Coffee Talk: The Clean Put Over
by, 08-14-2013 at 09:45 PM (5255 Views)
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.
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.