The W
Views: 100892990
Main | FAQ | Search: Y! / G | Calendar | Color chart | Log in for more!
27.11.14 0048
The W - Pro Wrestling - The Undertaker: Has WWE painted themselves into a corner?
This thread has 91 referrals leading to it
Register and log in to post!
Thread rated: 5.47
Pages: 1 2 Next
(6774 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
User
Post (26 total)
ekedolphin
Scrapple








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

Since last post: 161 days
Last activity: 1 day
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
For years, the WWF had Mark Calloway portraying a character practically right out of comic books and horror movies. He was The Undertaker, an unstoppable kick-ass machine, a Dead Man whose power came from the urn carried by Paul Bearer. A man who couldn't be defeated except under extraordinary circumstances.

Unlike many of the cartoony gimmicks the WWF came up with, this one stuck around for the better part of eight years. The Undertaker became one of the most recognizable faces in all of professional wrestling, despite having very little “mainstream” appeal such as The Rock currently has. And the WWF made it work for the most part, despite a few WrestleCrap angles they had to go through (like Undertaker's resurrection, the fake Undertaker, Austin being crucified on Undertaker's “symbol”, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera).

But for most of the last four years, Undertaker's gimmick became that of a bad-ass biker, a one-man whoopass machine who didn't have any supernatural powers but could still beat the hell out of anyone who opposed him. And if you ask me, that gimmick (even though it wasn't really all that good in my estimation) made more sense than having him return as the Dead Man. After all, you couldn't stop the Dead Man. If you hit your finisher on him, he'd pop right back up. If you hit him with a steel chair, he'd no-sell it. And just when you think you got him beat, he does the famous sit-up.

Now, granted, the “American Badass” didn't sell moves very well either, but he was portrayed as simply being an extraordinarily tough son of a bitch-- not a guy with supernatural powers.

When Kane, for some reason, chose to bury The Undertaker alive at Survivor Series 2003, it was clear to many people that this would signal the return of the Dead Man gimmick which made The Undertaker famous. It indeed happened at WrestleMania XX, when Undertaker (in a Dead Man/American Bad Ass “hybrid” look) returned and manhandled the Big Red Machine.

Well...

Now what? Has WWE made a mistake bringing back the Dead Man? Is the gimmick's return an ill-advised excuse to feed people to The Undertaker? We've already heard the stories that one of the alleged reasons Brock Lesnar left WWE is because he didn't want to participate in a one-sided feud with The Undertaker. We'll ignore for now the fact that Undertaker has put Lesnar over many times in the past, and save the debate over Brock's real reasons for leaving WWE (if, in fact, he has left WWE) for later.

But how many people can you see lining up to eagerly get their asses demolished by The Undertaker? Does pushing Undertaker mean that everyone else looks like a complete freakin' pansy? Does pushing Undertaker, in effect, destroy everyone else's push? And how long before The Undertaker regains the WWE Championship?

But by the same token, are they doing the right thing, now that they've brought the gimmick back, limiting Undertaker to just kickin' the shit out of non-wrestlers?

Has WWE screwed themselves by bringing back the Dead Man gimmick at a point when 'Taker's well past his prime, there are other more talented and deserving wrestlers ahead of him, and WWE's roster is looking stronger than it ever has before? Have they, in effect, already painted themselves into a corner?



“Chris Benoit, finally, is the Heavyweight Champion of this world!”
--Jim Ross, WrestleMania XX

Wiener of the Day Title History:

Won the title on 5/27/02 from Lunacy in a hardcore match; lost the belt the following day to wheresitat42 via offbeat shenanigans

Regained the title on 7/3/02 by pinning SKLOKAZOID in a triple-threat match; lost the belt the next day to NickBockwinkelFan via heel chicanery

Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!

Promote this thread!
JustinShapiro
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 9 hours
Last activity: 3 hours
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.78
"We'll ignore for now the fact that Undertaker has put Lesnar over many times in the past,"

Once clean and once with Vince's help?

"and save the debate over Brock's real reasons for leaving WWE (if, in fact, he has left WWE)"

He has.

"Does pushing Undertaker mean that everyone else looks like a complete freakin' pansy?"

Everyone who wrestles him.

