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Monday, June 04, 2012

HoVG: George “The Animal” Steele Throws Out/Eats First Pitch

From Killer Kowalski to Bruno Brunansky…it’s all in the tag out.

Apparently, over the weekend, wrestling legend George “The Animal” Steele threw out the first pitch at a Rochester Red Wings game.  No big deal, right?

Well, fans of the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins got exactly what I would’ve hoped for from the 75-year-old WWE Hall of Famer.

Repoz Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:38 PM | 117 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minors

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   1. SouthSideRyan Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4147687)
Finally the wrestling thread we've been demanding.
   2. rconn23 Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4147710)
Does he still have the green tongue? Tell me still has the green tongue.
   3. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4147712)
That lizard-like green tongue?
   4. Lassus Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4147713)
I most certainly did not think he was still alive.
   5. RJ in TO Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4147722)
He's part of that older generation of wrestlers who seemed to be a little less crazy with the drugs, the painkillers, and the crazy stunts. A lot of them still seem to be around, as compared to the guys who first started in the industry in the 80s, who are dropping dead at an incredible rate.

He's actually 75 now, which is younger than I would have guessed.
   6. Spahn Insane Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4147733)
Loved him in "Ed Wood."
   7. Gonfalon B. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4147747)
In 1987, on the WWF's Saturday NBC show, George picked up Miss Elizabeth at ringside, threw her over his shoulder, and carried her to the back. Randy Savage tried to pursue George, but his path was blocked by Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat (making his dramatic return from a brutally shattered larynx). Savage never did get near George Steele, nor did he locate or retrieve Miss Elizabeth by the end of the broadcast. By the next week, Savage and Elizabeth were back together with no explanation.

I like to think that somewhere in this world, there's a 24-year-old woman who looks just like Miss Elizabeth, but with a green tongue and thick back hair.
   8. Craig in MN Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4147761)
The Twins could use a crafty veteran who'd take the ball and eat some innings....close enough!
   9. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4147767)
I most certainly did not think he was still alive
I was very surprised to see that Richard Dawson died this weekend, I was very sure he had been long dead.
   10. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4147798)
Finally the wrestling thread we've been demanding.


YES! YES! YES! However sarcastic that may be, I think there's at least as strong a pro wrestling smark contingent here as there is for the NHL.

Tonight:
- Cena returns to Raw. *guh*
- Where does Orton's suspension leave Ziggler?
- Punk/Bryan/Kane menage continues.

General News:
- Punk confirms the Spinner belt's days are numbered.
- My gf just bought tix to ROH Best in the World. :O

------

He's part of that older generation of wrestlers who seemed to be a little less crazy with the drugs, the painkillers, and the crazy stunts. A lot of them still seem to be around, as compared to the guys who first started in the industry in the 80s, who are dropping dead at an incredible rate.

He's actually 75 now, which is younger than I would have guessed.


I think the crazy stunts part is the key to this. A big downside of the explosion of the sport's popularity in the 80's was the sudden omnipresence of painkillers and steroids, and just how heavily those drugs were abused in order to make a harder hitting, more eye popping style possible. The 90's weren't much better in terms of pills, and they added the hardcore dimension which, again, contributed to the use of PEDs. Pro wrestlers of that era took an unbelievable pounding (see Foley, Mick.)

Fortunately, this business-ah seems to be moving away from the cartoonish physiques and Japanese Deathmatches, but the rise of "strong style" (very stiff, almost mimicking MMA) wrestling still has to be taking a much bigger toll than the style someone like Steele worked for most of his career. High spot, stunt-oriented matches remain very popular on the indies, too. Bruno Sammartino, in particular, has been very vocal about this. It's a shame, too, because as HHH & Undertaker showed at Mania, a great wrestling match need not necessarily be all about workrate (in-ring ability.)
   11. SouthSideRyan Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4147819)
I wasn't fully sarcastic. I was roped back in for a bit by CM Punk last year, Lesnar got me interested again, and Daniel Bryan entertains me, but my interest is fading fast.
   12. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4147836)
I absolutely love the Punk-AJ-Bryan angle; best thing the WWE has done since the Summer of Punk. I'm fine with throwing Kane in the mix, as long he doesn't end up with the title or AJ. I'd love to see the Bryan-Punk feud continue throughout the summer. Their match from Over the Limit is arguably the best match of the year (in any promotion, though I've only seen WWE/ROH stuff). I'd love to see the feud end at SummerSlam with a submission or Iron Man match, though there are rumors the Big Show will fight Punk at SS (ugh).

I'm not so high on the Cena-Johnny Ace feud, though I did absolutely love the Lesnar-Cena match for Extreme Rules.

Krusty,

Did you catch Chikara's iPPV over the weekend? I've heard good things and will probably order it sometime this week. I love ROH, but outside of Kevin Steen & the Briscoes-WGTT rivalry, they are hurting for interesting angles. They've got a whole bunch of talented workers with nowhere to go currently (Edwards, O'Reilly, Cole). Anyway I think Chicago is getting a PPV in the fall so I'll try to get out to that.
   13. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 04, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4147843)
When a wrestling match tops Billy Kimdan vs. Rey Misterio Jr. from some random episode of Thunder in 1998, let me know.
   14. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4147862)
[13] The only thing those matches were missing was...meaningfulness.
   15. rconn23 Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4147886)
The Shawn Michaels-Kurt Angle match several Wrestlemanias ago was the greatest match of all time IMO. Two best performers - ever.
   16. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4147892)
He's part of that older generation of wrestlers who seemed to be a little less crazy with the drugs, the painkillers, and the crazy stunts. A lot of them still seem to be around, as compared to the guys who first started in the industry in the 80s, who are dropping dead at an incredible rate.


going through the name links in Steele's Wikipedia page:
Bruno Sammartino- still alive
Nikolai Volkoff- still alive- who links to Ivan Koloff- still alive (at 70)-
Iron Sheik- still alive
Rick Steamboat- still alive (59)
Barry Windham (still alive- his dad Blackjack Mulligan is still alive at 70)
Mike Rotunda- still alive
Lou Albano- died at 76
Randy Savage- dead at 59
Miss Elizabeth- dead at 43
Jeff Jarrett - still alive... younger than me actually

