My Complete Disappointment in the Present State of the WWE (Part 1)

I have grown up on WWE. I am not exaggerating when I say this. I am almost 27 and I have been watching WWE since I was 2 years old. My mom grew up watching wrestling with her dad. So, needless to say, I have a lot invested in WWE. That is why it is hard for me to write this blog. But, I cannot deny my absolute disappointment in the WWE product over the last ten to fifteen years.

                I guess I have been reminded this by Sunday’s Pay Per View, “Hell in a Cell”. First of all, it is pathetic that they can call it that when only two HIAC matches are actually scheduled for the night. I remember the first HIAC between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. That was one badass match. Most gimmick matches, I don’t approve of. From the moment I saw the cage, I knew that this had the potential to be something that could change the industry. Though there were some great moments between when Shawn and Taker first stepped into the cage and now, the most important had to be Mick Foley vs. Taker. I bring this up because this match best exemplifies what WWE has lost through the years and I think I figured out why. I was watching that match tonight for probably the thousandth time. I noticed when Taker threw Mick from the top of the cage and everyone came out to put him on the stretcher, Vince had this look of pure concern. Don’t get me wrong, he was not concerned for Mick’s safety or that one of his most beloved talents may never wrestle again. No, he was concerned because he knew that if something horrible were to happen to Mick, he would never hear the end of it. He knew that his decision making, which up to this point, was impeccable, would be flawed by allowing Mick to script something so dangerous, so incredible, and so stupid. But he had faith in Mick, as he should have. Mick knew what he was doing and was willing to risk his life to hear the crowd pop in amazement.

                This match could have effectively ended the “extreme” version of professional wrestling, but the audience took to it so completely that Vince was okay with tempting fate for a while longer. But that all ended when the split of the roster was announced and there was officially a RAW roster This is the first thing that WWE has lost that I am upset with. There are still talented performers out there like Mick who are willing to put their bodies on the line night after night and go the extra mile for the crowd, but I think Vince is so obsessed with keeping his guys safe that he has watered everything down to the point where the matches are boring as hell. If you need some other examples, go back and take a look at either CM Punk or John Cena in Ring of Honor. Both of these men had matches that were extraordinary in ROH and OVW now they are so limited by what Vince says they can and can’t do that they basically have the same 5 moves and their matches are very predictable.

                That leads me to my last point of this particular piece:  the way Vince has limited his performers by taking away moves. Now throughout professional wrestling there has always been moves that only certain people will do and that is because they know that they can do them safely and they trust that the person they are doing it on is competent enough to take the move and come out the other side unharmed. But only recently have such moves been entirely banned in such great numbers. I will give you some examples of what I am talking about but the most glaring is, of course, the Pile Driver. This move has hurt many people throughout the history of professional wrestling but was always kept around because it had become a staple and most people either knew how to do it safely, or just didn’t do it. Well, Vince ended up banning the Pile Driver after a botched Pile Driver by Owen Hart ended up breaking Stone Cold Steve Austin’s neck. I am not denying that these moves are dangerous and should only be attempted by those who have trained and practiced doing the move. All I am saying is that Vince has a tendency to over react when it comes to individual moves and it is hurting the matches. Another example of a move that is no longer allowed in the WWE is the Shooting Star Press. This impressive move is incredibly effective and incredibly dangerous, and when done correctly is one of the prettiest moves in a high flier’s arsenal. But of course, if there is any chance that real damage could be done, the WWE feels that it is not worth it and has banned it. The fact that this move is still banned blows my mind because my next example is very similar and in my eyes far more dangerous. The 420 splash is flashy but so much is involved with actually pulling it off that I feel there is much less room for error. But it is now legal after going through a short period of being banned. Justin Gabriel is the only one on the roster who currently has the 420 as part of his skill set and frankly it is the only part of Gabriel that is actually memorable, but boring characters is part of the second piece of this blog which will come tomorrow. 

