Welcome to the T & G Nerd N Thug Report, brought to you by The Talented Mr. Pearson (the Nerd) and All Day the Gifted (the Thug). We will bring you different topics from two different perspectives. Today, we bring you our perspective on something near and dear to us both:  World Wrestling Entertainment! Read on:

T: I have been a wrestling fan since I was fifteen years old, and I am dissatisfied with the current product that I am given on Monday and Friday nights. No, I’m not talking about TNA. I don’t really even give them any attention. I’m a snob, in a way. I have been raised on WWE wrestling since, well, it was the WWF. Therefore, it’s the WWE’s product that I’m talking about. I don’t like it. I want changes. Wrestling hasn’t fully been the same since the Attitude Era. I want the energy of that period back. There are things missing from the current product that would make it better. #Dull. They’ll probably never happen, but that’s not the point. The point is, if these things happened, we would have a much better wrestling product.

G: I have been a wrestling fan since I was maybe eight, or even younger. Not only did my brothers and I engulf ourselves with the wonderful actions of the WWF, but I became so obsessed with wrestling that I made my way over to the Von Erichs versus The Freebirds on WCCW. I was watching The Southwest good ole boy wrestling of the AWA when Curt Hennig was a god and Scott Hall was the Bounty Man. Hell, I was even watching the incredible and highly believable NWA—the National Wrestling Alliance, not the N#ggaz With Attitude—led by the world famous Four Horsemen and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time: Ric Flair. In my opinion, there were two golden eras of wrestling: the 80’s period of the WWF when Hulk Hogan and company became a phenomenon, and the Monday Night Wars of the ‘90’s. #Classic. Since the end of the Monday Night Wars, wrestling has done a 360. They are basically surviving by catering to the kids—lead by the entertaining but truly played out (in Stephen A. Smith’s sarcastic voice)  Johhhhhhhhhhhhnnnnn Ceeeeeeeeeeeeenaaaaaaaaa. I too have five things that I think they should do in order to make wrestling a better product.  

1) Rebuild the tag-team division. 

T:  My thuggish ruggish Godbrother pointed out in his intro that there have been some great tag teams over the years. I agree. Some of the greatest WWE champions of all time (Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Edge, and even Jeff Hardy) cut their teeth as part of a tag team. They made great moments and told great stories and gave us great entertainment. Today, the tag team division is a shoddy remnant of what it used to be. Shoot, at this very moment, one-half of the tag-team champions is out on suspension–and the belt is still sitting on that tag team (and a hideous belt it is, at that!). #pathetic.

There are enough wrestlers in the company for there to be at least seven or eight dynamic tag teams out there right now. Instead of having these smaller guys get beaten up every week by the bigger wrestlers, and instead of turning them into five-foot eight champions (which is another problem, but not as important; people like the Thug don’t seem to have a problem with pipsqueak champions getting their butts kicked every night), team these guys into high-flying, show-stopping, electrifying tag teams that make people want to tune in and watch.

1) Finally convince Sting to come over to the WWE

G: It seems to me like either Sting made a vow that he would never ever set foot in a WWF/WWE ring or Vince McMahon vowed he would never allow him to enter one. Either way, much like with what’s going on with the current NBA lockout (and that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms), these two forces are doing themselves and the fans a disservice by not allowing this to happen—at least before it’s too late. It’s probably almost too late. Sting became extremely popular during the Ted Turner years, so unless he’s squandered his wealth like the movie The Wrestler, he has already made more than his fair share of his money. I don’t know the specifics as to why this has not happened. You would have to ask the Nerd dude, probably.

I do know that this: some type of agreement should be struck that would allow one super bout; Sting vs. The Rock, Sting vs. John Cena, Sting vs. who-gives-a-sh#t-as-long-as-it-is-against-a-top-WWE-wrestler.  This would be like David Ortiz signing with the Yankees, or when Karl Malone and Gary Payton came to play on the Lakers with Kobe and Shaq. I cannot stress this enough without writing in all caps: PEOPLE WANT TO SEE STING COME DOWN FROM THE RAFTERS IN THE WWE DURING AT LEAST ONE WRESTLEMANIA IN HIS LIFETIME! IT HAS TO HAPPEN!

 (T response: I agree with this 100%. Sting is the greatest star never to have been in the WWE. I would like to see one major match. Personally, my vote would be Sting vs. The Undertaker for ‘Taker’s last WrestleMania match, but that’s just me. Thug Thizzle may have other ideas) 

2) Rebuild the cruiserweight/light-heavyweight division.

