Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CM Punk Walks Out on WWE - And DieHard Fans Are Talking!!!

Let me SLIGHTLY retract my statement from this morning about CM PUNK leaving WWE... I DON"T blame him. I'm sure most of the roster would do the same, IF THEY COULD... and that's the KEY point... IF THEY COULD... This is the problem with WWE monopolizing the industry... It doesn't leave the talent with any career options... I don't think CM Punk gives a shit if he ever wrestles in a WWE ring again... BUT, how many OTHER workers can REALLY do the same??? DOLPH ZIGGLER??? ZACK RYDER??? WADE BARRETT???

Axel JS ·
Hey yo whats up derek gordon just wanna say something that i had said earlier about cm punk & jeff hardy & both tna & wwe, do you remember when stone cold & undertaker & i think also hhh back then & im sure would say it now that if you wanna be in this business you gotta be hungry & wanna be champ otherwise your waisting your time? & that if you aint on top & are wwe champ theres no point in being there? Remember that? Well instead of punk leaving wwe & jeff hardy leaving tna just cuz they aint chap or the TOP GUY they should have steped up more cm punk should have came out monday night & confronted hhh, Stephanie mcmahon, randy orton & ESPECIALLY batista & droped another reality PIPE BOMB on them but no he decides to pick up hos ball & go home, what were austin, rock, hhh, & taker doing back then? They were kicking eachothers asses to be that top guy not ONE of then threw a tantrum and went home, am i right man or what do you think?

Jason Russo-
It (as I see it) is just wwe just re hashing another old tired storyline

Shaun Logan -
Valid point.. superstars change rank from week to week.. personally i think batista winning the rumble was a giant fluke, but who am i to judge.. cm punk is in his down time while they push roman an batista.. just gotta wait week to week for the next push

Dominick Brown Donaghy -
Yeah but you shouldn't shit on one of your top guys are any of your type guys either who comes out week to week busting his ass and then all the sudden cuz this is the 30th anniversary of Wrestlemania wants to bring back Batista and automatically give him a title shot I think that's total bull crap

John D. George -
I just wish somebody had the balls to bring back The NWA. Then you could have some leverage for these guys. Just like any business the customer needs competition !!

Axel JS ·
I 100% agree with you John D. George wwe NEEDS competition

Dominick Brown Donaghy -
If Punk would go to ROH and sign a deal and Aj Stylyes sign with ROH i think Wwe would have a legit competitor

DieHard Derek -
Axel JS - I agree to a degree.... WWE gave CM Punk the ball and told him to do what he needed to a few years ago.... But did Punk run his course and have nothing left to offer?? I don't think so... I know he worked injured and said he was "burnt out" a million times.... I know he took time off after Mania... but, maybe Punk rested on his laurels??? It's really hard to say because once Punk turned babyface, he really didn't have much to work with.....

Feuding with Paul E and Brock Lesnar was pretty flat, if you ask my opinion... And everything after that was just worse..... Creatively, Punk was in a bind that WWE put him into, and like poker, he had to play the hands he was dealt.....

Pipe Bomb was already done... And it only worked because it hadn't been done before... To do again would seem like a work, be ineffective in shaking up the business, and would ONLY help WWE get ratings as opposed to send a message to management......

Walking out without notice may have been the BEST thing he's done... He was being book against Triple H at Mania...WHY? Where's the HEAT?... Oh, they were gonna start it now?? I get it... It makes more sense for Bryan to work Triple H, to prove himself to his number one doubter.....

As for Punk, walking out IS a Pipe Bomb.... They didn't expect it. They didn't see it coming. And now they have this negative press about one of their top stars on the road to Wrestlemania... Rather than put 100% focus on the event, they're now putting out creative fires... There has to be a bit of panic in the office with this news. I don't see this as CM Punk QUITTING... I see this as CM Punk going on STRIKE.

Rob Yago -
All of the top guys should be plenty happy. It's not like any of them are getting their pay cut, nor are they doing jobs for Santino. They all have featured spots in the company.

DieHard Derek -
John D. George - there are two problems with the NWA.... They can't afford to compete (which would be foolish anyway), and they can't afford to offer contracts to stars to earn a living... TNA can barely do it.... Not to mention, most of the promoters in the NWA are fucking crooks, so they would stiff the talent and pocket the money..... As a general idea, I really wish there were legit territories..... Let's hope Jeff Jarrett can get something rolling with his new company.

Axel JS ·
Very well said Derek Gordon you know you have a hell of a point there cant argue with that lol

Brittany Llewellyn -
myself i give props to punk for saying what everyone thinks and believes is going on, if you arent best buddies with triple h you arent getting anywhere in the company right now

DieHard Derek -
Don't forget.... CM Punk is getting shafted for BATISTA.. and the ONLY reason WWE is riding hisjock so hard is that he is going to be a featured player in the Marvel Universe in August when they release Guardians of The Galaxy... Vince is MARK for that kind of publicity.

Anthony Mark Balkus -
U don't see john cena leveing wwe because he can't be campion cm punk needs to stop being a bitch how long did he hold the title for more then any one I'm not started with any one but look at other guys like db he has not got his big push yet alote of people I can name punks a cry baby

Brittany Llewellyn -
cena doesnt have to be unhappy about anything cuz his ass gets handed everything, and thats coming from someone whos met him multiple times

Rob Yago -
Lol. Your average fan has ZERO idea what Guardians of the Galaxy even is. I am a Marvel fan, and even I am not too familiar with it. Batista is in a top spot because he is a major star who signed a two year deal for one final run. This is not a deal like The Rock where he is here and gone.

DieHard Derek -
It just sucks that as a locker room leader, Punk didn't set a better example for the guys who are trapped. They look at this move and hope it works out to their benefit, but in reality, they're telling themselves, "FUCK! I wish I could do that...but I make less than 100K a year with no real savings, a family to support, bills to pay, and no real-life skills other than wrestling.

Axel JS ·
Its sucks that wwe has to be like that, oh lets bring someone back just so that we can help promote his movie then bye bye see you later when either the sequel comes out or next big hit movie, but i could be wrong, damn i miss the good ol days of the attitude era & wrestling from the 90s i keep saying that but really i do

Brittany Llewellyn -
Derek Gordon i'd for sure agree with that, at least he was ryder, alex reilly who has been off tv for god knows how long

Joe Bombaci ·
I think punk should go to TNA they could use him right now but that will never happen.

DieHard Derek -
Rob Yago - This has ZERO to do with a final run. The Rock bailed on Mania 30, and now Vince doesn't get the red carpet Hollywood press he was before. MARK MY WORDS, when SummerSlam hits in August, Batista will still have the title and Vince will be whoring his affiliation to the Marvel movie by saying, "Look! I have ANOTHER major movie star wearing my company's championship".....

