The Sin Cara family now owes the Del Rio family all their remaining lucha masks, seventeen acres of fertile farmland, two plump young women, and six goats.
Welcome back to Interinactivity – we’re improving in the ring and on the mic!
This week, I have “The Stomping Ground” and the “SmackDown Rebound” champion, Mike Gojira to help me answer questions. FD Swayze is also fist pumping like a champ through these with me.
Mike Gojira: What the fuck have I agreed to? Is this like selling my soul to the devil? In any case, Blair Heyman has asked me to step in and do his job for him this week on account of him being a lazy, good-for-nothing Canadian slacker. I hope you people are aware of what a lazy fuck this guy is. He types up his columns WEEKS in advance and only makes minor changes leading up to the posting date. How magnanimous of him, right? I wish I had the time and resources to devote to writing fifty Stomping Ground columns at once; then I’d be set for the fucking year.
Hmmm…that’s not a bad idea. I wonder if Kelly Floyd would be willing to ghostwrite for me…..
Oh, by the way, Blair picked out these quotes for me to respond to, so I guess he did SOME work (if you count cutting and pasting as “work”).
See, Mike is already getting into the Interinactivity spirit. I’ve never seen him swear this much.
A few weeks ago, Matthew Shueman had some ideas on how to “fix” the WWE. I’m going to respond to some of his suggestions.
How Not To Fix The WWE
Matthew Shueman: The announcing teams don’t spend any time on the actual match. They drone on and on about the angle surrounding the match or, let’s face it, John Cena’s particular interests at the time. I don’t care about TOUT, what’s trending on Twitter, or how the Big Show is angry again. I want the matches and moves called. And yes, I’m aware that this is all coming from Vince, but I stand by it. First and foremost, BRING BACK Jim Ross! There has never been an announcer that could sell the product AND the action at the same time so well. Not Gordon Solie, not Bobby Heenan, and not Gorilla Monsoon. All fine announcers to be sure, but they pale to Jim Ross.
Mike Gojira: It’s rather unfortunate that the only reason we even have Jim Ross on commentary right now is due to the heart attack Lawler suffered last month. I for one think that oftentimes the announcers shill a PPV match or an angle rather than what’s taking place in the ring because Vince might notice that perhaps the in-ring competition is souring like a Tensai match and wants the commentary to retain the viewers’ audio receptors when the eyeballs start to stray. There are, however, plenty of times when the match is good and the commentators go off on an extreme tangent (like between Booker T and Michael Cole), but it’s not exactly something we can control. At this point we need a “new” Jim Ross because he can’t keep doing this forever.
Blair: Great idea – don’t train anyone else or get a new commentary team or anything. No need for that. Jim Ross has only been commentating for 38 years so far, is only 60 years old, has only had one stroke, and only one case of Bells Palsy. He’s good for at least another two decades.
King Swayze: See I don’t mind the announcing as much these days. Last year I complained that Michael Cole needed to calm down as he was ruining the show. I was right. And WWE knew it. They calmed him down. So I’m not complaining anymore. They heeded my advice. Furthermore, I don’t really see many other fans complaining these days about the announcing. In fact, I saw some praise for Michael Cole for how he handled this unfortunate Jerry Lawler situation.
I like Jim Ross too. He’s great. But it’s not like he calls all the moves. It’s not like it would be exciting or anything if you just had some guy say what every move is that happens, especially since the fans are so smart these days they know all the moves anyway. Most of you go nuts and correct the announcers every time they mistake the name of a move.
Also, you have no idea who Gordon Solie is bro. He was before both our times.
Matthew Shueman: Taking Michael Cole out of the broadcasting booth gives you a great start to a mouthpiece, slimy heel manager. Stick him with his obvious favorites, The Miz, Jack Swagger and let’s say Ziggler. That is quite a stable to start off with.
Count Swayze: Is this an idea for your E-fed or something?
Blair: Yes, this is quite a stable.
You want to throw Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes in there too?
How about Drew McIntyre?
That way it’s like a who’s who of past and future WWE failed attempts to build new stars over the past 5 years.
And speaking of which, how come nobody makes any noise about Cody Rhodes anymore? Lots of folks were all about that loser for a little while there. Now nobody talks about him. What happened?
