[Deconstructing the Moveset] – Legend vs. Legendary


Welcome to a slightly delayed Deconstructing the Moveset this week. Some things got in the way of posting on time, but once I saw that not only had Brashear posted his “Great-ing Gimmick of the Past” about Kanyon post Triple Cage dive, had Bufton continued his Hall of Fame analysis, but Gordi posted his column continuing his look at what wrestling psychology is, I knew that you guys would be okay.

I recommend you read gloomchen’s column this week,because I said so and because I’m hysterical.

Also, Moodspins has started up as the little brother site to IP, and under the tutelage of M-A-double-T-H-E-double-U Michael, I predict great things and great reads for Moodspins and its readers.

Have you downloaded my exclusive interview with Hillbilly Jim yet? Get it HERE!!!

Skip Reader Mail

No reader mail this week unfortunately. Way to let me down readers. Seriously. But there’s always BIG LINK FUN to be had. LAST WEEK’S BIG LINK was all about No Way Out and here were the results.

24% of you ordered it at your place
16% of you saw it somewhere else, contributed to someone else ordering it or stole it
a whopping 0% of you watched in online
12% have since downloaded the show
and 48% of you haven’t seen it at all

not too bad. It was pretty much split between people who thought it was good, people who thought it was neutral and people who thought it was bad.

But the surprise was that 64% of you didn’t like the idea of a JBL vs. Cena feud.

The whole “Pulse Points” thing has been temporarily suspended, so we’ll skip that for the moment.

THIS WEEK’S BIG LINK is all column related. What makes someone a legend? What makes them legendary. Also three quick polls to see where you guys stand on legend status of three wrestlers.

Skip Tivo Gems

I missed Smackdown! and the weekend shows this week, so I’m not a terribly good judge for the Tivo Gems. I will say that I like what they’re doing with Batista, and question what the hell the point of the concussion angle was with Randy Orton.

Skip Download of the Week
My suggestion from my week of downloading

Barry Windham Classic Combo
Any time old footage like this airs I pick it up because I’m not as knowledgeable as I should be on these guys. The same goes for international stuff. I’d love to be up to speed on the vintage wrestling footage, so I’m getting there slowly.

NJPW-The Great Muta – 3 Great Matches
See my description above, but I just wanted to know more than the horrid run Muto had towards the end of WCW.

Raw Is War 09 20 99
You wanna talk about a fun Raw? This was great to watch years later. I really really really enjoyed watching the Raw, it was leading to the 1999 Armageddon six pack match when Vince was the champion and Austin returned as well. What a damn fun show.

Have a suggestion? E-mail me not only the match, but where I can get it from and why you like it as well.


Let’s talk briefly about legend and legendary. This will no doubt lead to a much larger discussion in the forums

leg·end n.

    1. An unverified story handed down from earlier times, especially one popularly believed to be historical.
    2. A body or collection of such stories.
    3. A romanticized or popularized myth of modern times.
  1. One that inspires legends or achieves legendary fame.
    1. An inscription or a title on an object, such as a coin.
    2. An explanatory caption accompanying an illustration.
    3. An explanatory table or list of the symbols appearing on a map or chart.

leg·en·dar·y adj.

  1. Of, constituting, based on, or of the nature of a legend.
    1. Celebrated in legend.
    2. Extremely well known; famous or renowned.

Both definitions come courtesy dictionary.com.

As we approach the Hall of Fame induction every year, people start using the “legend” word a whole lot more. Possibly the two men who have used it the most in recent memory is Ric Flair and Randy Orton (pre-face turn and before his charisma disappeared). Orton has “killed” legends (I’m pretty sure the only thing to do that is time or continued returns to the ring) and Flair is a legend but disputes other people’s status as one.

Flair contests that Foley, HBK and Hart are not legends. We all know at this point, the controversy in his book was meant to sell copies through controversy, and the jabs at those guys were added after the book was completed. Initial rumors were that it was supposed to spark a Flair/Foley feud, but Mick has since said we won’t work with anyone that doesn’t respect him.

