the rise of ryback… redux

I remember when Ryback was getting his original push way back when, where no less than a dozen people were telling me that he had the potential to be the biggest thing in recent memory.  They told me that people would get over their Goldberg chants and stand behind him with the “FEED ME MORE!” chants.  They informed me that the people would fall in love with his character, that sheer power and love for destruction, and that he would one day be a worthy world championship contender.

Continue reading the rise of ryback… redux

11/10/2014 Raw Review: Valleys and Peaks

Yeah I might now review everything all the time. Yall niggas not paying me neither. Anyway…

I liked Raw, and two things occurred to me… 1) with no part timer coming back to steal shine from the regular roster (Hi Rocky Maivia) and no world championship match, it’s forced WWE to actually give us a compelling reason to care about the traditional Survivor Series match. 2) Since its inception in late August of 2013, The Authority has been an umbrella over the major storylines SINCE. So, if this IS the end, maybe… just maybe they’ll NOT do the lazy thing and bring back general managers… (yeah the FUCK right) maybe they’ll actually focus on making the right decisions on who is heel or face and create compelling reasons to yay or boo. (again yeah the FUCK right)

I liked how the overarching theme of this entire episode was building Team Authority and how they were set on destroying anyone who dared join Team Cena. I hated that Ryback joined the team and left the team in one three hour episode. Rather pointless that. WWE has absolutely no fucking idea how illogical it is to: 1) create a star babyface 2) job that star babyface out for over a year 3) turn him heel 4) job him out for another year 5) bring him back to babyface reactions 6) turn him heel two weeks later 7) that same night… turn him babyface again… I think? Maybe you’re reading this thinking “well babyface and heel doesn’t matter that much” and I say: “Read this next paragraph and read it well, you sophomoric neophyte!”

Earlier today I was watching Star Trek on Netflix… when it occurred to me: my immersion into wrasslin fandom has made me view other things through the lens of babyface and heel. It made me think… Would you watch any episodic television show where pretty much all the characters did endearing and dastardly things seemingly randomly? Imagine if Walter White was Heisenberg from the very beginning, and all throughout the show he was this genuinely nice guy who wouldn’t hurt a flea. Imagine if Jesse Pinkman was clean cut and just a nice kid who sold a lil crank here and there to make ends meet. Then they meet and for seemingly no reason, turn on each other and try to get each other killed or arrested every other episode. The show ends with them being the best of friends until Walter dies from cancer. Yeah that doesn’t sound as good as what Breaking Bad is. And it is exactly what watching Raw is like.

I got a headache that didn’t hurt when Adam Rose turned on the bunny for costing him a match because it made no sense for his gimmick/character. Before that, Rowan teased jumping the bunny from behind then wandered around the ring before cryptically uttering “she’s not here”, which I hope will culminate in something interesting for his character. Anyway… Adam Rose’s character doesn’t seem like the type of guy who would let the words of R-Truth and being cost a match turn him into a bad guy. He seems like he’d just kinda shrug it all off and smoke a fatty. Anyway… I don’t see a bright future for him when they strip him of his entire gimmick and repackage him as a generic heel. I see many jobs in his future.

I feel like WWE booked itself into a corner with this Survivor Series match. Rusev has never tapped or been pinned but is in an elimination style match where his team needs to lose to advance the story. Assuming WWE does actually want to become interesting in the future. Anyway… don’t take no rocket scientist to see that in lieu of having Randy Orton lose in front of his home fans, he will either be the sole survivor or last two with Cena. I have been on record here with telling you that I don’t think Rusev should be fed to Cena. He should be fed to Roman Reigns upon his return. Roman Reigns needs to be the man to defeat the unbeatable Russian patriot. For America. For America’s belt. And they still may do that… but I’m guessing Rusev won’t be unbeatable once it happens.

I feel like everything other than what I’ve talked about was unmemorable. I’m literally straining to remember anything that happened tonight that wasn’t about Team Authority vs Team Cena. Which makes “whatcha gonna do, brother… when there is no overarching story to write around?” a poignant question. That… is something I will pick up if it happens. No one wants to see Team Authority win, which leaves me dreading that they will. Not because they’re heels. Cuz uninterested. We’ll see.

