This week's QandAPalooza is the exact opposite of last week's in terms of EPICNESS. Thanks for coming through with the questions! This, in addition to the Flyers making history last night and me receiving phantom free ROH tickets, has put me in a great mood. Hopefully, my answers reflect that this week. And here... we... go:
Who was the best ECW undercard job guy?
Does Tommy Dreamer count? No? Well I'll be darned then. The thing was that I was still kinda young and never really got a chance to go to an ECW Arena show. I never really knew about the guys who weren't featured on PPV or TV. So yeah, my answer is Tommy Dreamer :)
After the jump...A quartet of questions from our most prolific blog commenter KoppoKick:
1) Coming off a pair of highly acclaimed shows to begin the promotion, why hasn't DGUSA generated more buzz?
I think the best answer here is that they've priced most of the indie wrestling fans out. Chikara and even ROH have reasonably priced tickets where GA, which can sometimes be as good a seat as front row, costs $10 to $15 for ROH and $20 for Chikara. While front row for the big events in ROH costs $50 or so, that's still a bargain compared to front row for DGUSA, which is $75. Second row at $50 and 3rd at $35 is still somewhat of a highway robbery, especially since at the Arena, there is no bad seat in the house. If that's the case, then why aren't people gobbling up the reasonably priced GAs for $20? Well, for one, it's fifth row and back, and really, there's a stigma attached to not being in the first few rows. Yes, fans can be idiotic like that, but at the same time, it's a buyer's habit, y'know?
The Japanese guys have name cache with me and a lot of other hardcore DGUSA boosters, but do they have any more of a name value to Joe Ticketbuyer, who can get second row tix to a ROH TV taping for the same price as GA for DGUSA at the Arena? If the level of consciousness towards the card is about the same, you're going to go with the cheaper product. I think Gabe overestimated the demand, which is sad, because DGUSA really has some of the best in-ring of any fed in the country right now.
2) Who would you choose to be the next IC Champion: Christian or Kofi Kingston?
Kofi. While I think both guys are more fit to populate the New Smackdown's main event, Christian seems to be the kind of guy you'd use to put Kofi over to give his title win more legitimacy rather than the other way around. A loss to Kofi won't hurt him, and I think he'd translate naturally into feuds with Christian and Jack Swagger near the top of the card.
And judging from the Smackdown report, they agree with me!
3) Are you ok with Over The Limit seemingly not having some type of gimmick attached to it a la TLC, Night of Champions, Breaking Point, etc.?
I could have sworn I heard Matt Striker say that OtL was going to have a "new, innovative concept" attached to it during my DVR viewing of Smackdown, but that could just be his natural bluster. I still think they're going to attach some kind of gimmick to each of the mains/major matches. My guess is it'll be some kind of wager-based PPV with a lucha de apuesta between Punk and Mysterio already announced and a heavily rumored "loser leaves town" stip to be added to Cena and Batista. But if I'm wrong, and they don't stip the PPV up, I won't be too offended by it, given that as a purist, I don't mind having PPVs that just have wrestling matches on it. If I were a WWE stockholder though, I'd probably be going DO NOT WANT right now seeing how buys have grown for PPVs with their name changes and stipulation themes.
4) Do you think TNA would have averaged a 0.9 or better from 8 to 10 Eastern on Mondays with a program entirely devoted to Knockouts?
Depends. Is it still the Hogan/Russo/Bischoff bloc booking things? Do they still gut the roster keep Velvet Sky and Lacey Von Erich, two absolutely gorgeous women who can't wrestle, as the centerpieces? If that's the case, then not a chance in hell. If that isn't the case, then I'd still be skeptical. The maxim is that women do double the work to get half the respect of the men. While the Knockouts have gotten rave reviews when they were being booked right, well... would they still stack up to the star power of Cena, Batista, Triple H and the rest on RAW enough to scrape a 1.0 average? I want to believe, but I can't say that I would.
5) Has John Cena already established Hall of Fame credentials? (Meltzer's standard, not WWE's)
If Kurt Angle's in the Hall of Fame, then John Cena is a lock. I mean, Cena is arguably the biggest draw in the company. The only two that came close to him after he came into his own were Triple H and Jeff Hardy. He sells merch. He's one of the best workers in the world. It's gotta be a slam dunk, and if it's not, then shame on Meltzer for being out of touch or listening to his more myopic readers.
6) Do you feel any guilt for not showing more support for an alternative wrestling product on Monday nights?
