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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kerry vs. Ric


Hey Scott,

Was bored on Friday night and watched The Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling on Netflix for a second time. Had a question I figured you could surely answer. Why was Kerry Von Erich chosen to wrestle and beat Ric Flair for the NWA title on the David Von Erich Memorial show? Was Kevin too smart to put himself in a position to know he would be a lame duck champion (Flair won the title back 18 days later)? Or, was Kerry just that much more over than his brothers at the time? 


Kerry was basically the backup plan for Hulkamania in Vince's mind, so yeah, he was that over.  That being said, I get the feeling that Kevin didn't particularly want it anyway.  Kerry could have totally carried the belt for a while if he was clean and dependable, but he wasn't, so c'est la vie.

91 comments:

  1. John Cena is what a sober Kerry Von Erich would have been. Yay or nay?

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  2. Dependable, sure. But come on, Scott. NOBODY was clean in the mid-'80s..

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  3. The Von Erich's had some mental demons too, I think. Cena seems to be fairly mentally sound. (Just don't complain about him sleeping with your girlfriend because then he gets all "Your Fired!")

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  4. I've read everywhere that Kerry was especially fucked up all the time and it affected his ring work. Which is saying something considering how freely rec drugs were taken back then.

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  5. Whose girlfriend did John Cena sleep with?

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  6. I susppose Fritz often used these deaths or other controversies as launching pads for angles for his sons, so perhaps he thought Kerry would benefit more from the push.

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  7. Some people will try to claim that all the Von Erichs were equally big stars and pushed equally hard in World Class. Don't kid yourselves--Kerry was the biggest star, period. He was the "uncrowned champion" from mid-'82 onward, not Kevin or David. He was also much bigger in All-Japan, an important consideration since the champ was going to have to go over there.

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  8. Kenny Dykstra's girlfriend Mickie James. Or at least that was the rumor and what Kenny says happened.

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  9. According to Kenn Doane (Spirit Squad Kenny), it was Cena who broke up his engagement to Mickie James. I think anyway...I also seem to recall Doane saying something about Cena having relations with Victoria so it gets hard to keep the kayfabe straight sometimes...

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  10. I've been watching the history of World Class on 24/7, and EVERT. DAMN. EPISODE. has Hayes from the studio talking about how "now is when World Class was really taking off, and everyone wanted to be a part of it, and it was getting huge."


    Well, at this point in the run David had just passed, so I'd argue that the big boom for World Class was over, and post Kerry winning the the title was on the way down (though you still had Gino/Adams to look forward to). But I just find it annoying that Hayes keeps pimping WCCW as this huge thing at that point when clearly it had cooled off. The last year had been nothing but a zillion permutations of von Erichs vs. Freebirds, with Jimmy Garvin bouncing around a bit and Devastation incorporated pulling out its latest monster. Even Sunshine/Precious had cooled off.


    It strikes me that in World Class, it was really busy with not a lot going on, if that makes sense. I mean, I enjoy watching it, but it doesn't feel OMG!!! like it did in late '82 into mid '83.

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  11. Scott, have you ever stumbled on the match Kerry and Flair had in 1992? Looks like it was in Europe somewhere. Sort of amazing to see Flair carrying a completely broken down Kerry to ***+, even by 1992 Flair standards.

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  12. Yeah that is a decent little match. I think it was recorded in Barcelona, and I want to say it was only included on one of those WWF $9.95 EP/SLP releases they started pushing in 1992.

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  13. I could go either way on that one. A couple of energetic, well built, virtuous (character-wise), teen idol types. In that case, there are similarities.



    Without Hennig, Flair, or his brothers (in tag matches) to carry him, though, I haven't really seen many good matches out of him. Still, I haven't seen too much WCCW stuff before he lost his foot, so I haven't seen too much of him at his physical peak. With that being said, Cena just seems like a worker that is light years ahead of Kerry and has the mental acumen of a superstar.



    I'm a fan of a lot his work despite the drug abuse. I would think a sober Kerry would reach a Bret Hart level of stardom, but not near Cena's level. In the end, it's too hard to play hypothetical for me because I just knew two Kerrys: 1. F'ed up Kerry. 2. Even more F'ed up Kerry.

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  14. Bret Hart's stardom>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Cena's.

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  15. Yeah, it was on World Tour. Not the 1990 or 1991 version, but a cheaper title that has British Bulldog on the cover. I actually found that tape in an old box a few months ago and watched that Flair/Von Erich match and it was solid.

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  16. Side bar, but Kenny Dykstra has to go down as one of the dumbest wrestling names ever. I get that he was a fan of Lenny Dykstra, but that'd be like a Barry Bonds fan naming themselves Larry Bonds or a Troy Aikman fan naming themselves Roy Aikman. It seems so silly to me.