How WWE Can Boost WWE Network Subscriptions

I was just listening to Aaron Rift’s No DQ&A video, where someone asked him if WWE was being sold because of the poor performance of the WWE Network, which of course inspired me to write my thoughts on what would increase the subscription rate.

Stop having PPV feuds touching so often

It’s not best for business to try to get me to pay money to see things I’ve already seen before, or even worse, that I KEEP seeing for free on TV. It seems like WWE wants too badly to build to matches that they do all these singles and tag matches on TV before the PPV. A lot of fans are crying ‘burial’ because Cesaro lost in 2 falls to Dolph Ziggler. But… Cesaro ALSO lost an IC title match on SmackDown, aired two days before the PPV. He lost a title match on Main Event. They have fought several singles and tag matches in the last month. I came away from an exciting back and forth between two great affletes hoping to not see them work together again anytime soon, and not all that excited to see THAT match because I’d SEEN it just two days before. Think about boxing and MMA… Floyd Mayweather, for example, is not gonna fight his PPV opponent on free TV then ask you to pay $50 to see the SAME fight.

Bring back the cruiserweight/light heavyweight division

One of the biggest complaints many fans level against WWE is that the talents have similar builds and work styles. One of the things WWE reminded us recently on its Network show, The Monday Night Wars, is that one of the things that made WCW number one in the ratings WAS its cruiserweight division. And you could see how they buried the division by having the announcers and wrestlers speak so derisively of the cruiserweights. If we’re keeping it all the way 1000, it’s pretty hard to book guys like Rey Mysterio, and Daniel Bryan to beat Big Show clean and have it make sense. That much is a given. There is no need to book the smaller talents to get squashed each week. Raw is three hours. SmackDown is considered ‘the wrestling show’. Does it NOT make sense have guys like Sin Cara and Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater show off their skills against each other and not get fed to heavyweights with regularity? I look at the NXT talents like Tyson Kidd, Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn and Hideo Itami and think… their futures are bleak if they DON’T reboot the cruiserweight division.

Bring back blood

I’m NOT calling for a return to the Attitude Era where it seemed every other match included color. I am saying there should not be weapons and cages involved in matches where there is no color. At HIAC I saw people’s faces get raked against the cage and nothing came of it. That detracts from the whole notion that that match shortens careers. They didn’t even bleed. You show highlights of the old matches… crimson masks abound. THAT’S the biggest difference.

Do away with themed PPVs/bring back King of the Ring

WWE is doing away with the Elimination Chamber PPV. Next they need to get rid of HIAC, TLC, MITB. As much as I have enjoyed the MITB shows, they can easily put that match back on the Mania card now that there is only one world title. WWE has gotten lazy with booking its feuds with interesting stipulations because now the only time you’re going to see them is during the month that stipulation falls in on their calendar and not necessarily correlating to the progression of the storylines. The ONE themed PPV WWE needs to have is one it hasn’t done in many years: KOTR. King of the Ring is a fucking star making tournament and the PPV also. The Mick Foley/Taker HIAC was at KOTR. KOTR gave us Shane McMahon vs Kurt Angle. HHH, SCSA, Edge and so many greats have KOTR wins on their resume. It is my opinion that, used right, KOTR will help WWE create new stars.

Stop hiring TV/movie writers and hire WRASSLIN veterans to do creative

WWE’s creative can be so wildly hit or miss. I honestly think most of it is these people frankly, do not understand the sport of professional wrasslin. Paul Heyman and Jim Ross are two names that immediately come to mind as people I believe “get it” and could easily provide the quality control WWE needs to stop trying to shovel shit into our eyes on a weekly basis. Wrasslin works when you have guys competing over championships to prove they’re the best, or people fighting over a personal issue. I neither feel most of the roster really want to be great or like they hate each other. A true wrasslin mastermind would bring that out. Vince has gone further and further down the “I’m in the entertainment business” road and the product has suffered for it. Getting back to his company’s wrasslin roots by bringing in more wrasslin minds would help a great deal.

