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Mr. McMahon, The Donald and Stone Cold
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jdw
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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:22 pm    Post subject: Mr. McMahon, The Donald and Stone Cold Reply with quote

I thought the segment on Monday was dying an ugly death, and turned to Cheetah and said:

"Maybe we can get lucky, the 'glass will break' and Stone Cold will come out here and save this thing."

And the glass broke.

As Stone Cold came out here, I commented to her that Stone Cold doesn't need to bring his A Game to save this thing... even his slightly buzzed B Game would be an upgrade to the shittiness of the segment.

I don't know if I would say Stone Cold brought his A+ game, but in the context of the current tripe of the WWE, it sure felt like no worse than his A- Game.

Like the old Stone Cold, he laid down the law even to the Babyface in this storyline - The Donald. While he didn't initially seem like he was going for the "What?!" spots, once the crowd went there, is instantly changed his delivery patern to let them have their fun.

While one might think he was making The Donald look like a lesser babyface, it really wasn't that. This was old school Stone Cold vs. Mr. McMahon where Stone Cold gets across he isn't exactly alligned with the Babyface while Mr. McMahon gets to smirk and laugh about it. Then in an instant, he's done with the Babyface, Mr. McMahon has his attention, and we're off into all the old Stone Cold vs. Mr. McMahon spots that they almost can fall out of bed and hit. I'm calling to Cheetah for "The Gulp", and there's Vince doing it.

Vince trying to carry a really shitty Donald... I feel for Vince, he was trying... but Vince isn't as great as he once was, and in this setting Donald is, as Cheetah pointed out several times, just not hitting the notes for a *wrestling* crowd.

Opposite Stone Cold, Vince slipped back into the comfort zone and was just selling the spots for Stone Cold to near perfection. I'm not going to say they were bringing their old A+ Game here, but even at A- levels, there us such a clear seperation between the notes and rythms they are able to hit and those of the rest of the way past it and never was talent is able to hit. Edge rambling about Jeff Hardy and calling out the latest version of an untalented big man? Boring. The Michaels-Cena stuff? This wasn't anymore interesting when Benoit and Angle were in these roles several years back, and frankly there isn't any humor in this while the drama is all to predictable and forced.

Austin vs. Vince for the two millionth time came across more natural and *fun*.

This is similar to the times in the past that Rock or Foley would come back and have something moderately interesting to talk about. They were so clear better on the mic that the rest of the promotion, even when they weren't as good as they were back in the glory days, that it's largely sad to watch the rest of the promotion.

The company is "hot", which is a good thing.

I think they're going to have a tough time sustaining it unless several folks step up into the same level of performance that Austin, Vince, Rock and Foley brought to the table back in the hot days. I don't see anyone in the promotion doing it. For all the praise that Edge gets, he's closer to Triple H in terms of compelling delivery than he is to what those other four brought to the table. I guess those that pimp Trip to heaven as a top heel will think that's enough.

It's not.


John
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kjh



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:28 am    Post subject: Re: Mr. McMahon, The Donald and Stone Cold Reply with quote

jdw wrote:
Austin vs. Vince for the two millionth time came across more natural and *fun*.


Maybe that's because the creative team trust Austin and Vince to be able to wing it, so they aren't as heavily scripted as the current generation of stars like John Cena and Edge. No wonder Cena and Edge often come across as predictable and forced on the mic when they are hamstrung with lame generic material that they have to use. The same people are scripting word for word current top heel Edge today, that were scripting Triple H before his heel turn, so it's unsurprising that Edge's delivery is closer to Hunter's than Austin's, Vince's, Rock's or Foley's in their primes. Until they give their performers with natural charisma some freedom to ad lib, gone forever will be the spontaneity and excitement of the old days.
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corrado



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've actually been bored by the return of Austin. he hasn't been his best since he returned last week. Just same ol' same ol'. They just can't replicate the success of 1998 no matter what they do.

You didn't see Austin on ECW last week do a very boring and awful survey with the fans asking who will win at Mania. He interviewed people from ringside and the segment died from there. My friend hilariously remarked that his new shirt will be prophetic. That is. "Arrive, Raise Hell, Leave." Which given Austin's history with the WWE, may come true, if segments like last week's ECW are true, with him blaming Creative for something and then walking out. So I predict in 3 weeks, he'll be gone. And the WWE will court Hogan and he'll return.

