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The Little Things in Wrestling

The little things?  Wait, are we talking about Seth Rollins here?  HIGH FIVE!  Anyone? 

Good afternoon Mr. Keith.  Watching Kevin Owens do his thing, such as stomping a poor sap as he walks by him, had my thinking of other small things that I just don't see much of in wrestling.  Then again, I'm not watching nearly as much as I used to.  Some of them are:

Repeated pin attempts, one after another:  Usually a heel tactic, and I know you're a fan of this one.

Yup, love this one, especially if the heel keeps trying the same pin and gets frustrated and yells at the referee about it. 

Being a dick/jerk to some kid as you walk down the aisle for a good second:  Seriously, who does this anymore

Unfortunately you are no longer allowed to harass the stupid marks at ringside because then they’ll go on social media and whine about it.  The only people that Stephanie is allowed to demean on TV are her own employees.  As I’ve said before, part of the whole appeal of being at ringside is getting trash-talked by the heels.  As long as nothing physical is involved, everyone should know what they’re getting into. 

Music Guitar solo for a big win:  I can't explain it, But i always knew it was an important/big win when the face won, and the celebration goes extra long you notice the guitar solo as their music continues to play.  Hogan, Bret & Michaels were my faves.

Yeah, but all the nu-mutal shit bands that they use for entrance music now don’t do solos.  They need to hire the Darkness or Airborne or someone like that for a theme song. 

Trash-Talking/slapping the head during a submission move:  I see wrestlers trash talk sometimes, but it's just not very funny/heelish what they're are saying.

Another quality heel mannerism.  I always love bad guys who took the time to really demotivate their opponents.  Kevin Owens is leading the charge on this one again, though, and I see good things in the future for the genre. 

Simply stepping out of the way of an opponents high flying attack:  Extra points if they smirk afterwards

That one is more “breaking the fourth wall” and specific to Samoa Joe, though. 

Got any of your own?

Using the ropes for a pin attempt, especially if it’s in full view of the referee, and then arguing about it afterwards while choking the guy out with your shin.  Doing a lame submission move like an abdominal stretch, but getting help from your partner from the apron.  Tons of tag team stuff, especially cutting off the ring to prevent the hot tag and build more heat. 

Comments

  1. I was watching Starrcade 83 and 85 yesterday, and it made me realize how nobody has sweet ring robes anymore. Bring those back!

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  2. I'm almost certain others have mentioned this before, but regarding the trash-talk during a submission move:


    Bo Dallas should do the opposite, and keep shouting to his opponent that he bo-lieves in them and that they can do it! Ideally something like a figure four where he can face his opponent.

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  3. It's more bending the 4th wall then fully breaking it. It plays to your knowledge of the genre while still not doing anything that acknowledges kayfabe.

    Punk's pipebomb is actually the same way if you pay attention. He never actually breaks Kayfabe, all while telling the truth.

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  4. I miss figure four leglocks and reversals.


    But what I really miss most are MANAGERS. The WWE does have a few more valets lately, but I really miss when a manger would interfere and cost a guy a match. Guys like Heenan, Heyman and Jimmy Hart could generate heat for just about any jabroni they managed.


    Besides.. having a face lose due to managerial interference would probably help some of these guys out in the long run,.

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  5. Those were expensive and were usually bought by the wrestlers themselves.

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  6. I liked that some managers had these big stables of guys who weren't necessarily a united team. Like they just had contracts with him or whatever, so angles didn't get bogged down with stable wars. Both Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan had groups like that, that only rarely banded together.

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  7. I miss the old classics thumb-to-the-eye and rake of the back. Rarely see them nowadays.

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  8. Heels literally begging off to prevent a further beating. Jericho was amazing sometimes. My friends and I laughed our asses off when he cried "please stop!" at some attacking babyface.

