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  1. #1
    Mediocrity at it's finest kingzak13's Avatar
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    (YLC-RD1) Kingzak Presents: Rest in Peace


    I couldn't think of a better title

    Whatís up guys, Kingzak is back in action with another column. So, how else should I open but with the simple question. What the fuck is Duality? I have gone 25 years and the only times I have seen Duality used is that one Slipknot song and as a shit version of Pot of Greed in YuGiOh (major points if you understand that last reference). Ultimately a trip to google was needed, and ultimately duality means two opposing views from the same. The most basic way I can think of it is wanting to lose weight but also wanting a burger or something like that.

    The easy option here would be the very split goals of the fans, everyone seems to have a conflicting goal as far as their viewing habits go, and that would obviously lead to a very dualistic nature amongst the fan base. Personally all I want is stories worth emotional investment, and the rest falls in place, like in all seriousness, emotional investment really can enhance a viewing.

    But like I said that is the easy option, and someone else probably is gonna do it anyway. So I figured what better way to kick off the tournament than with the best wrestler of all time.

    The Undertaker is a once in a life time talent, despite a long time, no one has been able to replicate what The Undertaker brings, while every other top talent has had a next brought in or made, there is no next Undertaker, once he is done, there will not be another no matter how hard anyone tries. While superstars like classic superstars, such as Hogan and Flair have been replicated in more modern times, The Undertaker truly has stood as an unduplicatable character and wrestler for close to three decades now.

    Heck if you include his pre-WWE days on the territories, this is his 35th year from his debut. That is just insane to think about. And sadly in practice, it is also kinda insane. If you ask any one, the peak years for a personís sporting career are around the twenties until about mid-thirties. That puts Undertakerís last technical peak year at about 2001. And yet he has continued to give as an athlete and ultimately had some of wrestlingís best matches ever as late as the 2010s.

    But lately, itís been hard to call anything The Undertaker does great. The only thing that can really be described as great is the amount of money he is getting to stay active and for the Saudi matches, though that is more great for him and not so much for the viewers. Just the recent Goldberg match should be enough to say that the quality is gone, but on top of that we have the bastardized dream match with John Cena last year, and the disappointing resuming of his feud with DX.

    And now he appears out of nowhere to boost interest of a C-grade PPV, what the actual fuck WWE. SummerSlam is literally just over a month away, you couldnít have waited a couple weeks. From a storyline perspective this doesnít even make a bit of sense, why would Undertaker return to help someone that beat him to face two people that havenít even slightly provoked him. When Brock beat him, Taker cost him his title match Ö Also didnít Undertaker turn heel when he was facing DX?

    So from every story perspective, this latest move makes no sense whatsoever. However from a more human perspective, Undertakers return makes more sense than youíd think. Just think about it, he has been wrestling for pretty much his entire adult life, you donít do something for that long if you donít have a passion for it.

    Letting go of something that you are passionate about/love is one of the hardest things you do in life, and unfortunately it is an issue we are all gonna find ourselves faced with one day. You need to know when to let go.

    And ultimately that is the problem that The Undertaker is finding himself facing right now, he is at the twilight days of his career, these are the final matches that we are going to get from the Deadman, and after such a long time that is going to feel weird both for us and for him too. But ultimately time waits for no one and everything ends eventually.

    The only problem is, knowing when the end is? By all rights, the streak ending seemed like the obvious point to end The Undertakerís career, it was the thing that was sustaining him towards the end as he would show up to defend the streak year after year. When Brock ended the streak, that could have been it. But no one was really ready to let go, remember how you felt when it happened, I remember reading the results and my thought was ďWhy did Undertaker use the F5 to get the pinĒ. It was the most surprising moment in wrestling history (or at least one of them), no one was expecting the streak to end that night, no one was ready to say goodbye yet.

    Takerís career should have ended with the loss to Reigns a few year later, it was a truly depressing match but it painted the message that his time was truly up as the new generation had passed him by. And as sad an ending message as that may be, it was basically the perfect send off for him.

