Monday, September 24, 2007

411wrestling's Fact or Fiction featuring PWP Founder Tim Haught

Welcome back to another week of 411 Fact or Fiction: Wrestling Edition! This week, two 411 NEWBIES go head to head as TG Corke and Tim Haught enter the 411 arena to do battle!

Let's get to it!

1. Batista winning the world title was a needed move.

TG Corke: FACT. With further elaboration necessary. In my opinion, Batista shouldn't have been in the main-event for Smackdown! for four billion consecutive pay-per-views. He looked like a choker time and time again, and it was getting to the stage where they could no longer justify him winning title shot after title shot against countless opponents. They swerved us with the idea of Rey vs. Khali one-on-one, which actually made me want Batista there. The reason this is Fact is because, though I wouldn't have booked Big Dave in all these matches, the fact is that he WAS booked in the match, and the way they booked him previously did require that he win this Sunday. He is no longer ‘Little Hennig' - he is a three-time World Heavyweight Champion. And, dick or not, he probably deserves it.

Tim Haught: FICTION. Was it a need move for Batista? Sure. Was it a needed move for the Smackdown brand? No f'n way. Even if the point is to transition the belt to a returning Edge, I would have rather seen Mysterio capture it, as at least he has a bit of momentum from his return. The David vs. Goliath showdown was actually more intriguing to me than the triple threat match, but I understand why they threw Leviathan in the mix. Now there isn't one in the lot of them that has any momentum on the Smackdown brand. In fact, the only guy that does is the Undertaker. I would rather have seen Taker unseat Khali and then start a long program with the returning Rated R Superstar.

Score: 0 for 1

2. TNA has done the right thing by announcing the Bound for Glory Card so early.

TG Corke : FICTION. I don't know that this is a definite Fiction. I do like that it's very different from the past few months, especially in the run-up to Slammiversary and Victory Road, where we didn't know what the final card would be FOR THE MAIN-EVENT until the last set of tapings. It's a nice change of pace. That said, this might not be the best way to start storylines. I don't know about you, but my traditional way of thinking is "Guy dislikes guy/is jealous of him >> Guys feud >> Match announced". Not "Match announced >> Do something till it happens". For that reason, I'm a little apprehensive about the possible build for this, though I'm still looking forward to the matches themselves. Except…what's with yet another reverse battle royal?

Tim Haught : FACT. I hate to be so argumentative, but seriously... TNA runs a PPV every month. We are either given something that feels like it has had no time to develop or something that we've already seen numerous times. In TNA, it appears as though guys create feuds just to have spots on the PPV. What are people even feuding over? This is how you can get bookers involved in wrestling without breaking kayfabe. The matchmakers have scheduled you together to determine who is the better man. One of you will climb the rankings, and the other will not. The tension and apprehension for the upcoming showdown has a month to build. Will it turn personal? Perhaps. This gives fans a basis for determining whether or not to purchase their pay per view far in advance. This also helps fans determine if which pay per view they will choose if they don't have the cash to throw down for both TNA and WWE. Smart fans read the spoilers and know the card in advance anyways. Why not let everyone in on what's going on?

Score: 0 for 2

3. By offering up a second straight DQ finish in a title match on PPV, WWE is sending the message to fans that they shouldn't care about the matches.

TG Corke : FICTION. WWE sent the message that we shouldn't care about those particular two matches. Look, I'm just as disappointed and enraged as a lot of you are, but think about it. Cena and Orton went to a DQ, Cena and daddy beat the shit out of Orton, and immediately afterwards a Last Man Standing match was booked for No Mercy. Argue all you want (and you should) about how ripped-off you were by a DQ in a highly-anticipated WWE Championship match, but to say WWE don't care about the matches AS A WHOLE when they've used one match to book a potentially much bigger match…that's a bit absurd. They probably should have had Orton/Cena on Raw the week after Randy booted Johnny Fabulous in the cranium, have the DQ there and lead to the Last Man Standing at Unforgiven (or not even HAVE a WWE title match at Unforgiven, build to No Mercy and allow Smackdown to take centre-stage in September). But, either way, they do care and it's heading towards something fun.

Tim Haught : FICTION. The DQ finish is building to something greater than the Unforgiven showdown between Orton and Cena. As I said earlier, if WWE plans on taking their top draw and having a no-finish, they should at least give fans something else worthwhile on the show. I'm sure they thought they were going to with the Batista title win and the Undertaker return. Booking wise, this makes about as much sense as possible. Orton kicked Daddy Cena's head clean off. Cena never got his revenge in a very personal feud. What are they going to do? Have Orton just beat him for the title? That would be pointless. Marks were waiting for Orton to get his, and they still are. Smarts are waiting for Orton to take the title from Cena. This Last Man Standing Match has something for everyone. I like that WWE is thinking long term, rather than booking for the short-term reward. This feud still has legs, and they should get all the money out of it that they can. If anything, the DQ finish should make fans care about the matches more. It's not about high spots and chair shots, it's about telling a story. When it's all said and done, Orton and Cena will have given you something you will remember.

Score: 1 for 3


4. Kurt Angle vs. Sting is the biggest match TNA can offer for Bound for Glory.

Tim Haught : FACT. Without looking outside of their current roster, Angle/Sting is the biggest thing TNA can offer at the moment. It's sad that despite these men's individual accomplishments, this has no big match feel whatsoever. It is simply another TNA main event at another TNA pay per view. The storyline that got Sting here was sloppily thrown together, and it can be argued that is not even the most logical contender to the title considering Black Machismo's recent clean victory over Angle. Still, Sting's value is greater than anyone else on the roster, and that includes Samoa Joe. While many fans would love to see Joe finally paid off with a World Title at Bound For Glory, he is simply out of position at the moment. TNA might have missed the boat on this guy the same way they did with Monty Brown.

