Monday, March 19, 2007

Raw Report

Date: 03/19/07 from Indianapolis, IN.

The Big News: WrestleMania build continues, with the featured performers again being put over strong.

Conclusive Finishes: 3 of 5.

Show Analysis:

Raw started with a graphic for Arnold Skaaland. Shawn Michaels and JBL came out. JBL said that nobody tells him when to come out of retirement, and that if he does so he will do it on his terms and in his city, New York. WWE is perhaps going a bit far with one falsely advertised match a show these days. JBL said that Michaels won’t win the WWE title, and hasn’t take advantage of his opportunities to nail John Cena. JBL said that Michaels knows he can’t beat Cena, and doesn’t attack Cena because of the fans. He called Michaels pathetic. This was a very good promo by JBL.

Michaels responded that he doesn’t need to earn the fans’ respect, because he has it already. He added that he will beat Cena at WrestleMania. He said he delivers sweet chin music when he wants to and when you least expect it. He then hit JBL with the move in the middle of his next sentence. They put over that Michaels did it really quickly and unexpectedly, but unfortunately the kick was completely expected because of what he just said and was slow enough to where it felt contrived that JBL just stood there waiting for it.

An angry Randy Orton confronted Edge backstage. He said that Edge’s spot in Money in the Bank would be up for grabs in a match. Vince McMahon was apparently annoyed Edge didn’t deliver on his offer to take out Lashley. Edge, however, would be able to earn back his spot by winning a battle royal. If they do go through with the Edge/Orton feud it will be tricky given both almost have to be heels at this point.

Lashley won the Masterlock challenge. The announcers sold that Lashley’s presence on Raw was a shock and nobody expect him to take the challenge. The only problem is they announced he would take the Masterlock challenge on their website last week. Now it’s probably true that the majority of the audience didn’t see that. However, if they are going to pretend some weeks that everyone knows something is coming because it was announced on the website, it’s ridiculous to pretend other weeks that actual website announcements never occurred. In any event, Lashley just broke the hold cleanly. I guess Lashley’s as good of a choice as any given the spot they are grooming for him, even if I don’t think much of him as a performer.

Vince McMahon confronted Lashley backstage. Vince said that Lashley may have broken the Masterlock, but Umaga will break Lashley. He added that he will break Donald Trump’s ego. He had Lashley escorted from the building. Eugene then accidentally spilled a drink on Vince. Vince decided to feed him to Umaga as retaliation. They then aired a video package for Arnold Skaaland.

Edge won a 10 man battle royal to earn back his title shot at WrestleMania. The other participants were Val Venis, Kenny Dykstra, Ric Flair, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, Viscera, Super Crazy, Johnny Nitro and Carlito. Edge feigned an injury from basically the beginning and left the ring. Everyone went after Viscera and dumped him out first. Haas and Benjamin threw out Super Crazy. Flair pushed Benjamin off the top rope to the floor. Flair chopped Dykstra out. Carlito drop kicked Nitro out. That left Flair and Carlito. Carlito sent Flair over the top but not to the floor. Flair came back in and eliminated Carlito. He was announced as the winner when of course Edge came back in and threw him out. This was predictable, but good enough.

Umaga defeated Eugene in a squash with the Samoan spike. Afterwards Vince shaved Eugene’s hair and slapped him. This was a good angle. Candice Michelle next challenged Melina. Melina ran down the Playboy cover girls and said Playboy is beneath her. Candice suggested they have a bra and panties match. Melina accepted and won. Afterwards, Ashley came out and pulled off Melina’s top. Then Great Khali came in and grabbed Ashley by the throat. Jerry Lawler came in for the save but received a tree slam for his efforts.

Jeff Hardy beat Randy Orton via disqualification. Orton hit a back breaker and applied the Boston crab. Hardy came back with the whisper in the wind. At that point Edge brought a ladder into the ring. Orton hit Hardy with it for the DQ and then argued with Edge. Hardy gave Orton the twist of fate and a leg drop off the top rope over the ladder onto Orton. This match made no sense. They announced next week Lashley vs. Vince McMahon.

John Cena beat Chris Benoit via submission. Shawn Michaels did commentary, and Cena almost collided with him early but pulled up. Benoit hit chops and applied the sharpshooter. He followed with three rolling Germans, but missed a head butt. Cena came back with the Cena slam and five knuckle shuffle. He went for the FU but Benoit escaped and went for the crossface. Cena escaped that and applied the FU for the tap. Michaels came in and teased using sweet chin music. Cena then lifted up Michaels for the FU but let him down. The story is they are both playing head games with each other. JBL came out to close the show, and said that next week Michaels and Cena would team up again against Undertaker and Batista.

