Welcome to your Fearless Friday Fighting Column, the O’Really Report! I am your host Rhett Davis and joining me on this Fantastic Friday is none other than Patrick Spohr of Caught In The Ropes! Thanks for joining me Patrick!
It’s all come down to this. The many months of mild trash talking have lead us to this verbal steel cage match of doom. Somewhere, Gojira is stroking a cat and cackling like a super-villain.
All while his bald head glistens and his midget runs around humping people’s legs. Darn that Dr. Goji.
Truly, we are all puppets in his evil game. His evil game involving a “dormant” volcano.
And One Milllioonnnnn dollars. But enough Shagging… let’s get down to business.
The MizTruth Miztake?
Our first topic up for discussion is the recent firings of R-Truth and The Miz. What did you think of the end of Raw this week Mr. Spohr?
When I first saw the end of Raw, my response wouldn’t have made it onto PG television, if you catch my drift. How many times have we been forced to sit through the rusty old “You’re Fired!” storyline? Dozens? Kevin Nash was fired just a few weeks ago and he managed to show up at Night of Champions, and Cena was fired several months ago and never missed a night. Generally speaking, the angle has lost any possible impact it might have had. Yeah, when Batista quit that was a surprise, but we’ve seen too many of these angles that don’t even lead to the guys in question taking the night off.
Of course that’s generally speaking. In Miz and R-Truth’s case, it kind of fits in to their conspiracy-centric personas. How do you further their conspiracy mongering? You fire them of course. It does make a bit of sense when you consider their characters, but the WWE needs to pull out something really interesting with this angle. Maybe, shock, have the guys take a week or two off from Raw? Seems like a good idea to me. They really need to differentiate this angle from all the other “You’re Fired!” angles, is what I’m getting at. If they fail to do that, I think the Miz and R-Truth team have enough going for them that it won’t kill their gimmick, but I would hate to see the WWE fumble this new team. I like what I’ve seen from them so far.
I agree that The MizTruth has been a solid tag team that surprisingly has a lot of chemistry. I also think that the ‘You’re Fired!’ gimmick is old and needs some actual legitimacy to even be taken seriously. If they were to disappear for the next couple of weeks, then it would appear as though they’d actually been fired unlike Nash and Cena.
Tag Team Teasing
Speaking of tag teams, what do you think of the recent development of the tag teams and featuring them more prominently?
Taking the belts off of Otunga and McGillicutty was a step in the right direction, but adding the teams of Air Boom (Groan) and Miz and R-Truth isn’t the long-term solution here. Does anyone really think that, in a year from now, those two teams are still going to be together? They’re singles wrestlers, and while they can make a good team for a while, eventually they’re going to go their separate ways. I haven’t seen a Team 3-D, Edge and Christian, or Hardy Boys walk down the ramp yet, and those are the kind of teams that can really turn the whole division around.
Of course we’re still waiting on the Kings of Wrestling and the Young Bucks, both of whom would immediately add a lot of depth to the roster. Hell, I’d like to see the Briscoe Brothers (I know they tried out for WWE a few years ago) come on in if they were going to be used properly. If the WWE could bring in or develop a few long-term tag-teams, then I’d be more optimistic, but for now I’ll just say that it’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not a cure for everything that ails the WWE tag division.
I think keeping AirBoom together is a good idea for the simple reasoning that neither of these guys have really had successful singles careers and this could be what helps elevate them. Kofi has done nothing but drown in the midcard scene fighting for either the United States or Intercontinental Championship. While Bourne is constantly pushed and then offered up to the next big guy to pummel around. I also agree that taking it off Otunga/McGillicutty is a great move; I hope the WWE is actually pushing forward with this tag team scene and not just teasing us because the last PPV needed a tag title match.
I certainly hope not, and putting a tag-team in the main-event storyline is a nice touch. It’s like the WWE saying, “We care. Kind of.” Or maybe not…
As far as Air Boom goes, I think Kofi can break into the upper-mid-card or main-event, the WWE just has to be willing to give him that kind of push. What’s really holding him back, in my cynical opinion, is his physique. We all know how reticent the WWE is to put a cruiserweight into the heavyweight picture, but I believe Kofi and guys like Dolph have the tools necessary to make it work.
Kofi’s physique, I will agree, is probably his biggest deterrent as smaller guys have to pay their dues while bigger guys, such as Batista, Lashley, and Brock, are just shot straight to the top. Kofi can even get the crowd involved in his storylines which has proved hard for many babyfaces as of late.
