It’s time for the second “Hitting the Ropes” Glam Slam mailbag! I enjoyed writing the first one so much I thought I would make this a regular feature. Thanks to all of you who submitted questions!
OK, let’s jump right in…
“Who is your favorite TNA Knockout and what do you like about her?”
Mr. G – I really like the Beautiful People because I have always liked tag teams more than individual wrestlers (Fabulous Firebirds notwithstanding…) I like how they generate a lot of controversy and stay prominently involved in TNA’s storylines. I admit they are not the most technical wrestlers in the world but that has never been my #1 concern. I gravitate towards performers that I find “interesting”, and there really haven’t been many great female tag teams (although I would definitely put LayCool at the top of any short list). I like that there have been several iterations of the Beautiful People, and I think they look great together, cut decent promos, and can carry themselves as faces or heels. My problem with TNA is the lack of interesting opponents for them to wrestler (I am not a big Tara fan) so I would welcome a feud with Mickie James upon her arrival to TNA.
“Why do you think Gail Kim has not won the DIVAS title yet? Do you think it’s because: A) The WWE thinks she’s not “pretty” enough.” B) Someone in upper management resents her TNA run. C) Her race. I certainly hope that’s not the case but most Asians tend to be jobbers in the WWE or get fired (just look at Kung Funaki, Jimmy Wang Yang, Lena Yada, Savannah, etc.). Lack of charisma cannot be the issue because if you followed her in TNA she is capable of holding her own on the mic & if lack of charisma is the reason then Michelle McCool should never have won a belt!!!! She has only spoken 4 times in 2 years in the WWE, so clearly the WWE is not invested in giving her some character. Even Tamina has spoken more than her!!”
Mr. G – I think the answer is pretty simple: Vince doesn’t think he can do business with Gail holding the belt. We overanalyze the WWE all the time and really it always comes down to the fact that Vince is always concerned, first and foremost, with doing business (which I am not criticizing by the way…he runs a billion dollar company, he must be doing something right.) To answer your specific questions, I don’t think it has anything to do with her race (I think the WWE likes the diversity of their roster), her TNA run (I doubt Vince even sees them as competition) and it can’t be her looks. Gail Kim is stunningly beautiful to anybody who has eyeballs in their head. Now, WHY Vince doesn’t feel he can do business with Gail is something I am not sure of, all I can think is that he feels her value to the company is to help put younger Divas over, to continue to build future stars. Gail is unique in that she is already admired and respected by the fans because of her previous accomplishments so I guess Vince thinks the belt would be wasted on her.
“If you were able to form a stable of four women past or present in the WWE, who would they be, why, and what would be the name of the stable?”
Mr. G – Love this question…and I think we almost saw my perfect stable late in 2009. When Beth was helping Lay-Cool beat down Mickie James on SmackDown I thought they made a great team…Michelle, Layla, and Beth. The Glamazon would be awesome as Lay-Cool’s bodyguards (and I think every successful stable needs muscle). I would then bring in Sensational Sherri to be the fourth member because I think she would be a great addition to this heel group. Her attitude and charisma would blend perfectly with Lay-Cool. Eventually Beth would turn on the other three, but while they were together though I would enjoy every minute. As for names…hmm…how about “The First Ladies”. Any other suggestions?
Reader: Peter Rupal
“If you could cast a Diva or KO in a movie, what roles would you give them and why? My ideas are Beth as She-Ra, Jillian as Jem, Alicia as Cheetara and Rosa as the wicked witch from Snow White.”
Mr. G – I think Beth is the perfect fit for She-Ra. Good call. My ideal casting though would be Eve as the modern day Wonder Woman. She would look beautiful in the red, white, and blue, flying around in that invisible jet with her magic lasso. I would cast Maryse as her arch rival Cheetah…can you imagine Maryse in that leopard print body suit with the long blond hair? I can. Um…let’s just move on…
Reader: Peter Rupal
“With the new Raw vs. SmackDown game [coming] out in a couple of months, which diva would you give a ‘Road to Wrestlemania’ slot and how would you see it playing out?”
Mr. G – I think Lay-Cool would be by far the most interesting Divas to follow on the ‘Road to Wrestlemania’. The game could set up feuds with Beth, Kelly, Melina, etc. and you would have to keep peace within Lay-Cool, plus decide which girl would defend or challenge for the championship. And isn’t it always more fun to play the “bad girls”? I also think creating their promos would be fun.
