Well, Iâ€™m back, finally, as my computer troubles are (hopefully) a thing of the past. Since everyoneâ€™s talking Wrestlemania, I thought Iâ€™d take a line or two from everyoneâ€™s column for the past week or so and expand upon it, in reverse chronological order.
Joe Fiorelloâ€™s 10 Thoughts on WWE:
â€œChristian vs. Alberto Del Rio in the Cage match was average. Glad to know that WWE remembered that Del Rio was the one that put Christian out of action and are continuing this feud. It seems they did it all wrong over on Raw with Triple H and Sheamus. This match had bits and pieces that were good but overall it just didnâ€™t come across as that great of a cage match. Maybe itâ€™s the lack of blood which makes the Steel Cage match seem a bit weak. Iâ€™m not one to say â€œOh the WWE is bad because they donâ€™t bleed anymoreâ€ but in Cage matches or Elimination Chambers, some blood would make it look more brutal and intimidating.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: Cage matches are extraordinarily difficult the way that WWE runs them. First, theyâ€™ve taken out the violence, which means not only blood, but the major high spots. Thatâ€™s fine when a cage match has enough heat to get by anyway, but generally, especially with escape rules, it leaves something missing. I consider the practice of blading fairly barbaric and am fine with no more blood, but these matches are supposed to be the pinnacle, or, at least, the free-TV pinnacle of a hated feud. I havenâ€™t seen a cage match in WWE approach that level of heat in years. These cannot just be regular matches in cages; both wrestlers and talent really need to realize that. Especially disappointing is that this replaced the Corre vs. Edge and Christian promised match. The advertised match, with Del Rio involvement, would have gotten me far more hyped for Wrestlemania if done well, even if expanded to a 6-man withâ€¦ gulpâ€¦ Big Show. Instead, we got a heatless cage match and another Show DQ. I thought Mania was when they busted out their A-Game. Smackdown writers must have missed the memo.
Mike Gojiraâ€™s Stomping Ground: A Critical Review of the Build to Wrestlemania on the Triple H and Undertaker build:
â€œIâ€™m a little peeved at the build to this match for a number of reasons. Donâ€™t get me wrong; the video testimonials have given this a â€œbig match feel,â€ and I am anticipating it, but thereâ€™s just something off. Why couldnâ€™t Triple H address Sheamus for putting him out of action and have a solid match with him? Why didnâ€™t Undertaker address being buried alive by Kane and the Nexus remnants? Both of these issues could have been resolved BEFORE Sheamusâ€™s United States Championship storyline and BEFORE Kane was added to Big Showâ€™s Corre feud. Like everyone else, Triple Hâ€™s speech burying the talent left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, but I understand that he meant heâ€™s done it all in the company (which is true). Iâ€™m also not a fan of Johnny Cashâ€™s song as Takerâ€™s theme because it takes away from the ambiance of his entrance. I know, Iâ€™m nitpicking here.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: I cannot stand Triple H. Seriously, I just donâ€™t like the guy, at all anymore in pretty much any context. Iâ€™m all for nitpicking against him usually, but not this time. I hated him crushing Sheamus. Undertaker not going after Kane or Corre was a bit absurd. I donâ€™t care. The build for Taker and Triple H has been like something out of a major UFC fight. It doesnâ€™t matter that theyâ€™ve faced off before â€“ the hype and importance of their match now has been ramped up by everyone giving their opinion and how deadly seriously these men are taking this. That they are both giving up major personal issues only amplifies that, in some sense. This is one of the best builds WWE has put together for a match in years and almost certainly the best since Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels issue several years back.
Chantalâ€™s Hotties nâ€™ Notties on Lucky Cannon:
â€œIn addition to the flowing locks he wears a freakinâ€™ sweet robe and yaâ€™ll know what Iâ€™m like with wrestling robes â€“ I LOVE them. This may not be the most beautiful of robes but it does include feathers so itâ€™s up there with Sting and Flair at the top of the Wrestling Robe League.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: I think Lucky has a world of potential. Heâ€™s athletic with an absolutely great look and can, with a good deal of practice, become quite the talent. He clearly seems to have a flair for wrestlingâ€™s past, which can only help him in the long run. Unfortunately, he has been sabotaged with a terrible name. Dolph Ziggler needed not only incredible talent, but also incredible luck to get over with that absurd of a name. I donâ€™t see lightning striking twice in that manner for Cannon. Moreâ€™s the pity.
