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Questions and such

Hey Scott,
Two statements then a question;
Firstly, can you re-open the old rspwfaq.com site? I'm trying to read back your old rants and getting nowhere.
Secondly, can you please do a rant with links to all of the hot pokers rants? They're fantastic to read as to gather a sense of how truly awful the product at the time was, not to mention fucking funny.
Anyway, my question;
What's your favourite under-explored/abandoned angle/character of all time? My personal two favourites are Jericho's "5-0 vs. Goldberg" that lead to no blowoff 'cept a stiff spear on Nitro, and Sean O'Haire's "devil's advocate" gimmick. Would be keen to know if I've missed anything.

1)  The old site is going away and I will be migrating all the old posts over to Blogger once I figure out how to convert six years worth of XML backups from Wordpress format to Blogger format.  rspwfaq.com will permanently redirect here, however.

2)  Honestly, Google is your friend there because I don't even remember the shows that I used them for.  A search for "Hot Poker Up The Ass Rating System" would probably yield good results, although I take no responsibility for any weird stuff that might pop up.

3)  The Sean O'Haire one was indeed great.  The assorted Vince murder mysteries had potential to go somewhere neat and actually utilize their soap opera writers for once, but it was abruptly dropped both times.  Berlyn of course is a famous example of unlimited character potential squandered by WCW in favor of pushing the bodyguard. I foolishly thought that the Masterlock challenges were going to lead to an actual payoff at some time down the road, but no, they just kind of ended.  The Edge/Lita/Matt Hardy real life love triangle that got dropped into Vince's lap in 2005 could have revitalized everyone involved and only ended up benefiting Edge at all.  Recently Santino was looking for a tag team partner to recapture his former tag team glory, and that went nowhere.  Ken Kennedy as the illegitimate son of Vince McMahon was an interesting idea because lord knows there's gonna be some of those out there in real life, but that got dropped.  I dunno, those are the ones off the top of my head, but there's dozens more.  
  

Comments

  1. The Masterlock Challenge was blown off during/sacrificed during Bobby Lashley's big push in 2007. It was just another thing they did to try and get him over before the Trump match.

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  2. I thought that the New Blood vs. the Millionaires had potential, but as a long time WCW fan, had zero confidence they'd pull it off proper.  Of course, the Millionaires became the faces and within a couple of weeks, Russo had the New Blood turning and swerving each other...so, there went that.  

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  3. The AWESOME Trish Stratus/Mickie James angle seemed to get cut short when Trish busted her arm at Backlash, but it at least got like four-five great months before that and probably only had one more match in it anyways. 


    Other than that... Michaels superkicking the Rock on Smackdown went nowhere cool (pretty sure HBK was retired at the time, but still). Jericho's virtual win over HHH on Raw went exactly the way any other non main-eventer's (at the time) wins over HHH go, despite getting one of the great pops in Raw history. I remember Marty Janetty making a one-off comeback to save Shawn from the Spirit Squad/McMahons (this couldn't have been too long after his great match against Angle), but then he just kinda never showed up again.

    One personal favorite of mine that kinda veers into fantasy booking is Perfect's return for the Rumble in 2002, where he came back to a massive pop, and was one of the very last guys out. Him main-eventing against Jericho would have been awesome, and way better than the ridiculous bulldog feud/burial that Triple H doled out. 

    There are others, I'm sure, but those are the ones that spring to mind. 

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  4. I vote for the motherfuckin' NEXUS angle. Wasn't there supposed to be some sort of 'higher power'-ish dimension to it that Barrett alluded to in one of their earlier promos, but was never expanded upon. Most people assumed it would be Cole, and pointed to the fact he had conveniently 'disappeared' during the initial beatdown that kicked it off.

    And why the fuck did they help Kane beat Taker?

    That angle could have been much more than what it was, but I'll always appreciate it as the launching pad for ma boy David Otunga, future top heel of the company (yeah, I said it). Oh, and that Bryan guy too, I guess.

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  5. Yeah, the Nexus stuff seemed like one misfire after another.  It also felt like they were making things up as they went along which resulted in those loose ends you mention.

    Looking back though, aside from Barrett (and Bryan's really really short stint), that group had a lot of fat in it. 

