Welcome to “Interinactivity”, cooler than a Shaemus crowd reaction. This is my return column following my usual summer hiatus. I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer – I certainly did, and taking what is definitely going to become a yearly break certainly does motivate me to start doing this again.
So, during the hiatus I decided to review a couple indy promotions that had shows on GoFightLive. I was kind of excited about it, as it had been years since I had watched any indy shows. (I haven’t considered Ring Of Honor an indy promotion for years, although come to think of it, it’s been about a year since I watched that as well.) Anyway, I was going to do four – then me and Shaw did one, and then I figured I’d maybe just do three. Then I did the second one, and couldn’t go on. What a chore. Anyway, the point is, I abandoned it – aside from a few moments from that first ACW show, there was nothing to get excited about. Sorry about that, although I doubt many people cared. I certainly wouldn’t have.
All right, that’s enough niceties for this year. You guys decided to get uppity about a few things during my absence, didn’t you? Well, don’t worry, I like to think you were just giving me something to do when I got back.
CH Punk: Why is WWE always got a hardon for this foolio? (Referring to WWE officials apparently being impressed with Billy Gunn at RAW 1000.)
Blair: Billy Gunn has not been employed with WWE since 2004. I’ve they’ve had a hardon for him since then, they’ve hid it well up until now.
Michael L: Billy Gunn has always looked in shape. It’s his complete and utter lack of wrestling skills or charisma that has impeded his career outside of a tag team. I wouldn’t mind seeing an Outlaws reunion, but not a return of Gunn as a solo act.
Blair: Fair point, and I don’t disagree. But the thing is, they’ve got Ziggler as a solo act now, and he’s basically a young Billy Gunn. Actually, forget “basically”. He IS a young Billy Gunn. They gave him the same look, the same hair, the same tights… even the same finisher.
Now, let it be known that I’ve never really been a big fan of Billy Gunn, but I’ve never really understood the net’s hatred of him either. And this comment, I don’t understand at all. The guy has had good matches, very few if any great ones – but how many in the WWE actually are capable of having great ones except on the odd occasion? And Gunn can cut promos that, at the very least, are no worse than your Cody Rhodes or Damien Sandow types. I’ve yet to hear or hear of a good Ziggler promo.
I’d be legitimately curious to know which current and regular WWE performers you guys place above Billy Gunn in terms of ring-work? I’d say Punk, Bryan, Claudio, Mysterio, and maybe Del Rio? That’s literally everyone I can think of. Everyone else is either at least on par with him, like I would say Ziggler is, or just downright terrible. When you’re done with that, tell me who has more charisma than he does… again, I’d say Punk, Bryan (and that’s only since this year or so), Cena, and on a good day, Orton. Again, that’s literally it. Certainly not Dolph Ziggler.
As an aside, did you guys know that Billy Gunn’s real name is Monty Sopp? That’s hilarious. Imagine if you walked into WWE, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to start the next phase of your career… and they told you your ring name would be Monty Sopp. That’s right up there with… well, Dolph Ziggler. I think that’s about when I would start looking into personal training certifications.
CH Punk: Its like they’re pushing Dolph so they can say “See IWC we push good workers”
Blair: Ziggler is not a great worker. Ziggler is the best worker out of a handful of really shitty workers. That alone doesn’t make him good.
“Digging Crazy Chicks”
Let’s bust some myths here.
Justin Czerwonka: As much as I love her, I still don’t think it is good to have A.J. be the best thing going on WWE TV today. She over shadowed Sheamus in their match and is now over shadowing Punk and Daniel Bryan.
Blair: Well, no one gives a shit about Shaemus, so I wouldn’t worry about that. Yeah, they over-exposed AJ the MINUTE that they heard that crowd respond in the slightest way, but they do that to everyone. And I think this storyline was pretty silly – BUT, if I’m going to scrutinize this AJ hype, I have to be totally fair, and I have to say I don’t think that she overshadowed Punk and Bryan. She got the ending of the show a couple times, and quite a bit more airtime from what I understand – but that wasn’t for very long, and the end result was a match involving CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
The storyline, though – it’s kind of hard to back guys like Punk and Bryan when you’re waiting for months for one of them to say “fuck this, I’m out. You can have her.” and instead you get to watch them continue to put up with her inane bullshit. I mean, we’ve all had a good friend dating someone crazy and had to be the one to tell them that the whole thing is retarded. I don’t know how good an idea it is to have Punk and Bryan remind us of that friend.
CB: Wow, God forbid one of the girls steps up and shines so bright she gets to dominate an episode of Raw.
Blair: Ah, the old “they’ve stepped up” fallacy.
CB, you know I love you man. But this is silly. AJ didn’t “step up”. She didn’t go to someone and say “you know what, I think I’m gonna develop a crazy edge to my character. Then I’m going to go get involved in a World Title storyline. Make sure you book me lots of TV segments, because this is going to be a big deal.”
