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MARCH 2021 Discussion of Wrestling.


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18 hours ago, Peck said:

Now I'm picturing him telling you you're getting a $1,683 refund like this:

tenor.gif

Coincidentally, that's what he immediately started charged for his services when he heeled on the locker room, whatever their refund was.

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2 hours ago, odessasteps said:

It was better when they said a wrestler was thrown out of Sport X for being too violent or such, adding to the heel gimmick. Heel Duggan for spearing in football and then that became his finish. 

I believe Monsoon always took a similar tact with Niedhart, right?  Something like, "he quit football because it wasn't violent enough for him."

1 hour ago, odessasteps said:

You could also spin it as these guys were great at a number of sports and they chose wrestling. More true in the 60s and 70s, where stars could legitimately make more money in wrestling than the nfl. 

Great point.  Back when pro football players would sell cars in the offseason!

At the same time, "washed up athlete has to stoop so low as to move to phony-ass pro wrestling to have some semblance of a career" is at least as old as Requiem for a Heavyweight.

Edited by Technico Support
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At this point they should just let Bayley host Mania this year and give her one spot in front of the crowd and a few backstage skits. The Ding Dong Hello act is pretty good and there’s just no match for her.

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Here is where I stop short of saying that what Ross was doing hurt more than helped most of the time: At one point, NFL football wasn't the most tried and true example of masculinity in America. It was just ONE of them. Boxing was one. Pro wrestling was one BUT once Vince went national and pro wrestling itself walked the fine line between larger than life and Saturday morning cartoon, everyone else felt they had to be contrarian to that.

With Ross, it wasn't just that he worked for Watts as much as they became the thing in that era. Moreover, Ross for much of his career before 1998 was working for either the underdog or a company that was virtually the underdog even if they were the most recognized brand for pro wrestling.

In terms of in ring action, they (late era JCP/early Turner owned NWA/WCW) could rival or exceed WWF. In terms of star power, they had absolutely no chance. They had a great 1986 but by 1987 when Ross got there, Vince had amassed so much talent (which included everyone who was anyone in the territories not named Ric Flair) that the level of in ring content was made virtually obsolete. At that point, the only thing you can do as a commentator is legitimize the athletes in the ring. And going back to my earlier point, if a guy was still relatively young and wasn't playing football, no one saw them as washed up athletes. This is pre everyone having internet access and definitely pre Wikipedia where you could look up if a guy was the real deal or just some guy on the practice squad. Very few people knew any better. If someone said this or that guy played football or did something, you had to take their word for it. Why? They looked really athletic and their demeanor matched it. You would laugh if they said it about PN News or Norman the Lunatic. In addition, they was a long lineage of ex-athletes (and many CURRENT) who came from amateur wrestling and stick-and-ball sports going back several decades. It wasn't uncommon. So Ross wouldn't have been the first, but he might have been the last credible commentator to make it a point to do stuff like that. 

Then when he went to WWF in 1993, he very much transitioned to being a bit more surly. However as we've already pointed out, between getting fired multiple times and being relegated to being the third wheel or even doing work for WWF radio, there was very little for Ross to do outside of his normal schtick. In addition, much like in 1987, he went to the WWF when the glory days were over. Creatively, they were in the absolute doldrums. It also didn't helped that Vince had already cycled through all the past and former territory stars (including finally getting Ric Flair). There was nobody left for him to do talent raids on. This is where I think Ross was using some of this stuff to partly legitimize people but also to overcome really bad creative. The WWF was certainly bringing in these guys who were good wrestlers (or some who had potential to be good wrestlers or workers) but given horrific gimmicks or material to work with. I will say that when it came to like a Doink or an Undertaker, he never tried to do stuff like that. When Taker was the "deadman", he never brought up him playing basketball or whatever the hell Mark Callaway did before pro wrestling. He just always put him over has being really athletic. When Austin was the Ringmaster or Stone Cold before KotR 96, he might have mentioned him playing football (I never heard it but I could have missed it TBH). I definitely don't remember him doing that when he was on the clear ascent or after that.

