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Thread: Wilfred's Debate 2022 Round 1 Tie 1 - Nash Diesel vs Rusty Shackleford

  1. #1
    Former Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Wilfred's Debate 2022 Round 1 Tie 1 - Nash Diesel vs Rusty Shackleford

    WILFRED'S DEBATE 2022 ROUND 1 TIE 1

    @Nash Diesel vs @Rusty Shackleford

    BEST GIMMICK IN THE ATTITUDE ERA

    The Attitude Era between 1997 and 2001 is considered one of if not the best eras in WWF and wrestling as a whole that helped revolutionise the direction the company was taking and the industry as a whole. It was home to many great matches, storylines and gimmicks. Gimmicks is what we will be focusing on for this topic.

    Your topic is to choose what and who you think had the best gimmick in the Attitude Era. You must argue why you think yours is the best choice and also why your choice is stronger than your opponents. I will allow team gimmicks and other non-wrestling characters as well as singles wrestlers.

    RULES

    Each participant will be allowed 3 posts each with a word cap of 400 words maximum per post. This must not be exceeded.
    No editing of posts is allowed. Once it is down it is down.
    Responses must be staggered. Each participant must wait until their opponent has gone until they can post again.
    No rebuttals are allowed for the person posting after their opponent original post. Once both opening posts are down then you may rebut your opponent's choice.
    Videos, gifs, pictures etc can be used and will not count towards the word count.
    If you quote your opponent, the quote will not count towards the word count. However if you choose to cite words from an article, outside source then those words will count.
    Ties will last exactly the one week and will be timestamped. No extensions will be allowed UNLESS there are extenuating circumstances which I will look at.
    If all 6 posts are not in then they will be judged on what has been put down.
    For the opening posts, each person will have 48 hours maximum to respond. If the person chosen to go first has not responded then they may respond themselves in which case the other person has 48 hours to respond. If there are no responses within those 48 hour periods then whoever has posted will win automatically.
    For all participants and anyone posting in the discussion thread, please do not comment on the ties while they are going on.
    Once the ties have been completed, it will be down to the 3 judges to judge on who they think did best and to PM their votes to me. They will know this already but please give reasoning for your votes.

    The coin toss has revealed that Rusty Shackleford will be going first!

    Happy Debating! Any questions about your individual ties then please PM me.
    Last edited by Badger; September 19th, 2022 at 12:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Midcarder Rusty Shackleford's Avatar
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    Such an interesting question. It would be easy to turn this into an argument around the most successful wrestler of the attitude era. After all, everyone had a gimmick to some degree, right? Everyone is playing some kind of character. But that's not an interesting debate.

    By extension, you could argue that a proportion of the talent at the time were so good that they needed very little at all by way of a gimmick or character. They simply turned up, talked shit, leveraged their natural charisma and got over.

    No. What I'm going to argue here is that my choice demonstrates how a good gimmick can take what might otherwise be an average or struggling career and turn it into a stratospheric one. It proves that the correct gimmick in the correct hands captures lightening in a bottle. Or is that fire? More on that in a minute.

    There are other choices that won more titles. There are other choices that sold more merchandise. But what my choice did to my man, is in retrospect, incredible.

    My choice was cursed by two ferociously bad gimmicks in his past. Two gimmicks that would have murdered most careers. But that just goes to prove what an outstanding character his turned out to be.

    My choice was doomed as a dentist. And was hamstrung as a pale imitation of another character. But then - he took on one of the greatest gimmicks of all time.


    • My choice is a three-time world champion across WWE, Heavyweight and ECW.
    • He is an intercontinental champion.
    • He is a ten-time tag-team champion.
    • He is a bona-fide hall of famer.
    • He is an intricate part of the timeline of perhaps THE greatest ever character.
    • His debut is regarded as being one of the greatest of all time.


