Ask PWTorch ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 8/22: Taker vs. Lesnar at WM31 for title? What moves have fallen out of favor that should be brought back? Why does pro wrestling have such a bad reputation? Could the IC Title be in spotlight if Lesnar is part time champ?
Aug 22, 2014 - 7:50:21 PM
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Pro Wrestling Torch was established in 1987 by Wade Keller. One of the primary traits PWTorch has been credited with over the years is assembling the best and most diverse staff of columnists with broad knowledge, but also areas of specialty where they have a particularly strong grasp of history. Every day PWTorch.com presents that team of writers answering your questions, some of which are fact-based and others of which are opinion-based. Either way, we've got you covered with Bruce Mitchell, Pat McNeill, Sean Radican, Greg Parks, James Caldwell, and Wade Keller. Collectively they have over 80 years working for the Torch, writing about wrestling and studying industry history and trends.
If you have a question you'd like us to respond to, send your question to email@example.com. I, along with the Torch staff, will address you questions in this feature and also the “Ask PWTorch: All-Star Panel” edition which is also published most days here at PWTorch.
PWTorch reader Emilio asks: What are some of the moves that have fallen out of common use in the WWE product that you would like to see make a resurgence? Thanks!
PWTorch assistant editor James Caldwell answers: A few moves have been eliminated for safety reasons (e.g. the piledriver) that were pretty popular. But, safe moves not used too often on WWE TV would be the sleeper as a finisher after Dolph Ziggler tried to get the move over at that level several years ago, Sting's Scorpion Death Drop reverse DDT, and Kevin Nash's Jackknife powerbomb as a finisher for big men. Luke Harper has used a sit-out powerbomb, but I'd like to see him to more of a straight drop rather than crashing down to the mat with his opponent.
PWTorch columnist Greg Parks answers: The Glam Slam and the Widow's Peak.
PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: Heels raking eyes of opponents over the top rope or with their fingers. Seriously, stuff like that is what heels did when I grew up. It made them heels, it prompted fans to boo. You also need announcers who properly shame wrestlers for using underhanded tactics. I never liked the atomic drop much when it was around because so often it was poorly executed, but if someone can make it look like the knee is being driven into someone's tailbone on impact, that's something worth doing again. The abdominal stretch seems to be used less these days. The Indian Death Lock, too. I think watching WWE Network's 1980s matches always reminds me of moves or sequences or even styles of selling that fall out of favor, but many of them are worthy of being brought back fresh again.
PWTorch reader Emanuel M. asks: Why is it so hard for WWE/Wrestling/Sports Entertainment to be viewed by the public as simply a form of entertainment, much like theatre and movies? No one claims to not be a movie fan because it is "fake." This question has no logical answer, just wanted to put it out there. Thanks.
PWTorch columnist Greg Parks answers: One reason for this is because of how hokey and embarrassing some of the storytelling and some of the angles are. There have been numerous times, even recently, that we've had to sit through moments that we as fans would've been embarrassed (or maybe were) to watch with a non-fan. As long as the major wrestling companies continue to put out awful storylines with amateurish acting, coupled with the lack of satisfying payoffs to many storylines (or storylines that are just dropped, which generally doesn't happen in the theater, movies or TV), they'll be seen as less-than entertainment.
PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: And what's ironic is that much of the stuff Greg mentioned is produced that way out of an insecurity of being seen as trying to fool people into thinking wrestling is real. It backfires. If pro wrestling is promoted and portrayed as real - from the opening to the closing credits, at least - then the whole thing feels less "apologetic" or "insecure with itself" and just a real cool athletic combat entertainment spectacle. The pro wrestling industry, though, has a history that haunts it, to a degree, which is that for most of the 20th century, wrestlers and promoters insisted vehemently that what they did wasn't worked or orchestrated with predetermined outcomes, and that cloud of deception and fraud hangs over the industry. So some people feel if they don't ridicule wrestling, someone will think they are stupid enough to think it's real. So there's an overcompensation at work. Plus, those who don't follow it at all actually think people who do follow it aren't fully aware that it is orchestrated and not real fighting.
PWTorch reader R. Jack asks: Do you think WWE would promote the Intercontinental Title as a top title during the periods the Brock Lesnar is off? It would certainly boost the titles credibility, in my opinion.
PWTorch columnist Greg Parks answers: This has been discussed before, and while it would certainly be a good idea, we've talked for years about opportunities WWE has had to elevate the prestige of the IC title, and it just hasn't happened. So, I'll believe it when I see it.
PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill answers: McNeill's Magic 8-Ball replies: Outlook not so good.
PWTorch reader Jason M. asks: I am currently watching a match on the WWE Network (which rumor has is available for $9.99 a month) that features a burly brute waving a Russian flag and led by a charismatic white-haired spokesperson versus a tall, muscular, blonde Real American, with the match focused on which country's flag will be waving at the end. No, I am not watching the Rusev-Swagger match from Summerslam, but Nikoli Volkoff (w/Freddie Blassie) versus Hulk Hogan on the second episode of Saturday Night's Main Event. All this got me thinking: What other repeated storylines over the past few years would someone be better served watching the original version on the Network, excluding the obvious one of watching Daniel Bryan's rise to the top instead of Eric Young's championship match in TNA. Thank you.
PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill answers: The most obvious storyline is Steve Austin's rise to becoming WWF's top babyface, starting in September/October 1996 and going through WrestleMania XIII. TNA should go through all WCW storylines from 1999-2001, so they know to never, ever try doing them again.
PWTorch reader Brad from Michigan asks: I enjoyed Brock's victory at Summerslam. Heel or face, it’s great to see a dominating performance worthy of a champion. My question is, does this indicate Undertaker retiring as WWE World Champion at WM 31?
PWTorch columnist Greg Parks answers: I'm assuming you think Taker will beat Lesnar for the title in a rematch at Mania? I think that's unlikely. The direction right now seems to be Lesnar vs. Reigns. Taker wasn't able to do much at this past year's Mania, and I don't see him as the kind of guy who would want to put on a less-than performance in winning the title, only to retire and hand it over.
PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: I think if that happens, it's because Roman Reigns doesn't live up to Vince McMahon and Triple H's hopes and if Undertaker is able and eager to wrestle again to improve upon his performance at WrestleMania 30. I wouldn't rule it out, but I don't believe that was the original idea behind Taker losing nor do I think it's the plan today. If McMahon/Hunter feel they are short of options, though, perhaps that would cross their minds.
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