Random Thoughts from the Office: June 18, 2010

Wow, what a quiet couple of weeks in wrestling, I guess they must have died down to watch the World Cup or something (Although some of those matches makes me think Vince Russo is booking it, the US tying the game on one of the biggest howlers ever, Spain losing, France's soccer team being as limp as their army). Not a whole lot to talk really so I guess I'll get back to...


Daniel(son) Bryan - Raw June 7, 2010

Oh right.....that.

Yes the IWC has lost its fucking mind again as Bryan Danielson is shown the door for choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with a tie to appease their corporate masters. The big discussion early was: work or shoot? I think we all pretty much know now that it is a reality that Danielson is at least gone for a while, which is actually as understandable as it is stupid. I mean call me weird but if I have the choice of being "choked" with a tie or put in the trunk of a car which is then deliberately crashed into other vehicles...I think I'd take the tie.

A lot of people say this is a sad indictment of the PG push for WWE at the moment but actually I don't think that's it at all. WWE's problem in this case isn't the fact they're marketing more towards kids again, it's the fact that they are a public company. This means having to answer to shareholders who might not take it too well if you stand up to a multi-million dollar sponsor just to save one wrestler, even if he may be one of the top five in the world. So in reality with the current climate, The WWE's hands were tied and it has already hurt the NXT Invasion angle.

I'm only speculating about this, but I think that Danielson was going to be the workhorse of the angle, putting on the great matches while the others found their feet because the only other two guys who are even close to ready for the WWE spotlight are the eventual winner and "Leader" of the NXT group Wade Barrett and Justin Gabriel, who's an 11 year pro himself. The rest have pieces that make them work. David Otunga has some charisma, Heath Slater's passable, Michael Tarver......has something I'm sure, I just haven't figured out WHAT yet. To put these guys in matches on Monday Night Raw, your flagship show is only going to expose how green these guys really are, and yet the need for new superstars is greater than ever now for the WWE as they're in desperate need of them due to a giant hole that they themselves have created.

A lot of people who go to the Wrestlecrap forums recently may have noticed that I don't post much nowadays in the WWE forum, mostly sticking to TNA or (w)Rest of Wrestling. People who come here may also wonder why I haven't really bashed WWE a lot since I joined the wrestlecrapradio.com family and that's for a pretty simple reason. With TNA for me, while a lot of what I see on Impact pisses me off and gives me a chance to either go on the Wrestlecrap forums or here and vent my disgust at them at least there's some sort of emotion there. I'll give TNA credit where it's due, you never have many dull moments watching Impact. There's always going to be something that either excites or infuriates you and that is good because it does make you want to tune in again and see if they can either maintain or improve, depending on what side of the fence you're on.

Compare this to WWE.The reason why I haven't said much about them here or on the forums recently: It's just plain boring. There's nothing inherently WRONG with the WWE product at the moment but at the same time there's nothing inherently RIGHT about the product either; it's just dull. Most RAWs since Wrestlemania and even a few before then, I find myself spending more time watching the clock wondering if this show will ever end instead of actually paying attention to the matches. There's nothing to grab you and say "Pay Attention. This is something you need to see!"

That's why the NXT Invasion two weeks ago was so universally loved, it was something DIFFERENT, it was something exciting, it was something that made you want to tune into Raw this week and see just what these guys were going to do next. I mean not since the days of the nWo have you seen guys destroy the ring, destroy the announcers and destroy faces and heels alike. Suspension of disbelief is still the paramount thing in wrestling; if you can make the most jaded online cynics go "That shit was not meant to happen" you can start lighting your cigars with $100 bills.

Turn that to this week and the whole "Kidnap the GM, crash into cars with him in the trunk, give him a deadline" deal. The WWE had something and whether it was bad luck through the forced release of Danielson or just plain bad writing, they blew it. It felt like just another WWE angle. The rookies got their comeuppance, got beat up by big threats like Santino Marella (please note the sarcasm) and took off with their tail between their legs, then attacked an virtual invalid (No offense to Bret but that is what he is nowadays).

The major problem with the WWE product is until very recently they didn't make new stars. The guys who were main eventing in 2006 are still main eventing now, long after their shelf life as a draw has expired. John Cena is still a viable figurehead of a company, Undertaker will forever be over just based on longevity, Hunter gets heat because he's Hunter, but what about the others? Edge's best days only netted him transitional runs with the titles and those days are long gone. EVERYONE got sick of Randy Orton long ago and I'm sorry, he can't work babyface yet because he was a "name" and he's still well up the card. Do I even need to discuss guys like Jericho and Punk and their criminal misuse? Then you have Mysterio and Big Show, who are pushed because of their size, Rey being an underdog, Show cause he's fat.

Now you look at the landscape and you see the problem. Taker and Hunter are injured, Randy and Rey are barely going, Edge is still feeling his way back from his injury and Shawn Michaels and Batista are gone. A lot of people have been negative on the Sheamus and Jack Swagger title reigns and pushes but at least the WWE are now trying to create new talent, something they have to do to keep what they have and to try and gain interest. Swagger's been pretty much a joke as champion but Sheamus has gotten now to a point where he could be the next star, the title run he had set that up and then putting Hunter on the shelf sealed it. Add in guys like The Miz, R-Truth and Wade Barrett and the nucleus is there for the WWE.

Which brings me to a quick final thought for this column. The next breakout star could be someone you don't expect and its actually because the WWE have done something smart for a change; whether it will work or not is another thing but it's something they have to try.

The man? Dolph Ziggler. It's because they appear to be matching him up with one of the top heat magnets in the company, Vicki Guerrero. If Vicki can even get some of her heat to transfer to Ziggler, the WWE has another card in the deck they can call upon and it's something they haven't done enough. Maybe that has to do with the failure of Eric Escobar but there's also no point having someone sitting there with that much heat and to only use them as a pseudo GM where its not going to help your main assets, the wrestlers, get over.

Ziggler has one key thing Escobar didn't, charisma and that may just help him in getting some heat himself as well as getting the heat he'll get just by hanging around Vicki. And if he does that he can't help but get over and become a breakout star

Put it this way, he's got a better shot than Drew McIntyre at this point.

Clarence "Showstealer" Mason

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