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  #31  
Old 02-06-2011, 08:59 AM
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Nice to see a wrestling thread. I definitely don't watch it frequently these days, but I least appreciate the "business" when it is good. And yes, the politics behind something considered a "fake" sport is endlessly fascinating.

My biggest issue with current shows (and I do read up on them occasionally if not obsessively), is not just the TV-PG stuff, but also how the big stars are only really liked by kids and no one else. That's just not healthy for business. For example, Cena is anti-charisma and can't do a thing in the ring, but the kids love him for his dumb catchphrases and stupid salute!

I was happy to see Miz make an impact, not just because it pissed off the "kids", but also because it was a just reward for a guy who came from the freaking Real World...and spent years and years of hard work getting to where he is now.

ShakeWell, I think your notes on Twitter about early Royal Rumbles got me into watching those again recently. I have very little memory of what happened, so these are almost new to me. I'm actually really enjoying them even though the wrestling isn't great and there are a ton of bad gimmick characters all over the place. But that said, there was something back then that allowed the viewer to know each and every one of these characters, no matter how stupid the gimmick was. (Or perhaps it is because I frequently read WrestleCrap. Could be!)

Can I be that guy and say I'd like the Diva matches to actually be better? I know most of them are there just to look pretty (as pretty as implants can make you, I suppose), but there actually is some talent in that roster. I'd personally jettison half the Diva roster, but even with that you'd have some pretty people doing decent matches.

Finally, am I the only one who thinks that recent CZW clip ("The most illegal move in the history of wrestling!") actually HURTS the "sport"? It's gimmicky, it breaks the "illusion" wide open and there are tons of shots of incredibly ugly, out of shape wrestlers running around the ring.

Last edited by PT; 02-06-2011 at 12:07 PM.
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  #32  
Old 02-06-2011, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by smacketh View Post
Sheamus is usually pretty solid on the mic...he's been a bit boring lately since the whole king of the ring thing though.
Fella
I was thinking... Sheamus isn't the guy's real name, which makes it pretty much the dumbest wrestler name ever. I mean, he's Irish, and some people in Ireland are named Sheamus (though I could have sworn it was spelled "Seamus"), so that's his name. That's the whole thinking behind it. That would be like if there was a Mexican wrestler and his ring name was "Juan". You know, because some Mexicans are named that.


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Finally, am I the only one who thinks that recent CZW clip ("The most illegal move in the history of wrestling!") actually HURTS the "sport"? It's gimmicky, it breaks the "illusion" wide open and there are tons of shots of incredibly ugly, out of shape wrestlers running around the ring.
I disagree. Ugly wrestlers, sure, but given that kayfabe is 100% dead, it works as a sendup of gimmicks of the past like Papa Shango.
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  #33  
Old 02-06-2011, 11:24 AM
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I was thinking... Sheamus isn't the guy's real name, which makes it pretty much the dumbest wrestler name ever. I mean, he's Irish, and some people in Ireland are named Sheamus (though I could have sworn it was spelled "Seamus"), so that's his name. That's the whole thinking behind it. That would be like if there was a Mexican wrestler and his ring name was "Juan". You know, because some Mexicans are named that.
But most of these guys don't use their real name nowadays. And I still think the combination of Dolph and Ziggler make that the stupidest name ever.
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  #34  
Old 02-06-2011, 11:50 AM
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But most of these guys don't use their real name nowadays. And I still think the combination of Dolph and Ziggler make that the stupidest name ever.
I think his point is that unless it was your real name, why would anyone choose to be Sheamus? Like, if you're going to make up a name, why not make one up with more panache.

Not saying I agree, but that's how I read it.
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  #35  
Old 02-06-2011, 02:04 PM
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  #36  
Old 02-06-2011, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PeaceTalk View Post
My biggest issue with current shows (and I do read up on them occasionally if not obsessively), is not just the TV-PG stuff, but also how the big stars are only really liked by kids and no one else. That's just not healthy for business. For example, Cena is anti-charisma and can't do a thing in the ring, but the kids love him for his dumb catchphrases and stupid salute!
Nah, I think Cena has charisma and he's a good wrestler. I'd just like to see him do something different.

