Shahid’s Blog: CM Punk and The Culture of Personality

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Apparently CM Punk is returning from his brief hiatus to Monday Night Raw in Chicago.  Perhaps he’ll cut another promo explaining his absence, and is inserted into the title match.  Maybe he’ll complain about HHH holding him down, and switch positions with Daniel Bryan.  Neither the reasons regarding his departure nor the cause of his return are of importance to me.  If he was able to finagle himself into a higher position at WrestleMania, then God bless him.  Wrestling is a ruthless business, and the primary goal of an individual is to maximize their earnings while minimizing risk.  I’m not a fan of CM Punk, but I have admiration for his drive, and can appreciate his difficult journey towards the upper echelon of WWE.  Since he’s talked of retiring in the near future, he should use whatever leverage he has accumulated to achieve his main event goals before he rides off in the sunset.  He’s not a villain for doing so, and he is no different than any other wrestler who has used similar tactics.

He’s also no better than any of those wrestlers.  I’m aware of the legend of CM Punk.  An indy anarchist who overcame a broken home to walk his own straight edge path.  A super nerd who plows through the hottest women in (and sometimes outside) wrestling. A pipe bomb slinging truthslayer who somehow defeated the evil booking of Vince McMahon and the chicanery of the locker room politics.  He’s somehow reached the apex of WWE even though he’s a proud Paul Heyman guy, and not a muscled up manufactured mimbo like John Cena, Randy Orton or Batista.  And now he’s going to ride into Chicago as the conquering hero, due to the power of his fans, who hijacked the system and saved us all.

What a bunch of nonsense. CM Punk, after being frustrated with booking, decides not to resign when his contract expires.  He’s allowed to cut a shoot style promo, burying popular superstars, and playing into internet stereotypes, while being a heel.  He beats John Cena for the title at Money In The Bank in his home town, and leaves with the belt.  He comes back, while holding the belt, with a raise and a higher position on the card.  He has a high profile match with HHH and deals with some nonsense from Kevin Nash.  Then he wins the belt again, and has the sixth longest title reign in WWE History.  He has two main event title matches with The Rock, followed by a WrestleMania match against The Undertaker.  Not to mention a PPV match with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam.  Now, with him speaking of retiring again after his contract expires, he decides to go home because he doesn’t like his position on the WrestleMania card.  Or he needs a break from the road, or perhaps frustration with part timers moonlighting as super stars stealing his spotlight.  Or something.

How is any of that WWE’s fault?  Why is Batista being punished for being offered a position based on his name and legacy?   Why do we have to hear CM Punk chants during Randy Orton Matches, or angry fans chanting for Randy Savage or Husky Harris during main events involving young talent?  CM Punk left and came back on his own accord.  WWE didn’t send him home.  Vince, Steph and HHH didn’t frame him for a wellness violation. For all this talk about looking out for the full timers and young talent looking to climb the career ladder, his actions have done damage to those individuals.

I wonder how Daniel Bryan would feel if he got pushed down the card because Punk was rewarded for his temper tantrum.  I seriously doubt The Shield, or Kofi Kingston, or The Usos appreciate hearing CM Punk chants while they’re busting their ass trying to do their jobs.  John Cena, who is a bigger star than CM Punk, is in a midcard feud with Bray Wyatt for WrestleMania.  I don’t hear his fans throwing a hissy fit trying to derail the show.  People commend him on his bravery of speaking his mind, while not drinking the corporate Kool Aid.  Dolph Ziggler spoke his mind, and decided to ignore advice, and he’s suffering for it.  If Kofi Kingston decided to stay home to prove a point, he’d still be home.

For all the talk of CM Punk being a Paul Heyman guy, in truth he is a Vince McMahon guy.  People love to rightfully complain about his booking decisions, and how they don’t reflect what the fans want.  Yet CM Punk wouldn’t have worked his way to his current position without the blessing of Vince McMahon.  All of the snarky remarks, Stone Cold shirts, Macho Man trunks and pipe bombs happened on his watch.  This isn’t some Brian Pillman situation – Punk wasn’t going to show up in TNA with a bigger contract.  He played the game just like HBK and Nash, HHH and Hogan, and Austin and Lesnar before him.  Yet all of those individuals were savaged for their selfish actions, while Punk is treated as the love child of Malcolm X and Peter Parker.  I guess what Batista said on Smackdown was true – fans will cheer their heroes if they can convince themselves they could be them with enough hard work.  It’s also delusional and hypocritical.

