Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Randy Orton - the Legend Killer

Randy Orton is one of the best heels in the WWE because of his arrogant posture, treacherous attitude, and flat out cowardly cheap shots at his opponents. What made his heel run as "the Legend Killer" was his catch phrase, nickname, pose, and mindset. He took the light which is a symbol of hope and goodness then made it a perversion of vanity and self glorification. His "Burn in my Light" theme was a great representation of his egotistical mentality. Randy Orton plays his heel role outstandingly well because he makes you love to hate him. Your not supposed to love villains. Your supposed to hate them and Randy Orton is a heel that many people hate. He is extremely disrespectful to the greatest legends in pro-wrestling namely Eddie Guerrero after he passed away. He spit in the face of Mick Foley and others.

He tried to kill the Undertaker during their feud and did so many other terrible deeds. He got his father to step and help him in certain attacks.

Randy Orton is a snake and intelligently cheats his way into becoming champion. Most of all, he tried to cheat his way into ending the Undertaker's streak at Wrestlemania. Randy Orton is a great opportunist in the ring and willing to partake in hardcore matches against his opponents. This is what great heels do.

There will never be another heel like Randy Orton in the WWE. He played the villain role well and like no other.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Believable characters matter more than faces/heels

In the pro-wrestling world, faces and heels are the ideal part of a storyline feud. Faces and heels are what spark conflict between pro-wrestlers. You can have some of the best feuds involving faces and heels but sometimes they don't always work. Why not? Because believable characters are essential to every aspect of pro-wrestling storylines. I will explain what i mean in further detail. 

I think many fans can agree that pro-wrestlers such as Stone Cold, Jeff Hardy, Sting, and so forth didn't make it as heels. Why? Because they were pushed as faces to the point where they lost the impact to anger fans as heels. They had no motivation for turning heel. Why would Jeff Hardy work so hard for the fans only to turn on them? He had potential but it was very difficult to make the fans hate him because he had built such a solid loving relationship with them. 

It also makes no sense for a face to turn heel or vice versa if there is no motivation, tragedy, or any justification to do so. Believable characters are what matters most. Being consistent with a character's attitudes, beliefs, weaknesses, strengths, actions, words, and so forth is the key to making a successful heel or face turn. It's putting yourself in the position of the character and asking "what would said character do in this situation?" Eddie Guerrero and Mick Foley were some of the few pro-wrestlers who were able to make successful face or heel turns consistent with their characters. Randy Orton was arguably one of the best heels in the WWE because he was consistent with his character from the start. If a pro-wrestler cannot create a balance between good and evil enough to make a successful heel or face turn, he or she shouldn't risk it. 

Faces or heels - it makes no difference. What fans should be looking for is believable characters who are able to develop or suffer tragic falls.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

How piracy helps pro-wrestling

From the reports i've heard, big companies such as WWE and TNA are removing their copyrighted material from the Internet in attempts to prevent copyright infringement and piracy. If they could file at least one lawsuit, they'd win a court case and cash as a recompensation for it.

I think this hurts their businesses and could be using Youtube for more profitable means rather than restrict content to viewers. This is my argument for why piracy is beneficial to the pro-wrestling business. 

From experience, i became a TNA fan when i freely watched copyrighted material through YouTube and later a fan of many pro-wrestling promotions. This however did not mean that i was not willing to pay for any pro-wrestling products as i ended up buying merchandise as i got older. Had it not been for piracy, i would not have been exposed to big promotions like TNA. 

Financially speaking, how does piracy end up helping pro-wrestling? Here are some pros and cons: 

* It can get pro-wrestling more exposure - Websites allowing free access to pro-wrestling content are more likely to generate a vast audience than if they didn't do it at all. This is because users rely on file-sharing through social media and torrent sites. If people can get freely watch PPV's through the internet, what's the point in having them? This brings me to my next point. 

