INDUCTION: Vince McMahon and the Brass Rings – 2014 Gooker Award Co-Winner

93 Submitted by on Thu, 05 February 2015, 20:00

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WWE, 2014

Text by RD Reynolds and Art 0Donnell

“You have, you know, this is a different group of guys, and gals…its millennials. You know, they’re not as ambitious, quite frankly, and they’re not trepidatious at all.  I just don’t think they want to reach for that brass ring.  The last person to really reach for that brass ring in all likelihood was John Cena…it’s a different point of view.  If you reach for that brass ring and you fall on your butt, no one wants to fail.  And there’s this feeling, this insecurity that if you fail, you’re exposed.  So I think that’s largely pretty much what it is.  Because you give everybody the opportunities, you give everyone resources that you (Austin) never had…the things we do now from a television production standpoint, social media, oh my God social media is huge.  It helps talent in so many different ways, it gives them the tools that you didn’t have, that other people didn’t have. It’s very important for talent to use. And they do use them, but not in a way you did.” – Vince McMahon, Steve Austin Show Podcast, December 1, 2014

Gotta admit, this is a first. Actually, a pair of them.  Never thought I’d see a tie in the Gooker voting.  Still, had you told me that was going to happen a couple months back, I’d have believed it far more than had you told me we’d be inducting something from a PODCAST.  And for that we can blame but one demographic:

MILLENNIALS.

You gosh darn millennials, you are the cause of all the issues here today.  You aren’t ambitious, but you’re also not trepidatious.  Just writing that sentence required me to look up the meaning of the word trepidatious on three different sites just so I could try to figure out what Vince was meaning in his rant.  Despite spending this time researching it, I still have no clue.  Worst of all, you’ve taken the great, almighty Vince McMahon and made him look exactly like Barney Fife:

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I hope you are happy.

The quote above of course is from the infamous Steve Austin podcast with Vince McMahon, wherein Austin grilled McMahon about why there are no new top level acts in the company.  And thus, here we are today, with us inducting poor ol’ Vince due to his comment about brass rings and how no one in the company really wants to reach out and take it.

So here’s what we’re going to do.  And by “we”, I mean Art and myself, as we teamed up on this massive induction.  And why is it so massive?  Because we’re going to review every single superstar that is listed on WWE.com as of January 23, 2015.

EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

Let’s see how much of a chance any of these folks have really been given.

Spoiler Alert: not much.

To reiterate what has been our mantra since day one, we are not looking to knock the talent we’re examining here today, we’re looking to mock those who have you say stupid things and look like morons.  You guys and gals have tried the best you can.  It’s not your fault if the company is holding you back from those legendary brass rings.

Couple more things: we’re going to reference events that didn’t happen just in 2014, because honestly, when you look at a situation like this, it goes back way further than the past twelve months.  Also want to note we’re doing this alphabetically, so if it all ends on a flat note with someone, well, I’ll remember to not do it this way if Vince goes crazy on another podcast and y’all want to stuff the ballot with votes for it again next year.

Not that I’d blame you, of course.

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ADAM ROSE: And already I have questions…is Adam Rose a millennial?  A quick look up of the Urban Dictionary tells us this (very lazy) demographic is born between 1982-1994.  As Rose was born in 1979, he’s borderline.  On the plus side, he has a lot of goofball friends that follow him from city to city.  Why?  No idea.  On the plus side, one of them is Mandy Leon:

 She’s definitely a millennial.

Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah, Adam Rose.  To be fair, Vince did give him a bus.  And a guy dressed up as a hot dog.  And a guy dressed up as a bunny in a never-ending feud that was also a Gooker nominee.  I don’t know that any of those were really a platform to springboard to a brass ring.  Still, he did have Mandy Leon.

Did I mention that?

AJ LEE: The crush of geeks, nerds, and poindexters the world over, young AJ (age 27) was around for a year or two before really getting noticed, as I would argue that happened in an absolutely awesome role as Daniel Bryan’s girl friend.  They liked to spoon, you know.  Oh man were those two great together.  She was then made into a Raw GM, and dressed to look exactly like Stephanie McMahon.  I should note that this change effectively took away everything that made her seem attainable and thus mega popular in the first place.  But hey, I’m willing to wager that Vinny Mac would tell you you can’t get a bigger push than being made into a clone of his daughter!

ALEX RILEY: He was paired with the Miz from the start of his WWE career.

I feel unobligated to follow up on that sentence.

Also, WordPress feels that “unobligated” is not a word.  We don’t care.

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ALICIA FOX: What can we say about Alicia, really?  The biggest opportunity she was given was that of a crazy person, which is also the same persona that AJ Lee was given.  Seriously, I’m only on Superstar #4 on this list, and we’re already repeating ideas.  This seems to me to be a bad sign.

BAD NEWS BARRETT: This poor guy.  He was given the opportunity to shine in The Nexxus, a great little angle that had folks really interested as it was a group of NEW guys being thrust into the spotlight.  So of course, the company completely dismantled the team less than six months later by losing to…John Cena.  He later returned as Bad News Barrett, and again was getting over with the help of a new catchphrase and a giant platform.  Ok, so that was a push to the moon, almost literally.  Sadly, as he started to get over, these aforementioned items that were helping him were removed from the act.  They were replaced by the Intercontinental title, which is the equivalent these days to a long walk on a short pier whilst wearing cement shoes.

BIG E: The former Big E Langston was given a short stint as Dolph Ziggler’s crony, and then wound up with the Intercontinental title.  See “Barrett, Bad News” above.  The latest idea to get him over is The New Day, an idea so preposterous and outdated it could only be surpassed by someone making a Barney Fife joke in 2015.

BIG SHOW: Prior to his arrival in the WWF in 1999, all Vince McMahon could talk about was how WCW didn’t know how to book Paul Wight.  The idea apparently was that the WWF would book him as an unstoppable monster, a special attraction, which is what made Andre the Giant so special.  Within weeks of his arrival, he was jobbing to Steve Austin on Raw.  Since that time he has been turned babyface and heel so many times that it’s nearly unfathomable.  According to the gurus over at F4W, he’s had 32 turns in his career.  THIRTY-TWO!!

How on earth is someone supposed to really stick with you when you don’t know week to week if you’re supposed to cheer or boo the guy?

BO DALLAS: If someone came to me and asked me to dream up a gimmick destined for WrestleCrap.com, I’d be hard pressed to top the actual character of Bo Dallas. Motivational dude who smiles?  Sounds idiotic, right?  NO!  He was great in his role, and was given a winning streak to help kick off his run.  Sadly, this being WWE, the winning streak was mocked and he was made to look like a buffoon.

Eh, we’ll still always have this:

Hey, wait a minute – Bo WAS given the opportunity to grab the brass ring.

It was in the bull’s nose and he didn’t bother to grab it!

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BOOKER T: A borderline case.  I feel Booker T was never really given a true opportunity as a tippy top guy in WWE, likely due to reeking of the stench of WCW.  Did I ever mention how Vince had the guys in WCW wear shirts that read “WCW” on them backstage when they came in?  Booker turned out better than most of them.

BRAY WYATT: He’s reportedly one of Vince’s favorites…and if you don’t believe me, a WrestleMania bout against John Cena should be proof enough of my claim.  And yet, even then, hurdles are placed in his path so as to not allow him to really connect.  Remember what I said about Bad News Barrett?  How he had things that made him great and then was stripped of them?  Same thing here, as his family was one of the best acts in recent memory.  Of course they were split apart, and we soon learned the whole was much greater than the sum of its parts.

The biggest issue, though, wasn’t that – it was the fact that WWE, a near billion dollar company, can’t afford to give him a lantern that actually looks like it has a real flame in it.  How does he blow out an LED light? And why is it smoking?

Sorry, that’s just a pet peeve of mine.

BRIE BELLA: The Bella twins are arguab…wait, are we calling them twins this week?  Are we still allowed to do that?  Or are they just “The Bellas”?  Regardless, the two weren’t helped with a horrendous feud that shares Gooker status with this here induction.  Still, being picked as the headliners on Total Divas counts for something.

What that something is I admittedly don’t quite know, as that show kinda sucks.

BROCK LESNAR: Ok, here’s a guy who HAS been pushed as a top star, an unbeatable monster who destroys everything in his path.  And lo and behold, he IS a true draw, a near household name.  When he left WWE and went to UFC, he cemented that of course, but had he been pushed like, say, Shelton Benjamin, do you think he’d have drawn gazillions of dollars for Dana White?  Of course not.  This is the prime example of giving someone a TRUE opportunity…and what can happen when you do.

THE BUNNY: And as soon as I write that, I run into this.  Seriously, Brock Lesnar is next to a dude dressed up in a rabbit suit on wwe.com.

How is this company still in business?

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BRYON SAXTON: I’ll be honest.  I knew nothing about Byron Saxton, except I recall he’s an announcer on NXT or Smackdown or something.  During my obligatory research, I discovered he actually wrestled in the company, a fact of which I had zero memory.

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Sorry, dude!

CAMERON: I know I am in the minority, but I have always thought Cameron was the hotter of the two former Funkadactyls.  Still, I somehow doubt that she would be able to grab the brass ring when she’s not even sure how to pin an opponent.

Maybe Kamala could teach her.  Or at least take her bowling.  (Check that reference out in the archives.)

CESARO: Cesaro is arguably THE guy who is at the epicenter of the firestorm.  Despite being hugely over at WrestleMania (even winning the first Andre battle royal), he was soon shuttled back to the midcard with no real rhyme nor reason.  A very weird partnership with Paul Heyman didn’t help matters, nor did the fact that Vince’s top guy, Kevin Dunn, doesn’t like guys with accents.  Really.

CHRIS JERICHO: Lucy the dog ate Chris Jericho’s brass ring, and Y2J never recovered it, despite keeping constant vigil over her and her leavings. Well, can you think of a better explanation for why the first-ever Undisputed Champion should have been picking up Stephanie’s dog’s poop in the lead-up to Wrestlemania? 

CHRISTIAN: Not unlike my view on Cameron, my take on Christian will be off-putting to some, as I found him the superior half of the Edge & Christian duo.  But hey, he’s shorter and Vince thought he was kinda ugly apparently, so he never got the rocket ship push his buddy did.  He was given a couple title runs, but was so well thought of the announcement of his retirement was made on Raw a few weeks back where he and Edge got destroyed. This led to the announcement of a “million dollar lawsuit” on the following Smackdown which was never mentioned again.

Did I mention the long-term planning of this company sucks right now?

