The first quarter of the fiscal year proved to be a boon of near biblical proportions for the WWE and its adorable, teddy bear of an owner Vincent Kennedy McMahon. (Kennedy! – sorry, just had to.) I hope he didnâ<80><99>t spend it all in one place. Since Wrestlemania:
– Mike Knoxâ<80><99>s private stash of, uh, letâ<80><99>s call them Hulk Hogan vitamins was discovered in an attic crawl space in a home in which he once rented a room (sounds like a â<80><9c>very specialâ<80> episode of â<80><9c>Too Close For Comfortâ<80>);
– Joey Styles finally got good enough at his job to be wished well in his future endeavors with that steamroller of upward mobility, wwe.com;
– Michael Hayes proved once again that you can take the redneck out of Pensacola – but you canâ<80><99>t take him far;
– Mike â<80><9c>Bus Wreckâ<80> Adamle gave credence to the theory that its easy to be a good wrestling announcer, but it takes a goop-brained, hair-gelled, stuffed suit to fail at being a bad one; and
– The writing staff, in a fit of what can only be described absolute ass-hattery, decided that the world had not seen enough Dusty finishes.
And the hits just keep on coming.
The numbers for â<80><9c>Raw is Blacked Outâ<80> and â<80><9c>Mike Adamle Presents ECWâ<80> hit new lows this week. Iâ<80><99>m sure, as Linda Kennedy McMahon is prone to observe, that the USA is more of a Smackdown nation. But, then again, Smackdown isnâ<80><99>t exactly pulling down â<80><9c>American Idolâ<80> type numbers either.
Hey, we saw this coming.
The WWE did a fantastic job of building up Wrestlemania and, deservedly, realized the biggest buyrate, gate, and one-day revenue generation of all-time. Huzzah. But they had no exit strategy. How do we follow-up the biggest show in history? Well, with a part deux called â<80><9c>Backlash,â<80> of course! Its worked before, right?
It didnâ<80><99>t work. Everyone, and I mean everyone, that knew even a tiny bit about the wrestling business, knew that the WWE had built no one to step into the main event. The Chris Jericho experiment was a bust. JBL (â<80><9c>Jiggly Boobs Layfieldâ<80>) proved to be a couple of shares below an IPO. Cena? Orton? Been there – booed that. That left Triple H and the best of all-time Shawn Michaels. But this is 2008. Shouldnâ<80><99>t SOMEBODY be ready?!
So we get Mr. Kennedy and William Regal. I think each is vastly under-rated and deserving of the chance to run with the company; but then they are immediately handed the most ham-fisted, 3rd grade booking scheme since Sting & Robocop.
But fear not – I have a solution.
Its obvious that the creative element of the WWE is at its wits end. Until and unless they stop watching 1992 WCW tapes this will not change (hell, guys, watch 1984 World Class, that way youâ<80><99>ll at least be entertained before you steal their stuff.) Assuming the rut gets deeper in Stamford, I propose a trade.
The WWE severs ties with Michael Hayes and Brian Gerwitz. Wishes them well, etc. etc. TNA does the same with Vince Russo and Dutch Mantell. I am not of the opinion that Russo and Mantell are out of ideas but that is bound to happen sooner or later and having an entirely new roster of talent to book would rekindle what creativity they feel may be waning. Let Russo write â<80><9c>Rawâ<80> and let Dutch write â<80><9c>Smackdown.â<80> Send Hayes and Gerwitz to TNA where they will join the creative team with Jeff Jarrett, Mike Tenay, and whom ever else is involved.
Yeah, there are major issues with Russo and McMahon. But Russo is as hard-working as anyone ever to hold a pencil in this sport and McMahon would love that. Russo, letâ<80><99>s be honest, has an ego (we all do). His ego would not let him fail. Dutch Mantell has also forgotten more about wrestling that most people will ever learn (letâ<80><99>s hope he forgot The Desperadoâ<80><99>s angle, though).
Unless a re-animated Eddie Gilbert shows up at â<80><9c>Rawâ<80> next Monday during the production meeting, there cannot be any idea too far out in left field to be considered. Drastic times call for drastic measures.