The Feedback Feedbag! Four-11 Edition!
Greetings and welcome to a new era here for the Feedbag, as I mock my readers on 411wrestling.com for the first time! Smell the ratings!
I'm pretty backlogged, so if anything here is horribly out of date, you know why. (Man, I wish my inbox was only as “backlogged” as it was in those days. Currently sitting at 192 mails dating back to January.)
We start out with Daniel, who goes right for the jugular by asking the philosophical equivalent of "What is the meaning of life"...
Oh well. Thanks for the short(if not to the point) reply about it. I was just curious to know if you could answer a question I have concerning your star ratings:
They seem to be totally different then most puro heads. For instance, i see people give the ladder match from WMX ***3/4, while they give matches from NJPW and AJPW higher ratings then you do. Is there some kind of weird acquired taste that you reviewers have in regards to these matches, because I just don't understand why there is a rarely a match that is universally given the same rating.
Geez, don't give me a HARD question or anything, dude. Why can't anyone ask me for my top 10 Friends episodes or something? (Before you e-mail, that answer will follow at the end of the e-mail)
Anyway, match ratings vary WILDLY according to personal taste, experience, state of mind, drugs taken, alcohol consumed, time of day, number of times watched and who you voted for in the 2000 election. For instance, when you read my reviews, you're reading someone who didn't get introduced into the real hardcore puro stuff until fairly late in the game (and by hardcore I mean "40 minute Misawa matches" not "Atsushi Onita") so when I'm watching the heavily-historically-influenced AJPW stuff, my thoughts on the match don't tend to include all the little nuances like such-and-such psychology being used to negate such-and-such a move that was used in such-and-such a match 5 years ago type of thing. Plus I fucking hate the whole NJPW heavyweight style outside of a couple of guys, so I just tend to ignore it altogether.
As for the ladder match, most of the people who give it ***** were watching it live on the PPV in 1994, and most who give it lower only saw it afterwards. That's my generalized take on it. It's a very powerful match the first time you see it, but if you're watching it compared to the more psychology-driven AJPW stuff or the more spot-heavy late 90s ladder stuff, I can see where it might get dragged down as a result. But that's the wonderful thing about subjective star ratings -- what people give different matches helps you, the reader, determine for yourself what their tastes are going to be, and you can adjust your own mindset towards their work accordingly. If star ratings were objective and truly universal, it'd be pretty boring and stifling, creatively speaking. In my opinion only, of course.
John Ratchford writes to ask...
I am writing a piece about pro-wrestlers in feature films, with
specific reference to WWF wrestler The Rock's upcoming role in The
Scorpion King. As the author of 'The Buzz on Professional Wrestling', I
was hoping I could ask you a few questions:
The Rock has shown he can be a proven draw in the wrestling arena. Do
you think this popularity will transfer across to the box office?
Is The Rock getting film roles purely because of his popularity as
wrestler, or does he have some genuine acting ability?
Can The Rock transcend the stigma of being a wrestler and become a
legitimate actor, or will his Hollywood career resemble Hulk Hogans
(star of 'Santa with Muscles', quite possibly the worst movie ever
Yay, lists, everybody loves questions in the form of a list.
1) Box office is a different animal than wrestling completely. No one has any clue what causes people to draw at the box office, despite what industry weasels may claim while relentlessly shilling the latest Brendan Fraser vehicle before it tanks. I mean, for proof of that, try to explain the popularity of Robin Williams or Adam Sandler. For instance, if movies were wrestling, someone like Fraser would become a draw, because he'd get pushed and repackaged until he got over due to having the "movie star look". Hollywood is in some ways a lot more unforgiving, and if something tanks once, sometimes you don't get another chance at it, no matter how you look or act. Personally, I don't think Rock can carry a $200 million blockbuster, but god knows I've wrong about stuff like that before. (Yeah, I was wrong about that one, for sure.)
2) Rock is getting roles due to his incredible natural charisma and sucking up to the right people in the right places at the right time. Rock was put into a very public Hollywood position early on, and he carried himself like one of the homegrown LA parasites and as a result he's part of the "in club" now. And good for him. I'd rather see Rock making $20 million a movie and having his biggest concern be the temperature of his bottled water, rather than wasting his time carrying the WWF through bad times and killing his body.
