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DK Wrestling Savior

Coffee Talk: The Clean Put Over

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Hey fans, Savior here with another edition of Coffee Talk. As the title suggests, this post will be about the perception of the top stars of the industry throughout the years, and the backstage politics that helped...or hurt, their careers. What motivated this is a combination of two things; the overwhelming hatred for Hulk Hogan, and the consistent complaining about John Cena. That's a pretty wide gap in generations. Hogan being the biggest star of the 80's and into the 90's, and Cena for the better part of the last 5 or 6 years. In between these two, however, is a slew of top stars during certain eras. These stars ranging from Bret Hart to HHH. I'm sure it's not secret the politics HHH plays, but let's take a look at everyone else.

So strap yourselves in. Grab your cup of joe, latte, steamer, capuccino, espresso, 5 hour energy, spoonful of chocolate icing, whatever your poison is, and let's enjoy some Coffee Talk.

So as I stated in my intro, many big stars have come and eventually have gone. We're going to take a look at these stars and see what backstage influence they had. Whether they put their egos aside and actually put people over in their careers to help a fellow superstar. It'll be interesting to see why people don't hate these other guys the way they hate Hogan, for virtually the same thing.

Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Diesel/Kevin Nash

Post the Hulk Hogan glory days, things in wrestling switched gears. Bret The HItman Hart took the reigns of the WWF and led the company into the post-Hulk Hogan era. He won an untelevised match against Ric Flair and gained his first of many WWF championships. I was a huge wrestling fan then. I never missed a Monday Night Raw...or Prime Time Wrestling hosted by Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon for that matter. When I look back on it, The Hitman was probably the greatest wrestler I've ever seen. He was an impeccable technician in the ring and when push came to shove, he could get down and dirty with the best of them. What kind of politics did he play in the behind the scenes aspect of wrestling in the early to mid-nineties I wonder. I think back and outside of putting over his brother in law in England, and his brother at Wrestlemania, I can't really think of a time he went down clean to someone. In fact, they actually started to build on the idea of Bret always getting screwed in his losses. He faced Diesel when they were both faces and the match went to a double DQ, and he retained his title. He lost to Sid, but only after Shawn Michaels interfered. Other notable matches included a loss to Bob Backlund by way of Owen Hart screwjob. A win over The Undertaker where Stone Cold interfered and inadvertantly cost Taker the title. And even the Iron Man Match against Shawn Michaels, went past the one hour time limit before he took the fall. He's had other phenomenal matches over the course of his career during his many title reigns, and everytime he dropped the belt, there were shenanigans involved. Did he play politics in the lockerroom? Well, if you think he didn't, you're just kidding yourself. Diesel and Shawn Michaels speak for themselves. Diesel was moreso the politician after moving on to WCW while Shawn Michaels positioned himself to be just as influential a politician as Hart which led to their rivalry.

Stonecold Steve Austin, The Rock, HHH

Bret Hart moves on after the Montreal Screwjob and HBK retires due to a severe back injury. This set the stage for the new, and very popular, Attitude Era led by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Now, I find it interesting that everyone likes to jump down John Cena's throat about hogging the spotlight, not taking a back seat, so on and so forth. Think back, fellow Attitude Era lovers, to Stone Cold. Can you think of one time he went over clean to ANYONE? Or how about a major storyline that was the focal point of Raw and didn't involve him? The fact is, we can't really think of any. Why? Because they don't exist. Stone Cold was in the midst of everything. Hell, even The Big Show lost his debut match against Austin via the Stone Cold Stunner, virtually burying him for the rest of his career. Stone Cold lost the title to Kane in a First Blood Match that was faked and involved shenanigans, only to win it back the next night on Raw, killing any chance of Kane continuing his unstoppable monster route. Stone Cold, upon his stardom, never put anyone over. Makes you wonder what kind of politics he played in those days. I mentioned two other wrestlers during this era. One being The Rock and the other being HHH. These two, unlike Austin, while hogged the spotlight a lot post-Austin, did their share of putting people over in the process. The Rock putting Stone Cold over himself on several occasions, and HHH has put over just about everyone, regardless of his position backstage. He put over everyone he's faced. The Rock, Goldberg, Steiner, Batista, Chris Benoit, and later in his career, he's put over Cena.

Stone Cold Steve Austin, not so much. The only time I can remember him putting anyone over clean was against The Rock when his career was virtually ended.

