Raw was a decent show. I loved the Brock Lesnar-Mark Henry angle. I’m not sure about Daniel Bryan joining the Wyatt Family. It was very well-executed. Bryan sold physically, and emotionally. Bryan was brilliant, as usual.
It appears WWE will do a “Stockholm syndrome” angle with Bryan and the Wyatts, with Bryan playing the role of Patty Hearst. It’s a sophisticated idea, which makes me doubt WWE can book it, or that the marks will understand it if they do. Bruce Mitchell of PWTorch.com is doing a column on the layered symbolism to Bryan’s “turn.” None of it is good. I’ll comment once Bruce does.
Bryan’s “turn” adheres to Vince McMahon’s notion that the era of faces and heels is over. That’s a load of crap. Wrestling will always be about faces and heels. Movies and TV are mostly about faces and heels. Life is about faces and heels.
WWE, however temporarily, is turning away from faces and heels so Triple H and Chyna Jr. can be heels, but never deliver the payoff that heels do. They don’t get embarrassed. They don’t stooge. How convenient for daddy’s little girl.
The Lesnar-Henry angle was much better. The World’s Strongest Man got his ass absolutely beat down. Henry showed vulnerability he never has before.
Making Henry into the little engine that could is intriguing. He’s always been a bully, never an underdog. Henry has done to everyone what Lesnar did to him. How will Henry deal with that? Will the marks support him? I bet they do.
The assumption is that Lesnar wins the blow-off. I don’t know about that. Lesnar is a part-timer, and doesn’t care about doing jobs. Maybe WWE wants to give Henry the big push one more time. Henry will make lots of noise at the Royal Rumble.
Paul Heyman was great. Heyman is always great. I love it when Heyman is Lesnar’s “voice of reason.” “OK, Brock, he’s had enough.” Said with a sneer.
CENA VS. HOGAN
Rumor has it that John Cena wants to wrestle Hulk Hogan at ‘Mania. That’s hard to believe. That sounds like a rumor Hogan might start.
Advice to Cena: DON’T DO IT.
Cena grew up watching Hogan. Wrestling him at ‘Mania would fulfill a dream. Until the match started. Then, it would be a candidate for worst ‘Mania match ever. Hogan has just had too many physical problems. Hogan couldn’t have a good match with anyone, not even Daniel Bryan. Cena wouldn’t have a chance.
Cena is a top guy, and a solid worker. But he’s not good enough to carry Hogan, or even try. Cena prospers when he’s the second-best guy in the match.
If you want to “bring Hogan home” and get him a nostalgia pop, have him cut a promo or be in somebody’s corner.
But don’t let him work. Not under any circumstances.
THE NEW FOCUS
TNA is downsizing much of what it does. But Dixie Carter is the TV show’s re-set point and primary focus, which is the worst idea ever. Has there ever been anything worse than all that Dixie? She makes Mike Adamle look like Bill Watts.
Dixie makes me realize how much the focus of the wrestling business has changed. It used to be about butts in seats. That’s how you got paid.
Now it’s about telling the money mark that everything’s great, and she’s great. That’s how you get paid. It’s a ponzi. A bunch of con men and one victim. A reverse pyramid. It perpetuates until the Carters figure it out, or go broke.
Everybody in TNA knows that saturating TV with Dixie is a terrible idea, and anybody could tell her. Maybe Jeff Jarrett tried, not that his track record for entertaining TV is much better. But at TNA, they go along to get along. If pride and performance aren’t necessary for a payday, pride and performance die.
If you didn’t like Russo’s booking, fine. If you don’t like him personally, fine. If you think Hart should not have been the Blue Blazer, fine.
But to pin Hart’s death on Russo is twisted. In WCW, Sting came down from the ceiling many times. Hart’s death resulted from flawed execution of a stunt that had been done plenty of times, and not just in wrestling. WWE assumed responsibility for that when they settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Hart’s widow.
But Cornette acts like Russo booked Hart to die. That’s absurd and mean-spirited. Is this nutbar going to have his panties in a bunch forever?