Brittany Llewellyn -
at this rate, daniel bryan getting a real title shot is thinner than the skinny jeans batista wears

Rob Yago -
I doubt it. I personally think Guardians will bomb huge for Marvel. Doesn't change things...Batista signed a long term commitment. He's back.

Brittany Llewellyn -
now if he could move and actually wrestle like he used to then we might be alright

DieHard Derek -
I agree, Guardians is going to be the drizzling shits, and won't be as effective as Rock's presence in the Fast and Furious franchise. Batista is going to get some burn in the spotlight, but when the comic fans shit all over it, he'll have chunks of it dripping off his face....

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Is WWE Creative WORKING You??? - YES! YES! YES!

WHAT IF this whole thing with DANIEL BRYAN is a WORK...???
WHAT IF WWE is purposely making it seem like they are burying him when the plan is to just get the fans behind him even more???
Would YOU be cheering YES, YES, YES as hard as you do if he wasn't getting so royally fucked???
Isn't there more money in seeing him CHASE the title instead of wearing it???
You don't think the office hears you??? You don't think they notice the reaction when 35,000 are chanting YES in unison???
WHAT IF this was a work to make the chants LOUDER and LOUDER???
Make it go from 35,00 to 50,000, to 100,000???
WHAT IF this was all a WORK to make the SMALLEST guy the BIGGEST star???

Don't forget to COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE. If you don't...Elbows may have to be dropped!

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Monday, January 27, 2014

The ONLY Reason BATISTA is Back in The WWE.

Here's something to debate about....

BATISTA is NOT the mega-star WWE is making him out to be. YES, his size and look are incredible, but as a performer in the ring, on the mic, and overall,...he's AVERAGE AT BEST.

WWE is selling Batista solely on his look because Vince and Triple H get massive erections over BIG GUYS. WWE is also pimping him out, the same way they invested three consecutive Wrestlemania's to THE ROCK, because Batista is going to be a key player in the MARVEL UNIVERSE this summer with his role in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Batista is NOT and NEVER WAS a huge money draw. During every push he was carried by his opponents. Blowing up in the ring, botching moves and spots, and lack of enthusiasm. You may give me shit on that last one, but in my opinion, Batista worked for himself, not for the fans.

Now BATISTA is headlining the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania - the event that changed the industry. Chances are he'll walk away with the title so that WWE can pimp his name through SummerSlam, the same month the Marvel movie his theaters. But, based on the reaction at the Royal Rumble, is it really worth it??? Are YOU ready to be force-fed The Animal for the next 7 months, just so Vince can say that ANOTHER movie star is his company's world champion???

Monday, September 30, 2013

Picked Up The Pen To Write A Little Wrestling Note....

Has it really been that long? Was the last thing I wrote on this blog a full report on last year's Wrestlemania event? Have I not had a clear thought or interest in the world of pro wrestling since then?

Did I need to re-introduce myself to the industry again with a clearer sense - one not tainted by the bitter taste of swallowing "sports entertainment"? Was it time for me to let go of a thirty-plus year intimate and loyal relationship that I had with psychology, or did I need to sell my soul to the devil and realize that at the end of the day, the profits of the almighty dollar spoke in a much louder and deafening tone that artistic value and tradition?

Was it time for me to evolve emotionally and intellectually? Did I need to jump on the train for the greater good? After all, as a former promoter myself, isn't success measured by growth of the product?

Was it time for me to conform and play by the NEW rules of the game? Was it time for me to realize that we were now in 2013 and not in 1985? Shouldn't I be embracing the WWE's trail-blazing accomplishments in achieving the impossible and turning itself in to a multi-billion dollar empire when everyone said it couldn't be done?

Maybe it was time for me to realize my place in the business, ... or lack of.

Maybe it was time to look in the mirror and realize that I wasn't the same person I was when I broke into the business in 1992. Maybe the reality needed to set in that the last time I ran my own show was in the beginning of 2007. Perhaps it was hard to swallow the pill that MY best days in this business - whether it be meetings in the WWE offices, writing for the "Apter Mags", working behind-the-scenes in WCW, pioneering the first ever interactive pro wrestling radio and television show, "...And Justice For Brawl", or trying to help TNA Wrestling grow an audience as booker of a small northeast promotion called NWA Cyberspace - were far behind me?

Maybe I looked out into the independent circuit and realized that I don't recognize any of these names anymore, and none of them have any clue who I am. After 20 years in this business, my friends are few and far between, and my credentials are as old as the paper it's written on. I can walk into any indy show and not a single person will know my name or any of my accomplishments. They have no idea the years of experiences I carry with me, as I'm just another blurred face in the crowd.

How does this old school guy stay relevant today? A guy who broke in at a time where he helped protect kayfabe. A guy who earned his stripes the hard way, long before the technological and social media age - when business was conducted by talking and sealed with a handshake. When the strength of your networking abilities and passionate work ethic determined how far you could go in this business. When only a few and chosen were invited to be a part of the "secret society".

Maybe it's time for this guy to move on? Sit back and enjoy the show for what it is...and I have. I've watched it through the eyes of my seven-year old son. I see his passion for it. I wrestle with him on the floor and see glimmers of myself at his age. My dream come true was never to work for the WWE, but to share those moments with my own kid.

But as he gets older, he gets more curious. He hears the stories. He hears people refer to me as "DieHard". He finds the old photos. The scripts, the tapes, the articles, ... the WORK I put into the business. Not only does he want to know about those days that I worked with the n.W.o., but more importantly to him, he wants to know why I don't do it anymore.

And I really don't have an answer. Did I really walk away? Did the business use me for all it could and spit me out like so many other forgotten names and legacies? Did I run out of places to go, or money to throw away on an event where it would be impossible to even fathom breaking even? Why do I no longer have a relationship in a business where I dedicated 20 years of my life?

Because in reality, just as Vince Russo warned me on so many occasions, there is NO FUTURE in pro wrestling.

How many indy workers have you seen that should be on TV and aren't? How many talents gone to complete waste? How many workers who have lost their true perception of reality thinking that one day they'll get "the call"? They hold onto that dream forever and refuse to let it go, meanwhile they've lived an entire life in denial. And for anyone who knows me, knows I'm the last person to tell anyone to stop chasing their dreams. I'm the poster-boy for never giving up. After all, where do you think the name "DieHard" came from?

