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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Oakland A’s Josh Reddick called out by WWE’s Daniel Bryan

Haystacks Calhoun’s terminally matted ass-hairs laugh at these two.

He’s calling it a “BeardOff,’’ but even A’s right fielder Josh Reddick admits it’s a beard-on.

Reddick, a huge fan of WWE wrestling, has taken the challenge from the WWE’s Daniel Bryan to spend the rest of this year growing the fullest and most luxuriant beard possible.

The winner will be determined by a vote of online fans, and “the loser has to shave it all off,’’ Reddick said Tuesday.

“I’m already hearing trash talk from his fans,” Reddick said of the challenge, which he accepted Tuesday morning. “I know a bunch of the WWE guys, but I’ve never met him.”

Reddick reported to FanFest in Oakland in January with a full beard that he’d started growing in November. Bryan reportedly has been growing his beard for about 12 months.

“He has a bit of a head start,” Reddick acknowledged. “Here’s hoping I’m a fast grower.”

Bryan issued the challenge Tuesday via twitter, saying “Of course, I don’t think an A’s player like @JoshReddick16 has the guts to have a #BeardOff with The Dazzler.”

It didn’t take long for Reddick to respond, also via Twitter, with “Bring it. YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!”

Repoz Posted: March 05, 2013 at 05:51 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: wrestling

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   1. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4381470)
Good grief. Why? Why would you mention Haystacks Calhoun's ass hairs?

That's easily the third most graphic mental image I've had of a wrestler this week.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4381475)
Brian Wilson's injury has left a void of bearded amusing-but-borderline-dbag-annoying baseball personality that someone must step up to fill.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4381492)
Reddick, a huge fan of WWE wrestling . . .

Doesn't he know the matches are fixed? I've never understood how one can be a fan of professional wrestling past the age of 12.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4381494)
EDIT: Dreaded Double Post.
   5. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:22 PM (#4381501)
Brian Wilson's injury has left a void of bearded amusing-but-borderline-dbag-annoying baseball personality that someone must step up to fill.


From the world of unabashed homer-ism: I live in SF and could not stand all the Brian Wilson nonsense, but I will happily cheer Reddick on in his quest for ultimate douchbaggery.
   6. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4381503)

Doesn't he know the matches are fixed? I've never understood how one can be a fan of professional wrestling past the age of 12.


... can't tell if serious?
   7. Swedish Chef Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4381508)
Doesn't he know the matches are fixed? I've never understood how one can be a fan of professional wrestling past the age of 12.

I guess that's about as relevant for the fans as reality shows being very managed.
   8. Eric Ferguson Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4381509)
Other things that are fixed: Movies, plays, books, TV shows, the 1919 World Series, William Holden.

Also, there are people who don't understand how a grown man can still be a fan of baseball past the age of 12.

(edited for grammar)
   9. andrewberg Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4381515)
Doesn't he know the matches are fixed? I've never understood how one can be a fan of professional wrestling past the age of 12.


Every time I watch a sport, there are unpleasant things on which I do not focus. When I watch football, I understand that the games cause head trauma that probably shortens and/or ruins players' lives, but that is not my primary focus. When I watch baseball, I understand that the game moves too slowly for my taste and my favorite team is at a permanent financial disadvantage, but that is not my primary focus. When I watch wrestling, I understand that the results of the matches are scripted, but that is not my primary focus.

Sports and entertainment are spectacles. There are infinite reasons that people will like or dislike various spectacles, but the idea that someone else already knows the outcome has never seemed very powerful to me.
   10. andrewberg Posted: March 05, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4381517)
Other things that are fixed: Movies, plays, books, TV shows, the 1919 World Series, William Holden.


Ten dogs.
   11. Bhaakon Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4381540)
Doesn't he know the matches are fixed? I've never understood how one can be a fan of professional wrestling past the age of 12.


