Reality From Ringside #72
July 5, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of Wrestleview.comWWE's 10 Weeks of Feng Shui
It's simply amazing what can amass on your desk within only ten weeks time.
Let me set the stage for you right now of where I am and what is running rampant through my semi-sane, semi-autistic, all around caffeinated noggin. At my computer desk is the laptop, wireless keyboard, printer, and all kinds of other technological goodness that allows me to be the stalwart of Wrestleview.
To my right, a nourishing glass of iced tea, unsweetened. Look... I may live in Ric Flair country, that doesn't mean I need to have the same dental history as them.
To my left, a heaping mound of paperwork. Stapled and bound resumes and synopses of professional wrestlers (Chris Jericho, Carlito, Kurt Angle, etc.). Databases of the appearances of TNA's roster of talent, tune in to '3R' every Tuesday to hear an update on it... the pain will not end until Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, ODB, and Daniels are removed from TNA's roster page.
At the top of my mountain of obnoxious statistical and information gathering is a small database printout that reads '2010 Draft'.
As many of you know (for those who don't, now you do), all of my empirical data and number-crunching begins on the day of the WWE Draft. The reason: It is the one day out of the entire calendar year where all within the internet wrestling community dissect WWE's entire roster and attempt to rationalize different movements and shifts within the company.
With such scrutiny and analyzing devoted to such an event (both abstract and logical), it seems only fitting that I volunteer myself to be the timekeeper and historian. Someone needs to put everyone's attention span and ambiguous claims in check.
Having said that, it has been ten weeks (70 days) since this year's WWE Draft.
Looking at this same time period last year, we saw WWE in complete panic mode. One more week at this time last year, WWE would initiate a 15-person trade between all three of their then-brands (ECW now drowning in the marshes causing a slow-moving swamp beast to emerge called NXT).
In 2009, 77 days following the WWE Draft we saw:
11 Title Changes
3 Performers Released
4 Performers Debut
3 Performers returning to where they were before the draft occurred
That, ladies and gentleman, is a company desperate to find solid ground. Is WWE satisfied with themselves so far after this year's draft? Let me thumb through my handiwork...
70 days following the 2010 WWE Draft, we have seen:8 Title Changes
The Unified Tag Team Titles are the only titles not to have changed hands since the WWE Draft.
Last year (Between 2009 and 2010 Draft), the United States Title only changed hands twice. It has changed hands three times in the past 70 days.
The WWE Title changed hands three times within 77 days following the 2009 WWE Draft. It has only changed hands once in the past 70 days.
Are there signs of panic within these title changes? Possibly, but not to the extent that we could see them last year. Title changes are a legitimate necessity in professional wrestling, they provide ongoing struggles for dominance and pride while also drawing the fine line between heel and face. With so many titles changing so often, they lose their legitimacy.
Does WWE really have that much confidence in The Hart Dynasty's abilities to keep them champions or have they single-handedly destroyed the entire tag team division?
If R-Truth was WWE's surefire insurance policy for the unexpected injury that might take out one of the established babyface performers, why did he hold the United States Title for less than a month while John Morrison and Randy Orton (supposedly) were shelved?
These are questions that can emerge from not just having many title changes, but also having none at all.
Also, WWE has 7 different titles right now. Making any comparisons beyond 15 years is pointless, WWF/E didn't have this many by a long shot. However, if you are going to attempt a comparison within the past 15 years, I suggest you hold your tongue as well... or else you're going to explain how the numerous title changes involving the Cruiserweight, Hardcore, European, World Tag Team, and WWE Tag Team were more/less significant than the ones we have now.5 Performers Released
Batista – Retiring in order to pursue a career in mixed martial arts (supposedly). Make all of the arguments you want about how he shouldn't do it, it doesn't matter. He decided to leave professional wrestling because of the harm it would do to his body if he continued to go any further. I don't blame him... MMA is definitely much safer.
Carlito – Released due to appearing for a live show in no condition to perform (allegedly). His father appears on Puerto Rican television to state the case that his son's addiction to painkillers and such was through the usage of his new 'finisher'. However, he is proud to have him perform in his own federation. Genius.
Daniel Bryan – Who?
Savannah – Ring announcer for ECW/NXT, occasional in-ring performer for Smackdown house shows released because... not sure. Budget cuts? Late for the bus? Maybe it's because WWE have already filled their Asian chick quota.
Bret Hart (possibly) – Former Raw GM and United States champion (this year). I will be thoroughly surprised if we ever hear his name again for the rest of the year. The grand '12-year Redemption' angle has been played out, he has served his purpose.11 Performers Debut
All 8 NXT rookies for Season Two, The Usos and Tamina; this could change anytime within the next two months.
I will not use as much critiquing for this portion of reflection simply because NXT is a completely different entity as what the third brand was last year. With ECW, we could easily predict who would stay hired (Sheamus, Yoshi Tatsu) and who would not (Abraham Washington, DJ Gabriel).
With NXT, all could stay or go. All 8 could be utilized as the Season One participants were or all 8 could easily vanish into thin air not being used at all within the main roster.
It is still very early to label victory or defeat on The Usos and Tamina. I feel more pity for them that they must begin their careers against The Hart Dynasty and not against local jobbing tag teams.
Here are the questions for my loyal 'Realists'. These are questions that revolve around what has transpired these past 70 days:Who will be released (officially 'future endeavored')
first: The Usos or Kaval?
Is there still any significance in the United States Title?
Is WWE still pressing the panic button?
I promise next week I will devote a column solely to the other federation... seeing as how they have a pay-per-view and all.
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
Annoy me with your assumptions and affronts... adore me with your adulation's and acknowledgments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't forget to check out "Reality from Ringside Radio: 3R" this Tuesday on Wrestleview! It's only available to Wrestleview VIPs though... so sacrifice a Big Mac value meal! Become a VIP!
To sign up, click here!