Hidden Gems: The Rock Vs Mankind


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Hidden Gems:

The Rock vs Mankind

Rock Bottom PPV




Mick Foley gets a lot heat. Both from other wrestlers and the IWC. Ric Flair has notoriously gone on record calling him a “glorified stunt man”.  Even though to some degree Flair and company have a point, there is no taking away from Foley’s overall talent. He is fantastic on the mic. His overweight (though certainly not a “big man”) and disheveled appearance brings something different to the table. And he was one of the pioneers of making hardcore mainstream. This post goes to all the haters who claim he can’t have a good match without barbed wire and steel chairs.

Mick should hit the gym and face Cody Rhodes or Ziggler at Wrestlemania this year. Give them that great rub that worked with Orton and Edge.

Classic Attitude Era red hot crowd, numerous false finishes, and the Rock in excellent form. This is just one of many great PPV main events featuring Foley that people seemingly have forgotten.


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Art in motion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvDOVOQBNwg&feature=context&context=G2c2cb0cRVAAAAAAAAAQ

Another similar great video. Perhaps the last time a HHH vs Undertaker feud excited me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLEvq-8FwlM

The mythical match where Andre supposedly fell asleep: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rB4QOH5vsR4

Best Ever: Heel Turn


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Best Ever:
Heel Turn:
John Cena?!

Ok this one is premature buts let’s analyze this situation.

Turning the top guy in the company is a extremely complicated thing to do. Let’s learn from history:


Perhaps the most famous heel turn of all time is Hulk Hogan’s at Bash at the Beach 1996. The cheesy vitamin and milk endorsing good guy joined the dark side by backstabbing another longtime top face Randy Savage (RIP Macho one). Hogan then went to cut the most important promo in WCW’s history. And it wasn’t just a home run, it was a grand slam. It was perfectly in sync the fans who have grown up and may have been sick of seeing him on top for so many years. And it was the perfect changing of the guard moment in wrestling history. A change that ushered in the edgy badass style of the 90’s.   Verdict: SUCCESS


Fast forward a generation and we have the infamous heel turn of Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania X-Seven. The hell raising poster boy of the Attitude Era sold his soul to the devil by aligning with longtime enemy Vince Mcmahon. Total disaster. The fans were not ready to boo their favorite. Austin was not consistently shoved down peoples throats for such a extended time like Hogan and Cena. He had taken off a lot time due to injuries and he shared the top spot with the Rock. And a big problem was how to have him be a heel, when his actions always were semi-heelish at best. It was premature, illogical and very forced. For months fans were still cheering him. The WWE even resorted to the: “he’s a heel, we need to get him some cheap heat him by having him beat up J.R. “. Also, this heel turn spurned what is Austin’s worst contribution to the wrestling industry: the annoying and overused “what” chants.  Verdict: FAILURE.

Now let’s get to the present from learning from the past. Cena has been playing the boy scout gimmick at the top of the mountain for way too long. Fans in certain markets have been booing him for years. Even some of his die-hard fans are admitting that a Cena heel turn is most logical now, with his match against the Rock coming up.

And after years of WWE ignoring the IWC, things look like they finally may be changing. “Cena Sucks” shirts are being sold at live events and Kane has been playing a Heath Ledger-Joker like gimmick of the instigator. It seems like we are on the cusp of Cena beating the holy hell out of Zach Ryder and turning his back on his fans. And I can’t wait. I don’t think there has been ever a time in wrestling history where fans where begging to boo someone so badly.

With power of the internet, the shock value of the old days is gone. Its not rating war anymore. The WWE is booking this nice, slow, and calculated. The appropriate booking for our generation.

If the heel turn does go through (even if only temporarily), we are truly witnessing something great. And this years WrestleMania main event will be one of those once in a lifetime matches.

Hidden Gems: Icon vs Icon


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Hidden Gems:

Icon vs Icon:

In honor of the upcoming Rock Vs Cena match at Wrestlemania I have put together a few rare (forgotten) Icon Vs Icon matches that have been given away on free TV:

Rock (as Rocky Maivia) Vs Bret Hart:


Rock Vs Ric Flair


Bret Hart Vs Hulk Hogan


Eddy Guerrero v CM Punk v Rey Mysterio jr


With the proper booking any of these matches could have (and should have) main evented WrestleMania.

