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Posted in: The Crow's Nest
The Crow's Nest - 30 Day Challenge (Day 10)
By TheCrow
Sep 10, 2012 - 3:03:00 AM



A while back when Hustle had just started his 30 Day Challenge, we were talking about it on Twitter, more specifically we were discussing points we disagreed on as well as points I might not have thought to have made. Hustle said that I should take on the challenge once he had finished his run with it, and I replied that I didn't know if I could do it without missing a day. That was until I was formally challenged to try it out, and I couldn't help but to accept. I just wanted to get that out of the way before people started bombarding me with "YOU'RE COPYING HUSTLE!" messages. He challenged me to do it, I accepted. So get bent haters, I have his blessing. Anyways, on to the column…

1) Day 1 - Favorite Wrestler Growing Up (01/09/12)

2) Day 2 - Favorite Female Wrestler (02/09/12)

3) Day 3 - Favorite Male Wrestler (03/09/12)

4) Day 4 - Least Favorite Male Wrestler (04/09/12)

5) Day 5 - Least Favorite Female Wrestler (05/09/12)

6) Day 6 - Wrestling Character You Feel You Are Most Like (06/09/12)

7) Day 7 - Favorite Tag Team (07/09/12)

8) Day 8 - Favorite Championship Belt (08/09/12)

9) Day 9 - Favorite Theme Music (09/09/12)

10) Day 10 - Saddest Wrestling Moment (10/09/12)



This is, by far, the easiest challenge of this series so far. Yes, even easier than determining my hatred for Crimson, so that should really say something.

The day that Eddie Guerrero died is the moment that will forever, or for at least the foreseeable future, remain the saddest moment I have experienced in my time as a fan of professional wrestling. Guerrero was never my #1 favourite wrestler of all time, but he absolutely would be on the list. The pure energy and charisma that he brought to every match and promo he was involved in was nearly second to none, and he was truly one of those superstars that could step in the ring with ANYBODY and make them look like a million bucks.

More than that though, it was always Eddie's story that drew me in. If you were an outside observer, he is not someone that should have made it as far in life as he did. He abused drugs and alcohol, he cheated on his wife, and he was a small guy during a time dominated by larger wrestlers. There was no reason to think that he would one day become one of the most beloved and legendary superstars of this generation. He took that negativity, crunched it up in a ball, spat on it and threw it in the face of his naysayers.

The day he won the WWE Championship, I'm not afraid to admit that I shed some tears of happiness. Aside from when Chris Benoit won his first World Championship, I cannot recall another time that I saw such true emotion on a wrestler's face. Eddie came back from the brink of destruction and did not stop working on himself until he achieved something that few people thought he ever would. Every ounce of the emotion on his face at the moment that he won that title was genuine, and as a fan seeing someone appreciate that accomplishment was an incredible moment, especially when it's someone that I was a huge fan of.

The day that I heard the news that he had passed away, once again I was brought to tears. It's never easy to hear of someone dying, whether it's a celebrity or athlete you are a fan of or (more seriously) a family member, but it's always especially sad when the story behind the person is one like Eddie's. He wasn't always a role model, and by all reports he would be the first person to tell you that, but looking at the inspirational tale of his comeback in life, how can you not be especially saddened by that loss?

I still sometimes go to YouTube and watch the Eddie tribute videos, particularly the televised ones from his fellow superstars, and while the days of openly shedding tears have passed, I still feel such a swell of emotion every single time I watch one. I can't comment on the loss of the man Eddie Guerrero, simply because I didn't know him, but it's pretty clear that his death was a massive personal loss to many of the superstars on the WWE roster. That being said, I don't think that the feeling of loss we all experienced as fans is any less important or intense. The day that we lost Eddie Guerrero, we lost one of the most talented and charismatic men to ever lace up a pair of boots. This is not a case of someone being hyped up after death like we've seen before. Eddie Guerrero is truly one of the all-time greats, and I still am saddened by his death nearly seven years later.

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Apologies for the short entry today, but I really didn't have to put any thought into making this decision. There is no other moment that I've experienced as a fan that has been sadder for me than the death of Eddie Guerrero (though Savage's death would be a close second), and therefore I didn't feel the need to waste any time justifying my pick as much as I've done in the other entries.

So what about you guys? What are the saddest moments you've experienced as a wrestling fan? There's certainly been more than a few of them, so I'm very interested to hear what other people think. I'll be back again tomorrow, so until then, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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One of my least favourite questions to be asked is "Who is your favourite band?" I'm one of those guys who listens to, quite literally, a bit of everything. Sure I have my preferences, but that has never stopped me from giving any band or artist at least a chance. My iTunes library has everything from Beethoven symphonies to Cradle of Filth. Because of this large variety, narrowing down my favourite artist is really difficult. Hell, narrowing it down to my top FIVE artists is almost impossible.

The same goes for choosing a favourite wrestling theme song. I've watched a lot of wrestling over the years, and because of that I've heard loads of different theme songs. Some of them are simple instrumental numbers, some are hard rock tunes, and some are catchy dance numbers designed to get the crowd on their feet. I've liked many, I've hated many, so picking JUST ONE is very tricky indeed. After really thinking about it, I have made my choice for my current favourite theme song, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't pick an all-time favourite. In place of that, I'm going to list a few of the songs I've loved over the years before naming my current favourite.