Of course many of the the guys I remember watching back in the day- Curt Henning, Brian Adams, Chris Benoit, Rick Rood, all the Von Erichs, Sherry Martel, Bam Bam Bigelow, Eddie Guerrero, Big Bossman, at least one of the Road Warriors, Davey Boy Smith, Chris Adams, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Brian Pullman, Big John Studd, Andre the Giant, Buzz Sawyer, Adrian Adonis

basically it seems to me that half (or more) of the guys in the WWWF/NWA or AWA in the 80s are dead now- and THOSE WERE THE YOUNG GUYS in the 80s- the older guys who were still wrestling in the 80s- they seem to have a higher survival rate




   17. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4147895)
Wrestling shot itself in the foot when it wrestlers began that "eye-popping" style, as you call it. You won't see too many guys wrestling past 40, let alone 50, like you used to. Moves that shock and awe today become passe tomorrow, leading guys to take more and more risks, and then they're injured severely, and finished. They've succeeded in becoming pro football players, in terms of career duration.



   18. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4147901)
Everyone should know that the Iron Sheik is alive. The Iron Sheik has one of the greatest twitter account of all time, @the_ironsheik. It actually reads like a parody account, but he's actually verified in interviews that it's his.
   19. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4147905)
I agree with the general consensus that the steroids, painkillers and chronic traumatic encephalopathy assoicated with 90s and 00s wrestling are worthy of a critical eye.

But no, there's not parallels with the NFL at all, right?

Edit: And [17], by "shot itself in the foot" you mean "made a crapload of money (but also killed people)", right?
   20. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4147911)
When a wrestling match tops Billy Kimdan vs. Rey Misterio Jr. from some random episode of Thunder in 1998, let me know.

Big problem with that series is that they got really lazy at some of the spots. How many consecutive matches did someone have to attempt to powerbomb Kidman and he'd wiggle out into a facebuster?
   21. Gonfalon B. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4147912)
Anti-semitic slurs, threatened anal rapes, weepy expressions of love and regret, what's for dinner that day... the Sheik's tweets have it all.
   22. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4147915)
Yeah, I guess, but there will come a day when it all crashes and burns. The turnover rate will eventually cause fans to lose interest.

I follow The Iron Sheik. He's been calling out Jose Canseco for a few months now. Canseco hasn't responded, which is funny, because he responded to Kluga Kardashian, threatening to kill her. That's entertainment!

I got under Joe the Plumber's skin with a tweet responding to his call to the people of Sandusky ("I have what Sandusky needs"..."Oh yeah, teenaged boys?"). Very gratifying.
   23. RJ in TO Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4147916)
Anti-semitic slurs, threatened anal rapes, weepy expressions of love and regret, what's for dinner that day... the Sheik's tweets have it all.

My brother saw him at the Toronto Fan Expo a couple years back. Apparently, he's like that in person too.
   24. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4147917)
Anti-semitic slurs, threatened anal rapes, weepy expressions of love and regret, what's for dinner that day... the Sheik's tweets have it all.

The Iron Sheik sure seems to have it in for half the NBA.
   25. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4147918)
21, I don't take his "intelligent jew" comments as "anti-semitic". He calls the goyim "intelligent jews" when he likes them. It's his term of endearment. He's a mostly crazy and benign old man.
   26. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4147919)
I was very surprised to see that Richard Dawson died this weekend, I was very sure he had been long dead.


You weren't wrong. Since then, though, the space-time continuum has been altered.
   27. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4147920)

Yeah, I guess, but there will come a day when it all crashes and burns. The turnover rate will eventually cause fans to lose interest.


I think it'll fall apart too but not because of the turnover rate. The WWF (I'll never call it WWE) replaced Austin with The Rock, and The Rock with Cena. I think they're tremendously popular in part because they've created recognizable stars (to the fans) while also making those stars replaceable.

I think wrestling, like the NFL, will crash and burn when society (or lawmakers) reject highly visible multi-billion dollar industries that kill the people you see on your TV screen.

Well, either that, or we go all Running Man / Hunger Games style.
   28. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4147921)
I've only seen the Sheik go after Lebron, Bosh, and Artest. Everyone else is the real.
   29. RJ in TO Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4147934)
You weren't wrong. Since then, though, the space-time continuum has been altered.

What happened? Was Superboy punching reality again?
   30. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4147937)
My brother saw him at the Toronto Fan Expo a couple years back. Apparently, he's like that in person too.


One of my old friends was a well-established pro-wrestler on the independent circuit in the 1990s and he ended up rooming with the Shiek for almost two weeks on a tour. I'm telling you this to make sure you know that brief encounter your brother had with the Iron Shiek at a convention did indeed leave him with the correct impression.
   31. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4147939)

What happened? Was Superboy punching reality again?


Worse than that. Detectives believe DC Comics wasn't involved.
   32. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4147947)
Watch the YouTube with Marty Janetty on the Sheik. It tells you all you need to know about his sanity.
   33. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4147979)
You weren't wrong. Since then, though, the space-time continuum has been altered.
There's a really excellent Jack Finney short story--The Coin Collector--on that theme.
   34. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4147998)
There's a really excellent Jack Finney short story--The Coin Collector--on that theme.


Is that the same as, or in addition to, "The Woodrow Wilson Dime"?

In any event, about half of Finney's ouevre seemingly deals with that basic idea (making it odd, really, that he's best known for The Body Snatchers). I'm especially fond of his "I'm Scared," which would've been the first thing of his I ever read, thanks to its appearance in the anthology Tomorrow, the Stars.
   35. jingoist Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4148006)
Or as Bobo Brazil told the announcer, "The Sheik; he's after my belt"!
   36. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4148007)
Is that the same as, or in addition to, "The Woodrow Wilson Dime"?
It is indeed. My collection has it as "The Coin Collector," but I'm sure it was published elsewhere with a different title. I'm a big fan of Finney's work, "I'm Scared," is really excellent although, being a New Yorker, I think I like "The Third Level" best of all.
   37. andrewberg Posted: June 04, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4148010)
I absolutely love the Punk-AJ-Bryan angle; best thing the WWE has done since the Summer of Punk.


