By Nick Whitworth @pwpitstopnick
The Rant Of The Day #9
2017 was a beautiful year as my oldest daughter turned 11, my youngest daughter turned 1 and my son was born in June. I also became a writer for this brilliant company. Kayfabe Today is a solid company who produces top notch work. Make sure you all tell your friends about this site as we all work super hard behind the scenes to deliver the goods to you all. Ok, enough sap talk…. Let’s focus on the goods… The Rant Of The Day is back and the topics are a goodie.
– Royal Rumble 2018 will feature a Women’s Rumble match
– Is there a need for Babyface vs Heel anymore?
– Vickie Guerrero
– Tye Dillinger
– Best Of 2017
1: When WWE annouced we will see a Women’s Rumble at Royal Rumble 2018, the wrestling world blew up. History is being made. Triple H, er, WWE continues to show that the women are just as good as the men and deserve everything the men do. Money In The Bank matches, Hell In A Cell, now a Rumble match. How brilliant is that.
WWE see’s the women continue to be a high rating draw for television. The fans see how hard the women perform and bust their butts for recognition. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon must of waved a magic wand over Vince’s head because we no longer see bra and pantie matches. We see legit women’s wrestling. No longer the “pee break” of the show, their matches now steal the show. Must see TV.
The announcement of the Rumble match brings excitement but also a few questions. Will they include NXT stars, Mae Young Classic stars and Indy stars? Is WWE worried the Women’s Rumble will outshine the Men’s Rumble?
With the number of competitors unknown at the moment, I am curious to see if they will add stars to the match. Add in stars like Kairi Sane, Nikki Cross. Add in stars like Tessa Blanchard and Mia Yim. It is a great way to introduce a new wave of stars to both the main roster and to NXT.
Instantly though, my mind said “Asuka is the winner”. With history being made and all eyes on this match, what perfect time to create a new star. Having Asuka win the match will show the world that she is the one the company believes in as the future of the division. Triple H wouldn’t let Vince call her up for a while as Trips went on record saying he needed her. There was a reason he needed her so why not let the world know that reason. That reason would be… She is that good.
Another thought was “Ronda Rousey will debut”. Again, what better platform to debut on then this match. I will go on record to say I do not think she should win but will say she should have a few moments to shine and have Charlotte Flair cost her the match somehow someway. This would set up the money match of Rousey vs Flair at Wrestlemania 34.
WWE will need to have a surprise winner in the Men’s Rumble because the women will be the talk of the night. If they want the fans to talk about the event as a whole they will need the men to really deliver with a winner that won’t get boo’d out of the building. I am not trying to take away from the Women’s Rumble because quite frankly, it will be out of this world good. I just don’t think WWE will have it on as the main event and the past few Rumble winners have left the crowd and fans at home ticked off.
We have a few weeks until we see the magic unfold but until then…. Let the build up begin.
2: For years wrestling has been Babyface vs Heel, Good Guy vs Bad Guy but that seems to have changed. The typical good guy gets bad guy reactions and the bad guys get cheered.
Stone Cold Steve Austin isn`t a babyface. Never was but the fans rallied behind his anti authority actions. I mean, his entrance pose, where he enters the ring and climbs the ropes, is him sticking his middle finger in the air. How Face is that. Austin not only changed the mold of how fans react towards heels but he created the now famous “Austin Pop”. Nobody can elicit that type of a response like Austin did in his prime. All while being a bad guy.
Since Stone Cold flipped the script on babyface/heel reactions, the fans seems to rally behind the more heelish type of character then a typical babyface. A typical cutesy promo will fill the arena with jeers from the fans. Nowadays, fans want to see more of an attitude, don’t give a crap, type promo. Even from the faces.
Look at John Cena…. When he cuts his corny promos like he is known to do, the crowd literally can’t stand the guy. When he cuts his fire filled promo where he tears apart his opponent, the crowd goes bananas. At times he teases a heel turn and the audience cheers in delight, hoping to see the turn happen.