Can someone be legendary without being a legend? That question has to come to mind if you’re going to back up Flair’s argument that Michaels, Hart and Foley aren’t legends. I completely disagree about the Hart statements, so I’m going to remove him from the arguments from here on out. So we’re down to Foley and Michaels. And with those two being looked at there is a similar theme through their careers.

Shawn’s been wrestling for 22 years and continues to wrestle today. He’s come a long way even since starting in the federation, lasting longer than anyone could have imagined. He was brought into the business through Texas All Star Wrestling(Formerly Southwest Championship Wrestling), the AWA and eventually he emerged as a “Rocker” (different from the AWA “Midnight Rockers”) in the WWE. In the WWE, the impact from his career can’t be denied. From the Barbershop “Kick Heard Round the World” (I think I just named that) the Wrestlemania X ladder match, the Montreal incident, the Kliq, Degeneration X, and the Hell in a Cell involvement, the HHH feud, his style has opened up doors previously closed for other wrestlers. Shawn was part of a movement away from giants and towards the quicker and smaller main eventer.

Of course, his career impact can’t possibly be bigger than Flair’s, or Bruno’s or Hulk Hogan’s, but what wrestler in the modern era’s career could? Twenty years in wrestling is an accomplishment, and with Shawn Michaels you can say his career has certainly been legendary (see definition two of legendary).

Let’s move on to Mick Foley. His career just might be the most well known career of any wrestler today. As of next year, Foley will have been involved with wrestling for two decades. While not an active member of the roster, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see him on a WWE broadcast. While you most likely know Foley’s career, I won’t mention everything here. You know all the high points, the indy days, the Gilbert feud, the Vader feud, the Sting match, the Funk feuds, King of the Deathmatch, ECW, Mankind, the Hell in a Cell, The “I Quit” match, Mr. Socko, the HHH feud, the Commissionership, and the Randy Orton feud. Foley’s style also opened up a lot of doors for other wrestlers, but Foley was also part of a movement that gave way to the post-“Attitude” era style of matches that dominated the WWE in 2000-2002. His willingness to put his body on the line for the entertainment of the fans is legendary, and also the amount of punishment his body has absorbed in legendary as well.

Of course his career can’t be measured from Flair’s, Bruno’s or Hogan’s.

But whose can?

Today’s wrestler’s career is shorter because of the risks taken in the ring. This is the theme in both of their careers. They so dedicated to entertaining the fans, that they thought about their bodies second. They gave everything they had to the business, no matter what price they paid for it. And the fans acknowledge that.

But with that in mind, most careers can’t span three or maybe even four decades anymore. It’s just not possible with the amount of punishment wrestlers take. But does that hurt their chances at becoming legends? Do we start using the word “legendary” instead? I don’t know if Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley will be individual legends one day, but as a tag team, they sure are legendary. Don’t you think?

So do we measure today’s wrestler by the same standards as yesterday’s? Do we use Flair as a measuring stick? What standard can be set for “legend” status? World champion? Well, with that status you could call…. Vince Russo a legend. (You thought I was gonna say David Arquette, didn’t you?) So that standard’s immediately out the door.

This isn’t baseball, where we can say “if you hit 500 homeruns, you’re a hall of famer”. And if we went based only of wrestling merit, how is James Dudley in the Hall of Fame? Or the Grand Wizard, or Bobby Heenan? So that’s not a standard. If we use Ric Flair’s standard of how great a wrestler is, then we also discredit a lot of guys as well. Flair has said that he determines how great someone is by the money that they bring in, and with his standards, he’ll never be as great as Hogan is. But that’s a flawed system as well.

Personally, I’d leave the whole thing up to Gordi to decide, but I don’t have that kinda power in the WWE. Or any real power. Just what my 100 shares allows me to do.

So do we fault Foley and Michaels for not having the career that Flair has had? For not having the 16 World Title victories to your name? Obviously not.

Who makes legends?

As fans, I think we do.

This conversation continues in the forums, with THIS WEEK’S BIG LINK .

See you next week, same Blatt time, same Blatt channel.