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Woo Woo Woo... Roman Ryder!



I'm going to self-plagiarize a comment I made in tonight's Reigns thread for an e-mail:

You know who was more over than Roman Reigns? Zack Ryder.

You know who has a better personality than Roman Reigns? Zack Ryder.

You know who doubtlessly sold more merchandise at his peek than Roman Reigns? Zack Ryder.

You know who is better in the ring than Roman Reigns, even slightly? Zack Ryder.

You know who is the same age as Reigns (only 11 days older, in fact) and has years more ring experience? Zack Ryder.

You know who has more than a MILLION more Twitter followers than Roman Reigns (because WWE cares about that)? Zack Ryder.

You know who fans were unquestionably more willing to get behind than Roman Reigns? Zack Ryder.

Do I think Zack Ryder should've been pushed to the main event of WrestleMania as a face? Heck no. But even Zack Ryder circa 2011-12 was in better position to receive a mega face push than Roman Reigns in 2015 is.

So even though a guy "deserving of burial" like Ryder outclasses Reigns in every conceivable category except  "intimidating look", Reigns gets the superman push. Does it really come down to Vince just completely misreading his audience and/or having a massive hard-on for Reigns? 

-Michael Xavier


I believe if this were a rap battle, this is where you'd drop the microphone in dramatic fashion and walk off the stage.  

Comments

  1. You're up next. Someone has to toss up a 1996 WCW review before midnight or the universe will end.

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  2. Is the Network updated with more shows yet?

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  3. Speaking of which, when is SK going to continue his Nitro reviews?

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  4. Earth to wrestling fans: it's never gonna be as good as it was 15 years ago, stop caring so much.

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  5. Last I checked, every Nitro for 1996 is up.

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  6. I dunno...I think roman has even better hair!

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  7. Hard to say when he keeps it greasy. I need to see Reigns with a blown out mane before I even let him in the same discussion as Nash.

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  8. We'll know if someone from WWE reads this if Reigns goes Diesel/Backlund on Ryder next week on Raw.

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  9. That mochachino midget? Please. *luxurious Nash hair flip*

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  10. The answer to both questions is yes. Vince picks the Rocket Receiver. That means something different for the Divas.

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  11. Good hair list:
    1. Nash
    2. HHH

    Before shaving his head, HHH was both numbers 1 and 2.

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  12. At least it's not Bret Hart greasy.

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  13. It's close.

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  14. Hey, when it comes down to it, HHH said it doesn't come down to who works hard, because everyone in the company works hard......but Roman deserves this spot because he's worked hard since day one!

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  15. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieFebruary 3, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    *peak

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  16. After last night can we please agree that Rollins is done?

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  17. Wolfpac Nash had a fine, fine head of hair.

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  18. But it is! It's just all the good is in NJPW, PWG, and ROH.

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  19. And it's not a part of what we look for..................but is it part of what we look for?......Of course its part of what we look for.

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  20. TJ: Anderson Silva is a juicer. I don't mean he squeezes lemons.

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  21. To me, talent doesn't necessarily dictate where a wrestler's spot should be on the card. Some guys just feel more like main event material. Part of that is look, part of that is booking and part of that is something else I can't quite identify. Like, you could very easily argue that Christian is a better talent than, say, Batista, but Big Dave feels much more like a main event talent.

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  22. [Mic Drop]

    [Puts on Hulkamania bandana]

    [Exits stage while flexing to Real American]

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  23. It's not about how over you are. It's about how many stories they can tell with you.

    How many Samoans is Zack Ryder related to?

    That's right.

    ZERO.

    *drops mic, walks away*

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  24. I agree Reigns has a better look (i.e. the "Superstar Look" attribute in EWR) than Ryder, but Daniel Bryan certainly doesn't look anymore like a superstar than Ryder does, for example.

    Looks are important, but Ryder outclassed Reigns in every other meaningful category. Yet they got treated literally in the exact opposite way by Vince. And neither deserved their ultimate fates when it happened.

