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Posted in: Hustle Is Posting Right Now
Hustle Madness 2012 - Best Talkers Of The Last 30 Years - Elite Eight
By Hustle
Apr 1, 2012 - 6:57:09 AM

It's officially Sunday here in Hawaii (WRESTLEMANIA SUNDAY, no less), and that means it's time for me to deliver the latest round in the Hustle Madness tournament. Right now, we're under single digits remaining, after starting the competition with a whopping 64 names. Things are getting incredibly interesting now, and every vote matters more than ever before. No more wasting time. Let's get on with the results of the previous round..

Red Bracket
#1 Mick Foley defeats #5 Jim Cornette, 184-45
At this point of the NCAA Tournament, you shouldn't see absolute blowouts like this, as presumably only the best teams remain, and therefore, will be relatively even when you match them up against each other. Apparently that line of thinking doesn't always matter in Hustle Madness, though, as Foley jumped out to a huge lead early and never looked back, running away with this one. Foley continues to look like a major, major force in the tournament, blowing out opponent after opponent to reach the Elite Eight.

#3 Chris Jericho defeats #7 CM Punk, 130-99
Probably more than any other matchup in the round, I was looking forward to this one, based on these two facing off with each other at WrestleMania, and with Jericho receiving a lot of mixed reviews since he made his most recent return to WWE. This ended up being one major slugfest, with both men trading some huge shots. Jericho jumped out to a big lead, making me think he would end up winning a blowout, but then Punk came all the way back. When Punk was only within four or five votes, Jericho went on another run. Before I could start looking at Jericho as an "automatic" winner, Punk came back again with a big flurry, but as you can see in the final numbers, Jericho was just too much and a late mini-flurry made the tally look "easier" than it really was. This was fun to watch unfold. It remains to be seen if this will be some kind of sign for their WrestleMania match, though. We'll see.

Blue Bracket
#4 "Macho Man" Randy Savage defeats #1 Vince McMahon, 119-110
Our very first top seed comes crumbling down, and based on all of the rumors swirling about the relationship these two had (or, more accurately, didn't have) over the last 15-some years, it's pretty interesting that Vince McMahon was eliminated at the hands of the "Macho Man". This one was pretty much even from the beginning to the end, with both men having the lead on multiple occasions. Based on the feedback I read from a lot of you, the deciding factor here is what you would expect, going in.. there were plenty of people upset with Vince for not placing Savage into the WWE Hall Of Fame. It would have been amazing to see Savage giving a speech as he was inducted, but now we'll never get a chance to see it, and Vince has been eliminated from Hustle Madness because of that very fact.

#3 Bobby "The Brain" Heenan defeats #2 Jake "The Snake" Roberts, 134-95
This was another classic matchup between someone who focused on almost nothing but comedy and someone who didn't focus much on comedy at all. A "Clash Of Styles", if you will. What we got isn't much of an "upset" at all, but it's still a lower-seed beating a higher-seed, so that has to count for something, right? Like in every other round so far, I read a lot of comments from everyone about how wrestling announcers just don't come like Bobby Heenan anymore. The announcers these days just don't have the professional stand-up comedian levels of comedic timing and quick thinking that "The Brain" had, and when you throw in the chemistry that he had with people like Gorilla Monsoon, it just marked a very special time. His work is still remembered quite fondly, and he moves on to the Elite Eight here.

Yellow Bracket
#1 The Rock defeats #5 Jerry "The King" Lawler, 162-67
The Rock builds some momentum here, because he picks up a bigger victory than he did in the last round. Lawler has always been a fantastic "talker", but he wasn't really much competition for Rock in this matchup. There were two mini-flurries for Lawler during the week, but without those, this would have been a much bigger blowout than it ended up being. Maybe it's more due to the IWC favoring William Regal (Rock's opponent in the previous round) over Jerry Lawler, but either way, Rock advances, and he remains a very strong competitor here.

#2 "Rowdy" Roddy Piper defeats #3 "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels, 164-65
Apparently the Yellow Bracket is the Blowout Bracket for this round. Michaels received a lot of praise from people in this round, even from those who voted for Piper, but Roddy's unpredictability seemed to really stand out in the eyes of many. You really never knew what you were going to get with a Roddy Piper promo. I know we've went over this already, but his drug habits really contributed to that. Some of his promos were incredibly off-the-wall, didn't have a whole lot of focus to them and were a mile-a-minute, but he still had moments of humor. When he was focused, though, he could go off with the best of them, both in a humorous manner and in a serious manner. Should be fun to see what happens with him from here on.

