TDL XXXVII: STREAKS ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN PART II - THE RESULTS (at last!!!!) - Wrestling Forum : WWE, TNA, Indy Wrestling, Debate League, Women of Wrestling Forums
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Lord Brady vs Greenlawler vs TKOK vs Hawk Harrelson
Was the original punishment handed out to a) Tom Brady and b) The Patriots for Deflategate fair?

*Lord Brady & Greenlawler no-showed*

Spoiler for Debates:
Hawk Harrleson
Was the punishment handed to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots fair? In my own opinion the punishment handed to Tom Brady was not fair, but the punishment handed to the Patriots as a team was fair. First I will focus on the Tom Brady aspect of the punishment, and then I will focus on the Patriots aspect of the punishment.

Now, Tom Brady got suspended for four games for apparently having two equipment managers deflate some footballs for him. He got suspended for the same amount of time as Greg Hardy (reduced from 10 games), who was suspended for domestic abuse and we can all agree that domestic abuse is a lot worse than “deflating” some footballs. Another reason this is not fair for Brady is, because either QB that was in the game would be using these balls, so, both QB’s would have the same advantage. This honestly probably should have just warranted a fine, because there was not enough proof that the balls were deflated and that Brady actually told them to deflate the balls, but there was enough proof to possibly show that Brady did some wrong doing with the help of his equipment managers. In my opinion the league should have just fined Tom Brady around $100K and moved along, but because of SpyGate in the past they decided to expand on this and tried to make Brady and the Patriots look bad. There was not enough proof overall to even warrant a suspension of Tom Brady, but this doesn’t excuse the Patriots from not getting a punishment. The league has all the rights to punish the Patriots for Deflate Gate and I will explain why I believe this.

I agree with the punishment the Patriots got. The Patriots got a first round pick, a fourth round pick, two equipment managers suspended, and a one million dollar fine against them. I agree with the punishment, because the team is reliable for its players. Someone from upper management of the team or even coaches should know what all their players are doing at all times while on the field and off field situations involving the game of football. Teams sign players to play for them, so they have to be reliable for them. If a player cheats, especially the way the Patriots have before with SpyGate, the team obviously has to be held responsible for this, no matter how tame or how bad the cheating is. To me the first round pick is the big blow here even though some are saying the one million dollar fine is the blow ( One million dollars to a professional team is nothing, the first round draft pick is the big blow and is right to be taken away from the Patriots. The fourth round pick is not needed in the punishment, but feels as though it was needed to prove a point in punishments. A lot of the major players in the NFL come from the first round of the NFL draft. Taking away a future major player from the Patriots for this is an acceptable punishment. Now, I know I said earlier there wasn’t enough proof to prove that Tom Brady actually did what he did, but this still doesn’t warrant that the Patriots shouldn’t get punished. The NFL teams need to keep control of their players and staff no matter what they are doing. It was bad enough that this Deflate Gate got out and that it was the Patriots in yet another “scandal”. To me, this makes the NFL look bad if these type of scandals keep happening, so the league had to take some form of action and in my opinion this was the right move. Showing that you care about this type of stuff happening in your league and then taking action on it is good. Some may say it was a power trip by Goddell, but I believe that he had to hand out this punishment to the Patriots, not as just a repeat offender, but also, because of the extent of the case and how much negative attention it gave the NFL.

In conclusion, Tom Brady was wrongfully suspended and should have just gotten a fine to his name. I agree with the punishments the Patriots got, as they are responsible for their players and if they can’t control their players, then they should be punished. I believe a team should not need to cheat to win and if they get caught, they need to get rightfully punished, just like the Patriots did. I am in no way a Patriots hater, but I do believe in punishing cheaters. The scandal made the image of the NFL look bad and instead of good talk of the NFL being talked about in the off season, all we heard about was Deflate Gate.

No the NFL punishment of the patriots and Tom Brady was not fair. It went above and well beyond any other punishment that has been handed out for similar violations. the fining of the team, taking away of draft picks and suspension of Brady were unprecedented in their severity compared to what they were accused of doing.

Before i get into why exactly it’s unfair, let me bring you back to exactly what deflategate was and is. During the first half of the AFC championship game between the Colts and Patriots, Tom Brady threw an interception to the Colts defender D’qwell Jackson. Jackson took the ball to the sidelines because he wanted to keep it as a souvenir. That was where the Colts measured the ball pressure and notified the NFL that the balls were under inflated.

From then the balls were brought into the locker rooms and tested them again, it was originally reported that 11 of the 12 footballs used where under-inflated by two pounds each, but then was found out that only one was that low. The balls were then re-inflated and used in the second half. where the patriots went on to blow the colts out.

Now the reason it was an issue was because an under inflated ball leads to to a better grip. it makes it easier to throw and catch and leads to less fumbles. Was it responsible for the patriots winning the game, nope, since they did better with the properly inflated balls. but it probably does provide an advantage to a team.

The main reason that i think the punishment was unfair, is that as far as i know, no ones been actually able to prove Tom Brady for certain did what he was accused of. in the Ted Wells report it said things like “tom Brady more likely than not” and “generally aware” that the balls were being deflated. That sounds incredibly vague to me. generally aware sounds like it could mean anything from Brady was in there deflating the balls himself to he said something like “ can you make the balls a little flatter and was not aware that they were going below the league rules.

It also really sounds like the NFL and its investigation, instead of trying to figure out what exactly happened and come to a conclusion based on that, already had a conclusion and excepted evidence to make it sound good. In fact they flat out reject a referees' statement that he used the “logo” NFL gauge for the patriots footballs, but is fine with saying they agreed with the ref on his recollection of using the same gauge to test the Colts footballs.There’s really no reason to trust the refs word on one set of footballs being tested with one gauge, but reject the same person’s statement that he used the same gauge to test the Patriots. according to the site i used for research “ the supposed rationale for rejecting Mr. Anderson’s recollection as to the gauge he used. It is convoluted and difficult to understand at best.” and that during his Radio interview “Mr. Wells did not even attempt to explain this, and his colleague’s explanation gave no more clarity to it.” So if your explanation is hard to understand and convoluted, and when you are asked about it, you do not attempt to explain it at all, something fishy might be going on.

Even the league consultants on psi said that The Ideal Gas Law for footballs “, establishes that the psi of the Patriots footballs at halftime would have been 11.32 to 11.52 due solely to the temperature impact on the footballs. “ and eight of the 11 footballs that were tested on the patriots side fells within that range, and the average ball pressure was 11.49 psi, within that range. So it sounds like the drop in pressure can be explained by anybody with a physics degree. there also other things that seem fishy and look like the NFL used the Wells investigators to confirm a conclusion they would come too. In a notice they said they had made a “ preliminary finding” that the patriots had tampered with the balls. it’s even odder when you consider that the Colts footballs also lost pressure and violated the psi rules, but nothing was done to them. there was no investigation, no “ preliminary finding” no punishments. The league also never corrected mistakes that were made in a letter to the patriots saying that one of their footballs was 10.1 psi and that all the Colt balls were within regulation. things that were proven to be false.

As to the punishment that Brady and the patriots got. It seems clear that the NFL went above and beyond any other punishment handed down for similar football tampering. The colts again, got nothing for them violation the ball pressure rules, which is odd. Also in a game between the Vikings and Panthers, both teams were caught tampering with the balls by warming them up. Here’s the head of officials response to that

“So that was noticed during the game, both teams were made aware of it during the game and we will certainly remind the clubs as we get into more cold weather games that you can’t do anything with the football in terms of heating them up with those sideline heaters.”

So why did the colts,Vikings, and panthers get nothing while patriots had draft picks taken away , were fined one million and had their hall of fame qb suspended. that doesn’t really seem fair to give the others nothing and throw the book at one team.

So, in conclusion, i think the punishment handed down was really unfair, went way beyond what punishments, or lack thereof, where given to other teams for the same thing, and was done with a predetermined conclusion by the NFL. It seemed like the Patriots were punished so severely because, they are the patriots.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
I'm just going to do bullet points since I spent the past week working on a 3,000-word basketball analytics piece, so I'm a little bit written out...


Hawk Harrelson

-Laid out arguments neatly at the beginning
-Issue with the Greg Hardy argument – Who is the NFL to be moral arbiters of something that took place away from the field of play?
-Your logic is not sound regarding the advantage gained. Teams have their own balls. When the Colts were on offense, they used their own (regularly inflated) balls. When the Patriots were on offense, they used their (deflated) balls. Please do your research.
-There was plenty of proof that the balls were abnormally deflated. And regardless, if you’re going to make that claim, you should do something to actually back it up. Link to an article talking about how they weren’t actually deflated. Cite some gas laws. Don’t just expect us to take your word for it.
-Why $100k for Brady?
-Bringing Spygate into this is fine, but you never actually elaborated on your point there. You just kind of dropped it.
-If you just spent the second paragraph arguing that there was no proof that the balls were actually deflated, how do you come to the conclusion that the Patriots should have a first round pick taken away for cheating? I think you’re missing a step clarifying that you think the Patriots’ equipment managers willfully cheated but that there’s no proof that Brady was involved. But then, if you’re going to take that route with your argument, why should Brady be fined for not actually cheating? He either did it or he didn’t do it. The league can’t hedge.


-We know what Deflategate is. Assume that the judges are familiar with the topic, and you’ll save yourself on word count.
-I think you’re twisting the words in the Wells Report a bit. “Generally aware” means that he knew what the equipment managers were doing. The only questions were whether he requested that they deflate the balls and how much he knew about the legality of such actions.
-Please cite the websites you use for research. It’s fine that you listed some at the bottom, but if you’re going to quote one directly, at least let us know which one.
-At the very least, you clearly put some thought into your arguments, even if the language and grammar could have been cleaned up significantly and your sources cited.
-Why would the Colts have been fined?
-Vikings/Panthers example, on the other hand, is relevant


[audible sigh...]

2. Hawk Harrelson

Do better next time, guys. I know you're both better than this.

Hawk Harrelson

I liked the dual-approach to the question you took, breaking it down into parts before diving into it. Also appreciate the opening clearly stating your take.

The Brady comparison to Hardy was okay, as it sheds light on the NFL's arbitrary decision-making with respect to suspension length. I have an issue with things like "they should have fined Brady $100K and moved on" without giving any sort of support for WHY that would make sense. Are there other fines that support this, for these type of incidents or something comparable? Otherwise you're doing what the NFL did and just making something up without precedent.

In terms of the team punishment paragraph, if Brady is found "innocent", then why do you keep making the point about a team having to control / monitor its players? Shouldn't, based on your opening, the focus be shifted to the equipment managers here? Also, your logic behind punishing the team even though it couldn't be proven Brady did anything is lacking. You seem to be suggesting that a team found guilty of prior misconduct should be punished every time a new scandal erupts. Guilty until proven innocent, but punished anyway? I just can't buy into that argument.

Overall, I felt that this was glossed over and counter-intuitive at times, with a lot of your comments as arbitrary as the NFL's decision making.


Like Hawk Harrelson, I like how you identified your stance clearly early on. I will say, however, that I am not all that crazy about the few paragraphs after the intro, which is simply a recap of Deflategate. Assume your judges are knowledgeable enough in the topic that you don't have to waste precious word count on recaps.

That comment aside, I felt that you ultimately did a decent job making your point. You identified how the punishment differed from other violations of a similar nature, and how the general lack of proof should have made any verdict against Brady and the Patriots tough. Good work there.

For future suggestions on improvements, I would consider replacing the recap word count with an area that addresses any potential counter-arguments. That is something both you and Hawk Harrelson missed here. All great debates have an area that addresses an argument in favour of the other side, and attempts to dismiss it. Consider that going forward.


Ultimately, each debate had its decent points and its weaker points. However, that means that improvement is a definite possibility going forward. My pick is TKOK.

Jupiter Jack Daniels
Hawk Harrelson

Your entire argument seemed vague. As if you're not really sure if you even feel that way. I say that because you tended to be somewhat contradictory, with your agreeing with the Pats punishment because they're reliable for their players, while disagreeing with the punishment of the only actual player accused of any wrong doing.

I never got an understanding of why Brady's punishment wasn't fair. Your justification never went beyond the "advantage" argument and how it isn't fair for him to be suspended the same amount of games as Greg Hardy, who had domestic violence issues. The Greg Hardy argument, I kind of get, even though that's another case of Goodell's Gaffes but the "advantage" argument makes no sense because only the Pats are accused of tampering with the footballs. The line about either QB using these balls is incorrect, because since 2006, the NFL has allowed each team to use their own balls on offense, a rule, ironically, supported by Tom Brady and the Pats and the Colts and then QB, Peyton Manning.

Another issue is all the detail about how important the first round and fourth round draft picks are to NFL teams and why that's a bigger blow to the franchise. With the way your argument went, you could've refrained from even acknowledging that. It gave your argument no strength and came off as a way to fluff up the word count.

In closing, I think you left a lot to be desired. I never got a decisive and convincing argument for anything, other than why losing a first round pick is a bigger blow than getting fined a million dollars, which added nothing to your overall argument.


I liked the backstory on Deflategate, which specified why this was a thing to begin with.

One issue. What was supposed to happen to the Colts here? Were they really supposed to be punished for the deflated footballs used by the opposing offense? Their only issue was measuring ball pressure, which is against the rules but surely not on the level as actually deflating the balls.

Which, if noted, could've given you this debate by a landslide. The key thing here is the Colts making the league aware of the deflated balls, via means prohibited by the league. It basically turned this incident into nothing more than breaking the rules to prove someone else broke the rules. I think that's something that both arguments could've benefitted from by acknowledging, especially you, given your stance.

I get the part about the Vikings/Panthers heating the balls in 2014 but wouldn't that also serve as a reminder to the league to not tamper with the balls? I don't think "letting that slide" should mean the same for any team accused of a similar act afterwards. It's the equivalent of warning players for initial after-the-whistle physicality and from that point on, penalizing it.

No worries, though. The rest of your argument was strong and consistent enough, with detailed specifics, to support your stance enough to garner a victory which, no disrespect to Hawk Harrelson, wasn't that hard to do.

TKOK wins.

Winner via Unanimous Decision - TKOK

JustJoel vs CD Player
Book the end of Nikki Bella's Divas Championship reign (ignoring anything that takes place after 30/8/2015)

Spoiler for Debates:
“In WWE the women are "Divas" a term when used in any other industry is a derogatory term referring to stuck up bitchy women. They compete (occasionally) for the Diva's Title, which is a purple belt with a butterfly on it. At best this looks like a Barbie toy belt and at worst it's derogatory and offensive because of the female sexual euphemism for butterfly. The women in WWE need a new title belt to compete for and in all honesty it needs to be renamed the WWE Women's World Title.” - Lance Storm[1]

The booking of Nikki Bella’s Diva’s Championship marks an end to the last generation of Divas and the start of something new. While no less than four women deserve consideration, Charlotte Flair is the best option to capitalize on the Diva’s Revolution by defeating Nikki Bella at Night of Champions before retiring the Diva’s Title for the new WWE Women’s World Title.

Is it more impressive to stop someone trying to make history or someone who has MADE history?

Nikki making history - especially as the quintessential “Diva” - puts maximum heat on Nikki, provides for a greater eventual accomplishment, and fundamentally creates a more significant conclusion. Building the biggest Diva (occasional title defenses[2] & all) and then ending her reign at a proper event where match length can tell the story gives this angle gravity and necessary importance.

Do It With Flair!

Of her fellow members in PCB, and wild card Sasha Banks, Charlotte possess the best combination of notoriety and virginity to capitalize now on the Diva’s Revolution. Notoriety Becky lacks and Charlotte has for all the attention and visibility her last name commands, even to the most casual viewer. Virginity Paige lacks from holding or feuding for the Diva’s Title since her debut. This leaves Sasha, whose popularity among hardcore fans gives her arguable notoriety and virginity. Sasha, however, is a heel. Her burgeoning success on the main roster makes it unwise to risk turning her haphazardly, and booking heel/heel is a non-starter. Flair is already more familiar to the wider WWE Universe than Lynch, more fresh than Paige, and in a better position than Banks to capitalize on the Diva’s Revolution. Charlotte’s name value - and talent to back it up[3][4][5] - make her the best first step towards building a more mature Women’s Division moving forward. 8/31 Raw keeps the Beat the Clock Challenge and winner with only minor changes, leaving two weeks to build. The results are as follows:

  • Becky defeats Naomi in just over seven minutes
  • Charlotte defeats Tamina in just under seven minutes
  • Paige and Sasha run out of time

9/7 Raw

Nikki has a doctor's note and will not be competing tonight, but is obliged by The Authority to do so next week before beating the streak. Charlotte and Nikki have a contract signing for their title match. Nikki (flanked by Team Bella) cuts a self-aggrandizing promo. She claims that she is the most fearless Diva, and that after next week, she will become ‘The Greatest of All Time.’ Charlotte jabs Nikki's rocky past with Brie and strange inclusion of Foxy into Team Bella before claiming that while Nikki might be a diva and a goat, she is the better wrestler. This angers Nikki who demands Charlotte show respect by shaking her hand. In classic Flair fashion[6], Charlotte fakes the handshake and "Woo!" Nikki cheap shots Charlotte and the brawl in on.

9/10 Smackdown

Charlotte defeats Foxy in singles competition. Nikki accompanies Foxy, but gets herself ejected from ringside when the referee sees her attempting to cheat. Charlotte takes advantage of the miscue and wins with a quick pin.

9/14 Raw

As the countdown nears zero, Nikki defeats AJ Lee[7] and surpasses the streak. The finish sees Brie get up on the apron to help Nikki, only to get kicked off by the babyface. Nikki uses the distraction to grab a Rack Attack. Nikki celebrates her accomplishment while Brie sells on the floor with Foxy helping her, disturbed by Nikki’s lack of concern.

9/17 Smackdown

Charlotte defeats Brie Bella (accompanied by Nikki) with her Figure-8. Nikki is stern with her sister throughout the match. Near the end, Brie asks for help which Nikki brushes off nonchalantly by saying "Come on little sis, you can do it. You don't need my help." Nikki shows little sympathy for Brie after the match, forcefully trying to pick her up even though Brie's leg is obviously hurt.

Night of Champions

Nikki and Charlotte have a particularly hard-fought match. Two-thirds into the match, Nikki asks for help but Brie stops Foxy, saying "She can do it all by herself- Right Big Sis?" This sets up the second in a the Rule of Three submission attempts. Nikki eventually finds the ropes through her own will, manages a near-fall, but ultimately finds herself back in the Figure-8 where she is finally forced to tap. After the match, an exhausted Charlotte extends her hand to a hobbled, reluctant Nikki, helping her to standing. They show mutual respect by shaking hands and you get a glimpse of sincerity and humility from Nikki. She earned Charlotte’s respect, and found victory and dignity in her loss. The next Raw features the unveiling of the new WWE Women's Championship.

The end of Nikki’s reign was set in motion with the Diva’s Revolution recently, but ultimately it’s the success of the women in NXT which offers the roadmap beyond her fitting end. Devolving PCB before achieving their goal, quickly turning Sasha on Team BAD, allowing Nikki’s reign to continue near or through the end of the year - all of these have the same “catty” “bitchy women” qualities we’ve come to know and loathe. Charlotte retiring the Diva’s Title along with defeating Nikki Bella at Night of Champions creates the biggest splash and best showcase for the new direction and presentation of the next generation of female talent in the WWE.






[7]Or, in the real world, Paige

CD PLayer
Around this time last year, Roman Reigns was doing fairly well for himself. He was on the cusp of becoming a regular main eventer, and had the crowd reactions to justify this. However, once January rolled around, the Royal Rumble left a scar on his career. The fans overwhelmingly booed Roman Reigns, not because they hated him, but because management was giving him the treatment they felt Daniel Bryan, their own favorite, rightfully deserved. To this day, Reigns has never fully recovered from the backlash he received on the Sunday before the Super Bowl. While it’s clear he has improved as a performer, a large portion of the audience just won’t accept him like they did this time last year.

Today, the “Divas Revolution” has resulted from a relatively mass call up of NXT divas. Charlotte seems to be in the same boat Roman Reigns was once in. The higher ups clearly like her and overall she’s been booked the strongest of any diva since this “revolution” started. And while she’s doing well, her push isn’t as organic as Sasha Banks would be. Many times she’s come out to the ring and the fans just seem to gravitate towards her. While both Charlotte and Sasha are extremely talented workers, to me, it’s been clear that the fans’ choice from this call up has been Sasha. Pushing Charlotte ahead of her is going against the grain, and while Charlotte is doing reasonably fine, it runs the risk of damaging her career the same way Roman’s was damaged in January. WWE should stop running the risk of fan backlash and stick with organic pushes. Listen to the fans.

Since the Diva’s Revolution started, it’s been clear that Nikki Bella, at this point, is just holding on to the belt. It’s been marked for either Charlotte or Sasha (Becky is very talented, but is obviously the afterthought of the three), with Charlotte seemingly being the frontrunner.

A Paige heel turn seems to be looming, with her having jealousy of Charlotte for winning the Beat The Clock challenge over her. If I were booking, I’d have Paige turn heel at Night of Champions and cost Charlotte the Diva’s Championship. This prevents a potential backlash from the fans over someone else getting what they feel is Sasha’s title. Paige seems to be doing well from a business stand point, as her crowd reactions are good and her merchandise sells well. However, if WWE is truly committed to this Diva’s Revolution, Paige would be best used in a supporting role.

Nikki Bella can break AJ Lee’s record, it’s better for business to have a record holder on your current roster so you can market them with said record.

And again, assuming WWE is truly committed to the revolution, they should start increasing the number of Diva’s storylines that take place through the product at one time. With Paige feuding with Charlotte for a few months, Sasha Banks should set her sights on challenging Nikki Bella, who retained at Night of Champions. This sets up a heel vs. heel dynamic, but with Sasha being the fans’ choice, she can easily play the pseudo heel in this program. During her time of chasing Nikki’s championship, Sasha falls short each time, all while winning almost all of her televised matches. Meanwhile, as Paige and Charlotte are feuding with each other, Charlotte ultimately wins their program, while Paige manages to get a significant win during it.

Depending on how positive the reactions were for Sasha’s pseudo face run, have her turn full face by turning on Team BAD (Sasha’s full face turn may have already happened at this point).

At Fastlane, Charlotte or Sasha get another shot at Nikki’s title and lose. The next night on Raw, Nikki gives a promo typical of what’s she’s been telling us, saying she runs the Diva’s division and no one has been able to take the belt away from her. As he brags in her promo, Stephanie McMahon interrupts her, saying she implemented the Diva’s Revolution for change, and while we’ve seen some new stars, ultimately Nikki Bella has still ruled the division. Stephanie declares a Fatal Fourway at WrestleMania, with Nikki defending against Paige, Sasha, and Charlotte. Obviously this makes sense, kayfabe wise, this is Stephanie stacking the odds against Nikki and hoping for change.

While WWE should be committed to the revolution, I don’t expect them to have more than one Diva’s match on the WM card. With all the fresh faces call up this summer, it would be a missed opportunity not to include as many as reasonably possible in the one Diva’s match, while not undermining the integrity of the match. Sasha and Charlotte are included for obvious reasons. Paige gets the nod over Becky here, because I expect Paige to remain more over than Becky from now until WM, and she’s just been too big a name in the division to leave out of a WM match.

Ultimately, I believe Sasha’s feud with Nikki will have garnered her overwhelming fan support on a diva’s level, and if I were booking, I’d have her a face by WM. Charlotte may be management’s choice right now, but I honestly believe the fans’ choice is Sasha, and that will only become more prevalent as time goes on. At WrestleMania, Sasha makes Nikki Bella tap out clean, symbolizing the revolution coming full circle. One of the new faces from NXT finally gets the job done in dethroning Nikki, which was, in kayfabe, the original reason for the mass call up.

Charlotte avoids the type of backlash Roman Reigns got, Paige keeps the prominent role in the division that she deserves, and Sasha gets an organic push to being the top diva in the company.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
JustJoel - On the one hand I think the amount of depth and detail you have is great but on the other you should have cut some of the detail down and focused it on justifying some of the more crucial parts of your stance. For example the rather filler stuff on SD you didn't need that much detail for. The Divas to Womens transition is good. The Lance quote is fine but I always think it's better to use your own words and then use the quote as an additional reference if you want. You can reword that into your own words and it looks better imo. I don't agree with having Nikki break the streak but you make a good case for it with good reasoning to back it up. I don't think the fans would view it as a bigger accomplishment beating Nikki after she broke the streak because I think most are aware it's a bullshit feat but it's something WWE can say when hyping Charlotte up more so in future years that new fans could be sold on. Make this point yourself though. "a proper event where match length can tell the story" can apply to Raw though. There's time with 3 hours and they've given matches 15 minutes before which is what they'd get on PPV. There's a ton of benefits to doing something significant and news worthy but what it isn't a big draw for the PPV on Raw too. I would have liked to have seen more arguments regarding the when of the title change. "Virginity Paige lacks" ......HELLO. Argument for Charlotte being the one to win is on the money, no complaints there. If you're doing the Title match at NOC I thought you missed a trick on having some great matches with the new Women to properly establish what the in ring aspect of the "Revolution" should look like. The BTC format and 7 minute matches don't really represent the aspired for new but the old that fans want to see phased out. Instead why not have the same 3 matches you had but with no BTC format and have Sasha/Charlotte/Becky all win leading to a triple threat the next week for the title shot and let them 3 tear the house down and establish what the new era of womens matches looks like to the WWE audience for the first time. All the descriptive detail for the next 4 shows I would have scrapped. It's not really arguing anything or convincing me of your stance. It's just detail. I don't really get why you've had a title defence on the 9/14 Raw not against Charlotte. You just had her win a title shot the week before yet she doesn't get it here. If you wanted a title defence then why not have it be against Charlotte but Nikki gets herself DQ'd to ensure she retains to break the streak. That way you really build heat for the impending title change at NOC while still breaking the AJ streak. Don't get the Nikki babyface traits at NOC either. Probably overthinking/overbooking at that point. You don't tell me what the benefit or reason of it is either. Extra details like that you should have just scrapped because they were getting too descriptive. Instead you should have spent the extra time arguing why Nikki should break the streak (more), why the title change should be at NOC, why Charlotte shouldn't get the title shot on the 9/14 Raw, etc. When you were arguing those type of aspects and why Charlotte should win over the others it was good, just needed more of that and less of the descriptive detail that didn't add much to your debate.

CD Player - This was definitely creative at least albeit maybe too creative because it did have a few too many holes in that you didn't really cover. I think for the Charlotte/Reigns comparison to fully work for you here you needed some evidence that the fans were turning on Charlotte which isn't really the case imo. As an actual idea your stance isn't too bad but when you start to argue against you see a lot of holes in it. What I'd suggest you do if you didn't is to try and counter argue against your own debates. That will help highlight to you the holes in your arguments and then you can try to cover/argue against them to tighten your stance up. "Since the Diva’s Revolution started, it’s been clear that Nikki Bella, at this point, is just holding on to the belt." and then arguing for her to hold until Mania seemed a bit of a contradiction. If you're going to make Sasha a face (you should have been a lot more convincing arguing for this as it's an important part of your stance rather than "Depending on how positive the reactions were for Sasha’s pseudo face run, have her turn full face") then turning Paige worked out smartly for you and was a highlight of your debate. Argument for breaking AJ's record was good and worked better for you by not having her drop at NOC so soon after. Having two significant womens programs worked well for you too. I think having Sasha "fall short each time" was a big issue in your debate. Having Nikki (who represents the old) beating the new girls so early into the so called revolution is really bad for the attempted change in perception of the division imo. Plus you're also really limiting the quality of matches with Nikki in there so constantly which is another big thing you need to sell the "revolution". You then move forward to Fast Lane and I thought it was a bit sloppy how you just covered essentially 5 PPVs with Nikki beats Sasha. Obviously I'm not expecting you to cover every single detail up until Mania (this is where your stance restricts you because you have to cover so much you leave yourself short on arguing for key things) but you totally ignored it and it read kinda bad. "saying she implemented the Diva’s Revolution for change" - implementing a revolution . It's sad because it's true. Steph stacking the odds vs Nikki doesn't actually make sense because a) she's a heel and b) Nikki helped in the Brie feud but I get where you're coming from after recent weeks with Steph/Nikki. I guess it's not your fault your continuing the path which itself doesn't make sense. I guess the other big problem with your Mania match is how great will it be and how much does it represent the "new womens division". Changing the perception of the division is a big thing to get right currently and your debate hasn't really made me think your stance would allow that. One of the things you didn't argue that you needed to is if it's wise to keep the belt on the old (Nikki) for as long as up to Mania. You didn't really argue that and I'm not convinced it's a good idea. You do argue your choices but much of the time it doesn't feel in depth enough which is probably because you gave yourself so much ground to cover with your choice of stance.

