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Posted in: Doctor's Orders
Doctor's Orders: The Notorious BRRRAAAAUUNNN (Competition Column) (plus 205 Live is Back in My Viewership Rotation)
By The Doc
Feb 3, 2018 - 4:13:27 PM

”The Doc” Chad Matthews has been a featured writer for LOP since 2004. Initially offering detailed recaps and reviews for WWE's top programs, he transitioned to writing columns in 2010. In addition to his discussion-provoking current event pieces, he has written many acclaimed series about WrestleMania, as well as a popular short story chronicle. The Doc has also penned a book, The WrestleMania Era: The Book of Sports Entertainment, published in 2013. It has been called “the best wrestling book I have ever read” and holds a worldwide 5-star rating on Amazon, where it peaked at #3 on the wrestling charts.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Having a bit of fun, which WWE star imitating a music legend would you find most amusing?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a competition piece that I wrote for the CSI tournament going on in the Columns Forum where we groom the next generation of main page writers and just generally have a good time. The CSI is down to four groups of four writers, with my goal being to advance beyond LOP's Skitz, LOP Radio's Steve, and CF All-Star Sir Sam. Each group is given a different topic with unique stipulations, and ours was to write about "WWE as a musical artist, with a detailed description of the Los Angeles, California skyline." Having not flexed my creative writing muscle in some time, the following is what I came up with. I had a blast writing it and I hope you enjoy it.

Track One
Juicy Remix
The Notorious Braun

Ladies and gentlemen, this story is dedicated to all the short-sighted traditionalists that said that professional wrestling could never work on a national level and who stood in the way of progressing our business to greater heights than anyone thought possible, and to all the media members who scoffed at the idea that sports entertainment was anything less than a highly marketable performance art.

It was all a dream
Gagne said it was a scheme
Regional fiefdoms, the takeover made ‘em scream
Signing all their best talents
From Orndorff to Steamboat, we got the right roster balance
National was the lock, with Hulk the key
He had the name recognition from [I]Rocky III[/I]
Way back, when at MSG we ran Slaughter-Sheik
NWA already up shit creek
To the folks that said, “Ah-Ha, Ah-Ha”
And who sneered at us and thought we broke the law
Now we're all the rage and on the front page
Lauper and us, the “Rock 'n Wrestling” age
Vince grew up in a trailer down in North Carolina
Success must have seemed to him like moving to China
So here's to Hulk, Hammer, and Andre the Giant
Tito, JYD, who stood with us defiant
In '88, we built Titan Towers
Toasted with champagne to our finest hours

Ohhhh Yeahhhhhh! Dig it!

Now Whatcha Gonna Do, Brother!?

You know very well, who we are
Never let 'em hold us down, reached for the stars
Took the world by storm with the one, two, three!
Sports entertainment, humanoids...W-W-E

Rolled out the dough and sold the right arm
To fund WrestleMania, we bet the farm
Our Super Bowl, and a popular twist
Ali and Mr. T with a mainstream assist
Was a huge success, poked our critics in the eye
Hulk Hogan on the cover of SI
An incredible feeling, never been so high
It got bigger from there, everywhere we went
15.2 on an NBC event
Dragon-Macho Man, please take a bow
Hulk and Andre too, for selling ninety-three-thou
In case you thought, “It gets no better than”
Everybody had a price for the Million Dollar Man
Then the Mega Powers, you see they exploded
Our creative gun was always fully loaded
Making Royal Rumble with Pat Patterson, that was cool
Considered cruel, 'cause we pushed Mean Gene in the pool
Never thought we'd see even better days
Man, what a phase…

They had the answers, we changed the questions...brother!