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CURTIS AXEL: Did you know that this guy was the son of the legendary Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig?  Sure you do, because you’re here at WrestleCrap which means you’re a hardcore wrestling fan.  But no one else does because they’ve given him idiotic names like Curtis Axel.  Still, that’s better than Michael McGillicutty, which was his original name.

Did no one get why Paul Heyman named this woman the way he did?

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It’s called IRONY.

DAMIEN MIZDOW: The Miz’s erstwhile stunt double shows up not under his (WWE) given name, Damien Sandow, but rather as Damien Mizdow. He was indeed given a push with a Money in the Bank win…and then became the first guy to not successfully cash it.

That’s still a push, right?

DANIEL BRYAN: A guy who was FINALLY given a chance when crowds were hijacking show after show with chants.  We should note after this, he was put into a feud with Kane.

Really. This was the idea of how to keep him hot. KANE.

DARREN YOUNG: Came out as the first openly gay wrestler, which the company rewarded (he got coverage on TMZ!!!!!) with a chance at the WWE tag titles.  Which he lost.  And then was pretty much never heard from again.

DAVID OTUNGA: He’s on the roster still?  I pray he’s in a corner hiding somewhere while collecting checks.

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Also, sipping on a giant cup of coffee.

 

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DEAN AMBROSE: I legitimately believe Dean Ambrose was a guy who had a chance to get over last year, as he was really picking up momentum and I feel crowds were viewing him as a guy who could be a bad ass in the mold of Steve Austin.  Weeks later, he’d lost every single televised match and get killed on every show with various weapons.  He’d then come back a show later as if nothing happened.  As my Death of WCW co-author Bryan Alvarez pointed out, it was a lot like this:

I know Vince is always like 40 years behind the times, but seriously, that’s not how you make a star.

DIEGO: Came in without Tito Santana as his manager. SMH.

DOLPH ZIGGLER: I have no doubt when the “brass rings” comment was made, more than half the viewers were thinking, “Dolph Ziggler.”  Despite being incredibly talented in the ring, this is a guy who has earned everything he’s gotten.  I mean, from the start it’s been a challenge; brought in as a male cheerleader in The Spirit Squad, a male cheerleader gimmick (!!!) that never stood a chance, who were then shipped back to the Louisville farm system in a giant box one week on Raw.  That’s not a joke; they LITERALLY had a crate with OVW slapped on the side they threw the guys into:

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From there, it’s been one burial after another, with brief glimmers of hope given to fans that maybe, just maybe, the poor guy may get a chance at a main event.  But c’mon, we can’t have that!  He might get over or something.

THE ROCK: Failed to get over as smiling Rocky Maivia, a babyface who was shoved down the fans’ throats until they wanted him to die, so Creative — get this — listened to the fans, turned him heel, and let his real personality shine through.

That was in 1997, of course.  Times have changed.

EDEN: Won’t lie, I have zero idea who this even is.  I want to say she’s Cody Rhodes’ wife for some reason, and I think she was on NXT, possibly Smackdown.  To try to find out more, I went to her page on WWE.com.  On this page, it had a link to “Entrance video.”

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So I clicked on it and, with the Good Lord Above and I am not making this up, got this. Which I am pretty sure is NOT Eden’s entrance video.

And you thought they were setting up the Ascension for failure by comparing them to the Road Warriors.

 

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EL TORITO: It’s a tiny dude (midget? little person?  Not sure what the PC notation is these days) in a bull outfit.  I somehow doubt he’s grabbing too many rings.

Especially not when Bo Dallas is around.

EMMA: The kookiest of NXT Divas was introduced to WWE audiences as basically a female Santino Marella, even being paired up as his love interest, wearing her own version of his Cobra sock puppet, and copying his power-walk to the ring. This identity crisis, Santino’s abrupt retirement, and the Aussie’s shoplifting arrest has ensured that the EMMAlution will not be televised.

If only Wal-Mart stocked brass rings…

ERIK ROWAN:
Homer Simpson Vince McMahon: I have no idea who that is.

Lisa Simpson WWE Creative: No one does! He’s very quiet and enjoys puzzles.

EVA MARIE: Oh Eva Marie.  She actually did grab that brass ring…

…but fell off the apron and lost it.

FANDANGO: Right after his theme music and commitment to his ludicrous character unexpectedly got him over with the crowd in Spring 2013, WWE swooped in to take credit for it and immediately sucked the fun out of it. Then Fandango got a concussion, which, in keeping with company policy, meant mandatory time off followed by being knocked right back down the card upon his return. See also Dolph Ziggler, who lost his World Title in his first match back from a concussion.

We should note this also took place in Spring 2013.

 

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FERNANDO: Did I mention that they didn’t bring in Tito as their manager?  I did?  Well, then I’ll switch up and explain that Art thought he would be better off as one of these guys. 

Couldn’t be that much worse.  And wrestling does have a history of it.

GOLDUST: One of the few on this list that were around actually when there was a chance of upward mobility…which means he debuted almost 20 years ago.  Just typing that makes us sad.  But the times were different, and they somewhat forced Vince’s hand into listening to his audience.  Which seems light years from where we are today.

HEATH SLATER: August 4th, 2014 – After nearly two years of losing almost every match as part of 3MB, Slater upsets Mr. Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins. The crowd goes wild.

August 11th, 2014 – Slater defeats Dolph Ziggler by countout.

August 18th, 2014 – Slater is not booked.

August 25th, 2014 – Slater and Titus O’Neil lose to Los Matadores.

September 1st, 2015 – Slater & O’Neil lose to Adam Rose & The Bunny. Slater gets beaten up afterward by The Bunny.

September 8th, 2015 – Slater gets superkicked by The Bunny at ringside.

September 15th –  Slater is not booked.

September 22nd – Slater gets super-kicked by The Bunny again before getting pinned by Adam Rose.

September 29th – Slater gets frog-splashed by The Bunny in front of Reverend Jesse Jackson.

HORNSWOGGLE: The two-time Gooker Award winner finally got a chance to shine as a wrestler in the unreasonably good Wee-LC match. This was followed up with a stint where he dressed as an alligator.  Fans reacted by chanting “This is stupid.”  Won’t argue with them there.

HUNICO: Brought into the company for the sole purpose of putting on a decent match with Sin Cara, Hunico donned the mask himself before losing it on Smackdown. He then languished in his new, less-than-complex character: a Mexican stereotype in a wife-beater. Being put back under the Sin Cara mask after the original Sin Cara was released was a stroke of genius, as no one would ever, ever notice that Hunico had disappeared.

 

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JACK SWAGGER: Swagger has been given pushes here and there in attempts to get him over, likely due to the fact that he looks exactly like Biff Tannen.  Well, that’s why we would have pushed him.  But he amazingly did begin to get over with the audience in a feud with Rusev.  Made sense: Zeb Colter’s Real American battling the Red Menace.  So of course Colter was removed from the act and Swagger lost to Rusev approximately 33,787 times in a feud that would never die.

Not saying that Rusev should have lost, but maybe just have him beat Swagger 33,776 times and then let the poor guy move onto something else.

JAMIE NOBLE: Shortly after defeating three minor league nobodies named CM Punk, Samoa Joe, and Christopher Daniels for the ROH title, Noble was brought back to WWE. First, he was placed in an undersized tag team with Kid Kash nevertheless called, “The Pitbulls” (“The Eliminators” and “The Dudley Boyz” were deemed unsuitable names), inspiring resentment among the only people who would even recognize Kash: diehard ECW fans.

Then, Hornswoggle pinned him to become Cruiserweight champion and repeatedly defeated Noble until the title was retired.

With no more cruiserweight division, Noble’s last big push saw him pick up what the announcers un-ironically called a record four consecutive wins… against Chuck Palumbo. He was then injured by hosses Mike Knox and Sheamus in two separate incidents and forced to retire.

JASON ALBERT: Yet another man of 1,000 gimmicks, each one worse than the one before, with his most notable personas being Prince Albert and evil Oriental Lord Tensai.

Ok, maybe each one wasn’t worse than the last.  Pretty difficult for anything to be worse than being named after a penis piercing.

JBL: JBL’s first big push in the WWF ended before it started when referee Tim White accidentally counted Bradshaw’s shoulders down at the 1996 Survivor Series pre-show. Then, after eight years of not even being on the radar as a future world champion, Vince abruptly put the WWE title on him for nine months, making a mockery of the “brass rings” argument.

JBL recently “won” the Wrestling Observer’s Worst Announcer award. Falling from arguably the most-entertaining WWE commentator to the most annoying required some severe micro(mis)management of the announce booth by WWE’s producers. JBL is now tasked with incessantly bickering and contradicting everything Michael Cole says, no matter how straightforward and obvious.

Oh, wah wah! JBL does what’s best for business. Oh, he’s so evil for trying to FEED HIS FAMILY! I’m tired of your black helicopters and conspiracy theories!

JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER: While Lawler was one of the greatest regional wrestlers ever, for as long as the King has been in WWE, it has never been his place to reach for the brass ring. He has, however, come in handy whenever WWE wants to make a promising star look weak, such as Tazz, Gregory Helms, and The Miz. 

 

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THE USOS: Amazingly, the company has not seen fit (yet) to have these two split and feud with each other, as they have every other team on the roster in the last, oh, 20 years. We credit this to Stephanie McMahon reportedly not being able to tell them apart.

And that’s not a joke.

JOEY MERCURY: Formerly of MNM, a criminally underrated team with John Morrison, led by Melina.  You remember them, right?  If not, check out Lucha Underground, where Morrison is plying his trade as Johnny Mundo…and is actually given time to shine. Not saying he’s better off than if he were in WWE, but, well…we don’t know how to finish that sentence.

So we’ll just again say “check out Lucha Underground.”

JOHN CENA: Even the crusty old cynics here at WrestleCrap.com can’t deny that John Cena has worked incredibly hard to earn his spot atop WWE.  It’s not Cena’s fault that the company has a never-ending over reliance on him to the point that they are horrified to go even one week without him on television.  Said dependence makes it very hard for others to grab these mythical brass rings, but again, that’s not on Cena.

That’s on the company he works for.

KANE: Let’s take a look at his resume and decide what we should do with him in 2014:

kve03I know!  Let’s put him in the ring with the hottest star of the year, Daniel Bryan!