One of the things I brought up recently in other threads IIRC is hearing Bruce Prichard discuss this on the STW episode for WM XI. I think they were doing some type of special or maybe a highlight package for Diesel, but the focus was going to be more on Kevin Nash and not Diesel. And apparently, this was Jim's (Ross, not Cornette) idea. Prichard kinda went off on Ross a little bit for that. I get it, but at the same, the idea of putting Diesel with celebs didn't work EITHER. I've watched some of these old Raws. They had him go to the NBA ASG (funny that we have one today) which was the one where they discovered Mark Henry and hang out with these big name NBA players past and present. Didn't work. They put him with BOTH Pam Anderson and Jenny McCarthy. Still didn't work. And that was when if you were really a celebrity, you were a true celebrity. So I don't find what Ross wanted to do any more ridiculous than what Prichard, Vince, and any of these other guys who were in the creative braintrust wanted to do. There is no set formula to make someone a star. Based on what Nash was able to turn around and do right after he left WWF, there is no way but to say that creatively the Diesel character had giant limitations. That and WWF in the creative department at the time was doing a very piss poor job of adding depth to and developing these characters.

As a commentator, what else can a Jim Ross do to get these characters over? He has to multi-task by calling the action and getting them over. That's not easy when what you're seeing in front of you is embarrassing OR legitimately nonsensical. When he was given decent material, characters who had intriguing aspects about them, or wrestlers who were the real deal in a workrate sense, that's when Ross was at his best. Now he could tie that and whatever storylines were in play into a nice little bow without having to grasp at straws. I can't fault the commentator for defaulting to what they know best when virtually that's the one of the few options they have. Could he overdo it all times? Yes, certainly. However, you have to take the good with the bad when you hire any person especially an on air talent.

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All I can tell you is that it made WCW look worse and not better to me as the target audience: a 9-year old in 1991. It’s a distinct memory I have from when I was a kid. Tony did perfectly fine not doing that shit.

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1 minute ago, Matt D said:

All I can tell you is that it made WCW look worse and not better to me as the target audience: a 9-year old in 1991. It’s a distinct memory I have from when I was a kid. Tony did perfectly fine not doing that shit.

How did it make WCW look worse though? In 1991, they did shit like Oz speaking of Kevin Nash. They just came off of the Black Scorpion. They had Big Josh come out with bears that pissed on the entrance ramp. Two of those things were on the SAME show. WCW didn't need Jim's help looking worse.

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33 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

How did it make WCW look worse though? In 1991, they did shit like Oz speaking of Kevin Nash. They just came off of the Black Scorpion. They had Big Josh come out with bears that pissed on the entrance ramp. Two of those things were on the SAME show. WCW didn't need Jim's help looking worse.

I was totally baffled when Ron Simmons made short work of Oz after his crazy entrance and considering how big he was. I bought pro wrestling as a kid. 

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5 minutes ago, Matt D said:

I was totally baffled when Ron Simmons made short work of Oz after his crazy entrance and considering how big he was. I bought pro wrestling as a kid. 

Well Jim Herd gave up on characters once he knew they were the drizzling shits. Shit I think the Ding Dongs lasted only a month. Simmons was the guy they pushing at the time, and Nash was still green as baby shit.

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15 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

Well Jim Herd gave up on characters once he knew they were the drizzling shits. Shit I think the Ding Dongs lasted only a month. Simmons was the guy they pushing at the time, and Nash was still green as baby shit.

I wasn't in front of a keyboard before. Now I am. Let me give you a better answer. Pillman was my favorite wrestler as a kid. I was small. I liked his quick style. I couldn't out muscle anyone but maybe I could jump off high things at them. Etc. Ross always went on about how he won the Courage award for the Bengals, and yeah, that made him seem like he had a lot of courage, but it also had some holes. One, if football was so great and it was obvious from listening to Ross, he cared more about football than wrestling, and if Pillman was so courageous, why wasn't he still playing football? Plus, the Courage award felt like a consolation award. He wasn't big enough for anything else. But he could get wins in wrestling! That made the guys he beat (and he got plenty of mid-card wins) look like they absolutely couldn't cut it in football. That was the problem with Ross. Rarely, not never but rarely, did he take that football reference and then move on about how wrestling was actually tougher or a bigger challenge or something that took MORE skill and strategy or something that had more opportunity where size mattered but skill could matter more. He never took Pillman on the next stage of his journey. He didn't extrapolate forward about his wrestling training and how he became such an amazing flyer. He never expressed why Simmons wanted to be a wrestler instead of a football player. The fact he was a former football player was the be all, end all, and why we should respect him. A nine year old kid could definitely figure out Ross would respect these guys more if they were still playing football. 