You know very well, who we are
Never let 'em hold us down, reached for the stars
Took the world by storm with the one, two, three!
Sports entertainment, humanoids...W-W-E

Ultimate Warrior, Miss Elizabeth
The Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith
Jake the Snake, Beefcake and Demolition
Bret “Hitman” Hart, the great technician
So many amazing talents, such incredible acts
And independent contractors, so no employee tax
Enjoying an unbelievable flow
Driving fast and hard like there's no tomorrow
Thinking back to the time of the regions
Now basketball arenas are filled by our legions
Not just once a month, but every night
And filled stadiums, what a helluva sight
We used to stay loyal to our little spots
Big picture-wise, we were afterthoughts
Never strayed too far from home
Now we're concerned with selling out Sky Dome
Damn right the crown sure does fit
And we'll kill it with Hulk-Ultimate

It's all good

We came here for one reason: to attack and keep coming

You know very well, who we are
Never let 'em hold us down, reached for the stars
Took the world by storm with the one, two, three!
Sports entertainment, humanoids...W-W-E

Track Two
Mo' Money, Mo' Problems Remix
The Notorious Braun, feat. Vince McMahon and Fandango

Now, we got, so hot
Tell me, who’s the smartest businessman in the world?
Who saw the world anew, and in lieu of pay-per-view
Even when it still drew, created a service
To be viewed via stream; the same old stuff
The past, fans never can get enough
Getting ten buck commitments really ain't that tough
Can't hold us down, two mil per month on deck
Look out Roger Goddell, your candy ass is next

We're number one, it's a fact, deal's done
Thirteen straight quarters of economic home-runs
And that's the bottom line 'cause Austin said so, son
Back to PG, fans, it's about fun
Critics, get on board now, the man is Roman Reigns
Stay quiet, don't balk, don't use your brains
Real star, folks, and a cousin of Dwayne's
So say "Believe That" and then stay in your lanes

We don’t know what they want from the ‘E
It’s like the more we give fans what they ask
The more they disagree

We don’t know what they want from the ‘E
It’s like the more we give fans what they ask
The more they disagree

Yeah, yeah, from the V to the I to the N-C-E
Rather bitch and moan than praise me or Stephanie
You trash all the plots, knock all the spots, catch every botch
All negative thoughts, think it'll get better
When the chairman drops, please
Other men are mortals, you know I'm not
Twenty years from now, I'll still be on top

Hey, what can you say, the man's a robot
If you want some, come get some, (Pipe Bomb!)
Don't care if you want Bryan
Don't care if you want Nak, fools
Follow the rules , you're in preschool (Damn it!)
We wear the crown jewels, stupid mules
You're stuck with hero John, I'm the don
Lesnar has to pin Braun; revere Attitude!
And Punk is gone, plus Bret “Hitman” Hart is retired
And so is Shawn, Yes! Yes! Yes!

We don’t know what they want from the ‘E
It’s like the more we give fans what they ask
The more they disagree

We don’t know what they want from the ‘E
It’s like the more we give fans what they ask
The more they disagree

P-A-R-T, T-I-M-E-R-S, lead us to great success
Limited work days and big pay raise
Show up at Raw, watch the lockerroom eyes gaze
Fans, we own your eyes, the franchise, you guys want cheese with those cries?
So, know you're damn role, and such your damn mouth
Get the T-shirts, get all that merch
Cena arm-bands, ice cream bars for dessert
Accuse too much, sing the blues too much
Spew your online views too much,
Not because we refuse our fans too much

Vince lose his touch? Never that, if he did
No problem, he's got Steph and Triple H
Fly to LA for a break; see the Arco Twin Towers
Wilshire Grand the next hour, pretty as a flower
Union Bank Plaz where they got the power, built 'round '68
No debate, looks great, it was fate
Lift restriction, its the truth, non-fiction
City Hall was first, historical description
Developed a thirst, LA got immersed
The tallest we decree, Tower US Bank
Such beauty, better not disagree, sincerely yours, W-W-E...

