Podcasts

MFX141 – WWE Money in the Bank – Alternative Audio

It’s that time once again – MFX is back to bring you the kind of loosely based around pro wrestling podcast that will tickle your funny bone until you squirt.  Join your heroes Duckman and Sir Ian Trumps as they traverse the week in pro wrestling, pop culture and everything in between.  On the show this week…

It’s a big PPV event from WWE and that means it’s a big week for MFX!  We’re rocking back into your lives with our alternative audio commentary of WWE’s Money in the Bank show.  The lads sit down for 3 plus hours of WWE mayhem.  With bad ass matches, boring ass matches, lots of fun with the fans in the crowd and some big time MFX controversy.

You’ve never experienced a WWE show until you’ve listened along to MFX as the lads enjoy the show, hate the show and have a big falling out mid show!  So sit back, sync up the show with our commentary and find out how good a WWE PPV can be when it’s sound tracked by MFX.

As always thanks for listening and be sure to get involved with the show through all the usual channels.

Follow MFX on social media:

http://twitter.com/MFXPodcast
http://twitter.com/MFXDuckman
http://twitter.com/SirIanTrumps
https://www.facebook.com/MarksforXcellence/

And check us out at our new home, The Misfits Podcast Network:

http://www.themisfitsnetwork.com/

Podcasts

MFX137 – WrestleMania 32 Alternative Audio Show

Join your heroes Duckman and Sir Ian Trumps as they traverse the week in pro wrestling, pop culture and everything in between.  On the show this week…

Well it’s finally here.  After many, many confusing and disappointing miles, we’ve made it to the end of the road…it’s WRESTLEMANIA, baby!!!!  The biggest show in WWE history for gate receipts and number of tickets sold has had us on a rocky road, but with the showcase of the immortals finally here, it’s time to sit back, sync up your version of WrestleMania 32 with our audio and experience WrestleMania 32 as we do – LIVE!

This’ll be our longest show ever, with WrestleMania 32 clocking in at over 4 hours long!  Will Roman Reigns’ skeleton be shaken from his body due to the booing of 85,000 fans?  Just how tanned will HHH be?  And just how ridiculous will his entrance end up being?  Will Shane McMahon jump off something high and will The Rock cut a movie promoting promo of epic proportions?  Join us as we answer these questions and more!  It’s time for WrestleMania 32, please forgive the lads for any mark out moments, there’s bound to be a few!  Hopefully…

As always thanks for listening and be sure to get involved with the show through all the usual channels.

Follow MFX on social media:

http://twitter.com/MFXPodcast
http://twitter.com/MFXDuckman
http://twitter.com/SirIanTrumps
https://www.facebook.com/MarksforXcellence/

And check us out at our new home, The Misfits Podcast Network:

http://www.themisfitsnetwork.com/

Podcasts

MFX135 – Row-Man and Dingy Fight The Monster (Fastlane Commentary Show)

It’s that time of the month again – WWE have a PPV and Duckman and Sir Ian watch the show and comment in real time.  It’s Fastlane, the last PPV before WrestleMania, so expect a few rubbish matches, a twenty-minute RAW segment that goes on far too long and plenty of giggles as Duckman and Sir Ian bring their own brand of commentary to a WWE show.

There’s an appearance and song by Rybitch and Jeff Nero Hardy – inspired by the booking leading up to Fastlane, it’s called Re-Imagine and it’s amazing.

Then Sir Ian arrives to save Duckman and they get on with watching Fastlane and marking out at so much fun stuff.  You haven’t enjoyed a WWE PPV until you’ve listened to it with MFX commentary.  So sync up your video of Fastlane and let Duckman and Sir Ian improve a WWE PPV by 500%

Thanks for listening and be sure to get involved with the show through all the usual channels.

Podcasts

MFX132 – A Right Royal Rumble

Surprise!  MFX is back with the first show of 2016 and we’re doing something different to kick off our new year.  It’s time for Duckman and Sir Ian Trumps to guide you through the wonder that is WWE’s Royal Rumble PPV event!  The road to WrestleMania starts here and Duckman and Sir Ian are driving the fun bus all the way to Dallas.

We’re breaking ground (yep, another WWE pun) here as Duckman and Sir Ian watch the Royal Rumble and record their thoughts as the show goes on.  It’s fun, it’s insightful, it’s silly and it’s MFX talking wrestling as only we can.

So sit back, fire up the Royal Rumble, sync it up with our commentary and get ready to experience the Royal Rumble in a whole new way!