None are four star classics, but nonetheless fun to watch.

Hidden Gems: Angle Vs Orton


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Hidden Gems
Kurt Angle Vs Randy Orton
One Night Stand 2006


The One Night Stand PPVs were for longtime fans a momentary release into the hardcore, badass rated R style of professional wrestling amidst the weekly segments Hornswoggle and the Bella Twins.

This PPV is (rightfully) remember for the John Vs RVD title match and the red hot hostile crowd against Cena. Remember: perhaps the most famous sign in wrestling history: “If Cena wins, we riot”.

Side anecdote. I was at this PPV live in Hammerstein Ballroom and I can attest that without a doubt there would have been a full scale riot if Cena won. I took my brother for his brithday and being the kid that he was, he was decked out in John Cena merchandise. Before we even entered the arena, from the line outside people were yelling profantiy laced anti-Cena comments at my kid brother. It got to the point that when we sat down I was worried for him. I gave him some cash and sent him to the merchandise stands to buy a ECW t-shirt. Upon his return with Tommy Dreamer and RVD printed on his shirt, I stood on my chair and announced to my entire section that my brother has learned the error of his ways and been reborn as a ECW fan. They gave him a nice little pop and proceeded to chant “ECW.”. -Only in professional wrestling.

The underlying theme of these PPVS were the clash of style and philosophies of pro wrestling. Besides the main event, this juxtaposition is beautifully exemplified in our match. The ECW crowd welcome with open arms the realistic, technical in ring savy of Kurt Angle into the ECW brand. And as expected they jeered Orton’s WWE style of being slower paced, and hitting a few signature moves every match. To the point where a fan notoriously punches Orton on the way to the ring (at 0:27).

The match itself is both men doing what they do best (whether you hate it or love it). Angle basks in the crowd’s appreciation of him. And a young Orton is nervous and clearly uncomfortable. The rivalry is interesting in hindsight as Angle has mentioned many times how disrespected he feels about Angle using his move- The Angle Slam.

The fire hot crowd on one of the best PPVs in recent WWE is the icing on the cake.

A match that beautifully exemplifies the clash of wrestling styles often debated by wrestling fans.

BEST EVER: Smark Match


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Best Ever:
Smark Match
Icon Vs Legend
Hulk Hogan Vs HBK
Summerslam 2005


A Summerslam main event by the two most important wrestlers of all time.

I know this match is generally regarded as a failure and a disappointment but hear me out.

If you take any mark and ask them who was the better man that night, they would obviously say Hogan (the winner of the match in the history books).

But if you were to ask any real smark, someone who has been watching for years and truly understands the art and politics behind pro wrestling, they would not even hesitate to tell you the better man that night was Michaels.

Why? How can the loser of the actual match be the real winner? That is precisely the beauty and art of professional wrestling.

Hogan and Michaels have long standing personal and professional differences. Which of course led to neither wanting to do the job for the other. Though I don’t know all the specifics of why and how, HBK ended up deciding to take the fall. (Perhaps as a redemption for his past arrogance)? Regardless HBK wasn’t going to let this slide that easy. Michaels oversells every move by Hogan as if Superman himself was attacking the Looney Toons. Flipping and flopping around like a fish HBK makes a mockery of Hogan’s offensive arsenal. To a kid HBK may look like he’s getting his ass kicked, but to the astute viewer he is satirizing Hogan’s gimmick the entire match! Hogan (much like Cena) has been harassed by smarks through most of his career as being booked as a Superman: getting their ass kicked the whole match, kicking out of every pin attempt as if he wasn’t hit by any moves and then suddenly hitting 4 or 5 moves to win the match.

This match was Shawn Michaels’ way of spitting in Hogan’s face and ridiculing his career. Imagine a mid-carder like Swagger or Evan Bourne playing this shtick today on Cena. Its a guaranteed suspension, televised burial for a few weeks, and then the dreaded “future endeavored” notice.
At then end of the night Hogan’s hand is the one raised, but the showstopper goes home with the smile on his face. Not a technical four star clinic, but definitely a classic.