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  25. CruelConnectionNumber2February 3, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    best wrestler in the company and soon to be WHC

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  26. I always remember Sam Muchnick, one of the revered and fair promoters ever, would often say "he's a great worker but he doesn't draw money." I'm one of the biggest Ricky Steamboat marks you'll find but I acknowledge having him carry a company long-term was never in the cards, he just didn't have that certain something needed. Whatever else, Cena has that in spades and why he's pushed so much and ditto for many others.
    The brutal truth is, some guys just are better in the mid-card. Mr Perfect, Arn Anderson, list goes on and something so many fans forget, that it's better to have guys in that middle area to fill things in rather than elevate to a spot they can't really pull off.

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  27. You know who gets Vince's dick hard? Roman Reigns

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  28. I find myself totally agreeing with his last point: Ryder is NOT a guy who should be in Mania, never saw him as the World champ to carry the company and such and yet he is ten times more over with the fans than Reigns and that's a key issue.

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  29. But everybody works hard we're pushing Roman because. ......reasons. ......Hey look how old our production team is!

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  30. Mania 30 was about as good as it gets and that was only a year ago

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  31. Excellent points, Michael Xavier!!
    When I watched Ryder in this year's Rumble, I thought, "Here's a guy in good shape, has a good look, gets a good reaction, can talk,...they really can't find something for him to do?"

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  32. I dunno, he might be blood brothers with Afa or something.

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  33. Agreed, but Ryder wasn't even given the chance to be in the middle for more than 3 months. I don't think anybody thinks Ryder should've headlined a WrestleMania or win a Royal Rumble, but he could've easily been an eternally popular midcard face because fan support justified it

    The opposite is a guy like Reigns who is getting a megapush that fan support doesn't justify at all.

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  34. Let's not get crazy. He's an Eskimo brother with one of them at best.

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  35. Wow, Michael Xavier. Truer words have never been more spoken then that post. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

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  36. It's MichaelXavier's blog. We're just posting on it.

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  37. Triple H didn't seem all that enamored with Reigns in the interview last night. Austin is most certainly not.


    They're basically pulling a Rumble 1997 this year.

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  38. That's what Russo brought to the company during the boom era: he still found a way to get midcard guys over, because some guys were never going to be main eventers, but could be useful guys who made money, move merch, and get giant pops.

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  39. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©February 3, 2015 at 11:01 PM

    I'm surprised every poster doesn't have their own blog, and they compete with each hater to see who will get more page views every day, it would be a modern Monday Night War.

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  40. He couldn't even be bothered to be related to Bruno, Mario Mancini or Steve Lombardi. LAME.

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  41. Bravo to.your question. Legit

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  42. Big Dave had Flair and HHH in power positions and a high dose of pharmaceuticals. Christian had neither

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  43. I'm not even a fan of Ryder but there's no way I can argue with this post whatsoever.

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  44. I'm starting to get the feeling we're all trying to one-up each other in the "I Told You He Would Fail" department.

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  45. I got that feeling first so it looks to be you who has been one-upped.

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  46. Such a bad interview

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  47. Kid ROCK BawitdabadadangadangdFebruary 3, 2015 at 11:26 PM

    Needs more Hogan championships.

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  48. I think Perfect could have been a main eventer, but the irony was that as, ahem, perfect as his gimmick was, it was completely wrong for a top guy. Curt Hennig had the look, skill, charisma, and everything else, but Mr. Perfect wouldn't have worked as the #1 guy, if that makes sense.

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  49. I prefer Bryan and Ziggler as workers, but he's certainly awesome.

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  50. He's full of something for sure!

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  51. Coulda been our geNerations Hacksaw Duggan

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  52. Mr. Muchnick would have still featured him, perhaps as a solid contender for the Missouri title. A good promoter takes a shit with someone who could draw him money.

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  53. I love this email!

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  54. I think the point, for me at least, is that there was more justification for at least TRYING with Ryder than there is with Reigns right now.

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  55. "Yep Mode" Abeyance Brown ©February 3, 2015 at 11:27 PM

    Michael Xavier, a Hulk fanboy by day, a man full of wisdom by night.