Final Thoughts:

What I liked a lot about this show was just how strongly they put over the featured performers for WrestleMania. That takes a lot of courage, but it’s the right thing for business. They should continue that trend leading into every PPV, and also utilize that attitude towards grooming a select few young stars for future main events.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a combination of not really caring for Cena, really liking Benoit, and just abhorring Cena's "submssion offense," but I hate that they had Benoit tap. Bleh. Of course, it seems they really have no plans for Benoit going forward, so I guess it really doesn't matter.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHat are your feelings about the upcoming pwg all star weekend shows? I think they look amazing this year and I can't believe that they got low ki!

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't have time to watch the whole thing...Just saw Candice come one cared...Melina come one cared...Bra and panties...a few cared...Ashley come out ..crowd dead...Khali come out...Crowd says who the hell cares...Lawler jumps in...gets choked slammed...crowd yawns...Hope the rest was better than that stuff

10:32 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Another sellout crowd for WWE.

Good night of wrestling, but Benoit losing clean to Cena was a tad surprising. If he doesn't get some kind of revenge after Mania it will be extremely disappointing. Pink and Black attack is back?

Why havent Cryme Time jacked London and Kendrick for their tag titles and taken them to ECW? If they're not a gangstas rip off I dunno what is. Where's New Jack? Is it too much to ask for Natural Born Killers in the ballroom one more time?

They did a good job with that Ashley entrance music, as many times as they can get it in they do, smart move.

Melina is very good and getting better with more time on the mic. Her work in the ring is commendable, and I hope that she sees that no other woman in WWE has been given a shot like this since Trish.

Is it okay to give away matches for free after people have paid for it?

Lashley seems to be enjoying his run and as well he should. The guys that paved the way for him from Ernie Ladd to Ron Simmons and the guys that will follow him are counting on him to be able to "carry the ball". He's a hell of a talent and very deserving of this spot.

Over the past few months they have done a great job of building stars to the point where a one on one match with HHH will carry a show. And with the help of all 3 brands appearing on one card the WWE PPV business will do great numbers in 2007. McMahon is mad vain to be taking all the credit for Mania, which is sure to be the most successful financial quarter. He deserves it, he's as good a character as any on television and his business sense is rivaled by few. And in his field, no one. He's still an asshole though and it will give everyone great pleasure to see him catch a stunner at Mania.

I like that they are putting the 3 brands together on PPVs, but doing this really takes away from ECW unless all the ECW matches on PPVs are conducted under extreme rules. Maybe the guys who work their need to watch the Rey Mysterio/Sabu match from One Night Stand 06 to see what it takes to put on a great ECW match under extreme rules. Sometimes WWE doesn't need to go for the video spot that lasts forever, it would be great once in a while to be able to watch that show and get the feeling that it at least has some remnants of what ECW was.

Alot of anonymous posts. And just because you write something on this board, thats your own personal opinion it doesn't mean that people are going to agree. Hell they might even hate you for it. But at least you had the guts to speak the truth.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Morty said...