We’re looking for your feedback on this show, cause if you like it, it’s something we’ll do again in the future.

As always, thanks for listening and let’s get our Royal Rumble on!

Layin' The Quackdown, MFX Ramblings

Duckman on NXT

It’s a fascinating time to be a wrestling fan.  Not just because the long running Ross and Rachel-esque ‘will they/won’t they’ break up between Kane and Seth Rollins appears to have reached its long time coming conclusion (they won’t, for now).

No, there’s something even more entertaining and magical than that going on in WWE.  Slowly but surely, grizzled and sarcastic smarks, who had given up the belief that WWE was still for them, now have real hope that one day they might be able to come back to the warm and comforting bosom of sports entertainment.

There’s a not so quiet revolution going on in WWE these days.  In a corner of Florida that has been claimed back from the alligators and crazed redneck meth heads, NXT has risen from the ashes of FCW to become the hottest thing WWE have had on their books since Maria Kanellis.

This not so quiet revolution is spearheaded by one the IWC’s once most hated figures.  From the man who held down every single favourite of the IWC, to the man who will now one day save WWE from Vince’s evil clutches, HHH has worked the mother of all turns with his most vocal group of critics.

Thanks to the last year or two of success with NXT and his recent recruitment policy, The Game now stands atop our smark kingdom, shiny Conan-style crown adorning his head (and it’s not even WrestleMania season) as a man who can do no wrong.  It’s almost got to the point that even if Vince lives to his predicted age of 127, when HHH finally does take charge of WWE, the smarks will actually be happy.

Ok, ok, we all know smarks will never be happy.  We don’t do satisfied when it comes to WWE.  HHH could sit some of the IWC’s most vocal bitch-fitters in front of a collection of the greatest matches from WWE history, feed them their go to snack from the cleavage of the their favourite diva, and they’d still complain that WWE had screwed up the dip and should have been pushing the cheese and chive instead of the hummus.

While the weekly three hour RAW watching war of attrition has turned many WWE fans off (yours truly included), down in NXT an alternative to the main WWE shows is gathering pace and making the future look brighter than Jerry Lawler’s highly polished teeth.

When you think of a wrestling school or a developmental territory a few things spring to mind: shitty matches, shitty promos and shitty gear.  It’s just the nature of the beast.  When you’re learning to do something (especially something as difficult as pro-wrestling) you invariably suck at it.

The whole point of going to school is to learn.  Wrestling school, or a developmental territory isn’t supposed to be a place for great workers and finished articles.  It’s supposed to be a place where dudes learn the basics of pro-wrestling, work tirelessly to perfect those skills, and then move onto bigger and better things.

NXT is supposed to be WWE’s pre-school.  The place where wrestlers can figuratively finger paint and learn the wrestling equivalent of the periodic table of elements, while also acquiring the skills and experience to help them when they eventually move on to ‘big school’ and into the big bad sports entertainment world of RAW and Smackdown.  That’s what NXT is supposed to be, but over the last year it’s morphed into something very different.

Yes, there’s a developmental element to it, with the performance centre and all the great pro-wrestling training that goes on there.  Not to mention the work they do with production and social media with Full Sail University (hey Gary, how you doing?)  But the core of what has made NXT the hottest thing in wrestling today is so far and away from the traditional notion of what a developmental territory is, that it feels like you’re doing NXT a disservice by calling it that.

NXT is now a brand of WWE.  The hottest brand they have.  They have stars.  They have great merch.  They tour.  They have a great TV show.  They are one of the true success stories of the WWE Network and they’ve become this by being everything WWE had supposedly forgotten about.

NXT’s brand is designed to appeal to the disenchanted late teen to early 40s, card carrying member of the IWC.  It’s an indy work-rate promotion, with some of the biggest and best names of the last five years on the indy/world-wide scene on its roster.  It has top level WWE production values.  It’s a smarks wet dream and it’s ushering in a new way of doing business for WWE and a new way of developing talent.

The last great WWE developmental success story – the 2005 OVW crew – were a bunch of green guys who were straight up learning their trade.  They didn’t tour and they certainly didn’t put on match of the year candidates that had the world raving about them.  Then again, none of them had worked on the indy scene for 8-10 years and honed their craft like the guys who have brought NXT to the fore in the past 12 months.

