They SHOOTIN! (Made You Look)

So I just got done watching the “mainstream” episode of Monday Night Wars and I hop on my dirtsheet of choice to get the latest on my favorite sport, the sport of professional wrestling. I see that Nikki Bella ran her mouf on SmackDown and her promo was edited. I read her words, then for entertainment, read the comments. Everyone seems to go into business for themselves and shoot in promos and non wrasslin interviews every chance they get.

Look here. AJ said about a week ago “talent isn’t sexually transmitted” and honestly a worse person couldn’t have said that shit. A year or more ago when she had her pipebomb promo on the Total Divas falls under the same category. How could someone who was with CM Punk at the time, married to him currently… that in storyline was engaged to Daniel Bryan, then kissed CM Punk, Kane and John Cena in the mouf during the buildup to their triple threat, then jumped into bed with Dolph Ziggler against Cena… even VAGUELY allude to other people “sleeping their way to the top”? The Bellas were out of the company and they came back in relationships with Cena and Bryan. Talent WAS in fact, sexually transmitted because they’ve both gotten much better in the ring. I just think it’s a bad look for them to be so catty whether this shit is a work or a shoot.

The best storylines blend reality with fiction, like when Mick Foley had that interview with Jim Ross where they played footage of him essentially backyard wrasslin as a teen. Like when Matt Hardy and Edge had a blood feud over Lita. Maybe… AJ and the Bellas despise each other. Thing is… double standards exist for most of us. Many of us couldn’t care less if HHH literally slept his way to the VERY top of the company but we think these women’s talent and work ethic < fucking top guys in the industry. Many of us don’t give a shit about women wrestling to begin with.

I care about women’s wrestling. The Divas episode of Monday Night Wars was very well done and really reminded me what a big part of WWE’s success names like Sunny, Sable, Chyna, Trish, and Lita were. I am very pissed though I haven’t typed many characters on the subject… that… lemme bullet point this TRASH.

- Brie Bella quit in storyline to remove Stephanie’s leverage in demanding Bryan give up the title or she’d be fired. She slaps Stephanie on her way out the door.

- That lost all meaning when Bryan didn’t recover soon enough to keep the title on him and he was stripped anyway.

- With Bryan and Brie gone, that left Nikki to be Stephanie’s lightning rod. She was booked in all kinds of handicap matches, jumped by guest referees and fighting with an arm tied behind her back.

- Brie sat in the front row and watched her sister get obliterated then slapped Steph again as she talked her shit.

- Steph would press charges and have Brie arrested. Then they flipped it and Steph slapped her and got arrested. Nothing after this makes ANY sense.

- Brie blackmails Steph into giving her her job back. Giving her sister a raise. Having a match at SummerSlam.

- Nikki helps Stephanie win the match at SummerSlam and Steph gives her a title shot.

- Brie wins the same matches Nikki couldn’t win. Nikki fails to win the Divas title.

- They eventually, months later, have a match over being a slave to the other, or be fired.

- Nikki gets another title shot. AJ spends the entire build beating up Brie and humiliating Nikki.

- Brie helps Nikki win the title right as her slavery is ending and apparently now she is a heel standing in solidarity with her sister who cost her a high profile match, did several fucked up things to humiliate her… and just… ugh.

They haven’t even bothered to explain the illogic of this by having Brie come out and say that she had beef with her sister but now her beef is with AJ or some shit. They literally nullified and voided half a year of storytelling. Literally nothing about the Bellas or AJ’s careers is logical. I still ain’t forgot the time a woman wearing a “Cougar” chain got AJ fired from being GM because she allegedly slept with Cena because we all forgot that she married and helped a man win several world championships then managed another man against him when they divorced and helped him to his first world title. That makes about as much sense as a pair of women linked to big time wrasslin superstars throwing each other shade for having sex with wrasslers.

I cri evrytiem.

I Hope CM Punk Never Comes Back

I was up early this morning listening to CM Punk’s appearance on The Art of Wrestling podcast with Colt Cabana. And most of the things I heard were things that I wrote about on here. I marked out when he said “I thought losing the title to Rock was a bad idea… at the very least the main event of Mania should have been a triple threat.” And again when he said “If I had the belt against Undertaker the title reign would have been over 500 days” again… cuz I was saying all this shit right here on itsstillrealtomedammit.com. It’s the things I DIDN’T know that make me hope CM Punk never works for WWE again and if he does, I won’t look at him the same.