Triple H - "The Game" by Motörhead
Simply put, I like heavy music. I also like theme music that, the second it comes on over the speakers, elicits some kind of reaction from the crowd. There is no denying the reaction that that opening guitar note gets from the crowd, whether it's boos or cheers. More importantly though, it fits the wrestler who uses it.

Tatanka
I don't know the name of his theme song, so forgive me for that.

Like I said before, one of the things that I like in a wrestler's theme song is the ability to instantly make the audience know who is about to come out, and in turn cause them to react quickly. The Indian war cry that precedes the music is loud and in your face, resulting in the fans knowing immediately who is coming to the ring. Even if you don't know who Tatanka is, the theme works because of it being so loud and shocking. It also makes me think of old Street Fighter games, which is just kind of awesome.

nWo
Another fairly basic theme, but one of the most memorable ones of my time as a fan. There's nothing particularly amazing that stands out about it, it's just one of those theme songs that naturally works. By extension, I also currently enjoy Hulk Hogan's TNA theme, which is very VERY similar to the nWo theme. Like, so similar that I wouldn't blame you for confusing one with the other. I might mock you a bit, but not excessively.

Degeneration X
Do I really need to explain this one? If you ask most wrestling fans for a list of their favourite theme songs, this one is sure to be on there. D-X was (WAS being the key word) all about cockiness and "like, totally fighting the man", and this song's lyrics capture that attitude perfectly. Even during the recent "reunions" of the group, this song retains all of its power. D-X may not represent the same "ideals" that they used to, but I could never imagine the group, even as tame as they are now, coming out to any other theme but this one.

Hulk Hogan - "Real American"
Come on, did you really think I'd leave this off the list? I may not be the biggest Hogan fan in the world, and truth be told I never have been outside of his infamous heel turn, but there is absolutely no denying the power of this song. I'm not even American, but this song almost makes me want to be so I can relate to the patriotism in the lyrics (however cheesy they may be), and as a very proud Canadian that's not something I thought I would ever say. The lyrics are catchy as all hell, they represent the character that Hogan once was, and most importantly that song has STAYING POWER. It's been a while since we've heard that tune hit the speakers, but I can guarantee you that if it were to come on at the next WWE show, the crowd would blow the roof clean the fuck off whatever arena the event was being held in. If you held a gun to my head and told me I had to name ONE all-time favourite entrance theme, this would certainly be one that popped into mind. I may still not be able to make up my mind in time to stop the bullet, but it would be close.

Honorable Mention Goes To…
RVD "One of a Kind"
Any of Undertaker's Themes (Yes, even the "American Bad Ass" ones)
Chris Benoit "Whatever"
Christian "Just Close Your Eyes" (The first one, with the female vocals)
Evolution "Line in the Sand"
Billy Kidman "You Can Run"
Beer Money
Edge "Metalingus"
John Cena "The Time is Now"
CM Punk "Cult of Personality"
Drew McIntyre "Broken Dreams


But what song is my CURRENT favourite you may be asking? Well, dear inquisitive reader, I'll tell you. I had a very hard time with this, right up until the song came on my iTunes as I was writing the previous bit of this very column. More often than any other song currently being used in any wrestling show I watch, this song gets stuck in my head on a regular basis. It's a song that, even if it weren't a wrestling theme song, I would probably have it in my music library (assuming of course it still existed).

Before the music hits, this superstar's catchphrase is heard loudly, and for TNA fans it is immediately recognizable, and thus causes an immediate reaction among them. Right away, the mood is set for this superstar's entrance, and then the music hits. It's a fun country song that perfectly represents everything this character is about. I am of course referring to James Storm's current theme song in TNA, "Longnecks and Rednecks" by Serg Salinas.

As a member of the tag team Beer Money, Storm was able to portray his "Cowboy" gimmick, and you could tell he had fun with it. Bobby Roode was the more serious member of the group, and that allowed Storm some creativity with what he wanted to do as a character humor-wise. After the team split, he took that to a whole new level. Storm started to bring a new intensity to his matches and promos, and quickly it became apparent that someone in TNA saw big things in the man's future. They pushed "Longnecks and Rednecks" on to the radio, recorded a full music video for it (starring James Storm himself) and of course pushed him to the main event. Would he have the same success with a different theme song? Probably. But I truly believe that the popularity of the theme he ended up with is in no small way responsible for how quickly that rise occurred.



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Well that was difficult, but I fully expected that when I saw what today's challenge was. A wrestler's theme music can greatly help or severely hinder how quickly and intensely they get over with the fans. Sure, they might still make it big with a different song, but could you really imagine a guy like Shawn Michaels having any theme other than "Sexy Boy"? Or any other theme for Hulk Hogan that would have been more effective than "Real American"? I don't think so. Theme music may seem like a minor part of a wrestler's development, but I rank it very high in importance, and I think the evidence speaks for itself.

So with that being said, I'm done for the day. I'll be back tomorrow of course, so until then, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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In the world of professional wrestling, there is no more important prop than a championship belt. The champion might be the talent, but the belt is the symbol of what that champion is achieved. The belt says that the guy wearing it is better than his competition and that he or she has fought their way up the card to rule the division that the belt represents.