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  17. That's a lot of drama over one of the lesser attractive divas... that thing must be like a vice grip...

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  18. which sounds pretty stupid. if someone broke up his engagement, it was Mickie.

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  19. It's funny how many of those titles they reused. At least with the World Tour tapes they numbered them by year, but there are several titles with the same name -- I believe there are like three versions of a tape called "Wrestling Superheros"

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  20. Except Jerry Lawler, or so he's claimed.

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  21. The match is on Wrestling World Tour (WS920). The date of the match was Oct 5, 1991.

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  22. I'm not surprised that WCCW doesn't hold up 30 years after it happened. Hell, a lot of 1999 WWF doesn't hold up and that's only 13-14 years after the fact.


    I'm only 25 so I never watched World Class but every time I check it out, it doesn't do anything for me. However I'm always impressed by the ridiculous crowd reactions to everything. Not sure how so many people can scream for so long.

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  23. WCCW's production values with their six cameras and multiple microphones enabled the crowd to be extremely loud. To my knowledge WCCW never needed "audio sweetening" the way WCW and early WWF did.

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  24. Let me be the fist to say I'd blow Mickie's back out if given the chance.

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  25. Too each their own of course. But to me she is a 6 on the regular person scale and like a 4 on the diva scale... I would of course still hit it (as if that is a difficult honor to earn).


    That of course is what I WOULD say if I didn't only have eyes for Mrs. Parallax1978

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  26. Try a little harder. That was only a 0.7 on the Dougie Scale.

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  27. BAM NEELY~!

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  28. The Texas Stadium show was where David was supposed to beat Ric for the NWA belt, because they thought World Class had the best chance to take on Vince, and David its best wrestler. But after David's death in Japan, Kerry got the shot and went over because if he didn't, the promotion would have collapsed. The problem with that was nobody trusted Kerry to be a reliable champ, thus he jobbed it back to Ric in Japan. Heck, if Kerry did ever get his act together, he probably would have been champ as long as he wanted to be, he was that over. The fact that he couldn't get it together just showed how screwed up everything was in World Class, and the Von Erich family in general.

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  29. Yeah, I thought about him after I posted.

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  30. If we're talking steroids, sure. But based on the way he booked Memphis it's pretty clear he had some of the most potent weed known to man.

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  31. Unfortunately, I don't think there's too many sober Kerry moments to give this a response.

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  32. Don't foget the match with Lawler at Superclash. Still holds up as an awesome bloodbath. And it's in 1988 which means it's Even more F'ed up Kerry.

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  33. He claims he's never done any drugs, not even a sip of alcohol.

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  34. ..the misses is reading over your shoulder, huh? j/k

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  35. You never know!

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  36. Suffice to say, when it's all said and done, you're right. Any wrestling fan worth his salt remembers Bret Hart. They just look at Cena as the guy that wears jean shorts to the ring.


    Also, Bret Hart was on the fucking Simpsons. How many wrestlers can say that?

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  37. Kerry was the one Ric mentioned wrestling in his book where he was so whacked out of his mind that he did a sunset flip to an invisible man?

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  38. And to that I respond, "Ta-Gar!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VylZhputrk

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  39. I dont recall Kerry ever giving goofy smiles during serious angles....

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  40. In the mainstream world, Bret wishes he was over like Cena. I still see football players in the NFL doing the "You cant see me" thing....


    Even in his heyday, Bret was never over like that outside of wrestling....

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  41. Victoria came right out and admitted her and Cena were road fuck buddies...

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  42. No disrespect to Cena, but in-ring, John Cena absolutely COULD NOT TOUCH Kerry Von Erich

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  43. Man whatever.....I'd do them both - in a heartbeat

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  44. You forgot to ass "when he was sober" to that.

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  45. It also helped that the Sportatorium was a tiny building. (4500 capacity. There are bigger high school gyms.)

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  46. DOn't shit on Kerry like that. . . .

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  47. So is Dolph Ziggler to be honest. Some of these guys are set up to fail before they even wrestle a match with these awful names but as Ziggler proves talent alone can get you over with the fans.

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  48. As a Phillies fan, hearing what I thought was "Lenny Dykstra" while I was in the kitchen cooking but instead seeing Kenny from the Spirit Squad when I go into the living room was the biggest disappointment ever.

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  49. I think you're looking at things from a 20-30-something smark perspective though. People who are 12 now will likely have fond memories of rooting for Cena during this time and then enjoy his (someday) heel turn. Their opinions of him will likely be inflated by timeframe, just like ours are inflated by our timeframe. Sure, a lot of older fans stopped watching b/c of Cena, but they were replaced by a huge number of fans that got into wrestling b/c of Cena.



