Hello everyone! I hope your 2011 is off to a flying start. I’m excited for the year ahead and the Glam Slam mailbag is one of the main reasons. I really enjoy answering your questions, plus I think the Reader Redux is another cool way for you to voice your opinions. It’s catching on. Look for two more great essays in this mailbag!
Once again, thanks to all of you who submitted questions!
“What are you New Year’s Eve traditions and what are your resolutions for [this] year?”
Mr. G – Man, New Year’s Eve is a LOT different now that we have kids. In the old days my wife and I used to love going out to parties and visiting with friends. Now we put the kids to bed, open up some champagne, and watch the network count-down shows. Usually one of us doesn’t even stay awake long enough to see the ball drop! I know, I know…we live like rock stars. As for resolutions, I normally don’t make any because I try to make positive changes every day. But this year I did make two – drink more water and get more sleep – because, let’s face it, these bags under my eyes really aren’t attractive.
Other than Beth Phoenix, who is your favorite diva and why?
Mr. G – When Beth hurt her knee I thought I wouldn’t enjoy watching the WWE Divas anymore, but I have started to really like some of the other girls. I am a HUGE Hart Foundation fan so naturally I like Natalya. I am thrilled she’s been given a chance to hold the Divas championship. I also like Gail Kim because I think she is crazy talented. But Layla is the one Diva who has really caught my eye because of her growth as a performer. Her pairing with Michelle has been such a boost to her career and I give her credit for taking full advantage of the opportunity. Plus I’ve met her before and she’s really lovely, so I’m sure that factors into my admiration. In TNA I really like the Beautiful People for many of the same reasons I like Lay-Cool…I like tag teams and I think each of these teams brings chemistry, talent, charisma, and entertainment to the ring each and every time.
Reader: Jack White
Imagine you win the lottery just like the owner of Wrestlicious and you decided to set up your own Women’s pro wrestling promotion. What would you name it, what would be your ideal roster of 10 talents and what championships would you integrate?
Mr. G – I love the question! First of all, I would name my promotion “World Wide Females” and plaster WWF logos everywhere just to upset the panda people. I would establish 2 championship belts – a world champion and tag team champions. My roster would include a nice mix of power, technique, and character and it would give me tremendous flexibility:
Sara Del Rey – solid veteran technical wrestler
Beth Phoenix – can play face / heel / tweener
Cheerleader Melissa – can play multiple characters
Eve Torres – my #1 face and first world champion
Gail Kim – can get a great match out of anyone
Awesome Kong – “monster” heel with great drawing power
Mickie James – super popular
Mia Yim – a young star
Serena Deeb – unconventional and versatile
Michelle McCool – my #1 heel
I’d like to know what you think about the Twilight and Harry Potter war and which one you prefer.
Mr. G – Honestly I have never seen any of these movies. I’m actually kind of scared of vampires so I don’t watch any vampire films, TV shows, etc. Ever since I saw Lost Boys was back in 1987 I have been really spooked by them. (Ironically my sister-in-law just published her second vampire novel…go figure.) Also, I don’t know anything about the Harry Potter stories except the lady who wrote them is now insanely rich and the lead actor is now close to 35 years old. So I can’t be of any help there either, sorry.
BUT…I can settle some of other burning debates: Star Wars d. Star Trek, Britney d. Christina, Coke d. Pepsi, Debbie Gibson d. Tiffany, Cowboys d. Redskins, McDonalds d. Burger King, Dunkin Donuts d. Starbucks, WWE d. TNA, Bangles d. Go-Go’s, Red Sox d. Yankees, PS3 d. Wii, Dallas d. Dynasty, SYTYCD d. Dancing with the Stars, UNC d. Duke, Jennifer d. Angelina, Bird d. Magic, and Beth Phoenix d. everyone.
Reader: Peter Rupal
Do you watch any wrestling outside of the US and what is your impression of the wrestling in different countries (i.e. UK, Japan and Mexico)?
Mr. G – As of now I do not watch any wrestling outside of the US. I know there are areas around the world where pro wrestling is extremely popular and successful but I have just never developed an interest in actually watching them. I have done a lot of reading about promotions in Canada (the history of Stampede Wrestling is so interesting), Japan, and Mexico because they present wrestling so differently than what we typically see here in the US. The crowds are different. The shows are different. The storytelling is different. I just don’t have the time to invest in their products. What I find most interesting is how these other territories have impacted the careers of many of my favorite wrestlers – I didn’t know Dynamite Kid was such a big star in Japan, or that Bad News Allen (later Brown) was a top heel in Calgary. For a long time when I was growing up I had tunnel vision – if it didn’t happen in the WWE, it didn’t happen. Obviously now I know that isn’t the case.
