Step between the ropes and read between the lines

Posts tagged “Jericho

The future is funky, my friend

2012 is going to be a fantastic year for the WWE. Launching the WWE Network, the much needed re-vamping of the logo (the attitude era is long-since gone, its time to get rid of the “extreme” font), and some good old fashioned fun being brought back to the squared circle, from two of the most unexpected sources. First we have John Laurinaitis and this whole Corporate interference thing the WWE is bringing back. Now, don’t get me wrong, the guy still can’t act, and has an absolutely desolate wardrobe, but the storyline he’s in right now is fantastic and Punk is good enough on the mic to make up for Johnny. This character is great. He’s hated in a comparable yet completely separate way from the way Mr. McMahon was hated. And how appropriate is it that Punk is pretty much the modern day Stone Cold to play antagonist to Laurinaitis’ stumbling, bumbling, executive-vice-president-of-talent-relations version of the Boss.
And then there’s  Brodus Clay. Where the hell did this come from? I remember a few short months ago watching Brodus stoically destroy hometown jobbers and all the sudden, i have a fatter version of the Godfather on my hands? Let me just say: I love it! I know I’m the heel and all of that, but this guy is entertaining as hell. For a big man, he can move very well in the ring, and I have to admit, i’m totally captivated by this guy. For reasons unknown, I’m fully on board the bandwagon.

Funkassaurus Rex!

However, what has me even more geeked is the Royal Rumble match coming up in about 10 days. To me, this is the best match the WWF has ever created. Born in ’88, improved in ’89, and perfected in ’92 (making the Rumble winner become WWE champ, or at least WWE #1 contender), the Rumble is non-stop action for an hour. The only thing that they could do to improve the rumble is to bring back the wrestler thoughts segment.  Why the hell would you ever get rid of this? This is promo gold!

I’m not one for predictions, especially in a scripted sport, so I’ll just say the top 5 Wrestlers I’ll be pulling for in the rumble.

Brodus Clay – If this guy wins, it’d be the quickest and biggest push any superstar has received since Hogan winning the WCW title in his first in-ring appearance for the company. However, he’s entertaining, and i dont think nearly enough big men have won this rumble. Again, i know it’s scripted but Rey Mysterio going coast-to-coast? give me a break. Brodus would have eaten his children before Rey even hit the ring.

Chris Jericho – This return still has me confused. He’d be such a great opponent for Punk, and while I love Dolph, there’s no chance Punk loses that title before ‘Mania. So why not have 2 of the best technical wrestlers in the biz face each other for the title at Wrestlemania? Besides, we still have no idea what he’s doing back in the WWE yet because of his silence, but they’ve already had him turn his back on Punk in a match, perhaps the Rumble will really set this thing in motion?

Sheamus – Going back to the big guys, it’s totally plausible  for Sheamus to win the rumble from a size standpoint, he’s been in several undercard feuds, coming out the winner in all of them (literately and figuratively ). He’s a great character who’s fantastic in big matches. Him and DB could have a great Wrestlemania match. Especially now that Mr. Bryan is becoming quite the convincing heel.

Randy Orton – The Viper has been out of the Main Event scene for too long. This guy is still unbelievable, and lately i’ve been watching matches from earlier in his career before I got back into the scene. This guy deserves to be one of the most decorated champions ever. An Orton/Punk reboot would be much appreciated by me, who missed some of the better moments the first go-around, and Orton/Bryan would be entertaining also. Pretty much anybody you put in the ring with Orton will have a good match. And damn…those dropkicks…

Cody Rhodes – My man-crush on Cody does not appear to be dying down at all, does it? The current I.C. champ (5-month long reign and counting. Just sayin’) recently said he was going to pull an Ultimate Warrior and hold both titles. Now, even I admit that Rhodes is not ready to be the face of the company yet, but a push like this could get him ready very quickly. Either way, I think 2012 is going to take Cody to the main event level, and I say bring it on.

