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Posted in: Fact or Fiction
FACT or FICTION: The "Spooktacular" Edition
By Hustle
Oct 31, 2012 - 1:29:51 PM


Before I even get Fact Or Fiction underway, I want to do a favor for a friend and pass the word on about a charity wrestling event this weekend in Massachusetts. First, watch the following clip, which many of you may have seen already..

The wrestler injured in the clip is Charade, and on Sunday, Beyond Wrestling will be hosting a fundraiser to help cover Charade's medical expenses after that happened. All of the information for the event can be found at the following link..

Beyond Wrestling's "Charade Charity Chowdown"

If you can't make the show, there's information at the link on how you can make a donation to the cause. Word is that his charges for the ambulance alone top the $1000 mark. Thank you for your time.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming..

I told you that I'd make FoF a regular thing again, didn't I? Here I am, back for the second edition in a row. Hooray!

Let me go ahead and introduce you to this month's panel..

A friend of LoP who enjoys tweeting, girls who wear way too much makeup, and is training to be a future WWE Champion.. Bobby Cash!

LoP's very own MasterChef, a Jive Soul Mod, and perhaps the single funniest person I know.. Son Of Repoman!

One of the top young columnists in the LoPForums Column Forum, and a man who has taken his name from an absolutely awesome word that doesn't get used anywhere near as often as it should.. Skulduggery!

LoP's newest main page columnist, and a man who, like SuperChrisss, seems to have a bit of a nervous tick when it comes to his name.. zzzorf!

An LoPForums poster that has fallen in love with posting new threads for wrestling television and pay-per-view, and someone who feels he is the "worst and most commonly mistaken person" on the site.. StormDragonZ!

As will always be the case, I will be answering questions along with the panel, but that's enough jibba jabba. Let's get this show on the road.

FACT or FICTION: Before the end of the year an episode of Raw will see its ratings drop below the 2.4 of October 22nd leading the WWE to react with more extreme measures than they did this last month.

SoR: The ratings are coming down like a house of cards and there is not a damn thing the WWE is going to be able to do to weather the storm. Monday Night Football for a few more months, the NBA kicking back into full swing, and their lack of having one “must watch” superstar all leads to the 2.4 plummet. Which means the WWE is going to get desperate and try to pull out all the stops. One problem… they can’t. Things off the top of my head that could boost the ratings:

- Return of Stone Cold Steve Austin kicking and stunner’g people and drinking beers and flipping off the crowd.
- John Cena getting sick of the establishment and going heel
- More scantily clad divas slutting it up for cheap thrills.

Only problem with those three quick fixes: They can’t work in a PG era. The WWE doesn’t need to go “blue” in order to thrive, but if they want these quick fixes, they would have to. But then, your ratings don’t change. True, you’d draw in your “Sons of Anarchy” viewership, but then you alienate that precious “iCarly” viewership that gets their parents to buy them the Tornado Twister WWE ring. (I’m not making that up, they made a damn ring that spins.) So while I do think the WWE will try to pull out the stops, they won’t be extreme. So with the wording of the question, I’m going FICTION on this one.

zzzorf: No matter how much I don’t want to, I am going to have to say FACT with this question. The WWE seems to be in a downward spiral at the moment and I think it’s going to get worse before it shows signs of getting better. It is a shame really as the current product in truth is not really that bad, it has been worse in previous years, yet more people chose to watch at that time then they are now. With me being in Australia and not in the US I don’t really know what else is going on for viewers not to watch so I have to take it as people have just had enough and are tuning out.

Every time this sort of thing happens the WWE throws out something big to get an influx of viewers. I think that these extreme measures are what could be their downfall in the long run here. Everyone will come back when the big event is thrown up and may stick around for a bit but they will all disappear again taking others with them when they realise it is still the same show. This will leave them in a worse place then when they started.

What the WWE needs to do is work out the exact reasons the fans are leaving. People will blame the PG rating but I don’t think that is really the problem, in fact I have a feeling it might even be slightly the opposite. A lot of their fan base could be leaving due to the fact that the show is getting more edgy and therefore people are making their kids stop watching.

Once they work out what is wrong and fix it then that is the time they should throw up their big event and then prove to the fans that they have changed once again and are worth sticking around for.

SDZ: Let's check the potential things occurring between now and the end of this year. First, the Presidential Debates are over and the actual time to go vote is early next month, so I'll say that will have little effect for the ratings on RAW between now and then.

