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FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS

TDL XXXVIII: LEGENDS RISING

Zombo

Count Vertigo vs Mr. Jay-LK
Did the final 4 seasons of Dexter undo the good work done in the first 4 seasons?


Spoiler for Debates:
Mr. Jay-LK

Did the final 4 seasons of Dexter undo the good work done in the first 4 seasons? - YES. The final four seasons of Dexter did undo the good work of the first 4 seasons.

The final four seasons of Dexter did not shock me. They did not make me angry. They aroused in me a state of indifference and mild irritation. By the time I had watched the series finale - I had a feeling of relief, because I had given up, just like a patient with a terminal illness. I was glad that it was finally over. Prolonging it any further would have been painful, unecessary, and maybe even tragic on some level for all parties involved, specifically the viewers.

Dexter arguably had one of the best (if not the best) first seasons of any TV show. The show did everything right during this first season - to the point that if that they had made no further seasons, and had ended the show right there - the show would have achieved a Twin Peaks/Deadwood/Carnivale like status in the minds of TV viewers today. They would've been begging for more. The climactic scene of the first season speaks a lot about how truly depraved and demented Dexter's mind is - and it also serves as a bitter memory as to how much the show has fallen from the high standards that it set for itself. It is kind of sad that the latter half of Dexter has been produced by the same people who were behind this first season. The subsequent seasons, until the fourth, (specifically the fourth - with John Lithgow's academy award quality acting as the Trinity Killer) while not as good as the first, did manage to keep the show's core flowing. They showed promise - and we as the audience could not help but feel a deep empathy with Dexter's brand of justice and wonder what would happen to him in the end.

But then - came Season 5. Dexter was alone again, and was introudced to Lumen. According to me, this is where things became suspicious from a creative standpoint - and also, where the show began going downhill. The character's presence seemed unecessary and forced. The temporary nature of her character is evident from the way she exits - never to be seen or heard from again. She produced some truly cringeworthy TV, and even Jonny Lee Miller's magnificence was not capable of saving an utterly medicore season at best. Beneath what we have come to expect of Dexter as a series. I just couldn't accept Lumen's character. AT ALL. She ruined that season to me, and her character kind of made me lose interest in that season's storyline as a whole. I reiterate - EVEN JONNY LEE MILLER COULD NOT REDEEM HER. That's how bad she was.

Season 6 proceeded to hit the nail on the head, since it was loose to begin with. Dexter's writers were lost. They didn't know where to take the story organically, and went for some truly embarassing plotlines such as Deb falling for Dex - YUCK. Truly humiliating and disgusting - that it makes the cringeworthiness of Dexter's relationship with Lumen look like Casablanca in comparison.

In my honest opinion - Dexter would have been the perfect foreniscs/crime TV show ever. If they had the decency to bow out/wrap up with the first season. I have a simple question - (rhetorical) that I want to ask you. Why does a TV show need multiple seasons? The less you see of someone the more you're intrigued by them. Lesser exposure = more mystery. Doesn't this logic apply to TV shows as well? It is shows that did NOT go on for too long that are most fondly remembered by audiences even today. Twin Peaks, Arrested Development, Wonderfalls, Veronica Mars...the list goes on and on.

In conclusion, the poor quality of the final four seasons of Dexter (coupled with the DISASTROUS creative choices) ultimately severed any ties or concerns that I had to the show, it's characters - or the title character's personal struggles. In the finale of Season 1, Dexter dreams while walking in the middle of a crowd that he is being received as a hero, and a saint. He is there to save the people from certain doom, and they love him for it. In the finale of Season 8 we see a sharp contrast. Dexter has now assumed a different identity. He is in shame and in hiding, a shadow of his former self. The true tragedy here is that this contrast represents the fate of the show as a whole. Profound promise slowly degenerating into total indifference and apathy.

Count Vertigo
Did the final 4 seasons of Dexter undo the good work done in the first 4 seasons? No. Did the final 4 seasons of Dexter devalue the good work done in the first 4 seasons? Yes.

Dexter started out as a great TV show with an original plot and a great cast, presenting the story of a man addicted to killing that tries to channel it into something good, going only after criminals. The first season started of in an amazing way, presenting the multiple characters the viewers would later grow to love or hate, Dexter's addiction coming into play, flashback of his troubled youth featuring his adoptive father, Harry Morgan, played by James Remar, teaching him "Harry's Code" that came into being Dexter's sacred law, and last but not least, the villain, the Ice Truck Killer, Rudy Cooper, who turned out to be Dexter's long lost big brother Brian Moser, who came back specifically for Dexter. Brian shared the same painful memories and troubled addiction to killing, but he did not care about whose life he takes, going even after Debra, Dexter's adoptive sister. This incredible first season culminated when Dexter took his big brother's life in a touching moment that made viewers shed a few tears.
The show continued with an exciting second season that showed Dexter's underwater spot used for body disposal being discovered and Dexter's first serial killer nickname "The Bay Harbor Butcher" being created. It also introduced 2 love interest for Dexter: the loveable Rita played by Julie Benz, who debuted in the first season and grew to be one of the show's most popular characters and the eccentric Lila West, played by Jamie Murray, who started of as Dexter's NA sponsor and came to be one of the season's main villains.
The third and fourth seasons continued the tradition of quality story arcs and interesting villains that Dexter would eventually overcome (especially the fourth), the introduction of our protagonist's son, Harrison, and more . The fourth season ended on a high note, with the season's brilliant antagonist played by John Lithgow, Arthur Mitchell, known as The Trinity Killer, leaving Rita dead in a gruesome scene as his last killing, with Harrison crying near her, standing in a pool of his mother's blood, experiencing the same horrible experience as his father, a perfect yet tragic ending for a great show.
IF Dexter would have ended there, it would be remembered in the same GOD-tier of TV shows, standing nicely alongside a show like Breaking Bad, but instead, it continued going downhill, as evidenced by this IMDB rating chart, except a surprising spike in season 7 that went away quickly with the apparition of the atrocious season 8:

By continuing 4 seasons that oscillated between good and excellent with 4 other that would best be descried as very bad to decent, Dexter undeniably tarnished its legacy forever in the eyes of fans and critiques alike with the cherry on the top of the cake being the despicable decision of calling it a day with the final and hands down worst season with an awful ending that presented ZERO closure, leaving Dexter alive and well with his sins unpayed for, for the sole reason of a cash-in on a potential spin-off or continuation in the future, which would be the absolute LAST thing Dexter would need; nowadays the question "Hey man should I watch Dexter?", would get the the answer "Hmm, yeah dude, but only the first 4 seasons.", and for very good reasons.
In conclusion, I think it can't be said that the 4 seasons of Dexter have completely undone the first 4, but they have definitely put an unerasable black stain on otherwise an immaculate white television programme.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
RetepAdam.
Mr. Jay-LK

Diving right in by describing the emotions you felt while watching the later seasons was a strong way to start since this debate is especially subjective and emotion-based. That having been said — and I see you gave your answer at the very top of your response — this would have been the time to hammer home your thesis. Instead, you kind of danced around it.

(Sidebar: The writing staff for the first four seasons and latter four seasons isn’t the exact same. For instance, Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg left after Season 4, while Scott Buck took over as showrunner around that time.)

The problems kind of spiral out from that initial lack of focus. You recap what went wrong with each season, but it’s never really done through the lens of whether that undid all the good will generated through prior seasons. It’s one thing for a season to be awful and it’s another thing altogether for that awful season to cancel out everything that came before it. I’m not sure you really tackled that here.

While I’m intrigued by your comment about shows having shorter runs being more fondly remembered — and this is true to a certain extent — I’m not sure what it does to bolster your argument. Again, the question is “Did the final 4 seasons of Dexter undo the good work done in the first 4 seasons?” You’ve summed up why those final four seasons sucked — but you haven’t really provided the ‘why’ surrounding your assertion that it dragged the entire series down. You almost start to delve into some actual reasoning towards the end, bringing up the deterioration of your relationship to the characters, but it’s a bit too little, too late. I would have liked to have seen more attempts to contrast the two eras (so to speak) from the get-go. Tell us what was so good about the first few seasons and then walk us through how the writers ruined that.

Count Vertigo

Ooh… As a card-carrying member of #NuanceTwitter, I liked your thesis, and I’m already intrigued to see how you’ll go about arguing this one.

The recap of each season’s events seemed a little superfluous. Similar to what I said for your opponent, you could have spent this time talking about what worked. Don’t tell us what happened; tell us why it was engrossing.

The IMDb graph was simple and effective. What would have taken your argument a step further would have been if you could have gotten a snapshot of how the series rating evolved season-by-season. For instance, if you went on archive.org and pulled up the IMDb page after Dexter had just completed its first season. What was the show’s user rating then? How about after Season 2? And then when did it start to go down…? With your episode rating graph, you’ve demonstrated that the show declined in quality, which supports your argument that the show as a whole was devalued from something that could have been a top-tier program but instead had to settle for less. However, you don’t really address the main argument as directly as you probably could have.

Nevertheless, you circle back by talking about how the later seasons tarnished the show’s reputation and turned it from a no-brainer recommendation to a “well….. maybe just watch the first four seasons” kind of deal. That helps drive home your argument that the show’s early work was devalued by Seasons 5-8, if not outright undone. So, I’ll have to give you points for that.

Results

Both debates came up a little bit short, in my opinion. Both fell into similar traps, spending more time recapping the show’s failings than delving into why the show’s failings were emblematic of a departure from what made it good in the first place. Nevertheless, one essay did a reasonable enough job tackling the overarching issue of the steep decline in quality and what that did to the show’s legacy as a whole.

Winner: Count Vertigo

Anark
Mr. Jay-LK
Your first couple of paragraphs are very well written and make for a good read, but you don’t actually start arguing for your stance until the third paragraph, by which point you’ve already used up nearly 300 words. You could have been much more succinct in the setting-up of your stance/angle and get to arguing it much quicker as that would have allowed you to include more arguments or expand further on the arguments you already have. I understand you might have wanted to showcase the first four seasons in order to compare them to the last four seasons, but you didn’t do a great job of it if that was the intention.

Putting the blame entirely on the Lumen character for why you didn’t like Season 5 could have worked as you made some worthy points about her, with regard to her presence being unnecessary and forced, but some examples here would have served you better. Also, arguing this point while repeatedly referencing the great performance of Johnny Lee Miller in the same season wasn’t a great idea. It would have been better to highlight a couple of instances or scenes where Lumen’s negative effect on the Dexter dynamic was most noticeable.

Your ‘analysis’ of Season 6 was lacking in any kind of depth. Why was Deb falling for Dexter embarrassing, humiliating and disgusting? Just saying it doesn’t make it so. I’m not saying it wasn’t any of those things, but you need to convince me why it was those things rather just tell me once and then go off on another point.

The following paragraph which begins ‘In my honest opinion’ contained a lot of truth, but not all of it particularly relevant to this question. The question is basically about the difference between the first four seasons and last four seasons, thus a point about how shows are better if they stop after one season doesn’t really belong here. It’s also not universally applicable either, for example imagine if they had stopped making Breaking Bad or The Wire after one season.

Your conclusion starts off really well, and I think your opening sentence here should have been the foundation from which to build your entire debate. The last four seasons helping to sever your emotional ties to the characters was a great point to make and I really wish you had expanded on it.

Count Vertigo
What a bizarre opening. ‘Undo all the good work’ could easily be interpreted as ‘devaluing the good work’, but you seem to disagree. I can only presume by this opening statement and your last line where you say ‘I think it can't be said that the 4 seasons of Dexter have completely undone the first 4, but they have definitely put an unerasable black stain on otherwise an immaculate white television programme’ that you are arguing that no, the final four seasons did not undo the good work of the first four seasons. You’re giving me mixed messages though so maybe be a little clearer on your stance reveal in the future.

Despite that quibble, I can see what you’re trying to do in building up the first four seasons as so good that the latter four’s crapness simply can’t undo the good work, but it doesn’t come across as very convincing. Rather than approach this by tweaking the question a little, you might have been better served by going all out with a clear NO stance and dedicate your debate entirely to proving that four great seasons remain four great seasons no matter how bad the seasons following them are.

I can’t award you my vote simply because you haven’t argued your case very well at all, but you weren’t a million miles away from having something decent and interesting here.

VERDICT
Both debates had some serious flaws, but nothing that can’t be improved upon in the future. While some of Mr. Jay-LK’s arguments were a little undercooked, Count Vertigo didn’t fully commit to its stance and left me feeling unconvinced by the whole thing. Judging this match felt a bit like watching a Youtube video of two drunk hobos trying to fight. The winner, somehow, is Mr. Jay-LK.

Flay
Mr. Jay-LK

This debate is very opinion based which is all well and good if you are trying to convince somebody that already agrees with your opinion. This isn't the case with me because when judging debates, I try to exercise impartiality to keep it fair. If you do happen to use an opinion I agree with, then cool, it's a slightly positive mark for your debate and if you elaborate on it, even better. But if you have an opinion that I'm indifferent to or I disagree with and you don't provide facts/evidence to back it up, then expect that argument to be written off entirely. For example, in your S5/Lumen argument you mention words like unnecessary, forced and cringeworthy but you never really provide any examples. Then you go on to state that she ruined the season which is a bold claim an then say that it made YOU lose interest. This paragraph doesn't really have me thinking 'GOD DAMN IT YOU'RE RIGHT' as much as 'well that's like your opinion man'. I will however state that you are right about the temporary nature of her character, whatever point you were trying to make with it. Your S6/Deb argument was much of the same. You use a whole lot of negative describing words but you never state why the Dex and Deb relationship was 'YUCK' and so forth, any examples would be nice. Now, your second to last paragraph is where you finally make kind of a decent argument. Shows that go on for longer tend to deteriorate in quality while shows that don't have much seasons as a whole, will have a better legacy. Aside from this though, there's not much that adds to the notion that the work done in the earlier 4 seasons had been undone.


Count Vertigo

Well this debate says that the good work in the first 4 season hasn't been undone but it's been devalued when undone and and devalued pretty much go hand in hand. You even give evidence with the graph but it's for the OPPOSING side of the argument. The graph is showing that the high rating that Dexter did have was sunk by the later half so no matter how you slice it, the work that the first 4 season did went bye bye. You say why the first 4 seasons were great well enough, but you should have followed up with why the later 4 didn't damage the work they did in ways such as 'they still have their awards' or 'the quality of the first 4 seasons will never change' instead of 'yeah they did all this damage but it's all good'.


I find myself in an interesting predicament as a judge. Count Vertigo argued Mr. Jay-LK's stance better but that stance was not Count Vertigo's. Mr. Jay-LK ultimately brings opinion an a hint of a good argument to the table while Count Vertigo brings good evidence for Mr. Jay-LK's stance. I have to give it to Mr. Jay-LK here as he actually tried to argue his stance while Count Vertigo pretty much argued for the opposing side then flipped the switch.