It's a good thing they have such a compelling angle at the top of the show because everything else seems to have completely stagnated. I guess that was inevitable when they introduced 15 new guys on invincibility winning streaks at the same time. They should just have a giant battle royal of all the guys who can't lose and let Dolph Ziggler win it so he can start to get over and Tensai, Funkasaurus, Ry-Berg, Sin Cara, Claudio Cesano, etc can start having feuds instead of squashes.
   38. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4148043)
It's a good thing they have such a compelling angle at the top of the show because everything else seems to have completely stagnated. I guess that was inevitable when they introduced 15 new guys on invincibility winning streaks at the same time. They should just have a giant battle royal of all the guys who can't lose and let Dolph Ziggler win it so he can start to get over and Tensai, Funkasaurus, Ry-Berg, Sin Cara, Claudio Cesano, etc can start having feuds instead of squashes.


Yup. Basically, they have no idea what to do with most of the undercard right now. Ziggler's been spinning his wheels since his mini-feud with Punk leading up to the Royal Rumble; the same could basically be said for Kofi, Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton, Jack Swagger, etc.

Though I do love watching Ryback squash jobbers. That Samoan drop he does with two men on his back is pretty awesome.
   39. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4148069)
There was a Kidman/Misterio match in Kidman's post flock period that ended with a top rope superplex reveresed by Rey into a top rope DDT. Always though that was one of the best endings ever.
   40. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4148070)
I'm a big fan of Finney's work, "I'm Scared," is really excellent although, being a New Yorker, I think I like "The Third Level" best of all.


Have you read his non-genre novel, The Night People? I've been meaning to keep an eye out for that one.
   41. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4148071)
Double post. I blame the collapse of reality.
   42. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4148076)
Also, Hogan vs. The Rock was one of the all time blown finishes. I don't care how it was booked, once the crowd went over to Hogan he and Rocky should have figured out how to end with Rock putting over Hogan clean as a sheet.

The worst booked match of all time, however, was Sting vs. Hogan from Starrcade 1997. After all the buildup, how they thought anything other than Sting destroying Hogan and pinning him clean was a good idea is beyond me. God, never has so much talent been run so poorly as in WCW.
   43. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4148079)
Have you read his non-genre novel, The Night People? I've been meaning to keep an eye out for that one.
I've not, although now I have to look for it. I've never really anything of Finney's that I didn't enjoy.
   44. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4148092)
[42] As I read your first paragraph I was about to write your second paragraph. But then you got there.

Its telling whose name is in both of those examples. The only reason Sting ever should have been at risk in that match was from interference of the rest of the NWO -- whose asses Sting would beat before getting a clean pin on Hogan.

That match, probably more than anything else, was the nail in the coffin of the Sting/Flair NWA/WCW into the hands of the WWF retreads and awfulness.

Edit: Hogan's ego would have been fine with going over The Rock, so that wasn't a good example. My fault for not realizing that not everything the Orange Goblin touches has to turn to *($# because of his ego.
   45. SouthSideRyan Posted: June 04, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4148107)
Starcade '97 was the beginning of the end. They had no idea how to end the NWO angle. Then you waste Bret Hart for pretty much ever after he comes over from the biggest story in wrestilng?

Worst booked angle (relative to what it should've been) is the Invasion angle. You have the big WCW-WWF blowoff match, and the match features 7 WWF wrestlers, 1 WCW wrestler, 1 ECW wrestler, and 1 McMahon.
   46. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4148129)
The Iron Sheik has always been a bit nutty in a loveable "oh you" sort of way, but I stopped finding his Tweets so amusing after I read that Dave Meltzer noted a while back that Sheik kind of went off the deep end for real after Sheik's daughter was murdered years back by her boyfriend.
   47. UCCF Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4148131)
Yup. Basically, they have no idea what to do with most of the undercard right now. Ziggler's been spinning his wheels since his mini-feud with Punk leading up to the Royal Rumble; the same could basically be said for Kofi, Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton, Jack Swagger, etc.

They found something to do with Orton - they suspended him for 60 days.
   48. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4148132)
Also, on topic, the Facebook era sort of ruined Steele for me. I preferred to remember him as the infectious goof with the green tongue and a taste for turnbuckle stuffing, not some right-wing religious nut job.
   49. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4148143)
The Shawn Michaels-Kurt Angle match several Wrestlemanias ago was the greatest match of all time IMO. Two best performers - ever

... in the non-Ric Flair division.
   50. The District Attorney Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4148144)
I've only seen the Sheik go after Lebron, Bosh, and Artest.
Ronny Turiaf, also. But Bosh is his major target. He's serious about that one.

It all seems largely random. When Dick Clark died, Sheik said he hoped Clark was being raped by "the blackest brother in the prison." I'm not really sure what that was about, on several levels.
   51. andrewberg Posted: June 04, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4148153)
The invasion angle was DOA anyway. Many of the WCW guys were already washed up or asking for prime money in a slightly post-prime money era. The fact that WCW was essentially built on an "invasion" storyline where the invaders were posited as WWF guys. Were those guys going to team up against their old friends? I don't know, it could only really have worked if WCW already had an angle where some group of Sting, Goldberg, DDP, Flair, Nash, etc teaed up to "beat" the NWO then came over to take on WWF as the root of the problem.