Because championship belts are so important, it makes sense that they should look the part. An ugly championship belt can make people care less about it, which in turn hurts the person holding it as they'll end up being viewed as less important as well. Just look at what happened to WWE's Diva division. The old Women's Championship was simple and elegant, and it looked like a belt worthy of being carried by top champions like Trish Stratus. When the new Divas Championship was introduced, it represented the exact opposite of its predecessor. Instead of being a serious looking championship belt, it looked like a toy that little girls would wear while playing dress-up and pretending to be princesses. It still represents the same thing as the old belt, the best female wrestler on the roster, but because it looked so goofy no one took it seriously. You could put it around the waist of even Trish Stratus and it wouldn't matter.

I've seen many wrestling belts over the years I've been a fan. Everything from basic belts that indy promotions use to the ones that the biggest companies use. I've seen the evolution of old school championships into gaudy abominations with spinner plates. I've seen specialty belts designed for one specific wrestler to carry during their time as champion, and they've seen varying amounts of success. Some I've liked and some I've hated.

My current favourite belt blends equal amounts of old and new school design. At first glance it looks pretty basic: black leather strap, big gold centre piece with the name of the belt in silver and side plates to match. Truth be told it is really basic, but that is what I like about it the most. The simple and elegant design of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship makes it easy to look at and keeps it fitting for any champion that were to wear it. It keeps an air of seriousness and legitimacy without taking any of the focus away from the guy wearing it. You could put this belt on any legend and it wouldn't look out of place.



Even the previous design for this belt works. It was similar to the current one, though I believe the centre plate was a bit smaller. Neither of these belts are going to win a contest for creativity or originality, but sometimes less really is more. The TNA World Heavyweight Championship is a new school belt with an old school flavour, and that is why it is my current favourite belt out there.

As for my favourite belt of all time, that's a trickier decision to make. I've seen a lot of belts over the years, and I've liked a lot of them for different reasons. Maybe they fit the character well, maybe they looked awesome, or maybe it's as simple as they looked like what I think a belt should look like. I feel my "all-time" pick has all three of those characteristics. It wasn't designed specially for any particular superstar, but like the current TNA Heavyweight Championship it had a bit old old-school flair to it that made it appropriate for any champion. It looked like a serious championship belt.



The WWE Undisputed Championship (which eventually became known as the WWE Championship after the brand extension) is my favourite wrestling belt of all time. I won't go into a huge detailed description of why, because my reasoning for it is almost exactly the same as my reasoning for picking the TNA belt earlier. It was simple, elegant, and appropriate for any champion. Unfortunately it wasn't around for very long before John Cena introduced the spinner belt that's still in use today, but I continue to hold out hope that we will see a new belt in the near future.

The spinner belt was good as a gimmick belt, but just like Stone Cold's "Smoking Skull" belt wouldn't really work for anyone other than him, the spinner doesn't work for anybody. It's tacky as hell, and it's time for it to go.

Honorable Mentions: WWE European Championship, (Current)TNA X Division Championship, WWE Hardcore Championship

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And with that, Day 8 is officially in the bag. I'm almost a third of the way through this challenge, and so far I've really enjoyed doing it. It's forced me to think more than once, and I always enjoy having to do that. So readers, what are your favourite championship belts? There's so many different ones out there now and throughout history, so I'd love the chance to hear your thoughts. I'll be back tomorrow with the continuation of this challenge. Also, don't forget to check out my other new column taking a look at the upcoming No Surrender PPV
at this link. So until tomorrow, I bid you all farewell, and thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email: lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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I've made no secret of the fact that I'm a huge fan of tag team wrestling. Done properly, tag team wrestling can tell stories that are as good, if not better, than a lot of singles feuds can. Most people can relate to having a friend that they count on, much like a tag team wrestler counts on their partner, and that helps add to the potential drama. Perhaps more important than that though is that tag team wrestling is so versatile in terms of how it can be portrayed on screen.

You could have two guys like Bubba Ray and Devon Dudley that teamed together for the majority of their careers and are still sold as real-life brothers. Maybe it's two guys who team together only to keep one upping each other to satiate their competitive natures like Matt Morgan and Crimson did. Or maybe it's a couple of young guys that may not be able to make it on their own, but together can create magic in the ring with other tag teams like The Hardyz or Edge and Christian did. Sure, you'll often have one partner who is the stronger all-around talent of the team (there's a reason the weaker partner of a tag team is still referred to as the "Marty Janetty" of the pair), but at the end of the day a tag team is capable of boosting multiple wrestlers' credibility and popularity, perhaps to the point where one (or both) guys go on to have successful singles careers (again, Edge and Christian being prime examples).

Tag team wrestling is far from being at the level of greatness it was once at, but all hope is not lost. My current favourite team is, not surprisingly, from TNA. Both men have had solid singles careers as well as tag team careers with a few different partners each. With the main event scene as full as it is in TNA right now, these two guys being teamed together was really the best possible outcome to avoid having them get lost in the shuffle. Not that either of them were exactly next in line for a main event push, but between the BFG Series, Aces & Eights, and other small main event feuds, they needed something to set them apart and get themselves some TV time. At first, they played the villain to AJ Styles' hero in a storyline that quickly went from provocative and interesting to deep in the realm of ridiculous, and at that point it looked like they were in danger of becoming irrelevant again. Thanks to their continued determination, some solid Creative Team work, and a few delicious looking appletinis, Christopher Daniels & Kazarian have managed to remain my current favourite tag team.

