Below is a special interview I had with Pulse Wrestling reader and frequent commenter sideshowbob. It’s the first edition of a new feature I am testing out, called Taking YOUR Wrestling Pulse. After all, this gig wouldn’t be so much fun without you, the readers, the commenters, the posters, etc.
Before I proceed, I also just wanted to give you a special programming note: I am posting this column one week earlier than usual, since I will not be able to write a column over Labor Day Weekend. Therefore, after this post, I’ll be back in three weeks time for my regularly scheduled CB’s World column.Â
Hey there sideshowbob! First things first, thanks so much for being an awesome commenter and for reading all of our columns right here at Pulse Wrestling. Even Gojira thanks you.Â
You have cracked me up so much that I wanted to take the time to give you your own space this week so that we can learn more about you. Also, this just might end up being a semi-regular feature to my column, profiling one of our readers and asking them a wide range of questions. We’ll see!
OK, so what I want to do is ask you a few questions, and go from there as we go back in forth.
Let’s start with this one sideshowbob: Why does ‘wrestling matter’ to you?
Well the answer isn’t as simple as the question.. Â But to try and make it plain and simple, it is and always has been there. Â Whether I was watching with my grandmother, or in my worldwide travels. Wrestling was there. Â From my grandma taking me to Rosemont Horizon to see her favorites – Don Muraco and Greg Valentine – to me conning my friends that we HAD to go see Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannety at the local high school gym (yeah that was a rough year for the WWF)… Â Or as an adult overseas going to see the USO show that featured Honkytonk Man vs Nikolai Volkoff, to helping out with meet n greet events at Walter Reed Hospital, it has been there.. Â And, like music, it is a universal language…
For example: Â One of my best, most favorite memories of a show is the much maligned Wrestlemania IX… Â I was a stranger in a strange land. Â I didn’t know anyone my first weekend overseas. Â But I knew wrestling. Â The other guys in the dorm who watched just happened to have the tv on in the common room.. Â AFN was airing WM9. Â I was invited over & by virtue of just acknowledging we all watched it, we instantly became our own clique, keeping current via SkySports1. Â Over the years we even managed to keep in touch talking about who we thought was going to win at the next PPV, then busting each others balls for being wrong. Â Kind of like your roundtable..
Nowadays, I watch with my daughter, and try to not overanalyze. Â I can see the same wide-eyed expression from her watching her ‘favorite guys’ that I had watching Jake Roberts & Randy Savage..
I actually DID try watching other sports one year… Â I followed the Bears for one season, and it was the year that they won the Superbowl… Â That ruined the sport, because it gave unrealistic expectations…
It seems like you’ve lived a very interesting life and that wrestling has been a big part of it. I have a few follow-up questions:
Can you tell us a little more about sideshowbob, the person behind the wrestling fan? Where are you from, where was your favorite place you have traveled in your worldwide excursions, and where have you settled down these days?
Also, it seems like wrestling is a generational thing with your family, which is always interesting to me because while most families bonded over baseball or football or other sports, those few of us who bonded over wrestling are definitely a select group.
So please, tell me, did your grandmother have a favorite wrestler? Also, who was your favorite wrestler growing up, and which of the current WWE superstars gives your daughter that same ‘wide-eyed expression’ we all experienced as children? Let me guess, John Cena?
I’m originally from Chicago.. Â Best places traveled… Hmm.. Â Germany and Australia are both on that list… Â We’ll go with Germany. Â I was there longer and got to see more. Â Now I’m near St Louis.
My grandmother’s favorite? Well she was always keen on Freddie Blassie as a manager. Â Talked alot about Bobby Heenan. Â So much that I wish I would’ve paid more attention; it wasn’t a get at the manager, it was talking proud like she may have met him before.. Â But her personal favorite was Greg the Hammer Valentine..
For me growing up.. Well it has evolved over the years.. Piper, Savage, and Roberts always topped the list. Â Tag teams were Demolishon (2 man team only) the Hart Foundation.. Â Mr Perfect had probably the best into vignettes ever, then good matches too.. And as singles careers happened, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels.. Â Eventually add in Jericho, Punk, and Voldemort…
Nope, you guessed wrong.. For whatever reason she actually doesn’t like Cena. Â But you were in the ballpark.. Mysterio, Sincara, Santino and the Cobra, Big Show, and Edge are her favs…
Great stuff so far. So let’s get into some of the hot topics that are prevalent in wrestling today.
What are your thoughts on the whole CM Punk saga to this point?