* Pro-wrestling strengthens consumer relationships - If people enjoy PPV's and other main events, they are more likely to attend house shows (non-televised events). The advantages of house shows is that they are not aired on T.V, they cannot be found online so easily. From personal experience, i have found that promotions put fancam matches in their DVD's which could boost sales for diehard fans making collections. Fans are more likely to buy Merch, DVD's, T-shirts, action figures, and so forth. This is how according to Vince Russo, TNA initially gained fame by doing house shows and selling their products at each one. To gain the people's favor, you must gain their trust.

According to a study done by the Swiss government (link posted below), it was found that the entertainment business overall wasn't losing money from pirating. Plus, people who illegally download products end up spending more money on them than those who legally purchased them. If only Vince McMahon would realize this, he could possibly allowing YouTube users upload WWE content on the condition that they'd advertise his products. Piracy would ultimately help his company flourish than diminish it.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Why i love New Jack

New Jack is notorious for his violent and often dangerous style of hardcore wrestling. He has been known as a former bounty hunter and convicted of several crimes. While i don't agree with everything he does, i do consider him a hardcore legend for the following reasons:

* He represented pro-wrestling - New Jack was trained by no one. Wrestling promotions hired him because he was a violent entertainer and this is what pro-wrestling is about. Go read about Sports Entertainment and you'll find that WWE was established as Sports Entertainment, not an athletic competitive sport. Pro-wrestling is not about winning or losing, but about entertaining fans with violence. Pro-wrestling is about drama, not reality t.v. New Jack accurately reflects the foundation of the Pro-wrestling business. He doesn't have wrestling skills and he doesn't care. He knows how to get paid and that's why promotions hire him.

* He's hardcore - With the introduction of the staple gun, he was known for making pro-wrestling more violent than it was before. He's did elbow drops 40 feet off a balcony, hit people in the privates with trash cans, lamps, knives, and many other dangerous weapons. He's suffered many scars in the ring. New Jack isn't afraid of anyone, not even the Undertaker.

* He's real 24/7 - Many pro-wrestlers use Kayfabe then go back to being themselves when they come home, New Jack doesn't. The person you see in the ring is New Jack all the time. He gives intense promos full of killer threats. New Jack is self-centered, natural, and violent which is what makes him blend in so easily into the roster while keeping his uniqueness.

* He's honest - New Jack is very open about speaking the Truth about the pro-wrestling industry at the expense of the business. This is why he's not a fan favorite of many fans and promotions. If just one promotion would listen to his advice on how matches ought to be run, they'd be just a little bit more successful in that respect.

While TNA accepted him, WWE and other big promotions rejected him because of these reasons. Nevertheless, New Jack deserves a spot distinguishing him from other hardcore wrestlers.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why Mick Foley is a hardcore legend

Many people remember Mick Foley by his Hell in a Cell match with the Undertaker in 1998, his King of the Deathmatch tournament in Japan, and many more matches. However, there are a good number of reasons why Mick Foley is a hardcore legend in his time.

He's almost immune to pain
- Mick Foley has sustained many injuries throughout his career such as having 2/3rd's of his ear ripped off, 8 concussions, 4 front teeth knocked out, a broken cheekbone, a separated right shoulder, 2nd degree burns on his arm and shoulder, 2 herniated discs, bone chips in elbow, broken right wrist, torn alb and meniscus, bruised kidney, 5 broken ribs, broken left thumb, over 379 stitches, dislocated left shoulder, broken jaw, and his nose broken twice. Mick Foley has bore unimaginable pain in some of the most brutal matches in pro-wrestling using barbed wire, glass, thumbtacks, C4, spikes, nails, and so on.

He's been in classic matches - Almost every WWF/WWE fan is familiar with his Hell in a Cell match with the Undertaker in 1998. The WWF universe was shocked when the Undertaker threw him off the cage twice. He's competed in the King of the Deathmatch tournament in Japan of 1995. He's been in some of the best feuds with Triple H and others. Though not a highly skilled pro-wrestler, Mick Foley has been extreme in almost every hardcore match he's competed in.