No, because Comcast doesn’t carry HDNet yet, and won’t for another few months.
…oh wait, you meant TNA, didn’t you? You threw me off when you said “wrestling”.
7) Are you pumped and jacked for TNA Thursdays?
Haha, I wasn’t pumped or jacked before when they were on Thursdays. Be that as it may, I think they might get better ratings, and I hope this means Russo stays as far away from the product as possible. Even though I have my SEVERE reservations about Bischoff and Hogan, they at least have put out a good show, something Russo really can’t say. Maybe if they do that on a regular basis, I’ll get pumped.
jerseyboy from A1 and the comment section with a few questions:
1) Am I the only one who thinks Drew McIntyre is an absolutely boring piece of crap?
'Round these parts, we call him Scrooge McPoyle, and not because I like him. No sir, you are not alone at all. I have no idea what McMahon sees in him to call him the "Chosen One". I mean, he has some potential, but not as much as one of the guys they just let go in Mike Knox.
2) Did the nWo, and to a lesser extent WWF "Attitude", permanently hurt the wrestling business because it basically destroyed kayfabe? It seems like it's impossible to get anyone to suspend disbelief anymore.
I agree with that to an extent. Older fans may not buy into kayfabe so much anymore, but I think there's still hope for the kids coming into the fray watching the WWE and seeing their return to some kind of pseudo-kayfabe. Never underestimate the power of a good white-wash or retcon.
3) And in a related question, is there any reason to believe that an alternative promotion of any kind can become a serious North American #2? (No, TNA fanboys, Dixie Carter's vanity promotion doesn't count.) Or is the WWE juggernaut unstoppable at this point?
TNA certainly can't do it without a philosophy shift, and that philosophy shift won't come unless Dixie Carter, who's really just a money mark with strings attached for anyone to come play, divests all control of the company. ROH can't do it unless they get a money mark and even then, as much as I'd enjoy them mainstream, would the public? I admit my tastes are different than the public-at-large. Short-term, I think the WWE juggernaut isn't going to slow down from external forces. Long-term... well, anything's possible.
4) While I'm no wrestling expert, I've been flipping around YouTube lately and watched a bunch of Chris Hero stuff. Is he any good, or am I an idiot for thinking he is?
Not at all. Hero is the real deal. I'm not the biggest fan, but he's still enjoyable every time he's in the ring. He's got a great grasp of storytelling, some wicked strikes, great in-ring mannerisms and the guy can cut a promo. Welcome to the bandwagon.
5) If Hulk Hogan appeared in ROH, would the fans chant "you suck" and "you can't wrestle"? Or would they mark out for him ala Sid Vicious in ECW?
They won't chant "You can't wrestle" at him unless he actually wrestled. As for how he'd be received if he just picked up a mic, well, I'm not entirely sure what the reaction would be. I've been to The Arena a bunch of times in the last 12 months, and it's hard for me to gauge how smarky the crowd can really be. I've seen some pretty straightforward wrestling fan types who root for the faces and boo the heels, and I've seen some Crucial Crew-types there too. Personally, I think he'd get a good initial pop which would decay as the novelty wore off. Whether that decay was gradual or massive would depend on if he actually wrestled.
Who is one worker you are just burnt out on? I'm thinking along the lines of a guy you may have liked at one point.
I've posted about Jeff Hardy Fatigue before, and he's the obvious answer, so I'll refrain from that and give another one. I was really, really keen on Undertaker for the longest time, but now, he just seems tired. Outside of the WrestleMania match with Michaels, I just haven't been feeling him lately.
A1's Heathen with two questions:
1) How reliably can you gauge a wrestler's ability to draw given the current landscape of wrestling?
It can be hard since there isn't that one true star that carries the main reactions that would dictate who the buying audience came to see. In this day and age, I'd probably use merchandise as a big piece of the puzzle. I mean hey, if you're buying the guy's shirts, you obviously want to see him, right?
2) When's the first episode of the A1 podcast?
Haha, always comes back to the podcast, doesn't it? It's an intriguing idea, but I'd have to find time in the day sometime during the week to spearhead it. That and figure out how to record a podcast :)
A deuce from jharper of Chikara101:
1) Ares or Ultramantis Black?
If that’s a question of whom I want to win, it’s not a question at all. I’m a loyal servant to the Order of the Neo-Solar Temple. If it’s a question of whom I think is going to win, well, I’ll say Ares by shenanigans. My guess is Derek Sabato refs that match, sadly.
