Last week was a boring week in professional wrestling. The most interesting thing that transpired was a wrestling promotion I don’t care about may not be here next year because they’re bleeding money and losing their television deal. Honestly, I feel the problem is too much emphasis on entertainment and not enough on the sport of professional wrestling.
I often go to sleep and wake up thinking about wrasslin. Last night I went to sleep thinking about how the belts aren’t as important as the graphics they use before title matches. Fuck your “the belts are just props” logic. In any sport, we remember the champions the most. I think it will help when they unify the IC and US titles. Because ever since they unified the WWE and WHC belts, now you see two former world champions holding the midcard belts. Last year, and for years before that, the WHC was more often than not, jerking the curtain, and while officially a world championship, it was as important as the midcard belts used to be. Which rendered the midcard belts irrelevant. WWE would debut a guy and in a month or so, slap the belt on him. Then he’d do jobs, and not get over, and they’d repeat this cycle with another midcard guy.
I hate wrasslin fans who complain about the predictability of the sport. It IS a pre-arranged thing. More often than not, the good guy is supposed to beat the bad guy. The reason I’m complaining that I’m bored is because the pay per views really do feel like Raw. Raw is three hours long but they still do a bunch of three minute matches I’m apparently not supposed to remember or care about. I’m PAST sick and tired of almost every Raw starting off with The Authority or someone coming out and having a talking segment for 20 minutes. SmackDown is a better deal for me, but they often sprinkle the show with B-listers and rarely continue stories from Raw, and Raw is recapped for about 20 minutes out of that two hours. It really is time for WWE to do things different.
Fast forward to the future. None of us are looking forward to the Hell in a Cell pay per view. Because we know the cell itself will have like NO bearing on the match. We aren’t expecting guys to climb on top and fall through to the ring, or jump off the top and throw people through the announce tables and all that… but any kind of cage match USED to mean you would use the cage as a weapon. So it’s a logic black hole for two guys to get locked inside a steel structure and not use it as a weapon. They just have a no dq match with a cage around ringside. Don’t get me started on ‘Falls Count Anywhere’ matches almost always ending in or around the ring.
THAT’S what was dope about the Attitude Era and even what some call the Ruthless Aggression Era… they were having violent bloody creative finishes like when Bob Holly fought Al Snow by that water. Yes, it was influenced by ECW. That was when “anything can happen in WWE” MEANT something. And now you rarely hear it. Because Vince knows damn well he’s shoveling the same old shit down our throats. I’m not saying they need to bleed every week in every match… but there needs to be blood in Extreme Rules matches and cage matches and such. It just doesn’t make sense to lock six men in the Elimination Chamber and they all come out looking photo shoot ready. Orton got busted open the hard way in MITB and honestly it helped suspend my disbelief that eight men had a fake fight for belts hanging over the ring.
Many people are writing things about how WWE shafted Zack Ryder and their officials are honestly happy Daniel Bryan got hurt the moment they gave him the big moment. And my response is, this is why WWE is losing money. You do not have enough money to try to pay me to try to write all those hours of live and taped wrasslin. So I can’t say it’s easy. I CAN say it’s simple. I’ve been saying for a while that the people they creatively invest the least amount of time and effort in have the best programs… BECAUSE THEY’RE SIMPLE. WWE is shitting the bed with this Fandango thing unless their intent is to give up on him and bury him. There were two choices. One, let him have both of those women and push him by having them interfere in his matches. Two. Have them both leave him alone and push them in the Divas division, interfering in each other’s matches. And WWE chose C: have them slut themselves out to whoever his opponent is, help them win with no real story and not wrestle at all. There is no money in that. They are just whores kissing random superstars every week. They don’t wrestle. This time last year Fandango was the future of the business. This year he’s losing every match because some bitches start dancing during his matches. And it’s DUMB to invest money in a guy then give up on him in a few months.
