CB’s World: Taking YOUR Wrestling Pulse, Featuring Zork

Welcome to episode six of Taking YOUR Wrestling Pulse.

This week, we’re skipping all the way through to the 26th letter of the alphabet to interview Pulse Wrestling reader and frequent commenter Zork.

If you are a regular Pulse Wrestling reader and/or commenter and you also want in on the fun, send a note to our general inbox at takeyourpulse@insidepulse.com and we can possibly get started on sharing your story too.

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Zork, it’s great to have you here so we can give you your own spotlight. First things first, I’d like to know:

Why does “wrestling matter” to you?

Who needs the rest of the alphabet anyway…it’s stupid. To answer my inaugural question one reason I think wrestling matters to me because it’s a different way and interpretation of telling a story, and it’s always interesting to experience the different ways stories can be told. They’ve been told through books. film, word of mouth, comic books, television, stage theatre, and more recently through video games. Wrestling does implement some of these means of telling a story into their own way of doing so especially in terms of stage acting and film when you watch it on TV with the camera work being done, which is a very important part of the overall presentation that I sometimes think doesn’t get enough credit. Sometimes the guys in the production truck and the camera crew are capable of pulling off awesome looking shots.

Another reason I think wrestling matters is that it’s always there, like some others have stated. Sometimes when I don’t know what to do with my free time and I’m bored, I’ll pop a DVD in or seek something out on Youtube, or if I am free on the nights Smackdown or Raw is shown I’ll tune in. Another important thing about it that makes it matter to me is the rich history the business has. It’s fun to go back sometimes and watch old school match ups and read about things that happened in the past on the internet. It’s something only fans could truly take advantage of but the history of this business is interesting in of it’s self.

I don’t really have that many friends that would actively proclaim they’re “fans” of wrestling, but sometimes when I talk to some that used to be or aren’t interested in wrestling and I reference something from the past, be it a really old story about Ric Flair or an old feud it piques their interest sometimes.

I guess that’s what it matters to me in a nutshell.

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Those are two great points you made about wrestling’s constant accessibility and the usually unheralded heroics of the production of a broadcast. Not only is the camera work and overall live production incredible, WWE biggest strength in my opinion is their ability to promote their superstars and storylines through exceptional pre-produced packages that go unrivaled in all of sports / entertainment / wrestling. And if you go back and look at old shows from years past, you’ll see those packages really helped to sell certain feuds while making their wrestlers shine.

So tell me Zork, when did wrestling first catch your eye? Was there any one wrestler and/or angle that hooked you in?

Also, if you had to choose one wrestler and/or angle that keeps you hooked in at this very moment, who or what would it be?

It’s true about WWE’s video packages, they’ve always been top notch and it’s usually something nobody complains about…imagine that.

I’d say the first time wrestling really caught my eye was a little bit after I was first introduced to it and that was back when I was like 5 or 6 years old or something so we’re primarily talking about WWF from 1990 – 1992, I used to watch it with my dad a lot when I was younger. The thing about that is I don’t remember too much from that period of time but I can remember flashes of things like Mr. Perfect matches and Macho Man. It was really around 94 or 95 when I became more interested in wrestling, I came to really like guys like Bret Hart who is on my favorite wrestlers of all time list! It’s funny because I was still very young at this time but as a kid I always liked the bad guys, but I really liked Bret, his attitude, his style, I was always rooting for him. I guess it was the feuds he was having with his brother Owen and his feud with Diesel that really helped me to get into wrestling and stay that way. Remember, he gave Diesel/Kevin Nash the best match he’s probably ever had.

Old Surfer Sting played a big role in all of this too, I don’t think there wasn’t a kid back then that didn’t like Sting during that time. Sting’s matches with Vader and Rick Rude were awesome.

As for a wrestler/angle that’s keeping me tuned in today, it’s obvious; CM Punk and anything he’s doing. I know his current angle has soured on a lot of people, but he’s still caused fans to want to tune in and see what’s going to happen with him next. I’m doing so until I get bored of it or think it’s going nowhere. Shortly after Wrestlemania this year I was actually taking a break from watching WWE TV, I was just really bored and uninterested with what they were doing, it wasn’t until I heard the buzz about this CM Punk “Shoot” that my interest was captured again, even if it was primarily due to one guy, but it seems that that’s how it always begins. One guy captures your interest out of the crowd for some reason or another.

