Posts Tagged ‘Criticism’

Recent months have seen Shane McMahon become a weapons-grade troll in WWE, with the 49-year-old dominating increasingly large portions of Raw and SmackDown every single week, having just flattened company golden boy Roman Reigns in a farce of a bout at Super ShowDown.

Shane’s push and presentation have sparked an intense backlash. Though he’s always been a divisive performer, the ‘Best in the World’ draws heat, but arguably not the good kind, and there’s now talk that this extends to WWE’s own backstage area.

Per Fightful Select, “the decision to heavily feature Shane McMahon in the middle of a Wild Card scenario that already limits screen-time for others is infuriating.”

That last word is critical. If the report is accurate (and the source’s track record suggests it probably is), then it sounds like the WWE locker-room has finally had enough of the boss’ son taking what could be their televised opportunities – and understandably so. Imagine being Ali or Buddy Murphy at the moment.

Last week brought reports that Shane may soon take Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship in a move that could spark another #CancelWWENetwork-esque revolt. A hilariously misguided move if true, but hilarious nonetheless.

Steve Austin addressed his awkward interview with Jon Moxley in August of 2016. During the interview Austin suggested that Moxley, who was then the WWE Champion as Dean Ambrose, was resting on his laurels and felt that he needed to find his edge. 

Austin discussed the interview while speaking with AEWPresident Tony Khan on the latest edition of The Steve Austin Show.

“For whatever reason, we got off on the wrong track,” Austin admitted. “It was a rough podcast. I have been carrying around 1,000 pounds on my back ever since that happened. I felt so bad about that interview and I was leading the interview. I take the fault of it because I’m there to get people over and make them come off like a million bucks. We just came off on the wrong street and just kept taking left turns and never got back on track, well we never were on track. He had his reasons and I had mine.”

Moxley recently said that while he “f–king loves Steve”, he would have “hung up” on Austin if it were a regular interview. Austin said that he would hear people saying that his podcast got cancelled because of it.

“For all this time I felt like s–t about that interview,” Austin said. “People said the Stone Cold Podcast got canceled because of how bad that interview was. No. I’d fulfilled my commitment, that was why the podcast stopped.”

Austin said that there were rumors of him having heat with Moxley following the interview. Austin noted that Moxley’s fans were “crapping all over” him, while his own fans were taking Austin’s side. Austin said that he thinks about that interview almost every day and eventually got Moxley’s phone number through a mutual friend.

“We had the best 30 minute conversation,” Austin said of his call with Moxley. “There was never any animosity towards us, I didn’t know how he felt about me and I thought he might hate my guts.”

Austin noted that there are just times when things don’t click, and gave an example of having a really bad match with Sting one night. Austin said that he is back on the same page with Moxley, and that he’s a “huge Jon Moxleyfan.” Austin also revealed that Moxley will appear on a future episode of his podcast.

“We got back on the same page, he never hated my guts,” Austin said. “I think he’s going to come down to Los Angeles whenever he wants to and we’re going to do the podcast together.

“This has haunted me for so damn long. People just think that I’m this guy and there’s this Darth Vader forcefield around me where I don’t feel things. I do. When I’ve not made someone look the way they’re supposed to look, that haunts me. So now that we’re back on the same page, I’m looking forward to talking to Jon Moxley.”

Austin discussed Moxley’s debut at Double Or Nothing and said that he looked like he took a gigantic breath of fresh air and came back to life as a performer. Austin said that he popped for Moxley’s appearance and could see that he was having the time of his life. Tony Khan agreed, and credited producer Keith Mitchell for catching the moment.

“That was one of the great moments I think, and what an incredible way to end an incredible pay per view,” Khan told Austin. “It was unbelievable. What was cool, is Keith Mitchell, who had shot all these cool moments with WCW and working with a budget in a big arena and a big crew and some super-talented wrestlers and he’s had some of these pieces since, but he hasn’t had this type of combination in a long time but things were really clicking at the right time in WCW with that type of emotion. For him to be able to shoot something like this, I mean that was absolutely a nuclear, white-hot incredible moment and when Mox came out he was unleashed as a performer.”

EC3 made a tweet after last night’s WWE RAW that could be a good sign of how he’s feeling with his position in the company these days.

Last night’s RAW saw EC3 introduced as a potential Special Guest Referee for Baron Corbin vs. WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins at Stomping Grounds on Sunday. Rollins had been attacking potential referees with steel chair shots all night, and EC3 was his next victim. This led to a comedy bit with The New Day, which ended with EC3 face-down on the ramp.

