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Arrow TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS

TDL X: STACKED



CGS vs RugbyRat vs obby vs Scott Hall's Ghost
Did TNA make the right decision moving the title away from the Storm vs Roode feud and putting it onto Austin Aries?


Spoiler for Debates:
RugbyRat
Did TNA make the right decision moving the title away from the Storm vs Roode feud and putting it onto Austin Aries?

"In a word; No. But, this debate needs more detail than that.

Firstly, the backstory, Roode and Storm, collectively known as 'Beer Money Inc' had dominated the tag team division, including a record-breaking tag team titles run. It could be stated that they had somewhat outgrown the tag team division, they both appeared prime for the big one. They were both popular and were doing well as single stars, as both did reasonably well in the 2011 BFG series. It appeared that they would go their separate ways in search of the TNA title. Bobby Roode was on strong momentum, having won the BFG series at No Surrender. James Storm won the belt, only to be cheated by Roode soon after, facilitating a Roode heel turn. They had largely been kept away fromeach other, with feuds with Angle and Bully Ray (arguably TNA's 2 biggest stars) until Lockdown, which was held in Storm's home-state of Tennesee. TNA showed that it was only down to luck that Roode won. Storm then returned from a leave of absence to break Crimson's undefeated streak. Storm was on a huge roll.

From a kayfabe point of view, it would appear that Storm was one of the best wrestlers on the roster and would be certain to get another title reign. A real-life point of view would also suggest that James Storm should win the title, as at the time, he was probably more over than Bobby Roode (not that Bobby wasn't over). People were genuinely invested in the storyline and wanted Storm to claim what they believed was rightfully his.

However, we were thrown the curve ball of Austin Aries getting a title shot, then winning at Destination X, from a kayfabe point of view, it showed Roode to be weaker, as he had been beaten by a smaller cruiserweight, who had only really been fighting other cruiserweights. From a real-life point of view, this derailed Roode's momentum, it also meant that the inevitable BFG clash couldn't be over the one thing the feudstarted for - the TNA gold. It showed that Roode was more beatable, which took some of the gloss from Storm's win.

To be honest there aren't a lot of genuine counter-arguments. The only real one that I can think of is that it propelled Aries into a main-eventer for the time period. However, he was just fed to Jeff Hardy at BFG as an incentive to stop him leaving, which was a waste. 1 year later at BFG, we're back to square one Aries is wrestling in the X Division. And to make matters worse, it was a multi-man match, which he didn't even win. So, in essence, the push may as well have never happened.

All in all, Storm v Roode should have closed BFG for the title. It was the blow-off to a very intense feud, which had gone on a year. On the other hand, Jeff Hardy v Austin Aries, where the heel was more cheered than the face, which points to a poor crowd reaction to a feud. As I've stated that Aries wouldn't be TNA champion entering BFG, I would have him face Samoa Joe at the event again for the X Division title."


obby
In today’s wrestling industry, the WWE are the absolute mega power and every other company is either small or microscopic in comparison. This, of course, gives them the pick of the litter when it comes to hiring talent. A smaller company like TNA can only hope to build their roster by capitalizing on the WWE’s mistakes, which is exactly what they managed to do with Austin Aries, a world class indy talent that had previously been rejected for WWE’s “Tough Enough”. If you can look past his height, Aries is undoubtedly the total package. Fantastic on the mic, stellar in the ring, and oozing charisma, he was an absolute must-have for TNA, and has only further proven his worth since debuting, often being the only high point of an otherwise terrible show. Aries is easily one of the company’s biggest assets, which is exactly why they made the right move in giving him the world title in the summer of 2012 and taking the main event focus away from Bobby Roode and James Storm, two of TNA’s home grown talents.

Let’s take a look at the matchup that the decision to take the title away from said feud inspired. One of TNA’s absolute best in Austin Aries, against TNA’s undisputed number one box office draw in Jeff Hardy. Big league matches like these are exactly what a company like TNA needs in order to avoid being considered “bush league”, something they already had more than enough of an issue with. While both Bobby Roode and James Storm have several fans amongst the TNA community, they lack the appeal and/or overall ability required to carry a company, especially Storm, who often times acts as a comedic character and bounces between the upper and midcard. A promotion’s World Champion is supposed to represent the absolute best of the best, what the company is all about, and the level of talent contained in the rosters.

Honestly, the biggest mistake TNA has made thus far involving Aries isn’t giving him the world title, but rather not letting him have a longer reign. Since the end of his feud with Jeff Hardy at Genesis 2013 of this year, Aries has been constantly shafted from the main event in favour of the terrible Aces and Eights storyline. TNA should be taking full advantage of the fact that they have such a full package talent on their roster and make use of him in main event angles more often. While it could be argued that both Bobby Roode and James Storm aren’t fit for the main event scene, it’s nigh on undisputable in Aries’ case, and it genuinely surprises me that matches like the main event of Bound for Glory last year aren’t offered up on a more consistent basis, all things considering.
Looking at the actual feud between Roode and Storm, it has to be noted that prior to said storyline both workers were in a mid to upper midcard tag team, and could’ve used some more build up before being rushed right to the main event scene. The feud worked better as a vicious, “these two guys really hate each other” type of contest, as opposed to one involving the world title. The story went in to Bound For Glory the right way, as a bloody street fight separated from any titles and based solely upon the two worker’s histories with one another, something I can commend TNA for.

Saying that the writers at TNA have made a plethora of bad decisions over the last year would be an understatement, but the wrong decision certainly wasn’t made when Austin Aries came in to possession of the championship. If TNA ever expect to be treated as a world class company, they need to make sure that they present world class talent to the masses, and with all of the talent that Aries has it’s a crime that he’s only a one time champion at this point. Roode and Storm aren’t exactly low tier, but they aren’t made for the main event in the same way that Aries is, and I can only hope that TNA will soon make the right decision for a second time and crown him as champion again.


CGS
Did TNA make the right decision moving the title away from the Storm vs Roode feud and putting it on Austin Aries?

Let’s just rewind quickly to the summer of 2011. While the majority of the wrestling world were concerning themselves with conspiracy theories and “pipe bombs”, TNA were preparing to start a tournament known as the bound for glory series. Here 12 men competed against each other each week for the chance to go on and headline the biggest PPV on the TNA calendar, Bound for Glory.

So when Roode was to win the series, it seems as if title glory was well on its way. Well…... not exactly. But hey, one man’s loss is another man‘s gain right with Storm winning the title a mere 4 nights later with his friend coming down and celebrating with him right afterwards. So when the two met up in an eventual title match up 2 weeks later you would imagine that after 2 years on the road together win or lose their friendship would remain as strong as ever….like anything in wrestling ever does right?. One beer bottle to the head later and both James Storm’s short title reign and their friendship came to an abrupt end. This would however be the beginning of a brilliant on and off year long feud between the two.

So, did TNA make the right decision in moving the title from the Roode/Storm feud and putting it on Austin Aries? Nope and here’s why.

1. Storm/Roode for the title was the most logical option available at the time


For months Roode was obsessed with winning the World title. So desperate he was willing to screw over his “good friend” just to get it. Time and time again we saw Roode finish above Storm only fueling Storm’s disappointment within himself. We even saw him decide to take a leave of absence after accidently costing himself the title at Lockdown in his very own hometown. But oh look a potential turning point. Storm is coming back….right when the 2012 BFG series is about to begin.

Feels as if the feud was written for Storm to make a triumphant come back and boom finish off Bobby Roode for good, I mean having Storm win the BFG series and then having him win the big one at BFG thus achieving something that a year earlier Robert Roode actually failed at kicks him in the balls that little bit more. Sure it’s predictable and I know people seem to believe that predictability = Lazy booking but that right there was classic good guy prevails over the bad guy storytelling that has been working for decades. Frankly, sometimes predictability is good

2. Storm beating Roode for the title would have been an even bigger feel good moment.

Don’t get me wrong, When Storm looked Roode right into the eyes with the blood pouring down his face before giving him one last super kick to the jaw right into the thumbtacks it was a brilliant moment for all the fans….but just imagine just how much more brilliant that moment would have been knowing Storm was taking the title from him. How brilliant it would have been having Storm hold the title over Roode’s lifeless body while he laughing at him, how after close to a year of holding the title Roode was to get his comeuppance and have his world come crashing down just like he had done to Storm the previous year.


When it was all said and done Storm needed some serious vengeance, not just a beatdown, He needed to hit Roode where it hurt, Roode was so obsessed with being the best in the company that he was willing to screw over everyone who got in his way. What better way for karma to kick him right in the nuts than to have the guy he initially screwed out of the title come back a year later and end his record setting World title run? Again it’s storytelling and booking 101.


3. While Austin Aries titles win was a great moment for the fans it simply wasn’t required at that time.


Then you have the final factor within all of this. Austin Aries. Now it’s hard to deny that Aries was crazy over when he won the title. But here’s the thing, Just because someone is getting over doesn’t mean you should automatically push them to the sky. Sometimes the best build is a slow burning one, Keep the fans wanting that little bit more without giving too much away and that is where Austin Aries was at when he won the title.


I mean, Let’s face it Aries wasn't exactly a 40 year old vet on his final run before retirement looking to go out with one last big Hurrah. He was a young guy in the prime of his career and doing perfectly fine building a very nice rapport for himself as the longest reigning X division champion ever. If anything having him just vacate the X division title in the way he did was borderline stupid for such a great reign.


I mean seriously, Would Aries have been any worse off not winning the title at Destination X? While it was great for the fans does it justify them sacrificing a logical and huge ending to one of the best feuds the company have created? Honestly the answer to both of these questions has to a straightforward no.


So in conclusion, TNA did make the wrong move in taking the title away from the Roode/Storm feud and putting it on Austin Aries. From a booking standpoint it was just much more logical to continue on from lockdown and have the feud come around full circle, from a logical standpoint everything that happened just felt like storytelling 101 and of course Aries, while a brilliant moment, was very unnecessary at the time. In the end TNA just missed a real huge opportunity to create an even bigger and much more memorable moment in James Storm ending Roode’s record setting reign than giving that honour to Aries.



Scott Hall's Ghost
Did TNA make the right decision moving the title away from the Storm vs Roode feud and putting it onto Austin Aries?


There are only two possible answers to this question, regardless what my opponents may try to convince you of.

1) “No”
2) “Is TNA still going?”
a. (as a continuation of #2): “Sure, why not”

This is due to the fact that, as with all things TNA, “right decision” is not a phrase one expects to employ with any sort of conviction. Throughout their short, sordid history, TNA has shown a shocking ineptitude at making the right decisions to better their brand, or even create a consistent, sustainable product.

From the gimmicky employment of the early product, along through the Russo era, into the various runs of past-their-prime stars taking up far too much TV time, and including countless young stars coming along, being mismanaged, and ultimately suffering inconsistent booking—TNA is now, has always been, and one can only assume will always be… a mess.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t engage this historical question of booking with some sort of objective tone, so let’s take a look at why ‘no’ is really the only answer to go with here.

First of all, no.

TNA does not handle anything well.

Constantly trying to decide who and what they want to be, TNA regularly forgets who they ARE at the time, and what they have.

The problem with any debate sitting on the side of ‘positive’ for TNA, is that it will inevitably have a ‘but’: yes, they made the right decision BUT they didn’t book it well… yes, they made the right decision BUT _______ happened and it didn’t work out… yes, but… yes, but… yes, but.

And here’s why that’s foolish—TNA ALWAYS shits the bed. They can’t help themselves, so hinging any ‘they made the right call’ debate on ‘if they just would have…’ is doomed to fail.

The Bobby Roode/Austin Aries saga is a prime example of this.

Bobby Roode is arguably of the best non-WWE talents in the last 20 years. He’s great on the mic, he’s super in the ring, he has charisma, he is great in a team, and he’s a believable 1A guy when given the spot. In short, Bobby Roode is one of the best things happening in TNA.

One of his greatest strengths lies in his ability to sell a feud. Whether it was with his former partner, and perennial tag-partner-someone, James Storm, or more recently with Kurt Angle, Bobby Roode is a guy who gives a feud teeth.

The decision to remove the title from the Roode/Storm feud, then, was a shaky one at best. Former tag partners, with an older fan-favorite veteran against a younger, mega-ego heel had the makings of a solid long-term feud that could provide the exact kind of consistency TNA always seems to lack. Without seeming stale and boring, this feud could have worked its way through various incarnations as even average booking could produce when the starting product is these two stars.

Instead, when the sky was possibly the limit, the title was shifted to Aries in a move that was not only surprising, but also fairly confusing at the time.

Now, Aries in his own right is a mega-talent himself. Oozing charisma and shining in various expressions of the TNA product, Aries showed an ability to be a special talent from the get-go. However, ‘special talent’ or no, the timing and delivery of his ascendance to the throne seemed muddled at best. A previous X-Div. champ, Aries had a strong pedigree so TNA decided to make him ‘their guy’.

Again, to qualify things as a good decision for TNA, there is often the addendum of an ‘if’ or ‘but’. In this case, for it to be a good decision, we need to look to the fallout, or potential fall-out of such a move.

After Roode dropped the title, he went on eventually to feud with Storm again for a time. Aries held the belt and dropped it in a few months to Jeff Hardy with both Aries and Roode disappearing from the title hunt for the most part. More confusingly, after fighting in a post-dropped-the-belt feud, Aries and Roode would be paired together for the next half-year as a tag team.

When it was all said and done, Aries and Roode were two exciting stars that were poised to be poster boys for an exciting TNA product that could boast legitimately entertaining characters in their title pictures. Instead, the title passed between two of their marketable talents and onto a new direction, again to be switched, and again to be switched, and…

TNA has a bed-shitting problem. We know this. So when they make a nice, neat little bed and we are asked, “Was that a good idea?”, we can’t just shrug anymore. We know they’re going to soil it. And that’s why the answer is always ‘no’. It’s not that they made a bad decision here, it’s that they ALWAYS make a bad decision. The principle outweighs the practice.


http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/.../18857496.html
http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/t...l#.UqTfLo3VGmI
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/.../18924936.html
http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/t...l#.UqTfY43VGmI
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ight_Champions


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
RugbyRat - Parts of this were good but then other parts were a bit .... just there. A bit too much explaining context and not enough arguing reasoning. First paragraph is a bit setting the scene heavy but it was fine for just this one paragraph but then it continued and it outstayed its welcome a little because when it came time for you to start stating your reasoning and arguing why your reasoning was correct you were still explaining contexts too much. I really liked your last 2 sentences of paragraph 3 (or 4 if you include the first line of your debate as a paragraph) because they stated WHY it was the wrong move and the disadvantages of the move. However, there wasn't enough of that and that's where your debate suffered. It needed more strong reasoning like that in it and then it also needed you to expand on certain reasoning more to add that strength in depth to your debate. Nice job addressing the counter and I thought you did a solid job showing how Aries winning didn't really end up benefiting him in the end. You could have added in how much more benefit Storm would have got from winning the title from Roode rather than Aries here although you did briefly touch on it. This is what I mean by expanding on points too though to strengthen them. Your conclusion I didn't really fell summarised your debate. It felt a bit stand alone for a conclusion. But maybe was that was due to your main body being too context heavy. Try to focus more on reasoning for your argument and expanding on points such as derailing Roode's momentum and then make your conclusion a brief summary of your main argument. By no means bad but just lacking in the key area.

obby - Taking the opposing stance . I thought you made a good effort of arguing what I thought was the harder side of the debate. While I thought your debate was mostly good I did feel it suffered from a lack of focus on Roode/Storm and more on Aries' talent in a context outside of the debate topic's context. I thought your reasoning for the Aries/Hardy match was good and your argument for Roode/Storm working better in a non-title personal feud ender was sound too. I think there's an obvious counter to that by stating that while the Roode/Storm feud was personal it was also about the title as that's what was the catalyst for the start of the feud and you left that wide open.

CGS - This impressed me A LOT. Brilliant structuring and formatting. Makes the debate a lot easier and enjoyable to read and the structure helped A LOT in communicating your argument to the reader. I'm normally very eh on setting the context of a topic up but I thought you did it really well here in a way that introduced your main body superbly well. This wasn't just a statement of context, it was an introduction too and that's what made me like it where I've normally criticised wasting a full paragraph on setting the scene that I already know of. "I mean having Storm win the BFG series and then having him win the big one at BFG thus achieving something that a year earlier Robert Roode actually failed at kicks him in the balls that little bit more." = Awesome. Loved your "Frankly, sometimes predictability is good" line too because it's so true and especially so in this situation when they didn't do the predictable thing to their own detriment. You did end the paragraph without a full stop though . Your whole point #2 argument is amazing. The only nitpicking fault I could make is that you could have compared it to Aries' feel good title win too and showed why Storm's would have been better for whatever reason. "Sometimes the best build is a slow burning one, Keep the fans wanting that little bit more without giving too much away" = another awesome line that felt like it came straight out of my own amazing wrestling brain. You can probably ignore my minor critique about your 2nd point now because after reading again for my judging you addressed it here I'd say. You had some great points here that the others didn't bring up and that I really thought went beyond the basic 5 minute think about the topic. The waste of Aries' X-Division title run I thought was brilliant. I'm gonna be a dick and mention that you had some full stop, comma, capital letter iffiness going on but it was very minor. Other than that I have nothing really to critique with this debate. I'd be proud of submitting this debate myself.

Scott Hall's Ghost - I read all these debates yesterday and then re-read again now to make my judging comments. CGS' debate I was really looking forward to reading again. This one ..... I wasn't. And I felt the same after reading for a 2nd time. I just didn't enjoy reading this at all and I didn't think it was that technically sound either. I don't know, maybe it was 1000 or so words of genius that just went over my head. Maybe it was just indirect rambling nonsense. I'm really not even sure. I'm just sure that I didn't enjoy reading it and I wasn't 100% sure of what your actual argument was because of all the ..... stuff?... stuff you had about the TNA context. In the last third you seem to finally get around to the actual topic but even then you seemed to not focus enough on the actual decision and go off on tangents. I don't really want to hear about bed shitting every few paragraphs either. I'm still not really sure what you were going for but for me it fell flat on its face.

Winner - CGS by a landslide and 3 shillings change.

Evolution

RugbyRat: While I appreciate the history lesson about what actually happened, a much shorter summary would have helped because you didn’t get to use much of your word count to explore the topic as you spent half your debate telling the back story. Had your debate been longer you may have been able to justify it but it was pretty short so I can’t see why you’d spent literally half your word count explaining the situation.

I didn’t mind your arguments as to why it was bad, but you only spent one paragraph on ALL your reasons and didn’t get to expand on any of them. It’s one thing to list what something is then what impact it had but you have to explain WHY that’s important. Go that extra step in your reasoning and it will help. That goes for everyone tbh.

obby: You contradicted yourself massively in your introduction and honestly it killed the debate for me. You started by saying the WWE gets the best of everything and TNA has to rely on the mistakes of WWE to get by (which on it’s own is pretty harsh) but then you said that Aries deserved the title over Roode and Storm, who are and I quote you “two of TNA’s home grown talents”.

So what makes you think that TNA as a promotion can afford to fuck over the momentum of two of their most long-serving and home grown, built and made talents in Roode and Storm by hot-shotting the title to a guy who had been in the company for a meagre amount of time compared to the others?

If Aries is so talented it wouldn’t have mattered had he waited 6-12 months for the feud to get its proper treatment. You mentioned that Roode/Storm had mostly been a middle to upper-card tag team for most of their run which is exactly why they needed the opportunity and time to solidify themselves in the main event.

There were just too many inconsistencies and massive gaps for counter-argument in your debate unfortunately.

CGS: An interesting take on the question (basically looking at it from a kayfabe perspective) which you argued quite well. Your debate made sense from start to finish which was great but it would have been awesome if you had expanded on the business aspect a little bit more and the benefits of having that feud run it’s proper course like you explained.

For example had you talked about solidifying the two of them (not just one) as legit main event players, how much that would have strengthened the TNA product as whole in the main event scene with home-grown talent (something TNA is sorely lacking tbh).

Aside from that I dug the debate, it was a fun look at what could or should have happened, but could have been made just that little bit stronger with a bit of a broader look at the nuts and bolts of what makes wrestling work and why it wasn’t just bad for the fans the way they handled it, but bad for business too.

Scott Hall's Ghost: Finally a debate which effectively tackled the poor business side of the decision to do what TNA did. My faith has been restored thank you.

While I felt you got a bit muddled in the middle of your debate and what you were actually saying became a bit unclear on the first reading, for the most part your debate was pretty good.

I really liked the last half of your debate starting at “The Bobby Roode/Austin Aries saga is a prime example of this.” It flowed well and you nailed the idea home that it not only made zero sense from a booking perspective, but it made no sense from a business perspective.

TNA’s bed-shitting has cost them dearly in the past and it would have been nice if you just added a touch on the fact this was their chance to finally get something right for once and they blew it.

Decision: For me it was between CGS and Scott Hall's Ghost for the win and I’d have to give it to Scott Hall's Ghost just for expanding on the consequences of the decisions made a little better and taking it from a broader perspective.

Headliner
RugbyRat

It was ok. It was too short, but most importantly I was left stratching my head. Nothing really stood out here. You explained the backstory of the Roode-Storm feud, then went back and forth between this kaybabe and realistic point of views. But I feel like the entire debate lacked real substance. You also spent an entire paragraph trying to address a counter argument when that paragraph was better suited to trying to convince the reader why the title should have stayed between Roode and Storm. The one good line you had was that Aries beating Roode took some of the gloss off Storm's win. Overall there was nothing that really convinced me. It all seemed like a general long wrestling post.

obby

This one needed more. You did an ok job talking up Aries as the greatest thing ever, but you need more than that to show why he was the correct choice. What about his rise to the World title match? His momentum? You also said things that has too much room for counter argument. You said it can be argued that Storm & Roode aren't main-event material, yet Aries is with no question main-event material? That's approaching a borderline bias territory that you don't want to get yourself involved in especially considering the amount of people that do think Triple H's son, I mean Bobby Roode is main-event material. Fair > Bias.

Yeah, I think the debate was leaning on the bias side a bit. Plus you never really said what was wrong with keeping the title in the Roode/Storm fued.

CGS

Good debate. Nice layout. You made it simple. You showed why keeping the title in the Roode/Storm feud was the right choice by showing the logic behind it, and the feel good redemption moment that Storm would have gotten. Like you said, it's storytelling and booking 101. Most importantly you mentioned why Aries should not have gotten the title which I thought was huge. You acknowledged his momentum while also mentioning that he could have kept a long X-Division run and still built momentum because slow burning booking is better than the quick rise booking they gave Aries. Great! That provided the well roundedness you need to end a good debate.

Scott Hall's Ghost

The constant shitting on TNA had zero relevance to the actual debate and it caused me to not be interested in your debate at all. And the parts I did read did nothing to convince me of your stance. I was more wondering what the hell you were talking about more than anything.

Winner-With Ease, CGS


Winner via Split Decision - CGS


*In a feel good moment for the TDL crowd, TDL Alumni Froot is brought out to his front row seat having finally awoken from his comatosed state after being launched off the VIP balcony by DarkStark and Amber B for being a pervy little creep and asking to see their cleavage. In the end it turned out to just be a terrible misunderstanding as Froot was just looking for the guy called Cleavage. Froot is applauded for his bravery and soaks up the cheers and claps for his entrance. The Lady Killer actually also made his first appearance of the night entering the Judging Table at the same time so it's 99% likely the reception was actually for The Lady Killer. Still, at least Froot got to feel good about himself.*

smitty915 vs BRUCE KLEE vs CamillePunk
Are WWE focusing too much on creating a big Hispanic drawing card to the detriment of creating other potential drawing cards?


Spoiler for Debates:
BRUCE KLEE
Are WWE focusing too much on creating a big Hispanic drawing card to the detriment of creating other potential drawing cards?

The idea that the WWE’s attempts to create a big Hispanic draw would be to the detriment of creating other potential draws is preposterous to me. The answer is No.

The WWE Programming reaches 36 million viewers worldwide in 150 countries.

The WWE has around 7 hours of on air content each week, 12 PPV’s per year plus much more content available online and through the WWE app.

The WWE have enough resources and time to effectively build multiple stars, they rely too much on scripting their television programs and making sure it looks good on screen and not enough on character and storyline progression to enable their stars to get over. So while there are wrestlers on the WWE roster that seem like they are ready for a push it lies with the creative team to find something of purpose for them to do.

The fact that this question even arises highlights to me that the WWE have serious problems with the booking of their superstars and should fire their creative team and hire people that have a clue about the business.

There have been many successful Latino stars over the years. Pedro Morales, Tito Santana and the late great Eddie Guerrero are to name a few. These stars have coexisted with other stars and all deserve their place in WWE history.

A more recent example of a WWE superstar aimed at the Hispanic audience and who has been pushed to the moon is Alberto Del Rio. It is clear the WWE wants him to fulfill this role. He has had multiple WWE and World Heavyweight Championship reigns. You need to look at the reasons for this to establish if it has been to the detriment of somebody else. It is irrelevant at this point that he lacks charisma and is boring to a point of viewers fast forwarding through the majority of his matches and segments. If anything his push has been to the detriment of the WWE and not any particular star on the roster.

WWE.COM sums up my point nicely;



“Born into Mexican nobility, Alberto Del Rio is the son of famous luchador Dos Caras, who is linked by blood to Spanish royals Ferdinand and Isabella. Hailing from a wealthy family, Del Rio has a haughty air about him and a demeanor that tends to be off-putting to the WWE Universe.”

So because of his heritage and name he was given opportunities. They were quick to try and establish him as a star from the very beginning. They currently had Rey Mysterio who is coming to the end of his long career and they now needed to create a new Hispanic drawing card. Del Rio actually beat Mysterio in his first match in WWE, he then won the Royal Rumble in 2011 but went on to lose to Edge at Wrestlemania and then Christian a month later.

Del Rio had a six month run as a face and this didn’t go as hoped. The reaction he got when he won the World Heavyweight Title from Big Show was actually quite impressive, but through his feud with Jack Swagger he didn’t connect with the fans and it fell flat, they had no other option than to shift the character back to heel. They had Cena go over as per usual and if anybody has been pushed to the detriment of others it’s Mr John Cena but that’s a different story.

The fact that WWE have no other options other than Del Rio it creates an illusion that he is receiving a push to the detriment of other stars but that is simply not the case. He actually has decent talking ability and an undeniable talent in the ring. He’s just not the hero they want him to be despite the pushes he gets.

Another option to appease the WWEs Hispanic viewership is Sin Cara, a huge star and the biggest draw in all of Mexico. But we can conclusively say that he has completely flopped since coming to WWE, his booking has been poor and he has been over gimmicked, don’t get me started on the fucking ridiculous lighting during his matches. Nothing Sin Cara has ever doen was to the detriment of another superstar.

To answer the question we need to look at wrestlers that could be argued have been under-pushed or utilized due to WWEs focus on Alberto Del Rio and creating a big Hispanic draw.

In fact I believe that there are many other stars more capable and that connect with the fans more so than Alberto Del Rio that don’t get the proper opportunites they should. One example is Dolph Ziggler. I’ve heard arguments that Dolph Zigglers push has suffered at the hands of Del Rio. Ziggler cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase on Del Rio but then Del Rio won the title back.

Officials from within WWE have said that they don’t think Ziggler has the ability to draw money in spite of his impressive reactions and now the apparent decision to focus on larger stars leaves Ziggler out in the cold. This has led to a near burial as Ziggler has recently spoken out about the company. His disparaging remarks were actually about the focus on Randy Orton and not Alberto Del Rio.

The stars that the WWE push, that fill the Hispanic demographic, all have great potential and deserve the opportunity to prove themselves to be top stars.

It’s due to the terrible and inconsistent booking these stars have failed and the characters either don’t connect with the audience or are so injury prone they don’t have a chance to.

The fact that the WWE have been able to create other stars during Del Rios run, in CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus indicates the WWEs attempts to create an Hispanic draw is irrelevant in assessing the WWEs ability or inability to create other big draws for the company.



CamillePunk
Are WWE focusing too much on creating a big Hispanic drawing card to the detriment of creating other potential drawing cards?

Without a doubt, yes. Over the last 3 years nobody has embodied WWE’s blatant coveting of the Hispanic audience more than Alberto Del Rio. Sure there have been other Hispanic talents (or Hispanic-oriented gimmicks) during that time (Mysterio, Sin Cara, Hunico, Camacho, Epico, Primo, etc.), but none have come close to the exposure or push as ADR.

In fall of 2010 ADR was immediately put in a feud with Rey Mysterio, establishing him as the prime Hispanic villain. Not only did he come out on top in this feud, during which he competed for the World Heavyweight Championship a mere 4 months into his WWE career, but he went on to win the Royal Rumble just a month later, and competed for the world title again at Wrestlemania. During this time ADR had not managed to receive much in the way of crowd reaction, in fact he was overshadowed by his ring announcer. This led to ADR slipping down the card for a few months after Extreme Rules.

Enter the Summer of Punk. CM Punk had set the wrestling world on fire and garnered mainstream attention for “leaving WWE with the title” in a storyline where most were unsure at the time of what was scripted and what was real. Within a month, Punk had defeated the unbeatable John Cena twice for the WWE championship, and was poised to be a new mega star for WWE. This path was immediately dusted by WWE deciding to have Alberto Del Rio, who had still not managed to garner any crowd reaction after a year despite his huge push, cash in on Punk and take the WWE title.

That’s right, a guy who couldn’t get over with 7 months of a huge push involving feuding with top stars for the world title and WINNING the Royal Rumble, was given the top belt in wrestling over a guy who had become the first wrestler poised to compete with Cena for the top spot in the company in several years. Over the next 4 months, ADR would be involved in five more WWE title PPV matches, during which he would lose and regain the title, pinning Punk once again, and then eventually drop it back to Punk. During this extensive main event push, ADR never garnered close to the reaction one would expect of a main event heel. By contrast, on Smackdown, Mark Henry was excelling in his role as that brand’s main event heel.

For ADR, 2012 was a year of him feuding with World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, during which he was thankfully never given the title, but was given rematch after rematch despite still never being accepted as a main event heel by the fans. Finally at the end of the year, ADR turned face for the first time in his career, and was booked to win the World Heavyweight Championship at the very next PPV, leading to a pro-immigrant gimmick to set up a feud with anti-immigration Jack Swagger. Even all of this however was not enough to get ADR over.
Meanwhile, Dolph Ziggler had recently been naturally turned face by fan reaction due to his talent, and despite technically being a heel, was CHEERED by the fans for cashing in on a weakened FACE Alberto Del Rio, and taking the world title from him.

Now, in a world where WWE cares more about pushing new stars based on talent and crowd reaction, Ziggler would be pushed as a main event face and ADR would naturally slip down the card, realizing after 2 and a half years that shoving him down the fans’ throats wasn’t working out. However, this is a world where WWE has an insane obsession with cornering the Hispanic demographic, and so they booked ADR to win the title back from Ziggler, winning their feud, and then going on to hold the title for several more months.

Despite being pushed in the main event for the better part of 3 years, including 2 WWE title wins, 2 WHC title wins, and a Royal Rumble win, ADR has never garnered the reaction one would expect of a main event talent. Meanwhile he has been booked in a way which pours cold water on actual red hot talents, namely Punk in ’11 and ZIggler in ’13. No one else has received this big and this irrational of a push.

Yes, WWE over-targets the Hispanic demographic much to the detriment of creating actual draws.

Spoiler for CamillePunk Interview With Resident WF Hispanic and Wrestling Expert scrilla lee:
CP: Hola hermano, congratulations on the recent engagement and thanks so much for taking the time with me today. Let’s start.

How often would you say you watch WWE programming?

SL: The fake fighting part? Never. Total Divas? Every Sunday night puto.

CP: When is the last time you enjoyed a WWE show?

SL: Last Sunday when Nikki B became the first superstar to ever make John Cena tap out live on Total Divas.

CP: What are your thoughts on Alberto Del Rio's push over the last 3 years?

SL: He wishes he was a Bella.

CP: Everyone does.

Would you watch WWE if ADR were more prominently featured?

SL: No, but I would watch WWE if Nikki Bella was the WWE Champion. She's a Mexican in case the judges didn't know.

CP: Favorite Hispanic talent in WWE, and do you feel they're underutilized?

SL: Nikki Bella and I think you already know the answer to that.

CP: How important is it to you that Hispanic talent be featured in WWE?

SL: Less important than Nikki Bella being featured on every show.

CP: Is it really Rey Mysterio in the bull costume?

