Ham and Eggers, Big Men Pushes and the Squash!
by, 05-11-2012 at 08:44 PM (3885 Views)
I just wanted to share my thoughts on the current usage of squash matches in the WWE, and some of the big men currently receiving pushes on the roster. Having read various blogs on these subjects recently I thought I'd offer my own opinions on my very first blog.
Being a long time fan I can remember back to the late eighties and early nineties when squash matches were what I'd mainly get to see on TV. Living in the UK we predominantly got to see established stars beating 'ham and eggers' week in, week out, affirming their status as true larger than life superstars and giving us the opportunity to see all of their signature moves. This brings me onto my first subject, Ryback.
The artist formerly known as Skip Sheffield has honestly suprised me by not disappearing into obscurity following his injury and departure from the Nexus way back in August 2010. I always thought he showed a little something in his initial 'run' in his former guise but having seen much more talented established stars either future endeavoured or let go I didn't hold up much hope for his chances in the federation. How wrong I was. I suppose I failed to take into consideration Vinces love of the 'big men' and Ryback certainly ticks the size box, looking relatively huge compared to a large proportion of the current roster, and seems to be on the receiving end of a nice push from the powers that be.
Since his comeback he's been incredibly dominant. Week in, week out he's squashing nobodys for fun, while being scouted backstage by various low to mid carders. The fact that these ham and eggers he faces get a bit of mic time further adds to the entertainment as Ryback comes out and demolishes them with a series of inpressive power moves, putting them quickly out of their misery and saving the fans from any more drivel coming out of their 'never gonna be seen on TV again' mouths.
By being given time to show his dominance, demonstrate his moveset, and develop his intense 'feed me more' gimmick, Ryback gets credibility as a genuine monster in the making, and doesn't have to bury other talent in the process. I expect in the next month or so he may start competing against some of the lower level superstars on tv, but handled correctly, there's no reason why he can't go far and not neccesarily to the detriment of other talent. Having watched the the careers of Ezekial Jackson and Mason Ryan nosedive maybe its time a wrestler of this size is due a major run?
Hearing the Goldberg chant in Chicago, whilst perhaps annoying on one level, must have been taken as a huge compliment to the newcomer Ryback, and may be the early sign of a long winning streak in store for him.
Being more of a purist, who prefers a more fast paced technical style, I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I'm actually liking Ryback. Its rare for me to say this but I think they've got his booking exactly right, and thats probably helping with my interest in his character and his development. However, poor booking can lead to huge disinterest in a wrester, which leads me onto my next subject.
Having seen Snoop Doggs ex bodyguard make it through NXT to join the main roster, and seeing him involved in high pofile matches with Alberto Del Rio, I thought the future was bright for Brodus as a potential monster heel. He disappeared for a while and I genuinely looked forward to his return.
However, I did not expect the 'Funkasaurus' and to say my mouth was left open and I was speechless is no exaggeration, I found it staggering, a shockingly bad decision from whoever green lighted this awful gimmick. Admittedly his character had grown on me slightly, but is already turning very stale, as are his matches, which have never really set the arenas on fire.
Brodus has been having squash matches since his comeback. But unlike Ryback he's been demolishing established stars, and herein lies the problem. To see established stars such as the Miz, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger get so swiftly beaten by him so early in his career doesn't do anything for me. These are all ex world champions but rather than build these matches properly they've been wasted by a having semi squash matches. Having no real build up means neither Brodus or his opponent gets any real benefit from the matches in terms of career development which seems such a waste.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm very aware of the need and importance for the WWE to develop and nurture new talent which is why I don't have a problem with a newcomer getting a serioius push, but I just think it could've been handled a lot better. Brodus also should've been a heel, and not this Godfather wannabe.
I've noticed the girls getting more camera time too. Is this because like me the cameraman is also finding Brodus's routine boring? I read on here the other day someone wrote that Brodus can't dance. So true. A shockingly bad mover, Hornswoggle danced better than him and that's saying something.
All is not lost though. This gimmick will inevitably run its course. I think he'll maybe turn heel on someone after losing the world title shot he'll inevitably get in the next 12 months. If they can manage his heel turn correctly it could be huge, and turn him into a genuine monster for years to come. I also read someone suggesting the other day him turning on a 'face' Mark Henry for stealing his proposed 'Hall/House of Pain' gimmick. This could be great and could lead to him retiring Henry, building his reputation immensley.
Brodus is still young, and if carefully managed could have a great career. Sadly, despite a huge push I don't think the same can be said for Lord Tensai, my final subject.
During his original run I always found Prince Albert/Albert/A Train a solid but unspectacular performer. Someone who had the build loved by the senior wwe management but somehow failed to connect with the wwe 'universe' and was eventually released.
I gave him huge respect for resurfacing in Japan as Giant Berhard and for doing so well, and when I heard rumours he was coming back to the wwe I was genuinely looking forward to his return.
Once again I feel the writers have blown it with this rubbish Lord Tensai gimmick. What with his green mist, ridiculous outfit and complete lack of personality I'm already just not bothered about this guy, and I still feel he doesn't connect, despite his additional experience. Again, maybe this is down to the squash based nature of his matches thus far.
Alex Riley (once a promising main eventer in the making) and Yoshi Tatsu got destroyed, and he's scored painfalls against Cena AND Punk too, although cheated his way to these high profile 3 counts.
When it comes down to it he's being built up to appear a monster but will definitely end up staring at the lights for Cena, Punk and whoever else they wish to be their top faces.
The problem is that unlike with Clay who has time on his side, and can recover from a bad gimmick, Tensai I feel has this last shot at wwe stardom. He never elevated above the mid card in his first run and I don't think he will as Tensai. At this stage in his career I feel it would be hard to reinvent himself as another character and I genuinely see him gone within two years, as boredom quickly sets in from the fans, and his monster status is seriously eroded by frequent defeats further down the line.
I could have talked about lots of other wrestlers and squashers, Sheamus in particular, but I'll discuss them/him in other blogs. Not a fan of face Sheamus at all.
I've waffled a bit here, missed many points, contradicted myself at times and completely failed to conclude anything. Please feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading.