Everybody loves binary decisions, especially wrestling fans! In This Or That, we’ve forced ourselves to choose between two options that relate to wrestling.
Over five questions, @TimWelcomed, @typicalROHfan and @TomBlackett will have to choose one of two options and give their reasoning on each of their choices. You can then vote on which one you’d choose, giving you the
false impression that you’re somehow involved and we care about your opinion chance to join the conversation!
With tonight’s RAW going “old school,” we decided to throw it back with some age old debates regarding iconic figures from wrestling’s yesteryear.
Stone Cold or The Rock?
The two greatest superstars of the most successful period in WWE history but who was ultimately better?
As someone who over-thinks every aspect of everything, I love and hate both of these guys. I don’t think I would care much for Austin’s character if he were to come back and act exactly the same. I know this was the case for The Rock when he did return. However, at their peak they were two of my favorites and for that time they were something incredible.
So for this one I’m going to have to hide my moral compass because these two make it spin uncontrollably because, frankly, both were huge jackasses even when they were faces… but at the time I loved them and they were both extremely talented. They were the very definition of what a WWE Superstar is. They both have the power to make you recite their catchphrases with them. They both have that theme song that will make you jump out of your seat as soon as it begins. They both have a handful of classic matches in their history.
With all of that said, I am going to say The Rock although I’m a way bigger fan of Stone Cold. I think The Rock had a way better in-ring style at his peak. His moves were fluid and had a certain finesse. I have way more memorable crowd reactions come to my mind when I think of The Rock. Overall, I think The Rock would have a huge fan-base at almost any time in history while Austin was more of a “right place, right time” scenario.
One of my favorite debates because I always waiver back and forth. Steve Austin was one of my personal favorite wrestlers along with Shawn Michaels right before him and Rob Van Dam right after him. However, as I got older, I started to realize how much I cared about The Rock. When he was a heel, I hated him as much as I did any other wrestler. When he turned face, I’d sing along with all his catch phrases.
Despite his recent returns to the WWE playing a bit of the routine of Mr. 1999, I still think Rock in his prime would have been “the guy” in any era he wrestled in full time despite the scenario. I view Austin, Hulk Hogan and John Cena as excellent talents but not sure I can say the same to that extent as I do for Rock.
This is the one we’re starting with? Jesus, we’re not fucking around in 2014. I really don’t have a definitive favourite between the two – they’re so tied together that it’s tricky to pick one over the other. Today, I’ll pick Stone Cold… and not just because Tim and typicalROHfan both chose The Rock and I’ve got to cement my status as Wrestling On Earth’s most contrary member.
Rock was incredibly entertaining, but there was an explosive element to Stone Cold that made watching him feel so fun and spontaneous. I also have a real fondness for Austin’s ‘B’ feuds with guys like Kurt Angle and Booker T, which I don’t really feel for Rock – as good as he was working main events with Austin, Foley and Hogan, he seemed to falter a little if you matched him up against someone who wasn’t on his level.
Finally, Stone Cold introduced “ya dumb sumbitch” to my vocabulary, which remains an incredibly satisfying phrase to tack onto pretty much any sentence. Ya dumb sumbitch.
DX or nWo?
Regarded as two of the greatest and the most controversial stables of all time, which actually was the better faction?
I’ll just go ahead and say that there really is only one answer for this and no, I will not listen to your counterargument… (I just scrolled down and saw what Tom said and now I feel like an ass). The New World Order was something so special that it brought one company to it’s highest of highs and at times it’s lowest of lows. While DX was “fun” and “edgy,” the nWo was revolutionary to the American professional wrestling landscape. While so many promotions have over-saturated the market with the stable-takeover angle through the years, it was somewhat of a fresh idea at the time and it’s legacy is packed full of memorable moments.
It did have it’s problems and ran way too long but I remember almost every bit of it. From Scott Hall jumping the guardrail, to Hogan turning at Bash At The beach, to Kevin Nash throwing Rey Mysterio headfirst into a trailer, it was filled with moments that had me in awe. I personally think the only stable that could rival them is The Four Horseman but even then it would be a hard battle for them to beat out the nWo.
It’s the nWo. When they were at their peak, they were the greatest thing in wrestling and you could argue the nWo sparked the wrestling boom leading to other things LIKE DX starting. DX’s best incarnation was Triple H, X-Pac, Chyna and The New Age Outlaws and they just weren’t as pivotal to WWF as the nWo was to WCW during its first year or so.
New World Order (4 life)
I feel like this question is almost asking ‘WWF or WCW’? When I was watching wrestling during the Attitude Era, the combination of Nitro not being that accessible in the UK and Vince doing a stellar job of brainwashing my impressionable teenage mind meant that I was convinced that WCW was terrible and the nWo was just a bunch of old guys who the WWF didn’t want anymore.
Meanwhile, the version of DX with the New Age Outlaws, X-Pac, Triple H and Chyna were completely my guys, with their various feuds for the Tag Team, European and Intercontinental titles all being some of my favourite memories of watching wrestling.
They also felt more authentic to teenage me – as cool as Hall and Nash were in the nWo, the presence of Hogan felt so phoney and made the other two a little lame by comparison, which only got worse as the group got increasingly watered down. Looking back now, the expansion and division of the nWo is completely fascinating to me, but I don’t feel any attachment to them whatsoever. Fuck you, nWo. GREEN AND BLACK UNTIL THE DAY I DIE (PROVIDED THAT GREEN AND BLACK SIGNIFIES AN ALLEGIANCE TO THE ’98-’99 VERSION OF DX, I DON’T REALLY LIKE ANY OF THE OTHER VERSIONS THAT MUCH).
Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels?
One of the greatest rivalries in wrestling, both in and out of the ring. Arguably the best in ring performers of all time, who delivered better matches in the 90’s?
They both have their quirks as humans, but hey, who doesn’t? Bret Hart is a masterful pro wrestler and should always be considered one of the greats. Shawn Michaels, though… that man has made me lose my mind so many times watching his matches. He can paint a story better than almost anyone. He may have played a lot of politics but the man had the talent and charisma to back up his spot on the roster ever inch of the way. Charisma was not one of Bret’s finer points.
Similar to my Austin/Rock inner conflict of selecting, Shawn Michaels was my guy as a kid yet Bret Hart worked my heart strings to the point where I took a tiny American flag with me to a Madison Square Garden RAW show in 1997 despite sitting in the nosebleed section.
However, I still have to go with HBK. If not for his ability to make me care about the in ring work and “good wrestling” matches, I doubt I would have experienced what eventually made me continue to be a fan as I grew older. If you hate me, here’s what you need to blame for my wrestling fandom existence:
- Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – Ladder Match
- Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel – No Holds Barred Match
- Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart – Iron Man Match
- Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind – Best match with a DQ finish
- Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker – Hell In A Cell Match
- Shawn Michaels vs. Sid @ Survivor Series – Suck it.
Man. Just based on their work in the ’90s, I’ll go with Bret, though it’s a hard pick. I think my choice might be coloured by hindsight – knowing the performer that Shawn Michaels would become in the last few years of his career makes watching his old matches a little frustrating because as great as he is, he’s just not quite the wrestling god that he’d become
Meanwhile, Bret was just incredible in his last couple of years in the WWF. He was as technically great as he had always been, but I get such a kick out of seeing all the frustrations and emotions bubbling underneath the surface. Everything involving him and the Hart Foundation from that time still holds up as great stuff that I don’t think has been matched since.
Ric Flair or Randy Savage?
Dynamic performers that were defined as the backbone of pro wrestling in the 80’s and 90’s, were you a Nature Boy boy or a Macho Man man?
This is probably the hardest one to answer. I cherish both of them and what they brought to wrestling. I don’t think Savage gets his due praise but I also think Flair is the better one overall. Ric Flair was a force to be reckoned with. There are very few wrestlers I loved to hate as much as him. His insane intensity on the mic could be scary at times. The guy played the timeless “cocky heel” character so well and he had so many classic matches that proved he was in a league of his own.
Personally, I’ve never been a Ric Flair enthusiast at any point in time. His legacy and stature in the annals of wrestling history is undisputed but I viewed Randy Savage as a more entertaining personality and a more interesting in ring wrestler. I’m aware of how loved he is online and his name is still chanted at shows but sometimes I don’t think Randy Savage’s legacy is as appreciated as it should be in terms of the all time greats.
Ric Flair is the first wrestler I remember absolutely HATING. When he came to the WWF, I just couldn’t comprehend who he was or why he was immediately in the main event scene. All he seemed to do was just talk about how great he was and get cheap wins over all my favourites and he seemed SO much smaller and older than all the other guys. It’s an upper body business, Flair! Everybody knows that!
Basically, if seven year old me had been aware of the term ‘X-Pac heat’ (LOOK I KNOW X-PAC WASN’T EVEN A THING YET BACK THEN, SHUT UP AND GO WITH IT), I’d have made a VERY strong case for it being retitled ‘Ric Flair heat’. I’ve since come to appreciate him, but brother, he’s no Macho Man.
In short, this question brought up a whole wave of emotions that have been dormant inside me for 22 years. Fuck you, Ric Flair. Suck my dick.
Rey Mysterio Jr. or Chris Jericho?
Two groundbreaking talents to travel the world and carve their niche before becoming WWE Hall of Fame wrestlers, who had the better path to WWE?
Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho are two of the main guys you think about when it comes to overcoming their size disadvantage and making a mark in mainstream pro wrestling. I will never not be a huge fan of both but I think Jericho takes this one. Rey Mysterio has a lot of good matches and has done a lot for my entertainment but I think this comes down to diversity in their characters. For the most part, Rey Mysterio’s character is usually “the underdog.” Chris Jericho has done a few different things as his character and they’ve all been amazing for the most part.
Both are stellar and probably among the top 5-10 in ring performers I’ve had the pleasure of seeing for most of their careers but it’s Rey. Whenever I decide to check out a match or two of one of the many WWE released DVD’s about him, I end up watching most of the DVD in full. The best work from his WCW run and some of his ECW library is just on another level.
Rey Mysterio Jr.
UGH GOD I STILL CAN’T GET OVER THAT RIC FLAIR FUCKER. WHERE DID HE EVEN GET PICTURES OF MISS ELIZABETH, PHOTOSHOP WAS DEFINITELY NOT A THING IN 1992. THAT PIECE OF SHIT.
GAH. Alright, I’ve settled down a little bit. So, Rey vs. Jericho… I mean, like I said in my nWo answer, I just didn’t watch WCW back then but my instinctive preference would be for Jericho.
I like Rey a lot and I’m sure I’ll go back and watch his pre-WWE stuff eventually, but until I do, I’m missing out on a huge chapter of his career. Meanwhile, just from seeing Jericho from when he debuted in WWE onwards, I feel like I have a much more complete picture of him and how he’s evolved as a performer.
Check back next week for the poll results and an all new This Or That!