As for the Rock, he actually did return last week. Albeit in pre-taped segment. he said Mcmahon will have his head shaved, with the term "shriveled-up monkey penis." being used quite frequently. Yeah, not how I would use the Rock either. The live crowd and everyone else though ate it up and the segment was a big hit. And I guess that would make it a success.

But someone who was used quite well in the returning wrestler genre was Mick Foley. Every time Foley has come back in the past 4 years, he's stolen the show. Whether its a match with Randy orton, his various feuds last year, and even referring a Kevin nash/HHH match, his promos sink you in right there. Last year, his heel angle was so brilliantly done and so well-written that it was a far cry from what you normally find in the WWE today.

Last night on ECW, he managed to convince people into thinking the ECW Originals have a shot against the New Breed at Mania. His pep talk was far and away the best thing on ECW in quite some time. Though when you have Bobby Lindsey as your champ, that's not saying much. Still putting Foley in charge of ECW, storyline-wise, would be a huge asset for the slumping ECW. Knowing WWE, that'll never happen.

For those raving about the WWE being "back" after years of being less than stellar, when HHH returns, all those raves will be few and far-between. And we'll be stuck with the HHH show again.
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Paul Jacobi



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Mr. McMahon, The Donald and Stone Cold Reply with quote

jdw wrote:

The Michaels-Cena stuff? This wasn't anymore interesting when Benoit and Angle were in these roles several years back, and frankly there isn't any humor in this while the drama is all to predictable and forced.

John


This week was an off week for the Michaels/Cena stuff....The video packages a week or two earlier showing Michaels turning on all his partners and the will he or won't he has been pretty good (it was especially strong building up to the last PPV.

-Paul Jacobi-
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

corrado wrote:
You didn't see Austin on ECW last week do a very boring and awful survey with the fans asking who will win at Mania.


Didn't see it, and it doesn't sound like he brought his A-Game (more likely C or F game).

My point isn't that "jdw loved seeing Stone Cold & Mr. McMahon just like the old days".

It's that there remain issues in the product when Stone Cold can step out in *any* segement and instantly make it obvious that a large chunk of the product sucks relative to where the product has been.

I don't really care to see Stone Cold doing the same old shit for the next ten years, and Vince playing Mr. McMahon anymore. But when you see the flash of "quality" peforming, delivering line, playing the crowd in the palm of their hands... it just makes it more obvious how forced so much of the past 4+ years have been.

The comments about heavily scripting the current generation of stars like John Cena and Edge is valid. On the other hand, Rock at his prime was about as scripted as anyone else. Foley will likely claim that he wasn't scripted, but I think if we scratched deeply we'd find that much of what he was going to do out there was heavily thought out, blocked out, and to a degree "scripted".

Scripting, planning and blocking out aren't evils. After all, much of popular entertainment is highly scripted, and much of what we think is spontanuoues isn't.

The combo of bad scripts, bad writers, bad direction, bad acting... those things are bigger evils.

One of my favorite things in the WCCW Digests was Flair and Fritz on a split screen in "different locations", one assumes Ric being there via satalite. At one point, Ric just starts rambling nonsense that loses the focus of the build up and segement. Fritz has to literally reel Ric back in by pointing out that he's talking nonsense. You also have Ric breaking "kayfabe" of the segment by looking over in the direction of the studio that Fritz is in when Fritz raises his voice.

Unscripted in the "old days" wasn't always great. Some guys could pull it off. Some sucked. Some just started rambling and needed to be reeled in.


John
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corrado



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: Mr. McMahon, The Donald and Stone Cold Reply with quote

kjh wrote:
Maybe that's because the creative team trust Austin and Vince to be able to wing it, so they aren't as heavily scripted as the current generation of stars like John Cena and Edge. No wonder Cena and Edge often come across as predictable and forced on the mic when they are hamstrung with lame generic material that they have to use. The same people are scripting word for word current top heel Edge today, that were scripting Triple H before his heel turn, so it's unsurprising that Edge's delivery is closer to Hunter's than Austin's, Vince's, Rock's or Foley's in their primes. Until they give their performers with natural charisma some freedom to ad lib, gone forever will be the spontaneity and excitement of the old days.


