MAILBAG: Should Undertaker “Pass The Torch” at Mania?
SEScoops Mailbag for December 7th
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Q: I’ve always wondered this, but thought about it recently after noticing it on episodes of “The Monday Night War” on WWE on Demand. During almost every WCW event, you can witness fans throwing trash in the ring – cups, paper, flyers, etc. Even hitting the wrestlers. It was virtually every Monday. With the exception of the Montreal Screwjob and maybe a handful of times over the last 2 decades, you never see this in WWE. Wrestling fans are wrestling fans. In your opinion, why the difference? Was security just that much tighter at WWE events? – Nolan C. Gray, Johnson City, TN
A: It just became the cool thing to do when the nWo was out there. I know Scott Hall hated it. And who could blame him? I’m not aware of WCW ever threatening ejection or prosecution for throwing debris, so this went on for quite some time. It also had to do with the younger fans you had in the crowd at a time when wrestling was very hot. WWE really didn’t have anything like it at the time. And they have always been more forceful about kicking people out for stuff like that. These days, you never see that sort of thing, both because they have good enforcement, but moreso because you have a very different audience when you look out into those crowds. Lots of parents with their children and not nearly as many teenagers and college students.
Q: How relevant do you think the Undertaker’s undefeated streak really is in the current and future WWE scene? I mean, I know it’s a big deal and yes he’s done if for many years, but don’t you agree that since he’s obviously at the end of his career, it makes sense for him to “pass the torch” to someone else like Brock Lesnar or CM Punk, making them a much bigger star by being able to say they’ve done something no one else in the business has ever been able to do. Do you see any realistic likelihood of Taker ever losing at WrestleMania, and considering the top players in the business now, who do you think are good opponents for him at Mania in his final year(s)? – Travis
A: I don’t understand this notion of “passing the torch” to someone who is already established, as though Brock Lesnar and CM Punk need to beat Undertaker at WrestleMania to solidify their place in history. They’ve done very well on their own. They’re already main event players and future Hall of Famers. What do they really gain from this? If Undertaker had a young name handpicked to beat him, then I would respect that decision, even though I think it’s the wrong move for business. The Streak has become an important selling point for Mania. It would be foolish to mess with that. I do think Lesnar would make a good opponent for him, but the best choice would be John Cena.
Q: Do you think The Rock will really retire from WWE after he wins the title one last time in 2013? Providing that happens, of course. – Glenn Danford
A: If he wins the title, I certainly hope he doesn’t retire! Then the title would have to be vacated. But if you mean after he wins and loses it, then no. There’s no reason for Rock to retire. If he still has fun wrestling and can still be a draw the way he was at last year’s WrestleMania, there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t return for a match here and there.
Q: With the change to the TLC main event, I was wondering what PPV’s you are aware of that didn’t have a WWE or World championship defense on the card, but had a payment-worthy main event that made up for it? – Lee from Manchester, England
A: Badd Blood 1997 is probably the best example. While Bret Hart was the champion and wrestled in a tag team flag match, Undertaker and Shawn Michaels had a pretty memorable main event inside Hell in a Cell. That more than made up for it.
Q: Would more pyro like Batista, Edge, and Kane [are known to have] wake up the crowd and actually affect the fans’ interest in the matches? With my experience at live events, the pyro always got my
Attention! and I would be into what was going on. If you had to pick one superstar on the roster who should have pyro, who would it be? – Shane from Fort Lauderdale, FL
and I would be into what was going on. If you had to pick one superstar on the roster who should have pyro, who would it be? – Shane from Fort Lauderdale, FL
A: You can’t “scare” people into caring about a particular match. You need to give people a reason to care. Loud pyro won’t make people care any more or any less for someone, say, like Tensai. Dropping the Japanese crap and letting him speak more would be a nice start. The same can be said for others on the roster.
Q: Who do you think would win [in a dream match between] John Cena and The Ultimate Warrior? Do you think it would be a good WrestleMania match if Vince McMahon let him come back? – Jesse Wagstaff, Morehead City, NC
A: It would have some value as an attraction for Mania, but the show would still do better business with Rock vs. Cena. As for who wins, it doesn’t really matter. Either way, the fans lose.
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