The following are some questions I've been asked via the Ask Him! contact on the site. Feel free to send some more!
Future installments of this may be included in the Smack Talk audio show on YouTube. Stay tuned!
Q: Who is your favorite wrestler of all time?
A: Though I was big on Austin back in the day, and I've always been a big fan of Bret Hart (who I rank as my #3 favorite), my #2 favorite has always been the Undertaker, and #1 has always been Shawn Michaels. I still think he's the best ever, and I'm SO glad that a large percentage of the fans agree with that idea.
Q: What is your favorite match of all time?
A: That's a tough one. Overall, I'd probably say Undertaker vs. HBK at WrestleMania 25. That match is just epic. Their next match at WrestleMania XXVI may have had more at stake but I think their first was much better. Some other favorite matches of mine are the Iron Man match at WrestleMania XII, the Undertaker/Foley Hell in a Cell match, and I've always loved the Royal Rumble matches.
Q: What do you think WWE needs to improve on?
A: I think they need to calm themselves down in a lot of ways. I've always been a fan of a slower build, similar to what HBK, HHH, Bret Hart, and Steve Austin had. These guys are among the top names of the company and they started out in tag teams and stables, went on to lower card wrestling, then the midcard, won their IC/US title, became upper midcarders, then eventually won their world titles and became the main eventers and legends they are now. I don't like it when WWE takes someone and within a year, pushes them to be "the next big thing", then they grow tired of them, demote them to a midcarder, and they have to walk up a steep hill to get back to being worth something. Sheamus was given two world titles before he had proven himself worthy of a midcard title in my opinion. Alberto Del Rio should have had the Intercontinental championship around WrestleMania as opposed to a world title match. With Jack Swagger's ECW title reign, I thought that he showed that he was capable of being considered an upper midcarder, but then they soon started booking him as a loser. Out of the blue, he wins Money in the Bank, becomes a world champion, then goes back to losing to people like Santino Marella. That type of booking is so harmful in the long run and WWE tends to do it quite often. Sure, there are exceptions to this rule, like Big Show and Undertaker, but they're rare. When they do it right, like they did with The Miz, it has a much longer lasting effect generally, so I think they need to relax and not burn through storylines too quickly. Mason Ryan is new, so they shouldn't hot-shot him a world title in 6 months, but Dolph Ziggler has proven himself, so if they wanted to main event him, I'd be supportive of it. WWE also needs to stop being so one-minded when it comes to what they like. If the fans are booing Cena, then you can't put your fingers in your ears and say you're not listening. If a particular joke isn't getting over with the crowd but Vince finds it funny, he should sacrifice his own personal tastes for the betterment of the product. If Triple H is so fond of himself as we're frequently told, he should get over it and start using his pull to put over the people that he'll be depending on in the future as opposed to himself. Basically, WWE needs to listen more to their audience (like they've done recently with Zack Ryder's push), calm down, stop looking for cheap quick fixes for ratings (like too many title changes or stupid guest stars that serve no purpose, as opposed to the ones that do, like the Rock), and they need to stop putting all their eggs in one basket (like how they frequently focus on only one match of a pay-per-view card and everything else falls by the wayside because they didn't want to spend the time to work on the build for those matches as well).
Q: Do you hate the PG era as much as I do?
A: Well, I wouldn't say I hate the era itself, as much as I hate how much they limit themselves. I don't subscribe to the idea that each match needs to resemble CZW to be entertaining, but I hate how they seem to overcompensate on the opposite scale at times. For instance, the chair shots to the head being banned is ridiculous. Now that we just have the shots to the back, it's repetitive, unrealistic, and boring. If you're worried about the guys not knowing how to put their hands up to protect themselves, maybe instead of outlawing it, you should just teach them how to do it. Also, I'd be happy if I never had to hear them use the word "poop" instead of "crap" or "shit" ever again. Fucking Disney movies are edgier than some of the WWE promos that we see frequently. They seem to be stepping away from this a bit, which is good.
Q: Why do you hate TNA so much?
A: Because they rarely give me something to like. I get flack for my TNA ppv reviews because they usually turn into mostly me mocking how bad it is, but the truth of the matter is if you look through them, I point out if I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed something. It's just not that often that they do something I'm supportive of, so why would I say I liked it if I didn't? I don't believe that you can only be a WWE or TNA fan, or that it makes any sense to like or dislike something for the pure reason of liking or disliking it. If TNA does something good (for instance, most MCMG matches), then I enjoy it. If they do something stupid (for instance, the name "Bully Ray"), then no, of course I'm not going to have fun watching it - just the same as how I wouldn't enjoy the same thing if it were in WWE. I make fun of Taz's commentary but I also make fun of Booker T's. I would like nothing more than for TNA to be something that I enjoy, but they just haven't given me that entertainment value yet.