Actually Edge has been great on the mic for the past year. He's far and away the best at promos in the WWE. Booker T is also great on the mic. He's at his best though, on color commentary. He calls the matches better than all the other commentators. Seriously.

But for the most part yeah, almost everyone in WWE today is heavily scripted. Monty Brown is a good example. Monty in TNA had crazy promos. Now he sounds very generic. He lost all of his uniqueness when he went to Titan.

Say what you want about TNA but at least a lot of the promos aren't heavily scripted. But rather a promo laced with humor that is rarely seen in the WWE today. Christian Cage is a great example. Christian was one of the last IMO to be very unique on the mic when he was with WWE. And now that he's with TNA as a heel, his talent shows. Everyone of his heel promos are great and show lots of humor. You don't see much of Russo's idiotic booking in his promos. That's why I'm kinda glad Steiner is back with TNA. He has more leeway to cut insane diatribes, which he rarely did in the WWE.

As for Austin, most of his cameo guest star roles the past few years have been his 'C-F game" He sounds more drunk than his earlier promos. One of his promos, JBL outshined him. At the time, that was very shocking. I guess I rather see Heel Austin again. That was imo the most I ever enjoyed Austin. It was so different than Face Austin and so much more original and unique. Particlarly his comedy bits with Kurt Angle.
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eron



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think there is a living soul who didn't enjoy heel Austin. It was superior to pretty much everything out there. It only started to look bad when he was beating up Tazz in the Alliance, because it was just dumb, but otherwise, heel Austin was perfection. Problem is, even with Austin doing everything possible to make people hate him, people just loved him too much. It was a necessary evil that didn't work and would never work, not like Rock's heel turn (which people legit booed and by the end, helped everyone remember why they loved The Rock in the first place).

Rock and Austin are on such a different echelon to probably every single performer in WWE history that it is painful to see. Fraud marquee performers like HBK and HHH (which, even if they sell and draw their own share, are nowhere near Austin or Rock's level and never have), when they bring their A game, are still C games to Austin and Rock. Even Hogan, who will probably go down in time as a larger star than both men because he was a top draw in three different eras (80's, 90's and 2002) never had the ability to craft a promo, sell a storyline or tell a story in the ring like those two. Rock and Austin may have never been superior wrestlers to the rest of the roster, but damn if they didn't embody everything that was right about "Sports Entertainment".

I was never a Rock, or Austin fan until Wrestlemania X-7. Then I looked back at everything and realized just why everyone else was.
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corrado



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah Hollywood Rock from 2003 was a great gimmick. It wasn't as good as Heel Austin but he had its moments. Ironically at Wrestlemania X-9, Heel Rock actually got a louder pop than Face Austin. And that's hard to do IMO. Outpop the Texas Rattlesnake. And as a heel too.

Another superstar who fits the "Stay babyface" mold is Undertaker. Most of Undertaker's heel runs have been short-lived. That's not to say he was awful as a heel. Because he wasn't. His 2002 run as "Big evil" was great. The funniest part of that run was "Say What if you sleep with your sister!" And he was great as a wrestler during that timeframe. He had a memorable match with Jeff Hardy of all people. Then he slowly turned Face again, but I wasn't upset since he's great as a face anyway.

I actually like his 1999 Ministry of Darkness run. His feud with Vince was great until the Russo swerve with Vince being the Higher Power. Before he took a hiatus in 1999, they expermiented with his character a little. he started talking Southern, and started wearing outfits that would foreshadow his "American bad Ass" gimmick.

But like I said before, he should stay babyface since the crowd supports and loves him no matter what. Which will be made more clearly, come Mania, when he faces another babyface Batista.
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Kevin Tyler



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Before he took a hiatus in 1999, they expermiented with his character a little. he started talking Southern, and started wearing outfits that would foreshadow his "American bad Ass" gimmick.


And this resulted in some of the worst Taker moments in his character history. The tag team with Big Show was dreadful, and the promos were some of the worst ramblings I've heard in wrestling.

If anyone has a tape of the RAW which was Jericho's second appearance, check out the Taker promo he mercifully interrupts. What the Hell was Taker talking about? Stealing Big Show's gas? Big Show skinning Taker alive? Biking through a desert? Huh?
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eron



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He got one good line out of it.