I didn’t know The Shield was CM Punk’s idea and he wanted them to be his faction with plans of working with them after he was done with Mania. Because I’m that fan with the long memory… I remember Punk took time off then returned to feud with Jericho for no reason other than it was something to do. At that SAME time, Shield fell from being near unbeatable wrestling Undertaker, Kane and Daniel Bryan. John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback. Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show AT Mania… to losing to Randy Orton, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan… then before you knew it they lost to Mark Henry and The Usos. They lost to what was left of Rey Mysterio and (I THINK) The Usos. They had gone from one month, working the VERY top of WWE to doing jobs in WWE’s glorified jabroni filled midcard. My wrasslin nerd boner is at peak hardness imagining if they worked against CM Punk then… We didn’t get to see them fight until like Survivor Series and TLC last year. Just saying.

I was shocked to learn WWE has been lying by saying Punk quit when IRL he was fired. Shocked to learn Vince was pressuring Punk to work through bad injuries like torn knee ligaments and multiple concussions. Astonished that Ryback was working stiff and they had Punk work with him TWICE. Flabbergasted that Punk had a staph infection that went undiagnosed and they had him working with MRSA like that shit isn’t killing people. And just off of that alone I hope CM Punk never ever takes any amount of money to work with them again.

It doesn’t surprise me to learn Punk thinks Bryan main evented Mania to spite him. Anyone with common sense could see his win was nowhere NEAR the original plan. I agree wholeheartedly that WWE is fucking itself by constantly bringing in old dudes for Mania… they’re LITERALLY telling the audience “the guys we parade out before you to declining attendance, PPV buys and tv ratings aren’t anyone you should REALLY care about” and my favorite part was where Punk says he told HHH to his face that he should have never lost to him while he was white hot. I been saying that. WWE is SO starved for new stars and whenever fans get behind a guy, they pour water on his heat.

So, it’s childish as fuck to me that WWE had HHH beat Punk during the Summer of Punk and I’m not a fan of HHH beating Lesnar at Mania. And it’s lowkey petty that HHH is running around acting like The Shield is his idea and he put them over TWICE. These kind of things are exactly why WCW went out of business. The last FOUR WrestleManias were built around part timers coming in and getting paid then leaving. This next one will be, also, since you gotta know names like Lesnar, Sting, Undertaker and HHH will factor  heavily into any and all booking plans. And that means for five years half the card will be built around guys who won’t be on TV or at house shows, further telling us “well then why should I watch that shit when the REAL stars won’t be there?”

It makes me feel dirty to realize that with all of that said… I’m not going to tune out, because I knew Vince and HHH were pieces of shit who don’t give a fuck about what’s truly best for business. I’m just waiting and hoping for another boom period like how the Atittude Era followed a low point for the industry back then. And if CM Punk comes back to collect fat part time checks I’ll be more mad at HIS hypocrisy than the fucked up system that led to it and fed into it.

Post Survivor Series 2014 Thoughts: RIP The Authority

First off: “The Authority” was a terrible fucking name. I only say that because it was not creative at all. Kinda like most WWE booking. I thought the idea was brilliantly executed at first and then the pettiness and politicking was transparent as shit.

- I thought even though Orton had tormented the entire McMahon lineage like four years previous the idea of him as the state sponsored champion appealed to me because I’ve never felt like WWE ever put the machine behind him. They still haven’t.

- The Shield was sliding down the card before they were absorbed into this storyline so it was something to do for them.

- Kane… same thing. He is a jobber to the very top of the card and this made him relevant.

- Just when you thought they would consistently be unified and doing evil things, HHH started coming out inexplicably doing DX gimmick things and making babyface moves. They seemed to make every match Randy Orton had about whether or not he was the face of the company. Booked The Shield in a 12 on 3 handicap match for NO logical reason.

- The single greatest failing of The Authority storyline was they had ZERO interaction with CM Punk until around this time last year. Anti authority character… who doesn’t immediately buck against The Authority. Logical.

- Everyone seemed to want Daniel Bryan to get every title shot. So… do a multi month push for Big Show where he co-opted the “Yes” chants. Got fired and maybe missed two TVs or PPVs. More on how his booking is retarded later.