One bold prediction I will make: This year, the winner comes from the dreaded 11-20 range. I’m thinking #15. Go define the odds, middle men!

Discussion Question: Who are YOU pulling for in this year’s Rumble?


Top Ten Entrances

Ladies and Gentleman, I apologize it took me so long to make my next post. I have been dealing with some monumental computer problems. No its not an excuse, its a reason. I have not forgotten about this blog, nor do I intend to. My partner “Heel” has been doing a great job keeping you guys updated and when I get my computer situation sorted out I plan on being just as active. Thanks for your patience. And if you dont accept the apology, I think DX said it best… you can just Suck It.

***Disclaimer***

WWEPaperChampion does not own the legal rights to any of the videos linked in this blog, nor are they associated in any way with the person who’s youtube page you are linked to. WWE holds all rights to any entrance videos.

Recognition is what the WWE is all about… and although great wrestling ability will get you recognized with the die hard fans, only a good entrance can make you beloved by all. To be a great entrance and seperate yourself from the rest of the generic songs and antics, you need to excel in each or most of these 5 categories.

1- Instantly Recognizable- If it takes you longer than a half a second to know who is approaching the ring, then you just aren’t doing it right… the first noise is what makes the crowd come alive!

2- Rest of the song- There is more to the music part of entrances than just the first 5 or so seconds. Does your favorite wrestlers entire song hurt or help their case to be on this list?

3- Catchyness (yes I just made up a word)- Ever get that song stuck in your head, or keep horribly trying to mimic their catchphrase or sing the guitar riffs of your favorite wrestlers? No? Then your wrestlers entrance sucks!!

4- Energy/Creepiness- I group these two together because an entrance doesnt have to blow the roof off the building to be great. Sometimes dark and creepy settings, with the anticipation build up are better than loud in your face entrances. Also this counts for both the wrestlers energy and the energy they invoke in the crowd.

5- Swag- There is so many ways to describe “swag”. Simply put, its the way one carries themselves. If the wrestler seems unsure of himself by accident (Mankind would flinch and slowly walk to the ring, R-Truth looks over his shoulder for “Little Jimmy purposely emitting reluctance and uncertainty”) then they probably arent going to have the crowds attention too much. Where as a wrestler that interacts with the crowd, or has a routine, an arrogance to him/her will at least have the buzz before the match.

Now that I have talked about the criteria I used to rate these entrances, I now give you

J2’s Top Ten Entrances of All Time!

#10-  Ted Dibiase, The Million Dollar Man

If you know absolutely nothing about who the  Million Dollar Man is, all you have to do is listen to his entrance music… from the beginning with the Diabolical laugh to the line of “everybody’s got a price, everybody’s gonna pay”, it describes the Million Dollar Man to a tee. You have to respect a guy who directly calls out the fans in his songs “Some might cost a little, some might cost a lot, but i’m the Million Dollar Man, and you WILL be bought. HAHAHAHA” Although the music after the laugh is not the best the wwe/f has seen or heard, the way Dibiase carried himself down the ramp towards the ring: hands holding the lapels, head up high, and arrogance that oozed from his cheesy, cocky smile as he strutted toward the ring. Nobody was better at convincing you they thought they were untouchable, and that makes for a very impactful entrance. Oh yeah, and that laugh.

Due to the fact that the Million Dollar Man wrestled before the time of camera phones and DVR’s it is proving harder than I thought to find a live entrance of him that is of good enough quality. So instead I am including his titantron video with the song. Sorry for the lack of video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik48XQJcfvU

Criteria

Instantly recognizable – 9
Rest of the song – 7
Catchyness – 6
Energy/Creepiness – 7
Swag – 9
Total- 38

#9- Chris Jericho (Y2J)

