Welcome to this week's question-answering-spree of frivolity and 'rasslin'. This will be the second time I answered this set of questions, as I did it earlier in the week as they came in, but left them on my work computer. BOOO!! Either way, there's a lot of questions on the asininity of TNA this week, plus a lot of chatter about King of Trios, a request for rostering a WrestleCrap game and my first non-wrestling question! (they are allowed and a welcome break from time-to-time, you know) Here we go. My first set of questions come from Facebook fan Michael Rubin:
1) Was there ever any legit heat between Sgt. Slaughter and Iron Sheik? Sarge said there was several real life run ins with Sheiky and attributed mostly to his drug use.
Well, if Sarge said there was heat, then there probably was, but given how outspoken (read, loud-mouthed) Sheik has been in his career and how he's one of the more abrasive guys in wrestling history, I'd believe it.
2) Do you think Hogan is going to negatively affect TNA just like what happened with WCW?
Is going to? He already has. It's not like the company was in great creative shape when he got there, but doubling the roster without adding meaningful TV time and aping the what the WWE was 10 years ago with the most lascivious aspects coming to the forefront? C'mon son. I mean, I'm not going to sit here like Bob Ryder and pen an article like he did in "RAW is PORN" back in the day, mainly because I like an edgy product, but what TNA is now is not edgy, it's self-parody.
I'm torn about something. I don't think they are together, but I have to put it out there. Does Vince McMahon own TNA? Or atleast a part of it? I can't imagine him being okay with all the WWE wash-outs going to TNA. I'd say over 75% of the superstars on that show had a stint in WWE. Am I right?
The answer is obviously no, Ryan. If he did own it and it got out, it would ruin his chance to get his wife into office and perhaps eventually into the White House so as to foil his chance to beat out Bill Clinton as the first First Husband ever. And to answer the second part of your question, they take a lot of talent from the indies too. I mean, who's going to job to the guys who used to be in the WWE? Not the other guys who used to be in the WWE!
The next few questions come from loyal blog-reader David McKinney:
1) Kofi Kingston: Hot Young Superstar with a future or complete mess in the ring?
A little bit of both, actually. I think he has the charisma to connect with the crowds, but he's still a bit raw around the edges, both in and out of the ring. In the ring, he put together a nice string of performances when feuding with Randy Orton through December, but since then, his sloppiness has gotten the better of him. Out of the ring, he's had some cringeworthy segments, like the one where he wanted a title shot because "he never had one before". Really, Kofi? Someone's gotta teach him how to think of ideas on the fly.
I still like his potential, though, but he's gotta go to an established guy and get some mentoring.
2) What are your thoughts on "nonsensical parity booking?"
Heh, that's a term I dropped in yesterday's post about booking, and to be honest, I was reminded of it because of this question which was posted earlier in the week.
Anyway, I think it's a terrible, terrible trend that is ruining wrestling booking and keeping companies from really growing popular, heat-inspiring wrestlers. The WWE isn't as bad as TNA in this respect because in TNA, the only protected wrestler on the roster seems to be Kurt Angle anymore. In the WWE, the main eventers trade wins and the midcarders trade wins, and the main eventers are only over because of what they did in the past and the familiarity they have with the crowds. Because there's no hierarchy anymore, or in the WWE's case, no strong hierarchy within the boundaries of each card "caste" so to speak, no one really cares about anyone else except for the guys who were already over.
Can you name some positive attributes that TNA brings to televised wrestling?
MrCableAccessTV (A1W Poster)
Velvet Sky's tits.
No, in all seriousness, TNA has a lot of untapped potential that is just shitted up by the execution in who they push and how they produce matches and angles. I liken it to the Michael Bay Transformers movies, actually. You buy a movie ticket expecting to see a cool movie about robots who fight with each other, but what do you get? A two-hour homage to the US military, with everything involving the Autobots and Decepticons feeling like a poorly-written afterthought. It's the same with TNA. You tune in thinking you're going to see an exciting show featuring honest-to-God tag team wrestling, young fresh stars like AJ Styles and Kazarian, women wrestlers who are hot and can produce good matches and a mainstream alternative to the WWE. What you get are old men doddering about, Eric Bischoff hogging every segment and absolutely terrible production values.