The most recent example of an awful letdown finish was last year's TNA bound for glory. They spent about 4 months building up Bobby Roode, who became as over as anyone I have seen on TNA, then had him lose clean then turn heel. The whole buildup was entirely wasted. I have pretty much quit watching since then.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about why there are so many really talented young guys in WWE right now who seem like they should be really over, but never break through. I know some people blame the 50/50 booking, but even that has someone eventually win the feud, and nobody seems to break through. It already ruined prominsing careers for guys like John Morrison, Shelton Benjamin, MVP. Now we have Miz floundering, Ziggler, Swagger, Rhodes, Kingston, R-Truth, Mcintyre, Barrett, Ezekial Jackson, Dibiase, Hunico, Alex Riley, Mason Riley, Justin Gabriel, and Tyson Kidd, who have had some success but cannot break through. I think part of the problem is that they have a sort of lost generation of guys who should be veterans putting over these young guys, and a failure to commit to actually doing that. They have a few teflon guys who can keep heat through losses, and these guys should be used almost excluively to put over these younger guys. That group includes Kane, Mark Henry, Orton, Christian, Big Show, Great Khali, and Rey Mysterio, but it should theoretically also include Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, RVD, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Test, and some other guys who are not helping put their young guys over for various reasons. They also need to commit to a few guys and actually push them instead of crossing their fingers and hoping that the crowd will initiate the push like it did for Bryan and Punk. Bringing in new guys (Cesaro, Tensai, Clay, Sandow, Sin Cara, supposedly Chris Hero, maybe Colt Cabana) is not going to help unless they pick which guys they want to pick and write real stories for them, then let them have convincing wins over guys who have heat. You cannot skip any of those steps.
   52. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4148169)
Colt Cabana


Well, I really enjoyed his "work" in "Deep Inside Colt's Cabana". You'd think he'd be toxic for an industry with that kind of tension between homophobia and homoeroticism though.
   53. Rafael Bellylard: A failure of the waist. Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4148203)
When a wrestling match tops Billy Kimdan vs. Rey Misterio Jr. from some random episode of Thunder in 1998, let me know


I'll take this 1981 match between two future WWE bookers.
   54. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4148218)

but it should theoretically also include Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, RVD, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Test, and some other guys who are not helping put their young guys over for various reasons.

When did you write this?
   55. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4148234)
I think his point is that there's a sizeable number of dead wrestlers from that generation who would theoretically helping put over or contextualize young talent.
   56. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4148257)

When did you write this?


Test is also on that list. :/

I was roped back in for a bit by CM Punk last year, Lesnar got me interested again, and Daniel Bryan entertains me, but my interest is fading fast.


I'm pretty taken with Show's current heel turn and, like most, I'm enjoying the Punk-Bryan-AJ storyline. I'm very excited about the FCW grads starting to emerge on Smackdown. Sandow and Cesaro/Castagnoli are just awesome, and I think part of the reason that WWE's midcard is filled with stunted would-be main eventers is that frankly, those guys didn't have "it" to the extent necessary to break through. Of course a big part of this is the glass ceiling, but this is a business where you make your own push to a certain extent* and I think the new talent is the best crop in a long while. Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) has me very, very excited.

*Unless your name is Zack Ryder, and you get buried for figuring out a way to get yourself over.

Edit: Hogan's ego would have been fine with going over The Rock, so that wasn't a good example. My fault for not realizing that not everything the Orange Goblin touches has to turn to *($# because of his ego.


Hogan did a great, great job of putting over Lesnar right before Summerslam '02. I think a big part of the Hogan-hate is that Terry Bollea is way more Hollywood than Hulk Hogan.
   57. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4148280)
I just want to say, that, ####, there is no denying that Chris Benoit is the greatest wrestler I ever watched. Wild Pegasus vs. Jushin Lyger from the finals of the 1994 Super J cup remains to this day the 5 star gold standard for cruiserweight wrestling, and he was later in his career able to carry almost every WWE A list heavyweight to 4 star quality matches.

I don't know how everyone else feels about this, but I have a hard time putting his final actions into any kind of moral category. I consider it horribly ####### tragic more than evil. The man was clearly deranged and had a swiss cheese brain. I hope the german suplex has been outlawed (I dont watch wrestling anymore. In fact, I stopped after Eddy died. The last RAW I watched was the one with the "Hurt" video montage for Eddy. By the time Benoit snapped I had already give it up.)
   58. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4148305)
I hope the german suplex has been outlawed


You mean the Swandive Headbutt, right? Or does the German Suplex mechanic have bad crainal impacts for the guy doing the suplexing?

I feel the same way about Benoit.
   59. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4148309)
Yeah, the diving headbutt, but both giving and taking German Suplexes is freaking dangerous.
   60. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4148310)
Watch this video....

http://youtu.be/bCnJxOmHg1I
   61. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4148313)
Also, when taking suplexes, Benoit was one of the view who would take them right on the back of the head.
   62. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4148364)
CTE is a pretty scary thing, and Foley seems to be paying the price. I don't have trouble separating Benoit from his final hours, but WWE clearly disagrees. I'll say this: anecdotally, pro wrestlers seem not to suffer from punch drunkenness too often. I am interested to see how the ECW generation ages, though.

EDIT: HAY GUYZ IT'S RAW! Opening with a Cena promo, so be warned. Sorry, I mean "first of many video packages." Then Nickelback. I want a new intro song almost as much as I want the Spinner belt to go away.

P.S. JR is the voice of the WWE. >:[
   63. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4148399)
It took me a while to admit how awful the WCW announcers were at, you know, supporting what was going on on the screen.
   64. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4148422)
Wild Pegasus vs. Jushin Lyger from the finals of the 1994 Super J cup remains to this day the 5 star gold standard for cruiserweight wrestling

Didn't Benoit face Great Sasuke in the '94 finals? THAT was a hell of a match. And Sasuke/Liger in the semis was a damn near perfect match too marred only by Sasuke's slip off the top rope when they went to the finish.
   65. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4148423)
Foley??? Is he deteriorating? That ####### I Quit match. ####### Rock should pay all his medical bills .
   66. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4148435)
Yeah, Sasuke....my bad.
   67. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4148444)
Yeah, Foley tweets about it. He's had to limit his computer use because apparently it's bad for him. He seems ok in interviews and he's actually doing comedy tours, though.

