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TDL Social Division Special Attraction Singles Match

Celebrities should expect to live their lives in the public domain. Agree or Disagree?

Spoiler for Debates:
Celebrities should expect to live their lives in the public domain.
Agree or Disagree?

Celebrities should expect to be lavished in the limelight of media and the public eye. This answer is irrefutable. Whether directly or indirectly, in the information age, celebrities really have no say whether their faces are plastered on tmz, any tabloid, or a blog post that sets the Internet on fire. Glamorized lifestyles is what draws people to follow this media coverage and the gossip is the added sizzle to the steak. The public devours it.

Most of these stars have entire careers and lifestyles granted to them through a mass spectacle. If celebs are not prepared for the accompanying media storm, the agitation of constant “harassment” could potentially break them psychologically or emotionally. In the Justin Bieber photo above, you can see the results of a young man who lacks coping skills to the pressures of receiving media attention and he lashes out immaturely because he wants “his” privacy.

And here is where a key factor in the argument lies - defining what it means to be a celebrity. A celebrity is obviously a famous person, has a prominent profile, and dictates some degree of public fascination and influence for profit and more fame. Where do you expect such renowned people to live their lives if not in the public domain?

Most people do not expect to have their lives deconstructed by millions of bystanders leeching for access to another photo or another story. The important distinction is celebrities are not private citizens. Celebs are public figures and in the United States, public figures are not legally protected by the same standards for privacy like you and I because they have voluntarily entered the public arena to attain a privileged status. It is inevitable their lives will be slathered in all of media for the world to behold.

Why should they expect to be in the public’s eye? “Celebrity life” IS their livelihood, or occupation. A product sold to the masses for consumption.

Let’s think about Halle Berry for a second and her pursuit with the judicial system. Currently, she is advocating for stricter laws to protect celebrities from becoming overly exposed and pressured. "My daughter doesn't want to go to school because she knows `the men' are watching for her" and "they jump out of the bushes and from behind cars and who knows where else, besieging these children just to get a photo" she told the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.^1 The most productive thing celebs can do to better protect themselves is to adapt with the lifestyle, whether they like it or not. They can fight, waste the millions they have doing so, but they will lose if no harm or injury resulted from the publishing of their character, some outlandish purchase, or even the birth of their child.

Which brings me to celebrity couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. For the most part, Kanye very much despises the media, paparazzi in particular, even so much as to get into some highly publicized scuffles with them. Then you have Kim who enjoys the spotlight as she flourishes in it with her own reality show, an invitation into her family’s life. Hell, Kim originally became famous from a homemade porno video that went viral. You can’t expose yourself to the world any more than that. Initially both demanded privacy for their newborn baby after the very media they wanted to get their prying camera lenses out of their personal lives, is the same media that assisted in creating the superstars they are in the world today. However, Kanye recently appeared on his mother-in-law’s talk show expressing his love for Kim and their daughter, even “premiering” the very first picture of North West.^2

Yet, Kanye fights cameramen in the streets when the public’s interest is inconvenient to him. These celebrities claim they want privacy for their families but then use TV to strategically expose their lives for promotion. See the problem here is this give and take relationship celebs like KimYe have with the media will remain a constant because the door has been opened by the celebrities themselves.

I restate again that celebrities should expect to live a public life. They are people in the world of entertainment who depend for their success on the image they project to the public. Many deliberately blur the distinction between their on-screen and off-screen personalities to achieve success. You cannot have fame exclusively on your terms. For celebrities, it is fairly obvious to say that without accepting the price of fame with their notoriety and riches, they will inadvertently place themselves in a situation to be exploited when they have the opportunity to actively take personal control of the concept of “selling lifestyles” to a culture.




Celebrities should expect to live their lives in the public eye. Agree or Disagree?

I disagree. Celebrities should not be EXPECTED to live their lives in the public eye.

Celebrities are human beings just like the general public and as human beings they should be afforded the same general right of privacy that extends to all individuals. However, the degree to which that right is currently protected is much narrower for celebrities and public figures than it is for the general public.

The definition of Celebrity.


1. A famous person.
2.The state of being well known: "his prestige and celebrity grew.”

A famous person can become well known for many different reasons. Celebrities are usually the best at whatever they have chosen to do with their lives. This could be for many different reasons, such as: playing a chosen sport at the highest possible level, high paid Actors, successful Musicians, Politicians. But whichever path they have chosen they become celebrities.

There are also celebrities who are not very good at anything except whoring themselves out for the media to exploit. The rise of reality TV and social media means that more and more regular people can attain celebrity status.

It is a fact that articles about celebrities will draw much wider interest than those about normal people.

The stories surrounding Tiger Woods and his personal problems were getting huge coverage whilst there was similarly timed news relating to the astronomical bonuses awarded to bank executives which was afforded minimal attention in comparison. There is no doubt that Tiger Woods suffered as a result of this unwarranted attention and would have referred for this personal information to stay hidden.

It is true that fame comes at a price. Is this true? Or a product of the media.

The way social media plays a part in today’s society affects the way we communicate with celebrities. They can share private information and photos with the general public and answer questions. It's a great way to connect. The key here is that they have a choice about what they share on social media. The same should be said for the information gathered by the media.

Just because one person is open to sharing every detail about them and bares all for the entertainment of the public, doesn't mean the next person is going to want a camera in their face and details about themselves published in the media.

Another contributor to the argument that celebrities should have a right to privacy are the PAPARAZZI. Persistent photographers who are just trying so desperately, without remorse to get a sought after picture. A picture of a celebrity leaving a restaurant, going on holiday or a child.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye west were offered 3 million dollars, for the rights to publish the first ever photo of their brand new baby. Lets put this into perspective; The average household income in America per year is $50,502. This means they are willing to pay 60x that of what the average household in America takes home per year for just a photo of someones child. In America 4,000,000 babies are born every year, yet it's only the select few that receive this treatment.

This goes to prove that their in an insatiable desire for the public to know what is going on in celebrities lives and the newspapers and magazines that break these stories profit.

You’ve also go to think about whether these "stories" are in the public interest. All too often the stories that break and the invasions of privacy that are all to regularly shown are usually in the interest of the media rather than in the interest of the public. How are we to judge when it is in the public interest for a person’s privacy to be broken, and is it then right for that information to be divulged to the general public even if the information has been received in confidence?

Although the whole premise for being a celebrity is being well known, each and every person should have the choice over what personal information should be shared with the public, a choice whether or not to be in the public eye. In no way should ANYBODY be expected to live their lives in the public eye, including those more well known than others.

Article 8 of the Human Rights Act reads; Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

The media has the power to make or break a persons career depending on what they publish. However, the blame should not always rest on the media, people in the public eye should be responsible in the exploitation of their own privacy, and be aware that privacy is something, which once given away, cannot be easily taken back.


Paparazzi video reference.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Clique – Tremendous debate overall, that much has to be said. The structure is impressive, the flow and broad interpretation of the issue continually leaves an impact on the reader and the persuasive tone is masterfully employed to argue with conviction that celebrities should expect to live a publicised life. I particularly appreciated how the writer picked apart fallacies in celebrities arguing for privacy whilst simultaneously promoting their projects and life willingly to TV when it was convenient for them, particularly well illustrated by the examination of Kanye & Kim Kardashian. The definition of a celebrity and its relation to mass media was a further key point the writer eloquently examined to justify the expectations that celebrities will forever be of keen interest to private citizens and that to expect anything else would be naive.

KLEEBLATT – I felt the opening couple of paragraphs were wasted here, especially as they served to convey the image of a celebrity which was successfully accomplished by Clique with minimal strain on the word count. The opening was concise but what followed was focused too much on defining a celebrity, rather than concentrating on the crux of the issue. The Tiger Woods paragraph seemed extremely odd as the sub-heading demonstrated an awareness and intrigue into the lives of celebrities but the argument made by the writer struggles to expand and remain pertinent to the question or leave the reader with a negative impression of the media’s focus. I felt the next part of the debate was effectively countered effectively by Clique which challenged the argument that celebrities could demand privacy when they so openly manipulate and exploit mass media to enhance and promote their work and projects. The argument about the public interest vs the interest of the media was stronger, however I didn’t feel this demonstrated a suitable argument to convince the reader that celebrities should not expect to live their life in the public eye, especially in comparison to the respective arguments made by Clique.

Winner – Clique

Clique and it's not really close. Clique was far more cogent than KLEEBLATT. Clique's was really well written, one of the best I've read since I started judging. Clique's was quite convincing and wins this one. Well done.


Clique - Went with the idea that celebrities should accept their fate in the eye of the media. His reasoning being that the public wants this information and that celebrities are part of the public eye and the photos/videos/stories come along with that. He also argues that celebrities use the limelight when it feels that they're benefiting from it, but get irritated when it's not convenient to them.

KLEEBLATT - Argues against the idea that celebrities should be viewed in the public eye, because they're people, just like us. They have the right to live a private life. He states that not every celebrity wants their whole life out there, some just like slight interaction with media/fans. He argues that while they are expected to get more attention than the average person, they still should have rights to their personal info.


Two very strong debates but I felt that KLEEBLATT managed to bring a slightly more convincing argument as to why celebrities should be able to have their privacy.

Winner via Split Decision - Clique

*In the crowd Shepard is attemption to interview Froooot who looks anxious*

Shepard: Froooot I just want a quick predicition for the social division title match tonight?

Froooot: I need to find Cleavage

Shepard: I beg your pardon

Froooot: He said he'd give me some self-defence lessons so I can learn to stand up for myself

Shepard: I don't know. Good luck though.

*Froooot continues on his quest for Cleavage.*

TDL Sports Division Special Attraction Singles Match
JM vs Brye

Should the NBA hand out stricter punishments for flopping?

Spoiler for Debates:

In professional sports, actions by athletes that put the integrity and credibility of the sport in question should be prevented. One particular action by athletes is embellishing contact from the opponent in hopes of getting a call from the referee or official. In the NBA you have “flopping”. Prior to the 2012-13 NBA season the NBA instituted its first steps for regulating flopping. The protocols for the regular season included warnings to first offenses followed by fines increasing in increments of $5000 up to $30,000 at which time a suspension would be considered. For the playoffs there were no warnings, first offense was a $5,000 fine. From this, 19 players were warned during the regular season with five of them getting a $5,000 fine for a second offense. During the playoffs, 8 players were issued fines of $5,000 for first offenses [1]. Although this system is a step in the right direction, it is not enough. There has not been a noticeable decrease in the amount of flopping. The NBA should hand out stricter punishments for flopping.

Prior to the start of the NBA finals, Commissioner David Stern said in a press conference, “It isn’t enough. You’re not going to cause somebody to stop [flopping] for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is $5.5 million. And anyone that thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason. But you take a step and you begin to see it.” [2]. He’s exactly right, a $5,000 fine is a drop in the bucket to players and if it helps them win an important game, it’s money well spent. A big, glaring problem is the fact that the NBA wasn’t aggressive in their warnings at all. There were 1,230 NBA games played in the 2012-13 regular season and only 19 violators we’re found with only 5 getting a fine for a second offense. Anyone that watches the NBA a lot would be able to tell you that flopping was still highly prevalent in the NBA during the 2012-13 season and this in no way does justice. The small baby step into it was likely to keep the union quiet. In any situation where you’re dealing with a union, and in this case the NBPA, you need to take things slow and stay the course, as he says, “take a step”. Any radical action by the NBA would have resulted in a grievance from the NBPA and a whole mess to be sorted out. The NBA was very lenient in this first year of the system and only targeted immensely obvious flops, with one season done and some leverage gained; it is now time to be more aggressive because the amount of flopping saw no immediate change.

If the NBA is serious about regulating flopping they need to start hurting players where it actually matters, on the court and in the media. Flopping in the NBA needs to be treated as a stigma, not just something that gets them a slap on the wrist after the game is done. The point should be to stop them from doing it, not just hand them a fine that dips into their pocket money. Both the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) hand out technical fouls to those that commit obvious flops. This is something that should be done in the NBA. This of course would only be able to be done against immensely obvious flops as. Given the speed of an NBA game, it is often hard to tell without slowing the reply down if in fact it was a flop or not but there are instances where they just play on where the referee knows that the player was just trying to draw a call. In crunch time, a player would not want to be given a technical foul that helps the other team, and for players that already end up with a lot of technical fouls, this will get them closer to the mandatory suspension after 15 technical fouls. Beyond that, they need to target more than just the immensely obvious flops in their fines. Last season only 5 of the 19 players that we’re given a warning were fined again. From this you could say that 14 of them considered the possible stigma of being a flopper enough to tone it down. Increasing the number of warnings this trend should hold.

For a professional sport the last thing you want questioned is the credibility of that sport. The NBA needs to take this flopping problem seriously and do what needs to be done to remove it from the game. A step in the right direction has been made; it is now time for the next step.




There is no doubt in my mind that there should be far stricter penalties for those who feel the need to flop during a professional basketball game. A flop is when a player falls and sells contact from another player when there is little, even sometimes, no contact from the other player. This can even lead to a foul being called on the other player. This past season, the NBA implemented a plan to put a stop to flopping, but didn’t do all that much. However, I propose that a flop counts as a technical foul on the flopper.

Let’s start off with why flopping is a problem. First of all, it ruins the reputation of the player flopping and it takes away from the respect that the player has. It’s essentially stealing a foul from the other team for overacting. It’s taking an unfair advantage by making yourself look like a fool and possibly benefitting from it by pulling one over on the referees. These guys are professional athletes, making millions and millions of dollars, and they’re playing like fourth graders pretending to be hurt when they’re not. Kids all around the world look up to these players and even I’ll admit that some of my favorite players are notorious floppers. Let’s take a look at Chris Paul. He’s a role model in the NBA, one of the top players, and we still get shit like this:

The fuck is that, Chris? Cousins certainly roughed you up there. As Dwight Howard would say, that’s a bitch ass move.

Here’s the problem with the current policy set up. So the first violation is a warning, essentially nothing. Then we move up to a whopping….five thousand dollars. That’s like taking a dollar out of my pocket for lying. Yeah, I’m losing something, but it’s not going to stop me from doing it again since the penalty isn’t very harsh. It then moves up the ladder, eventually getting to $30,000 for the fifth violation. Still, for a guy making even $2,000,000, that isn’t that much. A following violation CAN get you a suspension, but that’s not even guaranteed. This is far too lenient if you’re actually trying to stop flopping.

Why even have warnings for the first violation? It’s not like these guys don’t know what they’re doing. The right way to go is to give these guys a technical for making the game look like a joke. You start giving out techs, giving the other team an FT and possession, and you’ll see them start to disappear. For some added measures, keep the current fining policy in place and a suspension if it happens more than three times. This might seem like a harsh policy to put in place, but it’s something that literally adds nothing positive to the game and puts the sport itself in a bad light. Nobody wants to see these guys with incredible ability rolling around on the ground complaining like they just got shot after a light shove. Another potential problem would be that the referees would need to spot the flop on the court. At the moment, a flop itself isn’t being called as a foul, therefore the referees are probably seeing plenty of them anyway, without a thing to do. If you apply the policy, they’re going to be on the watch for them constantly. Of course there will still be a few miscalls, but that’s the same with any foul.

Flopping in the NBA is outrageous and makes the game look like a joke. It would be like if a baseball player feigned like they were hit with the pitch as the ball went down the middle. While the NBA has a policy in place, it’s far too lenient because everyone can get away with the violations. Throw in a technical foul with the fine and you’ve got yourself a problem that will not only get you in trouble, but your team as well.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Both debates are extremely similar raising the same points mostly so it comes down to who makes the same point better and whose debate is structured better? For that reason I give the win to Brye. Overall tone is slightly more persuasive and isn't bogged down from the few grammar errors that disrupt the flow of JM's debate. Plus that CP gif is classic.

Winner - Brye

First off LOL @ Chris Paul.

Ok, this one is close. Both do really well in stating their claims and backing them up. They've taken the same stance and have similar proposals on how to get this shit out of the game. Maybe it's easier to judge this if they take opposing views, but probably not. Actually, I'm not even sure how you defend flopping, so it would have been interesting to see someone at least play Devil's Advocate.

So yeah, I'm giving this to JM by the closest of margins in the history of mankind. Both are really solid debates though, so sorry Brye.

Good efforts from both debaters. Both debates were identical in many ways.

JM did a great job explaining the rules regarding flopping upfront while showing the number of those penalized for flopping. I really liked how you used Stern's opinion to further your argument and explain why the current policy is in effect, and why they need to be more aggressive. Good well rounded debate.

Brye's was similar to JM's. Good use of the gif to illustrate flopping. What gave your debate strength to me was how you mentioned the respect loss and image shattering effects of flopping in a league where these guys are suppose to be role models. I would have liked to seen you dig a little deeper. Get some opinions of NBA players or management to help further your point like JM. Solid effort though. Nothing to be ashamed about


Winner via Split Decision - JM

*Backstage Joel & Redead are up to their old tricks with another "scheme".*

Joel: We need to capitalise on WOOLCOCK's rise to the top.

Redead: Yes.

Joel: I'm thinking merchandise. Everyone wants to support their favourite sheep shagger right?

Redead: Yes.

Joel: Ok then Redead, I need you to go get me some sheep shirts pronto. Something with a baaa or something on. Understand?

Redead: Yes.

*Redead scurries off.*

TDL Sports Division GRUDGE Match

Which team has the strongest chance of winning this season's English Premier League?

Spoiler for Debates:

While Manchester United and Manchester City are respectable contenders, Jose Mourinho is a large part of the reason why Chelsea will most likely win the premier league.

Mourinho is the best manager in the league based on accomplishments in the past decade, having a track record that includes five major league title wins during his managing tenures in the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga. This provides evidence of his ability to win league titles in top European leagues, something that David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini have failed to do despite having been active managers for far longer. You could argue that they’ve previously only had one major European opportunity between them, but that just confirms that there’s a sizeable gulf in quality between them and Mourinho, a factor which will give Chelsea’s players a ginormous advantage in terms of leadership during rough patches of form and preparations for crucial matches.