Hulk Hogan all the way to John Cena

I've already broken down everyone that can be considered a top main person in the wrestling world. I'm talking leaders of the company type. So let's do the Alpha and Omega of where we stand now. Hulk Hogan. I watched Hogan put over The Ultimate Warrior. I watched Hogan put over Lex Luger. I watched him put over Sting. I think that just about does it until the end of his career and his last run in WWE, where he put over The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, and maybe a few others. Hogan has had a long road in this industry. One where he was always on top, and always the focal point, no matter if he had the title or not. I mean, Sgt Slaughter and his Iraqi gimmick takes the title off Ultimate Warrior, and then Hogan wins the day after that. Hogan speaks for itself. Once we started gaining access to information a little more, that's when these things became apparent. And then...there's John Cena.

John Cena hasn't put anyone over clean, other than The Rock at Wrestlemania 28, since taking the top spot in the company. Hell, it may even be a little worse than Stone Cold in the AE. The start of CM Punk's run with the title, came during a triple threat where there were shenanigans. When he lost following the infamouse Pipe Bomb, there were situations that played into it. He couldn't even put over RVD at ECW One Night Stand in a situation that would've been golden and wouldn't have hurt him in any way. He failed to do it then, he failed to do for Punk in Chicago. He doesn't do it. He refuses to do it. Anyone who thinks he's not a politician backstage really just doesn't get it.

The Future

With everything laid out in this blog, now we look to the future. Cena won't be around forever, so we look to the rest of the potentials. The favorites are CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, and Dean Ambrose. The fact is, once Cena goes away, if these four are to represent the top guys comparable to Hogan, Macho Man, Sting, and Ric Flair. Comparable to Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Diesel. Comparable to Stone Cold, The Rock, and HHH. Then logic suggests, there will be politics at play. And it will. Everyone's love for these guys may assist you in turning a blind eye, much like it did for everyone who loved Austin and The Rock. But it's an inevitable fact. Punk will play politician. Bryan will play politician. If Ziggler and Ambrose are the other two guys, they will play politician. The time will come when they aren't going down clean to anyone. When they lose, there will be cheating and screwjobs and the only ones they'll be putting over are each other. I wonder if everyone will hate them, the way they hate Hogan, HHH, and Cena. Who knows. Hopefully, these guys will be the next leaders and we'll see what happens.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as i enjoyed writing it. My cup of joe is done.

Enjoy the rest of your week. Enjoy Summer Slam. And Be Safe.

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Comments

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  1. Erroneous Fool's Avatar
    Realistically can you really say that these wrestlers will be like those that have come before them? Do you really believe that people like Punk, Bryan, Dolph etc. are their simply to live in the limelight like The Hogan's or The Nash's? Punk has said numerous times that he is their to make change, because change is good. I do not believe politics really matters in wrestling anymore. We are coming into a new era where wrestlers are being pushed for being good, not for being good at back stage politicking. See Punk/Bryan/Ziggler/Shield etc. I believe that once John Cena is actually gone, we will see the extinction of the Prototypical "Sports Entertainer" and backstage politics altogether. And wrestling will finally be in another "Golden Era" so to speak.
  2. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Erroneous Fool
    Realistically can you really say that these wrestlers will be like those that have come before them? Do you really believe that people like Punk, Bryan, Dolph etc. are their simply to live in the limelight like The Hogan's or The Nash's? Punk has said numerous times that he is their to make change, because change is good. I do not believe politics really matters in wrestling anymore. We are coming into a new era where wrestlers are being pushed for being good, not for being good at back stage politicking. See Punk/Bryan/Ziggler/Shield etc. I believe that once John Cena is actually gone, we will see the extinction of the Prototypical "Sports Entertainer" and backstage politics altogether. And wrestling will finally be in another "Golden Era" so to speak.
    Thank you for the comment. However, I must disagree completely. It's amazing how someone's tune will change once the Almighty Dollar is at stake.
  3. Darkside Ron Garvin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Erroneous Fool
    I do not believe politics really matters in wrestling anymore. We are coming into a new era where wrestlers are being pushed for being good, not for being good at back stage politicking.

    I could buy what you were selling, even if the "Punk said he's going to make a change" was a bit hard to swallow. But this is too much. If "politicking" is so far past us, why do we see people like Hero/Ohno catching so much flack for the weight thing while the likes of Punk quickly come to his rescue? Why do you hear Punk pushing for Cesaro so hard after news has come out that the higher ups aren't into him?


    Sure, we are seeing a change in culture, but let's not go as far as saying that the beloved Punk has immunity from being criticized for actions that most hung HBK for in the past; you know, the whole "make sure the guys I like get noticed" type of thing.
  4. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    Let me start off here by praising your blog. I like the idea here, I for one have been supporting Cena. Not that I'm a crazy Cena fan. I actually havn't bought a Cena shirt since 06. However, I don't like Hogan/HHH. Let me explain reasons why among others. I think you've read my blogs and know how big a fan I am of Austin/Rock.

    Rock hasn't held a WWE title for more than 3 months well at least til this recent one. Put over everyone from Kurt Angle, Jericho, HHH, among others including Big Show.

    Here is my attempt to defend Austin. You provide very good argument, but here it is: Austin/Vince rivalry.....the best rivalry in the history of the business in my eyes wouldn't have continued had he lost to Kane and not got the belt back. You dont take the belt off of your top guy....who is the hottest at the time. The rivalry couldn't have continued which is why Kane didn't hold it that long. Had nothing about making Kane a superstar. It was about continuing that buzz and momentum that people loved. They loved the rivalry Austin/Vince had because they could relate to it. Hell, 2 months before King of the Ring, probably not even that....they just won their first rating war with WCW that featured Vince vs Austin as the main event. That rivalry helped them get back to competing with WCW. Kane wouldn't have led WWF to the top if Austin wouldn't have the belt. Austin needed the belt. Kane didn't even talk at the time. Austin didn't even have long title reigns. Austin did get pinned by Foley in 1999 Summerslam. He also lost a big 3 stages of hell match at No Way Out before WM17 to HHH. Austin really hasn't lost cleanly mainly because he is a face. Like it or not, when Austin became champion....he wasn't on top for that long. 98-01 is vitrually his time period. 02 he took his ball and went home before King of the Ring after being upset with being poorly used on WM18,advertising matches with no build, among other things. 03 he only had 2 matches....1 vs Bischoff and the other with The Rock. 02 he lost to Jericho over the undisputed title, beat Hall at WM18 which is virtually the only ppv singles matches he had. 2000, he was out the whole year virtually. John and Hogan were on top virtually there whole careers. Austin didn't nor did Bret, or many other superstars.

    Hogan held the belt for several years. You can't compare hot periods between the two. Hogan decided who he would face. He didn't like Rude backstage so Rude never fought him for the belt which is why he went to WCW. Jake Roberts stated on the DVD the reason he didn't have the main event slot vs Hogan was because they chanted DDT after he DDT'd Hogan on his segment. He beat the likes of Bundy, Andre, among others which was the highlight of there careers because they were virtually never heard from again after their feud with them. Hogan riding Macho's coattails during his title reign after WM4. Slaughter was the only man he would face at WM. Which was why Slaughter was in the main event vs Hogan in the first place. Hogan losing to Taker with Taker losing it 2 days later? Putting him over big time. Refused to work with Warrior which is why he lost the belt in the first place at Royal Rumble. According to Bret, he was scheduled to face him at summerslam, but declined. Beating Yokozuna at wM9 in literally seconds was great. Really put him over big time....never lost til he faced Hogan. Hogan lost the belt at King of the Ring after a camera mishap. Going to WCW, claims he was the reason for the fans tuning in. It couldn't possibly be because of Hall, Nash, Luger, Savage, and the cruiserweights was the reason they tuned in. That is why they are tuning in to TNA today, isn't it Hulk? What star you got on the phone up north ready to jump to TNA? You are taking TNA to the next level.....worst ratings ever back to back weeks among other ratings. These MMA guys will bring viewers in, Ortiz produced a decline in ratings after his appearance. O, lets praise him for putting over Sting at Starrcade. Obviously you didn't read Bischoff's book because he was trying to talk Eric into having Sting lose because he wasn't in shape. Not only that, but the ref garbage in the match? Hulk put over Lesnar? Hogan did that because he thought they were going to put the strap back on him at Survivor Series 02. See the match was planned for Brock to beat him again just on a bigger stage. Hulk was having none of that so he decline and let big Show fill in. I'm going by what WWE writers have said online.

