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  1. Fantastic

    The "Superstar Image" Today vs Yesterday

    But Vince is still in charge (for now), and he seems relentless, even to this day, about favoring the Bodybuilders over the "athlete" types.
  2. Fantastic

    The "Superstar Image" Today vs Yesterday

    JerryV, I really enjoyed looking through that. I think you've hit it on the head, that the wrestling image follows popular cultural trends in image. Amazing for an industry lead by people known for living in their own bubbles eh? The thing that amazes me about Cena, is that he's never been seen looking bad... like ever. He is currently (and has been for several years) the most exposed wrestling talent in WWE, and quite possibly the world. He never looks like he's packing a gut or shrinking, even when he's on the sidelines with an injury. Compare him to the other big and prominently exposed (guys who have been touring a lot over the past decade or so) muscle monsters (read: steroid users) in WWE, guys like Triple H, Kane, Batista, etc. They've all had intermittent periods where they've been either smaller or flabbier. In Trips case, he's looked at his worst around the time he and Stephanie have been having kids (coming off cycle for fertility, presumably), Kane fluctuates regularly, sometimes he can be flabby, sometimes he can be jacked and leaner than guys 20 year his junior. But Cena, Cena has looked and continued looking great from day one, he's even got denser in recent years, without developing any kind temporary flabbiness (look at any offseason bodybuilders gaining size, who walk around a lot softer than usual). It's amazing to try and imagine how he does it, given how often he's on camera. He must really have a great pharmacist. I used to buy completely into CM Punk being straight edge. Definitely in regards to his physique, he definitely wasn't using steroids to augment his image... But, I think, at least I hypothesise, that part of the reason (and he'll probably never admit to it) he walked out on WWE was because the touring schedule, his mounting injuries, and constant burnout was forcing him to use painkillers and other pharmaceutical recovery aids. Not to the addict levels, but even just using went against everything he believed in. In essence, he discovered his lifestyle choices were incompatible with his chosen career, and he got to the point where he chose to put his career over his lifestyle, however briefly.
  3. First, it's unquestionable that steroid and PED usage is as rampant in wrestling today as it was in the 1980's. It's a key component of that "larger than life" look that defines a top wrestling star. But even with that factor in play, I can't help noticing that a typical star of today looks a whole lot different than a star of yesteryear. Indeed, it's not just limited to US wrestling. The Puroresu prototypical image has changed drastically as well. In fact, the top guys in many Japanese promotions are resembling their US counterparts, more and more. For a long time, the bulky strongman look was the prototype for a Japanese ace, now you've got guys a hell of a lot leaner and ripped. Does anybody think that the difference in "the look" is something that has evolved with the mentality of the business (namely, that promoters are changing their minds on what constitutes as a "big guy" or a "larger than life star"), or it's come about, simply with the differences in diets, training regimes and access to better drugs in recent years? Look at Hogan of the mid 1980's and John Cena of today. Both very muscular guys, but Cena simply looks in better physical shape than Hogan ever did. He's leaner for sure. Then you've got guys the former athletes. Take Brock Lesnar and somebody with a similar amateur wrestling background like Steve Williams or the Steiners. Again, both examples of incredibly muscular guys, but Lesnar simply looks more like somebody who is/was an athelte, than either Williams or the Steiners did, despite all men being almost as equally as proficient in the ring.
  4. Fantastic

    Things A Smart Wrestler Should Never Do...