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Finally, am I the only one who thinks that recent CZW clip ("The most illegal move in the history of wrestling!") actually HURTS the "sport"? It's gimmicky, it breaks the "illusion" wide open and there are tons of shots of incredibly ugly, out of shape wrestlers running around the ring.
Yeah, I completely disagree. Insane antics like that make me more interested in smaller promotions, not less. There's enough room in this world for goofy over the top antics and "serious" professional wrestling.
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  #37  
Old 02-06-2011, 05:25 PM
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Nah, I think Cena has charisma and he's a good showman. I'd just like to see him do something different.
He's got a great ring presence, but I'd hesitate to call him a great wrestler.

It's terrible that while I've come to like him the more I see of him, I've never forgiven his character for being responsible for the spinning rim on the goddamn championship belt.
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  #38  
Old 02-06-2011, 05:31 PM
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I never said he was a great wrestler, just y'know, better some people give him credit for.
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  #39  
Old 02-06-2011, 07:17 PM
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  #40  
Old 02-06-2011, 07:56 PM
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Man I used to watch this a lot too, from about '96 to the point where WCW died. I actually liked the WCW more for a long while. The NWO had a big part to do with this. Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) is one of my favorite wrestlers ever, and has probably my favorite finisher ever.

I also used to do the whole "put couch cushions or mattress on the ground and do wrestling moves with friends". Was great times.

Also. The Ultimate Dragon!



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  #41  
Old 02-06-2011, 08:20 PM
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Botchamania is awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5MemsJR_Ws
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XA3XAdNJ4k
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  #42  
Old 02-06-2011, 08:37 PM
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I've been wondering why Botchamania had the random Harlem Heat clip in the intro. Now I know. I also like Hogan's hilariously absurd "Semper Fi!" in the same package.

And to clarify my opinion about the CZW clip, while it is true kayfabe is basically dead and that goofiness in wrestling can be good, I guess I'm, again, horrified by the incredibly ugly and overweight people in the footage! I can't imagine that people not into wrestling saw that and thought "Boy, pro wrestling isn't some crazy carny show anymore!" I would think they just had their presumptions confirmed when they saw a radically out-of-shape fat person with his shirt off running around the ring.
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  #43  
Old 02-06-2011, 08:48 PM
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I think you're mistaking "not ripped" for "overweight". Forget guys like Earthquake or Mark Henry -- look at dudes like Husky Harris, the Nasty Boyz, Jerry Lawler, George Steel, etc. Ain't a-one of 'em that's particularly pretty, and they have more or less the same body type as the dude in the red tights I assume you're referring to.

(Oh, also -- compare guys that win bodybuilding competitions with guys that win strongman competitions, and see which one resembles the "in shape" image you have.)
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  #44  
Old 02-06-2011, 09:00 PM
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If I remember the video correctly, at least one of the dudes in question is way bigger than those guys. He really did look kind of awful and unhealthy.

But I agree in general. You can be overweight and still be a pretty damn good wrestler.
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  #45  
Old 02-06-2011, 09:42 PM
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Yeah, one of the guys — the one who I think was wearing briefs — looked pretty gross.

But that's CZW. One of their biggest guys ever is Necro Butcher, who looks like the kind of paunchy white guy who gets winded going up 2 flights of stairs. (He was the staple gun guy in The Wrestler.) The other promotions seem to feature a lot of guys who actually look athletic. And I mean athletic in that they can do athletic feats, not "athletic" in the 80s/90s way where their biceps interfere with their ability to wipe their own ass.
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  #46  
Old 02-06-2011, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Squid Brand View Post
And I mean athletic in that they can do athletic feats, not "athletic" in the 80s/90s way where their biceps interfere with their ability to wipe their own ass.
Hell, Scott Steiner still wrestles today.