Mick Foley has a solid character - Mick Foley is a hardcore legend mainly because of his character. What distinguishes him from many extreme hardcore wrestlers? He infused his passion, past traumas, suffering, emotions, and emotional pain in his character. He is a great storyteller in the business when he recalls his life experiences. He viciously shrieks when his hands claw at an opponent's face. He laughs when he is in pain and knows exactly how to use anything as a weapon.

Mick Foley will always go down in history as the hardcore legend who popularized hardcore wrestling. He passed on the torch to the next generation and already paid his respects to the business.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Best Mick Foley feuds

Mick Foley is a hardcore legend not just physically but also emotionally. He's been in some of the best feuds against new school wrestlers from the start of his career. Mick Foley has been through hell and still prevailed.

Feud with the Undertaker - Arguably the top best feud in both of their careers. During the Undertaker's match against JBL, Mankind brutally attacked him. Afterwards, Mankind continually attacked him and became the Undertaker's nightmare. Finally during Taker's casket match against Goldust for the IC title at In your House 8: Beware of Dog 1996, Mankind cost him the match by using the mandible claw on him and pulled him in the casket. The two faced at King of the Ring 1996. They then faced in a series of brawls leading to Summerslam 1996. Taker interfered with Mankind's match with HBK out of revenge leading to In Your House: Buried Alive 1996. The Undertaker returned, playing mind games on Mankind which led to Survivor Series 1996. Later, Mankind attacked Taker to hold the World Title and burned his face with a fireball culminating at In Your House 14: Revenge of the Taker 1997 for the WWF championship. Mankind cost Taker yet another match and faced each other at King of the Ring 1998. Ultimately, this led to the feud ending at Hell in a Cell 1998.

Why was this feud the best? Because this was the first time someone at the Undertaker's level challenged him. Mankind clearly wasn't scared of the Undertaker and brutalized him in a series of matches. Why did Mankind attack him? He summed it up perfectly in this promo:

Mankind: "..we've engaged in some of the most brutal contests this sport has ever known..but i couldn't help feeling that when it was all said and done..the Undertaker never really knew me at you know what it feels like to sit on an airplane WITH THE STENCH OF YOUR OWN CHARRED FLESH AND YOUR NOSTRILS FOR FOURTEEN HOURS?!?! BECAUSE I DO! AND IT MAKES ME SICK! Do you know what it feels like to walk inside your own home and your wife says 'what is burning?' AND IT'S ME! I NEEDED TO INTRODUCE YOU TO MY LIFE! And for those people out there who find it hard to believe that someone like Mankind could ever receive holy matrimony...i can only say to you TURN OFF YOUR D*MN T.V SET! WATCH ANOTHER WRESTLING PROGRAM! BECAUSE I AM DEALING WITH REALITY! Or real life Undertaker WHERE MY CHILDREN wake up to the sound of gunfire..WHERE WHITE TRASH BOMBARD MY HOUSE WITH ROCKS N CHANT 'DIE MANKIND DIE!' When my three year old girl says to me 'keep me safe daddy, keep me safe' I look into her beautiful little eyes and i say 'I CAN'T DO THAT! BECAUSE DADDY'S ON THE ROAD 300 NIGHTS EVERY YEAR WORKING ON HIS 17TH CONCUSSION! BEING SPIT ON BY VILE SCUM IN UNDERTAKER T-SHIRTS, WRESTLING MAIN EVENTS FOR HALF THE MONEY THAT PUFFED UP PRETTY BOYS MAKE IN THE OPENING MATCH! You ask me for excuses...i don't have any..when your Mankind, you only need reasons.."

Mick Foley vs. Triple H - The feud between Triple H began around Summerslam in a triple threat with Stone Cold. Triple H beat Cactus Jack brutally and mercilessly. The two then faced each other at the Royal Rumble street fight 2000. The feud ended at No Way Out Hell in a Cell 2000.

What made this feud so emotionally powerful is the transition between Mick Foley to Cactus Jack in a never before seen build up. Triple H however exposes Mick Foley's flaws by saying the real Mick Foley is in real life behind Cactus Jack is a kind-hearted man plagued by guilt over what he does to his opponents. Mick Foley responds by bringing out his Cactus Jack persona, scaring Triple H. Although Cactus Jack lost his matches, he made Triple H cower in fear and still walked out the victor in that respect.

Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair - This was a real life feud transitioning into Kayfabe. In Mick Foley's book, he accused Flair of misusing him in the WCW bookings. Flair responded by calling him a stuntman and dismissed his hardcore injuries. In the WWF, they faced each other in a 2 out of 3 falls at Vengeance and an "I quit" match at Summerslam 2006. The feud continued at TNA in a last man standing match in 2007.

This feud was intense mainly because it was genuine and heated. Both were so focused in ending each other's careers over what happened in the past.

Mick Foley vs. Abyss - Probably the lesser known but most emotionally and brutal feuds that Abyss had with Mick Foley. It started when Abyss saved Mick Foley from Kevin Nash wielding his barbed wire bat at Hard Justice 2009. Fueled by rage, Mick Foley brutally beat Abyss to a pulp and later explained that the feud result from Abyss costing him a match and stealing his barbed wire. The two engaged in a few brawls until they had a heated confrontation leading to Bound for Glory Monster's ball match 2009.

This feud was powerful because it was so full of raw emotion, anger, betrayal, brutality, and drive. According to the story, Abyss as a child was abused by his father but was empowered to grow watching Mick Foley on T.V. He joined the pro-wrestling business taking inspiration from Mick Foley. When he thought Mick Foley was his friend after Mick gave him a flannel shirt, Mick Foley turned heel and quickly betrayed him. Mick Foley wrecked Abyss' self esteem by calling him a cheap copy but Abyss responded by listing his achievements at TNA. Why was the match at Bound for Glory important? Because it was all about Abyss's character growth, proving that he was worthy to be among the hardcore legends. Mick Foley provided a plot twist when he revealed he was only testing Abyss reputation as a hardcore wrestler. This feud conclusively gave Abyss a push.

In summary, this is what separates Mick Foley from other hardcore legends because he had a story to his hardcore matches.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My fantasy Undertaker Wrestlemania matches

While this may never be possible now that the Undertaker has retired, these are some of my biggest fantasy matches in which if i were a booker - i would plan them immediately. It's unfortunate that WWE could not plan these official matches. I thought some of the Undertaker's matches were unnecessary like a second Kane match or a second Triple H. If the Undertaker still had his undefeated streak, this is how i would've written his legendary match cards.

The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle - If i were a storyline writer, i'd have Kurt Angle taunt the Undertaker, flaunt his win at No Way Out, put him through the ankle lock again, then finally take his Athleticism to the next level - end the Undertaker's undefeated streak. Both are very competitive fighters as Kurt Angle has experience in legit amateur wrestling while the Undertaker is experienced in MMA. Both have devastating submission holds but which one would dominate the ring - the Ankle Lock or Hell's Gate?

The Undertaker vs. John Cena - Both have legendary careers. John Cena has had more titles than the Undertaker and equally devastating moves. John Cena has enormous strength and great story-telling abilities. He's been in several main events like the Undertaker has. They only wrestled a couple of times ending usually in a no-contest. I would've written an ambitious rivalry between the two for a shot for a WWE title at Wrestlemania. Perhaps making an "I quit" match would be more suitable.

The Undertaker vs. Stone Cold - This would've made a huge main event during the Attitude Era since Stone Cold and Vince McMahon were feuding at the time. If Vince unfairly booked Stone Cold to face the Undertaker in a streak vs. career match, it would've gained so much potential. Both are brutal in their approaches to wrestling in the ring. Stone Cold is a brutal legendary brawler when it comes to a detested opponent. He would be the ideal candidate for the Undertaker seeing how their championship matches went.

The Undertaker vs. Goldberg - From the matches i've seen from Goldberg, he's a devastating wrestler in the ring. His finisher is ridiculously painful from the looks of it. Goldberg is a dominant athlete and an aggressor. Goldberg is very strategic in his approach like the Undertaker.