Football season is going into . Monday Night Football is the biggest threat for the WWE until the end of this year, but depending on which teams are playing truly is the wildcard of it all. On sports, hockey... yeah... not much to say there, unfortunately.

The only possible way I could see ratings drop below 2.4 is one thing: Game 5 of the World Series, which is this Monday coming up. Here's the thing, though. It'll be the night after Hell in a Cell, and if Ryback/Punk tear down the house, or cell itself for that matter, it's too close to call what the ratings will be. Ultimately, I'm going to say FICTION. RAW isn't falling anytime this year.

Bob$$: It's bad. Really bad. In all my years of watching WWE, since 1997, I've never known the product to be so repellent. In all honesty, the product isn't THAT terrible, its just its not attracting people the way it used to. And that's a shame. The wrestling showcased on RAW every week is definitely better than 1998-01, but the storylines are nowhere near as entertaining. And that's due to the writers. Writers write the promos, wrestlers wrestle the matches. And the way things are continuing, that rating will continue to plummet as long as guys like Big Show, Del Rio, Sheamus and others take up the main event. But to answer the question, I'm gonna say FICTION. Who are they possibly going to get to come back and boost the ratings they haven't already tried?

Skul: This is really a toss-up, to be frank with you. Lots of factors determine if people tune into RAW on any given night. How has the quality of the product been recently? What kind of storyline development is drawing me in? Is there a presidential debate on? Is Monday Night Football a really important game between two exciting teams? Maybe the kids are at a sleepover and the wife has had two glasses of wine before RAW has even started?

After October 22, ten episodes of RAW remain for the calendar year. The optimist in me wants to back up the truck and dump out a big pile of fiction, based on the limited number of episodes and the fact that the 2.4 happened on an otherwise busy television evening. The pessimist in me is looking at the calendar and seeing that, of those ten episodes, #10 resides on New Year’s Eve. Think any universal parties might be outranking RAW then? The complicate-ist in me (yeah…there are a lot of ists in ol’ Skul) brings up the fact that, by then, the build-up to the Royal Rumble will be occurring, and Rocky “Ratings” Johnson might be showing his face every now and again. But who knows? Perhaps he’ll be partying then, too.

Before I start to cloud my brain with ists, I think I’ll simply say FICTION. The 2.4 was quite the ugly eyesore, and I’m not saying that RAW’s ratings will be exploding in a month or anything. But consider the facts that Cena will soon be competing again, The Rock may show up in December, the build-up to TLC should be pretty good (considering that the winner of the assumed WWE Championship match gets Dwayne at the Rumble), and rumors of Lesnar and Triple H (which aren’t fact, but who the hell knows) – and I think that RAW should more than stay afloat for a while.

Hustle: First and foremost, let me look at every Monday Night Football game for the rest of 2012..

- Philadelphia at New Orleans: Two teams that are struggling, but that have the potential to be playoff-bound, and that will provide an opportunity for a fun, offensive explosion.

- Kansas City at Pittsburgh: The Chiefs are the worst team in football this year, but the Steelers may be the most popular team, which will provide a strong viewership for the game, at least until it potentially gets out of hand.

- Chicago at San Francisco: A possible preview of the NFC Championship Game, this one will bring in a very large number in the ratings, without question.

- Carolina at Philadelphia: The Panthers are really underachieving so far this season, and I've already mentioned how the Eagles have been doing, but a QB matchup of Cam Newton VS Michael Vick is going to be heavily publicized, and should get some good attention. Warren Moon will be watching, I'm sure. He'll also call you a racist if you aren't watching.

- NY Giants at Washington: A heated division rivalry, two of the biggest television markets in the country, and a chance for the rest of the nation to watch Robert Griffin III in action.. yeah, this one is going to bring a large rating in, especially if the Redskins rack up a few wins between now and then to put themselves in playoff contention.

- Houston at New England: A possible preview of the AFC Championship Game, this one will also bring in a very large number, especially with two more large television markets.

- NY Jets at Tennessee: Whether you love them or you hate them.. whether you love or hate Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez & Tim Tebow.. the Jets are a train wreck that you just can't take your eyes away from. This may not be the best game, as far as playoff contention is concerned, but it will attract viewers.

As you noticed, there's at least one major reason for football fans to tune in on Monday nights and watch Monday Night Football every single week. No "duds" on the schedule. That certainly doesn't bode well for WWE.

