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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:13 am

symbowles wrote:Vince has fully entered senility. He's blinded by Reign's lineage and his look, not to mention his own over-inflated ego. Vince has to have constant control over everything, it''s been reported that he re-writes scripts mere hours before Raw goes live.

How long do you suppose before the dirt sheets are reporting that booking meetings are getting tense when people have to remind Vince that Andre can't do a run-in because he's been dead for 21 years?

Not even The Rock could protect Reigns after the RR.


Speaking of protection, why's he still wearing that stupid kevlar vest? Shield is over, bro.

Needs captions
Rock: Congrat-- what? Shit, really?
Reigns: AIRAIRAIRICANTBREATHEINEEDAIRILLTRADEMYTITLEMATCHFORANOXYGENMASKJESUSCHRISTIMDROWNINGINTHERING

ElSuperGecko wrote:Secondly, a Reigns/Lesnar WrestleMania main event has the potential to be Goldberg/Lesnar 2.  The best thing WWE can do now is throw BOTH Bryan and Rollins into the mix and turn it into a Fatal 4 Way.

Now now. Nothing has the potential to match Goldberg/Lesnar. That could barely even be called a match. There was very little physical contact. They mostly just stared at each other for 15 minutes while Austin looked pissed that he was involved in this trainwreck. I don't blame Goldberg for it though. Goldberg not wrestling > Goldberg wrestling. He doesn't know any better. He's everything that the IWC says about Cena.

The match should be one-on-one DB/Lesnar. It's the perfect David v. Goliath for DB and getting spanked by a malnourished halfling is the perfect send-off for that bag of vorcha cocks Lesnar. But they've already fucked that up by Staying the Course™.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by ElSuperGecko on Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:44 pm

Rifneno wrote:
Now now.  Nothing has the potential to match Goldberg/Lesnar.  That could barely even be called a match.  There was very little physical contact.  They mostly just stared at each other for 15 minutes while Austin looked pissed that he was involved in this trainwreck.  I don't blame Goldberg for it though.  Goldberg not wrestling > Goldberg wrestling.  He doesn't know any better.  He's everything that the IWC says about Cena.

OK, maybe that was a little bit hyperbolic.

However, Reigns vs Lesnar has disaster written all over it - especially if Lesnar is leaving. Reigns will be gassed after 5 minutes, and has zero experience working the kind of role he will need to work against Lesnar. Plus, the WrestleMania crowd are the die hard fans -the ones willing and able to fork out the necessary money for travel, accommodation, tickets to the showcase event of the year etc. They'll bury anything that falls short of what a Mania main event should be - and if we know for sure that Brock's leaving, then we'll know the outcome in advance. Reigns is swimming against the current in this one.

Rifneno wrote:
The match should be one-on-one DB/Lesnar.  It's the perfect David v. Goliath for DB and getting spanked by a malnourished halfling is the perfect send-off for that bag of vorcha cocks Lesnar.  But they've already fuckedthat up by Staying the Course™.

I couldn't agree more - Lesnar/Bryan one on one would be a stellar match. Bryan's got an incredible pedigree working with big men and making them look like a million bucks - Morishima, Big Show, hell he got an amazing match out of Mark Henry in his World Title run. Bryan will bump like a tranquilised Ziggler for Lesnar, and he's got far more tools in his locker available to actually put on a compelling match with the Beast than Reigns does right now. Only problem is, you can't go Bryan/Lesnar one on one without either

a: totally negating Reign's Royal Rumble win or
b: taking the title off Lesnar first.

That second option has possibilities. If Rollins can cash in before Mania we could have Rollins/Reigns and Lesnar/Bryan. But I can'tsee it happening.

So apart from Triple Threat/Fatal Four Way, the only other option I can see that would be well recieved is Reigns/Lesnar one on one... with Lesnar winning, and ROllins cashing in and winning the title afterwards. Imagine the visual - Mania closing with Rollins on the top turnbuckle, holding the title, while Reigns is slumped in the opposite corner, distraught at coming up short. There's the start of the new year's program.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:02 am

ElSuperGecko wrote:OK, maybe that was a little bit hyperbolic.

Oh, good. A lot of people forget how truly atrocious that "match" was and think it was just a not-so-good match. I get a little defensive about it on that account. The world must remember. The bubonic plague wiping out a third of Europe in the middle ages, the holocaust, and Goldberg/Lesnar WMXX. Never forget.

However, Reigns vs Lesnar has disaster written all over it - especially if Lesnar is leaving.  Reigns will be gassed after 5 minutes, and has zero experience working the kind of role he will need to work against Lesnar.  Plus, the WrestleMania crowd are the die hard fans -the ones willing and able to fork out the necessary money for travel, accommodation, tickets to the showcase event of the year etc.  They'll bury anything that falls short of what a Mania main event should be - and if we know for sure that Brock's leaving, then we'll know the outcome in advance.  Reigns is swimming against the current in this one.

Well said. If they thought the RR reaction was negative, WM will be far worse. Although I'd argue we know the outcome in advance anyway. Brock has had the title since August. I can't fathom them letting him keep it any longer, that would be the dumbest goddamn--actually you're right, we don't really know the outcome as of yet.

Rifneno wrote:I couldn't agree more - Lesnar/Bryan one on one would be a stellar match. Bryan's got an incredible pedigree working with big men and making them look like a million bucks - Morishima, Big Show, hell he got an amazing match out of Mark Henry in his World Title run.  Bryan will bump like a tranquilised Ziggler for Lesnar, and he's got far more tools in his locker available to actually put on a compelling match with the Beast than Reigns does right now.  Only problem is, you can't go Bryan/Lesnar one on one without either

a: totally negating Reign's Royal Rumble win or
b: taking the title off Lesnar first.

