TDL IV: ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF - THE RESULTS - Wrestling Forum : WWE, TNA, Indy Wrestling, Lucha Underground, Women of Wrestling Forums

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post #1 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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First off a massive thanks to ChampViaExcellence for the insane banner while i$e is busy with other stuff. Some others made great banners too which you can see in the spoiler tag below. Massive thanks to them for their efforts too.

Spoiler for other banners:
The Fourth Wall









Second of all thanks to everyone for being patient and putting up with the delay for the results. It was mostly out of our control though waiting on a 2nd debate for the Rolling Stone debate where only KLEEBLATT submitted.

Clique vs TEHCOCK vs Freeloader vs Double L
Should employers be allowed to perform random drug testing of their employees?

Spoiler for Debates:
Should employers be allowed to perform random drug testing of their employees?

Employers should have the right to perform random drug tests on their employees. People have the right to make the choice to consume drugs, so why not protect the company’s existence. For the sake of this argument, we will consider “drugs” to encompass all forms of narcotics that are outlined on the federal schedule. In order to substantiate this debate, we need to understand why we as employees are tested. From a federal aspect, the “epidemic” has grown exponentially over the last decade.

According to the Justice Department, there has been an increase of drugs and drug use in this country. This accounted for nearly 65% jump (1). Because of this prolong and environmental dysfunction, the government has created methods to reduce consumption by users and minimize the annual expense associated with drugs. This annual project financing is over $25 million annually (2).

The criminal activity associated with the use of drugs is well established and scientifically proven. This is but one of the methods, drug testing, that has been approved by all branches of government. This was designed as a deterrent that holds individuals accountable for the continued spread of this infectious addition. However, what this also did was allow companies to legally pry into their employee’s privacy. With all the crimes that are directly related to criminal activity, contributes to unwanted characteristics, and potential danger that encompass this act, it makes sense to drug test everybody.

With over 22.5 million addicts accounting for roughly 7.2 % of the US population (3). Why not protect their assets such as the current staffing, the company’s mission, and the survivability of the exposure. It is essential because employers have every right to legally protect the company, and administering drug testing is but one of many avenues that can be utilized. People do what they do to protect themselves as a right and professional entities will do the same. Similar to that of individual rights, companies have rights as well.

Some would argue that random drug testing violates their personal privacy, that companies should not be allowed to do so, or claim it should not be their concern what people do outside of work. Well the answer is simple, intoxicated or not, lingering effects similar to that of drunkenness are no different. Drug abusers are a liability and the company is at risk to suffer the consequences. They could potentially be sued, or lose their right to operate. With so much to lose on both ends, someone has to protect the best interest of the other.

Undoubtedly, that includes companies testing for narcotics. Drugs and drug use in terms of illegal substance should not be abused anyway, especially in public as it is dangerous, so an employee who does this should not be rewarded with a pass on the job. It is quite obvious where many of these drug users’ paychecks are going, and I’m inclined to believe that companies are not willing to participate indirectly with such activities.

The problem is people think they have the right to use drugs anywhere, hence, they do. However, what they fail to understand is that once you are on company premises, regardless what they think, the company has policies. If people think that companies should not run random drug testing, then perhaps they look for self-employment. Employees should adhere to the policies set forth. Who’s looking out for the company, is the additive person going to pay the fines, spend some time incarcerated, or give forth their pay to compensate for those that are not functioning correctly? If you’re doing drugs and was fired because of a drug test that you knew your company could perform then it’s your fault. Addicts place themselves in that position, so do recreational users.

Personally, I’m all for some type of policy that is going to protect me while I’m working. I could get injured on the job because some co-worker is recovering from last night’s party, or an early morning fix. The company will gain nothing from having intoxicated employees working for them. I like having the professional structure provided by my employer to create a clean and safe working environment. Also, I like the fact drug testing is part of today’s business aspect because that means more opportunity for me. About 30% of our working force has been terminated due to drug testing. This is up from previous years. People put themselves in positions and expect some law to have a loophole to take advantage of. Well, good luck with that. With the ever growing consumption of narcotics, I do believe that companies should continue to test their staffing for drugs.



Should employers be allowed to perform random drug testing of their employees?
My answer is yes.
Drug users are more likely to cause work place accidents, be late for work and produce less when they are at work. It’s in a businesses best interest to make sure their employees are doing their job in the right frame of mind, Unhindered by drugs. Illicit drug us makes companies spend billions of dollars. Billions they could obviously put to better use elsewhere.

I thought it would be a good idea to show what someone who is high on something can be like at their workplace.

Now in this video, Jeff Hardy is clearly high on something and certainly not in the right state of mind to do something as potentially dangerous as wrestling. He did 3 things which no company should want to have a worker do in this match. 1) He put both Sting and himself in danger of being injured 2) In his intoxicated state, put on a crappy match and 3) Jeff made the company look like a joke by putting on a main event where one of the wrestlers was in no condition to actually wrestle.

Now it’s time for some more relatable examples of what can happen with drugs in the workplace.

When I got my first job at Wal-Mart as a cart pusher, before I could start I had to take a drug test. While it might not sound like a very dangerous job, it was very tiring and required you to be aware of things at all times. I had to watch out for cars and people and also work a machine to help push carts. Not only in the parking lot but inside the stores where there were people crossing my path and I would often have to stop to let someone pass. I would also have to drive the motorized carts back to the store.

What if I where high on drugs while doing my job there is a good chance that my work would slack off or I could cause injury. What if I was driving one of the motorized carts and drove into traffic while impaired? Or what if I hit and injured someone pushing carts?

Let’s also look at jobs that involve driving. Jobs like driving an 18 wheeler are extremely taxing on the body and mind. They are on the road more than anybody else and often drive for most of the day. Personally, if I was the owner of a big rig company or a company that often transports goods; I would want to make sure the drivers are as sober as possible before they get behind the wheel. If they are driving while impaired then they are a risk to everybody around them.

In all these cases you are on company time, and while you are on that time, the company is liable for things you do that harm people. So to avoid spending millions on something that is preventable, they need to make sure you are less likely to injure either yourself or others. They could be sued for millions because someone decided to get high on drugs before they took off to work.

Another thing besides just safety that a business has to worry about is obviously spending and making money. In an article I read it said that businesses lose 80 billion due to people being on drugs while working. Not only because of on the job injuries, but simple stuff like not showing up to work, or showing up to work late and not producing. To put that in a bit of perspective, in 2011 the NFL’s profit margin was 9 billion, almost 9 times smaller.

I’m not against lighting up on your days off or anything like that. But when you are putting yourself in a position to harm others I am against it. And a businesses needs to make sure that you are not at a higher risk of hurting anybody or not doing your work, and the chances of that all increase when you are high on drugs.


Yes, they should. Companies big and small have a duty to maintain a level of integrity within the workplace and do not need some crack addict wasting their time with nonsensical drivel and other such nonsense. Should those tests be hourly? No, but once every few weeks or so seems adequate. The testing would have to actually be random in order to prevent people simply "cleansing" for their upcoming test, which would nullify the purpose of the test entirely.
These drug tests also need to be done to all employees. Traditionally, drug testing is conducted largely to new employees more often, and far less often to tenured employees, if at all. This allows people to simply be drug free for a short time and then hit the pipe once they realize that they stand far less a chance to be drug tested. to top it off, tenured employees are sometimes given a heads up they will be tested. That's not a drug testing program whatsoever. That sets a bad tone at work and gives newer workers a chip on their shoulder right off the bat, and justifiably so at that. Additionally, tenure or not, anyone operating any type of high tech machinery that could harm people or anyone being in a position of major responsibility should be more prone to being tested. The whole "new vs old" employee means of how to test people is outdated and stale, like a Ric Flair wrestling match. an individual who is in charge of operating a heavy crane, tenure irrelevant, should be of slightly more interest to the people in charge of drug testing than say, the new night shift custodian they hired who's duties involve mopping the floor and emptying the trash. Tenure is no way to conduct a drug testing policy.
The counter argument about drug testing is that it is an "invasion" of your personal liberties and taking something that belongs to you. Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that if you are charged with a crime, you can have your DNA forcibly taken from you and placed into a database. This to me is a far more heinous action than drug testing, because it actually involves taking something from inside your body completely separate from the reason you were arrested. Moreover, the country is woefully understaffed for having enough bodies to store and process all this "information" with abundance of DNA from American citizens, and have a very "1984" feel to it. Urine for drug testing is for a specific purpose that tells a hiring entity if you are on drugs that may set a bad example to others or make you (eventually) unable to fulfill your work obligations to that company. Some people turn into a human train wreck if they cannot score some of their product and can become irritable and miserable. That statement is highly dependent on the drug in question, so elaborating would require a hugely extensive look into the effects of each drug, which would be a separate topic entirely.
The last point worth mentioning is about one drug in particular: Marijuana. some states in 2013 9and perhaps other countries) are loosening their laws on this drug, allowing for medical usage in small amounts. State list can be found here: . Drug testing companies need to be aware of these laws and make sure that they are not terminating people with a legitimate, doctor approved reason for possessing this drug.

Double L
Businesses have a right to monitor their employees in hopes of attaining a standard of service in which all employees are operating at their highest levels of ability. For government to deny this right would cause various workers in society to be operating in a detrimental state of health. Different drugs have different side effects for the body. However, all drugs do affect the body in different ways. [1] Cocaine can cause heart or respiratory failure, tremors, seizures and psychosis. [2] LSD can cause paranoia and psychosis, disorientation, depression, rapid heart rate and nausea. [2] Marijuana can cause memory impairment, infertility, cognitive problems, lung damage and a weakened immune system. [2] Heroin can cause circulatory depression, constipation, dizziness, impotence, seizures and withdrawal sickness. [2]These side effects will affect the way the worker will work, to the detriment of the company and to the detriment of society. Therefore, it is important for our society to know if a worker is on drugs that will have a negative effect on their health.
However, I am not quick to judge the employee who may test positive for drug use. We must understand that they rely on this job and to accumulate the possible drug addiction with a loss of income would be a barrage of difficulty unfair to those in this struggle. Some are even only one time users. We must be considerate of their situation as well as the good of the company. I propose that we pass a law stating that while these companies are allowed to test their employees for drugs, they are not allowed to fire them, instead they must get treatment. In other words; they are given a timeline in which they have an opportunity to get off of drugs. This proposal brings up the question, should we put them in rehab? I believe rehab is too expensive for the government, the employer and possibly the insurance company. Instead, we give the employee a deadline within which they will have the opportunity to get off of drugs. In the state of Texas, if a nurse is found to be on drugs, they go through a rehab program until they are ready to return to work. [3] The WWE itself, in fact, has a program in which the employee is suspended and given multiple chances to test negative for the substance. Only after multiple violations is the employee terminated. [4]
While I am against government restricting business practices concerning the requirements of health of their workers, I feel firing them while they are on drugs is too harsh, it would be better to ensure a “second chance clause” in which they are given a period of time to get off drugs.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
The Lady Killer
I thought this was a pretty cut-and-dry decision. All 4 debates argued in favor of drug testing at work. However, one debate was much more convincing that the others.

Clique - Great debate. Solid structure accompanied by strong supporting facts. Acknowledgement of counterarguments is always key, and you effectively shot them down while adding more substance to your stance. Job well done here.

TEHCOCK - Solid effort, and strong examples of Jeff Hardy and truck drivers putting others at risk if working in an impaired state. I felt this debate was lacking a bit, though. For instance, I felt you should have paid attention to counterpoints and addressed them in a dismissive fashion, similar to Clique. I did, however, appreciate your section on a company being liable for things their employees do while on the clock. Strong support, but just lacking in a few areas.

Freeloader - Good effort, and with a bit more substance, really would've given Debate A a run for its money. I like that you stress that drug tests should be random and apply to everyone. You also effectively addressed the same counterargument addressed in Clique's debate. Nicely done.

Double L - I felt this spent too much time coming up with a contingency plan rather than tackling the topic straight on. You make a few good points, but this was a little too short to be convincing, especially considering the above critique.

Winner - Clique

Okay I’d just like to say at this point I’m slightly disappointed that 4 people all chose to debate the same side of the topic. Also as a point across all 4 debates not one of them mentioned that drug tests can pick up mere trace elements of the drug that are still in your system, and everyone just focused on “being high at work”. Really a big area of the topic that was untouched by everyone.

I liked that you linked in the increasing usage of drugs
Liked that you mentioned increasing job opportunities for non-drug users

Liked that you mentioned the co-worker safety aspect
Liked that you mentioned the cost to the workforce by those who abuse drugs.

Format it a bit better next time and try to avoid being too colloquial
Liked that you brought up the lack of random drug testing
Liked that you brought up the issue of medical marijuana but it needed more elaboration on the point

Double L:
Like the last debate, formatting!
Interesting point about the firing of those cause by drug testing procedures
Need to be on topic a bit more

Winner: Clique

Clique is for drug testing and had a strong series of reasons why. The dangers of someone intoxicated on the job and the company being liable were his main points and both were strongly argued. He also countered the privacy points by citing company policy and that drugs are against these policies anyway.

TEHCOCK is also for drug testing employees. The debater used a personal experience and a fairly prominent example of ways that intoxication can effect the workplace. He also went into the money that a company can lose from drug abusing workers.

Freeloader was for the use of drug testing as long as it's done correctly. He argued that the tests should be frequent (monthly or so) and something that everyone has to take. He states the dangers of one operating heavy machinery while under the influence. The debater also states that there are much bigger invasions of our privacy than drug testing.

Double L was for drug testing but with a twist. They argue that instead of firing one who test positive, they should be given a second chance to keep their job and the opportunity to go to rehab. The debater did a good job explaining the ways that drugs can affect people and why it's dangerous.

Winner: Clique

These were all pretty good and covered a good amount of the same points. However, I felt that Debate A argued these points in the strongest fashion.

Winner via Unanimous Decision - Clique

Were Rolling Stone right to put Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on their cover?

So this is what happened here. I do these 4 ways mostly to ensure everyone gets a regular debate but also to try and avoid forfeit victories. Because the chances of 3 guys no showing in 1 debate are pretty slim right? So Froooot and TehJerichoFan both withdraw and leave KLEEBLATT (such a fucking pain to type. Need to think of something shorter for you) and 777. Then 777 no shows and I have a dillema. Originally BULLY was supposed to be sending me a debate within a few days of the original deadline to go against KLEE. Then a few days turns into at the weekend and then he's had the usual 10 days and sent me nothing. Then I ask X if he can come up with a quick debate and he's a wonder so he sends me one in like just over a day. And that leaves us here. Finally. Special thanks obviously to .... X and to the 3 judges who got this judged literally ASAP.

Spoiler for Debates:

The answer is a resolute no.

Putting Dzhokhar on the cover gives him gratuitous attention, portrays Rolling Stone as being more money-oriented, but most importantly it is insensitive to the plight of the Boston Marathon bombing victims. Although some may argue to the contrary for journalist purposes, the use of this particular image of Dzhokhar on the cover is counter-productive. Frequently, Rolling Stone honorably puts actors and musicians on the cover as well as feature stories on pop culture.^3 Lauren Gabler who was a runner and victim of the bombing says she thought Dzhokhar’s photo was that of “a rock star or model.”

By making Dzhokhar their cover boy, Rolling Stone, I feel have morally violated the victims and their memories by displaying his image in such a sensationalized light afforded by this well-known and highly respected publishing company. Whatever journalistic intentions they had with the actual article are lost in the midst of the sensationalism in using this arguably “sex symbol” like Facebook picture. Proponents of Rolling Stone argue that the image seeks to give a picture of how an “innocent” boy became a terrorist or in the magazine’s own words, a “monster.” It seems the magazine wants readers to buy into the story of this boy as a victim of circumstance, and that may be true, however, this so-called “victim” took lives willingly and knowingly. I also think this cover was used for cheap shock value to increase profits, and what they did was a tactic that historically works well in driving sales. A morally questionable act at grasping the public’s attention.

Morality you ask? Why some critics of my argument would claim morality has nothing to do with it. However, it would be a different story if you were a victim or related to one involved in the bombing! Proponents of the magazine say they were just sharing a sad sobbing story about “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.” Am I missing something? Are we looking at the same magazine with the flashy title “THE BOMBER” in bold lettering? Obviously this article is in reference to a tragedy involving a bomb, a terrorist attack, with the face of controversy.

Tragedies, murders, murderers, rock stars as well as sex and death sale copies in the world of information. This is how publishing companies make more money and that is the perceived intention solely due to their choice of presentation. Spark a controversy; fill it with media, and voilà! - you have profits. This is exactly what’s wrong with the media’s thought process in the wake of tragedies just like these. It is so much easier to dramatize the uncomfortable facts than it is to respectfully confront them, but the easy way is never the right way.

Some would argue that there’s nothing wrong with this image, the public is over reacting. Well consuming the overt media coverage of the person that initiated fear to an entire city tends to get a reaction out of people. Without this kid taking lives and striking chaos in this bombing, no magazine would have published his face, gave his story a “victim” angle, and used tragedy for profiting. Imagine how these bombing victims feel. Imagine the pain, the suffering, and the challenges associated with death. Now couple that with torment and torture by viewing the murderer of your loved ones’ take precedence over the victims everywhere from the magazine stands at your store to the television in your home. Glorifying, that’s what some say, perhaps or perhaps not, either way, this cover is getting some form of notoriety and acknowledgement .^1

Rolling Stone may have wanted to “explore evil” for social commentary, but there are more respectful ways they could have shared this story. “The enemy within, hiding in plain sight” without putting Dzhokhar on the cover where he appears like a rock star as opposed to the murderer he is. With that said, no matter how deceptive the wording is, images speak volumes, and in some cases insulting. Still, Rolling Stone’s sales skyrocketed by 102% in July alone.^2 That also speaks volumes. I personally believe Rolling Stone blatantly did this to profit off tragedy and controversy, and it seemingly worked.

Given the nature of the story, the bombing incident, and the limelight on this murderer, along with the timing that this issue was published, it was not handled with taste. Rolling Stone may have not meant to offend anyone when publishing this piece, but they did. Regardless why he was chosen to represent this issue and topic with this “public enemy” photo, they were wrong using this image to further their gains in profit and violating the integrity and vulnerability of those directly impacted by this tragic story.




Were Rolling Stone right to put Dzhoktar Tsarnaev on their cover?

No. Rolling Stone magazine were not right to put Dzhoktar Tsarnaev on their cover.

Rolling Stone magazine is a media publication with the rights to publish whatever they choose. The use of Dzhoktar Tsarnaev on their front cover is not only a marketing ploy but it also shows a normal young man who has recently pleaded not guilty to 30 different charges, as a terrorist guilty of some attrocious crimes. The article does looks at how it could be that a seemingly normal young American man suddenly became a terrorist. It is deceitful and dishonest and implies the guilt of a man that has yet to stand trial.

“He was a charming kid with a bright future. But no-one saw the pain he was hiding or the monster he would become.” A quote from the article.

Below his image it simply reads The Bomber. There is more evidence leaning towards him not being directly involved in the bombings at all and that the Boston bombings were in fact a false flag operation orchestrated by the US Government. The new American way is to presume somebody is guilty until they are proven innocent. Ever since 9/11, American citizens have lost that specific right. The right to be seen as Innocent until proven guilty. You’re supposed to have faith and trust in your justice system and not fear it. The implications of this are huge. When the trial comes around and Dzhoktar Tsarnaev is put in front of a jury. Who’s to say this jury won’t be influenced by Rolling Stone magazine and their depiction of a terrorist bomber. The way they have labeled him as a guilty terrorist.

Being guilty until proven innocent is “a principle that requires the government to prove the guilt of a criminal defendant and relieves the defendant of any burden to prove his or her innocence.” This is apparently lost in this situation.

I fully understand some of the outrage as people probably should care more about the victims of the Boston Bombings than some back story about a the man suspected of carrying out these atrocities. But we have now come to expect this kind of journalism from Rolling Stone magazine. But that’s not the point; in this situation Tsarnaev is guilty until proven innocent.

Rolling Stone magazine stands by their article stating that “It falls within the traditions of journalism” and also that they have a “long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day.”

“The Rolling Stone story breaks not only ´traditions of journalism´, but several media laws and ethical boundaries that are crucial in a fair, free, democratic society.”

Of course there are people outraged by this. These people are under the belief that Dzhoktar Tsarnaev is guilty of conspiring and acting out a terrorist action and is responsible for the Boston Bombings and the killing of innocent people. They view this as glorification of a terrorist. Critics believe that the cover glamorizes Tsarnaev, depicting him as a kind of rock ‘n roll star rather than a terrorist killing four people and seriously wounding hundreds of others.