Will the Raw ratings drop below 2.4, though? It sounds unlikely, but even as recent as a month or two ago, people would have said 2.4 would be an unlikely number to reach, too. I'm going to be generous, though, and say FICTION here. Survivor Series is a "big four" pay-per-view. Tables, Ladders & Chairs is a pay-per-view that is highly anticipated every year. The Rock could/should be making his return to WWE programming to help promote the Royal Rumble. Brock Lesnar and/or Triple H could/should be making their returns to WWE programming to help further their feud. There's always the rumors that The Undertaker might return to the company at damn near any time. John Cena is back to competing again. Are all of these signs that Raw will see its rating skyrocket? Of course not. However, any combination of those factors should be enough to keep the rating above 2.4 for the next few months.

FACT or FICTION: WrestleMania 30 will NOT be held at Madison Square Garden.

Skul: FACT. This one comes down to tradition competing against innovation. The WWE has shown, at times, impressive loyalty to long-standing traditions; such as the Royal Rumble and the classic tag team elimination matches at Survivor Series (you know, sans ’98, ’02…). Conversely, they also have shown that, depending on the circumstances, they’ll drop a tradition with the snap of a finger for the prospect of greener grass; not unlike a skuzzball dumping his loyal girlfriend just for a shot at a much hotter chick. As an example, consider the King of the Ring PPV.

WWE has made it a tradition, over the decades, to bring WrestleMania 10n (where n is an integer) to the most famous arena on Earth. On the other hand, ever since 2007, they’ve been intent on hosting the grandest stage at legit grand stages. In the last six WMs, they haven’t had a crowd less than 70,000. Think Vince will want to head back to the relatively small MSG just for a continuation of “the good old days”? Maybe, but my money’s not on it. WrestleMania will continue to be held at enormous venues, where the nosebleeds require binoculars and the money made from tickets explodes. Add to the fact that WrestleMania 29 is in the NY/NJ area, and I think XXX will travel, leaving Madison Square Garden yearning for eras past.

SDZ: You know how scary it would be if MSG didn't hold WM30? Probably not that frightening, but hey, it just seems like a typical staple for the WWE to make their ultimate PPV in the place you could say they call home. WM1, 10 & 20, so it just seem natural for 30 to be there too. I'm going to say FICTION on this and wholeheartedly believe WM30 will be at the Square when that time comes.

Hopefully by then we'll see the likes of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and any else currently in NXT be on the main roster and potential matches, moments and a little bit of chaos for the wrestling future to embrace.

Hustle: I hate to do this, because I fear that I'm going to be wrong, but I'm going to say FICTION on this one. I understand that WWE seems to have an obsession with holding WrestleMania in the biggest and the baddest of stadiums and domes in the country, and that's fine, but what people seem to be forgetting is that the company already had that obsession before the last WrestleMania to be held at MSG. WrestleMania 17-19 were all held in gigantic venues and featured record-breaking crowds, but then, there was WrestleMania 20, right back in the cozy confines of MSG. That's the type of tradition that I think Vince McMahon loves. While I understand that Vince has turned his back on a lot of traditions through the years, I also understand that Vince McMahon wouldn't be who he is today if not for Madison Square Garden and what MSG has done for his family, even going back to when Vince Sr owned the company and it was the WWWF.

The biggest obstacle in the way of WrestleMania 30 being in Dallas, as many people are speculating, is the fact that Cowboys Stadium in Dallas will be hosting the NCAA men's Final Four on April 5th and 7th (Saturday & Monday) that year. With as long as it takes to set up a stadium for a basketball game and especially for an event like WrestleMania, there's no logical way to have WrestleMania on the day in between those games. It could be held on the week before or the week after, sure, but that's cramming a lot of major events into one building in such a short amount of time. If I were the NCAA, I'd throw something into my contract with these venues that they can't hold an event that might "upstage" the Final Four that close to the event itself. Imagine the NCAA bragging and boasting about the attendance at the Final Four, when WWE was there a week earlier and had an attendance number that makes the Final Four's number look tiny. In the other direction, WWE has never held a WrestleMania in mid-April, which it would be if they hold it the week after the Final Four. April 7th (WrestleMania 2 and the upcoming WrestleMania 29) is the latest into the month that the event has ever been held. Sorry, folks, but I just don't see Dallas hosting the event in 2014, but I'd actually be stunned if WrestleMania 31 wasn't held there.