Mourinho is also a master of mind games, something that he has already proven again by blaming Moyes for Rooney’s discontent. It is well known that Mourinho wants to sign Rooney, a player who has had a strained relationship with Moyes since their time together at Everton. This is an art form in which Moyes and Pellegrini have yet to perfect, an example of this being Moyes’ desperate comments urging his old club Everton to release Baines and Fellaini for a paltry sum which have been widely derided.

Mourinho, Moyes and Pellegrini might be “new managers” in a technical sense, but Mourinho has the benefit of the Chelsea supporters automatic staunch support due to his past exploits at the club. He has also previously worked with many of the important players within Chelsea’s squad, including Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, John Terry and Frank Lampard. This gives Mourinho and Chelsea an advantage over Moyes’ United and Pellegrini’s City because Mourinho and his players have already built a level of understanding and trust. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of doubt emanating from many United fans in regards to Moyes who has never worked in such a pressure filled environment and is following the impossible act in Sir Alex Ferguson. Pellegrini’s an unknown quantity having never managed in the premier league before; he has zero experience of English league football.

Chelsea have a similar overall squad quality to that of Manchester United, although it’s arguable that Manchester City have a better squad. However, it’s not always the case that the best squad will automatically win a league, as proven by Manchester United last year. United won the league because their former manager Sir Alex Ferguson managed to get the most out of his talented yet developing young squad, whereas Roberto Mancini failed to man manage and tactically accommodate his squad of multi million pound mega signings. Mancini’s City barely squeezed passed Ferguson’s raw, undeveloped United side on goal difference in 2011/2012, which goes to show that it’s generally preferable to have a great manager with a good squad over a good manager with a great squad. Chelsea, United and City all have squads that are good enough for a premier league title campaign, they are also all filled with players who have experience of winning the league, but only Chelsea have a proven world class European league manager.

Some might argue that Chelsea’s striking department is weak and that a lack of goals could cost them the league title, but they were the second top league scorers last season with seventy six goals, only Manchester United scored more with eighty six. Forty six of Chelsea’s goals came from six midfield players. Conversely, forty eight of United’s goals came from just three strikers while their entire pool of midfield players, which hasn’t been significantly strengthened this summer, only scored seventeen goals. Chelsea have the best selection of goal scoring midfield options in the league, especially now that they have added Van Ginkel and the returning De Bruyne, they can afford an injury or two to their main goal scoring threats because of that depth. However, if RVP or Rooney were to become injured for a long time United would struggle for goals. City scored just sixty six league goals last season due to Mancini’s defensive style. They have since added attacking quality, but their defensive problems, which include Joe Hart’s poor form and the lack of organisation caused by Vincent Kompany‘s absence, are reasons for them to be concerned over a shift to an open style. Chelsea on the other hand had the third best defensive record last season, proving that they’re capable of scoring and defending.

With Mourinho’s superior abilities Chelsea’s qualities will be accentuated into a title winning effort within a league that has been significantly weakened due to the removal of Sir Alex Ferguson’s iron fist from the league.


Mourinho's mind games targeting the strained relationship between Rooney and Moyes:

Moyes' desperate comments regarding long term contracted Everton players Fellaini and Baines:

Mourinho's return reunites Chelsea players, fans and board members:

Goals for and against in the premier league 2012/2013 table:

How attacking midfielders will be far more vital to Chelsea than Strikers:

Chelsea premier league goalscorers 2012/2013:

Manchester United premier league goalscorers 2012/2013:

David Platt suggests that Joe Hart is a weakness for Manchester City and needs to be replaced:

Why Manchester City will struggle defensively without Vincent Kompany:


“Look, we’re not entertaining? I don’t care; we win.”

The 2013/2014 Barclays Premier League is shaping up to become a three-horse between reigning champions Manchester United, runners up Manchester City and a rejuvenated Chelsea due to the return of the ‘Special One’. Only for me, one of the trio is more of Stallion being spearheaded by the charismatic Jose Mourinho whom is followed by two Mules stumbling along that are guided by a Glaswegian with a couple low-key trophies whilst the third is being jockeyed by Señor Manuel Pellegrini the former Galactico who has yet to manage in England.

Why do I consider Jose Mourinho to be a knight in shining armour riding his beautiful Stallion down the M6 to slay the Red Devils? It’s simple. Jose Mourinho is the definition of a winner. You can crack open any dictionary or boot up Wikipedia and a swift search of the word ‘Winner’ will lead you to Jose’s page. Over the course of three years, at Chelsea alone, the mastermind-tactician won 2 league titles along with 4 cups. He was also voted Manager Of The Year by the League’s official sponsors, Barclays, for the seasons of 2004/2005 and 2005/2006, the two seasons that he led Chelsea to Premier League glory.

As you can see from the image above, Jose Mourinho’s previous reign at Chelsea was an enormous success. He boasts a winning percentage of 67.03% at Chelsea alone, a career win ratio of 67.77% compared to David Moyes with a win ratio of 44.16% and Manuel Pellegrini who brings with him to Manchester City a career-winning ratio of 49.72%.

“Zero Titoli”

As you read this, David Moyes has recently taken over Manchester United from Sir Alex Ferguson and will have recently lifted his second only piece of silverware as a manager. At Preston North End he got his first taste of success as he guided the Lancashire outfit to 1st place of the Football League Second Division back in the 1999/2000 season. His most recent attempt at adding to his own trophy collection saw his Manchester United side defeat Wigan Athletic 2-0 in the F.A Community Shield.

Manuel Pellegrini, despite managing in Europe for 9 years, has yet to add a legitimate trophy to his collection that he earned during his time in Chile. Besides guiding Villareal to the Intertoto Cup in 2004, which is nothing more than a glorified summer tournament, he has failed to add a major trophy to any trophy cabinet for any club he has managed despite being in charge of Spanish giants, Real Madrid and other respectable Spanish teams such as Villareal and Malaga.

Jose Mourinho is a man who doesn’t stop winning trophies and will not settle until he has amassed a trophy room the size of Stamford Bridge that is full to the brim.
At FC Porto, he spent 3 years where he bagged 6 trophies during that spell. He claimed the League, twice, won 2 domestic cups and also won back to back European Cups by winning the UEFA Cup in the 2002/2003 season followed by winning the UEFA Champions League in the 2003/2004 season.
After becoming a global star with his wit, charisma and tactics, he was snapped up by oil-rich Chelsea where he delivered instantly and he delivered massively. SW6 hadn’t seen the League Title since the 1954/1955 campaign and Mourinho brought the title back to South West London at his first attempt and again in the following campaign.
After spending 3 years at Chelsea FC and adding a total of 6 trophies to the trophy cabinet at Stamford Bridge he made the move over to Italy to take over the managerial role at FC Internazionale Milano.
Over the next 2 years, the ‘Special One’ added 5 trophies to the trophy case in Milan, 2 League Titles, 2 Cups and 1 UEFA Champions League trophy respectively.
Following a whirlwind couple of years in Milan, he took over the reigns at Real Madrid, replacing Manuel Pellegrini and did what he could not and won the League, The Cup and the Super Cup in his 3 years at the club.

In conclusion, due to the evidence I have presented such as the trophies accumulated by the trio of managers of the three favorite teams, I firmly believe that because of the experience of Jose Mourinho who has guided Chelsea to the Premier League title on two occasions, he will be the deciding factor in finishing ahead of David Moyes’ Manchester United and Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League.

“Everybody was waiting for Chelsea not to win every game and one day, when we lose, there will be a holiday in the country.”

Links to Jose Mourinho, David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini's managerial statistics:é_Mo...ial_statistics

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
THE DARK ANDRE - I don't have many complaints with this debate but at the same time I'm struggling to find anything about it that really stood out to me. Reading it I always felt you were making valid points but it felt a bit.... I don't know. Robotic? All your points are valid including your counters so it's definitely a good debate but it just needed a bit of a character or a more appealing style of writing to compete with Mozza

Mozza - I always like a well formatted debate. Headings and tables always give a debate an edge in reading pleasantness. You're missing the headings off your wikipedia table though which makes it read like a bunch of numbers. You've got the link so it can be found but fyi. Surprised that both debates focused so heavily on the managers rather than the players but both do a good job of highlighting the importance of the manager and how Jose's credentials far outshine Moyes and Pelle's. Character in the debate is welcome too and an example of what I mean with Andre lacking that something in the way it's written. Paragraph on Jose's accomplishments is pretty long without adding a whole lot to the debate. Could have made the same point that the paragraph did much more concisely.

I think Andre's debate is probably tighter but it did read a bit roboticly. That's a pretty minor gripe though. Giving the win to Mozza though. It may not be the stronger debate but I admired the extra effort in the debate with the character and formatting which made me enjoy reading his debate more which persauded me to give him the vote. There's really nothing wrong with Andre's debate though besides lacking some character.

Winner - Mozza

THE DARK ANDRE – Excellent debate here of a truly exceptional standard. The opening is perfect in presenting strongly the writers’ POV and it is firmly supported throughout the subsequent paragraphs. The breakdown of the respective managers and their achievements has merit and establishes a clear track record of success that distinguishes Mourinho from his counterparts. The writer smartly expands on this in drawing relevance to Mourinho’s familiarity with expectations and pressures in delivering success and how this can be of particular importance in working with the squad through periods of unrest and immense pressure. The historical connection with Mourinho and Chelsea, namely through established members of the squad from his first spell as manager was an exquisite argument in lauding Mourinho’s credentials over that of Moyes & Pellegrini, both of whom are in unfamiliar territory with Moyes no longer overachieving at a club strapped of capital and Pellegrini possessing no Premier League experience. The final two paragraphs examining the respective squads are also of a strong quality imo. Documenting the success the United team enjoyed largely because of Ferguson’s exploits in getting the absolute most out of a young squad brimming with potential was a fantastic piece of comparison to add credence to a great manager proving the difference maker between success and second place, something that undoubtedly benefits Chelsea ahead of their closest rivals given the respective success of each manager. The breakdown, frequent analysis and overall impeccable persuasion throughout this debate continually posed convincing arguments to support the opening statement with clear consideration for a wide number of instances and metrics to measure success. Excellent submission.

mOZZA – This debate on the other hand suffers in comparison as it focuses intently on Mourinho’s success in comparison to Moyes & Pellegrini, however it lacks the depth and broad overview of numerous determining factors to be weighed equally against THE DARK ANDRE. The injection of humour in the opening was a welcome sight as it’s always encouraging to see natural personality dominate a debate, however too much of the debate is descriptive and stating facts without expanding on their contextual relevance in supporting the presumption that Mourinho represents a sufficient difference maker. Both debates ultimately argued the same POV however one debate went conclusively out of its way to focus intently on a number of issues with clear comparisons made to strengthen Chelsea’s credentials ahead of their closest rivals and therefore I cannot conclude that THE DARK ANDRE isn’t a worthy winner.


The Lady Killer
THE DARK ANDRE - This was pretty damn great. Took your stance early, discerning one clear cut winner out of the three potential choices. You then went on to argue why Chelsea's manager give them the edge when the rosters of all three times are fairly equal as far as talent is concerned. Well done. You discount the other two squads by downplaying their management as support. Nicely done.

Mozza - Near mirror image stance and reasoning, yet it focused entirely on Chelsea's manager being the sole reason, without really delving into the quality of the rosters. I think that's what set THE DARK ANDRE's debate apart for me. May seem minor, but since the arguments were so similar, I had to dig a bit deeper. Still, a solid debate.


Winner via Split Decision - THE DARK ANDRE

*We cut backstage to Joel & Redead again. Joel doesn't look impressed.*

Joel: You're a fucking plonker you know?

Redead: Yes.

Joel: I said go get some sheep shirts that I can sell as WOOLCOCK merchandise and you bring me back 500 Demba Ba shirts? WHAT THE FUCK AM I TO DO WITH 500 CHELSEA DEMBA BA SHIRTS?????



Joel: *whispers to Redead* We're through.

TDL Wrestling Division Special Attraction Singles Match
The Lady Killer vs adrian_zombo

Was Chris Jericho's latest run a success?

Spoiler for Debates:

Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.(1) It is critical to understand what Chris Jericho's aim was during his latest run. As a 42 year-old, he was likely looking to put over younger workers in entertaining ways, while maintaining his physical health. Understanding this, Chris Jericho's 6-month run in 2013 was a success from numerous perspectives: the fans' perspective, WWE management's perspective generally, the other superstars who were able to work with him, and Jericho's personal perspective.

Given Jericho's propensity for big-hype returns (and debuts), was there a better surprise for the fans in this year's Royal Rumble than his entry in the number two slot? Immediately jumping back into the ring with Ziggler, Jericho picked up literally where he left off (2) and didn't skip a beat. As is his hallmark, Jericho had good-to-great matches with a diverse range of superstars up and down the card, challenging for the Intercontinental Title with Barrett and Miz, putting over young guys (Fandango, Shield, Ryback), and giving CM Punk a high-calibre return match from Punk's post-Wrestlemania exile. Jericho's versatility and consistency have always been his greatest assets; being able to provide quality feuds all over the roster gave fans guaranteed entertainment.

Jericho's versatility and consistency also speak to why his return was a success for WWE management generally. Bookers can pair Jericho with anyone, give him time for a promo or a match, and know they'll get something good on television that will require minimum oversight. There's value in this. On live television, where time constraints and crowd reactions fluctuate in real-time, a seasoned performer that doesn't require micromanagement is worth his weight in gold. Being able to trust an employee to handle a wide range of situations fluidly and effectively is a valuable commodity; Jericho's proven track record indicates that he is one of those performers. The ability to handle diverse situations doesn't merely benefit management though, as the guys paired with Jericho should also consider his return a success as their careers were boosted.

Recall when Fandango jumped Jericho in the ring after a match on Raw.(3) "Don't say a word!" Jericho instructed Fandango after the beat down, extracting some natural boos from the crowd. This was the old pro, reading the audience, helping Fandango garner some extra heat. Imagine the stuff we don't hear audibly over a microphone. Jericho presumably puts together many of the matches too, utilizing his vast experience to ascertain what works and what doesn't. Jericho chronicled how X-Pac showed him how to work a "WWE match" upon his arrival in the WWE.(4) It'd be naive to think that Jericho isn't filling that role now, helping put together television-friendly matches backstage or improvising appropriately while in the ring.

The argument against the success of Jericho's latest run is that he loses too much, thereby making his losses to young talent relatively meaningless. Wins and losses don't matter in the world of professional wrestling, but experience is something that does. Take note of who Jericho was paired with. The Shield, Fandango and Ryback are a bunch of younger WWE wrestlers who could glean great insight in both the planning and execution of promos or matches just from working alongside Jericho. In Punk's case, Jericho provided both a big enough name for a return and a safe worker who could give a match that still delivered without risking injury to a potentially rusty Punk. Even if one accepts that a win over Jericho isn't as much as it used to be, just being in the ring and backstage with him benefits any given wrestler in terms of what lessons are taught. They're all better performers having had the experience working with Jericho. This qualifies as a success from the personal perspectives of Jericho's coworkers, as well as the fans who will benefit from watching these performers in the coming years.

Jericho's latest run is also a personal success. He came and left on his own terms, selflessly put over younger talent, and escaped significant injury. This is a 42 year-old man coming back to beat his body up for 6 months, performing some of the top-rope, acrobatic spots that he did as a 22 year-old. Put yourself in Chris Jericho's shoes. You have your Fozzy gig, which you love doing, for half the year. Then, you get to spend the other half of the year returning to your more physically-demanding passion as a wrestler. To be able to flip between both, at Jericho's age, allows him to maintain good health and prevents mental burn out.(5) Chris Jericho's latest run was definitely a success, in that the goals of staying healthy, making young guys better and producing consistently good to great performances across the board were accomplished throughout his six-month return.


(1) Oxford Dictionary online:

(2) It was a feud with Ziggler that culminated in Jericho being "fired" from the WWE in the previous year.

(3) Begin watching at 12:50 of this video:

(4) I'm sure this was stated by Jericho in his second book, but I don't have the page citation. However, X-Pac does talk about it here as well, just to show that I'm not crazy:
Citing a Sean Waltman interview proves I'm not crazy, right?

(5) This is a symptom Jericho admitted to in his second book as well. In lieu of the page citation, here's a link to an interview with Jericho where he states the following: “When I first left, I was so mentally burned out I needed some time to get my head clear. It’s hard traveling all the time and having your body constantly getting beaten up, but I really do love the business and I do miss the camaraderie." Online:

The Lady Killer

Chris Jericho’s latest return was awesome. He had an epic feud with CM Pu- what’s that? That wasn’t his latest run? He returned again in 2013? Oh shit. That changes things a bit…

Not only was Jericho’s 2013 run ridiculously far from memorable – especially when taking into account his past returns – it also did absolutely nothing to benefit the company financially, which is what success in a monopolistic industry is predicated upon. This is why I’m adamant about labeling Chris Jericho’s latest run as anything but a success.

Normally, a good starting point would be to define “success.” However, a traditional dictionary definition doesn’t apply to this topic, as success for an individual is relative and the definition of success changes from person to person. It’s completely arbitrary and almost impossible to estimate in this case unless you ask Jericho himself how he defines success. Therefore, I strongly believe that attacking this topic from a business perspective would more accurately convey the idea of Jericho’s 2013 return being a financial flop.

As aforementioned, WWE is a monopoly, and the goal of a monopoly is to maximize profit. Without getting too technical, it’s easy to deduce that Jericho’s latest run contributed nothing towards achieving the company’s ultimate goal – making money, and lots of it. I’m not discrediting Jericho’s ability to successfully entertain. He’s definitely entertaining, at least to me. However, that is exactly why this topic shouldn’t be approached on a personal level. Everyone on the entire roster can be entertaining for some, but not others. It’s important to dissect the topic by evaluating the alleged success of Jericho’s run not in terms of personal taste or opinion, but rather in terms of something that is measurable. Since a majority of the 2013 stint was based upon getting Fandango over, I’ll be focusing mostly on their feud, as its transparency lends itself to exposing Jericho’s return as a failure. Here we go.