Reader: Peter Rupal
With [the recent] tables match and steel cage match, do you think women’s wrestling benefits or hinders from a more violent style of wrestling then the general fan is used to?
Mr. G – We talked about this subject on a recent episode of Diva Dirt Live because of the 10,000 tacks match between Athena and Rachel Summerlyn on the WSU iPPV. The steel cage match between Mickie James and Tara was well received and featured a great spot from Mickie off the top of the cage (not to mention Tara working through an injury). The tables match between at TLC also got good reviews, although I find it interesting this match was on PPV while the cage match was shown for free. The consensus from the panel was that women’s wrestling can benefit from hardcore matches if they are used sparingly. I think the same can be said for men’s wrestling. Too much of anything in pro wrestling desensitizes the fans, so all character elements and match types need to be used judiciously, providing punch to storylines at just the right time. The increased risk of injury is also a real concern, although as we saw with Beth’s knee injuries can happen at any time. I definitely hope to see more hardcore-style matches in the future.
What are your thoughts on bullying considering how big it is today? Also during your childhood and school were you a bully, being bullied, or neutral?
Mr. G – I can’t even imagine being a kid in today’s social climate. All these stories coming out about bullying are so, so sad. And what’s incredible to me, it seems many of these kids are being bullied by today’s technology, such as Facebook, Twitter, text messages, etc. It is all just vicious and cruel, and as we see even with adults, people hide behind their computers because they are cowards and unhappy with themselves. I was very lucky growing up. Sure we had bullies but it was never like this. It was not nearly as mean-spirited, it was more the “I’ll steal your lunch money” type of stuff, which in the end allowed kids to hopefully find the courage to stand up for themselves. I never experienced much of this in high school although I did get bullied a little in college. By then I didn’t really care and eventually it just stopped.
I was wondering if you subscribe to any of the other pro wrestling news sites like pwinderelite.com or wrestlingobserver.com?
Mr. G – I don’t subscribe to any pro wrestling news sites because there is such a wealth of information for free on the Internet. In addition to Diva Dirt, there are a bunch of free sites that I enjoy – like ProWrestling.com and LordsofPain.com – so I find out all I need to know without paying a subscription fee. I do think it’s funny when people criticize the content on Diva Dirt. I know how hard we work to provide fair and balanced coverage, but if you don’t like it then simply don’t read it. The bottom line is this is a free site which is pretty incredible considering the amount of news, audio, editorials, and features we provide each week (as do some other sites). I’m sure certain pay sites are great but I’m curious to know what they offer outside of what is available for free elsewhere.
What’s your favorite movie?
Mr. G – Bugsy is my all-time favorite movie. I wouldn’t change one thing about it. Everything to me is just perfect. I have always loved Warren Beatty and Annette Bening (God is she a star), but Harvey Keitel, Joe Montegna, Ben Kingsley, and Elliott Gould round out a strong supporting cast. Las Vegas is my favorite city so the subject matter is really interesting to me. I still remember watching the 1992 Oscars on a small black & white TV in college hoping that Bugsy would win Best Picture (it won that year’s Golden Globe). It didn’t – damn you The Silence of the Lambs – and sadly Bugsy won only 2 of its 10 Oscar nominations (excuse me while I go stick my head in the microwave). And by the way, Warren Beatty’s performance ran circles around Anthony Hopkins that year! But I’m not still bitter or anything. Rounding out my Top 10: Star Wars, Fletch, A Few Good Men, Aliens, Beautiful Girls, Evita, The Holiday, Vacation, and Die Hard.
JB sent me his version of the “12 Divas of Christmas”…I love it! If anyone wants to send me alternate words for “The Divas Started the Fire” that would be cool too!
On 12 the Twelve Days of Christmas, the divas gave to me….
12 Diva Battle Royals
11 Vickie’s Screaming
10 Knockouts Brawling
9 Backstage Catfights
8 French Kisses
7 Random Matches
6 Divas Weave Snatching
5 Botch Fests
4 Axe Kicks
3 Minute Matches
2 Flawless Divas
and 1 Really Big Glam Slam
Reader: Michael Benzinger
If you could be general manager of RAW, SD or TNA which show would you choose & why?
Mr. G – The easy answer for me is either RAW or SD because they are both WWE products and I grew up watching WWE programming. However I think I would choose TNA because I would be their only GM (vs. the multiple GM roles in WWE, one of which is a computer) and I would enjoy being part of a company that was fighting and clawing to gain traction within the wrestling community. It would be exciting to help TNA grow and succeed. Plus, I like Orlando, and I’d enjoy the lighter travel schedule.
In this month’s “Reader’s Redux” section, I asked people to answer the following question: “Is Mickie James worthy of the Hall Of Fame?” Here are your replies.