Bob$$: I was talking with a few of my fellow wrestling trainees the other night. We were talking about getting a group of us to go to WrestleMania 30. But obviously we didn't know where it was going to be, but they all assumed it would be Madison Square Garden. I, on the other hand, just couldn't see it. I'm one for tradition, but I don't think WWE is. An example is the King of the Ring tournament being on raw, not PPV... it just bugs me. Anyway, my answer for this is FACT. I just feel the WWE won't waste a PPV monster like WrestleMania 30 on a venue like MSG, despite the history, in comparison to Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. With the rumour of CM Punk vs Stone Cold Steve Austin being held, would you think Vince McMahon would waste that on 25,000 people in New York, or near 100,000 people in Texas, which is also Austin's home state? You do the math.

zzzorf: If this is anything other than FACT I will be absolutely flabbergasted. Why in good sense should it be held at Madison Square Garden? Yes I understand that the Garden is the true home of the WWE and the Wrestlemania franchise but seriously think about it, is the Garden truly big enough to handle a show the size of Wrestlemania?

The maximum crowd size that the building can hold for a wrestling show is a touch over 22,000. The last time a Wrestlemania had a crowd that size was Wrestlemania 22 back in 2006. In that time they have been pulling crowds in excess of 70,000 by performing in stadiums instead of arenas. I don’t even think nostalgia is enough to stop them thinking about the revenue that a crowd that size generates.

Wrestlemania has out grown its home and has moved on. It is no longer a little kid but a full grown adult and its parent’s home has become way too small. The memories it has had will remain and they will never be forgotten but it is time for it to move on to its bigger home where it can stretch its legs more and party with all of its friends.

Also in researching the details for my answer I came across a little tidbit saying that the Garden is the proposed place for the Royal Rumble in 2014. I think that shows that the WWE see things the same way and are therefore giving the Garden the biggest event they can for that year since Mania will be too big and Summerslam is an auto lock for LA.

SoR: To quote the not late, but great Bill Murray, “That’s a FACT, Jack.” Why?


That’s the most amount of seats that MSG has held for a wrestling event. An impressive number for people to witness an event. But it’s not Wrestlemania impressive. It’s not even Royal Rumble impressive. Backlash? Sure. But not Wrestlemania impressive. Let’s break down some math on you all.

Let’s say the average Wrestlemania fan spends $300 in revenue for the event. That is the money the E takes in after costs of renting the stadium, production, paying the talent, concession shares etc etc. Means they would clear around 6.7 million dollars for the event. Now let’s move the event from MSG to say… Cowboys Stadium, where it’s 105,000 occupancy. Because you have more room, let’s drop the ticket price down and say the average person spends $150 in revenue (more room means cheaper tix). 15.7 million. And you’ve effectively made 470% more people happy. Why? Because they got to see Wrestlemania, even if it means being in the nosebleeds and having to watch it on one of the biggest monitors of Earth.

FACT or FICTION: Seeing as how WWE went nearly 14 years between (Meltzer-rated) 5 star matches, the WWE will not showcase another 5 star match until 2016 (5 years after their 2011 one) or later.

Hustle: I'll be short and sweet with this one.. FICTION. It could be argued that the current WWE roster is one of the most talented batches the company has ever seen, as far as in-ring performers are concerned. You take that into consideration, and the odds of a five-star match are a lot better now than they usually are. I'm not saying we'll get five-star match after five-star match, but there are a handful of guys on the roster capable of delivering a fantastic match every single time they step into a ring, so it will be sooner than later when we see another five-star match happen.

zzzorf: Firstly I want to point out that I don’t hold the WWE fully accountable for not getting any 5 star ratings in 14 years, it is not truly there fault. In fact I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Meltzer himself. You see back in the 90’s he was a little bit freer with his ratings and the results fluctuated from the high end all the way to the lower end of his spectrum. During the 00’s you saw his ratings close in and become a lot tighter than they were. He practically never gave out a 5 star match at all instead having them mostly fall just short. In the 90’s he was handing out multiple 5 star matches a year and during the 00’s you barely saw any.

Now I have that out of the way let me get back to the question at hand, which I believe is a piece of FICTION for two different reasons. The first is that I feel like Meltzer is starting to be a slight more free with his ratings and is starting to finally give out those elusive 5 stars more often, as shown with some being given out within the last year.