Even though it would never happen due to license reasons, how bad ass would Wrestlecrap: The Video Game be?
And which characters would you want to be a necessity in the game?
TheoHuxtable (A1W Poster)
It would be extremely bad ass. In fact, I'd love to see it done in the style of Akklaim's old WrestleMania: The Arcade Game, just because it would fit thematically. As for who'd be in it? I'd put Robo-Cop, Shockmaster, the Gobbledy-Gooker, Bill Ding, Xanta Klaus, Kizarny, The KISS Demon, Abe "Knuckleball" Schwartz, Max Moon and "Bisexual" Orlando Jordan into the game with Tony Schiavone and Mike Adamle calling the action.
Tell us about your first live show.
I'm not sure of the date, but it was a WWF house show in the early-to-mid-'90s at the Spectrum (pbuh) in Philly. I'm hazy on how the card was, but the main event was Bret vs. Owen for the WWF Championship I believe. They recreated the Bret/Lawler SummerSlam '93 finish with Bret not relinquishing the Sharpshooter and being threatened with DQ if he didn't let it go on Owen. It was a fun time.
My first TV-taping was in early 2000 in Trenton for Smackdown. I brought a sign that said "Hideously Huge Honker" and had a caricature of Triple H with a huge probiscus on it. The highlight for me was Kurt Angle vs. Sgt. Slaughter for Angle's European Championship. Fun times.
Was Vince Russo ever any good?
That's a hard question to answer without knowing exactly what role he played backstage when things blew up. I tend to downplay his role because he didn't script Rocky's or Austin's or Foley's promos, and I'm pretty sure he didn't choreograph DX's segments either. You don't lead guys like that by the nose, and the clout that Michaels had? You're damn right he probably got enough leeway for him and his new best friend to play the antics they wanted to. There was also a point between Austin winning the title at WMXIV and the Rumble the next year where I didn't watch because it got too stupid even for me, and I was the biggest Austin mark around at the time.
Still, he needs to get some credit. I'm sure he was one of the guys barraging McMahon with pleas to go edgy and to go TV-14 with their material. I also think that if he takes his Adderall and doesn't fall in love with the worked shoot, he could be a decent promo coach. However, where what the fans considered to be edgy evolved, Russo never did, and that's why we got rehashes and nothing more than sophomoric stunts even after the audiences didn't follow him to WCW. But then again, I hate Russo with the fire of a thousand suns because he took that which I loved and made it more stupid than men pretend-fighting in their underwear inherently was and than it needed to be.
Randy Orton; the greatest wrestler of his generation. Discuss.
Please phrase in the form of a question.
No, seriously, I like Randy Orton and I think he's improved and grown a lot as a wrestler in the last year. Around Royal Rumble '08, he was death to watch for me because of his overeliance on chinlocks, but he's evolved his game, and he really developed some promo skills. I don't know what it is with you Brits and Orton fandom (seriously, a lot of English, Irish and the like love Orton like I'd love Jericho, Austin Aries and Hulk Hogan circa 1990 rolled up into one), but I'd probably say that John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and Undertaker at the very least are above Orton if you're talking his contemporaries.
Is the heat between Daniel Bryan and Michael Cole legit or is it worked?
I asked my source for all things Daniel Bryan
James Varga checks in with three questions here:
1) Do you think that a Cole/Bryan feud will happen soon or down the line?
Geez, I hope not. Announcer feuds suck, even when the announcer in question can take a bump, which I doubt Cole can.
2) What do you think about Hogan running Impact?
He's running it into the ground.
3) CHIKARA King of Trios, who do you think will win?
I think BDK Team 1 (Claudio, Ares, Tursas) has to be the favorite. The BDK hasn't lost a match via pinfall or tap out yet, and their war with Chikara is the main angle by far this year. I think the KoT tournament is going to end up furthering that angle, and the smart money is on the first announced BDK team to take it. I think there's an outside shot that one of the big tecnico teams, be it Team Frightning (Quack, Hallowicked, Frightmare), the Colony or The Future Is Now (Jigsaw, Equinox, Helios), might take it though. I guess it depends on how long they want this angle to go.