Man, that makes me think about Batista. I’ll be amazed if his pursuit of MMA isn’t a spectacular failure.
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  #47  
Old 02-07-2011, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by widdershins View Post
I think you're mistaking "not ripped" for "overweight". Forget guys like Earthquake or Mark Henry -- look at dudes like Husky Harris, the Nasty Boyz, Jerry Lawler, George Steel, etc. Ain't a-one of 'em that's particularly pretty, and they have more or less the same body type as the dude in the red tights I assume you're referring to.

(Oh, also -- compare guys that win bodybuilding competitions with guys that win strongman competitions, and see which one resembles the "in shape" image you have.)
Garbage wrestling seems to attract a lot of that type of performer, and it doesn't mean they can't work. Foley made a career out of bumping and making other people look good. Natural "padding" helps a bit, I'd gather. Of course, not that many of those garbage wrestlers are involved in good matches.
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  #48  
Old 02-07-2011, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Squid Brand View Post
Also, more questions for Joey "Pink Shakewell" Drilling:

•Ever done a hurricanrana? Was it super fun?

•Does it hurt to deliver a legdrop? It seems like a nightmare for the tailbone.

•Are there any moves you used to do that you felt caused more pain for you (as the attacker) than the other guy?

•Ever done a big Snuka splash from the top? Was it super fun?

There needs to be an On The Stick wrestling special where I can ask you these and other provocative questions. The world needs to know!
Yes, yes.

No, not even on a springboard from the top rope.

Ideally, neither party should feel much real pain. Slight discomfort, but no real pain if everyone does everything right. But no, not that I can think of.

Yes, yes.

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Can I be that guy and say I'd like the Diva matches to actually be better?
You can be! If you want to see some great ladies' wrestling, check out the first ever Royal Rumble. Jumping Bomb Angels vs. The Glamour Girls in a 20+ minute classic tag match! Also, this.
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  #49  
Old 02-07-2011, 01:39 AM
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Also, this.
You know it's a great bit of storytelling when people who fully understand the nature of wrestling and already know the outcome can get swept up the blow-by-blow action it. They set it up like it's going to be a fairly typical monster heel instapush, leaving the new wrestler's origin vague and having them squash a top face right out of the gate, and then they provide a handful of opportunities for that finish to happen, but it never does, and they follow those with a handful of comebacks where the opposite finish could happen, but it never does, and then BAM, pace-breaking reverse of the reversal, and you know before the 3-count that she's won the match on account of of the credibility that's been built. Also, killer bumps on those hair tosses.

BUT DUDE THERES NO TITS WTF

Hey Pinkwell — what about super-loud knife edge chops? Those hurt, right? I always assumed they did, because of the way "smart" audiences react to them, as opposed to punches which are a non-event.
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  #50  
Old 02-07-2011, 05:15 AM
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There's nothing to do while the city is shut down for Tet and I heard 1996 Diesel came back at Royal Rumble, so even though I know the winner from watching that episode of Superstars, I'm checking it out. Notes:

•Two lame gimmick finish matches to open it. Same crap as the Attitude years.

•Those exchanges where one guy tries to reverse a dude's finisher with his own finisher, when the body positions don't make sense for those moves to be linked, are dumb.

•Orton has a really good finisher. He can hit it at any point out of nowhere, which would make for exciting finishes if clean finishes happened anymore.

•Vickie Guerrero has a good heel voice.

•Punk has a terrible finisher. Has he always used that?

•Dogshit "Divas" match. Did somebody gather all these women in a conference room and tell them to shriek as much as possible?

•I see they have Bryan Danielson doing a super lame girls-fighting-for-him thing. Great. Using him for his strengths.

•Then they redeem themselves by letting the first chunk of the Rumble be about him, and having him roll with Regal a bit. Cool.

•I actually kind of like their snide acknowledgement of "the internet".

•"Eliminate" is a funny word to refer to someone falling out of the ring to the floor, because it also means a turd falling out of a butthole. This is why Total Elimination was a hilarious finisher name.

•Morrison's catching-the-barricade stunt was pretty cool.

•Classic Rumble scenario where a zillion guys lay at the edges and sell while 2 guys do something in the middle. Stupid from a creative standpoint.

•Danielson! Oh well. I was hoping he'd have a super long stay like Helmsley in 1996, where he isn't really part of the narrative but he earns a lot of cred.

