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Wrestlers or Acts You Hated But Turned The Corner On


Liam O'Rourke
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So, for this week's podcast, we're looking to talk about guys, girls, teams, acts, whatever it may be anywhere in the wrestling world, that at one time you held in very low regard, but they somehow managed to make you come around and become a fan of their work.

 

We'd like your nomination for the ONE act that stands out the most in that sense for you, why you originally disliked them, and what it was that changed your perspective.

 

As always, the best contributions will be read on the show and you'll be credited accordingly - so what's your vote?

 

EDIT - The show talking Guys You Turned The Corner On, discussing your nominations, is now available at the following link: https://squaredcirclegazette.podbean.com/mf/download/zkps4n/SCG_Radio_110_-_Wrestlers_You_Turned_A_Corner_On.mp3

Edited by Liam O'Rourke
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Baron Corbin is the current one that comes to mind. Totally bollocks when he 1st came in, shite body and limited move set.

 

Since the brand split he's been booked well in and out of the ring and he has a good believable heel persona and I look forward to watching him.

Edited by ElCece
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Michael Cole

 

He wasn't the best commentator, or interviewer when he started, and the heel character jumped the shark when he got into the ring, but he did a fantastic job at the UK championship tournament.  

 

I guess its easier to do a decent job when you aren't being micromanaged in real time by an aggressive control freak pensioner.  

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Maybe an odd choice, by Rusev for me.

 

When he first showed up in NXT with the 2X4 and the loin cloth, I thought it was total garbage, and would skip his matches after a while. But his debut in the rumble/initial US title run/big feuds/promo skills/everything, have been very awesome and he deserves a lot more than he gets right now.

 

Another NXT pick would be Emma. Again the initial gimmick put me off, (I think it was that she was intentionally bad at things?), but then that match she had with Paige on one of the takeovers sold me on her. God knows if the whole Emmalina repackage will be any good, but I've been a fan of hers since then.

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Only one pick? You tyrant, Liam!

 

If I had to pick one, I'd probably say Kevin Owens. When I saw him on the indies as Kevin Steen, he had all the hype and hoo-ha as being amazing, and I just saw nothing in him whatsoever. Chubby lad in a t-shirt and shorts doing flips and head-drops, like a fat white B-Boy. Nothing endeared me to him, I didn't like his matches, I didn't see any character. I could never have fathomed him ending up a main eventer on Raw. The only thing I saw him do of any value to me was the tag team feud with the Briscoes in ROH in '07, but even that was mainly to see what ludicrous bump they would do next (that Ladder Match! Fuck me, that was mad!).

 

When WWE signed him, I could only think "him? Why?" One NXT Takeover later, I was completely converted. A total turnaround in my eyes. The feud with Sami Zayn was so good, the character stuff so far beyond anything I thought him capable of, he got me totally into his matches, and I've been a fan ever since. I've gone off him a bit since the brand split, but that's Raw's fault more than his.

 

 

 

(If I was allowed more than one choice, I'd say Sami Zayn as well, because I felt similarly about El Generico as I did about Kevin Steen and NXT totally turned me round on him as well. I'd probably also say Samoa Joe, but it was TNA who turned me round on him - I'd always heard about him being so amazing but just never quite warmed to him until he turned up in the X Division. For a really recent one, I wasn't convinced at all by No Way Jose when he debuted, I expected it to be another Adam Rose one-week novelty, but he's developed into one of my favourites in NXT. And finally, the most obvious choice is Mark Henry. The UKFF is the bastion of Menry love and long may it continue, but in a world outside of here, you'd be hard-pressed to find Mizark fans. It was this place that made me realise the greatness of The Wigsplitter. Something fantastic had been brewing back in 1998, you've seen it yourselves on the timelines, and it took the Hall Of Pain to finally unleash it. It should not be forgotten!)

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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Miz probably. I missed his first main event run, caught the arse end of his face run and him as a lowercard heel. Thought he was good for a segment or two or getting heat on whoever but thought he was useless when it came to in-ring stuff, probably cos he came from Tough Enough and not Ring of Honor, how wrong was I. he had an amazing 2016

 

Corbin's a great shout too. He was starting to get good in NXT, after the call-up he joined the 50/50 club with Ziggler, but since the split has been presented very well.