When both of you actual get to your arguments and defending them there's some real good stuff to a pretty equal standard in that aspect. Giving my vote to JustJoel though as his stance was more air tight and covered more of the holes in it than CD Player was able to.

Winner - JustJoel


At first I thought the quote would have zero to do with your debate but I’m glad that I was wrong as I went on. That being said I do feel you could have paraphrased it a bit to save yourself some words.

Nothing wrong with the history making point. Reddit seems like a weird source for data but looking at it I don’t really see any issue with it. The doing it with Flair section was decently done too. Not sure about the heel/heel stuff being a non-starter though, especially when you consider that team B.A.D and The Bella army have been competing against each other during the “divas revolution” anyway. Still decent reasoning for going with Charlotte to end the reign first. Would have been nice for you to talk a little bit more about why Nikki retaining the title a little longer…say a year and then losing it wouldn’t have been any better.

As for your idea. I’m not a fan of it. The thought of another Nikki/Brie feud makes me wanna vomit. I legit don’t know why anyone would wanna see that….that being said the question did ask you to “book” the end of the title reign and I guess you did just that. Part of me does feel that you didn’t need to use so much word count on this but other than talking about why Charlotte is a better choice than Brie, Alica, Naomi, Tamina or even another random diva winning it I can’t think of what else you really could have included in this debate.

Good conclusion to things. No complaints there as it rounds everything off nicely. Good debate here.

CD Player

Didn’t really need that first paragraph to be honest. Just saying “Charlotte seems to be in the same boat Roman reigns was once in” like you did in your second paragraph was more than enough. Wasted a lot of word count there. Also is Charlotte really in the same boat? Sure the management love her in a similar way they love Reigns but the fans haven’t unanimously turned against Charlotte in the same way they did against Reigns so I don’t know about that point. Also could have made it a little clearer that Sasha was your pick for this debate

Decent point about Sasha’s push feeling more organic than Charlotte which would make her a better choice, I also understand more why you linked her in with Reigns but I still don’t think you needed too.

As for you method of ending Nikki’s title reign the lack of a Brie/Nikki feud immediately puts you in my good books but ultimately I don’t feel you explained this as well as you could.

-How does Sasha seemingly get 6 (Hell In a cell, Survivor Series, TLC, Rumble, Fastlane & Wrestlemania) title shots in a row?
-Does she actually get it and if not how does she automatically get one at Mania are 4 losing efforts within 6 months?
-Were there a bunch of dirty finishes that led to this occurring?
-Why would the other divas be ok with this?
-Why would Steph allow this to happen?
-So if her face run didn’t work out fully would she stick around with Tamina & Naomi?
-Do Lynch, Fox, Tamnia and Naomi just fade into the background for the foreseeable future after NOC? Why would Steph not also include them and Brie in the Mania match to ensure that Nikki doesn’t walk away with the title?

The thing is I actually don’t mind your idea, I certainly prefer it to JustJoel’s. It shows long term thinking and wanting to give the divas more exposure that NXT has really benefitted from. I also like you protecting Charlotte and allowing her to not become a Reigns 2.0 but you’ve left so many holes in your booking method that’s hard to ignore.

In terms of a winner it has to go to JustJoel. It was far from perfect but I find myself questioning a lot less stuff.

Winner : JustJoel.


As much as the end of Nikki Bella's title reign will obviously play a big part in the diva's revolution and the push for a more mature diva's division, the debate topic did focus entirely on the end of Nikki's reign rather than the aftermath and it's effect on the diva's division and while covering that aspect to explain your reasoning was important I could've done with a little less of the overall storyline booking.

Your point about the importance of Nikki being the champ with the record reign was very good and justifies your choice of time well. This continues with your justification for Charlotte as the clear choice over Paige and Becky but more importantly over Sasha and wraps up a very solid first half of your debate.

Where I started to have some issues is the micromanaged booking at each event. Using up your word count for fairly innocuous fantasy-booked segments on Smackdown rather than further backing up your overall stance by answering questions like “Why does it have to be so soon?” let you down a little bit.

And in your fantasy booking the sisterly “You can do it” contrast between the Smackdown and Night of Champions might sound good in theory but would almost certainly fall down in practice for a couple of reasons:

1) How many of the PPV viewers can you reasonably expect to have watched Smackdown? Based on recent viewing figures I'd imagine not that many, meaning they'd be lost on the “deeper” meaning of the comment

2) Can you imagine a moment where Nikki Bella is in a submission hold and the camera cuts to allow a small argument between Alicia Fox and Brie Bella to be picked up and in which those two have to convincingly act going anything other than awkwardly?

Thankfully your conclusion is more in line with the first half of your debate and allows you to round out a fairly solid argument for why Charlotte winning soon is in the best interests of the division.

CD Player

I do like the comparison between the Reigns/Bryan situation and the potential Charlotte/Sasha situation but that's a long opening paragraph that doesn't really set up your debate and could have been left for the main body of your argument so that you could use your opening to establish your stance faster than you did (As it takes about a quarter of your debate before your choice becomes apparent)

Worryingly, you may have made the best argument against your booking in your own debate: "Since the Diva’s Revolution started, it’s been clear that Nikki Bella, at this point, is just holding on to the belt." - If this is the case (which I agree it is) why would you want to keep the title on Nikki for 6 months? Following on with your point about Stephanie's reason for kayfabe booking the fatal 4 way “Obviously this makes sense, kayfabe wise, this is Stephanie stacking the odds against Nikki and hoping for change. “ - Why wouldn't she have done this months earlier?

Given that so much of this debate is based on the idea that the fans will reject a Charlotte push as they favour Sasha, it really would have been helpful if you could point to some evidence of this. It'd be a major point in your favour here if you could demonstrate any reasoning behind this that goes beyond your own opinion or a general belief.

Your debate does at least have a very clear vision and some decent attempts at backing up that vision with sensible logic despite the occassional lack of evidence, so good job there.

JustJoel was able to better justify their choice of successor and timing so they take the win.

Winner via Unanimous Decision - JustJoel

A-C-P vs WrestlingOracle vs donne
Should Seth Rollins drop the US Championship straight back to John Cena at Night of Champions 2015?

Spoiler for Debates:
Should Seth Rollins drop the US Championship straight back to John Cena at Night of Champions 2015?

When they meet at Night of Champions Seth Rollins should not drop the US title right back to Cena. Seth Rollins keeping the US title past Night of Champions is more beneficial and offers more attractive options going forward for the product.

First off at Summerslam, even with the dirty finish, Seth Rollins got to look like a legit star. New stars are something the WWE needs more of, and fast, in a bad way right now. If the WWE has Rollins lose the US title right back to Cena at Night of Champions then some of that star luster from Summerslam is lost immediately. Rollins also would not have a clean win over Cena to fall back on like Kevin Owens has either; Rollins would just be added to the pile of guys that got one dirty win over Cena only to have Cena overcome them right away. Also, put how Rollins may be booked to retain both the US Title and WWE title aside, him getting to show up on WWE TV every week and hold up both of those titles adds to him looking like a star.

Booking Rollins to keep both the US title and WWE title also gives the WWE a few different options on where to go with him after Night of Champions. First option is to book him to keep both titles by dirty means and keep building up his heat as a heel. Second, Rollins could win one of the matches clean and one dirty, which would give him a middle ground of keeping his heat but also building towards a future top face turn. And the third option, if they are serious about pushing Rollins as a legit face star, they can book Rollins to win both matches clean leading to Rollins deciding he does not need The Authority anymore.

Having Rollins keep the US title at Night of Champions also does create one more booking option. If the WWE wants to have Sting in the record books as a WWE Champion, then Sting could beat Rollins for the title, and they can have Sheamus cash in the MITB on Sting after the match. This would still mean Rollins has the US title to try and help maintain his standing in the eyes of fans, and most likely a feud set-up against Triple H either right after Night of Champions or with-in the next few months.

Now let’s look at the other side of this coin, Cena. Over the past 8-10 years the WWE audience has never really gotten to see the Cena character have to deal with extended failure, which is one of the best ways to evolve a stale strongly booked face character. You can argue that losing to The Rock at Wrestlemania 28 and having to wait until 29 to get his win back can be looked at as “extended failure”, but the WWE spent the year in between with nothing but success for Cena, including another Royal Rumble win. Having Cena lose the US title to Rollins at Summerslam and not being able to win it back from him, opens up new opportunities to present some new directions for the Cena character, which is in dire need of some evolution. If the WWE does have Cena just win back the US Title from Rollins at Night of Champions, in what would be typical Cena booking, it would actually be a missed opportunity for the WWE.

One more angle to look at this from is the US Title itself. Now I will fully admit Cena winning the US title at Wrestlemania and the “open challenge” that followed for the next few months did a lot of good in regards to building the prestige of the US title, but it was starting to or had run its course. It was a very good vehicle to introduce a few new NXT guys and reintroduce some of the lower card guys back into the mid-card, but Cena’s opponents were going to start getting repetitive and the concept was going to start getting old with just Cena winning every week. Rollins now having the title gets to continue building the prestige of the title by continuing to try and make it look equal to the WWE title. If Cena were just to win it back at Night of Champions then it will make the US title once again look inferior, as in well Cena couldn’t win or get a match for the WWE title so he will settle for the US title.

On the other side I do realize that there are arguments for Cena winning the US title back. One is there are fans I am sure that still would like if the Cena “open challenge” would come back, but as I said earlier that “event” is going to have diminishing returns if it continues. Also, I do understand he argument of having Cena win so his fans go home from the event happy, but I think the long-term benefit of the potential character arch of Cena failing is more beneficial than getting send home Cena’s fans happy from Night of Champions. Also, I have seen rumors that when Cena loses there is a dip in his merchandise sales. Now first off, I do not think there is a correlation, and second, I will argue again that the long-term benefit potential for the Cena character outweighs any short-term losses.

As I have outlined in my debate I feel that Seth Rollins should retain both titles at Night of Champions, or at the least retain the US title over Cena.

At Night of Champions, Seth Rollins will be facing a man called Sting who had his 1988 star-making match vs Ric Flair at an age when Seth Rollins took far more dumps than bumps. Seth Rollins will also be facing a man called Cena for the United States Championship. Certainly, if John Cena wins (lol), one can tune into Raw the next night and hear John Cena shout "the champ is here". Regardless of if that scenario comes to fruition or not, the champ should have never left.

Months have gone into building the John Cena Open Challenge.Cena is rarely pinned to three clean in the middle of the ring. Given the product investment in Cena, the rareness of a Cena clean loss and his durability as the "franchise guy" while failing to bring anyone quite up to Cena's standard on the full-time roster, beating Cena is the biggest accomplishment a wrestler can achieve without beating Brock or arguably Undertaker. The ultimate goal of Cena getting the belt has been to use Cena's status to highlight the mid-card division currently featuring guys full of potential but need the exposure for casual viewers void of the built in vested interest from being a hardcore fan and following a wrestler's indy career. A loss to Cena is a big deal. Recently, careers of Bryan, Lesnar and Owens reflect that. In these three cases: Daniel Bryan's character got to that next level while legitimizing his new finish by beating Cena middle of the ring 1-2-3 with it. Kevin Owens has taken losses since being on the main roster, even tapped out, but the selling point of Owens has remained that he beat Cena in his debut match, and for this, Owens has been fairly bulletproof from his losses. In the plan to revitilize Brock Lesnar as a monster, Brock started rejuvenation after breaking the streak, but could be taken as a serious monster again after dismantling Cena, which has also started the Suplex City shtick now central to Lesnar's appeal and merchandising (the shirt is listed under best sellers in the WWE Shop section currently).

Clearly, WWE has plans to one day have someone, probably an up and comer unseat Cena in his challenges and raise the profile of that wrestler instantly. Wins and losses may not matter to hardcore fans who often base who they like and dislike on technical tastes and pre-wwe work. These people often choose who they will invest in before the bell rings. For the casual viewer though lacking the intricate knowledge a hardcore fan has, wins and losses do matter. These fans do not want to invest their time and potentially money in someone they feel WWE has no big plans for. Sure, Daniel Bryan can get screwed over and fans will play along in the vicarious game of the machine repressing the lovable, commendable underdog trying to break the mold. The fans are vindicated though by the screwjob finishes and when needed big, clean wins that the company cares about Bryan. A win against Cena instantly tells fans there are big things in store for the victorious wrestler: so get on board. THE PROFIT LIES IN THE CASUAL FAN. With the right guy given the big rub of a Cena win, fans invest and profit rolls in for WWE both in viewership and merch.

The Unfortunate Hypothetical Scenerio of Seth Rollins winning:

Let's say for a minute that Rollins were to walk out of NOC as US Champion. A dirty loss for Seth does nothing new whatsoever. That should be obvious. A clean win for Seth and the whole auora of someone unseating Cena for the belt clean is lost. No new player/potential big moneymaker enters the mix. All the builds of the John Cena Open Challenge now becomes moot for a guy who already holds the accolades of having the main title and a secondary solo title at once, the guy who "broke Lesnar's ribs", and stepping out of kayfabe a guy who has the presumed future CEO firmly in his corner and the guy getting the most weekly screentime of everyone. The pending victor would be getting the "seconds" if Cena loses clean to Rollins first. Sure, Seth Rollins' profile could be raised, but as I just detailed he is already win or lose in a comfy position long term (and short term). When Seth passes the belt though: it won't be the same because Seth Rollins has lost so much recently fans will go "meh". Hell, clean or not Seth Rollins just got distracted and lost to Ryback on Monday, has lost to a comedy security team, pinned by Reigns in non-title scenarios etc. in addition to his character being a massive coward who was even scared to face Dolph Ziggler before. . Besides, Raw drew the lowest tv rating for a non-holiday/football season show in seventeen years (a 2.51) on June 29 and the second lowest rating for a non-holiday/football season show in seventeen years on July 13 with a 2.52 according to Nielsen. Clearly, Seth Rollins lacks magnetic qualities to fans, at least as a heel that fans will pay or tune in to see get kicked around. . Smart money says that a double turn is not happening here.Finally, Seth Rollins doesn't have a sizable resume to be an endorsement to a lesser division to raise people's profile yet, for Seth Rollins has a long ways to go before he himself is a finished product. In layman's terms: a win vs Seth simply doesn't further anything in the company and is a waste.

Cena needs to walk out at NOC with the US belt and carry out the plan established with the John Cena Open Challenge and work towards fufilling the slot that wwe desperately needs: a new moneymaker and impact player. "I am the future" is a nice tagline for Rollins, but Rollins is PART of the future not the whole thing in WWE's best interest.

Should Seth Rollins drop the US Championship straight back to John Cena at Night of Champions 2015?
To answer that question we need to stroll down memory lane.
Prior to Wrestlemania 31, the United States Title has been mostly irrelevant outside of it being held by Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose and Rusev. The majority of fans having ceased caring about it, or any feuds that revolve around it.

But to shock of fans myself included when John won it. The belt suddenly become important, because the BIGGEST star in professional wrestling is holding it and that makes it important perhaps even on the same level as the world title.

And that’s exactly what the WWE turned it into. With only one world title, it’s left countless mid-carders struggling to stay relevant, because you can only have so many feuds based on respect and work-rate. At some point a title needs to be at stake.
And that leads us to the “John Cena US Open Challenge” every week on Raw he walked out put over how important the belt is, and how much it means to him and how he would not hide behind politics (yes I know but let’s just ignore the obvious irony) anyway for the next 4 weeks he would defend against Ambrose, Barrett, Kane and Zayn in several highly contested bouts that made the losers look strong in defeat.

Then on May 18th NXT champion Kevin Owens attacked Cena and left him laying. In one moment Kevin Owens went from Relative unknown on NXT to “Holy crap the NXT champion just laid out John Cena on Monday Night Raw” he was made in one night, and to top it off he beat John clean in the middle of the ring at Elimination Chamber in a **** star match now granted it was non-title.

But the next night Owens walked out and talked about how he now wanted the “ultimate prize” in two words, he put the US belt on the biggest pedestal it have ever seen. Now say what you will about the outcome of the Owens feud, (And I have spoken at length about why Kevin should have won the title) it elevated him, and it wasn’t just because he was going after Cena it was because he wanted and needed the belt because he could see how important it is. Think about this, they went on to steal the show two more times and John would defend against Neville, Cesaro and others in some downright incredible matches. In 5 months he took a dead title, and literally raised it from the ashes.

Every week when he defended it. It wasn’t just about beating the man, it was taking the belt and moving up to the top. John Cena is responsible for that and we need to remember that. Without him and this reign the US title would still be a useless Mid-Card Title that no one cares about.

Now back to the question when you look at all that, there is only one answer Seth needs to drop the belt. In the past 6 months Seth has been the main heel feuding with Dean and Brock, plus having the seeds planted for his eventual face turn and subsequent feud with HHH. They aren’t going to feud over a title and if they were, we all know H’s ego would only allow for it to be over the world title.

Therefore he has no reason to hold the belt. Plus the feud will be about respect and the heir to the throne killing the king. No belts are needed.
If John wins it back he automatically becomes a marked man and we get the open challenges back, and more guys can get much needed TV time and a rub from being in the ring with the top guy. Seth can’t be that guy he’s not on that level, now granted one day he will be but right its Cena. Taking him to the limit or actually beating him means SO much more then beating Rollins.

Also look at the circumstances of how Seth won the belt. He got help from John Stewart a 5ft3 TV host does that say to you that this man is worth an upstart wrestler going after. Because I don’t see it, no one will care if Cesaro beats him, but you bet your bottom dollar the world will go nuts if he was to beat John for the belt. Same with Owens/Sami/Neville and whole host of others.

Cena needs the belt so others can benefit from it, and more than that so the United States Championship can truly be considered on the #2 belt in WWE. And therefore the stepping stone to becoming the world champion. It could become the 2015 version of what the Intercontinental Championship was for years the title the next “guy” wins and goes on to the main event and the only way that happens is if John Cena is champion

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Good point regarding adding Rollins to the ‘pile of guys that got one dirty win over Cena only to have Cena overcome them right away.’ Rollins does have the get-out-of-jail card that is the main championship though, and as a heel that is really all he needs to continue his current character arc.

The options paragraph laid out some interesting future possibilities regarding how they could book Rollins with both belts. The following additional point about Sting winning but being cashed-in on straightaway was okay, but the previous points were better.

I also liked your point about having Cena suffer extended failure as a way to evolve his character. It’s naive to think such a thing is a genuine possibility, but I am given to many similar thoughts myself. Plus, it has to happen at some point, right? Right????

I’m not convinced by your next paragraph talking about Cena winning back the US title means it loses the prestige that Cena had spent the last few months giving the title. It’s possible that the Open Challenge booking could get repetitive, but it doesn’t have to. With a little creativity they could it keep it reasonably fresh. Lol, who am I kidding.

I think you could have gone a little further down the road as to why the loss and extended failure would help evolve Cena’s character. You repeat the point in your conclusion without actually expanding on it. 70 or 80 words quickly describing a potential character arc for Cena coming from another loss would have supplemented the argument perfectly.

Very entertaining opening. I was still smirking at the ‘more dumps than bumps’ line several sentences after reading it.

Now, I understand the point you are making in your opening argument, but it has to be said that only Owens has received a proper rub from the Open Challenge. Both Bryan and Brock’s Cena rubs had nothing to do with the US championship, which this question is about. Having said that, I do get that you are saying that with Cena as champ the rubs are there for up and comers or guys they want to re-establish as serious threats. You then expand on the point in your next paragraph, which I’m not sure was absolutely necessary as it didn’t really add a lot more to it than was already there from the previous paragraph.

I quite liked the ‘Unfortunate Hypothetical Scenerio of Seth Rollins winning’ section, though I can easily see another judge not liking it. It was a little uncoordinated and could have been a lot more succinct, but I sensed a little bit of passion in this passage and I liked it. It was a good argument that you made here, even if you did go around the houses to make it.

Also, you had a nice conclusion which included a final flourish which was a great way to book end the debate after the impressive intro. One big thing stands out after reading this, and that’s that there aren’t many arguments actually made here. The ones you make are definitely good, but everything pretty much revolves around the rub Cena can give other wrestlers as US Champion. It’s a great argument and perfect for this debate, but there are other points that could be made too. Your opponents didn’t really take advantage of your narrow focus though, so you may have got away with it.

Cut out the massive font sizing bollocks as it distracts from the points you are making. You want your prose to read smoothly, not be punctured by occasional massive sentences which could be highlighted much more effectively by just being bolded or isolated below or before the corresponding paragraph.

I liked how you laid out the state of the US championship before and after Cena held it, and segued into the huge rub Owens got after going after Cena as US champion. While everything you write in the first half of your debate is true and entertainingly written, you are still just making the same single point, that Cena elevated the title to something meaningful.

You do then get into why Rollins’ having the belt isn’t the best option, detailing how his future feud with Trips will play out and you make good points there. You also make a worthy argument regarding the return of the Open Challenge, which while related to your opening argument was still worth directly mentioning. Your point about Rollins not being a big enough star to give the kind of rub Cena can give was certainly on point, but it just lacked a little something. As you concluded with it, you really needed to make sure this final passage hit as hard as possible, but it just kinda petered out.

I thought all three debates had an equal amount of positives and negatives. They all made a couple of decent arguments while perhaps wasting the opportunity to include more supportive arguments. I get the sense that a lot of passion drove these debates, hence why each of them tended to focus on fewer arguments but in greater detail. The winner is WrestlingOracle because the arguments made were at least as strong as the other debates, but the quality of execution was a little higher and when the arguments are fairly equal, that entertainment factor and the quality of the execution is what decides these things.


Accusing Rollins of lacking the star power of Kevin Owens because he doesn't have the clean win over Cena to his name is unconvincing as “I'm the WWE World Heavyweight Champion” is a much better boast for Rollins. How much does holding the US title add to the star power of a man who is already getting the most screentime each week and is doing it holding THE most important belt in the company.

You can claim that Cena's post-MITB period in 2012 wasn't really a period of extended failure for him but WWE certain booked it as such as he headed into 2013. He became the first failed MitB winner, got injured and lost to Punk and Ziggler on PPV and before the Royal Rumble in 2013 the commentators were putting over the idea that 2013 could be the year he turned his luck around.

“the concept was going to start getting old with just Cena winning every week“ While I agree that a simple Open Challenge where Cena wins each week would get rather boring the concept has already been explored a bit with the idea of Owens half-accepting the challenge only to powerbomb Cena and interrupting the challenge of certain other wrestlers and this could be built upon as Cena moves on to other feuds.

Your final paragraph is a little odd as you've mostly repeated points that you had already made without adding anything new and suggesting that you might argue something that you didn't go on to argue. Treating this instead as more of a conclusion of your previous arguments makes for a decent end to a debate that was well structured to present why your choice would be more beneficial that unforunatley felt a little lacking during certain arguments.


Okay, I'll start by talking about the most obvious thing in this debate: The size 6 font. You might've looked at some past TDL entries and seen that a number of them include the use of bolding as a tool for emphasis. I'm struggling to recall any debate that had quite this much. There will almost never be a time when your debate will be genuinely aided by the inclusion of size 6 bold text, just bolding is almost always sufficient and while stretching to size 3 for titles might be alright, taking it this far is just a distraction from the meat of your debate.

Moving onto the meat of the debate your section on John Cena bringing prestige to the title and prestige of a win over Cena himself is a sensible way to go given your stance. It was a little confusing when you said “A loss to Cena is a big deal” and went on to detail how 3 superstars had gained from beating Cena as this reads more like losing to Cena is a big deal rather than “A loss is a big deal to Cena”, which would make more sense with your follow on.

I feel you've placed too much stock in a casual fan's dependance on the immediate impact of a new wrestler. Some of the most popular wrestlers on the roster such as Daniel Bryan went through relatively barren periods before arriving at the boom of their support so there is no reason to expect that someone like Sami Zayn would be unable to get over with casual fans without an immediate win over a top guy.

While your section on Rollins being a poor US champion in terms of the potential eventual payoff of a face overcoming him started well, any points based on Nielsen ratings A) need to be backed up with sources to show you're not just pulling numbers out of thin air and B) Are very difficult to get a clear picture of how one individual is performing as a draw due to a wide variety of factors: Competing shows, how much promotion was done, segment by segment breakdown etc

Interesting formatting choices aside, this was a decent debate that made a generally good argument and had only a few ideas that came across poorly.


Great start outlining what John Cena and the credibilty that comes with him brought to the United States title and why this was clearly an improvement on what came before. You could have gone even further as I'm not sure Dean Ambrose kept it relevant by ignoring it for his duties as a member of the Shield.

You then take the smart step of pivoting onto the US Open Challenges, the slew of solid matches that showed off both the quality of the midcard and the newfound prestige of the United States tile and then to the introduction of Owens. This was good but calling the Owens/Cena match at Elimination Chamber a “**** match” is dodgy. Is this your own rating? If so then as a judge I can't put much stock in it. When I first read this debate I assumed you were taking Meltzer's rating which would've been similarly flawed. If you're looking to get across the quality of the match it would've been better to use a phrase like “widely acclaimed” and then use sources at the bottom of your debate to back this claim up. The end of this paragraph linking to the next is also very dodgy, it's always better to start a new paragraph with a new idea rather than a direct continuation of a previous sentence.

To be honest the majority of this debate could be subject to the same comment: “These are solid points but could use some proof reading”. While we're not overly strict about spelling and grammar in TDL and the occasional misspelt word or missing comma is fine there are areas of your debate where words are simply missing, which can really let down a good debate. Thankfully the dodgy grammar doesn't leave you straying too far from the sensible points of your debate and the advantages of John Cena holding the belt that Seth Rollins just can't match.


donne better argued for the benefits of John Cena regaining the championship while demonstrating why Seth Rollins wouldn't offer nearly the same advantages.


Interesting choice going the opposite way from your opponents, I thought all three of you would have initially gone the same way.

Nice straightforward intro. Not sure if Rollins came out looking like a legit star at Summerslam though. If anything everyone was talking about Jon Stewart rather than Seth Rollins afterwards. Rest of the paragraph is good though.

I do like the fact that you broke down all the available options the WWE has going forward by having Rollins retain against Cena. From what can happen if Rollins wins clean to if he wins dirty and even what other methods they can exploit.

Good on you for looking at it from both sides of the coin as well, something your opponents didn’t do. Both of them really focused on “Cena should win because …” Whereas you took it further and told us that you saw why him winning may be good but then showed us the flaw within it. I certainly feel it does a lot to counter many of the arguments generated from Debate B.

Overall this was a pretty decent effort. Covered the aspects it needed too nicely.


Firstly, I hope I’m not the only judge who feels this way but this whole debate felt like a slight chore to read. I had to read over 7 debates for this card and this by far was the hardest of the 7 to really sit down and read through. I dunno if it’s writing style or the fact that your sentences and paragraph (especially paragraphs) seem to go on for ages but I just don’t think it reads nearly as well as it should have done. The whole grammatical layout of this just feels so off.

Onto the actual debate your intro and first few paragraphs weren’t too bad.

I don’t understand why a clean win for Rollins is a bad thing. If nothing else it certainly makes Rollins look like a legit star and helps a lot in terms of damage control from having Jon Stewart helping him win the title in the first place. The aura of someone beating him clean for the title may be lost but someone does still benefit from it all. Rollins now becomes THE MAN after months of needing the authority to help him retain the WWE title.

Dunno what relevance bringing in ratings with Rollins as the WWE champ has in this debate.

I mean the arguments you generate are not actually that bad. Someone coming in and defeating Cena for the title can indeed shoot them to stardom, the Bryan example was a good one, Cena is indeed probably the best guy to win clean for the title down the line but your layout just makes it so hard to really get into these arguments.