This may come as a surprise to you, sir, but the outcomes of most films and television shows are predetermined as well.
   12. Canker Soriano Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4381544)
YES!
   13. Canker Soriano Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4381545)
YES!
   14. Canker Soriano Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:21 PM (#4381547)
YES!
   15. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:22 PM (#4381548)
I watched a wrestling match or two recently, for the first time since I was about 12 or so. I had spent many years knocking how "fake" it is, but this time I noticed there's a tremendous amount of skill that goes into wrestling. It's basically a ballet. I'm not even close to being interested enough to watch it regularly and follow the storylines, but there are certainly things to be admired about the athleticism. So yeah, I'm done knocking it now.
   16. Willie Mayspedester Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4381560)
My old roommate used to watch WWE. It's a big soap opera. Pretty funny sometimes and has some hot chicks. Good time to drink beer and forget about doing homework.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 05, 2013 at 07:42 PM (#4381569)
I noticed there's a tremendous amount of skill that goes into wrestling. It's basically a ballet. I'm not even close to being interested enough to watch it regularly and follow the storylines, but there are certainly things to be admired about the athleticism.
This is basically where I stand. The weekly shows and the serialized narratives miss too much more than they hit for me to watch it regularly, but it can be fun to tune in when two guys who really know how to tell a story in the ring are working together.

The Shawn Michaels - Undertaker match from Wrestlemania some years ago is a masterpiece of this kind of violent dance, structured as a coherent narrative.
   18. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 05, 2013 at 08:52 PM (#4381600)
I am completely unexcited for this year's Wrestlemania.
- Cena-Rock was perfectly fine at WM 28, but it wasn't mind-blowing and I'm not expecting a classic for the rematch.
- Undertaker-Punk should be good, but last night's build up to the match felt lacking. Punk's mic work should get the feud over but he's got his work cut out for him.
- Loved the HHH-Brock confrontation last week. Really hope Brock just destroys HHH at WM but I'm thinking HHH will stand tall.
- I love Swagger's new gimmick and Alberto del Rio's face turn has been great, but the feud itself has been pretty boring thus far. Listening to Dutch Mantell talk about property rights in Mexico is not exciting. Still, the match should be OK.
- Ryback v. Henry could be really fun or a complete trainwreck.
- The Shield v. Big Show/Orton/Sheamus should be good. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are amazing.
- I thought we'd get a Kane-Daniel Bryan match at WM, but they've not broken up yet. Not sure what's going on there...
- Then there's everybody else who aren't really doing anything, including 2 champs: Barrett, Cesaro, Miz, Sandow, Rhodes, Ziggler, Kofi, R-Truth. It'd be nice if they gave these guys something to do, but the WWE has apparently forgotten how to book the mid-card.
   19. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 09:49 PM (#4381623)
@18: Hey, cool! Smarky primates unite!

I wish I disagreed with you on more, but I don't. I do think that the undercard of the show is coming along nicely. There's plenty of time to break up DBD/Kane and move the belts over to a new feud for the title. Miz/Cesaro will slow burn its way all the way to WM. Barrett will face... someone.

My big pet theory: Ziggler gets booked in a match with Ryder so that both can kvetch. At WM, the show opens with ADR going over Swagger before Ziggles cashes in. Ziggler/Ryder is suddenly for the title. Ziggler retains, but the WM crowd gives the biggest hometown (close enough) pop you've ever heard for Ryder.

...it's an awful idea.
   20. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: March 05, 2013 at 10:07 PM (#4381629)
This may come as a surprise to you, sir, but the outcomes of most films and television shows are predetermined as well.

Wait, are you telling me that George Clooney and Anthony Edwards *weren't* performing all those medical procedures? That's preposterous. Next you'll be telling me that Ned Stark death was due to a script, rather than the nefarious scheming of Petyr Baelish.
   21. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: March 05, 2013 at 10:26 PM (#4381635)
Am I wrong to think that the golden age of wrestling was the whole Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Randy Macho Man Savage period? Or do I only think that because I was 8 and watched it then?
   22. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: March 05, 2013 at 10:33 PM (#4381639)
I thought the Golden Age was when I was 8, and watching Ray Stevens, Pat Patterson, Rocky Johnson and Peter Maivia at the Cow Palace.
   23. Paul D(uda) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 10:50 PM (#4381642)
I think the Stone Cold/Rock era (when competing with WCW and the NWO) had the highest ever ratings and pay per view buys. Which seems weird, as it's hard to believe that Stone Cold is bigger than Hogan. (Although maybe the comparison is Stone Cold to Macho Man and the Rock to Hogan... and I can believe that the Rock was mover over than Hogan()
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2013 at 10:58 PM (#4381648)

Am I wrong to think that the golden age of wrestling was the whole Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Randy Macho Man Savage period? Or do I only think that because I was 8 and watched it then?