But this is the pro wrestling business, and the only reason anybody spends their life chasing this dream is because they are in a fucking coma! It will NEVER happen. It breaks my heart to see so many talented guys and girls working on getting noticed for a business where nobody is looking. Try-out camps have become a part of the business. When the fuck have you ever heard of "sport" who takes money from prospects just to get looked at? This isn't a real sport where you have 30 teams in a league, and the minors, with high school and college scholarships. There's ONE team with a small roster, and it's a traveling circus. And if you don't make that ONE team, then all your hopes and dreams have died in an instant. And I say one team, because the other one is doing so financially bad, they might be out of business by the time this little rant is posted.

Holy shit, I really wasn't planning on writing this much...

Long story short, I don't hate the business nor what it has become. I miss it, but I understand it... NOW, I "get it". But it's been a really long time since I wanted to work for the business. I've been there, and done that. Yet I've recently realized, that my new goal is... having the business work for ME!

There may only be one team to play for, but there are always going to be millions of fans to entertain.

I don't have a full plan yet, and anything I do is going to be treated like my "side bitch". This business doesn't deserve my full dedication anymore. I've already given it 20 of the best years of my life. But the next time my son asks me about my involvement in the wrestling business... I'm gonna have a much better answer for him.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Wrestlemania 29 Feedback - Match by Match

Before I get into my Wrestlemania 29 feedback, I'd like to share with you my Facebook post, that I put up immediately as the show went off the air. I think it's a genuine feeling that was posted in the moment, and gives the most of my impression without thinking about it too much:

"Wrestlemania 29 was NOT epic - but it was an excellent effort for a year that was full of creative failures... I was very happy to see the event pulled off with great success and execution...

Like Bruno Sammartino, I have been a stubborn old bird who refused to embrace the growth of the business. But you can't argue with the numbers in attendance and profit. Not only for the WWE, but for the NY Metro area. And even more, you can't deny WWE's efforts in their charitable partnerships....

I'm happy to say that you made me a fan again tonight, and I can only hope that creative can take step back and realize the enormous death bullet they dodged. There is absolutely NO REASON why Wrestlemania should have been any good tonight, given the creative direction since the day after last year's mania....

Tomorrow night, WWE creative gets a clean slate to start building for next year- please don't fuck it up!"

Now on to the breakdown:

The Shield vs. Randy Orton, Sheamus, The Big Show

This was an interesting and unexpected choice to kick off the show, but the payoff was golden. It was hard to tell if the fans were rocking stadium because the event was kicking off, or if they were legitimately into the match. I'd like to think it was the latter. The Shield performs with a ruthless aggression that is infectious, and set the pace and tone for the remainder of the event. Overall, it was an excellent match that showed of how well The Shield can perform as a team and as individuals. This wasn't the same type of gang-related beatdowns and attacks that we've seen on TV. Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose really had an opportunity to shine against three elite veterans, and they made the most of it.

The only complaint I had was the finish with Big Show. I don't understand what they're doing with him, and why they would waste an opportunity to make better with the Orton character. WWE keeps flip flopping on their direction with Big Show. I admire their ambition to book him like a giant, but then they pair him up with an opponent who ruins the effort with comedic relief. Show did his best work last year working against Mark Henry, but due to the lack of big men available on the roster, the momentum was quickly lost. They should have been able to continue it with Alberto Del Rio, but rather than mirror Show's realistic intensity, Del Rio was booked as a clown who didn't outsmart Big Show, he just out-fooled him.

As for The Shield, my only concern is - what is their purpose now? Originally, their motives were understandable, as they tried to preserve Punk's title reign for the better of the industry. But now that it's long over, what are their motives now? What is there to preserve? What is their reason to attack? And what is their new mission? I'm afraid that if those questions aren't explained soon, The Shield gimmick may have run it's course.

Ryback vs. Mark Henry

I enjoyed seeing a brute battle of the big men, but realized that there may no longer be a place for it in 2013. I vividly remember the first Wrestlemania. I was 10 years old, and to me, those days were the best. But the business has evolved and the big men aren't a draw anymore. I tried to explain that to my seven year-old son, but he is more impressed with the more colorful and "flippy" guys. The action now is fast-paced, and the big boys force it slow down.

Probably, the biggest shock of the night is how Henry dominated Ryback and score a clean pinfall win over the WWE's next big star. Ryback literally looked like Mark Henry's little jail bitch. While I can appreciate Ryback suffering a loss here and there, rather than force-feeding us an undefeated streak, I'm confused as to why he would be doing a clean job on the biggest show of the year - especially after slumping in his series with CM Punk. I'm not complaining that he lost, because it's been proven that win/loss records don't mean shit anymore in the WWE Universe. Ryback is still over with the fans, and it just raised helped keep Henry a strong threat as monster heel. I'm just saying, this one took me by complete surprise - and I'm curious to see where it goes next.

Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston

Something that Wrestlemania has not had in YEARS, is a decent tag team title match, and when you put the ball in Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan's hands, you can expect them to score! While I wasn't originally convinced with the team of Ziggler and Langston, I felt it made enough sense to consider them a formidable stable. Every participant in this match brought their A-game, and it left me wanting more after the bell had rung.

I'm glad that Kane and Bryan retained the titles, because for what it's worth, they have earned the respect as a real tag team, rather than being stigmatized as two guys thrown together because creative had nothing else for them. Team Hell No has earned their six-month reign, and deserves to continue moving forward as champions. A win at Wrestlemania firmly establishes them as true champions - who are now in desperate need of new contenders. But what are we supposed to make of the continued lack of booking for Dolph Ziggler? It's mind boggling that how he's been mistreated and misused to get everyone else over instead of himself. Mark my words, once creative gets their head out from deep within their ass, Ziggler can easily be the equivalent of CM Punk... Mark my words!

Chris Jericho vs. Fandango

I'm actually disgusted that Fandango was not only given a spot on the card, but that Chris Jericho was asked to put him over. His gimmick fucking SUCKS, and I promise you that this will soon be chalked up as one of creative's biggest failures. But to bring him in and DEBUT at Wrestlemania? We've never seen his work. How many others on the roster have busted their asses and actually have a fan base? How about a New York hometown boy like Zack Ryder? Where was his Wrestlemania spot (and payday)?

And what about Jericho? A guy who comes in to literally help "save" WWE creative, and he's doing jobs for a fucking ballroom dancer? If you can stomach it, watch that match closely - Jericho is working stiff. He was laying it in to that little bitch. I can't wait for his next book to hear about what was going through his mind during this match.

This match could have been a fucking disaster that could have changed the pace of the event and sent it burning in flames to the ground. Luckily, Fandango can actually take a beating like a man, and do a few high spots. But give Jericho a ton of praise for saving the momentum of the show. You can beat he's doing a ton of DDP Yoga right about now, because his back must be killing him from carrying all that shit!

