should've been foils and it even could have worked) but John Cena, especially once he becomes the top guy, becomes wonderfully kid and merch friendly, happily the face of the company in public appearances like Make A Wish.  Meanwhile Orton racks up a history of wellness violations, gets heavily tatted (not that youngsters today have the stigma against tattoos that older generations still have, but again, corporate boardrooms are stereotypically that more conservative older generation).  You're going to try and tell me the "establishment" is anti-Cena and pro-Orton?  Pfffff.  Later on, there's CM Punk, who's similarly tatted, doesn't even have the wrestling family legacy that Orton has, a guy who is well-known and proud to be NOT a Vince/WWE creation (even keeping his indie name instead of being rechristened with a WWE moniker like virtually everyone else) and whose contract disputes become such public knowledge they have to get worked into storylines.  No Way is Cena ever going to be able to win a battle of anti-establishment street cred with Punk

Who's Reigns got?  Lesnar, who's barely around and who he can't beat* anyway.  Daniel Bryan, who poses almost all the same problems as Punk did to Cena, (and who much of the audience perceives, rightly or wrongly, as having to be benched due to "injuries" so he'd stop overshadowing Reigns) especially given that Reigns is chiefly a WWE product (unlike his stablemates and other potential foils, Rollins and Ambrose).  He's The Rock's cousin.  Reigns has wonderful credentials as an "establishment guy".  Which simultaneously makes him a very hard sell as an anti-establishment guy.  Particularly when everyone else either has more anti-establishment cred, or has been booked into non-factor status as the company goes all in on bulding up Reigns and/or building up Lesnar to ultimately feed to and make Reigns.  Why would the establishment be so opposed to Reigns (even if it wasn't known that backstage Vince was very interested in making Reigns the guy)?  Particularly when there's a dearth of better establishment options?

I guess they tried to make Rollins into this, but it doesn't seem to have "taken" (and I wasn't watching closely enough in 2015 to be able to tell you why, you guys probably already have a better handle on the answer to this).  I guess the favorable and unique terms of Lesnar's contract can make him viable in this "establishment" role.  But, like, he needs to lose at some point.  Otherwise the audience cheers for Suplex City until they get tired of him and just sit on their hands during it.

And, in the background of all of this, a 22 year tradition of the company booking itself as a heel promoter, and teaching the audience that The Establishment Choice is the bad guy who you're supposed to boo, because interventionist GMs make the Corporate Champ into a Goliath who anti-establishment David will (or should, anyway) eventually beat.

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Oooh, oooh! Now tell us why Reigns and Cena are actually the underdogs!

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2 minutes ago, Casey said:

Oooh, oooh! Now tell us why Reigns and Cena are actually the underdogs!

Well there was that whole period where they tried booking Roman as a Daniel Bryan esque underdog until they pulled the trigger on him beating Sheamus for the title. 

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2 hours ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

Well not only were Cena, and Reigns portrayed as underdogs. They were also portrayed as wrestlers that the “Authority” were completely against being top stars. Which is completely fucking ridiculous. It worked with Austin because he was the complete opposite of the previous eras stars. Cena, and Roman have never been, or will be anti-establishment guys.

That’s why Becky has completely worked. Sure she’s pretty. But she’s also foreign, wasn’t home grown, isn’t blond, and has a funny accent. She’s the opposite of the previous women’s stars, and fans have grown to organically love Becky because of it.

But that also ties to a related part of that mix: It may be less the fans "gravitate to underdogs", and more that, related to the worldwide thing, everyone truly believes that THEY are the underdog.

Virtually every human being in the world right now seem to truly believe that the entire world is out to get THEM, PERSONALLY, and to a lesser extent everyone else who is [insert the aspect of their life that they believe defines them], as part of a worldwide plot to make sure that they, personally, don't get to live the life that they see on luxury reality television. 

That ties into this- where it's not even just anti-establishment guys: Steve Austin flew in the face of everything that succeeded in WWE to that date, for example...and it was there.

By contrast, look at the examples given in the beginning of are modern "underdogs".

Daniel Bryan was considered the best technical wrestler in the world, was the top protege of Shawn Michaels- not only a top WWE legend, but the best friend of the heir apparent to WWE, and at the time of his movement was a reality TV star known for his relationship with, at the time, who seemed to be the sister-in-law of John Cena. 

Finn Balor is one of the most handsome men on the planet and a world-class superstar who was renowned on two continents and had just come off a featured role at WrestleKingdom, the closest equivalent to Wrestlemania, while also being the franchise player of WWE's developmental brand who was booked to be the first Raw World Champion (until an injury cost him that), who they made it clear was going to be a huge WWE star.

 

In what world are those people "underdogs"? 

The answer being: The world where you, the fan, considers yourself the underdog and are secretly a bitter human being, convinced that it's all a plot against you, and the big mean WWE is out to make sure that your favorites' dreams will go unfulfilled, and it's not to punish them, but rather to make sure that you, personally, are miserable. 

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much like, fittingly on Super Bowl Sunday, you can be assured that whichever team wins today, they will cut the same promo about how "everyone counted them out" but they never stopped believing in themselves.

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4 hours ago, Web Conn said:

Piper wrote in his book that the trick is to just smash it on your head going 100 miles per hour so the bottle will break.

He left out a head full of blow.

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1 hour ago, SorceressKnight said:

Virtually every human being in the world right now seem to truly believe that the entire world is out to get THEM, PERSONALLY, and to a lesser extent everyone else who is [insert the aspect of their life that they believe defines them], as part of a worldwide plot to make sure that they, personally, don't get to live the life that they see on luxury reality television. 

 

1 hour ago, SorceressKnight said:

The answer being: The world where you, the fan, considers yourself the underdog and are secretly a bitter human being, convinced that it's all a plot against you, and the big mean WWE is out to make sure that your favorites' dreams will go unfulfilled, and it's not to punish them, but rather to make sure that you, personally, are miserable. 

Do you really believe this is how people think or are you using hyperbole for effect?

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