A previous Rolling Stone cover story that sticks out in my mind is the Britney spears issue. She was only 17 at the time and they had her lying on a single bed in her underwear and holding a teletubby. The outrage on this occasion was that she was being shown in a sexually suggestive state. But in reality it’s a clever play on how pop stars are groomed in the music industry and the songs they produce are of a sexual nature. It’s not different than the rest of popular culture. The difference here is Britney Spears wasn’t on trial for anything. The implications weren’t quite as impactful on societies view of such a tragic and historic event.

A really interesting point is that sales of the publication had increased by 20% when the cover issue was initially released. In spite of many outlets, mainly in the Boston Area refusing to even stock the publication. Rolling Stone magazine have now doubled their usual monthly sales of the publication since this controversial cover story came to light.

Not counting the doubt I have over the presumed guilty parties involvement in the Boston Bombings there is also no denying the fact that it is an attempt by Rolling Stone magazine to troll America for the publicity that comes with such controversy and at the expense of the people affected by the Boston Bombings.

It also comes down to the fact that Dzhoktar Tsarnaev has not stood trial for these crimes yet of which he has recently pleaded not guilty. For a publication to assume the guilt of somebody is plain wrong.

End of.

Articles of note

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
The Lady Killer
This was a great debate, and thanks to Clique for filling in and giving KLEEBLATT a worthy opponent.

Clique - This was a very solid debate. You were passionate about your stance and argued it very effectively. Great supporting statements as well. After solely reading this debate, I figured you'd be the clear cut winner, until...

KLEEBLATT - This debate kicked ass imo. You took the same stance, but took it in a direction I didn't see coming. At all. You claimed that the magazine was portraying an "innocent" (by traditional standards) man who has not yet stood trial and depicted him as a murderer. You were also very passionate and convincing throughout. THEN, you took it one step further and incorporated Clique's argument as a secondary source of support for your stance. Very, very well done. Love the diversity in your argument. Great debate.


Clique wins this one. KLEEBLATT claims there is more evidence that he wasn't directly involved in the bombing, but has no facts to back this up. This was an awkward part of that debate and it stuck with me more than the rest of the debate. Clique hammered his point home more often, almost relentlessly so. While I wasn't convinced that Rolling Stone did anything wrong here, Clique's argument was stronger overall.

Clique – Opening is strong and sets out the agenda of the debate and the key topics of interest in arguing against the question. Liked the argument that honourable journalistic intentions was a moot defence given the choice of picture for the cover which depicts Dzhoktar in a far more revealing light and appears an intentional ploy to draw attention immediately to the publication. This is followed up well in the next paragraph which focuses on the sensationalised font in depicting him as ‘THE BOMBER’ as a means to discredit the argument that the article is focused with his background and not merely his actions. “It is so much easier to dramatize the uncomfortable facts than it is to respectfully confront them, but the easy way is never the right way” was a great closing line to the following paragraph which challenges the integrity of the mass media’s coverage of atrocities such as the Boston bombings. Following two paragraphs again are strong and focus well on how the victims in Boston will react to seeing this figure of destruction glorified in such a way. Really liked the part about there being more respectful ways to explore social commentary and how the execution of this story failed to meet said respect. Conclusion could have been a bit more defiant and stinging in its criticism, but otherwise this was a very good debate.

KLEEBLATT – The focus on Rolling Stones’ article representing a breach of ethics in the justice system is an interesting take on the matter, however I’m not convinced this debate managed to truly tackle and present their POV in a manner that forced the reader to question their stance. I thought parts of the opening couple of paragraphs could have been cut in order to preserve the valuable word count as it was more background context, which while not useless also struggles to engage the viewer. I also felt the writer missed a great opportunity to expand on his research which highlighted how the article broke media laws and ethical conventions in a democratic society. Expanding on this aspect on top of presenting the argument that the article went against the beliefs and integrity of the justice system could have made for a fascinating insight, however the writer chooses to abandon this line of thought and instead repeat their previous line of thought by concentrating solely on the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ aspect. The Britney Spears example was an interesting comparison to highlight the importance in context to distinguish two separate controversial covers and I appreciated the emphasis on how the Dzhoktar cover holds greater significance and impact on society. The final few paragraphs are very brief and for me could have held more weight had the writer not exhausted their word count earlier.

Clique wins for me. I felt the approach was more consistent whilst cleverly focusing on the wider aspects and ramifications of the cover in a way that added depth to the consistent argument. KLEEBLATT had great promise but the failure to expand on the cover breaching media laws and ethical conventions felt like a misguided motive that ultimately hurt the debate, which suffered additionally from sparse conclusions which looked to be the result of the writer exhausting their word count.

Winner – Clique

Winner via Split Decision - Clique

*Clique struts away with 2 wins from his debut like only someone who's just come out the closetghetto as being black could #suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup

Rah vs Crusade vs Concrete

Who should win NJPW's 2013 G1 Climax?

Spoiler for Debates:

Naito. There is a word limit of 300? Well I guess I should continue then. There is no don’t in my mind that Naito should be the G1 Climax 23 winner. It is probably easiest to look at some of the top names in the tournament and quickly eliminate them from the discussion even though Naito is deserving beyond the “He is better than Option A, B, C ect.” argument.

I’ll start by eliminating probably one of the front runners going into G1, Shinsuke Nakamura. Shinsuke could have a few reasons why he should win the G1. Maybe he should win to get him into a firm position into the main event scene alongside Tanahashi and Okada. Maybe he should win since at 33 he still has years left to be an ace in NJPW. Those points don’t hold a ton of weight with Nakamura being one of the top performers in terms of in-ring work and with getting the fans support. He doesn’t need to win the G1 to be put into the main event scene. All that needs to happen to get him there is simply to put him in a main event slot. Nakamura doesn’t need a big build to get there.

Shibata is next on the docket. He’s 33 and was out of wrestling from 2007 until August of 2012 when he was doing MMA and since he has been back he has not worked with a high regularity. His stint in MMA and lack of regular touring with NJPW makes him not strong candidate for being a person who should win the G1 Climax. G1 should be a testing ground for Shibata to see if he can work the demanding schedule and then NJPW can push him to the moon if they desire. Shibata outing in MMA also doesn’t show a greatest of dedication to NJPW. I’m not suggesting he’ll go back to MMA since his 4-10 record doesn’t give any indication that it’d be a good idea but it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities of him dropping out of wrestling again.

Prince Devitt will be my last dismissal. Devitt still has a bit left in the tank at 32 and is a fresh face in the heavyweight scene. Both those things would be considered good reasons for him to take G1 23 but there are two big things that make a win for him less necessary. Devitt is coming off an impressive undefeated run at BOSJ so does he need to win another major NJPW tournament? Also he is part of a brand new heel stable, Bullet Club, so he already has a vehicle to gain heavyweight success. A G1 victory, while could it be a nice addition to Devitt’s eventual solidification as a heavyweight it isn’t nearly as valuable as it would be to Naito or many others for that matter.

There are others obviously in the G1 Climax but they don’t need much of a reason for why they shouldn’t win. Tanahashi has won a G1 Climax in 2007 as well as already being an incredibly established main eventer. Tenzan, Kojima, Suzuki, Makabe, and Nagata are all 40+ years old and Ishii at 37, while bad ass, is too late to start building a higher profile career via a G1 win. Benjamin and Ibushi aren’t regulars with NJPW so they shouldn’t win it, and even if they did wouldn’t be deserving. Okada is the champ so he should build some challengers through Climax 23 not win the whole thing. Anderson is not the focal point of Bullet Club so he shouldn’t be winning the tournament to take the focus off of Devitt. Toru Yano and Yujiro Takahashi are midcard acts that don’t have any need to move up the card with Yano being great in his role and Yujiro not being good enough to go upwards.

Now I’ve gone through why the majority of participates of G1 Climax should not win but the reasons why Naito should indeed win the 2013 version of NJPW’s arguably most prestigious tournament. First of all Naito is a wrestler who seems should always have been a potential ace for NJPW but injuries have held him back. Now he is back and just in time for G1 it seems. There is no more perfect time to put Naito back into the picture after being off the radar since October. At 31 he is one of the younger men in the tournament and if he can remain healthy has so much to offer but if NJPW doesn’t give him a push while he is healthy they may miss the chance to give him that truly solidifying run that he has showed he is worthy of.


The annual Grade 1 (or G1) tournament has become a much heralded staple within the puroresu calendar for New Japan. Arguably, too, its round robin style is only matched (in both history and prestige) by rival promotion, All Japan Pro Wrestling’s, Carnival Cup. The difference, however, between the two, long-running promotions stems down to their reaction towards the struggling wrestling market in Japan. For AJPW, in-house bickering and faction splitting (as seen by Keiji Mutoh’s resignation and founding of W-1 with many AJPW talent) has borne itself out of the erratic leadership style of their new president, Nobuo Shiraishi. Though, for the more cautious NJPW, business has involved remarketing themselves into what the contemporary audience desires; a seemingly sound strategy, considering their rather remarkable iPPV sales and creation of Kazuchika Okada into Japan’s MVP. [1]

Continuing from this, NJPW once again follows suit with their 20-participant format, delivering one of the more talent-rich cards in recent memory. While the tourney has always been a platform to showcase the promotion’s top talent (dispersed by a few independently contracted wrestlers for novelty match-ups), its main reason has usually been as a means to elevate their newer or up-and-coming stars. Many wrestlers have solidified their names due to their performances in G1, most notably, perhaps, of these is that of the iconic Masahiro Chono, the tourney’s inaugural champion and five time winner. With the nature of such a stacked card, then, the promotion ensures itself of not only solidifying the promotion as a desired entity towards the Japanese fan but, for those involved, a much required boost in credibility/marketability, as well.

As such, the choice of an eventual winner may seem compounded by the strong forces at play, especially in the talent heavy first block. However, a single name does rise above the others, that of Katsuyori Shibata. Considering the nature of Japanese wrestling, where one’s showing is more linked to their credibility than a win/loss record, the losses sustained by the other participants to a relatively fresh, and returning, Shibata would be inconsequential to their own careers. In the less heavy Block B, injuries and less-talented workers seemingly sway predictability in one direction. Despite his stable-feud with CHAOS (led by world champion, Okada), Suzuki does not require a G1 win nor the title shot the win awards. Having the ability to freely move up to title contention from the upper-midcard, as well as Okada/Suzuki being a stale match-up at this point, it would seem MiSu’s chances are all but gone. Another potential winner of this block is that of Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura’s rise back to the main event scene is rather that of “when” not “if”, with Nakamura/Okada being a strongly coveted match-up that the promotion will most certainly run at some point. Shinskay picking up the IC title, however, may sway his chances of winning to that of Naito. Following Naito’s return from an injury he sustained in 2012’s G1, NJPW would be wise to run with the nifty backstory at hand, as well as allowing Naito to reset his credibility with an impressive showing this year. The heavy impact of “ring-rust” in Japanese wrestling, though, may be the deciding factor in Naito either winning or becoming runner up.

In terms of Block A, for the majority of those involved, their placing within this bracket is their reward, not the win. Both Makabe and Tanahashi, like MiSu, are perhaps above the tournament in that they don’t require the win to be pushed against the title holder. Considering Tanahashi has had a lengthy opportunity in facing Okada for the title, and Makabe is Okada’s latest challenger, it would seem that both will act as solidifiers for other talent. With a G1 win and world title currently under his belt, Okada is another contender who does not require the accolade - likewise for the recent BoSJ winner, Prince Devitt. Despite his rather inconsistent relationship with NJPW (having left twice in the space of two years in the mid-2000s), Shibata has always been rather favoured by bookers. His second G1 placing in 2003 would see Shibata pick up wins over big time players Tenryu, Chono and Nakamura as well as making a return victory over Tanahashi in 2006. His latest return, teaming with legendary MMA star Kazushi Sakuraba as Laughter7, seems to dispel any notion of Shibata's failed MMA career holding any weight against his own credibility. With a history of non-dedication to NJPW that places him as a potentially heated enemy of the roster, Shibata is a definite choice to breathe fresh life into the main event scene. A choice, too, that seems to mirror the preferences of the Japanese audience [2]:

Thus, if NJPW is to continue delivering a product aimed in resuscitating the market, Katsuyori Shibata is most certainly their rightful choice.

[1] Tokio Sports Grand Prix Awards 2012


With the 23rd anniversary of the G1 Climax, New Japan Pro Wrestling as of right now find themselves in a rather unique position. In the professional wrestling world, it is pretty rare for a company to have all the stars perfectly aligned for a long term main eventer to be made in a relatively short period of time. This tournament also has the opportunity to build for the future of the company for the next 5 to 10 years creating the top main event rivalry that would almost be sure to do great business if booked correctly. With all this in mind, there is really only one clear choice on who should win the NJPW G1 Climax of 2013. That wrestler is Tetsuya Naito.

Naito made his return around a month ago from a serious knee injury at the Dominion PPV event. Before his injury, it was clear that Naito was on the brink of cementing himself as a long term main event player. Naito defeated established main eventers like Shinsuke Nakamura, had a run in with NJPW's ace Hiroshi Tanahashi and just came up short against Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. He also had a strong showing at last year's G1 Climax, just missing out on the final 4 on the last day of the tournament. It is also worth noting that Naito made an appearance a month before returning at the Wrestling Dontaku PPV to announce his return to NJPW. Both his booking and his appearance before his in ring return show that NJPW have a lot of faith in Naito's ability to be a main event star sooner or later.

Naito is one of the most popular wrestlers in NJPW and it is clear since his return that the fans are still very much behind him. An example of this is 7 days after making his return, he had a fan signing where more than 250 people attended.[1] This clearly suggests the interest and support in Naito is still there despite his long absence. His popularity along with his booking indicates the fans see him as a main event level talent who is going to win the IWGP Heavyweight Title sooner rather than later. Not only this but Naito certainly has the ability to be taken seriously as a main eventer in NJPW. He has a hybrid style of both technical and submission wrestling along with astounding high flying akin to the Junior Heavyweights which has earned him the nickname of "Stardust Genius". He is almost the perfect representative of NJPW's overall style as a promotion. With NJPW evolving and pushing Prince Devitt, their Junior Heavyweight ace into the Heavyweight Division; Naito is now a perfect fit for the main event scene.

The biggest opportunity Naito winning presents is in terms of storyline. With Naito back from a serious knee injury, it gives NJPW the chance to create a real feel good underdog storyline as Naito chases the world title from Okada which would feel organic due to the popularity of Naito. Okada is also the perfect foil for Naito, not just because of their history in 2012 but because of his brash and arrogant character. With Naito winning the G1 Climax and chasing Okada all the way to WrestleKingdom 8, NJPW would not only create a new main event star in Naito but also draw in good business and most importantly: build the future faces of the company and create a rivalry which should captivate the Japanese wrestling fans for the next 5 to 10 years. Naito still only being 31 means he has a lot of years left and would be a huge long term investment for the future of NJPW.

No other realistic winner gives NJPW the amount of long term benefit for the company that Naito does. Tanahashi is a 6 time world champion, has main evented for years and has already faced Okada 4 times. At 44, Suzuki is at the twilight of his career and doesn't need it. Devitt's push has only just begun and needs time to develop as a big player, plus he only just faced Okada for the title recently. Nakamura just won back the Intercontinental title and can be inserted into the main event picture at any time as he is well established. Any of these winners would be a short term fix and not a long term investment for the company.

Naito winning means NJPW has its new babyface main event star and creates a potential drawing rivalry for the long term future of the company. With Naito's popularity, his talent and his story going into the tournament. There really isn't a more perfect winner for the G1 Climax.


Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Concrete - Debate of two halves. Your process of elimination to rule out the other candidates was great. However, your argument in favour of your pick is way too brief and really hurts your debate in that you only actually use a few sentences to close your debate in actually presenting reasons why your pick is the right pick. You needed a better mix of arguing in favour of your pick and discrediting other potential picks. If you kept it to about half and half then you would have had a great debate. Don't get too wrapped up in discrediting other picks and remember that the question is who should win rather than why shouldn't these win. You're absolutely right in eliminating the other picks but don't use up so much of your word count doing that so that you end up as little left as you did here to actually argue in favour of your pick too. Interesting that you neglected a very realistic contender in Goto too.

Rah - I thought this debate would have benefited from a bit more depth to the argument in favour of your pick too. I would have really condensed your into too. It takes up a lot of your valuable word count just setting the scene and you could do with stating your stance as soon as possible rather than 2 paragraphs into the debate. Like A, it does a good job eliminating other potential picks despite neglecting a potential key contender like Naito or Goto. Could do with more beef and persuasion to your argument for your pick though.

Crusade - Strongest debate of the 3 for me. Really good arguments in favour of your pick which set it apart from the other 2 debates in making your debate more convincing. Discredited some key alternatives too. Again there's a noticeable omission or two from this part such as Shibata, a very possible winner.

Winner - Crusade

Concrete uses his debate to eliminate some of the bigger names in the tournament and follows up with why their guy should win. They managed to do this fairly effectively, giving strong reasoning in each situation as to why ______ shouldn't win. Could have been a little more pitching Naito, though still a strong debate.

Rah chose Shibata as their winner. Fairly good job going into why Japanese wrestling isn't as focused on wins/losses but rather credibility and that most of the mainstays can remain strong despite loss. Debater goes on to explain why Shibata is in need of the win the most and why it would benefit the company and the fans. Good use of the fan poll to show that there is strong interest in Shibata winning.

Crusade started off talking about the implications of winning the tournament and gives his answer of Naito. Debater doesn't budge one bit with his stance and fully endorses Naito, showing his popularity and the fact that he fits into the picture that NJPW is going for so well. He also gives reasoning as to why other popular options wouldn't do for the company what Naito winning would. Debater also shows the long term implications and storylines of a Naito victory.

Winner: Crusade

All three debates were very strong but I felt that Crusade sold me the most on their winner.

Concrete –Its’ a tricky balance to master but sadly I felt this debate failed in balancing the structure of arguing against the other wrestlers to support the chosen wrestler. When you make a point to argue against the other participants, you have to then give sufficient depth in your argument for why your chosen wrestler is more worthy. A short paragraph with concise and unsubstantiated points doesn’t articulate your argument and leaves more questions than it answers? Why has Naito long been touted as a company ace? What specifically does he offer above anyone else? I also felt there were a lot of grammatical errors which should have been identified via proof-reading. With more nuance in how to structure a debate so as to adequately dismiss other candidates whilst sufficiently outlining the reasons for your choice this could have been much stronger.

Rah – This definitely read as a first time debater. The opening two paragraphs were unnecessary since it didn’t establish the writer’s POV and was a mere summary of the G1’s origin. The point about New Japan catering to their fans as an eventual segway to the fans’ poll had merit, but could have been achieved in one sentence and left crucial space for the writer to give a more weighted answer. I didn’t find the answer particularly answered the question either. Even the final paragraph outlining Shibata as the chosen winner spends as much time talking about his history as opposed to why he represents a viable investment here and now. The inclusion of the poll was a nice surprise, but overall this had irrelevant paragraphs, didn’t establish the writer’s POV until midway through and struggled to engage the reader. A persuasive tone is necessary to succeed in debating and you need to clarify your viewpoint succinctly and leave a notable impression on the reader.

Crusade – A far more polished debate and my winner. Very effective and ideal structure which immediately establishes the POV of the writer and his argument. Very swift analysis of Naito’s background which is then used to argue in his favour. Nice usage of demonstrating his sustained popularity and how he was presented prior to his injury layoff. Devitt example of New Japan evolving and pushing someone similar to Naito’s size was a smart observation and the layout of Naito/Okada as a longterm storyline was well argued. Thought the small paragraph dismissing the other contenders worked in where it was positioned as the continued argument for Naito was incredibly strong. One small critique would be presenting opinion as fact which leaves room for a rebuttal in future. Arguing Naito/Okada as a certifiable draw in a way that suggests it as a concrete fact would be ill advised in future. Aside from that, strong entry.

Winner – Crusade

Winner via Unanimous Decision - Crusade

Takers Revenge vs TheLoneShark vs Alim vs The Ratman
Should Stone Cold Steve Austin have beat Triple H at No Way Out 2001?

*Takers Revenge no shows*

Spoiler for Debates:
The Ratman

I think that this match could have had good outcomes with either Stone Cold or Triple H winning the match. But I think WWF did the right choice on letting Triple H go over Stone Cold in this match. I do find it odd that they would let the number 1 contender lose in the PPV right before Wrestlemania. There are better reasons for Triple H to win the match than there was on Stone Cold winning the match. The only reason Stone Cold should have won the match was so he could look strong and show he was ready for his WWF Championship match against The Rock at Wrestlemania.