- The Shield lost the tag titles to a team that literally had to fight for jobs. And then they completely left them alone, inexplicably.

- CM Punk quit after The Authority storyline seemed to push every face on the damn roster BUT him, if you were paying attention. Another year, another muscular movie star over 40 taking up a main event spot that should have been his.

- Daniel Bryan joined The Wyatt Family for two weeks but once Punk quit WWE HAD to go with him as a top babyface and let him win the main event of Mania XXX.

- HHH inexplicably turned on The Shield and then reformed Evolution to lose to them twice… so Seth Rollins could turn on them. Still logical to this day.

- Ryback joined Team Authority and left Team Authority in one three hour episode of Raw.

- At Survivor Series Big Show would try to throw a match that losing would get him fired in hopes that a handshake wouldn’t get him fired. By people who last year blackmailed him and fired him. In a match where winning makes those people go away forever. Then explained it by saying he is a giant and no one understands how hard it is to be such a big ole bitch. Real logical.

I’m not trying to hear “heel authority figures are illogical in general because why don’t they just fire everyone and not let anyone do anything they don’t want?” because you understand that what makes the business is when the odds are against the babyfaces you root harder for them and you don’t want to see evil prevail everytime. Before that storyline, I thought WWE was too predictable in having babyfaces win almost all the time. A few weeks ago people complained about that arc but one episode of Raw POST Authority and some people already want them back. And IMO, Vince never goes out of his way to say “only Cena can bring them back” if not to plant seeds that a Cena heel turn and/or things getting so out of control it makes The Authority look like saints by comparison is on the horizon.

I’m going to end by making two complaints: one, WWE is going to shit the bed with how accidentally over Sandow is. They’ll have him beat Miz and then send them both to the bottom of the card to do jobs almost immediately after. Two… if Brie Bella is a heel now… doesn’t that completely negate her story for the last year or so?

the rise of ryback… redux

I remember when Ryback was getting his original push way back when, where no less than a dozen people were telling me that he had the potential to be the biggest thing in recent memory.  They told me that people would get over their Goldberg chants and stand behind him with the “FEED ME MORE!” chants.  They informed me that the people would fall in love with his character, that sheer power and love for destruction, and that he would one day be a worthy world championship contender.

Continue reading the rise of ryback… redux

11/10/2014 Raw Review: Valleys and Peaks

Yeah I might now review everything all the time. Yall niggas not paying me neither. Anyway…

I liked Raw, and two things occurred to me… 1) with no part timer coming back to steal shine from the regular roster (Hi Rocky Maivia) and no world championship match, it’s forced WWE to actually give us a compelling reason to care about the traditional Survivor Series match. 2) Since its inception in late August of 2013, The Authority has been an umbrella over the major storylines SINCE. So, if this IS the end, maybe… just maybe they’ll NOT do the lazy thing and bring back general managers… (yeah the FUCK right) maybe they’ll actually focus on making the right decisions on who is heel or face and create compelling reasons to yay or boo. (again yeah the FUCK right)

I liked how the overarching theme of this entire episode was building Team Authority and how they were set on destroying anyone who dared join Team Cena. I hated that Ryback joined the team and left the team in one three hour episode. Rather pointless that. WWE has absolutely no fucking idea how illogical it is to: 1) create a star babyface 2) job that star babyface out for over a year 3) turn him heel 4) job him out for another year 5) bring him back to babyface reactions 6) turn him heel two weeks later 7) that same night… turn him babyface again… I think? Maybe you’re reading this thinking “well babyface and heel doesn’t matter that much” and I say: “Read this next paragraph and read it well, you sophomoric neophyte!”

Earlier today I was watching Star Trek on Netflix… when it occurred to me: my immersion into wrasslin fandom has made me view other things through the lens of babyface and heel. It made me think… Would you watch any episodic television show where pretty much all the characters did endearing and dastardly things seemingly randomly? Imagine if Walter White was Heisenberg from the very beginning, and all throughout the show he was this genuinely nice guy who wouldn’t hurt a flea. Imagine if Jesse Pinkman was clean cut and just a nice kid who sold a lil crank here and there to make ends meet. Then they meet and for seemingly no reason, turn on each other and try to get each other killed or arrested every other episode. The show ends with them being the best of friends until Walter dies from cancer. Yeah that doesn’t sound as good as what Breaking Bad is. And it is exactly what watching Raw is like.