We don’t know what they want from the ‘E
It’s like the more we give fans what they ask
The more they disagree

We don’t know what they want from the ‘E
It’s like the more we give fans what they ask
The more they disagree

When Neville emerged as The King of the Cruiserweights in early 2017, my interest in 205 Live was established through his weekly exploits. The fledgling program held my attention through a very NXT-esque approach of simple booking and character-building, creating an all-important roster positioning that kept contenders logically and swiftly moving to the forefront for excellent title matches on PPV like Neville vs. Gentlemen Jack or Austin Aries, while keeping secondary stories simmering until ready to step into TV specific main-events like Alexander vs. Dar in an “I Quit” Match or the crescendo of the Gallagher vs. Ali rivalry.

Enzo Amore supplanting Neville killed my weekly commitment to 205 Live, not especially because of him but because of the philosophical shift that he came to represent. 205 Live got impatient with Amore at the helm, and they decided that slowly building an audience was less important than making an immediate splash; the experiment did earn more viewers, but at the expense of loyalists like myself.

That all being said, it renewed my vigor for the brand this week when a 16-man tournament set to culminate at WrestleMania was announced along with the debut of the man formerly known as Rockstar Spud, Drake Maverick. Lame name aside, Maverick showed a charisma in the GM role on his first night that reminded me of William Regal's role for the yellow brand; each segment he was involved in was engaging in its simplicity, his comments setting the stage well for the tournament matches alongside the other backstage videos that aired.

I think the tournament idea is a fantastic one that should serve as a reset for the brand and signal the end of stage one of 205 Live's existence. I loved everything that both Maverick and Daniel Bryan had to say about the direction that the brand plans to take, specifically the action-focused approach. If WWE can strike a balance between the action that came to define the Cruiserweight Classic and the steady booking that hallmarked 205 Live's stretch featuring Neville at the top of the card, I believe that the purple team can be very successful. Of course, success in its case will be defined differently than in the terms we associate with WWE proper, but that's OK. At worst, the Cruiserweight division should provide a monthly show-enhancing performance on PPV and a candidate for the weekly best match on TV award.

Night #1 was definitely a step in the right direction. The tournament back-drop made the matches far more interesting. Gran Metalik vs. Cedric Alexander was a juicy opening contest for the first round and, though it was not anywhere near as good as the night's main-event, it was quite enjoyable and well worth the ten-minutes spent watching it. I also thought that it exemplified a distinct advantage that this 16-man tournament has over the 32-man field that brought back the cruiserweight genre in 2016: all of the participants are well-known to the target audience since 205 Live has been around now for the past year, having given these characters a platform to let us know who they are and what they're about (see Gulak, Drew). Everyone in the division still needs more seasoning to get over given the general, slow-moving process that 205 Live has mostly championed in its existence to date, but every match in this tournament is likely to feature a talent that the diehard viewer is now very familiar with. Where before there was no history and a blank canvas, and thus few expectations, now there is a year or more of history and expectations ramped up by the addition of time and further character context; combined with an entire show to put just two matches on display, the quality of at least the first round should be on the level of the quarterfinals from the CWC.

Props to the TJP vs. Tyler Bate match, by the way. I had a blast with it, from all the commentary talk of the CWC winner vs. first UK Champion through to the highly intelligent, well-worked run-time in the ring. TJP is such a good cocky heel; it just suits him. I almost hated to see Bate go home after one match, but TJP has a lot of value in this tournament in my opinion as one of the established antagonists.

If you have any thoughts on the potential winner of the tournament, then let me know, but would it not be awesome if Rey Mysterio added his name value to the mix and made the finals to, say, put over Alexander, who I would think is a favorite to at least make the semi-finals if not win the whole thing?

Cheers to WWE for going this route with 205 Live, and for putting the opening round in front of an invested crowd that breathed life into the division with its enthusiasm for the action.

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  • Doctor's Orders: The Notorious BRRRAAAAUUNNN (Competition Column) (plus 205 Live is Back in My Viewership Rotation)

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  • Doctor's Notes...On The Ten Best Matches at Royal Rumble This Decade & The Awesome Double Main-Event at NJPW's WrestleKingdom 12