The OVW crew were being groomed to get TV experience, in front of the same small group of fans every week and then learned how to work other crowds when they came up to WWE.  Kind of like how you learn how to pass your driving test, then actually learn how to drive by getting out there and doing it.

That was WWE’s way of bringing in new talent.  When you look at it, it’s a miracle (or down to Jim Ross and his excellent recruitment and Jim Cornette/Danny Davis’ hard work) that so many great talents came out of that OVW era and became big stars.  Certainly more came from there than came from the FCW era, so you can understand why HHH has looked at both systems and in a way married the two together.

HHH has thrown out the book on what a developmental programme is.  Now we have NXT the training ground and NXT the touring brand.  A system that takes the training element of OVW and mixes in some more experienced and seasoned workers from all around the world, to produce a TV product that has brought a large swathe of the WWE fan base back to the company.

The move to a touring brand is essential to allow the inexperienced wrestlers to improve their skills.  To stick with the laboured ‘learning to drive’ analogy from earlier, you don’t learn how to drive by just going around your own neighbourhood once a week – you need to get out on the open road, experience different situations and travel more unknown and difficult routes.

The NXT tour will allow them to draw money from the indy fans (by bringing the likes of Balor and Joe to town), while also giving the greener guys the chance to work in front of crowds different from their usual home field comfort zone in Florida.

The only downside I can see from this new NXT model is that fans they’re drawing to their touring shows aren’t exactly known for being forgiving and patient when it comes to guys who are learning their craft.

The more NXT becomes an indy work rate style promotion, the more likely the guys and girls who are trying to learn their craft will hear that infuriating “you can’t wrestle” chant.  In fact, it’s already happening at Full Sail, where the fans (while smarky to the max) are more in tune with what NXT is and are more willing to give new people a chance.

Then again, if you’re going to make it in WWE, you can’t really expect to have your hand held and appear in front of crowds who are always going to react as the script dictates.  Even established stars like Sheamus and Randy Orton get shredded by some crowds for being boring and having the same matches over and over again – but that’s a topic for another day.

With so many experienced and excellent talents on the NXT roster, they’ve got guys who are respected enough by the ROH-type crowd (the hardcore wrestling fan), that they can put on great matches, run a house show tour and receive universal praise for their efforts.  Where HHH has really changed things up is the make-up of the NXT roster and it shows the biggest difference from the OVW days.

The NXT roster is now split into three tiers:

  1. The ‘green as grass’  Guys who are basically right out of a failed NFL career or a career in bikini modelling competitions, who have been recruited due to two factors: their look and their look.  You can see most of these guys bumbling their way around Tough Enough every week, or showing up on NXT in the form of a Dana Brooke (get your thieving hands out of Beth Phoenix’s old gear bag) or a Baron Corbin (a man with the saddest and loneliest looking belly face in the world) or a Mojo Rawley (a man so annoying he makes Zack Ryder look like the coolest guy on the planet).
  1. The ‘we’re almost ready for the main roster, but just need a few more months to get our act down’  These are the folks who make up the core of the NXT roster, guys like Enzo and Cass (the Italian Deli Outlaws), Becky Lynch (hot, athletic, talented, voice like a Dublin pub landlord who smokes 40 a day) and Tyler Breeze (who’s Rick Martel?).
  1. The ‘why aren’t we on the main roster, oh that’s right you need us to draw.’ This group are the most interesting, because they’re the guys who HHH obviously sees as the here and now of NXT and the potential future of WWE.  Guys like Finn Balor (who proves to Jeff Hardy you can use body paint and stay sober – as long as you don’t eat it), Sami Zayn (so good at selling he convinced Eskimos to invest in an ice making company), Hideo Itami (no Vince, he’s not related to Mr Fuji) and of course, the man who has carried NXT for the last few months; Kevin Owens (aka Fnord’s stunt double – don’t worry if you don’t get that joke, only about ten people reading this will, but trust me, they will find it hilarious).

There’s another sub-section of these main event draws, guys like Rhyno and Samoa Joe, who realistically could be plugged into the main event roster and do a great job, but appear to be in NXT to help that brand draw, fill gaps left by the likes of Owens (and the injured Zayn and Itami) and also bring their experience to help the less experienced guys on the crew improve.

It appears the plan is the stars and established workers go on TV, the big tours and the Take Over shows.  While the guys and girls who aren’t as skilled or experienced, stay back in Florida until they’re deemed good enough to move up to the main tour.  That makes sense and allows people the time to develop in stages: from the smaller NXT shows, to the NXT tour and TV, to finally the main roster.  You learn, you improve, and you graduate to the next level.  Remember, this is still technically a wrestling school.