Mike Gojira: I might get shot for saying this, but I found Cole to be an acceptable commentator before his heel turn during NXT. He called the matches with great conviction like JR and, while not on Ross’s level, was most certainly tolerable for a successor. If one were to remove Cole from the announce team, who would replace him? Josh Mathews hasn’t really evolved on commentary these days and Matt Striker seems to be in the doghouse (hence his backstage role and more recent encounter with Team Hell No). A few months ago I might have agreed with turning him into a manager, but I don’t think Miz or Ziggler need one and Swagger needs to be repackaged completely at this point.
Matthew Shueman: Anyone who has read Mick Foley’s “Have a Nice Day” will recognize this one. I hate to tell the “new breed” of fan, but, in fact, THE SIGN ON THE MARQUEE SAYS WRESTLING! Easy as pie. Stop focusing on dumb, virtually unfollowable angles, and focus on the in ring product. Look at TNA just for a second. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Ok, you’re back. They have completely turned around their program with focusing on the in ring product. And they only have 2 hours to do so. Yet week after week they are turning out a well-timed program with tons of great in ring action. Keep in mind that WWE just switched to 3 hours to supposedly focus on wrestling, and it has been nothing but plug hour.
Blair: It’s hard to know where to start with this, but you do realize that WWE’s “dumb, virtually unfollowable angles” are kicking the living shit out of TNA’s “well-timed program with tons of great in-ring action”, right? And I get the “dumb” part regarding WWE, but how the fuck does “virtually unfollowable” apply to ANY of their story lines? WWE’s angles are so simple that a 4-year old could get the gist of it while viewing the program on mute. It’s boring as all hell – there is virtually nothing going on where you don’t know EXACTLY where it’s leading and exactly how it’s going to end besides this Bryan / Kane thing that kinda came out of nowhere.
Based on what I’ve read from show reports, the most complicated storyline in WWE until recently had to do with Shaemus possibly not being able to use his
Retard Kick Brogue Kick anymore because he hurt a manager with it. That’s literally the most complicated thing I could find at the current moment. How much pool water would someone have to swallow in order to NOT be able to follow that?
Now, let’s contrast that with the abortion of a TNA PPV that I just watched, where there certainly was NOT “tons of great in-ring action” beyond one match. During that show, (No Surrender) Hulk Hogan gave himself the authority to lock down an entire arena, trapping everyone inside. He then called the cops to the arena and also gave himself the authority to start ordering them around. I expected the mayor to show up and be like “WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE” and for Hogan to go “I AM” before giving the mayor a leg drop while the cops cheered him on. (I’m kidding – Hogan obviously can’t do the leg drop anymore.)
This was all done in the name of trying to catch SIX fucking fat guys in masks, one of whom they INVITED to the arena to have a match and who was even kind enough to pose for the pre-match bumper photo. And if that’s not complicated enough, two hours later the entire roster, staff, and a detachment of city police couldn’t find the six fat masked fucks in an arena that holds less than two thousand people. So then, the show ended – nothing was solved, yet the lockdown was ended? I guess? And 4 days later on Impact, no explanation was given as to WHY the lockdown was ended when they hadn’t found anything after only two hours. This took place after MONTHS of the Hog Wild guys continuing to get in the building despite TNA’s best efforts to stop them, and again, I remind you, this building holds less than two thousand people. How many exits can it possibly have?
And this was about a month before TNA made a big reveal on their Aces & Eight’s storyline.
Do you know what that reveal was?
How unfollowable is all of THAT, especially when you compare it to WWE? And that’s just a TNA example off the top of my head.
Listen pal, WWE may be boring as shit to watch over the last few years, but it’s certainly not because their angles are unfollowable. If anything, the opposite is true. And TNA may be a better show as a whole now than it used to be (I’ll have to take your word on that) but if that PPV I watched is any indication, it’s certainly not because THEY’RE so well-thought out.
Mike Gojira: The way the WWE operates these days, you have to factor in that the company is now a global phenomenon. With Linda McMahon’s Senate run, the WWE Films division, the B.A.Hypocrite campaign, and (most recently) the Susan G. Komen partnership, Vince has been looking to shed his carny image for years now. TNA, however, is like a Mom and Pop store that can only grow and thrive because they are 100% a wrestling company; end of story. It is an indy fed with a national television and PPV deal endorsed by a company with a lot of cash to spend. I guarantee that if TNA can grow to the WWE’s size within the next 20 years, they’ll follow in the WWE’s footsteps. Once you’re financially sound, you can take greater risks.