You guys are going all Bob Feller on me.
   25. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:06 PM (#4381650)
I thought the Golden Age was when I was 8, and watching Frank Gotch and Georg Hackenschmidt go 112 rounds in the Belgian Congo with nothing but a thimbleful of laudanum to keep them going. /keefe
   26. Eric Ferguson Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:23 PM (#4381655)
Ooh! Ooh! Me too!

WRESTLEMANIA THOUGHTS

- Non-plussed with the "Twice in a Lifetime" Cena-Rock rematch. I was hoping they'd get Punk in there, but I guess they needed him for Undertaker.
- On one hand, it's awesome that there's a non-zero chance that Punk will end the streak. On the other hand, I'm not sure I buy it -- if anyone should have done it, it should have been HBK.
- Lesnar/HHH didn't do much for me the first time. I'm not excited for the repeat. I don't like the trend of repeats featuring performers who aren't actually on TV all that often.
- ... Especially when Ziggler doesn't have a feud at the moment. He's the heir apparent in the Flair-HBK-Jericho lineage. It's like they put him and AJ Lee together so they could neglect two of their most interesting performers at once.
- I didn't care about ADR as a heel, and I don't care about him as a face. I'm just glad Dutch Mantell is making some walkin' around money.
- No well-formed thoughts on the state of Antonio Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, the Shield, etc. other than to say that they are long-time favorites of mine. I saw Cesaro, Bryan, and Rollins at a few ROH shows, which is like saying you saw Harper and Trout play in Double-A. It's nice that WWE hasn't ruined them. I hope they manage the same feat with El Generico.
- How many crappy movie trailers and Tout videos will we have to watch during Wrestlemania?

GOLDEN AGE
This is kind of the wrestling equivalent of "SNL isn't as funny as it used to be." My favorite time was probably the initial build to Stone Cold-Rock, but I also remember how epic Hulk-Andre at WM III seemed. I lost touch a bit during the Bret Hart-HBK years, but looking back now, I can appreciate that era too. What's important is that there are kids/young people today who will think we're crazy for thinking the Rock, Stone Cold, or Hogan were better than John Cena or CM Punk or FAAAAAAHHHHHNNNN ... DAAHHNN .... GOOOOO.
   27. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:27 PM (#4381660)

My big pet theory: Ziggler gets booked in a match with Ryder so that both can kvetch. At WM, the show opens with ADR going over Swagger before Ziggles cashes in. Ziggler/Ryder is suddenly for the title. Ziggler retains, but the WM crowd gives the biggest hometown (close enough) pop you've ever heard for Ryder.

...it's an awful idea.


Actually I really like that. To be completely honest I hate the whole Money In The Bank idea (though it has produced some great matches), but this would throw a nice little wrinkle into it.

Only problem is that Ryder's been completely jobbed out and basically emasculated since about February 2012, I'm not even sure his hometown fans really care about him anymore.

It's funny the way they're booking Ziggler. He'll keep jobbing until WM, then cash in at WM, and the WWE will wonder why he's not over.
   28. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:44 PM (#4381672)
Of the WWE's ten most over characters-- assuming they even have that many-- at least half of them got that way without help and under protest (Punk, Heyman, Bryan, Jericho, Lesnar). But by all means, "WWE Creative," please spend another year trying to convince me that Sheamus is a happy-go-lucky tough guy.
   29. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 05, 2013 at 11:48 PM (#4381673)
Well, having the title for 430 days didn't hurt Punk.
   30. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:21 AM (#4381682)
- On one hand, it's awesome that there's a non-zero chance that Punk will end the streak. On the other hand, I'm not sure I buy it -- if anyone should have done it, it should have been HBK.


I'd really like to see Punk win. He's already the biggest heel in the company, think of the nuclear heat he'd get if he ended Taker's streak. And I'm not sure what WWE gains by having Taker retire with the Streak intact.

- ... Especially when Ziggler doesn't have a feud at the moment. He's the heir apparent in the Flair-HBK-Jericho lineage. It's like they put him and AJ Lee together so they could neglect two of their most interesting performers at once.