    Wait, is that what that spot's supposed to be? I always saw it as him just doing a backflip. That's what I always thought he was going for. Didn't Scott Taylor do this spot for a while as well? Kind of off topic, but I'd really love Randy Orton's "Outta Nowhere" danger to be stepped up a notch. Let's say somebody goes for a Missile Dropkick, thinking that Orton can't counter it into an RKO. But... Why not? Getting your legs RKO'd is still going to suck. Just once I'd like to see Orton do this. I'm also somewhat gutted that both CM Punk and Hulk Hogan are persona-non-grata in WWE and aren't likely to return at any point. Can you imagine the awesomeness of a physical confrontation between the genre-savvy heel version of Punk and Hulk Hogan? The idea that Punk lays into Hogan, who starts to Hulk up, but rather than continue to beat upon Hogan to further the Hulkin Up (as everybody does), Punk simply turns around and walks out of the ring, negating Hogan's momentum shifter?! Imagine the heat? Nobody seems to mind that The Big show doesn't wear a glove when he does his KO punch. It would allow him to hit much harder and reduce the risk of developing fractures and taking his ace-in-the-hole out of the equation (he uses his right hand to Chokeslam too..). The Undertaker is a good example of being screwed every which way you look at it. When he's laid out in that prone position, you have three options. 1) Approach him at his top half, where he's going to grab you by the throat and try to Chokeslam you. 2) Approach him by his bottom half, where he's going to lock in Hells Gate. Or 3) Simply let him recover, where he's going to sit up, revitalised, and quickly shift the momentum to his favor. In a No-DQ scenario, you could potentially take a swing at him with a chair, but then there's nothing stopping him from booting you, or grabbing you by the throat. You could always throw a chair at him... But he'll probably have a counter for that too.
  5. Just a bit of fun! So I recently re-watched this match from NOAH's 2009 Great Voyage, it was Kawada/Taue vs. Akiyama/KENTA. At roughly 1.55, KENTA decides to slap Kawada, the expression of Dangerous K says it all. Adding to the stupidity, KENTA then proceeds to throw some of Kawada's own signature kicks against him. The result? Kawada enraged, slaps KENTA repeatedly and then kicks his head off. A more Genre Savvy (if you like) wrestler would realise the danger in aggravating a miserable veteran like Kawada. It got me thinking about other stupid (kayfabe) things wrestlers do in matches that nine times out of ten, result in them getting levelled or losing control of the match. Some well known examples: - Ric Flair attempting an aerial dive. - Anybody attempting to Powerbomb Billy Kidman. - Striking Hogan when he's "Hulking Up". - Attempting to punch Cena when he's connected with two running shoulder tackles. Anybody got any less well known examples of genre stupidity, or examples of wrestlers doing things in matches that simply aren't a smart idea, based upon the kind of opponent they are facing?
  6. Fantastic

    Post-split All Japan

    Tenryu's run as Triple Crown champion in 2002 was a hidden gem. This is one of my favorite matches, a really solid contest against Satoshi Kojima.
  7. Fantastic