The second reason is that I get this feeling the WWE is changing their style to a more storytelling way of wrestling. The guys who can actually put on the style of match that Meltzer rates higher are being given more time and allowed to do what they do well. All it will take is the right scenario to get the crowd behind them and then be left to their own devises and we will see the 6th ever 5 star WWE match.

SDZ: To quote Alex Riley talking to Eve: "Shut the front door." I don't know what that means, but wait just a minute! Didn't Meltzer give Punk/Cena at Money in the Bank last year a 5 star rating? Well, maybe I'm wrong, but let's pretend I am and I'm delusional for some apparent reason.

The possibility of not seeing a potential 5-star match from Dave for another five years... doesn't sound that all impossible. I have to admit, Punk may not be able to channel the Pipebomb of '11 reaction once again down the road. Cena's getting to the point of what AJ Styles is at currently in TNA. There is one person though that may be capable of reaching the elusive 5-star...

Dolph Ziggler.

With that in mind, I say FACT. Dave might give four and a quarter or maybe four and a half, but a true 5... no, not happening.

SoR: The fact that Tuna Meltz is the end all – be all for match grades in this day and age breaks my heart. But it is what it is and the question reads the way it does, so I’ll answer how I’ll answer. The current crop of the WWE is hungry. There is no “must watch” star anymore. That means there is room. There is opportunity. There is the chance for each and every guy to go out there and steal the show. And with guys willing to put it all out there each and every night, one of these days it will invoke an emotion from the slow moving Gradeasaurus Rex and you’ll see a 5. FICTION on this.

Bob$$: It's a tough one, but I'm gonna go with FICTION, The WWE has some exceptional workers in CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Antonio Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, plus others. WWE could say tomorrow to any 2 of these guys 'go out there and give us a quality match, you have 30 minutes to work with' and the match would make 4 stars at least. The problem is, WWE won't do that, and its a shame because they could do it. The reason I say fiction though, is because there has been the odd match this year which has been amazing. Cena/Punk from Night of Champions and Sheamus/Bryan from Extreme Rules were superb. I'm not saying every week we'll get a 5 star match, but I'm putting my money on the table. There WILL be a 5 star match, in WWE, in the calendar year 2013. You heard it here first.

Skul: FICTION. Between the years of 1997 and 2011, the WWE showcased peaks of the careers of guys like Stone Cold, The Rock, Triple H, Edge, and Randy Orton. Now, all of these guys were anywhere from above average to very good in-ring competitors, but I would never put them on the same stage as the Bret Harts and Shawn Michaels of WWE lore (solely in terms of performance between the ropes). Many of these guys were absolutely fantastic in terms of character, mic work, and the other qualities outside of ring performance needed to truly succeed in WWE. Does this necessarily translate to five-star match work? Certainly not. Yes, Stone Cold was in a five star match in early `97, and the likes of Edge have been involved in 4 and 3 /4 star matches. And, there were plenty of fantastic matches between 1997 and 2011. However, the storylines and characters were generally top-notch during that time period (barring a few duds, of course).

I think, currently, the WWE has a bountiful stock of people capable of pulling off a five star match, given the right opponent, right story behind the match, right amount of time, and (honestly) even the proper touch of luck. Are guys like Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk going to be throwing out 5 stars (or even 4 and a half) nightly? Of course not. However, given the wide window of four years, there is little doubt in my mind that the stars could all align one night, and we could see something of a perfect match. Yes, we`ve lost Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart from in-ring competition. But we have stock of many extremely capable performers. The 14-year period between 5 star matches, in my mind, will not repeat itself after Cena and Punk delivered wizardry last July.

FACT or FICTION: Crimson deserved a better way to lose his undefeated streak.

Bob$$: Not viewing TNA much around that time, I can't make too much of a comment, but keeping up with the answer I'll go with FACT. Anyone who has an undefeated streak deserves for it to end in an incredible way. Goldberg's ended terribly, as did the recent Ryback streak. Even Brodus Clay had one that has since been forgotten about. It's a shame about Crimson too, because what is he doing now?

Hustle: lol. FICTION.

Skul: FICTION. Crimson’s undefeated streak was more of an undefeated* streak (I’d add even more asterisks, but will refrain in fear of visual assault). Competing in a tag team match in which your partner is pinned; that’s a loss in my books. Don’t get me wrong, my personal preference, the WWE, is guilty of this undefeated* stuff, too. Remember Vladimir Kozlov? The guy lost 3 of his first 4 PPV matches, and they were still spouting nonsense about being undefeated.

