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3/7 - Thoughts On The Following Wrestlers


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It's the "a 10-man tag with these guys would be the weirdest match ever!" edition!

 

Here we go:

 

"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson

Mitsuharu Misawa

El Hijo del Santo

Christian

Nick Bockwinkel

Shawn Michaels

Kane

Nobuhiko Takada

Terry Taylor

Honky Tonk Man

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Bryan Danielson - Have yet to see him work actually, and will be getting a lot of his more acclaimed stuff from goodhelmet in the near future, tax return be damned. He has the reputation for being the backbone of ROH.

 

Mitsuharu Misawa - I'd actually consider him the third best behind Kawada and Kobashi, but as far as understanding his role and growing into it over time, he was fantastic and I can't think of anyone who's probably had more ****+ matches, barring maybe Kawada or Kobashi. Didn't fly as much as he did in the 1980s after his ascension to the top, but the role didn't call for it either.

 

El Hijo del Santo - Haven't seen a lot of him, but what I've seen I've loved. Need to see more.

 

Christian - Excels in tag matches and seems to struggle in singles matches. When he's opposite a good, motivated worker, he's passable, but he relies too much on restholds and weak punches for my tastes. His timing is great and he's good at getting the most out of his opponent and making him look good, but he's not so good at controlling the offense or doing anything particularly exciting or memorable. I do think, however, he should get a HUGE push this year, and his stock may have risen if the company (wrongfully) decides to bury Edge.

 

Nick Bockwinkel - He doesn't get a lot of credit for being all that good, which I don't get at all, considering that Bockwinkel in his mid-50s >>>>> Ric Flair in his mid-50s, and his matches with Hennig, Jumbo and Robinson, among others, were almost always good. I'm a fan.

 

Shawn Michaels - It's hard to talk about Michaels in a blurb-type post and describe him accurately. I'll copy/paste something I wrote about him at TSM a while back instead.

 

I would call Shawn an excellent performer who was great at times and good most of the time. He has a large body of ***+ matches that have stretched nearly 20 years, which is impressive in itself. In some ways, he's underrated. He's great at constructing an exciting match, generating heat within the confines of a match and has shown himself capable of playing both a strong heel and a strong face. He has excelled in the face-in-peril role, the underdog champion role and the asshole role.

 

Shawn is overrated as a seller. He's great when he wants to do it, but he's inconsistent. People like to refer to the "backstage shit" not mattering in terms of Shawn's attitude, and quite frankly, I don't care about that either. But Michaels' attitude often reared its ugly head during matches. He was all about putting on The Shawn Show, even in matches that weren't necessarily all about him. Want a good example? Compare these matches:

 

04/02/95 - Shawn Michaels v Diesel

04/28/96 - Shawn Michaels v Diesel

 

01/22/95 - Bret Hart v Diesel

11/19/95 - Bret Hart v Diesel

 

You could argue that these are Nash's four best matches. What's interesting is that Nash looks better in losing to Bret than he does in winning against Shawn, and that's not all booking either. Shawn's tenacity and constant straightforward approach in the Diesel match at Wrestlemania did wonders to turn himself babyface and make himself seem at that level, but that match was about Diesel, not Shawn. Nash had trouble garnering heat after that match and his reign as champ is looked at very poorly. I'm not attempting to blame Shawn for that, but Diesel's biggest defense was at Mania, and Michaels sandbagged him in many ways. That match was laid out to make Michaels look as strong as possible, even at the expense of the champ.

 

Compare that to the SurSer '95 match with Bret Hart, where Nash lost the belt and looked far better taking a pinfall. Bret tried to use many of the same tactics he used in the Rumble match earlier in the year, some of which worked and some of which didn't at all. Bret laid out a match that showed that strategically, Nash had improved as champion and was a better worker than he was months earlier. He made him look smart, effective and dangerous. While the HBK match at Mania made Shawn look like the uncrowned champ, the SurSer match made it apparent that Diesel had grown smarter, but had lost some of his killer instinct, and the post-match angle brought that back into place and he finished out his WWF run more over than he ever was as champ. I credit this match entirely for that.

 

The biggest problem with Shawn is the poor psych of his "hulking up" routine. It makes for an exciting performance, but not necessarily a great one.