Assorted random thoughts....
--Show was kinda blah, although this close to Mania I can understand that, not wanting to risk any stupid injuries.
--All credit to Vince for the way he is selling this 'Billionaires' match. Considering he has had to do it almost entirely by himself (Trump not there, Umaga doesn't talk, Lashley not allowed to), I must say he's done a hell of a sell, particularly since anybody who isn't a mongoloid mark knows how it's gonna end. He's doing a good job building heat for what is a foregone conclusion.
--Frankly, Dinsmore needed the haircut. It struck me that he looks a bit like Kevin Sullivan now. When he's inevitably TNA 'World Champion' this time next year, perhaps Dinsmore can look back at this as a defining moment. Too bad they didn't shave off the Eugene gimmick, too.
--If that Vince/Lashley match happens next week, which I'd really doubt, what does it say when the pressure is on Vince to carry a 'World Champion' to a good match? Smart money says that Vince spends the better part of the next three months getting 'revenge' on Lashley for costing him his hair. I recommend hiring a ventriloquist for Lashley, because someday he'll have to say something..won't he?
--Benoit's a pro. He did what was good for business. Seeing him work made me miss him all the more, though. A loss to Cena don't mean nothin' as he was just a prop anyway. If another meaningless feud with another faceless heel doesn't get ol' Wild Pegasus giving serious thought to a change of scenery, I don't know what will.I don't mean TNA--god forbid--but a job selling real estate or something. This man was the World Champion a couple of years ago. Now he's an afterthought. That is ridiculous. But, who's he gonna fight? Put him back on RAW and make him a heel..he's needed.
--Ashley looks like a man with tits. The crowd could give a fuck about her. Why is it that the actual women wrestlers are better looking than the strippers they trot out every year in this Diva Dumpster Dive? I'm sure somebody will write in to tell me that the crowd was 'really in to her'. It's a lie. Don't bother.
--The JBL thing was fine, glad they didn't wrestle. I doubt that Layfield is in any sort of condition to work, but he is an ace on the stick. No question.
--How the hell are they gonna get these tag belts off of Cena and HBK? They are going to have to someday. They should've dropped 'em to MNM last week in that 'cage' match...there isn't another legit team with any sort of push within 500 miles. Will they just have Cena drop the belt into a garbage can after Mania?
--Hasn't the hair v. hair stip kind of lost it's sting in an era when men shave their heads all the time? Admittedly, for these two it works, but it sounds funny for them to push shaving the loser's head as a punishment when two of the main guys in the match both shave their heads already.
--What was the point of that Edge thing? They took away his spot in the $ITB only to have him get it back? It didn't really lead to any dissension between he and Orton, an Edge feud with Flair is a step backwards at this point. I also think it'd be a mistake to split up Orton/Edge at this point because Hunter'll be back soon to 'get his revenge'in a money feud, so not sure why they'd plant these seeds already, except for the fact that they'll be the last two in the ladder match. Neither of these men should ever be a 'face' again, because it's clear that they work better as heels. Plus, Cena's gotta fight somebody this's likely Orton.
--Why is Foley in the company? It doesn't appear that he's going to work Mania, so what value does he have? Just to write 'tell-all' books for the smarts to smirk at? How do I get that job?
--Ken Doane needs a mouthpiece or a good, charismatic heel partner else he's gonna get lost in the shuffle quick and end up eating with Shelton Benjamin at the kid's table for five years.
--The Kane/Khali match could only have less heat if it was a bra and panties match.
--I believe I've seen that new Steve Austin movie already. It was called 'The Running Man' and was made, oh, 20 years ago. Hmm..
--Mania should be fun this year. It's been booked well, I'd guess that HBK can get a very good match out of Cena ( who does work hard ), Taker can carry Batista (who doesn't work hard), and Umaga and Lashley will just be a mosh, as it should be. MITB may be a bit crowded, but expect to see Punk, Matt Hardy and Booker eliminated pretty fast, so it'll open it up. Can they carry the momentum over into the summer? Probably, if they don't get too fat and happy--but Hunter's return will be a monkey wrench in the works. Everything will be focused on that, and DX, so get ready for a summer of dick jokes, pies in the face, and the random burial of workers who are just trying to pay the rent. Hope not, of course, and maybe they'll see the positive effect that these last couple of months have had. I have no reason to believe so, but..

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Morty's wife said...

Of course, I just remembered that MITB is not an 'elimination' match, so I don't know how an 8-man ladder match is gonna work. We shall see.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Dave S. said...

I have to comment on something that Tyson said above about Lashley: "He's a hell of a talent and very deserving of this spot."

Um, in what way exactly is Lashley a "hell of a talent"? From what I have seen of him, he has no discernable talents whatsoever, other than injecting himself full of steroids. He is probably the worst-talking world champion I have ever seen in any promotion; he sounds like a timid little kid and is completely unbelieveable in this role. As for his wrestling, he seems to know how to do about 5 power moves, and sells about as well as Kane (which is to say, he doesn't sell at all). He has absolutely no idea how to work a good match, and unlike some of WWE's other young wrestlers, he doesn't seem to possess the skills or talent to be able to improve on that.

I just don't see what is so great, or even good, about Lashley. There are many, many, MANY other wrestlers in the company who deserve this push more than he does, and would be doing far more with it.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I got a call from a friend after the east coast feed of Raw who was pissed off about Benoit tapping. I can definitely see that frustration but to me putting over main event talent is good. One thing WWE should start doing is if they are willing to put people over strong, they should stretch out those moments so they mean more. For example, if you knew Cena and Michaels were going to wrestle at a PPV and wanted to put over Cena by having him tap out Benoit, have them do a feud a month earlier so that when the tap happens it means a lot. You can only do so much with only a week’s build to make an event feel important.

