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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Joffrey Baratheon vs TKOK vs JM's Daddy
Which free agent pitcher was the best signing between Scherzer, Shields and Lester?

Spoiler for Debates:
JM's Daddy
Max Scherzer was the best pitching free agent pick up in the off season. You may be asking why. One reason is, because the team Scherzer signed to was already set up to win and with his signing they are even more solidified to win. Lester signed with the Cubs, the last time they made the playoffs was 2008. Shields signed with the Padres, the last time they made the playoffs was 2006. The Nationals have made the playoffs the last 2 out of 3 years. The team is only getting better and will continue to make the playoffs and Scherzer makes the team even that much better at a chance to win. It is all about winning now. Scherzer joins a team that can win this year coming up. Lester and Shields both join teams that are rebuilding for the future and you can never be sure how rebuilding for the future is going to work out.
Now, let’s look at the win statistical side of this. Scherzer over the last three years has averaged 18 wins a season in the American League where the league average was 677 runs scored per team in 2014. Where Scherzer goes to now is the National League where the average was 640 runs scored per team in 2014. Switching leagues only gets easier for Scherzer and Washington will be sure to give him plenty of run support, as they had the third most runs scored in the National League in 2014. Jon Lester has averaged 13 wins over the last three years. James Shields has averaged 14 wins over the last three years.
Now, let’s look at how the contracts and age play out. Scherzer is getting 7 years for $210 million. Sure, a huge contract, but let’s break this down. In the first 4 years of his contract he’s only getting $55 million of it and even then he won’t be getting the rest of his contract in the last three years. The remaining money is going to be deferred through 2028. This leaves the Nationals with more money to spend on players to keep their ball club competitive. Lester signed a 6 year $155 million contract with the Cubs. Sure, a lot cheaper than Scherzer, but once again Washington is signing to win now AND for the future. The Cubs are signing to win in the future. Shields signed a 4 year $75 million contract with the Padres. This is the same problem as Lester; the Padres are building for the future. Another problem with the Shields signing is that he’s already 34 years old. He’s not getting younger anytime soon and if you’re trying to build for the future, signing a pitcher to a four year contract where he’ll be 38 at the end isn’t the best option. Jon Lester is currently 31 years old. His contract is for 6 years and the Cubs are building for the future. Who knows when the Cubs will actually start winning games and making the playoffs. This Lester signing is a complete bust if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs in the near future. Schrezer is currently 30. The Nationals can win now AND in the future, meaning Schrezer can help the Nationals at a “young” age and at an “old” age in the playoffs.
One last thing is playoff performance. Playoff performance is obviously the most important statistic of them all. Jon Lester is obviously the best of the three in the playoffs on this list, but even Lester faltered last season in the playoffs. In his one start he had a 7.36 ERA. Your team still has to be able to make the playoffs for you to perform in the playoffs. The Cubs have not shown they could make the playoffs since 2008. The Padres haven’t made the playoffs since 2006. Shields’s career playoff statistics are downright near terrible. In 11 starts he is 3-6 with a 5.46 ERA. Is this the go to guy you want starting game 7 in the World Series for you? His last two playoffs starts (in the World Series) he went for a combined 9 innings with a 7.00 ERA! In 12 games in the playoffs Scherzer is 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA. Sure a near 4.00 ERA may not be ideal, but it sure beats Shields’s 5.46 ERA.
In conclusion, Max Scherzer is the best pitching free agent signing in the offseason, because it not only solidifies Washington as a dominating World Series threat right now, but it also solidifies them as a threat for years to come. While, the signings of Lester and Shields MAY make the Cubs and Padres a threat in the future, you can never be sure when you are rebuilding for the future.

I think that while each pick up looks to be solid and will make each team a lot better. I feel like best pick up in terms of helping a team make the World Series is the Nationals picking up Max Scherzer, just because it makes an already great rotation potentially overpowering. while the other teams seem like they still have some work to do. Scherzer adds another Cy Young caliber arm to a rotation who had the best rotation in baseball last year.

The cubs made the first big pitching signing with getting Jon Lester for 5 years. while this is a big signing, I don’t think it puts them solidly in the playoff race, or making a run at the World Series. in fact I don’t even know if it was the biggest signing they had the had is Joe Maddon, since he’s regarded as a top 5 manager in the league. So with him in the dugout I think they will improve more than if they just had signed Lester and not gotten madden. Madden might affect all 162 games, while at max, Lester will have an effect on only 33 or 35. So while I do think the move improves them, I still think they need another piece to help them and are another year or 2 from becoming a serious playoff threat.

James shields will help his team for about the same reason I think Scherzer will be a great help to his team. The padres had a great pitching staff, that will be helped more by adding another good pitcher. but they went all in on the offensive side of the ball and that mostly why i separate Scherzer from Shields. they loaded up with a bunch of good bats, like Wil Myers, Justin Upton and Matt Kemp. Kemp, who when healthy, is a possible MVP candidate. so how much they do improve, I feel, will be because they loaded up on offense, and not so much because they will have an extra arm to add to the rotation. they only had 535 runs of offense in 2014, which was dead last, and still managed 77 wins, so if they get any improvement from the offense, they could challenge for a wild card spot.

For the nationals, they, like the padres, have a great staff that will be boosted by the addition of Scherzer. they had a staff that had a team era of a little over 3 runs at 3.03, which is fantastic. With Scherzer signing with them they had a guy who is a former cy young winner and a guy who had a very solid 3.19 era last year. He’ll join a group who already has jordan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasberg, so whichever team faces the 4th starter in that rotation is still playing against a pitcher that would most likely be the ace of any other staff.

Everybody seems to be picking the nationals to win it all this year, and while there’s never a guarantee of things panning out, it helps that you can rely on your pitchers to go deep into games., and with Scherzer being added, he might the person that puts them over the top and into the World Series.

So while Lester and Shields certainly put their teams in the playoff consideration, Scherzer puts the nations from a playoff contender to the number one pick to win the world series. which is why i say Scherzer is the biggest pick up because he possibly makes a good team and great team, while every other of the pickups I’ve talked about don’t do that. While every one of the major pitching pick ups will seemingly vastly improve their team, none but the nationals are expected to be raising the trophy at the end of the season.

Joffrey Baratheon
Lester was the best signing and it's not close.

Lester has a career 121 ERA+ and ERA of 3.55 playing in Fenway Park, one of the toughest parks in all of baseball to pitch in. Last season with Boston and Oakland he had a career season with a 2.46 ERA and 155 ERA+. Lester has the best career out of the 3 and is coming off the best season of the 3. Not a big fan of the wins stats, as analysts will often look at wins as the benchmark stat when I feel it is important but misleading. That being said, Lester has the most wins of the 3 with 116. It would be misleading if he had worse stats and more wins, but having the stats and the wins favors Lester unanimously. All 3 of these guys played with pennant winning teams so I don't want to hear the argument that Lester had the better team. Detroit was just as good as Boston, making the playoffs regularly, the LCS 3 times in a row and a WS Berth. Shields has been to the post season numerous times as well with 2 world series trips. Those teams just couldn't close in the playoffs unlike the Sox did twice with Lester. Lester's 2 rings say hello over the other 2's zero. Could that be partly because Lester has the most postseason wins, and the best playoff ERA out of the 3? hmmmmmmmmmm

Scherzer's career ERA is 3.55 with a ERA+ of a solid 117 and last season's 127 was good. Of course he pitched in Comerica Park, argubly the best pitcher friendly park besides Dodger Stadium. Max has been very good as of late but his stats aren't as good as Lesters, and his contract is ridiculously higher.

Shields boosts a career 111 ERA+, last season he had a 124 ERA+ and had an ERA of 3.21. Good numbers, good pitcher but he isn't Jon Lester.

Now, Scherzer is the only pitcher with a CY award (2013. Scherzer's 2013 was impressive but he got the award because of those aforementioned analysts who look at wins too much.

Scherzer's 2013- 21 wins 3 losses, 2.91 ERA, 144 ERA+

Was it a great season? Absolutely. Was it the best pitching season of 2013 in the AL? Nope.

Scherzer finished 7th in ERA+ and one of his teammates (Annibal Sanchez) had a better season than Max.

Sanchez 2013- 14 wins 8 losses, 2.57 ERA, 162 ERA+ also had a better FIP.

Scherzer got the award because his team won more games. Great season, but it's proof that wins aren't the stat you look to when evaluating who played the best. The fact that he was 7th tells you that these guys (voters) look at wins too much.

Another reason why Lester was the best singing is because the team that signed him got him on a better contract. 6 years 155 million vs 7 years 210 million over 14 years. I really don't need to say anymore on this point because despite Lester being more productive, being more clutch with 2 rings, and pitching better in a pitchers nightmare of a park, Scherzer got a nicer deal.

Shields, sorry. Ran out of room, it's a 2 horse debate anyway.

Another reason why Lester is the best signing is because of what he will mean to the Cubs compared to Scherzer on the Natinals (not a typo).

Jon Lester will become the ace on a rising team and gives them hope. Cubs have sucked forever but they have a young nucleus of players ready to make noise. They needed a dependable ace to show the younger guys the ropes and lead by example. Lester is the perfect fit.

Scherzer is going to the paper champs. The Nationals have 4-5 stud starting pitchers. Much like Detroit, Scherzer will be on a great staff where he isn't even the best pitcher on the rotation. He won't be asked to carry the load, he never was. He will be on another loaded team. Thing is, they were contenders before he got there, and even if they didn't sign him they'd still have the best rotation in baseball.

Lester gives a young rising team an ace and a shot to make some noise. Scherzer joins an all star team that would be great with or without him.

When you add everything up, the best signing is the guy with the best stats, most wins, and rings, that is a proven ace. Scherzer is a fine pitcher but he was never the ace Lester was. He was always behind Verlander's shadow in Detroit and then they got Price, Sanchez and others. He doesn't have anything on Lester besides a richer contract.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
JM's Daddy

Just a quick point about formatting, assuming this was copy+pasted into your submission PM from Word. It doesn't keep the nice paragraphs when you do that, but requires ANOTHER space when on wrestlingforum. Use the "Preview Message" button before submitting and you'll see how it looks. Just a tip for next time to make the appearance a little nicer. You are NOT losing any points over this, I'm just pointing it out.

In terms of the content of your entry, you start off well by identifying your pick immediately, but then delve into somewhat flawed logic, dismissing the other two teams based on their recent playoff history. This ignores Chicago's up-and-coming roster of guys who will be ready very soon and San Diego's numerous off-season moves designed to win NOW.

The wins argument is mediocre as well. Look at the loaded Tigers' teams Scherzer was on to get those win totals. Other stats like ERA or K/IP would've been much more helpful, I think.

The contract length discussion is odd as well, painting Scherzer's as a "good" contract because the big money is deferred to the end. How many pitchers will EARN their wage of $150m+ from age 34-44? That contract becomes an albatross, much like every other backloaded, big money contract before it.

Finally, the playoff section. You admit Lester is better here, but then cite ONE START as his playoff sample to draw your numbers from.

As you can see, there's room for improvement throughout this entry. You need to really select relevant stats and consider your arguments that you bring forward, as almost everything brings up easy and obvious counters-arguments.


Good job identifying your stance early. The attempt to rule out Lester was not very effective though. The issue arises when you say that Lester will only effect 33-35 games in a season. THAT'S THE CASE WITH ALL THREE PLAYERS IN THIS DEBATE.

The Shields' argument follows the same narrative. You discuss a team's OTHER signings instead of focusing on the question itself, of which player from these three is the best signing.

Your points with Scherzer are a little more on track. However, this really lacks analysis in terms of how Scherzer is a better signing based on stuff like ERA, contract length, playoff performance, etc.

Overall, I feel that this entry is a bit unfocused, wavering away from the specific question at hand and giving the opposing choices too much credit.

Joffrey Baratheon

I like the passion and format of this one, identifying the choice immediately and using strong language throughout.

You're a little overly reliant on ERA+ and world series rings (a TEAM accomplishment) throughout. I like how you acknowledged that Wins is a flawed stat before using it in support of your choice.

Overall, your analysis of Lester vs Scherzer was pretty comprehensive. Touching on the contract terms was smart as well. Hyping the Cubs as being on the cusp of big things with their lineup was smart too.

HOWEVER, there is one glaring thing that I HATED. In a debate with only three options, you had better knock down the other two choices with something more than your sarcastic "ran out of room, it's a two horse debate". SHOW why it's a two horse debate. If it was a two horse debate, it'd be a two-option question. There are numerous arguments for Shields - an innings eater, a guy accustomed to being a team's ace, his playoff influence on the Royals, his contract being the best of the three options. You don't touch on ANY of this, and if either of the other two guys did better in closing down counter-arguments on their own side of things, you would've lost.


I really thought all three debates could've done much better, but I think the problems are all fixable enough. I'll give this decision to Joffrey Baratheon, which did a great job in analyzing 2/3rds of the question, as opposed to a mediocre job by the others.

JM's Daddy
I enjoyed this debate but I think you A) played it very safe and B) poorly accessed the Padres current situation. I think you are right in the fact that the Nationals are a serious contender and having Scherzer very well could increase their chances in winning the World Series this season. I do agree that the Cubs are a young rebuilding team that isn’t quite where they need to be yet to make the post season. I however don’t agree with your assessment of the Padres. The Padres were a very good pitching team last season, second best ERA in all of the National League. They are of course helped by a pitcher friendly park but it is what it is. They did however struggle to score runs, last in baseball, but they immensely retooled their offense with the additions of Will Myers, Justin Upton and Matt Kemp. So I really don’t think the Padres are rebuilding, they are retooling and did so quite effectively (on paper). I think something you could have said here was that Shields wasn’t even the best addition for his team. Sure he’s a great pitcher but their pitching was already great. It was the offense that needed improving. Having said that, I think you’ve really only scratched the surface with this one. Ya, Lester struggled in his one post season start last year, but he also has 2 World Series Rings. Ya, Scherzer has some post season success but he doesn’t have what Lester has. I like your points about the money, I like that you brought up the ages of each pitcher. It was smart to bring up the Wins since this obviously favours Scherzer (although this stat is incredibly misleading). I think a bit more digging is required when you have 3 very good pitchers to go through.

This debate was very similar to JM's Daddy. Both of you picked Scherzer, both of you strongly emphasized on the fact that Washington is a serious World Series Contender. I liked your analysis of San Diego and how their offensive additions will probably help them far more than Shields will and that they very well could be in a position to surprise people this year and sneak into the playoffs. Chicago on the other hand, I don’t really agree with you thinking Lester only has an impact on the games he starts. Lester is a 2 time World Series Champion. Played many games in the post season, knows how to win in the post season, knows how to help his team get to the post season. It is very tough to but a price on that. Sure they may not be in a position to get to the playoffs this year but will Lester will help TEACH the young guys and this is immensely valuable. He’s also an allstar caliber pitcher that is going to give them a very good chance of winning every time he takes the hill as well. I think you’ve made good points about Washington being a contender (although they were last year as well), I think you did a great job explaining how Scherzer will help Washington, I’m just not totally convinced you did enough to put him ahead of Lester in particular (mainly because you really undersold the value of a winner on a rebuilding team).

Joffrey Baratheon
This a strong debate and I also liked that you didn’t necessarily play it safe like JM's Daddy & TKOK. There is far more to this than which team has the best chance of winning the World Series. I glad you made mention of the intangibles that Lester can bring to a young team through experience in big games and experience in winning. Yes he only pitches every 5th game but it is very narrow minded to think that those are the only games he has an impact on. I think your use of stats was helpful for your argument but you probably should have done a bit more to rule out Shields. I understand you limited it to a 2 horse race but a bit more reasoning as to why you did that would have made your debate stronger. Not much more I can say here.

Joffrey Baratheon wins for me. I think you hit the nail on the head here in a lot of ways. Yes Washington is a serious contender but there is a big difference between adding another great arm to an already great rotation and adding a great arm to a young, learning team which you alluded to. I think you did the best job at proving where the biggest benefit can be found. TKOK would come second if I had to pick there.

JM's Daddy:

Your intro was a bit wordy and you honestly could have said everything you did in about 2 sentences. It’s best to keep the intros short, especially in 800 word debates, so you can focus more on the body of your argument. Make your point, emphasis it in whatever way you want, and move on to arguing it.

Also remember to format again when sending in your debate so it actually spaces out, otherwise it’s a chore to read. Obviously it doesn't take away from your debate, but it’s just a nuisance.

Bringing up stats is fine, and winning is obviously huge for pitchers, but explaining how their pitching actually helped their team win and how they’ll be able to transfer that to their new teams is also crucial. Remember to always expand on the statistics you bring up, not merely state them.

You never really explained why Lester’s contract was bad, just said they’re building for the future and with the way his contract was made it seems like it’s a good contract for exactly that. You also brought up how Lester’s contract is for the future, but then contradict yourself by saying “if Cubs don’t start winning soon it’ll be a complete bust”. Make sure your points aren’t contradictory otherwise they take away from your argument.

You also make it seem like Lester is the best playoff performer, but hope that his one off performance from last year takes away from his overall success. This is fine since you’re trying to convince of your argument, but it would have been better if you went on about how he’s on a worse team now so his success will be harder to maintain and with a performance like that last year, we can only expect his decline to continue.

Overall I think you need to expand more on your arguments and focus your word count better. When there are 3 options in a debate like this, it’s best to dismiss one and focus on the two of them and probably dissect them so you can ensure your points are fully made and you don’t have any half-done arguments.


The intro was solid, but your second paragraph isn’t really great. Perhaps you should have defined what makes a good signing in your intro to more solidify this stance, but I don’t really think signing a good player isn’t a great thing just because the rest of the team isn’t ready to compete yet. Obviously if a player like Lester helps them improve then it still makes a good signing and they simply need to do more to ensure they get to the playoffs with him.
If you defined “good signing” as “what will bring the team closer to a championship” then I think it would have made for a stronger point than it did.

Make sure capitalization and the other stuff is correct too, you don’t really want to be making those types of mistakes in TDL as it’ll make your debate come off weaker and it’s really easy to avoid in the first place.

I don’t think your paragraph about Shields really adds to your argument at all either, you just go into detail about what why they made the signing and how they focused on offense in their offseason without really mentioning why the move isn’t the best signing or a good signing at all.

Your points about Max are good, but just like Debate A there just isn’t enough there because you spent too much time talking about the other two guys. You did two small paragraphs about why Max is great and what he brings to the table, talking about stats without really going into detail about how they help make the nationals a title threat and what his impact could be in the playoffs. There are a whole lot of things you could have gone into detail with here if you managed your word count better. Just like in debate A, I think you should focus your argument on 2 guys, while quickly dismissing one of the signings, so you can expand more on your points. If you feel there is no easy guy to dismiss, then simply go in length about what makes your particular player great and why he’s the best signing. If you try focusing on too much with 800 words you really thin out all your points.

Joffrey Baratheon:

Quick and to the point introduction, solid. This is what I was getting at for debate A, you can quickly say who you chose in an emphatic way and get right down to the point, which is what you should be doing to ensure body of your argument is bulky.

You bring up stats and then expand on them, which is good. You made this into a 2 man debate, like I told the other two debaters to do, by completely dismissing shields, again that is good, but I think you should have gone into a bit more detail about why he isn't even in the conversation.

Bringing up the fact that Max isn’t simply a small part on the rotation of the nationals was a good move as you countered both of the other debaters and you emphasis the fact the Lester signing is huge for the club as it gives them an ace pitcher that can actually help bring them back to relevancy, unlike Max who is simply adding to the nationals hype for the upcoming season. That in itself is hugely important, but again you should have defined what makes a successful signing somewhere near the start of your debate so these points look better later on.

This was easily the best debate though and an overall great job.

Decision: Joffrey Baratheon

Winner via Unanimous Decision - Joffrey Baratheon

Should England recall Kevin Pietersen from his England hiatus?

Spoiler for Debates:
Should England recall Kevin Pietersen from his England hiatus?

There are many adjectives that exemplify Kevin Pietersen as a cricketer. Mercurial, dominant, explosive, unique and talismanic to name but a few. But if we were to name a few more, egotistical, disruptive, abrasive, temperamental, problematic and controversial would equally suffice. Pietersen may very well be England’s most naturally gifted cricketer, but there is far more to be lost by recalling Pietersen from his current expulsion from the England set up. Quite simply, Kevin Pietersen should not be recalled by England.

1) Highest All-Time Runscorer: Why Leave Him Out?

Ahh the old adage of STATS to infer Pietersen deserves to be reinstated. Whilst Pietersen is undoubtedly England’s highest scorer in all forms of International Cricket combined for England, it is but too simple to draw on past performances to argue he can be as effective in 2015.

Cricket is not a simplistic sport whereby players of Pietersen’s talent are to be expected to consistently contribute big innings for his country. Despite boasting an overall Test average of 47 in Tests for England, prior to his exile Pietersen had amassed four centuries in 48 test innings. Cricketers of even the highest skill regularly falter and struggle with the bat, so arguing Pietersen is theoretically too talented to not play holds little value when he is just as susceptible to long periods of poor form as those viewed below his level.

Evidently, Pietersen’s greatest asset has forever been his batting. His career average reflects his supreme talent, but with age has come a gradual drop in form, and crucially the nature of cricket makes it impossible to argue Pietersen would succeed upon returning to International Cricket. What can be argued however, is how Pietersen’s return would disrupt the atmosphere of the England team, attract significant media attention on his past indiscretions and threaten the harmony of an England team attempting to build for the future.

2) Inviting a Poisonous Atmosphere

Pietersen’s exile has seen his controversial autobiography vehemently critique key members of the England team, namely Alastair Cook, Matt Prior & Stuart Broad. Whilst Prior is still attempting to regain fitness, Cook & Broad as captain and second frontline bowler are permanent mainstays in the team. Pietersen also has no love loss for Peter Moores, who just happens to once again be England Coach. What could possibly go wrong?

Too much vindictive and petty arguments filtered through social media between Pietersen and the ECB/his colleagues have arised since his exile. A return only threatens to once again invite further commentary and discussion on a subject that needs to remain closed for the long term prosperity of English cricket. The likes of Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Gary Ballance & Chris Woakes have emerged as long-term prospects to facilitate England’s transition into a new era following the departures of long-term backbones of the team.

Inviting a tense, divided and unsettled dressing room with Pietersen’s return only threatens to unravel and stagnate the development of these aspiring talents, an appalling prospect given England will be contesting The Ashes this summer on the back of a 5-0 Whitewash 18 months prior.

3) Does Pietersen serve a purpose now?

In preparation for The Ashes, England face an away series against The West Indies and a home series against New Zealand. Whilst New Zealand represent sterner opposition following a gradual multiple year resurgence, the West Indies are truly a depleted and desolate foe compared to their prime years as a cricketing force.

The Caribbean tour represents a significant opportunity for England’s future generation of Root, Bell, Ballance & Stokes to play themselves into form ahead of the pressures that come with an Ashes series. Disrupting that to contend with the furore of Pietersen’s much publicised return would only threaten to harm that opportunity.

Pietersen’s inclusion would not only come arguably at the expense of a younger player, but would impact the batting order given his tendancy to bat at No.4, forcing Joe Root down the order to compensate. Again, all that would transpire is the team being disrupted both on and off the pitch, at a time where England should be focusing solely on building momentum ahead of the biggest event in their calendar.

Kevin Pietersen should therefore NOT be recalled from his current exile. When the ECB engineered his departure, they created a cancerous atmosphere that would only unravel and rear its unwanted head should Pietersen ever be recalled. Given Pietersen has been a notable detractor of the current Coach, Test Captain and other key members of the current England squad, his reintroduction to international cricket only serves to disrupt and unsettle a young, inexperienced dressing room ahead of battle with their greatest foe this summer. Pietersen is often special, but forever problematic and simply an unnecessary risk for England now.



1) Pietersen's slump in last 48 test innings:

2) Pietersen as Highest England Run Scorer:

3) Snippet of Pietersen's Autobiography:

4) Further anecdotes from Pietersen's Autobiography:

Kevin Pietersen is undoubtedly one of England’s most established batsmen throughout history, and while England have been struggling on the pitch and losing games in a horrible fashion as of late, KP should definitely get a go at the elite level once more.

There is no question to the impact Kevin Pietersen had on his team while he played England, but as he struggled with bad form against the Australians in the ashes tour of 2013-2014, he was soon dumped by the English Cricket Board after a string of poor performances and off-field political stoushes. Now whether or not England made the right choice here to bump KP at that time is a different argument, but ever since he was dumped from the squad and sacked entirely, England have struggled in the batting department while KP found himself rejuvenated in the Twenty 20s playing for the Melbourne Stars in BBL 04.

Ever since the sacking of KP, England have struggled greatly to find leadership within their ranks, old English captain Alistair Cook sacked, Eoin Morgan with growing off field phone scandals, Ian Bell arguably being too old for the job, Broad struggling with injuries, Jimmy Anderson in bad form, English Cricket have been a shambles ever since they sent KP packing his bags back home. On top of that, England just do not seem to have a consistent top order batsman within their ranks. Their key batsmen are all too inconsistent to their approach to the game, and they all have the ability to completely full apart and collapse like they’ve shown against Australia and just recently against a blistering New Zealand completely took them apart in probably one of the most one-decided affairs to ever happen during the ICC World Cup. Meanwhile, earlier this year Kevin Pietersen showed during his time at the Stars at BBL 04 that he can still go with the best of them at the age of 34. KP showed the cricket world that he’s still capable, playing 8 matches for the stars, averaging 41.86 runs per innings, and a strike rate of 122.59. In fact, Kevin Pietersen was one of the top five batsmen during that season. Proving to England, proving to the world that he deserves one last go at the international level.

One thing that KP showed during his time at the Stars was leadership qualities, something that the English cricket team desperately need. Fellow team mate John Hastings was quoted in the Herald sun saying that ‘He’s (Kevin Pietersen) been brilliant on and off the field. The young guys look up to him and he has been very generous with his time. The belief that he has in himself and the people he is playing with is the big thing for us.’ KP’s time at the BBL made people forget about his bad form during the ashes series of 2013/2014 and people saw the old Kevin Pietersen back.

Whatever your opinion of Kevin Pietersen is, KP deserves be recognised as one of the most captivating cricketers to pull on an England shirt. If England were to grant him one last run at the elite level, they’d be doing the right thing. Kevin Pietersen provides three things the English cricket team desire. Number one: Leadership, as shown by his time at the Melbourne Stars last year, he has the ability to lead from the front and to provide quality advice and assistant to the young lads coming up in the future.

Number two: Box office appeal, the return of Kevin Pietersen in an English shirt might just reignite the spark that English cricket desperately need, he’s an English cricketing legend and star player, and he’ll definitely get the fans interested again.

The third and final most important point: Runs. During the ICC World cup, people have started to notice a pattern that the run chases are becoming bigger, this could be a factor of the growing fast paced action of T20, and that more cricketers are getting more creative with the bat. For example look at players like Brendan McCullum, David Warner, Steve Smith. England just doesn’t have that kind of calibre of a batter anymore, nor have they adapted to the new style of ODIs. Recalling Kevin Pietersen into the squad could just be the dynamic English cricket needs to catch up with the rest of the world. KP’s hard hitting batting experience, his recent rejuvenated form, and his maturity to the game and leadership will greatly help England in the long run.

If the England Cricket Board were to cast aside whatever off field political spats they’ve had in the past with KP, they’ll be doing themselves a favour. They should be focusing on two principles: Scoring runs, and winning games and to do that, Kevin Pietersen is just the right man for the job.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:

Okay solid opening paragraph, concise and sets up your argument fine. Unfortunately your next paragraph is awful. You say using stats shouldn’t be used to provide evidence for Pietersen’s inclusion as it is too simplistic then follow it up with stats to try and prove why he shouldn’t be involved (4 centuries in 48 innings). Either stats should be used or they shouldn’t. Make up your mind and don’t use an argument you just discredited.

Next issue I have is in the same paragraph. “Cricket is not a simplistic sport whereby players of Pietersen’s talent are to be expected to consistently contribute big innings for his country”. Actually that is exactly what they’re expected to do. Players of talent are expected to score runs every time they’re at the crease. Now you could have bundled it with your earlier point that Pietersen may average 47 but he hasn’t been scoring runs in test cricket before he was dropped etc but you didn’t.

Next up the paragraph about Pietersen being a distraction in the locker room is pretty valid and argued well. I’d take issue with half the players you think are considered good prospects (Woakes and Ballance are shocking players so far in their career) but that’s just my opinion.

The only question i’d have with the 3rd paragraph is the simple fact that the players in the English team aren’t performing while there is a proven, quality batsman on the sidelines who just showed in the BBL that he can still bat. On that note this debate as a whole seems to be fairly slanted with a test match cricket perspective in mind.

Overall aside from that first point it was done well enough. I just really, really take issue with the first point.


Overall the opening to this debate was well written and I agree with it all. However once you start to talk about leadership you lose it somewhat. As WOOLCOCK went into well, Pietersen didn’t get along with many in the England team and support staff. It is pretty short sighted to say he can provide them leadership without acknowledging that.

2nd issue I have with this debate is the entirely irrelevant point about KP being a ‘box office draw’. Who the fuck cares? If you’re picking players based on name value alone then your team will be in trouble. England should be making their decisions based on on-field stuff and the question lends itself to that approach.

Your final paragraph and conclusion was solid and I liked the comparison between some of the dynamic batsmen around the world.

Overall this is a hard debate to judge for me. I like a lot of the first debate and I think TAR left out a fair bit regarding Pietersen’s past history with the coach etc but I’m going to give it to TAR.

When deciding whether someone who has been ‘banished’ should be brought back, you have to take into account the influence he will have on the group, whether bridges that have been burnt can be mended, the age of the player, the skill of the player and whether this move would be right for the future of the team. For me, you have just missed one. When on form, I think it’s fair to say that Pietersen would be the best batsman in the current England squad. You showed that his batting form was decreasing in Test matches, but he had good appearances in the Big Bash tournament. So maybe he still has a lot to offer England with the bat. However, this is hardly the issue when it comes to KP and you have done well to show this. He has burnt so many bridges in the last few years. And as you say, it’s not with fringe players, but with senior members (including the Test Match captain) and also a coach. If there was any chance for reconciliation there, talks would have happened already. But it appears these bridges may be beyond repairing. I agree with you that right now England have to look at the young guys currently in the squad and continue to allow them to develop into true international class players. Bringing back the circus known as Kevin Pietersen isn’t going to help them. The whole spotlight would be back on KP rather than the guys right now. And if problems arise between the senior guys and Pietersen, the dressing room could be a horrible place to be in, which could curb their development as you have pointed out quite well. Lastly, I think that noting Pietersen’s age a little bit more would have helped part of this debate. At 34 years old and having already experienced a lot of highs, it’s unlikely that a lot is going to change in his attitude. It’s unlikely that he will be there to help the younger players develop, with all that has happened (the book) between him and senior members. I mean even before the World Cup, he put Eoin Morgan in an awkward situation, by saying how Morgan told him that he would love him in the squad – simply put, that was Pietersen putting himself before anyone as usual. He’s not going to change. There’s a lot more to lose than gain. I agree with the reasons why you say he shouldn’t be brought back. Thought you may have undersold his impact with the bat, but still, it’s a good try.

For me, this debate was not too good, because you have focused on just one aspect of what his return could bring, instead of looking at it from all the different angles. Yes, on form Pietersen is one of the top batsmen in the world and if he could he returned to the England fold and got that form back, then you would think England would improve a lot. Or would they? Would he be able to get back that form when the environment is a bad one? What you have failed to acknowledge in this debate is that since being dropped, Pietersen has not shut his mouth. He’s just made things worse. Whether it is pointing the finger at the same teammates he wants to play again with in the form of his book, or blasting the coach, or putting the England CWC captain in an awkward position a month or so before the tournament got underway, he has done anything whatsoever to mend the bridges that have been burnt. Why on earth would the team accept him back when he’s had so much to say? How would that help the atmosphere and get the best out of the team? You quoted what John Hastings of the Melbourne stars said and while it was a nice endorsement, why should I take that for him not just being a new environment where he trying to make a good impression for now? For what he has been saying about the England team since being out of the squad, I have no reason not to believe he will change at this stage of his career and you haven’t tried to prove that it’s possible that he could. How could he help the young England batsmen if he is dividing the dressing room? Again, you said he is “box office” and would reignite the spark English cricket ‘need’. I don’t think that helps the current players’ growth at all. All the spotlight and the drama and the circus that is Kevin Pietersen is just going add more pressure onto these guys and force them to work in a quite frankly crappy situation. So from your debate, all I get is that Pietersen coming back can give the English side a momentarily boost, as opposed to one for the future, which at 34 is what he should be doing; helping the future of English cricket. But you haven’t proven that he can, therefore, I cannot agree with you that he deserves to be back in the England squad. It’d be like inflicting poison onto yourself.

Verdict: WOOLCOCK wins this one for me. Looked at it from a lot of different angles and considered what the impact would be not just on the cricket field, but in the locker room and outside. TAR just looked at how it would help in a short sighted point of view, but this issue was too big to be just about what happens at he crease.

BkB Hulk
This is really good. I could probably just leave it there, but I’ll compliment you a bit more and what you’ve done.

Loved the intro where you contrasted the two sides of KP, emphasising on his character and problems to make them seem more pertinent. All of your arguments were crafted well too, and not only made your opposition’s arguments seem wrong, but you also went further with the bringing up of where KP fits in the order and the influence that has on perhaps England’s best current test batsman.

I think what tops it off is that you don’t just blame Pietersen. You acknowledge the ECB created an atmosphere that made it impossible by sacking him, but that bringing him back now isn’t a solution, but rather more of a problem.

Often people arguing opposing sides make this easy. Unfortunately for you, this is the case here.

While the points you made were for the most part valid, your opponent has successfully countered them. I don’t think the leadership argument is a great one considering what he has said about current players in the past, despite his time at the Stars, and the box office appeal thing is a bit of an odd argument without stats to back it up, but apart from that your arguments were okay.

I actually liked the World Cup point, although for argument sake he couldn’t be recalled into the World Cup squad without someone being injured anyway.

Not a bad effort, but definitely bettered in the debate.


Winner via Split Decision - WOOLCOCK

KINGPIN vs JamesK vs PoyPoy14 vs CM Punk'd
Should WWE induct Chyna into the WWE Hall of Fame?

Spoiler for Debates:

Should Chyna, one of the most notable figures of the Attitude Era, be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame? Well, based on the idea that anyone inducted into the Hall of Fame should have made enough of an impact on the business to be worthy, or at least done something noteworthy in their careers to warrant such an honor, then the answer to that question is a “yes” from me. However, when it comes to Chyna, because of some “immoral” personal ventures she’s committed to in the past, it can be argued that association with her, on such a grand scale as a Hall of Fame induction, wouldn’t be a smart move as it would smear WWE’s public image. Still, I still believe that such arguments rely too much on assumptions rather than what has already transpired.

Regarding Chyna not being a smart candidate for the WWE Hall of Fame because of shady life decisions, with the most infamous being her stints in the pornography business, Triple H alluded to Chyna not being inducted into the Hall of Fame for that very reason, although he admitted that Chyna's career was more than worthy enough to be featured as a Hall of Famer[1].The consequences, that Triple H cites for inducting her, were unfamiliar fans of her work, namely children, being exposed to her risque life decisions, and a black eye being stamped upon the WWE's image. Although these concerns are far from diminutive, it wouldn't be right to not explore a scenario that is similar to Chyna’s and analyze the lack of ramifications that the situation brought about. Now, by situation, I’m referring to a WWE Hall of Fame inductee with her own checkered past and questionable life decisions that would more than likely bring about the consequences Triple H was referring to on Austin’s podcast.

That would be Sunny, who was inducted in 2010. Despite venturing into pornography like Chyna and despite having the information of her porno stint as easy to find as Chyna’s[2][3], there has yet to be any notable public backlash from shareholders, fans, or investors for that decision. Of course, she isn't as associated with pornography as Chyna, but her work in that industry is still out there regardless and despite that, the WWE had no problems inducting her into their Hall of Fame. If WWE is concerned with Chyna’s image being too linked to her pornography career, all they have to do is personally contact Chyna and tell her to “clean herself up”, much like Jake Roberts and Scott Hall did before their inductions.

Now, as for why she should go into the WWE Hall of Fame, having people with notable accolades inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame is a good business move. Since the WWE Network has archived episodes from past shows, documentaries, and specials dedicated to certain topics of interest, the Hall of Fame can generate interest into wrestling history by highlighting the accomplishments of their inductees, like they normally do, and Chyna was a notable figure in one of wrestling’s most significant time periods. Being a staple member of D-Generation X and being the only woman in history to be Intercontinental Champion would surely generate enough interest to look up significant parts of her career and WWE promoting WWE Network specials, around HOF inductees, would make it that much easier.

On principle, Chyna should definitely be inducted. But if WWE wants to quell any possible backlash and prevent the decision from becoming a public relations nightmare, as I explained earlier, they can easily prevent that by simply discussing their terms with Chyna. She hasn't left a black eye on the wrestling business anywhere near the level of someone like Chris Benoit, whose final act exposed the "dirty side" of the wrestling business, and should make any discussion about a Hall of Fame induction heavily leaning towards the side of it never happening. There's still hope for her.


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Should WWE induct Chyna into the WWE Hall of Fame?

This question can easily go in both ways but i am firmly behind the idea of Chyna been inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame., I personally have not encountered any fan who would argue what she did for women while working for the WWE.All of the arguments that are against Chyna's induction to the Hall of Fame are about her personal life.

And since this question started from Triple H's comments in Steve Austin's podcast,i believe that Triple H's comments did count Chyna out of the Hall of Fame forever, but certainly he ruled out the induction indefinitely.But let's break out both sides of the argument starting with the arguments that are in favor of her induction.

Chyna probably is one of the biggest women wrestlers in the history of wrestling. She was the first one who stepped into a man's world and completely redefined the role women traditionally had in the WWE. She changed the role and made the WWE see the women as a wrestlers and stop them from viewing women only like an eye candy for the young adult males. With her psychical and athletic ability,she gave to women like Trish,Lita,Victoria,Ivory and more a chance to shine with their talents inside the ring.

Also Chyna has so many accomplishments that no other woman had accomplished before. There may be women who have held male titles other than Chyna, but there is no arguing that it doesn’t compare to winning the Intercontinental title.Also she was the first woman that entered the Royal Rumble and she had so many stellar matches with male wrestlers that at that time were groundbreaking for the WWE product.

So i think her WWE career alone speaks itself and shows why Chyna's induction in WWE's Hall of Fame is a no brainer but let's see the arguments that are against Chyna's Hall of Fame induction and all of them can be summarized in one word and that word is pornography.

Yeah Chyna became a adult movie actress years after her departure from the WWE and this gives the company a reason to consider her induction.

WWE is not the same Attitude Era company she thrived in. This is not cutting-edge risque television anymore.This is WWE that acknowledges its past but does everything it can to be politically correct for the present and the future. WWE considers themselves a family company which tries to give the good example to the public with anti-bullying campaigns,that is one of the biggest supporters of Make-A-Wish and tries to encourage kids to read more.

And despite the fact they have inducted someone like Mike Tyson into their Hall of Fame who was charged with rape charges over 20 years ago and has been welcomed by into the mainstream by the broader entertainment community and he's been "forgiven" and has been given a second chance after being in prison and paying his debt to society(not that that makes it right, but at this point it's been swept under the rug) compared to an semi-active pornstar who was known also about her habit of drug usage.