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17 minutes ago, Matt D said:

I wasn't in front of a keyboard before. Now I am. Let me give you a better answer. Pillman was my favorite wrestler as a kid. I was small. I liked his quick style. I couldn't out muscle anyone but maybe I could jump off high things at them. Etc. Ross always went on about how he won the Courage award for the Bengals, and yeah, that made him seem like he had a lot of courage, but it also had some holes. One, if football was so great and it was obvious from listening to Ross, he cared more about football than wrestling, and if Pillman was so courageous, why wasn't he still playing football? Plus, the Courage award felt like a consolation award. He wasn't big enough for anything else. But he could get wins in wrestling! That made the guys he beat (and he got plenty of mid-card wins) look like they absolutely couldn't cut it in football. That was the problem with Ross. Rarely, not never but rarely, did he take that football reference and then move on about how wrestling was actually tougher or a bigger challenge or something that took MORE skill and strategy or something that had more opportunity where size mattered but skill could matter more. He never took Pillman on the next stage of his journey. He didn't extrapolate forward about his wrestling training and how he became such an amazing flyer. He never expressed why Simmons wanted to be a wrestler instead of a football player. The fact he was a former football player was the be all, end all, and why we should respect him. A nine year old kid could definitely figure out Ross would respect these guys more if they were still playing football. 

I didn't see that at all. He many times said that Pillman was under sized at his position of nose tackle. One could see why he would take on a new challenge especially when football was not this high paying, be-all, end-all that many would contend it is now. You had guys like Flair and sometimes Luger express how much money on television they were making. Ross would always get over being world champion or champion period meant making a lot of money. I would compare it to MMA and boxing people today. You have A LOT of people wanting to cross over into another combat sport because there are different avenues to make money. If a top MMA guy isn't making the money he wants to make, he can go fight one of the Paul brothers and make some money. Vice versa the other way for boxing folks wanting to make money in MMA or have one of this exhibition fights on Triller. Pre-UFC, pro wrestling was more adjacent to football and other "legit" sports than it is now. 

Now that pro wrestling has many folks that don't watch sports and kayfabe is dead, you cannot really get away with that. If a commentator tried to make it seem like Shayna Baszler or Rousey were on the same level when they were both in MMA, he would get derided for it just because folks know the difference. Rousey was a dominant champion. Shayna never won a UFC fight in the ones she had, and the one major fight she had on CBS, she got treated like a jobber against Vader on WCW Saturday Night.

However, when Ross was doing it more regularly, it was extremely acceptable because people (or fans) could see those delineations. Yeah, a nine year old can't do it because likely you don't shit about shit. However, it wasn't disparaging the wrestlers or their opponents at all.

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5 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

I didn't see that at all. He many times said that Pillman was under sized at his position of nose tackle. One could see why he would take on a new challenge especially when football was not this high paying, be-all, end-all that many would contend it is now. You had guys like Flair and sometimes Luger express how much money on television they were making. Ross would always get over being world champion or champion period meant making a lot of money. I would compare it to MMA and boxing people today. You have A LOT of people wanting to cross over into another combat sport because there are different avenues to make money. If a top MMA guy isn't making the money he wants to make, he can go fight one of the Paul brothers and make some money. Vice versa the other way for boxing folks wanting to make money in MMA or have one of this exhibition fights on Triller. Pre-UFC, pro wrestling was more adjacent to football and other "legit" sports than it is now. 

Now that pro wrestling has many folks that don't watch sports and kayfabe is dead, you cannot really get away with that. If a commentator tried to make it seem like Shayna Baszler or Rousey were on the same level when they were both in MMA, he would get derided for it just because folks know the difference. Rousey was a dominant champion. Shayna never won a UFC fight in the ones she had, and the one major fight she had on CBS, she got treated like a WCW jobber against Vader on WCW Saturday night.

However, when Ross was doing it more regularly, it was extremely acceptable because people (or fans) could see those delineations. Yeah, a nine year old can't do it because likely you don't shit about shit. However, it wasn't disparaging the wrestlers or their opponents at all.

