Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sporting News: Scott's Mailbag of Doom 04.14.15


I was beginning to get worried that we hadn't discussed Roman Reigns in over 24 hours.  

58 comments:

  1. >He failed to win the belt at Payback

    Reigns failed to win the belt at MITB and Battleground.

    >and then failed to win it at Money in the Bank, and that’s death for someone you’re trying to make into the guy that fans want to see win. You need to keep him far away from the title scene and make fans demand that he get the title shot because he’s breakin’ necks and cashin’ checks or whatever other catchphrase confers the maximum amount of coolness.



    Austin failed to win the belt at Final Four and Cold Day In Hell

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  2. Austin also had a massive level of support from the fans, so this argument holds no more water than Vincent Gambini's case.

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  3. Pretty sure Austin was a bit of a special case.

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  4. Yeah Austin can get over on his own talents whereas Roman needs careful booking decisions to get the fans behind him.

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  5. Reigns has another sit down interview on Smackdown. It's getting comical at this point. I mean ill be honest, he is pretty good in them but so can the great Khali if you give him a thousand takes. If this was anyone else he'd be shoved back in a tag team. There's gotta be some resentment on him for the blatant favortism.

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  6. Pretty sure Reigns is a bit of a special case.

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  7. Oh and thank you for getting rid of that sliding over to the right to read more of the column stuff. My archaic phone didnt like that.

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  8. does anybody remember the difference in names of generic ppv title #1 or generic ppv title #2?


    the only good thing about gimmick ppvs is that it easy to remember what match happened where

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  9. Flair's run as a face in '89 was gold. What always worked with Flair when he went the face route is that he would only do it for a short time, and then when he'd switch back, fans would hate him even more.

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  10. Let's Put Roman Reigns in the Roman Coliseum where he will take on a pack of Hungry Lions

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  11. Booger Red was somehow worse than Demonic Taker.

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  12. I could really understand the blatant favourtism if it was over or was selling merchandise putting butts in seats or ANYTHING. But there's been no indication that he's pulling in any kind of numbers on his own. I can't think of any time I've see WWE try this hard to get someone over while being completely blind to the lack of results.

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  13. Yes, but it shows that losing title matches doesn't exactly hurt your stock. Cena lost tons of big matches as well, including blowing a chance at a title match at Wrestlemania XX.

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  14. All I got is Diesel in '95.

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  15. The Roman Reigns Project has been a miserable failure Not even Walter White himself would have tried an experiment like this

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  16. I thought he was second in merchandise sales behind Cena. He also won the Superstar of the Year award

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  17. Never heard about the merch sales before. And Superstar of the Year? Really? That shit's more rigged than a Michael Bay pyrotechnic scene.

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  18. Even then, at least Diesel was over with the crowd for the most part.

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  19. Everything I've read is that it was legit. And yea, I read his stuff does really well at house shows

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  20. The heel bully act he did in early 2002 where he beat up jobbers every week was pretty entertaining.

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  21. Well, we've established it doesn't hurt your stock if you're Steve Austin or John Cena.

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  22. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 14, 2015 at 11:50 PM

    No way in hell in won that legit with Bryan, Cena, and Lesnar in the poll.

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  23. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 14, 2015 at 11:52 PM

    Orton sucks as a face, he's like the Anti-Sting.

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  24. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 14, 2015 at 11:54 PM

    I can't even keep track these days. I know ER is after WM and TLC is the last one of the year. The rest of the B-shows I don't even the order anymore, it changes every year.

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  25. Agreed. Orton's a natural heel with his reactions, and it doesn't help that his matches are exactly similar. I can buy Orton as a crazy tweener type, but face, no.

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  26. How so? Cause I can see the argument that he works better as a face as much as he hates it.

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  27. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 15, 2015 at 12:09 AM

    Agreed. Though I don't blame him for his matches being all the same, that's just WWE style. Cena has the same problem, I don't care if he adds a springboard Stunner, you can still predict their matches almost spot for spot an hour in advance. I'm starting to notice it with Bryan and Dolph too. The fact that pretty much every match has been done many times before is a big part of the problem too.

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  28. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 15, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    Leelee said it all, but to add to that he's just a natural douchebag. He's like Punk, I might cheer for him in a heel role (I wouldn't, because he bores the shit out of me), but he just has this asshole look all over his face at any time that makes it impossible to see him as a good guy. Him working heel style (flipping off fans, his general mannerisms, etc...) no matter what doesn't help. There's NO change whatsoever at all to his character no matter what role he's playing. It's always pure heel, just sometimes he does it with other heels.

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  29. And with everyone learning the same style from the same trainers and working matches for the hard camera, there's very little wiggle room for uniqueness.