Kazarian is one of those guys that just can't seem to catch a break. When he signed with WWE in 2005, a lot of people seemed to think he was one of the hottest items on the market, and for good reason. He had a good look and could certainly deliver in the ring, and clearly someone in WWE management saw something in the guy as he quickly began a small undefeated streak on Velocity. He didn't last long in the company however, and was granted his release after realizing the company had no plans to revamp their Cruiserweight division. After a brief return to the independent scene, Kazarian returned to TNA. He dabbled in the main event scene, even getting a few shots at the World Heavyweight Championship, but none of those runs ever really stuck. Not that there's anything wrong with being a 5-time X-Division and 3-time Tag Team Champion.

Daniels, like Kazarian, has never really managed to become a staple of the main event scene. As an 8-time Tag Team and 4-time X-Division Champion, Daniels is one of the more decorated superstars on the TNA roster. At 41 years old, and with TNA clearly going in a younger direction, Daniels' chances of ever winning "the big one" are quickly diminishing. That being said, he is FAR from useless. His recent work both in the ring and on the mic prove that Daniels still has what it takes to be an important part of the TNA family. Hell, he was consistently the most entertaining part of that entire Claire Lynch storyline, and making that train wreck entertaining was certainly no easy task.

These guys as a team are incredible. What one guy lacks, the other guy makes up for. They work together perfectly, and I can only hope that they stay together for quite some time as tag team wrestling needs more pairs like them.

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I'm sure there's going to be lots of different opinions on today's challenge, once again I ask you to leave your comments below. Who are your favourite tag teams, either currently or of all time? I'll be back again tomorrow with the next installation of this 30 Day Challenge, but until then, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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At first, I really didn't know what to make of today's challenge. It just reminded me of one of those "If you were an ice cream flavour…" type questions that seem to go hand-in-hand with those cheesy dating shows. Do I use this opportunity to stroke my own ego and choose some big-name superstar? Or should I really take a look at my "similarities" with a wrestler and choose them?

I spent some time today trying to answer this question, and through doing that I actually made my pick as well. Or picks I should say, since I'm going to cheat a little and go with 2 different names. As always, I'll give the pick a bit of an introduction before going into my justifications for them.

The first name I chose also happens to be one of my current favourite wrestlers out there. Up until the past couple of years, no one ever bought that he would be more than a career tag-team wrestler. I was one of those people. I never thought I'd see the day where Bully Ray would be considered a main event talent, even if it is just for TNA. There are more than a few wrestlers that have seen drastic career boosts from a simple character change, and I think Bully Ray is a perfect example of how effective and important a wrestling company's creative team can be. When he joined TNA as Brother Ray, he and Devon resumed their spots as tag team royalty. Neither man looked likely to really break out as effective singles wrestlers, and when they teased a "big announcement", everyone figured they were announcing their retirements from the industry. That didn't happen, and both men have now embarked on singles careers. Again though, no one expected that Ray would be the more successful of the two.

Now, Bully Ray is one of the most entertaining characters on the entire TNA roster. Not only that, he has improved in the ring so drastically that I hardly believe he's the same guy that used to call for tables back in WWE. He's in a position now where the fans are DYING to see him finally get the chance to be at the top as World Champion, and there's no doubt that if he stays with TNA, that will happen one day soon.

The second wrestler I chose for today's column is going to be even more of a surprise pick. This man will never be confused with Steve Austin in terms of charisma, but in the ring he is one of the better technical wrestlers in recent memory. He is one of those guys that never really stood a chance of winning a major WWE title, but the mid-card role he served was just as important. Because he was so good in the ring, anyone that worked with him was better for it as he had the ability to make them look amazing. On top of that, he's a proud Canadian. My second pick is none other than Lance Storm.

So why do I feel I am "most like" these two superstars? Allow me to explain.

I've been writing in the LoP Columns Forum for years now under various incarnations. Long before I became "TheCrow", I wrote a column titled "Between Scylla and Charybdis" (a shout out to my degree in Greek History and a metal song by Trivium) that was, more often than not, well received by my readers. It was my first attempt at a "gimmick" column, and it was alright. Unfortunately I was forced to stop writing for a while, and when I eventually did return I saw that my previous account was no longer available (likely due to a board reset). I just about went back to the same old thing I had been doing, until I realized something. There was such a lack of good and impartial TNA coverage on LoP, and as a big fan of the company I felt they deserved better. Smartbreak Kid had been posting a column on the Main Page titled "The TNA Tirade", but had at that point stopped posting for whatever reason. I decided to create a new "identity" for myself, and with that "TheCrow" and his new column "The TNA Tribute" was born.

Like Bully Ray, I don't think anyone expected me to make it "big" on this site. Some people were telling me that there was no place on this site for a columnist that only wrote about TNA. I had never won a competition in the forums, and I don't think I had even been nominated for "Column of the Month" more than once or twice. Once I renewed myself and began my TNA-themed column, things changed. More and more people were reading and commenting on my work, and I was nominated every single month for CotM. I still never won, but I did come close. Had I stayed around a while longer I'm sure the award would eventually have gone to me, but about a year ago today, I got the news that I was being brought up to the Main Page. Now, with a number of columns under my belt and a much wider base of readers, I feel as though I'm on the top of my game, and I have no intentions of slowing down now.