Hooray for RY-BERG IN THE NEXT SEGMENT.
   68. smileyy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4148455)
He's had to limit his computer use because apparently it's bad for him.


That's interesting. I would have thought that computer interaction would generally be beneficial (see autism + ipads). Or maybe he means limit his people-on-the-internet interaction, because it does bad things to his brain?
   69. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4148587)
Much in the same way we snicker at the old Bugs Bunny episodes which are inappropriate by any contemporary standards, much of the story lines and skits of the 80s and 90s seem so much more dated than just 25 ish years ago. Think of how Sika the Wild Samoan taking bites out of a giant fish while Mean Gene tries to get a word with him and Mr Fuji, or how Kamala was presented to the viewer. Kamala as a wild savage a Ugandan cannibal. Poor Kamala had a 'handler' wasn't it Kim Chee who wore a bee keeper type outfit, and then they had that Wizard guy in his corner. Seriously? I soaked up all the au jus of this as a kid but looking back on this, my goodness. , Mr Fuji, Slick and his 'Jive Soul Bro'. Where the hell was the PC crowd? Was there some sort of deal made?

Ted Dibiase and his muscle Virgil. Those skits of DiBiase showing how everybody had a price, buying out a public pool, humiliating some kid as he tried to dribble a basketball ten times for some $. Then the ones where they tried to 'Americanize' Volkoff and the Iron Sheik by taking them to a drive thru. It was incredible stuff in retrospect.
   70. Good cripple hitter Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4148611)
Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) has me very, very excited.


I never saw Ambrose/Moxley's work on the indys, can you tell me what makes him special? I keep hearing about how Ambrose is a can't miss, exciting wrestling prospect, but since his last indy stuff was in Evolve / DGUSA, I never saw him. All I've seen from him is a video of him and Foley in a hotel lobby where Ambrose keeps mumbling 'you have to be held accountable' and the twitter feud between the two of them that went nowhere. I heard that he had a good feud with Regal in the WWE's developmental territory, but I haven't seen any of that.

That's interesting. I would have thought that computer interaction would generally be beneficial (see autism + ipads). Or maybe he means limit his people-on-the-internet interaction, because it does bad things to his brain?


Foley's said that two concussion experts told him to limit his computer usage because he was having unspecified issues with computer screens and camera flashes.

As for Dibiase, I always thought he had the best gig in wrestling. "Your gimmick is a rich snob. In order to preserve kayfabe, you're going to travel first class, and here, have some money so that you can give ridiculously big tips to waiters and a ridiculously ornate custom-made title belt that only you will hold. Now go out there and punt a basketball away from an 8 year old."
   71. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4148618)
And the guy has all this dough, yet he can't seem to spring for a fancy pool at his own mansion, he has to go down to the local muni. pool and kick everybody out and pay off the pool boy to clear it out.

Watch Ted find something wrong with the pool.
   72. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4148620)
Or scold this kid and remind him how badly he needs $500.
basketball boy
   73. Papa Squid Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:41 AM (#4148624)
Also, Hogan vs. The Rock was one of the all time blown finishes. I don't care how it was booked, once the crowd went over to Hogan he and Rocky should have figured out how to end with Rock putting over Hogan clean as a sheet.


I was at this match, and there was Hogan chants ringing in my ears for a week. I've been to the World Series, NBA playoff games, I've been to Stanley Cup playoff games that went into overtime, but that Rock-Hogan match was something else. I've never heard a crowd so loud as when Hogan began hulking up. Pure pandemonium. People jumping up and down. In that moment, wrestling was real.
   74. Papa Squid Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4148626)
Personally, I think the John Cena character is the worst thing in wrestling today. He is the absolute worst. Just utterly unwatchable.
   75. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 05, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4148627)
I never saw Ambrose/Moxley's work on the indys, can you tell me what makes him special?


I haven't caught much of Moxley's indy work either, but this FCW promo is pretty great.

This Raw was fine... up to the main event. Ziggler-Sheamus was good; Kane-Punk was OK & the Punk-AJ-Bryan angle continues to get better; Sin Cara, Ryback, and the tag match were fun.

But that main event. Ugh. One of those times I'm embarrassed to be a wrestling fan.
   76. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4148629)
The worst booked match of all time, however, was Sting vs. Hogan from Starrcade 1997. After all the buildup, how they thought anything other than Sting destroying Hogan and pinning him clean was a good idea is beyond me. God, never has so much talent been run so poorly as in WCW.


Yeah, I was fairly livid at the time. For those of you unfamiliar with this bout, it was the big blow-off between Hulk Hogan (playing the heel) and WCW's long-standing babyface icon, Sting. This being back when I still found wrestling watchable, I wrote a summary of the events leading to the bout shortly after it occurred; it doesn't hurt if you know who some of these wrestlers are, but you don't need to be a wrestling fan to appreciate the hot buttered FAIL:

"Before [PPV event] War Games '96, the NWO was seen in the parking lot talking to somebody in a limo. When Lex Luger went out to investigate, Sting emerged from the limo and attacked him. Luger went on to accuse Sting of selling out, and when Sting later denied he was involved, Luger said he didn't believe him.

So WarGames comes around, and the NWO fields a team of Hogan, Hall, Nash, and Sting, against Savage, Luger, and somebody else who I can't remember [The team was actually Luger, Arn Anderson and Ric Flair]. Sting was SUPPOSED to be on Luger's team, but of course he was on the NWO side. But halfway through the match, Sting (the REAL Sting) appears on the entry ramp and charges the ring. He enters the cage and beats the tar out of everybody in the NWO, then turns his back on Luger and walks out. The NWO recover to beat WCW.