That second option has possibilities.  If Rollins can cash in before Mania we could have Rollins/Reigns and Lesnar/Bryan.  But I can'tsee it happening.

So apart from Triple Threat/Fatal Four Way, the only other option I can see that would be well recieved is Reigns/Lesnar one on one... with Lesnar winning, and ROllins cashing in and winning the title afterwards.  Imagine the visual - Mania closing with Rollins on the top turnbuckle, holding the title, while Reigns is slumped in the opposite corner, distraught at coming up short.  There's the start of the new year's program.

The main issue I see with that is that Wrestlemania is historically extremely biased in favor of the face in the main events. It's always been the place where the hero is finally triumphant in the big payoff. Let's do a rundown.

I: Hogan & Mr. T vs. Piper and Orndorff: Faces win
II: Hogan vs. Bundy: Face win
III: Hogan vs. Andre: Face win
IV: Savage vs. DiBiase: Face win
V: Hogan vs. Savage: Face win
VI: Warrior vs. Hogan: NA, both faces
VII: Hogan vs. Slaughter: Face win
VIII (billed as a double main event): Savage vs. Flair: Face win
VIII (billed as a double main event): Hogan vs. Sid: Face win
IX (Murky): Hart vs. Yokozuna: Heel win
IX (Murky): Hogan vs. Yokozuna: Face win (fans, business lose)
X (Murky): Luger vs. Yokozuna: Heel win
X (Murky): Hart vs. Yokozuna: Face win
XI (Murky): Diesel vs. Michaels: Face win
XI (Murky): Taylor vs. Bigelow: Face win
XII: Michaels vs. Hart: NA, both faces
XIII: Undertaker vs. Sid: Face win... I think? Was Sid a face here?
XIV: Austin vs. Michaels: Face win
XV: Austin vs. Rock: Face win
XVI: Triple H vs. Rock vs. Big Show vs. Foley: Heel win
XVII: Austin vs. Rock: Heel win
XVIII (Murky): Rock vs. Hogan: Face win
XVIII (Murky): Triple H vs. Jericho: Face win
XIX: Lesnar vs. Angle: Face win
XX: Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Michaels: Face win
XXI: Batista vs. Triple H: Face win
XXII: Cena vs. Triple H: Face win
XXIII: Cena vs. Michaels: Face win
XXIV (Murky): Mayflower vs. Big Show: (Bitch)Face win
XXIV (Murky): Undertaker vs. Edge: Face win
XXV: Triple H vs. Orton: Face win
XXVI (Murky): Cena vs. Batista: Face win
XXVI (Murky): Undertaker vs. Michaels: NA, both faces
XXVII: Cena vs. Miz: Heel win
XXVIII (Murky): Punk vs. Jericho: Face win
XXVIII (Murky): Cena vs. Rock: NA, both faces
XIX: Cena vs. Rock: NA, it was once in a lifetime so this is clearly a clerical error
XXX: Bryan vs. Batista vs. Orton: Face win

So my point, an hour and a half ago before I began this, was that I don't see WM closing with a heel standing triumphant. It's happened, but it's VERY rare.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:59 am

Good one.  Have Reigns go over Bryan clean and have Bryan concede and wish him luck.  Yes, you've totally convinced the fans that Reigns is the one who should main event Mania.  Because we don't realize that wrestling is scripted and a clean win totally changes our opinions.

Hahahahahaha what the fuck is McMahon smoking shooting up?! I'm not even a real fan of DB and I can't believe this horseshit!

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by symbowles on Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:12 pm

I love how Vince thinks that getting The Rock and DB to support Reigns will some how change the fans perception. He'll probably have Lesnar lift Reigns hand in victory.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by ElSuperGecko on Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:03 am

To be fair, Reigns vs Bryan was a very good match.

To be even fairer, most of that was due to Bryan calling the match, Reigns was practically wheezing after five minutes and despite the attempts to reduce the reactions, the crowd shat all over him.

I feel bad for the guy.  I really do.  He's got a hell of a lot of potential, a great look and he's still young, but he's been put in a no-win situation by rushed and shoddy booking.  If they'd let him develop naturally and gain some experience - maybe aimed for next year's Royal Rumble and Mania instead of this one, given him plenty of one on one matches and ring time with the best in the business,then it would be a different matter.

Did you know Fast Lane's main event was only Reigns' 2nd pay-per-view singles match?

Elsewhere... DAT RUSEV.  Seriously.  Now there's a guy who debuted not long ago, but who has REALLY progressed.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by ElSuperGecko on Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:09 am

Well, here's an interesting little story. No idea who the source is, other than it came from Reddit... but at the very least it's amusingly done:

Here is the full story from what I have been told from a very reliable source.

First, Brock Lesnar was not expected to put over Roman Reigns on the microphone nor was he expected to be part of the segment that featured Daniel Bryan and Paul Heyman putting Reigns over. Rather, Lesnar was expected to be a part of the main event. Lesnar’s walkout occurred in the hour or so following the Bryan-Heyman-Reigns segment. It is this reason why literally nothing of particular note to Reigns occurred in the main event aside from the Bryan tag-in which the commentators quickly put over as a bit of retaliation of what happened pre-Fast Lane now that they’re all buddy buddy (Bryan-Reigns).

