By Sawyer Paul.
Mick Foley gets it: wrestlers who go on morning talk shows must administer a headlock.
After twenty years on national television, Glen Jacobs has established quite the WWE legacy. No one else comes close to matching Kane’s record for number of modern WWE matches.
While you were busy paying attention to characters you cared about, Kane racked up more matches than anyone else in the modern era. Sneaky.
WWE sources stated that the segment was placed where it was specifically in an attempt to get fans to watch during the half-time of last night’s NFL broadcast. That was why Cena used the “half-time” verbiage during his initial segment with Paul Heyman that opened the show; they were specifically trying to tell the audience that might tune out for football when they could come back to see Brock and Cena.
Whatever happened to “Don’t change that dial, because this is the hottest program on the air”?
Oh right, that was Nitro.
Today we’re announcing a new next-generation console release date for WWE 2K15 of November 18, 2014 in North America and November 21, 2014 internationally for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. However, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 date remains unchanged and will remain October 28, 2014 in North America and October 31, 2014 internationally.
I had a feeling this might happen. The new crop of consoles simply take longer to develop for, and because they’re all new, developers are running into fresh problems to solve.
But can all this revive TNA? Bully Ray is reportedly leaving the promotion. And Bound for Glory, effectively TNA’s WrestleMania, will not be shown live on pay-per-view in October as it’s taping in Japan, and they still haven’t found their Rock or Stone Cold. And most troubling of all, TNA does not have any live events booked in the United States past its September 19 date in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
A troubled past. Zero brand loyalty. No budget, no plan, and no distribution. This is what it looks like when a wrestling company dies.
Inside: Creepy flirting! Bo Dallas question deflection! Discussion about The Shield breaking up that still makes me sad months later! STING TEASES. And, as you might imagine, a hell of an Hawaiian shirt.
What, no headlocks? Regis would be pissed.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are wrestling on Sunday, and yet they wrestled to a clean finish on RAW. Brock Lesnar’s big appearance came at the beginning of the 10:00 hour. The show closed with an unproven newish heel going up against an old guard guy whose sell-by date may have already expired (as much as it pains me to write that about Mark Henry). Even on episodes worse than tonight’s (and tonight’s was bad, don’t get me wrong), a theme rises to the surface. This show, however, felt disjointed, a manifestation of every rumor about how chaotic the backstage environment is on Mondays before the show goes to air.
Raw was disappointing not because it was a poor show, but because there was simply no fight in it. WWE has been looking for a competitor for over ten years.
Football is it.
They should pound it into oblivion.
I want to see AJ Lee as WWE World Heavyweight Champion because she is my favourite pro wrestler. Sure, I’m biased, and this is selfish, but wants are. I enjoy watching her in the ring more than any other wrestler, and this has been true since 2011. As soap opera hooks go, AJ Lee has them in me. I want to see where her character goes. I want to see what she does next, because she’s already accomplished everything WWE has for women.
I want to see AJ Lee as champ because she’s a woman, and I think it’s ridiculous that it’s 2014 and we haven’t had a female world champion in pro wrestling. I wouldn’t complain if the women’s title were held in equal acclaim, but it certainly isn’t. The women’s title has never headlined a major special event. It has never been aggrandized as the highest prize. It has never been something young wrestlers-to-be dream about winning. They dream about winning the big one, and that’s the WWE Championship.
I want to see AJ Lee win because I care about professional wrestling as an art form, and by doing so I want to shed it of even more sport tropes. It is a sport trope to divide people into classes. That there is a “Women’s” division is a sport trope. It is a separation for the benefit of those with rigid minds, people who aren’t comfortable with the idea of going forward with wrestling-as-art, who want one foot firmly planted in a past nobody actually lived in. AJ Lee winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship would knee to death the idea that wrestling needs to be as realistic as football, as if anything should want to be football.
There is still the question in pro wrestling of whether women should (or can) wrestle at the same level of men. This question is profoundly irrelevant. Wrestling is a dance. Men and women have been known to dance with one another. Wrestling is ballet with force, its movements designed to illustrate violence. I am in no way suggesting men fight women in real life. I’m in no way advocating men fight one another in real life. I think fighting for real is one of the dumbest things a person could do. But a fake fight can be beautiful. It can speak to the human condition. But pro wrestlings’ historical insistence on keeping the sexes apart makes no sense the second you believe it to be a dance.
