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United State of Wrestling #4



18 January 2005

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It is a well-known fact throughout my assemblage of friends and acquaintances that I enjoy a good whinge. Sure, I can go out and have a great laugh, but I seem to be in my element enjoying a good moan.

Moaning about money, complaining about computers, even bleating about beer. But I have made it my new year’s resolution to look on the bright side of life. Well, at least for United State of Wrestling number 4. So here are my reasons to be cheerful.

Reason to be cheerful number 1: I am thoroughly impressed by the WWE’s recent use of gimmick matches. Sure, most were overused and therefore devalued a long time ago (Hell in a cell, hardcore, tables etc) but they seem to be heading in the right direction with the Elimination Chamber.

On each of the three occasions they have used it, I have looked forward to it with excitement about the match and the thought of the Elimination Chamber could almost make me pay (yes, me pay for a WWE PPV!) for the event alone.

Take New Year’s Revolution for a starting point. The under card was rotten, except the Kane v Snitsky match. Yes I may be the only one who enjoyed it. (On another note, did anyone notice Kane was wearing a wedding ring during the match? Surely an error on his part, wearing his real – life wedding ring – they can’t be suggesting that Lita, the woman he raped then married against her will bought him a wedding ring?!).

However, I thought the main-event was superb. Heck, I even forgot about Muhammed Hassan versus Jerry Lawler and Trish Stratus versus Lita. The Elimination Chamber was titanic. Is it the size of the beast? It’s simply colossal. A visual delight.

Or is it the idea of four guys locked in chambers waiting to break out fresh into the match five, ten, 15 or 20 minutes, which is a great idea. It adds that extra ingredient that brings up the anticipation.

Of course, Tripper won his tenth World Title (Five WWF titles and Five World Heavyweight titles) and second of the three Chamber matches; a result you could see coming a million miles off, but it was a great show by all six of the men.

Reason to be cheerful number 2: As I mentioned last week Ring of Honor is such a wonderful promotion. It boasts a superb roster with such talent as Samoa Joe, Homicide, Jose and Joel Maximo, Low Ki and others it has to be the most technically sound and impressive group that exists on the planet. The company seems to be turning down another road at the moment, with long-term champion Samoa Joe toppled by Austin Aries, and also more storylines appearing on the product.

But your humble scribe thinks that this has to be a good thing for them as a change does can do anybody good. (Are you reading Vinny Mac?).

Reason to be cheerful number 3: The return of more gimmick characters in wrestling. If there was something I missed in the ‘Attitude’ and ‘Ruthless Aggression’ eras of WWE, it was the presence of gimmick characters. Sure The Undertaker was as gimmicky as you like, but there was a severe lack of your Doink’s, your Duke ‘The Dumpsters’ and your Iron Shiek’s.

You may say these characters sucked. And yes in a way they did, but these characters ARE wrestling. It is an escape from the real world. It makes me laugh.

That is why I am so excited by the emergence over the last year of a few more gimmick characters. JBL is great in his self-made millionaire financial advisor role. Nick Dinsmore was a blast for over six months with his mentally challenged character, Eugene. Simon Dean is also superb.

Sure, none of these characters will ever make the top bracket, and for this reason many people say the characters shouldn’t exist. But there is a place for them on the under card where light relief is much needed. You don’t need 30 tough guys on each roster saying ‘oh I’m gonna kick your ass.’ Diversity is the key.

Reason to be cheerful number 4: The push delivered to Batista is an unexpected gem. I cannot believe how over he has become and is white - hot at the moment.

Poor Dave has always had a few things going against him, which made me feel that the push might never come. First is his age. At 35 he is no spring chicken, but in his defence he has not had the long hard careers that many of his age would have had and his body is not worn down as much as theirs.

Secondly, he was first introduced to us as Deacon Batista an aide to Reverend D’Von Dudley. The less said about that the better.

Then there was his place in Evolution, where initially he seemed like he was just making up the numbers. There was ‘Naitch’ as the past, Triple H as the present and Randy Orton was given the role of the future. The former Leviathan was just there to provide a supporting role.

But as Randy bombed as a singles face, they have eased the strain on him by teasing us with a possible Evolution break up since November. As a tweener, Batista is the most over man in the company and when he turns on Triple H, I can see him winning the World Heavyweight Title. Possibly at Wrestlemania.

So there we are. As a mentioned, there are many things that make us down about the US scene, but there are also many, many more that make us smile. In future, when we are moaning about the biz, lets think for a second that wrestling is just a hobby – something to let us slip away from reality for a few hours and pass our free time. Lets enjoy it!

That’s it for being nice for now though, and usual service will be maintained again next week!

- What are your reasons to be cheerful? Share them on the Talk Wrestling Online Forums or you can e-mail them to me. The best will be published in UsoW5.

Andrew Morris

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