The Undertaker vs. Sting - Rather than feud with the Authority, i'd have Sting feud with the Undertaker for a match at Wrestlemania. To make things more interesting, i'd book it at Hell in a Cell match. Both are similar in stature, signature moves, submission holds, appearance, and legacies. After all, both men probably wanted to have a match together before Wrestlemania 32.

I'll reiterate, t's a shame that these matches never occurred for whatever reason. Nevertheless it's nice to dream about what could've been differently.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Before you watch Lucha Underground, read this...

After watching Vampiro vs. Pentagon Jr. "Cero Miedo" match, i already became a fan of Lucha Underground. As a Mexican, i am excited to see a pro-wrestling promotion that is centered on Lucha Libre and Mexican culture. While it's geared generally towards a Hispanic audience, Lucha Underground also welcomes all other ethnicities. If your an American, it's important to have a basic understanding of the wrestling in Lucha Underground.

Lucha Underground often gives a "novella" feel when they film promos or any other short clips usually of masked wrestlers. Why are they masked? Enter the tradition of Lucha Libre.  

The rules of Lucha Libre are basically the same as American matches with some differences. Luchadores can only remain for 20 seconds outside of the ring. It's also legal for Luchadores to simply touch the floor in order for a tag team partner to switch places with them. 

 Lucha Libre is characterized by Luchadores (wrestlers) wearing masks which can be symbols of gods, animals, ancient heroes, or other archetypes. Lucha Libre date as far as the Aztecs. Luchadores will remain masked unless they are retiring or ending a gimmick and starting anew. The mask is so sacred, a Luchador can get disqualified for trying to remove it. It is the custom for Luchadores to wear their masks and conceal their identity at all times. The mask is the Luchador's pride, honor, dignity, and reputation. If it's removed, the Luchador looses all of it on top of his career. El Santo (left) is an example of a Luchador who continued to wear his mask till death and was buried with it. Although not every Luchador wears a mask.

Masks can be put at stake to settle a heated feud. The loser will have his mask removed in a match. 

The style of Lucha Libre relies on high flying acrobatic and aerial moves within the ring. Luchadores catapult themselves into their opponents usually from the outside of the ring. Luchadores usually execute high flying moves in the ring to pin their opponents as opposed to severely hurt them like Jeff Hardy does which would get them disqualified in a Lucha Libre match. Tag teams are usually made of 3 Luchadores and have a captain. The match can be won if both members are pinned or the captain is pinned. If a Luchador rolls out of the ring or is knocked out, a tag team partner can take his place. There is a code of honor expected from Luchadores. They are for instance expected to take the shame of having their masks removed than failing to honor their wager. Rudos (heels who brawl) are expected to turn into technicos (faces with technical skills like Martial Arts) after a career defining event. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of Lucha Libre, be sure to take note of every action taken by the Luchadores in Lucha Underground. That being said, i hope that you take full appreciation of Lucha Underground. 

Heidenreich - an underrated heel

Most WWE fans may not know or care about ex-superstar Heidenreich. While i thought his signature moves weren't at all impressive, i thought he was brutal as a heel.

What made him a potentially great character was the time when he was introduced by Paul Heyman to the WWE on Smackdown. He starts by intimidating an official and then flat out attacks him! I was surprised because rather than tombstone him like the Undertaker would or simply chokeslam him through a table, he continues to attack him for what? The word "hype"?

Remember the time when Heidenreich attacked several fans after they refused to allow him to read his poem? Had we not known Kayfabe is scripted, we would've probably filed charges against WWE for letting something like this happen. Whether we know Kayfabe is scripted or not, this still shocked me because of how believable Heidenreich made it out to be.

This is what an old school original heel is - a bully who intimidates others including fans and Heidenreich does it very well.

Or how about the time when Heidenreich kidnapped Michael Cole then raped him? What i loved about hearing Heidenreich's poem is that it sums up a philosophical and scientific dilemma of what causes people to do evil. What torment caused Heidenreich to be evil? We don't know. Heidenreich is simply hellbent on making others pay. Heidenreich is someone who does what he wants and what he wants is power over others. He's intimidated by no one, not even the likes of the Undertaker.