 

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KOFI KINGSTON: There was a brief, brief period during which Kofi was treated as a viable threat to the upper echelon.  It was during a feud with Randy Orton, in which he destroyed Orton’s car. Sounds idiotic, but Kofi was believable in the role of a guy willing to piss off Orton, and tough enough to back up it up in the ring.  But Orton felt he botched a spot (Stupid!), and he was then shuttled back down the card.  In recent years, he had a bright spot every year at the Royal Rumble doing some insane demonstration of his amazing athletic ability.  Fast forward to this year, where he was thrown out onto the Rosebuds and then thrown back into the ring.  Eh, it was fun while it lasted.

KONNOR: On NXT Season Four, Konnor’s gimmick was that he looked like, and acted like, a rat. After years in the NXT farm league, Konnor has re-emerged as part of a Road Warriors/Demolition knock-off that brags with corny dialogue about being better than the Road Warriors and Demolition, while everyone — literally everyone — mocks them as pathetic Road Warriors/Demolition knock-offs.

Knock-offs named KONNOR AND VIKTOR.  Not quite as menacing as “AX AND SMASH.”

LANA: The Ravishing Russian plays her heel character to perfection, coming across as ruthless and proud. That is, unless Stephanie McMahon is talking down to her, in which case she gets inexplicably servile and walks away with her tail between her legs. Still, Lana may have a good chance of grabbing the brass ring, just as long as Creative doesn’t give her any overly-controversial storylines for which WWE is forced to apologize and give her a Muhammad Hassan severance package.

LAYLA: This Deever has to be one of the longest tenured of all WWE talent, debuting in 2006. She looks great at 37, and…wait a minute.  She’s no millennial!

LILLIAN GARCIA: Nor is Lillian Garcia, who’s older than me!  But hey, that didn’t keep the company for once mocking her for weeks as being horse-faced.  Reach for that ring, pony girl!

 

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LUKE HARPER: As we mentioned earlier, the break-up of the Wyatt family did no one any favors.  Still, he was able to win the Intercontinental championship in the fall of last year.  Better yet, he lost it in less than a month. Anyone else remember when that belt actually meant something?

MARK HENRY: The world’s strongest man has been given chances over a very long career…and there have been times when he has been shown to actually increase ratings for the company (i.e., when he was a focal point of Smackdown a few years back, doing a “Hall of Pain” gimmick originally thought up by poor Brodus Clay).  This success was rewarded with him being shuttled back down the card, of course.  Noticing a pattern yet?

MICHAEL COLE: Left to his own devices, he can be a pretty decent announcer. Unfortunately, that headset he gets fed his lines through is one of Vince McMahon’s devices. 

THE MIZ: Can’t argue that Mike Mizanin didn’t get a chance to reach the top: he was given a WrestleMania main event, for crying out flavin’!  And while he failed to grab the brass ring, he did give this a ring:

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So don’t feel too bad for him.

MR. MCMAHON: For as much as we mock him, let it be known I truly believe that Vince McMahon is the greatest wrestling promoter in the history of this planet.  Also, I think he was, during the feud with Austin, the best heel in the business by far. No matter what has happened in recent years, no one will be able to ever either of those accolades away from him. Continuing my Vince lovefest for a moment, I’ll add that I think the fact that he really did have to fight and scrap for things early in his career has led him to believe that others don’t try as hard as he did.  And he may be right.

But this doesn’t counter the primary issue here today: that he doesn’t truly allow his talent to reach the top.

Oh, and did we mention he now looks like Barney Fife?

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That makes us really sad.

 

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NAOMI: Looked like a shoo-in to end AJ Lee’s lengthy Divas’ title run at Wrestlemania 30. Then she got her eye socket smashed by the talent-vacuum known as Aksana. Through no fault of her own, Naomi was sidelined, and though she returned in time for Wrestlemania, she had to share the spotlight with every Diva on the roster.

NATALYA: The daughter of the legendary Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Nattie has been given time on Raw in recent years from time to time.  Thankfully, it’s now with her husband and not as a random girl who farted.  Seriously, that was a gimmick this poor kid had.  I credit the turn around not to being on Total Divas, but rather her award winning performance on (the now sadly defunct) Saturday Morning Slam, evidence of which I present rightchere.

Also, I miss Kaitlyn. She showed us how to dress up like a penguin.

NIKKI BELLA: Star of Total Divas, girlfriend of John Cena.  Did you expect her not to be the focal point of all women in the promotion?  Sadly, even being in this position has its issues, as we saw from the co-winner of this year’s Gooker.

PAIGE: Young Paige was THE hot act in NXT prior to her arrival on the main roster.  Since that time, she has flip-flopped as a babyface and heel so often it has even Big Show shaking his head. Further hindered by the fact that the company seemingly doesn’t get the idea of a goth chick. C’mon, Vince…I know you have to remember Wednesday on The Addams Family!  (The TV show, that is.  The movie would be far too recent for you to have seen, I’m sure.)

By the way, can anyone explain the never-ending feud with AJ Lee in which they were friends then not then friends then friends then not friends then friends then not friends again?

Exactly.

PAUL HEYMAN: Paul E. seems to be much happier these days as just an on-air talent than in his old role helping to write the shows.  Good for him, but I think bad for the product.  The one thing you could never say about Paul back in the ECW days is that he didn’t know how to get the absolute most out of the people in his employ, strategically playing to their strengths and hiding their weaknesses.  You think The Sandman would get over in today’s WWE?

Scratch that, you think The Sandman would get over ANYWHERE BUT ECW?

That was the genius of Paul Heyman.  It’s really too bad that knowledge is just sitting idle in the locker room in the world’s largest wrestling company.

 

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R-TRUTH: His tremendous heel turn in 2011, coupled with his teaming with The Miz, led to a career renaissance that finally put him into WWE pay-per-view main events. When a failed Wellness Test meant he couldn’t wrestle for thirty whole days, Creative broke up Awesome Truth, turned R-Truth babyface again, and turned his unhinged, Little-Jimmy-hating persona into a kid-friendly cartoon character. WWE writers are not required to be drug-tested.

RANDY ORTON: Pushed and pushed and pushed again, Orton is a guy they have strapped the rocket to in the past.  Maybe he could do that wacky split legged celebratory jump to reach the brass ring.

He’s a really, really bad baby face.

RENEE YOUNG: Folks sure love Renee Young.  So much so in fact that I have to wonder how long it will be before ESPN gives her a call and throws her on SportsCenter.  Or at least the sidelines at NFL games.  Hey, if Jonathan Coachman can make the jump, this girl can too.

REY MYSTERIO: WWE always wants an hispanic star, and for years, Rey Mysterio was the guy.  And sure enough, he was given World Title runs.  World title runs in which he lost nearly every single match, as Vince had told his writing crew that he would let them put the belt on Rey, but he sure as heck wasn’t keeping it.

Also, he told them, never use the word “belt”.  He hates that.

ROMAN REIGNS: Not sure about you, but I think the best way to help someone grab that brass ring is to have them tell nursery rhymes and quote Looney Toons!

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Thanks to BotchedSpot.com for being awesome as always.

 

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ROSA MENDES: How did we not mention that she was part of the New & Improved Fandango repackaging?  She was.  And now that we’ve mentioned it, we really feel like we have nothing more to say about her at all.  Too bad.  We hear she’s a very nice girl.

Oh, and on a recent Total Divas, she was filmed planning an “accidental” wardrobe malfunction to gain Twitter followers. Now that’s a new way to reach for the brass ring! Unfortunately, management put the kibosh on that secret scheme, which, again, she cooked up in full view of television cameras. But we hear she’s a very nice girl. Not too bright, though.

RUSEV: Can’t complain too much about how Rusev is being portrayed.  Just one thing would add to his act. Nikita Koloff, your advice?

nikita

RYBACK: A giant dude who now wants to tell us about how he turned his life around by reading a book on being positive called “The Secret”.  Yes, they’re trying to get a guy who looks like Ryback over by giving him a book club.

SCOTT STANFORD: Can’t lie; if you put this guy in a line up with Josh Matthews, Todd Grisham, Chris Leary, Sean Mooney, Ian Mooney, and Craig DeGeorge, I wouldn’t be able to identify him.

SETH ROLLINS: Seth, you might be getting over…why don’t you, I don’t know, walk around on your hands like a monkey?

DANCE MONKEY, DANCE!

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SHEAMUS: Thought for sure he’d be given chance after chance to get over, as sources have told this reporter that he was Hunter’s weight lifting buddy.  Guessing that Kevin Dunn doesn’t dig that accent.  He doesn’t like accents, you know.

SIN CARA: You can’t really blame WWE Creative for this one. Sin Cara screwed up so many times in so many ways that he is lucky to be on NXT. Oh, except that was a different Sin Cara. This Sin Cara at least gets to hide his face after having ridden around as a passenger on a low-rider bicycle.

STARDUST: And we won’t blame WWE Creative here, either.  If you can’t get over as the reincarnation of one of the greatest heroes of the 8-bit era…

starman

…there’s not much we can do for you.

STEPHANIE MCMAHON: Let’s see…she is the woman that causes every other woman on the roster to back down from immediately.  Wait, did I say ‘woman’?  I meant ‘human’.  It’s pretty amazing how neutered she makes everyone look, honestly.  Then again, this is the same person who they had a trainer for (Muffy!!!) and then canned that act because if she needed a trainer, that must mean she was fat at some point.  Eh, whatever, she’s the boss’ daughter and the heir to the throne.  We’d all best get used to this.

SUMMER RAE: Fandango’s original dance partner, and she was great in that role. Sadly, she was submarined with Layla as the two squared off to win the love of Fandango in a never-ending feud.

WrestleCrap Fun Fact: If you do a search for the string “never-ending feud” on this page, it will yield 47 results.

 

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TAMINA SNUKA: The daughter of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has never attained the height of her famous father. However, according to Wikipedia, she has won an award:

tamina

And here I thought Kane won all those awards.

TITUS O’NEIL: A very interesting case, as Titus has been shown to have the ability to talk when given the chance.  Which has been, maybe, oh, three times since he made the roster in 2009.  By my math, that’s every other year.  Keep practicing in the mirror, Titus – your chance to grab that brass ring may be coming up again soon!

TOM PHILLIPS: Can’t lie; if you put this guy in a line up with Josh Matthews, Todd Grisham, Chris Leary, Sean Mooney, Ian Mooney, and Craig DeGeorge, I wouldn’t be able to identify him.  Oh wait, add Scott Stanford to that list too.

TONY CHIMEL: No offense to Tony (I think he does a fine job), but did you know WWE still has Howard Finkel on their pay roll and never uses him?  Mind boggling.

