The new pro wrestling thread, brother! OH YEAH!

This can be the new thread for rasslin’ fans to talk about their favorite and least favorite wrestlers, federations, storylines, and anything else relating to the squared circle. I know Chatelaine has some things to say, and I know we can’t be the only Dopers. I would be remiss if I didn’t set a few guidelines in advance, though:

  1. If you don’t like wrestling, swell. Either come in and offer a rational explanation why you don’t, or don’t poop on our thread, jack.

  2. We know it’s staged, so you don’t have to tell us. It isn’t “fake,” as the wrestlers train hard, stay in great physical shape, put their bodies on the line, and often get hurt. But it is scripted and practiced in advance with predetermined outcomes, we are all aware of that. We like it anyway.

With that out of the way…

I never watched wrestling as a kid, even though I grew up in the '80s at the height of Hulkamania and the WWF’s dominance. I didn’t start watching until 1998, when I was in college, and then it was the WCW that drew me in as a fan, thanks to Goldberg’s title reign. I would come to dislike Goldberg in later years when I became a “smark” (an informed fan who follows the backstage politics and behind-the-scenes aspects of the industry, usually through the Internet), but at the time, he was a huge, ass-kicking Jew and a good guy to boot, so I had someone to rally behind.

In recent years I’ve been pretty sick of the current WWE product, although I still follow the results online every week and watch occasionally. I think Vince McMahon and his son-in-law Triple H are running the company into the ground due to egomania, nepotism, one bad business decision after another, and generally being out of touch with what people want to see. I get so pissed when I think about how much fun WCW (and even WWF) were in the late '90s, and how far inferior the shows are now. The fact that WWE doesn’t have any real direct competition doesn’t help, either.

Anyway, how about something positive? My favorite WWE wrestlers are Hurricane, Paul London (this kid is amazing), Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, and Kurt Angle. I’m also very excited about the Mexican luchadores who just came to Smackdown to bolster its neglected Cruiserweight division: Juventud, Psicosis, and Super Crazy. I’m much more a fan of the smaller, gravity-defying cruiserweights, action-packed matches with lots of highspots, and lucha libre-style theatrics (preferably with masks and costumes). Most of these guys work their asses off putting on high-risk matches that the crowds love, but Vince McMahon has a “big man fetish,” and would much rather push the huge lumbering brutes who are, frankly, BORING wrestlers. The little guys will never get their due in Vince’s company, which is one more reason I prefer late-'90s WCW.

Meanwhile, I think John Cena’s raps are hilarious and his general personality is great, but he isn’t much of a wrestler. Chris Benoit is an amazing wrestler who doesn’t have much of a personality. Christian is fun (he has become so much better than that scumbag Edge), and Batista and Carlito have loads of potential. My LEAST-favorite wrestlers are JBL (who makes a great heel character, even though he is a locker room bully and he sucks in general), Undertaker, Triple H, Kane, Stone Cold Steve Austin (go away, please!), Big Show, and the other “hosses” like Matt Morgan. These guys are mostly old and entrenched, loyal to Vince and vice versa, and it seems like they’ll never release their stranglehold on the spotlight. Every time Triple H jobs (“loses”) to a younger guy, it’s a stunning accomplishment. Oh well, the joke is on me for continuing to tune in.

So who’s next, brother?

I haven’t watched since the mid-80’s but I always liked it.

I loved George the Animal Steele. He’d eat the turnbuckles.

I also like Jimmy Superfly Snooka, Junkyard Dog and Hacksaw Jim Duggan who had a 2x4 as a prop, used a clothesline as his take down move, and had a “war cry” that the audience would join in on.

I think it just didn’t hold my interest past the age of 12 or so because the outcomes were scripted. That’s not a slam, though. I can sort of see the appeal to others, just not me.

Recently, the morning show I listen to had Nikolai Volkov on it. Along with “The Iron Shiek”, he was one of the “foreign stereotypes” that Hulk and Sargent Slaughter used to whale on.

Long time fan here, dating back to the beginning of Bob Backlund’s title reign in the WWWF. It’s one of my guilty TV pleasures, along with reruns of The Tick and Married with Children.

My favorite all-time wrestlers would have to be Ric Flair, Rick Steamboat, and Mick Foley. I remember hating a very young Roddy Piper on Georgia Championship Wrestling, but it was a good hate, based on the character he played.

I remember “The Night the Line was Crossed”, when Eastern Championship Wrestling became Extreme Championship Wrestling (E-C-Dub!, E-C-Dub!). ECW filled a void and ushered in the Attitude era for the WWF.

I think HHH can put on an excellent match, but he’s no Flair, Hogan, Rock, Angle or Foley. He can’t hold my interest outside of a match for as long as he gets to talk, but he’s boffing the bosses daughter, so what HHH wants, HHH gets, and that’s lots of mic time, to the detriment of many others. Hell, when Vinnie Mac is not masturbating his ego, he’s more entertaining than HHH.

