Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Part two of my wrestling discussion

Here's my other wrestling article - covering the SmackDown roster. David updates will resume tomorrow.

Again, in no particular order (after the first):

Kurt Angle: Awsome. Amazing. Gifted. MVP. I hope his neck injury can be taken care of quickly and easily - because they're going to suffer every day he's out. The best in the ring I've seen since I was a kid, can go from funny to intense on the mic, and he'll put anyone over. They used to say about Ric Flair in his prime that he could have a 5-star caliber match with a broomsick and put the broomstick over. Kurt is that good.

Eddie Guerrero: Also a great performer and terrific on the stick. He's a great heel, although fans tend to appreciate his work so much that he keeps getting turned face.

Chavo Guerrero: Finally emerged from jobber purgatory now that he works with Eddie. He's basically Eddie Lite.

Edge: Can work a good match with almost anyone - hopefully he heals fully from the fusion surgery he had last month. The crowd loves him, and he has a great look. The program he worked with Angle last year after his face turn and split with Christian was great.

A-Train: I don't hate him the way most of the Internet seems to, but he's not my favorite wrestler. He works pretty well for such a big guy, but needs more than power moves if he ever wants to really get over.

Undertaker: Not what he used to be, but he'll still work as hard as his body allows, and he'll put people over. Worked a good program with Brock last fall. He still has the gift of storytelling in the ring - he does that better than most.

Bill DeMott: Good power guy with better agility than most men his size. After a initial push post-Tough Enough 3, he's kind of drifting now. I'd like to see more done with him.

John Cena: Loads of potential. Great look, good in-ring ability, and the mic skills he's been starting to show off have been a delight. He actually freestyles pretty darn well. He also can sell a kick better than anyone since Flair. In another year or so, he;ll be one of the guys carrying the company.

Hulk Hogan: No, he can't work a match anymore, but he's Hulk Hogan. His legend and presence are enough, and he can still be carried by the right opponent or style. There will probably never be another wrestler as over as Hogan.

Chris Benoit: Another case where a great heel is just so respected and appreciated that he turns face. The knock on him has always been that he has no mic skills, but when he just gets to turn on his intensity for a promo it works fine. Chris doesn't have to talk a lot to be over.

Billy Kidman: Terrific in-ring, minimal charisma out of it, but he's the only guy doing the Shooting Star Press, which is one of my favorite moves. Plus he's engaged to Torrie Wilson, so he must be OK.

Rikishi: He's in desperate need of a gimmick refresh or he's going to be doomed to Velocity pretty soon. Not a bad wrestler for such a big guy, but I'm getting sick of the stinkface as a move (even though it's still over). It was funny back when he was working with Scotty and Brian Lawler, but it's old.

Billy Gunn: Hopefully his shoulder heals. He was just starting to get a little traction after many years through the whole "Billy & Chuck" gay angle when he hurt himself.

Chuck Palumbo: A generic big guy until he did the angle with Billy - he drifted for a while when Billy got hurt but he's starting to find a place again in the new FBI angle.

Johnny Stamboli: So long as he doesn't talk too much, he's fun to watch.

Nunzio: Makes a good mouthpiece for the FBI, though he's tiny. Remember his original angle as Jamie Noble's cousin? That lasted about 10 minutes, huh?

Rey Mysterio: Spectacular. Absolutely friggin' spectacular. Can talk OK, but he doesn't need to.

Big Show: You know, if he lost about 50 more pounds he'd be something. Still a big improvement over where he was a couple of years ago, though.

Crash: Velocity. But he's fun. I still fondly remember his run as "The Houdini of Hardcore".

Brian Kendrick: The kid's got potential. Lots of it. I also like the version of the Acid Drop he does. So far he's shown the ability to work well with different wrestlers, look good doing it, and change styles.

Brock Lesnar: I like him, but not as much as the Internet seems to. They pushed him just right, though - a rarity nowadays. Rumors are that he's getting a bit of a swelled head lately, and I really hope that's not true. He's going to be one of the guys they have to rebuild around, and if he turns into the second coming of Triple H they're screwed.

Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin (Team Angle): I lump them together because they really haven't shown a distinct personality yet. Great skills from both of them, though, and we'll see what happens to develop them further when Kurt's out.

Nathan Jones: Great look. Intense. Powerful. Can't wrestle worth a damn. I saw him in a dark match back when he was trying out last November, and he could turn out OK, but I wonder.

Funaki: Comic relief, but with ring skills. Who knew broken English would get someone over?

Tajiri: I could watch matches between him and Rey Rey all day long. Who knew no English whatsoever would get someone over, too?

Mark Henry: Please don't put him on my TV anymore.

Matt Hardy: Version 1 rules. Period. He is on the mic what his brother can be in the ring - and he's terrific in the ring also. Mattitude rules.

Shannon Moore: I like his work with Matt, and he's a great worker in the ring. But he looks like a 12-year old girl. I can't get past that. Sorry.

Jamie Noble: Boy, can he work. Impressive as hell in the ring, and I enjoy his gimmick. It's sad to see him buried like he's been of late.

Rhyno: The Man-Beast is something else, even if his costume sucks. Looks bigger than he really is and it's always fun to hear "Gore! Gore! Gore!" from Cole.

Stephanie McMahon: She's proving to be watchable in her role as GM, but I'm never sure whether she's trying to be a face GM or a heel.

Paul Heyman: Great manager/mouthpiece for his stable, though they seem to be downplaying the stable aspect of Show, A-Train, and the Angles.

The women: Torrie (sigh) Wilson just keeps looking better and can actually wrestle a little. Nidia can work in the ring pretty well and has a great character, and Dawn Marie is useless other than as eye candy.

We will now return to our regularly scheduled Journal entries.

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