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger

It's a damn shame that WWE has a secondary heavyweight title, because it automatically labels these guys as the B-Team. This match actually had one of the most legit creative builds over any other match on the card. Swagger and Colter have brought a new type of controversial heat, that was desperately needed. Unfortunately, Del Rio is still being poorly booked, and the constant distractions with Ricardo Rodriguez is skewing their image as gay lovers. Alberto has shed more tears watching his friend get attacked, and risked life and limb to save his pansy ass, than he has done to build an image as a fighting champion.

Luckily, Del Rio and Swagger put on a solid match that focused more on mat skills rather than emotion. The match itself was both competitive and enjoyable, but most of all, it was a pleasant surprise for something I had extremely low expectations for. I didn't think Swagger belonged in this match, nor that he deserved such a strong push or title shot on the Mania card. But he proved to be worthy opponent with a story that made him a legit antagonist. It was a smart move to leave the storyline at the door, and show off their wrestling chops. Hopefully Del Rio can build on the momentum, and Swagger can build more heat by crossing the lines of another ethnic minority.

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk

In my opinion, this was easily the match of the night. But what else would you expect from CM Punk? Like Jericho, I credit Punk for making this match everything it was, and for carrying the brunt of the weight. The Undertaker clearly was not ready for this match, and there were moments where his eyes admitted his regret for committing to it. Disappointment was written all over his face, but he knew that he was in good hands with Punk.

Going into the match, I wondered if Punk was going to use this match to bitch-slap the office, as if saying, "I busted my ass as your champion, and my thanks is doing the job for Taker at Mania! Fuck you very much!" Whether or not Punk was happy with his role at Wrestlemania, he clearly made the most of it, and did something no one else has ever done in Wrestlemania history - carry The Undertaker to glory. THAT alone, is CM Punk's championship gold that no one will ever be able to strip him of.

I can only wonder how this match would have been built had Paul Bearer not passed away. It was a simple build up - Punk is the best in the world, and he'll prove it by snapping Taker's streak. Instead, he has to win a four-way to earn the right to challenge The Dead Man. Are you fucking ribbing me? Earn the right to challenge? He's CM Fucking Punk! And while I may have been critical of him in the past, I can firmly say while eating my words, "In Punk I Trust". And tonight, I'm sure he earned every ounce of respect The Undertaker has to offer.

Other than his pair of matches with Shawn Michaels, no opponent has ever forced The Undertaker to wrestle at Wrestlemania. My only complaint on the match is that I feel that CM Punk strayed from his strategy that he had been pushing in the weeks leading to the match. He designed this match to beat Taker in the ring, rather than steal the streak by countout or forcing Taker to get DQ'd. I would have been interested to see how many creative and cunning ways Punk could have pushed Taker to beat a 10 count or force his emotions to risk the streak by breaking the rules. But who's complaining? Taker is 21-0, and CM Punk is a legit 5-star ring general!

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar

Let me first say, I don't think Brock Lesnar is worth the demands or money WWE is paying him. He's not the "next big thing" he was billed to be a decade ago. He may have been a beast in the octagon, but he can't hang anymore in the predetermined world of pro wrestling. Brock forgot how to fake it, and the first half of this match proved it...again.

Brock looked blown up and lost in the ring, so much that there were moments where you could see the frustration and rage building within. He knew he was shitting the bed and embarrassing himself in the ring. Suplex after suplex, he had nothing else to work with, and it was making him mentally unstable. There is nothing anyone can tell me to make me believe that it was part of the plan. Especially when the story was being built up on how confident he was the he has going to retire his opponent.

I don''t know what Triple H whispered to him during the match, but there was a dramatic change in Brock's participation to close it. Something finally clicked, and Brock went with the flow during Triple H's attempts to get him to tap out. That entire "go-home" sequence of near tap-outs literally saved the match and cleaned up whatever mess was made earlier. It was a great idea and the smartest way to conclude the match... as long as Brock didn't tap. That was the make or break key element. If Brock tapped, it would have made both him and Triple H look like complete fools. A former UFC champion taps to a "fake" wrestler, and Triple H looks like he's a UFC mark. Thank God, they didn't try and sell us that.

Brock teasing to tap was a powerful moment. Brock actually tapping would have been a "Fuuuuuuuuck Yoooooou" moment! I give Triple H a lot of credit for not going over the top in the match, and taking the wheel to steer them both to success. By the way, did anyone else catch Paul Heyman telling Brock it's time to take it home? Brock was lost, and Paul E. knew that the longer he was in there, the more his stock was going to plummet. That was a verbal throwing of the towel.

On a side note, what was the point of having Shawn Michaels there? He served zero purpose and looked like a redneck cheerleader on the outside - or as some valets are described, "The Fifth Ringpost". And what the fuck is with his gear? Dude, it's Wrestlemania! What's with the ratty tank-top, baseball hat, and rubber rain boots. I guess with all the video packages, he thought New Jersey was still underwater. Hurricane Sandy was six months ago, you Cookie Monster-eyed motherfucker!

John Cena vs. The Rock

What can you really say about this match...that wasn't expected? They caught lightening in a bottle last year, and expected to do it twice. Rock/Cena II did not live up to the expectations. The crowd was absolutely DEAD and killed the energy of the main event.

In case you didn't notice, the inter-gender tag match was scrapped from the card because of time constraints. Cena was abruptly sent out to the ring, as was The Rock, in fear that the main event would be shirt on time. This caused the match to feel rushed, and it forced Rock and Cena to run their sequence of finishers and kickouts too early.

The pacing of the match was off from the start. There was too much time spent on pauses looking for crowd reaction (which there was none, but the obvious "Cena Sucks" chants), and out of nowhere they'd start to rush through theirs pots as if they were racing the clock. It didn't make sense, and it went so fast that by the time they started using their finishers, they still had 20 minutes left of air time. Once you've reversed and kicked out of each other's finishers three or four times, what's left to do?

The truth is, this was a watered down version of last year's epic encounter. Their first match had a full year of build up. It was a dream match come true. And it delivered on all levels. This rematch was forced, poorly booked, and served no real purpose but to return the favor.

You really can't blame Rock and Cena for their performance, when nobody really wanted to see it again to begin with. The reaction of the crowd spoke volumes, and there were moments in the match where Rock took the lead and tried to lead the crowd the way he and Hogan did many years ago. But this time, the fans weren't buying it. The match fell flat on it's face, and no one cared. They all knew Rock was there to give the title back to Cena.