    Fixing the WWF in 2002

    Yeah, Hogan's popularity was such, that he was cheered no matter what he was doing, except for maybe those initital couple of months following BATB 96. But then, the nWo were cool, traditional wrestling babyfaces lack that coolness factor. Any top, but stale babyface can revitalise themselves by doing a Hogan. I guarantee that if John Cena turned heel by beating the crap out of a beloved HOF'er or something to that effect, then started doing shit like walking to the ring smoking Havanas with Dennis Rodman, that more people would be cheering for him than they do now! That's his ace card if he really goes stale, although Cena lacks the ego of Hulk Hogan and is seemingly quite content to portray the same stale character (even if his in ring work has greatly improved in the past year) and embrace the mixed responses. Why? I get the impression that Cena's biggest sense of satisfaction in wrestling, comes from the charity work he does (he is, just a really nice guy at heart), and that's something he couldn't do as a heel to the degree he does now. He doesn't care that his character isn't cool or is desperate need of a shakeup, because it doesn't matter, he's still the top star, and he gets to do the things that mean the most to him. As for 2002, they should never have gone with that whole unification of titles angle involving Kane and Triple H. It was easily the most boring feud of the year and resulted in nobody on the undercard having anything to work with. Raw was really just the Triple H show. Smackdown had Lesnar who was hot, and the tag team triangle feud, but really it was just Triple H.. Everywhere.
  8. - Vader was the guy who stopped Sid Vicious from bleeding to death following his "incident" with Arn Anderson. - Edge is quite possibly the only WWE contracted wrestler to admit to using steroids whilst under a WWE contract.
  9. - Seth Rollins took 164th place in the 2015 Crossfit Open.
  10. I didn't post this thread with the intention of sleaze only! But, some trivia, I don't have a WON at the moment, but I'm sure somebody can find the relevant issue. - A top WWE superstar (who isn't John Cena) is known to go to a local Children's hospice every year (in their own time) with thousands of dollars of toys (that they've purchased with their own money) and donate them with zero publicity. Some have speculated the person in question is Daniel Bryan, but the way Dave worded it, it's somebody we wouldn't suspect.
  11. Yeah, you can interpret the whole Sasaki Promotion two different ways : he felt guilty inside and found a way to redeem himself by taking care of young prospect and giving back to pro-wrestling. Or it was a way to make people forget about the incident (light word when we're talking about an actual death) and paint himself under a very favorable light (great family guy and such). To this day I have no idea. Agree. The idealist in me likes to think that Sasaki does personally regret the incident, and has turned things around for the better. Of course, it's also entirely possible that he regrets absolutely nothing and has done the family/mentor thing as (like you say) means to present himself in a favorable light and not to have the incident tarnish his legacy in Puro. It really wouldn't be the first time a major name in an entertainment brand has taken such measures... Nor is it the first (nor will it be the last) that somebody does it in wrestling. Couple more: - Vince McMahon (via a Playboy interview) admitted to cheating on Linda numerous times. It's been heavily suggested that this practice probably continues to this day via dirtsheets, talk from the boys, and Vince's ego in general. - When Kawada was on his excursion to the USA and Canada in his rookie days, it seems the guys at Stampede and TASW abused him regularly because of his race. Some have even suggested that he was a victim of sexual hazing. It's never been confirmed by Kawada himself, but he has mentioned it being a dark page of his life, and refuses to talk about it in detail in any interviews. Kawada wasn't the only one, it seemed to be a pattern in the 80's, that foreign workers were subject to racially motivated abuse.
  12. Was discussing such things with a friend the other day. I thought it might be cool to cover some of these things here. Sources optional, but obviously welcome. Here's a couple of the top of my head that we discussed. - John Cena (during a time when he was on a break with his now ex-wife) had a relationship with Mickie James, who was dating/engaged to Kenny Dykstra at the time. It seemed to create a behind-the-scenes shit storm. Although not directly related to the affair, both Dykstra and James were eventually released from their contracts, Cena and James ended their relationship (although James may have been reluctant to do so) and "The Champ" went on to marry his high school sweetheart a few months later (now divorced). - In 1995, Kensuke Sasaki, whilst working with students in the NJPW Dojo, singled out a student he felt wasn't "working hard enough". He proceeded to rough him up badly, stiff shots, lots of suplexes, you name it. The student ended up dying and no charges were ever brought against Sasaki or NJPW. Sasaki who rarely commented on it, was always adamant that it was "just one of those things" and never had any regrets about it. Still... Sasaki's later attitude about rookies (him starting the Diamond Wing developemental promotion), not to mention taking Nakajima under his wing and making him a surrogate son, may have been influenced by this earlier incident. Anybody got any more?
  13. Fantastic

    WWE Talk October 5 to October 11

    From Daniel Bryan's interview with IGN: It's really pretty tragic that Daniel Bryan is seriously having to consider retirement, after only just reaching the pinnacle of his profession. What makes it worse is WWE has yet to truly give him a main event run that he's clearly earned. He's insanely over, he puts on top matches and works well with everybody he's put in the ring with. He has what it takes to be a top star, but WWE won't look past his size... At least, they haven't yet. And the worst part of all this is it's possible he might never have the chance to make them change their minds.
  14. Fantastic

    Wrestling What-ifs?

    What if Steve Austin was given a sustained push as WCW US champion, really broke out as a top midcard talent and got on Bischoff's good side, brought the attitude that eventually made him so great, and went on to become a key player in the NWO angle?
  15. Fantastic

    RIP Roddy Piper

    Gutted... RIP Piper. Two all time greats in such a short space of time, really shaping up to be a shitty year in the wrestling world.