Eh... I love Ziggler, but he's nowhere near as talented as Flair, HBK, or Jericho. He's decent on the mic but he's never really given a great promo (he's your standard arrogant, cocky heel). He can't really carry a match either. 90% of his moveset is some variation of a reverse chinlock. With his ability to sell and lack of offense, he'd make a great babyface actually.

Ziggler definitely deserves better but he doesn't have the talent of a Punk, Y2J, Bryan, or even Ambrose IMO.
   31. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:29 AM (#4381686)
Am I wrong to think that the golden age of wrestling was the whole Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Randy Macho Man Savage period? Or do I only think that because I was 8 and watched it then?

I thought the Golden Age was when I was 8, and watching Ray Stevens, Pat Patterson, Rocky Johnson and Peter Maivia at the Cow Palace.


Well you're both wrong, but at least Rafael Bellylard picked a real wrestling promotion for his fond memories. The WWF's canned vanilla pudding of the 1980s was for the kiddies.

All the folks in the know will tell you that the real golden age of 'rasslin was mid-80s NWA encompassing myriad territories (Georgia, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, etc.), each region a self-sustaining laboratory of awesomeness churning out great wrestlers and great wrestling weekly. While the WWF was selling ice cream bars and foam fingers to rugrats, the old NWA crowds were still primarily comprised of adults who took their spectacle seriously and filled up their local arenas weekly to openly and un-ironically love their favorites and violently loathe the heels with a depth of emotion that is completely gone from the sport now, never to return.

Ric Flair has to be considered the greatest all-around professional wrestler of all-time. His ability to travel from territory to territory and have consistently excellent matches with a wide variety of local challengers with very little preparatory time in advance was unparalleled. Naturally, "The Nature Boy" more than carried his weight outside the ring as well, with his flamboyant interviews generating enormous heat at every stop. He drew money and delivered the goods in the ring, which is all anyone could ever hope a pro-wrestler to do.
   32. andrewberg Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:35 AM (#4381688)
I would not be surprised if Undertaker retired with the streak, but I agree that it makes tons of sense to put over a once-in-a-generation heel who is still in his prime.

I think something similar to the Ziggler scenario above might play out with Jericho in the Ryder role. I suspect they offered him a pretty sweet WM slot to come back for this run.

Although the story doesn't work very well every week, I love how they have booked The Shield. Those guys are so over already and seem to be continuing to grow. Now they need to give them some sort of goal.

I write a wrestling blog, too. It is here if you would like to check it out. I did a WM preview about a week ago, but a few things have changed.
   33. steagles Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:35 AM (#4381689)
Punk's mic work should get the feud over but he's got his work cut out for him.
i can't listen to punk talk anymore. as much as i hate to say it, he has "go away" heat with me right now when he's on the mic.

he was great with ROH, he was great with hardy, he was great with the SES. but now, his act just feels cheap compared to what it was. i can understand that because he's basically worked for 18 straight months as the top guy, but he's just not doing it for me at this point.


and honestly, there's noone in the WWE right now who is doing it for me. ziggler, no. cesaro, no. the shield, no. maybe bryan danielson, but one guy is not gonna do it alone over 8 hours of programming a week.


and TNA isn't much better. aries and roode are great, but the entire rest of their card is ####### clownshoes.


the industry has two problems right now, as i see it. one is that the older guys are still hogging the spotlight and they're burying the younger wrestlers. hogan, flair, the rock, HHH, lesnar. how many main events have these guys been in over the last few years, and how many younger wrestlers have they actually put over?

and the other problem, as i see it, is that cena is the only star that survived from the early-mid 2000s. people #### on him because he's constantly in the main event, but if the rock and lesnar hadn't walked away despite being in their prime, if kurt angle and matt hardy hadn't been batshit insane, if edge didn't have a degenerative neck condition, if jeff hardy and rob van dam weren't drugged out of their gourds, if christian and shelton benjamin and MVP and kennedy had been able to step up as main eventers, if bobby lashley and umaga had been able to handle the grind...



oh, and there's no way that punk pins the undertaker. i think he has too much respect for history of the business to step on something as big as the undertaker's streak, so i think he's just gonna be there to put on a hell of a show.
   34. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4381690)
Daggum double post. Facebook tells me that "Percy Pringle", AKA "Paul Bearer", old-school 'rasslin manager, just died this evening. RIP.
   35. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4381691)
   36. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:57 AM (#4381694)
I think both the 1980s WWF & NWA had their positives & negatives. From a pure workrate standpoint, I'll take the NWA. Steamboat, Flair, Race, Blanchard, Nikita Koloff, R&R Express, Midnight Express, The Road Warriors, Arn Anderson, The Varsity Club, etc. Of course, the WWF had some pretty solid workers as well- Savage, Steamboat (for a time), Dibiase, any number of tag teams, Mr. Perfect, Piper.

