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Let's Crystal Ball This

So I’m sitting here watching "SmackDown!" and pondering the future of wrestling. I don’t watch this show often. Usually if my lady is over and she’s admiring MVP’s braids. Right now I’m watching Dolph Ziggler (my spell check hates this guys name by the way) and I don’t know why, but I’m liking this dude.

Actually, I know why. He’s a heel. He’s a real heel. I don’t mean in a backstage sense where I know who has “heat” with him or anything. But this dude doesn’t stand on the fence between being a heel or face. He’s just an asshole. And the sad thing is that there just aren’t that many of them in wrestling.

Let me start off with someone I think we can all agree is a future world champion: John Morrison. I really like this guy. He’s come a long ass way from Johnny Nitro. The way he moves, his look, and his presence. He has that damned elusive “It” factor that we all like talking, writing, and reading about. I remember when I first saw him I thought “This guy looks good, but there is something missing.” Its like he took that whatever it is from Shelton Benjamin. They’re both high flyers, flashy, and can have a good match with anyone. But something about Morrison makes him stand out.

Evan Bourne. I am always iffy about saying a high flyer is the future of the business. Jeff Hardy has been around for quite some time, but he just doesn’t move the way he used to. Same for Rey Mysterio. Bourne, in less than a year of being in WWE got hurt. He’s back and just as good, if not better, than he was before. But his style does not lend itself to longevity.

Charlie Haas is now on my screen and his career makes me sad. Started off with his brother who passed away before they reached WWE. Teaming with the aforementioned Shelton before being split up. He flounders, gets canned, comes back, does impersonations, vanishes, comes back, and is just…around. Why? This guy should be fighting for a belt or in a storyline of some sort. Not a snack for Khali. Haas could be the next Benoit, Angle, or Malenko. Hmm. Maybe he should just stay where he is.

AJ Styles. Poor fucking AJ. This guy has been called the future of wrestling for close to a decade now. Being called the future for that long is like being the employee of the month when you work from home. He’s been with TNA from the start and while its cool that he’s loyal and all that, legacy wise its done nothing for him. You can make ten DVD’s with clips of the crazy shit he’s done. But what’s it gotten him? He’s had to sit around and watch wave after wave of former WWE guys come and rise to the top. While I’m on the topic of TNA I’ll just go and add Petey Williams, Kaz, and Erik Young to the list. All of these guys can put on good matches but what does it add up to if no one is watching?

I hate to say it but I cant think of more than ten guys that I see having a future in wrestling five years from now that will have any sort of impact. I’m not talking about a big ass Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, The Rock kind of careers. I’m talking about Mr. Perfect, Owen Hart, Rick Rude types of careers. They may not have been multiple (or any) time world champions but they were amazing performers that left something for the sport. Who do you think will be the future, McFly?

7 comments: on "Let's Crystal Ball This"

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about AJ but his style will never go stale, I find he's being used in a sense like Donnie said Santino was being used, not overpushing or overutilizing him so he has more longevity, because between 2002 and now I've never watched an AJ match I wasn't amazed of.

Anonymous said...

Tha O Show favorite for future of wrestling has to be TJ Wilson.

balmoraldrive said...

I think the Fed runs with Vince's mentality that we'll eat what they feed us. For years, the focus of the industry has been on biggest characters, meaning that you're either the biggest or you're a character.

There's a now hierarchy based on the utility that each type of worker has for each show.

On ECW, it's now all about development of talent. If you're big and needing a boost in personality (like Ezekiel Jackson or Vladimir Kozlov) you get sent there until a monster spot opens up in one of the two top shows. The middle of the card contains your greener mid-size workers competing to get a sniff at the title and to get their shit in. The champion is an established veteran, who fends off challenges from another and then hopefully brings up the next mid-carder who's ready. The champion waits for a better spot on a bigger show, the challenger chases for that spot "at the door".

Smackdown is a further development show where the competition is a bit more spread out, but it's all essentially a mid-card extravaganza. The bigger guys usually fight each other unless there's an intriguing "big vs. small" combo that hasn't been tried yet. Khali fights Kane, Knox waits in the wings to be sure. The mid-card belt and the big belt are virtually interchangeable in terms of who can vie for the opportunity with time in being the only real factor. Basically, it's all guys between 215 to 250 pounds with a finisher involving a leap of some kind.

Raw is the top of the card show (again to management, not to us) and it attracts the mainstream media attention. Dan-e-o said on last week's O Show Radio Program that the celebrity guest host is like SNL, which is a perfect analogy. The function of this show is waaaay more about entertaining you with crap than actual competition. The top of the card has the top three stars circle jerking for the same belt for god knows how long. Anyone not in the top of the card are fed to the audience as either comedy or tragedy (see, respectively, Santino Marella and The Brian Kendrick). The whole raison d'etre for a worker on Raw is to go over and get into the top of the card. Sadly, that won't happen and they'll settle for the occasional sniff at the mid-card title (which might as well be called the Not Yet Belt).

The tag champions are now established veterans who can go to any show and compete with the other two teams in the whole Fed before they can be given a better singles spot.