T:  Again, my Godbrother’s opinion notwithstanding, I truly hate when five-seven guys become world champions. You know why? Because you have to face the embarassment of watching your champion beaten to death every week. You have to watch your champion sneak his way into keeping the belt. That doesn’t give you someone to root for. Look, everyone above eight years old knows that wrestling is scripted (fake is not a good word for wrestling. You don’t tear ACLs and rupture bicep muscles for fake stuff. Scripted is more like it). But what makes a good movie? A good script. If the script sucks, a good actor can only do so much.

Little guys need their own division to give great shows and give great entertainment. The high fliers can put on spectacular matches that matter. There are several guys right now in the WWE with tons of talent and buildable skills who will never be a main-event wrestler because they’re too small. They need their own niche. Set a weight limit and give those guys their own belt to defend; just don’t have them defending it that often. #cruiserweight division. Trending right now.

2) Promote the youngsters better.

G:  If it is true that backstage heat causes performers to have to job out (meaning lose every single week, even to lesser people) or that preferential treatment is occurring behind the scenes, then I think this sort of culture is only hurting the WWE, and not helping. Breaking in this industry is hard—every bit as hard as the rap game or anything else. The kids who are the future need to be helped, not hurt. Chris “The Masterpiece” Masters comes to mind. I know some of these kids have egos before they should (Randy Orton, I’m looking in your direction) or get on drugs or painkillers (you should see the list of the dead—that’s a whole ‘nother story, again). I understand those issues. But if Vinnie Mac really does has a fascination with big wrestlers (well, that’s what I heard), those Triple-H type big wrestlers with charisma who actually can wrestle,  then he needs to put more time and investment—both mentally and financially—into young guys like Masters. Masters had the whole package; decent mike skills, decent ring skills, and a Greek god physique. For the longest of time, me and The Talented One waited and hoped that he would become CM Punk before CM Punk became CM Punk; the type of guy who takes off those Murphy-inducing thu-dun-thu duns, throws on some jeans ala Stone Cold Steve Austin, and says umma do it my way. Chris Masters was made for this role, and like most of the young talent, they f&cked it up—and him right along with it. Promote the kids better, and the product gets better.

(T response: Again, I agree. Chris Masters should have been every bit the star that CM Punk and Randy Orton are today. That backstage bullying culture is crazy—and all the more ironic when you think about their anti-bullying campaign. Well said, Gifted One) 

3) Stop raping the belts. 

T:  There is no excuse for allowing one guy to be a four-time champion in one year. If eight different people hold a title in one year, it makes the belt look cheap and less important. Again, we return to the entertaining script. A great good guy (face) builds a better relationship with the audience when he defends the belt for a good long time, and a good bad guy (heel) becomes a better bad guy when he makes you want to hate him; and if he can’t keep the belt for a long time, what’s the point of the hatred?

Guys like John Cena and Triple H and Batista had long runs with the belt, and it built their characters up in the eyes of the audience. There was a time when 16-time champion Rick Flair had a record that looked spectacular. Now, Randy Orton is 31 years old and he’s already a nine-time champion. Again, several short reigns with the belt make the script weaker. When a guy has a nice run with the belt, it gives him credibility, whether he’s a face or a heel. A top guy needs to build a rapport with the audience; longer title runs do that. The belts need to stop being raped.com.

3) Stop Raping the belts.    

G: While I hate how they keep finding bad and uninventive ways to keep putting the WWE title around John Cena’s waist, even if it wasn’t Cena I’d have to agree with the Nerd on this one. Long runs make for better champions. I didn’t care for JBL—at all—but I appreciated the way the WWE let him hold the belt for as long as they did. So what if they only did it because Triple H refused to work Tuesday nights to tape SmackDown. That’s not the point. The point is, the long run made him a better and more believable champion. That said, the way he was jobbed out into retirement depreciated the value of his championship reign and made him look less important than he was. That was disappointing. Let me say this one in capps again: BE MORE SELECTIVE WITH WHO WEARS THAT BELT, AND LET THE TRUES LIKE CM PUNK HOLD IT LONGER! IDGAF HOW “SMALL” HE IS…so is Rey Mysterio.

(T Response: see, I was with you on the long reign of JBL. I hated him, but it legitimized him being a champion. You lost me on the CM Punk is small like Rey Mysterio. Punk is not ‘Roided out, but at least he can look Alberto Del Rio in the eye when they talk. Besides, MMA guys ain’t swole all the time, and they can fight. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, guys like that—they fit in that niche. You are trippin’. By the way, Daniel Bryan is going to be a WWE champion within a year. #bankonit) 

4) Cut down the number of pay-per-views.

