Welcome to the Interinactivity Summer Bash 2013! It’s going to be a fun week. I had WAY more responses to Interinactivity than I was counting on, so much that it had to be split into different parts to really be readable. So I’ve grouped them all into 5 articles, one for each day this week. They’re also separated somewhat by subject, for your convenience.
Monday: The Hardys, TNA, ROH & Chikara (responses to Scott Keith, Matt Harrak, CB, Zork & J-Train)
Tuesday: Shaemus, Mark Henry & The Miz (responses to CB, Swayze, Chris Sanders, Jonah Kue, Rhett Davis & PUSSBOT 3000)
Wednesday: Mid-Card Titles, Hall Of Fame, Older Wrestlers & Racism (responses to HH, IS, SS & W)
Thursday: CM Punk, The Shield & Reinvigorating Wrestling (responses to Mike Gojira, Steven Gepp, Jonah Kue, James Sawyer, Zork, Caleb Hamilton, & Wrestling Facts)
Friday: BD, Pulse History, Swayze & Commenters (responses to Martin Shaw, CB, James Sawyer, Chris Sanders, Bob Loblaw & Cynical Bastard)
(If you don’t see your entire comment one day, chances are I split it up to give the articles some flow so the rest of it will appear on a different day.) I won’t waste anyone’s time with a long intro, as there’s a lot of reading here as it is. Enjoy!
Wrestling Facts: You say “So, I quit watching wrestling… cold, for a couple months, and stuff starts to get interesting.” But you are wrong. Nothing interesting has happened.
BD: I disagree. I’m hard on wrestling a lot, more than most (justifiably, at least in my opinion) – but right now, there’s a few really cool things going on. The fans’ consistent refusal to give up on Bryan has led to yet another ascension for him, and each time it happens it’s less likely that they’ll be able to push him back below wastes of time like Shaemus and The Miz. The Shield is something good that they actually haven’t managed to noz up yet, and that is extremely rare. The nature of Del Rio and Ziggler’s feud has, for me, capsulized what I feel like makes wrestling entertaining – not to mention the matches they’ve had.
And between those three things, and the fact that Shield is doing more than one thing on the show at a time has led to a considerable increase in solid matches that are taking place on some shows, and on recent PPV’s as well. It’s also led to less airtime for boring guys like Miz and Shaemus, and I think everyone has kind of realized what we and other smart people said a few years ago – that no one is going to care at this point.
Jonah Kue: The occurrences of Mark Henry and Shaemus on this forum are hilarious. With that being said, with how well the Shield is doing (and how much we all enjoy their progress), how do you think their eventual break up and respective singles pushes should go?
BD: Well, first of all, I don’t think there needs to be a break-up. It’s usually a foregone conclusion in modern-day wrestling that there will be, and that’s because that’s usually exactly what happens.There doesn’t need to be a break-up for them to go their separate ways. Ambrose is already doing singles on his own, although Rollins and Reigns are still “with him”. But Bryan and Kane are no longer a team, and they didn’t “break up”, which I thought was a nice touch. And given how The Shield has gone, I don’t know that if, when they do go their own separate ways, a “breakup” will be the way to go. I would just slowly have them start doing their own thing and have them seen with each other less. It can still be known that they’re still friends or have each other’s backs or whatever, and they can even do the occasional team-up or come to each other’s rescue. Just have them featured together less, and it’ll be fine.
Although judging by how some people around here can’t even handle AJ and Big E not coming to Ziggler’s rescue and being by his side every single week without calling it “lazy writing”, subtlety or something different may not sit will with everyone. I often wonder how some of them handle anything with a plot more complicated than Dora The Explorer.
Jonah Kue: Also, with rumors running rampant about this being Punk’s final run, how do you think his booking should be handled? BROGUE
BD: Well, if it is, then for the bare bones of it they need to give him a big feud with a big name (which will probably end up being Cena) and have him lose. I’d prefer it weren’t Cena, but I’m guessing that’s the way they’ll go if it’s the case. If what we believe about Punk is actually true, then on his back is how he wants to go out. Good on him.
Ideally, they’ve built someone up enough by then that it can be someone other than Cena and still make a big impact. I’m just saying that if he does go down, it should be to someone deserving.
Caleb Hamilton: What are your personal feelings about CM Punk being around more than 2 years from now. He has said in interviews and in his DVD that if he’s not invested in a storyline or if he doesn’t see the reasoning or creativity behind it, he pretty much wants nothing to do with it. So how long before the storylines that “Creative” starts handing him become such a mockery of what his character is truly about that he just looks at them, wipes his ass with the script and says “fuck this”. OR would he trade in on is own personal ideals so far that we wind up at the same point we have with so many different individuals where we just look at them and say “dude, PLEASE FUCKING RETIRE!” Me personally, I’d rather see him retire earlier and leave us with some cool memories.