    Let's be absolutely clear on the fact that none of this would have happened without his gimmick. Some people succeeded off the back of finding characters that were just an extension of their real personality. But some people need the boost of a great character. Mine is the latter and therefore captures the heart of the debate.

    That's....

    That's....

    That's gotta be Kane!!!

  3. #3
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    One of the most influential wrestlers of the 90’s but it was his work both in the ring and as a character that really helped build what we know as the “Attitude” era, specifically the WWF. His work in the ring helped carry a less than stellar “New Generation” era both domestically and internationally. But it was his double turn in 1997 at WrestleMania 13 with Steve Austin that took Hitman and the company to the next level.


    A multiple time World champion he was involved in some of the biggest feuds and wildest, monumental moments still talked about to this very day. Whether it was blurring the lines of reality that would see Vince McMahon go from over the top commentator to “Mr. McMahon” or the feuds with Taker, Stone Cold, and of course Shawn Michaels, Bret “Hitman” Hart as the disgruntled Canadian veteran beloved by the world, hated by America, but always telling HIS truth was the greatest gimmick of the Attitude Era.


  4. #4
    Midcarder Rusty Shackleford's Avatar
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    A really interesting pick! You won't hear an argument from me about how great Bret Hart was in the early attitude era. I'm a massive Bret Hart fan and he was an integral part of me falling in love with wrestling back in 1992.

    But let's get to the Hart, sorry, heart of the debate. My central argument is the strength by which a gimmick can elevate a career.

    What's yours? If we're measuring purely by success of the wrestler alone then we'd be having a Stone Cold v Rock. Or Vince McMahon v Degeneration X debate. Or some permutation. But we're not. Neither Bret Hart nor Kane would make the top 3 stars of the attitude era. Perhaps not even top 5.

    Therefore, if you're in my paradigm of debate then we're talking gimmick versus gimmick as a measure of relative success.

    Did Kane do more for Glenn Jacobs than salty Bret Hart did for, well, Bret Hart.

    Let's look at the evidence.

    Glenn Jacobs pre-Kane?

    A shitty dentist. A fake Diesel. Completely floundering without his Kane gimmick.

    Bret Hart pre moody Bret Hart?

    Tag team champion.
    Intercontinental champion.
    First PPV King of the Ring
    Royal Rumble co-winner
    Multiple mania main eventer
    Multiple world champion (and might have had longer were Hogan not being Hogan in 93)

    Most importantly of all, Bret Hart was widely regarded as one of the BEST EVER, before the attitude era even kicked in.

    Jacobs needed Kane. Kane is utterly synonymous with the attitude era.

    Hart was already a legend.

  5. #5
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Kane. A phenomenal gimmick, a great backstory, and it did help Glen Jacobs more than Fake Diesel ever could.


    The beauty of Bret Hart as a heel anti-American character is that it allowed Bret to reinvent himself after playing the same role for almost 10 years. The fact Bret had accomplished all those things you mentioned and still being able to reinvent himself and make it the most integral piece of the Attitude Era puzzle is almost second to none.


    Kane was no doubt successful but to what degree during this period of wrestling compared to Bret? A 1-day World title run and a few forgettable random tag title runs with I think X-Pac and Mankind. Other than the 2 matches with Taker at Mania he really didn’t have any memorable matches and do people remember anything aside from him tombstoning Pete Rose? Bret was having some of the best matches of his career, he had arguably the best WM match of all time at 13, really 1997 was a year that trumped anything Kane did during the Attitude Era.


    What part of Kane’s gimmick revolutionized the industry? What match did he have that elevated the talent to thrive to be the best?


