Monday, April 23, 2012
Last of a Dying Breed Leads To Extinction
Back in the 90's, when the n.W.o. gimmick started to fade with the overkill of adding older wrestlers who flat out refused to put over the younger talent, I was a huge advocate of passing the torch to the next generation of young stars whop would bare the burden of carrying the success of the industry on their backs. After all, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Bret Hart and Randy Savage only had so much left in them. They were in their twilight of their career and new stars had to be handed the responsibility of keeping the business alive.
Luckily, the young stars that were promoted were names like Chris Jericho, The Rock, Eddie Guerrero, and even a guy like Triple H. Watching this past Wrestlemania, it truly was the end of an era. Triple H, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker are "yesterday's names". Michaels is already retired. Taker is on his way out. And Trips married the bosses daughter and will be running the show for the next 50 years.
So who are the new stars of today? John Cena is a no-brainer. CM Punk has finally found his mojo and will become of the next big stars for the business. But then what...? Who else is there? Jericho's career near it's end. He wants to go out on top, spend time with the family and pursue other projects. It won;t be long until we hear that Jericho will be taking another hiatus, and perhaps a more permanent one. Then what? How much more can Cena carry on his back? Orton can help with the load and switch back and forth. Who's the next big star? Who will get "the call"? Sheamus? Maybe. I think he's a great worker, but the gimmick is limited. Who else?...I'll wait.
See, even though the torch is being offered up, there really isn't anyone there to take it and run with it. Alberto Del Rio is a great heel, but the fans don't get him. I don;t think Alberto gets himself. The "entertainment" is so overwhelming in his character and in how he responds to the other characters, that Del Rio almost comes off as confused in the ring. He's like, "Mira Papi, I'm to wrestle. I didn't know I had to act like a Telemundo novela."
Dolph Ziggler is ready and willing - but I don;t think the office is 100% sold on him right now. They see a work horse looking to steal the show and they figure, "Let's not feed him. The more he starves, the harder he'll work for food." But Ziggler isn't a quitter, and his day will come when people start referring to him as the next Shawn Michaels. How long did Michaels have to carry around Marty Jannetty? Then he had a manager in Sherri Martel. And then they let him go on his own. And then he had a bodyguard. And THEN... he became world champion and arguably the greatest of all time. I urge you fans to stick with Ziggler, because there will be a day when he is the hottest thing on the wrestling market. I called it for Shawn Michaels back in 1992, and I call it here on Ziggler.
The one that bothers me the most is Wade Barrett. The WWE invested so much into him with the ill-fated Nexus angle, and then they tried to get him over on his own. Now, he's just a guy who can get the right shoe to fit. He's uncomfortable in the ring, he's uncomfortable to watch, and he's as wooden as Pinnochio's penis.
Barrett has the tools to be a hard nosed competitor and respected in the same breath as William Regal, Fit Finlay and even JBL. He has the same rugged style and approach blended with a a technical twist. So why isn't he getting over? The night the Nexus angle took off, I was convinced that I was convinced that i was witnessing something big. I thought this was a game changer like the n.W.o. was. This army of rookies became the main antagonist of the show, main eventing with John Cena - and Barrett was their leader. How could that fail?...I don't know, but it did. And since the angle was dissolved, Barrett was repackaged as an European tough guy who boasted of being a bare knuckle champion. But what did any of the prove in the ring. In the squared circle, you were still a chump. Nothing became of Barrett. Even when he's out with an injury, it has no effect what so ever with the progress of the show. he was filler material right off the cookie-cutter clone line. Only difference was that he had a little size on him, other than that, same shit as everyone else.
Sure, you'll always have one that rises above the rest. You'll have your Cenas Ortons, Jerichos, Punks...but they amount to nothing if their opponents are less than nothing. They are only as good as the match they can design with their opponent. Anybody remember matches where Bret Hart had to wrestle Kwang, or Skinner, or that fucking French pirate with one eye? Remember Hogan trying to get over Zeus, The Dungeon of Doom and the fucking Yeti? Hogan was the best at getting people over. Look at what he did for The Ultimate Warrior. Not even The Warrior can believe it. It's almost cliche to hear an old school traditional wrestler refer to themselves as, "The Last of a Dying Breed". But maybe it's true. Remember the dinosaurs? Funny how we refer to Hogan and Flair as one of them, what happened when the dinosaurs no longer roamed the earth? What will happen when the Hogans, Flair, Stings and Undertakers wrestle in the ring? Will it be the end of the wrestling world much like the dawn of time?
The WWE creative plan needs to be re-evaluated. They may book for the bigger picture better than TNA does, but their product still comes off as day-to-day. Especially when there are reports that scripts are being rewritten minutes before show time. It's a fucking wrestling show. Exactly what needs to be re-scripted for the greater good. Call me crazy, but when there were less scriptwriters, it was considered the golden age of the business. People actually wanted to get involved and help protect the secret of the kayfabe magic. And yes, I'm saying this about all the creative bookers in the business - me being one of them.
Just let them wrestle already. Let the championship be the prize for being the best. Then you wonder why the new kids on the block are so green? Because they are too busy working on their acting skills rather then their wrestling skills. They are more focused on memorizing the script rather than the spots in their match. I look at the business the same way an adult looks at today's youth - "THAT is what is going to lead the world and take care of me in the future?"... I guess it is really coming to an end, isn't it?