BD: I’ve never made any bones about the fact that I’m a huge fan of CM Punk, and have been ever since his trilogy with Samoa Joe turned me onto ROH. That being the case though, I still think it’s a bit pedestrian to take everything that Punk says about himself and his career publicly at face value. Some fans seem to think (possibly even subliminally) that because they’ve seen a DVD, watched a guy for years or follow him on Twitter that they know how he “really” is. Being that I am a fan of Punk, I’d like to take what he says about not wanting to have a long career or about only sticking around for “the right reasons” at face value, but the fact remains that no one really knows – and it’s very possible that it all could either be a work by WWE, or on Punk’s part himself in order to sway future negotiations in his favour, or even an attempt to put himself front and centre in people’s minds over the next few years.
Regardless though, my answer is the same for any wrestler whether I enjoy them or not – shorter careers tend to be better for multiple reasons. Retirement seems to go smoother, interests outside the business seem easier for ex-wrestlers to stick to, the physical aspect of retiring early speaks for itself, and most importantly, and this is just my personal preference – go out on a high note. Especially since I’m such a fan of Punk, I’d rather see him go out while people still want to see him and not have him stick around so long that he gets stale. That doesn’t often happen – in fact, it almost never happens.
That’s why I was and am such a huge fan of how Shawn Michaels retired. If it were up to me, people would go out exactly like that. Shawn took everything about his character over the previous 8 years and gave it all up to this story – he turned heel in an obsessive quest to bring down the most popular wrestling storyline of all time – the streak. He put everything he was on the line just to try and accomplish the one thing no one could never do.
And he failed.
And because he failed, he had to retire.
That would have been enough to make it the best retirement angle on it’ s own JUST on that merit, never mind that during the start of the story all the way through the end of his very last match, no one really knew whether Shawn would be retiring for real or not. It was awesome, not to mention rare. I can only hope that Shawn never wrestles again, because he’ll never top that. I also hope that the wrestlers I enjoy go out in a fashion half that impressive – and often, hoping is all you can do, because again, it rarely ever turns out that way.
Mike Gojira: All right, you attention whore. Word association time! Just let me know the first thing that pops into your mind.
BD: Oooh, cool idea. All right, let’s do it.
1. Mark Henry
Unstoppable monster, vulnerable only to speed, cardio, inclines, health food, wrestling matches, stairs, ladders, declines, ramps, and portion control. Translation: not a believable threat.
2. CM Punk
Game-changer. Wrestling as a whole will miss him when he’s gone.
3. Bully Ray
Surprisingly good career resurgence… too bad it’s in TNA.
4. Mike Gojira
Master of cybersex in the form of a wrestling recap. Kidding. Haven’t missed a Gojira article in years.
5. Matt Striker
Fun commentator, although a bit over-rated in my opinion.
6. Wade Barrett
Proven pro wrestling failure.
7. Daniel Bryan
A star because of his own merits, despite the best efforts of WWE. Owes the fans who stuck with him when he was in limbo a lot – not all wrestlers, be they talented or otherwise, are that lucky, especially when they get stuck in limbo more than once.
8. The Shield
The one thing WWE deserves more credit for than anything else in recent years. I can’t believe they haven’t found a way to mess this up yet – pretty much perfect so far. All 3 guys are major assets. Now that they’re having them do different things on the show, I’d consider CAREFULLY expanding it – maybe add Alex Shelley or Cessaro, or someone like that.
9. Damien Sandow
A bit over-rated of a talker but not bad, no fun in the ring though. Make him a manager or commentator, and he’s fine. MITB briefcase, though? HA!
10. AJ Styles
With Punk and Bryan where they deserve to be, he’s the poster child for “wasted talent” of this generation.
11. The over-usage of the term “That being said” which is really starting to irritate me
Ha! Yeah, that’s what the article title for my recaps stem from. Although truthfully, I find it way less irritating than “that notwithstanding”, “see what I did there” and “spoiler alert”. Although I am probably guilty of over-using the term “it is what it is”… which makes me want to punch myself again.
12. Kurt Angle
Consistently delivered for over a decade… too bad it’s in TNA.
Zork: Now for my question…um…ah, that is, er? What’s your favorite color? Nah, I have a better but more vanilla question. In your opinion what makes a good wrestler? We always get into debates on here about who’s good and who sucks, Mark Henry sucks, CM Punk sucks blah blah blah. After you explain yourself, give some examples, past, present, top 5 like King Bookah’s fave 5, whatevs. I’m curious to see what you say.