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  6.  I always like the idea of the young guns vs. the old guard feuds, but between that and the Main Event Maifa, it never seems to work. Of course, Russo being the guy behind both of those angles has a lot to do with them sucking.

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  7. I think that Marty thing was around the time it seemed like he was getting hired and fired every other week. Jericho beating HHH at least lead to that great Last Man Standing match at Fully Loaded, so there's that.

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  8. Cut Young and Tarver (which they did eventually) and I'm content with Barrett, Bryan (parallel universe where he doesn't choke Roberts), OTUNGA, Slater/Gabriel (used for tag division). They needed lots of guys to make up for their (initial) lack of cred, but 5 should be enough.

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  9. I loved Hennig to death (maybe a poor choice of words), and also wished his 2002 comeback had been a bigger deal, but aside from the return pop at the Rumble I remember the crowds not being that into him.

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  10. Vince had a gold mine in the Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita triangle, and instead of being patient and letting Hardy play the outsider role who shows up out of nowhere for a while to kick Edge's ass, he rushed him back into the services of WWE.  Not only that, they somehow thought that having Edge beat Matt within an inch of his life in their first match was a good idea.

    WWE's handling of the Nexus angle makes the Invasion look brilliant by comparison.

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  11. For me Kurt/HHH/Steph is the saddest non-ending to a soap-opera storyline.

    Wrestling wise I wish we could have seen Shawn put Austin over a few more times in 98.

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  12. I see where you're coming from, but he didn't get much of a push to get the crowd into him; winning the Rumble generally makes anybody not named Del Rio over, if only temporarily. But even if not, with Rock/Hogan selling Mania anyways, you lose nothing by sticking Hennig in with Jericho for an epic work-rate match to balance it out, instead of HHH putting the crowd to sleep. Of course, it was Mania, HHH was healthy, OF COURSE he was going to main-event. Le sigh. 

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  13. No love for the anonymous RAW general manager?  That was built up for a year...then CM Punk gave his little speech, and nobody ever heard from him/her again.

    For that matter, Punk's Nexus apparently dissolved with no explanation as well.

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  14. I recall Vince handing Matt Hardy a microphone on live TV to explain why he was rehired and Matt cut one of the all-time money losing promos talking about how Lita wasn't REALLY with Kane, she was REALLY with him and that what he was saying was real and everything on TV was fake.  Even in front of a crowd that was (theoretically) nuclear hot for him, this went over like a fart in church. 

    I always just assumed that the story fizzled and led to Edge beating the hell out of him as a response to that awful, miserable promo. 

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  15. My vote has to go with all the angles that were killed off in 1996 WCW thanks to the nWo. What's really stupid is that most of them were axed because everyone had to turn face to fight the nWo, yet Hall and Nash were getting face pops like crazy from day one. Of course, we've all gone over how and why WCW managed to fuck up every decent thing they had going.

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  16. The anonymous GM could only really have been HHH or Cole (or Vince, IT WAS ME ALL ALONG, etc).  With Jericho and then Edge trying to figure out who the anonymous GM really was, I assumed that it was going to be HHH but they never paid it off.  They kept bringing the laptop out for quite awhile after that.  I think it was still out there while Big Johnny just started to become an on air character.  I always assumed that meant they were going to re-visit it at some point.  Oh well.  I still want to know who it was going to be, HHH or Cole.

    Nexus didn't have many people left at the end.  Just Otunga, McGillicutty, Harris and Ryan.  I think Harris had already been kicked back to Florida storyline wise and was already there in reality.  Ryan was hurt if memory serves.  Instead of explaining why Otunga and McGillicutty weren't coming out to Punk's music, they probably figured they shouldn't mess with Punk's new cool factor by having those idiots still associated with him in any way.  I mean yeah they still had the tag titles but who cares about those anyways.

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  17.  You know, I kind of appreciated that there wasn't a higher power behind the Nexus. It would have been nice if it hadn't petered out the way it did, but I'm glad it wasn't just something to get more heat on Triple H, Cole, or Vince, who seemed like the three most likely suspects.