3) I think if any wrestler can transcend wrestling, it's the Rock. He's one of the only ones to not get caught up in the politics of being a wrestler, and not take themselves so seriously in such a ridiculous profession. People who think that online fans take this shit too much to heart should talk to a worker, even a low-level one, sometime. The biggest marks are the ones in the ring, and Rock is so far above that sort of nonsense that leaving the business doesn't have to be like leaving the Mafia, like with every other guy who "retires". (And good for Rock, he did transcend wrestling.)
MR FTW writes...
"The replay is obviously doctored by the biased American production crew in order to simulate someone holding the tights."
...You do realize this doesn't really make any sense considering both Edge and Jericho are Canadian don't you?
That's exactly the sort of response I was expecting from those trying to throw me off the scent! The truth is out there, I knew it.
GBK from AOL writes...
I'm sure others have covered this better, but why were d'lo brown, DDP and Sean 'o Haire burried like they were. It doesn't make any sense. I love the rants and keep up the good work.
Okay, here we go...
1) D'Lo Brown was buried, fairly or not, because he broke Droz's neck with a botched powerbomb, and politically speaking the only way to keep everyone happy was to punish him. I don't necessarily agree with that move, but that was their decision to deal with it, and there's nothing to be done about it now. Personally I think they had high hopes for Droz which were totally unfounded in reality and D'Lo is paying the price despite being a better long-term prospect, but Droz is a tall, muscular white guy who played football while D'Lo is a short, chubby black guy who used to be an accountant, so draw your own conclusions.
2) I go over the DDP situation in the new book, Tonight...In This Very Ring, in great detail, but basically my own theory is that DDP got buried as a message to those from WCW who used their political influence to get their spot, rather than "hard work". This is of course a bunch of crap, and hypocritical crap at that considering who the WWF champion is today, but then DDP is the one who signed the lucrative deal in WCW while the buyrates were dropping faster than Missy Hyatt at a Viagra testing lab, so he knew what he was getting into.
3) Sean O' Haire is another one of those Mafia-type "messages", and in this case the message was "WCW wanted to push this guy to the moon, so we don't want to." They might spew crap about how he can't work "WWF style" and he's "not ready", but I've got two words: Big Show. Hell, you're telling me that Brock Lesnar is such an original and difficult idea to pull off that Sean couldn't have been used in the same role? Of course not, but O'Haire is a WCW product, so he has to be deprogrammed and buried to let everyone know that indeed Vince has a bigger dick than Bischoff. (Turns out there was other stuff with O’Haire, like his total inability to cut a promo outside of the pre-taped vignettes, but then that’s what pairing him with Roddy PIper as a mouthpiece should have solved. O’Haire should have been HUGE.)
Mr. DHS has some stuff on his mind...
Hey, Scott, just wanted to submit my two cents about this week as well as
say that I think you're still the most right-on ranter/recapper/columnist in
the internet biz. You may not always be right, but you at least have the
most thought-out and rational complaints of anyone out there. First off, I
enjoyed Wrestlemania thoroughly. Okay, Rock-Hogan was a workrate nightmare,
but I was predicting that from the start. Hulk can't even take a punch or a
simple back bump worth a shit. But the reaction he got in Toronto was truly
awe-inspiring, and I give him credit for letting himself be emotionally
affected by it instead of just acting like he deserved it. The match was
well-booked for who was involved, and that will make it worthy of going down
in history like it will. The rest of the card was lackluster, and the crowd
wasn't buying it. The bands? Bad fucking idea. I always say above all
else remember: it's the World WRESTLING Federation. Need I say more? As
for Monday, Hogan's inability to execute the legdrop with the left leg or
just do the extra rope bounce to right himself was rather pitiful for me to
endure. I am sick of nWo finishes. Really sick. I really dig RVD. He
deserves 20 minutes and free reign to attempt as many suicidal spots as he
wants every week. Well, maybe not, but he at least should get 15 minutes to
work with Christian again. Give Edge-Angle 15 while you're at it. I hate
Stephanie. And she isn't even hot. The boob job makes her look fat, that's
it, I swear. And Thursday? I'm already sick of Brock Lesnar. Beating up
on Spike, Hurricane and Molly does NOT impress me, nor should it anyone. I
hate to say it, but they're actually wasting Heyman with this mongoloid. He
isn't even as BIG as Goldberg (or Jewish), how is he gonna get over like
Goldberg? Hey, I think Nash actually worked better than Hogan, call me
crazy. Well, except for that Fucking Bearhug of Hideous DiscomfortTM he
pulled out. X-Pac looked in good shape, and the new duds are really working
for those nWo boys. And that's...about it for them. If not a SPLIT, at
least fucking call it a DRAFT. Who knows, you might pull in a couple of
random sports fans instead of driving away lots of confused wrestling fans
who think "brand extension" means the WWF is gonna start selling breakfast
cereals and toiletries on Monday. With all that said, you have continued to
be fair and either postive or negative depending on your honest opinion of
things throughout everything, and that is why I remain loyal to your rants
and refuse to give in to the negativity that surrounds your good name.
