wrestling / Columns

411 Fact or Fiction 11.08.12: Cranky Vince, Jack Swagger, Nigel McGuinness, More

November 8, 2012 | Posted by Steve Cook

Hi, hello & welcome to 411 Fact or Fiction! I’m Steve Cook, and it’s been an interesting week in the world of pro wrestling. The top of the Survivor Series card was switched around on Monday’s Raw episode. Rumor has it that John Cena was the top superstar that told Vince McMahon he was behind the times. @CrankyVince tweeted about Jack Swagger wanting to leave WWE. Luke Gallows was unmasked as a member of Aces & Eights, Nigel McGuinness became Ring of Honor’s new matchmaker, and Brad Armstrong passed away at the age of fifty-one.

I’ve invited two of 411’s finest to discuss these topics. Introducing first, the longest-serving writer of Ask 411 Wrestling & Australia’s favorite wrestler…Mathew Sforcina!

His opponent was formerly part of the Triumvirate of Truth and is currently hoping Kansas State’s football team can run the table…Michael Uphoff!

  • Questions were sent out Monday.
  • Participants were told to expect wrestling-related questions.

    1. You approve of the changes to the Survivor Series card made on this week’s Raw.

    Mathew Sforcina: FICTION. Not so much for the matches themselves, but the fact the changes happened at all. Look, having a dynamic PPV card is a good thing, it shows development, it can portray wrestlers as being what they should be, larger than life people would can and do have dynamic personalities that make us want to cheer and/or boo them. Having them cause a PPV card to change is fine… If it’s organic and logical. What they did on Raw was neither of those things. And the end result negates the work Foley did last week, and it also gives us a match who’s result is fairly obvious (Punk steals the fall from Cena). So no, I do not approve of these random, pointless changes.

    Michael Uphoff: FICTION. I absolutely hate the changes made to the Survivor Series card on this week’s episode of Monday Night RAW. With these changes, the traditional Survivor Series elimination match now becomes a match filled with midcarders and the Tag Team Champions. Mick Foley has no more use to the match, as he was there to be the foil to CM Punk. You could have had Dolph Ziggler face John Cena at Survivor Series instead of making the main event the Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship. With the traditional Survivor Series elimination match, Punk could have eliminated a few people, leaving Ryback in a three-on-one or something like that and have Ryback be the sole survivor, thus keeping him strong and Punk as well. Now, they have to come up with an ending for the Triple Threat that will allow Punk to keep the WWE title but not make Ryback look weak. WWE has tried to improve something that looked good on paper and made it worse. Way to go, Vince.

    Score: 1 for 1

    2. You’re surprised by the reports that John Cena told Vince McMahon that he was behind the times.

    Mathew Sforcina: FICTION. Cena may be a company man, but he is also a man in possession of a brain, the nerve to support talent he likes (sometimes) and, most of all, is going through some personal issues on the home front right now. Why would it be surprising he’d lash out at this point? Sure, anyone talking back to Vince is a surprise, but if
    there is anyone who could, it’s Golden Goose boy.

    Michael Uphoff: FICTION. I’m not surprised that Cena told McMahon that he was behind the times, because that’s the truth. McMahon has been behind the times for years now, trying to duplicate the success of the Attitude Era by including some things that worked in the Attitude Era in the WWE nowadays and betting that they will work. When they don’t work, he tries something else from the Attitude Era. Guess what, Vince? The reason why the Attitude Era was so successful was because of the superstars and the writers during that era. The superstars were talented enough to take what the writers gave them and turn it into gold. Vince has to stop trying to duplicate that success by using elements from that era and start building a new era with the current talent that he has by using fresh material. Hopefully he listens to Cena, but it’s Vince, so I doubt it.

    Score: 2 for 2

    3. Jack Swagger would be better off staying in WWE & waiting for his opportunity than leaving.

    Mathew Sforcina: FICTION. … I cannot believe I’m saying this, but yeah, FICTION. Swagger will forever be just a midcard guy in WWE unless he gets more of a buzz around himself. And to do that, he has to either go to Japan, go to TNA, or go to the Indies. While the money may be less (although a former World Champ who can actually work should be able to pull in decent Indy money) he can improve his craft and/or force WWE to come back later where he can then set better terms. He, like many other WWE midcard acts, would probably benefit from taking the plunge. Of course, probably is the key word, because it doesn’t always work

    Michael Uphoff: FACT. I think so. Swagger will get his chance to succeed in the WWE and will get better opportunities staying in the WWE than leaving and going elsewhere, presumably to TNA. TNA is overloaded right now and wouldn’t use him well. Swagger has been a world champion before, and I would think that he will be a world champion again. It might be some time, but Swagger just needs to make an impact and show that he is ready. Once Vince gets his head out of his ass, guys like Swagger that have talent in the ring and are halfway decent on the mic will be given their chance.

    Score: 2 for 3

    4. You’re interested in the secret identity of @CrankyVince.

    Mathew Sforcina: FICTION, if only because if I find out, then others will find out, and if others find out, then CrankyVince might go away. And I like CrankyVince. I want more CrankyVince. It doesn’t matter if it’s an ex writer, a current staff member, a family friend or you, Mr. Cook. It’s hilarious. I want it to remain. So keep it secret, thank you.

