I think it’s a real problem, but also kind of impossible to predict with 100% accuracy. You just never know exactly what a crowd is going to do, especially when you’re talking about super hardcore fans that have traveled from all over the country - even outside of the country - to come see the biggest show of the year.
The other thing to keep in mind is that WWE - especially at WrestleMania - usually likes to send crowds home happy. So even if a match is “bigger,” it might not be best suited to go on last if the outcome is something that people will be extremely upset about. There are exceptions to this rule of course - no need to point them out to me - but speaking in generalities, it holds up.
Finally, there’s also something to be said for keeping the WWE Title as the focus of a promotion. It doesn’t always need to be the final match on the card, but if it’s not at WrestleMania, people complain about that too…
I don’t really know what you mean by their “aesthetic not really matching the gimmick.” For me, I think the two work really well together, albeit I’d like for the heavy, dark, occult thing to become more overt, and I’m nerdy enough to think that the Egyptian Eye of Horus is kind of incongruous with the more Western Europe-centric look they affect otherwise.
But no, I think the PG-rating has nothing to do with it. They could hit all those notes harder without covering themselves in pentagrams and pigsblood (though I’d be into that).
Personally, I prefer King Diamond.
I’ve always liked the idea of Iron Maiden more than I liked the actual band, and while Bruce Dickinson did a lot to codify and popularize that particular type of high-pitched metal singing, I think that KD blows him out of the water with the range and smoothness of his vocals.
Also: Mercyful Fate»>Iron Maiden. Get at me.
One Night Stand 2006.
I mean, sure, you can point to instances before that, and it definitely wasn’t the height of the Cena Sucks stuff but for me, that was the first time when it became more than just a statement of preference for people.
When Cena squared off against RVD on an ECW-branded PPV in Hammerstein Ballroom, people weren’t just booing Cena, they were booing the idea of Cena. More than that, they were booing THEIR idea of Cena as a corporate lapdog who had personally held down all their favorite wrestlers for years. There was a lot of unfair projection going on with that, but it is what it is.
At that point, “Cena Sucks” morphed into a different thing, as it became less about Cena as a guy and more about the people chanting it, a way of self-identifying as a different, “smarter” type of wrestling fan. I think that’s bullshit, by the way, but I definitely think that was the logic at work.
I know it’s not the hardcore troo kvlt thing to say, but I think that every Mastodon album is better than the last. The Hunter was, I thought, a huge leap forward, because they started actually putting hooks into their songs. Just because you’re a hard and heavy band doesn’t mean you can’t also make your music catchy, and they really latched onto it with the last album.
Once More Round the Sun takes that approach to its logical conclusion with some of the heaviest, raddest stuff that you can still rock out to that I’ve heard in ages. It’s technical, aggressive and smart, but you can still sing along to it in the car. ACES.
I didn’t - I’m not really into the toy collecting thing. But I’ll go ahead and add that Michael Cole is pretty much all around underrated.
PWG is my favorite indie promotion currently running (in the United States at least - I don’t know enough to say worldwide). The reason that’s the case is because they’ve kept their scope and growth in check.
Many promotions over the years have grown too much too fast, spent too much money trying to book arenas they can’t fill, wasted tons of cash on airing live shows, and threw money down the drain on bringing in washed up talent they hope will draw a mainstream crowd. PWG does NONE of that.
Instead, PWG has shows only ever six to eight weeks and only ever holds them in a small foreign legion hall that fits something like 400 people at absolute max, fuck the fire warden capacity. That means that they can afford to bring in THE ABSOLUTE BEST indy talent from all the other promotions, and they do.
Every show at PWG is like an American indies All-Star show, and from top to bottom, every match feels like a main event, which is why I prefer it.
This is NOT a knock against ROH though, because what they’re trying to do is something very different. They have regular live PPVs (now on cable) as well as touring shows and a television deal. The scope of their product is much larger, and they have a lot more hours to fill, and as a result, they can’t restrict themselves to only the top 5% of talent or whatever.
In terms of in-ring style, I’d say that PWG is, on the whole, more jokey than ROH. While Ring of Honor has definitely had some goofy guys in the promotion over the years, by and large, the gimmick has always been “This is SERIOUS wrestling and it’s a SERIOUS competition,” which if we lived in a black & white world, I would always choose over the really goofy jokey stuff.
By way of contrast, PWG casts a wider net, and makes heavy use of comedy in its shows. But unlike some of the jokier promotions, PWG never loses sight of the fact that wrestling matches are meant to be FIGHTS. So even if you have goofy guys like El Generico or Kenny Omega or The Best Friends, eventually those matches get serious. PWG is the perfect middleground between the seriousness of ROH and the goofiness of Chikara.
It says that you need to tease your hair and get your ass down to the Rainbow Room.
I don’t think either of them needed a World Title reign - meaningful or not - to make them significant contributors to WWE and wrestling as a whole. In fact, I think that the way both of those wrestlers worked probably even works better without holding the World Title.
But, since you asked, I’ll probably have to go with Regal. It has less to do with anything specific about Regal, and more to do with how limited Roberts is as a performer. I love Jake the Snake, but every one of his matches is largely the same, and as we’ve discussed on STRAIGHT SHOOT RETRO, it’s questionable how effective he was as a babyface. So, if you were to keep him heel, I’m just not sure how many World Title matches I’d want to watch where Roberts gets beat up for 10 minutes, then pops up and hits the DDT to retain.
Regal meanwhile, while not actually needing a World Title to get over, is a more versatile guy in the ring. While he never got over or as much heat as Roberts, he’s capable of having a wider variety of matches, so I’d prefer that he go into the top slot.