2) Barring a major catastrophe, where do you see Chikara in five years?
I see them having carved out a little bit larger of a niche than they have now. Ultimately, a fed whose talent pipeline is direct from school and that relies more on comic lucha libre doesn’t feel like it’d catch on with a larger audience, but then again, I’ve been wrong before. I think it’s still open and still entertaining though.
Jakattak88 of ChikaraFans with this duo:
1) Your thoughts on Ric Flair's bleeding in TNA?
You know how the WWE’s no-blood policy is asininely and puritanically strict and therefore is stupid? Yeah, well Flair blading during promos is asinine for the exact opposite reason. Blood is supposed to be saved for big effect, and the way Flair, and hell, most of the TNA roster blades nowadays, it just ends up watering down the effect.
2) Why won't Sheamus get some pants?
My guess is he was trying out for Legacy and hasn’t gotten the memo that the group is broken up.
A bunch of questions from Andy Hewitt:
1) How do you think WWE are handling Jack Swagger's push?
It started out pretty awesome with MitB, then went into ham-handed territory with him dropping all kinds of non-title matches. Now, it’s one of the best things going, with him laying out his Swagger facts and such. Really great heel tactic. I don’t mind him getting laid out in non-match situations because it builds heat and is generally entertaining, but who knows how the schizoid WWE creative staff will feel next month.
2) Do you think it'd be better for WWE to have Swagger go over The Big Show at PPV and have him with a decent title reign, or should they strike while the iron's hot with TBS and make him champion as a massively over face?
Swagger should go over now and probably hold the belt until SummerSlam when he drops it to Undertaker, Rey Mysterio or even Show. The iron may be hot with Show, but I don’t think it’s hot enough yet. Swagger as a heel Champion has legs though, strong legs. They gave him the short shrift when it came to building him pre-Championship run. While I hate that kind of booking path, they can make up for it by having him grow into his Champion’s role and really make it his own, like he did in ECW (pbuh).
3) Are you surprised by how much heel heat Swagger is getting? Do you think it's 'good' heat, or do you think the fans genuinely don't want to see him up there?
Honestly, it’s very hard to judge what is “legit” heat and what is “X-Pac” heat. I’d be inclined to say that it’s real heel heat, but I’m a Swagger fan, so maybe I’m not the best source. I’ll tell you this, though; he’s not getting booed by virtue of him facing guys like Show or Randy Orton. This is what happens when you give a new guy a lot of time on camera and a lot of putting over in the announce booth.
4) When are we going to get to see the hooded friggin' man who was helping CM Punk? Who do you think it is?
My guess is he’ll make himself known at Over the Limit, but that’s just a guess. As for who it is, I’ve heard it was a returning Joey Mercury, but other people think it might be Kaval/Low-Ki. I’d rather see the latter, obviously.
5) WWE seem to be stuck on exactly what to do with John Morrison. What would you do with him, given how stacked the Raw roster is?
If the last two shows were any indication on how RAW is going to be, I don’t think it’ll be much of a problem getting him exposure. They seem to have found a good balance between getting new guys face time and having the established guys work just the right amount of time to prime the crowd and get their story told without it being overexposed. As for Morrison, I don’t think you have to worry about him. Right now, he’s in a holding pattern because there’s no one to feud with. Once Jericho and Miz win the tag titles, he and someone else (Bryan Danielson??) will feud over them.
A few questions from our favorite Aussie, Ross Fymore:
1) Are they overdoing killing Daniel Bryanson in the face to make Miz tapping that much more special?
They were killing Daniel Bryan. Bryan Danielson, though, well, I get the feeling that he’s going to be the one doing the killing.
2) Any chance they will change their mind and give the win to Wade or Skip? I quite like watching both of them, moreso than anyone else in NXT.
No chance on Skip I think he’s awesome though, and I’d be utterly shocked if he didn’t get fast-tracked to the bigs, even if only to team with Regal against Kozlov and Santino in an epic comedy tag feud.
As for Barrett… I think he’s got a good chance to win as anyone. David Otunga is still the golden child, and they made that clear when they had him host RAW and gave him EVERY drop of exposure they could give him just so he could get residual heat from screwing over John Cena. Barrett’s a much more complete prospect, and I think people notice that. Once they get over the fact that “ZOMG ZOMG HE’Z BANGIN JENNIFUR HUDSIN!!11”, they may realize it and make Barrett the one who’s going to be the last guy standing.