    My argument is simple, who had the best gimmick in the Attitude Era? Who helped raise the bar? Who had the most memorable matches, storylines, promos that are still felt today? That would be Bret Hart. Bret didn’t just elevate himself, he didn’t just save himself from white meat boring ass babyface Bret, he didn’t have one gear or really any restrictions when he turned heel. He didn’t have to worry about a mask or being completely linked to someone else’s gimmick to get over. Bret showed multiple dimensions as a character and while Kane was keeping the fantasy children’s world of WWF alive, Bret was blurring the lines of reality and ushering in a new era of wrestling that would not have been possible. Austin 3:16 was a great promo, but it wasn’t until Bret said “I’ll come back but I want to work with Steve Austin” who was a midcarder at best in zero storylines. Within 5 months of working with Bret from Survivor Series to Mania he was the most over guy in all of wrestling. When did Kane ever do that for anyone?

  6. #6
    Midcarder Rusty Shackleford's Avatar
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    I think weíre in danger of straying from the debate here. This isnít about match quality or reinventing the industry. Bret Hart is a better wrestler by some considerable margin. I totally understand why youíre going down this route though because youíve booked yourself into a corner here.

    You say that Kane had few memorable matches Ė thanks for making my argument for me! What got Glenn Jacobs over? Sure as hell wasnít his wrestling or his (albeit underrated) in-ring psychology. It was his character! It fit him like a glove.

    I also think youíre stretching credibility somewhat to use Steve Austinís ascent as part of this debate. Thatís an entirely different discussion. Drawing the line between Steve Austinís stratospheric ascent and Bret Hartís anti-American gimmick is so, so tenuous. There were so many other factors at play, as well you know.

    Letís also address one awkward truth about Bret Hart. If his gimmick was so great, so entertaining, so revolutionary Ė then why Raw only start beating Nitro again after he left the WWE? Sound like Bret and the old guard were part of the problem, not the solution. Not like my boy Kane!

    Letís be absolutely crystal clear here that weíre assessing gimmick versus gimmick. So I close my three posts with one simple question. Which of these two are more entertaining?


    1. Developing the back story of arguably the greatest wrestler of all time. A monster of a man, debuting to a huge reaction Ė rightly regarded as one of the greatest debuts of all time. A gimmick that illustrates exactly why so many of us still love wrestling. Because weíre able to suspend our disbelief for a short while when weíre watching and lose ourselves in the moment.
    2. A guy whining about America.


    Kane is one of the best gimmicks of all time. Whiny Bret isnít even a gimmick Whiny Bret IS Bret Hart!

  7. #7
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Did the nWo gimmick not only raise the stock of Hogan and the Outsiders but the entire business?

    To dismiss Bret Hart’s contributions would be a disservice to my argument, Bret Hart, and those who he put over.

    What helps the strength of a gimmick is not just how it serves the wrestler carrying it, but how it affects the promotion, the business, and their peers. The topic states “what makes the gimmick stronger than your opponents” well in Bret’s case it is match quality being able to reinvent yourself after 20 years in the business, and how that improves the business. That is how Undertaker, HBK, and Jericho were able to avoid being stale. Bret was no different.

    The gimmick was great and many people agree despite the ratings, 1997 was a banner year for the WWF’s growth and character development. You know when you saw the change? Right after Montreal. I don’t think fans were tuning in because they were glad to see Bret Hart go. Judging by their reaction toward Vince and Shawn, I would say it was the opposite feeling. And who was it that took up the mantle for the WWF against Vince and Shawn? Stone Cold. The man who a year prior Bret came back to wrestle, to help elevate.

    Bret was already blurring the lines with Vince well before Austin dropped him with a stunner. But it was that reality based element that was missing from the WWF that Bret drove home with that “whiny anti-American” GIMMICK. Whether that was Bret turned up to 11 doesn’t change that it’s still a gimmick. The best of the Attitude Era. Not just because of what it did for his own career, but what it did for the business and continues to do for the business.

  8. #8
    Former Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    ROUND OVER
    @Mazer and @Psycho666Soldier please PM your votes to me. I’ll break it if there’s a tie.

  9. #9
    Former Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    In a very very close debate….

    HOT DOG WE HAVE ANOTHER WIENER

    Results incoming shortly!

  10. #10
    Former Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    RESULTS

    JUDGE MAZER



    Quote Originally Posted by Mazer
    This debate was a contrast of styles.

