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The 10 Most Awesomely Terrible Art Moments from WWE Superstars #6

July 21st, 2014 Posted by Gavok

The nice thing about being a blogger is that it’s like a tax write-off on buying terrible shit. It’s great when you read a great comic, see an awesome movie, or something like that, but if you pay for something lame, you can always twist it into an article. It’s really one of the best perks.

I can’t not read WWE comics and I’ve filled up big chunks of this site proving that. The latest attempt at a WWE series is WWE Superstars by Papercutz. It’s been written by wrestling legend Mick Foley and Shane Riches. I imagine Shane Riches wrote most of it. Anyway, the first four issues were just released in a trade under the name Money in the Bank. I reviewed it here. The arc was about reimagining WWE wrestlers as characters in an overly-casted crime noir story. A cool idea that wore out its welcome.

The art was mostly done by Alitha Martinez, who did an all right job. Most of the time, wrestlers looked like who they were supposed to and some pieces looked really nice. Other times, the pencils were rushed, as was the need to get through the story, meaning fight scenes all had an unnatural flow to them. Then in the fourth issue, Martinez was replaced for four pages by an artist named Puste and oh boy was it noticeable. Lifeless, awkward, incoherent and ripe with inconsistency, it was a complete trip.

For some reason, Papercutz decided to have Puste be the main artist on the current arc, which has the wrestlers actually being wrestlers. It’s a weird storyline called Haze of Glory that features Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio and Hornswoggle with a wicked hangover due to some spiked punch. The backstage area is in ruins, everyone blames them and they don’t know what in the hell happened. All they know is that they’ve been set up.

And yes, CM Punk is still a main character despite having been gone from the company since January.

I really can’t judge the wacky story on its own merits because the art is so distracting. Issue #6 alone has so many moments that make me shake my head that I’m able to make an actual top ten list out of it.

Let’s get started!

10) THE ATTEMPTED F5

Well. Lot of stuff going on here. Brock Lesnar is trying to F5 CM Punk and Goldust saves Punk with a kick to the nuts. Looks awkward, but okay.

Hornswoggle is bald here and that might make sense at first glance. After all, he recently lost a mask vs. hair match and for the past couple months he’s been bald in real life. Except in every single other panel he shows up in, he’s got a full head of hair. Remember, this comic is out of date enough that Jack Swagger calls Cesaro “Antonio” and CM Punk is there.

Puste seems to have a thing against drawing backgrounds most of the time, so for some reason the 4th of July is going off behind them. I don’t know.

9) CM PUNK CHOKES OUT MARK HENRY

A zombie CM Punk goes for Mark Henry’s brains and Henry seems almost happy about it.

He took out Cena too! You’ll… You’ll just have to take his word for it, okay? Punk certainly applies the sleeper an awful lot like the Anaconda Vise. Hm.

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WWF Krozor: The World Champion of Bad Comics

September 17th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

I’ve read and reviewed every WWE comic book under the sun. From WWF Battlemania to World Championship Wrestling to the Chaos Comics stuff to WWE Heroes. As it is, the only thing I haven’t talked about yet is the 2-issue Undertaker/Rey Mysterio team-up sequel to WWE Heroes because I’ve been waiting for the seemingly canceled follow-up where John Cena is a gladiator trapped in the past. Yes, I just typed that.

Anyway, I figured I had seen it all. I had seen the worst that World Wrestling Entertainment’s checkered past could show me. Then one day, a guy by the name of Tato changed all of that. He had some old WWF Magazine issues and had been looking through them for laugh fodder. He ended up striking oil when he got to early 1997.

Now, first let’s take a quick look at what WWF was like during that time. They were setting up for Wrestlemania 13, the Wrestlemania with the worst PPV ratings in the company’s history. Shawn Michaels was so much of a backstage dick that rather than lose the title against Bret Hart, he milked an injury, claimed to have “lost his smile” and put us in a situation where Sycho Sid was the champ set to defend the belt against the Undertaker. Also, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had been gaining a lot of momentum as a popular antagonist, constantly badgering honorable good guy Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Wrestlemania 13 would be the show to switch Austin into the company’s most popular good guy.

Of course, the company couldn’t know that Austin would catch on so strongly and help bring forth a new, lucrative era to the WWF. As it was, they were moving closer and closer to bankruptcy at the hands of World Championship Wrestling and their hit storyline with the New World Order. WWF was desperate and desperation can lead to some really unfortunate ideas.

