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Guest TSMAdmin

Nostalgia as a Short Term Fix in WWE

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Guest TSMAdmin



Comments from Women in Wrestling were great, and all well received. Michael Brooks says:


As for the T&A thing - I have no objection to attractive women, or attractive women with few clothes on. I have no problem at all with Stacy Keibler being at ringside, and she's the only reason Test has any heat a the moment (Ok, it's not all a good thing). What I object to is when they try and mix T&A with wrestling. Stacy Keibler in a short skirt? Fine. Bikini competition? Waste of time, generally. Bra and panties match - I could live with it if it actually featured wrestling moves. Normally it's just Torrie and Dawn Marie/Nidia/Sable/random female heel pulling each others hair and screaming..


He’s completely right here, especially about the way bra and panty matches are all slapping and hair pulling. If they want the women to just show their bodies off, forget about the pretence of a match.


Stacy realises she has to be at ringside throughout the upcoming

Test/Steiner feud


Congratulations to Mike Brooks, who was pretty much the only person to avoid blow job jokes. Another favourite of mine was from Gary Cupid, who simply had “Next!”


Last week’s winner Asef Khan complained I spelled his name wrong, so I deliberately spelled it wrong again.


JHawk’s Bored-With-Raw review is up here, even though he thinks that “I know damn well that I would have a reasonable shot if I were around [stacy] for any length of time at all!” The fool.


Tony Jaymz has his latest "Finders and Keepers" up


but it's not very good.


Rodney Mack






In an interview with WWE.com, Legion of Doom’s Animal said that, “We hope we’re here for the rest of our careers. Hawk and I would like to retire here with WWE, whether it’s two years from now or five years from now.”


I hope they don’t. Thankfully, they haven’t been back on TV since their awful try-out match against RVD and Kane and it doesn’t look like they will be back. But the Legion of Doom have already ruined it for themselves.


When Eric Bischoff brought them out, their music hit and they came down the ramp wearing the spiked shoulderpads, I loved it. For 10 seconds, it didn’t matter how old they were, whether they could wrestle or not, or how fat they had gotten. When they got into the ring and wrestled, all of that went away. Their back bumps were in slow motion, they didn’t fully sell RVD and Kane’s finishers, and they just didn’t have it any more. It wasn’t a surprise that they sucked, but deep down I wished they didn’t.


Next time that LOD come out, that match will be on my mind. Even now when I remember them, I don’t remember them as two bad ass motherfuckers that beat the hell out of people for about 15 years. I remember them as two fat old bastards that can’t wrestle any more. And I resent that.


There’s a place for nostalgia in wrestling, but it isn’t in the ring. Bringing out Freddie Blassie in a wheelchair to get abuse Bischoff and shill his book is one thing, but last year’s signing of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan to huge contracts was insane. Wrestling is, by nature, very physical. So when people get older, they can’t cut it any more. It’s just the way things are.


It seems that McMahon, or whoever makes these decisions hasn’t realised one thing:


Whenever any wrestler comes back after an extended absence, there’s a huge “welcome back” face pop.


Triple H, for example was a huge heel all through 2000-2001, yet when he came back in January 2002, there was an explosive pop; an appreciative “we missed you”. The fans remember the wrestler, and want to show them. They want the wrestler to know that “hey, we’re glad you’re back.”


This is why Hulk Hogan was turned face at Wrestlemania X8 – the fans didn’t care that he was part of the nWo, or that he was trying to kill the WWF, or that he was facing the Rock. He was Hulk fucking Hogan. Hulk motherfucking Hogan. THE legend of wrestling. McMahon reacted to this reaction, and promptly capitalised on the reactions that he was getting.


Hogan was getting bigger face pops than anyone else, so he was pushed right to the top, even going so far as to give him the WWF title.


But Hulk Hogan was only getting those reactions because of his name value. Name value is pretty much just a person’s reputation, but is usually used to mean they have a lot of respect.


Mention Hulk Hogan to anyone who was alive in the 1980s, and they will know who he is. He managed to break out of wrestling and go mainstream, including a semi-successful movie career. As a wrestler, his talent is somewhat limited – by no stretch of the imagination is he as talented in the ring as Kurt Angle, for example. But Hogan’s natural charisma came through, and I think that charisma is just as important as talent in wrestling. Whether it should be or not is a different matter.


Someone with a lot of talent and no charisma will put on excellent matches, but not get pushed due to a “lack of mic skills.” For example, Chris Benoit.


On the other hand, someone with a lot of charisma and not very good wrestling skill will be pushed quite hard, and get over because of their charisma. Hulk Hogan falls directly into this category.


However, the wrestlers that will be most successful have large amounts of charisma and wrestling skills. These are the ones that will put on excellent matches, and also be able to carry the feud in backstage segments and interviews. Obviously, the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin fit here.