IMO I think the 80s WWF has aged much better than 80s NWA. For one, the production values are so much better. It's pretty difficult for me to sit through any number of 80s Starrcades. Yes, you'd get a Ric Flair match. But you're also getting a comedy Paul Jones match and several undercard matches of no consequence. All inside smokey, half-lit arenas. Even the second-tier WWF PPV's of the 80s- SummerSlam & Survivor Series- look like epic spectacles.

Anyway, it's silly to completely dismiss one or the other.

FWIW, being 28 I grew up during the WWF's lame New Generation period. I did get to see some kick ass Bret Hart matches, the epic Hart-Hart feud, and the rise of HBK, so some good did come out of that era.
   37. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:00 AM (#4381711)
so who are Paul Bearer's pall-bearers?
   38. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:48 AM (#4381718)
I grew up on the unparalleled greatness that was Bill Watts' Mid-South Wrestling and continued on as a big fan of Flair/WCW in its heyday. But after training in MMA for a few years, I found that I just couldn't suspend THAT MUCH disbelief any more to get into present-day matches. :-(
   39. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 06, 2013 at 04:02 AM (#4381726)
Mr. Wrestling II & Junkyard Dog FTW.
   40. Greg K Posted: March 06, 2013 at 05:20 AM (#4381733)
I'm always amazed at the longevity of wrestling careers. HHH and the Undertaker are still going? Jesus.
   41. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 05:43 AM (#4381734)
I don't think wrestling one match a year and showing up at 5 or 6 shows to stand there in a hat or yell about BEING THE KING OF KINGS really counts as "still going".

   42. Poster Nutbag Posted: March 06, 2013 at 06:11 AM (#4381735)
#31 sums up my feelings (throw in some of those indy-types from the era as well like USWA, etc and reading PWI ....and now I feel 10 again!). I miss those days and haven't paid much attention since the early-mid 90's.
   43. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4381806)
I've always wondered--how much of enjoying wrestling comes from enjoying looking at nearly-naked, stacked dudes?
   44. andrewberg Posted: March 06, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4381932)
When people compare eras in wrestling, they often compare the guys who were at the top of the card (whether they were at their peak or not) and forget about the middle and bottom of the card. There are two problems with that thinking.

First, when we talk about how great the mid-80s were, we can't really include Andre the Giant or Harley Race (who both peaked in the mid-late 70s) as main eventers in their prime. Race was already 40 when Flair beat him for the NWA title. Including them would be like including HHH, Undertaker, and Lesnar on the list of current stars, which I don't think is fair.

Second, I think the mid-card is actually stronger than it has been at pretty much any time. Many of my friends point to the 97-00 era as the most entertaining period, but there was a ton of dross (and Droz) on TV every week and even on the PPVs. The IC and US titles are devalued, but the World Heavyweight Title is essentially what the IC title was in the 80s. There are also more landmark achievements throughout the year (like MITB, Elimination Chamber, Royal Rumble) that function as feathers in guys' caps. Just look at this year's WM card. Rock-Cena, Punk-Orton, HHH-Lesnar are considered the top of the card, so Shield-BS/Orton/Sheamus, Del Rio-Swagger, and whatever Bryan and Kane end up doing are the 4th-6th most interesting matches. When was the last time a WM card had a 5th most interesting match as good as Del Rio-Swagger?