Now since you mentioned the tag teams being involved in the major storyline… what do you think of the possibility of a new Corporation Faction on the horizon involving Miz, Truth, Nash, Ace, and ADR? Do you think it’s going to happen or will there be some different characters involved?
Good…question. I could possibly see Swagger and Vickie joining in on that, as well as the Divas of Doom. I’m kind of wish-washy on this one, but I’ll go out on a limb and say: yes, I think we’ll see some form of the big, bad corporate heel stable, most likely puppetteered by Vince. The WWE is really spinning its wheels right now, trying to continue to drum up interest and spending, from the Punk push to the Super-Show initiative to bringing back The Rock for Survivor Series. Unfortunately for them, a lot of their main-event stories, with the exception of Punk, haven’t gone over all that well. We got some good matches out of Orton/Christian, but the fans weren’t all over that one. Then there was Miz, Alberto, Nexus, so on and so forth.
Dragging out the corporate faction seems the most logical at this point. I don’t know how happy I’d be to see that storyline again, but without a plethora of main-event guys lying around, they’re going to have to make something work. My question for that storyline is: where does Punk fit in? Does he side with Cena and tone his act down? Does he go his own route? I still think Punk is their next top guy, but they need to give him a feud that accentuates his personality while selling him as a face.
I am a bit bummed that the WWE didn’t put more stock into Alberto’s title reign, because I think the guy is capable of better, but at this stage in the game I don’t know where else this whole messy storyline can go. While I don’t like the idea of WWE going back to the well with this, since they ran this angle into the ground during the “Attitude Era”, I don’t think they have much choice. Since Mick Foley has been saying that he’ll be working with the WWE again sometime in the not too distant future, it’ll be interesting to see where he fits in to all this.
If they do decide to run with the Corporation angle again, do you think that Alberto will be the head honcho of it? Sort of like The Rock was momentarily for the original Corporation? Or do you think it will be someone else? I could very easily see Punk as the #1 guy in the corporation. But Punk is so anti-establishment that he would probably be against it and let’s face it… Punk works better without lackeys as proven by the Straight Edge Society and The New Nexus. I’m actually for this new angle as it is interesting and far more compelling than things they’ve done in recent years minus Nexus. Maybe Alberto will join forces in order to have his dominant position on the roster. I think ADR or Miz could do wonders with a faction of their own.
As for Mick Foley, he could be a great manager for the faction. Sort of like Flair was to Evolution.
If there’s anything that Alberto’s title reign showed us, is that the WWE wants him to play the smarmy, underhanded, Million Dollar Man-esque heel. He’ll buy out guys to do his dirty work. In that regard, I see him as a good fit for the leader of a Corporate heel stable. As far as Miz goes, he could certainly work since he’s got the mic skills to turn a crowd against him, but I think he’ll end up being a notable lackey of some kind. I would like to see him at the head of his own stable, though.
I certainly wouldn’t see Punk as the head, however. I do agree that he’s far too anti-authoritarian a character to make that work, but the WWE has made fools of us all before.
A Grizzly Grand Champion
And now for our next subject… Mark Henry. Do you agree or disagree with him winning the title and where do you think he goes from here?
Boy, I would have to…agree in some respects. Look, we all know how the WWE is; they’re prone to giving older mid-carders a title run as a career award. We saw it with Benoit, Kane, and others. In that respect, Henry has been a stable, reliable, loyal guy for the WWE and they wanted to give him the championship as a token of gratitude. I don’t have a problem with that, and it’s nice to see the belt around someone new for a change, especially someone who beat Orton clean and looks legit.
That said, if this was strictly about Henry’s ability to draw and put on a good match, I would have to disagree. I’ve talked about my thoughts on the Henry heel turn and how I’m not totally enamored with it elsewhere, so I won’t bore you by reciting it again, but I don’t see him as a top guy.
When it comes right down to it, I see Henry holding onto the title until either Vengeance or Survivor Series, considering how much they’ve built him up, and then dropping to either mid- or upper-mid-card after that run is over.
I like Henry’s push and really it is the best ‘big-man’ push that we’ve seen in a long while. But you’d have to imagine that whomever beats Mark will have a huge push. Who do you think will take the belt from the big man and receive that huge pop for taking down the behemoth?
Hmmm, whatever happened to that hand Mae Young gave birth to?