This brings to my first point, Stone Cold losing this match was good for his match against The Rock. Stone Cold was one of the top guys in the WWF at this point, with just winning the Royal Rumble match. With Austin’s loss to Triple H, it had the WWF fans thinking if Stone Cold was really ready for Wrestlemania? Could The Rock get payback on Austin by finally defeating him at this year’s Wrestlemania? This lost meant nothing for Austin anyway. As Stone Cold looked good as ever and went on to defeat The Rock at Wrestlemania for the WWF Championship.

As I said earlier that Triple H needed this win more than Stone Cold for various reasons, here is why. Triple H was a huge heel at this point in his career. He needed to maintain and stay as the top heel by defeating the number 1 guy in the company, Stone Cold Steve Austin. It also showed that Stone Cold and The Rock aren’t the only top guys in the business. With this win for Triple H, it showed that he was the top heel in the business and he deserved to be a WWF Champion again.

I believe the point for this match was to put on a great show for the fans by having two of the best wrestlers in the business go against each other and to make them both look great for Wrestlemania. Trips had lost at Royal Rumble, lost in the Armageddon Hell in a Cell match, and lost to Stone Cold at Survivor Series. This win added to his credibility to his career. And he got a win over Austin as payback from there match at the Survivor Series. Thus making Triple H look strong and ready for his match against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

Anyway I think it was very predictable that Austin was going to win the match. Also Stone Cold was the favorite going into the match at Wrestlemania. Having him lose, it made it a more unpredictable match for Rock and Austin at Wrestlemania. Making it also unpredictable for the Triple H and Undertaker match. If Triple H could defeated the number 1 contender for the WWF Championship, could he also give The Undertaker his first loss at Wrestlemania?


Simply put: no - but it’s never that simple. It’s important to look at this in historical context: Austin went on to face The Rock at Wrestlemania for the WWF Title. Helmsley went on to fact The Undertaker. And it was this forward planning that put the Federation in a very difficult position. Both men needed to be strong going into Mania.

It’s very easy to take the old-school side here and profess that the challenger should always go into the big event on the back of a big win so as to make him a credible threat, but remember: this is “Stone Cold” Steve Austin we’re talking about. The biggest star of the time and one of the top drawing cards there ever was. He didn’t need the win to make himself credible because, by the very nature of the beast, Austin was always credible.

Helmsley, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. While he’d long since established himself as a key main event player with his long-running feud with The Rock, which elevated both men to the top tier, and he’d had the distinction of ‘retiring’ Mick Foley a year previously, he still wasn’t completely established as a marquee superstar at this point. Buy rates with HHH as champ were good, but they were nowhere near the levels the company could expect with Austin or Rock as headliners. This match, in so many ways, was the making of the ‘Cerebral Assassin.’

Going into this one, nobody expected the former Greenwich, CT blueblood to have a chance. The angle had been built beautifully: after a year of speculation as to who had run down Austin, Rikishi had been revealed as the man behind the wheel. After claiming ‘he did it for The Rock’ and spawning a feud between the three men that would eventually involve the entire main event scene and culminate in the Armageddon Hell In A Cell classic, Triple H turned on Austin in a tag team match and revealed that it was, in fact, him that had paid Rikishi to take Austin out. Austin was furious, looking for revenge, and their final battle was set for the Three Stages Of Hell at No Way Out.

The casuals demanded that Austin exact his revenge. The smarts were convinced that he had to do it too, because tradition dictated that the hero always gets his revenge. But the company needed a top-line heel – neither Helmsley nor Kurt Angle had truly proven themselves consistent draws in the role at this point – and to do that, they had to deny Austin, and his millions of fans, the outcome they wanted. They had to have Triple H win the match to establish him as the despised heel he went on to play so well for years, because they needed the fans to genuinely resent the fact that he was able to pull out the victory when everybody wanted to see the opposite. This was the WWF creative team tearing up the rulebook and it worked perfectly.

The match itself was a war, Austin taking out all of his pent-up fury on the man who sidelined him for months, while Trips delivered a technical and psychological masterclass, giving the fans every glimmer of hope they expected whilst working on the previously-injured knees of Austin in a despicable display of ruthless aggression. This match was the one that truly cemented the ‘Cerebral Assassin’ moniker and would form the basis for establishing Hunter as one of the most dominant main event forces of the 21st century.

Austin took the first fall, Trips the second, then the cage was lowered and this war was locked safely inside the steel, where the level of violence and brutality went to a whole new level. The fans went crazy as the two men beat the piss out of each other. Eventually, against all the odds, all the expectations, Triple H took the win and the sold-out crowd in Las Vegas could not have been angrier. The fledging IWC exploded in outrage, too. Triple H was now undisputedly the top heel in professional wrestling when the match ended.

Should Austin have won that night? Absolutely not. He may have lost the match, but he took a great main event talent and turned him into a legend, an icon, and a future Hall Of Famer. This match made the ‘Cerebral Assassin’ into the star we know today, and if Austin had gone over that night, we’d be looking at a very different company today; Hunter, of course, went on to make stars out of Batista, Orton, Lesnar and Cena. This match, in hindsight, both changed the game and made “The Game.”


The Triple H versus Stone Cold rivalry is not only one of the best of the Attitude Era, but one of the best in professional wrestling history. It was a story of two men that absolutely despised each other and would do anything and everything it took to one up the other and remain on top. Whether they were costing each other the prestigious WWF Championship or running one another over with cars, this was a heated rivalry between two of the very best.

When Steve Austin returned after his near year long hiatus after being run over at Survivor Series 1999, he came back with one goal in his mind and that was to take out to man who was behind it all along – Triple H. For months the two battled on numerous occasions in No DQ matches, Hell in a Cell matches, and finally, the epic Three Stages of Hell match. The match ended in what is seen as a “clean finish” in pro wrestling terminology. There was no outside interference, no cheating, just a clean pinfall in the middle of the squared circle. Although the match ended cleanly, it did come at a controversial expense. The match itself is widely seen as a classic, but it’s argued that the finish leaves a lot to be desired because the wrong person won. I believe that Triple H winning at No Way Out was the correct decision and Stone Cold should not have gone over.

Steve Austin had won the 30 Man Royal Rumble in January, earning himself a match against the WWF Champion at Wrestlemania. However, the score was yet to be settled between him and Triple H and the match was set for No Way Out. I believe the primary reason why others think Austin should have won is because of his match against The Rock at ‘Mania. Of course, you don’t want your number one contender to look weak heading into the biggest show of the year. But did he really look weak by losing to Triple H? Let’s break it down fall by fall.

The first fall was a straight wrestling match where Austin won after hitting his patented Stone Cold Stunner. If anything, HHH is the one who looked weak here because all it took was one quick Stunner for him to get pinned.

The second fall was a Street Fight and Triple H won after a sledgehammer shot to the head followed by a Pedigree. Hunter needed to pull out everything he could to put Austin down. A sledgehammer to the head is nothing to sneeze at. Add in a ton of blood loss after being struck with a barbed wire 2x4 and a Pedigree, Austin still looked very strong here.

The third and last fall was the dreaded Steel Cage Match. The finish to the match came when both wrestlers struck each other in the head with their respective weapons. Austin hit the mat first from the impact and Triple H followed, except he landed right on top of Stone Cold which forced the referee to make the count. This does not make either man look weak at all. Austin only lost because lady luck happened to be on The Game’s side on February 25, 2001. He put up a valiant effort and did everything he could to win, but came up short because of a “fluke”. This is not to demean Triple H’s victory at all either. Hunter looked great in the match and beating Stone Cold Steve Austin in two straight falls is about a big of a win as you can get.

If you look further past the match, Austin still went on to main event Wrestlemania. He still had the fans behind him – until the ending of the match, of course. And most importantly, he still won the WWF Championship. Now, was him losing to Triple H really that bad if in the end, Austin still accomplished what he needed to?

Triple H needed the win more than Austin. Hunter was only 31 years old and in the prime of his career. He was already the top heel for a year, but later on he was going to continue to be “the man”. Meanwhile, Austin was in the near twilight of his injury filled career. He was gearing up for one last run on top before walking off into the sunset. It was always a mystery as to when Austin’s next injury would occur and just how much gas he had left in his tank. Austin did the right thing by “putting over” HHH on this night because it further solidified The Game as the future of the company and a serious threat to all comers.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
The Ratman – I’d say this is a case of a debate crying out for a more persuasive tone. What was written factually established potential talking points which if expanded upon in greater detail could have made for a more convincing and stronger debate overall. As it is, it introduces potential talking points which just require a more argumentative and succinct style to really make this a competitive debate. For future reference, try and structure your debate to flow as it is read. The opening paragraph in particular was muddled and felt disconnected in terms of each sentence following the last. Explain your point clearly from the outset and use the rest of the paragraph to reach a proper conclusion. “I do find it odd that they would let the number 1 contender lose in the PPV right before Wrestlemania. There are better reasons for Triple H to win the match than there was on Stone Cold winning the match” for example just doesn’t read well as a continuation of the last sentence.

TheLoneShark – The winner for my money. Very efficient and organised debate with a clear POV established in the opening and an in depth analysis following which continuously supports and expands upon the POV. The brief illustration of Austin’s character in of itself being credible was concise and simple, but crucially allowed the writer to focus on the necessity from HHH’s behalf in going over. Very impressive deconstruction of the question and using the WWF’s need for a true antagonist to rival the megastar babyfaces as justification for HHH going over being the sensible decision. Conclusion is super as it clearly summarises the POV and draws upon the impact of HHH’s win from a long-term standpoint in working to create future stars adequately. Closing line in particular really stood out to me as well as a very clever and definitive way to conclude the argument.

Alim – Again, the ideas in theory were ok here but needed a more suitable execution in order to succeed. Breaking down the match fall by fall to support the argument that Austin didn’t look weak in the greater context wasn’t necessary as the same point could have been made in more concise detail but with a more persuasive tone to reflect the argument. Your word count is precious here and you can’t afford to waste valuable words arguing a point endlessly that could be shortened and still achieve the same effect. When the debate does focus specifically on the question rather than supplying context for the reader, its’ too brief and sparse in analysis for me to consider this the strongest debate. Again for future reference, establishing your POV only at the end of the 2nd paragraph just wastes your word count and really should be dealt with in the beginning so as to establish your POV and use the bulk of your remaining word count to assert and justify said POV.

Winner – TheLoneShark

The Ratman's was extremely concise, and well-stated with his direct answer to the question. The Ratman provided substantial reasons why HHH winning had a beneficial effect not only on the WrestleMania headliner pitting WWF Champion The Rock versus Stone Cold Steve Austin, but it helped build toward HHH's big match with Undertaker at that same event. The Ratman supported this with the key instances that took place over the course on the road to that event and how HHH's victory was a pivotal yet necessary decision. The Ratman also did a fantastic job explaining why an Austin victory was not the best option and the potential implications if he had won. Stellar debate.

TheLoneShark, I enjoyed the retrospective take on the Three Stages of Hell match itself and the analysis you made on prior events building in this feud and the aftermath that played a role in the arc of the key characters involved. However, I found The Ratman’s brevity in answering the same points you made to be just as effective. Maybe more so with his voice being so active in his well-structured outline of details. Your line at the end is ace, though. One of the best closing statements I have read in TDL.

Alim also did a great job delving into how the match played out. The introduction was a strong set-up for your argument. Your case about the deciding match finish along with the previous two falls left both men looking strong which needed to happen on the Road to WrestleMania. You highlighting the main goals in the paths both Austin and HHH took were successful attained as a result of the HHH victory made your argument even better. However, I still felt The Ratman & TheLoneShark for that matter also provided stronger reasons why an Austin victory wouldn't be as beneficial. So overall their arguments felt more complete to me. In the end, I believe The Ratman answered the question the best and most directly so he is the winner.

The Ratman - Good stuff turning Austin losing before his title match with Rock on its head to argue it made the appeal of the title match greater. Hard to pick many faults with the debate. There's a good chance I would have picked this one as my vote if it had a bit more depth and raise a couple of extra points to really strengthen it compared to the other debates.

TheLoneShark - Great debate. Very hard to pick any major faults with it and it argues your point with great clarity and plenty of depth to back up your debate. Great concluding paragraph too. I'd be careful in future debates about describing situations a little too much and forgetting that it's a debate rather than a descriptive review of a situation. It was fine here though because you added in enough arguments in among the descriptive parts to say why what you described happened worked.

Alim - I thought this was debate was the wrong side of descriptive whereas TheLoneShark's was the right side of descriptive but still arguing their stance. The first 2 paragraphs could be greatly condensed, still achieve the same outcome and state your stance on the debate much sooner which is key so the reader knows as soon as possible what you're debating for. A bit more of your debate spent making and arguing points in favour of your stance and a little less describing settings would make this a very good debate.

Winner - TheLoneShark

Winner via Split Decision - TheLoneShark

Seabs: Where's your interview Shepard?

Shepard: I had The Lady Killer here for like 2 seconds at one point but now he's gone.

Seabs: That could have been your big breakthrough interview couldn't it young one?


Seabs: Shep, while I have you here. Thoughts on your guest interviewer for our first supercard, Geoff Shreeves?

Shepard: :ann

obby vs The Wrestling Junkie vs Scottish-Suplex vs The Fourth Wall
X-Division Title matches being exclusively triple threats benefits the X-Division. Agree or Disagree?

Spoiler for Debates:
The Fourth Wall


Ever since the day TNA decided to implement Triple Threat rule in to the X-Division, I've had a sour taste in my mouth. It's no secret that the X-Division is usually an after-thought by TNA these days. Gone are the days when the X-Division was regarded as the most important aspect of TNA and gone are the days when the X-Division used to Main Event Pay-Per-Views. It's a much different story now, a lot of the most popular X-Division wrestlers have now left the company or have now risen up the ranks in TNA. There is not much fire left in the division, a lot of what people loved about it has now gone and the fact that the company doesn't seem to care about the Division just continues to hurt it further. The risks that the X-Division wrestlers take each and every week should be appreciated more than it is and not ignored.

I feel the Triple Threat rule limits everything. The fact that we can't have a feud between two men reduces the interest in the Division and the lack of build for the matches. With the rule you know you are never going to see something new the next week and you know that it will once again be a Triple Threat match. When you are seeing the same thing week in and week out, it gets really tiresome and the fans begin to lose interest. Before the Triple Threat rule was even implemented, the Division itself wasn't in a good state. We were seeing a lot of the same X-Division matches each week and there wasn't much creativity there and it just seemed from our perspective that TNA didn't care about what they were doing with the Division which kills the fan's interest in the product.

Even though more talent is showcased each week with this rule and that's great for them we are just seeing the same things over-done time and time again. Having a Triple Threat match once in a while would be nice but when it is constantly shoved down our throats and we know what to expect, it kills the excitement and breath of fresh air from the Division. When TNA was just starting out back in 2002 the X-Division was seen as the thing that made TNA stand out from the other promotions, it was a breath of fresh air to see the wrestlers displaying a high risk and high flying style of wrestling. The fast-paced aspect of the wrestling is what drew so many people to watch TNA. As it was unique and most importantly, new. TNA is known for founding the 'Ultimate X' match and even now, the match is not as important as it was once billed to be. The 'Ultimate X' match is one of the most exciting match-types in TNA history but because of TNA's lack of creativity or interest in the Division, the fan's interest in seeing the match goes away and we are left with a dull experience, no matter how good the wrestling is.

Below is an example of how the Division used to be:

As you can see from the video. When TNA was just starting, the X-Division was regarded as one of the most important aspect of the company and it was given a lot of time. Now, it doesn't get as much time as it should and thus makes us feel like no thought was put in to the match. If it returned to how it was and was regarded with importance again and the creativity grew, I feel the Division would once again shine and not go under-appreciated.

I dread the day when TNA may finally decide to remove the Division from the company and give up on it as there is still potential and talent there, it just needs to be utilized correctly. Simply giving up is not the answer. All that the Division needs is more focus and creativity. I personally feel they need to strip away the rule as it limits what TNA can do with the Division. I would rather it go back to how it once was and what everyone loved about it. I would like to be able to get fully engrossed in a X Division feud once again. If they continue to show lack of interest in the Division, then the fan's will follow and it will ultimately lead to the demise of the Division which would be the worst option for TNA to take. They need to take action now before it's too late.

The Wrestling Junkie
Since its incarnation in 2002, the X-division in TNA has been one of its biggest attractions for the division’s high-flying, high-risk and fast paced style of professional wrestling. One of my personal favourite matches of all time in the X-division had to be the triple-threat match between AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels at TNA Unbreakable in 2005 which was given rave reviews and a huge rating of five stars by the Wrestling Observer. Here is a link to the phenomenal match below:

Sadly fast forward to 2013, the TNA X Division has been some-what lacklustre and phased out that it has become virtually a mere shadow of its former-self regardless of whether it gets continuous matches and segments every week. I am legitimately unable to remember the last time I have seen a real heated rivalry that I can only think back to the feud of AJ Styles and Samoa Joe which really defined what the division was all about, and that was about guys proving that they are the best in that division regardless of whether it was battling for a championship or participating in the TNA X Cup tournaments. Although admittedly, in the past TNA have tried to revitalise the division with the likes of Abyss holding the X-division title hostage and the success of Austin Aires.

With TNA introducing the triple-threat law for championship matches, I believe that this can only really ‘Cover the flaws’ of the division because as I stated previous that the X-Division has been about its fast-paced, high-risk and death-defying actions that with a triple-threat match, it means that the talent can showcase their skills to the audience and try to captivate them to put on a good show just like AJ, Joe, and Daniels did all them years ago. With the new rule change, we have seen the returns of the likes of Petey Williams, Sonja Dutt, Chris Sabin, and the Suicide character that all have been able to add slightly more depth to a very lacking division and have been able to make some of the triple threat matches quite entertaining. I mean on paper, a triple threat match in the X-division, you would be shocked if you did not see consistent action from every corner and that I guess can captivate the crowd and keep them entertained if they see three guys going at it for good twenty-minutes.

But the down-side that comes with it being exclusively triple threat for title matches is there does not seem to be any meaning behind it, and how can the crowd truly buy into a match between three guys who are just fighting for the title. Like I said earlier, guys like Styles, Joe and Daniels all captivated the X-Division because they all had a rivalry about wanting to show they are the best, and the crowd bought into that. But now the passion behind fighting to be the best is gone and personally for me is one of the reasons why I have struck away from watching it much anymore because it’s practically now ‘Three guys randomly fighting for a title’ rather than ‘Three guys who respect/hate each other, and want to prove to their opponent why they deserve to be champion’ and in essence its why the feuds between Styles/Joe or Joe/Styles/AJ were so amazing, because they had that passion to create a story and show-case their skills to go along with that story. And that is what gave the division such a defining name. So the question remains, can the audience become invested into a continuous triple threat match with three guys fighting for the title without any real-meaning of a feud? I would have to make an overall conclusion and say no.

The key word I am using here is ‘Repetitive’ and that is exactly what consistent triple-threat in championship matches will offer. I do not think in the overall big picture that the triple threat has offered anything in terms of benefiting the division, instead just introducing a bunch of random guys like Christian York and Alex Silva from a very flawed Gut-Check programme. Sadly this really does boil down to the fact that TNA maybe needs to thinking of branching out and finding talent like Kenny King or Chris Sabin out in the indie section and really put together a bunch of great talent who can make triple-threats the match to see, but not only that – TNA need to understand that they have to give more time to the division itself, and allow them to have storylines and feuds because a bunch of random guys wrestling each other in triple threat matches is not going to bring the X-division back to its former glory that it once had.

TNA over the course of the last 11 years has grown considerably, while it’s always going to have its detractors and these detractors will always have legitimate ammo, it is something much closer to WWE then the indie promotion it was at its origins. It has a full time roster, mostly, it is aired internationally, sort of, it has a developmental territory... in a way and it has star power with the likes of Hogan, Angle and many more.

But what of the X-Division? This was the division that was with TNA from its Indie days and stayed with it till the present company striving to be on par with the WWE. During TNA’s earlier days the title was tied as one of their biggest and most prominent title, the title that in many ways got them attention and a chance to better themselves. But as has been mentioned, times change. As TNA has changed though so has it, such as the new rules stating all matches or at least those with any title relevance are triple threat matches. With that I have managed to slowly meander onto my point. The three way rules were instituted to give a little more relevance and uniqueness to the division that was at that time becoming stale and irrelevant, made that way because of TNA company changes, but most importantly these changes within TNA made the original X Division impossible to return to and the new rules a life line which can only benefit the current state if the X Division.