TRIPLE H: One May, Triple H suffered an injury so severe, it was uncertain whether he’d ever be able to recover. Miraculously, he not only recovered but made it back to action that January, just in time for the Royal Rumble. Thanks to a groundswell of support from the fans (who had suffered through one of the most dismal, poorly-booked periods in company history during his absence), it seemed that maybe, just maybe, Triple H could win the Rumble that year and go on to main-event Wrestlemania.

Unfortunately, Hunter’s newly-regained momentum came at a bad time, as Vince McMahon had been grooming another Superstar for that Wrestlemania main-event slot for over a year. All the popularity in the world couldn’t sway Creative, and Triple H was unceremoniously eliminated early on in the Rumble, paving the way for the triumphant victory of Andrew “Test” Martin, a man who was everything the big-schnozzed Triple H wasn’t: young, tall, and handsome. Test went on to win the Undisputed Title at Wrestlemania, while Triple H just had to accept that he was a victim of bad luck and bad timing, and that no one was really to blame for the perceived injustice he suffered. I mean, he had already main-evented Wrestlemania and won the title three times; what right had he and his fans to complain?

 

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TYSON KIDD: See David Hart Smith. Oh, he’s not on the list? Because Tyson’s former tag partner got released? After Creative abruptly broke up The Hart Dynasty to little fanfare with no plans for either man? Huh.

On NXT, Tyson is a perennial title contender who wrestles lengthy, exciting match-ups. In WWE, he likes cats and wears Beats headphones while his wife wrestles.

THE UNDERTAKER: Somehow his undead character remains over with the fans despite the Undertaker wasting the majority of his career not using Twitter, not appearing on reality shows, and not performing in comedy sketches. He did, however, suffering a career setback in 1995 when Kama stole his brass rings and melted them down into a chain. 

VIKTOR: Along with his Ascension partner Konnor, Viktor ruled the NXT tag team division for nearly a year, facing undersized teams like the Lucha Dragons, the Vaudevillains, and even Too Cool to hide the fact that Viktor is only 6’2″ and a cruiserweight. In his first big segment on WWE TV, he goes to face-to-face with the nWo and gets dwarfed by Kevin Nash. And Scott Hall. And… X-Pac?

By the way, we feel it is our duty to once more mention that these Road Warrior clones are named KONNOR AND VIKTOR.  Not quite “HAWK AND ANIMAL” either.

WILLIAM REGAL: Criminally underrated.  That’s what I’d call William Regal, who has some of the best facials in the history of wrestling.  Never truly given a chance, though, as Vince didn’t like his wrestling style.  Remember all those crappy William Regal matches?  I don’t either.

XAVIER WOODS: This guy was pretty darn entertaining as Consequences Creed in TNA.  In WWE, he’s part of The New Day.  Did I just say that TNA did something better than WWE?  Why I think I did.  What does that tell you about how the company is doing these days?

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ZACK RYDER: It seems only appropriate that the last guy on the list is Zack Ryder.  When the company was on their other old scam of telling guys they needed to come up with ways to get themselves over, Ryder did, creating a goofy YouTube show that got him tons of attention on every conceivable social media.  And we all know how much WWE loves social media!  But since this was NOT their idea, Ryder has been killed over and over and those “We Want Ryder” chants vanished. As has Ryder, who is so rarely seen on WWE television that one has to question why they haven’t bothered to just go ahead and future endeavor him.

I know folks view Cesaro or Ziggler as bigger issues.  I get that they are more talented in the ring.

But Ryder is, to me, is the guy who is what this ‘award’ is all about.  I mean, seriously – WWE tells their guys to do something to get themselves over, this guy does it with absolutely zero assistance from the company, and then is buried six feet below the earth.

What on earth did he do to deserve such treatment?

mmrhigherres

Yeah, I don’t know either, dude.

And that’s that. Every single WWE superstar listed, examined, and Gookerfied.

But to any WWE wrestler reading this and getting ticked off, please, don’t thank us.

Thank your boss.

Brass rings indeed.

brassrings0gooker


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Yeah, you know...the WrestleCrap guy. Been here since before day 1, I have. You can hang out with me on Facebook. (I'm on there quite a bit) or follow my exploits on Twitter (I'm on there not quite so often). Thanks, and Keep on Crappin'!
93 Responses to "INDUCTION: Vince McMahon and the Brass Rings – 2014 Gooker Award Co-Winner"
  1. Down With OPC says:

    I prefer Mr. Furley.

  2. Jay "The Brain" Mann says:

    I was wondering how you guys were gonna turn 1 paragraph into a whole induction. I like the gist of it, but I just wish it didn’t repeat jokes and act like things that happened for, like, a week (or just literally ONCE, in Rollins’ case) ruined that wrestler forever. But I can understand why you guys did repeat some things, because there are a lot of wrestlers in the WWE right now and it’d be kinda hard to write unique things for each and every one of them. I just wish it wasn’t as obvious.

    Still love you guys, though.

  3. Sharpe puppy says:

    You know what would be great? if this induction could be used as evidence in a class-action lawsuit to force Vince out of the WWE forever.

  4. Mister Forth says:

    Awesome induction you 2.

  5. jonthejoker says:

    This induction was great, and the only complaint I can give is that the CM Punk interview on “The Art of Wrestling” wasn’t included for the induction. Think about it, three days before this podcast Punk came out and did quite possibly the most scathing thing that the WWE could ever have done to them, he told the truth. And Stone Cold came out firing with Punk and Vince looked absolutely shell shocked which lead to his old man ramblings about brass rings.

  6. Preparation Triple H says:

    I wonder if Vince & Co. will start pre-screening at TV shows & pay-per-views to only let in fans that will correctly cheer and boo who & when they’re supposed to.

  7. The King Chivas says:

    Sandow was actually the second person not to successfully cash in the MitB contract…Cena was the first.

    • Jay "The Brain" Mann says:

      True, but everyone likes to ignore that because lolCena.

      • Guest says:

        Mess up thing is your right they don’t remember just like they don’t remember the terrible 2012 he had in booking.

    • Rob Brown says:

      I always say that Sandow is the only person in the history of MITB to try to cash in on an unprepared and vulnerable opponent, and STILL lose. Which, of course, made him look much weaker than Cena, whose opponent was rested and healthy, and who was also the victim of a Big Show attack.

      I’m trying to imagine Cena attempting to cash in on a heel champion who had suffered a debilitating injury and been hit by a foreign object prior to the match, it not being enough to put the heel champ away, and Cena getting pinned. Would Vince ever allow his golden boy to look so weak and inept? Rhetorical question, of course.

      Here’s a non-rhetorical question: if he knows it’s a bad idea with Cena, why doesn’t he know it’s a bad idea when he does stuff like that to other people?

    • CuvisTheConqueror says:

      But Sandow *was* the first to actually lose the match.

  8. Geoff says:

    YAY! Man Mountain Rock is back! Haven’t seen him in a while. Don’t know why the company future endeavored him either, he was awesome in that tie dye sixties whatever type of way. Oh…. now I know why….

  9. Hulk6785 says:

    I haven’t been watching WWE much because my fiance doesn’t like wrestling, and we’re usually watching TV together. Reading up on what’s going on WWE TV and seeing a little of it makes me glad I don’t watch in on a regular basis. Because, I don’t know how I could put up with this crap week after week.

    • Rob Brown says:

      I suggest ROH, and second RD’s recommendation of Lucha Underground.

      WWE is not worth bothering with. They’re also not worth supporting IMO, until they stop crapping on the majority of their talent and ignoring the wishes of the fans they have left.

      Yes, they do still have lots of fans left, but they’ve driven away the majority of their Attitude Era fans and done a piss-poor job overall of attracting new fans and getting them to stick around. As Punk said a few years back, Vince is a millionaire who SHOULD be a billionaire. The only reason McMahon hasn’t lost everything is because he made WWE so big back in the day that it’s impossible for it to die. It will always keep shuffling along, zombie-like, no matter how inept the people calling the shots may be.

    • Guest says:

      You put up with your fiance holding your balls in her purse you can put with bad wrestling booking on a case by case basis.

  10. Rob Brown says:

    Did I ever mention how Vince had the guys in WCW wear shirts that read “WCW” on them backstage when they came in?

    That’s the first time I heard of it. Christ, what an asshole.

    By the way, can anyone explain the never-ending feud with AJ Lee in which they were friends then not then friends then friends then not friends then friends then not friends again?

    In his Wrestle! Wrestle! videos, Spoony summed up the feud’s concept thusly: “Bitches be crazy, and I don’t know what’s going on.”

    I still feel bad for Ryder myself. And while he may not be as talented as Cesaro or Dolph, I remember him having some great matches with Christian when they were both on WWECW. Part of the credit goes to Christian, of course, but Ryder’s far from a bad worker. If there were any justice, the guy would be a staple of the midcard or upper midcard, a la Mr. Perfect, and possibly even more depending on how much he improved.

    But there is no justice. Not in WWE, anyway.

    A great–if depressing–induction, guys. Thanks for doing it.

    • Rob Brown says:

      So, I put blockquote tags around the first and third paragraphs in my earlier comment since those are quotes from the induction, but apparently HTML doesn’t work, I guess? I should’ve checked on that before posting, my bad there.

  11. Butch says:

    Just to confirm, I don’t get the irony regarding the name mcguillicutty when it comes to Beulah. Anyone care to explain?

    • Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin says:

      My understanding is that it was done for comedy purposes: a hot woman with an ugly name. Like if they’d given Paige a name like Griselda Toadknuckle or something.

      I could be wrong though.

    • Christopher Olsen says:

      The joke is you’d expect a hot girl to have a name like “Jordan Carver” (an actual hot girl’s name), not the name of 95 year old retiree from Boca.

    • the14thListener says:

      Whew. I was afraid I was the only one too dim to get it. Thanks for the explanation and any future ones.

  12. TMC says:

    A few things on this induction. First off the line of “can’t believe there was a tie” actually Brass Rings won, I guess this is Wrestlecrap’s version of 93,000 people at the Pontiac Silverdome. Years from now Wrestlecrap readers will talk about how Brass Rings and Bellas tied for Gooker voting, and how unique and special that occurrence was. RD putting the “His Story” in History.

    Secondly, this induction came across as somewhat lacking effort, also imo instead of addressing this more seriously, it came across as lets shoehorn in some jokes, b/c at Wrestlecrap everything has to be about jokes and fun goddamn it. Because goddamn pal, we have fun making fun at Wrestlecrap.

    Personally I think this induction got it in wrong in the aspect of analyzing each individual talent. The Brass Ring comment isn’t about the talent. The Brass Ring comment is about Vince McMahon Jr becoming latter year Al Davis. Instead you make a joke about McMahon looking like Barney Fife(which by the Andy Griffith Show was made in the 60’s, who’s out of touch?), and spent more time putting over how great Vince is than anything else.

