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Does anything in wrestling matter any more?


Guest Dazed

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Guest Dazed

Perhaps not the best title, but I didn't want to use "anything" twice in there.

 

Anyway...

 

Does anything matter any more? I was watching the "Bloodbath" DVD, and someone mentions that a plancha was a huge deal back then, because it was something that you never saw. Now, of course, you could see a plancha several times in one match.

 

Face and heel turns have lost meaning, because they happen so often. Back when I was a child, having a turn meant so much because you were so used to having someone as a good guy that having them cheat was a huge shock. Now, you've got someone like Brock Lesnar, who, over the course of a two year career turned something like 4 times. How do you get behind a character like that?

 

I'll never forget the Rockers breaking up. The superkick, followed by the throw threw the window was a huge moment. Now though... tag teams in general are just two guys with nothing better to do (look at RVD's 2003 / 2004 career), and the break up is inevitable. Meaningless.

 

Having a title belt. Partly HHH's fault, but holding the WWF title is just... nothing these days. It doesn't matter who the champion is, because the focus isn't neccessarily on them, nor are the necessarily the "best" on the card. Indeed, there's been so many titles that almost everyone on the active roster (other than new guys) have been a champion at some point.

 

Being number one contender. Partly a by-product of the General Manager as a character era, but title shots can be awarded for anything - winning a match, winning a tournament, or for no reason at all, regardless of the person's history. The ubiquitous "rematch clause" is lazy booking, and...

 

...means that having a match on PPV is devalued, since you'll get to see it again, almost guaranteed, on Raw the next night, or the week after or on next month's PPV.

 

The act of actually having a match doesn't matter. Remember when Russo could make a title match for later on in the same show, just a week before a PPV, and poor ol' Jim Ross had to sell it as though there was some intrigue as to who would win? Having two wrestlers go out and work doesn't matter because 50% of the time, the match is never referenced again, and 50% of the time, the consequences of the match are all that matters. It doesn't matter if, I dunno, Benoit beats Christian, it only matters that Tyson beats the shit out of Benoit after the match.

 

There are so many tired plot devices, too. Oh no! Shawn Michaels has been ejected from the building. Well, I bet that's the last we see of him tonight! Oh my, he's back. What a shock. Ah, well, he's been arrested now. There's definitely no way he'll be back. HOW DID HE DO THAT!!!!? LOL! Look at JR getting beaten up.

 

Oh, and there's cheating. Once upon a time, a heel cheating in a match would be enough to cause a rematch and it'd be a huge plot point. Now, it's expected and forgotten about. Even JR just acknowledges it with a weary, "that's just not right". If the production team see the cheating well enough to replay it, and JR notices it, and the person who's been hit with a belt presumably notices it, are we supposed to just accept that the referee gets let off for missing it? And what about the swarm of referees that are backstage ready to run out if there's a fight? Presumably they're watching...

 

So, is there anything that *does* mean something any more? Anything that matters? More things that used to matter, but don't?

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The Russo Theory that winning doesn't matter led to 50/50 booking where everyone had to get their win back. Winning and losing doesn't matter anymore because everyone (except HHH of course) is batting .500 or less.

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Guest Hunter's Torn Quad

Nothing matters on Raw that's for sure, because it will forever and always revolve around Triple H. It doesn't matter who comes along, what hot star catches fire, or what mega angle is run; in the end, it will all wind up revolving around Triple H.

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I don't think we see planchas in "every match", but I do think that very little has the impact it should anymore. Vince Russo fans can stick it -- his stink is still on the wrestling business and likely will be for some time. Angles used to always get over because they happened so rarely, and now, it's a tough sell, because the audience has been bombarded with them since 1998.

 

Quick, who all held the IC title in 1999? Exactly.

 

His overbooking, refusing to let the wrestling get over because he wanted to make his job as a writer seem more crucial, and his insistence on pissing off sponsors sent shockwaves through the business that are still being sorted out today. Vince has expressed recently how WWE is having a tough time getting big-name sponsors, but they had some tremendous accounts in 1999 before the PTC backlash, which was largely caused by Russo's booking. You still have writers who script everything down to the minute detail, to a point where the wrestlers aren't really encouraged to improvise or go with the flow. In WCW, Bret/Benoit was a clean match with a clean finish in October that got over with no problem. In November, he overbooked the match to Hell and killed its impact in the process.

 

I blame him, along with Foley falling off of that cage, for a lot of this, because wrestling hit a definite wall after that, and there's not really much left to do that hasn't already been done.

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Guest Some Guy

Quick, who all held the IC title in 1999? Exactly.

 

Off the top of my headShamrock, Road Dogg, Gofather, Goldust, JJ, Chyna, and Jericho.