EC3 responded to a tweet from the segment and wrote, “Every time I make you laugh, I suffer more inside.”

EC3’s tweet was a hit with fans on social media, racking up over 11,000 “likes” as of this writing. EC3 took to Twitter this afternoon and acknowledged that. He wrote, “Is this the most favorited tweet from Monday night?”

EC3 has barely been used since being called up to the main roster from WWE NXT earlier this year, and he’s really never featured in any significant, serious angles.

WWE legend Ric Flair took to social media to promote his appearance at the Greater Austin Comic Con. Before getting into the details of the event, Flair took a brief moment to apologize to Shawn Michaels after Flair called Michaels out in a previous social media post following his health scare in May.

“Three weeks ago, I got out,” Flair said. “Still alive. Still happy to be here and getting ready to take off for Austin, Texas. 

“I wanted to take one moment to apologize to Shawn Michaels. Shawn, I got excited. I was upset about some stuff and took it out on you. I apologize. You and Ricky Steamboat will always be the greatest wrestlers I’ve ever been in the ring with. Let’s leave it at that.”

Flair suffered a medical emergency in May which eventually led to him undergoing a successful heart surgery days later.Following his release from the hospital, Flair released two social media videos titled ‘Back In Action Parts 1 & 2’. The videos showed Flair energetically cheering himself on his youthful energy while simultaneously highlighting the severity of his medical scare. During the videos, Flair thanked his friends while also calling out Michaels.

“Shawn Michaels, I’m sorry… you’re not in a position to judge me, buddy,” Flair said at the time. “Telling me I’ll never know who Richard Fliehr is. Do you think I’ll ever know? I don’t know. Richard Fliehr, like I said before, was an irresponsible kid who was blessed with the greatest parents in the world, did everything wrong. 

“By the way, who are you to judge me? I mean, really? Come on, man. Let’s get serious. You’ve opened the door and I’m giving it back to you. Who are you to judge me, are you kidding me? You idolized me and then all the sudden contempt, for what? For what you grew up loving and for what you inspired me to be, who you are. I don’t think so, man.”

WWE creative has come under fire recently. Jon Moxley recently detailed his frustrations with WWE creative. Recently Batista spoke with Ryan Satin for Pro Wrestling Sheet and creative was a major subject.

“The creative process I still don’t get,” Batista exasperated. “It was a nightmare to me the last time, I was there, which was 2014, and it seems like it’s become worse. I feel like they don’t have a clear vision, a long-term vision, everything is very week-to-week. It doesn’t seem like they stick to a plan very much.” 

The issues run much deeper than the current creative. Batista feels that the talent is too restricted and does not have creative freedom, which can stunt the growth of talents.

“[Chris] Jericho pointed out something to me that makes complete sense. He said that John Cena is the last guy who is gonna be over like he is,” Bautista explained. “It’s because the performers now they’re limited. Their hands are tied. They can’t go to war like we used to. We used to go to war and beat the crap out of each other and it earned a level of respect from people. And it was just like a different level of respect, it was a different level of getting over. We had more freedom.”

During his recent run, Batista discussed the rise of Kofi Kingston. Batista was not surprised about Kingston’s rise, but rather how long WWE missed the boat on him.

“I’m surprised Kofi wasn’t at the point he is now years ago,” Batista exclaimed. “With all the love he is getting now, he deserved that many years ago, when I was there. He was something special in FCW. They got the bright idea so many years later. The guy is money, he is a star.”

During Bautista’s initial run, WWE did not have much competition. With AEW debuting on TNT this fall soon, Batista noted that he will probably not be watching.

“I saw certain clips, I didn’t watch,” Batista admitted. “It would be hard pressed for me to actually sit down and watch a wrestling show, of any promotion. It’s hard for me to sit down and watch TV shows, I’m not that guy.”

One of the many issues that the former Dean Ambrose, now Jon Moxley had with WWE was their promos. Moxley didn’t like the fact that wrestlers weren’t allowed to ad-lib and pretty much had to say word-for-word what was written for them.

Ryback has also had many issues with WWE and he addressed Moxley’s complaints about WWE promos on his Conversations with the Big Guy Ryback podcast.

“I’ve said that now I don’t know how many times on promos; same exact thing. …I remember doing something where I was working with Kalisto; it was one of the final matches I had in WWE,” said Ryback. I wasn’t supposed to do ‘Feed Me More’ in the ring. We had a thing during the break where they wanted us to go off the air with me just staring at him in the middle of the ring. The crowd didn’t know whether I was a babyface or a heel. It was that weird period where we were butting heads in the back and I just went with gut instinct where I said that this needs something to make this way cooler. I started doing the ‘Feed Me More’ at the end of it and the crowd started doing it and we closed it where it wasn’t quiet.

