Thursday, September 18, 2014

WWE.com Interview with the "Leaders of the New School"

Here is an interview with Prince Devitt, Kevin Steen, Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn, and KENTA Hideo Itami as they talk about their generation.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/wwenxt/wwe-nxt-sami-zayn-adrian-neville-fergal-devitt-kevin-steen-hideo-itami-interview-26641720

87 comments:

  1. Just killing time until the Vaudevillains get the titles they deserve and those two masked boring guys can go be boring elsewhere.

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  2. Just watched Hideo's match on YT. He looked decent but gave Gabriel too much. His kick on Gabriel's leapfrog looked cool.

    I think Hideo would be better off coming in as a cocky heel. He seems better suited to it as he has this smug expression that he's better than everyone and had some funny taunts on Gabriel.

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  3. Great interview. Loved how open everyone was from Zayn calling a locker room meeting to Steen and others having a chip on their shoulder about bodybuilders getting tryouts.

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  4. I read this earlier today and thought it was great. Maybe WWE.com is finally starting to "get it." Best is the link within the story about the "history of the handshake".

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  5. Loved how Steen asked Itami if he came back to reclaim the Go to Sleep.

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  6. And then in Tommy's review, he used the top rope stomp as a finish instead. BOO!

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  7. Have you seen KENTA in ROH?

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  8. Easily the best interview the website has done. I thought the best part was them name checking all the current top guys on the indies they want to get signed.

    Also loved the part about stereotypes, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were them with Vince still running things.

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  9. The idea that Steen learned English from Jim Ross commentary is hilarious to me.

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  10. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 18, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    WWE.com does a bang-up job. The main company, not so much.

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  11. The best part about being fans of these guys is you know they won't be dicked around when they get called up because HHH guys.

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  12. HHH is a huge proponent of Cesaro and Vince still refuses to push him. It's not an automatic.

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  13. Styles runs it, yeah? So no surprise there.

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  14. I'm saying these guys will all be in the main event right away but even look at Cesaro, still gets a lot of TV time and a PPV match even with Vince not liking him.

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  15. I don't think so, but I've only seen maybe a dozen ROH shows.

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  16. Way to not mention the WWE star that trained you, Kevin! *grumble*

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  17. Love that the WWE seems to be "going all in" on these guys, or at least as much as they can short of bringing them up right now.
    Hopefully this leads to them pushing to sign more indy guys and not just develop their own starts. I can't think of many 100% WWE trained guys outside of Ziggler. Miz maybe?

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  18. Adrian Neville is good,but he's really the odd man out of this group, talent wise.

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  19. Surprised that KENTA said Ibushi would be the best choice to come over from Japan...Nakamura seems a far better choice.

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  20. Here are the rankings of who will make it from top to bottom:
    Devitt
    Zayn
    Steen
    Neville
    Itami

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  22. Gunther the Nasty LoserSeptember 18, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Leaders of the New School?

    FALSE advertising.

    Nowhere do I see any references to Busta Rhymes.

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  23. Steen is my favorite,

    But it's a total crap shoot if he can make it for reasons we've already discussed it.

    So I'd agree with keeping him in the middle

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  24. As Biscuit! mentioned already, a stable/faction with these guys would be epic. These guys each bring something unique and exciting to the company, and coming up together could have a tremendous impact on WWE and the individual performers. Rather than bringing them up with a mediocre gimmick or angle, they can be a breath of fresh air like the Radicalz or the Shield.


    Really cool interview. It reminds of seeing Michigan's old Fab Five. New guys looking to change the game.

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  25. I know his offense is his strength and Foley's strength was bumps/selling, but I feel like he'll fill a good role like a Mick Foley did for his size. WWE hasn't had a guy like him in a long time.

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  26. It's so amazing how much the main WWE product seems so disconnected from all of the other projects WWE does. It's hard to believe that NXT is even remotely the same company at times. Goes to show that guys like Vince and Kevin Dunn have got to go.

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  27. Oh zayn is gonna be the guy out of all them IMO

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  28. Yeah, that shit is awesome in Japan with their Juniors sometimes.