SL: Que?

CP: Indeed. Well I think that about covers it. Not sure what more anyone could possibly ask for from this incredibly informative interview. Thanks for taking the time, and a pleasure as always.



smitty915
Are WWE focusing too much on creating a big Hispanic drawing card to the detriment of creating other potential drawing cards?

YES


I could easily spend my entire intro going over the history of professional wrestling in Mexico and why it is such a popular sport there, but as the judge, I guarantee that you know what Lucha Libre is and why WWE wants to capitalize on the Hispanic demographic so much. I am saying YES to the resolution because of the fact that although it is good that the WWE considers the Hispanic demographic to be important, their borderline obsession with the Hispanic demographic is detrimental to their product as a whole, and is a bad business procedure in general. The WWE needs to realize that just because a country/demographic has a storied pro wrestling history doesn’t mean that the WWE should ignore other markets like the UK and Asia

My first point is as followed, it is unfair to the other wrestlers

The WWE has constantly tried to push wrestlers such as Sin Cara and Alberto Del Rio as big stars to attempt to draw the Hispanic market into the WWE product. This is just logic of course, why else would they bring in a Lucha wrestler like Sin Cara? To attempt to draw big Lucha fans, many of whom from Hispanic descent. But because you push someone not because of their in ring skills or promo talent, but because of their ethnicity, then it becomes unfair to the other wrestlers on the roster who have gone through developmental (some for years at a time!), and then have to spend more years working their way up the card. Sin Cara, according to his Wikipedia article, NEVER received proper training at FCW and his first WWE style match was at a house show. In another case, Alberto Del Rio was signed in June 2010, and subsequently debuted after Summerslam only 2 months later. In the case of Del Rio, he did not have to go to prove his talents before being pushed like most stars. Instead, he won the Royal Rumble, Money in the bank, and 2 WWE titles in the year 2011 alone. Stars like Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler, work for years before they can finally break out of that midcard slot, and even while in the main event scene, they still are at risk to being shuffled back down to the midcard.

My second point is as follows, to quote Triple H, “it is not best for business”

http://www.wrestlingforum.com/genera...tatistics.html

According to this WF thread, Mexico is #2 on “most searched for WWE”, now, what is #1? Surprising to me at least, was Pakistan. The WWE is known to be popular outside of the US, but I thought the UK, US, or Mexico would be #1. Now, if Pakistan is #1, why does WWE want to create a larger niche in Mexico than in Pakistan if, going by this data, WWE is more popular there? And still, if Mexico already is the 2nd most popular country for WWE, why wouldn’t you want to build the fan base in countries with weaker popularity? This loses them money because they are attempting to promote a product to a country like Mexico in an attempt to create an avid fan base, except that WWE already has an avid fan base there. I personally think that here in the USA, Pro wrestling is popular, but not as popular as it was or should be. I live in a large city (500,000 people) and I rarely meet a fellow wrestling fan, except your average 7 year old Cena fan of course.

http://www.google.com/trends/explore...&geo=MX&cmpt=q

If you click on the above link, you will see a line graph displaying WWE’s popularity over the past 10 or so years in Mexico. I found it interesting that although WWE is relatively popular in Mexico, its popularity has actually reached an all-time low in Mexico. Summer of 09 was an all-time peak for WWE in Mexico. Random yes, but, it seems that WWE’s hard Hispanic push is actually driving away Hispanic viewers. Well, then maybe WWE should stop pushing ADR and Cara so much? When WWE was not pushing the Hispanic demographic so hard, popularity was at an all-time high. When they are, they lose viewers.

Basically, the facts are clear in my essay. One: this is causing for WWE to lose the possibility of new stars, and two, their push isn’t best for business. I like WWE and see why they would see the the dispanic demographic such a value, but pushing mediocre workers like Sin Cara and giving the WWE and WH titles to a guy who can barely cut a watchable promo in ADR is not the best way for WWE to attract that market, as Mexican viewership is at an all-time low. And it is good business that you should push the talent who are over with the crowd, put on good matches, and can cut a good promo, NOT because according to JBL he is “Mexico’s greatest export”.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
I thought all 3 debates were good but they all had an area where they fell short a little which prevented them from having a really strong debate and a clearer win.

BRUCE KLEE - On first read I don't think I got ALL of your debate but I feel that I did on 2nd read. While I got there on a re-read I do think you could have worded your debate a bit better to make your argument a bit clearer. For example, "In fact I believe that there are many other stars more capable and that connect with the fans more so than Alberto Del Rio that don’t get the proper opportunites they should." confused me a little at first because it sounds as though you're starting to argue against yourself but you do turn it around. I think part of it also was that you chose a pretty complex side to argue but given that I thought you argued it really well considering you didn't make it easy for yourself with the complex stance. The stance worked though, or at least you made the argument of your stance work. I thought you could have delved deeper into a comparison of the opportunities Del Rio got that a non-hispanic wrestler could have got and benefited more from. The Ziggler example was good but I thought there were more examples you could have used to strengthen your argument more. I really liked your last paragraph too. I think this reads as a stronger debate the more I go through it.

CamillePunk - Really tight debate. Very little filler that I didn't think contributed directly to your argument and a strong core focus of the debate. I thought you and KLEE argued against each other really well and basically draw a tie which makes me judging between the two of you annoyingly difficult. The Ziggler point I thought was argued really well but KLEE also had a strong counter for it. I don't think either countered the other on this point to the point of discrediting the opposing argument though. I don't mean that as a knock either because I don't think it would have been possible, or at least easy to completely counter that point due to the differing perspective you can view the situation with. I do wish KLEE had sourced the Orton line though. Where I said KLEE could have offered more examples you did. The Punk example I thought was great and I really liked the Henry/ADR comparison showing that ADR wasn't the best talent in that role at the time but still got the better opportunities. That was great. Your argument for why ADR hasn't earned the opportunities he got was good too. You could have maybe drove home the point of his nationality getting him certain opportunities a non-Mexican in a similar situation didn't get. Maybe compare to a heel who debuted at a similar time with similar perceived talent. The bit at the end I didn't get the point of though.

smitty915 - Your intro and first point I really liked. Your first point is technically strong and I really like how clearly you setup a point and then go on to expand on it. Keep that up. I like it. The Bryan and Ziggler comparisons I thought helped your point a lot. Your 2nd point wasn't so strong though and I thought dragged the quality of your debate that you had established before hand down. I thought you left yourself open to too many counters here. The Pakistan point is interesting but how many wrestlers have you heard of from Pakistan? The main reason for pushing a star to appeal to the Mexican fanbase is that talented Mexican wrestlers are out there and you can boost revenues from a variety of sources if you have a top star from a country with a large fanbase. Mexico still came 2nd remember. "And still, if Mexico already is the 2nd most popular country for WWE, why wouldn’t you want to build the fan base in countries with weaker popularity?" - because there's more revenue to be gained from a country with large interest in the product? I think you could have maybe argued that point on your side but it needed actually arguing rather than just being just there like it was and open to easy counter arguments. The 2nd half of this point is stronger although you could argue that maybe your popularity criteria isn't the most suitable. Don't call it an essay btw. It's a minor quarrel but it's not an essay, it's a debate. Or call it an assessment of the situation perhaps. One dodgy paragraph aside though this was good.

Ugh this is a hard choice. Between KLEE and CamillePunk for me as smitty915 blew part of their debate which cost them against strong competition that didn't make the same errors. Giving it to CamillePunk because I thought the Punk and Henry comparisons strengthened their argument more than KLEE was able to strengthen his.

Winner - CamillePunk

The Lady Killer
BRUCE KLEE - I'm a bit torn by this debate. You were off to a promising start with the idea that WWE is a global audience, and thus needs to cater to varying markets, including the Latino/Hispanic market. Then you kinda go off into the creative woes, then circle back around by name-dropping a few famous Hispanic stars. The Del Rio bit was a good example of a failed push, and you concede the fact that it has been detrimental to WWE. This, however, directly acts as a detriment to creating other drawing cards. The question doesn't ask whether it's a detriment to anyone else on the roster, but on the potential to create other stars. You basically say that it does when you state that Del Rio's failures are a detriment to WWE, as WWE would be responsible for placing their eggs in one basket.

CamillePunk - Great intro. The first few paragraphs serve as a strong backdrop for WWE's insistance of pushing ADR, even over newly hot stars like Punk. Very good. You seem to focus entirely on ADR throughout, but I think it works because in your intro, you specifically state that ADR embodies the essence of the topic. I think the Ziggler bit was very strong as well. Punk and Ziggler were two prime examples, and you did a great job being convincing in your analysis of ADR being shoved down our throats despite nobody really caring about him. I think you could've used some numbers to back this up - maybe Raw ratings info during his segments, or PPV buyrates for his main events, etc. The Hispanic market is huge (I researched it during the Sin Cara debate many shows ago), so there's definitely potential for a huge breakout star like Mysterio. I think had you mentioned this, then proved via numbers why ADR isn't THAT guy WWE wants him to be, it would've strengthened your argument. Regardless, still a very strong entry.

smitty915 - Strong intro, and you concede that the Hispanic market is huge. I personally don't believe WWE caters to this demo because of its storied history - I think they cater to this demo because they make up a big chunk of the viewing population. However, we'll see where you're going with this.

I see some holes in the "unfair to other wrestlers" paragraph. Sin Cara (Mistico) was actually one of Luchas biggest stars and one of their best in-ring talents. ADR is also very good in the ring. Mistico failed because it was difficult for him to adjust to WWE style. He was very popular at first, and actually moved a ton of merch. The "not best for business" paragraph also is interesting, because who is to say that Mexico isn't #2 because of stars like Rey/Sin Cara/ADR? If WWE focused on other countries, who is to say that the Mexican market wouldn't suffer as a result? Your next paragraph shuts me right up, and was actually probably the best part of your debate, and may have secured the win, although there are likely other factors involved in this.

Winner = Close between CamillePunk and smitty915, but I'm going with CamillePunk. Just felt more convincing and the Ziggler/Punk bits were very strong.

THE DARK ANDRE
BRUCE KLEE

That tiny font…FUCKERN WARZ~! Please don’t use that again bor, I now have sympathy for Rush and his plight, for fucks sake! Okay, so you made a brave decision to fight for Del Rio and use him as a main example of why WWE aren’t pushing him to the detriment of others. You’re another person who’s using smileys as well…eurgh.

This is a bit too descriptive for me, as it reads as a nice biography of Del Rio’s WWE career, but fails to make strong arguments for the most part. However, you did come out with statements such as “The fact that WWE have no other options other than Del Rio it creates an illusion that he is receiving a push to the detriment of other stars” which was a good argument that was furthered by your run down of the failed botch Cara project.

However, “In fact I believe that there are many other stars more capable and that connect with the fans more so than Alberto Del Rio” is where your debate started to fall apart for me. Wording the beginning of your argument like that is fairly detrimental to your actual stance. You should have buried Ziggler by saying he WASN’T up to the job before backing up your argument with references/quotes from WWE officials saying he wasn’t up to the job. Because of your short comings here CamillePunk prospered with his Ziggler argument.

Again, with “It’s due to the terrible and inconsistent booking these stars have failed and the characters either don’t connect with the audience or are so injury prone they don’t have a chance to.” you should have gone into detail with examples and argued how this wasn’t Del Rio’s fault in any way. The basic idea was good, but you needed to expand upon it. The same goes for your name dropping of the likes of Sheamus and Punk. EXPLAIN how they were able to receive opportunities in spite of Del Rio. CamillePunk actually managed to make a strong argument as to how Del Rio’s presence was to the detriment of Punk, so he got you on that one as well.

Not a bad debate, but my eyes are now bleeding due to the font size! You made a lot of good points, but often failed to expand on them, which I think could be your downfall.

CamillePunk

Okay, so this was really good. You started strongly by making your stance very clear before giving background on the multitude of opportunities that WWE’s current Mexican “drawing card” Del Rio has been afforded despite the fact that nobody gave a fuck. You then built on this by showing how despite the crickets Del Rio was afforded yet more opportunities that were to the detriment of CM Punk’s momentum in the 2011, which was a good argument and one that showed up KLEE. The Mark Henry name drop was also another good way of showing how more deserving wrestlers were made to wrestle for the “B title” while Del Rio held the “A title”. The point about Ziggler also holds merit, although you were lucky that KLEE failed to build a strong argument with quotes to suggest that this was more to do with WWE’s perception of Ziggler lacking potential. The fact that he didn’t means that you’ve trumped him again with your stronger argument.

Your final paragraph was really strong and to be honest your debate should have ended there. The tacked on nonsense at the end wasn’t funny and failed to further your debate in anyway. I’d advise against doing this against stronger debaters because it’s waste of words and some judges might even penalise you for it in this match. It’s better to make one funny joke that fits within the flow of your debate and actually furthers your argument. Ignoring that, this was a good debate that managed to make some strong arguments with very few words. A good, aggressive, concise debate that strangely had some weird irrelevant in joke built in at the end. It was certainly different, but good enough overall.

smitty915

Your opening paragraph is really good. I like the fact that you didn’t waffle on with a background of Lucha Libre as a concept, while your point about other markets intrigued me. Your next paragraph again was interesting, although I don’t think that it was the strongest argument in the world. It’s fair to say that national mainstream wrestling stars from most countries would be afforded instant opportunities over NXT rookies and unproven (in terms of big time business) indy stars. That theme is just a general constant in life where certain people can walk into a job because of their cv while others with more potential but no proof have to start from the bottom, but life’s not fair. Or as Vince McMahon says: “Life sucks…and then you die!”

You started to make a good argument about Pakistan which I think could have been expanded upon with WWE’s Pakistani television viewership statistics or something of that nature. Unfortunately you then started to get a bit tangled up in your own argument, contradicting yourself with “if Mexico already is the 2nd most popular country for WWE, why wouldn’t you want to build the fan base in countries with weaker popularity?” That undermined your argument where you said that by their standards WWE should build a larger niche in Pakistan, while it also failed to take into account that WWE markets towards the larger markets with nationalised “heroes” because there’s more potential to extract profit from these audiences through merchandise from a heavily pushed national “star”. The paragraph really tapered off at the end with the statement about your home City. That seemed a bit random and out of place. If you were arguing for what I THINK you were arguing for then you should have staunchly suggested that a Hispanic drawing card prevents the creation of an American drawing card, one that could revitalise the “bizniz” in the states….but obviously in more detail.

I also found your argument about WWE’s popularity in Mexico being at an all-time low because of ADR and Sin Cara to be a bit weak. If you analyse the graph closely you can see that the sharp decline started in December 2009, which was over six months before Del Rio’s debut. There are also noticeable spikes around the time that Del Rio won the Royal Rumble and fought Edge for the WHC at WrestleMania XXVII. That’s not to say that Del Rio is purely responsible for those spikes, but there’s certainly nothing to suggest that he or Sin Cara are responsible for the decline in interest. Another noticeable thing about the graph is that interest piqued around the start of 2006 and built steadily onwards. It’s fair to say that Rey Mysterio was most likely responsible for those gains, so with that you can actually see why WWE are so desperate to have someone to replace Rey in that role long term. If anything, by linking this graph you’ve damaged your debate because you’ve given me a form of evidence that actually bolsters WWE’s insistence on pushing a Hispanic drawing card other others, while it shows that Sin Cara and Del Rio are clearly not the reason for the overall decline in interest.

I think that you had some good ideas within your debate, but most of them were ultimately flawed. In future you need to be careful not to contradict yourself and make sure you cover all bases for counter arguments. I’ll at least commend you for coming up with some interesting theories.

Decision:

A clear winner for me in this one…

BRUCE KLEE: **

CamillePunk: ***1/4

smitty915: *1/2

CamillePunk wins the vote


Winner via Unanimous Decision - CamillePunk


TDL Grudge Match
BOLO YEUNG vs Scott Hall's Ghost

Are Beauty Pageants bad for society?


Spoiler for Debates:
Scott Hall's Ghost
Are Beauty Pageants bad for society?


The modern beauty pageant as we know it today has a history entrenched in debate and controversy. At the heart of this discord is the fundamental question of whether or not it is morally right and socially acceptable to hold an event, which, in its simplest form, compares women based on their physical appearance.

Perhaps deeper imbedded is the question, ‘is this bad for society?’ The simple answer is that, while beauty pageants carry with them a myriad of potentially devastating dangers for the contestants, their families, and those who invest in the pageants in any meaningful way, the impact to society as a whole is negligible. In other words: no, beauty pageants aren’t bad for society.

From the beginning, pageants were one of two things: a) a comparative assessment of the various entrants’ beauty to determine ‘the most beautiful’, or b) the use/exploitation of said beauty to promote products, events, or places.

One argument for pageants’ worth is that there are often scholarships, etc. available for the betterment of the contestants. However, not only was this a late addition, it is only a very small percentage of participants who actually receive a scholarship (either the winner, or top 3, etc.) or award of any kind.

In actual fact, the cost to contestants is extremely high when entry fees, travel, and the multiple levels of ‘competition’ are considered to make it to the highest levels. Even at a simple one-off, beauty pageants can be an investment of time, money, resources, travel and preparation. With a relatively low ‘payout’, in terms of rewards, this doesn’t seem to merit scholarships as a legitimizing factor.

The talent portion of the contest, another support for it being ‘more than just a beauty contest’, was also a late addition, and seems to carry little weight when considering the actual impact of these contests. In the end, while ‘talent’ and interests/skill set can be a part of the considered overall package, it bears little weight on its own when considering the general merit, or lack thereof, in these contests.

What is left, then, lies solely in the ‘presentation’ aspect, both in terms of how contestants handle themselves in the interviewing process as well as their appearance in bathing suit, nightgown, and other general presentation portions of the event.

Unlike fitness competitions, which grade for the tone and definition of muscle development, as well as the structure and functionality of body/bone mass, beauty pageants focus merely on the aesthetic quality of the contestants and do so within a narrow, Western viewpoint about what beauty really is.

It is here we can draw the distinction between societal damage and individual damage. Are beauty pageants bad for society? No, they are a continuation of a society norm that promotes and focuses upon a particular type of beauty and aesthetic that is held in common with Hollywood, and news and print medias.

While this is an unhealthy image to maintain, no doubt, the cultural impact is minimal as television other media both present this image in other, more meaningful forms, and also provides various other counter-views to these. There is a broader spectrum of engagement in the area of physical appearance and the dialogue now includes health, diet, psychology, emotional impact, inconsistent cultural expectations, social justice, etc.

With such a changing cultural view and perspective, beauty pageants—at least their engrained importance—are losing grip on a society that view them as somewhat foolish/misguided by and large.

However, for those still engaged in beauty pageants, the entire process is rife with misguided pomp, and questionable circumstances. To say ‘judging women solely/mostly on their appearance is wrong’ is an obvious statement that immediately calls into question those who would invest in such a process.

Allowing one’s self to be defined by image alone hardly seems worth debating, as the pitfalls and potential serious damage this approach could cause is as obvious as the fake, glowing white teeth so many contestants lather with petroleum jelly before being paraded out in a bikini.

Still, more troubling than this is the alarming increase in children who are involved in these pageants. Some estimates have over 100,000 children under the age of 12 years old competing in beauty pageants annually.

The fundamental issue at play is the unhealthy image of woman that is presented and upheld via pageantry. While the cultural identity may not be affected to a great degree anymore by these pageants, the individuals participating are engaged and invested in a culture that promotes the valuation of women based solely/mostly on physical appearance.

This unbalanced view leads to an unrealistic expectation put upon the contestants to both achieve and maintain a level of conventional Western beauty standards that are neither realistic nor achievable. The result is poor body image, unhealthy psyches, extreme diet, and an inordinate amount of time, money, and resources poured into hair styling, cosmetics, fashion, appearance-altering devices and mechanisms, as well as surgery.

In an age when social consciousness, equality, and anti-classism, are all ongoing discussions that are reshaping how our culture defines and carries itself, the overall impact of beauty pageants might be negligible on the grand scale… however, it would be dangerous to think that investing in a world with backward standards and impossible benchmarks would have anything other than a negative impact on contestants.

Are beauty pageants bad for society? No, for the most part, they are no longer a part of what defines society’s ideal anymore. But are beauty pageants bad for those involved? Absolutely and without question.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_pageant
http://www.missamerica.org/organizat...d-figures.aspx
http://www.loc.gov/wiseguide/aug08/beauty.html
http://www.missamerica.org/organizat...ant-dates.aspx
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285298/ “Living Dolls: The Making of a Child Beauty Queen”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_beauty_pageant

BOLO YEUNG
DISCLAIMER: Anyone who thinks ‘child pageants’ are ‘beauty pageants’ is a paedophile. They’re an entirely different debate.

The unbalanced media coverage of female beauty pageants compared to the male variety is certainly a symptom of patriarchal domination, but adult pageants in themselves are not at all ‘bad for society’. Remove patriarchal domination from the equation and beauty pageants are nothing more than harmless contests which we as a species engage in all the time. There is absolutely nothing ‘bad for society’ about consenting adults competing against each other whether it’s by singing, dancing, arm-wrestling, cake-baking or beauty-comparing.

No contest suggests that the attributes being contested are the be all and end all of the competitors, so if you think this about beauty pageants then perhaps it’s your attitude that is ‘bad for society’.

Contests between consenting adults certainly aren’t bad for anything. The real issue here is how much of a role beauty pageants play in creating institutional inequality.


Origins of Patriarchal Domination

Long before the Bible and Qur’an reasserted male superiority, Ancient Greek women were treated little better than slaves or children. Many scholars believe this inequality was a direct result of the Ancient Greeks’ invention of democracy. Because only citizens could vote, and you could only be a citizen if your paternity was in no doubt, Ancient Greek males restricted their wives’ activities beyond the home (preventing them interacting with foreigners and slaves) in order to limit the possibility of adultery so that any children born to them would have no doubts regarding their paternity.

There’s no historical evidence that beauty pageants existed in Ancient Greece, which at least proves that beauty pageants are not even a minor cause of patriarchal domination, certainly not when you also consider how big a part religion has played in reinforcing male superiority.


Objectification of Women


Beauty pageants are straight-up, honest to God, clear-as-the-nose-on-Triple-H’s-face objectification of women, but they’re not malevolent or masquerading as anything other than what they are. Men can be objectified in the exact same way, but the female variety gets far more media attention because far more men run the media than women, a point I’ll return to in my conclusion.

There’s plenty of female objectification which is genuinely harmful, like the photo-shopping of models and female celebrities until they’re unattainably flawless. But beauty pageant contestants aren’t photo-shopped caricatures. They’re real people who, unlike anorexic catwalk models, live genuinely healthy lives. They don’t get a post-production geek with an air brush to help them achieve unnatural perfection.

Spoiler for :






Similarly, pageant contestants may have once extolled the values of being good housewives, but that was back in the 1950s and a reflection of the general attitude toward women at that time. Today, pageants are a reflection of the growing empowerment of women, like the 2011 and 2012 Miss World winners, Ivian Sarcos (a nun-raised orphan currently studying Diplomacy at university) and Yu Wenxia (daughter of Chinese farmers who’s already a university graduate), both of whom used their reigns to heavily promote the value of higher education.

Then there’s the current Miss World, Megan Young, who’s an aspiring film-maker currently studying digital media arts who used her winning speech not to blush and thank the judges, but to champion humanitarian values.

But don’t listen to her positive messages, impressionable young girls. She’s just a brainless bimbo, apart from all the charity work, political awareness, digital arts studies and the whole aspiring film-maker thing.

As if girls can be film-makers, lol. Get back in the kitchen, Doris.

Spoiler for :






What About the Children?

We should actually discuss impressionable young girls (sit down, WAGG) as it’s probably the biggest argument for beauty pageants being ‘bad for society’. And by ‘discuss’, I mean completely obliterate the notion with just one simple fact.

Throughout the entire existence of pageants girls have consistently outperformed boys in school, which is quite a bizarre consequence of beauty pageants supposedly teaching young females that all that matters is their looks. The fact that girls constantly outperform boys proves beyond any doubt that pageants have zero bearing on a young female’s ambition or desire for education.


Beauty Pageants Actually Have Positive Benefits for Society. Wait. What?

Miss America contestants work hard all year round to raise awareness and funds for the Children’s Miracle Network (dedicated children’s hospitals), as well as the Miss America Scholarship Fund which last year made more than $45m of scholarship assistance available to over 12,000 young women.

Miss World works in conjunction with Beauty with a Purpose, which raises hundreds of millions of pounds for disadvantaged children while participating in many other humanitarian projects around the world. Nelson Mandela thanked and saluted them via a message from his grandson for their work during the 2011 Miss World Final.

And that’s just two examples. Now try telling Mr Mandela and I that beauty pageants are bad for society.



In Conclusion…

The limitations on female social progression in business, media and politics are created by the glass ceilings set in place by the ‘old school tie network’ of men of a certain race and social standing giving preference to their own kind when it comes to high-powered positions. All elitism is bad for society as it can prevent the most talented individuals from rising to the top, but beauty pageants do not contribute to gender-based elitism as it’s factually proven that they have no ill effect on young female aspirations nor are they a contributing factor to the pre-existing patriarchal domination currently officiated by self-serving public school-educated white men. This ‘old boys club’ is the problem women face when trying to break the glass ceiling, and any attempt to siphon off responsibility for the lack of female representation in high-powered positions onto beauty pageants is pure, unadulterated tomfoolery.

So kick the stick away from the blind man of ignorance and swat the wasps of doubt from the pure apple of truth. The real problem is gender-based elitism, not ultimately unimportant contests between consenting adults that few regard with any relevance.

Spoiler for :






Further Reading:
Ancient Greek Patriarchy Explained in Detail
Bible Quotes Oppressing Women (there’s a lot)
Top Ten Qur’an Quotes Oppressing Women
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Miss America Scholarship Fund
Beauty with a Purpose
The EU Takes Measures to Break Glass Ceilings


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Evolution
Scott Hall's Ghost: I really enjoyed the flow of your debate and I felt you took a great view of the question, I think what would have helped your entry more is defining in your own terms what is “bad for society” so that would give you more direction to base your debate around.

Your debate was very easy to read. The short paragraphs made things concise and simple to take in and understand as a reader, I enjoyed that thank you.

I felt you could have expanded on the idea that media creates a harsher impact on society in the same areas as the perceived impact of beauty pageants as it would have really broken down the argument that they are in fact bad for society. Again had you defined that “bad for society” meant fostering poor or unrealistic body image in women while not creating enough BENEFIT to society on the flip side of that it would have made that section really hit home.

It would have also helped if you defined society as the majority. As one might make the argument that the estimated 100,000 people who entered would be large enough to constitute a society of some form.

BOLO YEUNG: Honestly when I started reading this I thought SHG had nailed it and was pretty sceptical about this being able to beat it and I was dead-wrong. What a great entry this was.

You took the same side of the argument as SHG but a completely different side of it which was fascinating. Something I didn’t even think about when I read the question so congratulations there.

The section about the objectification of women and saying they aren’t photoshopped to meet unrealistic expectations was a tad weak when they essentially photoshop them in real life with insane outfits and makeup to make them look as close to airbrushed as possible, but I’d still accept the argument.

Another weak argument was that girls do better in schools, I realise that you’re not saying that it’s because of beauty pageants that girls are doing better in school than boys but it really came across that way on the first reading and my first reaction was to at the thing. When I reread it and looked at the rest of the debate I think it was more saying that obviously they can’t be affecting the participants (and thus society) that greatly as a whole if girls have been consistently doing better in school than boys since their creation back in the day. I didn’t *love* that but again I won’t reject the idea.

A great entry aside from those little nagging things I mentioned.

Decision: Like I said I thought Scott Hall's Ghost had it when I first read it but BOLO YEUNG smashed it out of the park. BOLO YEUNG is the winner for me.

The Lady Killer
Scott Hall's Ghost = Took a bit to get to your stance, and even after you stated your stance, I wasn't really sure you weren't arguing against said stance. I understand you claiming that pageants might be detrimental to individuals with no bearing on society in geneal, but your first few paragraphs seem to focus on the negatives of pageants. This doesn't bode well for getting me into a mindset that pageants aren't all that bad. You then go into the children pageants, and label them as cultural pitfalls, yet maintain that pageants aren't bad for society. I think I see what you're trying to say - it's that our society/culture is already fucked up and pageants don't necessarily do anything to make it worse, but rather a conformation to the norm. The connotation throughout your debate, however, would lead me to believe that pageants are detrimental to society, which isn't the case you're trying to make. Well written, no doubt.

BOLO YEUNG = This was fantastic, all around. Clearly stated your claim early, and the segmentation of your debate was cleverly and effectively done. The part about consent was crucial, imo. I really enjoyed the part about the Objectification of Women, and how a lot of these women are aspiring professionals. The icing on the cake was the part about pageants and their positive benefit to society, which totally affirms your stance. Very nicely done. I'd write more praise, but I'd just be repeating myself, and I have 6 other debates to judge . Seriously, though, one of the better debates I've read in a while. Congrats.

Winner = BOLO YEUNG

Headliner
Scott Hall's Ghost

I'm a little conflicted by your seperation between society impact and individual impact. While at first I thought it was a good seperation, the more I read your debate, the more I felt the individual impact was a direct link to society's impact especially when you mentioned how more 100,000 kids under 12 years old are enrolling in such activities. Plus on top of that, you mentioned how the issue at hand is the unhealthy image that is presented at these events. If other women all over the world are watching and seeing these participants engage in activities that are potentially psychologically and emotionally damaging to achieve a reward for looking some kind of way, wouldn't that have a direct effect on the viewers? Which in turn have an effect on society?

Other than that, I think you brought up some good points regarding the standard image of what's defined as beauty in the Western World. And the payoff, or lack there of when it comes to participation in such events. Good effort.

BOLO YEUNG

What I liked the most about this debate was your ability to not only say that this wasn't bad for society, but show that it's actually good for society in a way that I think would be vastly overlooked. Showing how the last three winners are all either students or graduates who promoted higher education is a vast contract to the stimga that these chicks are clueless cute girls. Like you said. 5 STARS. And I also liked how further displayed positives of this event when you discussed the scholarships and humanitarian projects that these participants are involved in. More outside the box thinking by turning the original debate question into a complete 180. You had a solid conclusion to summarize these things as well.

Winner-BOLO YEUNG


Winner via Unanimous Decision - BOLO YEUNG


*Scott Hall's Ghost doesn't take his 2nd defeat in one night well and pulls out a gun. The Lady Killer leaps out of his seat.*

The Lady Killer: What the fuck are you doing man?

Scott Hall's Ghost: I challenged you and you never gave me that debate. What's even the point anymore? AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOUR GREATNESS?

Headliner: *whispers* No.

The Lady Killer: Ok ok ok ok. Jesus Christ. As long as I beat WOOLCOCK tonight and there's no need for a rematch to regain my belt I promise you'll be my next opponent. Just put the fucking gun down.

Scott Hall's Ghost: Thanks

The Lady Killer:

TDL Grudge Match
Mr. Lawls vs Josh

Should the 12th man in first class cricket games be allowed to bowl?


Spoiler for Debates:
Josh

Should the 12th man in first class cricket games be allowed to bowl?

In cricket, the basic idea of a twelfth man is a player who has not been selected for the starting XI, but was in contention. Often, during a home series, selectors will allow the 12th man to play for his state, while the state in which the game is being played will provide a selection of players to act as a 12th man should their services be required. What these rules suggest is that the 12th man of a side is there only to act as a replacement for an injured player, which raises the question of how much freedom should a 12th man be given as a player, with the main debate often being centered around the idea of whether or not the twelfth man should be able to bowl or not. It is my esteemed opinion that no, the twelfth man should not be able to bowl, regardless of the circumstances of his inclusion. I have come to this position through a number of observations, all of which will be detailed in the following piece of writing.

In the game of cricket, the matches are played on pitches that are different all over the world. In some parts of the world, the pitches will be dry, usually offering very little for a fast bowler, while greatly encouraging the use of spin bowling. In other parts of the word, pitches will have green tops or even a hard wicket, leading to an increase of bounce, with both conditions being advantageous to a fast bowler. As noted, the difference in pitches will often lead to an advantage for one kind of bowler over another and while this may seem straightforward, one of the great things about cricket and its pitches is the ability for things to change over the course of a match. On Day 1 of a match, you may see a hard, fast pitch that makes quick bowlers more important than a spin bowler. However, come day 4 or 5, things have changed, the pitch has deteriorated, there are cracks and footmarks all over the pitch and suddenly the spin bowler has become the most important bowler on the field.