So yes i can see WWE's case of not wanting Chyna in the Hall of Fame too since Chyna's choices may hurt WWE's image to the general public and their image to their political correct/family friendly sponsors.

Also many people believe that the main reason that she is not considered for a Hall of Fame induction is here personal relationship with people like Triple H and Stephanie McMahon but since we don't know something valid about their feelings about the subject,i think it's pointless to make an argument from that.

In conclusion,i think that despite Chyna's personal choices and WWE's concerns about her,they should give Chyna another chance to make it right and let her celebrate one of the best careers in in WWE's women division history.

So to answer the question again,Chyna should be definitely in the Hall of Fame and based on WWE's history with talents that had major fallouts with the company she will be inducted some day down the line.


Chyna should absolutely NOT be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame (HOF). When taking into account who should and shouldn't be inducted into the HOF, you have to take into account their career as a performer and the impact they had on the business but you also have to consider how they conduct themselves outside of the ring and in the public eye. WWE Superstars & Divas are role models and are looked up to by millions of people, so the example they set is of paramount importance when deciding upon any potential HOF induction.

If inductions were decided solely on the career of the candidate, then Chyna would absolutely deserve to be inducted. She redefined what is possible for a woman to achieve in a predominantly male-dominated business and became a huge star along the way. Millions of women looked up to her as the embodiment of feminism and a shining example of what was possible for them. She will forever be considered a legendary female in the business of wrestling. However, her behaviour and career choices after her retirement from wrestling will always overshadow her accomplishments and in terms of being inducted into the HOF, make it impossible for WWE.

Porn - Obviously, the biggest obstacle to her being inducted is her career in adult entertainment following her retirement from WWE. First and foremost, WWE produces PG rated content and the reason for switching to PG from its TV-14 rating was to attract bigger, more mainstream sponsors. These sponsors would certainly not take kindly a company they're invested in being not only associated with a porn star, but actively celebrating her career in a grand and public fashion. The possibility of losing lots of money from such sponsors is reason enough for WWE to deem it not worthwhile to even take the risk of inducting Chyna into the HOF.

As well as the corporate consequences, WWE would also suffer a huge PR black eye if they inducted a porn star into their HOF. WWE has worked hard to improve the public perception of wrestling ever since the Chris Benoit tragedy and a move like this would set all their progress back years, possibly even putting them back to square one. Triple H himself alluded to this being the biggest problem during his appearance on Stone Cold's podcast, subtly saying that his 8 year old daughter 'googling' Chyna is what he has to consider when thinking about inducting Chyna into the HOF.

Behaviour - As well as her career as a porn star, you have to ask if WWE would even want to go back into business with a person like Chyna. She seems to have no problem causing a scene and making a splash in a very public way when things don't go her way. In fact, just recently, she made allegations of Triple H abusing her when they were together and continues to take shots at him on twitter. These allegations of course, came just days after Triple H made it clear that she couldn't be inducted into the HOF. It doesn't end there, either. Chyna has, in the past, posted drunken rants on twitter, aimed at WWE and even Vince McMahon himself, calling him a 'big bully' and even accusing him of borderline stalking her. She has even posted a rant aimed at Stephanie, calling her 'bad for business' and deriding WWE's stance on domestic violence.

By associating themselves and forever linking themselves with Chyna, which a HOF induction would do, WWE give themselves a PR headache because they will be tying themselves to a volatile personality that seemingly craves attention and could bring their company under intense scrutiny from the media on a whim, whenever she feels hard done to or gets angry for one reason or another. Again, for all her career accomplishments, inducting Chyna into THEIR HOF just isn't worth it for WWE.

Chyna can't be inducted into the HOF simply because she is more trouble than she is worth. It would be nice to acknowledge her contributions to the world of wrestling but the amount of emotional baggage she brings with her make it almost impossible. She doesn't conduct herself in anything resembling a professional manner, her career as a porn star flies in the face of WWE's new PG image and is quite possibly their worst nightmare in terms of things their alumni do after retirement. Her public outbursts set a bad example to kids and teens in a world where social media is such an important part of everyday life, where more and more kids are posting hate and vitriol without any thought of consequences. Chyna is a bad role model and this makes her bad for business, which is why she should absolutely not be inducted into the WWE HOF.

Spoiler for Sources: (Chyna accuses Triple H of hitting her) (Chyna posts long twitter rant aimed at Vince) (Chyna posts video taking shots at Stephanie McMahon)

CM Punk'd

To answer the question of whether Chyna should be in the WWE Hall of Fame, we must define what the WWE is. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is a publicly traded, privately controlled professional wrestling company that primarily caters to young children. As that is their primary demographic, it is in their best interest to keep all of their content and media as PG as possible so that parents feel comfortable allowing their children to invest in the product. For that reason inducting Chyna to the Hall of Fame would not be wise.

Triple H made the comment on his podcast with Stone Cold that he doesn't believe Chyna would be in the Hall of Fame because of the things an eight year old child might find if they Google Chyna's name. Chyna has had a very controversial post-WWE career. She has been seen by the public in the media as someone with a lot of deep struggles; particularly with drugs and alcohol. Scenes such as Chyna running around in the nude, blitzed out of her mind on the Surreal Life, or refusing to admit she's an addict although clearly behaving as one on Celebrity Rehab, or slurring her words with her boob falling out and badmouthing WWE on the Howard Stern Show do not paint the most respected picture of WWE superstars to the public. There was even an incident where Chyna got naked at Coral Room and hopped into a fish tank. These types of incidents are the least of WWE's worries with Chyna however as she also starred in both amateur and pornographic films. In a more edgy pro wrestling company, these things may not matter so much for their image, but for one that wants parents to feel comfortable allowing their children to watch and learning about it's Hall of Fame, this is not something the parents will be pleased with being celebrated.

I know what you are thinking. There's lots of people in the WWE hall of fame that have had terrible struggles with substance abuse such as Jake Roberts and Scott Hall. There's certainly people who have appeared in sex tapes or pornography such as Sunny and Hulk Hogan. There's even been people who have done or are believed to have done things way worse than exposing their body, such as Mike Tyson who is a convicted rapist, Jimmy Snuka who is suspected as having murdered his girlfriend, and Steve Austin who has been accused by ex wife Debra of domestic abuse. So what makes Chyna different?

However there are two problems with bringing up names of other members of the Hall of Fame who have also been surrounded by controversy:

Problem 1) Most of those other names that you can bring did not necessarily drag the WWE name into their controversies, but Chyna sure did. One of her pornographic films was a parody on Pro Wrestling that included top names such as Hulk Hogan and John Cena, as well as corporate leaders Stephanie McMahon, Paul Levesque, and Vince McMahon. She actively mocked WWE in a form of entertainment that a PG company would certainly not want anything to do with.

Problem 2) Just because WWE may have made a mistake with all of these other examples you can bring doesn't necessarily negate the point that Chyna's past would reflect poorly on the WWE Hall of Fame. Imagine if a parent told their 5 year old that they can't play with matches because it's dangerous. The child brings up that their twin brother is being allowed to play with matches. Good point, but just because they made a mistake in letting the brother play with matches, it doesn't negate the fact that playing with matches can lead to serious injury or death. It just means that the parents are not using the same good sense with both children.

Same thing with WWE. The question here is whether Chyna should be in the WWE Hall of Fame. Not whether it's fair to Chyna that she should be excluded for reasons that WWE ignored with the others. If that was the question then bringing up these other names would suffice, but alas the questions is SHOULD she be in the Hall of Fame. For the reasons I have mentioned in the first part of my debate, it is not in the best interest of this family orientated promotion that makes most of it's money off of family Television to induct Chyna into the Hall of Fame.


Chyna Gets Nude & Naughty At Strip Bar; Causes Major Scene

Howard Stern - Chyna Doll Breakdown

Details on Chyna's New Adult Film the Parodies WWE Talents

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
KINGPIN - Your first two paragraphs probably needed condensing a bit. You use up a lot of words before getting to your first proper argument and they're mostly just used as context setting words. Some context is good but your arguments are what will win you debates, not well written description of context. What you write is good but it just needs condensing down to give you a better balance with your word count and a better chance of winning a debate by allowing you to make an extra argument. The Sunny comparison I didn't feel packed much of a punch. First off there's a big difference between posing nude and do pornography. CM Punk'd brilliantly added the point that Chyna also ran WWE's name through the dirt at the same time as doing porn. Sunny clearly got back on good terms with WWE since that point too and as PoyPoy14 and CM Punk'd both pointed out, Chyna isn't exactly on good terms with WWE and putting them over. Yes you can google and find both their boobies but there's a lot of differences in the two examples. Another is that WWE has become a lot more PG and a lot more PR wary since 2011 when Sunny was inducted and that's another big factor you ignored in the comparison. Just because a precedent has been set in this case doesn't mean it can be scrapped going forward. Once someone is in they're in. If WWE decide now it reflects bad on them to have rapists in their HOF then just because they have Tyson in doesn't mean they can't reject a rapist after that because Tyson went in. Maybe when these names were inducted WWE were less bothered with the PR side of it and are much more now? All this works against your argument here. " all they have to do is personally contact Chyna and tell her to “clean herself up”" is a pretty big assumption. As was argued against you Chyna is a mess and has been for years and hasn't show any willingness to clean herself up and get back on good terms with WWE. Ok it could happen and if it did then you have a stronger case for inducting her but she hasn't and hasn't shown any signs of wanting to do/doing so. You're dealing with assumptions in the future and dealing with what is true here and now is always better in a debate than assuming something might happen in the future and then basing your argument on that. The network argument again is a good idea in theory and pretty well argued but has too many easy counters to it. If they want Attitude Era alumni then to promote the network then there's countless other names they can go to before Chyna that don't carry the same baggage. Even if it needs to be DX members then why not Road Dogg and Billy Gunn? The argument is good for other people but it falls flat for Chyna given how it doesn't need to be this mess of a person who hates WWE right now. This isn't a bad debate by any means and with less easy counters to your debate you'd have a strong debate but counters will kill even a superbly well written debate and there's too many here that are exploited by PoyPoy14 and CM Punk'd. Next time try counter arguing against your own debate and hopefully it will help to highlight some of the possible faults in your debate regarding counters against it.

JamesK - Did you type this on your phone? Because from the get go the lack of spaces after full stops and commas is alarming. Small i's for I, the wrong words used all together at times. Hopefully if you give it a better proof read at least some of this should appear to you and you can edit them out because it does disrupt the flow of your debate when they're so frequent and you're stopping yourself as the reader to work out what you meant to say. You spend too much time listing off what Chyna did as a wrestler after saying there's no doubt she deserves a spot on merit of what she did as a wrestler. Really the crux of this debate is the personal aspect to the decision and you needed a balance much more weighted to arguing that side of the debate. Paragraph about how WWE has changed and is much more PR wary now is good. At this point I'm still not sure of your stance though which makes it hard for me as a judge when reading because I don't know if it's a good point or a silly thing to bring up if it goes against your stance. The Tyson paragraph is one long sentence which doesn't make for good reading. Break it up into sentences so the reader can catch their breath reading it. I couldn't get anything from it because after the brackets the sentence lost all focus. What is the point here? What's the difference between Tyson being ok to go in and Chyna not? Agreeing with both stances is a big no no. You're arguing for one side and one side only and you need to convince the reader that your side is the correct one and the other is the wrong one. You essentially argued both sides which doesn't do that. Pick a side, argue for it and then argue against the other side, not for both of them and then deciding which you agree more with. Argue for one and against the other. Anytime you're left saying you think it's pointless to argue anything based on that it's probably best to cut it from your debate. This debate is just you citing arguments in favour of BOTH stances and then saying you agree with one more than the other. Apologies if this sounds blunt that's 101 on how not to debate. If you were arguing for her to go in then you needed to say why the arguments against her going in are wrong, not agree with them yourself. Next time you get a question, decide which side you agree with before you write anything and then only argue in favour of that side and argue against the other side, never in favour of it.

PoyPoy14 - Yay another abbreviation rant. Not sure where this thing has suddenly risen from. Read the new FAQ that's stickied for where TDL stands on the use of them. You wouldn't say the WWE "heich-ohh-eff" in real life or as a reader so don't write it as that. WWE you would say as the letters only so that's obviously fine. When you're writing a debate imagine you're reading it on the news and only write what you'd say. If you'd say WWE instead of World Wrestling Entertainment without sounding like a wally then it's ok. If Michael Cole started saying HOF instead of Hall of Fame on Raw then it wouldn't sound right would it? You use HOF instead of Hall of Fame 11 times after the first one which is saving you 22 words which is quite a lot really and an unfair advantage to have over those like CM Punk'd who are typing it out in full everytime. Despite that your debate is actually 2 words over the 800 maximum too. I'm assuming you didn't count the dashes as words but if they count in the Word Count on Word then they count here too. First paragraph of the Porn argument is really well done and the link between why it would have a negative impact on WWE is brilliant. Behaviour argument is well done too with some great sources. Adding a point about having to trust her with a live mic in front of a lot of important people for their business would have topped it off. This was a strong well argued debate that very effectively countered arguments for the opposing stance. This may seem like a lack of feedback for your actual arguments compared to your use of your word count but with me that's a good thing because it means I have little to fault with your arguments.

CM Punk'd - I think wording young children as being a key demographic to WWE would have been better than calling them their primary demographic. Maybe nit picky but I did umm and ahh a bit when i read that. A line about why the younger demographics are key for WWE to attract and then keep would have polished a good point off too, e.g. how they can create fans for life out of them as well as target their fans who may be lapsed fans and get back into the product through their kids. 2nd paragraph is a really great character assassination. I thought mentioning how all these incidents have been in the public eye through the media helped to top it off too and gave you a key edge over PoyPoy14 in making this point better. Next part is brilliant too and I'm really glad someone addressed these counters. This is where you really push yourself ahead of C's debate too. Problem 1 counter is great. You don't really waffle much so I'm not sure where you could have freed the word count to do this (maybe changing Hall of Fame to HOF ) but adding in a point about this leading to a lack of trust from WWE to represent their brand and have a live mic at the event. Problem 2 counter is in theory really good and basically what I said in KINGPIN's feedback but I thought how you worded it let you down a bit. The way you word it the parents just come off as hypocrites with double standards between their 2 children. Shouldn't you have worded it as they used to let the older one play with matches but then stopped because circumstances changed and they realised the issues with doing this so stopped it for BOTH of them from then on meaning the younger one never got to play with them? Differentiating between should and is it fair was good manipulation of the wording of the question too. This is a great debate besides the possibly fluffed parent analogy but I could still take the aim of the point which was great. Really the only comments I had besides that were suggestions to add stuff which is great for you to read. Seriously great debate. I don't think it's too hyperbolic to say this isn't far (if at all) off the standard needed to be in the Title picture.

PoyPoy14 and CM Punk'd brilliantly counter KINGPIN and JamesK's stance on top of arguing their stance way better than either of them too so it obviously comes down to their 2 debates. CM Punk'd wins due to covering more ground by dealing with the counters better and he also argued the behaviour point better with the public eye point.

Winner - CM Punk'd


As a preface to my comments about your debate, I just want to say that your debate seemed very short in comparison to all the others so I checked all the word counts and yours came out at 657 words, which is pretty disappointing. I appreciate that the lower bound for the word count is 600 so you’re not breaking any rules but with another 150 words you could easily fit in another argument (or add a lot to one of your current ones). I’m not saying that quantity automatically translates to quality but to be honest unless what you’ve written is absolute gold then you’re not going to win many debates with efforts this short because your opponents will pretty much always be firing at you with more arguments/more counters/more evidence for their arguments which does not bode well for you at all.

Now that’s out the way:

Your introduction is maybe a little bit waffle-y and a touch on the long side but it sets up your debate well and is absolutely fine in terms of the points you make, which is the important thing. Good start.

It’s then a similar story with your second paragraph as in the points you make are alright but it’s just a little bit too descriptive and goes on for longer than it should. Could easily have shortened the first half of this and made room for some other arguments later on (although not that this would have mattered because you didn’t get close to 800 words anyway). As we reach the end of the paragraph you start launching into one of your main argument against your opponents which is how other people with bad personal lives have also been inducted into the HOF with minimal reaction from the media, which is a great argument to use against your opponents (provided if you pick a good example).

Then your main argument. Yeah you kind of countered yourself here and brought up the main issue I have with this which is I don’t think Sunny has anywhere near the reputation that Chyna has in terms of their involvement in pornography or misdemeanors in their personal life. Feel like the fact Chyna’s “personal life” bit on the Wikipedia page you linked is like twice as long as Sunny’s is pretty indicative of this. Also feel like you completely neglected to mention the other things Chyna has been involved in as it’s not all just about porn, and the fact your opponents brought this up worked against you and left you really exposed here. Point about the WWE asking Chyna to clean herself up is fair but considering the relationship Chyna has with the WWE would she want to do that?

Then onto actual arguments for your stance where I thought the Network thing was a great angle to take. Instead of just saying what she’s accomplished in her career and why she should go in ‘just because’, you actually tied that into something and raised a point about using her to promote one of WWE’s most important revenue streams. Could maybe have said why the need to push her on the Network is important but overall this bit was strong and probably the best part of your debate.

Then a conclusion which was OK but tbh (and I’m sorry if I’ve missed the point of this) I’m not entirely sure why the Benoit thing is all that relevant as he’s such an extreme case. Fair enough Chyna’s exploits are nowhere near as bad as that of Benoit but as CM Punk'd excellently pointed out that doesn’t make all the things she’s done OK or warrant an induction for her.

Another thing about your debate as a whole is that I felt you were a little light in terms of actual arguments as to why she should go into the Hall of Fame, I appreciate there’s only so many ways you can say “she was a great wrestler and accomplished a lot in the WWE” but at times I felt like this read like a debate about the morality of inducting people with questionable personal lives into the HOF rather than a debate about putting Chyna specifically in there. Thought your debate was a little bit odd structurally as well as traditionally you’ll present your arguments for your pick before the counters to the opposition, although to be fair in this particular instance the counters (i.e. why her porn career and shady personal life don’t matter) are more important than the arguments (i.e. why her career warrants a HoF place, which is pretty much indisputable) so this isn’t really an issue, more just a point I’m raising so that you don’t make a habit of this.

Also I was quite disappointed in that at the start of your debate you wrote "I still believe that such arguments rely too much on assumptions rather than what has already transpired" in regards to the effect inducting Chyna would have on the WWE, but then didn't really go on to capitalise on this or hammer this point home because it's such a great argument to use. You kinda touched upon it with the Sunny stuff but didn't really feel like you used this point as well as you should have which is a shame because if you had you'd have got your opponents crushed here.

I feel like I’ve slaughtered this quite a bit but that honestly wasn’t my intention because overall this was a really solid effort, unfortunately I just think you lacked the arguments (both in terms of for your stance and counters) to really compete with PoyPoy14 or CM Punk'd. Keep going and don’t be disheartened though, because there’s undoubtedly a lot of potential here.

+ Great point about using her to promote the Network
+ Well written throughout with good spelling and grammar
+ Even if you didn't capitalise on them as well as you should have, you put in place the foundations for some really strong arguments

- A bit on the short side
- A little light on arguments for your stance
- Botched the Sunny counter argument


If I’m being blunt then I wasn't a big fan of this. Not just in terms of your structure/spelling/grammar but also some of the arguments you presented and the fact you randomly started debating against yourself(?!) halfway through. You did some stuff well but there was also a lot that wasn't great about this.

Firstly I sincerely apologise if English isn’t your first language, but if it is then please sort out your grammar in future because this was really poor. Not capitalising your I’s, not having a space between commas/full stops and the start of the next word plus some appalling sentence structure isn't great. Don’t get me wrong stuff like this isn’t going to single handedly cost you a win and just the odd mistake is fine, but when literally your entire debate is like this then it definitely starts to work against you.

Spelling and grammar aside your first paragraph is fine. You state your stance and set up one of your main arguments which is basically what any debate introduction should do. This was good.

Then you start going into your reasons why you think Chyna should be inducted into the HoF. Not really much to comment on here as all of this was absolutely fine and pretty much standard in terms of any pro Chyna debate. Particularly liked the bit about her paving the way for Divas like Lita and Victoria. Definitely think you covered this aspect better than Debate 1 who also argued the same stance as you. Literally everything up to "Yeah Chyna became an adult movie actress..." is good and if you'd have carried on in this vein and successfully dismissed the dodgy personal life arguments then you'd have a good debate on your hands...

...but unfortunately this is where things take a turn for the worse and start to go a bit tits up for you. Not sure who told you to start arguing against yourself but yeah, no. Not a good thing to do. If this was a post in the WWE section then it'd be OK but it isn't, it's a debate. You're trying to convince someone to agree with your opinion so just pick a stance and roll with it. You said at the start of your debate you think she should be inducted and then spent a good chunk of your debate talking up her career so then going on to say how she could potentially hurt the WWE's (now critical) family friendly image doesn't help support your stance at all. Pretty much just shut down your own stance here and did your opponents work for them which is a shame as if you'd have carried on like you were doing at the start you'd have been in contention for the win in this one.

Conclusion is fine but I'm a little bit eh at you basically having 2 conclusion paragraphs, just having the first the one would have more than sufficed.

Also a quick note on your formatting; I'm not sure how other judges feel about this but I'd try to avoid having so many paragraphs in your debate in the future. Fair enough it's better than a massive wall of text but having this many paragraphs in your debate (some of which are literally 1 or 2 sentences long) really hurts the flow of things and makes your debate a bit annoying to read, structurally speaking. As a rough guide you want to be aiming for paragraphs about the same length as PoyPoy14's. To be honest this isn't a huge issue but just something I thought I'd point out.

Feel like I've already gone over everything that needs to be said; this was a fine debate until you started arguing against yourself by saying about how inducting Chyna will hurt the WWE's family friendly image. If you'd have just carried on like you were at the start then you'd have been OK but the fact you basically just nullified all your own arguments in the second half of your debate rules you out of contention for the win here.

+ Good rundown of Chyna's career and why she should be inducted
+ Solid points made throughout (even though they didn't always support your stance!)

- Randomly switched stances halfway through
- Poor spelling/grammar
- Having 2 conclusions was odd


Firstly: your debate is 801 words long so you're risking a DQ here. Seabs said he's going to talk to Zombo about what to do when people are only 1 or 2 words over the word count (as people who go over nearly always go over by much more than this) but yeah whatever happens this is sloppy on your part. Won't spend too long lecturing you on this as I'm sure it was just accidental/down to using a word count tool that gave you a number under 800, but please don't put yourself in this position again...

Now that's been said:

Overall I thought this was a really good debate that with a few tweaks has the potential to be genuinely excellent/an early DOTY candidate.

Your introduction paragraph is top notch. You just get stance out straight away and set up your debate by making the point that in the modern day WWE superstars and divas have to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner away from the ring as well as in it. Great start.

You then talk up her career and although I’m not always a fan of people acknowledging the opposite sides of the argument and showing some strength in the opposition, in this case I think I think this was fine to do as I doubt anyone could argue she doesn't deserve a HoF induction based on her career. Sometimes in debates like this it is just better to acknowledge the inevitable strengths in the other side rather than try to come up with stupid arguments against them and this was definitely one of those cases. End of this paragraph then leads into the crux of your debate.

Next is a few paragraphs detailing her shady personal life and yeah I thought this bit was absolutely superb. No need for me to break these down bit by bit because everything from the word "Porn" to the start of your last paragraph was pretty much flawless. You did a really really great job of presenting all the things she's been up to and how these would negatively affect WWE in this day and age. Not much more to it than that. Think the sentence "inducting Chyna into THEIR HOF just isn't worth it for WWE" was pretty key as well as it highlighted that any benefits of inducting her outweigh the PR headache she'd give the WWE.

In your conclusion I feel like you went over some stuff you'd already gone through but this was strong as well in terms of concluding your debate in a definitive manner. Really good stuff.

My biggest issues with this are more with what you didn't have rather than what you had. Although I thought you covered it brilliantly I feel like you spent pretty much all your debate covering the Porn/Behaviour arguments and left little room for anything else/any real counters. Feel like you could have rolled the Porn/Behaviour thing into one paragraph and then had another paragraph countering the "other people have done worse and still got into the HOF" argument that was offered up by KINGPIN. Although you crushed everyone else in this debate with your coverage of Chyna's personal life and how her being inducted would affect the WWE, the lack of counters to other arguments left you badly exposed here.

Also a note on the abbreviation of Hall of Fame to HOF: I think in this case it was fine but Hall of Fame to HOF is pretty much the boundary of what is acceptable imo. Seabs' thoughts towards abbreviations have been well documented over recent cards and for the most part myself and (I assume) a few other judges are in agreement with him, so if the abbreviation isn't super obvious like WWE/NBA/NFL then try not to make a habit of shortening things. This isn't a gripe as like I said HOF is acceptable but more just something to take note of heading into future cards.

Overall though I thought this was really good and a debate that wouldn't look out of place much, much higher up the card. If you can keep doing the things you did in this debate then you'll be rising up the card and be in contention for a title opportunity in absolutely no time at all. Well done.

+ You NAILED all the arguments for your side of things
+ Very engaging and superbly written
+ Great structure and flow

- Didn't counter other key argument(s)
- Over the word count (albeit by only 1 word)

CM Punk'd

I was seriously like ‘what the absolute fuck’ when you started defining what the WWE was but thankfully you it turned around well and effectively set up one of the main arguments for your debate. I definitely think the "negative impact upon WWE's family friendly image" is definitely the best way to go with this debate.

Next paragraph you give a rundown of Chyna's misdemeanors and I although I thought this bit was good I didn't think you covered it as well as PoyPoy14 (although that's possibly because they devoted nigh on their entire debate to this). If you read through PoyPoy14's bit on Chyna's personal life you'll see that they thoroughly explained why all the things she's done will impact the WWE (e.g. PR headache, reputation damage, displeasing sponsors, potential for problems in future if someone annoys her) where you kinda just spent most of the paragraph describing what she's done and then gave a quick summary at the end about it hurting the image of the WWE.

Second half of your debate scored you big points here as you shut down the arguments of KINGPIN and JamesK and also did something that PoyPoy14 didn't do (but was important to). Not sure if it was intentional or not but think your points worked well together as you could probably argue your second problem by saying that the other people with bad personal lives who've been inducted didn't have much impact upon the WWE's image but then you kind of negated this with your first point by stating they didn't drag the WWE's name into the controversies.

And then your conclusion is sound. Not much to really comment on here.

Overall this was a really good effort and like I said to PoyPoy14 a debate that wouldn't look out of place much higher up the card. My feedback for this is super short for this in comparison to the other debates in this match which speaks volumes about what I thought of this, and that is that this was a really good, solid effort with not an awful lot wrong. Good job.

+ Successfully counter argued the "other people have been inducted with worse" arguments
+ Solid paragraph about her personal life

- Perhaps a tad descriptive in places
- A few minor spelling/grammar mistakes

The Decision

Think this was definitely between PoyPoy14 and CM Punk'd and after much deliberation I'm giving the win to CM Punk'd. Even without PoyPoy14 going over the word count and potentially getting DQ'ed, I feel like although PoyPoy14 nailed the personal life stuff and did it more justice than CM Punk'd, that was pretty much the sole focus of their debate and the fact CM Punk'd properly explored other arguments to a good standard (i.e. why other people with worse personal lives in the HoF doesn't give Chyna a reason to be inducted) just gives them the edge in this one. Think PoyPoy14 can definitely consider themselves unlucky that they ran into as good an effort as CM Punk'd's though as like 95% of the time this sort of debate would have strolled to victory here. Also think that KINGPIN showed potential at times and if JamesK can sort out the spelling/grammar issues and manage to not argue against themselves in the future then they can go on to succeed in TDL aswell. Overall this was a really fun match to judge and definitely one of the best lower card matches I've seen since I first got involved in TDL. Good stuff everyone.


Your first paragraph is all over the place, to the point where I had to re-read it a couple of times to actually determine what your stance is. I’m still not sure to be honest. You initial say your answer is “yes”, but it’s provisional, and then you further muddy the waters on what your position is.

Based on her career she should be in… but that mightn’t be a smart move… but that relies too much on assumptions…

So what’s your answer? “Probably”? “Yeah but”?

Interesting comparing Chyna to Sunny, I can see why you went there but it doesn’t work for me, sorry. Having some nude pics is one thing, getting gangbanged on video by parodies of John Cena, Hulk Hogan, Mean Gene, Sgt Slaughter and Triple H himself - among others - is another thing altogether.

There are arguments to be made for not allowing the porn to preclude her from the Hall of Fame, but a comparison to Sunny is not the way to make that point in my opinion. Similarly the “cleaning up” comparison to Jake Roberts/Scott Hall is apples and oranges.

Far stronger examples could have been used such as the allegations against Snuka, controversy over Carlos Colon etc.

Another issue with this debate is the assumption that the porn stuff is the only thing working against Chyna - there are other black marks against her that deserved a mention too.

The ‘notable accolades’ and historical significance arguments for her being inducted were okay, but just okay - I think there’s a big difference between allowing her to be entered into the HOF and actively promoting her on the Network, and I don’t think the arguments in her favour are enough to traverse that gap.

Your debate is seriously lacking a strong stance on your part, and that makes it seem like you lack confidence in your position, exemplified with the closing line of “There’s still hope for her”. See the opening to JamesK's debate - “I am firmly behind the idea of Chyna being inducted” - that’s the clarity and confidence in the stance being argued that yours is missing.


Like that you get straight to stating your position and jumping right into the core argument, pinpointing that arguments against are solely based on her personal life.

The section about Chyna’s contribution in terms of what she did for women falls a bit short for me. She was very much presented as not being like the other women in WWE, mostly worked with men until the tail end of her time with WWE at which point she primarily squashed other women on the roster. As such I think it’s her contribution to furthering the cause of females in WWE is negligible. I struggle to see her as paving the way for the likes of Trish, Lita etc - others before Chyna did far more on that front.

Her breaking new ground in terms of the extent to which she mixed it up with male talent, however, is the real standout aspect of Chyna’s career. Is she the only woman to have ever held the IC belt? I think she is - that and things like the Rumble involvement work more as arguments for her career being HOF worthy than being a trail-blazer for other women in the company.

Like debate A you limit the arguments against to her pornography career, and in doing so failed to counter the arguments put forward by debate C for other issues within her personal life that work against her.

Using Mike Tyson as an example of someone who has done worse yet has been seemingly ‘forgiven’ is good, there are other examples you could have piled in there too to show the hypocrisy in WWE denying Chyna entry based on her porn career.

A key point you could have made was the time factor - which you hit just at the end of your entry when you say “some day down the line” - you could have massively strengthened your debate by honing in on the fact that the question posed doesn’t come with a timeline - it’s easier to make a case for her being inducted in several years time, further removed from her indiscretions, than being inducted sometime over the next couple of years; so this could have been a good angle for you to take.

I think both this debate and KINGPIN missed a HUGE opportunity by failing to address the idea of Chyna being inducted as part of DX. That was a massive, massive open goal that unfortunately you both missed.


Really like your introduction, hitting your stance strong and early and making a very convincing initial argument for the part someones personal/out of ring behaviour plays in all of this.

Considering your opponents essentially argued that personal life should count - you pretty much smash this out of the gate by pointing out that WWE personnel are supposed to be role models who should set an example.

Sure we can find plenty of examples of hypocrisy, but ultimately that’s the ideal WWE strive towards so just saying “X’s bad history isn’t as bad as Y’s bad history” doesn’t make everything okay.

Like that you acknowledge the positives of her career, this section is so well worded.

“She will forever be considered a legendary female in the business of wrestling. However, her behaviour and career choices after her retirement from wrestling will always overshadow her accomplishments” - Excellent.

I think you address the porn elements well enough, though you could strengthen this with counters against others who have been inducted despite having unsavoury personal history. The inclusion of the likes of Tyson, Colon, Snuka etc does present a problem for this argument so this does need to be addressed.

Your points about her behaviour and whether WWE would actually want to be in business with Chyna are excellent, as is your use of her recent allegations against Triple H as well as serious past allegations she’s made. You rightly point out that she’s extremely volatile and prone to public outbursts. I think the “it’s just not worth it” angle is spot on, and you do well to show why inducting Chyna would simply be more hassle than it’s worth.

Strong debate.

CM Punk'd

I think your definition of what WWE is and who their demographic are is a bit off. It’s easy to say WWE’s main audience is children but there’s plenty out there that shows this isn’t the case. I get what you’re trying to do but you can make that sort of statement without something to back it up.

You could have highlighted the PG content, need to be child-friendly etc another way without making those claims about the demographic.

Anyway, I like that you make your stance known early, and the specific examples of Chyna’s public struggles work well. Even though you say they pale in comparison to the porn, it’s smart to include them as it shows that this is someone who is a bit of a mess, rather than someone who otherwise has their shit together and just happened to decide to do porn.

Excellent coverage of others in the HOF who have had past transgressions, and I think you do a great job of addressing this, a really great job. The matches example really works for me, simply but effective, and I thought the bit about the question not being “is it fair to exclude Chyna while other people with bad shit are in the HOF” really smashes it for me. Well done.

Also big thumbs up in actually addressing the nature of the porn she’s done, particularly the wrestling parody - that’s a key argument for me, and shuts down anyone saying “it’s just porn” - in this context, the content matters.

I think this debate is missing any acknowledgement of what Chyna actually achieved in the ring, but to be honest I don’t think it’s hurt by it; you do such a good job in burying the notion of inducting Chyna that it negates discussion of her career achievements.

The Decision

KINGPIN and JamesK both missed the opportunity to potentially sway this with an argument for inducting Chyna as part of DX. This would have largely negated much of what PoyPoy14 and CM Punk'd covered since you’d be able to argue for the lessened spotlight of a group induction making the personal issues less important.

It’s a tight decision between PoyPoy14 and CM Punk'd - while PoyPoy14's is better written and is more well-rounded, CM Punk'd makes the stronger arguments on a variety of fronts, and for me more effectively argues against Chyna’s induction.

My winner is CM Punk'd

Winner via Unanimous Decision - CM Punk'd

MichaelDD & obby vs Keepin It Stylish & A-C-P
Who will succeed the most in WWE, Enzo Amore, Kallisto or Kevin Owens?

Spoiler for Debates:

It's widely agreed amongst wrestling fans that the WWE's developmental situation has changed drastically since the launch of NXT. With the product being more accessible than ever, many home grown talents like the charismatic and comedic Enzo Amore have gotten over with a wide variety of fans prior to even debuting on the main roster. On top of this, the higher ups seem to have learned from the failure of Sin Cara in a big way, with world class independent talent now being brought to NXT as opposed to directly to the main roster. Samuray Del Sol and Kevin Steen, rebranded Kalisto and Kevin Owens for television, are two of the talents that have already proven themselves to some degree outside of a WWE ring. These three talents all posses the potential to make a large impact once called up; however, I believe that, of these three talents, Owens has provided the most evidence of imminent success upon reaching a bigger stage.

Of the various aspects involved in excelling as a wrestling talent, Kevin Owens undoubtedly takes his biggest landslide victory when it comes to workrate. Throughout his independent career, he put on absolute clinics with the likes of El Generico, Adam Cole, and The Young Bucks, and has already been a more impressive worker in NXT than the other two by quite a wide margin. Since arriving, he's already been a part of what I consider to be the absolute best match in NXT history from a psychological standpoint in which he perfectly demonstrated his prowess at character work from an in ring standpoint. I'm talking, of course, about his bout with former best friend turned enemy times twelve Sami Zayn at NXT Takeover, a match that easily outclasses everything we've seen from the other two thusfar. It's clear that Kalisto has the ability to put on extremely entertaining matches, but he has been held back by the formulaic tag team matches that make up the vast majority of his WWE career, and we've seen little from Enzo at all to suggest that he's up to the standard of the two aforementioned performers.

I mentioned earlier that character work was one of Kevin Owens' biggest strengths from an in ring point of view. It also happens to be the biggest deciding factor in the comparison between he and Enzo in terms of microphone ability. The lack of mic time that Kalisto has been given automatically disqualifies him from contention in this category, but the other two men both have legitimate claims for the title of "Best Shit Talker in developmental". But as I said, their character work is the factor that clearly sets them apart and distinguishes Owens as both the better and more versatile talker from what we've seen. While the character Enzo portrays is entertaining and will always have a place in modern day professional wrestling, it has a glass ceiling that doesn't exist for Owens. The character he portrays is actively ready for the main event scene at all times, and he executes it to perfection. On top of this, his fourteen years of experience give him a much larger portfolio of promo work, and for all intents and purposes the various feuds he's been in over the years make him a better talker from a technical standpoint as well.

Which leads me to my next point. Kevin Steen has been part of the business for fourteen years, nearly double that of Kalisto and Enzo's combined total of eight years. He's been ready for this opportunity for a long time now, and is an absolute pro in every sense of the word. A vocal minority have objected to his immediate main event push on NXT, but the truth is that he's paid his dues ten times over and is ready for a top push on the main roster, let alone in NXT. The time will come for the other two, but Owens is ready right now and his seniority and age should mean that he be the fastest of the three to reach stardom, which looks to be the case.

Writing off any of these three guys would be a mistake. I initially believed that they were oddly grouped together when it came to this topic, but it's evident that the three of them all posses a certain quality that will get them far if given the chance. Enzo posses a unique charisma that makes him almost instantly likable to any new viewer, and Kalisto shows flashes of being the next great luchador in American wrestling. However, from the limited amount of material we've seen from NXT, in addition to the independent scene, I must draw the conclusion that the future is brightest for Mr. Wrestling.


Everybody that steps foot into the WWE should have one goal and one goal only, to succeed.

Kevin Owens, Enzo Amore, Kalisto. All very talented men who should all succeed in one way or another, but we all know that in the WWE there are only a select few that ever reach true successful heights. The question is, which of these three men has the potential to truly succeed?

As my partner has previously talked about there are many variables that can determine success among wrestlers such as: Wrestling ability and Microphone skills, to add to this there’s something very important that a wrestler should possess if they’re truly going to succeed, the IT factor.

What defines the IT factor? The IT factor is simply the ability to make people give a damn, an undeniable charisma, to show people that you’re a star and in a way, all three men posses a form of the IT factor but only one man brings it all together into a nicely wrapped present with a tag attached saying Merry Christmas and that man, is Kevin Owens.

Now you want to talk about the IT factor you’re basically describing Kevin Owens in one word, as soon as this mans music hits, you know it’s about to go down.

Kalisto has a presence, unfortunately his presence is more so that of Rey Mysterio, as in a wrestler who’ll always wow in the ring but will more so be fit for an underdog type of role, and Enzo has a great presence too, always running his mouth wherever he goes and plays the role of the cocky loudmouth excellently, however there’s one key difference between Owens, Amore and Kalisto, Owens captures the audience by just appearing, where as the other two must act to garner reactions.

Moving forward, let’s create an example of what role each wrestler fits in the company. Let’s start with Kalisto. Kalisto is an easy one, he can easily be that next top Hispanic star the WWE so desperately need and he can hopefully be the star to finally replace Rey Mysterio after Sin Cara failed to previously do so, but there’s one key problem with this role, it’s suited for an underdog. Sure, underdogs are some of the most loveable guys on the roster, Daniel Bryan plays an underdog and he’s arguably the most over guy since Rock and Austin, but then when guys like Sami Zayn start coming up you’re soon going to have a roster populated with underdogs, and when everybody is an underdog, nobody is.

