THE SPECIALISTS ABSURDITY OF IT ALL: Pros & Cons of Smackdown SPOILER, NXT To Start Plugging ICOPRO, Knife Fight Imminent Between The Pope and Wolfe
Mar 31, 2010 - 8:38:10 AM
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By Shane McKinley, Torch specialist
Years ago, I woke up to find out that Edge was injured and Great Khali was the new World Heavyweight Champion. And I had just paid for the Sunday WWE PPV tickets. I remember reading a Batista quote about how "Khali didn't really deserve to wear the gold."
I have that same feeling now with the news that Jack Swagger has won the gold: bewilderment. Jack Swagger is now the world Heavyweight Champion. Repeat: Jack motherbleeping Swagger is your new Smackdown champion. According to the Smackdown spoilers, Jack cashed in his money in the bank briefcase on a taped up Chris Jericho and won the gold.
No one saw this coming...because quite frankly it doesn't make any sense at first glance.
Let's go over the positives of The Swag winning the gold:
(1) No one saw this coming. Even WWE wrestlers are doing veiled references in their promos that things in WWE can get stale. One of the main complaints leveled against WWE is that it is "boring" and does "the same tired act."
(2) Jack Swagger has some raw intangibles to work with. No, he's not as polished as Sheamus on the mic and in the ring, but Swagger has been blessed with raw talent. Kurt Angle comparisons have been leveled against him, from his collegiate wrestling background, his Kurt Angle attire, and to the fact that not a lot of people fear him. (Remember, Angle was a comedy act when starting out in the WWE.) Plus, Swagger won over fans during his time with ECW.
(3) It shakes things up. Apparently there's a Draft coming soon, and there are some parts to move around. Randy Orton's on this face run right now. Batista looks to be top heel on Raw. Edge is miscast as a babyface. The Swag can stake his claim as Smackdown World Champion during his reign...if WWE is committed to that idea.
That's all well and good, but let's go over the negatives of Swag winning the gold:
(1) Who the hell is Jack Swagger? The man has been buried on Raw. Last thing I can remember him doing was teaming up with Chavo and playing the chump heel. He was in a program with Santino that featured him losing to Mr. Cobra in an over-the-top challenge. No one expected him to win Money in the Bank because in 2010, Swagger has received maybe 20 minutes of total air-time.
(2) Would you rather have paper champion Swagger or Swagger headlining a PPV? Granted, Swagger could easily lose the gold next week and our feelings of him being a WWE chump would be confirmed. But if the Swag is given the ball, are fans ready to entertain the notion of Swagger headlining a PPV? Both prospects are ugherffic.
(3) This stinks for Chris Jericho. Jericho had a fine, but unremarkable match at WrestleMania. It was curious to me to see Jericho retain. Know why Jericho retained? It's because Jericho got the shaft from WWE big wigs again. The man who is the best in the world at what he does lost to the all-American American goofball who gives standard promos and is still green in the ring.
Plus I'm not ready to entertain the thought that Jack Swagger could even hang with Chris Jericho or Edge in the ring. You can blame this on how Swagger has been portrayed recently. No one should sweat the Swag.
-In other WWE news...They say in wrestling that wins and losses don't matter, but that statement is not necessarily true. "Heat" and "cred" matter. WWE NXT revealing that "wins and losses" mean jack gives me little reason to watch the wrestling matches, especially Darren Young's. And now fans have got to wait six weeks before WWE starts "firing" the NXT rookies. Apparently the winner will not necessarily get a contract, but will get a PPV match. Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz at the PPV, anyone?
David Otunga is going to guest host Raw. Good for him to get exposure when he leaves wrestling and joins television. Or maybe he'll form a tag team with Rob Terry and together they'll try to learn how to do moves other than clotheslines. Otunga wants 427 M & M's in his dressing room? That's not diva behavior, that's the workings of a madman.
Like the XFL, WWF New York, and the World Bodybuilding Federation, WWE NXT seems slated to become a stat on the list of WWE embarrassments. There are some highlights (ragging on Michael Cole is a sick delight for us hardcore fans), but altogether the show doesn't need to last a hour and a NXT season doesn't seem to need to last five months. Maybe NXT should start plugging ICOPRO for the hell of it.
-In TNA news...I wonder if TNA will ever blame themselves for why their ratings continue to plummet. I don't envy their position. They know that they can't compete with juggernaut Raw, so they feel they have to do "Crash TV." Sure, we don't see Vince Russo's "Shark Boy In A Coma" skits anymore, but we get Eric Bischoff's "Orlando Jordan bi-sexual sexyness." Both bits were pointless and meant only to scream, "Look at me! Ratings! Ratings!"
Hopefully with the riddance of dead wood (Nasty Boys, hopefully Wolfpack) and a cold, hard look at their product, they can start to build a real fan commitment to their product. Basically casual fans are saying, "Okay. So you've got these new stars. Your show is still turning me off." I'm hoping that their ratings improve next week because Impact's 0.6 is a real troubling sign. The lower the ratings go, the higher the probability viewers will see more gimmick matches on Impact (is it yet reminding you of the old days?)
Joe's back, by the way. He got a brief mention. TNA really, really hates Joe.
After the way The Pope treated Chelsea like a ho, maybe there will be a knife fight between Pope and Desmond Wolfe on the Maury Show for the love of Chelsea. Put this on the PPV? Hell nah. We'll put this sumabitch on Impact. Think of the ratings, man.
Before Bubba The Love Sponge gets canned, TNA would get major props if Bubba got knocked out in the ring...if they are interested into entertaining the fans's wishes.
That's it for me. Thanks for reading, Mr. Swagger. May your championship reign be long and fruitful. You know, better than when C.M. Punk cashed in his briefcase.
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