Undertaker has learned that less is more, plus he is probably the best big-man wrestler out there.

I don’t care for most of Cena’s raps. IMNSHO, one of the best ‘monologs’ in the past year was the time Eddie Guerrero came to the ring and said nothing. And listening to Flair and Angle have a “woo”-off was hilarious.

Lastly, I like to watch the cruisers, but they don’t tell a story in the ring. They go from high-spot to high-spot, but they don’t have any rhyme or reason. Go to, pay the $5.00 and watch Ric Flair wrestle Rick Steamboat, and you’ll see what I mean by telling a story.

I have been a life long fan of wrestling… sure I have had spots in there when I didn’t watch… right now I am pretty much in one of them… but I still like to keep informed.

Since we ar all sort of sharing and caring…

Chris Benoit is the man as far as I am concerned. His best of seven series with Booker T for the TV title is what got me back into wrestling as I was starting to lose interest. I have a copy of a copy of a copy of a Best of Benoit tape that covers different matches from his early canada days to Japan and then to ECW.

My favorite wrestling moment…

This was the NWA down at Dorton Arena in Raleigh, 10 or 15 years ago. Think fairgrounds under a 50’s modern potato chip ceiling. All stupid, tacky, and fun fun fun.

In one match, the bad guy was Black Bart, and he had Scandar Akbar as his manager. Akbar wore shiek robes and carried around a riding whip. During the match, Black Bart bailed out of the ring, and the fans in the first row started taunting him. True to form, he told them to shut up. Then this one fat black girl with a huge afro starting screaming at him.

I was sitting about 10 rows behind this, and I could see her hair bouncing all over the place as she smacktalked him. Bart mouthed off back at her, she screamed at him again, and he cowered like he was deathly afraid of her. The referee came over and raised her hand.

But the fun didn’t stop there, and this just shows you what masters of improv these guys are. The next match, Akbar came out with the Scorpion, a guy wearing a green suit and mask. His opponent was Jimmy the Boogie Woogie Man Valiant.

Valiant came out dancing and high-fiving the crowd. He had long blonde hair and a ZZ Top type beard that he bounced around to the music. The fans loved him. He was going around slapping their hands, then came near the fat black girl. Akbar stepped in front of her, pointed at her with his riding crop, and said something to Valiant. Probably something like “You stay away from her! That’s the girl who gave me so much trouble last match!”

Valiant put his arms around her and gave her a big ol’ smooch! She slumped back in her seat like she was going to faint. It wasn’t a work, either. She was there the whole night.

Amongst my favorite Wrestling Moments/Images–

  1. Andre the Giant’s heel turn: Forget Anakin, this was the ultimate turn to the darkside!

  2. Any of Rick Flair’s WCW Promos during his heyday: Man could this guy create heat. Absolutely the best.

  3. Owen Hart turns on Bret: Say it ain’t so, bro!

  4. Jake Roberts gets a cobra: The cobra biting people was cool.

  5. Paul Jones’ heel turn: When I learned it was more fun to root for heels than faces.

  6. Steve Austin and Brian Pillman’s “hollywood” act: The camera thing was very funny.

  7. Any of the early heel Undertaker/Paul Bearer bits (w/urn): This guy was the real deal. Bearer was over-the-top weird.

  8. Mick Foley and the Rock play “I quit!”: Two greats having fun with what was a very tired concept, and entertaining us in the process.

  9. Bobby Heenan manages…Anyone: Best manager ever. After he quit managing the whole management thing sort of disappeared.

  10. Ole and Gene Anderson cheat and win: The original Minnesota Wrecking Crew dished out the pain.

Why’s everyone hating on Trips? Considering the results of the Draft, I’ll have to get cable to watch Raw every week (what’s with sending all the cool guys to Raw and getting a bunch of midcarders in return! Maybe they are serious about burying Smackdown! in the schedule) as Smackdown’s! really just going to be about Rey and Eddie for the next few months.

HHH is really the only credible heel they had on Raw. Hassan was OK except that he had a gimmick undefeated streak (Cena’s victory on what was to be Hassan’s last night was beyond lame). Unfortunately, Flair’s only fit to be second-string now, but he is still the man.

Hopefully, Angle will be able to bring some excitement to Raw, but after his departure, JBL is the only credible heel left on Smackdown! I did think it was interesting that they tried two versions of the same theme twice in one week (first with the Mexicools and then with Hassan).

I do wish they would stop Heidenreich. He was great when he first came out, but this damn “friends” thing is awful!

If anyone cares, I wrote my honors thesis on pro wrestling.

I dislike Hunter McMahon because he’s not even close to the wrestler he was 3 years ago, before steroids and that leg injury made him big, slow and disinterested.