BD: In my opinion, there are a lot of different things that could make a good wrestler. Sometimes it’s ring-work, sometimes it’s mic skills, sometimes it’s connection with the crowd, sometimes it’s the character – but in the end, it’s always some combination of the above for me, and I don’t think that any one of those things on their own is enough.
Also in my opinion, the only thing that WWE can themselves control is the character, and that’s not enough on it’s own. This brings us to your mention of Mark Henry – he can’t talk, he can’t wrestle, he has no connection with the crowd… what he does have behind him is booking – AKA, a good character. But as I say, in my opinion that alone is not anywhere near enough in the same way that just having good ring-skills isn’t anywhere near enough. It’s not like Lance Storm or Dean Malenko had super-successful careers. The fact that Henry doesn’t exactly look believable hurts him credibility-wise as well, but I think it’s the lack of anything behind him besides booking that does him in for me.
Hulk Hogan was horrible in the ring, but probably had a better connection with the crowd than anyone in the history of wrestling. By the time Austin hit it big, he was at about 1/4 speed in the ring compared to what he once was, and guess what? Scary over. The Rock was never all that good in the ring (although he wasn’t all that bad, either) but he was huge as well. In my opinion, Mark Henry can’t talk and he can’t wrestle – he’s being booked well.
King BD’s Top 5, hey? Fair enough – I’ll break it down between Top 5 of all time, and Top 5 of the moment. Top 5 of the moment disqualifies them from being Top 5 of all time, just so I can get 10 different guys on the list.
King BD’s WWE Top 5 Of The Moment
1) CM Punk
2) Seth Rollins
3) Alberto Del Rio
4) Dean Ambrose
5) Antonio Cessaro
Honorable Mentions: Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler
King BD’s Non-WWE Top 5 Of The Moment
1) Alex Shelley
3) AJ Styles
4) Samoa Joe
5) Christopher Daniels
Honorable Mentions: Roderick Strong, KENTA, Kurt Angle
King BD’s Top 5 Of All Time
1) Shawn Michaels
2) Chris Jericho
3) Eddie Guererro
4) Mr. Perfect
5) The Undertaker
Honorable Mentions: Raven, Randy Savage, Owen Hart
James Sawyer: What would the business (either the WWE, or just wrestling in general) have to do in order to make you a regular viewer again?
BD: Actually, the stuff they’ve been recently doing has improved the product quite a bit in my eyes. It would be tough to get me to watch RAW on a regular basis again, but I think who they have in the spotlight these days is a decent reason to at least check out the PPV’s, if it continues along this route. Half a year ago, Shield were all doing the same thing, and now they’re doing a couple different things, which is at least one additional good match. Bryan isn’t being wasted in a tag-team anymore, so there’s another one. Some other good stuff too – I’m not saying this is the start of the next golden age or anything, nor that this pattern will even necessarily continue, but it’s a start, and I can hope. Anyone who’s been reading me for any amount of time knows how rare even THAT is.
Steven Gepp: What would YOU do to revitalize / rejuvenate / reinvigorate the business?
BD: This is a good one, but difficult to answer. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say something I may regret – I think today, WWE has the strongest roster they’ve had since the early 2000’s. I think I started here in 2010 – and I truly just didn’t see WWE ever going back to heavily featuring more solid in-ring talent. This could just be an anomaly, a happy coincidence, or something that will disappear as quickly as it appeared, but again, I sure hope not.
So I would say that WWE is headed in the right direction, BUT one thing that’s still going to be a serious challenge for me is actually bothering to sit down and watch the TV. PPV’s are where the actual matches happen for the most part, and with better in-ring talent now being featured (and you all know who I am and am not referring to) those are much more fun.
Raw and SmackDown though… those are still a tough sell. From what I’m reading, there HAS been a slight increase on ring-quality in those shows, but it was almost zero before, so “slight increase” isn’t enough for me to waste 3 hours, let alone more on NXT, SmackDown, and whatever else.
So I’d do something about the TV. I don’t know what specifically, but a broad answer is that I’d change how they do their stories and their buildups. I’ve stated this before, but I imagine that finding a reason for oiled-up men in tights to “grapple” in this day and age is a fairly difficult endeavour.
But it also isn’t rocket science. There have been compelling stories over the last 10 years or so, just very little. Nexus could have been great if everyone involved aside from the guy they fired on the 2nd week of the story wasn’t absolutely horrible, and if they didn’t turn it into Cena beating up 7 guys at once. Shawn and Undertaker was flawless. Summer Of Punk was great at the start.
