CURRENT WRESTLING SCENE
After watching the main event at Extreme Rules, a lackluster RAW, and Impact on Thursday, I felt compelled to express some dissatisfaction. First World problems, right! I almost question why I bother at this point. Wrestling began its long slow decline way back in 2000, and it accelerated after WCW lost an obscene amount of money, Kellner pulled the plug, and of course Vincent K. McMahon booked it into oblivion with his pettiness, short-sightedness and stupidity. I am always a bit sheepish when I admit that I still watch the "fake-stuff." Hell, I even get: That stuff is still on? Yup it is, but I wonder how much longer I can watch; well for now at least TNA because at least the WWE has had some compelling stuff on TV.
TNA. Where to start. In all seriousness who runs that fucking place? And whoever it is, what the fuck are they doing? Why does Hulk Hogan have influence in 2012? One could call Kirk Cameron and Danny Bonaduce legends of their time but I doubt NBC calls them for ideas today on what makes a great sitcom. Not many former athletes make great coaches or broadcasters, and Hogan may have been one of the top earners of all time, but he has become a running joke. History shows what Hogan does when he returns or arrives: WWF 93, WCW 94, TNA 2010 and some of his runs in the 2000's in the WWE. The quality of the product slips as you get Jim Duggan beating Austin for the US title in a squash match, and Brutus Beefcake in the main event at Starrcade, and honestly Starrcade never recovered: Don't believe me? Watch them from 94 onward and there are far more stinkers than not.
There is nothing wrong with having Hogan consult you, but when he spouts off that all TNA needs to do is go live and comes up with a hopefully aborted idea: Follow TNA wrestlers and film them, or some stupid fucking shit. I mean who comes up with that? Jesus, I thought WWE was bad with their Twitter nonsense, or the fact that they are the number one show in Zimbabwe, barely besting reruns of Cheers. It is almost sad when TNA reads Twitter stuff on air because you know no one is Tweeting about TNA except employees and their closest friends because they are forced to watch it.
Let's use one of TNA's "novel" concept Gut Check as an example: Sounds great in theory. You bring in an Indy Wrestler and have him try out and have fans help decide whether or not to keep him. Cool man. I mean NXT was so "awesome." Oh and TNA promises to pull back the curtain on something. Not sure what. I was trying not to spoon my eyes out at this point. But if that pertained to Flair attempting to stay in character (Talk about a sad decline) and saying he respects the fans but hates them, or whatever the fuck he slurred out. There was no pulling back the curtain. Instead viewers were treated with a five minute segment that advanced NOTHING. Why? Because they went out to the ring and said the same fucking thing! This poor kid actually invoked his dead dad and got shat on by the Impact audience. I mean this kid has no chance. Oh, and to make things better....Yes, better, his match that somehow got him a job sucked. Sucked hard. He lost to Robbie E or T or F in like two minutes. So, TNA hired a jobber. Cool! Another great part of that: Flair had just stated that the kid did not have it. But then Brother Love responded that he would be a perfect fit for the X Division! Just burying the X Division after saying the kid was too small etc....
Speaking of the X Division where is it? Speaking of Wrestling Matters, where did it go? We get four minute matches that are tepid at best and really shitty at worst. Angles consist of Angle hating Jeff Hardy because his kid worships him. BTW: I am calling bullshit on that. Or Kazarian and Daniels have a picture of AJ Styles. Abyss playing his brother. Garrett Bischoff getting shoved down our throats in an angle where the Impact Zone fans turned on. Not edited out either. I am sure Eric and Hulk convinced Dixie that that was heel heat and not X Pac heat. Let's just say I would rather have the days when an angle started when someone spilled coffee on them, or shit, David Flair trying to do a Paternity Test with the baby still in the womb! Ah, Russo. I don't think we ever found who the daddy was. I would say it was me, but that would be just wishful thinking and Clooney would not be too pleased.
See the problem with TNA was not Russo. It is the entire culture from Dixie on down. The ratings have dropped in recent weeks, and instead of making changes, such as, having wrestling on the show, TNA just trudges on. The fans are trying to tell TNA something: Please wrestle and come up with a decent angle and scrap the gimmicks. Changing the time-slot will not help. Why? Because TNA is damn near broken. It has to be changed fundamentally from the top on down. Start the show with an actual wrestling. Use the X Division and have ten-fifteen minute TV matches. No more special announcements that aren't special, and will not gain one extra viewer. No more Gut Checks or Open Mic or Happy Hour or terrible country music videos. Just. Fucking. Wrestle. Jesus, you have Aries, Styles, Daniels, Angle and so many more that can put on **** TV matches. Instead I get a bloated Asshole who knows three moves, and a stoned RVD whose promo made me want to smoke battery acid on Thursday.
I was going to rant about the WWE. But I am spent. However, I will say this, or ask this, has the WWE ever properly booked a heel? Nope. I cannot think of McMahon ever doing that right. Okay, HHH, but he was banging his daughter. Let's see: Vader? Nope. Big Show? Oh God, Austin beat him his first month in the WWF, cleanly, and then Show started dressing up as gladiators and shit. Angle? Nope, he was fodder for HHH and Austin and the Rock for a couple of years. Benoit? Fodder for HHH. Kane? Destroyed midcard. Destroyed by uppercard. Austin? Fodder for HHH. Nexus? Fodder for Cena. And let's jump to Lesnar: I thought the match at the PPV was fine. Then Cena wins with two moves and does not sell the injuries by giving a "shoot" promo. So, let me get this straight: You spend 5 plus million on a guy, bring him in, only to job him in his first match? Christ, at least Bret Hart won most of his matches in WCW. This is almost like spending 5 million to bring in a guy only to put a wig on him....Oh wait.