As for my reasoning for being "like" Lance Storm, it's pretty simple. We're both Canadian.

But of course, that's not the only reason. How lame would that be?

I may not have the trolling ability of Tito, or the fan base and "flash" of Hustle, but what I do have is the ability to remain technically sound with my writing. I'm not immune to making spelling and/or grammar mistakes, but overall I believe my raw writing ability has always been one of my greatest strengths as a columnist. Can I be funny? Absolutely. Can I be analytical? Hell yes. I feel like Lance Storm is under-appreciated as a wrestler because of his past gimmicks (much like I feel I have been to some extent because of my open fandom of TNA), but he's still one of the best technical guys around.

Looks like I did stroke my ego a bit at the end there, but I'm over it. Deal with it haters.

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So there we have it folks, the wrestlers I feel I am "most like". Do you agree with my assessments? Do you think a different name would have been a better fit? Are there any wrestlers you feel you are like? Let me know! Feedback has been fantastic so far, so let's keep this party going. See you again tomorrow folks.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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This will, in all likelihood, be my shortest entry in this 30 Day Challenge. There have been plenty of female wrestlers I've disliked over the years, but saddling one with the title of "least favourite of all-time" is tricky because I feel it will be harder to come up with reasons as concrete as my justifications for my least favourite male wrestlers. That being said, I will certainly do my best.

My pick is somebody that I didn't always dislike. I first saw her in TNA where she had a brief stint as a member of Raven's stable "The Gathering". She didn't accomplish anything truly remarkable in her short time there, and before long she disappeared. Fast forward a couple of years, and this woman makes her debut in WWE, being placed in a program with the incomparable Trish Stratus. I enjoyed the drama that developed out of that feud and actually began to look at this woman in a similar fashion to Stratus in that she wasn't the greatest in-ring worker, but everything else about her character made up for that one shortcoming.

I know what you're thinking. "Crow, if you thought she was so much like Trish Stratus, how did this mystery woman become your least favourite female wrestler?" Well dear reader, allow me to explain.


Stock photo of today's pick. If you don't get it, good. Preserve your innocence as long as you can.


Nearing the end of her run in WWE, Mickie James just looked like she was caring less and less about her wrestling career. She started getting out of shape (relative to how she looked upon her debut), stopped being as good in the ring, and just stopped being able to make me care about anything her character did. Sure you could blame it on being put into that awful "Piggy James" storyline, but I call bullshit there. She is far from the first wrestler to be put in a humiliating storyline, and she sure as hell wasn't the last, and if that is why she started to suck, I think that speaks loads about her as a professional.

After leaving WWE, I don't think anyone really doubted where James would end up. She took some time to wrestle at a few indy shows and record her music album, but less than a year after leaving WWE, James appeared in TNA. Almost immediately, she was thrust into the Knockouts Championship picture, but (to TNA's credit) they didn't just immediately throw the title on her. She did eventually capture the title (and has held it twice since her debut), but that has nothing to do with my growing dislike.

When she debuted in TNA, it was pretty clear she had put on even more weight during her time away from the ring. She wasn't fat or anything, but she was noticeably chubbier than I had ever seen her before. On top of that, she looked to have suffered from pretty severe ring rust, despite having wrestled matches between her time in WWE and TNA. She would get noticeably winded not long into matches, and botched so many spots you would swear she was Sin Cara. Even now, in late 2012, she is FAR from the wrestler she was when she debuted in WWE. I groan every time she appears on my TV because I just don't care anymore. There are so many talented females on the TNA roster that they don't really need to keep Mickie James around anymore. She offers very little to the division, and I'm sure she gets paid quite well for what work she does.

It may be time for TNA to sever ties with Mickie James. They don't need her anymore. They have Tara on the roster as a veteran name, and she is significantly better than Mickie is anyways. She's had a good career, and I won't go so far as to say she needs to retire, but she just isn't at that top level of ability anymore.

So with all that said, Mickie James is my pick for my least favourite female wrestler.

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See? Pretty short entry there. I'm sure some of you will have your own opinions on my pick, and I of course welcome them, so as always feel free to shoot me a line. I'll be back again tomorrow, so until then, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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Oh how I'm going to enjoy this one.

When I think about the wrestler I dislike the most right now, only one name springs to mind. He's a guy who has been wrestling for around 5 years now, and in that time has shown little to no improvement. He's still the same guy in the ring and on the mic that he was when he debuted. When he debuted in TNA in 2010 and was quickly saddled with an undefeated streak gimmick, I hoped that he would improve, but he didn't. When he was teamed with (and eventually feuded with) Matt Morgan, one of the best "big men" in the industry today, I hoped that he might pick up a few skills, but he didn't.

Crimson is still useless. He went undefeated for 470 days, fighting some of the best names in TNA, and he did not improve in any significant way. Not only can he still not wrestle, but he might be the one person on this planet with less acting ability and fewer facial expressions than Kristen Stewart. Beyond that, I have yet to see anything that makes me think he's even a good person, aside from his service in the military. If you read his Twitter feed, it's usually full of nothing but ego-stroking and angry replies to his haters (which, more often than not, he quickly deletes).