Then there’s also the fault in that honestly, WWE has no idea what lucha style wrestling is so in the end Kalisto will be watered down to nothing more but a flippy man that wows the younger audience.

Enzo is another story, Enzo can easily fill that role of loudmouth cocky heel that who gets so over that people can’t help but cheer, kinda like CM Punk. Unfortunatly Enzo is a package deal, wherever you see Enzo, you’re going to see Big Cass towering over him and that spells big trouble for a main roster debut, because if you’re a tag team the WWE are going to get bored of you and you’re going to split and you’re going to feud, and honestly WWE being WWE they’ll have Cass go over Enzo and then continue pushing Cass while forgetting Enzo.

Honestly, I love Enzo but I feel he’d fit the role of a mouthpiece for guys that can’t talk more so than a wrestler in the end, not to mention I feel Enzo is only as good as his booking, where as Owens could overcome terrible booking with his wrestling ability, charisma and mic skills.

Now Kevin Owens, where does he fit? After watching NXT Rival it’s undeniable this man has potential top heel written all over him, you feed him your Daniel Bryan’s, your Sami Zayn’s and your Kalisto’s and you’re going to get some amazing storytelling, in fact, I’d even go as far as to say he could go on to be a Brock Lesnar lite. That’s not all, Owens can even function as a popular tweener character who kicks everybody’s asses no matter Heel or Face, he just fights to make a better life for his family, he can simply connect with the audience as a face, heel, tweener, you name it and Owens can do it.

The man can play a plethora of roles, and that’s why he’s truly going to be the major success of this trio, because he’s versatile, he’s popular, he can turn chicken crap into chicken salad, he’s got undeniable charisma, he can talk, he has top heel written all over him, and finally he simply has IT.

Keepin It Stylish

Out of Enzo Amore, Kalisto, and Kevin Owens, I believe that Kevin Owens has the most potential to succeed in WWE because he’s the total package. I will now breakdown all three individuals and show why Kevin Owens has the most to offer.

Enzo Amore: To me, Enzo Amore has the ceiling of Road Dogg, being a multiple time Tag Team Champion. I just don’t see him having much success in the mid card alone because his wrestling isn’t great. He’s perfect for the role of manager for Big Cass getting an upper card push, or Tag Team Champion with Big Cass if they aren’t split up by the time they make the main roster. Enzo is very entertaining and his microphone skills are excellent, but he is lacking in the ring and there isn’t much you can do with him if his bite doesn’t match his bark. He’s not big or imposing, so you can’t even give him protected booking to cover up his weaknesses. The best you can do with him right now is have him be the face in peril and hot tag Big Cass. There is nothing wrong with this, because not everyone can be a main eventer. Enzo and Big Cass have the potential to be the modern day New Age Outlaws with their catchy monologues and signature phrases if they aren’t ruined by WWE’s asinine booking, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Kalisto: Kalisto has the potential to be this generation’s Rey Mysterio. WWE is in desperate need of a top Mexican babyface since his absence and the firing of Alberto Del Rio. Kalisto is your extremely marketable Mexican babyface that can put on great matches. He should NOT be called up with Sin Cara, because Sin Cara is viewed as an irrelevant jobber. Kalisto should be called up by himself and have the torch passed to him by Rey Mysterio as the face of masked wrestling. I would like this to happen at Wrestlemania with the entire world watching. Rey Mysterio is reportedly disgruntled with his position in WWE, his body is banged up, and he doesn’t have a fraction of the drawing power he had a decade ago, so what better way to send him out than with a match against Kalisto? His ability mirrors that of Mysterio’s in his prime, and you’d effectively solve two problems in setting Mysterio free of his contract, and establishing your next top Mexican babyface. Kalisto can have a strong mid card/upper mid card career and sell a lot of T-shirts if he is handled with care and made to seem like a big deal. If WWE holds back guys like Daniel Bryan due to size, I don’t see him being a main eventer.

Kevin Owens: This is your main eventer right here. He is THE total package in every essence of the words. He’s an excellent microphone worker, he’s a great technical wrestler, he has outstanding agility for his size, he has power moves, he has high flying moves, and he’s a great heel. Kevin Owens offers everything you could possibly want in a professional wrestler and he’s not lacking in any department. The only thing that could potentially hurt him is his weight and appearance, but I don’t see that as a negative. I see him as the fat bastard that you love to hate. He’s not supposed to be attractive because he’s a self serving prick. You’re not supposed to like him. He’s not a likable guy. He makes women and children cry. Seriously, anyone who can make smart fans legitimately angry is guaranteed to be a successful monster heel on the main roster with proper booking. I have to put emphasis on proper booking because WWE has a habit of screwing up perfectly capable individuals with their idiotic decisions. With that said, I see Kevin Owens’ ceiling as that of the biggest heel in the company once he gets called up. After his heel run is over, he can also play the tweener role very well and kick the bad guys’ asses without pandering to the fans. He’s still working for himself; he’s just beating up people that you don’t like.

Source for Mysterio's disappointment with the company:


I personally believe that all 3 of Enzo, Kallisto, and Kevin Owens will see find success to some extent in the WWE on the main roster, when they get called up. I do see Kevin Owens though as the guy out of this group of three who will succeed the most. To me Owens has everything needed to be a top level guy on the WWE main roster; in-ring skills, mic skills, the ability to play heel or face roles well, and Owens has sufficient size that will not hold him back on the WWE main roster.

I will start with Enzo here. In his short time in NXT Enzo has shown that he will at worst have very good mic skills, but I think his in-ring ability and, in the WWE, his size will hold him back from ever reaching past the mid-card on the WWE main roster. If they bring up Enzo and Cass together to the main roster as a tag team, that would be the perfect role for Enzo. On his own I see the ceiling for Enzo as being the guy who takes over the role Santino had, as a comedy low to mid card face.

Now onto Kallisto. I see Kallisto's best option on the main roster as being part of the Lucha Dragons with Sin Cara on the main roster. The WWE always seem to want to have at least one or two Latino stars on the main roster to appeal to that demographic, and right now Kallisto and Sin Cara are really the only 2 options for that, which in turn will turn into some success for Kallisto on the main roster in my opinion. I see Kallisto's ceiling being the new "Rey Mysterio" for the WWE in the future, but without the past that Mysterio had that got Mysterio a short main event run. His size again will also put a ceiling on his main roster success. I see mid-card or tag team titles level as the ceiling for Kallisto on the main roster.

Like I stated earlier Kevin Owens is the guy I believe will see the most success on the main roster. First off, I will say Kevin Owens has the mix of in-ring skills and mic skills that a top guy on the WWE main roster needs to have. As a main event level talent in the WWE you need to both be able to carry matches, or at least be able to have decent matches with most opponents, which Owens will be able to do, and where I think Enzo is limited. Also, as a main event level talent in the WWE you need to either be able to carry a feud on the mic, or play your part in a feud with your opponent over extended on-screen time, again, which Owens will be able to do, and where I think Kallisto is limited.

Another thing that Kevin Owens has going for him is that he can play a heel character or a face character at a main event level. This gives Owens great flexibility as a main event level talent and also provides staying power in the main event, as it prevents him from getting stale as a character. Kevin Owens current run in NXT has shown he can play a cold, calculating, dominate heel very well. I also think with Owens look, mic skills, and in-ring skills he could play a "blue collar", every man's, face character very well, in addition to a lot of other subtle different types of heels and faces. On the flip side I think Enzo and Kallisto are very limited in the type of character and heel or face roles that they would succeed under.

The one other big (pun not intended) thing here is Owens has sufficient size, in where his size will not hold him back with the people in charge of things that still have those views. At only 6' it is not like Owens size is a big advantage, but at least his size shouldn't be a disadvantage. I can not say the same thing for Enzo and Kallisto, as I think their size will hold both of them back to an extent on the WWE's main roster.

All in all for Kevin Owens, I do not really see a "ceiling" for him on the WWE main roster, I think he is capable of making it to the level of a consistent main event level guy, and at worst I can see him as an upper card occasional main event level heel on the main roster.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
obby - Besides the last sentence I can't really take anything from that awfully long intro. It's really just all waffle that isn't adding to your argument. Steen had great matches with Cole? I must have missed them. Are you sure you didn't just take Indy names and insert them here? Honestly you're not really answering the question here as you're arguing who is the better talent, not who will succeed the most in WWE. All wrestling fans should know by now the most talented don't always succeed the most. You never detail what succeed means and how each of the 3 will succeed. Ok Owens is great and a better act than the other 2 but how does that mean he will succeed the most? It helps but it doesn't mean WWE won't be more likely to push Kallisto ahead of him because he's younger and potentially more valuable to WWE in increasing their audience whereas can Owens draw viewers in rather than just please the ones already there? That's where this really fell down which sadly for you is a really important aspect given it's what the question asks. As far as arguing what you did you do a strong job. The matches argument seems a tad unfair on the other 2 given they haven't had the opportunities Owens has had. "While the character Enzo portrays is entertaining and will always have a place in modern day professional wrestling, it has a glass ceiling that doesn't exist for Owens" - why? Don't just say something like that without explaining and showing why. The point about experience Owens can use is good though. This didn't really catch why Owens is a better talker than Enzo for me and definitely not why that will translate to greater success for Owens. Next paragraph is really nothing about anything. You just start arguing your own topic about the pace of Owens' push. So? Mentioning exactly how long Steen has been around does also open up the counter of how much longevity he will have on the main roster compared to the much younger Kallisto and Enzo. Longevity is a big factor in success of course and they have more time to impress on the main roster. This was ok but you don't really answer the question given and even for picking the better talent, you're lacking the evidence required to back your claims up. Also if you're going to use the word possess/possesses so frequently then spell it right please because by the end it was sticking out like a horrible sore thumb, especially when you just get the wrong word entirely on the last one.

MichaelDD - This made the connection between talent and success better than obby did at least. Arguing that someone has the IT factor more than someone else is really tough but I felt you did a pretty good job at capturing the aura that Owens has. Some use of video evidence as sources to back this point up would have really helped push it up another level. I liked this line - "Owens captures the audience by just appearing, where as the other two must act to garner reactions.". You say WWE so desperatly need a Hispanic star but then kinda undersell Kallisto's worth to WWE. The point about Kallisto's underdog nature being akin to Bryan and Zayn and that he's likely to be behind them was great. I would have made the link between competition for spots amounting to likelihood to succeed a bit stronger but it's there and it's good. Also a slightly stronger explanation for why Kallisto won't leapfrog Bryan or Zayn. Here you also should have mentioned how Kallisto is unlikely to be an affective heel that can really succeed and why. Again with the next point just round it off with that connection between what you said and how far that can succeed. Your points are there but you're just not quite hammering them home with that connection to the question. I felt the Enzo counter was weaker. It's basically saying Cass will overshadow Enzo without really any evidence that this will happen. It hasn't happened in NXT. Ok maybe Cass gets the first push but there's no argument that WWE will forget and neglect Enzo forever after that. If any act is likely to get himself noticed even without a significant push I'd say it's Enzo with his charisma. This part wasn't bad but it was weak due to a lack of strong proof that it will happen. It's a shame you left yourself so short on words by the time you got to Owens because you had some potential in this paragraph. You have a partner for this one so if you're running short on words for one part then get him to help you out by covering a certain part more to free some of your words up. He mentioned wrestling ability as well so maybe you could have merged the opening part of this paragraph with his debate and then hopefully created a stronger link between wrestling ability and success. That was still lacking from you here regarding wrestling ability. Ok he can have great matches but that doesn't equal main event success. The ability to work heel and face I thought was really good but again you fail to drive home a good point with the connection to success. Being able to work heel and face believably creates more opportunities booking wise so obviously more opportunities for success. Make sure you always have that link to the question. Besides that this had some really promising points that just needed driving home with a more consistent link to success and what success in WWE actually is. Neither of you really captured that which really hurt your combined efforts.

Keepin It Stylish - Your writing here feels very note form esque. A lot of short rapid fire sentences which doesn't allow your debate to really flow as well as it should to the reader. Enzo argument is pretty good. A lot of the time you use opinion phrases like "I just don’t see" and they don't read very convincingly. Instead use more factual language like "he won't" rather than "I don't think he will". It makes you sound more sure of your own stance. You mention the shortcomings in the ring but don't really have any proof of it, nor do you state what they're required at a level beyond Enzo's to be a main eventer in WWE. The point about him not being able to be a dominant heel is fine but why can't he be a top tier underdog who spends most of the match selling rather than on offence? You also kinda assume that Enzo has to stay with Cass forever which is pretty short sighted. This isn't immediate success in WWE remember. Likewise when you say Kallisto shouldn't debut with Sin Cara. Again with the language, change "I would like this" to "It should". Make sure your choice of language is persuasive and it's supposed to be a persuasive piece of writing after all. Yes they're your opinions but when you start being able to present them as facts then you'll start moving right up. Rey being released recently hurts this part here but it was after the deadline so it's not a knock on you. The problem with the fantasy booking part is it doesn't really connect to the topic you're supposed to be answering. What does this have to do with how far he will succeed in WWE? Ok beating Rey at Mania would be a nice rub but then what? Your last sentence is really the only time you address how far he can succeed. "The only thing that could potentially hurt him is his weight and appearance, but I don’t see that as a negative." - language again. Ok you might not see it as a negative but will others? If others do then isn't it something that could hold him back? Remember it's not a matter of who do you like the most. "Seriously, anyone who can make smart fans legitimately angry is guaranteed to be a successful monster heel on the main roster with proper booking" - evidence of this? He was still getting a load of pops during the Title Match. If you are going to say something happened or someone can do something then cite some evidence of it happening to back your claim up. Besides the heel/face line which you only imply would lead to more success than directly connect it, there's again no real link between the positives you mention and actual success in WWE. You can help deal with this at the start by detailing what it actually takes to succeed in WWE and why. Then if you start off arguing that a certain level of wrestling talent is required and you then cite how great Owens' wrestling talent is, you have that connection to the question already done. Without it you're just stating what makes Owens good. When you're thinking of your arguments, think what is actually required to answer the question. So for this what is actually required in order to succeed in WWE? Write them down and then think why they're required. Then put that into your debate and check off the reasons you've listed and how they apply more to your stance than the alternative stance(s). Also you never compare the 3 picks so how can you argue that one will succeed more than the other if you never compare them? Ok you state the likely level they can potentially reach but keeping each pick on separate islands in your debate doesn't help you make this direct comparison. If it's an either or question then you really need to be consistently directly comparing them throughout. Finally, please stop ending abruptly on an argument without a proper conclusion. It doesn't read very well at all when you do that. There's really no excuse when you have 101 words remaining and don't put a conclusion. These last 3 points I actually mentioned in the feedback for your last debate too so it's frustrating to be repeating them again here. The feedback is here to help so use it. Some issues with your choice of language, a lack of comparisons and a lack of link to what it takes to succeed in WWE were the main issues here. You do have some good potential here though with your arguments but they need crafting out a bit better into a persuasive debate.

A-C-P - Ok straight away in your intro you've touched on what is needed for success in WWE better than anyone else in this debate. Good stuff listing the criteria required. You could also do with explaining why each are required though. Good stuff there though as it's something that will help leapfrog your debate ahead of others below the Title Picture in your Division as it's a great tool to improve a debate that many neglect. You've got the same problem as your partner with your opinionated language in the Enzo paragraph. Too much "I think" and "I see" rather than "he will". Remember to make your language persuasive. With Kallisto you say you see him as the new Rey but then also state his best option is as a tag guy? Isn't there a disconnect in what you're saying here? That certainly wasn't Rey's limit? Also if WWE need a new Hispanic star to replace Rey wouldn't they push him at a higher level than Sin Cara's partner? WWE's desire to have a big Hispanic star is a big factor in this question given how much they pushed Mistico and Del Rio so quickly in order to break that market so it really needed addressing. Size argument was good but needs some evidence to back it up, for example citing similar guys who have fallen short of the main event in favour of taller guys in recent times. In an era when size isn't the be all and end all as much anymore and with WWE's desire for a top Hispanic star I thought you undersold Kallisto pretty short on his potential. The idea that a WWE main eventer has to be able to have good matches with most opponents is somewhat flawed. Ok he should be able to but there's plenty who haven't been able to. I mean this should be as clear as ever given Reigns' current push. The mic point is stronger though. Maybe add a point about how both are important and having both rather than just one creates more opportunities for you which can also be sued against Kallisto and Enzo. You do compare Owens to the other 2 here though so that was good. Character limits paragraph was great and probably the best of all 4 debates. Good job linking it to longevity at the top. The only issue is I needed you to provide me some evidence to back this up rather than just saying I think he could do this. There's plenty of evidence available for Steen/Owens to use here to back your claim up. Size argument is done better at the end by saying it's an advantage for Owens rather than something which will prevent Kallisto or Enzo from reaching those heights. Good job of directly comparing the 3 picks again too. This was comfortably the best debate of the 4. It wasn't perfect and is lacking the evidence to really prove some of your points but you do a good job of outlining what is required for success in WWE as well as directly comparing the 3 picks and not just mentioning them all individually.

As a pair I felt you didn't really create any synergy between the two debates. Instead they just felt like two individual debates arguing the same stance. The two debates are different enough despite a bit of crossover in the arguments but they're really just based on each individual effort rather than how well you both used the tag format to create some bonus points for yourselves. For example A-C-P was pretty brief on Enzo and Kallisto so you could have balanced the debates out a bit better by giving Keepin It Stylish those 2 to focus on and then you focusing on Owens. Remember you don't each have to deal with all picks individually. One can deal primarily with 2 and the other with the other 1. Obviously make sure you're still comparing between all 3 when doing it though.

A-C-P's debate is comfortably the best and obby's the weakest. MichaelDD's debate is better than Keepin It Stylish's debate so it comes down to which gap was bigger as I didn't feel either team benefited from creating two debates that worked really well in unison but rather submitted two individual debates that were different enough from their partner's debates. For me A-C-P wins it for his team due to being the only one to have that connection between ability and success in WWE. MichaelDD touched on it but it wasn't prevalent enough.

Winners - Keepin It Stylish & A-C-P

obby & MichaelDD

I really like the opening paragraph, nicely summarising who we’re talking about here in case one of the readers is stupid enough not to be following NXT right now. I also like how you acknowledge the fact that two out of the three have a history in the independents. Only issue I have is with the word “imminent”. I really hope you’re not going to spend the remainder of the debate arguing something that wasn’t the question to begin with.

I find myself fully agreeing with the second paragraph as well. I have no issues here. Which is rarely the case, so kudos.
Same thing applies to the next section. Very well done.

Ok so after reading the final conclusion I have to admit, very well written. I do have a bit of an issue though: Your debate leans HEAVILY on the premiss that in ring and mic skill will lead to succes in the WWE. One would hope that were the case ofcourse, but if someone on the opposite side of this stance argues against it you might have some trouble on your hands.

But let’s see what your teammate did!

So debate B focuses on IT factor, where they’d fit on the roster, and summarizes things. I applaud the effective way you managed to make one bigger debate out of two smaller ones, well done indeed. As a whole, I think it definitely works.

One can also easily tell that the second debate was written by a different person than obby. A bit more enthousiastic, bordering on marking from time to time, which, if done well, can certainly add a little je ne sais quoi to a debate.

I do have a big annoyance though, and that’s the length of your sentences. The paragraph starting with “Kallisto…” is one giant 86 word sentence. That’s simply overdoing it.

I’d also recommend steering clear of using “i feel” too much. You’re supposed to convince me that you’re right, not that you think you’re right. That’s a relatively small peeve though, the giant sentences are much, MUCH worse. So.. many.. comma’s…

All in all you two have made a fairly convincing point. The only thing I was really missing was some kind of definition of how one would measure “most” succes. If Enzo wins 6 tag titles in a long career but Owens wins the main title once after which he retires, then who’s more successful? One might argue longevity might factor in, and that aspect was neglected to mention.

Also the plethora of comma’s and the sentence lengths in MichaelDD's debate were a bit of a turnoff.

But all in all, well done. Let’s see how your opposition did!

Keepin It Stylish & A-C-P

I like your opening. You two chose the same stance (I admittedly somewhat expected as much) as the other two so it’s going to come down to who argued it better. Again, much like I mentioned for MichaelDD, I would stay away from “I believe”. Convince me what you’re saying is fact, not that you think it’s fact. If that makes sense.

I really enjoy your approach, comparing them one by one with wrestlers from the present and near past, pointing out their limits based on past booking. Much like with obby you give me fairly little, if anything, to critique as far as structuring and wordchoice is concerned. It’s an entertaining and intelligent read, and you hold up your end of the tag match very well. I DO, however, feel like it’s going to be hard for A-C-P to not overlap with you in reasoning. You touch on so many things, I find myself wondering what’s left to touch on.

On to A-C-P then, and as I feared the two have a LOT of overlap.

All in all you do quite an ok job as well, though there are some editing errors present. An extra word in the very first sentence, for example. Also to my disappointment I’m once again confronted by 40+ and 50+ word sentences, not what I was hoping to see. So.. many.. comma’s…

May I also point out you and your teammate argued quite to the contrary where Kallisto’s initial call-up is concerned? That’s a bit of an oversight, as far as I’m concerned.

I do really like how you brought up the size factor for more than just a throwaway line. With this company’s history with smaller guys it’s certainly a fact to be taken into consideration. I just wish it wasn’t instead of a bit more thorough summary.

The Verdict

As this is tag debating and thus a rare occurrence, I felt it justified to weigh heavily on that aspect while reaching this final verdict.

Now had these been individual debates, Keepin It Stylish probably would’ve won for me as far as writing style was concerned, with obby a close second. However, when it comes to team performance, the debaters in team two had much more overlap and even argued against eachother at one point. MichaelDD & obby complemented each other much more, and thus they end up with the W.

The winner is obby & MichaelDD

I'll preface this by saying none of you ever defined what 'success' is relative to in WWE. You all seemed to presume it meant main eventing, but I feel you need to establish that within your stance by defining what you believe success to be. Practically speaking, success can mean anything from longevity, to making money, to main eventing. If Kallisto theoretically achieves close to Rey's success as a draw and merch mover, you'd be hard pressed to argue anyone would be more successful than him.

I just feel for any of you to progress to the next level, you need to understand that deliberate words such as 'success' are used in the title to encourage you to define them relative to your interpretation. If the question concerned simply 'who will likely main event', it would say that specifically. Anything but that forces you to consider what success can be defined as, just a little advice to bear in mind.


Your intro is quite in depth considering the content of your debate thereafter is rather brief and doesn't cover as much as it could do. Given your coverage is shorter, I'd refrain from such an elaborative intro in future, as opposed to getting the point across in more concise terms.

The workrate argument is decent, though a bit presumptuous. It's a bit of a hollow point to me to use Owen's match with Zayn as clear evidence he can perform to the highest standards expected, when he's been wrestling Zayn on and off for over a decade. They have historical chemistry he's unlikely to have with anyone else in NXT or the main roster, so I thought that was something you overlooked. An argument can also be made that whilst workrate now more than ever is important in connecting with certain WWE crowds, it's not the be all and end all to engaging them. I thought you were a bit too hypothetical in assuming Owens could win over/appease the main roster crowd immediately upon debuting. If we're speculating, couldn't Kallisto if given free reign dazzle crowds just as much? Remember not every main roster fan will be impressed/care about pure workrate, which is where someone like Enzo or Kallisto may be able to connect in ways Owens cannot. I'd just like more concrete evidence/examples to back up your point.

The character work argument again draws particular attention imo to your lack of coverage on 'success'. You acknowledge Enzo has a talent to connect with crowds as a pure speaker, which indicates he has a barometer for success. You attribute Owens having a more main event ready character as the difference maker, without really comparing their relative strengths as a promo. Enzo can arguably fill the role Santino had for years, ergo he has a clear position on the card which could secure him longevity, as opposed to Owens who has more of a generic role. I'd also liked to have seen evidence of Owens' varied promo work to compare and strengthen your argument he has more depth than Enzo. This would go a long way to strengthening your argument and solidifying your argument, without it it feels like a reasonable argument lacking in persuasion without examples to refer to.

The last argument truthfully I felt strayed from the question at hand a bit. Experience is a strength but not the sole measure of determining who will and won't succeed. Owens having paid more dues doesn't directly tell me why he will succeed more than someone of less experience. For example Chris Hero has more tenure in wrestling than Owens, and his time in WWE was anything but a success. Just be a little more wary of counter arguments that can arise when your content is a bit unclear in clarifying your argument.

The conclusion is ok, but again I feel you draw attention to Enzo and Kallisto having more niche roles on the main roster, whereas Owens is competing with various other talent for role of ass kicking face/monster heel. By not clarifying what you consider success to be, or in this case, assuming main eventing is the sole determinant of success, I felt you inadvertantly drew attention to counter arguments when making your stance.


I didn't like your introduction where you claim each of these men can all find some measure of success, before concluding Owens can find the most success. Again, I can make a reasonable guess at what you're suggesting but I need you to outright tell me your criteria, not speculate it. If you're admitting Kallisto is likely to have success, you need to tell me specifically why Owens' level of success is arguably more anticipated and 'more successful'.

"Unfortunately his presence is more so that of Rey Mysterio" was something of a line that threw me, given I'd hardly call presence comparable to Rey's something of a negative. I felt your arguments for Owen's presence were a bit too hypothetical. Using NXT as an example of his presence isn't necessarily evidence it would translate to 10,000 people in an arena. There's a world of difference in connecting with a crowd you appear in front of weekly, compared to touring different cities weekly made up of people who may not always know of you. I felt that was a counter you overlooked by presuming Owens had undeniable presence that would transition well to the main roster.

The Enzo argument I thought got lost in fantasy booking and hypotheticals as opposed to the facts. Enzo & Cass as a tag team don't have a great track record before them of remaining a team consistently, but you can point to the Usos as a team who've been on TV for five years now without breaking up. Furthermore, you clarify Enzo has a specific purpose on the roster and versatility by serving as a potential mouthpiece, rather than solely an in ring talent. I thought again you needed to clarify why this apparent room for success is either not as guaranteed as Owens', or why it is a lesser form of success.

The final points are nice in theory but again untested to be emphatically true. Owens has yet to feature on the main roster and using one match in development in front of an audience primed to gravitate to him and Zayn as evidence he can be a future Lesnar felt lacking in confirmation for me.


As a team I felt you both needed to define success and what you considered to be the measure of said success. You both made strong arguments in acknowledging both Enzo & Kallisto could be serviceable in niche roles (comedy mouthpiece and Lucha ace heir respectively), but didn't tell me why this level of success was presumably less than that of what Owens could achieve. To compensate for this, I felt you needed to satisfactorily demonstrate Owens could convincingly succeed as a main event talent, but I felt the specific examples you chose lacked sufficient credibility to be fully persuasive.

Keepin It Stylish

Read the feedback for Team 1 to summarise my thoughts here. Again with Enzo you acknowledge his gimmick may not be made for anything past the midcard, but don't tell me why a potential tenured stay in the midcard, remaining largely over and winning titles isn't sufficient enough for the level of success you believe Owens can achieve. Again, even outright stating you're interpreting 'success' to be a measure of who can realistically succeed at the top of the card would aid your stance, without it I can only presume your argument which isn't how debating works. I need to know thoroughly why you're arguing what you are, and then ask myself if you've persuaded me more than your opponents.

Again with Kallisto, you say it's unlikely he'll main event but then acknowledge he could be the next Mysterio, a guy who at his peak was one of WWE's strongest draws and merchandise moves who made considerable money for the company. Add in Kallisto having a niche spot as masked ace and heir to securing the Lucha demographic, and you're convincing me he can find a great level of some success on the main roster. If you're going to argue for Owens however, you need to weaken Kallisto and pinpoint where he might not succeed. By failing to outright define what you consider true success to be, it's harder for you to do this. Nothing there weakens Kallisto in my eyes, bar your argument he may not main event because of his size, though again that's not confirmed and can't be truly speculated given the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Counter arguments are key to strengthening your choice, whereas you essentially Kallisto can and most likely will be successful, but that it might not come in the main event.

The arguments for Owens are ok, though I feel a lot of his attributes can similarly apply to other talent who are not currently main eventing. Furthermore, I felt you focused a bit too much on fantasy booking as opposed to the here and now. Being a great technical wrestler is fine, but why is that necessarily indicative he can succeed at the top? You say he's a great microphone worker, but don't really tell me why his ability on the mic makes him more likely to succeed with this attribute than Enzo. Basically, by not clarifying to me explicitly what you value success to be, you've essentially said all three can and likely will achieve success, only you left me more convinced Enzo & Kallisto can succeed in niche roles whereas Owens is placed in direct competition with a greater number of peers for a more general role.


Again, most of your arguments here again be summarised by my feedback for your partner. Again you acknowledge Enzo can forge a successful role on the main roster that suits him better than anyone, but fail to define how this level of success is intrinsically less than that of what Owens can achieve.

Similarly you say Kallisto can arguably fulfil Mysterio's role, but make an unconvincing argument he can't get a short main event run because he lacks Rey's history. To me, a good argument can be made Mysterio has achieved more success than most who have main evented, especially from a drawing and merchandise perspective. I feel like you're focusing exclusively on main eventing as the barometer for success, but you don't explicity tell me this. At least by saying you're arguing success here relates to main eventing, you can still argue Kallisto will achieve a measure of success. Without telling me though what you're basing success on, you're still making good arguments for Kallisto and then forcing me to weigh up his expected success versus that of Owens.

The Owens argument was a bit better by focusing on some areas Owens is stronger at than his peers. I'd still advise you're presuming Owens will have great chemistry with a variety of opponents, as opposed to outright convincing me he can.


Like your opponents, neither of you defined success relative to the question at hand. Instead, you seemed to infer all three would be successful in different ways, only I felt your arguments were stronger for Kallisto and Enzo at succeeding in roles more geared to their capabilities, than Owens who is competing with the uppercard for the coveted main event spot. The Owens arguments felt lacking in examples and references, and more speculative than outright persuading me.

Decision: All four debates were largely similar, and since none of you defined success it was hard to arrive at a decision. I felt Keepin It Stylish & A-C-P made slightly better arguments for Owens primarily, whilst both made arguments of a similar standard for Kallisto and Enzo. Therefore I'm giving my vote to Keepin It Stylish & A-C-P.

Winners = Keepin It Stylish & A-C-P

Winners via Split Decision - Keepin It Stylish & A-C-P

RAB & The Acquired Taste vs Aid & deepelemblues
Can we justify space exploration while there are still starving humans on the earth?

Spoiler for Debates:
Can we justify space exploration while there are still starving humans on the earth?

Justify is a strong word, isn't it? The word frames it like space travel is a bad thing and that the money that goes towards the space program can actually change the amount of starving people. Well it can't. The positives of space exploration well surpass the positives of using the money towards fighting starvation.

Everyday Impact: Technological Benefits

If you watched the video, which you should have, you will already know about all the cool and helpful things space exploration has brought into this world. In fact, if I were to list them all out, I'd use up all of my word count. So if you are truly curious, you can read the list from the link here: If you need so key ones to look at, look at the freeze drying, water purification, and others. As you see, NASA has made plenty of things that help with hunger. Pretty helpful. In fact, look at LED light plant growth experiments. Experiments have shown that LED lights can be used as a solar light replacement for plant growth. This can not only allow plant growth in space, but also in dark areas of Earth that don’t normally get a lot of sun. This research is all thanks to space exploration and it helps fight hunger.

Let The Spice Flow: The Power of Resources

So now you are well aware of the positives that space exploration brings to our daily lives. Let's talk about the more space-oriented bonuses. That would be resources. Earth only has so many natural resources. Eventually we will run dry. Resources will dwindle. Imagine if we found some amazing natural resources on Mars. Like finding rare minerals, discovering new metals, or letting the spice flow . The opportunities are endless. Sure it could end up as a fruitless mission with no new resources, but we could find something too. You never know until we get there. Space exploration will get us there.

The Power of Teamwork: Preventing Fallout

A really underrated key benefit from the space programs of the world is international cooperation. Large space exploration projects are almost always the result of international cooperation. The International Space Station is the most obvious example, but the space shuttle regularly has astronauts from other nations, and many robotic missions include instruments built by teams in other countries. Work on the station shows that many nations can come together and work in peace. Science, exploration, and discovery brings humanity together. It promotes world peace. World Peace and cooperation are keys to the survival of the planet. We have all heard of the horror stories of the potential fallout of the Earth via nuclear weapons. World War III. Fictional stories have depicted Earth’s doom because of humans for years. Working together and international cooperation can help prevent this very real possibility.

Thanks Obama: America's Food Waste

Will the money from space exploration really help starvation? The issue with starvation is distribution, not just production. Just ask America. The NASA budget for FY 2016 is $18.5 billion. That’s a lot of money, but not nearly as much as Americans waste on food yearly. Americans throw away nearly half their food every year, waste worth roughly $165 billion. That’s nearly 9 times the NASA budget.

Holy shit. Right? $165 billion worth of food a year. What’s the point in mentioning this? Well maybe space exploration isn’t the problem. The chunk of change spent on space exploration is nothing compared to the waste here. According to, it will only take $30 billion a year to end world hunger. Immediately one would think, hey, let’s end space exploration and use that money towards world hunger. However, the benefits of space exploration already shows that it’s worth the money spent. Instead, the world and America should focus on not wasting so much food. You really want to stop world hunger? Use NASA’s food preservation technology to ship this wasted food and send to the starving people of Africa, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world. Stop the food before it becomes wasted. We should not give up the benefits provided from space exploration when we can stop something that is incredibly preventable, extreme food waste.

Mission Accomplished: Justified

So if we can somehow justify wasting all of this food without finding a way to save it, then surely we can justify space exploration which gives us the ability to preserve food and grow food with LED lights. Is space exploration justified in light of hunger? It is not merely justified. It is an imperative. The positives are too good to ignore.



We've all seen commercials: the suspiciously beefy-looking guy with the very white beard walks around a squalid village with oh-so-cute hungry children, exhorting you to send your 70 cents a day because you can afford that to save lives 6,000 miles away, can't you?

Sure. We can do that. We can also walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. (Most of us, anyway.) And we can definitely continue to explore space, and justify doing so, while hunger remains a fact of life. When it comes to fighting hunger and space exploration, the former gets far more resources than the latter. The United States government alone spends, evey year, over four times on food stamps for its own people [1] as it does on shooting things into space [2], and food stamps are not the only way the government subsidizes food production and purchasing.


Humanity has made incredible strides reducing hunger around the world since the end of WWII and particularly since the Green Revolution [3][4]. Simultaneous with this period were many of the great triumphs of our space programs, that created new technologies and methods with great application outside of killing dogs in space. Some of these innovations have been of great use in modern agriculture, particularly in the areas of food preservation and more efficient planting and cultivation and harvest of crops [5]. The explosion of scientific advancement after the war was spurred in large part by the "Space Race." In the most developed parts of the world - North America, Europe, the Soviet Union - using science to progress material society was a great cultural force. Space caught the imagination of the world at large as humanity strove to break through barriers and conquer difficulties through the science. One of the results of this drive was the Green Revolution, the spreading of Western agriculture techniques to the developing world, particularly India. The Green Revolution not only prevented the huge famines that were widely expected to happen in the 1970s-1980s in the "Third World," it actually helped mightily in causing a population boom.


Interactive version:


The problem of world hunger is one of production and distribution. The advances of the Green Revolution are not enough anymore, hence the focus on GMOs to provide the world's next necessary improvement in production. There are simply many countries on earth suffering from hunger and famine because of political corruption and strife [6]. The less than $100 billion a year [7] the planet's governments spend on space exploration will not solve those problems (commercial space activity is over four times [8] that of governmental, in dollars). On the production side that money would be nice for investment in agricultural programs, but it isn't going to stop the Shabaab in Somalia from starving people.


Space is humanity's future. There are resources out there in the "luminiferous aether" that humanity will need, as resources on earth are going to dwindle sooner or later no matter how many ingenious new ways we come up with to dig up valuable stuff. Earth will not be hospitable to humans forever (some scientists say we could already be in the very early stages of an ice age, though it would be thousands of years before this would become a real problem). It is an irresistible urge of human nature to find brave new worlds and conquer them. We should not try to be resistant. Redirecting money and talent from space to food would not end hunger. Humanity already has the ability to do that.


Man has shown he can do these two things at once, exploring the final frontier and ending Alan Sanders' reason for being on our TV screens. That's his name, and he needs to never be on anyone's TV ever again.

In an important sense, going into space has helped and is helping end hunger.

Is space exploration justified, in light of hunger? It is not merely justified. It is an imperative.


Can we justify space exploration while there are still starving humans on earth?

No, we absolutely cannot, and there are multiple reasons for this.

It just doesn’t make any sense to me. We’re searching space for new places to colonise and new resources to use on earth. Alright, that sounds fair enough, right? Well, it doesn’t to me. Why should we be searching for new places to colonise when we can’t even feed the people on the planet we’ve currently colonised? It’s rather hard to wrap your head around because we COULD feed the people on this planet if we made a sustained and co-operative effort, but, for some reason or other, we do not. It is extremely unfair and perhaps even offensive, to the starving people, that the world as a whole refuses to come together in order to conclusively end world hunger. We spend billions trying to just get to other planets whilst there are people who can’t afford mere pounds to buy basic food. There are people dying because of this, and I don’t mean just a few, literally millions of people die per year because they simply cannot afford to buy food. I certainly don’t think it’s fair, and as such, I’d classify it completely and utterly unjustifiable.

Perhaps it’d be a different story altogether if the outcome of these space exploration projects were likely to solve world hunger, or at the very least play a part in stopping it. But the problem is, none of them do. There’s no space exploration project that is setting out to look for food, and the reason is simple, we don’t need to find any more food. We have enough food. We have enough money to make food. The entire basis of this argument falls down to one simple statement: we have enough to solve the problem of world hunger, but we don’t. We’re letting humanity down because we’d rather buy stupid shit like space rockets and nuclear weapons. We spend billions on armies to destroy each other instead of spending billions to help each other. Why? Because humans are selfish. Human’s selfishness is a trait which ultimately contributes to the unjustifiable nature of exploring space whilst members of our own species die due to poverty, which is essentially why people cannot afford to eat. The fact that we could invest money into economies to help this or even just plough money into extreme levels of foreign aid to directly cope with the problem but don’t is why space exploration is unjustifiable given the fact that there are still starving humans on earth.

This isn’t to say that I’m arguing against space exploration; I absolutely am. I’m sure that you’re probably thinking that it’s a tad stupid arguing against it because it brings with it a wealth of scientific discoveries, some of which could possibly be used to better our lives on earth, and I’d agree with you – space exploration could be vital. It could be vital if we had a world in which everyone lived comfortably (at least in terms of having enough food to survive) and people weren’t dying every minute because they haven’t eaten properly.

Even now, you may be saying to yourself that the benefits that we gain from space exploration are so good that the fact that we go about it whilst people are starving is a negligible fact. This is where you’d be wrong, though, because the people who we’re neglecting are not the people that would benefit from space exploration discoveries. It won’t be starving Africans who will benefit from the colonisation of mars and whatnot, because they still won’t be privileged enough to even embark on space journeys or use any high tech new things we can make from gained knowledge or resources, they’ll still be starving. Space exploration serves a purpose, and that’s to further make better the lives of folk who can currently afford to live decently. And that’s just unjustifiable.

How about, instead of exploring space, we take a few years out, accumulate money from loads of countries into a big massive pot, and see what we can do with that money in terms of sorting out the issue of starvation? It wouldn’t be ridiculously hard to do, and it’d be a genuinely nice gesture from human to human. Space exploration has time on its side, the dying humans of earth do not.