The sound of the countdown alarm is only the start of this great entrance, but I believe the second part of the opening makes this go from a good to a great entrance… Just picture Jericho standing arms out with his back to the ring, the spotlight infront of him so all you see is his silhouette… now the second part of the song starts… “Break the walls dowwwnnnn” as Jericho turns down the ramp to choreographed pyro… One of the few entrances that embrace both high energy with high anticipation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtFBbhz_RVc&feature=related

Criteria
Instantly recognizable – 8
Rest of the song – 8
Catchyness – 6
Energy/Creepiness – 9
Swag- 8
total- 39

#8- Stone Cold Steve Austin

Does anyone that has ever watched wrestling think of anything else when they hear glass break than Stone Cold?? I think not.  This is an entrance that relies heavily on 3 out of the 5 criteria, IR, Energy, and Swag… The rest of the
song is not very good and actually really repetitive as Austin does his turnbuckle salute to the fans. But The sheer energy, swag, and the chills you get when you hear the glass break  as Austin runs/hobbles to the ring throwing curses everywhere and, more times than not, with beer in hand earns him this spot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoNmL1nBKOQ&feature=related

^^I apologize for the length of the video and having to sit through a couple of entrances that are not Stone Cold, but this is the biggest pop that I found after searching for a while.

Criteria
Instantly recognizable – 10
Rest of the song- 4
Catchyness- 6
Energy/Creepiness – 10
Swag – 10
total- 40

#7- The Rock

The Rock is undoubtedly one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time (if not the greatest). I know some of you are saying to yourself right now “how is the Rock not higher on the list, his entrances have more crowd pop and energy than anyones?” That is true, but this list isnt just about the crowds energy. The Rock is unrivaled in energy, and unrivaled in fan reception. But the truth of the matter is, apart from the “If you smelllelelelelelela what the Rock is cookin'” the song really isnt that good. The same with the superstar I ranked above him Stone Cold… If his entrance had a good and catchy song to follow up the amazing beginning he would no doubt be top 3 on the list.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BII1rjoHdeU

Criteria

Instantly Recognizable – 10
Rest of the song – 5
Catchyness – 6
Energy – 10
Swag – 10
total – 41

#6- HHH

Time to play the game!!! A very good start to his song, although I don’t care for the rest of it. It is HHH’s antics that make this one of the greats… The deliberate bad ass walk to the ring, the double high arm flex, and the water spit is one of the most recognizable things in WWE history. Part of what makes HHH’s Entrance so memorable is it’s long shelf life. Pretty much after he was the Connecticut Blue Blood and the DX run stopped, that was his first entrance. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. When HHH is coming towards the ring there is no one sitting down, that is a guarantee!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF1NEICBUh8

^^This video is longer than just HHH’s entrance, but it is right at the beginning.

Criteria
Instantly Recognizable – 9
Rest of the song – 6
Catchyness – 8
Energy – 8
Swag – 10
Total- 41

#5- The Undertaker

The best way to describe the impact of The Undertaker’s entrance is just to show his debut in the WWF. This was before the TitanTron, before pyrotechnics, hell, before a ramp! The lights pretty much just stayed the same, Paul Bearer hadn’t even been created yet, but watch the audience. Watch them stare in complete silence at this imposing figure. They watch, bug-eyed and slack-jawed at the walking dead in front of them. The Gong sounds, the organ kicks in, and BAM, you’re staring the Grim Reaper in the face. This isn’t the monster you’re afraid is in your closet at night, this is the guy who keeps the monster as a pet. As time went on and entrances got kicked up to another level, The Dead Man only got more imposing as the lights would shut out, purple fog fills the arena, and before the gong even sounds, a chill hits the air and makes the hair on everybody’s neck stand up. Now that’s an entrance!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D376G1A_9L0&feature=related

Criteria
Instantly Recognizable – 9
Rest of the song – 8
Catchyness – 5
Energy/Creepiness – 10
Swag- 10
Total – 42

#4- Hulk Hogan

The definition of swag. We all know the song, we’ve heard it a million times. Obama even used it before one of his speeches! If the WWF had the technology to create an amazing video and killer entrance ramp in the 1980’s, this would probably be higher on the list, if not #1. Nobody explodes out of those curtains like Hogan. His finger pointed at the ring, talking to nobody in particular, having every single person mobbing him as he tries to make it to the ring. This man was truly idolized. A big part of that idolization is the fact that nobody could pump you up than Hogan marching toward the ring, eyes fixed on his opponent, letting him know that it was officially “on.” Throw an annoyingly catchy song on top of all that swag? You have the Immortal one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zkhw6eOw2ew&feature=related

FF to 3:55 if you dont want to watch the part leading up to the entrance.