Of course the majority of people who are in WWE’s developmental system aren’t going to make it.  It’s survival of the fittest and some people just aren’t going to make the cut.  That’s why WWE have so many people in developmental.

That’s why I expect a regular pick up of top indy and international talent by WWE over the next couple of years.  As they cycle the likes of Owens, Balor, Charlotte and Sasha Banks onto the main roster, they will need to fill those spots.

While the idea is most of them will eventually come from the Performance Centre, if you want guys who are the finished article to draw house show numbers, sell merch and keep the buzz going about how hot your product is, you need established performers who have honed their craft on the indy/international scene for years.

So here’s my top 5 wrestlers currently not in WWE developmental that I think the company should bring into NXT in the next few months (this list is total fantasy and doesn’t take into account contracts, personal issues or the fact that they work for other promotions).

  1. Adam Cole – baby!  Got the look, got the in-ring skills, got the poise, got the mic skills, got the ready-made fan base.  Equally adept at playing heel or babyface.  This guy is a shoe-in for stardom in WWE and would fit perfectly in NXT today.
  1. The Young Bucks.  What?  Oh come on, you’re telling me you DON’T want to see The Meltzer Driver on a WWE show?  You’re an idiot.  These guys are entertainment personified and even if you think it will never happen – just remember what Kevin Owens did in his first WWE match and NO ONE thought that would happen.
  1. Ricochet. The best highflyer in the world today.  Could be a bigger success story than Rey Mysterio and someone who would shift a fuck ton of merch.  Especially if they keep him under his Prince Puma (or similar) mask.
  1. Kazuchika Okada. One of the most talented wrestlers in the world today.  A big star in Japan.  A guy who can work a variety of styles.  A ready-made, money making gimmick.  Too talented not to work on the biggest stage of them all.
  1. AJ Styles. Probably the best worker in the world today. If they brought in Joe, they should bring in AJ.  Plus he could work with all four of the other guys I’ve listed and could have MOTYC with all of them.

While that list is total fantasy booking (and ignores tens of other fantastic wrestlers I’d love to see in WWE) with the way HHH has revolutionised NXT in recent times, the boundary between fantasy and reality is weaker than ever.  Some of those names may just end up in WWE one day and if they do, I will expect a full apology from all of you doubters.

Of course, the elephant in the room, in terms of the future success of the NXT alumni in WWE, is Vince McMahon.  Thankfully so far (and let’s hope it stays that way) Vince has left HHH to his own devices with NXT.  While Vince may indeed live to 127 years old and remains in full control of WWE, he’s certainly changing some of his views on what makes a WWE superstar (Kevin Owens) and HHH no doubt has a huge hand in that.

If NXT and the most recent special from Japan are any indication – the future of WWE looks very bright and perhaps even the bitter, sarcastic smarks like me can finally come back into the WWE universe from the WWE Phantom Zone.  Until that day, we’re just going to have to keep our fingers crossed, keep enjoying NXT and keep marking out at each new signing HHH makes that none of us thought he’d ever make.  Told you it was a fascinating time to be a wrestling fan.

Well it’s been a while since I’ve written about wrestling and it’s been fun.  You never know, I might even start doing this on a regular basis.  Ah, who am I kidding?  The chances of that happening are as likely as someone deciding their perfect career choice would be a gay tour guide in ISIS held Mosel.

Something else entirely unlikely, but a hell of a lot less distressing than that is a NEW MFX podcast is up!  That’s right folks, the chance to hear me and my partner-in-crime Sir Ian Trumps ramble on in a comical fashion about gay marriage legislation, religion, life, love, Jurassic World and pro-wrestling has arrived with MFX123!!

It’s a fun show, with some great stories about Sir Ian’s time as the top heel in a US high school soccer league.  As you won’t be shocked to hear – he loved every minute of being the most hated guy there!  Plus all the usual MFX fun and games you’ve come to know and tolerate.

So check the show out, spread the word of MFX on social media – couple of clicks of a mouse make the world of difference to us – and be sure to get involved with MFX here with some comments, or by getting in touch with the show at mfx.show@gmail.com

Thanks for reading.

