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JANUARY 2021 Discussion of Wrestling


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I could change mine to Morganti the Office Faery, but people would have no idea what it was.   That being said, I hope Allie Kat lawyers up soon enough to prevent the default judgement.

 

Editing this post instead of doubling up... but the Kenny Omega/Xavier Woods video game top 10 on giant bomb is pretty good reading.

Edited by Morganti
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21 minutes ago, NikoBaltimore said:

You'd be surprised how very ineffective it is against eczema. Would not recommend. 

A doctor friend of mine once told me the tenets of dermatology were:

1.  If it's wet, dry it.

2. If it's dry, wet it.

3. If you dont know what it is, don't touch it.

4. If you do know what it is, you don't need to touch it.

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Figure some folks might be interested in this

In the Paul Varelans obit in the new WON, Meltzer goes in depth about how he came to do the match against Taz. (Spoilers just due to size)

Spoiler

It was at this time when he was contacted by ECW. Heyman had the idea of building Sabu, his top star at the time, into a slow-building feud with Taz, which would be held off until he could get a PPV show. The idea was the maniac fighter against the real fighter, with Taz as the shootfighter. Heyman pushed Taz as a martial arts expert, and had him beat everyone quickly with a judo choke. Varelans, between his size and UFC exposure, on paper was probably the best opponent since he couldn’t get Severn, and Shamrock and Abbott had exclusive contracts with UFC at the time.

He was brought to ringside at a show at the June 1, 1996, ECW arena in Philadelphia. There was a buzz in the building as people knew who he was and he was brought out right before Taz faced Jason Helton, in what was billed as a shoot fight, a thing that got a lot of the veteran wrestlers in the promotion upset with the idea that weren’t all pro wrestling matches as billed to the public supposed to be shoots. Helton was billed as an MMA fighter from Canada, although he was actually a pro wrestler who worked Alberta for the prior four years after being trained by Bruce Hart. When Taz won quickly, he called out Varelans in the audience, and they did a big pull-apart.

Varelans did what were billed as shoot fights on ECW shows in Reading and Jim Thorpe, PA, beating Helton in less than 30 seconds, to lead to the big match with Taz on June 22, 1996.

Varelans didn’t really understand the angle and wasn’t fully told that his role was really just to get Taz over, as he thought it was about him. He balked about losing clean, thinking a more convoluted finish would protect his aura and make him more marketable for future shows, not realizing that Heyman wasn’t looking at him long-term.

Heyman tried to talk him into just losing clean to a choke, promising him a push later, and saying they’d make him an honorary part of ECW, so that when he fought in UFC, he’d have the ECW fan base behind him. He still wasn’t comfortable with losing clean to Taz. Eventually Varelans agreed, and evidently Heyman promised him a blowjob from Missy Hyatt, who he had the hots for immediately after seeing her, if he would lose. Keep in mind that promise was from Heyman, not from her.

Still, nobody trusted anyone at that point. The thing was a mess. Heyman sent out a number of ECW heels who were tough guys to be at ringside. He didn’t send babyfaces because Taz was the heel in the feud with Sabu at this point, although the idea was he’d be the shooter babyface down the line. Perry Saturn came off the top rope with a shoot missile dropkick that Varelans may or may not have known was coming, but even he admitted the dropkick was hard as hell. Varelans did go up for Taz’s suplex and Taz choked him out.

“I’m under the impression that Varelans thought the ECW valets were porn stars or strippers, which might be where he thought he could ask for his incentive to do the job,” said Hyatt. “Every ECW valet was approached on who could convince Paul to do the job.

“I could have cared less about the manipulations that were going on for him to job to Taz. I started talking to Paul (Varelans) about the UFC. He acted like he was big leaguing me as if he was a top UFC guy. So I brought up his win-loss record and being knocked out by Tank Abbott. Paul insulted my intelligence by telling me UFC was a work at times and the Tank loss wasn't real. I was so annoyed that he was trying to work me. So now I'm going to work him. That's why I got involved. Don’t try to out work a wrestling person in their own environment. It's so childish and stupid looking back on it on everyone's end. Most people would be holding up for money or a contract.”

