Posts Tagged ‘cm punk’

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by @anarchyroll
10/13/2014

I have written far too little about Ring of Honor. As someone who was a fan of the original ECW, neither of the big two come close to being as good as the ROH product on a consistent basis in my opinion.

If you’re not familiar with Ring of Honor, it was founded by Paul Heyman’s #1, Gabe Sapolsky in 2002. Some of the stars and superstars that ROH has produced to TNA and WWE since their inception are;

  • CM Punk
  • Daniel Bryan
  • Samoa Joe
  • Seth Rollins
  • Austin Aries
  • Cesaro
  • Low Ki/ Kaval

The Ring of Honor product, style, and presentation has also been copied/used to build TNA’s X Divsion as well as WWE’s developmental territory NXT.

Years before either Chris Jericho or CM Punk were inserting the label Best in the World into their promos and onto their merchandise, fans were shouting those words after seeing ROH’s finest matches to the point they named their biggest show of the year Best in the World, which takes place every June.

If you’re an older wrestling fan who liked the Original ECW; then Ring of Honor is the product for your. If you’re a younger fan who likes NXT better than either RAW or Smackdown; Ring of Honor is the product for you.

I saw ROH live for the first time in 2005, during their 3rd Anniversary Show. The main event was Austin Aries vs Samoa Joe for the ROH World Title. I was hooked. The show stealer was Brian Danielson vs Homicide in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.

Ring of Honor has long been established as the top American independent professional wrestling promotion. They are the ECW of this era. They are about the best between the ropes, bell to bell wrestling on the planet. They are the only product in America that can rival the between the ropes action of Japan. If you like the matches that CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, and Cesaro have been having on WWE TV for the last two years, then you’ll love Ring of Honor.

I have seen ROH live at least once a year, every year, since 2005. The product not only thoroughly entertains me, but consistently restores my faith in pro wrestling. My personal taste is pro wrestling is no better or worse than anyone else’s. I care far less about storylines and characters than I do about fast paced, physical, high intensity pro wrestling matches. I am fully aware that to draw big money like WWE has done for 50 years, the model of success is inverted from my taste.

Since 2010, there are very few who have seen the product who would disagree with the thought of; if ROH had the corporate backing that TNA has had, ROH would be in a much more prominent place in the pro wrestling and sports entertainment landscape. ROH has routinely proven they are able to produce memorable, unique, entertaining characters, promos, and storylines. People like Jimmy Jacobs, Truth Martini, and Kevin Steen have been involved in programs and promos that would have slid perfectly into the WWE’s Attitude Era.

What makes ROH great in my opinion is that in their world/universe, wrestling didn’t stop evolving after the end of the Attitude Era. They didn’t hit the pause, rewind, or erase buttons in the wake of the Austin/Rock retirements, the Chris Benoit incident, or the John Cena PG Era. ROH is what ECW on SyFy would have looked like if Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer would have been allowed to control the product as opposed to Kevin Dunn and Vince McMahon.

It is important that there be three major pro wrestling promotions operating within the United States. For the purpose of competition, innovation, and evolution of the business as a whole.

  1. NWA, AWA, and WWWF
  2. WWF, WCW, and ECW
  3. WWE, TNA, and ROH

Me and all the other smart marks will keep crossing our fingers and hoping someone with a lot of money decides to invest in ROH. They can make it if money isn’t as much of a limiting issue as it has always been for them. They have manufactured new superstars. They have a unique presentation style. They believe in storyline continuity and character evolution. Their product doesn’t insult anyone’s intelligence. The product would fit like a glove on FX, Adult Swim, or Showtime. The product isn’t overly vulgar or obscene. ROH routinely walks the line between family friendly and for adults only, they always have, and have always had the proper proportions.

Without ROH I likely wouldn’t be a wrestling fan anymore. What John Cena and the PG Era did to WWE and what Hulk Hogan and Eric Bishoff did to TNA were both more than enough for me to do, what so many fans of my generation have done; make a permanent switch to exclusive mixed martial arts viewing. But ROH pulls me back from the ledge everytime I need to be. With their great matches, clean finishes, intense rivalries, straight to the point promos, and continuous evolution I can’t recommend ROH enough to the casual fan whose looking for something different to Super Cena and the not ready for prime time booking of Impact Wrestling.

