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Thread: The Spud Conundrum

  1. #1
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    The Spud Conundrum

    Here's something I've wondered for a long time. What's the best way to use someone like Rockstar Spud?

    I know not everyone is on the same page, but I've seen a lot of people so mostly complimentary things about Spud, which leads me to believe that if he could have gotten over the way he has but he weighed 220lbs and was 5ft 11 then he'd have been a nailed on main event worked for TNA/GFW. But Spud isn't even remotely a heavyweight contender. If he was a boxer, he'd probably be a featherweight, and that seems to have led to his being valued a lot less and getting used in a variety of different roles.

    So given his size, how would you use him for the best? Is Spud a perfect top-tier talent for a wrestling promotion that would be 'post-Sport', where size wouldn't matter in the least? Or the man who should lead a specific weight division? Or is he the perfect man to try and kickstart the traditional wrestling manager, as he almost certainly would have been had he tried to break into wrestling in the territory days. Or would you be using him in any of the other roles that TNA/GFW have engaged him over the years?

  2. #2
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    Spud is in the same position as Enzo. He got over, he's got what he needs to be a top guy...except he doesn't look the part. He's too small. Now, I'm not saying that he can't be a top character, but I would see him in more of that Roddy Piper/Jake Roberts type guy. Not necessarily a top heavyweight contender, but an over dude that you can main event shows with and put into memorable storylines that draw. He can be around the top heavyweight contenders, but isn't necessarily one. He can be a guy that doesn't need a belt to be over and be a drawing guy. He just needs good stories.

    Jake Roberts, Roddy Piper and Ted DiBiase never had the WWF Title, but they are legends because they were guys that were so unbelievably over without ever needing the belt.

  3. #3
    The Brain
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    Poor Spud. The guy was one of the most over guys on the roster in 2015 in the wake of the EC3 stuff, and won the XD title to a huge pop, but then they forgot about him and his heat slowly slipped away.

    Frankly, I've never seen Spud in a role where he didn't add value (except maybe ring announcer, because he's far too good for that). He was absolutely fantastic as EC3's manager when he first came in, and I do wonder if that's not the best role for him. As you said, 30 years ago he'd be an obvious lock for a full on career in managing, but there's stupidly little call for that these days.

    He was a great underdog foil to EC3 when they turned on each other and had me thinking he could succeed as an upper midcard underdog character in the vein of Mysterio, and I do think that's possible just based on pure charisma and ability, recognizing that size matters less now than ever before.

    He was fine when he defected to Big Money Matt Hardy's stable and was doing well as a bitter undersized henchman, but that got scrapped suddenly in favor of the Broken Universe (which he would have fit into wonderfully, but alas no luck). He could have been good as Aron Rex's manager but that was scrapped too soon to really say for sure.

    If I were a promoter and got to work with Spud, it would definitely be as a manager and periodic wrestler. He's wonderful in that role and can really antagonize a crowd, but he's charismatic enough that if he ever starts to get face pops it's easy to turn him for a while until a fresh story presents itself. I agree with Coach in that using him in good stories is the key, as he's got a great talent for making anything he's handed work on a deeper level.

  4. #4
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    Is there a difference in that Roddy Piper, though small for the day, was still 6 feet tall and around 200lbs or bigger, and Roberts wasn't significantly smaller than a lot of the guys he was working with, but Spud is obviously so much smaller than the average? I mean, let's face it, DJZ probably has 30lbs on the guy and a couple of inches in height. Enzo, too, is way bigger than he is. In the EC3 feud he was literally almost half his weight and around 9-10 inches shorter. Is that going to factor in to his ability to be a special attraction against top level guys?

    I kinda think that if you were to use him in that way, then as a manager would still be the best way to do that, because you could keep him as a special attraction but people wouldn't mind if he got his ass kicked quickly (the way Bobby Heenan, Jim Cornette and Jimmy Hart all used to). But like Heenan he'd also have the background to take a real kicking when the time comes. It almost seems to me that a talent like that demands that you create the call for it, and that you try and build around what you've got - especially for a company with such limited resources.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I think they absolutely nailed Spud when he came in, to be honest. It was the perfect role for him, he became a hugely sympathetic character, and had a load of momentum behind him. It was the last time I was regularly watching things TNA did, just to see his and EC3's bits in the program, because it grabbed me. I tried watching a full show around then and couldn't get through almost any of the other stuff, but EC3 and Spud had me watching at least those bits.

    I think they got the turn on EC3 wrong. I think they'd built him up to be a great face and he could have thrived in that role for a long time. And I think the reunion with EC3 was, whilst rushed, kind of perfect too. I'd have loved to have seen them as a pair of faces run that for a while, with them building on the respect angle that they teased in the hair vs hair match. Think that could have been outstanding. So that's where they went wrong, in my opinion. I think they could salvage it, though have no idea what he's doing now. Wiki says he's feuding with Swoggle which sounds like it's not going to get him there.

    This is still outstanding:


  6. #6
    The Brain
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    Strongly agree that turning Spud against EC3 was a bat move. I respected it because it made sense for the character, essentially the guy who bullied him and made his life hell just turned around and, without ever apologizing or making amends, was being cheered by the crowd. So it made sense that Spud would feel betrayed. If they had committed to it, it could have been something, but it feel apart as soon as Matt started on the "Broken" thing, and Spud was left to make the best out of things while being given basically nothing.

    All the EC3/Spud comedy heel stuff is brilliant, that segment especially. I loved how TNA slow burned the split between them, with Spud still acting goofy and buffoonish while EC3 started to get so much meaner and more paranoid after he saw his aunt go through a table, despite all her power and influence, and realized there was nothing he could do about it. I'll always love that entire arc, a perfectly told story.

  7. #7
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    My girlfriend hated the Spud heel turn, for what it's worth. I tend to pay attention to her opinions just to get a sense of what someone who isn't too close to it all is thinking. But she didn't see the value in it and thinks that he's effectively been wasted since. I think that if the most casual of casual fans are thinking that, then there's an obvious issue in it all.

  8. #8
    King of the Columnists Leaf's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, Spud currently has a gimmick on the UK indies in which he believes that he is living in 2002 following a shot to the head - think Eric Young's crazy gimmick. I haven't watched Impact in a very long time so I don't know if he has brought it there.

    2002 is significant as he still believes that he is a trainee and he is doing everything he can to get himself noticed and to get a chance in the wrestling business.

    Anyway, it's absolutely hilarious, and his Twitter is a hotbed for his antics.
    https://twitter.com/rockstarspud

    I personally don't think it would be too hard for him to introduce this gimmick to Impact if he hasn't already. Eventually, someone has to be concerned for his mental wellbeing, and that would be the perfect way to unite EC3 and Spud as EC3 tries to remind them of their friendship in some comedy segments, conveniently skipping the betrayal parts until another heel wrestler brings it up and makes Spud question his allegiances.

    That's where I would go anyway.
    Catch up on my column series, Sound Of The Underground, only on Lordsofpain.net

  9. #9
    The Brain
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    Oh yeah, he's been brilliant doing shtick with the new gimmick. I honestly don't think Impact is even using him at all right now, are they? I don't think he's done anything since the Hornswoggle feud. At this point he'd probably be better off just breaking ways with the company, if they're too stupid to use him. Then again, if they're paying him to sit at home (or work indys), then maybe it works out for the best.

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