Sting then appeared some weeks later with the white facepaint you now associate with him. He gave one interview about how after he'd trusted Luger more than anyone else had, Luger didn't trust Sting, and that maybe he would go NWO after all. "The only thing sure about Sting....Is that nothing's really for sure." With that statement, the last words he would say for more than a year, Sting left the ring and wasn't seen for a few weeks. Suddenly, Sting began to appear in the rafters on [WCW flagship TV show] Nitro. For the next YEAR, Sting didn't wrestle, but would appear in the rafters and occasionally come down to the ring on a rapelling line (like the Crow) with a baseball bat to attack anybody who publicly questioned his motives. Rick Steiner and Jeff Jarrett were two, but there were others. Fans screamed, 'We want Sting' at every WCW event, hoping he would rapel down from the ceiling and electrify the crowd. By fall of '97, Sting was arguably the most popualr wrestler in North America. The match was signed for Sting to meet Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade
'97, where Sting, a true icon of WCW who had never wrestled anywhere else for an appreciable period of time, would defeat evil Hogan.

But Hogan balked. He had complete creative control in his contract, and he refused to put Sting over cleanly, despite the fact that everyone wanted to see it. So Starcade came (pulling a huge 1.8 buyrate to see the main event) and before everyone's eyes, the mighty Sting entered the match and had Hogan pound on him from the opening bell. Hogan hit his 'mighty legdrop' and referee Nick Patrick counted 1...2....3? Yep. With my own two eyes, I saw Sting take the 3 count
after Hogan's weak-assed legdrop. But then Bret Hart came to the ring and accused Patrick of making a fast count. But it wasn't a fast count. Hart punched Patrick anyways and the match resumed, with Sting eventually getting the scorpion deathlock on Hogan and Hogan submitting. But Hogan had already dispelled the myth of the unbeatable Sting. The next night, the title was declared vacant.

Sting would win the rematch with another screwy ending, but by then all the heat that he had built over the past YEAR was gone. Hogan continued to be booked ahead of Sting; Sting's first title defense against Scott Hall at Uncensored '98 wasn't even the main event. Hogan's cage match with Savage was. Savage went on to beat Sting and drop the belt to Hogan the next night before undergoing surgery on his knee. The Savior Sting was dead, but Hollywood survived unscathed and
went on to headline most of WCW's PPVs this year while Sting never competed in a PPV main event again.

Hogan would justify the downgrading of Sting's push by saying he wasn't drawing heat, but of course the reason Sting was no longer the hottest property in wrestling was because Hogan refused to put him over, and insisted on actually pinning Sting in front of WCW's largest PPV audience ever.

So Sting, the only WCW'er who stayed with the company through the dark years and never went to the WWF, was shunted aside so that Hulk Hogan could continue to be the straw that stirs the drinks in WCW. All of his loyalty was rewardedby being relegated to the undercard for his efforts."


If I had to point to one specific match that doomed WCW and frittered away its years of renewal, this would be it.
   77. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: June 05, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4148631)
just a few things from this thread:

1, i am kind of disappointed in the punk/bryan feud. it's good, and it's essentially the best thing going in WWE right now (non-ryback division), but i can't help but feel that both punk and danielson are being overshadowed by AJ. she is excellent in her role right now, so it's not exactly a huge diss to the men, but i expect more from them. ever since punk shook triple H's hand last october (???), he's really been completely underwhelming and bland on the mic. i loved the SES, and his feud with jeff hardy was the best feud in WWE in the last 5 years, and the way he left WWE with the title last summer was great, but there's no edge to him right now. when he complains in a promo, i can't help but think it's because he's truly an ####### (which he actually really is), as opposed to acting out as some aggrieved party looking to right the scales of justice. he set a very, very high bar over the last few years, and he is not performing even close to that right now.

2, one of the major downsides in having a punk/bryan feud is that, by pairing them off in a great feud, you take away the potential of them each having a great feud with two other wrestlers who could actually benefit from being in one.

3, punk tweeted this, and i find it pretty amazing. right now, his last 3 wrestlemania opponents are all suspended. mysterio and orton were hit for substance abuse violations, and chris jericho wiped his ass with a brazilian flag at a house show in rio. here's hoping he wrestles john cena next year.

4, ryback: i don't ever want to see him in a real match. what he's doing right now is absolutely great, and while i have no doubt that it will get stale, i am really enjoying it in the moment, and i don't want to think about him doing anything else.

5, i would have liked to see hero and castagnolli come into the WWE as a tag team and start off by trying to rebuild some of the lost credibility in the tag team division by actually being a credible tag team.

6, brodus clay: someone in WWE really funked him over. this moment was probably the last great thing he'll do, because almost immediately after it, they took him off tv, and when he came back, he stopped calling out his spots, and they saddled him with a heatkilling intro that takes the air out of the crowd right before he comes to the ring.

7, the decline of both randy orton and christian have really hit smackdown hard. that show would be so much better if they were both bonafide world title contenders, but christian has been out with injury after injury, and orton must have pissed on the wrong man's cornflakes, because he's just been a complete non-entity in the last ~16 months.

and 8, that john cena-zack ryder-eve hoeski thing from a few months back was absolutely horrendous. i would say that the less that's said about it, the better, but the fact that it happened at all makes mentioning about it a necessity. just a truly abominable moment for WWE.

that's about it for now.
   78. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 05, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4148636)
Punk has been kinda bland on the mic recently, but he's wrestled two 4-star matches with Jericho (WrestleMania & Extreme Rules) and a near 5-star match with Bryan at Over the Limit. I'll give him a pass on the mic for now.

For what it's worth here are my five favorite matches of 2012 so far, no particular order:
Cena-Lesnar, WWE Extreme Rules
Steen-Richards, ROH Border Wars
Punk-Bryan, WWE Over the Limit
Mochizuki-Tozawa, DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate
Punk-Jericho, WWE Extreme Rules
   79. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4148953)
I never saw Ambrose/Moxley's work on the indys, can you tell me what makes him special?


This match with CM Punk is an example of what makes Ambrose so special. He's a great worker and a really, really great promo. He reminds me a lot of Roddy Piper. Ambrose's blowoff with Regal is today (I think!) so it should be something to behold when it finds its way online.