    But then John Cena and the Saudi Arabian Government united to ruin everything. Taker was dragged from retirement to have a bunch of really underwhelming matches and needless to say, we are all overjoyed at this.

    Ultimately, The Undertaker is at a massive cross road of his career, he can either keep going to have that one last great moment, or he can retire to preserve his legacy. But after that last Goldberg match, he couldnít let that be the last match of his career, everyone deserves better than that, so at this moment he is trying to preserve his legacy by carrying it on. Somehow, he is both preserving his legacy while on the search for the last great moment, taking both the contradictory routes.

    It is really an unfortunate position that Taker finds himself in, heís spent his life wrestling and now that the end is here, he canít bring himself to end it. Kinda ironic if you think about it, a man that has a career built on making others rest in peace, but he canít bring himself to rest. Right now, Iím actually hoping that he has a good WrestleMania opponent and match in line for next year, because ultimately, that is the only way we are gonna see the end of the Deadman.

    And on that note, it is time I bid you all a fond farewell, Iíll be back next week for Extreme Rules predictions, or the next round of the Young Lions if that is needed sooner. Either way, I hope you have enjoyed todayís column and I will see you next time.

  2. #2
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Always good to see I'm not the only one who considers Taker to be the best of all time. I guess the difference is I remember being totally in awe of him when he debuted, and have seen him evolve through all the different versions of his gimmick.

    As a Taker fan, I really enjoyed this column. And I too hope he retires soon, for his own good. He's deserved it. The right time was after the send off he got when Reigns beat him. If he had to come back the following year to beat Cena, he should have done it as BikerTaker - with Kid Rock going in the Hall of Fame as well it would have been the perfect opportunity to retire both the main versions of the character.

    Each time he comes back now is an insult to the send off we gave him, but I get your logic of why he feels he needs to keep coming back for that one last great match to cement his legacy as the greatest of all time.

    So yeah, great column. I'm just not sold on it truly fitting the 'duality' topic we were given.

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  3. #3
    Mediocrity at it's finest kingzak13's Avatar
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    Feedback part 1

    @Dynamite: I only started watching in late 2006, he was what drew me in and kept me around for the first few months.

    The problem I see with the BikerTaker version of things is that the majority of the WWE's target audience (the kids) would not get the reference, most kids weren't born when BikerTaker was around.

    Regarding the topic, if I have learnt anything in my many competitions, it is that you only need to vaguely be to the topic. and I feel like it does follow the topic enough, talking mostly on the duality of the decisions Taker faces.

    Thanks for reading.

  4. #4
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    You're making me feel old again!

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  5. #5
    Main Pager Maverick's Avatar
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    I absolutely agree with the sentiments you express about The Undertaker. I am one of the few people alive who hate the Streak. It became a entirely ridiculous pantomime by the end, with him wrestling one match a year just so they could put a bunch of tombstones on the mania set. When should he have hung them up? I'd have had Bray Wyatt beat him at XXXI and left it at that.

    But anyway, here comes the judging bit: while you've improved as a writer since you started here, this was not a tournament ready piece. The sentences are staccato, the swearing is un-necessary and jarring, and your voice is "guy on a message board" rather than serious writer. And I know a lot of people will say that this place is all about individualism and creativity, and blah blah, but I personally do not. I see it as a place to become a proper wrestling columnist, and you're quite far away from that still. And clean up your grammar - there's a whole host of missing apostrophes in this, for example.

    I'd also have to say that you did not, in any way, adequately cover the topic of the round. Duality is essentially competing, opposite sides, for example, in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Jekyll represents the civilised, repressed side of mankind vs Hyde representing the animalistic, unchained desires of mankind. I'm not sure if there's any kind of duality discussed here other than a token nod to googling it. You could've gone with the real Mark Callaway vs The Undertaker character, or something like that, and it might have been an interesting discussion. As it was, this was a miss for me.