Until next time…

Peace

Duckman

Podcasts

MFX123 – We’ll See You in Dolphin Court

Don’t worry, your eyes and ears don’t deceive you – there’s a NEW MFX show and it’s as awesome as always (and full of alliteration)!  Join your heroes Duckman and Sir Ian Trumps as they traverse the week in this weird world we live in.  On the show this week…

The lads discuss the legalisation of gay marriage in the US, the opposition to it and the changes society has undergone in recent times.  They talk about the battles of humanity when it comes to religion, race and sexuality and wonder if the entirety of human existence is just some alien’s failed school science project.

They take things in a less intense direction as Sir Ian reviews the movies Jurassic World and Knock Knock.  Duckman chimes in with his love of the TV shows Justified and Silicon Valley.  Plus the lads answer your emails and we learn all about Sir Ian’s time as the top heel in an American high school soccer league.

Duckman pays tribute to the late, great Dusty Rhodes and raves about how much fun WWE’s recent Beast in the East show was.  The lads quickly cover the latest departures and uncertainty in TNA and there’s all the latest on Hulk Hogan’s sex tape trial.

The show wraps up this week with a very one sided edition of the Try Hard Ruler of the Week.

As always, thanks for listening and be sure to get involved with the show through all the usual channels.  Please be sure to spread the word of MFX by telling your friends about us and sharing our links across social media.  Cheers!

Layin' The Quackdown, MFX Ramblings

DeMott, NXT and the rise of the geeks.

This week, instead of ‘Layin’ the Quackdown’ on some serious social or political issue, I’m going back to my roots to write about pro-wrestling.  I’m not saying pro-wrestling isn’t important, but let’s be realistic here; in a world full of ISIS horror, Russian military aggression and Justin Bieber pretending he has a sense of humour about himself, commenting on pro-wrestling isn’t the most hardcore or taxing subject I could write about.   Then again, thanks to recent stories about one man and his behaviour, there are some serious issues to address in the world of WWE.

Ah, Bill DeMott.  It’s safe to say this guy isn’t going to be high on the WWE HR Department’s Christmas card list this year.  To those of you who haven’t been following this story, the long and short of it is that DeMott, while head trainer for WWE’s developmental system, was allegedly a cruel bully, who subjected his trainees to dangerous and degrading training practices.  He also allegedly made a number of racist, sexist and homophobic insults to a number of different trainees.

When the trainees raised issues or complained, he and WWE allegedly dealt with them in the most haphazard way possible; with more intimidation, half-assed investigations, ignoring their complaints completely and eventually firing most, if not all, of the trainees who complained about Bill’s conduct.  So far, so damning.

Of course, all of these allegations are just that – allegations.  Whether or not they’re completely factually true or not is barely the point anymore.  The court of public opinion and outrage has spoken.  With the internet squawking in delight at another scandal and DeMott already resigned from his post, sadly the truth of what went on is really secondary to the latest cause de celebre of Twitter.

I’m not defending DeMott by the way.  I just find it amusing that so many fans on Twitter seem to have deep insider knowledge on a situation most of them didn’t even know about until the story broke last week.

On first hearing these allegations, I thought perhaps DeMott was simply one of those old school wrestling trainers you read about.  The kind of guy who wants to ‘protect the business’ (which is pointless in this day and age) by being as harsh as he can to newcomers.  Or that he uses this kind of behaviour to weed out the weaker trainees, by breaking them physically and mentally, to see if they’re tough enough (pardon the pun) to hang in the brutal and cut throat world of pro-wrestling.

Then the more I read about what he allegedly did, said and allowed to happen on his watch, the more I realised he sounds like a really nasty piece of work; a high school gym teacher bully; a guy who used racist, sexist and homophobic language in the workplace; and physical punishment and intimidation to those who couldn’t fight back, all under the guise of ‘training’ and ‘motivation.’  If true, there’s no excuse for his behaviour in this day and age.

Maybe in a 1970s AWA training camp, out in Verne’s barn in frozen Minnesota, you could get away with it.  But in 2013 (when most of the allegations stem from) in a publically traded corporate entity like WWE?  That isn’t going to fly.  Even if HHH thinks you’re a good trainer.

From reading about his history in Wrestling Observer this week, and the details on the allegations against DeMott – if true – this all looks like a massive failure on WWE’s part to protect both its employees and its corporate image.

Then again, after the scandals involving the BBC and Penn State, we really shouldn’t be surprised when large corporations and institutions put the abhorrent behaviour of one (who is powerful and important) above the safety and well-being of the many, and then do whatever they can to cover up and bury their mistake.

