No point in burying the lede since the bulk of the questions this week concern it, so let’s just jump right into the chaos surrounding CM Punk. It seems the bulk of folks contacting me feel the same – they are over the drama. I’ll never forget after the first Dynamite aired, I wrote something to the effect of “this was FUN” and in large part, that is what AEW has been for me, just an enjoyable way to spend some time. While I’ve many times noted I think I like the idea of AEW more than the promotion itself, they generally deliver what I like seeing, especially on their PPVs. Ever since Brawl Out, that fun has taken a pretty significant hit.
In this case, and is generally the situation with life in general, there are no easy answers. Punk is a huge draw in terms of eyeballs, so having him sit at home instead of getting value from him in the terms of ratings and merch would seem to be madness. However, I think there is something more in play here and that is that keeping him around will likely sap even more joy from the product as the sword of Damocles hanging over the promotion’s head. You get Punk back, you start Collision, ratings are good the first couple weeks. However, what happens when Punk is asked to do something he doesn’t want to do? What happens when it’s time to do the double turn with MJF and he decides “that doesn’t work for me brother”? What happens the next time he is injured and is on the shelf for six months? What did you really, truly gain here by bringing him back?
There are times in life when you have to cut your losses. People will question you for it, but you push forward and learn from this. Let’s see what other questions we have in store for us this week…
Aaron P starts us of with fond memories…”With the unfortunate passing of “Superstar” Billy Graham, what would you say is your favorite moment of him in the ring? (Unfortunately for me, he was a little before my time, so I can’t say I’ve had the privilege.)”
Same for me – all I saw in real time in my life was his very bad late 80’s WWF run, and the only thing I remember there is him being out in the desert with spiders on his head and falling down walking in the sand. Guessing I’m not alone there. However, I found his book and DVD pretty fascinating. Incredible how many folks he influenced and it really does feel like the wrestling world would have been a very different place without him. Must have been amazing to be there the night he dethroned Bruno.
Arya W wants to know…”We all have our favorite inductions (mine were Ken Patera and Art Donovan), what were some of your favorites to write?”
I loved writing that Ken Patera one for sure, as Hungry Hungry Ken Patera is perhaps my favorite audio clip on the site. The one I will forever remember though is Dustin Rhodes as Se7en, simply because of the stupid line about how if Russo was writing it, the pale horse would have been called the Baloney Pony. No idea why I thought that was so funny, but I called Blade in tears immediately after writing it to tell him about it.
Dustin N asks…”Why hasn’t the Craig Pittman/Cobra feud been inducted?”
That period of WCW is underrepresented for sure on the site. I’m thinking if I just researched WCW Saturday Night for a couple weeks we’d have fodder for months on end. I’ll get to work on that. At some point.
A man who is my hero and should be yours too Jim Valley ponders…”Why is watching bad classic wrestling more comforting than watching good classic wrestling?”
For me that answer is simple – I’ve always loved seeing the very worst of the very worst. I remember finding that Book of Lists that had their list of the worst movies in history and being absolutely fascinated that someone, somewhere, was paid to write a script in which John Wayne was playing the role of Genghis Khan. That is a zillion times more interesting to me personally than seeing him in an iconic role. As we have folks reading my ramblings here today on a site called WrestleCrap, I can see I am not alone.
Aaron M reminds us that A Winner is You with…”Who was your favorite NES Pro Wrestling character?”
That’s like asking a father of six to name his favorite child. I’d generally play as Star Man (trying to hit the flying jalepeno to finish) or Kin Corn Karn (with the rule being you had to win with what we called the Skip to My Lou), but they are all great. You may think Fighter Hayabusa is lame, but anytime I played as him it enabled me to yell “It’s Ghetto Blaster time, fool!” If you get that reference, God bless you.
Sean B inquires…”What is your thoughts on Speed Zone, aka Cannonball Run 3?”
A forgotten piece of history you just named there for sure! SPEAKING OF HISTORY…I am about to go see Fast X in Imax and I am totally stoked. Ever since I’ve gotten hooked into this ridiculous series of films I’ve said Universal needs to reboot Cannonball Run with characters from all their franchises. They have a ridiculous catalog to pull from – Back to the Future, King Kong, Jurassic Park, Jaws…this kinda thing was teased in Ready Player One, but imagine various characters and cars showing up for a couple hours in a cross country road race. I mean, Nintendo has made an absolute fortune doing this in Mario Kart and especially Super Smash Bros. in videogames, why not do the same at the theater?
Speaking of, time for me to head out…y’all be good to each other and keep sending those questions in here!