Orange Bracket
#4 Paul Heyman defeats #1 "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, 123-106
I know a few people that are going to be very, very upset over this outcome. No matter what your line of thinking is, Dusty is still the second top-seed to fall in this round, which only adds to the intrigue for the next few rounds. Another close one here, with Dusty leading on eight different occasions throughout the week, but in the end, it was the "Pied Piper Of Extreme" that gets the nod. A lot of his votes came from people who mentioned "soft spots" in their heart for Heyman, and for the original ECW product, as a whole. I even saw some criticism of Dusty that I didn't really see in previous rounds. People complained about how a lot of his ramblings, especially in later years, just didn't make any sense to them, and how they aren't fans of his "Dusty-isms". I must admit.. I'm pretty surprised to see "Dream" lose here, one way or another.

#2 "Nature Boy" Ric Flair defeats #3 "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, 120-109
A very close matchup, but I think I really pinpointed the reason Austin lost. People looked at the work both men did in the WWF/WWE. They looked at the work both men did in WCW/NWA. They looked at their work outside, with both ECW and TNA. They looked at the humor. They looked at the intensity. They looked at everything, and things remained pretty even, but that one single thing.. one thing that remains, to this day, even though Austin isn't appearing on WWE programming anymore.. is the "What?!?" chant. People hate that chant, and because Austin is responsible for it, they penalized him. I have no doubt that if the "What?!?" chant never existed, or at least if it didn't still happen on a near-weekly basis to this day, Steve Austin would be advancing here, but he isn't, and now we know what to blame.

We've seen the results of the previous round, and that's spectacular, but now it's time for the Hustle Madness Elite Eight. There are only eight names left in the tournament, and with the way votes have been going back-and-forth, any of them could realistically come out and win this. Here are the new matchups..

Red Bracket
#1 Mick Foley VS #3 Chris Jericho
Both men are actually pretty similar when you really stop and think about it. When they're trying to show more of a comedic side, there aren't many names in the history of wrestling that are more "goofy". When they're trying to be more serious, there aren't many names in the history of wrestling that are more intense. This one should end up being pretty close, if I had to venture a guess at this point, but don't be too surprised if Jericho pulls off the "upset". A lot of people view his "down" periods as not being as "down" as the ones Foley went through, but Foley, after all, is Foley. He's seeded the way he is for a good reason. Should be fun to see where this goes.

Blue Bracket
#4 "Macho Man" Randy Savage VS #3 Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
"Old School VS Old School" here, which should be interesting, considering the overall demographic of my readers tends to lean towards the "new school". Fresh off of eliminating a top seed, can Randy Savage keep that momentum going here, or will "The Brain" continue to ride his own momentum as people reminisce back to his commentary days? Two of my absolute favorite wrestling personalities here, and actually major reasons why I got so into wrestling to begin with.

Yellow Bracket
#1 The Rock VS #2 "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
While we don't have any "Cinderella" names remaining in the tournament, it is interesting to note that this is the only bracket which saw the top two seeds reach this point. If Roddy Piper had his way, we would have seen both The Rock and John Cena make an appearance on a live Piper's Pit at some point during the year-long build for their WrestleMania match. If it happened, perhaps it could have swayed some votes in one direction or another. As it is, though, we have wrestling's "Catchphrase King" taking on one of wrestling's fastest thinkers.

Orange Bracket
#4 Paul Heyman VS #2 "Nature Boy" Ric Flair
This is a battle between two men who looked like they were bordering on a heart attack with every promo they cut. Yelling, screaming, ranting, raving.. they really put their all into even the smallest of promos. The ECW fans helped carry Heyman beyond Dusty Rhodes and his legendary mic skills, but can they help carry him beyond the man who has, arguably, more "memorable" promos than anyone in the history of the business? This one really has my interest, to say the very least.

One more time, here's the Hustle Madness Elite Eight..

Red Bracket
#1 Mick Foley VS #3 Chris Jericho

Blue Bracket
#4 "Macho Man" Randy Savage VS #3 Bobby "The Brain" Heenan

Yellow Bracket
#1 The Rock VS #2 "Rowdy" Roddy Piper

Orange Bracket
4 Paul Heyman VS #2 "Nature Boy" Ric Flair

Keep up the great turn out for voting, ladies and gentlemen. As I said, every vote is really important now, and all eight men have a realistic chance of walking away with the Hustle Madness crown, so go ahead and get your vote on. You have one week to vote, and approximately 8.5 million ways to get those votes sent to me, so handle your thug thizzle, you feel me?

Writer's Note: In case you missed it, here's the WrestleMania predictions episode that the Lords Of Podcast Roundtable did the other day..

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