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  9. Yeah. Every once in a while their guys would tag together, or there'd be a six man team with the manager involved. Back then if the manager was really hated, it was easier to put a new talent with them. Gary Hart had a killer stable and anyone he managed was automatically hated.

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  10. This has been mentioned a ton before, but I'm a sucker for the heel getting frustrated at the ref for counting slow. He yells at the ref, "No, not 1...2...3..., 1-2-3!" and then the face rolls him up and the ref counts extra fast.

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  11. I kinda miss when a heel would spit on their opponent and the other guy would go crazy.

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  12. In tag team wrestling, the heel team benefiting from a blind tag, but then when the ref doesn't see the big face hot tag he forces them to switch back. When I was watching The Jericho/Benoit vs. Austin/HHH match that shit made me jump out and yell at the ref like I was watching basketball.

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  13. Foreign objects hidden in the tights or the boot. Always draws a lot of heat from the fans.

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  14. I miss when the announcers would mention the importance of a midcard match, where a win might get them in line for a title shot, or that a loser may not see a title match for months.

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  15. Lesnar was an awesome trash talker during his match with Punk, just yelling things like 'Best in the World!', 'C'mon baby girl', and 'You're my Punk Bitch now'

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  16. Always was a fan of at the end of a heels entrance when they take off their shirt/towel/sunglasses etc. and fake like they're about to toss it into the crowd then smirk and just drop it on the floor

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  17. The music/guitar solo part is actually an interesting point. They did it at WM30 with Daniel Bryan and it was a star making moment. It has to be the right person though. If they did it with Reigns at WM31 it would have been a disaster.

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  18. Even though it is kind of an outdated segment, the "Local Event Reports" or "PPV Reports" that were done on the syndicated shows were in retrospect....awesome. Seeing one of the announcers run down an upcoming event, complete with insert promos from the wrestlers really helped to hype the importance of it. They did a retro one for Summerslam this past year and Mean Gene made me 10% more hyped for the event just on that alone.

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  19. During Starrcade 83, Gordon Solie mentioned how Gary Hart stood to lose about $200,000 a year in earnings if The Great Kabuki lost the World TV Title. It was simple, clear motivation that anyone could understand and explained why Hart would do some of the low down things he did to keep the title on Kabuki.

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  20. Joey Jo-Jo Junior ShabbadooJune 13, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    The guys today are more athletic, but they've lost the subtleties of the art of pro wrestling. That's why so many of the matches feel so 'blah' even if they're technically sound.

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  21. Joey Jo-Jo Junior ShabbadooJune 13, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    They never mention money on TV anymore, and there's no real reason not to. Gives instant motivation for every heel turn or unexpected alliance.

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  22. Down Under Aussie (in Japan)June 13, 2015 at 7:46 AM

    Owens did that the other day, he really is bringing a lot of stuff back.

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  23. Again... except for Kevin Owens. Hmmmm.

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  24. Because now they're supposed to be doing it for FUN, legacy, Wrestlemania moments, etc. Anything but, you know, earning an actual living.

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  25. I wonder if they could work in the Lawler "phantom foreign object" spots in the HD era.

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  26. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 13, 2015 at 7:50 AM

    For the stepping out of the way of a flying attack the first thing that came to mind was how Orton would often times counter Cena's flying shoulder block by simply dropping to the ground. A smirk would follow. I think Punk used that counter a few times too. It always looks smooth. And made Orton look smart and sly.

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  27. Bobby always said, "A stable is for race horses... we're a family."

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  28. Him screaming, NEVER GIVE UP, while having a guy in a crossface or something was a missed opportunity.

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  29. I think Jim Powers ruined robes for everyone by about '96... except Flair.


    But Flair is the exception to most things wrestling.

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  30. "Loser's share of the purse!" Why isn't anyone ever mentioning that!?!?

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  31. 10 count of punches in the corner.

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  32. A heel getting thrown out of the ring two or three times to start a match. Think DiBiase.

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  33. They could never do that on Raw or Smackdown but should absolutely be doing it on the WWE network shows.