 

Checked my PWI Almanac, I mised Val Venis, Edge, and D-Lo. [/done being a dick]

 

I agree with you on everything. I'm not sure I could name all the IC champs from 2001, 02, 03, or 04. I think that latter is partially Russo's legacy and part of it is the HHH centric booking of the last 3 years. The IC title hasn't meant anything for a long time. It used to be a prestigious thing that the winner cherished (Savage, Bret, HTM, etc...) or used to move to the next level (Warrior, Austin, Rock, etc...), now the belt means less than the NWA World title.

 

I mentioned in another thread that WWE needs to re-establish the rules and make Bischoff's character the unquestioned law on Raw and Long's on SD!. WWF got hot partially because they had a guy come up during a time when the rules were enforced and he broke all of them and all the taboos regarding language and gestures in WWF at the time. There are no rules now and the ones they hold onto are so unevenly applied that no one takes them seriously. And everybody (HHH included) should be subject to punishment for rule infractions. No more scared GM giving into the Game or being overriden by him. Why did Shawn need ot ask permission and be refused it for a handicap match but HHH booked his own and then booked the ME for next weeks Raw. Bischoff's music should have hit and he should have told him no, because no in the fucking world wants to see HHH beat up JR (again).

 

Why not start out slow by booking SHelton vs. Jericho on Raw next week and announcing a ten mintue time limit and havign them go to a draw? If the match is good people will want to see the rematch to get the clean finish.

 

Why not start counting people out on occasion? Or DQing every guy who gets caught cheating? Certain things are really lost on the newer OVW generation talent like distracting the ref.

 

Other things that irritate me are guys kicking out when their opponent has his feet on the ropes. No one kicked out of that 10 years ago, now you see it every week.

They need to establish unwritten rules like this again. Right now the only one is that no one kicks out of the Pedigree.

 

Finishers need to be established. I actually like what they are doing with Chris Masters, I just wish it wasn't with him or that finisher. What exactly is Edge's finisher? I have no idea because he (changed it so much from 2001-2003) and he never wins with it. That would be fine for a heel in another age, but it is established that HHH always wins with his finisher. Ever notice that a guy like Edge will hit a guy with a chair or something and pin him where as HHH will hit a guy with a sledgehammer and then Pedigree him before pinning him?

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Guest Cam Chaos

Short answer, no.

 

Long answer, no, because a lot of the roster lacks talent and charisma, so the only way to get people interested in the matches is to use props, highspots and overbooking to provoke a reaction that the majority of the wrestlers cannot generate by simply having a match.

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Guest Some Guy

You have to re-educate the fans to accept a certain style. They've done that pretty well with the mid-card but HHH ruins the thing by having more boring versions of 2000 ME matches.

 

Highspots are going to be part of any match. But they don't need to do a 450 splash off the titan tron. Benoit's diving headbutt is a highspot.

 

HHH's theory is that the show should be booked around the world title and that the undercard should not be allowed to show up the ME. I agree with the former to a degree (everybody's ultimate goal should be to be world champion) and disagree with the latter. I dont have a problem with certain limitations being placed on the unercard (no table spot or whatnot if the ME is using it) but what they've done is homogenize the entire roster so they all work the same and it's getting worse because all the new guys are being trained by the same person, who is forced to teach them a certain way.

 

I think WWE should take a page out of TNA or WCW's book and let the undercard tear it up. They have enough good workers to have great match underneath HHH/Batista and the more quality that the fans perceive they will get the more they will pay. As it stands now there are really no feuds in the mid-card and everybody is on the same level more or less because they are all booked that way.

 

Build a cruiserweight/X division, it doesn't have to be all Lucha stuff, there are a ton of good cruisers out there right now that don't do 16 hurrancanranas in a match. I'd find a Dean Malenko (a realistic mat wrestler) type cruiser and let him be the top heel in the division and bring in different faces and see who gets over. Guys like Low Ki, AJ Style, Christopher Daniels, etc... would all get over if given the chance to work and could potentially make the company some money. I'd book the second segment off SD! to be a cruiserweight match every week for two months and then look at the quarter hours and if they hold steady or increase I'd push the division to the moon.

 

They need diversity on the card, not of race (although that would help them in some demographics) but diversity of styles.

 

As, I said before a good place to start elevating someone would be next week. Book Shelton/Jericho and have it go the to the time limit, they could go all out for ten minutes and leave the fans wanting more. You book the rematch at Backlash and people would be interested. As it stands now their match at Backlash will be between a loser and a neglected champion. Who care? Give them something to fight about, even if it's a simple as "who is the better man?" Do the time limit as a face match and see who gets booed and then turn them at the PPV and you can get another quality match that people would enjoy at the following PPV. The winner of the feud then should move up a notch on the totem pole. Shelton and Benoit have some great matches in them.

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