TWB's favorite Aussie, Ross Fynmore, checks in with these Qs:
1) Impact on Monday nights - discuss.
FORM OF QUESTION!
/Will Ferrell as Trebek'd
No, seriously, I thought it was a ballsy move at first, but a better move than having it on Thursdays. Monday is the far better night to put on a wrestling program. The problem was that they took too long to capitalize between 1/4 ands 3/8 and they made the foolish mistake of going directly head-to-head with RAW instead of offsetting by an hour early. They should have started at 8 PM from jump so as to build an audience and to try and cut into RAW's first, typically uneventful hour with their money shots. Especially during WM season, RAW overruns can be can't miss more than they're not. OF course, this would all be predicated on TNA putting on a decent product, which is really not the case.
2) Daniels leaving TNA - tip of the iceberg?
I don't know. Thing is, Daniels has a lot of things working for him by going to the indies. He's a commodity of a name so he'll attract big coin, and he wasn't being used all that much by TNA. The combination of indie dates he could command from companies such as ROH and PWG plus activity, exposure and freedom to do what he wanted, coupled with his relative age, makes leaving TNA a no-brainer for him.
But what about the other guys? Be it Samoa Joe, who makes a six-figure downside guarantee from what I hear, or Kazarian, who still has hopes of becoming a household name at his age, I'm not sure that there's an exodus ready to leave the company. They all seem to be drinking Hogan's Kool-Aid, and not for nothing, but TNA does have a national TV contract.
However, there's one constant in all of this. Homicide will probably continue to ask for his release on the first of the month every month until he gets it. It's rumored that he's not happy in the company and that he's asked for and been denied his release more than a half-dozen times already.
3) Hogan's expiry date?
In-ring, it was when his body got so destroyed that he couldn't drop the leg anymore. Creatively? Guy's on his last legs. He's not the wrestling or the celebrity draw he was even around the time of WrestleMania X-8, and yet he's booking himself on the program like it was 1988 and he was the biggest draw in the universe. It's even worse what he's allowing Bischoff to do. Hogan's got to rein himself, Bischoff and Ric Flair in and use those personalities as enhancers to get the current talent over, not the other way around.
If you had to have anyone retire Chris Jericho by, say, next Wrestlemania... who would it be?
A 23-year old clone of Chris Jericho. And if that doesn't work, then I'd go with Edge, Christian or one of the up-and-coming face guys like Kofi Kingston, John Morrison or hell, even Daniel Bryan. The thing is though, that two year hiatus recharged Jericho's batteries, and it's conceivable that the guy's gonna be around until he's pushing 50.
Biggest "what if?" in wrestling history?
Anonymous Blog Commenter
There are a lot of big what ifs, but if you're going to ask biggest, I have to think it's something that would have altered the course of a company, not just a wrestling career. I can think of two.
1 - What if Magnum TA had never slammed his car into that tree? He was definitely on his way to being a big draw for JCP, and some speculated that he could have been "their Hogan". If he developed into the guy that Lex Luger, Sting and countless others failed to be opposite the greatest heel wrestler ever in Ric Flair, who knows how the history of WCW would have changed? You're talking the possibility that WCW doesn't need to sign Hogan, the nWo perhaps not being formed... it's amazing to think what the impact of one guy could have meant to a company.
2 - What if Vince McMahon had put ego aside and actually booked the WCW and ECW Coalition as a credible threat? I mean, from DDP getting roughhoused by the Undertaker with no mercy down to Booker T's samboing at the hands of Triple H two WrestleManias from then, well, WCW got hosed, and not coincidentally, that's when the ratings slide began, and sure thing 5.0 ratings slid into the territory of 3.3s and quarter hour spikes in the 4s if one was lucky. I mean, he squandered an audience! Could wrestling have retained its social relevance had things been booked better?
Who's got the worst backne on the indies today? Who historically had the worst backne you've ever seen?
