Welcome to this week’s edition of Four on Four. With the big wrestling weekend coming, we have a theme for Summerslam! As always, we’ve chosen four of the most entertaining and intelligent wrestling fans on Twitter and decided to peer into their minds four questions at a time. Now let’s meet the panel:
George E. Boy: Voted most loved Twitter wrestling community personality by the New York Times. Put over by Kevin Steen on PWG All Star Weekend commentary. Great backwards cap.
Follow Georgie on Twitter.
Socks Mahoney: Socks Mahoney is an aggregate content producer and brand expert on many social media networks. Creator of the Crash Bandicoot Says meme, he can often be found posting controversial opinions in r/kitchenware. It’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests.
Listen to him commentate SocialSlam and follow Socks on Twitter.
Alex: Noted tweeter of obscure independent wrestlers, pizza and booty. ROH founders are confused about her identity. Contributes to FreeProWrestling when she can remember to.
Ask Alex things, subscribe to her Tumblr and follow her on Twitter.
1. Cena vs. Bryan – Who wins?
The good news (and bad news) is that I see Daniel Bryan winning. The match will, without a doubt, be competitive. I still feel that the biggest hoax in wrestling is this whole idea that John Cena cannot wrestle.
Every time he has a good match, which is pretty often now, people act shocked and say he’s carried. I’m sure the general idea coming out of this one will be the same, but with Cena facing the best wrestler in the world, Daniel Bryan, we’re set for a real classic.
Bryan has everything to prove, and will prove it all. Bryan wins, but the bad news is that I see Randy Orton cashing in and turning heel, taking away Bryan’s moment of glory. Still, a classic match is ahead of us.
Bryan is the obvious pick, but I have to give credit to WWE because I feel like the finishes of these main events are tough to call. Lots of people seem to be predicting the Bryan win, followed by an Orton cash-in, but it’s rare that they tease something so heavily and then actually do it, especially with Money in the Bank.
It’s usually out of the blue, so with Orton teasing the cash-in on Raw, I’m skeptical of it happening in the near-future. I think the match will be a 30 minute classic, up there with any of the other great bouts from this year, and Bryan will come out on top, relatively clean. There might be some Vince antics in there, because who doesn’t love those?
This match is such a wildcard. Think about it. We’ve got the probable, John Cena retaining. We’ve got the underdog, Daniel Bryan winning the most coveted extension of his brand. We’ve got the outlier, Randy “The Ram” Orton. The answer is obviously right in front of us. You’ve just gotta think “outside the box” (that’s a social media term, shoot me a “tweet” if you get it).
I’m calling it now folks. Your winner, and NEW WWE Champion… Vince McMahon! He’s a veteran. He knows what works. And if he’s smart, he’ll replace the silly W logo on the belt (anyone know what’s up with that? send me a “like” on Facebook if you have an idea), and replace it with a real brand. Tout.
Mark my words, Vince McMahon for Tout Champion come SummerSlam (SummerDigg? Just spitballing here, have WWE: A Tout Subsidiary contact me if you can).
Daniel Bryan has never been in a better position. He should win, riding all this support he has. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t, but this feels sort of like Punk/Cena leading up to Money in the Bank: the planets aligning for something special. (Hell, even Vince is somehow inserting himself into this one. Shrug).
People will act surprised that Cena can wrestle, Bryan will look like a god, and Bryan’s taking the title home to Josie.
2. Punk vs. Brock – Who wins?
I would love to see CM Punk pull this one out, but my gut is telling me Brock Lesnar wins. However, I don’t believe this to be their only one-on-one encounter. They will likely be spread out like HHH and Lesnar’s encounters, only MUCH more enjoyable. First match goes to the monster because it’s the most believable. Punk will have his moments to shine, but Lesnar takes this.
I’ve loved this feud and it’s been made all the better by the unpredictable nature of the outcome. To me, this is some of the best stuff Punk and Heyman have done in their entire career and that’s saying something. Again, the winner is very tough to call, but it feels like Brock is the sensible pick.
I think this will be Punk’s first chance in a long time to really play the roll of a smaller, underdog babyface. Much is made of how he doesn’t fit the WWE mold and how small he is – but he really was never a Rey Mysterio like character, but that’s a parallel I would draw here. The way Brock throws him around and how monstrous he looks in comparison to Punk adds so much to the story and I really love it. This could be Brock’s best match since returning.
This one is tough. I think we have to look at the tale of the tape for a real answer. On the Twitter front, Brock Lesnar has a measly 113,038 followers compared to CM Punk’s 1,886,120 followers at the time of this writing (Note to the Editor: Please update this answer with up to the minute follower results once and forever after it is posted).
However, the tweet to follower ratio is way in the favor of Brock, who managed to snag all those followers with a modest 13 Tweets (most of them being retweets of his friend and fellow brand expert, Paul Heyman), compared to the 9,032 Punk had to post for his impressive follower count. That has to account for something.
Meanwhile on Facebook, Brock has 1.1m likes next to a thumbs up, seemingly approving of Brock’s “Like Count”. However the guy whose straight edge or something blows him out of the water again with a full 2m likes! That’s right, a whole .9m likes over the Beast! No doubt about it, CM Punk’s brand absolutely trumps Brock Lesnar’s.
