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Hall of Fame 2020/21


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I think one of the main reasons Kane worked better than The Fiend has is because in pre-internet/social media '97, the majority of people didn't know that Kane was Isaac Yankem/Fake Diesel. It was a real mystery as to who/what he was for most. If The Fiend had debuted as that gimmick rather than Bray Wyatt, I reckon it would have worked much better. Unfortunately, no one buys the Fiend gimmick as we just see Bray Wyatt-in-a-mask rather than a different person.

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5 minutes ago, wordsfromlee said:

I think one of the main reasons Kane worked better than The Fiend has is because in pre-internet/social media '97, the majority of people didn't know that Kane was Isaac Yankem/Fake Diesel. It was a real mystery as to who/what he was for most. If The Fiend had debuted as that gimmick rather than Bray Wyatt, I reckon it would have worked much better. Unfortunately, no one buys the Fiend gimmick as we just see Bray Wyatt-in-a-mask rather than a different person.

I think The Fiend would've had a short shelf life regardless of who/what, especially with WWE's booking. The problems of having a decent gimmick but being unable to translate it to a wrestling match booking would've been there whoever it was.

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Posted (edited)

Perhaps I’m misremembering Kane’s career but I think the main difference between his run and The Fiend’s is that they showed tonnes more patience with Kane.

Sure, it all turned to shit when he took the mask off, but what was that? Five years after the character had debuted? Maybe six? Before that it felt like they dined out on the incredible concept and squeezed as much out of that original idea as they could.

Meanwhile, The Fiend’s career has practically been on fast forward. No longer had the character been introduced than they were already pissing about with it and trying to be clever. Maybe it’s a sign of the times, I don’t know, but it feels like we’ve reached the shitty bit of The Fiend’s run in no time at all.

Give it three weeks and Bray will be revealed to not be burnt at all, it’s just all in his head.

Edited by Supremo
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Kanes had some sort of character growth pretty much year on year until the unmasking, whether that being the silent boyfriend to Tori in the whole triangle with X-Pac, the voice box thing and then the comedy schtick with The Rock and Booker T etc. Kane always seemed to keep relevant through slight changes. Bray just seems to do the same stuff in a different mask. 

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Posted (edited)

Difference for me is the same as horror franchises. Kane had his version of the first Texas Chain Saw Massacre/Friday the 13th/Nightmare of Elms Street before things turned into parody. If Kane would have started out doing Hulk Hogan impressions and hugging Daniel Bryan he wouldnt have been as rememebered. We all have our "remember when Kane set the casket on fire" or "remember when he won the belt and then teamed with the Undertaker and smashed Mankind in with a sledgehammer" memories. Where as Bray Wyatt never really has. His first feud was with Kane in an inferno match, and it was like "I assume we're at the stage where Jason is doing movies with Corey Feldman already."

Bray Wyatt always teased intrigue and they've never delivered. The initial vignettes of the Wyatt family and the Fiend debut were all timers if we're honest. Proper great moments. But that was about it.

Edited by IANdrewDiceClay
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7 hours ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

Molly Holly is an absolute class act, isn't she? Using her speech time to give credit to the crew who you otherwise would never hear about. She's great.

She really is. That, and what she did for Beth Phoenix (it’s on the Icons doc, for anyone who doesn’t know), just shows what a wonderful human being she is.

She’s one of the most likeable talents they’ve ever had.

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3 hours ago, Supremo said:

Perhaps I’m misremembering Kane’s career but I think the main difference between his run and The Fiend’s is that they showed tonnes more patience with Kane.

 

3 hours ago, Nick James said:

Kane always seemed to keep relevant through slight changes. Bray just seems to do the same stuff in a different mask. 

 

2 hours ago, IANdrewDiceClay said:

His first feud was with Kane in an inferno match, and it was like "I assume we're at the stage where Jason is doing movies with Corey Feldman already."

Bray Wyatt always teased intrigue and they've never delivered. The initial vignettes of the Wyatt family and the Fiend debut were all timers if we're honest. Proper great moments. But that was about it.

If we’re really comparing Kane’s entire run to Wyatts entire run, which is a bit unfair given (a) the industry circumstances and (b) that with the characters pre-conceived backstory it might arguably been harder for the Kane gimmick to fail, I’d say a big difference is also what happened when the bell rang. Regardless of whether you knew you were watching Fake Diesel or Husky Harris, Kane was a special case bell to bell while Bray Wyatt largely isn’t. Kane was a 7ft monster who in the early days was barely affected by offence and shrugged off most finishers - on account of being The Undertakers brother - and could throw two Hardys around at once and handle guys of Foleys stature with ease. He had genuine menace. Wyatt was/is just another wrestler like many his size with a few weird mannerisms (and occasional added bullshit) and mates doing run ins and if you compare his Cena feud with the matches John had with Umaga or Rusev you quickly come to the conclusion he’s not special as a wrestler compared to as a character. He bought himself some extra goodwill because his three had great chemistry with The Shield but I’d struggle to name many other matches I’d describe as memorable. I can’t think of two reactions I had to surprise appearances that were more different than Kane coming back at the end of the lauded 2000 10-man on Raw, and when Bray showed up to ruin the finish to the Rollins/Ambrose match that time which was “Aw, fuck, they’re still trying with this guy???” And that was before he won the sodding belt! From John Cena!! By pinning AJ bloody Styles!!! Jesus wept.

