Chair Shots: Smaller Wrestlers are Screwed!
Nov 11, 2013 - 4:08:25 AM
Welcome back everyone to the column that sends its heartfelt thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by Typhoon Haiyan. I honestly can’t begin to imagine the devastation that roared through the Philippines and surrounding areas. Best wishes to all those that were unfortunate enough to be in its path.
Once again, The Big Show is back in the WWE Title picture once again, and based on backstage reports, the focus of the WWE is once again to put the “larger than life” athletes back in the main event scene. Vince and company have always had a fascination with big men, from Big John Studd, Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and the biggest of them all Andre the Giant. To the WWE, they believe their fans want to see wrestlers that they can only imagine being themselves. The average male in the United States is approximately 5’9” tall and 180 lbs. According to Vince, we don’t want to see wrestlers that are our size at the top of the card; we want to see GIANTS!
So you can only imagine how the 5’10” Daniel Bryan is feeling right about now. He’s been given a taste of the spotlight. He’s held the WWE Title on 2 separate occasions, albeit for so little time they barely count. He has the WWE Universe in the palm of his hands, but according to Vince, we don’t want to see him be successful. We want to see slow, plodding matches between The Big Show and Randy Orton (who by the way is 6’5” and 235 lbs). If you look on the other side of the title picture, you have the World Champion John Cena standing 6’1” and 251 lbs. and his current challenger Alberto Del Rio at 6’5” and 235 lbs. Yet it wasn’t too long ago that Dolph Ziggler was at the top of the card, holding the WWE title. Was it Dolph’s concussion that cost him the belt? Was it his overall attitude that has seen his push diminished? Both of those things definitely seem to be factors, but Dolph is also on the smallish size when it comes to the WWE talent at 6’, 213 lb. mark.
"When it's time for me to go, I would like to be devoured by the biggest baddest carnivore that ever walked the face of the earth. And then I'd like that son of a bitch to get indigestion and vomit my remains back up.-Vince McMahon"
You see, even in death Vince McMahon is fascinated by taking on the biggest thing he can find. But what does that mean for the current crop of wrestlers in NXT? Based on comments I’ve seen on Twitter, the LOP Forums, and Oliver’s NXT Review, a lot of you are very excited about seeing some of the current crop of NXT wrestlers on the main roster. Let’s take a look at some of the more prominent guys on the card right now.
Adrian Neville- 5’10”, 194 lbs.
Corey Graves- 6’1”, 208 lbs.
Enzo Amore- 5’11”, 200 lbs.
Tyler Breeze- 6’0”, 195 lbs.
Xavier Woods- 5’11”, 205 lbs
Sami Zayn- 6’0”, 193 lbs.
Not exactly “larger than life” wrestlers now are they? The biggest of the batch, Corey Graves is still 30 lbs. lighter than anybody currently in either the WWE or World Title picture. I specifically highlighted Sami Zayn because he is one of the men that the internet is abuzz about. The former El Generico seemingly tears it up every time he steps into the squared circle in NXT and had one of the most talked about matches of the year with his two out of three falls match with Antonio Cesaro. But Sami Zayn will NEVER be at the top of the card in the WWE, because Vince and crew don’t want good, average size wrestlers who can entertain; they want oversized, average entertainers who can wrestle.
Before you throw it back at me, I know CM Punk held the WWE Title longer than any wrestler in the current era, but that was THEN. Ratings aren’t what they used to be, so that must mean that the smaller wrestlers who so many of us fans love to watch just aren’t as popular as we think they are. And to be fair to CM Punk, he is bigger than any of the NXT men on that list. But there’s a flaw in the WWE’s logic concerning the ratings. First and foremost is that the ratings system itself is skewed. Only those families with a ratings counting device count towards the weekly totals. Of course this is supposed to be a cross-cultural representation of the entire viewing populace, but I’d venture to say that none of you reading this column are part of that group. Nielsen ratings may work for your average weekly episodic drama or comedy, but they just don’t work for professional wrestling. Hell, you could even argue that with DVR, Hulu, Netflix, etc. that the entire ratings system is antiquated and needs to be revamped entirely.
Yes TripleR, but the PPV buys are dropping as well. They certainly fell with Daniel Bryan in the Main Event scene, so it must be his fault right? Balderdash! PPV buys are dropping across the board, and they have been for a few years now. Most people cannot afford to put down the price of PPV’s 13 times a year. They have to be selective with their funds, especially in a time in the United States where we’re still trying to rebound from a recession. Online streaming, while illegal, also plays a huge part in those PPV buys taking a hit. Hell, you can even read minute by minute accounts of the PPV right here on LordsofPain.net. But that’s not what Vince thinks. Vince thinks that if he puts the biggest man he’s got back in the Main Event, that buys will rebound, and quite frankly that’s ridiculous. I would venture to guess that Big Show vs. Randy Orton in the Main Event at Survivor Series will have the lowest Survivor Series buyrate of the last 5 years.
So you have to ask yourself, where does that leave the Zayn’s and the Neville’s of the wrestling world? Unfortunately, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if half of the men I noted on that list don’t make it to the WWE Main Roster. You’ll probably see men like Alexander Rusev (6’, 305 lbs) fast-tracked before most of them make the scene, and that is unfortunate. I think we’ve all noticed the reaction that Daniel Bryan receives almost nightly. He has without question had the best crowd reactions of ANY WWE wrestler on the main roster for the better part of a year now, but that apparently doesn’t mean anything right?
Last time I checked, insane crowds cheering “Yes! Yes! Yes!” signal popularity right? When was the last time The Big Show or Randy Orton got a pop like that? Oh yeah, that’s right it doesn’t matter. They’re big and that’s all that counts!
What do you think readers? Hit me up with your thoughts, comments, questions or death threats, and as usual thanks for reading!
Until next time,
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