I’m not angry at CM Punk, and I’m glad he’s back.  Adding him to the card will make a better show, and since I’m attending WrestlMania 30, I’m rooting for an enjoyable experience.  I just hope his fans don’t have a nerd-fueled heart attack if Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker close out the show….. -Shahid

Stunt Granny Audio #242

Kevin & Jeremy are back after a hiatus for the holidays. They start the show just in time to listen to the big announcement from the WWE about the WWE Network. Are their questions answered by the presentation? Will you be able to watch Mid-South Wrestling content? How exactly can the WWE revolutionize the way media is distributed? Is the cost worth it? When was the last time Kevin ordered Summerslam? Or Survivor Series? Is Jeremy ready to be the host for Legends House? Will it be as funny as the Surreal Life? The guys move on to talking about other events surrounding the WWE, the most recent announcement prior to this one was Kaitlyn leaving the WWE on mutual terms. Will the Diva’s Division be built up now that the WWE will have even more programming? Or is Total Divas going to be what the Divas strive for going forward? What has happened to AJ Lee? Do we get just enough Alicia Fox during her run ins on the show? What level of hot is Kaitlyn? The last topic of the night is Daniel Bryan and the above clip of Michigan State football doing the Yes! chant at halftime of the Ohio State vs MSU game at the Breslin Center. How much money is the WWE leaving on the table? Was CM Punk ever as popular as Daniel Bryan or are we tainted by the raucous crowd in Chicago for his title win against John Cena? Has Punk’s mic skills gotten in the way of him creating an easy chant like Yes!? Is the Bryan turn only a temporary thing for Wrestlemania season? Is it because physically large stars like Batista and Brock Lesnar are coming back? Or is it because the WWE is depending on these stars because of how long they have been established? Find out that and more when you click on the link below!

The @WWE Slammy Awards Are During #Raw Part II

I'm not amused with these 3 Hour Raws.

I’m not amused with these 3 Hour Raws.

What A Manuever – Who Had The Most Impressive Signature Move? – Daniel Bryan’s Running Knee Strike, AJ Lee’s Black Widow, Roman Reigns’ Spear and Antonio Cesaro’s Giant Swing – I know Daniel Bryan was a popular pick for Part I, but I can’t see him winning this category because his running knee strike doesn’t even have a name yet. AJ Lee isn’t even the center piece of her own division despite being better on the mic, in the ring and having a personality. She’s more of utility player within the WWE since she bounced around to a bunch of men then finally plopped in the Diva’s Division once the crazy story lines had run their course. For some reason, the spear never needs to be renamed no matter who is using it. Roman Reigns certainly was given the ball to run with it at Survivor Series with 4 eliminations but I don’t think he’ll get it. Antonio Cesaro made puking “funny” and has tested his move out on the small and large alike.

Faction Of The Year – Which Group Was Most Dominant in the WWE? – The Shield, The Wyatt Family, The Real Americans & 3MB – 3MB may get a lifetime achievement award if they stick around long enough but that’s the only way they win anything of significance. The Real Americans have gotten a marginally higher spot than 3MB but aren’t that much further ahead so they won’t win. For the third time in 7 awards, we’re down to the Shield and the Wyatt Family. As stated before, the Wyatts have done nothing of consequence so far so the Shield should take this easily because of their title reigns & destruction of the Undertaker & The Rock.

Best Crowd of The Year – Which Live Audience Rocked The House? – Raw After Wrestlemania (East Rutherford), WWE Payback (Chicago), Summerslam (LA) and Raw in London – I’ve only seen two of these crowds because I rarely order PPVs. Chicago usually has a good crowd so I’m not surprised they’re on the list. I hate Anaheim crowd but not sure about LA crowds. I’m sure they were fired up. Raw in London was just trying to imitate Raw After Wrestlemania so they win hands down. I’m glad they set a bar and most crowds have stepped up their game.

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@TotalDivas – She Said (He Edited) Episode 9

be_stronger_than_your_excusesThey’re stronger, they’re more outrageous and if it’s possible, more glamorous. This time, it’s no hold barred! Life is about to seriously change. Only on E! This was the commercial that was constantly being played on Spotify last week so everyone would be so intrigued they would tune in and watch the next season of Total Diva’s. After crying hysterically and then being bored out of my gourd, I thought leave it to the WWE to make the first half of the show interesting to pull viewers in, put them to sleep in the middle and try to wake them up in the end with a not so good cliff hanger. Since I wasted 45 minutes watching this, I’ll waste at least 5 minutes of your time reading this. Ha ha.