Zack Ryder got himself over and so much has been written about him. I personally don’t like him but over is over, and handled right, he could have eventually become a serious world title contender. But WWE buried him. They don’t even sell his merch anymore. A couple of years ago there was such a big deal about them trademarking his catchphrases, likeness and name. And now he’s just the guy who it’s a big deal that he won for the first time in two years. (because of them sluts helping him) Fans want to see Dolph Ziggler be the man or at least closer to it than he is. Again… I don’t see it, but I DO know underutilization when I see it. He is barely there. WWE misuses so much talent, to try to entertain us with midgets and song and dance. BITCH WE TUNE IN FOR WRASSLIN!
You can make an argument that my generation grew up spoiled by seeing The Rock, Stone Cold, HHH, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Undertaker, Kane, Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho etc every week. And before that, Hulkamania ran wild. I assert: John Cena don’t write or book these shows. It’s not HIS fault we’re not really supposed to care about anyone else. Proof: people don’t chant his opponent’s name, just anti and pro Cena chants more often than not.
A few months ago, every single episode or Raw and SmackDown furthered the storyline that The Shield was gonna break up. Now, they appear stronger than ever. They’re even being booked like babyfaces while being aligned with the heel Authority. While fighting ‘the director of operations’ and HHH’s old DX buddies. This… is retarded. Yes, I WILL find something to complain about if this is fixed, but… WWE has to stop pushing and depushing, turning guys face and heel every other week, and teasing breakups and groups forming, then doing nothing with it.
Recently I was thinking back to 2011, when R-Truth was the best heel in WWE. Not Miz and certainly not CM Punk, who had yet to cut his ‘pipebomb’ promo. I never thought I’d be here for R-Truth in a main event capacity, but he did it. I honestly wanted to see him win the belt, not even for ‘Cena-nough’ reasons. He main evented ‘Capitol Punishment’ for the belt and at Survivor Series against Cena and Rock, with Miz as his partner. WWE established he and Miz as a dangerous tag team, and I’ve written here before… the seeds were planted for a faction led by John Laryngitis, starring Alberto Del Rio, Kevin Nash, The Miz and R-Truth.
Go back to SummerSlam 2011. Kevin Nash jackknifed Punk half to death, allowing Alberto Del Rio to cash in MITB. At HIAC, ‘Awesome Truth’ helped Del Rio beat Cena and Punk to win the belt back. At Vengeance, ‘Awesome Truth’ hit Cena with the ‘Lil Jimmy Finale’ or whatever they called their tag team finisher to help Del Rio retain. And they dropped that shit simply because R-Truth failed a drug test for weed. It would have been WAY more interesting than everything that has happened since then.
I look at Ryback and remember just a year and a half ago he was unbeaten and looked unstoppable. Then they had him lose every PPV match for a good year, changed his gimmick like 36635324 times, made him a Paul Heyman guy for like two months and now he’s in a wack tag team with the other failed ‘Paul Heyman guy’, Curtis Axel. Who they gave up on after never making him legit by having him win like 10 matches by screwy finish. No one has ever been legitimized by winning by countout or DQ repeatedly. Then they threw him into a tv feud with CM Punk where he never won once and it was pretty much over from there.
WWE likes taking guys they’re ruining with lame gimmicks that don’t get over and slapping them together with other rejects to form jobber tag teams. Jack Swagger was with Ziggler last year, Cesaro this year. Now Cesaro is getting over inexplicably (fake smarks cheering heels whose ‘work’ they appreciate) and I have no faith that when they break up ‘The Real Americans’ he’ll be in a good way. The Usos were jobbers last year who started to get hot, but lost like 35232252 tag title matches before winning on Raw. Now they’re going to defend on the Mania pre-show. Yay.
Everything that’s happening to Daniel Bryan is REALLY a ‘fuck you’ to CM Punk, who walked out on a TV feud with Kane and a Mania match with HHH. Daniel Bryan was reportedly in line to face Sheamus. Again. And this is after he joined the Wyatt Family for two weeks. I’m still pissed about that and how much potential THAT had.
