Long time reader and book buyer of yours. Had a few questions for blog:
1-While I know WWE prefers guys who look like male models, Cody Rhodes and Miz, to Daniel Bryan and CM Punk- I think part of the reason fans take to Punk/Bryan so much is that their offense in the ring is fun to watch! Do you think an unsaid reason for guys like Cody not getting over to the main event level is their offensive move-set sucks and no one ever tries to help improve it?
Cody's moveset is fine, the problem is that he's booked to lose every match.
2-It's been a year of Ryback on TV. Who do you blame for the potential "Goldberg like" run that was destroyed? Is it more the performer or Vince and creative? Just thinking about it: He is right up Vince's alley because he has a cool look, good entrance music and can wrestle ok for a big, juiced up gorilla but...the whole act fell off. Who messed that up?
The people who booked him to lose every PPV match he was in for the past year, until paying customers no longer believed in him as a top guy.
3-Speaking of falling off...The formula for WWE is to push new guys to the moon (The Shield etc...) and then cool them off. It seems hard for the wrestlers to get back to a main event status after that cool down so what would you do to change this pattern? Are they pushing wrestlers too high off the debut to a status they can't live up to for long run?
There's no magic bullet for success. Once Cena found the rapper gimmick he pretty much got a sustained push upwards from then on. Batista and Orton were put in a top place early on and never "paid their dues" either. Who's to say that if Steve Austin had been allowed to continue on in WCW happily that he wouldn't have just languished in the midcard and then disappeared with the company? Some guys NEED a kick in the ass to make them recreate their character or find something inside to tap into. That being said, WWE's hot-and-cold booking is overdone because EVERYONE gets a losing streak gimmick and no one is allowed to get over bigger than the rest.
I honestly think part of the problem in the past has been the lack of squash matches - it allowed a wrestler to establish who he was, connect with a crowd and get over a finisher. But Scott is right in the regard that even/steven booking doesn't get anyone over.ReplyDelete
Cody would be a big star if they pushed him. Like Scott, I base a lot of my gut reactions to a guy based on my girlfriend watching wrestling unhappily next to me.ReplyDelete
Well she caught a part of SmackDown a few months back when Cody was getting indignant about the crowd making fun of his moustache...she still talks about and still asks me about him.
The only thing you can't teach is charisma. You either have it like Cody or Daniel Bryan...or you don't, like Ryback.
If Ryback had even 1/5th the charisma of Goldberg in the ring, he would be WWE champion right now. I hate when people rip on Goldberg because the dude may have sucked in the ring but he was overflowing with charisma and made you pay attention.
There are too many guys in the WWE (Sheamus & Del Rio jump to mind) that just don't have IT.
Some guys do have very boring move sets, but Cody wouldn't be a guy that springs to mind. He's not the wrestler Bryan or Punk are, but he's still solid. WWE just isn't doing anything with him at the moment.ReplyDelete
I think you're on to something here - in addition to the usual complaints that RAW needs to be scaled back to two hours, they need to have mostly squash matches with one or maybe two main-event level matches each week. They've got plenty of jobbers - 3MB, Ryder, Sin Cara, PTP, etc. - that they can have the mid- and upper-card guys squash every week, throw the viewing audience a bone with a decent main event, then go off the air and let the crowd have one or two more major PPV level matches that don't affect the TV standing of the main guys. It would certainly make the PPVs seem more important.ReplyDelete
And, as long as I'm raving, I repeat again my sincere desire that they would reduce the number of belts and make them mean something again. Unify the WWE and World titles, unify the Intercontinental an U.S. titles.
And one more thing - start using tag teams again. If you've got a bunch of guys with nothing better to do, team them up and make the tag titles mean something.
Yeah but dude your girlfriend only asks about Cody Rhodes because she wants to jump on him. I agree with the poster that his moveset isn't all there yet but I'm not worried bout him, he's probably younger than most of us and has plenty of time left.ReplyDelete
I really liked Cody during his mask days. I thought he was pulling some interesting stuff off.ReplyDelete
When he beat Orton by hitting him with the mask and said, "Cut the head off the viper...and the venom pours out." It was the first time I ever saw him and I thought...This guy is awesome.
Seriously, someone find me Kamala vs. Bob BoyerReplyDelete
1. There's definitely a look they prefer, as they should, considering it's a business that is built upon making fans buy into an illusion. Still, this is an overblown complaint. Guys like Punk, Bryan, Bret, Eddie, and even Stone Cold wouldn't rise to the top if "look" was everything. More than any specific look, what's more important is a look fits the character and in some way lends itself to the character's marketability, and that it stands out in some way.ReplyDelete
2. Scott's right that Cody's offense isn't the problem, but I disagree that him losing every match is the problem. It didn't keep Ziggler, Bryan or Punk from getting/staying crazy over. Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate but there is some merit to the "losing streak" angle. It's not a bad litmus test to see if fans are really responding to the character/performer or the way he's booked. So, no, losing isn't Cody's problem. His problem is that, in every aspect, he's just...OK. Not bad at anything, not great. Doesn't have bad matches, never shown any sign he can have a great one. Decent talker, but not someone you'd want to ad-lib. He's just OK.