The biggest question I have coming from this debate is this: You say Cena should win the title back so that it can be used to create a huge megastar down the line by having someone beat him for it…but surely if Rollins wins clean it can help undo a lot of bad booking from the last six months and create a megastar right then and there. You even said one of the biggest accolades right now would be beating Cena clean. It’s like you’re willing to miss a big opportunity because you wanna generate a similar opportunity later on down the line. Seems like a waste of time and only makes your WWE champ look even worse after what happened at SummerSlam.

Also other than “Cena can do the open challenge again and someone can come in and defeat him for it and become a megastar” you haven’t really convinced me how else WWE can benefit from Cena getting the title back. A-C-P had numerous different scenarios the company can exploit.


Taking a trip down memory lane is fine…but that was one long ass trip down memory lane I have to say. I mean its bad enough you were a good 180 words or so short of the limit but then you waste literally half of that word count describing stuff that’s already happened rather than explaining to me why Cena needed to win the title back.

From there it’s kinda hard to really judge this debate because you only spend about 300 odd words actually creating an argument. From the time you start to build it you’re at your conclusion.

I mean you actually had some decent points such as the difference between Cesaro beating Rollins for the US title and Cena for the US title and the fact that guys could get a rub from the open challenge being back but you never allowed yourself the opportunity to really go into depth with them. The idea that Cena needs the belt so others can benefit from it” is a good one but I feel WrestlingOracle did this whole argument slightly better and more in depth than you did as well.

In terms of a winner yeah it’s gotta go to A-C-P. They covered all the necessary aspects while not remaining one sided in their arguments.

Winner: A-C-P

Spoiler for 4th Judge Decision:
Stepping in like 4 weeks after the debates have been posted, apologies if my judging is brief. PM me for clarification or whatevs

A-C-P - The first paragraph starting; "First off at Summerslam..." is decent, but what made the Summerslam match memorable was Rollins' babyface performance not necesarily the match itself. Prior to Jon Stewart's involvement Cena was shown to have the match won. Could a very valiant performance in defeat not establish the same thing? It's not like Rollins is hugely credible anyway. The idea at the end of the paragraph about Rollins holding two titles simultaneously is much better. The point about the Sting cash-in is neat also.

The "extended failure" is a really good point and a nice way to evolve the Cena character. I would have probably linked it to his predecessor Hogan in 1990 - a stale babyface who got cleanly beaten in a Title match and ended up an even bigger draw as a subsequent result. However, the likelihood of WWE even considering John Cena to look weak is so unfeasible, it's difficult for me to take this idea too seriously.

I suppose you do have a point with the "Open Challenge" having run it's course a little. But is it not better for midcard jobbers to trade losses with the top guy as opposed to the likes of Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler and Neville. Rollins winning the title won't increase the title prestige any more than Cena can, to be fair. Countless years of poor booking of the title has done the damage.

I felt this was a decent debate that could have been good/great without a few flaws.

WrestlingOracle - Feck off with that feckin' formatting. Nonetheless there was a nice bit of personality in the opening, which is always nice to see. The grammar in the next paragraph is so clunky it almost makes what you've written a chore to read. In this paragraph and the next one you do a really good job of arguing why Cena shouldn't have dropped the title at Summerslam, however I'm not fully certain of the stance you're attempting to take. Given that the a) Cena walked out of NOC with the belt and b) Cena continued the Open Challenge you got a very lucky escape here and your points still carried over.

The next paragraph is also very good. It's a wise point to stated that the rub received from beating Rollins isn't as big as beating Cena. I suppose it's also a good point to say that he isn't much of a draw too, however he does have factors in his defence though e.g. booking.

Overall this was a good debate that could have been very good/great if a few areas were tweaked.

donne - Feck off with the star rating in the fourth paragraph .

Your point about how John Cena makes the title important is a fair one. This took on a similar direction to WrestlingOracle. However, I'm sceptical of how valuable the title itself will be once Cena loses it. Especially, when you say that one of the biggest matches involving the title was non-title. The Owens quote is a good one and it shows how the US Title gains prestige by Cena holding it as opposed to Rollins which is something you mention later on. The point about Rollins not needing the title is a good one too.

This was another good debate in an impressive match.

WrestlingOracle edges it not by much though

Winner via 4th Judge Decision - WrestlingOracle

Jupiter Jack Daniels vs Rugrat
Should WWE use established main roster wrestlers on the NXT Live Specials?

Spoiler for Debates:

Should WWE use established main roster wrestlers on the NXT Live Specials?

Unless Triple H has found Jeff Hardy's drug stash of '09, it would be INSANE for him to even entertain the thought of using main roster wrestlers on NXT Live Specials.

Firstly, the match time on Takeover shows is approximately 70-80 minutes, with the women’s and men’s title matches consuming roughly half of this total. Assuming both are singles contests, it only leaves the ENTIRE roster bar four with around 35-40 minutes of match time to work with.i Leaving either title off a Takeover isn’t feasible, largely due to the amount of prestige attached to the live NXT events. The roster is sizeable at present too with 33 active performers, the obvious problem with a roster of this size and a relatively short time slot means that wrestlers will be left off of the Specials. For example, on the most recent Takeover from Brooklyn, the ultra-popular trio of Carmella, Cass and Enzo were reduced to dark match duty, presumably due to time constraints. The chicas are in even more danger of being missed from shows, as on only one Special in the entire run of Takeovers has there ever been two or more female matches.

NXT is also at risk of diluting its own product if it starts featuring main roster workers on its Specials. Comparisons will easily be drawn to the Wrestlemania short-fix booking which leaves the regular performers in the shadows, potentially damaging NXT’s image. Using main roster workers on NXT Specials would also be incongruent to recent comments by Triple H, where he talked about NXT being a third brand.ii Given that NXT is essentially just a smaller lesser budget version of Raw and Smackdown, the crux of its appeal is that it is different.It would not be as unique if we were just watching the same wrestlers on the Specials that we see every week on the two bigger brands.

There is the potential that main roster workers would be inclined to phone in performances if they are on Takeovers. Across all cultures and time periods in the pro-graps business, one thing has remained the same – the egos of the wrestlers. It could potentially knock a wrestler’s confidence hugely if they were forced to tussle with the unwashed masses in developmental while and perhaps even do a job to one of them, especially as they’d still be “learning how to work”. A wrestler’s bruised ego could be reflective in their work with phoned in performances, particularly as the worker in question may already have a full schedule including Raw, Smackdown, Main Event etc. Given that NXT has a roster of hungry young wrestlers, is it worth passing up big opportunities to main roster talents? It would surely be better use instead giving the chances to NXT wrestlers who may really need and appreciate them.

On the flip side there could be benefits to main roster wrestlers being utilised correctly, as they can present fresh opponents to developmental talents. I would counter-argue this by saying that NXT is figuratively a revolving door of world-class talents and hence new performers. In the last 18 months, we’ve seen Kevin Steen, Prince Devitt, KENTA, Samoa Joe and Uhaa Nation arrive in NXT. Former main roster talents Rhyno and Brian Kendrick have also been used with the former appearing at NXT Unstoppable, so if WWE continue with the theme of using ex-talents, would it be substantially more beneficial to them if they were to use current talent? Would main roster talent offer a significant amount more to NXT than ex-talent would?

I would argue that a main roster worker putting over a developmental talent on a Special would be a waste, as a large proportion of the audience would not see the wrestler get solidified. To many fans the NXT talent may as well be an unknown when they debut. Supposing a main roster superstar were to go all out and put over an NXT wrestler big time, would they not be better waiting until Raw or a PPV where a larger proportion of the audience would see it?

Main roster workers wouldn’t even be effective in improving the skills of those on the NXT roster. There are two reasons for this; one is that NXT isn’t really a developmental brand, as many of the wrestlers have more than ten years working in the pro-graps business and are better than a myriad of main roster workers, so it’s difficult to say that the wrestlers on the main roster would improve the skills of NXT's top wrestlers. Secondly, when main roster workers turn up to NXT, how often do they battle with talent that could improve from working with them? For example, on William Regal and Rusev’s (return) cameos in NXT the only wrestlers they worked with were established ring generals. Obviously it would be better that they tussle with the less experienced and/or talented wrestlers but alas this never occurs and it is only the top wrestlers whom they work against, so this doesn't really benefit anyone.

On the subject of senior wrestlers helping less proficient grapplers develop, WWE do have the likes of Joe, Itami and Balor; three guys with over a decade of experience and significant experience working on television in front of thousands. Plenty of other guys in the NXT locker room have plenty of experience of working the independent scent too. As a subsequent result they would have heaps of knowledge and expertise which they would be able to pass on to the newer workers. This would negate the need for a main roster worker to come in and essentially just do the same job the NXT veterans would do.

To summarise, it would be both illogical and unfeasible for WWE to start featuring main roster talents on their shows for all the reasons listed. NXT is coping just fine without the use of main roster talents, and as the saying goes “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it."

Jupiter Jack Daniels

NXT highlights the disconnect between the presentations of developmental and WWE. The former allows talent to perform at the best of their abilities, whereas the latter is more restricted on performance, a factor highlighted earlier this year by Dave Meltzer, who reported that some main roster talents were frustrated that they're not allowed to "tear the house down" like their NXT counterparts. On the flipside, he also reported that some top NXT talents were frustrated over not being called up to the main roster yet. NXT is a revolving door of new projects coming in and developed acts moving up. But, the entire premise is developing and because of that, they shouldn't use established, main roster talent on NXT specials.

Let's take a trip down memory lane, to one of WWE's original and, if history is any indication, most successful developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling.

There are similarities to NXT. Both were developmental territories operated independently from the main show, with their own characters, storylines and touring schedules. Occasionally, you got an OVW match as a RAW dark match or random house show. OVW was the breeding ground of some of WWE's biggest stars of this century, including Brock Lesnar and John Cena.

But, there are glaring differences.

OVW often utilized established, main roster talent on their events. The APA (who won the OVW Tag Team titles), Kane, Chris Benoit and former World Champion Randy Orton, to name a few, all ventured to Louisville, KY for that brands premiere events at Six Flags. But, there was a reason for that. OVW wasn't a WWE-developed farm system. It was an already existing promotion that partnered with WWE to develop talent. They had interests away from the WWE empire, with their operation being dependent on making money. You see, that's not an issue for NXT.

While OVW needed an established, main roster talent to promote those Six Flags shows, NXT doesn't need that to promote their own quarterly specials. NXT isn't a venture reliant on turning a profit. Their return won't be paid until deep into the future, where the scouted, selected and developed talent gets that big break and is pulling in money for the parent company, WWE.

But, let's bring in established, main roster talent, anyway. What's the benefit to the NXT product?

Does it help the NXT specials draw? When it's some of the most watched content on the Network, as is, no it doesn't. NXT doesn't need help in that department because it's intention isn't to draw, it's to develop. Turning it into WWE-lite undermines the purpose.

Is it to give these main roster talents something to do? The main roster produces six hours of weekly television, not counting Network specials. If you can't find something for them to do with that amount of time, why send them somewhere with men and women who NEED something to do if they're going to be of any value to WWE in the future? You can't capitalize on the present by depriving the future on their own platform.

There's no redeeming value in using established talent on NXT specials.

Now of course, there's the Rhinos and Ligers that come into play. Both pretty established in their own right and both have been used on NXT specials. Difference is both were used to put over and elevate someone else. With Rhino, it was Baron Corbin, who needed a big win after having his streak ended by Neville. For Liger, it was Tyler Breeze, who got a bit of bragging rights by competing with a legend the magnitude of Jushin Liger. But, neither were established, main roster talents.

The special thing about NXT is how they have their own identity away from the big lights of WWE. Nobody to overshadow them, no Vince McMahon to micro-manage them. Using established, main roster talent in their neck of the woods would do just that. A brand used to create the stars of tomorrow would be hampered with sharing a developmental platform with an established star of today. And an established star of today, still crucial to the operation of the main roster, would be protected. That introduces a heap of problems that undermine what NXT is supposed to be.

Another thing to think about is the payscale.

NXT talent do have guaranteed contracts but aren't making big money, which is understandable because you're not going to give money to someone that isn't groomed to bring you a big return in the future. But, pay in WWE is based on road expenses. Men and women are traveling around the world over the course of the year, for the sake of making WWE money. In NXT, touring is limited. Road expenses are non-existent. Bonuses, as given for big WWE shows, aren't even a thing with NXT specials. You're essentially being paid just to learn, within one perimiter, which is Orlando. As a result, NXT isn't a profitable venture for WWE, presently. To the naked eye, that would mean they should use established talent on these specials to draw and possibily turn a profit. But, what the naked eye doesn't see is NXT isn't designed to be a profitable venture. That profit is down the road. Presently, the focus is on assuring these men and women have the tools to do so.

Once again, it's about the future, not the present. Gauging talent going forward is hard to do when you have to worry about the established talent of the now. After all, isn't the concept of NXT because of that?

In the end, regardless of the success of the NXT specials, the upgraded touring or the overall popularity of the NXT brand, it's still a developmental territory. The minute you use that platform to showcase established, main roster talent, you're undermining your own future and big money investment. It becomes nothing more than a Network exclusive version of WWE's ECW.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Rugrat - "The chicas" - Really? Wow. The time restraints argument is ok. Doesn't work as well after the last Takeover where they went over 2 hours though "because they can". But yeah you're using up the spot of an NXT talent. That's not necessarily a bad thing though if the main roster worker is a more effective choice. Say you have a Corbin that you want to get more ring ready is it really a bad thing to give the spot as his opponent to a main roster veteran with more in ring talent than another NXT guy similar to Corbin? The diluted product argument I don't think works unless you're overusing it which isn't an assumption that should be made here. Nobody argued this when Cesaro was working both NXT and main roster. You could also make the counter argument that having better talent available to NXT by making someone like Cesaro or Bryan available for a live special helps to strengthen the brand image more by increasing the chance of attracting new viewers and having more talked about matches. The next argument is all bullshit with nothing to back it up though. You use the term "unwashed masses in developmental" but also spend the rest of your debate claiming that NXT is no longer a developmental brand but a third brand with a wealth of experienced and world class in ring talents. You can't have it both ways depending on which helps you make a certain argument. It's either one or the other. Without examples to suggest this it's purely hypothetical and you don't have examples because all the main roster talent that has gone down to NXT have delivered. Cesaro and Kidd have stole the show down there and guys like Titus O'Neil have used it to showcase what they can do rather than what you suggest would happen. I mean sure what you suggest is possible but so is pretty much anything off your logic here that it could hypothetically happen. Next argument picks the standard back up at least. I thought you overlooked the amount of eyes on NXT talent before they debut on Raw in the next argument. Yes not everyone knows them from NXT but a lot of the audience clearly do. Look at the reactions for NXT guys when they debut or on the Brooklyn shows for non-Indy stars. Look at Enzo and Cass' reaction in front of an audience the same size as the one at Summerslam. It's obviously a lot smaller than the WWE audience but it's not a vast minority anymore. You're looking at losing to an NXT guy as just putting them over via a loss but what about putting them over by having a memorable match with them? Natalya going down to NXT massively helped get Charlotte over, not just because she lost but because she was able to have the level of match with her the rest of the women at the time couldn't have to make Charlotte look that good. There's plenty of examples of main roster talent going down to NXT and doing great beneficial work for the NXT talent that you never once reference or try to counter. All them examples make a big hole in your stance that you leave empty. "Main roster workers wouldn’t even be effective in improving the skills of those on the NXT roster." is a very naive viewpoint. Yes guys like Zayn and Owens come to NXT as a polished product but they still have plenty of development needed in NXT - a new character, new in ring style to perfect, working with more camera angles and production, etc. You're also massively exaggerating the proportion of NXT with vast experience too. Zayn and Owens may be the most featured ones but they're not the rule for the entire roster. You're completely ignoring that a guy like Bryan going down to work with someone like Corbin or Natalya with Bliss would be massively beneficial to the rookies. Or even someone like The Dudleys could help a lot in terms of the TV side of things and elements outside of workrate. They probably won't be used like that isn't really a counter to SHOULD they be used imo. Yeah the likes of Joe being there can do that to a certain extent but the amount of Joe's there are very few and you're being naive again if you think that Balor and Itami don't have a lot to learn themselves about the WWE way of presenting and producing wrestling. Balor's commented himself on how big the transition is on the production side of things and guys coming in from Japan where the focus is 90% just on ring work still have lots to learn in terms of carrying the non wrestling portion of a feud and connecting with a different demographic audience. The actual arguments you're making a generally decent but there's a lot of very easy counters which produce honestly way too many holes in your debate that you needed to cover. Purely as a case for your stance it's decent but there's two sides to arguing for a side and the other side produced a lot of problems for you.

Jupiter Jack Daniels - You obviously should be reading it already but there's a lot of areas of this topic that I felt you totally overlooked and rather than mentioning them all again here just go through my feedback for Rugrat's debate and you'll pick them all up. Things like helping the talent that need to develop actually develop being neglected is pretty inexcusable imo. Rugrat's debate does have holes a plenty in it but he does also make some good arguments. You don't really make any convincing arguments, everything just feels weak and it also feels like you got much less out of your 1000 words than Rugrat did. The OVW comparison was way too long for the effect it had for instance. Yes NXT isn't reliant on drawing (although you could argue it is more so now with Barclays Centre and a UK Tour) but this felt a long way to make what should have been a shorter point. "There's no redeeming value in using established talent on NXT specials." is just a bullshit line. There quite obviously are but you need to argue which stance is greater. This definitely isn't a there's no positives to the main roster guys on NXT specials. Wrestlers like Cesaro and Natalya have well and truly proven that wrong. I didn't understand the relevance of the Rhino/Liger paragraph. The pay stuff I didn't understand the point of as it's only one show. Most of your arguments and this debate as a whole is really "just there".

Winner - Rugrat


Joke aside, you get off to a very good start here. I love me some facts, and you’re breakdown of the match times is a great argument. In fact, you’re first 200 words are very good. You really cram a lot in and I can’t argue with any of it.

After this, I’m not a huge fan of the next section, which is good in places and a bit of a ramble in others. I get that it hampers long-term booking but the rest doesn’t work. For example, NXT is also a weekly show so the difference in seeing a main roster guy on a quarterly special seems negligible. I also don’t get that you say NXT is essentially a small budget Raw then say the appeal is that it is different. I know you are trying to emphasise the fact it is successful enough to be its own entity, but you get a bit muddled in your phrasing and it isn’t a convincing part of your debate.

Your next section is also a big swing and a miss for me. Not because of the content or how it is written, just because I plainly don’t agree. So far, any main roster appearances on NXT have been highly appreciated and the workers have been noted for doing well. It revitalised Tyson Kidd’s career, Titus O’Neil did well and Zack Ryder is making some progress as well. That is on top of phenomenal matches being put on by the already widely appreciated Cesaro. When main roster guys have been used, they have recognised the importance of the opportunity so to say they would phone it in is too much of a stretch for me.

Your next section lacks a little bit but on the whole it is an improvement on the previous two paragraphs. You could have expressed it a little clearer but I get that you mean the guys on developmental are already experienced enough and they have looked at ex-talent as bringing the legitimacy that they therefore do not need the main roster to provide. It reads a little bit better and, while hypotheticals are usually not great, I think you use it quite well to end the paragraph.

The section about wrestlers learning is a good one, albeit slightly flawed. While there is a wealth of experience within NXT, it could be said that having main roster guys to help them with the WWE style could be invaluable. However, I am being picky and it’s really not a bad point to raise at all and I do agree that the ‘developmental’ wrestlers they have used for those spots have been a bit of a waste.

It is to your credit that I am surprised how long this debate feels at this point. It really is full of points and extremely on-topic. You did raise a lot of points and showed some good appraisals for the opposing point of view throughout so, even though I disagree with several points, I think this can comfortably be labelled as a good debate; especially with the excellent first quarter.

Jupiter Jack Daniels:

You used too many words to essentially say that the developmental brand is developmental and should stay that way. I don’t think what you decided to include really added a whole lot to your debate. In fact, I can extend that and say you have taken over 300 words to really present your first point. As a piece of writing that builds up to the point and paints a vivid picture of context and premonition, I like it. However, as a convincing piece of writing it is lacking. The overarching result of the 30% or so of your debate is ok and no more. NXT doesn’t suffer from needing to make money since it is fundamentally connected to WWE. Fine, I can’t argue, but it doesn’t really answer the question yet. You can’t afford to take so many diversions before getting to the point.

The good news is that the next section is a big improvement. By negating any possible positives that would be gained by using main roster talents, you set out your stall in a way I would have enjoyed seeing earlier. I even think you could have gone further with your point about WWE tv having ample time for the main roster. Between main event, superstars and all the other shit that goes on, if you can’t get on tv, then maybe you should not be a main roster talent in the first place. It wouldn’t be a bulletproof point (because of the Tyson Kidd, Ryder situation explained above) but it would have further elevated what was already a decent section. In particular, the “You can’t capitalise” sentence was a pretty effective ending sentence.

The Rhino and Liger section was also not bad. It takes a little bit of twisting the situation to highlight that Breeze got a good rub from Liger and you do ok. I would have mentioned the trust NXT put in one of their home grown talents but you still achieve the desired effect.

I definitely didn’t expect to see an argument about the payscale and I can see why when I read it. It just confuses me a bit to be honest. Do you mean to say that main roster talent should not be used because they make enough money to travel whereas NXT doesn’t need to make money so it pays less? Maybe I’m missing something, but it definitely didn’t seem clear to me and it certainly didn’t add to your debate.

Anyway, that takes us to your conclusion, which is solid but unspectacular. Strong language with the undermining which I disagree with but it does stand as an impassioned ending to a stance you stuck to throughout.


I would give this one to Rugrat. I thought it stayed on topic better throughout and used some great referencing to back up some excellent points. Jupiter Jack Daniels was far from bad, but I just felt it was written more as a discussion than as a persuasive debate.


First of all, the time limit comment isn’t a bad one but it’s very easy to counter. Because NXT isn’t an actual PPV and doesn’t have to worry about TV broadcasts or anything the WWE don’t really need to worry about time constraints too much. The last takeover went over by what 25 minutes? Other than throwing their schedule slightly out of whack (which is mostly just repeats of on demand stuff anyway) there really isn’t any need for them to care about trying to stay within the allocated time. I guess you could say they need to worry about getting out of the building on time but I’m sure a 30 minute run over won’t hurt that much.

The stuff about the braand being diluted is 50/50 to me. The stuff about NXT being a third brand is fine but then to an extent NXT has always featured main roster/NXT crossovers.

In the whole “phoning in” paragraph you talk about how main roster guys may feel a way about having to potentially do the job to “the unwashed masses in development…especially as they’d still be learning how to work”. Then two paragraphs later you go on to talk about how NXT isn’t a development brand anymore and how many of the wrestlers have more than 10 years experience in the business and some are even better than the main roster guys.

Which one is it?

On top of all this Jupiter Jack Daniels mentioned how there were a few rumbles from the main roster superstars about how the NXT guys don’t have the same level of restrictions of they do. Why would they then “phone it in” when given the chance to perform with fewer restrictions? Plus like you said they are more likely to face the more experienced guys anyway so if anything wouldn’t they just be holding themselves back by deciding not to perform at their best?

The point about having guys like Joe, Balor and Itami around to help the younger guys is a good one though.

All in all I’m on the bench with this debate. It’s not bad but some of it contradicts itself.

Jupiter Jack Daniels

Good introduction. Although after reading Rugrat's I can’t help but feel that the whole Meltzer stuff was wasted in the Intro. You set up a nice counter there in regard to Rugrat’s point about superstars “phoning in performances” and had you gone into more depth with it you could have had killed that point of his entirely.

Decent enough point about how OVW really needing the main roster guys to help make more money while NXT doesn’t really need this because NXT doesn’t really need to draw. Although I guess you could argue that using more main roster guys can get more eyes on the product and in term potentially more network subs while spending less money.

Wouldn’t say there isn’t any redeeming value in using established talent on NXT specials but I’ll get into why later. Good point about the six hours of television too. Hard to argue against it really.

The pay scale argument is a decent one but I can’t help but feel it’s not THAT relevant. I mean you won’t need to have that main roster guy sticking around on NXT for weeks or months on end. A one off 20 minute appearance which could potentially bring more eyes on the NXT product and allow more fans to witness these guys growing is surely worthwhile. You don’t even need to give the established guy that much attention, just say there name every now and again and one or two hype promos a week.

Overall a decent enough debate. Nothing groundbreaking or nothing that got me thinking “wow” but a good solid and hard to break down debate

In terms of a winner I gotta go with Jupiter Jack Daniels here. Just felt his debate was slightly tighter as a whole.

Now back to Jupiter Jack Daniels and the redeeming value comment quickly. I’m surprised neither of you went down the other route actually. There were a good few points that could have been made. I mean having bigger names on NXT SPARINGLY and promoting that fact on the main roster puts more eyes on NXT. Even if you really wanna think outside the box technically you don’t even have to have them wrestling since the question really asked “should they use more established roster members” it never specified that they would have to be competing. For example if a Takeover happened in the middle of the Owens/Cena feud you could have brought in Cena as a special guest Ref or something for the match. Not the best example but you get the general idea.

Winner: Jupiter Jack Daniels

Winner via Split Decision - Rugrat

Flay vs Poyser
Was Seth Rollins right to work his match vs John Cena at Summerslam 2015 as a babyface rather than a heel?

Spoiler for Debates:
Was Seth Rollins right to work his match vs John Cena at Summerslam 2015 as a babyface rather than a heel?

Let's rewind to Summerlam. It's time for Rollins to proceed to the ring and as he enters, he's met with...a babyface reaction? Uh oh, Rollins is the heel, this isn't supposed to be...not to worry though. WWE performers are meant to feed off the crowd when they're working and when the crowd acts a certain way, they should react accordingly. Seth Rollins fed off the crowd and reacted accordingly by working as a babyface which led to some of the most exciting wrestling this year therefore HE was absolutely right to work his match vs Cena at SUMMERSLAM 2015 as a babyface rather than a heel. The factors that justified him to include:

- The crowd and the atmosphere they created
- The company and their booking of the match
- The 'one night only' aura that Summerslam exudes

Let's start with the most apparent factor first...


They were one of the most important aspects of the match and Rollins did right by them. Crowds have previously made adequate in-ring matches into all-time classics like Rock-Hogan at WrestleMania X8, Cena-RVD at ECW One Night Stand 2006 and Cena-Punk at Money in the Bank 2011 by creating an electric atmosphere with their participation so it's best to comply with them when you're a wrestler working a match. The crowd at Summerslam were participating under the impression that Rollins was a babyface which he was right to deliver on despite being a heel to provide the best match possible. Could it have been a good match if he worked heel? Possibly, but the fans received a great match anyway that could very well hold up as an all-time classic in it's own right with time which is what a Title vs Title match should be.

"But he should've been trying to get heat, that's a heel's job".

It was fairly obvious that Rollins wasn't going to get heat from that crowd because 1) Brooklyn is a 'smark city' and 2) he was wrestling Cena. It was also fairly obvious that Cena wasn't going to get a babyface reaction as shown by the 'John Cena Sucks' chants that followed the lovely video package of him pandering to New York before the match. Crowds have evolved in that they're going to go against the grain sometimes and WWE performers need to work with that because that isn't changing any time soon which is exactly what Rollins and Cena did. They made the switch of alignments work that night. Heat means people will want to pay good money to see the heel get his ass kicked but at Summerslam 2015, despite Rollins disregarding that, anybody who likes good wrestling got their money's worth.

Now, let's not forget who Rollins gets his marching orders from...


WWE decided how the match played out and Rollins was right to perform as directed because they're his employer. He was getting paid for his service and that service was working as a babyface. Like John Cena says regarding WWE - "I do what they tell me"(1). Meaning if the face of the company isn't exempt from what WWE commands, then Rollins certainly isn't. WWE had fantastic foresight or have learned from their mistakes, if only for just one night to embrace the crowd reaction, go with flow and have Rollins wrestle like he did. But let's say for a moment that WWE were wrong to have their heel wow the doesn't matter.