    It is funny that you bring up them helping Kane. A friend and I were talking about that at a Wrestlemania party last year, and I couldn't really give him an answer as to why that didn't go anywhere. That was a real "a wizard did it" moment.

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  18. The biggest problem with the Nexus was the guys they actually trusted to work matches disappeared quickly.  Barrett was OK but they had to save him for money matches (which I'm completely fine with).  Bryan was probably going to be the designated worker but that never happened.  They obviously liked Skip Sheffield but he had a 2 year ankle injury right as he started to get over so that was out.  They assumed Otunga was decent and they assumed wrong and had to stop having him expose the business with every match.  Young and Tarver were green as grass just not as spectacularly bad as Otunga.  Slater and Gabriel ended up having to do way too much heavy lifting for that stable to be taken seriously.  Gabriel probably took Bryan's spot, I recall him wrestling 10 minute singles matches against Orton because hey somebody had to do it and nobody left could be trusted.  As much as they botched Nexus as a whole, they also had some really terrible luck working against them.

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  19. After they helped Kane, I remember Barrett actually mentioning a higher power and a reason behind their actions and that it would all be revealed when they were ready.  They just didn't go back to that ever again.  I don't think they even mentioned it a single time except for the "Otunga might go rogue and expose EVERYTHING" mini-angle that they also completely abandoned for no apparent reason.

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  20. I'll go a few years before when Hogan signed with WCW. Flair as a face was pretty interesting but they had to turn him out of nowhere when Hogan signed. Always wondered what would have ended up happening with face Flair, probably turning on Sting again.

    It also pretty much killed the interesting under card that had going on because they all had to job to Hogan's guys when he brought them in.

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  21. Yep. It was so bad that in Edge's response the following week he actually called Hardy on it and said he thought his promo sucked.

    Everyone watching nodded their heads, agreed and started siding with the guy who stole his girlfriend. Hardy just couldn't cut it on the promos and used the biggest opportunity of his life to prove he would never rise above the mid-card (no matter how awesome V 1.0 was)

    I remember when Hardy lost and for months afterwards he kept saying that he wasn't worried as this was part of some giant 7 act story arc. Did anything ever come out to confirm if there ever was a bigger plan or was it usual Hardy BS?

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  22. New guard vs old guard gets recycled alot but it always ends up sucking.

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  23. Out of genuine curiosity, and not meaning to sound snarky, but what was the potential in Berlyn?

    Seemed like just another Foreign, America-hating heel, except for the pretty neat twist that he refused to speak English and had to bring a translator with him. Other than that, I don't really know where there was to go with the character, or with Alex Wright as the worker behind it.

    Not that I wouldn't have liked to see them try, mind you. I just don't think there was potential for anything terribly new or interesting in the gimmick. What kind of cool things could they have done with him, other than, say, feeding him to Hogan instead of The Wall?

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  24. Give it ten years once Barrett, Bryan, Otunga (and Ryback?) have completed their rise to the top of the card and WWE will be making documentaries about how the nexus was an amazing angle that launched the careers of half their top teir talent of the 2010's.

    It's important to remember just how botched the whole angle was and how it was really only Barrett that benefitted out of it, and even then they completely dropped the ball on that.

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  25. In fairness HHH's return pop at MSG a couple of weeks before the rumble dwarfed anything Perfect got at the Rumble, and I speak as a massive Mr Perfect mark.

    At that point it was perfectly reasonable to hitch their wagon to HHH as he was getting mega face reactions and the angle hadn't gone off the rails yet due to Stephanie / HHH not being the worker he was pre-injury.

    No, the place for Perfect on the WM 18 card would have been putting over Edge instead of him fighting Booker over that shampoo. Could have been like Piper Vs Hart from WM 8

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  26. Just looked up  "Hot Poker Up The Ass Rating System" on Google, and I got one question: what's with the fucked-up formatting on the rants on the Inside Pulse site? There's all this "“Texâ€Â" (that's a cut-&-paste from the WWA rant) all over the place, and it makes it completely unreadable.

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  27. I don't know what they were thinking there either. It was a decent (at best) gimmick in itself, but it's fucking Alex Wright. No chance in hell of anything involving him drawing any heat at all, much less getting over in any way.