Unlike all of Jericho’s past returns, his latest comeback at the 2013 Royal Rumble wasn’t even hyped. No eerie promo videos, no sparking of interest, no buzz-worthy rumors. Nothing. After a few directionless weeks of losing matches on Raw, the reason for Jericho’s return was finally revealed – he was to work a program with newcomer Fandango. Clearly, the company’s intent this time around was for Jericho to create a star out of the relatively unknown Fandango, from which WWE could reap the long-term benefits of new merchandise sales, ticket sales, etc. This didn’t happen.

At Wrestlemania 29, Chris Jericho put Fandango over in Fandango’s first televised match. The match itself was largely forgettable, but the aftermath the following night on Raw gave a glimmer of hope for the company’s plan of creating a new star. Fandango was apparently on his way to becoming the 2013 version of Daniel Bryan – someone who became an overnight sensation thanks to a boisterous post-Mania Raw audience. In a recent interview, Jericho said that Fandango “was probably the most popular guy in the whole arena.” However, he went on to prove my point by adding, “Not so much now, but at the time.” Jericho concedes the fact that the WWE’s attempt at using Jericho to create a new star in Fandango was essentially a failure. Basically, Fandango was a “one night wonder.”

My detractors might try to argue that Fandango’s concussion, and not the (lack of a) “rub” from the program with Jericho, is culpable for Fandango’s faltered push. This would be a great point had the injury been something that kept Fandango out of commission for longer than two weeks. He could still be effective in a non-wrestling capacity if the WWE had so chosen. Others have resumed their respective pushes upon returning from injury. Instead, they seemingly pulled the plug and he has now been relegated to a backstage comedy routine a la Santino Marella.

Critics may also claim that the popularity of Fandango’s song on iTunes equates to Jericho successfully carrying out the company’s plan of making Fandango a star. This is ludicrous, as Jim Johnston, not Fozzy, is responsible for the composition of Fandango’s theme music, and the raucous, smarky post-Mania crowd is responsible for its breakthrough.

Aside from the Fandango program, Jericho didn’t do much of anything besides lose. I don’t see how this benefits the company in any way. One of its current biggest names looks like a jobber, and once he departs they have nothing to show for it in the form of a new star. The Fandango gameplan failed, and now even Jericho’s star is fading. Chris Jericho will always be regarded as one of the all-time greats, but his latest stint with WWE left a lot to be desired from a business standpoint. Luckily, not many people will remember his 2013 run. I surely won’t.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
adrian_zombo - Using the same definition of success as myself. Bravo . You state that the aim was to put over younger guys and that's what his success should be defined by (along with maintaining physical health) but I thought your debate focused too much on Jericho's ability to be an effective teacher to the younger guys rather than actually getting them over which you defined as your success criteria. I thought that this debate at many points would have better suited a "Does Chris Jericho still add value to the WWE" debate rather than the topic at hand. Your points are good but I'm not sure exactly how valid they are to this topic. Like Jericho helping guys plan matches and promos is great but you needed to link it better to how that's helped get them over. I also disagree with a pretty important line in your debate too "Wins and losses don't matter in the world of professional wrestling, but experience is something that does.". I can see the point that they're not the be all and end all but I definitely think that they matter. For example, a midcard guy beating a main eventer who never loses is much more beneficial than beating an undercard guy who never wins.

The Lady Killer - I used a similar intro for defining success in my debate so that gives me hope that either one of you has done the same. Obviously that means that I totally agree with the measuring stick used for success being ability to make money for the company. Thought there could have been more depth to your argument against him enhancing the ability for someone to make money for the company but what's there is good and more than adequate to win this debate. Detractors paragraphs are real good. Could maybe have done with a source for the Jericho quote btw.

Winner - The Lady Killer

Another stellar debate we have on our hands. Let me tell you adrian_zombo and The Lady Killer the decision more difficult providing so many valid points. I see a title opportunity in both men's future. The winning debate here earned it but make no mistake about it, the Wrestling Division would not be of the same standard without debates that delve into these topics as they provide the best argument to the question.

Both of you understood the importance of defining what success is and how it pertains to Chris Jericho's comeback. While you both took opposing sides to the argument, I as reader was placed on the fence of the arguments because of how strong the cases were made. The Lady Killer made some damn good points about the issues with judging the debate on a personal level because it can become an arbitrary discussion on such a subjective matter once you open that door. adrian_zombo on the other hand also did a great job arguing the importance on considering the level of expectations for Jericho's comeback coupled with the goals of the company.

adrian_zombo, your open defining success was a good choice to start your debate. You aptly applied context from beginning to end. The footnotes helped very much in accomplishing that. The Lady Killer, I cannot look past your points on judging that which is measurable opposed to personal opinion. You outlined Jericho's return and provided evidence as to why it did not reach the a place where you could say it was a financial success to the company.

adrian_zombo also outlined the value and benefits of having a veteran like Jericho work with the young, current talent of WWE today. The Lady Killer, I would be lying if I was not thinking 'where are the numbers' as soon as the financial/business discussion began. As a fan looking on the outside into the WWE machine and its reports we can see how much the proverbial needle moves and make our judges from there. Both of your debates did such an outstanding job considering the perspectives you took but I will declare The Lady Killer the winner here.

adrian_zombo: Feedback - I don't like using dictionary terms to define key phrases in your debate question. Defining yout question is the best opportunity you get to mould the debate to how you want to argue it and using someone elses definition for a critical word in that question makes it look like you are shaping your arguments around that rather than shaping the question to your arguments.

It's interesting because I liked the position you took on the debate (that it was a success) but I wasn't a massive fan of how you argued it. I felt the examples you provided were a bit hit and miss. It was more about Jericho's self-satisfaction and well being than fan enjoyment or exciting television. You could of strengthened it a lot by talking more about what he imparted on the younger people he worked with and I LOVED the Fandango post-beatdown example. That is brilliant stuff there so if you use things like that in your future debates you'll go a long way.

The Lady Killer: Feedback - I really liked your opening statement I felt like it put a bit of personality in the debate while also prompting the memory of the reader to be like "oh wait he's right he did actually take a break" and it tied in well with your definition which was nice. I liked how you defined success and how it's subjective, but then you went on to define it around financials. I think if you had decided to run with your own personal bias and argue based around that it would of continued to flow with the personality of your debate to keep me drawn in.

I think the Fandango example was a tad weak because it wasn't really directly Jericho's fault that the WWE didn't know what to do with him and it was their decision to keep him off screen. You kind of got into a bit of a tangent talking about Fandango too much and could of maybe used the words to talk about another example of someone Jericho worked with or why Jericho's rub in that feud wasn't enough to sustain Fandango's boom for longer than a couple of weeks. You were so close to touching on that point and I feel like it would of taken your debate to another level.

Decision - Two very tight debates and it actually took me a while to decide on a winner. I liked adrian_zombo's stance on the question more than The Lady Killer's, but I felt like The Lady Killer defined and argued their point better and it had a bit more personality. When doing an anonymous debate it's kind of like meeting someone for the first time and you have to make a good first impression. That's why I'm going to have to go with adrian_zombo. Again, I can't stress how close this was for me. Good job guys.

Winner via Split Decision - The Lady Killer

*Shepard catches up with Froooot on his quest for Cleavage*

Froooot: Excuse me do you know where I can Cleavage please?

THE DARK ANDRE: Try Croft and Amber Froooot. They're his bodyguards in the staff VIP area

Froooot: Ah yes of course. They'll know for sure where their fellow staff member is. Thanks Andre!

THE DARK ANDRE: : brodgers (fuck you Rush for not paying your bills and runing out fun)

*Froooot approaches Amber & Croft in the VIP section. Security probably needs tightening up so that scallywags like Froooot can't just walk in there.*

Froooot: Hello Amber B and LadyCroft. I was just wondering if I could see Cleavage?

*Amber & Croft stare at each other. Froooot thinks they're staring in a seductive way at each other. They fucking aint.*

Froooot: Please? What harm can it do?

*Amber & Croft flip their lids and beat Froooot mercilessly. theproof tries to join but gets dropped on his head by Amber. Amber & Croft dump Froooot off their VIP balcony down to the simpletons in the cheap seats.*

Never In Your Wildest Dreams Double Debut Dream Match
Seabs vs Headliner

Has The Shield been a success?

Spoiler for Debates:
Have The Shield been entertaining? Yes. Cutting good promos? Yes. Having great matches? Yes. But a success? No.

Let's break down what success really means.
Originally Posted by Oxford Dictionary
The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
So what is the purpose of The Shield? The same of every act; to get themselves and/or others over. Their aim isn't to have entertaining matches. Not the primary aim at least which success is measured by. The primary aim is to help generate Vince McMahon money. Have they achieved that purpose so far? Nope.

Let's go through the babyfaces that they've worked with and evaluate their standing before and after working with The Shield.

Daniel Bryan is the only act where I think there's a valid argument for The Shield accomplishing their purpose so I'll address him separately. As for the rest:
Ryback: No benefit
Cena: No benefit
Sheamus: No benefit
Randy Orton: No benefit
Big Show: No benefit
Kane: No benefit
Usos: Still struggle to draw reactions despite being paired with an act further up the card and with more TV exposure

Now some of them require putting into context. Arguing that they're not a success because they failed to elevate John Cena's standing is extremely naive. There needs to be room for enhancement in their opponent's potential to make money. So they get a free pass on Cena and Orton. There's undoubtedly room for enhancement with the rest though. Ryback was on the tip of becoming of an incredibly over main event babyface but that all died down once The Shield feud started. Now are Ambrose, Rollins & Reigns to blame for that? Probably not. It doesn't matter whose fault it is though. The fact remains that their purpose was to help get Ryback over and their feud with Ryback cannot by definition be considered a success if he was less over after feuding with The Shield. This is in part down to booking issues but the booking team are just as responsible as wrestlers for making the act a success. It doesn't matter who was to blame. The debate isn't "Has The Shield been a success and if not whose fault is it?". It's just have they been a success and by failing to keep Ryback hot they failed to succeed in that feud and that's what the question asks.

Sheamus, Big Show & Kane. All established acts but all with room for their ability to make Vince money enhanced. Was this ability enhanced by The Shield? No. The Usos. Massive room for enhancement. This should've been an easy one. Elevate the act further down the card up to their level just by association. Instead the opposite happened and they de-elevated themselves further down the card and failed to get The Usos over. Massive failure which cannot be overlooked.

Now onto the only act that you can consider to have benefited from working with The Shield. Bryan definitely got over more during this period and is now main eventing Summerslam. Ability to make Vince money enhanced. One out of six success rate if you exclude Cena and Orton to benefit them. Now only the people running the ship will know what aimed for ratio is to determine the degree of success. Does one in six sound good to you though? Me neither. Would you consider a heart surgeon a success if five out of six of his patients died? Of course you wouldn't.

And finally, The Shield themselves. We've already established that they haven't got the vast majority of their opponents any more over than they were but what about themselves? An eight year old kid could argue that they're more over than they were before they debuted. Well duh. So put it into context. Are they over to the extent that they should be given their position on the card? To the extent that three fresh heels feuding with every top babyface in the company and going undefeated for nearly HALF A YEAR should be? No. They had every opportunity to become an established main event act and where are they now? Certainly not a main event act. Heels facing the trio of the three hottest babyfaces at the time in Cena/Ryback/Sheamus should have been getting more heat than they did and do now and as heels that's their purpose. Purpose not achieved. Again.

I think The Shield are a great act but they're not a success by the definition of the word. They failed in getting the vast majority of their opponents over and they failed in getting over as main event heels despite facing every main event babyface the company had to offer off the bat. If they were a success then they'd still be working with John Cena & Randy Orton rather than Jimmy & Jey Uso wouldn't they?

Oxford Dictionary definition of success -

Crowd reactions for The Shield:
Facing the 3 biggest babyfaces at the time on PPV 3 months into their run - (Compare to the reactions from the same crowd for the babyfaces)

Facing the current 3 biggest babyfaces 9 months after their debut - @ 2:04:50

Has The Shield been a success?


However, it is very important that we define success. In the last five years we have lived in an era of championship irrelevance, start & stop pushes, midcard ceilings, failed debuts and mediocre booking. So what does success mean in this era?

In this era, success doesn’t mean main-events, but rather your relevance on the card. A successful wrestler is one who is relevant on the card and has a productive role whether it’s mid-card or main-event. Why is this the definition of success in this era? Let’s take a closer look at some debuts in the last few years.

Tensai debuted the night after Wrestlemania 28. He was immediately given a win streak and put in the ring with the likes of CM Punk and John Cena. Once his streak was ended, it was only months later that he went on a losing streak. That losing streak led to him losing to the biggest comedy character on the roster, Santino Marella. It also led to him dressing in lingerie and eventually team up with Brodus Clay. Tensai went from a guy with main-event potential in WWE’s eyes to potentially the biggest comedy act on the roster. Is Tensai relevant? No. Is Tensai a success? No!

Sin Cara debuted in early 2011. He was suppose to be a strong mid-carder that would drive business in WWE’s Hispanic market. He also was suppose to drive sales for WWE’s child demographic by being a strong kid-friendly character. This character would lead to the purchase of millions of masks much like the business success of Rey Mysterio. He botched his way through the mid-card until he was suspended for violation of the wellness program. He returned and feuded with the false Sin Cara before getting a sidelining injury. He returned, did absolutely nothing before teaming up with Rey Mysterio. The purpose of this tag team was for Sin Cara to get over using Rey, while also getting mentored by Rey. In this state, Sin Cara was relevant with the potential of being a success. However, injuries once again plagued Sin Cara and he was put on the shelf again. Since his return, he has done absolutely nothing. He’s not marketed, he’s not involved in any feuds, and he just comes and goes. He’s completely irrelevant. A success? No. More like a flop.

This brings us to the Shield. The Shield debuted in the main-event of Survivor Series 2012. They took out the hottest star on the roster at that point, Ryback. They were also falsely accused of being aligned with the top heel in the company, CM Punk. From there, the spotlight continued on the Shield as they were involved in a series of high profile feuds with Ryback, Randy Orton, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, John Cena and the legendary Undertaker! For these new guys to feud with Taker at this point in his career shows the relevance of the Shield, and the seriousness of their push. These non-credible newcomers were able to obtain victories over the top wrestlers in the company in an undefeated streak that would last for seven months. Throughout this win streak they were pushed as the most dominant group in the company as they continued to take out the biggest stars in the company. WWE was able to use the success of the Shield to further the momentum of Daniel Bryan as him, Orton and Kane became the first group to score a pinfall or submission victory over the Shield. Since the lost, their direction didn’t seem as strong. They begin feuding with the Usos and Mark Henry, but the Shield’s relevance was actually being used to build the Usos into a credible team. The Shield’s debut and push is some of the best work WWE has done in the last five years. Are they relevant? Yes! Are they a success? Yes!

The Shield is a success because unlike Sin Cara and Tensai, they were not victims of mid-card ceilings, start & stop pushes, and mediocre booking. Instead WWE invested time into developing these young stars into the future of WWE.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Seabs – Strong entry here with a very clear and focused structure continually relating back to the metric of success as defined within the professional wrestling industry. Thought the admission that they alone were not to blame for struggling to get individuals opposite them over was something that in poorer hands could have read badly, however the writer’s breakdown of the question was an intricate manipulation on their behalf which justified looking at the bigger picture and not necessarily directing blame at The Shield’s feet but rather using it to emphasise how their aim and purpose was not met. Strong argument for Bryan benefitting and in many aspects I felt that strengthened the overall viewpoint because it demonstrated their capability in benefitting someone they worked against, therefore seeing this potential not being replicated with the same degree of success enhanced the belief their run hasn’t been a success. Actual analysis of The Shield themselves is detailed and an honest assessment of their current standing and impact in the company judged in comparison to the respective push they were afforded. Conclusion adequately summarises every point expanded upon in the debate and leaves a good impression on the reader.

Headliner – The consideration of how we can ascertain success in this era was a unique take on the question, but one I’m not convinced successfully argued more favourably than Seabs. The overview and criteria judged in arriving at the conclusion that Tensai & Sin Cara didn’t meet the objectives of what constitutes success to differentiate The Shield had merit and was a strong approach to examine The Shield as a far more polished and protected act. However when we examine the paragraph documenting The Shield’s run to date, I can’t help but conclude that Seabs effectively summarised their contributions more damagingly in a way this debate was unable to compete against. It is clear they are a more successful act than Sin Cara or Tensai, but being better handled and protected compared with other debuts in a similar period doesn’t necessarily quantify the act as an all round success. Debate A took on a broader interpretation of what constitutes a success and broke down The Shield’s contributions against this criteria in a more convincing and unarguable manner from my perspective.

Winner – Seabs

Seabs Some advice: I don't like using a dictionary meaning to define a key word in a debate question it's a pet hate of mine as it's your job to define and paraphrase the question so it fits your debate, using someone else's definition means you are essentially moulding your debate to their definition rather than your own.

Admitting they assisted Bryan weakens your position a lot imo. You should never admit flaw in your own debate unless it's a small one that you can bury and Bryan's success is one of the better ones in recent memory and the Shield were a large part of that which Headliner touched on.

Headliner Some advice: Probably could have avoided so many words giving us a history on the Shield and could have shortened that a bit. I liked how you used Bryan as an example although you could have gone more in-depth as it really is the crux of the entire topic. For example, when talking about what they did for Bryan you could of taken it one step further and asked when was the last time a newly debuted wrestler (or group) were used to literally elevate a mid-carder successfully into the main event? You could of delivered a five star debate had you gone in for the kill on that angle and made the reader think about the question and draw their own conclusion.

Another case of weakening your own debate by talking about negatives in their booking after taking their first loss, instead you could have focused on the positives that have come from those losses and how unparalleled that is for newcomers (especially in the recent era you touched on).

