Haley’s Comment 01.28.04

Special thanks to reader MikeRyu V1 for renaming the column. How could I miss something that obvious?

Sip the Chris and Get Pissy Pissy II – The Return

Since I’ve had conversations with two writers on this site about Benoit, I might as well let this fly and see where the chips fall.

A lot of praise is being handed out within the IWC over how WWe booked the Royal Rumble. Big Show was portrayed as the unstoppable monster he needs to be, Benoit wrestled like the flawless pro we know him to be and it set up WM XX nicely. Five star ratings all around, all that good stuff.

I don’t agree. Here’s why.

Yes, Benoit is a phenomenal wrestler and yes he has been in the business for almost twenty years. The booking was fine and he will make HHH look like a million bucks at the pay-per-view. In economics, however, there is the concept of the opportunity cost, which states that with every decision we make, we commit both actual costs and those which we passed up in making that choice. And I just can’t help but think that WWe is missing the boat on John Cena.

To me, WM sets the table for the coming year. It did last year as HHH ran over Booker T in predictable fashion and Brock assumed the role of monstrous champ. If that holds true, what we have to look forward to is a year of HHH making himself look good at the expense of Benoit and Brock making himself into more of a monster by beating a comparable one in Goldberg (going on the best guesses we have at the moment).

Does anyone else think that this sucks? Or more specifically, it’s just a rehashing of what happened in ’03? I think that is what gets at my usually positive exterior on this issue. To me, for a company that needs to generate some buzz among its target demographics, the best bet was to let Cena take that charisma, rhyming ability and all the other little things he brings to the table and let him run with the ball in 04. I can’t say that he is any more over than every other WWe superstar, but few are in his league right at this moment.

Maybe the question isn’t why so much as it is Why not?

What is more frustrating is when you look at how WWe has gone way out of their way to put over Randy Orton, who is greener (see last night’s RKO for evidence) and has about a quarter of Cena’s charisma. He is primed for a very entertaining feud with Foley, a continued run as IC champ and greater things on the road to WM XXI (possible programs with Flair, HHH when he turns on Evolution and you know he will). If Cena had been getting this type of treatment and had won the rumble last night, they’d have a very compelling Brock/Cena feud ready-made and a much more entertaining 04 ahead of them.

In my opinion. Some people have said I need to be more outspoken in this space, so there ya go.

News To Me

Japan is trying to lure big name stars away from the WWe and job them out in their federations in the hopes of making their stars look better.

Guys, a better idea would be to go back to my last column and read about how there are apparently some discontented wrestlers, known commodities at that, in the WWe locker room. Go after THEM, job them out and make your stars look better.

Crazier things have happened.

The Little Things – Royal Rumble

Hey, I ordered the pay-per-view! And no, I didn’t let my Benoit gripe cloud my vision for the little things. I can both enjoy and dislike parts of an entire entity.

1. Knuckle Under

Don’t think I’m going to pass up a chance to mention John Cena. The bit with RVD was hilarious and those World Life knucks are yet another little thing that adds to his hip hop image. The Tug McGraw jersey was a nice touch too, wardrobe-wise.

He has only gotten better. Hand gestures, in-ring moves (the 5 knuckle shuffle in particular), the wardrobe, the rhymes. He has it ALL. But don’t worry, I’m sure the feud he has waiting for him with the Big Show is going to LIGHT THE HOUSE ON FIRE. Especially since he almost mangled his leg in the Rumble.

BAH! Sorry, when I feel strongly about something, it shows.

2. Drinks Are On Me

The funniest moment of the ppv came when Evolution interrupted Benoit’s interview. When Flair told Josh Mathews to have a drink on him and followed it up by spilling the champagne on him, it was sheer awesomeness.

3. Howard’s End

I always love it when Fink does the ring duties for a ppv. It gives it both a touch of nostalgia and authenticity that you don’t get with Lillian. Not that I have a problem with Lillian, mind you, but I love all things old school.

4. Everybody Dance Now

In case you missed it in Mr. Grutman’s latest Monday Morning Black Cloud from above:

Haley: I think Ernest Miller is the funniest mother f*cker on the roster. If you can’t like him and his dancing you should just stop watching

5. Bang Your Head

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned BANG BANG in this space before, so I will do it now while Mr. Foley is still around.

Readers’ Picks – How Soon We Forget

Longtime readerJeff Early checks in:

I have five words that made up the best part of Raw last Monday that I thought for sure would have been mentioned in your column “I forgot about the midgets” I laughed so hard. Anyway, like I always say man, keep up the great work.

This was the consensus choice for the week. I’ve been missing some obvious ones lately, I wonder if this week was any different

1. Blood Feud

If I didn’t mention HBK’s massive crimson mask above, there is no way I’d falter twice and forget that trickle running down Mick’s face during his promo with Orton. How awesome was that to see it trickling down as he lost it in the ring? The timing was truly special and will help ingrain that promo in our minds through WM. Unintentional, perhaps, but highly effective stuff.

2. Even More Facial Expression Fun

Score one for the Coach, who continues to roll on. That look he gave us when Goldberg grabbed him was simply PRICELESS.

3. Everybody Dance Now

Sense a pattern here? I love a dancing wrestling personality. Teddy’s dance for whitey might just have been funny enough to rival Dupree’s dance as of late. I don’t think he could bust it out very often, but it was still hilarious.

4. Blown Away

I have to be fair in this column. Orton’s blown RKO ruined a perfectly good opener on Monday. That’s more evidence in my mind about whom WWe is pushing and whom they should be pushing.

Yes, I am allowed to be opinionated for a week here and there.

5. Gong Show

I really like the gong going off during Kane’s matches. A very slow yet effective way to build towards the old school Taker’s return. Again, anything old school is a-ok with this report.

Keep those comments coming in and we’ll do this again next week.

Haley