Daniel Bryan was made aware of the situation before he cut his promo. Before Bryan did the professional thing that was required of him, putting Reigns over, you can clearly see much more intensity in the promo. That was the makings of a very good promo. It was also cut straight from the hip from a guy who feels legitimately robbed of his main event status at Wrestlemania for the chosen one who really fucked up in a pretty big way.

Reigns failed the WWE’s drug testing policy. The higher ups in the WWE were made aware of Reigns’s failure early Monday morning.

Clearly all involved are very disappointed in Reigns. It has brought back discussion of Jeff Hardy’s drug test failure prior to Wrestlemania XXIV where it was highly likely that he was to win his first championship (which was delayed until Armageddon in December). Many feel that Reigns should be forced to forfeit his position at Wrestlemania and take the suspension. However, Vince McMahon is backing "his boy" and made the decision not to suspend him as there is more than 30-days to go before Wrestlemania.

However, given the current situation in the UFC with the steroids controversy, Brock Lesnar is beyond infuriated with that decision. His legitimate fear is that should he choose to return to the UFC, quite likely given the money that Dana is offering, his Wrestlemania main event status against Roman Reigns links him directly to failed drugs tests in the media. It’s a guilty by association issue for Brock and a perfectly understandable one.

Lesnar has demanded that Reigns be replaced preferably with Daniel Bryan or John Cena, both of whom he is happy to put over given their popularity. Lesnar does not particularly care if the much smaller Bryan were to defeat him – it’s a non-issue due to the known ‘scripted’ nature of professional wrestling – as it wont effect his UFC reputation. Again, Vince McMahon has said that Reigns would not be replaced in the main event of Wrestlemania. Lesnar walked out.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:55 am

Even if that isn't true, something huge IS going down. Lesnar was heavily advertised for RAW and he didn't show. Everyone says something happened and he walked out. To say Brock is paid well for the occasional appearances he does is more than a mild understatement, as is the fact he's a materialistic prick through and through. Whatever made him decide to throw away a giant bag with a dollar sign on it and go home after doing what he hates to do more than anything (travel)... it's not a small matter.

As Reddit has noted (many, many, MANY times) this reeks of trolling through. Lesnar suggested replacing Reigns with Bryan, the Internet's wet dream? Sure, okay. I'll buy that he said "the fans seem to like that little goatfaced guy, what about him?" but nothing more.

Though it would be amusing if this guy was trolling and yet he was still right about what happened. Like that douchenozzle who edited Benoit's wikipedia page to say his wife died when he first went missing.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:01 pm



Vince is better than ever at 69? How could that possibly have gotten past the editor?

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by ElSuperGecko on Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:35 am

Rifneno wrote:Even if that isn't true, something huge IS going down.

Absolutely.  I can understand Lesnar being seriously pissed off if he'd travelled for the show only to find out when he got there he's not being used.

It's also amusing also that WWE felt the need to immediately come out and "emphatically deny" the Reigns rumours rather than just ignore them, considering they didn't even seem that widespread in the first place.

Now we're get AJ taking Stephanie to task on Twitter, and the whole #GiveDivasAChance drama, and Steph and Vince responding.

Who was it who said controversy equals cash, again?

Rifneno wrote:
Vince is better than ever at 69? How could that possibly have gotten past the editor?

Wouldn't surprise me at all if that was Cranky Vince's own idea, to be honest...

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by symbowles on Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:00 pm

I can't wait to see what else leaks out concerning Lesnar. This is the absolute worst time for this to happen, and quite frankly, WWE deserves it.

Here's a pretty interesting piece by Meltzer, gives some good insight on the state of WWE (It's long):

Spoiler:
With Roman Reigns cleanly pinning Daniel Bryan in what was a hell of a main event on Fast Lane, it’s very clear that Vince McMahon is still planning on the scenario he’s probably had for probably one year, with Reigns beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.
Fan reaction at the Royal Rumble, and since the Royal Rumble, largely indicated that scenario was backfiring. Forgetting about Bryan, and forgetting about skill level or being ready or even talking ability, Reigns is nowhere near as over and doesn’t feel like he has anywhere near the momentum of the babyface who is going to chase and win the title on the biggest show of the year.

What’s notable is that 21 years ago, a younger Vince McMahon was in the same position, choosing between his own hand-picked next star of the company, tall bodybuilder Lex Luger, or one of the best in-ring performers of that time, Bret Hart. Historically, Luger was far closer to what McMahon liked his champions to look like. But Hart was more popular among the fans. Faced with the crowd reaction in the laboratory setting of a big show, the fans liked Hart more than Luger when they squared off. The WrestleMania original plan, Luger beating Yokozuna to win the title, was changed to Hart. Luger’s momentum was lost, and a little over two years later, working as part of a mid-card tag team he walked out on the company. Hart became the company’s biggest star, before he was gone more than three years later.

This time, McMahon went with the original plan. It was acknowledged that Reigns wasn’t over like he should have been. So they went to work. They brought in his cousin, Dwayne Johnson, to make his Royal Rumble win even bigger. But the miscalculation of putting Bryan in the Rumble made the whole scenario backfire, and even the endorsement of Johnson didn’t matter.

The next idea was to change the original plan for Fast Lane and put Reigns vs. Bryan. There were a lot of ways to go, but the key is that they’d probably have a great match. In the final scripting, it was Reigns winning clean, and Bryan, the next day, out there with the idea he’s the representative of his fan base, telling them to cheer Reigns onto victory because he was the better man and we were all wrong and he deserves our respect. Not only that, they were put together in a tag team the next day and Reigns ever so graciously allowed Bryan to get the win, even though he did the work to set up the pin.

