IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: Ask Al Laiman #8
By Al Laiman
Feb 13, 2013 - 6:17:21 PM
credit Tom Jenner
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: Ask Al Laiman #8
@lahiem11: @AlLaimanLOP Whats your favorite Low Ki match?
There are two... My favorite one that I've seen on video and my favorite one that I've witnessed.
My favorite one that I've seen on video was a ZERO1 match with him against AJ Styles. Good JBL was that match incredible. Sure, because of the Japanese crowd they were calling more audible spots and you could hear it, but who cares? Those two beat and kicked the hell out of each other for nearly an hour, and it was incredible. I had it on a burned disc I bought at an Indy show for ten dollars, and I don't know what became of it. Man though, I'll never forget seeing that match.
In person though, it would have to be one of his matches with John McChesney. Those two were embroiled in a several-year feud, and the fourth match in the series saw a straight up stiff-fest for which I was front and center. Both men were nearly bleeding from the chest from the chops. It also marks the most creative ways I've seen the Ghetto Stomp used; from the tree of woe to having McChesney spread across the ropes. The match unfortunately ended after that, due to outside heel interference, but that match had me so engrossed from start to finish that it's still my favorite match to remember.
@thefrogbert: @AlLaimanLOP what would you do if you bought a car off a crackhead, then found another crackhead in the car?
Obviously, wrestle a match for forty bucks in ten years. Is there any other way to handle that situation?
@Y2Krj: @AlLaimanLOP What is your favorite gimmick, whether it be a character, match, company style, etc?
I like Ring of Honor's mantra. I like how they shake hands and treat wrestling like it's prestigious. Or at least they did when I was following them. It always seemed to be the best blend of sports-entertainment and wrestling. It also has to be the best source of pure wrestling for this generation, because look at the guys who've come from there and had successful careers. One of the guys who put Ring of Honor on the map just had the longest WWE championship reign in 25 years. Another gets the most consistent crowd reaction on television right now. Another is part of the most threatening stable since the NWO. That should speak to their credibility alone, not to mention all of the other great wrestlers who worked there, such as AJ, Daniels, Joe, Ki, etc.
@zzzorf: @AlLaimanLOP I would like to here your reply to the rant from Anthony SmartbreakKid Michaels on Facebook the other day after your Raw Column.
"I guess it's a former wrestler, or manager, or something? Lawler knows him, he's old school, but... filling us in would be awfully nice, wouldn't it?" - LOP columnist and alleged former "wrestler" Al Laiman on seeing Zeb Colter/Dutch Mantel tonight on Raw. There goes his credibility. Not that he had much to begin with. Can LOP please start bringing in writers who are experts and take pride in their craft? Bill Apter, Mike Johnson, Dave Meltzer, and James Guttman all recognized Dirty Dutch on site. He's a legend in the business. Hell, I popped the second he walked through the curtain. I'm tired of hearing, "Oh we'll I didn't start watching until 1998". I don't care. I was born in 1984 and started watching in 1987 with my older cousins. Does that mean I can't go back and learn everything I can about Lou Thesz, Bruno Sammartino, Killer Kowalski, and even Ditch fucking Mantel? Absolutely not! If you're going to be offered a platform to share your thoughts on the wrestling business, be the best at it! Learn your subject. Have some respect. It's insulting when I see things like that. I seldom play the "I'm in the business" card. That's why it pisses me off to see a mark who claims to have taken a few bumps play it for the little it's worth when he doesn't know what he's talking about half the time. Don't like my rant? I'm not sorry about it. Thank you and goodnight. (drops the mic... walks away)
Well, isn't that special?
Interesting to hear a guy who calls himself a Smark and cuts a promo like a guy in an e-fed calling me out about respect for the business.
I heard about this, and I didn't care. But because Wayne requested me to respond to it, I shall take this forum to do so.
First of all, there is no "alleged" about it. I never claimed to have become a superstar or main-evented anything. I spent a total of five years working in the business in some capacity, going from just a gopher who gave rides to big names to working on the circuit in Pittsburgh and West Virginia. I have never overstepped who I am and what I did, nor have I been bitter about what I could've done. I know what I was, and I know who I am. I am a tall, awkward guy with two left feet who probably never should've had a chance to be in the business, but by some grace I was given a few years to have the opportunity.
The truth is, I didn't have a lot of talent at it, and I got my ass kicked in doing so, but I tried my ass off and got the chance to live out a dream for it. How many people who have wanted to become pro wrestlers can say that? Ask Hustle, who even read in my book about it that it's not the story of someone trying to be claiming to have been more or a potential superstar held down by others. I was damn lucky, and I have never stated otherwise.
However, in the time that I did spend training in various places, do you think we spent it sitting around and talking about every other wrestler who ever existed? No, we got in the fucking ring and learned what we were supposed to do. One day I did nothing but bounce off the ropes for an hour.
Did we learn about other wrestlers? Absolutely. Do I hold it against anyone that they might not know some of the people I do? Not for a second. I have learned about the former pro wrestlers, and I even have talked extensively about Bruno Sammartino. The other names mentioned there, I know all of them too.