Even after the match had ended, the fans reacted awkward to Rock and Cena's show of sportsmanship and endorsements. What made it even worse, was that the new champion left the ring so that the loser could celebrate. HUH? Yeah, exactly! The guys in the truck didn't know who's music to play. It made no sense whatsoever. The fans weren't exactly sure how to react. The only thing that would have sent them home with a strong buzz, was if Dolph Ziggler had cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase and snatched the title from Cena to spoil his night. And I don't see why it didn't happen - they still had more than 10 minutes left on the air. But it didn't happen. All we got was a salute and some hand holding by two guys who were as confused as the crowd.

But I don't blame The Rock, and I don't blame Cena. The blame falls on creative, who dropped the ball on the 2012/2013 Wrestlemania season. This was one of the worst booked pay per views in the history of Wrestlemania, but somehow or another, the talent pulled it together to make it one of the most entertaining shows of the year. And THAT deserves a TON of respect!

You can interact with DieHard Derek by following him on Facebook and Twitter @DieHardDerekG

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Has Mark Henry Lasted 20 Years In The WWE?

I was there the night in 1994 at Madison Square Garden when Mark Henry made his first appearance and announced that the had signed a 10-year contract with the WWE. I didn't know who he was; I didn't watch him compete in the olympic games; and honestly, I didn't care because my first perception was - "Oh, this guy isn't going too last long!"

But the sound of "10-year contract" continued to echo in my head. 10-years is an awfully long time to commit to something. At the time, the only talent with a long-term contract was Bret "Hitman" Hart...BUT, he was Bret "Hitman" Hart. I knew what he was worth; I knew how great he was; and locking him in for 10-years made all the sense in the world. Now we have Mark Henry, who I've never even seen hit the ropes, let alone seen a match. I was baffled as to why the WWE would make such a commitment. What had they seen that we hadn't? What kind of plans were in the works for this guy that no one has ever heard of? And let me remind you, this was 1994.

Here we are in 2013, and Mark Henry is still here! Not only did he run the course of his 10-year contract, but they signed him up for another 10! Unless you're related to him, there is not a person on the face of this earth that has EVER paid to see a Mark Henry match! NOT, ONE! Am I wrong? Prove it!

Even after he signed that contract back in the early 90's, he immediately got injured prepping for his debut. That sidelined him for over a year. He finally came up during the Attitude Era with the Nation of Domination and has coasted along ever since. In those 19-plus years, we have seen the WWE part ways and wish the best in future endeavors to some great talents. There have been workers with unlimited potential who were told point blank, "Creative has nothing for you". But, they had something for Mark Henry.

Henry avoided all the cost-cutting measures, all the house-cleanings, all the post-Wrestlemania releases, all the Black Friday firings... everything.

I don't wish for anyone to suffer the loss of employment, but I have to question how some still have theirs when others don't. How did the axe miss Mark Henry when it fell so many times? It's not like he's gotten any better - although he technically has, but he still doesn't draw money. Does he have some kind of blackmail on Vince McMahon? Maybe some pictures of Vince dressed as a woman doing some kinky shit to a goat and a midget?

Help me understand how Mark Henry has survived 20 years of employment with the WWE?

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Did Bruno Sammartino Sell-Out to The WWE Hall of Fame To Preserve His Legacy?

Every year, I compile a list of 50 legendary pro wrestling icons who have yet to be inducted into the illustrious WWE Hall of Fame. You never get to see the list because I actually never have the attention span to write out a full article hashing out 50 cases which practically speak for themselves. Then there are times when I start working on the list, and the WWE makes the surprise move to induct a few of the names, and it completely fucks up my writing momentum. But rest assured, "The Living Legend" Bruno Sammartino was always in the top three. Other than "Macho Man" Randy Savage, I can't think of another name who deserves it more. Yet, Sammartino not only firmly denounced Vince McMahon and the WWE, but the entire wrestling business as a whole. And while I'm happy to finally see him enshrined, I kind of feel like he sold out... Yeah, I said it!

There have been over two decades of well documented bad blood between Sammartino and Vince McMahon. Bruno never turned the blind eye to all the drug and steroid abuse during the golden age of the WWE. And from a business standpoint, I can understand the the benefits in the dirty part of the business. After all, pro wrestling is nothing more than a pre-determined pseudo-sport. There was a time when adult were ashamed to declare themselves wrestling fans. Vinnie Mac knew had lightening in a bottle at the first Wrestlemania. He knew that the larger than life, bulked-up Hulk Hogan was an attraction that no other sport could replicate. So why not make a whole locker room full of them? Look at the controversy in major league baseball today: professional athletes have tarnished their careers and legacies, and have been shunned by the Cooperstown Hall of Fame for trying to enhance themselves to be better players. Do I condone their actions? Absolutely not. But there is a apart of me that says, "FUCK IT! They're getting paid MILLIONS of dollars to play a game, and I have to pay top price to watch it! Let those millionaire douchebags juice up as much as they want so they can hit the ball 8,000 feet and make this game more entertaining". That's what I'm really paying for, isn't it? The entertainment?

As much as I respect everything that Bruno Sammartino accomplished during his legendary career, I sometimes wonder if he refused to embrace the evolution of the industry simply because he was a bitter old man. I understand and respect that he was a purist, but you can't tell me that there wasn't a part of him that was green with envy when he saw the amount of money Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior and the scroll of others were making in this new era of wrestling. This man busted his hump for peanuts compared to what these new guys were making in a single Wrestlemania payday. The glitz, the glamour, the fame, the media attention for headlining a Wrestlemania - something he never experienced. You're telling me that old man didn't wish he was 20 years younger and that there wasn't an immigrant Italian voice in his head saying, "That-sa sa-baton-bitch! That-sa coulda been you-a!"

You can't take anything away from Paul Levesque (Triple H), who diligently spent months negotiating with Bruno and finally came to terms after proving to him that the business has changed from the horror show Bruno had perceived it to be. It's not an easy task to change the mind of a stubborn old man who is set in his ways, especially when he's cemented in good reason. Levesque had full control of the negotiations and used nothing but persistence, respect and integrity to get the job done. It's highly doubtful that anyone else could have ever pulled this off. And while he deserves all the credit for sealing the deal, no one will ever know exactly what is going in the mind of Bruno Sammartino.

As Wrestlemania approaches it's 30th anniversary next year, Sammartino has never really celebrated the Wrestlemania experience. He failed to give an effective rub to his son at the first Wrestlemania, and was literally lost in the shuffle of an NFL Battle Royal at the second Mania. Bruno has never really had his moment, and at his tender age, he knew that it was a now or never situation. Regardless of how good he may still look, his health isn't at its peak anymore, and every year that passes is another missed opportunity to pay tribute to the "Living Legend" while he is still actually living. This is a regret the WWE will face when time comes to open the door for the Macho Man.