After the Rumble, there was a vocal protest. Did it mean anything business-wise? Well, WWE did change some plans, but in the end went right back to the original one. If a lot of people would have canceled the WWE Network, there would have been no choice but to react. Instead, far more people signed up in the two days after the show than canceled. It was a lot of noise and little action.

At Fast Lane, they were doing the same thing, just more directly. They actually put the two of them head-to-head, and the company clearly picked its favorite above the crowd favorite. This time, there was nowhere near the same reaction. People yelling about canceling and not doing so wasn’t going to work. And it was over. The audience couldn’t control the direction.
Really, I’d rather somebody wrote a book from start-to-finish rather than readers who have no real understanding of book writing trying to force changes so the little sidekick who is supposed to be a bit player gets the girl and not the handsome lead who the whole book was built around.

I learned long ago that a good promoter listens to the fans, and a great promoter completely manipulates the fans. But the idea is that both make the fans want not what they tell the promoter they want, but what the promoter wants in the first place, because he has a better grasp than they do about business.

This goes back to Paul Boesch in the 1980s. Boesch every week had his lab experiment, for most of his promoting career, 52 weeks, every Friday, he would have a show at the Sam Houston Coliseum. It takes a lot of ideas and creativity to run 52 times a year in the same building. You’re going to have some hits and some misses, and the idea is to either fool yourself with excuses on the misses, or learn from them. He told me that in the end, all the excuses are just that. If a show doesn’t draw, it’s his fault, for presenting a main event that fans didn’t want to buy tickets to see. Vince McMahon would tell the same stories, except he would use Bobo Brazil, as his conduit, with the story of the bad house, and the wrestlers, and promoters would talk about the weather or the economy or whatever competition was in town, and Bobo would calmly say that the problem is that not enough people wanted to see the main event.

Wrestling is a totally different business today. Vince McMahon still tells the Bobo Brazil story. And he doesn’t buy fake excuses. When a show does bad, that means the creative missed. He doesn’t want to hear about county fairs, movie opens, welfare checks and the day of the month, warm weather or cold weather. History has shown that NFL football, NBA playoffs and maybe the World Series or a hot Yankees-Red Sox game can hurt ratings.
But one of Boesch’s stories was about listening to the fans. In those days, a large percentage of the audience that attended the show, would buy the souvenir program. So in the 1960s, what better way is there to do direct marketing to your customer base but to put in the program a question, asking fans what match do you want to see. His job was selling tickets to those same customers. Instead of guessing what they want, just ask them directly. So he did it, and booked the match.

He never told me the names, but did say the fans wanted a match between the two most popular wrestlers in Texas at the time. It was a match they’d never see because the promoters always did babyface vs. heel. So maybe they were wrong. He booked the match. The gate sucked. And the lesson was learned. If you deliver exactly what the fans ask for, you probably won’t do very well. It’s better to create a scenario, and convince them to buy what you think most of them will pay to see.

Over the years, Vince McMahon has handpicked a number of champions with the idea they’d be the face of the company. Hulk Hogan was a big success. Ultimate Warrior seemed like he had all the momentum in the world, but as soon as he got the title, it didn’t work. With hindsight we can point to the excuses, Hogan’s manipulation after the match, no viable contenders set up, or simply bad timing with the idea that any face who followed Hogan would probably fail by comparison. He went back to Hogan, although it was clear McMahon had already made the choice that with Hogan approaching 40, he had to make a new Hogan.

I don’t think McMahon at that point saw Bret Hart as more than a bridge, a temporary thing until the next big thing came along. The next pick was Lex Luger. That was blown based on timing. They creating a scenario where he had to win at a certain time, they waited too long, and the momentum was lost. And given his history elsewhere, he probably wouldn’t have been a success if they pulled the trigger at the right time. He was too much like Hogan, and Hogan was still in people’s minds.

The next pick was Kevin Nash. He was the biggest of all, talked well and was good looking. But business was terrible during that period and Nash was clearly not the answer as the focal point. Nash wasn’t at the level of Hart or Shawn Michaels, the other two top stars, inside the ring. That was a clear factor at the time, even though there were plenty of people better than most of McMahon’s other champions when they held the title. Warrior was outright terrible unless he had a great heel to carry him. Hogan had a patterned relatively short match that worked, more because Hogan had incredible charisma, which Nash didn’t have even though he was bigger than Hogan and had better hair.

Then Shawn Michaels, also not a success. Then Bret Hart, but McMahon got buyers remorse on his contract. Then came Steve Austin, who carried the company during its most successful period in history. Dwayne Johnson came up during the Austin era and carried things when Austin was injured. The Golden Period ended due to two factors. They made the huge mistake of turning Austin heel, and Johnson showed so much charisma in wrestling that Hollywood called, and he had far more acting range than Hogan and he was wrestling less-and-less.

That led to the modern era. The company fell greatly with HHH as its top star, but he became a family member. But the company remained profitable because this was the first period in history when they were truly the monopoly promotion. The first hand-picked successor was to be Brock Lesnar. Lesnar was the best athlete and toughest guy ever put into that position. But he wasn’t strong on promos. He was put together with Paul Heyman in a pairing that worked, but the two were broken up and Lesnar was turned face far too early, then turned back. The company also suffered from Johnson appearing less and less frequently and Austin retiring.