Back to April 2002. Hulk Hogan was getting huge reactions without really wrestling. Until the day after Wrestlemania, he had only fought two matches – a tag match with the nWo vs. Rock / Austin on Raw, and against the Rock at Wrestlemania. The vast majority of the reaction he was getting was because of his charisma coming through in the interviews, and because he’s Hulk fucking Hogan.


Now as soon as Hogan was put consistently into matches, his weaknesses were exposed. Actually, one weakness: Not being able to wrestle very well.


In a similar vein, WWE are relying on Nash’s name value (and not the quality of his matches) to sell his feud with HHH. And it is not working at all.


Their 20 minute brawl on Raw a few weeks ago was, well, awful. I had so little faith in their match at Judgment Day that I couldn’t even bring myself to watch it in fast-forward.


Avoiding any backstage politics (simply because I don’t know what is true, and what is an exaggeration,) I really don’t see what reason there is for continuing this feud. It’s fairly obvious that neither wrestler, nor the potential Hell in a Cell match are getting a good reaction.


There’s a similar situation on SmackDown!, with the Piper and Hogan feud. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about it. None of the matches have been anywhere near watchable, and there are WAY too many segments devoted to it. Nobody gets elevated. No worthwhile matches are made. Hogan and Piper piss away any respect they once had from the fans, every time they fight. In fairness though, Piper is still an excellent talker and is getting Sean O’Haire more established.


At the end of the day, though, all these former wrestlers have got going for them is respect. Bret Hart could get a standing ovation at any WWE show in the country just for being Bret Hart, yet I doubt that Shawn Michaels could do that now.


Currently active in WWE, there is a former WWF/E World Champion from every year going back to 1984. Sure, Hulk Hogan makes up a few of them, but there’s a scary amount:


This is a complete list (unless I made a mistake) of all WWF/E World champions that are still around today:


2003 - Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle


2002 – Kurt Angle, Big Show, Brock Lesnar, The Rock, Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, HHH, Chris Jericho


2001 – Chris Jericho, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, HHH, The Rock


2000 – Kurt Angle, HHH, The Rock, Big Show


1999 – HHH, Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, The Rock


1998 – The Rock, Kane, Steve Austin, HBK


1997 – HBK, The Undertaker


1996 – HBK


1995 - Diesel


1994 - Diesel


1993 - Hulk Hogan


1992 – Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan


1991 - The Undertaker, Hulk Hogan


1990 - Hulk Hogan


1989 - Hulk Hogan


1988 - Hulk Hogan


1987 - Hulk Hogan


1986 - Hulk Hogan


1985 - Hulk Hogan


1984 - Hulk Hogan




That’s a total of 15 former WWF champions, and there’s another 4 WCW champions (that haven’t held the WWF title) currently active – (Ron Simmons, Goldberg, Chris Benoit and Booker T.) Also, there’s another 2 ECW champions:

Rhyno and Tazz.


Old wrestlers are good for a nostalgia pop, but once that pop fades (and it always does – look at Kevin Nash or Shawn Michaels) then you are left with a horrible wrestler that just can’t cut it any more. And since Vince is sacrificing wrestlers like Jericho to get Nash over, or the fact that Benoit was flung into Judgment Day at the last minute, while Piper vs. Mr America was given 7 segments on one SmackDown alone shows that McMahon isn’t realising this.


Having Piper run-in at Wrestlemania was cool for about 5 minutes. WWE need to look beyond having this 5 minute quick fix. What if someone else had run-in and attacked Hogan, say Chris Jericho, or Booker T even. The amount of heel heat would have been amazing – and they can carry that heat into the future. Piper has a handful of matches left in him, and he is already way past his best. All the time that is being given to the pathetic Mr America angle on SmackDown could be used so much more productively. I've heard that Vince McMahon is personally overseeing the angle, but I see that it is at the expense of all the others.


Jericho and Booker T are the future of WWE, but nothing is being done with them. Jericho was given an Undisputed Title reign, but since then – nothing. He lost to HHH in a Hell in a Cell match this time last year, and to HBK in the Elimination Chamber. He’s also traded PPV wins with Ric Flair, but now he’s stuck in the mid-card. He has both the mic skills and the wrestling ability to be the number one heel on Raw, but he just isn’t being given the chance. Yet Kevin “talentless” Nash is.


Just look 5 years down the line, when there is no HHH, no Kevin Nash, no Hulk Hogan, no Undertaker, no Shawn Michaels and no Ric Flair. Who will be there to take their place? Jericho? Benoit? Don’t count on it.




Next week will be a special column, looking back on what made one of the

greatest feuds of recent times work. Necrophilia.  Or if I can't face

writing about HHH simulating sex, it'll be about the death of King of the Ring.




This is next week’s caption contest, just drop me an e-mail, along with any feedback about this, or any of my columns. 

Oh, and if anyone has the Torrie Wilson playboy pics, please pass them on.




[email protected]


Finally – I hate the idea of having an Amazon wishlist, but I like having free stuff more.

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