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  1. #1
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    Worst Booked Champions

    Rather than get into it in the AEW thread, I figured I'd start a new one that might gain some interest. What world champion has received the worst booking during their reign? Mysterio's first reign was mentioned and it's got to be a big contender. Rey was one of the most popular guys in the company across several important demographics, plus had the whole Eddie tribute thing behind him, yet after he wins the title this is what he gets:

    -Singles loss to Mark Henry in 5 minutes
    -Singles loss to Great Khali in 3 minutes
    -Singles loss to Finlay in 6 minutes
    -Singles loss to RVD in 10 minutes
    -Beaten up by Kane in a 6 minute no contest
    -Fails to beat Kurt Angle in multiple attempts
    -Fails to beat Sabu on PPV

    The only significant singles victories he got in his whole reign was over Orton (who was going on suspension), over JBL (who was retiring to do commentary), and Booker T in a non title match (who beat him for a title a couple days later). Rey was made to look like a chump almost from day 1 and I put full blame on WWE.


    Another contender that comes to mind is Ron Simmons. Though often honored for being the first officially recognized black world champion, his actual reign was full of struggling against low level opponents like Barbarian in the middle of the midcard, then at Starrcade he again is thrown into the midcard and gets his ass handed to him by Steve Williams, then he loses the title at a house show with little fanfare.


    Who else ya got?

  2. #2
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    Before I dive into this, or even come up with canadites, I think its hard to quantify bad title reigns. For some people, holding the title for six months, having good not great matches can be a bad reign cause it wasn't memorable.

    There's also more short reigns just because they feel like transitioning the title all around. it doesn't happen as much now but it still happens. I think you can throw out less than month type reigns because they're not really runs with the title.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    Rather than get into it in the AEW thread, I figured I'd start a new one that might gain some interest. What world champion has received the worst booking during their reign? Mysterio's first reign was mentioned and it's got to be a big contender. Rey was one of the most popular guys in the company across several important demographics, plus had the whole Eddie tribute thing behind him, yet after he wins the title this is what he gets:

    -Singles loss to Mark Henry in 5 minutes
    -Singles loss to Great Khali in 3 minutes
    -Singles loss to Finlay in 6 minutes
    -Singles loss to RVD in 10 minutes
    -Beaten up by Kane in a 6 minute no contest
    -Fails to beat Kurt Angle in multiple attempts
    -Fails to beat Sabu on PPV

    The only significant singles victories he got in his whole reign was over Orton (who was going on suspension), over JBL (who was retiring to do commentary), and Booker T in a non title match (who beat him for a title a couple days later). Rey was made to look like a chump almost from day 1 and I put full blame on WWE.
    Can I ask why it matters why he won the matches? Beating Orton or JBL is a pretty big deal, it shouldn't matter why he won them. Take yourself offline for a moment, and think about it from the standpoint of someone who didn't know JBL was retiring or Orton was about to get suspended.

    Rey won the title off of a wave of sympathy over Eddie's passing. But I don't think that he was ever a credible champion, especially on a roster featuring Orotn, Mark Henry, Khali, JBL, Booker T (who's a very large man), Kane, etc.

    They made him a beatable champion, probably so that the reactions to the matches that he won would be bigger, but he's a guy that I'm not convinced they were behind. They gave him the belt because it was the natural conclusion to the story, and then the clock was ticking.
    Another contender that comes to mind is Ron Simmons. Though often honored for being the first officially recognized black world champion, his actual reign was full of struggling against low level opponents like Barbarian in the middle of the midcard, then at Starrcade he again is thrown into the midcard and gets his ass handed to him by Steve Williams, then he loses the title at a house show with little fanfare.
    I don't think that Simmons was ever meant to be "the guy", he was the definition of a transitional champion, and I'm not sure that they ever had any intention of trying to make him a top guy. WCW in 1992 had their top guys. I was recently re-watching the Saturday Night shows from his title reign, and they do their best to make him look credible and acknowledge that his reign is a big deal, but the truth is he won it form a guy who re-aggravated an injury and lost it back to him when he was good to go again. He was a placeholder for Vader, nothing more, and never intended to be more.