Overall, if the 12th man was indeed able to bowl in a FC game, there is nothing to stop either side from selecting a spin bowler in that position and then having a batsman feign injury so that the spinner can come on and bowl on a deteriorating wicket, giving his side a clear advantage. It defeats the purpose of selecting a team on the day of the match as bowling becomes more important as the game goes on, having the 12th man be able to bowl allows you to correct your mistakes while the other side has to live with theirs, depending on their selections.

Mr. Lawls

Should the 12th man in first class cricket games be allowed to bowl?


The 12th man is a player that acts as a substitute when another player on the field is either injured or ill. However there are certain restrictions that are placed on the 12th man. Under ‘Law 2’ in the Laws of cricket, it states: ‘In cricket, a substitute may be brought on for an injured fielder. However, a substitute may not bat, bowl, keep wicket or act as captain. The original player may return if he has recovered.’ This law has been set in place since Marylebone Cricket Club revised the laws of cricket in 1788, and one that I believe should not be amended in anyway.

First class cricket is the level of cricket that is played below test cricket. The matches played are over a 4 day period played at a state level. Examples of first class cricket leagues are: County cricket played in England and Wales, Sheffield Shield cricket played in Australia and SuperSport series cricket played in South Africa.

From the 1997-98 cricket seasons until the 2003-04 seasons, one day cricket played at a state level in Australia allowed the 12th man to be able to bat and bowl. The reasons why this was changed back to just allowing eleven players to bat and bowl, was that the ICC hasn’t adopted the 12th man to bowl or bat. I believe this was a good move made as the system in place could have easily been exploited, due to the fact teams could lie about the injuries that a player has.

2005 saw the ICC trial what they called a ‘football-style tactical substitution’ for One Day Internationals for a ten month period. This allowed teams to name one substitute which had to be named before the toss, and was allowed to be put into the match at any stage. Before you knew it this trial rule was heavily criticised by not only the players, but also commentators and fans. One of the reasons is because whichever team won the toss was given a greater advantage than usual. In a series between South Africa and Australia in March 2006 both officials and players started to rebel against this rule, and both players from South Africa and Australia decided to boycott the rule. The ICC then decided to withdraw the rule and it has never been used again.

During the 2005 Ashes, the captain of Australia Ricky Ponting complained about fielders being substituted for weak bowlers, which he thought was against the spirit of the game. The coach of England said these were all legitimate as the substitutions were either actual injuries, or the player had to go and answer ‘the call of nature.’ After this incident in 2008 the ICC put a grip on regulations on the use of substitutions. They stated that: "Substitute fielders shall only be permitted in cases of injury, illness or other wholly acceptable reasons...and should not include what is commonly referred to as a 'comfort break.”

Seeing as the pinnacle of cricket, test matches, don’t allow the 12th man to bowl why should the 12th man in first class games be allowed to bowl? The law stating how the 12th man can only field has been in place since 1788, so why should we change it when it doesn’t need to be changed?


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Rush
To be blunt, both debates were pretty basic and pretty average. Neither debate took a comprehensive look into any of the points that could have been raised in the debate.

Josh: It was good that you focused on the fact that some teams can exploit the deterioration of a pitch by picking a spinner as 12th man. However you neglected the fact that both side could do this, and you didn’t mention anything about how a side could then pick an extra batsman knowing their 12th man can bowl thus making it harder to be bowled out and less likely for results to be achieved in the first class limit of 4 days. It was also your only point. Bit more was needed to flesh out your debate.

Mr. Lawls: I liked that you mentioned the history around the 12th man sub, but like the other debate you didn’t really flesh out the argument. You also struggled to stay on point towards the end, the Ponting/Gary Pratt incident in the 05 ashes isn’t really a factor with this question. Overall you needed more.

Overall, both debates feel like they’re missing a paragraph. Both are fairly basic efforts but I’m going to give the win to Josh.

WOOLCOCK
Josh - A very sparse entry, and one which felt more like the beginning to a potentially solid debate that was prematurely ended. Given the lack of depth in this, I really would recommend the writer refrain from such a lengthy introduction in future. Use your word count wisely and state your position concisely and use the bulk of your debate to enhance that position beyond any reasonable doubt. I really liked your main paragraph which broke down the varying pitches and differing conditions here, as it placed a smart emphasis on the question which is asking us to consider the merits of allowing the 12th man to bowl (not bat). The paragraph provided a sound overview of how bowlers can influence matches depending on the deterioration of a pitch over the course of a match, in addition to how teams may unfairly exploit the rules to their benefit. I would however ask the writer to bear in mind the question focuses on first class cricket, as opposed to International Cricket, thus the argument for pitches varying worldwide is a bit moot as to my understanding this is focused on domestic cricket. I would also argue I felt the writer could have expanded upon the potential exploitation of this measure in greater detail, as opposed to a condensed consideration which felt a bit plodding. I think there’s a lot of room for improvement here, and especially think there could have been a lot more written to effectively answer the question, but there were snippets of good stuff here.


Mr. Lawls – For me, this just never really concerned itself with the question. The question is desiring an answer supporting/rejecting allowing the 12th man to bowl. In my opinion, I’d expect a consideration of the influence bowlers possess in cricket and how allowing a spare man not officially selected to potentially decide the match in a bowling spell (as opposed to merely fielding in spells where his chances of influencing the match via a run out/catch aren’t as high), as well as how this rule could be exploited by teams which may breach the spirit of the game. Instead, what the writer offers us here is a very descriptive overview of the 12th man’s role and prior experiments to the system, but never concerns himself with WHY it should remain the same. WHY is it a fundamental requirement that cricket continue to abide by the current proposals? WHY shouldn’t an unofficially selected player be allowed to potentially decide a match by being given the ball? These are questions that I never felt were pondered, with the writer even devoting one paragraph to the 12th man as a fielder, again separate from what the question immediately concerns itself with: should the 12th man be allowed to bowl.

Josh wins, for the simple fact he provided a better argument for how bowlers influence matches and how the 12th man can thereby influence matches in a manner that could be exploited for success. It wasn’t a perfect debate by any means, but it at least put forward an argument concerning the how and why of letting a 12th man provisionally bowl, something I never found apparent within Mr. Lawls which felt cluttered and unsure of what it was actually arguing.


Winner - Josh

Seabs
Josh - What you had was good but what you had was also very one dimensional because you only had the one point that you argued. I thought you argued that one point very well though but it still needed more to be really convincing. If there were like 2 or 3 more paragraphs that supported your main argument or raised another couple of points to support your stance then this would be really good.

Mr. Lawls - This read to me more like a wikipedia article on the history of the 12th man with a quick personal opinion attached to the end of each sentence. For me, it was too much of a history lesson and not enough of a debate. I was left wanting for you to argue WHY more than you did.

I don't think either debate jumped out as the obvious winner but I'll give it to Josh as despite being rather limited in their argument it was still more convincing than anything Mr. Lawls had due to them focusing on WHY they SHOULDN'T rather than why they AREN'T.

Winner - Josh


Winner via Unanimous Decision - Josh


TDL Grudge Match
THE DARK ANDRE vs TheLoneShark

Are Tottenham in a stronger position to finish top 4 this season than they were last season?


Spoiler for Debates:
THE DARK ANDRE
Which top four aspiration strengthening qualities have Spurs seen transferred from last season to this season?


A World class outfield player.
Appropriate tactics.
An in form world class keeper.
Good chemistry.
A minimal amount of competition.
A manager whose job is fully secure. LOLAVB!



How could Tottenham possibly be in a stronger position to compete for the top four this season when they’ve LOST ALL OF THOSE ATTRIBUTES that significantly strengthened their position last season?


The impact of losing a player like Bale should NEVER be underestimated, especially in a situation like Tottenham’s. AVB is incredibly fond of employing a high defensive line which forces the majority of opposition teams to defend compactly. However, with Bale at Spurs this wasn’t an issue because he had the magic to unlock teams. Sit deep and press? Fine, he’d skin two players with raw pace before SMASHING a shot in from any angle. Stand off and allow loads of space around the area? Bale would just WALLOP a howitzer in from thirty yards out. His mere presence in the team was enough for most opposition sides to commit two tight markers upon him, a presence which opened up space for Bale’s former team mates and allowed them freedom to express themselves. Now take Bale out of the equation, what is the scenario? AVB has stubbornly stuck with these tactics and Tottenham are struggling to create chances from open play due to an inability to break teams down, scoring just fifteen goals from their first fifteen league matches, AVERAGING JUST ONE GOAL PER GAME as opposed to last season’s 1.7 goals per game.


This means that Tottenham are generally forced to keep clean sheets in order to win games. Spurs have failed to win six of the eight league games that they have conceded in this season, the two exceptions being Fulham and Sunderland. THIS WASN’T AN ISSUE LAST SEASON, or even at the start of this season when Hugo Lloris was in exceptional form, but since he has returned from his sickening concussion against Everton he has been haemorrhaging goals and making lots of mistakes, including; a woeful clearance that led to the opening goal against Man City, gifting a penalty to Man united by clumsily fouling Rooney, and flapping at a cross against Sunderland which allowed Adam Johnson to score and gave Shepard false hope. Poor old Shep. With Lloris so hopelessly out of form Tottenham NEED TO SCORE MORE GOALS against teams other than the Fulham’s and Sunderland’s of this world, the bottom two sides that they struggled to beat recently.


The £100 million investment that Tottenham made by signing seven players last summer might seem like something that could strengthen their ability to score goals and win games, but in the short term this has actually caused them MORE PROBLEMS. By signing so many players, who were inexperienced with the rough and tumble rigours of the premier league, AVB has temporarily disrupted the chemistry that Spurs had developed over the previous few seasons which took them to Champion’s league qualification in 2010, 2012 and only two points away from qualification in 2013. Chemistry is not the only issue here either. To be quite kind to £30 million attacking midfielder Erik Lamela he has been absolutely garbage so far and has failed to score or create the number of goals that many had expected. Then there’s £26 million “star signing” Soldado, the striker who has scored just one league goal from open play. With a lack of chemistry and key signings struggling to settle in this is very much a transitional season for Spurs. Due to this they could be in a stronger position NEXT SEASON, but THIS SEASON they’re not in a stronger position than last season’s settled side which had the established world class Bale pulling the strings.


Another advantage that Tottenham had last season was their inclusion as part of a clear cut top five when they were only two points away from finishing in the top four. Sixth placed Everton trailed Spurs by a considerable nine points. However, this season the race for the top four is as open as Mozza’s ma with seven teams legitimately competing against Spurs instead of four. The two Scouse sides Liverpool and Everton have improved tremendously and both pose genuinely credible threats to the top four for the first time in years due to excellent form over the first third of the season. Man City and Chelsea have remained far ahead of Tottenham in terms of quality, while Spurs’ North London rivals Arsenal have finally leapt far ahead of the spuds due to the development of players such as Ramsey and the signing of the world class Ozil. Only Manchester United have regressed out of the usual top four stalwarts, although last season’s title winners still have the quality to make the top four in spite of dithering Dave. Even Newcastle, who finished fifth in 2011/2012, are within contention after a great start that has been boosted due to the loss of the Europa league distraction from 2012/2013.


If AVB was a world class manager whose position was unquestionable then maybe he would be able to overcome all of these issues, but this season he has been far more interested in slagging off Spurs’ supporters whilst also fighting with the British press in a misguided quest for respect. This type of behaviour put him under severe pressure after Spurs were thrashed 6-0 by Man City. With the media, his club’s own fans and his own board all losing patience with him his job is far from secure, unlike last season where there was no mention of the sack. With the petulant Portuguese manager acting like a spoilt child, throwing his toys out of the pram at the slightest sign of pressure, Tottenham’s thrown together bunch has been left leaderless and in a far weaker position to reach the top four than the CLASS of 2012/2013 and its star student Bale.





References:


Tottenham's 2013/2014 premier league results so far:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/...otspur/results


Spurs' £100 million worth of foreign signings:


http://www.theguardian.com/football/...spurs-signings


2012/2013 premier league table and the clear cut top five:


http://www.statto.com/football/stats...ague/2012-2013


AVB's tirade against a journalist:


http://www.foxsports.com.au/football...-1226773128988


AVB criticises Tottenham fans:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24697318



TheLoneShark
Are Tottenham in a stronger position to finish top 4 this season than they were last season?

In short? No. Absolutely not. Even the most ardent Spurs supporter must find even the mere suggestion that they are completely laughable. This is a squad that was at least ten players short of being serious contenders last year and have since sold Gareth Bale – an irreplaceable talent who ranks among the best footballers in the world – and failed to significantly strengthen any of the positions in which they were lacking either quality, depth or both with the proceeds.

The club were, in fact, lucky that they had Bale to carry them to the finish they achieved last season; they’ve been lacking for defensive cover (and a truly top-class left-back) for two, maybe three seasons now, their midfield lacks strength in depth that has only been exacerbated by the sales of Bale and Scott Parker (as well as the previous loss of Luka Modric) and they’ve failed to sign a consistent striker, aside from sporadic bursts of top form by Defoe, since Jurgen Klinsmann left the club the first time.

The failings of AVB in the transfer market aside, only his tactical brilliance is keeping the club in with even the remotest shout of a top six finish, and even that looks to be in jeopardy unless they bring in some serious reinforcements in January.

It’s not just the club’s seeming to go backwards which makes the notion of them finishing in the top four completely unrealistic, too. The fact of the matter is that every one of their rivals have strengthened their squads and improved this season. Their North London rivals, Arsenal, have come from near-obscurity to be runaway leaders of the Premier League simply by signing two players: Mesut Ozil and a man they should never have let go in the first place, Matthieu Flamini. And, in doing so, they’ve also filled the two major tactical gaps that they’ve been lacking since Patrick Viera and Dennis Bergkamp left the club: they now have a top-class holding midfielder and a world-class creative force in the final third.

Manchester United have brought in fresh ideas at the top with David Moyes and signed Marouane Fellaini, one of the better attacking midfielders in the Premier League last season. City, under Pelegrini, have added top-drawer players throughout their squad with the additions of Jesus Navas, Negredo, Fernandinho, Jovetic and Demichelis. Liverpool, with the near-telepathic understanding of Suarez and Sturridge, and the signings they’ve made – most notably Mignolet and Toure – now have the strongest squad and the best chance of winning the Premier League that they’ve ever had. Chelsea have The Special One back and the additions, in particular, of Schurrle, Eto’o and Willian making them look better than they have done in many a year. Everton and Southampton are also looking strong in the chasing pack.

In theory, Tottenham should have learned an important lesson from this season; as the old adage says, if you’re not moving forwards, you’re going backwards. You simply cannot afford to rest on your laurels in the Premier League and assume that what you have is good enough. That you can sacrifice a world-class player and carry on regardless. Every other side around you is constantly trying to improve themselves and most have succeeded to the point where, despite his tactical nous, AVB is looking in serious danger of being given his P45 because, ultimately, the buck for failing to prepare his side correctly for the season ahead stops with him.

As things stand, it’s impossible for me to be able to take the notion of a top four finish for the club seriously at all. In fact, I have a hard time - unless they seriously reinforce their squad in the January window - believing that they can finish any higher than eighth, which would be an absolute disaster for a club that came extremely close, under Harry Redknapp, to actually winning the league just a few seasons ago.

I don’t mean to disappoint any Tottenham fans with this assessment, though I’m sure most have realised the same things that I’ve laid out here some time ago, but it’s unfortunate that they’ve found themselves in such a position. To me, very little of the £105m that the club have spent so far this season looks like anything more than a massive waste of resources. Soldado is average at best, Lamela is useless, Paulinho is decent but unspectacular. Chiriches is highly unimpressive, as are Chadli and Capoue thus far. Only Christian Eriksen has looked value for money at this point, and he makes up just over a tenth of their total spend. They’ve wasted £94m to get thoroughly mediocre returns, which makes the £86m that Real Madrid spent on Bale look like either a bargain or a mugging, depending on your perspective.

To conclude, no, Spurs don’t look any closer to a top four finish than they did last season. They look even further away, and they’re going to continue to slip away unless they either sign someone spectacular in January – by which I mean securing one of the very, very few players out there who are on Bale’s level – or take a long hard look at their squad and realise that they can only reap benefits by strengthening the squad as a whole and hoping they can use rotation to win a war of attrition over their rivals. Realistically, though, I think it’s safe to say that there isn’t a great deal that the club can do right to get themselves back in the fight for a Champions League spot this season. They need to change their focus to achieving, and be prepared to be satisfied with, a Europa League slot for next year and take the summer to properly rebuild their squad. But 2013-14 seems to be more or less a right off. Still, as a Swindon fan, cheers for the loanees this year. They’re not too shabby.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
THE DARK ANDRE - Great debate. Loved your intro. Brilliant analysis of why Spurs lost what made them a great team last season and haven't replaced it suitably. The in-depth analysis of Bale's importance to the team I thought was fantastic. All four points were expanded on really well actually and thoroughly strengthened each point more than most people would have been able to making the same point. Top debate.

TheLoneShark - Very good debate that probably would have won most Sports Division debates. Your opponent's debate was just that bit more expansive and tighter though. Not to take much away from this debate though because besides a few minor grumps I came away from it with it was really good. Most of your points were present in Andre's debate too but I thought Andre's excellent analysis of why they hurt Spurs this season compared to last trumped your good analysis. Few lines had me scratching my head a little. AVB and tactical brilliance DO NOT belong in the same sentence together as a direct link between the two. ANDRE VILLAS BOAS IS NOT TACTICALLY BRILLIANT. United being strengthened by Moyes and Fellaini is very questionable too as evidenced by both their individual and the team's performances this season. Assessments of Soldado and Paulinho I thought were harsh unless you're basing them purely on this season but you didn't state that. I'd still disagree with that about Paulinho this season but it's a minor difference of opinion. Bonus points for burying Lamela and Chiriches though. I thought you could have condensed the competition point into one rather than two paragraphs too and given yourself room to make an extra point. All of these are minor gripes though. Overall really good, just not good enough on this occasion to get the win.

Winner - THE DARK ANDRE

Rush
Okay, people are getting antsy about getting the results in so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Both debates are fairly strong. Well that’s a lie, one is fairly strong, the other is very strong. Both debates are on a similar track, no Bale, improvements in rivals etc. The key difference between the 2, is that debate A is a lot more in depth, and basically a lot better which is why it gets my vote. Because I like to give feedback on the stuff that annoys me: THE DARK ANDRE, making jokes in the debate is fine, but really unnecessary. Making jokes about Mozza’s mum is easy (not as easy as her) but I could do without them in the debate. TheLoneShark: there was nothing really wrong with this debate, just lacking in comparison to the other one. Solid effort.

WOOLCOCK
THE DARK ANDRE – The peaks of this were very high, although I did feel as it went along it didn’t maintain the same strength. The intro and first half were very strong I thought, with a clear breakdown of Spurs’ current woes and what they’ve lost since last season. The Bale argument was a good starting point as the writer tied it in well with AVB’s preferred tactics and the extent to which the loss of Bale has nullified Spurs as an attacking threat with AVB unable to string together alternate tactics to coincide with the loss of Bale. The continuation of this in the next paragraph, focusing on how Spurs now needed a more resolute defence to overcome their potency issues (Viagra always does the trick for me fwiw) and the argument that Lloris has been clearly affected since his freak injury @ Everton was a very savvy trick employed by the writer. Within two paragraphs he’s clearly identified glaring weaknesses in Tottenham’s tactics and setup, and given the extent to which they’ve fallen off the rails since last season (where Champions League football still eluded them), it’s quite hard at this point to argue against what the writer is displaying. Bemoaning the transfer activity which has severely compromised the chemistry and understanding of the time by bringing in so many players unfamiliar to the demands of the English game (in addition to having to get to grips with their new teammates and develop an understanding and awareness of how to link up) was another good argument which underlined how Spurs have failed terribly in replacing Bale, not only in struggling to find a replacement of applicable quality but crucially dismantling the setup of the team by trying to rectify losing one star by signing half a dozen players of varying quality. I did find the argument relating to the other teams around them a bit of a drop off in quality, if only because I feel this concerned itself more with the other sides whereas Spurs became something of an afterthought: as opposed to the writer perhaps expanding on his prior arguments and cutting this down to maybe a sentence or two. I’m not sure how to best to summarise my thoughts, but I guess as much as I understand where the writer was coming from in underlining the competition Tottenham have this season, it just felt like the writer was arguing more for the other teams rather than achieving a balance of considering the merits of Tottenham’s challengers in light of their struggles. I also thought the closing argument could have been abandoned, with a more focused conclusion instead. It felt more like a tagged on closing paragraph, rather than one that was required. Still, the peaks of this were excellent and overall it was superbly structured, flowed wonderfully in connecting arguments from paragraph to paragraph and the writer’s personality was conveyed immeasurably. Good stuff.


TheLoneShark – I guess the best way to describe this, is that the faults of Andre's felt more applicable here. You had many instances where you argued with a strong confidence that Spurs couldn’t challenge for the top four, but truthfully I don’t think there were many instances where you conveyed this. It was more like in your head you were confident you were right, but you didn’t really communicate and expand on your opinion to the extent it could become clear WHY you thought this to be the case. I pointed out in Andre's that the paragraph relating to the competition could have been improved, and this felt even more applicable here. You never really used the overview of their closest challengers to appropriately summarise why Spurs couldn’t successfully challenge. You made good arguments for these other teams, but had you then expanded on where Tottenham had gone wrong in conjuncture with where other teams had strengthened I think your argument would have improved. Instead, I’m just left searching for clear arguments on why specifically Tottenham can’t challenge for the top four, and given the focus Andre spent in breaking down Tottenham’s position compared to last season, I have to say this debate just didn’t do enough to convince me Spurs couldn’t challenge for the top four.


Winner – THE DARK ANDRE. It broke down Spurs’ glaring weaknesses and problems compared to last season and successfully highlighted how the team is worse off than last season, whereby they still couldn’t finish in the top four. Indeed, if a team with a star player, a world class goalkeeper and tactics that enhanced their threat weren’t enough to overcome their nearest rivals, it’s hard to envisage a scenario whereby a significantly worse off squad could succeed where their predecessors failed.


Winner via Unanimous Decision - THE DARK ANDRE


*Backstage The Lady Killer runs into Clique.*

The Lady Killer: Hey Clique, are the rumours true?

Clique: Hello to you too.

The Lady Killer: Black people greet each other? I thought that was just a white thing?

Clique:

The Lady Killer: Well?

Clique: Well what?

The Lady Killer: Is it true that you're planning on calling it quits after this show?

Clique: Maybe.

The Lady Killer: Well that would suck.

The Lady Killer: I just wanted to catch you before you did anything to let you know that if you do stick around for one more debate, I'd love to be your opponent in either a Social or Wrestling debate.

*The Lady Killer leaves and Clique is left with one of those pondering faces that don't really tell the viewer anything that Raw skits always end on.*

TDL Special Attraction Debate
BkB Hulk vs Kiz

Did Tony Pulis do a good job at Stoke City from 2008-2013 in the Premier League?


Spoiler for Debates:
BkB Hulk
May 21st, 2013. Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part ways.

May 20th, 2013. Stoky City hire Mark Hughes as their new manager.

No, you read that right – Mark Hughes was the man brought in to replace Tony Pulis. Mark fucking Hughes, who had all of the money in the world to spend, yet still found himself sacked from QPR twelve games into a season because his team were practically already relegated, having not won a game.

Why am I wasting words on Mark Hughes? Because his appointment reflects directly back onto Tony Pulis. How could a guy who had recently managed such a basket case, a job he only had because he WALKED OUT on Fulham at the end of the season previous, be fit to replace Pulis? The answer is simple – under Pulis, Stoke were regressing. Did Tony Pulis do a good job from 2008-2011? You could debate so. He did NOT do a good job from 2008-2013 though. That’s why the decision to remove him came about, and why Mark Hughes of all people is seen as a chance for progression. There was no progression under Pulis.

Pulis impressed at first. No one expected that Stoke would finish 12th in their first season in the big leagues in 2008-09. There was no faltering after a solid start, as Pulis solidified Stoke’s Premier League status with an eleventh placed finish in 2009/10, before finishing thirteenth, along with an FA Cup final, in 2010/11.

That’s a solid base created to establish Stoke in the Premier League. Unfortunately for Pulis, Stoke then finished 14th in 2011/12, and in the second half of the 2012/13 season, relegation became a fear. They finished 13th, but were only two games clear of the bottom three, acquiring just 42 points, their lowest total since re-arriving in the first division. Considering 40 points is generally the mark where teams feel safe from relegation, why did it take Stoke so long to reach this mark, and why did they only just clear it when they should have been at their best, having had more time and money to spend than recent arrivals? This is a clear sign of regression.

If you’re not moving forwards then you’re going backwards. Teams are going to pass you by, and Stoke under Tony Pulis are evidence of that. Pulis was often criticised for the style of play that he encouraged, which critics likened to rugby. Pulis could argue that it was necessary for survival, and it did lead to that in his first few seasons in the Premier League, bringing the stability Stoke needed. The problem was that they never evolved. Despite Pulis’ insistence that Stoke’s game had developed and that they weren’t as much of an anti-football team as people claimed, Stoke’s game stayed much the same. Pulis knew it had to change, thus his insistence, but he didn’t do it.

The likes of Swansea came up and played a more daring style, showing that it could be effective for survival. Norwich, a team who came up with Swansea for the 2011-12 season, also passed Stoke by, finishing above them in 2012-13 too. Teams were beginning to establish themselves above Stoke by playing better football, and that was dangerous territory for Stoke. They were static as a result of Pulis, while others were improving. They were going backwards in the grander scheme as a result.

“We want to do recruitment well” – Peter Coates, Stoke City owner, May 30, 2013.

Teams like Swansea and Norwich simply shouldn’t have been finishing above Stoke because they had more time to recruit Premier League worthy players over their extended time in the league, as well as more money to spend. Recruitment should have been key. This is where Pulis really suffers. For some context, the above quote from Peter Coates came when announcing Mark Hughes as the new Stoke manager. The Mark Hughes whose transfer record is a running joke.

How is it possible this was a reason for the replacement? Because Pulis’ transfer record is abysmal. Almost any time he was actually given any significant money to spend ended in abject failure. While Huth and Begovic proved successes as Premier League purchases, the rest of his big spending is abhorrent. Dave Kitson – £5,500,000 – 34 appearances, three goals. He’s a striker. Tuncay Sanli – £5,000,000 – 44 appearances, five goals. He’s a striker. Kenwyne Jones – £8,000,000 – 88 appearances, thirteen goals. He’s a striker. He had a horrid strike rate before that, scoring nineteen in 71 for Southampton, yet Pulis STILL thought it was a good idea to blow money on him. Mind-blowing. Cameron Jerome – £4,000,000 – 50 appearances, seven goals. He may be loosely described as a striker, but he’s not really a footballer at all. He’s just shit. Peter Crouch – £10,000,000 – 77 appearances, eighteen goals. That’s Stoke’s record purchase, yet at the time, Daniel Levy and Spurs probably would have tried to carry him to Stoke for someone to pay his wages (granted, they would have had to distract Arry). It’s not all strikers either. Wilson Palacios – £8,000,000 – only 28 appearances.

Pulis could have done many things better with that money. He could have put it all in a bag and set fire to it. Even a better purchase, like Steven N’Zonzi, illustrates how Stoke still played the same horrid type of football. And that brings us back to the main point. Stoke weren’t evolving. Pulis might have said they were, but they weren’t. They were playing the same rubbish, they weren’t upgrading their players despite the funding to do so, and they were on the slide. They were regressing. So did Tony Pulis do a good job for his five years at the helm? No. He couldn’t help Stoke progress, so they had to go out and get someone else. They got Mark fucking Hughes. When he’s apparently an upgrade, you know you’ve not done a good job.



Kiz
Until this season, Tony Pulis had been the custodian of a Stoke team that had returned to the Premier League for the 2008-2009 season. Since that time, his Stoke side has worn their boringw, physical style like a badge of honour, seemingly taking pride in people not liking their unfashionable and ugly approach. However, it did not need to be this way. It might have been a style that was used to consolidate their position in the league in the first two seasons, but to continue beyond that shows how limited Tony Pulis is as a manager. His dire tactics, poor transfer record, lack of youth coming through and the poor shape the team has been left in for Mark Hughes all clearly indicated that over his time in the Premier League with Stoke, Tony Pulis was a failure, and should have achieved more with the resources given to him.

Firstly, let’s look at his tactics. His Stoke team was built on a reputation of being a long ball, a hoof team if you will. A very physical team, which set out to intimidate opposition teams, lead to their home ground being labelled a fortress, and gaining a reputation as an incredibly difficult place to get a victory. Also famous for the wrong reasons was Rory Delap, a largely anonymous footballer who had a penchant for long throws into the box, a tactic used by Pulis for his Stoke teams to try and sneak a rough goal. Usually his side would line up with a single striker up top, someone in the Peter Crouch mould, and basically launch the ball from the defence to the striker. No real build up play, no possession, just hit and hope. Kenwyne Jones said to the Mirror after the departure of Pulis and the subsequent hiring of Mark Hughes that ‘We are able to express ourselves and be free. Before, it was more or less hit and hope, and I think my team-mates could testify to that.’ There is no need to play in this manner. Plenty of other teams, with much less in the way of resources, have been able to play a free flowing style of football, yet Pulis actively chose to play a restrictive, boorish and strongman style, displaying how limited he is as a manager, and as a tactician.

One of the most publicised criticisms of Tony Pulis’ reign was how much he overspent on ordinary players to fit in with his archaic and restrictive tactics. In their first season back in the Premier League, Stoke spent a grand total of £18,750,000, with £5,000,000 of that spent on striker Dave Kitson, who in his time with Stoke, scored a grand total of THREE GOALS from 34 league appearances. That’s 1.6 million pounds a goal. Quite a lot for a team that just got promoted. He went on to splash the cash in further seasons, bringing in Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios for a cool 18 million combined, Crouch has scored 11 goals from 78 appearances and Palacios has made a meagre 28 appearances since both their moves in 2011. When you look at it was a whole, Tony Pulis had a total net spend of close to 80 million pounds. To put that into perspective, only Chelsea and Manchester City have a higher net spend figure in that period. Their net spend was 120 million pounds more than Arsenal, who made the Champions League each season. With all that put into account, surely more could be expected of Tony Pulis and Stoke to be more than just mid table battlers?

Another problem of note with Pulis’ Stoke teams was the lack of youth development in place. From the 2008-09 season onwards, only Louis Moult, who played 5 minutes in 2010, and Ryan Shotton, who had established himself as a first team regular by the time Pulis left, played league football. Some like Carl Dickinson and Andy Wilkinson were already established players prior to the 2008 season. Neither players listed have become regulars in 2013, Moult left the club in 2012, and Shotton has been loaned out to Wigan under Mark Hughes. This suggests a real lack of developing youth, with solid, if unspectacular results in the underage and reserves competitions, with mostly middle to lower end of the table results, including finishing last in the u/18’s in 2010/11.

The final part of my debate will look at the team Mark Hughes has now inherited. Currently sitting a lowly 14th place, only four points above the relegation zone, Mark Hughes is clearly struggling with his team. Hughes has tried to introduce a more fluid, passing based style and the current Stoke team has been unable to adapt. Hughes most popular formation has been a 4-2-3-1 with N’zonzi and Whelan in the centre midfield slots, very little in the way of creativity there. Even more worrying is when their highest goal scorer, Charlie Adam, a midfielder, with THREE goals in the league, main striker Peter Crouch only has ONE goal in 8 starts. Their 12 goals scored are bested only by Cardiff, Sunderland (11) and Crystal Palace (8). None of those teams have spent nearly as much as Stoke have over the years, yet only have 12 league goals to show for it this season. Hughes has been handed a technically limited squad who only know to play one style, and due to his desire to change, Stoke have once again underachieved in comparison to the resources sunk into this squad.

Overall, it is obvious to see that during his Premier League run with Stoke, Tony Pulis should have done a much better job than what he did at Stoke. He did not break into the top half in his time there; he overspent on limited players, barely promoted youth into his team and left a very poor squad for new manager Mark Hughes to deal with. He was nothing more than a limited manager who chose to overspend on mediocrity.


All transfer figures: http://www.transferleague.co.uk/prem...transfers.html
Mirror article: http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/footba...d-free-2298182
Academy: http://www.stokecityfc.com/team/academy/history.aspx
Stoke stats under Hughes: http://www.whoscored.com/Teams/96/


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
Interesting that both of you took the opposite side that I would have taken. I'd find it hard to argue against someone making a Football League side a stable fixture in the Premier League during this 5 year period as not doing a good job. Let's see who can convince me otherwise the best I guess.

