August 4, 2006
John R. Nocero
WWE: Right and Wrong
Quite frankly, I am a little pissed off this week. As fans, we certainly have the write to criticize the WWE, much like diehard Yankees fan has the right to boo Alex Rodriguez for hitting .133 in last year’s playoffs, coupled with his lackadaisical play in the field this year.
However, there’s a flipside. Much like A-Rod endured recent criticism for tanning bare-torso’ed in Central Park, wrestling fans who would rather talk about entertainment value over workrate should keep their pieholes shut.
Case in point: I’m in one of those Internet chat rooms recently, and it didn’t have dirty sanchez in the title. It was a wrestling chat session no less. I was hoping to get some logical discussion of storylines or even the upcoming SummerSlam PPV. I got a ton os “CENA SUX” (note the phonetic spelling); “DX RULZ, SUCK IT” (cryptic); I even had an entertainment connoisseur who had the sack to say we shouldn’t be talking about workrate because this is entertainment. Hey toolbox, there is still the work “sports” before entertainment, you douchebag, and if you want to talk about sports, you must provide logical validity to each of your arguments. Or maybe it really was Mel Gibson under an assumed name. Dude, at least pick Abe Schwartz next time.
With that in mind, I decided to look at the ‘E with an appreciative eye this week. We’ll pick one issue on both sides of the fence. So let’s pick the kid up, turn it upside down and see what shakes out of its pants, shall we?
THE RIGHT: UMAGA
The Samoan Bulldozer is my guilty pleasure # 1 right now. Yes, I know it’s Jamal. Yes, I know he started out as a Samoa Joe clone. Yes, his Henna is painted on, he wears a grill, a necklace made of plastic shark teeth, and a fabricated winning streak enhanced by feasting on jobbers. I made your points for you. Now let me talk.
Ask yourself, besides Edge and Randy Orton, who are RAW’s top-tier heels right now? You can’t count the Spirit Squad. DX’s bitches, who bear a striking resemblance to the Cobra Kai no less, have effectively killed the tag team champs, and many Web sites have reported that the group will be effectively killed off soon. Creative doesn’t know what to do with either Shelton Benjamin or Johnny Nitro, Mick Foley is part-time (and can’t seem to figure out if he is a heel or face), and the rest are bums. Isn’t it important to the E to create top level heels, especially ones with credibility?
Since his debut, Umaga has squashed Eugene, a handful of Spider Ricos (go back and watch the original “Rocky’ if you don’t get that reference) to enhance an already inflated winning streak; He pins FORMER WWE CHAMP John Cena two weeks ago on RAW, and then defeats iconic Shawn Michaels this week. And another top level main event heel is created. Now you have some fans wondering, “damn, will Triple H be able to whip his ass next week?” and will tune in to find out.
You probably haven’t noticed his wrestling style either. Umaga is an absolute punisher, wrestling so goddamn stiff and making it believeable doing so. Have you seen his new demon drop he has used the last three weeks? A thing of beauty. Dude has done that for weeks, but only the diehards know because we are the only ones watching it. Go back and watch the Cena and HBK matches again. From the opening to the interference at each ending, both of them were good. What the hell else can you ask of the guy?
And he has his mouthpiece in Armando Alejandro Estrada. He can’t talk, he is a savage, get it? He actually took the character beyond just getting a rub from his manager on Monday night. Remember when HBK knocked Estrada off the apron? What did Umaga do? Nothing. He didn’t know what the hell to do. He ran outside the ring, toppled chairs, humped the ring bell, I think he kissed Lillian, and then rolled back in. It was only after Vince McMahon jumped up on the apron and signaled for the Samoan Spike that Umaga remembered he had a finishing move. Fucking brilliant for one, and another little highlight that gets the character over, for another.
Does Triple H win next week? I’m sure as hell tuning in to find out.
THE WRONG: WWE DIVA SEARCH
There is no other way to put this: this fucking sucks mooseballs. You mean to tell me that the E couldn’t find a more creative way to offer a $250,000 contract than to these road-hard and put away wet broads?
None will go the way of original diva search winner Christy Hemme. Remember, she won the contest, busted her ass training, gets traded to SMACKDOWN!, is then shown the door, and now plies her trade in TNA. No, they will probably go the way of Joy Giovanni and Amy Weber: Eye-candy Vince likes to keep around because quite frankly, they can’t do much else.
Rewind back to the beginning of the 2006 Road Whore Search. So far we have seen Mike Mizanin forget his freaking lines on live TV, even after having them taped to his wrist (and so the Miztake was born); and the so-called “hottest women on television” competing in musical chairs as an athletic endeavor. You already saw how they jumped rope the week before. They’d snap an ankle if they had to ride a bicycle.
WWE Creative, please listen: I didn’t care about Jen England in Dodgeball, I don’t care about her now. I didn’t care about Maryse when she was in Playboy, I don’t care about her now. Couple this with the current state of the Women’s division and it seems that Creative is trying to break a record for how much ass can be crammed into a two-hour wrestling show. (As an aside, did you see how many spots were missed in the diva tag match last night? I’m sure that Victoria asked herself, “I re-injure my knee last week and come back for this bullshit?”
Let’s be honest: this is only a half-step up from a wet T-shirt contest, so if Vince wants me, and the rest of the men in America to play attention, here’s how to do it. Let’s see some full frontal hoohah. Don’t have them tell me how the E is their dream and how they always wanted to be pro wrestlers. Just whip out the hoohah. That’s the reason we, as men, talk to you anyways.
And none of you are half the hottie Jillian Hall is. So there.