Stop relying so much on part timers while not putting anyone over

If you remember that Batista was supposed to beat Orton in a one on one match before CM Punk quit and caused a deck reshuffling… you remember that the guys WWE brings in to work on top don’t put young talent over. I qualified that last statement with “work on top” because all Chris Jericho and RVD do is work a couple months losing to young talent. In the midcard. Maybe WWE will have Lesnar put over Reigns… but he has only worked with Cena going on four times, HHH three, Taker, Show and Punk once each, since 2012. He will be used to put over one man. I’m NOT saying he should be losing to any and everyone, just making the point that older talent literally comes in, cashes a check, and no one new got over in the process. WWE cannot make new stars by only having the old ones work on top, only putting over already made stars.

Stop protecting everyone/stop jobbing people out

It is amazing to see how WWE manages to over protect guys and job most of its roster out all at the same time. Let’s review how Cena got his ass beat by Lesnar at SummerSlam, missed ONE week of TV then beat the brakes off the entire Wyatt Family in one night. Then in his rematch with Lesnar he miraculously was beating Lesnar up and Lesnar lost by DQ when Rollins tried to cash in MITB. Those two sentences are retarded to me. Look. I get Cena is the top guy. I get that never giving up is his entire gimmick. But he still did not need to beat up a group of young up and comers to prove he would be different against Brock Lesnar. He did not need to gain ANY kind of victory against Brock Lesnar to still be who he has always been. And now he’s getting ANOTHER match against Lesnar. Lesnar should not lose. Cena usually doesn’t lose. SOMEONE HAS TO LOSE! Bray Wyatt has been off TV to the point where if I didn’t have this superlative memory, I’d forget he won a feud with Jericho. I remember him and two big niggas getting suplexed all over the ring by a man who in storyline, I’ll grant you, had something to prove, but in reality, had nothing to prove. And now, Dean Ambrose is coming off a main event PPV loss. He slides down the card in a month to face another man who cannot RETURN to lose. (Sorta like Lesnar losing his re-debut to Cena after a month of claming to be “legitimate” and an asskicker.) So that’s some more interesting booking decisions to watch play out. I can encapsulate most of the other WWE “superstars” by saying they’re glorified jobbers who lose on TV or PPV more often than not. Then WWE wonders “where are the new stars?” Miz main evented WrassleMania three years ago… jobber. Ziggler loses all the time, but seems to win midcard title matches. Cesaro is a jobber. Just smh. I hope it doesn’t just make sense to ME to say WWE has to stop overprotecting guys by having them trade wins or having screwy finishes… while at the same time, not having guys out there losing every week.

Random Thought

When it was rumored that The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, and Zack Ryder would be forming as a group of disgruntled Superstars frustrated with their position in WWE, everyone was fine with it.

When Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, and Big E did the exact same thing, they were immediately labeled as angry Black men and compared to The Nation of Domination.

What was the difference, and does it matter?

Jomo and mr. baow: A Dramady

John hated his life. It was cold, and the wind was blowing. The streets of Pittsburgh weren’t nice to his kind: the halfway model type with the washboard abs and the furry boots. The world would put up with that were he younger, and they would certainly find reason to love him if he were Canadian, but John was neither. He was a man trying to get his life together, and he was failing miserably.

He didn’t have much going for him really, not in the sense he wanted. The abs were nice, as was the leaping ability; there was a history of relative success and being paired alongside champions and future champions, and there was of course his face. It was no coincidence that he looked like the front man to the legendary band, but for a generation of would-be fans who only knew “Freebird” because of the lore – and not the song – it meant less and less.

The wind blew more, and the man’s trench coat flew up slightly in the gust. His legs were bare, save for the furry boots, and as a car sped by he couldn’t help but blush deeply as the passengers laughed at him like Nelson Muntz. Two ha’s, and an accusatory point of the finger; he hated this line of work.

NXT Review 10.30.14, a.k.a. “Pots and Kettles”

Did you catch my review of Wednesday’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling?  If so, you might be interested in this review of last night’s episode of NXT.

hypocriteIt’d be very awkward to sit here and gloat endlessly on how great NXT is, how spectacular the action is, and how near-flawless the creative direction is without noting that this show also suffers from being taped some time ago.  Continue reading NXT Review 10.30.14, a.k.a. “Pots and Kettles”

It's Still Real to Me, Dammit!

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