You’d have thought in today’s corporate and highly sensitive WWE that they wouldn’t make this kind of error of judgement.  Then again, after the allegations from Albert Del Rio, casual racism and discrimination seems to permeate from the top down in that organisation.  If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the New Day gimmick – talk about a racial stereotype!

One interesting point that Dave Meltzer made on this subject was: why was DeMott kept on and allowed to run their developmental system in such a draconian and unsafe fashion, when his track record for producing talent is so weak?

Think about it, put aside all the guys who came into NXT during his tenure as head trainer who were already excellent thanks to their work on the Indy scene.  DeMott has no claim to any of their talent, skills or success.  Then look at the crop of guys who came through FCW – again, nothing to do with big Bill.

The more you think about it, the more it boggles the mind that with his lack of success in producing stars he directly trained, that WWE would keep the guy around and protect him so much.  I guess they just liked to fashion their training regime after Full Metal Jacket and were happy for a few Private Piles to fall by the wayside.

Then again, Jimmy Savile was one of the most unbearably annoying and odious little cretins on TV and yet the BBC allegedly turned a blind eye to his rampant sexual assaults for decades.  Sometimes an institution takes the view that if they just ignore, deny and bury these kinds of allegations, eventually they’ll go away.  They go into ‘reputation damage control’ mode.

But as the last few big scandals have shown, these kinds of allegations never truly go away.  The damage it can do to your reputation is much larger, than if you’d just addressed the issue early on and avoided a cover up.

Ugh, right, enough of this.  Let’s leave this subject behind and look to the future, to a place that Bill DeMott will no longer have anything to do with.

NXT!  Yay!  The best Indy promotion in the world!  That isn’t an Indy promotion!  The show that is supposed to be WWE’s developmental territory, but is now the best viable alternative to the snore fests that are RAW and Smackdown!

Have you noticed how WWE are now marketing NXT as an alternative to RAW?  Like it’s the smarks show of choice.  They’ve even started encouraging the ‘better than RAW’ chant!

HHH is smart, we all know that.  Look at his career path in WWE.  The man is a shining example of why it’s not survival of the toughest in wrestling; it’s survival of the smartest.  As soon as HHH got control of the WWE’s developmental system he began to learn and adapt.  Like a true apex predator (not you Randy, you’ve still got another hour of beating up Seth Rollins from RAW last week to worry about) HHH surveyed the land, made a few changes to his tactics and then struck when the time was right.

NXT is the only WWE show I watch these days, because it truly feels like it’s catered directly at me – the thirty something, hardcore wrestling fan, who thinks he knows all about working and will spend time on the internet trying to convince people of that…and usually failing.  The guy who will buy a Bullet Club t-shirt and talk about the fact Uhaa Nation is going to be ‘such a huge star’ when he arrives in WWE (which I hope he will be).  You know who I’m talking about; chances are you’re one of us too!

HHH quickly recognised that the WWE fan-base that would watch NXT, have a totally different idea from Vince about who gets over (more on that in a moment).  While he himself came from the big muscles, long, flowing hair generation that Vince loves so blindly and pigheadedly.  HHH has obviously recognised that it’s great workers (and not the guys with great looks/bodies) that connect with the hardcore fans these days.

Granted, he’s still got a taste for the tall and talentless (I’m looking at you Baron Corbin and your sad face belly), but there’s no denying that his focus has shifted to great workers and it’s paying off in droves at the moment in NXT.

With the influx of top male Indy talent to the promotion and a healthy dose of talented female wrestlers – who are given the character, storyline support and crucially match time to get over – NXT is flourishing.

It’s almost a moot point now if the guys and girls rocking that show will be a success in WWE.  I’d be quite happy to see them all stay in NXT (on main roster money of course) and have the freedom, time and creative support to do what they currently do.

I cringe when I hear that Adrian Neville or Sami Zayn might be called up to the main roster soon.  I cringe because I have no faith whatsoever in that team of writers and Vince McMahon.  You hear about the gimmicks they might be saddled with and you have to say,

“Well, it might work.  You never know.  Let’s give ‘em a chance, at least they’re on RAW, right guys?  Right?” 

Screw that.

We know what’s going to happen.  Adam Rose is what’s going to happen.  Fandango is what’s going to happen.  Lost Matadors and The New Day is what’s going to happen.  They’ll be saddled with gimmicks that appear scientifically designed to fail.  Vince will pay attention for a week or two and then go back to finding ways to make Roman Reigns appear like an extra from Revenge of the Nerds, who was cut from the movie for being too nerdy.