 

To those who think SurSer '96 was Sid's best match ever, watch these two matches and compare sometime:

 

11/17/96 - Shawn Michaels v Sid

02/17/97 - Bret Hart v Sid

 

The second match is less-remembered simply because it took place on television instead of on PPV, but it speaks for itself, and by comparison, the Michaels carry job looks far less impressive. Shawn Michaels was booed out of the garden and insisted on playing the babyface in the match anyway instead of improvising. The crowd was solidly behind Sid. Compare that to the Bret match, which saw the crowd solidly on Sid's side. Bret worked as the subtle heel throughout the match as a result, built a story around attacking Sid's knee, and the comeback got a huge pop. Sid won the SurSer match cleanly (fairly) and won the Bret match because of outside interference. But he *still* managed to come out of the Bret match looking like a far more deserving champion.

 

In terms of carrying slugs, Shawn is good at getting something entertaining out of them. I would never say he was really good at carrying said slugs to ****+ matches though. I'd place guys like Bret and Flair far ahead of Shawn in terms of being able to have a match with anyone. I'd put Bret over Shawn as a worker just because Bret was more willing to adapt to his opponent while Shawn made his opponents adapt to him.

 

Where does he stand among American workers of the past 20 years? I'd say his standing is quite impressive, but I wouldn't put him in the top ten of even that group most likely. That, in many ways, is less of an insult to Shawn and more of a compliment to the rest of the crop.

 

As an interview and character, Shawn's peak was in the early days of DX. He was more hated than any heel I can remember in the history of the company. I remember watching shows seeing him getting pelted with garbage, and I remember fans chanting for his death. Bret was a far more consistent role player, in that he was good in all roles, but Shawn, at his best, was probably better. His best just came too rarely.

 

I don't think Shawn is overrated. I don't think Shawn is underrated. I think his strengths are misdiagnosed and I think his weaknesses are misdiagnosed.

Kane - Better than he's often given credit for, but not really the type to build a company around or carry a lesser worker to something good. Has probably been saddled with more crap that he's managed to get over than anyone ever has. The most famous masked wrestler of his generation who should have gotten the belt in 2003 after dropping the mask. His career is probably winding down.

 

Nobuhiko Takada - Has a reputation as one of the best in the world during his time, but I need to see more footage. Definitely one of the five or ten biggest stars in Japanese wrestling history.

 

Terry Taylor - Of all the wrestlers from his generation, I feel like Taylor is the one who legitimately deserved far more than he got. He could work, he could talk and he could get heat, but he never really got that push over the top that he needed and deserved. The WWF's handling of him in 1988 and 1989 was atrocious, and his career never recovered. Probably should have stayed with Crockett when the UWF folded because he might have gotten a nice push. He would have fit in well with the NWA in 1989. Played a considerable role in WCW's success in the late 90s and has jumped back and forth between companies more than almost anyone.

 

Honky Tonk Man - One of the biggest B-show draws of his day who I consider a class act when he's not enacting revenge on someone he despises. Not particularly talented as a wrestler, but a good performer who knew how to make people hate him. He's still a riot on the Internet when he goes off on a tangent about Kevin Nash or Jerry Lawler or whoever else has earned his wrath.

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Guest Some Guy

"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson - Never seen him. I think he was trained by HBk, who has a pretty good rep as a trainer, so the guy is probably pretty good.

 

Mitsuharu Misawa - I've seen very, very little of him, like maybe one match.

 

El Hijo del Santo - Jesus, Loss that's 3 in a row. Don't really know much about him.

 

Christian - I thought he carried E & C. Edge got all the props, Christian did most of the grunt work. He's a far better promo guy and they are about the same in terms of in ring skills. Christian has had some solid but unspectatular singles matches, but he is an effective heel. I think he needs to stop cutting promos that make him look like a moron, like the battle rap with Cena at RR. It was kindof funny but it made him look stupid and goofy.

 

Nick Bockwinkel - I haven't seen a ton of him but he moved incredibly well for a guy in his 50s. There's a match on the Wrestling Gold DVDs against Manny Fernadez, Cornette said he was in his his 50s inthat match and I could not believe how he moved around the ring. He moved better at 50 than Hogan did at 30.