Eventually the decision was made that Lesnar wasn’t the guy, and he quit the promotion shortly thereafter. Randy Orton came next. He had a long string as a main eventer, a very good wrestler with the right look. Orton had a five year run where he statistically did well above usual business when he was on top, but he did not have the charisma to be a real mover as the top guy. He still was always kept strong because he had the right look and skill set.

Actually Dave Bautista surpassed Orton in the fans’ eyes, and as a business mover. Bautista was a huge success with his face turn in 2005. He was a big guy with a great physique and good look, and reasonably good in the ring, far from the best, but certainly when in with the best could be in a quality main event. While his feud with HHH was probably the most successful of the current era, he was quickly surpassed in popularity and momentum by John Cena.

Here’s the thing. In every single case, even with Luger and Nash, they had momentum and the fan base treated them like they were a major star on the rise before the big moment came, or in the case with Luger, never came. There was never the totally lukewarm reaction to a full-year title build that lost momentum months before. Many failed when put in the spotlight, but none came in with no momentum.

In almost every case historically, even the most stubborn promoter in this scenario would chalk it up to not always being right.
Why is this different? One year ago, McMahon made a move that nobody expected. He had Lesnar beat The Undertaker. Nothing in the company, not the title, somebody’s trademark hair or someone’s position had the value of the decades long streak. It was the institution. It would lead to the most shocking moment in modern wrestling history and it could only be done once. There may never be another moment at that level.

The idea from the start was that moment would be used to create the new top star of the company. Lesnar would beat Undertaker, demolish Bryan, and be the unstoppable heel force, and Reigns would succeed where even Cena couldn’t. It made all the sense in the world a year ago. Reigns was young, looked great, and The Shield were the hottest new act in years. Reigns had been presented as the killer and the tough one in the group. The idea was to use The Shield to get him over, and it worked better than expected. He was an instant headliner being put out on his own. But whether it was timing, the injury, Bryan, or people wanting more substance from the top guy, it didn’t work.

Why McMahon was so married to the idea may have been that by beating Undertaker, and having a guy who brought the fan base into a different dimension of stronger reality like Lesnar, it created a unique time to make the new face, figuring it was time make Cena the babyface legend and not the guy in the championship picture, essentially what Bruno was to Bob Backlund and what he wanted Hogan to be to Warrior and later Bret Hart but it never worked out.

Abandoning Reigns would have historically made the Undertaker loss almost for naught and there was no way to recreate that storyline. Even though Bryan was the hottest act at the time, at no point did he ever consider Bryan as the guy. He was too physically small and not good looking enough. And that was the problem. He got hung up on the factors and not the end result.
Even though Bryan’s chant made it appear he was more over than he was, and he wasn’t a business mover on the level of Cena, he was significantly ahead of Reigns with far less help in presentation. But even with that, the argument is Reigns was younger, and with his look, had more long-term potential. Based on traditional qualities, he did. But the appreciation of wrestling ability as a quality may be higher than ever now, and perhaps the most important modern qualities are wrestling, talking and connecting, and Bryan was far superior in all of them.

What could have been different? We’ll never know. He was the guy picked by the fans, but the company never saw it. Everyone knows the debate to death.

What McMahon forgot is that every category, whether it’s wrestling ability, talking ability, likeability, looks, size, physique, height, perceived toughness, athletic ability and gimmick all go into how fans will react to different wrestlers. But they are all just categories.
There have been good looking guys who couldn’t draw women. Why? I don’t know or care, but they didn’t. There have been some guys who weren’t good looking who could. There were guys who looked physically like Greek Gods who did draw, and others who didn’t. Some short guys caught on. Some tall guys did. What is the best predictor of being over? The ability to get over. What is the best predictor of being able to draw on top? Being put on top with no shackles on your hands and wrists and ticket sales increase.

Bryan didn’t fit into the traditional categories of what draws. Small great wrestlers historically were guys who worked the second match. Except there was also Ray Stevens. Guys who looked like slobs usually made the business look bad to outsiders, and would be a disaster if put on top. Except there was Dusty Rhodes. Short acrobatic guys with minimal wrestling ability and zero psychology can’t draw a dime. Except Argentina Rocca carried Madison Square Garden’s business on his back for eight years. At an NWA meeting in the 70s, Terry Funk spoke about how the keys to the business were promos and if you couldn’t talk well, you weren’t going to be able to draw. Ed Farhat then spoke and said that there isn’t a person in this room who has drawn more money than I have (and there wasn’t), and I’ve never said a word on an interview.

But almost nobody has ever caught on at his level while being pushed at the level he was being pushed at. I don’t know if there is any promoter at any period of time who would have seen his reactions and not at least put him in a top spot as an experiment. Bill Watts once, during the heyday of the Rock & Roll Express, had his doubts about putting Ricky Morton in a Superdome main event with Ric Flair, but it appeared Morton was over like crazy. When he booked the match and gave it a full push, and it drew about 10,000 fans, considered a lukewarm house, better than some, less than Flair did with others, his conclusion was that fans bought Morton in a tag team situation with anyone, but not as a single going after the world title. But if it had drawn, he wouldn’t have come to that conclusion that he was too small to draw on top challenging for the big belt.

Don’t get me wrong. Many promoters would see Bryan’s weaknesses and think it wouldn’t work. Some would probably like him a lot and give it the benefit of the doubt if it was close. Others would look at it differently. But everyone would try. And they did try last year with Bryan, but in his coming back from an injury, every other top promoter would have pushed his comeback a lot harder and the former babyface champion who was super popular and successful a year earlier, and never lost, was not getting his legs cut off before he got a shot at the title. If it didn’t work, sure, but it would at least be given that shot.