    HHH apparently just puts over friends and guys who who can't wrestle or work the mic. I'm going by what Kurt Angle said in which, HHH claimed that Kurt was too small to be champion. Kurt said Benoit is a great wrestler, but doesn't have mic skills while Batista and Cena in the ring speak for themselves on big stages. I mean what top guy did he lose to on a big stage like Rock at Mania, Goldberg at Summerslam 03, among others. Made us wait til the forgettable ppvs instead of the big stages. Just for his friends or guys who can't do either the mic or wrestle. The plan in 02 was to have RVD be the Raw champion since he was IC champion. Bring prestige there, but that is a heel thing to do apparently so he can win it back later. Unforgiven came, he wasn't ready....what happened to giving the most over guy the belt? Kane was suppose to beat him in 03, but of course politics. 02 lost to his friend in the Chamber HBK and won it back shortly after. He put over Steiner? After Steiner lost to HHH, his career went downhill. Never was the same after that. Booker T was scheduled to win the world title, but of course yet again....ugh. Goldberg was to, but I'm hurt so lets add guys to this to make it a great match. How about I put him over in a singles match when I'm healthy? Than win it back from him....Genius!
  5. Anyrysm's Avatar
    @TheGreatOne, I agree with most of your analysis, but I think you're being a bit harsh on HHH. Just because you don't like who he put over, doesn't mean he didn't put them over. He lost cleanly to Batista 3 ppvs in a row, including wresltemania and a hell in the cell match (his first ever loss in one), he put Cena over cleanly at wrestlemania, he put over Orton when evolution split up, he lost 2 out of 3 to Lesnar recently. He tapped out to Benoit at WM20 and then lost the triple threat the next month in the rematch. Obviously these guys are big stars, but you don't use high profile talent to put over average guys; to do so would be to waste the credibility and mystique of your bigger stars. You can't have a guys like HHH or John Cena lose cleanly to an R-Truth, Jack Swagger, etc. Whereas Cena hasn't lost cleanly since his debut against Kurt Angle
  6. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    @TheGreatOne, you make excellent points. I get what you're saying about Austin, but in that case, why not have Austin just beat Kane in the First Blood Match? And I get that the top guy needs to be champ, especially to fuel the rivarly with McMahon...at least back then. Cena wasn't champ and still headlined everything during Punk's reign so that seems to not be the case now. I love Austin. Was always a fan. Once he reached the top though, he was just as much a Superman as John Cena. No matter the situation, he always came out on top, he was always smarter, always one step ahead, he could storm the ring and take out 5 or 6 guys with Stunners, etc.

    None were as bad as Hogan, I admit. But in Hogan's defense, he did sell 90,000+ tickets in Detroit to beat the undefeated Andre the Giant. Because of that, I'm sure he gained the clout to do things how he did. Back in the 80's, there weren't nearly as many rebel fans. Back then, there was Good Guys and Bad Guys. All the fans cheered the Good Buys, and booed the Bad Guys. Hogan was the ultimate Good Guy. That's what made his 96 heel turn so great. Back in the 80's and early 90's, all anyone wanted to see was Hogan defeat the odds. No one cared how good Rick Rude was in AWA. No one cared about the road Roddy Piper travelled to get where he got. They wanted to cheer good guys and boo bad guys. It was the perfect example of the fans liking who WWF wanted us to like.
  7. TheGreatOne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Anyrysm
    @TheGreatOne, I agree with most of your analysis, but I think you're being a bit harsh on HHH. Just because you don't like who he put over, doesn't mean he didn't put them over. He lost cleanly to Batista 3 ppvs in a row, including wresltemania and a hell in the cell match (his first ever loss in one), he put Cena over cleanly at wrestlemania, he put over Orton when evolution split up, he lost 2 out of 3 to Lesnar recently. He tapped out to Benoit at WM20 and then lost the triple threat the next month in the rematch. Obviously these guys are big stars, but you don't use high profile talent to put over average guys; to do so would be to waste the credibility and mystique of your bigger stars. You can't have a guys like HHH or John Cena lose cleanly to an R-Truth, Jack Swagger, etc. Whereas Cena hasn't lost cleanly since his debut against Kurt Angle
    I praise HHH for it, but Kurt makes some valid points along with writers saying such things about Kane, RVD, and Booker T. I don't ask for those guys to lose cleanly. Don't expect them to.....Cena has lost cleanly to HHH back at Night of Champions in their rematch. I figure he has lost since than, but ya know. I'm a much bigger supporter of Cena than HHH.
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