I got a headache that didn’t hurt when Adam Rose turned on the bunny for costing him a match because it made no sense for his gimmick/character. Before that, Rowan teased jumping the bunny from behind then wandered around the ring before cryptically uttering “she’s not here”, which I hope will culminate in something interesting for his character. Anyway… Adam Rose’s character doesn’t seem like the type of guy who would let the words of R-Truth and being cost a match turn him into a bad guy. He seems like he’d just kinda shrug it all off and smoke a fatty. Anyway… I don’t see a bright future for him when they strip him of his entire gimmick and repackage him as a generic heel. I see many jobs in his future.

I feel like WWE booked itself into a corner with this Survivor Series match. Rusev has never tapped or been pinned but is in an elimination style match where his team needs to lose to advance the story. Assuming WWE does actually want to become interesting in the future. Anyway… don’t take no rocket scientist to see that in lieu of having Randy Orton lose in front of his home fans, he will either be the sole survivor or last two with Cena. I have been on record here with telling you that I don’t think Rusev should be fed to Cena. He should be fed to Roman Reigns upon his return. Roman Reigns needs to be the man to defeat the unbeatable Russian patriot. For America. For America’s belt. And they still may do that… but I’m guessing Rusev won’t be unbeatable once it happens.

I feel like everything other than what I’ve talked about was unmemorable. I’m literally straining to remember anything that happened tonight that wasn’t about Team Authority vs Team Cena. Which makes “whatcha gonna do, brother… when there is no overarching story to write around?” a poignant question. That… is something I will pick up if it happens. No one wants to see Team Authority win, which leaves me dreading that they will. Not because they’re heels. Cuz uninterested. We’ll see.

How WWE Can Boost WWE Network Subscriptions

I was just listening to Aaron Rift’s No DQ&A video, where someone asked him if WWE was being sold because of the poor performance of the WWE Network, which of course inspired me to write my thoughts on what would increase the subscription rate.

Stop having PPV feuds touching so often

It’s not best for business to try to get me to pay money to see things I’ve already seen before, or even worse, that I KEEP seeing for free on TV. It seems like WWE wants too badly to build to matches that they do all these singles and tag matches on TV before the PPV. A lot of fans are crying ‘burial’ because Cesaro lost in 2 falls to Dolph Ziggler. But… Cesaro ALSO lost an IC title match on SmackDown, aired two days before the PPV. He lost a title match on Main Event. They have fought several singles and tag matches in the last month. I came away from an exciting back and forth between two great affletes hoping to not see them work together again anytime soon, and not all that excited to see THAT match because I’d SEEN it just two days before. Think about boxing and MMA… Floyd Mayweather, for example, is not gonna fight his PPV opponent on free TV then ask you to pay $50 to see the SAME fight.

Bring back the cruiserweight/light heavyweight division

One of the biggest complaints many fans level against WWE is that the talents have similar builds and work styles. One of the things WWE reminded us recently on its Network show, The Monday Night Wars, is that one of the things that made WCW number one in the ratings WAS its cruiserweight division. And you could see how they buried the division by having the announcers and wrestlers speak so derisively of the cruiserweights. If we’re keeping it all the way 1000, it’s pretty hard to book guys like Rey Mysterio, and Daniel Bryan to beat Big Show clean and have it make sense. That much is a given. There is no need to book the smaller talents to get squashed each week. Raw is three hours. SmackDown is considered ‘the wrestling show’. Does it NOT make sense have guys like Sin Cara and Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater show off their skills against each other and not get fed to heavyweights with regularity? I look at the NXT talents like Tyson Kidd, Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami and think… their futures are bleak if they DON’T reboot the cruiserweight division.

Bring back blood

I’m NOT calling for a return to the Attitude Era where it seemed every other match included color. I am saying there should not be weapons and cages involved in matches where there is no color. At HIAC I saw people’s faces get raked against the cage and nothing came of it. That detracts from the whole notion that that match shortens careers. They didn’t even bleed. You show highlights of the old matches… crimson masks abound. THAT’S the biggest difference.

