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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What I mean by this is the we all look upon these two with so many fond memories. I loved these two as a kid and Stone Cold was my favorite after Sting. Rewatching their stuff on the network I have a way different opinion. I loved Stone Cold's wrestling pre broken neck. As a result Austin was very limited in the ring. The Rock I think is also very limited in the ring. IMO there matches were more spectacle. I was a workrate fan as a kid which is why I was more of a WCW and especially ECW fan as a kid, but I got sucked in to the glamor of WWE.

It seems like today, you need to be the total package (God please not Lex Luger). Can charisma lead to a long career where people seem to look at a wrestler fondly? Bray Wyatt came close, but people are seeming to see that he is all charisma and is limited in the ring. Enzo Amore could be like this, but I have the feeling that if he gets more match time the fans will turn against him.

I know this may seem like a stream of consciousness, so I hope you can decrypt this.

Edit: this is assuming you have two people with as much charisma as The Rock and Austin.
 

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No, because the current wrestlers are not charismatic enough. Even Roman Reigns, who people consider as the current "top guy" is as charismatic as a silverback gorilla.
 

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So based off your question in the title, no I dont think WWE can do a feud like Rock V Austin, not in the near future and maybe never again. There are 2 reasons for this...

1) WWE cannot book a superstar worth a damn anymore or they try not to, they can have guys who can occasionally main event but they arent seen as larger than life and that is how they want it, big enough to carry the company but smaller than the company itself.

2) Nobody in this day and age come close to how charismatic Austin and Rock were, and if maybe in the shadows there is one dude, wrestling as a whole is so lamestream (opposite of mainstream, my word and I am proud of it) that no one would care for that match except for the 1 or 2 million that actually watch. The stars alligned for Vince in the late 90's, wrestling hit its 2nd boom and then Vince was blessed with not 1 BUT 2 once in a lifetime talents. You cant get more lucky than that.

You want to see a feud that captures the glamour and the hype of RockVAustin, the closest you will get is Mcgregor vs Maywether and they actually surpassed the hype and specialty.
 

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I was a workrate fan as a kid which is why I was more of a WCW and especially ECW fan as a kid, but I got sucked in to the glamor of WWE.
What you said about Austin and Rock is true, but depending on when you were watching WCW, this statement could be laughably false. Towards the end, the gave guys like Benoit, Booker, Steiner, cruiserweights etc. a chance, but for most of its existence it was a spotfest dominated by strung-out has beens (Hogan, Nash, fucked-up Scott Hall, Goldberg) with some of the worst work rates in history. They were also notorious for misusing holding down the workhorses and midcarders like Stunning Steve Austin, Hart, Jericho, Guerrero, Benoit, Mysterio etc., who all went on to be very successful in the WWE During the same time, WWE was focused more on all-around performers like HBK, Hart, Undertaker, Mankind, Henning, Bulldog, Steve Austin etc. Attitude Era WWF was basically a combination of WCW promos & production values, and ECW spots & hardcore wrestling.

It seems like today, you need to be the total package (God please not Lex Luger). Can charisma lead to a long career where people seem to look at a wrestler fondly? Bray Wyatt came close, but people are seeming to see that he is all charisma and is limited in the ring. Enzo Amore could be like this, but I have the feeling that if he gets more match time the fans will turn against him.
People just take out their disdain for the booking on those superstars whom they perceive as being booked poorly. The truth of the matter is, a good wrestling fed has a balance of excellent in-ring workers, charismatic promo cutters, well-rounded superstars and a plethora of contrasting characters. Part of the problem with modern wrestling fans is that they've placed themselves in camps (e.g. marks for big sweaty men, NJPW hipster smarks, workrate elitists etc.) and are incapable of seeing balance, and it's poisoned their outlook on wrestling.

I'll give you an example. Vader. Huge guy, excellent worker for his size. Didn't have a great look, and he was fat, so they gave him a singlet and a mask. Not particularly great on the stick (would mostly yell indecipherable shit), but a great pair with a manager, and his dominating aura in the ring and stiff work made him a really believable heel. Do I think he was even 10% of the audience's favourite? No, but he had a believable and meaningful role in the federation, which can often be more important. Today? For-fucking-get it. If he's not CM Punk or Bryan Daniel, they don't deserve to be in the main event. People cannot appreciate that a good fed has variety, and instead shit the bed when their favourite superstars aren't used EXACTLY as they booked it in their minds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What you said about Austin and Rock is true, but depending on when you were watching WCW, this statement could be laughably false. Towards the end, the gave guys like Benoit, Booker, Steiner, cruiserweights etc. a chance, but for most of its existence it was a spotfest dominated by strung-out has beens (Hogan, Nash, fucked-up Scott Hall, Goldberg) with some of the worst work rates in history. They were also notorious for misusing holding down the workhorses and midcarders like Stunning Steve Austin, Hart, Jericho, Guerrero, Benoit, Mysterio etc., who all went on to be very successful in the WWE During the same time, WWE was focused more on all-around performers like HBK, Hart, Undertaker, Mankind, Henning, Bulldog, Steve Austin etc. Attitude Era WWF was basically a combination of WCW promos & production values, and ECW spots & hardcore wrestling.