David Ditchâ€™s Puro Pulse on from an interview on Misawa:
â€œHis funeral felt like a funeral for the business. The way it was covered in Japan, the emotion, hadnâ€™t been there in the last decade. Hashimotoâ€™s funeral drew a lot of attention but not quite as much. Misawaâ€™s in-ring death, status as â€œBabaâ€™s sonâ€, and relationship with NTV made it bigger.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: Well, wasnâ€™t it a funeral for the business in Japan? NOAH is falling apart and AJPW has long since fallen apart. New Japan can be great, but hardly resembles what it was even as recently as the late-90s. Thereâ€™s still wrestling in Japan, but where they used to be years ahead of the curve, intense and skilled, now the promotions and wrestlers are just surviving. In the late 90s you had Hashimoto, Misawa, Akiyama, Kobashi, Mutoh, Chono, TenKoji, Sasaki, and all those juniors performing at a high level. Now, at that level thereâ€™s really Tanahashiâ€¦ and who?
Phil Clarkâ€™s >The Reality of Wrestling Roundtable with Kevin Wilson on Sin Cara:
â€œI am dreading that he might get the Ultimo Dragon treatmentâ€¦. really hot to start, slowly fade, get injured, disappear. He certainly will get a push to start but Vince has a short attention span and wrestlers twice his size arenâ€™t going to want to sell for him unless he is over. So if he slips at all in-ring wise, which is possible with the different style, and wrestlers start complaining, he might disappear to FCW and then never come back. I like Mistico, but I donâ€™t know how his style is going to mesh in a promotion with no Jr. Heavyweight division. He canâ€™t wrestle Del Rio, Mysterio, Bourne, and Chavo in every match.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: Wait, what? Did I miss Rey only facing that select group for the past decade? Heâ€™s ridiculously smaller than Mistico and big guys sold for him. If itâ€™s their job, Vince wants it, and the wrestlers are told to, they will sell. Given the push Mistico is getting, they will sell. Itâ€™s about charisma and push. Mistico oozes both. Heâ€™ll debut with a big push, get over on his great offense, languish in the mid-card for awhile, then be given another huge chance, except heâ€™s different enough that said chance will be a huge success. Rey has long been one of the hardest guys in the company to work with and WWE dealt with him because they knew how important the Hispanic audience is and was. Now, they have the perfect replacement for injured, old, cranky Rey. I canâ€™t imagine that being wasted.
Jonathan Kueâ€™s Corner on Miz/Cena/Rock:
â€œNow, Iâ€™ll admit that the Mizâ€™s championship reign could have been stronger. Iâ€™ll even admit to this build being a bit slow when it came to Miz being noticed as a threat (not to mention that horrible background music The Great One had while addressing The Awesome One). But all in all, Cena and the Rock have looked like two guys so invested in each other that the Miz has been able to capitalize each and every time. So, as far as the build goes, I believe itâ€™s doing its job.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: Miz has had the strongest first title reign of anyone in ages. Heâ€™s gotten fluke wins and clean wins, cut great promos, and been a major focal point of the show. Heâ€™s a heel; he canâ€™t look strong all the time, yet against Cena, he surely has. Against John Cena, Miz has had the advantage every single week. Itâ€™s been phenomenal how willingly theyâ€™ve made him look strong against the top guy in the company EVERY single time out. Imagine if Jericho had gotten to look this good against Triple H? Miz isnâ€™t just doing his job with the build, but thanks to Cena giving him so much, heâ€™s building his future and ensuring he remains a top guy in the fans eyes regardless of what follows at Wrestlemania.
Jake Zieglerâ€™s Dragon Gate USA Wrestlemania Weekend preview:
â€œ1) 1-on-1 battle between one member of each stable.
2) A dream partner tag team match, but a participant cannot team with someone from his own stable.
3) This is actually two matches. Each stable will get to book a member of the opposing team against any available opponent.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: This is BRILLIANT. I donâ€™t know if this is Gabe Sapolskyâ€™s idea or not, but either way, bravo. Stable Wars get stale fast, just ask TNA and ROH when theyâ€™ve done them constantly and you just run out of pairing. Dragon Gate is a company based upon stables, but this is such a fantastic twist on that, a way to keep matches and the feud fresh in a mix and match manner. I think Iâ€™ll even get this I-PPV thanks to the sheer quality of this idea.
Steve Murray: A Look on the Brightside Return:
â€œ1. Michael Coleâ€™s entrance, dressed as JR, was amusing â€“ for about 5 seconds. Once you got past the stuffing in his mouth and the bottle of BBQ sauce, and heard him say â€œSlobberknockerâ€, there was nothing left to fill the next several minutes. This is something pro wrestling often suffers from, which Iâ€™ll call â€œThe SNL Conundrumâ€ â€“ something that sounds absolutely hilarious when you are discussing it as a concept backstage can easily fall flat on its face in the actual execution. (Hint: this is not the last time this Conundrum makes an appearance tonight.)â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: Welcome Back Steve! This isnâ€™t a Brightside comment, though. Either way, sure it was only amusing for 5-seconds, but it wasnâ€™t played up. Cole came out in the gimmick, was annoying and got heat for it, and went right into his box to portray his normal character. It could have gone on long or been mean spirited, but instead, it proved its point and got out of the way. This was far better than Coleâ€™s later promo on Lawler. That one was simply a lesser version of the shenanigans the week before. Youâ€™re supposed to build on momentum, not slow it down, gentlemen.
