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Posted in: Chair Shots
Chair Shots: Subtleties (or How to Make an Angle Work)
By TripleR
Sep 17, 2013 - 9:57:16 AM

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Welcome back everybody to the column that sacked Ben Roethlisberger on Monday Night Football- Chair Shots! WWE Fans, there is certainly a lot going on in the WWE Universe right now. From the ascendance of Daniel Bryan, to the Helmsley/McMahon Power Trip, to the Heyman/Punk blood feud (no, not butt flute), there’s something for everybody. But what has me the most invested is the storyline featuring the long, storied history of the McMahons and the Rhodes.

If you’re a long-time fan, you know that Vince McMahon always considered Dusty Rhodes to be a thorn in his side. He wasn’t your typical wrestler. Dusty was overweight, and in Vince’s eyes, not very appealing to look at. And what Vince could never quite grasp, was why Dusty was one of the most popular wrestlers in the business. So when he got his hands on Dusty finally, he did everything he could to embarrass him. He dressed him up in polka dots. He paired him with an older black woman named Sapphire, and he buried him in the mid-card. But you know what, Dusty STILL got over. He did what Dusty always did; he let his work do the talking. Now over the years, Dusty has become an integral part of the WWE Universe and the bad blood between the two families has been smoothed over. However, that hasn’t stopped the WWE from creating one of the most intriguing and compelling storylines in recent memory.

I’m not going to rehash the entire storyline for you, because quite frankly the WWE has enough replays as it is. I don’t think we need another one here, but on last night’s edition of Raw, Dusty Rhodes was invited by Stephanie McMahon to listen to an offer she had concerning Cody Rhodes’ employment with the company. If you didn’t see it, go find it. If you did see it, this was one of the best non-wrestling segments that the WWE has pulled off in quite some time. Each and every person in that segment played their parts to perfection, and as the title of the column states, there were a lot of subtleties that took this to the next level. So let’s look at the players shall we?

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Dusty Rhodes- Dusty is truly a master on the microphone. Any young, up and coming wrestler, whether employed by the WWE or somewhere else should watch that segment over and over again. Take notes young wrestlers, because that’s how you do it. From the opening line where Dusty said he was out there as Virgil Runnels and NOT Dusty Rhodes, to the somewhat defeated demeanor he carried through the segment, Dusty was on his game like no other. He boiled with intensity when necessary. He was humble when he needed to be humble. And when he finally confronted Stephanie McMahon, and he could take no more, Dusty yelled at her to “Go… To… Hell!” This was a clinic in storytelling. And while Dusty was the perfect “Father in Turmoil”, the segment could not have been pulled off without the Queen Bitch herself….

Stephanie McMahon- I’ve always been hot and cold with Stephanie’s performance on the microphone. Sometimes she can seem as green as a newly hired NXT talent, but not last night. Stephanie seems to really be embracing this time on-screen, almost to the point of being the Puppet Master behind Triple H’s decisions. Last night she stepped up her game, playing the condescending princess faking admiration of the Rhodes family. While her line of “You’re the son of a plumber. I’m the daughter of a GENIUS” line could have been delivered with more venom, it sold her way of thinking like nothing else could. Stephanie is the entitled heiress, and her father is the King, and you don’t mess with the King. She stuck it to Dusty with his failings as a father, while reminding him how great hers was. She turned into a demon seed when Dusty walked away from her. And when she yelled for Big Show to “DO IT!” you could almost see the poison coming out of her mouth.

Big Show- For weeks now, Big Show has had to suffer with being emotionally and physically castrated at the hands of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. He’s been forced to punch out Daniel Bryan. He’s been forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as his friend gets beaten down. He’s been suspended without pay, and reminded how much his family needs the money due to his bad investments. This giant of a man has been made to feel small, and that continued last night when Stephanie McMahon called him to the ring to knock out a man that he admires as much as anybody in the business. Big Show has always been one of the better actors in the company, without a doubt, but he’s stepped it up to another level, as you can FEEL the pain he’s going through. You could see the love he had for Dusty Rhodes in his eyes, and in the hug he gave him before he balled up his giant-sized fist. When Show looked Dusty in the eyes and said “I’m sorry” and Dusty looked back at him and nodded his head, you felt it. But the moment that stands out most of all was AFTER the punch, when Big Show would not let Dusty Rhodes fall to the ground. He held Dusty, almost cradling him in his arms, making sure he was taken care of. This small subtlety took a very good segment and made it great. No words were needed, just one small important action.

The Shield- Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns continue to be the best at what they do. These are three men that have fully embraced their roles and taken it to another level. One of the most common comparisons people have to The Shield is that they work like a pack of dogs. I’ll take that one step further- they work like a pack of hyenas. Dogs can be brutal in packs, but hyenas are even more so, and they enjoy the hunt. They enjoy the kill. The Shield enjoys the hunt, and they revel in the kill. When they entered the ring and surrounded Dusty, you knew that this would not end well for the American Dream. But they didn’t even really do anything in the segment, but what they did do was perfection. Roman Reigns went to the outside and got three chairs. As Stephanie McMahon ordered Big Show to punch out his friend, The Shield banged their chairs on the mat. They egged on Big Show. They bounced back and forth ready to pick the remains if at all possible. It was what was needed. It was an extra spark of ferocity that took the segment to another level, and The Shield pulled it off perfectly.

The Announce Team- A lot can be said about how BAD the Raw announce team is right now. JBL is going through the motions. Jerry Lawler continues to try and be funny, and Michael Cole continues to disregard the actual action in the ring. But last night at least, they were quiet when they needed to be. For once, I didn’t notice JBL, Cole or King. I didn’t hear bad jokes, or yelling, or anything. I’m sure they were speaking, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they said, and in this instance, that’s a GOOD thing. They let the segment speak for itself, and that’s all that was needed.

So what do you think readers? What were your thoughts on this segment, and on the angle as a whole? I for one can’t wait to see where this goes next. In my opinion this can only elevate Cody Rhodes to the next level, and in the same vein possibly see Goldust return as an in-ring talent. I don’t see anything wrong with either of those things. And if there’s one lesson to be learned from all of this, it’s that Dusty Rhodes is the man, plain and simple.

So WWE, today I tip my hat to you. Hopefully it shall remain that way.

Until next time,
Trip Out!

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