In all seriousness I wonder how Vince McMahon has survived this long as a wrestling promoter; everything else he has tried has failed. Miserably. Why would I be compelled to buy stock in the WWE? I can picture the boardroom now: I got this great idea, we bring in Brock Lesnar, and we try to bring back older fans and maybe some MMA fans.
Sounds good Vinnie Mac!
But, here is the kicker guys, prepare for stock, attendance, ratings and buyrates to stop their decline. Sure business may be slow right now, but we are going to have a great year. We bring him. He will be a MONSTER! And we will have our top guy beat him in his first match!
People will flock to Cena! They love him!
Did anyone in the WWE question this decision? I thought HHH had a head for this business? Other than looking out for himself. It is so simple: Cena loses, takes time off, and then comes back and eventually wins. How fucking hard is that? Now Lesnar, who looked fine in his return, is a joke. Those who love Cena are not going to buying any more merchandise, and those who hate him, hate him even more and have become even more jaded. All this to set up a Laurenitais, the evil GM angle....I mean we have NEVER seen that one before, the same angle WWE goes to every year since 1998. Soon it will be Vinnie pulling all the puppet strings, and it will be 1997-2009 all over again. To be fair WWE has had some decent shows as of late. But this decision is beyond the pale. It is almost like Vince does not care anymore, his pettiness is legendary: See the InVasion. Anyone who has supposedly crossed him or was a part of WCW/ECW has a long fucking road ahead of them. I mean those type of people cannot carry the company!
WCW, went on to have its biggest year after Starrcade 97, but it still loomed. The decision to muck up such a simple angle. Sting wins. Cleanly. I am not saying that about Extreme Rules, as this was a 21 day and not an 18 month build. But, what happened was mind boggling and really makes no sense. There was no spineless Bischoff, no Screwjob to try and play off of, and no Hogan lurking in the background. Just a simple decision: Put him over and get your investment back. Lesnar may go on and beat Brodus Clay and some midcarders, but my guess is that he is fodder for Cena and of course HHH who will interject himself into the angle, as he needs to go over for the 4, 874, 498th time. I mean, he is the Game.
MMA BAN IN NEW YORK
Isnt the whole MMA ban in New York really about the unionization of labor? If the Fertita's just let Station Casino's unionize, wouldn't that make the Culinary workers shut up, and kill a lot of the ammo NY legislation has against MMA? It seems like the Culinary Workers really don't care about MMA, they just want the Station Casino's to unionize. What's their beef in this other than that?
Dan VeltanDM: Yeah, that's the major opposition. If the Fertittas had Station Casinos unionize, they probably would as part of that agreement stop blocking the legalization in New York (and Connecticut where they are also working against it). But the Fertittas aren't going to do that.
NFL DEATHS VS. WRESTLING DEATHS
With the sad news of Junior Seau's passing, lots of media outlets are making a big deal about the fact that 8 members of the 1994 San Diego Chargers team have passed away. That is a tragic and sad fact. What's even sadder is a higher percentage of the participants at WrestleMania X, also held in 1994, have also passed away and, of course, no one cares.
The NFL active roster size is 53 players, so 8 of those means 15% of the 1994 Chargers roster has passed away prematurely.
24 wrestlers participated in a match at WrestleMania X - 7 are now dead (Owen Hart, Randy Savage, Yokozuna, Crush, Earthquake, Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon), or 29%.
Obviously this isn't anything new to you two, but just thought it was interesting with all the attention that Chargers team is receiving in light of Seau's death.
DM: I said for years if the NFL ever had half the problem wrestling had, it would be gigantic news everywhere. It was always funny to me when wrestling got whatever minor coverage (except around the Benoit story) about the deaths and people were acting like wrestling was being picked on. Wrestling has always been lucky that when it comes to scrutiny it's in the position it's in, because there would be a ton more uproar if any major sport had problems half as bad. The NFL retried players lawsuits against the league need to be watched closely. If they are successful, it is a guarantee down the line we will see similar action in regard to boxing, MMA and pro wrestling.
It's starting to sound like WCW at the end, where they were more concerned with working the boys and working the fans than making money. I just can't believe how badly they fucked up Brock's return. I mean, I can, because I know WWE's history of fucking up easy angles, but I really thought they would get this one right, because of the huge investment they have in Brock. But then when you see Raw, you realize that Brock was basically used to get Cena ready for John Laurinaitis and Lord Tensai. And that really says it all. I'm afraid for the future of this company.
And I mean the story you talked about where you had people over to watch the PPV because of Brock, and no one will be back, it was the same thing with me. I had a group of friends over, and most of them were there because of Brock. And they won't be back now, that's how pissed off they were at that finish. WWE had a chance for something special here, and I don't think they've begun to realize what an opportunity they pissed down the drain.