Today’s Episode: DeGeneration Next
Like every other wrestling writer on the planet, I like to indulge in a little fantasy booking every now and again, figuring that I can do a better job of putting the pieces together than the current writing staff of WWE, despite the fact that I’ve no formal training in the writing of television (although frankly, you wouldn’t be able to tell that the current regime does by watching the product at times) or any experience in the wrestling industry aside from being a nearly lifelong fan. So, for this episode, I want to go into one of two different potential stories that seem to have stalled before they were completely given a chance to bloom into their full potential. We’ll do one this time, and the second one in my next article in two weeks because, if you’re anything like me, you only have a few minutes of attention span to dedicate to an article about wrestling at any one time. So, if you will indulge me for the few minutes it takes you to read this, we’ll leap right into this.
1. The Second Generation Stable
This is something that the interweb has been buzzing and thinking about ever since Ted Jr. came out and announced his desire to claim the tag titles from Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly with his magical mystery partner. I, like ever other putz on the web, figured that his partner would be Harry Smith (or DH, if you must go by the inane and idiotic moniker given by the WWE).
Okay, quick mini-rant: How do you take a perfect REAL name and manage to make something that is nearly impossible to slide off the tongue. The kid had “Let’s go Harry!” and “HAR-RY! HAR-RY!” ready to be chanted by the screaming masses, and instead the fed throws in this initial nonsense so that they can own the copyright to “DH Smith?” Absurd, idiotic, and counterproductive.
Anyway, back to my point. Instead of elevating Harry, who at least deserves SOME chance to shine as the moderately talented son of The Freaking British Bulldog, he’s shuttled over to Smackdown where he can not appear on television Fridays instead of Mondays. So he’s out, and who’s the mystery partner? Well, it’s Cody, which is fine and cool and good. However, instead of coming out of the gate with this already three-piece stable, we just have the untested Ted Dibiase and the most-likely-sure-to-be-great-as-a-heel Cody, who, admittedly, is far better on the mic than he has any right to be. Indeed, despite my negativity, there is some promise.
But oh, what could have been…
Imagine Dibiase announcing his partner, the newly renamed Harry Smith, to little fanfare, as the crowd goes apathetic, and the announcers wonder what the big deal is, as the kid has yet to get a significant win in his time in the big leagues. The match goes on for a few minutes well enough (the show did end about fifteen minutes early, after all), until a signal is given, Natalya Neidhart runs down and trips up Holly while he’s preparing for an Alabama Slam or something. Holly looks at her, and Cody seems to stop his opponents from hitting the distracted Holly…only then smirking, turning around, and performing the inevitable turn on his aged partner, joining his young gun buddies as the announcers look on shocked, possibly making the connection that all of these kids are second generation, and young. I mean, these are KIDS, who have all the genetic tools in the world, and more knowledge of the business than people twice their age, due to growing up with it all around them.
The next night on Raw, the new team comes out, dressed to kill, cocky as can be, and Cody, naturally, takes the mic, running down a decrepit, bitter veteran like Holly, then extolling the virtues and power of this new group, going through all of them like Road Dogg used to announce the New Age Outlaws: YOUR Tag Team Champions, “Simply Priceless” Ted Dibiase, “The Canadian Bulldog” Harry Smith; Natalya, “The Angel” Neidhart, “The American Dreamboat” Dusty Rhodes, finally referring to them as, perhaps, the name of this article: DeGeneration Next. Yes, it pays homage to Trips’ and Shawn’s group, as well as kind of rips off the old Ring of Honor gang, but most casual fans won’t know about that second part, so it’s more or less fair game. I mean, they could also go with “Legacy” or something like that, but I like mine a bit better.
And it all jumps to another level later that night, as Deuce makes his Raw debut taking on, say, fan-favorite Kofi Kingston in a non-title match. As Kofi begins to go into endgame with Trouble in Paradise, the kids jet down to the ring and viciously beat down Kingston, smacking his legs with chairs, and hitting old-school finishers like the Hart Attack (with Harry and Natalya, natch) to decimate the champ. Deuce looks on at them, still holding his 1950s character, not sure what these guys want, until, naturally, Cody approaches him with the mic, asking him his name. When Deuce replies, simply, “Deuce,” as if it were the dumbest question in the world, Harry grabs the mic, still in Cody’s hand, “No. Your REAL name.” Cody then says something along the lines of, “Don’t let these people make you forget who you are…what you are.”
Hey, it was either that or “Have you forgotten the face of your father?” which is a bit more poetic, but is also completely ripped off from Stephen King’s Dark Tower.
Anyway, hearing this, Deuce takes a long look at all of them, realizing who they are, and what they want, and that perhaps he should no longer run from his legacy, but embrace it. He slowly takes the mic, thinks for a second, and then looks straight at Cody and says it, giving each word the weight that it carries: “James…Snuka…Jr.”
Some of the audience cheers. Some gasp in shock, while others roll their eyes because they have discovered the Internet, and knew about this since before he debuted in the first place. Some of the younger fans will wonder what the big deal is in the first place.
At this point, Cody takes the mic back. “No,” says Cody. “Not just James Snuka Jr. ‘Superstar’ Jimmy Snuka.” He then offers him his hand in friendship, and the newly christened “Superstar” accepts handily.
But, right now, what we have is Cody and Dibiase. Still, to me, that’s only a good start.
Tags: Cody Rhodes, Fantasy booking, Harry Smith, ted dibiase, WWE