As TNA has grown so did the focus on the traditional systems of making their Heavyweight Championship the main belt, the belt that would be most inclusive of the entire roster. While in some cases they've allowed wrestlers like Samoa Joe to start in the division, they've only ever used it as a stepping stone to greater things, in essence, it became an ideal version of the Intercontinental Title combined with the Cruiserweight Title. As the best talent rose to the top like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Austin Aries to name a few, the X Division was hurt. Van Dam's reign in my mind was a perfect representation of the division’s irrelevance. He defended his title in poorly built up PPV matches which quickly became unadvertised TV defences when the PPV rates dropped and even his final feud with Kenny King was half hearted, brought on by necessity as Van Dams contract ran out while TNA half heatedly toyed with the idea of going all in with Christian York. The introduction of 3 way rules have in many ways, been an injection of life and athleticism brought about by the increase of participants and also temporary talent, all helping a division potentially damaged by TNAs advances.

TNA has shown which direction they want to go, and in many ways it’s a way that might have completely destroyed the X-Division. The Cruiserweight Division was unable to survive in the WWE and at times struggled in WCW. What the Triple Threat matches do allow is the emphasis of athleticism and impressive spots, some often going beyond flppy shit such as Zema Ions double roll up and Suicides double submission. They play to their strengths and the benefits are seen in the resurgence of the Division in recent months with the likes of Sabin and Manic. Some will argue at this point that story-lines will struggle in a system preventing traditional 1 on 1 encounters. I can simply say that is the world of wrestling anything can happen, such as the Aces and Eights run-in which turned the focus of a three way match to Austin Aries versus Chris Sabin, arguably a match of the year.

In conclusion, the new three-way rules only moderately affect the current situation except now allow another emphasis on athleticism and rules which now add an originality and almost real-world professionalism that gives the Division a better sense of identity in a company that risked losing the divisions relevance. The fact that these rules have brought about the divisions resurgence can only be a benefit.

It seems like business genius Dixie Carter comes up with new “revolutionary ways” to change TNA every week. Her HUGE ANNOUNCEMENTS almost get redundant, what with them taking place all the time. The worst part is that most of these “gigantic” announcements fall short of the hype, or even act as ways to make TNA worse. If it isn’t obvious already, I think that the new “three way” style is a poor way of redefining what was a struggling X division in the first place.

Think back to the glory days of TNA X division wrestling. Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Petey Williams, Kazarian, The Motor City Machine guns, and so on, were always sure to light up your screen with fast paced action at the time. The main draw of the X division was always the fact that it was completely unique. It wasn’t just some cruiserweight fest with a weight limit, no, it was open to each and every member of the TNA roster. It was about risk taking, and breathtaking moments. It was always fun to watch, and TNA themselves knew it. It was heavily featured on the show at all times, and the title actually meant something.

Fast forward to early 2013. The X division is at an all-time low. It’s been struggling for years at this point, always taking the role of the lower card division, and never featuring any big name stars. Just before the new X division format was revealed, there were only 5 active X division wrestlers – Rob Van Dam, Kenny King, Christian York, Joey Ryan, and Zemma Ion. Obviously, things are going to get repetitive with a roster like that. It was at that time that things took a drastic turn, but not for the better. Yes, somehow, TNA managed to make things even worse. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised; it isn’t like this was anything new. In March 2013, TNA unveiled the new rules for the X division. A 230 pound weight limit was imposed, the championship was to be defended in every match, and every contest would be a triple threat. A side addition called the X CAM was also introduced, which made use of a secret camera on the referee for TV broadcasts. Thankfully, the idea was soon scrapped. Even TNA can recognize a terrible idea once in a while.

I have two main issues with the new format for the X division, the most prominent being the fact that the three way match types butcher storytelling and make the entire division completely repetitive. With every contest being a three man spotfest, storylines are generally built around two of the competitors in the matches, generally leaving an odd man out. Take the Chris Sabin – Kenny King feud. For the first phase, the “third man” was Petey Williams. While Sabin and King had promos, both solo and together, Petey was completely left out. Williams was a completely unnecessary addition when the match actually took place, as he wasn't part of the feud. The in ring side of things is also significantly weakened with these new rules, as every match in the division being a three way can get repetitive, fast. I have nothing against triple threat matches, but they do seem to generally be spot fests. What was so great about the old X division was that it featured a great mix of both high risk and technical maneuvers, whilst still being completely worthy of its reputation of a “high flying” division.

The 230 pound weight limit also presents a huge problem, as it directly contradicts the original intention of the X division. While most of the X division matches of old featured lightweight wrestlers, the entire idea was always that it didn’t matter how much you weighed as long as you could take risks, and fly high. Samoa Joe was one of the greatest X division wrestlers of all time, and he’s easily over 300 pounds. It’s obvious that he was still considered an X division talent as early as the beginning months of 2013 too, as he was featured in the main event of the Xtravaganza PPV. This weight limit effectively stops him, and other wrestlers like Kurt Angle (a former X division champion) , from ever wrestling in the division again.

This “new phase” of the X division hasn’t been entirely awful, however. The new rules have inspired TNA to bring back several talents like Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin, and even Suicide for a short while before he was completely ruined by the booking team. If TNA would simply take away the new rules, and keep the new roster, the X division would have a chance at being great again. Until then, however, it’ll just be another mistake made by TNA.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Wow guys. This is one of the most competitive debates we have had so far. I would say the best TNA topic debate in the TDL. Each one of you did so many things correctly with your answers to the question and it made my judging more difficult to determine a winner. I believe my decision ultimately came down to who offered just a bit more detail to the argument than the others, and everyone included plenty of detail. No one had a bad debate so I commend you on your submission.

Now, The Fourth Wall, you brought up the current state the X-Division has in the company and how over the last few years has declined in importance. You made a valid argument against the triple threat rule and how it further dilutes the importance of feuds for the championship. Debate A, your point about keeping things “fresh” to the deviation of interest from fans because of the repetitiveness of the formula. How you structured this argument is very strong with the use of video evidence coupled with your history lesson on the legacy of the X-Division’s rich origins. Overall, you created a thorough debate with a clear stance accompanied with much supporting evidence. Excellent.

The Wrestling Junkie also had a great use of video evidence showcasing arguably the greatest X-Division match of all time which happened to be a triple threat match of all things. However, I like how you pointed out the difference between then and now and that is rivalries of importance like Styles vs. Joe are missing. In your presentation in hit the nail on the head explaining that without story, character motivation, and build there is a departure from caring much about the showcase. Your argument is convincing.

That brings me to Scottish-Suplex who presented some persuasive aspects on how triple threats are beneficial in showcasing more talent in today’s X-Division in the midst of the faults the company has had in booking the division currently opposed to the prominence it had in its inception. I felt Scottish-Suplex made an excellent case saying that while the X Division is not the company’s main attraction anymore, wrestlers are still getting some spotlight. This is important to his argument if we are discussing the benefit of triple threats if there are any, no matter how big or small those benefits may be. Scottish-Suplex took into consideration that today’s X Division does not measure up to the past, but what TNA are doing right now with the triple threat is presently at the center of the current X Division’s resurgence.

When I arrived at obby I could immediately sense some disdain he had for Dixie Carter and her executive choices for TNA. Much like everyone else in the debate you mentioned the quality of the original X Division, and how much that quality has decreased considerably over the years. All valid issues that no one argued against in this debate. Like The Fourth Wall & The Wrestling Junkie you brought up how repeating the same match type negatively affects the storytelling and characters feuding. What I really liked about your debate was how you contextualized TNA’s ineptness to properly promote an idea throughout your entire debate from beginning to end. You never let up. The instances you broke down are hard not to consider.

So again, what we have here are four strong debates. The Fourth Wall, The Wrestling Junkie & obby all argued in their own and convincing ways how triple threats take away importance from the division. Scottish-Suplex differed in the way that although he also acknowledges the plight of the division, the company is still showcasing talent every week. Scottish-Suplex did a well in establishing that there is some benefit even if there are many serious issues that everyone agrees on. Scottish-Suplex wins for his outlook on how the division’s role in the company has changed. Again, great submissions from everybody this round!

The Fourth Wall's was a solid debate. I think you needed to focus more on why you feel the triple threat rule is a bad idea rather than focusing on the division's past. That hurt the strength of your debate because it was almost like you were answering a completely different question.

The Wrestling Junkie's was ok but the problem I had was that you said the triple threat rule can cover the flaws of the division, but then in the next paragraph you went and highlighted all the negatives about the triple threat rule without having a counter argument to shut them down. So basically you picked a point and then went against it which would leave a reader in confusion.

Scottish-Suplex's stood out because because he used examples of how the previous system didn't work in the last year or two to illustrate the potential of the triple threat system working in place of it. Good job.

obby was way too negative toward TNA and it overshadowed your opinion on the matter. Try to leave your personal feelings out of debates so that your point can be seen in better light. Also, your personal feelings brings a level of irrelevance to your debate.

Winner - Scottish-Suplex

Interesting takes on this with 3 debates being against the new rules and 1 being for them.
The Fourth Wall focuses on the way that the division has changed from all the way back to the onset of the company and that it could still have some juice in the tank if it were to be booked correctly. Did a good job covering the bases of why feuds can't be established well and how tedious that kind of gimmick can get.

The Wrestling Junkie kicks off bringing up one of the most popular matches in TNA, that happens to be of the X-Division. They also point out the positives that the changes can bring. However they go on to explain that the division can't get feuds going the way that AJ/Daniels/Joe managed to in '05 because of the lack of attention it receives. Debate B believes that this method won't get them where they want the division to go.

Scottish-Suplex has a more positive take on the rules. Scottish-Suplex manages to go on about the lack of fire and emphasis on the division that was lost in the previous few years and goes on to explain that the new rules can show off the kind of crazy spots that these guys can do. They also briefly made a point that the triple threats can still spark feuds between the participants.

obby takes us on a trip through nostalgia lane, when the X-Division was at it's high and then compares it to the roster of 2013. Debate D went on to make a point that the X-Division wasn't about weight limits but more so about one's will to be extreme. obby also uses the Sabin/King/Williams example to explain why creating feuds between two of the men in the match just makes it seem pointless to have a third guy. However he does state that the switch managed to bring back some familiar faces to liven things up.

Winner: obby

Winner via Split Decision - Scottish-Suplex

Seabs: *mutters under his breath* no idea why obby didn't win.

Headliner: You fucking what?


Headliner: Well at least I don't have 3 testicles.

*This was a gutter ball from Headliner. Like he thought that would bother me. Who WOULDN'T want an extra testicle?


*Seabs erupts and has to be restrained from MURDER.*

*In fairness to Headliner that one got me pretty mad and got a reaction so that one gets a STRIIIIIIIIIIIIKE.

JM vs Epididymis vs MetalX vs Cobruh
Could Lebron James guide any NBA team to the NBA Finals?

*Epididymis & MetalX both no show*

Spoiler for Debates:
Lebron James is the best player in the NBA today. He is a former rookie of the year, 4 time NBA MVP, 2 time Finals MVP, 2 time MBA Champion, 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist among other awards and accolades. His combination of size, strength, speed and athleticism allow him to play and defend all positions on the NBA court effectively, which is unprecedented in the NBA. Despite all of this, and my continual defending and advocacy of Lebron James I must say that he could not guide any NBA team to the NBA Finals.

When you look at Lebron’s NBA Finals performances thus far, he had 1 with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007 and then of course the last 3 years with the Miami Heat. On paper you can look at that Cleveland team in ’07 and say they were pretty mediocre to crummy outside of Lebron and if he can get to the finals with them then he could get to the finals with anyone, especially seeing as he’s a lot better now than he was then. This is a worthy argument really, however looking deeper, Lebron made the finals in a year when the reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat dealt with a series of injuries and were upset in the first round by the Chicago Bulls. The Heat probably would have been the Cavs toughest test that year from the East if they faced off in the playoffs. They also faced a seemingly uninspired Pistons team in the Eastern Conference Final and it still took an essentially flawless performance from Lebron in that series to get them to the final. In addition, the Eastern Conference during the 06/07 season was about as bad as it’s ever been as far as being outmatched by the dominant Western Conference. It’s no surprise that the 06/07 Cavs are regarded as one of if not the worst teams to make it to the NBA Finals.

Despite how bad that Cleveland team may have been outside of Lebron it doesn’t compare to some of worst supporting casts that could have been assembled for Lebron. A good way to look at this would be to take any team in the NBA today and replace that team’s best player with Lebron and consider how that team would do. Its certainly a guarantee that Lebron would make all those teams better, and maybe even get all of them into the playoffs, but he certainly would not get all of them to the finals. The Bobcats wouldn’t be in the finals, neither would the Sixers or the Celtics among others. There are things required to get teams to the finals. You need to come together as a team, you need to be hungry and you need to put the right pieces in place. Jordan had Pippen and Rodman, Bird had McHale and Parish, Magic and Kareem and Worthy, and it goes on and on. These are 3 top 10 all-time players and their teams still understood the importance of putting a team together to win. A recent example would be Kobe, who was considered the best player in the NBA for a number of years. His Lakers were 3 peat champions with Shaq and Kobe. Once Shaq left they didn’t get back to the finals again until the put the necessary pieces back in place (Pau, Bynum, etc).

Since Lebron went to the Heat he has been to the finals each year, which obviously shows what you can do when you combine an elite talent with good players to play with. Despite Lebron currently being the best player in the world it is simply unreasonable to suggest that he could take any team and get them to the finals.

No, LeBron James could not guide any team to the NBA finals. LeBron James may be good which he has proven over the past decade, but he could not guide any team to the NBA Finals. Some teams perhaps he could, but other teams no.

A very, very easy point to make here is that he did play for the Cleveland Cavaliers for 7 years and he didn't take them to the finals once, or even close to the finals some could argue. LeBron might be good on the court himself, but it's no secret that teamwork is what makes the dream work. The topic question is asking if LeBron could take any team to the finals. I do believe that he could take maybe the Lakers or the Thunder to the finals if he were to be traded there, but teams such as the Raptors, Pistons, and Bobcats? I don't even think LeBron could guide them into the playoffs. King James has taken the Heat to the finals for the past 3 years and has won the last 2, but let’s take a look at the team he was with, The Miami Heat. Miami is now known as bandwagon central when it comes to fan base, and this is because the entire team is good, not just Bron Bron. Miami’s 2012 roster nearly looked like an all star team! Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, AND Ray Allen next to LeBron? Quite frankly I think it’d be a disappointment if they didn’t win the championship.

Now let’s look at the cold hard facts, the statistics for LeBron and his team the past year. For starters what you may or may not have noticed is that LeBron wasn’t exactly the one being hailed for being clutch, it was Ray Allen with a big three to send the Heat into overtime, not LeBron. Although LeBron has put up some pretty high points as of recent, in the first 6 games of the NBA Finals he hit only 43.3 percent of his shots. If someone was going to be able to guide any team to the finals, they would have to make most of their shots, be clutch when need be, and be consistent. I don’t believe LeBron is any of those things. Although LeBron has experience slightly on his side I still don’t believe it’d be enough. To propel any team to the NBA Finals is nearly impossible, especially some of the teams out there doing as pathetic as they are. LeBron’s last season was his best season but quite honestly I don’t see him topping it, especially if it were on “any” team.

LeBron could not lead any team to the finals because if LeBron played even better than last year for (let’s say) the Pistons/Bobcats/T-Wolves/Nets this year, they without a doubt would NOT even make the playoffs. In the end NBA teams are exactly that: TEAMS. One man cannot define a team, they may stick out such as Michael Jordan, but there will always be the Scottie Pippen of the team to help him get there.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Honestly both debates were fairly similar and both were fairly basic. I will point out to Cobruh that Lebron made the NBA finals in 07 and the Eastern Conference Finals in 09 with Cleveland. Both debates touched on the fact that great players had their number 2 to help them and that championship winning teams are usually balanced like that. Overall JM gave a bit of a look at how Lebron would do if he replaced the top guy on every team which is why I’m giving it the win.

Winner: JM

Both debates here had the same idea for the most part. JM made the argument that the '07 Cavs had a particularly easy road to their one finals appearance. He also argued that the supporting cast matters and cited examples of other star's supporting casts.

Cobruh also had some emphasis on supporting casts. A couple problems that struck me were some incorrect facts. The Cavs did make the finals (2007) and were close (ECF) in '09. Also the argument that LeBron on Detroit/Minnesota/Brooklyn wouldn't lead them to the playoffs was weak. Good argument when it came to the supporting roles part and LeBron's finals play.

Winner: JM

The Lady Killer
JM - This was structured pretty well. Opening statement establishing your stance, then acknolwedging the potential rebuttal (2007 Cleveland) before delving into your support. At first I was a bit concerned that you had left the door open for the Cleveland rebuttal, but you recovered nicely by saying that all things had to break Clevaland's way that year to make the Finals. Plus, it doesn't hurt that your opponent stated that Cleveland never made the Finals, or even came close. Solid debate.

Cobruh - Well, I think you might've needed to do a bit more research here. Not sure if basketball isn't your cup of tea or what, but you basically shot yourself in the foot when you stated that LeBron never guided Cleveland to the Finals (or anywhere close to the Finals), because he did in 2007. Oops.

Winner - JM

Winner via Unanimous Decision - JM

Mozza vs Desecrated vs ashes11 vs Possibly-Jupes
Should the English Premier League have a winter break?

Spoiler for Debates:

Should the English Premier League have a winter break? No, the English Premier League should not have a winter break and I’ll explain why.

First of all, the idea of the winter break is to give the players a break and keep them fresh throughout the latter stages of the season. That to me shows an inconsiderate amount of disrespect to all of the squads. At the beginning of each season, the manager is asked to pick 25 of his best players over the age of 21. That rule does not apply to players under the age of 21 meaning the manager can call upon any of his lesser experienced players at any given point of the season to boost the numbers of his squad. Irrespective of how many players are used throughout the campaign, these are elite level athletes who go on pre-season tours to prepare for these types of conditions with top of the range Doctors, Masseurs and Physiotherapists. All top Football Clubs have Sports Scientist whose job it is to keep the players at their most physically possible peak by designing and performing warm ups and drills during training and before a game.

The ‘Christmas Period’ is as vital as the opening and closing weeks of the season and dare I say it, provides the most shocks of the season. Due to the nature of squad rotation with 6-8 possible games in the month of December and early January to be played, a team battling for the Premier League title such as Manchester United could send out a mixed team of youth and experience against a team fighting for their lives down at the bottom of the table and suffer a hard fought 1-0 defeat which can define a season. An example of this would be West Ham United defeating Chelsea FC at Upton Park 3-1, or even Queens Park Rangers clawing out a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea FC both occurring in the season of 2012/2013.

Some of the experts such as the current England manager, Roy Hodgson, may have a differing opinion, which this quote suggests. “It might be better if we spread the load a little bit differently and we give them more breaks and certainly a break in the middle of the season. I don’t think the best way to keep players fit is to push them through 60 games in eight-and-a-half months then have three-and-a-half months with no football”. Roy Hodgson, you may wish to take your own advice. Despite the 2012/2013 season closing up on the 14th of May 2013, Mr. Hodgson called up a squad of English players who have just competed in a very demanding and competitive season so they could compete against the Republic of Ireland on the 29th of May 2013 at Wembley stadium and then make the batch of players travel all the way to South America to compete in another friendly against Brazil on the 2nd of June 2013. Lest we forget the other energy consuming friendlies the English F.A arranged pitting England against Brazil on the 6th of February 2013 at Wembley but also made them compete in Sweden on the 14th of November 2012, right before the hectic Christmas Period he is so publicly against.

Carrying on the topic of International football being heavily intertwined to the winter break, there appears to be a myth floating around that a 6-week winter break in Germany has been the key to the success of the German National Team. Without straying too far from the topic, the key to Germany’s success is their array of fantastic homegrown talent being utilized in the German leagues. The lack of a winter break is not the reason for the England national teams shortcomings. The English national team is failing due to a lack of quality young players. The fact that German teams have a two week holiday followed by four weeks winter training filled with friendlies is completely irrelevant.

Considering all points, the lack of a winter break allows the fans to watch regular games throughout the winter period without interrupting a teams momentum by sending them on a potential six week break from competitive football whilst allowing me, as a fan, the chance to watch a high volume of games with many ups and downs, twists an turns and upsets. If the English Football Association implements a winter break I believe we will see a drastic drop in drama that makes the English Premier League so unique from other leagues around Europe that have a winter break.

Roy Hodgson interview:


Should the English Premier League have a winter break?

A large part of appeal to the casual fan is the winter games in England. It is romantic. The idea of being at home watching the 'big game' with your family & friends in front of a television with food, alchohol and festive activites. Down at the local watering hole also works. It makes the appeal of the English Premier League bigger. It is the time of year where it expands beyond just being a sport or hobby and where it becomes a family activity, an activity with friends, a sweetener to the already special festivities that surrounds the holiday periods. IMO, it is English footballs' Superbowl.

