The Crow's Nest - Debuts and Returns: My Response to WWE's "One More Match" List
Aug 23, 2012 - 3:02:23 AM
1) Debuts and Returns: My Response to WWE's "One More Match" List (23/08/12)
In case you didn't bother to read the article, WWE recently put out a list of the 15 superstars that should return for one more match. In case you're too busy to click through THAT list, the fine folks here at LordsOfPain.net have written out the list, which I will now post here to make it even easier for you lazy bastards.
15) Scott Steiner
14) Honky Tonk Man
13) Michelle McCool
12) Steve Blackman
10) Mick Foley
8) Shane McMahon
6) Trish Stratus
5) Shawn Michaels
4) Bret Hart
2) Ultimate Warrior
1) "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
That… is certainly an interesting list.
Some of those names are a given, and I'd be surprised if they DIDN'T appear on most peoples' list of this nature. There are however a few names that make me wonder exactly what drugs the author (authors?) of this article was on when he wrote it, and more importantly where I can FIND these drugs so that I may too experience the level of hallucination required to think Steve Blackman should ever wrestle again, because I have never been that high in my life.
To clear up that last point, I don't hate Steve Blackman. I really don't. He is far from the WORST thing to ever happen to the professional wrestling industry, but he's also far from the best. I wouldn't have even considered putting him on this list, but mostly because I don't tend to remember he ever existed. To a lesser extent, I apply the same point to names like Honky Tonk Man (who I've seen enough of at indy shows to fill any desire to see him wrestle again) and Shane McMahon (who likely isn't going to do the same stupid crap he used to do). Nothing really AGAINST these guys, I just would not put them on a top 15 list of wrestlers I'd like to see wrestle again.
So this got me to thinking: who WOULD I put on my list? And of course, being that I am the resident "TNA Guy" on LoP, I had to come up with a way to put a TNA related twist on my column. So today, I'm going to come up with a list of superstars I'd like to see return to the WWE ring, and also a few names from the TNA roster that I'd like to see perform under the McMahon flag. Let's get this bitch underway shall we?
* - I don't actually want these names to LEAVE TNA any time soon. What I mean by including them on this list is IF they were to find themselves as free agents, I'd like to see them get signed to WWE. Hopefully that clears up my objective.
TheCrow's Top 10 List of Superstars Who Should Return For One More Match
10) Scott Steiner
This pick might shock some of you, and to be honest I hesitated to put him on this list at all, but obviously I decided to go with my gut on this one. Steiner has slowed down with age, but he's still a powerhouse that can go in the ring if he's in there with the right guy. But the reason that really convinced me to put him on the list has nothing to do with his wrestling ability and EVERYTHING to do with his hilarious promos. He'll never be confused with a guy like Mick Foley on the mic, but Steiner brings such a hilarious air of intensity to his promos that I would love to see the buildup to his return feud. I enjoyed his work in TNA, mostly for the promos, and I would love to see him end his career with a WWE match. It wouldn't be pretty, but it would be a nice end to his career.
I enjoyed him in the APA, but I didn't really become a huge fan until he returned as the heel from Wall Street. It's amazing how a simple revamping of a character can turn someone from career tag-team wrestler to one of the better heels of the modern era. All jokes about his man-boobs aside, JBL is a big dude that looks like a legitimate threat against any opponent he faces. His in-ring skills weren't pretty, but they worked perfectly for what his character was. I cringed every time he hit that Clothesline From Hell finisher. He's getting older (46 this year) but is still in great shape and I'm sure he could make a convincing return to the ring, even if it was just for one more match.
8) Stevie Richards
This is a guy that has sadly been on the proverbial shit end of the stick for most of his career. He's immensely talented, and if he was just starting his career now instead of starting to wind it down, I think things would be very different. In today's age where smaller guys are being given chances to run with the top championships, Richards would absolutely flourish. Luckily he's still fairly young (40) and still wrestles actively on the indy circuits, so a return match wouldn't be hard to organize. I'd love to see him in a WWE ring against guys like Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and CM Punk.
7) Trish Stratus
It hasn't been a super long time since we last saw Stratus in a WWE ring, but she absolutely still deserves to be on this list. Despite how poorly the divisions are often booked in the "big companies", I'm still a fan of women's wrestling. Yes, part of it has to do with a lot of them being easy on the eyes, but it's mostly just because I see so much potential. There is SO much female talent out there, and it's unfortunate that they aren't used better. Stratus has proved time and time again that women can be solid draws, and it would be nice to see a reminder that this is still possible. Stratus is one of the best, and is still in fantastic shape, and I'd love to see her grace the WWE ring again.