Here are some 5th best matches from WMs considered classics:
III: Probably Iron Sheik and Volkoff def. Killer Bees or Harley Race def. Junkyard Dog (not bad, not great)
VI: Ted Dibiase def. Jake Roberts for the Million Dollar Title
X: Randy Savage def. Crush
XIV: HHH def. Owen Hart for the European Title (lots of Chyna/Sgt Slaughter involvement)
XV: Considered the golden age, but other than SCSA-Rock, there was 1 match over 10 minutes and nothing memorable.
XVII: Either Jericho-Regal or a pretty good Kane-Big Show-Raven Hardcore Title match
XX: Christian def. Jericho (part of that ridiculous Canadian dollar angle involving Trish Stratus)

The bottom line is that I think the talent pool is deeper now, and there are enough guys at the top of the card to carry it, led by Punk. With less outside competition, fewer one-dimensional guys, and fewer tag teams, there are quite a few good singles wrestlers now.
   45. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4381979)
I grew up on the unparalleled greatness that was Bill Watts' Mid-South Wrestling


And when I was a kid, Cowboy Bill Watts was probably my favorite wrestler. Of course, we're talking circa 1970 here.
   46. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 06, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4382018)
TNA isn't much better. aries and roode are great, but the entire rest of their card is ####### clownshoes.
the industry has two problems right now, as i see it. one is that the older guys are still hogging the spotlight and they're burying the younger wrestlers. hogan, flair, the rock, HHH, lesnar. how many main events have these guys been in over the last few years, and how many younger wrestlers have they actually put over?


I'm not sure we can lump Brock Lesnar into the Old Boys Club. The WWE only wishes he'd agree to something more than a drop-by schedule and START hogging the spotlight. Also, Old Man Lesnar is one year older than Austin Aries, and is younger than Bobby Roode.
   47. thetailor Posted: March 06, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4382044)
I hate to say it, can you imagine if it was a young player of color doing this? Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Lastings Milledge? The newspapers would have already imploded with delight.
   48. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 09:17 PM (#4382459)
#31 sums up my feelings (throw in some of those indy-types from the era as well like USWA, etc and reading PWI ....and now I feel 10 again!). I miss those days and haven't paid much attention since the early-mid 90's.


Once the entire industry abandoned "professional wrestling" and openly embraced "sports entertainment" I believe it lost a great deal of what made it so watchable and interesting. When you've given up any pretense of actual competition in favor of shamelessly and constantly winking at the camera and the crowd I think you lose a great deal of the appeal of the product. The last straw was probably when the WWF had their own reality show where aspiring 'rasslers were shown learning how to fall, how to punch without connecting, etc., essentially exposing the entire nature of the performance for all to see.

I dunno, I'm from a previous era when stuff like this happened if you tried to get a professional wrestler to admit the chicanery inherent in his sport on-camera. The carny-aspects of wrestling, the whole underpinning of working the rubes, gave it an entirely different appeal, and consequently an entirely different audience. When I was a kid, pro-wrestling wasn't kid stuff, even if I knew a few kids who watched it too. You talked about watching the USWA - look at the crowd from the Jerry Lawler vs Hulk Hogan match from 1981. All adults, all solidly blue-collar working-class folks, and almost all of them knew deep down in their heart of hearts that Hogan and Lawler weren't really in a serious competition for a championship. But all collectively willing to gladly suspend any cynical disbelief and buy in to the performance in front of them.

All that's gone. Modern crowds all know which wrestler has "heat" with the front office, who is getting "pushed", who is balking at "doing the job", and a pervasive air of cynicism pervades everything. I miss the old days of 'rasslin, never to return, but that's what getting older is about, ain't it?
   49. tfbg9 Posted: March 06, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4382475)
Wrestling was kinda funny in the Gorilla Monsoon, Chief Jay Strongbow (in reality, just a fat Italian guy from Philly or something like that) days, but with the advent of roids, not so much. I never got too into it, just seemed idiotic.

IIRC, Gaylord Perry said in his bio that his people thought wrestling was on the up and up.
   50. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4382486)
This thread got me poking around YouTube a bit, and there are some "shoot" interview clips with Jim Cornette that really need to be listened to if you're any sort of wrestling fan from the past 20 years or so. Cornette is still one of the sharpest, funniest guys in the business, y'all should check it out.

IIRC, Gaylord Perry said in his bio that his people thought wrestling was on the up and up.


