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16. January, 2013

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I have a horrible disease.  Seems like I’ve had this terrible affliction my entire life.  It’s known as “cantkeepmymouthshut.” I know others who suffer with this same disease. Some deal with it in various ways while most of us have yet to find a cure or solution.

I seem to have struck a nerve with a few people with my last blog.  I realize I wear my heart on my sleeve and can rub people wrong with my thoughts and opinions.  It’s a habit I can’t seem to shake.  From taking a calculated risk (that didn’t work out so well) by letting someone know they came off like a “Flaming A-hole” in their introduction speech to talent, to saying that professional wrestling has always had it’s share of gimmicks and entertainment aspects even when the old timers were clinging to the belief that it was ‘pure sport’ with maybe a little showmanship thrown in, I just can’t seem to please anybody…

So why even try?  I won’t.  Actually, I haven’t for a long time.

The Christmas and New Year’s editions of RAW were incredible.  Mae Young giving birth to Hornswaggle was BRILLIANT!  Never saw that coming…(See?  I can’t help myself!)

But what gives me a sign of hope or at least makes me look at the product differently is when The Rock appears, the arena sells out.  As tired and cliche as his shtick may or may not be, the people, excuse me, the “WWE Universe” will come out to see The Rock; a bonafide movie star, action hero and former multi time world champion lead  chants and translate having fun in the ring with the thousands in the arena and millions at home.  Rock and CM Punk had a great back and forth to close RAW and then on Smack Down gave Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes an opportunity to go two on one with the ‘Great One.’

Why would anyone complain about a guy like Rock coming back and taking someone else’s spot?  I believe he’s earned his stature over time and coming back will get more eyes on WWE.  Therefore more eyes will see what the product is and decide if they want to continue watching once Rock returns to making movies.

There’s no doubt WWE has a great talent roster.  There’s no doubt the developmental system has some tremendous potential.  Yet there will be the inevitable cuts coming soon with the old stand by: “Creative has nothing for you.”  Hmmmmm…

I don’t want to bust on anybody but you would think if your job was to find something for developmental talent and can’t, then maybe YOU should be fired or resign!

Developmental is a numbers game.  Get the most you can in there and then pray and hope one out of twenty succeeds.  It can be disheartening when a talented individual gets released because “Creative has nothing for you.”  When in reality, creative doesn’t have a clue what to do with anyone these days and I will go out on a limb here and think I’m pretty safe in saying that CM Punk and Paul Heyman have a lot more leeway than most (deservedly so) and because they are allowed to be who they are, they come across natural and real on promos and in the ring.  I’m sure there are a couple other talent who create their own destiny and don’t wait for creative to steer their career.

That’s a lot easier said than done of course.  The games and maneuverings you need to know are different and the dynamic can change in an instant.  WWE isn’t everybody’s cup of tea (or favorite style) but they are the biggest and baddest on the block.

Therefore, if you want to make any money wrestling and working for WWE is your job, your one and only job, you must learn how to make your way in and earn a position on the main roster.

I look at the product today and I see a lot of potential.  Everybody has to remember we’re not living in the era of “kayfabe” but we are responsible for the type of entertainment we watch or prefer.  I personally enjoyed watching Jack Brisco VS. Dory Funk Jr. in their heyday.  I also enjoyed watching Superstar Billy Graham VS. Jose Lothario.  Two contrasting matches and styles but both piqued my interest for different reasons.

It’s the same old story that a lot of veterans get upset about; “These young punks today can’t just go out and have a match without calling everything in the back!”  It’s not always the rookie’s fault.  Most guys don’t get proper training and are just mimicking what they see on TV, without a clue as to what, when or why they are doing it.  The “creative team” seems more and more responsible (or irresponsible) for what happens on TV.

If a guy like The Rock or Brock Lesnar brings ratings up it makes perfect sense to bring them in for special occasions or events.  If they don’t, leave them home!  But the fact is a lot of the attitude era guys are still relevant for some reason.  Is it because people can tell nobody is pulling their strings or telling them what to do or say?  Maybe…

I’m sure everyone has their favorite time or era of wrestling, baseball, football, volleyball or golf and that’s not going to change.  I think it’s OK to prefer one over the other but don’t get caught up in this is the ONLY way it should be.  Dinosaurs died a long time ago.

I loved wrestling in Smoky Mountain Wrestling with Jim Cornette.  The slogan was “Wrestling the way it used to be and the way you liked it!”  Well, if that was the case more people would have showed up at the gate and SMW would still be in business.

I appreciate old school wrestling and students of the game.  I believe you have to learn the fundamentals and have a solid foundation before moving on or becoming a star.  At the same time, I don’t think The Big Show needs to know how to arm drag to be successful.  Show is agile enough for a big man and has proved to be an attraction.

This is the time of year everybody gears up for the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.  Along the way there will be a reduction (cuts) in the roster.  Some deservedly so; others not so much.

Someone asked me if pro wrestling has become passe  and taken over by MMA.  I don’t think so.  I think sports entertainment needs to find their new stars and put the spotlight on them.  I also think they need to let talent try things on their own and see if they can pull off being themselves using their own words and mannerisms instead of relying on a writer to do it for them.  I realize not everyone is capable yet but that’s what developmental is for!   Too many times guys and girls get called up before they’re ready only to fizzle out.

WWE is going through that transition phase and it may take some time but now is the time to build new stars while new fans are watching.  No one can predict what the next big thing or fad will be but there is talent out there ready to break the door down.  They just need to find it and kick it in!

I’m thinking about some road stories I can write about for my next blog.  I’ve had a serious case of writer’s block and been busy with Next Level Training as well.  We are working toward a culmination of a show in Knoxville on March 29 at the Amphitheatre.  There are some interesting characters and surprises coming out of the class.  Can’t wait to see what the future holds for this crew!

In the meantime, enjoy the Rock and whoever shows up from the ‘good old days.’  There will come a time for the Zigglers, Cesaros, Sandows, Big E Langston, Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns to shine.  Then we’ll see what’s what and who’s who…

Thanks for reading.

 

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