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  #1  
Old 08-16-2015, 10:47 PM
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Default The Taboo of Tapping Out....

... needs to end.

The first time I remember hearing the "You tapped out!" chant was the RAW after WrestleMania 20. The chant was directed at Triple H, following the epic Triple threat match with Benoit (winner by submission) and Michaels. I had to give begrudging credit to Triple H, because he spat it right back at the audience. "Yeah! I tapped out!" I think, as a performer, he knew what I, as an audience member, suspected. Flair wasn't met with this attitude after tapping out to Bret Hart. This attitude is trouble.

A submission was regarded as a valid victory, and had no stigma attached to it. Heel, baby face, it didn't matter. Sometimes you were at your opponents mercy, and you needed to live and fight another day. Suddenly, the audience and commentary team use the device as a method to detract heat from the heel, HHH. It made Benoit look good, and rightfully so, but did it really need to come at the expense of equating submitting to being a coward, or sensitive, or more vulgar versions of those two adjectives. By indulging in that attitude, there is suddenly a new variable you need to consider when protecting talent credibility, and in turn, a new limitation in how matches finish.

Enter John Cena, and hit the fast forward about ten years.

Cena has (in my opinion, wrongful) detractors in regards to burying talent, and the most voicetrous in those detractors offer more criticism when Cena beats someone by submission. In today's WWE, a submission victory does kill some momentum, but it really shouldn't. In fact, it wouldn't be so damn taboo if WWE hadn't continued to cultivate this attitude. Remember Fastlane, when Rusev "technically" beat Cena by submission, and Michael Cole was forced to pretend it was the most tragic fucking thing?

This taboo needs to end, and funny enough, I think it hinges on John Cena(yep, the same Cena that I just defended). I think because of Cena's kayfabe success, we've equated said success to the Never Give Up demeanor. In turn, there is a tranferance to all of the main event talent. If Cena doesn't tap, they can't either. Stop me if I'm blanking out here, but the last main eventers that I remember tapping out were Batista at WM XXX and Triple H at SummerSlam 2013. When is the last time you remember Orton tapping out? Daniel Bryan? Seth Rollins? Roman Reigns?

I believe that if Mr. Never Gives Up finally Gives Up, this poor attitude towards submission victories will start being ushered out of WWE. Hopefully we can accept that even top tier talent has a breaking point, and can stop worrying about it, kayfabe and otherwise.
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2015, 12:47 AM
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The problem is that the powers that be (especially Stephanie and Vince) don't believe top babyfaces should ever tap out, because it would "destroy the fans' faith in them". VERY rarely do top babyfaces lose by submission in WWE, and I don't think Triple H would change that either. It's just something that's always going to be around unfortunately. WWE's biggest weakness is their constant need to have faces go over in almost every feud, never show weakness, and always be the top stars. That's where WCW had the advantage - there, heels were usually the top stars, and were regularly allowed to go over clean, including by submission. It was a much better way of booking, until Russo took over anyway.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2015, 02:26 AM
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To be perfectly honest, I think it needs to be taken a step further such that the taboo of losing needs to end.

I'm sick of hearing people say how wrestlers losing a match slows or kills their momentum. What momentum? It's a staged wrestling show, and it's 100% about the performance they give, and not the end result. For instance, how many new superstars have debuted over the years with a big win, and then have seemingly gone nowhere (Fandango, for example)?

Really, for anyone who goes and says Cena 'buries' talents, through either a submission or pinfall, needs to snap out of it. For an internet community of wrestling fans who seemingly know more about the business than 'casuals', thinking that wins and losses diminish a performer's worth is actually pretty dim-witted and mark-ish.
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2015, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Zay'n View Post
To be perfectly honest, I think it needs to be taken a step further such that the taboo of losing needs to end.

I'm sick of hearing people say how wrestlers losing a match slows or kills their momentum. What momentum? It's a staged wrestling show, and it's 100% about the performance they give, and not the end result.
I'm sorry but at the end of the day results do matter. How can you have someone constantly lose but suddenly have them in a championship match. People may say kayfabe is dead but its not, it is however on life support and the only thing keeping the plug from being pulled is W-L records.