Master Swayze: I looked at TNA. It’s the worst television program on the air right now. Other television producers and directors would laugh at it, if anyone but wrestling fans actually knew TNA existed. There’s no focus at all on wrestling. If Jeff Hardy is your biggest star, then wrestling CAN’T be the focus. There’s a new referee with giant boobs that hang out of her uniform. And there’s Hulk Hogan as the Mayor of Florida putting the TNA Arena on lockdown with the help of the entire Florida police force for weeks on end. Those fans are still trapped there. But Matthew, you gotta wonder…
Did Hogan lock Aces and Eights out?
Or did he lock them in?!?
See, there’s nothing well-timed about TNA. They don’t have tons of great in-ring action. They got a bunch of guys doing a amateur job of producing a show that’s basically just a bunch of guys poorly pretending to be WWE. I know you loved WWE, and they hurt you. WWE is very self-centered. It doesn’t think about anyone but itself sometimes. But getting in another bad relationship is not the answer for you, my friend.
Have you tried arts & crafts? I hear that can be quite relaxing and stimulating.
Randy Orton / Dolph Ziggler / Shaemus / Alberto Del Rio
Flaming Wombat: Great match between Ziggler and Orton (at Night Of Champions), as expected. I’m sure a lot of us would have liked to see Ziggler go over, but Orton has also been jobbing a lot this year and Ziggler looking the equal of the second biggest name in the company is by no means a sign of him being poorly used.
King Swayze: I thought both gentlemen did a very good job of performing a match that is above the standard that we would usually see on RAW or Smackdown. I assume that is what you meant by ‘great match’. I don’t know that in ten years time this match will be a classic people still go back and watch, like people would with a great match. Also, who the hell expected a great match from Orton and Ziggler anyway?
Ziggler is a guy, like a handful of guys, who are WWE system guys who don’t have that real ring experience guys like Del Rio, or Punk, or Bryan have. And with WWE’s frantic shedule and overwhelming amount of commercials inserted into their own shows (The Subway guy again WWE?) a guy like Ziggler unfortunately doesn’t get that experience to really bring his game to the next level on WWE television. And maybe it’s just me, but it seems that experience is really important. That’s why I think guys like Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, in the twilight of their careers, can go out and put on a match like we witnessed at Wrestlemania 25.
Look at Stone Cold Steve Austin. I was watching this DVD thing about him the other day. One of the ones WWE does. It was fantastic. They showed him starting off in USWA. Then becoming the Stunning Steve Austin we all knew and loved in WCW. Then him crafting the Stone Cold character a little bit in ECW. Now look how much experience he went to WWE with. Look how successful he was. Look how talented he was. They also had what I would call some great matches on there. He and Flair took on Ricky Steamboat and Sting in a tag match from WCW. And they had that Rock match from Wrestlemania 17. Think about how long ago those matches were.
So I never really expect Ziggler to have a great match. Ever. Same with Orton. Same with a handful of other guys, unless they are working with a really talented wrestler like an Undertaker or Chris Jericho or something. And even then it’s a toss-up. What I expected from those two was Orton to win. Like Flamingwombat stated, Orton has been losing alot which I don’t think is a big deal. Orton is comfortable being Orton since his return, and he knows win or lose the fans are going to cheer for him. Ziggler has that stupid briefcase, so he’s almost guaranteed Shaemus’s title at some point. Until then WWE figures he can lose all he wants because he will have a big win soon. They don’t realize or don’t care that it makes the guy look like a joke when his ‘big win’ is running down to beat an already beaten guy. They did this exact same thing with The Miz. So why not make the fans happy and give Orton a win since the fans were going to be screwed in the main event? It’s not about one guy looking better than another guy or something. It’s about WWE trying to do the best show from first match to last match.
However, Orton is not the second biggest name in the company. Right now that would be CM Punk, unless you start counting guys like The Undertaker, Triple H, and Chris Jericho. Especially if you start counting guys like The Rock and Bret Hart. Then you got Lesnar hanging around. So he’s like I dont know…somewhere between number 5 and 10 now I guess? Either way, Ziggler doesn’t look like his equal. Orton never needed a briefcase to win a title, and he never needed a woman to do his talking.