    To me, someone who is a poorly booked champion isn't someone who fails to dominate the card and be in every main event, but would be a guy that they want to be "the man" and just bungle the booking. Seth's first heel run comes to mind. Bret in WCW winning it, vacating it, winning it back and then vacating it again (due to legitimate career-ending injury) stands out. Booker T -- despite being positioned as a top Champion -- winning it, losing it for three weeks, winning it back, losing it to Russo for no reason, and then winning it back again for a lengthy run is also pretty weak.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    I didn't say it was due to his size. I said it died. And size was a factor. Booking Rey as champ with the roster SD had at the time would be incredibly difficult due to the size differential. WWE mucked it up, but it wasn't an easy task to begin with.
    Rey was at times the biggest ratings draw in SD history post-Attitude Era, and a great merch seller too. That doesn't look like a failed champion to me.

    Him getting buried week after week was the operative factor in his 'failed' run, because Vince never believed in him, and assumed that just because he didn't believe Rey as credible, that nobody else did either.

    If WCW could do the Giant Killer gimmick in the late 90s when Rey was nowhere near the star he would later become, I don't see why the WWE couldn't have done that 6 years later when he was a proven star. If not a Giant Killer, then the underdog who squeaks by.

    Instead, they did 'guy who gets squashed week after week'. Are people really surprised that fans cooled off on a guy who got squashed repeatedly?

  5. #5
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    Mizfan, I can't help but feel I need to step up for this one, since it was a discussion with me about Rey.

    My question to you about calling Rey's reign bad is how strong was Rey's record going into the title reign?
    He won the Rumble. Awesome. Huge in fact, and one of the best stories in Rumble history.
    After that, he was beating Sylvan on SD. Then lost his title shot to Randy.

    Before the Rumble, he lost to Mark Henry several times in the weeks up to the Rumble. He was tag champs with Batista, but lost the titles to MNM and lost the TV Steel Cage rematch.

    In fact, his TV singles record between SummerSlam and the Rumble is
    Beat Eddie at SSlam
    Lost to Orton Aug 30
    Lost to Eddie Sep 6
    Beat JBL Sep 12
    Lost to Ken Kennedy Sep 20
    Lost to JBL Oct 9
    Lost a fatal 4way Oct 11
    Beat JBL by DQ Oct 18
    Won 5 way vs JBL, Christian, HC Holly, Matt Hardy Oct 25
    Beat Orton by DQ Nov 8
    Beat HBK Nov 13 (Eddie tribute Raw)
    No contest vs Big Show - Nov 29
    Beat JBL by DQ Dec 4
    Lost to Mark Henry Jan 15
    Lost to Mark Henry Jan 24
    Won Rumble Jan 29

    Simple win loss record, he was 7-7-1
    Clean win loss record, he was 3-7-1 (4 of his other wins were DQ)

    So I'm not denying his title reign booking was disappointing. But I also think the pushback he was receiving would have been even worse if he suddenly became a dominant champion. And the size factor is a big part of it.
    EDIT
    Alan, Vince didn't believe in him, and judging by the pushback Rey received, Vince wasn't alone. People can be interesting and sell merch, but still not belong in the main event.


    Onto the actual topic, I'll add Bray Wyatt. His Elimination Chamber victory got a great pop due to the story getting there. Fans were invested despite the bad booking he had for years before. And then it ended with a whimper a month later with an awful match with too much BS. So for Bray's reign to be transitional, only for Orton to win it and then lose it to Jinder Mahal of all people... it has to be mentioned.
    Last edited by PEN15v2; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:50 PM.

  6. #6
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    According to Court Bauer's (who was a writer on SD during the Rey years) MLW Podcast almost everyone believed in Rey except for Vince. It was the fact that everyone else on the team was so strongly pushing for Rey that Vince finally gave in and decided to make him a champion. But Vince never got over his own outdated preconceived notions, and inadvertently sabotaged Rey via self-fulfilling prophesy.

    If hundreds of thousands of casual fans are tuning in to see your matches, and your segments push SD to the top in demographics that it never usually tops in, that's a sign to me that the casual fans do think that you're credible. It's as simple as that.