The Acquired Taste
Food is a basic survival NEED for ALL humans. No debating.

We all the know the saying 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'. Well people on Earth are broke due to hunger. Is it justified that we just accept this to go wandering about in space? Hell no. If you have an empathetic bone in your body you'll to be thinking we should fix this problem first.

Advocates of space exploration will think:

  • The money spent on it isn't that much, but it actually is.

  • Looking through space for the sake of knowledge is more important than the starving people, but it's not.

  • The earth is deteriorating so we have to prepare, but we don't.

It's pure folly. Earth is our home and humankind whether it wants to admit it or not, is a family.

This is why the justifications for space exploration are absolutely absurd while there are starving people on the earth.


Can you believe there are people who think there's not enough funding towards space exploration? They confuse this as fact because NASA currently receive only 0.5% of the US Federal Budget. However, NASA isn't the only space agency on Earth.

Earth currently has 23 space agencies and collectively their budget is an estimated 41.8 billion US dollars annually as shown in this graph(1):

And the cost to end world hunger? Approximately 30 billion US dollars annually(2). Now let's do a little math. 41.8 billion - 30 billion = 11.8 billion. Meaning if the world hunger cause took ONLY the funds needed from space exploration, space agencies would have about 11.8 billion left to tinkle about in space. Not a small amount by any means. With this money, space agencies can still do their thing and nobody on Earth will have starve to death. What an arrangement that would be.


Advocates of space exploration rave about the knowledge obtained from it helping the earth...but who in their right minds gives a fuck about that when people are dying? About 21,000 people die a day from hunger which is about 1 person every 4 seconds(3). Let's count shall we? 1...2...3...4... *person dies*. Now just keep repeating that till the gravity of the situation sinks it. Now if you don't think that fighting world hunger should supersede space exploration by now I guess you get a kick out of letting black and brown people starve to death because they're in countries the West don't give a shit about just to add to the universe's encyclopedia. Don't worry, I'll pray for you.

If people want earth to be helped by exploration then I don't know...maybe they should try exploring the earth instead? Deep earth exploration is something that should be pursued as an alternative because it would help understand the earth better and delay and possibly prevent deterioration of the earth because it's actually researching the bloody thing as opposed to fiddling about on the other end of the solar system. And all it starts with is 1 billion dollars(4) (space exploration still has 10 billion dollars if taken from its budget).


Space exploration advocates will argue that because the earth is deteriorating, space exploration will be needed. This makes the assumption that the earth will be uninhabitable and we will all need to live in space in the future...FALSE.

Just because the earth is damaged, doesn't mean we should prepare for it like it's the Titanic. As humans, we caused the earth's deterioration through farming and pollution(5) which means as humans, we can fix it. It doesn't take 41.8 billion dollars, just a little sense. However, if the world does end, let's not forget oxygen (also a basic survival need) or the lack of it in space. Unless there's a enough space shuttles and space suits for nearly 7.3 BILLION people, living in space ain't gonna happen. If it miraculously does, what makes you think you'd be one of the people who gets to? The road to space exploration is currently being paved with people dying from starvation, guess what the road to living in space would be paved with? The working class a.k.a you. With all the funding going into space, potentially inhabiting it won't be cheap. Which means the people who can't afford it will be stuck on the deteriorating earth to die. Seeing a pattern here?


Space exploration being pursued over people who are dying from starvation is absolutely unjust. Despite supposed lack of funds, intel gained and a decline in the environment, its not as needed as people think. With a little sense and balancing of resources, starvation would be cured, knowledge of space would still be obtained and this debate would be universally over.

Spoiler for references:

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Aid & deepelemblues

I don’t really like opening with a video. I’m here to read your arguments, not watch someone make them for you. You did eventually negate the need for the video so there’s no real problem there, but bear in mind that videos should be used to back up arguments, so really the arguments should come first and the video is there as a source. It can be tempting to piss around with an intro, I do it myself sometimes, but they can be a chore to follow if the stance isn’t laid out clearly enough early on. Your intro though was a strong enough opening statement which set your stall out well and let me know exactly where you were going.

The ‘Every Day’ impact section had a lot of genuine impact. A small criticism would be that maybe instead of referencing the video again, you could have had a little more detail with regard to how those extra benefits like water purification and freeze drying can directly help fight starvation. Sure, water purification is fairly obvious but freeze drying could definitely do with some explanation.

The ‘Let the Spice Flow’ was a lovely reference I smiled at, but there were some interesting points made here as well. Again, a little more detail would have been ideal, but you got the point across nonetheless. The ‘Power of Teamwork’ section worked well as a supplementary argument, with the points about it promoting world peace and cooperation both excellent. The ‘Thanks Obama’ section mentioning the problem with starvation being distribution and not production was good, but would have been better with some additional details. The comparison of the NASA budget to the amount of food wasted was marvellous though, and again highlighted that the real problem with world hunger lies somewhere other than with space exploration.

Nice enough opening with the point about how far more resources are already spent on fighting hunger than space exploration. You could have added some points about the resources spent on hunger around the world, rather than just in the US though. I know hunger is not just a problem for some African countries, but there have been severe famines there and other places around Asia which could have done with a nod here.

You follow on with some good echoing of similar points from Aid but with additional detail (I criticised Aid for lacking detail in some areas, so as tag debate you have worked well together here). The points about humanity making incredible strides to reducing world hunger during the time of space exploration were convincing enough. This debate question was actually one of my suggestions exactly because I had personally ummd and ahhed about which is the correct answer, but your points here are pretty unarguable with.

Your section regarding the real reasons behind starvation around the world was spot on as well. Production can sometimes have problems, but it is the distribution where the problem arises the most. Money donated to famine-struck countries disappears due to the corruption inherent in the system, and this was a good point well made. Your concluding paragraphs had good points too regarding the need to source new resources as the earth’s will eventually run out. Good job overall, and a nice compliment to Aid.

Aid & deepelemblues OVERVIEW
Your debates definitely worked well together. One of you touched on one point while the other went into more detail and vice versa. You both produced very convincing debates too, which while lacking a bit of polish here and there, worked very well in tandem with each other.

RAB & The Acquired Taste

First of all, saying something doesn’t make sense to you is a very unconvincing way to put a point across. You did it twice in your first proper paragraph and it makes your arguments look weak. Luckily this criticism is pretty much redundant as your arguments were weak all by themselves.

The most convincing argument you make in that opening is one that actually disproves the stance you’re taking; this line: “It’s rather hard to wrap your head around because we COULD feed the people on this planet if we made a sustained and co-operative effort, but, for some reason or other, we do not.” It’s a pretty well known fact that there is more than enough food in the world to feed everybody. See your opponent’s point about the food waste in the US alone.

The problem of world hunger isn’t all about people not being able to buy food. In many places they cannot produce it themselves due to drought or floods etc. There’s an obvious naivety in your statements throughout the first half of this debate. This ain’t my first rodeo and just saying things are a certain way doesn’t make them so. You need to do some actual research into the subject matter and back up your claims with sources.

“We spend billions trying to just get to other planets whilst there are people who can’t afford mere pounds to buy basic food. There are people dying because of this,…” Eh? You imply that people are dying because we spend billions of pounds trying to get to other planets. Okay. But where are your sources that space exploration is the reason behind people starving? That’s a massive accusation but you just left it there and sauntered merrily away from it.

Your next section somehow manages to get worse. First of all, your opponents easily countered your argument that space exploration does nothing to help world hunger. Secondly, you once again say something which counters your own arguments. Here: “There’s no space exploration project that is setting out to look for food, and the reason is simple, we don’t need to find any more food. We have enough food.” Your opponents made this very same ‘we have enough food’ argument but way better and - pay attention to this next bit - it actually supported their stance.

Now there’s this: “We’re letting humanity down because we’d rather buy stupid shit like space rockets and nuclear weapons. We spend billions on armies to destroy each other instead of spending billions to help each other.” Do you think that perhaps just maybe if we stopped funding nuclear weapons and armies that perhaps just maybe that might help without having to stop exploring space? Perhaps just maybe? You’re not giving me anything to work with here. It’s almost as if you’re trying to sabotage your team by subliminally arguing for the opposite stance.

There’s the beginnings of an actual argument where you talk about ploughing money into foreign aid etc, but you don’t mention how much is already spent on that. Plus your opponents already raised the issue of corruption which makes a lot of foreign aid money disappear. I’m not sure how you managed to miss these counters.

“This isn’t to say that I’m arguing against space exploration; I absolutely am.” Whoa. Where’s my spinning top…

“…and I’d agree with you – space exploration could be vital.” Now, I know you go on to say that it’s only vital if everyone lived comfortably, but I have to take a moment to check that you understand what the word ‘vital’ means? Are you sure this debate shouldn’t be named Debate 1C?

Now another big statement with absolutely nothing to back it up, where you say: “Space exploration serves a purpose, and that’s to further make better the lives of folk who can currently afford to live decently.” Mate, debating in TDL isn’t about throwing enough shit at me so that I’m blinded to the absolute bollocks you’re writing.

Your conclusion once again reveals your complete lack of knowledge/research pertaining to this subject, and the world in general. This was pure, undiluted AWFUL. I can only hope your tag partner saves you from disaster.

The Acquired Taste
Oh dear. Intro was awful. This line in particular: “Is it justified that we just accept this to go wandering about in space?” What your intro has achieved here is to immediately inform me that you know little to nothing regarding the purposes of space exploration. Unfortunately for you this happens to be a debate question I suggested to Seabs myself, mostly because I’m very interested in the subject and have debated it back and forth many times and for both sides.

“Looking through space for the sake of knowledge is more important than the starving people, but it's not.” I don’t think anybody has ever actually claimed this, but if you found someone who did and they are an authority of sorts on the matter then you need to quote them or provide me with a source. Just saying what you said without backing it up is ridiculous. How did this not occur to you when you were writing this?

“The earth is deteriorating so we have to prepare, but we don't.” Eh? Do you think your debate is being judged by Republican senators? Fair enough if you don’t believe in global warming. Fair enough if you believe there’s an unlimited supply of fossil fuels in the earth. But you’ve got to back your shit up.

Now, I almost gave your MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! section a pass as you at least structured it like a cohesive argument. However, I then checked your source link. Indeed, $30b a year is required to end world hunger according to that source. But did you note the other figure that appears in that link? That’s right, $737b is spent on the military and other defence measures. Did that figure not prick at least a little hole in your argument that the relatively miniscule $42b spent on space exploration is the problem?

You’ve presented me with three figures, two directly and one inadvertently: $41.8b on space exploration, $737b on military defence, and $30b to end world hunger. Look at those fucking numbers. How can you seriously expect me to believe it is the space budget that needs to be cut? Where’s your fucking brain?

“Advocates of space exploration rave about the knowledge obtained from it helping the earth...but who in their right minds gives a fuck about that when people are dying?” This is just terrible debating. People are dying from an unrelated thing, so let’s stop doing the other unrelated thing even though that unrelated thing actually helps the earth which is related to everything?

Now, about your next section. Seriously, the fuck is this? You’ll fucking pray for me? If this is secretly some surreptitious attempt to ensure victory for your opponents then, my gosh, you have actually managed to out-do your tag-partner with his subliminal arguing of the opposite stance. Well fucking done if that’s the case.

The point about exploring the earth instead of space is pretty ignorant. We are exploring the earth and have been since we invented massive fucking drills a long time ago. Pay attention to life pls. Many folks even have a problem with it because it could upset the balance of the planet and fuck everything up for everybody. Any chance you could do some research and acknowledge that? Didn’t think so. Please pray for me.

“…if the world does end, let's not forget oxygen (also a basic survival need) or the lack of it in space. Unless there's a enough space shuttles and space suits for nearly 7.3 BILLION people, living in space ain't gonna happen.”

I’m not even going to, I’m not. Just, ah. Jaysus, somebody pray for me.

“With a little sense and balancing of resources, starvation would be cured,…” Yes, let’s balance the $42b spent on space exploration instead of the $737b spent on killing the fuck out of each other.

I don’t think I have read a more ignorant debate. I mean, you actually included some sources which means you did look into the subject, but you still ended up talking utter shite. And you’ll pray for me? Fuck off.

RAB & The Acquired Taste OVERVIEW
To counter Aid and deepelemblues’s stance required intelligence, which both RAB & The Acquired Taste both failed to provide any semblance of. Now, I don’t really have a problem with how you wrote, it’s just what you wrote. Your presentation was okay, but you can’t just make random statements that appear to support your stance but which don’t actually have any basis in reality. And including source links which actually counter your own arguments is pretty fucking dumb. Some of us judges actually check those, you know.

Aid & deepelemblues wins
via KO. To be honest, they could have farted on their keyboards and still produced better debates than RAB & The Acquired Taste. Come back Klunder, all is forgiven.

First off, it's good that the teams a) aligned together on their positions and b) argued different positions from the other team. That makes for a more dynamic effort between the four of you. I feel like the lot of you could have done more to make your efforts collaborative though, approaching debates in different manners and avoiding logical discrepancies. That said, let's get into the debates!


I don't agree about "justify" framing space exploration in a negative light. While it set-up a fair counter-point to your opponents, you should have expressed "justify" in terms that benefit your debate. Keep that in mind; YOU control how you introduce the question and its terms to your audience.

Your "Everyday Impact" section makes a good argument, but the writing is lackluster. It lingers on filler words and hesitates far too much. It would've been better the Wikipedia link was in the citations and you eschewed the "if you need so" and "if you are truly curious" posturing. I'm not sure if you think this is having personality, but it's bumbling and it softens the blows of your argument.

Your next two points were huge steps down. I'm not here to use my imagination, so don't go there. This space exploration cooperation isn't universal, and the nations left out include ones with nuclear capabilities that could fling us straight into the Capital Wasteland. This point isn't well-argued, and it's hardly fitting in the debate. You waffled a lot here too, wasting plenty of words.

Back into a better argument that addresses an point by your opponent: You competently demonstrate that the relation between hunger and space technology isn't unilateral. There's still an issue in that your consideration of the money seems one-dimensional. That $30 billion for ending world hunger might not just be $30 billion worth of food; as you said yourself, the issue is distribution, and that takes hard cash.

In all, your arguments were hit-or-miss and you've got a long way to come in how you express yourself.


The segue about chewing bubble gum doesn't make sense. Maybe that was your point, but get another point.

The point about food stamps was a good way to demonstrate that resources can be rationally prioritized and allocated both ways, but you opened up the debate in reference to starving African children and then shifted to a country that isn't recognized by the UN as needing emergency food aid.

You made a superb argument with the Green Revolution mention. You establish a recognized relationship between space technology and starvation, but the colorful language also articulates your argument very well.

And now I'm looking at a map of space and wondering what argument it's making. Oh well! Back to the debate...

"The less than $100 billion a year the planet's governments spend on space exploration will not solve those problems. It isn't going to stop the Shabaab in Somalia from starving people." - That's not true. You can't toss money at Somalia and solve everything, but funds would help manage refugees fleeing Somalia, protect them from the al-Shabab, and much more. You brush this away as if your conclusion is self-evident even though you have words available to elaborate on your conclusion. Your partner provides a money figure for how much the UN estimates it would take to solve the starvation epidemic, and it's well below $100 billion too.

"Some scientists say..." - Who? I tried looking this up and all I found were apocryphal sources. "Some say" is an argument you should never, ever, ever make, ever.

"Redirecting money and talent from space to food would not end hunger. Humanity already has the ability to do that." - Then what was that deal with Somalia? We CAN stop them from starving people? You can't have it both ways. Also, where's the proof humanity can already end world hunger? That needs substantiation.

You have severe tunnel vision in how you address the debate question, you contradict yourself and your partner constantly, and you repeatedly make claims that you never substantiate despite wasting words making arguments that are either untruthful or completely beside the point (that map of space). Regardless, when you do have a good argument that you substantiate, you do a superb job expressing yourself.


I am going to be very polite because I have a feeling you're new to this. This is not a debate. Debates employ cognizance and demonstrate genuine knowledge to honestly lead an audience to the intended logical conclusion.

"It just doesn’t make any sense to me" - This is not cognizance, this is ignorance. It's also complete bullshit; you bring up arguments on behalf on space exploration in your debate. Don't use dishonesty to lead me to a conclusion; I am not a fool, I will recognize these lies. The same goes for "for some reason or other". You're admitting that a legitimate reason may exist. That's both dishonest, and a display of ignorance.

It's self-evident that you did zero research on the subject. For example: "It is extremely unfair to the starving people that the world refuses to come together in order to end world hunger." - It's called the World Food Programme. Research can't be substituted with talking out of your ass.

On that same point, space exploration does far more than what you make it out to be. The opposing debates prove space exploration has benefited food production and preservation, but you insisting that space technology doesn't solve the starvation epidemic. Lying out of ignorance is unacceptable.

"We have enough food. We have enough money to make food." - You see this? It's called an ASSERTION. This is where you make a point that will lead to your conclusion clear. However, you also need SUBSTANTIATION where you provide undeniable evidence that your ASSERTION is a truthful statement. An ASSERTION without SUBSTANTIATION is meaningless.

You make the selfish nature of man out to be an insurmountable hill and then chastise humanity for not dying atop this hill. If humanity's selfishness is truly the inate trait you make it out to be, then it'd reason that it's an ultimately futile effort to fight against it, and that working for the greater good via space exploration has further reaching benefits than fighting every individual atrocity suffered by the few. Avoid this sort of reasoning that can be easily turned against your stance.

The claim that the benefits of space exploration are not vital because starvation exists somewhere is poorly argued. Let's extend this logic to other forms of technology. Would starving, impoverished children benefit from seatbelts? No, so by this logic, researching safety measures for automobiles is also unjustifiable. This is useless as an ultimate criterion for which technological advances need be considered imperative.

There's a lot wrong with this debate, but don't fret, every inch of improvement is an accomplishment. If you take ANYTHING from this debate, let it be this: Debates employ cognizance and demonstrate genuine knowledge to honestly lead an audience to the intended logical conclusion. Do not treat the judges as fools. SUBSTANTIATE your ASSERTIONS.

Try to take the rest of the criticism into consideration, but if you make these three points requirements from here on out, and you will drastically improve.

The Acquired Taste

"Can you believe there are people who think there's not enough funding towards space exploration?" - Who? Next time, provide evidence that this is more than a strawman.

"With this money, space agencies can still do their thing" - I doubt cutting the international space exploration budget by 75% is going to allow them to maintain their operations without drastic restructuring and scaling back.

Onto the emotional appeals... People will always die at an absurd rate, that's inevitable with a population of billions. You can occasionally feign outrage to complement strong logical arguments, but the lack of strong logical arguments here makes it feel as though you're compensating. People from various ethnic backgrounds starve too, so the race card here serves no purpose other than further compensation.

"If people want earth to be helped by exploration then I don't know...maybe they should try exploring the earth instead?" Drilling into the earth's mantle and achieving space exploration have unique challenges that require distinct technologies, so this argument doesn't carry any weight. Also, it's been demonstrated that space technology has contributes to solving world starvation. If you'd have demonstrated that penetrating the Earth's mantle yields more agricultural benefits than space exploration, you might have had an excellent point, but you didn't. Half-baked arguments won't get you full credit.

"It doesn't take 41.8 billion dollars, just a little sense." - The source you're citing doesn't agree with you: "Once we get SUFFICIENTLY RICH we can also afford to care about the environment." Also, what about this tidbit from your own source? "Jonathan Lash from the World Resources Institute says such change could thwart human attempts to tackle issues of poverty, hunger and health." This might have been a fair counterargument, but it's poorly delivered and barely related to your main point.

Your best arguments, which were already weak, were strongly refuted, and the lack of Logos cannot be compensated for by beating a dead horse named Pathos. Your logic doesn't follow and your arguments/sources did more to convince me your stance was wrong. A disappointing effort.


Neither team blew me out of the water and they both took a disappointingly narrow perspective on the question. That said, both members of Aid & deepelemblues had at least one good, undeterred point, and they did a far superior job refuting arguments from the other Team. Aid & deepelemblues easily wins.

Hollywood Hanoi
Aid & deepelemblues ran away with this with clearer arguments, better facts to back them up, counters for anything RAB & The Acquired Taste came up with and I especially like how though the question is posed as an either/or and Aid & deepelemblues was able to show not only the need for separation between exploration/ feeding hungry people but how one can positively affect the other, both were great debates rammed full of salient points, facts and insights.

RAB's is too much of an emotional rant for my liking, its not the worst approach to take but most of its facts don’t stand up to scrutiny after the educations laid down by Aid & deepelemblues, throwaways lines like “we’d rather buy stupid shit like space rockets” suggest the alternative viewpoint hasn’t really been explored when preparing. The Acquired Taste had a better approach in going for numbers and how the money is just a small percentage of the space budget but again it falls down when put against what deepelemblues had done. Not a bad debate but not enough to pull it back for RAB & The Acquired Taste, the 4 second thing was awful though, who are you Bono?

Sorry for brief feedback, I’ll elaborate more if anyone is interested but its clear as day to me that Aid & deepelemblues is the winner.

Winners via Unanimous Decision - Aid & deepelemblues

CGS & RugbyRat vs STEVIE SWAG & Elipses Corter
WWE blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality, good or bad for business?

Spoiler for Debates:
Elipses Corter

Kayfabe. The performance of scripted actions that are presented as being legitimate. This was the selling point of wrestling, dating back to the carnival days. But, times have changed. Wrestling has turned into sports entertainment. And in this era, virtually all forms of entertainment are based on reality. So, it's only natural for professional wrestling to adapt that same presentation, essentially blurring the line between kayfabe and reality. But, is it a good thing for business? Yes. In fact, it's best for business.

Before the advancement of dirtsheets and even the invention of social media, keeping kayfabe was as simple as tying your shoes. There wasn't a way for the entire fanbase to be privy to behind the scenes happenings, whether it was certain guys having heat, promoters selection for the top guy or even knowledge of the talent behind the character. It was all kept under wraps. Heels were heels at all times. I recall Michael Hayes telling a story about the Freebirds getting into a bar fight in Texas, simply because they were the Freebirds and everybody in Texas hated the Freebirds, due to their feud with the Von Erich's. That was an era where working the fans was a 24 hour job that had the potential to turn into a disaster. Fans really bought into what they were seeing, despite it all being fake.

But now, that doesn't work. Years have passed and along with it comes the advancement of social media and the availability of dirtsheets that pretty much make kayfabe impossible to abide by. Fans know how the business operates. And when the selling point of wrestling is to work the fans, the only way to do that with today's type of fan is to blur the line.

Of course, the most notable form of WWE blurring the line was CM Punk's "pipebomb" in 2011. With dirtsheets and social media, word got around beforehand about Punk's contract situation and likelihood that he wasn't going to stay. As a result, WWE works it into angle, with Punk cutting an "unscripted" and scathing promo on his employer that shook up the entire industry. It made Punk & WWE a hot topic, not only in the wrestling word, but in mainstream media, as TMZ & ESPN both donated coverage to the story. That generated interest from both types of fans (wrestling and non wrestling). That led to an 18.2% increase in PPV buys for Money In The Bank, in comparison to the previous year.

They got exposure, which is a goal in promoting your brand. Good or bad, people were talking. WWE was acknowledged. And fans were worked by WWE blurring that line.

People like to call this the Reality Era. Reason being, in this era, a lot of the occurrences are based on what happens behind the scenes that most fans already know. Look at Daniel Bryan. Countless stories of how WWE doesn't want him to be THAT guy. And what does WWE do? Turn it into an angle where the on screen bosses reveal they don't want him to be THAT guy. It's an easy story to tell, per the reality of behind the scenes.

With blurring the line, some may say that social media is a negative. And it is but only in regards to abiding solely by kayfabe. Heels can't be heels, for fear of backlash for what they may say online. The positive comes from blurring the line, where a lot of your on screen occurrences make mention of the reality of social media, such HHH's constant mocking of certain fans habit of complaining on social media. It paints the picture that you're mad, you get online to complain, they acknowledge your complaints but use it to make you even more mad, while also getting themselves and the story over. It's all about working.

Blurring the line gives you more to work. You work your fanbase, you work the real world. The former keeps fans on their toes, giving the product a sense of realism via WWE giving a nudge, as to say "we know you know...but you don't really know". The latter increase the prospect of getting more eyes on your product. Getting exposure. It's essentially promotion.

On Steve Austin's recent podcast, he asked HHH was kayfabe dead. He acknowledged the split between fans who take it for what it is and the fans who know what's really going on. In HHH's own words, “Times changed. Just telling a story and people accepting that storyline for what it is, as a storyline, is gone."

"Times changed."

And the business has to change with it. The way to change is to present a product that blurs the line. As cliche as it sounds, it's best for business.


'Is kayfabe dead?' was Austin's first question to Hunter as the podcast went on air few weeks ago. Speaking of which, a real good podcast that is, no? Who would've thought that some day, right after Raw went off the air, the WWE themselves would break kayfabe and do shoot interviews about their product? Except, they aren't. What if I told you that while they presented it as a legitimate shoot, they were still working you?

They weren't breaking kayfabe. If anything, they were blurring the lines between reality and kayfabe. And hell yes, it is good for business.

With the advancement in social media, the fans of today seem to believe they know everything about the business. And that's where this concept comes in. While not everyone was aware of the backstage doings back in the day, today, dirtsheets are at the tip of the fingers of anyone with internet. So now, WWE acknowledges all of these things which people can easily find on the internet on their own programming and make it seem like general knowledge. That way, they are still in control of the situation, cause basically, all they're giving you is what you could've found out anyway, and at the same time, your friend Mark's all happy cause he believes he's getting some insider dirt from 'E themselves, making it a must-see program for him.

And its not just with the podcast, that's how it is with most things today.

Total Divas, for another instance. They'll make it seem like a reality show covering the real lives of the divas. There will be some things from time to time, like the Bryan/Bella proposal, which is real, but while they make you feel like you're getting a look at what's happening behind the scenes, they're only really showing you what they want you to see. This concept provides them with the freedom to create more of such shows which revolve around reality, something that actually has a good demand.

Counters! Now you might say things like Cena's a face, but is seen with a heel Nikki on TD. Or Hunter's this horrible boss on TV, but he's then tweeting about making a kid's day by inviting him backstage. The thing is, if they didn't show you the bully Big Show doing an anti-bullying campaign, someone else would have. Again, this isn't the 80s anymore, and its really hard to keep these things low key with the advent of social media. Besides, them advertising their guys doing these things only adds to their company's image.

Today, they're operating just like how every other soap opera operates. The characters play their roles on TV and be themselves off camera, there's shows about behind the scenes stuff, they do off-character interviews, etcetera etcetera. And wrestling essentially is soap opera, and I think people have come to accept the way things work now.

And if you feel like the behind-the-scenes programs like WWE24 ruin the experience for you, like by showing things like Taker collapsing at gorilla after his match and Vince calling for an ambulance, well, again, that would've got out through dirtsheets anyway (and it had). Besides, it isn't like they show you Vince booking matches in the boardroom or anything, they only show you what they want you to see.

Lets talk about the times when they blurred lines with their storylines. Of all the instances, CM Punk's road to MITB is what comes to mind first. We know how that went, and his shoot is talked about even to this day. It was also the first time in a while that something in wrestling got mainstream media coverage, and that was seen with the spike in the PPV buys for that month, which was up by a considerable amount (1). With such storylines, sometimes, even the smart fans who think they know everything are caught by surprise. And at the same time, with the exposure that such controversial storylines get, it puts new eyes on the product. And that's always a good thing.

The fans are willing to put up with kayfabe today, but only to a certain extent, and the last two Rumbles are proof. And in both the instances, the only way 'E could control the situation was by addressing the reality of it, and incorporating it into the storyline.

This blurring tactic isn't something new, its just that it is practiced more often now than ever, and that's because times have changed and its really hard to maintain kayfabe like it was before, cause today, pretty much all the factors go against it. And that's where this illusion of breaking kayfabe comes in. Imo, blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality HAS become the new kayfabe. And yes, it is the way to go.

(1) -


WWE blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality is certainly a concept that is good for business

But what exactly does “good for business” mean?

It’s simple really. WWE is a publically traded company and like every other PLC their main purpose is to make $$$ and ensure that the profits achieved meet the expectations of their shareholders. How is this achieved you ask? Easy from the use of PPV buys, TV ratings and other revenue streams.

Looking at one of the main individuals responsible for blurring the lines of kayfabe - CM Punk, we are shown a glaring success story. His style of "worked shoot" promo has proven to be a huge success for the WWE, especially in terms of buyrates and revenues. Whilst Punk had flirted with the main-event sporadically in 2009 & '10, it was the famous "Pipe-bomb" promo on the 6/27/11 Raw which helped elevate him to stardom, as well as fabulously promoting the Punk v Cena match at Money in the Bank. The buyrate produced by the MITB pay-per-view was largely based on the Punk/Cena bout and was a very attractive 195,000 buys. This figure was larger than both the 2010 & 2012 edition of the PPV. Money in the Bank also outdrew the previous month's PPV - Capitol Punishment by 25,000 buys. On the back of the hype created by Punk, WWE were able to produce a great selling biopic on him. CM Punk's "Best in the World" documentary comfortably outsold the DVD's of Triple H, Goldberg, The NWO, Mick Foley and more.

WWE owe quasi-shoot storylines for the break out of another main-eventer in Edge. Having returned from injury at Backlash 2004, he was beginning to receive X-Pac heat, most notably GETTING BOOED IN HIS HOMETOWN at SummerSlam that year. Whilst Edge turned heel in November that year and did win the Money in the Bank briefcase at 'Mania 21, it was not until mid-2005 that Edge really changed gear. Enter MATT HARDY. The plot of the feud between the two was simple; even for wrestling standards, "girl leaves Guy A for Guy B, so Guy A tries to regain the girl whilst exacting revenge on Guy B". The difference between this rivalry and all the other valet storylines was that the feud was base on real events, which magnified the intensity. The feud helped Edge gain huge amounts of heat in 2005, getting him over as an arrogant and sadistic heel helping him become the perfect antagonist to John Cena for most of 2006. Edge was a great draw in '06 and beyond, both in terms of ratings and buyrates, making him undoubtably good for business having had his credibility bolstered by his feud with Matt.

As well as long-term benefits, there are also short-term rewards from blending reality and kayfabe. The 2013 Money in the Bank PPV certainly helped WWE get money in the bank, as it gained a very good 200,000 buys, the largest a MITB PPV had ever received, and an improvement on the solid Payback buyrate the month before. The PPV itself was primarily built on Mark Henry's retirement speech and swerve on Raw though. The angle was built up brilliantly, rumours surfaced over the 'net of Henry's retirement culminating in him doing a leaving promo, which was revealed as false. He subsequently attacked Cena and revealed he had "plenty more left in the tank". The uniqueness and shoot elements of the angle resonated in a great buyrate created more revenue, making the angle "good for business".

The man who coined the term "good for business" has actually been very good for business alongside his real life spouse Stephanie McMahon, for example Survivor Series which was primarily based on The Authority's removal drew a buyrate of 100,000 buys, which was 60,000 more than TLC&S - the PPV which succeeded it. Also worth noting is that when The Authority were "removed" from television that there were as a decrease in television viewing figures, a trend which continued until they were brought back.

To summarise; the more realistic an angle is the more authentic it becomes. The more authentic an angle is then the more likely it is to attract viewers and money to the WWE product, which makes the blending of kayfabe and reality categorically "good for business".


For PPV Buyrates pre-Network

For Survivor Series and TLC&S Buyrates (they're in the table on page six)

WWE Ratings 2014

WWE Ratings 2015

Punk's DVD Purchases


WWE Blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality, good or bad for business?

With a wider range of insider information available and social media constantly growing, blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality is indeed what is good for business.

When we talk about “blurring the lines” what we mean is essentially writing a storyline and then throwing in real life aspects to help drive it or forward (i.e. The Summer Of Punk 11’, Edge/Lita/Matt love triangle and the Montreal screwjob) In fact the Montreal screwjobitself was arguably the biggest blurred WWE(F) storyline to date.

In the lead up to that night it was very well documented that both Shawn and Bret had a genuine dislike for one another and the thought of dropping the WWE title to HBK in his hometown was the last thing Bret wanted to….Shame for him that the WWE didn’t see things the same way.

No matter what people have to say about how that match ended the real life hatred between Hart and Shawn helped fuel this feud and really get the fans pumped up even more for their matchup. In fact this PPV received WWE’s highest PPV buyrate since Wrestlemania XII (1996)[1] . That survivor series itself actually outsold the Mania that very same year with a 0.89[2] rating compared to 0.77[3] for Mania . Proof from early that mixing kayfabe and reality does indeed work quite well.

Even if you wanna look at more recent storylines both the Summer of Punk 11’ and The Bryan/Authority angle gained large amounts of interest and in the end drove both men up the merchandise sellers list. Hell in 2011 not only did his pipe bomb promo and the fallout from it help the company in terms of improved ratings and a great MITB buyrate but in that same period CM Punk became one of the companies top merchandise sellers [4][5],even surpassing Cena at one stage.

End of the day money talks and time and time again in more than one way blurring the lines has proven to bring in the $$$.

But it goes against tradition and could damage the future of the company long term

Let’s face it, in 2015 due to the rise of social media and the internet in general even the most casual wrestling fan is somewhat of a “smart” fan and knows the inner workings of the organisation meaning it’s almost impossible for the company to book storylines pushes etc…and have the fans accept that for what it is. Don’t believe me, look at what the COO of the company Triple H said himself during his podcast with Austin.

Originally Posted by Triple H
Just telling that storyline and people accepting it for what it is as a storyline is gone.
Originally Posted by Triple H
Kayfabe is dead. They’ll believe a storyline to an extent but also know the reality behind it
Two bold statements from the guy many believe will take over the company one day essentially saying that he feels trying to play by the old school method of kayfabe can’t work, which really also gives the company the opportunity to use it to their advantage.

Think about it, everyone knows wrestling is staged but the fans still expect to be “worked” by the company and keep the kayfabe mindset which in turn really does creates a brilliant opportunity for the WWE to exploit and make money of off them. Look at past examples if you don’t believe me.

Edge became a mega heel after the fans turned on him during the Edge/Lita/Hardy love triangle, Daniel Bryan’s stardom grew by having the real life executive officers come out and say he’s not a star, something many fans felt was true. CM Punk became a mega star by calling out Cena as a kiss, saying Vince is out of touch and bullshits about “grabbing the brass ring” [6][7] .

So let’s just break it down one last time. You’re doing half the work…making the fans happy…and making more money in the process? Yeah no way is blurring the lines can be “bad for business” in that regard. It may not be the most traditional method of booking but it’s a great way for the company to create stars while essentially letting the fans and the superstars do half the booking for them allowing them to sit back and reap the rewards.

Naturally this will feel like a hard pill to swallow for the more old school traditional wrestling fans but the truth is that the days of Vince sending out the good guy against bad guy in a superhero style good vs evil battle are dead and buried. Blurring the lines between both kayfabe and reality is indeed a huge proven money maker for the company and when it’s all said and done… is what’s best for business.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Elipses Corter - You take a while to get to your first point with the history lesson but your 3rd paragraph got you there nicely. You probably could have got there with a more condensed 2nd paragraph though but the point about it being easier for fans to know what is and isn't real was well made. Punk example was done well. I thought you could have expanded on the buyrate effect it had a bit more. A wider comparison to show just how big a difference it made would have strengthened that case even further. What you have is fine in showing the jump it did though but the words you could have saved from the 2nd paragraph would have been better used here with a wider comparison to PPVs either side of it and in future years for Money in the Bank. I think the Bryan example is iffy. Did blurring the lines and acknowledging that Bryan wasn't the image of WWE's prototype main eventer really help? It definitely would have if they followed through and Bryan became that main event guy but he didn't and I'd hardly call the Bryan thing as of late good for business. There's a good argument to be made that by WWE blurring the lines they've only made the crowd reactions worse and the backlash stronger. What good is acknowledging that Bryan isn't your idea of a main eventer if he doesn't become your main eventer? There's no link here to it being good for business like you had with Punk/Cena. Similar point for the next paragraph, is it good heat that's good for business or just pissing fans off to the point of being bad for business? Yes it's WWE blurring the lines but what is the outcome? You're not showing it to be good for business here. You say "The latter increase the prospect of getting more eyes on your product." but has it? If you're going to say it gets more exposure and more people watching then you need to show it. Ok you did that for Punk/Cena but that's all you have and thus you could counter argue it as being one isolated example. If it is good for business then there should be more than one example of it being so you can go to.

STEVIE SWAG - Ok you start off referencing the podcast and the first thing I think of is that that was breaking not blurring the kayfabe line. You then say it wasn't breaking kayfabe but never say why? Those 2 podcast both told everyone that wrestling isn't real which is breaking kayfabe no? There was no blurring, just straight up shattering the illusion that what they see on Raw is real competition and real rivalries. The Total Divas example works better because it still keeps intact the idea that what you see on Raw is real and yes WWE blurring the lines makes this show possible by showing Nikki and Cena together for example. All you needed then to cap this point off was showing that it's good for business. You say "something that actually has a good demand." but never show this demand to be true. I can take your word for it but it still leaves some doubt to your claim. If you provide the source and the evidence to prove that claim then it's undeniable and leaves you with a much stronger argument. Don't just say something to be so, show it to be so. This would have been pretty easy just by showing Total Divas to be profitable for WWE. You get back to breaking rather than blurring next. If Hunter is completely breaking character on Twitter then there's no blurring. There's no this is based on reality but still a work that you can buy into being real. It's just Hunter (and Cena does it on Twitter too) straight up telling people what you see me play on Raw is totally fake. I don't really like the Show example either. Again it's completely breaking kayfabe. Blurring the lines would be having Big Show get negative publicity in reality for being a bully and then playing a bully on TV. With that it's just completely breaking kayfabe and they do it on the same show he then comes out and plays the character he's just been shown campaigning against. You don't show why this is good for business anyway despite it being breaking not blurring. The point that "them advertising their guys doing these things only adds to their company's image." is easily countered by saying that they have a roster full of good guys to do that, why have the bully do it? With soap operas kayfabe isn't a thing. With WWE it is and the question clearly indicates it's still a thing if there's a line for it to blur. Again though you're focusing too much on breaking kayfabe not blurring it and not showing how it's good for business. Punk example is better but it's also nothing that your partner didn't say so you're just repeating his argument. Honestly there isn't really much in this that supports your stance besides one example that your partner also used. Besides a lack of supporting evidence to prove some of your claims, it's mostly just using cases where breaks rather than blurs the lines between that is your issue but sadly it's a pretty significant issue. Because of that it also made your debates feel disconnected as one of you got it right and the other didn't. Plus you both repeated the Punk/Cena example almost word for word which doesn't exactly show great teamwork or create a situation where the sum of the combined output is greater than that of the two individual outputs.