Back to Crimson, an undefeated* streak is perfectly fine ending in monumental* fashion, if you know what I mean.



*15 minutes later and several discussions with Hustle.*

*sigh* I never liked Crimson. I have no problem with the man. I’m sure he’s a fine fellow, who puts his pants on one leg at a time, enjoys the occasional omelet and has an 80s song in his head that when played, he immediately starts singing along on the radio. The issue here is, I never cared about Crimson the wrestler. His streak never felt natural to me, like Goldberg’s or Ryback’s or Ludvig Borga’s (God I am old!) It felt manufactured. A streak just because it’s the only way we can get this guy over, like Tatanka’s (Jesus, I am old!) I think more harm was done to him as a wrestler by having him streak, because he didn’t develop a personality besides “Hey I wrestle and I haven’t lost.” For those that argue with me about this, let’s go out to the movies.

Johnny Lawrence in “The Karate Kid?” (Someone get me some geritol already!) always won. He had the cool friends, the cool jacket, he tapped that Elizabeth Shue ass before Macchio rolled into town, and he had the cooler hair. Plus he won. A lot. Fast foward to the end, one crane kick later and Johnny finally lost. Now did you have any sympathy for poor Johnny at the beginning of “The Karate Kid II” when good ol’ sensai Kreese was whooping his ass for being a loser? Nope. Why? Johnny was a one-dimensional winner that was portrayed as an ass. And when you’re an ass about it, people can’t wait to watch you fall and celebrate when you lose. Crimson got crane kicked by management and we were happy for it. Maybe Joe’s ninjas can repackage him.

zzzorf: What was wrong with the way his streak was beaten? I mean seriously think about it. He was beaten by a guy who at the time was one of the biggest faces of the company who was making his return after a lengthy absence. Yes Storm didn’t really need the win as he was already big but it did solidify him as the favourite leading into the BFG Series and made sure we remembered he was the real deal.

It can be argued that Crimson should have won that match and the rub he got would have helped further him but I say was he really deserving of that rub? There was a reason why Crimson was thrown into a team with Morgan and not continue his unbeaten path of destruction through the singles division, put in simple forms he was just no good. TNA realised that Crimson was not living up to the push they were giving him so they teamed him with Morgan to hide his flaws and let him develop on his weaknesses. This however did not work so they did what they had to do, end the mistake they had made by giving him the unbeaten run.

If you have not already guessed my answer to this question is that this is a work of FICTION. In actual fact I wish that his streak had been beaten before we had got to this point and therefore that would have been a worse way to lose his undefeated streak.

SDZ: Oh, TNA. Every time people say you're changing, you come around and fall down the escalator again and ruin the hopes and dreams of children everywhere. Crimson, who had, I believe, a 470 day undefeated streak come crashing down, lost to James Storm in under 2.5 minutes. Makes you wonder how much insanity would be made... and website traffic... if they did that to Ryback...

Did he really deserve better? He was a cocky heel during this, so to one side, yes, that jerk got what he deserved! However, personally, this is FACT. Crimson should have had his first loss for the World Title or something extremely important on the line, not a surprise return and instant end.

Now that I think about it, whatever happened to Crimson? He's not been on Impact since then.

FACT or FICTION: Bruno Sammartino gets into the WWE Hall Of Fame before Randy Savage.

SDZ: I could sum this up easily with one statement, but I'm not going to be that nice. Sammartino has that 10+ year reign. That alone should scream "So he wasn't in the first Hall of Fame ceremony? Why not?" Well, he has gone and shot his mouth off about Vince and supposedly has turned down offers many times over already.

I change my mind. Here's the easy sum up statement: Savage is dead, Bruno is not. FICTION. Then again, what if they went in at the same ceremony? No, never mind that. FICTION again.

SoR: Last year, I would have said fiction. But something changed… the tragic heart attack/car accident that took Randy Savage from us all and has him cracking Slim Jims in the here-after. Which means that it now falls on “Leaping” Lanny Poffo to say yes for his brother. That isn’t going to happen anytime soon because, I feel, the WWE does not want to induct Angelo Poffo into the Hall of Fame. Randy and Lanny have both said they all want to go in as a family. I think Lanny is dead set on honoring his brother’s wishes.