My great-grandparents, who came to America in 1908, got absolutely hooked on televised pro-wrestling in the 1950s, to the point of throwing things at the tv and overturning furniture in anger over heelish actions. The mental image of these two old, stoic, extremely tough old Jews who fled Russia ahead of the Bialystok pogrom getting so riled up by TV 'rasslin just slays me. Again, for pro-wrestling those days are long gone, no adult would take the current incarnation of the sport seriously.
   51. Rob_Wood Posted: March 06, 2013 at 10:20 PM (#4382488)

Oh, old wrestling talk! My favorite era was Bruno Sammartino, Gorilla Monsoon, Pedro Morales, Killer Kowalski, etc. I used to watch wrestling from the old Madison Square Garden and Sammartino was immensely popular. To this day Bruno is my all-time favorite.
   52. Lassus Posted: March 06, 2013 at 11:44 PM (#4382538)
Non-plussed with the "Twice in a Lifetime" Cena-Rock rematch.

There's no way they can match the theme song of the first one, I'd assume.
   53. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: March 07, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4382559)
This thread got me poking around YouTube a bit, and there are some "shoot" interview clips with Jim Cornette that really need to be listened to if you're any sort of wrestling fan from the past 20 years or so. Cornette is still one of the sharpest, funniest guys in the business, y'all should check it out.


Those shoot interviews are fun to listen to, but Cornette got to book indy promotion Ring of Honor from (IIRC) fall of 2011 until this past October or so, and it led to some of the most boring storylines and angles I've seen. Watching Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards kick each other in the head for 30 minutes is not entertaining. It doesn't help that ROH hasn't really developed a worthwhile talent in 3 years or so.
   54. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 07, 2013 at 09:35 AM (#4382679)
I can't comment on any ROH stuff since I haven't seen a lick of it since Chris Hero was there, but the work Cornette did on an absolute shoestring budget in Smokey Mountain Wrestling in the 90s was superb. He did a good job in the WWE's developmental OVW promotion as well. I think his general track record in better than solid.

I also like the way he's never wavered for a moment in his contempt for Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera, the two terrible "creative" minds that made the entire sport nearly unwatchable for several years. I'm astounded anyone would hire them to book angles based on their creative record.
   55. tfbg9 Posted: March 07, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4382684)
George "The Animal" Steel(e?). From "Parts Unknown". Exhibit A, as an example of why wrestling was funnier when it was mainly 47 year old fat guys, before the whole steroid thing.
   56. Eric Ferguson Posted: March 07, 2013 at 10:44 AM (#4382724)
The Cornette interviews are definitely recommended viewing/listing, as is (again) Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast.

I do often wonder whether I would enjoy wrestling more if I still had at least a shadow of a doubt re: the "legitimacy." All the tell-all books, documentaries, interviews, etc. are fascinating, but I also think they've made me watch wrestling as more of a critic than a fan. It's the difference between saying, "Whoa, CM Punk is a great wrestler!" and "Whoa, CM Punk is a great worker!"

There's something to be said for not knowing how the magician performs his tricks.
   57. andrewberg Posted: March 07, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4382832)
All that's gone. Modern crowds all know which wrestler has "heat" with the front office, who is getting "pushed", who is balking at "doing the job", and a pervasive air of cynicism pervades everything. I miss the old days of 'rasslin, never to return, but that's what getting older is about, ain't it?


I completely agree with you on that. I try to be as non-jaded as possible when I watch wrestling. It's obviously a little hard to get caught up in the actual "competition," but I try to look at what actually happens- how they tell stories, how they wrestle matches- as opposed to speculating about the backstage politics that started it. Also, I do not read dirt sheets as a rule. I vastly prefer being surprised when something unannounced happens. I made that resolution for myself about 3 years ago and it has improved my wrestling watching immensely.

George "The Animal" Steel(e?). From "Parts Unknown". Exhibit A, as an example of why wrestling was funnier when it was mainly 47 year old fat guys, before the whole steroid thing.


There is still plenty of campy humor. While he is a little overexposed, Brodus "the Funkasaurus" Clay as a giant dancing fat guy in a track suit really cracked me up when he started his shtick. The subject of this thread, Daniel Bryan, has also found a pretty god comedic persona while he's kind of stuck on the creative back burner.

To this day Bruno is my all-time favorite.


In case you hadn't heard, he's being inducted into the WWE HOF at MSG next month. Would've been a first-ballot WWE HOM'er.
   58. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: March 07, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4382882)
In case you hadn't heard, he's being inducted into the WWE HOF at MSG next month.


