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Old 01-02-2018, 05:11 PM   #1
134
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Machamp Then, Now, Forever: World Wrestling Entertainment



I didn't find a thread for the discussion of our venerated spandex soap operas and I can't spend the rest of my life screaming into people's DMs so let's go bois.

A brief lesson in history.
The entity that is WWE as we know it was Incorporated in 1980 as Titan Sports, but the promotion itself can be traced all the way back to 1958. Titan Sports became the World Wrestling Federation in 1998, but the World Wildlife Fund took umbrage at sharing an acronym with these degenerates (rightly so) and years of on-again-off-again litigation brought us to where we are now, sharing this Earth with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Monday Night Raw, which was not the first televised WWE production but is the one we all remember regardless of how much we know or care about men suplexing each other, premiered in January of 1993 and is about two weeks away from turning 25-years-old as of writing. Mazel tov!

Things you already know if you care, and don't care about if you didn't know.
WWE is split into multiple brands and for the most part performers that aren't John Cena are locked into a single brand at any given point. The brands which I deem important are Raw, SmackDown, NXT, and 205 Live. There are others, but I'm a filthy casual and don't care.

Raw and SmackDown are evidence Vince McMahon doesn't love his son the 'principle' brands. Raw is commissioned by Stephanie McMahon and as a televised program runs for three hours every Monday night, while SmackDown Live is headed by her brother Shane and runs for two hours on a Tuesday evening. Aside from time slots and cast these programs are identical in form and function.

NXT is baby's first roster the developmental brand. This is where the new hires hang out until they get their shit together. Despite my flippancy on the topic, NXT is apparently where all the cool kids hang out. I wouldn't know; I've never actually watched NXT which might be a mortal sin.

Finally, there's 205 Live. This is the cruiserweight brand and the name is less cryptic than it sounds: everyone on the roster has a billed weight of 205lbs or less. I'm about 40 episodes behind on this brand because free time is a myth. 205 Live isn't televised unless you're a mark who shilled out for the WWE Network but it likes to hang out with Raw, which will toss the division a pity match most weeks.

There are also 12(?) pay-per-view productions a year. Most are exclusive to either Raw or SmackDown and the two brands more or less take turns, like good children. Notable pay-per-view productions include WrestleMania and SummerSlam, which feature matches from multiple brands, and Survivor Series, where Stephanie and Shane fight for daddy's love the rosters of Raw and SmackDown come together to brutalize one another.

There's some other stuff, like how the brands weren't always split or how there's a draft every year after WrestleMania but I'm honestly starting to bore myself.

Tate, your information is wrong and you're dumb.
Probably! I've only been a fan of WWE for about five months. Allow me to tell you the magical story of how I came to care about this nonsense.

My favorite band is a group called the Mountain Goats. They're indie hipster trash and all of their music is depressing. The only member of the group who really matters, John Darnielle, is an unrepentant dork. In 2015 they released an album called Beat the Champ which is entirely about professional wrestling. This album is fucking amazing and if you haven't heard it, your life is meaningless and empty. That's a rock fact.

The stories told on this album were beautiful and poignant but also only superficially meaningful because I didn't know who the hell Chavo Guerrero or Bull Ramos were. I was curious, however, because of course I was -- it is an impossibility of the universe for me to not care about the things John Darnielle's nasally voice warbles into my undeserving earholes. So I started exploring. I found Robert Rodriguez' mildly mexploitative production, Lucha Underground, on Netflix. There was a man dressed as a dragon with a silicone tongue and a 245lb zombie with a magic rock. It captured the imagination.


Then it happens. A buddy slides into my DMs. I herd u liek wrasslin, he inquires, and like a crack dealer he slides YouTube footage of CM Punk's infamous pipe bomb across the table. First taste's always free, people. Don't be a sucker.

I'm plied with tastes of Sasha Banks, of Bayley, of Rey Mysterio and of Psychosis. Of the ECW audience throwing John Cena's shirt back to him six times. Hey Tate, have you ever heard of Bray Wyatt? No? Here's a video of him and his boys versus the Shield.

Record scratch.

So my first impression of the Shield is this: that one blonde dude has the crazy eyes. My second, more important impression is that the tall dude with the long hair is hella cool. No, not Seth, the other one. Yeah, that's the one. Roman Reigns. That's right, you heard me. Roman Reigns. I'll fight you, man.

Now, I could tell you about how I watched the Shield dissolve three years after it actually happened or how I was still angry with Seth Rollins until last week when he told Jason Jordan to shove it, but all you really need to know is this: l started going to the gym five hours a week, not because I care about my health or wellbeing, but because they have cable TV on all the machines and I am willing to ride a stationary bike for three hours for the privilege of watching Roman Reigns tell Bo Dallas to fetch him a beer.

