cjkst37 (via email):
I enjoy reading your columns but you are COMPLETELY MISSING THE POINT OF JERICHO. He is a Heel!! If u can't tell he is acting as a heel then I am sorry. His fake crying was funny as fuck last night. He is basically making fun of his past runs and pandering to the crowd in a sarcastic manner. Have faith my son. As whom she is. It would be easy to make it Stephanie but I'm hoping they do a surprise and make it someone like trish status or someone. A first I was like wtf is this shit with Broadus Clay but after watching his match he seems to genuinely enjoy his Ernest The Cat Miller ripoff gimmick. Like u stated if it doesn't catch on u can always turn him into a monster heel. Punk vs Swagger was a good match but I wish they would have turned Swagger face and kept Truth as a heel. Swagger can be over as a face. Why make Kane speak?? Why? Shouldn't be surprised though with wwe screwing that up. I also like the daniel bryan slow heel turn he is an INCREDIBLE heel and will do more business being the swarmy heel. Hell team in and christian and rhodes in a mini heel stable.
I don’t think I missed the point. I can tell Jericho is doing a slow burn into a heel turn. My issue is that it’s uninteresting, and unneeded. Jericho seems to pride himself on being original, and often said he’d only return when her could accomplish something new, aim in a new direction. While I don’t doubt this is true, I fail to see how his return in 2007 was all too original, as he came back as the original Y2J character, but at least the viral videos he used were associated to the return.
This time, he once again returned as Y2J, but he doesn’t talk. I won’t deny that in theory that a wrestler who is above and beyond most others on the microphone would purposely avoid saying a word, could be interesting. But so far it hasn’t. It will most likely end up being entertaining, but the only reason I believe that is because Jericho rarely fails to engage my interest. I know something is up his sleeve eventually. But so far, it’s just a cock tease until it happens. And that’s what the recent school children video has obviously done, as it set a dark and mysterious tone, for a guy to return in a jacket built for a Kenny Loggins laser rock show at the planetarium. It was bait and switch. Now it is bait and switch. All the while, the most interesting aspect of the return was the mystery, which was a let down since the reveal had NOTHING to do with the build up.
Yes, he’ll be a heel. Great. Thank you for explaining. Now, can you explain to me why I should care from what I’ve seen? No, you can’t.
As for your other points:
-Brodus Clay looks to be having fun, and that is important to get this angle over. While it is definitely inspired/ripped off from several past WWE/F gimmicks (Akeem, Flash Funk, Ernest Miller), he honestly seems to be enjoying the gimmick more than those guys did.
-Jack Swagger might succeed as a face, but he’s not over enough to make the turn matter, nor do I think he could achieve a face turn by just turning his back on Cole back in the spring, or on Vickie and Dolph. He is in the right spot right now, as he’s not ready to go above it to a main event position, and isn’t charismatic enough to work as a face. He’s a great arrogant heel, who works well, but needs seasoning. He’s a future star, but he would do well with a well booked US title run, similar to how Dolph rose to the position he’s in now. In fact, Jack being a strong US Champ would be the best way to turn him against Dolph eventually.
-Kane speaking might have been a mistake. I don’t think it’s as dire as some claim, but he’s usually great on the microphone. This time however, he’s been boring, long winded, and tiresome. I don’t think it ruins his mystique too much, but holding it off wouldn’t have hurt. His explanation as to why he attacked Cena didn’t answer any questions, so it was a waste. Having him attack Cena and Ryder without rhyme or reason is a lot scarier than the monster who wants to make Cena hate.
-Daniel Bryan will be a decent heel, I never claimed otherwise. I just don’t see why they did it now when the entire company is starving for heroes and not villains. I do see how a Christian/Rhodes/D-Bry stable could work, and am not against it. But It just seems like they are pushing Bryan into a spot lit position, to drop him down to the same original spot but as a heel. Seems counter productive, especially since I think Daniel vs Christian/Rhodes would be a better scenario.
Kane vs Cena
Kennedy (via email):
Good morrow my fellow SNL- Sean Connery enthusiast,
Kane/Cena feud: What if WWE took the approach of the Eddie/Mysterio route from 2005 when Eddie turned heel. They teased it for weeks having him attack Rey but then apologizing then turned heel eventually. With Kane, they could have Cena begin to show signs of frustration with the fans, of course if they cooperated which i know they would, and, combined with him losing, have him eventually snap and take out kane in an unbelievably inhumane way.
The thought it incomplete because I'm not really sure where they could go from there. While I agree the Rock ruined punk's potential level of stardom, and I'm an A-list Punk supporter, could they not potentially use him to push Cena's heeldom? I understand that Cena's heat, in relation to the rock, stems from the attitude era and how fans perceive them both differently. But I don't necessarily disbelieve that creative team could change his heat into genuine heel heat.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Boos are better than Cheers,
Maybe I’m not understanding completely, but you’re suggesting that Cena eventually side with Kane and turn on the fans, but slow burn it? Not ab ad idea IF this weren’t 2 months from the booked Wrestlemania match. Rock vs Cena is going to go down as a face vs face affair. It’s been booked that way for a long time, having Cena suddenly turn would ruin that momentum. I could see Cena turn heel to win, or turn heel from losing, or some other scenario post match, but NOT before.