 

The two of these could be on Talking Smack every week and I'm sold.

Edited by sj5522
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Mark Henry during his peak 'Hall of Pain' run is maybe the most incredible transformation I've seen. I stopped watching wrestling altogether in about 2003 and at this point, Henry was very much a midcard bum, without those internet points that were vital back then, for me.

 

I started watching again in 2008 and didn't bother with ECW because Henry was their champ and it was the midcard show. Although looking back, his matches were usually solid whenever I saw him on the PPVs. Anyway, fast forward a few years and here's old Sexual Chocolate, Captain Shit Sandwich himself, and he's somehow transformed himself into the best heel and arguably worker in the WWE. Some folk always scoff when I call Henry a great worker back then, but everything about his entire work was on point. He was about playing the gimmick, rather than getting some moves in. He played the part of an angry big cock-ripping "World's Strongest Man" perfectly; showed some arse when he had to, but made sure to keep himself looking end game boss strong in the process. Henry went from bit of a joke and bore to legit as fuck.

 

It seemed to catch on too, before injuries derailed him. IIRC, Smackdown ratings were on the up when he was having a run with the belt. During which he was doing wonders for Daniel Bryan, which even Bryan admits.

 

Of course, his masterpiece is that retirement promo. I think there are only a couple of promos in the last 8 years that have come close, but it is an incredible performance from Henry. I think he had everyone that night.

 

Again, shame his body started betraying him, just as everything clicked. Robbed me of some pudding.

Edited by ColinBollocks
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For me, it has to be The Miz. After a spell as WWE Champion, he was definitely fast forward material for the next few years for sure, from his face turn to dressing like Kylie Minogue circa I Can't Get You Out Of My Head video.

 

But over the last year, with the pairing of wife Maryse, and an incredible Intercontinental title reign which I never wanted to end, The Miz is now one of the main reasons I watch Smackdown Live. Great promos from the lad, he's having his best matches in his career, and he even made me give a shit about his millionth feud with Dolph Ziggler.

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Batista, no doubt.

 

When he first came in with Brother Devon, I wasn't arsed by him. He was shit when Evolution started out but then suddenly just propelled into this superstar when he returned from injury. I have no idea why I suddenly liked him but he totally turned me round when I thought he was going absolutely nowhere.

 

Miz is also a good shout, from annoying cunt who should fuck off my TV to the best heel in the business.

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The samoan Bulldozer Umaga! First thoughts of him were as an outdated stereotype.I enjoyed his manager( Name escapes me) and the over the top introduction. However, in time and with a few tweaks I started to enjoy most of his matches,and believe he got the best match at the time out of John Cena. Shame we never got a long run out of him.

Edited by Geemann
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John Cena for me.

 

As a 14 year old wrestling fan who thought he knew better than the people that run and book the stuff, I couldn’t fathom how anyone could like him in 2006. His offence was weak, his promos were corny and he disgraced the title by making it spin! Spin for God’s sake!

 

The fact it seemed like he used to win all the time really put me off him too, in hindsight it’s a good thing I stopped watching from 2008-2011 as I missed out on some right Cena misery; interminable Orton feud and headlining Wrestlemania with The Miz especially.

 

However, since coming back I’ve done a complete 180 degree turn on him. I admire his professionalism, the way he deals with hostile crowds and the fact that he is so good at his job – that goes for inside and outside the ring. It doesn’t half hurt that he’s had some cracking matches and has started to show arse and lose a bit more either. 

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Another one for the Wigsplitter here. I can actually pinpoint when I started rating Mark Henry, and that was a Smackdown battle royal in 2005, when he just came in to obliterate everyone and looked like a mass murderer. Angle won the match, but Mizark was booked as a killer, and it made Angle look ripe for another title run.

 

Also, it was roughly around the time that Henry started really smashing down the World's Strongest Slam like he was really trying to pulverise his opponents, whereas before he just dropped like he couldn't be bothered.

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Hulk Hogan

 

Hated him when I first got into wrestling, the bastard always won and I hated the patriotic stuff. When he was facing Savage at WM5, my heart broke when he kicked out of the top rope elbow. Now I love him, maybe because I'm older and the innocent magic has gone but I really appreciate how brilliant he was in matches. Absolutely top class.

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