Maybe you can escape the AOL Criticism Zone by switching places with a
Mirror Universe Scott Keith who types all his rants in pure white on black
backgrounds and offers to sodomize Vince Russo for his benevolent brilliance
at the end of every column. Just a thought.
Even the Mirror Universe Scott would not want to sodomize Vince Russo, of that I can assure you. I think Paul Roma might need the money, though, so perhaps he's available in my place.
Stephen Osborne asks...
Since this isn't about me, it's about you, let's ignore the facts that I'm not a big fan of AOL and that I'm not taking the Scaia ground on your original Monday column...
All the credit in the world to you for finding a way to entertain yourself when Monday's show certainly couldn't do it. My only disappointment with the column is that I was looking forward to your bashing on Tuesday and had to wait an extra day for it.
At this point, do you think the WWF needs something of the same magnitude as when the nWo was introduced or a "Montreal"? Or what kind of small steps can they take?
Lastly, if the WWF is on a WCW-like slide, do you think there will be some promotion there to pick up the slack? Or is it time to stick the proverbial fork in wrestling / sportz entertainment as we know it?
I don't think this is a "WCW-like slide" at all, my point has always just been that you can see vestiges of WCW in what they're doing, and following WCW's lead on ANYTHING cannot possibly lead to good. I think it's easily turned around in the long run, they just need to tweak the product with some Pride-like realism in terms of the in-ring action and train the fans to accept the wrestling portions of the show as important again. (Which they did. It was a LONG re-training period to get Attitude era Russo fans back into stuff like submissions and long matches on RAW.) Not to say that everyone should go around working the arm with cross-armbreakers for the whole match, but using high kicks instead of punches can go a long way towards dispelling the whole stereotype about "stomp stomp punch" type of lame matches and establish that indeed there's something new and different on the horizon. Wrestling is a change-or-die industry, and if nothing else, at least the split shows SOME willingness to admit that a major change was necessary to prevent the business from getting too stagnant again. You never would have seen that from WCW -- it would have been lost in the beancounting bureaucracy and filed in a manila folder under a mayonnaise jar in the basement of CNN Center before anyone knew it existed.
Chris Tayler writes...
"I'm kinda suprised you didn't at least enjoy that Benoit was the fifth overall pick, ahead of hogan and kane and such. That has to at least hint that the WWF has plans for him. Plus, they put him in the same division as Angle, which can only lead to good things. A quick questions. Who do you think is a better technical wrestler, Benoit before he was hurt or Angle.
I'm not really sure myself, although I think Angle gets more out of his opponents(witness his KOTR match with Shane). At any rate, I enjoy your work, you're one of the few I still read, and, god help me, actually look forward to your next book. Later."
Well, Angle WAS an Olympic gold medalist, so I'd say he wins that one by default.
I don't actually agree that Benoit's placement means anything in terms of plans, it was just one of those weird political things to keep everyone relatively happy.
And on that note, we close up the Feedbag Feedbag!
'O’Haire should have been HUGE'ReplyDelete
youre not tellin us anything we don't already know
i thought i heard somewhere that d'lo was got d'pushed cause he was spouting off about going to dub-cee-dub only to find he had like a year left on his contract, so they figured he wasnt a teamer player if he was so eager to leaveReplyDelete
Page was a) a buddy of Bischoff's, b) a very distinct personality in real life, making him an easy target for ribs and the "not fitting in" label, though by all accounts Page is a great guy, and c) was probably TOO willing to do jobs, thus giving WWE the green light to job him as much as they wanted.ReplyDelete
O'Haire was hugely unpopular in the locker room, and perhaps an example of why WWE puts all young prospects through the 'six-month jobbing depush' phase so they don't get a big head. It seemed like O'Haire came into the company with a big ego and it got even bigger as he seemed to be getting a push.
