I was going to take this week off of a regular article, especially since I’m still recapping shiTNA. However, this week, our own James Alsop brought up an interesting point about Jack Swagger & Santino Marella, regarding the World Heavyweight Title, on an article about TNA ratings. No idea how we got started on this on an article about TNA ratings, but the article is here.
The comments between James & myself went as follows.
James Alsop: Man… Santino Marella beat a former World Heavyweight Champion. That’s depressing, isn’t it?
Blair: It is? Why?
James Alsop: Well even if it isn’t depressing for you, I’m sure Jack Swagger must be a little disheartened.
Blair: Yeah, that US Title was doing amazing things for him? I don’t get it.
James Alsop: I’ll say it again, then. Santino Marella – a joke wrestler – can now claim to have beaten a former World Champ. Santino Marella. That guy with the joke lower-mid-card gimmick. Yeah, him. My problem is with how little it seemed to matter, I guess. Yes, Swagger’s going nowhere fast, and yes he’s boring, and yes no one will notice or care when he walks out without the US title. But, well, call me old-fashioned, but I think that beating a former World Champ, even one who didn’t amount to much, should carry some weight. It should be worth something, and not done willy-nilly. So why throw it away on a joke wrestler with a joke gimmick in a joke finish when you clearly have no intention of ever giving the aforementioned joke wrestler a serious push. Ken Kennedy beat HBK clean on Raw once, but at least WWE were going somewhere with it. WWE jobs out former champs all the time, I know. That’s how they operate. But still… the wrestling mark in me hates to see something potentially meaningful like that simply thrown away.
James brings up an interesting point. It’s a point that, in my opinion, illustrates how WWE has been building their stars, with very few exceptions, for years now. I started typing out a response, and before I knew it, it was half-an-hour later and I had this article written.
First off, I’m glad that this isn’t about you thinking that the US Title means anything or that Jack Swagger isn’t worthless, at least. That would make you insane. The thing is, I see Jack Swagger being as much of a joke as Santino. Actually, moreso. People respond to Santino. No one responds to Swagger. I’m not going to go all Kyle Fitta here and say that he should be the main anything of… well, anything. That also, is silly. But the point is this:
What you’re talking about has been going on for a long time. Because for years, they’ve made World Champions at the drop of a dime. They don’t wait for the crowd to respond positively or negatively anymore. They no longer have the patience for that. You used to get the World Title ONLY if you were REALLY “over”. (God, I fucking hate using “insyder” terms.) Anyway, now they give it to guys as a tool to GET them over. And that’s very hard to do. Not impossible, but damn hard.
Maybe part of it is realizing how shallow their talent pool actually is, so they panic when someone gets hurt or something, and say to each other “Holy shit. We got nothing.” Then they say to US “See this Jack Swagger guy? He just won the World Title with his silly briefcase. So he’s a BIG fucking deal now. Yeah, that’s right. We know you barely knew who he was before last night. But he IS a big deal NOW. Why? Because we say so, you fucks. You losers are gonna go NUTS hating him. Get on it.”
That stupid Money In The Bank briefcase isn’t helping, either. It means that ANYONE can win the belt with the briefcase as long as they’re not totally inept, and you GET the briefcase by winning a huge clusterfuck match that ANYONE can win if they just let enough of the other people kill themselves off ladders.
Then, when he wins that belt, we have the usual suspects, like the ones on this site, that claim that Swagger is going to be huge and they talk about the amazing reactions that he doesn’t get. Then no one ACTUALLY responds, and WWE goes “HOLY SHIT! THIS GUY BLOWS!” and they either do the exact same thing again with someone else, or they just give the belt back to Orton or Cena. Then they wonder why it didn’t work, and this poor Swagger douche gets blamed for it. I guarantee you that in the present day, Jack Swagger WISHES he could be a comedy wrestler like Santino. Shit, at least then he’d have job security.
That’s why it doesn’t matter if he’s beaten. Not in the slightest. Same thing happened with Vlad Kozlov – they were THIS close to having him beat Triple H for the belt in one of his first ever PPV’s. Drew McIntyre? Remember him? That gangly little fuck who’s girlfriend kicked the shit out of him in real life? Vince came out on the air with him and TOLD US how huge this guy was gonna be in one of his FIRST appearances. Between that and letting that girl beat him up, he was doomed from the start. He should have just gone the John Morrison route and let Batista fuck his girlfriend. I was staggered to find out just the other week that he was still fucking employed.
At least with The Miz, they had a little bit more patience with the build. I’m not a huge fan, never have been – the guy did have some good heat – but he wasn’t great. Certainly not World Title great… unless you go by today’s standards. And that’s the thing – SmackDown ratings going above a 2.0 now is something that people consider impressive by today’s standards. And by those same standards, Jack Swagger winning the World Title at the time was actually considered impressive by some. People wrote about how impressive it was on this very site. And many others.
Now it’s 2 years later, and everyone abandons their argument about how awesome he is almost as fast as WWE abandoned him when he completely flopped. Same thing is happening with Miz – what happened to all you writers who were talking about how he was going to be the third company poster boy along with Cena and Orton? You don’t have shit to say about him now that he’s lucky to get near the WrestleMania card. Why is that? I’ll tell you why. Because you’ve moved on to the next ones in the cycle already – Shaemus and Wade Barrett.