Upcoming PWG ASW looks fantastic. Really great matchups featuring pretty much exclusively guys I think really highly of. But damn I wish there wasn’t so much that weekend between those two shows, UFC, and Pride.

The Ashley/Candice/Melina/Khali/Lawler segment was probably the worst on the show, so you got bad luck there.

I think hell will freeze over before we see New Jack come out on a WWE show to Natural Born Killers.

Yeah, Ashley sucks. She also annoys me more by the week. At first I didn’t care about her. But she’s been shoved down our throats now for long enough that it’s aggravating.

Hair vs. hair definitely doesn’t have the same bang it would at other times, but a lot of it is just that it’s Trump’s hair specifically.

I am definitely in the “Lashley’s no good” camp. It’s ironic that they finally are figuring out Batista is just like Jim Hellwig as far as talent and at the same time their big super push is being given to the third version of that guy.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Uncle Morty unless your married to yourself, you didn't say that.

In response to dave s.

Bobby Lashley has done everything that WWE has asked him to do since signing with the company. They gave him an oppurtunity early to learn from some great workers (Finlay, Regal) and sent him to ECW as a main focus. There is not one talent in ECW to be able to hold this spot carrying the ECW world title in a marquee match while at the same time being tied to Donald Trump. Lay off Terry Bonds. And amateur wrestling champions usually know a few more than 5 power moves. Usually. Being able to talk doesn't make a world champion, that makes a world champion a world figure. There's always room for improvement, nobody's callin' him The Book.

As much as people say he can't "work" and that HHH carried him, you'd think a guy like Batista would have a little more pride in what he does for a living. I'm sure it's been fun with the injury time off and carryin' that smackdown title around.. mania's a good oppurtunity to get some cred back.

How much steam has Estrada lost? How could they miss the opp to make him Khali's mouthpiece?

You'll never win a war against Ashley. Not when the people voted for her.

At least we are 100% sure there's one guy in WWE who has never taken steroids, or is that a gimmick?

I'll settle for Jungle Boogie. But that's still fucked up.

2:50 AM  
Anonymous Dave S. said...


Just because Lashley has done what his bosses told him to do does not make him worthy of a main event spot. If that were the criteria, Eugene would be a 10 time World Champ.

You're right that the ability to talk is not the most important thing to look for in a main eventer, but he cuts horrendus promos that are made even worse by his ridiculous voice. He always sounds like he's reading off cue cards. It is embarassing to have someone who is that bad at delivering promos involved in the company's top storyline.

And I believe that any number of other wrestlers could be doing better than Lashley is doing as ECW champ and as Trump's rep. RVD is consistently over despite being booked like a complete jobber since he lost both his world titles on consecutive nights. I am almost sure that ratings for ECW would be higher right now with RVD as the main guy on the show. ECW's ratings with Lashley as the focus are absolutely putrid.

The only reason the ECW show has imnproved recently is because of the good work being done by both sides in the new breed vs. originals feud, and the use of guest wrestlers from the other brands. Lashley's matches are consistently terrible and boring, and they book him to make every other wrestler on the show look like garbage.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Morty said...

One last random thought--they are certainly making great hay out of Lashley breaking the dreaded 'Masterlock'. The idea is sound in theory, but considering that the gimmick had been dropped up until three weeks ago, and all the highlights they ran of others being unable to break it included an announcer, a washed-up has-been and a fat Mexican wrestler who is known for a lame catchphrase, it's impact seems slight. To play up Lashley's breaking it seems to be a case of damning with faint praise.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...


Love your blog and your weekly reviews, but I think saying that Lashley falls into the same line as Batista is awfully unfair at this point, on numerous levels.

For one, I think Lashley works hard and has shown drastic improvement. A lot of times I feel like Batista doesn't care.

Also, Lashley is ten years younger and has all that time to keep getting better. We need to remember that all of the really great "promo" guys crafted their art for years in smaller promotions before they ever made it to the national level. Lashley never had that, so we're just watching him get better on live television.

I feel like he can turn all of his negatives into positives. I like the idea of a very soft spoken big guy. Creative just needs to jump on that and make it a good thing. Make it a situation where he gets knocked for his voice by other wrestlers, and he just beats the holy crap out of them anyways.