Winner via Split Decision - Mr. Jay-LK

donne vs cazwell vs E.T.Russell
Was Kurt Angle better as a babyface or as a heel?
*E.T. Russell no-showed*


Spoiler for Debates:
donne
Kurt Angle is an incredible heel.
And here’s several reasons why

#1 our Olympic hero
when Kurt debuted in 1999 he was presented as an Olympic gold medallist, who was also an America hero. He would walk out the ring with the medals hanging from his neck shouting about his three I’s Intensity, Integrity, Intelligence. He also has a giant smug grin on his face, plus he also spent the first 12 months “undefeated” he would then proceed to win every title, culminating with wining the WWF title at No Mercy 2000.


Yeah he was kind of dick, and it was the perfect start to is career.

#2 The psycho wrestling machine
When It comes to all time in-ring Kurt is top twenty for sure, because you see not only was a Kurt a smug goof, he was an incredible wrestler, who could back up all his big talk by outwrestling all his opponents. It didn’t matter if it was Beniot, Jericho, Rock or Austin or a million others, he did it in such a way that you hated him, but also respected him which is the sign of a great heel. When he was a face he would still put on clinics but it lost its lustre when it wasn’t our hero’s getting pushed around. There was just this amazing feeling I would get when Heel Kurt would step in the ring, I knew he was about to destroy his victim in brutal fashion and at points he would be cocky with head-slaps and go behinds, then in an instant he would be breaking ankles and throwing men through plate-glass windows. And he did it all flawlessly.


#3 Just an out and out psycho.
Aside from being a nutcase when he wrestled, he also showed outside of the ring how dangerous he could be, like in 2005 when he feuded with Booker T at first it was your general cookie cutter WWE feud then, well it got pretty messed up. In a promo he called Books wife a “Gutter Slut” he then went to explain that sluts turned him on, and he wanted to have sex with her. Now without wasting everyone’s time talking about the whole feud, this is ALL you need to see.

Yes a WWE performer once tried to sexually assault another man’s wife. And somehow Kurt pulled it off which I guess makes it even more terrifying how good he is at playing a deranged maniac.

#4 Goofy Heel
Now despite what is written above, Angle can actually be really funny. Be it playing the guitar with Austin, or having milk drinking contests with Brock. Or the time he Rap battled with John Cena

Once again I have to say, being able to pull of so many different personalities and characters is more proof that Kurt is a fantastic heel.


#5 Serious Heel

Wresters must wear different hats and Kurt is one of the best. Yeah he could be funny, yeah he could be a nut, but he could also be dead serious. Like his Main Event Mafia run, when he was the kingpin, carrying the bulk of the promos with a serious demeanour and very little else. And he pulled off like it was no big deal. He also did this in 2002/03 when was feuding with Brock on the road to Wrestlemania 19 there was no comedy, or funny skits. It was Kurt Freaking Angle the Olympic gold medallist going toe to toe with Lesanr and it was fantastic.

Now that right is merely five reasons as to why Kurt is a GOAT heel. I could of listed fifty more, but it would of been overkill, but at the same time I think that speaks volumes about how good Kurt was (Yes I know how bad he is now, but we shouldn't let that damper our memories) Which leads me to my final point, as I was writing see I found myself feeling nostalgic remembering when I was a kid, and Kurt Angle was easily one of the best things about the WWF/WWE and he was the top of his game when he was a heel, be it psycho, funny, serious or our Olympic hero. Kurt was among the very best, in fact after writing all this I'm willing to call Kurt Angle the greatest heel of a generation and maybe just maybe of all time.

cazwell
Kurt Angle is not only a rare breed of wrestler; he also brought integrity, intelligence and intensity to the ring and to the people (gotta’ love the 3 i’s). With comical value, in ring ability and able to work the crowd, he was a character that could play both the Heel and Face role very well. Overall though he will always be a face in a lot of people’s eyes and there’s a few reasons behind that.

Although he was never one to shy to the fact he was an Olympic gold medallist (even with the neck issues) and he always paraded with medals around his neck – He would always win the fans over when he got inside the ring. Even while he was a heel or portrayed as “the bad guy”, his in ring ability would out shine most on the roster, which even in this day and age; it’s a tough job to make the crowd hate you if you’re performing with fantastic ability inside the ring. So with the moves that he showed and the true talent he had; it was hard not to respect the guy.

Throughout the Alliance part of WWF Angle played a big factor within it all and if not the biggest with the huge shock of hitting Austin with the belt for the Rock to hit the Rock Bottom and pick up the win for WWF. A huge turning point for everyone and no one expected that to come from Angle, which was a big turning point in his Heel/Face period. Prior to that though he did use some brilliant build up acts against the alliance with possibly one of the most non forgettable moments of the milk truck coming down to the ring [Reference 2]. Combine the comicalness of the whole scenario with the fact that all of WWF hated upon the WCW/ECW takeover at the time and was obviously rooting for the WWF roster, it really shines Angle well and provides a great stage.

Looking into some of his face moments, some of them are just pure gold. He had numerous of comedy moments throughout his career whether he was Face or Heel at the time and everyone found it amusing. It wasn’t the bad comedy humour you see on WWE products now; it was funny and good storyline product [Reference 5]. In retrospect it didn’t matter whether Kurt was a Heel or a Face as he gave the audience something to laugh at and then put on a good show.

After Angle had a hard fought battle with Lesnar at WM19; He had to go under surgery on his neck which was a career threatening injury. In which returning 14 weeks later you can see by the video the sign of respect and the love from the crowd to see him fit and fighting again (Reference 1). Not only does that video show how much respect the crowd has for Angle but how much he is acknowledged as a wrestler. The chant of “You Suck” which obviously was meant to be an insult from point of origin, turned into a crowd favourite for him and a symbol of respect for the man (The irony in it is unreal).

A brilliant example of a technical wrestling battle would be against HBK at Wrestlemania 21 (Refer to Reference 3 for highlights). Both wrestlers showing fantastic ability and the crowd throughout the match, as much as you would want to hate Angle for all the gloating he does telling you he’s the best, you can’t help but respect his ability and the crowd showed that with the constant back and forth cheers for both individuals.

Reeling through points of history with Kurt Angle shows how much of a character he played in his 7 years tenure within WWF/WWE. He not only played both roles of Face and Heel to a great level but he showed determination and fantastic ability. With all the moments in his career, majority of the milestones of his happened while he was a Face and if he was a Heel at the start of the match, by the time the match finished; the crowd loved him as if he was a Face. Oh it’s true, It’s damn true.



Ref:
[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdvqTNSU-Gg
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBLkIWeqFKI
[3]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6B5AvWsDbU
[4]http://www.wwe.com/superstars/kurt-angle
[5]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t8MRulKvvk
[6]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Alliance_(professional_wrestling)


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Elipses Corter
*sigh*

donne


I liked how you categorized Kurt's notable heel runs and added a visual of each, especially the heavy emphasis on his versatility and ability to portray different types of heels. It's not like there's a heap of guys who can easily transition from smug to psycho to goofy to serious versions of an antagonist and actually excel at it. Unfortunately, everything else wasn't too good.

For one, you never even acknowledged him as a babyface and I assume it's because you're new to this, so it's understandable. If you are, then going forward, when you're given a topic, at least acknowledge the opposing stance(s) in a way that makes your stance look like the better choice.

I also don't get the "you hated him, but also respected him which is the sign of a great heel" comment. How is that the sign of a great heel? Should you want your top heel to be respected? In the event that he is, wouldn't that be the time to turn him? And didn't they do that quite a bit with Angle?

Towards the end, your argument began looking more and more like a fans perspective, especially with the "greatest heel of all time" comment. That doesn't help you at all

Again, assuming this is your first time, it wasn't that bad at all. Lot of room for improvement but I think the potential is there. You definitely know how to support your stance but like I said, you just need to incorporate the opposing stance(s) into your argument and show why they're inferior to yours. You do that, you should be fine.


cazwell

Well, at this point, I'm convinced this is both of your debuts.

You start off by commenting how he played both heel & face very well but he'd always be a face in people's eyes. So, I figured that's what your answer was. The reasons you gave include being an Olympic Gold Medalist, as well as being such as great worker. Doesn't really make sense, sense neither of those characteristics/attributes are exclusive to Kurt Angle, the face. So, maybe you didn't necessarily pick face after all.

Because you then transition into Kurt's role in the Invasion angle, which saw him go from face to heel. The moment you cited in your argument saw Kurt as a heel. So, I figured that's your answer.

Then, you immediately jump to his face moments. The, put over both his face & heel moments. Then, you said this:

Quote:
In retrospect it didn’t matter whether Kurt was a Heel or a Face as he gave the audience something to laugh at and then put on a good show.
Maybe it didn't. But, the objective here is to convince me whether Kurt was a better heel or a better face. I didn't really get a clear answer here, as you spoke highly of Kurt in both roles. It seem like both debates kind of took in the topic as being "How good is Kurt Angle as a face or feel", instead of which one he's better at.

Plus, this lacked structure. It was all over the place, with some things not even relevant to the topic. But, the biggest issue was being pulled in every direction and still not knowing what stance you took. Also a couple grammar issues.


donne wins, simply because I still don't know what stance cazwell took.

Poyser

donne - Your introduction perfectly encompasses the biggest flaw in your debate for me, and that's that you didn't actually answer the question. You've given me 5 reasons that Kurt is an "incredible heel" but never once do you explain why any of this makes him better as a heel than as a face and you never directly compare the personalities to help convince me why your stance is the right one. Reason #1 was a waste of the word count IMO because there's no reason in there, you've literally just told me what happened in his first year. That's great, but why does that make him a great heel? Reason #2 is a decent enough paragraph but I'm not sure I agree that the sign of a great heel is to be respected. I'd go as far as to say that respect minimises impact as a heel, as a truly great heel would go all out to be purely hated, which would include holding back on eye-catching matches. Jericho talks about this in his latest book too and I think the fact that he has great matches would actually have been a really good argument to use for Kurt being a better face. Your opponent could really end up using this against you. The line about it losing its lustre when he's a face could have been a really good point if you'd have expanded on WHY it lost its lustre and maybe gave an example or two. As it is, it's pretty much just a throwaway comment with no real substance. Reasons 3, 4 and 5 could have all been combined into one point to me, showing that he can play a number of heel roles really well, and that could have made a really good point in a wider argument, but here you've basically made it the majority of your debate and I feel like they're all saying the same thing. Showing that Kurt can be great in a number of heel roles is a good way to go, but again, where is the comparison to Kurt as a face, and why is he better at being a heel? The conclusion sums up my feeling about this debate really which is that you've basically just written about why you like Kurt Angle as a heel, rather than a debate that's aimed at convincing me that he's a better heel than a face.

cazwell - The first thing I noticed about this debate is the random order in which you've used your references It's kinda like you picked out the videos you wanted to use and then wrote your debate around them, rather than the other way around! Just a small detail, but quite jarring none the less. Your introduction is already off to a better start than your opponent, because you've actually stated that Angle is better in one role than he is in another, which is something your oppnonent never did throughout the entirity of his debate. Your first point is a good one and one that I picked out in your opponents debate that could be used against him. If you're fantastic in the ring and outshining the majority of the roster, then that definitely lends itself more to being a face rather than a heel. The point about it being hard to make the crowd hate you if you're putting on great matches is really well made and pretty much blows away anything in your opponents debate. I'm not really sure of the point you're trying to make with the Alliance paragraph, yeah Kurt was a part of the final swerve, but there's nothing about this paragraph that really convinces me of him being a better face than a heel, just that he was booked that way. Like you said, people just wanted to see WWF beat the alliance, does that really mean that Kurt is being a great face, or does it just mean that he's booked on the right side to be cheered? The next paragraph is again, a nothing point and adds nothing to the debate. You've just said that he is entertaining whether he is a heel or a face, and left it there. If you'd have added the fact that it's almost impossible to be hated whilst making the audience laugh then it could have been another really good point but unfortunately, it's just kind of a sitting paragraph that doesn't help your stance. The next one about him turning the "You suck" from an insult into a sign of respect is a good one, and could have been even better if you mentioned how it demonstrates the control he had over the fans. Your final point is a decent enough example that backs up a point you've already made earlier, which could be considered a waste of your word count and then your conclusion references the same point yet again. A decent enough debate but it could have really come undone against a better opposing debate, though there is certainly potential for a good debater here if you can learn to be a bit more succinct and use your word count better, so that every point means something.

Conclusion - cazwell is the winner here by a clear margin, I think. Though neither debate are what I would describe as quality, cazwell just did a better job of actually answering the question and convincing me that Kurt Angle was actually better in one role than he was in another.

Rugrat
From the outset, you two have really missed a trick by not mentioning Kurt Angle's TNA career (other than a brief mention by donne). Given that he's now been there for over nine years and was in WWE for less than seven, I find it odd that you both have more or less omitted his run there.

donne - My issue with this is that you've changed the question to basically "Was Kurt Angle a good heel or not?". This isn't necessarily a bad piece of writing, but as you don't compare Angle as a face to Angle as a heel, so you've essentially shot yourself in the foot with both barrels before you've started. You needed to point to areas where Kurt excelled as a heel and failed as a babyface. If you're looking for help on how to structure these kind of debates I'd look at any comparison debate that did well e.g. Andre's effort at TDL XVI or Curry's at XXIII. "When he was a face he would still put on clinics but it lost its lustre when it wasn’t our hero’s getting pushed around" was probably the highlight of your debate and a level you should be aiming the rest of your debates at.

cazwell - Your first two paragraphs are so contradictory that I had no idea which stance you were taking. The third paragraph is odd, as you refer to Angle hitting Austin with the title belt at Survivor Series as a massive face moment for him, but all it really led to was his heel turn the following night. The fourth paragraph should have been omitted as it didn't aid your stance at all. The paragraph beginning "After Angle..." was finally when I established you were going with the stance that he was better as a face. The next paragraph is strange though, as you're talking about a great match he had as a heel though . The ending of the debate isn't clear, it just says that "the crowd loved him as a face" which is ambiguous as Hell.

Judgement

donne wins as they had a clear stance and were kinda able to show that Angle demonstrated a larger range as a heel


Winner via Split Decision - donne

JustJoel vs WrestlingOracle
Is getting loud reactions from crowds at live events a sign of being a draw?


Spoiler for Debates:
WrestlingOracle
Draw (Wrestling term)- wrestler/personality that has established that they can put butts in seats and eyeballs on the product. The easiest way to measure this would be to look at attendance numbers and especially television numbers. Is loud crowd noise a sign of being a draw? As Ambrose once said: ”Nope”.

In wrestling, a shift occurred to longer “epic” feeling technical matches of guys throwing their whole arsenal. Live audiences have been eating this up and most of the loudest received wrestlers have been the workrate guys. This doesn’t signify these guys are draws because ultimately: Technical wrestling while currently very well received live doesn’t draw. The biggest WWE storylines chronologically: Sammartino/character heels, Hogan/Piper, Hogan/Andre, DX with Tyson/Austin Austin/Mcmahon, Rock&Sock saga and Rated R Superstar’s rise. Other companies: Lawler/Kaufman, Freebirds/Von Erichs (built off the back of Michael Hayes), Horsemen/Dusty, NWO vs WCW/Sting and Goldberg’s rise. For Memphis specifically: Lawler/Funker. That list of proven to the be the big moneymaking/drawing feuds in wrestling shows that every single one was a solid storyline easy for a viewer to invest in spearheaded by minimum one strong character player. THAT is what draws: strong characters viewers can get behind married with investable storylines. Daniel Bryan: didn’t garner so much attention/viewer gains off of being technically gifted: he had that “it factor” to make you get behind him as an underdog while HHH did well in his oppressive role and the story was solid/easy to get behind.