TG Corke : FACT. I would take it a step further than that and say Sting IS the logical choice. Look, I love Jay Lethal and all (I think my first column proved that), but I don't want him anywhere near the main event. He doesn't need it, he's already the X-Division champion. Sting is probably the only guy on the roster who not only deserves the shot but needs it as well. What else was he going to do? Feud with Cage again so Joe could have another bite of the cherry? Feud with Joe so we got face/face in the upper-card and heel-heel in the main event? Put him in Monsters Ball with Joe and Cage and have Jarrett against Angle instead? No, the choice was a simple one as far as I‘m concerned. A year after his title win that turned out to be one of the worst transition jobs in any World Heavyweight Championship's history, Sting gets the honor once more in a match many of us have been longing to see for a while. Now, we can forget those two minutes they had on Impact! that ended in a No-Decision and enjoy our true contest.

Score: 2 for 4

5. WWE Unforgiven was the worst PPV of 2007.

Tim Haught : FACT. With fans currently debating whether or not it is the worst wrestling pay per view ever, Unforgiven is at this point in our calendar year the worst of 2007. Quite remarkable considering how many main events have had either Khali or Batista in them. Now, TNA has offered some particularly crappy shows of their own this year, but I still give the nod to this one because of expectations. Unforgiven 2007 was incredibly predictable. Despite the fact that WWE was able to throw together a relatively impressive card despite the recent Wellness-related suspensions, they failed to deliver. The stipulation in the Carlito/Triple H match has effectively ensured Carlito's midcard for life status. Batista and Mysterio's championship stock was relatively worthless going into this PPV, and having Batista take the title does nothing to make him a credible champion after his string of losses leading into this match. The Orton/Cena showdown is what sold this show, and fans were ripped off by the DQ ending. I am not trying to argue that DQ's should never occur on pay per view. The problem with Unforgiven was that WWE had nothing else to offer anywhere on the card to make up for this decision. That makes for a disappointment to smart fans and marks alike.

TG Corke : FICTION. But it wasn't exactly great, was it? I agree with most of what my esteemed colleague says here - it was a second consecutive poor effort from WWE which is somewhat unforgivable, the wrestling was average-at-best and little seemed to matter, especially with the DQ in the Cena/Orton match (though I stand by my earlier ‘Fiction' regarding WWE affecting our attitudes towards pay-per-view matches). However, the show was made worth watching, not value for money but worth watching, for Batista finally getting the belt back and Undertaker's return match, which I really didn't think was that bad. Most importantly, both of these things were considered a massive deal by WWE and the fans in attendance seemed to agree. Also, Triple H vs. Carlito was better than I expected, though I expected to be in tears watching it so that's not saying much.

No, the worst for me so far was WWE Summerslam. This was an event that promised so much and delivered so little. No titles changed hands that night, which nobody really expected and left a bad taste in some peoples' mouths CO*mine*UGH - although this in itself wouldn't be bad if it wasn't revealed to be due to creative's inability to come up with decent finishes for the main-events. We also had Triple H and Rey Mysterio returning on the same night to huge fanfare but very mild intake, again disappointing at best and disastrous at worst. The only highlights were an impromptu Stone Cold skit straight out of…Saturday Night's Main Event a couple of weeks before, and Orton vs. Cena (which was admittedly awesome). But, overall, Summerslam was worse than Unforgiven, in my opinion anyway. Also, bear in mind this was BEFORE any of the suspensions, so they don't have that to fall back on.

Score: 2 for 5

6. The Reverse Battle Royal at Bound for Glory will live up to it's predecessor and be the worst match of 2007.

Tim Haught : FICTION. Is the idea contrived and ridiculous? Of course. Is it TNA's worst idea? By no means. Are Battle Royal's supposed to be a showcase of fantastic work rate? Most certainly not. Am I personally a fan of Battle Royal's? Oh hell yes. My main gripe with this one is, it's likely to be a vehicle to get Samoa Joe back into the World Title picture, and quite frankly, we've been there and done that, and it's just not interesting anymore. Rather than clamoring for his eventual victory, I just quit caring. As far as being the worst match of 2007, I will say this. The Fight For Your Right match is likely to be an abomination if you are rating it on a scale of four-star classics. However, it has the potential to at least be a bit intriguing and entertaining, and that is much more than I can say for many matches I have watched this year.

TG Corke : FICTION. I will say immediately that this match should NOT be happening. It can only end badly, I'm sorry to sound so negative but the idea's already a bad one in theory and has proven to be similarly atrocious in practice. Having said that, they've tried it once and it was about as bad as it could get. I doubt even TNA will fail to improve on that showing. Knowing what they're getting into, I'm sure many of the athletes will have an easier time putting on a decent show. TNA make lots of mistakes, but they have to be confident this concept can work if they're willing to try it again on (what they consider) their biggest show of the year. Whether the buoyancy is justified is a matter that will only be settled once the dust has cleared, but for now…it SURELY can't be as bad as Ace Steele in a wig fighting a Rosie O'Donnell look-a-like on Raw to build a hair-versus-hair contest between Vince McMahon and Donald Trump, can it? I highly doubt it, and that's the crux of why I've deemed this Fiction.

Score: 3 for 6

These two finish 3 for 6! Join us next week for more Fact or Fiction!

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