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28.11.07 1824
The 7 - Pro Wrestling - Muhammad Hassan Leaves WWE
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Matt Tracker
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#21 Posted on 22.9.05 1349.59
Reposted on: 22.9.12 1349.59
    Originally posted by KJames199
    Originally posted by Destrucity
    The guy got crazy over


Really?


I would say so. Immediate and consistent loud crowd hate. You could argue it was the gimmick and not the guy, but I would argue back that the combination made it so potent.
JustinShapiro
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#22 Posted on 22.9.05 1421.38
Reposted on: 22.9.12 1422.12
Aw come on. He got groan heat and "he's calling us terrible Americans, I guess we'd better boo." He didn't draw against Hulk Hogan, and his act was such a failure on Raw that they scrapped plans for Steve Austin to come out of retirement to wrestle him. If Hassan was over, then La Resistance must be the greatest heel tag team in history.

There was exactly one time when they ever got a big, genuine heel reaction, and it was when they had the debate with Ross and Lawler and beat them up. And that was like week three of their run. After that, Hassan was a charisma sinkhole who said the same boring thing over and over again to perfunctory USA chants. The only person in the act who actually showed anything was Daivari -- which is probably why he's the one who's still around.

But at least he's gone forever, hooray! Our loss, I'm sure.

(edited by JustinShapiro on 22.9.05 1529)
Matt Tracker
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#23 Posted on 22.9.05 1430.51
Reposted on: 22.9.12 1431.35
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
    ... He didn't draw against Hulk Hogan, and his act was such a failure on Raw that they scrapped plans for Steve Austin to come out of retirement to wrestle him. There was exactly one time when they ever got a big, genuine reaction, and it was when they had the debate with Ross and Lawler and beat them up. ...


The guy was such a failure that they had no choice but to move him to SD to feud with Taker, leading (allegedly, I'll grant you) to a planned title match against Batista.

Now I'm in agreement that he didn't show me much in the ring, and Daviari was by far the better performer. But they pushed Hassan much higher than they have with Simon Dean, Rob Conway or (so far) Masters.

I never said he was good. I said the crowd hated him.
JustinShapiro
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#24 Posted on 22.9.05 1448.54
Reposted on: 22.9.12 1449.01

    The guy was such a failure that they had no choice but to move him to SD to feud with Taker, leading (allegedly, I'll grant you) to a planned title match against Batista.


Right, but moving him to SD was an attempt to salvage their investment in a gimmick that wasn't getting over like they wanted and expected it to. Smackdown was to restart him in his new extreme~! direction.

Because they were frustrated that their have-it-both-ways Arab character wasn't over, they decided to remove all doubt and go with the extremist version with martyrs, piano wire, and leading a gang of terrorists sympathizers (who were initially told they'd be doing the gimmick as an ongoing deal). Instead, their last ditch attempt to make him into a money player bombed (haha) worst of all, and they scripted him right out of a job.


    I never said he was good. I said the crowd hated him.


They may've hated how boring and annoying he was, but he did not compel them to passionately hate his existence for daring to decry this great country of ours. What I'm sayin' is that if he was ever actually 'over,' his matches would've had heat and his promos would've gotten more of a hatred reaction than just chanting USA because that's what you do when someone insults America.

Not to run this deeper into the ground, sorry. I guess the one vociferous reaction Muhammad Hassan could always count on was me talking about how he stunk.

(edited by JustinShapiro on 22.9.05 1605)
Destrucity
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#25 Posted on 22.9.05 1501.24
Reposted on: 22.9.12 1501.32
    Originally posted by JustinShapiro
    Aw come on. He got groan heat and "he's calling us terrible Americans, I guess we'd better boo." ... If Hassan was over, then La Resistance must be the greatest heel tag team in history. ... The only person in the act who actually showed anything was Daivari -- which is probably why he's the one who's still around.
I dunno, while I would definitely agree that Daivari was the better and ultimately more valuable of the two, I really do think Hassan was getting some good heat, and not just get-off-my-TV heat. People brought signs. Those boos were loud. Did you see some of those crowd shots? People were angry at the guy. I find it interesting that you compare La Res to Hassan/Daivari, because La Res is actually a great example of how America-baiting gimmicks don't automatically get over. They got largely apathetic crowd reactions despite probably saying even more explicitly heelish things than Hassan and representing a group that, at the time they were introduced, your average wrestling fan probably found equally offensive to Arabs. That could have been Hassan, too, but he made it work.