But then again, what other company, besides the dying version of WCW, would have one of its stars as a key participant in the World Series parade, and never even mention it on their television show?
We’ll never know what Bryan’s true top potential was, and what the staying power of his popularity would have been. He’s going to have a good career. But he’ll never be the guy who carries the company. Unlike virtually everyone historically of his level of popularity, it won’t be because they tried and it failed. It will be because it was decided that the category predictors were more important than the overall result. And thus, he couldn’t be the guy, even though he was far more popular, could wrestle better and talk better and connected better than guys stronger who fared better on the list of category predictors.

But the key is, and the only constant in every era, is that all of those sub-categories and adding them up and getting a score is meaningless. There were great talkers who couldn’t draw on top. There were great ring technicians that couldn’t draw on top. There were models who couldn’t draw on top. There were small guys who couldn’t and there were great big guys with pretty faces who couldn’t. There were legitimate badasses that couldn’t.
In the end, the only thing that matters is charisma, and charisma is about crowd connection during the time and place. That’s it. Not necessarily noise. A prelim guy with a cool gimmick or the right story can get a gigantic pop. It’s the connection where you are somebody people see as being special, and can make them buy tickets, or garner more interest in your matches than all the other guys.

Bryan was the closest guy to having that one year ago, at least among the non-Cena members of the roster. He was the closest guy now, at least until Sunday, even with never being treated like it. In his case, the connection was people just liked him a lot, liked to chant with him, and it was just the right thing at the right time. Even star athletes liked having connections to him. In the end, he was never able to overcome the physical negatives to the audience of one. And I can’t think of one example historically of someone the public embraced to that level who got treated in creative at that level. Orton never had anything close to this, never sold merchandise at his level, and he was given a decade plus of protection at a level Bryan could never dream, and championship reign after championship reign. He got his WrestleMania win and had his moment and thus, it was time for someone else. Imagine if that mentality had been used for Cena or Orton a decade ago. Take Cena out of the mix and book him like a joke who almost always failed and the company would be in far worse shape than it is now. And you could easily, if you wanted, point to all kinds of flaws with Cena, but he could be on the Muscle & Fitness cover and was a great brand ambassador to the outside world, a role nobody else would have been as good at. But Bryan had that quality of likeability and seeming genuine that can’t be taught. But because of the inability to get past the physical package, something the audience had gotten past and not considered a negative years ago, his strengths, including the ability to have a match at the level that only the best historically could hit on a consistent basis, regardless of his dance partner, was squandered.

It was clear on Raw that his fan base was finally beaten after a long fight. He’s Chris Benoit after Randy Orton beat him, the guy everyone likes and respects, that everyone will want to work programs with, and whose job will be to put over the next generation of MVPs, Drew McIntyre’s, Alberto Del Rio’s and Roman Reigns, except preferably with a happy ending.
As for Reigns, what we know is that the endorsements tricks with Dwayne Johnson and Bryan won’t save the experiment. We learned that every time Johnson tried to put over Cena verbally and people turned on him. But at least with Cena, his segments drew the highest numbers most of the time, his merchandise blew away the field, they’d raise tickets prices for his shows and he’d still constantly outsell everyone else. The mixed reactions were great evidence for people who understood little about business, since Cena, while not Austin, Hogan or Sammartino, still laid golden eggs better than all but a few wrestlers in company history.

The difference with Cena is people passionately loved and hated him. Reigns is more than people just don’t care all that much either way about him. Yeah, they really hated him as the anti-Bryan. But now that he’s not that, they don’t like him all that much, and they don’t hate him all that much. He’s a cold guy going against a heel that people want to like in Lesnar. In his favor, if Lesnar is leaving, fans still may get behind him as the guy trying to save their kingdom from the traitor who sold out. If Lesnar is staying, Levi’s Stadium may provide a very disappointing backdrop as compared to New Orleans on coronation night.

But the economics are so different now that it really doesn’t matter all that much what moves are made. No idea or new personality from the new era of mid-carders promotion is drawing people from out of the usual group of viewers in.

But the biggest story on Fast Lane was the end of the Bryan story as the guy the fans willed to be the top guy and face of the company. It was a fight for a long time fans thought they could win, and they clearly lost, and more importantly, based on post-Fast Lane, they weren’t even that mad anymore. It was just acceptance.

Don’t get me wrong. He is going to be a star within the television show for maybe as long as his body holds up, and at minimum for several more years. He’s a great wrestler and he’ll be counted on to be part of big matches. He’ll get over the heels they are promoting to whomever their real headliner is. He’ll have great technical matches when called on to face talented wrestlers. He’ll give good promos. People will like him. They’ll still chant “Yes” all the time, not with the fervor they once did, but it’ll always be the new “Hiyo.”

When he’s 50, he can still be used for easy heat for a new heel, he can come out, get his nostalgia chant, and lose just like Jim Duggan did. Well, except probably a whole lot more effectively.

I need a little more time to ingest it all, but I thought it was post-worthy.

Also,


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Re: WWE Thread

Post by ElSuperGecko on Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:50 pm

Hey Rif. It's just one week until WrestleMania.

And I still can't muster up any kind of interest in the main event.

I'm more invested in Paige/AJ vs the Bellas than I am in Roman Reigns/Lesnar.


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Re: WWE Thread

Post by symbowles on Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:31 am

Reigns and Lesnar are fighting?

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:08 pm

The Bellas are back together? (I'm not even kidding, I honestly didn't know that.)