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by @anarchyroll
5/20/2014

Daniel Bryan, the WWE, and this generation of wrestling fans got lucky. His neck injury has turned out to be minor. That’s the good news.

The bad news is WWE has traditionally waited far too long to give the most popular and most deserving wrestlers the proper full push until it is too late and an injury cuts short their run at the top.

  • Steve Austin (neck) Should have gotten the belt a full year before winning it at WM 14
  • Eddie Guerrero (heart attack) By the time WWE got around to getting him his overdue second title reign, it was too late.
  • Edge (neck) Although they got around to giving him a plethora of title runs, he again had to wait two years too long.
  • Christian (concussions) Christian’s first WWE/World Title run should have been 2004, check the tape.
  • Dolph Ziggler (concussions) Makes me take a sad deep gasp just thinking about it. Will he ever be trusted with the big belt again?
  • CM Punk (knees) As time passes it appears his plethora of nagging injuries made him want to quit. He was world title material in 2006.

 

Daniel Bryan has been the most popular wrestler in the company for two years now. Cena sells the shirts, but Bryan sells the tickets. The Yes Movement started at WrestleMania 28 and Bryan had to wait til 30 to get the belt. That is ridiculous.

Dolph Ziggler as a heel, had large crowds in major media markets shouting for him to get the world title two years ago. The arena exploded when he won the belt at Night After Mania 2013. The man he is currently sharing dog house bitch duty with, Damien Sandow, who also should be in the main event scene, will both likely be in purgatory until another top name quits or retires by choice or by injury.

What if Daniel Bryan had to retire? What if he still does? Neck injuries in wrestling don’t just go away. Just ask Steve Austin. Just ask Edge.

Anytime a wrestler is forced to retire due to injury, it sucks. If the most popular wrestler of his generation has to retire do to injury (like Steve Austin) it not only sucks but can create a half decade dark era that the industry has to slowly dig it’s way out of (2003-2007). The next Daniel Bryan is not ready. The next Daniel Bryan is probably just paying to enter a wrestling academy. The industry can’t handle Bryan retiring and can’t rely on Cena anymore.

I would love to think Ziggler, Sandow, Cesaro, Barrett, Cody, Ambrose, Rollins, Sami Zayn, and/or Adrian Neville could get pushed to the top spot. But none of them are ready. Ziggler, Sandow, Cesaro, Cody, and Barrett could be ready by the end of this year. But they each need a full six months of being treated seriously for the common fans to look at them seriously again. Barrett is well on his way in that regard. Cesaro has been slipping since aligning with Heyman somehow. Ziggler and Sandow, what did they do to deserve what they’re getting?

The moral of the story is strike while the iron is hot and don’t wait years to put the big belt(s) on guys who get over, mega over, with the fans. The consequences are too severe. Remember 2003? I do, and I wish I didn’t. Remember 1993? I do, and keep trying to forget. Those dark eras weren’t just bad creatively, it was bad financially. How many indies went belly up because wrestling was lame, stale, and not doing good box office because the next generation of stars wasn’t ready to carry the business?

Hopefully this will serve as a wake up call. But after losing $300 million in one day, I’m sure Vince McMahon has other things on his mind.

 

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@anarchyroll
5/1/2014

I am still in a happily subdued state of shock that Brian Danielson is now officially, without any doubt, of any kind, the man who will replace John Cena and take a place in history alongside; Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Sting, The Undertaker, Steve Austin, Goldberg, The Rock, and Triple H. How awesomely surreal.

The leader of the “Yes Movement” has come a long way from the Rexplex in New Jersey. The man who is undoubtably on the Mt. Rushmore of Ring of Honor is can now make a completely legitimate case to be put on the Mt. Rushmore of WWE and the history of professional wrestling. Make no mistake, Daniel Bryan and his “Yes! Yes! Yes!” gimmick is that mainstream. Just as mainstream as anything that John Cena, Steve Austin, Ric Flair, or Hulk Hogan have done before him. And he is just getting started.

Daniel Bryan has at least five years as the face of the WWE left in him and five more years after passing the torch to the next guy whenever that is. Nothing short of a freak of nature accident can stop that. He is not going to burn out because he would have by now. The people aren’t going to burn out on him because if they were, they would’ve at the Royal Rumble. Now, he is the champion of the people just as much or more so than DDP or The Rock ever were.

How awesome is that?! The American Dragon is now The Man in the world of pro wrestling and sports entertainment.