I think they should use him in limited doses throughout the year in one-sided programs with crappy heels, just like the good(?) old days. i.e. you feed him the A-Trains and the other guys with size and no charisma as the modern day Kamalas. There's no sense in sacrificing Brock Lesnar or Booker T. There's no sense in having Eddie Guerrero cower in fear and run away when he shows up. He should be a fun bonus attraction to delight the crowd, not part of the top mix.

"But by the same token, are they doing the right thing, now that they've brought the gimmick back, limiting Undertaker to just kickin' the shit out of non-wrestlers?"

Well he's only been on TV once.

(edited by JMShapiro on 9.4.04 0008)
Hogan's My Dad
Andouille








Since: 8.6.02
From: Canada

Since last post: 15 hours
Last activity: 12 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.14
I don't think Undertaker was portrayed as "unstoppable" for several years before he dropped the Dead Man gimmick. Probably around the debut of Mankind, Taker was a guy who could be beaten and at that point he began to sell. By '97 he was having great matches with Bret and Shawn and he had to sell in those. He'd still do his sit-up but it was already starting to progress toward tough son of a bitch and away from undead cartoon. I think now you can move along similar lines, with him using more Dead Man mannerisms, but ultimately he'll be too much for anyone to handle without help (which, let's face it, is how they were booking him as the Badass character anyway). All in all he'll only be selling slightly less than he was before.



I'd tell you to kiss my ass, but I don't want to get it infected.
ShotGunShep
Frankfurter








Since: 20.2.03

Since last post: 2572 days
Last activity: 2459 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.74
Well, if he is getting ready to retire, it makes sense. He probly wants to go out as he will be remembered by all. I think this year is it for the Undertaker, and that the WWE has something special in store for him.





"Huard, gonna go back to throw the ball. Sets up, looks, throws towards the corner of the endzone...it is INTERCEPTED INTERCEPTED, THE DUCKS HAVE THE BALL! Down to the 35, the 40. Kenny Wheaton's gonna score! Kenny Wheaton is gonna score! 20, the 10, Touchdown! Kenny Wheaton on the interception, the most incredible finish to the football game!"
Rozicot
Loukanika








Since: 22.2.04
From: UK

Since last post: 3877 days
Last activity: 3875 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.83
Apparently he is on the PPV poster in Ministry-style attire. Which is interesting.

I think they are playing the transition fairly well, in that the Badass seems possessed by the Deadman. Perhaps in the coming weeks he will mutate into the unstoppable beast again.

I agree they are putting off his return to grow his hair.
leggo
Mettwurst








Since: 23.3.04
From: Dublin, Ireland

Since last post: 3752 days
Last activity: 3596 days
AIM:  
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.18
Whenever I hear someone rag on and on and on and ON about Taker's non-selling ruining the business, I laugh. Matches aren't about selling, workrate or anything like that, they're about STORIES. You pair someone, say Rey Mysterio with Taker and see how their story plays out. What would Mysterio have to do to beat Taker? That's a story and whether or not Undertaker sat right back up after Rey dropped the dime on him is irrelevant, as long as it played into the story, simple as that. If, in the ring, Taker and Mysterio put together a good story about what a small, high-flying cruiserweight like Rey would do against a huge, unstoppable Deadman like Taker and entertain the fans, then that's job done, whether Taker's selling for Mysterio hurt Mysterio's character or not.

NEWSFLASH: Wrestlers are characters. Characters are expendable. Just like a Lego building, you can build it up to be the most impressive sight in the world, then tear it down again in a second, but in the end you made the building with the same blocks that are now scattered all over the floor and now you can choose whether to leave the blocks on the floor or pick them up and make them into the exact same impressive piece, or shape them into something do it. What shape the wrestlers are moulded into is decided by Vince McMahon and the writers, but just as long as the angles are performed adequately and entertain, then the fact that Vince decided to tear down the Lego piece should be of non-consequence as long as you are entertained.

Bottom line is that Taker is an interesting character who immediately adds an intrigue factor to any match he is in. If you don't find his character interesting, fine that's another story, but if he DOES entertain you then whether he sells or not should bear no consequence. In fact, it should make you enjoy it all the more.
Liz
Chipolata








Since: 26.8.03
From: Ironton, Ohio

Since last post: 2710 days
Last activity: 1772 days
AIM:  
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.46
    Originally posted by Rozicot
    I agree they are putting off his return to grow his hair.