  7. #7
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    The worst champion of all time was Jeff Jarrett as AAA Mega Champion in 2018...OH YOU MEANT WORST BOOKED CHAMPION! My bad. Let's go with Sting in 1998 and (because I love mizfan so much) Lex Luger in 1992. Each title reign gets off to the dirt worst of starts and then the defenses...yikes! Luger's big feuds were with Ron Simmons and Rick Steiner (RICK STEINER! WHAT?!) and Sting had an even worse rematch with Hogan, one good defense against DDP, a miserable defense against Scott Hall and then lost it to Savage. Those are the worst, though Rey, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton's first reign are not far behind.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    According to Court Bauer's (who was a writer on SD during the Rey years) MLW Podcast almost everyone believed in Rey except for Vince. It was the fact that everyone else on the team was so strongly pushing for Rey that Vince finally gave in and decided to make him a champion. But Vince never got over his own outdated preconceived notions, and inadvertently sabotaged Rey via self-fulfilling prophesy.

    If hundreds of thousands of casual fans are tuning in to see your matches, and your segments push SD to the top in demographics that it never usually tops in, that's a sign to me that the casual fans do think that you're credible. It's as simple as that.
    But it's never as simple as that, and don't pretend that it is. Some people can grab your attention precisely because you're not the top guy. Or, because your rise to the top is the story, but it's not so interesting once you are there. Plenty of people who were amazing, until they won the title. Ultimate Warrior is a great example of someone who was incredibly over, and all signs pointed to success, and had the company behind him... And then didn't achieve what was hoped. Plenty of others as well.

    And this isn't to say rey couldn't have been a successful champion and top draw. But his run on 2005 into 2006 was not the way to get there. I loved the story, I popped as much as anyone in the Allstate Arena as I was there when he won the title. I was a fan and super happy and excited.

    But, it didn't work, and it wasn't just the postMania booking or Vince.

    It'll always amaze how much the internet fanbase claims unset their favourites are EVERYONE'S favourites. But it's just not true.

  9. #9
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    The problem with the Warrior example is that Vince was behind him and then he pulled the plug when it didn’t work. He was never behind Rey so its more of a what if than anything.

    I dont think Rey would be a great champion long term as in getting multiple reigns because he started having injury problems after that

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    But it's never as simple as that, and don't pretend that it is. Some people can grab your attention precisely because you're not the top guy. Or, because your rise to the top is the story, but it's not so interesting once you are there. Plenty of people who were amazing, until they won the title. Ultimate Warrior is a great example of someone who was incredibly over, and all signs pointed to success, and had the company behind him... And then didn't achieve what was hoped. Plenty of others as well.
    Ultimate Warrior's run was considered disappointing because he was doing far worse numbers than Hogan, could not even carry a match to a Hogan level, and there were other personal problems with him and Vince, which ultimately led to what they did. None of this happened with Rey. He continued to sell merch and draw the sensational ratings he drew.

    If you don't accept numbers, then you're just going off extremely subjective intangible non-falsifiable and non-verifiable metrics like 'credibility' that are totally useless, and impossible to reach agreement upon.


    It'll always amaze how much the internet fanbase claims unset their favourites are EVERYONE'S favourites. But it's just not true.
    Rey Mysterio is not one of my personal favourites. I was cheering for Angle in those days, and was very disappointed that I didn't get an Undertaker-Angle rematch at Wrestlemania from No Way out. His numbers, which - especially then - were the ultimate metric of a wrestler's success suggests that it's your view and Vince's view that was in the minority, not mine.

    I think some people are just stuck mentally in the 80s WWF when it was a completely different bodybuilder giant centric world, and haven't gotten the message that the rest of the world, and even casual wrestling fans, have moved on, evolved, and don't care about that stuff nearly as much as they once did.

    I talk to a lot MMA/UFC fans, and 'credibility' is something they never bring up. They all know it's fake. They only judge based on how 'cool' or 'entertaining' it is. And usually the ones who don't like it complain about cheesy and cringeworthy promos, not that they didn't buy this or that wrestler as a 'credible' champion.

    We're at a point where the real actual sports have people like Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor as their biggest, most popular and successful stars, even though absolutely no normal person would find them to be intimating or threatening if they ran into them in real life, meanwhile here we are, the fans of the transparently worked 'sport', debating 'I wonder if others find wrestle X to be a credible champion'.
    Last edited by Alan; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:33 AM.

