I’m curious to witness the fallout from Ryback not being able to execute his finish on Tensai this past Raw. Ryback’s character is based on strength and power, and his strength and power failed a very visible test. He’s not yet over enough for the fans to ignore that.
Without going into the technical end, there’s no way Tensai sandbagged Ryback. Tensai is NOT OVER in the least, so making Ryback look bad – accidentally or on purpose – would not be greeted with understanding. Anyway, Matt Bloom’s a pro. He just wouldn’t do that.
The notion has been put forth that VKM told Tensai to not go up for Ryback to see how Ryback would react. NONSENSE. You don’t ruin a segment on RAW, or sabotage a push in whatever small way, to test somebody. Those tests come by accident. In fact, one did. On Raw. Ryback passed, clotheslining Tensai for the pin. Didn’t lose his head. Kept his cool.
Some compare Ryback to Bill Goldberg, but there’s only a vague similarity. A Xerox of a Xerox. Goldberg was a phenomenon. An accident. The fans created Goldberg. It was a groundswell. You can’t plan that. Ryback is just another WWE character, nothing more.
I wonder if WWE knows where they’re headed with Ryback. It’s too early for interaction between C.M. Punk and Ryback. When they meet, Ryback has to squash Punk. That’s the only way to maintain Ryback’s gimmick. He has to win for months. Now, after two staredowns in two weeks, it seems a collision is imminent. Does WWE really want Ryback to squash Punk?
*If you haven’t watched “Memphis Heat,” you should. The DVD looks back at the glory days of Memphis Wrestling, ending with Jimmy Hart’s jump to WWE in 1985.
Good timing. Even though Memphis Wrestling lasted 15 years or so longer at various levels, once WWE got national exposure and became the big show in every town, the game was over. Promotions like Memphis were dead. They just didn’t bury the corpse for a while.
In “Memphis Heat,” Jackie Fargo comments that wrestlers today don’t know what “real heat” is. True dat. Back when, irate fans at ringside would wield knives and straight razors. There would be attacks in the parking lot, or at bars. Most of that was because suspension of disbelief was stronger, maybe because it was ENCOURAGED. Fake wrestling wasn’t always laughing out loud at its own joke.
Could “real heat” be generated today? Sure.
The nWo invasion generated “real heat.” The nWo invasion suspended disbelief. Marks actually thought WWE was invading WCW. And when WWE denied it, it actually helped. WHAT ELSE WOULD THEY SAY? WHY WOULD THEY TELL THE TRUTH? I never saw a straight razor, but I saw a lot of rings fill up with lots of garbage. A lot of distorted, angry faces.
I saw “real heat.” For the last time ever, maybe.
Nobody wants “real heat” now. Most wrestlers don’t know how to get it, anyway. And why bother when vanilla is so much easier? When PG is so much safer? Wrestling has no pride anymore. It’s not about doing your job well. That involves risk. Keeping your job doesn’t.
*WWE is reportedly going to do an INSTANT REPLAY angle or gimmick. PURE IDIOCY. Once you introduce the concept of instant replay, you can never do a screwjob again. You can never miss somebody’s foot on the ropes again. You can never be blind to outside interference again. You can never be oblivious to the use of a foreign object again.
Unless, of course, you use replay selectively. Which, even by WWE standards, is an incredible breach of logic.
*Brodus Clay is terrible. The gimmick dies as soon as he opens his mouth. The minute Clay talks, you realize he is NOT COOL. The whole persona is based on being cool. Clay isn’t. The same thing happened with Too Cold Scorpio and his various pimp-daddy characters.
It’s time for a comeback. If DISCO INFERNO went to WWE and executed his old gimmick, he would be twice as over as Clay. Not that Disco is or ever was cool. But Disco had the wanna-be buffoon act DOWN PAT. His routine had a sense of irony, a useful distinction that’s disappeared from fake wrestling. Disco was in on his own joke. Clay isn’t. He just sucks.
But he dances with kids. Until Linda McMahon gets elected, that’s important.
*Jim Ross appreciation night went well. Anything short of being tarred and feathered would be recognized as a success given VKM’s track record for humiliating Ross. Even the walk of shame got interrupted. (BTW, Punk’s work as a chicken**** heel is OUTSTANDING. Heyman displaying the belt is a SCREAM.) Once Jerry Lawler recovers, J.R. will disappear again. The last thing VKM wants around is someone who knows more about wrestling than he does.
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 wzmarkmadden@hotmail. com . FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MarkMaddenX