 

Shawn Michaels - I agree with a lot of what Loss said. I think Shawn was great in his prime, but he spent so many years bumping like a madman to get to that level that his body gave out on him. He couldn't work a full schedule before the back injury at RR 98. I'm a huge fan of both his and Bret's work and I rank them prettymuch how Loss does. Shawn is the better sports entertainer and Bret is the better in ring worker.

 

I would argue both Bret and Shawn made their oponents cater to their styles though. Bret worked a similar match with every big guy he faces, he went after the knee. Shawn did that same only instead of attacking a body part he bumped his ass off. The difference is that Bret, by dominating the match allowed his opponent to make a comeback and look tougher, while Shawn was dominated and he was the one to make the comeback. It's kind of the same as Flair vs. Hogan in terms of how their matches were constructed.

 

Kane - I've never really much cared for him. He's probably better than I want to give him credit for but I haven't really enjoyed the gimmick or his matches for the most part. I kind of consider him a poor-man's Undertaker in terms of ring work and I don't think that Taker was any great shakes, even in his prime.

 

Nobuhiko Takada - Never heard of him/her.

 

Terry Taylor - If he didn't get stuck with the Rooster gimmick, he'd be remembered for what he was: an above average worker who never would have made it big because he didn't have that it factor. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if he got the Mr. Perfect gimmick rather than Hennig. It's rumored that it was a toss up and Vince gave Hennig the good gimmick and Taylor got the Rooster. Vince actually wanted him to get up early every morning so he could be on the first plane out and strut through the airport to really sell the gimmick. He didn't do it but it would have been funy as hell to see a weary eyed, hung over wrestler dressed in red with a spiked line of red hair, cock-a-doodle-dooing through the airport at 5:00 am.

 

Honky Tonk Man - A horrible worker, just fucking terrible. I have not seen one match that he's been in that I would call anything close to good other than maybe the one against Steamboat for the belt. But he was a pretty big draw and played his gimmick very well. As Loss said he is pretty funny on the Net, but so are a lot of other bitter old wrestlers like Tom Zenk. He comes across to me as a mark for himself who is trying to build a fan base on the net, who are oddly the same people who would hate his ring work.

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"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson - Never seen him.  I think he was trained by HBk, who has a pretty good rep as a trainer, so the guy is probably pretty good.

 

Mitsuharu Misawa - I've seen very, very little of him, like maybe one match.

 

El Hijo del Santo - Jesus, Loss that's 3 in a row.  Don't really know much about him.

 

Nobuhiko Takada - Never heard of him/her.

 

 

Dude, these were by far the four best wrestlers on the list. If you want some footage of them, PM me and maybe e can work something out.
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"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson ~ Currently my favorite wrestler. He's just phenominal. I love all of his bridging moves, and Cattle Mutilation is SICK!

 

Mitsuharu Misawa ~ I've actually had a lot of exposure to Misawa. I've never seen him have a bad match. In fact, I've never seen him have a match less than ***. Tremendous wrestler. Actually, he's probably the best wrestler I've ever seen.

 

El Hijo del Santo ~ No exposure.

 

Christian ~ Underrated, if anything. Everyone talks about how Edge was/is better, but I disagree. Edge just has the size advantage. That's all I see. I think Christian is a better worker and a better talker. He CERTAINLY has more charisma. So what if he throws on a lot of headlocks? It's better than trying to watch a shitty spear as a finisher....

 

Nick Bockwinkel ~ Um. Hogan won his first title from him...so he's important in that regard.

 

Shawn Michaels ~ Always puts on a show.

 

Kane ~ Never been a real big fan. Started out with a crappy gimmick, and it went downhill from there. I guess for his size, he's decent.

 

Nobuhiko Takadaslavenkigetcko ...whatever.

 

Red Rooster Sucks. Yes, I'm writing him off just like that.

 

HTM ~ Well, he got heat....

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Guest HarleyQuinn

"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson - One of my current favorites on the wrestling scene. Just fabulous on the mat and can adapt to any style. Reminds me a cross between Benoit & Bret Hart.

 

Mitsuharu Misawa - Starred in the early and mid-90's in AJPW with the rest of the big name crew. Can fly for a man his size and is always a solid wrestler. I believe he's currently the owner of NOAH and is still wrestling.