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  56. Well, that was an unexpected source of awesomeness.

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  57. Waituhminnit, You're not Michael Xavier!

    :pulls off mask:

    Zack Ryder!

    Zack: And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddlin' smarks!

    Scott: Take him away toys.

    Smarks: What did you say?!

    Scott: You heard me.

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  58. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 3, 2015 at 11:40 PM

    You know who completely sucks, like nearly sucks as bad as the Miz? Zack Ryder. Fuck, I'd rather actually see Hogan win the title.

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  59. So reports out of the tapings in Colorado Springs indicate Roman Reigns got cheered, not deafeningly, but nowhere near the boos he received in Philly. If this is true, and it spreads, at what point does it stop being "Roman Reigns is a failure" and start being "I want Roman Reigns to be a failure"?

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  60. You want a good laugh, go read WWE's Facebook.


    The fans that post there have pretty much turned on Daniel Bryan, claiming that if Reigns loses his title shot to him it will render the Royal Rumble pointless.


    Sure, let's just ignore guys like Taker, Austin, Triple H, John Cena and Randy Orton getting into title matches at Wrestlemania without winning the Rumble.

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  61. Without checking I'd speculate it's more to do with the "prestige" of the Rumble shot than with either of the guys involved. I believe Vince is the only Rumble winner to not make it to a Mania title shot; my suspicion is that the concern would be setting a bad precedent.


    Or maybe all of WWE's Facebook posters could be Roman's cousins, I guess. Samoa's a pretty big place, I'm told.

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  62. I thought it was "bake him away, toys"?

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  63. Uh, being over and being a guy who the fans take seriously as a champion are not one and the same.

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  64. Austin didn't make it to the title match the first time he won the Rumble either.

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  65. He got booed pretty heavily on Smackdown last week though, so it's not just Philly that booed him.

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  66. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 4, 2015 at 12:26 AM

    In this case Vince is justified.

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  67. Point. Forgot about that. But that was kinda a shmozzy Rumble finish with more wiggle room.

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  68. You know who doesn't give a flying fuck about any of that? Vince McMahon.

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  69. I had that feeling before it was even famous!

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  70. Shelton Benjamin BlondeFebruary 4, 2015 at 12:37 AM

    Shoulda been the Brutus beefcake to Cenas Hogan

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  71. Shit balls the barbarian! I've been had!

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  72. Zack Ryder doesn't look like a world champ, and i get that, but what happened to him is one of the most heinous and petty things I've ever seen a wrestling company do to an individual. All they would have to do is keep him on a santino level, a comedic relief guy who jobs all the time, kept on a midcard level....because once he's on tv, you could make LOADS off all the merch and use his social media presence to your advantage. They THEW AWAY money! because it wasn't their idea, surely in the business world that is a crime.

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  73. I kinda get that point, no matter who wins the rumble I always expect them to make the main event of WM no matter what.

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  74. He is going to get cheered, he has fans and he is a face, the issue remains that he's not getting cheered enough. Cena has been plagued with this problem for years obviously, but at the very least he has enough to justify his position, he works hard outside of the ring, he's become a great in ring worker, and his promos work very well for what they are. All things that Reigns has not shown one bit. He can get cheered all he wants, the true test is once he gets that belt and has to carry the company every monday night, throwing out promos against his monthly opponent, wrestling singles matches nearly every night and giving a good show against the best in the company. Cena managed to do all of that, it nearly killed Punk when he tried to do it in 2012, how do you think Reigns will do it...because if he doesn't, people will eat him alive out there.

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  75. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 4, 2015 at 1:41 AM

    Let's go line by line here:

    People are stupid.

    No.

    Again, people are stupid. Americans being dumb with money is like alcohol and life's problems, it's the cause and the solution to the problems with our economy.

    No, not by a fucking long shot. There's a couple thousand indy geeks that can work circles around Ryder, and Reigns is better than 99% of them.

    None of that Twitter garbage means a fucking thing in the real world.