How will Sammartino's legacy be introduced to legions of new fans in the WWE Universe if not taking the pro-active steps in doing so now? Sources have claimed that the WWE will now produce a DVD dedicated to his career that will include his involvement - not to mention other opportunities and appearances now that the WWE can officially whore his name again. And some whores make good money. There are people out there who will pay to see an old whore because it takes them back to a time when that whore was king...even the whore knows it.

I'm sure that the change in the WWE product is a HUGE part of what converted Samarrtino's beliefs, but I'm sure he knew deep down inside that time was running out and he's spent a lifetime cutting off his big Italian nose to spite his face and prove a point to Vince McMahon. Bruno knew that the light on his legacy was fading, and that while no one could ever deny his achievements, they would be nothing more than legend to the fans moving forward. He worked to hard for too long to just be forgotten, and while it may not be the same business he was a part of, it's STILL the wrestling business he WAS a part of.

Today's generation of wrestling fans could not and will not ever understand what the business was like 30 years ago unless they lived it. And what's the point in having to stop and re-explain history when the business is moving forward at a faster pace and larger profit than it ever has?

I admire Bruno Sammartino sticking to his guns for so long, and his stubbornness for being prepared to take it with him to the grave. That's some old school gangsta shit! But on the flip side to that coin, I admire him just as much for selling out to give new life to his legacy. Bruno Sammartino returning to Madison Square Garden to get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is the equivalent of Yogi Berra returning to Yankee Stadium after his bad blood with George Steinbrenner.

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Elbows may have to be dropped!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WWE Raw's 20th Anniversary Show Review

I watched the 20th Anniversary of WWE Raw hoping to see a celebration of two decades of excellence; tributes to the talents that made it success; highlights of title changes that made history; and of course, Monday Night Wars that ultimately declared Vince McMahon the King of The Mountain....

Instead, we remembered 20 years of ENTERTAINMENT... 20 years of spoofs and inside jokes. 20 years of disastrous gimmicks that nearly crippled the company... 20 years of Vince McMahon acting like a MARK.... It was nothing more than a reminder that the WRESTLING business (not the sports entertainment business) is DEAD.... 3 hours of a wasted Monday. I'd rather have watched two dogs fuck!

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My Thoughts and YOUR HELP with WWE Legends of Wrestlemania for PS3

So "Santa" brings my son a Playstation 3 for the holidays. Naturally, he also slides a copy of WWE '13 in his stocking. Surprisingly, I found a copy of WWE Legends of Wrestlemania in my stocking- The shock! How did that end up in there?

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I cherish the original era of Wrestlemania. What I wouldn't do for it to be 1985 all over again! And thanks to Playstation 3, I can live out my fantasies every night, roughly around 10pm - when my wife and kids call it a night. I can lock myself up into the "man-cave", jump into my imaginary Delorian, fire that bitch up to 88 mph, and BOOM - I'm back to my youth!

I'm not going to give you a review of the game. Come to think of it, I'd be kind of an asshole if I did, considering that it was released in 2009. What I want to share with you is my experience - not as a gamer, but as an avid fan of the era; a person who lived though what is now legendary history.

Perhaps I'm taking it too literal, but I have a problem reliving some of the greatest moments when some of the key participants are absent from the game, especially when some of the names chosen to be immortalized in this game either only appeared at a handful of Wrestlemanias, or their contribution to the legacy isn't really all that important - thus, questioning why they would be considered a "Legend" of Wrestlemania.

I realize that many of you are below the age demographic that I'm looking to reach with this rant. Most of you were introduced to the business during the Attitude era, and consider that the greatest era of all time - and arguably, you may be right from a business perspective. I look at the Attitude era now and can't get over that it was 15 years ago. And if you think that's a long time, then my focus on this "Legends" rant precedes that era by another 15 years. That's right! I'm going back to the beginning - 30 years ago. How many of you can say you actually remember that vividly? You're probably saying, "Here comes some rant from a grumpy old man." And to that I respond, "Fuck You! I'm doing it anyway! Respect your elders, shut that hole in your face, and learn something. Shit is about to get real!"

Here's a few names that are in the game that I happen to disagree with:

ARN ANDERSON - I love Arn as much as the next wrestling purist, and U have always been dying to select him as a character in a video game. Unfortunately, Arn isn't a Mania legend. He only appeared in on one and the highlight of his match was Rick Martel was the split of Strike Force on the other side of the ring.

BAM BAM BIGELOW -Initially, I couldn't remember a single Bam Bam match at Mania with the exception of his first round loss to One Man Gang in the title tournament at Mania IV. Then it dawned on me that he actually closed a Mania in a heavily publicized main event against NFL legend, Lawrence Taylor. We all know how that turned out, and it pretty much plagued the rest of his career. It's nice having him on the game, but NOT a Mania legend.

BRITISH BULLDOG - I didn't realize how many matches the Bulldog actually had at Wrestlemania as a singles competitor -none that I would probably want to watch again-, but I would have preferred to see him enshrined along with his partner Dynamite Kid as The British Bulldogs.

DUSTY RHODES - Dusty had one Mania match - a mixed tag with Sapphire as his partner. Nothing really worth remembering. He may be a legend of wrestling but NOT a legend of Wrestlemania. There is no purpose to having him in the game unless you are booking a fantasy dream match, to which I still say, I have never heard anybody come up with a dream match that pitted someone against Dusty Rhodes.

HUNTER HEARTS HELMSLEY - Before you get outraged, let me explain. "Hunter Hearst Helmsley" is NOT a Wrestlemania legend...Triple H is. Hunter introduced us to Sable and jobbed out to the Warrior at Mania 12. Triple H, even in 90's DX form should have been included rather than this flake with no history.

JIMMY "SUPERFLY" SNUKA - You can't say WWE legends without somebody mentioning Snuka. Never had a key match at Mania - with the exception of being numero uno on Undertaker's streak, nor did we ever get to see the infamous Superfly splash. It's great having Snuka as an option in fantasy warfare mode, but there are other's who deserved the spot more.

KAMALA - Surprisingly, another guy who never had a Wrestlemania match, at least until the gimmick battle royal at Mania 17, but really, that wasn't really a match. I love the option of having him in a video game, but referring to him as Mania legend is a pretty far stretch.

MICHAEL HAYES - This got the biggest "What The Fuck?" out of me. How is this even remotely possible? It's not like they even put him in as Doc Hendrix, but he's rammin' and jammin' like a Freebird. I don't ever recall being in a coma and missing the Wrestlemania where the Freebirds wrestled. I guess this is so I can relive that epic NWA encounter between Hayes and Dusty. Quick, pass me my controller!!!