The question asks if SETH ROLLINS was right to work as a babyface.

Not if WWE were right to have him work as a babyface. In Rollins' case, he was doing his job and he did it tremendously which is all anybody can really ask for.

Of course, this doesn't mean he should wrestle like a babyface all the time, but think of it this way...


Summerslam in recent years has hosted a specific, spectacular event (coincidentally all of which involve Cena) and this year's match with Rollins was no different. They were - Daniel Bryan beating Cena clean, Brock Lesnar demolishing Cena and now this year where the roles were seemingly reversed for Rollins and Cena. Rollins had his aerial moves and Cena even did a heel spot when he applied the Figure Four Leg Lock, a move of Ric Flair who's 16 world title reign record didn't want to be broken by most fans which was personified by Jon Stewart. It was bizarro world and bizarro worlds are always quite fun like the RAW after Wrestlemania 29 was so there's no reason not to embrace them. Now, the thing with bizarro worlds is they usually don't last for longer than a night and Summerslam is an example of that.

So while Rollins' may not have gained any heat, his heat that he had already hasn't been damaged significantly. Any heat he may have lost he gained back the next night on RAW where he compared himself to greats like Andre, Bruno and Warrior. He also looked more like a legitimate champion at Summerslam than he has in his entire reign (bar the Stewart run-in). Now, if he continues to wrestle like he did at Summerslam, then it would be silliness as he's the top heel in the company.

But the question asks if he was right to work at SUMMERSLAM 2015 as a babyface.

Nothing about future matches. For one night only, it was correct for Rollins to wrestle like a babyface which ultimately led to a satisfying result.

With all the factors taken into consideration, Rollins was undeniably justified in wrestling like a babyface at Summerslam 2015. He would have to fight against a rabid Brooklyn crowd, a stubborn WWE and the special feel that Summerslam brings to do otherwise which wouldn't have been ideal. Now that the performance at Summerslam has taken him one step further into being a legitimate champion, he might actually have a title reign worth talking about years after it's over.


(1) - John Cena on heel turn: I do what WWE tells me


Seth Rollins is currently the top heel in WWE. He won the title in a dastardly hit-and-run at Wrestlemania and has used every trick in the book – repeatedly – to keep the title around his waist. At this point, he's on course to replace Ric Flair (WOOOO!) as the dirtiest player in the game. At Summerslam, Rollins came up against WWE's top babyface, John Cena. So obviously, Rollins should be a typical heel in this match, right? Wrong! Rollins was actually completely right to work this match as a babyface.

John Cena is an oxymoron. He's WWE's biggest babyface and biggest heel. In Brooklyn, he was always going to be treated as the heel, with Seth the face. If they attempted the typical heel/face dynamic, there is no chance the crowd react appropriately. To use this to his advantage by working as the face was extremely smart of Seth. Working the match as a babyface doesn't automatically mean that he ruined or harmed his character, either. Seth masterfully managed to dazzle the crowd with a fast-paced, exciting, babyface style in the ring, all the while keeping up his smarmy, arrogant mocking of Cena after every big spot, managing to still come across as a jerk, perfectly fitting of his character. However, the finish, which was a typically heel way to win, would have been cheered by the crowd regardless; that's the John Cena effect. He's public enemy #1 to the smark audience and no matter how evil, cowardly and hateable Seth tried to be, Cena being screwed was always going to be cheered. It was smart to keep the crowd hot throughout by pulling out his coolest moves, because that makes the whole match come across better on TV, which is WWE's primary priority. If the crowd are buying into the match live, it really adds to the match and can make a good match seem great. This makes it that much easier to buy into the match from home. If Seth working a babyface style kept the crowd hot (which it did), then the viewers will feel like they've witnessed a killer match and will want to see more. The WWE Network subscription number usually takes a dip after Wrestlemania, so keeping fans hooked on this rivalry, and Seth (your champion) in particular, means it’s more likely that less people will drop their subscriptions, which is WWE's main goal. This presents a no-lose situation for WWE, as it has the potential to help business, with no risk of business being harmed, as there was expected to be a downturn in subscriptions anyway.

Rollins is an excellent wrestler and has a naturally babyface moveset, which he wants the crowd to be aware of, because he's teasing an imminent babyface turn. Tension has been teased between Seth and The Authority for months, but the signs are more immediately apparent than even that obvious slow burn. At Night Of Champions, Rollins will have the odds stacked heavily against him, as he must defend both of his titles in one night, against two legitimate legends. This is classic babyface booking and wouldn't make any sense for a heel. With this in mind, it makes complete sense that WWE would want to make Rollins slowly become more likeable, so that when the turn eventually comes, the crowd are ready to cheer for him, enabling it to be the biggest moment that it could be. The best way to achieve this without actually turning is to make him more exciting in the ring, and make his feats come across as admirable, whilst still cheating to win at the end. In this way, the Summerslam match was booked perfectly. Seth was making it look like he could be legitimately great, if only he would change his attitude. That sets up the double title defence at Night of Champions perfectly.

The worry with Rollins turning face is the void that would leave on the heel side of the roster. WWE does have options, however. Rollins turning would constitute the perfect time for Reigns to also turn, which could really help his character, since the fans seem intent on booing him anyway. WWE seem intent on eventually pushing Reigns as a top guy, so capitalising on his heat with the smark audience could go a long way to getting him over and cementing his future as a top guy, but for him to be considered the top heel, Seth would have to turn too. They also have Kevin Owens, who is really shining in the upper midcard and certainly has legitimacy after beating Cena clean on his debut. Owens has been protected from taking losses to people not named Cena since then and this would make him an ideal candidate to take Rollins' current position. Not just as the top heel, but as the golden boy to The Authority. A Seth face turn would freshen up the whole roster, and open the door to many interesting feuds.

Seth working his Summerslam match as a babyface was undeniably the right decision, because it just made sense. The crowd saw him as the face from the get go, and keeping them engaged and invested throughout brings positives that outweigh the negatives of a heel working a match as a face. The fact that he managed to still come across as a jerk meant that there was no immediate or long term damage to his character, despite being in the midst of a slow burn babyface turn anyway. The match at Summerslam was a masterful demonstration of how to excite a partisan crowd that would always cheer for the heel, whilst still maintaining heel mannerisms for the viewers at home. This meant that the majority of viewers could admire Seth's ability, whilst still really despising him for being obnoxious. This was fantastic story telling.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Flay - Ok I'm gonna preface this by saying you know I obviously disagree with your stance but there are good arguments to be made for your stance as Poyser showed, you just didn't make them (setting up the Rollins face turn was the big one that you really messed up on by not mentioning). "Seth Rollins fed off the crowd and reacted accordingly" and "WWE decided how the match played out and Rollins was right to perform as directed because they're his employer." are massive contradictions that I can't believe you couldn't see for yourself. You can't have it both ways. Cena/Punk was an adequate in-ring match? Wut???? Yes they are good examples of how important crowds are in making a great match but Cena didn't suddenly decide to work heel in either just because of the live crowd reaction because he knows there's a much larger audience watching on PPV that are actually cheering for him. Also Hogan turned right after X8 so that example doesn't work for Rollins working a different alignment either. A massive thing that you're totally ignoring is that the live crowd isn't the entire audience. It's not a house show event. It's on PPV as well and it doesn't even need arguing that Cena has tons and tons of fans that root for him and as such Rollins has fans who are rooting against him. By your own logic used here shouldn't they be playing to what they want too? Isn't Rollins working babyface doing a disservice to those at home who want to root against him and for Cena? "the fans received a great match anyway that could very well hold up as an all-time classic in it's own right" - an all-time classic? Even the biggest fans of the match aren't praising it that high. So by your logic here Cena should wrestle as a heel in front of every smark crowd who doesn't cheer him? Don't think he'd be the draw he is as a babyface if he did that in front of what is pretty much every single live audience for TV/PPV now. You're only really looking at it in the context of that one match and not the effect it has on the bigger picture. The damage it does to Seth drawing heat as a heel from the entire WWE audience and vice versa for Cena. "Heat means people will want to pay good money to see the heel get his ass kicked but at Summerslam 2015, despite Rollins disregarding that, anybody who likes good wrestling got their money's worth." - you do realise not everyone is paying to see match quality right? "The Company" part is clearly you trying to be clever and although it did make me smirk at first it is a bullshit argument that shouldn't convince any Judge into siding with your stance. It's obviously not what the question is asking otherwise the rest of your debate is pointless. Next section I've pretty much already covered my issues with as to why your debate isn't convincing me. Nothing here convinced me to even consider my own stance on the topic I'm afraid.

Poyser - Like I said to Flay I don't agree with your stance but the difference between your two debates is that you actually had convincing enough arguments to make me at least agree with some of your points. The live crowd stuff I covered in Flay's feedback. The live crowd isn't the only audience watching and is it doing a disservice to those watching at home wanting to root against Rollins? You do bring up a good point about Rollins still having enough of a heel edge to him though. I don't agree that it's enough for your top heel in a major match but still. You really should have had some supporting examples to cite here to back your point up but I remember enough of it to know that you're not totally bullshiting. The argument about setting the seeds for a face turn that is incoming was really good and the most convincing argument either debate made. You missed a big trick by not including the Sting promo/events from Raw the other week though that heavily setup a face Rollins vs heel HHH match. Still you had enough there but that would have been a lot more solid than what you did have. The penultimate paragraph did nothing to answer this topic for me. It just read like you had finished your debate but needed an extra ramble to make up the word count.

Flay's debate had nothing to convince me, Poyser's at least had something with good points that Flay failed to make use of himself.

Winner - Poyser


Your breaking down of this question might actually be what swings it for me as the complete focus on exactly what the question is asking allowed you to stay on topic without straying.

I know when you're arguing for your stance it's better to overcommit than to undercommit but suggesting that Rollins-Cena wrestling in the newly shifted heel vs face dynamic not only imporved the match but elevated it to something that might be seen as an all-time classic is a little over the top, especially when many would debate that it's not even the best match involving the two this year.

Your section on the company is a bit strange. Obviously Rollins didn't act beyond his brief and his playing the face in this match was the result of WWE's decision to have him do so. Using this section to expand on WWE's “fantastic foresight” might've been helpful but I'm struggling to see anything that actually added to your argument.

Your paragraph on Summerslam as it's own standalone night however was a great way of looking at this and not something I would've thought to look at for this topic. Adding in the fact that Rollins playing the babyface allowed the potential for Cena to play up the heel side of his character in front of a partisan crowd was another good touch. This section could have used a bit of elaboration on why Summerslam as a standalone night in bizarro world aids the WWE in general (reigniting the stale nature of current feuds, future hype around the event used to build subscribers in the leadup to future Summerslams etc). A few missed opportunities aside, this was a strong debate, well done.


This is also a pretty good debate from top to bottom. Much like your opponent you launched straight into the Brooklyn crowd and Cena's impact on smarks which was a good way to start off. I'm finding very few things to argue against in your debate which is a great sign though your comment on the subscriber numbers was a bit odd as Rollins/Cena should surely be able to produce a match of at least similar quality in the basic heel/face dynamic one would expect from the two and a large drop in subscriptions wouldn't really be prevented with this change in dynamic.

Where I felt your debate drifted slightly in a way your opponents didn't was your focus on the overall potential of a Seth Rollins face turn and the potential or consequences this might have for WWE as a whole. While this is an interesting aspect of this debate, the question did focus purely on Summerslam 2015 (as your opponent pointed out) and Rollins went back to the heel of the feud very quickly after that night, leaving your sections on the further possiblities of babyface Seth Rollins a little detached from the rest of the debate.

Your conclusion returns to the strong points you made early on about Seth's ability to play the face to the crowd while staying consistent with his character in a way you've done better than your opponent did which does help sway the topic in your favour a little bit but despite this and the majoirty of your debate being well argued, the diversion just takes this away from you for me

Flay wins

You have a predictably good opening argument about how smark city fans were never going to cheer Cena and thus it was wise of them to work with the fans rather than against them. I do think you repeat the same kind of point over and over here (simply that the crowd was always going to cheer more for Rollins) instead of expanding on it as your opponent did.

I’m a bit torn on how to perceive your next argument regarding Rollins doing what the company tells him. One part of me thinks this is a bread and butter argument and good use of the wording of the question. There is, however, another part of me that finds it utterly irrelevant as wrestlers always do whatever has been worked out backstage. It’s not like Rollins actually had a choice beyond his own creative input prior to the match.

The ‘One Night Only’ argument is a bit wishy-washy in its execution, but I get the point you are making. It’s certainly an argument there for the making, but I think there were stronger arguments you could have made instead of this one. However, it’s up to your opponent to make them.

Overall, an enjoyable read and a fairly good debate. One criticism is that you could have been a bit more efficient with the word count and maybe included an extra argument or even two.

Good opening argument using the fact that the majority of the Brooklyn crowd were always going to cheer against Cena regardless of Rollins’ actions, so using his face moveset to keep popping the crowd throughout was a good idea in terms of how the match would have come across on television. It was good to tie it into how this might affect subscriptions as well, which was a point your opponent missed.

I quite liked your argument that keeping Rollins’ face moves in the fans’ collective mind would help the eventual face turn be even more well received. Although, and I said a similar thing to your opponent regarding one of his points, it doesn’t come across as the strongest argument out there and there may have been better ones to use the wordage for.

I wasn’t sure where you were going with the heel/face dynamic of the roster – it felt like you had abandoned the debate to have a few pops at Reigns for a moment. However, you tied it all in nicely and ended up with another fairly solid argument with regards Rollins’ potential face turn opening up interesting avenues for new top heels in Reigns and Owens.

Nice enough conclusion, reiterating your main argument about how the crowd was always going to cheer for Rollins and he included just enough heelish mannerisms to maintain his character. You made some interesting observations as to how Rollins’ performance might impact on his future and the future of the roster dynamic.

Both debaters used the crowd argument well enough, but that’s where the similarities end. While Flay focused on Summerslam being a special event which requires something special to happen as well as Rollins being right to do what his bosses tell him to do, Poyser focused on how his face-like performance could impact on his future face turn and how said face turn could benefit the roster dynamic itself. Because of this, I think Poyser’s supporting arguments were a little stronger than those of Flay, plus Poyser’s expansion on the main crowd argument helped me make my mind up. Poyser is the winner, but not by a massive margin.

Winner via Split Decision - Poyser

TDL Sports Division #1 Contenders Match
JM vs RetepAdam.

Which player was the most important factor in the Atlanta Hawks' success last season?

Spoiler for Debates:

Which player was the most important factor in the Atlanta Hawks' success last season?

Last season the Atlanta Hawks finished with an 60 wins to finish with the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The 60 wins was a franchise record and was the first time the Hawks finished with the best record in the East since 1993/94. Atlanta had many great season performances including all-star performances from Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Al Horford and Paul Millsap. Several arguments could be made as to who was the most important to the Hawks’ 2014/15 successes but when you dig deep the argument that should win out is that for Kyle Korver. Kyle Korver was the most important factor in the Hawks’ success last season.

Comparing the Hawks’ 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons, the Hawks improved their win total from 38 games to the 60 games they won last season. The Hawks went from an 8th seed and first round exit to a team that easily won the east and eventually lost in the Eastern Conference final to the Cleveland Cavaliers. When you look at these two seasons it would be easy to say that Al Horford having only played 29 games in 2013/14 and then close to a full season in 2014/15 was the most important factor because lets face it, Al Horford is a phenomenal talent. If this wasn’t enough you would look at Al Horford’s stat line of 15.2/7.2/3.2, or Teague’s stat line of 15.9/2.5/7.0 or Paul Millsap’s stat line of 16.7/7.8/3.1 and say that all of these are much more impressive than Korver’s stat line of 12.1/4.1/2.6. It’s easy to look at the fact that Korver played for the best team and can fade to the background behind the bigger names however a closer look will show that the success Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague is greatly influenced by real catalyst that which is Kyle Korver.

With Teague, Horford and Millsap the Hawks love working off screens, either the pick and roll or the screen allowing Teague to blow by the help defense and take it straight to the rim when the extra help doesn’t arrive. When these screens happen the defense has a very critical decision to make: 1) send the perimeter defender off of Korver to help leaving Korver wide open for a kick out 3 pointer or 2) stay on Korver leaving a mismatch for Teague, Horford or Millsap. As you can probably guess neither of these options is favorable for a team defending the Hawks and neither option are going to lead to good results. Simply put, the Hawks cannot execute the way they do without Korver spreading the floor. That’s what an absolute lights out shooter can do.

Now all this is easy to say and it may leave you asking “How about some proof for how impactful Korver is for the Hawks?” or “Just how bad off are the Hawks when Korver is not on the court?” or To this I say sure, I’m glad you asked. Take a look at these stats:

In case you’re wondering Ortg is offensive rating, which is the number of points a team scores per 100 possessions. As you can see not only is the Hawks’ offensive rating the best/highest when Korver is on the court at a clip of 113.6 but their defense rating is the best/lowest (Teague is tied here) when Korver is on the court at a clip of 102.6 leading to a +/- of +11 for Korver. Furthermore the Hawks are actually LOSING when he’s not on the court at a +/- of -2.5 unlike all the other starters where the team is able to maintain a positive +/- when they are off the court. How is that even possible for a 60 win team to have a negative +/- when their 5th leading scorer is off the court? This shows the immense impact Korver has on the team both for his ability to spread the floor on offense and in his role as a perimeter defender on defense.

Now obviously the case against Korver is that he doesn’t play a big enough role. He’s only a jump shooter. His usage rate is only 14.3%, which is the lowest on the team other than Elton Brand (usage rate is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor (1]). However, as the above advanced stats show, his impact on the floor is much greater than any raw traditional stats will show. The point of basketball is to put the ball in your opponents hoop and prevent the opponent from putting the ball in your hoop and the Hawks are better at both of these when Korver is on the floor.

For those stubborn soles that still aren’t sold, how about same individual stats for Korver that make him as valuable as he is as a floor spreader. Korver had a true shooting percentage of 69.9%, which not only lead the Hawks, it lead the league for all players that qualify [2]. He had a 49/49/90 split for the season narrowly missing an unprecedented 50/50/90 season [3]. We all know how good of a shooter Korver is so there’s really no point wasting any more words on this. These stats show exactly why teams simply can’t forget about him at any time when he is on the floor and makes the game much easier for the rest of the team.

With Korver being as good of a shooter as he is (possibly the best over) he causes fits for opposing defenses. This is clearly indicated by A) watching defenders chase him around the court not letting him get open for a 3 and B) Looking at the Ortg stats when Korver is on the court and when he’s off the court. Korver may not be flashy like some of the other Hawks, he may not put up huge stats but his contributions are far deeper than that and were the MOST impactful for the Hawks last season.

- [1]
- [2]
- [3]
- All other stats taken from
- Stat lines listed above in paragraph 2 are points/rebounds/assists

If you were to poll 100 casual NBA fans on which Atlanta Hawks player was most vital to their stunning resurgence in the 2014-15 NBA season, the most popular answer would probably be Al Horford. After all, the Hawks rattled off 60 wins last season after limping to a 38-44 record the year prior. The lineup largely remained the same; the only key difference on paper seems to be Horford, who played 76 games last season after only appearing in 29 in 2013. However, as much as having a healthy Horford did wonders for the Hawks on both ends of the court, he was not the most integral player to the Hawks’ success.

That distinction belongs to sharpshooter Kyle Korver.

Forget the ‘how’ for a second, and let’s take a look at the facts. The simplest way to gauge a player’s value to his team is by looking at how the team fared when he was off the court versus when he was on it. It’s not exactly a perfect metric, but it’s a solid starting point for demonstrating Korver’s tremendous impact.

A quick glance at that table shows a similar trend in the On/Off splits of each of the Hawks’ starters. Each of the five elevated the Hawks’ offense while having a fairly neutral impact defensively. However, two things stand out about Korver’s splits in particular. The first is HOLY HELL, LOOK AT WHAT KORVER DOES TO THEIR OFFENSE! The second is perhaps less obvious but equally significant: Korver is the only starter with whom the Hawks’ net rating is at a deficit when he’s on the bench. Anytime the Hawks sent Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap or Al Horford to the bench, their scoring differential went from quite good to merely less good. Whenever they pulled Korver out, their differential went from God Mode to losing. Furthermore, note the change in pace that accompanies Korver’s exit from the game. When Korver leaves the game, the Hawks’ offense slows to a grind as it struggles to breathe without the spacing provided by Korver, while their opponents’ offense speeds up, indicating that they’re getting more opportunities on the other end to go with increased efficiency. (I’m willing to bet that this is related to the Hawks giving up more fast breaks as opponents are able to clog the lanes.)

Korver’s impact continues to be seen as we break the lineups down further. By far the Hawks’ most popular 5-man unit, Teague-Korver-Carroll-Millsap-Horford posted a scoring differential of +8.6 points per 100 possessions. That exact same lineup with Kent Bazemore playing in place of Korver had a scoring differential of -0.8 points. And lest you place that blame at the feet of Bazemore, the lineup of Teague-Korver-Bazemore-Millsap-Horford had a +6.3 differential. In fact, the only lineup featuring at least four of the Hawks’ starters that had a negative point differential was the one without Korver.

If you continue to break this down further, Korver continues to be the common denominator. Of the Hawks’ top 2-man combinations that logged at least 500 minutes together during the 2014-15 season, Korver/Teague is #1… followed by Korver/Mike Scott… then Korver/Carroll, Korver/Horford and Korver/Millsap. The Hawks’ FIVE best tandems all included Korver.

Now, let’s get to the ‘how.’

If you simply go by VORP (Value Over Replacement Player; methodology here), Korver added about 9 wins for the Hawks this past season, roughly the same as Horford. In fact, VORP paints Paul Millsap as the most valuable player for the Hawks last season, having added 10 wins for the Hawks. However, VORP is a box score metric and has all the limitations thereof. In other words, VORP only sees the output of each game and not the ‘how’ and ‘why.’ So, why even bring it up? Because it’s important to note what metrics like VORP are missing to truly demonstrate why Korver was indispensible to the Hawks.

Kyle Korver is a really, really, really, really, really, really, really good 3-point shooter. In fact, he’s actually much better than that, but I have a word count to adhere to, so I can’t afford to give him the number of reallys that his 3-point marksmanship deserves. Put it this way: Last year, Kyle Korver’s eFG% — which is essentially the same as FG%, except it factors in that 3-pointers are worth an additional point — was .671. To put that into context, here’s a full list of players who have ever posted an eFG% that high over the course of a single season. Basically, Kyle Korver pulling from wherever he wants on the basketball court is more or less equivalent to a DeAndre Jordan dunk. That’s how efficient he was as a scorer. If the average NBA player attempted the same exact shots as Korver did, he would have scored roughly 180 fewer points. The thought of Korver getting anything remotely resembling an open look was so terrifying to opposing defenses that they naturally began to pay extra attention to him. In fact, according to ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh, Korver’s “respect rating” from opposing defenses was second only to Steph Curry’s.

What this means is that worst-case scenario, the Hawks got to enjoy some ridiculous spacing as they effectively played 4-on-4 basketball while opponents chased Korver all over the arena. More commonly, though, Korver’s omnipresent distraction of opposing defenders meant that his teammates were often privy to easy buckets like this or this. And God forbid, they actually let Korver get open for a split second.

The Hawks’ massive uptick in efficiency this past season was no accident. Coach Mike Budenholzer did everything he could to turn Korver’s shooting into a weapon of mass destruction. And as teams scrambled to deny him looks, his teammates benefitted enormously. This, of course, does not diminish the high level of efficiency the Hawks got from the other four starters. But while Al Horford’s return gave the Hawks more meat and potatoes, it was HAT SAUZ that made the dish sizzle.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
JM - This was a pretty one note debate but at least that one note was great. The problem is your opponent nailed the same note and then had a few extra notes to add too. For me you have 2 intro's, both pretty lengthy. One of them could be cut easily. I actually read your debate again starting from the 2nd paragraph and you lost nothing. The points differential stat really does make Korver an obvious answer ahead of the other starters and it's a brilliant argument. No issues with the argument and how you make it but just with what else you have to support it. After that though you seem to be rambling a bit just trying to fill the debate up with anything you can think of that's relevant. A paragraph for Korver's individual stats doesn't really add much at all to answering this specific question imo and it felt a bit like desperate filler. The paragraph before that one too was just reiterating a point already well enough made. So that's at least 3 paragraphs in your debate you could have chopped and got at least 2 strong supporting arguments out of them with like your opponent did. RetepAdam's debate showed how you could get more arguments for Korver into your debate but you could have also focused more on arguing against other options. Yes the points differential argument killed them while making the case for Korver but there's room for more. Also you never mentioned any of the bench players. Can a case be made for someone like Schroeder giving Atlanta continued quality on offence off the bench, making a big step up from last season and easing the pressure on Teague to improve his effectiveness? Or for someone like Sefolosha making the difference on defence.

RetepAdam. - You won the moment you nailed the same argument JM did and had anything else of significant note. I actually thought you argued the differential argument a bit better than JM too, mostly through your language. The pace point is a great side-note to the same argument too. All your other arguments I won't go into because there's not really much to criticise with them. "The Hawks’ FIVE best tandems all included Korver." could have been extended to 6 btw and you could have also said the same for the 5 best 5 man rotations. Yada yada yada, great debate.

Winner - RetepAdam.

Jupiter Jack Daniels
I felt both of these were pretty good.

I appreciated the statistical breakdowns. Because I feel the argument needs the detailed explanation in a variety of ways, which leads me to JM.

I kind of missed that here. What I mean is, when you're arguing for Korver being the most important factor, while also acknowledging his low usage rate, you can close the gap by introducing stats that are reflective of Korver's mere presence being important. When you mention Atlanta loving to work off the screen, could there be a correlation between that and their ability to score in the paint, which is at it's highest when Korver is on the court? Could Korver's ability to spread the floor be reflective of second chance points, which are the second highest on the team with Korver on the floor? In both cases, the threatening presence of Korver on the perimeter leaves opposing defenses with a tough decision, leading to a result that isn't necessarily reflective of Korver's physical contribution to the play. And to be fair, you kind of approached that at a certain point and this isn't saying you did anything wrong because you didn't. I just feel you could've did more because...

with RetepAdam., I got detailed breakdowns. Whether it was how any two man tandem with 500 minutes together in Atlanta included Korver in the top 5. Or VORP. Or how the only lineup with four starters that saw a negative point differential was the one without Korver. Or being the second most effective floor spacer in the league. Not your traditional, commonly used statistics. Instead, measurements that support the overall importance of a player who's contributions aren't always going to be reflected in the box score. That makes a difference with me.

One issue I did have with RetepAdam. was, on the topic of Korver off the court results in the opposing offense speeding up, with you drawing a correlation between that and Atlanta allowing more fast breaks, I'm not sure about that. Atlanta actually allowed fewer fast break points with Korver on the bench, which could mean a variety of things.

Overall, I felt RetepAdam. had the more complete argument because of the usage of more non-traditional statistics. I was also a fan of the actual wording, especially the final paragraph, which was essentially the cherry on top of what I felt was a great debate.

RetepAdam. is the winner but JM wasn't no slouch.

I really like how you show the players individual stats in isolation first, which many would just use to prove who was the best player, but then you use a statistic that really shows the value of players to their team. You’ve done a great job showing how much Kyle Korver means to the team by showing the statistics of how the Hawks do when each starter is on and off the court. I mean, it’s hard to argue with your decision when you show that the team loses when he is off the court, but wins any other time.

I also like how you have explained the importance of Kyle Korver, being that his spacing creates dilemmas for his opponents – either close him down or be mismatched in the pick and roll. With other players you may allow the ball to go to the spot up shooter, but with a shooter like Korver, it’s deadly. So I think that’s a nice observation and a great point in strengthening your argument.

Only problem with this debate is that I am looking for other stuff to analyse and comment on, but there isn’t really much else to do that with. It’s a tough criticism, as I think with your chart showing the impact of Korver being on and off the court proves on its own that he is the most important player on how that team flows. But at the same time, I think a few extra parts are missing.

Still, I think you’ve done enough here to prove your point and it is a good effort. It convinced me that Korver is the most important player for that team, so it would be harsh of me not to credit you for that.