I do sense Cena turning heel in 2012, and for the first time, I’m all for it. While I don’t think Punk will be the ultra star that Cena has been, I don’t think Cena’s ultra-stardom really matters anymore. Ratings and buyrates have dropped, as the sport is cyclical. Cena being face won’t help that, whereas a heel version could.
Jeff (via email):
Hi any thoughts of him turning him in to a heel maybe Punk vs Bryan
As a fan, I’m all for it. As a fan of the company, I don’t see it happening just yet. Both are a bit too fresh into their positions for the draw to be there. Daniel Bryan is not main event ready. This isn’t a knock on his skills, but he’s just not over enough. He may be eventually, but at this point, he’s no more over than Del Rio was. Punk is the second most over star in the company right now.
It’s an angle we might see by Summerslam 2012, but not before than, and not before seeing of Bryan will succeed as a heel first. Honestly, I feel that WWE fans liked cheering for him. I don’t mean that he was over, or credible, but that the fans were starting to catch on to the guy. He’s a respectable human, and while unorthodox, he’s not someone you could hate. But due to his size, he needed to overcome some obstacles. Instead of slowing letting him overcome the obstacles, WWE route the fast route with him twice now. The first time was in winning the US title off Miz in that hot feud. And Bryan was WAY over at the time, more over than ever or since. But WWE dropped the ball and didn’t follow it up. So he lost the gold without any real build up or reason, to a guy who held the belt with no real build up or reason, and then lose the belt with no real build up or reason…etc.
So the fans stopped caring about Daniel Bryan, because WWE stopped caring about him. He won the briefcase, made an angle out of it, and gave themselves the opportunity to do what they missed out on with him as US champ, but instead dropped the ball then too.
It seems that the current WWE booking is the modern hot shot. And while that CAN work, it can’t be used for every scenario. The reason Rock vs Cena is so hot is because of how long it was developed and built. The reason Orton is as over as he is now is because of the years of entertainment he provided as a heel, to the point that he was accepted as a face. People need to realize that time needs to be put in, and that quick fixes are fun, but aren’t strong in the long term.
Tag Teams for 2012
That’s a list of WWE Superstars that are on the main 2 rosters that are lost in the shuffle. I do think the easiest thing to do with anybody who is struggling to get a match on TV/Internet is to make a tag team. I have absolutely no issue with thrown together tag teams, as long as they deliver as a team. Some of the greatest teams in WWE history are thrown together without a history with eachother: Dream Team, Strike Force, Hart Foundation, Colossal Connection, Money Inc, Natural Disasters, Quebecers, HBK/Diesel, Owen/Yokozuna, Bodydonnas, Godwinns, Acolytes, New Age Outlaws, Goldust/Booker T, Billy/Chuck, Kane/Big Show… just to name a few.
So, I don’t see why it would be an issue to do that with today’s lost midcarders. Instead of having Heath Slater vs Justin Gabriel on Superstars without any fanfare whatsoever, why not find them partners, and allow 4 guys to get over instead of only 2. If the point of putting them on TV is to see if they catch on somehow with the little amount of time WWE deem excusable for such risks, then multiply the amount of people on the screen in these matches. Tag Teams are the simplest method of accomplishing this. Right now, Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks are on NXT together all the time, and have a team together, yet you wouldn’t know if it you didn’t tune in online. Using just the 4 hours a week on TV, Curt Hawkins is the guy who lost to Brodus while Tyler was on the Smackdown Bragging Rights team almost 2 years ago. Well done WWE.
Now, if tag matches aren’t the right thing for these guys, then allow them to have Triple Threat or Fatal Four Way matches on NXT and Superstars. It would make these matches that have no anticipation have some sort of attraction to it, as some people will tune in a bit more knowing that it’s a multi man match.
But judging by the success of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, tag teams are a great place to get started, and these guys need to get back to the start. So…
Ezekial Jackson and Mason Ryan
Simply put, I miss Demolition. I don’t care if they were a poor man’s Road Warriors, the tag division flourished with a team of bruisers. The Tag division in any company is surrounded with smaller wrestlers. It’s a great place to get noticed, but not so great when all other tag teams are smaller too. You need giants to be compared to. Every once in a while. Vince McMahon seems to remember that 80s success, and put together Kane and Big Show (for example) and let them pummel everyone in their way. The belts get more exposure on the shoulders of giants, and it creates an anticipation to see them get beat. Both Mason Ryan and Big Zeke are in no position to be picky, so team them up. I don’t care what name you give them, or on which brand. With the Royal Rumble coming up, you can start their teamwork by having them face off against each other in some fashion in the Rumble, but have it be a stale mate. No clear advantage for either. When the next entrant comes, let them destroy someone forgettable, and go from there. They can team up on Monday Night’s Raw against the tag champs the next night, and BOOM BOOM BOOM< you have a new team.