This is random, but... god, Vince, get a clue. Hair extensions. Cheap, easy and effective.




Hunger hurts, but starving works.
Stilton
Frankfurter








Since: 7.2.04
From: Canada

Since last post: 3218 days
Last activity: 3218 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.62
Two words. "Bong" and "Pop".

Undertaker is getting some of the biggest pops in WWE right now. It starts as soon as his music hits and the crowd hears that bong. People jump to their feet just to see his entrance. He's putting asses in the seats, and I think the WWE will be happy with that. It might be apples and oranges, but Andre was "undefeated" for about 15 years before WMIII, and he certainly didn't damage the business. Undertaker has been money in the bank for the WWE for almost that long, and if this is his last run, which I assume it is (but never say never in wrestling, right?), Vince is going to want to give him a nice, solid run, out of gratitude and respect. I don't begrudge him that. When the time comes, they will probably pick a good prospect, a young star with the a long road ahead of him, and Taker will pass the torch. If, when he does pass that torch, he is regarded as "unbeatable", it will mean that much more, like when Andre passed it to Hogan at WMIII.



So sayeth Randy Stilton, the real Stinky Cheese Man!

(I'm told that, in the UK, my name is actually hilarious.)
BigVitoMark
Lap cheong








Since: 10.8.02
From: Queen's University, Canada

Since last post: 3412 days
Last activity: 3322 days
ICQ:  
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.10
According to a story I read yesterday, they're not planning to use UT as a regular character anymore, but rather as a special attraction for select TV events and house shows. If he's gonna pop up periodically and lay out Booker T. at house shows, fine. They need to get business up, and if they can offer a bonus like that then so be it.

As for the character, it's a look change more than anything else. In all seriousness, short of having Paul Bearer at ringside, was the WM match really all that different from his matches as the American Badass?

It's like the time Lisa Simpson created her own talking doll..."don't be fooled...it's the same old Undertaker with a stupid cheap hat...he still embodies all the old characteristics he did before". I'm just happy they didn't go the Hogan route and drive UT down our throats until we threw up. He'll be good for business if they're selective in their use of him.



Don't you hate pants?
JustinShapiro
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 9 hours
Last activity: 3 hours
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.78
"You pair someone, say Rey Mysterio with Taker and see how their story plays out."

I already know how that story plays out.

"Undertaker is getting some of the biggest pops in WWE right now. ... He's putting asses in the seats"

Pops are not commensurate to money and there's no evidence he's putting more asses in seats. (Especially since he's only been on TV once.) But I agree that he is terrific as a crowd-pleasing act and could be used very well as a special attraction.

"I agree they are putting off his return to grow his hair."

I disagree.
thebadguy
Chipolata








Since: 21.2.04
From: Rotherham,England

Since last post: 3411 days
Last activity: 3113 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.12
    Originally posted by BigVitoMark
    According to a story I read yesterday, they're not planning to use UT as a regular character anymore, but rather as a special attraction for select TV events and house shows. If he's gonna pop up periodically and lay out Booker T. at house shows, fine. They need to get business up, and if they can offer a bonus like that then so be it.

    As for the character, it's a look change more than anything else. In all seriousness, short of having Paul Bearer at ringside, was the WM match really all that different from his matches as the American Badass?

    It's like the time Lisa Simpson created her own talking doll..."don't be fooled...it's the same old Undertaker with a stupid cheap hat...he still embodies all the old characteristics he did before". I'm just happy they didn't go the Hogan route and drive UT down our throats until we threw up. He'll be good for business if they're selective in their use of him.


Thats what I'd been thinking. Only use Taker as a kind of special attraction to pull in the crowds at house shows and stick him on the PPVs against a mid-card heel who isn't going anywhere e.g. Bradshaw (after his his upcoming defeat to Guerrero) or Mark Jindrak (get him some air time). This way he wouldn't harm guys like Cena, Guerrero, Booker and Dupree but he would still put money in the bank for the WWE. That's the way I'd like to see it played out anyway.

Cheers



This post has been paid for by the friends and supporters of The Bad Guy

1 time Wiener Of The Day!
Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 6 hours
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.17
    Originally posted by JMShapiro
    "Undertaker is getting some of the biggest pops in WWE right now. ... He's putting asses in the seats"

    Pops are not commensurate to money and there's no evidence he's putting more asses in seats. (Especially since he's only been on TV once.)