After his swift and unceremonious first defeat, Crimson (finally) went away. He's been sent to OVW to train, so thankfully I've been spared having to watch him attempt to wrestle on TV every week, but knowing he's still allowed to step in the ring is frustrating enough. I sincerely doubt that his brief time away from Impact has improved his skills any more than the past year and a half has, so I don't feel guilty for continuing to have such disdain for his existence. If the day ever comes that he is capable of pulling off a halfway decent match I'll reconsider, but until that point… #FuckCrimson.

Oh, and he blocked me on Twitter because I told him he sucked. Crimson can get all the fucking way out of this industry.



As for my least favourite of all time, that's a trickier decision to make. I try to make it a point to stay positive about things I see when I watch wrestling, as evidenced by my unwavering loyalty to TNA, but there have of course been multiple occasions where I find myself disliking a wrestler. But to say someone is my least favourite wrestler of ALL TIME? That's a pretty harsh title to hand out.

This pick may seem strange to some of you, but John Morrison would have to be my all-time least favourite wrestler.

I tried to like him, I really did. When some people were saying The Miz was going to end up as the Marty Janetty of their tag team, I really tried to see it. I just never could. When the more obnoxious Morrison fans started calling him "the next Shawn Michaels", that was the final straw. I'm far from the biggest Shawn Michaels fan in the world, but one thing I know for sure is that Morrison doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as Michaels.

How often did Morrison actually hit his "Starship Pain" finisher without botching it? How often did he cut a promo that made me actually care about what he was saying? The most entertained I've ever been by John Morrison was during "The Dirt Sheet" with Miz, but I think most of that had to do with Miz making him look good. John Morrison is, at best, a glorified spot monkey. Has he improved since leaving WWE? Maybe, I honestly haven't seen any of his work since he left. I sincerely doubt though that he's managed to turn into a main event ready superstar this quickly, especially with his ego getting in the way.

Speaking of Morrison's ego, I can recall the exact moment when he went from being a wrestler I simply disliked to being considered my least favourite of all time. When the news came out that Morrison had disrespected Trish Stratus leading up to and after their match at Wrestlemania 27, that is when I decided I gave no more shits about him. Even if you aren't a fan of Stratus', there is no denying that when it comes to female wrestlers, she is a legend. You just don't disrespect a legend like that, especially when it's because your bitch of a girlfriend decided she deserved the Wrestlemania spot more.

Sure, you could argue that Snooki didn't deserve a spot on the card, and I wouldn't entirely disagree with that, but we all know how WWE LOVES to have a mainstream celebrity (or WWE Legend) involved in a match of some kind. It makes sense, because it gets the event mainstream publicity, which could result in more PPV buys, which of course results in the company making MORE MONEY. Jersey Shore may not have been at the height of its popularity at the time of Wrestlemania 28, but I guarantee you more people know the name "Snooki" than the name "Melina". Morrison had no right to disrespect Trish Stratus like he did.

So let's recap. John Morrison is my least favourite wrestler because I think he's about as overrated as it comes, his fans annoy me, he's boring, and he disrespected a legend of this business because he couldn't keep his ego in check. If he someday returns to WWE (or ends up debuting in TNA) I will give him a chance to change my mind, but it's going to take some work. For now, my dislike will remain at the level it's at.

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I bet none of you expected that "all-time" pick. Hell, it surprised me a bit when I was trying to come up with a name to decide on. I thought maybe Crimson or Shannon Moore, but I (obviously) ended up choosing John Morrison. Crimson did make the list of course, and as seen above he is my CURRENT least favourite wrestler, but he just hasn't "wronged" me enough as a fan to deserve a "least favourite of all-time" title. Yet. There's still time.

What do you folks think of my picks? Who are your least favourite male wrestlers? As always, feel free to shoot me a line and let me know your thoughts and opinions. I'll be back tomorrow, so until then, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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If I thought picking a favourite female wrestler was difficult, picking my favourite male wrestler is going to be a task and a half. Like yesterday, I'll pick both a current and an all-time favourite, just to make things a bit easier on myself.

My all-time favourite isn't going to be that much of a shock to anybody considering I already mentioned my fandom for him in Day 1 of this challenge. My all-time favourite wrestler isn't one of the usual picks like Flair or Savage, but when talking about the all-time greats of this business he absolutely deserves to be brought up. In the ring he's capable of pulling off great matches with just about any opponent. Hell, I'm sure he could even make TNA's Garret Bischoff look like a million bucks in a feud. In terms of being a pure athlete, very few people are on his level. Even now, at almost 44 years old, he is still in better shape than a lot of guys half his age. Add on top of that the fact that he can still wrestle at a 5-Star level despite multiple serious injuries?

I am, of course, talking about Kurt Angle. As I mentioned in Day 1, Angle will forever represent to me the point in time when I became a more mature wrestling fan that grew to appreciate more than just aerial acrobatics in the ring and began to appreciate a more technical wrestling style and of course the ability to tell a story in the ring. He inspired me to always push myself harder, particularly when it came to athletics. Like anybody, Angle has had his dark days, and they even led to him leaving WWE for TNA. While a lot of people may look at that as a "demotion", I truly don't. Angle made a move that was better for him personally AND professionally, and he has helped TNA to improve since his signing. TNA is loaded with solid, young talent, but what they had been missing was a veteran with Angle's skills to really help push them to the next level. Sure they had guys like Nash, Sting, and Booker T, but none of them are on Angle's level anymore. Angle is exactly what TNA needed.