Q: Which Diva do you think is the hottest?
A: This would definitely depend on what time frame you're talking about. Currently (as of the end of 2011, since Maryse is now gone), I'd probably say Kelly Kelly or Layla is the most attractive, though I do find AJ to be absolutely adorable and with the exception of only a few, pretty much all the divas are hot. If you're talking about the best looking of all time, I'd have to go with 1997's Sunny, with Trish Stratus being a very, very close second.
Q: I am a big fan of the WWE Divas and womens wrestling.So I would like to ask from a man's point of view without talking about hotness.What are your thought about the divas division then and now? I think that current status of the women's division in the WWE isn't like the WWE when you have your title the shape of a butterfly. The TNA Knockouts have it better then them.
A: The divas in the WWE timeline have gone through an odd fluctuation, in my opinion. Back when I first started watching, there was really only the sporadic Alundra Blayze match here and there, so there wasn't much of a division to criticize or praise. They basically had the same presence as the short-lived midget wrestlers and such. I was a big fan of the era where women like Ms. Elizabeth, Sunny, Sable, Luna Vachon, and Chyna were used as valets and managers. When they started showcasing more wrestling, I was up for it, but it never resonated me the same way as the rest of the product did. It seems as though during my hiatus from watching wrestling, the divas division really came into its own, and through watching old footage retrospectively, I can see why people are always saying that it's no longer as good as it used to be. That being said, I think the current divas division is a double-edged sword. In some ways, it doesn't get as much credit as it deserves, and in other ways, it proves itself to be useless. Very rarely is there a divas match that I'm genuinely interested in and excited for, but if you gave me free reign of the company, I certainly wouldn't demolish the division like so many other fans say should happen. The TNA Knockouts are definitely overall in a better position than the WWE divas as they put more thought into their feuds whereas WWE treats them as an afterthought. In a way, you can't blame them, though, as many of the divas just aren't talented enough to last more than 2 minutes in a match without botching the whole scene up. The ones that are good (your Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Eve Torres, etc type of women) remind me more of something I'd see in TNA's Knockouts than the ones like the Bella twins. As far as the butterfly title goes, I'm a little more supportive of it than others seem to be. Though I would never have designed it that way on my own, I can understand why they'd do it. My main gripe with it is that I think it's a bit overdone and that having it as silver and purple rather than gold seems a bit patronizing. You can't say they've "won the gold" if there's no gold in the belt, haha.
Q: Would you ever become a wrestler yourself or have you ever wrestled in the past?
A: Not a chance. The furthest extent I have at wrestling is performing a few moves on my friends as kids and diving into pools giving elbow drops and lo-downs to the floats. I unfortunately suffer from asthma, so I wouldn't ever come close to having the proper health and conditioning required to wrestle. On top of that, I'm sure I would lack the skill itself and just be a terrible wrestler even if I could bypass the health problems. That being said, if I were ever given the opportunity to be an on-screen character, whether it be a manager or something, and an organization like WWE wanted me to do an angle where I took a bump, I'd do it for them - so long as I was safe. I'm just sure the end result would be worse than Sharmell versus Jenna Morasca.
Q: How did you get into wrestling? When did you become a fan?
A: I honestly don't remember, sorry. I know I've been a fan since the early 90s, as I dressed up as Hulk Hogan for Halloween when I was a kid. I also have an old journal entry I once wrote in that states how excited I was that Shawn Michaels had become the WWF champion at the previous night's WrestleMania XII, so at the very least, I've been a fan since then. I don't have any recollection of what actually got me interested in the first place.
Q: Is there anything that could get you to stop watching wrestling?
A: I once took a 6 year hiatus from watching wrestling as it stopped interesting me when they would do nothing but talk about Stone Cold and the Rock during the entire broadcasts. I was then told that the Undertaker had returned as a biker, and I decided not to concern myself with it anymore. For years after that, I would only hear rumblings about things that would happen, but I wouldn't watch the product. Then, in 2006, I was convinced by a friend of mine, Chris, to watch Raw because of the reunion of DX, and ever since then I've been hooked again. Though I'm sure it would take a lot to make me stop watching entirely, this hiatus proves that it is possible. More than likely, though, something else would just end up making me tune in again and I'll probably be a fan for life.