Wade Barrett would have been in the same situation if he hadn’t gotten hurt. I can’t believe they were actually gonna try him again.
And Shaemus. My personal favorite. People on this site actually got behind HIS first heel title run that did nothing for anyone. They gave it to him out of nowhere to get him over. It didn’t work. Then he couldn’t even get on the WrestleMania card, but no one cared. Now, Shaemus is actually getting another chance at bat – ’cause of who he’s buddies with, but the point stands – you’re eating it up just like before! And I have to pose the question – are you going to care if he flops a second time? Of course not. And if you guys didn’t care last time, and won’t care this time, then how ACTUALLY good is he?!
I happily acknowledge that not everybody does this. But many do. Anycrap, as long as they keep it so that ANYone can win the damned belts, this just is kind of how it’s got to be. Really, what else can be done with Swagger at this point? It’s basically either this or fire him – and I’m assuming they like the guy, or they probably would have shit-canned him already. And they could. Easily. And they would lose absolutely nothing. Your casual fan likely wouldn’t even notice.
I’m not trying to disagree with you, James – I do agree. And in my opinion, what you’re saying is one of the many reasons that the show isn’t near as good as it was, as evidenced by the ratings that are a joke compared to what they used to be.
Some people actually prefer it this way. In fact, my favorite part about writing these columns are the comments like “What are you actually going to do when Shaemus doesn’t flop and becomes HUGE?” Which is exactly my point – is JUST winning that belt all it takes to be HUGE to you kids? It used to be. But it isn’t. Not anymore. And it hasn’t been for a LONG time.
Of course, anything is possible. I would have never thought that The Rock or Steve Austin could be huge stars just based on their first year or so with the company, either. Then again, they also weren’t put on the main-event slot of the show when they first showed up. I’m just using history, crowd reactions, and probability as my guide. And you weirdos have been doing this routine since before you were talking about how Ken Kennedy would be main-eventing WrestleMania in 2005. Remember Kenzo Suzuki? Of course you don’t.
But truthfully, often this kind of behavior actually provides me more entertainment than the show itself. I enjoy coming on here the day after your average Jack Swagger-like-debuts and title-wins just to see people lick it up. But rest assured, I’d be pleased if the cycle came to an end.
Shit, maybe I’d actually be able to sit down and actually watch RAW again someday instead of reading recaps and YouTube-ing it… or using it as background noise.
That’s all I have for this week. But just because it’s not “Interinactivity” doesn’t mean we can’t all read, memorize, and live by my…
New Rule #1: If WWE is going to give their developmental wrestlers some really solid, informative, well-thought out and historically-proven reasons why they shouldn’t become wrestlers, then viewers can’t be surprised when 95% of the people who actually stick with the company are the same bland and unoriginal types they’ve had for the last decade, who only make it because they’re willing to put up with whatever JBL does to people in the shower. But remember what Triple H told us – UFC needs to evolve more than they do.
New Rule #2: Someone needs to explain to me why no one is responding to Mark Henry. The fact that they aren’t really splits my wig.
New Rule #3: If the WWE Network ever makes it off the ground, they need to make a reality show that consists of nothing but Kane’s real-life facial expressions and reactions after the people in charge at WWE tell him what he’s going to be doing on any given night. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather watch Kane’s reaction to him being told: “So, you’re going to wear a gas mask over your regular mask for your entrances from now on.” than any scripted storyline that Kane’s been involved in for the last decade. Think about being able to view Kane’s response from one week: “So, your final epic confrontation with Cena will consist of you throwing Zack Ryder off a stage and losing an epic battle at Elimination Chamber” to the next week: “I don’t know. Go beat up some tag-teams.” to the week after that: “You and Orton at ‘Mania. Figure it out.” We all know that he goes and does it regardless, but what does he do when he first hears the instructions? Does he shrug? Does he laugh? Does he say something like “Another great idea, guys.”? I don’t know, but I want to find out.
New Rule #4: If I have to recap Impact, then someone has to recap the Hulk Hogan sex tape. I hear you can get a good deal on eye-wash kits at Rent-A-Center. And if you thought Hulkster’s other post-divorce money-making ventures were bad, or just assumed that he was so old that he only ejaculates dust, you’ll love his newest venture: MyDaughtersFuckingHulkHogan.
New Rule #5: All jokes aside, more people will see the Hulk Hogan porno than will see Edge’s new movie.
This has been “Air Up There”. Remember to comment, follow me on Twitter @BlairADouglas, or e-mail my at my new address, bdouglas@MyDaughtersFuckingHulkHogan.com. Thanks very much for reading, and have a great weekend.
I’ll be in my trailer.
Tags: Abyss, AJ Styles, Anderson, Angle, beer money, Bischoff, Bully Ray, Cena, chris jericho, christian, Chyna, cm punk, Crystal, CZW, D-Von, Daniels, DGUSA, dixie carter, Dreamer, edge, FD Swayze, Flair, Fortune, Hardy, Harris, Hogan, immortal, impact, Interinactivity, jack swagger, Jarrett, jericho, Kaz, miz, NXT, Orton, pope, Raw, Rob Van Dam, Rock, ROH, Roode, Sabin, Samoa Joe, Santino Marella, Shelley, Smackdown, STD, Steiner, Sting, storm, suicide, Swayze, Team 3D, The Rock, TNA, TNA Wrestling, United States Championship, vince, WWE, WWE Monday Night Raw, Y2J