I used to be an anti-Brian Danielson fan. I would boo him at ROH shows that came to Chicago Ridge. I would heckle his fans who thought the sun rose and set out of his ass. I would get into shouting matches over how he didn’t deserve to hold the ROH Title for over a year. Ironically he won me over during his ROH farewell tour which was dubbed The Final Countdown. That tour was chronicled in the awesome wrestling documentary “The Wrestling Road Diaries” staring Bryan, Sal Rinauro, and Colt Cabana. During that tour Danielson had two matches that completely blew me away as a wrestling fan. One I saw in person against Austin Aries, the other was his last match in the company against Nigel McGuiness. For me personally, and what I find entertaining, those two matches were borderline perfect and they took place within weeks of each other.

“The Wrestling Road Diaries” showed that Danielson actually had the one thing all of his critics (myself included at the time) said he was devoid of, personality. It also showed that I had blinders on as a hater, by showing him cutting quality promos in front of the curtain. The documentary came out after Danielson reported to WWE developmental, where he didn’t remain for long as he was soon thrust into the spotlight for the ECW on Syfy replacement NXT (which has since become WWE’s developmental territory.) I have, to this day, watched only a handful of NXT episodes. The bulk were during the first season of the Syfy show. It was immediately apparent to me that the now rebranded Daniel Bryan was head and shoulders the most talented person on camera. Chris Jericho as a heel, World Heavyweight Champion, broke character on an episode of NXT to say that Daniel Bryan was “a superstar already” in advance of a match they would have together a couple of weeks later.

In a weird way it always seemed to me like Bryan was being groomed to be the top guy, but that was probably rose-colored glasses. I am still under the impression his “firing” in 2010 was/is a work. His first show “back” he main evented Summerslam, the next month he won the US Title, a year later he won Money in the Bank, six months later he was World Heavyweight Champion, he was involved in one of the two world title matches at WrestleMania 28, spent the following four months feuding for either the World Heavyweight or WWE Title, then held the tag titles for eight months, shortly before main eventing Summerslam again and pinning John Cena clean for the WWE Title.

Bryan hasn’t just fought against the odds, he has leveraged fortuitous events against the odds being used to hold him down. Bryan leveraged WWE’s desire to erase the history of Chris Benoit in his favor by being cast in history as the new Chris Benoit without the steroids or skeletons in the closet. Bryan leveraged his ability to make a middle class living on the independent and international wrestling scene(s) to not be just another mid carder walking on egg shells, not being afraid of losing his job and therefore willing to take the risks necessary to win over management. Bryan leveraged his personal happiness by having a successful romantic relationship and a strong family life (as shown in WRD) to not let the business drag him down when things weren’t going his way. And finally, Bryan leveraged CM Punk’s decision to walk out on the company and the live crowds’ habitual revolt against the product being put on before them to save the day when WrestleMania XXX was left without a featured match and with a proposed main event guaranteed to get booed out of the stadium.

Now Bryan sits on top of the mountain and isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon, and we the wrestling business is better for it. Why? Daniel Bryan not just being a champion but being the face of the company means the following things that will have ripple effects on the industry for years to come:

  1. The era of the big man bias is over
  2. Independent wrestlers are and will be taken seriously as main event players
  3. John Cena’s run has finally come to an end

The corner has been turned, a chapter is being written, a new era has begun. The era of the next ten years will be led by a junior heavyweight indy guy! What a great time to be a wrestling fan.

Four years before Chris Jericho and six years before CM Punk adopted the moniker “Best in the World”, Brian Danielson had that title along with the ROH World Championship and defended both rigorously across North America, Europe, and Japan. It was assumed that he would always be just an indy guy, maybe the best indy guy ever, but an indy guy nonetheless. When he was signed it was assumed he would get the same treatment as his good friend Colt Cabana (toil aimlessly in developmental, only to be called up the main roster for job duty, and swiftly giving his pink slip). When Bryan main evented Sumerslam and won the US Title less than six weeks apart it was thought he was going to be a mid card mechanic for a few years at best. When he won Money in the Bank followed by the World Heavyweight Title both were dismissed as being token attempts to silence his supporters with pushes for the secondary title.