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Speaking of CM Punk, how do you feel about WWE Ice Cream bars?

On a serious note, let’s talk about CM Punk on Raw, as well as the latest twist in the conspiracy plot with Truth and Miz being fired by COOHHH, and Johnny Ace’s (unfortunate) involvement. What are your thoughts on this whole angle, and do you have your own ideas as to what the endgame should be?

Heh, the return of WWE Ice Cream bars would be kinda cool. Certainly wouldn’t hurt them any to try and make some money off of it.

First off, I do think Punk shouldn’t be so blatantly face like he is right now. People are right when they say that his character has experienced some kind of weird degeneration where he’s cool with Cena now. I believe he should be walking a more fine line. The Awesome Truth being fired and the subsequent fight that happened at the end of Raw was actually pretty interesting, as for Johnny Ace he pretty much kills the buzz when he’s on the mic even though everyone keeps trying to establish what a scumbag he is to help get him some heat. I personally think Johnny Ace would be better suited as a “stooge” to someone like Brisco and Patterson were to Vince.

As for how this angle should end, I honestly have no idea that I think is good enough. I can say some things about what I think should happen in the more immediate future. Awesome Truth should be off WWE TV for a while, if they absolutely need them back again, let them invade Hell in a Cell, but if WWE can manage to hold on their butts why not give them some time off until a few weeks before Survivor Series? Just let Miz and Truth work the media outlets and the internet in the meantime, which Miz is already doing. I think it’d be cool if R-Truth got an internet or radio interview and the people talking to him started making fun of him and it’s made to seem like they got in a big fight in the studio then he would get “arrested”, that could generate some nice buzz in my opinion.

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My problem with all of these fake firings is that EVERYONE comes back too soon, for example:

John Cena / Juan Cena
CM Punk
Kevin Nash

and, coming soon: Miz and Truth

I guarantee, no, I guaran DAMN tee, they don’t keep Miz and Truth off TV AT ALL, let alone for months.

You are right about Punk and Cena being too buddy buddy for our tastes. I feel like WWE screwed that one up completely, and Punk should have been turned back to full heel / anti-hero at Night of Champions by beating COOHHH via the Pepsi Plunge with help from Nash, Miz, and Truth. Oh well.

Moving onto Hell In A Cell, any thoughts on the two heavyweight title matches? Also, your thoughts on any if the participants, particularly Del Rio from Raw and Mark Henry from SmackDown!?

You’re right about the whole “YOU’RE FIRED!!!” shtick being lame now. I wish I could get fired from my job and come back to work and get everyone off my back or find a brand new job within a few days time. Like I was saying, ideally they should be gone at least until Hell in a Cell, but it probably won’t work out that way. As for Punk and Cena, I just feel like they should be more like rivals if anything…did everyone just forget about the scathing remarks Punk made about Cena a few months back? Doesn’t it bother Cena, Superman in the flesh that he can’t seem to beat Punk? No? Oh…

*clears throat*

About those World Title matches. My thoughts on Cena are fairly conflicted, I know everyone wants him out of the main event picture and I’m tired of him too but that’s just not a very realistic point of view to have. He’s got to be in the main event picture somehow, really I think it’s odd that he’s not involved in all of this conspiracy stuff, it seems like he should be. When it comes to Punk, I would’ve preferred to see him with the title after Summerslam, then that brings up the whole thing about the Title being dragged into this and it would’ve made it more interesting and heated to me. This would make a lot of people mad but if Triple H beat Punk at Night of Champions for the title imagine how controversial and weird that would be. That would’ve been one way to do it and it would’ve caused a lot of butthurt to happen on the internet but I suppose another less inflammatory way to go about that would’ve been that if Punk was champion then his match with Triple H would’ve been a non title match because it wasn’t necessarily about titles.