  11. #11
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    The problem is we can't know for sure if Rey would've alienated people because, as mizfan and others have repeatedly pointed out, he never got the chance to look like a credible champion to begin with. Like it's amazing to me that anyone can even remotely defend making their top champion lose that much in non title defenses. Especially since most of the guys mizfan listed aren't big guys! Mark Henry, Kane and Great Khali are yes, but Finlay? Rob Van Dam? Kurt Angle? Sabu?! I'm going to need to start hitting the bottle if arguments are going to be made in favor of Rey not looking credible enough to beat those guys.

    Look maybe Rey would've fallen on its face. I can't dismiss Pen and Coach's arguments outright because there are clearly still people who need every wrestler to be 6'0 or up or otherwise they should be jobbers or out of the business. But at the end of the day we'll never know because Rey never did get a legit shot. And there were ways to do that without him having him run through big guys. He could've had exciting feuds with Rob Van Dam (the Money in the Bank briefcase holder at the time and a constant upper mid card/main event scene player), Kurt Angle (who he had looked credible against in the past), Fit Finlay, Booker T, Randy Orton and even Kane and JBL (who Mysterio retired twice without people bitching all that much). WWE could've moved a few people over to Smackdown, like Edge, to make him a credible challenger. There were other options there besides throwing Rey against Mark Henry, a guy who wasn't ready for the spot he was in, and The Great Khali, a guy who hadn't been on the main roster for two months and who certainly wasn't ready for the spot he was in, and having him squashed. But we couldn't do that because Vince (according to everyone who worked there at the time) had already made up his mind. Sure maybe it wouldn't have worked. But we'll never know because the right way to approach a Rey title victory was never used.


  12. #12
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    For me the problem here is overexposure, and it's more to do with the amount of wrestling there is to fill. I can buy a smaller guy in that role if he's seen as a once in a lifetime talent, and I could totally get Rey in that role. But the thing is, I always know that deep down, a if the big guy and the little guy are fairly evenly matched, the big guy will win more often than not. Even so, if you present someone as genuinely special then I'll buy it, and if I see Rey wrestle in his world title matches once a month and win them, then I'll buy it.

    If I see Rey wrestling more often than that and he loses all the time in non-title matches, then yeah, you probably do lose faith in him anyway. But equally, if I see Rey wrestle every week and he wins as often as he loses against guys with 50lbs on him, then after a while I start thinking they can't be that fucking good.

    If it'd been a situation where the champion is only really seen on PPV, then they could have gotten away with it. But he was working on TV most weeks as champ, and that's a no-win scenario if you want to hold on to anyone who likes a sporting presentation. It's basically the same principle as just because you've done it with Rey, that's not carte blanche to do it with everyone the same size.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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    I think one of the issues could be that Rey as much as I love the guy, is his offense wasn't impactful enough to get past the whole crediablity for some people.. Me I don't give a shit but like I can get into bigger/smaller guy matches when the smaller guy is able to systematically take them down and submit them because bigger guys are slower, less stamina etc.. Whereas Rey used momentum and it looks more um fake when guys 100 pounds or more would bump for him. If he had a finish that was a submission based and something they put over strong, maybe it works more for others.

    Even still, the reign as I always thought was bad but just winning it was enough for me. Rey Mysterio is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, most of if not all his peers respect the hell out of the guy. A bad title reign doesn't mar his career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LK3185 View Post
    The problem with the Warrior example is that Vince was behind him and then he pulled the plug when it didn’t work. He was never behind Rey so its more of a what if than anything.

    I dont think Rey would be a great champion long term as in getting multiple reigns because he started having injury problems after that
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    Ultimate Warrior's run was considered disappointing because he was doing far worse numbers than Hogan, could not even carry a match to a Hogan level, and there were other personal problems with him and Vince, which ultimately led to what they did. None of this happened with Rey. He continued to sell merch and draw the sensational ratings he drew.

    If you don't accept numbers, then you're just going off extremely subjective intangible non-falsifiable and non-verifiable metrics like 'credibility' that are totally useless, and impossible to reach agreement upon.

    Rey Mysterio is not one of my personal favourites. I was cheering for Angle in those days, and was very disappointed that I didn't get an Undertaker-Angle rematch at Wrestlemania from No Way out. His numbers, which - especially then - were the ultimate metric of a wrestler's success suggests that it's your view and Vince's view that was in the minority, not mine.