Realistically, I totally see the newly face Sheamus picking up the belt from Henry. Sheamus still has some unfinished business with Henry, the WWE has really gotten behind him again, and I think the Blue Brand needs a real number two face behind Orton. Sheamus could be that guy.
I’ve been really impressed so far with Sheamus as a face. I wasn’t sure it could work at first, but he’s really shocked me.
Dos Sin Caras?
And speaking of the Blue Brand… what are your thoughts on Sin Cara being two people essentially?
I have to think, after all the noise about how unhappy both the WWE and Mistico were with their relationship, that Mistico returned due to something in his contract. I imagine that when either the WWE or Mistico looked at what it would take to either fire him or have him opt out early, it was worth it to try and make it work the second time around.
I think the WWE new that Hunico didn’t have the same flashy move-set as Mistico, and that he wasn’t going to go anywhere with the Sin Cara gimmick. This might be a way to get Hunico out from under the mask and to give Mistico a second chance to make it work in the US. Unless this whole thing has been some crazy, Machiavellian, subversive storyline and we’ve been fooled all along…
I’m glad that WWE decided to go this route instead of just turning their nose up at the situation and act as if no one knew that Sin Cara got a little fatter and his move-set changed drastically. The way this ought to go is for the end to be a loser-demasking. That way Mistico can keep the mask and Hunico can still have his opportunity on the roster. To be honest, I’ve really liked Hunico although I’d rather he had a mask instead of being demasked as I stated earlier.
I know Hunico did some work for TNA and Chikara, but I don’t know what his English is like. If his English is fairly good, he might be better off without the mask. That said, I don’t know if the WWE wants to have three enmascarados on the roster.
When he spoke a few weeks ago, his English was poor, but understandable. Harder than Rey’s and ADR’s.
But since you mentioned them…. our final subject is TNA. First off do you watch TNA regularly?
I watch fairly regularly, though I change channels liberally. For example, the unnecessarily extended brawl between AJ and Christopher Daniels on tonight’s Impact: I skipped some of that after a while. I find it difficult to get through an entire episode of Impact at this point, since the company does so much that infuriates me that I can’t even stand the sight of it sometimes.
I try to catch what I enjoy, and stomach whatever else I can. I like Austin Aries as X-Division champ, and I’ll watch his matches. I like RVD and Joe and AJ and a number of other guys, but if Mr. Anderson, Crimson, Gunner, or Sting pop up on screen at this point, I have to look the other way. If I don’t catch something, I’ll look it up in a review later.
So what would you change about the company’s direction if you could? How would you make it more appealing to the world than it is now? Is Hogan and Eazy E the problem or is it Vince Russo running the creative the issue?
Russo driving the creative bus into the ditch week after week is the bigger issue with TNA. The silly gimmicks, the blink-and-you-missed-it feuds, the whiplash character changes, they’re what’s doing the most damage to the company. Many have said it before, but it’s true: TNA has a lot of talent on its roster. If their creative side of things wasn’t so monumentally screwed up, they could probably have even more talent.
If I could tune into Impact each week and not be assaulted with 15-20 minute promos revolving around backstage politics or tedious brawls, I would be more likely to tune in. And I think a lot of people would as well. But I have to believe that a casual fan that tunes into TNA for the first time would probably toss their TV out of a second story window as soon as they laid eyes on Sting’s latest gimmick. It’s an immediate turn-off, and the company’s stories are full of them.
What’s worse is that their creative direction has been so unrelentingly awful for so long that there’s no belief that TNA can turn things around. I like seeing Bobby Roode in the number-one contender position, but I have no faith that they’ll actually push the guy the way they should. If TNA wants to change their fortunes, no pun intended, then they need to publicly can Russo. Slogans and PR isn’t going to cut it.
I agree that TNA is running amok and SOMETHING needs to be done. So much talent on that roster to just be ignored and swept under the rug. Well thank you for your time Mr. Spohr and any last words?
I’m claiming victory on this one. It may end up being a Pyrrhic victory, but a victory nonetheless. I look forward to doing this again sometime.
It was a fun edition and don’t forget to catch Patrick every Monday on Caught in the Ropes.
And quite frankly my dear… that’s a wrap.
Tags: air boom, alberto del rio, Austin Aries, cm punk, evan bourne, hunico, impact wrestling, kevin nash, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Mistico, R-Truth, sin cara, The Miz, The O'Really Report, Vince Russo, WWE