NOTE FROM MORPHEUS: Hey peeps, what’s poppin’? Last FOF, which seems forever ago now (because it was) focused on some old school Main Page Columnists, and this time we decided to turn the tables around 180 style and go with the newest crop of Main Page Columnists here at LOP. Delays and false starts aside, I finally got all the responses in from everyone this morning (I blame Pen), so let’s get this bad boy going, shall we?
Topic 1 (from Al Laiman): Brodus Clay will find success under the Funkasaurus gimmick. FACT or FICTION.
Current Big Thing - Leave it to Al to start us off on a pleasant note. I fall more in love with Big Funky (™ and (c) Ceebs; January 2012) with each passing week. The only thing in the way of this being more FACTual than one and one equaling two is Brodus Clay. So far, he seems to be diving in headfirst. As long as he keeps on with that mentality, the sky isn't even the limit.
mizfan - Well, he already has, hasn’t he? More so than he had as Alberto Del Rio’s second or third lackey, at least. How far can the gimmick take him is sort of up to him, though I can’t really see it going all the way to the main event. He could make his way to a solid midcard position though. I can see him with a midcard title around his waist for a good chunk of time, especially if he continues to win skeptics over with his dedication to the unusual gimmick. If he wants to make it to the top though, he’ll probably have to ditch it at some point, or at least adjust it. He should also be careful that the gimmick doesn’t get more over than he is, if you know what I mean. You know, how people used to pop for R Truth’s theme song then completely go quiet when it was done? But at this point, I’ll say it’s a solid FACT.
Morpheus - This is a plain and simple FACT. I don’t care if he is a face, turns heel, or starts eating babies on his way to the ring. The 3 minutes of his debut were infinitely better than anything else anyone has ever done. Except for Triple H, of course.
Pen15 - FACT. WWE lacks not only faces, but characters that are more than just athletes in tights. While I don’t think anyone wants the return to the age of wrestling plumbers, garbage men and Phantasio, it’s definitely missing the type of fun Brodus brings to the table. His in ring skills be damned, he is already over a fun guy who can bully his opponents around. His future is golden.
Romeo - FACT. Prior to being hijacked out of airtime from RAW, he pretty much did, didn't he? Or if that's not what you meant by success, then I do predict that he'll use it as a launching point towards more success when he returns.
TheCrow - This one is tricky to answer for a couple of reasons. The easy answer is to say that nobody with a gimmick this ridiculous could find any measure of success (in terms of becoming a staple of the upper-midcard area). It also seems that the "Funkasaurus" gimmick could get old EXTREMELY quickly, which does not mean good things for the big man. On the other hand though, Brodus seems to be pulling off this gimmick like a boss. It's pretty clear that he's having a lot of fun with it right now, even though it may not have been his first choice for a gimmick. That fact alone is going to see him get some kind of success, however temporary it may be, because he is already over with the crowd. So I guess what I'm trying to say here is it comes down to how you define "success". Will he be a World Champion with this gimmick? Doubt it, but I don't know that he'd have any better luck if he were some kind of generic monster heel. Will he hold a mid card title before the end of 2012? I would be surprised if he didn't, and that to me is a pretty solid amount of success. So FACT is my answer here.
Al Laiman - I only say FICTION because I believe he will find success once he turns heel out of the gimmick and becomes the monster he should've been. I still maintain this was punishment for spoiling his would've-been debut. It's a fun gimmick, but it won't last long. If recent episodes are any indication, it may have already run its course.
Topic 2 (from Current Big Thing): To my unabashed glee, Hacksaw Jim Duggan appeared at the Royal Rumble. Whomever makes these sorts of decisions should make Hacksaw a "Special Guest Moderator" or whatever for at least one of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Debates. FACT or FICTION.
mizfan - Duggan fuckin’ sucked at the Rumble, he looks about 100 years old and I’m afraid his tits will fall off whenever I see him. But since politics are boring and Duggan is an insane person, I vote FACT to putting him in charge of a debate.
Morpheus - I will also say FACT for this one, if only because I find it hilarious to think of how normal Hacksaw would seem when in the same room as these top-flight Republitards.
Pen15 - As a Canadian, I have no understanding of this question nor a reason to answer. Note from Morpheus: lulz@canehdian!!!!@!!111
Romeo - Fact. Why the hell not? He'd be more entertaining than the Republicans.
TheCrow - I guess it would be entertaining to see Hacksaw on TV in a non-wrestling capacity. But seeing as how the Presidential Debates are usually a pretty big deal (since the future leader of the country is standing in that room), I don't think Hacksaw really needs to be there, and even if he was I doubt he would be in character while he did it. The debates should be about the candidates having a platform to show what they plan to bring to the table should they be elected, it shouldn't be about ridiculous gimmicks. Pure FICTION here for me.