As for Kane, there’s so much I could say about his highs and lows over the years but I’ll stick to the sheer brilliance that was the characters first couple of years. He’s a bit like The Simpsons, the bad ended up far outweighing the good and you probably wanted him to just go away before the end, but you can’t hate him too much because - damn! - those early years. The build was excellent and even though I had struggled to imagine what Kane would look like when he eventually turned up, the execution at Badd Blood was fantastic as others have described more eloquently than I can. It’s a tribute to how good that debut was that even in today’s IRC landscape it’s looked back at fondly, rather than as the interference that denied us a clean finish after a stunning, groundbreaking war between two of the biggest legends ever. The character did phenomenal considering they didn’t think too far beyond “loses to Taker at Mania.” They did a superb job of protecting him so even when he lost to his brother, he lost none of his aura.

It helped that he was genuinely terrifying but it was rather surprising how easily the character just slotted into the main event scene as it was rebuilt in 1998 after the losses of Bret and Shawn - in the famed Highway To Hell storyline, the spectre of “will Kane interfere” overshadowed the actual question of “Can Stone Cold defeat The Undertaker?” This was even after he’d dropped the WWF title to a Stone Cold Stunner on a Raw like any normal human - the mystique endured. I’ll never forget the pop when Rock pinned him on Raw after Mankind lamped him with a sledgehammer - the way JR screamed “The Rock just beat Kane!!!!” sold what a big deal this was, what a Herculean feat The People’s Champ had just achieved.

The transformations the character made adjusting to social situations like friendships, romance, betrayal etc over the next couple of years were very well written, although admittedly between Paul Bearer, his brother, Chyna, X-Pac, Tori and many others over the years “Everyone turns on Kane” threatened to become the new “Everyone turns on Sting.” His booking didn’t always help him, after the great cage match win over X-Pac (which should have been the end) and the aforementioned return on Raw, he had no business losing to Pac at No Way Out. That was fucking nonsense. He rebounded well when his brother came back and that run where they were giving guys simultaneous Last Rides was great fun. The wheels nearly fell off again with the first of many unnecessary turns but thankfully into 2001 everyone just forgot he was meant to be a heel and he was tagging with big bro again like nothing had happened. He even got to win a belt from Triple H on a PPV which was a bit of a highlight of a couple of pretty bland months of TV while they struggled to get people to bite on Taker vs Austin again.... then he had to lose it to Albert and the slow process of him being watered down to “just another guy” really started in earnest.
 

There were plenty of good bits in isolation over the years to follow but for every TLC4 there’s a Katie Vick, for every stirring return in the metal mask, there’s losing the tag belts to Nexus losers Otunga and Perfect’s kid. Leave the memories alone.

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On 4/1/2021 at 12:17 PM, tiger_rick said:

Diana looks really well. Oranges must be good for you.

🤦‍♂️🤣

When you consider the gravity of the allegations Diana made in her tell all book, it's kinda unthinkable she could be part of Davey's induction. I believe she pulled the book and said the ghost writer misled her.

Edited by IronSheik
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Random thoughts: -

X-Pac sounded like he spoke from the heart and that he was legit honoured to have been inducted.

RVD’s speech was decent. Sounded genuine and was interesting to listen to.

The fake crowd noise was annoying.

Felt bad for Davey Boy Smith’s family. They’ve all campaigned for years to have him inducted into the HOF and with no live crowd, it kind of felt like DBS had been robbed of his proper HOF moment.

Overall, I wouldn’t have bothered inducting a 2021 class this year and would have waited to induct the class of 2020 later in the year (Summerslam weekend maybe?) in front of a live crowd if possible. Both ceremonies felt rushed, phoned in and deprived all of the inductees of a proper Hall of Fame moment without the live crowd (regardless of whether you think they deserved to be in there or not).

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10 hours ago, IANdrewDiceClay said:

Must have missed Brickhouse Brown going into the WWE Hall of Fame. Madness. Would have appreciated the payday when he was alive, in fairness to him.

The Legacy wing has become the most baffling aspect of an already pretty confusing Hall of Fame - it made sense as a way to induct people like George Hackenschmidt and Dara Singh, who have no one to really accept the induction on their behalf, or people like Bruiser Brody who never really worked for WWE and who deserve to be in but they don't want to draw attention to. But Brickhouse Brown?

And Dr. Death went in this year. How is he a "legacy wing" candidate when Davey Boy just got inducted, and Davey Boy started wrestling before Steve Williams did, and stopped wrestling (and died) before him too? 

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