Just like the Superbowl, there is increased financial bonuses to games over the festive period. Bigger viewing audiences means advertisement slots and opportunities are bigger & better. Clubs get a slice of that, introducing the reason why a winter break has never been heavily pursuited.

So that's one perspective to it. It is very appealing to the mass audience. When you include finance, it is very appealing to club & broadcaster. But is it appealing to players and coaches?

I am not in the mind of all of them but I imagine that they dislike it. Training over Christmas when they could be with their families & playing in freezing conditions, traveling cross country. Factor in it's not good for fitness. They are playing 4-5 games over a 2-3 week period all around the country. Then when that is over, straight into more games. League, League Cup, F.A Cup. The games start to pile up, back into European competition for top teams. After a while, it takes it toll. Very slowly players can't commit to every game. During tournament year (Euros, World Cup), they don't get that opportunity for a big break. 4-5 weeks in a foreign country playing international football, then straight onto pre-season tours abroad and before you know it, they are back to playing in Newcastle or Stoke in December. Fitness takes a big hit. The quality of several players, especially those over-exposed to games that just keep on stacking up, take a big hit.

What side do I support here? I support having a break. I want to watch the very best of football. I believe a winter break would hand in hand increase quality.

Lets take Germany into example. They run a 5 week break from all competitions. Does it benefit them? Their league is starting to become the hotspot for more devoted footballing fans. The winter break isn't 100% the cause of that. But it has breeded more competitiveness after the winter is over when their players return in top shape and ready to tackle the second half of the campaign. This is starting to show in their European competition form. With Bayern reaching 3 finals in the past 4 years, Dortmund reaching the finals last year with a very thin squad & Schalke getting to the semis in 2011. The winter break in Germany was introduced in December 2009. Later that season, Bayern Munich reached the finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2001. Co-incidence? That year, yes. But in 2013? No. It isn't a co-incidence, it's hallowing evidence to the English game that this is working for them. The introduction of a break and the one small cup competition has elevated their league standard and has improved their form in European competition.

In England, it's not as great. They are forced to sacrifice tournaments in change for either European or domestic league success. Their league format is extremely draining. 38 games of the highest quality and calibre of physical demands. When factoring in two domestic cups which are sandwiched into any gap between league games & European/Internationals, everything stacks up. Chelsea is a good example of being able to work around the many games on offer. But while they balance themselves, their league form is often sacrilege for success in other frontiers. The two most recent champions of the Premier League have found themselves stifled on the European front as a result of their intense conquest for domestic bliss over their rivals. Why can't they have both European and domestic successes in the same season? Because their best players aren't afforded a break at the expense of corporate greed.

So there are two points. The romanticism for the English supporter. And the health & fitness of the player. One breeds greed, the other success. One gives an entertaining time of year, the other gives fitness issues, potential injuries and problems for the final 5 months ahead.

So, should English football have a winter break? Yes.


There are many factors that makes the premier league so tough. There's the tough physicality of English football that has seen quality foreign players unable to adapt, there's the having to travel to Stoke at least once every season and then there's football players like Suarez who try to eat other players. But perhaps the toughest part of the Premier League is the schedule. Whereas the top leagues in Spain, Germany, Portugal, France and Scotland get a winter break, English teams find themselves still slogging on without a rest. This is during a crucial period in the season as well where teams are now half way through their season and have their goals in sight. It's now pretty much decided who is fighting for Europe, who is battling for the Premier league title and who is fighting for Premiership survival.

With this I will argue in favour of a winter break. The winter break can be very testing for teams where players can find themselves playing five games in fifteen days. This is a real test of fitness and mental strength but also completely unnecessary. All that really is achieved is albeit one of the most interesting periods of the league but also where the quality is doomed to diminish due to fitness. What would undoubtedly be more interesting is a period of rest where teams and managers would then be given the chance to take a step back from a very busy schedule and evaluate the rest of the season. Managers can assess where they stand in the league, what they need to achieve and also what movements they're going to make in the January transfer window. This gives teams a chance to look at their season and focus on their goals. This certainly makes for more interesting football than simply throwing teams on for a relentless period of football.

Another way of looking at this debate is to see who really achieves with this schedule at the moment. It's pretty clear the teams don't. Most managers would certainly opt for the break and probably for reasons stated in the last paragraph. In fact we've seen Premiership managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Roberto Mancini and Roy Hodgson support a winter break for the Premiership. There's certainly no managers in the other leagues with winter breaks arguing against their winter breaks either. The only really winners of the schedule at the moment is the fans who get to see constant football around this time but as mentioned before, how good can the matches be when teams aren't performing to a hundred percent?

The breaks aren't even that long. La Liga (Spain) break at 22nd December and play again at 5th January. Serie A (Italy) break up at the same time but return on the 6th January. Bundesliga (Germany) break up the 22nd December as well and return 19th January. These are just a couple examples of three of the best leagues in the world that have winter breaks. There is no concern or consequence with either.

So it's with that I conclude that the Premiership should introduce a winter break. There would be no issue with an introduction of a winter break and I even believe that fans would support it. This isn't me feeling sorry for millionaires who have to play a tough playing schedule, this is me as a fan who believes the league would be stronger with a winter break.


Since its existence the premiership has never had a winter break, whilst Germany, Spain, and France put their feet up for 2 weeks. Now you may argue that it seems to work well with them, the Premiership is hardly suffering without one. I ask, why fix what isn’t broken?

Over the Christmas period, the games come thick and fast, with as many as 5 games played within 15 days. Initially, I will argue this as a fan of the game, for me the onslaught of fixtures over the winter is something I anticipate every year. The excitement of the Boxing Day fixtures whilst eating leftover turkey is simply unmatched. My favourite ever game was played on Boxing Day, a 4-4 draw between Aston Villa and Chelsea, I wouldn’t want to eliminate the chance of seeing that again.

Additionally, another thought, as a fan of the game. Why should these men, whom don’t even work for the full year, and when they do, for just 90 minutes and earn so much money get a rest? The wages that some players earn are simply astonishing, it’s not just a lot of money, it’s a small fortune each week. The majority of premier league players won’t need to work a day in their lives post 40. For all of that I fail to see why we should be deprived winter entertainment, for them to have a break. My parents both work outdoors in physical jobs, they don’t get a break.

However though, when you consider last years champions league in which English teams failed to make the semi finals there is certainly reason to bring up the idea of a break. The teams that did progress might have benefited from a winter break. But I’d say they more so benefited from having the better players. Bar Van Persie, the English teams just didn’t have the world class players, such as Messi, Ronaldo, Robben and Lewandowski. Fatigue didn’t factor too much when the Premier league produced all four of the 2009 champion’s league semi finalists, in Fabregas, Ronaldo, Gerrard and Lampard, England had the better players, they didn’t need the break.

In connection to that, I would counter argue the thinking of England managers past and present, Erikson, Capello and Hodgson that playing over Christmas, is no excuse for the countries poor performance in major competitions, that is a different debate all together, I’ll leave it again, at we aren’t good enough.

I’ve seen one of the major complaints with no winter break is already depleted squads becoming fatigued. It isn’t quite as easy for the clubs down the bottom end of the table and I can empathise. I think there could be other solutions. Clubs could be encouraged to take responsibility of their own player’s fatigue. Teams should ensure players are rested when necessary instead of burning them out until a two week break. As a result of this, more rules could be added to allow young English players are getting some game time.

A final thought I had is a little unconventional compared to my earlier thinking. Should the premiership take a break, the season is likely to last an extra week, maybe two weeks. At that point does it become to long? Playing half way into May is already into the summer. Football gathers so much mainstream media attention during the winter, from the media, papers, ect. Could it lead to our summer sports getting less attention? Possibly not, but I do believe by May, it is time for football to take a bit of a back seat.

In summary, I would refer back to my opening line. Why fix what isn’t broken? It might be a selfish point of view, but I love my Christmas football and don’t want it gone, I’m sure on the money these men earn, they can get through a couple extra games. Poor performance in Europe isn’t down to fatigue, its down to not being as good.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Mozza – Opening is concise but establishes the argument immediately and allows the remaining paragraphs to substantiate the argument. Point about sports scientists being tasked with working to improve player fitness to combat a more rigorous schedule is good, though perhaps could have been looked into further. Similar theme in 2nd paragraph as the point established is good, but more elaborate to reinforce the point would have made it stronger. Next two paragraphs are stronger mind you. Ridiculing Hodgson’s POV and focusing attention on poorly devised international friendly matches is impressive and the Germany comparison is concise in not deviating from the original question whilst using it wisely to draw upon the differences between the English game and Germany. Conclusion could have been stronger with a more persuasive tone and summary of the main issues covered, but the bulk of this was good.

Desecrated – Main issue here for me is the fact the writer doesn’t establish his POV until the 5th paragraph. In a debate you have to be making the reader interpret your POV and form their own conclusions from it. This can’t be achieved when you give contrasting theories and leave the reader uncertain on which side you rest. Its’ not wrong to briefly highlighting the popularity with the current system in order to then segue into your criticism, but the introduction really needed to be heavily cut in order to function more adequately as a debate. The comparison to Germany and Bayern’s form post 2009 in Europe since the introduction of the winter break is better, though the writer uses it to suggest English clubs by comparison cannot compete, despite two English clubs in this timeframe making it to the final with one team (Chelsea) beating Bayern. I wasn’t also a big fan of using the corporate greed aspect in the final paragraph, when earlier the writer argued favourably when it came to finance and how clubs benefitted from what would later be classified as ‘corporate greed’. I think the key problem was the debate outlined the positive aspects of retaining the system in such a way that their POV then needed to be fantastic to be seen as a viable alternative...and reading it over I’m not sure that was achieved.

Possibly-Jupes – Opening is fairly strong. Typically I’d prefer the POV to be established clearly in the introduction, although opening does seemingly outline the direction the debate will take and does segue into the start of the next paragraph which clarifies the POV. The point about allowing managers to assess the strategies needed to succeed for the rest of the season is valid, but it doesn’t really outline why said approach itself is more interesting than the current model. Next paragraph again more or less covers the same argument as the last but doesn’t expand upon it significantly. This paragraph isn’t helped by saying matches can’t be interesting because of the lack of fitness, when the writer earlier concedes the winter period is ‘one of the most interesting periods in the league’. Again, the writer really needs to expand on their POV to ensure issues like this don’t stand out when reading through. Final paragraph mentions the breaks wouldn’t be ridiculous in length, but it doesn’t really persuade the reader that a winter break is necessary. Realistically this needed to expand on the issues raised in greater detail alongside a more rigid structure to allow each paragraph to follow the last.

ashes11 – Clear opening, although the following paragraph felt a bit sparse. I see the merit in using personal experience to argue your POV, but I felt more could have been alluded to in terms of arguing in favour of retaining the current system based on the entertainment it represents to the fans. Next paragraph is odd imo. It reads in a very disparaging tone and feels more like a veiled argument against the dominance of money in the game rather than a genuine reason for retaining the current system. Comparing supposed fatigue in terms of European performance is much stronger, especially drawing upon the same system allowing England to have 3 semi finalists in the 08/09 campaign (he incorrectly said all 4 were English, forgetting Barcelona/Chelsea) which argues against the proposition that the schedule alone is the cause of English teams struggling recently in Europe. Final two paragraphs weren’t as strong however imo and feel a bit wasteful and unhelpful. Conclusion also felt a bit tame and again is in need of a more persuasive tone to elevate the debate.

Winner – Mozza

Just taking a quick look through it seems all 4 of you guys made it hard on me but literally having the same 2 points in every debate, just on varying sides (ie squad rotation and winter breaks in Germany et al). I’ll go through some points I didn’t like in each debate b/c that’s easier to look for differences;

Mozza: Roy Hodgson doesn’t pick the friendly schedule and there are only so many players he can pick for the side. Don’t waste your words on something that isn’t so relevant when it could’ve been used to expand on the variable nature of results in that period which is a good point, and something that was different from the others.

Desecrated: Really don’t have much I dislike about this debate. Solid effort.

Possibly-Jupes: Again, don’t really have anything I don’t like about it. Solid effort, could possibly expand on your points a bit more. Only one to mention the actual length of a winter break which was good.

ashes11: You brought up how much they get paid but neglected to mention anything about TV ratings, crowds over the Christmas period etc that help provide for those wages. Got to relate it into the topic a bit more otherwise it just comes off as a whinge.

Hard debate to judge but I’m giving it to Desecrated

Mozza - Decent debate. Would have liked to have seen you really expand on your entertainment argument as that's a big selling point of the league and what sets it apart from other leagues. You lose the xmas fixture season and there's a good chance you might lose that too. I didn't really get the relevance of the Hodgson paragraph and I thought it took up room that could have really strengthened your debate. Came off like you went off on a tangent to have a pop at poor old Woy for something that's only really slightly related to the topic. It was like there was a whole paragraph arguing that he's a hypocrite where you should have been arguing the pluses of not implementing a winter break. Plus, it's not like he's responsible for the scheduling of international breaks either.

Desecrated - This was structured pretty odd. It starts off arguing against a winter break seemingly with the point about the entertainment and tradition aspect of football over the holidays. Then you seem to completely change your stance on the debate and state that you're arguing in favour of a winter break. It makes the first 2 paragraphs kinda pointless and actually weakens your argument a little. It's a debate, not a critical evaluation. You don't need to argue for both sides. You tried to argue that fitness is more important than entertainment value but I didn't think it was a convincing enough argument that really improved your debate and made me agree that the benefits for far outweigh the benefits against. Also, Debate D really shoots down your argument regarding a winter break being responsible for Germany's success at club level.

Possibly-Jupes - "there's the having to travel to Stoke at least once every season" - u fookin wot m8?

"and then there's football players like Suarez who try to eat other players" - ok you're forgiven again now.

Your argument is very reliant on your belief that the quality of the league diminishes during the xmas fixture season and I disagree pretty strongly with that. Putting my own beliefs aside and looking at the topic from a neutral standpoint, I'm not really sure you convinced me that the quality does diminish during this part of the season. You state it but you don't really prove it which I can think was definitely needed when making a point like that which is definitely not generally considered by everything as truth.

"What would undoubtedly be more interesting is a period of rest where teams and managers would then be given the chance to take a step back from a very busy schedule and evaluate the rest of the season." and "There would be no issue with an introduction of a winter break and I even believe that fans would support it" I strongly disagree with and I didn't think you were convincing enough to make me even consider my stance on them points. The debate's put together alright but I feel that it lost a lot of quality with some of the points you made.

ashes11 - "The excitement of the Boxing Day fixtures whilst eating leftover turkey is simply unmatched." - Great line. This debate was really great. Not only makes very good points in favour of your stance but makes them with passion that comes across reading your debate really well and that's the sort of thing that separates a good debate making good points to a great debate making great points in my opinion. Fantastic job shooting down arguments for a winter break too. "Fatigue didn’t factor too much when the Premier league produced all four of the 2009 champion’s league semi finalists, in Fabregas, Ronaldo, Gerrard and Lampard, England had the better players, they didn’t need the break." was the icing on a very pretty cake. It was 3 not 4 but I admired the argument you were making even if the facts of it were misguided. Well done.

Winner - ashes11

So in the case of a 3 way tie we need to bring in a 4th judge who also happens to be a debuting judge. Remaining anonymous to the debaters (and vice-versa) the 4th judge is revealed to be.....

Spoiler for 4th Judge:

Straight away you made your stance clear; this was essential and really helped to streamline the debate onto one side of the argument, despite the Hodgson quote which could have caused confusion with a less direct approach.

The point about football being a large squad game is very valid and made for a strong start to your argument, the idea that these athletes have great opportunities to be rested throughout any given season while also having access to top class fitness trainers and medical workers also assisted this.

You could really have avoided including the next paragraph about the Christmas period being vital because it generally contained fluff. If anything you were advertising the idea that the teams who are fortunate enough to play the top teams during the Christmas period are given an unfair advantage, which actually supports the argument for a winter break.

Thankfully the mention of the Hodgson England fixture hypocrisy brought your argument back around to a strong point. By pointing out the flaws within the arguments made by the FA and the England manager you managed to highlight how short sighted that particular argument was while also addressing potential counter arguments in one fell swoop.

You negotiated the comparison to the German National team very well by making a valid point of how the German’s international side is superior to England’s due to the German’s tendency to produce better players at grass roots’ level while also affording them far more playing opportunities in the Bundesliga, to support this type of argument in future try to include a statistic that represents the contrast between English and German youth (to first team) player turnover. Also be careful when stating “The fact that German teams have a two week holiday followed by four weeks winter training filled with friendlies is completely irrelevant” unless you can strongly support a theory as to why it’s “completely irrelevant” to international football. A strong counter argument within another debate could have made you look rather daft. A better approach to this would have been “in COMPARISON to the idea that Germany produce more top class home grown footballers it’s MOSTLY irrelevant”, something like that. Not saying it your point is invalid, but just be careful.

Despite that, you managed to end with a reasonably strong paragraph which contained “Considering all points, the lack of a winter break allows the fans to watch regular games throughout the winter period without interrupting a team’s momentum by sending them on a potential six week break from competitive football”. That was an excellent point which could have been elaborated on with an argument to suggest that a winter break is unfair to teams who have just managed to find their form while it’s an unfair advantage to teams who have suddenly lost form. By cutting out the fluff about having the chance to enjoy a glut of games (a winter break would just move these fixtures elsewhere, so you could potentially end up with a glut of games in May instead) you could have really rammed the continuity point home and set yourself up as a clear winner. This piece needed a bit of fine tuning, but it was a good debate overall.


Right at the start you’ve made a fundamental error by not stating which side of the argument you’re going to argue. Always start with your stance so that I’m not forced to trail back though your debate AFTER I’ve found out which side you’re arguing for, it’s a waste of time and the chances are that some of your good points well be lost because I’m not even sure if you’re making an argument for your side or if you’re addressing counter arguments. For example, you started off with a paragraph that seemed against a Winter break. In fact when you moved on to compare the English football festive period to the Superbowl I really started to believe that you were arguing against a winter break, only to find out four paragraphs later that you were FOR a break…so what was the point wasting two paragraphs just to provide comments that went against your argument? It’s not as if you used these paragraphs to make a genuinely strong counter argument at any point. Unless those paragraphs are constructive to your argument then don’t bother including them, they’re just a waste of words.

When you did start to make your actual argument it was still before you had even declared which side you were on, so this just caused even more confusion at that point. Your point about players potentially playing too many games was also neatly countered by Mozza who brought up the relevancy of the squad game.

I also found your argument about players missing festive holidays with their families to be a little bit hollow. Players often only train for a couple of hours a day, which is less than most ordinary working people do. The chances are that players might miss a couple of hours of Christmas morning at most, but is a two week winter break justified when clubs could just give their players one day off training instead? The FA could even rule the day as off and shift Boxing Day fixtures into the evening to allow clubs one morning training session. Top flight teams often travel to away games on the day of the match during the normal season, so there’s no reason why these players HAVE to be away from their families on Christmas day for that reason either. Giving this as a reason for a winter break is rather drastic and makes for a weak argument. Debater D also made stronger arguments against these claims.

The idea that certain international players won’t receive a prolonged break is an interesting point and was easily the best within your debate. A minor counter argument could have been made with the use of Juan Mata’s form over 2012-2013, but this wouldn’t have been a wide enough example to dismiss your point.

You used the success of German teams in Europe as a positive example of how a winter break can assist teams, but you also suggested that the difference between the top level leagues in England (and Spain/Italy/France) and Germany is that the latter run 38 game seasons whereas the German Bundesliga is a 34 game season. Right there you have helped me to highlight a good reason as to why the German top flight teams have the flexibility available to afford a winter break while also having an unfair advantage over other non-German top flight European sides. The fact that you mentioned that Germany has just one small cup competition also weakened your argument for a winter break, if anything you made a strong argument for other counties to reduce their number of cup competitions and league fixtures, but that’s not what the debate is about. For me this is where your debate fell apart. In future try look at your argument from all angles and look for weaknesses that can be exploited, a strong counter argument from an opponent would have torn this argument apart and made it irrelevant, but fortunately for you Debater D botched with his example about the most successful European teams being the ones with the best players.

To have really strengthened your argument you should have cited the recent success of La Liga (where there is also a winter break) teams in the Europa league and Champion’s league and compared them to the European fortunes of Premier League sides that have a similar fixture pile up but without the benefits of a winter break. That would have covered a wider base and could have potentially negated ashes11’s argument (although he almost did that by himself) about world class players due to examples from the Europa league.

