Here’s why WWE sucks: Instead of having Christian cost Jeff Hardy the WWE championship against Edge, thus catapulting the returning Christian into a WrestleMania match vs. Hardy, WWE turned Matt Hardy on his brother.
Why? Because everybody knew, that’s why.
Exactly who constitutes “everybody” is anybody’s guess, but the Internet knew, so Vince McMahon swerved the Internet, putting Christian on ECW TV instead, where he had a memorable confrontation with Jack Swagger, whoever that is. So, Christian returns as a C-teamer and the Hardys wrestle each other in a match nobody wants to see. Storylines wilt, returns diminish.
Why? Because everybody knew, that’s why.
(A little sidebar: Fans just don’t want to see some matches. When the nWo split, nobody wanted to see Hall wrestle Nash. They were such a popular duo that splitting them up was counterproductive. Same with Matt and Jeff Hardy. Also, no one believes a conflict between brothers. It says a lot for the working prowess of Bret Hart and the late Owen Hart that their feud flourished.)
If you plan something out, and you’re convinced it’s best for business, and it features your talent to maximum effect, you should proceed as planned, even if “everybody” knows. Maybe the audience won’t be surprised that night, but if you follow through, that night will be remembered merely as a starting point.
Nobody would have groaned if Christian had hit Jeff Hardy with a chair. There still would have been a massive pop, bigger than the one Christian got on ECW TV. Just because the fans knew what they were going to see doesn’t mean they didn’t want to see it. The element of surprise is overrated. Quality isn’t.
This example is a bit twisted, but everybody – literally EVERYBODY – figured that Ross and Rachel would reunite on the final episode of Friends. But it made sense, and it’s what everybody wanted, so they did it anyway. McMahon would have had Joey and Chandler rape Rachel while Ross was forced to watch.
In the Internet age, it will be rare when “everybody” doesn’t know a storyline in advance, especially when it comes to a wrestler returning or debuting. If you have faith in the way things are scripted, push on.
HOLD NUMBER 717: ARM BAR!
Chris Jericho violated a cardinal rule of wrestling during his all-too-videotaped parking lot skirmish: DON’T GET OUT OF THE CAR!
It’s a compliment to Jericho that he A) managed to work up a healthy case of ‘roid rage despite looking like he’s ‘roid-free and B) has LEGITIMATE heel heat. Jericho and Edge are the only two heels that don’t willingly cut their own heat with a dollop of cool, and the result is a much more potent product. Marks wouldn’t block in Randy Orton’s car; they’d ask him why he didn’t kick Stephanie McMahon in the head. "GET HER NEXT TIME!" (By the way, why do Orton’s kicks do so much more damage than everybody else’s? He doesn’t even load his boot like the Iron Sheik did.)
When Jericho left his vehicle, he courted trouble. And he got it. While I would never condone hitting a woman, that "crazy bitch" would have severely tested my feelings on the subject. And is there anybody more worthless than a rent-a-cop? Not good enough to be the real thing, so why not play-act? (Actually, that last sentence may hit a bit too close to home for most wrestlers.)
WWE doesn’t seem too concerned about Jericho’s set-to, nor should it. The customer isn’t always right. Sometimes the customer is an ass clown. In remote cases, the customer even deserves to be smacked in the line of self-defense.
When I was heel color commentator on Nitro, the hotel we stayed at was right across the parking lot from Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. I made the mistake of thinking I could walk to the hotel after the show.
Bad move. I got about two steps beyond the barrier separating the marks from the wrestlers’ cars when some crazy bitch beered me in full view of Hollywood Hogan. “You got some heat, brother!” Thanks, Hulk. I hitched a ride back.
LOVE YOU LONG TIME
Ashley Massaro left WWE when she was outed in Rolling Stone as a high-priced hooker, something she has not refuted by way of evidence or lawsuit. If, as rumored, Massaro returns to WWE, how long will it be before that’s part of her storyline? By the time McMahon is finished, Massaro will long for the dignity, gravitas, propriety and virtue that accompanies prostitution.