Reader: Billy James
Mickie James’s arrival in TNA has really helped the Knockouts get back into the spotlight. Before Mickie’s arrival, the Knockouts were lucky to get one segment on Impact by June 2010. In addition, those segments mainly focus just on the Beautiful People and Madison Rayne with the rest of the Knockouts getting any air time on Impact. After Mickie’s arrival in October, we are now getting multiple story lines focus on other Knockouts such as Sarita. We also got one of the best women’s matches in TNA since Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong street fight match in 2008; Mickie vs. Tara Steel Cage match. Mickie’s Thesz Press is move the women wrestling fans will remember forever. One could even go further by saying that Mickie helped breathe life back into WWE Divas division as the WWE did the Divas Tables match at TLC after seeing the steel cage between Mickie and Tara.
However, the biggest impact that Mickie James arrival has had in the Knockouts division and TNA in general is her fan base. Mickie James is without a doubt the biggest and most popular female wrestler today with an extremely huge fan base. Because of that huge fan base, fans of Mickie who have never watch TNA will tune in to see Mickie. This means that these fans will get to see female wrestlers perform that they may have never seen before such as Sarita, the Beautiful People and Madison Rayne. Since Mickie arrival there has already an increase interest in the Knockouts division which saw the addition of Winter (Katie Lea) to the Knockouts roster who is currently in a story line with Angelina Love that has fans interested.
2011 is going to the year of Mickie James. There is no doubt that Mickie will be the next TNA Knockouts and become the first Triple Crown women’s champion in women’s wrestling history. Also Mickie has a second album coming out in 2011 plus a concert tour. This is good for TNA and Mickie as TNA can cross promote Mickie’s album while getting their name out to people who do not know of TNA. Similar to the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection from the early 80’s in which there was a cross-promotion between the WWE (then WWF) and elements of the music industry. The cross promotion was a great success for the WWE during that time and increase number of views. The same type of cross promotion can work for TNA and Mickie.
Whether you love Mickie James or hate her, there is one thing that can’t be taken away from Mickie. Mickie James is one of the greatest women’s wrestlers of this decade and has proven no matter what is thrown at her in life or the people who try to keep her down; Mickie James will always come out on top. Or better yet to paraphrase Matt Hardy; “Mickie James will not die!”
There are many reasons why Mickie James should go in the Hall of Fame. One reason is her crowd reaction. Mickie has always gotten people to stand up and cheer for her. Whether she’s a psychopathic fan or a sassy, smiley face, she gets some of the best reactions on the Divas Division no matter who she was against.
That a great format for my next reason, Mickie has A LOT of fans. I believe that the WWE hall of fame should be made up of not only people who the WWE wants but who the fans want too. It takes a lot these days to make a diva stand out and while Mickie did debut a few years earlier where fans were more willing to get behind them, she kept that reaction and it even became bigger. Mickie was someone who you could get behind because of her in-ring skills and her size often made her an underdog which is what sometimes makes the match.
Mickie has also been the 2nd person to win both the WWE Women’s Championship and the WWE Divas Championship. She also has the record for the 2nd most WWE Women’s Championship reigns with 5, beating the likes of Lita and the Fabulous Moolah and with combined Championship Reigns, only one short of Trish Stratus who has the most Championship Reigns with the Divas. When you have that many championship reigns, it shows that many times, WWE has believed in you and trusts you to carry the Division and to represent it and I believe that she did a great job at it.
Mickie has also had some of the more memorable divas storylines in recent WWE History that still shows its affects today. The reason Lay-Cool is so over is because of her. The way Beth mad her career is facing Mickie and having the fans believe in her, thus despising Beth and getting her over. Melina started her career by defeating Mickie and establishing herself as a champion. Mickie also has had put over women who never really been given a fair chance (Katie, Jillian). Mickie in her time has defiantly had a big hand in shaping the division to be what it is today.
In my opinion a Hall of Famer should be someone who has worked hard in their career and the fans believe in them. Mickie has all of those things.
Thanks for the great essays! For the next Reader Redux, let me know how you would define Trish’s legacy. Limit your response to 300-500 words please.
This month’s Glam Slam reader profile is one of Diva Dirt Live’s most loyal callers, Frank! I caught up with Frank to discuss wrestling, sports, and my least favorite movie ever, Star Wars III.
Thanks for reading this month’s mailbag…next month’s mailbag is almost full but if you want to submit a question send it to [email protected]. I save all the questions and will use them in future mailbags if possible.
— Mr. Glamazon
PS – Don’t forget that on February 5, 2011 ChickFight and Diva Dirt will present Taylor Wilde’s retirement match vs. Alissa Flash. Yours truly will be the special ring announcer so I hope that doesn’t scare you off.
PPS – Interested in being my next Glam Slam reader profile? Email me [email protected].
PPPS – Follow me on Twitter @dlb19338!