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Friday Night Quad

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Buff Bagwell recently gave an interview where he said that Spike Dudley didn't belong near a wrestling ring. I guess that's why he lasted over 4 years in WWE Buff, while you got fired after less then 4 weeks. And how did you make use of your time in WWE Buff? You were late for every training session at Titan Towers, ruined what might have been a decent Invasion storyline by entering your typically sub-par performance, missed house shows and had your mother calling in sick for you, and, oh yeah; got bitchslapped by The Hurricane. So, while a guy who had 'no business' being near a wrestling ring was making a decent, albeit low-level, six-figure income for 4 years, you were restricted to making about $1,000 a shot on the Indy scene, when you could get booked. Life must suck for you Buff, knowing that Spike Dudley was on national television while you were scratching with the chickens.

 

Is it just a coincidence that some of the most nonsensical stuff posted is from people who clearly either don't know what they are talking about, or are desperately trying to hold onto some misguided bias?

 

Earl Hebner was fired this past week, apparently for selling merchandise without permission. I'm sure Hebner can find solace in the fact that, after Montreal, he got a raise to $500,000 a year, meaning he's earned around $3.5m or so since then.

 

After the huge negative reaction to the terrorist angle on Smackdown two weeks ago, UPN told WWE that Muhammad Hassan can no longer appear on Smackdown. Subsequently, it's now been confirmed that the Hassan character will be dropped altogether, with his match against Undertaker this Sunday presumably being his swan song. I'm probably going to talk about this one in a little more depth in a future blog entry, so I'll just say for now that the people who blindly defended this angle, and most of the people defending it were doing so blindly, probably have no clue how much damage that terrorist angle really did, but I doubt they even care about that.

 

Another RVD thread, and another round of people showing their bias and a lack of understanding of wrestling. This is another subject that I'll cover in a future blog entry, but suffice it to say that, yes, in some ways RVD is overrated, but to write him off for that is incredibly short-sighted. And the comparison to Shelton Benjamin is funny for all the wrong reasons,

 

There's a Smackdown PPV this weekend. No, really, there is a PPV this weekend, though you might not know it. There isn't one match on the card that I'm interested in seeing. I'm sick of JBL in the main event, and even if Batista beats the shit out of him and pins him clean, which he should, I don't want to see it, because I've zero desire to see JBL in the main event. Animal and Heidenreich v MNM? MNM should win, and they should beat Animal, but knowing Animal's hatred of doing jobs, it'll be the guy sticking around who does the job. Undertaker v Hassan might be interesting, in that with WWE having to drop the Hassan character, I'm wondering if Vince will try and get one last tasteless angle out of dropping the character.

 

I was sad to hear that Lord Alfred Hayes passed away a few days ago. For me, Hayes was the most underrated commentator of the 80's. He called the matches with an air of legitimacy, treating everything that was going on in the ring as if it was real, and he did it in a way that didn't insult your intelligence either. He made it a lot easier to listen to matches if Gorilla Monsoon was calling the action as well, because Gorilla was really terrible from around 1988 onwards, and Hayes was good at offsetting him.

 

Also sad to see the passing of Shinya Hashimoto. Hashimoto was a favorite of mine in the 90s, due to his punishing style of heavy kicks and chops, as well as his hot comebacks. One of my favorite matches of 1996 was his match against Riki Choshu in that years G1 Climax tournament. It didn't have any insane moves or crazy spots, but it was filled with intensity and emotion, and the crowd were going nuts as Choshu had to hit Hashimoto with I think it was 9 lariats before Hashimoto could get pinned. I remember that G1 for Hashimoto, who was the IWGP Champion at the time, doing the clean job in all three of his matches, and in doing so creating three fresh challengers for the IWGP Title, but the real beauty is that the nature of the matches meant Hashimoto was still crazy over with the fans, and so everybody won.

 

 

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Ugh, that RVD thread is abysmal.

 

One thing that few in that thread could totally comprehend is the really trapping dynamic WWE has set up for themselves in the past few years -- wrestlers aren't pushed until they're no longer fresh, and five years later they're "smarter workers", but they are now stale. So the fresh talent isn't as good at the stale talent, but the fresh talent can't get in because they're considered worse than the stale talent. HHH has argued that you can't elevate anyone to the top unless they can "do it all", but there are truly few guys who can, and you have to take those who appear to be good picks and give them a shot. The lack of ability to understand successful and unsuccessful pushes in that thread is mind-boggling. And really, wouldn't anyone rather them legitimately try to elevate a new guy than not attempt it at all?

 

Van Dam has weaknesses, just like every wrestler, and good booking is to not expose those weaknesses, just like every wrestler. Considering the opportunity they had to make him the new anchor in 2001, considering the crowd reaction to them doing so, and considering the way they squandered it, I'm blown away that anyone can defend them. Besides, keeping anyone on the WWE roster and purposely going out of your way to not get the most out of them is simply bad business. Rob Van Dam, like him or not, has been negatively affected by really bad business decisions.

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