Listen, I really, really dislike Cena, but I can't deny he's incredibly over. You could argue that all his heat is cheap play-to-the-kids heat, but he clearly has something that I personally can't comprehend. Heat is heat. I'm sure Hassan didn't float your boat, but really, did you hear those crowds?

I found out recently that there's a site the youngsters love called ytmnd.com. I'm not really sure what the point of it is, because from the looks of it, when I was in its target demographic, the Web didn't exist, Roxette was burning up the airwaves and Z. Cavariccis were way in. But you can create your own animated webpages or something, and I understand that a big trend on there for a while was to have a character come out, start talking and be immediately interrupted by Muhammad Hassan. Everything was Hassan this and Hassan that. These kids, I'm sure, were not all wrestling fans. But Hassan got a lot of people interested -- and not everyone can do that.
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#26 Posted on 25.9.05 0950.10
Reposted on: 25.9.12 0950.10
Hassan had great charisma. He had a million dollar look at the least.
Not a great wrestler, but he made me believe the gimmick.
I'm could see him getting some acting jobs.
Good luck to the guy.
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#27 Posted on 25.9.05 1505.56
Reposted on: 25.9.12 1510.25
    Originally posted by Destrucity
    I dunno, while I would definitely agree that Daivari was the better and ultimately more valuable of the two, I really do think Hassan was getting some good heat, and not just get-off-my-TV heat. People brought signs. Those boos were loud. Did you see some of those crowd shots? People were angry at the guy.


I think it's debatable whether people were angry at the guy because he was an effective heel, or because they hated the gimmick and nothing else to take it out except the guy walking out and playing the gimmick.

Let's put it this way--picture the absolutely most offensive, obnoxious, "this makes me want to not watch wrestling" gimmick you can think of. It may be Hassan, it may be a guy portraying Owen Hart's reanimated corpse, it may be a wrestling transsexual. It might be some guy who doesn't do anything but say "that's cool, I'm cool, it's cool, you're not cool" all the damn time. I don't know. Just picture it in your mind.

Now say you're at a live event, because you like Undertaker or HHH or Shelton or Benoit or whoever, and for most of the show you're having a good time. And then the Worst Gimmick In The World comes out. Now, you could sit on your hands or take a leak. You could wait until the show's over and write an angry letter to WWE or start a petition to boycott the character. But at that moment, while you're sitting in the crowd, your first instinct is probably to express your displeasure by booing. And Vince would be sitting in the back, hearing the boos, and saying "Man, they hate this guy--I gotta push him to the moon!"

I don't know whether Hassan was getting that kind of heel heat, or the "Hey, you can't talk that way about Americans! U-S-A! U-S-A!" heat. But my point is just that you can't solely judge his success as a heel based on how much he got booed--otherwise X-Pac and David Arquette are bigger heels than HHH. Other factors--like how willing people are to pay to see him get clobbered--have to be taken into consideration.

    Originally posted by Destrucity
    I found out recently that there's a site the youngsters love called ytmnd.com. I'm not really sure what the point of it is, because from the looks of it, when I was in its target demographic, the Web didn't exist, Roxette was burning up the airwaves and Z. Cavariccis were way in. But you can create your own animated webpages or something, and I understand that a big trend on there for a while was to have a character come out, start talking and be immediately interrupted by Muhammad Hassan. Everything was Hassan this and Hassan that. These kids, I'm sure, were not all wrestling fans. But Hassan got a lot of people interested -- and not everyone can do that.


YTMND is something of a postmodernist humor site, and the humor is often self-referential, "you had to be there" material. The Hassan meme is based on the idea that he's always interrupting other people on WWE television, so the joke on YTMND is for him to literally interrupt YTMND sites. So someone will make a YTMND site with a seemingly unanimated picture of Stallone in Rocky II giving his heartfelt victory speech, and then all of a sudden Hassan's music hits and he pops into view. It's the juxtaposition of wrestling's internal logic (that heels can barge in on anything) with...well, everything else.

I don't know why Hassan, of all evil wrestlers, got tapped for this meme, but I suspect his distinctive theme music had far more to do with it than his character. YTMND has a thing for unusual music.