Another name I'm sure some of you will be shocked to see included here, but I didn't question including him for a second. When I started watching wrestling, Tajiri was regularly one of the guys I looked forward to seeing in the ring. I wasn't super familiar with his ECW work when he landed in WWE, but something about him drew me in as a fan almost immediately. The language barrier was a bit of an issue, but Tajiri never failed to deliver in the ring. If this was a list of my top cruiserweight wrestlers of all time, Tajiri would still deserve to be on that list as well. Just thinking about the matches he could have in today's WWE makes me drool a bit, and I hope someday it becomes a reality. #BringBackTheBuzzsaw.
Does this one need a lot of explanation? When he left WWE, Batista was putting out some of the best work of his career. I know he has issues with the current PG product, and I think he'd be a bit limited in what he could do in that environment as a heel, but the hype for a Batista return match could have just the edge needed to make some people start to care again. I won't whine about how much I hate WWE being PG, because really I have no serious issue with it, but I'd like to see Batista return as a heel, if only temporarily. Put him up as the anti-WWE guy (much like Lesnar was supposed to be upon his return) against a guy like John Cena (who is clearly the face of the company) and you have yourself a program that could last well over a month, even if Batista was only slated to wrestle one more time before leaving for good. Who knows, maybe the wrestling bug would bite hard and he'd end up sticking around? WWE could use a veteran heel in its ranks.
4) Ricky Steamboat
Steamboat proved not too long ago that even at his age (59), he still has what it takes to work a good match. He may not have a lot of legends to work with right now, but there is so much potential on the current roster. The first name that springs to mind is none other than Dolph Ziggler, the man who many call one of the best bumpers around today. Steamboat might still be able to wrestle, but having an opponent that can make you look like a serious threat never hurts. Steamboat is a big enough legend that most fans still know who he is, and against the right opponent this match could be a great addition to any PPV card. Do I need to say any more? I didn't think so. Moving on.
3) "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
WWE had him at #1 on their list, and he ALMOST made it to that point on mine. It's impossible to deny the impact that Austin had on the industry, and on me personally back when I was still a very new fan. Here you have a guy that is solid (but nothing special) in the ring, had a decent look (again, nothing too special), and the ability to cut a promo for just about any occasion. Since his retirement, fans have been screaming for "one more match". Obviously nothing has really come of that, but people still hold out hope that it will someday happen. That, more than anything, is a testament to Austin's legacy. The fans deserve to see it, his opponent would have the honour of wrestling a top legend, and Austin would get to go out on a high-note before hanging up the boots for good. It's a win/win situation, and maybe someday it will become a reality.
Edge is another example of how effective a simple character tweak can be. He went from being a career mid-carder to main event staple almost overnight, and as much as I hate how short the majority of his World Championship reigns were, Edge made it work. But for me personally, I want to see him back for one more match because I hate how his career ended. I know from experience (on a much smaller scale of course) how much it hurts to be forced to leave a sport you love because of an injury. I mentioned earlier that I used to wrestle in high school, and I was actually pretty damn good. Unfortunately, multiple concussions and a couple of other injuries forced me to stop before I could take it to the next level. So because of that, I have a personal reason to want to see Edge wrestle again. On top of that, there's the fact that Edge is just awesome. If he ever gets healthy enough to wrestle again safely, I would love to see him perform one last time.
Could there be any other pick? Damn this girl can wrestle. Every other Diva can go to hell.
But seriously though, my number one pick goes to…
1) Kurt Angle
Any of you who are even mildly familiar with my taste in wrestlers should have expected to see Angle pop on this list at some point. Since he's still a somewhat active wrestler in TNA, I almost didn't include him here since he (**spoiler alert**) is a lock for the second list of this column, but to hell with it. This is my column. Angle is one of my all-time favourite wrestlers, both real and "not real", and is the reason I got into "real" wrestling back in high school. He's getting older, but he is absolutely still capable of 5-star matches against just about anybody. If Angle ever does decide to leave TNA, he deserves to retire back in the WWE, and only after giving the fans one more match before joining the Hall of Fame and signing a DVD deal. I'd be hard-pressed to pick his opponent because there's so many matches I'd like to see happen. I know this is probably the most likely "return match" on this list, so unless something terrible happens to Angle I will continue to hold out hope that I'll see him perform in WWE once again.