    Cena's mainstream appeal is also higher in the USA (WWE's primary market and biggest fanbase) than Bret's ever was.

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  50. Abso-fucking-lutely. She is gorgeous.

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  51. Dude...a 6?!?! We must live on different planets.

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  52. Adolf Ziegler was a nazi artist y'know.

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  53. You're totally correct. Cena is SO far ahead of Kerry Von Erich as a worker that he couldn't reach down and touch him.

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  54. Still a terrible wrestling name..

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  55. Could the Claw/Discuss Punch have been a substitute for the Big Boot/Leg Drop? And if we'd pledged allegiance as Modern Day Warriors would the have been room for the Ultimate Warrior? It's such an inprobable alternate timeline, but interesting to speculate about nevertheless. It's hard to imagine Von Erich/Piper but Von Erich/Savage could have been interesting. And where would Andre have fit in? It's seldom said, but I think it's for the best that Hogan was the guy.

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  56. So let him bang a teenager now and then, the man's earned it.

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  57. I've seen Randy Moss throw a fit because someone else got the ball, so Bret has some influence in the NFL.

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  58. At his best, Kerry was a much better worker than Cena. Once he had the leg operation, that took a lot out of him, but the guy still put on some tremendous matches vs. Lawler and Mr. Perfect (though it can be argued with the right opponent)

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  59. The one two punch of the Screw Job and Owen dying made Hart more famous than Cena ever will be. Unless something crazy happens in his career, Cena is just going to be another HHH.

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  60. No, he wasn't. He was, when sober and at his peak, a decent worker who either was put over almost eveyone else (WCCW) or matched with opponents who knew to bump like ping pong balls for him. Cena isn't just better, he's FAR better. Kevin was a superior worker to Kerry, in fact.

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  61. That's not saying much. There are a lot of people that consider Kevin the best worker in the Von Erich family, if not in all of WCCW.


    Never understood the barefoot thing, though. Was Kevin part samoan? :)

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  62. In the wrestling world maybe, outside of it more people know who Cena is. Cena was in the Marine dammit...


    I hate to say it but HHH is more well known in the world than Hart also.



    Bret was on top during a down cycle in wrestling, Cena is headlining Mania's with crazy numbers. Sorry, it isnt close.

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  63. "I was promised a long pass from Tom Brady on the biggest stage of them all and instead he went with Welker. The day was ruined for all my fans in attendance as they failed to see their hero win that day..."

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  64. Did You Know?
    Kerry Von Erich is #275 on the Bret Hart list of a 1000 wrestlers better than HHH.

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  65. Dude are you serious? Kevin may have been a better worker, but definitely not Cena. His numbers are match-by-numbers. You could count the spots 1-2-3 in order half the time. Part of that is probably WWE style where you have to hit the finishers at least once to end the match, but still.

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  66. Kevin wanted the belt. He was pissed that Kerry was Dad's choice to go over. He felt being the oldest should have made him the champ.

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  67. Rose colored glasses here. Cena is a WAY better worker than Kerry and has worked with a monumentally larger array of styles and athletes. Kerry was, even before the motorcycle accident, a good athlete with a great body, but a mediocre in ring worker. He was fine for the 80's and deservedly a big star, but by no means was he great in the ring.



    As you correctly note, most of Cena's "trademark" spots are just WWE style - nearly all of the current WWE roster has their set of personalized spots.

    Kerry had a small handful of four star or better matches, and his two best performances ever were vs. Harley Race and Ric Flair, who both carried their respective matches. Cena's dropped around a dozen four or five star matches during his WWE tenure and is the best conditioned US worker of the last decade.

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  68. The fact is, we have seen waaaay more of Cena's work than we could possibly see of Kerry's. If we see 1000 Cena matches, then a few are bound to fall between ***1/2 and *****, whereas not as much of Kerry's work is accessible. Kerry had a dozen four or five star matches with Flair alone, let alone his matches with Race, Lawler, Henning, and tag matches with the Freebirds and the like. I'm not at all saying Cena isnt a good worker. I'm just saying Kerry is better (so is Kevin for that matter).

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  69. Where are you getting "a dozen of four or five star matches with Flair"
    from? The local swings that the NWA would do? That's a pretty bold
    assumption and one that you'd obviously base way more on Race and Flair carrying local talent than anything else.

    I've seen a ton of WCCW stuff. Kerry was decidedly average in the ring. His matches with Hennig all (to my knowledge) came after he lost the foot. The tag matches with the Freebirds (and against Gina Hernandez and Chris Adams) were probably his best work overall, actually, since he could play the hero rescuing the FIP - that was clearly his best role. Honestly, even among the WCCW guys he barely a top five worker - Kevin, Chris Adams, Gino Hernandez and Terry Gordy were all better.