I want Punk vs. Team Heyman to last forever and think that Brock should win this one. Some shenanigans from Team Heyman, a lot of BORK SMASH. A little adversity for Punk, and it’ll set up a rematch somewhere down the line.
3. What is your favorite all time Summerslam match?
My favorite Summerslam match of all time isn’t even that great, to be honest. My pick is Shawn Michaels vs. Vader from Summerslam 1996. Sure, not a classic by any means, but it resonated with me in my younger years. I was, and still am, a huge fan of just about everything Shawn Michaels did in the ring, and this match was the greatest thing in the world to an 8-year-old Georgie Boy.
My favourite Summerslam match of all time is Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels from Summerslam 2002 – for one simple reason. Not the great crowd reactions, not the hard hitting action, not the comeback story — it’s my favourite Summerslam match because of Jim Ross. This might be the greatest announcing job in the history of pro wrestling, or any sport.
One of the things that irks me about modern wrestling is that few commentators, regardless of how informed they are, sound like they really CARE about what they’re watching. Jim Ross cared here. He cared too much if anything. That post-match angle is the epitome of everything great about WWE. Triple H and Shawn were great in their roles, obviously. But then you had Jim Godddamn Ross.
The first thing he did was refuse, REFUSE, to believe what he saw. Then he asked; “How can that human being be from this earth?” And he finished up by wondering aloud if Triple H had no soul. “DO YOU HAVE NO SOUL, YOU SON OF A BITCH?” And I shed a single tear, knowing JR would truly never be dethroned as the greatest commentator of all time.
Hulk Hogan vs Shawn Michaels circa Summerslam 2005. Now, I will be the first to admit I don’t know that much about wrestling, but this match absolutely blew me away. As YouTube commenter Arjun KV put it:
“simply stunning! . cant come of out the reality of getting a iphone for doing some questionnaire 🙂 . its not a joke, make sure you tell the address and email properly to send the giftbox. go here ==> bit.ly/14M2Dvh?=zuxnfk”
And you can’t argue with that analysis – it made Top Comment with a remarkable 10 likes!
What a story this match told! Hulk Hogan was so powerful that Shawn Michaels was bouncing all over the place off of even the most basic of offense! It really “put over” just how strong Hogan was, even at the seasoned age of 52.
As soon as the match is over, after all the time Shawn spent building himself up to be one of the most despised people in the WWE and weeks upon weeks of searing, blind, frothing hatred between these two men, Shawn changes all of that by shaking Hogan’s hand! Talk about rebranding!
The Til Death Do Us Part match.
But seriously, this answer will undoubtedly show my age, but I still think this is a fantastic match. Jeff Hardy and CM Punk had a phenomenal feud, and it was also the start to the Straight Edge Savior. This was the feud that pushed Punk through, that made him look like a legitimate player. And there was no one better to play off of than Hardy, who was so beloved at the time. Jeff is at home on ladders, and Punk more than held up his end of the bargain.
4. What three wrestlers would you want on your team in a volleyball game?
What a question! Our team will need someone who is light, but can move somewhat fast. That pick goes to Zack Sabre Jr. Next, our team will need someone incredibly agile since this a game involving a lot of jumping. That pick goes to Rich Swann. Last, every good volleyball team needs a wall, a beast of a person who can spike and block. I’m looking at you, Big Van Vader!
Honestly, I really just want to see Rich Swann do his Vader impression in front of Vader and have Zack Sabre Jr. revisit his initial reaction to hearing Swann do it. One of the most ridiculous moments in my life.
Matt Morgan would be a great asset on my team. I’m not a volleyball expert but I think he has what it takes to be a main-eventer in the sport, the quality of “tall”.
My second team mate would be Renee Young. I think a summertime game of beach volleyball would be the perfect time to show her what a cool dude I am.
Just in case though, I’d round my team off with someone who’s a bigger geek than me, so I look better by comparison. Zack Ryder, I guess.
Wow, beach volleyball. This is tough. Physical activity isn’t really my thing but I’ve glanced over the rules and I’m pretty sure I can pick a good team for this.
Two folks whose lifestyles I can really relate to are Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags. These seem like some stand up dudes who aren’t ashamed of their lack of physique and live in their own squalor, much like yours truly! Check them out on Twitter, they could use some followers (@bryannobbs and @jerrysags).
Lastly, we need a ringer. He’s a shut-in, something I really identify with, who’s currently not doing any work, another thing freelancers like myself can relate to (anyone looking for a Brand Manager, hit me up: email@example.com).I don’t even need to give this guy a twitter bump, he’s a social media MASTER! If anything HE should be bumping ME on twitter! Haha. Seriously, I need the followers, and my mom won’t give me anymore allowance to buy more until I do the laundry, which is an act far beneath someone of my expertise.
I’m, of course, talking about Zack Ryder! Luckily our team can get benched while the others play so we can discuss next level brand strategies.
Spike Dudley, Spike Dragon, and Jimmy Jacobs’ railroad spike.
-You can follow @WrestlingEarth on Twitter.