Disrespectful, but pure genius.



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Open Letter to:

Triple H aka Paul Levesque

With Petition!

Dear Paul Levesque Aka HHH,

I know it is the tradition (I.e. annoying habit)of the IWC to play the “armchair booker”.   To sit in their basements and act as if they know how to book a wrestling show better than you, Vince or any other of the infinitely talented bookers at the WWE. And it is very well within your rights to not acknowledge these fans who think they have more knowledge and vision than people who been in the business for 20+ years.

I am not issuing this letter as a disgruntled fan. This is not a formal complaint. Regardless of what I think I think of your decisions and actions in the last few years, I am writing this as a passionate wrestling fan. A fan who has religiously followed professional wrestling  for the entirety of my life. For 20 plus years I have clinged to every match and story line that develops every week.  I am writing this letter as a kid who sat in the live crowd at Madison Square Garden for Summerslam 1998 and watched in amazement as you stole the show (in a card main evented by two of the best of all time at their prime) in your classic ladder match with the Rock. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4r4cwXy_xk)  I am writing this a kid who thought the original Degeneration X was cooler than any rock star or badass celebrities. I am writing this a fan who jumped out of his couch to mark out  when you defended the title against flair on Raw.
But with the Road to WrestleMania imminent, I am compelled to say this:
Mr.Levesque, with all due respect please give someone else a chance.
I think it can be generally agreed that Undertaker’s streak has the most consistently perfectly booked angle in history.
And I acknowledge that you deserve a sendoff/legacy like HBK.  And I will be the first to admit, your match last year with Undertaker was the stuff of legend.  Who didn’t almost shit themselves when you hit the Tombstone and Taker kicked out? (Best encapsulated by JR: “what did we just see?!?”).

And even though it is not acknowledged, you had another classic with the Dead Man at WM X-Seven. But with the Undertakers career on double overtime, we may only have 2 matches left from the big guy. You had your match. AND you had your rematch. Both classics. But its time for a change. If CM Punk proved anything this summer, its that he is worthy of carrying the ball and taking it to the next level. Maybe give him the chance. How about giving the chance to another veteran? Y2J is the perfect person to work around Undertaker’s age/injuries. Maybe reopen negotiations with Sting and give us one of the last Attitude era dream matches we never got to see?

I’d like to think that next year this spot is reserved for (fingers crossed- heel) Cena. So this is more or less everybody else’s  last chance at breaking the streak.

Where would this leave you for WM? You have plenty of choices.Make the Miz’s career and finish off your rivalry from last year in a one on one. Or have a WrestleMania rematch with your friend Sheamus. The last match was underratedly great and the program never really finished. How about retiring Mick Foley in a hardcore match?

At the very least, if I haven’t convinced you, mix it up a little bit. As nice as it would be to put HBK back in a ring that is not enough, maybe make it a triple threat or fatal four way with some other hungry talent?

I can’t be the only wrestling addict to be this passionate about this. So I have decided to pull a Zach Ryder and make a online petition.


HHH, you have proven that once you step into the ring you are “that damn good”. There is nothing left to prove. Please give someone else a shot.

Very respectfully yours,

The Voice of the IWC

* To the IWC I implore you to click on this link and sign the petition before it is too late!




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Hidden Gem:
Brock Lesnar Vs Chris Benoit
WWE title match. Smackdown 2003

A classic Heyman Era Smackdown match. This main event of Smackdown was Benoit’s second match of the night. I remember the IWC being livid that Benoit lost, claiming he lost all legitimacy he would ever have to win the title. Though he actual lost without losing any face. And this loss made his eventual win more meaningful when it happened. Two great technicians put on a textbook heel vs face match. Sick submission by Brock. Someone really needs to steal that move. Well deserved post match standing ovation for Benoit. So sad these two careers ended so prematurely. They would both be thriving in the modern era. BRING BROCK BACK!