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  29. I thought that but Devitt is the most charismatic guy of the bunch, IMO. He has it in spades.

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  30. Foley's transformation interview has got to be one of the best things ever in wrestling. He just changes clothes, and somehow becomes three distinct characters, just a master at what he did.

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  31. There would be an 18 month interim between a YES vote and the transfer of power. I imagine the majority of people would flee to England during that time.

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  32. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 18, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    It's so weird to see him treated as three completely separate personas then as opposed to now where the three faces of Foley are seen as "Mick Foley as ____"

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  33. I'd love to see them in this Radicalz style stable--reference their international backgrounds, but (like they said) don't go overboard with anti-American or stereotypical international gimmicks. Let them freshen up the mid-card scene for a couple of years, adding prestige to the tag, US, and IC titles, then see who is ready to move up the card.

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  34. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomerySeptember 18, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    When he wants to, HHH shows ass (not in the way Shawn did in matches when someone inevitably pulled his tights down) as good as anyone.

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  35. Y'know, Foley had some great matches as Dude Love (the Austin match at OTE comes immediately to mind) but the character was a bit too corny and artificial/unconvincing for my tastes.

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  36. Yeah, his recent work in his Authority character has had a lot of that. Him bumping like crazy for Bryan in their brawl before 'Mania was awesome.

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  37. Honestly, the criticism you pointed out here could be applied to his ROH and Japan matches. I still like him though. Check out this vid of him murdering Eddie Edwards!

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=w1pvcUyC820

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  38. I cant wait until Vince steps down and HHH and Steph can Dunn.

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  39. Okada I think could do well

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  40. Scotland would be the 14th biggest economy in the world if they seceded, and wouldn't be tethered to the stupid economic decisions made in Westminster if they did. That's not to say they wouldn't make stupid decisions independently, but the current British economic model is a race to the bottom that harms UK economic fundamentals whilst boosting that most volatile and risky of sectors - banking.

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  41. Ha, I never thought about it like that. It's awesome how he could go from "Wait, Mankind is actually THREE guys?" to "Oh yeah, Foley has three other dudes living inside him".

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  42. I think that's cool, in the fact he's just beating the shit out of someone. It's different when it's striking...not like it's Steiner using a belly to belly as his only offense because he had nothing else.

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  43. came here to make the same joke. Spirits be kindred

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  44. Just another case of that old N-X-T

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  45. There's a LOT more to Itami than just kicks, although I appreciate your concern with such a small sample size. He can put an incredible match together and can do it all. He mostly uses kicks instead of generic strikes. His total moveset is Daniel Bryan plus CM Punk. You'll like him when you see more.

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  46. That's always the frustrating thing for me about Hunter--his inconsistency. When he's ON there are very few that are better, when he wants to he can make a star like few others, when he feels like it he can show ass and make someone look like a killer. 50% of the time Triple H is one of the best ever. However, 50% of the time Triple H is a guy who USED to be one of the best.

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  47. I don't agree with your percentages, but your core premise is right. The problem is, HHH only really ever showed ass for, like, maybe nine or ten guys over a twenty year career, and even then inconsistently.


    Imagine if he'd treated Punk like an actual threat instead of a speed bump?

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  48. I agree with the NWO growing stale and Starcade 97 should have been the end of the NWO... I actually think that after Wrestlemania 13 to the Montreal Screwjob was one of my favorite time periods and I felt WCW had some great stuff too, with DDP v Macho being a great feud and the Mysterio v Eddie feud ending with the great Halloween Havoc MOYC... But

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  49. NO is kicking ass and taking names.

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  50. Well, they also didn't mention Punk by name, and Punk is way more favored by the company.

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  51. He also doesn't have back problems before the age of 30.

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  52. Zayn has no proven track record as a heel, and he kinda looks like crap, not Steen crap, but still not great.


    I have a feeling Zayn will get the Kofi Kingston role of plucky babyface.


    Name the last babyface who made it to the top of the card without gaining popularity first as a badass/entertaining/funny heel? Nobody works their way up from babyface anymore.