Again, including these names didn't necessarily bother me, but it did leave me scratching my head. What did bother me, was the omission of wrestlers who are undoubtedly Mania legends:

RANDY "MACHO MAN" SAVAGE - How can you utter the word Wrestlemania and not immediately think of Macho? I understand that at the time he was blacklisted from the WWE and his name is taboo upon the lips of a McMahon. Savage is one of those rare breeds who inspired many to pursue their dreams in the wrestling business...including me. Students of the game, study his epic encounter with... oh yeah...

RICKY STEAMBOAT - Another name left off the legends list. How is that possible? But yet, they didn't forget to add Michael Fucking Hayes!

TITO SANTANA - This guy had the first ever Wrestlemania match. He's held multiple WWE championships, and has at least eight Wrestlemania's on his resume. No dice, huh?

PAUL ORNDORFF - Main event of the first Wrestlemania...not good enough? Look back at his legendary feuds with Hogan. Who do you think kept ol' red and yellow at the top of his game pre and post Mania?

DEMOLITION - You have the Legion of Doom in the game. What? You couldn't find a spot for two more guys with painted faces? You found a spot for Michael Hayes! Just out of pure curiosity, LOD is the ONLY actual tag team featured on the game. So, who am I supposed to pair them up against if there aren't any other teams? Demolition was the best tag team WWE had for a while, and a little Wrestlemania video game burn would have been a nice tribute.

EARTHQUAKE - Kamala made it. Bam Bam made it. Fucking Michael Hayes made it. No love for the Earthquake? Too many fat guys on the roster already? Got the tattooed one; The redneck prison guard one; The southern lisp one with a patch on his belly; the Japanese one by way of Samoa; and the token black one; but not room for one more? Oh well, at least we got Bundy! FIIIIIIIIIVE!

HAKU - You may ask "Why Haku?" I say, "Why not Haku?" First off, he was awesome...duh! King Haku, Islander Haku, lost the tag team titles with Andre at Mania 6 Haku... Haku kicks ass!

RAZOR RAMON - Did we forget the Wrestlemania 10 ladder match? Of course not, because HBK got on the game. So did Michael Hayes. But not the bad guy? Come on Chico, this guy should have been on the game. It's not like I was asking you to have a match where he has to drunkenly climb a ladder and try reaching for a bag of cocaine.

DON MURACO - Why Muraco? Because I want Muraco! Mr. Fuji is in the game, and I'm hoping there is an unlockable episode of Fuji Vice.

***UPDATE: I Need YOUR Help!!!***

After doing some research, I learned that the video game may have some unlockable characters, including a few names that I just mentioned - but I have yet to get any confirmation. Does anyone out there know about the hidden characters and how to get them? If so, I'm willing to offer a small reward!

Post your comments here on the site, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter with the info. If it proves to be true, I'll get in contact with you regarding getting the prize into your hands.

And for the record, all offers are off if I end up getting another variation of Michael Hayes!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

n.W.o: The Revolution - DVD Review

The n.W.o. – it’s hard to believe how long it’s been since its inception. And while leaving one of the most profound marks on pro wrestling history, it amazes me how seldom it is referred to in today’s WWE Universe.

This DVD doesn’t do any better. It’s nothing more than a short cliff-notes narrative documenting their place in history, yet completely misses the mark of detailing the true impact and influence both on-camera and behind the scenes that changed the business.

After producing two compelling in-depth reality documentary style DVDs in the Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels Rivalry and the recent CM Punk: Best In The World titles, WWE did a piss-poor job in capturing the true essence, aggressive nature and legitimate pressure that struck the industry as a whole during this era. This DVD is nothing more than a crash course on what the n.W.o. was and who the players were.

Before I go any further, let me state and advise to anyone interested in purchasing this DVD, that I am reviewing the blu-ray edition. Not because I wanted to watch Eric Bischoff’s perfect hair bounce, and not to watch Hulk Hogan’s terrible matches in high quality, but for the additional 90 minute Legends of Wrestling roundtable discussion that is NOT included on the standard DVD. This roundtable (as seen on WWE Classics on Demand, hosted by Gene Okerlund and featuring Jim Ross, JJ Dillion, Kevin Nash and Michael Hayes) is worth the price of the set alone and makes up for ALL the faults on the actual documentary.

n.W.o: The Revolution is a short documentary the compiles and rehashes a TON of old interviews that are at least 10 years old. The bulk of the DVD recycles interview bits with Eric Bischoff (2003), Hulk Hogan (2002), Scott Hall (2002), and Vince McMahon (2009). It’s obvious that the dated Hogan and Bischoff interviews were used due to their current affiliation with TNA Wrestling, but the lack of new content and recent comments takes away from the importance of the storytelling. These sound bytes were recorded during a time when WWE was still overly protective with the information they released to the public. Their most recent efforts provide a closer and non-filtered look into the true nature of behind the scenes storytelling, and by using the recycled material; it takes the viewer out of the moment.

On the flip side to that coin, there is an entire generation of fans in the WWE Universe who probably weren’t even born during the Monday Night Wars and who can use this DVD as their first introduction to the new World Order and their place in history. Not to mention, they have probably never seen the re-used footage before – so it’s all new to them anyway.

Maybe I’m being a little over-critical on the choices of production, as there are many new interviews with talents who were actually apart of the time such as Booker T, Billy Kidman, Bill Demott, Kevin Nash, Diamond Dallas Page, Sean Waltman and Dusty Rhodes – but they were still underutilized in the production of this DVD. On a refreshing note, there is some great input by current WWE stars Cody Rhodes – who discusses what it was like being an 11 year old fan whose father was working for WCW, monitoring the ratings, and ultimately joining the n.W.o. on-screen; Matt Striker – who was a young aspiring wrestler in training heavily influenced by the times; and Joe Henning – who watched his father wrestle the last great years of his life wearing n.W.o. colors.

The other bone, which I find bigger to pick, is with how the telling of the story was actually executed. Rather than give it the gritty “True Hollywood Story” treatment, it was more of a polished celebration that gently covered controversial topics as if it were being taught to an elementary class. The kid gloves weren’t only on, that were double strapped and extra padded. It plays as a compilation of n.W.o.’s greatest hits and archived interviews, which is ultimately a huge disappointment, considering what we have grown accustomed to based on the efforts put out in the rivalries series.