The crap about swapping wins however does need to die
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:47 AM
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I don't think it all hinges on Cena, but you've definitely got a point. But in all honesty, Cena's only the posterboy for this attitude. He didn't start it. It's been a thing for a very long time. If I guy didn't tap, but passed out instead- he was considered a tough son of a bitch. Hell, it helped rocket Stone Cold to success against Bret Hart. And it became a formula. Undertaker and Kane avoided tapping out for years for this reason. (Though, to be fair to them part of their gimmick was that they were immune to pain) Top faces just don't tap. That's why they're the heroes. I don't think this attitude will go away until it becomes a regular thing for all the guys on the roster. Not just Cena, though they should start with him. All faces and heels would have to lose by submission. And the announce team would have to stop their bullshit. THEN the crowds might stop being assholes. Until then, it's here to stay. And I worry it's permanent.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2015, 07:42 AM
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I think you're looking into this a little too much. HHH tapped out to Benoit, Cena, Undertaker all at Wrestlemania. If it was really taboo, it would be lingering over head still, yet he's still in high profile matches with Lesnar, Bryan, Sting, etc. The 'you tapped out' lasts until what, maybe a week or two after it happens? Or if the wrestler is really good, he could fan the flames and make it part of his character (Kurt Angle and the 'you suck' chant).

If you're the big star of the company, you don't tap out because you won't be perceived at that big star anymore. If Hogan or Rock or Austin or, etc tapped while they were the face of the company, it would have been followed up by that same shock of silence when Undertaker got pinned by Lesnar.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:00 AM
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One of the reasons I like Seth Rollins so much is because he uses some very old heel tactics that have become to be looked at as "taboo". For instance, 3 weeks ago Rollins was put in the STF by Cena and almost immediately tapped out, not because he's "weak" but because he's smart. Nothing was on the line, so why go through the pain? I don't think tapping out is the real taboo here, as there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration, for instance, character. Seth Rollins can tap out without the stigma because he's a slimy, cowardly heel. Roman Reigns on the other hand, is built as this superman who can tough out anything, so "submitting" holds that stigma of giving up . It's no different from the old eras, where you'd be very hard-pressed to find Taker, Kane, Austin, etc. ever tapping out. Same goes for Hogan, Warrior, Savage, and Andre.

At the end of the day, some gimmicks allow their character to tap out without losing much of anything, while others affect their character's more for saying "I quit". I wouldn't say that nothing has changed when it comes to submission victories because that would be untrue, but I wouldn't go as far as calling it taboo. Just like in past eras, it all depends on who is the one tapping out and who's the one making them tap out.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:35 AM
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The OP's pov is understandable, yet I wouldn't make too big a deal of the 'stigma' of tapping out.

Almost always, it's a fan's taunt thrown at a heel who had too big a mouth in the events leading up to the match in which he wound up tapping. Batista and Triple H are mentioned, but I also remember Kurt Angle being serenaded with "You tapped out" after losing to the Rock.

Kurt did so much mouthing off in the weeks leading to the event that he was practically inviting the fans to hit him over the head after his loss. Heels can lose by submission and not be taunted if they don't get too cocky beforehand.

Then again, how many bad guys can do that?
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Old 08-17-2015, 10:41 AM
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I remember a time when if Rick Flair got you in the figure four, that was it. There was no getting out of the figure four, and Rick's opponent would scream "I QUIT" over and over.

These days; a submission move that could easily snap a bone is treated like a simple way for the two performers to either build cheap tension or discuss the next spot. Performers are almost always able to creep toward the rope and score a rope break, even John Cena's opponents hardly ever tap for the first STF.

While I realize that some submission moves are more potent than others, I just wish that escaping from a submission move wasn't so overplayed that it's become mundane.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:45 PM
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I think wins & losses are supposed to matter; after all, nobody's interested in jobbers and nobody really rallies behind them for very long. As far as the taboo surrounding tapping out, I think it's just an extension of the taboo too many modern fans place around wrestlers losing as a whole. What I mean by that is that we've seen, NUMEROUS times in fact, complaints and declarations that a wrestler's push is being stopped, he's losing momentum or that he's being buried if he loses a match, especially in a match that's part of a high profile program.

A wrestler losing via tapping out doesn't hold any greater significance than if he's pinned, a decisive loss is a decisive loss no matter how you slice it. Too many fans overemphasizing almost every single time a wrestler loses, however, in my eyes, is more of a problem.
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