So the promise was made, but after the loss, Hyatt then told Varelans that she doesn’t give blowjobs to jobbers.

Everyone was upset about it. Varelans thought he was played and double-crossed, thought American pro wrestling was a shell game and never did it again. Although Taz did get over in the new role, this match wasn’t what he envisioned since Saturn interference took away from the Taz win, but evidently they felt they needed to knock him out with a sucker kick to set up the choke. It is available on the WWE Network and you can see the live crowd didn’t buy it at all. Heyman never put the match on television although he did get the visual he wanted, editing it to only show the closing seconds on television, the scene of Taz choking out the huge UFC star. Taz and Saturn insisted that Varelans couldn’t have won a real fight and that when they trained together, Varelans knew nothing, and the reason he was in UFC was because he was a big guy with a good look but not a lot of skill, which wasn’t inaccurate. Varelans said he thought about getting up and punching out everyone, saying he’d knock the first guy down with one punch and the rest would probably back off anyway, or he’d deck them one by one. That said, he also said that he liked Taz personally and had no problem with him at all.

This was how it was reported here at the time.

The match was actually the second most hyped match on the show, stemming from an angle three weeks earlier. The idea was to create the idea that Taz was a world-class shooter by having him beat a proven UFC fighter. However, Varelans refused to do a clean job several days before the show. Since Heyman knew there could be problems in the ring and the match could stink up the joint, he moved it to early in the show. A compromise finish was worked out where Perry Saturn dropkicked Varelans from the top rope allowing Taz to give Varelans a suplex and use the choke finisher in 2:24. After the match Taz turned the heat on the fans who were mad about the poor match and weak finish, saying that he could have beaten Varelans clean but it would have made all the ECW fans happy to see an ECW guy stretch a UFC guy and he didn't want to make the fans happy.

There was tremendous heat regarding Varelans in the days leading to the show, including a possibility that he wouldn't show up. He also missed a scheduled session working out the match four days beforehand. The tension got so serious that Heyman was saying that in a true shoot Taz, who has a wrestling and judo background, would destroy Varelans easily, because the whole idea of this match was designed to get people to believe Taz was real, like a true shoot has anything to do with any of this. Heyman also stationed numerous heel wrestlers at ringside for the match, both Eliminators, Shane Douglas and Rob Van Dam, presumably in case there were problems in the ring.

Varelans claimed working for ECW was like being involved in the classic con "shell game." He said when they brought him in, they gave him no indication where he or the angle was going. Since he was naive to the workings of pro wrestling, he didn't recognize it initially. He credited several of the ECW wrestlers with smartening him up, telling him where it was going, warning him beforehand and telling him he shouldn't do a clean job. Heyman claimed Varelans knew where they were going from the beginning and claimed to have signed Varelans to a contract with it specifying a choke finish and tap out.

Varelans said he wished he had more practice before being thrown in there and that the two worked out once for two hours on the mat, but hardly worked out the match at all, and said he had no problems losing as long as it was a cheat finish but they weren't paying enough for him to do a clean job. Plus with him scheduled to be in the September UFC tournament, he didn't think it was a smart career move to do a clean job to a pro wrestler even in a worked match. He said Heyman was pressuring him up until the last second to do the clean finish because he told him he felt it was important not to screw the fans and even told him he'd ruin him in the pro wrestling business for three years if he didn't do the clean job.

Varelans claimed he's not really interested in doing pro wrestling regularly until he's done with Vale Tudo rules fighting which is several years down the road anyway. Varelans brought up another idea for the finish, which he said Heyman first came up with and he agreed to, which would have been for the Eliminators to hit their total elimination of him before Taz put him out. Varelans said Heyman nixed that idea claiming to him that he was splitting up the Eliminators, while Heyman said it was Varelans who came up with the idea and he wouldn't agree to it.