    And it made for the best debate of the first round. The loser of this debate should be first alternate.


    Rusty is the most technically sound debater in the group. His structure was great, and he was able to clearly delineate all points. And he also sprinkles in entertainment.

    Nash came for big shots and moments. His style is "the best offense is more offense". And his turn of phrase and constant attacks make for a fun match


    So, in a bit of a fun turn:

    Rusty debated like he's Bret Hart
    Nash debated like he's Kane


    Rusty came out smoking in Round 1. He clearly established what he thought was the critertia and hammered the hell out of it. Best first post of this tournament.

    Nash countered with a good choice. I felt he established the importance of his choice, but could have done more with his opening post.

    Rusty starts the countering well. He hits nash for not establishing a critieria, and goes straight into what his gimmick did for Jacobs vs. the overall level for Hart.

    Nash comes roaring back though. The fake Diesel line was funny, quick, and succinctly countered the point about glen's previous level. I think he lost a little on the match point, but completely made up for it in the last paragraph. He gets into the transition into the modern era, and raises the stakes for overall impact.

    On the last post, Rusty I think loses me a little with his reinventing the industry point. I'm not sure it was established why that couldn't be a relevant effect of a successful gimmick. but he does rebound with his points about Kane getting over "despite" and sums up nicely. I think though his point at the end that put Kane in the background on Taker, and then being a bit too dismissive on the attitude era Bret Hart character hurt.

    Nash hits right back after that with a comment about dismissing Bret Hart. Nash I think was on the verge of weakening his point with the emphasis towards the man character, but i felt like he stopped short of that line. And his last counter to the "bret hart is bret hart" essentially built on common knowledge of wrestling gimmicks.


    In what i consider to be a mild upset;

    Vote Nash




    JUDGE PSYCHO666SOLDIER



    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho666Soldier
    Rusty starts strong with his framing of the debate, as he always does. Homing in on the best gimmick being one that elevated a character - that would otherwise be average - could potentially be risky, but it's a great way to argue the debate rather than just going for who was the most successful wrestler with a gimmick.

    Nash starts with a bit of an uphill choice on the surface, arguing for someone who wasn't overtly a "gimmick" like Kane. But arguing that Bret's Attitude Era persona was key in getting the Attitude Era rolling is a really strong argument on it's own.

    At this point, it has ultimately become a debate of "who's interpretation of the debate question is stronger," as counters to their opponent's arguments rely on us believing their criteria is more superior.

    Rusty makes a strong counter by arguing that any other metric other than his for best gimmick takes both of their choices out of the running. That said, Rusty lost track with me a bit when he focused this on a wrestler's success, which implied Nash's argument hinged on success of the wrestler, which I didn't grasp as Nash's argument. That said, the last line, "Jacobs needed Kane. Kane is utterly synoymous with the Attitude Era," resonated as a closer.

    Nash, on the other hand, has a consistent follow-up that really devalues the gimmick of Kane. While it may have made success for Glenn, he's right in that Kane doesn't have much that's memorable about him in the Attitude Era outside of his debut. While maybe some of the argument here veers into "who was more successful" territory that Rusty pre-emptively shuts down, Nash really nails home that Bret's gimmick did a lot for both him, the people he worked with, and the industry in general.

    I do agree with Rusty that using Bret as a part of Austin's ascent is a bit of a stretch. And hammering the fact that Kane has one of the most memorable debuts and an enduring character that made a lot of us suspend our disbelief is a wallop. I think he got into dangerous territory by conceding that Kane wasn't very memorable outside of the character, but again, it fits his argument of separating the gimmick from the wrestler and arguing how much it did for the wrestler. And while I think his comparison of Kane's gimmick and Bret's is dismissive of Bret, I still think there's some meat to the idea that there was more character and story influence in Kane's gimmick.