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  53. KENTA's teamed with Ibushi in the past, I'm pretty sure he's never worked with most of the New Japan guys. Japan's brand loyalty goes pretty damn deep.

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  54. I can't wait for Stevin Keen to debut.

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  55. I didn't know Jacques Rougeau had heat with the company.

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  56. Is anyone else really digging Big Cass and Enzo? Their chemistry is like a cross between the New Aged Outlaws and Edge & Christian. Their segments are a highlight of the show for me. I'm looking forward to a possible program between them and the Vaudvillains.

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  57. Zayn looks like crap? People like you are the reason wrestlers have body image issues.

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  58. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieSeptember 18, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Itami is going to be bigger than Neville at the very least.

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  59. Kenta's match on NXT was so many levels of dull. But I wouldn't judge him on that.... obviously he's great, just was a combination of time contstraint and that it seemed to be an awkward lack of chemistry between the two. I would have thought he'd gel better with Gabriel, but oh well

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  60. I think he has heat with the Clique, which might be more important, especially considering who's protecting The Newer Generation.

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  61. Everything is relative, especially appearances. For an average human, walking on the street? Zayn is above-average to good looking. For a career based around physical appearance? Zayn looks bad, he's pale, hairy and lacks both definition and size, plus he's a ginger.


    I'm also the sort of asshole who says that Kate Upton is overrated, because as a model, she is. By the standards of most humans, Bo Dallas is a tremendous athlete, by the standards of wrestlers? He's pretty shitty.


    This isn't Little League, where everybody can get a trophy, being attractive is a native talent that people hone, it's no more insulting to say that Sami Zayn looks like shit than it is to say that Randy Orton is a boring wrestler or Dolph Ziggler is tremendously unlikable or Sheamus is bad at promos or Nikki Bella can't act. It's not their fault, but that doesn't mean I can't criticize them for their shortcomings.


    If you don't want to judged for your failings, don't enter a field where those failings are going to be obvious. I have little to no talent with music, so guess what? You won't catch me working as a musician.

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  62. I am too. They're good stuff.

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  63. I know everyone is discussing who their favorite is, but can we just take a minute to let it sink in that all these guys are in the same company together where they may have a chance to become superstars? If it wasn't for some of the goofy storylines and commentary, this would be the best time to be a wrestling fan.

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  64. Still don't see him and think "crap". Even though he's a (gasp, prepares to cut wrist before the horror can truly descend) GINGER!?!?

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  65. I agree. And the only thing* that matters with a wrestler's appearance is that it in some way distinguishes him. Foley was a fat guy in tattered clothes. Austin was the most plain-looking wrestler just about ever. Punk was a paunchy small dude covered in awful tats and (ironically) usually looked like he was coming off a heroin bender. Bryan is a tiny dude whose entire face is covered in shaggy hair.

    But they all had the talent, charisma and ability many times over to connect with a crowd, and as such unique looks helped, not hurt, even compared to the bodybuilders.

    I think Phred's relevant point, though, is that Zayn doesn't have a heel track record, and you have to go back to Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio to find main eventers who didn't first establish themselves as heels. Personally, I think he has what it takes to join them in that outlier group, but only time will tell.



    *Obviously a great physique helps, but the point is a "bad" look isn't a hindrance if you have the attributes that actually matter.

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  66. This is extremely flawed logic. You are judging on appearance and then use the analogy of you not being talented at music. The analogy when compared to Zayn would be, "I'm extremely talented, do my job well, play a mean fucking guitar, but some people think I'm fat dumb asshole who's too ugly to play that awesome of a guitar."


    They'd probably be right about you, but Zayn will do fine.

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  67. Well, you said it all nicer than I did, so kudos.

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  68. Yeah, Steen has most in common with the Cactus Jack persona.


    No nonsense hyper violence.


    Being a more aggressive Foley would be an awesome career arc for Steen

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  69. My point isn't just that he's unattractive for a wrestler, my point is that he doesn't look badass for a wrestler, his "look", is bad. And speaking as a person who watches wrestling with casuals, look matters.


