I’m listening to the Steve Austin Show. I love the business of professional wrestling more than any other form of entertainment. I inundate myself with horrible writing on the dirtsheets, lies that sound true nshit. I listen to all these wrassler podcasts on Podcast One. I’m watching all the documentaries and DVDs. Anyway… immersing yourself in something to this degree, smartens you up. When I first started writing on this site, I was closer to being the morons in the IWC I claimed to detest. The Quinn Gammon was right. I wanted everyone to turn heel or face and half the roster to win all the time. I realize now what I always craved was compelling personal issues. And unfortunately, there is a certain limit WWE has. Ask Muhammad Hassan.
After 9/11, some genius working for WWE thought… “What could be more perfect to draw heat, than to play on the sensitivities of the main audience, America… than to have an arrogant Arab Muslim and his homies, beat down The Undertaker of all people, and make it look like a terrorist attack, as their faces are covered and they even kneel to pray to Allah?” And then UPN bitched about all the negative attention it drew. WWE is a publicly traded company and a slave to corporate sponsorship. Compare this to how when Jerry Lawler had Andy Kaufman in his territory, the tv station called him to say they couldn’t show Kaufman’s promos anymore because people were threatening to burn the tv station down. The business is on such a higher level and profile now, that it kind of cannibalizes itself. I see so many people say things now like “WWE won’t do another Nation of Domination because they don’t want to offend anyone.” I remember CNN or someone talked about Zeb Colter’s thinly veiled racist promos building to a match with a Mexican. And you can clearly see that over time, they watered down The Real Americans. The last angle I can think of that really pissed people off, was when CM Punk was the straight-edge savior. Claiming that his lifestyle made him better than everyone. The most fucked up thing about this, is it all built to him fighting a fan favorite who was known to have drug problems! When I watch Bray Wyatt ranting and raving, sometimes incoherently, and the parts that make sense are true… How am I supposed to hate someone that’s telling the truth? CM Punk was mostly a cool heel because he told the truth. When he feuded with Randy Orton, I rooted for Orton despite the fact that when Punk was WHC, Orton and Legacy took him out. At the time Punk helmed the New Nexus and could exact revenge. I feel like there isn’t much money in grey. We need clear black and white.
When HHH was cutting promos building to his match with Bryan at Mania, he said we were in the ‘Reality Era’. I thought that was brilliant because there was such surrealism in the words he used to run down Daniel. My problem with that is… I’m not supposed to fucking agree with the heel. I’m not supposed to go into a big show hoping the heel succeeds at suppressing the upward mobility of a babyface. And there I was, feeling like “HHH is RIGHT. Daniel Bryan is a hell of a talent. But top guy? Naaaaaahhhhhhh.” It worked because, going in, I watched my twitter feed seriously doubt Bryan would even go over on HHH, much less win the main event. Sometimes predictable is good, because wrasslin as a business can only succeed if it makes the fans want to see something and deliver. That doubt that existed was perfect. I saw people @ the WWE twitter account to say they were going to stop watching and not buy the network if Bryan didn’t win. HHH’s heel heat was great. I just wonder if there was a way to sell the match without a part of me hoping either he’d win, or one of his friends would finish the babyface in the main event. Going back five years… Orton terrorized HHH’s family. But I hated HHH for holding Orton back in Evolution. So, similar to his feud with Punk, Orton did dastardly things… but at the same time, you felt like he deserved to get his revenge. And… as I recall, no one enjoyed their matches at that time. There may or may not be a correlation.
These days I think you have to go beyond where WWE is willing to go to really make you want to see someone get their ass beat. No one wants to see Bad News Barrett or Bray Wyatt or Evolution get beat the fuck up. I think more people talk about and want to see wrasslin if you give them a reason to want to see the bad guys lose. If WWE followed through with the Muhammad Hassan thing… not many people were going to hope he went over one on one. And if there was a stip that allowed the terrorists to whip Taker’s ass the show doesn’t go off the air with people singing or chanting or cheering.