Do away with themed PPVs/bring back King of the Ring

WWE is doing away with the Elimination Chamber PPV. Next they need to get rid of HIAC, TLC, MITB. As much as I have enjoyed the MITB shows, they can easily put that match back on the Mania card now that there is only one world title. WWE has gotten lazy with booking its feuds with interesting stipulations because now the only time you’re going to see them is during the month that stipulation falls in on their calendar and not necessarily correlating to the progression of the storylines. The ONE themed PPV WWE needs to have is one it hasn’t done in many years: KOTR. King of the Ring is a fucking star making tournament and the PPV also. The Mick Foley/Taker HIAC was at KOTR. KOTR gave us Shane McMahon vs Kurt Angle. HHH, SCSA, Edge and so many greats have KOTR wins on their resume. It is my opinion that, used right, KOTR will help WWE create new stars.

Stop hiring TV/movie writers and hire WRASSLIN veterans to do creative

WWE’s creative can be so wildly hit or miss. I honestly think most of it is these people frankly, do not understand the sport of professional wrasslin. Paul Heyman and Jim Ross are two names that immediately come to mind as people I believe “get it” and could easily provide the quality control WWE needs to stop trying to shovel shit into our eyes on a weekly basis. Wrasslin works when you have guys competing over championships to prove they’re the best, or people fighting over a personal issue. I neither feel most of the roster really want to be great or like they hate each other. A true wrasslin mastermind would bring that out. Vince has gone further and further down the “I’m in the entertainment business” road and the product has suffered for it. Getting back to his company’s wrasslin roots by bringing in more wrasslin minds would help a great deal.

Stop relying so much on part timers while not putting anyone over

If you remember that Batista was supposed to beat Orton in a one on one match before CM Punk quit and caused a deck reshuffling… you remember that the guys WWE brings in to work on top don’t put young talent over. I qualified that last statement with “work on top” because all Chris Jericho and RVD do is work a couple months losing to young talent. In the midcard. Maybe WWE will have Lesnar put over Reigns… but he has only worked with Cena going on four times, HHH three, Taker, Show and Punk once each, since 2012. He will be used to put over one man. I’m NOT saying he should be losing to any and everyone, just making the point that older talent literally comes in, cashes a check, and no one new got over in the process. WWE cannot make new stars by only having the old ones work on top, only putting over already made stars.

Stop protecting everyone/stop jobbing people out

It is amazing to see how WWE manages to over protect guys and job most of its roster out all at the same time. Let’s review how Cena got his ass beat by Lesnar at SummerSlam, missed ONE week of TV then beat the brakes off the entire Wyatt Family in one night. Then in his rematch with Lesnar he miraculously was beating Lesnar up and Lesnar lost by DQ when Rollins tried to cash in MITB. Those two sentences are retarded to me. Look. I get Cena is the top guy. I get that never giving up is his entire gimmick. But he still did not need to beat up a group of young up and comers to prove he would be different against Brock Lesnar. He did not need to gain ANY kind of victory against Brock Lesnar to still be who he has always been. And now he’s getting ANOTHER match against Lesnar. Lesnar should not lose. Cena usually doesn’t lose. SOMEONE HAS TO LOSE! Bray Wyatt has been off TV to the point where if I didn’t have this superlative memory, I’d forget he won a feud with Jericho. I remember him and two big niggas getting suplexed all over the ring by a man who in storyline, I’ll grant you, had something to prove, but in reality, had nothing to prove. And now, Dean Ambrose is coming off a main event PPV loss. He slides down the card in a month to face another man who cannot RETURN to lose. (Sorta like Lesnar losing his re-debut to Cena after a month of claming to be “legitimate” and an asskicker.) So that’s some more interesting booking decisions to watch play out. I can encapsulate most of the other WWE “superstars” by saying they’re glorified jobbers who lose on TV or PPV more often than not. Then WWE wonders “where are the new stars?” Miz main evented WrassleMania three years ago… jobber. Ziggler loses all the time, but seems to win midcard title matches. Cesaro is a jobber. Just smh. I hope it doesn’t just make sense to ME to say WWE has to stop overprotecting guys by having them trade wins or having screwy finishes… while at the same time, not having guys out there losing every week.

It's Still Real to Me, Dammit!

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