Credit goes to luchablog.com & the original report to wrestling observer newsletter
WON reports Jeff Jarrett, Samoa Joe, Abyss and Velvet Sky are all coming in to work Heroes Inmortales (Immortal Heroes) super show in October. The last three are a bit inexplicable and a big contradictory, since Velvet was supposedly one of the people who was unhappy with the locker room conditions and Mari Apache’s stiffness. Then again, Arena Monterrey is a modern arena; maybe she won’t be in but for that show. There’s also a vague mention of one or two “big stars”, including someone who had not previously worked Mexico.
Over the last couple of weeks there’s been a lot of gnashing of teeth over two storylines—one from TNA and the other from WWE. The two storylines have many similarities. Both are being pushed as the marquee storyline in their respective organizations. Both have at least one member of management/ownership of the organization as a key figure of the feud. Both have at least one wrestler that is past their prime. Of course, you all know I’m referring to the Hogan vs. Sting feud in TNA and the HHH as the WWE C.O.O. vs. CM Punk feud in WWE.
Much of the noise about these two storylines has been about the repeated belief by some in the IWC that HHH has held down the roster and is in a position to do so again. The very same has been and could be said about Hulk Hogan.
It would be very easy to delve into those two conspiracies, but instead of putting myself at risk for raising the ire of one R-Truth, I’m going to go in another direction. Simply put, I have to ask, in these two feuds who will get the rub?
As any wrestling fan who is aware of the work that is pro wrestling is familiar with the glossary of insider terminology used in the business. One such often used phrase is The Rub. The most common definition of The Rub is when a top card wrestler or veteran works with a lower card/younger wrestler in the thought that by associating with the top card wrestler the mid or lower card worker can get an elevation in the fan’s mind simply by the association or even getting a win over the higher card performer.
This part of the business is one of the tried and true methods of building new talent and keeping the fans interested in the overall show by keeping things relevant and new. It could be argued that this is one of the most important components to the longevity of any organization. As humans we all get slower as we age, and for the top draws to pull up the next generation as they themselves are approaching the end of theirs is not only the right thing to do, it’s smart business.
So this brings me back to the aforementioned storylines. In the HHH vs. Punk storyline, picking who is playing what role is obvious. HHH is the veteran/top card wrestler. He’s nearing the end of his regular in-ring work. He’s been at the top for years and it’s time for him to give The Rub. CM Punk, though he’s not new to the business, is still at the cusp of his time to ascend the card to the top level. Although many long-time Punk fans would argue, including myself, that he doesn’t need The Rub, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s in the spot of being on the receiving end of the rub.
For years, there have been rumors that HHH has held down the roster to put himself over. Whether that was true back in the day, it hasn’t been that way for the last few years. If you look at his last run before his long break the feud with Sheamus in 2010, he’s been putting over the young guys more than not. It can be argued that his feud with Orton and the Legacy put Orton on the map as a main event talent.
With that said, he’s now in a position to give Punk that last push to the top within WWE. I know many in the IWC are butt-hurt and convinced that HHH will go over Punk in the feud, but time will be the ultimate judge on that.
Moving on to the rumored Bound For Glory match between Hogan and Sting, I’m not as interested. It’s not easy for me to say this as Sting is one of the top three guys in the Huhnjo Rankings. But I have to remove my bias and look at this objectively.
Picking the roles in the feud between Hogan and Sting is less clear. Not because it’s unclear who is the “Top Guy”, rather the problem is picking who would benefit from the rub. The Hogan vs. Sting feud from 1997 was built up for months. It had so much hype that in retrospect it was doomed to fall short and did at Starrcade. The fact that the finish is still talked about for the cluster it truly was. Neither guy performed up to their potential and that was 14 years ago.
Fast forward to Bound For Glory 2011. Both Hogan and Sting are at the end of their in-ring careers. Hogan has had nearly as many back and hip surgeries as Evel Knievel. It’s doubtful that Hogan can take any bumps, let’s forget about the leg drop or even the big boot. Sting in his own right is in better shape and has shown he can still wrestle in short matches with someone who can sell and work with him. Even then he’s not the Sting we used to know. The future for either guy in the ring is not long or all that promising.
Regardless of all this it seems that the match is coming whether we want it or not. This begs the question, who gets the rub? Wouldn’t it be more helpful to TNA if they changed the format of this feud? This grudge would have way more legs if Hogan and Sting both were in managerial roles. Each could mentor some up and coming wrestler that they could push as their protégé. In this way, two young guys would get a rub from their legendary vets. The in-ring work rate would be at a much higher level. Hogan and Sting could still get involved in a limited way, yet keeping the focus on the talent with a future. Who they would pick is open as the TNA roster has countless guys that could use the rub from both face and heel.
Personally, if I were booking this I would have started months ago with a spilt of Beer Money and worked a feud between James Storm and Robert Roode. I would have Hogan get into the mind of Storm and get him to join and take over the lead of Immortal, while Sting would take Roode under his wing and convince him to help him get Dixie back in control of TNA. This would ultimately lead to Roode vs. Storm for the control of TNA with Sting and Hogan respectively in the corners of their man. I would have Roode go over, thus getting Dixie back in charge of TNA and giving him the singles run that’s long overdue, but that’s my opinion and they haven’t asked me to book it.
As it currently stands, the Hogan vs. Sting feud has no legs and if it’s settled at BFG, then what? Who can take the rub from that and do anything going forward? Conversely, the HHH vs. Punk feud has the potential of figuratively strapping a rocket to Punk’s back and making him the superstar of this era.
Both companies are standing on the edge of their futures. WWE appears to be positioned to continue as the juggernaut they have been for decades, while TNA may have put themselves in the same spot many believe WCW was in as a result of Starrcade 1997, the beginning of the end of TNA.
WWE Vintage Collection on August 19th, 2011 featured these matches & segments:
* Shawn Michaels' birthday cake segment from WWF Raw on July 22nd, 1996
* The Smoking Gunns vs. Shawn Michaels & Ahmed Johnson from WWF Raw on July 22nd, 1996
* Ahmed Johnson vs. The Nation Of Domination from WWF In Your House - A Cold Day In Hell
* The Honky Tonk Man's pre-match interview from WWF Summerslam 1988
* The Honky Tonk Man vs. The Ultimate Warrior from WWF Summerslam 1988
* The Honky Tonk Man vs. The Ultimate Warrior from the WWF Saturday Night's Main Event taping on December 7th, 1988
* John Cena vs. Chris Jericho from WWE Summerslam 2005
* John Cena vs. Chris Jericho from WWE Raw on August 22nd, 2005
Go to http://prowrestlingevents.webs.com for info about upcoming wrestling shows worldwide.