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…
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.