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  28. The anonymous GM was finally paid off on Twitter recently when Johnny Ace came out and said it was him.  

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  29. I'd definitely say that Waylon Mercy is one of the most intriguing wrestling characters that had to be abandoned too quickly due to Dan Spivey's recurring injuries. Having a character based on Max Cady from "Cape Fear" who tries to act like a babyface but only comes across as a creepy heel was way ahead of its time, and could have really stood out in an era where so many of the other gimmicks were childish and cartoony.

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  30. That's because much of the IP stuff was copied over from the original postings on 411, which in turn were converted from a variety of word processor files on my computer depending on what program I was using that week.  As I think I've noted in the past, in the days before I basically stuck to one laptop, I would tinker with my computer on a weekly basis and I used to switch from Wordpad to Word to OpenOffice to plain text all the time and it made it a bitch to archive stuff.  Trust me, had I known that people would still give a shit about reading this stuff a decade later, I would have put more care into keeping a consistent format for everything and saving originals.  As it is, there's tons of translation problems, especially when there's stuff like "1/2*" and the word processor wants to convert it to a fraction symbol but the HTML of the website doesn't understand it.  These days I'm pretty meticulous about making sure that doesn't happen.  Your best bet is actually my archives on oowrestling.com if stuff was posted from 2001-2003, because the formatting is the best there for whatever reason.  

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  31. Specifically, here's the first WWA show:

    http://www.onlineonslaught.com/columns/skrants/20020107.shtml 

    And then everything else I posted there at that point in time, including a couple of ones I don't even have in my own archives, in fact:

    http://www.onlineonslaught.com/columns/skrants/index.shtml 

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  32. Thanks to this, I just spent the last hour reading Johnny Ace's Twitter. Hilarious stuff actually.

    Unfortunately I didn't find the tweet, then again, I didn't go through the whole thing.

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  33. Not to defend Hardy, but I swore he was trying to make it seem like Lita was sleeping with HIM behind Kane's back while Lita was sleeping with Edge behind Matt's back.

    Either way, it was stupid.

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  34. It's not actually him, which is a shame. The monkeys that run WWE twitter accounts accidentally tweeted on the wrong account as Big Johnny.

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  35. Lot's of really good examples already given. I agree with Scott that the Sean O'Haire videos were great. Probably some of the best designed hype videos that the WWE has ever had. It says something about how quickly that was dropped that I can't even tell you what he did once he actually showed up and had to wrestle.

    I know it's been beaten to death, but fuck did they bungle the Invasion. I guess it still stings because at the end of the day they ended up bringing in pretty much all the big WCW stars, so I wish that they had either had the patience to wait on the angle until the stars were available, or just buy out their contracts.

    I wonder why they didn't have Angle end up with Stephanie in that storyline, it just seemed like the most obvious thing to do, and as it's been mention before, the crowd(and especially the women that that feud brought in) wanted to see it.

     

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  36. Sorry, but I think that that's as much of an urban myth as "Yes!" chants starting up at a Miami Heat game turned out to be.

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  37. I always felt the Bret Hart/El Dandy feud never got time to develop. 

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  38. Not to change the topic, but how about the feud/storyline that went on WAY too long?  My nominee is the 83 year feud between Tito Santana and Rick Martel.

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  39.  No, I remember seeing the tweets.

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  40. They suck because people always cheer the people they grew up watching over the relatively unknown up and comers.

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  41. Not an urban myth, I was at the Heat-OKC game, I joined in.  It wasn't RAW or anything insane, but trust me, they were audible and they were there.

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  42. The nWo, no contest there. Should have been killed off for good at Starrcade 97, if not sooner.

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  43. Nah, Starrcade 97 was perfect.  I mean, there was still some life left in it after Starrcade 97, but imo, it should've been without Hogan.  Hogan could've moved back to face and Sting, Hogan and Bret could've teamed up to put the final end to them.  ~Fantasy Booking~

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  44. Yeah, this is around the time I really started souring on HHH and his inability, refusal, whatever to just put Angle over in some way.  It was so obvious that Steph needed to betray HHH and turn him face in the process, that to this day, it still annoys me.

