Welcome back to the Q&A show.
By way of introduction, here are some boobs.
Now that we have diffused the obvious sexual tension between us all, let’s get down to business:
Kevin Sunday gets a l’il funky:
“What happened to that report that WWE signed Too Cold Scorpio? I think we all need a little more Flash Funk in our diet.”
It seems Scorpio impressed WWE officials whilst competing in the lowest of the low – an ECW dark match… against Rene Dupree – in August last year. The following month they signed him to a new deal and he was due to join the ECW roster full time. There’s an interview with WWE.com here. Since then ECW took a collective dump over a fan and things have changed so much management probably can’t even figure out who the hell is meant to be on the show other than that big bald black guy. Viewing figures went down, the PPV tanked, Heyman left, Vince lost interest in the entire project, Vince gained renewed interest in the project, the tone, direction and purpose of the show has only recently begun to be settled upon, and the ECW-exclusive house shows have been scrapped, which means they’re scaling down the ECW roster too. Scorpio might get used on the show yet, he might get put on Raw or Smackdown instead, or he might just be used in dark matches and on house shows as an experienced enhancement talent for the developmental guys to work with. Or he might just do a Jannetty. Or he might just continue getting paid to sit at home and eat biscuits, like Henry Godwinn and Brad Armstrong.
Or he might get an even better gimmick, like:
Barry Allen would be turning in his grave, if he had one.
“Another WrestleMania question. I’ve often wondered about Vince
McMahon’s “thank you” speech to the fans at WrestleMania XX. 3
factors made me suspicious: 1) it came immediately after the infamous
Brock-Goldberg match which provoked probably the most hostile crowd
reaction in WM history, 2) it was uncharacteristically low-key for
Vince, especially at such a massively-hyped event, and 3) Vince
seemed unusually stiff and uncomfortable when giving the speech. As
a result, I suspected the speech was unplanned, an attempt by Vince
to salvage a crowd that had completely turned on his Biggest Event
Ever. However, I’ve never seen that possibility confirmed or even
much discussed. Do you have any idea as to whether or not that
speech was planned?”
As far as I’m aware it was always planned, although there’s always the chance that it was meant to happen later in the show and Vince, plus Vince’s ego, decided to go for it as he was clearly the only person in the world who could get the show back on track after that match. I mean, the next match did involve Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty defending their tag titles. I bet you had all forgotten the glory that was Scotty 2 Hotty holding a championship belt. Now I’d just like to type Ã¢â‚¬ËœScotty 2 Hotty’ for the third sentence in a row. Scotty 2 Hotty. That’s four, that’s plenty. Anyway, I distinctly remember Scott Keith describing Lesnar/Goldberg as “a bizarre sociological experimentÃ¢â‚¬Â and in that context it was truly hilarious. Then came RVD/Cena, which was more one-sided than the indiscriminate hatred displayed by MSG but still pretty damn funny. It is so very strange to think that in this day and age, when kayfabe has been not just laid to rest but hung, drawn and quartered, that fans are still so capable of getting emotionally invested in the product even when they are vain enough to call themselves smart. They might consider themselves above something so immature as investing their emotions into the storylines or the characters but they still can’t separate their attachment from the performers, so if those performers don’t measure up to some undefined ideal then they become the heels. They saw Brock Lesnar as petulant, ungrateful, and turning his back on Ã¢â‚¬Ëœtheir’ way of life, even though all he was doing was trying to find a career he felt passionate about. They saw Goldberg as uncaring and overrated, despite the fact he was just a contracted performer doing his job. They see John Cena as being hollow, fake and unworthy, yet nobody else in the company comes close to matching his popularity. Then there are people like Austin (wife-beater, drunkard, uncooperative) and RVD (stoner, unprofessional, unreliable) who are apparently deemed worthy of their admiration. It is an odd, odd, odd state of affairs. No wonder WWE feels like it has no other choice than to tell people who they should support.
Anyway, I’m sure Vince’s speech did seem uncharacteristic but then he has become so involved with his Mr McMahon character than anything remotely genuine and heartfelt would seem a little odd.
Monkeydude cuts to the bone:
“1/ Who is the fattest wrestler to get slim and who is the slimmest wrestler
to get fat?
2/ Do we *really* believe that Shawn Michaels is a changed man or is he just
1/ That is a truly great question, Mr Monkeydude. Unsurprisingly, there are more examples of noticeable weight gain than of weight loss. For example, Scott Hall used to look like this:
And currently looks like this:
Similarly, Tammy Sytch went from this:
That’s from this:
Not to mention Ahmed Johnson having consumed half the chicken grease in the western world by the time he wound up as Big T in WCW, Triple H requiring the assistance of photo-editing software to look presentable on the cover of Smackdown vs. Raw 2007, or Roddy Piper’s years of alcohol lovin’ manifesting itself into a belly wobbly enough to pass for a pregnant Santa Claus.
Not too sure about the slimmers, but I’m tempted to go with Big Bossman. He was hardly svelte at the end but he was far smaller than when he started out.