Result: I feel like Headliner's debate flowed a lot better than Seabs', the debater consistently linked their question definition with the argument being put forth and explained why that definition was the best and most important. Showed great examples not just listing them but explaining WHY they were important to their side of the argument too. I feel like Seabs could have used less examples and strengthened the points they made on a smaller number of topics rather than being broader as it's very difficult to go into enough detail to be convincing within an 800 word limit.

Two great debates taking two different sides of the topic is always much better to read imo. With that being said I have to say Headliner won this match pretty convincingly.

The Lady Killer
While I enjoyed the setup and definition of success of Seabs' more than that of Headliner's (defining success in financial terms is how I did it in my Jericho debate), I don't think the support was as convincing as that of Headliner. I also feel Seabs wasn't as convincing in it's support. It seemed a little unstable - you chose like 8 guys, then discounted a few of them becuase they worked against your argument, and were left with like 2 viable choices. I see where you were going for, but not sure it worked for me.

While I don't quite agree with "success" being defined as placement on the card since success is relative depending on who you ask, you were able to effectively narrow it down to comparable guys on the roster - newcomers - to make it a bit more measurable. The support was great, and is what put it over the top. Very, very solid debate.

Winner - Headliner

Winner via Split Decision - Headliner

*Seabs doesn't take this farce of a victory very well at all. AT ALL. He calls Evolution and The Lady Killer down off the judging podium and duh they come down because they're MEN OF MEN. What they forgot though is that Seabs is a MAN OF MEN OF MEN and stuns them both with a double Seabs Hot Stunner out of nowhere. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAMY. They go down. TLK crawls back up to all fours but is met with a viscous soccer kick to the side of the head putting him back down. WOOLCOCK begins to come down from his judging seat but stops halfway. Evolution makes it back up to his feet and spits in Seabs' face. I think he's been hanging around Mozza to me much. And probably his ma too. Duh. Seabs fires up and levels Evolution with a Ronald McDonald spinning kung fun kick straight in the face. Seabs and WOOLCOCK share a brief stare before Seabs goes his own way. TLK and Evo both make their way back up to their feet like MEN OF MEN who have just been ousted by A MAN OF MEN OF MEN. They look pissed and stare at each other with contempt for each other while maintaining a healthy rivalry as TLK makes it clear that he's still coming for Evo's title.*

TDL Sports Division #1 Contenders Match
Mr. Lawls vs ashes11

Was Stuart Broad right to not walk after clearly edging the ball during the 1st Ashes Test?

Spoiler for Debates:
Mr. Lawls

Was Stuart Broad right to not walk after clearly edging the ball during the 1st Ashes Test?

The score was 293/6, Stuart Broad facing young Ashton Agar. England currently has a lead of 232 runs in their second innings of the first Ashes test match, the game pretty much in the balance. In comes Agar to bowl to Broad, he pitches in short and wide as Broad takes a swipe and gets a massive edge that is taken by Clarke in the slips region. The Australian players appeal but the umpire Aleem Dar has given it not out, as Broad stands his ground and doesn’t do the right thing in walking off the pitch. Yes, Stuart Broad should have clearly walked after edging the ball during the 1st Ashes Test.

No I’m not being a biased Australian in saying he should have walked. Here are some examples of people who aren’t Australians showing what they think of the situation:

“Broad, what a cunt.” – ashes11.
“Still doesn't change the fact that it was so blatant the Umpire really should have raised the finger.” – TheIllusiveMan
“As for Broad, eh imo even if he has the right to wait for the Umpire he blatantly knew he'd hit and was fairly out and I'm sure had Australia had the benefit of a review (fair point though some questionable referrals fucked them over) he wouldn't have waited around. Maybe it’s because of incidents like Gilchrist walking but the Broad situation just irks me.” – Woolcock

So it is not just us Aussies who agree that he should have walked after clearly edging the ball. Neither was it a faint edge or a slight nick, and that he wasn’t sure that he had hit the ball. It was obvious to the naked eye, well everyone but Aleem Dar of course, that Broad had hit the ball straight to Clarke at slip. Stuart Broad had even conceded afterwards that he had hit the ball.

“First up, he conceded he knew he had nicked the ball. "I knew I had hit it," he said. Then he attempted to muddy the waters by saying no one was quite sure at the time.”

Broad has come out and stated that he knew he had hit the ball. He should have taken the higher ground instead of hanging around, due to the above quote. If he was generally unsure whether he had struck the ball, or it was a very very faint edge, then personally I wouldn’t have expected him to walk. But to those who saw it, it was neither of those that occurred.

Broad defended his choice to not walk stating that it as an example of a “win-at-all-costs-mentality”

This is a horrible mentality to go by. If you seriously need to consider cheating to win regardless of what happens, you shouldn’t be playing any sort of sport. This isn’t a good example in the slightest to go about how you play this sport. You would not teach this to children who are playing cricket in the junior ranks. We teach them the opposite of not to cheat and to do the right thing. If this is how Broad and the English Cricket team wishes to play then so be it, but it brings the game into a bad light if we continue to see occurrences like this.

Two tests after this incident, Broad walked off the pitch after he was caught off the bowling off Nathan Lyon. This time though it was not like last, where he had hit the cover off of the ball, but this time got a slight feather of a touch off of it. Wonder why he did that for?

To sum up Broad should have definitely walked when he was caught at slip by Clarke off of the bowling from Agar. It wasn’t a 50/50 of whether he had hit the ball, it was an occurrence of him hitting the cover off the ball that everyone could see from. We don’t want people to look at this and wonder why he didn’t walk, such as little kids who are growing up and learning the game. We don’t want to give them that mentality to cheat as cheating is the wrong thing to do. If Broad had his time again, I truly believe that he would have done the right thing and walked, which is what should’ve happened the first time.



Was Stuart Broad right to not walk after clearly edging the ball during the 1st Ashes Test?

In my 3 appearances in the DBL so far, this is the toughest question I’m faced with. After much thought, I find myself somewhat reluctantly siding with Broady on this one…

I’m a traditional cricketer, when I’m out, I walk off, I couldn’t continue knowing that I shouldn’t still be at the crease. Many people will be in the opinion that Broad should have walked, and so they should be. Cricket is not as cynical as football; the gamesmanship where a player will cheat to gain an advantage has no place in cricket for me. However though, as I evaluate the context and history involved with walking I begin to think that there is no right answer for answering this question. And the contextual factors make me side with Broad.

The main reason I would put forward to defend Broad is that the end result of him not being out is the fault of the umpire, who’s one job is to decide whether a batsman gives you out. I’m sure many of the Australians on here will hold their grudges at the umpire too. A bit of a generalisation, but not walking is something that Australia have been famous for, of all their greats Gilchrist is one of the few I could think of that was a “Walker”

In connection to that, I ask, why should Broad feel obliged to walk when many of the players past and now his present counterparts haven’t? See this example of Australia’s captain Michael Clarke doing the very same - Broad isn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the only man to not walk. The issue is, this particular example occurred on the grandest stage, under the biggest spotlight. Combine that with the fact that Stuart Broad hasn’t helped himself with previous acts of petulance on the pitch, and as a result of that, he has been villainized and his decision not to walk has been made to seem like high treason.

Importantly when the incident happened Australia had used up all of their available reviews, and no I’m not going to say that it was all Clarkes fault for using the system poorly. I will use this as an opportunity to say that the review system could be implemented better. There is still too much chance involved. A system created to eliminate the howler from the umpire doesn’t always do so. If it was in the hands of the Umpire, it could have been overturned, all Allem Dar would have needed is the common sense to use a review, or go to the TV official like in Rugby having seen how convinced the Australian players were.

Additionally, how often do you see a player called back after being wrongly dismissed? Hardly ever, then you begin to rely on everyone being perfectly honest, and in the heat of some of the most intense periods of the game that isn’t guaranteed. So many factors come into play in regards to honesty in a game, there is no way to make an exact ruling, we just have to hope the umpires are right and more batsmen elect to walk.
I will admit though, I was appalled when Broad finally faced the media and spoke about his exploits in the series. The theme of his justification, to “win at all costs” and to make England unpleasurable to play against ( is nothing like my reasoning for supporting him. I think his interpretation encourages the idea of cheating out and out in other aspects of the game. Play to win, play hostile, definitely, play to the umpires decision. But leave it there.

In conclusion, whatever you might think of the man Stuart Broad, he isn’t the first man to not walk, whilst he was dishonest, he didn’t cheat, he benefited from an officials fault, he got lucky. I think his reputation has meant that this incident has been dragged on far too long, its time to forget.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Mr. Lawls - Not the most convincing debate I've ever read but not what I'd call a below par debate. Your points are good but they could have done with a more persuasive nature. Base of the argument being centred around the ethics of Broad's decision is strong and hard to pick fault with or counter. Could have done with a few extra supporting arguments though to really strengthen your side of the argument rather than just relying on one point. Using forum posts as evidence to back up your argument is a bit iffy. It'd be much better with quotes from a former England player for example. Could do with linking to quotes if you're gonna use them too.

ashes11 - I would have cut the parts out where you're negative about Broad's decision even though you're arguing that he made the right decision. If you think there's an easier argument to make for the side you actually don't entirely agree with then choose that one and produce a strong debate rather than trying to save face on both sides. It was a bit of an on the fence debate. You're arguing in favour of Broad but then also trying to agree with some of the points that the opposition might make. Just focus on arguing the hell out of your side of the debate. Could have done with a stronger example of an Aussie batsman in a similar case to really support your case and strengthen it. The Clarke example is adequate but it's not quite the same context as he was given out unlike Broad. You're losing sight of the topic at times too and going off on a bit of a tangent. Try and keep your debates more focused on the topic and the point that you're arguing for.

Giving the win to Lawls. Didn't think either debate stood out as an obvious winner but Lawls gets it due to having less flaws and being more focused on their argument.

Winner - Mr. Lawls

I was almost tempted to give this debate to the bloke I reckon I’d beat easily provided I’m still champ after this event, then I realised you both suck so it doesn’t even matter Not that surprising that the Australian (Lawls, these debates are meant to be anonymous, don’t say you’re Australian in the middle of it) thought Broad was in the wrong and the dirty pommy git (ashes) thought that the dirty Pommy cunt (Broad) was right not to walk but there you go. Onto the debates;

Lawls, you really didn’t give much in the way of an argument as to why Broad should have walked. You spent half the debate telling me something I already knew and quotes from other users saying that he should have walked with no justification for why. The only point you brought up about it was Broad’s pathetic justification for it, and that children watching will be influenced by a poor role model. FUCK STUART BROAD. Sorry that just slipped out. Anyway, onto ashes11. As much as I want to tear you a new one in this I should remain impartial and state that not walking isn’t a thing Australians are famous for considering that we actually have a bloke who could be considered a walker unlike every other cricketing nation. Especially those who are famous for their cheats

Nice captain you blokes had (cheating dog )

Anyway, like Lawls you really didn’t justify your side of the argument very well. The fact that Broad is a whiny cunt has nothing to do with the instance of him edging a ball to first slip and not walking (aside from the fact that he’s a cunt). Likewise suggesting a replacement system for the DRS isn’t relevant here at all either. “is that the end result of him not being out is the fault of the umpire, who’s one job is to decide whether a batsman gives you out” was a good point and is one that should have been essential to your debate but you made the point with any further expansion on it.

Overall this was a hard debate to judge as I feel that you both did a poor job of it but I’m giving it to ashes11.

Mr. Lawls - Immediately I feel compelled to highlight the opening paragraph could have been condensed with the point still intact. I appreciate the necessity of context, but for future reference your word count is so precious that if you can make the same argument in 5 words as you would 50 words then opt for the shortened approach. Distancing the crux of the decision resting on bias by supplying evidence of English (and Welsh ) supporters siding against Broad establishes his actions as wholly against the spirit of the sport, though once again perhaps including a couple as references would again have not eaten into your word count whilst maintaining the same argument. I do think this debate focuses a bit too much on the incident itself and not the wider ramifications of Broad’s actions. Dissecting the ‘win at all costs mentality’ was a step in the right direction, but needed to be delved deeper into imo in order to fully grasp the true depth of the question and dilemma stemming from Broad’s conduct. Consideration of past precedent in cricket could have been advantageous as well as touching upon the dividing opinion that batsman should walk regardless of the umpire’s decision.

ashes11 – My immediate issue here rests on the writer explaining why Broad’s actions go against the spirit of the game and represent a mentality cricket would do well to stamp out, but then goes on to make excuses and support his actions. I understand wanting to consider all available avenues, but immediately the writer shows passion in arguing against Broad’s motivations only to then argue against his initial stance. This is where the next paragraph struggles a bit, justifying Broad’s actions because of an umpire fault struggle to hold much weight in consideration of the first paragraph talking about the mentality of ‘carrying on knowing in good conscience you should be out’, it seemingly indicates a mindset that batsman should walk when they know they’re out only to then quash this viewpoint in the next paragraph. I don’t think the Clarke comparison was the strongest either, if only because it doesn’t concern itself with the question. Both Clarke & Broad have been criticised for their respective actions, and given the question is concerned with whether Broad’s actions were justifiable the comparison is moot since it’s used to support his decision but the writer portrays Clarke’s actions in the clip as less than honourable. DRS point again feels largely inconsequential to the question posed, but the final paragraph is a bit stronger in analysing honesty and how context can be crucial in a player walking/not walking.

I think both debates could be improved with a bit more time and attention paid to the topic and the wider implications of what it is asking, but based on what is before me I’m giving the win to Lawls. The consideration of Broad’s mentality and its affect on impressionable youngsters was stronger than any point raised in ashes11.

Winner – Mr. Lawls

Winner via Split Decision - Mr. Lawls

*Shepard comes out to interview both men joined by special guest interviewer: Geoff Shreeves.*

Shepard: ashes11, tough lo

Geoff: ashes11, how does it feel to be on the losing end of such a low quality debate?

ashes11: Eh. I did my be

Geoff: It must be a real embarassment to put in such a poor showing on a show of such high proportions and debate quality?

ashes11: .....

Geoff: Your parents must be extremely dissapointed with you. Are they?

ashes11: ......

Geoff: And as for you Lawls.

Mr. Lawls: It's Mr. Lawls.

Geoff: And as for you Lawls, you must be bricking it knowing that you're now facing the prospect of a massacre against either Perfect Poster or Rush?

Mr. Lawls:

TDL Wrestling Division #1 Contenders Match
greendayedgehead vs STEVIE SWAG

Were WWF right to continue the Over The Edge 1999 PPV after Owen Hart's fall?

Spoiler for Debates:
Nothing is truly ever black and white. Assuming this adage is true, this question has been chosen so that we can examine the small flecks of grey that exist in the case of Owen Hart’s death, specifically the company’s decision to continue the show after it happened.
Make no mistake, there are many aspects to consider for Owen’s death, and WWF don’t have a leg to stand on in every single one of them. Perhaps the single biggest tragedy in the history of this industry is made worse considering the circumstances around the event -- from the testemonials of Owen’s co-workers saying that he was saving money to be able to retire earlier, to Owen’s alleged apprehension to going ahead with the stunt; all factors indicate a good-hearted individual that was cornered into a situation that he did not want to be in. It’s something that all of us have experienced to varying degrees, but in Owen Hart’s case it sadly cost him his life. That alone is heartwrenching enough, but not the point of discussion.
The point of this is to consider whether there is any sort of valid excuse that could justify WWF continuing their PPV event after Owen Hart’s fatal fall. Nothing immediately comes to mind because there’s very little you could truly argue as legitimate reason, much less justifiable. There are several issues that could have went into play, such as the need for storyline advancement (come on) or the fact that they didn’t pronounce Owen dead until after he had reached the hospital. That one’s fair enough, considering he could have been only badly injured for all they knew, but the treatment of this incident once it was established that Owen had indeed died, made it clear that there was only one truly important factor when they made the decision to carry on – money.
The live audience was not informed of Owen’s death, most certainly because they didn’t want to deaden the crowd for the rest of the night’s action, and there was quite a lot to go because Owen’s match was only second on the card. Stopping this show within the first hour would no doubt have lost the company significant amounts. They would have likely had to offer refunds to the live audience, as well as those who had purchased the PPV at home –with the already existing costs of production and venue hire on top of this. Here we encounter the first, and actually the only true grey area of this matter. Surely such an escalated cost would be unmanageable for the company? That’s incredibly hard to believe. WWF hosted thirteen other PPV events in the year of 1999, and that’s besides the weekly TV tapings and live events that would have also generated ticket revenue. This was not 1996, with a struggling company that was a gust of wind away from folding. This was one of the company’s strongest years, both financially and in terms of interest.
Many people say “it’s what Owen would have wanted.” Owen would have wanted the show to go on after he died. Who for a split second actually, truly believes this? As if Owen always dreamed of his company completely no-selling his horrific and untimely death to avoid any annoying setbacks like money lost on a C-rate pay per view. It is all vile, and WWF choosing to carry on the event does not change the fact that they all have Owen Hart’s blood on their hands.

May 23, 1999. 16,472 people live and millions watching at home witnessed what transpired to be one of the darkest days in the world of pro-wrestling. Set to face Godfather, Owen Hart was supposed to make a spectacular entrance by descending through the rafters. But an equipment malfunction resulted in Owen falling right on the turnbuckle from 75 fucking feet. This was much, much more serious than any other accidents that had occurred in the ring before. The paramedics rushed in and Owen was soon stretchered out to a hospital. And unfortunately, he couldn't survive that fall. With an employee on the verge of death, the boss had a situation on his hands, as to whether or not to continue with the show. They continued. And no matter how much they got criticized for it, they were right.