Varelans said Taz was a great guy and that Taz even told him what they were doing to him was wrong, but laughed at the idea of guy "who comes up to my waist" being able to beat him or be in the league with the top guys he's faced in UFC if it was a shoot.

"I'm not big on going back," said Varelans, who has dabbled with the idea of pro wrestling in Dallas, even though he said he had a good time doing it. "I just wanted to get it out of the way. It wasn't worth it. I don't like being treated like an idiot. If I'd have known what it was all about, I'd have never done it."

Varelans also said Heyman promised him none of the footage of the match would ever air on television, and it would be saved exclusively for home video. The finish of Taz choking Varelans out, but nothing else, did air on television. The match was also not released unedited on the DVD, but it does appear on the WWE Network version of the show. Heyman said that it didn’t go as he wanted, but he got the footage of Taz choking out a UFC star and the result of Taz winning, and he knew that could be used to help build where he was going with Taz.

Taz at the time was upset with comments made by Varelans.

He said that from the start, Heyman had told him Varelans had agreed to do the job. He said Varelans appeared apprehensive about doing it, acting like he didn't know what the plans were for him. He said Varelans had told him he thought it would be a slow build-up rather than doing the match three weeks after the angle.

He said in the one workout session that had at the ECW school, that Varelans had to be taught how to properly apply a front headlock and Perry Satullo (Saturn), the other coach at the school said that trap fighting (which Varelans was billed as a black belt in when he first arrived in UFC, fighters were often give fake records and credentials in the early UFCs) must mean that if you get in a fight, you're trapped.

"He doesn't know how to do anything. He's clumsy. Taz could have eaten him up,” Satullo said.

Taz said in their match that Varelans left him several openings to tear him up.

"In a straight shoot, he was wide open at all times.” Taz said at the time.

Taz said the fact there were several heels around the ring during the match was because it was ECW vs. UFC and they wanted to show ECW heels as being unified behind him.

"I don't need anyone to defend me. I've lost fights before, but that kid can't beat me."

Both Taz, who wrestled for two years at the University of Massachusetts and one year at C.W. Post, and Heyman, said that Varelans was offered the opportunity to do a shoot but turned it down. Taz said it was in a conversation between the two when Varelans was unhappy about doing the job, and he said he'd go to Paul and see if they could both get more money because what they were going to make wasn't enough to do a shoot.

He said Varelans said that it was okay. Heyman said it was in a phone conversation that all three were on. Taz said he can see why the UFC people like Varelans, because he's a big guy with a good look, he's a wild puncher and he can take a good punch, and said that he doesn't want to say that Varelans was afraid of him, only that Varelans said he wasn't here to do a shoot.

"I've seen him and he definitely doesn't have a glass jaw

I wouldn't be this hot if he didn't make the silly comments about me being up to his waist. My size has nothing to do with it. His size is irrelevant. We're all the same size on the mat. He was wide open so many times in the match

The only reason I'm bitter is because he's crying the blues."

“Very sad to hear this,” said Peter Senerchia (Taz) about Varelans death this past week. “Had a match in ECW with Paul. He was a great guy, big, strong tough SOB. Condolences and thoughts with his family.”

“I just felt he was really a nice guy,” he later said. “I got to know him a little bit leading up to the match talking business with im and he genuinely was just a real sweetheart, but yet a killer.”

 

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To follow up on something from last week - the NFL has announced that the Super Bowl will have 22,000 fans (roughly a third will be vaccinated healthcare workers who get in for free)

The reason I bring that up is to tie it into this blurb from the new WON (which was also said last week in this thread)

Quote

Raymond James Stadium will also host this year’s Super Bowl on 2/7. The NFL has announced limited seating for the game which is just a few weeks away. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have put 15,000 in for their home games this year. My gut is that the WWE will monitor what the Super Bowl draws and try to do something similar or slightly higher. WWE often likes to run right after the Super Bowl so that when they announce their inflated attendance number, it will be higher than the Super Bowl. In actuality, because of the size of the WWE stage, in a stadium setting, even adding in the seats on the ground, the general rule is it can legitimately put in about 5,000 less people than a Super Bowl. But the usual exaggeration numbers will range from 7,000 to 20,000, depending on the year.