Anyway, while you're right that Hassan has a cult following on YTMND--when the news of him leaving broke, several sites popped up blasting WWE and UPN for dumping such a great character--I'm not sure that following translates into a successful wrestling gimmick. YTMND has a cult following for a picture of a defective PSP that ejects its disc in the middle of a video game, but that doesn't mean there's a huge demand for defective handheld consoles.
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#28 Posted on 25.9.05 1546.04
Reposted on: 25.9.12 1546.34
    Originally posted by Destrucity
    I find it interesting that you compare La Res to Hassan/Daivari, because La Res is actually a great example of how America-baiting gimmicks don't automatically get over. They got largely apathetic crowd reactions despite probably saying even more explicitly heelish things than Hassan and representing a group that, at the time they were introduced, your average wrestling fan probably found equally offensive to Arabs.


Wait a minute, are you telling me that when 9/11 hit, Vince thought "Wow, now fans will think Arabs are as bad as the French!"? The French were maybe something that might at best annoy people, but other than non-French Canadians and people that change names of food to "Freedom Fries", no one really cared one way or the other about them.

I also don't remember La Res doing all that much talking. Maybe a bit before each match, the same way Val Venis would talk for 30 seconds before a 10 minute match. They wrestled more than yelled, which is something Hassan didn't do. I think I saw the guy in like, 2 matches on TV, but 15 times wandering out to interrupt whatever fans were getting in to only to shout the same interchangable garbage OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND (now is the time where I switch to screaming some broken-Arab language to guarantee me heat).

It's not like Vince had La Res walk out and stand in the ring for 10 minutes, and then switched them with Hassan and had him stand in the ring. There were very different ways in that the characters were put out there. Hassan was not only a borderline offensive character after his first month, he also was borderline offensive in terms of "I paid $50 to hear this shit for 10 minutes?"


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#29 Posted on 25.9.05 2235.55
Reposted on: 25.9.12 2236.02
    Originally posted by Tribal Prophet
    The French were maybe something that might at best annoy people, but other than non-French Canadians and people that change names of food to "Freedom Fries", no one really cared one way or the other about them.
I see there's a little Canadian flag above your post, so you might not realize that for a while leading up to the Iraq war, the xenophobia was very, very scary down here. About half were for the war and about half were against, but the majority of the "for" half would have absolutely told you the French were almost as bad as al-Qaeda. I'm not talking about what the politicians would admit to -- I'm talking about what your average, ordinary American would have said. I remember going to an anniversary dinner for my parents on Long Island around the time La Res was introduced. This was a classy, high-end, well-reviewed restaurant in a neighborhood that can be fiscally conservative but generally socially liberal and very open-minded -- in fact, it has a notably large gay population. Anyway, we parked on the street, walked up to the restaurant, and I was horrified by a gigantic sign taking up half the front window. In huge letters, it said:

TO OUR CUSTOMERS: IN SUPPORT OF OUR NATION AND OUR TROOPS, WE WILL NO LONGER BE SERVING FRENCH WINE.

I think most Americans -- and probably most Anglophone Canadians and Brits, too -- looked at the French as annoying before the war and probably look at them in much the same way now, but during that time, a pretty large portion of Americans considered them downright evil. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that. Anyway, what was my point? Oh, yeah, La Res still wasn't over. And though they didn't talk as much as Hassan, their heat was cheaper. Remember, Hassan was initially an ambiguous character -- a lot of people didn't know whether he was a face or a heel from his introductory vignettes (though those people had an awful lot of faith in WWE).

(edited by Destrucity on 25.9.05 2036)
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#30 Posted on 25.9.05 2257.20
Reposted on: 25.9.12 2257.22
    Originally posted by Jim Smith Destrucity
    I found out recently that there's a site the youngsters love called ytmnd.com. I'm not really sure what the point of it is, because from the looks of it, when I was in its target demographic, the Web didn't exist, Roxette was burning up the airwaves and Z. Cavariccis were way in. But you can create your own animated webpages or something, and I understand that a big trend on there for a while was to have a character come out, start talking and be immediately interrupted by Muhammad Hassan. Everything was Hassan this and Hassan that. These kids, I'm sure, were not all wrestling fans. But Hassan got a lot of people interested -- and not everyone can do that.


I didn't know ANYTHING about all of this stuff... THANK YOU!

This one (thisistheendoftheworldfolks.ytmnd.com) is quite brilliant

(edited by JustinShapiro on 26.9.05 0037)
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