Sunday, March 6, 2011

WWE 24/7 - Legends of Wrestling - "Heatseekers"

The Good
An early "Legends of Wrestling" sees Jim Ross hosting and panel of Michael Hayes, Mick Foley, Eric Bischoff and Jerry Lawler. The topic is "heatseekers" - folks who stir sh*t in the lockerroom, have heat with almost everyone and yet find success. The discussion is decidedly limited to WWF and Crockett/WCW with the time period being about the mid-80s through the mid-00s. Most of the names are understandable and most of them are people that panelist legitimately had heat with for one reason or another. Mick Foley loves to play good guy here as he likes or sees redeeming qualities in most people mentioned. They talk about people who got big heads due to quick success despite not really liking or being particularly good at pro-wrestling (Lex Luger and Goldberg). They talk about people who rub people the wrong way (Scott Hall & "Buff" Bagwell). As well as people who are obnoxious and slimy (Vince Russo, Ed Ferrera and Paul Heyman). I think most of the names raised were fair and most of the complaints were understandable.

The Bad
I felt okay with panelist, until they went into McMahon defense mode at the end. Yes, many people are bitter about the success of Vince McMahon and the WWF. Yes, many people blew opportunities with the company. Yes, many of those people have drug and alcohol problems. But, Vince McMahon surely made some poor decisions, mistreated some people and did some things that rightly gained him some heat with a great many people. I wished that they had reflected on some of the people of the past who were heatseekers, perhaps in introducing the topic. Buddy Rogers and his clique (Johnny Valentine, Johnny Barend, Magnificent Maurice, etc.) spring to my mind. I think you could come up with a variety of people that all those people worked with whether it's Austin Idol (who Jerry Lawler actually liked…), Mr. Fuji (whose over-the-top ribs were dubbed as cancerous by some) or any number of promoters who were crooked carnival folk (Toots Mondt, Jack Pfefer and other mid-century promoters), bad on pay-offs (Gulas and Jarrett) or nasty in demeanor (Watts, Shire or Ole Anderson). Certainly the scope of this was grossly limited.

The Rating: ***

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