Did anyone see the ECW PPV a couple weeks ago? That was the first wrestling event I’d watched in 6 months, and it was exciting. Seeing Tommy Dreamer get to wrestle again was great, and Vince needs to bring the Impact Players to the WWF so they can save tag team wrestling.

Spoilers involving tomorrow night’s Smackdown draft picks: Batista AND Christian go to Smackdown!

Guess Paul E. was right when he did that shoot promo at ECW One Night Stand.

If you didn’t see it, he said that JBL was champion for a year only because Triple H didn’t want to work Tuesdays.

I dislike HHH because he hogs too much time to himself. He’s not as charismatic the one I mentioned earlier. He still has good matches in him, and he can tell a story through a match. I don’t knock his work effort, just his egomania.

Smackdown is in a position to let some people step up and become stars - although JBL is regarded as a mini-HHH, minus 1/2 the in-ring talent. He should not be the guy to build the brand around.

Tag teams are dead as long as Stephanie and her boobs keep burying them. Vince’s nepotism has hurt his product. Judging from the storylines, Vince and Steph aren’t as in touch with what their fans really want as they’d like to think and both have a reputation for surrounding themselves with yes-men. The WWE has enough under-utilized talent to reinvigorate tag-team wrestling, including the Dudleys sitting on the bench. They’re just not using them.

The ECW PPV was awesome. I understand Day of Vengeance was as good, if not better. As a long-time ECW mark, it was a treat to see one last hurrah. As good as it was, I think WWE dropped the ball in a few places. Mysterio, Guerrero and Benoit were their WWE characters. The matches were too short, and the time alloted for JBL, Angle and Bischoff to talk was too long. Mick Foley was not good as an announcer, but Joey Styles performed as if he hadn’t missed a step. Loved the international 3-way dance, Awesome vs. Tanaka, and the final match, from the first introduction to the pinfall. Jericho and Storm got the show off to a strong start. Mysterio vs. Psicosis was a disappointment, but I understand Rey was pretty hobbled. Guerrero and Benoit was good, but too short.

The problems with the ECW PPV:

  • Get Angle, High-Quality Speaker Boy (thanks, Eric S!) and the other WWF guys out of there.

  • Eddie sulled his way through an entire match, right down to almost no-selling the Crossface. I was almost expecting him to yawn. I think Benoit busted him open intentionally.

  • Psicosis and Rey-Rey’s match sucked the big one. A freakin’ sleeper hold?

  • If you’re gonna let the WWF ECW guys take shots at Bischoff, you’ve got to give Dreamer a shot. Let Dreamer nail a Tommyknocker for all the crap Bischoff unleashed on ECW.

Ah , the good old days . I watched religiously from the late 80’s until 1997 , when my favorite wrestler , Brian Pillman died . I watched long enough to see the WWF memorial for him , and tried to watch a couple times after , but couldn’t do it . I have not watched since . :frowning:

I had 2 friends , Gayle and Sue , and it was an every Sunday night thing , they would come over to the house and we’d fix dinner and watch wrestlin’ . I worked 2nd shift , so I would tape all the shows during the week , and we would watch them back to back on Sunday . Of course , we were 3 , erm …horny middle-aged women with the hots for the good looking , half dressed men , we made no pretense of watching it as ‘sport’ . Brutus Beefcake , Ultimate Warrior , Rick Martel , Shawn Michaels , Marty Janetty , Sting , and of course , Flyin’ Brian Pillman … I miss the fun we had . My friends have gone their seperate ways now and those days are gone for good . sigh

I stopped watching after the death of WCW and ECW. Well, after the Invasion story line was buried by Vince’s stupidity. I understand the reasons why WCW went away, and I agree with them, but I still enjoyed Nitro way more than Raw. Max Carnage and I made sure to watch Nitro every Monday, and we’d usually watch Thunder as well.

I think it’s just the whole McMahon family that I hate. Can’t stand what they’ve done to the product. I miss ECW, loved the PPV. I miss the beginnings of the NWO and Goldberg, not the later times when it fell apart.

Oh, and my all-time favorite will always be Flair. Especially from the Mid-Atlantic days, Saturdays nights on TBS. The DVD was amazing…

I don’t know too many of the modern guys, but I caught a bit a couple years ago where the one wrestler fed the other wrestler his own dog.

Too funny.

This thread is a great idea, If only to keep me up to date on what’s going on while I wait to get my cable installed. I’ve always been a big wrestling fan, but now I don’t watch as much as I used to. Right now there just aren’t enough interesting characters or storylines. The Hassan anlge is just dull. How many times are they going to do an “I hate you stinky americans!” storyline. It’s been done to death. I like what they’ve done with Christian, but Edge has sucked since his weak heel turn. (which reminds me, does anyone know the story with Edge and Lita and Matt Hardy? I heard something about an affair, but I don’t know the details.)