Well he’s a hometown hero, and I have relatives that went to school with the guy. So I’m way biased. Â
CM Punk is by far the flag bearer for the promotion when it comes to adults. Â He has the ability to polish a turd. Â He has owned every argument too.. My only concern is how long they’ll let him do this…
Do I think he came back too early? No. Â I would have had him back right away doing skits where he broke in with messages like in They Live. Â But how they did it, I’m fine with that. Â They couldn’t afford him to stay away.
How do you feel about where the Punk angle is headed in terms of being removed from the WWE Title picture for now and moving towards a feud with Kevin Nash / COOHHH / Johnny Ace / the McMahon family?
Also, as a follow-up, what do you think of Alberto Del Rio as WWE Champion?
And while we’re on the subject of Raw, what do you like the most about the flagship show right now? Anyone else in particular on your radar as a long-time fan?
Punk NEEDS to come out on top of this.. Â Sure he can lose some battles along the way but he really needs to win the feud overall…
ADR has been ok in the ring, timing is there… Â So far so good… Â But he needs to stay a full on heel and not start being a tweener..
Who else is doing good? Â The Miz. Â In no uncertain terms- He has completely surpassed everyone’s expectations.. Anyone saying they knew he would turn out this good is full of crap. Â
Also, and it pains me to say it, Truth. Â I still think he needs a real moveset, but his skits are great. Â
I’ve nearly given up on Morrison. Â He used to be up there, but he just doesn’t do angry. Â Only perturbed.Â
Which show is Ziggler on? He needs to move past Vickie. Â She’s an albatross for him at this point. Â She has a purpose, just not there…
As for the original ?? About Nash, HHH etc, I think this is passable that Nash gets egged on by Punk, and his clique buddies try telling him he can’t do this.. Then Punk gets him in a match and takes out the legs and makes Nash tap to the anaconda vice since his legs can’t reach the ropes… Â Michaels Â needs to stay simply a voice of reason & experience… Â HHH I see as Teasle to Punks Rambo… Â Only question is are we following the book or the movie…
Next question bob, as we move on from Raw.
Do you watch Impact and SmackDown regularly? Do you have any general thoughts in either show before we get into specifics?
I try with impact, really I do.. Â But I usually delete the series after 2 episodes.. Then a few months later I try again.. Rinse lather repeat… Â Its a gathering place for has beens.. Their younger crowd needs to get away as fast as possible. Â Its not a good place to make a name for yourself, its a nursing home, and the youngins are changing bedpans..
Smackdown yep I watch it… No specific preconceived ideas there, so shoot…
Okay, as far as Impact is concerned, what do you think they could do to “change the culture” if you will, to get real longtime wrestling fans like you to watch?
On the SmackDown side of things, I do think it’s very interesting to see Mark Henry getting a pretty impressive push after 15 very uneven years in WWE, you have any thoughts on that? Also, how do you feel about the World title picture in general, anyone you’d like to see get a shot on SmackDown! that hasn’t yet?
Lastly, if you had to describe the following SmackDown guys in one word or phrase, what would you say:
Impact… Â Dump anyone associated with NWO, WCW, etc… Â Come on their fans are having to put up with Friggin Bubba Ray Dudley as a top tier singles competitor?? Â Please. Â They need to drop ALOT of deadweight. Â I’d say cut them, then focus on the few things they have that they are more uniquely able to focus on… Â Which are essentially cruiserweights and divas. Â I’ll never pay money to see Bubba Ray headline anything. Â
Dump Crimson and Morgan.. Â Get rid of Sting too. Â Sorry but if he is soooo anti-WWE because of his beliefs, what the hell is he doing in TNA? Â Oh that’s right wrestling someone who refers to himself and fans as assholes. Â Oh and I guess he DID do the “honorable thing” be defending the honor of the title belt by beating the druggie for it… Â Drop that Joe guy too. Â What has he done in years besides be unmotivated and get kidnapped anyway?? Â Stick to cruisers and women matches TNA…
Mark Henry. Â I have no problems with this. Â If anyone does, this angle is nothing new in wrestling. Â Look at the line of people in the 80s.. Â Talk about some duds. Â But Mark Henry is finally getting booked like a monster, so no complaints here. Â There is a need and a purpose for the big strong guy. Â Hell I would even be okay if he wins at the ppv. Â That would make people clamor for him to get beat. Â And, with any luck, it would be someone with technical chops bringing him down. Â His function is the same as Yokozunas was. Â As long as they don’t mirror the ending of WM9 with salt in the eyes, I’m ok..