They recognized that people were reacting to her – partially to her credit, yes – and they gave her something to do. She followed their instructions. That’s her job. I guess I just don’t totally understand how that’s “stepping up”. What did you think she would do when she had an opportunity to elevate herself, when that almost never happens to girls in wrestling? Are you giving her credit for not refusing to do it or not half-assing it, which would be ridiculous and self-defeating, not to mention hazardous for her long-term employment prospects?
CB: It’s a testament to AJ’s character work and star power, and your idea that she has no business out-shining Sheamus or end Raw on top is antiquated, outdated and purely foolish. Get with the times man!
Blair: I read the recap you’re referring to, and at NO point does Justin imply that the reason she has no business out-shining Shaemus or ending RAW is because she’s a female, which I’m guessing is what you’re referring to by saying that the idea is “antiquated” and “outdated”. I think it has more to do with the idea that she basically hasn’t accomplished anything, and that, yet again, they’ve taken a somewhat-interested crowd reaction to mean that AJ should be in 10 segments per week – and, most importantly, that it would be easy to over-expose her. Which they have. That’s what I got out of it.
CB: AJ is dominating every scene she’s in without having to avoid asking if her friend is getting drugged up. (In reference to the TNA Velvet Sky / Angelina Love / Winter drug-time-travel-rape storyline from a couple years ago.)
Blair: First of all, the reason… the ONLY reason, that she doesn’t have to do that is because she hasn’t been booked to do so. Trust me, if WWE asked her to do that, or something equally silly, she’d do it. And if she was asked to do so with no pants on, she’d do that too.
Second, I can’t believe you would trivialize Angelina Love’s time-travel-date-rape disaster. That traumatized Angelina so badly that she was never seen in TNA again. Are you happy with yourself now, you son of a bitch?
Joseph Hargrove: Great stuff. I’m a gamer myself so to have Queen AJ show love for video games makes me smile.
Blair: Okay, now this, THIS is a perfect example of something that I’m MORE than happy to give AJ credit for.
Part of the reason people got into AJ is because she was smart enough to try to tap into the gamer / comic / nerd community. That’s not a shot at anyone who may be in that community – I was a gamer my whole life up until getting bored with it a couple years ago. But this was definitely a smart move on her part, whether she’s an actual nerd or not – for all we know, her brother or cousin is telling her what to say to impress nerds and gamers. Nothing wrong with that – frankly, I’m surprised more Divas haven’t tried that over the years.
While we’re on the topic of things I want to give people credit for, I will say the one thing I enjoyed about the Punk / Bryan / AJ storyline was that WWE didn’t make AJ a clear-cut good or bad guy, in a storyline where the two actual wrestlers involved were very clearly marked as face (Punk) and heel (Bryan). That part was a nice touch.
Mike Gojira: The ball was given to AJ and she is absolutely running with it.
Blair: See “stepped up” comment from above.
Joel Leonard: Additional credit also needs to go to AJ. I have no idea where the long-term goals for this character lay (and I’m willing to bet that WWE creative is not so sure about that either) but she has defiantly made the most out of what she has been given.
Blair: Again, baseless. For all you know, she simply takes direction well. What exactly is it that she’s done that’s so hard?
Mike Gojira: And that’s another thing: the focus on AJ has superseded anything John Cena is currently involved in. For the first time in MONTHS, the WWE Championship has taken center-stage and John Cena is in the back seat, and it’s all thanks to a completely mental and emotionally unstable young lady.
Blair: No, it didn’t. AJ, Punk and Bryan may have had a few more segments, but aside from the one or two weeks where they ended the show, Cena was still clearly the one at the top of the card. If you need any more evidence of that, take a look at who main-evented the PPV where Punk, Bryan and AJ closed their feud.
(In fairness to Gojira, his comment was written before that PPV happened – and, he’s right that Punk, Bryan and AJ SHOULD have closed the show. But as we know now, that’s not what happened. I never thought them closing the show would be a possibility though, not as long as Cena was still around, unless things changed very drastically.)
Mike Gojira: My only concern, one that has been raised by others, is whether or not the WWE has an end game strategy for AJ. Is she simply a prop for the Bryan/Punk feud, to be pushed aside when she’s outlived her usefulness? Look at what happened to Eve. She took the status of an afterthought in the Cena/Kane feud and turned into a great heel….and once that happened, she became utterly useless. She didn’t get involved in matches, she didn’t feud with Zack Ryder or even other Divas. She was just sort of “there,” sneering in the background of Johnny Ace’s promos.
I’m hoping that this is not the most that AJ will make of her WWE career; that this achievement will not be the highest rung of the ladder of success. Let her wrestle or work as a valet to top tier talent. Don’t let her fall back into the shadows like those who came before her.
Blair: Well, you got what you wanted – she didn’t fizzle after the Punk / Bryan thing. Good for her. More than that, good for those of you who supported her. And that’s not even sarcasm – let’s face it, it’s not often these days that WWE listens to the fans. So now, WWE HAS listened to the fans… and now, AJ is GM of RAW. Good for you.