I have to say, I love how you have structured this debate. The way you have sectioned it between who has the important player is, then the why, then the how and then a few extra skills of his makes the debate flow very well.

On the player you have picked and why he is the most important, it is clear you have done your research here. This statistic of the impact Kyle Korver has when he is on and when he is off the court just cannot be argued against. As it shows, when he is on the court they are playing by far their best offence and when he is off it, they regress so much that they end up losing. It shows he’s the only starter that when off the team starts to lose. I like your use of how the offense slows down to a grind when Korver isn’t on and how it struggles to breathe as it lacks the pacing he creates. Obviously, all this makes it easier to defend against, which allows opposition to get more stops and more possessions and chances to close the gap or stretch the lead.

You make another solid point by showing that Korver’s natural rotation replacement (Bazemore) isn’t to blame for this when you show that when Korver and Bazemore are both on the court, the Hawks still post a positive differential and the only time there is a negative is when Korver is not in the line up. This hammers home your point even further.

Finally, showing that Korver is a part of all the Hawks top five tandems completely kills this debate really. Impressive research.

Your how section is interesting. The eFG and respect ratings are something I haven’t actually ever heard of. But it does show without a doubt how lethal Korver is as a shooter. I like how you use it to lead into teams would try to take him out of the game and resort to a 4 vs 4 game. Maybe a bit more could have been put into this, although I do appreciate you have a word limit. Just thought you could speak about how this allows his other teammates have an advantage.

All in all, this was a great debate. Not many things for me to pick at, but a lot of things for me to praise. I can see there was a lot of effort into researching this topic and then structuring it well to provide this great piece of work.

Verdict: Both of these were very good and are similar in that they used the same data for their main point. But the winner is RetepAdam., as he excelled in showing other areas where Korver was impactful, while JM only had the main point really.

Winner via Unanimous Decision - RetepAdam.

TDL Wrestling Division Special Attraction Match
Aid vs CGS

Has John Cena done more good than bad for the careers of other wrestlers?

Spoiler for Debates:

The Main Event career of Cena can be defined in three parts. The early reign from 2005 to 2007, the reign of terror from 2008 to 2012, and the seasoned vet stage from 2013 to the present. Despite the reign of terror, the Super Cena era did more good than bad for other superstars.

Every good hero needs an equally good villian. If it wasn’t for Cena, then his rivals during the early reign wouldn’t be where they are today. Edge, Randy Orton, and Rob Van Dam all greatly benefitted from Cena. Edge was an upper midcarder for life before he got the MitB briefcase. Then he held it for nearly a year before cashing it in and ending Cena’s long title reign. This gave Cena his first real rival on Raw since he feuded with the recently departed Chris Jericho. Cena was essentially just going through guys and being put over. Edge’s victory and cash in on Cena immediately shot him up the card. It was then the feud later that summer that really made Edge the main eventer he ended his career as. Cena needed a villain that stood against everything he believed in. Who better than the Rated R Superstar? Because they were complete opposites, this allowed Edge to become the true mirror villain. The Reverse Flash to Cena’s Flash. Because of the way Cena was booked and written, this allowed Edge to benefit greatly. After the end of their feud, Edge was moved to Smackdown which allowed him to become the face of the brand, something he couldn’t have done without that feud with Cena to boost him up the card.

In between the Edge feud came Rob Van Dam. RVD was a career midcarded in WWE up until 2006. Then WWE announced that they were adding a third brand, ECW. This was RVD’s ticket to the top and WWE’s ticket to using Cena to their advantage. At this time the hardcore fans began to turn on the Eminem-turned-Oprah that was Cena. WWE used the hardcore hatred to propel RVD to the main event by having them face each other in ECW’s 2nd return PPV. The fans would riot if Cena won. This hatred turned into RVD support. RVD won the title and was set to become the face of the third brand and the Cena of ECW. RVD screwed himself over on that one, but RVD wouldn’t have had the opportunity if it wasn’t for the huge Cena hate. Like Edge, Cena allowed RVD to truly get over the hump.

Randy Orton was a third guy that benefitted from Cena. After Edge moved on, Cena needed a new rival. Orton was having trouble getting back to his post-Evolution hype after a few injuries and suspensions. Orton needed the right face to play off of. He needed someone around his age that wasn’t Triple H. He needed the ultimate good guy to play the sadistic, head-punting villain. This is where Cena helped. Orton played the perfect antithesis to Cena. Their personal feud that included Cena’s father launched Orton into permanent main event status. This is how Cena’s character helped.

The reign of terror is where fans claim Cena ruined more careers than helped. They can point to the likes of Umaga, Zack Ryder, Rusev, and the Nexus. Cena went over on feuds involving the villans and many claim he used Ryder’s fame to try to win internet fans. The problem with this is actually problems with the wrestlers themselves. Umaga would never be a main eventer. He was a character that was best when he didn’t speak, and adding English ruined his wild animal character. His peak was being a villain to conquer by the hero. That’s what Cena did. Rusev was the same way. Rusev is limited by his English and ability. Feuding with Cena may have given him his losses, but a feud with the face of the WWE should be looked at as a reward for a wrestler like that. The Nexus were collectively a strong group, however, individually many of them were still too green. Otunga could talk but couldn’t wrestle, Gabriel, Slater, and Sheffield couldn’t talk, and Barrett still struggled in the ring. They were over, but they couldn’t carry the show in the ring yet. Ryder on the other hand seemed to have had some support backstage from Cena, but not enough so prevent himself from being buried by Vince. That and Ryder still had a limited moveset and mic skills. Simply, none of these guys could have been main eventers at the time.

The biggest key is what Cena has done recently. Thanks to his decade of dominance, a victory over him shoots a guy straight up the card. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins have all greatly benefitted from victories over Cena. Now that Cena is putting on great matches night in and out, they look even better. Right now, a clean victory over Cena can do more than any title win. Just ask Owens. He may have lost the feud, but the first clean victory put him on the map. Cena has defeated a lot of wrestlers over the years, but that’s what happens when you are the top guy. If the top guy lost all the time, he wouldn’t be the top guy. That’s why beating the top guy can do more for your career than anything else. Like with Serena Williams, her beating her opponent is expected. When that opponent wins though, then suddenly people start to take notice, like with Maria Sharapova. Edge, Orton, Punk, Bryan, Rollins, Owens, and RVD have all been Sharapova’s to Cena’s Williams. Because of his dominance, his losses are more memorable and valuable to his opponents. Even the losers of the feuds have had their career highlights while feuding with Cena, like R-Truth, Barrett, Mark Henry, and more. All in all, Cena does more good than harm to the guys he wrestles.


Yes. John Cena has done more bad than good for the careers of other superstars. Simple as that.

John Cena aka Mr. Shovel

Just to put this out there, I don’t believe Cena goes out and initially “buries” superstars as many fans seem to believe he does. Does he kill their momentum? Yes, but for many it’s nothing that some simple booking can’t fix. However with WWE’s awful booking tactics we have a situation where Cena has killed the momentum of many WWE superstars.

Bray Wyatt/Wyatt Family – Probably the biggest modern day example of just how much a feud with Cena can hurt you. In 2013 Bray and the Wyatt family were arguably one of the hottest stables around with many feeling that Bray would be the guy to take over from the Undertaker in the near future as the next mystic main event character…this was before his string of matches with John Cena only winning one thanks to well….a kid[1]. Till this day Bray has found himself floundering around the midcard scene and it’s fair to say that the buzz around him has all but disappeared, at least for the time being.

Rusev – Certainly a fresh wound and time will tell just how much of his momentum Cena did kill but the fact does remain that the Rusev we see now is a far cry away from the destructive Russian beast we were witnessing this time last year tearing through the entire roster. Such a shame.

The Nexus/Wade Barrett – Many fans consider this to be Cena’s biggest “burial”. In 2010 the Nexus was one of wrestling’s hottest commodities and many felt this stable should have been a lot bigger than they actually were and they probably would have had it not been for that loss to team Cena at Summerslam 2010 just a few months after their debut.

Then you have a huge list of honourable mentions such as The Miz, Del Rio, Damien Sandow, Ziggler and most recently Kevin Owens. Seems like the Shield wasn’t too far away from being another name on this list.

“Not that we’re jerks. They wanted us to… I think it was our second or third pay-per-view, it was right before our first Wrestlemania, a six-man on a pay-per-view and the finish was Cena over with the schmutz.

“We were like: ‘But as soon as we go down to John, we’re just like everybody else, because that’s what he does to everybody else. There’ll be a time where we do that all day and that’s fine… but it is not today. Otherwise, why are we even here?’”[2]
That was a quote from Dean Ambrose during a podcast with Chris Jericho. Speaks for itself really.

Frankly the only real superstars that Cena has helped more than he has harmed is CM Punk and Edge. Even then you could say Edge’s momentum from being the first MITB cash in winner was initially killed by Cena after he lost the title three weeks later and it took the feud with Foley and then Cena again later in the year to help build him up.

John Cena aka Mr. Politician

Alongside being a serial burier Cena has been accused of using his backstage power to keep other talent down and make sure he remains at the top of the mountain. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not but there are stories that do back this claim up.

Going back to the Nexus situation quickly on a podcast with Jericho a few years back Edge claimed that both he and Jericho lobbied for a Nexus win believing that a loss to Cena would indeed kill their momentum and it was John himself who wanted to do things differently.[3] Fair play to Cena for admitting that he was wrong, shame the damage was done by then though.

Even when you look at the Mickie James & Kenny Dykstra situation[4][5] or what both Ken Anderson[6][7] and Tyler Reks had to say about John Cena you can see that even a[8][9] situation where friction has risen for whatever reason has led to the downfall of more than one superstar.

On the flip side you got rumours (and they are just rumours at this stage) of Cena even squashing a potential title win for Charlotte on behalf of his girlfriend Nikki Bella[10][11].

Cena may or may not be the political asshole many claim him to be but when you consider that the above examples are just a small sample of what’s out there it doesn’t exactly paint a great picture for Mr. Hustle, Loyalty, Respect now does it?

John Cena Aka Mr. Unstoppable

So then can all this be put down on Cena? Arguably no.

What many fans seem to forget is that the top superstar rarely ever loses, Yes John Cena’s win record is ridiculous at around 70%+[12] but look at Austin in 1998/99[13] or Hogan back in the mid 80’s[14], Even Lesnar was pretty much unstoppable throughout 2002 and 2003. These guys were unstoppable in the same way Cena is today.

Effectively Cena has become a victim of his own hard work and success. Because he’s such a profitable commodity to the WWE they want to ensure that nothing hurts him and thus at times he inadvertently hurts those around him. That’s not to say that Cena can’t cope some shit (example above prove just that) but there are situations whereby it’s more the fault of the machine than the man himself.

Still the fact does remain that Cena is effectively bad for business. While saying he outright “buries” all the midcard up and coming talent may be a tad harsh and while yes it may not always be his fault there isn’t any way around the fact that a feud with Cena, A potential loss in a high profile match to Cena or even just getting on the wrong side of Cena has done more harm than good for the careers of his fellow superstars.

  13. (123 wins 8 Losses)
  14. (1984-1989)

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Aid - The one thing I wished you'd done more when arguing for the good Cena has done is show how Cena himself actually did the good rather than just the booking of the other guy working with a protected guy like Cena. That is part of it but attributing more to Cena himself puts it over the top. So for example show the things that Cena himself did to make them look as they belonged at the top with him once they got the opportunity. For example how Owens being paired with him was a boost but Cena helped to make him look like a star both in the ring and on the mic and gave him a great first program because of what he was able to deliver on his end. With the Edge argument for instance you just talk about how being paired with Cena from a booking standpoint helped Edge rather than what Cena himself also did to make Edge look credible in that role. The RVD one I don't know about. Yes Cena being Cena helped make that one match more special but what after? RVD was over before that match and really being the face of ECW which even at the inception wasn't treated as a major brand wasn't all that huge. You do enough to get across Cena doing some good for another talent but it didn't hit hard for me with this example. Orton example is probably your best but also sadly your shortest one. Your good section has some weight but not really all that much. It's a hard stance to argue because until this year Cena's never been positioned to be the guy putting others over and while you can easily argue he was right to go over monsters like Umaga and Rusev that WWE built up to feed to Cena it's much easier to show how Cena beating them damaged them. It's not so much his fault as it is inevitable and how pro wrestling by design works. Someone has to beat them and it's often Cena for a good reason. You use that to make a good counter for Umaga and Rusev. Neither are/were going to be full time main eventers. You build them up and use them to put your babyface over. Did losing to Cena after heavy pushes for both stop them fulfilling their potential? Not really and you make a good enough case for that although some extra depth could have been used to really cement this point. The Ryder counter feels a bit lazy. Honestly I don't even think Ryder is an example that needed countering, especially when you missed out big counters like Brock, Ryback and Wyatt. Brock having to lose first match back did a lot of bad, Ryback having to turn after gaining some momentum as a face because they needed someone to feed to Cena definitely hurt him as unlike Umaga and Rusev he never really got his big push first and Bray you can make an argument for should have gone over stronger. The Nexus counter I think is weak though. It's not so much Cena going over as it was Cena going over too strong too soon. CGS has great evidence from Cena, Edge and Jericho to illustrate the mistake this was and the bad it did. Nexus never recovered and Cena having to win killed a hot angle too soon. Nexus being green and not all ready individually doesn't change the too soon fact, plus they were working as a unit regardless of individual shortcomings. Your last paragraph has better examples straight away then your first part of your debate so I'm a bit baffled why you focused so much on Edge/RVD/Orton and left so little to argue for Punk/Bryan/Owens/Rollins when they're much easier examples to argue for. "Now that Cena is putting on great matches night in and out, they look even better." should have been a key theme of your debate too. Say what you like but Cena delivers great matches in big atmospheres and that puts others over as stars. Not sure the Williams/Sharapova comparison was the best as Maria has been Serena's bitch for the last decade but I got the intent behind it. This was decent enough but your choice of examples to focus on were poor. You left yourself lacking on the best examples for your stance and either neglected or struggled to counter the big examples for the other side.

CGS - Ok the tough part of this debate is attributing blame to Cena (the character obviously). If you're taking your stance then you really need to dive deeper into why Cena did damage to another character rather than just he beat them. The Umaga and Rusev examples I referred to in Aid's feedback I don't think really did damage to them. Rusev was built up to a major match with the top babyface for him to beat him. Facing Cena gave Rusev a major Wrestlemania match and the peak of his career. Now I guess the key to arguing that Cena damaged Rusev is to show that Rusev could have been more but you don't do that (and I'm not sure you can). The Wyatts example you needed to look more into than just Cena won. There's definitely more support for your case there such as how Cena didn't have the best of matches with Bray, didn't put him over as hard as he should have done in his promos and didn't he even put him over strong when he did lose. The Nexus example was your best with the quotes you reference later but as for this part here it's again just he beat them. I thought it was a mistake wasting so many words on something that didn't happen re: The Shield. You missed out major examples for your stance such as Brock and Ryback too. The politician part is all just rumours and you probably know where this is going. Rumours and rumours and aren't enough to win a debate. At best this should have been a sentence or three not a big part of your debate. I'm not sure how the last part helped argue your stance tbh. I think you're making the point I made in Aid's feedback but for the wrong side. It was either an own goal and/or a waste of words. Pretty much all the second half of your debate is actually and you should have kept focusing on examples of other characters he's supposedly hurt/helped. You only have a few examples on the damage side and you really needed a lot more beef in the quantity of your examples to convince me.

Neither debates were all that but Aid at least did a better job of stacking his side up heavier than the opposing side along with making better use of his word count.

Winner - Aid

Debate A:

Cool way of breaking down the different parts of the era in the intro. I dig it.

I liked the Edge argument as it's the first one that immediately jumped to mind for me. I think you should have maybe spent a little more time emphasising the long-term benefits that had and related it back to the topic. Nothing over-the-top just something simple like "This is definitely a good, yes?" or to that effect. Make the reader sit and think "well yeah it's actually good" and further solidifies your stance in the readers mind.

I feel like you're just retelling history a bit with the RVD section. You already established it with Edge and now all you're really doing is telling me what happened. You should use less words doing that and spend them telling me why that's a good thing and why these early era good things outweigh the bad things that his status has created since then.

You've done the same thing again with Orton and it's a bit of a bummer. You need to establish not just the influence Cena had on these peoples careers but the importance that influence then had on the product and the company as a whole to really drive home your debate.

Mmkay you've lost me with this next paragraph. For starters, you've literally just listed more people whose careers Cena has hurt than he's helped. That's not a good start. Then you've just told me that Umaga "would never be a main eventer" when he clearly could be and was for a few PPV's iirc. He also had a mouthpiece in Alejandro Estrada so your no-talking point is null. The same with Rusev. Rusev is limited by "his English and ABILITY"? Rusev is one of the best workers on the roster and his English is perfect, the only thing he has is an accent which ties into his gimmick of being foreign. Maaaajor loss for me on this one. That's being polite too I can go on about the other examples you listed.

Bad example of using Maria Sharapova for the tennis analogy as Maria is neither an up-and-comer nor is it a surprise that she would beat Serena as she's a former world number 1 but that could just be me nitpicking. You should have spent more time elaborating on the names you've mentioned like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens as they are super memorable moments (all three) and they are have more impact with the reader as they are more recent.

I really hoped you would balance out the breakdown of time periods better in your debate. If you look at Early/Terror/Recent as timelines, kept your early argument, CONCEEDED on the Terror and just accepted that he destroyed some careers and then brought it back to include the recent time as a positive it would have flowed much better.

Also another nitpick. You defined the "reign of terror" period as 2008 to 2012 but you listed Punk as a good thing which originally happened in 2011 at MITB and Rusev as a burial which happened at this years Wrestlemania. You really need to do better research to avoid making bad mistakes like this.

A really poor entry to be honest. I can't see it being hard to beat this one.


Pretty good examples of how Cena feuds can kill momentum. You could make an argument that it's the way the fans perceive him that is the problem for killing that momentum and not so much Cena but I digress.

You lost me on that list with Kevin Owens. Leave your own smarky opinions out of these debates because his career has not been hurt in ANY way from his feud with Cena, if anything it's benefited. Such a fucking annoying argument that has no basis.

Your Edge argument is awful because while you try to say that it wasn't Cena that shot him up the card (which is false because it literally was the feud that got him to the main event) and then you say Cena ruined his momentum, you then go on to say he only recovered via a feud with Foley and then CENA again. You're countering your own argument.

I'm fine with rumours being used if there are sources which you did provide but aside from Jericho and Edge, a few disgruntled employees aren't the most credible of opinions. Especially when none of them were really in any position of prominence to begin with.

Your final section was fine, it's good to see you explaining it a bit and guiding the reader to the reason for the situation not essentially being soley on Cena himself but more indicative of his booking for the past 10 years and the corner it's placed the WWE and the roster in. More on that in a second.


I was pretty disappointed with both entries to be honest, neither of them really lit my world on fire and Aid specifically was a pretty poor entry. I was hoping for a more interesting take on the question, CGS touched on it by mentioning the booking and WWE in general and how it's not all Cena's fault and personally if I had this topic I would have taken that stance for the entire debate. No John Cena hasn't harmed more careers than he's helped, booking has. You could talk for 2000 words with example after example about that and it would be more interesting than this hypothesis that John Cena directly is the one calling the shots for the entire show whether in a good way or bad way.

I'll give it to CGS but if I could give it to neither I would. Please do better next time.


I have a problem with your intro. I like that it is brief and that you get to the point but I really don’t like that you already introduce a counter to the overall point you are making. You really don’t have to mention that 40% of Cena’s in-ring career was a reign of terror that directly opposes your viewpoint. A bit of an own goal even if it does show good perspective for the debate that follows.

The Edge stuff isn’t bad. I think that the best way to prove that Cena was good for careers is to analyse where people were and where they ended up. That could have been great to include with Edge. However, you are hard to disagree with on the whole so it’s a promising section.

Again, you are mostly convincing with your RVD section. I notice that the win not being clean doesn’t feature in your debate, but it’s probably fair enough to exclude. The only hassle here is that you didn’t go in hard enough on how useful the Cena hate was.

The Randy Orton section was absolutely fine and concludes a good bit of detail for your first section.

My main problem with your debate, though, is your weak countering of the people Cena has consistently got the better of. For using a quarter of your debate, I don’t feel particularly convinced by the way you just dismiss everyone as not good enough in the first place. You have to get put over for legitimacy and these guys were not afforded the opportunity. Not to mention you don’t even mention Tyler Reks, Alex Riley, Sandow, Ryback and, for me the most pertinent, the entire Wyatt family. When you add this to the fact that your timeline is completely warped, I think you do more harm to your debate with this section than good.

To be clear, both Rusev and Wyatt were completely buried by John Cena after he put over Bryan and Punk (which was 4 years ago). Doesn’t this show that Cena still being on top is harming the future of the business? Maybe, maybe not, but distorting the facts doesn’t help you here.

Onwards to the conclusion. Your tennis analogy is well intentioned but doesn’t work. I know Sharapova got the big Wimbledon win over a decade ago, but since then Williams has beaten Sharapova 17 times on the trot for an 18-2 h2h. I like tennis. Beyond that, I think that listing the 7 guys you do is a good last ditch reminder of the more enjoyable first section of your debate but ending by mentioning guys had their career highlights in losing to Cena kinda makes me sad (especially with Henry, when a win could have done wonders to maximise the payoff of his promo).

All in all, a very mixed bag. A good start that goes downhill for me. Your first section was excellent, but my abiding memory of this was the messed up timeline of events which really harms this debate for me.


Snappy introductions to debates are good. Get your point across and get to the substance of the debate. In this instance, it’s good that you make it clear what stance you take but it is simultaneously the least inspiring introduction I’ve read since I started judging.

That’s kind of a summary of your entire debate. It’s not a fun read, but it’s fairly hard to argue with. As I mentioned in my judgements for Debate A, I personally feel as though the Wyatt burial was the worst of the lot. That’s why I cannot disagree with what you say but I can’t help but feel you could have added more to it and gotten off to a better start. I also assume you meant to say intentionally in your shovel paragraph. Using the word initially humorously contradicts your point a little. Yes, I find semantics funny, let's move on.

Anyway, it’s a similar story with the Rusev and Nexus sections. It’s all correct but it is lacking detail - not least because you have given almost 100 words to a quote from the Shield. It’s a decent quote, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t as valuable to your debate as another passionate section on a burial would have been. Sandow or Ryder, for example, would have been great to explore here.

Much like Aid, you suffer from short changing the opposing point of view. You gloss over the fact that two of the last decades biggest main eventers got significantly elevated due to Cena. You would have benefited greatly if you expanded on your Edge point. You also completely exclude Daniel Bryan, this probably would have been ok if your opponent hadn’t mentioned him but they did.

Your politics section is ok, I think it helped the debate. It’s a good angle to take rather than focussing solely on the in-ring action. I hate What Culture, I think they are a bunch of random guys who write terribly, get basic facts wrong and write Buzzfeed-lite bullshit clickbait headlines, but it’s still good that you added a lot of sources.

Your last section is a miss for me, although I definitely see why you put it in. For me, win percentages don’t reflect what Cena does for other people. The way he wins and the way he is backstage or on the microphone have more of an effect on his fellow wrestlers than a W or an L here or there. It also seems redundant to talk up Cena the guy but bash the booking. Think about what that achieved for your debate. If it isn’t a beneficial point, cut it and replace it. Not a terrible section, but one that just doesn’t quite hit home.


Both sets of feedback sound harsh, which is somewhat unjust because it really wasn’t a bad contest. More of a slightly missed opportunity, if anything. Anyway, it’s actually a pretty hard one to call. Despite my own feelings on the question, I feel like you both do a decent job of portraying your viewpoint. In the end, and after more than a few read-throughs, I would have to give it to Aid. Honestly, I hope it's a split because it's a very even match up.

Winner via Split Decision - Aid

TDL Wrestling Division Special Attraction Match
Baxter vs Curry

Did WWE break up The Shield too early?

Spoiler for Debates:


And now it's over.

I killed all of the potential of that opening so I could do something different and now we'll never have what could've been. Just like WWE did with The Shield when the broke them up too soon.


Having formed The Shield as relative unknowns to the majority of the WWE universe in November 2012, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins would go on to take the WWE by storm. In 20 short months they became one of the top acts in the company and the most successful faction of the last decade through being part in a series of well-presented storylines, taking part in multiple match of the year candidates and connecting with the fans both as individuals and as a unit.

The Shield found huge success by being something WWE sorely lacked; unapologetic badasses who triple powerbombed first and asked questions later as faces or as heels. Their actions spoke far louder than the pandering of John Cena and Dolph Ziggler or the monotony of a 20-minute “we're better than you” Authority promo. Marrying the group's direct and exciting approach with the trios disparate styles and strengths (the powerhouse work of Reigns, the character-depth and promos of Ambrose and the in-ring proficiency of Rollins) created a fantastic combination of talent and surprisingly consistent booking that the WWE universe ate up and that could have been looked backed on as the jewel in the career of the three future megastars.

The Exact Date

Even if you did for some reason believe that the circumstances surrounding The Shield's breakup were right, you'd have to admit the exact event chosen was a tremendous waste. Their actual breakup took place on the same June 2nd episode of RAW that included a 69 second match between Nikki Bella and the team of Aksana and Alicia Fox. The breakup of the top faction of the last decade should have been the moment that defined a major PPV and, at a relatively early stage of the WWE network, should have been used as a focal point to promote the importance of the WWE network to fans who want the most important content WWE could offer. WWE missed a huge opportunity by rushing this two-years-in-the-making, storyline-defining event and blowing the potential The Shield's breakup had to be an incredibly memorable moment.

The Fallout

One of the most popular questions asked by those defending The Shield's breakup is “What would they have done if they didn't break up?”. It's just as easy, however, to ask what their breakup allowed them to do. Having main evented Payback the night before they broke up, the Shield members would go on to miss PPVs, engage in pointless feuds and tumble down the card as singles wrestlers.

While Reigns took part in a pointless feud with Randy Orton and took part in title matches at Money in the Bank and Battleground much like he could have as a Shield member, Ambrose and Rollins engaged in a 4-month-long feud which gave us very few highs to balance out THAT briefcase booby trap segment as well as THAT mannequin segment and resulted in a grand total of zero clean finishes in matches between the two.

Given that the only immediate feud The Shield's breakup allowed was a trainwreck of hilarious, cinder block-filled segments and matches seemingly designed only to give Kane something to interrupt, could the continuation of such a successful faction really have been any worse?

What Could Have Been

The Shield were damn good together. In a 2013 and 2014 WWE where throwing any three faces and any three heels against each other constituted a RAW main event, having an established faction who had shown they could convincingly play either role and stay over with the crowd while doing it would have given WWE far better booking options than slapdash tag teams such as John Cena, Mark Henry and Big Show or Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt in main events for their programmes.

Rather than a simple “Triple H turned Rollins” occurring in the space of a single day, the now-shattered Authority/Evolution hybrid attempting to turn The Shield against one another could have formed the basis for a storyline over a number of months. “Forcing” them to compete against each other for title opportunities and preventing them from aiding each other in matches or beatdowns in order to build sympathy for the trio while continuing the “Authority holding popular faces down” storyline in Daniel Bryan's absence.

Even if WWE decided that the 6-man main event formula had gotten stale (they clearly hadn't and for some reason still haven't), The Shield did not need to break up in order to advance their standing as singles wrestlers. The trio had already competed as single parts of the same unit when they split to hold the Tag (Rollins and Reigns) and United States (Ambrose) titles. The three could very easily have gone into the Money in the Bank PPV as singles' competitors in very similar roles to those they took with Rollins still coming out holding the money in the bank briefcase. This could then have been used to highlight what the three brought to the future, could have led to teased cash-ins when the three banded together again to attack whoever the WWE champion was at the time and would have furthered the possibility of Triple H attempting to break the group up from within by preying on the jealousy between the members. This would of course have led to an eventual teaming up which could have provided a much better feud to end the Authority storyline.

In breaking up the Shield when they did, WWE squandered what could have been a huge moment in their history, prematurely halted the run of one of the most successful and entertaining factions in recent memory and showed no results in the immediate aftermath that justified that decision.