BkB Hulk - I've read your first two lines through like ten times now and it must be a typo because you have Hughes being announced as the new manager the day before Pulis left. I really liked your intro after that and especially how you defined the time period where it went from being a job well done to a bad job. I guess any difference of opinion would be did the good start outweigh the lesser end but neither side can really totally nullify the opposing argument in an argument like that. Plus you both took the same stance anyway so it's down to who argues that stance the best. Your arguments are indeed good. I thought the transfers paragraph was especially strong and the peak of your debate. Hard to argue with FACTS. Good debate. Well structured, very easy read and some strong points to support your argument.

Kiz - Very similar to Bulk in the points you make along with an easy writing style and well laid out structure to your debate. The tactics paragraph I thought was left open to a strong counter. Yes they weren't pretty tactics but they were effective and they got results which kept Stoke in the league. He got an effective output out of a squad that was less talented than teams who they finished above. The Delap point I thought was flat because again at the end it was a very effective tactic which earned them points. Now if Pulis was using these tactics and not getting results then you'd have a stronger point but he was getting results with these tactics and I don't think you effectively communicated how the bad to come from these tactics outweighed the good to come from them. Your transfers paragraph was stronger but I thought Bulk's was even stronger due to the added depth they went into. The youth development paragraph was really good and something your argument had over Bulk's. Louis Moult would never have been a Premier League player though because he was a braindead idiot. Yes I knew. Or knew of him would maybe be more accurate. I think you could maybe argue that this wasn't entirely Pulis' fault though if the academy isn't producing Premier League level talent. Is he supposed to bring youth through even if they're not good enough? Your point is strong but I think that counter can still carry some weight in response to your debate. Your last point is good too but again I feel like I could respond to your point and keep the debate going whereas I felt this less with Bulk's debate. Isn't it also a knock on Hughes for not strengthening in the window like Pulis also failed to do? Also a good debate but I give Bulk the win as their debate was tighter and harder to respond to with possible counter arguments.

Winner - BkB Hulk

WOOLCOCK
BkB Hulk – Bit harsh on Stoke to appoint Hughes as their new manager when they didn’t sack Pulis until the day after is it not? I DO NOT SEE RUSH AS A DEBATER IN THIS QUESTION SO YOUR FRAGRANT LACK OF CHECKING FOR ERROR DOES NOT AMUSE ME. Being serious, I enjoyed this overall. I liked the way in which you focused on 2011-2013 being the crucial period which indicated Pulis had done a below par job, with a good focus thereafter on how Pulis initially built a solid foundation which soon petered out with no progression and which quietly descended down the table. The breakdown of his bizarre and wasteful transfer policy, as well as analysing how teams slowly began to work Stoke out due to Pulis being unable to deviate from their predictable style of play was further good work in outlining how Pulis seemed incapable of improving Stoke, and how the clear lack of long-term planning came back to haunt Stoke season upon season. I also enjoyed the utilisation of Norwich and Swansea to emphasise how Stoke gradually began playing catchup to the newcomers to the league, which again demonstrated how an initial bright start to life in the Premier League had all but disappeared with no clear insight as to how Pulis would turn their fortunes around.


Kiz – This argued much the same as BkB Hulk, but I’m awarding this the win as I felt it just emphasised a couple of greater arguments that were the difference in highlighting Pulis’ limitations and the long-standing effect his tenure has passed onto Hughes as the current manager. The Kenwyne Jones quote was a very suitable reference and much like BkB Hulk, the consideration of how Stoke seemingly limited their potential growth with a restrictive and one-dimensional style of play was a strong argument to undermine Pulis as a tactician, with this debate just convincing me that little bit more that Pulis first and foremost was the problem and cultivated these tactics to compensate for his inability to successfully play a more expansive style, something which ties in well with the criticism of his transfer policy. I also really enjoyed the stinging criticism in relation to the poor youth development under Pulis, with Pulis therefore spending more money each window to rectify the weaknesses in the squad, as opposed to fostering long term potential through the academy and reserves. Again it indicated PULIS himself was a limited manager, especially in regard to youth development and ensuring the long term prosperity of Stoke, with his poor transfer dealings further serving to justify the feeling Pulis was spending excessively on average players incapable of improving Stoke, with the club also struggling to produce long term cost effective players. The knock-on effect of Pulis’s bumbling and innate dealings was then expertly considered in the closing paragraph, which highlights the position Hughes finds himself in with an ageing and under-par squad which has been hopelessly burdened on him by a limited manager in Pulis who neglected to inject youth and potential into the team, instead content to stick rigidly to his one dimensional tactics and spend poorly each window in ‘improving’ the team.


Winner – Kiz. It was close, but Kiz on a second overview felt like the better debate in highlighting Pulis as the man responsible for Stoke’s current predicament and carefully analysing his crucial failings as a manager during his tenure.

THE DARK ANDRE
I’m going to preface this and say that I’m disappointed that nobody argued for poor old Toe Knee Poo Less, but Bulk and Kiz are both sensible lads so I didn’t expect that to happen. Joking aside, Seabs should have been in this match as well, that would have made things more interesting seeing as the question was purposely left open for interpretation. Oh well, never mind…

BkB Hulk

I’m about three sentences in and I already know who this is, for fucks sake! “Why am I wasting words on Mark Hughes?”, because you’re Kiz and you fuckern hate Mark Hughes, that’s why you dopey cunt! Being serious now…I liked how you showed that Stoke were going backwards under Pulis with their league positions and how in Pulis’ final season they achieved their lowest points total since returning to the top flight. “If you’re not moving forwards then you’re going backwards” summed that up with great accuracy. You also broke the question down really well by saying that Stoke’s good form in the earlier seasons doesn’t mean that Pulis did a good overall job in the premier league.

I would have liked to have seen you argue why playing “rugby” was such a negative from a fan’s perspective, seeing as that’s a huge issue when concerning a dour playing style. Critics don’t automatically mean fans, so without strong evidence that the fans were against the style (and how that could affect Stoke financially, maybe with a breakdown of attendances?) your argument doesn’t hold as much weight as it potentially could have. However, your arguments for how Pulis’ style COULD have limited Stoke in terms of on field progression were good, while the Norwich and Swansea references were both excellent and proved how decent football could be played with reasonable success in the premier league. This was also a point that Kiz failed to mention.

I was going to say that I was getting tired of the constant No Clues references, but with the transfer section of your debate it actually strengthened your stance by showing how even a transfer market dud like Hughes could look good in comparison to club shop wanker Pulis. In fact, your whole breakdown of Pulis’ transfer history at Stoke was by far your strongest paragraph for me. I could really feel a sense of passion and disdain as you BURIED him with not just facts, but a dismissive attitude through some searing burns! I attempted to quote the highlights, but it’s impossible because the whole thing is a massive, massive exercise in grave digging. For those who want to know how to BURY something in a debate, just read that paragraph. Outstanding.

At that point I thought you had peaked, but then you came out with this corker: “Pulis could have done many things better with that money. He could have put it all in a bag and set fire to it”. Bloody hell! As much as the constant Leslie hate campaign was doing my fucking head in you really did accelerate with this debate at the perfect time, displaying top class debating skills with FACTS, writing style, entertainment value and ruthlessness. What the beginning of the middle of your debate might have lacked, it certainly didn’t at the end. Your final paragraph was bang on point and summed up why Pulis WAS the reason why Stoke weren’t progressing and WHY that meant that he didn’t do a good job during his entire tenure in the premier league. While you were kind of treading water at the start, this turned out to be a really good debate in the end.


Kiz:

Much like Pulis’ style of play, your intro was very direct, although that’s certainly not a negative within a debate unlike Pulis’ dour football. It also seems that you’re going to touch on Stoke’s youth (okay, that sounded a bit Waggesque ) unlike BkB Hulk, while you seem to be looking at poor old Mark Hughes current situation in a different light. I wonder if that will continue within the BULK of your debate…

I found your second paragraph a bit too descriptive with it covering Stoke’s style of play under Pulis, although you did finally get to the point of suggesting that the style was unnecessary at the end. More words on WHY the style was a problem and less on WHAT the problem involved. Anyone judging this debate SHOULD have enough knowledge to know what long ball percentage based football involves, so you could have saved words by briefly saying what their woeful style was before listing reasons why it was a problem, such as potential for progression on field and fan entertainment. Also, “lead to their home ground being labelled a fortress, and gaining a reputation as an incredibly difficult place to get a victory” sounds like an argument for Pulis having done a good job, so that undermined your stance a bit. Unless you can bury that concept, then just ignore it.

Your argument against Pulis’ transfer policy was very good, although it lacked the sheer intensity of BkB Hulk’s same approach. Crouchy scored 17 league goals in his first two seasons by the way, not that saying he scored 11 undermines your point, it’s still a crap scoring record for such an expensive striker. I’d also be careful referencing transfer league because they can be quite loose with some of their valuations, although your overall point about total net spend is good and was something that BkB Hulk didn’t mention. This is another debate that’s steadily improving as it goes on.

Okay, now here is where you really caught up with BkB Hulk. By bringing up the underdevelopment of Stoke’s youth players during Pulis reign in the premier league you’ve made an excellent argument as to how he has failed, one which your opponent failed to mention at all. Good stuff.

Then you argued how Pulis has dealt Hughes a shit hand by leaving him with a crap squad which he’s struggling to develop into a successful passing side (well, at least in comparison to Pulis). This was alright, but where I think you failed was by NOT mentioning how Pulis’ spending luxuries have limited Hughes potential to build a more attractive playing side (regardless of whether you rate Hughes in the market or not). In recent times Peter Coates has mentioned how he was going to restrict spending at the club, so if you could have quoted him and worked this in as an angle that would have done you the world of good. See what I mean about condensing descriptive passages now? That would have bought you more scope to create another argument.

Your final paragraph was a decent summary of your overall piece. While your debate flagged a bit near the start it did get going with a real force in the middle with two the strong paragraphs concerning transfers and youth development, before levelling out with a solid conclusion.

Decision:

This one is really tough to call, but the winning debate for me is the one which was slightly narrower in terms of arguments, yet displayed more conviction and aggression when making those points and managed to gain a fiery momentum that carried on towards the end. That’s not to say that the other debate was bad, but it was a tad too descriptive in places and lacked the passion and entertainment value of the winner, while it also included a few grammatical and statistical errors too. Those were the components that managed to separate two good debates, for me anyway.

Debater A: ***3/4
Debater B: ***1/4

BkB Hulk wins the vote.


Winner via Split Decision - BkB Hulk

TDL Special Attraction Debate
DarkStark vs GothicBohemian

Are Celebrities with tattoos bad role models to children?


Spoiler for Debates:
DarkStark
Are Celebrities with tattoos bad role models to children?



My simple answer to that question is no. At least the tattoos on the celebrity wouldn’t be cause for that celebrity to be a bad role model. In this day and age you could see tattoos on anyone from your teacher to your doctor to your local politician and law enforcement.

I think if this same question was asked a generation ago then the answer would probably be yes. Tattoos were more taboo then as compared to today where a tattoo is rather normal and seen almost every day from all walks of life.

When I think about this subject I’m immediately reminded of a conversation I had with my father. Well it was more of me listening to him rant. He was going on about how Harley Davidson isn’t cool anymore. How you see everyone riding a Harley. Everyone from doctors to politicians to lawyers. “LAWYERS” he exclaimed loudly and full of disgust before swearing, “fucking lawyers” under his breath before grabbing another beer. So yeah I was immediately reminded about that when I saw this topic. Fond memories for sure.

Much like Harley Davidson motorcycles, tattoos are in the norm now and are being done by everyone. Celebrities are no exception, of course. Kids will see their favorite celebs getting tattoos and probably think nothing of it other than, “hey that’s kinda normal”. I don’t think that affects them in any type of negative way. Might they want to get the same tattoo their favorite celebrity might have? Yeah, I suppose, but they can’t do that legally until they are 18 years old and by that time I would hope that any negative influence a celebrity might have over them is tempered with a little common sense.

When it comes to celebrities and their actions, I think having tattoos fall way down the list of things I would worry about as a parent when it comes to my child’s fandom, for lack of a better word. Hell by the time I have kids tattoos might be mandatory.

GothicBohemian
I found this topic a puzzling choice until I did a bit of internet research – so this tattoo debate has risen up on a talk show or some such after One Direction asked to see a little tattooed skin from their fans? I’m compelled to call the tattoo hate a great load of bullshit, otherwise I’d be quite the hypocrite, having tattoos myself and being the excellent role model that I am.

That’s right…I’m the Role Model of Excellence and I’m having no disagreement on that, understood?

Ok, well then I guess I should set to work debunking the silliness, which shouldn’t prove hard; the anti-tattoo arguments come across as simplistic clichés from superficial people.


Are celebrities with tattoos bad role models to children?


What makes poor role models are words and actions, not appearances. While it’s tempting to use ink on display as a handy reference for who might be a positive influence, even there it can be impossible to judge. And yet…tattoos are a map of life experience, displaying openly who the owner was at the time of each inking. The same man who, at seventeen, decided he needed a visual reference for his thug identity may grow into the man who, at forty, dedicates his back piece to his decades-long fight for human rights. That he hadn’t removed his earlier self by correcting the older work would be, in my eyes, an admirable admission of a sketchy past and the ability to rise above it – role model material.

Employers won’t hire people with tattoos? Not so. Every industry, and every employer, has different standards and expectations. While noticeable tattoos on exposed skin may not be a wise choice for someone with dreams of being a wedding boutique clerk that same body art could give a candidate an edge interviewing with a trendy advertising agency. Workplace norms vary. Besides, at a certain point, education, skill and experience are the determining factors for employment, not appearance. Those aiming higher are far less likely to be dismissed due to tattoos than those scrambling for service industry jobs. How about that? – tattoos as a potential inspiration to further education and loftier goals as opposed to the badge of the underachiever.

The idea that tattoos display a degenerate lifestyle is foolish. Yes, prison and gang tattoos are still a thing, but tattooing has moved so mainstream that the majority of people with ink have no affiliation with anything remotely illegal. Any statement that links body art, or any form of body modification, with negative stereotypes shows the speaker to be not only ignorant of social trends but woefully underinformed about subcultures beyond their personal bubble. Tattoos are one of many ways people express their spirituality, their artistry, their entry into the ‘tribe’ (metaphorically or literally) or, conversely, their individuality. Body art is not a cry for attention; when approached seriously, it can become a rite of passage, a public embracing of what one stands for and represents – and yes, this includes those aforementioned gang members.



tattooing has moved so mainstream
Important enough that I needed to pull this out.


Celebrities who ask for fans to show off tattoos are hardly encouraging radical behaviour. There’s nothing outrageous about asking teens – and this seems to be where the anger stems from, teens with tats – to share something they’re proud of, and often giddily so as they consider their ink an act of separation from parental control. Most kids don’t get tattoos because Celebrity X, their hero of the month, has a few; they get inked because their friends did. It’s a peer thing, a shared bonding moment with those outside the family and, looked at in that context, a normal part of growing up.

Is there any instance where simply having tattoos could mark someone as a bad influence? I suppose, as touched on earlier, such can be used as a handy reference for creating a list of perspective role models; were I a parent, and one inclined to do such things as impose my beliefs on my children, I might be tempted to scratch those with racist, unoriginal or say, big tattoos of dollar signs with “I love MONEY” written across their chests from that list, but that’s representative of my values and has nothing to do with body art in general. Morality and personal values are subjective and make weak arguments pro or con anything.

Hmmm…there are people who get inked thoughtlessly and wind up sporting ridiculous choices but the majority of them are boringly normal, everyday folks who decided to be a bit risky without really committing to the wild side. Nope, nothing about celebrity influence here and I can’t imagine too many kids being impressed to the point of wanting their own shoddy tats. None of this makes any of them, or celebrities with similar markings, poor role models. Walking examples of lack of creativity masquerading as rebellion with a bit of wannabe thrown in, but just as likely to be perfectly nice people as someone with pristine skin. Also just as likely to be closet sociopaths…but that’s the thing with making judgements based on something meaningless – it doesn’t work.


So here I am at the point where I need to bring all this rambling about tattoos to a concise conclusion:

Body modification has gone mainstream

Tattoos hold no more meaning than that which was then on the mind of the person getting them

What matters is who you are, not how you look

Finger-wagging at celebrities is no substitute for being an accepting, supportive parent and your child’s role model (inked or otherwise)

Oh, and think before you get Joe, who just opened a tattoo shop with his best buddy Mike, to ink Dragon #6 on your forearm. You might regret that (but you can still be a great role model, even with your ugly dragon art). It’s also probably a bad idea to have your boobs tattooed to look like twin pokéballs but, if that’s your thing, who am I to judge?


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Rush
I never thought I’d see “boobs tattooed to look like twin pokéballs” in a debate on here but I guess can scratch that off the list…

Anyway, both debates took the side of, tattoos are mainstream and even if a child grows up and gets a tattoo it’s not the end of the world. However GothicBohemian went into a lot more depth, and expanded effectively on their points so that’s why I’m giving the win to GothicBohemian.

DarkStark: Made the point about tattoos being mainstream, but you didn’t really put a judgement on whether that is a good thing or not. You did mention in the opening that it’s not the tattoo that makes a bad role model but you kind of left that point there. Would have liked to see you expand more on what makes a bad role model and how having a tattoo is irrelevant to the morals that are perceived to be taught by good role models. Personal tie ins are good, but this debate felt a bit brief in the middle, and could have done with some more persuasive language, and debating in the middle of the debate to drive your point across.

GothicBohemian: Okay you did a lot right in this debate so I’m going to nitpick on something that got my eye. You stated “What makes poor role models are words and actions, not appearances.” Which is a key point surrounding this debate in my opinion. But you sort of left it there. Didn’t really expand on how actions have a larger impact on being a role model than merely getting your skin inked. Having said that, overall, a really well done debate.

MrMister
GothicBohemian wins. He addressed this "issue" more thoroughly than others. I also can't imagine anyone arguing the side that says tattoos make for a bad role model. That shit is alien to me. So really everyone wins here since they argued on the side of sanity. Well done all.

I got to pick a winner though. GothicBohemian just stuck to the topic the best.

Headliner
DarkStark

There was nothing 'wrong' with it, but it just seemed to end abruptly with a "that's it?" kind of moment. For what it was, it was ok. But it was just too short. I would have liked to seen you dig deeper into past situations involving celebrities and tattoos. Assessing the situations to back up you original opinions on the topic. That would have gave your debate more substance and strength while providing a nice analyzing trait to your debate.

GothicBohemian

I felt like you rambled on a little bit, and I had to read things over a few times to fully understand what you were talking about. But I think overall you did a solid job touching on why people have tattoos, how these tattoos have little association to a degenerate lifestyle, and most importantly, defining poor role models by words and actions, not appearance. Solid debate that touched on a variety of topics.

Winner-GothicBohemian


Winner via Unanimous Decision - GothicBohemian


DarkStark:

*DarkStark finally gets when she notices her Bourbon has run out. Fearing a riot new security guard ChampViaDQ launches himself into the crowd and repeatedly punches Craig between the eyes so he can steal his Bourbon off him. Champ SPRINTS up to DarkStark to hand her a new supply of Bourbon and looks rather proud of himself. What's going on with ChampViaDQ?*

*Craig is left lying on the floor knocked the fuck out and eventually a team of medics arrive to take him away for medical attention. As Craig is leaving on a stretcher up the stairs on the right, GOD OF CUNT sprints down the stairs on the left so fast that he slips over his drunk ass and soars to the bottom of the stairs. Fortunately his seat was actually at the bottom so he looks extremely pleased with himself for getting to his seat quicker than he'd originally planned. His rises back up to his feet with a worrying look of "it saved me time and I'm still alive so this shall be part of my regular walking to a seat at the bottom of stairs routine now". GOD OF CUNT finds his seat and is confused by the lack of Craig.*


GOD OF CUNT: Motherfucker sent me a picture of himself with his dick up a glass of Bourbon sitting next to this exact seat. WHERE THE FUCK IS CRAIG.

*Froot thinking he's being a good person informs GOD OF CUNT of Craig's recent exit. GOD OF CUNT looks up and sees the team of medics exiting the arena. GOD OF CUNT is PISSED.*

GOD OF CUNT: I FUCKING MISSED HIM AGAIN? MOTHERFUCKINGFUCKER.

*GOD OF CUNT glances over to Froot with bad intentions in his eyes. Froot being Froot doesn't recognise this. GOD OF CUNT proceeds to squeeze Froot's eyeballs out of socket and a few seconds later is stood with two eyeballs in his hands as the crowd looks in nothing short of horror. The camera pans around looking for security only to find them following DarkStark out off stage for no real reason. Sadly TDL only has the budget for either 2 security guards with name value or a whole team of security guards with no name value. Naturally we chose the illogical one that provides a good story. Eventually they arrive after DarkStark's attention is diverted to the scene and proceed to taze GOD OF CUNT the fuck down before arresting him and taking him the fuck out of here. Crazy motherfucker did just squeeze someone's eyeballs straight out of their head. GOD OF CUNT is removed from the arena kicking and screaming DAMN YOU CRAIG. Froot is left sitting there seemingly dead after his amazing recovery from his coma. Sadly TDL was out of security or medics to take him away at this point so in his seat with no eyeballs Froot remained. He remained there for the end of the show actually. He's probably still there now actually. At least he got to see the rest of the show if you can actually see without eyeballs. If that's the case then what the fuck do we have these weird googley ass things for? If someone decides to pop their's out then drop me a PM and let me know the results pls.*

TDL Special Attraction Debate
BloodNinja vs Hollywood Hanoi vs TehJerichoFan

Did MTV change the music industry for the better or worse?


Spoiler for Debates:
TehJerichoFan
The MTV Legacy

The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" became the first music video to air on Music Television, perhaps an intentionally ironic precursor to the company's imminent success. Indeed, the cultural giant we know as MTV has forever reshaped the fabric of mainstream culture, even defining an entire generation of youth. But the legacy of MTV is none moreso evident than in the music industry, where it was for a long time the smoldering centerpiece of a large-scale evolution. Not everyone sees this as a positive change; some critics argue that MTV's embrace of the superficial has saturated the landscape with inept talent. Which begs the question; did MTV change the music industry for the better or worse?

Quote:
MTV was born partly out a backlash by the music industry in an attempt to boost sales — Simon Warner
Industry dynamics have obviously changed since MTV's inception roughly 30 years ago. Radio's significance as the dominant medium for music artists dwindled rapidly. MTV's rise, by virtue, did "kill the radio star". One might view that to be the detriment of the business, the death of an entire industry. For certain it was not only the death of an era, but the genesis of an entire chapter. And on the flip side of that coin, MTV provided several new avenues for both ambitious hopefuls and record companies alike. No longer did labels have to rely solely on live performances to market their clients. The network's immense popularity created a platform for music artists to expand their brand on an international scale. It has been responsible for propelling a spectrum of underground cultural movements into the mainstream stratosphere, notably hip-hop culture. Additionally, it revived a dying business to strong record sales and renewed public interest.


Madonna, arguably one of the faces of the MTV generation.

MTV's ability to captivate audiences with this new medium of entertainment introduced them to a slew of flashy, theatrical, and visually appealing artists whom would have otherwise languished pre-MTV's inception. Some of the company's most successful products—Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, among others—stood at the forefront of this movement as they intrigued media outlets and the public with their colorful wardrobe, catchy, simple tunes tailored for airplay, and provocative magazine photoshoots and televised performances. This emphasis on theatricality, bombastic performance art, and public image struck a chord with an older generation, and continue to this day fuel divisive arguments over MTV's contributions to the music industry. You can view this display of spectacle to eclipse raw musical talents, but in reality, it is in itself a talent. To successfully create a distinctive persona, to construct other personae, or to capture public interest with outrageous antics is just as much of a display of artistic talents as creating music, as the ultimate goal of art is to provoke a reaction and a discussion.

Danny Goldberg of Artemis Records made a fantastic response on the importance of the music video to one's musical repertoire:
Quote:
I know when I worked with Nirvana, Kurt Cobain cared as much about the videos as he did about the records. He wrote the scripts for them, he was in the editing room, and they were part of his art. And I think they stand up as part of his art, and I think that's true of the great artists today. Not every artist is a great artist and not every video is a good video, but in general having it available as a tool, to me, adds to the business. And I wish there had been music videos in the heyday of the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. I think they would've added to their creative contribution, not subtracted from it.
Has MTV changed the music industry? Of course. Was that change for the better? Absolutely. Regardless of evolving dynamics, artists will continue to flourish and it's a bit cynical, if not ignorant, to dismiss MTV's contributions to the music industry as damaging, disastrous, detrimental, whatever.

Citations
1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1465495.stm
2. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl.../goldberg.html
3. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...ews/leeds.html
4. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...ews/guido.html
5. http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsrel.../mtv62111.html


BloodNinja
To preface, I don't have anything against popular music, I actually enjoy a ton of it. That said, do I think MTV changed the industry for the better? No, not at all. I will illustrate my point by looking at how MTV were in a position to bring new opportunities to the artist while contributing to creative growth, but went in a direction that influenced the youth culture to accept mediocrity, and drastically limited the exposure of fresh and inovative new music.

When MTV burst on the scene, we were coming fresh off the late 60s/early 70s musical boom period, entering an era of rapidly growing technology and a resurgence of Conservatism. The concept of MTV was nonetheless promising. It was easy to imagine MTV serving as a platform for artists to expose their music to a wider audience, encourage them to merge their music with appropriate visuals that added a new layer to the experience. Music videos in the traditional sense weren't anything new (you could spot a number of them on rotation during your weekly variety shows of the late 1960s), but MTV campaigned vigorously once cable came into it's own, and became so popular that it eradicated the need for variety shows and late night specials altogether. MTV gained the confidence of its viewers by giving you exclusive access to cool concerts, launched sister channels like 120 Minutes that featured "alternative" music that did not necessarily resonate with a mainstream audience.

Unfortunately, as MTV established itself, it also started influencing culture for the worse rather than accurately reflecting it, working in tandem with an industry that put more importance on marketability than the exposure substantial and deserving talent.

As MTV gained traction, they started heavily milking niche fads while progressively phasing out creativity in favor of three minute music videos that were completely devoid of any artistic intent, videos made up of audience tested choreography and quick cuts paced by a stroboscopic lamp to sustain the interest of the attention deficit viewers that made up their target market. MTV's sister channels were slowly getting pushed aside and treated as their neglected stepchildren. As a consequence, these featured musicians did not have an incentive to "step their game up", and their record labels did not really attempt to come up anything truly original to stay ahead of the curve, instead they raped history and all their archived material in search of their next big money making single. It became of paramount importance for these artists to be seen in as many commercials as their schedule dictated (i.e. pimping Pepsi, or more recently the latest iPhone). By then, the R.I.A.A. would have wrenched every ounce of their usefulness, and moved on to the next big act on its seemingly endless assembly line of cookie cutter, corporate shovelware. CD's from MTV's heavily rotated artists became overpriced and loaded with snappy radio centric singles and a ton of filler made up of songwriting that sounded so predictable that you'd think the musicians were reading out of a Hallmark greetings card, thus becoming glorified commercials with a barcode.

MTV took their brand to the next level with the advent of reality television, making mind-numbing programming the focal point of their primary channel rather than a side feature, eventually all but completely phasing out music videos from their day-to-day lineup. In the rear-view mirror of this conscious shift, you find that MTV managed to almost single-handedly turn vapid bands like Nickelback and the Backstreet Boys into cultural phenomenons, and turn a genre like hip-hop music (a genre that was once folk music created in the streets as a sincere form of expression, rooted rand reflected by the artists's genuine struggle) into self-indulgent, vacuous drivel that seemingly does nothing more than encourage the listener to run out and buy the latest G-Unit "hoodie", and indulge in their make-believe pimping and murdering fantasies.

Viacom (the company that owns MTV) knows exactly what its carefully researched prime demographic want, and they will not deviate from these methods if it keeps being commercially viable. MTV has not only been an enabler of these methods, but has had a ripple effect on the way music is being presented.

Despite MTV's marketing power, a great number of respected artists today are starting to make the move to methods of viral marketing, and offer affordable deals on their albums. Much like (but to a greater extent) the "Alternative" trend of the late 1990s, the new breed of bands absorb the industry overflow, marginalizing the rapidly increasing trends step by step as media becomes easily accessible to everyone. The internet age allowed the everyday artist to be less dependant on the record labels, and give them the freedom to promote their music without compromising their artistic integrity, get low-balled on percentage cuts or meet set dates. There is far less incentive to be a featured artist on MTV the way it once was. The era of overproduced, postured, pseudo-emotive chart-topping singles will not go away any time soon, but the landscape is changing to the point where the big record labels and its licensing handlers are losing their grasp on the industry. This cultural shift galvanized MTV into an attempt to rebuild their dying credibility by launching a few promising services like 'MTVHIVE'; a service that puts emphasis on lesser known talent. These are baby steps in the right direction, but a little too late now.

To conclude. MTV did help shape the Industry, and it had the potential to help expand artistic expression, but they inevitably succumbed to greed and lost touch of what made the thought of their evolution exciting to begin with. The fact that MTV has to play catchup, and are forced to make their bread on other forms of contemporary entertainment goes to show that the quality of their product was always secondary to the profits. MTV did not only influence youth culture, they helped influence them to accept low standards, and that is a sad long-term ramification.

Hollywood Hanoi
MTV unquestionably changed the music industry for the better.

Firstly I must state my debate will deal with the specific period the network’s biggest influence/co-dependant relationship was with the music industry as means of both content and marketing, this period roughly the mid-80s through early 2000s when it rose to global brand/ star maker but before it diversified (i.e. "back when it actually played music, maaannn").

Secondly and most importantly I must define industry primarily as the major record labels (there were 6 in this period, plus subsidiaries), this is who MTV relied on for content and who stood to prosper, self-sustaining industry niche segments are largely irrelevant here.

Finally 'change' ; how does anyone 'change' an industry for the better other than finding new, creative ways to make it more profitable than anyone had previously dreamed?, this is precisely what MTV did, let’s look at how:

Recession hit the record industries hard in the late 1970s, the explosion in youth culture in the late 60s created a long boom but by the end of the decade most of the reliable big sellers split up, burnt out or fell out with public tastes. There were still stellar musical developments happening at this time with innovations in the young Disco, Punk and Electronic genres but most of these acts, despite being hailed by the still influential music press as the New Wave failed to set sales alight, and worse those big sellers weren't around to subsidize the experimentation anymore. The labels changed strategy, artist rosters were slimmed down across the board, no more fragmenting of the market and trying to meet niche tastes, the future (the 80s) would be the age of the solo superstar, the mega-band, the new mass media icon. What the labels needed now was the right delivery mechanism to apply this superstar principle.

Around this same time the new network, backed by Warner Bros, was finding its feet. The notion of an entire channel solely devoted to music videos had been a novel one, the choice of Video Killed the Radio Star as the first song aired was intended in cheek but would soon prove prophetic, 'killed' is inaccurate as regional radio will always be an essential part of promotion but by 1985 the(now Viacom backed) channel's reach, influence and cultural impact could bypass regional scenes and the typical slow process of breaking a hit single across vast US territories, the new media allowed them to beam straight to a mass audience of teenagers and young adults.

The fit was perfect. 'Popular' music, in MTV's case mostly meaning dance-pop, hard rock, R&B and (later)hip-hop, had always been a visual medium as much a musical one with its own set of iconography, tribal fashion and expressive imagery. The music video as both creative expression and promotional tool for singles had been around since the 60s but would be pushed to outrageous new heights in the 80s. Much of MTV's earliest content came from the aforementioned New Wave artists who turned low cost visual flair into an artform and instantly saw spiking sales. The industry caught on quick, video budgets would spiral and soon take up the bulk of promotion costs. Showbiz needs STARS and it was time to make some.

The earliest MTV playlists were as genre-regimented as US radio stations had been. Michael Jackson's Billie Jean video (and subsequent Thriller singles) is most often held as "kicking the door down" for black acts (it should be mentioned that MTV were the ones who closed the door in the first place). The striking, unforgettable images of Jackson given repetition by the station and pushing him from star into bonafide global icon with megasales to match, the first video superstar. Others would follow, Madonna, then struggling for radio breakthrough would use video to show the myriad sides of her personality and become Jackson’s female equivalent. Prince, Whitney Houston, Guns N Roses, The Police and others would join the multi-platinum elite. Even pre-video age artists like Aerosmith, ZZ Top and Bruce Springsteen would cannily use the medium to find a new younger audience and the biggest sales of their careers.