  6. #6
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    Your longevity in the Forum is admirable Zak, but your continued space for improvement is also very telling - there's still a lot of it, even now.

    Everything Mav has said above me, I agree with. I'm old school, so as far as I'm concerned the CF remains about the column writing first, the forum aspect second. Otherwise, there's a whole boatload of other threads to go be posting in. That aside, though, if you want to write to entertain yourself before anyone else, fine. Just bear in mind that any time a column is posted, a silent contract is being signed between the writer and the reader - they're dedicating their free time to read what you wrote, so the least you can do is ensure that time isn't wasted. In this environment, that translates most of all into listening to feedback.

    You really do need to work on your punctuation. If you aren't sure whether there needs to be a full stop or a comma, a bracket or a semi-colon, just look up a free punctuation guide online to help you out. They're easily found and readily available. Clearing up your punctuation is a good starting point when it comes to improving your poor sentence structure.

    Don't waste words or time either. You had already used up 200 before even getting to what you were here to write about, which is a crazy amount to throw away when you know you've so few to play with anyway. None of those first 200 words told me anything I needed or wanted to know either, didn't progress your argument and even showed you in a negative light. You have a whole bunch of mentors willing and ready to help you, so if you didn't understand the nature of the topic you'd have been better off reaching out to them rather than rushing to Google - which, incidentally, provided me with an entirely differently phrased definition when I tested it just now than the one you state in your intro.

    If you did reach out for help from your mentors on the topic, fair enough, but the column didn't read like you did.

    As for the topic, the sentiments throughout your feedback here are shared by me - it wasn't dealt with.

    Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it, that's what the CF was founded on. When help is given, in feedback or other form, be sure to listen to it. Keep working as hard as you already do, but work less on rushing out your next column and more on making sure each one is as good as it possibly can be, according to the guidance provided to you by experienced and talented hands who would get no greater thrill than seeing you reach the potential you seem to want to keep reinforcing a glass ceiling over.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, Taker is way past his prime. But just like Ric Flair before him he must doesn't want to let go. I totally understand that for guys like Flair and Taker who have devoted their entire lives to the business surely it is hard to let go. But why then, is someone like Shawn Michaels, who also dedicated his life to the business, so accepting of letting go? Could it be that he had his last great match and wanted to leave on a high (his last match last year notwithstanding). Hopefully you right and it will take one great match/moment to have Taker finally hang up his coat.

  8. #8
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    STRUCTURE
    Your intro was good and I understand what you were going for but I think you absolutely did not need the second sentence essentially laying out a second, better column before launching into your other one . Unlike Plan & Mav I did like the personal touch and there is room in columns for expressing yourself individually but at the same time you could have tightened this up. Look at say Tito on the main page, for all the flack he gets he is still the most tenured and most read colunist on the site and he certainly throws his own personality into everything but does it in short sharp bursts without labouring the point.

    Beyond the intro I think this piece really struggled to develop any of the ideas you put forward, the minute you got to one idea you tossed it asside. The fact you didn't even have a title for it suggest to me that you didn't have a clear idea of what you were going to say. That meant this column didn't really develop an idea much at all.

    CREATIVITY/STYLE
    Your style is conversational which I like however make sure you aren't too relaxed. As Mav & Plan have said perhaps the swearing at the start was a bit excessive. I personally didn't mind it but I do think you got a little sloppy. Think about someone like Skitz who was intensely personal in how he wrote and really injected his personality very effectively but one of the keys was that he was always on topic with it.

    CONTENT
    I'm on board with what you are saying about Taker here. I actually loved that Reigns match, very early on in my time on this site I wrote a huge article about how it was the perfect end to his career. As you said thought that is all gone now, not much can be done to undo it, that coat and hat sitting in the ring afterwards has been robbed of its amazing power and everything that match forshadowed about his waning powers has only been reinforced by his really sad performances since.