If you're going to be like that, then it's easy to justify anything in wrestling by saying "I don't see any proof". How do I know that Cena is a success when all the crowd does it cheer him? Maybe they cheer, but they don't want to buy white guy rapper merchandise, so Cena could be the biggest failure on the roster right now.

When Austin comes down to the ring and the crowd looks like they're going to shit themselves they are so happy to see him, you're telling me that you think "I think this could be a failure"? When the place goes insane like it does for guys like Austin, Taker, and Cena, you can't say that because there's no financial facts to prove it's working that it must be failing without looking like you're grasping at straws.

If I were to only look at the matches and PPVs of the 80's, I could say that the WWF could have lost a lot of money by backing Hogan because ALL he did was get the place to go insane when he came out. Fortunately, I (like most fans) are able to see something that's working great and say "Damn, that's GOLD" when it happens.


Tribal Prophet



redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 514 days
Last activity: 514 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.64
The bigger question is did they wait a year to long to end his Mania unbeaten streak? Since he's been off TV except 1 token SD appearance, perhaps they should have bit the bullet and had Kane go over Taker at Mania. Thus, they could have possibly rebuilt Kane to the level he was prior to the heat killing feud he had with Vince's son and used him as a believeable heel contender on SD, while Taker still would have the mystique of his entrance.



I want you to know, I agree with everything I just said.
Rocky
Chaurice








Since: 9.4.04
From: U.S.A.

Since last post: 3883 days
Last activity: 3882 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
I think they should bring back the Mynistry of Darkness.



-Rocky
Jakegnosis
Morcilla








Since: 26.7.02
From: Maine

Since last post: 2896 days
Last activity: 2880 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.91
I've got to agree with Redsoxnation (Go Sox!) that Taker should have jobbed to Kane at WMXX.

Actually, that's not exactly true. UT should have had some other poor schlub job to him at WMXX and had his final match with Kane next year, putting Kane over.

Kane has been playing second fiddle to Taker for years, and with the twilight of UT's career upon us, no one is more deserving of the big rub from the Dead Man than Kane. Kane's better in the ring and has a similar gimmick. He could fill Undertaker's shoes just fine (in my opinion, he could be much better). All he needs to step up from part-time main eventer/perennial upper-midcarder to star status is the passing of the torch from the man whose shadow he's been in for so long.

The passing of the torch couldn't have happened on Taker's first night back with his new (old) gimmick. So it would have to have been postponed. I would have rather had Taker crush Vince this year and start a nice, slow-burning, old-school feud with Kane to culminate next year at WM21.

Incidentally, Leggo, that was a nice, thoughtful post. Welcome to the Wienerboard. We need more like you.



YANKEES SUCK
You are Kevin Nash



Oh, yeah, baby, I'm Big Lazy!
JustinShapiro
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 9 hours
Last activity: 3 hours
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.78
"How do I know that Cena is a success when all the crowd does it cheer him?"

I never said Undertaker wasn't a success at getting the crowd to cheer him. In fact, I said he is terrific at popping the crowd. But getting big pops doesn't mean you're drawing, was my point.

"When the place goes insane like it does for guys like Austin, Taker, and Cena, you can't say that because there's no financial facts to prove it's working that it must be failing without looking like you're grasping at straws."

I didn't say it wasn't working either. But "putting asses in the seats" was the statement I objected to, because it implies that he is a drawing card, which implies financial fact, and there's no evidence that he is (or, to be fair, isn't, either -- since he's only been on TV once). Unless you credit the entire Wrestlemania buyrate to the return of the Undertaker, and while that was part of the package, I don't think it proves that Dead Man = money in the bank (literal money in the bank).

If Smackdown house shows are up this month because UT is advertised, then he's putting asses in the seats. If Smackdown promotes his return to the TV show and it does a big rating, then he's, at least, a one-time novelty draw. But at the moment, you can't really say he's anything more than a guy who gets gigantic pops. And Hogan/Mr. America got gigantic pops every time he showed up in 2003, but it didn't mean he was putting butts in seats. It just meant that the butts who were already in the seats went bonkers when they saw him.

"If I were to only look at the matches and PPVs of the 80's, I could say that the WWF could have lost a lot of money by backing Hogan because ALL he did was get the place to go insane when he came out."