It’s hard to figure because WWE obviously wants to make the most money. They can charge the highest prices and the people who attend Mania spend four to five times as much per person on souvenirs than any other show. At the same time, this is a weird time period. New Japan actually gave fake low numbers for the Tokyo Dome with the idea it looked better to the public to announce smaller numbers. While bragging you had more people than the Super Bowl is kind of silly. For one, it’s not true. For two, even if you did, the demand for Super Bowl tickets is a completely different level, and for three, tickets and the live gate are probably six times larger for a Super Bowl game.

Inside WWE, the plan looks to be to put 30,000 people in the building both nights. If the Super Bowl puts in more, they’ll likely put in more. But that was the legit goal as of early in the week. What they’ll announce is anyone’s guess. The shows will likely be four-and-a-half hours with the first match going in the ring at 5:30 p.m. and the targeted ending at 10 p.m. The Tokyo Dome did two five hour shows. The second day was tough, as it was last year, and as it was to a degree with WrestleMania last year, but in the long run it was the best for all concerns. Right now it doesn’t look like that will be the plan going forward, but two shows at four-and-a-half hours leads to better matches and longer matches and higher quality shows than one at seven. Plus there is more money to be made. In the past you could argue it would break tradition or it just wouldn’t work, but New Japan has proven two years running that it does.

--------------------

Regarding putting 30,000 in two straight nights, it doesn’t sound hard for a WrestleMania, but this is a weird time. You aren’t going to have the European and other overseas travel as in the past because of the quarantine going back. If there is quarantine coming in, that would eliminate other country fans from viably doing it. Still, WrestleMania usually draws 15,000 to 26,000 from the local market alone. While American travel will in theory be down, for a show like WrestleMania, particularly as the first live show back, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Moving Los Angeles back another year, it was first for 2021 and then 2022, makes sense. Texas is far more lenient when it comes to allowing large gatherings. The Dallas Cowboys at the stadium were putting 27,000 in this past season. The hope is to be able to announce another fake number of more than 100,000 next year and that things will be normal enough to pull that off. There is far less of a lock that they would be able to put fans in Los Angeles, as California did not allow fans at NFL games or any major sports events this year, causing teams to play Arizona. By 2023, the hope is that will change, but it’s smart to assume Texas will allow them to do what they want by 2022, and there is no guarantee at all California will.

 

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4 hours ago, RIPPA said:

To follow up on something from last week - the NFL has announced that the Super Bowl will have 22,000 fans (roughly a third will be vaccinated healthcare workers who get in for free)

The reason I bring that up is to tie it into this blurb from the new WON (which was also said last week in this thread)

 

"We won't have to exaggerate anything this year PAL"

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So Elayna Black/ Cora Jade is making her WWE debut on 205Live tonight, but apparently up until yesterday she was still booked on GCW's 24 hour show next weekend. Against Joey Janela.

If you wanted to get conspiracy theory-ish, you could suggest that WWE moved her debut up to prevent her from doing the GCW show...

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I need to keep reminding myself of something Lance Storm said on a podcast a few months ago: that you shouldn't criticize a wrestler for going to this company or that company because you don't know what their options were and what offers were or weren't on the table when they made the decision.  Like I'm ready to say, "why does anyone go work for WWE when 98 times out of 100 they'll just languish for a few years and waste their careers?" but then I realize people need to make money and there may not have been another option outside of jobbing to Jimmy Lloyd in shitty deathmatches. 

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1 hour ago, Technico Support said:

I need to keep reminding myself of something Lance Storm said on a podcast a few months ago: that you shouldn't criticize a wrestler for going to this company or that company because you don't know what their options were and what offers were or weren't on the table when they made the decision.  Like I'm ready to say, "why does anyone go work for WWE when 98 times out of 100 they'll just languish for a few years and waste their careers?" but then I realize people need to make money and there may not have been another option outside of jobbing to Jimmy Lloyd in shitty deathmatches. 

