The attitude of gratitude has arrived. Survivor Series is less than a week removed, and I want to share what I was most grateful for during the pay-per-view: Every single person/team that I wanted to win did. I can’t help but feel that the WWE put this pay-per-view on just for me. The only dampening of spirits that occurred was Mark Henry holding on to the belt (not that Big Show would be that much better of a champion), but nonetheless, i was a perfect 6/6 on people I wanted to win. The most surprising result was the one I personally felt most invested in. Somehow, the WWE had Randy Orton’s team lose in the Traditional SS match. Orton has a very good track record in these matches, and is famous for being the Sole Survivor. And with the way this match was going, it looked like there was going to be another Randy Orton comeback as The Viper has become so popular for. But this year, it wasn’t meant to be.
Randy Orton is def. in my top 5 in the WWE right now. Probably top 3, but right now #1 on that list has to be Cody Rhodes. The current IC champion is absolutely sick. Phenomenal in-ring skills, a great wrestling personality, good looks, and championship bloodline really make me wonder how far they are going to let this guy go. I’m probably getting ahead of myself, but I see a LOT of main events in this kid’s future. This is a chance for the WWE to right the wrongs they are famous for by allowing this guy to live up to his potential, despite the fact that he’s not bulging with muscles or 6’6+. And before anybody wants to shoot back with HBK or Bret Hart or even Randy Savage, remember this: they were all faces when they won the ‘ship. The only way for a heel to be champ it seems is if he’s physically intimidating, despite how stiff or awkward he is to watch in the ring. This is one of the things that WCW always did better than WWF. If you are a good enough draw and put on the most entertaining match on the card, why the hell shouldn’t you be rewarded with the belt? Imagine if Ric Flair had been in the WWF the whole time. The Nature Boy would have had 2 title reigns. If Mason Ryan gets a Heavyweight Championship match before Rhodes does, I’ll start watching TNA (and then probably drown myself out of boredom). I don’t know anybody who has luke-warm feelings about Rhodes. Most hate him, some love him. Either way, I am grateful that Cody Rhodes got to be one of the Survivors in this year’s Survivor Series match.
Also, I must express gratitude that CM Punk will (hopefully) actually have a legitimate title run. Finally, I’m most grateful for the host of my Survivor Series watching, Colin, and my friend Tony for inviting me to watch the Series the way it was meant to be watched, on a real TV!
Discussion topic: what was the most shocking WWE victory you ever saw?
In modern-era wrestling, it seems like every superstar has their own uniquely named signature and finishing moves. It’s usually just a variation of a relatively simple move, but it looks cool and some of them look like they would actually hurt. However there is one thing that every signature/finishing move has in common, whether it’s a standard or unique hold: It is only a finisher/signature if performed by (or on) a Superstar who has officially declared it so. Most wrestling matches involve a DDT, however the only time a DDT seems to result in a pinfall is if it’s performed by Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Sleeper holds are applied all the time, but unless it’s “Rowdy” Roddy Piper or Ted DiBiase, everybody’s arm stays up at two. That’s wrestling 101, folks.
So what is the special power behind declaring a signature/finishing move? Well, there are a couple schools of kayfabe thought, some of which actually carry water. The first reason why a common move could become a signature/finisher is due to the fact that the wrestler does this hold so often, he’s become a master at it and knows how to get maximum offense out of it. That seems more and more believable as the wrestler gets older and more established, but the first time DiBiase slapped on the Million Dollar Dream, Jobby McJobberson dropped and that’s all there was to it. Finisher born.
Another reason for one Superstar’s move to be more deadly than anybody else is there is something physically that makes the move more damaging. Lex Lugar’s finisher when he first came to the WWF was a forearm smash to the face, with the story being that he had a steel plate implanted in there after a motorcycle accident (this was actually true). Cody Rhodes is currently developing a tendency to use his acrylic mask, which I love, to do some serious damage. It still usually is just a set up for the CrossRhodes, but it’s gotten the W on more than one occasion. Of all the rationales people try to give, this one by far makes the most sense.
The last, and most “sports entertainment” reason why finishers/signatures are super effective for one person: They get funky with it. The People’s Elbow is just a snap elbow drop. The 5-Knuckle Shuffle is a punch to the head, and i don’t even know what the fuck to call that thing Santino Marella does. But they make it a show. And in all their dancing, pad-removing, arm-smacking and hand-waving, somehow a “waste move” becomes the deadliest thing since extremely molded sliced bread. Lets face it, the only reason these moves are so deadly is because we are told they are. And that’s fine, I can play along. I just wish a finishing move would make me go “damn!” instead of “haha”. But then again, I’m a dreamer.
Discussion Topic: Who would you want in your corner as a manager?