WWE has put less emphasis on character development or solidifying storylines, instead opting to lengthen matches and meaningless promos to fill time. As a result: people like Ziggler routinely gets nice reactions, but Ziggler doesn’t really have any character and is either in a cheesy cliche story or none at all. Right now the show is largely built around Seth Rollins, who on the stick gets good heat and in the ring wrestles two acrobatic matches a night and gets the loud “this is awesome chants”. However, television ratings are the lowest in almost two decades and attendance numbers are down across the board because of the diversion from what draws. Benoit: certainly a live crowd favorite and one of the greatest to ever wrestle ring-performance wise to the point of numerous standing ovations. As champ though: Benoit’s first event as Champion got 295,000 buys, down from 345,000 at Backlash 03 The decline under Benoit continued, as Bad Blood 2004 (featuring two Benoit matches 290,000 buys, down from 385,000 in 2003. In terms of ratings: you will see ratings were down during Benoit’s run too despite the consistent live crowd adulation. Why? Again, what draws is strong characters with investible storylines. Benoit is by no means a talker and had personality dry as unbuttered toast. Once his title chase ended: nothing story-wise to invest in. Diesel: crowds were actually pretty excited to see him throughout. Numbers? Undisputedly one of the worst WWE champions because at that stage: no personality, character or nothing much to invest in.



Also, keep in mind that crowd noise is often a product of two things: audience demographic and location. Look at the Attitude Era: seemingly everyone top to bottom from Austin to Al Snow received loud receptions. Many cheered for him , but not many people have uttered the sentence “I paid for my ticket so I could see Al Snow”, or “when I’m done with this event I’m going to watch because Al Snow captivates my attention.” Why would a guy like Al receive a loud response if he isn’t a draw? Attitude Era fans largely comprised of middle aged blue collar fans and rowdy college kids wanting to watch “rasslin” probably with some drinks involved. Naturally, the noise this crowd type makes carries loudest. Hence, Al Snow in 2000 is going to get a loud response, yet Al Snow remains a big picture non-factor. Different regions have different tastes driving reactions. While loud consistent reactions through the whole US is possible: it stands to reason that the regional fluctuation is a big reason why ratings and overall attendance measures are the big two in measuring a draw. Simply these indicators measure a collection of everyone from everywhere. No better example than Sandman: a big star to the ECW crowds received like a God there. Take out Heyman presentation and the specific crowd Sandman was well received in: and Sandman proved he isn’t a draw considering WCW after giving him the big contract quickly canned him when he didn't bring over viewership and Sandman’s WWE run quickly faded.

Signs of draw capability: charisma, strong character player, making storylines entertaining and investible, a guy who boosts viewership. Noise-response is not a sign.



Sources:

http://whatculture.com/wwe/wwe-10-lo...ions-time.php/ (Benoit’s buyrate figures/some Diesel drawing information)

http://www.twnpnews.com/information/wwfraw.shtml (show by show ratings for WWE from 95-09)

JustJoel
Getting loud crowd reactions is the goal of every aspiring wrestler - and for good reason. Getting those reactions consistently - otherwise known as getting over - is the key to success in the business. Without getting over, you have no chance of becoming a draw, big or small. While not all wrestlers who get over go on to become big-time, box office draws, getting those reactions is a sign of drawing ability and potential.

From Vince McMahon to Eric Bischoff[1][2], any pro will tell you that getting over is the first step towards having any real success in the business. Connecting with the crowd in such a way to elicit vocal, passionate responses is the hallmark of every draw this business has ever seen. From Buddy Rogers to John Cena, all draws receive consistently loud reactions from audiences. There is no exception to this rule. It is simply the foundation of the industry. While there are many statistical metrics to gauge the ability to draw, every promoter will lament how their biggest draws were the best at whipping live audiences into a frenzy. It's the most visceral and immediate response wrestlers and promoters have to gauge what’s working and what isn't. Promoters have explained that listening to your audience is the key to success. It could not be more clear: Want to make money? First get people to react. Not just “that one time” but every time.

Does this make all wrestlers who receives loud reactions draws? No, but there is no chicken/egg dilemma - not all over wrestlers massive draws, but a talent cannot become a massive draw without first being over. Especially in modern WWE where there brand - and thus the entire cast of characters - is a draw, cumulatively. Some wrestlers have limited geographic or demographic appeal.

Take Taz, for instance, who is a great draw in the northeast - considering his success in ECW and native New York status - especially among older, mature fans. Taz received a gigantic ovation for his MSG during his debut against Kurt Angle[3]. Would this type of rabid reaction occur in Tampa, Florida? Probably not. Another example is Santino Marella who consistently received loud reactions for his comedic antics. Was he the main reason fans bought tickets or focus of the show? Maybe not, but his connection with audiences has made him a valuable asset for merchandise and promotional opportunities, while his entertainment helps to ensure those who bought a ticket go home happy and come back again.

Vickie Guerrero, Bobby Heenan, and Paul Heyman. All over, non-wrestling talents, who not only added value to others, but actually drew money in various instances where audience members desperately wanted to see them get their just desserts. Adding value to others, coupled with their ability to invest fans in their demise, is a product of their connection with crowds. They could not have achieved any of their success without it, and the vocal reactions they produced gave the signal for management that what they had was working. Over performers add value to the show, while status as being part of the “supporting cast” does not diminish this.

When it comes to breakout success, not just in WWE, but anywhere, receiving loud reactions is the unquestionable first step. Fans who pay money to see their favorites win and most hated lose don’t sit on their hands - quite the opposite. While true, little Timmy who came solely to see John Cena doesn’t necessarily sit on his hands for everyone else, the performers who get the strongest reactions are a sign of who they connect with and may come back to see in the future. No fan spends money on a talent or product without first showing interest. And so, creating that interest is the necessary first step, and sign of drawing power and potential.

Whether rooting for or against, fan interest at live shows is and has been used as measure current and future potential success since the inception of the business. We must fight against the narrow-minded view that only a couple handfuls of wrestlers were ever draws, and try to understand that drawing is on a spectrum and while there are geographic & demographic constraints, among others. Those nebulous terms fans often wrap themselves in without understanding their meaning - charisma, IT factor, whatnot - those can and are measured in decibels. Even in the spectrum of draw/not a draw, a wrestler who receives loud reactions will always outdraw one who doesn’t. Drawing cannot materialize without being over with fans, and so there is no question that receiving loud reactions is a sign that a wrestler is a draw.

[1] Vince McMahon on Steve Austin’s Podcast
[2]http://pwpop.com/eric-bischoff-talks-ratings-importance-of-crowd-reaction-whether-wrestling-can-get-hot-again-turning-john-cena-and-more/
[3]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blO5nQ012w8


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Headliner
WrestlingOracle

Solid debate. You were pretty straight forward in the beginning with what draws and what doesn't draw. I think you ran into a wall in the middle of your debate when discussing buyrates and drawing World Champions. You opened the door for a lot of counter argument because it can easily be argued that 1995 was a horrible year in wrestling for every company, Benoit was barely main-eventing as World Champion and was overshadowed by HBK/Triple H, and 3 hours/quality of product has something to do with the ratings drop during Rollins era. Because of this room for counter argument, it does not make your point stand strong here.

You finished good by showing the geoghrical factor in determining who and what gets over though.

JustJoel

This was good. I had to read this again because originally I thought you were all over the place with this one, but your format worked pretty good here.

I really like how you established the fact that getting loud reactions is an necessary step in becoming a draw while correlating that with the idea that fans are not paying money unless there is an interest, and that interest is established by loud reactions. You also briefly mentioned the levels of draws in the first part of your debate. You really should have expanded on that more because it would have gave your debate additional strength by defining the levels of draws in relation to loud reactions.

Good job overlooking the obvious factors like charisma and other things while being able to focus on how being over as a necessary ingredient in being a draw.

Winner: JustJoel

RetepAdam.
WrestlingOracle
I’m glad that you gave us your own definition of a “draw” to start your debate. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to take it with a grain of salt or anything since it’s, y’know, your definition… but still, it was a useful starting point. Keeping in mind that the question asked whether crowd reactions are a sign of being a draw, part of me wonders whether you’re making the leap too quickly to attendance numbers and television ratings. After all, the question was about whether it’s a sign, not necessarily proof.

You argue that technical wrestling isn’t a draw. You put it in bold. Are there numbers to back that up? It’s one thing to lay out the argument that none of the hottest angles (as selected by you, I suppose…?) were based on technical wrestling, but that doesn’t mean technical wrestling can’t be a draw on a lesser level. I feel like there are a lot of loose connections here between your arguments. Was Daniel Bryan over because he had the ‘it’ factor? Was the fact that he had the ‘it’ factor at all related to his technical prowess? Could the fan reaction be considered a sort of revolt on behalf of the fans who you just argued tend to go wild for ‘work rate’ guys? I’m not trying to pick apart your argument; you’re just leaving these holes wide open to be exploited, which damages your overall argument.

Sigh… Haven’t we had enough ratings threads to know by now that trying to pin a decline in ratings on one guy is generally a non-starter? Trying to compare ratings with Benoit as champ to the years that preceded it (hello, Attitude Era) ignores context. Talking about how work rate is at an all-time high while ratings are in the pits is a decent enough argument, albeit relatively subjective on the former end. But there are so many flaws with the product as a whole right now that I don’t see how you can really relate that back to your loosely defined point that work rate guys get cheered loudly but don’t draw. Nobody draws right now. Coincidentally, crowd reactions pale in comparison to 10-15 years ago. Whatever you’re trying to lay down here, it’s just not really connecting for me.

Your Al Snow argument is probably the strongest one you’ve made so far. He got pops, but nobody came to see Al Snow. Of course, that was in an era where almost everybody got pops and the show as a whole was something of a draw. It would have been potentially interesting to flip that on its head to dissect whether the fact that few guys today actually get reactions and what that means with regards to whether or not they are draws… but that might actually start getting into arguing for the other side.

Alas, you go back to the definition at the end, and again, this is your definition, so the fact that it excludes crowd reactions doesn’t really do anything for me. It’s self-serving. I dunno. We’ll see how your opponent did. You’ve left the door open, though.

JustJoel
Good opening. The fact that you’ve noticed the importance of the word “sign” in the question is a good start. And acknowledging that not all guys who get reactions go on to become draws keeps your argument open to a number of possibilities. This was about as effective an opener as one could have asked for.

Good use of the citations to support your argument about getting over being linked to becoming a draw. Working backwards from “All draws get loud reactions” was also smart. And then you hammered home the point that while all draws are over, not all guys who are over become draws. Subtlety and nuance will score you points. So will bringing up the fact that guys can be draws on different levels. It’s all in service to the product. It doesn’t matter if nobody showed up to see Santino specifically; if Santino helped make the product more entertaining, his presence makes it more likely that fans will tune in next week or buy a ticket next time. Very important point.

My only real critiques are that about two-thirds of the way through, it felt like you were kind of spinning your wheels a bit and going in circles. But at that point, you had really probably gotten most of what you had hoped you argue across, so I’m not sure how much that really hurt you.

Overall, just a well written debate with strong points, a measured approach to the topic and strong use of outside sources. You knocked this one out of the park.

Results
I don’t know that this one requires any additional comments. If you read any of the above, the outcome isn’t in question.

Winner: JustJoel

CGS
Always good to have debates with opposing views. In any case I do admit I neglected this quite heavily so i'll make this quick and short so the results can get posted. If either of you want more detail you can ask.

WrestlingOracle

Decent opening paragraph, sets up your debate nicely.

I wouldn't go as far as saying "technical wrestling doesn't draw", Especially in the current market. Like you said there has been a huge switch in more technical based matches rather than character based storylines and too an extent this was down to the fans falling in love more with huge epic matches....Thus to some extent they must draw.

Even with Bryan, while he does have that IT factor to say that his wrestling ability had nothing to do with it is a huge claim to make. What about a guy like Cesaro? he has virtually no character and in all honesty doesn't have a great deal of natural charisma.The fans have fallen in love with him because of his technical ability and to an extent it was his wrestling ability that gave him an aura of charisma and likability.

The storylines you used as examples wern't bad but I feel they needed to be more current to hold some weight.

The whole Benoit argument was 50/50 to me. I understand the point you was trying to make but I can't help but feel thats more of a booking issue rather than drawing ability.

I did like the Al Snow comparison. Although again I reckon you could have used a more recent example here. (i.e. Ryder during his height)

Overall this a pretty decent effort with a nice conclusion. More recent examples would have gone a long way though.

JustJoel

On first read I thought you were arguing solely that getting a good reaction = being a draw but I can see that you're actually arguing that it is indeed "a sign" of being a draw. Not a angle many would take but let's see if the risk pays off.

Decent enough 2nd paragraph there. Hard to really argue with that one.

Don't feel you really needed to talk about guys like Taz being draws in certain areas. I understand why you did it but I don't feel it added much to your debate.

Again the next 2 paragraphs don't really do much to add to your debate. All you've kinda done is just repeat the fact that a superstar needs to get the fans to cheer for him to one day become a draw.

This is a debate that started strongly but lacked a bit of depth as it went on. It's not a bad effort at all, but just needed a little bit more.

In terms of a winner I'm gonna go with JustJoel While their debate was slightly more narrow I feel it answered the question in a better manner than WrestlingOracle.

Winner: JustJoel


Winner via Unanimous Decision - JustJoel

Flay vs CGS
Who will have more success in WWE out of Charlotte, Bayley and Sasha Banks?


Spoiler for Debates:
Flay

Who will have more success in WWE out of Charlotte, Bayley and Sasha Banks?
_____________________________________________

What's defined as success in WWE? Multiple championships and good standing in the company? Definitely. Adoration from the fans? Absolutely. Having great performances? Undeniably. These are the things define a wrestler's career and they're of equal importance in determining success. So out of Charlotte, Bayley and Sasha Banks who'll achieve all these things over the other two? TRICK QUESTION. To try and predict the future we must look at the past and present and they show that:


Charlotte will have more championships and standing.

Bayley will have more adoration from the fans.

Sasha will have more great performances.


So to answer the question, they'll each achieve more success in WWE than the other two in ONE particular area.



CHARLOTTE

Already Divas Champion? Check. Daughter of arguably the greatest wrestler of all-time? Check. Has a great look? Check. It's these things that'll put Charlotte in line for multiple title reigns and getting a good spot in WWE ahead of Bayley and Sasha. Her already having a title reign shows that WWE has massive faith in her as she won the title only two months after her début on the main roster. When compared to Bayley who hasn't even made it to the main roster and Sasha who is stuck with bottom feeders like Naomi and Tamina while not even being portrayed as their leader, Charlotte looks to be on a better path. She'll no doubt have many more title reigns since WWE is more partial to wrestlers who have had big name family members in the business such as Randy Orton by giving him a dozen world title reigns after numerous instances of unprofessional conduct including excreting in some poor girl's bag and Roman Reigns by giving him a Wrestlemania main event over his more seasoned Shield brothers. Charlotte's future in the company is the most promising and while Bayley and Sasha might not get the company nod, they'll be successful in the other ways.