I have never claimed to be a wrestling historian, nor have I gone out of the way to say that I know every wrestler who ever existed. I didn't know this one, because he was never brought up during my time in the business. Names who were? Dominic DeNucci, Lord Zoltan, Norm Connors, Larry Sweeney, Chris Maverick, Larry Zbyszko, PIV... All managers I either got to see in person or work with. And somehow it's supposed to shatter my entire credibility that I didn't know who Dutch Mantel is? Do I advertise myself as a fucking encyclopedia? What would've been a shot to my credibility is pretending that I knew who he was when I didn't. I did what I always do when I discover someone I don't know; look him up and start learning. That's what those of us who don't already know everything do.
But to say that I don't take pride in my craft? My Mondays alone are an absolute nightmare. I'm in my fourth semester of college, so I have a full courseload. I work full-time in management. I have my own Internet series. I have a girlfriend I live with and a house to maintain. I write for more things than just LOP. My Mondays this semester involve waking up at 8am, getting to class at 10am, staying in class til 12:15pm, getting my one 45 minute break which is just enough time to get lunch and get to work at 1, work til 9:15, get home at 9:30, start the DVR, and typing out the stream of consciousness called "30 Thoughts" to an audience that is generally perceptive, supportive, and understanding if I don't know every fucking detail of wrestling history. I write as I watch, it's off the top of my head, and sometimes I get things wrong. But that usually takes me until midnight, which even on days where I'm exceptionally tired, I get it done and posted. Since January 9th, 2012, I have posted a 30 Thoughts on RAW column every single Monday except one in the summer where I was on vacation, and during my Christmas break. I don't get paid for this. I do it because it's fun and because most of the people who read and comment are exceptionally nice and supportive.
Then there are people like you. When TripelR brought this up, I didn't give a shit. Slaters gonna slate. For the most part, I didn't even play the card, but I was honest about the time that I spent in the business, and rarely do I apply it to what I'm saying about RAW. I'm not in there saying "I'd do it better because I know how to work a match" or "Back when I wrestled, this happened with this guy." Occasionally I'll mention it, but I got the job here because of that perspective, not because I constantly abuse it to feel superior to those reading me.
The amount of time I spent wrestling isn't the point of this perspective. It's what I learned working in the business. Like what I have to say or not, I understand how the business works, and my mind was always far ahead of my body in terms of what I could understand about it. I may not be able to do a moonsault, but I understand what goes into it, who has to sell it, how you have to land, when's a good time to use it, how you recover from it, and where you place it into a match. I get how the business works better than I could apply it physically, but I'm not an asshole about it. The biggest thing I was taught in the business was respect, and whether you are or you're not, you should know that about it. What I learned during that time was that I wasn't meant for that business, but that doesn't mean that I'm useless when it comes to talking about it.
So you popped when you saw that guy. Good for you. I'm glad that makes you feel superior to me, because you know someone that I don't. If Lord Zoltan had appeared with Jack Swagger, would you have known who it was? Would I have given a shit if you, or anyone else, did? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? I mean, I'm sure you would, since you clearly know everything there is to know about every inch of the history of professional wrestling, which clearly proves that you should be reviewing RAW instead of me, but for the most part, I don't believe a lot of people would. Not only has he worked in the business for decades, but he's someone who managed me during my time "taking a few bumps" and during one of the most memorable moments for me, raised my hand in victory after a twenty-minute no-holds barred match, at which point I was seeing three of him. I've bled for this business, and I have permanent back and neck damage because of it. You don't know me, you've never met me, and you don't know what I had to go through to be able to say that, so until you do, save your self-righteous smark parade for someone who gives a shit.
If you don't like me, don't read it. I have plenty of people who are going to continue to do so, whether or not I didn't recognize one person who was so important to you. I know my subject, I have respect, and I earned that respect, because I got promoted here. But I know what I'm talking about, even if I don't know everything, because as Ric Flair once said, "the day you stop learning is the day you retire." I'm always trying to learn new things, because I freely admit that I don't know everything, and even if I did, I wouldn't be an indignant cuntwaffle about it. So, please feel free to not read this column. 831 people shared 30 Thoughts this week, so someone's obviously reading it. And I care a helluva lot more about the people who've commented respectfully, whether it be positive or negative criticism, than I do about someone who had to have their message relayed by a third party for me to even be aware of their existence.
I might lose some readers for this, and it may start a comment war, but I don't care. That's the magic of the delete button. Do I like your rant? No, and I only responded to it because someone else made me aware of it. And I'm not going to pretend I'm cutting a live promo on my return rant and drop a fake mic that doesn't exist because we're on the internet, because I know I'm no longer in the business and I don't have any delusions about that. This is a column that I write for nothing but the gratitude of the people who are nice enough to call themselves fans of mine, and I have garnered an audience that has been amazing in the near-two years that it's been since I started here. I'm happy with them, and whether or not you read this is of no concern to me. And to them I say, "Thank you." I don't even know who you are, but you've trashed me on the Writer's Lounge before, or so I was just told because I rarely read the forums, so I don't know why you have all this sand in your vagina about me, because we've never even spoken, but it really doesn't matter. So please, know that I mean this absolutely sincerely... Go fuck yourself.
IN CASE YOU MISSED JADED HOPE #99