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Ryback as a main eventer


I keep reading articles (like this one from Grantland http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8549898/the-beginner-guide-ryback-wwe-superstar-headlining-hell-cell) about how the WWE has made a star in Ryback.
 
Where is this coming from? Ratings haven't just fallen - they're down to pre-Monday Night Wars level. And this has all occured during Ryback's push. The guy gets some decent heat but the notion he is actually a main event draw is baffling to me. I mean, maybe the plan is for CM Punk to make him look like a billion dollars on Sunday but I am just not seeing it.
 
Are you? I feel like the smarter wrestling fans are SO desperate for something new that they've sold themselves on Ryback. I don't even know if Ryback/Punk on Monday Night Raw for free would get me to tune in. At $50? Heck no.

Ryback isn't a draw and AJ is definitely not a draw and Team Hell No aren't draws either.  However, what WWE is doing is fairly ingenious, in that they're basically using The Big Lie to create new stars out of them.  I'm of course referring to the method of telling the same lie over and over until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and eventually the truth.  WWE keeps acting like Ryback is a big ratings mover and telling people he's a big star on the rise, and you get articles like the Grantland one which basically do WWE's own PR work for them.  I have no doubt that if he squashes Punk on Sunday (which might happen) and they gets featured in main events every week (which might happen) that he will indeed be part of the main eventers club for good.  Which is interesting because they made no effort to do it with CM Punk, so that shows who they REALLY want as their top guys.

But yeah, ratings patterns are pretty clear in that these people are not compelling new viewers to tune in, and Ryback isn't exactly tearing up the house show circuit with Punk either.  But I concur with others -- eventually they have to make SOMEONE into a new star, so why not Ryback?     

Comments

  1. I'm just happy that it's not a Cena-centric PPV.

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  2. The "Big lie" is nothing new in either wrestling or TV in general. How often do we see a network proclaiming how some new show is a "huge hit" after 1 or 2 weeks when the ratings don't justify the description? They keep pushing this idea that it's a hit until audiences start to take note and see what the noise is about. One example is SNL. Lorne Michaels was proclaiming it a hit after 1 or 2 shows when the ratings in no way justified that description.



    In wrestling we saw it with Diesel. Vince just kept telling everyone over and over that Diesel was a big star. Now in this case the numbers never moved, but he was pushed this way for a year. I'm sure others can come up with plenty of examples of promoters and announcing teams touting someone as a main eventer, a big star, someone who draws, when in actuality, they don't. Jarrett might be another good example in WCW. But Ryback is hardly the first guy to be pushed as the next big thing or even the current big thing despite evidence to the contrary.


    And all that is without even getting into my theory that no one is a so-called draw anymore. The brand sells. There are too many characters, too many matches, too many shows, too many storylines, and too many other factors to blame the ratings or give credit for ratings all to one guy or even the top two or three guys. Sometimes circumstances simply happen and it's not the fault of the guy on top. And to a lesser degree sometimes someone just gets lucky to be a main eventer at a time the product is hot or at least on the upswing and it's really hard and generally unfair to credit them for that upswing.

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  3. But it will mean jack in the long term, because if Ryback wins or loses, Cena will CRUSH HIM. Cena's NOT going to let Ryback stay a top guy and steal his popularity.

    Watch Cena solve kill three birds with one stone to eliminate the current top faces on Raw after having Ryback finish burying Punk: Ryback will get squashed by Kane, who's tag team with Bryan will be broken up for no good reason and basically buried. Cena meanwhile will finish the burial of Danial Bryan, squashing him like a bug.

    Meanwhile Kane, assuming he beats Ryback for the belt, will lose to the Rock at Royal Rumble (more revenge from Cena, since no one will give a fuck about the Rock coming back if he's fighting fucking KANE) and once Royal Rumble doesn't get extra buys because Rock is doing a dream match but fighting one of the Attitude era cronies no one cares about much, Cena will have all of the excuse he needs to demand Rock lay down for him at Wrestlemania, claiming that after killing Punk/Bryan/Kane/Ryback to eliminate ALL rival faces on Raw, that the WWE has no choice but to keep him strong/give him the belt, meaning Rock must lay down for Cena at WM and then suck him off as the "true chosen one" from then onward.....