3. The only thing Ryback and Goldberg ever had in common was fans chanting "Goldberg" at both of them. Let's stop pretending that they were jobbing out the future of the company, or that there was any real money in him that they have up on. If anything, the biggest mistake was not having him be a heel from the beginning, because the guy who was cutting promos on Cena standing on top of an ambulance was kind of interesting. You want him to be a Goldberg-like monster face? Then start him out as that kind of heel.
If this was 25 years ago, I'd agree with you. Back then, you could bounce around from territory to territory until you find your niche. Now, when you fail, it's either in complete obscurity or in front of the entire wrestling world. It's really hard to re-package somebody (witness Tensai and Husky Harris) without the smart fanbase identifying who you were.ReplyDelete
Watch Smackdown, Main Event and Superstars. There is plenty of squash matches, just nobody want to watch them.ReplyDelete
I'd actually point out that Orton was nothing more than a JTTS from basically mid-2005 to mid-2007. He was in a ton of high profile matches and angles but he lost virtually every single time -- he was the job guy in Team RKO, he lost to Hogan at Summerslam, lost the world title match at WM22, lost to Undertaker several times, lost to Angle in ECW, etc. That was definitely Randy's "pay your dues" period though it didn't seem like it since his losses were to top guys and still came in big matches.ReplyDelete
That kind of 'pay your dues' period is fine and it kept Orton looking strong, whereas jobbing Cody/Sandow/Barrett/Cesaro in three-minute specials on Raw to the Miz doesn't do a damn thing.
Yeah but Cody Rhodes won't ever need a complete overhaul like those guys. He'll always be known as 'Cody Rhodes', he just needs a moniker maybeReplyDelete
Those shows have been set up with B-level talent only. Top guys, but not tip top guys. Fans have been conditioned to not care about any of those shows, so they don't.
RAW should honestly be a series of squash matches built around big matches/angles at the top of every hour, because the top of every hour is the only part of the show they book around anyway. That gives you your four (8pm, 9pm, 10pm, 11pm/overrun) big segments to involve your top talent, which would probably run 10 to 20 minutes each, and then the filler portion of the show where you heavily push the undercard talent you want to make something out of.
Yeah, the mask/Dr doom character was great. Wish they stuck with it!ReplyDelete
Ted Dibiase Jr had "Ted Dibiase" in his name and I'd argue Cody isn't much better off other than Grandpa being in the front office. He will probably continue to pull a paycheck, but I'm not sure that WWE will ever give him the ball to run with.ReplyDelete
Batista and Orton were put in a top place early on and never "paid their dues" either Yup, Batista is out of the business and Orton looks like he's wrestling as part of some elaborate hostage scenario.ReplyDelete
With winning and losing, it means little if you don't have a good storyline or angle. Punk lost like every PPV match for 18 months but the crowds loved to see him get his ass kicked especially with the sXs. Austin never really defeated Bret. He lost at survivor series, wrestlemania, final 4 and canadian stampede. He only beat him by dq at iyh after wm13 and nefarious means at royal rumble. However, he was super over after the feud.ReplyDelete
With Cody, he was in a good feud against the big show and brought some prestige to the ic title. Once those were done, he hasn't been in a good storyline since.
You mean his dad? The thing is Cody's name and gimmick are fine, theyre not whats in the way of him moving up the card. Ted Dibiase is a different fish altogether - he has zero charisma and is pretty bland overall. Nothing to do with his name eitherReplyDelete
My main problem with Cody is that his filler in matches is arm work...that nobody sells and doesn't build into a finisher.ReplyDelete
except we're the hostagesReplyDelete
'Yeah but dude your girlfriend only asks about Cody Rhodes because she wants to jump on him'ReplyDelete
who are you to doubt el lovestache
Between the mask story arc and his promos about the moustache, Cody can pull off some weird stuff. Actually, both the Rhodes boys have a gift for pulling off the bizarre in glorious fashion. WWE needs its weirdos, and I wished they'd utilize Cody more in that way.ReplyDelete
Do basically redo 1980s wrestling?ReplyDelete
People here freak out way too much about wins and losses. Do they matter? Sure, they're a small part of the picture. But just a small part.