As the 90s began the youth culture zeitgeist shifted and the channel seamlessly adapted again. While mega-sellers like Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men would continue to be made, the trashy glitz of the 80s was out, this was the era of authenticity, awareness and MTV as a right-on, idealized version of itself. Hair metal was replaced with grunge, led by Nirvana and arguably the culmination of 10 years work by a vibrant underground, the genre now commodified, backed with major label marketing dollars and given MTV’s seal of approval saw numerous sludgy, anti-image bands invade the mainstream. But shy, mopey guys weren’t long for the spotlight, at the same time gritty gangsta rap, previously restricted to late night Yo MTV Raps, was making its first appearances on daytime tv and proving a force on album charts, the extroverted braggadocio nature of the music perfect for the medium. Again budgets swelled as videos came to resemble ostentatious gangster movies and later as the music changed visuals were taken to eye poppingly, artful new levels by innovative directors like Hype Williams. By 1999 hip-hop would finally surpass country music as America’s biggest selling genre and comfortably co-exist with MTV’s late decade shift toward teen pop.

In retrospect it was smart for the network to diversify into self-made content in the 2000s, a Napster-shaped meteor was about to hit the industry as the internet changed the way people consumed music (and music videos) forever. Today MTV’s star making power is reserved for its own reality show celebrities and those few artists willing to do/say/wear something shocking at its annual awards show. At its peak MTV changed the industry by giving it a way to create instant stars and impact culture while bypassing all regional markets and accelerating the promotion system.


references used:
http://musicbusinessresearch.wordpre...ause-analysis/
http://thepub.viacom.com/sites/mtvpr...s/mtv-timeline
Rip It Up: Post-Punk 78-84 - Simon Reynolds


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
WOOLCOCK
TehJerichoFan – The first thing I’d say here, is that leaving your opinion until the conclusion is probably something you should rectify for future reference. In a debate, you need to be clearly communicating your stance to reinforce your argument and strengthen the reader’s perception of what it is you’re arguing. That can’t happen when you don’t outline your point of view, as the reader could infer you’re arguing one side before seeing a completely different argument later on. By considering the impact, but not stating your actual argument until the conclusion, I just felt a disconnect between what you were writing and what I was reading. What you produced was technically fine, although I feel your argument pertaining to the theatrics and antics of superstars being a form of art in regard to provoking a reaction from an audience could have been focused on more. It was an interesting argument that stood out, but given how many would argue MTV encouraged flash over substance, I felt by restricting your coverage of this argument your debate wasn’t as strong as it could have been. Citing MTV’s innovation in launching iconic stars and capturing the audience’s attention was a good ploy, but I’m just not convinced this is the strongest of the three entries. Don’t be too disheartened though, this was a stellar matchup and there’s no disgrace to be the losing entry here.


BloodNinja – I thought this perfectly captured the balance as to how MTV changed the industry, but crucially considering how this change was not for the better at every opportunity. I loved how the writer prefaced their argument as acknowledging the influence and opportunity MTV had to change the industry for the better, only to fail to accomplish this and thus change it for the worse. Like the other debates, the writer employs a helpful overview of what exactly MTV pioneered, but unlike the other debates I just felt a clear consideration of whether the change was for the better/worse throughout. I really liked how you introduced the argument that MTV could open the door for a variety of underground artists, before dispelling that trait by considering how their dependence on creating stars thereafter encouraged stunted work devoid of creativity before ultimately pushing these aspiring artists aside for the transcendent stars. I also adored the conclusion and final paragraph, which highlighted how MTV is having to make significant changes to compete in a digital age and which underlines their reactionary nature to improve their programming, only AFTER their dominance and grasp on the industry is threatened.


Hollyood Hanoi – I think this was a strong overview of how MTV progressively shaped the platform of the music industry, in addition to launching a plethora of stars across separate decades, however I do feel significant counter arguments weren’t considered here, which hurts the debate overall. Obviously the key argument here boils down to MTV representing an innovative way for artists to permeate the nation and become stars overnight, however in conjuncture the nature and allure of becoming a star can be argued as encouraging artists to focus on ways to become popular, which might have affected the quality and expressive nature of their work. This was certainly a good argument for HOW MTV changed the music industry, but given the question requires us to consider if their change was for the better, I just feel the writer made something of a faux pas in dedicating all their time in how MTV innovated the industry, to the point where very little for how this change was for the better was considered.


Winner – BloodNinja. I just felt this debate succeeded in highlighting the changes MTV can be held as responsible for, but applying these changes in conjuncture with the development of the industry today to form an opinion as to whether these changes were for the better/worse.

Evolution
TehJerichoFan: I felt like your debate as a whole spent too much time explaining the context and the back-story of MTV and less time discussing and arguing it’s impact and whether it was positive or negative.

You didn’t clearly establish what side of the debate you were taking early on and only really confirmed it in your conclusion, I had difficulty at some points really seeing CLEARLY what you were arguing. When I read it back after finding that part in your conclusion it made more sense but it just seemed to weaken your overall effort.

I think you could have spent less time explaining what happened and how MTV came about and more time expanding on what impact it had on the music industry and less on society. Defining record sales and revenue as the definition of success/life of the industry would have helped as well (regardless of whether I agree with that sentiment or not).

BloodNinja: I liked the way you approached the debate, acknowledging that while yes, MTV drove record sales and increased the marketability of artists etc. it didn’t necessarily foster the culture required to drive a respectable industry.

Taking a second to define what you considered to be a “better” industry (i.e quality not quantity of sales) would have really helped. It was implied throughout your debate and you may have mentioned it at one point but put that bad boy in your introduction so you make it clear what you’re talking about when you’re talking down the profitability/mainstream aspect of it.

I liked the points about their current programming and I felt it could have opened a whole new can of worms had you expanded on it a little more. Would have been really good to question what about their current programming schedule (see: Teen Mom) actually has to do with the music industry and how anyone could perceive that to be beneficial. I did like that you touched on it though. Really added to your debate.

Hollywood Hanoi: Now normally I like people defining their own side of the topic for questions but I feel there is a difference between paraphrasing and making the question your own and straight up ignoring massive periods of time and making your area of focus too small. I loved the second and third parts of your definition though that was great but the first part left too many holes (i.e their current programming). A simpler way to get the same result without the seemingly weaker way of doing it would be to simply colloquialise (officially a made up word) the statement you made and make it seem simpler than what you did. You have to keep your audience demographic in mind.

For example “The current era bullshit surrounding what MTV considers to be programming aside, the music industry was forever changed for the better during the peak period between the mid-80’s and the beginning of the 00’s. It’s because of this change that blah blah blah was allowed to happen rabble rabble rabble”.

I hope that makes sense. PM me if it doesn’t and I’ll try to explain it more.

I liked your arguments but they felt less like arguments and more like a chronological time line of events which suited your story. It’s easy to attribute an artists success to MTV but you didn’t really take that extra step in explaining to me why it made such a big difference or why it even cultivated the shift in culture from Glam Rock to Grunge (as an example). Just work a little bit more on the connection of your argument/the context to the topic and you’ll be on to a winner.

Decision: Look it’s not exactly an easy topic to debate even with 1000 words as it’s so broad but I’d have to give the decision to BloodNinja just for the expansiveness of their debate it just seemed to encompass more and felt more convincing to me as a reader. Congratulations.

Headliner
TehJerichoFan

Solid well rounded debate. Your intro was a nice set up for the body of your debate. I would have liked to seen you answer the question at the start. Only because I was reading the debate wondering if you were going to switch sides at any moment. With that said, you put forth a good effort in showing the positives of MTV from both a business side and artist side in addition to the exposure of underground music like hip hop at the time. And your ending was basic and to the point.

BloodNinja

You took an interesting stance here. To take your stance you looked at what MTV was designed to do. Including the enormous potential MTV had when debuting before going the opposite direction.

There was nothing 'wrong' with your debate. You made a few good points, but there wasn't enough to really persuade someone of your opinion because there's so much room for counter argument with factual truths.

Hollywood Hanoi

This debate was ok. It touched on a few things Debate A touched on. There really wasn't much of an intro. I did like your quick background of music before MTV's launch as it would provide a nice comparison to MTV's effect on music. What also gave your debate strength was showing how MTV gave African American music a national spotlight by putting Michael's videos on MTV, and also putting rap music on daytime TV for increased exposure. Also, you did a nice job showing the versatility of MTV when it came time to switch eras in the 90's.

Winner-Hollywood Hanoi edges out TehJerichoFan. Just a little more meat on the bones.


Winner via Split Decision - BloodNinja


TDL Special Attraction Debate
Seabs vs Shepard

Is NXT the best weekly wrestling television show out of WWE and TNA's programming?


Spoiler for Debates:
Seabs
Is NXT the best weekly wrestling television show out of WWE and TNA's programming?


The answer is Yes. Why? Because iiiiiit's

Ok, so what makes a good wrestling show? First and foremost, a good wrestling show is one that satisfies its fans. But how is a wrestling show able to do that? With:

Good Wrestling
Regardless of what Mr. Grapefruits would like you to believe, wrestling is an integral part of what makes a good wrestling show and what the majority of the audience is watching for. People who want to watch wrestling will watch wrestling so supplying good wrestling is pretty important in satisfying your audience.

Good Characters
Good characters are what get people emotionally invested in a show and more importantly what makes them react and gets them to keep coming back. Without a reason to be emotionally invested in the show, it's really not much of a show at all.

Good Storylines
Good matches and promos are great but they need something to tie them together. Storylines are another key factor in gaining an emotional attachment to the show.

Finally, ratings DO NOT make a great show, they merely make it a popular one. Therefore, any argument that Raw is the best because it's the most watched is garbage. If ratings made a show good then The Big Bang Theory would still be a good show and we all know that aint true.

So which is the best show?

At the risk of offending fans of dark matches and well... TNA, Superstars, Main Event and TNA aren't even in consideration. Superstars and Main Event are just average wrestling with no meaning and I could write an entire paper on why TNA isn't in contention. Finally, Smackdown can't be in contention because the show very rarely has any storyline relevance.

So it comes down to Raw & NXT. While Raw satisfies the criteria at times, more of the 3 hours don't. NXT is a more consistently satisfying show throughout the whole show AND peaks at worst on par with Raw.

Good Wrestling:
Both shows have peaked quite high recently in terms of wrestling output. For every Cena vs Punk you have a Cesaro vs Zayn. Where NXT has the superior edge is in overall consistency. For every Bryan vs Cesaro on Raw you have the Divas "wrestling" to find who's gotta tickle the most balls to keep their job and Kofi practicing his leaping ability for the impending day when WWE settles feuds in slam-dunk contests. The difference on NXT is that for every Ohno vs Regal you have Summer & Paige showing boobies and wrestling psychology can mix and Rusev working short matches that highlight his strengths. Where NXT wins is its ability to get the wrestling right where Raw fails. Rather than the divas and monsters on Raw trying to be something they can't be, NXT allows them to hide their weaknesses and expose their strengths. The Divas get to focus on character work rather than technical prowess and the monsters get to work short high-impact matches rather than 10 minute matches which expose all their weaknesses because there's 3 hours to fill.

Good Characters:
Where Raw might have strong characters at the top of the card such as Cena, Bryan and Punk, they fail bad on this front as you progress down the card where bland superstars with no personality such as Kofi, Axel & Sin Cara are the norm. Even top stars with strong characters such as Del Rio, Sandow & Ryback fail to achieve their purpose of getting fans emotionally invested in them. Compare this to NXT where you have strong characters who serve a purpose at every spot on the card. At the top of the card you have the fans emotionally invested in the natural likeability of Zayn and the natural hatred that Dallas can evoke. In the midcard where WWE would have a bland Axel, NXT has larger-than-life characters like English & Breeze who evoke emotional responses. When I tune into NXT I get to be invested in Zayn's struggle to the top of the mountain, Dallas' disingenuous nice-guy routine, Amore punching above his weight in the midcard, Emma's innocent bubbliness and much more. Watch them clips and honestly tell me they don't make you want to see more of them characters. Then tell me how much of the Raw roster you could do the same for. Watch this clip of Big E Langston in NXT and tell me when WWE have let him show that charisma to get THAT over.

Good Storylines:
With NXT there's emotional investment in storylines because what happens on the show matters. Zayn's hunt for the title while Dallas ducks him constantly is a good storyline because fans are invested in the characters enough to care and the storyline is getting both men over. Who has got over from the Authority storyline? Nobody. When was the last time WWE had a turn as creatively and successfully executed as Dallas' disingenuous babyface act after the fans refused to accept him as a genuine face? One thing that everyone on NXT has in common is a journey up the WWE hierarchy which eases viewers into an emotional investment in characters as they get to follow them from the bottom to the top. A large part of the reason why guys like Bryan & Ziggler are more over than a Del Rio is the emotional journey that fans get to go on throughout their career, which starts at following them at the bottom busting their ass to make it to the top. For fans, getting to follow a Zayn on his journey from the bottom to the top is an easy trigger for getting emotionally invested in the character to the point of caring about every little step they take on that journey.

Although both shows peak quite high, the clear edge is NXT's due to their unquestionable lead in delivering consistently good wrestling, characters and storylines for fans to get emotionally invested in. Plus NXT would never do something like this.

*The Breeze link starts at 22:30*

Shepard
Is NXT the best weekly wrestling television show out of WWE and TNA's programming?

Absolutely.

Let’s consider the content of each show. NXT has the least time in the week to dedicate to their shows, only an hour whereas the other main shows which have double or triple that. However they use this to their advantage as NXT packs so much into that hour that there isn’t anything worth skipping in an episode, unlike some other shows. Take this past week’s show. You get 4 good wrestling matches (including a good women’s match), solid backstage segments showing characters and building feuds. Everything serves a purpose. No match is simply throwaway.

Compare this to the THREE hours of Raw, which can be condensed usually into an hour or so of worthwhile action, with around half of the show being either throwaway or just not that interesting. Meanwhile on Smackdown and the other WWE shows you tend to have a segment devoted to what happened on Raw and usually not a whole lot happens besides the occasional decent match here and there.

Over in TNA interest is so low that they’ve been cutting costs by releasing talent lately as well as crawling back to the impact zone with their tail between their legs following the failed on the road attempt. Granted they might have finally got rid of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff as well as the Aces and Eights long after both outstayed their welcome but it says a lot for TNA when the most interesting man on the roster is AJ Styles, currently not appearing regularly in TNA. With Dixie Carter appearing to be forming a stable as the somewhat tired character of big bad boss character TNA’s long love affair with poor quality stable wars doesn’t seem to be ending soon.

As for the WWE, whilst there has been some bright points this year in the Shield and the (very brief) rise of Daniel Bryan, ultimately both seem to be stagnating at the moment, with the Shield not reaching the heights of their original impact and incredible stretch of matches; now they just seem to be there until the break up they’re teasing occurs. As for Bryan, WWE seems to be doing all they can to stifle one of their clearly over acts, having him win two WWE titles, only for each reign to last 24 hours max and make him look like a geek in the process. After then being booted out of the main event scene in order to incorporate the much more popular Big Show, Bryan then was put in his current program with the Wyatt family, which whilst being somewhat entertaining seems to scream filler.

Meanwhile the main event scene is focused on unifying the world titles with everyone’s two favourite champions, John Cena and Randy Orton. Enthralling, right?

So what about NXT puts them ahead? Without being hamstrung by booking towards a PPV at the end of a month, NXT can book feuds at a pace that suits them, with the current chase of the title by Sami Zayn being an ideal example and something WWE could learn from. Zayn has been super over in NXT basically since he debuted, taking advantage of WWE sending some of their better workhorses down to developmental to have terrific matches with Antonio Cesaro (three, actually) and Jack Swagger. So naturally, it wasn’t long before Zayn found himself challenging for the NXT title, held by a rejuvenated heel Bo Dallas. Zayn fought hard and actually thought he’d won the belt at one point but ultimately fell short. However not winning the belt at the first attempt means that people will be more invested in his chase of the belt and picking up his first title, unlike Daniel Bryan for example who had his first win occur at the first attempt, only to immediately lose it.

NXT also allows each of the divisions to have their time to shine, with each of their three titles having main evented the show at some point. The women’s division of Summer Rae, Paige, Emma, Sasha Banks amongst others is entertaining to watch and the tag team division is headlined by the Ascension, with the team of Oliver Grey and Adrian Neville having a terrific run of matches when they were champions earlier in the year. For each of these divisions to have time to thrive whilst over in TNA titles like the X division title is a shadow of what it once was and the TV title is all but retired it really shows the gulf in quality.

The size of the roster of NXT could lend itself to the argument that they could do with more time but considering that wrestlers can go a week or two without appearing this means that they are prevented from becoming stale whilst the other wrestlers who are equally as entertaining can fill their place. One week you might have Sami Zayn wrestling Leo Kruger, only for the next week to have Adrian Neville against Antonio Cesaro, before the following week has Alexander Rusev and Tyler Breeze. Or you could have Enzo Amore in a backstage segment and the next week has Aiden English. Not to mention the commentary team is far superior to any other show, with Alex Riley and Tom Phillips tending to focus on the action, with William Regal occasionally joining in. Regal sometimes joins in on the in ring action himself also, with a highly acclaimed match with Kassius Ohno earlier in the year before a soon to air clash with the equally terrific Antonio Cesaro. Something you’d never see get appropriate time anywhere else.

So:

A talented and diverse roster.

Proper attention given to each championship.

Every segment having a purpose.

Good long term booking helping build up characters and make special moments feel exactly that.

The fact NXT is the only weekly show to accomplish this puts them head and shoulders above the rest.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
WOOLCOCK
Seabs – Thought this was a breath of fresh air to quote ol’ Arry. Loved the breakdown of the question and the aspects that make a good wrestling show, before then carefully selecting and distinguishing between NXT and Raw. Really loved how the writer succinctly argued their points throughout, with a concise yet analytical and confident tone in addition to some tongue in cheek humour and good integration of their natural personality. I thought the way in which you articulated how NXT not only produces good matches, but also employs a greater consistency by way of having wrestlers work shorter matches that accentuate their strengths and avoid the pitfalls of Raw, whereby wrestlers work longer matches simply because of the allotted three hour time to fill. Overall this was just a very expertly constructed debate which clearly outlined the writer’s POV at every opportunity, with a meticulous structure employed to assuredly breakdown the question and carefully conclude NXT as the best show by way of the criteria required in creating a good wrestling show


Shepard - I thought this was very close to the level of Seabs', and more than made this matchup a close decision. Like Seabs, the structure and succinct nature in which the writer’s argument was presented was highly commendable and I thought all the arguments presented were strong and well supported. At first I was apprehensive of the time spent in considering WWE’s flagship shows, but upon a re-read I didn’t find it as problematic and thought it segued in well to your eventual consideration of NXT which thankfully had depth and wasn’t condensed. I thought you made good arguments with regard to how NXT utilises the lowercard well in addition to the main event, which adds credence to your argument that everything serves a purpose in NXT, which in turn creates interesting storylines and a plethora of interesting characters that can be alternated on a weekly basis to avoid being oversaturated and their appeal diminished. I also particularly liked the way in which you distinguishes the booking of Zayn and Bryan as the two respective babyface stalwarts on both shows, with NXT again being presented in a far more impressive manner by way of your language and persuasive tone in characterising the continuous nature of Zayn’s chase, as opposed to the haphazard manner in which Bryan’s chase and title quest was handled.


Winner – Seabs. This was close and a thoroughly good contest, but I’m giving the nod to Seabs as I thought their approach and breakdown of the question in addition to their supporting arguments just had that edge upon subsequent re-reads. Both debaters employed a tremendous structure in their respective efforts, with no wasted paragraphs and a clear flow connecting each paragraph and arguments being made succinctly and assuredly. Both debates also featured some really well employed humour which I’ve grown to appreciate when judging, so once again well done to both of you and I hope the losing debater here can take solace in their effort and come back better next time around.

Evolution
Seabs: I was a bit meh on your introduction, to assume that “the majority” of people that watch wrestling are there for the actual wrestling is an interesting statement given the current climate of pro graps in 2013 and the WWE’s demographic. You might have been better off defining the NXT audience a bit more like that rather than making broad sweeping statements OR defined that the best pro wrestling show should encompass that.

I didn’t like how you completely removed TNA from the discussion without a just reason other than “I could write a whole paper on why it shouldn’t be included”. It’s IN THE TOPIC, if you can write a whole paper then it shouldn’t be hard to write a paragraph ruling it out.

The rest of your debate was good, pretty strong but it would have been nice had you compared the strengths of NXT vs. the WWE product as a whole AND TNA again.

Shepard: I felt your debate flowed pretty well, you mentioned TNA but didn’t go into enough depth with it for my taste. You could have explained that while TNA may be entertaining, it’s not necessarily for the right reasons. If you had differentiated the goals of the other WWE programing and NXT it would have strengthened your arguments even further. Perhaps because NXT has different goals to WWE Raw (one being cultivating talent the other being making money) that’s what makes NXT the best traditional televised pro graps promotion.

Decision: I’d have to give this pretty convincingly to Shepard.

The Lady Killer
Great debates imo. Should be a close one.

Seabs - Good intro, and I like your definition of what makes a wrestling show good (pleasing the fans). Some (Pyro) may argue that your choices for what makes a wrestling show good are inaccurate, but it works in this context, as this is the criteria for which you're basing your stance. I like the bit about ratings not necessarily equating to a good show, but rather a popular show. That does, however, leave the door open for people to make the claim of why people would watch something if it wasn't good. Careful there. You dismissed everything but Raw and NXT rather quickly. I would've liked to have seen some elaboration here, particularly on TNA, since it's the "rival" company. The next few paragraphs comparing Raw and NXT using your three criteria were good, and clearly show that at worst, NXT still edges out Raw for overall quality/consistency. Good debate, but I think it was a little weak on disregarding TNA.

Shepard - Great opening. Didn't really define what makes a show great, which I thought was the highlight of Seabs', but you make it clear that NXT packs the most punch by featuring nonstop entertainment in a much shorter period of time - in other words, no wasted motions. The next paragraph did a succinct yet effective job of discounting the other WWE shows. You then dedicate an entire paragraph to TNA, which I felt was a good call. You then return to WWE's main roster, highlighting the inconsistency and tired acts such as Cena and Orton main eventing. The rest of the debate focuses in detail on why NXT is the clear cut winner, and you summarize it nicely at the end. Very well done overall.

It basically boils down to two factors in order to determine a winner - Seabs did a better job of segmenting and dissecting the question, focusing on defining what makes a show good, whereas Shepard did a much better job of discounting the opposing stances while strengthening the claims about NXT being the best. Tough call, really, but I'm going to side with Shepard here.


Winner via Split Decision - Shepard


Shepard:

Seabs: Don't you fucking me

Shepard:

Seabs:

*Evo and TLK try to pull a face but fail miserably. This upsets Seabs greatly.*

Seabs: You two bitches can go fuck yourselves. Criticising me for NOT GIVING TNA ENOUGH CONSIDERATION IN A BEST WRESTLING SHOW DEBATE. MOTHERFUCKERS YOU MUST BE OUTTA YOUR DAMN MIND.

Evolution: Seabs beaten by Evolution again

*Seabs charges up to the judging table and throws his body at Evolution. Not his fist or his head. Just his entire body. That's how pissed he is. ENTIRE FREAKING BODY PISSED. TLK breaks them up but gets taken out by ROSE BROTHER WOOLCOCK. So much for being on good terms again. Headliner looks on unsure of what to do. Eventually he opts to pull The Rose Brothers away from the scuffle and calm things down. Seabs vows on his TDL Career that Evolution won't make it out of this show smiling before engaging in a brief stare down altercation with Headliner who distances himself from both Rose Brothers. Evolution and Headliner make their way to the stage for their upcoming debate as tensions reach boiling point.*

Admin vs Admin III
Evolution vs Headliner

How is WWE business doing better than ever considering their downfall from the attitude era?


Spoiler for Debates:
Headliner
How is WWE business doing better than ever considering their downfall from the attitude era?


But, but, but, the attitude era brought those ratings brother!

In order to see how WWE can possibly be more profitable with the current mediocre product than the most successful era in wrestling history, you must look beyond just TV. But before we do that, let’s look at TV!

Over the past few years WWE has added several TV shows to their current lineup. These additions were met with a lot of criticism. Even from myself. In theory, the more TV means the more you’re saturating your product, but let’s take a deeper look. In the attitude era, the shows consisted of Raw, Smackdown, Shotgun Saturday Night which turned into WWF Metal, and Sunday Night Heat. Currently we have Raw, Main-Event, Smackdown, A.M Raw, and Total Bitches Divas. (Saturday Morning Slam was canceled before Total Divas debut, and WWE Superstars is only on WWE.com.)

As you can see, there’s not much difference in the quantity of TV. But what’s different is the revenue. According to this quarterly earnings report: http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2002/2002_02_21.jsp

-WWE’s TV advertising revenue was $21.3 million for that quarter which ended in January of 2002. (Which means most of that quarter was late 2001)

As of the latest 2013 quarterly earnings report:
http://ir.corporate.wwe.com/Corporat...px?iid=4121687

-WWE’s TV advertising revenue is $44.1 million! Nearly double the amount of the quarter from 12 years ago and a 30% increase from the previous quarter.

-Also in the 2002 quarter report, TV rights fee revenue was $13 million for the quarter.

According to this Forbes Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T26veP-O02A#t=139

-WWE’s TV rights fee revenue in 2012 was $140 million dollars. Math class is in session. If you take that $13 million and multiply it by 4 to count the three other fiscal quarters, you get $52 million dollars. Now, that’s not an accurate number based on percentage increases and decreases each quarter, but we’re speaking theoretical not realistic. That’s still $88 million dollars less than what WWE is currently banking on TV right fees. This huge increase shows that WWE were able to capitalize off the strength of its integrated brand to secure huge monetary gains through licensing and contract agreements.

Exactly why is WWE’s brand so strong? International Expansion. Between 2000, to 2009, WWE was able to increase their International Revenue from just $9 million to $127 million which accounts for 30% of WWE’s total revenue. (1). That’s a 1311.11% increase in revenue. This vast increase in revenue is due to more international live TV shows, international TV deals, an increase in merchandising and media distribution, but most importantly, these international markets simply maturing in value partly due to WWE’s diligence in their continuous development of these markets. With these developments came an increase in international market share which obviously led to increased revenue.

WWE has also realigned their core competencies to maintain and expand their domestic and international competitive advantage through the focus of Marketing. In 2009, WWE hired former US Tennis Association CMO Michelle Wilson as the Executive Vice President for Marketing. To further increase their visibility in Marketing, WWE promoted Michelle to the created position of Chief Marketing Officer in 2011. Michelle is responsible for the marketing and advertising of all WWE business including WWE PPV, brand initiatives, media, global marketing, and public relations. Michelle is also credited for turning the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, and Survivor Series into weekend events rather than the traditional one day PPV event which has significantly increased WWE’s revenue.

With Michelle’s promotion to Chief Marketing Officer in 2011, WWE hired a Senior Vice President of Marketing in 2012. With more focus in Marketing especially at the Executive Level, WWE has increased their internal resources to ensure the highest potential visibility in the marketplace which will in turn generate revenue.

With these marketing initiatives come technological advances. WWE is heavily involved in all forms of social media to increase the visibility of their product worldwide. In addition, Hulu, youtube, yahoo, Sony and Xbox Live all feature WWE content with subscription deals in place. These avenues of advertising and revenue simply weren’t available in the attitude era. Last but not least, WWE has been able to strengthen the visibility of it’s own website, wwe.com. In the peak of the attitude era, 3.6 million people visited wwe.com based on a Feburary 2001 quarterly earnings report(2). In 2013, more than 14 million people have visited wwe.com. That’s 10.4 million more viewers, but more importantly 10.4 million possibilities of a purchase in wweshop.com, WWE home videos, Classics on Demand and other wwe media. Speaking of Classics on Demand, let’s go back to math class and take a look at their revenue year by year since its inception.

2012: $4.1 million
2011: $4.6 million
2010: $4.6 million
2009: $5.4 million
2008: $6.3 million
2007: $4.9 million
2006: 3.1 million combined between transition and fiscal year.

Random faggot in Math class: Headliner, why did you post all these numbers? What the fuck does it mean? I’m falling asleep.

Headliner: Detention. Don’t ever question me for anything I do in my life. And the last time I feel asleep it was with your mother, faggot.

If you total those numbers up, that’s $33 million in excess revenue. Again, another avenue of revenue that simply wasn’t available during the attitude era.

So why is WWE more profitable now than the Attitude Era? Television Revenue, increased visibility; which turned into profit, continuous international growth, and a strong integrated brand identity that allows them to be in high demand in all areas of business.

References:
(1): http://magazine.wsj.com/features/phe...ogues-gallery/
(2) http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2001/2001_02_15.jsp
http://corporate.wwe.com/company/bios/md_wilson.jsp
http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2012/2012_03_26.jsp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T26veP-O02A#t=139
http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2002/2002_02_21.jsp
http://ir.corporate.wwe.com/Corporat...px?iid=4121687
http://ir.corporate.wwe.com/Cache/10...T=&IID=4121687
http://corporate.wwe.com/documents/a...r2009_0013.pdf


Evolution
RATINGS! BUYZ! LOUD NOISES! That’s what dictates a successful professional wrestling business right? Excuse me while I laugh condescendingly at your narrow-sighted view of WWE’s business strategy.



While some people see the above as criteria for the success of the WWE, I do not and judging by the quality of last weeks Monday Night Rollup-I mean RAW I’d say the WWE don’t care all that much about what wrestling they present on our televisions on a weekly basis either. With all that considered though, what is causing the WWE’s business model to be doing better than it ever was in the “peak” period of professional wrestling, the Attitude Era?

For someone to argue that the WWE ISN’T doing better than ever they would have to take an extremely narrow view on the overall professional wrestling industry. While yes, television ratings have dropped overall for their Monday night show, PPV buy rates are lower than in the peak period of the WWE’s popularity and even their profit announcements have sunk slightly in the last year or so, the WWE is more dominant than any other professional wrestling promotion in the world and their figures represent that. That is what makes successful business.

Look at their revenue. Now if we split it up into the key aspects of live events, venue merchandise, PPV buys and ticket sales, TV rights, TV ad revenue and other (such as their online streaming services and DVD’s etc.) the WWE actually had it’s strongest revenue year of the past seven when you look at the fiscal year (ending September). Now this may not mean much to many reading this but how can you argue that the business of WWE isn’t doing better than ever when their revenue is actually finding ways to go up in almost all areas?



While you’d be correct in saying they may have made more money during the Attitude Era from attendance and merchandise, that doesn't necessarily mean that they were entirely doing better business or that even that it was BECAUSE of the business they were doing that they were so successful. The period of the AE could, and should be considered an anomaly in the market. A good example of this is the New Japan Pro Wrestling attendance figures. They take a similar dive off the peak period after about 2001 as the WWE did.



It would be impossible for the WWE to sustain that sort of success through to the current day.

Another key strength that modern day WWE has over it’s “peak” equivalent is TV rights. I’m not talking about national (i.e US) rights either. I’m talking more global. While the actual industry of pro wrestling was at it’s peak in the late 90’s/early 00’s in the attitude era, the worldwide market was something that was relatively untouched by both parties (WWF and WCW). Comparing that to todays market where the WWE has expanded to become a global juggernaut. Touring house shows and striking lucrative TV deals with countries such as Australia, India, England, Europe and Asia. According to the WWE corporate website it’s programming is shown in over 150 countries and 30 different languages. What’s that? “BUT THE WWE’Z PROFIT IS LESS THAN LAST YEAR HURRR THEY SHULD GO BACK TO DA ATTITUDE ERA!!!1”



Now it’s important to then look at what comes off the back of that world-wide market and the complete monopoly that WWE has on the industry. Perhaps the most important thing to come off of that monopoly is that the WWE is absolutely considered number 1 in the industry. It is THE place to go and wrestle and every wrestler who starts out at a wrestling school has the goal of making it to the WWE and being THAT guy in the main event of Wrestlemania.

