My apologies for missing last Friday’s Smackdown Report, but I was in Atlantic City making some cash at the Blackjack table and enjoying my cousin’s bachelor party.
In this “Pocket of Suck,” as Joel Leonard calls it, it gets increasing more difficult to find interesting wrestling topics that don’t involve “How To Fix This” and “Remember When?”……so why bother going against the grain?
This week, I’m bringing you the problems residing within the current crop of WWE wrestlers and how to improve upon them.
The Problem: It’s not that Johnny Curtis isn’t a likable guy; far from it (have you seen his skits on Santino’s Foreign Exchange?). It’s just that this gimmick he’s been saddled with screams of early 90’s WWE with a dash of Disco Inferno thrown into the mix for good measure. When your theme song is more over than you, it’s time to rethink your strategy (Alex Riley, anyone?).
The Solution: Every week, Curtis is either in a two-minute squash or simply avoids a match via dancing shenanigans. Hell, he even avoided a DANCE OFF! Just let the guy wrestle and showcase his abilities so we can get past the gimmick and take him seriously.
The Problem: Stale, stale, stale. That’s how Orton comes across these days, and he’s so obviously bored that it shows in his matches. That’s not to say he doesn’t have drawing power, but the guy needs a change-up desperately.
The Solution: Turn the bastard heel! He wants it, we want it, and the WWE….doesn’t seem all that invested in the idea. Make him a mentor for a heel stable (but not Legacy) or something to that effect.
The Problem: An unlikable douchebag with delusions of grandeur becomes a good guy douchebag with delusions of grandeur. Surely there’s nothing odd about that.
The Solution: There’s no denying that some people were on The Miz’s bandwagon when he cashed in Money in the Bank on Orton, as he symbolized a guy who immediately catapulted into the main event scene seemingly overnight. However, he just isn’t that convincing as a top level guy. The WWE clearly saw this to be true, as he hasn’t been above a midcard feud since. That’s one thing they’re doing right. What’s gone horribly wrong is his unconvincing face turn which came out of nowhere. If you want the fans to care about him, gradually turn him into a tweener. If that doesn’t work, stick him with what he’s good at: drawing the ire of the audience.
The Problem: Bad-ass destroyer of all things happy becomes ultimate anti-bully hypocrite.
The Solution: I don’t mind Sheamus as a face, actually; my problem is with his hypocritical approach to the subject of bullying. On top of that, he seems better as a beast with face-like tendencies, which is what was being done with the following guy until ill timing squandered the potential.
The Problem: No one is claiming Ryback is a great wrestler, but his initial push was giving him a decent reaction that the WWE hoped would turn into a Goldberg-like phenomenon. Poor timing (CM Punk and The Shield, after all) signaled the stalling of his mega push and poor planning (turning on John Cena) all but sounded the death knell.
The Solution: Get him out of the title picture and back on the path of unstoppable face, pronto. His heel promos are awkward (did he really refer to himself metaphorically as Beelzebub on Monday?) and there’s nothing unique about his feud with Cena.
The Problem: Ever since Barrett’s return from injury, he’s been a generic heel with no real bite.
The Solution: I have to admit that I was a fan of Barrett’s work as the leader of the Nexus and, to a certain extent, his feud with Randy Orton prior to the injury that sidelined him for months. However, he needs to find an identity real quick or run the risk of becoming completely obsolete. Give him a prominent role as a mouthpiece who lets others do his dirty work. I picture him as Snidely Whiplash more than a brutal bare knuckle brawler, which is sad considering that’s his legit background.
Alberto del Rio
The Problem: Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. The two injury-prone luchadors forced the WWE to turn del Rio via an unnatural change in character to placate the Hispanic demographic.
The Solution: Turn the Colons face and use them to grab the attention of the Spanish fans while you methodically and logically have del Rio turn face. The abrupt turn that we got alienated people to his character’s believability as a good guy, since most of the time heels tend to swerve the audience in such instances.
The Problem: A redneck version of Kurt Angle with a boring move set.
The Solution: As interesting as Swagger’s Tea Party parody was at first glance, it has become so one-note that his character is extremely limited in growth. He needs to tone down the extreme nationalism and focus on adding more to his arsenal of moves. Keep Zeb Colter as the mouthpiece and let Jack do the work in the ring.
Feel free to add names I haven’t covered or discuss the ones I did bring up in the comments section below.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: alberto del rio, Fandango, jack swagger, john cena, johnny curtis, Mike Gojira, randy orton, rey mysterio, ryback, sheamus, sin cara, The Miz, Wade Barrett, WWE, Zeb Colter