The Shield is one of the best things they’ve done in years, and that’s a perfect example of how you can do more with less – minimal BS storyline, and the thing is still hot. What’s the last wrestling storyline you remember still being good after 9 months? Yes, a lot of this can be credited to the fact that these guys are all quite good and not Shaemus, Miz or Barrett, but a lot of it is also that it’s been kept refreshingly simple. These untested guys came in and challenged a bunch of WWE’s top guys, and surprised everyone by beating them… many times. And they’re still beating them.
I’d do more stuff like that. I also like the Del Rio and Ziggler stuff because you can get behind both guys, and neither guy really changed all that much and they let the crowd decide (SO far). Dolph Ziggler was always a dick, and he cashed in his briefcase in cheap fashion (as most of them do) and beat Del Rio after Del Rio had already competed in a 15-minute match. So Dolph didn’t even win the belt in clean fashion – more importantly, Del Rio didn’t LOSE the title in clean fashion. So they have another match, and Dolph is recently concussed – Del Rio takes advantage and tries to kick Ziggler’s head in. Why shouldn’t he? Dolph won the belt in tainted fashion, why shouldn’t he do the same? Plus, they’re giving Dolph the opportunity to give up and he’s not doing it. Good for him, but Dolph had his opportunity for mercy, and he refused – why SHOULDN’T Del Rio kick his head in?
Last Sunday, Dolph and Del Rio had another GREAT match. BOTH guys looked AMAZING in this match. I can’t understand anyone being bored with Del Rio, it makes absolutely no sense to me with how good he is. Del Rio is not some lame chickenshit heel, AND he can hold his own in the ring. The former isn’t really under his control, but the fact that he has the latter that really drives it home. And while I could have done without the attempted Del Rio cheating, it did make for a nice little plot point with the AJ stuff. All she was doing was trying to keep Del Rio from cheating, and it went wrong. It was an accident. Ziggler can be mad all he wants, but she was just trying to help. Del Rio lost, but what happened there isn’t HIS fault either.
So what I like is that there’s been less face / heel stuff – there’s been some, yes, but Dolph was a cocky dick before, and still is. Del Rio was a cocky dick before he won the world title last year, but he didn’t change all THAT much either aside from the odd thing, and it was recent enough that him being a bit more on the cocky side again isn’t a stretch. And much like when Bret turned heel back in 1997, Del Rio isn’t wrong – he WASN’T getting the respect he deserved from the fans. Bret was the same thing – he wasn’t doing anything wrong or different than what he ever did. He HAD been screwed a lot by various people, and when the trigger finally pulled? Austin had the chance to tap out at WM13, and he didn’t. So, Bret didn’t show mercy – why should he? Then he attacked him after the match – but how often had Austin come out to attack Bret after matches or in the middle of nowhere? The fans turned on him for that, which is fine – Austin was popular and people were sick of Bret. Nothing wrong with that – but Bret used that as motivation and became a righteous heel. To use that example in this scenario, I find Ziggler is popular and people are sick of Del Rio. Nothing wrong with that – but Del Rio can use that as motivation and become a righteous heel. Bret was still a credible heel, too. Del Rio should be, too.
I mean, the match quality from all the matches I’ve seen from them is more than good enough on it’s own, but that it also has a cool storyline is an awesome bonus. You can see the motivations behind EACH character without anyone having to play some lame superhero or a villain. Even AJ, who plays a heel, had the best of intentions when she tried to help Ziggler. Love or hate any of the people involved so far, you can’t really blame one of them too much more than any of the other.
… SO far. It’s not like it’s been perfect or anything, and I’m also sure that during Raw’s, which I haven’t been watching, they’ve done some lame stuff with this whole thing. So maybe it’s just that I’ve been isolated from that with just watching the PPV’s, but during video packages and stuff that they’ve done before the matches it still seems like the BS is still kept pretty short. So I sure hope they don’t start doing the lame predictable stuff now, with all the great work these two guys have been doing. I mean, the matches would still be good and all, but that would take a lot of the life out of this.
Take a look at the crowd reactions during the matches. That says it all.
Well, that’s it for Day 4. Make sure to check out Day 5.
I want to thank everyone for participating in this. I said it already, but I didn’t expect this much response, and had a ton of fun writing this.
This has been “Interinactivity”. Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.
I’ll be in my trailer.
Tags: AJ Styles, alberto del rio, Alex Shelley, Antonio Cessaro, chris jericho, Christopher Daniels, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, dean ambrose, Homicide, mr perfect, PPV, Raw, Samoa Joe, seth rollins, shawn michaels, The Shield, the undertaker, WWE