Joel Leonardâ€™s No Chance on Cole and Lawler:
â€œBut weâ€™ve been avoiding the main part of this article, which is to look at the eventual fight that will take place on April 3rd. The climax of this feud where we finally get to see these two in ring at Wrestlemania. Of all the buildups this year, this one is probably my favorite. The anticipation of getting to see Cole beat down in the ring is exciting, except for the looming dread that there is a more than good chance that this could be a terrible match. A past his prime wrestler fighting someone who is not at all known for his in ring talent? If this were one year ago the exact same description could have been about the Vince McMahon and Bret Hart match, and we all saw how well that turned out.
Glazerâ€™s Take: Iâ€™ll be blunt. Michael Cole isnâ€™t a stroke victim who canâ€™t take a bump. WWE has a phenomenal record with celebrity matches, whether on Raw or PPV. Thereâ€™s nor eason to think Lawler, who got excellence out of Andy Kauffman canâ€™t put together a good overbooked match with Cole, who will be working his ass off and can bump when he has, at the very least, Stone Cold and Jack Swagger to use as storytelling props. Add in how hot the crowd will be for Lawler, Stone Cold and Cole getting killed and you have absolutely no reason to worry about this one.
Flea (fuck your caps and get an adult name, old man) with the Saturday Evening Post:
â€œCole continued his gimmick of requesting the Womenâ€™s match (in this case Eve and Maryse) to â€œgo homeâ€ and let him get back to his own fucking show. This made Eve mad enough to go Cole Mining and will likely lead to her getting bullied / Cole-Locked next week. Beats a two second Bellas cameo.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: Youâ€™re missing the obvious here. Lawler has his whole Divas love thing going and Cole now has an issue with them. The Divas now have a logical reason to get involved at Wrestlemania in the humiliation of Michael Cole. They arenâ€™t setting up a great match, but they are setting up what looks to be an extraordinarily satisfying spectacle. Note: I have no idea how they rehabilitate Cole at all after this. Also, sorry for the anger Flea, but Iâ€™m really upset at Grut. Not only did he move to bumblefuck nowheresville, his piece in your column sucked the life out of me. Iâ€™d settle for a Junk News, but Grutman, my favorite IWC writer ever, needs to find his fastball again.
Chris Sandersâ€™ The Rager on the Miz:
â€œHis promos after attacking John Cena were brilliant and he didnâ€™t need any cheap lines (unless you count him using other peopleâ€™s lines and Iâ€™m Awesome) in doing so. The Rock fake-out last week was a good touch and even imitating Rockâ€™s moves were a nice addition. The flipping of WWEâ€™s logo seemed so brilliant of a move and yet so simple and elementary, I literally sat and said out-loud, â€œDuh, why didnâ€™t I think of that?â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: This section of the column is on the top in ring heel. I donâ€™t suppose anyone else wants to figure out the issue here? This is all why Miz is top out-of-ring heel, a role which there is far more to than simply cutting a good promo. The WWE Logo upside-down was absolutely incredibly clever and really means he should continue on his current path of getting massive heat. Heâ€™s still only a good worker and will need time and proof to be more than that. Being carried by Lawler and one incredible Morrison match do not a best in-ring heel make. His promos and, moreover, his antics, make the case for out of the ring.
Mark Allen This Week in E on Drew Carey going into the WWE Hall of Fame:
â€œBeing itâ€™s a celebrity appearance I canâ€™t complain too much as itâ€™s obvious he agreed to do it to promote his new ventures. I mean thereâ€™s plenty of other celebrities that should go in first (Cyndi Lauper, Mr. T, Floyd Mayweather, LT, etc.) but like I said it should be short and harmless.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: Besides being a buddy, this, right here, is why Iâ€™ll miss Mark so much. While the common fan is busy whining about this inclusion, Mark offers simple perspective. Itâ€™s a fake sport based around surreal moments. Drew Carey has something to promote, will be kept short, and might be funny. Thereâ€™s no reason to not induct him. There is no real prestige involved in a Hall of Fame with Koko B Ware and not Bruno Sammartino. Breathe, internet wrestling aficionado.