•Punk's bulldog on Ron Killings looked really good.

•How are The Great Khali and Giant Silva not the same person? Man, that reminds me of Pride FC. I miss that stuff.

•Why is Cena selling so hard for that double lariat? He just got there.

•I guess their strategy for keeping interest in a 40-man Rumble is to split it into distinct phases. First there was the straight beginning, then the team squash segment, and then midget comic relief.

•The Diesel pop was amazing. He looks like total shit in the ring, but who cares? This was a genius career move by Nash. That reputation he had, for being a lousy worker who passed his prime 15 years ago and has been stepping over young talent and riding his political influence to unjustified main-eventer status since then? Gone. Nostalgia heals all wounds.

•This is boring. Forty is too many.

•Del Rio is basically a heel from 1990. He's like Rick Martel.

•They announced that the match has gone on for just over an hour. Remember when Bret and Shawn went for an hour by themselves without the help of 38 other dudes, and it was way better than this? I do.

•Holy crap, the guy who's going to be in the WM main event is the same guy who got decapitated by Cro-Cop in that one Pride gimmick match? Yeesh.
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  #51  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:00 AM
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Caught it myself. First PPV I've even bothered to download since May or so (although I tend to PVR FF my way through Smackdown every week, since it's generally quite good - Alberto's ridiculously great on promos, which is the most shocking development in wrestling since... I don't know, Johhny Nitro turning into semi-awesome John Morrison? Lesson: wrestling is weird about this stuff.)

Quote:
•Punk has a terrible finisher. Has he always used that?
He was using the uranage / Anaconda Vice combo for a while, but the GTS got crazy over about three-four years ago (when he had those great ECW matches with Morrison). I don't think it's a great move either - far too video gamey / indy wrestling, and it breaks the fundamental rule of finishers (that you can do it to anyone).

I liked Edge / Dolph a lot. Sure, the gimmick wasn't great, but it was smartly handled. Edge is one of the few guys left who can actually sell plot points facially; he did a good job of telling the story figuring out he had the shot at the spear, hitting it, and then covering for it with the Unprettier*. Then again, I always like faces who win by being smarter than the heels rather than just overpowering them; comes from being a Bret Hart and Eddy fan.

Agreed on the Rumble being too long. The Cena / Hornswaggle segment was the most obvious cut they needed to make, but even that first Nexus beatdown segment went too long (especially as they did the same thing with Punk last year, but better since he was cutting hilarious promos in between entrants instead of just posing).

Quote:
•They announced that the match has gone on for just over an hour. Remember when Bret and Shawn went for an hour by themselves without the help of 38 other dudes, and it was way better than this? I do.
Sweet christ no. Bret / Shawn is an awful match (by their standards, at least). Bret doesn't even bother selling for like the first 30 minutes because he's obviously pissed off with the finish (as he should have been; why bother having the stips if no one's going to drop a fall?) and is in full "lazy Bret" mode. It's by far the worst match I ever saw the two of them have (even including the Montreal match); I think they'd have a better one TODAY, with Shawn happily retired and Bret unable to bump.

But last year's Rumble was a lot better, since the entire crowd was willing Shawn to win the thing and absolutely collapsed when he got tossed. I love when that happens. It's still the greatest gimmick match in the world.

* - Even if he hit it HORRIBLY.
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  #52  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:08 AM
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I guess I haven't seen it in many years, but I remember it being a really good match. I thought it was really smart to have the 2 of 3 stip go unused. First of all, it boosted both guys' credibility by emphasizing to the audience that both of them can go for an hour without the crutch of being able to lose once and take a breather before the end. Second, it set up constant suspense over who was going to land the first finish and when, because the first one could happen any time. If it were a 60-minute match with only one fall, it would be obvious to everyone that they had a really long time to wait right off the bat until something dramatic happened, so the first 40-50 minutes would have been frustrating. (They'd never set a 60-minute limit, leave room for a 60-minute match on the telecast, and then have someone pull it out significantly faster than that.)
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  #53  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:34 AM
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An Ironman is sort of sold on the premise of the score being important. Track down Steamboat / Rude or, better yet, the awesome Rock / HHH match on YouTube to see how much Bret and Shawn missed out on.