    Michael Uphoff: FACT. But only slightly just. I don’t really care overall who is behind the identity of @CrankyVince, but it would be kind of nice to see Vince blow his stack if it’s someone inside his inner circle. This kind of smells like it might be Vince working everyone, but I doubt that Vince is behind this. I’m not really interested in seeing what @CrankyVince says or does, because it’s all just rumors and gossip. I am, however, sort of interested in finding out who it is, unless it’s Hornswoggle underneath the ring again.

    Score: 2 for 4


    5. WWE Main Event is the best wrestling show on television.

    Michael Uphoff: FICTION. With the few episodes of WWE Main Event that I have seen, it is not the best wrestling show on television. Monday Night RAW is still better than Main Event. SmackDown is still better than Main Event. However, Main Event does a good job of keeping people interested in the WWE by showing wrestling and helping to continue storylines. While it isn’t the best wrestling show on television, at times it is the most sound WWE wrestling show on television.

    Mathew Sforcina: FICTION, but I totally understand anyone who wants to say Fact here. It’s certainly the best TV WWE is putting out right now, without question, but best wrestling show… Despite it having some off weeks, I kinda have to give it to Impact, only because it’s longer and has more story development. Main Event is a better pure wrestling show, but Impact has both good wrestling (most of the time) and is a major show, so I tend to give it a higher overall mark. But I totally get and understand and support anyone who says Fact. *awaits claims of
    bias in comment section*

    Score: 3 for 5

    6. Brad Armstrong was the most talented member of the Armstrong wrestling family.

    Michael Uphoff: FICTION. It really pains me to say this, but I disagree. In terms of pure talent, he may have been the most talented member of the family. His style in the ring was highly technical with a lot of speed and crisp moves. A strong case could be made for other members of the family, however. His father, Bullet Bob Armstrong, was also arguably the most talented member of the Armstrong wrestling family. A case could also be made for either Kip James or BG James. If I had to pick one, I would say that Bullet Bob was probably the most talented. I say that because he was able to train four sons that all turned out to have successful careers in pro wrestling in their own way. In-ring talent, all members of the Armstrong family had it, but Brad had it the most. In terms of all-around wrestling talent, acumen, and a mind for the sport, it is undoubtedly Bullet Bob Armstrong.

    Mathew Sforcina: FACT.

    Don’t make me choose, please.

    Oh, fine… FACT, by the slimmest of slim margins. I’m talking Higgs Bosons appearing bulky in comparison, and that’s physically impossible! Bullet was a solid enough hand, but Brian, a.k.a Jesse James, a.k.a Road Dogg, a.k.a the second best thing on “Are You Serious?” is very much on par with him, in that what he lacked in in ring skill he made up for with mic skills. Brad is the eternal ‘Shouldabeen’ guy, he should have been so much more, but Brian managed to actually do it, so you can argue he has more overall talent. But I don’t, Brad was better in my mind, but it’s a matter of what you consider talent to be, really.

    Score: 3 for 6

    7. The man formerly known as Luke Gallows will have more success in TNA than he did in WWE.

    Michael Uphoff: FACT. This is a blatant FACT. Luke Gallows would never have been given much of a chance in the WWE, and when he was there, he wasn’t given hardly anything until they paired him with Punk in the Straight Edge Society, and even that got neutered beyond anything useful. Luke Gallows is actually part of an interesting storyline in TNA, not something many people can say. Gallows probably won’t be champion, but he will find more success over there than he would have ever found in the WWE.

    Mathew Sforcina: FACT, if only by default. The man debuted as a brain damaged redneck idiot, and then when he got as good gimmick, he was overlooked and cast aside. TNA will use him better. Hard to imagine how he couldn’t.

    Score: 4 for 7

    8. Nigel McGuinness will be a good authority figure for Ring of Honor.

    Michael Uphoff: FACT. I kind of like McGuinness being an authority figure for Ring of Honor. He knows the company, and the fans love and respect him for what he has done for the company. He seems like a good fit and could be really good in his role for the company, but we will have to wait and see. I would bet that McGuinness will be a successful authority figure in Ring of Honor.

    Mathew Sforcina: FACT. The man can talk, has a history to respect in the company, can conceivably hold his own in a fight or be beaten down as the story demands it, can work equally well heel or face… Yeah, this should be a good thing. Provided he doesn’t go all WWE on us and speak for 20 minutes about THIS BUSINESS or sleep with Davey Richards or something, we’ll be just fine.

    Oh crap, I just gave the shippers fuel, didn’t I? Crap…

    Final Score: 5 for 8

    Michael & Mathew agreed a bit, but parted ways when it came to Brad Armstrong, @Cranky Vince & Jack Swagger. How do you feel about this week’s topics? Let us know down in the comment section! Thanks to Michael & Mathew for participating, and we’ll be back next week with more Fact or Fiction!

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