RugbyRat - You never actually explicitly state your stance here until the very end. You get away with it because it's clear what your stance is which is down to good written communication and strong and clear arguments but be aware of it because it can be a bad habit to get into. Good stuff defining what good for business actually is. Doing the same for the first half of the question could have been advantageous to, especially given STEVIE SWAG's debate. Punk/Cena example is great and the connection to it being good for business is great. This was the wider comparison that I said would have helped Elipses Corter and thus allowed you to make the same point much better. The DVD part was a nice creative addition too that I probably wouldn't have thought of myself. Hardy/Edge example is also great and you do a good job showing why the blurred lines made this feud bigger and better than if it was the same angle but with Christian for example. Good job linking it to kickstarting Edge's singles career too. Henry/Cena example is also good although there's a strong counter that the buyrate had a lot to do with the star studded MITB match that main evented over Henry/Cena. Attributing it directly to Henry/Cena is probably a tad favourable to them but it's also impossible to argue that fans brought it more for one main event than the other. Just be aware of cases like that for future examples though but it worked here. The only negative with this debate was the last example. How do you attribute blurring the lines between kayfabe and reality to that angle? Because Hunter and Steph are a couple in reality too? That wasn't driving the angle nor was it the selling point for that buyrate so this example didn't really work. Now if the angle was that Hunter and Steph would be removed in reality terms as well then you can make this argument but it was purely a kayfabe angle with no elements of reality stipulation wise. "the more realistic an angle is the more authentic it becomes" is a great line though. This was by far your best debate and it's clear you've taken my feedback from recent debates on board and it clearly improved the strength of your arguments which was great to see. Dare I even say this was title contention standard?

CGS - Good job defining the first half of the question. I guess RugbyRat can ignore what I said regarding that now as I didn't realise CGS covered it. Great stuff and it counters STEVIE SWAG 's breaking kayfabe examples too. The Shawn/Bret example is good although I thought for sure you were going to use it to argue that blurring the lines allowed WWE to create the Vince character which has undisputedly been good for business. You missed a great point there. Was Survivor Series 97 built upon the reality of the situation? When you're going back to previous eras that we aren't living through it helps to clarify things like that. I'm not sure the reality of it is what produced the buyrate. Now if you had added the rating Raw did when Bret returned then you'd have better evidence because that was purely blurred lines driven. In theory this was a great example but you just fell short on the evidence for it. Again the Vince character being born from it would have been a super strong argument for you. Punk example is a repeat but unlike SWAG & Corter you use different evidence to present it. Read what I said in Corter's feedback though regarding the Bryan example because I think it's iffy and overall hasn't exactly been great for business because of the blurred lines. You do a better job with it though by at least saying it made Bryan a bigger star, or at least got his fans louder for him, but it still ignores the negative effect it has had. After that it feels like your debate loses momentum and you're just trying to wrap things up but have so many words left that you're trying to find a way to use them without anything that strong to attach them too. There's nothing wrong with the rest of it but it's not as strong as what came before from both you and your partner. While this wasn't as strong as RugbyRat's he was also favoured by having the stronger and easier to argue examples and by the end of your debate it felt a bit like between the pair of you, you had run through everything you had leaving you with the burden of carrying the momentum loss. You worked really well as a team too and both debates clearly supported each other's very well without repeating covered ground. You definitely picked up some synergy points with the distribution of your content between the two debates.

Easy choice. RugbyRat and CGS had the 2 strongest debates and the greater synergy between the 2 pair of debates. STEVIE SWAG 's debate made it a real struggle for him and Corter but even using the same quality in that debate and answering the question better wouldn't have changed the result. RugbyRat and CGS not only answered the question properly and better but also supported their arguments by proving their stance was good for business much better.

Winners - RugbyRat & CGS

Ok now I need another mini rant about abbreviations. I'm really hoping some of you just missed my posts clarifying what abbreviations will and won't be accepted but there's no excuse after this card for you all now. No to abbreviations that wouldn't be used in the media, either spoken or written. A professional news reported wouldn't refer to Money In The Bank as MITB or Total Divas as TD so don't do it in a debate. It's not fair on those who type it out properly who then have to use up more words. If people refer to it by the abbreviation in normal talk (e.g. people say WWE not World Wrestling Entertainment) then it's ok. If not (nobody says last night on TD) then don't abbreviate it. Play fair. Some of you even decided that sometimes you'd abbreviate the word and other times you wouldn't which was odd. Money In The Bank is 4 words not 1. Stop cheating the word count unfairly.

BkB Hulk
All right, I’m just going to give you feedback as teams as a whole, because you’re all competent enough writers and I feel this is the key difference in the match.

Elipses Corter & STEVIE SWAG
The first debate featured the points that it’s hard to keep kayfabe now because of how society is, that the way to work the fans is to blur the line with the successful examples of Punk and Bryan, and that it means they can work more fans by pretending they know. The second debate featured the points that they’re working the fans by pretending the fans know more than they do, that it’s harder to keep kaybabe now because of how it is, and the ability to blur the line being successful with the success of Punk.

See the problem? You’ve basically got the same debate twice. I’m not sure if it’s down to a lack of communication or if you wanted to cover the same points but in different fashion, but it’s all a bit similar, and I could have read just one debate and got the details of your argument.

There were some stronger arguments and some weaker ones. The use of Bryan on top of Punk in the first debate was good, as were the stats (which your partner kind of referred to but did a poorer job of it). The Total Divas argument in the other one is a bit weird, because I feel like no one really believes it’s all real and that it’s another example of blurring the line instead of trying to preserve kayfabe in a show.

The first debate was quite good, and the second wasn’t bad either, albeit not as good as the first. The problem is that they really may as well just a single 800 word debate, instead of 1600 words of two debates.

RugbyRat & CGS
Similar problems here. You’ve both covered the same storylines, which leads to repetition. I just don’t feel any more convinced by something if someone says it once or twice.

With that said, there was a lot to like about these debates individually, and even as a pair I thought you did a better job. The first debate covers the buyrate argument really well, and because you have 1600 words, that’s all it really needs to do. I liked that, while there was some repetition (as I’ve mentioned), you’ve saved the argument about society making kayfabe hard now to just one debate. It doesn’t need repeating.

I think this is the winner mainly on the strength of the first debate, which was allowed thanks to greater space for arguments to build due to the full 1600 words being utilised.

Winners: RugbyRat & CGS

Elipses Corter & STEVIE SWAG

Decent job in covering how both the importance of and the challenge of keeping kayfabe has changed over the years, and how that essentially means blurring the line is a necessity; however your Punk example almost makes this line blurring seem as a once in a while “trick” rather than a constant of today’s environment.

I think you missed an opportunity when covering the Bryan angle and Triple H’s mocking of complaining fans to discuss the risks and downsides of blurring the lines - i.e. at what point does deliberately antagonising and insulting your audience in a “non-worked” style cross the line; and what implications are there to labelling your most popular guy as a “B+”?

Acknowledging that it is a risky strategy would enable you to put forward some counters to pre-empt arguments against your stance. Luckily your opponents argued the same position, but good counter-arguments would have gone a long way anyway.

While I thought the callback to the Austin/Triple H podcast was smart and timely, you guys kind of botched it by having it mentioned at the end of part 1, and then mentioning it anew at the start of STEVIE SWAG's. It’s a minor thing but it breaks the flow of this as a cohesive tag effort, and of course it means you waste some of your word count.

The beginning of STEVIE SWAG'S part of this debate really goes off the rails for me - most of the examples given are simply cases of WWE not keeping kayfabe as opposed to examples of them blurring kayfabe and reality. WWE controlling the presentation of reality elements is not the same thing as them blurring the lines.

When you do then get round to discussing the blurring of kayfabe and reality, the Punk example is used again, along with the same PPV buyrate argument used by Elipses Corter. That pretty much confirms that you guys had zero communication on this debate.

The second half of this entry lets it down massively. The first part was solid, if somewhat basic and safe in terms of the examples used; and if matched by a second part of equal standard could have made for good all-round debate but unfortunately the total lack of cohesion along with STEVIE SWAG seemingly missing the premise of the question makes this a bit of a dud.

RugbyRat & CGS

Okay this is more like it, love that you jump straight into defining what “good for business” actually means, and you put far more meat on the bones of the CM Punk example than your opponents did.

I liked that you brought up the Edge/Hardy/Lita situation, you could probably have made a bit more impact with this example but I see where you’re trying to go by focusing more on what it meant in terms of elevating Edge to a position where he was boosting buys etc.

I feel that the Henry example was a little tenuous, and it highlights a flaw in this entry in that by specifically defining “good for business” as meaning buys and higher rates, it’s then pushing you to try to connect everything to buyrates. Using buys as arguments in these sort of debates is tricky territory as the suggestion ends up being that one person, angle etc is responsible for a PPV doing well or ratings being up. Sometimes you can get away with it (i.e. with the Punk/MITB 11 example) - but you REALLY have your work cut out in crediting the MITB 13 buyrate to Cena/Henry, regardless of how creatively satisfying/successful the Henry retirement fake-out was.

I think for examples like that, a better strategy would have been to argue that such segments create buzz and make for an unpredictable product that has people wanting to tune in - rather than trying to connect the dots between X segment and Y buyrate.

The weakest argument of this part of the debate comes at the end, as the Authority’s removal isn’t really a good example of blurring reality and kayfabe in my opinion, and the use of buyrates here is also way off.

I liked CGS bringing up the Shawn/Bret issues and the Montreal screwjob to help show that this isn’t just a modern thing - really helps put your debate ahead of your opponents who only go as far back as Punk’s “pipebomb”. Again we’re throwing around buyrates - I guess it’s difficult to really “quantify” what “good for business” equates to so I am forgiving both you and your opponents for relating on buys/ratings to make your arguments.

I think you effectively counter the argument for “tradition”, although I’m not so sure I agree with the comment about only needing to do half of the work, as a case could be made for it being more difficult to effectively blur the lines than it is to maintain a facade, but it doesn’t hurt your debate.

I do think both debates dodged the big argument against blurring the lines, and that’s the situation we’ve seen with the Rumble for the past 2 years - particularly this year given the direction they’re now going in. Fortunately since you both argued the same stance this is a non-issue but it would have been great to see this addressed with some solid counters.

The Decision: RugbyRat & CGS, easily.

Winners via Unanimous Decision - RugbyRat & CGS

Aid & Stax Classic vs «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» & The Rabid Wolverine
Out of OKC Thunder, Phoenix Suns or New Orleans Pelicans, which will make the Play Offs in the West?

Spoiler for Debates:
The Rabid Wolverine

There are currently 3 teams slugging it out for the 8th and final seed in the NBA’s Western Conference. Those teams are Phoenix (29-25), Oklahoma City (28-25), and New Orleans (27-26). As of today, February 17, 2015, Phoenix has the 8th seed. However, by the end of the regular season, I expect Oklahoma City to be the team to claim the 8th and final seed in the conference, leaving New Orleans and Phoenix out of the playoffs.
The biggest reason I believe Oklahoma City will make it over Phoenix and New Orleans boils down to talent. The Thunder simply have more talent than either the Suns or the Pelicans. I truly believe if the Thunder had remained healthy this entire season, they would be contending for the 1st overall seed, not fighting and struggling to claim the last playoff spot.

It is true that every single team in the NBA has to deal with injuries. New Orleans has had their own issues with injuries, as Jrue Holiday has missed 16 games for the Pelicans, and Anthony Davis is currently side lined with a shoulder injury. Phoenix has actually remained relatively healthy at least among their top players (Dragic, Bledsoe, Markieff Morris, Isaiah Thomas, Gerald Green, Alex Len, and Miles Plumlee have all played 52 or more games this year). Oklahoma City, however, has seen Kevin Durant, quite possibly the best player in the entire world last year, miss 27 games. The loss of Durant alone would be nearly impossible to overcome, but on top of that Oklahoma City has also seen Russell Westbrook, a top 5 NBA player in my opinion, miss 14 games. Losing those 2 players for that length of time makes Oklahoma City’s record a lot worse than it would be had they not been bit with the injury bug. The entire Oklahoma City offense is built around the once-in-a-generation scoring ability of Kevin Durant and the electrifying play making of Russell Westbrook. They are not even the same team with both of those guys missing.

When you realize, even though the Thunder have only had about 24 games this season at full health (when you account for games where Durant played but had limited minutes or left early due to injury), that they have still managed to post a 28-25 record, only 1 game back from Phoenix, it is borderline miraculous. The only way a person could pick Phoenix or New Orleans over Oklahoma City would be if they believed either: a.) Oklahoma City was going to suffer more injury problems or b.) The Pelicans/Suns will make some crazy trade before the deadline that makes them instant title contenders. I seriously doubt either team is either capable or in the market to make such a trade, neither team has the assets to swing a monster deal and furthermore there simply aren’t any super star players on the trading block.

That leaves the health of the Thunder going forward as the only possible hurdle to them securing the 8th and final seed. Of course, no one can predict with 100% accuracy whether or not a team is going to suffer catastrophic injuries, but we can use previous injury history to help give us insight into the future. I don’t think it is a stretch to say, as long as the Thunder have Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka on the floor, they will contend for a Western Conference Championship. They have proven that over the past 3-4 seasons. Before this season, Kevin Durant had only missed 14 total games in his entire NBA career. Then of course, Russell Westbrook famously had not missed a single basketball game since before high school until Patrick Beverly recklessly undercut Westbrook’s knee in the 2013 playoffs while Russell was trying to call a time out, a complete fluke of an injury. Ibaka has averaged almost 77 games per year since joining the league in 2009, an excellent record of health for a big man. Seeing that, it would make sense then to look at the horrible luck with injuries the Thunder have faced this year as just that: horrible luck, with no reason to believe that luck will continue after the All-Star break.

In conclusion, now that the Oklahoma City Thunder FINALLY have their 3 stars all on the court together, and seeing as how they are, as of right now, only 1 game out of the playoff race, I have no choice but to say Phoenix and New Orleans will NOT be in the playoffs come spring time, the Thunder will have that last spot locked up.


While early on in the season the Oklahoma City Thunder's playoff chances looked potentially in doubt due to injuries to star point guard Russell Westbrook and reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant, those worries are an issue no longer. As of the NBA's trading deadline, February 19th, the Thunder have all but secured the Western Conference's 8th seed.

How can we be so sure, though?

Putting aside the fact that Westbrook, Durant, and Ibaka are perhaps the NBA's most dominant trio, they are cemented as the 8th seed for two reasons: Addition and Subtraction.

Originally Posted by Trade Deadline
Pistons Receive: Reggie Jackson
Thunder Receive : Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler, D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak
Jazz Receive : Kendrick Perkins, Rights to Tibor Pleiss, 1st & 2nd round picks
With this trade, the Oklahoma City Thunder strengthened their team across the board. Reggie Jackson, a ball-dominant point guard who often looks for his own shot as opposed to helping his teammates, simply isn't as good as the willing-to-distribute Augustin. Kanter and Singler, meanwhile, will provide two more legitimate scoring options for the Thunder to take advantage of.

DJ Augustin's PER (Player Efficiency Rating) during his season with the Bulls in 2013-2014 was 16.8, which is higher than the 15.4 PER that Reggie Jackson posted that same season. This season, though each player's PER is identical (15.6), DJ Augustin possesses a higher TS% (True Shooting Percentage) than Jackson (Augustin's 53.6% compared to Jackson's 51.1%). This difference in TS% is even more apparent when you compare Augustin's run with the Bulls to Jackson's '13-'14 season - Augustin's 57.4% TS% absolutely dwarfs Jackson's 52.7%. Augustin's assist percentage with the Bulls (29.3%) and this season (32.8%) best Jackson's percentages of 23.1% last season and 25.4% this season. DJ Augustin is simply a better point guard than Reggie Jackson, and he will help the Thunder's bench tremendously.

Enes Kanter, a young offensive-minded big man from Turkey, will also provide a boost to the Thunder's chances at winning NBA gold. While Kendrick Perkins' leadership off of the court may be irreplaceable, his presence on the court was miniscule, and often a net negative for the Thunder. Kanter can score in a multitude of ways, something that Perkins has never in his career been able to do consistently. While Kanter may lack defensively, playing him next to Serge Ibaka or Steven Adams will mask his flaws significantly. Kanter's career PER of 16.4 is over twice that of Kendrick Perkins' with the Thunder (7.94). OKC handed the role of starting Center to Steven Adams, and gaining the offensive skill set of Enes Kanter greatly mitigates the minor loss of Kendrick Perkins.

While the additions of Kyle Singler and Steve Novak may be more minor, both may play important roles for the Thunder (Singler likely more so). In today's NBA, you can never have enough shooting, and these two men provide that in spades. These two will aid the Thunder's bench, which is now one of the deepest in the NBA.

Originally Posted by Trade Deadline
Heat Receive : Goran Dragic, Zoran Dragic, John Salmons
Suns Receive : Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton, Two 1st-round picks
Pelicans Receive : Shawne Williams, Norris Cole
Celtics Receive : Isaiah Thomas
Suns Receive : Marcus Thornton, 2016 1st-round pick (via Cavaliers)
Bucks Receive : Michael Carter-Williams, Miles Plumlee, Tyler Ennis
Suns Receive : Brandon Knight
76ers Receive : Protected 2015-17 1st-round pick (via Lakers)
On the day of the NBA's trading deadline, the Suns undoubtedly took a significant step backwards in regards to their chances of making the playoffs.

In trading away Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas for three 1st-round picks, the Phoenix Suns essentially withdrew themselves from competition for the 8th seed. It is clear that, as of now, they are building towards the future. Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, Markieff Morris, Alex Len are all fantastic young players whom are covetable, but this young core is not going to be able to out-muscle the Thunder for the final playoff spot in the West.

The New Orleans Pelicans never really had a shot. They've been plodding along all season, being solid but not spectacular. Anthony Davis is certainly one of the best players in the NBA already, but he is not enough. With him expected to miss up to two weeks after reaggravating his prior shoulder injury, and Ryan Anderson expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained MCL, their playoff hopes are all but deceased.

Even with Kevin Durant potentially out an extended period of time, the Thunder will not relinquish their grasp on the 8th seed. Russell Westbrook has been absolutely dominating in the month of February, averaging 31.8 points on 48% shooting, 7.9 rebounds and 9.3 assists in 35.8 minutes, he and the Thunder can and will keep a hold of their playoff position.

Stax Classic

The Oklahoma City Thunder will not only make the playoffs in the Western Conference, but they may even sneak out the number seven seed. Of the three teams involved for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Thunder, all three were active at the trade deadline. Oklahoma City traded dissension for gold, New Orleans traded yesterday’s trash for tomorrow’s trash, and Phoenix blew every pundits mind by completely blowing up the teams existing chemistry. Looking at the schedule, Oklahoma City has a decided advantage in the number of remaining home games, and in the remaining strength of schedule.

Why Phoenix Will Not Come Together in Time
Phoenix had one of the best young point guards in the game in Goran Dragic. In the off season, they signed Isiah Thomas who averaged twenty points a game last year to be the third guard off the bench behind Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. At the trade deadline, the Suns traded Dragic and Thomas in separate trades for Brandon Knight and Marcus Thornton respectively. Dragic and Knight are similar players in that they are shoot first guards, but their strengths are completely opposite of each other. Phoenix relied on Dragic on pick and rolls, but Knight is a lot worse in the short game. 1

Now Phoenix has to gel in time for a run at the playoffs, when Phoenix could not even make the playoffs last year, despite winning fifty games. Phoenix just blew up whatever chemistry their team may have had, trading away a third of their regular rotation guys. Phoenix will need the chemistry going immediately to keep up with an Oklahoma City team who just traded a bad chemistry guy who demanded a trade in Reggie Jackson for an offensive big in Enes Kanter, and two more floor spacers off the bench in Kyle Singler and D.J. Augustin?

Why New Orleans is Asking Too Much of One Man
New Orleans has Anthony Davis, the probable defensive player of the year, and a real contender for most valuable player. The problem is, New Orleans has not much else besides Davis. New Orleans tried the three strong guards approach the past couple seasons with J’Rue Holiday, Eric Gordon, and Tyreke Evans, grossly handicapping their team salary cap wise. They also traded for disgruntled center Omer Asik last off season. Asik allows Davis to play power forward, but New Orleans has a hole at small forward.

The most New Orleans could have done was to try to trade one of Gordon and Evans for a true small forward, so that they don’t have to be starting Dante Cunningham and Luke Babbitt there. Instead, New Orleans traded John Salmons for Norris Cole, and a bunch of players to be waived later. Holiday recently injured his leg, and then had a further set back, and is not expected back until April. Cole fills that hole that Holiday being out creates, but can New Orleans tread water long enough without Holiday? The outlook is doubtful.

In a recent game versus Chicago, when Davis got hurt, the difference with and without Davis was immense.
New Orleans badly needs Davis to stay healthy, but they are asking too much and giving him far too little to work with. Much like Michel Jordan in the 1980’s, one man can only do so much. Kevin Durant is out for a week just like Davis, but Oklahoma City has Russell Westbrook to take over when he is out or having an off night, Davis does not have that luxury.

Why the Schedule Favors Oklahoma City
Wonder what the remaining schedule looks like for these three teams. An ESPN stats and info blog posted earlier this week says:
“According to NBA BPI strength of schedule, the Thunder have the easiest remaining schedule among the top 10 teams in the Western Conference. The Suns have the sixth-toughest slate in the league overall. “
It also calculates the chance of the Thunder making the playoffs as 73 percent.
Phoenix has fourteen games left on the road, with an average opponents home win percentage in those games of .598 to Phoenix’s .481 road win percentage. New Orleans also has fourteen road games left, while their opponents win .554 of the time at home to New Orleans abysmal .385 road win percentage. How can these teams expect to catch up to an Oklahoma City team that is already ahead of them in the standings, with more home games remaining than anyone in the league?

Phoenix is going to struggle to mesh with their new players in crucial roles, New Orleans is too reliant on an overwhelmed Davis to do everything for them, and the schedule just favors a more talented Oklahoma City team.

Spoiler for large pictures:




Dear Russell Westbrook,

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I really doubt you guys, Sometimes I feel the Brow and Mini-Bron are too much to handle. Sometimes I feel you won’t make the playoffs in the West and you won’t win the 8th seed. Then I remember the Thunder have God on their side. You, the WestGOD.

This isn’t news to you, Russell, but you’re amazing. You currently lead the league in 30/10 games this season[1]. You just set a Thunder record for most assists in a game with 17[2]. You are the 2nd player in NBA history to have at least 20 points, 15 assists, 5 rebounds in under 30 minutes after Magic Johnson[3]. You are carrying the team while the reigning MVP is out. You are 4-1 in the last five games without Durant[4]. You are learning to take over without him. You are a key cog that the other two teams in the race for the 8th do not have. You are a second star player. The Thunder have you and Durant. The Pelicans only have Davis. The Suns have maybe Bledsoe. You are incredibly key in this race for the 8th. Every game matters. With Durant and Davis both missing at least another week of games, it’ll be up to you to keep the team afloat. And you can do that. The Davis-less Pelicans have no one that can do that. The Suns are trying to put together a puzzle of players that we don’t know if they will fit together. It’s a very inopportune time to disrupt the chemistry of the starting lineup. Fortunately your GM didn’t do that.

You know what’s also amazing. In the same time that you could watch an episode of The 100, your owner and GM turned your bench from a liability to a strength. As you know, Reggie Jackson was a cancer to the locker room. You said it yourself: "
We have a chance of winning a championship and if Reggie is not here we still have a chance of winning a championship."[5]

Even KD said:
"We felt like everybody wanted to be here except for one guy." [5]
So getting rid of your bench scorer may be a bigger benefit than meets the eye. Take a look at the three point shooting of Jackson compared to your new PG and SG from Detroit:


Jackson was significantly worse at shooting threes this year. But not only did you replace him with a better shooter, your GM replaced him with TWO shooters. Then your team added Enes Kanter to the fold, another solid offensive weapon. Sure Kanter may not be the defensive center, but that’s not what you needed with Steven Adams on the team. You guys needed an offensive center, and that’s what you got. Center and bench may have been the biggest Thunder weaknesses. Now both are fixed. Phoenix broke up their team and New Orleans made a horizontal trade at best. The best part, the Thunder only lost the Cancer and Perkins, the 3rd worst player in points per play this season[7]. What a win.

So Russell, we have seen that you are amazing, your bench and center position are now much better, and the team chemistry is much better now that the Cancer is gone. Nothing can stand in your way of the 8th seed. Certainly not the Pelicans or the Suns. The first thing doubters will bring up is Kevin’s foot. He’ll be gone at least a week. But we’ve already covered that you have been learning to play without him. You now have a new offensive weapon to step up as the third option after Ibaka. You guys can handle Kevin’s absence. When he comes back, you guys will be near unstoppable. The Suns right now have ruined everything. They traded Dragic, Thomas, and Plumlee. Dragic a key starter and Thomas a sixth man. What’d they get for that? Brandon Knight. Knight has been solid this season, but he’s not gonna replace the production of both Dragic and Thomas. Then there’s still the problem of having to learn how to play with a ball dominant PG like Bledsoe. That’s not an easy transition when every game matters. The Pelicans are going to be without Davis for 1-2 weeks at least, Holiday for 3-4 more weeks, and Ryan Anderson will be gone for 2-4 weeks[8]. They might as well start playing in a hospital at this point. They’re done.

So my dear, dreamy PointGOD. Don’t worry. You and the Thunder will make the playoffs. You guys are better than before, you can handle the Durant absence, and you are setting records. So go on Russell. Take the playoffs by storm. I know you will.


Your Secret Admirer


[2] [3]
[8] http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.c...rn-day-to-day/

Spoiler for Offical Abbreviation List for Seabs:

NBA- National Basketball Association
OKC- Oklahoma City
NO- New Orleans
KD- Kevin Durant
3pt%- Three Point Shooting Percentage
PG- Point Guard
SG- Shooting Guard
GM- General Manager

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
I take it none of you realised you could argue for more than one of the teams making the Play Offs based on how the question was worded

The Rabid Wolverine - This is fine but suffers from being a bit too one dimensional on a point that probably doesn't require a whole debate devoting to it. The first big paragraph about injuries doesn't really argue anything. It just tells me about what has happened. A lot of words to use without really making any argument. "I seriously doubt either team is either capable or in the market to make such a trade, neither team has the assets to swing a monster deal and furthermore there simply aren’t any super star players on the trading block." doesn't read very well to me given this debate was due after the trade deadline. Obviously it came during the submission period for your debate but you could have easily edited this line to show that they didn't rather than they won't. Your partner actually did acknowledge the trades which makes the two debates feel disconnected as a combined effort. The argument that the run of bad luck with injuries likely won't continue is probably correct but there's also nothing to prove it besides you saying it probably won't happen which always looks weak in a debate. It's just so tough to be convincing with this argument. Like I said this is fine but you really restricted yourself by focusing entirely on one point that is very hard to use it to prove your stance. It's a good supporting point but even with your partner's debate to assist it, both you and your team are lacking in the quantity of your arguments to support your stance. How you argue for your stance is fine but the setup of the structure of your debate being entirely reliant on one argument and the choice of that one argument greatly restricted your debate from the get go.

«OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» - Like your partner's debate, this is also pretty one dimensional but you at least pick a direction that is much more warranted to forming a one dimensional debate. As an FYI for the future you would have been fine keeping the specifics of the trade you have in quotes that use up your word count to a reference and just refer to it. Good use of evidence to support your DJ/Reggie argument. I thought you needed to show me the area that DJ needs to improve for OKC now that he's replaced Jackson though. For example show the weakness that DJ will help improve to show the effect that he'll have on OKC as a team. You did this well for Kanter against Perkins showing that OKC needed a more offence minded Center to compliment Adams and how Kanter improves that weakness in OKC's team before the trade. How will DJ bolster their bid for the Play Offs like you showed Kanter will. I guess he does what Jackson does but better is totally fine but linking what OKC needs offensively off the bench and then showing how DJ will provide that better than Reggie would have made it even better. Kanter paragraph like I mentioned is really good. You left yourself a bit brief on the final part dealing with Phoenix and New Orleans. Subtracting all the words from the Suns Trade Quote would have helped but also using your partner better would have helped more. Getting him to use his word count better to deal with this part would have given it the word count it deserved to show why Phoenix sabotaged their own chances on trade deadline day. He wasted a lot of his word count on one argument so I would have suggested to him that he cuts it down and makes this argument for you giving between the pair of you room for another supporting point such as the scheduling. What you have is fine but lacking the expansion required to drive that point home. It's more what without the why. Why did the trade hurt their short term success. This is definitely the better debate of the two but you needed to split your arguments up better between the pair of you and recognise the major fault with how your opponent setup his debate focusing on just one argument that was never going to be super convincing.

Stax Classic - First off I liked your formatting. Broke your debate up nicely and made it an easier read. Phoenix argument is well made. Good use of evidence too for the Dragic/Knight comparison. If I'm being tight then maybe you could have proven "Phoenix relied on Dragic on pick and rolls" as well but I guess the source kinda did that too. Chemistry argument is also strong but probably lacking some examples of why chemistry is important. Maybe use some past examples of new look teams needing time to gel. Easy example with the Cavs at the start of this season. New Orleans counter isn't as fancy but still gets the job done as well. Good stat to show Davis' importance too. If you can then stats like that with a bigger sample size is better because that one game could easily be an anomaly. The Pelicans' +/- with and without Davis on the floor for the season would have been perfect here. The schedule argument I was felt was iffy. Not that it doesn't work for you but because of how you present it I don't really know if it does or not. You don't really explain the figures you present and the source you provide doesn't explain them either so I'm not sure how good of evidence they are. What does 73% mean for example and where does that figure come from? Because of the lack of clarity in the source and thus the evidence, the quality of this argument is somewhat restricted. A better way of doing this might have been to show the difference in below .500 teams they each face. Overall though this was a strong debate that was well argued.

Aid - +2 dark arts points for you clearly taking advantage of knowing who was judging this you evil motherfucker. I enjoyed the creative approach to this. RAB did something similar for the Ched Evans debate a couple of cards ago but this was done a bit better imo. Opener reads pretty rapid fire with a lot of short sentences but it worked and the direction of it made a strong point. I thought Brandon probably covered the trade argument slightly better but also expanded on it more than you did. If you're going to show the improvement in 3 point % then maybe also show that OKC needed an improvement in this area. Really not much to fault with this. It supports Stax's debates pretty well too by not repeating points.

Easy decision. Stax & Aid made more arguments, better arguments and argued them arguments better. Brandon & The Rabid Wolverine put together a nice effort but really suffered from The Rabid Wolverine's choice of argument and then dedicating the entire debate to that argument.

Winners - Stax Classic & Aid

«OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» & The Rabid Wolverine

The Rabid Wolverine

I don’t know if I can really penalize you for submitting your debate six days in advance, but considering you had five days from the trade deadline to the debate deadline to amend your arguments, your debate taking place in a pre-deadline (and pre-KD injury) landscape really hurt its effectiveness.

The crux of your argument seemed to be that OKC is more talented than the other two teams, ergo they are better than the other two teams. If you’re going to make that argument based on talent alone, you need to do a better job of showing why talent trumps everything else. Additionally, if you’re going to paint the Thunder as a completely different team with and without their two stars, it would help your case if you used numbers to their importance. How has OKC performed without them in the past? What are their On-Off splits? Anything other than just saying “they’re good” and leaving it at that would have helped your case. You tell us why the way this season has played out isn’t indicative of who the Thunder really are, but you don’t do much to show us. Just because I already know that to be true doesn’t mean there aren’t better ways to show it in your arguments.

Lastly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with assuming that OKC’s injury troubles are in their rear view mirror based on their history of being generally healthy, but again… Kevin Durant got hurt in the time between you writing your debate and the submission deadline. Saying there’s “no reason to believe [OKC’s injury troubles] will continue after the All-Star break” when the other debates allude to KD’s injury just makes you look bad.

Overall, a lot of your argument felt like “OKC will make the playoffs because of course they will.” Focusing on the Thunder’s injury issues was the right idea, but you need to do a better job of showing rather than telling, both for why we should expect OKC to pull away from the pack down the stretch and why neither of the other two teams are capable of staying with them.


I liked your ‘Addition vs. Subtraction’ approach, but considering there are three teams involved, it kind of felt like you just shoved the Pelicans to the side — which… I mean, you did. But doing so threw off the balance you created with the way you formatted your debate. Maybe get to the Pelicans earlier, so it feels more like a dichotomy between the Thunder and Suns, rather than “The Pelicans? I wouldn’t worry about the Pelicans…” (Also worth noting: New Orleans is 6-5 on the year without Anthony Davis. They were 3-5 at submission deadline, though, so I won’t hold that against you. Still felt like you could have spent one or two more sentences on New Orleans to give the sense that you put some thought into writing them off.)

Moving on to the trades. Okay, this really bothered me more than it probably should have. You spent a paragraph arguing that D.J. Augustin is better then Reggie Jackson. Not that D.J. Augustin is a better fit for the Thunder. Not that D.J. Augustin will be a better teammate. You argued that he’s a better player than Reggie Jackson. For a full paragraph. You would have a hard time finding many people who would agree with that statement. As for your justification of that viewpoint, a lot of it left me cold. PER is fundamentally useless. Please don’t use it in debates in the future. None of the all-in-one metrics are particularly great at this point, but PER is one of the worst ones available. Use ASPM, VORP, Win Shares. Hell, use that one that ESPN made up this year. But at least use one that tries to encapsulate the fact that basketball is played on both ends of the court. That’s ultimately what left me cold. Even if Jackson didn’t have a higher eFG% at the time this was written or if Augustin’s 2013-14 season didn’t look like an anomaly or if the numbers actually made a case that Augustin distributes the ball at a significantly greater rate than Jackson (they don’t; not really), you completely ignored defense, where Jackson provides a sizable advantage over Augustin. All that is really neither here nor there. It was just a shame you wasted a paragraph on that comparison. The rest of your OKC argument is fine. Again, though, don’t use PER.

On the Suns’ side, you didn’t really do anything to indicate why a lineup of Bledsoe-Knight-Green-Morris-Len wouldn’t be enough to get the job done. It looks like maybe you ran out of characters. And then, as I mentioned before, you barely even discussed New Orleans. Bringing up Brow’s injury was a good way to quickly torpedo that argument, but coming immediately after an abbreviated argument against Phoenix, you didn’t really do much to engage the other two-thirds of the conversation.

As I said, I liked your approach. You spent a bit too much time on the Thunder, which limited your ability to dive into why Phoenix and New Orleans wouldn’t be able to make a run. Also, you never really contextualized the argument to show why those trades would be enough to push OKC over the top. Even a quick note about their respective records would have helped.

Aid & Stax Classic

Stax Classic

That’s how you make an entrance, folks. Strong opening argument. You laid out the rest of your debate nice and quickly, then got into it. Good stuff.

With regards to your Phoenix argument, it’s worth noting that Phoenix’s chemistry was problematic this year. Will bringing in new players help? Probably not. But for all intents and purposes, it sounded like Isaiah Thomas needed to go. You brought up the fact that they just traded a player who was Third Team All-NBA last year in Goran Dragic, who you referred to as “one of the best young point guards in the game.” (Psst… He’s exactly one year younger than Chris Paul. Same birthday and everything.) That’s probably a stronger point than anything chemistry-related. Goran Dragic is a really good player. Brandon Knight is a good player, but Dragic is better. They invariably downgraded at the trade deadline. I liked that you tried to touch on the different things each player brought to the table. I know you don’t have much space to work with here, but if you’re going to bring up what each player can and can’t do, you need to go the extra step and tell us why Dragic’s pick-and-roll prowess was integral to the Suns’ success. Otherwise, why are we supposed to care? There are other things that Knight does better. Bring up the fact that the best-case scenario Suns failed to make the playoffs last year really helped bolster your points about the team having to come together on such short notice. Comparing their situation from a chemistry standpoint to OKC’s was a nice touch.

Moving on to the Pelicans. Holiday’s name is just Jrue, not J’Rue. Like Drew, only… you know. Jrue. You said that New Orleans has a hole at small forward, but when both Gordon and Evans are healthy, Evans starts at SF. Good job illustrating that they didn’t really make any impact moves at the deadline, though. Anthony Davis and injuries are, of course, going to be a big part of the conversation when it comes to the Pelicans, but why cherry-pick the Bulls game to show Davis’s On/Off splits? Over the course of the whole season, they’re +5.2 with him on the court and -5.7 with him off. That makes a much more compelling argument than one game ever could. Also, weird transition from talking about Holiday’s importance/injury to Brow’s. I’m just nit-picking at this point, though. This is a strong debate.

Schedule argument =

What’s interesting about this debate is that you pretty much shoved aside any actual arguments about why the Thunder will make the playoffs from an on-court standpoint and focused on why the other two won’t, while swooping in to contrast OKC’s situation favorably with the Suns’ and Pelicans’ situations… and it worked. Great job.


I was intrigued by the format of your debate at first, but it really wore on me at the end. It’s obvious from the intro that your focus is going to be Russell Westbrook, and you throw out some facts to illustrate his individual greatness. With that kind of argument, your mileage is always going to vary. In this case, you tended to focus a bit too much on the individual without noting the actual team impact. For instance, OKC is only 5-3 in games this year where Westbrook has 30+ points and 10+ assists. Bringing up the Denver game, while a nice bit of resume-padding, does nothing for me. Bringing it up a second time just makes it feel like you’re trying to sneak one past me. Also, OKC is 11-10 in games with Westbrook but no Durant this season, so while he has been keeping them afloat, there’s an argument to be made that it’s not enough. And depending on how serious KD’s injury is, the OKC vs. New Orleans conversation may very well end up just being superstar vs. superstar, not superstar vs. two superstars.

When you delved into the deadline deals, I feel like your debate’s format hindered your ability to make strong arguments. Why is it so important that they added 3-point shooting? I know that OKC ranks near the bottom of the league in 3-point shooting, but if you don’t actually drive that point home, it just kind of lingers there. If we just look at 3-point shooting and nothing else, then Brandon Knight is an upgrade over Dragic and IT for the Suns. Also, if you’re going to say that Phoenix is doomed to fail because new players are going to have to adjust to playing with a ball-dominant point guard, shouldn’t that same argument apply to the guys you just hailed OKC for getting? You know, considering Russell Westbrook has a usage rate of 38.4. Also, I don’t know that I would call Bledsoe a ball-dominant PG… especially in Phoenix’s offense.

Anyway, you made some solid arguments, but a few of them fell flat for me. And while formatting your debate as a love letter to Russell Westbrook grabbed my attention at the beginning, too much of it read like… well, a love letter to Russell Westbrook.


1. Aid & Stax Classic
2. «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» & The Rabid Wolverine

Individual Rankings
1. Stax Classic
2. Aid
4. The Rabid Wolverine

The Rabid Wolverine & «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO»:

The Rabid Wolverine:

First of all, both of you did a good job of not arguing the same points and taking on different arguments. I think you submitted your debate prior to the deadline, however, and you should have probably waited.

Since you couldn`t have possibly known that Durant would get injured again I won`t use that as a knock against you, but ya, health was a rather big factor and something that they`ve had a lot of troubles with this season so I don`t think assuming they`d just stay healthy was a good idea. Instead you could have said that with the injuries to these players has helped the players around them step up and play better, so when the stars do return they`ll have a better supporting cast, with more experience handling games, than they had prior to their injuries as they`ve all had to fill in big roles.

I think you should have also noted the chemistry issues that trading brings and the fact that Phoenix had a few disgruntled players that didn`t like the system they were playing in and that the Pelicans were operating with a lot of shoot happy guards that don`t always make the best or smartest play.

Experience is another thing you could have brought up as Durant/Westbrook/Ibaka all have playoff experience, and so does most of the rest of their team, and they’ve been doing this for years while Pelicans and Suns are led by players that have never been to the playoffs(Davis) or never lead a team to the playoffs as a key player(Bledsoe).
Overall a solid entry, but I think you should have expanded your focus a bit more.