Penny Sautreau-Fifeâ€™s Penny Candy on Concussions:
â€œFor wrestlers, multiply that by 20 and you begin to understand the self-defeating obsession with not surrendering to injury. If I was that stubborn about doing dishes with just my wife to think about, imagine how a guy working in front of thousands every night must be feeling. In their minds, giving in to injury must feel like failing somehow.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: Wrestling is a dirty, disgusting business that seems to lure in the lowers common denominator of human beings, but this is the one thing that this despicable business is slowly getting right. The major companies donâ€™t do chair shots to the head. Head drops are kept to a minimum. Guys with concussions are usually held out for awhile. All of these are extremely helpful. There is still far too much of a macho, work while hurt attitude that sometimes goes into concussions, but, weâ€™re improving here. Who would have thought Chris Nowinski might be the most important individual to wrestling of his generation? At the very least, he has likely prevented the US from having a Misawa incident.
Kyle Fitta is The Big Tuna on the lack of excitement for Wrestlemania:
â€œWrestlemania might in fact have great matches on the show, but if there is no excitement behind the matches, theyâ€™re not going to feel as epic as if they had intriguing backstories behind them.â€
Glazerâ€™s Take: I know this is mostly opinion, but to say thereâ€™s no good build behind the matches is from a wrestling history perspective, frankly, absurd. Cole and Lawler has been building for at least half of a year, if not longer, with an excellent number of twists along the way and a ton of potential for what could go into a match. Nexus have terrorized WWE for about 10-months before they pissed off the wrong Viper and got eliminated. Now, that story finishes at Wrestlemania. Alberto Del Rio and Edge have a simple wrestling feud built around Del Rio wanting to cheat to get the title and Edgeâ€™ best friend, who Del Rio injured, turning the tide. Taker and Triple H have a very different, almost MMA big fight feel to their war. We have a classical literature style generational battle of passing the torch with The Rock, Miz and John Cena where everyone is battling both their past and future expectations and perceptions. Corre and the giants provides our freak show. The celebrity quota is filled by Snookiâ€™s match, which has such good workers in it, it wonâ€™t be bad, and Sheamus is wrestling Daniel Bryan, while Cody Faces Rey Mysterio for your straight wrestling desires. How is this anything but a well-built show with a variety of builds?
Chris Biscuitiâ€™s World gave us our first Wrestlemania preview:
â€œIf youâ€™re going to have a one-on-one match at WrestleMania, you better be able execute a storyline well and handle the bright lights of the big dance. Well, Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio have done an admirable job selling this entire angle, with Cody surprisingly carrying the bulk of the load in this regard. Personally, I love the new twist on Codyâ€™s formerly Dashing character, and everything that has been done to this point has been both nuanced and noticeable.â€
Codyâ€™s development in this role has been nothing short of phenomenal. Given that Dusty is one of the biggest stars ever and Dustin is among the most under-rated, there should be no surprise that Cody is so good. Still, given how bland he was as a heel in Legacy, he has come incredibly far. He is, for all intents and purposes, the modern day Rick Rude. Thatâ€™s fitting, since Rude was once pretty bland, then found the right gimmick, got great heat, and suddenly started becoming an awesome worker. Thatâ€™s essentially exactly Codyâ€™s career path, except with a pit stop as a member of a forgetful stable sprinkled in.
And finally, Andrew R. Wheeler and For Your Consideration:
â€œWelcome back to the longest running, action-adventure, passive-aggressive, Mania-bound-whether-I-like-it-or-not column on the world wide pulse, For Your Consideration. Iâ€™m Andrew Wheeler, and as always, this week brings you a full RAW Judicial Review.â€
This brings to mind a debate that has been going around about Vince not wanting his company being called a wrestling company and, especially Kyle Sawyer Paulâ€™s argument that rebranding wrestling isnâ€™t entirely the issue. The issue comes down to two things- first, that wrestling fans like being wrestling fans â€“ second, that â€œsports entertainmentâ€ is a terrible name. I take issue with the first part and agree fully with the second. In the first case, wrestling fans are by and large reasonably ashamed of their hobby after about sixth grade. Anyone younger than that wouldnâ€™t likely even notice the â€œSports Entertainmentâ€ branding, and just calls it wrestling because thatâ€™s what everyone else seems to call it. We all know it isnâ€™t real and have long ago given up not only kayfabe, but on camera pretending most of what occurs is real. The majority of what happens in wrestling now is done with a wink to the camera. At any rate, wrestling isnâ€™t particularly descriptive of what happens in the ring anyway. Mr. Wheelerâ€™s tongue-in-cheek description of it as action-adventure, passive-aggressive programming is far more accurate. Wrestling is, essentially, Drama/Dramatic Fighting. Thatâ€™s not a better name than wrestling, but at least it describes what weâ€™re talking about unlike both wresting and the comically bad Sports Entertainment which is literally just a mishmash of random words.
Annnnd thatâ€™s out columnists. Hope you reply with your thoughts on my thoughts, read through the excellent columns mentioned within, and leave some comments on the name â€œwrestling.â€ See you tomorrow with my Raw Review and remember, keep it with InsidePulse Wrestling for all your wrestling coverage.
Tags: A Modest Response, Michael Cole, morning backlash, The Miz, WWE