    And Kane will fight Ryback at WM in a nothing match while Punk and Bryan will curtain jerk and Bryan will probably lose even quicker than he lost last year at Wrestlemania to further punish him for getting over without permission (while Punk barely gets any screentime at all at WM)

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  4. Hell In a Cell: Ryback beats Punk

    Survivor Series: Kane and Bryan Danials lose a non-title match to Cena/Ryback in a match where Ryback is portrayed as a total and complete bitch and Cena beats both members of Team Hell No
    Punk gets a nothing match against Sheamus where he jobs like a bitch
    December PPV: Kane (having broken up with Bryan after SS) beats Ryback like a bitch and wins the belt. Cena beats Danial Bryan like a bitch. Punk probably doesn't even make the PPV.

    Royal Rumble: Rock beats Kane for the belt, in a match no one wants to see, because Cena knows that the best way to neuter the Rock is to deny fans the dream matches they want. Cena wins the Royal Rumble, probably by way of overt cheating, robbing CM Punk of the win and title shot.

    February PVP: Cena beast Punk again to retain his world title shot and further buries Punk.

    Wrestlemania: Cena beats Rock for the title, because he has destroyed all of his rival faces and then tells Vince they have to give him the belt because they need a face to have it and he's the only face around after Cena destroyed anyone who could be presented as an alternative to Cena. Bryan loses to Punk quicker than he did to Sheamus last year in the opening match, and are not seen for the rest of the PPV after their ultra short match. Kane beats Ryback once and for all to kill his heat.

    Post-WM PPV: Kane vs Cena with Cena winning. Punk and Bryan are lowly jobber level guys and Ryback is gone from the company.

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  5. Are you shitting me? Cena's going to basically steal Ryback's thunder entirely.

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  6. Did I just get Baked?


    I'm not sure why you're getting so angry about your own fantasy booking scenarios. I'd also point out that Cena did jobs for Tensai, Big Johnny, Punk, Rock, and a few other people this year, so I don't even know where you're getting this "Cena makes everyone his bitch" stuff that you've been going on for weeks about. I don't know what crazy stuff you've got going on in your head, but we've known for months now that i'll be Rock v. Punk at the Rumble with Rock winning the belt after a million awesome promos, and then losing it to Cena at Wrestlemania. This is called "making money" and I applaud them for attempting to do so.

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  7. But Kane is the tag team champions

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  8. Didn't the Monday Night Wars teach us anything? Nitro had 2 ratings higher than 4.0 in 1996, the year the nWo debuted. Guess how many 4.0+ ratings they got in all of 1997. *12*. They started 1998 with *16 straight* and finished the year with 30.

    And Raw's ratings were shit for all of 1997, never topping a 4.0. This is a year that had the Hart Foundation form, Stone Cold emerge, DX formed, and the Rock turning heel. It took until April 8, 1998 for Raw to go above a 4.0 and it didn't go back down the crapper for FOUR YEARS.

    It takes awhile for good content to catch on and it takes awhile for bad content to drive people away. Especially for a long-running niche show with a devoted fanbase.

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  9. What did Ryback request during the company hunting trip?


    FEED! ME! BOAR!

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  10. FFS, are you done yet?

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  11. "Bryan Danials"? I think someone is baked, yeah...

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  12. So I'm guessing you don't like Cena?

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  13. I'm the tag team champions!

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  14. I went to a house show Sunday and Ryback seemed pretty over to me. There were almost as many Ryback shirts in the crowd as Cena and Punk ones. Kids seem really into him and there were lots of "Feed Me More" signs. It's an easy phrase to latch onto and chant.
    I'm so glad to have a new face in the main event.