                So to sum up this first piece on why I am greatly disappointed in the WWE: They have talent that is willing to put their bodies on the line in more extreme ways and the WWE is not allowing it, they are limiting guys skill sets by only allowing them to do certain moves without outright banning anything a la CM Punk and John Cena, and finally, they are OUTRIGHT BANNING certain moves. This last point spits in the face of everything that guys like Mick Foley, Terry Funk, The Hardy Boys and every other hardcore legend ever fought for and it makes me sick. Vince McMahon you should be ashamed of yourself for watering down the sport to such a level that fans younger than the age of 10 would enjoy it, effectively stabbing true long time fans in the back just because you may have gotten into a little hot water over some of the antics pulled during the Attitude Era while you were also engaged in the Monday Night Wars. The fact that you won the Monday Night Wars and then stopped doing everything that helped you win it is disgusting. But again, that is all going to be part of tomorrow’s post.

So before I rant anymore, I want to thank you all for reading and I will see you tomorrow.

-TFC   

Craziness at RAW last night.

Okay, I had no plan on blogging this morning, but there is some crazy news coming out of last night’s RAW. First of all CM Punk has lost his damn mind. Apparently, and when I say apparently, it is only because there is most likely going to be a legal battle starting, but apparently there was some sort of altercation between Punk and a fan. Having said that, there is video of the fight and you can clearly see that Punk hits a fan. You can also see that Punk hits the WRONG FAN. Here’s what happened, at some point in the night, Punk took it upon himself to run up into the crowd and stand there clutching his WWE Title like a crack addict’s last score, when a fan reached up from behind a different fan and pushed Punk in the back of the head. This sent Punk into a rage and he turned around thinking it was the fan that was directly behind him and hit him twice. According to my sources, there has been a police report filed and they are investigating the incident, hence the use of the word “apparently” earlier.

That was crazy news numero uno. Crazy news numero dos is, according to my sources, top superstars at the WWE have taken it upon themselves to voice their opinions to Vince about how bad the writing sucks. This cost RAW head writer, Brian Gewirtz, his job, he is now just a consultant. According to witnesses, there was a heated discussion between a top talent and Vince about how the company was going down the wrong path and it was because of the writing. Vince then went on a rampage telling the writers that he wanted results or resignations. This news excites me more than anyone can imagine. The writing has been one of the major downfalls of the WWE since the end of the Attitude Era. I am hoping that Vince will come to his senses and realize you can’t make a professional wrestling show that is %100 kid friendly, and expect it to do well, not only in the ratings, but most importantly, in the eyes of the fans that have made the company what it is today. Man, I hope some people get fired, or at least allowed to go back and start writing edgier material, that is what is going to pull the company that I have been a fan of for so many years, out of the crapper.

Now it’s time to go to work. Thank you all for reading and I hope you will check back often because I have some great stuff coming up with my buddy Tactix.

-TFC. 

With a little help from my friend.

As best said by the Beatles and later Joe Cocker “With a Little Help From my Friends”. This post is the first in a series of tag teams with my friend Tactix over at Tag Teams, Knockouts and Wrestling. 

Tactix: In every truly successful wrestling promotion, there is a thriving women’s division. WWF had it. WCW had one for a short time. TNA built one. This column is the building of something new…..something special. I’ve written TNA and said my peace about the rebuilding of their Knockouts Division and now I choose to build something for them; a division to end all divisions. 

TFC:  First of all, I want to thank my buddy Tactix from Tag Teams, Knockouts, and Wrestling for giving me this opportunity to tag team with him on these next couple columns. We will be laying out our dream rosters for different divisions in TNA. These can be people plucked from different companies. There will be explanations to go along with our picks. Overall, these next few columns are definitely going to be fun and I can’t wait to see what dust we can stir up.

Our first post Tactix and I decided to each pick 10 women to make up our dream Knockout Division and 5 contenders for the TV Title. So let’s start this show with my top ten picks of women to make up the Knockout Division.

 

The Rules……

Pick 10 Knockouts for the perfect division. All picks MUST be currently taking appearance dates either as a performer or valet. 

 

          •        Natalya

          •        Beth Pheonix

          •        Nikki Roxx

          •        Angelina Love

          •        Velvet Sky

          •        AJ Lee

          •        Mickie James

          •        Tara

          •        Taeler Hendrix

          •        Buggy Nova

 

Okay, give me a second to explain myself. My list as well as Tactix has a number of either current or former WWE divas. These are because I know that these women are talented, but were not, or are not, being given the right stage to show their true talent. Nikki Roxx has been out of the major spotlight for quite some time, but the rumbling is that she is again taking dates. This makes me happier than anyone can imagine. Such ability in the ring and given the right character, fun to watch out of the ring. Taeler Hendrix is on this list because the newly acquired Gut Check contestant left a lasting impression on me. She was one of those women who I knew from the first time I saw her, was going to be something special.