This DVD is full of denial. If you can read between the lines, it clearly says that Vince McMahon wishes the n.W.o. was his creation. It eats him alive knowing that something so brilliant wasn’t his own. There is barely any talk of how the n.W.o. revolution almost killed WWE’s business. Barely any talk of the WWE’s fear of losing talent. And there is never any talk from those who were on the WCW roster who were opposed to control and politics that came with the n.W.o.

Very early into this DVD, I found myself getting bored and hoping for it to be over with. I knew the product I wanted to see, and was well aware that I wasn’t going to get it in this installment. This DVD feels like it was designed for the new generation of wrestling fans who may have heard of it but really didn’t know of its true impact to the business because it is rarely referenced to on WWE programming. And the reason for that is clear – the n.W.o. almost killed RAW and the WWE, and Vince refuses to praise it and how good it really was. Had it been his own creation, we never would have heard the end of it and would have seen more reincarnations over the last decade.

Another creation Vince can’t take credit for and one that he has never had the opportunity to prostitute under his logo is Sting. I actually loved seeing the praise for how much Sting meant to WCW and the entire n.W.o. angle because it feels like a last ditch effort begging for Sting to end his career in the WWE rather than TNA. It still baffles me that Sting has never worked a day in his life for Vince McMahon, and that fact alone eats away at his core. Vince McMahon may be convinced that he is the almighty God of the wrestling world, but Sting is the one guy that God could never get on the payroll.

Admittedly, the WWE was forced to acknowledge their efforts and failed attempt to resurrect the n.W.o. in the WWE in 2001, claiming that it was just shell of itself that didn’t vibe with the fans. As Booker T says, “You can’t blame Vince for trying to squeeze the last bit of juice.”

As it closed, I felt there was a huge chunk missing that was never covered, in terms of the shoot style of storytelling that it influenced. Not only in the hands of the n.W.o., but in how it pushed the WWE into the “Attitude Era”, namely with Degeneration-X. Yes, it’s mentioned, but its significance really isn’t recognized. Breaking the fourth wall – or in this case, the kayfabe- is perhaps the greatest signature of the era. It is what really turned Monday Nights into a war. The rules were thrown out of the window, competitors were acknowledging each other on television, and the curtain that protected an exclusive world was pulled in front of the public. This DVD basically summarized the success of the n.W.o. as being cool bad guys, without an explanation of the real mystique.

Fortunately, the roundtable discussion on the blu-ray covers it ALL and asks the burning questions real enthusiasts want to ask. For more information on what the roundtable covers, check out this mini-review of that piece of content: WWE Legends of Wrestling n.W.o.

What are your thoughts/reviews on the DVD? Do you agree or disagree with me? Post your comments below and feel free to share this review with your friends.

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The n.W.o. Roundtable Discussion and The Information That SHOULD Have Been On The DVD

If you read my n.W.o: The Revolution DVD review, then you know it’s not worth your money. But if you’re still inclined to make the purchase, then be sure to spend your money on the blu-ray edition with the additional 90 minute Legends of Wrestling roundtable discussion that is NOT included on the standard DVD. This roundtable (as seen on WWE Classics on Demand, hosted by Gene Okerlund and featuring Jim Ross, JJ Dillion, Kevin Nash and Michael Hayes) is worth the price of the set alone and makes up for ALL the faults on the actual documentary.

Here are some of the key points worth noting:

-Kevin Nash talks about his and Scott Hall’s contract negotiations with WCW, and how they were offered more than “Sting money” – which was a term Sting’s contract of 750K per year , which no one else was making in the early days of WCW.

-Another term that fans are smartened-up to is “Favored Nations” – which is a clause added to a contract stating that if another performer receives better terms, the said individual is entitled to equal compensation. After learning this, Nash tells the story of how Hall’s agent already had the clause in place for him as a former Intercontinental champion, and how Hall pushed for Nash to sign as a former heavyweight champion at 1.2 million so that his contract would get bumped up as well.

-Nash discusses talks he had with his pregnant wife. His decision was based on more money and less days; a smaller ring; and older guys on the roster which would result in less risk of injuries. He admits to going to Vince out of loyalty and asking him to match it, but Vince declined because had he made the exception for him, he’d have to do it for a number of other performers on the roster.

-Interesting clips of some rehashed Eric Bischoff interviews where he calls out the early 90’s WWE product for being too animated and to cartoonish. He also admits that the n.W.o. concept was not completely original and was a rehash of a New Japan angle.

-An interesting point is brought up, as such in what the chances were that Hall and Nash’s contracts with the WWE would be up within five days of each other. This was an opportunity to fulfill inter-promotional dream matches.

-Nash talks about the WCW office not “getting” the n.W.o. gimmick. Merchandising wanted to do combo packs selling their t-shirts. In order to keep it real, Nash wouldn’t allow it. He took the shirts and sold them to fans on the street.

-Jim Ross discusses the lawsuit filed by the WWE against WCW for intellectual property. He then goes into talking about when they decided to swerve the fans by announcing that Razor and Diesel would be returning to RAW, and how WCW panicked and offered Hall and Nash an additional 400K each to their contracts – causing WCW to pay 800K to sign two guys who were already signed. No wonder WCW went out of business.

-There is talk of Hulk Hogan not wanting to turn heel and potentially ruin his legacy. They also mention how the back up plan was to have Sting join if Hogan decided to balk on the idea – yet, Sting didn’t want to do it either. Nash says Hogan was smart enough to hear the boos and knew the business well enough to make money with it.

-If this roundtable does anything other than give a first-hand look at that the strategy and impact of the n.W.o., it gives a newfound respect for Eric Bischoff. He was an underdog who took the chance and the fight to the Gods…and won…at least for 83 weeks.

-Michael Hayes talks about the WWE locker room and their conflicting jealousy and fear of going out of business. He also mentions the concern for the employees at WWE headquarters who would have been unfortunate casualties of war.

-Jim Ross also mentions that the n.W.o.’s affect on the Monday Night Wars forced enhancement matches to disappear, because management was now forced to micro manage every segment for star power. So much, that WCW’s attempt to spoil Mick Foley’s pre-taped title win backfired when 800K fans switched the channel to RAW and killed WCW’s 83 week streak.

This is just a few examples of could have made the n.W.o. dvd great, and makes us question why these topics weren’t covered or talked about in greater detail in the actual documentary. It never covered how the n.W.o. helped build new stars such as Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T, Goldberg and reinvent an aging Sting.
There was so much potential left on the table and omitted based on poor choices by the dvd’s producers. But if there is any salvation to wrestling fans, it’s THIS roundtable discussion that gives you more in 90 minutes of discussion than the actual assignment itself.

What are your thoughts/reviews on the DVD? Do you agree or disagree with me? Post your comments below and feel free to share this review with your friends.

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