Think of the situation. With the fans in attendance waiting for them to put up a show, McMahon and the other officials didn't have forever to make the decision, they just had a fifteen minute window to make the final call. Rumor had it that the Undertaker wanted the PPV called off but Vince and some other officials thought otherwise. Even 'Taker, who is known to have a lot of power behind the scenes was overpowered by the officials. Another man who was involved in that meeting was Vince Russo. In an interview, Russo told how Pillman, a family friend of the Harts died shortly before a PPV on which he was scheduled to wrestle and how Owen went ahead with his match on that show, and that it showed that the night he passed away, he would have wanted the same thing. There probably were some people with 'the show must go on' mentality as its an entertainment industry, so there's that. And then there were people like McMahon, who've always had the 'business-first' mentality. These are just a few examples. With so many corporate officials and employees with a higher standing having a conflict of opinions, one can only imagine how crunch the situation must've been. Looking back, it wasn't really a decision that should be criticized, it wasn't the easiest call to make.

And the topic reads 'Were WWF right to continue the Over The Edge 1999 PPV after Owen Hart's fall?' Its the company in question. A business company does what's right for business, and what they did was certainly right for business. If they had called the PPV off, not only had they had to offer refunds to the fans in attendance and the ones watching on PPV, but the production costs would've gone to waste and they would've had a bunch of sponsors to answer as well. It would've caused problems with the storylines too, especially as the WWF title was supposed to change hands that night among other major storylines. Yes, those storylines could've taken place in the coming weeks on Raw if the PPV was stopped, but then they wouldn't have made the same amount of money by doing it on free television as they did by scheduling it on PPV. Now I'm not saying money is more important than someone's life, but that's how a businessman's mind works, especially someone like Vince's, who's always had that 'business-first' mentality. And back then during the Monday Night Wars, he was much more aggressive as a businessman and just couldn't afford calling the PPV off.

Now, what would've happened if they had stopped the PPV? They would've gained some respect from the Harts, the fans and the media. And? Its quite obvious that Martha would've filed the lawsuit regardless, so now, they would've had to pay millions to Martha in addition to the millions lost after calling the PPV off. And don't forget, this happened during the Monday Night Wars, and if little reasons like 'The Fingerpoke Of Doom' and Goldberg/Hogan on free TV cost WCW so much, who knows what effect this would've had? As I said, there's a shitload of money involved in PPVs, so those losses, plus the main event storylines getting tweaked or possibly scrapped after cancelling the event would've certainly caused problems. I'm not saying it would've cost WWF their future or anything of that sort, but it certainly would've made a difference. They continued after Owen's death, and guess what? Stu and Bret are in WWE's HOF, Bret still makes appearances on their shows and Martha's lawsuit has been settled too, so the Harts are in good terms with WWE. The fans? Still here. And the media, they haven't really changed their standpoint towards them as well. As wrong as it sounds, there was definitely more to lose if they chose to stop the PPV after Owen's death.

Maybe from a human standpoint, it was wrong. But at the end of the day, it was about business, and so was the question. And business-wise, it was the right decision

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
greendayedgehead - This was not your best effort. I had to read your debate several times over to find out what your opinion/answer and I'm still not sure if you ever gave one. Space out your paragraphs next time as it made your debate a little harder to navigate. To not sound like a negative nancy, you did make a few solid points explaining why WWE would continue the show after his death. You needed to dig deeper though.

STEVIE SWAG easily wins because it's the more rounded debate. STEVIE SWAG stated his/her answer, and addressed the positives and negatives of stopping the PPV or continuing it which I felt added strength to the debate. Good job explaining the business effects of this to show that McMahon wasn't simply dealing with just emotion. Solid effort.

Feedback: greendayedgehead - I loved the emotion that is coming through in this debate you can feel it right off the bat but the only issue with that is that you seemed to have let it get in the way of arguing your point. You spent at least half of your words discussing things that were really irrelevant to the point which you even admitted at one point. You didn't define the question at all which makes it hard to really structure and execute your writing to give it a flow and I think had you done that it would of provided a much stronger base for you to build off of.

I really liked your points towards the end about the success of the WWF in that year, a bit of facts or figures or ratings or statistics would have made it even more of a winner. The last part of your debate is actually very good it's just a shame it wasn't written like that from the start. A stack of potential there, try building a plan of your debate before you actually fill it out to get down a bit of execution and you'll be noticing yourself going up the ranks.

STEVIE SWAG: Feedback - Holy moly what a debate. Really hard to pick any negatives about it really, the only thing I might change is your last sentence could have been paraphrased or used earlier in the debate as well to define your side of the argument a little better in the opening paragraph but that's about it. A seriously impressive entry.

Decision - Via bodybag STEVIE SWAG

greendayedgehead - Made good point that there was no decision for this that didn't have it's problems. He argues that WWE's only possible motive for keeping the show going was money, which isn't enough to make it justifiable. He also states that with WWE's massive success and large amounts of PPVs, the money loss wouldn't have come as a problem. Ultimately stated that WWE made the wrong decision keeping the show going.

STEVIE SWAG - This debater took the opposite side and believed that WWE made the correct decision (from a business standpoint), continuing the show. He states that financially, it was the right move because of the refunds that would have been given, the production would have been a waste and it could have ruined the upcoming storylines and cost them feuds in the future. He also stated that Martha more than likely would have sued anyway and that continuing the PPV wouldn't have set them back as much.


I went back and forth on this a few times but ultimately I feel that STEVIE SWAG put together a strong argument that WWF made the right decision in order to profit and that the implications were outweighed by the money.

Winner via Unanimous Decision - STEVIE SWAG

*Shepard is backstage with an update on Froooot's condition.*

Shepard: Bad news about Froooot. He's in a coma. And this time he hasn't wanked himself into one. He's been BEATEN into one. The last saw of Amber & Croft they were leaving the arena with two cops. Not sure if they've pulled or been arrested. Maybe both?

TDL Social Division #1 Contenders Match
Clique vs Anark vs THE DARK ANDRE

Should testing on animals be banned?

Spoiler for Debates:
Should testing on animals be banned?
Testing on animals should not be banned. Research involving laboratory animals is necessary to ensure and enhance human and animal health and protection of the environment. In the absence of human data, research with experimental animals is the most reliable means of detecting important toxic properties of chemical substances and for estimating risks as well as effectiveness to human and environmental health. [1]

History has shown invaluable medical advances as a result from animal testing and they must be acknowledged no matter what stance you take on this issue. I state this because animal testing has created substantial benefits for humanity such as treatments for cancers, leukemia, heart disease, and diabetes. [1] Recent studies show that 7 out of 10 Americans take at least one prescription drug. [2] Contemporary animal research continues to contribute to the speed and efficiency with which new scientific breakthroughs are achieved and needed.

We also benefit from the increased availability of approved over-the-counter drugs in local stores. To ban these experiments would be to paralyze modern medicine and to endanger human health by allowing products such as insecticides onto the market before fully examining its effects. In addition, the research leads to useful safety and first aid label statements. These labels provide consumers with information to make wise choices about appropriate drug use. Scientists using animal studies to validate results provide a critical level of protection while enabling the use of products on a commercial level. Laboratory tools simply cannot duplicate this complicated process. Ultimately, animal testing is the best method to research effects on a living anatomy opposed to simple cells in a tube. [1]

Questions on ethics are often brought up in this continuous debate. Although in principle it is more important to reduce human suffering than to prevent animal suffering, in practice animal suffering is kept to an absolute minimum through government regulations. [3] Scientists are obligated to test animals in clean, comfortable, and healthy conditions. Also, what is often overlooked in this debate is the subject of veterinary medicine, and that animals also benefit from medicines originally developed for human use. Yes, animal testing leads to innovative medicines for animals too! Another plus for advancing life.

To guarantee the highest standards of animal care, many laboratories in the U.S. are voluntarily evaluated and accredited by the AAALAC - an organization that has been accrediting programs for institutions since the 1960s. AAALAC accreditation signifies that the research facilities are not only meeting the standards required by law, but are going the extra step to achieve excellence in animal well-being. [3] So long as the animals are treated well there should be no ethical objection to animal testing. If the foundation of the argument for banning animal experimentation is based on “the cruel treatment and pain suffered by animals” then this is a reason for regulation to make sure there is very little suffering rather than an outright ban.

Furthermore, it would be unethical to risk the life of a human being when a medicine or procedure could instead be tested on a non-human animal. Don’t reserve your bleeding hearts to animals who may or may not suffer during experiments. You can display the sad images of animals who were physically altered by experiments to draw sympathy, but do not forget the images of the frail cancer patient at the ward, the kidney patient relying on dialysis to control her bodily functions, or the AIDS patient suffering as he waits for the best medication to be created to subside his pain.

You see animal testing should not be banned because the medical benefits to our society far outweigh what detractors are proclaiming. It is not the intention of the researchers to harm the animals, but rather to produce high quality research for the betterment of living. While it is true that in some cases harm to the animals is a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the research, this is minimized wherever possible, with pain killers, anesthesia, and attempts to use other research means. [1]

If we ban animal testing even if research advances continue we will never know how much further and faster that research could have gone with the aid of experiments on animals. Animal research conducted today produces higher quality results than alternative research methods that are too new to fully trust. Hence, it is necessary for it to remain in order for us to proceed with the rate of scientific advancement we have effectively used for many decades now. [4] Precisely because we never know when the next big breakthrough is going to come, we do not want to be narrowing research options. Instead, all options – “computer models, tissue cultures, micro-dosing humans, and proper animal experiments” [1] - should be explored, making it more likely that there will be a breakthrough.


3) Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care
Animal testing should not be banned, but it must be heavily policed and remain under constant ethical review. This is a reasonable middle ground which even the RSPCA (renowned UK animal protection agency) agrees to, which allows only essential testing to happen under very strict conditions.

Organic living systems are far too complex for the effects of diseases and treatments to be fully understood without observing the complete system with all its interrelated components. With stem cell research and cloning technology ever advancing, there is perhaps a moment awaiting us in the future where we no longer need animal testing. We must seize that moment, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

Ethically-aware scientists are already using computer models and tissue/cell structures wherever possible, but you cannot study something like blindness or high blood pressure via these alternatives.

That’s why some testing on animals is still necessary.

Necessary testing is for understanding how diseases work in order to develop treatments. These diseases afflict countless amounts of people and animals, so the justification is there via the philosophy of the many versus the few.

Assuming the testing is necessary, there are another three prerequisites for ethical animal research:

• Adequate living conditions
• Anaesthetic used wherever possible
• Personnel fully trained in handling animals

With these conditions met, the majority of anti-testing arguments are rendered void. All that’s left is the heated debate regarding the moral status of animals.

Those against testing argue that animals have the exact same moral status as humans and are entitled to the same rights. Distinguished animal rights philosopher Tom Regan states: “For any argument that plausibly explains the independent value of human beings implies that other animals have this same value, and have it equally.”

But he ignores the fact that most animals do not have the cognitive ability of a human. They do not have full autonomy or the ability to plan out their lives or have hopes and ambitions. Regan ignores the truth that it was we humans who invented morality. There is no definition of morality without us.

If you disagree, try taking a banana off a wild chimpanzee. You will quickly (and violently) discover exactly how morally equal animals consider humans.

Animals themselves do not claim these equal rights and they do not exhibit any inclination to abide by them. It’s just fluffy-headed humans projecting this moral status onto them.

Consider too that laboratory-bred animals wouldn’t even exist if they weren’t created to be tested on. That is the purpose of their life. They wouldn’t have one if not for this purpose. Surely contributing to a better world (which medical improvements provide) is better than never existing in the first place.

Thus, if we do not have the same moral obligation to animals as we do to ourselves, then it’s perfectly justifiable to use them for ethically monitored experiments.

What matters now is whether the benefits outweigh the harm.

Animal research has massively contributed to medicines that we now take for granted, and it continues to do so. There are so many diseases which now have treatments and cures directly because of testing on animals. It’s an ongoing task that we must not shy away from.

Alzheimer’s, for example, is currently being explored though mice, who have yielded valuable information regarding the onset and triggers of the condition.

Animal research heavily contributed to the development of Tamoxifen, one of the most successful treatments for breast cancer.

Zebrafish are currently lending their natural heart-muscle mending ability and their easily studied translucent bodies to the conquering of heart disease, which claims a million lives a year in the US alone. Worldwide, heart disease kills more people than AIDS and all cancers combined. It needs to be defeated.

Diabetes used to be a terrible affliction, until the Nobel Prize-winning Frederick Banting discovered the insulin treatment that makes it much less terrible today by experimenting on dogs, with the treatment further developed with rabbits.

Within 18 months of starting his tests in 1921, Banting’s experiments had saved their first life.

Today there are 366million people with diabetes, a number rising to 552million by 2030. Beyond 2030, that number breaks the billion barrier and keeps rising. Now add to that number all the other animals (Banting’s diabetes treatment is also used to help dogs) and people who suffer from all the other diseases and afflictions out there, and the question of whether or not the benefits of animal testing outweigh the harm answers itself.

While we have a moral and ethical obligation to ensure the animals are treated with appropriate respect and compassion, we also have a moral obligation to do everything scientifically possible to help the innumerable amount of people and animals who suffer from these terrible afflictions.

I, for one, will not stand in the way.

RSPCA’s Opinion on Animal Testing:
Science of Living Systems:
Tom Regan’s Animal Rights Philosophy:
Cognitive Rift Between Humans & Animals:
Autonomy & the Moral Status of Animals:
Animal Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease: http://www.understandinganimalresear...imers-disease/
Tamoxifen Breast Cancer Treatment:
Heart Disease Facts & Figures:
Diabetes Treatment via Animal Testing + Facts & Figures: http://www.understandinganimalresear...-for-diabetes/
Frederick G. Banting:

The debate topic asks “Should testing on animals be banned?” Nowhere in that question is there any mention of biological, cosmetic, chemical, social, computer or even behavioural testing, thus rendering the topic unspecific and broad. Therefore I have to say no, testing on animals shouldn’t be banned.

A perfect example of safe animal computer testing involving behavioural work occurs at Oxford University on a regular basis where primates partake in computer based memory games for a small amount of time every day. No distress is caused to these animals and there have been widespread recordings of these tests actually improving the functionality and mood of these creatures. They are afforded luxurious living spaces and are only transported from their homes to the testing rooms if they show a strong willingness. At worst this is comparable to a home owner training a dog for discipline purposes. In fact, dog owners who strictly train their companions for events such as crufts, an event which is widely accepted in Western society, are more likely inclined to display immoral behaviour in order to succeed within a shallow past time which does little to benefit mankind. It would be rather hypocritical to consider this type of testing on primates to be immoral or a candidate for being outlawed when dog training is mostly similar or worse despite being a respected past time.

Away from the synthetic jungle and on a far more natural farm environment we can find a perfect example of safe and morally conscience testing. The Animal Breeding and Genomics centre (ABGC) runs tests on farm animals which concern the wellbeing of Humans and the animals themselves; they test the health and welfare of these farm creatures in order to ensure that they can live out peaceful and content existences. Meanwhile, these tests are also vital in guaranteeing the safety and quality of farm animal food products including meat, milk and eggs which are consumed by humans. Banning this type of testing could allow the mistreatment of farm animals, as well as the compromised integrity of the safety of farm foods. The ABGC also runs breeding tests to prevent poor genetic qualities via inbreeding which again is to sustain a consistent quality of life for the farm animals. The ABGC aren’t involved in ill-mannered practices such as testing a sheep’s stress levels by allowing Woolcock to enter its pen at random intervals, all of the ABGC’s tests are generally for the benefit of animals. To ban those tests would be completely ridiculous.

Tests involving animals have also allowed us to understand human psychology. In 1904 Nobel Prize winner Ivan Pavlov noticed the regular occurrence of his dogs wildly salivating every time his assistant entered the room. Initially this assistant wasn’t causing the dogs to salivate, but Pavlov believed that they later began to associate him with the dog food that he sometimes brought them. Pavlov ran a harmless experiment measuring the dogs’ production of saliva via different stimuli and found out that dogs could be conditioned to associate and disassociate hunger with anything. Again, the conditioning itself was much like that in a dog show. You might question the significance of this test but Pavlov’s revelation helped psychologists discover that the same phenomenon occurred within humans. The importance of this discovery was that it enabled future psychologists to treat patients who have associated their eating disorders with many triggers.

Unlike the previously mentioned types of testing on animals, biological and chemical testing is generally met with widespread criticism and sometimes with good reason. However, many biological experiments have benefited mankind, as summed up by the US Foundation of biomedical research which declared that “animal research has played a vital role in virtually every major medical advance of the last century”. It could be argued that paid human volunteers are available and that initial experiments on humans could be made legal, but it’s highly doubtful that there would be a surplus of humans willing to take the paid risk in order to benefit the rest of society, especially when they would have to replace an average of nearly three million animals per year. Synthetic biology and stem cell biology research could take over animal testing in the future, but this research hasn’t been fully tested in all areas, therefore there’s no justification for banning biological tests on animals in necessary cases.

Regardless of that previous grey area, the question asked “should testing on animals be banned?” I’ve presented several cases of safe and important animal tests whilst also acknowledging bad examples of this industry. Tests on animals should probably be regulated and officiated with more efficiency, but to outright ban them all would be as naive as the debaters who concentrated purely on biological and cosmetic tests.


Safe and morally conscientious testing on primates at Oxford University:

How computer tests can improve primates' behaviour, stimulation and mood:

Safe testing at Farms by the ABGC:

Pavlov's dogs' experiment:

How eating disorders are linked to association with traumatic experiences (two links):

Quote from US Foundation for Biomedical Research:

Nearly three million animals are tested on each year:

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Clique – Perfect opening, concise but immediately asserts a dominant stance on the topic and touches on key areas of significance in clarifying the viewpoint. Immediately you can recognise the passion and determination with how clear and vigilant a stance the writer is adopting, which is always enjoyable to see. Strong consideration for a broad interpretation of the significance of animal testing, particularly enjoyed the argument relating to consumer welfare and allowing responsible drug use through increased protection and substantial awareness: a smart observation which adds to depth to the significance and importance such testing allows for wider society. Appropriate consideration for counter arguments sufficiently discredited through an extended look at the regulations and conditions which govern animal testing. With every passing paragraph the debate is succinctly breaking down counter arguments whilst outlining the overwhelming positives historically that can be attributed to such testing. Conclusion is precise and leaves an immediate impression on the reader. Very detailed overview of the scientific breakthroughs attributable to this area of testing and how it continually represents the most apt and successful model of crucial research. “It is not the intention of the researchers to harm the animals, but rather to produce high quality research for the betterment of living” – thought this was a very compelling line which effectively established what had been argued before it.

