During the WWE’s mega successful years, the fans were highly invested in several lower card guys. In turn, there was no lull in the show – the fans cared about somebody in every segment. Back in the day, WWE took the time to develop these characters, their stories, their gimmicks, and actually built angles around them. Therefore, not every segment needed to be a superstar segment to pop the crowd. Right off the top of my head I think of guys like The Godfather and Too Cool – they were incredibly over without ever having to get within sniffing distance of an important storyline. Or take a guy like Crash Holly when he was doing the 24/7 title defenses…that makes fans look up and take notice when he was on the screen. Now instead, we have Shannon Moore, Cody Rhodes, and and Mike Knox. The WWE needs to give their B and C team wrestlers something to do that we can sink our teeth into.
One possible solution would be to make better use of managers and valets. I had the pleasure of working with Matt Striker briefly and the guy is very good with a mic in his hand. Quick thinking, articulate, and comfortable, Striker should be given the chance to actually fuel feuds for his guys, a la Jimmy Hart & Bobby Heenan. Remember when The Undertaker feuded with Harvey Whippleman’s stable for 1.5 years? Taker feuded with guys ranging from Kamala to Giant Gonzalez to Big Bully Busick, but the story arch kept us interested as Harvey tried and tried time and time again to take him out with his latest henchman. ECW would be a great venue for a new stable…potentially one that feuds with CM Punk (at least he could fight a stable of guys, rather than the same guy every week).
The other major thing that could be better utilized by the WWE nowadays is catch phrases. It’s a pretty simple equation…the fans love to shout things. All of the biggest superstars of the past decade had highly recognizable expressions:
-If you smell what the rock is cookin’
And on and on and on. Furthermore, it really elevated the fans involvement in other guys that may not have been as big otherwise – for example:
-Oh you didn’t know, your ass better call somebody
Even a gimmick like The Worm, shouting BALLS while Mr. Mahoney delivers punches, and Ron Simmons showing up once in a blue moon to say DAMN, totally pops the crowd. The fans like to be involved. So why is this such a hard concept for the WWE to run with? And what better way than to build interest in a few lower card guys? Look at some of the few guys who still get to run with them…the fans love “KENNEDY…KENNEDY” and after years of being lost and misused, Shelton is on a roll now with the very appropriate “Ain’t no stopping me now!!!” How hard would it be to give a guy like Snitsky one freakin’ sentence to say? He even has one already! It’s not my fault! There was even a hilarious WM spot a few years back that used it. Just like Simmons’ DAMN, just have Snitsky pop up when something bad/strange/crazy etc happens and utter, “THAT, was not my fault”, then make a funny face and walk away. Comic gold.
Let’s get the undercard back to where it needs to be…here’s this week’s assignment…let’s come up with some catch phrases for the following guys:
The Highlanders, Carlito/Santino, Cade/Murdoch, Paul Burchill, MVP, Chuck Palumbo, Deuce & Domino, Jimmy Wang Yang, Jesse, Kevin Thorn.
Can’t wait to hear your ideas.