    And Zayn is very talented, I'm sure he can overcome his shitty look, Bryan did, but Bryan was a transcendent talent that got to the top partially based upon the weakness of the roster at the time. It's going to be harder for him, just like it's harder for Neville, who can't talk.


    Pointing out these flaws isn't me attacking the person, it's basic criticism. Product X consists of Traits A, B and C, Trait B is bad, me pointing that out doesn't mean that Product X on a whole is bad or Product X is morally deficient because Trait B is bad, all it means is that Trait B is bad.

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  70. The unique thing falls apart a bit because at the end of the day, we're supposed to buy these guys as FIGHTERS. Zayn looks like he's going to sell you vegan cupcakes. Even Foley had the scary homeless guy thing going on.


    And as to the point about being a heel? Yeah, I think that's more relevan, and it also ties into the whole "looks" thing, because we're more likely to root for people that are more handsome. There's a reason Vader deformed and Luke was a teen idol. And while Zayn may be attractive enough for a Wes Anderson film, I don't think he holds up in a wrestling ring.


    Yet again, he's VERY good, but he's got some major hurdles to overcome. I hope he succeeds, because I like talents that aren't necessarily the total package, but there's always the understanding that they have holes in their game.


    And all those guys you mentioned, Foley, Austin, Punk, Bryan? Yet again, they were heels, were being classically handsome is less important. Zayn is a guy who's only done babyface, and he doesn't have the traditional babyface look.

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  71. How is my logic flawed? Attractiveness is not just a talent, it's a relevant talent for wrestling because wrestling is a performance based, visual artform.



    Saying that looks don't matter is delusional. Leading actors are attractive, successful frontmen/frontwomen are attractive or at least visually compatible with the genre. Your guitarist analogy doesn't work because not every member of the band needs to be the frontman, unlike wrestling which is a SOLO artform (rather, you are interested in getting yourself over, not working as part of an ensemble), and looking like a fat dumb asshole works for some genres of music (metal for instance).


    Sami Zayn looks like the lead trombonist in an indie rock group, not a badass wrestler who we should expect to go one on one with Big Show or Brock Lesnar and have the chance of victory (and if you say well, we shouldn't expect him to have a chance at victory, then you're basically dooming him to the mid-card).


    There's a place for talented technicians who don't have the looks to be megastars, there's a behind the scene role (agent), or a role as bit-players (jobbers), or they rule the smaller circuits (indies), or they're so good, everything else is unimportant (Bryan).

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  72. Okay, I can agree that his look isn't the doesn't fit the prototypical main event template. But he's got a unique ability to connect with the fans and I think that's going to work in his favor. The El Generico gimmick never should have got over like it did, but Zayn found a way to connect despite the visual and language barriers that separated him from the audience. That talent might be worth more than looking like Cena or Orton. If nothing else, he'll have a long career if he can stay healthy because he's shown he can make a goofy comedy gimmick pay off.

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  73. Zayn has tons of upside, he's a good athlete, a great babyface when it comes to psychology, he's definitely got charisma, and his mic skills aren't bad, so I will totally agree with anybody who says he has a future.


    Devitt's going to be the big star of the five because Devitt exudes badassery and he falls exactly into the proper bodytype for what WWE (and the fans) expect out of top guys. I also feel that he's the most well-rounded style wise, as he's done babyface and WWE style heel, so he has the experience to do whatever they throw at him.


    Neville isn't going to do well because he's foreign, not fluent in English and he wrestles a style that's both dangerous and associated with mid-carders, sorry guys, but Neville is the next Evan Bourne, not the next Rey.


    Steen is fucked, he's already got health problems and I don't think his matches will hold up without stupid dangerous moves and copious amounts of blood. At his best, he'll be Bray Wyatt, but that's unlikely as Bray is both taller and fits the cartoony nature of WWE better than Steen's more mundane psychopathic heel shit.


    Itami is the wildcard, as he has the most prestige and momentum, but he's also Japanese and they haven't historically done so well in WWE. I mean, Sin Cara looked like a can't miss star, and while Poru translates better to the US than Lucha, I feel that Itami will be overshadowed by the American's who wrestle the Japanese style in a more palatable manner to American audiences (there's no way WWE will let him be super stiff, and the audience has already been exposed to the moves he could do). Plus he's short and can't speak English. Of course, he has the highest upside as he legitimately does stuff that nobody else (even Devitt and Zayn) can do and he has an intensity and a psychology that nobody else has. He's the most interesting as he has the most hurdles to overcome, but also the most potential.