    Considering RD co authored “Death of WCW”, a book in which you analyze WCW’s rise and fall in detail, I guess I was expecting something more serious, that analyzed McMahon’s decisions in the modern era. Instead of analyzing McMahon’s ineptitude and delusion, we get a literal induction of you guys trying to disprove McMahon by analyzing each individual talent, complete with jokes.

    Oh well, at least you inducted it I suppose.

    • Jay "The Brain" Mann says:

      Oh no, a comedy website used comedy in one of its comedic writings! Someone call the FCC! 😛

      Anyways, I remember going on the Gooker article a few times after voting for Bella vs Bella and it said I voted for Willow, so something clearly glitched during the voting. Also, have you never heard of using proxies to vote multiple times (the most likely cause of the rigging)?

      And it would’ve been hard for them to write an entire induction based on the one paragraph since it is, as I just stated, one paragraph. It, much like what they ended up going with, would’ve ended up repeating itself. I think the way they went with this was, while not really necessary, pretty good aside from the obvious errors.

      I still say it shouldn’t have been nominated in the first place, though.

    • Justin says:

      I knew this was going to happen – the brass ring crowd, even after the induction, were going to complain. First, they complained that “their” vote didn’t clearly win due to shenanigans. It still gets inducted, although it should have been thrown out due to such blatant cheating, and you STILL complain about it “not winning outright”, flat out dismissing the people who actually have the stats to back up the ballot-stuffing charge (usually saying they didn’t want it to win…then they wouldn’t have put it up to be voted on, would they?). And now you’re complaining because the induction, written on a comedy website about about the absurdities that happen in a form of entertainment where grown men in their underwear make goofy faces and pretend to hit each other, wasn’t the scathing diatribe against Vince McMahon that you wanted? And you bring up “Death of WCW”, but apparently you didn’t read it, because that book ALSO had humor in it.

      I’m guessing two things were grinding your gears on this induction: the not burying HHH even though HE BURIES EVERYBODY AND HE DESERVES TO BE CHASTISED ALL THE TIME BECAUSE WE HATE HIM FOR BURYING OUR HEROES (because they showed him getting pushed aside for someone the E was grooming to be champ as an example of Vince not letting his workers rise on their own, like he was doing), and them spending WAAAAY too much time writing about how great Vince is (the 116 word paragraph out of a 7015 word write-up – less than 2% of the total word count – was obviously too long…should have been 100,000 words about why wrestling nowadays is terrible all because of that big meanie Vince McMahon). I’ll address the second – if turning the entire industry upside down, salvaging a sinking ship when the WWF was getting destroyed, and ending up demolishing the competition and buying the only other major wrestling organization at that time for pennies on the dollar isn’t enough to be called the best promoter in the business, I’d be curious as to whom you believe that person actually is.

      As Jay pointed out, it’s pretty hard to write a long induction over one paragraph said on a podcast. I previously said that this was one induction I wasn’t really that thrilled to read, because I had no idea how they were going to do it. For what they had to work with, they did a really good job. They took a paragraph from a podcast, and they were very creative with how to make it work. They used their formula, showed example after example of HOW that statement that Vince made was erroneous, and actually turned out a good induction. Since you are so angry over them “lacking effort”, perhaps you can more easily write the perfect induction to this one. Type it out, send it in to RD, and he’ll check it out. He might even post it.

      You see what you did? I come here for entertainment and fun, and now I’m writing long-winded, 500+ word comments to random strangers that are not fun in the least. You angry folks have turned me into one of you…turned me into a monster. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

      • Justin says:

        Scratch the HHH part. Read it again for some reason, and I realized what it was actually in reference to. Unless the ever-accurate Wikipedia is wrong about Test, that is.

      • TMC says:

        Where’s all of these irrefutable stats. To this point RD hasn’t provided or has he expounded on how he came to the conclusion of “blatant cheating”. Also to even further discredit this whole “Brass Rings won because of cheating” bs, the story has changed. It was first that people ballot stuffed in favor of Brass Rings. Never mind there was no evidence, nor was there any insight to how RD was sure that only ballot stuffing had happened on Brass Rings and not on Bellas.

        Now the story is “Never thought I’d see a tie in the Gooker voting. ” So what is it a tie in the Gooker voting or Ballot stuffing “shenanigans.”?

        Next I want to address your point(and a point made by others) in regards to “complaining”. First off isn’t that the whole point of this website? To “COMPLAIN”? Or to ridicule? Secondly RD’s claim to fame has been complaining. Complaining about bad gimmicks, complaining about WCW’s bad decisions,etc. To then cry about me or anyone complaining about something we disagree with on this site, makes you look childish, and stupid.

        Also your argument sounds like the Russo or WWE argument of people who speak out against them flooding the programming with silly comedic bs. This induction “IMO” missed the point of why people were upset with McMahon’s Brass Ring statement. And was silly when the induction called for a more serious induction.

        Instead of looking at the statement of McMahon, then analyzing his decisions in the modern era. RD decided to analyze the entire roster for jokes. Which misses the entire point of the induction.

        Lastly you are obviously a WWE fanboy. Which is ok, but it should be noted. As for RD’s McMahon praise, considering the induction is about Vince McMahon’s deluded statement where he blames the talent, for his incompetence, and you spend more time praising McMahon than you do addressing the whole point of the induction is deserving of criticism in terms of this induction.

        • Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin says:

          Oh my god who cares it’s a silly contest on a wrestling website

          I hope to Lemmy Kilmister you cause this much of a stink when there’s irregularities in a vote that actually matters. You know, like, say, the 2000 U.S. presidential elections.

        • Rob Brown says:

          I don’t know about the rest of it, but I never like reading praise of McMahon, and part of that is because things like “The Death of WCW” and inductions on this site have made me hate him more than ever.

          You need look no further than the “Black Saturday” induction (made available outside the archives fairly recently) to understand why. I mean, here’s a quote:

          “…Ted requested that Vince tape live shows in the Techwood Drive Studios, no more pre-taped arena footage. But Vince did not come through on this part and found himself in legal hot water with Ted. Vince then turned to Jim Barnett for help, who in turn told Vince to go to Jim Crockett for help. Crockett was friendly with Ted and wanted to have a time slot on TBS, so he bought Vince out for a million dollars and all was well once again. But Vince would never forgive Ted for this humiliation and in his mind, declared TOTAL WAR on Ted Turner…”

          This is just one example of McMahon being a prick out of many, but let’s examine it.

          Vince buys the promotion that has a timeslot on TBS, makes a commitment to produce a certain level of quality for TBS, and fails to live up to that commitment or even try.

          He doesn’t do something he was LEGALLY REQUIRED to do, as part of his agreement with TBS.

          Turner calls him on it, as is his right.

          Vince responds by absolutely hating Ted Turner’s guts even though clearly he, Vince, was in the wrong, and becoming determined to put Ted Turner out of business.

          The archives, the WrestleCrap books, and Art’s “How Much Does This Guy Weigh?” blog are filled with other examples of McMahon hypocrisy and general scumminess.

          I’ll grant you that he might be–check that, he might have ONCE been–a good promoter, but he absolutely sucks as a human being.

        • Jerichoholic Ninja says:

          I’ll admit the induction was different from what I expected, but I enjoyed it. What else are you going to write about? Every single wrestling columnist has sounded off on the brass rings comment, so at least RD decided to do something different.

          Clearly you have no idea what this site is about. This is WrestleCrap. What you want is www.whinysmarks.net or www.johncenasucks.org or www.vincemcmahonisthedevil.gc.ca.

          Whine about it all you want, but at least RD put it on the ballot in the first place. A lot of people (myself included) don’t believe that an overall booking philosophy really belongs here.

        • Doc Arkham says:

          Ah, so it’s all about ethics in wrestling comedy journalism. Got it.

        • Zigglypuff says:

          Jesus Christ, TMC, just stop. You and people like you are exactly why nobody listens to the IWC. You whine about something, people in power decide to listen & give you what you want… and you still whine about it because something wasn’t 100% to your liking.

          You don’t like the comedic parts? Then WHY ARE YOU ON A COMEDY SITE?! I normally try not to be this condescending, but dude, for your own sake, lighten up and stop taking it so seriously!

          • TMC says:

            I don’t see where I’m “whining”, I offered my opinion, addressed a comment towards me, and kept it moving.

            Basically comments like this give credence to what Bruce Mitchell referred to as the “WWE religion”. Where if you don’t go along 100% with what is done, you are “whining or complaining”. Like if only people didn’t complain, then WWE would listen. Be good little servants and massa McMahon will give us some good entertainment.

            In the real world, when you offer a public service or product, people will offer opinions, some of those opinions aren’t going to be the glowing fanboy groupie pablum.

            Lastly the whole line of yours of “You don’t like the comedic parts? Then WHY ARE YOU ON A COMEDY SITE?!” Is the same mentality McMahon and company and guys like Russo have had for years. That if you want something more serious, or if you don’t like the “comedy”, then there is something wrong with you, and you should expect that from something as stupid as wrestling, or in this case “Wrestlecrap”

            If you read I typed “something more serious”, something more serious doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be no comedy, or that I have an aversion to comedic material. But considering you a product of an industry where that childlike reasoning is commonplace, it’s to be expected you would type such nonsense.

            Ultimately I would like to think RD would want people to take his work somewhat seriously, and I would also like to think that RD would like the Gooker Award to have some merit(if he didn’t, why would he care if people “ballot stuffed” or not?). And I took it seriously enough to offer my opinion/criticism of his work.

            • Justin says:

              Odd how everyone who disagrees with you is a “WWE fanboy”. Have they screwed with the talent? Of course they have. Name a promotion that has NEVER done that Unlike you, however, I’d place more blame on their army of non-wrestling writers than on the owner of the company. Back in the day, Russo and Ferrara – two men – were the main writers of the show, yet everything they wrote had to go through Vince. Today, they have an army of soap-opera wannabes who have never sniffed the business. Unlike then, I’m guessing that Vince doesn’t screen every last idea and angle that they are pushing since there are too many for one person to comprehend. That explains how angles are dropped for no reason with zero explanation – like any soap opera of today. Way too many cooks in the kitchen. Plus, they really don’t have any competition anymore, so they haven’t felt the need to put forth their best effort. Give them a reason to change. Instead of watching them, then whining about the show on Twitter (while hashtagging WWE), simply turn off the channel and watch something else. Even bad pub is great for the WWE.