3) I'm now several more episodes of Impact behind than I was last time we spoke. Last night I watched the episode with that four boxes crap with the Knockouts, and the ladder match featuring Angle and Anderson. RVD winning the title is a given, but is there any other episode between then and now that is a must not miss?
I think the RVD-title win episode is the only can’t-miss one of the lot. It was a hell of a show, mate. It was like it wasn’t TNA for one night, that it was some other fed that actually got it. Sadly, the weeks following didn’t live up to that magic, although they were more boring rather than terrible. The stench of Russo is slowly fading away, I think.
3) Will they ever go back to Monday nights?
Only if they’re idiots. Or unless they start averaging 2.5s on Thursday.
4) How long before Hogan gets booted over the fence? You know it will happen, so name a date... start a betting poll on it... and give me credit for the idea!
Hogan will never get the boot. IF he leaves TNA, it’ll be on his own volition because he got bored with flailing as a booker/administrator type. I don’t know if that time’s coming soon, but he has to be frustrated with the results so far. I don’t imagine Hogan as the patient type.
5) I mark quietly every time the Beautiful People's entrance kicks off. Do you?
No, because it’s a terrible rip-off. My marking begins when I see the three of them traipse out of the back with their boobies jiggling and culminates with their entrance into the ring.
6) Team 3D = stale. Discuss.
WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT PHRASING AS A QUESTION?
*ahem* Anyway, I don’t think I need to discuss this. They’re stale. And bloated for good measure too.
7) How would you get Orlando Jordan over so that he has real heat and not X-Pac heat?
Well, firstly, I’d tone back the sexuality a whole lot. That kind of over-the-top, in-your-face outrageousness works in e-feds because hey, we’re for the most part mature and in most cases, socially liberal and tolerant of homoerotic actions. A wrestling crowd? Yeah, not so much, especially the cretins down in the Impact Zone. So yeah, he needs to be a little more Goldust, a lot less Lady Gaga.
8) Hypothetical. WWE buys their own stadium to host WM each year. Which one and why?
In the actual thread where I got this question, Ross said the Silverdome, and that’s a really good idea. To be original though, I’d most likely go with the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Yeah, Minnesota isn’t exactly Hollywood or New York, but it is a state that loves its wrestling. Hell, they elected Jesse Ventura as governor for crying out loud! The move would work for the WWE because the Metrodome is huge and because they would probably be able to assuage the government there better with the lure of tourism dollars and a boosted economy for a yearly event than they would in a place that gets all the attention. Plus, they wouldn’t need to take much effort in renaming the stadium. Hello? The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome so easily becomes the Hunter Hearst Helmsley Metrodome.
A few Qs from Billy Dunleavy:
1) Why isn't Matt Hardy getting a legitimate shot at the World Heavyweight Championship? If you were in charge, how would you go about strapping Matt Hardy?
Err… Matt’s not getting a legitimate shot at the title because the last time he was really over on his own merits was when he came back after the Lita fiasco. Since then, he’s kinda been the beneficiary of his last name, and even now, despite the fact that he’s over, the guy is overweight and looks like he’s wrestling in pudding. So I can definitely see why they aren’t strapping him. If I was going to do it, I’d pretty much demand that he get in shape and start giving a damn. Either that, or I’d just let him walk to TNA. They’ll strap him in no time.
2) They're obviously building towards giving Ted DiBiase Jr. his own Virgil. They haven't tilted their hand about who it could be yet but I think Wade Barrett would be a great selection. Who would you make DiBiase's "Virgil"?
Nah, if Barrett’s going to be anyone’s lackey, it’d be Jericho’s. They’re very good together, although I think Barrett can deliver right away as a solo act. Unless the Colon Bros. are going to be Twin Virgils, I think the best bet is Michael Tarver. It makes sense, seeing that Tarver has a connection with Carlito, and it would present the midcard with an awesome stable. Tarver also has a chip on his shoulder by not being treated well by the NXT staff in his mind. While DiBiase won’t kayfabe treat him any better, he’ll at least get money out of the deal. From my perspective, I’d put Tarver there because I thought of all the rookies, he was the most underutilized. From the limited time I saw him in the ring, he looked pretty good, and the 1.9 second KO wasn’t explored nearly enough. That could have gotten him over huge, but again, WWE “creative” couldn’t find some way to exploit that more than just mentioning. SHOCK SHOCK HORROR HORROR.