 

El Hijo del Santo - Godfather of Lucha Libre and has had fabulous matches with all sorts of names including Blue Panther.

 

Christian - Fabulous in a tag team but an average heel as a single.

 

Shawn Michaels - One of my favorite bumpers ever. Loss pretty much summed what I was thinking.

 

Kane - Very underrated as a big man wrestler. I think he'd be a better wrestler if he wasn't restricted by the WWE style and didn't come in as Undertaker version 2.0.

 

Terry Taylor - Very misused wrestler, probably more so then any other wrestler in history. Could get heat and could wrestler but just got killed when he took on the red rooster gimmick.

 

Honky Tonk Man - Could get heat like nobody else when he was the IC Champion. Very hateable persona that translated over to the wrestling ring. Was never more than average wrestling wise though.

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Guest Hunter's Torn Quad

"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson: A great technical wrestler, who would make a great IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion. As far as the US goes, he won?t make it in WWE, because he doesn?t fit in with their view of wrestling.

 

Mitsuharu Misawa: Tremendous worker in his prime, but is now a shell of his former self. Can still bust it out for big singles matches, but he shouldn?t be doing that very often, because he?s broken down enough as it is. Needs to smile a little more.

 

El Hijo del Santo: From what I?ve seen, looks like he?s a great worker.

 

Christian: Very underrated. Christian could more than carry the load as an upper midcarder, though I?m not sure he could pay more than a passing visit to the main event scene.

 

Nick Bockwinkel: Great wrestler, excellent promos.

 

Shawn Michaels: Probably the single most overrated worker of the last 25 years. I don?t think he?s bad by any means, but I have never once seen him as this god-like figure in the ring. He was Ricky Morton with better bumps, in that he was an above average worker, who got by with great selling, when he chose to do it. Will almost always wind up no-selling the damage done to his back by doing the kip-up spot and everything else in his aerial repertoire with nary a wince or grimace on his face. The only time I can remember see him sell his back during his comeback is when it was legit hurt at WM XIV. If he?s done it at other times, it?s not been anything memorable. Woefully average on the mic as well.

 

Kane: Works hard, but that doesn?t overcome being above average in the ring. The gimmick doesn?t help, because if he could cut loose, then I think Glen could rise far above his current level. Sadly, the gimmick that keeps him employed is the same one that limits his earning potential.

 

Nobuhiko Takada: A great shoot-style worker back in it?s primitive days, but unable or unwilling to keep up with the times.

 

Terry Taylor: Probably the single most misused worker of the last 25 years. Never ever came close to the kind of success his talents warranted. The Red Rooster gimmick killed his career dead, because nobody was ever able to take him seriously again at any kind of top level.

 

Honkytonk Man: Not the most polished of workers, but I don?t watch Honky?s matches for the work; I watch them for the showbusiness bullshit. If I could wrestle a match purely with the aim of doing the least to get the most reaction, it?d be with Honky.

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Guest TheShawshankRudotion

"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson I should watch some of the current ROH that I have to get a better perspective on AD. I like Samoa Joe more, but AD would be in the top 5 of indy workers. I am pretty picky when it comes to shoot-style, and I don't think AD does it very well. But that's based on work that was done a few years ago, maybe he has improved. Great one night performance in the 01 Super 8 and it's nice to see a worker actually mature and evolve nowadays, because you don't get that very often in the WWE.

 

Mitsuharu Misawa Great workrate, great moveset, great matches, great wrestler. Bad influence. Set the bar perhaps too high. I haven't watched any of is matches lately, and I've been meaning to revist them. Hmm... maybe later on today.

 

El Hijo del Santo I don't get lucha, it goes against what I know wrestling is, and I haven't really liked any lucha that I've seen. I am not nearly interested enough in it to pursue the issue.

 

Christian One of the WWE's best actors. Pretty shit as a wrestler. He works the formula matches well, which I guess should get points but I don't much care for it. Works hard at creating an image, though he should give his character more depth. He needs more credibility, someone needs to take him seriously. A Christian vs. Cena feud could actually kick a lot of ass if worked right.

 

Nick Bockwinkel I was surprised at how good he was when I first saw him, but ultimately he was before my time. I'd love to see some of his high-end matches.