I’m not saying it would’ve been cool if Triple H beat him for the title or anything like that if that scenario happened. I mean in terms of fostering the animosity between the two of them and furthering this conspiracy storyline…it would sort of look like Triple H beat Punk and on top of that screwed him out of his Title no?

As for Alberto, I feel like he’s in neutral right now. He doesn’t seem to have any direction and I just think it was a strange decision to have him go ahead and cash in at Money in the Bank. They could’ve set up a scenario for him a little later to cash in and it could’ve been tied into the conspiracy plot line minus the making him suddenly look really weak and cowardly now when he used to not show these traits before…I guess Del Rio is just really scared of Cena. Maybe Del Rio is afraid that Cena is gonna make him take the Pro Glide Challenge? I dunno though, I sorta feel like Del Rio is more suited for Smackdown…all I know is that it seems like they blew his whole year of build up away with this.

To be honest I’m not real sure what should happen in this match, a lot of the plot points going forward with all these guys has been frustrating and just weird. I suppose I’m just gonna wait and see what happens…I know I’m not ordering the show that’s for sure.

Now for the Smackdown title scene, I actually like Randy Orton pretty well now that he’s sort of been changing up his in ring style a bit. I guess those matches with Christian just pulled a lot out of him or something. I still feel like his promos lately have been kind of lame. Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry however has been on quite the roll lately even though people are still going to complain about his in ring skills. I feel like Mark Henry should retain at Hell in a Cell and also have a moment where he does something just sick like breaking the cage or whatever. Henry should have a decent title reign that lasts a few months and to help cover up his in ring weaknesses…put him in gimmick matches on PPVs. Simple as that.

Henry is generating a lot of heat right now and he could continue doing so. If that’s the case somebody finally beating him could provide a pretty cool moment and give someone else a nice boost. Everyone wins if that happens.

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Great stuff Zork. I agree with anything you said there, so I’ll simply let those comments marinate in the readers’ minds…

Let’s talk about TNA / iMPACT Wrestling for a minute or so. Do you have any general thoughts on what’s been going on down in Orlando, Fla. lately?

In addition, here’s three talking point topics for you to extrapolate on:

–Sting vs. Hogan as the main event “attraction” at Bound for Glory

–Jeff Hardy’s redemption angle

–Robert Roode’s push / upcoming title match with Kurt Angle

Ok this won’t be nearly as well put together as my WWE thoughts simply because I don’t really watch or read about TNA, Impact Wrestling? Whatever…

Sting vs Hogan? Apparently this is happening? How!? Is The Hulkster hell bent on ending up in a wheelchair? I know he probably won’t be taking bumps or anything but still it just seems like a bad idea all around. *Obligatory WCW 2.0 comments here* This match will suck, bottom line.

So Jeff Hardy is going around apologizing to everyone for being a bad guy and a druggie? I guess this is fine if he’s face but I thought some of his heel work was pretty decent from what I saw though it never made sense a…oh wait we’re talking about TNA. Well you get where I was going with this. Why make Jeff Hardy Heel when he moves the most merch?

Robert Roode: I like him. I always thought he was a real solid worker in the ring and I’ve always liked the Beer Money team. Personally I think Beer Money should stick together as a team/partnership. Knowing TNA they’ll botch this up somehow, I don’t really believe Roode will beat Angle just based on their awesome track record for pushing new guys. If Roode does win they’ll make him look inept and stupid in the following weeks anyways.

To put it bluntly, I hate TNA Impact Championship Wrestling. It’s stupid and it makes my head hurt. There are brief flashes of things that always look decent or something that’s actually interesting but they never follow up on that or just do something really dumb to ruin everything.

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Fair enough. And I agree that iMPACT has been moved backwards from 2005/2006, when they had a puncher’s chance to establish their own identity that has long since been demolished by Dixie, Russo, Hogan and Bischoff.

I do like Bobby Roode though, and he’s seemed pretty impervious to horrible booking for a long time now.

Any opinions on the Raw or SmackDown! midcard scene? Personally, I love Zack Ryder’s push, how about you broski?