And as far as Ziggler being used poorly, that’s insane to even ponder. That dude is on Raw and Smackdown every week, no matter what. Do you know how many guys on the indies would kill their own mothers to have Ziggler’s spot right now? And I want to say at least one positive thing about all these guys, because I do think Ziggler is a hard worker. The guy is in great shape. Watch that Orton match when he does the Macho Man rope choke. Imagine how exhausting that must be. Look at Ziggler’s face when he has to slide back into the ring. And he still went like another ten or fifteen minutes. So he’s got that going for him.
Blair: Well said. The only thing I would take issue with here is that I have seen Ziggler have some good matches. The thing is though, they’re usually against guys like Jericho, Kofi, or someone like that, who is known for having good matches. So that’s one of the reasons why it’s hard for me to be impressed with Ziggler on just that basis.
The best part of the match was still babyface Orton flipping off the crowd. That dude is hilarious. He knows WWE isn’t going to do anything to him. He can fail wellness tests with no more retribution than a summer vacation off the road, and people STILL speculate “what his punishment will be”. Then a week later, they put him in a movie, and no one has anything to say anymore. It’s amazing. I’ve never been an Orton fan, but you really do have to admire that he realizes how valuable he is to WWE. He knows they have no one to replace him with – sure, Punk and Bryan are made men now, but they’ve also lost Shawn Michaels and Batista – plus, Triple H and Undertaker are no longer regular performers. He’s completely secure just based on WWE’s inability to make more stars than they’re losing without bringing old stars back to part-time deals. You really think they’re going to be able to replace Orton with Shaemus or Dolph Ziggler? Again, not an Orton fan – but I think we all know that’s not going to happen.
Mike Gojira: I am all for a huge Ziggler push, but I can’t help but compare his recent run to Edge’s first Money in the Bank victory. When Edge won the title from Cena, they traded the belt back and forth but Edge didn’t really cement himself as a top heel until he went over to Smackdown and began to run things there. With Orton allegedly poised to return to Smackdown as a heel once his filming ends, I don’t see how Ziggler will be anything more than a mediocre champion. Had he taken the belt from Sheamus at Summerslam, my opinion might have been different. As it stands, I think it’s the wrong time to pull the trigger…unless Orton returns as a face.
Flaming Wombat: Sheamus and Del Rio also put on yet another good match. I know some people have lost patience with this feud (the same types who complain about Ryback squashing jobbers three weeks in a row, also known as “people with the attention span of a 2 year old”), but every match these guys have had has been good (and with better use of psychology than the other matches on the card) despite the lackadaisical booking of the feud itself.
Seriously, notwithstanding the 18 second WM debacle, EVERY Sheamus PPV match this year has been at least good (most better than that). Pretty impressive if you ask me, especially when one considers that he is not a Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart type of wrestler, but rather in the Cena/Batista/Hogan style. Despite this, he constantly brings the workrate. Let’s hope they start booking him into more interesting angles from this point forward.
Lord Swayze: That attention span comment was unnecessary. I get frustrated with some of the fans too. I get it. But this storyline makes no sense. It’s based around banning a wrestling move on a wrestling show. A move many wrestlers have used in the past. A move many wrestlers used ON THAT VERY SHOW!!! It’s stupid. I don’t blame Shaemus or Del Rio or Otunga though. It’s not their fault. So defending the storyline itself really isn’t defending or helping them in my opinion. But I get it.
So onto what you were really getting at. You dug Shaemus and Del Rio’s match. I think they tried to put on the quality of match we saw with Orton and Ziggler but fell short to me. I’m not sure Shaemus is in as good as shape as Ziggler is, and I think Shaemus’s TV matches are better than his PPV matches.
Seriously, notwithstanding the 18-second WM gem, EVERY Shaemus PPV match has been him getting worn out and putting on a crappy match where he punches himself in the chest over and over like he has a nervous tick because he realizes that this face turn isn’t working. He’s not a Cena/Batista/Hogan wrestler. He’s a Barbarian/Warlord/Hercules Hernandez wrestler. That’s not a bad thing. But that’s what the fans have known him as. And then one day for no reason he’s fun loving John Cena 2. It’s bullshit and you can’t fault people for not buying it.