I think it would have been smarter to just hype it as a title match and then go the distance - admittedly, the WWF never made as big a deal of the limit as the NWA used to, but everyone sort of knew the rule. They were probably never going to be able to do anything to connect with the crowd (most of whom had left by the 30-minute mark, since they showed up to see Warrior and then left; that entire WM has a weird vibe), but even then, it's REALLY flat for a Bret / Shawn match. Shawn works the arm for like 20 minutes and then it just goes nowhere, then Bret goes on offence and nothing much happens.

I blame Bret more than Shawn for the entire thing being kind of a mess. But it's certainly not either guy's finest hour, especially as both would be on fire for the remainder of the year (Shawn had the great Diesel match the next month; Bret came back from his hiatus and made Austin into the most lucrative star in wrestling history).
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  #54  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:41 AM
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Hey wrestling fans, whatever came of Kaiju Big Battel. It seemed like it was gathering some buzz for a while, but then nothing ever came of it.
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  #55  
Old 02-07-2011, 09:02 AM
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I'm watching the match on YouTube. It's not nearly as bad as you say. The first 10 minutes are awkward, but then Bret starts selling. By 15 minutes there's some good drama (including the bit where the timekeeper takes a superkick to the face), and by 30 a fall feels imminent. There's a big pop for Shawn kicking out of a piledriver at around 31 minutes, and they really go after that. McMahon and Lawler do a great job with it. The whole thing has a stiff, intense, emotional feel — basically the opposite of something like today's indy wrestling, which is all amazing exchanges and spots but without any intensity. Maybe that feel is the result of their general distaste for each other plus Bret's frustration with the format and finish, or maybe it's pure work, but all that matters is it has lots of weight.
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  #56  
Old 02-07-2011, 09:11 AM
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Oh, don't get me wrong, the superkick spot is absolute genius. I think you're being too kind to the first half-hour.

I mean, Bret sells a cross-armbreaker at one point like it's a gentle shoulder rub. Granted, he's the last guy you'd go to for MMA-type selling, but... it just doesn't work that well.
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  #57  
Old 02-07-2011, 09:28 AM
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Yeah, Bret could have done better in the first half, but the coldness of it is what leads to the heavy, angry feeling of the second half. Means to an end. I'm at about 50 minutes now and it's really electric by that point. Shawn is selling his back, Bret is selling exhaustion, they're throwing nasty stiff shots at each other, and when McMahon prematurely says "it's over" or "he's got him" at every spot or near-fall, you believe it. Not a perfect match, of course, but absolutely a positive example of how to tell a story in an hour of wrestling.
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  #58  
Old 02-07-2011, 09:33 AM
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That is admittedly one of the matches that I point people to when they bitch about Vince as a PBP guy. Sure, he doesn't know the names of any of the moves, but because he's calling his own angles he's incredible at selling the story aspects.

He was better with Heenan, of course (those Vince / Heenan first-year Raws were awesome), but Lawler isn't bad.

I think - although I kinda got over the whole star rating thing years ago - that Bret and Shawn should be well above 4 stars no matter what and a match with the two of them that doesn't hit that is always going to register as a disappointment. If you want a contrast, watch the Survivor Series 92 match immediately after this one - it's just as intense, but there the story they're telling fits the match format. Plus - Santa!
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  #59  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:00 PM
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Ahhhhhhh shut the hell up, Cole.

Also, damn, never ever EVER name the wrong city if you're a face.
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  #60  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:17 PM
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I watched that Steamboat/Rude match. It was excellent — though not perfect. The last fall was goofy-looking. Rude was great to watch, though, and Ventura is unquestionably the funniest heel color guy ever.

And while this isn't an ironman match, I also watched Taylor/Koloff from Starrcade 1987 after seeing that Lance Storm talked it up on his blog. That match is crazy good. Almost nothing happens in it, but narratively it was huge, and you can tell the finish was so cathartic for the audience. You never see an audience like that today, just eating it up.
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