A Modest Response is back with another installment. Life is slowly settling down and next week we should be back in full force. This week we have News, Links, a new Respondent of Honor and a special guest feature for A Modest Response proper by a great writer and fellow site contributor, Rob Blatt. Let’s get to the news.
News of Honor
Mitsuharu Misawa to come to America in ROH by the end of the year
Misawa is the man who founded NOAH and the main man behind one of the greatest periods in wrestling history- late 90s AJPW. This is a huge deal and likely to happen in NYC, where I will be sure to attend.
Jimmy Rave broke his jaw and is out 8-10 weeks
See Jimmy talk about this here.
Well, his push was going along great and he concluded the Nigel feud with a loss but looked very strong overall. At a time when the company really needs main eventers, the newly solidified Rave was a big deal, so this injury comes at a rather bad time. Still, his return allows for a push and a new feud to seem fresh, so in the long term this should be fine.
On 3/31 Jimmy Jacobs will blow off his feud with BJ Whitmer in a Steel Cage
This is a huge match for me as I’ve been looking for a Jacobs push for a long while. I really hope Jimmy gets the win followed by a big push.
Marufuji is announced for NYC show on 5/12
Marufuji, although he never received the American push of KENTA or Morishima, is likely a better worker. Hopefully his NYC match is a big dream match. Specifically noteworthy is the chance of Joe returning for this one.
Steen and Generico to return for the NYC show in 5/12
And hopefully they can steal the show just like they did in Philadelphia last month.
In other News
All WWE Pay Per Views will feature talent from all brands
This would be bigger news if they hadn’t been so substantially altering the original vision by this point anyway.
Edge to feud with Orton into Summerslam, not DX
This is a result of Edge politicking to not be fed to Triple H upon his return. Smart man.
Edge’s jaw was fractured by RVD. He won’t wrestle until Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmania
A speedy recovery for Edge hopfully as a ladder match with a fractured jaw does not sound good.
Heyman offered a job handling talent development and/or writing in WWE, but refused
Hopefully this is a precursor to him replacing Russo in TNA.
Chris Jericho in discussions to return in September in a non-wrestling role
I hate non-wrestling roles. One of my most annoyed periods as a fan was when Michaels was out and returned as commissioner. They consistently teased Rock vs. Michaels and it was just hugely frustrating. I rarely enjoy these and would rather see Jericho wrestle part time elsewhere.
Batista is getting heat for not really loving the business and being compared to The Ultimate Warrior
Ouch, I guess we know who wins at Wrestlemania.
Melina’s Wrestlemania match to be her big chance, Nitro’s as well
Her attitude is holding both back. A great showing here and they can become a main event couple.
Mistico won’t join WWE
His contract in Mexico runs several more years, but he impressed everyone within WWE. Hopefully we’ll see him a few years down the line.
Samoa Joe has heat backstage in TNA
Many are upset Joe made comments at a ROH show about the TNA booking being bad. These comments are only available online and are edited off the DVD. Joe might not get the title because of this. TNA is more than willing to cut off their nose to spite their face, or fanbase, whichever the case may be.
Respondents of Honor
Respondents of Honor is the place I recognize thoughtful e-mails and contest winners in the column space. The reader e-mail and contest winners are chosen by me to represent a thoughtful response to the topic at hand. Here’s this weeks entrant from Dan Snyder, in response to last week’s column:
I really like the idea of Punk being independent since he disagrees with both the Originals lifestyle and the New Breeds lack of honor. This angle would also be a huge markout moment for me, being a diehard ROHbot, if you will. I could actually see the WWE booking an angle like this. But you know above all else what I do NOT see the WWE doing?