It's a shame that WWE couldn't take the opportunity to push Heidenreich a push due to him leaving the company and other issues. Nevertheless, Heidenreich was a heel who ought to deserve more respect.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Fan attacks Raven at WCW

Raven begins a promo by presumably exposing DDP for a lack of honesty on how he began his career. Suddenly, a fan climbs over the railings and grabs Raven by the hair then pulls him through the ropes. Raven gets up as security guards rush in to subdue the fan and Raven goes back to giving his promo. The mic seems to malfunction due to the attack as he continued to talk until he is handed a new one. A link can be provided on the page below. 

While it was unfortunate that a "fan" attacked a pro-wrestler, i thought it looked good on camera and probably drew attention from casual spectators changing channels on a T.V. Raven was a true genius because of this incident. If you noticed, he never broke character. Most pro-wrestlers would either attack the fan or fear for their safety. Raven remained calm and reacted as his character would. He didn't even need to attack the fan in self defense much less prove he's "hardcore." Raven simply looked down with pity on him basically saying with his body language "Your not worth my time...your nothing compared to my brilliance..." then arrogantly brushed the dust off of his jacket and got back in the ring. This is how every pro-wrestler ought to react but sadly it doesn't have the same effect because Kayfabe is no longer a secret. Raven is one of the few pro-wrestlers who rather than do what was best for himself, did what was best for the pro-wrestling business. 

While this fan may never enter another wrestling show again (a total good thing), this incident will always be a memorable example of Kayfabe in the face of danger. Had the microphone functioned properly, it would have been a perfect promo.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Why Stone Cold is a legend

Since i was a kid, i knew Stone Cold Steve Austin was one of my all-time favorite pro-wrestlers the moment i watched him.

What makes him a legend that is so loved by millions? Because he redefined an era in the WWF/WWE. Back then, pro-wrestlers dressed professionally and athletically. Pro-wrestlers were about sportsmanship. Stone Cold broke from traditional ideals of what a pro-wrestler ought to be and led a rebellion. He dressed casual, used foul language, disrespected other pro-wrestlers, attacked his boss and anyone else if they got in his way.

Following the character of "The Ringmaster" came a Stone Cold Steve Austin is the Robin Hood of the WWF/WWE only that he is an almost indestructible anti-hero. Unlike other faces, Stone Cold doesn't portray the qualities of a charismatic face which is original. Stone Cold is a flat out anti-hero. He's arrogant, selfish, cruel, outrageous, funny, mean-spirited, tough, and so forth. He cares about no one but himself although he likes to entertain his fans. Stone Cold is his own authority and it's his pride that makes him a solid character. Overall, Stone Cold is a believable character with his strengths and weaknesses.  

Stone Cold has made some of the most memorable promos in WWF/WWE history. For example, after defeating Jake the Snake Roberts in a King of the Ring match, Stone Cold Steve Austin had this to say: 

"The first thing i want to be done is to get that piece of crap outta my ring! Don't just get him outta the ring, get him out of the WWF because i proved son you ain't got what it takes anymore! You sit there and you thump your Bible and you say your prayers and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16. Austin 3:16 says i just whipped your a**!" 

This was the debut of the "Austin 3:16" phrase and the beginning of a new era. Stone Cold centered a solid fanbase with slogans such as "Hell yeah!" and "What?" or "that's the bottom line cuz Stone Cold said so!" He gave a mix hilarious promos, fierce ones, but sometimes he said nothing at all. His eyes and face said it all. This is what made his promos so revolutionary and his rather apathetic attitude towards what happens to his opponents. This is another example: 

"Sportsmanship? What a load of crap! Don't preach your morality to me..Steve Austin doesn't have any compassion...You want mercy? Take your a** to church.."