Who else.. Â Hmm.. Â I like this ‘proper build’ they’re finally doing with Sheamus. Â DBryan is doing just fine (I don’t know any of his pre-WWE matches, and I’m ok with that)… Â The Corre implosion was more like a fart in church.. Â Â I like the multiple slams by Zeke, but he really needs to learn how to apply the torture rack.. Â I HATE when it is applied on the side.. Â Ginger Ninja needs a new song and needs to learn to talk like he actually cares; if not, go back to FCW.. Â Gabriel is gonna be a license to print money for the tween crowd.. Â Christian – I’m a big fan of his personality, but I think he needs to work on some stuff… His open hand slap-punches aren’t credible in HD tv. Â Randy Orton.. Â Not a big fan of him. Â Seems like he’s resorting to the Cena formula for matches. Â And WTF was with the splits?Â
Cody Rhodes – Awesome. Â Channels Cobra Commander. Â Far surpassing what I first saw in him and I couldn’t be happier with being wrong. Â Pure genius with the bags, although I’m shocked some treehugger group hasn’t been all over WWE for this.. OK that was longer than intended, but to me Cody was one of the brightest stars of Wrestlemania. Â I wonder who will leave the longer impression over time – masked Cody or Goldust?
Ted DiBiase – Cody’s Virgil. Â Buckner. Â Dropped the ball. Â Wish we saw the other DiBiase, this one has the charisma of a turnip.
Daniel Bryan – Cool matches. Â Sweet ring jacket too, that’s like oldschool with an edgy update.. Â But I think he needs a tv to review and study tapes though doesn’t he? Â Not much of a wrestling fan if he doesn’t watch it.. Â And if so he might see that he telegraphs the jump to the outside. Â Needs to mentor others in how to apply holds..
Wade Barrett – Knock someone out already!! Â Bare knuckle guy with no punching ability?
Love the analysis sideshowbob and on that note I just want to say thanks for taking the time out for this interview, and thanks for letting me take YOUR wrestling pulse.Â
Do you have any final thoughts?
What was everyone’s ‘misguided mark/smark moment’? Â For me it was watching worlds collide… Â Leading up to WM3… Â Favorite movie at the time was Friday the 13th Part 6, Jason Lives. Â Favorite singer Alice Cooper did the soundtrack songs. Jake Roberts had Alice Cooper in his corner.. Alice Cooper had a huge jakked up guitar player called Kane Roberts.. Â Yep I thought I was smart… Â Then learned Jake wasn’t really “Jake”.. Â Oh well, couldn’t blame a kid for connecting the dots..
Please bring back managers. Â It is a lost art that would make people more credible.
“Quality of Diva/Knockout matches”: Â Wow. Â People need to look at history a little better. Â Sure Trish Lita and Mickie had good matches. Â But that was lightning in a bottle. Â The rest of womens wrestling has ALWAYS been crap. Â Not saying we gotta praise Kelly Kelly matches, but look at Velvet MacIntyre, Rockin Robin, Sensational Sherrie and Moolah’s matches… Â This idea that the womens matches are more than a pissbreak is a new concept skewed by the matches Lita Trish & Mickie strung together. Â But I dare say those were because of the people involved, not because the womens title was ever taken seriously by any company.
TNA will never be competition for the WWE. Â Once that fact is realized, let the talented ones jump ship and go to New York..
In closing… Â When I was growing up, this thing called wrestling was there… Â It has been an ice breaker more times than I can imagine. Â People have become long time friends during ppv’s starting with the simple line of ‘hey are any of these seats open’.. Â You can tell a fairweather fan from a diehard, and sperate those who look on in wide-eyed amazement from those who take this stuff a little too seriously. Â Lighten up Francis, it is here for fun. Â Enjoy it while it is on. Â And if you can’t enjoy it laugh at it..
Final, final thought – The person whom I mentioned in the beginning, the one that did the invite for WM9 was lost on duty a couple years back. Â So for me, the idea of sitting down to watch wrestling is a happy memory no matter what the event is. Â I don’t care if it is online, in the local bar, overseas, or in the comfort of my own home with my daghter, all I do is try to enjoy it the same way I always have…
CB’s take: Wow. Just wow. I am so glad I did this, because not only did this whole experience reaffirm for me that sideshowbob is one cool guy, I also learned so much more about him, his family, and his tried and true passion for pro wrestling.
This has been Taking YOUR Wrestling Pulse.
That’s all from me — CB
Tags: CB's World, cm punk, impact, john cena, pro wrestling, Raw, Smackdown, TNA, wrestling, WWE