Al Laiman - Will it happen? No. Should it happen? FACT If a Moderator gets a HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO reaction for the audience, I will mark like a kid.
Current Big Thing - Anyone who declares this to be anything other than FACT is lying. Either to you, Internet, or to themselves. There's simply no way that any of our esteemed panelists can convince me that they wouldn't like to see Hacksaw Jim Duggan look Mitt Romney right in the eye and say, “Tell me why I should vote for you... tough guy!”.
Topic 3 (from mizfan): Mark Henry's fears of being pushed back down the card if he misses any time are well founded, and regardless of what he does he will likely find himself back in the midcard for good before Summerslam. FACT or FICTION.
Morpheus - I am going for a trifecta of FACTage here. I still have no idea where this massive net-boner the IWC has for Henry came from. Outside of their insatiable craving for fat black cock, that is. Oh, wait. Answered my own question. Sweet. Um, where was I? Right, Mark Henry. Sucks. Deal.
Pen15 - FICTION. Much like Kane and Big Show, along with WWE’s long history of big men, he’s cemented himself at this level and he’s safe there. Much like Kane and Big Show, he’ll work matches below the main event, but will always be a simple face/heel turn, or victory, or whatever else WWE can come up with to keep him involved. In his short run on SD, he’s only worked with Orton and Big Show to the point of exhausting the feud. The future is there for him to run over Cena, Punk, Bryan, Sheamus…etc. He’s fine.
Romeo - FICTION. Given the lack of depth in the current WWE roster (which I already tackled), they need all the big names they can get, and Mizark is a big name, whether you like it or not. Also judging from the rumors that have swirled around the Elimination Chamber PPV, his spot is pretty much safe where it is.
TheCrow - Hard to say. Henry hasn't been in the main event picture for very long now, and because of that I really don't think his spot is 100% solidified yet. That being said, the time he HAS been in the main event picture has been fantastic. He turned a lot of people into believers with his whole "Hall of Pain" gimmick and subsequent World Title run. It's really unfortunate that his injuries are starting to pile up now because this is easily the most success he's seen in his lengthy career with WWE. So the question really becomes this: If Mark Henry takes time off to heal up, will the fans welcome him back into the main event? I have to go with an absolute yes here. I've always been a fan of the dude, but even I'll admit that up until recently I never saw him really getting to the top of the WWE mountain. If he was on RAW this would be a different story, but over on the blue brand I believe he will still have a spot. There's no one on the roster that can pull off what he pulls off right now, and unless that changes in the very near future ol' Mizark will be just fine. FICTION for me here.
Al Laiman - FACT. It's more than likely he will follow the same course as Booker T, Lord Voldemort, or other longtime midcarders who finally got their reign with the belt. He may be an upper midcarder who challenges for the title, but I have a feeling that his time on top of any brand has passed.
Current Big Thing - I still can't believe Mizark got where he did to begin with. That MARK FUCKING HENRY was the guy to beat a few months ago has to have been a clerical error of Koko-B.-Ware's-being-inducted-into-the-WWE-Hall-of-Fame-ean proportions. The thing is, though, I'm going to have to say FICTION, if only on a technicality. I'm pretty sure Mark Henry will be losing to Sheamus at SummerSlam. Maybe I'll get a little bit lucky and SummerSlam will feature Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan instead, but the timing would appear to belie that. It looks like Mizark will take some time after WrestleMania (as all large Texans do these days) and he'll come back just in time for SummerSlam, with his absence having given his popularity a boost.
mizfan - I wish it weren’t so, but this one is a FACT in my book. Given Henry’s age and WWE’s recent tendency to depush the hell out of anyone who is remotely interesting after a few months, Henry’s time in the main event may very well be almost over already. And that sucks, considering how hard he’s worked over the past year.
Topic 4 (from Pen15): John Cena will leave WrestleMania 29 (yes, in 2013) as World or WWE champion. FACT or FICTION.
Romeo - FICTION. Bold prediction here, but I think this year will see the company prepping Cena to be more of a starmaker instead of a main flagbearer from here on out, a la Shawn Michaels in our current era.
TheCrow - This is a case where what I WANT to happen and what I think WILL happen are very different. Ideally I'd like to think that WWE will have built up a couple of guys high enough that Cena doesn't need to leave Wrestlemania as World Champion. Right now the WWE is doing a solid job of building up some new names to the main event (Rhodes, Ziggler, Sheamus, Bryan, Henry, the list goes on) and while none of them can put asses in seats to the same extent that Cena does, I think it's only a matter of time before WWE sees them as reliable enough to have them leave their biggest show of the year as World Champions. Unfortunately, I really think that what's going to end up happening is that while one of those names might be in the World Title match at 'Mania, possibly even coming into the match with the belt, Cena is going to be victorious. Don't read this as me hating on the guy, because I'm actually a Cena fan, I'm just looking at the reality of the situation. Cena is going to leave Wrestlemania 29 as World Champion, so FACT on this one.