I think if I pointed to the attendance and PPV revenue from the shows Hogan headlined in the 80s, I could say WWF was not losing a lot of money by backing Hogan.

"Fortunately, I (like most fans) are able to see something that's working great and say "Damn, that's GOLD" when it happens."

Good work! But my point wasn't that UT's act wasn't working great, when it clearly is. It was that getting big pops in front of the live crowd doesn't correlate to anything except getting big pops in front of the live crowd.

(edited by JMShapiro on 10.4.04 0533)
RYDER FAKIN
Six Degrees of Me








Since: 21.2.02
From: ORLANDO

Since last post: 77 days
Last activity: 77 days
AIM:  
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.53
F'N SHAPIRO: And Hogan/Mr. America got gigantic pops every time he showed up in 2003, but it didn't mean he was putting butts in seats. It just meant that the butts who were already in the seats went bonkers when they saw him.

No doubt. The 2k3 lull in business started, in my opinion, at WM18. The Canadian audience, by going apeshit, put the bright idea in Vince's head that people would actually pay (and tune in) to see a 50 year old Hulk Hogan do the same three moves. Oddly enough, the butts in the seats were less and less for a good 18 month period. Which is why I'm glad Hogan was nowhere near WM XX - things are going fairly well at the moment.


FLEA


(edited by RYDER FAKIN on 10.4.04 0848)


Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high...

FLEA - 1ryderfakin.com - THE IWC 100! And The Wrestling Dead Pool!!
oldschoolhero
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

Since last post: 2021 days
Last activity: 1955 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.28
If they're serious about Eddie-as-the-next-big-thing they could do a lot worse than building to an Eddie/Taker SummerSlam match. Think about it: Eddie sees off (ugh) JBL at Judgement Day, then Big Show at the June show, whilst Taker makes baleful threats to GM Angle about wanting a title match. And its not like Taker would swamp Guerrero's face heat, either-they've even got a textbook example of how to do tweener UT in the '98 Highway to Hell feud.

I mean, I'm not saying I think it'd be a great match (it could be, but that's neither here nor there), but Taker is easily the biggest-name attraction SmackDown has right now, and for better or worse he should be used as such whilst they're trying to get all these newbies over. It's a trump card that's worth gambling on, considering the alternatives. Speaking of which, does anyone know of any plans for the SD brand beyond the next PPV?



For Relaxing Times...Make It Suntory Time

JustinShapiro
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 9 hours
Last activity: 3 hours
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.78
I think it's all systems go with Kurt Angle, God willing. But they've got, what, two more Smackdown PPVs between JD and SummerSlam, with the additional one*? So I don't know if they'll do an extended Kurt/Eddie series of matches, build towards a big Mania rematch at SummerSlam, or do it in June and then move on. I don't know nothin' about nothin', man.





* which had better be called Fully Loaded, because that names rules.
minextoo
Chorizo








Since: 28.5.02
From: Bloomington, IN

Since last post: 3821 days
Last activity: 3586 days
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.10
JMShapiro,

Have you ever been to a live event where Taker was wrestling? Look at the merchandise -- look at the crowd, listen to the crowd talk. If you really think Taker doesn't put asses in the seats, then, no offense, but maybe you don't really understand what the phrase means.

And, it's my opinon that Taker should NEVER get beat at WM. Let him have that legacy. There are other ways to give a kid a push. Every year everyone is bitching about how Taker should lose at WM.

It's amazing at how Eddie and Benoit are the champs but everyone is still screaming about people being held down.

Pages: 1 2 Next
Thread rated: 5.47
Pages: 1 2 Next
Thread ahead: Matt Morgan?
Next thread: Banned Book - UNDER THE MAT by Diana Hart - SEARCHING!!!
Previous thread: Heat & Velocity time change ...
(6774 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
The only one I know of quit some time ago. I think he runs a mesasge board now.
- evilwaldo, The WWE's use of WWF (2003)
Related threads: Terri and Sean are gone! - More trouble from WWE 2002 Plane flight from Hell - SPOILER new wwe character/wrestler - More...
The W - Pro Wrestling - The Undertaker: Has WWE painted themselves into a corner?Register and log in to post!

The W™ message board

ZimBoard
©2001-2014 Brothers Zim

This old hunk of junk rendered your page in 0.69 seconds.