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  34. Complaining to the ref about a hair pull... bonus points if you're bald.

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  35. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 13, 2015 at 7:55 AM

    Any move where the crowd can count along with is a great touch because it's an easy way to get the crowd involved. Could be the deadest crowd for the worst match. Someone starts doing the punches in the corner and that crowd is counting along.

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  36. Funny story. I went to an indie show that included Bad News Brown. My friend and I were idiot smarks who cheered the heels and booed the faces. Bad News played right into that, point to us and saying things like, "See ref! They're sayin' he pulled my hair!"


    At one point, he actually left the ring, went over to us, and started asking us things like "Did you see me choke him? See ref, I didn't choke him!"

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  37. Lex Luger's interaction with the ref during his natch at Bash 89 if the type of stuff that would get over huge now (in limited quantities).

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  38. Kinda like what I kept hearing the trainers say to the younger guys at my wrestling school, "Slow it down, kid. Slow it down!"

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  39. It's become kind of a WWE thing where everything that happens is in its own universe and has no bearing on anything else.

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  40. That one's probably never coming back thanks to the JRs and Austins of the world complaining about how stupid it is that people get their faces punched 10 times and aren't bruised or bleeding at the end of it.

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  41. And you can't celebrate the MMA influence on pro wrestling making the matches look more real while bemoaning the loss of the 10-punch. It was a fun 80s spot, but the time for it has passed.

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  42. Heel standing on apron holding ropes, face yanks ropes, heel takes somersault bump over ropes into the ring. Ususally done at the start of the match after some stalling.

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  43. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 13, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    I always hated that one. Looked hokey.

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  44. I agree. You'd think someone would have the presence of mind to do it with kicks or forearms or something that doesn't require visible marking though. Daniel Bryan kind of did with the YES kicks but that's about as close as anyone's got in recent years.

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  45. The YES kicks kinda work because you can justify it. The kicks to the chest knock the wind out of a guy, leaving him temporarily stunned, just long enough for another kick.

    The 10 punch? I mean, if a guy is completely incapable of defending himself as you punch him in the face full force 10 times, that's not an athletic competition. That's felonious assault.

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  46. http://cdn.funnyhub.com/2015/jan/haters-gonna-hate/haters-gonna-hate08.gif

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  47. Roman Reigns was an awesome trash talker when he was with The Shield. I remember during the match where they lost the titles to the Rhodes Brothers, Cody had a chair but dropped it. Reigns picked it up and used it and yelled, "you idiot, you never, ever drop the chair!" He did a dickbag smirk after too.

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  48. I read somewhere that Cena was actually gonna get ring robes and all that for a proposed heel turn. Obviously they never went through with it, so he ended up donating the money he was going to spend on the new gear to NXT so that the guys down there could buy gear.

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  49. Easiest fix out there. I've ranted on this many times - make it about money!

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  50. "THIS IS OUR TABLE NOW!"

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  51. If Sheamus as a face could do a version of it... there's other versions that could be done.

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  52. One thing I always liked about owen's win at wmx was that he was genuinely shocked he won and was physically exhausted afterwards. He asked the ref was it a 3 count; once the ref said yes, he showed the number 3 to Bret just to taunt him.

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  53. For the life of me I can't remember what match for what promotion, but I remember seeing a heel argue with a ref that a one count was a three count. Like, really over the top about it, too.

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  54. I'd like to complain about the criticism of the perfectly acceptable penis of World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins.

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  55. Christian won the World title that way in 2011.

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  56. One of my favs is when in a tag match when the face in peril was trying to make the hot tag Jaques(sp) Rougeous(sp) would just sprint in the ring not intending to hit anyone but just be seen by the ref. The ref would then have to react to put him back in his corner and the face couldn't tag out.

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  57. I thought it was hilarious that people were calling him tiny.

