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20.9.10 1851
The 7 - Pro Wrestling - Torch reveals reason Candians switched to US hometowns
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StaggerLee
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#1 Posted on 19.5.04 1919.17
Reposted on: 19.5.11 1920.47
It turns out that one of the reasons WWE changed the hometowns of Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho from Canadian cities to U.S. cities is because the two were scheduled to have feuds with Hirohito and WWE was going to bill it as a patriotic U.S. vs. Japan angle.

Hirohito was to be played by Kenzo Suzuki. WWE was going to bill Hirohito as the grandson of the late World War II emperor of Japan. WWE pulled the gimmick due to fears that it would hurt their reputation in Japan where they hope to continue to make good money off of WWE shows. WWE was planning to bring Hirohito in right away as a main eventer and have a feud between he and Chris Benoit throughout the summer, followed by a Hirohito/Jericho feud.

Credit: Torch Newsletter
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BigVitoMark
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#2 Posted on 19.5.04 1941.10
Reposted on: 19.5.11 1941.52
I don't know where ya start with this one...they come up with a character designed for an uber-push in a "USA vs. Foreigner" angle, with the plans for the part of the Americans to be played by...Canadians?? Maybe it wasn't so much backlash in Japan that killed this idea as someone just woke up one morning and realized how stupid this whole idea was.
fuelinjected
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#3 Posted on 19.5.04 2010.51
Reposted on: 19.5.11 2011.30
"Maybe it wasn't so much backlash in Japan that killed this idea as someone just woke up one morning and realized how stupid this whole idea was."

If that were the case, JBL would've died a quick death. Suzuki and his wife refused to do it because of how offensive it is. It's a good thing because he stinks in the ring.

BigVitoMark
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#4 Posted on 19.5.04 2055.51
Reposted on: 19.5.11 2056.16
    Originally posted by fuelinjected
    If that were the case, JBL would've died a quick death. Suzuki and his wife refused to do it because of how offensive it is. It's a good thing because he stinks in the ring.




Having only seen Suzuki for about five minutes against Saturn in TNA (in a match that neither guy wanted to do because of the political implications in Japan, let's not forget) I can't really comment on whether Suzuki stinks in the ring. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. His refusal to do the gimmick makes sense, and would explain why management has reportedly soured on him already and why he's been demoted from Raw main eventer to Smackdown without even appearing on TV.

JBL's a whole different game, though. I enjoy the character very much; it seems that most of the IWC does not. Fine. The bigger issue there seems to be that it's Vince who is behind this whole mega-push and no one wants to tell him no. Also, if you assume Booker T. is commited to the Undertaker feud, the fact that Smackdown doesn't have a legitimate heel challenger on the active roster means that they have to put someone unproven in that role anyway so there aren't many options. I imagine it's hard for a backstage detractor to take up the "hey Vince, your idea stinks" argument when they don't have a viable alternative with which to hit back.
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#5 Posted on 19.5.04 2137.36
Reposted on: 19.5.11 2138.23

    His refusal to do the gimmick makes sense, and would explain why management has reportedly soured on him already and why he's been demoted from Raw main eventer to Smackdown without even appearing on TV.

I think they scaled back his push because they realized he's terrible in the ring (at least that's the story I saw). He expressed his concerns about the gimmick and it's ramifications for their Japanese market, and the WWE wisely adhered to his concerns, and that's a big reason they dropped using the name "Hirohito", so I don't think his de-push was due to his refusal to do the gimmick.
Stilton
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#6 Posted on 19.5.04 2150.04
Reposted on: 19.5.11 2150.40
If they've dropped the angle, why don't they let Benoit and Jericho go back to using their original hometowns?
BigVitoMark
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#7 Posted on 19.5.04 2209.05
Reposted on: 19.5.11 2210.52
    Originally posted by Stilton
    If they've dropped the angle, why don't they let Benoit and Jericho go back to using their original hometowns?


Benoit has gone back, at least in part, to being "originally from Edmonton, Alberta, now residing in Atlanga, GA". The Jericho thing is a bit of a mystery, but not as big a deal IMO because they never did much to accent the fact that he's from Winnipeg. I'd be surprised if he didn't get the dual-hometown treatment like Benoit soon, though, since they're running back-to-back TV spots in Winnipeg in early July.
Stilton
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#8 Posted on 19.5.04 2258.16
Reposted on: 19.5.11 2259.01
I'm pretty sure when they announced Benoit this week on RAW they didn't go with the dual intro.. it was just "Now residing in..." There wasn't any, "Originally from..."
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#9 Posted on 20.5.04 0407.32
Reposted on: 20.5.11 0407.59
No dual entrance for Benoit on RAW this week-- I was looking for it, and we only got the Atlanta, Georgia thing.

I don't know what's up with the American hometowns for Benoit and Jericho (nor do I know why they don't do it for Edge and Christian). But that's OK, because I really don't care all that much.
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#10 Posted on 20.5.04 0546.47
Reposted on: 20.5.11 0547.23
    Originally posted by BigVitoMark
    Benoit has gone back, at least in part, to being "originally from Edmonton, Alberta, now residing in Atlanga, GA". The Jericho thing is a bit of a mystery, but not as big a deal IMO because they never did much to accent the fact that he's from Winnipeg. I'd be surprised if he didn't get the dual-hometown treatment like Benoit soon, though, since they're running back-to-back TV spots in Winnipeg in early July.

Didn't you hear Lillian at Backlash? Jericho's a PROUD native of the province of "Winnetoba", which you'll find just west of Blontario.

(edited by Keeper on 20.5.04 1534)
Mild Mannered Madman
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#11 Posted on 20.5.04 1145.09
Reposted on: 20.5.11 1146.08
    Originally posted by fuelinjected
    "Maybe it wasn't so much backlash in Japan that killed this idea as someone just woke up one morning and realized how stupid this whole idea was."

    If that were the case, JBL would've died a quick death. Suzuki and his wife refused to do it because of how offensive it is. It's a good thing because he stinks in the ring.




According to Meltzer, it wss Suzuki's wife that shot the gimmick down, after she explained how it would hurt Japanese business. His wife has also been apparently signed as Suzuki's translator.
CHAPLOW
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#12 Posted on 20.5.04 1222.10
Reposted on: 20.5.11 1222.20
Lillian Garcia:
"And on his way to the thread,
originally from Quito, Ecuador but now residing somewhere in the U.S weighing in at an incredible 100 cubic measures of cheese...

WhoTookMyHonor!!!"

---
Obviously the WWE just does whatever it thinks it has to do to increase viewage (yeah, I said "viewage")- even if it doesnt necessarily.

They think that more people will watch if they make the World Champion more "American"? fine, go ahead. But it is stupid. I think Its just annoying to Canadian national pride...and Im not even from Canada. (although I have family that is originally from Ecuador but now resides there)

I guess then, as I have heard commented before, that because the WWE stats show more "ethnic" people watch UPN, they make the WWE Champion more Mexican- although he was clearly born here and does not really speak with an accent.

Whats my point? Im not entirely sure...
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