    I'm not hating on Kerry; he was a STAR and deservedly so, but just was not a great in-ring worker.

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  70. Wow! Yeah this would be an "agree to disagree" topic....the top 5 point is ridiculous (though you have a point: Terry Gordy was pretty awesome). I got several **** range Kerry-Flair matches on my old VHS tapes alone that I dont have time/inclination to pull out....its like apples and oranges i suppose. Some like apples (and WWE style) and some like Oranges (and old school). The business in itself is very subjective. Either way, dude's death and the whole family in general was a pretty tragic situation

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  71. Agree to disagree. I'm far more of an old school 80s NWA fan than anything else. Actually, I think Kerry would be BETTER in today's WWE: short matches, three or four characteristic spots (the claw, the discus punch, the backslide) and a very limited moveset.


    Yeah, Gordy pre-brain damage was one of the best big-man workers I've ever seen.

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  72. Headlining Mania's with crazy numbers thanks to guys like Mayweather, Trump, and THE ROCK.

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  73. Has Cena ever guest starred on the Simpsons?

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  74. "The one two punch of the Screw Job and Owen dying made Hart more famous than Cena ever will be." There are debatable opinions and then there are things that are just factually incorrect. This is the latter. Outside of wrestling fandom, no one gives a shit about Bret Hart or likely even remembers him. Cena's top 10 PPV buy-rates are probably all higher than Bret's #1 highest. Trust me, as a wrestling fan, I'd rather watch Bret all day long. But to compare fame and favor Bret is honestly laughable. And that's before we even get into longevity as a main-eventer. Cena is now into his 9th year at the top of the card. That's more than twice as long as Bret.

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  75. At this point, wouldn't the mere mention of Lenny Dykstra be enough to spark some disappointment?

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  76. There's no question that Hogan was the best choice, I don't even know that an argument can logically be made otherwise. Forget about in-ring differences, what made Hogan the right choice was the larger-than-life personality. The guy's charisma was undeniable, no matter how a lot of us feel about him now. He looked super-imposing in the ring, could be booked to consistently beat giants without the risk of exposing the business, and, most importantly, could connect with everyone in the audience on the stick (in spite of his cartoonishness). Can anyone recall a really good Kerry promo?

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  77. Actually, I'm more of a fan of Mid-South/UWF than anything.
    You're probably right as far as Kerry in today's WWE with the 6-8 minute TV matches. Can you imagine a mid-80s Kerry vs. Triple H?
    Also, let me point out; he wasn't a HORRIBLE worker after the accident (he had a 60-minute draw with Lawler, and the ppv match - not to mention the series with Perfect which wasnt bad), but was waaaay better beforehand.


    We agree 100% agree on Terry Gordy. Maybe one of the 5 most underrated performers in the history of the business. Dude was awesome as they come!

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  78. So Cena had nothing to do with those numbers?

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  79. This was a great post right here....

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  80. 23, 24, 27 and 28?


    Nope.


    My uncle wanted to watch 24 JUST for the Mayweather match, didn't know who he was facing, didn't know main event, he just knew that Mayweather was fighting on a wrestling PPV, and wanted to watch it when he saw I was ordering it.


    27 and 28, every single person I knew watched for the Rock, didn't know who his opponent was, just watched to see the Rock in the WWE again.


    Those extra buys those shows did were thanks to the other guys. Cena brought in the usual market, everyone else bumped the numbers to the staggering degree they were bumped to.

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  81. How can you know who brought in what numbers? Im not saying the special guests didnt bump the numbers but acting like Cena had pretty much nothing to do with it is weak. Face it, Cena is a better draw than Hart ever was and is the bigger star. It's not close.

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  82. they said it was built in such a way that the crowd was so loud, guys could yell spots and the fans wouldnt hear it.

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  83. you are smoking. cena can wrestle and work.
    kerry could just work

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  84. You are really undermining Cena's mainstream appeal.

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  85. Again, we can agree to disagree....but that is a fair assessment - not that Cena is a particularly great "wrestler"

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  86. Of course. Plus, i havent been clicking on the blog 200 times a day so Im reading the past topics since ive been out.


    I saw the undercard back and forth after i posted and said, "welp no need for my two cents, they are going at it."

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  87. Ziggler is such a bad name. Granted, Dolph has gotten himself over at this point, but no matter how well he does in the future, I can't see him as the face of the company with a name as terrible as Dolph Ziggler. You'd never be embarrassed to tell a non-fan that you loved "The Rock" or "Stone Cold," but I'd feel like an idiot telling someone who didn't watch that I loved "Dolph Ziggler."

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