We begin the season with a recap, which is always good for me as I completely forgot what has happened in the last 2 months that they have been off. I have to say, the show started off with pretty good one liners as Eva Marie brought up her 4 page spread in Maxim as the girls meet for brunch on a Sunday afternoon. Between Nattie calling Eva a Hoochie, Jojo saying she wants to throw up her breakfast in her mouth due to having to look at these pictures again and Brie gives a non-humble Eva a kicker when she tells Eva that the Bella Twins were in Maxim Espanol which get’s distributed to more countries. Ha ha. (Kevin’s Edit: You could tell the Bellas were pissed about not being on thee Maxim cover even if they covered things up with Latin America.)

We get more hilarious outtakes with Trinity in her sparkling shoes and how they hurt her feet terribly and walks out of the hotel like an old bow legged grandma, quite hilarious as she stuck out that booty of hers. (KE: She rewound it to watch a second time. I didn’t argue.)

Ariane goes crazy after the car in front of her continues to go really slow and in turn stops right in the road. Ariane gets out of the car and starts yelling at the person in the car. To me it all seemed a bit staged, but whatever, it just flared her temper which is what her story line was in this episode. Ariane once again goes berserk on Vincent, her boyfriend, at a WWE party. I don’t know how many times she needs to say ‘babe’ but I have to say, someone needs to take that out of her vocabulary! (KE: That’ll happen right when the Steelers take “Obviously” out of Mike Tomlin’s vocabulary.) Trinity ends up talking to Ariane and tells her she needs help with her anger. She goes to talk to talk to her mom where they have a heart to heart. Her mom tells her she shouldn’t do that and that Vincent deserves better. At this point, they’re both perfect for each other as they’re both annoying as ever and who would want to deal with that.

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Dusty’s Blog: Dusty answers five random questions

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You know, every week we get so many cards and letters here at the Stunt Granny Headquarters, it’s just ridiculous. Normally we just completely ignore them, because we are so much better than all you readers out there. Sometimes Jeremy will take a letter into the bathroom with him if we are running low on toilet paper.

But now I have decided in the interest of creating content, to change all that. Every week I will be answering five random questions from you, our lovely loyal readers. Without any further ado, throw your mittens around your kittens and away we go:

1.) What are your thoughts on the Repo Man? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Yeah, that’s an interesting question, Dusty, I was just thinking about the Repo Man. Like, have you ever wondered who drives the Repo Man to the place where he is repoing the car? Because he always just hot wires the car and drives away with it, right? So, like, is a friend dropping him at the house so he can repo the car? Is he taking public transportation, like a bus or a taxi cab to get to the place to repo the car? Perhaps there is a never ending stream of repo’d cars that serve the purpose of leading him to the next house to repo the next car. Maybe he lives close by and just walked.

The point of the matter is that Repo was completely awesome and I always felt like if a bunch of the guys had teamed up to eliminate Yokozuna at the 1993 Royal Rumble, that match was Repo’s for the taking. See what I did there with that sentence? Why am I asking you the questions?

2.) What are your thoughts on the whole Jimmy Hart/Nasty Boys/Natural Disasters/Money Inc thing? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Yeah, that’s an excellent question. I was just thinking about this recently. See, it all goes back to Mr Fuji in 1990. In early ’90 Fuji managed the Powers of Pain. And then in like February, he debuted the Orient Express. Everyone put up a stink about what an obvious conflict of interest this was, and so Fuji ended up selling the Warlord to Slick and the Barbarian to Bobby Heenan, so he could concentrate all of his energies on managing his new, completely inferior team. It was tremendous booking.

So now Jimmy Hart in 1991. His Nasty Boys win the tag belts from the Hart Foundation at WrestleMania so that they can drop the belts to the Legion of Doom at SummerSlam and break up the Foundation so that Bret can finally get a big singles push. The problems start right before SummerSlam when Jimmy unveils his new tag team, the Natural Disasters. At SummerSlam, LOD should have beaten the Nastys, and the Disasters should have beaten the Bushwhackers. And then you *have* to turn the Nastys face. You cant really split them up since they’d be crap on their own, and you can’t keep them with Jimmy since he now has a new team. So that Survivor Series match (Rockers & Bushwhackers vs Beverly Brothers & Nastys) would have to be changed around, but I’m not trying to be a completist here. I’m talking about one specific line of booking.

So then you have LOD beat the Disasters at Royal Rumble 1992, shortly thereafter Jimmy unveils another new team, Money Inc. At this point, the Disasters have to turn face, since they would be clearly butt hurt about Jimmy favoring his new team over them. Maybe you wait until after WrestleMania 8, though, where you could have LOD over the Disasters and Money Inc over the Nasty Boys, if you so wanted.