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  15. To play devil's advocate (great pinball game!), by that same logic can't you say that CM Punk isn't a draw or star either? I mean, during Punk's reign, the ONLY thing that has improved was PPV buyrates. And as we all know, Punk isn't exactly the one they're centering those shows around.


    Don't get me wrong, I DO think Punk is a star. But we gotta apply the same logic to everybody.

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  16. Did Cena not give you an autograph or fuck ur moms and not call her back?

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  17. So many people under the ridiculous impression that Ryback is actually winning the title!

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  18. How was Ryback vs Ziggler on your favorite show? Surprisingly I haven't seen Main Event discussed here this week.

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  19. are you a rooster owned by Jerry Lawler's neighbor?

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  20. Post-WM PPV: After defeating Kane, Cena tears his mask off & calls him Big Daddy Dentist?

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  21. The Kane winning the title thing is pretty hilarious though

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  22. Vince: "HIRE THIS BEAUTIFUL BASTARD!"

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  23. Worst_in_the_WorldOctober 27, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Holy shit you're annoying

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  24. Why doesn't Cena get any blame for the shitty ratings? It's the Cena show, all Cena all the time. And the ratings are going down. So why not see if a Cena break or a change for Cena (like heel turn? I know, I know...) stops the downside.

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  25. Punk's not really the center of raw, either. It's either about John Cena's love affair or whatever stupid GM or heel authority figure Cena is feuding with.

    I'd actually say the downturn in ratings means the fans don't want to see Punk as a heel.

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  26. Where does the Grantland article say that Ryback is a draw or a star? It does a smidge of whitewashing by not including the Goldberg chants and how the crowd didn't much care until the last month or so. But mainly, I see an informative article that traces Ryback's journey to where he is -- nothing about how he's here to save wrestling or usurp Cena or Punk or Sheamus as the top guy.

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  27. I'd argue your point on Team Hell No. I don't study ratings, though, so my small sample may be invalid. However, I recall there were a couple of shows (maybe in September) that there were substantial increases with D Bry and Kane segements.


    Judging by the signs and t-shirts and apeshit fan reaction, I'd also say that they're stars as well. You think Vince actually wanted to admit someone like Bryan is a star?

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  28. And check out oswreview.com facebook page or their youtube page, people. Think MST3K, Botchamania, and comedy between old friends--it's one of the best wrestling shows you'll find. Old School Wrestling Review... I have no stake in it, but it's more than cool enough to pimp out.

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  29. What did Ric Flair request?


    Feed Me Whore

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  30. What did Ryback say during the camping trip?

    FEED! ME! S'MORE!

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  31. What happened when Ryback was interrumpted by Rhino?


    FEED! ME-
    GORE! GORE! GORE!

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  32. Because he's basically Vince's binky at this point. He's the only legit top star that didn't ditch him for other fields (Rock, Brock, Lashley, Batista) or a quiet retirement (Austin, Michaels) and still gets a major reaction from the crowd, so Vince keeps pushing him for being a loyal company man.

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  33. I really do think you overstate Cena's influence.

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  34. Sorry, gang. This wins.

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  35. Ryback is not winning.


    The end game of Punk's heel turn was and always was the match with the Rock at the Royal Rumble. The only reason Ryback is in this position is because of Cena's arm injury.


    (which reeks of Shawn Michaels' leg injury in the sense that if you're going to have him medically cleared the week before the show, why not stick with the Cena/Punk Cell match to give the feud real closure)

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  36. Because you can push the Punk/Cena match to Survivor Series to bump its buyrate instead.

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  37. Nobody cares what you think because you're a fucking idiot

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  38. Also the Undertaker was a binky as well.

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  39. What did Ryback say when he went to the library?


    FEED! ME! FOLKLORE!

