The Miz Test

I have to go back to this idea that fans have an obligation to boo the heels. I disagree with it so much that I have to say something even if it comes off as repetitive. For this I will use the Miz Test.

The Miz Test is simple (I should note that I named it after the Miz, but it could be any heel). The hypothetical example is if the Miz is wrestling Seth Rollins, Finn Balor or real. y any other babyface and you as a fan want the Miz to win, then you should not boo him. It’s not real heat if you are only booing him because you think you are supposed to. I hesitate to say “should not boo him,” because I believe fans should be able to do what they want. At the same time, booing a heel just because that is the role he or she plays is something that I would argue does not really help anything, which is especially true now.

In this era where WWE says any reaction is a good reaction, booing a heel just because he or she is a heel only hurts the performer in this sense….who knows what WWE could have on their hands if fans reacted viscerally at all times. WWE may be casting the next big babyface as a heel, when they could have the next merchandise-selling money drawing babyface.

I have made this argument before, booing a heel just because that performer is a heel is as meta as cheering a heel because you think he or she is a good performer. Any reaction where the fan has to think is meta, which is actually the basis for the flawed argument that heels should be booed.

Ultimately, it is like a writer said (not Wade Keller, he is too close-minded and stuck in what wrestling was to see what I am about to say), heel heat that does not lead to drawing money is almost useless. I won’t say completely useless because the appearance of a strong heel-face dynamic does at least sound good. At the same time, it does not really help, especially today when fans are so dispassionate about heels. Indeed, heels today get boos because fans are trying to help (the point of this post) or because the fans do not want to see the wrestler and are booing to express their satisfaction or because the heel does something cheap that the fans are obviously going to boo. People are so concerned about cheers and boos that they are settling for boos that are not really heat.

My wish is for all fans to react naturally and then the company’s response to that will likely lead to better numbers. One thing, I am not saying that a really strong face-heel dynamic will not draw in wrestling. What I am saying is that people are confusing boos for heat and the former is not going to lead to uptick in business. In fact the former in today’s wrestling is more of a sign of indifference than emotional connection to the product.


What Wrestling Character am I Most Like?

In my first post for this blog, I mentioned some wrestling characters that I have commonalities with. Since then I have started watching New Japan Pro Wrestling and that has introduced me to more characters that remind me of who I am in real life. This post will be naming some wrestlers (including those in NJPW) who remind me of…me.

C.M Punk

Why? Anti-authority, felt/feels like he does not get enough respect, not afraid to say what he thinks of someone.

Eddie Kingston


Steve Austin

Why? Well, I don’t drink…but I am anti-authority. I also do not care for most people.


Why? Brooding, angsy, can be emo, feels rejected by society.

Tetsuya Naito

This is the guy. I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I wish I was more like his character…I kind of am. When you look deeply into his character, he never stopped caring about acceptance, he just acts like he does not care. The WrestleKingdom match shows that he does still care…just like I still care. That does not mean he is not anti-authority because he is (just like me). That does not mean that he does not lack effort at times when working on lower-leverage situations because he does (just like me). That does not mean he is not still angry about being rejected by his society because he is (just like me). That does not mean he does not like to have fun because he does (just like me).


Another Analogy-Nakamura and Me

So last analogy was between soap opera character Jake McKinnon and A.J Styles  (in terms of how they both got me into another soap opera and wrestling promotion respectively). This analogy is between me and Shinsuke Nakamura which is argument for him winning the Royal Rumble. I’m not hellbent on Nakamura winning the Royal Rumble, but if it were up to me I would have him win it.

Now, Nakamura is popular, but he has underachieved on the main roster when it comes to said popularity. While some of that can be contributed to WWE’s writing and booking, Nakamura has not had the level of performance on the main roster that could get past that questionable writing and booking. That is where the analogy comes in.

When I was a freshman and sophomore in high school, I did very well in math. In my junior year, I struggled early in the semester with the advanced concepts. My math teacher and the math supervisor knew that I was not applying myself. The decision they made to get me back on track was certainly unconventional…they made me a math tutor. The idea was to get me around math so that I could get back in the proverbial groove. Anything that I had trouble with in my current class is something that I would be able to get help with. I would certainly be able to help students at lower levels (because I did so well in 9th and 10th grade math). More than anything for me (here is the essence of the analogy), it was my first paying job. In other words, I was essentially rewarded for underachieving…but that was not the goal of Mr. Miller. The goal of Mr. Miller was to motivate me to be a better student by giving me more responsibility.

