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Criteria for the WWE Hall of Fame

Shooting_Palanx

The Rock is cooking atm..
I feel like the Rikishi heel turn in that "Whodunnit" angle with who ran over Austin fell flat because it literally came out of nowhere and they didn't follow through much with it afterwards as Rikishi was paired up with Haku the minute Haku bolted from WCW to return to WWE. Everything was focused again on Triple H and that was the problem; Rikishi was just made the henchman of Triple H in the situation while such an out-of-left-field turn of events should've required all of the spotlight to be on Rikishi. It's like when Seth Rollins betrayed the Shield in 2014. No one expected that it would be Rollins turning on Ambrose & Reigns (there were some hints a few weeks prior that led us to believe it'd be Ambrose) and when it did happen, all the spotlight shifted to Seth Rollins. That's why Rollins' heel run was so effective; because the focus was on the right guy. The Authority was just a supporting cast in this situation.
I felt Rikishi in that instance wasn't given a fair shake with the feud and for whatever reason Vince decided to pull the plug. I thought the storyline had incredible potential, with how Austin was portrayed as this white savior, and the rock was held down and only got opportunities in the WWE at the expense of Austins injury. For me it seemed like a winner and Rikishi should've been elevated to greater heights as a top heel, because at the time vince just seemed to be tapping on the well going back to Triple H over and over again and in my opinion kinda held alot of stars back from being potential heels at that level. Ahhh .. what could've been huh?!?
 

EdgeHead

Registered Member
Yeah, I don't know why honestly they changed things up that fast. For a solid 3 months, Rikishi was one of the top heels on the roster with Angle & Triple H and after the Hell in a Cell Match at Armageddon, they just sent him back to midcard status before Haku returned and teamed with him.

But this has been a recurring theme with Vince for years now; one could argue that it's always been that way with him. There's always that one guy he would rely particularly more than others for business. In the 80's, it was Hogan. Austin got his turn during the Attitude Era (and was extremely successful). Then, it was Triple H at the turn of the new millenium, with much more mitigated results. Cena was the next one with the SuperCena booking and these days, it's Roman Reigns.

But I think it's important to make the distinction between the workrate of a wrestler and his booking. I've got nothing to say against Roman Reigns when it comes to his matches. I've rarely been disappointed by the match itself when it comes to Roman. However, I truly think that Vince relies way too much on Roman the way he did with Cena. Or at least, he's more patient with Roman than he's been with the likes of Finn Balor for instance. Or Dolph Ziggler. Balor has yet to get his rematch for the Universal Championship. Deemed too "fragile" or Vince prefers the Demon King persona. I wish that Vince would show more patience and take the time to push a set of workers to multiply his options for the title picture.
 

Millz

Better Call Saul
Staff member
V.I.P.
I judge a lot of my past memories based off of WrestleMania matches haha and Rikishi...what happened? He's an interesting story. Like, he was a huge heel as you guys said but what did he do? Its so odd how quickly it was dropped, I guess he wasn't getting over like they hoped?

Wrestled the Rock as the Sultan at Mania 13
Not on WrestleMania 14
Not on WrestleMania 15
He teamed with Kane at Mania 16
H wasn't even at Mania 17 (right after his big angle)
18 he was on Heat

17 is the real head scratcher...he feuded with Austin in October of 2000 and got his ass kicked...the Armageddon match happened in December where he took the huge fall and then what?? Haku happened as Edgehead mentioned and I do see he hurt an eardrum and that was that...never the same push.

I blame Vince...he gave up way too early. Why even go there? I guess its good to cut the cord if it isn't working but he was never the focus, as Edgehead said. Anyway, blah blah blah Rikishi
 

Shooting_Palanx

The Rock is cooking atm..
Yeah, I don't know why honestly they changed things up that fast. For a solid 3 months, Rikishi was one of the top heels on the roster with Angle & Triple H and after the Hell in a Cell Match at Armageddon, they just sent him back to midcard status before Haku returned and teamed with him.

But this has been a recurring theme with Vince for years now; one could argue that it's always been that way with him. There's always that one guy he would rely particularly more than others for business. In the 80's, it was Hogan. Austin got his turn during the Attitude Era (and was extremely successful). Then, it was Triple H at the turn of the new millenium, with much more mitigated results. Cena was the next one with the SuperCena booking and these days, it's Roman Reigns.