BAYLEY

Who doesn't love the happy hugger? Only miserable cunts, that's who. Bayley's bubbly personality is infectious and has gotten fans of all ages loving her from little Izzy to the grown men in the crowd that chant "Bayley's gonna hug you". This is why Bayley winning the NXT Womens Championship was more emotionally fuelled than any of her predecessors winning before her. People have emotionally invested in her because her personality is genuine and a wrestler with her type of personality can be mega over despite WWE possibly not pushing them wholeheartedly as evidenced by Daniel Bryan, another cheery babyface who the fans heavily rooted for despite WWE not treating like a star all the time. When she gets on the main roster, the fans will react the same way the NXT fans do because unlike the NXT alumni that have 'fallen at the wayside' like Emma or Bo Dallas, WWE can't change what will get her to dance which is her personality. As for Charlotte and Sasha, the fans like them well enough but being Ric Flair's daughter can get only get Charlotte so far and without a solid push, a push Charlotte will get and Bayley barely needs, Sasha will fall in the category of 'fallen at the wayside'. Have no fear though because out of the three, Sasha is the most skilled and because of it, she'll produce more fantastic work like she's already done.


SASHA

Let's list off a bunch of the best and highly acclaimed women's matches of the last 2 years. There's been Charlotte vs Natalya at the first TakeOver, Sasha vs Charlotte at R Evolution, the Fatal-4-Way at Rival, Sasha vs Becky at Unstoppable, and the most recent matches with Sasha and Bayley which included the first IronWOMAN main event match. Sasha's been the common denominator in nearly all of the great women's matches WWE has showcased in the past 2 years and in that time, she has compiled a body of work that a good portion of wrestlers who have been in the company longer than her aspire to achieve but never do. In regards to Charlotte and Bayley, they're good wrestlers but they quite possibly have had the best matches they'll ever have of their careers with Sasha. On the other hand, Sasha has shown that isn't the case with her and that she can continue to produce classic after classic. On top of that, she has the most developed mic skills which means better performances in terms of promos.


Success in WWE is measured by a quite few things. Accomplishments, being over, having a great body of work. These are all important and time will tell if Charlotte, Bayley, or Sasha will achieve all them. But one thing is for sure and that's the girls surpassing each other in their respective aspect of success.



CGS

Who will have more success in the WWE out of Charlotte, Bayley and Sasha Banks?


Three extremely gifted women, three amazingly talented women, three women who have already achieved a large amount of success so far in their WWE careers and will no doubt go on to achieve a lot more. But…there is only one BO$$

Firstly, what exactly is success?

Many will see that question and immediately start talking about how superstar A is likely to be bigger than superstar B because they will be booked better, win more titles, be given bigger matches and all those other arbitrary factors but the fact is that success in the WWE runs much deeper than all of that. I mean how many people would agree than Edge is a bigger success than Shawn Michaels because Edge is an 11 time world champ while Michaels is a four time world champ?

Success isn’t necessarily age either. It’s easy to turn around and say Sasha will achieve more because she’s younger than her counterparts and has time to grow but really many will argue that Michaels achieved more as a wrestler post 2002 than he ever did in the 90’s.

The best way for me to define success is that whatever role you play within the company you are remembered for it and you’re remembered at a similar or higher level than your peers who aim for a similar level of success. In regards to this question then considering all three divas would realistically be looking to achieve a similar level of success why will Sasha banks achieve the most and be considered the bigger star out of the three?

Well….she’s THE BO$$

Having a gimmick and knowing how to use that gimmick to perfection isn’t easy, but for those that manage to do it perfectly (i.e. Brock Lesnar) it’s a one way ticket to the top of the company.

Bayley does have a gimmick that could get her over with the kid demographic and has tons of charisma, but then you could argue that Emma came from NXT with a very kid friendly gimmick too and look how that worked out for her. Unfortunately for Bayley she needs a lot more than just “being nice” to be considered a bigger success story than both Charlotte and Sasha.

On the other side Charlotte is very marketable to the wider audience being Flair’s daughter and could easily achieve more kayfabe success than her horsewomen counterparts but she needs a much better character than “Flair’s daughter” to gain the level of support Sasha has. She also needs to find a way to show a lot of personality and charisma after all nepotism booking will only take her so far (see the likes of Natayla, Ted Dibiase Jr., Michael McGillicutty, Tamina Snuka and even David Flair).

Like I said success in the WWE isn’t all about titles and being booked in big feuds. WWE can make anyone successful from a kayfabe sense but it takes a truly special talent to take those kayfabe accomplishments and make them feel 10x bigger. That is the reason Sasha will be most successful of the three.

Sasha has found a way to have the right level of charisma, the perfect gimmick (which she herself has perfected) and in ring ability/psychology to achieve a higher level of success over both Bayley and Charlotte. She’s already shown glimpses of just this during her matches down at NXT against Charlotte, Becky Lynch and most notable against Bayley during their ironman match at Takeover: Respect (making Izzy cry like that was a moment of heel gold rarely seen in the modern WWE). Outside Brock Lesnar there isn’t a superstar on the roster who can work their gimmick into a match as well as Sasha.

She just has that IT factor than the other two just lack. Charlotte and Bayley may have the athleticism but lack that extra personality to truly appeal to a large fanbase in the way Sasha does. I mean at 23 years of age she’s already got the fans chanting “WE WANT SASHA” week in week out and despite being so young and still relatively inexperienced she’s managed to gain a large amount of respect from some of the best in the business and get her name mentioned amongst some of the best wrestlers in the industry in 2015 (including the men) and she can only get better.

Charlotte and Bayley can win a title, Sasha can make you care that she’s holding it; Charlotte and Bayley can have good matches; Sasha can take those good matches and make them great, Charlotte and Bayley can have amazing moments while Sasha can make those same amazing moments and make them career defining. While all three will no doubt have a great deal of success over their WWE careers the BO$$ will no doubt soar the highest.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Curry
Flay

I understand entirely where you're coming from with the entire premise of your debate. I agree that Sasha Banks will probably have better matches and that Bayley will probably gain the most adoration from fans and even if I'm a little sceptical, you've done a decent job arguing that Charlotte will earn the most championships. The problem I have is that this doesn't really answer the question. Your debate covers the relevant points and asks the relevant questions but you have a clear introduction and a clear conclusion which both fail to provide a concrete answer to the topic question.

I realise this may seem like I'm being overly picky but the "trick question" stance is very difficult to pull off and I don't feel you've quite managed it here. Your opening question - "What's defined as success in WWE?" - was one that I feel the topic demanded you to answer and not doing so really hurt you.

Even if we accept the idea that all 3 of these metrics are equal, could you not make a table and rank the 3 women in those categories and come out with an overall winner? I gave it a go:



(3 points for 1st, 2 points for 2nd, 1 point for 3rd)

I've accepted your 3 choices for the leader in each category. After that I assume we'll agree that Sasha will outdo Charlotte for second place in adoration (The "We Want Sasha" chants are already audible) and that Bayley will probably have better matches than Charlotte. There may be some disagreement over Sasha/Bayley on titles but either getting the two points in that column would put them over Charlotte in total.

Putting that issue aside, I'll move on to the actual content of your debate, the majority of which I enjoyed:

Your section on Charlotte starts off strong, the quick checklist and the faith WWE have obviously put in her are great jumping of points for many potential title reigns and the contrast with the comparatively poor current positions of Bayley and Sasha was nice. Where this started to go a little off for me was the family argument. Though there are a few examples of this aiding a superstar (and better ones that Roman Reigns for what it's worth), it's very easy to list second and third generation stars who have disappointed, as your opponent has done very effectively. On top of this, Charlotte is 29 years old and while that isn't actually that old, she's only 5 years short of Layla's record as the oldest Diva's Champion. That would suggest that Sasha at 23 and Bayley at 26 could both have more time in the company to gain championships.

By this point in reading my feedback it might not surprised you that I'm one of the "miserable cunts" who doesn't really love Bayley. I can however see the appeal and see that you've done a good job conveying that, complete with comparisons to Daniel Bryan as a potential future parallel fan reaction to Bayley. This section is pretty much all great apart from the quick dismissal of Sasha ("Sasha will fall in the category of 'fallen at the wayside" - Why?).

Sasha being more successful than Charlotte and Bayley in terms of match quality is far from the hardest argument you'll ever have to make but you sell it well so I have no issues here.

Overall the "not fully giving a concrete answer" is a bit difficult for me to see past even though a lot of the smaller points you've made were good and you did do well to convince me of your point of view.

CGS

Where I have some issue with how your opponent approached this question, I feel you've taken the best possible tactic in establishing and explaining your criteria before going on to justify why your single choice best fits that criteria.

I was actually wondering when I read your opponents debate what the best way to go about arguing the definition of success might be and you've done a very good job of it here, aided well by the Edge vs Shawn Michaels example. I'll admit was a little surprised to see you dismiss the age argument so quickly given the differences between mens and womens divisions history with older wrestlers (Layla being the oldest Diva's champ at 34 while the 50 year old Undertaker is still main eventing PPVs).

It's a good sign that I was able to scroll so far through your debate without having a real issue but sadly that was likely to end at some point. The comparison of Bayley and Emma isn't quite enough for me as while there is a little similarity in the characters, Emma always seemed to be playing a character while Bayley's gimmick is more of an extension of her persona, which is perhaps why Bayley has gotten so over with the fans in NXT, as your opponent goes into.

The putdown of Charlotte's wrestling pedigree was much better however and did a great job countering a sizable part of your opponents debate.

Setting up the rest of your debate as a direct comparison between Sasha and the other two women rather than separate sections was good choice as this helped you use your limited word count to get across why Sasha will have the greater success. As for the actual content of these sections I don't have a tremendous amount to complain about other than perhaps the implied underselling of Bayley and her character's importance in the two matches between her and Sasha.

Even if that all hadn't convinced me "Charlotte and Bayley can win a title, Sasha can make you care that she’s holding it; Charlotte and Bayley can have good matches; Sasha can take those good matches and make them great, Charlotte and Bayley can have amazing moments while Sasha can make those same amazing moments and make them career defining." sold me completely (the first of the three in particular) and rounded out a very good debate.

Decision: CGS better answered the question and justified their decision.

headliner

Flay

I liked how you presented your debate, but I felt like it was a cop out. While you did a good job pointing out that success is defined in many different ways, I think you could have still answered the question by digging deeper and discussing who would be more successful in their successful niche that would give them the advantage over the other two. By the end of the debate, I felt like you weren’t sure yourself which diva would be more successful. It almost seemed like you were answering the question of “how will these divas be successful” instead of “who will be the most successful”.

CGS

Good start. Defining success is part of establishing the basis of your debate. You attacked the question head on, pointing on the weaknesses of Bayley and Charlotte that will prevent them from being bigger than Sasha, while promoting Sasha’s positives. Straight forward. I would have liked to seen you address Bayley and Charlotte’s positives a little more to compare them to Sasha. It would have given your debate more strength.

Winner: CGS

Anark

Flay

You didn't even answer the question. You called it a trick question (honestly, you lost by default at that point), twisted it around and picked all 3, which totally reads as "They're all going to be successful in their own way". I don't know, maybe the other judges will like it.

One thing I didn't like was how, despite going with all three choices, your argument heavily favored Bayley.

What I mean is, there was a pattern with the other two. With Bayley, you talk about her character & personality and how she's at a point where you barely have to push her. But, in the process, you mention how being Flair's daughter can only get Charlotte so far (even though you just used that as a reason for why she'll get the biggest push). And having said that, Sasha will fall in the category of 'fallen at the wayside' but she'll have more great performances.

This is confusing as fuck. Because, shouldn't Bayley's popularity and character kind of give her an advantage over Charlotte, in regards to winning titles? What about Sasha being the best performer of the 3? How does being Flair's daughter only get Charlotte so far but in the same context, gets her pushed over the other two? Not only that but if that only gets her "so far", why would you use Reigns and Orton as examples of "how far" that (coming from a big name family in the business) got them? What point are you even trying to make?

And I felt like this confusion is a direct result of the unorthodox approach you took that forced you to put over and support all three. It's like you were too safe and didn't wanna jump out there. What that did was leave the door open for you to contradict yourself. Let's be honest, why wouldn't being "mega over" or a better performer/better promo be grounds for getting the bigger push?

Bottom line, choosing all three and breaking "success" down into three categories really hurt you with me but certainly not as much as "trick question" did.

CGS

So, Sasha is your choice. You say she has the personality, the it factor, if you will, which Charlotte and Bayley are currently lacking. Her performance, which Debate A touched on, makes whatever she does seem just a little bit more important than what they're doing. Prime example you gave was the "We Want Sasha" chants. That's one thing. The fact that it happens in some of Charlotte's matches is another thing.

However, she doesn't really have a big role on TV right now. One of the few (very few) good points Debate A made was how Sasha isn't even portrayed as the leader of her own group. Would this have an effect on the fan perception of her in the future, to the point where her support wavers? Or, will her support increase to the point where WWE decides to give her the big push? I feel like you should've touched on this.

Nonetheless, your comment about WWE making anybody successful was great. Touches on your earlier point of Sasha making what she does seem more important. Yeah, Charlotte is the Divas champion. She can win it 20 more times, while Sasha only wins it 5. But like you stated, how many people are going to say Edge was more successful than Shawn Michaels, based on number of titles won?

That final paragraph closed the deal.



CGS wins. I mean, Flay's argument was beyond confusing. I get what he was trying to do, which was use "success" in a context that provided a good argument...except it leads to choosing all three answers, which led to the worst possible argument. Too many contradictions. CGS kind of used "success" in his own context, which was quality > quantity. And his argument reflected that.

Not to mention, he didn't use the spin of "trick question" to completely shit the bed in the process.


Winner via Unanimous Decision - CGS

If Poyser Wins He Gets A Title Match
Poyser vs Rugrat

Was turning Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 17 a mistake?


Spoiler for Debates:
Poyser

On April 1st, 2001, the hottest babyface in the history of pro-wrestling, Stone Cold Steve Austin, turned heel. That infamous day in history has been described by Stone Cold himself as "the worst call I ever made"1. Given this damning testimony, it's obvious that Stone Cold turning heel at Wrestlemania 17 was a mistake.

Whilst the turn provided a shocking ending to a fantastic match, it was a perfect example of short-term booking and displayed no foresight whatsoever on the part of WWE. Their other top babyface, The Rock, was due to leave WWE the night after Wrestlemania, as he began his foray into Hollywood, which left no top tier babyfaces for Austin to work with, which harmed the momentum of the heel turn before it even began. The audience were not ready to boo Austin, so he needed to go against somebody the crowd could get behind in order to cement his heel turn and get off to a strong start. However, with The Rock leaving for a considerable amount of time, WWE had nobody to oppose him and they subsequently threw him into a tag team with their other top heel, HHH, which ended up having no pay-off thanks to HHH getting injured. This harmed Austin's momentum immeasurably and he actually ended up completing a half-assed babyface turn, before re-turning heel again (Russo, is that you?!). He then went on to lead the alliance in the InVasion storyline which is widely considered to be a flop and it was booking like this which ultimately made his heel turn a failure.