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  30. Adam "Colorado" CurryApril 15, 2015 at 12:57 AM

    Yeah. Just let these guys do their thing, Generico never needed any developmental work, and he's been down there for 2 years. Same for Steen, he was main roster ready 4 years ago. Let them improvise, in the ring and on the mic. It's not like the scripted promos are any good anyway, look at Roman. Yeah, he sucks on the mic. Except for that one time Raw was snowed out and he just winged it and it wasn't too bad. But even so, he sucks on the mic. There's this guy that used to own some 2 bit indy company from Philly with really annoying fans that WWE pays just to talk for guys like that. I forget his name, but he's pretty over, let him talk for Roman. Or... there was this Jewish guy in WCW that used to play for the Falcons. He was pretty over too, and he never talked, he just beat the shit out of people. They could do that with Roman too, as long as he remembers to not punch car windows. That might work.


    Oh, and fuck this hard camera shit. Do the matches for the fucking crowd, not the cameras.

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  31. Two responses:

    1) Reigns was wrestling as a singles guy for the first time.

    2) In Reigns' case it made no sense story-wise for him to be getting title shots at that point. The shield broke up, presumably, so that Rollins could get preferential treatment by being the Authority's guy. The only way the whole thing made sense was if Reigns had to go it alone and fight his way to the top.

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  32. He didn't get near the title again until almost a year later. He also didn't really lose again until almost a year later. That helps a lot.

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  33. If he were the Anti-Sting, then their pre-Wrestlemania meeting would have destroyed the universe.

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  34. Michaels is a strange one.

    Literally spent most of his Main Event career as face yet a six month run in 1997/98 (and a one month run in 2005) is regarded as his top work and I think very few people would actually argue with that. He always was incredible as a heel.

    Jake was also a huge face for most his WWE run but is fondly remembered better for the heel stuff.

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  35. I really have to disagree on the babyface thing with Savage, Michaels, and The Rock. Those are basically the 3 best heels in WWE/F history.

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  36. Orton is fucking awesome turning into a face. But sucks when he becomes one. It's strange.

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  37. The way the polls were set up were weird. Roman was with Bryan and Cena was with Lesnar. So if you voted bryan that would be lumped into the Reigns/bryan section. It wasnt like you voted for someone and the majority ruled. I was surprised by that as well and I still dont quite believe it but that was a huge conversion at the BOD for a few weeks after the super star of the year award was given. And apparently thats how it went down. Because if he legitimately won the super star of the year award then love him or hate him he deserved to main event WM. Because despite what we say thats what the fans wanted. But when he got injured nobody chanted his name. And as soon as Ambrose came back 5 days later they forgot all about him and Ambrose was the most over Shield guy. And we know what ended up happening to him.

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  38. Rorschach's JournalApril 15, 2015 at 6:13 AM

    Rocky Maivia? Then again, when the "Die Rocky DIE!" shit started up, they reacted fairly quickly and a turn was soon in the offing. Let's see....who else.....Kelly Kelly? I mean, NO ONE wanted her as the face of the Women's Division, and yet they pushed that project until it fucking left the company. Her beating Beth Phoenix in Buffalo, NY, is still one of the biggest misfires that I've ever seen.

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  39. Rorschach's JournalApril 15, 2015 at 6:21 AM

    And, in the usual WWE Fashion, instead of making him an ass-kicking beast out to destroy the Corporate Pretty Boy (a la Batista v. HHH) , they made HIM the "Chosen One" who bypassed the guys who really WERE "fighting the system".

    In all honesty, if they were thinking ahead at ALL, they could have had Bryan come out and call out Brock, only to take a vicious beatdown. Cue the save by Reigns, who also takes a hellacious beating, but manages to protect Bryan. Kayfabe that Bryan has been re-injured, keep him out of the Rumble, and let Roman go in there out for sheer VENGEANCE. Roman wins, Bryan is his manager at Mania ( to offset Heyman) and Roman wins with Bryan's full endorsement. Keeps Bryan out of idiotic ladder matches, and transfers some of his crowd-sympathy to Roman (as long as you don't let Roman speak).

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  40. Rorschach's JournalApril 15, 2015 at 6:24 AM

    They DID change Punk's mannerisms though. They made him a bland, boring milquetoast "face", which as you pointed out, didn't suit him at ALL, and was a role to which he was ill-suited.

    Kinda like if Marvel tried that same shit with Loki in the next Thor movie. You wouldn't buy the sincerity of it for a SECOND, because Loki just has this heel, asshole demeanor that screams "I'm going to turn on you, and burn you BAD, you fucking idiot. You just don't know it, because you're so much less intelligent than me."