When he was bumped to the pre show and lost the opening match in consecutive WrestleManias, it was thought he was being used as a way by Vince McMahon to troll the internet fan base. When he became the most popular man in the company in a tag team comedy act it was thought he was achieving super stardom despite the WWE machine rather than because of it. That thinking was backed up when Bryan won the WWE Title and lost it less than five minutes later. After main eventing and not regaining the title over the course of the next three pay per views, Bryan was removed from the main event scene, his fate as a mid card mechanic seemed sealed.

When he was kept out the Royal Rumble, the fans revolted, and CM Punk quit the company; it was thought the most that could be hoped for was Punk’s spot in a mid card feature at WM XXX against Triple H. But something happened along the way, Daniel Bryan became a symbol, Daniel Bryan became a legend, Daniel Bryan became the leader of a movement. The live crowds are more hot for Daniel Bryan than they ever were for John Cena. They are just as hot for him as they were for Steve Austin. If you go back and look at the tape, the case can be made the crowd is as hot for Daniel Bryan as they were for even Hulk Hogan. I can’t believe that’s the case, but it is, it really is.

Now Daniel Bryan has pulled double duty at a WrestleMania and won two world titles in the main event of a WrestleMania that ends in a 5 or a 0. He is not just a made man, he is not just “The Man”, Daniel Bryan is now one of the greatest professional wrestler/sports entertainers of all time. He has raised the bar above the accomplishments of everyone who has come before him without exception. He has pulled the sword out of the stone and taken his place as the king.

During his WWE career that was much maligned up to this point Bryan was doing something very important that many of his supporters and critics may have missed. He became a COMPLETE performer.

He came to the WWE in 2010 as a mechanic who could wrestle literally any style. His work with The Miz and Michael Cole on NXT, his work with Kane in the tag division, his matches with Sheamus and CM Punk, and his program with Bray Wyatt each saw him take a full step forward as a performer. Every tool it takes to be both a great professional wrestler and a great sports entertainer Daniel Bryan learned and perfected. He swallowed his pride and got better rather than being stubborn and buying into his own hype earned performing on the indy scene.

Daniel Bryan is now as over with the 18-34 yr old male demographic as he is with women and children. He is safe for the PG era, does media, Make-A-Wish(es), and can be freshly monetized multiple times per year with more than just t shirts (towels, foam fingers). None of that was true and/or he wasn’t capable of those things even when he first won the World Title two years ago.

Bryan doesn’t do steroids or recreational drugs and doesn’t drink alcohol. He is a student of the game, a life long fan, and a wrestler first (as opposed to a football player or bodybuilder) so you know he appreciates the spot he’s in and isn’t in it strictly for the fame or the money. There is no reason, beyond individual, personal taste to not be a Daniel Bryan fan, supporter, and/or member of his Yes Movement.

It is because he is such a good human being, such a completely well-rounded wrestler and sports entertainer, because he is truly the best in the world at his profession by every standard; that he is now the Undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion, face of the company, and leader of this generation of pro wrestling. Daniel Bryan symbolizes everything that is right about pro wrestling. We as pro wrestling and sports entertainment fans can be proud that he is the man and breathe a sigh of relief that he is at the top of the mountain. What a great time to be a wrestling fan.

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by @anarchyroll
3/7/2014

Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Was RAW in Chicago this past week good because of the threat of #hijackRAW? Or did WWE play their audience like a violin and cut their strings?

I have much love and respect for the organizers of #hijackRAW, or I suppose I should say the attempted organizers.

Before they even got to the arena, during the week leading up, the trolls were out in full force spitting their mirrored self loathing venom at the @chicagorawcrowd for trying to try at something, anything, that involved something they love and want to improve. Then of course the minute Vince McMahon didn’t walk to the middle of the ring to ask CM Punk for the privilege to suck his dick on live television to prove he wanted him to be in the main event of WrestleMania, everyone turned on everybody.

I’m just kidding, they couldn’t turn on each other because they were never united. Trolls jealous an spiteful that they didn’t have the brains, balls, or creativity to attempt something like #hijackRAW movement were shitting on the concept in advance of shitting on it Monday night.

The movement didn’t do themselves any favors by being naive enough to think that Vince McMahon cares what they say after they pay to get in the arena to try and mess with one of 52 live broadcasts in a year. But all us wrestling fans are naive. We are all consciously naive, after all if we weren’t, after seeing one UFC event we would never watch pro wrestling again out of shame.