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by symbowles on Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:17 pm



I don't even have words for this.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by symbowles on Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:01 pm

Lesnar resigned.....wow

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:22 pm

symbowles wrote:Lesnar resigned.....wow

At first, I thought you meant resigned as in... well, let's just say I was I was really, really happy until I understood what you meant. :(

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by symbowles on Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:13 am

Ambiguous post is ambiguous.

Lesnar has re-signed. My apologies :(

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:03 am


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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:37 pm

Holy fucking mother of god. At the 11th hour, they've decided Reigns was a flop after all and there's serious talk of Lesnar going over Reigns.

symbowles wrote:I don't even have words for this.

You and me both.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:20 pm

Well Lesnar didn't retain but they gave him the next best thing. Why would a MITB winner cash in during a title match and make it a three way? Especially a heel? It makes zero sense from his standpoint. It only makes sense from one standpoint: that of a hack booker who wanted to preserve Lesnar's push without preserving his title reign. We can't make Lesnar look weak by having him lose a match at some point! At Summerslam 2013, Punk did the job for one reason: because Lesnar needed to look strong going into facing the Undertaker and still look good even after jobbing to 'Taker. Of course we all know how that went. Then he went on to squash, of all people, John Cena. And now they're going to retarded measures to protect him even as he drops the title after 6 months of staying home playing with himself.

The only question I'm left with is whether Lesnar is polishing Vince's knob himself or if that pile of medical waste he calls a wife is doing it for him.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by symbowles on Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:52 pm

They wrote themselves into a corner with the title.

I mean their options were:

Lesnar retains and takes a 6 month vaca. No.

Reigns beats Lesnar. No.

Rollins cashes in. This was the best route to go, imo. Not saying it was a good choice, but the best one available.

Simply put, Reigns is not ready to carry the title, nor does he deserve it. And Lesnar's next loss will be a huge thing, Reigns does not deserve that either.

The crowd was chanting "this is awesome!" not because the match was good, but because they thoroughly enjoyed watching Reigns get manhandled. Whenever Reigns mustered offense, he was booed...loudly. If he would have beaten Lesanr, there might have been riots.

This is all wwe's fault, but looking at the circumstances this was probably the best option for this fuckfest situation. The belt is back on TV, Reigns didn't pin Lesnar (so people don't have an additional reason to hate him), and Lesnar is still unbeaten since breaking the streak.

I could go off into a rant about Sting vs HHH, but I might break my keyboard. And let's not forget Undertaker vs Wyatt. Picard Facepalm

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:20 am

symbowles wrote:They wrote themselves into a corner with the title.

I mean their options were:

Lesnar retains and takes a 6 month vaca. No.

Reigns beats Lesnar. No.

Rollins cashes in. This was the best route to go, imo. Not saying it was a good choice, but the best one available.

Simply put, Reigns is not ready to carry the title, nor does he deserve it. And Lesnar's next loss will be a huge thing, Reigns does not deserve that either.

The crowd was chanting "this is awesome!" not because the match was good, but because they thoroughly enjoyed watching Reigns get manhandled. Whenever Reigns mustered offense, he was booed...loudly. If he would have beaten Lesanr, there might have been riots.

This is all wwe's fault, but looking at the circumstances this was probably the best option for this fuckfest situation. The belt is back on TV, Reigns didn't pin Lesnar (so people don't have an additional reason to hate him), and Lesnar is still unbeaten since breaking the streak.

I could go off into a rant about Sting vs HHH, but I might break my keyboard. And let's not forget Undertaker vs Wyatt. Picard Facepalm

I don't think Rollins is ready for it either. He and Reigns have been around the exact same amount of time, they've been solo the exact same amount of time. How is Rollins anymore ready than Reigns is? Reigns' only mistake is having been groomed for the role, overgroomed as it turns out. He's been the golden boy for so long that the fans resent him for it. Rollins is better in-ring but he's still no Chris Benoit and that's the bar for being champion based solely on your in-ring work.

Admittedly I haven't watched the product in months but Rollins wasn't exactly magic on the mic. I mean he wasn't terrible but he wasn't even above average. Remember the week after he broke Shield, he gets on the mic and goes at the booing fans, "You guys are still on that? I'm over it, why aren't you guys over it?" I facepalmed pretty hard. I think he was trying to come off as cool.

Anyway, Reigns' mistake wasn't even his own. What was he going to do, ask to NOT be pushed? Rollins' mistake was his own, and that mistake is dic pics. Remember when RVD got caught doing what literally everyone knows he was doing all along? It was like some kind of magnetic anomaly, you could see the belts fly screaming away from him (see, the joke there was that I implied the belts contain actual gold).

And yet here we are in the PG era, and they put the belt on a guy who has fresh dick pics smeared all over the Internet. Kids are googling the champion and finding pictures of his hornswoggle. See, this is one of the reasons John Cena was a great champion. He was never going to embarrass the company. If you find dirt on Cena, it's the dirt he got on his boots while stopping a school bus full of orphans from driving off a cliff.

But I digress. My problem wasn't so much with Rollins cashing in and winning. It was that they went to retarded lengths to make sure Lesnar never truly lost. If Reigns won and then Rollins cashed in on him, that means Lesnar lost a match. If Lesnar won and Rollins cashed in on him, that means Lesnar lost a match. They had a heel MITB champion cash in on an ongoing match - meaning his odds went from somewhere around 95% to 33%. He screwed himself for no reason at all, regardless of how it worked it for him in the end. All so that Lesnar never lost.