To be honest I think that this was a brave approach because it was the harder to side to argue, but your arguments had far too many holes within them while the structure of your debate was far too flimsy to overcome these particular issues.


Like Mozza you made your opinion clear from the get go which made for a positive start. You continued by making a somewhat whimsical yet relevant point about how Christmas time football is a big tradition in England. This certainly appealed to the fat bastard/football fan in me because when I stay with family in Norfolk around Christmas time I was always make an effort to see a few Norwich games. If I’m not going to the Norwich game on Boxing Day then I usually scoff the left overs while polishing off crates of Guinness. To be quite blunt, Christmas would be rather shit without football for many English adult males. Point. Well. Made. Sir.

I agree that footballers are overly pampered and have a lot of time off without a winter break, but comparing the physical working exertions of top class athletes to “mummy and daddy who work at the local Tesco and building site” probably wasn’t the best way to go about it. Regardless, you managed to extinguish some of Desecrated’s claims through this, so it was worthwhile. Solid stuff so far.

Your next paragraph is where you started to falter a bit. You did make a valid point about the league teams with the best players having more success in the Champion’s League and how that was more of a contributing factor towards Champion’s league success than any winter break. However, “Fatigue didn’t factor too much when the Premier league produced all four of the 2009 champion’s league semi-finalists” included a glaring mistake. Barcelona won the Champions League in 2009, so that particular point is invalid. Poor research can lead to a poor debate, be careful in future. Fortunately for you the general argument makes sense so it's not completely voided.

I agree with the point about how England shouldn’t blame their short comings on the lack of a winter break, but this point was far more eloquently relayed by Mozza. Likewise, you made a similar point regarding squad rotation, but I believe that was on point and concise in the same fashion that Debater A’s same argument was. I don’t particularly agree with the point about football needing “to take a bit of a back seat” in the summer (the Euro’s and World Cup say hello), but you made an interesting point about league games going into the summer, if anything that could cause MORE fatigue due to players having to play premier league paced and styled matches within potentially far more extreme conditions. If you had suggested and supported that theory you could have gained a clear advantage right there.

In summary this was a good debate that slightly suffered from a lack of solid research and a couple of flimsy arguments.

Winner: ashes11

It was a close contest between Mozza and ashes11, but ashes11 edged it by making less flawed arguments while also being the only debater to truly argue the fans’ perspective in a thorough and efficient manner. I particularly liked the fact that you managed to make just as many valid arguments as Mozza did despite using 100 less words. Just be careful not to make dumb errors in future that will cost you against stronger debaters. Still, Mozza could have easily won this if he had cut the fat from his argument and elaborated on some of his excellent but all too brief points.

Congratulations to ashes11.

Winner via 4th Judge - ashes11

*The anonymity of the 4th judge is finally revealed to be THE DARK ANDRE and the anonymity of the winner and losers are also revealed to Andre. Andre howls in laughter as he realises he just cost Mozza a victory. Mozza doesn't take this lightly and in a complete sign of disrespect charges at Andre but is blocked off by security maestros ChampViaDQ and Destiny. In amongst this theproof also charges at Andre with malicious intentions and is about to lariat Andre's head off his block until THE DARK ANDRE transitions into THE INVISIBLE ANDRE to evade proof's attack. theproof is back to his regular state of confusion wondering where Andre went until THE INVISIBLE ANDRE morths back into THE DARK ANDRE and swiftly takes out theproof with a stern four finger poke to the adams apple. Mozza is escorted away by security in a fit of rage as Andre looks on smugly with these final words for Mozza.

THE DARK ANDRE: Look at this way Mozza. You ended up on top of one person, level with another and below another. Just like........

*The crowd 's together.*

Is scrilla Really A Wanker?
Anark vs scrilla

Are whole-life sentences a breach of human rights?

Spoiler for Debates:
I have no internet access. I am typing this on my phone so excuse the typos plz.

Whole life sentences are not necessarily a breach of human rights. This of course is stipulated upon whether or not they are applied correctly. The largest problem with the death penalty which can also be argued for whole life sentences is the possible application of the sentence upon the innocent.

The only other problem is three strike type laws where people can be sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes such as drug trafficking or non-violent crime.

Outside of that there is no violation of human rights for a whole life sentence. If a person is sentenced to life while innocent then yes that is a violation of human rights, but any jail sentence regardless of the duration applied to an innocent person is a violation of human rights.

The only types of crimes that deserve full life sentences are violent crimes. Whether there is a pattern of persistent violence, sexual abuse or murder. All of these crimes are worthy of life sentences, both to protect th public or punish the guilty. Again, it is disturbing that innocent people can be wrongfully given life sentences, but in a perfect world - life sentences are not a violation of human rights.

In fact, life sentences are protection of the human rights of those who could possibly be victims of violent crime from perpetrators. Rape of a child or murder of a child especially warrants life sentences, if not death, but that's a different argument for a different topic.

While it is possible that people can be rehabilitated for certain crimes, it's not worth the risk to expose the public to their potential violence. Out of respect to the general public and i n order to uphold justice and protect he general public it is necessary to lock certain individuals up for life. the protection of the human rights of the many outweighs their possible violation from those who voided their human rights when they committed serious violent crimes.

Whole-life sentences are indeed a breach of human rights - and not just an individual’s rights, but ALL OF OUR rights. Why? Because whole-life sentences render the reasons why we punish in the first place completely redundant.

The option of imprisonment is an integral part of our human rights as it allows society to protect its members by restricting the freedom of individuals who threaten our right to peace and prosperity with acts of violence. Whether a ‘breach’ of human rights occurs with whole-life sentences can be determined by how justifiable they are according to the four reasons why prison itself is a justifiable punishment option.

The four reasons for imprisonment-as-punishment are: prevention, deterrent, rehabilitation and retribution.

Retribution should be considered a by-product of the first three reasons, as a fair and just society should not be about seeking revenge. It is not and has never been the purpose of the justice system. We must therefore consider the impact of whole-life sentences on the other three reasons.

The restriction of a violent individual’s freedom is justified by a need to prevent them from continuing to violate other people’s rights. But consider the worst-case scenario of an offender who is not deterred by prison and steadfastly refuses to be rehabilitated once imprisoned. Then the only justifiable reason to continuously imprison them, beyond retribution, is to prevent them causing further harm to society. But an individual’s personality can and does change over time. With therapies and treatments becoming ever more advanced, there is no guarantee that a once-killer will remain a threat to society. It is vitally important we do not prevent ourselves from re-evaluating individuals and their circumstances further down the line.

Whole-life sentences without the possibility of review are a breach of human rights because they deny a human being’s ability to change, grow and improve. God damn it, they deny our very humanity. A whole-life sentence says you are what you are and you will never change.

As far as the deterrent factor goes, is there really a discernable difference to an offender who is looking at 20+ years and someone looking at a whole-life sentence? Time preference (whether you value the present over the future or vice versa) has many variables, but someone willing to disregard a 20 year stretch is highly unlikely to be dissuaded by an even longer stretch, even a whole-life one. 20 years would do it if it could be done. Consider also that one of the variables in this situation is that it’s not even certain the offender will be caught in the first place, or that a maximum sentence will be given should they be caught.

Though there is no real ‘breach’ of human rights in this particular instance, it does show that prison as a deterrent does not require whole-life sentences as they have little to no discernable impact.

Most importantly of all, whole-life sentences render rehabilitation utterly redundant as there is no prospect of the offender ever being released back into society. A good and just society must continue to have faith in rehabilitation if it is to maintain its value of an individual human life. Without the chance of rehabilitation we may as well execute them. In fact, whole-life sentences are the equivalent of a death sentence, just ridiculously more expensive.

To lock someone up and effectively throw away the key denies a human being elements of existence which define being human. We cannot throw away our compassion. To be dealt with by your society without compassion is a breach of your human rights.

A whole-life sentence for one crime, even a terrible one, denies the chance of rehabilitation, ignores the possibility of reform (thus potentially voiding the intention to protect society), and is redundant as a form of retribution as revenge is not a good and proper aspect of justice. Whole-life sentences do not affect the deterrent factor in any significantly noticeable way and are ignorantly inhumane for prevention purposes as it cannot be gauged how much of a threat a violent killer still poses decades after his incarceration.

Whole-life sentences are not justifiable according to the main reasons why we punish, thus they are a breach of human rights because they allow society to overstep its own boundaries of decency.

The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that whole-life sentences are ‘inhumane’ and ‘degrading’, in response to an appeal by whole-life sentence-serving UK killer Jeremy Bamber – a man who maintains his innocence and thus must always have the possibility of review. New evidence, new witnesses and uncovering of police corruption are always possibilities.

The ECHR are absolutely right. Whole-life sentences are inhumane because they deny an individual’s humanness and they are degrading because individuals are locked up and left to fester without any motivation to rehabilitate.

4 reasons why we punish:
Time preference:
Jeremy Bamber:
ECHR ruling:

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
This is really close. Both debates back up their stances really well. I don't personally agree with a lot of what Anark had to say, but it almost swayed me at times. Really good points brought to the table. Your debate is strong.

However, scrilla closes with the game winner in the bottom of the 9th. Your rights are void when you commit a crime that is abhorrent and takes away others' rights, like the right to be alive.

scrilla wins.

The Lady Killer
scrilla - Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like you gave this your full effort. Your stance was a little wishy-washy, straddling the line between whole-life sentences as a breach of rights and also the opposition. I understand that this topic lends itself to some grey areas, which you articulately pointed out, but I felt it was better to just pick a side and run with it. I did like the part where you said, "In fact, life sentences are protection of the human rights of those who could possibly be victims of violent crime from perpetrators." I think that should have been the basis of your argument.

Anark - Chose a side and gave ample support. Structure was great - took a stance, provided the 4 reasons for imprisonment, and argued why each reason supported his stance in a tactful way. Very well done. This shows why it's much more convincing when you choose a side regardless of how not-white-and-black the topic is.

Winner - Anark

Short and sweet
Really need to pick a side and argue it
Like the point about how it should be warranted in cases of violent crime

Very solid debate. Covered a number of points well. Easily the winner of this debate

Winner via Split Decision - Anark

*Shepard is backstage waiting to interview CGS*

Shepard: Before we get to CGS I just want to share with you some tweets from everyone's favourite new footballer Ondrej Celutska.

Tweeting after Clique pulls double duty on his debut and pulls out two wins - what a performance from the Clique man #respect #brother

Tweeting after JM's burial of Cobruh - didn't know it was legal to bury someone alive over here #crazycountry #like

and - thoughts and prayers go out to Cobruh's family in this tough time. #comisforloss #sweetdreamscobruh

Tweeting ahead of Andre vs Rush - very excited for #TDA vs #sticksy07 good luck andre #mate #lolashes

Shepard: Anyway, back to the debates.

CGS: :ben3

The Lady Killer Return Match: Put The Fuck Up Or Shut The Fuck Up
The Lady Killer vs CGS

What is the most productive finish to Cena vs Bryan at Summerslam?

Spoiler for Debates:

What is the most productive finish to Bryan vs Cena at Summerslam?

Before delving into the debate there is one thing that I want to mention. Was Bryan/Cena the best option for Summerslam? Yes, was it set up correctly? I don’t believe so. With Bryan being crazy over right now the WWE should have capitalized on this and had him win the MITB contract followed by him announcing his intentions to cash in the briefcase for a shot at Summerslam the following night on Raw. That way he looks strong and a legit threat while also making the title match feel like a much bigger deal.

Now, looking into the initial question itself, I believe that there are two sides to this discussion. First you have the productivity in terms of storyline advancement booking and then you have the productivity in terms of business and superstar advancement. As fans it’s only natural for us to automatically think about storyline development side of things. When we do I’m sure most people will agree upon 3 different scenarios.

1. Cena successfully retains cleanly and walks out as WWE champion

2. Daniel Bryan wins cleanly and walks out as the WWE championship to a chorus or YES! Chants

3. Vince gets his wish and neither Cena or Bryan walk at as Champion and instead Mr Money in the bank Randy Orton decides to cash in and walks out as the champion

Honestly, none of these outcomes are really “productive” because while they are simple and easy to execute there is no real long term view taken with them. If Cena wins you risk killing off Bryans’ hard earn steam quite quickly, If Bryan wins you risk jumping the gun too quickly and well Orton winning is just one big risk in itself with his two wellness strikes. So with the 3 obvious scenarios basically written off there really is only one other option, yet to be established that can be seen as viable. That being A Screwjob. Orchestrated by none other than the bumbling Raw GM, Brad Maddox.

Think about it, Vince sees Maddox as a joke of a GM, but he also hates the thought of someone like Daniel Bryan being the next WWE champion, even calling it potentially “the biggest embarrassment in the history of the WWE”. Take Maddox, Have him cost Bryan the match and with that Bryan still looks strong while allowing for the Maddox/McMahons power struggle side story to develop further in one quick swoop. It’s far from the most glamorous way to end things of course, but it can certainly prove to be the most effective. Plus Bryan “overcoming the odds to win the WWE title down the line is a perfect way to get him over even further wins the fans and cement him as a permanent fixture in the main event scene.

In fact, the whole overcoming the odds is something that statement really does link in with the other side of this discussion being the business standpoint. Over the years we've seen this booking technique used on many different superstars. Mysterio, Jeff Hardy, Batista and even Austin. The whole clean cut face chasing down and finally winning the biggest prize in the industry always tends to feels like a big deal and while it can be seen as slightly overused concept the fans still seem to gravitate towards it. It’s just a great money maker. Therefore it only makes sense to exploit it in this storyline as well.

Obviously though you have to be careful not to take it too far, as we all saw in the case of Ryback. But Even then that could be classed more as the WWE pulling the trigger on him despite not giving him a solid upper midcard or even lower midcard feud to gain momentum on. Bryan obviously having won The US title and the money in the bank as well as the World heavyweight title is clearly in the oppositie situtation to this which does make it slightly harder to not want to pull the trigger on him considering just how red hot he actually is.However again, guys like Hardy, Batista and Austin were all also red hot when they were all handed the obligatory overcome the odds storyline and as mentioned it worked out more than perfectly for each of them, so why not Bryan as well?

In conclusion, in order for the finish to be productive and benefit the company post Summerslam Bryan needs to lose one way or another. From not only a storyline point of view from a business point of view, him chasing the strap makes the most logical sense and sets up the company for a great Autumn/winter run.

The Lady Killer

Daniel Bryan vying for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam – every internet nerd’s wet dream. Given the wide spectrum of fans to whom Cena and Bryan’s characters cater (basically the entire WWE UNIVERSE~!), this match has huge potential. The way I see it, there are only three viable outcomes to the summertime clash:
  1. Cena retains cleanly (yawn)
  2. Bryan wins and walks out of SummerSlam as WWE Champion (changes nothing)
  3. Bryan wins and Randy Orton cashes in on Daniel Bryan to become WWE Champion (duh)
Clearly I’m choosing option three, yet with a twist – the most productive finish to Cena/Bryan at SummerSlam is John Cena turning heel *gasp* to cost the newly crowned champ the title to Randy Orton.

In order to wrap your blown mind around the whacky idea of Cena actually turning heel, it’s important to understand the crux of the question at hand: the term productive.

Originally Posted by
productive: generative; creative; causing; bringing about
Let’s break it down. What would option one produce? Another main event victim, a wasted push and a prolonged Cena title reign? SAVE_US.JESUS. What about Orton cashing in on Cena down the road? Well, that would be considered productive…if it was 2009. The point is, Cena retaining at SummerSlam isn’t creative, nor does it generate anything aside from a jaded fanbase and plateaued television ratings. Let’s change it up, shall we?

That brings me to option two: Bryan beating Cena and walking out of SummerSlam as WWE Champion. Lots of fans, both of the hardcore and casual varieties, might be crossing their fingers for this outcome. It is for that very reason that Daniel Bryan should NOT walk out of SummerSlam as the champ. Think about it. Daniel Bryan is currently the most over babyface on the entire roster, bar none. The more he gets fucked over (fired for choking some dipshit w/his own tie, 18 seconds, comedy crap w/Kane), the more fans of all age and gender rally behind him. He’s better off chasing the title (option 3), getting dicked along the way until he finally triumphs at, say, Wrestlemania. If he were to simply conquer the almighty Cena without any repercussion (Cena heel turn and/or Orton cash-in), how productive would that actually be? Sure, we’d have a new champ, but Cena would still be the (kayfabe) #1 company babyface and he’d get a rematch (presumably) at the following PPV. Same old story. Knowing WWE logic, they’d hotshot the title back to Cena if ratings didn’t immediately rise, Bryan would become the hairiest scapegoat in WWE history, and the status quo would be restored. That just SCREAMS creativity. Seems eerily similar to the monotony fans have been enjoying since 2005. Wake me up when this is over, please.

Indeed, the most productive finish to Bryan/Cena goes against everything that the WWE has shoved down our throats for the past eight years. The finish that would generate the most hype, create the most storyline opportunities and bring about an entire new era would be John Cena turning heel and costing Daniel Bryan the WWE title. I know many dirtsheet-readers buy into the idea that turning Cena heel would cost the WWE lots of money in merchandise sales to little kids. I mean, that’s what the business is all about, right? Making money? Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but have you not noticed a shitload of kids wearing Daniel Bryan’s new shirt? In fact, Bryan’s shirt is at the top of the best-seller list (keep scrolling down to find Cena’s shirt). With Cena turning on Bryan after a hard-fought face vs. face battle built on respect and leading to an Orton cash-in, WWE writers could venture in a number of directions. For starters, the aforementioned scenario would create a NEW top babyface (Bryan) while simultaneously producing the TWO top heels (Cena and Orton) in the business. Given the current McMahon vs. Bryan storyline (which is another reason why Bryan walking out of SummerSlam as champion makes zero sense - let the plot unfold; this could be the PG version of Austin/McMahon), you could have Cena and/or Orton align with Vince to thwart Bryan’s title aspirations. All of this is fresh. It’s creative. Vince has shown that he has faith in Bryan as a main event superstar, and there is no reason to not capitalize on Bryan’s nature as a sympathetic figure by continuously portraying him in “close, but no cigar” scenarios. Let someone else be the underdog for once.

Keeping things as they are (Cena as champ/top babyface) is not productive. By turning Cena heel and having Bryan drop the title to an Orton cash-in at SummerSlam, WWE opens up Pandora’s Box of creativity. At the end of the day, business is all about generating money. After all, wouldn’t you want to tune into Raw the night after a Cena heel turn? I know I would.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Great tie. I actually agree more with CGS' finish if I was booking the match personally but TLK's debate is better and I can't really pick flaws with his choice even if it's not how I'd go about doing it. Breaking down the definition of the word productive and really basing your entire argument around that ruled. I don't think Cena turning on Bryan to get the title onto Orton is the best finish in the bigger picture (largely a waste of Cena's heel turn. Is this how you'd turn Cena btw if you had full creative control for the next 5 years) but it sure as hell would be productive for all the reasons you stated. Cena turning heel is probably the biggest money move they have at their exposal so what finish can really be more productive? TLK's debate was a clinic. CGS' debate I thought was very good too though and put up a credible fight. If you really needed the first paragraph then I would have just made it a footnote as an extra thought not relating to the debate. Because it doesn't really relate to the debate at hand. Only in a minor way. The value being in the chase stance was argued really well though and it's a great stance to argue, made even stronger with past examples of who it's worked for. Couple of grammar errors that you could do with dropping too such as random capitals mid sentence and some iffy comma use.

Winner - The Lady Killer

The Lady Killer wins. While we all know it's not going to happen, a Cena heel turn is the most productive finish to the match based on how it would change the dynamic of the company. TLK did a good job explaining that while explaining why the other two options aren't as productive. Nice.

CGS' was ok. I think you needed to go into more detail on why the three options weren't good instead of writing them off and immediately going into your next idea. It reminded me of TNA's numerous TO THE BACK moments where big finishes don't sink in because the camera already switches to backstage.

It’s far from the most glamorous way to end things of course, but it can certainly prove to be the most effective.
Never say anything negative about your idea. If this is your idea, you need to make it sound like the most genius thing ever thought of.

You also skipped around a bit after explaining the Brad thing which hurt your debate. Stay on one point and drill down.

CGS – Opening paragraph really is a waste I thought, immediately identifies itself as irrelevant and unassociated with the actual question, therefore why include it? The Maddox idea is intriguing and is set up well by outlining why the 3 options pose little to no long term development, however considering the writer outlined ‘storyline development’ as a key motivator in basing their decision, I would have appreciated a more detailed overview. Indeed the final sentence argues this theory affords Bryan a golden opportunity to progress as a main event player, but fails to articulate and expand on why this is the case. A debate needs to answer each question it poses to the reader, rather than introducing a viewpoint and not following up on it. Likewise the business aspect is contained to one small paragraph, which again is sparse and lacking in evidence to support the argument or persuade the reader. I also felt like the last paragraph was better suited to supporting the storyline development argument, and was an instance of the writer perhaps rushing and struggling to spot how this felt out of place. Conclusion is brief and reads more as telling the reader what has been covered, but just lacks that spark to truly resonate and captivate the reader with each passing word. A few grammatical errors were also evident here and should be corrected for future reference.