When a stable has been together for the best part of 18 months (which in 2015 WWE is effectively a lifetime), achieved everything they could reasonably expect to, and feuded extensively with anyone that has remotely enough credibility to challenge them, it's tough to find a reason as to why the WWE should prolong the life of that stable which is precisely why the WWE did NOT break up the Shield too early.

So what constitutes "too early"?

For the sake of this debate we'll define "too early" as being the point in time where the Shield still had more promise and more to offer and a faction than Reigns, Ambrose and Rollins had to offer as individual talents.

But why not prolong the life of one of the best stables in WWE history? When you have something as good as The Shield how can they ever be broken up "too early"?

The main reason going against keeping The Shield together any longer was the fact that they had literally NO ONE else with any credibility left to feud with; even if you completely ignore the fact that they'd only just turned face so were restricted to facing heel factions then their options were still incredibly limited, only re-visiting a feud with the Wyatt Family was a remotely viable option, but that's just one feud that had already been done just months previously and leaves the losing faction in no mans land when the feud is over. It's not like there's anyone else they could have called up from NXT either, with the likes of The Ascension and Lucha Dragons being the main players in the NXT tag division. A feud against the Uso's for the tag belts was completely out of question for about a million different reasons (most notably the fact they'd spent the best part of 2013 feuding, they were both face groups and it would be a significant step down from everything the Shield had been doing in the first half of 2014). It's not like they could run a slow-burn breakup storyline either, given that's EXACTLY what they spent the second half of 2013 doing only to have the WWE randomly pull the plug on the breakup in the buildup to Wrestlemania. After going 2-0 against a faction that has over 31 World titles, 10 Wresltemania main events and 40 years of experience in the WWE between them, there was literally NOTHING else for the Shield to do as a group in the WWE.

Any future feud for the Shield would have had to have taken place against a group with far less credibility than the groups the Shield had feuded with in their final months (Evolution/The Wyatt Family) which would only slow their momentum and significantly lessen the impact of their breakup. One of the best parts of Rollins turning on Reigns and Ambrose was just how shocking it was because of the amount of momentum they'd built up in 2015, and keeping the group alive so they could have some half arsed midcard feud against The Ascension or a chucked together team containing guys like Mark Henry or The Big Show would have not only robbed the WWE of one of the most shocking moments of this decade but take away the obvious benefit of having all 3 members being shit hot and ridiculously over when they start their singles career.

With their main Summer storyline being centered around a part-time star and with top guys like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Batista unavailable, breaking up the Shield just after Payback also gave the WWE a strong story with A LOT of legs to run throughout their Summer/Autumn season as the "main" story on Raw. With the Cena/Lesnar suffering due to a lack of, well, Lesnar, and the rest of the roster generally lacking depth, pitting the Shield members against each other gave the WWE an opportunity to run a genuinely compelling top tier story worthy of co-headling Summerslam and featuring heavily on RAW each week, which wouldn't have been the case if the Shield had stuck to together.

By breaking up the group when they did, the WWE also gave themselves the best opportunity to build all 3 members of the group up (especially Reigns) in time for a big story during Wrestlemania season. As good as they were, during their run the Shield wrestled almost ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY 6-man tag matches both on TV and at Live Events, and whilst these types of matches did a good job of protecting Reigns and showcasing his strengths, he needed to improve his in-ring ability if he was to have any chance of being ready for a title/main event program at Wrestlemania 31 so having him go truly solo and get as much singles experience in as possible before that time was the best thing to do.

If this question had asked if TLC 2013 was "too early" to break up the faction then the answer would be much, much, closer, but after 18 months, a long Tag Title reign and numerous feuds with every single top guy in the company, the Shield had given everything they could as a faction and the time had come for the WWE to rightly pull the plug on the group. The execution of the angle may have been off, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with the timing of it.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Curry - I'm gonna be really blunt with you on this debate because you're a great debater but this was pretty bad. For as good as all your other Wrestling debates have been this was the opposite of them. You don't start answering the actual question until "The Fallout" which isn't great anyway and "What Could Have Been" while being better still had major holes in it that you didn't cover. The Pre-reakup stuff does absolutely nothing besides waste a lot of words. In a topic with so many areas you can cover in just 1000 words it was extra disappointing to see much wasted on not even poorly made arguments but just.... nothing. Same goes for the "Exact Date" part. Okay but how does that answer the question? If your saying it should be a big moment at Wrestlemania and then argue keeping them together until Mania then you can maybe use this (although it should still only really be two sentences max used up on it) but you don't. "Their actual breakup took place on the same June 2nd episode of RAW that included a 69 second match between Nikki Bella and the team of Aksana and Alicia Fox." doesn't mean anything because I'm sure I could find something terrible and slightly embarrassing on any episode of Raw (or even a PPV). At least you actually start answering the question now. "the Shield members would go on to miss PPVs" is a bullshit line because it's worded as if WWE had nothing for them to do which is so far from the truth it's not even funny in a bad way. Reigns missed shows with injury and Ambrose missed shows to kayfabe further the Rollins angle. That's so different. Reigns/Orton was not a pointless feud. It may have dull but it wasn't pointless. It was Reigns' first big singles program with his first major singles win on PPV over like him or not a major star in Orton. That isn't exactly pointless. Pointless is we don't have anything for either of you to but we have TV time so here you go. Oh and we also have nothing coming out of it either. Pointless is Jack Swagger vs Adam Rose on Raw. "tumble down the card as singles wrestlers." - errrr. Rollins has been one of the top guys ever since, Ambrose was main eventing for the rest of the year with Rollins and Wyatt and Reigns was starting his path to main eventing Wrestlemania. You bring up bad segments of the Rollins/Ambrose feud but then dismiss all the great ones that were quite obviously well received as "very few highs". All their matches got over in one way or another and the feud got both as over as they've ever really been as individuals. Sorry but this section is bullshit filled with statements that just aren't valid. The argument for the slow burn turn is at least something half decent in this debate. Yes the overnight word in the ear turn was daft writing but what you should have been asking yourself here is "was it a necessity?". Probably the biggest aspect of this debate for me that you somehow neglected was did Rollins need to turn heel? Or one of the 3 turn? It's all good saying they should have stayed together but then you have to have all 3 either babyface or heel. Map out what changes for the rest of 2014 if Rollins doesn't turn. Suddenly who do you have as your top heel? Brock was only part time and took the Title with him so not only did they need a top heel but they also needed a top heel in a heated program to main event PPVs. If not Rollins then who? And who does the heel feud to replace Rollins/Ambrose that can carry the product? Really the options were super limited. Bray was about your only option which isn't great. Turning The Shield back heel again would have been odd, Cena obviously couldn't turn, Orton was stale as a heel and had worked all of Cena and The Shield at that point. You need to give me an alternative to Rollins turning and becoming the top heel otherwise pretty much your entire stance falls apart really. The argument that they could stay together as a faction but not have to work as a trio all the time and have their own singles programs is fine as long as you cover that massive hole. "The three could very easily have gone into the Money in the Bank PPV as singles' competitors in very similar roles to those they took with Rollins still coming out holding the money in the bank briefcase." needs explaining a lot more rather than just being left there as a loose statement. So Rollins wins as a babyface? And beats Reigns and Ambrose and there's no reaction to Rollins winning over them? Likewise "could have led to teased cash-ins when the three banded together again to attack whoever the WWE champion was at the time". So Reigns and Ambrose would have been fine with Rollins in this role? Also attacking whoever was champion (it was Brock so......) seems very heel like. Or magician like given the exodus the Title went on. Or just heel like assuming Cena keeps the Title. Or..... wait I can't think of a top heel they could have put the title on. Wasted words, bullshit statements and hole filled arguments. Like I said I don't want this to sound too harsh but you're above this sort of debate and you're obviously a really good debater that you can just shrug this off but yeah, I can't really call it anything else I'm afraid. Pray Andre passes judging this on to someone else....

Baxter - Well you won this the moment you made one half decent argument so well done on that. The issue with your "too early" definition is that you could use them as individual talents while still being a group. Giving them more of their own individual identities doesn't mean you to completely remove the collective identity also. I don't know how much Japanese wrestling you follow but a lot of the promotions there have wrestlers affiliated to factions but are very much singles wrestlers. So on the build up shows they tag together and then on the big shows they work singles matches. Something like that could technically be done which goes against your definition but obviously that requires them all staying together in face/heel alignment. I guess if you added them all needing to stay face it would have tightened it up. Kinda nitpicky but I wanted to point it out given the topic as it's a valid argument to make if you can cover Rollins staying face rather than turning. The looser affiliation point pertains to your first argument actually. Yes it's valid for them working more trios matches as a unit but what about them working their own singles programs but still being a unit? I would have started a new paragraph from "It's not like they could run a slow-burn breakup storyline either" btw because paragraphs that long look a chore to read and don't help when your judging and trying to quickly find a point, plus it's pretty much a new argument anyway. Counter against the slow burn split is decent enough. I'd argue you could get a month or two out of it but you're not really splitting them up any later then. Momentum argument was good. You could also make a point here about it protecting the legacy of the group for if they reform at a later date, better to leave people wanting more with a memory of them never being anything less than great. Next argument is the big plot hole in Curry's debate. I won't repeat myself again for you but read Curry's feedback. You could have expanded on this point a lot more as it's a big argument for this debate so see how there. Not that there's a ton I'd cut but you are also 100 words under 1000 so you had the words left to use. The Reigns singles experience is something you could argue he could get even with The Shield still together tbh so I wasn't too much for this argument although it does have some validity. Maybe add that keeping them together would give them the fallback of WWE relying on sticking him in tags too much still. Although I guess he works tags nearly ever Raw now anyway. Not a great debate but a good one.

Winner - Baxter

Apologies for the paucity of the comments, but the truth is both debates were very good and I didn't really have any criticisms regarding how you presented your arguments, so the comments are mostly just about how I came to my decision.

Nice enough intro and follow-on, establishing exactly what was at stake with regard to the break-up of The Shield.

The ‘Exact Date’ section makes for a very good supplementary argument and you execute it pretty well. The ‘Fall Out’ section did a good job of showing how the post-break-up exploits of all three Shield members were nothing to shout about. The ‘What Could Have Been’ section muses effectively on a potential scenario that would likely have worked really well, especially the part about the Authority having them face-off against each other etc. Your second last paragraph is more of the same but it’s a good point worth emphasising.

Your conclusion summed up your arguments nicely and was a good finish. This was a very convincing debate.

Your opening gambit regarding the Shield having nothing left do was countered pretty well by your opponent. You do present your case quite convincingly, but your opponent’s ideas for how the Shield might have proceeded had they stayed together kept popping into my head when I read this section.

You make a really good argument after this though by explaining how the Shield split gave WWE a top tier story to dominate the following months.

I’m not sure about your argument that Reigns needed to go solo to improve, as this could have been achieved while still being part of the Shield. Your opponent’s idea that the Authority could have set about trying to break them up by booking them in matches against each other or having them go for the same prize would have worked well with trying to improve Reigns’ solo ability. It might even have been better, as there would be no need to continue solo-ing him week in and week out when he clearly hit a wall with his abilities, thus not exposing him too much.

Your conclusion also states that there was ‘absolutely nothing wrong’ with the timing, but your opponent clearly pointed out a big flaw with regards the timing, and that’s the wasting of it on a standard Raw instead of pulling the trigger at a major event.

Two thoroughly good debates here, but Curry is a lot more convincing. It also had arguments which directly countered some of those of the opponent, so Curry is the winner.

I think the only thing that you have slightly convinced me with on this debate is that WWE could have picked a better venue for the Shield’s breakup. It probably did deserve to happen at a PPV given how big this faction had become. However, I guess them breaking up on Raw, the night after their greatest triumph, was what made it even more shocking. That’s why I say slightly convinced, as I can see reasons for why they chose a TV show rather than PPV.

I think your “The Fallout” section is so wrong. Are you honestly going to ask what the break up allowed them to do? You say they missed PPV after their break up. This is going to be a long paragraph, but it needs to be done. The next PPV was Money In The Bank – Rollins and Ambrose continued their feud there in the ladder match and they were last battle before Rollins won the briefcase. Reigns was involved in the WWE World Heavyweight championship match – the beginning of his push for WM. The next PPV was Battleground – Rollins/Ambrose built more heat for their feud with a brawl when they were meant to have a match, while Reigns was again involved in a WWEWHC match, coming up short, but Cena winning the match after a Reigns spear. SummerSlam – Rollins vs Ambrose continue their feud in having an actual match, which both are able to shine in, whilst Reigns has his first singles rivalry and I believe first singles PPV match against an established veteran in Randy Orton – Reigns goes over. Night of Champions was meant to be Rollins vs Reigns, but Reigns has a hernia injury, so is out of action for a few months, instead Ambrose is brought back earlier than expected after filming a movie and continues the feud with Rollins. Rollins also teases a cash in during the Cena/Lesnar title match. Ambrose goes over Cena on a Raw, which gives him the right to main event the Hell In A Cell PPV with Rollins in the HIAC. Rollins then feuds with Cena for the next two months, while Ambrose feuds with Wyatt for the next 3 months. Reigns returns and wins the Royal Rumble, while Rollins stars in his first WWEWHC match at the same PPV. Reigns goes over Bryan at the next PPV to keep his main event WM spot, Ambrose now for the first time since breaking up drops down to something lower than the Shield gig, as he chases the IC title. Reigns main events WM and is put over big time as a man who Lesnar is struggling to put away, Rollins cashes in and wins the title. There were no PPVs that these guys had missed and after WM all three continue to heavily feature.

Simply put, your question of what did the Shield breakup allow those 3 do, and trying to put what they did in a lesser light to their Shield gig is insane. There is absolutely no evidence to show that these 3 (especially Rollins) could have reached these heights if the faction remained. There’s no example of a faction who broke into the WWE together, remaining in the faction while main eventing. It just doesn’t happen.

I don’t think your ‘What Could Have Been’ section offers anything that strengthens your claims they should have stayed together. You note that throughout 2013 and 2014 they main evented Raw with 6 man tag matches. And while it was great in 2013, it had become a bit old in 2014 and it didn’t allow these guys to grow anymore.

I agree that the HHH turning Rollins could have been done far better, however, staying together and having a storyline of people trying to turn them against each other was a bit of a rehash of what they had already done. In the Punk feud they became competitive with each other and looked like a break up was on the horizon. But instead they turned face. There’s no reason to go back to a tension within the group storyline.

Finally, they did need to break away from the Shield to develop their character. Again, look at Seth Rollins. There is so much more to him now, then he could have ever achieved from being just a member of the Shield. Ambrose’s feud with Bray Wyatt allowed him to showcase another layer of his character – yet he had already feuded with Wyatt during the Shield vs Wyatt family, which shows that you will always be able to show more when you’re alone. Reigns still is yet to develop something completely new, but had a small development during his feuds Bryan and Lesnar. Being a member of the Shield just would not allow these guys to do this at this stage of their careers. I do like your idea about the MITB stalking by all three members, but again, that would have been more about the Shield rather than whoever was the briefcase holder, thus, no character development.

Summary – You didn’t show enough for me to agree that it was too soon to break these guys up. The ideas you thought up had mostly be done already. After doing the Shield thing for a year and a half, these guys needed to break away to develop their characters.

Really like how you have explained that the Shield had nothing else to do as a faction. What I like about it is not that you have explained that on the current roster they would have just been revisiting feuds that they had already gone through (when it comes to the superstars near the top of the card). But you also realise that anyone new coming in, or thrown together that they hadn’t already faced would have just been a step backwards for the Shield. After feuding with the top guys in the business and main eventing Raws and PPVs, anything else but that would have been no use to their development.

You could have also added that if they did go the way of a new team from NXT, not only would it be dropping back down the card for the Shield, but it would either mean a new team has to come in and eat a loss straight away, or the Shield have to lose to upstarts. There is nothing to gain, but everything to lose for the Shield.

I think you make a great point that the break up allowed them to have a big story for the summer. I don’t agree that it was the number one story, as that belonged to Lesnar/Cena (no matter how many Raws Lesnar missed). Also, Reigns wasn’t really involved in it straight away, which never really made much sense and also showed that it wasn’t the main story, as he was their initial project following the project. However yes, the break up gave WWE something they needed during the summer period when a lot of people were missing – new rivalries and a new story.

The point on them breaking up to develop their individual characters for WrestleMania is correct, but I don’t think it had much to do with in ring. You use Reigns as an example here, that he needed to move on and have single matches in term to develop his ring work. But the WWE really dropped the ball here, as he was still heavily featuring in multi men matches. This is the reason why it should have happened, but WWE are too dumb to understand this it seems. But yes, it was indeed the right time for them to break up for the run up to WrestleMania and obviously that decision was validated by what happened in the main event of WrestleMania and what is still happening now with one member of that faction.

All in all I agree with many of your reasons on why it was time for the Shield to break up. As you say, the way it happened wasn’t the best, but the timing of it is hard to argue against and you have listed enough reasons here to prove that point.

Verdict: The winner of this debate is Baxter, for simple reasons that his points made a whole lot more sense to me. Curry's points would have not allowed the three guys to grow as much as they have now, which Baxter pointed out well.

Winner via Split Decision - Baxter

TDL Social Division Special Attraction Match
Andre vs ZOMBO

Which character was the most pivotal to Jurassic Park I's plot?

Spoiler for Debates:
At a first glance, there are two answers to this question. Therefore, it could be argued that the character who was of the most ‘crucial importance in relation to the development and success’(1) of Jurassic Park I's movie plot was…

Spoiler for Dennis Nedry:

Dennis, our answer isn’t in your hands, you’ve got butterfingers!

In that case, John Hammond?

My dear debate judges, welcome to…


…and that’s when the answer comes, not from the front, but from the side… from Dr. Alan Grant, who you didn’t even know was there.

Without Grant’s choices and acts of heroism, Jurassic Park’s plot would have barely existed.

To show that the dramatic Brachiosaurus sized reveal in the intro had a point, we first have to understand why Hammond is the wrong answer.

Being the eccentric billionaire park owner, visitors to my debate tour are possibly adamant that Hammond HAD to be the most pivotal character. No Hammond, no park. But that’s a really dumb conclusion.

Hammond had the cash, but lacked scientific creativity to make dinosaurs, unlike “the real miracle workers of Jurassic Park”, including Henry Wu and his team of geneticists. He didn’t have the I.T know how to create an automated jeep tour, unlike Nedry and Ray Arnold. He also had little knowledge of dinosaur behaviour and safety protocols, unlike Robert Muldoon.

Eventually it becomes obvious that the creation of Jurassic Park could never have been credited to one character. Even then, that creation simply produces a theme (park) concerning dinosaurs. Leaving it at that point, we’re left with a plotless wonder that would more likely be associated with Hammond’s real life brother David Attenborough. That’s a glorified pseudo-documentary, not a Hollywood blockbuster.

When analysing the actual development of the plot, Nedry looks integral. As the main human antagonist, he seemingly caused havoc in the park; stealing the embryos and turning off the park fences. However, he will have to remain totally unappreciated in his time. Nedry would have been fairly irrelevant without Grant’s wonderment.

Dr. Ian Malcolm, erm… was, uh… one of the cooler, more interesting characters in the, er… movie… but in terms of affecting the overall plot, his input was limited. However, Malcolm’s role as the narrator’s voice is important to this debate. With chaos theory ramblings, he foreshadowed the park’s downfall. This couldn’t be any more relevant than when he poured water on Ellie Sattler, dampening her hands, and quite possibly her knickers with his smooth talk.

“A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine”.

“Tiny variations… vastly affect the outcome”.
-Ian Malcolm

By flapping his “wings” and leaving the tour jeep hosting that conversation, Grant was the tiny variation, pivotal to Jurassic park’s plot. If he hadn’t exited to see the sick Triceratops, the tour wouldn’t have halted, delaying progression by over nine minutes. Instead, the following would have occurred:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, last shuttle to the dock leaves in approximately five minutes. Drop what you are doing and leave now.”-Ray Arnold

  • Arnold would have been able to bring the tourists straight back to the command centre, away from the park and impending storm, before Nedry hit the execute button for his virus and killed the power to the automated jeeps and electrified fences.

  • Hammond and the tourists would have been able to evacuate to the east dock via the shuttle with the other park workers. At worst Arnold and Muldoon are left behind, but can use the command centre’s safety bunker.

  • The power wouldn’t have cut out when the jeeps passed the T-Rex paddock; Gennaro wouldn’t entice the T-Rex out of her (his, if frog DNA made it grow a willy) paddock and cop his shit scary death on the toilet.

  • Ellie Sattler wouldn’t have had access to the petrol jeep that allowed her to save Malcolm and turn the park’s power back on.

  • Without the T-Rex attack, Hammond wouldn’t have panicked the uncooperative Arnold and Muldoon into re-booting the system in a naïve attempt to kill Nedry’s virus, freeing the Velociraptors; allowing them to kill Arnold and Muldoon and fight the T-Rex.

  • Without Hammond’s presence, Muldoon and Arnold would have brought the lysine contingency into play, killing off the dinosaurs while they hid in the bunker.

Minus Grant, Nedry’s scheming wouldn’t have led to anything resembling Jurassic Park’s plot. Nedry was merely the Barbasol cream on top of Grant’s plot pie.

“Who better to get the children through Jurassic Park, than a dinosaur expert?”-John Hammond

Even after Grant changed EVERYTHING, he had a huge role in ensuring the film had a successful ending, greatly assisting in making sure the human residents of Jurassic Park weren’t made extinct.

While Lex eventually hacked the Unix system, allowing Hammond to call for the helicopter, this would have been impossible without Grant; saving Lex from the T-Rex by telling her to keep still; carrying her to safety down the cliff; guiding her through the park; using his knowledge to dodge the T-Rex again. Lex was lucky to avoid a mauling from the six foot turkey’s in the kitchen, but she was far more fortunate to have (plot) chauffeur Grant to even get her to that point. Alan kept making a difference, long after Dennis died.

Even more pertinent within Grant’s interactions with the kids, is the only major example of character development in the movie. From hating children, to forming a strong bond with Lex and Tim, Grant’s character does a total, but natural, 180 turn; a HUGE development in making Jurassic Park’s plot an artistic success.

Although it’s not immediately obvious, it shouldn't take 65 billion years to conclude that Alan Grant’s character was the MOST pivotal to Jurassic Park’s plot. His actions affected the MOST outcomes which aided the development and success of the film’s plot.

Grant is chaos theory.

Grant is the ultimate hero.

Grant is major character development.

Grant is Jurassic Park’s plot.


(1)Pivotal definition

(2)Watch the movie, god damn it!

The character most pivotal to Jurassic Park’s plot is John Hammond. This is due how he drives the actual plot forward, the totality of his personal evolution and how he is the personification of the themes within the film.

“Welcome… to Jurassic Park”

That famous line was uttered by Hammond, only after revealing the true nature of his creation to the movie’s main characters. However, none of those individuals would be there without the prompting of Hammond. Before we get to that stage though, we must consider how Jurassic Park came to be, and how Hammond is the driving force behind it all.

65 Million Years in the Making

It goes without saying that without the John Hammond character, there is no Jurassic Park. He provides both the bankroll AND the creative motivation behind the park. We all know that Hammond “spared no expense” in terms of the park’s production. But we also get a touching look into the idealistic, if naive, mindset that drove Hammond to creating THIS type of park.

Originally Posted by John Hammond discussing his flea circus
With this place I wanted to show them something that wasn't an illusion. Something that was real, something that they could see and touch.(1)
Originally Posted by Hammond regarding the park’s attractions
We have made living biological attractions so astounding, that they'll capture the imaginations of the entire planet.(2)
Hammond’s goals are ultimately motivated by instilling joy and awe into others, an aim with merit indeed. However, he fails to foresee the inherent danger of his operation for some time, even with the warnings of others.

Evolution: A Process

The viewer is exposed at several points in the film to Hammond’s inherent naiveté. Hammond is constantly trying to rationalize the park, and minimize any “issues” that arise. At every turn, he is confronted by the other characters whose judgment is not clouded by his fantastical delusions.

When first debating with Dr. Malcolm about the irresponsibility of using science in a misguided attempt to control nature, Hammond equivocates what he did to saving condors from extinction. Malcolm sees right through this false premise and shuts Hammond’s argument down quickly, and nobody but the blood-sucking lawyer comes to Hammond’s defence. Here, the lawyer is blinded by money, while Hammond is blinded by his idealistic fantasy.(3)

This process repeats itself throughout the film. Hammond tries to compare Jurassic Park’s “delays” to Disneyland; Malcolm indicates how that comparison fails.(4) Hammond calls the lysine contingency “absolutely out of the question”, prioritizing the lives of his experiments even after they have begun costing people their lives.(5) After the flea circus story, Hammond is thinking of ways that everything can be corrected “next time”, before Sattler stops him cold.(6)

Only once Hammond’s idealistic vision is shattered is he able to focus on saving the people on the island, as opposed to preserving his grand experiment. We see the shift, subtly at first. When phone contact is re-established, his first words to Grant are asking about the children. Finally, and more definitively, when Grant states that he would not sign off on Jurassic Park, Hammond is in 100% affirmation.(7)

The Themes of Jurassic Park

The over-arching themes found within Jurassic Park are the notion of mankind trying to use science to conquer nature and the devastating effects of mankind’s unchecked pride and arrogance. Hammond encompasses both within his character.

He attempts to rely on scientists and technology, sparing no expense of course, to create his vision into a reality. However, his attempts to constrain nature go predictably awry. By the end of the movie, he realizes the issue with trying to control nature in this manner. Although not an area of this topic specifically, the sequel includes a line from Hammond that shows the extent to which he realized the error of his ways in Jurassic Park.(8)

With respect to pride and arrogance, Hammond’s isn’t one cultivated out of maliciousness or ill-intent. As shown earlier, Hammond’s vision was one that he wished would inspire awe within others. However, his arrogance in the technology used and his arrogance in thinking that sparing no expense was the answer to any issues resulted in him attempting to play God, to the endangerment of all others on the island.

While some characters are the embodiment of one thematic characteristic, such as Gennaro’s arrogant greed or Henry Wu’s confidence in the technology used to create the dinosaurs, nobody embodies both themes simultaneously in the manner that Hammond does.

What About Those Other Main Characters?

Some will point to Dr. Grant, Sattler, and even Malcolm as the most pivotal character in Jurassic Park’s plot. Although the movie may spend more screen-time on these characters than Hammond himself, resolution doesn’t happen until Hammond realizes the error of his ways.

The true struggle in this movie, the one that reconciles the themes, is the battle between these individuals attempting to snap Hammond out of his idealist reverie, allowing them to escape alive AND to ensure that he won’t attempt this type of creation again. In the end, the story is complete because Hammond is convinced that he is wrong, through the repeated arguments of ALL of the other main characters, as well as witnessing first-hand the devastation that occurred at his hands. Every other character serves to counter the main antagonist of the story – Hammond.

From the perspective of being inside the movie itself, there is literally no Jurassic Park without Hammond’s money and vision, so Hammond is ESSENTIAL to the plot in that regard. From a nuanced analysis of the film itself, Hammond is aligned with the negative connotations that Jurassic Park the movie whole is a commentary against. Appropriately, he provides the tension between arrogant, near-sighted idealism of man’s place in the world and harsh reality. The other characters serve to highlight this, and his mental evolution provides the resolution for the film. In the end, nature cannot be contained; man’s arrogance is his downfall. This shift is the plot that the viewer experiences, and it’s personified on-screen in John Hammond himself.



(1) At 1:45

(2) Any quotes unattributed to video clips can be found on this page.

(3) The condor argument begins around 2:00.

(4) See Note (2).

(5) At 1:40

(6) At 2:25

(7) At 2:30

(8) "It is absolutely imperative that we work with the Costa Rican Department of Biological Preserves to establish a set of rules for the preservation and isolation of that island. These creatures require our absence to survive, not our help. And if we could only step aside and trust in nature, life will find a way." - John Hammond, The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
I love these kinds of intros when they’re done right as you immediately know you’re in for a good read. This is what elite-level debating should be about. Not just putting arguments across but entertaining the fuck out of the readers as you do it.