Very strong entry here. The depth and outlook was incredibly broad and displayed a strong level of research into the question to produce the most varied and thought provoking debate. It flowed remarkably well, each point was expanded on in sufficient detail and the level of passion was very compelling and identifiable at every opportunity.

Anark – Likewise a clear opening with an additional consideration for regulations and ethics. Simple yet effective breakdown of the requirement of animal testing for observational purposes even in a modern age where a variety of research is available, therefore displaying clear relevance for animal testing. I did think Debate A tackled the argument pertaining to regulations and testing conditions more substantially, however it appears more emphasis is being placed on the morality aspect of animal testing here. The morality aspect is explored extensively and is a very intriguing read. Analysing the lack of autonomy and cognitive abilities found in animals compared to humans as a demonstration that it is in fact us humans who project the supposed breach of morality involved in this practice led to the logical conclusion that ethically the procedures were justifiable. Special mention here as well to how well constructed this debate is in expanding upon each point raised before it and addressing each major concern to reach an ultimately definitive conclusion. The question is never drifted away from and each argument has weighted relevance which is always the sign of a strong debate. Supporting evidence found in the next section is very definitive and eye opening in highlighting just how crucial and successful animal testing has been in identifying possible solutions to some of the more troubling and common illnesses and diseases throughout our time. The conclusion is arguably the embodiment of how to lay a convincing argument in three lines and ends what was a strong entry in style.

This debate largely focused on similar considerations as that of Clique's debate. With clear similarities in terms of quality (flow, structure, dominant and compelling writing style, broad outlook) it is very difficult to assert which is the stronger entry, however upon re-reading both I have to conclude Clique just left a greater impression on me and read more assertively than Anark's. Both were of an immensely high standard which should be commended here, but of the two Clique's just felt that little bit stronger. I would now however begrudge anyone who viewed this differently than I and would again stress the difference in quality was especially minimal.

THE DARK ANDRE – Immediately follows the same vein of thought as the prior two entries, but distinguishes itself by referencing the depth of research testing methods available. Straight away this now has my attention having effectively promised a different outlook than Clique & Anark, even if it appears to eventually draw the same conclusion. Very strong following paragraph interpreting the relevance of computer testing on animals and drawing a very unique but credible comparison to that of dog training. Supplied data to attest to the success of the measure is welcomed and adds credence to what is being asserted by the writer. Drawing comparisons to a widely accepted practice that achieves far less advantageous scientific purposes was a shrewd move on the writer’s part and should be commended. Again the next paragraph can only be described as building on the developing argument and adding further relevance to support the writer’s viewpoint. Considering the quality of life for animals whilst touching on the greater repercussions that could arise from abandoning testing such as contamination of farm foods distributed to consumers crucially posed a logical criticism of any decision to suspend testing and it was also to see some personal humour included here, even if it came at my own expense! Pavlov’s experiment and its documented success in advancing treatment and understanding of human eating disorders was an exceptionally astute example of animal testing and the benefits that can be deduced and studied for human diagnosis, something which also distinguished this debate from the prior two submissions. Biological and chemical testing is not considered or expanded upon in nearly as much detail here, however given the rigid focus on the broad spectrum of the question I’m content with that and the writer does an adequate job at highlighting the medical relevance said testing provides. One small critique would be the admittance of the writer that the alternative forms of testing he considered have historically not faced nearly as much criticism as that of biological and chemical testing. It just takes on more relevance given Clique’s marginalised focus on one area of testing and making a clear objective to dismiss documented criticism of that particular method of testing. The eventual conclusion is succinct and caps off the entry in a polished manner.

It’s between Clique & THE DARK ANDRE for me. What is challenging here is that Clique's was a marginalised debate focusing entirely on one area of animal testing, whereas THE DARK ANDRE made a conscious effort to exploit the broad spectrum of the question and give a more expansive defence of animal testing. I alluded to having one small critique of THE DARK ANDRE's debate, that being the writers’ admission that none of the alternative methods of animal testing had faced particular criticism as that of biological and chemical testing. Given the question is asking us to consider if animal testing is necessary, I’m inclined to find the strongest debate will be that which overwhelmingly provides the strongest justification for such testing and given Clique focused extensively on an area that has historically faced more criticism and social disapproval, its passionate and widely supportive justification for such testing is the small difference maker for me to give it the nod ahead of THE DARK ANDRE: which whilst providing a very extensive consideration of numerous measures of animal testing, argues mainly for accepted forms of testing with less historical disapproval compared to Clique which presents an immaculate justification for the most contentious form of animal testing and which duly to me represents a defence that best answers whether testing is necessary.

Winner – Clique

Clique's debate flowed really well. Good intro with a focus on the relationship between OTC drugs and animal testing. I really liked your transition into animal care and how animal testing is actually helping animals. Great stuff considering the topic at hand and the questionable ethics as you pointed out. Good conclusion that made your debate come full circle by explaining how medical advances would be stalled by no animal testing. Great job.

Anark's was a solid debate. You lost me with the whole equal moral status between animals and humans deal. I'm not sure how it added to your debate. Perhaps an attack on strong counter arguments or a more detailed focus on why animal testing is a success would have added to your debate. All in all, I feel you needed more specifics to add more strength to your debate.

THE DARK ANDRE's was good. You provided several examples in different environments to demonstrate the safety and proper ethical behavior concerning these practices. You also brought up a good point concerning the quality of food and it's relation to animal testing. I also liked your connection between animal testing and our own human psychology as well.

Ultimately this came down to Clique and THE DARK ANDRE for me. Clique gets the slight edge.


It's close between Clique and THE DARK ANDRE. I definitely preferred their format and their content was stronger than Anark's. So it's a tossup between the very well written debates of Clique and THE DARK ANDRE. I'll go THE DARK ANDRE, juuuuust barely. Well done by all three, but THE DARK ANDRE wins.

Winner via Split Decision - Clique

*Clique struts off maintaining his 100% winning record and more impressively his 100% double shot winning record like only a black man who's just come out the closet ghetto can.*

*Clique vs SPCDRI for the Social Division Title is announced for TDL VII*

TDL Social Division Title Match
SPCDRI vs GothicBohemian

Should people have to accept forced marriage as part of their culture?

Spoiler for Debates:
Of course not. Forced marriage, as opposed to arranged marriage – a distinction I'll focus more on in a moment – has no place of honour in any culture. To think otherwise is to be ignorant of what constitutes traditional matrimony in many non-Western countries. Though perhaps I shouldn't exclude the West; for most of human history there was little freedom of choice for conjugal unions anywhere 'developed' societies flourished.

Let's get this out of the way early; arranged marriages - common worldwide, especially between aristocratic families, with parents, grandparents, respected third parties such as religious leaders or even professional matchmaking agents being involved - have the consent of both parties.(1) Forced marriage, wherein one or both participants feel they cannot refuse to wed, continues in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which seeks to protect individual autonomy, dignity and equality. Several nations have outlawed such unions, viewing the practice as little more than slavery.(2) The Special Court for Sierra Leone's (SCSL) Appeals Chamber went so far as to declare forced marriage a crime against humanity.(3)

The two also differ in origin; while arranged marriage promoted cultural purity and ties between new alliances, the original purpose of forced marriage was as a tool for integrating captives into the conquering society by way of binding a man or woman to a new life via a spouse and children. Today, both continue to be practised in parts of Asia and Africa, and often come parcelled with immigrant communities originating from those regions. Arranged marriage is favoured to insulate people from modern culture, enabling families to preserve social and religious traditions under pressure from an increasingly secular and multicultural world and, while it attracts questions from those outside the practising communities, continues to serve it's purpose and results in, on average, more successful matches than modern Western courtships.(4)

While arranged marriage is very much a cultural and religious construct, no mainstream religion condones eliminating the right of refusal. Forced marriage is NOT an Islamic, Hindu or Sikh requirement, yet nearly 50% of South Asian girls are married before age 18, many coerced into accepting unsuitable husbands and raising families rather than attending school.(5) Pakistani (and to a lesser extent Ghanaian, Afghan, Indian and Bangladeshi) communities internationally often find themselves at the centre of forced marriage dramas. The habit of parents choosing partners for their children - male and female - to boost family social standing, to reinforce cultural tradition by pairing offspring born in the West to spouses living abroad and to ease immigration frequently push them into the Western spotlight.

But wait, I know what you're dying to say; Eastern and African girls from poor families might be forced to marry, but how does that happen to 16 year old teens in downtown Toronto, London or New York. Aren't there laws against this? Well, yes, there are legal avenues and increasing numbers choose to follow them - the latest trick young girls in the UK are using to avoid being sent overseas to marry is to hide a spoon in their underwear to alert airport security to their plight(6) – but it being a family crime makes criminalizing forced marriage contentious. While no one wishes to be married against their will, people love and respect those who place them in that position. Else-wise, threats of shunning and damaged family honour would hold little power. When asked, many who report the situation would not do so if their actions would lead to punishment for their parents. Making forced marriage a criminal offence must be paired with awareness and educational programs encouraging those at risk to realize that they as individuals matter as much as the family or social unit.(7)

Despite the portrayals of frightened girls escaping abusive middle aged husbands so popular in both mass and independent media, not only young teens and preteens are in danger of being partnered unawares – even toddlers and seniors have been sent by family members to marry men they have never met. And, as briefly noted earlier, it isn't limited to females; male victims are often forced into compliance by guilt.(8) The more traditionally conservative the family, the more appearances matter and respect for elders is ingrained, the easier it is for someone to be pushed into a marriage they do not want.

The treat of being disowned often weighs heavily on those who don't wish to consent. People at risk of being forced to marry almost always come from closed communities where families are bound over generation by culture, usually involving strong religious ties. To be left with no one - no family, no friends – overnight because of a refusal to marry is daunting, especially to a female who may have little education or funds of her own. Many times, the reluctant bride or groom is held captive by family, becoming a hostage in their own home until they agree to the union. Devious means are used to trick savvy youngsters; a supposed family vacation can turn into a foreign wedding.(9)

Adherence to old ways is strong within families that embrace forcefully arranged marriage; many, if not most, think they are doing their children a favour. Girls will not go unwed and be left vulnerable as aged and childless crones, boys will marry into a family with proven fertility, partner a virgin free of HIV, gain useful social connections or they will be 'cured' of unacceptable sexual orientations. What these families fail to see, so blinkered as they are by tradition (and sometimes greed), is that denying their daughters the educational tools to be self-sufficient and their sons the opportunity to meet and marry well-rounded individuals of whatever gender they desire accomplishes the opposite of what they seek for them – fulfilled and happy lives. Instead, they keep them excluded from the mainstream, prepped to continue the cycle of denying future generation the right of choice.


(1) The AHA Foundation Official Website, Issues > Forced Marriage, The AHA Foundation,130 7th Avenue, Suite 236, New York, NY 10011, 2013

(2) The Forced Marriage Project Official Website, Forced Marriage & the United Nations, Forced Marriage Project - Agincourt Community Services Association, 2013

(3) Frulli, Micaela, Advancing International Criminal Law: The Special Court for Sierra Leone Recognizes Forced Marriage as a ‘New’ Crime Against Humanity,, 2008 as_a_New_Crime_against_Humanity

(4) New World Encyclopedia, Arranged Marriage

(5) Against Forced Marriages Official Website, 2012

(6) Goldhill, Olivia, Girls Escape Forced Marriage by Hiding Spoons In Their Clothes to Set Off Airport Metal Detectors, The Telegraph, August 16, 2013

(7) Ovenden, James, How To Deal With The Problem of Forced Marriage, Planet Ivy, 2013

(8) The Forced Marriage Project initiative of South Asia Legal Clinic, 2010

(9) KarmaNirvana Official Website, 2013

Government of Canada Official Website, Canada and Ghana Take To The Airways To Fight Early Forced Marriage, 2013

ECPAT International Official Website, CSEC Terminology > Forced Marriage, ECPAT International 328/1 Phayathai Road. Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand 10400, 2013

Humanium Official Website, Child Marriage: The Practice of Arranged and/or Forced Marriage Involving Children, October 3, 2011

Zaatari, Sami, Forced Marriages, Muslim Responses.Com

Gelbfish, Ezriel, Study on Arranged Marriages Reveals that Orthodox Jews May Have it Right, The Algemeiner, July 6, 2012

No, people should not have to accept anything as part of their culture, including forced marriage. The practice of arranged marriage is different than the practice of forced marriage. While nobody should be coerced into marriage by their family, matchmakers, religious leaders and tribal elders, this situation is different as an arranged marriage is typically consenting, voluntary and not mandatory thing whereas a forced marriage is non-consenting and mandatory. In forced marriage, a young woman or even a girl as young as 5 years old is forcibly “married” to a much older man. In some cases, these forced marriages are terroristic acts of war and are deemed “conjugal slavery.” Clearly nobody should be forced into a sham marriage to be somebody’s maid, punching bag and sex toy and no, nobody should be expected to accept such barbarous behavior as part of their culture.

The first thing to note is that simply because something is “part of a culture” does not mean it is a good thing. For instance, for most of mankind’s existence, slavery was ubiquitous and practiced on religiously bigoted and racist grounds in which one group would own a member of another group. This was widely practiced even until the 19th Century in most of the world. However, people rightly saw that slavery was a great moral evil and fought valiantly to overthrow slavery. Forced marriages are often compared to female slavery and sexual slavery. Young women are kept in these relationships as property, just as slaves were, and are frequently emotionally, physically and sexually abused. Who in the world should have to “accept” that as part of their “culture?”

There are two main forms of forced marriage. One is the forced marriage in which one or both parties, typically the woman, does not consent to a relationship or marriage but is forced into it. The other is “child marriage” in which a child is married to a much older man. (1) One case that received widespread publicity was Nujood Ali, a 10 year old girl who was married off in Yemen and repeatedly raped by her “husband.” Legislators in that country did not idly stand by and say “Oh well. We should accept the rape of 10 year olds. This is part of our culture!” No, they are trying to raise the age of marriage to 18. (2)

The extent of forced marriage is staggering. There are approximately 70 million of girls and women in these forced marriages and child marriages and they constitute a majority of marriages in some African and Middle Eastern countries. An example is Niger, a country in which 75 percent of women are married before they are 18(3). These facts raise issues of consent but in severe cases in which the girl is 16 or younger, these constitute institutionalized statutory and marital rape. The consequences of this are grave: A woman who gives birth before 18 is twice as likely to die in childbirth and for women 15 to 19, pregnancy is the leading cause of death. These women are also at least twice as likely to be physically and sexually abused and the effects are so profoundly damaging physically and emotionally that many of these women exhibit the symptoms of battle-weary troops and are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (3) Nobody should “accept” this.
The practice of arranged marriage is common in the Middle East, Africa and South Asian, notably countries such as Pakistan, Iran and India. The practice of arranged and forced marriage has made the news quite a bit when people from these countries go to other countries and practice arranged marriage and forced marriage which is against the modern Western convention of marriage by love. The coercion into marriage is illegal in most of these Western countries and was recently criminalized in the UK with the 2008 Forced Marriage Act. (4). It is clearly right for these countries to criminalize abusive forced marriage and to prevent forced marriages from happening in their countries. There is a difference between culture and religion and these disturbing practices.

It may be tempting to think of these issues as something very far away or exclusive to people of different races and to immigrants but they are right here at home. These forced marriages and child marriages are often arranged by religious groups such as Orthodox Jews, extremist and fundamentalist Christians and Mormons. Perhaps the most infamous case in the modern era is the legal case against The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This group was found guilty in participating in forced marriages and rapes within these “marriages” of many women 12 and younger and practiced forced marriage and child marriage. This despicable group tried to get away with it but said it was part of their “culture” and “religion.” Well, those excuses were not good enough in the United States and the sick ringleader of this freakshow, Warren Jeffs, was tried in court and rightly convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his crimes against women. (5)

International Law considers these forced marriages and child marriages to be shams, human rights violations and 21st Century Slavery. The United Nations and many other righteous groups do not “accept” these horrors and shrug them off and go “Oh well. Part of their culture.” In much the same way that we almost universally agree how despicable female circumcision/genital mutilation is, we should all agree that abused forced marriages and child marriages are gross affronts against human decency. No amount of handwringing and cultural relativist reasoning can make these practices right. All groups such as the United Nations, Interpol, UNICEF, ICRW and other agencies and legislators and women’s rights activists are to be commended for struggling against the injustice against forced marriage. They don’t “accept” it and neither should you and me.

1. reasons/otherformsoftrafficking/forced-marriages/

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
GothicBohemian – Strong introduction, clear and concise and introduces the viewpoint. Strong supporting context to distinguish an arranged marriage from one considered ‘forced’ with appropriate elaboration on the principle and how it is viewed by many countries. Subsequent explanation of the purpose of arranged marriages is noted with the wider implications it serves in stark contrast to that of a forced marriage. Very impressive interpretation of the cultural and family influences that factor into forced marriage and how criminalisation in of itself cannot be the mere solution, but rather greater awareness as to individual rights is paramount. I liked the focus on the mindset and ways in which impressionable youngsters can often be held to ransom by their family either through being taunt to respect their elders over their own beliefs or where the threat of disownment can impact their thought process. Conclusion is heartfelt, poignant and connects with the viewer with a strong focus on the element of choice being denied representing a clear disconnect in terms of the ideology behind forced marriages. A very strong entry.