In a sense, yes. If you're going to have a three-hour RAW, there should be 12 matches each show: 10 or 11 three minute squashes and one or two longer, main event matches. Intersperse the Sportz Entertainment stuff throughout. The show would have much better pacing and the builds to main-event or upper-card feuds would be far more meaningful. And for the live crowd, have a big PPV-level match after RAW goes off the air.ReplyDelete
Hell, what they're doing right now is so hit or miss, it would be worth a shot.
I think some of it has to do with al the young guys looking like male models. No one thinks wrestling is real anymore but seriously, does anyone look at all these spray tanned, immaculately built pretty boys and think "this guy could kick my ass?" Sometimes I feel like I'm watching twink porn. That's part of what the Wyatt Family has going for them: they look like real life grungy shitkickers. Having a few guys look like male models, as it plays into their character, works. Having everyone like that is suicide. Frankly, most of the problem is that the Johnny Ace developmental class are terrible. Even the better among them like Cody and Kofi are bland. More of these guys need to be weeded out in favor of the new crop coming in.ReplyDelete
Wwe's booking sucks, most of the time.ReplyDelete
One of things the UFC does that I wish WWE would do is all of the titles are equal. The whole main event title, mid-card title, and lower-mid card title, etc. formula is out-dated.ReplyDelete
Why can't they just be comfortable with continually making huge stars that leave the company after five to six years. They'd probably make more money that way instead of having a bunch of losers around the company for ten years.ReplyDelete
That's what I liked about guys like Arn Anderson, Harley Race, or even Fit Finley. They didn't look like they spent their time working on their bodies, they spent their time learning how to hurt people - any muscles they had were built to help them better hurt people.ReplyDelete
I don't understand the reluctance to push Cody Rhodes. He's well connected, and he's good. I really liked him when he was doing the mask gimmick and I thought for sure he'd be moving up because he stumbled across the right gimmick, was doing some great stuff with it, was getting over, and had that natural momentum they claim matters.ReplyDelete
If Ryback's de-push wasn't intentional, than they really don't have know to book anymore. He's big and Vince had been hot for him for years. Vince was projecting him to be a main event face three years ago, he starts to get some pops and suddenly he's jobbing in multiple title matches, turned heel, jobbing to the Miz, and is just another guy. I'm not complaining because he bores me but if this is how they book something legitimately believing it'll make them huge they're way off.
Ryback's verbal submission to The Miz will be his Bret/Austin WM13 moment in retrospect, just you wait!ReplyDelete
The Austin comparison is appropriate. As the Ringmaster, he had the same basic look and moveset, but if they never let Steve talk, he never gets over as Stone Cold we knowReplyDelete
There's something to be said for that. As long as said guy is drawing PPV #s and merch sales, what's wrong with 5 yrs? Seems like a decent run in the business actually. Not everyone has to have 20 yrs in the company and its not like they are going to jump and hurt WWE by helping the competition like in the 90s (there is none)ReplyDelete
Great point. The whole alpha male demographic isn't going to be drawn into watching underwear models fight. Even fake violence needs people who look like they can fight.ReplyDelete
This has probably been addressed before, but what determines whether a guy gets to use his namesake? Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase Jr, Randy Orton, David Hart Smth, etc are acknowledged for their family names but the Hennigs and Rotundas of the world are rarely mentioned by their famiy namesReplyDelete
Somewhere in there they got more strict about not letting people walk out with names they can take with them. In Hennig's case its just stupid they haven't given it to him yet, but I don't think there was any money in Rotunda. I always wonder though, could Cody Rhodes take that name with him? He's legally Cody Runnels but one would think he'd have a case about that being his family name that predates WWE.ReplyDelete
Yeah, that's an interesting pointReplyDelete
Re: Austin in WCW. That's one of my favorite "What Ifs?" If Hogan never goes to WCW and takes things over with all his talentless buddies, I wonder what comes of Austin in WCW. Presumably the Flair-Austin feud, perhaps followed by some Austin-Sting title feuds? If Savage still goes to WCW in '95 (sans Hogan), Austin-Savage for the title? Luger returns in '95 and maybe we get Austin-Luger? Steve could have been top heel for a couple years easily. Obviously it worked out for the better because WCW got the nWo angle and WWF got Austin 3:16, but it's an interesting bit of conjectureReplyDelete
Yup. And they were around forever, too: either as singles guys, tag teams, or the veteran that puts guys over(see also Regal, William.) Arn Anderson is probably the best example of that, as he was a recognizable name, good worker, one of the best talkers in the business, had THREE killer finishers...and never made it above TV title/tag team title level.ReplyDelete
Cody has charisma, for sure. Him and Sandow together are awesome, the spoof DX intro had me howling:"Oh, you were not aware of this? Your posterior must contact someone at once?"ReplyDelete