One could argue that Nakamura does not “deserve” to win the Royal Rumble because he is not over enough and/or has not worked hard enough. My argument is that putting him in a top 3 or 4 match at Wrestlemania for the WWE Championship versus A.J Styles can be the motivation that he needs to be the Nakamura that we know he can be. Just like I needed to be motivated into the reward instead of being motivated for a reward. While there is no telling what will happen with Nakamura after this match (ie: the Styles match may be great, but that does not mean he will be great afterwards). It is time for Nakamura to have a standout performance. We can worry about later…later.

I should add that there are more reasons Nakamura should win, but I am just going to stay with the analogy.

Clash of the Champions-Random Thoughts

I randomly (legitimately randomly…I used random number generator) watched Clash of Champions V on WWE Network yesterday. There were a few things that stood out to me, one of them was how hot the crowd was for the Midnight Express-Russian Assassins match. WWE would love to have a crowd like that for their main events. Jim Cornette was so over as a babyface. I am not shocked, but I was surprised.

The thing is I am not a big fan of Cleveland Ohio (personal reasons), but that crowd was amazing.

Speaking of long-time heels being over as a babyface, Ric Flair was more popular with the crowd (I could even argue much more popular) than Ricky Steamboat in the angle leading to their Chi-Town Rumble match, which was taking place a few days later. The difference between Ric Flair and the Midnight Express was that the latter were supposed to be babyfaces. One thing that I thought watching the Flair-Steamboat angle with Flair flaunting several women and Steamboat preaching family values was that there is little difference between how crowds responded almost 30 years ago and how they would respond now. In other words, this was a modern crowd in terms of how they took Flair and Steamboat.

I think that Butch Reed-Scott Casey match is still going on.

I feel asleep before the Six Man Tag Team Title match.

Bullet Club and Why I Hate People…

This could actually go to my personal/life blog just as much as this one. So there is this go to insult of wrestling fans which is they are somehow lesser people or to quote Gallows and Anderson (which is appropriate for the point that I am making) “nerds” if fhey wear Bullet Club t-shirts. Granted, there is a stigma with anyone who likes wrestling so much that they wear wrestling t-shirts. At the same time, it is somehow worse when they wear Bullet Club t-shirts.

I have several problems with this, but the biggest issue that I have is that it is saying that someone who likes wrestling enough to know what Bullet Club is should be insulted for seeking out non-WWE wrestling. The people who do the insulting are always wrestling fans (a non-wrestling fan is unlikely to know what Bullet Club is). That is the epitome of the self-loathing wrestling fan. Why would a wrestling fan see another fan wearing a t-shirt or hat or hoodie of the Bullet Club and assume that the person is some basement-dwelling, anti-social loser? By the way, there is nothing wrong with being basement-dwelling or anti-social (as long as it does not manifest itself through hurting other people). It’s that superior, judgmental garbage that is why I am anti-social.

I have issues with the NJPW/ROH/PWG fan who is an elitist when it comes to those promotions compared to WWE, but what I have described above is much worse and from my perspective-it is by far the most annoying thing that wrestling fans do. What’s wrong with liking something so much (when it comes to entertainment) that you are a fan of different versions of the same genre?

There is nothing wrong with just liking WWE. The only exceptions are people who cannot find anything good to say about it, but keep watching WWE exclusively (JD from NY) and those who wish to be an authority on wrestling while only watching WWE (Wade Keller). Other than that, wrestling is entertainment, there is no obligation to watch anything one does not want to watch. Just like there is nothing wrong with enjoying wrestling so much that you know what the Bullet Club is.


WrestleKingdom Thoughts Part II

IC Title Match

This is a case where having a great match could and should be enough for Jay White. Moreover, if White loses here, it actually frees him up to win the New Japan Cup which might do just as much or more than winning the IC championship. At the same time, Tanahashi is banged up and may take time off after Wrestlekingdom so having White as the Intercontinental champion may be a necessity. My thoughts are essentially based on Tanahashi’s ability to wrestle going forward. If Tanahashi needs significant time off, then this is a perfect opportunity for him to drop the IC title now and get healthy for the Spring and Summer. If they have big plans for Jay White beyond this title and Tanahashi can give them one more big event, then Tanahashi should and probably will win.

US Title Match

I am pretty sure that Omega is going to beat Jericho. I am also pretty sure that he will do it at WrestleKingdom…but that is not automatic. There is a New Japan event called Strong Style Evolved on March 25th so Omega could beat Jericho on that event. I am not usually for even-steven booking, especially when the idea is to get a new person over. At the same time, this could be more than just about Omega. In fact, it is more than about Omega. Anecdotal evidence says that Jericho wrestling at WrestleKingdom has at least gotten people interested enough to check out this show. If this is Jericho’s only match with New Japan, then obviously Omega should win. If not, the only question is whether or not it is a negative to have Omega lose at WK which will have a bigger international audience than Strong Style Evolved. Then again, Jericho could always put over Omega twice. Let’s also not forget the social media friction between Jericho and Naito which could lead to a match between those two, but Jericho does not need to beat Omega to have a match with Naito, even the Naito match is for the world title. I’ll say Omega because Jericho does not have to beat him to do more with NJPW and if he does not do more-the result is obvious.