One of the things that separates Stone Cold from many others is that he builds a strong relationship with his fans. He shouts "oh Hell Yeah!" or asks them questions such as "If you want to see Stone Cold Steve Austin unleash hell, gimme a hell yeah!" He lets fans toss beers to him. Other superstars do not know how to get fans riled up well.

Ringwise, Stone Cold has some of the most devastating moves including his finisher - the Stone Cold Stunner. As far as in-ring psychology and story-telling, Stone Cold does it like no tomorrow. He comes straight at his opponent wasting no time. He was a total expert in using the Thesz press and other moves.

He's had some of the best feuds/rivalries leading to the greatest matches with Bret Hart, the Undertaker, the Rock, Triple H, Vince McMahon, and more. 

One of his best matches was with Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 13. Their rivalry began when Stone Cold won the 1996 King of the Ring tournament and taunted Bret Hart. Stone Cold insulted him leading Hart to accept. The two faced each other at Survivor Series 1996 with Hart beating him. The match continued with them participating in the Royal Rumble 1997 match. He eliminated Stone Cold but it didn't count as they were distracted with Mankind and Terry Funk. Stone Cold then began challenging Bret Hart's status as a legend as he kept whining. Stone Cold kept proclaiming himself to be the best and living by his words. An angry Bret Hart after being attacked challenged Stone Cold to a submission match at Wrestlemania 13. The match could only be won through submission. It was hard to watch Bret Hart apply the Sharpshooter on Stone Cold through the ring post and how Stone Cold gave everything to win. Stone Cold was busted open and Bret Hart finally applies the sharpshooter on Stone Cold. Just when you'd think Stone Cold would submit, he fights the pain and almost breaks the hold unlike any other pro-wrestler. He passes out but never submitted. Bret Hart may have won the match due to referee decision but Stone Cold kept his pride to the end.

Another outstanding feat was during the Harts feud when Owen Hart tombstoned Austin and Stone Cold broke his neck but still won the match. Stone Cold should've been carried out on a stretcher but chose to walk out like a champion.  

What i love about Stone Cold is that he's not afraid of anyone including the Undertaker. He makes no excuses for why he can't compete against the best. Both had some of the most epic clashes over the WWF title with Stone Cold winning some matches. 

Throughout his career, we see his character develop. We see some of his fears but nevertheless he uses those fears as a motivation to overcome them.

For these reasons, Stone Cold has popularized the WWF/WWE during the Attitude era so much that WCW went out of business. Stone Cold will be forever remembered as a pro-wrestling legend that represented what pro-wrestling is about - entertainment. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Why unmaksed Kane was more monstrous than Masked Kane

Kane has always been one of my favorite pro-wrestlers since he made his debut as a masked Big Red Machine Monster. However if i had to pick which gimmick i liked more - I'd pick his unmasked character and here's why.

Yes, masked Kane is soulless and a monster. He also brings an eerie presence about him whenever he enters the ring. Masked Kane showed no emotion whatsoever which was great for intimidating pro-wrestlers in the ring. Nevertheless, he was a static robot. He had no dialogue and no way to show his character. When Kane removed his mask, we saw the monster beneath.

We could see Kane's body just a husk of the human he used to be. His screams were booming loud and utterly monstrous. He had a wide range of emotions from sadistically joyful to full of rage to afraid and so on. A monster doesn't always have to be invincible or without emotion. A monster can take the shape of a human and use those emotions to unleash hell on others. Unmasked Kane had the most sickest and twisted promos as a heel. He was also very skilled at inspiring disgust and fear among fans.

Unmasked Kane is far more perverted than masked Kane because he takes great satisfaction in inflicting suffering in others. Unmasked Kane was surely more destructive. Masked Kane could never reach the heights of Kane when he was unmasked. Perhaps if masked Kane had a manager to compensate for lack of speech during promos then maybe. However masked Kane would be very limited as a character.

This is my opinion of the matter but i ultimately feel that Kane's character has evolved during his time in the WWF/WWE.

Friday, April 1, 2016

What is a pro-wrestling legend?