Blog Commenter Bryan
Worst backne today is a tossup between Mark Briscoe and Sonjay Dutt. Every time either one of them took a flat back bump at the last full set of ROH tapings I attended, I feared for the safety of the arena in the wake of a potential pus tsunami that thankfully never happened. Historically? Kurt Angle has always had some pretty nasty backne. Not pretty, especially when the straps came down.
Who drove the hummer?
Blog Commenter Parlett316
Not me, that's for sure. I have an alibi, an IRONCLAD one to boot.
Do you know if TNA has anything resembling drug testing?
Anonymous Formspring Querier
Oh, you mean you don't trust that Rob Terry and others are au naturale? How untrusting!
Actually, I imagine TNA's drug plan is such so that if you fail your drug test, the only disciplinary action is that you have to fire your dealer and get a new one.
Is it asking too much for Wade Barrett to change his finisher to the heart punch?
Eh, I vacillate on the Heart Punch as a decent finisher. On one hand, the visual of punching a guy in the heart is pretty awesome. On the other, it's one of the most easily debunked moves in all pro wrestling, and it'd probably get a lot of X-Pac heat as a finisher. I will agree that he needs to change his freaking finisher. That roll forward thing just isn't working for me at all.
Who is a bigger f*gg*t? Highrollar or Orlando Jordan?
True Fan PWG (ChikaraFans Poster)
Neither. That distinction would go to the guy who trolls every thread at ChikaraFans telling people to watch PWG or else their eyes will bleed. You know, the one who thinks he's hot shit because he knows Super Dragon on a first name basis? Yeah, he's the biggest f*gg*t of them all. (And I like PWG!)
Did you know CZW has a television show?
Yeah, I do. I saw a piece on the CamelClutchBlog about it, and I was a little interested. I may check it out just to see what the hubbub's about. If there's good wrestling action on it, then I might get into the fed, but if it's all garbage wrestling, I'll take a pass. Of all the sleazy, real-life imitations in The Wrestler that should have skeeved me out, the only time I felt genuinely uncomfortable was watching the hardcore match between Randy The Ram and Necro Butcher.
Next quartet of questions come from ChikaraFans poster BuisakuKnee:
1) What is poison mist, really?
The actual composition is probably some trade secret over in Japan, but I'll be utterly shocked if it isn't a slurry made of water, food coloring and corn starch.
2) Who was behind GTV?
Goldust. He left the company before the payoff, so they just dropped it in true Russo fashion.
3) Is it true Dynamite Kid OD'd twice in one day?
Not all that familiar with Billington's out-of-ring life, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did. Some really fucked up people in that extended Hart family. I'd ask Meltzer for a confirmation, but he's very sketchy on getting back to you if you e-mail him.
4) Has Mil Mascaras ever sold a move?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Mil Mascaras even no-sold Darth Vader's force choke. So the answer is no, he hasn't, not even shoots. Literal. I heard the guy got shot in the leg and walked it off like it was nothing.
Would girls having tattoos be more acceptable if they didn't pick such bad tattoos?
baldbull (ChikaraFans Poster)
I guess I can agree with that. I mean, some girls have killer ink that actually enhances their sexiness. There are some good examples, but yeah, most girls just mess themselves up with the utter ridiculousness of the tattoos they get. I mean, just look at any chick who went to college between the years of 2000 and 2008. Some of those tramp stamps are ATROCIOUS.
I don't think quality is the only thing. Chicks can overkill with tatts and even if the work's good, well, it's just a turn-off. I mean, a few tattoos are fine, but once you start looking like Randy Orton with long hair and boobs? Pass.