The Lady Killer – Strong opening. An immediate injection of humour intertwined with an efficient breakdown and analysis of the situation and a hypothesis produced as a result. Nice usage of the definition of productive to support dismissing option one. Again the natural humour is also appreciated in lending itself to the reader. Next paragraph is very strong. Bold statement to use Bryan’s popularity and fan wishes against him and argue for a more long term driven finish. Again regular reference to the term ‘productive’ in the context of the finish and what it represents is strong work by the writer to ensure everything is relevant and flows suitably. Same compliments can be paid to the final paragraph, which again examines the nature of productivity on multiple levels. Drawing on past WWE practice to necessitate a new and by default creative approach is a strong parallel, furthermore the flow of the debate with each paragraph connected to the last strengthens the assertion in this paragraph based on the comprehensive breakdown of all other viable options. Conclusion has that effective summarisation complimented by a persuasive tone which forces the reader to draw upon what has been presented to them and convince themselves a better option can be found, something I found this debate made very difficult given the strength in the structure, tone and analysis prevalent throughout.

Winner – The Lady Killer

Winner via Unanimous Decision - The Lady Killer

*After the debate TLK tries to send a message to massively oversized the TDL titrantron. He lets out a Mark Henry esque roar beating his chest as he awaits for the message to process before the message appears as



TDL Social Division #1 Contenders Match
GothicBohemian vs Makaveli

George Zimmerman: Not Guilty - The correct verdict?

Spoiler for Debates:

To understand why this is the correct verdict we must throw away all emotional ties and biases we have toward this case. Forget the misleading and sensationalized media reports. Forget the “innocent black boy slain by ferocious white Hispanic racist assassin” propaganda. This is a criminal case, not a civil rights struggle. We must focus on fact and court testimony rather than the melodramatic story the media has been feeding millions around the country.

So let’s begin with the charges. Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder and manslaughter. We’ll start with the former. Second degree murder is defined as:
(1)a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility.
If we strip the definition down even further we can see that the two main requirements needed to fit a murder of the second degree is that it must be non-premeditated and must result from an assault. Now certainly this wasn’t a premeditated murder as Zimmerman has stated in an interview(2) that he was driving to the grocery store when he had spotted Martin suspiciously wandering between houses.

As for the assault:

(3) an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.
Now according to statements(4) given by Zimmerman, he was heading back to his car after trying to identify a street sign to give the police dispatcher an accurate location of where he was when Trayvon appeared from out of Zimmerman’s sight, startled him, and confronted him. According to Zimmerman, this is how it played out.

(4) "He said, 'Yo, you got a problem?' and I turned around and said no I don't have a problem," said Zimmerman. I went to grab my cell phone, but I left it in a different pocket. I looked down at my pants pocket, he said, 'You got a problem now' and then he was here and he punched me in the face,"
Some argue the consistency and legitimacy of Zimmerman’s accounts of the events the night of February 26th, 2012, but keep in mind that while giving this account Zimmerman was undergoing an audio stress test in which he passed.

Others may use the media’s sensationalized depiction of Martin as an innocent, angelic young boy to claim that this type of behavior isn’t likely of Martin’s character. To those I ask, how can we trust the media is giving an accurate description of Martin? Lest we forget NBC, one of the major networks covering this case, repeatedly ran a doctored version of the 911 dispatch call(5) Zimmerman made where they edited out key parts of the call that in turn made Zimmerman out to appear to be racial profiling?

Further exposing a more accurate depiction of Martin’s character we find text messages(6) of Martin telling a friend of a fight he had been involved in and that he wanted to fight him again because he “aint breed nuff 4 me”. He was also found seeking to acquire “lean” online(7) as well as being caught in the possession of a burglary tool and female jewelry amongst other criminal offenses(8). So would sneaking up on Zimmerman and confronting him both verbally and physically be out of Trayvon’s nature?

Moving onto the manslaughter charge.

(9) The unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection.
The Stand Your Ground law(10) pretty much destroys this charge especially when coupled with Zimmerman’s account as well as those of witnesses. One witness in particular who identified himself as “John” stated

"the guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, 'Help! Help!' and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911". He went on to say that when he got upstairs and looked down, "the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point."
No doubt the “guy” he saw was Martin. This along with the documented injuries Zimmerman suffered proves beyond a reasonable doubt to me that Zimmerman was under severe attack and certainly feared for his life.

So when taking into account the facts and testimony presented, how can you tell sit back and honestly say that Zimmerman is guilty of these charges? You can’t. I’m not arguing morals here or what should or could have been done differently. The bottom line is that Zimmerman is not guilty of the charges brought against him. End of story.

Sources: 1. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...+degree+murder
9. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedicti...m/manslaughter


That seems overly simple, doesn't it? A debate should include facts, some personal observations and perhaps a quote or two designed to bolster opinion – and I'll get to some of that - but the chosen topic has little room for yes or no, but... . The trial spawned countless blogged essays, legal discussions in otherwise entertainment-oriented papers, dinner conversations and gave Nancy Grace and her cohorts a legal horse to ride into the ground alongside that of Jodi Arias but once all the evidence was heard, all the courtroom show tactics played out and the legalities of self defense dissected, what was left was reasonable doubt. The jury did not know what happened during the crucial four minutes. A presumption of innocence requires them to assume the best of Zimmerman – that he was not the aggressor – and so how then could they have found him guilty of second-degree murder, which requires proof of malicious intent? Seeking manslaughter might well have served the prosecution better.

A manslaughter charge would likely have served this debate somewhat better as well. Or perhaps not, since Zimmerman easily could have been found guilty in such a scenario, a satisfying conclusion for most, leaving mainly the issues of gun control and self defense to be argued. The Zimmerman trial's power comes from the sense of racially tainted injustice. Legality doesn't always equal justice. That is hard to accept, but it has to be respected. Otherwise, we enter the disturbing realm of tinkering with laws on a case-by-case basis to create the outcomes that feel good. The law cannot be based on public sentiment, that leads to not only the illusion of corruption, but the blatant truth of it; an unpopular but fair verdict should, with reflection, increase one's confidence in the system, flawed though it may be.

But the death of Trayvon Martin; why did this happen? An unfamiliar young man, alone, after dark, in a gated community, is going to be watched suspiciously. Fact. And we have no proof that his race was the primary issue, only assumptions – I see people cringe and feel threatened by the sight of young white and Asian men acting similarly in my own city. As with the jury, his being out of place is the only fact we have. His presence that night is the sort of deviation from the norm neighbourhood watch volunteers are on the lookout for. Perfectly innocent intentions are rarely suspected, though the frightening thug in the night is just as often a boy walking to a friend's house or taking a shortcut home from work. Perhaps we shouldn't rely on minimally trained patrols for security, but who is to say a police watch would fair better? The assumption is that true officers do not panic and shoot unnecessarily but that's far from reality(9). We live in a culture of just-below-the-surface fear.

Ah, yes. Fear. That is at the heart of this case, is it not? Our fear of each other, fear of the unknown, fear of being targeted, of being alone and confronted with the ultimate evil, be that a single attacker or a system rotten from within. Was Zimmerman wrong to fire on an unarmed teen? Of course, but we don't know why he did it. And poor Trayvon, what was he supposed to do? A strange man with a gun is confronting him - so he is afraid. He was already suspected of being up to no good – so Zimmerman is afraid. There was almost no way for this to end well once the pair became aware of each other.

Many have come to see the trial as an indictment of the boy who died. Not that Zimmerman was found not guilty but rage that Trayvon somehow shouldered re-assigned guilt. Society likes simple outcomes. We want to see blame placed on one side and innocence declared for the other. When Zimmerman was found not guilty, suddenly there was no obvious villain and no sweet innocent and yet a boy is still dead and so we feel something must be corrupt.

The obvious about my viewpoint needs to be said: I am not American. I wasn't raised in the culture and have no reference for gun debates and black/white race relations. I am not black. I am mixed race, half Caucasian and half Mi'kmaq, but my skin is pale and my eyes are blue. I will never personally know what it is to be visually profiled in my own country by race. This makes it impossible for me to fully understand the social aspects of the trial. I can watch from the outside, but all I can be is a detached observer, no matter how strongly I may feel about the needless loss of a young life.


(1) Toobin, Jeffery, The Facts In The Zimmerman Trial, The New Yorker, July 16, 2013
(2) Davidson, Amy, What Should Trayvon martin Have Done?, The New Yorker, July 17, 2013
(3) Cobb, Jelani, What The Zimmerman Trial Was About, The New Yorker, July 17, 2013
(4) Alverez, Lizette, In Zimmerman Case, Self-Defense Was Hard to Topple, The New Times, July 14, 2013
(5) Zimmerman Trial Expert Says Evidence Backs Accused's Shooting Story, The Associated Press, CBC News, July 9, 2013
(6) Defence Rests Case In George Zimmerman Trial, The Associated Press, CBC News, July 10, 2013
(7) George Zimmerman Case Goes To Jury, BBC News, July 12, 2013
(8) Profiles: Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, BBC News, July 11, 2013
(9) Fatal shooting incident remains under investigation, News91.9, July 15, 2013

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
GothicBohemian's is very well written. It's probably the best written debate I've read of the few I've judged. Dug the bit about fear and and how we all want stuff to be black and white, but reality rarely is like that isn't it.

Makaveli's is pretty good too, since we do need throw emotion out and definitely not listen to sensationalized media, but I'm going to give this to GothicBohemian. Well done sir.

This case is undoubtedly one of the most controversial and polarizing public discussions in years. The emotion charged in this case filtered through the media and consumed by the public made this a smoldering hot topic examining race relations, profiling, and gun laws, among other things.

Makaveli astutely pointed out that the question poised here is a legal question thus we should look at the legality of the issue. Debate A took a definitive stance on dismissing the media’s presentation of a racially charged story as he used official definitions of the charges Zimmerman faced and how applied with the evidence did not equate to a beyond reasonable doubt guilty verdict. From a legal standpoint the information Debate A used must be considered from anyone considering applying the law as it is written and applied in criminal court in the state of Florida.

Makaveli used a plethora of references and requested the outside onlookers of this case to view evidence presented in court not in the sensationalized media. Based on the stance Makaveli took here with the legal angle he took the question was answered directly.

GothicBohemian, your introduction was perfectly stated. I love how you listed the elements the standard debate includes from facts to interpreted observations which both you and Debate A included in your answers to the question posed. Debate B said, “the chosen topic has a little room for yes and no, but” which fits with the stance you take. You highlight that this case is not so cut and dry, black and white, and whether we like it or not people will make their personal assumptions in spite of what is presented to them legally, or morally. Debate B talks about how “legality doesn’t always equal justice” and with the running theme which I followed to the end of this writing was that presumptions are not always unbiased.

I like that your debate in a legal perspective based on the evidence available does not take of indicting Zimmerman even though you presented a moral perspective to question Zimmerman’s actions. You even respectfully presented the realistic presumptions anyone could potentially have on a young “unfamiliar” presence in a neighborhood that holds the fears you mention. GothicBohemian may not have went as in-depth in the legal context of the issue but his mention here was substantial enough accompanied by his consideration of the cultural climate that may have played a role in the situation and how we look at it in its aftermath.

I declare GothicBohemian the winner of a tremendous debate.

Makaveli did good at defining the legal definitions of the charges and explaining why Zimmy wasn't guilty of these charges. Unfortunately this basically was your debate so the debate as a whole fell flat because there wasn't anything else of substance. (Yes I know you had the witness and the background on Martin)

GothicBohemian wins because it was the more well rounded debate. GothicBohemian also did a great job mixing moral responsibility and legal definitions into one river of discussion. You probably could have dug deeper into the legal stuff, but I think your argument gave you enough strength to where the lack of legal detail didn't hurt your debate. Good job.

Winner via Unanimous Decision - GothicBohemian

Seabs: "I am mixed race, half Caucasian and half Mi'kmaq, but my skin is pale and my eyes are blue."

Hey there

TDL Wrestling Division #1 Contenders Match
WOOLCOCK vs adrian_zombo

Does the Vince McMahon character have any value left?

Spoiler for Debates:

It would be absurd to suggest that the Mr. McMahon character has no value left.(1) However you choose to measure “value” with respect to the WWE, Mr. McMahon not only has value left, but has it in spades.

One of the easiest ways to assess the value of any on-screen persona is from the audience reaction. For years now, the opening notes of “No Chance in Hell” evoke a passionate response from the crowd, rivaling anyone at the top of the card. Mr. McMahon is a “made” character, able draw a strong face or heel reaction at the snap of his fingers, due to the depth of Vince’s character and natural charisma. Boos come easily for Mr. McMahon. Naturally, pitting the “evil boss” against a babyface is the easiest role to fill. However, Mr. McMahon has proven more than capable when it comes to garnering positive reactions from the crowd. By flexing his corporate muscles to make life difficult for a heel wrestler (or Vickie Guerrero), or to better the fortunes of a popular face, Mr. McMahon can earn cheers. It is Vince’s real-life authority within the WWE corporate structure that transfers into on-screen value for Mr. McMahon.

The best wrestling characters are often those which are grounded in real life. Steve Austin said that his “Stone Cold” character was really just himself with the volume turned “way up”.(2) Vince McMahon’s legitimate place atop the WWE corporate hierarchy lends credence to his on-screen character’s authority. Anytime the lines between kayfabe and real life are blurred, it only enhances audience intrigue and overall believability. This is the key to why Mr. McMahon’s traditional heel character is so damn good – it’s not hard to imagine a tyrannical boss becoming drunk with his own power and success, making seemingly irrational and dickish decisions just to prove that he can. A jerk boss is easy to hate.

Mr. McMahon’s current situation - embroiled in a three-way power struggle with Vince’s real-life daughter Stephanie and real-life son-in-law HHH – gives us yet another instance of a believable situation within the make-believe WWE Universe. The “old man” is struggling to maintain his position of power within the company he built, threatening to be usurped on-screen by the characters of the individuals who are actually taking over WWE in real life once Vince moves on (read: dies). If executed properly, this basic premise could make for compelling television that blurs the line between kayfabe and reality.

One may narrow-mindedly argue that merchandise sales are the best way to measure a WWE superstar’s value. This may be the only argument to say that Mr. McMahon isn’t of any significant value. It’s also wrong. It’s surprising to learn that a shirt for Mr. McMahon even exists,(3) but it’s never been about selling Mr. McMahon shirts. He feuded with Stone Cold, elevating Austin into the all-time WWE stratosphere, making him the biggest merchandise mover since Hulk Hogan. Two years ago, Mr. McMahon opposed WWE’s newest “protagonist rebelling against the corporate machine” character, CM Punk. As a result of their interactions, WWE sold ice cream bar shirts, and Punk catapulted into the present-day WWE stratosphere. Mr. McMahon is doing the same now with Bryan. Ultimately, Mr. McMahon doesn’t sell his OWN shirts. He needs to be an oppressive boss and allow his embattled employees to get the best of him, pushing generally popular superstars into the realm of immensely popular and profitable superstars.

Vince enhances Mr. McMahon’s value through his willingness to put guys over by taking brutal, physical beatings in the ring. Vince has been doing this for years. Mr. McMahon got his ass whipped by Austin. Mr. McMahon lost to Hogan, HBK and Bret Hart at WrestleMania. Not even a year ago, John Cena was out of action with elbow surgery, leaving a sizeable hole on Raw. With a couple quick twists of the storyline, there’s Mr. McMahon in a Street Fight with CM Punk.(4) Just a few months ago, Mr. McMahon took an F5 from Brock Lesnar,(5) maintaining the notion that Brock is a ruthless, destructive animal under Paul Heyman. As is the case with selling merchandise, Mr. McMahon’s value stems from how much he enhances the moneymaking value of other WWE superstars. This is something he’s done considerably well for numerous years, and continues to do today.

Mr. McMahon’s value derives from his long-standing, believable character depth, which allows him to enhance the aura of superstars feuding with him. Mr. McMahon has a very obviously, deeply entrenched place in both the mythology and present structural logic of the WWE Universe. He’s like the “end boss” of the WWE. Does the Mr. McMahon character have ANY value? In the imagined universe of professional wrestling storylines, where Mr. McMahon is seated atop the WWE hierarchy, this character has SIGNIFICANT value.


1) For ease of reading, I will use “Vince” when referring to Vince McMahon the person. Anytime I use “Mr. McMahon” or simply “McMahon”, I’m referring to the on-screen character.


3) And it’s a pretty damn cool shirt as well. Like. A. Boss.,pd.html




It is important to remember the broad nature of the question here, as to conclude the character has no value is to believe the character is devoid of any quality the product may benefit from. Applying that rhetoric, I surmise the Vince McMahon character absolutely does still possess some value.

The gradual regression of Mr McMahon as a TV character over the course of the decade has been a smart move on WWE’s part, due to overexposure to numerous iterations of the Mr McMahon character and the evil authority figure in general. Furthermore, the ground-breaking storyline that was Austin/McMahon is very unlikely to be replicated in terms of its tremendous effect on business.

Therefore a departure from a reliance on a continuous evil authority figure such as Mr McMahon in favour of more focused storylines around the wrestlers demonstrates awareness on WWE’s part that persisting with Mr McMahon as a prominent TV character may reap less benefits than during the inauguration of the character.

However, interpreting the merit in transitioning Vince away from a prominent TV role as indicating the character has lost all value could not be further from the truth. Realising the character serves a greater purpose in a different capacity today merely acknowledges that the product has evolved with its audience, and therefore the character must likewise develop to remain integral to the product.

The Vince McMahon character still possesses tremendous value to WWE, namely through name recognition. Vince as a product of a past era has created an iconic image which lends itself to his character on TV. The current product is blessed with a talented roster with tremendous upside, but poor management and abrupt departures of bigger talent has left the roster depleted with regards to certifiable stars. In an attempt to rectify this, WWE acquired Brock Lesnar & The Rock in addition to utilising HHH and The Undertaker in greater capacity, indicating WWE’s dependence on their more marketable assets to offset the inability to produce mainstream stars from the current generation.

Vince therefore represents a dynamic personality which WWE can ill afford to squander. His history immediately registers with the WWE demographics in a way that the undeveloped talent cannot muster and he has a genuine star presence that the company cannot disregard in their current situation. His versatility to be utilised in any given situation to elevate young talent is a quality that WWE is furiously demanding from its current talent with few able to meet such expectations.

Perhaps a key example of the qualities that distinguish Vince from the majority of the current roster can be articulated by the recent Daniel Bryan storyline. Whether proponents of Bryan accept it or not, Bryan’s continued association with Vince McMahon ensures he is in a program with a figure who demands attention and thereby generates interest with whomever he occupies TV time with.

Bryan could have a similar antagonist express every criticism of him as Vince has done and yet it is Vince’s name recognition, personality and genuine star presence that allows his words to resonate with a viewer in a way that diverts their attention towards the individual on the receiving end of Vince’s spiel. Vince generates intrigue and discussion, and given Bryan’s remarkable ring exploits and growing rapport with the audience, showcasing him to as wide and diverse an audience as possible by positioning him opposite an enigma like Vince McMahon only increases his chances of developing into a long sought after star the company demands.

Arguably the biggest indication of the value Vince represents to WWE currently however can be seen in the CM Punk Contract Renewal segment during the Summer of Punk II angle. Vince was undeniably integral in the representation of corporate bureaucracy working to stifle and discriminate against the underappreciated Punk. Who else on the roster could have positioned themselves after such a prolonged absence from television as a clear protagonist to elevate the program as Vince did in that segment? It was there and then that he overwhelmingly signified his ability in one segment to position himself above and beyond the capabilities of the current roster and represent a true antagonist that stood equal to the captivating CM Punk and in the process intensified and successfully marketed the Money In the Bank Main Event.

The Vince McMahon character possesses tremendous value to WWE in an era where a promising product suffers through undeveloped personalities (to the point where the company has relied on older yet recognisable stars for prosperous buyrates), as the character is an undeniable attraction through established name recognition , ultimately capable of elevating young talent into the upper echelon of stardom via his genuine star presence and versatility as a character to gauge viewer interest in a way young talent is seemingly incapable of.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
adrian_zombo - Terrific debate. Every paragraph makes a great point and concisely too. Not just good points that you'd expect to be a recurring theme in a thread on the forum with the same title but points that require thinking outside the box. The point about Vince not being a merchandiser for his own merchandise but being a big mover for others' merchandise I thought was brilliant and what I'm referring to when I talk about you taking your arguments the extra mile. Good job relating it to the current storyline context too and how that could possibly have value. Same with referring to his recent on screen involvement with Punk and Lesnar and how it positively impacted on them.