The real crime isn't that O'Haire wasn't pushed following those vignettes, but that WWE hasn't tried to revive that gimmick 10 years later with a guy who can actually talk and improvise on the mic. Wouldn't someone like, say, Wade Barrett be incredible as a "devil's advocate"?
I wonder how many of those guys actually had bad attitudes and how many were *said* to have bad attitudes by WWE guys.ReplyDelete
Hey...where's that Friends top 10 list, buddy? As Patrick Star once said "Liar, liar..plants for hire"ReplyDelete
Dlooas like 63 or 64 I dunno howw thata amakes him short. I rethink bebwhe wass tallewler athab dro+z. I'm 6yaq band dalo was tallallaer than me whwene I mwaet hiom.ReplyDelete
After seeing your facebook posts, I was hoping you'd hit up the BoD...ReplyDelete
The best episode is The One Where The Stripper Cries. You've got the party with DeVito, Joey on Pyramid, and Ross & Chandler doing the flash back to college. That episode is unstoppable. Season 10 actually has a ton of great eps.ReplyDelete
I will restate my post in plain English: since it said up there something about "short, chubby D-Lo", I wanted to point out that D-Lo is like 6'4 and I'm pretty sure he was taller than Droz. I'm about 6'1 and D-Lo was a little taller than me when I met him.ReplyDelete
D-Lo claims after the Droz thing he became a bitter alcoholic and started doubting himself, and he probably was self-sabotaging by that point. It does seem weird that he went from being on the verge of a breakout to being Godfather's mini-me and wearing a stupid turban.ReplyDelete
The One with the Prom VideoReplyDelete
The One Where No One's Ready
The One with the Embryos
D'Lo also had 5 times the charisma of Droz IMO. Droz was boring as hell and didn't really have anything besides a unique look.ReplyDelete
''stewardess i speak jive!"ReplyDelete
i think part of is was ohaires look. he had a good sinister look to him.ReplyDelete
'started doubting himself,'ReplyDelete
at least he didnt start doubting el dandy
The Thanksgiving episode with Brad Pitt, hands-down. Joey and Ross eating Rachel's terrible dessert is maybe the funniest scene in the history of the show.ReplyDelete
can't upvote this enoughReplyDelete
I like the one where they do the bet. "big fat goalie." Ms. Chanandler Bong.ReplyDelete
My top two are The One Where Ross Got High ("..that tastes like feet!") and The One With the Embryos (the quiz show game). Those two are on another plane than all the others IMHO, but The One Where No One's Ready ("..you steal my clothes, I'm wearing everything you own") and The One Where Everyone Finds Out are not far behind.ReplyDelete
But he could puke on demand. How is that not money?ReplyDelete
"b) a very distinct personality in real life, making him an easy target for ribs and the "not fitting in" label, though by all accounts Page is a great guy"ReplyDelete
I don't know if you did this intentionally, but either way it's hilarious, calling Page an easy target for "ribs", considering that he wore that tape on his ribs in WCW for what seemed like years.
In WWE, not shaking hands with the whole locker room or not telling people like JBL what an "honor" it is to even work in the same building as them can get you the rep of having a "bad attitude".ReplyDelete
Yeah, D'Lo thought he could jump to WCW like Jeff Jarrett and get a big push because he was close buddies with Vince Russo.ReplyDelete
I love the One Where No One's Ready & Monica's Thunder. They're written in an I Love Lucy style of classic TV, in where both episodes take place in basically one piece of scenery.ReplyDelete
Yeah, watching D'Lo go from one of the hottest acts in the company with great workrate, to basically a Jobber, was horribly depressing, but his own work was beginning to falter.ReplyDelete
One of the more horrifying things to watch nowadays is that SummerSlam math where he nearly Drozbombs Jeff Jarrett on his fucking head- Scott made a joke about it in one of his later reviews, and HOLY FUCK does it look like D'Lo's just naturally clumsy.
"TOW No One's Ready", easily. That's the episode that I would show someone who never saw the show and wanted to know what the big deal was. I still laugh my ass off when Phoebe gets the hummus on her dress: "OH MY GOD YOU......ROTTEN BOYS!!!"ReplyDelete