Russell Harder with a few questions:
1) After watching this last show what would you say Tarver's chances are of getting into the WWE for any prolonged amount of time?
2) Bryan Danielson costs Miz the Tag Titles at Over The Limit? How would you bring him in?
That’s a good idea, although I’d bring Danielson in as early as Monday to antagonize The Miz. I mean, you don’t expect Bret Hart to go through and actually wrestle Miz in his condition do you? *wink wink nudge nudge*
3) Speaking of which, Skip Sheffield is also getting fast-tracked in the WWE by the looks of things. How would you bring him, and his spiked-vest, into the fold? Think we'll be seeing him before Danielson?
We might. I think they’re setting up a comedy tag team feud between a Kozlov/Santino team and Regal and somebody. The old Skipper would fit perfectly in there, because really, he’s the kind of guy who could flourish in a comedy role.
3) Yes, I listen to/read Bill Simmons and I prefaced this because I just want to ask you... how awesome would a physical WWE Hall of Fame be? A multi-media experience, a wrestling museum and a location for old wrestlers to hang out at... if you don't want to talk about how awesome this idea is, what is the best argument against it?
It’s an awesome idea, and yet another use for the Hunter Hearst Helmsley Metrodome!
Who do you think the new, currently masked and unknown member of the Straightedge Society is? I've heard rumors that it's Alex Riley, and that it's Joey Mercury. Has there been any definite news on that on any of the backstage news sites?
Look above to the answer to Andy’s question about the same subject. Alex Riley’s definitely a name I haven’t heard though.
A gaggle of questions from James Varga:
1) Jeff Hardy - What's the over/under on him going into drug rehab?
Not while he’s in TNA. Their drug policy is so lax that it makes the Wellness Policy look like the Straight Edge Society. If he makes a comeback to the WWE, Vince will most likely make rehab a condition of rehiring. Other than that, there’s a better chance of him dropping dead.
2) Will Samoa Joe ever appear on television again with that weird tattoo on his face?
If there’s a God, then never, ever again. Joe’s too good to have a dick tattooed on his face and made to parade around like a joke.
3) Whatever happened to the ninjas that abducted Joe on Impact? Were they working for a mysterious ninja master within the roster?
Haha, dude, you’re giving Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff way too much credit. I mean, these are the guys who outright forgot about the Feast or Fired briefcases until someone reminded them. I’ll be utterly shocked if those “ninjas” are ever mentioned again.
4) What are your thoughts on NXT going from best wrestling show on TV to its current state of sucktitude?
I don’t think it sucks by any margin. Any show where hungry young wrestlers (and David Otunga) get to let go and wrestle each week still has some kind of merit. I think the challenges are a bit hokey, sometimes entertaining, sometimes utterly cheesy, but the show itself hasn’t turned into something I’d say sucked. It’s no ECW, but really, ECW’s gone. We can’t be lamenting that and wanting it to be brought back when that will never be the case.
5) How long until TNA changes time slots again?
I don’t think they will, to be honest.
6) Will TNA go under within the next 12 months?
I’ll be surprised if they do. No matter how bad they get, if they still pull 1.0s on Thursday nights and as long as they have Panda’s money backing them, then I don’t see them really going anywhere. Of course, they have to stop signing every free agent on the market to big money deals, but hey, baby steps.
7) What's more interesting - William Regal rapping or Darren Young's haircut?
Straight outta Blackpool, yo. Regal should definitely drop a rap album on iTunes. I’d buy it.
You have unlimited amts of money-build a promotion out of the best of the indies and the best of TNA/WWE. Who do you bring in? How do you get the word out? Where do you televise it? Who books the matches? If a veteran refuses to do a job how do you handle it? If a newbee thinks that he/she is too big for their britches how do you handle it? Do you listen to the internets?
I think I covered this question pretty good here.
Two from Ryan Strawsma:
1) Is it just me, or has Smackdown been REALLY, REALLY good lately?
Hasn’t been you. I’ve been finding it to be an excellent show lately as well. It’s to be expected given the guys who are being featured a lot. Hell, even the “retreads” like Kane and Big Show are guys who have good personalities and can work decent-to-great matches when called upon. It’s the next evolution of what ECW was, but it’s also a big deal, despite the network change looming on the horizon.
2) Is there something else to the Drew McIntyre firing that I don't know about?
It was a kayfabe firing. He’s challenging for the IC Title at Over the Limit.
Daniel Bryan vs Bryan Danielson: Best match ever?
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography
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!