What makes a pro-wrestler a legend? Many fans use the term "legends" all too often to describe their favorite pro-wrestlers but there's not many who meet beyond the standards of a wrestling legend. Modern pro-wrestlers like Roman Reigns unfortunately don't equate to the legends of the past.

Pro-wrestling legends are unlike any another pro-wrestler in the known world of pro-wrestling. They are absolutely amazing. Pro-wrestling legends have these must-have traits:

* Passion and character - Pro-wrestling legends have unbelievable passion for the pro-wrestling business and it shows. They have highly built athletic bodies, wrestling styles, charisma, drive, the list goes on. Most of all, they have believable characters. Creating an unforgettable character begins by unleashing the deepest sides of yourself in the ring. Legends also make the promotion they work for their home. They give their best in everything that they do both in the ring and locker room.

* Solid promos - Outstanding promos consist of a beginning (a strong hook), a middle (build up to an event), and end (concluding remarks). Highly successful pro-wrestlers cut memorable promos. They don't just scream "i'm gonna win!" They all have their own emotional appeal, gimmicks, characters, catch phrases, and so forth. Take Raven for example, he almost always shares a deep philosophical insight on life during his promos. He starts by stating an interesting thought then sometimes goes into comparing his opponent to himself before listing the qualities that make him superior. Promos are delivered effectively with intensity and assertiveness. They're never rushed, but perfectly put together.

* Creative in-ring performance - Just because pro-wrestling is scripted, doesn't mean there's no creativity or athleticism involved. Pro-wrestling legends blend the two together, creating unforgettable matches. Kurt Angle is very athletic in the ring executing intense signature amateur wrestling moves at a fast pace. Why do you think pro-wrestlers like Sting and the Undertaker are entertaining? Because they have various types of moves: Power moves, high flying moves, submission holds, etc. However they don't just wrestle, but entertain the audience by doing something unique to their character and building anticipation in the crowd. For instance, John Cena likes to do his "you can't see me!" hand gesture before executing a finisher. Most of all, pro-wrestling legends sell (make pro-wrestling look realistic) like no tomorrow. One example is when the Undertaker limped on one leg after Kurt Angle put it in an ankle lock.

* Storytelling - You can have outstanding signature moves, but you will bore people if you do not tell stories. Storytelling is when a pro-wrestler builds drama during a match. How do you tell a story? Using your body. The Undertaker, arguably one of the greatest storytellers in pro-wrestling, is the finest example of how story-telling is done. He sometimes begins by having a staredown with someone he's been feuding with like his brother Kane. He then begins by fiercely attacking a pro-wrestler he's been feuding with more than the average opponent. When he gets locked into a chokehold, he sells and leaves you asking "how is he going to get out of that hold?" He also builds anticipation and plot twists by sitting up after a devastating finisher. Great stories happen when there is something at stake such as the Undertaker's streak at Wrestlemania. Just watch the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25. What made the match so great? Storytelling. It was the way Shawn Michaels put everything in his being to defeat the Undertaker and how the Undertaker gave everything to defend his streak.

* Strong fanbases - Stone Cold, Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan, and Sting are all examples of pro-wrestlers who built a strong interaction with their fans. Building a strong relationship with fans starts by creating slogans, hand gestures, catch phrases, or naming fans. For example, Jeff Hardy often refers to his fans as "creatures" and vouches for them in the face of adversity. Gimmicks can also inspire people to dress up as their favorite pro-wrestler, giving him or her further exposure. Legends (heel or face) almost always make their fans apart of the action.

* Revolutionary accomplishments - Every pro-wrestler has contributed in some way or form to the success of a particular set of moves or company. Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, the Undertaker, and others have popularized the WWF/WWE with their entertainment reaching beyond the ring. They've dominated the entire promotion and that's what led them to revolutionize pro-wrestling. Only legends can leave long lasting impact on the pro-wrestling business.

If pro-wrestlers today would be inspired by all-time wrestling legends and learn what made them so successful, pro-wrestling talents would be more than athletes. Pro-wrestling legends go far beyond the norm and that's why they'll forever be engraved in the hall of fame.