I could do without that creepy pedo smile though…
Honorable Mentions: Carlito, Muhammed Hassan, Lance Storm, Billy Kidman, Arn Anderson
TheCrow's Top 5 List of Superstars I'd Like to See Jump Ship
5) Bobby Roode
I'm a huge fan of Roode, in case you somehow weren't aware. Since TNA gave him the ball to run with, Roode has absolutely reinvented his career. His heel turn made him a main event success, and before losing the belt to Austin Aries, he was the longest reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion in the title's history. The main reason I want to see him in WWE is to see how the WWE Universe would react. I'm under no false impressions that Roode would be in the same main event position there that he's in over in Orlando, but I also wouldn't rule out an eventual run with the World Heavyweight Championship. Roode has all the necessary skills, and while he may not be "legend" calibre, I'd love to see how he would handle being in a bigger company. It could be very exciting to watch for me as a longtime fan of his.
4) Bully Ray
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Bully Ray is yet another perfect example of how a simple character shift can totally reinvent a career. Five years ago, did any of you think he would one day be a serious contender for a World Title in one of the top wrestling companies in the world? Hell no. He was great as a tag team wrestler, but I don't think anyone foresaw a main event run. I think a large part of his success has to do with TNA allowing its wrestlers to be edgier than WWE, allowing him to really blossom as the vicious heel he's become. So really the question is would he be able to replicate that success in WWE? A lot of the fans there are likely not familiar with his TNA work and therefore, unless they read the news/results on sites like LoP, are unaware of just how far he's come. I doubt he'd ever win a World Title in WWE, but would he still be in the main event scene? I really don't know. He's plenty good enough, but it would all hinge on how edgy McMahon would allow Ray to be. Either way, it would be nice to see him again, even if he came back with Devon to reform The Dudleys.
Calfzilla for World Champion
3) Austin Aries
How many wrestlers have made as big a splash as Aries has in such little time? Aries single-handedly made the X-Division Championship matter again, he's going to make the World Championship look even better than when Roode dropped it, and he's one of the absolute best wrestlers and talkers on the roster. I believe with 100% conviction that, if he were to find himself in WWE, he would eventually become a World Champion there as well. Now would actually be the perfect time for him to be there since WWE seems a lot more willing to give "indy darlings" a chance. I love TNA, I think we all know this, and Aries sticking around there can only be good for the company. That being said, Aries deserves to be in the top company. Once his work in TNA is done, and once he has helped to build them to a stronger position than they've ever been in before, I really hope he makes it to WWE. He deserves it, his fans deserve it, and even people who don't know who he is deserve to see it. TNA might lose a top talent, but the WWE Universe will win. So much win.
2) AJ Styles
Simply put, AJ Styles has done everything there is to do in TNA. He's won all the titles, he's faced most of the names on the roster, and he's played both alignments. There was a time when TNA absolutely NEEDED him around because he was their "golden boy", but that time has passed. His absence would be felt at first, but TNA has enough stars now to make up for it. I wouldn't hold out hope that Styles would ever win a World Championship in WWE, but there is nothing wrong with being an upper mid-card staple. There are just so many possible "dream" match-ups that the fans would be treated to if Styles jumped ship that I couldn't keep him off of my list. Styles has more than payed his dues in TNA, and maybe it's time to see what else is out there for him.
The #1 spot was going to go to Kurt Angle initially, but as I used him on the last list I decided against that. Everyone here has been bumped up a spot because of this, and Roode was only added to the list because of that same reason. He would have been my #6 pick originally. So my new #1 pick is…
I can think of no bigger name that could jump ship than Sting. The last "legend of the past" to have never wrestled under the WWE flag, despite the fans wanting to see it happen. I wouldn't bring him back as a regular character, because there's really no place for him on the roster in that position. I would bring him back around Wrestlemania, have him work a few shows in between, and end with a final match at the NEXT Wrestlemania, perhaps being inducted into the Hall of Fame the night before. Sting is a legend in this business, and despite his age he can still actually wrestle a decent match. If he wants to finish off his career in the big times, he needs to do it soon before it's too late.
So there we have it, two different lists for you all to enjoy. What do you guys think? Did I skip over a name you would have included? Maybe rank someone a little too high or low? Well by now you know how to get in touch with me, so do it up if you want to weigh in on the matter. I'm planning a reader response column for the near future, and due to the nature of THIS column, I want to include some of the feedback in the next one. So if you want to be "featured" there, shoot me a line and let me know what you're thinking.
But until next time readers, thanks for stopping by.
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