You can criticise the WWE for the way they use (or don’t use *cough* Cesaro *cough*) their talent, you can criticise what they televise or their PPV cards and you’d be right to. However, that doesn’t change the fact that everybody wants to wrestle there and be successful because they have the best reputation of any other company or promotion in the industry. Not many pro wrestlers start out dreaming of headlining Slammiversary in the IMPACT ZONE in a shed in Orlando do they? It’s because of this worldwide standing and it’s because of this absolute dominance over the market that they will never have to seriously compete with another company to keep and maintain their talent and their stranglehold on the market (and in turn their revenue). While yes, ratings and PPV buys may be down since the peak of the industry; they also don’t have a competing promotion threatening their sustainability with an equally competitive product. You have to give it to Vince, although he may know how to royally fuck over and bury genuine talent, he also knows how to make as much money off as few satisfied people as possible and that is something that will never change.

The WWE’s sustainability, profitability and worldwide dominance are too much to ignore and say that their business isn’t doing better than ever. To really take the other side of this argument you would have to be ignoring so many important factors that go even beyond the simple numbers I have provided. It’s more than what you see on the paper in front of you or the quality of the programming you watch on a weekly basis. It’s the facts of simple things like their annual revenue, their lack of competition and their worldwide reach in programming as well as the intangibles like their reputation for attracting new talent as well as sustaining their own world-class roster that make good, successful business.

To consider anything otherwise… Well…



Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
OH MY GOD ALL THE BUSINESS ANALYSIS. MY DICK IS SO ERECT AT RIGHT NOW.

Headliner - This was amazing. Maybe I'm overrating it a little because I'm a Business student and I loved reading this sort of stuff but it was still incredible tight technically and factually and provided overwhelming evidence to answer the question. How could you argue otherwise after reading all of that? Amazing debate. "WWE has also realigned their core competencies to maintain and expand their domestic and international competitive advantage through the focus of Marketing." - made me ejaculate as a marketing student. All this was missing was a PEST and a SWOT Analysis. I really liked how you managed to use a ton of figures without losing the easy readability flow of your debate. Often when you're throwing as many figures at the reader as this did it can be overwhelming and end up as too many figures without explanation but this had the perfect blend for me of an overwhelming amount of figures that strengthened your debate beyond all uncertainty and also had some great explanation for each figure. Formatting and layout were great too. One heck of a debate. One of my favourite I've read over TDL's 10 shows and probably one of the tightest debates we've had too.

Evolution - There was nothing bad with this debate and most of it was naturally good but I didn't feel like it left me as impressed as Headliner's debate did and I felt Headliner did a stronger job of overwhelmingly stating how the business had improved. Every word of Headliner's debate felt like it was adding something of significant worth to his answer. In this one I felt you had more filler in between points which was by no means bad but it did feel less of an enjoyable read because of how concise Headliner made his points. I thought Headliner's comparison between 2001/2002 to today was stronger than you showing from figures from 2007 to now give the question. The New Japan comparison I thought fell a little flat because I don't think it was explained well enough. Different audience and different wrestling culture too. The graph could have done with WWE's contrasting figures on it too for direct comparison. Also with New Japan their dip was largely due to INOKISM at the turn of the decade. I thought Headliner did a better job explaining the TV Rights and globalisation factors too. Not that yours wasn't good (it was) but Headliner's was just better.

Winner - Headliner

THE DARK ANDRE
Headliner

Your intro is fine and entertaining enough, while your point regarding the misguided concept of over saturation within WWE’s tv product is spot on.

Okay, so I have one huge problem with this debate, one that concerns the cherry picking of statistics for comparison from the attitude era to the modern era, using random quarters with laughable “hypothetical” (how is that in any way supposed to be convincing in a debate? Hypothetically I could assume that WWE made a shit tonne of cash in those other quarters. Use actual stats please) mathematics that don’t take into account the changes between quarters, especially in regards to Wrestlemania season. None the less, these stats were used to paint a picture that WWE is now more profitable than ever in terms of revenue, especially in 2012 compared to 2002, but this simply isn’t true:

http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2002/2002_06_26.jsp

2002: $425 million total revenue = $542 million based on US inflation rates from 2002 to 2012

corporate.wwe.com/documents/4Q12PressReleaseFinal_000.pdf‎ (adobe reader download)

2012: $484 million total revenue

It’s like me saying that in 2013 Wagg is selling %100 more choc ices from his ice cream van to little kids than he was in 2002, but does that take into account the fact that Wagg was selling more lollipops back then, thus making a larger comparable revenue?

Now you could possibly save that stance by adding in total net profit comparisons, but you didn’t even go there, while you could have also saved your argument by explaining how a HUGE tv deal makes WWE more stable as a business in this modern era and in the long term through a guaranteed income in comparison to the booming attitude era’s largest revenue gaining tools, but you didn’t do that either. That whole section comparing the tv deals was a complete waste of time for me, but you might have convinced far more naïve judges and I suppose that has to be commended because the ability to spin statistical data is a good skill, whether that was intended in this case or not…

Again, you continued with the spin by showing how WWE made “a 1311.11% increase in revenue” through international expansion from 2000 and 2009, but this time you get away with it because in 2009 (not that it’s actually NOW, but I’ll let that slide as it’s a reasonable comparison) WWE did slightly better in terms of overall revenue in comparison to 2000, although again I would have liked to have seen you work that into your argument. Okay, now here is where you started to catch fire. The three paragraphs revolving around Michelle Wilson and how WWE have capitalised on modern media outlets were excellent, the highlight being “In the peak of the attitude era, 3.6 million people visited wwe.com based on a Feburary 2001 quarterly earnings report(2). In 2013, more than 14 million people have visited wwe.com. That’s 10.4 million more viewers, but more importantly 10.4 million possibilities of a purchase in wweshop.com, WWE home videos, Classics on Demand and other wwe media”. That was an excellent way of describing how WWE’s business is stronger in terms of brand awareness.

Then you went back to the financial figures and fell off again. Okay, so this debate concerns how WWE’s business is “doing better than EVER”. Well, why have you shown me a breakdown of statistics involving classics on demand where the figures have declined at a steady rate from 2008 to 2012? WWE quite clearly aren’t doing better than EVER, in that case, seeing as they were doing better with that outlet in 2008, while that business model by itself doesn’t seem steady at all. It’s one thing using spin to make impressive individual comparisons, but it’s another to bury yourself with a poor choice of statistical highlighting. The joke that you made was actually made funnier seeing as your maths class kind of backfired on you. Also, I headlined your mother’s bedroom last night, while where on those types of jokes

Again, the $33 million gain in revenue looks good at a quick glance, but has that actually made WWE’s overall revenue that much stronger compared to their “best days”? Where is the vital evidence to suggest that this makes a difference? If you have the evidence to say so, then include it please. “So why is WWE more profitable now than the Attitude Era?” Well…it actually isn’t necessarily more profitable, as I’ve already explained…

Not the best debate by any means, but the intro was solid while there were three paragraphs concerning brand awareness that made it at least a very worthwhile read. Unfortunately this concentrated far too much on cherry picked stats that didn’t hold up against the bigger picture.

Evolution

The intro is okay, but eurgh at the use of smileys, hopefully that doesn’t become a trend in debates, although I have seen a few on this card.

Okay, so this debate takes a slightly different stance by suggesting that WWE are in a stronger state now because they have a better long term business model, despite the idea that the WWE might have made more money back in 1998-2001. It’s great to see one of the debaters in this match acknowledge that WWE have a stronger business now because of the ultimate lack of competition.

While like Headliner, your WWE financial stats don’t necessarily take inflation into account, they do however give a strong example of how WWE’s overall business model is much steadier than it was in the boom of the attitude era, which is something that Headliner failed to do. I liked the use of the NJPW graph as a way of comparison, although it would have been much better with a similar WWE graph right next to it. None the less, your point about the AE level of business being unsustainable remains valid.

Now, here’s where Headliner missed a trick and you sped far ahead of him. You went absolutely cut throat and explained how WWE’s modern TV deal has made them a bigger brand globally and how important this is within the context of making themselves a far bigger brand worldwide, especially in comparison to the attitude era. The stupid “smark” quote made me smirk, but again the smiley can fuck off. You furthered this by stating how WWE now has the pick of the best wrestling talent in the west (with rare exceptions such as Devitt, obviously, although WWE would probably just waste him, obviously) and how this has strengthened them as a business in comparison to the AE WWF when WcW were obviously lurking around the corner. You could have made a point about WcW to strengthen your stance to be honest, but you at least managed to have a dig at TNA in the next paragraph to strengthen your argument of how WWE is the only show in town and this is why they’re in a stronger position business wise.

The final paragraph is a good summary of your debate and also highlights how it would be naïve to just focus on the money aspect of WWE’s business dealings within this debate. Again, not liking the smiley but it’s a strong finish regardless of that.


Decision:

One debate took a far narrower view of this topic but ended up fluffing their lines at points, while the other was broad and gave strong arguments for how the company is far more stable now without any viable competition. This is an easy decision for anyone who’s not fooled by cherry picked statistics
.
Headliner: ***

Evolution: ***3/4

Evolution wins the vote

The Lady Killer
First and foremost, this was an interesting topic because there isn't really a pro/con delineation, unless one of these debaters goes against the grain and says that WWE isn't doing better (which I hope they don't, because WWE is doing better). Basically, this will come down to who is more convincing/provides better FACTS~!

Headliner - I like the intro. Always down for a fusion of storytelling/humor when making a point in a debate. Advertising revenue discrepancy was great. Same amount of TV, double the revenue. Hopefully you take into account inflationary rates between 2002 and 2013, though. I'm sure it won't make up the $20+ million difference, but worth noting nonetheless. That next bit about TV rights revenue is staggering, and a great piece of support. So, as of now, you've basically proven the topic to be true - WWE is doing better financially, at least on the TV revenue front. Now you're delving into the "why" portion of the topic. The internation expansion evidence is also great. You've clearly done your research here.

I love the next section about hiring prominent marketing personalities to their staff, and really driving home the social media aspect. Icing on the cake was your statement of these possibilities not being available during the Attitude Era. Nicely done. Really strong debate. FACTS~!

Evolution - Another comical intro. This matchup kicks ass already. I like how you shoot down the opposite side of the spectrum by saying detractors of WWE doing better now than before are applying a narrow viewpoint to WWE's situation.

Like Headliner, you state that reveune is up across the board, stating that WWE had its strongest year of the last 7. However, 7 years ago puts us at 2006, which is still post-Attitude Era. You make the same point about WWE going global and becoming more of an international juggernaut. This is good, but lacks the support in terms of FACTS~! and numbers that Headliner provided. It's just easier to see the drastic change when numbers are placed side by side. I think you basically had the same argument of your opponent, and yours was probably better written, but I just can't get past the research done by Headliner to make the answer really pop out.

Great efforts by both, though. Strong match.

Winner = Headliner


Winner via Split Decision - Headliner


*Seabs looks on from a distance laughing as Evolution looks on the stage.*

Seabs: You see what happens when you try to FUCK with me? I told you that you wouldn't be smiling by the end of tonight.

Evolution: I'm still smiling fuckface cause my record is still better than yours. So once again it looks as though you're gonna have to throw a hissy fit about being WRONG because I'm walking outta here right now smiling like .

Seabs:

*In a shocking turn of events Headliner drives a KNIFE through Evolution's back and Evolution crumbles to the ground most certainly not smiling like .*

The Lady Killer: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? THIS ISN'T WHAT TDL IS ABOUT!

Headliner:

Seabs:

*Evolution, barely moving, is lifted onto a stretcher and taken out for some seriously needed medical attention. As Evolution is taken away from the stage Headliner signals for the medics to stop and falls to his stomach to whisper into Evolution's ear....

Headliner: Mystery..... solved.

*Seabs & Headliner smirk as Evolution is carried out. Will we ever see Evolution in TDL again?*

Uncrowned Social Division Champion vs Uncrowned Social Division Champion
Clique vs DestrosSecret

Is Michael Jackson the true "King of Pop"?


Spoiler for Debates:
Clique
Michael Jackson IS the King of Pop. He is the only superstar I associate with that title and there will likely be no other. As a solo artist he has been an icon of pop music since the “Off The Wall” record in 1979. First, with the possible exception of Prince and Freddy Mercury, Michael Jackson simply had more raw talent as a performer than any of his peers. The King of Pop reigns as the century's signature artist not just because of his exceptional talent, but because he was able to package that talent in a whole new way. In both form and content, MJ masterfully did what no other artist had done before (1).

Michael Jackson has reached beyond just being famous, he is an indelible figure synonymous with entertainment in our pop culture. He created music that serves as the soundtrack to the lives of millions. Michael presented visual storytelling and wonderment in the form of music videos on TV, and in live performance art at his concerts that convinced people that one man’s fantastical vision can come to life by daring to creatively take his talent and resources to the highest level of creative excellence. In a Michael Jackson performance you not only got his voice, you got amazing choreography, a lights show, stage props, mega-screens featuring video graphics, actors, dancers, costumes, pyrotechnics, and more. He shaped what it means to deliver a complete, live, pop performance. An experience.

You want to talk about stats and achievements? The Thriller record is the BEST SELLING ALBUM…EVER! Over 66 million copies sold (and counting). He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once as a member of the Jackson 5 and once as a solo artist. As a solo act, Michael racked up 32 Top-20 pop hits, with 13 of those reaching the #1 spot. He won 13 Grammy Awards and has sold over 750 million records worldwide. Thriller is the only music video inducted into the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant according to the Library of Congress. The Guinness Book of World Records has called him the most successful entertainer of all time (2).

Now let’s further get into Michael’s pop cultural influence because while his success is easy to quantify, his influence, not so much. In the early 80s, MJ was initially considered “too urban” to have his videos played on the new MTV network but he ultimately broke barriers by becoming the first black artist to have his video played on the channel due to popular demand for the “Billie Jean” video (2). That opened the door for every black artist who followed. MTV now has its own “Video Vanguard Award” in the name of Michael Jackson and his groundbreaking music video filmography, and it is presented to current artists who have achieved a high standard in creating pop music and music videos today. A standard The King of Pop set 30 years ago (3).

MJ's musical influence on artists who came after him is unavoidable. I’m talking about some of the biggest superstars in music today who are indebted to Michael inspiring them to sing and perform – Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Usher, Chris Brown, Lady Gaga, and others. Even a hip hop superstar like Kanye West has cited MJ as a great influence to his artistry. That’s hundreds of millions albums sold across the globe! That’s The King of Pop’s lineage…

And to speak on the subject of current artists for a bit, just because Michael Jackson is dead does not mean there is an opening to crown a new King of Pop. Elvis did not stop being “The King of Rock & Roll” when he died in 1977. There is no other “Godfather of Soul” than James Brown. And no hot act today is The King of Pop. Michael was given that name by his dear friend Elizabeth Taylor at the Soul Train Awards in 1989 (4). What he accomplished has more than lived up to it. MJ is not just “one of those singers from back in the day,” but one whose art spans generations as evidenced by what he did in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and what his music means now as evidenced by the artists he inspires today. As long as Michael Jackson’s genius lives and breathes so will his reign in pop history.

Whether you are a Michael Jackson fan or not you cannot deny the cultural impact he has made thus you cannot deny Michael Jackson HIS crown as The King of Pop. From his Jackson 5 childhood, to his adult crossover on the Motown 25 special (arguably MJ’s unofficial coronation as King), to the last sad tabloid fodder, he lived and died publically. Almost to the point of overexposure at times. Yet even the scandals that rocked his life could never take away from what he created as an innovative artist and humanitarian. As years pass and history sanitizes his memory, MJ’s legend will only grow.

Holding this honorary title does not mean an artist exclusively excels at vocal ability, song writing, producing classic songs, or selling millions of records. Michael Jackson did all of those things, but more of it is how the artist gives from his legacy a lasting impact on pop entertainment and culture. No one has done it bigger or collectively better (i.e. performing, presenting, innovating, influencing, lasting) than Michael Jackson. With every breathtaking high note, every impossible dance-step and crazy costume projected a message: There are no barriers of race, sex, class or age, he told his audience. You, too, can be and do whatever you want. We are limited only by our power to dream. A performer who can make you believe that, to feel it, even for a moment, comes along once in a lifetime. That is why he is truly deserving of the title “King of Pop.”



References

1. Cadman, C. and Halstead, C. (2007). Michael Jackson: For the Record. England: Authors Online Ltd.
2. Krohn, K. (2010). Michael Jackson: A Biography. Minnesota: Lerner Publications Company.
3. Rosen J. (2009). 7 ways on how Michael Jackson changed the world. Baltimore Sun.
Retrieved December 2, 2013 from http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2009-06- 28/news/0906260178_1_michael-jackson-jackson-changed-jackson-five
4. Taraborelli, R. (2009). The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story: Michael Jackson.
New York: Grand Central Publishing.
MichaelJackson.com (2007). Biography of Michael Jackson. Retrieved December 2, 2013,
from http://www.michaeljackson.com/us/bio


DestrosSecret
Is Michael Jackson the true 'King of Pop'?



Is Michael Jackson the true 'King of Pop'. Yes. That's what I'm going to argue. Clear? Wicked.

The honorific title 'King of xxx' is handed out by a third parties, typically the media, in order to break down the subjects social significance into three simple, and relevant, words in any specified field of entertainment. In this case, the title refers to Pop music, though the 'king of...' has been used in cinema and literature to signify other people considered to be leaders in their field. As for the 'King of Pop', 5 musicians have, at one time or another, been awarded the title, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Justin Timberlake and Robbie Williams (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honorif..._popular_music – I know its wikipedia). Its simple to discount the last two, but this isn't the name of the game. We have the tackle the topic objectively and make the assumption that each of the artists is deserving of the title on the basis that they were awarded it by a third party, as opposed to them being a self-proclaimed 'King' (Screw off, Kanye West, you're not wanted here http://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00026040.html ). The argument therefore breaks down into what constitutes a 'King', and who is truly deserving of the title. We can do this by reverse engineering the 5 musicians and what lead to them receiving the title.

First off all, Justin Timberlake stands apart from the others as he has, aside from being refereed to as the 'King of Pop' also been refereed to as the 'Prince of Pop', inferring that he borrowed his styling from his predecessors. This rings true, his first album, Justified, was hugely influenced by Michael Jackson, Timberlake and his producers openly admitted to listening to Off the Wall and Thriller for inspiration during the recording of his début solo album. Critics would even go so far as to claim that the albums minimalism was influenced by MJ so much so, that it could have been a Jackson album. So what does this mean in the wider scale of the argument? King and Prince derive from the same area of honorific title, and the difference between the two is originality. If someone is a king, they need to be an original, no copies, no influence and no interpretations, otherwise they are considered a prince. So bye bye Timberlake you're not an original, and, in the first M. Night, Shyamalan style-twist of this debate, catch you later Elvis.

Elvis was a big deal, undoubtedly, but the question is whether he can be considered the 'King of Pop', and the fact is, if we are treating it objectively, he is discounted for the same reason Timberlake is, originality. It certainly is a harsh call on him, to reject him on originality is a big part of the 'He put a white face on black music' argument held by many who seek to ignore the man’s incredible talent, which I'm not trying to do. But the fact remains, although he was easily the most popular Rock and Roll singer, the genre which he dragged into the mainstream was already picking up steam. Fats Domino's Blueberry Hill sold more then Hound Dog or any individual Elvis record the year of their release (1956), indicating rock and roll was always going to be popular, eventually. This doesn't discount him from significance, the man opened up many pathways to smaller genres which may not have been available without him to later artists, but the point is he was first through the door, he didn't carve it, and that makes him a general, it doesn't make him a king.

Robbie Williams is easier to dismiss, in the UK he's popular, but he never broke the US which is considered the 'holy grail' of pop music super-stardom. In fact, when MTV went to officially award RW with the title 'King of Pop' , a petition was started to force them to change their minds, with over 7400 signatories (Check it out http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/mtv-should-be-stopped/ ). So who awarded Robbie with the title the 'King of Pop'? British Tabloid the Daily Mail. We over here in the UK love ol' Robbie, he was part of one our biggest boybands and we are desperate for him to make it, but each of the other 4 artists has established international success, Robbie is the exception, and judging by the outcry over MTV almost accepting him as the true king, it seems the 'King of Pop' must have had international success to hold a true claim.

Then there were two, John and Jackson. Thus far, the exceptions to the 'King' title has dismissed Timberlake and Presley on the premise of originality and Williams due to lack of international stardom. As for Michael Jackson and Elton John, both are undoubtedly leaders in the field, tasted huge international success, and are were both innovators rather than imitators.

So why does Michael Jackson win?

Elton John perfected his style of pop music to the point that no one can really do what he does. Sure we had a big influx of modern piano music in the mid 2000's but they steered toward ballads which is more derided from the classical trappings of Doris Day and co rather then Elton John. Elton John's influence is more closely interpreted as stars trying to imitate his success rather then copy his style, which is seen as impossible to repeat without parodying. Jackson's influence on the other hand had a much bigger impact.

Other than the man's incredible talent, he utilised and incorporated a wide range of genres into his music, from his early trappings of Motown on toward Rock and Techno. MJ was incredibly diverse and managed to bring new genres into the realms of pop music, leading to an expansion of the genre and the creation of modern pop. The pop charts have always been dominated by favoured genres whether ballads, boybands, funk or Nu-Rave (OK a short term domination, but thanks anyway Klaxons!), but following MJ it became easier for break out singles from new genres to find success, and more importantly it became accepted for musicians to experiment with new styles of music. Williams, Timberlake and a host of other performers, who would consider themselves artists rather than musicians, would all jump genre to genre in order to legitimise themselves on the standards MJ set, no other star changed the game so much. Lastly, we have the show. MJ put on one hell of a performance, was a showman of the highest magnitude and its impossible to sit through a Lady Gaga performance without seeing the trappings of the late great Jackson (Probably could of ended that sentence 9 words ago). The fact is, Michael Jackson created the modern pop star and was a performer on and off stage. Today, its just as important that a pop star is able to keep the media interested and maintain the show 24/7, just as Jackson did (through the incredible mix of monkeys, fair grounds and baby-hanging). Lesser stars now actively seek to imitate this and 'eccentricity' is now seen as a legitimate method to maintain drawing power.

Presley was a general, John was a star, Timberlake was a Prince and Williams a nobody. Jackson was a King.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
WOOLCOCK
Clique – I thought this was truly excellent. Both debates argued the same stance but went about it a different way, with this debate focused firmly on MJ himself. What followed was a riveting and engrossing read which truly captured my attention from the very first sentence and which continually argued with an astounding passion that truly sold Jackson as unrivalled by any peer in pop. Rather than focus primarily on Jackson’s music, the debate applied a broader consideration of Jackson’s influence and legacy within the industry and pop culture as a whole, something I found a very simple yet intelligent strategy given ‘King of Pop’ really is synonymous with more than just mere ability. I thought the debate really captured Jackson’s charisma and star presence which has made him one of the most recognisable faces of the century, and in that respect it truly distinguished Jackson and made him all the more special as a result. The structure and flow was majestic and should be studied by all aspiring debaters, the language and persuasive tone was just meticulously employed throughout and the debate only got better the further you read which is truly something.


DestrosSecret – I think it speaks volumes about Clique's debate when a debate like this is the losing entry. The intro wasn’t as captivating and initially I had doubts as to whether this would present much of a challenge if at all, but credit where credit is due, the debate really came together and made some engaging and thoughtful arguments as it progressed. The structure in slowly eliminating potential challengers via carefully selected criteria was an interesting approach, however I have to confess whilst it made well reasoned and argued points, I do feel Clique just managed to truly capture me as a reader and really captivate me into agreeing with their stance more, purely through the aggressive, confident and domineering language on display. I thought the writer injected his personality superbly throughout, adding touches of humour in between the focused and analysed arguments, but truthfully this was merely a highly commendable effort undone by a superior entry that honestly would have taken something of pure brilliance to overcome.

Hats off to both debaters here, as this was a truly strong matchup which highlighted the talent on display in the now defunct Social Division. I’m giving this one to Clique, as I just found their approach and tone more convincing in highlighting Jackson’s appeal and expanding on how he truly was unlike any other performer of his era and within the style of pop. DestrosSecret made some excellent arguments of its own, and the breakdown of Jackson’s supposed competition (adored your closing line as well, truly great stuff there) made for a well thought and careful analysis of Jackson’s superior credentials, but I do feel it just wasn’t able to convince me to the degree Clique did.


Winner – Clique

Evolution
Clique: I really enjoyed your take on the question and the way you addressed it. Obviously there is no denying he IS the king of pop but it’s all about how you prove he is the king of pop and I felt that while your debate was outstanding and you argued your points well, you focused too much on the cultural impact of MJ and less on the impact in the music industry (i.e his influence) to justify his title. Had you defined the “king of pop” as the influence over culture not just music as well as the amount of accolades received, that might have strengthened it a tad for you.

That’s all I can really fault you on to be honest, while you argued the point greatly and I thought it was a stellar entry, the way Debate B tackled the same side of the debate but in a different way just convinced me more.

DestrosSecret: A great blend of discounting the other contenders to the title of King of Pop while still including the cultural and musical influences that MJ had then and today. I thought that was what really brought this debate together and set it apart from Clique.

Honestly there’s not much for me to critique here as it’s a fabulous entry that had me entertained and interested from start to finish. I’m sure everyone else will tell you how well you’ve done you don’t need me to do the same thing.

Decision: While both entries were outstanding in their own right and I enjoyed reading both, I have to give the win to DestrosSecret. It just felt stronger in my mind and instantly jumped out at me as the winner when I read it.

Headliner
Clique

Wonderful debate.

I feel like you touched on all aspects regarding Michael's success and ultimately his influence. Yes, you brought up the creative excellence behind creating a perfect live performance. Yes, you brought up the hit records, the number 1 hits, and the millions of records sold the rare awards he's been given, but I think you broke the door open by showing how how influential he was in various ways. When he became the first black artist that MTV ever played. An act that would pave the way for all African American artists to have a chance on mainstream TV, and the people he's influenced today coming from pop, R&B and even hip hop. You felt it was important to show that he was just not another popular artist from the past but someone who's legacy will live based on those he inspires today. I seen you briefly mention him as a humanitarian. You probably could have went a little more into that to show how great he was beyond music, but your debate still did justice.

I loved your ending:
Quote:
With every breathtaking high note, every impossible dance-step and crazy costume projected a message: There are no barriers of race, sex, class or age, he told his audience. You, too, can be and do whatever you want. We are limited only by our power to dream. A performer who can make you believe that, to feel it, even for a moment, comes along once in a lifetime. That is why he is truly deserving of the title “King of Pop.”
This was the ultimate showing of Michael's legacy and a great compliment to the rest of your debate. Just as important, it showed your clear passion for Michael's legacy that you displayed throughout your debate.

Great debate. Well done.


DestrosSecret

I liked your approach to this debate. You attacked the biggest names in history to show why they didn't deserve to be called the King of Pop, or why they weren't on Michael's level. (I thought Elvis was the King of Rock and Roll anyway, but that's besides the point)

When it came time to show why Michael was the King I felt you came up short. Sure, you mentioned how good of a performer he was, and his ability to bring different genres into the pop realm, but toward the end I felt you were starting to sink when you mentioned him keeping media interest. What about Michael's work outside of music, what about his accomplishments? I felt there was a lot of you could have tapped into, but didn't.

Winner-Clique


Winner via Split Decision - Clique


*Post match Clique announces his departure from TDL. But for how long? As Clique finishes up, BOLO YEUNG makes his way out to a collective groan from the crowd as they all know what's coming. DarkStark lobs a glass bottle from the 2nd tier VIP area which narrowly misses BOLO's ice gem head but causes him to drop his Etch-A-Sketch. BOLO is PISSED and somehow finds a way to blame it on Clique because who's to let LOGIC get in the way of a good rivalry? The new Security Team of haribo and ChampViaDQ don't do anything because she's a chick and they're HORNY. How silly they look indeed. BOLO approaches Clique with his Etch-A-Sketch attached back to his shirt with sellotape. Clique visibly sighs and puts a short but entertaining stop to proceedings as he drives his fist straight through BOLO's Etch-A-Sketch leaving a fist sized hole in the Etch-A-Sketch and BOLO rolling around the floor struggling to catch a breath.*

TDL Wrestling Division #1 Contenders Match - 4 Way Eliminator: Stage 1
ZOMBO vs TONY MONTANA vs Jupiter Jack Daniels vs samizayn

Can Hulk Hogan still offer any value to WWE if they signed him to a contract of any sort?


Spoiler for Debates:
TONY MONTANA
Hulk Hogan. The man who went from being arguably the biggest superstar in the world of professional wrestling, to a man who'd appear on any show with celebrity as the prefix, has come a long long way. Although he's done a lot of things in the recent past which hasn't really helped him or his image in the media, the name Hulk Hogan still has a lot of starpower left. So can Hogan be of any use to the WWE if they signed him today? Umm, yes.

For every smark that despises the fact that Hogan's still sticking around in the wrestling biz, there's hundred more casuals who would love to see him hulk up one more time. Intermedia's recent Star Index shows that the man who was the biggest wrestler in his time, is the most recognizable celebrity even today, with a recognition level of almost 98% (source). There's a reason why you see people wearing Hulkamania t-shirts at live events even today, thirty years since its inception. So there's no denying that Hulkamania is still alive. Which means, there's no denying that the Hulk Hogan brand still has a market to which it can cater to. So it isn't like you're bringing someone back just for the sake of it, he's actually serving you a purpose, may it be inside the ring, or outside.

So in what ways can Hulk Hogan be valuable to the company today?

Firstly, as an on-screen personality. Honestly speaking, who wouldn't want to see 'Real American' hit one more time? You? You don't matter Its quite obvious that regardless of whether he gets signed to a normal contract or a legends deal, he is going to make television appearances. So how would he fit in the current scheme of things? Everyone knows about the WWE's obsession with having General Managers and Authority figures, so Hogan would be a decent fit for that title. He could be a nice addition to this whole Vince McMahon versus Triple H power struggle storyline leading to Wrestlemania. And with it being the thirty year anniversary of the event that Hogan helped build and all, it only helps more. As an in-ring competitor, you say? Although a few reports surfaced online saying that Hogan's been training hard for a return, and with that recent Jimmy Hart interview stating that Hogan has a match or two still left in him, I still don't see him wrestling again. But if they're actually willing to have Hogan work a match like some of the rumors say, the only way they could have a watchable match would be if they do a tag team bout, with Hogan's partner doing most of the work. It would probably still be a bad match, but that's a different story. In my opinion, he should just stick to being an authority figure, he shouldn't wrestle. Because he doesn't need to. Or because he can't. Wait, he never could. But a segment giving an up and coming talent a rub? Sure, why not? Although the guy can't take any bumps anymore with all his back and knee problems, he can certainly hulk up, throw a few punches and a big boot. Maybe something like a segment with the Real American coming back and humbling the two guys who call themselves Real Americans? I'd be all for it. Incase they go with a legends deal with limited appearances, they could use him for special appearances on their themed episodes, or whenever they have tapings in England or Canada. Canada, now that'd do some real business. Apart from being an on-screen character, he could also help as a mentor or a guide to some of the up and coming wrestlers in the back. So there's more than one way in which Hulk Hogan can come in handy for the company if he does go on the road.

That was Hogan being an asset as an onscreen character. Now how can he benefit in terms of business? Long before the Austin 3:16 and the colorful Cenation merchandise, it was the red and yellow Hulkamania gear that dominated the WWE's merchandising scene. Like I said in the one of the previous paragraphs, you can still see people wear the Hulkamania t-shirts, even thirty years after it all happened. Speaking of merchandise, they can have him host some of their DVDs, or have a DVD made on his life and times. So with a new line of Hulkamania gear, the DVDs, and all the other merchandise, it would do nothing but good to the company's merchandise sales. Bagging Hogan in time for the WWE Network channel which is rumored to debut sometime next year would be a smart move too, he could play a part in promoting or being a part of the shows on that channel. Maybe he could also star in one of their very own studio's movies. As far as advertising goes, he could do radio, appear on those television shows, and with the clean cut babyface character that Hulk Hogan has been for the most part of his career, he could be a nice addition to all of the WWE's off-screen programs, like the Be A Star Initiative, the Make A Wish foundation, their visits to the Troops, etcetera etcetera. They could also use him to advertise the company by having him tour countries with a huge market, where they possibly can't hold live events, like they did by sending guys like Cena, Batista and Kane to countries like India. With the mainstream appeal that Hulk Hogan has, there's a wide range of possibilities with him both inside and outside the ring.

So Hulkamania coming back to its roots one last time would not only be a good way to send Hulk Hogan off, but it would also help the WWE in more than one way. Can Hulk Hogan still offer any value to WWE if they signed him to a contract of any sort? Yes, absolutely.