 

Shawn Michaels He can work a crowd really well, in and out of a match. But that's about it. Fortunately, in the WWE, that's enough. That's why his match with Angle will get a billion stars and will probably cause the usual debate where Meltzer rolls his eyes and Alvarez eats cake and ignore the legitimate points. Michaels is the wrestling equivalent of a porn movie; not very fulfilling, but it will get a rise out of you at certain spots. But you don't see porn movies win Oscars.

 

Kane Top 10 actor in the WWE, and when put against the right guy could probably draw well. Not a fan of his matches. There were so many other great big men that he doesn't even come close to. And also, while he is a good actor, he tends to do the same thing over, and over, and over again.

 

Nobuhiko Takada The reason I am doing this list. One of my top 15 favourites. Worked striking and grappling very well. Great matches with Vader, Tamura, Albright, Mutoh (imo). Great influence, great draw, great wrestler. I have a bunch of matches that I am really eager to see, specifically a match against Backlund. I'd also like to see his earlier matches where he worked as a junior. IMO, wrestling would be great if more wrestlers tried to be less like Misawa and more like Takada.

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Nick Bockwinkel ~ Um. Hogan won his first title from him...so he's important in that regard.

 

 

Actually Hogan never won the title from Nick. In fact, they did a Dusty Finish that almost caused a riot because Hogan had atomic levels of heat and the fans were dying to see him get the belt.

 

Unless of course you mean some belt other than the AWA title, then nevermind.

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Come on, Coffey, you can do better than that.

Maybe next time when it's a different crop of wrestlers. I mean, I love Misawa and AmDrag, but really, they only get it done in the ring. What more can I say about them other than they're great wrestlers?

 

Throw in a couple of people I've never watched, and one subpar/average wrestler and....

 

I guess I could've said a lot more about HBK, but you pretty much summed that sumbitch up.

 

Actually Hogan never won the title from Nick. In fact, they did a Dusty Finish that almost caused a riot because Hogan had atomic levels of heat and the fans were dying to see him get the belt.

 

Unless of course you mean some belt other than the AWA title, then nevermind.

I'm not sure what title it was actually. It's on some crappy Hogan VHS and it's shown because it's "Hogans first major title victory."

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It's the "a 10-man tag with these guys would be the weirdest match ever!" edition!

 

Here we go:

 

"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson

Mitsuharu Misawa

El Hijo del Santo

Christian

Nick Bockwinkel

Shawn Michaels

Kane

Nobuhiko Takada

Terry Taylor

Honky Tonk Man

I guess I'll add my opinons on this list too:

 

American Dragon" Bryan Danielson: never saw him in action.

 

Mitsuharu Misawa: One of the best workers of all time, I fear for what shape he'll be in at age 60 after years of All Japan head drop mania.

 

El Hijo del Santo: My only experience watching him is the feud he had with Octagon vs Eddie and Art Barr that led to the famous masks vs hair match. From what I saw he was a solid worker who had nuclear crowd heat, which I'm sure was partly due to his father being a small notch below God in Mexico.

 

Christian: I was afraid that when E&C broke up, he'd end up jobbing to OVW guys on Heat. He's carved himself a nice niche on RAW and he might end up benefitting if Vince decides to punish Edge.

 

Nick Bockwinkel: Of the "old school" champs of the 60's-80s', he's the only one you really could argue was still a solid worker in his 50s. His one hour draw with Curt Hennig was one of the best matches the AWA ever booked, and that was at the tail end of his career.

 

Shawn Michaels:Great bumper and world class blader, but I never really was impressed by his ring work. HTQ said it best, he's a better Ricky Morton than Ricky Morton was. Few things in wrestling annoy me than watching him kip-up after taking an ass kicking for 20 minutes.

 

Kane: One of the best big guy workers of the last 10 years, seems to have stopped trying after years of stupid angles and booking. People tend to toss him in the useless hoss pile but he can work well when motivated.

 

Nobuhiko Takada: never saw him in action.

 

Terry Taylor: One of the most underrated workers of all time, his whole career will always be remembered not by his solid work in the NWA but for that damn rooster gimmick.