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  41. Rorschach's JournalApril 15, 2015 at 6:26 AM

    I still think he should have lost to Flair at Mania. What reason really, was there for Undertaker to own that feud, terrorize Flair, his family and his closest friends, and STILL go over? That's some HHH-level shit right there.

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  42. Did he not say Michaels 1997 run was his best? Meaning the heel run?

    The problem with all three of the guys you mentioned was that they were so good and so entertaining as heels people would inevitably cheer them.

    Rock especially. Every time he went heel he was basically the most over face in the company again if that makes sense....

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  43. For a guy that I found pretty bland in the AWA, Shawn had one of the best heel turns of all-time when he turned on Marty Janetty. I thought Janetty had the best chance of a solo career back then.. shows how much I know..

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  44. I much prefer Orton as a face. His heel schtick is just so generic and he's way better in the ring when a face. You can tell he doesn't want to do it though.

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  45. Shawn's a funny one as I said.

    He's a natural heel character wise (and indeed his real life persona) but his size and wrestling style makes him perfect for the underdog babyface role in the ring.

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  46. Rorschach's JournalApril 15, 2015 at 6:49 AM

    Undertaker is an interesting choice, because he started out as a cartoon monster villain against Hogan, and by letting this big, green comedy act HANG with Hogan (something they NEED to learn how to do again for guys like Bray Wyatt in THIS generation) the legitimized him, and made him, in a sense, the next COOL thing. Kids and the female set generally supported your Hogans and Warriors, but the teens in the crowd caught on to the "Deadman" very quickly, and pretty soon, they were actually cheering the guy for destroying goombas like Koko B. Ware and Brother Love and such. In fact, Taker might just be one of those ultra-rare cases where the fans were going to turn him if Vince and the bookers DIDN'T. Turning on Jake, and saving Liz were two of Taker's GREATEST moments, and those might be some of the loudest reactions I've ever heard from him. The fans WANTED that, and the WWF gave it to them, and look how that turned out.



    Batista is another case of actually booking things smartly so that it DELIVERED on the expected payoff. Him giving HHH the 'thumbs down' gesture was electric, and catapulted him from "enforcer" status to legit Main Event player.

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  47. Rorschach's JournalApril 15, 2015 at 6:52 AM

    In my Hogan-blinded childhood, I was against Savage, but as an adult, I take his side in every one of those feuds.

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  48. AverageJoeEverymanApril 15, 2015 at 6:55 AM

    you mean like a "short bus" case?

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  49. Regarding #6, Hogan was in negotiations with Turner in early 1993 because he was also working on Thunder in Paradise, which was a Turner show. The Thunder In Paradise pilot movie was shot in April 1993, so Hogan was already halfway on his way to WCW when Mania 9 happened. Vince just simply wanted one more Hogan title run to get Yokozuna over.

    Hogan was contracted to do the summer European tour (his last WWF date was August 6 in Sheffield, England). Then in September WWF was doing a little promotion for Mr. Nanny. Though Hogan didn't officially sign with WCW as a wrestler until June 1994, WCW was already teasing Hogan coming in February 1994.

    So the Hulk Hogan/WCW timeline goes like this:

    February 1993 - Hogan is in negotiations with Turner, appears on WWF TV to set up his Match against Money Inc. at Mania IX
    March 1993 - Hogan does a few house shows with Beefcake against the Beverly Brothers and Money Inc. to warm-up for the Mania IX match.
    April 1993 - Hogan appears at WrestleMania IX and wins the title. Almost immediately after, Hogan films the pilot movie for Thunder in Paradise. Hogan even did on-set interviews on WWF TV.
    May 1993 - Hogan wrestles the Great Muta at an NJPW show. Infamously, Hogan calls the WWF title "just a toy" compared to the IWGP title in a post-match interview. In late May,Hogan and Beefcake again do spot house shows against Money Inc.
    June 1993 - Hogan again does spot house shows with Beefcake against Money Inc. Hogan drops the title to Yokozuna, his last in-ring WWF appearance on TV. He continues to work with Beefcake and Money Inc on house shows.
    Late July-Early August 1993 - Hogan wrestles Yokozuna on the WWF European tour. These would be his last matches in the WWF until 2002.
    September 1993 - WWF promotes Mr. Nanny, starring Hulk Hogan, on TV. This is the last positive mention of Hogan on WWF programming.
    October 1993 - Randy Savage buries Hogan on WWF Radio, which is mentioned on Raw.
    Late 1993-Early 1994 - Hogan films for the Thunder in Paradise TV show.
    February 1994 - WCW begins namedropping Hulk Hogan on its programming.
    March 1994 - Hogan appears in an on-set Thunder in Paradise interview on the March 12 WCW Saturday Night. This is Hogan's first appearance on WCW programming. Heenan confronts him about facing Flair. Thunder in Paradise the series premieres on March 26.