100%.

We should mainly just criticize them for their ringwork.

Especially in comparative form.

With polls.

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2 hours ago, Matt D said:

100%.

We should mainly just criticize them for their ringwork.

Especially in comparative form.

With polls.

We see what you're trying to do, 😄 ...

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I just read about NHL likely being moved to USA network by the end of the year. If they take NXTs slot I think WWE would rather that be the reason they stop going head to head with Dynamite then being force to because of viewership 

Edited by Ziggy
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Just added to WWE's YouTube. Enjoy everyone. The best Royal Rumble match of all time, Ric Flair going an hour and the best commentary to any match ever by Bobby The Brain Heenan/Gorilla Monsoon. *****.

Edited by The Natural
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Just wanted to share this. I know it will help many of you to listen to it.

No matter what life throws at you, you're not alone. God bless and stay safe folks.

Edited by Edwin
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https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/22/media/nbc-sports-network-shut-down/index.html

Spitballing here, but if theoretically one of these sports properties catches on big with USA, for example NASCAR or something, are Raw/NXT in trouble come renegotiation time if they're no longer the top shows on the network? I'm not hoping for it or anything, I'm just nterested in TV and sports TV stuff like this outside of wrestling.

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Dave Meltzer on WrestleMania XXVII. In spoiler tags for size:

Spoiler

A report by Dave Meltzer in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter explains why the direction for the top matches at WrestleMania 37 remains unclear:

The reason there has been no television direction for the main matches at Mania and you don’t hear anything about them is because there isn’t any. The only thing we know is the top Raw championship matches are not locked in. On SmackDown, Reigns has two different opponents that are being considered so Bryan is not a lock and at least as of this past week, Nakamura was not one of the two under consideration as of last week, even after the gauntlet. Then again, if you followed the Kingston deal a few years ago if they sense people want something, it’s possible to change and in fact, plans change daily anyway. But with no crowds, while plans will change, the change to Nakamura in that spot is less likely but nothing is impossible.

Meltzer also reports that as of earlier this week, WWE is planning for an attendance of 30,000 on each night of WrestleMania 37:

Inside WWE, the plan looks to be to put 30,000 people in the building both nights. If the Super Bowl puts in more, they’ll likely put in more. But that was the legit goal as of early in the week. What they’ll announce is anyone’s guess. The shows will likely be four-and-a-half hours with the first match going in the ring at 5:30 p.m. and the targeted ending at 10 p.m. The Tokyo Dome did two five hour shows. The second day was tough, as it was last year, and as it was to a degree with WrestleMania last year, but in the long run it was the best for all concerns. Right now it doesn’t look like that will be the plan going forward, but two shows at four-and-a-half hours leads to better matches and longer matches and higher quality shows than one at seven. Plus there is more money to be made. In the past you could argue it would break tradition or it just wouldn’t work, but New Japan has proven two years running that it does.

WWE announced last weekend that WrestleMania 37 will be held on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It was also revealed that WrestleMania 38 is scheduled for April 3, 2022 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and WrestleMania 39 is set for April 2, 2023 in Inglewood, California at SoFi Stadium

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Any guesses for WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns opponent? I think Daniel Bryan is the most likely. Really don't want to see Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar or Seth Rollins again. Reigns vs. Edge? Spear vs. Running Hug. Read Edge's rehab for his injury isn't going good. Reigns vs. Bryan is the match I want to see the most then Reigns/Cesaro, Reigns/Big E and Reigns/Nakamura. Like to think Drew McIntyre walks into WrestleMania XXXVII as WWE Champion and doesn't drop it to Goldberg at the Royal Rumble next week. Just have to wait to see who wins the Royal Rumble match and the Elimination Chamber match.

 

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One alleged twat in one state doesn't besmirch the entire charity, IMO. Unless there's other examples of this I'm unaware of.. then I'm all ears. Make-A-Wish(at least seemingly) does a lot of great things for those who could use it probably more than anybody else.

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