    That said this doesn't seem to tackle the subject of duality at all. You could have talked abotu the duality of him once saying he doesn't want to be one of those guys hanging on and not able to perform at his peak but he has now become that, you could have talked about the duality of fans saying they are sick of him but still cheering when he shows up, you kind of hinted at the duality of being passionate about something you are no longer good at but not wanting to give it up but didn't go it. The point is you absolutely didn't cover the topic.

    Also just a minor quibble but your factoid about ages of sports people stood out. It is not abnormal to have sports careers last well into most peak athletes late 30s these days. It is particularly prelevant in wrestling where wrestlers in their early 40s have often been right at the top even before this absurd era of part timers and vets dominating the main event of the biggest shows.

    Lastly I know exactly what that Yu-Gi-Oh reference is and want to know what I can do with my bonus point.

    INTANGIBLES
    Your header is very messy and very difficult to read when it isn't your normal column. My suggestion would be do a black outline of the words, it doesn't take away much but it makes everything a whole lot clearer.

    WHAT YOU CAN WORK ON
    When I was in my final term of uni, for my final assignment my lecturer gave me 51/100 and said, "this looks like you wrote it in one take while eating a steak and watching the 7:30 Report." Sadly I have to give you that feedback for this one Zak. Honestly this column looks like you went into it not knowing what you were going to say, you ambled through it, maybe read over it once more and then posted it. You can absolutely do better. I've seen you do better. You won a COTM award here and those things don't come easily.

    What I'd like to see you do for your next column is settle on a topic straight away, have a clear subject line that you can put at the top of your word document that says "this column is about........................" when you get lost or don't know what to writ next you can come back to that statement and just think of another way to show it or prove it. After you have that line I would like you to do some dot points outlining what arguments you are going to put forward through your piece. Once you have done that you can write your intro (I don't mind if you make it individual) but within the first paragraph you will have introduced your topic. Then you can flesh out each point you have written down.

    I'm happy to help you at any point throughout this process too.

    I'm sorry to be so negative to you here Zak but this is a competition and I know you can do better.
    Last edited by SirSam; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:59 AM.

  9. #9
    You know who I am, but you don't know why I'm here
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    I really just want to echo Mav and 'Plan's thoughts here. Did you send this to any of the vets who have made themselves available to you? I would assume you're in this tournament to get better. Surely, every single one of them would've told you what 'Plan did about the first 200 words being wasted. What they have said pretty much reflects the same kinds of critiques I typically aim at you when I judge your work. I will say that this was better written than what you've done in the past, and to that I offer you a "nicely done."

    I guess my biggest question is: can you do better?

    If you can, show me...SHOW ME....
    Author of The WrestleMania Era book series, author of The Doctor's Orders columns on LOP since 2010, LOP Columns Hall of Famer, former host of The Doc Says podcast on LOP Radio (2013-2018), former LOP Raw and WWE PPV Reviewer (2006-2007), and former LOP Smackdown Reviewer (2004-2006)

  10. #10
    The Brain
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    Gotta agree with others that I've seen better from you, Zak. I think you fell into some usual habits that don't work too well in this setting. If you wanted to go with this specific theme, I think you could have gone with the Undertaker who first drew you in vs. the shell of a guy we've been seeing the last several years, or really any number of more defined options. Looking forward to seeing you step up a bit more in the next round.

  11. #11
    Mediocrity at it's finest kingzak13's Avatar
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    Feedback time. Wow there is a lot

    Firstly, thanks to everyone who read this, it's always nice to have loads of feedback, even if it is mostly negative.

    @Dynamite: I'm kinda developing a habit of that. One of the few advantages of being one of the youngest on the forums.


    @Maverick: That is an interesting one to think about, Wyatt ending the streak, if there were ever a way to make him infinitely credible, that would have been it.

    The voice thing of Message Board guy vs Serious writer, i'm honestly aiming for a more personable sort of vibe to my writing, so while you may not be a fan, i'm not taking that as an entirely bad thing.

    The Jekyll and Hyde way of looking at it is a better analogy than the one I had. I honestly thought I went into the topic, though based on the majority of feedback, not enough.