    WCW continued to do various teases of Hogan vs. Flair until June, when it was announced that he signed with WCW.

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  50. But is his biological clock ticking?

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  51. Makes sense... because Cena is Sting.

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  52. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 15, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    I pretty much agree with all of the face/heel assessments, except I think everything about CM Punk is a natural heel. Bret Hart was a bigger star as a face, but I think he was a great natural heel, given his penchant for bitching, moaning, and a generally heelish moveset. Triple H was never interesting to me as a face. Orton is equally good at both roles, in small doses. He just looks like the douchebag, elitist heel, but he works a great babyface match.

    1991 Bash: I think they should have had Sting come out to congratulate Luger on the title win (vs. Flair or Windham), only for Lex to stomp him out and do the more effective heel turn that way. Then run months of Lex ducking his former buddy, forcing Sting to win the BattleBowl tournament at Starrcade in order to get his hands on Luger at SuperBrawl II. Or just run a trio of Luger-Sting matches at Havoc, Starrcade, and SuperBrawl.

    It's probably not a popular opinion, but I really see Dolph Ziggler as a guy who is better suited as just an IC/US title guy. If only those belts meant something, Ziggler would be the ideal Mr. Perfect, Barry Windham, Razor Ramon kind of guy who has credibility as a quasi-main eventer, but doesn't necessarily need the world title. But the secondary titles mean dick and not one of his many reigns has meant anything.

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  53. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 15, 2015 at 10:36 AM

    To me the "blunder" was in their refusal to adjust plans once Reigns got hurt last summer. The original concept of Brock ending the Streak, dominating 2014/15, and Reigns being the new star who gets the big rub by slaying the monster was just fine. Problem is, Roman wasn't at that point of "critical mass" where he was so over that fans were going to immediately cheer him winning a return win at the Rumble. Once they knew he was out til the end of '14, I think they really should have just audibled to Daniel Bryan winning the Rumble and facing Lesnar at Mania 31. He doesn't even have to beat Brock; just do the Rollins cash-in like they did. Take the time to build Reigns up properly, either as the superman babyface plowing through Authority guys or as the eventual Corporate hired gun who ends Bryan for good. Forcing the issue with Roman not only made the whole thing fall flat with smarks who reject that kind of thing in general, but ruined the possibility of an organic build for the casual fan. Booking from December to Mania just wasn't enough time and Reigns wasn't nearly ready/over enough last summer to justify the whole thing.

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  54. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 15, 2015 at 10:39 AM

    Imagine the crowd reaction if Royal Rumble 2015 had been booked more or less the opposite. Daniel Bryan has not returned yet and they keep feeding false information about him "maybe not making it back from surgery" via the internet. We go into it "knowing" Roman Reigns is going to win, ho-hum, smarks shit all over it, etc. Give Roman a great showing, but he gets eliminated by Authority guys and suddenly it's a wide-open field. Daniel Bryan is a surprise entry late in the Rumble and he wins it to ruin the Authority's night. Instead, you got the opposite: Bryan was in there with the expressed goal of getting back to the title he never lost, only to get unceremoniously eliminated and for Reigns to be the Guy

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  55. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 15, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Shawn was great from 2002-2010, but he was a terrible babyface during his first singles run. Much better heel, whether it's as IC champ or DX asshole

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  56. It's strange that Vince would put the title on Hogan if he knew or even suspected that he would be jumping ship to WCW. If he wanted to push Yokozuna, why not just have Yoko go in to KOTR as champ and beat Hogan to retain. I'm not arguing with you, it's just weird.

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  57. For me - and it's not like a lot of these guy can't play both - but this is where they are better:

    Flair - heel. He defined heel.
    Hogan - face. See Flair but change heel to face.
    Savage - got to be heel
    Rock - got to be heel (but as mentioned his heel act was so damn funny it was impossible to stay that way)
    Austin - face without a doubt
    Taker - his avenging babyface act is one of the greatest there has ever been
    Piper - heel
    Jake - heel
    Bret - face - he was Daniel Bryan before Daniel Bryan
    Shawn - heel. It may only have been 6 months but early DX Shawn is the best heel character of all time
    Triple H - heel. He's a terrible face.
    Nash - heel.
    Orton - for me the hardest to call on this list. Lean towards face as he's less boring.
    Punk - heel every day of the week
    Show - has turned so often he's almost impossible to define
    Kane - heel

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