On Monday Bubba The Love Sponge came out and did his best to act bad bum around the "pack". Fans started chanting "Fire Bubba". This (in my opinion) is an example of bad heat. I feel the fans are telling TNA to get rid of this guy. Does Bubba really think he's getting propper heat? The question portion is....should TNA listen to the fans and get rid of him? Do they care that people really do hate him and recognize that he doesn't belong? Many wrestlers feel that wrestling biz made a wrong turn when they starterd catering more to what fans and smart marks want (like increased amounts of high spots and so on). At what point should a company listen to what the fans want and at what point do they ignore them and hope that the ends justify the means.
canenigma (Chikara101 Poster)
Honestly, although I think most of the Impact Zone fans are mutants, in this case, they have a point. Bubba is a sponge, and not of the love variety. He brings nothing to the table. Eric Gargiulo of the CamelClutchBlog compared him to Mark Madden. I took umbrage to that... at least Madden was entertaining in some capacity. Bubba isn't, and yet he's a major part of the company.
That being said, I think that in most cases, when the charge of "X-Pac Heat" is being levied, it's usually a bogus accusation made by someone who just doesn't like wrestler they're making to having suck heat. Sheamus was accused of getting that kind of heat by people who didn't like him at the beginning of his run, but he's now one of the hottest heels in the WWE. That's just one example. However, with Bubba, well, even those miscreants can find a decent point like a blind squirrel finds a nut every blue moon.
Thoughts on Bryan Danielson's goofy strut AND keg walking?
shinedown (Chikara101 Poster)
Hilarious, although I'm hoping he doesn't get docked points for that. Somehow, I doubt it since nearly everyone except Vince, whose boner for David Otunga would rip through his pants if his genitals probably weren't shrunken from years of steroid abuse, is rooting for the guy to win.
Finally, to close this massive session out, a series of Qs from Chikara101's Stardy:
1) Anyway, what's your thoughts on all of the NXT Rookies, and NXT itself? How would you improve it, and which eight in the development would you like to see on Season Two?
I gave my thoughts on the Rookies here. As for the show itself, I'm warming up to it a lot. I think it's a great way to expose rookies to the genpop of the WWE audience without having to shoehorn time for them on RAW, Smackdown or even ECW. They really do feel like they matter, despite the fact that they share airtime with their Pros.
If I were to improve the show though? Two things. One, more heat between the rookies themselves. I think they've exhausted the Rookie/Pro feud thing, and I thought that they shouldn't have waited until the Tuesday before last to introduce their first heat between rookies (Bryan/Otunga). Secondly, I would probably have made it a two hour show and had more backstage aptitude builders. Having all those matches is great, and most of these kids are good in the ring. However, what about more challenges on how to do a perfect promo? Or developing a catchphrase? Or hell, how about shooting a different backstage intro type segment instead of just reairing the same thing they ran the first two weeks with different clips? Or maybe integrate more in-ring challenges even? It seems like they're half-assing this like they do the rest of their shows, but hey, it's still good TV, and I feel less and less wistful for ECW with each passing week.
For the next season, give me four guys whose names I heard before, like Kaval or any number of the WWE legacies they have running around down there like Richie Steamboat, Joe Hennig or one of the Rotundo Bros. Or hell, dip into the indies and make their first splash be on NXT. How funny would it be to see Eddie Kingston try to take orders from a Pro he knows he could take in a real fight? I'd also go with four guys that I really don't know, guys like Alex Riley or Percy Watson? The best part of NXT this year was discovering guys I hadn't been exposed to before and growing to enjoy them through each week.
How would you book King of Trios this year? From the first round results to the finals, also the replacement for Cassandro since he's out with a leg injury? (note: Q submitted before Curry Man was announced as replacement for Cassandro)
I'm gonna hold off on booking the thing until we get all the first round matchups, but if I were going to go with a winner, I'd go with Team Frightning. They have the mix of credibility (Quack, Wicked) and a guy who could use the major rub from getting the duke in Frightmare.
Finally, any promotions you've been getting into as of late, or wrestlers you've became a fan of?
Promotions - Through the magic of DVDs, PWG
Wrestlers - Through NXT, I've really started to dig Justin Gabriel and Skip Sheffield. Gabriel is a great high-flyer, and I love Sheffield's "big hoss" approach to the ring. HE's a very good brawler. Elsewhere, I liked what I saw from Pinkie Sanchez at A Touch of Class, and finally again through the magic of DVD, I'm beginning to see the greatness of Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels, a greatness that was obscured by the stench of TNA's mismanagement.
Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!