SPCDRI – Opening had a sketchy flow with a few blunt sentences, but overall it establishes the tone and thought process clearly. Strong historical connotations documenting a mindset being determined by culture eventually succumbing to the wider views of society, supplemented by a clear correlation around the term ‘slavery’. Following paragraph is more descriptive but does support the early argument that culture alone cannot be deemed as acceptable practice with supporting evidence in the form of proposed Yemen Legislation. Passionate argument looking at the physical and emotional damage this practice constitutes, alongside it representing a breach of law. Final argument is incredibly insightful if documenting the continued legal intervention in forced marriages with relevant precedent to establish the presumption. The wider international law perspective is a strong aspect to consider to support the attack on forced marriage and relating back to the question with the defence of ‘practicing culture’ being continually proven as insufficient is another feather in this debate’s cap.

Excellent contest here with two strong debates. The flow, structure and persuasive tone was prevalent in both entries with clear cut POVs being strongly supported in depth through a broad consideration of principles. However I’m going to award the victory to SPCDRI. I found the historical correlation with slavery and the continued outlook on International Law in its decisions against forced marriage to be a strong structure which continually challenged the validity of culture as a defence to this practice, something GothicBohemian just wasn’t able to replicate despite a very strong consideration of the wider aspects of forced marriage.

Winner – SPCDRI

The Lady Killer
This one was really tough. I mean, REALLY tough. As I type this I'm actually not sure which why I'm going to lean. Hmm.

GothicBohemian - Extremely well-written. Structure was great. Support and citations were effective and relevant. At first I wasn't sure how necessary the section about girls not wanting to let their parents down by refusing to wed in a forced marriage, and I'm still not. I mean, it does fit, but I'm just not sure it supports the idea of NOT having to accept forced marriages. You basically are giving reasons why people DO accept it. Not sure if that'll matter in the end, as your debate was extraordinary otherwise.

SPCDRI - Well, shit. This was great as well. Not as articulate with the exceptional spelling/grammar from the first debate, but nothing bad enough to alter my opinion of your argument. You had some impressive stats to back your claim, and the physical and psychological damage to child forced marriage was a wonderful addition and really set yours apart from the first debate. Both debates had very similar intros, with the definition of forced marriage and how it differs from arranged marriage, but I really liked the aspect of yours bringing up the repercussions, and how we shouldn't accept it.

Winner - by the slightest of hairs, SPCDRI.

Two great debates here.

GothicBohemian had a strong intro. I liked how you immediately told us the difference between forced marriage, and arranged marriage. Good job breaking down cultural reasons for arranged marriage and the social impact & consequences of forced marriages. I also liked how you went into the psychological consequences of forced marriage in the last few paragraphs. Very convincing argument. Great debate.

SPCDRI focused more on the different types of forced marriages, and the consequences using a sufficient amount of data sources. Great job taking actual real life situations and applying them to do your debate. You also did a good job connecting those stories to your facts. I'd say GothicBohemian's was written a little better but SPCDRI had the stronger context.

Winner-SPCDRI (slightly)

Winner via Unanimous Decision - SPCDRI

TDL Sports Division Title Match
Rush vs Perfect Poster

Whose achievement at London 2012 was the greatest?

Spoiler for Debates:

Whose achievement at London 2012 was the greatest?

The Olympics is seen as the absolute pinnacle of sporting achievement in a vast array of sports. London 2012 saw nearly 11000 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committee’s (NOC) competing in 302 events across 22 sports and over 4000 athletes competing in 503 events in 20 sports in the 2012 Paralympics. The achievements of every athlete to even compete in the Olympics and Paralympics can be considered great, but who can be considered to have the greatest achievement? Does the person winning the most gold medals get considered greatest? Or should you take into consideration that some people compete in multiple events, thus have a greater chance of winning gold than someone who only competes in the one event? Does breaking a world record supersede any other achievement?

In determining who I believe has the greatest achievement of these Olympics I took into consideration 3 outcome measures - performance, expectation & pressure to succeed, and historical significance. In doing so I narrowed my choice down to 5 athletes. Those 5 being Jessica Ennis, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Oscar Pretorius and Jacqueline Freney. Each athlete has merit to be considered for the greatest achievement but I believe that, using my 3 categories, Usain Bolt’s achievements at London 2012 were the greatest.

Usain Bolt won 3 gold medals, winning the 100m sprint, 200m sprint and the 4x100 relay thus winning the ‘double triple’ having won those 3 events at Beijing 2008. He became the first man since Carl Lewis in 1988 to defend a sprint title, and then became the first man to defend both the 100m and 200m gold medals. He set an Olympic record time in both the 100m race and his Jamaican team broke the world record in the 4x100m relay. Using my 3 categories, Bolt had a phenomenal performance winning gold in every event he competed in, had historical significance in both record times, and defending titles. Finally he had massive pressure on him coming in as the world record holder in his events and the favourite to take the gold. Not only that but there is something about the 100m sprint that creates an atmosphere that is almost unrivalled by other events.

While it has been established why I think Bolt was the greatest, I will look at the other athletes I mentioned and why I believe that they didn’t quite matchup in comparison. Phelps won 4 gold medals and 2 silver medals at London 2012 to become the most decorated Olympian of all time. In terms of historical significance then he trumps every Olympic athlete in history, let alone those competing in London 2012. However I feel that his performance wasn’t at the same level as Bolt, and neither was the pressure on him.

Jessica Ennis was the face of London 2012, she had the weight of an entire country on her shoulders competing in front of her countrymen. She had a massive amount of pressure on her which she withstood to win the gold medal. Her performance was impressive, she dealt with massive amounts of pressure but the area she falls down in is historical significance. Unlike Phelps or Bolt’s accomplishments, Ennis’ won’t remain a part of Olympic folklore.

Finally I move onto the last 2 people on my list, Oscar Pretorius and Jacqueline Freney. Both of these athletes are Paralympians, while Oscar Pretorius has the accomplishment of also competing in the Olympics in London 2012. He became the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games which is possibly the most historically significant moment of the London 2012 games. However his performance in both the Olympics and Paralympics was well below par. This is in direct contrast to Freney who won 8 gold medals at the Paralympics. She had the most impressive performance out of everyone. However as unfortunate as it is, the Paralympics get very little media and mainstream attention so her achievements have gone unrecognised for the most part. This lack of attention on the Paralympics is disappointing but it diminishes the pressure on her, and the historical significance of Freney’s achievements.

Overall all these athletes had claims to have the greatest achievement in London. There are so many variables to decide what constitutes greatest but by using the 3 parameters i did, then Usain Bolt is the greatest. He won every event he entered, breaking records, becoming the first man in history to defend 2 sprint titles (100m and 200m), and thus becoming the first man to ever achieve a ‘double triple’ which is winning gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles in 2 consecutive Olympics. In a world of outstanding achievements I feel that he is alone at the peak.

Perfect Poster

The 2012 London Olympics, like many other famous sporting events, had numerous achievements that one could consider great. There was Michael Phelps medaling in 6 events to give him 22 total in his Olympic career and cementing his status as one of the best ever. There was also Usain Bolt winning the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m golds for the second straight Olympics. There was also Team USA Basketball winning yet another gold medal in the event. However, there was one performance above all of those and deserves to be called the greatest of the 2012 Olympic games, and it was accomplished by USA's Kayla Harrison.

You may be asking yourself, “Who in the hell is Kayla Harrison and how is her achievement better than what Bolt, Phelps, etc. did?” That would be an excellent question. Before doing any research I would've been in that corner arguing for one of those guys. However, now learning of Kayla's backstory, there's really no contest.

You see, Kayla had been training for judo since being introduced to the sport by her mother when she was six. Throughout her teenage years she became an accomplished judoka, winning two national championships by the age of 15. It was also during this time that Harrison was sexually abused by her judo coach. Sexual abuse is one of the toughest events for a person to get over in their life. In fact here's some stats to chew on about sexual abuse, “Adult women who were sexually abused as a child are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression as women who were not sexually abused … Adults with a history of child sexual abuse are more than twice as likely to report a suicide attempt … Adults with a history of child sexual abuse are 30% more likely than their non-abused peers to have a serious medical condition such as diabetes, cancer, heart problems, stroke or hypertension … As adults, child sexual abuse victims were almost twice as likely to be arrested for a violent offense.” *

*All stats courtesy of

As you can see, sexual abuse is something that many struggle to cope with and it can permanently damage a person's life. Harrison didn't let herself become one of those statistics, though. She instead got therapy and continued her training before becoming the first American to win a gold medal in Judo. If overcoming that traumatizing experience isn't enough, it should be noted that she also tore her MCL a mere four months before the Olympic Games. While the MCL generally takes no more than 8 weeks to recover from, having an injury like that so close to the games can be difficult because there is rehab to go through and having the confidence that your body can go like it could pre-injury.

I know that many may still have the belief that either Phelps or Bolt still had the greatest achievements with their performances in the 2012 games, but it's quite possible that their achievements weren't even as good as what they did in the 2008 games. Phelps had an impressive showing during the 2012 games, but we shouldn't ignore the fact that he won 2 less medals than he did in 2008 and 4 less gold medals. While he still had one of the best performances of the games, can his medals really be considered the greatest when we've seen him do better before? Yes he set the record for most medals in Olympic history, but that didn't all occur in the 2012 games. In fact, 2012 was the year he won the least amount of medals in his Olympic Career. As impressive as his 6 medal performance was, he's clearly didn't have the greatest achievement when you consider what the other contenders did in the games.

Bolt has more of an argument than Phelps, but like his counterpart he falls short. Like Phelps, Bolt falls victim to an equally, if not more, impressive performance in the 2008 games. While he did set two WR's in the 2012 games, he won the 200m in 2008 while having relatively little experience doing that race. Setting a world record under those circumstances – where he had very little training before games – is more impressive then resetting the record 4 years later after 4 more years of training.

As you can see, Kayla Harrison's achievement was the greatest of the 2012 Olympic games not only because of the precedent that it set – that being the first American ever to win a Gold in Judo – but because of the strength that she had to get past being sexually abused as a child and still being strong enough to compete at a high level in her sport. Despite what Phelps and Bolt both did, they also did it in 2008 and may have even done it better then. While she doesn't have nearly the medal count or world record the other two have, she does show that someone can beat these awful tragedies that occur early on in their life and that is much greatest achievement of them all.

Spoiler for Judging Cards:
Two great debates and the strongest tie that I've judged on this show. Really very little to pick between the two.

Rush does a great job establishing their criteria and building their debate around that. A little light on the actual argument in favour of their pick but a good effort in arguing why Bolt's achievement is better than the other key candidates they identified by process of elimination. I think an extra paragraph making a few extra points about why Bolt's achievement was so great would have helped. First two paragraphs could probably be merged and condensed too.

Perfect Poster's pick is an interesting one but I appreciate someone not picking the obvious choices but still being able to create a very strong and convincing argument while thinking outside the box. Thought that gave you an advantage from the start. Paragraph about the effects of sexual abuse was really powerful and hard hitting. Process of elimination of Bolt and Phelps isn't as strong as in Rush's debate but I thought you argued your case for your actual pick stronger.

Winner - Perfect Poster

The Lady Killer

I feel this debate felt the shortcoming of an extrememly open-ended topic. More than 1000 words were likely needed here, and there were so many options to choose from. That being said, I think you both made the most of what you were given, and put forth pretty solid debates.

Rush - This was off to an amazing start. Beautifully structured, outlining your criteria for how you came about your 5 selections, then narrowing it down to Bolt. Your support for Bolt's achievement was good. However, I think the rest of the debate fell a bit short. I don't think you effectively discounted your other 4 selections. A lot of the support was based off personal opinion, with lines such as, "However I feel that his performance wasn’t at the same level as Bolt, and neither was the pressure on him." Why do you feel this way? That's why I think a higher word count, or lower number of selections (maybe 3 instead of 5) would've helped here.

Perfect Poster - Well, I was not expecting this. At all. You started off strongly, selecting three possible candidates. I'll admit I hadn't heard of Harrison either, but your setup was great. You gave her backstory and portrayed her struggle in a daring and effective way. You really took a chance on this one, playing more into the psychological and emotional achievement tying into her being the first America Judo gold medalist than her counterparts racking up medals. I also like how you kept referring to Bolt and Phelps not being on par with their 2008 performences to really downplay their achievement with respect to what Harrison has overcome. Well done. Even if she isn't the best choice, you made a believer out of me.

Winner - Perfect Poster


The start of your piece read like a newspaper article, with far too much irrelevant story telling involved. You don’t need to waste over one hundred words telling the judges what the Olympics are all about while also proposing many questions which later remained unanswered or left open to debate. You could have cut out that whole first paragraph and it wouldn’t have made the slightest difference to your chances of winning. It genuinely read like a fluff piece which was used to fill up space due to a lack of concepts and angles emanating from your mind. At least I hope that’s the case. If you have extra ideas in future debates then you should try to cut out pointless paragraphs like this. Again, why do so many debaters delay the clarification of what they’re arguing for while wasting so many precious words?

Your second paragraph was where your debate should have started, deliberating the potential candidates before defining which one’s achievements stood out the most. In the next paragraph you made several excellent arguments as to why Bolt’s achievements stood out the most. The only issue that I had with this paragraph was “Not only that but there is something about the 100m sprint that creates an atmosphere that is almost unrivalled by other events”, a throwaway statement about that event being the most popular, something which has nothing to do with Bolt’s personal achievements. Now, if you had elaborated on this and argued that Bolt’s fame was a great part of the reason why the 100 m sprint was so popular at the 2012 Olympics then you could have been onto something. If only you had an extra hundred words to spare…

Crucially, that final sentence of your third paragraph signified a drastic decrease in quality within your debate. You don’t need to over-elaborate and make introductions explaining that you’re going to make counter points; your arguments should be strong enough to do that by themselves. Unfortunately, your arguments against Phelps were weak. In fact, you did more to strengthen his claim for “greatest achiever” by giving his long term and short term ground breaking achievements a glowing review. This was in great contrast to your points against him: “However I feel that his performance wasn’t at the same level as Bolt, and neither was the pressure on him”. Oh yeah, really mate? Care to elaborate a little? It is all well and good saying you believe in something, but you have to support these beliefs with arguments, reasoning and evidence.

Likewise, “Unlike Phelps or Bolt’s accomplishments, Ennis’ won’t remain a part of Olympic folklore” fell flat for me for two specific reasons. (1) Have you got a time machine and can you see into the future? If so, please add a picture or video of your time travelling exploits as a reference in future debates. (2) “Jessica Ennis was the face of London 2012, she had the weight of an entire country on her shoulders competing in front of her countrymen” actually makes an argument that Ennis could go down in Olympic folklore due to her ability to overcome the odds in her home country, that is a Disney Elton John cheesy schmaltz style movie ending right there.

I’ll give you great credit for carefully dissecting Pretorius’ claim through facts and comparisons to Jacqueline Freney. On the other hand, you actually made a very strong argument for Freney as the rightful claimant to the title of “greatest achiever”; to try and dismiss her claim by stating she suffered from a lack of media coverage is a non-point because a great achievement is a great achievement regardless of coverage. “This lack of attention on the Paralympics is disappointing but it diminishes the pressure on her”, therefore wouldn’t the pressure be taken away from all of the Paralympians, thus making it a level playing field again? Not sure where you were going with that one. The potential of the “historical significance” of Freney’s achievements was also brought up. Now, putting aside the chance that you might be Dr Who, who’s to say that the Paralympics won’t be widely revered in fifty years’ time? After cutting the grisly fat from your arguments against Freney I was just left with one sentence rattling around my skull, “She had the most impressive performance out of everyone”.

The final paragraph was essentially repetition concerning Bolt’s achievements. Now while I agree that his claim is strong, at this point I was still waiting for some powerful counter arguments to salvage the debate after you had ironically strengthened the claims of most of the competitors who you were supposed to be debating against, but none were to be had. This was an okay debate with some strong arguments for, but some very poor ones against. The debate also suffered from over-elaboration within introductions and paragraph links that didn’t require it while some of your arguments were all too brief and lacking conviction. A top quality debate is generally concise, factual, aggressive, engaging and convincing. This debate lacked most of these qualities except for when you argued for Bolt and against Pretorius.

Perfect Poster:

Straight away this debate reminded me of Debate A, but in a good way. Your first paragraph was much like Rush’s second, the difference being that you managed to avoid a lengthy, whimsical introduction. You precisely evaluated the different contenders for the claim of “greatest achiever” before making your decision on who you were going to argue for in quick fashion. Good move.

The next two paragraphs, to be quite honest, were simply sensational for the most part. By selecting a compelling niche angle when arguing for Kayla Harrison you displayed bravery. That was all well and good, but to make that count you needed to support that choice with a strong claim. Man did you ever. The language used to reason with the reader was reassuring, commanding yet understanding of the idea that many people might not have heard of her. The persuasive language of “However, now learning of Kayla's backstory, there's really no contest.” Was a masterful way to draw in the reader while also showing confidence in what you were about to write.

When I read the back story of Kayla I was shocked at first, but as I read on it helped me to develop empathy for her, not to mention pride in how she managed to push aside the issues from a life changing experience in order to fulfil her sporting potential. This was a brilliant angle to take, incredibly unique and it helped Kayla to stand out from the pack of “achievers” due to her extenuating circumstances. The quote you used probably could have been cut up and shortened, but that’s a minor quibble. The supporting angle of having to overcome a torn MCL was crucial in sending this debate over the top, this cemented the concept that Harrison had to overcome many psychological fears due to the possibility of her pre-Olympics’ injury affecting her form and sharpness. This was a captivating argument for the person who you firmly believed should be classed as “greatest achiever at London 2012”.