But I think it's important to make the distinction between the workrate of a wrestler and his booking. I've got nothing to say against Roman Reigns when it comes to his matches. I've rarely been disappointed by the match itself when it comes to Roman. However, I truly think that Vince relies way too much on Roman the way he did with Cena. Or at least, he's more patient with Roman than he's been with the likes of Finn Balor for instance. Or Dolph Ziggler. Balor has yet to get his rematch for the Universal Championship. Deemed too "fragile" or Vince prefers the Demon King persona. I wish that Vince would show more patience and take the time to push a set of workers to multiply his options for the title picture.
Couldn't agree more. How many times did we see Triple H in the mainevent over and over again? I also believe The Rock was the first royal rumble winner to lose at Wrestlemania that year. Talk about injustice haha I think Brock Lesnar was supposed to be the guy before Cena got his opportunity and let's not forget Eddie Gurrero and his run, he was also slated to be at the top of the food chain also before he met his untimely death.

I credit Vince for sticking with his guys though, Roman Reigns has been at the top now for the last what? 5 years? He doesn't seem to be flinching from that whatsoever. I am a fan of Reigns for anyone whose wondering.
 

EdgeHead

Registered Member
There's not really anything wrong with Roman in terms of his skills set. We can all agree that he's been involved in really good matches. Hell, his match at Extreme Rules vs AJ Styles in 2016 was my favorite WWE match that year. It's always the perception of him being shoved down our throats by Vince that is at cause. It's symptomatic of Vince's stubbornness. While it's good to be stubborn if you wanna succeed, you must sometimes accept that it can do more harm than good.

They are many other guys that had suffered the same fate as Rikishi over the years. The most flagrant one is Dolph Ziggler. Remember the MASSIVE pop he got when he cashed in his MITB Briefcase to win the World Heavyweight Championship in 2013? Remember No Mercy 2016 how the crowd was solidly behind him in his feud vs The Miz? All squashed away because Vince was stuck on one guy and one guy only. It was too important for him to have Roman go over as the top guy rather than develop several main event stars that you can fall back on if something goes wrong.
 

Shooting_Palanx

The Rock is cooking atm..
Being a good wrestler a person that knows how to "work" are often two things that are misconstrued between fans. I feel Roman is suffering from the hate train that Cena is receiving now from fans lol I understand people can have opinions and what not, but when you hear some of the reasons for that hate it's a bit unwarranted at times.

The difference between Rikishi and Dolph Ziggler I feel was Ziggler was at least given the go ahead and opportunity to capitalize. I believe Ziggler lost because he had abstained a concussion so Vince had him lose the title back to Del Rio. I think sadly by the time Ziggler came back into the foray the writers had already set up stories in replacement and he just got lost in the shuffle soon after. Rikishi never had a fair go at all, besides being on Too Cool. Vince was not ready to give up on his guys just yet. I think between 1998 and 2001, the title went through stone cold, the rock and triple h with Kurt Angle being the outlier.
 

EdgeHead

Registered Member
Timing couldn't have been worse for Ziggler as his concussion happened shortly after he had won the title. Similar situation with Bad News Barrett when he got his big push as Intercontinental Champion (ironically, both injuries happened at the hands of Jack Swagger) as he never recovered either afterwards.

As for the comparison between Roman and John Cena, I'd like to think that most people booing Roman is booing him not because he "sucks" but rather because of the message they wanna send to Vince that they won't accept anyone being shoved down their throat. I'm not sure though that this is the case.
 

Shooting_Palanx

The Rock is cooking atm..
And thats sadly what takes away opportunities at times and that is timing. I think it's just become "cool" to hate on certain wrestlers unfortunately lol the good thing about this no kayfabe era is that any reaction is a good reaction. The more the crowd boo Roman just solidifies his position regardless.
 

Millz

Better Call Saul
Staff member
V.I.P.
If Vince wasn't so stubborn, Roman would be fine. All Vince had to do is what he did with the Rock...push him as a face, it doesn't work, turn him heel, and then eventually he goes face again and everyone loves him.
 
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