Al Laiman - FICTION. I wouldn't be surprised if it happens, but they really do seem committed to this youth movement. If all keeps going the direction it is, the newer generation of stars will be in the title matches while Cena is in a different marquee match, perhaps against the Undertaker.
Current Big Thing - It seems to me that, by then, it'll have been something like three years since he'd have done so. I'll go with FACT.
mizfan - I don’t believe in making predictions for Wrestlemania until Survivor Series at the earliest, so we’re way jumping the gun on this one. It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll say FICTION, as WWE struggles to build a new main event I can only hope they won’t be back relying on the same old tricks next year. Still, Cena’s extremely talented and still the face of the company so it could very well be.
Morpheus - FACT because God hates me.
Pen15 - I asked this question to see how people feel about WWE’s real goals in finding new stars. I asked this before the rumors of a Cena vs Rock rematch at Mania 29. But it doesn’t change my answer of FICTION. While ratings are causing worry, WWE have seen enough evidence with Punk and Bryan as new stars, along with the elevation of Mark Henry, the future with Dolph Ziggler, and the trust in Christian that we won’t be seeing Orton and Cena hog the main event, but share it. Not only has it already happened, but Wrestlemania is booked around these new talents, while Cena/Rock and Taker/HHH draw the fans. Is it perfect? No, but it’s still a sign that WWE are moving 100% with letting these new names carry the burden more than they have over the last 5 years.
Topic 5 (from Romeo): Either John Cena or Randy Orton will not win a top-tier title this year because they're going to start spending their time putting over the younger guys. FACT or FICTION.
TheCrow - FICTION. Right off the bat. While I could maybe buy that Cena won't win a top-tier title this year (and even that seems unlikely) I really don't see Randy Orton going the next 10 months without at least a short reign as Champion. I'm sure both men are going to be put into a role where they are helping to get some younger talent over, but I seriously doubt that WWE is going to keep their two top names away from the top belts for that long. Again, this isn't meant to be a typical IWC gripe on "Super-Cena" and "Super-Orton", it's just reality. Personally I think WWE would be foolish to keep their top guys out of their respective title pictures for so long. It would be like a football coach keeping their top quarterback out of most of a season so the 4th string guy can get some time on the field. It just doesn't make sense. So again, pure fiction here for me.
Al Laiman - FICTION. They can't resist putting the belt on Randy Orton, and with him being on Smackdown, it's gonna happen sooner or later. With Daniel Bryan, Big Show, and Mark Henry being the world title scene, it's only a matter of time before he RKOs someone to win it back yet again.
Current Big Thing - Why do sentences like that exist? I love you, Ro', but John Cena is only 34 years old. Furthermore, Randy Orton is a mere 31. 31! Who are these “younger guys” of whom you speak? The 31-year-old Miz? The also 31-year-old Wade Barrett? CM Punk is 34. Daniel Bryan is 30. Dolph Ziggler is 31. Sheamus is 34. I really hate poorly-thought-out shit like that. And that's from the guy who said Hacksaw Jim Duggan should sit next to Tom Brokaw during the debates. Please, Ro', please, with Jessica Simpson's cherry (stolen from that jar atop Nick Lachey's dresser ['cmon-- like you wouldn't keep that shit if you were him]) on top, identify these “younger guys” you'd have John Cena and/or Randy Orton spend the PRIMES OF THEIR RESPECTIVE CAREERS losing to. Unless you have a time machine that'll have them lose to Brian Pillman in 1997, this is the most FICTION on this list. By roughly five (5) of those “country miles”.
mizfan - This has got to be the easiest one of the bunch, with FICTION being the answer. Orton and Cena are still the two most over performers in the company, and while Punk gained a lot of ground fast I just don’t see them cobbling together enough strong main eventers to keep them out of that scene. WWE isn’t bold enough to stick to this kind of idea, and they’ll go back to both of their go-to guys at some point during the year.
Morpheus - Randy Orton going a calendar year without holding the top belt of whatever brand he is on would cause a similar result as the bus in Speed going under 55 miles per hour. I’m not sure everyone in the WWE is ready to go down that dark, dark road just yet. Though they should start making their peace with God. I guess that makes this one FICTION, right?
Pen15 - Romeo is asking a different question about the same topic. I do think the new stars will benefit from winning the title from Cena and Orton, so I say FICTION. Time will be spent elevating new talent, but Oront and/or Cena will be pinned for the gold to achieve this.