Jupiter Jack Daniels
Hulk Hogan. Without a doubt, one of the biggest draws WWE has ever produced. One of the most marketable performers of all time. In his prime, was a promotional dream. Notice I said in his prime. Hulk's not in his prime anymore and the climate that is "sports entertainment" is different. So, I really don't think Hulk has anything to offer of value to WWE.

The biggest reason I feel that way is because of the portrayal of Hulk Hogan over the past 30 years. Wrestling has evolved. Guys have come & gone. But, Hulk is in that elite class of performers that maintained a larger than life persona within the industry & beyond. Or has he?

Let’s be honest. For the past 4 years, Hogan’s value in the wrestling business has dramatically decreased since the days were Hulkamania ran wild. And that’s kind of expected. But, when you’re a guy like Hogan, who goes to TNA, a company that has been able to survive for nearly 8 years before Hogan and without any other larger than life wrestling personality and business doesn’t improve, how much value does the Hogan name still have to offer? Now, I understand the WWE situation would likely be different than Hogan’s TNA deal but there is one thing that remains a constant: the spotlight.

Hogan is one of those wrestling personalities that thrives of being in the spotlight. The center of attention. That’s a gift and a curse. A gift because, for Hogan, it helps keep the name alive, nearing him to the immortalization that he seeks and for the fans, the nostalgic factor of seeing one of the biggest names the wrestling business has produced. But, it’s a curse because you run the risk of either Hogan being a detriment to other guys on the roster, unless he’s giving them “a rub” or you risk tarnishing the legacy of the Hulk Hogan name, for the purpose of giving someone “a rub” that you might grow sour on a few months later.

And working with Hogan isn’t truly giving someone “a rub”. You could argue it is, based on his name alone but the fact is, Hogan has worked 8 matches in the past 7 years and there’s a reason for that. His body is wrecked. Over 20 consecutive years of leg drop after leg drop has left him nearly broken. Eight back surgeries, two hip and two knee replacements have left him as nothing more than a shell of his former self. I just can’t see Hogan, in his condition, coming back just to put someone over. Despite all of that, bringing Hogan back would truly be a mark out moment but this is a business and the goal is to make money. If people weren’t paying to see Hogan in TNA, would they be quick to pay to see him back in WWE?

More importantly, based on his past, can we really say that Hogan is more inclined to take a backseat? And can his legacy withstand that? As he said recently on the “History of WWE” DVD, he wants the Hogan name to be immortalized and to live forever. His value would take a strong hit if he returns to the company that made him and is anything but the main attraction. And in current WWE, we really don’t need that. This is an era where we complain about full time wrestlers being in the spotlight. And I feel those sentiments would carry over to Hogan, should he return to WWE.

This is the thing. At 60 years old, it’s hard to buy into him having the advantage over anybody, especially when he can’t stand upright. He’s not a Flair or a Dusty, where he could still serve a purpose without actually wrestling. And it’s because, outside of the ring but still in the business, that’s not the Hogan people want. They want him to Hulk up. They want the “you” finger point. And they want the big boot. In my opinion, it’s not worth it for Hogan and it’s not worth it for WWE. And because of the way he’s been portrayed for the last 30 years, anything but that isn’t really Hulk Hogan. It’s Jim Duggan, it’s Sgt. Slaughter, it’s Bob Backlund, it’s those guys who came up in the same era but have nothing to offer outside of the ring. And while Hogan is no Duggan, Slaughter or Backlund, he’s too big of a name to be put in a situation that could be deemed a spit in the face of his legacy and promote him in the essence of those 3.

At best, a Wrestlemania appearance, by either getting attacked by a stable and being saved by a mid-card babyface or saving a mid-card babyface from an attack, he puts said babyface over with the posedown and says goodbye. He has nothing left to prove and nothing left to offer, without detracting from what he’s already done or from anybody else in the company.

It’s about ego. It’s about being immortalized. It’s about being the main attraction that you were for over 20 years. It’s about what’s best for business. He wasn’t what was best for business in TNA, a company that has never been privileged to have someone of Hogan’s credentials as a member of their roster. That name value didn’t have a positive effect on them at all. And the sad reality may be that the Hogan name just doesn’t mean what it used to.


ZOMBO
With a question as open ended as this one, the answer is an indisputable YES, of course Hulk Hogan can still offer SOME value to the WWE if they signed him to a contract of ANY sort. I’ll lay out how Hogan can bring value to the WWE. Then, I’ll discuss what kind of contract is reasonable and provide a scenario where Hogan returning to the WWE would undoubtedly benefit the company.

It’s important to ask what is “value” to the WWE? With WWE being a massive international business, it comes down to money. The common thread uniting each thing Hogan can bring to the company traces to what’s tangible: profit to line Vinny Mac’s pockets.(1) What are the areas in which Hulk can still provide value to the WWE? Let’s begin.

Hulk Hogan isn’t merely a character within the WWE Universe. Hulk Hogan is an iconic, world-renowned BRAND NAME. An announcement of Hogan’s signing, a surprise return, or multiple appearances create instantaneous merchandise opportunities. Red and yellow Hulkster shirts or even a black and white nWo shirt are as recognizable today as they were years ago. WWE does merchandise like clockwork, jumping on any profitable superstar’s bandwagon and capitalizing on it. Hulk’s return boosts the market on Hogan apparel, for both the older, nostalgic fans plus younger fans getting their first live exposure to this wrestling legend. In addition to apparel, Hogan-centric DVD sales represent another exploitable revenue stream.

WWE is outstanding when it comes to promoting. Any Hogan appearance would be treated like a huge deal, maximizing hype and possible fan reaction. He could appear on talk shows or other programs during promotional periods (*coughWrestleMania season*cough). The average Joe might sit and watch Hogan instead of flipping through channels if a “non-mainstream” guy was on. With apologies to Punk and Bryan, people in the “real world” have no clue who they are; Hogan has enjoyed mainstream exposure for years that no one in the WWE landscape besides The Rock has ever come close to.

Dixie Carter stated how Hogan’s reach extends far beyond casual wrestling audiences, saying Hogan "opened a lot of doors for us. When you're about to lose a deal in an international territory and one phone call from Hulk Hogan makes a man who doesn't even speak your language melt and you get your deal back, that carries a lot of weight. There's not another guy out there who could do that."(2) Although WWE might not have the same need for Hogan to do something like that, he’s not a bad ace to have up their sleeve if they ever did.

In addition to Hulk’s ability to move merchandise, he’s been in wrestling locker rooms since the late 70s. He knows the business inside and out, and would be an asset to anyone on the card who comes to him for advice. Nobody has worked a crowd better, for longer, than Hulk. Any wisdom he can impart on any wrestler would be nothing but beneficial.

Now, we must analyze the term “any” contract. I mean, I’m allowed to say that a $1 annual contract would fit this loose definition. But let’s be reasonable. For the purposes of the debate, it’s fair to suggest that Hogan would sign a Legends deal for a limited number of appearances, and that he’d be the highest-paid “Legend” contract. EVEN WITH the notion that he’d be paid more than someone like Bret, he’d be worth it simply because his merchandise sells more than others.

The key to making money from Hogan is how the WWE uses him. In TNA, he was out there every week with 20 minutes of screen time, giving Abyss god-powered Hall-of-Fame rings. He wasn’t a special attraction. When discussing Hogan’s time in TNA, even Dixie admitted that "If we did anything wrong with him, we used him too much on television".(3) Vince is a shrewder, smarter businessman. He’d limit Hogan’s appearances, and ensure that every time he did appear, it would be treated as a big deal. So, what would be the best way for WWE to maximize Hogan’s starpower and utility?

A couple years ago, it was announced that The Rock would “host” WrestleMania. Rock returned, to massive crowd response, appearing on Raw once or twice leading up to that Mania. People tuned into Mania to see how he’d impact the show, and lord knows the show needed some starpower with Miz as the champion in the main event. The show turned a massive financial profit(4)(5) despite its criticisms.

The Rock’s role at WrestleMania 27 is tailor-made for present-day Hogan. Get him on the promo circuit, talk shows, release a DVD, and give him some time on a limited number of Raw broadcasts. Realistically, Hogan can’t compete in a competitive match anymore. But naming him host, perhaps giving him the chance to save a babyface(6) (or hell, have a babyface save HIM from a beatdown), then letting him pose for a couple minutes would amp the crowd up and create one of those magical WrestleMania MOMENTS. Any perceived negatives around a Hogan re-signing – that he doesn’t properly put over others, that he’s physically unable to put on matches anymore – are all erased by an appearance such as this. Foolproof backup plan idea: have him show up in Montreal.(7)

There’s no way that adding the most recognizable face in wrestling history could hurt the WWE, given the fact that there are so many checks and balances in place (Vince, HHH) keeping Hogan in line. The foregoing example is merely one way to utilize Hogan. Bringing Hogan back is economically feasible given the contractual terms I outlined above, thus adding value to the WWE. In terms of the question, Hogan could be brought back under ANY sort of contract even more generous than what I listed and it would become an even greater coup for the WWE. The dude can draw, promote, and still get reactions, brother. That all adds up to making money.

Footnotes:

(1) http://imageshack.us/a/img145/3144/moneyvl.gif
(2) A Sports Illustrated article on Dixie Carter: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mor...tna-wrestling/
(3) See footnote #2
(4) Financial report that gives information on Wrestlemania 27's profit, putting it at $17.9 million: http://www.wrestlezone.com/news/2765...ancial-results
(5) The highest-grossing WWE PPV's has Wrestlemania 27 ranking 4th: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...l-time/page/13
(6) It’s not like I’m reinventing the wheel here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcPzmj287Qw
(7) Montreal loves them some Hogan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErnmSGIMRrk


samizayn
“FAAAKE”, “Hulk Hogan!” and “does Undertaker still wrestle?” – these are three possible outbursts you’d get upon asking any random on the street the first thing they think of when you say professional wrestling. While the answers may vary depending on who and when you asked, you would eventually realise that there are only a handful of common, repeated answers, and out of those, Hulk Hogan is by far the main outlier. That is, despite reaching his professional peak a quarter-century ago, Hulk Hogan is still one of the main personalities associated with pro wrestling. That is a result of being one of - very arguably [italics]the[/i] – icon of professional wrestling in North America. Contemporary wrestling is inseparably linked to the red and yellow, brother, and that is common fact.

Hogan is undoubtedly a valuable commodity to any wrestling company in 2013/14, so his worth to the biggest promotion in the world speaks for itself. That being said, he would obviously need to find a new place in the company. His last run saw a limited in ring schedule for him, that brought the patriotism, nostalgia and NUMBERZ~! up in spades across all areas.
No doubt considering he was limited ten years ago, ring work of any sort would be off the cards today. It’s possible the audience are somewhat removed from the days of wanting to see the big boot/leg drop, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still crave the overwhelming, childish sense of awe and wonder that Hogan has been famous for inciting during his time at the WWE. A great many wrestling fans today grew up watching Hogan, and rendering them children again would make them ripe for the emotional picking -- it will be a lot easier for a new babyface to come in and steal their hearts once the cynical, jaded exterior is peeled back by Hogan. WWE currently has the best babyfaces in the world signed to their roster, and pairing any one of them with someone as quintessentially wrestling as Hulk Hogan is a no-brainer. A partnership like this would be invaluable for any wrestler today, and would doubtless help to establish them in the eyes of the audience. Perhaps even more importantly to the WWE, they'd likely catch the interest of the wider public eye as well, from fans who have long since drifted away since the Golden Era, but "had no idea Hogan was back in the WWF."

That’s only the beginning -- WWE’s midcard aches for Hogan’s managerial presence. Imagine him, championing his chosen good-guy, against Heyman and one of his cronies. Zeb Colter’s character was made for the ultra-patriot Hogan to tell him what a real Real American is. Maybe he’d even deliver a good old fashioned “Let me tell you something, Hunter” as the administration dares try to interfere in his guy’s business.

Someone needs to break through the glass ceiling that has been carefully sealed, reinforced, barricaded and cemented over by the WWE’s creative team recently, and Hulk Hogan is just the kind of starpower that could help an individual do that. And it’s win-win all around. Hogan won’t get in the ring, so there’s no chance of some backstage ego-driven sabotage that leads to HHH vs Hogan main eventing Wrestlemania 30. Someone else will get a share of a spotlight that has only been afforded to certain individuals in the company. He will certainly be expensive, but it’s not like the McMahons don’t have the money to spend – and the benefit to individual careers and overall entertainment value would be worth it anyway.

So in answering the question, “Can Hogan be of any value to the WWE”, the answer is absolutely. However, would he be in practice, is a different question entirely. There are still a number of possible ways WWE could drop the ball on a Hulk Hogan tenure, but thankfully that’s not the question that is being asked here. Nevertheless, the use of the product does not diminish the worth of the product -- it's no one's fault if WWE use a gold bar to scratch their ass with.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
TONY MONTANA - Really impressive debate. I liked how you effectively split your debate into two and had a ton of reasoning your supporting your stance in both of the categories you listed. The depth of your reasons were really impressive but I would have liked to have seen you expand a bit more on certain points. At times it could read a bit like a list of points lacking depth. This wasn't always the case but maybe it looked more listy because of the long paragraph formatting. Either way it made your debate really good being able to show an extensive range of ways that Hogan can add value. The Star Index point was neat and if I was being really picky I'd question the credibility of the source and the actual data representing what it says it represents but I won't be that picky as you used the claim well to support your argument.

Jupiter Jack Daniels - Bold move taking the opposing stance but it cost you big because the other 3 debates arguing the other way killed your debate with much stronger reasoning than you had. Basically your whole debate was countered by the other 3 and it drove you out of contention.

ZOMBO - Brilliant debate. Similar to TONY MONTANA's in that you had a wide range of reasoning to support your stance, most of which were similar, but I thought you did a better job expanding on some of them without making it seem like you had less than what TONY MONTANA had. The Dixie paragraph I was a bit eh on because I didn't really think it was totally relevant to a WWE context. Great job defining your debate and I liked the use of A scenario but particularly the one that you used. Appreciated the Montreal video link too. I think that's what TONY MONTANA meant with the Canada line but I didn't get it without the video. Super debate.

samizayn - This was solid but it didn't really kick on like I wanted. ZOMBO and TONY MONTANA both took the same stance but argued their debate much more expansively and I also thought they argued your points better than you did. Not that you didn't argue them well either (you did) but I thought they did it better. “Let me tell you something, Hunter” had me giggling though. You survive this time because Jupiter Jack Daniels essentially chose the wrong side in the end in simple terms so I guess judging off this debate only you'd be the one who should be worried most about the next elimination.

#1 aka WINNER = ZOMBO
#2 = TONY MONTANA
#3 = samizayn
#4 aka ELIMINATED = Jupiter Jack Daniels


THE DARK ANDRE
TONY MONTANA

Made lots of excellent points in favour of Hogan and how he could help the on screen product from a non-competitive aspect and used a great reference to prove how the Hulkster is still highly marketable, while also showing how this could be used to make the WWE money. Some good humour was used in reference to Hogan’s in ring skills and the opinion of so called “smart marks”, although the use of the side smiley can fuck right off. Let’s not start a trend of using smileys in debates, this ain’t the chat box and you don’t have access to the back catalogue of BLACK MARKET SMILEYS.

I thought that your formatting was a bit off; the two HUGE LARGE paragraphs could have done with being broken up a bit. The second giant chunk (of shit, well maybe not quite that bad) also veered off into list territory towards the end with loads of ideas of what Hogan could be used for with minimal explanation for how and why, at best. You also missed a trick by not really breaking the question down in the precise manner that ZOMBO did.

Good debate that could have won my vote with a tad more quality control and ruthlessness.

Jupiter Jack Daniels

It was nice to see a brave approach towards this question from one competitor and this certainly made for a decent read, if not a great debate.

The arguments for how Hogan failed to contribute towards TNA and how that doesn’t bode well for him were intriguing if not seeming completely concrete. ZOMBO countered this point quite well with his Dixie Carter quote. Your argument against Hogan’s ability to perform in the ring and give another worker a rub was much stronger, especially with no one else being able to muster up a strong argument for him being able to work even one consequential match. The idea that Hogan’s ego could be a hindrance was also a good point.

However, despite all of this bluster, it has to be said that your debate would have benefited far more from being in a debate with the topic “Would a Hulk Hogan return to WWE provide more positives than negatives?”, but the debate topic asked whether he had ANY value, which ZOMBO and TONY MONTANA clearly proved that he does. To have won this debate with your stance you would have had to completely bury the concept of Hogan adding financial gains to WWE, whether it was by suggesting that his contract would realistically be hefty and that WWE already makes significant money from Hogan related merchandise, thus making an expensive Hogan contract irrelevant. Or by some other means, I don’t know. I’m not saying that it would have been easy to argue an idea like that, but that’s what you would have had to have done to win a debate with such a lopsided looking balance between stances, especially with ZOMBO breaking the question down so expertly.

Not a great debate, but it was still a good read which included some thought provoking ideas, plus your formatting was good while the whole shebang flowed well. Next time try to pay more attention to what the question is actually asking while also making sure you cover all of your bases with powerful counter arguments.


ZOMBO

Oh mine!!!!!!

This was fuckern superb. In fact it was so good that I had to crack one out straight after reading. Sexy, sexy debate. Hopefully this is GDEH otherwise I’m going to feel rather awkward: jones

That two tier approach towards breaking the question down was marvellous and really added a defined structure to your piece. To be honest you could have just defined the question and added a couple of reasons why Hogan would be of value to WWE, possibly in 500 words, and still had a quality debate. But you didn’t…you gave a shed load of arguments as to how Hogan could benefit the WWE, from a personality point of view AND a financial point of view.

The Dixie Carter quote was fairly epic, seeing as it just highlighted how Hogan’s mere presence/voice can have a huge influence in the wrestling world. It also countered one of debater B’s points with aplomb. The idea that WWE knows how to promote with world class ability also put this concept over (debater D, take notice), as well as the idea that Hogan could be a great promotional tool (as opposed to being the complete and utter tool that he usually is) during Mania season when Vinny Mac Daddy is looking for those extra precious buys.

“The dude can draw, promote, and still get reactions, brother. That all adds up to making money.”

Fuckern warz~! You can’t argue with that.


samizayn

Wow, what’s with the wonky formatting, did Klunderblunder ghost write this for you? I should disqualify you for cheating, and cheating poorly at that. Hire me next time!

In all seriousness, this was a flimsy debate that covered the idea of how Hogan could add a lot in terms of being a personality outside of the ring (or in the fuckern ring, just not wrasslin in it). Your intro was entertaining and the writing throughout was generally easy to follow and enjoyable to read. I can’t fault any of your main arguments, although they’re rather one dimensional and don’t go into the same depth as debaters a and c did with their reasoning for how Hogan could make money and bring greater awareness to the WWE with talk show promotional work and all that hoopla. You focused a bit too much on what Hogan could add as an on screen character for my liking.

One MASSIVE criticism I will make involves your definition of the question. First of all, put it at the start of your debate because it’s likely to have more effect in that position. Secondly, don’t write things like “However, would he be in practice, is a different question entirely. There are still a number of possible ways WWE could drop the ball on Hulk Hogan tenure, but thankfully that’s not the question that is being asked here”, especially without making a strong counter argument. Yes, the question didn’t ask that, but neither did the topic state “in a hypothetical dream land where everything is perfect”, so why even mention it and plant the idea in the judges’ minds? By raising the idea that WWE could muff up you’ve raised doubts over whether they actually “could” manage the process correctly. Look at how ZOMBO broke down the question and batted off suggestions that Vince wouldn’t know what to do with Hogan or how to market him, if you’re going to mention a possible negative then you need to counter it with a convincing positive.

This was certainly not the best debate, it lacked effort and was very narrow in terms of arguments while it also needed greater quality control in terms of formatting and counter arguments.


Decisions:

It’s fair to say that I believe there’s a clear winner (for my vote, although I would be surprised if it’s not for the whole match) in this match. No prizes for guessing who that is. Meanwhile, there are two debates that could both be up for elimination, but I’m going to attempt to keep in Jupiter Jack Daniels for taking an incredibly brave approach, putting in a good effort with formatting and writing style while also making some good points which were ultimately overwhelmed due to the lopsided nature of the debate’s topic and the technicalities of the actual question. samizayn's was an overall poor effort on the easier side to argue. While the writing style was good, it wasn’t enough to overcome the weaknesses of the actual content which was far too narrow and shallow. Not to mention that the formatting and proof reading were absolute dogs’ eggs.


Debater A: ***1/2

Debater B: **

Debater C: **** 1/2

Debater D: *3/4


ZOMBO wins my victory vote

samizayn “wins” my vote for elimination, not to mention a crushed ego

The Lady Killer
TONY MONTANA - This is pretty great overall. Perfect, succinct intro that states your stance loud and clear. First support paragraph was probably about as good as you could've done for this topic. Love the line "For every smark that despises the fact that Hogan's still sticking around in the wrestling biz, there's hundred more casuals who would love to see him hulk up one more time." This is brilliantly followed by the great fact that he's recognized at a 98% level. Pretty staggering. Rest of that paragraph further strengthens your stance. I like how you have established that Hogan's still a household name first, then you go into different ways Hogan can provide value if WWE were to sign him. I really can't find any faults with your supporting statements, though I would've liked to have seen you tackle counterarguments head on. For instance, when you say Hogan could come back and give a guy a rub by no-selling the guy's offense and hulking up on him, how exactly does that help the younger guy? It's basically a typiacl Hogan appearance and burial for the crowd's reaction. You could've spun this in a way that makes the burial seem a positive - jobber gets owned and crowd gets what they paid for. Instead, you labeled it a rub, which I don't really think it is. Regardless, that's nitpicking. Also, I know a big counterargument would be Hogan stealing the spotlight from other full time guys who would benefit from exposure @ Mania. You could've quelled this by throwing some random Hogan drawing facts at us. WWE is a business, first and foremost. All in all, a really great entry.

Jupiter Jack Daniels - Interesting intro that laid the grounds for your claim, which is opposite of TONY MONTANA. Should be intriguing. Although I don't agree that Hogan was only marketable in his prime (he was past his prime against HBK in 2005 but still drew an audience), I'm willing to see where this goes. Second paragraph I'm not sure was all that necessary. Third paragraph was pretty great for the bit about TNA's business not improving after signing Hogan, and acknowledging that WWE is a different beast entirely. I hope you're able to make a connection here, because they are in fact two entirely different companies with different audiences and vastly different budgets. The part about Hogan being in the spotlight is a little shaky to me. You seem to argue both sides of the topic without really shooting the opposition down in order to strengthen yours. Next paragraph ends on a good note with the "if people weren't paying to see Hogan in TNA, would they be quick to pay to see him back in WWE?" That's a great question. However, in that same paragraph, you're under the assumption he'd come back to work a match, which isn't a given. He could come back in another capacity, to which TONY MONTANA alluded. You also seem to focus heavily on Hogan's personal evaluation of his name value, and not the value that it'd bring to the company. If he was to come back and, say, lose to someone, you think it would tarnish his legacy. Whether or not I agree/disagree is irrelevant, but at this point haven't WWE already got your money in their pocket just for his appearance? Outcome of any match is irrelevant. Solid debate that lost focus here and there.

ZOMBO - Clever intro that dissects the question in an effective manner. So far so good. Definition of value is spot on, and I like how you segue into how Hogan can provide value. Great flow so far. Next paragraph is great, focusing on the Hogan brand being a universal phenomenon. Dixie Carter quote was huge, and basically shoots down the TNA argument from Jupiter Jack Daniels. The paragraph about Hogan being a locker room leader was interesting, and definitely a way Hogan could provide value that I didn't think of. Great job of thinking outside the box here. Next bit about how to use Hogan to gain value is great as well. Another effective Dixie Carter quote. I like the different scenarios you provide, but, as with TONY MONTANA, I'd like for you to combat any opposing counterarguments. Your support was very strong, though. Great job here.

samizayn - Awesome intro. You didn't even have to state your stance on the topic - I know what side you're taking just from the way you worded your intro. Bravo. I liked the suggestions you provided for Hogan being able to offer value to the company, though I would've liked to have seen you delve into the business side a bit more, and focus on Hogan's name value and drawing ability, defining value is terms of $$$ like ZOMBO did. This debate also ends rather abruptly. After such a hot start, I found myself wanting more, and then it ended. You touched upon a counterargument - WWE dropping the ball on Hogan's tenure - then quickly discarded it as part of your concluding paragraph. I think some elaboration on some points here and there would've sealed the win for you.

Winner = ZOMBO

Eliminated = Jupiter Jack Daniels


Winner via Unanimous Decision - ZOMBO

Eliminated From The Eliminator - Jupiter Jack Daniels


TDL Sports Division Championship Match
THE DARK ANDRE vs Aid180

Should sports teams sacrifice tradition for success?


Spoiler for Debates:
THE DARK ANDRE
Sports teams should absolutely NOT sacrifice tradition for success, because there isn’t a strong proven track record for the sacrifice of tradition guaranteeing LONG TERM success and stability.


Tradition is a long term constant, so to define tradition within this debate I have to exclude on field tactics and styles of play because these are things that constantly change within sports due to the rapid evolution of sports play in general, therefore tradition within this debate concerns the identities of sports teams. Traditions such as team names, team colours and playing locations are the main constant qualities that create identities for sports teams, so I’m going to give relevant modern examples of how fiddling with these components can cause SEVERE problems.


One recent example of sporting tradition being tempered with involved Cardiff FC’s chairman Vincent Tan changing the club’s primary kit colour from blue to red, but why would Cardiff need to change their home colours to gain success?


Quote:
Vincent Tan
“You look at Man United and Liverpool and they are red - they are much more successful and have a bigger fan base than Chelsea or Manchester City.”

Yes, they have bigger fan bases, but the reason for that isn’t to do with shirt colours. It’s because Liverpool and United have built colossal foundations via consistent long term on field successes. Chelsea and Manchester City are two clubs who failed to reach the same heights of these teams until both were taken over by billionaires in the past few years. It’s the greatest accumulation of long term success that is most likely to attract new foreign fans, so to blame smaller fan bases on a shirt colour is incredibly naïve.


Likewise, masses of foreign fans won’t suddenly start following a mediocre club like Hull City due to their proposed gimmicky ‘Hull Tigers’ name change, especially when the club has such a low glass ceiling in the premier league with Assem Allam’s relatively modest financial backing. The majority of foreign fans will follow a foreign team due to success, not because of shirt colours and nicknames, therefore those who assume that scrapping tradition will lead to success are moronic. If colours and gimmick names are so important to success, then why didn’t Wolves become a heavyweight name during their last premier league tenure, and why haven’t Crystal Palace piggy backed off Barcelona’s success by sharing the same home colours?


Allam’s attitude towards the name change also displays a complete and utter contempt for the club’s fans which warns of the instability that tradition destroyers can bring:


Quote:
Assem Allam
“I don't mind 'City till we die. They can die as soon as they want…I'm a simple man. Do they want me to stay? If it's 'No thank you', fine, in 24 hours the club is for sale, I do not put in one more pound and hopefully things happen quickly."

It’s this type of backwards mentality which sums up the mind sets of those who want to meddle with tradition. The real intention isn’t to create success, but to have a play thing for which they can have ultimate control over. If Allam had the club’s best intentions at heart he wouldn’t have made such derogatory comments while also threatening to take his money and go home. This mirrors Vincent Tan’s behaviour when he and his accomplices said that they would only offer investment if Cardiff changed their kit colours. Why not just invest the money REGARDLESS of colours if you have the club’s best interests at heart? What this suggests is that tradition breakers are the types of people who will most likely bail out on clubs and drop them in a financial mess the moment that they don’t have something go their way. Is it really worth sacrificing tradition for a situation like that?


Another issue that tempers with sporting tradition is the concept of relocation to another far away region. In England the “best” example of this was when the unsavoury Pete Winkelman kidnapped Wimbledon FC from London and dragged them kicking and screaming for sixty miles to Milton Keynes in 2003 where they were later rebranded as Milton Keynes Dons FC. MK have been RELEGATED TWICE and only achieved promotion once since the move occurred. In fact, the highest level that the franchise club has played at for a full season has been the English third tier, a level that the original Wimbledon had been above from August 1986 all the way up until 2003 when the relocation occurred and the new club was relegated on Winkelman’s watch…


Meanwhile the new AFC Wimbledon, created in 2002 as a proactive plan due to Winkelman’s thieving plans, were FORCED to restart at the bottom of the footballing pyramid in the Combined Counties league. Yet despite the lack of a strong financial backer such as Winkelman, the club has achieved FIVE PROMOTIONS since then and currently plays in the English fourth tier, which is just one division below the league that MK Dons play in. So, what was the point of stealing a tradition of playing home games in London from the TRUE Wimbledon supporters and forcing them to put years of grinding slog into building a new club when Winkelman’s ghastly plastic franchise is struggling to achieve much more with far superior financial backing?


It is horrifying examples like these which show us why the concept of sacrificing tradition for success is such a flawed one. If all Sports team’s traditions were to be whored out to the whims of mega money men and their false “sporting business senses” then we would also lose a vital part of what makes the majority of sports teams so appealing in the first place, the traditions and histories that instantly help to define a team and create an identity for its long term supporters. To rephrase the topic, ‘Is it worth sacrificing the community spirit that most sports teams are built upon for so called success?’ It certainly isn’t.






References:

Vincent Tan quote:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-s...wales-21610017

Assem Allam quote:

http://www1.skysports.com/football/n...ing-supporters

Assem Allam's plans to change Hull City's name:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/24905905


Aid180
No. ABSOLUTELY NO.

There’s a funny thing about sports. The more successful a team is, the more fans they have. That is, until they start losing. Then all of the sudden a lot of these new “fans” aren’t on the team wagon anymore. These bandwagon fans flee the moment the record drops below .500. As Obi-MrMister Kenobi would say to Emperor Jerry Jones’ Cowboy Troopers, “These aren’t the fans you are looking for.” Sports franchises want to cater to the REAL fans of the team. The ones that wear the paint, the ones that sing the songs, and the ones that are there no matter what. Tradition is what keeps them there.

Ever wonder why fan is shortened from fanatic? It’s because we sports fans are fucking crazy, and we love our team traditions. Traditions can come in all shapes and sizes. They can range from the Green Bay Packers’ celebratory Lambeau Leap to the University of Georgia Legion of Doom superfans to the yearly rival games like the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama.



Fans of the team love it all. Let’s just look at the microcosm that is Wrestling Forum to see just how crazy sports fans can be:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLADIPO DA GOD View Post
They found his cum on her panties, bro.
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Conquistador View Post
I'm sure it was consensual until her slooty friend told her he was a man of such high stature. srs
Quote:
Originally Posted by JM View Post
SEVENBURG
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synaesthesia View Post
WE'RE GONNA SKULLFUCK YOU MOYES. PREPARE TO DIE. THIS IS FOR 1996. ALLEZ LE TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON
Look at these crazy fuckers. I mean, what the hell is a Sevenburg? Surely this hooligan-like behavior doesn’t exist in normal society. But why bring this up? Real sports fans love their team. They buy the jerseys, they wear the facepaint, they sing the songs, and the talk a lot of shit. Real fans stay on their team during the rough times. It's because they love them. A lot of that is because of tradition. There are up and down years for sports all the time. Sacrificing tradition for success is a bad idea. Success comes and goes, but tradition is forever.

When looking at tradition, it is impossible to not talk about College Football. College Football is so old that its first game was played in 1869. Since then, the sport has been full of traditions. There are fight songs, century long rivalries, and much more. Honestly, the live College Football atmosphere is one of the best in sports. This is why all of this tradition is so fun. Recently there has been some division realignment in College Football. Some of the more recent examples are Texas A&M and Missouri moving to the Southeastern Conference in 2012. As seen with this past weekends SEC Championship game, Missouri is benefiting some from the increased exposure and the prestige of being in the SEC while being good enough to make it to this year’s SEC Championship game. Even Texas A&M has been talked about a lot more thanks to their victory against Alabama last year, a game that would not have happened if Texas A&M were not in the SEC. However, the move to the SEC ended a yearly rivalry between Texas and Texas A&M, a rivalry dating back to 1894. Even though they don’t play each other, Texas fans still hate Texas A&M and vice versa. Was the move to the SEC worth the loss of a major tradition and rivalry? I don’t think so. Winning seasons come and go in football. There is a lot of parity. Just ask the University of Auburn or the University of Florida. Even if the team is having a horrible year, it is still made just a bit better if they defeat their hated rivals. Giving this up is not worth the trade off for a couple winning seasons. The rivalries, the majesty, the pageantry, while these can be used to describe the traditions of college football, they can also be used to describe professional wrestling.