    That said, I don't think his last line about whiny Bret Hart being Bret Hart matters, because realistic or not, it's still a portrayed gimmick. Something that Nash pounces on. In his last post, he talks about how the nWo gimmick helped boost the entire business. And he completely turns Rusty's argument about ratings around on him, as it was a logical fallacy.

    I think what gets me ultimately is that Nash makes a strong point about Bret's pivotal position in the Attitude Era. He was one of the first to really start blurring lines and making it a part of his schtick. Nash pointing this out, and specifically that he laid the foundation for calling out Vince McMahon, as well as helping create "Mr. McMahon," he's arguing that Bret was the gimmick that inspired every Attitude Era gimmick. And this is a very compelling argument that I think transcends Rusty's framing. Rusty makes a strong case for why Kane is the best gimmick as far as helping get a person over that otherwise wouldn't have. But I don't think he convinced me that Kane's gimmick was monumental in impact beyond his debut. Whereas Nash convinced me both that Bret Hart was a great gimmick for him as well as how much impact it had on the business and the era.

    Strong debate from both, but Nash Diesel emerges victorious in my eyes.
    @Nash Diesel wins the big re-match 2-0 leaving the Rusty/Nash series tied at 1-1. Rubber match next year! Commiserations @Rusty Shackleford. Very very well fought!

  11. #11
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    I think Hardcore Holly deserves a mention here. I feel like I’d personally describe the “best” gimmick as one that helped the wrestler in question the most. I don’t think Holly’s gimmicks before were bad, but the company demonstrated they didn’t have faith in them. They booked him in a stable that centered him getting beat, I mean. It was around this time that he started to become Hardcore and earn that name, which should have elevated him even more than it did.

  12. #12
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWXChairman View Post
    I think Hardcore Holly deserves a mention here. I feel like I’d personally describe the “best” gimmick as one that helped the wrestler in question the most. I don’t think Holly’s gimmicks before were bad, but the company demonstrated they didn’t have faith in them. They booked him in a stable that centered him getting beat, I mean. It was around this time that he started to become Hardcore and earn that name, which should have elevated him even more than it did.
    This is why you aren't in these debates lol.

  13. #13
    Former Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Still I’d love to see @WWXChairman actually take part in one next time!

    Plenty bumping of past debates and pundit post-match commentary about what went wrong. About time he stepped up to the plate and actually competed!

    Money where his mouth is!

  14. #14
    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    I think he should replace @mth and bang out that last response lol

  15. #15
    Former Videoland Champion Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    I think he should replace @mth and bang out that last response lol
    Lol.

    But yeah I know mth has mentioned in the past and not just in here that he has a bit of a weirdish work and life schedule where his days off tend to be the middle of the week and weekends on/off so yeah I get it. The meethster will deliver.

  16. #16
    F this & JC that mth's Avatar
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    Yeah, my "weekend" is usually Weds/Thurs. I started writing my post on Saturday evening. I went to a WWE house show on Sunday evening. but I am for sure going to finish it off on Weds., no problems.

  17. #17
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    How was that house show? What happened?

  18. #18
    F this & JC that mth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WWXChairman View Post
    How was that house show? What happened?
    https://wrestlingheadlines.com/wwe-h...on-sk-10-2-22/

    It was a good time.

  19. #19
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    That positivity is extremely refreshing to read.
    Glad you had fun.

  20. #20
    F this & JC that mth's Avatar
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    Hit Row vs. MMM was the match of the night as far as straight entertainment value. Sikoa/Zayn vs. Ricochet/Moss was also pretty damn good. Wife and I had a blast getting into it and cheering/booing/chanting and all that. it's real fun just to be among a crowd of fans who are all into it. We had a couple friends that were supposed to come but the event had been rescheduled so one couln't make it and the other had injured his knee and couldn't come, either. Disappointing as the first friend was a non-fan and I was really curious what she'd think of it.

  21. #21
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    Well now I just absolutely need to see MNM vs. MMM.

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