At any rate, I may get trashed for this, but keep up the great work. And as I've said before, thank you for being an educated human being who isn't afraid or ashamed to write a wrestling column. It speaks well for the rest of us.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Thanks, Joseph.

As far as Lashley goes, my comments were more based on his limitations than his attitude or effort. I think Batista worked hard and showed improvement when he started, but he was ultimately a musclehead who couldn't talk very well or wrestle very well. I think that's Lashley in a nutshell as well even if he is more athletic. Lashley is young so he may improve. But to me I'd rather push someone that already has the charisma, speaking ability and wrestling ability than the guy who looks like a million bucks but hasn't established anything else yet.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous tyson said...

So essentially what you're saying is you would put a guy who has been previously given a main event spot that they were not able to hold in favor of presenting a fresh start for a younger less known talent that "looks like a million bucks" and has shown gradual improvement over his time with the company?

Isn't that what put WCW out of business? Among other things..

As far as RVD having this spot, yeah hes a good wrestler, but saying hes a better talker than much better? Saying you can tie him to Donal Trump? Yes, cause the goal of The Apprentice series is to promote the new age hippie grass loving citizens of this great country into prominent positions in soceity...

Todd, who were you thinking of when you said you would put another in this spot?

Putting Lashley and Batista in the same group is absurd, on one hand you've got a former bouncer/bodybuilder vs. an amateur wrestling champion. Apples and Oranges, when comparing their potential in the business.

That was a great ECW show for a while, at one point it hit a wall which seems to have been the story. This New Breed - Originals feud has legs. But it was inevitable. Can we not put a big ZERO on the back of the ECW Originals T shirt though? Jeez. Is anyone more deserving of one of those moments that lasts forever more than Tommy Dreamer? Has he not done enough for the business, and WWE?

Just because someone doesnt speak in the typical pro wrestler fashion does not mean that they can not be an effective worker. And when you think about it, the Bobby Lashley character is relatively untainted, giving him no reason for aggression or hunger in his speak. I'd say its incredibly early to start to bury Bobby Lashley. I am intrigued to see if they develop the character or ride the wave.

ECW needed a fresh face as the champion to represent it at this point, as much as Vince and Umaga needed a fresh monster matchup to represent them in a main event. There's no arguing that. For all you big man haters it could have been Kane vs. Khali for hair vs. hair.

And finally, by saying he's done everything the company has asked him to do, well that speaks more of Lashley's personal character than anything. There hasn't been one instance where something he has done has reflected negtively on the company. His high enzyme count was not a positive steroid test. High enzymes are usually indicative of steroid abuse though.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

ECW needed a fresh face as the champion to represent it at this point, as much as Vince and Umaga

I meant Trump.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

What about Bobby Lashley pertaining to his future and his current status is "limited"?

2:45 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

There weren't great alternatives to Lashley, I recognize. So Lashley very well might have been the best choice under the circumstances. But the real problem is that they have these strict hiring policies where they only hire guys who are really tall and really roided up rather than just hiring the best talent. There are tons of guys on the indies who would get over really fast in WWE were they given a major push because they are talented as hell. Think how quickly Chris Jericho got over when he made his WWE debut, and he's not tall at all. Rey Jr. Benoit. There are guys at that level but WWE doesn't even look at them because they want the Snitskys, Masters and Khalis of the world.

As far as Lashley goes, he's an awful talker, a mediocre in ring performer and has little charisma. Those are some pretty major limitations.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Morty's Butcher said...

To look at this Lashley talk in a third way, I actually think that he was as good a candidate as any for this spot as Trump's rep..if he was expected to work with, say, Bryan Danielson or something, then no, but for a slugfest with a man who's main skill is as a brawler as Umaga is, I think it's fine. I do think that they are pushing him a bit hard right now, but with the match being such a marquee spot at Mania, they have to do it. He is definitely limited in his apparent skill set, which I think has a lot to do with the fact that his body is so overgrown with muscle mass that it's probably impossible for him to do much else besides the obvious power moves. His manner is very mild, which will have to be overcome somehow else I don't think the fans will ever get behind him too much. If you aren't much on the mic, then you better be able to really work in the ring (see Benoit, Chris, among others) otherwise you're stuck with yet another Chris Masters type who is just there to take up space. His elevation to ECW champ is fine, I believe, because it's without any doubt considered the equivilant of the WWE's AA ball affiliate and I don't see anybody else on the ECW roster who I'd put a belt on ( I'd guess the spot was Punk's until he pissed somebody off ). Do I see a real future as a money maker in Lashley's future? No, but then who figured Deacon Dave Batista would sell a single t-shirt three years ago? It really is too early to say. I think he does work hard, but until some sort of persona is presented, Lashley will always be a problem for the company to push long-term ( look how hard they tried with Shelton, a superior talent with a lack of charisma, and could never make it work ).