The booking was just one in a long string of illogicalities when it came to Austin's heel turn. Another was that the writing of his heel character was non-sensical and lead to his character performing a complete 180 to what he had been for years before the turn. Since 1997, Austin had been an anti-authoritive badass. He drunk lots of beer, committed violent assaults on his boss, took on all obstacles and ran from nobody. All of a sudden, he was crying, singing, playing guitar, desperate for that same boss' approval and running away from danger. It just wasn't believable and the fans didn't buy it. Fully aligning himself with Vince who had spent years making his life miserable and going from badass to coward all of a sudden with no explanation (because "I don't owe anybody an explanation!") was simply awful storytelling and it was never going to be believable. Austin may have been entertaining as a heel character, which is a testament to the performer, but nobody wanted to see such a drastic change to his character that made no sense and the ratings reflect that2; most certainly not improving with the change, but actually continuing to dip. This backs up that despite some arguing that the Stone Cold character was becoming stale and that people wanted to see a change, the fans did most certainly not want him to become a neutered, shell of his former self and once he did, they switched off.

The most damning piece of evidence that gives cadence to Austin's heel turn being a mistake was his standing in the company, more specifically, his fall from grace. After coming back from injury towards the end of 2000, Austin was riding a wave of momentum, won his THIRD royal rumble and went on to main event Wrestlemania 17, winning the WWF Championship. Fast forward 12 months and after a year of horrible booking and stunted momentum, at Wrestlemania 18, he finds himself in the 7th match (of 11) that didn't even go 10 minutes, against Scott Hall. Such descents from the top are rare in WWE, and as such, Austin finds himself in such illustrious company as The Miz. For him to lose so much momentum in the space of one year just perfectly illustrates what a diabolical decision it was to turn Austin heel at that time.

The worst thing about Austin turning heel at Wrestlemania 17 is that it led nowhere. There was no Wrestlemania main event at the end of the run, there was no epic rivalry, be it with The Rock or HHH. It signalled the end of Austin's career as "the man" in professional wrestling and pretty much damned him to the upper mid-card. A position which eventually led to Austin quitting the company, with WWE wanting him to lose to Brock Lesnar clean in a meaningless match on RAW. Entertaining in parts it may have been, but it destroyed the career of the hottest man in wrestling history. The man himself thinks it was the worst mistake he ever made and you would have to agree.

Spoiler for References:
1 http://www.wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/...turn-him-heel/ - Austin says the heel turn was the worst call he ever made.

2 http://www.twnpnews.com/information/wweraw2001.shtml - 2001 RAW ratings


Rugrat

Turning Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 17 was the right decision.

Rewinding back to spring 2001; Stone Cold’s list of potential opponents was drier than Sunny’s vag. He’d clashed with every top level guy available that the WWF had at the time as a face. There was simply nothing more for him to do, even his iconic storyline with Vince McMahon had been all but dead for nearly two years. Simply put: Once his THIRD feud with Rock was done, Austin as a face was done.

Since his feud with Rocky ended at Wrestlemania 17 (or the night after), the PPV was where the turn needed to occur.

My main criticism of Austin’s run on top from as the top face was that he didn’t put anyone over. However, in his new alignment he was able to put over Kurt Angle and The Rock. Any claims of Austin tumbling down the card after his turn are myths. He main-evented every PPV that year post-turn except Summerslam (where he still retained the WWF Title) having done the swerve. His knee and neck injuries catching up with him killed his career more than anything, as he was all but done as an active competitor in the spring of 2002. At Wrestlemania 18, Austin was still in the third most promoted match and it was only because HE nixed plans to face Hogan that he wasn’t higher placed.

When Austin turned heel, he was less protective of his character and able to experiment more with his act. He was able to try some new things such as some terrific comedy skits with Angle and Vince. He also added a ruthlessness and intensity which he brought to the table as a heel. Austin as a heel helped to propel him back to the number one spot in the company. Whilst 1999 was The Rock show and 2000 was all about HHH, 2001 was the year of the Texas Rattlesnake. For example in 2001; he was Power Slam Magazine wrestler of the year, PWI wrestler of the year and even the motley crew on here decreed him ‘rassler of the year by a fecking landslide. Regardless of whether you care about these awards, they show one thing – the fans dug Austin in the year he spent a large amount of time as a heel.

It’s impossible to disagree that the ratings were lower in 2001 than the WWF were used to, however blaming Austin’s turn on this is madder than YES.YES on an acid trip. The WWF were in the high 6’s in early 2000, however by the end of that year, they were barely in the 5’s – the wrestling craze was dying out. Post-April 2001, up until November (when Austin turned face), the WWF’s ratings remained at a solid “4” and even increased beyond a “5” on various occasions. Given that WWF had just lost their biggest draw ever to film The Scorpion King and had newly entered post-Mania season, it’s highly remarkable that ratings managed to stay as high as they were. Steve Austin’s heel turn was the primary storyline in this time, so should take the lion’s share of the credit for this. Some may point to the fact that WCW had just gone out of business, so WWF ratings should have gone up. However, if people were STILL watching WCW after Russo, the Fingerpoke of Doom and various other abominable persons and storylines that graced Atlanta whilst WWF were serving Rock v Austin, the chances are that many of those fans would not have switched over to the WWF in droves.

Some may state that the timing of the turn was naive because there was no top babyface to take over from him and Rock. However, in the long run this was not an issue, as Rocky would only be gone for four months, and as mentioned above there wasn't an issue with the ratings either. This did however create opportunities for younger wrestlers lower down the card. For example, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit received massive credibility boosts just from feuding with the Power Trip who were the top two guys in the company. Benoit and Jericho were put over in a massive way in a stirring tag match on the May 21st 2001 Raw, when they won the tag belts from Austin and Hunter. The win was particularly important for Jericho, as it was key in his development to becoming Undisputed Champion and prominent top card player five months later.

Austin’s heel turn was monumental in EVERYTHING the WWF did in 2001. Whether it was the greatest Wrestlemania ever or one of the biggest storyline ever featuring the Invasion. Stone Cold Steve Austin’s heel persona was the engine driving WWE's creative success.

Steve Austin on the feud that never happened with the Hulkster

Austin is Power Slam wrestler of the year 2001

Austin is Pro Wrestling Illustrated wrestler of the year 2001

WF poll shows Austin to be wrestler of the year 2001

2000 Ratings

2001 Ratings


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Joel
Poyser
Your first paragraph probably covers the main reason for why it may not have been a good decision. With The Rock leaving for a few months and Austin turning heel, it left the fans without anyone who was at the top tier to route for. I guess you could argue Undertaker was around, but at that stage he hadn’t really been in the main event for a while.

But then there’s a flip side to this. Without a top established babyface, the upper midcard guys got a chance to shine. The likes of Jericho, Benoit and Angle got a chance they probably would not have got with Austin still a face and I think for all of them, this was massive for their development, as they all went on to main event a WrestleMania eventually.

You are correct in saying his character did change. However, he did say on a Raw that he needed Vince as an insurance policy, as he wasn’t sure if he was good enough to win the big one after his latest injury. Basically, he lost faith in himself, which led to him trying to gain the faith of everyone around him as he had become so insecure. When Vince delivered at WrestleMania 17 and Austin won the title, Austin would have felt vindicated in his decision and seeing the impact of having Vince on his side, he allowed himself to become absolutely dependant on him, which is where all the crying, whinging and trying to entertain Vince comes into it. So yeah, his character took a vast change, but personally, I don’t think it wasn’t believable when you study all things that occurred and were said.

If you study March, which was the lead up to WrestleMania, they score a single 5+ rating. And this was while Austin was a babyface about to face The Rock in what was a massive match. Then after the heel turn, viewership initially went up to the 5s and stayed there for a month, before returning to the 4s and then fluctuating. I find it hard to solely pin this on the Austin heel turn.

I think you have a point about Austin losing momentum, but I’m not entirely sure it’s because of the heel turn, but more to do with the face turn after Survivor Series. I don’t think he really lost the backing of the crowd (he was still getting massive reactions as a heel), but the quick turn back to face didn’t give him many options heading into WrestleMania 18. However, if he stayed heel, he would have undoubtedly main evented WrestleMania against Triple H for the Undisputed title – which would have been far better than Jericho vs HHH and Austin vs Hall.

Really don’t think the situation was comparable to Miz’s as well. Miz was a flash in the pan - in that it was fist first main event stint at the peak of his career. Austin had been in the main event for years and his career was winding down, with new stars coming on the horizon, so it was only natural for him to start declining somewhat. Also, injuries were a bitch for him at this time and it was straining his body I credit that more than the heel turn for his downfall.

The heel turn led nowhere, because they decided to turn him back face. It would and should have led to a main event at WrestleMania vs HHH. But they panicked and ruined what could have been a great pay off.

All in all, I find myself disagreeing with a lot of your points. Austin’s heel turn gets blamed for a lot of things, but I think it was not carrying on the heel run which was the biggest disaster for him. And I don’t really see anything in this debate proving otherwise for me. I’ll give you that they lacked a proper face main eventer to work with him straight after the heel turn though.

Rugrat
You make a good point that by 2001, Austin had already gone through all the heels on the roster. It’s pretty hard to see who his next feud would have been with, had he not turned heel. Possibly Kurt Angle would have been an option (who had also won at WM), but apart from that there would have been no other fresh heels for him to face. However, Austin was the top guy of the promotion at that time, so it’s always a risk to alter his position and most of the time it is easier to turn another face to feud with him. Even more so as the other top drawer in the company started his Hollywood career, which would take him away for a few months. But hey, they went down the bold route.

You talk about Austin not putting anyone over as a face. But looking throughout WWF/E’s history, the top face of the product has never really put people over during his peak. It’s just not something they’ve never really done and once they find a new face to succeed Cena, the tradition will most likely continue. You are right that as a heel he was able to make a lot of wrestlers look stronger, which definitely helped propel the likes of Angle, Jericho, Benoit and the Hardy Boyz. Being a heel allowed him to give back a little, which wasn’t possible for him as the main face of the company.

Your link about nixing plans to face Hogan at WM 18, doesn’t really state that. It says he says that he nixed plans on facing Hogan, but doesn’t say whether it was at WM 18. And it’s hard to find anything solid elsewhere that this was the case. But the heel turn can’t be blamed for that. The problem was not sticking as a heel. Instead he turned back face when it wasn’t really needed, at a point where there wasn’t a massive dominating heel, so options were limited.

I do agree that Austin added more layers to his character as a heel. It showed that he wasn’t just one dimensional performer and wasn’t just stuck to playing a ‘bad ass’. I thought a lot of the stuff was cheesy, but it also provided some laughs and some good TV. I can’t disagree that 2001 was the year of Austin. Your points about him being voted the wrestler of that year from many different sources is a good way to measure his popularity during it. It does help the notion that the heel turn didn’t ruin him.

Your take on the ratings is really good. The analysis of the end of 2000 to see that’s when the drop actually began does show that the ratings were already heading down. You missed pointing out that the first month of Austin’s heel turn actually raised the the ratings higher than it had been the previous month (which was the build up to WrestleMania). After that, the ratings just continued to fluctuate.

You say Austin’s heel turn was monumental in everything WWE did, but a healthy Austin face or heel proved to be monumental to everything WWE did. So his stance didn’t matter, as he was WWE’s top guy and they rode him until they couldn’t ride him anymore.

To conclude, I think a lot of your points hold weight – you’ve backed them up really well. A couple of things I think you could have added in and a couple of things I think you could have done without (if you can't find a solid link, then don't add the Hogan thing in), but all in all a very good attempt.

Verdict: I'm giving this one to Rugrat. Thought he made more solid points than Poyser. I think Poyser probably was the most popular stance to take, but the points made didn't reach out, nor convince me that the heel turn was wrong. I thought showing that the heel turn didn't really affect ratings was important and Rugrat did that well.

Flay
POYSER vs RUGRAT


INTROS:

Poyser gives credibility to his stance right off the bat by using Stone Cold to back it up and sets up the rest of his debate real nicely. It is always good to use somebody well known who definitely knows what they're talking about in regards to the subject at hand in your debate and you should do this again in the future. With Rugrat, I like that it gets straight to the point and that a bit of personality is thrown in there which is also something you should use for the future and you allude to Stone Cold having nothing else left to do as a face which we'll get to later. After reading the intros, I give a slight edge so far to Poyser for his usage of Stone Cold who is hard to disagree with despite somebody opposing that with a shot of Sunny's vag.


BODY:

Rugrat starts off with stating that being a heel meant Austin could put Angle and Rock over. I don't really think he NEEDED to be a heel to do so as two years later at Wrestlemania 19 he put over The Rock who was a heel as a face. Plus you don't really go into more detail than JUST saying that he was able to which doesn't really leave me convinced. Then you say that Austin tumbling down the card was a myth which sure, he had mainevents, but ultimately Poyser counters that in his second to last paragraph highlighting why the Scott Hall match at Wrestlemania 18 (which is his most important match till his retirement match because it was at Wrestlemania) was such a step down and why Austin's momentum was hurt, though Poyser is wrong in saying that Stone Cold's in the company of The fuckin' Miz. Now, Rugrat said in his intro that there were no opponents left as a face and follows up with Austin being able to put over Jericho and Benoit as a heel which thankfully he elaborates on as opposed to the point he made about Rock and Angle earlier which is a good point but I'm still feeling that Austin didn't NEED to be a heel to do that. Like seriously, why couldn't he do that as a face? If you had explained why he couldn't, I'd be more inclined jump on board with the argument but I'm left thinking that your argument isn't bulletproof. Plus saying Rocky would only be gone for 4 months like it's nothing only works if you elaborate on why WWE would be alright in those 4 months which you didn't do. It's here I look at Debate A pointing out the negatives in turning heel by explaining how it was incompetent short-term booking on WWE's part because they had no 'top-tier' babyfaces. You are correct in saying Austin couldn't cement his heel turn but it wasn't from a lack of opponents. It was because half the crowd rejected this notion that Austin was a bad guy which you do mention so points for that. I just want to say this to the both of you, there were definitely opponents for Austin both face and heel. Austin as a face could have feuded with Triple H who had a legit claim to the title because he beat Austin at No Way Out 2001 and Austin as heel could have feuded with The Undertaker (which he did) who was definitely a main event star. Okay so with that out of the way, I feel Poyser has been more consistent in his argument and clearly leading in my reading but not so much that Rugrat can't take it back with the rest of his argument.

Now, you both use the ratings argument in your debate so this will be interesting to compare and contrast. Poyser says that ratings were beginning to dip after the turn which was true. Rugrat says this is due to the 'wrestling craze' dying which is somewhat true. However, looking at the ratings it is clear that the Stone Cold turn killed them even further as before the turn they were getting more 5.0+ ratings then they were <5.0 ratings. After the month of Wrestlemania, it looked as they were lucky if they to get 5.0+ as they got <5.0 except for the month of August which included the Summerslam and The Rock returning. After August, they never recovered. So the ratings don't support the Austin heel turn being a good idea which significantly hurts Rugrat and his paragraph about the fans digging the turn as people voting on a magazine and the 62 people who voted on the poll on WF doesn't even come close to about 1 million people who permanently tuned out in 2001 because of the heel turn which Rugrat says himself in his conclusion was monumental in everything that happened that year. Poyser now keeps his lead and even extends it with explaining the poor storytelling in Austin's character change.