Interesting that you open with countering your opponent’s choice; it’s almost as if you knew what character he would argue for! You had a nice dissection of Hammond’s involvement in the creation of Jurassic Park, revealing that the immediately apparent reasons why he should be the answer to this debate question actually end up inviting numerous other candidates into consideration, such as Wu, Nedry and Muldoon.

Your subsequent focus on and dismissal of Nedry was technically poor, but wasn’t important as nobody else was arguing for him anyway. Perhaps this bit could have been cut? Maybe you saw it as a way of bridging into the next character mention, but it didn’t seem particularly necessary. You could have skipped this admittedly small paragraph and gone straight into CHAOS THEORY.

The introduction of Dr Ian Malcom was masterful in the way you used it to segue into your opening argument for Grant. Your bullet-point explanation of how much Grant’s initial actions paved the way for the plot to develop as it did was excellent, as was the reveal that Grant was the one who ensured the plot ended up where it was supposed to.

The Barbasol cream on top of your debate pie was certainly the paragraph describing Grant’s character development in terms of his opinion of children, although there is a part of me that thinks that individual character developments do not a plot make, except when they do, but Jurassic Park is hardly about a man overcoming his dislike of children. Your opponent included a similar element as one of the cornerstones of his stance so I will have to spend some time pondering the significance of these individual character developments and their relevance to a plot that doesn’t particularly depend upon character development (or does it?). It’s definitely a three-pipe problem, as I must consider whether Jurassic Park would be a different film if either of the characters you both chose hadn’t undergone the highlighted character developments.

Your conclusion rounded up all the arguments you made and hit them in my face one more time before signing out on a high. The best part of this debate is how you kept tying everything back to the plot and the debate question itself. After reading this, it is genuinely difficult to imagine a debate that could beat it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have to imagine it.

There’s definitely no arguing with two of the three criteria you open with, though the character development one will have to go some way to impress me (as I mentioned more in depth to your opponent).

You make a good point about none of the characters being there if it wasn’t for Hammond. Though short and sweet, it’s an especially crucial argument because your opponent made a worthy point about Hammond needing other people to make the park happen (and thus inferring he is not that singularly important to the park’s creation as he needed others), but you show me here that he is the only one who brings them all together. While the others are technically interchangeable and/or replaceable, Hammond is the only one who remains necessary or there really is no film at all.

You then go on to obliterate your opponent’s argument that Grant is the only character who undergoes a personality development. Bravo, especially as you tied it into the plot a hell of a lot better than your opponent did. You win hands down when these two arguments are placed side by side. I also liked how you showed how Hammond encompassed both themes of the film, the devastating effects of mankind’s pride and arrogance and the conquest of nature through technology. This was something missing from your opponent’s debate.

Your final section and lead in to the conclusion was magnificent and is probably what put some daylight between the two debates. Showing how all the other characters (including Grant) were there to serve the plot journey of Hammond was an excellent way of not only swinging one last haymaker for the cause, but also belittling any attempts at putting a case for the other characters.

As good a read as your opponent’s, but this was a fair bit weightier and a lot more convincing.

I wasn’t convinced by Andre’s inclusion of Grant’s character development being crucial to the ‘artistic success’ of Jurassic Park’s plot, especially as it was simply just a man getting over his dislike of children (which was not important to the plot at all as the film would have been pretty much the same had Grant remained non-plussed with kids by the end). Andre also claimed it was the only example of character development which was blown out of the water by ZOMBO’s description of Hammond’s development, which was also tied to the plot much more convincingly. I think one area where Andre was definitely superior was the Chaos Theory reckoning of Grant’s actions driving the plot as it played out. This section caused me to ponder for three whole pipes before making my decision. While that section of Andre’s debate is undoubtedly superior in terms of tying it all into various plot points of the film, ZOMBO was much more consistent and relevant throughout its entirety. Andre did have a much more entertaining intro (as well as a couple of other parts), but ZOMBO’s conclusion is a masterclass in how to sign off a debate. It reaffirmed many of the arguments previously made but in a new and more directly succinct manner which, combined with a slightly more consistent debate overall, was more convincing than Andre. Thus, the winner is ZOMBO.


You’ve clearly gone for the entertainment angle here, which is always nice to read. However, you’re 130-160 words in before you make your initial argument, which is less nice.

You’re dismissal of Hammond early is quite a risky tactic, as it means you are focusing more on the negatives in the debate than the positives. In this case, it works quite well as your debate always reads as though you are in control of the direction. I think you don’t analyse Hammond enough and his absolute unyielding determination to keep the park going, but it still comes across as a confident dismissal.

Again, your dismissals of Nedry and Malcolm are fairly brief but it is structured in a way that it all comes together a bit in the next section. The link from Chaos Theory to one pivotal plot point is nicely done and I think you have chosen an important moment to consider. Of course, you can probably do this with dozens of moments and hypothesise the effects, but this seems well considered.

You make up for a portion of the words you lose owing to eccentric writing with the bullet points. All in all, they are hard to argue with and they emphasise the importance of the plot point and character you are arguing for. Good section, no real complaints from me.

Your section about Grant and Lex is pretty good, as well. Again, you build your arguments up using reasonable logic. Between this and the section above, it does seem as though you have considered the question thoroughly with regards to how you structured your entry, which I place great importance on as a judge.

I take a little bit of umbrage with your character development point, though. I agree that Grant had the best character development, but I think you are missing out on more Hammond analysis when it really should have been addressed. As I glance down my word document, I can see that your opponent will be arguing for Hammond. I think you’ve left a little creak in the door, but it will take a very good entry to beat what was a well organised and quite convincing debate. My only advice would be to toe the line between expressive writing and the depth of arguments you need.


You’ve very quickly gone for Hammond. You have close to a free pass for this, so I’m interested to see how you argue for this point and how well you dismiss Grant.

You give the simple point the short shrift it deserves to open up but you do well to add in the fact he makes sure all the other characters make it to the park in the first place. Also, well done for saying 65 million years in the making rather than billion. If the debate is absolutely level at the end, that will give you the win.

Your evolution section is ok, but it doesn’t drive home the point you are making enough. Everything you are writing is correct, but it would be a better section if you really correlated the discussions you highlight with the importance of Hammond to the plot. That said, the way you end the section is good, by mentioning the character development that your opponent did not consider.

Your themes section is also pretty solid. In particular the way you make Hammond seem as the personification of the message of the film. I don’t put a lot of stock into your quote from the sequel, although I do get why you put it in there.

When we reach the counters section of your debate it all goes a little flat for me. What you are saying is valid and it certainly adds to your debate but I would have much rather seen this section systematically rule out other contenders. As it is, you just used other people being involved in Hammond’s character arc as a reason to make him seem more pivotal. It doesn’t work for me and I can’t really accept the notion that they are there to serve as a counter to Hammond.

Beyond that disappointment, you do wrap the debate up nicely. Your conclusion is a good summation of the points you have already made. In fact, your last two lines are the best in your debate and the value of a memorable ending cannot be overstated.

On the whole, the debate is well written and good in the positive points that it makes but the dismissals of the other characters was disappointingly lacking, which is a shame.


I enjoyed judging this. Two different answers, two very different styles with several of the same flaws in each. It all makes for a good contest.

Clearly both of you know the subject matter very well and I think you could have both filled a much larger word count.

That said, what does not make it into a debate can be just as important as what does make the cut, which I think is a crucial factor in this contest.

Both entries lacked in the rebuttals to other characters but Andre did at least directly counter the choice of ZOMBO. In the end, I think that’s what has swung it in my mind. Another one that could feasibly be a split, but my vote goes to Andre.

I go with Andre.

Andre clinches it with the butterfly wings thing. I'd never even thought of that in regards to the plot, but Grant is definitely the most pivotal character when looking at it in this manner. It doesn't really matter that Hammond created the park and all that that entails. Hammond is critical to the setting. Grant's actions, once inside the setting, are what continually drive the plot.

Winner via Split Decision - Andre

TDL Wrestling Division Special Attraction Match
Seabs vs Evolution vs Magic

Was the finish to Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker at Summerslam 2015 a good finish?

Spoiler for Debates:

Was the finish to Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker at Summerslam 2015 a good finish?

"Good Finish" implies that any negatives of said finish were minimal and without damaging effects to business that were impossible to avoid (e.g. inevitable to either do another non-finish or beat a top star). This finish had loads of faults both in the context of the isolated match and the long-term business for WWE, faults which could have also been avoided.

Note: "the finish" should apply to not only the idea but also the execution.

Having to beat either wasn't an easy call but it was a call that HAD to be made. WWE wanted a finish where neither really lost but the reality was EVERYONE lost. Taker tapped, Brock was choked out and the "WWE Universe" were robbed of a decisive finish YET AGAIN.

WWE hyping up major matches and not giving the audience a decisive conclusion has been an ugly trend for a whole year now. See Reference [1] for the development of this trend.

Notice how "Clean Finish" has become a rare exception to the rule. WWE hasn't ended a PPV with a clean finish in HALF A YEAR and only had a decisive one guy straight up beat the other(s) ending to a main event TWICE IN TWELVE MONTHS. The more this trend continues the more fans will lose patience and soon they'll just stop caring about even marquee matches as they'll lose confidence of seeing a satisfyingly decisive finish.

WWE also managed to kill two of the biggest rubs they had available in one match where nobody actually benefited from said rubs.

Undertaker tapped out. That deserves repeating. UNDERTAKER. TAPPED OUT. That's a rub that you give to someone to make them an overnight sensation, not to the guy who you already gave your biggest rub ever to, who is already as legit as it gets, who is only a part-timer in the later stages of his WWE career and who honestly isn't attracting enough extra business to warrant pumping this much equity into him over other options who need it more. Nobody is looking at Brock any differently for tapping out Taker and he isn't any more of a selling point for doing so. Now he's a babyface, Heyman can't even use it for heat.

It was just a total waste of a MASSIVE rub which should have been saved for someone whose value WWE wanted to sky-rocket by tapping Undertaker out and laying him to rest in his final match. Scenario: Undertaker says he'll retire next time he loses and then some new kid not only beats him but forces him to quit. That's how you use a rub effectively to transfer equity from one act to another. This just deleted the equity all together.

The other big rub was beating Lesnar. Yes it wasn't without shenanigans but it still happened and now WWE can't market Lesnar as being undefeated. Wording is key in selling accomplishments and Cole yelling "the first guy to beat Lesnar in 5 years if you dismiss his loss to Undertaker which was sort of a loss but not really" kinda kills the whole thing dead. It's still a big thing if Brock stays protected but it's not as big as it was. And again, that hit didn't yield any rewards.

One of the key arguments in favour of the finish is that it setup the rematch well. And yes it did. But not without doing a ton of damage to both competitors and the product first. Now sometimes hits are unavoidable and you just have to take them. This was not one of those cases.

Scenario: Brock pins Taker clean here. Taker comes back for Wrestlemania and demands one last match with Brock, this time with his career on the line. Basically you do the HBK/Undertaker angle but with Taker in the reversed role this time. Yes you have to beat Taker again but that's one of those unavoidable hits and a loss to BROCK LESNAR isn't killing Taker's drawing power. Any possible hit is more than outweighed by the story it allows you to tell with Undertaker's career being on the line at Wrestlemania against the only person to beat him at Wrestlemania who he just can't defeat. And there you have your major attraction for Wrestlemania.

Yeah the finish did set up a third match effectively but that destination was reachable without all that collateral damage.

Another aspect of the finish that was frankly terrible was the booking of Undertaker. Now people can make storylines out of Taker's heel shtick but the fact of the matter is that they're making their own stories up. Undertaker being obsessed with beating Lesnar and resorting to these lengths to avenge his Streak isn't a story that WWE themselves are telling. Nobody even knows if Undertaker is supposed to be face or heel. Either he's a face doing tons of heel spots or WWE are trying to make UNDERTAKER a heel that fans turn on. Either way, BAD BOOKING.

And then there's also the execution of the finish they chose. The timekeeper calling the submission is more evidence of WWE just making the rules up as they go along and more reasoning for fans to lose interest. Again, it's not even the best way to do said finish. Scenario: Heyman sees Taker tap, jumps into the ring, tells Brock he's won, Brock lets go. Ref explains he didn't see Taker tap and the match is still ongoing, Taker regains control from the distraction and wins. Same idea but executed better.

But other than that the execution was great (assuming you ignore the timekeeper not having a clear viewpoint, the ref not checking Brock's arm three times and thus killing a great suspense spot and Taker not selling the Kimura he just tapped out to).

So no, the finish wasn't good. It wasn't satisfying in isolation and in the big picture it did significant damage to WWE's future potential, but worst of all, all this damage was all rather easily avoidable.

Spoiler for References:
[1] Major PPV Match Finishes:
Night of Champions: Brock Lesnar vs John Cena - No Finish.
Hell In A Cell: John Cena vs Randy Orton - Clean Finish.
Hell In A Cell: Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose - No Clean Finish. Interference.
Survivor Series: Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt - No Finish.
Survivor Series: Team Cena vs Team Authority - Satisfactory but still No Clean Finish. Interference.
TLC: John Cena vs Seth Rollins - No Clean Finish. Interference Galore.
TLC: Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt - Errrr. Unsatisfactory at least.
Royal Rumble: Brock Lesnar vs John Cena vs Seth Rollins - No.... WOAH. CLEAN FINISH.
Fast Lane: John Cena vs Rusev - No Clean Finish.
Fast Lane: Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan - Clean Finish.
Wrestlemania: Triple H vs Sting - SHENANIGANS.
Wrestlemania: John Cena vs Rusev - Sort of Clean Finish but with Interference.
Wrestlemania: Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt - Clean Finish
Wrestlemania: Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns - Good Finish but still a No Finish.
Extreme Rules: Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton - No Clean Finish. KANE.
Payback: Seth Rollins vs Randy Orton vs Dean Ambrose vs Roman Reigns - No Clean Finish. KANE.
Elimination Chamber: John Cena vs Kevin Owens - Clean Finish.
Elimination Chamber: Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose - No Finish.
Money In The Bank: John Cena vs Kevin Owens - Clean Finish.
Money In The Bank: Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose - Not Really a Clean Finish.
Battleground: John Cena vs Kevin Owens - Clean Finish.
Battleground: Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar - No Finish.
Summerslam: Seth Rollins vs John Cena - No Clean Finish.
Summerslam: Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker - No Clean Finish.


Not only was the finish to Lensar vs. Undertaker awful, but the creative team actually managed to produce the WORST possible finish to the match.

Let’s go over what would have made the finish “good”:

1)Lesnar, the current monster in the WWE, going over and cementing the fact that Taker can’t keep up with him.

2) Undertaker finishing the match without hurting his credibility or looking weak

3) A conclusion to the feud

Annnnnnnd they failed to do any of this. Lesnar forced Taker to tap, the ref missed the tap and the ring keeper randomly called the match, and then Lesnar lost. The end result? This feud is headed for a third match, when in reality a second match wasn’t even needed in the first place.

They could have gone in many directions after the match had Lesnar won, but instead WWE booked themselves into a corner with a horrendous finish. Lesnar already broke the streak; he got the massive rub off of Taker and there was honestly nothing else to gain for him in this match. And yet Lesnar winded up with a loss against a man he absolutely dominated previously, which doesn’t help strengthen Lesnar’s character of being an unstoppable animal. That is why this finish was awful; it did nothing for either man while continuing a feud that never needed a second match. Lesnar SHOULD go over in the third match, but it won’t establish anything that wasn’t already established after he broke the streak.

Let’s consider for a moment that Lesnar wrestles roughly 4 PPV matches a year. That means by him not going over Taker at Summerslam they’ve set themselves up for another rubber match, likely within the year, meaning that HALF of Lesnar’s PPVs matches will be wasted on Taker. The same case can be applied to Taker that wrestles about 2 matches a year, which means he’s wasting his last few matches of his career going against someone that already got everything they could have gotten out of him (from a rub standpoint).

And the controversial win did absolutely nothing for Taker either. Taker tapping out and then having to resort to a low blow completely tarnishes his win and legacy. He’s rarely ever needed to resort to dirty tactics in the past and since the 2000s his only tap out came against Angle at No Way Out 2006. But of course WWE needed to have both happen in the last 5 minutes of the match in order to somehow solidify Lesnar>Taker without Lesnar actually picking up the win. This lacks any logic or reason.

Taking into account future events, Taker absolutely did not need this win considering he likely only has a few matches left in his career. All they needed to do was show that Taker is capable of hanging in there with Brock Lesnar, which he was doing all the way up until he was forced to tap out. Now you might suggest that Taker needing to resort to such dirty tactics helps make Lesnar look strong, but we were already aware that Lesnar was dominant from his victory over Taker at mania. The only difference here is that Lesnar ended up taking a loss. Lesnar gained absolutely nothing from the match and Taker was essentially made out to look like a weak heel that needed a dumb chain of events in order to stand a chance again Lesnar.

You might be wondering how they could have allowed Taker to lose again without making him look weak. Well, having Taker pass out to Lesnar’s submission rather than tapping out to him would have hit the end on all the of things that I pointed out that would have made the finish good. Lesnar goes over Taker in a dominating fashion; Taker refuses to tap and is simply put out of commission, which might make him look weak in a sense as he couldn’t break free, but it also would have made him out to be resilient; and most importantly, the feud would have been over, allowing both men to move on.

Instead the finish hurt the only possible argument in favour of continuing this feud: the matches bring in fans and money. By having Taker win in such a meekly manner, they’ve made it clear that he isn’t Lensar’s equal. This begs the question as to why fans would even be interested in a third match? What more could they do in a third match that would attract viewers after making Taker look inferior in these last two matches? Knowing WWE they’ll throw in a match stipulation, but adding in a gimmick won’t change the fact the fact that Taker has not looked on par with Lensar in either of the matches and fans simply won’t buy into the fact that Lensar has anything left to prove against Taker as the only reason he didn’t beat him at Summerslam was because the ref missed Taker tapping out and everyone that was watching knows that.

That is why it was important for Lensar to go over in this match and simply end the feud. Both men could have moved on and if WWE really needed another money match then Lensar/Rock would generate massive interest for any big PPV and Taker could have attempted to “redeem” himself at Wrestlemania against a different worthy opponent, Cena for instance. Neither man had to come out of this looking bad and somehow the creative team managed to make them both look worse than they were coming into the match. And as the breaking point, this will only result in one more match where we will likely be shown that Lesnar, once again, is more dominant than Taker.


Do you define a match with a “good finish” to be one that gives arguably the biggest rubs in current WWE to a 50 year-old part timer who doesn’t need it? No? What about an ending that leaves both the fans in attendance and those watching at home unsatisfied and questioning what happens moving forward? I’m still not selling you on it? That’s because the ending to Undertaker and Brock Lesnar’s main event match at Summerslam wasn’t a good finish by any tangible means. Both in the immediate sense of the actual PPV for the fans watching AND the long-term effect that the result had for the roster. It had NO benefit to anyone aside from two funny gif moments for us to laugh about.

Since ending the Undertakers undefeated streak at Wrestlemania almost two years ago, the BEAST BAHROCK LESZNARRR has been on one of the hottest runs in recent WWE history. Being neither pinned nor submitted in something like a two-year stretch as Cole indulged in reminding us every week. While this may have seemed unnecessarily booked to some, it seemed like the real reason for it was to give someone from the main roster the huge rub for conquering him in a big match setting, similar to the type of rub HE received for beating Taker.

Enter 50 year-old up and coming star Undertaker! Wait... Let’s try that again… Enter 50 year-old part-part timer Undertaker (that’s better). Fresh off beating Bray Wyatt clean at Wrestlemania 31 for some reason, he inexplicably decides to go and get back his aforementioned Wrestlemania loss. With a plan for revenge that was so meticulous it took nearly two years to create (that or he just forgot about it in his old age), Taker picks up what most would define as a “technicality win” against the man who beat him by kicking him in the nuts a few times and making him pass out. Justice is served!

The real long-term issue with the result is that while Undertaker only technically won the match and while Lesnar hardly looked weak, the rub that has been getting built up for almost two years has lost a lot of it’s shine. Wouldn’t it have been a lot more beneficial for the eventual conqueror of Brock that he be the first to “pin or submit Brock Lesnar in x years”? Doesn’t that sound a lot better than what we have now? Wouldn’t it be BETTER for Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins to be that guy rather than old man Taker? Where is the long-term benefit to Undertaker taking that W? There is none.

People may say “beating Brock would still have a great rub regardless of the loss” and they’re right. I’m not refuting that point at all, what I am saying is that the finish that they had at Summerslam was bad because the rub is now no longer as good as it was. No longer as beneficial as it would have been to the person to beat Brock. To put it in perspective, would it have been better for Seth Rollins to get the exact same win as Undertaker in the same position? Absolutely. It would have single-handedly legitimised an otherwise average title reign and strengthened Rollins’ status as a main-event worthy guy in kayfabe terms. It was a wasted rub.

But enough about the boring long-term impacts and wasted opportunities to elevate full-time roster members, let’s get to the important part; the actual finish to the match and how unsatisfying it was.

A growing trend that I’ve noticed in WWE PPV programming is weird finishes for important matches that seem to be booked entirely for the benefit of those watching at home, forsaking those in attendance. You only have to go back to Rollins/Ambrose at MITB to see an example of this “instant replay finish” in action. There are a number of detriments that these finishes have as well as one glaring inconsistency this match in particular creates which leaves almost all fans unsatisfied.

The problem in the context of the PPV is that it impacts the quality of the product that’s being put out. The crowd is such an important aspect of the atmosphere of the show and does influence how we watching at home react to a match. The crowd creates emotional investment and heightens our responses to spots, results and “moments”. The false-finish aspect of the match at Summerslam completely neutered the crowd. They had no fucking idea what was going on, neither did we. The biggest difference being that they didn’t have the benefit of commentary or "instant replay” with people explaining it to give them closure or understanding. The result was that the WWE killed the crowd for the actual finish leaving people unsatisfied going home.

There could be an argument made that the sort of finish we endured was all planned to further a feud between the two and set up for an even bigger, THIRD AND FINAL MATCH at another PPV. Well neither Taker nor Brock have been seen in any real capacity since, the feud hasn’t been continued and even if it was and let’s say that Brock won the tie-breaker. Does that restore the rub to its full kayfabe glory once again? No. Do you really want to see a third match?

The finish between Taker and Brock was detrimental to so many aspects of the product as well as the fan enjoyment both at home and in attendance that it was far from a “good finish”. The fact it was Taker that received the rub over a full-time wrestler on the roster that could have used the elevation to legitimise the week-to-week standard of the show is a glaring example of that. Combine that with the dissatisfaction of the fans in attendance and how it impacted the product for those watching at home as well as the little-to-no closure given to an unnecessary feud moving forward. It’s impossible to say that it was a “good finish”.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Right, obviously we are rocking a ludicrously late results card so I’ll understandably make this pretty brief. Honestly, there aren’t any particularly widespread problems with any of them either, so just mild pointers to come.


Your intro is ok. The main problem with it is that it doesn’t particularly grab my attention. I also fundamentally disagree with the implication you take from good ending but it’s still justified well throughout so it’s not a particular problem. The first paragraph or two are also ok in the respect that the content is alright but I’m just not particularly into it at this point. In any case, your debate really gets going with your PPV statistics. I like the message here that a good finish can only be achieved by cultivating an expectation of a good finish over time. Good stuff.

Unlike many people, I honestly don’t mind marquee names going against each other often is it generates interest. You can’t always give a rub and sometimes you just need to go all guns blazing. However, you justify your stance on the issue pretty well and your point about the audience’s perception of Brock is spot on. Overall your section about the diminishing rubs is pretty well hammered home but I do feel you could have trimmed the words here slightly. For example, you spend 15% of your debate giving two hypothetical scenarios that, while helpful to your point, are not helpful enough to commit that much of your effort to.

Even though the writing style of your debate early on was lacking a little, the fact you included the small bit about execution was useful if not essential. Again you use an overly long scenario to back up your point but the rule-bending and penultimate paragraph are more than good enough to negate the downside of that.

Then your conclusion reiterates your point nicely but lacks the knockout blow of the best debates.

On the whole, a pretty good debate. My advice would be to allocate your words a little better and be a bit more forceful.


This gets off to an instantly better start than Seabs. The content isn’t dramatically different, but you pack much more of a punch. I disagree with you that a third match isn’t needed because I think there is no harm in continuing the feud, but it’s a good beginning to the debate nonetheless.

The next paragraph is better. You are very assertive throughout. You make any rubber match feel redundant solely because of their decision making over the Summerslam match. Convincing section here.

The next part of your debate doesn’t hit home for me. Yeah he doesn’t have a lot to personally gain from Taker anymore, but you can say that Brock has probably reached maximum levels of legitimacy as it is so I don’t see why it can’t be with Taker that he produces his matches. We also know that Lesnar has a multi-year contract so it’s not like this is his retirement tour. I get the point you were going for, it just didn’t work for me.

Again, I have some problems with your next section. I can’t take it seriously when you say it tarnishes his legacy. The rest is not bad at all. The next part about Lesnar not needing any legitimacy goes hand in hand with what I mentioned earlier, and I think you cover it a lot better here.

Your hypothetical situation is alright as well. As I have mentioned, I think a third match is ok but I do appreciate that you are trying to add another layer to the Undertaker character we have all been party to for so many years.

I am trying not to unfairly judge your remark about the match stipulation since I already know about the Hell in a Cell, but I do think that you were a bit dismissive of the added interest of a good stipulation as it can feasibly tip the odds back towards Taker in the eyes of many fans.

Your last paragraph is neither a fully-fledged argument nor a conclusion however you do quickly cover the point that there are other options for each man, which is a helpful final point to push into the equation. Your parting sentence is not too bad, although I would have liked for you to emphasise that it is pointless to re-emphasise something you have been arguing that fans know.

On the whole, another good effort. I currently have you slightly ahead of Seabs, so let’s see what the last one can pull out of the bag.


We’ve progressively got better with the intros in this matchup and this one is the best of the lot. While, like I’ve said, I can suspend disbelief enough so that the old guy can win the matches, it is the confusion and dissatisfaction that solidifies this as a good intro.

The second section of your debate is less strong because it takes you too many words to say that Brock was positioned to give somebody else the big rub. Even going on to your lampooning of the Undertaker you use a lot of words to make your point. It’s an enjoyable read, it’s just about mastering the payoff for the amount of words that you invest. Content wise, there isn’t anything to really argue with which is a positive.

When you talk about the rub losing shine I find it hard to disagree with the way you have put it. However, we both still know that clean win over Brock by a younger guy will retain most if not all of the magnitude.

Actually, reading on it seems you pre-empted my counter-point. Always a little bit embarrassing for a judge but I do still maintain that the rub can be made to be every bit as effective as it would have been. That said, your point about Rollins getting a similar win is valid, even if the build-up of the story would not have foreshadowed it as well.

When I read that you are now talking about the finish itself, it strikes me that this is a weird order to approach the points you make. However, I like the way the debate is framed. Here is why it was a mistake going forward and here is how they did not maximise the emotional and instantaneous payoff. If you added the section about the lack of clean PPV wins WWE books like Seabs, then this would have been great. In its current form, though, it certainly still makes the desired point.

Your next section about the crowd influencing opinion is something that is too often overlooked and I enjoyed that you explored this aspect of the topic. Maybe you could have trimmed a few words off here but all in all I really enjoyed this take on it, which was lacking in the other debates.

As with Magic, I will forego the fact that I know the next match is booked. Honestly, I am interested in the third match but I do get that you are using this section to solidify previous points. Always a good debate tactic. Every additional point should link to and reinforce previous statements.

Again I read your last paragraph and it is a cross between an argument and a conclusion. It’s a personal thing, but I love to end on a money statement, which is missing here. I also think that the last argument you use is not your strongest, but I do like that you quickly revisit some of the ground you covered earlier.

Just like the others, this is a debate I personally disagree with at a few sections but one that is argued well enough to make that mostly irrelevant. Another good debate to add to the two offered by your opponents.


As I mentioned earlier, I feel that Magic pipped Seabs. I also mentioned that a very good effort would be required to win. I feel like that was delivered. As a result, it goes Evolution in first place, Magic in second, and Seabs in what is a very harshly awarded third place. I think all three of these would beat most competitors in regular competition.

