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The W - Pro Wrestling - Kenzo Suzuki and cheap heel heat
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Stilton
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Since: 7.2.04
From: Canada

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.89
Okay, so we know Kenzo Suzuki dropped the dead Emperor gimmick because he felt it was degrading to his country. But, aside from dropping the Hirohito name, has the gimmick really changed? (Yes, reincarnating the dead Hirohito as a badass wrestler is lame, about as lame as bringing in a short pale German wrestler with a Chaplin moustache and calling him Hitler.)

Watching the Suzuki vignette tonight, it didn't seem like the gimmick has changed at all, except the name: "...from the ashes of defeat...", "...a bronzed warrior..." and all that. What defeat? Okay, I get it. Basically Kenzo Suzuki is coming halfway around the world to bust some Yankee ass because Japan lost World War Two? What, is he going to defend German and Italian fascism, too? How relevent is this gimmick anyway?

Once again, the WWE fashions a just-add-nationality-and-hate stereotype heel character. Is anyone else getting sick and tired of the whole America-hates-foreigners approach? Is it just because "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" is so easy for the rubes to chant? It's offensive. And I don't mean I'm offended in a politically-correct, culturally-sensitive way... It's insulting to the intelligence.

Why does everyone from a different country have to play heel? How jingoistic is that?



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Since: 1.3.02
From: Westminster, CA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.75
    Originally posted by Stilton
    Okay, so we know Kenzo Suzuki dropped the dead Emperor gimmick because he felt it was degrading to his country. But, aside from dropping the Hirohito name, has the gimmick really changed? (Yes, reincarnating the dead Hirohito as a badass wrestler is lame, about as lame as bringing in a short pale German wrestler with a Chaplin moustache and calling him Hitler.)

    Watching the Suzuki vignette tonight, it didn't seem like the gimmick has changed at all, except the name: "...from the ashes of defeat...", "...a bronzed warrior..." and all that. What defeat? Okay, I get it. Basically Kenzo Suzuki is coming halfway around the world to bust some Yankee ass because Japan lost World War Two? What, is he going to defend German and Italian fascism, too? How relevent is this gimmick anyway?

    Once again, the WWE fashions a just-add-nationality-and-hate stereotype heel character. Is anyone else getting sick and tired of the whole America-hates-foreigners approach? Is it just because "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" is so easy for the rubes to chant? It's offensive. And I don't mean I'm offended in a politically-correct, culturally-sensitive way... It's insulting to the intelligence.

    Why does everyone from a different country have to play heel? How jingoistic is that?


Actually, it was Kenzo's wife who shot the gimmick down. She's also been signed and is going to be his mouthpiece.

And frankly, he needs some gimmick to hide behind because he's not at all a good wrestler. Companies in Japan who regularly use Nathan Jones want no piece of Kenzo Suzuki.




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Stilton
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Since: 7.2.04
From: Canada

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.89
    Originally posted by Mild Mannered Madman
    And frankly, he needs some gimmick to hide behind because he's not at all a good wrestler.


Well, if he needed a gimmick, then he could have been a ninja, a samurai, a philosopher, a monk, a chef, a tourist, a spy, a math wiz, a kabuki actor, a butcher, a baker, a candelstick maker... if he needed a gimmick, he could have been anything.

My point is, isn't the whole idea of pitting nationalities against each other for cheap nationalistic heat getting to be a bit much? It's such a shortcut. It's not creative. It doesn't create interesting storylines based in personal grudges... it's just a lot of weak stereotypes and the crowd chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" and a lot of "We hate foreigners and foeigners obviously hate us" over and over again. I'm just saying isn't time to put nation-bashing to bed and tell some interesting stories in the ring?



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MoleMan
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Since: 11.4.04
From: Wichita

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
I have never had the Privelige(?) of seeing him wrestle, but some people say he's good. Some say he's bad. Which is it?



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desperate_living
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Since: 12.3.04

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.44
About 90% of the stuff Ive read about Kenzo is pretty negative. I just wonder what the allure was in getting him if he is such a crappy wrestler; Vince must really see something in this guy to give him this kind of a break (which isnt saying much considering Bradshaw, Nathan Jones etc). Sounds like his wife has alot of influence in his dealings, making demands and what not when the guy hasnt even debuted. Has anyone heard if his uber-push is still on, or was that just when he was going to go to RAW?
tomk
Goetta








Since: 30.7.02

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.41
For whatever its worth, last WOn had Suzuki's wife seaying the story of her telling WWE to drop gimmick was fiction. Someone in WWE was smart enough to realize that it would hurt their ability to sell merchandise in Japan, but she isn't taking credit.

Nag
Landjager








Since: 10.1.03
From: Enter your city here

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Y!:
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.16
I don't feel all evil forgien gimmicks are like that. I enjoyed The Hart Foundation and Ludvig Borga alot. I really thought La Resistance had potental til JR and King made me scream everynight with the sterotypes and cliches.

But yeah, for the most part it's insulting to the intellgence, and as much as Vince McMahon paints this image of himself as "taking wrestling out of the smoke filled halls"; don't be fooled he is still every bit that old school carney that will use the nihilstic German or sneaky Jap in his storyline. It's in the handbook after all.

And really, with Hirohito is it cheap heat, or is there any heat? I'd be surprised if 50 percent of the audience 'gets it'. I don't know anyone who still looks to the western horizon every morning waiting for the next wave of zeros.
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
Better to have cheap heel heat than no heat at all.
On the Foreigners Are Evil approach: This is Pro Wrestling. Its always been done. German wrestlers learned the claw in Nazi death camps. 'Russian' wrestlers were sent by the Soviet Sports Ministry to destroy Americans. Japanese wrestlers were evil. Perhaps the bookers/writers have leaned on this crutch because it has DRAWN MONEY in the past.