Yeah, back in 04/05 I actually used to watch Impact every now and then. If only the TNA Brass listened to Paul Heyman a while back. Cest ‘la vie I suppose.

I’m a broski, not gonna lie. Zack Ryder is hella entertaining. I just feel like he needs more on screen interactions with others and he’ll get even more over, besides winning matches of course. I’d actually really like to see him and Dolph Ziggler have a little series based off of their short match from Raw. Dolph is a favorite of mine among the roster and I generally enjoy most of the matches he’s in. The guy has come a long way from being NICKY!!! on the friggin’ Spirit Squad. When he’s in a match with Cena or Orton he looks like he belongs with them. I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him.

The rest of the Raw midcard is kind of meh for various reasons, the most prominent having to with how the writers just don’t care. You can tell for the most part that any midcard stuff is just treated like filler. Despite what a lot of people believe I don’t think Jack Swagger is a lost cause, and a pairing up with Vickie can only help him if Michael Cole’s not gonna be his manager. Michael McGillicutty should just be Joe Henig…sorry to be a broken record but it’s a seriously stupid name, he should also have some more single matches. I’ll try to condense the rest of my Raw Midcard opinions into a smaller size now. What is Tyler Reks doing? Curt Hawkins needs to be given a shot on Raw just to have someone different doing something, Drew McIntyre needs to be used for something right now, fire David Otunga, Air Boom is…okay I guess.

On the Smackdown side of things I used to think they handled the Midcard better but lately it’s not really been that way, it’s still a bit better than Raw but not by much, some guys over there have problems too. Like Ted Dibiase Jr. I don’t like using this term because it sounds silly but I think he needs a repackaging, the guy is literally going nowhere and he REALLY needs new theme music. God that has to be among the worst music I’ve heard for a wrestler. Jinder Mahal has been a bust. Why aren’t the Usos fighting Air Boom right now? Wade Barrett has fallen off quite a bit but I think he can work his way back up after a while, I’m also still rooting for Tyson Kidd to be used more. When I watch Smackdown though, I’m usually looking forward to a Daniel Bryan match or waiting to see what Cody Rhodes is going to do.

Smackdown seems to have an overall more capable Midcard but they’re not being used a whole lot better than Raw’s own. Jomo tapping out in 48 seconds is really cool by the way. He must’ve pissed in someone’s Cheerios.

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You are right on target yet again, Z-Man. Here’s the part of the interview where I give you a few names we haven’t discussed and you give me your unadulterated feelings. Feel free to pop off all you want, to analyze, to criticize, to opine and unwind:

–Daniel Bryan

–The Dueling Sin Caras

–The Divas of Doom

–Kelly Kelly

–Kevin Nash

–Ricardo Rodriguez

–Sheamus

–The Usos

–Vince McMahon

The Z-Man will take this bait!

Daniel Bryan – A new Chris Benoit like guy for the company. A workhorse that WWE can depend on to have really good matches to keep work rate nazis quiet. I’m curious to see how they handle his Money In The Bank cash in. I think he can easily be an off and on Main Eventer and stay in the Upper Midcard or just bounce around wherever the company needs him. It’s not really a bad place to be when you think about it, I don’t know why everyone’s always obsessed with their favorite wrestler evar having to be in the Main Event. He’s capable of being a utility worker. I’ve said before he could be like a new Bret Hart kind of character if they push him correctly as that guy that just says “Shut up and let’s wrestle” because those kinds of characters are always refreshing.

Dos Sin Caras – Mistico is cool to watch and at the same time hard to watch. Every match you see him in you’re wondering if he’ll have a horrible botch and if it happens, you cringe in disgust. I think with extra training he’ll probably turn out ok. The other one Hunico seems fairly entertaining but a little too safe for a high flyer. I think he’d be better suited to play a heel which is what they’re going for right now I suppose. As for the Angle I don’t like the “Wha there are two of them guys!” storyline, it sucked when it was done with Taker, sucked with Sting, and it sucked with Kane.