CONCLUSIONS:

Poyser finishes off stronger with reiterating all the negatives that the heel turn caused and leaves me agreeing while Rugrat leaves me confused. He says that the turn was monumental in everything did in 2001 but how much of it was really positive? The heel turn certainly didn't make Wrestlemania 17 the great event it was and the Invasion storyline was a disaster. To call it a creative success has me going


Rugrat has some good points in there like the heel turn perhaps facilitating opportunities for Jericho and Benoit but never really sold me on due to the lack of looking at from the other side of the argument. Poyser countered a whole lot of the rest of his debate as well and while Poyser has some things in there I don't agree, overall it was a solid entry that really doesn't have much else to disagree with.


Poyser gets my vote.

Anark
POYSER
Great opening argument regarding the WWE turning one of their two top faces just before the other leaves. You made it clear why this was a mistake, following it up with the points about the crowd not being ready to boo Austin, thus they needed that other top face for him to work with. The next argument is well presented as well, showing how Austin’s turn wasn’t organic and didn’t make any sense to the fans, thus leading to a downturn in ratings. Your third point is another top drawer argument, with the turn’s negative effect on Austin’s status well emphasised by the comparison to his next Wrestlemania appearance much lower on the card. You have a pretty good conclusion as well, throwing another good argument in there and tying it all in to ultimate demise of Austin’s in-ring career.

RUGRAT
Interesting opening argument that goes directly against your opponent’s opener. I’m not sure who is countering who here. You do, however, go on to superbly counter your opponent’s next argument regarding Austin’s status. Where he compared Austin’s Wrestlemanias, you highlight his main-eventing most of the PPVs between them. Good stuff, especially throwing in the Hogan-match-nixing part which again lessens the notion that his status had fallen as far as your opponent suggested. Your next argument regarding the awards and praise Austin received after his turn was pretty good too. On a personal level, I liked your point about Austin being able to experiment with his character once the face’s protection was gone. I like that kind of stuff so it struck a chord with me. Though your next argument doesn’t come across as strongly, it’s still a good argument you make regarding the ratings and you make a good fist of showing that they only remained where they were thanks to Austin. Your concluding arguments get you back on top form with excellent points about the rub both Jericho and Benoit got from working with heel Austin and Triple H, not to mention countering Rock’s absence by pointing out it was only for four months. In fact, some of your counters in this debate have been so on point that it almost feels like you read your opponent’s debate prior to writing your own.

VERDICT
The winner is Rugrat as it countered so many of Poyser’s arguments while offering a lot more substance. Poyser was good, but it just falls short thanks to the foresight and depth of Rugrat.


Winner via Split Decision - Rugrat

TDL Social Division Special Attraction Match
M-Diggedy vs GothicBohemian

Does gambling have a positive or negative effect on society?

*This match was postponed for future use.*

TDL Sports Division Title(???) Special Attraction Match
Baxter Curry vs RetepAdam.

Do Sports in general do enough to combat racism?


Spoiler for Debates:
RetepAdam.

Do sports in general do enough to combat racism?

No.

There is no such thing as “doing enough” to combat racism. There’s no bare minimum to uphold. Either you combat racism wholeheartedly or you don’t.

One could argue that with a multi-billion dollar industry like pro sports, there is a delicate balance that often needs to be walked in order to avoid alienating a large portion of the fanbase — that there is a limit on how much can be done to combat racism. Frankly, that’s bullshit. If a league draws the line at an inoffensive point and say “Well, we did all that could be reasonably expected of us,” it is not doing enough to combat racism.

Because the fact of the matter is: Racism is a significant issue, even in 2015. Even in America. Especially in America. We could easily delve into a lengthy conversation about the lengthy history of rampant, unchecked racism in the international soccer scene. Not that international basketball has been without incident. But here in the U.S. — a nation of immigrants — even 150 years after the abolition of slavery, the harsh realities of racist society continue to cast a pall over the progress that has been made in the interim.

It’s tradition

One of the largest obstacles towards progress has been a general blindness to how big of an issue it remains. A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted in July highlighted a couple of important pieces of data when it comes to race relations. Most notably, a larger percentage of white people thought race relations were generally good than black people, and across the board, most people thought that race relations were better in their own neighborhood than elsewhere. Both of those findings suggest that people are often blind to the racism that exists right in front of their very noses — and that white people especially are often blind to the racism encountered by minorities on a day-to-day basis.

That’s a serious problem. You cannot help people who don’t even realize that they need help. And racism has become so deeply embedded in the fabric of society, so much a part of the institution, that to depose of it would shake the foundations.

In the NFL, the team that plays its home games in Washington D.C. is called the Redskins. Lest there be any confusion as to what the term “Redskin” means, their logo is helpfully a depiction of a Native American.

That’s fucking appalling.

Over the past 25 years, the team has come under fire for using a racial slur as its name. Of course, the NFL itself has stood idly the entire time, refusing to take a stand on an issue of overt racism concerning one of its most prominent members. Several commentators and analysts have taken a stand in recent years, refusing to refer to the team by its given name. However, the organization remains steadfast in its obstinacy, and the league has done nothing to spur action — despite the fact it could intervene and resolve the entire issue.

Instead, opposition to the use of the name is often cast as “the PC police.” The Washington Redskins name was so deeply rooted in football tradition that anyone who thought to ask “Hey, wait a minute… isn’t that incredibly offensive?” is branded as overly sensitive. Just look at these quotes. It’s incredibly disappointing that a mere 55% of the public figures who weighed in were willing to take a stand. That’s the reality of society, though. When people have become blind to matters of racism, it’s not enough to just note it. It’s not enough to have a quiet majority. In order to truly overcome racism — to “do enough” — it requires shaking people out of their collective slumber. And it’s here that any counter-argument becomes almost impossible.

‘Stick to sports’

People look to sports as an escape from the hardships of reality. That’s why when those hardships start to creep in and occupy the same realm as their entertainment, they take it as an affront. If you’ve ever seen an athlete talk about any social issue, you’ve probably heard a common refrain from sports fans: “Stick to sports.” Tom Ziller wrote an excellent takedown of the notion that there should be some divide between athletes (who, by the way, are real people) and social issues. As if they are unaffected by racism and the like.

However, if the audience isn’t listening, how does the sporting community do the utmost to combat racism? How do they reach a disinterested crowd? And again, the answer is: They have to wake them up. If sports in general were doing enough to combat racism, you would know. It would be unpleasant; it would be in-your-face; and it would be talked about.

When five St. Louis Rams players engaged in a silent protest against police violence towards blacks last year, the (mostly white) local police union demanded an apology. In response, the NFL issued a statement saying “We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation.” If the NFL were truly committed to combatting racism, it would have said “You’re damn right we support their protest.” It would have taken a stand. Instead, it stuck to sports.

Bucking the trend

Earlier this week, a story broke regarding Milwaukee Bucks forward John Henson, who described being racially profiled at a local jewelry store. Most teams would have issued a non-statement saying something along the lines of “We are aware of the situation.” Instead, the Bucks commented “Troubling for the entire Bucks family. Nobody should have to experience what John did.” They were willing to take a stand against social injustice, even if it meant potentially shaking up the status quo. That is how you achieve progress.

Unfortunately, the scoreboard now only reads “Sports – 1.” The clock is ticking. If the sporting community is going to get serious about combating racism, it’s going to take a hell of a comeback.

Curry

One of the biggest social issues across the world, racism can be found on your street, on your TV and in the minds of people you know. It's no big surprise then that racism manages to rear its ugly head in Sport.

So how well do major sports deal with racism? With such high profiles in the sporting world and with such a wide range of cultures both influencing and being influenced by sport, it seems only right that these major sports and their governing bodies should lead by example by effectively dealing with racism. Sadly, sports in general do not do enough to combat racism.

Association Football

With an estimated 3.5 billion fans, Association Football is the most widely popular sport in the world. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)'s quad-annual World Cup routinely involves teams representing nations from all 6 inhabited continents with over 200 countries taking part in the qualification process.

Unfortunately in many of these countries racism makes its way into Football. In the UK between 2012 and 2015, police forces reported over 350 incidents of racism in and around the English Football system. In Ukraine, a racially-motivated assault in the stands led Dynamo Kiev to consider segregating white and black fans...in 2015.

Russia lead the footballing world in racism. Many black players who have played in front of Russian fans have been subjected to racist chants, monkey noises and bananas being thrown from the crowd. Amazingly, it took Russia until 2013 to introduce the “Fans Law” in an attempt to control fans' extreme behaviour. However it was only a year later that Christopher Samba was driven to gesturing his middle finger towards Torpedo Moscow fans who had persistently directed racist chants at him throughout the first half and requesting that he be substituted at half time. Samba was banned for two games for his gesture while the fans who had chanted at him merely had their “fans' sector” closed. Not the whole stadium closed to fans, not specific fans banned but a small section of the stadium closed for one game.

With racism obviously rife in Russian football and the RFA clearly failing to combat this, FIFA could have been expected to step in and punish Russian Football for failing to adequately combat this and bringing shame on the sport as a whole. Instead, they chose to award Russia the chance to host their premier tournament, The FIFA World Cup.

If one of the most racist countries in world Football can be awarded an honour other countries have fought for decades to earn, Football and its governing bodies do not do enough to combat racism.


American Football

Racism isn't just present and poorly handled in predominantly white and debatably Eurocentric sports, nor is it only the fans of sport who can be at fault.

In 2007, the NFL (National Football League) introduced a new, strengthened “Personal Conduct Policy” in an attempt to control the behaviour of their players. Since the update to the policy the NFL have banned over 30 players for uncharged domestic violent incidents and being accused of throwing a mug at a stripper among others. With the NFL clearly willing to ban players for off the field conduct that “damages the integrity of the NFL”, it beggars belief that Philadelphia Eagles' Riley Cooper received no punishment from the league following footage of him at a concert in 2013 promising to “fight every ...... here” going viral. Though the Eagles claimed to have fined him a “significant amount”, that fine was surely dwarfed by the $22.5m contract they gave him only 7 months later.

With the NFL previously proving they are willing to ban players for unconfirmed reports and accusations outside Football games, ignoring such damning evidence of Cooper's racism is a clear sign that the NFL does not take racism seriously enough and refuses to do enough to combat it.

Other Sports


In Formula One, boss Bernie Ecclestone described a section of the crowd at the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix “blacking up” and wearing shirts labelling themselves “Hamilton's Family” (in reference to black driver Lewis Hamilton) as being “a bit of a joke”. He went on to say “I don't think it's anything to do with racism“. Those involved in the incident as well as the hosts of the event received no punishment and seven years on the hilariously out of touch Ecclestone still maintains control over the sport.

While some sporting bodies do occasionally come down hard on racism, these cases are often face-saving responses to incidents that receive major media coverage, such as the NBA (National Basketball Association)'s punishment of former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. While he did receive a lifetime ban for comments asking a friend not to associate with black people at Clippers games, this only came after protests from his own players, players and owners of other teams and widespread media condemnation including comments from Barack Obama. There are also a number of cases of unpunished racism in the NBA, such as the lack of punishment for Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry when he described Luol Deng as having “a little bit of African in him” and implied he thought all blacks are two-faced liars and cheats or the lack of punishment when Shaquille O'Neal targeted the mock Chinese message “Ching chong yang, wah, ah soh” at Houston Rockets Center Yao Ming in an interview for Fox. If an organisation is seemingly willing to provide adequate punishment to the racist members of the sport only when there is sufficient public attention forcing them into it, then they cannot be said to be doing enough to combat racism.


With so many high profile sports clearly failing to recognise and adequately punish racism in a way that prevents future incidents and excludes members of the sport whose views are damaging to the sport's image and its influence on culture, there can be no doubt that sports in general do not do enough to combat racism.

Spoiler for sources:


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Anark
RetepAdam.
Though not all the way through, it did seem like most of this debate was spent talking about why racism should be combated more than it currently is, rather than simply backing up the stance with examples and arguments which prove the stance correct. There are a couple of examples which I’ll give you props for, but they seemed a bit tacked on. One good point you made was regarding one of the issues that prevents more being done to combat racism, and that’s the straight up blindness to a lot of racism that people don’t notice, especially the white majority.

The Redskins issue was nicely used to support your stance, as was the non-committal statement made by the NFL in response to the St Louis Rams’ player protest. This section did a good job of showing that sports players often cannot instigate change themselves due to their opinions not being received well by sports fans. It was nicely presented next to the alternative example of the Milwaukee Bucks statement in regard to John Henson’s experience.

Overall, it wasn’t the most convincing debate I’ve ever read, in terms of the question that was being asked. NFL is only one sport and there is loads more sports racism that could be highlighted which you overlooked. It was a very interesting read though.

Curry
Wow, you really knocked this one out of the park. While your opponent dwindled and dawdled on descriptive detail which didn’t really argue his stance that much, you went right for the jugular. This is a pretty perfect debate, certainly in terms of what you were up against. Your intro sets the scene nicely, introducing the notion that sports are played by and influence people of all nations worldwide, thus giving the organisations in charge of them a responsibility to help combat racism. Including soccerball as an example sport was a great idea as there’s a lot to work with there, and you pretty much chose the perfect example in Russia being awarded the World Cup despite being the most obviously racist country on the earth.

You also chose good arguments when referring to the NFL, using more personal examples as opposed the obvious Redskins one which your opponent opted for. Both work well, but bringing that personal touch into it makes it feel a lot more real. The Formula 1 incident was a nice enough touch, helping give your debate an even broader scope, while the NBA examples were an excellent way to finish.

VERDICT
Let’s be honest here, Curry stomped all over RetepAdam. It’s not that RetepAdam was bad, because it wasn’t, it’s just that as a persuasive piece of writing, Curry was miles ahead. It had several strong arguments which built on top of each other, each one complimenting the last until an incredibly convincing total argument had been put forth. RetepAdam just didn’t compete in terms of strength of arguments and the execution of those arguments. The winner is Curry.

Zombo
RetepAdam.

Overall, I felt this debate was okay. For a title match, though, I thought that it drifted at times, particularly when discussing the inherent systemic racism that exists in American society generally.

This becomes an issue, particularly when I consider the question "well, if 'sports' isn't doing enough to combat racism, then WHAT can they do?" You admit yourself that people use sports as an excape from life's harsh realities, but then state that sports has to "wake up" its audience by doing "unpleasant" things that people would "talk about". Strong rhetoric and an admirable stance, surely, but nothing in terms of actual suggestions that I think your debate would benefit from, moreso than the survey about American society's view on race relations generally. The Bucks' handling of the Henson issue is really your only example.

Overall, your writing and layout are solid and your argument sound. Just providing my "negative" thoughts here in an effort to keep things short and sweet.

Curry

Like RetepAdam, I felt that this was another well-written and well-structured entry. No issues with either about the general approach.

I thought you did a better job of giving examples of unpunished racist behaviour - particularly the Riley Cooper segment - and juxtaposing it with punishments for other behaviour. This seemed to address a part of the biggest gripe I had with RetepAdam. You also acknowledged that being REACTIVE to society's calls for harsher penalties against racism is not nearly as beneficial as being PROACTIVE.