Where do we go from here?
Ideally, you -- the reader -- also have an interest in underdressed adults roughhousing in the name of honor and glory. And you will talk to me about it. Please? Current topics of interest include:

- The underwhelming Shield reunion.
- Why Brock Lesnar is bad and should feel bad.
- Our Lord and savior, White Trash Jesus Dean Ambrose.
- Me, needing Roman to be better at life.
- Asuka. Just Asuka.
- The fact that Breezango are bad people and the Ascention deserves better.
- Baron Corbin's hairline.
- All the reasons why Absolution > Riot Squad.
- Samoa Joe: How much sweat is too much sweat?

And many more!

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Last edited by 134; 01-02-2018 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:50 PM   #2
neverthrive
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Did the shield even reunite, though? Did they? They had like... one match? And a lot of hype and build-up, but then also a lot of misfortune. And now, who knows?

Also Brock Lesnar is terrible and Paul Heyman deserves better.
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:23 PM   #3
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> Shield reunion.

Let me tell you about the Shield reunion.

Roman's viral infection, Dean's elbow... Those things are understandable. Unfortunate, untimely, but understandavle.

Here's what gets me. Two months into the reunion, and they've already stopped presenting as a unit. No more Shield intro, no more Shield gear... Just Roman and Seth, being Roman and Seth. Even the Bar maintains their Bar-ness when operating alone -- am I to accept that the Shield has less unity than the Bar?

Shield is the three heads of Cerberus. United in mind, body, and soul. That is the ideal state of Shield. Is Shield always ideal? No, but they should strive for excellence even if they cannot acheive it.

Roman missed their reunion match at TLC due to Menemonomumpigitis. That was bad. It couldn't be helped. Dean is projected to be out for nine months. That's worse. It can't be helped. What can be helped is the way the Shield responds to these circumstances.

When Raw invaded SmackDown on the eve of Survivor Series, they wore unique shirts; one half was 'Raw' and one half was 'Shield'. No other members of the Raw roster carried any similarly unique trappings. Why? Because in that moment, Raw was a team. In the face of an onslaught from SmackDown, the members of the Raw locker room put aside their differences, innumerable though they are, to form a united front.

But the Shield -- Dean, Roman, and Seth -- were different. They bore their Shield regalia because even in that moment, when all of Raw came together, they were the Shield first and Raw second. Their brotherhood superceded all things.

Their triumphant return has been impeded by misfortune but in this time of adversity they should be coming together harder. They should be doubling down on the indestructibility of the Shield, rather than this anemic listing apart that they have begun doing.

And sure -- Roman has vowed to avenge his 'family'. And sure -- Seth has maintained that Dean is irreplaceable. This is great. This is what they should be doing. They need to do more, however. The greatest chink in their armor is their own apathy.

Be better, guys. Semper fucking fidelis.

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Old Today, 07:56 PM   #4
Muyotwo
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Omanyte Omanyte Sez: Ready to Rumble!

This year is shaping up to be a very interesting Rumble, as we really don't have a clear winner set up for either the men's or women's match. On the women's side it would be fairly easy to just give the win to Asuka, but at the same time she really doesn't need the push or the acclaim that the "first winner of the women's rumble" will receive. Asuka can be given a title match whenever, because she's Asuka and she's over as hell. So give me Becky Lynch to win the rumble from the Smackdown side and set up a potentially awesome match with Charlotte for Mania.

On the men's side things are weird because, for one reason or another, a bunch of the potential Rumble favorites are a bit preoccupied to take on the role as #1 contender for Mania. Seth Rollins is doing the tag thing with Jordan, and that storyline has a ways to go so he's likely out. Ditto for Finn Balor, who has only just reunited with the Bullet Club. Ambrose and Joe are out with injuries, while Braun is facing Brock Lesnar in a "See who can pin Kane first" match for the title. Heel wise, HHH has been potentially earmarked for Braun thanks to their Survivor Series drama, Bray is dealing with the deLIGHTful Woken Hardy and Sami and KO are in a title match as well. So that leaves us with Cena, who would be roundly booed, but would potentially set up another classic against AJ Styles for his record breaking 17th title win. Nakamura is another potential favorite, as he oozes charisma and could put on the match of the night with any of the Styles/KO/Zayn triumvirate. Roman Reigns is the elephant in the room because on the one hand it's widely known that Vince wants him to get the rub from slaying Lesnar at Mania, but on the other hand the Rumble is in Philadelphia, the site of Roman's previous Rumble "triumph" which resulted in one of the most popular wrestlers of all time being booed out of the building for raising his cousin's hand.

I don't think that even Vince is stubborn/dumb enough to repeat that, so here we are with a match without a favorite. Give me Nakamura to win I guess, but I have no confidence in that pick.
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