2/ By all accounts, Shawn Michaels’ personal life is happier and healthier than it was during his ’80s and Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ90s blow-n-booze, hooch-n-whores days. His professional life would seem to be a lot vaguer. He is committed to regular religious meetings on Wednesdays that have on at least two occasions kept him from joining Smackdown permanently, yet he seemed happy enough to comply with teaming with God to take on Vince McMahon last year. He doesn’t want to be shown doing anything risquÃƒÂ© in the recent DX material, yet he went along with bringing the gimmick back even though it was all about irresponsible, immature, insensitive behaviour. He would have had enough stroke to get younger talent added to DX despite Triple H’s objections, especially now that Trips is out injured for several months, which would do a lot to get somebody with a lengthier future than those pair over, yet he hasn’t and seems content to keep their exclusive club going at the expense of others who might benefit. Similarly, if he want to do so he could very easily go to bat for giving more substantial pushes to other small wrestlers, especially his former students London and Kendrick, yet the only related instances of late have been his criticisms of C.M. Punk. He could have taken a cue from on high, turned the other cheek and acted humbly in his behaviour towards fellow professionals, yet in the summer of 2005 he took yet another on-air jab at Bret Hart and ad libbed insults directed at Hulk Hogan. When compared to the behaviour of other born-again Christians in the business, such as Sting or Ted Dibiase, Michaels does seem to be walking a fine line at times between redeeming and repeating himself. I’m not doubting his personal beliefs, his home life or anything like that, but at times it does seem as if he is struggling to behave the way he thinks he should whilst out on the road with his buddy Triple H and the knowledge that he would need to do something really bad to get into trouble.
“What is the most racist promo you can remember seeing that didn’t involve
Hulk Hogan being called the N word?”
Anything to have come out of Konnan’s mouth in the past year?
Anything that Mohammed Hassan said after the writers gave up on the complexities of the character, roughly one week after his first appearance?
Any time WWE goes to Canada and gets the commentators to make Bizarro Land references?
All of the uninhibited anti-Mexican diatribes used by JBL when feuding with Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio?
Anything to do with Chavo Guerrero’s brief stint as Kerwin White?
But the worst culprit has got to be Triple H’s racist putdowns of Booker T in the build-up to their WrestleMania XIX title match. All that talk about how Ã¢â‚¬Ëœpeople like you’ couldn’t be Triple H, how Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthat type’ couldn’t be champion, how they were only there Ã¢â‚¬Ëœto entertain people like me’ and so on. It wouldn’t have been so memorable had Booker fought back but he was scripted to just stand there, take the abuse and the undertow of racism that went with it, and then lose, badly, at Mania itself. All this while Raw had Rodney Mack and Teddy Long, both heels, running around beating up white boys and claiming that racists in WWE were holding them down. It made no sense then, it still makes no sense now, and things like Shelton’s Momma and Cryme Tyme show that those running WWE have still not learned anything. Little wonder that there is still so much negative stigma associated with wrestling in the mainstream media. If the Lashley push hasn’t succeeded by the end of the year don’t be at all surprised if they turn him into an updated version of Mack.
That’s all for now, so I might as well offer up a few comments about this rather tasty news story about WWE possibly establishing international brands. Read the details here.
There’s no doubt that this could be a very successful and beneficial endeavour if WWE really applies itself to try and make it work. But…
How can they succeed in the Japanese wrestling scene when only Pro Wrestling NOAH are succeeding at the moment, and even then their profits are marginal and their product is far removed from WWE? Most of the crowds in such markets seem to watch WWE precisely because it is a slice of American pop culture at odds with their local product, yet that sense of wonder would quickly evaporate if the areas were run with regular shows rather than annual tours of a handful of dates, so who is to say where the numbers would level out? They would need to pay a certain amount of lip service to local styles of wrestling, especially in Japan and Mexico at least, but nothing about WWE suggests they are remotely comfortable with promoting a style outside of their self-established boundaries, so how much autonomy could these regional groups be expected to get? Further, these Ã¢â‚¬Ëœregions’ are not countries and, other than the planned Ã¢â‚¬ËœHispanic’ territory, have practically no unifying cultural links, so how can the product possibly please so many different demographics at the same time? WWE struggles to comprehend going up to Bizarro Land a handful of times a year, how can they possibly be sensitive enough to let audiences in France or China react differently from those of the UK or Australia? Hell, how many different commentators and announcers would they need for these regions? How can somebody cut a promo in a land that doesn’t speak the same language as the wrestler? And can anybody doubt that WWE wouldn’t want to keep its biggest stars in North America? There’s no way that John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels or The Undertaker would be willing or able to move overseas, and how well could a fledging European promotion do with an untested Harry Smith or someone at the level of Ken Kennedy do as its headline acts? They would need a mammoth scouting system in place to ensure that suitable local talents were hired but precious few of those would meet the traditional WWE notions of a hot prospect, so would they be able to broaden their horizons or would there simply be more lunkheads shipped out from Ohio to ply their second-rate wares in a second-rate show? And with the talent pool so shallow at the moment, what would be the effect on Raw and ECW, especially with UFC gobbling up the PPV market and the lucrative Hispanic demographic shunted off elsewhere? Sure, they know how to book and promote Raw, but there will be a distinct lack of PPV, of loyal paying customers and of disposable incomes in most of these planned territories, so would they be savvy enough to alter their business models as required?
Questions, questions, so many questions…
Send me your thoughts on this and general queries on all matters wrestling and we’ll take a look at them next week.
Meanwhile, other things, which include:
Pulse Wrestling Rankings, for those who like to argue about numbers…
Lance Storm compliments things, including WWE and Lita…
Pulse Glazer continues to hold private conversations with Eric S in public… get a room or let it go, gentlemen…
Kace Evers, whoever that is, has a podcast, whatever that is…
WWE 24/7 has some mighty fine material lined up for March for those bastards lucky enough to get it…
Phil Clark kicks Saturday Night’s Main Event while it’s down… no mercy, that’s the way…
Roderick Strong discusses stuff, which I do hope includes Carmen Electra, paperback detective novels and the benefits of the colour yellow…
Right, then. Leave.