Unlike Rush you avoided waffling introductions leading into your counter arguments. However, this is where I started to find a few problems with your debate. What’s the relevance of 2008 Olympic achievements in comparison to 2012 Olympic achievements? There isn’t any. The question asks “Whose achievement at London 2012 was the greatest?” which is something that requires reflection on one stand-alone Olympics’ tournament, so there’s no need to compare it to past athletics’ events. For me this made most of your counter arguments against Bolt irrelevant. Still, you did manage to salvage some of your arguments against Phelps by highlighting the fact that his medals haul was insignificant when compared to other London 2012 competitors. Meanwhile, you actually managed to negate your other 2008 Olympics’ comparisons by suggesting that Phelps’ record breaking medal collection achievement was irrelevant compared to sole London 2012 achievements. So, strangely you buried some of your points against Phelps in order to put over that one. That probably wasn’t your intention, but I found it amusing none the less.

Your final paragraph is a solid summary of your debate that recaptures your strong points in favour of Kayla Harrison as well as your irrelevant points concerning 2008/2012 Olympic comparisons. Thankfully you managed to end this debate on an excellent note with “While she doesn't have nearly the medal count or world record the other two have, she does show that someone can beat these awful tragedies that occur early on in their life and that is much greatest achievement of them all.” While the grammar was slightly off in that quote, the point ringed true and helped assert the idea that Kayla Harrison was the greatest achiever at London 2012 due to her ability to overcome greater odds than basically any other competitor at the London 2012 Olympics. Counter arguments could be made regarding that many Paralympians suffer awful circumstances in their lives, but the difference here was that Harrison was competing in the Olympics where the majority of competitors are unlikely to ever be dealt such a bad hand. Oscar Pistorius competed but didn’t achieve on Harrison’s level while there is also an argument to suggest that he has a slight advantage over able bodied runners through the use of his prosthetic running blades, but that’s another debate entirely…

This was a very good debate, possibly a great one that had the potential to be a classic. To improve this you should have made stronger counter points that actually worked within the confines of the question. Regardless of that, you made a strong opening, then a quality argument for Harrison before finishing with a powerful, if jumbled closing statement.


Both debates were similar in the sense that they effectively tackled one or two counter arguments while bumbling through the rest. Despite that, there was a clear winner here, the debater who started and finished strong, used persuasive emotive language and also made by far the strongest argument for the person that they felt achieved the most.

Winner: Perfect Poster

Winner via Unanimous Decision - Perfect Poster

TDL Wrestling Division Title Match
Evolution vs WOOLCOCK

Who should be the four faces on wrestling's mount rushmore? (Exclusive to US Wrestling 1970 - Current)

Spoiler for Debates:

I don’t believe when coming up with these sorts of “Mount Rushmore” lists that you should narrow your criteria to a specific aspect of professional wrestling. I have created a list of four personalities whose individual contributions to professional wrestling in the US have made them not only recognisable, but essential in solidifying and sustaining professional wrestling as the juggernaut that it was in the past, the present and moving forward into the future.

How can there be a greatest list in wrestling without the immortal Hulk Hogan, BROTHER?! Hulk was a key part in helping to forge the then freshly-merged WWF from a territorial presence in Northeast to a national one (and ultimately an international one). The Hulk Hogan personality was the first to truly transcend the circle of professional wrestling to main-stream popularity which was integral in the plan of Vince Jr. to secure nation-wide television deals to expand his product. Hulk was the man that Vince built his initial promotion around when booking his big events and TV spots. Having an amazing supporting cast helped, but without Hulk Hogan for the shows to revolve around there would have been nowhere near as much recognisable star power.

The Hogan/Andre feud is a great example of Vince taking traditional wrestling and creating something bigger, in turn getting people to tune in nationwide. By having an international star like Andre colliding with a certified larger-than-life personality like Hogan the groundwork had been laid for a promotion to successfully grow. Yes there were better matches on the cards and yes there were probably men who were just as charismatic or as good on the microphone but the fact of the matter is that at the end of the day people paid to see Hulk Hogan slay giants. It also helps that Hogan has one of the most awesome theme songs ever. (AMERICA!)

Vince McMahon Jr. was the first to truly integrate the concept of entertainment into the concept of professional wrestling. Making it more than just a bad guy in black trunks trying to beat the good guy in white trunks. He got the crowd and the fans invested in why they should cheer or boo certain characters and through his vision created arguably one of the most dominant dynasties in the world. Being responsible for not only signing Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan to long-term contracts but also signing the likes of Jimmy Snuka, Rowdy Roddy Piper, The Iron Shiek and Ricky Steamboat to create a world of entertainment and imagination along with a world of wrestling was perhaps his greatest achievement to date.

Even something as simple yet unappreciated as the implementation of regular PPV events to create revenue and exposure is something that has become an essential part of any successful modern professional wrestling promotions business model. Frankly anybody who doesn’t have Vincent McMahon on their Mount Rushmore is wrong because without him pro-graps would not be where it is today, nor would it have experienced the boom that it did in North America during it’s peak years.

One of the men directly responsible for the peak period of professional wrestling is none other than Stone Cold Steve Austin. The man who changed WHAT professional wrestling was and how its own fans perceived it. Instead of making a laundry list of Stone Cold moments, I’ll stick to the core idea that he made wrestling the cool thing to be watching during the Monday night wars with the surging WCW. He was absolutely the catalyst for the beginning of the attitude era and the embodiment of said era. Iconic feuds, epic matches, insane and memorable moments. Austin provided all of them. It’s hard to pinpoint a more well-rounded superstar in the history of wrestling. He is a wrestlers wrestler with unmatched passion and a great mind for the business (just read his current day interviews). Not necessarily someone who made it to be a Hollywood movie star or a rock star or a creepy father who rubs lotion on his daughters backside but he did drag a waning WWF product into the new generation along with professional wrestling as a whole. It’s impossible for me not to include him on my list.

Dragging the WWF product into a new generation conveniently brings me to my next, perhaps most controversial inclusion to my Mount Rushmore. John Cena. I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself after falling off your chair but ignoring his career which is one of the greatest ever in terms of kayfabe achievements (at just 36), Cena has created a unique yet perfect character for an era in WWE where it is has lacked roster depth. Not only does he play the heel role to the adult segment but he generates millions of dollars every year in the children’s market. These are the fans that Vince is attempting to capture for years to come. Whether or not in 5 years the same kids who love him now are booing the shit out of him is irrelevant, it’s the fact that they are using John as a gateway for children to open themselves to the world of professional wrestling in the future and I would say that is one of if not the most important factor when trying to ensure the prosperity of the industry in the future. It’s impossible to argue with his star power in an era that frankly has lacked substance. What he has done for the industry is something neither Hogan nor Austin could ever claim. Cena never had as good a supporting cast as either of the other two had and he has done an outstanding job because of this.

From drawing ratings to creating empires, the four men I’ve chosen to represent my “Mount Rushmore” of professional wrestling are the most diverse and deserving candidates given my criteria. A pioneer, a game-changer, a visionary and a gateway to securing a future audience, simply put they are the greatest.


Careful consideration of American Wrestling and its intricacies is of fundamental importance here. Focusing rigidly on successful draws or exemplary ring workers is a terribly misguided metric in deducing the four representatives, because how can we successfully ascertain four suitable candidates who by the nature of the question we believe overwhelmingly embody the virtues of US Wrestling if we marginalise our criteria?

Therefore it is necessary to examine four crucial attributes of historical relevance to US Wrestling with an individual selected who best exemplifies that characteristic.

1. Iconic Character Connection– Hulk Hogan

US wrestling is entrenched with the concept of characters as a means to communicate and develop a relationship with the fan base. The wrestling traditionally serves to conclude a centralised conflict between two characters, with fans firmly immersed in the respective characters. Therefore the overarching principle in US wrestling in the modern era has rested on a wrestler forging a visceral connection with his audience that can be manipulated for monetary gain, something Hulk Hogan achieved far beyond any other wrestler. Hogan is the quintessential embodiment of what success in US wrestling is measured by. His instinctive rapport with a worldwide audience was a valuable commodity in transcending the industry and moving wrestling from a regional territory format into a national empire.

Protagonists & Antagonists are forever at the epicentre of creating success in US wrestling. Hogan’s versatility in drawing universal support in the era of Hulkamania in addition to his unprecedented heel turn in forming the NWO and the subsequent success that developed from each persona highlight his unrivalled ability to become more than a mere character, rather a phenomenon who could continually captivate audiences across three decades. When understanding the significance characters convey in US wrestling, concluding anyone other than Hulk Hogan repeatedly captured that raw paramount heartfelt emotion from an audience appears a fallacy.

2. Image – Ric Flair

The importance of image and presentation in a champion for marketability purposes has historically remained imperative in the mind of a promoter in US wrestling. In the territory era whereby the NWA Champion was tasked with touring each regional territory this metric was pertinent to the NWA Committee’s deliberations in selecting the appropriate champion, where Ric Flair continually exhibited his unrivalled credentials. Flairs’ distinct look and profound charisma immediately captured the perceptions of what a champion should embody and represented a natural contrast to opponents who were localised stars but significantly unheard of nationwide.

His unequivocal presence was unquestionably crucial in his documented success throughout the 80s defending the belt regionally against the likes of Lawler, Jake Roberts, Koko Ware, Ted Dibiase, Butch Reed, Wahoo McDaniel & Kerry Von Erich. Flairs’ consistency and longevity from territory to territory established impeccable name recognition nationwide in addition to securing overseas defences of his title in Japan. He clearly established himself as the marquee attraction with which the burden of successfully representing the heritage and principle of the NWA was firmly entrusted, something which took on greater importance in the wake of Vince McMahon’s gradual nationwide expansion of WWF.

When we consider the importance of image as a concept of legitimacy in US wrestling, it is impossible to conclude anyone exhibited and manufactured this concept to generate success greater than Ric Flair.

3. Durability – Jerry Lawler

The versatility and durability of Jerry Lawler across four separate decades is an exemplary quality that distinguishes Lawler from any other. His heralded adaptability in portraying a beloved and loathed character throughout his career has seen him feature as a key proponent in each of the last four decades in Memphis, Texas, USWA, ECW & WWF respectively. A key indicator of Lawler’s esteemed durability can be articulated by Memphis’ unrivalled success running the Mid South Coliseum throughout the 80s on a week to week basis, where Lawler was a perpetual main event icon. Lawler may not lay claim to rivalling Hogan or Flair in terms of nationwide impact, however the ability to draw in excess of 7-10,000 weekly over a decade in the same arena is an astonishing statistic[1] which highlights Lawler’s acumen in being arguably the most important wrestler to any regional territory in existence.

By witnessing wrestling’s development from a regional to national format & the perception of wrestlers shifting from robust physiques to cosmetically pleasing and marketable appearances, sustaining durability through continuous reinvention and adaptability is an invaluable attribute to succeed in US wrestling & not widely possessive historically, thus capable of distinguishing a great wrestler from a truly special wrestler. Applying this metric, Jerry Lawler is unquestionably a special wrestler.

4. Historical Significance – Vince McMahon

To argue for anyone other than Vince McMahon here seems almost unjustifiable, because no individual can claim to have revolutionised the landscape of US wrestling quite like Vince. His ruthless desire to modernise his father’s company through his vision is primarily responsible for the disintegration of the territory system and subsequent national expansion of the WWF.

The significance of this can still be witnessed today. The demise of the regional territories at the expense of national expansion dramatically shifted perceptions of wrestler’s appearances, which subsequently encouraged a mindset that physique first and foremost was indicative of success. This mindset significantly encouraged individuals with little experience to pursue wrestling based on their physique; however the departure of regional territories greatly limited the extent to which these individuals could gain exposure and a working knowledge of the business before moving to pastures new. Additionally, this mindset significantly diminished the opportunities those with ‘less marketable’ physiques could realistically be afforded, something which has sadly remained apparent even today with the likes of Daniel Bryan & CM Punk continually having to overcome preconceived notions regarding their size that originate from Vince McMahon’s departure from traditional viewpoints.

Applying these four critical characteristics with historical connotations to US wrestling, I can only surmise that Hogan, Flair, Lawler & Vince respectively best illustrate each characteristic beyond reasonable doubt, thereby representing the most logical and fair representatives of wrestling’s Mount Rushmore.



Spoiler for Judging Cards:
First off I apologise if the topic didn't allow either of you to exploit your strengths from your previous debates that got you here. I thought this was a great topic on paper but maybe it didn't end up being so great for this type of debate and allowing both of you to really showcase your debating skills. I don't have many flaws to pick with either including the selections so it's a very tough pick. Giving it to WOOLCOCK though due to how they how they broke their criteria for their selections down into 4 key criteria and develop his debate from there. 2 very strong debates separated by a very small margin


The Lady Killer
Damn, this was good. Both debates were excellent, and I really can't find any flaws with either, so this will nearly be a coin toss. Gonna have to nitpick a bit, I'd imagine.

Evolution - Fantastic debate. You took a near-chronological approach (Hogan->Austin->Cena) with Vince as the constant throughout. Your support for each choice was great, claiming why each individual basically held down the fort down during their respective eras. Honestly, I really can't find anything wrong with your 4 choices, nor with your justification of selecting them, regardless of who I would choose (I may very well pick the same 4).

WOOLCOCK - Took a slightly different approach - broke down the 4 choices by cleverly selected attributes. Basically, the 4 pillars of pro wrestling. I really liked the structure here, though I'm not too certain I like it more than just naming the 4 people who resonate most with the (pardon the pun) evolution of professional wrestling, which is what Evo did. Hmm. I really see no faults with this debate, either. Again, although your choices aren't traditional (Lawler seems out of place to your average fan), but you were very convincing in making a case for him to be mentioned among the rest. I also think the Durability section of your debate is weakest as far as the attributes are concerned, so maybe that's why I'm wary of Lawler. That being said, I think I'm leaning towards the segmentation you provided.

I certainly wish I could issue a draw, because that is essentially what I read. However, since I'm forced to choose, I'm siding with WOOLCOCK.

Two good debates here.

Evolution did a good job explaining the business reasons behind each choice. I'm more impressed that you mentioned John Cena considering the hate he gets around here. I felt you gave a legit reasonable argument for Cena when there was other choices you could have easily chosen. Good debate.

WOOLCOCK's unique approach to this topic was awesome. The category breakdown and the
wrestler in each catagory made perfect sense. Nobody would have ever thought about putting Lawler on the Mountain but you were able to do that using this category system. Great job explaining each wrestler's success stories combined with why they deserve to be on the Mountain.


Winner via Unanimous Decision - WOOLCOCK

*WOOLCOCK stands victorious as the new Wrestling Division Champion. Evolution calls shenanigans and demands the title be vacated due to the earlier attack on him by Seabs. At this point Seabs makes his way to the stage again and gains Evolution's attention. As Evo has his back to him, WOOLCOCK falls to his knees and low blows Evolution! Shock horror! The crowd are in disbelief. adrian_zombo is shown in the crowd with a slight tear falling down his face. SI pulls out a Rose from the pocket of his skinny jeans and hands it to Seabs. The two share an emotional embrace comparable to brothers reuniting. ROSE BROTHERS you could even say. They pace back to the side of Evo before delivering a dual soccer kick to both sides of Evo's head leaving him in full on potato mode.*

*The Lady Killer runs down to save Evo and puts up a strong showing until a masked person shows up with a very over exaggerated limp and smacks TLK over the head with an inkpot. TLK continues to valiantly fight back with little luck. Then MOVEMENT runs down to aid his life long friend and the Seabs/SI/Mystery Person bail through the crowd. SI gloats with his new title as TLK and MoveMent look on from the stage with murderous intent in their eyes. Has MoveMent been upgraded to a MAN OF MEN? Is Evolution even alive? Who is the mystery person with the inkpot? Who can stop WOOLCOCK now he holds the title? Questions questions questions.*

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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:07 AM
you should've stayed in ring of honor
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WOOLCOCK, understand. When you get into that debate with me, your fingers will be just too short to type with God.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:10 AM
Vince gives me a comedy gimmick
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Is right Andre lid x

As long as we can all agree that Moyes is a shitcunt biff, we are all a winner

EDIT: Cheers for all feedback too, lids. Still trying to get used to how to put my points across in a 'debate' fashion consistantly to a good standard. Haven't quite nailed it yet but I'll take on the feedback and keep learning.

Last edited by Deck The Halls With Funes Mori; 08-31-2013 at 08:13 AM.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:15 AM
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Time to decontruct Andre's feedback and tell him why he's a mong (not for the decision, but for some of the baffling aspects of his judging)
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:18 AM
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So none of the three judges could tell me why my debate lost or wasn't as good as the other? :kobe

I've been kicked out of the corporation it seems.

A bit of feedback for the topic, a debate is essentially something that you can take a yes or no approach to. There is generally only two sides to each "question" otherwise it's not a debate, it's an essay. With our topic asking us to pick four of the best ever there is literally NO opportunity to counter an argument because you can't know what side of the topic your opponent is taking. I was super rustled the entire time, I wasn't motivated to write mine and it showed. There is nothing to argue against in either debate so it can't be considered a debate.

This isn't sour grapes either I was going to say this even if I won. Woolcock and I were talking about it in the chatbox the other night.

I'm not taking anything away from Woolcocks debate because I know it was great but I don't think it was a great topic for a championship debate.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mozza View Post
Is right Andre lid x

As long as we can all agree that Moyes is a shitcunt biff, we are all a winner

Also, 1-1, so an overall draw...I'll settle for that

Pleased to win one decision in my social debate while also receiving strong all round praise. Not bad for a two hour effort, just makes bully look even more pathetic. Well done to Clique who is clearly a top class debater. SPCDRI vs Clique will be a top class title match.

Well done to PP who banged out a quality debate. Just goes to prove that the Sports division's main event scene is very strong. I'm sure that Rush will regain the title in the future though.


Last edited by Andre; 08-31-2013 at 08:29 AM.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
it's me seabs!
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I did realise that when I was reading them and I apologised for it. You'll get an instant rematch at some point though don't worry.

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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:20 AM
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Fucking lol'd at the post-match write up though
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:22 AM
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For fuck sake Clique dude is making the social division look like a joke right now the way he's winning

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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 08-31-2013, 08:30 AM
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Congrats to the two new champions. Evo was in a lose lose situation in the admin debate. He was getting demodded by the losing admin either way.

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