@Papa Squid 73/74 and YR 76: Hulk Hogan's pop in Montreal after Wrestlemania was the biggest pop I have heard in 20+ years of fandom. It went on for at least 10 minutes. The guy is apparently something of a scumbag, but my goodness, was he ever a draw. Of course, the Sting story (and a similar Bret Hart one) illustrates why most of the smark community hates him, eh? Hulk Hogan: the Barry Bonds of pro wrestling??

@77/Steagles: Yeah, Ryback is pretty well winning me over. Last night was just loads of fun. I agree with you on just about everything BUT Punk/Bryan. Their feuds is a total highlight right now, and Kane is really doing a great job working with them. AJ is blossoming into a star. This is just awesome programming, and it shouldn't be relegated to the midcard. I honestly don't know who will go over at NWO, though I assume it'll be Punk.

@78/Mark Edward: Have you seen Richards/Elgin? I think it'd be up your alley. I'll be at BITW in 2 weeks, and I'm pretty psyched for Richards-Steen II.

-----

6/5/12 UPDATEZ:

- Wellness: Randy Orton's apparently in hot water for his failed steroid test, and WWE is considering naming the substance which caused a failed test in an effort to dissuade doping on the roster. [url=http://http://www.wrestlezone.com/news/255769-update-more-on-randy-ortons-future-with-wwe-] How long till Tazz is wondering why Randy Orton is in the Impact Zone?

- John Cena really, really sucks. His "Michael Cole is lame because he plays with My Little Ponies but Johnny Ace is a bully" crap is infuriating. I honestly fell asleep during the Tensai (poor Albert) segment, and I'm glad I did. I don't need to see Michael Cole slathered in BBQ sauce. This has to be setting up a Cena heel turn, right?

- Otherwise, Raw was perfectly alright. Punk/Bryan/Kane/AJ continues to shine, Sheamus/Ziggler was a good match, and hey, more ADR is always a good thing with me.
   80. smileyy Posted: June 05, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4148976)
Hulk Hogan: the Barry Bonds of pro wrestling??


I don't think so. Hogan was popularly loved, and hated by "insiders/smarks". Isn't Bonds the exact opposite?
   81. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4149003)
@78/Mark Edward: Have you seen Richards/Elgin? I think it'd be up your alley. I'll be at BITW in 2 weeks, and I'm pretty psyched for Richards-Steen II.


Yeah, I might buy the DVD, everybody's raving about that match. DGUSA was offering their iPPV for like $1.99 that weekend so I watched that instead.

I'm OK with del Rio's workrate but the WWE is giving him nothing to work with. Ever since he's dropped the "destiny" bit from his promos he's become the blandest rich guy character ever. Ricardo Rodriguez is saving the gimmick.

Plus, they put the WWE Title on him way too quickly but that's another story...
   82. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4149012)
I agree with you on just about everything BUT Punk/Bryan. Their feuds is a total highlight right now, and Kane is really doing a great job working with them. AJ is blossoming into a star. This is just awesome programming, and it shouldn't be relegated to the midcard. I honestly don't know who will go over at NWO, though I assume it'll be Punk.
bryan and punk are the two most entertaining main-eventers in WWE right now, but punk just is not bringing it, and with him as far off of his A-game as he is, it's a waste to put him in the ring with danielson right now. maybe i'm wrong, and maybe they're gonna run with this feud until summerslam, and maybe that becomes the hottest angle this year, but watching it right now, i just feel that this feud is less than the sum of its assembled parts.

and if we're bringing up bret hart's run in WCW, this cannot go unmentioned.
   83. Gonfalon B. Posted: June 05, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4149043)
I was hoping that would be a link to WCW's legendary "Bret Hart vs. Artie Lange's Replacement in the Fat Guy Slot on MAD-TV" feud.

I mean, it was no "Sting/Robocop alliance," and no "TBS Dinner and a Movie Hosts Suddenly Turn Heel" storyline, and no "Buff Bagwell's Mom Wins the Tag Team Titles" saga, but it was unforgettable in its own way.
   84. rconn23 Posted: June 05, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4149058)
It's weird how Hogan's creative control clause has worked over the years. He got so popular in the 80s that McMahon initially agreed to it, I guess. I can't imagine him ever giving anyone that type of power again.
I remember Shawn Michaels - not known for being the most professional guy - oversold like crazy during his Summerslam match with Hogan because he had invoked his clause.

However, Hogan lost cleanly to Undertaker, Angle, and was destroyed by Lesnar just a couple of years prior.
   85. SouthSideRyan Posted: June 05, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4149076)
[82]Was really hoping that was "Who are you to doubt El Dandy"
   86. smileyy Posted: June 05, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4149097)
So, part of the problem of the Bret Hart WWF era seems to me that he just wasn't very good at leading a franchise, but had also evolved beyond being an effective role-player as well.

The Montreal Screwjob strikes me as addition by subtraction, as well as burdening your already sinking competition with subpar talent.

I have no doubt Hart was a great worker before that point in time, but the matches of his I saw around that time left me wanting.
   87. SouthSideRyan Posted: June 05, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4149099)
Has anyone watched Are you Serious? They throw a lot of filler in there trying to be funny, but seeing the old horrendous clips still makes me laugh.
   88. rconn23 Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4149115)
"The Montreal Screwjob strikes me as addition by subtraction, as well as burdening your already sinking competition with subpar talent."

Well, he was 40 when he left the WWF, but I don't know about sinking your competition with subpar talent. He was still probably the best worker when he got to WCW considering who they had as main event talents - Hogan, Nash, Hall, Luger, Savage, Luger, Sting - all approaching or well over 40. You had Guerrero Jericho, Benoit, Mysterio and Malenko, but they were all mid-card guys at the time.

The real reason it made sense for Vince to get rid of Bret Hart was the ridiculous contract to which he had signed him. He couldn't afford to pay it at the time. It was like a 20-year deal, at millions per.