You focused on the trades and the strength of acquisitions, you made some good points on how the Thunder received the most talent while losing the least, but again I think you would have done well by touching on CHEMISTRY. The Suns traded away two guards that had been a major part of their offense and team this season, as well as Dragic being a key piece these last few years, and now essentially have to integrate new guys into key roles. You sort of touched on this by saying they’re throwing away the competition and focusing on the future, but you could have really buried them by stating just how much they’d have to adjust with the trades they made. The Thunder just improved their bench and role players, but kept all their main pieces so you can expect the team to more or less function the same as they were before, except with DJ replacing Jackson. Jackson was also disgruntled in OKC, causing lockerroom issues and chemistry problems, again I think chemistry would have been something huge to note for this particular topic, especially with New Orleans having constant injuries that they have to adjust to as well.

The points on DJ being better than Jackson and a better fit were true and well made.

The points about Kanter were decent, but you went a little too far with them. Kanter isn’t a big man that can score anything he wants in the paint. He’s very limited in his ability to create for himself and usually relies on midrange or shots close to the basket after getting fed. I feel like you exaggerated those points and they overall weren’t needed as instead you could have talked about WHY New Orleans don’t stand a chance rather than just saying they don’t. I never liked that reasoning whatsoever, and as it currently stands, they’re only a loss behind OKC so they really do still have a chance(again I know you couldn’t have known this, but just ignoring their chances when their included in the debate is poor).

Stax Classic & Aid:

Stax Classic:

Your intro was incredibly strong, you even stated that OKC has a chance to get the 7th seed which I liked as it’s going a step further, and you immediately brought attention to Phoenix’s chemistry problems that were created by the trade.

I liked your points about Phoenix’s problems created by the trade and also how you showed the difference in play between Dragic and Knight. Although one thing is that with a player in Bledsoe, who already focuses on short range attacks, wouldn’t adding Knight’s ability to shoot be better for Bledsoe? You could also bring up how Knight would have to adjust to playing more off-ball after being the main guy with the Bucks.

The points about New Orleans were somewhat good and somewhat bad. Tyreke has stepped up big with Holiday out and has provided them the much needed playmaking that they’ve needed this entire time. Trading him for a small forward would kill all of their team’s offense as no one would be able to create for others and with Holiday still out that would have been a giant problem. The Davis stats were solid and his impact is undeniable, so his injuries would have hurt their chances to contend for the final spot.

The strength of schedule stats are bogus, no stats can predict how games will play out and what will happen in the games those teams are involved in. Those are also unreliable as certain teams are better now than they earlier in the season and might have been dealing with injuries, such as the Thunder themselves.

The road games stuff and those win percentages matter a bit more, but again it changes when guys like Anthony are hurt which might influence those records. I still like those more than the strength of schedule stuff.

Good debate overall, just some stuff to nitpick.


Okay, Aid, you win. I enjoyed just about everything from this and no real points to make about why this is bad. This was wonderful and I liked the unique style you brought to the table as well, it was refreshing and made for a good reason.

Decision: Stax Classic & Aid, Aid’s was a great debate and Stax Classic focused on things, such as chemistry, that I feel The Rabid Wolverine & «OOOOOLADIPOOOOO» just completely missed out on.

Winners via Unanimous Decision - Aid & Stax Classic

TDL Social Division #1 Contenders Match
Rigby vs SPCDRI

Was Edward Snowden right to release sensitive information regarding the actions of US secret services?

Spoiler for Debates:
Catch-22: Snowden's Matter

In 2013, Edward Snowden exposed an NSA operation to collect data including text messages and phone records. While initial fears invoked an Orwellian dystopia, the debate shifted towards the actions of Snowden, who violated the Espionage Act to leak the information. The debate had arose: Was this leak of sensitive information traitorous or heroic?


This isn't some flamboyant narrative of a larger-than-life character martyring against an oppressive government, this is the simple case of a contractor exploiting confidential information and taking international matters into his own vigilante hands. Snowden was wrong to release this sensitive information.

That's the keyword: Confidential. It was with confidence that Snowden was permitted access to this information. When he agreed to the task, he accepted a measure of responsibility over maintaining its confidentiality. With years as a system administrator at both the Central Intelligence Agency and Defence Intelligence Agency, he knew this well and leaked it regardless.

He chose his role as a cog in complex clockwork, and then jammed the gears to spite the time of day.

By doing so, he's promoted a harmful attitude that personal discretion should dictate the upholding of confidentiality. While he might feel his intentions are pure, intelligence agencies can't reasonably operate with its agents feeling as though they can martyr themselves when they personally see fit. There's a sacrifice of individuality necessary to achieve the synergy to perform intelligence operations worldwide.

The water turns especially murky when the exposed information suggests an international collaboration was involved. This not only compromises the individual agencies, but also the relationships between peaceful nations. By disrupting cooperation on one front, the seeds of distrust have germinated between the United States and any prospective partnering nation.

The NSA's exchange of information spans from Canada to Sweden, numerous nations where the US has invested interest in order to ensure the prosperity of their own country. The gathering of information, no matter how objectionable, is a universal phenomenon with the advent of the internet.

"The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing" - Origins Undetermined
There's a false dilemma that plays into the reception of Snowden's actions, that the questionable surveillance need be exposed to provide the transparency the public deserves. This leaves out the fact that a middle-ground between doing nothing and personally revealing confidential information to the media exists.

Valerie Plame Wilson, a resigned CIA operations officer, took her grievances against CIA operations and pursued the matters legally and fairly, all without exposing any sensitive information. In addition to publishing a book, she consulted on a movie detailing her disputes. She inspired legitimate scrutiny of the CIA through socially charged memoirs, all while considerately respecting her fellow officer's privacy.

Whether internally or externally, the means to the ends exist without egotistical martyrdom and cowardly exposure.

That leaves another issue, what were his ends? What has been accomplished beyond the humiliation of the NSA? The constitutionality of the operations is still undetermined. The gathering of information hasn't been found to have stopped. The exposure has bred distrust between a nation and its people and fellow nations. The citizens are helpless to end these operations and thus have grown cynically apathetic towards the abuse of privacy while bitterly accepting this fate.

Ignorance may be bliss, and maybe it's not; regardless, cognizance without capability is a disabled misery.

The US public hasn't taken this leak very heavily either; if anything, this exposure has progressively raised tolerance towards these abuses.

Following these leaks, the most popular internet browser in the US has come to be Google Chrome, and its market share is expanding at a rate of 6% every year.

Spoiler for Examples:

This is worrisome considering the functionality of Chrome to funnel information towards Google:

Snowden may have suspected that the public would become more leery of their information being tracked following this leak, and yet the heavily monitored web browser of a company exposed to have been an information source for the NSA has surged in popularity. Microsoft's Internet Explorer, now the second most popular web browser in the US, was also alleged to largely be a source for the NSA's information.

There we have it. Snowden didn't stir the public to drive its government to end the surveillance, the international surveillance wasn't ruled to be unconstitutional, and the leak was inevitably forgotten by the constant news cycle and overshadowed by the recent supposed North Korean hacks targeting Sony.

This heroic/traitorous tale has no storybook ending, despite the fantastic irony. By trying to draw the public's ire, he ensured they would accept their fate and legitimized the NSA's surveillance in their eyes. There is nothing "right" about his actions, there's only failure.

~ Citations ~

Google Chrome/Microsoft Internet Explorer as NSA information source -

Chrome as most popular web browser -

NSA Surveillance Constitutionality Undetermined -

Valerie Plame -

Edward Snowden -

Edward Snowden was right to release the information that he did. This is not merely a United States issue but a troubling issue for the entire globe. The most troubling aspect of the spying operations is that they could easily lead to a “turnkey totalitarianism” in which a nigh-omniscient group of organizations could classify people as terrorists, detain them without trial and even assassinate them.

Snowden did not reveal information that was noy damaging to U.S. interests and its allies abroad as it relates to military operations. For instance, “revelations” that Pakistan and Iran were under surveillance come as a surprise to no one, least of terrorists who are incredibly sophisticated at foiling surveillance methods after more than a decade of experience in 2 wars.

No, what Snowden did was uncover numerous deeply embarrassing state secrets. He is being targeted for political blowback as a whistleblower, not as a “traitor.” The information is of vital importance in comprehending the vastness and the illegality of the unconstitutional spying apparatus.

Among these secrets are…

The U.S. government in cooperation AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk, Skype, Yahoo and Youtube, collected information on foreign and U.S. citizens using the PRISM program. This has been described as “nightmarish” and “criminal” hacking. [1]

BOUNDLESSINFORMANT, a mass data collection tool that bypassed the FISA courts and warrant processes. In just a 30 day period, this program collected 3 BILLION pieces of information about U.S. citizens and 221 BILLION pieces of DNI and telephony data. This program spied numerous U.S. and Five Eyes ally nations like Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Norway and Denmark. [2]

TEMPORA is a program used by the United Kingdom and the United States NSA program to collect data on people indiscriminately via fiber optic cables. [3]

MUSCULAR and INCENSER, programs that spy on Google and Yahoo, collect billions of pieces of data. This is a “big data” indiscriminate program and accessing this data does not require a warrant in either the United Kingdom or the United States. [4]

The NSA alone collects information on 5 billion telephone calls and text messages per day, oftentimes U.S. citizens. [5]

Along with this, intelligence agencies infilitrated MMORPGS such as Second Life and World of Warcraft, got “LOVINT,” love intelligence and sex-based blackmail on U.S. citizens, spied on U.N officials, German government employees, the Israeli prime minister and the Brazilian oil company Petrobas. This is if anything grossly understating the depth and the scope and the international nature of these grotesque and illegal breaches of privacy. [6]

You must understand this: You cannot escape data trawling and “big data” programs. It is all being collected. All of it. In Utah alone the Utah Database Center is a 1.5 million square feet operation that cost 2 billion dollars and 40 million dollars a year on utility costs alone. It uses 65 million watts of electricity and 1.7 million gallons of water a day for cooling. This storage space is capable of holding exabytes (1,000,000 terabyte) of information.

The U.S. has a disgusting history of spying on “political threats.” The COINTELPRO scandal of the 1960s and 1970s is a brilliant demonstration. People such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and the NAACP as well as peaceable Vietnam War protesters were targeted illegally. [8]

A disturbing thing amplifies the danger of the spy state: The United States was deemed a “battleground” in December 2011 in a 93-7 vote in the Defense Authorization Act. [9] A U.S. citizen may be declared a terrorist with little to no legal recourse. This means that citizen is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent” without access to a lawyer of his or her choice before a military tribunal where someone may be imprisoned indefinitely without trial or even notification of the charges. Even more shocking, these “unprivileged enemy belligerents” may be assassinated. How easy would it be to trump up charges and throw somebody away in a place like Guantanamo Bay or outright murder them? This is a tyrant’s dream! Stalin, Mao and Hitler couldn’t even fantasize a better tool of state terror.

If you think this is sensationalist, the Occupy Wall Street Movement was a potential target of sniper attacks in at least Occupy Houston!
“An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. [DELETED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.”

Snowden is a hero for revealing these grotesque breaches of law and trust and God willing, we can wrest control of these monstrous tools to prevent further tyranny.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
I liked your opening a lot. It was classily written and showed a good understanding of the matter at hand while setting up your stance and following arguments perfectly. You took the debate down an interesting avenue with the focus on the confidentiality aspect of the issue. I would have liked some more info on whether intelligence agencies are ‘right’ to operate as they do in the first place though. There is also the possibility of Snowden having signed up and agreed to confidentiality on the assumption that he wasn’t going to be privy to anything he deemed immoral. Once he was exposed to something he disagreed with (or at least didn’t originally agree to), does his contract really hold up? I guess I’d have to see the contract to know for sure. But scale it down to someone getting a job as a rich guy’s PA and signing a confidentiality agreement in good faith, but then later discovering that he murders prostitutes every other weekend just for kicks - is it still wrong for them to expose him? Fair enough if Snowden originally agreed to keep any and all secrets secret, but I’d have liked some more information regarding that to be truly convinced by this section of your debate.

You definitely make a good point about the negative impact of revealing the US secret service’s actions in relation to other nations. I’m basing that on the assumption that to some degree, everybody is spying on everybody else. Having one participant’s actions exposed can and has been detrimental to certain international relations. Again though, I don't feel entirely convinced that the tattle-tale is really at fault for the negative actions of another.

The Valerie Plame Wilson comparison was nice. I was struggling to feel convinced by the arguments you made up to that point, but showing that there was an alternative between doing what Snowden did and doing nothing was rather good. However, Snowden’s case seems far less personal than Plame’s, involving far larger scale operations which he believed to be highly immoral, and which he was unlikely to be able to take through the courts. That’s just how it seems to me on the surface of it and without having read too extensively on Plame’s case. But I can’t help thinking that if Snowden had tried to go via legal means then he’d have ended up going for a walk in the woods he never returned from. These are all the things that are occurring to me while reading your debate, and in my opinion fairly obvious counters that could have done with some brief countering.

The section about how Snowden has only really inspired distrust between the nation and its people was written well enough, but isn’t that distrust justified? Is ignorance really better? I needed more here to convince me. More about why a state of ignorance is better than a justified state of distrust could have made this part much more convincing. Your follow on point regarding the apathy of the vast majority of people and the lack of major long term upheaval is spot on though. This was really well written, but a tad unconvincing for the most part.

Interesting and strong opening. Strong because you made some bold claims, and interesting because I immediately had the sense that Snowden acted as a Citizen of Earth rather than just an American who must only do things that benefit America.

The next section where you begin defining the kind of information that is relevant felt incomplete in one part and a bit all over the place in others. Some tighter writing here would have helped. The listing of the spying secrets that Snowden revealed was very beneficial to your debate. Highlighting them and exactly what they constitute helps define exactly what we’re discussing here. I don’t think this issue is just about state secrets being revealed, as Rigby focused on, but also about what those particular secrets consisted of.

The points you make about the US having a terrible reputation for spying devalues your stance a little. Was Snowden so right to expose something we should all have been aware of already? I suppose it’s relevant to show that the US has previous and thus is likely to just get worse and worse if left to its own devices. You could have done with a little more oomph here though, something a bit more convincing. The “battleground” section was actually pretty scary (or would be if I lived in the States), so was the point about the Occupy Wall Street Movement. I think highlighting the actual information that Snowden released and showing how dangerous it could be to let it go unexposed was an excellent angle to come at this debate from.

I’m finding it hard to believe that Snowden was wrong on the grounds provided for me by Rigby (that he was contracted with a responsibility to confidentiality) when confronted with the behaviour of the government and secret services provided for me by SPCDRI. Rigby was vastly superior in style, format and writing eloquence, but I’m basing my decision on the information provided by each debate, and thus for me the winner is SPCDRI as the information there was simply a lot more convincing of that stance than Rigby’s.


I flip flopped between enjoying and not enjoying the nuanced approach that you took. On one hand, it's a touchy topic and your intro / conclusion really showed how you were walking a thought-out line with your response. On the other, you sort of ask a question that isn't actually asked by the.. well.. question. When you open with discussion about being a hero or traitor, that's a whole different ballgame. However, you right the ship quickly enough.

Throughout, you make compelling arguments as to why Snowden was wrong to release confidential information, and I think your emphasis on this notion of confidentiality was critical.

I wasn't as sold on your point about what has been accomplished, and that how the constitutionality of the operations is still undetermined. Obviously, the timing works in your favour that if the operations are found to be unconstitutional, then you lose this whole section. But, since investigations are still ongoing, you can bring it up. Still, it's somewhat tenuous.

The point you raise with web browsers, and the fact that you address the counter of the value of whistleblowers are both positives.

Overall, this was largely well-written, and convincing at most times.


Like the first entry, this one left me convinced at times and confused at others.

For one, I think way too much word count is spent on summarizing the various "secrets", based on quotes pulled from Wiki articles. The data itself is okay, BUT your debate really hurts when you don't give some personal commentary throughout to break up the monotony. Instead, it becomes a list, and lists are boring. Interject a line or two of analysis with each point and it brings the debate to life in YOUR VOICE.

Also, as Rigby pointed out, there are still debates ongoing as to the constitutionality of some of the things Snowden leaked, so hyping them up as "grotesque breaches of law" makes your argument, when you finally do make some, lose a bit of its punch.

I would've liked to see you address the counter that some of these programs are needed for the greater public protection. Surely they were implemented with the public's greater interest in mind. You propose a couple worst-case abuse of power scenarios, but you have to weigh those instances with the possibility of more terrorist attacks.

When you write your arguments, you have a convincing tone and no doubt the potential to have made this a great debate. However, there was way too much time recapping things instead of being spent on counters or making your presented arguments even stronger. A decent debate that could've been much more.


Although I find myself in agreement with many of SPCDRI's points when he makes them, I think the overall better job for the sake of consistently persuading me to his side was done by Rigby, so Rigby is my pick.

Rigby –

I like how you that whilst it’s neither traitorous nor heroic, it’s definitely wrong. It really sets the tone for this debate and lets me know that you’re going to be arguing based not on your personal feelings towards the leak but with regards to the nature of his job and the responsibility he had to keep quiet.

I do really like your debate in general but I really wish you’d have addressed the argument that Americans deserved to know that they were essentially being spied on. It’s a fundamental counter-attack to your stance, and you’ve simply failed to acknowledge it.

Instead you side-step it with: “There's a false dilemma that plays into the reception of Snowden's actions, that the questionable surveillance need be exposed to provide the transparency the public deserves. This leaves out the fact that a middle-ground between doing nothing and personally revealing confidential information to the media exists.” Yes. There may be a middle ground, but Edward Snowden may have come to the (not so unreasonable) assumption that going through the courts etc. would not bring about the exposure that he felt the public needed. I can’t really fault you for this though as its opinion based and judging a debate on opinion would be relatively scrappy of me.

Your point about Valerie Wilson was decent, I suppose, but since she didn’t expose anything that was going on, how can we be so sure you can compare the cases? What if what she was annoyed about wasn’t to do with public surveillance?

Snowden might not have stirred the public to push the government to end surveillance, but there are plenty of Americans who are extremely worried by this so I’m not sure I’d call it a failure completely… again, I think this is an opinion based discrepancy, so I can’t fault you.

Overall the debate was very good but I wish you addressed the public deserving to know argument instead of sidestepping it.


Conflicting stances. NICE.

This will be extremely brief because I loved your debate as well.

This is the exact same as Rigby in terms of not addressing counter-arguments. You didn’t address the fact that Snowden was obliged to remain under confidentiality with regards to the contents of these documents. A quick sentence saying something like “Because of the nature of his job, Edward Snowden was under confidentiality and should not have leaked any of the information which he did, but this fact becomes irrelevant when a man believes that the people of his country are being betrayed by their own government”. I’m sure you’d have done a much better job than myself at wording that but hey ho.

This is extremely close as I only had one issue with both debates and it was the failure to address counterarguments correctly.


Rigby sidestepped a major counter-argument whereas SPCDRI failed to reference one… With this in mind, SPCDRI was a debate which oozed detailed information and really struck home the seriousness of the situation, which I felt was very good in terms of scoring judging points.

It’s so very close but I think I have to give the edge to SPCDRI because the debate was slightly better.

Winner via Split Decision - SPCDRI

TDL Sports Division Special Attraction Tag Match
Baxter & Curry vs BkB Hulk & Kiz

In an Ultimate Premier League XI with a 4-4-2 formation who do you choose for the 2 CM spots?

Spoiler for Debates:

When selecting a player for any Ultimate Premier League XI, numerous factors need to be considered in order to ensure that the best possible picks are made. These factors include criteria such as:

- Overall footballing ability
- Longevity, consistency, and lasting impact upon the League
- Importance to their respective club(s)
- And of course success, both individually and as part of a team

When looking at these criteria one of the choices is obvious; Paul Scholes should unquestionably have a place in any Ultimate Premier League XI.

Paul Scholes was one of a kind; his passing, vision and ability to dictate the flow of a game was second to none. The fact his team mates gave him the nickname "Sat-Nav" due to his ability to consistently play inch-perfect cross-field passes with minimal effort should be pretty indicative of his technical ability. Whilst the likes of Gerrard and Lampard were good on the ball, neither of them got close to Scholes when it came to their technique and passing ability.

Perhaps the best argument for Scholes making the XI is how he contributed so much to his team over such an extended period of time; and not just in terms of his passing and vision, because Scholes also offered a significant goal threat, as shown by the following charts:

Spoiler for Graph of goals contribution:

Spoiler for Table of goals contribution:

Despite something of a tail off towards the very end of his career (which happened to coincide with Scholes starting to operate in a more withdrawn, defensive role for Manchester United), he more than matched other prolific central midfielders when it came to chipping in with goals for his team over the course of his entire career. This is even more impressive when you consider that Scholes was never a big penalty taker for Manchester United; take these out of the equation and his contribution goals-wise is virtually identical to that of Gerrard, Lampard and Toure; quite remarkable when you consider that for the most part his job was always to be more of a ‘playmaker’ rather than someone who was actually expected to get forward and score goals in the way that the aforementioned 3 were, especially Gerrard and Lampard.

It would also be folly to completely dismiss the accolades that Scholes amassed during his career; ELEVEN Premier League titles, 2 appearances in the Team of the Year, 4 Player of the Month awards plus a whole host of cup winners medals and individual awards is a haul that most can only dream of and undoubtedly helps to cement Scholes’ Premier League legacy.

Ability? In abundance. Longevity? Over 15 years worth. Important to his club(s)? Without a doubt. Success? Shitloads of it. Paul Scholes strolls into any Ultimate Premier League XI.

But who to partner Scholes?

Lesser arguments would just point to the volume of goals scored or assists made by the likes of Gerrard and Lampard and use this as reasoning for their inclusion in the Ultimate Premier League XI, but football isn’t just about the raw numbers; some of the best midfielders in history have failed to post sexy Opta stats but are still revered as all time greats because of their determination, leadership, overall influence, and willingness to do the ‘dirty work’ whilst others take the plaudits; I’m talking about players like Claude Makelele, Patrick Vieira, and a certain Roy Keane.

Why someone more defensive minded needs to partner Scholes:

Scholes' greatest assets were undoubtedly his range of passing and ability to run the game from midfield; this isn't a style of play that can flourish if a player finds himself constantly having to track back and run all over the pitch trying to win the ball back. By having someone alongside him who can win the ball from the opposition and "put in the work" so to speak, this allows the full potential of the greatest central midfielder of the Premier League era to be recognised, which is not the case should Scholes be partnered by a more offensive minded player like Lampard, Gerrard or Yaya Toure.

Why Roy Keane is that man:

For over 10 years Roy Keane was the heartbeat of one of the most successful club sides of all time; he was someone who any technical player would be delighted to have alongside them, a genuine leader who wasn't just proficient technically but also a true warrior who would run through brick walls for his team. Whilst Vieira and Makelele were excellent in their roles, neither of them come close to Keane in terms of sheer drive, intensity, leadership and influence on their clubs.

There's no doubt about it; their ability, longevity, importance to their clubs, and their success cement Paul Scholes and Roy Keane's places in any Ultimate Premier League XI.

Spoiler for Sources:
Paul Scholes passing highlight reel: Quotes from greats about Paul Scholes and his talents:
All goals statistics compiled by myself from data on:
Video highlighting Roy Keane's qualities:


An Ultimate Premier League XI can be looked at as a team made up of the “Ultimate” players who have played in the Premier League but it can also be seen as the Ultimate XI itself, the best possible team that can be crafted from the players of the Premier League's history.

In Football teams, as in any teams, it is important for team mates to highlight eachothers strengths as well as cover eachothers weaknesses. This has led to the use of many player-types being used together. The big man/small man front 2, the stopper/sweeper centre back pairing and the one we're most interested in: the central midfield pairing of a ball-winning, box-to-box midfielder and a creative playmaker. Top examples of this in the Premier League include Arsenal's Vieira/Petit in the late 90s right up to Chelsea's current Matic/Fabregas pairing. Despite its prevalence, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes stand head and shoulders above the rest as the best example of this pairing.

The Partnership

The theory behind this pairing is simple. Paul Scholes is perhaps the greatest British player of his generation and has excelled at many things throughout his career. Though he may have begun his career as a forward, it was only when he dropped into the midfield that he was able to reach his peak. With an eye for a pass that few could even hope to match and an ability to dictate the flow of a game almost single-handedly, Paul Scholes with the ball at his feet is a proven alleyway to success.

To do that, however, Scholes needs to have possession of the ball. For all Scholes' genius , he wasn't the best tackler in the world and wasn't the type to hound opposition players into conceding possession. For that, Scholes would need a tenacious, ball-winning partner. For that, he would need Roy Keane.

Signed by Manchester United in 1993 for a British record transfer fee of 3.75 million pounds, Roy Keane would work his way into the United team and would go on to form the best midfield pairing in the league with a young Paul Scholes. While Scholes' shined in possession, Keane was at his best chasing the game, letting his incredible passion drive him into tackles, nipping at the ankles of the opposition and dominating a midfield. Together, the two would form the most successful central midfield pairing in Premier League history, winning 6 titles in 7 years.

The Rest of the Ultimate XI

Any Premier League XI will inevitably be Manchester United-heavy. United have been such a dominant force in the league and have built fantastic squads filled with top players, be it by promoting youth players as they did with Scholes or by spending big to bring in the best players available to them as they did with Keane. In a midfield four, the most common picks for the Right and Left Midfielders are usually Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs respectively.

In Ronaldo/Keane/Scholes/Giggs, you are recreating a real midfield from 2004/2005. In Keane/Scholes/Giggs, a triumverate that brought united success for a decade and in Ronaldo/Scholes/Giggs, a centre midfielder and wingers combination that would play a huge part in United success in the late 2000s. Through all these forms, this group of midfielders has dominated the premier league and deserve to be reunited in the Ultimate Premier League XI

Other Contenders

Once you've established that Paul Scholes is the best individual for the job, you run into a problem with some of the other candidates. If you were to take Scholes and Steven Gerrard, you would be forcing them to play more defensively than either would like, taking their focus onto a weaker aspect of their game and limiting their ability to create going forward, diminishing the impact either player could have on the game.

A similar argument would also rule out Frank Lampard, whose peak undoubtebly came as an attacking midfielder. A peak he was able to reach because of the defensive safety net offered by Claude Makalele, a role Scholes could not and should not be asked to match.

So with the more attacking options ruled out, the leading contenders to join Scholes would be Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira and Claude Makalele. While Vieira and Makalele were outstanding at what they did, Roy Keane's synergy, history and success playing alongside Scholes as well as his own ability on the ball have him winning out.

As a Premier League midfield pairing, it is impossible to look beyond Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. Their complimentary styles and ability to bring out the best in eachother means that while they merit being in an Ultimate XI of individuals by themselves, they are the only possible choice for forming the best XI possible.

Spoiler for Sources:

Popularity of Ronaldo/Giggs as wingers in Premier League XIs:

Keane British record:



The 4 Midfielders playing together, A game from 2004 where Liam Miller, Eric Djemba-Djemba and David Bellion all started and Cristiano Ronaldo came on as a sub:


21st September, 2014. Manchester City are trailing Chelsea a goal to nil and desperately chasing an equaliser to keep pace with the impressive Chelsea. In the 78th minute, a midfielder is substituted into the game. In the 85th minute, he does what he has done so many times before, scoring a critical goal to give Manchester City an all important point. [1]

That man? Frank Lampard of course.

Frank Lampard is, of course, the greatest scoring midfielder in Premier League history. But his goal scoring record is not the only reason why he should be put into the centre of midfield in an all-time Premier League XI.


With a record of 177 goals in 605 Premier League appearances for West Ham, Chelsea and Manchester City [2], he has become not only the highest scoring midfielder in the Premier League, but is also the 4th highest goal scorer overall. He is above names like Henry, Owen, Fowler, et al [3]. Sure he may have made more appearances, bur for a midfielder, it's pretty damn good.

But it isn’t just the magnitude of goals that makes him deserving of a spot in the midfield of the all-time Premier League XI, it is the importance. His brace vs Bolton in 2005 wrapped up Chelsea’s first title in fifty years. Countless other goals near the end of games have sewn up important points, either draws or wins for his clubs. Of course, his ability to show professionalism at his new club and slot home the equaliser mentioned earlier. His ability to score important goals in other competitions too. In a purely goal scoring sense he has a large claim as one of the greatest midfielders seen in the Premier League, but his timing and importance that comes with these goals makes them worth even more.


There are only a few contemporaries that can be mentioned alongside the likes of Lampard. Scholes, Keane, Vieira, Gerrard are the most commonplace to be mentioned. Interestingly, all the players usually fit into two categories, enforcers or passers. Keane and Vieira under the former, Scholes and Gerrard under the latter. Sure, all four probably are better than Lampard at their specific tasks, but Lampard is able to bring goal scoring, enforceability and passing into one neat little English package. In the 2010-11 season, even at the age of 32, Lampard’s tackle success rate of 72% was the highest of any midfielder amongst the top six teams. When he crossed the ball, he hit the target 36% of the time, which was more than any of Carrick, Fabregas, Gerrard, Modric, David Silva and van Der Vaart [4]. Back in the 2009/10 season, Lampard average a massive 3.2 key passes a game [5], while Scholes averaged 0.9 key passes [6], and Gerrard 2.4 key passes [7]. While Lampard is clearly best known for his goal scoring, it often overshadowed his other attributes, which even as he got on in years continued to shine. While at Chelsea, he also lead the way for the most assists in Chelsea’s history (90) and his direct involvement in goals in Premier League history (goals and assists) only sits behind Shearer (324) with 278 goals and assists during his West Ham, Chelsea and Manchester City appearances [8].


One facet that usually shows a player’s level of talent is how a team manages to perform without a player. This is usually something that occurs less in the bigger teams like Chelsea, but it can still happen. Lampard is one of those players. Back in the 2010-11 season, there was a clear discrepancy in performances with and without Lampard. Chelsea won 67% with and 50% without, while scoring less goals and claiming less points per game [4]. In the 2012-13 season for Chelsea, during a run of 5 losses and 2 draws, Lampard was absent from all these games with an injury. The next game sees Lampard come back through a sub appearance and Chelsea win the next four games [9]. That’s quite the difference that Lampard made, even at the age of 34 and with players like Ramires, Mata and Oscar deputising. Plus in Chelsea’s Premier League winning seasons, Lampard played all of 38, 35 and 36 games respectively.

Overall, everything just displays how important to Chelsea Frank Lampard was over his Premier League career. His goal scoring, his club records for appearances, scoring and assists, how he favourably compares to his contemporaries and the huge importance he displayed to various exceptional Chelsea teams shows that he is well and truly deserving of being one of the centre midfielders in a Premier League XI. As shown in history too, each great free flowing midfielder needs a hard arsed defensive midfielder to keep the midfield ticking over, as will be shown in the following debate.


BkB Hulk

Tim Sherwood was widely mocked for his use of 4-4-2 last season. ‘Tactics Tim’, as the poor bugger was referred to, was a supposedly a relic. 4-4-2 has no place in modern football apparently. Never mind that Manchester United had won the title with a 4-4-2 system the season prior and Manchester City the same with their 4-4-2 variation. The 4-4-2 can work – it just needs balance.

Calling this the ‘Ultimate Premier League XI with a 4-4-2 formation’ indicates that this is a team that needs to be the best possible team within a 4-4-2. Simply throwing players who scored a lot of goals in slots because of their highlights reel would be folly – that doesn’t make the best 4-4-2 because it lacks stability, particularly in midfield. That is why, despite playmakers such as Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes being greats, one of the two midfield slots has to go to a disciplined, although not necessarily entirely defensive, option. Roy Keane is exactly this option.

Keane’s achievements are the obvious. It doesn’t really need pointing out that he won the Premier League seven times and made the PFA Team of the Year five times if we’re just keeping this to Premier League achievements. It does reinforce just how good he was to point it out though. That he was captain for four of the title wins just shows his influence.

It is this influence that is perhaps Keane’s greatest strength. It is best summed up by those that were there with him.

Roy was probably the biggest influence on my career … we all just wish it hadn’t happened. He was our captain, he was our leader and he left a mark: where we are now is down to him, our dedication comes from the standards he set.(1)
I think he had one of the biggest impacts on a club anyone could have. The players responded to him in every game … People now have to look at what he has done with Manchester United because in the last 12 years he has won everything there is to win in club football. He has done it, gaining respect from so many players that he has played with and against.(2)
I didn't think I could have a higher opinion of any footballer than I already had of the Irishman, but he rose even further in my estimation at the Stadio Delle Alpi. The minute he was booked and out of the final he seemed to redouble his efforts to get the team there. It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field.(3)
The first quote? Darren Fletcher, the player who was supposedly most wronged by Keane in the infamous MUTV interview before his exit. The second? David Beckham, who was apparently too much of a prima donna to care for football, while being captained by a notoriously strong character. The third? Sir Alex Ferguson – before being blinded by his hatred. The other two illustrate that, still, Ferguson should hold the same opinion.

This influential nature of Keane lifts him to a position where, as a holding central midfielder, he only has one apparent opponent – his great rival Patrick Vieira. Vieira was an amazing player. His ability is best summed up by him being the captain of The Invincibles. However, despite that, Vieira is neither Keane’s equal, nor is he more suited to the defensive position in the 4-4-2.

A look back at The Invincibles and Vieira’s peak at Arsenal in his years as captain show that he wasn’t actually the disciplined holder – Gilberto was(4). While Vieira is remembered as a machine of a defensive midfielder, the reality is that he was more of a marauding playmaker. Big and strong? Absolutely, but he wasn’t the holder that Keane developed into as his career progressed. It wasn’t until Vieira’s got older that he became more of a holder – and by that time he had returned to Serie A.

Despite that, Keane has Vieira equalled in terms of scoring and, perhaps surprisingly, covered in discipline. Keane scored 33 goals in 343 appearances(5) – a rate of roughly one goal every ten games. Vieira had 28 in 287(6) – again a rate of roughly one every ten games, but Keane’s record went for longer, and thus the longevity makes him more impressive. Vieira’s 72 yellow cards and eight red cards meanwhile eclipse Keane’s 62 and seven – again, despite Keane’s longevity.

It’s this longevity that ultimately reinforces Keane getting the nod ahead of Vieira. While Vieira was machine-like in his peak, Keane fulfils the role within the formation better, and did so for longer than his adversary. That he fulfils the output of Vieira’s role just as well, even if not as stylishly, is icing on the cake and means that Vieira really isn’t needed as a selection in the team at all (as my lovely partner illustrates). Claude Makelele, perhaps the only other challenger, doesn’t fit the criteria for the same reason. Great player, yes, but he played a different, entirely defensive role within a different system, and also didn’t do it for anywhere near as long as Keane. Phil Neville also just misses out.

Stats from Keane’s time, and indeed the times in which Vieira and Makelele also played, are scarce, but those that are there indicate that Roy Keane is the best option for this disciplined role in the Premier League’s ultimate 4-4-2. What says even more than the stats though is both Keane’s record in his position, and the overall influence he had on his team. Although often appearing to be on the brink of exploding, it’s the discipline that Keane instils, not just in his game, but in his team that means he is the ultimate central midfielder.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Baxter - Good stuff with the criteria at the start. I'd often say explain why they're important but I think in this case they're fairly self-explanatory. Good stuff actually linking your arguments to it too. The main problem with your arguments is the lack of expansion on them which really shouldn't be an issue in a debate where you have a partner to essentially double the word count. I saved this debate specifically for a tag debate because it would be so hard to do justice with just 800 words. You and your partner really failed to take advantage of the fact that you have 1600 words between you. Remember that both of you don't need to argue for both picks. One of you arguing for Scholes and countering Lampard and Gerrard and then the other arguing for Keane and countering Viera and Makalele would have allowed to you to make much better use of your word count and expand on your arguments greater to improve them. Instead here you didn't really balance your word count well enough to do either pick justice because both ended up being rushed. Ability argument is fine but needed more expansion to do it justice. Isn't ability relative to their tasks too? I'm not sure the goals graph was the overwhelming evidence you were looking for. Ok it's good but relative to Lampard and Gerrard it does look lacking. Maybe taking Scholes' data and not showing it relative to them 2 would have looked better for your pick. For example Scholes is above 10% for 7 seasons but Gerrard and Lampard are over 10% for at least 11 seasons each. I'm not sure why Yaya is on these graphs either unless he just came on them rather than you adding him on. Second graph puts it into a context that favours Scholes better though and maybe should have been the only one you used despite having the same data. Taking penalties off was a key stat that puts it into better context so good work there. When you said " quite remarkable when you consider that for the most part his job was always to be more of a ‘playmaker’ rather than someone who was actually expected to get forward and score goals" I thought for sure you'd bring assists into the debate but you didn't. If you what you say is true then shouldn't combining assists and goals over their careers favour Scholes and thus your stance more? The team honours definitely works against Gerrard but not so much Lampard. Due to the lack of expansion required you fail to really convince me on any of your points but especially that Scholes should be picked ahead of Gerrard or Lampard. " But who to partner Scholes?" really should have been where your partner's debate started. " Why someone more defensive minded needs to partner Scholes:" is good but maybe needs some clarification as to why you should pick to assemble a team rather than 11 individuals. You get to Keane now and it's just one paragraph and I'm thinking why bother with just one paragraph when your partner is going to deal with it?

Curry - In your intro you needed to say why it should be seen as the one you picked in terms of this debate question. Just saying either is fine doesn't really work when you base your debate around choosing one of them. If your opponents go for a team made up of ultimate players then you've just said it's ok when you should be countering them doing so if you do the opposite. Paragraph about the dynamic between two CMs is good. Partnership point is good regarding why they complement each other well. Extending it to the wingers is good also but at this point for how reliant you are on forming a team that would actually work well together the intro is really becoming an issue due to your lack of stating why. You're also not really leaving yourself much room to argue for Keane over other picks. By time you get to it you've got 3 brief paragraphs for what should imo really be the majority of one of your 2 debates. I thought the Gerrard and Lampard counters were just repeating already covered ground as for me you had already ruled them out at the start by saying you need a second CM to compliment the first. This is where you should have been arguing why you pick Keane over Vieira and co but instead it's just one short paragraph that is going back to the same argument. Ok Keane and Scholes is a proven partnership but Scholes and Vieira isn't disproven either so you need more than that to argue Keane over Vieira.

As a pair you both really limited yourselves with the balance of your word counts. This debate really needed splitting in half with one debate dealing with Gerrard/Lampard/Scholes and the other with Keane/Vieira/Makalele. Once one trio had been dealt with all that was needed was to deal with the other trio once you cover that a defensive minded pick is needed to support the playmaking CM. Although you don't directly repeat the same arguments you are covering a lot of repeat ground. This really limited your arguments for your picks over the alternatives because they didn't have the expansion required due to your word count allocation. You argued for Keane and Scholes individually ok, much better for Scholes than Keane, but I was never fully convinced that either should be picked OVER the alternatives due to the lack of strong evidence comparing them directly. The nearest either of you got to that were Baxter's graphs which didn't exactly provide overwhelming evidence for their stance given they picked the lower scoring option without showing they made up for that in assists or other areas with other stats.

