The End Of Michael Cole On Raw Or Gimmicky Swerve?, Factions In WWE, Setting Up A Match, My Favorite Wrestler

What will happen on tonight’s Michael Cole challenge involving Jim Ross?

As the storyline goes, if Jim Ross beats Michael Cole, he’ll “quit.” We’ve had a lot of people asking if I feel like this is the opportunity to get Raw back to the announce team of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler and while that would be ideal, I don’t see it going over that way. As much as I hate to say it (or write it in this case), I could see WWE doing a gimmicky swerve with the Muppets. I guess it’s possible the Muppets cost Cole his job on Raw but I’m not counting on it.

I’ve always been a big fan of factions such as Evolution, DeGeneration X, the nWo, etc. Why has WWE not tried this again? I know they’ve done The Nexus but they didn’t have top stars.

There are alliances that form with top stars they just don’t get grouped together as promotable factions. WWE did an Evolution spin-off with The Legacy as Randy Orton led Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase much like Triple H and Ric Flair led Orton and Batista. As for a dominate faction that gets considerable television time, it has to be in the right situation. TNA Impact Wrestling has had their programming dominated by factions (Immortal and Fortune) and I haven’t seen the big draw. Factions can be a good thing but they can also be overdone and get stale very quickly, alienating every worker that is not in them (as was the case with the nWo in WCW).

What are the steps to prepare a wrestling match that is to be performed in front of an audience? How much do workers practice a match, how much say do they have to what is to happen in the match and so on?

The process of working a match usually looks like this. Things begin with the WWE creative team who give it to the producers. The producers will give the match to the wrestlers and discuss what they are to accomplish (the general idea is discussed along with the finish). It is usually up to the workers to discuss the spots they want to work and is up to their own creativity. Major matches usually get several trial runs at house shows so the workers are able to piece together a sequence they know will look good on pay-per-view.

Who is your favorite wrestler of all time and why?

I don’t like to discuss specific favorites because it makes it look like I have a bias so everything I write gets scrutinized. I evaluate a worker on three main points – their look, their ability to talk and of course their work in the ring. A lot of smarter fans tend to judge a worker solely on their in-ring work thus they are baffled at some of the guys that get pushes on WWE television. While I agree in-ring work is the most important of the three (as it depends more on athleticism and God-given talent while the other two can be significantly improved), WWE has a very broad and diverse audience that watches their programming. Some of their demographics do not know the difference between a good in-ring worker and a bad in-ring worker and give their evaluations on the other two aspects. That is why someone like Mark Henry (who has an extraordinary look but is limited in the ring) gets pushed above someone such as Daniel Bryan (the company’s best in-ring worker but does not have much of a look). The bottom line is – is the worker entertaining? If the worker is entertaining they are a success, if they are boring, they are a failure. It’s not always that easy but it’s important to consider these three aspects leading into the entertainment factor before passing judgment on a worker or gimmick.

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