But wrestling is about imagination, creativity, and vicarious living. The hijack organizers were just a little too naive, and slightly too big marks to enact any meaningful change. Paul Heyman knew this, and like the lapdog of Vince McMahon he has always been, went out there and did what he has done best since 2001, destroyed the heart, spirit, and will of adult, male smart mark wrestling fans.

What happened to the crowd was sad. Put all the cynicism, sarcasm, snarkyness, and told ya so bullshit you want over it. If you’re a male wrestling fan over the age of 21, you hoped something meaningful would happen on Monday, and it didn’t. The Usos winning the tag titles means nothing. Cena and Wyatt’s promos mean nothing. The crowd shouting down Triple H and Stephanie (barely) for one segment means nothing. It was just another RAW on the Road to WrestleMania. One RAW out of 52 that will happen this calendar year.

The fans couldn’t stop tripping over each other or going into business for themselves to get a message across that didn’t involve CM Punk. If any other crowds are considering following suit, may I advise using profanity to piss of the censors and really putting Vince on his heels. Better yet, the only way to send a message is to #BoycottRAW not to pay $50, $100, $150 or more per ticket, buy merchandise, concessions, and pay for parking to say you don’t support what a publically traded organization is doing.

But kudos for the effort. Props for the desire. Respect for trying something which is always better than trying nothing. Maybe some other crowds will follow suit and learn from the failures of the Chicago crowd. Failures are just lessons after all. We all learned some things on Monday. Whether we wanted to or not.

potatoshooterlogoajclogo2by @anarchyroll
1/31/2014

CM Punk walked out of WWE between the 2014 Royal Rumble going off the air and the January 27th 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw going on the air. In doing so, Punk cemented his legacy as the Stone Cold Steve Austin of his generation. Punk also showed the difference between the real thing and a cheap imitation; the Chicago Made Punk is the real thing.

WWE Superstars make guaranteed money nowadays, thank you Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.  In a way they are like sales people who makes a base salary but makes their real money from commission checks.  From 1985 to 1996, WWE Superstars were like sales people who were 100% commission based, and were literally dependent on a fat WrestleMania check for their livelihoods. CM Punk walked out of WWE over creative differences and burnout the night after the Road to WrestleMania began. He is definitely going to miss out on the biggest pay day of the year.

If CM Punk was some cheap imitation he would have bit his lip, sucked it up, faked a smile, gotten his WrestleMania check, then not resigned with the company when his contract is up in July or maybe just drove home from the Superdome and never looked back. But he didn’t, he got into shouting matches with medical and creative personnel backstage at RAW and informed Vince McMahon he was going home and not returning. CM Punk left a lot of money on the table by leaving when he did, the way he did. But he’s not about money, just ask Joey Matthews.

Why is he the Steve Austin of his generation? Austin did the same thing in the spring of 2002. Also like Austin, Punk is the best on the mic and in the ring simultaneously as Austin was in his prime, both bucked authority, both are Paul Heyman guys, both were initially held down by WWE management before exploding into mainstream pop culture popularity, and Austin has said Punk is the only guy he would come out of retirement to have a match with.

Will his legacy take a hit? Just the opposite, it is enhanced. In his pop culture cross over “Pipe Bomb” promo Punk spoke about his loathing of The Rock being a part timer and main eventing WrestleMania. What do you think he had to say backstage about Batista winning the Royal Rumble after a four year absence? Punk shouted for change in 2011. As 2014 begins the top spots of WWE are occupied by John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Sheamus, Big Show, and Brock Lesnar, sounds familiar.

Maybe Punk left because he selfishly felt he should main event Mania. Well he’s a workhorse in the ring, cuts the best promos bar none, moves merchandise, gets paid top dollar, is as over with the female children as he is with the adult males, and Vince trusts him; why not put him in the main event? PS he worked the Rumble for 50 minutes.

I think we all know why he left. It’s directly correlated to the live crowd’s reaction to the last ten minutes of the Royal Rumble pay per view. In 2011 CM Punk shouted for change. The change was Vince needed to start actually listening to what the fans wanted organically rather than using his billion dollar marketing machine to manufacture the consent of approval towards McMahon’s handpicked gym rats. Summerslam, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble proved beyond any shadow of any doubt that nothing has changed in the WWE.  CM Punk should have quit because of this and he did, like a real McCoy is supposed to do.