For Every Negative, There Must Be A Positive

Eric Stein

Looks like my anger management courses are finally starting to pay off…

It has come to my attention that it is not good to live your entire life negatively. Hence, I am turning over a new leaf this week.  In order to keep myself in check, for everything negative thing that I say about the world of wrestling, I will need to say something positive.  This should be a challenge.

 
NEGATIVE 
I hate having to start my column on such a dreadful note, but I can’t ignore the most pressing topic.  Three young wrestlers passed away in the last week alone…Abismo Negro, Steve Doll, and Andrew Martin.  Just when it seemed like we were turning a corner on the tragic passing of young wrestlers, we are hit with this.  Regardless of how many of these can be considered "wrestling-related," all three were far to young to pass away.  It’s beyond terrible that virtually every card that I watch on WWE 24/7 has numerous deceased performers in the mix, often with 2 fighting each other in one match.  Very, very sad.  I was extremely disappointed that the WWE did not choose to recognize the life and times of Andrew "Test" Martin.  Not even an "In Memorium" posted at the top of RAW for a guy who was with the company for a solid 7-8 years.  That is really low.  The man still has countless friends in the locker room and devoted his adult life to you company and you can’t so much as acknowledge his passing?  But why does this surprise me?  This is the same company that fired Matt Hardy because his best friend and girlfriend had an affair.  This is the same company that put Vicki Guerrero to work for money right after her husband passed away, rather than simply help her out.  This was yet another, in a long list of classless actions by the WWE.
 
POSITIVE
There was always a shining beacon of light during my time at WWE.  Howard Finkel is one of the greatest guys you’ll ever know.  Always smiling, always kind…Howard was one of the lone bright spots in Titan Towers.  No matter how many a-holes I would encounter over the course of a day, Howard was always right down the hallway to bolster my mood.  I am delighted that he is being inducted to the Hall of Fame.  How it took so long, I’ll never know…but I’m thrilled that he is going to have his moment in the sun.  I wish they would have focused more on his announcing abilities and less on his comedy in his HoF video, but this is the positive section of the column, so we’ll just leave it at…congrats Howard!
 
NEGATIVE
Ooooh, now I’m really salivating.  We know that I have a list a mile long for the negative column. What should I bash next?  How about the booking of Vladimir Kozlov?  Since I have written this exact passage several times before (see Beth Phoenix, Awesome Kong, Brian Kendrick, Ricky Ortiz, etc etc etc.), it shouldn’t be very hard to recreate.  WHY WHY WHY do you book a guy to be undefeated for almost a full year and then have him lose cleanly in 3 straight matches?  It is incredibly lazy booking.  "Oh, now that we don’t need to deal with that pesky win streak anymore…"  I mean, c’mon people!  Please just try a little.  He is supposed to be a monster.  Competing for the titles for months on end.  What was the point of this build up of the outcome is for him to lose the streak and get de-pushed so badly that he doesn’t even have a match at WM and is now a Lumberjack with Jesse and Festus?  Stupid stupid stupid.  They could have at least done something with him and Khali and Umaga.  
 
POSITIVE
In essence, TNA basically had a 20 Man Steel Cage, Pinfall/Submission Royal Rumble on free TV last night.  How sick is that?  They take one of WWE’s 4 major PPVs…upgrade the over the top rope aspect….put it in a cage…and give it to us for free!  I love the innovation that TNA can bring to the table at times.  Rather than seeing the same stale combinations and matches over and over again, they actually TRY.  The result is obvious, as at least once or twice a show I actually get excited for a concept or a match that they’ve cooked up.  Kudos for mixing things up and bringing it.
 
NEGATIVE
It’s time for my weekly installment of Wrestlemania stinks!  This week’s topic…Jack Swagger!  How can you not book the CHAMPION of one of your brands on the biggest show of the year?  Even if they end up throwing him into a match (which I expect, as he’s literally amongst like 5 total guys who are not being used in any way, shape, or form), it’s too late.  NO build up, NO point, NO effort.  He has barely even been on TV.  He should have fought Christian, so we can take that as a sign that Christian will not be on the ECW brand for long.  Even still, there’s Dreamer, Bourne, anybody!!!  It’s un-freakin’-believable.  Also, let me go back to one of my other favorite all time rants…I HATE how they disregard the tag division.  Unifying the tag titles is a disgrace and as good as assures that tag team wrestling becomes a complete joke.  Tsk tsk tsk.
 
POSITIVE
How amazingly awesome is that promo for Wrestlicious?!?  It is downright glorious!  I love the whole thing from top to bottom.  The cheesy feel, the neon colors, the all woman league, the over-the-top stereotypical gimmicks…it’s the straight up reincarnation of G.L.O.W., which was one of the best wrestling promotions ever to exist.  The rapping in the promo made me so ridiculously happy!  I am genuinely thrilled about this.  How can you go wrong with hot girls portraying ludicrous gimmicks?  The ageless wonder, Jimmy Hart, has done it again!  This guy is good!  I’ve watched this a solid 4-5 times now and it’s growing on me more and more each time.  It’s so funny.  Just spot on for what it is.
 
NEGATIVE
Legends of Wrestling…the last wrestling-related item that I was genuinely excited about…stinks.  It completely and utterly stinks.  All I really need to say to drive this point home is that none of "Grab Them Cakes" nor "Birdman" nor "Hard Time" are in the game.  I suppose I could have tolerated that if the gameplay was good, but it’s really bad.  It’s boring and very limited.  I don’t understand how you can do literally only about 10% of the moves that you can do in NO MERCY for N64, which came out 10 years ago.  That is quite a downgrade.  The move chains are confusing and awful…heck, the entire gameplay is sorely lacking.  There are a couple of cool aspects with the ring entrances and old school video footage, but it’s not enough to make up for the fact that playing the game itself isn’t fun.  A job very poorly done.
 
POSITIVE
My days as an on air wrestling talent may be closer than we realized.  TNA seems to have some love for former reality TV stars.  Survivor Jonny Fairplay had a good run with them a few years back and he and his lovely wrestling/Top Model wife are in constant contact with them.  American Idol Ace Young was involved in the Lethal/Dutt/Val storyline.  Survivor winner, Jenna Morasca, has now signed to TNA.  Danny Bonaduce will be fighting at next month’s PPV.  Seems to me that as the biggest individual twist in reality TV history, a wrestling buff/writer, and a massive 165 lbs soaking wet…I should be next on the docket.  You hear me TNA?  Announcer, interviewer, manager, love interest, jobber….I can even do a shooting star press…sign me up!

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