So, to summarise, it goes CBA, just like half of our judges approach to this card.

Nice opening, establishing the parameters of the debate and I will try to fight the urge to adjust them. The intro and opening paragraph brought a lot of clarity to the question at hand.

You then lay out two main reasons why the finish was awful (fan dissatisfaction at constant dusties and the loss of two big rubs) and the way you present them is practically impossible to argue with. You go into good descriptive detail regarding the wasted rub of someone making Taker tap and this is perhaps one of the strongest arguments for me personally (though all of three you made it).

You dealt competently with the pro-good finish argument of it setting up a rubber, and I liked that you used an alternative scenario to establish a better way of doing just that. Of course, your way depends on Taker retiring next year which is very possible, though it’s also possible he still enjoys turning up a handful of times a year for one or two matches and we’ll see him do it for a couple or more Wrestlemanias yet. Having a non-WM programme certainly indicates he’s got the bug for it again. Who really knows though.

I’m not sure if I agree with you regarding the telling of Taker’s story, regarding whether he’s a heel or a face. There’s a part of me that likes to think they were letting us make up our own minds about it and the whole point was for us to project whatever we liked onto the events. Of course, that part of me is very stupid.

You definitely had a good point about the execution of the finish and while you didn’t go into a lot of detail here, the alternative scenario served you well as a way to perform that same finish without the timekeeper fuckery.

You had a rather good finish yourself (I’ll try not to make that pun for each of the judgements, though no promises), using the bait and switch and then hammering home the main arguments you made one more time. This was a really good debate.

I had immediate pangs of doubt regarding your introduction, mostly because you seem to come at this straight from a personal opinion angle rather than chucking unarguable points at me. Both Seabs and Magic opened with some relatively unarguable points which set the tone for their following arguments. What makes a ‘good finish’ is a pretty broad subject and narrowing it down as you did rather than laying out exactly why it was a bad finish wasn’t the best approach in this humble judge’s opinion.

You carry this theme on with the paragraph about there not needing to be a second match, but it’s not unreasonable that Taker would come after the man who broke his streak and then constantly mouthed off about it. Sure, it was strange that he took so long etc, but you could apply the ‘they don’t NEED another match’ to lots of feuds once somebody has won one match. It’s not that what you’re saying here doesn’t have worth, but again it’s more of an opinion piece rather than convincingly persuasive writing. You do finish the section on a good point about Lesnar going over in the rubber not establishing anything for him that wasn’t already there from the streak win. But maybe it’s not always about a feud doing something for someone. Maybe they were just trying to tell a story they wanted to tell.

I suppose it’s a good point regarding the waste of half of Lesnar’s PPV appearances, but again this is presented as simply your opinion without much convincing prose accompanying it. Surely it’s only a waste if nobody enjoys the matches, and some vocal smarks on a forum e-shouting their opinions at everybody about it hardly constitutes everyone.

Saying the finish completely tarnishes Taker’s legacy is hyperbole of the highest order.

Passing out to the Kimura lock also wouldn’t work. It’s an armbar (or double wrist lock or whatever). An armbar that will fuck you up, but an armbar. Nobody passes out to armbars. You had the right idea here, don’t get me wrong, but a little more thought into what you were actually suggesting would have served this section much better. Why not suggest Lesnar puts Taker in the Hell’s Gate for the pass out, exactly as it finished but in reverse, maybe with Taker doing his eye roll up and tongue thing before passing out instead of the middle finger. Or some other move common in MMA, where they could talk about Lesnar’s experience in UFC helping him win etc.

Your next section about Taker being viewed as inferior to Lesnar and how the draw of their match isn’t really there anymore now we’ve seen his streak broken and an attempted tap out is spot on and the conclusion is decent enough.

You have a very strong introduction which is very well written. I really liked how you went on to expose the inconsistency of Taker’s long-term revenge plan coming after stopping off to beat Wyatt. That was certainly a little odd and segued well into your arguments regarding the loss of shine to the rub.

Now, a quick point that’s bugging me, I do get what you say about the rub losing its shine (all three of you made a similar point), but technically they can still say no one has pinned or tapped Lesnar as he passed out without tapping. That’s just a small quibble as this section is still very good. The Rollins comparison was especially apt.

You then hit on an awesome point that your opponents didn’t, with the section talking about how such instant reply finishes affect the live attendance. The crowd killing aspect of the finish was a good argument to raise and you argued it well.

I don’t actually have much in the way of criticism for what you’ve written. It’s all on point and entertainingly presented. However, I do note that you’ve only made two main arguments (loss of shine to the rub and the impact on the crowd), so I’ll have to see how they weigh up against your opponents’ more diverse though less meaty offerings.

This is definitely between Seabs and Evolution. Magic presented a lot of opinions, with some of them not particularly well thought out. Of course, this is just my opinion, but both Seabs and Evolution were far more convincingly written. I wouldn’t normally give points to a debate with less arguments than their opponents, but I have to make an exception here. Seabs definitely made some additional points which helped their cause, certainly in comparison to Magic, but the entertaining execution prevalent throughout Evolution and the thoroughness of the arguments presented just about tip the scales in their favour. The section regarding the impact the finish had the on the live crowd, and the subsequent effect the live crowd has on those watching at home was magnificent and almost deserves the win on its own, considering the rub point was also the main crux of the other debates. There may have been a chance for Seabs to cut back on some other stuff and expand on the poor execution paragraph near the end of their debate, but it just didn’t have enough oomph the way it was presented, so, by a nose, Evolution is the winner.


I enjoyed the setup of "everyone losing" here, from the perspectives of each wrestler but as well as the fans.

Small critique: with respect to the lack of decisive finishes to matches, and the trend that WWE is on in using those, if this truly a major point that helps you? They've had fuckery in the finish of matches since as far back as I remember, especially at the height of fandom during the Attitude Era. If they're consistently doing something, there has to be a reason based on their numbers.

The part about "transferring equity" (I love this expression) was excellent. The area about getting to the third match was well done too. No complaints there whatsoever.

I wasn't crazy about the scenario about the suggested change of execution to the finish. What you sell as a "better" way is still pretty meh to me. I know you were trying to maintain the theme of the decision being easily avoidable by producing some of your own booking solutions/ideas in there but for me, personally, this type of approach isn't all that preferential. I feel that one or two suggestions is plenty in a debate.

Still, despite my nitpicks I thought this was a very well-written debate.


An interesting setup, with your definition of what could make the finish good. Points 1 and 2 make sense, but I'm not sure that a "conclusion" necessarily means a good finish - if there is more money to be made on something, or a longer story to tell, you don't need to wrap it up.

That said, I felt that you were able to touch on a lot of similar points to Seabs, but in a quicker, more efficient manner ie: losing the rub. Although some of your statements are inane hyperbole (Taker's legacy being "completely" tarnished), the rest of your arguments are sound.

The analysis of how few matches each guy has in a calendar year or, remaining in his career in Taker's case, was well done. You give one area of the "fantasy booking" type stuff that I commented on in Seabs', but this made sense given how it flowed.

Your section on continuing the feud was a weak spot for me. The whole stipulation of HiaC, no-DQ, is a perfect remedy for a desperate Taker to unload whatever he has left on Lesnar, but also the perfect scenario for Lesnar to be at his unrelenting best - where there is no escape. That said, I'm not sure if that match was even announced yet when these were submitted, so I won't hold this against you too much.

A very well written debate.


This one undoubtedly had the most personality, from the rhetorical opening questions to the language used throughout, which made for an enjoyable read, particularly when the language doesn't diminish your arguments within.

Like Seabs and Magic, you discuss the effects of the "rub" being lost in an effective manner. I thought the remainder of your arguments with respect to booking long-term were on point.

What sets this entry apart from the other two was the analysis of the unsatisfying feeling in REAL TIME as the match concluded. I thought this detail was wonderful and really added to your debate. Managing to make arguments that your opponents did in your opening half, while being able to add a little extra in the second half really won me over.

A third extremely well-written entry.


All three debates were main-card class, in my opinion. That said, Evolution was the entry that had a little extra zing for me. Great points plus personality wins the day.

Winner via Unanimous Decision - Evolution

TDL Social Division Championship Match
Anark vs M-Diggedy

Is it better to be smart or good looking?

Spoiler for Debates:
There are a couple of perspectives to view this question from and I’ll also be making points that are applicable to one gender or both. I’ll presume that you’re able to figure out what’s what without me holding your hand. That is, assuming you’re more than just a pretty face.

Firstly, let’s define the question from a selfishly individualistic perspective.

Surely if any of the perspectives are to favour ‘good-looking’ as the better option, it will be this one.

Nope. Good looks endure from, let’s say the mid-teens (to keep Wagg happy), to around the onset of middle age at 40. Sure, some remain attractive into their 40s and even 50s, but these instances are exceptions. So, if you live the average lifespan (over 80 now in many developed nations), and are good-looking from your mid-teens to your mid-40s, that’s still just 3/8ths or 37.5% of your life that you’re directly benefitting from good looks. That leaves the vast majority of your life in which your good looks have little to no bearing on anything whatsoever, other than depressing you when you start losing them. Which will happen by the way, and the more so the more you rely on your attractiveness while young.

In contrast, genetically-inherited superior intelligence will benefit you from the moment you start interacting with the world as a baby and continue benefitting you until you die. You’ll understand things better. You’ll figure things out quicker. You’ll appreciate more intellectually stimulating things. This is all, simply, better.

And by the way, degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s are irrelevant here and have as much contextual weight in this debate as me saying OMG BRAINS IS BETTER THAN LOOKS COZ YOU MIGHT GET ZITS LOL.

But are the benefits received during the small window of beauty so great that they outweigh the lifelong benefits of intelligence?

Being physically attractive obviously helps you get your leg over. However, multiple studies show most people end up with a partner of similar attractiveness to themselves (the Matching Hypothesis). So being more attractive actually shrinks your pool of potential partners because, by their very definition, there are far more average/ordinary people out there. Thus, being average-looking provides you with a far wider pool of potential partners. If you’re gorgeous then I suppose there’s nothing stopping you settling for an average/ordinary partner, but who really benefits the most from you doing that?


What about studies that claim our level of physical attractiveness affects how much income we make?

It’s true that there have been studies which make great click-bait headlines saying things like that, but if you dig a little deeper into the actual research then the truth is much less click-baity.

Take this stereotypical report (linked in refs) about an oft-quoted study which leads with the news that intelligence ‘may not be the only trait that puts [people] at the top of the pay scale’ and posits that attractiveness may help job-seekers stand out to employers. Buried deeper into the text (last line of the fifth paragraph) they eventually clarify that ‘…the effects of intelligence on income were stronger than those of attractiveness.’ The study’s lead author also states that ‘…education and intelligence still had a greater payoff than good looks when it came to their effect on people’s level of income.’

So, as we were then. Thanks, science guys! You got my click though, right?

The facts are that worthwhile jobs require intelligence. Whether you’re helping people in shit, inventing new shit, innovating old shit, designing weird shit or just calculating somebody else’s shit, you need to be smart or you’ll end up asking smart people if they want shit with that. I mean fries.

Wait a second, maybe you want to model or it’s your lifelong ambition to publically exhibit your day-glo camel-toe while standing awkwardly by podiums as Lewis Hamilton pours champagne over Sebastian Vettel and they laugh, ha-ha-ha, what fun is this. Sure, your looks are more important then, but so is your age. You’ve probably got a five-year window in which to pursue those dreams. Good luck. Hopefully you have something to fall back on when you’re a washed-up 25yr-old. Your intelligence, maybe, although I suppose MILF porn is always an option. Give it a few years and Wayne Rooney will probably send a few bucks your way.

Spoiler for The fuck is a Wayne Rooney?:

Okay, my apologies, but fun time’s over.

It’s time to redefine the question and examine it from a wider perspective. The world is in trouble right now and, collectively, we need as much intelligence as we can muster working on solving the problems that are plaguing us as a communal species. Your pretty fucking face isn’t going to find new homes for the Syrian refugees, your six-pack abs aren’t averting the energy crisis and your vajazzled fucking cunt isn’t feeding any of the millions of people currently starving to death. Fuck your looks. They have never been less important.

From panicking dictators to failing economies, from corporate corruption to the depletion of earth’s natural resources, there are so many serious problems plaguing our planet at the moment that we just don’t need good looks right now. It is not just better to be smart, it is currently absolutely necessary to apply our minds to helping find solutions, or even just to recognising that these problems exist and start shifting our mental focus away from petty fucking shit like which celebrity is shagging which celebrity. We need to be smarter than we’ve ever been to see through the lies we are fed by our own governments, the constant bullshit spewing forth from corporations who are raping our planet and its people for profit, and the manipulative media systems attempting to control our every waking thought for their own corrupt agendas.

Maybe in time we will have such peace and prosperity for everyone that a day will come when we can genuinely afford to place our physical appearances back at the top of our priorities.

That day is not today.

List of Average Lifespan by Country
Older Brains Make Good Use of 'Useless' Information (Medical News Today)
Older Brain Really May Be a Wiser Brain (New York Times)
Matching Hypothesis
Study into Similar Attractiveness Levels Between Couples
Wayne Rooney Shags a Granny
Click-Bait Report on Oft-Quoted Study on Intelligence/Attractiveness effects on Employment Prospects

Picture this scenario for a minute; we live in a meritocracy where intelligence, aptitude and hard work are the main barometers for success. The virtue of knowledge is valued appropriately and it is your ability that defines your placement in society. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful society? Of course it would but the problem is - it’s also a fantasy. However, back over here in reality it is beauty, not intelligence, which reigns supreme.

Before we examine this further, let’s dismiss one misconception as clearly as possible; beauty is not half as subjective as people wish it were. There are conventions for beauty in every society and, while not totally universal, it fairly conclusively maps out who is attractive and who is not. The scientific world has long since championed facial symmetry and even proportions between facial features. This objective standard of beauty is so deeply entrenched that a British woman who won a contest determining the nation’s most beautiful face was found to conform to the scientific formula of attractiveness. Beauty may not be universal, but it is heavily signposted. [1]

So if beauty is objective, what makes it the better option than intelligence?

This really cannot be put simply enough; good looking people do better than others. In high school, attractive people get better grades. In university, it’s the same story. Then, as if education wasn’t enough of a victory, the attractive then get employed faster, earn more money and are likely to get promoted before below-average looking people. When the facts state that attractiveness even influences almost everything, I think you have to accept that beauty takes precedence in any argument against intelligence.

You might think this is overly simplistic, but it’s all statistically proven. Daniel Hamermesh, the leading economist with regards to the value of beauty, states that attractive people earn $230,000 more than unattractive people over a lifetime. This gap is even higher when you compare the salaries of the most attractive and the least attractive. Despite having similar skills, the pay discrepancy rises as high as 15%. [2]

The thing is, the problem goes back to well before you even get your foot in the door of employment. Even getting a job proves more difficult if you are not blessed with the virtue of prettiness. Italian research shows that sending resumes of similar content and quality would reap wildly different response rates. Most strikingly, unattractive women received a woeful call back rate of 7% compared to 54% for attractive women. Beauty yields success. [3]

Let’s go back even further, to high school and college; the formative years for future achievements, earnings and opportunities. Better looking kids are given more teacher attention, have more friends, less depression and, to cap it off, get better grades. When the difference between being attractive or not is the educational equivalent to coming from either a one or two-parent home, then you know that society must be pretty hardwired into favouring the attractive4. Are the good looking people that universally superior where they can represent such a chasm of achievement and, more pertinently, reward? Of course not. That alone shows the sheer impact desirable looks have in our lives.

Of course, some will fervently claim that life isn’t all about money and, honestly, it’s a fair comment. If money, academic achievement and popularity are somehow not your cup of tea, you may hope to claim that you live a happier life than those entwined in the shallow existence of skin deep beauty.

However, even that crumb of comfort is ripped away when yet more scientific data shows beautiful people have higher life satisfaction than less attractive individuals. In fact, 10% more beautiful people report that they enjoy their lives compared with the lowest one-third of people on the scale of attractiveness. So beauty not only yields success, but happiness too. [5]

Still, you can cite the progress in humanity brought about by our greatest minds as proof of our need for intelligence over beauty. And you’re right, our greatest achievements as a society stem from the best critical thinkers we have to offer. However, despite their value, they do not change the fact that the average person gets further in modern society by being beautiful above all else. The intelligence of an exceptional few, while laudable, is of no solace to a workforce that is underpaid and undervalued just because they don’t look as good as some other people.

There isn't even comfort in the fact that looks fade. A common argument made by and for the intelligent is that beauty will not last forever whereas knowledge can be cultivated for a lifetime. The thing is, even if that is true the deluge of statistics above show that those with intelligence rather than beauty will be starting from such a deficit compared to the good looking that they will never bridge the chasm that our society has created in favour of the attractive.

That is before you even consider the fact that the concept of beauty transfers and evolves into our older years anyway. Take for example another scenario which further adds to the mountain of proof showing that beauty is a huge, tangible advantage in life. CEOs of large companies, typically older men, have been shown to lead better performing companies as well as negotiating better mergers/acquisitions and providing share price boosts on the back of their appointments. Beauty remains a determinant factor in life long beyond our youthful years. [6]

I cannot subscribe to the notion that attractive people are so much superior in every aspect to their less attractive counterparts. Looks matter. They really, really matter. Perhaps they matter more than they should, but that is not the debate here. The debate is whether it is better to be beautiful than intelligent. Like it or not, modern society is built upon the hierarchy of beauty. Ironically, even the intelligence and application of science emphatically confirms the notion. Beauty reigns supreme and that isn’t changing anytime soon.


1 – Objective Beauty

2 – Earnings

3 – Call Backs

4 – High School & College

5 -Beauty = Happiness

6 - CEOs

Spoiler for Judging Cards:

Tipping your hand early, eh? Okay. Trotting out the percentage of life where you actually benefit from being really, really, ridiculously good-looking is a sound argument. As is mentioning how depressing it will be when you lose those looks. Though I’m not sure why you felt it necessary to mention that intelligence is passed down genetically. So are looks, unless a person has plastic surgery… which actually would have been a good opportunity to help drive home the difference between the two. You can artificially improve your looks; you can’t artificially improve your intelligence.

The Matching Hypothesis section doesn’t make all that much sense if you think about it. Most good-looking people mate with other good-looking people because they can rather than because they have some sort of biological imperative to do so. This argument didn’t really work for me since the reverse would seem to be true. If you are average looking, you can get with other average-looking people but are precluded from dating good-looking people. Conversely, if you are good looking, you can date anyone you want. You have your pick of the fill.

The part about studies is interesting because it does re-assert that intelligence and competence are valued above all, with looks being more of a tie-breaker. However, that does raise the question as to how attractive or intelligent we’re talking about. Above-average intelligence vs. above-average looks is probably a different conversation than genius intellect vs. supermodel looks. For obvious reasons, those studies don’t delve into Hollywood or the fashion industry, where looks are the end-all be-all in most cases. Nonetheless, it was a solid piece of supporting evidence since it helps you win hegemony over the realm of “average people” with regards to your argument. And then you actually get to the point that I just mentioned and counter it by bringing up age. You’re probably exaggerating how small the window is, but it’s still an effective argument.

Your last section was interesting because it completely reframes the question. But at the same time, I don’t know that I buy the way you reframed it since the intent of the question seems pretty obvious, and you’re twisting it to make an argument about social utility. But I applaud the effort.

Your references are solid. I would disagree with calling a study by the American Psychological Association “clickbait,” especially since the headline suggests that both brains and beauty create advantages — which was backed up by the study itself — but that’s not all that important.


Damn. That was an effective opener. Demonstrating the near-objectivity of beauty was a strong way to follow up. Good job of setting the parameters early.

If you’re going to say attractive students get better grades, it would be nice to see some evidence. Preferably evidence that controls for intelligence to isolate looks as the key variable. As is, the workplace statistics were interesting, though it would have been nice to have gotten more background on the methodology. Two points that were in your references that you might have benefitted by mentioning are that attractive people bring in more money for their employers and that a higher percentage of unattractive women choose to abstain from working entirely. On the flip side, it would have been nice to have gotten more than one source on the matter.

The job interview call-back study, on the other hand, was a very powerful piece of evidence. It did exactly what I prescribed above and eliminated all variables outside of looks, and sure enough, the results held. The parts about high school and college are more correlation than causation just because that would be a difficult study to conduct, so it pretty much has to be self-reported data. Don’t get me wrong; it still bolsters your argument. It’s just not as strong as the call-backs one was. The happiness studies were also self-reported for similarly obvious reasons, but it was smart to introduce that argument since your opponent only really focused on the job aspect. It would have been interesting to also see if there are any studies that negatively correlate intelligence to happiness. I would suspect there are.

The icing on the cake was the negation of the “beauty fades” argument. Not only are the good-looking coasting from a place of deeply entrenched superiority, but many of them continue to enjoy the same kind of advantages as they age. A few missed opportunities here and there, but overall, just a well argued debate.


Anark did a sound job overall. The biggest issue was probably just not being thorough in terms of scope. The final part of the argument also did nothing for me since the question was whether it was better to be smart or good looking — not whether it was more valuable. If you were going to go that route, you should have introduced it earlier so I could chalk it up as a different interpretation of the question. As is, it seemed like you were trying to have it both ways, and that just didn’t really work for me. Even so, I thought you had a good chance of winning until I got about halfway into M-Diggedy’s essay.

Like I said above, there were a few missed opportunities maybe, but M-Diggedu did a thorough job of covering all the bases, and none of the arguments were particularly weak, while a few of them were extremely effective. I would have liked to have seen more than one source for your workplace-specific argument, but you hit the same notes in so many different areas with other sources that it didn’t end up really hurting you.

Winner: M-Diggedy

I'll keep my comments fairly brief here, because I believe you guys both put forth very good debates. In terms of style / layout and through to your writing abilities, you each displayed why this is a championship match. You identified your stances early, flowed through your paragraphs nicely, addressed counters directly and wrote persuasively. There's no advice I really have to improve yourselves on those points, so keep doing what you're doing there, each of you.

That said, I felt that the general approaches taken by each debate ultimately make my decision relatively straightforward. M-Diggedy laid out how beauty can help one get ahead in life in a multitude of ways - happiness, careers, grades, etc. Anark picks away at some of these studies, but not enough to refute everything M-Diggedy piles up there.

That said, M-Diggedy's kind of ends there. In determining if it is "better" to be smart or good looking, M-Diggedy took a micro-oriented approach, focusing on an individualistic perception.

However, I felt that Anark hung neck-and-neck with M-Diggedy in making arguments, but then the paragraph about how intelligent people are desperately needed to fix / address some of the numerous world problems edged it ahead by a little bit.

M-Diggedy very convincingly showed how it is better for an individual, perhaps, could yield a better life if beautiful. Anark demonstrated very convincingly that beauty can be fleeting, but also that intelligence is needed to better the world as a whole (thereby, making it better for individuals too).

I thought it was a truly clever trick, and really the only thing that separated these entries. Excellent, excellent opposing debates, but my pick here is Anark.


I appreciate where you're coming from in the "you'll only be good looking for x part of your life" and it's a really strong argument. However, I feel as though you've missed a pretty big counter point being that having crazy good looks can earn you more money over that shorter period of time than say, an above average intelligence would. I feel it needs more context to distinguish between whether or not you're using an extreme case of both (ridiculously good looking or ridiculously smart) or just your "above average" example per se.

I thought you were going to touch on wealth potential in the follow up question but you decided to go with a relationship standpoint which confused me a little bit.

A lot of people may define getting fucking rich as shit off of your good looks by the time you're 30 and then slumming it for the rest of your life as "better" than being really smart and busting your ass your entire life. A bit of distinction there would go a long way.

You do talk about being attractive getting you job opportunities and whatnot, and I loved the "shit" part. Made me laugh (which is good) but I can't help but feel it needed a bit of discussion about what sort of careers only attractive people can get and the sort of income it can generate. I'm not saying that means it's better than being intelligent, just that it needed to be discussed.

Loved your conclusion, I really enjoyed how you hit home that the entire discussion can be viewed from a wider perspective of what would be better for the world as opposed to the individual. This section was so good I actually would have enjoyed it if you had structured your entire debate around that aspect as it would have been awesome and outside of the box.

Great job.


Cool take on the topic. Loved the intro and I liked how you broke it down re: subjective vs. objective.

One little niggling part about your first argument is that you need to define a standard with the promotion point. Are both people equally qualified for the promotion (ignoring intelligence) and therefore the attractive person gets the promotion? You need to define these statistics and claims to suit your argument a little better.

I wish you'd used a little more appropriate language for the gap between intelligence and good looks. For example, your statistics state that over a lifetime an attractive person is more likely to earn $230,000 more. Ignoring whether or not that is compared to an equivalently intelligent person or not, that's a meagre sum over a life time of work (say, conservatively, 30 years). Same with the 10% more life satisfaction. These numbers aren't gigantic yet you're describing the gap as a "chasm" etc. and it kind of ruins the strength of the argument with too much exaggeration.

Your last point re: CEO's has literally no correlation to the debate topic at all. Seems weird that you'd include something like that.

Conclusion: I enjoyed both debates and it's always good to have two debates on opposite ends of the topic. I liked the amount of references that M-Diggedy had for their entry but I enjoyed the stance and execution of Anark as well. I felt like M-Diggedy was a little too matter of fact about their side of the argument and almost exaggerated a bit too much with their language, while Anark felt like it needed to define the context of the hypotheticals they were using better (i.e Ultra good looking/intelligent or slightly above average). I'd have to give it to Anark purely for the closing section about the greater benefit to the world and how interesting a take that was. I honestly hadn't thought of that way to address it and it was refreshing and entertaining. Well done.

Winner via Split Decision - Anark

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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 11:48 AM
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Heh. It's always interesting to see how other people judge debates.

For me, Anark's alternative take on what "better" means within the context of the question was a bit of a deal-breaker. For the other two judges, it pretty much singlehandedly won him the debate.


As for my debate, I didn't expect JM to also pick Korver. Or to make some of the same points using almost the exact same language. That was pretty funny to see.

Good job, JM. You definitely brought it. This was probably my strongest debate since I started doing TDL, though. Just right in my wheelhouse. I used it as a bit of a tune-up for that aforementioned 3,000+ word piece. (You can find that here if you're at all interested. )

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 11:59 AM
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Yet another loss?

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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 12:03 PM
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Disappointing to get the first L but I do think me and Anark had a hell of a contest.

I actually wrote half of my debate on the opposite stance and taking a very similar approach to Anark but I nixed it for what I went.

My thoughts were, and I would be interested to see the judge's take on it, is that it is better to BE good looking than smart. That's why I tried to illustrate that a handful of the smartest people benefit society, but that the good looking ultimately tend to get more out of life. Maybe it was a pedantic interpretation of the BEING part of the question and I probably could have made that clearer in the debate.

In any case, well done to Anark because that is a genuinely good effort and I have no doubt that as long as he holds the title I'll be back to fight for it in no time at all.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 12:14 PM
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I don't think this gif has ever been more appropriate:

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May or may not be 4-5 overall.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 12:21 PM
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 01:11 PM
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Seabs, if you’re going to assign lower tier judges to my matches, can you give me some advance warning so I know to include some lower tier arguments they’ll be able to understand? I can’t be going around preparing championship winning debates with elite tier judges in mind if this nonsense keeps happening. My match being a split decision is an absolute disgrace, to be quite honest, and a sad day for TDL.


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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 01:22 PM
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Is this really how I am rewarded for spending the best part of two months spreading peace and love wherever I go and for bringing nothing but pure, unadulterated joy to the entire TDL universe?

Well then, my evolution into a veritable e-Jesus is complete. Forsooth, you have crucified me.

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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 01:49 PM
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Definitely improvements to be had: but a successful return Congrats to all winners and good effort to all.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Anark View Post
Seabs, if you’re going to assign lower tier judges to my matches, can you give me some advance warning so I know to include some lower tier arguments they’ll be able to understand? I can’t be going around preparing championship winning debates with elite tier judges in mind if this nonsense keeps happening. My match being a split decision is an absolute disgrace, to be quite honest, and a sad day for TDL.

agreed with this, plz no anark judging in my matches plz.

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