"I would rather be the Giant Has-Been than the Giant that never was."

Something like that. Aside from that, yeah, that feud sucked and never hit the potential it should have.
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kjh



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: Mr. McMahon, The Donald and Stone Cold Reply with quote

jdw wrote:
The company is "hot", which is a good thing.

I think they're going to have a tough time sustaining it unless several folks step up into the same level of performance that Austin, Vince, Rock and Foley brought to the table back in the hot days.


One off WWE ratings luv - no Austin and Trump leads to ratings falling by almost half a ratings point. And the last two week's ratings haven't been significantly higher than their post football season average. You would think if this "hot" run was going to last, Raw's ratings wouldn't drop off so drastically just 2 weeks before the biggest show of the year.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to come across as doom & gloom. A lot of what Dave banked "hot" on was the house show business. That's kind of an area to keep an eye on, and how it sustains, grows or goes down.


John
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Frank_Jewett
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back many years, RAW ratings typically rose in the first quarter of the year as football season ended and the build up to Wrestlemania began.

If the Mania storylines were compelling, ratings stayed high through Mania and into May before sagging during the summer months. Some years however the ratings clearly spiked and dropped before Mania as "groundhog" fans who came back for Mania season didn't like what they saw and went back to occaisional viewing.

In 1999 and 2000, the WWE drew bigger ratings in April and May as the company built off the excitement from Mania. In 2001, ratings peaked in mid-January, then slumped, rebounded for two weeks in April, and then slumped again until the Invasion storyline spiked interest in late July.

In 2002, ratings peaked at the end of March, then quickly faded. In 2003, ratings spiked up on March 3rd and quickly faded. In 2004, ratings peaked on March 22nd and quickly faded. In 2005, there wasn't much of a peak. In 2006, ratings peaked in late January and early February and then slumped off for several weeks.

The 4.3 on February 26th looks like the peak for early 2007. It's not a good sign that ratings have slumped since then. The Mania storylines aren't building excitement and generating "you gotta see this" word of mouth. Since they won the war, the WWE has found it increasingly difficult to create "you gotta see this" storylines.

Call me a cynic, but when Donald Trump is reduced to co-authoring books with professional real estate guru Robert Kiyosaki, he's not really A-List material, despite the reality show. This is another example of middle aged promoter Vince being miles out of step with his target audience. They would prefer to watch Simon Cowell make fun of Vince.

Frank
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corrado



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To show how much the Donald cares about this event, here's a summary of his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman (from pwinsider.com):

Quote:
Donald Trump appeared tonight on The Late Show With David Letterman.

After some humorous discussion about the Miss USA situation, fatherhood and Regis Philbin's heart surgery, they went to commercial.

After the break, they talked a bit about Barbara Walters and Rosie O'Donnell, with Letterman joking that he thought the bad blood was "like professional wrestling", which got a laugh from the audience and a smirk from Trump. There was some more talk (and a lot of jokes) about Rosie, then Letterman began to discuss the upcoming season of The Apprentice. Trump joked about how people yell "You're Fired" at him everywhere he goes, and that everyone who yells it thinks they are the first person to think of doing that. Letterman then plugged The Apprentice for this Sunday, and that was it.

That's right, not even a mention of Wrestlemania, the possibility of losing his hair, Vince McMahon, appearing in front of 70,000 people on Sunday, nothing.

I guess that's a different kind of "Billionaire Bitchslap".


That's something the WWE didn't want. To have their main celebrity NOT plug the big Mania event.
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corrado



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's more on the Donald's attitude towards tonight's WM from PWTorch:

Quote:
Donald Trump may not be entering WrestleMania 23 with the enthusiasm and dedication that WWE fans (and management) would hope on a show of this magnitude. Trump has been anything but enthusiastic about his wrestling involvement, which was suggested to him by NBC Universal execs who saw it as an opportunity to market the NBC "Apprentice" show and also NBC-owned USA's Raw. Trump has been matter-of-fact and aloof behind the scenes, acting as if he's above pro wrestling. He has stressed consistently in media interviews he's only doing this because Vince McMahon promised to give a big check to charity. An ominious sign of the Trump-WWE relationship is that he didn't mention WrestleMania on Letterman's show on Friday night, just two days before WrestleMania.
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