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  58. That sounds really funny

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  59. I was thinking about the "talking trash while walking to the ring" one this morning. Ron Simmons was forever fighting with fans in WCW. He would just forget there was a match he needed to take part in and just jaw with the fans until Long or Reed pulled him away

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  60. Heel managers that interfere blatantly and then the heel announcer making excuses. Think Fuji tripping someone with his cane and heenan saying "he must've slipped "

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  61. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 13, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    Whatever became of the diva that had her nudes leaked in that whole fiasco? She was in development right?

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  62. Flooded by the face trying to point out the double team cheating by the heels, but the ref refusing to turn around until the face was properly holding the tag rope on the apron.

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  63. I love that Dolph keeps trying to do that and keeps getting thrown off at seven.

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  64. Zahra Schreiber. No idea. A google search for her brings up nothing since the photo story

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  65. And then shoving the ref and the ref showing back, pointing to his jersey ...

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  66. I liked when Bret has a heel he would stomp on the fingers while his opponent was on all fours trying to get up.

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  67. Stranger In The AlpsJune 13, 2015 at 9:03 AM

    So are the old school agents like Finlay and Rotundo, Arn Anderson, et al told not to work this stuff into the matches? This whole social media anti-bullying era has cut the nuts off the heels because they can't really do heel things anymore.

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  68. I think there was an incident a while ago when Alberto Del Rio tore some kid's sign and the kid's parents made some big stink about it and threatened to sue.
    Sad that heels cannot really taunt the fans anymore but with everyone ready to sue at a drop of a hat I caould understand why that's not part of a heel's arsenal anymore

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  69. I used to love when Jericho would hold up a pro-Jericho fans sign and then rip that up

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  70. I'm really digging New Day because they are bringing back some of the old school heel taunting tactics but adding their own twist. Recently Big E put Titus O'Neal in an abdominal stretch and Big E was doing the "New Day clap" on Titus's thigh. A nice little taunt that riled the fans up.

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  71. Yeah, then the announcers could always say the guy is on a roll and heading for a title shot, especially if he's getting a winning streak as part of a solid push.

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  72. Everyone wear t-shirts even heels who are supposed to be living the good life.

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  73. The spot where the ref checks both guys and finds a foreign object gets good heat. Extra if the ref misses one and the heel goes for it later in the match.

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  74. I'd kill to see a manager dress and act like John Calipari.

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  75. When he was beating somebody down in NXT, he kept stopping to encourage the guy. "It's okay! You're doing your best! You're doing your best!"

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  76. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 13, 2015 at 9:32 AM

    Wow Jurassic World is on pace to open stronger than The Avengers 2. That would be pretty crazy.

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  77. Probably wouldn't have to worry about a lack of blood or bruises with Sheamus either.

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  78. I watched a Jake/Honky match a while back and the crowd is just going insane and reacting to everything - and they're doing nothing. Honky keeps trying to beg off, the fans go crazy anytime Jake comes close to getting his hands on him, and something like finally getting him in a headlock gets a huge reaction.

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  79. I think the open acknowledgment of contacts is a big part of that - we used to be able to believe in the winner of the match getting more money, now we all know that a guy is signed to X years at $Y per year.

    Sure, we know that there are long-term benefits, like if someone progresses up the card then they'll get a bigger contract next year, but that's separate than their kayfabe win/loss record,

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  80. Because from what I understand, wrestler's aren't there to wrestle anymore. They show up to the arena to chill out and talk shit and find themselves shocked and appalled when they're told they have to wrestle a match. Once they accept they had to have this match they realize it may go a long way to cementing their legacy and making them the face of the company so they get on board with it.

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  81. Those were so much better than just having the announcers do it.

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  82. Then they wonder why folks like Bo Dallas and Bad News Barrett were not getting over as heels but getting cheered as ironic faces. Maybe if they acted like the heels they were supposed to be the fans would have booed at their antics instead of cheering them and their catchphrases.