What is Samoa Joe. What is Brock Lesnar. Are the heels? Are the babyfaces? Joe, much like Austin, is a heel yet when he walks out to the ring he gets a babyface reaction. The crowd chants “JOE, JOE, JOE” loudly knowing darn well Joe is about to hurt somebody. Lesnar, well he just is a beast. He can toss any one of the superstars around like i can with my 19 month old daughter (yes, she loves to wrestle and it is her that wrestles stiff). So anytime Brock enters the ring you can’t help but cheer.
Even though wrestling is babyface vs heel, we tend to see matches that don’t follow that simple, old school formula. Finn Balor vs AJ Styles was one of WWE’s best matches of the year. The fans weren’t confused over who to cheer for. They cheered for who they wanted to and knew they were seeing magic inside that ring. When Shinsuke Nakamura debuted in NXT almost 2 years ago, it was the same deal. Nakamura vs Sami Zayn. Face vs face. Yet before the bell rang, the fans filled the arena with “This is awesome” chants.
So, is there still a need for a typical good guy vs bad guy match? Yes, there is, but wrestling needs to ditch the old school cheese ball babyface promos that the fans today dislike with a passion and have those stars add a bit more attitude to their promos. Have the heels get legit heel heat. Nothing worse then seeing a bad guy trying to gather cheap heel reactions. The Miz knows how to get legit heel heat but now because of that the fans tend to cheer more for him then ever. So, continue with the same formual we are use to, just switch things up a bit. If the heel is being cheered then come up with new ways to flip those reactions. Add more reality to the promos. Cena/Reigns promo from a few months back was very reality based and the talk of the wrestling world for a while.
Fans will cheers for who they want to see win, whether it is the good guy or the bad guy and for me, nothing better then seeing a great heel tick off the crowd. The only time wrestling should ditch the babyface vs heel match is when it is time to do a dream match. Like Balor/Styles, who cares if they are both a face, all we cared about at that moment was we were about to witness something special and something we don’t see that often.
I will end it like this… If the heel is starting to get that positive reaction, add in a reality based feel to the promo to flip that reaction to the heat he/she is suppose to garner.
3: Vickie Guerrero… Speaking of heels, Guerrero will go down as one of the all time greats. Previously I mentioned legit heel heat, well Vickie slaughtered that term. She is in a league of her own in that sense. Nobody can even come close.
Vince McMahon took a person with zero experience and gave that person an on air role. Rolled the dice and took a chance. Boy, did that pay off. Guerrero is one of the greater success stories. She not only took the job offer but she worked her butt off, improving week by week.
Her famous “Excuse Me” catchphrase alone would tick the fans off so much that there were plenty of times Vickie couldn’t even finish cutting her promo. That’s how good she was. The fact she couldn’t speak because the crowd was that infuriated speaks volumes to her work. I personally think she is the greatest heel I have ever seen.
Her husband was the late, great Eddie Guerrero, so some might say the job was handed to her. Those who think that don’t know squat about the business. We all get jobs, so just like all of us, she got a job with WWE. The difference from what people think and the truth is, she earned everything she got with her success with the company.
She stood in the ring with Dolph Ziggler and John Cena, trying to cut a promo and the crowd just seemed to get louder and louder each time she tried to talk. John himself was loosing it with laughter as we all were witnessing greatness. That segment went down as the best segment I ever seen. If you don’t understand the type of response a heel should get, Youtube that segment. If you’re a heel and want to get real heel heat, study her work.
She was an interim GM of Smackdown, managed big named stars, had love affairs, and would even wrestle. Somebody with zero experience did all of this. Vince seen money in Guerrero and Vickie ran with it. She went on to have a stellar, Hall Of Fame worthy run with the company. Sports entertainment obviously flows in her blood.
I had the privilege of interviewing her last year and it was a legit dream come true. She is one of the nicest, funniest people I ever met. The whole interview she had me in stitches laughing. Such a joy to interview and very easy to chat with. Vickie knew how to put my nerves at ease with her great stories and humorous attitude. A heel on WWE programming but a true babyface in the real world.
If anybody isn’t familiar with her work in WWE, please do some homework on her. WWE, you need to add her to the Hall Of Fame list, right beside her Hall Of Fame husband. If you say her run wasn’t hall of fame worthy then I think I need to step away from the wrestling business as I obviously am missing something.
Vickie, you will go down in history as one of the greatest heels of all time. Not too many can even come close.