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  74. No one ever said Zayn should beat Big Show or Brock Lesnar. Most have said his talent in the ring alone should give him an invitation to the big stage. That's all. You can be mid-card and be a star.


    Whatever your hang ups are with looks is, that's on you. But there are plenty of people who have had excellent careers in their fields that were extremely talented but weren't the pretty things in the world. No matter, Sami Zayn isn't an ugly guy. You might come from the school of Vince McMahon, where the muscles make the star, and in some ways that's true. But then there are some guys who get over purely on what they can do. Bret Hart wasn't winning any beauty pageants. Neither was DDP. Neither was Savage. Neither was a whole lot of guys who got over based on character and in-ring ability.

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  75. You think way too much about this.

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  76. "Neville isn't going to do well because he's foreign, not fluent in English..." So you're just making things up now? While it's true that Neville isn't that great on the mic, he is CERTAINLY fluent in English, considering he's from fucking Newcastle, England. Are you kidding me with this tripe?

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  77. I've never denied that Sami Zayn could do well, I hope he does, I like Zayn, my feelings about Zayn as a whole are unrelated to this particular component of the discussion. This blog is about the examination and cerebral criticism of professional wrestling and professional wrestlers.


    One of the aspects of wrestling that can be examined and criticized is "The Look" and Zayn has issues with his look that I attempted to bring up. And considering that people were not arguing with me about whether his look was bad, but rather discrediting the idea that it's an aspect of wrestling we should talk about indicates to me that people share (at least on a subconscious level) my thoughts.


    Believe me, Vince McMahon isn't reading this blog and because of my comments now realizes Sami Zayn has a lower than average look. Us talking about this doesn't mean they're going to fire him anymore than saying Zooey Deschanel's creaky-voice will fry her vocal chords is going to get New Girl cancelled.

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  78. I'm a philosophy major with an emphasis in aesthetics, so this shit is instinctual for me.

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  79. ...I was making a joke. A joke many Geordies make about themselves.


    Though considering how pissed off you are, I'm severely tempted to keep fucking with you.


    P.S. Though if you can make out more than half of what he's saying in his promos, I commend you.

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  80. No, I just think you're being shallow.

    There are always exceptions to the rule otherwise we wouldn't have the saying.

    At this point we're just talking in circles.

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  81. Ah, well it all makes perfect sense now.

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  82. I'm not pissed at all. I just think some douche that tries to sound smarter than he is. If you are "fucking with me" at all on a comments section of a blog, then that's pretty sad.

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  83. Hey, I'm not trying to sound smarter, I'm trying to sound more educated.


    Get my pretensions right.

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  84. Shallow? This is wrestling, shallowness isn't a flaw of wrestling, it's the fucking point. You're what? Looking for the truth in wrestling? The truth is that wrestling is two guys in spandex pretending to hurt each other while grimacing. It's the flair, the panache, the absurdity that makes wrestling great, because without that, wrestling is lame.


    And I'd like to refute your point about attractiveness not being a talent, so if you'll indulge me...ahem.


    Every talent has two traits, inborn genetic/early childhood development, and later life honing. If talent was just something you could train, everybody that graduated from a performing arts school would be equally good, and that just isn't the case. Some people are naturally better actors, or painters or musicians, or athletes, but that natural ability is than focused and perfected to turn somebody into the top of their field.


    Attractiveness definitely has that genetic/early childhood development aspect to it, but you're delusional if you think that looking good doesn't take time, effort and constant vigilance to maintain, even people who are "naturally beautiful" do a lot of work to appear like they're doing no work. From hygiene to diet to exercise, being attractive is labor and people who are attracted should be commended for their labor. And before you call it a useless talent because it does not provide an useful product, I would ask you if you would think the same of Picasso, who also didn't do anything else but create beautiful things.

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