"WE the People" Need More People?
by, 06-07-2013 at 10:31 AM (2256 Views)
In the vast universe that is professional wrestling there are many topics and characters that spur debate and set the forums ablaze with opinions. Over the years there has been many storylines and personas in the WWE “ripped from the headlines” and presented to stir the caldron of controversy all in the name of sports entertainment. From the turncoat Sargent Slaughter to Muhammad Hassan…from The Nation of Domination to Degeneration X…the WWE has never hesitated to throw everything and anything up on the wall to see what sticks.
For every Eugene there is a Kerwin White…for every Chuck and Billy out pops a Goldust or a Godfather. Like them or hate them if they make you pay attention that is the real point. Let’s be honest here it really is we—the people—who make or break a particular character and the whole landscape of professional wrestling is constantly changing based on the collective whims of the fan base. Occasionally the WWE plugs into a contemporary subject that is a little too sensitive (see Muhammad Hassan) and the angle ends up fading away, but as of late the creative forces stumble on ideas that not only touch the communal heartbeat of the ‘rassling fan base but garner mainstream attention.
With all this being said one of the more recent divisive “repackaging” of an otherwise stale WWE superstar is that of the erstwhile “Real American” Jack Swagger and his mentor/founding father-figure Zeb Coulter. Their staunchly conservative “us vs. them” viewpoints are in your face, in your backyard and are highly relevant precisely because we know many real people who truly think and talk this way. Frankly, to me Swagger has never been more interesting but this is really due to the work of Coulter and the fresh impact of the “We the People” storyline more than the skills/talents of the former “All-American American.”
Of course, Swagger is a talented wrestler in his own right and has been around the scene for some time now where others have faded or disappeared, but on the microphone and in other areas his charisma has always been lacking “it” to truly get him over. From Glenn Beck to Swagger’s recent DUI/drug arrest this storyline has generated much real-life debate online and in mainstream circles but the question for me remains: does the “We the People” angle need Jack Swagger or does Jack Swagger need the angle? My answer to both sides of that question would have to be a YES...
Swagger may have his faults both in and outside the ring but this recent WTP push is perfect for him and, in the end, he is a good poster boy for it. However, should this debatably textbook confluence of man and storyline preclude that one has no legs without the other? Maybe not because we all know the WWE is not shy about changing anything they do in midstream and will often drop well developed angles without so much as a whimper, but let’s not forget the real gold here is Zeb. Personally, I was more happy to see the WWE bring good old “Dirty” Dutch Mantel back than I was to see Swagger return. The persona of Zeb Coulter fits him like a glove and, in my humble opinion, it has been his work on the stick and even in the ring that has made the angle a true “perfect union.” Don’t get me wrong I am not discounting Swagger’s necessary contribution but ultimately any decent worker here could be made to fit the same bill.
Undoubtedly many in the IWC likewise maintain Swagger is being slapped on the wrist for his legal transgressions but time will tell when he finally goes on trial at the end of June. The question then arises if the WTP story is too good to let it just be put on pause for whatever inevitable outcome will occur with whatever fallout—if any—is there another way to keep it going? Is there another wrestler that can step up with Zeb and make the angle just as—or even more—successful? Zeb may be the driving force that WTP needs but even he cannot keep the fire going by himself for long. It is “WE” the People after all and more than any other faction on the rise currently in the WWE Zeb could easily accept another into his fold if done the right way.
So…let us imagine Swagger is suspended for a set amount of time and Zeb is by himself for a week or so on TV declaring Jack has lost heart and confidence in himself due to all the politics and backstabbing in the WWE. Zeb says he, too, has lost faith in America due to the WWE universe being full of lazy, whiny unintelligent people who follow the “lamestream” media like sheep. In fact, Zeb was about to turn his back and go where he felt more welcome and accepted never to return again when another man…a longtime WWE superstar…came to him and convinced him not to give up the fight…convinced him through his intelligence and his wisdom that the WWE would be just another closed minded cesspool without his voice and influence.
Over the next couple of weeks Zeb can continue to provide commentary and “nuggets of truth” about the way things are in America and tease that this mysterious new friend of his wants to remain anonymous. If properly played out against the right framework we can eventually find out that none other than Glenn Jacobs (aka Kane) is his new confidant who eventually joins his ranks sans mask. Jacobs has been unmasked before and has seen much success as Kane and there is no doubt he is a talented wrestler and a very intelligent person. While his personal views seem to lean more to a libertarian slant this could be presented on camera in a more ambiguous way as to maximize how Zeb and he agree on topics that can continue to stir controversy and draw heat.
Jacobs has enjoyed some mainstream attention as of late and is not shy about getting out there and making his voice heard on the local, state and national stage. The Big Red Machine has even been linked to the idea of one day running for a senate seat and it has been interesting to note the abject surprise of some that a wrestler such as himself can come across so knowledgeable and well-spoken. While he has stated numerous times he has no intention of retiring from the business just yet it may be time for him to think about one last run at a slightly different angle that has done before.
He could garner a lot of heat from some by simply turning his back on the persona of Kane and trashing the legacy that he has worked long and hard to build there. If anyone on the active roster has earned the respect and admiration of his peers it would be Glenn Jacobs and as such earned the right to use his real name and do something new. Who knows this kind of idea might even help him in the long run enjoy a more visible presence in the political arena as well as keep a good storyline going. Ever the menacing monster his influence could only help enhance the WTP stable for Zeb and Swagger’s mutual benefit. Likewise, he could always go back to being Kane down the road if he so desires and imagine the possibilities…
Jacobs looks good in a suit…better than most big men like himself and while he might not need WWE creative (or Zeb as a mouthpiece) to come up with things to say or talk about to make this kind of angle work he is ever the team player. Honestly Kane is one of my favorite characters and would hate to see him change to drastically but also believe he is due for a revival never before attempted. After his inevitable breakup and feud with Daniel Bryan plays out what else does he have to prove or accomplish?
Yes…yes…yes…like any other similar idea this will never happen but imagine the possibilities…