The Divas of Doom – I’m a fan of both Beth and Natalya, but man are they getting the short end of the stick lately. How is it believable that they’re beaten by what has been described to us as less skilled, smaller (excluding Kaitlyn and Tamina), and less athletic Divas consistently? Their credibility is about dead and one of them really needs a big win. If this angle falls through the Divas Division is in purgatory once more.

Kelly Kelly – Look, Kelly has gotten better as an in ring performer but not enough. That stupid whirly bird Headscissors move is ridiculous and every time I see it I just roll my eyes. It’s like something you’d see in really goofy Lucha Libre or some cult Japanese promotion. She’s pretty and all that, if she wants to stay on as in an in ring performer she needs work on her moveset a little more. WWE also needs to realize that lightning will not strike twice and that by seeking out models they will have a chance of finding one that actually becomes motivated to become an in ring performer creating Trish Stratus Version 2.0.

Kevin Nash – I’ve always liked Nash, it’s rooted back into my younger days when I knew him as Diesel but even through all the WCW crap at the end I still like the guy. He’s a smart guy and has a lot of savvy on the business side of things despite what his trashy booking record says about him. I still think Nash can contribute to this whole CM Punk vs WWE Corporate(?) angle, as soon as his medical stuff gets cleared up we’ll see him in some kind of action I’m sure. I also think it’s funny that people are still complaining that Punk has yet to have a chance to physically retaliate against him and letting their blood pressure spike because of it. Nash will get his kids, don’t fret.

Also, I marked out watching the Rumble this year when he came out as Diesel. That was really cool.

Ricardo Rodriguez – HI-larious! Ricardo is very entertaining. I have to admit anytime Alberto comes out to do something, I’m actually paying more attention to what Ricardo is doing. His facial expressions and physical gestures are just impeccable, and he’s got great comedic timing. He also has his role down to a T with being the smarmy little toadie of Del Rio. You have to wonder whats in the cards for Ricardo later on, he is an active wrestler in FCW after all.

Sheamus – Sheamus had kind of a rocky start when he was shot up to the WWE Title picture but after a little more seasoning he’s turned into one of the smoothest performers on the roster now. Easily one of the best big men that’s come down the pipeline in a long time. He’s also got that kind of character dynamic where he transition very easily into a Face or Heel role without any drastic changes to his character which I’d say is an advantage, as he’s proving to be a very effective Face right now.

The Usos – The team the WWE missed the bus on. These guys have a lot of potential to be a really good team in the currently zombified Tag Team division. They’re really the only two guys on the roster that you would believe is a legit tag team. It’s weird, it’s like they pushed them out real quick to feud with The Hart Dynasty and then after that they jobbed endlessly, they didn’t even try to support them at all and just threw them in the ocean to fend for themselves so to speak. Gotta agree with The Bad Man Rikishi when it comes to the Usos, I’m disappointed they weren’t given more of a chance.

Vincent Kennedy McMahon! – The guy who revolutionized the whole industry of course, but also the guy who can’t really get with the times after the Attitude died. People are real split about the Attitude Era on the internet, some think it was the greatest time to be a wrestling fan, others thought it was just trash and a lot of short crappy matches. I thought it was the last time wrestling was still fun across the board for me and come on there was a lot more to it than what the detractors think. Rumors have been bubbling to the surface recently that Vince will be back on WWE Television soon, and I predicted that was going to happen sooner rather than later. I am looking forward to what the effect of his appearance will be on this Punk vs WWE Corporate story.

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If that wasn’t enough Zork for our readers — and I’m sure it wasn’t — it’s now time for the lightning round!

–Favorite theme song / ring entrance, both today and all-time (can be together or separate)

–Favorite finishing move, both today and all-time

–Favorite wrestler of all-time

–Favorite storyline with the BEST payoff

–Favorite storyline with the WORST payoff

–One thing in pro wrestling that is missing today

–One thing in pro wrestling you would change to shake things up

–Favorite LIVE wrestling experience

I’m sure everyone is sick of me right now as it is, so I’ll continue to nauseate them.

Theme of Today – It’s a tie between Christian’s and CM Punk’s new theme.
Theme of All-Time – This is really tough, but I’m gonna have to go with the original mix of DX’s theme.