So how was this match good? You mention something about pyschology but don’t really get into examples so…oh wait. I remember. Del Rio ‘worked teh leg’. Well I have my ‘Guide To Performing A Good Wrestling Match’ handbook open here and it does state for the record that A + B + Working a body part = psychology. That’s cute. But that’s not how it really works.
Del Rio shoved Shaemus into the ropes at one point in this match and you could just tell in the man’s face he was ready to hit the kick and call it a day. The rest of the match he loses all his momentum. It’s not his ‘selling’ that is a problem either. He does that fine. Go back and watch that fatal fourway a few PPvs ago. I think he had Orton, Jericho, and Del Rio in there with him. All four guys are selling just fine. But those other three even near the end are still going strong while Shaemus barely had enough energy to do anything. And he had plenty of time to rest outside of the ring during that match. I think Shaemus’s last good PPV match was the Daniel Bryan Wrestlemania match. It’s the only one anyone ever talks about.
See, that 18 second match wasn’t some kind of punishment to Bryan. Not at all. It was because any longer and Shaemus was going to look like crap.
And Del Rio is very good, but Shaemus is like Ziggler. A good match to him is doing his popular spots in a different area or maybe doing his finisher from a counter of some sort. Every match is basically the same. It’s what WWE has their guys do. Cena is the king of it. See to me that’s like Disney garbage. It requires no thought or creativity. It’s paint by numbers. It’s crap.
So no, he doesn’t ‘bring the workrate’, and you don’t even know what that means. The next angle he is going to be in is probably losing his belt to a briefcase. Here is how I think it will probably go down.
With WWE’s horrible writing and booking of matches, I’m guessing Shaemus won’t even be pinned for this thing. I think he loses his belt doing the stupid kick that they will eventually re-ban or something and a stipulation of some upcoming title match will be that if he hits the kick he loses the belt. Well, he’ll hit the kick anyway, and he will lose his title to someone like Otunga. And while Otunga is unconsious and the champion, Ziggler will stroll down and pin him.
If you consider that an interesting angle, then you have something to look forward to.
Mike Gojira: As long as Sheamus’s character is that of a happy-go-lucky fella who likes to fight, I can’t conceive of any interesting angles for him. He needs to go back to the anti-hero that we saw during Mark Henry’s push last year because pure face Sheamus is just not doing it for me.
Flaming Wombat: (In response to a different comment but on the same subject.) It’s a shame because Del Rio is very good in the ring, good on the mic, wrestles a style different from the other heavyweights, and is one of of the only roster members able to draw actual heel heat. It doesn’t seem like he’d be hard to book properly, but they sure are failing now. They seemed to have the right idea when he first came in: they booked him strong against Mysterio and he just kept beating (often submitting) other upper-carders to the point that his winning of the Rumble didn’t feel misguided at all. It makes one wonder how Edge’s sudden retirement and the subsequent booking changes ended up messing up Del Rio’s ascent. Not that that’s an excuse for the ensuing year-plus misuse.
It’s also weird that they would give us a 4 month feud and then NOT blow it off at Hell in the Cell. For the first time since HitC became its own PPV, the timing was right for the Cell to come into play.
Blair: You know what, when Del Rio first showed up I could not have been less interested in him. I thought he was terrible. As Swayze said, WWE’s horrible writing predictably turned him into a one-dimensional stereotype with a catchphrase, and I think that’s why people may find him really dull – myself formerly included – but I think maybe I looked too much at that and not at his actual ability. Swayze always thought he was good – not me though. But as I’ve said before, I was definitely wrong – happy to admit that. Del Rio is great. The guy has been working his ass off in the ring to carry Shaemus, too. So yeah, while this storyline is obviously insanely silly, I get why they’ve kept Shaemus in the ring with Del Rio for this long – it’s the same reason they stuck him in there with 3 guys at once to fight it out while he rested on the outside, trying to get his wind back. They’re really doing everything they can for this guy. You can’t fault them for that. I still don’t think it’s gonna work though. But who knows, they’ve made their peace with Cena getting shit on by crowds, they could do the same here.
Zork: I don’t think Sheamus can carry Smackdown. His reception has still been pretty “meh” for the most part. Some places it seems like he’s well liked, some places not so much. I think the main problem with him is that he has no real character identity still other than “I’m a big fella that kicks you in the head, and I like fighting”, this whole Brogue Kick Banned storyline isn’t doing him favors, and neither is working with Del Rio.
Personally, I think Sheamus is a pretty solid worker for a guy his size on the roster. It’s just painfully obvious that he’s nowhere near the group of Orton, Cena, or Punk and may never be.
Blair: I don’t see the evidence for Sheamus being a “solid” worker, and I think most of that is based on the fact that he’s had good matches with Bryan, Jericho, and Del Rio. As I said with Ziggler in the past, having a couple decent matches against ONLY guys who are known for having really good matches, doesn’t equal “solid” worker to me. Also, I think that they (smartly) put Shaemus in those matches to cover up his glaring weaknesses. That’s just me though. I’m probably in the minority on that one.
Otherwise though, you’re exactly right. Shaemus sucks. We all know it. Anyone who thought otherwise before and doesn’t see it by now just isn’t paying attention at this point.
As for carrying SmackDown, though? Yeah, he’s a shitty choice, but it seems like WWE has already made up their mind about this dude anyway. No idea why, when they got other guys who could easily do the job, but there you have it. So he can totally do it, as long as he’s got their support. They’ll find more good wrestlers to fly around the ring working their asses off so people can talk about how Shaemus is “improving”, and they’ll make it into a good idea – as far as they’re concerned, anyway. Although it’s always possible they’ll get tired of receiving no return on their investment and kick him to the curb, something tells me that they would have already done so if that were the case. As I said above – they’ve made their peace with their MAIN guy (Cena) getting shit on by half the crowd. They even turned it into a quasi anti-bullying “Rise Above Hate” angle. They could do the same here. It would suck, but they could do it.
Anyway, it’s SmackDown. Who gives a tug?
Mike Gojira: Part of the reason Sheamus isn’t at the level of Punk, Cena, or Orton is because his character is no longer compelling and he doesn’t have the years of experience the other three have put into the company and the business in general. Orton, Cena, and Punk got over by extension of their character traits and through years of learning how to work the crowd. Ring psychology is a huge part of getting over, but with Sheamus’s current character he can only use cheap pops and the Brogue Kick to get a real reaction out of the audience. Let the guy be himself and not some watered-down company man and I think we’d see better results.
James Alsop: James Alsop: The Show/Sheamus “debate” was atrocious. But although I hated it, Big Show very nearly saved the whole thing. It’s not often that Show gets a lot of credit as a television personality these days, but his capacity for ad-libbing and his excellent comic timing really are tremendous. Sheamus, on the other hand, really needs to be fed some better lines…
Mike Gojira: It all comes down to the fact that Big Show has more years in the business and knows how to call an audible, as well as the obvious truth that heels are allowed more leeway in promos because their job is to rile up the crowd. Sheamus didn’t have much of a choice but I’m sure he could have deviated from the script a lot more.
Blair: You know what I did? I actually went and watched this on YouTube when I saw “Live Debate” and “Shaemus”.
I’ll happily agree with you James, that they haven’t given Shaemus the best of lines:
Show: This debate is stupid. Why are we doing this? I’m huge and I’m going to punch his head in and win the match. Debate over.
Shaemus: Oh yeah? Well, you have BO.
But, he’s gotta take some of the blame. His delivery of any line is terrible. He’s so clearly uncomfortable and just out of his element. Gojira said on his last response that he’s “no longer” compelling. I don’t see what he’s doing that’s any different from when people started liking him.
The thing is, Shaemus has gotta be an allright guy to be around in real life. Obviously a lot of people backstage like him, or he wouldn’t be where he is. Where’s THAT guy?
Matt Morgan – WWE Castoff, Insurance Shill… Future Of TNA
Matthew Harrak (in September): Magnus is one of the few men I think would excel in the WWE & would love to see it. Imagine a Barrett/Magnus team? The other person would be Matt Morgan & I think we all hope to see that soon.
Matthew Harrak (in October): That was a terrific segment for Matt Morgan. That really made me believe they’re going to do something with him now. And I know I’m in the minority in seeing the potential of Morgan but I’m telling you, booked correctly, he has the size, strength, charisma and agility to be at least as good as Kane or the Undertaker. He just hasn’t caught any of the breaks.
Blair: All right, so you hope to see him in WWE soon but you’re glad TNA is doing something with him.