World Title Match

Personally, I would love to see Naito win..but as I have learned from those who have followed NJPW longer than I have…the Ace does not lose at WK. Someone on Reddit brought up a good point, if you have followed Naito’s story…this could easily be another chapter in the story. In other words, once he comes out for the main event…that is a triumph in the Naito story. Naito does not have to beat Okada right now. I think he should eventually and if it was me, it would be this year…but Okada winning is not a bad choice.

One argument against Okada is that there is no one left for him to face. I thought so too. Then I was walking to the store and I thought of several more challengers who he has not gone through in this reign (or finished telling the story with in this reign). There is Jay White, Zack Sabre, a heel Goto, Ishii, a tiebreaker with Omega, a rematch with Naito and even Jericho. In essence, there are fresh matches no matter who wins. I went from being all in on Naito to trusting Gedo and enjoying whatever happens.

Wrestlekingdom 12 Thoughts Part I

I am very excited for Wrestlekingdom 12. There has been some talk that this particular card is a setup for the future more than it is a standalone card. I am fine with that, although there is only one match that I would have done differently (Suzuki against Ishii instead of Goto) so as a standalone show, it is fine with me. I am just going to talk about the show with a limited structure…even though I think I may get the match order right by accident.

Junior Tag Title Match

This could go either way and be fine. A win would do wonders for Roppongi 3K. At the same time, barring injury-Roppongi 3K will get their win over the Young Bucks. The Young Bucks certainly do not have to win to be over, especially with North American fans. At the same time, because this is such a tough match to call…I lean towards the Young Bucks because more North American fans are going to be watching this show…including people who have never seen the Young Bucks so for those fans (especially if wins and losses matter to those fans). Roppongi 3K will have their time.

Six Man Title Match

Well, we are almost 100 percent sure that War Machine and Elgin will not win. That leaves Chaos, Suzuki-Gun and Bullet Club. I think that the Bullet Club or Chaos team makes the most sense. There is a chance that they are getting Fale ready for Naito (if Naito wins the title), to me that means booking him strong and having him win this match. They switch the titles a lot and I am intrigued by Ishii, Yano and Baretta as a team…so like I said either Chaos or Bullet Club.

Ibushi vs Cody

Very interesting match here. There is part of me that thinks that Cody lost the ROH title just so he could also lose this match. Furthermore while Ibushi is not signed, I am almost positive that he is going to have a major match with Kenny Omega so he (Ibushi) should be kept strong for that. Certainly with the potential BC split coming the history between Omega and Ibushi could influence this match. For example, Cody could be aggressive in an “inappropriate” way to get at Omega. Then again, would you want Omega and Ibushi to be overtly aligned before the two have their match? Another option is that Cody could lose to Ibushi and then Ibushi could lose to Omega which makes Cody jealous. Yeah…this is interesting.

Tag Team Titles-Heavyweight

I like Evil and Sanada as a change of pace. I agree with the sentiment that the heavyweight tag division is the weakest part of NJPW in many ways. I actually enjoy KES, but it does not seem to be working so why not go with something fresh? They still need more teams so hopefully Best Friends are part of the NJPW tag division this year.

Never Openweight Title

I would have preferred Ishii in this match. My idea since I knew this was the planned match was that Goto was going to win to make up for the two losses to Suzuki in 2017. I would have Goto lose and join Suzuki-Gun (maybe as soon as New Year’s Dash). Goto with a new look (shaved head) could do wonders for him. He feels stale, which is a shame because he is a very good wrestler with a strong theme song. Suzuki will be fine either way and if he loses that opens him up to win the New Japan Cup…but I think it is more important to freshen up Goto. I should also mention that this match more than any other on the card has “trust Gedo” all over it because Ishii is a fresher and better matchup in my eyes and in the eyes of many others.

Junior Title

I would go with Takahashi here. I mentioned Goto being stale, I get the same feeling about Kushida. I don’t think he should win unless he is turning heel. The other two are strong choices. I think this is where NPJW has to be careful about going with so many foreigners at the expense of Japanese talent. I personally do not mind either way…to me talent is talent, but I just wonder if NJPW feels the same way. I’m okay with any of the other three besides Kushida winning (unless he turns heel like I said) I am a fan of Kushida, but it seems underwhelming just to re-establish him as the ace when it seems like his popularity is regressing. I think it is first fall wins so Ospreay winning without beating Scurll is a good story going forward (even if it is elimination that story could still be told). I think Takahashi is the best of all options