    No.

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  76. Wonder why Steph hasn't won the Rumble yet.

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  77. Shawn Michaels used to.

    OHHHHHH BAYBEEEEEE! WHATTA RIDE!

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  78. I'd be willing to go by crowd reactions at the Royal Rumble and give Bubba Dudley a push. Just have a different random black guy playing the D-Von each week.

    "SHELTON! GET THE TABLE!"

    Network subscriptions would hit 2m within a month. Book it.

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  79. I never thought he was either, but why not pull the trigger and watch him fail just so you can say to people "see, I told you so"?

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  80. Adam "Colorado" CurryFebruary 4, 2015 at 3:53 AM

    Reigns or Ryder?

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  81. Ryder was a solid hand extremely over at the midcard level with easy merchandising at every turn.

    It confused me for a long time why he wasn't a main stay in the midcard US title scene.

    Now it's just one of those things I accept.

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  82. They didn't throw away money.


    They left it on the table.

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  83. No, in 2000 when great wrestling was on literally every single day, that's as good as it gets.

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  84. If "Excellent question, Shelton" is any indication, all black people look alike to Vince anyway

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  85. "Does it really come down to Vince just ... having a massive hard-on for Reigns?"

    Hi, welcome to pro wrestling! I see you're new here, let me give you a tour...

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  86. Dude, Zack Ryder got a bigger pop at Royal Rumble 2015 than Roman Reigns. And Ryder has been a jobber for the better part of 3 years and Reigns is the guy who is supposed to headline Mania.

    Something is not working here

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  87. Do they even have the internet in Philly?

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  88. The amount of money that Vince has left on the table is staggering. Ryder wasn't even trying to challenge for Cena's spot, and it's not as if he couldn't get better in the ring (or at the very least, be protected).

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  89. There was talk yesterday about the perception that Bryan was being "sabotaged".

    Ryder is, and will always be, Exhibit A of a sabotaged wrestler/entertainer.

    It's stupid (read: objectively incorrect) to think that there wasn't any money that could be made with Ryder. It becomes a point of whether or not you want to make money with him. Vince chose the latter. And to be frank, the fact that people still give him money now, while complaining about what Ryder should have been, ultimately proves his point about being right.

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  90. There isn't a single thing about it that's necessarily "heinous and petty." It was certainly a gross miscalculation because you're right, there was merchandising money to be made. but I'm not aware of much evidence that would suggest that he was the victim of some personal grudge or evil saboteur scheme.

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  91. Reigns would be, like, the seventh Royal Rumble winner who didn't get a one-on-one singles match at WrestleMania if it came to that, if what the dipshits are concerned about is some sort of Rumble title shot purity. Besides, from a logic perspective...DANIEL BRYAN IS OWED A TITLE SHOT, AND NOW HAS TO WRESTLE THREE MATCHES FOR IT INSTEAD OF ONE.
    They lucked into it again, but the setup is fucking perfect to add him to the title match one way or another if they want to.

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  92. Dean Ambrose, Vince doesn't want him to get popular. So he gets de-pushed. Jobs a lot to Wyatt, but Wyatt's already established so at best, Ambrose is going nowhere.



    Ryder went from being very popular and being Cena's boy to:
    - Having his girl stolen from him by Cena
    - Destroyed by Kane multiple times
    - Punked out by Cena (that pitiful display in the ring when he was injured)
    - Jobbing to a spare tire.


    In each case, Ryder was specifically presented to show that he was a loser. Combine that with him completely disappearing right afterwards (no heel turn to avenge Cena's dickish behavior, no hope spots against Kane, etc.), and this wasn't a decision to just not make money with him - they PURPOSELY made him look like a loser.

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  93. "I know perfectly well the difference between Ezekiel Benjamin and Shelton JTG."

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  94. We do. But our Google search is yelling out a window.