I don’t have a personal ‘Formspring’ but I thought I would answer these questions that were sent to Diva Dirt. Some were sent in by anonymous people, kind of like being from “parts unknown”.
(No name) Why do you think that pro-wrestling isn’t as popular as it once was? Many fans are now “closet fans”.
Mr. G – I think the lack of TRUE competition for the WWE hurts the business in general, and TNA’s decision to bring back all of these WCW stars has hurt its rise as a company. The independents are strong but they don’t have the muscle needed to compete on a national level, so the business is really dominated by 1 company and I think that turns people off in the end. Variety and choices are important.
(Yesterday asks:) Who do you think has more talent Eve or Tiffany?
Mr. G – I think both girls actually have a lot of talent. Unfortunately they have been “domesticated” in a sense because the WWE doesn’t allow their faces to show real personality. I think both Eve and Tiffany have shown some ability in the ring (Eve’s moonsault is sensational and Tiffany is usually precise with her moves), but their “bland” characters have stunted their ability to connect with their fan base. Tiffany’s recent legal problem has also hurt her development. Really, it couldn’t have come at a worse time; she was booked for television almost every week and seemed to be gaining confidence in the ring.
(No name) If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Mr. G – this is easy, I would chose the Power of the Force. You can levitate things, utilize enhanced physical awareness and concentration, and learn to build your own lightsaber. But best of all you possess the Jedi Mind Trick, so basically you can make everybody do what you want. Cool! The only drawback is you have to go to a swampy planet to learn this stuff, and well, I’m terrified of snakes…so I’m not sure how to work this out yet.
Reader: OhioFan1 (Frank)
“Who do you have playing and winning in the BCS National Championship and how do you think Ohio State will do overall?”
Mr. G – I think Alabama is going to repeat as national champions. Their running game is superb and they are very well-coached. They do play in the tough SEC so they could stub their toe one week and open the door for Ohio St (who plays an easier Big Ten schedule). OSU will win their conference and their QB Terrelle Pryor should win the Heisman Trophy, but I think in the end they will be on the outside looking in. Admittedly I am not a huge college football fan. I follow most other sports, and I love college basketball, but college football is so screwed up it is maddening. The lack of a traditional playoff system is ridiculous (please, don’t give me that crap about taking the kids out of school etc. Division AA and AAA has a playoff and it works just fine.)
Mr. G – This is a popular debate among fans of modern day women’s wrestling. I have mentioned before that I am not very familiar with the “Golden Era”, although I do know that both women are universally respected and treasured. They both have made lasting impressions so I think it is hard to say which is “better” (similar to HBK-Hart, Rock-Austin, etc.) although I believe I would have been a bigger Trish fan if I had been watching at the time. I did read Lita’s autobiography and I gained a lot of respect for her…her struggles and adventures to finally become a WWE superstar. The book talked a lot about her relationship with Matt Hardy (before the situation with Edge) so it was interesting to know how things unfolded after this book was published.
“Do you see anyone in FCW (Divas) being a big star in the future?”
Mr. G – Judging by the girls on NXT I think AJ could be an asset on the main roster. I like her charisma and she’s a little smaller in stature which I think could be a good change from some of the taller (Eve) or more powerful girls (Beth). I am not sold on Naomi yet but I think she might win me over (when she gets better ring gear). It is a shame Aloisia didn’t end up on the roster because her sheer size would have been fascinating to see in the ring.
Mr. G – These two girls are always compared because of their physicality, but I think there are several major differences between them. For one, Beth is a better technical wrestler. However, the biggest difference in my opinion is that Beth was never given a storyline as fantastic as Chyna’s run with DX (plus she got the chance to wear the Intercontinental title belt). Very few women have ever been a part of an angle that successful and I think this elevates Chyna historically. But in terms of looks and in-ring ability the Glamazon comes out ahead.
“What’s your favorite TV show?”
Mr. G – Dallas, Seinfeld, Golden Girls, LA Law, and Wings. My current favorite is “The Bachelor”. I asked DD’s own Cryssi to recommend a great television program that she enjoys.
“If you want a great summer television recommendation, then search the web for Seasons 1 – 4 of “Dexter” (I use Netflix, personally). This show is absolutely brilliant from a writing perspective because in nearly every episode you’re left with more questions than answers, but it’s not “Lost” confusing. “Dexter” is about a blood splatter analyst who works for the Miami Metro Police Department. He’s also a notorious serial killer. What makes this show so special is the dynamic between the main characters, the witty dialogue, the shock factor, and the fact it’s never boring. Seasons 1 and 2 are amazing. Season 3 takes awhile to pick up, but the ending is a nice lead in to Season 4, which has a climax that will kill you… or so I’ve heard. I’m currently on Season 4, Episode 7 and looking forward to the weekend when I’ll have time to finish it up. So yeah, go watch it.”