People just take out their disdain for the booking on those superstars whom they perceive as being booked poorly. The truth of the matter is, a good wrestling fed has a balance of excellent in-ring workers, charismatic promo cutters, well-rounded superstars and a plethora of contrasting characters. Part of the problem with modern wrestling fans is that they've placed themselves in camps (e.g. marks for big sweaty men, NJPW hipster smarks, workrate elitists etc.) and are incapable of seeing balance, and it's poisoned their outlook on wrestling.

I'll give you an example. Vader. Huge guy, excellent worker for his size. Didn't have a great look, and he was fat, so they gave him a singlet and a mask. Not particularly great on the stick (would mostly yell indecipherable shit), but a great pair with a manager, and his dominating aura in the ring and stiff work made him a really believable heel. Do I think he was even 10% of the audience's favourite? No, but he had a believable and meaningful role in the federation, which can often be more important. Today? For-fucking-get it. If he's not CM Punk or Bryan Daniel, they don't deserve to be in the main event. People cannot appreciate that a good fed has variety, and instead shit the bed when their favourite superstars aren't used EXACTLY as they booked it in their minds.
I agree with your overall point. I sometimes fall into the workrate elitist, but a wrestling promotion needs to have all sorts of wrestlers, and I love all styles, but definitely have my favorites.

I will nitpick and disagree with you on WCW and ECW. WCW had a great undercard, but horrible main events. If the undercard was not separated the main events would be decent. ECW had some great wrestling with guys like Super Crazy, Tajiri, Little Guido, Lance Storm, Chris Candido, Masato Tanaka, Steve Corino, and others. The problem was that the hardcore wrestling overshadowed the technical wrestling they had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What do you ask exactly?

A feud that has the same chemistry ?
A feud that has the same level?
A next Rock ?
A next Austin?
I mean two guys who have a connection to the fans due to their charisma, but are limited in the ring.
 

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In terms of two of the biggest guys in the company feud for a long time whilst being ridiculously over and kept apart from eachother for the majority of the year?

Yes.

Will they ever book something like that?

No.


The WWE's mindset is that the fans don't like to wait things out and they want things right away. HHH has said as much. They won't book long term storylines. Once Strowman/Reigns are done, they should just keep them away from each other, multiple teases (Rumble staredown, backstage etc) but never in a match or even in the same ring for a near on half a year to see what the reactions would eventually be.
 

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I mean two guys who have a connection to the fans due to their charisma, but are limited in the ring.
We are living in era with almost everyone cares about in ring ability so I don't think we can.

Rock and Austin had excellent matches,Austin was a brawler so I wouldn't consider both limited in the ring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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I think to be major star and draw, you need to be able to appeal to the most people. There's no use being the greatest rapper of all time in a country which doesn't enjoy rap for example. Talent, is only part of the appeal. Marketabillity, charisma, and even details like ethnicity and nationality play a big part. There's a reason why cult classics that are heralded as some of the greatest of all time, exist, yet films such as these sometimes barely only make even or sometimes even make a loss.

Shawn Michaels is heralded is one of the greatest wrestlers ever and one of the most complete packages. Yet, he wasn't a big draw because he never appealed to the masses like a Hogan or Austin. It does not mean he wasn't great or entertaining, it just meant he wasn't able to appeal and attract a wider audience, which has nothing to do with his talent. He is the wrestling equivalent of a cult classic because despite being great, he lacks the marketabillity to draw. Which is why I hate the he doesn't draw so he must suck argument. You can be the greatest wrestler of all time, if you don't have something that properly appeals to the masses, you won't draw much.

In the 70s, guys like Bruno Sammartino were able to draw based on ethnicity. An Italian was able to draw in New York, who would've guessed it. But it goes more than Sammartino. Tito Santana was made to appeal to Hispanics. Flair although lacking in the ethnicity department, was cheered like crazy in Flair country. Dusty appealed to the working class. The Hogan name was for Hulk to appeal to the Irish. At a time when wrestling was still considered real, someone like Bruno was viewed as a genuine hero to the Italian American crowd and the American crowd in general when fighting against a foreign heel. He was able to draw by wrestling 1 hour long slow matches because for all intents and purposes because the crowd thought it was real. They were so invested in the match that they were able to sit through it all in the hopes that their hero would win the end. This isn't just limited to America. There's countless stories of fans almost rioting when their local hero lost.