However, there are still areas where I think you need to go further to really drive home WHAT exactly sports could do to better combat racism. What could be done about Ecclestone? What would be appropriate punishment if any agaisnt Ferry and Shaq?

Overall though, I think you stayed on point throughout and have a clearly structured and argued entry.

THE DECISION

Both very good debates, but Curry is my pick.

Joel

RetepAdam.
This is a very well presented debate with a lot of evidence to back up your claims. I really like how you have explained the situation with the Washington Redskins. You’re totally right when you say the NFL are just sitting idly by when they could make a difference by getting involved and commanding that they change their name. The fact that commentators and analysts are not calling them by the “Redskins” names should have probably given the NFL the final opportunity to get involved, but it’s clear that they’re not too bothered, as in the grand scheme of things, it’s not hurting them.

Bringing up how society deals with the issue is a really good step. You brought up the fact that the majority are blind towards racism around them and the ones, who may be privy to it, are brushing it aside and branding the people bringing it up as sensitive. This shows that there’s a much bigger problem with it beyond sports. If there it’s a problem in society, then what chance does sports really have with tackling it? This isn’t to say sports has no chance in dealing with it, but what I am saying is these people make it easy for sports to hide behind it.

I was wondering where you were going at first with the ‘stick to sports’ section, but your final paragraph in that section paid off. Using examples of sport players trying to make a stand against racism, only for the league not to thoroughly back them and join in the condemnation of racism, goes a long way in proving that they do not do enough let alone even that much.

What I think you could have added to this debate is the addition of some of the punishments that have been handed out in sports for racism. There’s been some flimsy punishments handed out in the past and showing how poor these punishments are in comparison to the crime would go even further in helping your side of the debate. It would show that sports do try to step in, but even when they do, they barely do anything and are not doing enough to solve the problem.

Overall this was a really good effort. There are not many flaws in this at all and I found myself continuously nodding as I was going along reading it. I think you have hit most of the main points and have just missed one thing that could have made it complete.

Curry
I thought your breakdown of the racism problem in football (soccer) was of very high quality. Your use of the problem in Russia involving Christopher Samba and the fans shows how inept football is when it comes to racism. To punish the victim more than the culprits because he chose to react shows just how serious football handles racism. And as you pointed out, this is the country that will host the next World Cup. Hank picked by the men who run FIFA.

Using the Dynamo Kiev issue in this debate was just as good. It shows that football would rather go back years and years by segregating races, than actually severely punish the offenders. Forget not doing enough. They don’t want to do anything.

I like the way you have shown how the NFL looks to punish violence outside of the game, but yet won’t punish racism. It helps your argument a lot because by not punishing Riley Cooper, it shows where their priorities lay – what’s important to them and what isn’t. You have added more legitimacy to your point by showing that his team barely did anything to him in the grand scheme of the things, except give him a pay rise. So that’s both the league and the franchise not giving a damn.

The next section is very important to this debate as you are looking at a chief executive, an owner and a head coach – 3 men who have leading roles. Two of them made racist comments and were not reprimanded, whilst one made terrible racial slurs and was only punished, because there was massive pressure from many on the outside and many of the actual players, yet the people running the league stayed quiet. This shows that if leaders in sports are being racist and not much is happening, then there isn’t much hope.

Using the Shaq situation shows that it’s not even just when a black person is the victim that sports cannot be bothered to act, but it’s happening when the black person is the culprit. It shows that they’re not interested in dealing with racism on a whole sweeping level.

Overall I think this was a fantastic effort. I’m trying hard to find a fault in it, but the way you have chosen your examples, cover the main areas of why sports rather turn a blind eye to racism, rather than sort it out.

Verdict: This is a tough one because both debates are very good. Hard to choose, but because this debate attacked the subject from multiple angles, I think Curry takes this one. Curry showed racism being displayed by fans, owners, chief executives, players and coaches and showed that none of them were handled efficiently. The debate also showed the poor punishments handed out. RetepAdam. just lacked that extra bit of oomf. It showcased many good examples and did show how a lot of people react to it outside of the sport and influences the sporting decision makers. But I merely thought how Curry showed the racism at all different levels of sports and with not one proper punishment to show for it, made a stronger argument.


Winner via Unanimous Decision - Curry

TDL Social Division Special Attraction Match
Clique vs The Lady Killer

Who was more important to the success of The Beatles, John Lennon or Paul McCartney?


Spoiler for Debates:
Clique

Who was more important to the success of The Beatles, John Lennon or Paul McCartney?



George Harrison

Seriously though my answer is Paul McCartney was “more important” to the success of The Beatles over John Lennon.

I don't think this is a question that can ever be definitively answered, only subjectively, based on an understanding of the Beatles career and work. John was incredibly important to the early Beatles' success, and Paul was more important to their continued/later success. Clearly, the band wouldn't have been the same without its two legendary song-writers. However, on paper-- literally in the songwriting--Paul wins.

I built my argument on the songwriting because aside from the novelty of this British phenomenon across the globe to take pause and listen. The music is what truly solidified the fandom of millions for generations to come. Multiple generations that Paul has fronted as THE living rock & roll god while John rests as the iconic, tragically fallen musical genius.

With that said, I’ve considered several factors in this argument for Paul:

John’s lyrics often made you think, but Paul's was the most prolific song writer in the band because his tunes were catchier and there were more of them. While most of the songs credit Lennon and McCartney, when you look at the origin of their top 100 songs, Paul had the lions-share of original creation. (3) http://www.rollingstone.com/music/li...songs-20110919

Paul was also the most musically educated of the four, and this theoretical and technical expertise is at least a part of what elevates the Beatles above the cruder rock & roll styles that preceded them. “His taste for intricate arrangements ensured that the Beatles would embrace an unparalleled variety of styles, from soul - Got to Get You into My Life to music hall - When I'm Sixty Four.” (1) Additionally, especially later in their career Paul played a much greater role in producing their albums and playing multiple instruments on them. (4)

Paul’s boundless enthusiasm for music in itself, brought a free-flowing fluency and wide melodic range to his material - She's a Woman, Penny Lane, Hey Jude, often combining his sentimentality and musicality to powerful emotional effect - Yesterday, Here, There and Everywhere, The Long and Winding Road.

When Paul was 23, he wrote a nostalgic song called "Yesterday," that only now, now that he's in his 70s, really fits McCartney's voice. More than 4,000 different and diverse artists have recorded "Yesterday." It's the most-covered song in pop music history! Now that is influence in perpetuity, an important game changer (5).

“Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was McCartney's idea. In fact, most everything the band did post-Epstein's death in '66 was driven by Paul McCartney. We have McCartney to thank for their entire post-66 catalogue.” (2) Paul was mostly responsible for the Beatles' biggest hits (along with songs already mentioned) – "Michelle," "Yellow Submarine," "Hello, Goodbye," "Eleanor Rigby," "Blackbird," "Let it Be," "Get Back," "Penny Lane," and "Can't Buy Me Love." It was Paul's idea to mesh several songs into one long-playing masterpiece on the second side of Abbey Road. His was the first song to record longer than 4 minutes, clocking in at just under 8 minutes ("Hey Jude"). Paul broke down barriers and tried things no one else would try. (6)

Late in the Beatles tenure John was a heavy drug user and as a consequence, relatively unproductive as a songwriter and inactive as a member of the group. Without Paul's work ethic we might well remember the Beatles as a pop group who fell on their faces when they followed their pretensions at being serious musicians in to the studio full-time.

I believe it is fair game to argue that Paul had a continuing career that out-shown the others through John and George's deaths, thus creating continued interest in The Beatles above and beyond the fans The Beatles already had, this in turn furthers their success. He performed in front of the largest stadium crowd ever in Brazil in front of 185,000 people! Paul McCartney not only WAS but IS actively important to the success of The Beatles.

Anybody can passively state Paul was the bright and John was the dark, but what is clearly the case is that The Beatles success is due to their synergy as musicians which led each individual to explore in various directions. They were in effect serving as the other man’s muse. When you have an operation that is clearly multiplicative rather than additive, it becomes near folly to try to tease apart which piece of the puzzle casts the biggest shadow. Push comes to shove though I'll go back to Paul was more important for their contemporary success because of his greater productivity and accessibility. The Beatles not only live on records or through the posthumous idolization of Lennon, but the legacy LIVES and BREATHS through Paul McCarney’s relevancy as an artist today.


References
(1) http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle...tles-Song.aspx
(2) http://sabotagetimes.com/music/20-re...an-john-lennon
(3) http://www.rollingstone.com/music/li...songs-20110919
(4) https://www.quora.com/Who-is-the-bet...cCartney#!n=12
(5) http://www.neatorama.com/2014/06/18/...g-of-All-Time/
(6) https://www.quora.com/Who-was-the-be...Paul-McCartney


The Lady Killer

Who was more important to the success of The Beatles, John Lennon or Paul McCartney?


Two of Us

If you require background info on the successfulness of The Beatles and its two cornerstone members – John Lennon and Paul McCartney – I highly recommend finding the nearest cliff and walking one step too far. The real issue is determining why they were so successful.

Some may view SUCCESS as landing a few gigs and recording a demo tape. However, that’s something only shitty bands believe. It’s not quite that simple in the context of The Fab Four. Therefore, it’s imperative to establish a definition of SUCCESS relative to the enormity of the subject. Regarding The Beatles, I define SUCCESS as becoming one of the highest-selling and most influential musical groups that ever existed. Using this barometer for success, it’s easy to see from the group’s inception that Paul McCartney was inarguably more responsible for the success – and perhaps even more importantly, the continued success – of The Beatles.

Come Together

Lennon pundits argue that since John started The Beatles, he is most vital to the group’s eventual success. Morons. John did NOT form The Beatles; he formed The Quarrymen, who did not evolve into The Beatles until both McCartney and George Harrison joined the band. I equate the idea of Lennon forming The Beatles to me recruiting Michael Jordan and calling my men’s league team the Chicago Bulls. Just because I’m the first one there doesn’t mean I’m solely – or even majorly – responsible for the success of my team. There’s no denying the fact that Lennon was a rock and roll pioneer, but the addition of McCartney really catapulted the band to newer heights.

Carry That Weight

To Lennon’s admission, McCartney – who was born to musically-inclined parents – was always the superior all-around musician (see: Blackbird), as he was fluent in a number of instruments whereas John mostly stuck to rhythm guitar. When John was asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world, he replied with: “He’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles,” heralding Paul’s excellence at drumming. It was McCartney’s versatility that served as a driving force behind the ascension of The Beatles.

Of the 27(!!!!) #1 hits released by The Beatles, Lennon served as the main (or a contributing) composer on 12 of them. McCartney? 18. To reiterate the essence of McCartney’s versatility, he played drums on one of Lennon’s #1 compositions when Ringo threw a world-class hissy fit and “quit” the band for a few days.

I’m A Loser

It’s well-documented that John struggled greatly with insecurity. The release of Paul’s masterpiece, “Yesterday,” only fueled Lennon’s vice. Prior to “Yesterday,” The Beatles were widely regarded as a British Invasion sensation who covered 50s hits and drove women crazy. However, “Yesterday” immediately solidified The Beatles as a musical powerhouse, and turned McCartney into an overnight megastar. In fact, “Yesterday” is the most covered song (2,200 different renditions) ever. How’s that for influence? John was mistakenly praised for the creation of “Yesterday,” though he denied his involvement in an almost embarrassed manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lennon
That’s Paul’s song and Paul’s baby. Well done. Beautiful – and I never wished I’d written it.
ORLY. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to have written one of the best songs of all time, either. The truth is that “Yesterday” sent John’s insecurities into overdrive. Paul has gone on record to say that he constantly had to reassure John that he was “fantastic for all he had done.” This wouldn’t be the only time Paul served as the glue that held the band together.

You Can’t Do That

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lennon
We’re more popular than Jesus now.
U wot m8. This comment sparked such controversy with American Christians that The Vatican issued a protest and encouraged the burning of Beatles albums and memorabilia, along with bans on their records imposed by radio stations. Not exactly a recipe for success.

Shortly thereafter, the band stopped touring and each member began to pursue his own musical tastes. Whereas Lennon became more experimental (DRUGS~!) and introspective (insecure), McCartney remained deeply entrenched in pop musical trends and styles to keep the band relevant and in the spotlight.

Helter Skelter

The death of the group’s manager, Paul Epstein, was a defining blow to The Beatles as a going concern. Squabbles over finances and project direction caused great turmoil amongst the band members. However, Paul sought to keep the band afloat by initiating projects and assuming the role as leader of the group’s artistic identity. Post-breakup, Lennon admitted that these efforts were important to the survival of the band.

At the same time, John’s personal struggles caused his estrangement from the rest of the group. Drug use and the deterioration in his marriage/family life began to put Lennon’s artistic contributions into question. In fact, his heroin addiction almost completely derailed the group’s recording efforts for the famed album Let It Be.

The Ballad of John and Yoko

This bitch. For whatever reason, John took an extreme interest in Yoko Ono. Not only did he violate the band’s longstanding agreement disallowing wives/girlfriends into the studio, but he also lobbied for Yoko to be allotted artistic input into the band’s recordings. WTF?! The rest of the band grew increasingly resentful of Yoko’s participation in their recording sessions, which ultimately caused Lennon to announce his departure from the band prior to its last release, Abbey Road.

TL;DR: Yoko = THE OPPOSITE OF SUCCESS

The End

John Lennon’s death, although tragic, curbed the potential of his lasting legacy. Sure, “Imagine” will forever be recognized as one of the best-written songs in music history, but John’s solo career was explicitly separate from his work with The Beatles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by “God” from John’s first post-Beatles album
I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.
Well, fuck.

On the contrary, “Sir” Paul McCartney was knighted for his services to music. He remains the only Beatle to hold such distinction. McCartney is still, to this day, not only selling out stadiums, but he’s also selling Beatles records, as he continuously exposes the younger generations to the band’s hits. Four decades after The Beatles’ demise, Paul unrelentingly serves as the bearer of the group’s continued success.

References:

-My expansive Beatles knowledge
-John on Yesterday: http://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/yesterday/
-Beatles #1 hits/composers: http://www.myrsten.nu/worldnet/beatlesongs.htm
-John's bonehead comment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNT4HnXlhI8
-Yesterday being GOAT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yesterday_(Beatles_song)


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Anark
Clique
Your opening feels weak to me. It may be true that the question is ultimately subjective, but then most TDL questions technically are. Having a whole paragraph explaining the subjectivity of the question only to end it with another brief declaration of your stance (which had already been declared in the previous paragraph) was a waste of wordage in my opinion.

It all picks up when you start arguing properly, and highlighting that McCartney has the lion’s share of the best Beatles songs was a great opener. The next point regarding McCartney’s superior musical education was an excellent supporting argument, though perhaps could have done with more direct comparison to what Lennon brought to the table.

Listing off the songs didn’t really work for me, but you hit the gravy with the Yesterday mention. Its status as the most covered song in pop music history is a massive tick in the box for McCartney over Lennon, with regards to their influence on others and the longevity of that influence.