Kiz - As far as a debate arguing for Lampard goes this is pretty strong. I never got the sense that you argued Lampard over anyone else though. It was all Lampard this and Lampard that and while the arguments for him are great where are the comparisons to other picks? Ok Lampard can be a great pick but what if he's still only the 3rd best pick? With the goals part it's just an empty stat saying he's the 4th highest overall, especially when you admit it's in large part due to how many games he played. Well then why not divide it by games played and then see how high he comes out at? And then also actually compare to the other picks for the CM spot in this question. The importance of his goals part is better but again, is this not the case for Gerrard or Scholes either? Passing part has some greats stats for Lampard even if they're not all just for passing despite the heading for this paragraph. This part paints a really good picture of Lampard being an all round midfielder. The stats you use are very good but they are also based on single seasons. The larger the sample size the more convincing the argument becomes. You mention Gerrard and Scholes here but it's just in reference to one stat from one season. For reference [8] I tried to find where it says the stat you use by searching Lampard's name but couldn't find it. Also during a one minute google search it seems that Rooney has more goals and assists put together than Lampard. Influence part is great. You know what I'm going to say next though. No comparison to other picks. You have great evidence for Lampard but without putting it into context against other picks it really doesn't mean much besides Lampard had a great career. Ok well so did Gerrard and Scholes.

BkB Hulk - You could have cut the first paragraph entirely and lost nothing and gained some words. Argument for balance in your 2 picks is good. I don't think anyone really gave a great argument for why in the context of a make believe team for this question you can't just pick the two best individuals but neither did so you were ok. Quotes are great to capture Keane's influence and the point about how many titles he won as captain supports it nicely too. The point about Vieira having Gilberto to assist with the defensive work is a good point and counters the notion that Vieira had the longevity Keane as a holding presence. It does ignore the time he had playing with Petit though. Goals and discipline stats are good and are great direct comparison, something which your partner never did and suffered from. Putting it relative to Keane's longevity was another smart move too. This was by far the strongest debate in this match both in terms of arguing for your guy and also comparing him to the ones you didn't choose. The only negative I'd say is that you felt low on quantity arguments wise and that was probably due to the space you used up for them quotes. Really you could have linked to them in your reference list and just referred to them in your debate. You're fine just referring the reader to where the quote is and then talking about it rather than using your word count up on the quote itself.

Winners - Kiz & BkB Hulk


I thought you and your partner missed a trick here by electing to tackle both choices in each debate, rather than employing the strategy used by your opponents to use your two debates to argue for each candidate separately. The reason I emphasise this is that you make a decent argument for Scholes here, but the Keane focus is very brief and concise and struggles to really say much of consequence. The fact your partner also devotes around 1/2 their debate to Scholes, as opposed to a greater focus of Keane further clarifies my argument that you lack a genuine balance in terms of arguing well for both picks.

I thought your arguments for Scholes were solid and did a reasonable job in highlighting his strengths as a talent. The stats were interesting to document he wasn't that far below more prolific midfielders of his generation, though I didn't feel the argument him not being a chief penalty taker was the best argument, given said ability is a tremendous asset to possess in a team, which serves as a good argument for Lampard & Gerrard. I get the idea you were going for, but felt you still drew attention to strong arguments for Gerrard & Lampard. I also felt you needed to supply more evidence of Scholes' passing ability, at least in terms of raw numbers. No-one will dispute his ability on the ball, but your opponents raised a counter that Lampard in particular competed favourably with Scholes in some aspects of passing, so solidifying your argument with more evidence in raw numbers would have enhanced your argument here in comparison.

I truthfully thought the recap of his accomplisments was a tad vague and not really necessary. Your opponents found a better way to draw attention to Keane's accomplishments whilst emphasisng his personal qualities as a Captain during that tenure, whereas this felt more like a brief recap of Scholes' accolades. Comparative individual stats re player of the month versus Lampard & Gerrard would have been nice as well to again compare and contrast Scholes with his closest peers.

The Keane focus was far too brief given the lack of room you had left, and meant you had strong language but a lack of specific examples to strengthen your point of view. This actually would have worked as a fine lead in to your partner's half of the debate, but as we'll see your partner spends the first half of their debate focusing on Scholes which scuppers this. The language is strong here but there's no real evidence or analysis to convince me further because you've got little room to expand on your arguments, which is why as I advised at the beginning, trying to cover both candidates in your debate felt like it never achieved the desired balance in conveying good arguments for BOTH choices.


See your partner's feedback for a basic summary. The Scholes part is fine but essentially just recaps what your partner alluded to prior in terms of Scholes needing a workmanlike partner to do the graft and feed him the ball to exploit space and his passing ability. You're not really telling me anything your partner already didn't which is a bit of a waste given you've got 800 words to play with. It harks back to what I said in the Card Thread, about tag debates needing to diversify and not repeat arguments. If this was a sole 800 word singles debate, you wouldn't make two arguments of the same nature, so doing so here really harm your chances of covering as much ground as possible, which you really needed to due to the imbalance of your partner's debate giving minimal focus to Keane.

Sadly, your focus on Keane is again rather brief and like your opponent, you use a lot of strong language but lack the necessary analysis imo to really tighten your argument.

The dismissal of Scholes as a defensive option also felt a bit odd given he assumed the role primarily in the final 4 and a bit years of his career. You could argue he lacked the tackling and discipline at times, but in terms of time on the ball, picking passes and exploiting counter attacks I felt Scholes demonstrated a defensive role was hardly one he struggled to adapt to, and in fact his ability to shine there ensured he was able to return from initial retirement at a time where the club needed him badly.

The dismissal of other candidates also felt very concise and rushed, most likely due to your lack of word count left at your disposal. You really needed a more thorough evaluation of Keane imo to ensure a good balance of arguments for Scholes & Keane, but instead you introduce decent ideas without expanding and delving deeper into them to produce a stronger argument.


As a result, you offer good arguments for Scholes but lacked the balance of consideration for Keane due to your structure. Keane's focus was minimal and lacking in specific examples/analysis to truly distinguish and compare him closely to other dominant and respected defensive midfielders, and you were left with an imbalance that could easily have been resolved had both of you addressed one choice solely and not tried to compensate by covering both choices in each debate.


The 'Goals' argument felt a bit weak, if only because you allude to it not being 'purely about the goals themselves' as what makes them crucial, but I didn't feel you elaborated/specified the context of said goals to strengthen that argument. The Bolton brace was a good example but thereafter the descriptions were rather vague and felt like your point softened a bit. Even finding some figures to possibily illustrate the % of timing for his goals, or a rough estimate of the importance of said goals in terms of points won for his teams. It just felt like you offered a more nuanced view beyond merely the raw number he collected, but couldn't quite specify with pertinent examples that made the argument as strong as it could be.

Next argument was better in terms of comparing Lampard closely with other suitable candidates and finding ways to demonstrate Lampard exceeded expectations in certain categories. I felt your opponent's lacked this approach in arguing for Scholes and Keane, and found this a good argument to counter their choice and argue for Lampard as the best sum of parts, rather than the best individually at said parts.

The final paragraph was again marred a bit by lack of specific examples when using stats. You say Lampard's return to the team coincided with their return to form, but neglected to provide stats to ascertain how much of a part he played in said turnround. Therefore without greater evidence to support your claim it felt a bit weaker and less concrete. Just be mindful of using stats to make an argument without the necessary evidence to confirm that POV.

BkB Hulk

You benefit here by having an entire debate to craft an argument for Keane, compared to your opponents who suffered in comparison due to their structure. I'm not always a big fan of multiple quotes making your argument for you, but I thought you tied them in well to Keane's personal qualities as a Captain and motivator, which worked quite well in comparison to Viera in terms of discipline and longevity.

I also felt you managed to convey Keane's command and dominant personality well in comparion to Makelele's reserved and meak manner. The comparison to his closest rivals within the formation was good in arguing well for Keane at the same time of minimising the credibility of other choices, and subsequently strengthened your overall argument.

As a whole I felt you offered better counter arguments to support Keane's candidacy over his closest rivals, which strengthened your arguments for him over your opponents' whose arguments in comparison were less focused and more generalised.


As a team effort I felt your struture aided your overall joint effort in allowing both of you to argue entirely for one choice, rather than trying to balance both choices within each debate. Both debates here felt less condensed and better structured in accentuating the points they were trying to make, and offered a strong parallel in terms of key arguments for both choices, compared to Baxter & Curry's imbalance whereby the arguments for Keane failed to be as analysed and discussed as Scholes' candidacy.

Decision: Kiz & BkB Hulk ultimately were more able to convince me of their two respective choices. Their arguments for Keane were tighter and drew attention to his peers more suitably, whereas their arguments for Lampard felt at worst on par with that of Baxter & Curry's focus of Scholes. Ultimately, the greater focus of Keane and general better team effort and balance leads me to conclude Kiz & BkB Hulk's effort was more persuasive, and thus victorious.

Winner - Kiz & BkB Hulk

Good arguments made, but never really backed up, certainly compared to the way Team 2 backed up their arguments. Lampard also pisses on Scholes from a goal-scoring perspective, so focusing on that as much as you did wasn’t such a great idea. Maybe you could have provided some stats focusing on his assists and pass completion (etc) which would have helped here instead. You nearly went there with the mention of Scholes’ lack of penalty-taking, but maybe some figures regarding how many of Lampard and even Gerrard’s goals came from the spot would have strengthened your argument. Some quotes would have looked good here, as Scholes has been name-dropped as the best CM of recent times by the likes of Zinedine Zidane among others. It’s also a bit unfortunate for you that your opponents argued for Lampard ahead of Scholes, as the graph you included seems to astoundingly back their choice ahead of yours, for both goals and longevity.

Again, I think you touched on points that could have done with some more detail, such as the dismissal of Vieira and Makalele as Scholes’ partner. You state that “neither of them come close to Keane in terms of sheer drive, intensity, leadership and influence on their clubs” but don’t really provide anything to back this statement up. I think the key to victory for your team was to properly highlight the importance of Keane and Scholes as a real partnership that worked time and time again, while other partnerships (Keane & Lampard for example) are an unknown factor. There’s a big stick to hit Lampard with as well in his failed partnership with Gerrard for England, and with Lampard as one of Scholes’ few rivals for the attacking CM spot it would have done your debate the world of good to dedicate more space to this element.

A very good case put forward here for Lampard. Focusing the entire debate on one player was a good move and allowed you to fully flesh out the arguments for Fat Frank’s inclusion into the two CM spots. The only issue I can think of here is the partnership issue, with regard to how well he would have played with the choice for the other CM spot. There are arguments against Frank in terms of his ability to gel with other top midfielders (see Gerrard), but neither of your opponents made these counters so it doesn’t really matter.

BkB Hulk
Again, like your partner, a really good argument put forward for Keane. More in depth and detailed than either of your opponents managed, plus you dealt with the partnership aspect excellently which was the only possible shadow hanging over your team’s efforts. You included a very skilful dissection of Keane’s rivals for the more defensive CM spot. One big criticism is that you didn’t really do enough to convince me regarding Phil Neville’s exclusion.

Baxter & Curry pretty much focused entirely on the partnership aspect, while Kiz & BkB Hulk focused on the individual players. However, Kiz & BkB Hulk also paid attention to the partnership SYNERGY aspect in BkB Hulk's debate. Kiz's argument for Lampard also loudly spanked the arguments put forward for Scholes by both Baxter & Curry, while the same is the case for BkB Hulk’s arguments against both Baxter & Curry’s Keane arguments. There was so much more Team 1 could have done to put forward their cases, especially for Scholes but they fell short by each covering similar areas to their tag partner. The winner is Kiz & BKB Hulk by the length of a Phil Neville stepover.

Winners via Unanimous Decision - Kiz & BkB Hulk

TDL Social Division Special Attraction Tag Match
Anark & Magic vs RAB & Bearodactyl

Is world peace an achievable ideal?

Spoiler for Debates:
Let’s get something straight, the definition of world peace is ‘no nations being at war with each other’. And by this definition, world peace is absolutely achievable. Now, some modern hippy types will try and add additional clauses to the notion, such as no police violence or even no violence between individuals (seriously, some idiots believe a Friday night punch-up between two fellas who looked at each other funny genuinely invalidates world peace). While it would be nice if cops and drunkards were friendlier, it’s nonsense that they have anything to do with achieving actual world peace.

World peace is a specific term that was coined to define a very particular thing: the cessation of all violent conflict resolution between nation states. Its definition has undergone no official redefining, and so it is the only definition that matters to this debate question.

This is important because war is becoming rarer and less deadly, with this definition of world peace having never been closer to being achievable. The facts reveal both global conflict and war deaths decreasing dramatically over the past 70 years.

This doesn’t mean world peace is happening anytime soon, but it does mean that slowly and surely we are approaching a place where it is an achievable ambition. You and I probably won’t see it, but it’s no great stretch to think our grandchildren or certainly our great-great-grandchildren might.

Think about it; the reasons we currently go to war are running out. Oil will not fuel humanity’s lifestyle forever. Dictators are dropping like flies and they are mostly not being replaced, so it’s reasonable to presume that eventually there won’t be any left that require war to oust. Religion causes problems, sure, but only 3,000 years ago the most advanced civilisation believed that Zeus and his mates ruled the universe from atop a mountain in Greece. Before them, the Egyptians thought cats had magic powers. In enough time, God-men and desert prophets will be just as ridiculous.

World peace won’t happen soon and it might not last forever, but it doesn’t need to for this debate question to be answered positively. It just needs to be achieved for a moment, and the trend of war strongly implies that at some point within the next few generations we will have the opportunity to make it happen.

But can we trust this trend of decreasing war to continue?

Yes, because it is an easily demonstrable fact that democracies rarely go to war with each other. It has happened, and could happen again, but it is rare and always involves aggravating factors. This is because democracies simply have fewer reasons to fight other democracies. Thanks to economic interdependence there are always more attractive alternatives to war. Also, for obvious reasons, civil wars are extremely unlikely under democracy.

Why is all this important to the debate question? Because democracy is spreading across the world at an unprecedented rate.

There were only a handful of electoral democracies in the 1940s, but that figure rapidly rose to 69 by 1990 with the number smashing the 100 barrier during the early 21st century. That’s going from just a few to over a hundred in a little more than 50 years. Speculate amongst yourselves where that figure will be a few decades from now.

This trend is undeniably making world peace a very real prospect within the next few decades alone, let alone within the next few hundred years.


Prior to the 18th century, for everyone but Leonardo da Vinci and a few mad fuckers who jumped off cliffs with giant feathery things attached to their arms, the idea of humans flying was always an impossible fantasy. In the space of 70 years in the 20th century, we went from the first ever flight of a few dozen yards to putting people on the moon. Just fifty years or so ago, 5GB of computer memory had to be transported via a massive truck.

Clearly, it’s just plain small-minded to think anything is impossible given enough time, especially world peace considering the mentioned trends that show massive progress towards it. Remember, our sun isn’t due to supernova for about five billion years. We have 5,000,000,000 years to achieve world peace before it gets achieved for us, so of course world peace is achievable because within that timeframe, anything and everything has to be considered potentially achievable.

Just look at our history. Look at all the progress we have made and continue to make. Look at the previously impossible achievements we have already knocked out of the park. Yes, we have flaws and yes, we have many, many issues still to overcome. But ultimately, considering our track record, there is no better man for the job than mankind itself.


War and Violence Decreasing:
War is becoming rarer and less deadly (#3):
Evidence of Democracy Causing Peace:
Evidence that Democratic Nations Prefer Peace (PDF):
World Democracy Numbers:
First Flight by the Wright Brothers:

World peace is certainly achievable concept for the same reasons deep-space exploration, advanced robots, and the end of human disease are possible: time and desire for it to happen. World peace is not the end of all violence in the world, rather it is a peace between all nations in the world where no war or conflict exists and countries are friendly or neutral with one another. For something to be achieved it simply has to happen, it does not have to last, so as long as it happens for a moment it is, technically speaking, achieved.

Peace is achievable between nations for a simple reason: war is not a preferred option in today’s world. For a country to go to war it means crippling expenses as well as, in most cases, public outcry. Take for example USA, it has fought for years two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; attempting to remove the terrorist organizations while freeing the people that live there. The USA first invaded Iraq in 2003 in hopes of stopping Al Qaeda, in 2011 they formally removed all their troops and left the entire country in disarray, and in 2014 the threats of ISIS and new terrorist organizations has left Iraq in an almost a worse position than before America got involved. 8 years of war, billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and nothing was truly achieved through the acts of warfare. The States are now an incredibly 18 billion dollars in debt, a major factor of that is those two wars that cost the States nearly 6 billion dollars alone. These numbers don’t include the other money spent by states on warfare for self defense as well as the other wars they were involved in during that period. The only ones that benefit from this are the arms and warfare companies, but what is in their best interest doesn’t coincide with what is best for the country, meaning the people will likely eventually turn on them. The price of war is simply not worth paying.

That is the major consequence of war, but the benefits of peace are even stronger. For starters, all that money being spent on warfare and defense is suddenly going to infrastructure, schooling, and a boat load of other social services that help the citizens of the country. Not only would that prevent things like your national debt skyrocketing, like the States, but it would help build a more efficient country. Now imagine the entire world being at peace and every nation not only supporting itself, but helping everyone that is an actual need of assistance. Suddenly things like ending world hunger don’t seem like such an impossible task because the right amount of resources can finally be invested into it.

Secondly, relations between people as a whole would benefit. It is no secret that major wars between countries can cause long-lasting feuds between the people, let alone the nations themselves, which causes unnecessary hatred and distrust among people. The people of the Middle East have become increasingly tired of Americans and their “support” that has only seemed to bring them more trouble all because of war. A war, by definition, means there’s always going to be opposing sides and whenever there’s opposing sides, everyone else must choose what side they’re on or be hated by both sides for simply not being on any side. This can be compared to what happens between siblings when they bicker as children and a parent steps in and punishes one child more severely than the other. The one with the harsher punishment is now not only mad at their sibling, but also resents the parent for seemingly choosing their sibling over them, which is essentially picking a side. The same thing happens in war, for example during WWII when the allies, and in particular the USA, felt that the Swiss had provided more help and benefits to the Nazis than they did to the ally nations. The Swiss were only doing what was best for them and their people, but as a result helped support a dictatorship that could have ruined Europe, and in doing so caused a negative relationship that lasted for years.

War brings no real solutions, only destruction. Even winning a war or eliminating one group doesn’t stop new enemies from popping up. The Allies won WWI, but that essentially led to WWII, which led to the Cold War. And if peace is achieved must be broken for the greater good, such as another Nazi-like regime, then peace can be briefly put at a rest to stop a potential world threat.

This isn’t lost on the nations of the world and with time and democracy; a peaceful world is not only a realistic ideal, but the best possible scenario that benefits everyone. –US/Iraq War -US debt war debt swiss/american relations

“Is world peace an achievable ideal?”

First off, in order for us to decide whether or not world peace is an achievable ideal, we should look at the past and then at the present, which will help us determine whether or not the world is headed towards peace.

Let’s take a look at ‘Pax Europaea’…

Pax Europaea refers to the period of time after World War II in which the countries of Europe experienced relative peace. It isn’t Pax Europaea that is ridiculously important here, it’s the idea behind it. So, let’s see… the argument, with relation to world peace, behind this is that these countries have all adopted a certain consensus, one which means that the countries are always at peace with each other. Now, I know what you’re thinking: ahh, yes, Europe may have experienced a certain level of peace, but what about the middle east where wars have been ravaging countries for years? Well, when you think of it, the western world has always been a frontrunner of sorts when it comes to things which could be related to ‘world peace’, for example civil rights and whatnot. With the west continuing on a trend towards absolute peace, who’s to say that the east will not follow this shift?

Perhaps you’re thinking the east might not follow this shift…

Then ask yourself this: is there any country that truly doesn’t want world peace? The obvious answer would be to point to North Korea but if you’d look at their ratio of threats to actual actions you’ll see that it’s incredibly low and most of their threats have been (yes, I admit, ridiculously overreacted) retaliations. The point behind this is that world peace is an ideal for every country on earth and if the possibility or the incentive to work to get it is there, then I truly believe that the countries of earth would come together and work for it.

If I’ve not convinced you yet, then why don’t you ask yourself if it’s really still impossible?

Let’s take a look at some situations, shall we? The United States of America having a black president. Oh, that’s impossible. Or at least people thought it was before it actually happened. Sending a man to the moon? Nope. That’s not going to happen. Oh, but… it did happen. Even women having the vote, for hundreds of years, in the UK at least, was thought to have been an impossible thing. I’d ask you to look at the trend here: there are hundreds of things which people think would never happen in a million years, until they actually do happen. World peace is no different. You might argue that there are plenty of things which people say will never happen that don’t ever happen, but the thing with world peace is that it’s not literally impossible, like quite a lot of the things that people would say will never happen. Now, another thing, there’s no time frame attached to the question posed, so it really doesn’t matter whether world peace is achieved in 50 years or 50,000 years, all that matters is that it can be achieved. To back up this point, let’s take a look at the Infinite Monkey Theorem, which ponders that a monkey hitting keys on a typewriter at random for an infinite amount of time will almost CERTAINLY formulate a given text. If that metaphorical monkey can type out the bible at any point in an infinite period of time, then world peace can be achieved in the same time frame. Additionally, given the extremely impossible sounding odds of this theory (it’s (1/(n)^(n2) per word, where n is the number of letters on the keyboard and n2 is the number of letters in the word), whilst still being thought to be possible, the possibility of world peace is almost certainly unarguable against. The question also doesn’t discriminate against how long the proposed peace lasts for, so even a few years of absolute peace satisfy the criteria of the question. With these crucial pieces of information in mind, I’d say that the odds are overwhelmingly in favour of world peace being achieved at some point down the line.


I’m sure a lot of people scoff at the idea on instinct. “World Peace? That’s something hippies and Miss World contestants reference, hardly an achievable ideal.” But upon closer inspection, there is only one reasonable and correct answer to the question we are asked to answer here. In short: World Peace IS achievable.

First, let me take a second to point out the correct way to look at, and as a result the correct way of answering this question. We are being asked if world peace is an achievable ideal. In other words, if it CAN BE DONE.

Now I’m not going to argue that even though technically it’s not part of the Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of “achievable”, the word doesn’t to an extent imply that there’s a level of realism that has to be attained to call something truly achievable. Because in my opinion, it does.

However, it also shouldn’t be misconstrued into meaning we should have a clear and decisive answer towards how to get there as of right now. Or that it should be achievable within our lifetime, or our children’s lifetimes. Or that the question “can it be done” is the same as “will it be done”. Because it doesn’t, and it isn’t.

So with these ramifications set, the question honestly seems as good as answered. After all, man has changed so many things in as little as the last few decades. Things that much like war were engrained in society but seen by many as “wrong”, and thus people fought and protested until change was had. What could possibly make war so special that we shouldn’t even consider it POSSIBLE to follow the same path in what we have established as an unlimited timeframe? The answer is nothing.

Just think about it. Slavery, once a rampant phenomenon, now mostly gone because the people wisened up. Women’s rights (or lack thereof), still a big problem in parts of the world but much less so in many, MANY countries. If I looked further back, I’m sure I could go on. These aren’t readily reversable changes. You can’t just go back to slavery. And it’s these sometimes relatively small yet always significant victories that not only make world peace possible, but slowly but surely add up and egde us in its general direction.

“But there will ALWAYS be reasons for men to go to war”, you say. “It’s human nature.”

A misconception. The “human nature” defense isn’t technically speaking entirely accurate when it comes to the general public and war as they interact. A great deal of conditioning is needed to prepare most people to take part in war, and a great deal of mental suffering is common among those who have taken part in one. (1)
On the opposite side of said coin, there is no such thing as a war deprevation syndrome. Hence, it is absurdly clear human nature in general is much more peace-minded than what naysayers might claim it to be.

And there’s more yet still in favor of the achievability of world peace that remains to be discussed. Age-specifically speaking, and keeping in mind the 5 “historical forces” as described by Steven Pinker (a famous Harvard professor who’s book on the decline of violence the likes of Bill Gates called “one of the most important books he’s ever read” (2)) that have lessened violence on all levels of society through the years, I would like to point out the role of mass media and /including the internet in global pacification. The Internet, as much as we try to limit the use of it to its core uses of sharing cat pictures and porn, has made the word a much smaller place then it used to be. You can’t just invade your neighbouring country anymore without the whole world having an opinion on the matter. And it’s similarly hard to keep news from the rest of the world out of your country. News of reform. Of Civil rights. The history of countries where peace has been made possible, at people’s fingertips to look up and discuss.

Now the internet obviously hasn’t made war obsolete or anything of that scope (let’s not be silly), but it’s certainly not made going to war easier. And much like the earlier examples in the realm of civil rights, it edges us one step closer into the right direction.

So to conclude, as the modern age progresses we may take a few steps back in between taking steps forward and the end of the road is definitely not yet in sight, but given that we not only have made considerable strides in the right direction, but also that we get to take our time in this endeavour, there is no discernable reason why world peace shouldn’t be achievable.



Spoiler for Judging Cards:
These debates were all quite competently done, and looking at the names in the matchup, this hardly comes as a surprise. I'm going to judge them in terms of the TEAM effort, since I don't really have critiques of the individuals involved.

Anark & Magic

The first big indicator that this would be an entry I enjoyed is the immediately fleshed out definition of "world peace". It focuses the structure of your debates, and gives you guys something to aim at.

The graphs were excellent visual aids to back up your points.

I wasn't crazy about the "reasons we go to war are running out", but at least you acknowledged the opposing stance's biggest arguments (ie: religion).

The area about democratic governments was strong and well-executed, as well the the "window of opportunity" section.

The second half of the team entry was also solid, and I had no issues with the costs of war being shown as a reason why war shouldn't be desired from an economic standpoint, in addition to people dying.

The benefits of peace discussion was a great segue was well. You essentially build on the early discussion that world peace isn't just achievable, but it's an ideal goal to strive for. In light of your premise that it only takes time and desire for something to happen, it was a very clever end to a very clever entry.

RAB & Bearodactyl

These combined entries were fine, but I was left feeling that it was just a little lacking compared to the presentation of the first team. I don't mean "presentation" as in "ooh ahh, graphs!!". I mean areas like where RAB really emphasized how much change occured over short spans of time (70 years from first flight to landing on the moon). It really hammered home the point in a short, hard-hitting way.

When this is attempted in RAB's entry, it's in the midst of a giant paragraph of text that mentions going to the moon, but doesn't really HIT ON how fast that was made to happen. That giant paragraph then goes into a discussion about an infinite monkey theorem which didn't really do a whole lot to advance your case but used up a tremendous chunk of word count. Also, the first team did show how there isn't literally an indefinite time period for this to take place, so perhaps this throws a (monkey) wrench into your plans?

The second entry does a nice job of getting back on track. The dissection of "human nature" was a high point in what I thought was a very very good entry.

Ultimately, the team had two reasonable entries, but when both teams made similar points, Anark & Magic did so a little better.


The joint efforts of Anark & Magic gave a more well-rounded and convincing answer to the debate question in hand. Anark & Magic is my pick.

Anark & Magic:

What I liked:

Anark: Defining what you thought was world peace was a smart move at the beginning. It’d be impossible if it were no violence at all, but defining it as no wars was a good move. The graph was a nice touch.I wonder if the decrease in deaths has something to do with the increase in modern medicine as opposed to the decrease in conflict. Could be both. It was also a nice touch to point out that it is slowly reaching achievable and highlighting that point. The democracy point is a good one. Once again, the next graph was very helpful in illustrating your point. It is interesting to notice the gigantic increase in democratic nations over the years and the decrease in dictatorships. The history of progress argument at the end was a nice little touch to add. You essentially point out the even the impossible seems possible when humans work together. So in the end, good final point.

Magic: Synergy in the stances here. Always a good thing. You and your partner both use the same definition. The war is not preferred point is an interesting stance to look at. I can’t imagine anyone wakes up and says they want to go to war. I never thought about how much it cost to go to war. I always remember learning about how great going to war in WW1 was for the US at the time because it created jobs and lots of revenue and how going to war in WWII helped to get America out of the Great Depression. I guess that’s not the case anymore. Makes sense. War is more expensive now and factory jobs are much less desirable. Anyway, nice to point out that the war was for nothing and threats are now back in the Middle East in the form of ISIS. The idea of every nation working together seems plausible and ending world hunger becomes achievable. As someone who wrote a debate on Space and World Hunger, yeah, it’s totally possible if we stop wasting food and work together to reach areas in need. So good point here. Yeah, a lot of money goes into self defense. It would have been awesome if you linked the amount that nations spend on self defense. Imagine that budget going to other places. Note, it’s a lot of money spent. With world peace, there is no need for that kind of budget.

What I didn’t like:

Anark: The religion point was a bit weak. 3000 years ago there were wars involving said gods and religions, today there are wars involving different gods and religions. As ridiculous as you make the premises of these religions sound, you don’t really say much in the way of convincing me that religious conflict will decrease. So this part is a little weak for me. Maybe point out some key figures that proof religious conflict is waning or kind of brush it underneath a rug and ignore it next time.

Magic: For the purposes of the debate question, I do wonder why you decided to sell me more on why world peace is awesome and why war sucks, not if World Peace is achievable. Seems like you got a tad lost here. Like, the second half of your debate is talking about how relations around the world would benefit. That really doesn’t help point out why World Peace is achievable, just why world peace is awesome. The whole punishing siblings thing was a nice analogy, but it argued more for why outside involvement is bad. So really, I felt this whole last half of your debate was a wild out of place tangent that didn’t really help with your debate and the question asked. You kind of help fix this at the end by saying that nations know war isn’t good and that peace is better, but it still falls a little flat towards the original question IMO.

RAB & Bearodactyl:

What I liked:

RAB: I thought the North Korea point was solid. I think that helped to prove your point in saying that countries do want world peace. The Pax Europa point helped prove that it is possible for a certain amount of time to achieve peace, at least in a larger region. I feel you made a solid point by saying world peace can eventually happen over time as there is a lot of time for it to happen. So it seems your main point here is that world peace is achievable because there is a lot of time for it to happen. Got it.

Bearodactyl: Alright, World Peace is achievable. I do like how you try to define the question by highlighting that it can be done. You mention later that we wisened up and learned that slavery is bad and women’s rights are good and we can’t simply go back. You have a point there. It does lead us closer to equality and world peace. I also never thought I’d read the phrase, War Deprivation Syndrome. I laughed. It makes sense. “You can’t just invade your neighbouring country anymore without the whole world having an opinion on the matter. And it’s similarly hard to keep news from the rest of the world out of your country. News of reform. Of Civil rights. The history of countries where peace has been made possible, at people’s fingertips to look up and discuss.” Excellent point here. Maybe one of the best I’ve read of the four debates. It really does help. It is good to point out that this sort of global connectivity makes it harder to go to war.

What I didn’t like:

RAB: I feel it definitely would have helped if you defined peace like your opponents. Like do you mean no wars, no violence at all, or somewhere in between? A little clarity also helps. I thought the “impossible situations” point was a little weak. Your opponent had a similar one with flight and traveling to the moon and I feel his was more effective based on how he phrased it and how he spun it to the point that things can be achieved by working together as opposed to your point where what seems impossible and unlikely will eventually happen.

Bearodactyl: I don’t think you needed to talk so long about the word achievable. I think you could have very clearly indicated that it means can it be done in a sentence. Instead you kind of go on for about 10 sentences. That’s a lot of space to give to essentially a point you can say in 2. All you need to say is it can be done, but it doesn’t mean it will be done. So 200 words later, you finally set your ramifications.

Decision Time: Anark & Magic Wins. Here’s why: Anark TRULY answered the question and did a great job showing how it really is achievable in the sense of the definition he brought up. The graphs and the stats truly helped to illustrate how war is going down and how democracy is going up. His final history of progress point really did illustrate it. The weak point of Anark & Magic was Magic, but while the second half felt grossly off topic, the 1st half was good and the combined effort came up with 3/4 of a great debate. RAB & Bearodactyl struggled with getting the definition across and ultimately wasted a lot of words between the defining achievable as well as ultimately having the weaker history of progress point. I felt that you guys really weren’t arguing that it was achievable, but moreso that it will just happen eventually anyway because if Monkeys can in theory type the Bible, then World Peace can happen.


I thought this was strong and felt like you covered your key arguments in good depth without forcing yourself to form a narrow approach. You pinpoint areas where bridges are being formed that indicate war and the need for war itself is becoming less apparent, and tie it in well to your definition of world peace, and furthermore that 'achieveable' has no specific time frame, thus failure to achieve world peace in our lifetime does not mean it cannot be achieved after that time.

Your sources were well cited and backed up your arguments well, and I felt you better than anyone directly addressed 'how and why' world peace could be achieveable. The conclusion was good and made a compelling case that as society has progressed throughout history, prior achievements people deemed impossible have been attained, thus it is naive to argue anything is truly impossible within an infinite period of time.


I liked your opening which tied in well with your partner's definition that world peace relates to wars/conflict between nations, not a worldwide end of all violence. The follow up paragraph was decent in looking at the economic reasons to avoid going to war, with the Iraq example being a pertinent comparison. Unfortunately your source to link back to the cost of the Iraq war lead to a dead page, which sadly didn't strengthen your argument with a credible source. Be wary of that when citing sources in future, as evidence of your claim would have greatly strengthened your argument, but without said evidence your argument is weakened by virtue of no evidence being supplied.

After that, I felt you strayed away from the question at hand. You focus on the benefits of avoiding war, but I felt you needed to identify that you were doing so by looking at the benefits from a nation's standpoint. You discuss at length the benefits that arise from world peace, but I thought this strayed from the question posing how and why it can be achieved, not necessarily what happens once it is achieved. The argument about funding infrastructure and education with what would previously have been warfare funds for example had relevance, but I felt you needed to outline/expand on how restructuring said funds could have future consequences of developing a more peaceful society where war was less anticipated. Instead you outline the benefits of avoiding war but truthfully I feel without the elaboration/explanation of your argument, it's straying away from how world peace itself can be achieved.

There were also a few grammatical and spelling errors within the debate, again just food for thought to thoroughly re-read your debate prior to submission to identify and correct these errors.


I thought Anark was strong and identified key factors in world peace becoming a more realistic ideal, sufficiently aided by well reference sources. Sadly after an initial good start, I thought Magic truthfully strayed away from the question at hand by ignoring how world peace can be achieved, or why it is more likely now than before. It felt more like discussing what benefits arise from achieving world peace, as opposed to how/why it could be achieved. If you were intending to cite the benefits as something nations would be aware of and therefore work towards achieving, I felt you needed to be more direct and clear in your content to communicate this. Instead it just felt like you went from identifying an economical reason that war would be less profitable/desired by countries, and then focused on the consequences of world peace being realised, rather than covering further arguments as to how it could be readily achieved.


I felt like you did a good job at identifying nations in principle would desire peace/no conflict between other nations. In that respect, I felt you argued well that nations desired this and therefore could be expected to work towards this end goal. Furthermore, like Anark you pointed out there is no timeframe in the question for world peace to be achieved, it merely asks if it could ever be possible. In that respect, again I felt you argued similarly to Anark at how society had come very far technologically and had achieved feats that at one point were considered impossible. This therefore aided your argument that it is almost impossible itself to say that within an infinite period of time, that something categorically cannot be achieved.

However, I felt in comparison to Anark, your arguments for how it could be achieved were less in depth and ultimately less persuasive. You did well in arguing the notion it is impossible to be untrue/naive, but I felt you lacked focus in how this could be achieved. Anark covered similar arguments regarding how far mankind had come in making discoveries/advancements people never thought possible, but their focus on the development of the world itself and measures which indicated the world was edging closer to world peace superceeded your efforts in comparison.


Likewise, I felt you referenced well that mankind had significantly achieved feats past generations never imagined being realised, but again specific inferences to how world peace could go about being realised were lacking in my opinion.

I thought your intro and development of defining the question could have been condensed to save time whilst making the same point. I was also a bit disappointed that like your partner, you focused a fair bit on how mankind had made strides in achieving 'impossible' feats. The trick to tag team debates is to ensure as a duo you cover as many arguments as possible, so for both of you to devote time to the same argument weakens your overall depth of arguments because you're both covering the same point. You both do a good job with the argument, but really the fact that one of you already made a strong point should suffice, and the other debater should have been sought to argue a different factor/reason to strengthen your arguments as a team. Really by covering the same point as your partner, you've just wasted an additional argument that might have strengthened your debate in comparison to your opponents.

Like your partner's feedback, I felt in comparison to Anark, you just lacked current world analysis in drawing attention to how the world itself was slowly forming bridges that could make world peace realistic.


As a team you broke down the vague timeframe in the question well and made good arguments that mankind has achieved far too many impossible measures for it to be argued the achievement of world peace in a seemingly infinite period of time was impossible. As a duo however, neither of you really told me how world peace could possibly be achieved, or rather how the world itself was establishing circumstances in which it appeared to be more achieveable now than before. That was the telling difference between the teams, as Anark & Magic managed to make similar observations regard the infinite period of time, but had greater arguments focusing on the world as it currently is and how nations as a whole are aligning to create a scenario where a world without conflict between nations could be feasible.

Winner - Anark & Magic

Winners via Unanimous Decision - Anark & Magic

TDL Wrestling Division Special Attraction Tag Match
Seabs & WOOLCOCK vs RealManRegal & ZOMBO

Who is more to blame for the rejection of Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, WWE or Roman Reigns?

Spoiler for Debates:

Assuming the WWE aren’t creative geniuses who are working us all, it’s fair to say that the Rumble reaction this year was not what they wanted.

Roman Reigns isn’t to blame for this reaction, WWE are.

Why was the reaction so bad? Well, let’s start with the big one:

People didn’t want Roman to win

Whether it’s because they don’t like Roman himself, think he’s not ready, or consider him unworthy; much of the backlash was simply because many did not want Roman to win.

Unless he has serious dirt on the Mcmahon’s, we can assume Roman doesn’t have the sway to book himself as the Rumble winner. Even if the absolute worst of what some say about Roman is true - and my partner will refute much of those claims - it’s WWE who decided to give him that spot in spite of his perceived flaws.

In fact, any argument against Roman as an individual or a performer only serves to further demonstrate WWE’s culpability when it comes to the Rumble reaction.

Roman Reigns didn’t decide the winner of the Rumble match, WWE did.

The handling of Daniel Bryan

To some, Bryan is the antithesis of what Roman represents, and the aftermath of his Wrestlemania 30 triumph left many feeling that he was due another shot. However that’s not the story WWE wanted to tell. While that’s entirely their prerogative they must sure have realised that it would be difficult terrain to navigate.

Unless, of course, they just held off on Bryan’s return for a month or so. That way there’d be no perceived injustice for discontent fans to rally against. Instead, WWE raised the hopes of those behind Daniel Bryan, and promptly shat on them by making his actual involvement in the match meaningless.

Roman Reigns didn’t mismanage Bryan’s return, WWE did.

The Philadelphia crowd

Roman’s booking since his record-breaking Rumble last year suggests he was earmarked for this victory well in advance. When you combine this predictability with the sort of “superman booking” Roman has received it doesn’t take a genius to know how a “smart” crowd is likely to react.

Yet despite this, someone thought it would be a good idea to book the show in front of one of the smarter crowds there is. If you’re going to book something that anyone with a brain cell knows will be poorly received by smarter fans, you at least have the good sense not to book it in front of those fans!

Roman Reigns didn’t book the event in Philadelphia, WWE did.

The match itself sucked

Putting the finish to one side; the match itself was poor. Apart from one or two surprise entrants earlier on, there were few - if any - real highlights. The in-ring action was lacklustre, especially compared to the preceding triple threat, and the pacing was terrible.

