Reality From Ringside #87
October 25, 2010
By: Doug Lackey of Wrestleview.com
WWE Bragging Rights 2010: The Hangover
Every week that I sit behind my keyboard to churn out another debate-forming pay-per-view hangover, I am forced to relive what I had seen the night before and try to piece everything together. For most professional wrestling pundits on the Interwebs, they prefer to make snap judgments and spontaneous predictions before they actually taste what was fed to them.
Not I. After being a part of this professional wrestling media thing for over 2 years, I have learned to breathe regularly and not hyperventilate over the smallest or grandest of happenings, even if those two aspects are actually flip-flopped in the grander scheme.
Enter the Undertaker-Brock Lesnar acknowledgement that everyone on the Interwebs claimed was the first step towards whatever was on their fantasy-laden minds. For the time that I have been a staff member of Wrestleview, I have never seen a "story" get so blown out of proportion.
"Lesnar is going to WWE!"
"Taker-Lesnar, Streak vs. UFC Title, Wrestlemania 27!"
"Undertaker is going to UFC!"
"McMahon and White are negotiating for a merger!"
"Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer just heard discussions about ALL of this, so it MUST be true!"
I have survived Kurt Angle being arrested outside of a Starbucks for stalking. I have endured Jeff Hardy being arrested for distributing opium and traversing through every single continuance of his case. Public intoxications (Shane Helms, Chris Jericho, Brian Christopher), DWIs (Kurt Angle, Christopher Daniels), drug possession and trafficking on a more embarrassing level (Jim Neidhart), and even awe-inspiring theft and forgery charges (David "Kid" Cash) have taught me not to go too bonkers.
Why did The Nexus attack Undertaker?! "It must be their way of giving him time off to go to UFC!"
Why did John Cena drop Wade Barrett?! "He's going to be fired! No more WWE-PG!"
Daniel Danielson won the opening match?! "He's getting a bigger push! WWE Title match at Survivor Series!"
Like many of you, I try to drown out the noise of insanity with the soothing melodies of analysis through research and patience. With all of this said, let's look at questions that may be a little more difficult to answer but are definitely worth the effort. I promise you, no questions involving a pay-per-view event that isn't happening for another 5 months or a former professional wrestler staring at a former co-worker before realizing who it actually was.Can Daniel Bryan get over without the need of an Indy Fed fan-dominated live audience?
I have only seen one of Daniel Danielson's matches before his debut on WWE television. Terms like 'Cattle Mutilation' and 'American Dragon' are foreign to me. I know you may be looking at me and wondering how in the world I got this position on Wrestleview without knowing who Daniel Danielson was let alone those terms. Believe me, I'm just as shocked as you are.
However, I think it's because of my ignorance to his past that makes me appreciate his work with a little more clarity and credibility than the majority of professional wrestling media members. Most that have seen his work in the past have been spoiled, expecting to see the same work with the same types of opponents but on a grander stage. This point of view is very jaded and can only lead to negative remarks about all involved, the loudest of them all being why Daniel Danielson isn't on a main event level.
Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Danielson at all. I love his striking and in-ring ability along with his 'wholesome guy in an unwholesome world' gimmick. His matches against Sheamus, The Miz, and most recently last night against Dolph Ziggler have sold me on him as a mainstay on the WWE roster for years to come.
My only dilemma is the verification for his permanent residency. I believe he is great, and I'm very certain that most of you reading this believe he is great; but does the majority of the professional wrestling enthusiast kingdom believe it as well?
I'm not talking about people like you and me that frequent professional wrestling websites multiple times a week and occasionally participate in message board discussions. The live audience that purchased a ticket, what do they think? Sure, little 10-year-old Jimmy coerced his parents to pony up and attend the show live because he's a humungous fan of John Cena, but has he become a fan of Daniel Danielson?
I know you may be sighing in annoyance and your heart may be overflowing with cynicism and sarcasm right now with this vision, but think about it. In this day and age of WWE marketing and brand recognition, which is more powerful to the verification of a performer as a viable talent: The cheers of the youth or the cheers of the adult?
While I may be buying 2 cases of whatever Danielson is selling on a weekly basis, little Jimmy may be holding onto his attention and need more time to think this investment over. In a WWE-PG world governed by live audience populism, we need to admit that you and I are the governing minority... and that is in no way a bad thing.Is Randy Orton still considered main event material?
It took only 5 weeks for "Operation: Babyface Orton" to be deemed as a failure by not just the Interwebs contingency, but the paying public as well. On the many episodes of "Wrestleview Radio" I have co-hosted and joked about how the Interwebs would reject the implementation of Randy Orton as a babyface, I never really thought I would be enthusiastically agreeing with such rejection.
What I had thought would be a nice tongue-in-cheek way of making fun of a know-it-all community that does not agree with the paying and viewing majority has now turned into a across-the-board agreement: Randy Orton as a face is about as entertaining as a Charlie Brown special.
The faceless mob of the Interwebs have been pacing around with placards crying out for Orton to return to the land of heel-dom. While we can poke fun at that being the only solution many short-minded fans can seem to suggest, it seems to be mandatory with Randy Orton. There is a much larger question that must be asked if the only viable solution is a Randy Orton swerve: How do you enact it?
Having someone swerve into heel from face is not so simple, especially in WWE. This is not TNA where performers swerve on a dime for no reason whatsoever and to the point where there is no such thing as good or evil. Not only do foreshadowing seeds need to be planted but the roster must be tilled and sowed so that the swerve has enough impact to warrant continuous heat with every slow-paced Orton entrance.
So how should Randy Orton return to his 'happy place'? Consider the following factors before immediately entertaining the world with your fantastic plans of returning to normalcy:
Who will Orton swerve on to get the amount of heat necessary to be considered important?
What will Orton do after the eventual program with the 'swerved upon' performer?
What will the 'swerved upon' do after the inevitable program?
This is called 'playing chess' in the world of professional wrestling writing and booking. If you prefer playing 'Chutes and Ladders', then you would have an easier time figuring out how to swerve any random TNA talent from face to heel.
Is this the final 'Buried Alive' match we will ever see?
Dear lord, I hope so. Metaphorical acts of homicide do not belong in WWE with a PG-marketing philosophy. This has nothing to do with blood, even though the Cheetoh-devouring masses of the Target Center last night would have you believe so.
I am just as much against this stipulation's relevancy in WWE as I am against 'Hell in a Cell's. Both have no place in the grand landscape and may not ever have one before I turn 50.
Would I miss this stipulation? Absolutely not. I'm just going to leave it at that. I'm too busy trying to figure out how in the hell I'm going to swerve Orton without him jumping ship to Smackdown.
Until next time, mouth-breathers!
Annoy me with your assumptions and affronts... adore me with your adulations and acknowledgements: firstname.lastname@example.org
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