In some issues of WWF Magazine, they’d show an ad for… something. Here are the two released.

Yep. They’re coming. I don’t know what they are, but they seem to have distracted Mankind from his psychedelic surroundings and what appears to be a melting ice cream bar in his hand. It looks like Steve Austin’s on Mars and while he has no trouble breathing, he’s bundling up due to lack of shirt. The more I look at the second one, the more I’m focused on whatever that is behind Austin. Is it a drill? A monster? A tree of some sort?

Of course, you can always tell quality when they use three exclamation points. That’s pretty freaking loud.

Who is coming? Who better than KROZOR?! Once you’ve gotten over the art of the above images, you might be wondering what the hell a Krozor is. Look no further than this snippet of an essay former WWE employee Kevin Kelly wrote up about WWE focusing on young viewers.

As bizarre as the concept of wrestling targeting kids, it’s been tried before. After the New Generation nearly bankrupted the company and then turned into the Attitude Era, the company tried to go back and target kids again. It was a laughable disaster. To anyone inside the Walls of Titan reading this, go to someone who’s been with the company more that ten years and ask if they remember “Krozor”? Let’s take you back to early 1997 and the Company Meeting held at a non-distinguished hotel in downtown Stamford, which is the worst town I have ever been in.

Jim Cornette and I sat in the back of the room as some old guy, who was an outsider hired for large coin, got up and began a video presentation. The audio on the tape was unmistakable. It was the theme from 2001-A Space Odyssey. Yes, Ric Flair’s theme! And right as WCW was stomping us in the ratings! So, of course, Corney and me both let out a “Whoooo!” at the right point of the song. 400 people in a room and two assholes gotta ruin it! Goddamn that was funny!

Jimmy and I are practically pissing our pants we are laughing so hard as the preview of “Krozor” rolls along. Apparently the Undertaker is going to be in space and fight monsters or some nonsense in this comic book. There was more but it’s hard to focus on the screen when you are crying from laughter. The preview ends… stunned silence followed by polite applause. It was awkward, like if your babysitter asked you and your wife to review her newest porn movie. You feel obligated to like it but it was wrong on so many levels.

Wow. Okay, let’s dive into this.

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Annotating CM Punk

June 29th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

WWE has been in a major rut lately. They have all the talent in the world and yet they’ve spent the last several months mismanaging themselves. So much time and effort has been spent on shoving Cena and Orton in our faces as overly dominant heroes that everyone else looks like shit. This is even worse when they bring in older top guys like Triple H to tell everyone that he and the Undertaker have to have a big, high-profile match because everyone in the back smells and none of them are on their level. Most attempts to build up new talent screeches to a halt because they’d rather see how said wrestler would react on a professional level if they started looking like a joke day in and day out.

I can only hope they hit rock bottom (no pun intended) over the past few months because the company should know better than to be this lousy on a regular basis. Luckily, they’ve started to get enough forward momentum in the last couple months. R-Truth has taken his character to another level. Christian and Orton are having good matches. Good wrestlers are still having good matches when nobody’s watching.

A major happening came from this week’s Raw. The next PPV, Money in the Bank, which is in Chicago, will have John Cena defending the WWE Championship against CM Punk in what is billed to be Punk’s farewell performance. The writing was on the wall with this one if you follow the backstage hijinx of the company online, but Raw’s ending added a new level of interest in it.

In a tables match between Cena and R-Truth, Punk interfered to help Truth win. With a weakened Cena selling something for the first time in maybe a year, Punk sat upon the entrance ramp and had this to say.

Was it legit? Of course not! Like they’d have him talk that long and choose only then to cut him off. But it was cool! It was really, really cool and does a good job of building up the PPV as a situation where something intriguing could happen. It was shocking and buzzworthy.

Some of the more hardcore fans (or “smarks”) out there have said that the promo alienates the casual fans because they don’t know what he’s talking about. Too many inside references. That’s bullshit, of course. Anyone can pick up what he’s talking about and figure out what they don’t get. Still, the smarks get some extra flavor from Punk’s remarks as it speaks for the most of them. The response reminds me of a lot of Grant Morrison’s recent DC Comics work, only even more straightforward. Just because you haven’t read decades of Jack Kirby work doesn’t mean you can’t read through Final Crisis.

