SOME GUYS GOT IT, AND YOU KNOW IT
Some guys got it, and you know it. Curtis Axel has got it. Excellent debut on Raw. The alignment with Paul Heyman lends credibility.
But the booking was confusing. Bad? Not sure. But confusing.
Axel didn’t concuss Triple H. He followed up on damage done by Brock Lesnar the night before. Right away, Axel is piggybacking, and he’s piggybacking on Lesnar, a guy who isn’t often there. Axel comes off as a proxy.
The proxy usually gets beat so the top guy won’t have to. Like the weak link in a gang. Bobby Eaton always did the job in the Dangerous Alliance.
Axel still looked strong, if disturbingly like Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. I predict a bright future, if he’s used right. Even Axel’s dad wasn’t foolproof. Curt Hennig had to become Mr. Perfect before his career blossomed.
WWE has a strong base of young talent: Axel. Bray Wyatt. Of course, The Shield. Tyson Kidd, when he heals and if WWE ever takes him as seriously as it should. I’m coming around on Big E Langston (but that’s a terrible name).
But, as always, talent can be diluted if misused, or underused. This isn’t Japan, where even Kenta Kobashi waited his turn. Marks can’t un-see damage done.
The best bet is always shooting new blood straight to the top, as with The Shield. To do that, WWE has to sacrifice those who just haven’t worked out, and must do so decisively. Trading wins is the bane of modern-day booking. Nobody gets hurt gratuitously, but nobody gets helped enough.
When I look at Curtis Axel, I’m struck that many second- and third-generation wrestlers want to break into the business despite wrestling-related tragedy befalling their fathers. After everything Cody Hall has seen, why on earth would he want to enter the business? I guess we all want to follow our fathers. No matter what.
NOTE TO ARIES: YOU WIN
In the end, Austin Aries got away with it.
Aries didn’t get fired or suspended. I don’t believe for one second Aries got fined or apologized. Nothing happened in the public eye. Not on television, not on Impact’s web site, not even on Twitter. Christy Hemme has not acknowledged an apology. Why should Impact, or Dixie Carter, be trusted to do the right thing?
The vocal minority shouted down the sensible majority. The wrestling media, scared of killing the golden goose, fell right into line.
The great Meltzer said Aries wasn’t guilty of overt sexual harassment. The hell he wasn’t. Spike TV’s David Schwarz called it sexual harassment. Re-enact that little drama in a cubicle at a corporation, and that guy gets fired instantly. You can tell it’s been a long time since the great Meltzer worked in the real world.
In the end, this little byplay generated more heat for me than it did Aries.
That’s OK. I know what Aries is. So does Carter. So do you.
We all know what Impact is, too: An indie fed with TV. But when the other indie fed (with worse TV) was confronted with an untoward situation thanks to the homophobia of their world champion, it did the right thing. Kudos to ROH.
Follow Mark Madden on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX
austin ariesbray wyattchristy hemmecurt hennigcurtis axelDixie Carterkenta kobashimark maddenPaul Heymanthe shieldTNATriple Htyson kiddWWEHave a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?