There could be many different ways to achieve that same goal, but the point is they didn’t do any of them. They keep the Nastys with Jimmy all the way through SummerSlam 1992, which was logically ridiculous and clearly defied the hallmark they themselves had put into place a couple years prior. It just honks me off like a goose!

3.) Some idiot recently said that Ultimate Warrior was the worst main eventer in history. Your thoughts, please? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Very good question. Yes, he is an idiot, first of all. Second of all, it’s not really close to true. This subject was recently batted around on Facebook and a lot of people got lost in the tall grass, arguing that Warrior was a horrible worker. It might or might not be true, but it’s completely besides the main point.

See, Diesel was the worst drawing WWF Champion in history. So since he came *after* Warrior, that automatically makes him worse, no? He was no great shakes in the ring, either. Bret got a good match out of him, but Bret could get a good match out of the couch. Diesel was atrocious, didn’t draw a dime, and he was just really terrible.

Another matter is that Warrior was completely sabotaged by Hulk Hogan every step of the way. Follow me here on a history lesson. They debuted Earthquake by making him friends with Dino Bravo and having the two attack the Warrior. Before his Mania win over Hogan for the WWF Title, Warrior was beating Bravo at house shows. Therefore, all of that would lead perfectly, one would assume, towards Warrior feuding with Earthquake post WrestleMania. It should stand to reason that the number one face should be feuding with the number one heel in the company. (Please note that I’m not slagging Rick Rude at all by saying this. It’s just that he was a step or two below Quake on the totem pole at his point.)

Instead, Hogan got the A-match at SummerSlam and all of the hype leading up to it, with the injury angle, the get well letters campaign and the guys in the corner stuff. Warrior got the second most hyped match. And then, even more ridiculously, Warrior had no feud whatsoever going into the Survivor Series. He was pasted into a survivors match that he nothing to do with (Perfect vs. Tornado, Demolition vs. LOD). And then by Royal Rumble ’91, he was already losing the belt.  Hogan, meanwhile, carried the Earthquake feud through the end of the year, won the Rumble, and then beat Slaughter for the belt at Mania. There was never really a point during Warrior’s title reign that you couldn’t plausibly argue that Hogan was still the top star in the company.

So what I’m saying is, other than the workrate, you could conceivably blame every one of Warrior’s failings as top dog in the company on Hogan. After that he started flaking out and no showing stuff and trying to hold up Vince for more money and all of that, and I would argue that you could trace all of that back to Hogan sabotaging him in 1990.  But I mean, it’s not like Hogan has a history of doing that, or anything.

Also of note is that guys like Jack Swagger and the Miz are much worse main eventers as well. It is actually embarrassing that guys like that were allowed to hold the title. It’s a byproduct of today’s environment, where the name WWE sells the tickets and it doesn’t really matter who the champion is, and everyone gets a turn with every belt anyway, and there’s 5 million belts anyway, and nothing means anything, but man, do those guys suck. Especially Swagger.

Also of note is that workrate doesn’t mean shit in professional wrestling.

4.) Who are your top five SportsCenter anchors of all time? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Such a great question. I would have to go like this…

1 – Keith Olbermann

2 – Dan Patrick

3 – Kenny Mayne

4 – Scott Van Pelt

5 – Charley Steiner

Speaking of SportsCenter and ESPN, isn’t it weird that Chris Berman is, as Bob Ley once called Steiner, a “professional putz” when he went to Brown University and graduated with a degree in history? You would think he would be more serious, like Ley, instead of being Mr Sound Effects and guy-who-gives-everyone-a-crummy-nickname guy. Then again, him graduating college in the late 70s does explain his shitty taste in music.

5.) Who could it be now? – Dusty G., Fond du Lac, Wisc.

Not sure.

WrestleMania 29 Announcement

So it’s going to be in New Jersey next year. Outdoors.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will head a press confernce tomorrow to announce the 2013 version of WresteMania will be held at Metlife Stadium, outdoors, in East Rutherford, NJ. The date for the show was not announced other than a release saying early April, so likely the first Sunday of April, which is April 7. March 31 is also a possibility.

Representatives of the WWE, the New York Jets and the New York Giants are expected at the press conference. This will be the first time WrestleMania will be in the Northeast at an outdoor venue, which, unless precautions are made, could be a weather risk.