Even though you go a’song-listing again in the next paragraph, you use it to much greater effect in highlighting McCartney’s influence on the ever-expanding musical direction of the band. Following this on with the points about Lennon’s drug use affecting his productivity while McCartney’s work ethic continued driving the band was pretty flawless.

I’m not sure if I can personally agree with the parts about McCartney’s solo career continuing to create interest in the Beatles, as my opinion (which I ain’t changing any time soon) is that Lennon’s death-limited amount of solo work pisses all over everything McCartney did after the Beatles. I suppose he has created more and more exposure by continuing to release new material and generally just being around to remind everybody that they existed, but I think maybe the Beatles would still be as revered even if he had retired after the Frog Chorus (or preferably just before it). You do argue your stance well enough here though so I’m not discounting it.

Again, however, you come back to stating what might be the truth regarding the Beatles’ success being a result of both song-writers’ synergy with each other, but it weakens the effect of your pro-McCartney efforts prior to the final paragraph. This point could have been acknowledged without two whole paragraphs dedicated to it while also book-ending your McCartney arguments with explanations that the answer is either subjective or that there is no answer (as in, they were both equally responsible). I suggested this question to be debated and I kinda had it in mind that it was already accepted that the success was obviously down to both of them, thus the question was to be more about picking at the details to see whose contributions were more important when compared side by side. I don’t think referencing the fact that the success obviously needed both song-writers to achieve the success they did was a great idea. There are, of course, two other judges who didn’t think like that going into this so who knows if it turns out you were right to mention it so much.

All in all though, this was a great read and a very good debate.


The Lady Killer
The opening couple of paragraphs missed their mark with me. I understand defining success and whatnot, but really it has already been defined by the actual success the Beatles had. Their actual success being the barometer is also the conclusion you come to in your opening gambit so I’m left wondering what the point this bit was to be quite honest. It was basically just a very long-winded way of telling me you were going to argue for McCartney.

Your Come Together section has an interesting dismissal of a pro-Lennon argument. That he was the first in the band is definitely the kind of argument the opposite stance might take, so countering it so efficiently was a good idea. Obviously, it would have been ideal had your opponent took the opposite stance and made such an argument, but you still score points for including a good counter.

You continue with a similar point made by your opponent, regarding McCartney’s superior musical education and ability. You make this point a little better though with the direct comparison to what Lennon brought to the table, and ‘best drummer in the Beatles’ quote was a wonderful way of using Lennon himself to argue for McCartney.

While continuing to accentuate McCartney’s superior musicality, you also manage to casually throw in some nice numbers regarding which of the two song-writers contributed to more of their most successful songs. Your opponent made a similar argument but left the details in a linked source, which is never going to have the same amount of impact as laying it all out there for me to read in the debate. His version of this argument was perhaps a little more eloquently presented though, so all in all pretty even on that front.

You have a rather nice use of the influence and success of McCartney’s Yesterday to segue into how he was also the glue that kept the Beatles together when Lennon’s ways threatened to dismantle them from within. Quite spiffing, I tell you.

Interesting that you outright attack Lennon for his ‘bigger than Jesus’ comment. I’m sure it had a negative effect at the time, but in the long run it didn’t turn out so bad. You could even argue that it gave the Beatles a little more edginess. Tying it back into McCartney and how he kept his finger on the pulse of pop music was a nice add-on to this bit, though overall it wasn’t particularly impactful.

I would have liked a source to back-up this statement: ‘Lennon admitted that these efforts were important to the survival of the band’, with regard to McCartney initiating new Beatles projects and becoming their leader. Lennon’s drug use destabilising the band during the recording of Let it Be was a good point to make, but again could have done with a source to back it up. I don’t doubt its truth, but I could do if I wanted to be a cunt. Luckily I’m all about love these days. All you need is love and food and water and oxygen.

Bringing Yoko into it was a good idea. His insistence on her involvement was one of the main, if not THE main, cause of their demise and definitely worthy of bringing up in this debate. You dealt with it quickly though which was wise, as ultimately the band’s legacy, as has been proven by time, was already established by the point of her appearance on the scene.

You have a very, very, very good conclusion which stands in stark contrast to your opponent’s slightly wishy-washy way of ending things. While your opponent admitted the truth of the matter with regards the Beatles’ success needing both of these guys, you ignored all that reality nonsense and went straight for the jugular. You bang McCartney’s drum right to the death and thus your debate ends on a very convincing note.

VERDICT
In all honesty, I sensed a bit of rustiness in both of these debates. While both were awesome pieces of prose to read, Clique suffered from a slight lack of conviction, almost as if he was arguing McCartney for the sake of picking a side rather than from a genuinely held belief that it was the right stance. In contrast, The Lady Killer came across as utterly convinced of its rightness and that makes for a much more persuasive debate. There were some overlapping arguments which were fairly even overall (certainly in terms of quality), but The Lady Killer expanded its scope into areas that didn’t get a mention in Clique. So, because of the more convincing way the arguments were presented and a much wider range of said arguments, The Lady Killer is the winner.

DesolationRow
Clique,

I enjoyed your stylistic touches, and the small dose of levity you gave your argument right at the beginning by joking about George Harrison being the most important Beatles artist. I also relished the concession made right there that obviously the Beatles as a group would never have been the same musical entity without the contributions of all of its members, and chiefly the coexistence of Paul McCartney and John Lennon. You follow this by going through your arguments on behalf of McCartney being the more important of the two for the Beatles' success with a fine conjoining of thoroughness and succinctness, each attribute necessary to establish the points you need to while keeping the word-length managed. Your debate also capably straddled the metaphorical fence between being fittingly informal but also treating the subject seriously with the terrific placements of footnotes, all of which I looked over, and they indeed fantastically supported your case.

My only considerable constructive criticism would be, always try to look at your writing with a critical awareness of possible grammatical or spelling errors. Your essay only has two of the former and one of the latter, and I'm not a stickler over such matters, but just as a kind of "policy" for yourself, just when you think you've looked at your writing too many times to count and you cannot spot any problems with it, go away from it for a couple of hours and return to it with fresh eyes. I understand how difficult it is to catch these as typically writers, myself included, see what we've written as we've thought it should be, and our brains disallow us from seeing the actual little flaws that exist. This has happened to me on innumerable occasions. It is probably occurring to me in my "review" of these very two essays! Such is the way of writing, however.

On the whole, Clique, your debate is outstanding, fresh, well-structured and buttressed by considerable evidence.


The Lady Killer,

Your debate is a stout, potent argument, and you make a solid case for Paul McCartney being the more important of the two musicians for The Beatles' success. The method of utilizing Lennon's own quotes against him is a fascinating approach. The two best quotes from Lennon you used were his statement that Ringo Starr was not even the best drummer in the Beatles, which refers to McCartney's remarkable versatility as a musician; and his embarrassed comments on "Yesterday," which truly does tell quite the tale, and exquisitely summarizes how much more crucial McCartney was to the Beatles' success in the creation of one of the most popular songs of all time.

My one significant piece of constructive criticism for your debate is that upon reading it, I found the assertion concerning Lennon's insecurities as an artist to be slightly weakly relayed by the way you approached it. You write,

Quote:
It’s well-documented that John struggled greatly with insecurity. The release of Paul’s masterpiece, “Yesterday,” only fueled Lennon’s vice.
I believe that your argument would have been just a little bit stronger if you had somehow reinforced the point of Lennon's insecurity right there, after saying that "[i]t's well-documented that John struggled greatly with insecurity..." Right then and there my mind begged for at least a footnote or a weightier piece of evidence than the statement that John's insecurity is well-documented. To your credit you certainly approach the fallout of Lennon's insecurity as an artist, but this was the one part of your debate that could have used greater documentation.

That said I liked how you broke your debate down into titled chapters. The Helter Skelter part, for instance, fantastically captures how Lennon's descent, fueled by drugs, could have threatened to capsize the Beatles' singular success, but McCartney was in large part keeping the band's artistic finger on the pulse of popular culture and musical trends. The Yoko Ono chapter was also excellently informative.

I also liked your summary, pointing to McCartney's continued existence as the living, breathing avatar for the Beatles' enormous and indispensable place in the history of music and popular culture.

You certainly provided ample evidence for your stance.


Ultimately, I must say that while each debate is tremendous, I give the nod to Clique. It's just a bit more comprehensively balanced, while The Lady Killer's feels a bit more like a quasi-tearing down of John Lennon (not that I disagree with a scintilla of the criticisms--I've levied many deeply critical points against Lennon myself, going beyond even what The Lady Killer covers, haha), but with some definitive support for McCartney as an artist. Each debate is fantastically structured, buoyantly argued, but Clique's was more intrinsically convincing to me.

Thank you both for your wonderful debates!

DDMac
Clique

Points immediately deducted for putting over the overrated George Harrison. Lol.

Firstly, the debate was well put together, and outside of a few grammatical/punctuation errors, there isn’t much to criticize. Thought there may have been an overreliance on quotes from critics, but it served your point well, putting over just how diverse and eclectic Paul’s talents were.

The mentioning of Paul’s post-Beatles’ efforts propelling the continued memory of said group (an ever so slight expansion of the topic) was a nice aside, and could’ve taken this debate over the top if it would’ve been hammered home (though Lennon received a bullet in the head, it would’ve been pretty hard regardless for his work to stand up to McCartney’s considering the directions they were headed.)

The final paragraph brought home my only (and ever-so-slight) complaint about the essay. “They were in effect serving as the other man’s muse. When you have an operation that is clearly multiplicative rather than additive, it becomes near folly to try to tease apart which piece of the puzzle casts the biggest shadow.” While this is obviously accurate, in its context, I feel it hurts the argument by essentially making the first 95% of the less powerful. Don’t back up. “Paul is more important. Period.” Not a deal breaker, but something that took me out of it a bit, especially coming down the home stretch.

But again, the essay, more than did it’s job, as I came out of it wavering on my opinion coming in, which is Lennon > McCartney.

The Lady Killer

Jesus fucking Christ. If I didn’t know any better, I’d assume Lennon was a worthless hack just lucky enough to be in the company of Paul McCartney. It’s an effective tool. Outside of your Michael Jordan analogy (which makes sense from a literal standpoint, but fails practically since in said analogy Lennon = Michael Jordan = best ever > McCartney), the rest of the essay hit all of the points it needed to hit, and hit them all with a sledgehammer.

From the creation of the Beatles to Lennon’s death/McCartney’s continued solo career, McCartney is put over and put over strong.

The addition of Lennon’s insecurity as a backdrop to McCartney’s leadership and ability to keep the greatest band ever together could’ve been a nice touch, but I thought should’ve been either expanded upon, and if there wasn’t enough space just left out all together since it came across as a bit of a fluff (same goes for Paul’s fluency as a supreme musician, something that debate A expanded upon to very good effect.)

That said, everything was in the right place and hit the tone that persuasive writing essays like these need to hit that I felt was lacking in Clique's debate.

Both parties did a great job, but, imo...

Winner – The Lady Killer


Winner via Split Decision - The Lady Killer
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Last edited by Ignignokt; 12-08-2015 at 10:31 AM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 05:05 PM
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Re: FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS

My debut on a card and unfortunately I had a struggle with the Angle debate couldn't get my shit together, shame really! Never the less thanks for the feedback guys and well done for getting the results out!
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS

I'd like to give a big thank you to the substitute judges who stepped in to get the results out, @Poyser @Yoda @Headliner @Anark @Curry Without your help, this wouldn't have been possible.

I'd also like to thank our special guest judges @DesolationRow and @DDMac for their noteworthy contributions to this card!

Big thanks to Headliner again for forwarding me all of the information I needed to get the card up.

And also a tremendous thanks to Seabs, because this fun little section called TDL requires a crazy amount of work behind the scenes, and the immense delays and issues that this card had truly shows how much one person impacts this whole thing. Without Seabs' extraordinary effort, TDL falls apart. I think it's safe to announce that TDL will be on hiatus for the remainder of 2015, which will give some well-deserved time to recharge the batteries and see if we can bring this thing back better than ever at some point in the new year. Note that I am not saying we'll be back in January or February, so if / when there isn't any cards on Jan 1, don't freak out. We'll be back when the time is right.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 05:16 PM
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Re: FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS



Good shit, Clique. I knew it wouldn't be unanimous either way.

Mac: The Jordan analogy actually paints me as Lennon and McCartney as Jordan aka GOAT.

The ironic thing is that I actually like Lennon more than McCartney. :tlk
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:tlk




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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 05:20 PM
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Re: FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS

THE STREAK.... Is over

No complaints really, a classy debate from @Rugrat . When I first read his debate my initial thought was "shit... he might have beaten me here", I got the same impression as Anark, it was as though he'd read my debate first and tried to counter every point I made Going with the opposite (less obvious) stance meant he could much better predict my arguments and counter them which was really, really smart. I still got a lot to learn.

One minor bug is that some judges did give him points for the counter about WM 18, when in the link he provided, I don't think Austin does say that he nixed a match with Hogan at all, really. He basically says that Hogan was open to having a match (doesn't mention Wrestlemania) and that he wasn't. Never once says that WWE actually planned for them to have a match, nevermind at Wrestlemania where I think it was pretty obvious that they were always going to go with The Rock.

Regardless, I probably would have lost even without that, so congrats Rugrat! The most gutting thing about this is having to change my sig

Overall TDL Record:

5-7

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 05:31 PM
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Re: FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS

Also, on my judging debut, I've gone in the opposite direction as the other two judges by voting for a debate that they BERRIED
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Overall TDL Record:

5-7

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 05:42 PM
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Re: FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poyser View Post
THE STREAK.... Is over

No complaints really, a classy debate from @Rugrat . When I first read his debate my initial thought was "shit... he might have beaten me here", I got the same impression as Anark, it was as though he'd read my debate first and tried to counter every point I made Going with the opposite (less obvious) stance meant he could much better predict my arguments and counter them which was really, really smart. I still got a lot to learn.

One minor bug is that some judges did give him points for the counter about WM 18, when in the link he provided, I don't think Austin does say that he nixed a match with Hogan at all, really. He basically says that Hogan was open to having a match (doesn't mention Wrestlemania) and that he wasn't. Never once says that WWE actually planned for them to have a match, nevermind at Wrestlemania where I think it was pretty obvious that they were always going to go with The Rock.

Regardless, I probably would have lost even without that, so congrats Rugrat! The most gutting thing about this is having to change my sig
Thanks mate. It was a fine contest, glad to get the win over a good effort.

I was always under the impression WWF were going to do Austin and Hogan at Mania 18 and the only reason they did Rock/Hogan was because Austin refused to work with him. However, you do have a fair point about the link not directly saying that Austin turning down Hogan led to the match with Rocky.

I'm sure you'll get a title shot soon (hopefully if this is back in the not so distant future).
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 06:40 PM
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Re: FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS

"quad-annual World Cup"

Seriously @Curry
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 06:50 PM
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Re: FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS

May have used that as a placeholder because I forgot the word quadrennial and then forgotten to replace it



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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2015, 07:04 PM
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Re: FINALLY: TDL XXXVIII LEGENDS RISING - THE RESULTS

First and foremost thankyou to the judges and their hard work, we appreciate it. Also thanks to cazwell for being a quality opponent, I hope we can debate again.

Secondly I can't believe I actually pulled a win, my losing streak is dead


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