    I think some people are just stuck mentally in the 80s WWF when it was a completely different bodybuilder giant centric world, and haven't gotten the message that the rest of the world, and even casual wrestling fans, have moved on, evolved, and don't care about that stuff nearly as much as they once did.

    I talk to a lot MMA/UFC fans, and 'credibility' is something they never bring up. They all know it's fake. They only judge based on how 'cool' or 'entertaining' it is. And usually the ones who don't like it complain about cheesy and cringeworthy promos, not that they didn't buy this or that wrestler as a 'credible' champion.

    We're at a point where the real actual sports have people like Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor as their biggest, most popular and successful stars, even though absolutely no normal person would find them to be intimating or threatening if they ran into them in real life, meanwhile here we are, the fans of the transparently worked 'sport', debating 'I wonder if others find wrestle X to be a credible champion'.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    The problem is we can't know for sure if Rey would've alienated people because, as mizfan and others have repeatedly pointed out, he never got the chance to look like a credible champion to begin with. Like it's amazing to me that anyone can even remotely defend making their top champion lose that much in non title defenses. Especially since most of the guys mizfan listed aren't big guys! Mark Henry, Kane and Great Khali are yes, but Finlay? Rob Van Dam? Kurt Angle? Sabu?! I'm going to need to start hitting the bottle if arguments are going to be made in favor of Rey not looking credible enough to beat those guys.

    Look maybe Rey would've fallen on its face. I can't dismiss Pen and Coach's arguments outright because there are clearly still people who need every wrestler to be 6'0 or up or otherwise they should be jobbers or out of the business. But at the end of the day we'll never know because Rey never did get a legit shot. And there were ways to do that without him having him run through big guys. He could've had exciting feuds with Rob Van Dam (the Money in the Bank briefcase holder at the time and a constant upper mid card/main event scene player), Kurt Angle (who he had looked credible against in the past), Fit Finlay, Booker T, Randy Orton and even Kane and JBL (who Mysterio retired twice without people bitching all that much). WWE could've moved a few people over to Smackdown, like Edge, to make him a credible challenger. There were other options there besides throwing Rey against Mark Henry, a guy who wasn't ready for the spot he was in, and The Great Khali, a guy who hadn't been on the main roster for two months and who certainly wasn't ready for the spot he was in, and having him squashed. But we couldn't do that because Vince (according to everyone who worked there at the time) had already made up his mind. Sure maybe it wouldn't have worked. But we'll never know because the right way to approach a Rey title victory was never used.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    For me the problem here is overexposure, and it's more to do with the amount of wrestling there is to fill. I can buy a smaller guy in that role if he's seen as a once in a lifetime talent, and I could totally get Rey in that role. But the thing is, I always know that deep down, a if the big guy and the little guy are fairly evenly matched, the big guy will win more often than not. Even so, if you present someone as genuinely special then I'll buy it, and if I see Rey wrestle in his world title matches once a month and win them, then I'll buy it.

    If I see Rey wrestling more often than that and he loses all the time in non-title matches, then yeah, you probably do lose faith in him anyway. But equally, if I see Rey wrestle every week and he wins as often as he loses against guys with 50lbs on him, then after a while I start thinking they can't be that fucking good.

    If it'd been a situation where the champion is only really seen on PPV, then they could have gotten away with it. But he was working on TV most weeks as champ, and that's a no-win scenario if you want to hold on to anyone who likes a sporting presentation. It's basically the same principle as just because you've done it with Rey, that's not carte blanche to do it with everyone the same size.
    Quote Originally Posted by LK3185 View Post
    I think one of the issues could be that Rey as much as I love the guy, is his offense wasn't impactful enough to get past the whole crediablity for some people.. Me I don't give a shit but like I can get into bigger/smaller guy matches when the smaller guy is able to systematically take them down and submit them because bigger guys are slower, less stamina etc.. Whereas Rey used momentum and it looks more um fake when guys 100 pounds or more would bump for him. If he had a finish that was a submission based and something they put over strong, maybe it works more for others.

    Even still, the reign as I always thought was bad but just winning it was enough for me. Rey Mysterio is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, most of if not all his peers respect the hell out of the guy. A bad title reign doesn't mar his career.
    A lot of people saying “they didn't even try with Rey.”