T: Now, I know this one will never happen because–in theory–it cuts into the amount of money that the company makes. Twelve pay-per-views means twelve big paydays. I grew up with four pay-per-views: Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series. I say, add two more to those: King of the Ring, scheduled between ‘Mania and ‘Slam; and Night of Champions, scheduled between ‘Slam and Series. This gives you at least two months to build bigger and better pay-per-views. More time means better stories. Better stories means more anticipation. More anticipation means higher buy rates. That means you don’t lose money.

Use Raw and SmackDown to work these angles to make the pay-per-views like the playoffs. Again, it all comes back to the script. Doing a big-time action film? You need a killer opening, great sequences, and a big finish. These two-month gaps between ppvs can allow you to tell great stories that allow for all three of those. Titles can be won. Feuds can be squashed. Bad guys can be embraced by the fans again–or good guys can turn heel in order to give changes. Me and the Gifted Godbrother watch Wrestlemania every single year. We don’t buy one single other ppv. The stakes are never high enough. Cut them down, and maybe we’d spend some more money.

 (G response: I could not have said it better. I agree with you so much on this one that I don’t even have to put a number four. We are on the same page. We need a pay per view for each season like they used to, and throw in a couple of Saturday Night Main events to keep things interesting…that’s how they used to do it and that’s how it worked best) 

5) Turn John Cena heel.

T: Characters can become stale over time. All of the great ones–Randy Savage, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, The Rock, etc–all underwent changes after some time in order to prevent their characters from becoming one dimensional and stale. For years, Hulk Hogan didn’t do this, and as a result he went from being the biggest star of the ’80’s to a caricature in the early ’90’s–until he turned heel in 1996, rejuvenating not only his own career, but all of wrestling. John Cena has been a smiling, rapping, good ole boy babyface wrestler for several years now, becoming the biggest star of this era. Yet Cena is probably the most loathed good guy to ever set foot in the squared circle. He is relentlessly booed at every event by every male in the building over twelve years old. The shtick of being the Marine who shows hustle, loyalty, and respect is beginning to wear as thin as Hogan’s old mantra of prayer, training, and vitamins.

A turn to the dark side for John Cena–an edgy, diabolical, championship-in-the-hands-of-the-enemy heel turn–would make wrestling watchable again, especially if a worthy foil (CM Punk, perhaps, or even The Rock) can be found for him to feud with. Imagine the extra numbers to the buyrate for THAT pay per view, where a newly sinister John Cena will take on insert-champion-name-here, and Cena wins the belt and mocks all of those youngsters who looked up to him. Ah, the possibilities.

 (G response: sigh…God, I hate to admit this…you are right. John Cena needs to turn heel. I personally don’t think it will make much of a difference, though—unless they make him vile like the WCW did with Hogan. I know you don’t want to admit this, but I think the kids and women love this fool too much for them to do that at this point. He is already on the fence as it is. Men just do not like this guy. At all. Period. If anything, maybe what they should do is make it to where everybody—both heels and faces—are out to get him, and he should just run with that most-hated thing. Other than that there is just not enough star power out there to turn the biggest star in the WWE into a heel;  which leads me to my real  number five: CANCEL SMACKDOWN!!!! **DROPS PEN**)

 T’s close: I could go on–the PG era deprives us of great matches, like Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. There is no more blading (intentionally cutting onself to look like you have been busted open), and so that removes the edginess. Hell in The Cell has been reduced to the wrestling equivalent of Michael Jordan playing for the Washington Wizards. The Divas are eye candy, and their wrestling time is the time we use to go make sandwiches or use the bathroom. Canceling SmackDown is a great idea, Thug Passion. Like I said, I could go on. The five points I mentioned above, however, are my main five issues. I’m sure my The Gifted Thug may think I’m wrong about some of these in public, but I know that deep down he knows I’m right. I am the bright one of the duo, The Talented Mr. Pearson.

G’s close: Wrestling has a tough act to follow with the two golden ages. The biggest problem the WWE seems to have is their people behind the scenes either are wrestlers who don’t know how to book and/or write gimmicks and story lines; or they have a bunch of writers who really don’t know how to properly promote wrestling. I wonder, what would happen if they let two die-hard wrestling fans run a Raw for just one night? Well, two die-hard fans and a little help from Bill Simmons, of course. I am the better looking of the duo, and my name is ALLDAY THE GIFTED!!!

Thank you for reading the T & G Nerd N Thug Report. Feel free to post compliments, comments, dissentions and disses.