Romeo - FACT. Tied to the previous question, obviously. Orton, with all his injuries, seems on pace to fulfill this particular prediction on his side. Cena is a little less certain due to the WWE's tendency to put the belt back on him when they're in panic mode, but other than that, I think they're starting to realize that Cena doesn't need to be champion as much as he did before nowadays.
Topic 6 (from TheCrow): John Morrison would be better off signing with TNA than re-signing with WWE. FACT or FICTION.
Al Laiman - FICTION. Is anyone better off signing with TNA anymore? Does it really make a difference in their ratings? Does most of the wrestling audience even know what TNA is? He might have a Christian-like run, but nobody will really notice.
Current Big Thing - Hey. Look at that. Someone wrote a TNA topic. And “someone” doesn't mean me. I'm going to go with FACT on this one, simply because of the way he works. If he takes his show to Orlando and their significantly less crazy schedule, I think the show can go on until JoMo is well into his forties. Should he head back to TitanLand, a point will come at which he'll be forced to really tone down his act. If he doesn't, he becomes the “Dynamite Kid” of his generation. And not in the “innovative-little-guy-who-inspired-a-generation-of-similarly-statured performers” kind of sense. More the “confined-to-a-wheelchair-at-age-50-while-no-one-remembers-his-name” thing.
mizfan - Crow, you’re the best TNA writer I’ve ever seen, but I don’t think anyone is really better off in TNA than in the WWE. The disparity between the success of the two companies is just too great. I’m a fan of Morrison but he definitely has some weaknesses, and TNA hasn’t been good about hiding the weaknesses of their former WWE staff (see Anderson, RVD, Jeff, etc…). Furthermore, WWE is clearly still invested in Morrison considering the attention they put into him in the early part of 2011, as well as the damn near heroic send off they gave him against the Miz. WWE doesn’t usually let their guys go down swinging, so for them to leave the door open for Morrison is definitely a good sign for him. So I’ll have to say FICTION and hope we see the Shaman of Sexy back in the ‘E sooner rather than later. Gotta dump the ho first though.
Morpheus - Only two things popped into my head. First, who the fuck is John Morrison? Second, what the fuck is TNA? I guess that doesn’t bode well for FACT, does it? FICTION times 15.
Pen15 - FACT. While the goal might be to return to WWE in 2-3 years, he’d be well served doing what Christian and Jeff Hardy did before. They rejuvenated their careers in TNA, and it helped them out when they returned to WWE. Morrison could do the same. I also think his style would fit better with the upper midcard of Impact Wrestling. While I wouldn’t be interested, there’s no doubt that Morrison vs AJ Styles is a dream match to a lot of fans of the X-Division style.
Romeo - Both. Sure, he can get the Christian treatment and be pushed to the moon, but unless he singlehandedly or is part of the group that will take TNA to the next level, where's the satisfaction in that? I doubt he'll find any himself either. All wrestling roads lead to the WWE. In America, at least.
TheCrow - I haven't seen anyone else's answers to this yet, but I can only imagine there's some real TNA slander going on. Yes, TNA is a much smaller company than WWE, and yes they don't hold the same kind of prestige that the WWE has. And of course the whole "where former WWE guys go to die" joke is going to be made at some point in one of the other answers here, so I might as well address that. I don't really see the problem in going to TNA after leaving/being released from WWE because like it or not, TNA is the #2 wrestling company in North America. Sure you could go to Japan or Mexico to seek fame and fortune, and for guys like A-Train or MVP that seems to have worked out pretty damn well, but if you want to stay at home but lost your spot in WWE? TNA is the only other "big time" option. So I don't see the problem in TNA snatching up former WWE guys because they're usually already established names and are talented enough to add something to the product.
As for Morrison specifically, I think he would be a great fit for TNA. He's flashy enough to fit in with the X-Division, but at the same time he's talented enough that he wouldn't be out of place in the main event scene. Add to that the fact that he's a pretty big name in the world of wrestling? TNA would be stupid to not at least try to bring him in. If he goes back to WWE, chances are he'll get a solid push at first, but would it really be long before he was shot back down the card? Morrison had been with WWE for damn near 10 years when he left (including his time on Tough Enough and in OVW), so maybe it's time for him to take a break. Do what Christian did and go to TNA to refresh his batteries and hone his skills before making a big return to WWE. I think that in the long run he would be better off signing with TNA for a little while because they would treat him like the star he has the potential to be. FACT, plain and simple.
And that about does it for this month’s edition of Fact or Fiction. A big thanks to everyone involved, and another big thank you to those of you who took the time to read it. Agree? Disagree? Don't give two shits? If you have any thoughts, feel free to send them our way at the email addresses below, or be lazy and (ab)use the Facebook Comment option even further below. In the meantime, Stay Metal, and I’ll catch all you non-gender-specific fuckers at a future juncture.