Finishing Move – Today uh…Anaconda Vice? Does that count? I know Punk doesn’t use it much anymore but it looks painful…if it doesn’t count then Justin Gabriel’s 450 Splash. Of all-time I’d go with Jake Roberts’ DDT, he sold his finisher well to everyone talking about it and everyone made it look dangerous back then.

Favorite Wrestler of All-Time- Easy, Bret Hart.

Favorite Storyline with BEST payoff – Stone Cold and Bret Hart’s rivalry. The whole time it felt like both of these guys REALLY didn’t like each other and every time they had a match it was awesome. The payoff in my opinion came before the feud actually ended which was during their Wrestlemania 13 match when the both of them turned and the match launched Austin into stardom. I can’t actually think of another instance where someone was ready for a big push and it was set up perfectly with the help of a veteran talent putting them over being done as well as this.

Favorite Storyline with WORST payoff – Chris Jericho becoming the Undisputed Champion and getting killed by Triple H. I like both of these guys but prefer Jericho and always thought he’d have a great title run when he did win it. After his win he was made to look really weak the whole time and it was really annoying. Especially with all that stuff that had to do with Stephanie and their dog and ugh…

One thing missing in wrestling today – TV-14. I kid, actually going back to your last one with Mike Gojira I believe it’s emotion and good character motivation. For example, WHY was John Cena so angry at Del Rio until Night of Champions? Cause he was cowardly? Edge was a bigger coward and nuisance to Cena, Del Rio is nothing compared to him. (I guess no one remembers Edge and Cena had a good rivalry cause it was over two months ago.) Sounds real flimsy to me. The last matches I can think of that got me involved emotionally was Shawn/Taker 2 and Ric Flair vs Shawn at Wrestlemania. Shouldn’t more people be able to do this?

One thing I’d change in wrestling to shake it up – If it’d have to be one thing out of many I would change, I guess it’d be put more emphasis on wins and losses. Hey it worked a long time ago, crazy idea…maybe it’d work now? Especially with that whole MMA thing…oh, Triple H doesn’t like that?

Favorite LIVE wrestling experience – Unfortunately I’ve only ever been to three house shows my entire life. Though I do want to go to a Wrestlemania some day. My favorite memory was going to a WWF house show in 1996, I got to see Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Jake Roberts live. I don’t really remember who else was there but I was able to see a lot of my favorite wrestlers live and it was a great experience.

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One of the reasons I love doing these interviews is because most of the time I’ll get reminded of a particular pro wrestling storyline or tidbit that has gotten lost in the shuffle in my own mind. For instance, you make a great point about the Chris Jericho Undisputed Champ storyline, and that reminds me that as much as things change in WWE, they stay the same. Substitute Chris Jericho for Alberto Del Rio and Triple H for John Cena, and you actually get pretty much the same result. A newly crowned champion is made to look weak the entire time he is champion, by a more established main event ex-champ who simply doesn’t need the title but reclaims it anyway.

In other words, great point Zork, and thank you for letting me take YOUR Wrestling Pulse. Z-Man, any final thoughts?

Remember to spay and neuter your pets?

Nah, those aren’t my final thoughts. I enjoy this taking of Wrestling Pulses because it’s interesting to see all the different points of view people have about what is currently going on, what could happen in the future, and about things that went on in the past. Everyone will think something different of someone else and they won’t have the same opinion all the time, but most of us share the common ground that we like wrestling to some extent.

Thanks for the interview CB! Looking forward to the next.

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CB’s Take: Zork has continued this enlightening string of interviews with truly educated and invested pro wrestling fans. One perfect point he made towards the end of this exchange was that he wants to see more emphasis on wins and losses in pro wrestling. It’s something that seems to get lost in the shuffle amidst all of the power struggles between non-wrestlers that is prevalent in WWE and TNA, and I’d love to see both brands place increased importance on the value of victories, whether someone is opening the show or in the main event.

This has been Taking YOUR Wrestling Pulse.

That’s all from me — CB.

For previous installments of Taking YOUR Wrestling Pulse, click here, here, here, here, and here.

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