Booking another show at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
Which is a shame, because the crowd always makes the show more enjoyable. Well, for me…I know a lot of people are turned off by the “chanty” atmosphere, but I’d rather see 1000 fans chanting then dead silence. Let’s face it, these days if fans are silent, they’re not “paying attention” – they’re bored out of their minds. I think the last show they ran there was the infamous “Change the Channel” show (alongside Punk’s debut) and after that happened, I don’t see them booking a show there ever again. It’s messed up too, since they had to know that the fans would be rabid ECW fans, and what do they do? Book an all WWE main event, two guys who don’t exactly work ECW style on top of it. They must have known something wouldn’t be right. And then in the end, they punish the fans for not buying into the crap main event that they put on. So much for giving the fans what they want, eh?
It’s times like these when I get so frustrated with how the WWE is, that I’m very grateful for ROH and independent wrestling in general.
I like the response a great deal, but I always hold out hope for WWE realizing how great the television is when they run a small, loud arena like the Hammerstein Ballroom. A great live crowd builds buzz from the TV viewer at home and Hammerstein might be the ideal place to run to get certain angles and performers over- assuming the WWE wants them pushed, of course.
I’d also like to publicly thank Ryan Ro, already a Respondent of Honor, for the kind words.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to write in, one and all.
Respondents of Honor
Kyle K Sparks
This Week on Pulse Wrestling
Brashear discusses a personal favorite angle of mine, but it seems more information on Corino was warranted. He’s not as well known as he should be considering when his last national exposure came.
Vin Tastic does a great job discussing the state of wrestling in North America.
Ditch gives us more Puro Pulse goodness. He analyzes the Inoki situation in New Japan and discusses TNA and All Japan’s new working relationship.
Clarke discusses the same thing as Ditch and sends some insults to TNA. Really, TNA bashing is getting clichÃƒÂ© fast.
Murray has a good, positive comeback column.
Eric S keeps it short and bitter.
Wallace is almost done with “Looking AheadÃ¢â‚¬Â so enjoy it whole you can.
I like Broken Dial
Response of Honor: Rob Blatt vs. What: Rob promised a full rant on the “WhatÃ¢â‚¬Â catchphrase so here it is!
A Modest Response: Blatt vs. What with special guest, Rob Blatt
I’m signing off at this point and leaving the column in Blatt’s more than capable hands. Hope you enjoy and I look forward to all feedback as always!
So let’s discuss the “What” thing once and for all. A lot of people say that it’s one of the worst things to happen to live interviews in wrestling. I happen to disagree. The “What” chants are one of the last remaining dregs of the Attitude era WWE, when wrestling was at its absolute height of popularity. While it started as something that only happened to Austin, it quickly spread to everyone. Anytime that anyone spoke in sentence fragments (and most guys did because of reading from a script) the crowd would insert a loud “What?” to fill the space.
While an inexperienced guy will let the chants get to him or completely ruin the interview or promo, more experienced guys know what to do to really engage the crowd. An example would be Roddy Piper, Vince McMahon or the Big Show’s reactions to the crowd’s “What?” chants. It’s unfortunate that the younger guys on the roster don’t have a grasp on how to control the crowd.
Back when wrestling was at it’s most popular there were guys like the Rock, Steve Austin, Degeneration X, the nWo, Diamond Dallas Page, Bill Goldberg, etc. Everyone had a catch phrase that the crowd knew, and the crowd loved chanting it along. Nowadays, someone with a live mic doesn’t necessarily have that same charisma or catch phrase. You could say that’s pandering to the lowest common denominator, but to me, that’s engaging the live crowd in order to create an excited atmosphere for the TV audience.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that everyone needs a catch phrase that’s easy for the crowd to chant along to. It’s also a bit dated in terms of wrestling.
But that’s not the point. The point here is that when the crowd reverts back to the “What?” chants, they are sending a clear message to the talent in the ring. They want to be engaged with whatever is going on. There’s a reason that people didn’t chant “What?” at Hardcore Holly or Test in ECW. They do it with the guys closer to the top tier.
It’s like a cry for help, but instead of help the crowd is crying for enjoyment. It’s a way of telling whoever it is in the ring “You can do better than this. Engage us. Please!”
I could be wrong, but I don’t think that the “What?” chants are bad for wrestling. I think the “What?” chants are a good measure of how good a wrestler is on the stick.