Now while professional wrestling isn’t a real sport, it is still sport entertainment, and it too uses tradition as a means of selling. WWE’s two biggest selling pay-per-views of the year are the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania, both enriched with tradition. Wrestlemania is advertised as the Super Bowl of wrestling. The biggest show of the year. Fans know this. Fans have been conditioned to expect big things at Wrestlemania because of the tradition of it being the biggest show of the year. This extends to their show with the second most buys of the year, the Royal Rumble. The Royal Rumble is essentially a one match show, but that one match is the traditional Royal Rumble match in which the winner gets a title shot at Wrestlemania. The pay-per-view is built around this one match that has happened once a year for over two decades. As the buyrates show, fans love this tradition. WWE sticks to it too. One of WWE’s other traditional PPVs, Survivor Series hasn’t seen the same love from the fans. It could be because there are too many PPVs in October and November. It could be from being on during the holidays. Or it could be from the way Survivor Series has been handled. The Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match is practically an afterthought these days. They are often put together quickly with little story and they even open the show. Instead of being treated as a great tradition with history, WWE books it as a filler match, and the buyrates show. Tradition sells, in sports and sports entertainment.

Tradition is a marvelous thing. It helps fans become closer to their teams. It patches up bad seasons with a game that can make fans happy. Tradition is even good for business if done right. Winning is great, but success comes and goes. Tradition is forever.

Sources:
http://www.gerweck.net/2012-ppv-schedule/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1869_co...ootball_season
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_A...exas_Longhorns
www.Wrestlingforum.com


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
THE DARK ANDRE - Great job defining the question to your own debate. I don't think it's always needed but this was obviously a case where it was and you did expertly. However, I didn't think you really linked your arguments to "how fiddling with these components can cause SEVERE problems". The Cardiff and Hull examples felt more like mini-debates on their individual topics that didn't feel as tightly linked to the actual topic as they maybe could have. I think this was maybe due to the fact these are current examples rather than past examples and you weren't able to show the problems they caused so it came off a bit opinionated (but likely correct) and I wasn't fully convinced you showed how these examples were cases of fiddling with tradition causing severe problems as you stated you would do. The MK Dons part was a much stronger example because you were able to use that historical perspective to say look at how much sacrificing tradition helped them. For Cardiff and Hull you weren't able to say that because them stories haven't played out yet. You did a good job arguing why the tradition should be kept but I didn't think it linked that strongly to what you said your debate would do and ultimately how it wasn't a profitable trade off for success, if any success at all could come from the sacrifice. Your conclusion left me wishing you had focused more on how tradition makes sport what it is and how if you sacrifice it you lose a big part of what makes sports sports. Aid180 I think achieved this a little better than you did.

Aid180 - Really liked your first line. Full of emotion and fire and was a better introduction in just 3 words than many 200 word introductions you see on the undercard. I'm normally sceptical about referencing forum posts but it worked here in your context. Plus that Synaesthesia quote is amazing. Shame that name change is DONNACHA levels of bad. Green Light pls. "Success comes and goes, but tradition is forever." - amazing line. The College Football paragraph I thought was the strongest part of either debate. Your bolded line was awesome. I thought this really effectively showed how important tradition is and along with the paragraph before did a great job of showing why tradition shouldn't be sacrificed for success because of the importance of tradition for centuries whereas success will come and go. You had my vote here. Then you spent a quarter of your debate talking about pro graps and you lost me. I think it would have been a neat side point using no more than 50 words up. But it was like a quarter of your total word count and it wasn't relevant if you read the question again. SPORTS TEAMS. You should have stopped after the Wrestlemania line and got back to actual sports. The placement of it was bad too. As it was at the end it was really the lasting impression of your debate and you ended on a very weak note. Your conclusion is back to brilliance but for me the damage was already done. You should be pissed off as you're reading this because damnit I was pissed off for you. You had it won. And then you brought pro graps into it and threw it away. AAAARGH. Cut that paragraph way down and continue what you had with the two paragraphs before and you would have won. Or had my vote at least. Really frustrating.

Winner - THE DARK ANDRE

The Lady Killer
THE DARK ANDRE - Fairly impeccable intro. You take an ambiguous term in "tradition" and qualify it with a proper definition that has meaning within the context of your debate. Well done here.

The next few examples are nice, but I was unable to pick up on why the changing of Cardiff FC's colors to red caused "SEVERE" problems. You do touch upon it later, after the Allam bit, so it makes sense. The Wimbledon/MK piece of perhaps the strongest of the entire debate. I think one thing you also could've done to strengthen your stance is to address counterarguments people could make where changing tradition has allegedly led to success and shoot them down. Otherwise, a very strong effort.

Aid180 - Solid intro, and I like that you referenced "fan" came from "fanatic," and supplied a few examples. I also like how you stated "success comes and goes, but tradition is forever." So far, though, you've limited the scope of your debate to just the "real" fans. The college football paragraph was good, and provided lots of examples of tradition, but didn't focus too much on sacrificing this tradition for success. Rather, it seemed to focus on why tradition means so much to the fans. I think you're missing the other half of the equation - success. You never really seemed to breach the sacrificing of tradition for success part of the debate. This read more of a "why is tradition so important?" debate.

Winner = THE DARK ANDRE

WOOLCOCK
Interesting approach from both deabters:


THE DARK ANDRE – I thought this was a unique take on the matter, with a particular focus on why sacrificing tradition is unlikely to lead to success first and foremost, with an additional consideration regarding the ethical and morality aspects of sacrificing long term values for short term gain. The Cardiff and Hull examples were spot on, with a good overview of the naivety employed by both owners in their respective decisions, although I would have thought you might have been able to acknowledge the obvious unease and poisonous atmosphere decisions like these create within supports on matchday vis a vis protests to further validate your argument. Still, you outline well how the supposed reasoning for abandoning tradition and history serves little purpose in terms of achieving success as success is not linked to the colour of a team, but rather on-field performances and transfer dealings which are an entirely different kettle of fish. I also adored the breakdown of these owners’ interests in clubs and how their confrontational and business mindset often endangers the long-term stability of clubs, with these owners often exhibiting childish attitudes with regard to ownership and control, with clubs often spending well beyond their means to satisfy the desires of the owner before crumbling once the dust settles. The Wimbledon/MK Dons example was different from how I would have expected you to go about it, but again this highlights how money alone cannot achieve success and how foolish the mindset of owners who embrace the idea of ditching tradition truly is. The conclusion is strong, with a strong argument for why tradition encapsulates so many fans within their team. It’s something to be proud of, not to be tampered with and dropped like a bad habit because someone from a different area of expertise can’t separate a business mindset from that of a football fan. Overall, the debate smartly exposes how teams which abandon tradition often do so with little long term prospects of success, with the mindset usually resembling one of short term greed as opposed to long term success. Analysing how people like Vincent Tan display a worrying sense of obsessive control over clubs that seemingly questions their long-term commitment to a club which in turn affects the stability of many clubs, in addition to ridiculing the common arguments used by those who argue it necessary to abandon tradition makes this a very well rounded debate.


Aid180 – This takes on a different approach to that of THE DARK ANDRE, with the focus of the question firmly entrenched in the morality and ethical aspect. Here, the love affair of the fans and the effect tradition has in creating this rapport is strongly considered, and what follows is certainly a passionate defence of adhering to history and not abandoning tradition for mere short term gain. I did find a bit of a contradiction in the College Football aspect, which lays out positives enjoyed by Missouri and Texas A&M since their ‘move’ with regard to enhanced exposure, before flipping and saying there was no benefit earned by either side and not really providing a staunch argument to justify this. At this point, whilst this is certainly a passionate entry whereby the views of the fans are being primarily considered, I do ponder whether the writer is unfortunately restricting himself as I’m seeing a lot of ‘tradition should not be abandoned’ points, without a clear succinct argument as to WHY. It feels like there is a disconnect between what the writer believes, and what he is arguing to me as a reader. Whereas THE DARK ANDRE clearly broke down and critiqued the mindset behind abandoning tradition, this debate is telling me it’s wrong without really going beyond that to truly engage and convince me. The wrestling argument...I’m in two minds about. On the one hand, I applaud the creativity to think up this approach, yet concurrently I have to ponder how directly relevant it is, especially as for me you’ve not truly argued succinctly with regard to WHY tradition should be adhered to. Yes from a basic morality POV it’s wrong, but WHY specifically? What specifically about the mindset to focus on the short-term at the expense of history is fundamentally against the spirit of sport? With the wrestling comparison, I can see what the writer is trying to accomplish but I’m still not entirely convinced it was the most apt approach in relation to the actual question.


Winner – THE DARK ANDRE. It wasn’t perfect, but I felt this approach allowed for a ridicule of the mindset to abandon tradition alongside a practical demonstration of the dangers behind the people who have the power to make these decisions. Furthermore, I felt THE DARK ANDRE was able to succinctly argue the WHY more convincingly than Aid180, whereby I could feel the writer’s passion but struggled to ascertain what his specific argument was beyond a basic ethics contention.


Winner via Unanimous Decision - THE DARK ANDRE


Andre: Fuckern warz. Give me some ACTUAL FUCKING COMPETITION IN THIS DIVISION.

*Aid180 approaches Andre ready to ask for ANOTHER title match.

Andre:

*Aid180 walks off depressed but with a glare of vengeance.*

*DwayneAustin comes out looking for a title shot. Andre laughs him off and he signal for him to go straight back.*

*Next out is LUCK.*


Andre: There isn't all the LUCK or MAGIC in the world that would give you a chance in hell of even picking up a vote against me bor.

LUCK:

Andre:

LUCK:

*Next out is Kiz.*

Andre: Motherfucker you're 1 out of 3. Get the fuck outta here.

Kiz: uwotm8?

*Mr. Lawls joins Kiz on stage and also asks for a title shot.*

Andre: Fuckern warz. You really think either of you are in MY LEAGUE? Fuckers, you couldn't even freaking beat your own opponents tonight. I mean at least you actually made it onto the supercard unlike most of the CHUMPS in this division but you still fucking lost to a pair of debutants like a bunch of fucking GEEKS. Motherfucker, the only person I see worthy of actually even getting a chance to shine ma fucking shoes is BkB Hulk. At least he actually fuckern WON his debate unlike the rest of you CHUMPS. And he ain't even signed up. So Bulk, if you want a title shot and you wanna make this division worth a damn, come the fuck back and prove you're better than the rest of these CHUMPS and I'll happily debate YOU. Rest of you pigs can go do one until you actually win a debate against someone like a Bulk.

Andre: So I take it I'm just gonna carry on burying faggots in this division for all of 2014 too then? Shit, can't no bitch ass motherfuckers even beat me in the Wrestling Division in their own comfort zones.

*WOOLCOCK comes out. The crowd collectively . Apparently that's a thing now. WOOLCOCK walks up to Andre and they stare each other out. They're either gonna fuck or fight. Or both.*

*Nah instead WOOLCOCK just walks back off after he feels his point has been made. Maybe we'll know about what the hell his point was in times to come. Andre looks unnerved though. Just as Andre is ready to leave, DDMac's music hits as he enters the stage. HUGE pop for Mac. Andre & Mac stare each other down. Mac holds 2 fingers up and sways them back and forth between him and Andre. Andre nods succinctly and they both go their different ways. Spine chilling atmosphere as the rematch of one of TDL's greatest debates to date is teased for the very near future.*


TDL Wrestling Division Championship Match
The Lady Killer vs WOOLCOCK

Is WWE using returning established stars for short term spikes hurting them in the long term?


Spoiler for Debates:
The Lady Killer
Is WWE using returning established stars for short term spikes hurting them in the long term?

In my best Miz impersonation: Really? Despite the painfully obvious answer being a resounding NO, I suppose I will oblige and hand-hold you through the learning process. By the time our journey is through, you will be left without a shadow of a doubt that based upon the primary goal of a business ($$$), the use of returning stars for short-term gains does NOTHING to hurt the company in the long term.

Allow me to play mad scientist for a moment and dissect the topic at hand. The question inherently answers itself. “Is WWE using returning established stars for short term SPIKES hurting them in the long term?” It’s safe to assume that within this context, “hurting” equates to “inhibiting WWE’s ability to generate revenue.” Well, we’ve already conceded the fact that businesses want one thing and one thing only – revenue. The question itself concedes the fact that bringing these established stars (I will discuss to whom this refers in a moment, as I get the feeling there is much confusion given the recent Mania rumor mill hoopla) SPIKES revenue. For those of you who are not economically-inclined, making money is a good thing.

Since we’ve already determined that the goal of WWE is to be a going concern, let’s now turn our focus to the part-timers themselves and analyze how they act as one of the main facilitators of this goal. Given the current product (i.e. ignoring all of the bogus rumors about Hogan returning, Sting debuting at 60 years old, or Austin wrestling with a broken freakin’ neck!), the list of established part-time stars would justifiably include Brock Lesnar, Triple H, RVD, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker and The Rock, and the spike generally happens around Mania season.

I’m going to immediately disregard RVD and Chris Jericho, as their respective name value isn’t quite on the same level as the other four, and one can’t possibly argue that these two coming back for short stints (not solely for a Mania paycheck) and putting over younger guys (ADR, Punk, Fandango, etc.) hurts the business and its long term goals. After all, those clamoring for the part-timers to go away are the same ones who argue for the development of new stars. Moving right along; nothing more to see here. I’m also going to disregard Triple H, as he is now a regular on-screen character who only steps into the ring when the storyline calls for it. He’s basically this generation’s Vince McMahon. Do people really feel Vince’s character was a detriment to the company’s long-term success? Didn’t think so.

That leaves Lesnar, Taker and Rocky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clueless smark
THESE PART-TIMERS ARE RUINING THE BUSINESS!
Oh really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTFO
WM26 buyrate (no Rock) = 885,000
WM27 buyrate (w/Rock appearance) = 1,042,000
WM28 buyrate (w/Rock match) = 1,300,000
WM29 buyrate (w/Rock rematch) = 1,048,000 (highest grossing event in company history)
Clearly, this assumption couldn’t be more foolhardy. It’s time to take off your smark goggles and be a realist for a moment. WWE is a business first and foremost. If they aren’t making money, there won’t be a future to fuss over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVD thread GEEK
LOL THE ROCK WWE CHAMP. HE BURIED PUNK.
Sigh. As I’ve just illustrated, no matter how much you hated the idea of him as WWE Champion, The Rock is an enormous draw who garnered immense exposure for WWE. Let me raise this question: If you owned a business, would you rather have The Rock or CM Punk as your publicity ambassador? The truth is that The Rock did more for the title in three months than Punk managed in 400+ days.
Speaking of Punk, who would’ve guessed two years ago that he would be headlining PPVs with the likes of The Rock and Undertaker? This just proves that WWE’s formulaic approach works. People need to understand that Wrestlemania is more of a spectacle than anything else. It’s the All Star Game of pro wrestling, where all of the biggest names compete for one night. A Mania headlined by Regal/Bryan and Punk/Sandow, despite being a keyboard warrior’s wet dream, isn’t going to sell. When these part-timers attract viewers, the spotlight shines brighter on the entire roster. Remember that 1.3 million buyrate for Wrestlemania 28? The “YES!” phenomenon was born that night because millions of people witnessed a crowd rally behind Bryan, and we now have another main eventer.

Another thing to note is that Lesnar/Taker/Rock only work main event matches. It’s not like they’re burying guys trying to move up the card. In fact, working with these guys would enhance most stars’ careers. Look at Taker. He works one match a year – the marquee match at Mania. Going up against The Streak, although a guaranteed loss, is a privilege. Same goes for Lesnar. He’s a proven draw (Extreme Rules 2012 buyrate increased 25+% over 2011) and is still young enough to make an impact on the younger members of the roster. His limited schedule preserves his longevity and enables him to contribute to the company’s long-term success.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyro
BUT WHAT ABOUT SANDOW?!? I’M DONE WITH THIS COMPANY
Oh, right. I forgot. That blown cash-in was obviously Lesnar’s fault. The finger pointing needs to stop. Part-timers aren’t responsible for 11 months of “shitty” booking. Not everyone can main event. People seem to conveniently forget that The Shield/Bryan/Wyatts have been headlining weekly TV shows for months. WWE is in fact building towards the future, despite what some may think.

The use of returning stars not only makes WWE a boatload of money, but it also enhances the visibility of the rest of the roster, which means $$$ in the present and future. Besides, these part-timers put on matches that are almost universally heralded, pleasing casuals and smarks alike. It’s a win-win situation, as WWE makes money, the casuals see their returning heroes in action, and the internet GEEKS get good matches they can nitpick and argue with each other over a 1/4* rating discrepancy. In essence, clearly it’s BEST FOR BUSINESS when the card is STACKED, amirite?[/TDL][/quote]



WOOLCOCK
Quote:
Is WWE using returning established stars for short term spikes hurting them in the long term?


Question, how do WWE continually grow if at any point in time they decide to rely on a core group of established yet older talent, whilst abandoning measures to develop future stars to advance the company in future years? Quite simply, they don’t. The answer to this question lies specifically in its wording, ‘short term spikes’. WWE’s dependence on older talent has no long term stability, and is quite frankly a sad departure from their traditional mindset which saw continual evolution and re-branding. This mindset ABSOLUTELY hurts WWE in the long term.

But these stars are cash commodities – how can relying on them be a detriment?

Like the mind of your average Arsenal fan, it’s quite simple. These stars are a tremendous asset to WWE with regard to being established drawing figures, however they are no longer full time active members of the roster and in the case of Rock and Lesnar, their loyalty is far from guaranteed. Therefore whilst WWE would be absolutely daft not make money off of them, disregarding the long term importance of developing future drawing acts is equally naive. WWE should be focusing on identifying the figureheads of the current talent and using the enhanced exposure the product receives when the established stars return to promote their future ALONGSIDE their past. Quite frankly, once The Rock and Brock Lesnar are no longer at WWE’s disposal, who can they rely on to capture the attention of their target demographics? Daniel Bryan? CM Punk? Bo Dallas who resembles a lesbian sex toy?


WWE is a renowned brand, they’re too big to fail

So narrow sighted it could be mistaken for Rush. Now there were many issues that led to the demise of WCW, but anyone with a bit of sense can conclude that their dependence on the established acts and pitiful failure in developing sustained long term drawing acts crippled them when the allure of the established stars began to fade. Wrestling is very much ingrained in the imagery of pop culture, whereby the audience’s tastes and desires are always capable of changing. WWE recognised this to brilliant effect in the late 90s by promoting a more risqué and adult orientated product to coincide with the crash TV fascination of society at the time. WCW quite frankly were so fixated on the short term success their cash cows generated, that promoting untested younger acts to the audience at the expense of proven attractions was considered an unnecessary risk.

The old saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ was never more apt. WWE now more than ever demonstrates an eerily similar approach. The likes of Bryan and Punk are thrown out of the limelight the minute they’re not an overnight success, simply because an established success like John Cena can be relied upon by WWE to deliver results. It’s not an immediate concern, but when you consider John Cena’s body is that broken down he’s spent more time away from work than the residents of a Toxteth council estate, then problems begin to emerge. Once John Cena is not around, then how will Bryan or Punk deputise in his absence when WWE have refused to be proactive and afforded Bryan and Punk the necessary time to potentially develop into bigger stars?


WWE have historically replaced past stars, why not again?

Because once upon a time WWE unlike Lord Varys had a set of bollocks and an understanding that new stars would have to be created. The WWE of today is vastly different to that of its former self. There is a frightening lack of stability and direction in the product, with the company placing their faith in the likes of Punk and Bryan before derailing their momentum the minute the fans show resistance to these new faces being placed as the focus of the product. From Hogan, to Austin to The Rock you can characterise their development and success and attribute it to a clear commitment on WWE’S behalf to make that individual a star. That trust and faith sadly no longer appears evident in an era where WWE’s obligations as a public company ensure continuous scrutiny of their financial performance. Now more than ever, WWE appears to be searching for immediate stars because their perilous situation doesn’t afford them the time to let someone like Bryan grow for months at the top of the card. It is that crippling mindset that continually sees the company revert back to Cena to carry the promotion, and is the complete antithesis of the consistent ideology that saw WWE continually replace past icons with tremendous success. When you realise WWE have failed to develop a true main event star in the 9 years Cena has been ‘the ace’, simply because of this rigid intent to not stray away from the status quo, then can it really be said with a degree of certainty that WWE will be able to truly replace Cena?


Conclusion

The likes of The Rock and Brock Lesnar have been a tremendous asset since their acquisition in generating short term success, but this ultimately counts for little when WWE so haphazardly fails to lay the foundations upon which to continually succeed in their absence. This growing dependency on established stars to offset the fundamental failings in developing the young talent has sadly been prevalent for far too long, and the end result is a company desperately in need of immediate new talent to continue the success achieved by the established stars, but without the resources or time to adequately achieve this purpose. If you still believe WWE’s love affair with short term success without a viable long term plan has truly been a masterstroke on their part, I implore you to navigate through the current roster and identify to me who is capable of carrying the company for the future, and the means in which the current dilapidated creative team would set about orchestrating this. I’ll be waiting, because unlike WWE, time is not of the essence for me.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs
The Lady Killer - I'm thinking you glossed over the long term aspect of the question because you seemed to ignore it for the most part of your debate. For example, you mention a lot how the revenue spikes were brilliant but I didn't think you linked that to the long term effects these short term tactics have. And that was a big part of the topic really. I thought your point about the 1.3m buyrate generating more eyes on an act like Bryan that helped him take off was great and actually did link the short term to the long term but I didn't think enough of your debate did this. Likewise for the following paragraph I think you left an easy counter saying that these top attractions are only facing other established stars and not being used to help the roster and the product in the long term. If Brock himself is a massive draw then wouldn't they benefit more from having him face someone like Bryan rather than Hunter. Wouldn't that be better in the long term? I thought you left that argument open throughout your debate and it needed more analysis of the long term effect these matches have rather than just, they make money so they must be good. I think you can argue that but you at least needed to argue it against the long term effects. You mention sort of in passing at points but I thought this needed to tackle the long term effects much more head on as it was stated in the question.

WOOLCOCK - This did what I thought The Lady Killer's debate didn't in that it looked at both the short term and the long term and tackled the comparative benefits head on. I wouldn't say your points blew me away but they were strong and didn't leave as much room for counters as The Lady Killer's debate did. I loved the promoting the future ALONGSIDE the past line. Thought that hit the focus of the question bang on the head. Would have liked to see you present some scenarios of how this could feasibly be done though. Your 2nd point I thought dragged on a little too long without making a big enough point that 2 paragraphs warranted. The 1st paragraph I probably would have cut or condensed to just one sentence in the following paragraph. The point of the 2nd paragraph was good though and probably would have been stronger without the longer build to it. Your 3rd point I thought was a little dragged out too and seemed to repeat in more detail a point you made earlier in your debate. I think this probably could have been condensed in half to make room for either another point or to use a scenario/case study example to show your argument in action. As well as why, how? That was the biggest thing I was left wanting from this that you didn't do. Conclusion is strong too and further showed how your first point was the peak of the debate and probably should have been your most expansive point rather than your least expansive one.

Winner - WOOLCOCK

Evolution
Wow, great debates from both of you. I was stoked when you took on opposite sides of the question as it would give me a better idea at figuring out who was more convincing. The Lady Killer looked at the business side, and WOOLCOCK looked at the sustainability. Awesome!

There’s no much to critique in either entry but here goes.

The Lady Killer: In short; I loved it. Loved the humour, the personality, the quotes (lol’d at “DVD thread GEEK” and “Pyro”). Added heaps of flavour to your entry and you took a really aggressive, personable approach to the debate. Something which you executed really well.

You covered not only the business side of the topic well but also addressed some of the other counter arguments such as roster issues. Now while you focused mainly on revenue and what’s good for the WWE as a company, it was a nice touch to at least mention and expand on the ideas of the roster and how it might be argued that it’s a negative thing. You pre-emptively countered it quite well I thought.

The point about them working the main events only was also good, you ALSO mentioned that part timers don’t necessarily have to be the guys that appear once a year to bring in money, I thought that was an interesting area and something you could have expanded on touching on Jericho etc. as part timers who are actually helping and putting over younger guys to ensure that sustainability argument was countered more effectively.

WOOLCOCK: While The Lady Killer's was full of personality and insults, yours was calculated and efficient and it did it brilliantly. A great break down of the effects of an unsustainable culture of part timers to create short-term revenue at the expense of long-term prosperity.

The comparison between present WWE and past WCW was a little weak for my taste only for the reason that WWE doesn’t have any direct competition at the scale that WCW had back in the day (which was the main reason for it’s demise). It would be extremely difficult for the WWE to collapse completely where a more likely event which you could have said instead is that in a worst case scenario they scale back their operation massively which would be a detriment to the industry as a whole.

Exploring the lack of options the WWE has in the long term would have been great. For example, because of their inability to solidify anyone young, the likes of Cena etc. will have to continue wrestling in the main event well into their 40’s perhaps, which would mark a massive decline in the quality of the product and therefore a decline in fan enjoyment perhaps? Something to think about maybe.

Decision: Both outstanding debates on opposite sides who both took exceptional looks at the topic with great justification. I have to give the win to The Lady Killer purely because of the personality of the entry truly had me convinced of their side of the topic, it had me in from the very beginning all the way through to the end and ultimately that’s what it’s all about.

THE DARK ANDRE
The Lady Killer

I really liked your intro which was entertaining and clearly defined your stance. Then you defined the question really well with your own spin on things, that being that WWE is all about the WWE, which is most certainly true. Your assessment of which WWE wrestlers are part time and which are not was also excellent. I loved how you so easily narrowed the selection down to just Brock, Undertaker and Rock. Everything is absolutely perfect up to this point.

However, when you started to list off the Mania buys I found a problem. “Clearly, this assumption couldn’t be more foolhardy. It’s time to take off your smark goggles and be a realist for a moment. WWE is a business first and foremost. If they aren’t making money, there won’t be a future to fuss over.” By using Mania 26 as an example (with its modest but still strong number of buys) you gave clear indication that WWE wouldn’t go out of business. Manias generally always make decent money in this modern era, regardless of whether they’re (A+) star studded or not. I think that you had a good idea, but could have done with using a better example, possibly a comparison between b pay per views where a star has appeared one year and not the next, like with extreme rules 2011 and 2012 (featuring Brock). Regardless, the example that you gave undermined your argument that WWE wouldn’t be in business in the future if they didn’t have guys like The Rock at WrestleMania.

You got back on track with the “DVD THREAD GEEK” joke and caught fire with your next paragraph. The points about the likes of Punk and Bryan gaining exposure due to the interest that the part time stars garnered was bang on point. While you make a fair point saying that the part timers “only” take main event lots, it’s also fair to say that when you make a point like this you’re also acknowledging the idea that these guys often deny the rising new stars a chance to feature at the top of the card. I thought that you made an interesting point about Lesnar’s part time schedule potentially allowing him to contribute in the future, that was a good way to put a spin on his situation.

Pyro jokes are always going to go down well, and that was an example of how to be funny and set up another point without disrupting the flow of your debate (headliner and CP take note). The suggestion that part timers aren’t generally to blame for shit booking was accurate, while The Wyatt’s example strengthened your stance regarding the concept that WWE actually have the option to create new stars, regardless of the interference of part time stars. Your final paragraph was a great summary of your debate while also being an entertaining read. “In essence, clearly it’s BEST FOR BUSINESS when the card is STACKED, amirite?” was rather fuckern good. A near faultless debate with only a couple of issues, one major and one minor, but nothing that could have undermined your brilliant effort.

WOOLCOCK

Well, it looks like we’re getting another corker of a debate here. Your opening paragraph was incredibly aggressive in terms of asserting your stance, while it also included some partial topic question deconstruction. Saying that an over reliance of part time stars in the short term will leave them fucked in the future is a fair point.

While I appreciated the Arsenal joke, maybe a wrestling related gag would have worked better there, something to do with Eugene, or how Austin 101’s approach to reviews is simple? Nah, I’m just nit picking there. I think you could have gone into more depth about how WWE should promote their future alongside their past, whether that be by having someone like Bryan or Punk beat someone like Rock or Brock at Mania, or by another means. TLK actually covered this point and made a convincing argument to suggest that WWE actually do a good job of that, with the stars bringing extra buys which puts more eyes on the stars of tomorrow.

Rush jokes are always going to win you points when I’m judging. The following two paragraphs are pure fire. The WcW analogy was bang on point and the cena angle that you threaded into the argument was well crafted. Through this you built an argument that TLK had no counter for.

You carried on with this gritty contempt for WWE’s part timer blue print by using Daniel Bryan as a strong case for how WWE can’t create new stars, but unfortunately for you TLK countered this by highlighting how shitty booking for the majority of the year generally isn’t the fault of the part time wrestlers. Your points about WWE failing to make a true star since Cena are correct, but I didn’t feel that you linked this argument close enough with how part timers are a part of this problem on a general week to week basis outside of Mania season. Your argument is good in a sense, but for me it would work better in a debate concerning how John Cena and WWE’s booking is detrimental to the future of WWE.

Your closing paragraph was a strong summary of your multitude of clever ideas. However, I also feel that this just highlighted how you failed to expand on certain arguments at key times during your debate. The aggression was there, the ideas were there, but you didn’t really explain yourself well enough to kill off TLK when you should have. You were going down the right path for most of your journey towards your conclusion, but at times you seemed to amble along when you should have been accelerating past your opponent by making your clever arguments more relevant to the part timers that the debate concerned.

Decision:

Great match, but unfortunately there can only be one winner.

The Lady Killer: ****

WOOLCOCK: ***1/2

The Lady Killer wins the vote.


Winner via Split Decision - The Lady Killer
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
Been there, done that, and got the T-shirt, son, and you're just doing reruns.
 
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Default Re: TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS

I should have stayed in my original match.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS

Stuff:

Well Done Shep. Told you it'd be a split decision either way. Bit miffed at why I lost but a great entry by Shep.

CGS really stepped it up here.

Yes the Bulk/Andre skit was a blatant attempt to get Bulk to sign up and go straight into a #1 Contenders Match.

Same goes for Hanoi too.

Damn TLK, Andre and Evo ruining my planned main event for TDL XI: THE LADY KILLER VS WOOLCOCK III. Not the reason I voted for SI btw. That was because I like him more than Greg

Hoping to have the card up tomorrow if possible with a main event.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
the one true debater of TDL
 
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Default Re: TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS

Funny how similar mine and ZOMBO's debates were, but damn, he was certainly a step ahead

Next time ZOMBO, next time
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS

x million to SHEPARD


what a GUY.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS

Quote:
You two bitches can go fuck yourselves. Criticising me for NOT GIVING TNA ENOUGH CONSIDERATION IN A BEST WRESTLING SHOW DEBATE. MOTHERFUCKERS YOU MUST BE OUTTA YOUR DAMN MIND.
This made my day.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS



I do wonder though, after seeing the grammar errors how long it took Seabs to realise he was reading my debate

Still congrats to all the winners of the show. Main Event in particular was superb (TLK burying Pyro ) good work all around from everyone and if i'm correct this is the first time we've had zero no shows?

Quote:
Other than that I have nothing really to critique with this debate. I'd be proud of submitting this debate myself.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS

That comment probably meant more before I knew I lost my own debate

Edit: Yeah it's the first show without a no-show. Didn't even realise that until now.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS

The one-on-one streak continues. The not-being-ambushed-by-a-faggot-bitch streak goes on.

TLK, the day will come. The day will fucking come.

Some thoughts: two Yanks and an Aussie judging kinda rendered my The Day Today references in my penultimate sentence utterly redundant, but somehow I overcame their international ignorance, though tbhonestly I was blatantly counting on Andre or Segunda being at least one of the judges when I wrote about swatting the wasps of doubt away from the apple of truth. At least Clique wasn’t able to recognise which debate was mine and then judge the other way with a ridiculously stupid reason despite my debate being vastly superior. (Yeah, I see you. Keep running away, it’s the only chance you’ve got, you retarded faggot virgin mom’s basement geek thing type wotsit.)

Who's my next victim, Seabs?
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: TDL X: STACKED - THE RESULTS

It was gonna be Clique but he's out. Most likely be a chance for you to do something about your multi-person debate streak.
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