              As I said a while ago, you can replace everyone who that evil ol’ McMahon has held down in the past two years, replaced their name with someone from the past three decades, and it would STILL be accurate.

              And you still haven’t named another promoter who has done more for modern pro wrestling other than Vince McMahon – your main gripe with the write-up. I gave you a shot to name one, and instead, you called me a “fanboy”. Newsflash, junior – I really don’t care about brand loyalty. TNA is on, and their product is better – I’m watching. I bought Wrestle Kingdom 9 – how about you? I have gone months without watching a bit of WWE programming, and it really doesn’t phase me. Considering dropping the network, which I only got because a PPV I was intrigued by was not carried by Dish…but now I need to do a few unnecessary steps to even watch anything they have on tap. That $10 a month would go towards at least a six-pack of beer.

              Difference between you and me is I don’t have some unrealistic expectations about the “power” of my voice. Sounds like if you didn’t like an ad that Coke was running, simply stating your opinion would be all it takes to get Coke to totally change their marketing campaign. My view is thus: don’t like what Coke is running, go to Pepsi. Companies care more about losing sales than people sticking with said sales (like you) and complaining about the color of the can.

              Bring up all you want to “rebut” me. I’m done whining, bickering, and complaining about the politics of wrestling, so I’m done even watching this part of the comment thread. I’ve grown up from the “my favorite guy isn’t the champion, so they are out to get me” phase. I’ll watch wrestling to be entertained; if the WWE isn’t entertaining me, I’ll watch something else.

              • TMC says:

                When people make generalized statements about “IWC whining”, and the induction is about Vince McMahon’s “Brass Rings” comment, I think it’s safe to call them WWE fanboys. It’s pretty obvious in how Zigglypuff framed it that he was overly sympathetic towards WWE to a level I would call WWE fanboyism. It would be like the old “Leave Britney Alone” video, where you have someone crying b/c Britney Spears is being criticized.

                “I’d place more blame on their army of non-wrestling writers than on the owner of the company”

                I think Kevin Marshall summed it up best(Marshall is a former WWE writer), you are basically writing in Vince’s voice. Secondly from what has been put out there by various sources, and even reaffirmed by HHH in his interview with Austin, they do rewrites in the last minute, with Vince basically just rewriting the entire show. So to blame the writers more than you blame Vince is insane to me, Considering also, he is the person who hired them and pays their salary(Unless they are holding the company hostage against Vince’s will).

                Your viewpoint on Vince being this great filter of Russo/Ferrara, but nowadays all of the “Soap Opera writers” pushing their horrible ideas against the will of Vince McMahon, and McMahon can’t filter/fix them all. Makes you come across like a WWE fanboy.

                Secondly there are many sources from writers within the company, to reports leaked to the Meltzers/Kellers of the world, that makes your assumption just not true. If anything the writers are the ones who are trying to fix the horrible substandard out of touch idiotic that Vince McMahon brings to the table. And they are trying to succeed in spite of Vince McMahon’s looney tune crap.

                “And you still haven’t named another promoter who has done more for modern pro wrestling other than Vince McMahon ”

                It depends on what you consider “Modern pro wrestling”. If you look at the mainstream awareness, attendance, ratings. The cumulative numbers of the territorial era largely surpass what Vince McMahon has done.

                If you look at 90’s on ward. It would be fair to say that Vince McMahon’s vision by the mid 90’s was growing tired and old. It was also be fair to say that the modern era of pro wrestling was probably implemented with WCW Nitro, and to a lesser extent ECW. Without WCW/ECW WWF in the late 90’s doesn’t have “Attitude”, unless you think that some of the Wrestlecrap gimmick inductions from around the mid 90’s were “Attitudinal”

                As far as money, McMahon did generate a lot of money in 1998-2001. But since 2002, the WWE business has been declining. While not a drastic drop off, it has been a steady erosion. And you could argue that right now in terms of mainstream relevance and popularity the business has never been lower on a nationalistic basis.

                Vince did make more money than any other promoter though. Though it should be noted that to do so, he bought out rival promotions tv and talent, and seemed to go out of his way to drive them to ruin to eliminate competition. In a one horse race, you can win even if you are slow.

                To your last point of me feeling self importance, I really don’t see where you are deducing that from? I stated my opinion on RD’s writing, the Gooker Award voting, and have replied to a few people who have posted. I don’t see how I’m trying to “change” anything by stating my opinion.

            • Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin says:

              You hope RD would want people to take his work seriously? While I have no doubt that the man takes pride in his work, he named his site’s annual award after an angle where a grown man dressed as a turkey, for crying out loud.

              For goodness’ sake, go outside or something.

    • KatieVictoriasSecret says:

      Beyond what everyone else above me said, why is it so important that there be a single Gooker winner? The award doesn’t get devalued if it’s split between inductees.

    • Stephen says:

      Oh, get over it for goodness’ sake … it was inducted, as you apparently wanted, yet you do nothing but whine …

      “Lacking effort”? Yeah, two writers examining the entire main roster of WWE and writing about each one is “lacking effort” …

    • gobias says:

      -AJ-Shrug.gif-

    • Hulk6785 says:

      The award is named after a man in a turkey suit. The site features hundreds of articles making fun of stupid shit in wrestling. And, the author jokingly claims to be Burt Reynolds’s nephew. What the fuck did you expect? You want wrestling editorials? Go read Wrestling Observer. Because all you’re gonna get here is jokes about how Vince McMahon looks like Don Knotts.

  13. Kev says:

    If you need evidence that Vince is senile, look no further than that tie.

  14. Jim says:

    I appreciate the effort of going through every member of the roster for this induction (and part of the reason I didn’t vote for the brass rings was that we’ve had decades of potential candidates, so I didn’t know how you’d be able to include everyone and everything), but this should have been a lot more focused on a few examples. Yes, much like Chris Matthews going from Foot Locker to having 100 yards receiving in the Super Bowl, it’s possible that Darren Young or Epico would have revolutionized the industry if WWE had gotten behind him, but this nduction didn’t need entries on people like those two or like Cena and Orton. Had the breadth of the entry included former WWE’ers like Jeff Hardy or Bully Ray (who reinvented himself in TNA), I’d have been more OK with going with that over depth; but with the current roster, depth should have been the choice.

    There were plenty of strong candidates from your list, with Cesaro (the inspiration for the comment) and Ryder (the textbook example) the definites. Other candidates: Ziggler and Ambrose. Bray and Barrett, too. Bryan of course.

    I’d even include Ryback, who was getting over before he lost SIX PPV matches in a row (including having his first loss come via low blow and fast count from BRAD MADDOX; the Shield interference that happened at Survivor Series would have been a little better) before attempting to reheat him for Cena’s first title defense after beating Rock (like there was anyway Cena was losing there) where a LAST MAN STANDING match ended in a No Contest (even though the post show showed Ryback getting up first, and, I believe, the ref just ended the match rather than do the 10 count that neither man answered) before losing a three stages of hell match: 0-7-1 in PPVs before beating Chris Jericho at Money in the Bank 2013. His style (and lack of care for his opponents) wouldn’t have worked as the face of the company for a decade, but even WCW didn’t book Goldberg that badly for that long during his initial rise. Somewhat like Reigns, he wasn’t ready, and some of the crowd definitely wanted someone else (Punk, who was supposed to be a heel) over him, but there’s a difference between having a guy lose and just killing him.

    Did Miz really get a chance? He got a fluke tables win against Orton at TLC, I can’t imagine he went over strongly against Orton in the Rumble, and he struggled to defeat Jerry Lawler. He was a complete afterthought to setting up Rock-Cena at ‘Mania, and then lost the title at Extreme Rules.

    Hopefully we stick to 1 Gooker winner in future years, because I think attempting to do co-winners hurt the quality of the inductions.

  15. Justin says:

    Is it sacrilegious that I want to replace MMR with that AJ gif? Well, maybe not replace…since AJ’s not a dude…but perhaps supplement, or give him some time off once in a while to rest?

  16. Ze Frenchie says:

    To quote Vince McMahon’s entry song: “No chance, No chance in Hell, you’ve got”.

  17. Kingofoldschool says:

    Orton is awesome as a babyface.

    That is all.

  18. Tom says:

    God dammit! The word ‘erstwhile’ means ‘former’ or ‘in the past’. If you want to use big words, at least know what they mean.

    • Sir Cheese says:

      I think that the Miz fired Mizdow as his stunt double on Raw this past Monday, which would make him the Miz’s former stunt double. I need to double check that, though, because I was only half paying attention to Raw while doing something else.

  19. Mr. Glen says:

    I would have added one thing about Christian…
    After years of getting face reactions (often working as a heel) and after a moderately successful run in TNA (due to the fact that he was supposed to work a program with Cena which was possibly abandoned due to Christian getting face pops for calling Vince’s golden boy a poseur) , Christian finally wins the Heavyweight Title on the back of fan support. The next night, he is challenged by one of Vince’s favourites, Randy Orton, and drops the strap one night after having won it. Despite the fact that the fans were in Christian’s corner in the match in question (and Orton was and is far from a beloved babyface), he is booked as a guy who can’t cut it on his own and as a poor man’s version of Edge. After jobbing to Orton, he is forgotten and immediately shunted back into the midcard.

  20. Ryan says:

    The Triple H analysis is brilliant.

  21. theJawas says:

    Bad Regal matches? Well, there was the Edge feud. And RVD. And Punk. Especially Goldberg. Pretty much anyone who didn’t do a more European style. I too think his facials were funny, but he was a styles clash with most people.

  22. Gabriel Benson says:

    Great job guys. Here’s the deal, we know WWE is the machine. But I watch ROH every weekend, I watch Raw only when I hear about old guys returning for 1 offs and never the whole 3 hours. I will be driving 4 hours to go Minneapolis to see them ROH live. I won’t drive 20 minutes to see WWE live. Not the best wrestlers, not the best pyro, not the best talkers in ROH. But you know what they do well, they rassle. Just good ol fashion, been doing it since 1910’s, get in the ring and entertain fans and give them what they want or do something to piss them off. I don’t know when WWE stopped letting wrestlers do their job, but that, more than anything has killed it for me. I never said I had to like everything WWE is does, but I certainly didn’t think I would hate everything. I am here on this site because like many of you I enjoy rasslin’. Crapper 3:16 says I just wiped my…. Peace.