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  95. By my count:
    -Batista 2014
    -Cena 2008
    -Mysterio 2006
    -Benoit 2004
    -McMahon 1999
    -Austin 1997
    -Hart/Luger 1994


    All received something "less fair" than a one-on-one title match one way or another after winning the Rumble. And this is without mentioning, as Mar said, all the guys who didn't win the title at Mania after winning the Rumble (Batista, Del Rio, Edge, Orton, Cena, Rock, Shawn).

    If you're going to apply bullshit nonsense logic to this fake sport, do it correctly.

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  96. Crowd still remembered how to chant with the BROSKI BOOT~! also. Ryder was so intelligent in knowing how to sell his gimmick and get a crowd into his match.

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  97. Well, Reigns isn't really either one at the moment.

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  98. I thought the same concept - 'Keep him on a Santino level". Jericho goes into this in the latest book - basically Santino has received the same consistent pop for years and people love him enough that they bought the false Rumble finish the one year.

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  99. It has become glaringly evident that most people that post here have no clue what charisma is.

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  100. At the same time that this becomes an interesting question.

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  101. I'm aware of all of those plot points. I'm not aware of any evidence that it was to intentionally ruin his career.

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  102. Why would they do all of that if it was a gross miscalculation?

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  103. I like you, Dougie, but it's OK to actually say something every now and then instead of a drive-by "everyone is wrong" with no reason given. Nothing bad will happen, I promise. I've seen you do it at least once or twice, I know you can.
    Anyway, I don't think the correct takeaway here is that Zack Ryder is awesome. It's that Roman Reigns, as much potential as he definitely has, is nowhere near ready for his given spot.

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  104. Why would they grossly miscalculate if it was grossly miscalculated? That appears to be the question you're asking. Help me out, bud.

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  105. ...why do you like Dougie?

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  106. I know what it is. Reigns doesn't have it.

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  107. To me, a miscalculation represents a failing to understand the situation. If Ryder was getting over and they threw the title on him and he bombed, miscalculation. If Ryder was left to feud with Kane for 6 months, thinking his popularity would rise, and it waned instead? Miscalculation.

    Shoot, there are examples over the years. Lex Express. WBF. Big Show as champion. All miscalculations, but at least they were with the intent of making money.



    Ryder was popular, no denying that. All of the events that transpired were to make him UNpopular. There haven't been many (if any) stars that have received similar treatment. If that treatment is the kind that makes people unpopular, then where's the miscalculation, unless your intent is such.


    I don't know if he pissed off anyone or didn't say hi to Undertaker on a Thursday. But it is known that his treatment is what the locker room looks at when they talk about the hypocrisy of the brass ring statements. In that context alone, it's not a miscalculation.

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  108. "And to be frank, the fact that people still give him money now, while
    complaining about what Ryder should have been, ultimately proves his
    point about being right."

    True, but people could be mad about Ryder's burial and not stop watching because they also like other segments of the show, much like 1995-1996 pre-nWo WCW sucked (and I say that as a total Hogan mark) but the lunchadores/vanilla midgets made the show worth watching.

    One of the most honest assessments ever spoken about Vince McMahon is that he's a millionaire that should be a billionaire. Zack Ryder was never going to be world champion or even a main eventer. But the guy could've made Vince a lot of money, but Vince buried him for "not getting over right" or whatever. So yes, while Vince is still making plenty of money he's infamous for not using all of his assets to their full potential (like Ryder).

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  109. He absolutely does. It's being poorly utilized. There's a huge difference.

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  110. That's my point - if he were shown that he could lose money by certain situations (for example, depushing someone the fans support), then he may (MAY) be swayed enough to not let a situation like that pass him by because he thought differently (I know business is rife with those situations, but still).



    It's "I didn't lose money on Ryder" vs "I made money on Ryder".

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  111. I love how the celebrities were involved not only at the event, but throughout much of the buid-up as well. I wasn't a fan yet during this time period and find that fascinating. The only other times we see that are when the celebrity is specifically involved in a particular match (Tyson, Mayweather, Trump), but getting Franklin and Uecker to do these bits is awesome.

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  112. The late Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, not the Hartford Civic Center, FYI

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  113. My bad, it was the New Haven Civic Center.

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