I don’t know if Vince and Angelo got into a pasta eating contest one day and Vince felt Angelo cheated, but the WWE in all it’s revisionist history, has wiped the Poffo name off the history books. Think, of all the times the WWE mentions wrestling families (The Maivia-Johnsons, The Von Erichs, The Harts,) when have you ever seen the WWE talk about the Poffos?

*plays Jeopardy theme*

Bruno, on the other hand, is getting older. It’s getting closer to his curtain call time, and he’s made some moves to show that he appreciates the fans, making some rare appearances. I think Bruno’s major gripe is that there’s no Hall for the Hall of Fame. Nowhere that accurately shows the accomplishments. Nowhere fans can actually go. With rumblings of a physical hall going to be built, I can see Bruno finally caving and accepting a ring before Lanny caves. FACT.

Skul: Tricky one. In an ideal world, where backstage politics were less relevant than the Gymini, both of these guys’ HoF plaques would be dusty already for amount of time in existence. Of course, however, personal feelings and behind-the-doors goings-on can outrank performance, and thus the Hall has more than a few head-scratching vacancies.

My gut tells me FICTION; in refreshing my knowledge (or so-called knowledge, as I can’t exactly know what was/is going on without directly sitting in on a conversation between Sammartino and Vince), Bruno has repeatedly voiced his “no thanks” to a prospective Hall of Fame ring. If the Italian doesn’t want in, he’s not going in.

On the other hand, as much as it pains me to say it, the passing of a person can sometimes neutralize any acidic feelings toward that person. I could see, eventually, McMahon softening his stance enough to posthumously (and rightfully) induct the Macho Man. At the very least, I see that happening before Sammartino caving in.

Hustle: This is a really tough one. I'm going to say FICTION, though, for one reason and one reason only. Whatever Vince McMahon's beef with Randy Savage was, you never saw Savage making it worse in every public interview he did before he passed away. Bruno Sammartino, on the other hand, takes shots at the McMahon family and at WWE, in general, every chance he gets. He's not only burning his bridge, but he's setting fire to the ashes after the bridge burns down, and then torching the ground where the bridge once stood after that.

At some point, Savage will get in. CM Punk does "Randy Savage elbows" in a lot of his matches, and Savage has been name-dropped several times on WWE television and DVD since he passed away, so it's not like Vince is backstage threatening to fire people who give Savage any sort of publicity. I'm hoping Savage gets in, anyway.

Bob$$: FICTION. Not because I think Savage will get it first, I don't think either will go in, as much of a travesty it will be. The differences are though that Sammartino HAS been offered a place but turned it down, where Savage hasn't yet.

I think to get to the answer for this question we need to make sure we understand why neither of these guys are not already in the WWF Hall of Fame. Firstly you have Sammartino who will not accept his nomination because he does not like what the WWE has become since his day. Plus he believes that the WWE Hall of Fame is not a real Hall of Fame since 1) it has no building and 2) that celebrities are inducted in it making it a joke that he would be embarrassed to be part of. On the other side you have Randy Savage who the only reason he is not in is because he refused to go in by himself but would only go in with his family.

I can’t see the WWE changing who they are just because an old legend, no matter how important they are to the history of the company, wants them too. The potential cost to the company to meet Bruno’s demands will outweigh any benefit having him in the Hall of Fame will give them. Whereas with Savage all it would take was for them to swallow their pride and induct the Poffo family as a whole, there are already people in there that belong in it less than they do.

My answer to this question is therefore FICTION, because in reality I never see Bruno Sammartino getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, which is a real shame.

FACT or FICTION: If The Undertaker doesn't wrestle at WrestleMania 29, it will have a significant affect on the show's buyrate, no matter what the rest of the card looks like.

Bob$$: FACT. FACT FACT FACTERDY FACT. It's a marquee attraction for WrestleMania. It goes like this, at least in recent years (in no particular order): WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, Money in the Bank and the Undertaker's streak. Look at Undertaker's opponents in recent years: Triple H, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Shawn Michaels, Edge, Batista. 2 Hall of Famers, 2 World title matches, a Hell in a Cell and a retirement match. Now take away the Undertaker's streak, and the fact you don't have Money in the Bank anymore, and every PPV has the World title and WWE title matches, so who cares? The streak has become bigger than maybe even the World title at WrestleMania. I look forward to the streak every year, with the challenger looking to end it. I become invested in it, as i get fooled into thinking it'll end. Silly me. The match doesn't take place, people tune out. Simples.