    • Rob Brown says:

      With the Network cutting into WWE performers’ pay, not everybody in the indies wants to be a part of WWE any more. The Young Bucks said that they would rather stay in the indies and Japan right now because they can make more money there. AJ Styles said that as well, although WWE probably didn’t want him in the first place because they like to avoid most former TNA talent. And Justin Gabriel quit the company because he decided he’d rather wrestle someplace that would actually use him as more than a jobber than continue jobbing in WWE for whatever amount he was getting paid there.

      My point being that while we’ve seen a lot of ROH wrestlers jump at the opportunity to be part of WWE in the past, those days may be over and we may start to see wrestlers decide they are more comfortable outside of WWE. Which is good for ROH, good for other promotions and–if those wrestlers are happier and more successful and have more freedom–good for the workers.

      • Buzz Line says:

        WWE not being able to pay wrestlers as much is bad for the professional wrestlers. It’s good for promoters who’d rather not lose talent to the isolationist McMahons for weeks or years on end, but unless some other form of income rises up, it is bad for wrestlers and bad for business long term.

        If keeping talent leads to ROH making more money and growing into the ECW replacement RF Video wanted it to be, then it would be good for wrestlers and everybody.

        If several other wrestling promotions comparable in size and or distribution to ROH as it is now established themselves in the USA in wake of WWE’s pay cuts, providing more places to work, for more independent wrestlers to make more money and get more high profile exposure, to the point it offset the money they can no longer get from WWE and spread it around a wider talent base, that would be great for professional wrestlers and the industry long term.

        The immediate effect of WWE’s woes are not good for wrestlers though. If ROH, Lucha Underground, ect do end up growing from it, the long term effect will be good. If new places rise up to accommodate wrestlers and become successful, the long term effect will be good but we will have to wait and see. As of this post, the only really good financial news for American wrestlers who see WWE’s pay checks shrinking is that foreign like NJPW and WWL are growing and new provincial feds like WWL have arose, which has nothing to do with WWE.

  23. Jon Q Occupier says:

    Part of me enjoyed this- the other part kinda wondered if it wasn’t so much “Wrestlecrap” as “Wrestlethingsididntlikeaboutwrestlinganddidnthavechancetocomplainaboutinanyothersortaway”. I don’t wanna piddle on the parade here, so that’s my last comment on the subject, but… yeah.

  24. Jerichoholic Ninja says:

    Great induction! I have two thoughts on the topic.

    1) I think what the WWE fails to realize is that they need more than just the next John Cena. They need a solid core of mid carders, who aren’t regular main eventers but appear on every show and always entertain the fans, and upper mid carders who aren’t “the guy” but have regular top feuds and can be counted on for the occasional main event. They don’t have many of those. Yes, he probably wouldn’t have been a main eventer, but there’s no reason why Ryder couldn’t be a mid carder in the vein of Rikishi, Goldust or The Godfather, who gets feuds, appears often and is a crowd favourite. But he wasn’t even given a chance at that. And Ziggler could easily be someone akin to Mick Foley, who is near (but not at) the top and can help elevate rising stars. Yet, people are quickly dropped just because they can’t be “the guy” and then killed off.

    2) There is legitimate reason for hope because there is a core of guys (Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns, Rusev, Wyatt) that they do seem to be going with and are giving varying levels of protection. But the problem is that in the past, those guys would be able to run the gauntlet of established stars who aren’t in the title picture on their way to the top (even five years ago you had established guys like Taker, HBK, Edge, Rey, Big Show, Kane and Jericho). But the guys that could fill that role today – your past champs like Miz, Sheamus and Ziggler – have all been killed off, so if Ambrose were to feud with Miz or Ziggler, it would be seen as a huge step down. So instead of five guys on five different courses to the top (I consider “the top” to be Cena, Bryan and Orton), they have limited options (Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry) and feud with eachother, running the risk of cancelling each other out.

  25. RD Reynolds says:

    First of all, I appreciate all the comments on this induction, even the negative ones. It means that folks are passionate which is good for wrestling.

    I would like to address two things, however. The first was a comment about a lack of effort on this induction. I do take exception with that, as Art and I worked insanely hard on it. If you think it’s easy to point out the flaws in the company’s booking with nearly every single person on the roster and make it comical, trust me, it isn’t. It was a huge challenge. We generally spend a lot of time on the inductions, in this case, it was more than 12 hours. So claiming we just slopped something together simply is not the case.

    The second is a more fundamental comment. Since day one, I’ve designed WrestleCrap to make people laugh. Whether we do that through inductions, It Came From YouTubes, Headlies, RD & Blade Shows, whatever…it’s always designed with comedy in mind. It’s not a site for a grand wrestling commentary; there are lots of other folks out there who do that better (Bryan Alvarez, for instance) than I do, so our goal is to make our readers/listeners laugh. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail. But that’s always our primary goal.

    Neither of these statements is a condemnation of anyone posting anything negative. Again, I appreciate and generally understand your view points.

    With that said, Vince does look like Barney Fife, right?

    • Christopher Olsen says:

      Thanks RD for the induction. I for one, come here because this site makes me laugh. It’s why I have all the books and have a subscription to the archives. And this induction made me laugh, and cry a little, as every Gooker winner has.

    • Stephen says:

      Ignore the “lack of effort” guy, RD. It’s clear to anyone who can read that a ton of effort went into this induction.

      I actually loved this induction. It was funny, it was interesting and you even trawled the history of some stars to make it educational. It was a great read. 🙂

    • Rob Brown says:

      I have to second Down With OPC’s comment that Vince looks more like Mr. Furley than Barney Fife. Barney Fife was played by a YOUNG Don Knotts, after all.

    • Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin says:

      Personally, as the years go by I think Vince is starting to look more and more like his idol, Ronnie Reagan.

      Great article, by the way. Filled me in on a few details, too: I didn’t even know Prince Lord Albert Tensai Train was still a WWE employee.

    • gobias says:

      Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.

      I liked this induction.

      The sad thing is that Vince got -old-. I doubt it will happen for years, but maybe the ‘E would be best served if he turned over the creative reins.

    • Justin says:

      Like I said, you two did a really good job with what you had to work with. Took some creativity to expand a paragraph on a podcast to, what, an over 7000 word induction? That’s why I jumped on the guy – not because he was anti-WWE, but because he obviously doesn’t understand what Wrestlecrap is all about. You guys obviously worked your tails off on this. Keep up the good work.

  26. Guest says:

    Some minor nitpicks and disagreements

    – Naomi is way better looking than Cameron.
    – John Cena was the first MITB winner to not successfully cash-in not Sandow who was the 2nd.
    – Christian was in no way better than Edge even when they were a tag-team Edge was always the better of the two.
    – Regal was seemingly on the verge of a push some years ago when he was feuding with Orton….then he got suspended for violating the wellness policy but I’ll guess we’ll always remember him for being a member of the “Kiss My Ass” club and him winning the tag-team titles with Eugene.
    – Part of Barett’s problem is when he’s not being buried or being handed the IC title he’s getting sidelined with an injury.
    – Call the Ascension rip-offs if you want but at least they’re not blatant rehashes of existing tag-tags
    anyone remember the New Rockers or The Version of LOD with Heidenreich?
    – If we’re going to show Ambrose some love can we shit on his choice of wrestling attire which basically amounts to what you see guys wear in a street fight.

  27. Zigglypuff says:

    Great article, the Triple H bit was great, very insightful! Just personally, Zack Ryder’s the guy I think of every time the “brass rings” stuff comes up. He’s a guy who actually reached for that ring, and came very close… only to get his hand slapped away & get shoved into the basement. But yeah, “Superstars these days just don’t try anymore…” even if that was true, I wonder why?

  28. Doc 902714 says:

    Bravo! Kudos! and one big SMOLIE OLLIE to you for this AWESOME Induction RD. Very insightful read.

    Did you ever consider that maybe WWE has been (GASP) RIGHT with a few stars not getting their pushes in the minds of many fans?

    Zack Ryder was never considered really over even though the fans cheered for him. He just got a pop on his YOUTUBE series which has absolutely nothing to do with wresting. I don’t think he could be counted on as the upper card guy who could work 5-star matches. Oh and he fell out of favor (with me personally) when he sang Friday during WM 27. Yeah, I’m being serious bro!

    Daniel Bryan wins the title at WM 30 after fans booing the Royal Rumble 2014 outcome which was actually watchable after repeated viewings. And then has to forfeit the title due to injury after one unspectacular MAY ppv title defense against Kane, which would also be the last time Daniel Bryan would see action for the rest of 2014.

    I try not to question what Vince or the WWE has done or could’ve and should’ve done. So I’m just gonna ride the REIGNS train all the way to WM 31 and hope Vince has big things in store for his stars. This is the guy who gave us the unfathomable Hulk Hogan – Ultimate Warrior title for title main event at WM VI but messed up when he didn’t give us Hogan-Flair at WM 8 or did he?

    Sometimes it’s not really bad booking but not living up and sometimes even going beyond fans expectations. Vince and crew have to get the best out of every Superstar in an attempt to get them over. Not every SUPERSTAR can be in the main-event. It’s not always apparent to the fans.

    CM Punk once stated that “Vince’s brass rings are imaginary” and they just might be.

    • Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin says:

      Not really fair to slate Bryan for an “unspectacular” title defence. I mean, who the hell is capable of having a match anybody would want to watch with Kane in 2014? Or 2015, for that matter, since WWE seems unwilling to put that godawful feud out of its misery.

      Kane’s been a great servant to the company, but he’s been irrelevant since Katie Vick, and more to the point, just doesn’t seem to be trying any more. His performances are the very definition of going through the motions.

  29. Down With OPC says:

    So this induction was way more than I expected. I figured you would examine cases like Ryder, Bryan, Cesaro, and Ziggler, and that would be the main examples. You went way beyond that and did the ENTIRE roster. Very much +1’s and internets for that.

    Another thing that could probably be examined would be the talent that has come and gone in the past decade, “since Cena”, that could have gone for those brass rings. There has been a lot of guys to be sure, but here are a few:

    Kurt Angle: Definitely given much more of a chance than many other guys, probably for a few reasons: He was legit, he was quick to learn as Trips pointed out in his interview on the SC Podcast, and he came around in the Attitude era. Unfortunately, mounting injuries forced him to leave for TNA.

    CM Punk: Much of what was going on with him was talked about in his interview on Colt Cabana’s Podcast. Times when he was supposed to be at the top, he was pushed aside for stuff like Cena vs. John Laurinaitis. If most of what Punk said about his health issues were true, then it seems WWE only wants to to have a brass ring as long as you sacrifice yourself greatly.

