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The Doghouse Darlings

All this talk about Carlito being ripped on by Flair got me thinking about the infamous place known as the 'doghouse'. In such a politically volatile industry that has been built on years of tradition and respect, something as simple as not shaking someone's hand could get you a life-sentence as a mid-carder.

However, not all wrestlers are in the doghouse for that simple of a reason. In fact, why some wrestlers are even being punished is often unknown. All we know is once you have been branded a "heat magnet", it's very difficult to shake the Scarlett letter.

The list of talented wrestlers currently serving time is endless. With wrestlers such as Matt Hardy, Sen Shi, CM Punk and Carlito sentenced to the doghouse, one must ask why these performers are in trouble in the first place and whether the internet wrestling community is responsible for them being behind bars.

Of all the under-utilized talent in professional wrestling, I can see no more deserving of a push then Matt Hardy. A strong worker who elicits an emotional crowd reaction are usually reasons to make someone a star. Unfortunately for Matt, he's in the doghouse. Matt has been serving time for years for a whole assortment of crimes against wrestling. The one big strike against Matt is that he went to the internet wrestling community with his story about the situation with Lita and Edge. Nearly two years since this all happened and WWE has still not forgotten. If you don't think so, listen to JBL's commentary while he calls a Matt Hardy match on "SmackDown!".
Matt also made enemies with the WRONG people, namely Undertaker and Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie was never a big fan of the whole "Version 1" gimmick as it was mainly conceived with the help of Paul Heyman (who Stephanie hates). Matt's next crime came when he snuck out of the ring and didn't take a scheduled bump from Undertaker on a pay-per-view several months back. For his actions, Matt was chewed out like no other the next day in front of all the wrestlers. A punishment personally delivered by Mark Calloway.

Is it right for WWE to continue to punish Matt Hardy for these actions? Matt isn't exactly The Miz, he's exceptionally talented and could be a star on "SmackDown!" but unfortunately for him, his mistakes have earned him a life-sentence in the doghouse.

One of the most athletic wrestlers I have ever seen perform is right now on the wrong end of a political war. Sen Shi is a favorite among many hardcore fans, but not so much of TNA brass. Sen Shi's crime is unknown, but some speculate that the young star is perceived as being cocky. Sen Shi's old buddy on the independents, CM Punk, can relate to being in the doghouse because people in control think you're too cocky for your own good.

Arrogance is not a trait taken lightly within professional wrestling as we are seeing with these two stars. However is something as trivial as being cocky deserving of such punishment? I've never associated being humble with successful professional wrestlers. To be at the top in this or any business you need to be a little confident.

Is this an issue about being cocky? Or is it just used as a scapegoat? What I find funny is that many wrestlers in the doghouse are favorites of the internet wrestling community. Internet hype isn't necessarily a good thing for wrestlers as we saw with Matt Hardy. Even CM Punk has faced scrutiny over being a product of "internet hype" and not necessarily a great wrestler by WWE standards. Is putting a wrestler in the doghouse WWE or TNA's way of saying that internet wrestling fans know nothing?

Many say that those in the doghouse are there because they did not follow wrestling protocol, they somehow broke one of the "unwritten rules" or have not been able to handle being in a WWE locker room. Knowing how to walk through the minefield is certainly a way of steering clear of the doghouse, but is not in itself bullet-proof. What is certain however is that the doghouse is a very real place where careers can be shortened or lost. Sentences are long, severe, and reserved for those who you least want to be punished.

8 comments: on "The Doghouse Darlings"

CuJu1522 said...

To me, the whole thing is childish. I mean I agree if u mess up or do something that you are ont suppose to do, you should suffer the "doghouse" effect. However, 2 years???? I mean come on. Esp with the Matt Hardy thing with the Internet & then the thing with the Undertaker. I mean isnt there freedom of Speach? I dont think Matt should of been doghoused for putting his personal life on the internet. thats his choice. But the Undertaker thing, I agree he should of been put in the doghouse for that, but until you mentioned it in this article, I had forgotten all about it, and im an above average wrestling fan that remembers alot of things, so that should be forgotten.

CM Punk can be a BIG star on ECW, however he is "cocky". I mean im not in the locker room so i dont know if he is cocky or just KNOWS he can wrestle.

But with CM Punk & Carlito, to me they equal $$$$. And isnt that Vinces key factor. he LOVES the $$$$$. But it looks like his ego comes before money, because if he doesnt really think you have the look or style, he holds you down.

Anonymous said...

THis a no way out match with 4 tag teams. 2 Raw superstars are in it and no Duece and Domino. WTF?!?

Dan-e-o said...

I thought Chris Jerico was comin back to TNA?

The Hitman said...

Damnit! The originally slated London/Kendrick vs. Deuce/Domino match was the whole reason I put those two on my fantasy team!

Oh, well. Live and learn.

Ben Boudreau said...

I think a lot of this "doghouse" effect you speak of is also internet generated. We have no idea what goes on in those locker rooms though we like to pretend we do. Bottom line is it sucks that backstage politics and work eithic have to manifest themselves in our entertainment. That unfortunately is the nature of a very unique profession.

BigDaddy said...

to the guy posting as Dan-e-o .... why are you impersonating Tha O Show's co-founder?

Dan-e-o is in the process of moving right now and doesn't have an internet connection. Plus, your name appeared black, not blue as Dan-e-o's would after a legit login.

Please refrain from posting as other members of this site.

Bigdaddy said...


D.J.B said...

Well, we've been talking about Vince's new "gimmick" where he tells the fans what they want, and they like it. The doghouse maybe really is his way of keeping our favorites down.