He basically told Hart that he should see what WCW could offer him. WCW, of course, overpaid him horribly and misused him terribly. The WWF then decided to go with Austin as their main guy and the rest is history.
   89. smileyy Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4149125)
They had already decided to go with Austin, which, IMO gave them the real headliner they needed (he was the focal point for about 5 years of pretty successful stories, right?). Austin's initial giant pop came during the Austin/Hart match.
   90. Doris from Rego Park Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4149136)
Not that I watch that often anymore*, but wasn't Clay's biggest moment the headbutt to Ziggler during the epic post-Wrestlemania RAW?

Everyone reading this needs to follow Fake Tony Schiavone on twitter. Legitimately brilliant stuff and he somehow has less than a thousand followers.


*watched Wrestlemania with a friend, thankful I saw most of the next night's RAW live and since then don't do anything but follow Punk on twitter. I should just find the Punk/Bryan stuff on youtube, and also should have bought Extreme Rules, but, yikes those PPV prices
   91. SouthSideRyan Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4149142)
Yeah, friend of mine ordered Royal Rumble for the sole purpose of a group of us gambling on it. Couldn't believe how much the prices have gone up.

Although I guess that's in comparison to like 12 years ago, so it makes sense.
   92. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 05, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4149151)
It boggles my mind that someone could call Bret freaking Hart subpart talent. Overrated? Maybe. A little vanilla? Sure. But the guy was a fabulous worker in an era where useless stiffs like Hulk Hogan, Lex Lugar, Kevin Nash, The Undertaker, Yokozuna, etc. were top of the card performers.

   93. andrewberg Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4149153)
The Montreal Screwjob strikes me as addition by subtraction, as well as burdening your already sinking competition with subpar talent.

I have no doubt Hart was a great worker before that point in time, but the matches of his I saw around that time left me wanting.


Different strokes, I guess, but Hart is one of my all time favorites. I think the bigger problem at the time was that the company had not caught up with the times. They still had all kinds of silly gimmicks at a time when the fans wanted to see more "realistic" characters. While WCW was introducing the NWO, WWF was pushing new guys like the Godwinns, the Headbangers, Kane, Goldust, etc. Hart's last 9 months in WWF were probably his best mic/storyline work, and it happened to be around the time when he stopped playing the role of a miniature Hulk Hogan superhero good guy.
   94. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4149154)
Austin's initial giant pop came during the Austin/Hart match.

Bret Hart made Austin capable of having a match like that.
   95. SouthSideRyan Posted: June 05, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4149181)
Kane and Goldust were pretty damn popular through the '98-'01 height of the WWF.
   96. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4149223)
It's too easy to call Bret-leaving-the-WWF as addition by subtraction. The way Bret was screwed made Vince McMahon the hottest heel in the business, it made people legitimately hate Shawn Michaels that much more, it made people want to see Steve Austin beat Shawn that much more ... without that stuff, the WWF doesn't get hot and turn the tide in the Monday Night Wars. If Bret just drops the title cleanly to Shamrock, Austin or HBK before leaving and Vince never becomes an on-air character, we might be talking about how the WWF went out of business in 1998 right now and Hart leaving would be one of the things considered responsible for the death of the WWF/rise of WCW.
   97. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4149373)
Has anyone watched Are you Serious? They throw a lot of filler in there trying to be funny, but seeing the old horrendous clips still makes me laugh.
I agree with that. They could lose "Puppet H" to absolutely no detriment to the show, but the clips are excellent* and some of the MST3K-style commentary isn't bad.

*Well, "excellent" in the sense that they are almost universally dreadful and make me laugh
   98. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: June 05, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4149392)
@80/smileyy: Good point! The comparison often drawn is Hogan as Babe Ruth, and while I think that makes the most sense, the smark community is far more begrudging of Hogan than the saber community is of Ruth (even if both shouldn't be considered "nice" people.) However, it just dawned upon me that I think we can all agree that John Cena is the Joe Carter of pro wrestling, amirite?

@81/Mark Edward: Honestly, I think the trouble with ADR goes back to last year's Mania and Edge. ADR should have gone over there (and Edge should have gone out looking at the lights.) A hot feud with Christian and a long WHC run would have done a ton to consolidate ADR as champ, and let to a natural "destiny" as Undisputed/WWE champion. As it is, I don't think the WWE title run was premature, but I do think that with a character like ADR, where so much of his heat is tied up in the perception of his in-ring ability, a lengthy title run is a necessity to get him over. The trouble wasn't in making ADR champ per se, but in only keeping him there for about a month and a half total (though I agree that it was terrible timing.)

@82/STEAGLES: Agreed that this feud has underperformed. Gah. Punk has been waaaay off his game. That's for damn sure. I am not loving his babyface champion character, but I still like it a whole lot more than I would the likely alternative (Cena). Punk is still terrific, Bryan is outstanding, Kane is great, and AJ is really stealing the show. This is an A- paper that could and should be an A+. I think all they need is more camera time to build it up, string out the love triangle (square? pentagon?) and this could get very fun indeed.

----

Montreal made the Mr. McMahon character and that led to the biggest and best heel character of the 90's. Including Hollywood Hogan, brother. A huge part of that is in Bret Hart finally realizing his full potential as a tweener in 97. Man, the Hitman was awesome for that run.

EDIT: RB! Puppet H is the best thing EVER. I halfway expect Puppet H to go over Santino for the US title by year's end.
   99. smileyy Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:42 AM (#4149517)
Hogan is Babe Ruth, except crossed with Pete Rose pencilling himself into the lineup until, oh, 2004. Mixed with a tiny Jamie Moyer resurgence.

Edit: I realize wrestling lends itself to careers lasting forever, but Hogan is the poster child for hurting an organization that way. With maybe a shout-out to Nash for doing the same thing. Though maybe Dusty Rhodes did it first?
   100. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:09 AM (#4149519)
THERE'S A 100 POST WRESTLING THREAD?
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