4: Knock, Knock.. Who’s there?… Tye Dillinger…. Tye Dillinger who?…Exactly… Harsh but the truth. Extremely sad since the guy deserves so much more.
When Tye Dillinger made his WWE return to NXT back in 2013 and I for one was excited. Dillinger is a fantastic worker who just wasn’t given the right opportunity to showcase his talents during his first run with the company.
Tye didn’t really seem to be catching any steam in NXT so the higher ups decided to re package him, giving him the “Perfect 10” gimmick. Career sinker for sure on this one, but instead Tye took this gimmick and ran with it. Within time, he not only got the gimmick over, “10”chants became the new “YES”. The fact he got this gimmick over shows just how good this guy really is.
All of a sudden Dillinger is one of the most popular star on the NXT roster. He didn’t seem to win a whole lot but damn, this guy was over. The connection between him and the fans was undeniable. Mega stardom was in the not too distant future for him.
When he drew number 10 in the Royal Rumble 2017 (how fitting eh?) the crowd erupted with “10” chants. I myself was excited and couldn’t wait to see more. Dillinger finally made the full time jump to the main roster in April, joining Smackdown Live. It was bitter sweet not only for him but for his fans. He worked his tail off and his popularity was so organic and just plain ol’ felt right.
Mega stardom? Nope, for some reason he lost steam real quick. It was like the writers didn’t know how to showcase him. He is so good, he doesn’t need a whole lot for him, just let Tye be Tye and the fans will go crazy. “10” was on the verge of becoming more popular then “YES” but now, not so much.
For a guy to take a crappy gimmick, flip it and make it work, become a super hot babyface, get moved up to the main roster then become an after thought is a slap in the face to him and the fans. WWE has a real issue with not taking advantage of something super hot because they want to continuing following whatever plan they have laid out.
WWE, it isn’t too late to showcase Tye’s skills. His track record proves he can do the work, just give him the time. Don’t waste anymore of his time and give us the Dillinger we all love.
5: 2017 has came and went. Fantastic year in wrestling. New Japan Pro Wrestling seemed to become the number 1 wrestling company in the world. WWE’s continued love for AJ Styles was phenomenal. NXT seemed to become Ring Of Honor with their new talent all being ROH Alumni. 2018 is starting off with a massive bang with NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 featuring Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho. Ahhhh, I am excited for the year already. Anyways here are my top picks in a few categories.
– Most Improved :
Winner : Alexa Bliss – This past year she became a major force to be reckoned with .
Runner Up: Pete Dunne – He went from unknown to future mega star all within one year
– Tag Team Of The Year :
Winner : The Young Bucks – Most popular team in the world, hands down
Runner Up : The Usos – Best in WWE, 2017 they were on fire
– My OMG Moment Of The Year – The announcement of Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega. (Drops mic)
– Match Of The Year :
Winner : Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada, Wrestle Kingdom 11 – Can’t top this one at all
Runner Up : AJ Styles vs John Cena, Royal Rumble – WWE’s match of the year
– Female Wrestler Of The Year :
Winner : Alexa Bliss – She shocked the heck out of me and really stood out in my eyes.
Runner Up : Asuka – She was NXT’s top dog.
– Wrestler Of The Year :
Winner : Kenny Omega – Started 2017 off with a bang and became the sports MVP.
Runner Up : AJ Styles – Started off 2017 as WWE Champ and ended the year as WWE Champ.
– 2018 will be the year of:
The Velveteen Dream – This guy the psychology part nailed.
Pete Dunne – Going to be a big star on the main roster for WWE.
Dalton Castle – Recently won the ROH World Championship, this guy is going to make a ton of noise.
Well, The Rant is done, first one for 2018. 2017 was a beautiful year for wrestling and am excited to see what 2018 brings us. Until next time, keep on supporting your local wrestling scene, especially where indy wrestling is super red hot right now. Also check out a few of my top dogs of Maritime Wrestling. YouTube JP Simms vs AJ Styles, Markus Burke vs Matt Hardy and Dick Durning vs Cody Rhodes. Trust me, you will want to move to my neck of the woods to catch a glimpse of the talent here. Cheers folks