SoR: FICTION. Meet the FICTION. They’re a modern stone age family…

If it was Undertaker vs. Kane, would it make you buy WM? How about Undertaker vs. Dolph Ziggler? Undertaker vs. Sheamus?

Let those sink in for a bit. Three workers. Three guys capable of putting on big time matches. But do any of those matches make you want to reach out and grab your credit card and say “CHARGE ME 60 AMERICAN DOLLARS!”? No, they don’t and if they do… my condolences. I’m sorry to hear your sanity passed away in a tragic accident. Taker’s streak is a Wrestlemania tradition but it doesn’t make or break Wrestlemania. People will still watch or steal it on the internet (Dirty thieves) because it’s Wrestlemania.

zzzorf: Would you still watch the Super Bowl if the quarter back on one team was out injured? What about the World Series if a pitcher was out or the Stanley Cup if the lead goal scorer had to sit on the bench? Would you still watch the men’s 100m final at the Olympics if Usain Bolt had not made the final?

This is wrestling’s version of those before mentioned events and I can’t see how a missing Undertaker would really affect the buy rates. Granted the odd fan in a few thousand may only order the event since he was in it but the majority of us order it for the event as a whole. I will have to say that this question is FICTION.

There will be enough superstars on hand to counteract the loss of the streak. If the card is planned out properly, which you can only assume they are doing, then the buy rate will be the same with him on or off the card.

Skul: I think this really depends on what your definition of “significant” is. Rather than stubbornly nitpick, I’ll approximate what I might consider to be significant; let’s say that if the show loses, oh, 10% or more of what it would have attracted had Deadman showed, that’s a significant effect. If the WM29 grossing comes close to WM28, that’s approaching a million buck loss.

All that considered, I’m saying FICTION. Even if Taker takes a ‘Mania off to rest his creaking bones, WM29 is still likely to showcase (barring near-disasters, of course) Brock Lesnar, The Rock, and Triple H, along with the year-rounders CM Punk, John Cena, and Randy Orton. Arguably, Taker personifies Wrestlemania more than any one guy, but the biggest PPV of the year will still be a success without him. Berries might be some of the healthiest of the fruits, but if you omitted berries from your diet, the apples and bananas would still keep you healthy.

There’s also the fact that many people buy WrestleMania simply because it’s WrestleMania. Possibly a yearly tradition; a staple between friends who perhaps have grown out of full-time fandom but enjoy the spectacle and performance of the WWE’s biggest event enough for a once-a-year get-together. Will these people renege on tradition simply because the biggest dog is staying in the doghouse for one year? Hey, I’m not saying some of them won’t; a marginal loss in buyrate is quite likely. In my opinion, however, one guy won’t significantly crunch the buys.

SDZ: Let's say Taker cannot go the extra mile he did with HHH earlier this year. Just give us Daniel Bryan vs. Undertaker and Bryan loses in under 20 seconds. Easy peasy lemon squeegee and Undertaker's record goes up another point and the world keeps spinning.

Unfortunately, I seriously doubt the WWE would do something that pathetic, but heaven forbid. Anyways, Undertaker not wrestling at WM? That just cannot be! This is so beyond FA.. wait, the show's buyrate? Well, that changes things slightly. This is a little difficult to make with a sold answer. Tickets are going to sell out quickly regardless of the main event simply because it's Wrestlemania. I really have to say that this is FICTION, but only because of the word "significant". Undertaker's streak is legendary and just impossible to be concerned reachable and that alone is worth watching to see him continue it alive. It would hurt buyrates, but not that majorly.

Hustle: Realistically, I guess it depends on how "significant" and effect we're talking about. If Taker doesn't wrestle, will WrestleMania 29 see the lowest buyrate in history after WrestleMania 28 had the highest buyrate in wrestling history? No. Of course not. That's silly. I do think it will have an effect on the buyrate, though. There are plenty of people that only buy WrestleMania every year to see The Undertaker wrestle, so if he isn't wrestling, there goes those pay-per-view buys. However, it won't be anything huge, unless we see guys like John Cena, CM Punk, Randy Orton, etc go down with injuries between now and then. There are just too many "hooks" to get people willing to spend their money to watch the show, whether it's current members of the roster, names from the past they could bring in, or celebrities they could have involved in the show somehow. I have to go FICTION here.

That wraps it up again. We'd love to hear from everyone. Did you agree or disagree with our responses? Leave some feedback and let us know what's on your mind. Keep them peepers peepin next month for the next installment of FoF. Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls.