My Pinterest Is Piledrivers: WWE-vamping The Industry (Michael Cole, Booker T, Jerry “The King” Lawler)

Hello, and welcome again to My Pinterest Is Piledrivers.  Did everyone have a good Wrestlemania?  It’s the sports entertainment Kwanzaa, you know.  The show seemed to be one of the better reviewed ones of the past several years, with three critically-acclaimed matches and no out-and-out duds, aside from… well, you know.  Hey, if the Miami fans rebelling against D-Bry’s Honky Tonkering is what it takes to convince the brass of his value… then it was all worth it.  At least the guy got some fun in the sun and a nice payday making more than I do in a year (or decade) for eighteen seconds work.  Always look on the bright side of life!

When I first decided to submit to this site, I sat and thought of potential columns I could do.  The industry goes through dry spells and lulls, so I wanted to make sure that I could stockpile enough material and opinions to get through any.  I’m a big fan of thinking and looking ahead.  As I sat and dwelled, I noticed that a lot of my ideas kind of fit within a general theme-one of improving the WWE.  I’d include TNA in this, but I’ve never seen one episode nor do I plan to, and I don’t have the fanaticism or bank account to support your ROHs or Chikaras.  C’mon.  If you like wrestling, you like WWE.  Don’t be too indie.

When I talk about improving the WWE, I don’t mean to say that it completely sucks and needs a drastic overhaul.  These are all simple thing that should be easy to accomplish that I think will pay dividends towards bringing the industry back to mainstream, watercooler levels as last seen over a decade ago.  These columns will be in no particular order, with the exception of the last one (also the most serious).  I hope to run through these uninterrupted, barring any huge events necessitating my input.

One of the most glaring issues in the WWE today is the quality of announcing.  Specifically, the lack of it.  Michael Cole is not a good announcer.  At all.  He says “vintage” more times than a hipster interior designer.  He doesn’t know names of moves, even signature ones.  He has no concept of history.  He’s a heel, while also trying to be the “straight man” in selling the drama of the match and the merchandise/events to come.  I don’t know who thought that could work, but I suspect they were concussed when that idea came to them.  Fans hate him, and not in a “love to hate him” fashion… in an X-Pac heat/please contract laryngitis fashion.

But I’m also a compassionate man.  Never would I suggest someone get fired.  Hell, times are tough all over.  Guy’s got kids to put through college just like a lot of people.  Where should Michael Cole go?  Into management.  When does the WWE have competent and over managers (aside from Vicki)?  Future column, friend.

Jericho actually turned face for 30 seconds back in ’09.

Where does that leave Raw?  Bring back good ol’ JR.  The fans love him.  COOHHH made such a thing about bringing him back after he took office and that lasted… what, a PPV?  (Oddly enough, he talked about rehiring Morrison when he was already under contract, and that only lasted a couple more PPVs.  Not a good success rate, Hunter).  Yes, I know that he’s getting on in years and that quite frankly he never had matinee idol looks to begin with, but… he’s an announcer.  They’re on camera maybe five minutes out of two hours tops, save for when someone is moonsaulting or elbow dropping their workstation.  Which seems to happen a lot less with those laptops on the desk.  Huh.  Yes, he has a southern accent.  Half your national audience is southern, get over it.  Country don’t mean dumb.  Ross sells drama.  That is the entire point of his job.  And he’s the best in the world at it.  And maybe BBQ, I haven’t tried any yet.

As for the King and Booker?  Keep them as color.  King’s always good for some corny witticisms, and Booker’s more recent in-ring experience and sheer, joyful enthusiasm for the job comes across like spun gold from the speakers.  Seriously, I’ve heard others say it- Booker is excited about the product, and excitement is contagious.

As for the redheaded Blue Brand?  Ditch Cole, bring back Striker.  He had knowledge of the moves, and was really entertaining as well.  Smackdown, for the time being, is the B-show.  Perfect opportunity to use it as a grooming period.  Test out Josh Matthews, Matt Striker, Todd Grisham, or maybe replace Todd with whatever ex-wrestler color guy they can get.  They had pretty good matches with JBL and Foley, in my opinion.  Maybe the “Road Dogg” Jesse James wants to up his pay and workload?

The few times I attended live events, I missed the announcing.  That’s how important it is to the game.  It seems like it’s a minor thing, but bad announcing can really turn people off, whereas good announcing can suck them in.  Stop trolling, WWE.  Give us what we need.

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