It's a sad time to be a mainstream mark. There really isn't a bright future until the top of the Raw card has an enema. The future is and will be the mid-size guys as long as they can talk.

Matt said...

I think the problem with wrestling is in the midcard. It's been discussed on the show, and is what I think is very important.

You cant have a nice house without a strong foundation, and the midcard workers are essentially the foundation of the fed's shows (or should be treated as such).

Here's why...

I don't remember which show, but awhile back either Dan or Donnie mentioned that people tune into the show to see thier favorite wrestler perform. If someone's favorite is a midcarder, lets say Kofi Kingston, its just not worth seeing him on tv for one short backstage segment, or a meaningless match.

Guys like Kofi should be implemented into long fueds that mean something to fans (think Savage Steamboat) Essentially what I'm saying is that the problem is in the booking of the midcarders.

More meaningful fueds, especially in the mid card, will create more viewers who want to see what their favorite fake jamaican wrestler is doing this week in his fued with someone like Dolph, and this fued will last longer than just one ppv.

Longer fueds will also do a great deal to expose the midcarders who are strong, and expose the ones who are weak. Look how much the hardy MVP fued did for both of them, and that lasted a pretty long time. Compare that with someone like Kennedy, who was completely exposed when put into something that was meaningful.

Book the guys into things that matter, and see who shines and who doesnt, and the good workers will seperate themselves from the bad and even mediocre ones.

D. Ross said...

Thanks everyone for responding. Anonymous, I don’t think AJ is stale at all. I am just bored with seeing him surpassed by guys who, while they can contribute to building future stars, don’t. They refuse to step out of the spotlight long enough let someone else shine. Look at how all the original TNA members are treated. The X-Division (which is pretty much the cruiserweight division) needs to be called TNA and everything else should be called Shotgun, Heat, or Superstars. Its just a bunch of former Fed and WCW guys running wild.

Anonymous 2, TJ Wilson is indeed a future champion. This guy cant be contained for too long and will explode in the Fed eventually. Let’s just hope he stays healthy and strong. Losing to Cryme Tyme consistently doesn’t help but they’ll be gone in a year likely.

Balmoraldrive, the way you described the shows sound great on paper. Though ECW got raped with the furiousness of a Roman god a couple months back, they have managed to stay good. I have been catching up with it online and like it more than Raw or Smackdown. I think the shorter amount of time the show has helps with keeping the bullshittery to a minimum. We shouldn’t have to wait until Cena or HHH has to film a movie until the top of the card gets better. It is stale and someone needs to be placed in the spotlight. MVP should be challenging for the heavyweight belt.

And Matt, the mid-card used to be the most entertaining thing back in the day. Yes, there was Hogan and Warrior when I was little, but they didn’t wrestle every week like champs do nowadays. If you missed a PPV back then you would only see an interview with the big guys. Mid-card guys were indeed the backbone of the company. Now they’re just food for the champ or Random Monster Heel #30 they decide we should like. “Hey, he’s big! You will love this guy!” WWE doesn’t give guys time to grow. They are treated like fuckin baby deer now and it sucks.

TimTS said...

Personally in 5 years I can see one other superstar on our TV's. Matt Morgan. He didn't do anything in the WWE the first time around so it was like they sent him to TNA to learn how to talk and actually wrestle. Once his contract with TNA is over you know he's out and back to the WWE. Vince still loves big dudes and now that he's able to talk and wrestle, I see him being a world champion over and over. That's not to say he's my fav wrestler or anything, far from it, but he does stand out on my tv every week when TNA doesn't f up and actually uses him.
One other person I'm not understanding and was brought up is what happened to Matt Hardy? Turning him "heel" was the most retarted thing I've seen happen this past year. He was popular, kids and older people liked him, then they made him heel and now I don't even see him on tv anymore. He should be fighting or wearing gold more than not for at least five years. Wish they could make the Miz last as well because along with Dolph, they make me hate more than anyone else and we need more of that. Last on my list that wasn't mentioned is Cody and Ted. Love Legacy and they should be kicking ass for a long time to come. Love Orton as well who i think can last, but eventually one, if not all, of them will have to become faces because they are starting to become tweeners already no matter how hard they try to make them heels. When Orton's may favorite wrestler yet he's supposed to be the most hated, there's something wrong.

D. Ross said...

TimTS (I can only guess what that means), Matt has been hurt and that's why he hasn't been around. On my last podcast I mentioned that I would build a show around him as champ. His heel turn was good for me. When he started the whole Version 1.0 thing I loved it. He was an obnoxious dick. The whole Edge/Lita shit made him a face and then WWE fucked that all up only to have him turn on his brother years later. Booked properly, I believe Matt is a contender for any belt in the company.

Legacy is suffering from too many defeats at the hands of the same fucking two guys (HHH & Cena). They will give them a bone with a win but they really need to sto with this nonsense. This isnt a Santino situation where losing doesnt hurt them. Every time they lose the tag team division looks weaker since they are only one of two actual teams in the Fed.