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Uncle Morty (deceased) said...

I should mention that I was writing my last posting before Todd summed up his points on the Lashley situation. Obviously we mostly agree on this, but I don't want anybody thinking that I'm just echoing sentiments already written. Clearly great minds don't only think alike, but they think these thoughts at roughly the same time. The only difference is that I was trying to be more diplomatic about a wrestler I find very dull.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Again character development is everything in WWE and these are the ONLY limitations that apply to a character getting over in todays day and age. Hulk Hogan is the biggest name in the history of wrestling and he was never the best talker, worker, or most charismatic at any point during his career.

Jericho was huge when he came over because it was a tremendous coup for WWE and their fans at the time. I'll never forget that pop for the millenium countdown or the ensuing confrontation with the best talker in recent history (which didn't hurt as an initial rub).

To say that a chris benoit or rey jr hasn't been given a legitimate oppurtunity is beyond absurd. I mean if you want to criticize individuals for being limited when it comes to star power and appeal to national audiences, look no further than those two. Both have been presented as dominant (until monday) performers with world title vicotories over HHH, HBK, Randy Orton and Kurt Angle. I know if I was a wrestler and was going over 2 of those 4 I wouldn't be complaining about not being given a chance because I'm not tall or big enough. As much as wrestling is what it is there needs to be a sense of believability which is why I had no problem with Mark Henry targeting Rey Jr and why the "smart marks" bugged out on the net.

Its starting to feel like UFC is systematically compiling assets to really make a go of this thing. Maybe that will give them the leverage they need to promote their events in this state. Extremely reminiscent of the territorial days and the McTakeOver. History repeats itself once more...?

In WWE your gimmick is everything and you will only go as far as your gimmick allows you, as for Bobby Lashley, he has a clean slate and his future is bright at this point. Batista's star is fading because there has been little to no development of the Batista character since his turning point with HHH and Evolution.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was cool seeing Lawler involved. He ought to find a way to interfere in one of Khali's matches for revenge.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Steroids in professional wrestling have as much to do with muscle recovery and injury prevention as they do with a persons look. The physical wear and tear that WWE wrestlers go through combined with their schedules is unimaginable for every sports reporter and newspaper writer who has been married to his computer or typewriter for the past 20 years.

Why dont those pussy sons a bitches do a real survey of professional athletes and ask them what they think of pro wrestlers, their work ethic and the shit that they go through. Rather than taking the oppurtunity to get on the soapbox and get their name out there. Baseball players didn't take steroids to be jacked son of a bitches they did it because it helped them recover faster and gave them more power and speed. WWE wrestlers don't take steroids to get a huge push (insert any test joke you may have) they do it so they can maintain their bodies over the course of their career. Without it guys would break down and the business as a whole would suffer. These indy guys you talk about work no where near the schedule of WWE wrestlers and presented with the oppurtunity nearly half would shit themselves and the other half would have to put in work to get over, cause its all about the gimmick their given. Chris Jericho wasn't the lionheart. As much as people slam people slam Vince McMahon and say hes telling these guys to take steroids, hes not, and in most cases its in their best interest to do so. Edge had a very specific body type for a long time, and magically when hes Rated HGH he's a top guy. It's not because they wanted him to do it, it was the best thing for his career and his injuries were becoming a yearly occurence.

Steroids aren't the thing thats killing pro wrestlers, its the comination of the steroids and the illegal drugs, the drinking the smoking the pain killers with the steroids that lead to their demise. It's easy to point fingers and say this guy made me do this or made me do that, but if it came down to it and someone told Vince McMahon that they couldn't go anymore Todd you should know better than anyone that there is no way the courts would support WWE in any kind of civil lawsuit where a guy had a legit injury or drug problem and needed time off.