That got me thinking. David Uzumeri has been annotating Grant Morrison’s comics for the past few years. Maybe I could annotate CM Punk’s speech and give the casual fans something to go with an already fantastic rant. Let’s give it a shot.

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The Genesis of the Countdown of the Top WWE NXT Eliminations

April 8th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

WWE’s NXT experiment has been going on for a bit over a year and despite its ups and downs, it still draws me in with its uniqueness. For those late to the party, the show is about 6-8 wrestling “Rookies” who are trying to earn their way onto the main roster by being paired with their “Pros”. A group of established wrestlers mentor these new guys and it’s turned into a fake reality show where these guys are voted off based on internet popularity and the consensus of the Pros. It’s a mess of a show, but one that I watch regularly. When it’s good, it’s good. When it’s bad, it’s usually so bad it’s good.

Currently, it’s in its fifth season. The first season, which aired on SyFy, ended with Wade Barrett winning decisively. He would go on to lead the Nexus in a storyline that was plenty awesome until they wrote themselves into a corner and “fired” John Cena despite his continued appearances on the show. The winner of the second season was Kaval, an indy wrestling darling whose victory was short-lived. WWE has a boneheaded tendency to shove popular acts down the card to see how they react. If they take their burial in stride? They’ll be pushed stronger later. If you’re like Kaval and you complain about it on Twitter? You’re gone. The third season was an all-female roster and was renowned for being a gigantic train wreck. By this time, it stopped airing on TV and became broadcast on the internet only (SyFy started airing Smackdown as their lone WWE show instead). The winner was Kaitlyn, who has gone on to do nothing since she really isn’t prepared to be on TV yet in the first place. For the fourth season, the winner was Johnny Curtis, who has gone on to do absolutely nothing, boggling the mind of anyone following the show.

Sometimes it isn’t the winners who matter. I want to talk about the losers. One of the more interesting parts of the show is when they have to vote off a Rookie. The way it will usually go is that all the remaining Rookies will line up outside the ring and the host Matt Striker will direct their attention to a roulette-like graphic that stops on the one the fans and Pros decided was the least impressive. That doomed wrestler will then look all bummed and will be given the opportunity to give a farewell promo. With a couple exceptions, there’s value to find in all of these. Sometimes they’ll give a promo so good that you might wonder, “Why didn’t this guy act this awesome before he got voted off?” Sometimes they’ll mumble through some embarrassing tirade that makes you shake your head in disbelief. Sometimes fights will break out. Sometimes the Pros will mess with them. Either way, it’s always a highlight.

So here’s the top 25 goodbyes in NXT history. How can there be 25 when there were 24 losers? I’ll get to that in time. Keep in mind, these aren’t listed from worst to best. No, that would be another list entirely. These are in order from how entertained I was by them.

25) NAOMI
Season 3
Date: November 30, 2010 (Week 13)
Rank: 2nd
Pro: Kelly Kelly

Naomi reacted to the news that Kaitlyn is the next breakout star by shrugging, calling it bittersweet and spending five seconds talking about how everyone worked hard. Yep, that’s it.

Not only are the women lacking in the last name department, but most of them lack the personality as shown in this list. Let’s get the other two out of the way.

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A Chaotic Attitude: The 90′s WWF Comics

February 14th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

It’s no surprise to me that Chaos Comics would release a set of WWF comics back in the late 90′s and early 00′s. That era was like a golden age for professional wrestling and WWF was really running with the ball in order to become the #1 game in town. It was a cultural phenomenon at a level that we may never see again. Unlike the days of Hulk Hogan wearing the red and yellow, it wasn’t just one man’s popularity holding up the company. Even the midcard guys would get wild responses from the crowd for doing nothing more than walking out and saying the same thing verbatim again and again followed by performing a horrible match (I’m looking at you, Road Dogg and Godfather). WWF had a ton of personality to play with, so as bad as any wrestling comic tends to turn out, playing with the properties during the Attitude Era made sense.

The Undertaker is the only one to get his own ongoing series, which I’ve already covered in a two-parter. Other than him, we got one-shots for Mankind, the Rock, two one-shots for Chyna and a four-issue miniseries for Stone Cold Steve Austin. At least with Undertaker, it doesn’t make you bat an eye as much because he’s an undead demon cowboy with an ill-defined backstory. How do you do a comic about Chyna, let alone two?

