Badseed's Bottomline #410:
A New Era
Hey yo!! It’s amazing how the times have done changed since the old days of wrestling.
So, I was watching RVD lose another match this week and I realized that he is still more over than anyone else on the roster despite losing each and every week.
Jobbing a wrestler out does not have the same affect it did years ago. Turn on Wrestling Challenge and you saw Big Bossman lose to Doink and it made you think…oh God, Big Bossman sucks. He just lost to a clown. That’s pathetic. Then you turn on WCW a month later and Big Bossman is there and you think…why did WCW sign him…he sucks!!! And fans lose interest in losing characters and hence why Big Bossman became The Boss, The Guardian Angel, Big Bubba Rogers and Ray Traylor before finally going back to the WWE as Big Bossman. Jobbing used to be able to change the perception of what the fan thought of a wrestler.
Fast forward and now I sit watching ECW and seeing RVD lose every week and it makes me think…oh God, the WWE sucks. They are jobbing RVD out and giving him every reason to want to sign elsewhere. They mistreated him. They never gave him the right kind of respect during his entire tenure in the WWE. He made mistakes, but only did harm to himself and he loses a push while Randy Orton was starting trouble with others and was suspended and ended up getting a bigger push than ever. Damn…I can’t wait until RVD’s contract ends so I can see what he can really do in TNA.
The WWE is screwing things up and not thinking long term. The one thing that is cool is that they are pushing more minority wrestlers with talent or potential talent in Lashley, Monty Brown, Elijah Burke and Cryme Tyme, but only Monty Brown really has what it takes to be a WWE Superstar.
The WWE has to start finding new stars fast, because take a look at their roster and remember back to a day when WCW was big time and WWE was trying to climb its way to the top. WCW had all these aging stars with too much power and it was only a matter of time before something had to give, since WCW didn’t know how to push young talent properly.
HHH does not have any more quads to tear. HBK is always complaining about his back and wants time off. Undertaker is getting older and it appears this Wrestlemania Main Event could be his last title run…if he wins. Batista is actually old. He may be newer talent, but he is up there in age. Ric Flair is nearing a time where he will be in a retirement home. Mick Foley only shows up every once in awhile and is getting too old to do so many bumps. Rey Mysterio’s knees are almost shot for good. Chris Benoit is older, but he still has what it takes…yet writers do not do anything for him and are almost pushing him to TNA. If I was Benoit and really wanted to test myself as a wrestler…I would go. Booker T has thought of retiring. So has Kane. Big Show is gone. Even the Hardy Boyz are not what they used to be. No woman has stepped up to take Lita or Trish Stratus’ place. Even John Cena’s popularity is always in question as his gimmick runs a little stale (although I am still a big fan). Finley and Regal can still go, but will never main event and are closer to retirement than staying active. Edge…nobody likes him…yet he has done everything he could do as a heel and I don’t think he can be effectively made a face.
The WWE is in potential trouble. They are not pushing talent they should be pushing. CM Punk could be the next HHH. Charlie Haas could be the next Kurt Angle if they worked on his mic skills. He can go. Shelton Benjamin could be the next Chris Benoit since he has all it takes, but lacks the charisma. Look what they did for Benoit. It takes time, but you need faith. Carlito could be the next Rock. John Cena could be the next Austin. Shit. Looking back at it, I think Michael Hayes had the right idea when he wanted John Cena to FU Benoit, too, and not just the heels. Cena makes a better tweener. Monty Brown could also fill the shoes of the Rock. Find a way to turn Edge face and he could be the next HBK-type wrestler with a lot of heart and passion in the ring. You will never find a person to take Undertaker’s place. Kane was your best bet, but he’s getting old, too. But you can do something with what you have. Just be creative. Isn’t that your department?
And stop defying logic. I am watching ECW and Vince McMahon is in the ring calling everyone in the ring has-beens and never-was. He says that they were criminals who no one wanted and they came to ECW as Originals, because they could not go anywhere else. OK. I can deal with that. But when the Originals get upset, he holds them at bay by telling them, “Hey, I sign your checks…I am your boss.” Really? Cause…at my job…when someone is a has been or a never was, we fire them. They don’t work here. We only want the best. What does that say about McMahon when he is upset with his own employees and then keeps them on staff. Ridiculous.
TNA does things right and I will tell you why. They have the fan interaction that ECW and the WWE Attitude days used to boast. Pay attention. Crowd reaction makes a show. The Attitude Era featured wrestlers who played to the fans and when fans get involved, they want to buy merchandise and they want to be vocal and they want to cheer. Lately, if you watch WWE, the shows feel dead and you don’t want to watch. TNA…you get BG James on the mic keeping crowds hot. You get Samoa Joe destroying people to the point where fans cry out, “Joe’s Gonna Kill You.” And you get TNA chants and this is awesome chants like you would with ECW.
TNA features its X Division just like how WCW used to feature its cruiserweight division. AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin, Jerry Lynn, Austin Starr, Alex Shelley, Jay Lethal, Senshi and Sonjay Dutt all get featured in some way and are taken seriously to the point where they can switch divisions with ease and not get jobbed out to Khali like Rey Mysterio was. Fans are turning in for those matches. It’s this type of wrestling that keeps them interested.
They also know how to make things complex like the old days of WWE Attitude. Kurt Angle is a face who is pummeled by Christian, AJ Styles and Scott Steiner, but when he talks to Samoa Joe you definitely get that heel vibe. Samoa Joe is a face, but you always get the sense he can heel out at any moment. Christian is a heel’s heel and AJ Styles has made the transition, but Christian mocks AJ in his promo with a sly reference to his intelligence. That’s awesome. The James Gang can’t even agree when it comes to women in wrestling. Is Sting the good guy in his feud with Abyss or is he a bully? I love that you could actually cheer Abyss and feel bad for him in their feud. Despite the lame gimmick around it, the general idea behind the feud is very well written. It makes you pick sides and it doesn’t make it easy to do so. TNA knows the fans will cheer for who they want and buy merchandise for who they want…they don’t need to make it black and white. They keep it real.
They don’t cater to the big time stars either. Sting held the title for one month and lost it to Abyss, who held it for longer. Christian is still the champ and I think he will keep the title vs. Kurt Angle, leading to the Scott Steiner vs. Kurt Angle feud. Team 3D did not win the titles yet. TNA does not do the obvious and when they do, they turn things around again. I never know what is going to happen.
And now, with WSX competing against the WWE, Vince McMahon has to put his thinking cap on. He can’t afford to lose RVD who could have quality matches with Jerry Lynn right off the bat. RVD vs. AJ Styles is the dream match right now. If the WWE were to lose CM Punk…could you imagine CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe. What if Chris Benoit went to TNA? Could Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit still be a classic? I think Carlito would be an interesting fit with TNA and I like a Carlito vs. Jeff Jarrett match and I love Carlito vs. Christian. Shelton Benjamin vs. Sting would be a great passing of the torch type match. Charlie Haas vs. Kurt Angle…done right…could be great. Rey Mysterio vs. Senshi or Rey Mysterio vs. AJ Styles or anyone in the X Division would be great as long as Mysterio can rest his knees.
If TNA stays the course and the WWE doesn’t change things up, I feel a new era in wrestling is about to come soon. It could take two years, but I sense a change in the waters. Do you feel me? Peace.
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