WOOLCOCK - Started off a little cold I thought but the final few paragraphs are just as hot as adrian_zombo's. Great stuff showing that Vince has value in the current environment too with Punk as the main example. zombo covered most of the points you raised and raised some extra points of his own that really gave them the edge here though. I thought his was a little easier to read too. I'm not saying this one wasn't easy to read. Far from it. I just thought adrian_zombo's was structured a little better with how he made his points.

Winner - adrian_zombo

adrian_zombo did a great job explaining how the best characters are based on real life personalities with the volume turned up. A great way to explain how the McMahon character works. I liked how you used McMahon's ability to play face to show that he's versatile. You also did a great job explaining how the McMahon doesn't need to sell himself because his presence and character sells and develops others both from a merchandise and crowd interest perspective. Good well rounded debate covering a variety of situations.

WOOLCOCK's was good. Like adrian_zombo, you did a good job explaining how McMahon helped Punk and is currently doing the same with Bryan. I liked your ability to point out how they slowly phased out the evil boss persona over these years not because of bad value, but because they wanted the character to evolve with the business. Good stuff. What really gave your debate strength for me was how you explained McMahon's importance to this generation by explaining their reliance on older names due to their inability to create stars:

This was close for me but I give the edge to WOOLCOCK. adrian_zombo shouldn't feel ashamed at all though.

The Lady Killer
Fuck, I knew this would be a tough choice. I've honestly read each of these over a good 5 times, and there are parts of each debate I truly find to be amazing.

adrian_zombo - This was great. From the get-go you establish your stance of Vince still possessing value. I was a little wary about you being vague in your definition of "value," but I think you made it work regardless. Your support included Vince's overness and his ability to immediately elevate anyone he works with.

I REALLY liked the bit about merch sales. You set it up as a potential counterargument, but effectively turned it on its head and shot it down in clever fashion. Vince may never sell much of his own merch (he actually has a shirt?!?), but whomever he works with (and you provided great examples - Austin, Punk, Bryan) is typically a top seller. Great, great stuff. Gonna be a tough act to follow.

WOOLCOCK - Well, this did the impossible - followed adrian_zombo without being a bit overshadowed. Hmm, this is gonna be tough. Like adrian_zombo, you set the stage early for your stance, but did a better job of dissecting the "value" portion of the topic by defining it as offering something "the product can benefit from." This may end up being the difference maker.

The next few paragraphs I believe could've been omitted, but you got right back on track when you started delving into your support. A lot of this was similar to the support found in adrian_zombo's, but you effectively tied it back into your thesis of Vince's character adding value in a way that benefits the product. Whoever Vince works with gets over and instantly becomes a mega star. I also like that you compared Vince's value-added potential from the Attitude Era to that of today. Vince is capable of adding value today due to the thin roster and lack of main event caliber superstars. A great touch, there.

Winner - REALLY close call. I almost feel bad choosing between these. Gonna have to go with WOOLCOCK ever so slightly. adrian_zombo should keep his head held high, even in defeat.

Winner via Split Decision - WOOLCOCK

TDL Sports Division Title Match

Argue for or against the introduction of an in play appeal system in Football.

Spoiler for Debates:

I’m obviously going to argue for the introduction of an in play appeal system in football, the game needs to evolve in terms of professional officiating and an in play appeal system would support football officials who are liable to making major mistakes. First we need to understand exactly why it needs to be implemented, using a relevant example:

Correct decisions Premier League table after 37 games 2011/2012:

Actual decisions Premier League table after 37 games 2011/2012:

While the correct decisions table isn’t there to suggest that every correct decision would have led to that exact table (for example, non-received penalties wouldn’t automatically be converted) it does provide evidence that refereeing mistakes can lead to major injustices. As you can see, these two tables provided a great contrast in club positioning leading into the final game of the 2011/2012 season. The most obvious example involves Manchester United, who could have potentially already been crowned as Champions at that point based on correct decisions, but they didn’t even end up winning the league, Manchester City did. 73.7% of the decisions made against City were actually incorrect, whereas United enjoyed a far more favourable figure of 59.3%, so what this suggests is that it’s not necessarily the sheer number of minor incorrect decisions that can affect some teams, but the poor judgement of major decisions by referees. This is why an in play appeal system is needed, to combat the clouded judgements of referees on majorly controversial decisions that lead to goals.

An in play appeal system in football wouldn’t have to be abused and bastardised to the point where every single decision during a match would have to be called into question, the system would be implemented to prevent the previously mentioned major injustices that lead to goals. For example, both sides would be allowed just a few, say three to five, appeals during a ninety minute match to prevent time wasting for petty decisions. An additional one could be awarded for extra time occurrences. There’s a suggestion that there would still be an imbalance of good referee calls towards each team in any given match, but how often do football sides concede more than three to five goals? Not very often. With limited appeals you wouldn’t have to worry about ridiculous time wasting from both sides for every single incident on the off chance that the referee might have made a mistake. The appeal system in Tennis uses a similar format where limited appeals are allowed, with each player being allowed three appeals per set and one extra for a tie break. This set up within a continually well respected sport is proof that football doesn’t necessarily have to become a farce with the introduction of an appeal system.

One might argue that an in play appeal system would cause havoc during matches due to team mates arguing over appeals. This wouldn’t have to occur if the captains of both sides were to be allocated the decision making process of when to appeal, something they could practice by making a raised arms signal such as an x sign to notify an extra official. This would save the referees having to suffer the nightmare of crowding from entire teams appealing and arguing amongst themselves, a situation that could also be prevented by allowing referees to book protesting players who aren’t captains. A similar system has been successfully used in cricket where captains can appeal and withdraw appeals.

Two key words in the topic title were “in play”. Some would suggest that a situation where an attacking side appeals against an incorrect offside or non-received penalty decision would be impossible to navigate past, but that’s not true at all. All appeals could be timed by the referee and be given a maximum of five seconds to occur, so even in an instance where a potentially incorrect offside decision were to occur the referee could blow his whistle and all of the players would already know to continue to play on until the referee blows his second whistle to confirm the offside when no appeal is made. If the appeal is made in time by the attacking team then it’s off to the fourth official who can review the video replay and make a decision (defensive free kick, goal or a drop ball when the offside is incorrect but no goal occurs) after the phase of attacking play is completed or results in a goal. The five second rule would apply to all appeals, preventing ridiculous call back appeals to long passed incidents.

Another argument against the appeal system is that the introduction of the goal line “hawkeye” technology to various football leagues and competitions will largely eradicate the need for an appeal system. Hawkeye technology isn’t perfect, an example of this appeared during a tennis match between Andy Murray and Ivan Ljubičić where Murray appealed against an out call, the hawkeye accidentally picked up the second bounce of the ball and backed up his claim that the ball was in, despite the fact that the instant replay clearly showed that the ball was out. Allowing football referees to rely on just this type of potentially faulty technology after goal line incidents could actually lead to perfectly good goals being disallowed, therefore the advent of “hawkeye” is actually a reason for the implementation of an in play appeal system supported by standard video replays.

Some argue that the technology for an appeals system couldn’t be afforded at all levels of football, but just because non-professional football has amateur officiating it doesn’t mean that professional football should have to as well, even the professional versions of Tennis and cricket have moved into the 21st century. Former England striker Gary Lineker summed this up perfectly when stating “…their (FIFA) argument has always been that the game should be the same in the parks as it is at the very top level…but it’s not like that in other sports…”

"Correct" premier league decisions table 2011-2012/Manchester United and Manchester City incorrect decisions against:

Actual premier league table 2011/2012:

Appeal system in tennis:

Cricket rules and how captains can appeal:

Hawkeye falters in Andy Murray tennis match:

Gary Lineker video concerning in play appeal systems in football:


Argue for or against the introduction of an in play appeal system in Football.

Since the advent of new technology there has been a continued push for its use in sport. New technological systems like Hawkeye, HotSpot, in addition to video replay has been introduced into many sports worldwide. In sports like cricket and tennis Hawkeye has been used to assist umpiring decisions. It has a relatively high success rate and has arguably been shown to improve the standard of umpiring. In sports such as rugby union and rugby league, video replay and TV umpires are used to assist the referee with regards to try scoring opportunities. However should technology be used to create an in-play appeal system in football? The answer is a clear and unequivocal no.

Football is characterised by a quick, flowing gameplay with games running for 90 minutes, with 2 halves of 45 minutes. Each half runs continuously, meaning that the clock is not stopped when the ball is out of play. There is a half time break between halves running for no more than 15 minutes [1]. Unlike cricket or tennis, the sport simply does not facilitate a stop to enable a side to appeal a decision. Football is designed to be fast paced, and no matter the design of an appeal system the integrity of the sport would be compromised.

First let me explain what I consider an in-play appeal system to entail. Any appeal system would involve a number of challenges allowed to a team. The use of a challenge could be up to the captain or the manager. A team would retain its challenge if it is successful, and alternatively lose it if they’re unsuccessful in overturning a refereeing decision. In football the technology that best suits an appeal is video technology. This would be helpful in determining fouls and therefore cards, throw ins and goals. The reality of the situation is that most fans are concerned with technology being used for goals.

In the world of football there has been a push for the use of technology to assist referees since the early 2000’s. There has been numerous high profile incidents that have led to the investigation into goal line technology to enable a referee to determine whether the ball has crossed the goal line. Hawkeye is being introduced into the sport now to assist the referee. I fully support the introduction of this goal line technology. Nevertheless, this is not an in-play appeal system. Without going too deeply into how this technology works, essentially if a ball crosses the goal line, a vibration and visual signal is then transmitted within fractions of a second to watches worn by referees on the field.[2] There is no appeal by the players involved, and more importantly no delay in the game. It has been trialled extensively and is going to be used progressively more as the sport progresses.

With the introduction of goal line technology then there are very few incidents that are large enough to require a review. There are only 2 instances left for reviews after removing doubts about goals, diving and players receiving red cards for minor incidents. An in-play review system would work to correct that, but not without causing delays to the game. I would propose that the various football associations in the world introduce a post-game review system and retroactively punish players guilty of diving as well as rescinding more wrongfully given cards. Players found guilty of diving could be fined, and repeat offenders could get match bans.

The current argument against this is that it undermines the referee and his decisions. However the introduction of a review system would cause just as much consternation for refereeing decisions and the immediacy of the review could cause the referee to doubt himself during the course of the match which in turn could cause more poor decisions. This of course is contrary to the intended consequence of technology in sport. By having a review system introduced post-game then not only can instances of players diving get diminished, but referees can also study the tapes in order to improve their decision making.

As mentioned earlier an in game review would cause the game to be stopped while a decision is reviewed. This creates an opportunity for it to be used as a tactic by managers thus contrary to its designed purpose. It can be exploited and used as a means of disrupting the momentum of a team or used to give players a break to recover. It would be hard to put in place regulations to avoid this and as such a further reason to avoid in game reviews.

Finally the cost of employing technicians and video referees to work at every game in order to review a few incidents would not be justified. In each league that uses a review system, they would be forced to provide this service in every game thus the league would have to pay personnel trained in video reviews to work at each game. No matter the cost of this, it is a needless expense which could be better served in many other areas of football from the top level to grassroots. If a post-game review system was used then one technician or referee could study the tape for every match in a round and hand down punishments.

In closing, there is simply no place for an in-game review system in football. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your inclination, human error will always be a part of the fabric of the sport. Players will always dive, appeal for penalties, corners and throw ins that they don’t deserve and no form of in-play review system will fix that. Any form of in-game review system in football will slow down the gameplay and can be used as a tactic against the spirit of the sport. There will be a cost involved and there are better options already available that don’t compromise the integrity of football while still rectifying poor decisions and reducing the amount of foul play.

[1] Laws of the game (Law 7.2–The duration of the match). FIFA. Archived from original

[2] How FIFA's Goal Line Technology Actually Works.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Interesting that one of you chose to argue against it. Always makes the debates a little extra interesting when there's opposing stances. Personally, I agree with THE DARK ANDRE's stance on the topic considerably more than Rush's but I'm not judging who's opinion I agree with, I'm judging who presents their argument for their viewpoint better and debates on previous shows have got me to seriously consider or even alter my original viewpoint on a topic.

Both debates raise great and valid points in argue of their stances. THE DARK ANDRE's opening argument about how bad decisions affect the league table and would have actually produced a different title winner was brilliant. Good stuff acknowledging the flaws of the correct decisions table too. Thought the use of other sports using similar systems successfully strengthened your argument really well too.

"All appeals could be timed by the referee and be given a maximum of five seconds to occur, so even in an instance where a potentially incorrect offside decision were to occur the referee could blow his whistle and all of the players would already know to continue to play on until the referee blows his second whistle to confirm the offside when no appeal is made."
Not sure I understood this part completely. Sounds like the ref blowing his whistle a lot which would confuse me at least. Great job countering Rush's argument about the cost too.

Rush's debate raises plenty of valid points too but I'm not sure they had as much impact as some of A's points such as the difference a bad decision that could be rectified can make in the bigger picture. Your argument for a post-game review system could have done with addressing the counter argument that it doesn't rectify a bad decision that costs a team the game. I liked the point about the ethics of the system and how teams could misuse it to halt momentum which linked to your opening argument about the nature of the game. You talk about the integrity of the sport being compromised by slowing the game down but isn't it also being compromised by all of the poor decisions that decide games which could be reviewed and sorted out with a video referee taking a clearer look at an incident on a TV screen to increase the chances of coming to the right decision?

Voting for THE DARK ANDRE because I felt that his points in favour of his stance were stronger and he managed to counter some of Rush's opposing arguments nicely too. Would be all for a rematch at some point.


Wow, this was definitely worthy of a main event slot. Both debates delivered. This is definitely the toughest call I've had to make so far. The fact that each took a different side makes it that much harder, as both are very convincing.

THE DARK ANDRE - Claimed that an in-play appeal process was definitely needed to minimize major officiating mistakes/errors in judgment. Gave great support and linked the proposed appeals system nicely to other sports that have implemented it. Also downplayed the counterarguments of technological aides such as Hawkeye. Very thorough and shot down couterpoints effectively. Well done.

Rush - Just as good on the opposite side of the spectrum. Provided a groundwork of soccer being a fast-paced, uninterrupted sport. This was the underlying theme of your argument, with support always circling back to this. Good stuff. Used Hawkeye as an example of how referees are already being assisted, and how an in-play appeals process isn't needed to remedy borderline goals. I do like the idea of implementing a post-game appeals process. You took the "in play" part of the topic and argued against it, while conceding the fact that an appeals process is warranted, but not during the match itself. That was great.

Winner - very close call, but I'm gonna side with Rush by the slightest of hairs.

THE DARK ANDRE – Strong opening. Data and subsequent paragraph introduces basis for reasoning. Demonstration of how appeal system could be implemented is reasonable and the example of Tennis’ implementation of a similar system is eye catching. Further demonstration of how the system could be utilised in the next paragraph, at this point I’m just wondering if more time is being spent of describing the actual process rather than arguing why its’ absolutely necessary to be implemented. Hawkeye’s effectiveness being questioned via a notable error in a tennis match gives food for thought, although I’m not completely sure how an error in tennis can equate to necessarily given a wrong decision in football. Conclusion poses the question that football should evolve and embrace technology in the modern age and ends on a good note. Overall I’d say this debate definitely argued against the criticisms of an appeal system, though I do think somewhere in between more emphasis could have been placed on why it was a fundamental necessary. The point about football needing to evolve could have been expanded upon imo rather than being a closing thought.

Rush – Nice opening, considering the merits of the system but disputing the relevance and efficiency of it in football. Strong breakdown between the intricacies of football vs tennis and cricket and why what works there might not work in football. Enjoyed the paragraph establishing the difference between video technology vs in play appeal systems and the continued effectiveness of video technology addressing the issue of contentious goals. Very strong subsequent paragraphs promoting a post game system to combat the remaining controversial moments in matches which could adequately contain and discipline offenders to the same extent as an in play system, only without causing delay. Last paragraph raises an interesting point about the cost and wider implications of such expenses, in light of the prior issues raised in this debate said paragraph reads much more convincingly. Conclusion is strong and a nice overview of the issues raised. Argument that in play appeals in of themselves won’t curb simulation, whereas a post game system with the power of retrospective punishment could act as a greater deterrent.

Excellent contest here but I’m giving the win to Rush. I thought it flowed better and was cleverly devised so as each paragraph expanded upon the one it followed and continually raised strong arguments against an in play appeal system whilst using key examples to differentiate between football and other sports.

Winner – Rush

Winner via Split Decision - Rush

*THE DARK ANDRE probably wishes he could turn into THE INVISIBLE ANDRE again now but as we all know a dark one can only turn into the invisible one once every 55 hours.*

*Rush makes some sort of a victory speech. It's hard to tell what he said through a mixture of the accent and nobody really caring. Then I heard the words BULK and I had to rewing the VHS of the show and relisten to his promo to make proper notes. Basically, blah blah mate, blah blah mate, blah blah mate, blah blah mate, I'm great and THEN

Rush: and I'll take on anyone. ANYONE. And here's a special challenge to you BkB Hulk. Yeah you BULK. I challenge you, no. I DARE you. No. I DOUBLE DARE you to take me on for this belt. Debates Count Anywhere Double Explosion Barbed Wire Street Fight motherfucker.

*The crowd gasps and leave the TDL dome in shock*
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post #2 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:28 PM
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Congratulations Rush

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post #3 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:32 PM
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Now I gotta deal with TLK being an Ass even more

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post #4 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:34 PM
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post #5 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:41 PM
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Congratulations to all the winners! Bummed to see I lost of course but I'm glad I got some positive feedback this time around compared to my last debate. I'm going to take the suggestions on board and improve upon them in the next debate I do. I'm confident I'll win one in the future. I think I just need to get in to the rhythm of producing debates. I'm getting the idea of how to structure them better now, I've just got to make my debate more solid with a stronger argument.

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post #6 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:48 PM
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I only had time to skim over WOOLCOCK's debate and the results from my own match, so I apologize for the half-assed response here. But wow, congratulations WOOLCOCK - an excellent, excellent debate! Our match lived up to the hype that I hoped it would, and the lofty expectations that I placed on us. I feel no shame going down to that.

I'll be online tomorrow to read the show in its entirety, and give proper thanks and congratulations to those that I need to acknowledge in a better message.

A quick hit to TLK though - the single, solitary thing that I did NOT like about my debate was how I didn't define "value". I had a nice definition, but edited it down to the sentence you see in my opening paragraph. I was PRAYING that the imperfection wouldn't be noted or hurt me. But it looked like I needed a closer approximation to perfection to take down WOOLCOCK, and I did not do it. Congrats once again!

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post #7 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 09:56 PM
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Wrote mine in 15 minutes at 4 in the morning the day before it was due about my least favorite sport and least favorite player, so I'm not even mad. I did however want to read the other debates so I was disappointed to see the no shows.

Great debate JM, you definitely deserved the win. Now I will read the rest of the debates ~

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post #8 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 10:10 PM
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Guess I gotta say Congrats to TLK right? (good fucking thing I was humble from the moment the match was announced ) truly deserved. Don't worry though bruh. We ain't done yet. Im determined to get my revenge somewhere down the line but for now the better man did indeed win.

As for the other debates I've read

Winter Debate. Fucking Hell Andre your scorecards are a fucking debate within themselves . good effort from all involved though. Descreated and Mozza in particular did pretty well.

Woolcock/Zombo really didn't disappoint. Did feel Zombo started off a bit slow but built really well and made some pretty damn great points. Would have personally just given him the edge over Woolcock but honestly that is a debate you defo have to read more than once before making a full judgement.

Rush/Andre. Liked the fact that both guys chose different routes. Would have picked Rush to win as well although both debates where pretty much A* quality and really explained their views well. Still ANDRE losing after burying me this week makes me losing slightly more worthwhile : (<3 Andre)

Ill probs check the rest out tomorrow

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post #9 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 10:10 PM
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Congrats to Scottish and all the other winners

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post #10 of 80 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 10:18 PM
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In all honesty, I enjoyed judging >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> debating. My judging cards for the winter debates should suggest that :

In all seriousness I had to be really harsh and break down the debates to the finer points because of the obvious tightness (unlike a certain Scouser's mothers you know what) within the match.

Last edited by Andre; 08-15-2013 at 10:20 PM.
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