The lengthy spell of Big Show and Kane eliminating one fan favourite after another completely sucked all life from the match. Presumably the plan was to build massive heat behind Kane and Show, so Roman would be cheered when he eventually saved the day, but that strategy was never going to work with the two most stagnant heels in the company.

The match was so boring, one could be forgiven for wondering whether this was a deliberate strategy by WWE in order to avoid anything else overshadowing Roman.

Roman Reigns didn’t book the match, WWE did.

The finish was botched

“Your winner, Roman Reigns!”


Oops, which genius forgot about the Bulgarian?

By this point in the match most of the damage had been done, but prematurely ringing the bell, announcing the winner and celebrating certainly didn’t help.

It’s well known that refs and announcers are fed instructions from Vince; so it’s a fair assumption that that’s where the misfire originated. Hopefully this time he didn’t blow out his quads.

Roman Reigns didn’t screw up the match ending, WWE did.

WWE empowering fans

You cannot nag fans to vote for matches on the WWE app, give out “Slammies” for audience participation, make “YES Movement” and “Hijack Raw” core elements of your Wrestlemania build and constantly badger viewers to share opinions on social media without expecting it to lead to the sort of reaction we’ve seen at 2 consecutive Rumbles.

WWE went to great lengths to make fans feel empowered, encouraging them to believe that their discontent can influence creative. The Rumble reaction is just the latest way in which this has backfired.

Roman Reigns isn’t responsible for any of that, WWE are.

My head is actually spinning from how poorly WWE handled the Rumble, so it’s about time I stagger to the corner, reach out to my partner, and hit that hot tag...


Irish whip into the ropes... Superman Punch!! SPEAR!!!

Since my partner has astutely explained the multitude of areas in which WWE fucked up, I will address the misguided notions of individuals who laughably think Roman is to blame for his rejection. Let’s have a look at some of the common knocks on Reigns.

Originally Posted by ROHNerd69
He's limited in the ring!
A two-part rebuttal here. First, EVERY wrestler in WWE has a limited moveset nowadays.(1) Not only is a limited moveset safer for performers who are out there as much as WWE Superstars are, signature moves are more easily marketable and identifiable for the foreign or casual fan who watches on occasion and plays the video games.

The indy neckbeards cream themselves when Rollins hits a “Phoenix Splash,” but Johnny the 10 year old kid in the Cena gear just thinks it’s a cool flip thing, while going AAOOOOOOHHHH when Roman is powering up for his Spear. IS his moveset even THAT bad? In the Shield, he was the exclamation point of matches, coming in and hitting his big impact spots with unmatched intensity. That was his role and he performed it admirably.

The second part of the rebuttal with respect to the limited moveset complaint is… so the fuck what? Hulk Hogan. John Cena. Goldberg. Some of the biggest draws in wrestling have had few moves but that didn’t hold them back. Once again, the indy marks complain about Cena’s Five Moves of Doom, but for Vinny Mac and company, they’ve been Five Moves of Money. If Roman is the company’s next meal ticket, why not follow the same successful strategy? Keep this question in mind, as it’ll come up again soon.

Originally Posted by Most fans with working ears
He's Limited on the mic!"
Well, yeah. Once again though, he was super effective as the exclamation point in the Shield. But instead of keeping his speaking to a minimum, they make Roman do lengthy, Looney Tunes promos written by a 70 year old man.(2)

Is it ROMAN’s fault that Vince writes him this shit? Is it ROMAN’s fault that WWE chose to build him as the fairytale promo guy instead of, you know, a silent badass like Goldberg? A silent badass like he WAS in the Shield? Sure, let’s blame Roman when WWE scripts their promos WORD FOR FUCKING WORD. With respect to Roman’s culpability, the dude has ACTIVELY TRIED to improve in this area, working with an acting coach while he was out with an injury.(3)

So let’s recap. Roman doesn’t write his own promos. Roman doesn’t book how much talking time he needs to fill. Roman is actively trying to improve in this area. So is it fair to pin the blame solely on Roman for this critique? Absolutely not.

Originally Posted by ChainWrestlingAfficionado
He's untested as a singles competitor!
As the “rookie” in the Shield, Roman remained largely protected by having a limited role in each match. This is great and all, but if WWE wanted him to break out as the group’s big singles star afterwards, perhaps turning over a bigger portion of match time to him would’ve helped. Once again, this is on the booking agents backstage setting the matches up.

There’s also his opponent selection. Mired in an angle against the authority, who is he paired up against almost weekly? Big Show. Kane. Oh those are two wonderful workers that are REALLY going to make Roman look good.(4)

WWE wanted to build Roman as the next big thing. Book him against guys like Ziggler, Ambrose, Rollins, Cesaro and Bryan. Dudes who have the experience to pace out the match, can bump like maniacs and generally make Roman look like a million bucks. The pairing with Bryan at Fast Lane is the first smart move in WWE’s handling of Roman in a long time.

Originally Posted by Just complaining because I'm a wrestling fan in 2015
But... but... he's just an embodiment of what Vince loves!
That’s great! Keep clapping for your workrate warrior there! Meanwhile, the company is going to make MONEY by marketing the handsome dude just like it’s always done. Remember that aforementioned meal-ticket question? The Hogan and Cena comparison makes sense, because at this point Roman could really grow into that role. THIS ISN’T A BAD THING!! Having Roman turn into a polarizing figure like Cena is Best for Business. As long as Roman’s getting some sort of reaction and not turning into a 2015 Lex Luger, he’s doing his job and doing it well.

So, many of Roman’s faults could easily be minimized by the way WWE has chosen to book him and bring him along. Many of his faults have been present in MEGASTARS that came before him. Roman’s actively working to improve. For these reasons, and the multitude of points that my partner brought up, it is quite clear that WWE is to blame for the fans’ reaction at Royal Rumble.





(4) Dripping with sarcasm.


Who is more to blame for the rejection of Roman Reigns
at the Royal Rumble, WWE or Roman Reigns?

The 2015 Royal Rumble Match got real nasty as the building revolted against Roman Reigns. Yes the same person who a year earlier the WWE fans were well and truly behind. Between the two Rumble Events something went drastically wrong. But where is the blame the heaviest? Don't get me wrong, Reigns isn't blameless. However, any blame attributed to Reigns can be reasoned. We can't reasonably expect him to develop at a quicker rate than others. We can however expect WWE not to sabotage his chances of success with inept and avoidable booking decisions which helped to turn fans against Reigns. Because of that the greater blame undoubtedly is on WWE.

Reigns isn't the complete package. He's lacking on the mic and can't work long matches to the high standard demands of modern fans. That doesn't mean he can't get over as a top star though. The same could've been during Sting's immediate push in the late 80s. Sting wasn't great on the mic or in the ring but he had strengths in each area in among the weaknesses. The difference was Sting had booking which allowed him to become a main-eventer by exposing his strengths and hiding his weaknesses. WWE have come closer to the opposite.

Reigns' only significant feuds since The Shield split have been with Randy Orton and Big Show. Both of these feuds have been lacking on the mic and in the ring with neither able to cover Reigns' weaknesses and elevate him to make him look like he belongs at the top. Reigns' strength lies in his explosive moveset to close matches but he still needs carrying in matches up to that point. So instead of pairing him with a hot heel like Rusev whose heat can carry the middle portion (the amount of heels this can apply to adds further blame to WWE) or with a smarter ring worker like Rollins or Cesaro who can keep the heat segments interesting to atone for Reigns' FIP shortcomings, they pair him with heels whose weaknesses only exposed Reigns' further, rather than heels whose strengths could hide those weaknesses. Even during the Rumble itself, rather than booking him to look like a dominant badass showcasing his explosive moveset, they booked him to hide in the corner until the finish, only adding further justification to those who say he doesn't work hard enough.

The biggest cock up in all of this was entering Bryan into the Rumble and giving his vocal fans genuine hope only to pull the rug on them. Why would WWE return him in time for the Rumble Match only to have him lose right? Rather than taming the beast known as the YES Movement and making it clear it wasn't Bryan winning but Reigns, they poked it riled it right up building expectations and then laughed as they pulled it all away. Who'da thunk that would piss the most vocal part of that building off right?

There was no need for Bryan to be in the match either. By losing he was clearly not part of the Title plans for Wrestlemania and the match wasn't used to setup a future feud for him either. Literally the only thing that his return coming before rather than after the Rumble achieved was providing false hope and thus making the reaction to Reigns winning even worse.

The booking failed Reigns again, even once they decided Bryan would be in the match. The geekish unproductive way Bryan was eliminated, closely followed by Reigns' introduction, made a self-created issue a self-created shitstorm. Idea: Bryan eliminates Wyatt who erupts and eliminates Bryan from the outside before laying him out. Reigns' music hits and he spears Wyatt for Bryan and helps him up. At least then you give Reigns a chance. WWE's booking of the match killed any chance he had of salvaging their self-created issue.

This revolt against the WWE Machine has been building for years and the craziest part is that WWE themselves have been encouraging it, dating all the way back to when they started promoting and thus encouraging crowds hijacking Raw. Going back to last year their decision to cave into fan demand only added further fuel to the fire which exploded in their faces. "So if we throw a big enough tantrum we can get our own way in the end?" Well gee I wonder what will happen the next time you push your guy over their guy!

The YES Movement will never be massive Roman Reigns fans but they'd never revolted against him before. A HEAVY amount of blame for that revolt falls on WWE's booking which made a decision they were against, one they revolted at. My partner will now show why the blame is greater on WWE's end than on Reigns' end.


Who is more to blame for the rejection of Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, WWE or Roman Reigns?

The rejection of Roman Reigns in Philadelphia was as anticipated by all but those who conspired to engineer and facilitate the merciless reaction he received. The responsibility undeniably rests with WWE far more than Reigns, for WWE:

• Failed to read their primary audience
• Failed to accentuate Reigns’ positive attributes
• Drew attention to his limitations through woeful presentation

ALL of the above developed as a result of WWE insisting Roman Reigns conform to their ideals of how a main event babyface should be presented. Arguing Reigns is at fault ignores the far greater principle at hand here: Reigns wasn’t rejected that night, WWE’s adherence that fans cheer who they tell them to was.

Reigns’ reaction wasn’t exclusive to him alone. The entire Rumble was massacred with visceral repulsion from the fans following Bryan’s pitiful elimination. The fans rejected the trajectory of the match long before Reigns made his entrance. Quite simply, it was WWE’s ignorance of their audience that night which drew the greater ire, not Reigns specifically. Implying the hatred was conducive to Reigns alone holds no merit when considering Reigns was CHEERED the year prior, when Batista was rejected.

The constant between both Rumbles? The fans’ choice (Bryan) being overlooked for WWE’s choice.

The difference between both Rumbles? Reigns was cheered in 2014 because the fans rejected WWE’s decision to push Batista at Bryan’s expense. Supporting Reigns clarified the fans were virtually opposed to what WWE were trying to engineer. In 2015, Reigns was categorically the figure the fans had to reject to once again reject WWE’s choice. You can’t imply Reigns’ rejection was conducive to him alone when fans readily backed him the year ‘they weren’t supposed to’. There is a clear correlation between the two events that this is a WWE problem, not a Reigns problem.

Now let us tackle the implication Reigns deserved that reaction because he has ‘regressed’ since The Shield’s implosion. This is still a responsibility that ultimately falls at WWE’s feet, not Reigns!

1) Match Structure – Then & Now

Reigns shined in The Shield’s six man tag formula. Like Rollins & Ambrose, he had a fundamental role that he performed with aplomb, which highlighted his athleticism and intensity in working short but impactful exchanges. Crowds didn’t overlook him for Rollins or Ambrose, instead once The Shield turned face Reigns’ segments in the finishing stretch arguably received the best reactions from the crowd.

Since operating primarily in singles matches, WWE have spectacularly failed to demonstrate his strengths. Reigns’ style was intense, dominant and impactful in tags, so of course as a singles worker WWE ensured he fall rank and work underneath like everyone else.

Reigns needed to work semi squashes which suited his intense and impactful offence, whilst also allowing him to develop and work longer matches at house shows to gradually prepare for the transition to lengthier matches. It is WWE’s responsibility to recognise how Reigns should be utilised, which they failed to accomplish by forcing him to comply with a universal face formula, which negated Reigns’ best attributes which invoked strong responses from audiences prior to his singles run.

2) Characterisation – The need for monologues

Reigns’ promos within The Shield were concise and accomplished their purpose of making him competent, if not inspiring. Similar to his ringwork development, lessening the focus on Reigns’ promos on TV ensured he could develop and improve his promo ability away from the inescapable scrutiny of national television.

So of course his promos now are longer than a Leonard Cohen song.

WWE neglecting to protect Reigns in favour of having him adhere to their insistence on babyfaces speaking in depth is their failure, not Reigns’. Not being a strong promo is no justification for his reaction, especially when fans are only able to deduce his promos need improvement because WWE themselves draw attention to that fact. Feeding Reigns dialogue that has seen Cena be resented and dictating he cut lengthier promos without recognising he is still learning this art only gives fans less reason to gravitate towards Reigns. How is that his fault when other less than stellar promos such as Rey Mysterio have been kept away from the mic for that simple reason?

Arguing Reigns hasn’t developed to the level of his push only further clarifies WWE’s liability as well. Blame WWE for rocketing Reigns’ push to compensate for their perilous lack of developed young talent, rather than blaming Reigns for not developing at an exceedingly quicker rate than his peers.

Reigns’ reaction was not indicative that fans rejected him personally. He merely represented what Vince was trying to impart on the audience, something fans have steadily rejected since the Raw after Wrestlemania 28. There is clear evidence Reigns was merely a scapegoat that fans rejected to consequently reject WWE’s ideology.

Believe that.



1) The 'rejected' Roman Reigns one month before said revolution of which he is to be blamed:

2) Reigns' presentation in The Shield (0.55 onwards):

3) Reigns' presentation post-Shield

4) WWE fans vocally rejecting Cena/Orton aka Vince's Vision:

5) WWE fans vocally rejecting Sheamus/Orton aka prototyical WWE 'main event face vs face formula':

6) WWE fans vocally rejecting Bryan's booking at Wrestlemania 28:

7) The Shield vs The Wyatt Family, Elimination Chamber 2014: Closing stretch where Reigns is positioned as Shield protagonist:

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Your format was a good way of including multiple arguments, though it left those arguments without an awful lot of meat in their sandwiches. I can’t argue with who booked the Rumble, good point well made. The Bryan handling section could have done with a little more to it. You stated the facts and that’s about it, but a little extrapolation would have served this particular section particularly well.

The Philadelphia crowd section was another spot on argument. Perhaps some sources or more information on previous Philly events and the smarkiness of Philly crowds might have added some weight to it, but as your opponents didn’t mention this at all, it scores you some points. The match sucking part was also very true (not only in my own opinion but in the general consensus of wrestling observers) and again Roman would have had little input to that. Perhaps some mention of his ‘sit in the corner’ tactic might have scored you counter-argument points though. Was he instructed to do that? Or did he just run out of ideas so just let everybody else tell the Rumble story until his big finish?

The botched finish possibly did originate from the instructions fed from the back, but apportioning the blame a little more specifically would have been more convincing. Somebody could have remembered Rusev, from the people sitting with Vince backstage to the bell-ringer and announcer. It makes me wonder if the botched finish wasn’t actually a botch. Rusev seemed to be waiting for his moment so it’s possible the whole thing was intentional but just wasn’t executed very well. I’ve heard about Vince being “furious” over the Titus O’Neill botch, which would seem a bit pointless if the finish was also completely fucked up as well. The ‘empowering fans’ section was good, showing how WWE sowed the seeds themselves for what has happened at the past two Rumbles.

Overall, it’s a good debate, very convincing regarding the stance, but the lack of detail stands out as one major criticism. I see what you’ve gone for, ticking as many boxes as possible, but sometimes covering more points in less detail comes across as less convincing overall. You mostly pulled it off though.

I like the different approach to your partner. One focusing on why the WWE is more to blame, and now this one focusing on why Roman Reigns isn’t to blame. That’s some nice tagging.

The ‘limited in the ring’ section was good. I certainly can’t argue with the fact that most wrestlers have limited move-sets these days, especially with the mentions of former greats like Hogan who were renowned for their limited amount of moves. I’m pretty sure half of Hogan’s entire move-set was shaking his head and pointing his finger at people. The ‘limited on the mic’ section was alright. A little lacklustre to be honest, but the point about him actively trying to improve via outside acting lessons was a very good addition to the argument. The source you use to back up the claim that Vince personally writes Roman’s scripts doesn’t have much to it though. It just claims a ‘source’ says that. Though, to be fair, I couldn’t tell you how reliable ewrestlingnews is for that kind of thing. I’m just kinda looking for things to criticise at this point, as I’m getting bored of saying good point etc all the time.

The ‘untested’ section was again on point blah blah. It takes two to tango and Roman hasn’t had the best dancing partners since his singles run. I’m not sure the ‘embodiment’ section came over quite as well as your previous sections, especially as there’s no definite indication yet that Reigns is going to get booed to fuck by 50/60% of every arena he steps into. I think it’s way too early to compare to either Cena or Luger. Good conclusion though and a very good debate overall. Your style and content were very complimentary to your tag partner’s and helped counter-balance the lack of detail of RealManRegal.

I thought your intro was a bit overly wordy for something which basically just established your stance. The bit about how we can’t reasonably expect Reigns to develop at a quicker rate than others sort of missed the point a bit, in that we can pretty much reasonably expect him to improve faster than others as he’s the Golden Child and has been pushed more than anyone this past year and is now in the biggest main event of 2015. That’s just a small quibble though.

Nice enough comparison with Sting, and playing to a wrestler’s strengths is definitely something WWE could do more of, especially with Reigns. Good points too about being paired with guys who don’t play to his strengths, though I’m not sure I agree with the mention of Orton. Orton is a veteran (without the massive physical limitations of Show) who should be able to carry a younger guy, at least in the ring. The equivalent point was made by your opponents who dropped Kane into the mix instead of Orton, which emphasised the point a little better I think.

Also, has it been confirmed that Reigns was booked to sit in the corner until the end of the Rumble, as you state? I mentioned this to one of your opponents as something that could have been countered, but are we sure he didn’t just chicken out of getting too involved? Maybe I’m wrong here, but I know all the big Rumble spots are worked out beforehand but beyond the last four or five guys, eliminations and high spots, the wrestlers just figure the rest of it out for themselves as they go, no? I’ve had a quick Google looking for a source that confirms that Reigns was instructed to sit in the corner but I can’t find anything to back it up. You make great points about Bryan’s involvement and you have a nice finish about the crowd being encouraged by the WWE to revolt - I’ll have to see how these points compare to your opponent’s similar points.

You have a great opening angle regarding the fans rejection of WWE’s insistence on telling the fans who to cheer, rather than their reaction being a rejection of Reigns himself. Also an excellent section on the fans’ reaction being against the entire Rumble rather than Reigns as well, which solidifies the notion that Reigns was not to blame for it. Another really good point in the section dealing with the difference between the last two Rumbles. You make it very clear that the fans’ reaction was little to do with who was being pushed and more to do with who wasn’t. The ‘Match Structure’ section was good too, and raised important arguments regarding the booking of Reigns which one of your opponent’s also raised. I’m going to have some fun directly comparing the same points each of you all make.

The ‘Characterisation’ bit was correct but a little flimsy in its execution. Learning on the job is important too, and sometimes being chucked in at the deep end can be the making of someone. Were WWE wrong to chuck Roman in at the deep end promo-wise? Ultimately yes, they were, but were they wrong to try it in the first place before his failure to improve was confirmed? I’m not so sure. Mysterio was also a well-established star before he came to the WWE, with his strengths and weaknesses already known, whereas Reigns still has a lot to learn and thus has untapped potential. Is WWE really at fault for hoping he’d be one of the ones to learn quickly after getting chucked in at the deep end? They need more main event stars, and while we can hope that they are building some of them up slowly (Ambrose especially), is it wrong for them to take a chance on someone they believe might just have what it takes to hit the ground running? Maybe, but these are the kind of things running through my head after reading your last couple of paragraphs.

Good finish though, tying in to your opening gambit. After the first couple of read-throughs, I felt like this was the best of all four debates, and I’m not sure I was wrong having examined them all a bit further. Thing is, I also felt like your partner’s may have been the weakest of all four, though only by a small margin and still very good by itself (plus that opinion might change if these were one-on-one debates). This is going to be a hard decision.

I need to do some direct comparison of the arguments you all made, see if any team made good points the other team didn’t, and then compare how each of you argued those same points. This might well come down to who wrote the same argument prettier.

RealManRegal & ZOMBO had additional arguments such as the mistake of booking this particular Rumble in smarky Philadelphia, plus details regarding the poor booking of the entire Rumble match, not just the finish and winner. ZOMBO’s section on limited move-sets was also a good defence of Reigns. WOOLCOCK had a great part about fans reacting to the booking rather than to Reigns as a person/wrestler/character/thing, plus the comparison to the previous Rumble was excellent. Beyond these, all your arguments were pretty much exactly the same.

The promo work points were both argued well, but ZOMBO argued them a little better than WOOLCOCK thanks to a more entertaining style and driving home the points in a more impactful manner.

Each team referenced Reigns’ prior booking throughout the year, but Seabs & WOOLCOCK both hit on this aspect while only ZOMBO did. While that does make this particular point technically better argued by Seabs & WOOLCOCK (due to pure weight of reasoning), it was only really necessary to mention it at length in one debate and use the words used to repeat the same point in the other debate for an additional argument, such as Philly being the wrong crowd to take a Rumble risk with especially after last year’s reaction (which RealManRegal & ZOMBO did discuss). From a tag perspective, this was wasteful by Seabs & WOOLCOCK and allowed RealManRegal & ZOMBO to move ahead on amount of arguments made.

RealManRegal dealt with Bryan’s inclusion in the Rumble in a short and sweet fashion, while Seabs went into not just more detail, but more relevant detail. Seabs' extrapolation regarding what it meant for Bryan future-wise was excellent. I can’t separate the arguments regarding the fans’ revolt being encouraged by WWE as they were argued equally well by both RealManRegal and Seabs.

A tough call, but the winner is RealManRegal & ZOMBO. Their debates worked better together as tag debate, with the contrasting styles complimenting each other as well as the themed content. In terms of themed content (as in, one arguing to blame WWE, the other arguing to not blame Reigns), RealManRegal & ZOMBO pulled this off quite a lot better than Seabs & WOOLCOCK. I do think that the best overall debate was WOOLCOCK, but not by enough of a margin to outscore the combined consistency and synergy of RealManRegal and ZOMBO.

Preface: Guys, you all did a wonderful job. Fantastic effort all around. Because of this, I need to be as nitpicky as possible.

RealManRegal & ZOMBO:

What I liked:

RealManRegal: I thought the repeated “WWE did” at the end of every point was great. You really hit the nail on the head with the point that it was all WWE’s fault. Very great stuff here. It’s also excellent to mention that Reigns doesn’t have the sway to book himself yet. The point about Bryan’s return was good too. The best point in the first debate may have been the match quality point. The Rumble and boring should never be used in a sentence together. Unfortunately, that’s what happened. For a match that can easily entertain just by pace, highlights, and surprise entrants, it’s incredibly challenging to make it boring. Yet WWE did that as you point out. So this was a good point too.

ZOMBO: It was a nice point mentioning limited movesets and how it works well for many reasons. The Five Moves of Money line was pretty good. The mic point is interesting. You mention how he may be limited, but everyone has strengths and weaknesses and WWE doesn’t put Reigns in the position to play to his strengths. The point about them scripting all the promos is good. Whoever came up with the idea for some of those promos should really evaluate their life decisions. The singles competitor point was interesting. It was good to point out that he is working with guys that aren’t know for being able to put on anything more than a good brawl at this stage in their careers. Loved the sarcasm too. I do like how you make it clear that Reigns is actively trying to get better while on the road. That’s a great final point to bring up. And it’s not too different to Batista, who had even less singles experience time when he won at Mania over Triple H.

What I didn’t like:

RealManRegal: Not much, but to nitpick, was the finish botched or just poorly designed to try and make Rusev coming back in more shocking? Either way, just food for thought. Was there any reports saying it was botched? The match ending was still weird, but I felt like this point needed that little source to truly show it. As for the crowd point, I feel that the Rumble and Mania will always have smarter crowds anyway as bigger events. Some will travel to it no matter what. But yeah, the Philly crowd point is fine.

ZOMBO: I feel like you missed the opportunity to connect the limited moveset point with Cena to the fact that he was just involved in the Match of the Night right before the Rumble match. Just throwing that out there. Also, I don’t know about you, but I bet you kids love cool flip things. Wasn’t cool flips and big jumps what made kids adore Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and Shane McMahon back in the day? If anything, they like the cool flips just as much as the Spear. When talking about singles experience, I do wonder what your counter would be for those who point out that Big Show and Kane both have several years of experience in the ring. While matches with those guys wouldn’t be the most entertaining, isn’t working with experienced workers like them very beneficial? Just wondering what your counter to that would be. I do get the point of working with more technical wrestlers would help, but can you really say working with vets doesn’t help?


What I liked:

Seabs: A lot of what you said mirrored your opponents. There was some key stuff that really stood out though. When talking about Bryan’s elimination, I like how you not only talked about how bad it was, but you proposed a viable solution to it as well. That probably would have helped a little bit as well as give Bryan a feud. Of course, it would have been better if Bryan wasn’t in the match, but you already mentioned that. Then you bring up the point on the WWE encouraging revolting. Begging the question that we will get our way if we complain loud enough was perfect. The comparisons to Sting were good too. That and pointing out that WWE puts him with workers who expose him was good to point out. You even mentioned how he was booked as kind of cowardly in the Rumble too.

WOOLCOCK: Where to start? Ok, I liked the 3 main points you had at the beginning and how you made it fall directly on the WWE. The audience point was fascinating. The point you made about fans rejecting the choice and not the actual wrestler was great. Pointing out that Reigns was cheered last year was good. You definitely highlighted that it was a WWE problem. You then continue to highlight that WWE isn’t playing to his strengths by making him cut long promos, not playing to his strengths like his impact and intensity,and finally you mention that Reigns isn’t to blame for not developing as quickly. So a lot to like here. Finally you mention that it’s something that has been going on for a few years now. Fans have been rejecting WWE’s choice since 2012.

What I didn’t like:

Seabs: I wish you would have discussed Reigns’ weaknesses a little more in detail. You mention them briefly at the beginning with them being lacking on the mic and not being able to work long matches. For as much as you mentioned his weaknesses throughout the debate, I wish you were a tad more descriptive on what they are and why they are bad. Like why can’t he work long matches? Is it stamina? Creativity? Moveset? Just the little things would help.

WOOLCOCK: Um, I guess I would have liked to have seen you work the footnotes into your debate. Your footnotes have interesting points like Reigns being rejected, Cena/Orton being rejected, and others, but you don’t really highlight or add them to a point in your debate. I guess they help, but I would have liked to have seen the references actually referenced in the debate. You feel me?

Decision Time: Alright, please don’t hate me guys. I am awarding my vote to RealManRegal & ZOMBO. Here’s why: RealManRegal. More specifically, I thought the point on the Rumble match being awful was great and it was something the Seabs & WOOLCOCK really missed out on mentioning. I feel like mentioning the match itself was really important. Seabs did mention it, but they only talked about the Bryan part of the match specifically and not how the ending played out with Reigns. The Bryan part was important for sure, but RealManRegal mentioned that in the handling of Bryan portion of his debate. Another key point that RealManRegal & ZOMBO makes is that Reigns is actively trying to improve and that he can work well when paired with the right people. Pointing out this attempt to improve helped to shun the blame off of Reigns. Finally, while I really enjoyed Seabs' point on the fans being encouraged to revolt, and I liked it more than RealManRegal’s similar point, I felt RealManRegal did a good enough job covering it. While Seabs & WOOLCOCK did a great job covering Reigns’ strengths, I thought Team 1 did a better job showing both the strengths and weaknesses together and how they can be fixed or they aren’t a problem at all.

Winner: RealManRegal & ZOMBO

My feedback for this is short as I thought (for the most part) that everything here was pretty great with few flaws, although in honesty I'm not sure if that's down to the high quality of the debates or just the question itself as to be honest I'm not really sure how you'd even begin to go about arguing that Roman was at fault for the reaction he received at the Rumble.



Really hard to dispute most of this.

First section was great and really set the tone of your debate. Not that it mattered because your opponents didn't debate the opposition stance to you but if they had then you'd have probably nullified most of their arguments within this first section with the bit where you wrote about how Roman doesn't book himself and how the WWE gave him the win and his current spot despite his limitations. This is the money argument for your side of things so I love that addressed this straight away.

Along with the fan empowerment argument the handling of Daniel Bryan is probably the second biggest argument you've got in your arsenal and you covered it well. Felt you maybe missed a bit of a trick and a bonus point though that Seabs didn't by not mentioning about the timing of things and how Reigns entering the rumble so soon after Bryan's elimination only escalated matters, to be fair it's only a small point but these things can make a difference in tight debates.

Philly crowd factor I thought was perhaps your weakest argument in this, it's not a bad point to make by any stretch of the imagination but I just don't feel like it's that big a factor. You've already said how many didn't want him to win so does that not mean that he would have got a similar reaction elsewhere? Like I know the Philadelphia crowd are smark-ier than most but taking into account his booking and the way the match played out I feel like Reigns was probably getting a reaction like that wherever they had the Rumble.

Point about the match itself and the structure of it being poor was really good and something that scored you points here as surprisingly your opponents didn't really touch on this at all. I don't think anyone could argue that Big Show/Kane running through Ziggler/Ambrose/Bray like they didn't make the situation any more volatile than it already was.

Not sure on the botched finish thing to be honest. Was it even a botch? Either way though think this bit was fair as doing what they did with Rusev only served to give the fans even more false hope that the guy they were actively rooting against wasn't going to win.

Empowering fans was then a really strong point to end your debate on, although I think Seabs just had the edge in you over this bit as they managed to properly link last years events into this and explain how them caving into to fans demands in the build up to WM30 kinda set the precedent for the WWE giving fans what they want. Seabs also raised really good points about the WWE failing to read their main audience which is sort of linked into this. Don't get me wrong your bit on this wasn't weak by any stretch, but I feel like you used it as a bit of a throwaway point on the end of your debate when in fact this is one of the big money arguments for the pro-Reigns side of things. I'd have maybe binned one of the Philly crowd/botched finish arguments and made a bigger deal out of fan empowerment, but again this wasn't a HUGE issue.

To be honest I don't feel like I've said an awful constructive about this, but I don't really think I need to as this was mostly just incredibly solid from start to finish containing points and arguments made that are very tough to dispute. Really good debate overall.


If I was just to judge this as a standalone debate about whether Reigns was at fault for the reaction he received at the Rumble then to be honest I wouldn't think much of it, but obviously this is a tag debate so your main goal is to compliment your partners debate and I thought you did that really well by offering a number of competent rebuttals to the counter arguments that your partner didn't touch on during their breakdown of the WWE's failings at the Royal Rumble.

Limited in the ring counter arguments were all fine although you could maybe argue that Reigns hasn't really proven himself to be a draw or a moneymaker as of yet in the same way that the likes of Cena had when he first started getting tagged with the "5 moves of doom" thing so the faith in Roman's moveset could from the WWE could maybe be somewhat misguided. I particularly liked the points in this about smaller move sets and certain signature moves being easily identifiable for the casuals.

Limited on the mic argument was great, could have maybe have strengthened it further by pointing out how the WWE could easily have given him a Heyman-type mouthpiece to cover his limited ability on the mic or point out how other wrestlers have succeeded despite being somewhat poor at talking because the WWE have successfully managed to hide it (which they haven't with Reigns), but this is just suggestions more than anything else. The point about him getting acting lessons whilst he was off was also a fantastic point to raise.

Untested in the ring bit was all good although the start of the "embodiment of what Vince loves argument" felt a little bit off and almost like something you'd bring up as an excuse to pick fights with certain IWC members rather than to make a solid debate point. Turned it round near the end though with the bit about him getting fan reactions, however someone could maybe argue that having a pretty much universally loved character liked Bryan at the front of their show is better for business than someone polarizing like Reigns, although I'm not too sure how you'd go about this.

Another small point is that I wasn't a big fan of some of the insults like "ROHNerd69" and "Indy Neckbeards", like I get that it's all just tongue in cheek but stuff like this can almost make your debate start to seem a little bit immature and detract away from your points, irrespective of how good they are.

Again like your partners debate don't feel like I've really said an awful lot constructive about this, but that's more down to it just being a really solid debate than anything else. Despite both your individual debates being lacking you combined to make a great debate that covered all the main aspects of the question, definitely think this is the sort of thing people should aspire to in a "one debate for arguments, one debate for counters" approach to a tag debate. Really really good combined effort here.


First paragraph here was really good. I particularly like how yoy added a bit of balance to proceedings by saying Reigns isn't completely blameless (and in turn technically answered the question better than your opponents, who said Reigns isn't to blame at all), but you then went on to explain how this can mostly be reasoned whereas the WWE's ineptitude in his booking can't. Thought this was a great introductory paragraph.

Next few bits were spent breaking down the failings of the WWE when it has come to the booking of Reigns and how they've completely exposed his weaknesses and all this was really good. ZOMBO also brought up this point as well but I feel like you just had the edge over them because of the way you fully explained how Roman's strengths are mostly are in how he closes out his matches and how being paired with someone who can carry him through the middle portion of matches would help cover this, whereas your opponents bit never really properly linked the choice of opponents into his strengths and just simply suggested pairing him with people who'll make him look good rather than Big Show/Kane. Point about him hiding in the corner during the Rumble was a good point to bring up. Also it felt a bit throwaway (which is perfectly understandable given the word count) but the comment about the lack of heels to pair Roman with was a really interesting angle to take.

Next bits about Bryan were all really solid and like I said in your opponents feedback I think they missed a trick which you didn't by picking up on the issue about the timing of everything and how Roman coming in so soon after Bryan got eliminated was an absolutely terrible idea on the WWE's part. Little fantasy booking bit was OK but not really sure that would have changed anything in regards to the reception Roman recieved, although like you said they didn't even give themselves the chance to do so, however small it may be.

Surprise surprise the fan empowerment bit was also good and like I said to RealManRegal I liked the fact you brought up last years events and how the WWE caving in to fan demands kinda set the precedent for this sort of thing.

Then a good, simple conclusion. No issues here.

Think as a standalone debate this was probably the best of the lot in this match, you did a really good job of fully exploring the numerous aspects of the WWE's failure at handling Roman Reigns. As I've said to everyone else I don't feel like I've said an awful lot constructive here but that's just because there's not really much to fault. Really top debate overall


Thought that bit about the WWE failing to read their audience and this contributing to them making the same mistakes that they made last year was a great line to take here that scored you points as it's something that your opponents lacked. Also tied in nicely with Seabs' arguments about how the revolt against the WWE machine has been building up for a while now and they themselves have been encouraging it. Between the two of you I thought you did an excellent job of showing the WWE have really messed up with with their fanbase recently and how Reigns is basically just a pawn in all this.

Match Structure bit was all fine but feels a tad similar to the points that your partner has already made about Reign's shortcomings and how the WWE have highlighted these by making him regularly work with the likes of Kane and Big Show. I like how you provided an alternative solution to this problem though by suggesting he needed to work shorter matches that showcase his strengths whilst also working longer matches away from the TV.

Bit about his mic work was all strong. Particularly liked the line "especially when fans are only able to deduce his promos need improvement because WWE themselves draw attention to that fact" as it really highlighted how bad the WWE have handled Reigns' push and completely and utterly failed when it comes to protecting him. Like I said to your opponents I think you maybe could have maybe brought up how the WWE have failed as they could have very easily given Reigns a Heyman/Colter-esque mouthpiece type character to cover for him until he's at a point where he can confidently cut long promos (like they've done with other big stars like Lesnar in the past), but this is more just a suggestion than a fault or anything like that.

Conclusion was then all good and just further highlighted the point that this is clearly a WWE problem and nothing particularly specific to Reigns.

As I've said to literally everyone in this debate I don't feel like I've really criticised much or said an awful lot constructive but that's just because you consistently made really solid points throughout your debate that are almost impossible to dispute. All in all a really good debate.


Really, really tough decision but I'm going to give the win to Seabs and WOOLCOCK. I definitely feel like RealManRegal & ZOMBO worked somewhat better as a tag team and managed to get more arguments covered in their two debates, but at the same time I also feel like they just ever so slightly lacked the depth that Seabs & WOOLCOCK had in some their arguments and didn't delve into the same level of detail for some of the more important arguments. In particular I feel like the fan empowerment/not knowing your audience factors are two of the biggest in this debate and as I've already explained I think Seabs & WOOLCOCK covered it just that little bit better and really hammered home the point Reigns reaction was clearly the result of a WWE-wide issue rather than something particularly specific to Reigns. Overall this was a really good match up though with very little to fault in any of the debates, well done to everyone involved.

Winners via Split Decision - RealManRegal & ZOMBO

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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:26 PM
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you're welcome, anark.
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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A few debates have got hide tags around them besides the winner as we're still waiting on a few judges but the decision for them debates has already been reached so posting them now save waiting further as it's just a matter of deciding between split and unanimous wins now.

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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:36 PM
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2 unanimous losses incoming

woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

edit: i don't think i'll bother replying to the judging received from anark because i'll get banned for what i'd say

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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:39 PM
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:40 PM
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:45 PM
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Congrats to RMR for leading the way in our victory over the Rose Brothers, a team which has haunted me throughout TDL's existence. It was a pleasure working alongside you, and your vision / input ahead of time was much appreciated. Our team name will ring through the annals of TDL lore, forevermore.

Oh, and a shout-out to TLK. After a couple cracks at the Rose Brothers with you, and being able to win now, I think it's painfully obvious who the Jannetty of our team is, my friend.

Wishing you the best, as always.

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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:49 PM
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Seabs & Woolcock lost? Fucking hell

also RR

Very happy working together, Luckily we both had good communication (hell you messaged me before I even saw the card ) and it worked to our advantage. Defo wouldn't mind working together in future tags (as long as you make your bipolar mind up about whether or not you're staying in TDL )

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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:51 PM
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Seabs — My individual rankings appear to have gotten mixed up. I went Stax > Aid > Dipo > TRW.
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 03:54 PM
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weeeee. feel like I should copp most of the blame for that loss, after talking quite a bit with Curry near the start I then kinda like disappeared for a week which resulted in me and Curry not seeing each others debates until about an hour before the deadline.

Originally Posted by Seabs judging
As a pair you both really limited yourselves with the balance of your word counts. This debate really needed splitting in half with one debate dealing with Gerrard/Lampard/Scholes and the other with Keane/Vieira/Makalele
Originally Posted by WOOLCOCK's judging
thought you and your partner missed a trick here by electing to tackle both choices in each debate, rather than employing the strategy used by your opponents to use your two debates to argue for each candidate separately
As I briefly said in the CB this isn't a huge complaint as it's probably just something that's arisen a result of me being a pedantic little cunt, but in my defence I was under the impression that we had to submit two debates that literally answered the question, i.e. one debate devoted entirely to Scholes and another entirely to Keane would be no good as each person has only suggested one pick when the question explicitly asked for two. If I'd known the 'one debate for each pick' approach was fine then I'd have probably pushed for us to take that route but eh what's done is done.

Quick shout out to CMPunk'd and PoyPoy in the Chyna debate as well, you both put in great efforts.

I'll have my other judging in soon btw.

Last edited by Baxter; 03-09-2015 at 04:02 PM.
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