I want to see it happen because a lot of people think it shouldn’t, or can’t, and those people shouldn’t get to think that they’re right. They should be forced to realize that their opinions are antiquated. They should feel as if the world has moved on without them.
Beyond the asinine question of whether a woman can wrestle at the level of a man is the far more common lie that it would not be believable for a woman to defeat a man in combat. It is too easy to dismantle this. I only have to lean on the fact that we are talking about a scripted, choreographed environment where moves like irish whips exist and we’re all just fine with that. I only have to remind people that when a wrestler strikes another wrestler, the selling of the move is so exaggerated no one who’s ever been in a real fight would believe it. I only have to point out that in a real fight, no one would ever pick up their opponent to perform a bodyslam, or attempt something so intricate as a suplex. These are basic, boring wrestling moves we take for granted and see in every match, and they are utterly unbelievable movements.
What is the difference between a man picking up another man in a suplex or a woman picking up a man? We are used to two men performing this. That is literally the only thing in the way. The only reason you believe a suplex happens is because you have seen it so often. You forget that it’s a useless motion in real life. After a year of women suplexing men, nobody would question it.
I want women wrestling men because good wrestlers should wrestle good wrestlers. Because wrestling skill should be the reason they can fight one another. An ignorant person can ask “why are they letting women do this?” and the answer can come from anyone: “They know how.” I want skill in wrestling—holds, psychology, and guile—to be the only things that matter on the wrestling show.
I want to see AJ Lee win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship because Mae Young should have won it back in the 50s, or 60s, or anytime really, because she was amazing and AJ Lee—along with a few other female wrestlers of today—keeps her great audacity alive. I want her to win because it would be audacious, and wrestling is in many ways the art of audacity.
I want AJ Lee to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and not another woman (in this case, anyway. In general I’d like to see many women win) because she is small, because she appears to be too small. I want Shawn Michaels’ great narrative to remain true, that size is only one obstacle. WWE has wisely never suggested that only wrestlers of a certain weight class can compete for any title. They do this because they are storytellers, and sometimes the story is about a smaller wrestler. Shawn Michaels was once considered too small to headline. Most recently, so was Daniel Bryan. If WWE had a known weight limit for competing for its greatest prize, they could have never told the story with Bryan that culminated at Wrestlemania XXX. Rey Mysterio could have never been in consideration. But WWE knows that size doesn’t matter. They know that audiences want the person with the greatest heart (and sometimes the greatest hole where their heart should be) to win the big one.
I want AJ Lee to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a great story. I do not want it to be a fluke, or a token victory filled with luck. I want her to earn it by hitting a man in the head with the Shining Wizard, or making him submit to the Black Widow. I want them to remind people that her submission move is designed to fell opponents twice her size. I want her to be faster than her opponent, and smarter. I want her to have discernible advantages, and for the announce team to make them known, because her weaknesses will be obvious. In pro wrestling, strength is a factor, but it is very rarely the only factor. Edge made a career out of cunning. Steve Austin owes most of his victories to grit. HHH, a strong villain, rarely out-powered his victims, but rather out-thought.
I could go on, but I think you get it by now. It’s not so much a a pitch as a hope. I’ve heard people say that WWE would have to change itself to make such a move. But I see WWE as a place where this kind of thing could happen tomorrow, because it’s a place where anything could theoretically happen. That may be rose-coloured, but there’s a strange combination of opportunism and topical nose-rubbing that WWE incorporates that actually could lead to something like this. I also know there’s people in place who wouldn’t let it get through. But who knows. WWE does interesting things when they feel like they have room for what a maneuver.
Make no mistake about it, Mark Henry and Rusev got what should have been the Cena/Lesnar spot on the ‘go-home’ show before Night of Champions because the WWE catered to their fans that would rather watch Monday Night Football.
I hope that pisses you off as as much as it does me.
WWE would win a lot of points by treating the NFL with the utter contempt it deserves.