It has never been the case for an employer to question the personal lives and habits of employees until performance becomes an issue. In any industry. If a guy says he can go, he can go, if he says he can't and they try to make you, abstain. I've mentioned this before, there is no telling what an idividual will do to put food on the table. To prey on that is wrong and WWE has learned this over time, they are not completely in the clear, but as the #1 wrestling company and the sole survivor of all the territories and independants they will get all the pub, negative or positive.

Gotta love the US and the way it handles substance abuse, it was ok to crack heads and send people to jail off the streets for cocaine and heroin, but when it comes to steroids there are congressional hearing and fraudulant invesitgations and reports of going after "distributors". They know the shit if used properly is good for you and can help you they just can't admit it. I will be duckin n dodgin "the man" for the rest of my life.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6-2 is not "really tall" for a professional athlete in 2007.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Hakim said...

Hulk Hogan's career was based almost entirely on his undeniable charisma and ability to talk. To say he wasn't 'the most charismatic at any time in his career' is absurd. If he wasn't, then how exactly did he become'the most famous wrestler in the world'? He had a money feud with Paul Orndorff, for god's sake. I'm no Hogan mark, but credit where it's due.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

I'm no Hogan mark


Everyone's a Hogan mark.

He deserves as much credit as he was given. Piper, Flair and Rhodes were just as charismatic as Hogan if not more so.

If you follow Dave Meltzer and his awards system I'm kind of amazed how one can win Most Charismatic and Most Overrated in the same year..multiple times. Hell according to Meltzers readers, Hogan is the Most Overrated Wrestler in history.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Hogan is arguably the single most charismatic wrestler ever. He was terrible in the ring, and his interviews ranged from good to bad, but it's his charisma that carried him. Without it, Hulking up wouldn't get the crowd into him, the point and finger wag wouldn't get people into him, his flexing, et al. His charisma helped his bad promos to actually be pretty decent.

As far as him being overrated, it's incredibly subjective. He's a terrible worker and he's the politician to end all politicians, but as Tyson said "everyone's a Hogan mark," so he can't be terribly overrated. As far as using Meltzer's readership as the basis for the argument, what has to be remembered is that about 99.999% of his readership, if not more, are smarks, who almost inherently hate Hogan for his politicking, so of course they're going to vote him overrated.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Politician? Having a good business sense is a reason to be voted the most overrated wrestler in history? I think we need a new understanding of what awards are and what a real hall of fame is.

It is fucking impossible to be the most charismatic wrestler and the most overrated wrestler in at the same time. Impossible.

I was reading something someone wrote on UFC and he was talking about all these "stars" UFC has made in the past two years. And when I thought about it they really haven't made any. Randy Couture comes to mind, but Chuck had his spot and fans before his run and Tito and Ken were stars before the recent UFC surge and really spear headed the entire operation, but to me UFC hasn't really made stars. Whats the difference in UFC and WWE as far as bringing fighters up too soon or putting them in a position they might not be ready for? Can a fighter be too "green"? Todd....your thoughts?

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Dave S. said...

I believe the standard for the "Most Overrated" award is the wreslter who gets the most undeserved push based on his skills. Triple H is a multi-time winner of the award as well. Basically, the award really should be called "Most Overpushed," and Hogan unquestionably deserved to win that for most of his original WWF run.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Yeh charisma is no skill. Because so many people have it...

1:32 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

Politician? Having a good business sense is a reason to be voted the most overrated wrestler in history?

Having a good business sense is completely different from conniving and finagling to make sure the World Title is always on you, or that you're always in the main event, or that you never job, even if none of those things are what's best for anyone but yourself at the time.

And how is it impossible to be the most charismatic and most overrated simultaneously? It's pretty much universally accepted that Hogan is the cream of the crop when it comes to charisma. That said, the people that would be voting for the overrated award a.) don't hold Hogan in as high a regard as your average fan, and b.) feel he gets too much praise because they know of the politicking he's done. So they vote him as overrated. Having the best charisma does not inherently mean that Hogan is the best ever, nor does it mean people can't have varying opinions on him as far as everything else he is/has done. There's more to it than just charisma.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous tyson said...

Having a good business sense is completely different from conniving and finagling to make sure the World Title is always on you, or that you're always in the main event, or that you never job, even if none of those things are what's best for anyone but yourself at the time.

No it's not. Not when you're talking wrestling business sense. In any of these instances where Hogan was put over, or forced his way to the championship, did the crowd not sellout?

Bottom line, only a damn hater would consider Hulk Hogan to be overrated.

6:59 PM  

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