“I remember Scott Armstrong; I believe he was the producer for that and I got to Gorilla with Vince McMahon and he asked why the f**k did I do that? I said because the segment f***ing sucked. He looked at me and asked if I was stupid and then I asked him if he was stupid and I walked away. Scott Armstrong came in and Scott got yelled at really bad. That was one of the final things with Vince McMahon where I no longer gave a s**t.”

Ryback said it doesn’t matter your stature within WWE, the rules are the same for everybody. The only difference comes with the repercussions. Someone lower on the card would likely get fired while with someone higher up, the producer is more likely to get chewed out like Scott Armstrong.

“Dean Ambrose, I’ve heard people say too as far as venting frustrations, he made millions of dollars and was well taken care of. It’s like the CM Punk thing where people ask what right he has to b—h? He has all this, but you are not looking at his point of view. The bulls*** exists for everybody at every level over there because of the system and the rules that are in place. The frustration goes from the bottom to the top,” stated Ryback.

“Everything Jon Moxley talked about he was spot on with it. The thing is, and I saw people saying that I have said this for years, and my fans know that, but I also didn’t go on the Jericho Network and talk about it. I didn’t go on a large platform that Moxley did and he left right away and it came out. When I left, I didn’t do interviews. He went right out because he is going out. He went right to these big guns and let everything out. There’s a lot of this information that people are hearing for the first time, which is great. People need to hear this because it’s what a lot of people have said before.” 

Moxley had issues not just with WWE’s policy on promos, but also the promos themselves and the content he had to work with. Ryback backed Moxley on his frustrations with WWE’s Creative team for their bland promo scripts.

“It’s the worst part of working there when dealing with all of those writers for WWE. None of them are bad guys. It’s just that you can’t have a guy who doesn’t know you who is sitting in a meeting write 3-4 paragraph promos for you or 2 paragraph promos for you and is asking you to say it word for word. Then you don’t relate to it at all and then to have to go through the process of having it changed; that is why most of the guys say f*** it and just say the word for word, it’s just a paycheck. Mentally you just shut down,” revealed Ryback.

Ryback said he would wake up each TV day with a text from a writer regarding that night’s promo. He would get a sick feeling before even reading it because he knew it wasn’t going to be something good or entertaining.

Things got so bad that Ryback eventually told them to stop texting him because he had other things to do early in the morning and there was a good chance the texted plans would change anyway.

“That is literally all of the nightmares that happens from a pro wrestling standpoint. You want to have input; you want to love your job and be creative. We all want to, but they take the fun out of it,” stated Ryback. “You are doing acting and it is really s***ty acting. It’s something else I noticed with their promos. I was watching the other night and it has gotten worse. It is literally watching robots on TV reading lines. You can just see that there is zero excitement; everybody is going through the motions, which is what it is. They suck the life out of you with the creative process. 

“Again, this is what Vince McMahon wanted, yet here comes AEW telling the guys that they will feed you with only bullet points, go get over, and by doing so they will blow WWE out of the water. With the talent that have been in WWE all this time, I truly am curious how many of the guys in WWE, if they had to go to war with AEW and telling the guys to go get themselves over, how good would a lot of them really be? They’ve been in that format for so long where they are always told what to do or say where their creative stifle has been jolted away from them. I don’t know. They should be concerned.”

Batista recently finished up his time with WWE, with a defeat to Triple H at WrestleMania 35 serving as the final full stop. Once more free of the auspices of the company, he had some choice words about their creative process on a recent podcast, echoing the increasingly vocal opinions of various industry insiders.

Speaking with Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet, Big Dave described WWE’s system during his previous spell in 2014 as “a nightmare.” Damningly, he went on to say that things have only grown worse:

“I feel like they don’t have a clear vision, a long-term vision, everything is very week-to-week. It doesn’t seem like they stick to a plan very much.”

Batista concluded that the lack of creative freedom afforded talent in today’s WWE means they can no longer create a genuine connection with the fans. He also lambasted the fact wrestlers “can’t go to war” as they once did, presumably in reference to the sponsor-friendly rating. Infamously, Batista incurred a hefty fine after blading shortly after WWE went PG back in 2008.

Such a prominent name in the world of entertainment directly criticising WWE’s methods is sure to cause further consternation in Stamford, so soon after ex-star Jon Moxley did the same in dramatic fashion on a recent episode of Talk is Jericho.