I do hope that Angle goes back to WWE eventually to finish off his career. WWE could benefit from his veteran presence as much as TNA has, and that is especially true now with their current movement to push younger talent. Imagine the feuds he could have with guys like Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, among many others? There is so much good that could come from his WWE return, but as long as he's happy in TNA, I hope he stays there. His health and well-being is more important than a fan's desire to see some "dream matches".

That wasn't so hard. I knew going into today who my "all-time" pick would be, so it was just a matter of typing up some other words about him. The real challenge is going to be in picking my current favourite wrestler.

I'm sure many of you are expecting me to name Bobby Roode or James Storm here, but that isn't going to happen. Yes, I'm a huge fan of both wrestlers, but no, they are not my favourites. I could go ahead and name Kurt Angle as my current favourite since he's still actively wrestling, but what fun would that be? My current favourite is a guy that I've had the pleasure of not only meeting in person and socializing with him, but a guy that I've had the pleasure of watching develop as a wrestler. He's considered one of the best wrestlers in the business right now, and it's pretty damn hard to dispute that claim.

Daniel Bryan is my current favourite wrestler. When he first signed on to WWE as a member of the inaugural NXT crew, I, like many other people, figured he would win the contract and go on to have a solid mid-card career. It was pretty clear that someone in management wanted to push him, considering he was a main focus of his NXT season, but I don't think very many people foresaw the kind of success he would end up achieving. In a very short period of time, he went from being a great wrestler with a boring personality (Lance Storm anyone?) to a great wrestler that is ALSO one of the most entertaining guys on the roster. Not only that, Daniel Bryan has now held one of the top prizes in the wrestling industry as World Heavyweight Champion.

I mentioned that I've had the pleasure of socializing with Daniel Bryan before, and it's true. It was a few years before he signed with WWE when he was wrestling at a show near my hometown, and the crew was doing a special "Bowl with the Wrestlers" night at the local bowling alley. I hadn't heard of many of the guys on the card, but Jimmy Hart and Kamala were announced to be there so I figured it would be worth the price of admission to see them. Basically the way it worked was this: we got brought into a room where merchandise was being sold, got a chance to take pictures with the wrestlers, and then we were all split up into teams, each one led by a different wrestler. I wanted to be on Sinn Bodhi's (the former Kizarny) team, but I got placed with some guy named "The American Dragon". I was disappointed at first, but that quickly faded once I struck up a conversation with the guy. Not only did he clearly love the business, he was a really nice guy that took the time to make sure I left as a fan.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think he would reach the levels of success that he has, but I'm so glad that he has. I hope that I someday have the chance to shake his hand again and thank him for that day that he made me a fan of his, because it's been incredibly rewarding to watch his career progress.

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That's Day 3 in the bag. So readers, who is your favourite male wrestler today? Or of all time? Let me know what you think. I'll be back tomorrow with the fourth challenge of this series. So until then, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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I'm a fan of women's wrestling. There, I said it.

A lot of other fans I've interacted with in some form over the years seem to view any match involving a female being anything more than a valet as a convenient time to take a piss break and grab a snack (hopefully after washing their hands). I can't blame them for becoming so negative and jaded though, because the state of mainstream women's wrestling is, for the most part, not good these days. WWE has two of the better female wrestlers in the world with Beth Phoenix and Natalya, but has that helped to reinvent a failing division? No. Even TNA, who I've said on multiple occasions has a much superior women's division to WWE, is far from perfect. They are also loaded with talent, and they even have TWO different titles these women can fight for, but even when storylines and feuds start with so much promise, they usually fail to deliver in a meaningful enough way to leave a positive impression on the majority of the fan base.

But a commentary on the state of mainstream women's wrestling is a topic for a whole other column.

First, let's talk about my favourite CURRENT female wrestler. At first I thought this would be trickier, but after thinking about it I knew I was left with only one option. Unfortunately I've only begun to get into the independent women's wrestling scene, so many very talented names will be out of the running for my decision here. I'd love to pick a name like Nicole Matthews or KC Spinelli (from the local British Columbia promotion ECCW) or Christina Von Eerie (formerly Toxxin in TNA), but the truth is I haven't seen nearly enough of their work to properly make a decision of this "magnitude".


I have a weakness for girls with tattoos


No. My favourite current female wrestler is someone who has been around for quite some time. She debuted in WWE a little over a decade ago with no real wrestling experience, and has since become one of the best to ever step between the ropes. Even now, at 41 years old and with a much lower amount of shits given to mainstream women's wrestling, she has the ability to pull off great matches and make her opponent look like a million bucks. She has shown she can pull off many different characters as well. From the creepy and violent heel to the sweet best friend, Tara (formerly Victoria in WWE) is my favourite female competitor in wrestling today.

It's unfortunate that women's wrestling is in such a bad state these days, because back when she was being mega-pushed in WWE I thought things could only get better. That obviously hasn't been the case. Tara might seem like an odd pick, given her age and decreasing TV time, but I value quality over quantity any day. She is still one of the best, and until the day she decides to hang up her boots for good, I'm sure my mind won't be changed without VERY good reason.

Now for my favourite of all time.