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  40. Unfortunately, I could still see him showing up to do something during the main event. Maybe he inadvertently costs Ryback the match leading to a triple threat feud?

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  41. Threadjack:

    Not that it's any great shakes to the true NWA title we all know and love, but seriously, WTF:

    ...NWA affiliate wrestling show in Australia tonight, where Adam Pearce faced
    Colt Cabana in the final match of their seven levels of hate series.

    Colt won by submission, and afterwards both he and Pierce cut a promo in regards to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Pierce said as part of losing the series he would leave the NWA forever. He said Colt deserved the NWA Championship.

    However, Colt said the NWA represented the old era, and he was the future, talking about the podcast, YouTube, etc. Colt didn't accept the title, so Pierce dropped the belt, vacating the title. He finished the promo with "I wish the NWA the best in their future endeavors." So apparently right now there is no NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

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  42. It was your typical Ryback squash match.

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  43. This is one the few main events in which its very hard to predict who is leaving HITC champ. CM Punk needs to win so he can hold that belt for the Rock till Royal Rumble leading to a Cena/Rock 2 match at WM 29. People should know by now Cena is just waiting to get his win back from the Rock.

    Ryback will be protected since CM Punk is now playing the coward heel. Brock Lesnar won't attack Ryback since I believe they want a Lesnar/Undertaker match @ WM 29 and a Lesnar/Ryback match should be saved till next year, that is if Lesnar signs a new deal.

    WWE could try to sign Goldberg and have him play a role @ HITC since it is in ATL. But Goldberg looks to be done for good in the business.

    My guess is that Cena somehow gets involved and the new GM whoever it may be (Flair??) does a screwjob ending on Ryback.

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  44. The writer at Grantland is basically an unpaid part of WWE's PR department. I haven't watched Raw in 3 months, so I don't know what kind of reaction the fake Goldberg is getting, but I doubt it. You don't get somebody over as a face by shoving them down the throat of your fans. The main reason to watch PG-in-a-cell tomorrow night is to see the WWE's new #1 face get booed out of the building after he wins the title.

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  45. When will the IWC acknowledge that maybe CM PUnk isn't quite as over with the average fan as everyone wants to pretend he is? I know it's cool to blame everything bad on Cena and AJ. While ratings have remained in the low 3s for most of the year, they didn't really bottom out until Punk started headlining PPVs last month.

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  46. What did ryback say when his wife caught herpes?

    FEED! ME! SORES!

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  47. Actually I think that pushing a wrestler is always about telling us that this wrestler is a star, even if he ain't yet.

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  48. Indeed. The whole 'so and so isn't a draw' thing in the present tense is just about impossible to objectively describe to begin with, especially in an era without a longstanding mega hit, like a Hogan, Austin, or the NWO that you can definitively point at and say 'that's big money and has been so for a few years now'. Even then it is a sketchy at best proposition because in the hottest of times you had strong opposition and hot mid-card acts. What % do they contribute to ticket sales?

    In this day and age when WrestleMania will likely do close to a million buys with sub- 3.0 ratings for RAW says a lot about how things have changed and how the brand means everything now. Back In 1997, WrestleMania did a buyrate in proportion with it's business, at just a touch over 230,000 buys.

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  49. What did Vince say to Linda as his price to stay away from her campaign?


    FEED! ME! WHORES!

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  50. You're that guy who has a shrine in your closet to Cena, right? But like, it's a voodoo shrine and you poke a Cena figure with needles. In fact, you're the reason he tore his bicep, aren't you? You paid a fat hooker to steal some of his hair, and then you added it to your voodoo shrine so you could do your naked black magic rituals where you rhythmically dance while covered in pigs' bloods and Cena hair and action figures.

    What I'm saying is,

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  51. Except that his storyline last year is the only storyline to actually get mainstream attention that didn't involve an outside celebrity. Also, the live crowds loved him, and not in the "chant Goldberg during his match, but then the actual catchphrase afterward" kind kind of way.