This… THIS… is a PERFECT example of the short-term memory loss that far too many wrestling fans suffer from today. I don’t know if it’s the 5-Hour Energy Shots that TNA pimps or just Attention Deficit Disorder in general, but it also speaks to the psychosis that I talked about last week of people not being able to look past good or even past shoddy marketing, and believing that a guy is a big deal simply because you’re told that he is now, no matter HOW many times they’ve told you the same thing before and it never worked.
5 years ago, Matt Morgan was INTRODUCED into TNA as being a huge deal. On his first storyline, he “enforced” a World Heavyweight Title match. He was then added to a main-event storyline as part of Christian’s stable.
After that didn’t work, he got shuffled down the card. They thought turning him heel might work, and gave him a high-profile program with Abyss.
After that also didn’t work, he was turned babyface again, as one of the main foils of the Main Event Mafia. This was a main-event storyline where most of the important segments and matches revolved around Matt Morgan and his journey from attempting to join to feuding with the MEM, which included him working with Kurt Angle, Sting, and Mick Foley.
After that didn’t work either, he was pushed down the card again and teamed with Hernandez. Although it again launched him into another high-profile feud against Hernandez that a) went nowhere because no one is really behind Matt Morgan and b) produced a cage match that is widely regarded as one of the worst matches TNA has put together to date.
After THOSE eight-kajillion attempts to get him over and make him a star didn’t work, he then joined and left the new Immortal stable and became the promotion’s top babyface AGAIN, feuding with Jeff Hardy for the belt. This didn’t work. But that didn’t stop him from still being quite high up on the card, and he feuded with Mr. Anderson for the number one contendership. This ALSO produced two matches that are widely regarded as some of the worst in TNA’s history. AGAIN, It didn’t work.
Then, Matt Morgan was given another high-profile feud against the undefeated Crimson and Samoa Joe. The three battled over and over, and Samoa Joe, despite being a heel at the time and losing almost EVERY match in this storyline and being mishandled by TNA for years, got decidedly more crowd support than Morgan, a babyface. Has that pattern recognition kicked in yet? No? Well then, let me just tell you that this didn’t work either. So then, Morgan and Crimson formed a tag-team. Crimson turned on Morgan and Morgan fought him as the fiery babyface, which, again, didn’t work.
While I haven’t been the biggest fan of WWE over the past decade, one thing that I almost never find fault with is who they decide to let go. There are a couple exceptions, sure, but not many – I’m a huge fan of Low-Ki, but given his backstage reputation and habit of ping-ponging between wrestling companies, I wasn’t surprised that he didn’t fit in with WWE. Matt Morgan, though? That’s Ken Anderson territory. Yep, fire that dude and forget about him as fast as possible. WWE lost nothing when they got rid of Matt Morgan.
Now, if he’d used his post-WWE years to improve, that would be one thing, as Martin Shaw pointed out to you. You replied that he had improved. But he didn’t. Show me ANY way in which Matt Morgan has improved on the mic or in the ring, as you say he has. C’mon man – ONE match. ONE promo.
I was surprised that TNA even bothered picking him up – sure, TNA will pretty much pick up anything, but Morgan was a lot less than anything when TNA got him. If it hadn’t been for his TNA time, we’d have forgotten he was ever even in WWE by this point. And rightly so. But no, lucky for him, TNA picked him up, I imagine for peanuts and a cot in the janitor’s room at the Impact Zone.
Over the next several years, as evidenced above, TNA gave Matt Morgan SEVERAL main-event pushes and a number of high-profile feuds.
Even after a couple of them failed, they STILL pushed him a couple MORE times.
It got them nothing.
And that’s not an exaggeration.
You may feel that perhaps several of the things I listed above are not failures as I suggested. And that’s fine. But what you can’t argue is that TNA gained NOTHING from it.
Mike Gojira: I was never a fan of Matt Morgan; I always saw him as a generic hoss. I never really watched much of his TNA run, so I can’t comment on that. Magnus could be an interesting addition to the WWE roster, but I think he’s a better fit over in TNA.
CzarSwayze: I love wrestling fans. I don’t know who Magnus is, but I bet a million, billion, TRILLION dollars he’s british right? Wrestling fans think all british people know each other, just like all black people know each other, and all japanese people know each other.