Big Bad Vodoo Lou, what websites do you go to in order to find out what’s going on behind the scenes? I used to go to Innovators of Wrestling, but I don’t think they exist anymore.

I was also a big WCW fan before the idiocy that was Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara drove it completely into the ground. WCW was the breaking ground for cruiserweights and luche libres, and [even though it turned into a Bad Thing] the nWo storyline was awesome when it first began. Hall and Nash were the fucking epitome of capital C Cool.

I’m also in complete agreement about the current product – Vince really needs to quit wanking over his hoss fetish and push some of the better guys. It’s frustrating, especially when some of them are over DESPITE their lack of push [Jericho, RVD], and yet they still continue to be relegated to the sidelines in favor of these muscle machines that can’t move, can’t cut a promo, shit – they can’t even play the big, dumb hoss role well! On the topic of hosses – I used to be a HHH fan, but he’s killed it for me. Way too much Trips, way too much of the time. I think he definitely brought some cred back to the belt with his extended title reigns and his seemingly undefeated heel status, but enough is enough. At this point, it’s the HHH show and it’s boring, which is why you’ll find me watching old stuff on my computer or tapes I have laying around rather than tuning in to RAW on a regular basis.

But, like Lou said, let’s have some positive, too – my favourites are Benoit, Guerrero, Mysterio, Jericho, RVD [when he gives a shit], Christian, the AWESOMELY AWESOME Sheldon Benjamen, Kurt “You Suck <clap clap> You Suck” Angle, Mick Foley [who doesn’t love Mick?] and I’m sure a host of others I’m leaving out. I am forever and always an enormous Flair mark – wooooo – and, I’ll admit it… old school/Ministry-era Undertaker was THE SHIT. C’mon! Paul Bearer? The urn? The caskets? THE DRUIDS WITH TORCHES AND CRUCIFYING RANDOM PEOPLE?! Those were good times, my friend.

Stone Cold can keep his wifebeating self the hell off of my TV, thanks.

I second the nomination of the Flair/Steamboat match – that, to me, is one of the high points of wrestling and has yet to be superceded.

There’s tons more I’d like to say, as I’ve been watching WCW/WWF on and off since I was around 10, but I’ll come back with more later.

Notorious Nik, Lita and Edge had an affair while Lita was dating Matt Hardy and Edge was married. Matt was released from the company, but the fans picked up on what happened and turned against Edge and Lita – hence the “You screwed Matt!” chants at the shows. WWE ran with it and created a storyline from the real-life events.

As for websites aimed at smarks, the best one IMO is The W, which you can find over here. Lots of good intelligent conversation goes on and it’s a very active board.

My favorite message board for wrestling insider info and show results is the Kayfabe Club, a very small Delphi Forum community. You have to register there to post, and the Delphi interface is weird and takes some getting used to. But it’s a pretty well-informed smark board, and they distill and repost any useful information from the bigger websites that are laden with pop-up ads, keeping me from having to click and bookmark a bunch of extraneous sites. They also ban trolls and ignore idiots, so the discussion is top-notch. Unfortunately, interest in the WWE on that forum is at an all-time low, but the discussions are still good, despite being fewer in number.

They wasted a valuable opportunity to fight ignorance with Hassan. If I was booking, I would have debuted Hassan and Daivari as faces, as Arab-Americans who have been the targets of bigotry and racism and intolerance, but who still love America and are coming to the WWE to prove to the world that not all Arabs are bad; that some of them can be heroic, and people should have nothing to fear from them. Then the inevitable heel would come out to call them towel-heads or camel-jockeys or terrorists, all in the name of American pride/xenophobia. JBL would be perfect, just because it would be very much in character for him (flag-waving Republican), and I hate his guts anyway. Wifebeater Steve Austin would have worked too. Then face Hassan could tell the heel that by condemning him and his ethnicity, he’s no better than the terrorists our brave troops are fighting in the Middle East, who hate Americans just because we’re different. And then face Hassan could whup him like a government mule! Mah God! Slobberknocker! Puppies!

It could have been glorious: the Arab-American hero could win the crowd over, and the racist redneck heel could learn a valuable lesson in tolerance by getting his ass kicked. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but that’s just one of my hundreds of booking ideas I think are better than anything the WWE has actually done. (By the way, feel free to share fantasy booking ideas in this thread.)

Dude. Lou, that would have been awesome. They could have done some great work if they’d have gone your route. But instead they played the same old crazy furriner card they always play. Maybe they ought to let the fans write a story sometime. You said you have more fantasy stoylines? Let’s hear 'em. I’ve gotten a bit out of my wrestling routine, so I don’t know the players well enough to put them into matches. Although I would like to see Christian pushed a little more. You can’t deny the man is a genius on the mic.