WARNING: This blog is written with the understanding that it’s readers are somewhat seasoned wrestling viewers and therefore I will not spend a lot of time explaining more basic wrestling knowledge, kayfabe storylines, or concepts. However, i love to answer questions and hear feedback, so please, post away.
As of today, 11/5/11, Every singles title is currently held by a heel. As a long time heel lover, this excites me to no end. Admittedly, I have only been watching wrestling on any form of regular basis for the last 10 months, but when i did watch it all the time (1989-2000) this was rarely if ever the case. For about 30 minutes in 1989 Rick Rude and Randy Savage were the singles title holders, but then Hulk Hogan ruined everything as he so typically does and we were back to having good guys rule the stage.
However, unlike 1989, there are now five singles titles compared to two. To have five “hated” wrestlers all holding championships is very rare indeed. I’m sure the people at WWE headquarters are smarter than me so there must be a reason for this. (Sidenote: During the Attitude Era the lines of heel and face were extremely blended so even when more titles were introduced, heels were often loved as much as faces and pretty much everybody had a mixed reaction from the crowd, except Austin & McMahon.)
WWE Lesson 1: Almost nothing is a coincidence or a mistake. It’s always leading to something bigger.
With the exception of Owen Hart falling to his death and (maybe) the Montreal Screwjob, nothing in the WWE is a mistake. The WWE knows damn well they have all heels as champions (except Air Boom, and honestly, who gives a shit?) and the reason I want, the reason I hope, is that these champions will unite in an nWo-esque alliance (Kevin Nash does keep popping up…) and try to dominate the WWE Universe. Unsafe work conditions (Outsiders/Henry), humiliating gimmicks (Spray painting people/Rhode’s bagging people), Powerful person pulling the strings (Bischoff/Laurinaitis), all I’m saying is the makings are there.
Heel stables are a long-standing tradition of awesomeness in wrestling. The Heenan Family, DX, nWo, The 4 Horsemen (my personal fav.) have all had amazing and long-lasting storylines that produced some of the best television moments in sports entertainment history. It’s easy to hate one guy, but its fun to hate a whole group of guys. They usually do more to piss you off (if you root for the faces, that is), and the stories are more elaborate and less predictable.
So why not bring the heel champions together to create the most powerful force in the WWE? There was a time when the nWo held on to a ton of titles in the WCW, but that happened after the formation. Think about it, in this day and age where people are Occupying city streets to protest greed and financial dominance, what better story than to have all the most powerful superstars in the WWE (the champs) band together to protect their collective interests. However I’m usually wrong about these things and often just let my imagination get the best of me. I can only hope something this epic is in the making. Only time will tell…
Tales from the Turnbuckle: DQ’s? We don’t need no skinkin’ DQ’s!
This is just a little part of my blog that I’ll dedicate to the miscellaneous, random, goofy, or just interesting facts about wrestling. Today, we’ll discuss some lesser known rules of kayfabe wrestling. We all know it’s scripted and the refs are there to help support the chaos, not control it. However, if the refs did the job they are supposedly paid to do, almost every single match would end in disqualification. Here are some of the things that supposedly can get you tossed out if the refs decided to be sticklers for the rules. I’ll also throw in hypothetical long-term consequences of what would happen if these rules were inforced:
– Throwing a “closed fist” punch. Hogan and Austin never win a match and both leave the WWE in less than a year.
-Any outside support (manager/tag partner in a singles match) standing on the apron. Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan can not find work as managers and instead form into a talk-radio duo and eventually become a bizarro universe version of JR and The King.
– Low blows. Ric Flair’s World Heavyweight title count goes from 20 to about 4 and he retires in 1997 when he should have.
– Standing on the top rope for more than 5 seconds. Undertaker still destroys lots of souls, but the world never sees the “Old School”, and one of the coolest moves of all time is never born.
And my personal favorite:
-Intentionally throwing someone over the top rope. Jesse “The Body” Ventura never gets ample alone time in the ring to do his awesome poses and therefore doesn’t gain the national attention he so rightly deserves. This causes a lack of funding needed to win the 1998 Minnesota Gubernatorial Election. Instead, Republican Norm Coleman wins the race he should have narrowly lost, and also wins the 2008 senate election against Al Franken that he also lost in a painfully close race. That Red-State love infects the Presidential election, Minnesota votes for McCain but Obama still wins the national election and, as an act of defiance/desperation/stupidity, votes Sarah Palin in as Governor in 2014 and by 2015 we are in a full fledged war with Canada over some alleged moose shootings that happened near the border.
So lets all take a moment to thank the officials of the WWE/F for not being sticklers for the rules, otherwise we’d be preparing for the Canadian Invasion. Thanks for reading and remember, when life gets you down, kick out at two. and if you can’t kick out at two, reach for the ropes.
Discussion topic: What would be your finishing move in the squared circle?