 

Now those of you who have watched TNA for a while will recognize number 4 and 5 on my list as the Beautiful people. I get the behind the scenes issues that broke up this great tag team, but when they split, it truly was a loss. Both went on to have pretty good singles careers, Angelina’s shorter than Velvet’s, but I still think their best work happened together.

 

Finally, the two names I will probably hear the most flack about are AJ Lee and Buggy Nova. Nobody can debate the work AJ does on the mic. She can sell her character better than most on my list, but what she is under rated in is her in ring ability. The few times I have actually seen her fight, besides spending the whole match staring at that perfect backside of hers, I was pretty impressed with the way she handled herself. Yes, she could use some work, but all in all, she is a very talented young woman. Buggy Nova or Skyler Moon, as she is now being called, may be spending some time in treatment for an eating disorder, but when she is on her game, she is as good as anyone. I haven’t seen much mic work from her so I don’t know how that would go, but I love her work in the ring. She is quite talented.

 

Tactix: You make a good point with your picks. Butt jokes aside, I have AJ on my list as well, albeit, in a different role. Yeah, I cheated a bit.

 

Melina

Beth Phoenix

Tara

Velvet Sky

Alison Danger

Gail Kim

Nikki Roxx

Mickie James

Sarita

Natalya

 

The most glaring omission is Angelina Love. Why? Attitude. She has said she has nothing left to prove in TNA and has no desire to return. I can respect that and, even though TNA could eventually return the Beautiful People to prominence, I decided to move in another direction with that information. I will grant that this list has a bulk from WWE’s roster or those former, but the fact is, they are all good performers who deserved a better spotlight than they were/are getting. Quite probably the 4 I’m most excited about are Phoenix, Natalya, Melina, and Alison Danger as I am a HUGE fan of them all and would very much love to see where they can take new matches.

 

I think we both can agree that the VP of the Knockouts Division has been misused with Karen Jarrett and Brooke Hogan most notably as their title-holders. To remedy that, I believe that AJ Lee or Lita should hold the role. AJ Lee’s current character makes me cringe, but I DO know that she can cut a decent heel promo and can work crazy like a day job. Lita, though not as skilled on a mic, can still work the face side of things well as she’s still COMPLETELY over with fans.

 

TV Title Scene: Pick 5 from TNA’s current or impending extended roster. 

 

Tactix: My picks aren’t terribly difficult. 

 

Chris Masters

Crimson

Kazarian

Bully Ray

AJ Styles

 

Bully Ray? AJ Styles? Absolutely. In my opinion, the TV Title needs to be a crucible, a trial by fire , so to speak. It must encapsulate what a TNA champion is supposed to look like OUTSIDE the confines of the X Division. Could that mean that those in that division couldn’t compete for it? Not at all. But in my humble opinion, the TV Title could be the best way to determine who shines brightest on their way to the World Heavyweight Title. The best way to go about doing that is to put them up against TNA’s best. As far as I can tell, Bully Ray is the best heel and few would deny AJ Styles is the best face. Putting the rising stars in TNA up against them is the best way to determine just how good they really are.

 

TFC:

          •        Kid Kash

          •        Crimson

          •        Kazarian

          •        D’Angelo Dinero

          •        Magnus

 

These picks were pretty simple for me so little explanation is going to be given. It is simple, most of the guys on this list are future World Champions, the TV title is just a stepping stone in that direction. I will admit guys like D’Angelo Dinero and Kid Kash, just don’t hit me as World Champions so they are going to be stuck at this level. Not to say they aren’t talented, they are. They just don’t have quite what it takes to be the main event at Bound For Glory. Crimson, Kazarian, and Magnus are all guys that I could see holding the ultimate prize and making it huge. They just need to fine tune their skills a little either in the ring or on the mic. Well, there they are. I hope you enjoyed Tactix and my first tag team post in quite some time. There is definitely more to come from us. Let us know what you think and if you have other people in mind for either one of these division, just let us know.

 

Tactix: Amen