Only snag is that I suggest turning them heel. It shouldn’t be hard, they aren’t over enough right now for them to get the crowd behind them against Air boom, and I would have them give an ultra beatdown. Let it start as a respectable face vs face match, but by the end, Zeke/Ryan get the DQ for ignoring the ref , and continue being vicious against the vulnerable champions. Sets up a nice feud, where they take the belts, and you develop the rest of the division for a face challenging team to unseat the monsters.
Prankster Stable (Justin Gabriel and Trent Barreta / Yoshi Tatsu and Tyson Kidd
It seems that on NXT, Trent Barreta and Yoshi Tatsu have been on the same page as they feud with Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. It hasn’t been the most interesting angle I’ve ever seen, but at least it’s something to get started. As we can tell from the recent Brodus Clay, it’s obvious that the WWE is missing the fun-loving nature it was once drowning in. So having a group of athletes just being regular guys, having fun hanging out and not being a stereotype might help develop them. It wouldn’t be the shot in the arm to challenge for a World title at Wrestlemania, but I’m only looking for enough reason to put them on Smackdown and Raw more often.
So combine Yoshi and Trent with Tyson Kidd. Kidd would fit in just nicely. Plus, I once suggested Tatsu team with Kidd, and I still think that would be great. Give them a ‘Freebrid’ type push where all 3 of them could potential wrestle in the tag match, and let a new generation of fans enjoy that concept, and re-invent it with the face team pulling it off. I would go one step further, and let Justin Gabriel join in also. I think Justin Gabriel and Trent Baretta could work into a heel tandem down the road, pretty boy ego maniacs seems fitting. Justin has already pulled that off as a part of Nexus. But start it as a face team and/or stable that hang out, and then use a high-flying and high-risk style in the ring. If Air Boom can get over as easily as they have, then these guys could do the same. I could see either team be modern ‘Rockers’ or ‘Strike Force.’
JTG and Hunico
Both are playing ethnic thug stereotypes, so I guess it writes itself.
Drew McIntyre and Alex Riley
I toyed with the idea of Riley with someone who also was from NXT season 2, but I knew there’s no reason to do so. The WWE would never mention that history, nor would it amount to much in the long run. So, turn him heel again by helping Drew McIntyre get out of his losing streak. Drew is in a bind; he goes out and hires someone to help him from losing. Riley has shown tendency to follow someone who leads the way, so the door is open here. Let them be equals in the tag division, with them help each other stay off Teddy Long’s bad side, but cheat their way to success. McIntyre would carry the in-ring work, and hopefully Riley can pick up a thing or two. Besides, if the end goal is to get McIntyre over, giving him a partner he’d easily outshine is a sure-thing.
Ted DiBiase and Heath Slater
Have Slater turn face and join the DiBiase posse. They both have the southern accent, Heath can show Ted Jr. a thing or two about southern rock… and let it become real bromance stuff. Nothing as entertaining as J.D. and Turk will come out of it, but it can be the basis of something. If you’re looking long term, a heel turn from Slater by showing how he’s only friends with Ted for the $$$ is as easy as it sounds.
Michael McGillicutty and the return of Husky Harris
Who the fuck fits with McGillicutty? No one. And while I don’t expect Husky Harris to return with their history being divulged, it’s still the best way to get him back on TV. I would use the 2nd generation star gimmick a bit more than they originally did. Maybe bring back Barry Windham as an on-screen advisor, and really showcase their family based skills. I also think having a meaner and larger partner will help McGillicutty find his stride as a vicious heel, which seems to be the best way for him to proceed.
All That Remains
That leaves Otunga and Jinder. I don’t hate Mahal like most here, but it’s hard for him to fit into a tag team with his current character, nor do I see a face turn helping him. Otunga, while no more talented, is best suited in his current role of Johnny Ace’s lawyer bitch. I doubt it’ll lead to much, but it’s something that will get him over. He isn’t a threat, but I don’t think he ever could be. Same for Mahal. I say they are doomed to being jobbers, unless a call up from FCW can save them.
But anyone called up to help these guys take the risk of being held down by their blandness.
Diarrhea Moustache (random thoughts)
If the Four Horsemen are going into the Hall of Fame, and Ric Flair will have 2 HOF rings, hen I think the door is open for Hulk Hogan to get a second ring for the N.W.O. to go into the Hall soon. While the New World Order never had the longevity that Horsemen had, nor the actual talent, they had a far more important effect on the wrestling world in general thanks to their input of the Monday Night Wars for WCW.
I love comparing modern stars to those that inspired them from the past, and I realized that the modern WWE could NEVER develop a heel like Roddy Piper ever again. There’s no way they’d have a heel talk trash, and be a jerk like Piper, all without any physical traits to portray a bully (Piper was never a “physical specimen”) and then let him get the one-up on the top face. That’s a shame, as he was one of the most successful heels over, never won a world title (until lame WCW run) and was never pinned in WWF until Bret Hart beat him at Wrestlemania 8. There’s no way WWE would let ANY heel get that sort of advantage. That’s fucked up.
And on that note, peace out.
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