    And you're not wrong, but they tried with plenty of others who did fail. I brought up Warrior, but if you really need more examples of crowning Wrestlemania moments that didn't pan out to expectations, then ok. Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit come to mind. This isn't to say they were boring, or they weren't over, and didn't have metrics going their way. But once they were given the title, the magic was gone. Their title reigns didn't achieve expectations. And if I saw undersized guys who rose to the top in my company, and didn't really movethe needle, then the next time I had an undersized guy, I might handle it differently. You know, common sense?
    And in no way am I saying booking shouldn't have been better. Nor am I saying Rey shouldn't have been treated the way you are hoping. I think it's always better for the booker to at least try. And WWE definitely didn't try with Rey.

    What I'm saying is I understand why they didn't try. And I'm also not saying I know better than anyone else with my opinions. But there's more than enough metrics that smaller guys do have a harder tim getting/staying over than those who have a physical advantage.

    Alan made an incredibly ignorant statement with “I think some people are just stuck mentally in the 80s WWF when it was a completely different bodybuilder giant centric world, and haven't gotten the message that the rest of the world, and even casual wrestling fans, have moved on, evolved, and don't care about that stuff nearly as much as they once did.

    I'll correct it to be accurate.

    “..they haven't gotten to message that SOME of the rest of the world, and even SOME casual wrestling fans, have moved on...”

    When Daniel Bryan had his crowning moment, I had some pretty avid wrestling fans in Halifax where I lived at the time. And many of them stopped watching after WMXXX because they couldn't buy him tapping out Batista. I didn't agree, but I saw why they felt that way. And to pretend these fans don't exist, and to think the answer is just to go ahead and book these smaller guys to be dominant over giants, is ridiculous. Sometimes that's the answer, but sometimes it's not. Sometimes a smaller guy can be a credible champion, and sometimes it doesn't work.

    And to think the reason why Rey should have been champion longer or with more dominant wins is because he sold more T-shirts... then Kofi should have beaten Brock in 7 seconds instead of vice versa. New Day merch sells like hot cakes, and more than Brock merch. (this isn't defending Brock crushing Kofi, and Kofi just disappearing from the main event, by the way. I'm still recovering from that awful booking decision)

    And it doesn't take more than a cursory glance online to see the pushback Kofi received with his reign. Despite being rather dominant, many “smart fans” had issues with him winning cleanly so often. It wasn't due to size really (though I did see a few comment on his concave Nate Diaz chest as a flaw), but because he was not on that solid a run leading up to his win, and then beat Daniel Bryan. But Vince/WWE seemingly saw that the rise to the top for Kofi was worth the risk. His winning moment was amazing, and likely the match of the night for most. But afterwards, it seems like Vince saw they were painted into a corner. Do they treat Kofi like they did Rey, or do they book him better?

    They decided to book him like they did with CM Punk. Give him a title, but it's essentially the midcard title. Never the true main event. Kofi won, and looked impressive in all his matches. But the drama just didn't seem to reach what anyone was hoping for. There are a variety of reasons. But part of it was because the magic was the rise and victory to get to the top. But once he became champion... the magic was gone.

    WWE didn't try hard enough with Rey, you'll get no argument from me on that. But they did try with many similar to Rey, and it didn't work. So I get why they didn't try with Rey. It's logic and common sense.

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    Even if Kofi had a fantastic reign, he was still going to lose to Brock. Maybe not the way he did, it wouldnt have been my idea but it feels like something Fox would want. That’s why talking about title reigns is a little too much subjective speculation because there’s other factors we cant say for certain that come into play.

    Alot of people say Jinder was world Champion because of the India deal but no one in power is really going to say that

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    I will concede that there are some people out there who still think about the size to that extent, I have seen them at PPVs at bars. I just don't think there's enough of them to worry about anymore. You can't win all of the people, ever, anyway.

    ---

    I'm not a Jinder fan in the least, and I think his reign was a travesty, but they didn't even execute the idea they had with any competence. You want your new Khali-like ethnic champion to break into the nascent Indian market? Fine. But they rushed it all so quickly and did no promotion work, so it never even mattered. It was just a waste all around. I don't think Jinder, even if all the cards had been played right was going to be become what they wanted him to become, but they didn't even play the cards right.

