Feudin' and Fussin' in World Wrestling Entertainment
Well, World Wrestling Entertainment, formerly the World Wrestling Federation, recently had one of its monthly pay-per-view events (This one was called "No Mercy"). Since probably very few of you actually watch wrestling right now (considering how low its ratings are) and most likely still consider it to be just like it was back in the days of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, or maybe The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, I just thought I'd let all y'all know about the current feuds that led up to the matches at this last pay-per-view.
First let me define some terms:
A fued is basically when two or more wrestlers dislike each other and want to have matches with each other so they can beat each other up. Basically. There are a few ways feuds usually start:
- Quest for the Gold:
This is when one wrestler holds a championship and the other wants it. Pretty much the most basic way to start a feud.
Sometimes two wrestlers just don't like each other, or one is jealous of the other, or thinks the other is a jerk, or thinks he's better than the other. Stuff like that. This one is also pretty basic.
This is usually when one wreslter is giving a promo and insults another wrestler, his hometown, his IQ, his friends, or something like that, whether purposefully or accidentally. A feud a couple of years ago started because one wrestler accidentally spilled coffee on another (that feud lasted almost three months).
One wrestler thinks that another wrestler is his friend, until that wrestler suprisingly turns on him, becoming his enemy. This is often accompanied with a turn.
Sometimes wrestlers have some hidden history together that gets brought to light and causes them to hate each other. For example, the wrestlers Kane and the Undertaker are supposed to be brothers, and when they were kids Undertaker burned down thier house and killed their parents and burned Kane's face. They've had a lot of feuds over the years.
- Quest for the Gold:
A good guy. The term face is actually short for "babyface."
A bad guy. The term is actually short for "dirty heel."
When you switch from being a face to a heel (called a "heel turn") or from a heel to a face (called a "face turn").
Okay, that should give you enough so you can understand this article. There were eight matches during the pay-per-view, and since I'm lazy I'm only going to talk about the matches that were generated by the wrestlers from the Smackdown! show (shown on Thursdays). Also because I think the other show, Monday Night Raw, pretty much sucks right now. So here they were:
Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie:
Dawn Marie (heel) just doesn't like Torrie Wilson (face) becuase the audience always thinks that Torrie is prettier. Leading up to No Mercy the two had a series of beauty competitoins in which the audience got to judge, and they chose Torrie every time.
An interesting twist in this feud started when Torrie's (real life) father, Al Wilson, showed up at an event to wish her good luck, and Dawn Marie totally hit on him. Al showed up for the next couple of weeks, and each time Dawn would hit on him more and more, eventually giving him the key to her hotel room. Three days before No Mercy, Torrie caught Dawn and her father in the shower together. Al for some reason was fully clothed. I laughed for a long time. Torrie didn't think it was quite as funny, and Torrie and Dawn had an actual wrestling match at No Mercy.
I actually thought this feud was pretty funny. I like humorous feuds. And the fact that Al Wilson was played by the real Al Wilson was just great.
Is this the end of the feud? Could be, but since there are only three women on Smackdown! right now, there's not that many people they can feud with. I could see this one going for another month or so.
WWE Cruiserweight Champhionship:
Tajiri vs. Jamie Noble
Tajiri and Noble used to be two heel friends, united by the fact that Noble would "share" his girlfriend, Nidia, with Tajiri. When Nidia and Noble started to have some relationship problems they decided to have a wrestling match. Tajiri, being both thier friends, was the special guest referee. After the match, which Noble won, Nidia and Noble made up, made out, and then for some reason attacked Tajiri. Then three days later they had a match at No Mercy.
Honestly. This is one of the most half-assed matches I've seen. They just threw it together at the last minute. They didn't even announce that it was going to be on the pay-per-view until the day of. It's not even clear if they're having Tajiri do a face turn or what. The only way they could possibly salvage this is if these two continue to have a feud that keeps building until the next pay-per-view. Otherwise what a dumbass feud! The sad thing is, I really like all these characters. They're all really funny. But even I didn't care a damn about this match. There was absolutely no heat going into it.
WWE Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals:
Rey Mysterio & Edge vs. Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit
Since the tag team champions were exclusive to Monday Night Raw, Smackdown! general manager Stephanie McMahon decided to start a tournament to crown Smackdown!'s own tag team champions. This way each show would have their own set of tag belts. These were the two teams that ended up in the final match at No Mercy.