 

Honky Tonk Man: Not a great worker but a master of crowd heat. People wanted to see this guy get pummled for over a year.

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Guest The Metal Maniac

"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson - I really like AD from the little of his work that I've seen. He's responsible for one of my favourite spots in the history of wrestling (that being when he gave Lo-Ki a Northern Lights for a two while holding Chris Daniels in a deathlock). I also think the Cattle Mutilation is a great move, and can't understand why he doesn't use a Tiger Suplex to set it up.

 

Mitsuharu Misawa - Misawa kinda bugs me, mostly because I don't like the style he wrestles. The whole "I'll drop you directly on your head, you completely no-sell it, then I'll elbow you in the face and you sell THAT like death" bugs the hell out of me. I've only seen a handful of his matches in full though, so I may be ignorant.

 

El Hijo del Santo - I only ever saw one match of his, the 2/3 Double Mask vs Double Hair match, and that match was great, so I guess he's pretty good.

 

Christian - Pretty entertaining. I wish he'd get more of a push, just to see what he could do. I never really would have thought that he'd be the guy I preferred after E&C broke up.

 

Nick Bockwinkel - Never saw nothing. Sorry.

 

Shawn Michaels - I used to HATE HBK so much it wasn't even funny. These days, I'm still not a big fan, but I respect the effort he put into his best matches, bumping like a crazy man to make people look like a million bucks. Hell, two of my favourite matches (HitC 1 and Good Friends, Better Enemies) are favourites specifically because they feature HBK getting the SHIT beat out of him.

 

Kane - Meh. I really don't give a rat's ass about Kane. He's not terrible, I guess, but his character doesn't interest me at all, and neither do his matches.

 

Nobuhiko Takada - Sorry, nothing.

 

Terry Taylor - Nothing. Man, I suck.

 

Honky Tonk Man - I think the only full HTM match I saw was when Warrior squashed the bejeesus out of him. I respect his accomplishments though, as he was apparantly able to find the right balance between being the annoying heel champ that everyone wants to see lose, without ever legit pissing off the fanbase to the point that they stopped caring.

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"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson: Best wrestler on the indy scene today. Perfect execution, great at involving the crowd, great facials, incredible at comedy, basic moveset that WORKS (seriously - airplane spin? awesome). Sometimes is too ambitious, but even that really isn't bad.

 

Mitsuharu Misawa: One of the best wrestlers ever. Anyone who has seen any All Japan from the 1990's will agree. And he founded NOAH. What a great guy.

 

El Hijo del Santo: One of the best wrestlers in the world, as well as probably the most underrated on the interweb due to how few people watch lucha. He had a great 2004 (the 3/28 Atlanta match vs La Parka, even clipped down to 10 minutes, is incredible, as is the 11/19 Guadalajara tag with Mistico against Guerreros Dos Infernos). He has a few stinkers, particularily the match vs Averno, but really, nobody is as good or consistent as Santito is.

 

Christian: Needs to expand his moveset and drop the chinlock. Also needs a push - he is on the top tier of good wrestlers in the WWE.

 

Nick Bockwinkel: I wish I've seen more of him. From what I've seen, he is really good. Haven't seen enough to form a real opinion though.

 

Shawn Michaels: MY BACK...OH GOD MY BACK...I CAN'T MOVE...SOMEBODY HELP ME...PLEASE GOD (BTW I'M RELIGIOUS) HELP ME...OH GOD THIS HURTS... *nip up*.

 

Kane: Has anybody gone through as much crap as he has? Katie Vick, the Shane feud, his backstory changing every week, being unmasked, being buried, "You're GONNA FACE KANE! What? You won?" every week for a year, turning every week, raping Lita, and more. And he is still way over. Surprisingly decent when wrestling somebody good.

 

Nobuhiko Takada: Haven't seen a lot of his stuff, but the Vader and Backlund matches are absolutely incredible and must see. All of you who haven't, see them ASAP.

 

Terry Taylor: I have seen next to no matches from him. I was going to make a bad Red Rooster joke, but that would be mean. And unfunny.

 

Honky Tonk Man: I hate him, if only for making promoters think they can do a "heel escapes every match with a cheap win and retains the belt for a year and no match can end clean" even now. But still, really good chickenshit heel.

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