This lack of faith isn’t my smark talking.  It’s learning from history.  It’s being conditioned by more than a decade of utterly baffling and rotten creative decisions by Vince and his crew of writers.  It’s knowing that no matter how good someone is (oh, hey Daniel Bryan) that if Vince doesn’t think you fit, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Apart from maybe get so over that he’s forced to change all his plans for the biggest show of the year (oh, hey Daniel Bryan), but don’t expect that to ever happen again (hey, whatever happened to Daniel Bryan?).  Still, at least we’ve got Rocky Maivia in a bullet proof vest headlining Wrestlemania this year…

Actually, I don’t mind Roman Reigns.  I’m just using comedic license and smarky one liners to make my point.  Which is simple: VINCE, LEAVE NXT ALONE!  Keep the roster as it is.  Bring in some more Indy stand outs on a six monthly rotation.  It’s not brain surgery, just let that brand grow and let the guys who don’t have Indy experience continue to train and learn at the Performance Centre and on live shows.

There’s no rush to bring them up to the main roster.  In fact, you could even keep them on NXT, up their pay and start running them as a ROH-level promotion.  There’s no rush to start putting them on TV.  You’ve only got about 40 hours of original TV content to fill each week and you’ve got RYBACK.  And R-TRUTH.  Those are your corner stones.  Those are the guys people want to see on TV.  Those are the guys that are needed on RAW, Smackdown, Main Event, Superstars, Total Divas etc.

Leave Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Kevin Owens, Hideo Itami, Finn Balor and Tyler Breeze where they are for another year or two.  Look Vince, none of these guys can draw anyway, so just ignore them and let HHH and his crew keeping doing what they’re doing.

I know that’s a selfish message, but come on, at least this way it means I’ve got one WWE TV show I can watch, without wanting to punch myself in the face repeatedly at the sheer stupidity I’m witnessing.  So yeah, up their pay and let these guys be the stars of NXT, not the failed after thoughts of RAW.  Cool?  If you do that, we’ll all just pretend this Bill DeMott thing never happened.  Sounds like a fair trade to me.

Here’s a thought – why are the nerdy and ‘ironically’ over wrestlers more popular with a section of the WWE fan-base than the muscled up Greek God types?  It’s a trend that CM Punk started, Daniel Bryan took to the next level and now guys like Dolph Ziggler, Damien Mizdow and Curtis Axel continue apace.  These guys are all great workers, but they’re also kind of nerdy.  In character terms, they’re all underdogs, who don’t exactly scream ‘cool.’  And yet people love them?  Why?

I think it’s down to a couple of factors.  The first being that WWE fans, over the last ten years, have been wrongly conditioned to believe that THEY are the most important part of the show.  Hell, John Cena has made a career of telling people that his wins and losses don’t matter.  All that matters is that we, the fans, are entertained.  All they care about is our entertainment.   We MUST be entertained by them, otherwise they have failed us.  And we’re important, remember?

No one in WWE talks about winning a Title or kicking someone’s ass (apart from maybe Brock), most of them just talk about putting on the best show possible for the fans.  Basically, WWE has raised a generation of narcissists (not Lex Luger) and entitled little brats.  Their poor parenting is now coming back to bit them on the ass.

When you’re constantly told you’re the most important part of the show, a sense of entitlement is going to grow pretty quickly.  Just look at how ECW fans used to behave if you don’t believe me.  The trend to demand to be entertained, by our chosen entertainers (not those picked and pushed by WWE) has led to a ground swell of unruly behaviour: chants for crappy commentators while matches are happening in the ring; the complete rejection of anyone who is deemed to be being ‘shoved’ by the office; and the constant attempts to push WWE in a creative direction they don’t want to go in.

We are constantly told we’re important.  So in turn, we want to be entertained by those we find entertaining and those guys are a bit like us, underdogs, a bit nerdy, but with a love for pro-wrestling that is undying and undeniable.

That’s the second factor.  There’s a section of WWE fans who find it much easier to relate to a Daniel Bryan or a Curtis Axel than they do a Roman Reigns or a Randy Orton.  Why?  Well, let’s be honest here, more fans look and dress like Bryan and Axel, than they do Reigns and Orton.  It’s easier to relate and sympathise with someone who appears to be on your level – even if in real life they’re totally not.