Don't even get me started on how much I hate it when they bring in a MMA person and immediately have them crush the entire roster. The way to do it is to have pro wrestling tricks outsmart them. They may be a pro in MMA but pro wrestling has different rules and strategies and skills. It's 2021. It's its own contained universe. It's fictional. Lean into that.

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I say this as an Englishman who isn't invested in American football or basketball but still likes to check out sport he's not familiar with. In a modern setting it definitely would lessen wrestling to talk about other sports when most wrestlers make peanuts compared to American football/basketball players now and can't compare to how freakishly athletic modern American footballers and basketballers are.

But I think it made sense for JR to talk about American football while commentating for Watts since there were more guys making big money in wrestling and kayfabe probably helped the switch seem like something a legit multi-talented athlete would do rather than "oh this guy couldn't cut it for the Cowboys so now he has to do something lesser".

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19 minutes ago, Matt D said:

Don't even get me started on how much I hate it when they bring in a MMA person and immediately have them crush the entire roster. The way to do it is to have pro wrestling tricks outsmart them. They may be a pro in MMA but pro wrestling has different rules and strategies and skills. It's 2021. It's its own contained universe. It's fictional. Lean into that.

That I agree on because logically, pro wresting is just a different form of MMA or at least early MMA/NHB. It's your discipline against my discipline. How I was trained versus how you were trained. It was cool when Shamrock and Severn had that gimmick cause it was just them doing it and they were at least somewhat accomplished. If you were 1-0 in amateur MMA, you should not be treated as though you would beat Amanda Nunes or Jon Jones. That's preposterous. But then again, one could argue that Sgt. Slaughter wasn't actually a sergeant nor did he have any experience in the armed services. He was just a guy who was very good at that gimmick and convinced people he could be that. 

Now that pro wrestling has moved away from a certain category of gimmicks, the default is usually lazy. In the early 90s, it was something that was your hobby (examples: Steve Keirn became Skinner cause he skinned gators in real life and Windham became the Stalker cause he liked to hunt) or whatever Vince didn't like or had a gripe against. If the creative is that lazy and with nothing resembling interesting, it's going to be hard for them to get over at all. Considering that, I would never fault a commentator from divulging their background or any info beyond their gimmick. The gimmick is death. Lets not kill the wrestler portraying the gimmick.

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On 3/3/2021 at 7:39 PM, ka-to said:

I like the 50/50 raffle that's won by a plant on like every High School gym wrestling show.

Catching up on the thread with Revolution in the background, I saw this and thought about all the times I was at roller derby matches and they had 50/50 raffles.

On 3/6/2021 at 8:01 AM, twiztor said:

if only.

the way Lance Storm kicks/stomps a downed opponent used to really bother me. He's got this sort of flutter kick that looks awkward. Once i saw him do it, i noticed it from a few other guys (notably the British Bulldogs) and grew to accept it. Hell, i even kinda like how it stands out now.

Bulldog and Rock always stood out to me with their wacky stomps. Hell they even put Rock's stomps in the Smackdown games.

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Well, he can or Blake Christian can. But they can't both (nb: They wrestled each other for Beyond and the commentators kept crossing them up).

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11 hours ago, Jimbo_Tsuruta said:

I say this as an Englishman who isn't invested in American football or basketball but still likes to check out sport he's not familiar with. In a modern setting it definitely would lessen wrestling to talk about other sports when most wrestlers make peanuts compared to American football/basketball players now and can't compare to how freakishly athletic modern American footballers and basketballers are.

But I think it made sense for JR to talk about American football while commentating for Watts since there were more guys making big money in wrestling and kayfabe probably helped the switch seem like something a legit multi-talented athlete would do rather than "oh this guy couldn't cut it for the Cowboys so now he has to do something lesser".

But most of the guys Ross was bragging about being former football players(Simmons, Dr. Death, Luger) were washouts from the USFL, or had a cup of coffee on the taxi squad in the NFL(Pillman & Vader), he would even go on and on about Bagwell being a friggin High School football player. Ross is a total jock sniffer when it comes to football and he was brought up in the pro wrestling biz by Bill Watts a former football/amateur wrestler who always seemed to want to try to legitimize the pro wrestling more to sooth himself than anything else.

Now announcers back in the day mentioning that Jim Neidhart was kicked off the Oakland Raiders for being a nut job works and makes total sense kayfabe wise. For Luger the talk should have been he was too much of an arrogant prick for the University of Miami Hurricanes so no other team wanted anything to do with him. 

Jim Ross was a great big match announcer, very good at getting hot angles over, but for a run of the mill match he was unbearable and that's why I'll always rank Moonson ahead of him. 

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19 hours ago, odessasteps said:

It was better when they said a wrestler was thrown out of Sport X for being too violent or such, adding to the heel gimmick. Heel Duggan for spearing in football and then that became his finish. 

That was Cesaro's backstory when he debuted, irrc.  Commentary put over that he was an ex-soccer (or maybe rugby?) player who got thrown out of the league for being too violent.  Only lasted a couple weeks before they decided generic European was the way to go.

Edited by Eoae
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1 hour ago, Eoae said:

That was Cesaro's backstory when he debuted, irrc.  Commentary put over that he was an ex-soccer (or maybe rugby?) player who got thrown out of the league for being too violent.  Only lasted a couple weeks before they decided generic European was the way to go.

God, how many variations on "generic European" has Cesaro gone through now?

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2 hours ago, Eoae said:

That was Cesaro's backstory when he debuted, irrc.  Commentary put over that he was an ex-soccer (or maybe rugby?) player who got thrown out of the league for being too violent.  Only lasted a couple weeks before they decided generic European was the way to go.

It was rugby. (Even though Switzerland doesn't have a national team.)

 

https://i.imgur.com/JUTg8.jpg

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Re-watched Drew vs Sheamus from last week over the weekend and it got me to thinking that Drew really is reminding me of Bret Hart with this babyface run. 

His character is very believable and he avoids a lot of the silliness of WWE booking. His matches are usually solid, logical, and well-built with a mix of brawling and technical wrestling. His promos aren't flashy but are pretty straight forward with a bit of cockiness. He doesn't duck challengers and has that sort of fighting babyface spirit.  

It's all right out of that Bret '92 or '94 title run. 

 

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Peacock WWE network going live on March 18th 

Quote

Starting March 18, Peacock will begin rolling out WWE Network content just before WWE Fastlane, the first WWE pay-per-view event on the service. The new WWE destination on Peacock will feature fan-favorite content at launch, including all past WrestleManias leading up to WrestleMania 37 — streaming exclusively on Peacock.

WWE will have a dedicated page on Peacock where fans can browse and access every PPV event in the last calendar year; current or most recent season episodes of WWE original series Steve Austin’s The Broken Skull Sessions, WWE Chronicle, and WWE Icons; in-ring action with new weekly episodes of NXT the day after air, as well as the 2021 replays of Raw and SmackDown 30 days after air; groundbreaking documentaries, including Undertaker: The Last Ride, WWE 24, and WWE Untold; reality series, including Total Bellas; as well as collections of featured series, topical moments like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin Week, and playlists showcasing current Superstars.

Peacock will continually add WWE Network content to the library, making the entire WWE Network archive — including every WWE, WCW, and ECW PPV event in history — available to stream on demand before SummerSlam.

Peacock Premium will be home to all upcoming PPV events and the current seasons of WWE Original shows. In the free tier, Peacock will offer a new WWE channel; select WWE Original shows; reality shows like Miz and Mrs., Total Bellas, and Total Divas; recent in-ring content; and new weekly episodes of select live shows like Raw Talk and WWE’s The Bump, both live and on demand.

You can get the first 4 months for $10. 

Screen-Shot-2021-03-08-at-10-08-16-AM.pn

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1 hour ago, The Green Meanie said:

It was rugby. (Even though Switzerland doesn't have a national team.)

 

https://i.imgur.com/JUTg8.jpg

Switzerland has a national rugby team. They're internationally ranked as the 28th best team in the world.

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1 hour ago, ChesterCopperpot said:

Peacock WWE network going live on March 18th 

You can get the first 4 months for $10. 

Screen-Shot-2021-03-08-at-10-08-16-AM.pn

So you're paying for 4 PPV's for $10 until they get their shit together in August and actually transfer the rest of the network over.  

And I *think* you have to manually cancel the WWE network?  Good lord is this a shit show of the highest caliber.  

I'm all but guaranteeing you, WrestleMania is going to have to be on both platforms because Comcast hasn't gotten their Peacock shit together.

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