Hulk Hogan was a top star during the 80s because at the time, the clean cut muscled up do gooder was something which society as someone who they should all aim to aspire to be. Also, national pride is always a draw. The fact that wrestling still had some kayfabe allowed Hogan the investment despite for the most part average if not boring matches. Other guys, like Savage, Steamboat and Warrior tried to appeal in the same way. Then there's people like Jake Roberts, Rick Rude, Flair again, Mr, Perfect who appealed in another way. But for all the talent they had, they were never as big as Hogan because Hogan not only was pushed as the top alpha male, his character was best suited to appeal to the most. So Hogan became the idyllic man in which every man dreamed into becoming, women dreamed of being with and kids idlozing.

During the late 90s, socierty shifted as they started to become more edgy and liberal. Suddenly, clean cut babyfaces weren't able to appeal anymore. That's where Austin and Rock come in. Austin appealed because he rebelled against his boss and tormented him each and every week. He was an asshole that did shit how he wanted it, drank beer and beat people up. Millions of Americans at that point in sociery were able to connect with that feeling and they wanted to be him. Rock was the charismatic asshole jock. A character that in any other time, would've never been a big face. But Rock appealed because he was the cool, charismatic, funny, handsome, athletic asshole that deep down we all wanted to be. But instead of the fans rejecting him as a heel, he was so good that people loved him for it. There were always guys like Taker, Mankind, Jericho that appealed in different ways, but they were always smaller stars than austin and Rock because despite all their talent, their characters could never appeal as much as Austin and Rock did. Also, a key thing to note is that AUSTIN DOESN't seem to be very popular outside the US. Perhaps implying the edy shift in society was onliy limited to much of the US.

And Cena? Its obvious ain't it. He has a memey character and appeals to kids.

My conclusion is that to have another Rock or Austin, you must have someone who is able to appeal to the most amount of people to society. And this is something that is mutually exclusive from talent or even being entertaining. The Great Khali was a draw in India because being Indian and a freak of nature appealed to them. It didn't matter that he was shit in everything else. So, WWE needs to figure out what kind of character would appeal to most of their audience. Give one of their most talented performers that character. Repeat once more and you got your Rock and Austin.
 

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I mean two guys who have a connection to the fans due to their charisma, but are limited in the ring.
Rock and Austin weren't limited in the ring though, they were fantastic workers. Moves aren't everything, they are a decent part but they aren't everything. And even then, both guys had great movesets, Rock was smooth as butter, Austin was stiff and could brawl like no other, but was also a hell of a technician. I hate when people use Rock and Austin as examples of "guys who got over on limited ring ability." They weren't Misawa and Kobashi but they damn sure weren't Hogan and late Andre either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Rock and Austin weren't limited in the ring though, they were fantastic workers. Moves aren't everything, they are a decent part but they aren't everything. And even then, both guys had great movesets, Rock was smooth as butter, Austin was stiff and could brawl like no other, but was also a hell of a technician. I hate when people use Rock and Austin as examples of "guys who got over on limited ring ability." They weren't Misawa and Kobashi but they damn sure weren't Hogan and late Andre either.
Austin was a great technician before Owen Hart broke his neck. I disagree with you on The Rock. What he did looked good, he just didn't do much in the ring.
 

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Austin was a great technician before Owen Hart broke his neck. I disagree with you on The Rock. What he did looked good, he just didn't do much in the ring.
When he was in the ring with the right worker, The Rock could go. His feuds with HHH, Austin, Foley speak for that. He's a bit like Reigns in that manner.

Austin was awesome and any silly talk of him been limited shows those people don't know a damn about Austin. He had some great matches before he reached WWE, the Bret Hart matches weren't classic just cause of Bret. Even after his neck injury Austin did change his style to a brawler but his matches were still great. His run with Foley, Taker, Rock, HHH, Angle, Jericho speak that. His run as heel champ in 2001 was one of his best years in ring wise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When he was in the ring with the right worker, The Rock could go. His feuds with HHH, Austin, Foley speak for that. He's a bit like Reigns in that manner.

Austin was awesome and any silly talk of him been limited shows those people don't know a damn about Austin. He had some great matches before he reached WWE, the Bret Hart matches weren't classic just cause of Bret. Even after his neck injury Austin did change his style to a brawler but his matches were still great. His run with Foley, Taker, Rock, HHH, Angle, Jericho speak that. His run as heel champ in 2001 was one of his best years in ring wise.
Austin entertained me as a brawler, but I preferred his earlier work speaking solely on in the ring. Especially as Stunning Steve Austin.
 
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No. Rock and Austin were two megastars at one time. We'll never see that ever again. Rock was pretty underrated in the ring I always thought. But it was all about storytelling and psychology. That unfortunately is very limited in today's product.
 

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Austin entertained me as a brawler, but I preferred his earlier work speaking solely on in the ring. Especially as Stunning Steve Austin.
I still think his feuds with Steamboat in WCW and Bret Hart in WWE, are his strongest in ring work of his career. I love his brawler work, told a great story. His first feud as WWE champ with Dude Love, is probably his most underrated as a brawler love those two matches they had, plus Vince and The Stooges antics outside the ring probably make it Austin most underrated feud.
 
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