This would be the same Wrestling HOF that includes William "The Refrigerator" Perry, Drew Carey, Bob Uecker and Pete Rose, no?
   59. andrewberg Posted: March 07, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4382894)
Well, they're technically in the non-existent "celebrity" wing of the non-existent HOF. It seems to mean something to the retired guys who get inducted, so I am happy for him either way.
   60. The District Attorney Posted: March 07, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4382900)
I think Bruno honors the HOF, not the other way around...

Really hope Brock just destroys HHH at WM but I'm thinking HHH will stand tall.
Umm, yeah.

   61. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 07, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4382911)
I do often wonder whether I would enjoy wrestling more if I still had at least a shadow of a doubt re: the "legitimacy." All the tell-all books, documentaries, interviews, etc. are fascinating, but I also think they've made me watch wrestling as more of a critic than a fan. It's the difference between saying, "Whoa, CM Punk is a great wrestler!" and "Whoa, CM Punk is a great worker!"


I think that's certainly true, as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. When everybody is focusing on the technical aspects of a performance, rather than simply enjoying the performance as audiences typically do for other forms of entertainment, it creates a sort of reductionist diminishment of the product. Good acting, for example, can't be fully appreciated outside of the context of a good plot with good dialogue and other compelling characters. The internet-fueled obsession with "workrate" and "spots" created a really sloppy, unappealing (for me) product for many years as wrestlers lost interest in match aspects that didn't result in immediate "oohs and ahhs" from the crowd.

George "The Animal" Steel(e?). From "Parts Unknown". Exhibit A, as an example of why wrestling was funnier when it was mainly 47 year old fat guys, before the whole steroid thing.

There is still plenty of campy humor.


Well wrestling, like other forms of performance art, has its archetypes. George "The Animal" Steele was one of the better-known variants of the "wildman" archetype, alongside Abdullah the Butcher, Kamala, Bruiser Brody, Pampero Firpo, Killer Khan, etc., some funnier than others :) The "whole steroid thing" did indeed become a real distraction when the industry collectively began to prize physique over most other aspects of performance; wrestling always had its share of Adonis physiques going back to Buddy Rogers but noted steroid-gobbler Vince McMahon (he of the ill-fated World Bodybuilding Federation) really pushed the industry in a bad direction through his obsession with freakish muscularity at every level of the card.

   62. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 07, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4382915)
I think Bruno honors the HOF, not the other way around...


I think Bruno needs a little positive accolade from the industry after the horrific beatings Superstar Billy Graham put on him in the 70s. No less an authority than Graham himself told me that to this very day Bruno still wakes up in the middle of the night, screaming, "Those arms! Those python arms!" Truly Bruno was never the same after Graham pinned him to take the WWWF title.
   63. steagles Posted: March 07, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4383233)

There is still plenty of campy humor. While he is a little overexposed, Brodus "the Funkasaurus" Clay as a giant dancing fat guy in a track suit really cracked me up when he started his shtick.
he lost me when he started trying to be a real wrestler. if he'd have limited himself to dancing for 5 minutes before the match, then squashing colin delaney in 20 seconds, and then dancing again for 5 minutes after the match, i think that would have been ideal. plus, if he did that long enough he'd have gotten a ton of heat from everyone in the audience who wasn't in preschool, and with his size, he might have been able to turn that heat into a solid mid-upper card heel run.
The "whole steroid thing" did indeed become a real distraction when the industry collectively began to prize physique over most other aspects of performance; wrestling always had its share of Adonis physiques going back to Buddy Rogers but noted steroid-gobbler Vince McMahon (he of the ill-fated World Bodybuilding Federation) really pushed the industry in a bad direction through his obsession with freakish muscularity at every level of the card.
axl rotten talked about that on colt cabana's (awesome) the art of wrestling podcast, and his take was as good as anything i've ever heard on the subject.
   64. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 07, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4383296)
Can you summarize? I don't much like Axl, his voice gives me hives.
   65. Ebessan Posted: March 07, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4383396)
The internet-fueled obsession with "workrate" and "spots" created a really sloppy, unappealing (for me) product for many years as wrestlers lost interest in match aspects that didn't result in immediate "oohs and ahhs" from the crowd.

I still enjoy the early 2000s stuff that I grew up watching (it's not like Super Dragon can really stop being interesting), but yeah, when I go to the well to watch wrestling on YT, I can only really do lucha anymore.

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