    @Plan: My goal has always been above all else, entertain an audience. For the most part I find that I am usually able to do that.

    I'll have a look for a punctuation guide, do you have any you recommend? or would it be better to just google it.

    I've long had issues with intros and openings, sometimes it is down to a lack of an idea what to write, or in this case taking a long road for something that could have been shorter. I will say I wasn't worried about the word count as I was thinking that the point had been made and was trying not to belabour the point, though as it turns out I didn't go deep enough of the topic.


    @Don: I can see the similarity but Flair could still go till the end of his WWE run, tough his TNA run would definitely be equitable to what Taker is doing nowadays.

    I think you hit the nail on the head regarding Michaels, he went out on the sort of high note that everyone aims for, and was able to find some other things to keep himself busy with (like that hunting show he did a while back), at this point I am just hoping for a good Taker match every WrestleMania so he can walk away again, the Reigns end was the best we could have got and now we have to wait for another moment like that one.

    @SirSam: I did not think I swore that much in the start, slightly concerns me if i'm honest that I swear so casually that I don't even notice it.

    While peoples career lasting into the late 30s isn't uncommon nowadays, it is more for the big people that are atop their sport, since they can make more for continuing. I'd still say the average would be around the mid 30s for most sports. I do get what you mean for wrestling, but it is a bit of a different sport than everything else, thanks to it being predetermined and the fact that you can take a softer route by having a promo instead of a match, preventing worsening an injury or something of the like. I do get what you mean though, a lot of wrestlers have had great times in their 40s.

    I don't know what you can do with your bonus point for knowing Yu-Gi-Oh. Once I have something you can do with it i'll let you know.

    Regarding the header do you mean the banner or the caption, i'm assuming the banner, and I have been thinking about redoing them since they are quite old at this point.


    @TheDoc: Thank you for feeding back, I hope I can do better in the next round.


    @Mizfan: That would be an interesting way of thinking about it, though I will say, while the wrestling has gone downhill, the aura of the deadman still remains, which is ultimately the thing that drew me in the first place. Thanks for reading.


    Thanks to everyone who read and again a big thank you to everyone who's feedback. I'm looking forwards to the next round.

  12. #12
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    I honestly think your conversational introduction and conclusion hurt the tone of the entire piece. I don’t think that doing so is an inherent hurdle, but in this specific case, it felt like it. Discussing how you came about to your topic, discussing what you felt others might do with the topic, and even speaking about a possible Extreme Rules column at the end of the piece, felt unnecessary and not a good use of limited words.

    There are numerous run-on sentences and grammatical errors that need correcting. For example – “The Undertaker is a once in a life time talent, despite a long time, no one has been able to replicate what The Undertaker brings, while every other top talent has had a next brought in or made, there is no next Undertaker, once he is done, there will not be another no matter how hard anyone tries.” Glaring run-on sentence here, Zak. Also, “The only problem is, knowing when the end is?” Read word-for-word, this needs neither the comma nor the question mark. If you intended it as a question, it would need a rewording. “Here’s the only problem: When do you know when the end is?” or, more simply, “The only problem is knowing when the end is.” Both would work. Those are just a couple of instances where you could’ve cleaned things up.

    Your content actually delivered a bit of a confusing message as well. You mention disappointment in the numerous occasions where he hasn’t ended his career, but then mention that you want him to fight at WrestleMania again next year.

    Also, be careful with generalizing statements. Consider “If you ask any one, the peak years for a person’s sporting career are around the twenties until about mid-thirties.” If you ask anyone, the answer is likely going to vary substantially. Ask a hockey fan about the peak years for a hockey career, and you probably will not get an answer about the mid-thirties. Ask a wrestling fan about the peak years for a wrestling career, and there’s likelier to be some more lenience into late-thirties, especially given the AJ Styles, John Cenas, and Finn Balors as of the last number of years. Also – “any one” needs to be one word in that instance – “anyone”.

    This one was a swing and a miss for me, Zak.

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