This match was really, really interesting because even though it wasn't decided until three days before No Mercy, there is a lot of history between all of these competitors. Edge (face) and Angle (heel) had a feud that lasted some three months earlier this year. Mysterio (face) also had a short feud with Angle, and a match with Benoit (heel). All these matches have been some of the most spectacular matches in recent memory. These are four of my favorite characters right now. Edge is very witty and pulls off spectacular match after spectacular match. Mysterio is the most awe-inspiring high-flying wrestler you've ever seen. Angle is one of my favorite wrestling characters of all time. He's a real-life Olympic gold medalist in wrestling (1996), and is just really a foot-in-the-mouth dorky whiteboy who's full of himself, but can actually back it up by beating just about anybody out there. Benoit has a long and well-deserved reputation as being one of the best wrestlers in the history of the business. He's kind of the silent, menacing type, even though he's not even six feet tall.
But what's really interesting about this match is that going into it, the real feud was between Angle and Chris Benoit. The two have been feuding for the past two months. Benoit defeated Angle in a one-on-one match at the previous pay-per-view. It's really rare to have heel-heel feuds, but because both of these guys are SO good in the ring it really worked. Their matches have been fabulous.
When Stephanie forced Angle and Benoit to be a tag team together, the interest became seeing if these two heels who absolutely hated each other's guts could actually function as a coherent tag team. Their matches were great because they kept trying to one-up each other and prove that they were the better individual wrestler. Somehow they kept managing to win matches, and they eventually started to function as a good, coherent team. The really interesting thing is that it looks kind of like they might be turning both Angle and Benoit face through this whole thing.
This is probably the end of the "feud." It looks like Benoit and Angle will go on to have a feud with the heel team of the Guerreros. Edge and Mysterio will likely split up (they were just kind of put together randomly anyway) and continue on in singles competition.
WWE Championship; Hell in a Cell:
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. The Undertaker
This feud started out pretty simple. Brock is the young, rookie, unstoppable newcomer champion. Undertaker is the experienced veteran who has seen people like Brock come and go by the dozen. Undertaker won a match to become the Number One Contender for the championship. He wanted Brock's championship. The two had a pretty intense feud leading up to the previous pay-per-view, but the match they had for the championship was eventually stopped becuase the referees kept getting beat up, so it was a no-contest and Brock got to hang onto his title.
Then things started to get interesting. Brock and his manager, the always entertaining Paul Heyman, started to play some serious "mind games" on Undertaker to throw him off his game. Undertaker's real-life wife, Sara (look at the tattoo on Undertaker's neck), is pregnant, and Brock made some disturbing comments about how if anythign bad happened to the Undertaker, Brock would "take care" of Sara, but not Undertaker's unborn child. This understandably freaked the Undertaker out. Later on, when Undertaker was having a match with the hilarious Matt Hardy, Brock came out and attacked Undertaker, breaking his hand with a fire extinguisher. Even though Undertaker would get some revenge by beating people up with the cast over his broken hand, that's still gotta suck. Then Paul Heyman dug up a woman who claimed that Undertaker had been having an affair with her for the past three months. Even though it eventually came out that they hadn't seen each other for something like seven years, it still rattled Undertaker pretty badly, making him angry and not thinking clearly.
So the two had a "Hell in a Cell" match at No Mercy, in which they surround the ring with a big chain-link-fence cage. This is kind of Undertaker's specialty match; he's been in like five or six, and there's only been like maybe eight total. The two totally beat the shit out of each other. Eventually Brock and Paul actually managed to get the cast off of Undertaker's hand and attack it directly. Despite getting two finishing moves off on Brock, Brock still managed to defeat this veteran.
This feud was a great, old-school serious feud. There was very little comedy (except for Matt Hardy and some Paul Heyman), and the feud actually built; it actually got more intense the longer it lasted. This is, however, probably the end of the feud. Undertaker was emphatically defeated (and you would not believe how much he was bleeding by the end of the match), and he has some nagging injuries that he's probably going to take some time off to heal. Brock is an unstoppable monster, having cleanly defeated three of the biggest names in wrestling: Hulk Hogan, The Rock, and now Undertaker.
So that's about it. As you can see, feuds don't seem to last very long in WWE right now. The Undertaker/Brock feud was one of the longest in a long time. Feuds used to last months and months, sometimes even upwards of a year. Now we're lucky if they last a full month. Kind of sucks. It's kind of hard to get involved in the matches if there's no good feud going into them, no matter how good of atheletes are involved. It's just more interesting if you know that the people wrestling hate each other, and you've seen how that hatred has evolved and manifested itself, like with Brock/Undertaker or Angle/Benoit. Much better than having feuds pop up at the last minute just so WWE can fill the card at a pay-per-view, like Tajiri/Noble (and pretty much all the matches from the Monday Night Raw side of things). I'm looking forward to seeing with whom Brock will feud next, because it sure doesn't seem like anybody can stop him. I'd love to see a feud with him and Angle, but it looks like Angle is going to be in the tag division for a while, so we might just have to hold off on that.