You know what though? It’s obvious you just follow this stuff better than everyone else. The Magnus-Barrett team would probably be great. WWE doesn’t do tag teams anymore, and that’s just the team they need to respark the entire division. And Matt Morgan is probably the future of wrestling. I mean he’s big. Oily. White. Those are big pluses. Most fans probably do want to see Matt Morgan matches non-stop for the next ten to fifteen years. Think about all the classics he’s had so far like…well, he actually hasn’t had one match anyone has ever talked about yet. But he’s due right? Broken clock and all?!?
Ha, I’m just joking. If this guy was in charge of a wrestling company, it would die in negative one hour. What I mean is the hour before the final purchase was made, the company would take a .45 and blow it’s brains out all over the sidewalk in front of a bunch of girl scouts on their way to sell it some cookies.
Why so descriptive? I’M ALWAYS WITH THE SCENARIOS!
Blair: So now, Matt Morgan is back. He’s once again being promoted as some kind of big deal by TNA, and you, an apparent Alzheimers patient, are on board.
Make sure to let me know how this works out.
As always, thanks again for all your contributions. Let’s get to…
From The Vault
May 26, 2011
Corey Yuen: Blair A. Douglas works in Corporate Finance? HAHAHA! I would not be proud to admit that Mr. Douglas. Thanks for ruing the U.S. Economy with close to 8 million Americans out of work and collecting unemployment benefits.
One of my all time favorites.
Oh, and you’re welcome, by the way.
Mike Gojira: What the hell happened to Mr. Yuen? In any case I’m not sure how Blair, a Canadian, could have helped ruin the United States economy. Unless there’s a vast Canadian conspiracy?
… the South Park movie was right!!!
It’s time for…
New Rule #1: Someone needs to tell Jerry Lawler that what he wears at his age is not helping anyone forget about his past “issues” with underage teens. (Oh calm down, I waited a respectable period of time. He’s fine.)
New Rule #2: If he isn’t already, CM Punk should get a cut of his DVD sales revenue. I know he didn’t put it together himself, but whatever STD meds he needs to be banging Lita can’t be cheap.
New Rule #3: Speaking of Lita, someone needs to explain to me the appeal for WWE wrestlers to date Divas. I get that most of them are attractive, but attractive women are everywhere, and honestly – given what we know of girls like Lita, Kelly Kelly, and now Beth, just to name a few, it has to be more appealing to date someone outside the industry. Sure, most people anyone dates has likely had a history beforehand, but why would you want to be reminded that most of the locker room likely considers your girlfriend a cadaverous slut every time you go to work, let alone see a few other guys who used to bone her?
New Rule #4: Anyone who talked about Cody Rhodes like he was going to be a huge star within the last year – or, ever – needs to explain why not only has he not advanced any further towards this, but why he is in fact much further backwards than when people started getting all turgid over him. Seriously… what happened? Not only does he no longer have his mid-card title, The Miz of all people has one, and Cessaro has the other. And in addition, Cody has now been thrown into a tag-team with Damien Sandow and quite often can’t even get on RAW. Sandow is nothing special, but at least it’s still early enough in his career that being in this team could be considered progression. Cody, though? After all he’s done, after all the years he’s been around, and after all the hype, he’s relegated to this?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining – I always thought Cody was awful. But is he still destined for all that great stuff that people talked about a year ago? If so, then when? And if not, then why not? What changed? And why is no one talking about him now if he really is so great?
New Rule #5: If TNA is really willing to ground to a screeching halt some of the only legitimate progress they’ve made in years because that much of their merchandising revenue is dependent on Jeff Hardy, then they should really consider growing their market segment beyond the fans of a 35 year old emo drug addict who paints his eyes shut.
Well, that’s all the time we have for this week. I’d like to thank Mike and FD Swayze for joining me. You can catch Mike’s SmackDown recap this weekend with Kelly Floyd, and you can find Swayze invading CB’s column this week right here, as well as anywhere you see the Batman signal.
Again, any and all comments and thoughts are always appreciated, or you can feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter @BlairADouglas if you’re into such things.
This has been “Interinactivity”. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.
I’ll be in my trailer.
Tags: Blair A. Douglas, Blair Douglas, Del Rio, Jim Ross, Matt Morgan, Michael Cole, ROH, sheamus, Swayze, TNA, WWE