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Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.65
The thing is, it's not just the gimmick that draws money. The performers who have drawn money with the gimmick were actually good at it. The Iron Shiek didn't draw because he hated America, he drew because everyone loved to hate that guy. For a more recent example, compare Rene Dupree with Sylvan Granier. Rene has managed to make both management and the crowd start to care about him, while Sylvan could have stayed gone for all anyone cared. The gimmick alone is never enough to save the guy.
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
Well...

If the guy sucks in the ring, sucks with the gimmick and has zero charisma, I can't imagine he'll be around for very long. Then again, this is WWE, the same company that thought the Gobbeldy-Gooker was good idea, so...

On the other hand, if his wife is hot, I wouldn't be surprised to see her in a Divas on the Beach calendar. Hell, if his wife is semi-remotely hot, she'll probably be on it. How else do you explain putting Jazz in one of those things, in a swimsuit, no less?



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Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.69
    Originally posted by Stilton
    Watching the Suzuki vignette tonight, it didn't seem like the gimmick has changed at all, except the name: "...from the ashes of defeat...", "...a bronzed warrior..." and all that. What defeat? Okay, I get it. Basically Kenzo Suzuki is coming halfway around the world to bust some Yankee ass because Japan lost World War Two? What, is he going to defend German and Italian fascism, too?


Listen to the first batch of Japanese he speaks in that vignette. Near the end of that chunk of dialogue, he says "Mysterio." He's coming after Rey Rey. I noticed it last night.

It may seem like he's avenging the WWII loss, but it's a SHOCKING SWERVE!



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Mild Mannered Madman
Toulouse








Since: 1.3.02
From: Westminster, CA

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.75
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    Well...

    If the guy sucks in the ring, sucks with the gimmick and has zero charisma, I can't imagine he'll be around for very long. Then again, this is WWE, the same company that thought the Gobbeldy-Gooker was good idea, so...

    On the other hand, if his wife is hot, I wouldn't be surprised to see her in a Divas on the Beach calendar. Hell, if his wife is semi-remotely hot, she'll probably be on it. How else do you explain putting Jazz in one of those things, in a swimsuit, no less?


Here is Hiroki Suzuki (Kenzo's wife)







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BigVitoMark
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Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.11
    Originally posted by MoleMan
    I have never had the Privelige(?) of seeing him wrestle, but some people say he's good. Some say he's bad. Which is it?


Wait until he debuts and judge for yourself.



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Since: 18.2.04
From: Pune, India

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.08
    Originally posted by desperate_living
    About 90% of the stuff Ive read about Kenzo is pretty negative. I just wonder what the allure was in getting him if he is such a crappy wrestler; Vince must really see something in this guy to give him this kind of a break (which isnt saying much considering Bradshaw, Nathan Jones etc). Sounds like his wife has alot of influence in his dealings, making demands and what not when the guy hasnt even debuted. Has anyone heard if his uber-push is still on, or was that just when he was going to go to RAW?


I think the uber-push got killed when even the WWE decided that his in-ring skills were not up to par. We're talking about WWE here, who think that people like Scotty 2 Shitty, Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan, Billy Gunn, and Mordecai have enough skills to be on TV every other week.



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Since: 9.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.80
Hopefully they're just going to go hyper-patriotic with Suzuki instead of "sneaky evil furrner". If they keep him making just enough valid points to make the crowd REALLY pissed (talking about how their culture was "destroyed" post-war, etcetera, instead of just the same old "lazy american slobs" stuff) it could actually work. Hell, it worked for the Hart Foundation well enough.

Sadly, that pretty much leaves it in the hands of the writers...



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ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
    Originally posted by El Nino
    I think the uber-push got killed when even the WWE decided that his in-ring skills were not up to par. We're talking about WWE here, who think that people like Scotty 2 Shitty, Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan, Billy Gunn, and Mordecai have enough skills to be on TV every other week.


Not that I fully disagree with you, mind you... but where are Nathan Jones and Matt Morgan nowadays? Nowhere to be seen, that's where. Unless I've really been slacking on keeping up with SmackDown (even moreso than usual).

Mordecai's a new guy, they're throwing a dart at the wall and seeing if it sticks. Billy Gunn's a veteran who (at least at one point) was well-loved, being part of D-X. And all the sheep love Scotty.

But anyway... being that Suzuki's going to be in the hands of the SmackDown writers... yeah, Nate the Snake... he's pretty well screwed even if he does bring the effort.

(edited by ekedolphin on 29.5.04 0346)


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Since: 18.2.04
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.08
You're right about Jones and Morgan being gone. Thank god. Actually, I hear, Morgan's in OVW and is getting his - ahem - skills polished. Nathan Jones was last seen as Boagrius in Troy - you know, the big warrior guy that Achilles kills at the very beginning. For me, it was a euphoric moment, a small measure of revenge (only figuratively) for the minutes of my life wasted on looking at his unskilled Australian ass.



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Since: 27.7.03
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.74
*I* just hope that Suzuki going to Smackdown means that Akio and Sakoda will FINALLY get some direction, something that has been lacking since Tajiri left.

As far as the cheap heat is concerned, I admit that it's pretty lame, but after a while, if the wrestler is charismatic, he has the opportunity to transcend the gimmick and get over with his real personality with limited harm done...
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Since: 4.2.04

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
You know if Vince thought he could get away with it he'd have Sabu and God knows who else running their own renegade Arab militia.
Mild Mannered Madman
Toulouse








Since: 1.3.02
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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.69
    Originally posted by Joe E. Nitro
    You know if Vince thought he could get away with it he'd have Sabu and God knows who else running their own renegade Arab militia.



A) Vince already did that. Remember Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustapha, and General Adnan?

B) Vince would never sign Sabu.




There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
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