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  83. They'd run down the house show cards for the upcoming week and I'd tune in the following week expecting that they had to have been a title change during the week.

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  84. What an awful pic.

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  85. The last one Scott mentioned about grabbing your partners arm during an abdominal stretch is something Austin used to do with his tag teams. Pretty sure he did it with Pillman and know for sure he did it with Dude and HHH

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  86. Yeah, the dinos didn't even fuck or at least 69. I asked for a refund.

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  87. Oh, spoiler alert.

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  88. Larry Z: cheap shotting an opponent, telling the crowd to shut up, then raking his boot over the guy's face.

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  89. Macklin, Man Without FearJune 13, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    I haven't seen it yet so I cannot comment.

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  90. Owens using the stall tactic early in the matches is awesome.

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  91. Marty Jannetty jumped through the window to escape!

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  92. I never realized how much I liked/miss the "guitar solo for a big win" thing.


    Music is one area where the WWE is painfully out of touch now. They'll probably get Nickelback or some other shitty band that hasn't been relevant in over a decade to play at WM32.

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  93. I saw it, and really liked it... the first time I saw it, 20 years ago, when it was called Jurassic Park. Seriously, I enjoyed it, but it was the same movie.

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  94. Vince had probably just set Rockstar as his iPhone 3GS ringtone.

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  95. a cocky heel trying to pin his opponent with one foot on his chest. Best at this was Chris Jericho

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  96. Vince McMahon on commentary would always say: "He's coming into the ring THE HARRRD WAAAY"

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  97. Another little thing that used to work well was when the top babyface acted like wins and losses, you know, mattered and were a big deal and didn't no sell them the next day.

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  98. The little thing I miss the most is all the unintentional humor.

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  99. Yeah I wish they would have went in an edgier darker direction with the movie, ut I understand that they really couldn't since a movie isn't a movie anymore, it's a "brand".

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  100. Three things I miss:

    1) monster heels asking for a five count. King Kong Bundy was the gold standard there, just showing he could do what liked (albeit usually to just a jobber). And every so often someone would kick out a 4&1/2...

    2) monster heels done right. If only Kane and Big Show could watch some videos of Bundy and Big John Studd - those two would come out, rag doll a face team for a few minutes then deliberately get themselves DQ'd just to be dicks. Studd and Bundy would laugh after losing and dare the faces to come back in for more punishment. Faces could squeak out a win, the heels got over more as killers who couldn't be stopped, everybody won.

    3) the fake support strapping. Iron Mikes loaded forearm brace, Greg Valentine's shin guard, just an insanely easy way to get some extra heat.

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  101. Virgil's Gimmick TableJune 13, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    The Darkness and Airborne? I love your reviews Scott, but those bands are AWFUL.

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  102. Virgil's Gimmick TableJune 13, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    As much as I have loved so much of ROH, I blame them a lot for influencing wrestling negatively. "He did a move! Followed by another move!"

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  103. Virgil's Gimmick TableJune 13, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    I'm confused. Isn't ENTERTAINING and PUTTING SMILES ON PEOPLE'S FACES more important than money?

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  104. I miss it when you'd get a wide shot of the wrestlers in the ring and suddenly, you can see the crowd turning their focus away from the ring action only to find out there's a surprise wrestler coming in from the crowd, much to everyone's excitement.

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  105. Virgil's Gimmick TableJune 13, 2015 at 12:29 PM

    We're suspending our disbelief to pretend a midget in a bull costume can put up a fights against the longest reigning champion in 25 years, and that a giant man in a red mask has magical fire powers. But believing that they aren't fighting for money is breaking the fourth wall? Okay...

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  106. Virgil's Gimmick TableJune 13, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    They have to play music now and stand at the top of the ramp. How else would we know how to react?

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  107. Well when you say it like THAT...

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  108. The fake support strapping. - wasn't D'Lo Brown's chest
    protector the last time we had that one? Its time to bring it back.

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