I also think being a good worker is SO much more important to fans these days than it used to be.  A great deal of fans are smarter than ever and they can recognise when someone who sucks and is being pushed beyond their level of in-ring talent.

Wrestling used to thrive on these kind of guys on top, but these days fans can see through the smoke and mirrors and they want someone who looks a bit like them (only in much better shape) who can work a great match.  Guys like Punk, Bryan, Ziggler, Mizdow and Axel fit that role perfectly and I think that’s why fans find it so much easier to support these guys.

At least that’s my theory.  Maybe there’s some truth in that or maybe I’m miles off with that theory.  Maybe you think I’m talking about my ass.  Great, let me know in the comments section below.  That’s what it’s there for!

That’ll do for this week’s ‘Layin’ the Quackdown.’  It’s been fun to write about wrestling again and you never know, I might just do it again next week.  Cause I’ve just remembered Wrestlemania is in two weeks!  Wow, did not see that coming.  You would’ve thought WWE might build some heat to their feuds for that show.  So weird.  Anyway, I’m sure Vince has it all in hand and everything will go perfectly.  If it doesn’t, at least we still have NXT!

As always, thanks for reading, be sure to check out all the other blogs on the site and also check out the new MFX Podcast, which should hopefully be posted at the end of the week.

Until next time…

Peace

Duckman

Podcasts

MFX113 – Cyberdildonics.

Time for another ridiculously great episode of MFX!  Join your heroes Duckman and Sir Ian Trumps as they traverse the past week in the weird and wonderful world we live in.  On the show this week…

The lads discuss poker strategy and Sir Ian makes online poker players cry.  They discuss the Superbowl and Sir Ian costing Duckman money.  Celebrity Big Brother wraps up but thankfully a new reality show called 10,000 BC has started and it sounds amazing!  A special guest joins the show to talk the Lucy Beale murder investigation from Eastenders.

There’s a chat about drugs cheats in sports which turns into one of those awesome, in-depth and insightful MFX discussions about life, love and the human condition.  Plus the lads go back in time and bollock their younger selves for being so dumb.

Duckman reviews Triple H on the Steve Austin podcast and marks out like a little bitch over NXT.

Plus the weirdest news stories of the week are covered and once again a Try Hard Ruler of the Week Award is nominated by you guys…and this week is one of the best contests yet.  We’ve said this before, but this time we mean it; this really is one of the most fun shows we’ve ever done!

As always, thanks for listening.  Be sure to join the forums, buy some merch and shill this show like you’ve never shilled before!

Podcasts

MFX85 – The RAW Edition

MFX85 The RAW Edition is up! Join your heroes Duckman and Sir Ian Trumps as they traverse the week in WWE and life in general. On the show this week…

Duckman once again proves he’s a ridiculous old man, which leads into lots of movie talk and other nonsense. There’s some chat about recent shows and podcasts you guys should check out. Plus all your feedback is covered, which leads the lads down many random tangents. They cover the recent viewer numbers released by WWE for Wrestlemania, plus some other WWE related news and rumours.

The RAW review wraps the show up this week. Michael Cole, Schoolyard Reporter returns, Rednecks love John Cena’s comedy and have never experienced Evolution. There’s a lot of love for the IC Title tournament and rebuilding the WWE midcard. Oh and Brick Hogan tries to oust Sir Ian from the show. A really fun review of RAW this week and a really fun show in general.

As always, thanks for listening and be sure to get involved with the show through all the usual channels.

PLAYLIST:

Kenny Loggins – Playing With The Boys

Podcasts

MFX84 – WrestleMania 30 Review Show.

MFX84 The WRESTLEMANIA Edition is up! Join your heroes Duckman and Sir Ian Trumps as they traverse the biggest weekend of the year for WWE and life in general. On the show this week…

The lads share their WrestleMania weekend stories which results in plenty of hilarity. Sir Ian reviews the WWE Hall of Fame. They discuss the shocking passing of the Ultimate Warrior and your thoughts on Warrior’s death and his career. Wrestlemania 30 is given the full MFX treatment and so is the follow up Monday Night RAW.

One of the most historic, newsworthy and shocking weekends in WWE history is in the books and now the lads of MFX have their say. So many great moments, so much to talk about and so many laughs to be had. Join us and Hulk Hogan, live from The Thunderdome, brother!

As always, thanks for listening and be sure to get involved with the show through all the usual channels.

PLAYLIST:
The Ultimate Warrior theme
Nothing Lasts Forever – Echo and The Bunnymen