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PAT MCAFEE, PAIGE VANZANT, COMEDY IN PRO WRESTLING TODAY, THE ECW ARENA RETURNING FOR ONE NIGHT AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2022-10-13 10:00:00

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS TO THE PWINSIDER Q&A BY CLICKING HERE.

Is Pat McAfee done and WWE just trying to quietly let him disappear?

No, we are told that he will be back in due time.  He's signed to a multi-year deal and we know that the company loves his work.  They are happy to let him explore his other opportunities because, in part, the belief is that his continued success elsewhere may bring fans that follow him back to WWE.

Where has Paige VanZant been? She had her debut match at Double or Nothing and hasn’t been seen since.

I haven't heard anything about her being around at AEW.  There was talk that her canceled fight for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship this past August would be reset for sometime in the area of this November, but I don't believe anything has been announced.  I haven't heard anything about a timeline for her return within AEW circles.

What’s your take on “comedy wrestling”? Wrestlers with comedic/irreverent gimmicks like Orange Cassidy, Danhausen, and Effy seem to get a lot of derision from some of the more traditionalist circles of wrestling fans, but goofy gimmicks have been a part of wrestling for decades and can be a nice complement/sideshow to more “serious” wrestlers and storylines in any given promotion. Should people lighten up a bit?

I think it depends on who you are what you want out of professional wrestling. If you are a younger fan, it's probably part of the presentation of wrestling you discovered and grew up with, so you don't mind it.  If you are older, you more likely grew up with a pro wrestling that for the most part tried to protect the "sanctity" of professional wrestling and while there were some characters and personality that brought levity or weirdness to pro wrestling, they were few and far between. 

I don't mind comedy in wrestling - Mick Foley was funny a lot of times but he had an aura ofc danger that you knew could come out and that ferocity, when instigated, was never questioned.  Jim Cornette was funny because he was the guy in the end made the suffer and look the fool at the hands of babyfaces, but his comedy was built around biting things that he said that played out in a way to get others over at his expense by knocking them in a vicious way from the POV of a rich momma's boy who never earned anything in his life and then having to eventually pay for his crimes against the babyfaces - but he didn't go out there to make the audience laugh with him, but to live vicariously and laugh at him when he finally got his.  It was a different psychology then from today in my mind. 

I do think that characters who focus on just being funny end up with a shorter lifespan, especially on a larger scale, with R-Truth (who is a legit tough person) obviously having the best lifespan in that role on a national basis.  That said, on the independent scene, whatever gets you over and can make you money, sell t-shirts, etc. you have to lean into, especially in a social media age, so I don't blame those talents for taking the money and running.  They don't have a guaranteed deal and they are smart to squeeze as much juice as they can out of something that begins paying off. 

I could write far more about this than anyone would really care about, but to me, in the end, I think it's a generational thing more than anything else.  The older you are, the less likely you are to "get" the younger culture or their humor.  There are characters and things that I see that I look at today, not just in pro wrestling but in pop culture that I don't get, but have huge rabid fan bases.  As was once stated by someone far smarter than me (and I am paraphrasing here), "I knew I was old when pop music was no longer written for me."  I think that for many when it comes to comedy characters in wrestling, that's how they feel.  For fans who see these talents as "theirs", it's a completely different story. 

If people are willing to pay to see it, it's part of pro wrestling and if you don't like it, well, no one's forcing you to watch it and there's lots of promotions today with good wrestling you can instead look at, watch, pay for, etc.  If you like it, well go buy a Danhausen shirt or a Santino Marella action figure and show your support.

Who won the Riddle vs. Seth Rollins dark match at Raw in Brooklyn?

No one.  It didn't happen as advertised.  The taping ended with the DX segment.

What do you think of the ECW Arena being renamed the ECW Arena for one night?  Will you be going?

I think that if fans want to call it the ECW Arena, they can.    I think the venue has grown past just being the "ECW" Arena over the last 22 years, however.  If Battleground Championship Wrestling wants to roll out the ECW name in some fashion to get fans into the door for their show on 12/17, that's their right and I am happy for any fan who wants to try and relive that time period.  I will likely not be at the show, but hope it's awesome because the last thing I want is for anyone to be hopeful for an ECW-esque experience and then not get it.  Not giving the fans that experience, to me, is the most sacriligeous thing you can do as a promoter when you invoke the ECW initials - and considering it's 21+ years past the end of the company, that is a task that is going to become ever more impossible.

Do you think Rhea and Beth Phoenix fight in the Wargames?

I can absolutely see them on opposing sides after what happend at Extreme Rules.  I am all for those two going at it in any form, because it's a chance for something special that can take Ripley to the next level, hopefully.

 

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