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  45.  I may be dating myself a bit, but the AWA Team Challenge Series was not only a terrible idea, but went on way too long

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  46. The Love-Matic Grandpa!April 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    How about The SUPER Shockmaster?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyNli24gQ18 

    Okay, I wouldn't designate him a favorite or anything, but until I saw this match on YouTube, I had no idea that Ottman ever appeared as the character outside of the introductory promo. Who knows, maybe he could have worked as a rival for Vader if WCW had debuted this version as the mystery partner for Sting and Bulldog as opposed to...whatever the hell the original version was supposed to be. I mean, even if "Uncle Fred" hadn't tripped, did they really think he was going to get over as a serious top babyface in THAT outfit?

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  47. I'm just saying that most people were beyond sick of the nWo by Starrcade 97. Hell, thanks to them doing run-ins in what felt like every damn match, a lot of people were sick of them by Starrcade 96.

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  48. They may have been sick of them, but it was drawing so much cash (and ratings), that you couldn't just drop it regardless of run ins.  Shit, it did great business in 98 as well and by then, it was pretty shitty entertainment wise.

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  49. Oh man, when mullets attack!!

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  50. Wow, I had never heard of this before - could have been really interesting to see if they played them as two separate characters, or if it would have been revealed that the original Shockmaster was just trying to redeem himself.

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  51. Pulling the trigger on Owen Hart as a main eventer post-Montreal. They had a great opportunity to do it with the "Black Hart" stuff and ended up destroying his credibility in the HHH feud.

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  52. I think at one point after they helped Kane get rid of Taker, Barrett cut a promo alluding to helping take out one of the old guard or something to that effect. They never really built on the potential of it but they hung a lampshade, I'm pretty sure.

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  53. It takes a really seriously dedicated Smark Denier to try and say that chants at a basketball game were a work.

    Sometimes I swear people forget that the whole world is not wrestling and not everything is orchestrated by a booker somewhere.

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  54. Just so you know, any old rants or posts that were linked to the old site no longer are accessible.  I tried to read some old rants that were from the old site and they're completely gone.

    And it goes for recent ones, too: http://www.rspwfaq.net/2012/01/28/scott-reviews-hhh-v-undertaker/#more-6833

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  55. My pet theory: they should have held out with Waylon Mercy for a few more months and gave it to Barry Windham. I imagine Barry had the mic skills to make it work, and he could have rode it to a much higher position than he had as The Stalker or Blackjack Windham. Not that Spivey was bad with it, but he was one foot out the door in wrestling when he signed to WWF, and his retiring just ended up flaming out too quick for what was a money character.

    My pet theory: instead of being Kassius Ohno, Chris Hero should be Waylon Mercy Jr.

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  56. That's crazy. I didn't remember him ever wrestling in a mask as Shockmaster, although I thought I saw him wrestle at least once as Shockmaster without a mask and wearing some kind of coveralls, as though he was doing an electrician gimmick.

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  57. This may not count as a single storyline, but I'm absolutely SICK TO DEATH of heel authority figures. Seriously, is there ANY reason that promotions still feel the need to rely on this ridiculous crutch?

    I'm not saying that there shouldn't be SOME sort of authority figure, a totally neutral character that shows up once in a blue moon to hand down MAJOR announcements and rulings, but being the focus of one-third of their TV-time and being the go-to feud of every big face, for over FIFTEEN FRIGGIN' YEARS, is absolutely ridiculous.

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  58. This will probably sound ridiculous, but I though Eli Cottonwood would have done well with a "Waylon"-esque gimmick. His size would only add to the mystique and uneasiness of the nice guy that could snap at any time.

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  59. I'm just going to take this opportunity to plug my idea of how the "Nexus" angle SHOULD have gone.

    Full booking:
    http://www.aspiringwwewriter.com/12-n-vasion.html

    PPV cards:
    http://www.aspiringwwewriter.com/-12-ppv-cards-only.html

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  60. Huge like for this one.  Waylon Mercy was one of my favourite wrestling characters ever.  It's easily adaptable enough to give it to someone today (I love the 'Mercy Jr.' idea), though it'll be difficult to fill Spivey's shoes since he did such an amazing job in the role.

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