I do partially blame the fans for this. They're a bunch of fickle retards. They just hate whoever is getting pushed as a top face because fuck that guy. Reigns is getting the same treatment Cena got and for the same reason. Granted, I don't think Reigns is ready for or yet deserving of the push he got, but that has nothing to do with why the idiots are booing him.

Lastly, I must say, I'm a bit annoyed that people keep making comparisons between the Reigns situation and Lex Luger circa 93. The situations are completely different, and arguably almost opposites. The fans hate Reigns because they know he's the chosen guy, he's being groomed for the top position and they disagree with the choice. The fans were firmly behind Lex Luger in 93. The problem with Luger is that they waited too long to pull the trigger on his title reign. They built up to Summerslam 93 with Luger against the reigning Yokozuna. Luger won by count-out and they acted like that was some major victory even though he didn't win the title. Then came Survivor Series and they did a traditional tag team elimination match with the two. But the Undertaker no-sold Yokozuna's offense because Undertaker, so he got the next title shot at the Royal Rumble. Meanwhile, Luger dicked around with a feud against Ludvig Borga, generic large foreign man #854-B. Borga got injured and I don't think the match even happened. Only 4 PPV's a year at this point, remember. Luger's next shot was at Wrestlemania. Nobody gave a fuck about Luger anymore. Luger started his campaign against Yokozuna on July 4th 1993 and it was March 20th 1994 when they expected people to still give a shit. The only similarity between the two is that Brock Lesnar only works twice a year.

People say Luger is proof that only Hogan could've pulled off the role he played in 80's-early 90's WWF. I disagree. Hogan's biggest trait, more than even the patriotic angle, was that he always got the job done in the end. Luger never got the job done in the end. It was never his character's fault, but he never got it done. He knocked Yoko out cold at Summerslam, he won the Survivor Series match, and he only lost because of a douchebag referee at 'Mania, but the fact is he never achieved his one big goal of taking the belt back for the US. I firmly believe that if he took the title at Summerslam, things would've went much, much better for Luger.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by ElSuperGecko on Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:59 pm

Rifneno wrote:
I don't think Rollins is ready for it either.  He and Reigns have been around the exact same amount of time, they've been solo the exact same amount of time. How is Rollins anymore ready than Reigns is?  Reigns' only mistake is having been groomed for the role, overgroomed as it turns out.  He's been the golden boy for so long that the fans resent him for it.  Rollins is better in-ring but he's still no Chris Benoit and that's the bar for being champion based solely on your in-ring work.

Admittedly I haven't watched the product in months but Rollins wasn't exactly magic on the mic.  I mean he wasn't terrible but he wasn't even above average.  Remember the week after he broke Shield, he gets on the mic and goes at the booing fans, "You guys are still on that?  I'm over it, why aren't you guys over it?"  I facepalmed pretty hard.  I think he was trying to come off as cool...



Rollins was more than ready. Admittedly as you said you haven't watched the product in months, but he's been practically carrying RAW since the Royal Rumble. He has been the best heel on the roster for even longer than that in the cowardly, sleazy, self-important role - pretty much since his turn on the Shield. Plus, Rollins has YEARS of solo experience that Reigns doesn't. Ring of Honour, followed by 3+ years in FCW and NXT before he joined the WWE's main roster. He was having 30+ minute match of the year candidates with Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries and Claudio Castagnoli before Roman Reigns laced up his first pair of boots.

And that experience and ability shows. It's why Cena/Brock/Rollins at Royal Rumble is already considered a MOTY candidate. It's why Rollins has been consistently a focus at the top of the card since the SHIELD made their debut. It's why the crowd went insane when Rollins raced down the ramp during the Lesnar/Reigns match last Sunday.

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Re: WWE Thread

Post by Rifneno on Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:21 pm

ElSuperGecko wrote:Rollins was more than ready.  Admittedly as you said you haven't watched the product in months, but he's been practically carrying RAW since the Royal Rumble.  He has been the best heel on the roster for even longer than that in the cowardly, sleazy, self-important role - pretty much since his turn on the Shield.

This is because the current product is complete shit (hence my not watching it for the first time since 1989).  Rollins isn't something special, he's a solid midcarder but that's it.  He's doing very good now because the rest of the roster either sucks or is being held down.  Especially the heels.  FFS, Cena was paired up this year with "foreigner who hates America", the most boring, uninspired fucking cancer to ever be called a gimmick.

Plus, Rollins has YEARS of solo experience that Reigns doesn't.  Ring of Honour, followed by 3+ years in FCW and NXT before he joined the WWE's main roster.  He was having 30+ minute match of the year candidates with Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries and Claudio Castagnoli before Roman Reigns laced up his first pair of boots.

Admittedly that sets him above Reigns, but that's pretty much par for the course for the rest of the roster.

And that experience and ability shows.  It's why Cena/Brock/Rollins at Royal Rumble is already considered a MOTY candidate.  It's why Rollins has been consistently a focus at the top of the card since the SHIELD made their debut.  It's why the crowd went insane when Rollins raced down the ramp during the Lesnar/Reigns match last Sunday.

LOL.  When Shield was still around, there was crazy Ambrose who everyone loved, there was Reigns that everyone knew Vince would push to the moon because of his size, and there was "that other guy."  Rollins was not the Shawn Michaels of that group.  The only talk that Rollins inspired was discussion of how he could've thought that hair looked good and still passed the drug tests.

The crowd went insane because they knew Rollins was going to walk away with the title.  If Barney the fucking dinosaur ran down with a MITB briefcase they still would've exploded.

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