HHH came out with his golden shovel and buried Fandango. (Hi, Quinn!) There was no good reason to point out that this time last year, Fandango was in line to become IC champ after debuting at Mania with a win over Chris Jericho… but he got injured and they’ve jobbed him out since… and now ‘Fandangoing’ isn’t as popular. NIGGA THAT’S YOUR FAULT! Truth be told, the Yes Movement would die if Daniel Bryan got jobbed out every week and at every PPV. But, he is trolling. Quite successfully, I might add. People think Bryan is being buried in high profile matches and segments all designed to get you to feel sympathy for the underdog who has only lost clean once that I can remember, since SummerSlam.
Anyway… my point has been made. You can look at Randy Orton since SummerSlam and see how shitty the booking is. From week to week, IS Orton face of the company? IS The Authority behind him? ARE they unified? WILL Orton win a match on TV as champion? I have no clue but odds are… no. Batista has been booked weak as fuck too, which is how I KNOW he’s getting the belt. They gotta cut this bullshit out and come up with a plan to build stars and then stick to it, or they’ll keep having to pay old men to come back.
So, about that hijacking……… I was of the opinion that the first hour of Raw was excellent. And I can give less than a damn about anything that happened after Bray Wyatt pinned Dean Ambrose. So much to talk about anyway. Like: How stupid do you need to be to buy tickets to an event to protest booking decisions?
Since they wisely had Batista ride the wave of negative emotion, it has become increasingly obvious that A) Batista WILL win the WWE WHC and B) “Our Hero” Daniel Bryan will be the one to divest him of all of that gold. I’m looking up and noticing Y2J and RVD haven’t come back yet. Fans are crying and complaining that WWE craps on its regulars by bringing back old hands… and you look up and realize Rock put Cena over for the strap, Jericho put Punk and Fandango over in consecutive years, and RVD got title shots against Ambrose and Del Rio… that he lost. And now Batista will essentially transition the title to the People’s Choice, and niggas STILL fucking complaining.
I want to take this time to complain that Randy Orton has been done no favors in this title reign in which he only unified the titles cleanly… and noooooooo one caaaaaaares. I’m not a fan of the predictable “make the champion appear vulnerable by having him lose regularly on TV and retain by hook AND crook at every PPV” booking, because it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t. It, in my opinion devalues the title and the titlist. The last quality title reign was that of one CM Punk (where I’ll never get tired of pointing out he never main evented as champion unless Cena was injured, or Cena was the opponent… and then The Rock) and in case you have forgotten, once he turned heel, he was a heel of the chickenshit variety. The last quality heel title reign was “Hall of Pain” Mark Henry… who turned chickenshit right before dropping the belt. It is not too much to ask that your fucking world champion be made to look dominant and top shelf. What that does, is in turn, it makes whoever takes the title look even better. NOTHING is gained when your champion is a pussy. Not. A. Damn. Thing.
I’ve been reading lots of sentiment saying WWE’s booking is terrible. Honestly, I feel it has gotten MUCH better. The booking between SummerSlam and say… Survivor Series was WTF. SINCE… my only complaint has been “Why can’t you make your champion look… like a champion?”
I meant to lead off with this, but that failed hijacking was too good to ignore: I REALLY love The Steve Austin Show. He almost has me convinced giving Daniel Bryan the ball and letting him run with it is a good idea. What all you people who overrate the Attitude Era have forgotten is… WWE only trusts Cena as a draw who will do what’s best for their bottom line. Guys like SCSA and CM Punk didn’t like creative and left them with their pants down. The Rock left to become the highest grossing movie star. Which leaves an interesting question to be answered: Why SHOULD they put the machine behind guys not necessarily making them money and popping ratings and buyrates… only to see those guys leave them assed out… AND the current system is working SO well people hate every decision they make and still watch and buy shit?
I DO think it would be a mistake to not build the company around The Shield, The Wyatt Family, Big E and Cesaro. And there is still talent on NXT and in that Performance Center that I know nothing about. It would be dumb IMO to, say… put the belt on Roman Reigns only to have him drop it a month later and lose to HHH before giving him back the belt and let him hold it for over a year before dropping it to a part timer meant to transition it BACK to Cena like they did some guy.
But not as dumb as not liking those decisions but watching every TV show, PPV and buying the Network.