Look at this week’s Raw:
*John Laurinaitis is WWE’s lead heel, and he’s NOT EVEN A WRESTLER. He’s feuding with Cena, he’s feuding with Big Show, he’s feuding with Punk. Laurinaitis, who often couldn’t get a job in Americaduring his wrestling prime, is on WWE TV more than anybody. That’s not a negative reflection on him. But it certainly reflects that WWE bookers don’t know how to do anything beyond rudimentary boss-employee conflicts.
*Big Show, a babyface, was begging, crying and whimpering to save his job. He got down on his knees to try and save his job. That’s NOT what a babyface does, especially one as big as Paul Wight. He should have grabbed Laurinaitis’ head and squeezed until it exploded like an over-inflated basketball.
*Laurinaitis, a heel, reacted to potential unemployment by defiantly slapping his tormentor. That’s not what heels do, especially a weasel like Laurinaitis. Otunga, Laurinaitis’ lawyer, should have been spitting out precedents, injunctions, habeas corpus, anything to imply that his client could beat the rap in chicken-scratch style.
*Triple H devalued the credibility of Brock Lesnar by describing how he was a quitter, even as a shooter in UFC. What the FRIG was the point of that? That was more damaging than Lesnar’s loss to Cena. Are we trying to draw money, or prove twisted points via skewed truths? Uh, never mind. Don’t answer that. Paul Heyman undid the damage as best he could via a great promo. That’s what Paul’s there for. Brock would be a babe in the woods responding to Triple H’s promo. Paul switched the focus, spewing legalese like Otunga should have done later in the program.
None of that is hard to figure out. It’s wrestling 101. Everyone involved with WWE creative should be sacked. Heyman and Jim Ross should be put in charge. But the last thing Vince McMahon wants around is people who know more than he does.
Getting back to ROH, and DGUSA, and all that alphabet soup, two points should be made:
*I don’t care if it’s your dream to be a wrestler, or how much work or how many hours you’ve put into the realization of that dream. YOU EITHER GOTIT, OR YOU DON’T. I wanted to play first base for the Pirates. At 11, I figured out that it WASN’T GOING TO HAPPEN. To quote Judge Smails, “The world needs ditch diggers, too.” If you’re happy working for meager pay in front of a few hundred, go for it. But your dream is your dream. It’s yours only, and not a divine right.
*Work isn’t everything. It’s a small part of the equation. In WCW, I remember when two cruiserweights had a great match on Nitro, and they were complimenting each other profusely backstage. Scott Hall said, “Nice match. Now I’m going to go out there and get 10 times the pop with a headlock.” You’ve got to engage the fans and make them care about your character. Billy Kidman was 10 times the worker Hacksaw Jim Duggan was. But Duggan was 10 times the star. Engaging the fans is more important than work.
ROH did an 80-minute match which featured great work. That’s just stupid. A match like that burns out even hardcore fans, and chases casual fans away. What’s wrong with five good 15-minute matches? Jim Cornette knows better than to book an 80-minute match. Oh, well. Niche promotions do niche things.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m.weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA(105.9). Check out his web page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark by emailing email@example.com. FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MarkMaddenX
Big ShowBrock Lesnardavid otungadgusadragon gate usaHacksaw Jim Dugganmark maddenPaul HeymanROHTriple HVince McMahonWCWWWEHave a news tip?Attended an event and want to send a live report?