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  52. He is plenty over. Probably too soon for a main event, but as The Masked Man pointed out in the article, it's not a bad choice since he's not so established that he can't be shunted back down the card once Cena comes back.

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  53. Is it wrong that I want to reply with "Yes, Sensei" or some convoluted reason to mention a sweeping of the leg every time I see your posts?

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  54. I don't know what other people here think but ryback represents everything I hate about the wwe. He can't wrestle, he can't cut a promo but he's getting an undefeated streak push and a ppv main event because vkm loves body builders. There are at least 30 guys who should be there ahead of this fucking gorilla. If the wwe marketing machine got behind kofi or any other guy who could work they would be more over. Am I really supposed to give a shit that some big beefcake who can't work is getting a push?

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  55. If they don't book this match as an abbreviated copy of the Shawn/Taker HIAC from '97 then they're nuts. You have it right there. Ryback murders Punk for 10 minutes, Brock rips the door off the cell, Ryback and Brock brawl, Ryback takes the F5 into a ring post, Punk sneaks out as champ. What I really want to see is Ryback being helped up by a group of referees only for the guy to take out all the zebras. When's the last time a wrestler destroyed like 10 refs? That was always a cool spot for a face to do to put him over as an uncontrollable monster. Also a great image to close the show on.

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  56. Totally agree. He's everything I hate about WWE. You have Punk, talented wrestler, but aside from that, when allowed to do his thing he got himself over to the point he was on the verge of being their next big thing. But that wasn't what they really wanted to happen, so now they're killing that. But Ryback is big and I guess Vince loved him for years, so from the time he steps on TV it's "you're going to like him because we want you to".

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  57. Or it bottomed out when they pulled the plug on CM Punk the face and turned him into the latest meanie John Cena has to beat.

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  58. Why doesn't the whole "half the crowd hates him" thing get a closer look. Cena is supposed to be the draw. He's the guy the show is about. Half the crowd can't stand him. Maybe half the crowd hates him = fewer people watching the show to see him.

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  59. That's not entirely accurate - they get mainstream attention when wrestlers die.

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  60. I'd really like to see that, actually, complete with Heyman yelling "Gore! Gore! Gore!" as it happens.

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  61. Someone mentioned that they don't think any individual is a draw anymore and it's the WWE brand that sells....isn't that the problem? I always feel the need to specify that I wasn't the "typical" internet fan who liked CM Punk because he was great on ROH. I appreciated his talents but I really didn't care if he ever got past the IC title. But when he dropped the pipe bomb and appeared to be the guy who was calling for the shitty WWE to change, he became a draw for me. I tuned in to see what we was going to do. There's always been certain guys I watched specifically for. Austin, Rock, Foley, Michaels, Triple H, Jericho, Edge....I cared what those guys did, I was entertained by them, I legit wanted to see what they were do each week, whether it be a match or a promo, so I tuned in every week.



    People didn't stop watching WCW to watch WWF just because it was the WWF. They wanted to watch Steve Austin. He drew people in, and the rest of the show made them keep watching. But right now there's nobody who stands alone as someone you have to see. In their mind that guy seems to be Cena. But really, if half the crowd on a given night is booing him, do you think they're all going home to watch him the next week? They're saying they don't like him. If they don't like him are they going to tune in to follow his weekly adventures? The guy you're supposed to watch the show to see being hated by half the audience is going to show up in the numbers sooner or later, if it hasn't yet.

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  62. Except that Binky always had the crowd behind him when he was a face.

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  63. I think the WWE was still unsure of how serious John's arm injury was, to be fair.

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  64. Yeah. You would think. He is very close to an Umaga, but not as bad.

    For the last decade, guys like Cena, Edge, Orton, Punk, Alberto have been the rule, not the exception.

    So why is WWE sticking to that "bigger is better" motif like it's going to work?

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  65. Give me 60 pushups on your knuckles!

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