Silly Brit: WWE Right Calls
by, 08-09-2012 at 02:10 AM (4349 Views)
As the name might suggest, I am the 'Silly Brit' (Brit is replacing another rhyme) and, first and foremost, I'm new here but I'm not. I check this site often for my wrestling fix and read the blogs and forums. I absolutely love this site for its freedom of opinion and eloquent expression of topics/rumour mill etc. I'd like to think that I could intrude politely to offer my two pennies on anything wrestling based and hopefully inspire some debate, as well as criticism. You compliment me through reading and arguing with others
So this first blog is a bit of a doozie. Tackling a bit issue that I'm sure everyone will have an opinion on once having read this piece. I've watched WWE/TNA programming on mainstream channels for a little over 10 years now and watched classic wrestlers in their time/era/day. I know I'm not as informed as 99% of the people on this site but I'd like to think that, in the time I've watched the programming I have, I've seen the business change repeatedly again and again. There are so many matches wrestled, feuds settled and titles changed that I'm bound to have missed something out of these calls. So please, if you agree or disagree, feel free to bust me on it. I'd love to see what you all think on this issue.
Right calls. I'm defining them as decisions made that have affected the landscape of a feud, a title change or even programming itself. Since I started watching WWE, I cannot begin to recount my fascination with the characters that were shown to me. The Mr McMahon portrayal, the Benoit-Guerrero hug, Ric Flair's many wrinkles, all these things have stood the test of time in my mind. There have been decisions that I've stood up and applauded and others that I've thrown my remote at. So here is goes, the unofficial 'Silly Brit' WWE Rght/Wrong Calls.
Eddie Guerrero def. Brock Lesnar to win WWE Championship - No Way Out 2004
I remember the first time I ever saw Eddie Guerrero in a WWE ring. Seeing this latino fire rage within the ring with technical gifts and amazing endurance made sure that I kept my eyes solely on him. It meant I missed the actual tag match since he was with Chavo Jnr at the time, but my fandom with his cruiserweight style mixed with a middleweight backing ensured that, regardless of whether a heel turn was on the cards, I'd still be smiling whenever I saw him on the TV. The smile grew bigger and bigger as I saw Eddie rise through the rankings and gain more popularity, culminating in a championship match against the then-impenetrable fortress of Brock Lesnar. Eddie gave away nearly a foot in height and about 80lbs. And a successful collegic career. But through the higher order giving him a chance (and Goldberg busting a gut to bust a gut!), Eddie sealed, arguably, the biggest victory of his career. He gallantly defended this title until dropping it to JBL at the Great American Bash in a truly horrific concept of a match, thus guaranteeing the future of WWE as one that didn't mean you needed to build a huge frame in order to be huge in the fan's eyes. You needed charisma, fire and friendliness to get yourself the opportunities and Eddie did all of that. A talent taken too soon as a result of some poor decisions early in his career, Eddie's presence as an enigmatic yet lovable rogue is missed to this very day (although not by Kevin Nash it seems...).
Edge cashes in, def. John Cena - New Year's Revolution 2006 (barely...)
I grew up with Edge as a mainstay in the 'hour slot' (I call that the midway
point of SmackDown!'s 2 hour programming, meaning he was getting there, but he wasn't there yet), teaming with Rey Mysterio or Hulk Hogan or just even in singles, beginning a programme with Kurt Angle. Edge was a real man to me, not a gimmick or even a persona. If I met him in the street and he introduced himself as Edge, I wouldn't have budged. Which is why I loved the guy so much. Which is also why I loved his heel turn in mid 2004. Edge as a babyface was a good entertainer but not 'loveable'. When Edge and Christian were a tag team, they were 'loveable' but loathed. I loved to hate them. Watching back from their old matches, they were stars in training for bigger things. So when Edge got the Money in the Bank in 2005 at WM21, I couldn't believe my stars. They had aligned to give the talented an actual chance at gold. This was, by the way, at the time that Cena was becoming a merchandising bulldozer. What's the best way to get a heel over? Beat the babyface in the most blatantly unfair circumstances. Cue an Elimination Chamber match where Cena got bruised, battered and bloodied and STILL managed to 'defy' by retaining. Until we got our first ever introducing to what an absolute b***h the Money in the Bank situation can be. Cue Edge to flick his hair back as if l'Oreal were casting and two minutes later, he holds the first major piece of gold of his career. (I know he's won multiple belts, including US, Tag and Intercontinental by this point, but the top brass is the top gold...) Bad call coming later...
Undertaker getting back the 'real' Undertaker - Survivor Series through till Wrestlemania XX 2003-2004
Hand on heart, I swear that Undertaker is the greatest 'persona' that WWE ever had the cahonies to create. An 'Undertaker' gimmick whereby he no-sold some shots to look dominant and then pounded the living daylights out of everything. Apparently, this worked for everyone until 1999, when there must have been someone saying that a fake world needed realism. He took time out for injury worries and then came back as the 'American Badass' in May 2000 at Judgment Day. This was a relatively good call since the goth image was declining in popularity at the time, but classics live long in the hearts of fans alike. At Survivor Series, it only seemed fitting for the scariest guy in the WWE to bury his 'brother' alive.
SIDE NOTE - If 'Buried Alive' matches are Taker's special match, why does it always end with him getting a lung full of dirt. His imminent return was one of the most exciting times for me as a fan, for it transcended what I'd previously seen. It wasn't just the return of a legend, it was inter-promotional too. RAW and SmackDown! were feeling the full force of the Ministry. I'll remember this to the day I die. That year (2004), I got the Wrestlemania XX complete on DVD for Christmas. The first thing I did was race upstairs, find out which disc it was on and play it on repeat. His entrance gave me shivers. Kane's selling of the event was pure magic. OHHHHHH YEEEEEESSSSS screeched out and, for the first time in my wrestling life, the Deadman rose once more to come down the ramp to the classic music (slightly jazzed up, thanks James Johnston) and send MSG into a damn frenzy. This change of persona was such a good call for several reasons. Merchandising was key but as well as this, the WWE restored an air of dominance over a wrestler (Goldberg and Lesnar were both leaving after WMXX, JBL wasn't in the belt mix and Triple H started losing) and thus, fans could once again get behind a man that still, to this day, makes my jaw drop whenever I hear the famous gongs of the church bell.
- Firing The Ultimate Warrior in 1996 for no-showing live events. Bad bad call from him and right for WWE to terminate his contract. Should never betray the trust of the fans like he did.
- Controversial pick this, the RAW after Benoit's death. It was a tribute show to Benoit: The Wrestler. They shouldn't have retracted the show, even after the circumstances. It was good of them to showcase the man that many of us will never forget, again for the right reasons.
- Bringing Chris Jericho back everytime. This guy brings up those that WWE feel could rise to the occasion. Great personality and an ability to evolve with the times, a great all round guy.
- Giving Jeff Hardy some title time. Putting the elite belts on a risk taker like Jeff sends a fantastic message to those backstage. You risk yourself, you'll find the rewards. Whilst I don't want to see any wrestler injure themselves, the risk is worth the reward in some cases.
Well I hope this is a good enough starting blog. I'll put up a 'wrong calls' blog later if you want it, I'd love to write it!
That's all from the 'Silly Brit'!