The Abdominal Stretch: The Cult Following
by, 05-09-2012 at 02:20 PM (2613 Views)
Hey fans from everywhere and wherever. The Saviour here with another edition of The Abdominal Stretch. You'll notice my title seems kind of peculiar and I'll explain now.
At the end of May, I'll be attending Comic Con here in Philadelphia. Among the stars that will be presnt are CM Punk, Gail Kim, Lita, and Maryse. That goes along with some actors from Walking Dead, Smallville, Star Trek, Vampire Diaries, etc. However, the star with the longest line, and the most crowded Q&A room, will be Bruce Campbell. Who, you ask? He had small parts in each of the Spiderman movies, but he is famous for his role as Ashe in the Evil Dead series. The Evil Dead is a Cult Classic, low-budget 80's horror movie and outshines much of what you see main stream today.
So what does The Evil Dead have to do with wrestling? Well, there are a few certain wrestlers who have that cult following, but in this case, the cult will be the IWC. It is because of the new online media outlets, that some wrrestlers have developed this cult following, though it doesn't really translate into the main stream. So, without further adieu...
Talk about a cult favorite, he was very over in the beginning because of his usage of youtube and his Z True Long Island Story. Now that he hit the main stream, it hasn't seemed to take off the way he or the WWE was hoping. So he still has his crowd, it just became much smaller now that he's been exposed in the lime light for too long. He lost steam very fast and now, the only ones who still love him are those that still tune in to see the next webisode of Z!. Zach Ryder is an internet sensation, putting him into the cult followed category.
Once upon a time, online and social media didn't drive the wrestling industry. And with the emergence of WCW and WWE, there were hundreds of indy feds but none more prominent than ECW. Created by Paul Heyman, ECW was as close to real wrestling as it got. It was because of ECW's popularity, that the Attitude Era was born. However, before ECW became cool, it was underground and very much a lesser known entity. It wasn't until the cult following grew, that you noticed that they did fall in line with the main stream and it led to their eventual demise. When Jericho and Benoit were kids, they going Extreme. Once the money problems led to WWF's involvement, it became what TNA is now. A place where those who weren't part of the big 2, to go. But his character, the one that most people have come to love or hate today, is due to his main stream exposure. He fit kind of well into the Attitude Era, but he without that edge, there's not much room for him. So those who are happy about his return, it would be good not to get your hopes too high because he will fall in line, regardless of what he said in Monday's promo. Paul Heyman, definitley a Cult Classic.
This one's a little different. Dolph is very popular in his appearance and the way he works in the wrong. His popularity though, has only really hovered in the confines of the IWC bubble. There's debate about whether he can work the mic. Who does he resemble? Someone called him Flair, HBK, and Rick Rude all rolled into one. No matter the opinion of Dolph when it comes to discussion boards on wrestling websites like EWN, it just hasn't translated into the main stream. He draws all his heat thru Vickie Guererro and the crowd loves to boo her, but then she introduces him and he comes out and there's nearly a complete drop off of boos to silence. I see it on TV and I hear it in the arena. It's because of this internet popularity, that he's not any kind of a draw, good or bad. Seeing a main event with the WWE Champion Dolph Ziggler, just doesn't get anyone excitied. The blogs and messages boards will blow up, but where it counts...he gets hardly any reaction at all. And if 4 million people watch Raw each week, about 25% of them, participate in online communication like this. Dolph Ziggler, all the makings of being cult followed.
This is probably the shining star of this blog. Daniel Bryan is the pure definition of cult favorite. Not many people, outside of the internet gurus who actually follow ROH and DGUSA knew who he was. He didn't stand out to me one bit on the first season of NXT. Then he beat up Michael Cole and I was hooked. I can't stake a claim to being a Daniel Bryan follower throughout his career. Only at that moment, and then the NXT invasion. He strangled a camera guy and I guess he got fired. He became an instant hero when Cena brought him back at Summer Slam and he feuded with his NXT Pro, and fast rising top heel, The Miz. He gained great popularity and he translated well onto the main stream...or did he? If you think about it, where would he be if it wasn't for Miami's post-WM crowd? You could see only 10 people in a 15,000 seat arena cheered for him. But thanks to Miami, he has become an indy sensation, succeeding in the main stream. And he gets major props for being the poster boy of characters in today's wrestling, while still maintaining a great heel personality despite the fan reaction. I do see a face turn coming soon, because the WWE knows how to mess up. Daniel Bryan, the true definition of Cult Favorite.
I hope you enjoyed my little change of pace edtion of The Abdominal Stretch. Watch my new blog later this week titled, Sudden Impact, where I'll be discussing all things, Impact Wrestling.
Have a great week and be safe.