    Batista: At the top along with Cena and Orton. Not much can be said that goes against McMahon’s comments with him. Other than that though, he did eventually leave WWE, came back a few years later, and is gone again, though the 2014 Rumble shows what happens when someone is just given their spot back…

    Bobby Lashley: So here’s an interesting case. The guy was being set up similar to how Ryback was when he was getting his first big push, and comparisons could also be drawn to Lesnar and Goldberg. Although he wasn’t too hot with the crowds, he was being groomed to be at the top, given an ECW Title run with McMahon himself as an opponent. Take that for what you will, but he also was involved in a big money match at WrestleMania 23. He’d later get injured though, and would leave soon after. I’m sensing a trend with these injuries…

    Drew McIntyre: Was pretty much told that he had his brass ring waiting for him with the “Chosen One” gimmick. Lots of blank then 3MB happened….aaand he’s gone.

    RVD: Given a chance to shine at One Night Stand 2006, going over Cena! Who knows how long his time at the top would have lasted, as he got busted for weed just after that, lost both the WWE and ECW Titles he had, and that was about it for him.

    Muhammad Hassan: Hassan looked like he had a chance to be a foreigner heel along the likes of the Iron Sheik. One bad timed segment that probably shouldn’t have happened to begin with, and that pretty much ended his CAREER. He may have had a chance at a World Title run, at the very least facing Batista for the title. This is one case that makes me mad, as there was no reason to release the guy just because of one poorly timed segment. It could be claimed he would face backlash for the segment, but I think WWE just wanted to sacrifice a scapegoat.

    Edge: Definitely a guy that was poised to be one of “the guys”, with people one thinking he might end Undertaker’s streak. Weird that Edge would actually retire well before Taker’s streak even ended, but the injuries became to much. One example of a guy got the chance and took it for sure, though.

    Kozlov: So it seemed like he might be another guy to at least be an upper mid-carder, maybe like Sheamus now. He even had some title matches with Triple H! Not sure what really happened with him, other than doing comedy segments with Santino for a while before leaving.

    Khali: He was at eye level with those brass rings, why couldn’t he grab them? Maybe he chopped them.

    Kharma: Showed up in the Rumble, got pregnant, and left.

    Heidenreich: Like Cesaro and Axel, he was once managed by Heyman. Then Deliverance’d Michael Cole backstage. Then did the Legion of Doom thing with Animal. Oh, and he was our friend. Not sure if Michael Cole was his friend though.

    Santino: Came in looking like he could be a solid midcarder, then became Santina. Okay, so he did more, but it doesn’t matter.

    Braden Walker: “Knock-knock.” “Who’s there?” “Braden Walker. And I’m gonna use this BRASS knocker on this door to knock your brains out.”

    So after making this list, it seems like there’s a few things you need to do in order to grab those brass rings:

    1. You can be as sick as you want to be, but don’t actually get injured.
    2. Don’t get put into bad angles or segments. You’ll never get over. Even though we put you in them.
    3. One mistake and you’re done. Triple H got away with it before, but NEVER AGAIN!

    The first one makes me think that Cena really IS Superman. His injury in 2007 and quick return 4 months later backs that up.

    So, my guess it that WWE probably feels that most of their talent just won’t properly handle the stress that comes with grabbing that “brass ring”. With WWE’s Superman expectations, how could anyone do that?

    • Alexandru says:

      Yeah with the way these are so scripted/rigid nowadays I doubt guys like Austin or the Rock could really get over even if they had the same gimmicks. The injury thing bothers me a lot unless you’re injury prone like Barrett or the original Sin Cara, then having just one injury dooms you apparently. Makes me wonder if Austin would have been de-pushed because he got a neck injury because of a dumb botch by Owen

  30. Cenamark says:

    Wow, you really went above and beyond in this article.

  31. Cenamark says:

    You mention how most people got to thinking about Ziggler and Cesaro when Vince mentioned the brass rings, but the rise of Reigns to me really highlights the hypocrisy of that statement. I don’t want to put him down too much, I know he’s worked hard, but not I know he hasn’t worked hard in that exceptional brass ring reaching sense that Vince says is so important. Reigns is sub par in both wrestling and mic skills, yet we all know he’s been pushed for his look.

    • Alexandru says:

      Agree, he really hasn’t earned anything. He’s pushed because he has the look, is part of a family dynasty, and WWE is desperate for more main event talent. The guy has potential but will crash and burn like Sheamus, Ryback, Del-Rio etc. because they were pushed too quickly and were never credible i.e. no solid run’s in the mid card

      • Cenamark says:

        Agreed. They’re setting him up for failure. How do you take a guy as green as him and put the main event of Wrestlemania on his shoulders. I also see great potential in him, but his skills need to improved and the writers need to stop feeding him cheesy lines and let him find his own way, just like his cousin.

  32. Ed Zane says:

    More evidence that aging billionaires should take a page from Nicholson. Wear Ray Bans wherever you go.

  33. Geoff says:

    I’m wondering if there should be a whole induction alone on the writers of WWE. I know that on their team of writers is Freddie Prinze Jr. You know the guy who was an actor (and probably still is) and he is most famous for being Freddie in Scooby Doo movies that came out a few years ago. Worst movies ever imho. But if they think that Freddie is their best writer then wow, WWE needs to relook at the writing team. You know how you can read a book and by the writing you can judge whether it’s going to be good or not. So if the writing is bad, people usually say: “I can write better than this.” and some even go so far as to do so. Maybe it needs to come to WWE’s attention that it isn’t the wrestler’s fault at their piss poor performances, it’s the writer’s fault because isn’t it the writer’s job to get a good storyline and get the performer over?

  34. Alexandru says:

    Great induction and a unique prospective on the talents. Though Regal kind of screwed himself (he admitted as much) with his two strikes on the Wellness policy, same with R-truth. Absolutely right about the overall majority of the roster. Wow 32 heel/face turns for Show? No wonder I haven’t taken him seriously since his debut in WWE

  35. Fred says:

    Here’s what is what everyone is misunderstanding about the whole brass ring comment…. the job of the WWE Superstars / Divas is to put on a 100% effort regardless if they are winning or losing or how long or short the matches and to make the most out of the skits / segments they get put in. And for a huge portion of the current roster fails to do that, thus not grabbing the brass ring.

    What got Cena to where he is: the blue collar shut up and do your job mindset.

    What holds a lot of the other guys back: the cry baby mindset, want to have things handed to them now despite failing to do what the WWE needs them to do.

    • Idi 'Big Daddy' Amin says:

      Really? ‘Cause I watched Raw last night, and I could have sworn I saw Big E, Xavier and Kofi jumping around, putting 110% into their roles, and trying their hardest to get fans to connect, but the fans just weren’t biting because it’s a lousy gimmick. You literally couldn’t ask them to do more with what they’ve been given, but it’s just not working because what they’ve been given flat-out sucks. They ARE shutting up and doing their jobs, and it’s not getting them anywhere.

      The performer can only do so much with a crappy gimmick. Case in point: Dwayne Johnson. You think he’d be one of the world’s biggest box office draws if Vince had kept him doing that awful “you can’t smile enough” garbage? Not a cat in hell’s chance. They had to ditch it and let the man essentially be himself. Imagine if Steve Austin had actually come out billed as Ice Dagger or Otto von Ruthless. Goodbye, millions and millions of dollars in merchandising revenue, and probably goodbye to the company too.

      Blaming poor fan reactions on the talent is fair in some cases, grossly unfair in most.

  36. Craptamotron says:

    Great idea to induct the “brass ring comment” this way. Had some good laughs, even though the whole topic is kinda sad.

  37. CP says:

    Nice to see the actual Gooker winner get its due. And the article IS properly written. Because it shows Vince’s hypocrisy in the entire grand scheme of things.

  38. D says:

    fantastic job, guys. I don’t care if it was a podcast and not technically a wrestling angle, this was the biggest load of crap having to do with wrestling. I realize not every person on the roster has the overall talent to be a main event draw. And there is so much talent that there really is only so much you can do with a guy like Heath Slater. However it’s this line of thinking that allows things like the Bella feud or dropped storylines or mind boggling misuse of talent.

    at the end of the day it’s not about reaching for these brass rings. if it were about in ring talent and fan reaction then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. it’s about the WWE agenda and trying to sell the fans what the McMahons want. it’s not about Bryan being over, Ziggler’s athleticism or Cesaro being possibly the best overall wrestler in the company…..it’s about how Roman Reigns looks on a poster.

    for years all I’ve heard is this guy was good in the ring but not on the mic or vice versa when it came to someone not getting pushed. Reigns is not good in either category but apparently he’s over with the soccer moms and kids always love the Superman character. so he’s Cena 2.0 but with less talent. and just exactly what did he do to grab the brass ring? insert a Man Mountain Rock pic here cuz I don’t know either. it’s really a shame because I feel like the past couple of years the WWE was about to turn the corner but it’s become painfully obvious they’ll go down with the ship before they change their strategy.

  39. Preparation Triple H says:

    If Vince is Barney Fife, does that make Linda McMahon Thelma Lou?

  40. Wade Preston says:

    You forgot that before the Spirit Squad, Dolph Ziggler started as Kerwin White’s caddy. Sorry for reminding you.

  41. Kaz says:

    What about RVD? He had the brass ring in 2006 but like Rob went up in smoke…

  42. Geoff says:

    I’ve said it before probably when the voting just got started but I can say it again. I don’t think it has anything to do with how bad the wrestlers are. They are trying their best and keep getting buried. It’s all at the whim of Vince. But who also works for Vince, the writers. And on said writing staff is one Freddie Prinze Jr, the guy who starred in those horrendous Scooby Doo movies that came out a few years ago. And oh yeah he is married to BtVS star Sarah Michelle Gellar. Now with my rant on Freddie out of the way (if you can call it a rant) I think the main reason WWE is doing so bad (besides actually listening to Vince and Steph and Hunter) is their writing team. None of them have ever been in the ring wrestling before so none of them knows what it’s like. WHen I mentioned it before, I also said that maybe the Gooker award should go to the writing team because if Vince is senile and doesn’t connect with the fans, he tells the writers to write it the way he thinks it does connect. But it doesn’t connect. But they write it anyway and they do a piss poor job of it. Then they give it to the wrestlers to work with. And somewhere somehow, in some way, Vince’s ideas get lost in the shuffle. They were probably pretty good ideas that he came up with but somewhere between his thought and what actually happens in the ring it gets lost in the translation. You can thank the writing team for that. His company has a high turnover rate just not of writers. Maybe his team of writers needs to do some turnover too.

  43. EWA Beach Boy says:

    You might have tpo rewrite your comments about the “NEW DAAAAY!”

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