So, when people start getting sick of her in a couple months, (well, anyone who hasn’t already) those of you that over-reacted to her should just remember – this isn’t someone like Shaemus that WWE just decided to throw out in front of you for no good reason or because he spots Triple H at the gym. This is someone who got some level of actual response from fans, and then, to her credit, somehow got people solidly behind her. WWE listened, and now she’s in a prominent role.
You’re the ones who put her there. Just remember that.
Kyle Fitta: Triple H did that long promo on last night’s Raw because of the “You tapped out chants” he received at Summerslam. At Summerslam, WWE didn’t believe the fans didn’t take his loss serious. He was not supposed to do that promo last night.
Blair: Well, they were right. The fans didn’t take his loss seriously. No fucking way. I have an impossible time believing that even the most naive WWE fan would honestly believe for a second that Triple H is ending his in-ring career in this fashion… to Brock Lesnar of all people.
Not only did they not take his loss seriously, I saw his speech on YouTube and I can tell you that afterwards, no one took his loss, OR his retirement, any more seriously than before.
It being the beginning of this column’s return, I feel the need to remind people that just because I may not agree with what you’re saying, or may even in fact think that some of you are completely off your rockers, I do thank everyone for all your contributions and the chance to respond to what you clearly took time to type. I have fun with this, so remember – nothing personal. You’re good people. Let’s move on to a new segment I call…
So, I’ve been doing “Interinactivity” for over a year now, and have been on Inside Pulse about half a year longer than that. So, I thought it would be fun to start checking out some comments from the past. I started browsing them and there’s some entertaining stuff in there.
I thought I’d start with a great one from one of my very first TNA recaps, which is what I originally came to the site to do…
Feb 10, 2011
John Perichon: This is one of the shittiest, amateurish and retarded review of a wrestling program i have ever read. Go soak you mouth with Cena’s balls you WWE mark. Anyone who enjoyed the Rumble with all the Hornswoggle shit should be shot. You’re a moron.
This segment is going to be a lot of fun.
Let’s get to…
Returning from vacation means I have double the New Rules to start with! You lucky ducks, you.
New Rule #1: If your World Champion is able to steal a car on national TV, then beat the fuck out of it before taking a shit in it on Tout… then bullying can’t possibly be that bad.
New Rule #2: Someone in WWE needs to explain the criteria now being used to choose General Managers. Aside from that random girl who’s name I refuse to Google running WWECW, who the WWE has picked for their GM roles in the past is one of the few storyline-choices that WWE could back up pretty much all the time. A girl who they’ve tried to tell us is crazy for months now doesn’t seem that logical a choice. They’re now putting about as much effort into choosing GM’s as they are into choosing who wins World Heavyweight Titles and Royal Rumbles.
New Rule #3: Someone in WWE also needs to explain why Damien Sandow thinks that committing a dancing hate crime against Brodus Clay is fighting against absurdity. To get further into his head, I recommend tracking down his parents, doing an expose with them on his upbringing, and showing it on RAW. It will help fans get further into the character – the only potential wrinkle in the plan is if WWE even knows how to get in touch with The Genius and Dean Douglas these days.
New Rule #4: Speaking of Sandow / Clay, replacing something that was probably going to be terrible with something else that’s guaranteed to be terrible isn’t something to complain about. In fact, given what the SummerSlam card consisted of, you know you were only going to go and take a shit during Brodus Clay and Damien Sandow anyway.
New Rule #5: Finding a way to get most of the black guys you employ into a single TV segment is not a “tag-team division”. It’s racism.
New Rule #6: If WWE was looking for people to ask about Triple H’s “mindset” after his loss to Brock, they didn’t need to send cameras all the way to Texas to talk to Shawn Michaels. They should have just asked Dolph Ziggler. He was right there in the building, and dude is a former DX member and everything.
New Rule #7: Speaking of Shawn Michaels, I know WWE has 3 hours of RAW to kill, but poor old HBK has done enough over the years, and he’s retired. Don’t make him work harder trying to put over Triple H in a pre-taped interview segment than he did during his last 3 years as an active wrestler.
New Rule #8: This is a lot of rules in one week for a single subject, but this one can’t be ignored. Someone needs to take the Klingon dictionary away from Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Seriously – I know they’re getting older, but they use the words “honorable” and “warrior” so much now that they may as well get the ridges cast on their foreheads and refer to each other as Martok and Worf.
New Rule #9: Whoever WWE is employing to find just a COUPLE people on Tout that they can broadcast on TV, who DON’T resemble the South Park kids after they got hooked on World Of Warcraft… is not being paid enough. It’s like a joint awareness convention for acne and diabetes on there.
Of course, this rule would only be relevant if Tout wasn’t a total dumbfuck idea to begin with.
New Rule #10: Tout was a total dumbfuck idea to begin with.
Well, that’s all the time we have for this week. Again, any and all comments and thoughts are always appreciated, or you can feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. I’m back on Twitter as well @BlairADouglas if you’re into such things – last year, I lasted a whole 2 months on it before getting annoyed and shutting it down.
This has been “Interinactivity”. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.
I’ll be in my trailer.