| || |
The Written Wrestling Promo, 5-5
May 5, 2013 - Zach Baker
It's long been my belief that WWE has passed me by as a fan.
A number of critics have blamed the company's "PG" direction, but I don't think that's it.
Most of WWE's more risque elements never really appealed to me. There were times in 1998 when I was flat out embarrassed to be a fan. Besides, I started watching the then-WWF years before its transition into the "Attitude era."
For me, WWE's problem comes down to its overall scripting. In the old days, wrestling had characters who had to learn to cut promos themselves. It's part of the reason why Hulk Hogan, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair and, more recently, Steve Austin and Rock, became stars. Even today, I can do impressions of all their interviews. They were wrestlers, yes, but also characters.
In today's WWE, every interview is heavily scripted, and because of that, performers have trouble standing out from the pack. Guys like Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett all seem the same to me on some level. They all look the same, sound the same (yes, I know Barrett is British) and have similar move sets.
Where is the individuality?
In my first column, I mentioned WWE could do an angle that would get me interested in the product again.
It would involve someone, say, Arn Anderson, to come out and say he's seen enough. In an old school promo, Anderson would say he's sick of what wrestling has become. He's sick of WWE labeling the sport he made his living in as entertainment.
Anderson could say there's nothing entertaining about all the bruises and injuries he suffered. In the old days with the Four Horsemen, he would say, we didn't want to put a smile on your face. We wanted to destroy you.
Then Anderson would call out Dolph Ziggler (who I think has a character just dying to escape the WWE-entertainer inside of him). The two could say they are trying to save wrestling from itself. They've got a group together who's going to run roughshod over WWE Universe until it rids it of people who do nothing but sell t-shirts.
"And we're going to start," Anderson will say, "with the face of this awful era. We're going to start with Mr. "Smile when I lose at WrestleMania himself, John Cena."
Cena comes out, stands on the ramp and starts to defend "WWE Universe" when he's jumped from behind by Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan.
"You see John," Anderson says, "Every time you say 'WWE Universe,' this will happen."
Basically, it's a group of new wrestlers "brainwashed" by the one guy in the industry everyone respects. And Anderson, feeling overlooked and overshadowed in his career, will look to make himself a star one last time by leading a great stable with designs on returning the business to its roots.
This would make me watch WWE again.