I’ll start with the Rock’s one-shot, as I might as well bookend this with the two top guys and the Bookend is another name for the Rock Bottom anyway. See? All ties together. Like all of these non-Undertaker stories, it’s written by Steven Grant. On art for this one, we have Fabiano Neves. For the non-wrestling fans out there, I guess I should say some stuff about who the Rock is… or was. What I’m saying is—

Okay, okay! Even that guy on the left looks like he knows I walked into that one.

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The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Eleven

November 25th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Sorry for the lateness. I was planning on finishing this baby up yesterday, but I was exhausted. Exhausted from MARKING! Why was I marking again? Oh yeah…

Right! Miz winning the title. Good times. But I’m sure I’ll be forgiven for finishing this list off a couple days late. Posting it on Thanksgiving sort of works, right? You’ll forgive me, won’t you, Miz Title Win Reaction Girl?

Oh. Never mind, then.

As for the PPV? I thought the first half was brilliant and the second half was below average. The Kane vs. Edge match especially. That’s a shame, since I like the angle.

Now for the top three Survivor Series!

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The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Ten

November 21st, 2010 Posted by Gavok

With this series winding down, I thought I should take a second to discuss my thoughts on the Survivor Series concept in general. I’ve found through watching these 23 shows that it would benefit the WWE to go back to the earlier concept from the first ten years. Nearly, if not every match should be an elimination tag. If you really need to fit in a title match, go ahead. The thing is, forcing your champions into these tag matches both gives even the most invincible face champion an excuse to lose for once and it keeps things from getting stale. It’s optimal to have your money feud spread out with a high-profile tag match such as this, rather than wearing out the luster with rematch after rematch in a singles setting.

Survivor Series is an awful lot like the Royal Rumble. It’s a who’s who of the roster. We get mystery wrestlers, replacements, good eliminations, bad eliminations, chaotic guessing games of who’s going to win, current feuds developed, new feuds created and old feuds rekindled. While the elimination tag matches aren’t as fun as the Royal Rumbles, they do have the advantage that there doesn’t have to simply be one winner that night. As much as I love the Royal Rumble, it’s a pain knowing that sometimes only two or three guys involved have anything resembling a chance at winning. At Survivor Series, we have multiple matches with potentially multiple winners. If somebody loses, a lot of the time, it doesn’t hurt their status. Sometimes a win can make you look great.

It is silly that this year’s Survivor Series has only one of these matches. In the past couple months, we had a 7-on-7 elimination tag at Summerslam and another one at Bragging Rights. Both were a lot more important than Rey Mysterio’s team vs. Del Rio’s team. How strange that the company insists on shoving different gimmick PPVs in our faces month after month, but doesn’t want to give any service to their original gimmick PPV.

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The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Nine

November 20th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

I am officially a day behind. The fatigue finally hit me, mainly due to real life scheduling and sleep sounded a lot better to me than writing about the Goodfather. I’m going to try to have the rest of this up before leaving to watch Sunday’s show, but I’m sure I’ll probably tap out and finish the last installment the day after despite my best efforts. Boy, I suck.

And speaking of people who suck, as well as Thanksgiving, I want to direct your attention to Luther Reigns. He’s a hoss from the mid-00′s who is featured in today’s update. For that, I bring you this clip, which features one of my favorite quotes in all wrestling.

He’s had peas before. That… That’s good to know, Luther. Thank you for sharing that.

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The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Eight

November 18th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

To show how bored I am when I’m not writing and how desperate I am to fill this intro space, I put together this presentation.

Stupid jerk Big Show, beating up Blue Meanie, Taka and Funaki for no reason.

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The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Seven

November 17th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

One neat little feature of Survivor Series is how just about any random wrestler is capable of main eventing the show, especially apparent in one of the two PPVs I’ll be showcasing in this entry. For every Randy Savage, there is a Koko B. Ware. Here’s a list of some of the guys who have main evented this major PPV.

- Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
- Hillbilly Jim
- Jacques from the Quebecers
- Marty Jannetty
- “The Model” Rick Martel
- Maven
- Shane McMahon
- Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
- Paul Roma
- The Red Rooster
- Butch Reed
- Irwin R. Schyster
- Gene Snitsky
- Koko B. Ware

Now, you might point out that the Royal Rumble match is a main event too and therefore you have guys like Virgil and Mantaur main eventing major PPVs. To that I say…

Goddamn it. Moving on.

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