Mr. G – Thanks Mrs. Gabriel, I plan to check it out! What TV shows do you all recommend? Any favorites?
“Given that you’re a big Beth Phoenix fan, I’d like to get your thoughts on the earlier part of her feud with Melina in 2008, prior to Melina’s injury. Melina is my favorite wrestler by a mile, but I thought both really shone here. Beth IMO has never looked more dominant and Melina established herself as a real potential fan-favorite alternative to Mickie James. Their “I Quit” match is still a big-time favorite of mine. Just wanted to see what you thought.”
Mr. G – I had to go back and watch the matches between these two and I came away very impressed with how they worked together. I agree their “I Quit” match was sensational; I especially liked the opening stare-down between the two women. Intense! I find it so interesting how some performers just can’t work together; they just can’t gel in the ring. That would frustrate me as a booker, thinking I have a good storyline in place and then the wrestlers just can’t execute. Not a problem with these two.
“I know you like American Idol, so I was hoping for some brief thoughts on some contestants.” (Mr. G comments added to each name.)
Kelly Clarkson: very successful, new song every week, looks different every time I see her.
Brooke White: never saw a future for her.
Fantasia Barrino: can’t handle her fame, won a weak season.
Siobhan Magnus: too strange for mainstream success.
Crystal Bowersox: surprising, seems to know who she is, will record for a long time.
Jason Castro: looks like Jar-Jar Binks, not a fan.
Mr. G – I have watched American Idol from the beginning and I think the most talented contestant ever is Adam Lambert. It’s really not even close.
I was asked to contribute to a “HIT THE ROPES” round-table discussion. Here was one of the questions and the subsequent answer I provided:
“Howard Finkel came out this week and took shots at Eve and the Raw Divas Division. Is it right or wrong for a company official to speak out against fellow employees in this manner?”
Mr. G – Howard Finkel should be ashamed of his recent negative comments towards Eve and the Raw Divas. Howard has been around a long time and knows how difficult it is to succeed as a superstar in this business. He sees the effort, the training, the taxing lifestyle, and the sacrifices these people make for the company. He may not care for all of them or respect their work rate, but he should at least have enough professionalism to keep his thoughts out of the media. He also knows that these performers are constrained by the writers. Sometimes wrestlers can rise above the material they are given (in much the same way the cast of Star Wars was better than the actual script – “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” Ugh.) In the case of the Raw Divas these girls are normally given short weekly segments with which to tell their story, either through a backstage promo, ringside commentary, and/or an abbreviated match. Recently a WWE executive claimed the fundamentals of producing live television require certain segments to be cut because other segments go over their allotted time. In theory I understand that. And once in a while I’m sure that’s the case. But if you’re trying to sell me on the fact that the Divas are routinely booked with more time but have to shorten their matches because The Miz or Chris Jericho cut longer promos than expected, well, I’m not swallowing that.
God bless him, I love Howard, and lord knows I have imitated his voice 234,800 times in my life (“From Charlotte, North Carolina, weighing two hundred eighty-eight pounds…the Junkyard DOG!) But this is a case where Howard is suffering from what I believe is a common problem in today’s society: too much social networking. Everybody is on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and WWE Universe (if you’re a wrestling fan). Everybody can start their own blog. Everybody has a voice. As a friend told me recently, these outlets make people think they are WAY more famous than what they are. If you have 20 followers on Twitter you think people care what you had for breakfast (coffee and a blueberry muffin, by the way). As an aging personality, these outlets give Howard a way to stay current and relevant so as not to be forgotten. If he was just being controversial to get attention, shame on me for giving his comments weight. If he was truly voicing an opinion, that he really harbors some negative feelings towards Eve and the rest, then shame on him for breaking ranks and going public. These girls are trying to improve in the ring each week and do the best with what they have been given. You’d think their own company would show more support for their efforts. Remember Howard, there is no “I” in “TEAM”.
Recently I recorded an interview with this month’s Glam Slam featured reader TrishMelinaFan. We discussed his thoughts on today’s Divas and many other topics. Enjoy!
Hope you enjoyed my second mailbag! Send your mailbag questions to [email protected] and I’ll answer them next month!
— Mr. Glamazon
PS – don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @dlb19338 cause it’s time to get crunk!