I won't bother giving some long and drawn-out introduction for this woman, because frankly she doesn't need one. That's especially impressive when you think about how short her career as a professional wrestler really was. In only 6 years, she was able to make such a name for herself that she is STILL considered one of the best Divas of all time. While she is certainly not the best WRESTLER of all time in terms of her in-ring skills, it is her ability to pull off a variety of characters that won me over. Oh, and the fact that she is a fellow Canadian certainly doesn't hurt. Whether it was using her sexuality to get her way, or her natural likeability to gain an ally, Trish Stratus is my all-time favourite female wrestler.



The retirement of Trish Stratus represents, to me at least, the death of the last truly awesome era of women's wrestling. An era where the Creative Team seemed to actually give a shit and book REAL storylines between the Divas. An era where, on any given night, you could see a match between two women that would actually cross the "3 Star" mark.

To avoid ending this column on such a dark note, I'll leave you with this. Women's wrestling is far from the glory it knew not all that long ago, but with the amount of talent currently gaining popularity on the independent circuit, I really hope that changes. Mainstream women's wrestling might still be in a rough state, but the indy scene is full of potential. You just have to look a little harder for it. I doubt we'll ever see the day where a female wrestler will approach the popularity of guys like Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, or John Cena, but there could very well be the next Trish Stratus waiting to get her chance to shine. Only time will tell I suppose.

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And with that, "Day 2" of this challenge is complete. Tomorrow's topic will be about my favourite male wrestler, and like today I will be naming both my CURRENT favourite and my ALL TIME favourite. Who will be chosen? You'll have to tune in tomorrow to find out. So until then, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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I've been watching professional wrestling for a number of years now, but the type of fan I am now compared to the type of fan I was 15 years ago are very different things. Before I discovered this wonderful (sometimes frustrating) community known as the IWC, I was your typical young fan that was very easily amazed and entertained. Before I "matured" as a wrestling fan, I couldn't help but love high-flying and unique offence, even if it wasn't always the greatest from a technical standpoint.

Because I didn't always have access to cable TV growing up, most of the wrestling I got to watch was on tapes, courtesy of a family friend. Occasionally he would have my family over for dinner and I'd get to watch live, and I always treasured those moments the most because I got to watch my favourite form of entertainment with someone I looked up to both as a person and a wrestling fan.

The wrestler that I loved the most growing up is going to surprise a lot of you who are familiar with my past columns as I've certainly had some negative things to say about him. This man isn't an "all-time great" like Flair, Hogan, or Savage, but by the time I was watching wrestling those guys weren't exactly in their prime, and I couldn't fully appreciate what they had done for the industry. No, my favourite wrestler growing up was perhaps the embodiment of unique offence. He did things in the ring that, at the time, I didn't think anybody else could do. From old ECW tapes right up to his early work in WWE, Rob Van Dam was the man to me.

I'll give you all a moment to recover from the shock there.

RVD's attitude drew me in just as much as his in-ring work. Something about him just screamed "I don't give a shit", and as a cocky little kid that entertained me. After having watched more than a few old ECW tapes of his work, I was ecstatic to see him join the WWE in 2001. I was 12 at the time, still just starting my maturation as a wrestling fan, and my opinion of him was still as positive as ever. RVD was the same high-flying badass that I had grown up watching, and though it was different from his ECW days, it was still awesome. His numerous battles in the Hardcore division were, at the time, among the highlights of my wrestling viewership.

Fast forward to 2003, and things had began to change. I can still remember being pissed off at Kane for turning on RVD after losing his mask, but I was not nearly as rabid an RVD fan as I had been over the past few years. Another wrestler had been on my radar for a while, but I wasn't able to appreciate what he brought to the table at the time. But then, as I embarked on my own amateur wrestling quest, things shifted so suddenly that it actually caught me off guard as a fan. All of a sudden I found myself caring less and less about how many flips a guy could do in the ring and focused far more on the technical and storytelling aspects of things. I'm sure you can guess where this is all headed by now.

Kurt Angle quickly became my new favourite. I wanted to be just like him. An accomplished amateur wrestler as well as an accomplished professional wrestler. My respect for Angle was second to none, and any time I felt like giving up and quitting my wrestling team, I just thought to myself: "Kurt Angle did this at a higher level WITH a broken neck, I need to stop being such a little bitch." Unfortunately, as I mentioned in an earlier column, I was eventually forced to quit for medical reasons, but that did nothing to shake my fandom. Even when I wasn't wrestling, Angle held a special place in this wrestling fan's heart.

Kurt Angle will forever represent to me a critical point in my time as a wrestling fan. He is the guy that converted me from a casual, immature wrestling fan who was so easily entertained by what I now consider spot-monkeys to a mature wrestling fan who is able to appreciate MORE of what wrestlers can offer in the ring.

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So there we have it. The two wrestlers I grew up idolizing couldn't be any more different, but they both served important roles in my development as a fan. I may not have "matured" as quickly as other fans, but I'm content with where my fandom is at right now.

So what about you fine readers? Who were your favourites growing up? The best part of this whole "30 Day Challenge" is discussing the points with fellow wrestling fans, and because of how specific each day's "challenge" is, it really isn't that hard to spark discussion.

But that's it for me for now. I'll be back tomorrow with Day 2 of this challenge. Until then though, thanks for stopping by.

******

Get In Touch With Me

Email:
lopcrowsnest@aol.com

Twitter:

Skype: thecrowlop

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