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    I've also seen them in movie theatres, as they watch action flicks with giant super hero type stars. Or how the UFC still puts huge marketing into their heavyweight division. The fact is that the intrigue into a super human looking athlete is undeniable. This isn't to say smaller guys can't draw. But they do start with a disadvantage out of the gates. Like all visual media, attention spans are prone to lose interest of there isn't something making an immediate impression. Athleticism can't hold a candle over a super hero physique. You can capture Brock's immense presence in a still photo, but you can't capture Reys agility in one.

    Denying that size matters will only frustrate yourself. This isn't about Vince being obsessed with his 80s eras giants. It's Vince knowing for a fact that an impressive look grab attention in ways nothing else in wrestling can. A hulking monster doesn't need 5 seconds to execute a high flying death defying move. Just a stare in the camera can get the same job done.

    This also isn't to say that athleticism isn't a factor. But it's a factor that you need extended time to showcase, unlike size and musculature. It's the same reason most female wrestlers are attractive, as their looks are part of marketing themselves.



    Jinder was a worthwhile experiment, and wasn't nearly as bad as many claim. But you're absolutely right, the mistake wasn't in his run at the top, but how he got there. It's in fact similar to my argument about the suggestion that Rey should suddenly become dominant with clean victories once he became champion. Jinder was a jobber, who suddenly won the title, and we were meant to take it seriously. He should have earned more on his way to the top, and regained some sense of realism. Having trouble with Mojo Rawley shouldn't lead to defeating Orton a couple of times in a row. And if the goal was to promote the expansion into India, then a clean winning record would have helped with that. Losing a bunch, and then becoming the main event Honky Tonk Man is no way to become a star.

  18. #18
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,220
    Ha, stirred up a bit more than I thought I would!

    For Rey, I'll concede that it doesn't necessarily matter why he beat Orton and JBL, and I'll certainly concede WWE's booking of Rey was far from dominant or perfect prior to his title win. I really don't have a problem admitting that Rey might have been unsuccessful even if he was booked perfectly. But, as Pen very rightly alluded to, they didn't even try with him. He was booked like a chump who lost over and over again just weeks out of the gate. On top of that, let's not forget he was booked to tap out behind the ref's back in the same match he won the title. The guy with the biggest heart in wrestling who was fighting for the memory of his dead best friend tapped out a couple minutes into his big title match! So yeah, from day 1 it's clear that someone, be it Vince or others, didn't really want to try with Rey. And to me, that's bad booking for a champion!

    Regarding Simmons, I certainly agree he was never intended to be the guy, and it's not like they portrayed him as a complete chump (well, at least not on the Mysterio level). But why stick the title on a guy for almost half the year with no plans to really try him as a big deal? I don't get the idea of putting the top title on a guy you have no faith in or no plans for.

    Certainly anyone post-1998 in WCW could qualify here, just because of how much stupid crap came out of first Nash and then Russo.

    Glad Cult mentioned Sting, because even though I'm iffy on whether the guy was ever well fitted for the spot, he was certainly hamstrung by bad booking during a lot of his shots with the title. Lest we forget, his first title win led to a pre-match promo where he scolded the crowd for not respecting Ric Flair enough! (Though whether he was booked to do that isn't something I'm sure of). Lame angles like the Black Scorpion dogged him early on, and after he became the Crow his crowning win became infamously tainted right away, and things went downhill from there.

    Luger in 91-92 could have been much better, for sure... I honestly liked his feuds with both Simmons and Rick Steiner but they should have been secondary feuds in between the bigger matches that never seemed to come for him.

    Bray Wyatt's reign is a good call, even in an era of poorly booked champions that was a rough one! And Orton's first reign too was mentioned, terrible decision to turn him face right out of the gate considering he only had experience as a heel and was really only popular for being so good at being a cocky asshole. Coming up short to Triple H of course didn't help either, and the whole thing set him back badly after a super promising year prior to the win.

    Warrior feels to me like a case where the booking was there but Warrior just wasn't up to shouldering the company the way Hogan did, plus with Hogan still hanging around it was always going to be tough to look like the top star.

    Mixed feelings on Jinder... I wasn't really a fan and obviously there was a lot of fan backlash. Prepping him better for the role absolutely would have helped a lot.

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