Instantly Recognizable – 7
Rest of the song – 8
Catchyness – 8
Energy/Creepiness – 9
Swag – 10
Total- 42

#3- Randy “The Viper” Orton

The reason I say “The Viper” in his name, is because I associate his  “Viper” nickname with his “voices” entrance and “the Legend Killer” with his prior entrance. When the building goes quiet and “I hear voices in my head” comes on there is no way to explain it except that the place explodes. I find myself reciting the beginning of the song many times during and after his matches. He carries himself with almost a psychotic swag, you never know if he will sprint down to the ring or slowly prowl. If you actually listen to the rest the song, you will realize that it is creepy as hell, and probably shouldnt be allowed to the audience its targeted. But like I said, the building explodes, so no one really hears it anyways.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv30Emv-was&feature=related

Criteria
Instantly Recognizable – 10
Rest of the song – 6
Catchyness – 7
Energy/Creepiness – 10
Swag – 10
Total – 43

#2- New Age Outlaws

Want to see how a great entrance should be done? Watch a clip of the New Age Outlaws… The “OHHH you didnt know!!” not only tells you exactly who is coming  to the ring, it gets every single person in the crowd joining in. They also have some of the better mic skills to introduce themselves (none of this R-truth garbage)! There isn’t a person that watched wrestling in the 90’s that has forgot the “Ladies and gentleman boys and girls” bit. Also, greatest 4-note guitar riff ever! These guys must get so much respect for shedding really terrible gimmicks, and creating two of the best characters, and perhaps the greatest tag-team ever. These guys were the definition of cool. And in the Attitude Era, Cool is the rule.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdsBbonKJ3U
Criteria
Instantly recognizable – 10
Rest of the song – 6
Catchyness – 10
Energy/Creepiness – 9
Swag- 8
Total – 43

and Number 1 is….

.

.

.

Shawn Michaels

What is there to say about this entrance that hasnt already been said. From the moaning to start to the great guitar riff and lyrics everyone sings along to. The Heartbreak Kid went from one of the better tag team songs (if you aren’t familiar with the Rockers theme song, check it out, it can pump you up!) to a truly legendary entrance as a singles wrestler. This is musically one of the best entrances of all time… but add Michaels’ antics to it, and it takes it to a whole other level. He would always have one of the longest entrances on the card every single night. When he was a heel, his slow, cocky strut and disrobing would get under the skin of everybody who wanted to see this punk get his face kicked in. When he turned face, this gave him more time to hog the spotlight and revel in the cheers of the fans. Entrances can go too long and lose their steam, but Michaels never did, and therefore, the crowd never did.  The energy in the building does not stop from the time the first moan starts, and only gets more energetic by the time he does his patented lunge flex in the ring.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQMVQJijl_A&feature=related

^^ Not the best quality, but great fan reaction and shows all attribute of a Shawn Michaels Entrance

Criteria
Instantly Recognizable – 8
Rest of the Song –  10
Catchyness – 9
Energy – 8
Swag – 10.
Total- 46

Thanks for reading. Some of the videos are not the greatest, or pulled from a time when each superstar was not at the height of popularity. But due to WWE licensing rights actual entrances are pulled off of youtube quite regularly, so I was happy with what I was able to find. I dont expect you to agree with everything I put, after all blogging is an opinion driven business. Comment and discuss if you think someone was rated too high, or too low.