 
I strongly believe they should have held off doing a show at this venue until SummerSlam 2013, but at the very least this probably means WrestleMania 30 won’t be held at Madison Square Garden, which is awesome because I cannot stand watching shows held there. – Dusty
 
Update #1 – I bet Theo Huxtable will be there, since it’s right near his place.
Cliff:: All right. Now you have got to have an apartment, because you are not going to live here. [taking more money]So an apartment in Manhattan will run you at least $400 a month.
Theo: I’ll live in New Jersey. [takes back $200]

Update #2 – Thanks to my good friends at weather.org, here is the weather history for April 7 in East Rutherford the past five years, just to give us some kind of idea of what we might be able to expect. I’m really going above and beyond the call of duty with this post, I know.

2011 – http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KTEB/2011/4/7/DailyHistory.html?req_city=East+Rutherford&req_state=NJ&req_statename=New+Jersey

2010 – http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KTEB/2010/4/7/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

2009 – http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KTEB/2009/4/7/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

2008 – http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KTEB/2008/4/7/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

2007 – http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KTEB/2007/4/7/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

So they’re probably hoping for a repeat of 2010’s temperatures, but it’s more likely we’re going to get mid-40s with a minute chance of precipitation.

Update #3 – I just noticed that he speculated a show announced for early April could get held on the last day of March. What a goddamn moron.

Stunt Granny Big 11 Week Ending 8/20/11

1. Kevin Nash – A week and a day after Nash joked about becoming HHH’s body guard against CM Punk at the meet and greet for PWO’s Wrestlelution 4, he did just that at Summerslam. Well, maybe. The WWE decided to thicken the plot by having John Laurinaitis talk to Nash and Stephanie McMahon talk to CM Punk. They both gave reasons why they could have sent the text message to Nash to attack the winner of the match. Since we know it was Nash in the ring with the (Jack) Knife, finding out the sender of the text message is the only part of this  “Who Done It?” that remains unresolved. – Kevin

2. Mike Chioda – Not only did we already know that Chioda was “The Man” amongst referees, now we allegedly know that he must be “The Man” for partying after his Wellness Policy violation. I wonder if he counts to three or ten before exhaling. – Kevin

3. Sting, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair – Sting cut another ridiculously awful promo which is no surprise. The highlight of which was him asking the crowd if they wanted to see Hogan in another match against him. Even the Impact Zone crowd, who will cheer for just about anything, had a tepid response. Adding to the old age home amusement, Ric Flair complimented Sting on how in shape he was. Later, Flair showed off his tuned up physique to Hogan in his office. Any combination of these three in the ring will produce more sag than Joan Rivers’ botox could prevent. – Kevin

4. Jeremy & Eric – Where are they this week? Good question. I hope when they come back, if they ever come back, they apologize to you, the loyal reader, for going MIA here. – Dusty

5. The Young Bucks – Boy did I start a mini-bleepstorm with my Young Bucks post. Let me break it down for you: If you are too stupid to go into a WWE lockerroom and not shake everyone’s hand, go into a corner and wait your goddamn turn for a match, you don’t deserve to be in professional wrestling. And if you are so ball-less you post passive aggressive nonsense on Twitter and send your no talent brother in to do the dirty work, you are a horrible human being. This is not arguable. If you disagree with me, please go away. The Young Bucks should go away, too. – Dusty

6. Terri Runnels – My crack research team was able to locate a recent picture of Terri, which I will post here for your edification:

A gruesome visage, I know. – Dusty

7. Evolve – The next step for Evolve is in full effect:

Fat, ugly, badly recorded Jew guy wants YOU! – Dusty

8. Dave Meltzer – What on earth is causing “I” to be replaced with “In” every single time he writes it? This has happened for several weeks in a row now, and is quite frankly very disturbing. Is it a legit typo, every single time? A glitch in his voice-to-text software? The world may never know. – Dusty

9. Joey Abs – I guarantee you you want to know what’s been going on with Joey Abs lately:

What kind of a man hunts with a cellaphone? Real men don’t even own them. – Dusty

10. Sin Cara – The dude playing the fake Sin Cara character (Hunico) was Mystico before Sin Cara was Mistico. He then changed his name to Incognito and started to sell merchandise with his face on it. We’re talking about Incognito soap, candy bars, lighters, napkins, you name it. He sucks, as does real Sin Cara. However, I just gave you a face full of knowledge. Knowledge, right in your maw! Eat the knowledge! Eat it! – Dusty

11. Football – Speaking of Incognito, let’s talk about Richie Incognito and the 2-0 Miami Dolphins. Or, as I like to refer to them, the 2-0 Miami Super Bowl Dolphins. What’s that? These games don’t count? These are fake games? Well… uh… Henne Henne Henne Henne Henne Henne… – Dusty

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