Silly Brit: The Shifting Dynamic In WWE
by, 08-29-2013 at 03:48 AM (4715 Views)
Hey guys! Been an awful long time since the last post. Personally, not a lot happened to comment on as everyone was doing it so expertly, but recent major happenings inside the WWE world were just too tantalizing to not comment on.
I wanted to share just my overall summation and where WWE can (and/or have) benefit from the most recent plot lines and some context as to how it can succeed and/or, possibly fail.
As a gay wrestling fan myself, the only real homosexual wrestler I've ever even heard of was Kanyon, until his passing. Since then, the WWE universe has had a very large hole that hasn't been filled (pun not intended). The argument people have about coming out in wrestling being a non-issue is totally valid because, historically, there hasn't been anyone active on the wrestling roster in which to do anything with their true sexuality. Being straight is almost part and parcel of the wrestling experience; that is to say that straight relationships have almost always been portrayed by WWE to be between athletic men and women (side note - Kane not included, that playa'). But suddenly, Darren Young came right out of left field (and the closet) and revealed he was gay. I'm not sure a lot of people grasped just how monumental this is because we've never seen anything like this; therefore we had no basis for comparison. That is why, for the most part, it was called 'groundbreaking' rather than an 'opportunity'.
I'm not sure on the McMahon's political stance when it comes to homosexuals (something about Republican...) and their rights, but by the sounds of it, they were all for having a gay employee on TV. The fact that Darren Young has been (and will continue to be) a Be a St*r campaigner can go leaps and bounds faster and more impactful than maybe they can comprehend. There are so many young people from the age of 10-15 who are genuinely confused and frightened about their sexuality for fear of reprisal and hatred. Branching Darren out to be a vocal gay rights advocate within the WWE, transitioning minorly onto television is a sure fire way of at least saving some adolescent kids from themselves and others by helping them come through the toughest part of knowing someone with a different sexual orientation: acceptance.
The WWE showed acceptance to Darren Young. It should be a full circle motion (again... pun not intended) that gives back to the community, Darren Young for his bravery and the WWE in support of an important issue.
Total Divas/AJ Lee Pipebomb
Woah. Too gay for me, this subject. Since I'm British, Total Divas hasn't quite worked its way over here, so I did the only thing a logical person would do: find it online and wait for the explosion. In all fairness, it's not as bad as the usual filth that E! pedal (FYI - we get E! but not E!USA programming as far as I can tell). But the issue is that whilst we get a very close look at things we wouldn't see (I specifically remember asking for more close up shots of cleavage.../sarcasm), we also get the trash that comes alongside reality TV: we are supposed to care a whole lot about their development. Reality TV is ALL ABOUT DEVELOPMENT. You literally cannot watch a reality show episode, then the following one and not notice any development/transition in that person's life and/or personality. If they had AJ on as much as they had the Bella's on, it would be must see TV. Then again, I live with 3 girls, a couple of them are gamers, so I guess I get the real thing. Nonetheless, the thing that gets me about this is the target audience.
Men, generally, don't watch reality shows. Women, generally, watch reality shows. Men, generally, like attractive women. Women, generally, want to scratch the eyes out of attractive women. It confused me who they were aiming for. My guess, based on the content and the network, was teenage girls and the fans who base their lives on WWE's YouTube channel. I guess the general cattiness of it all, added to which Eva Marie (FAAAAAAKKKKKEEEEE hair. Maybe breasts...) is the 'eye-candy' (after all, her hair is just a long strand of strawberry twizzlers with a manufacturing issue) makes it an enjoyable programme for those asked to evaluate it as their audience. But the great reality shows of our time (pushing it, I know...) transcend their audience. It delves deeper than the external layer of fake tan and fights. They speak to the audience as an individual. Which is where I then go off script with stupidly precocious statements...
AJ Lee is simply a Chuck Taylor-wearing, Tarantula-finishing, game-playing, short-standing goddess. I watch WWE for 3 reasons now: The Wyatts, Paul Heyman and AJ Lee. It would have been 4 reasons but Ted DiBiase took his mustache and ran. Not since the Trish/Victoria/Mickie James era of Divas have I had the pleasure in revelling in such delightful narration and craftmanship as I do when I watch AJ in the ring. But oddly, I've felt AJ missed a trick for a number of years: she attached herself to others (before her new finisher). She lost mic skills and I'll go as far as to say some confidence in herself. In the ring, it's a different matter as I'm sure she felt secure enough in her own ability to save what amazing talent she has. But then came the Pipe Bomb. I thought it might have ended with a very small Catherine Wheel. Instead, I got something almost as destructive as whatever is happening in Syria (if not your taste, how about as explosive as Cameron and Naomi constantly ripping each other's hair out so much that they could stuff a local orphanage's mattresses for life?). She completely tore into them and, by the looks on Nattie's face, they felt every stinging, venomous, truthful word that flew out of AJ's mouth like an eagle on steroids.
I don't think I can understate enough just what this will do for AJ. She's at the top of her game and has already achieved what quite a few Divas are still to even dream of. That pipe bomb needs to be used as a lesson to everyone in that locker room. John Cena is gone. Triple H is aging. Daniel Bryan says YES! a lot. You have an opportunity to make your mark. AJ took the bull by the horns and not only rode it, she damn-near sold it so no-one else could even touch her. If that wasn't the message relayed to everyone in the Locker Room, then WWE is going to suck fast, and soon.
Maybe I'm a dreamer, maybe I'm Tommy Dreamer. In either case, the McMahons are business. They will do it and they will give you it. I am in a total state of happiness to see them all back. Triple H as a heel has always been slightly overrated to me because, well... he had 3 other tough'uns to help him. But now, he has a different role: corporate stooge. And a powerful one at that. This gives him a totally new, very exploitable role to utilise his supposed heel abilities. Vince has always had the character of 'a bit of an arse'. But he's a damn fine face as well, he knows just how to play the world and win every time. Even dressed in full judicial gown and firing Eric Bischoff, he should have been lambasted as a goof, but instead we bent over and let us thank him for his wonderful service to fandom. The enigma in all of this is Stephanie.
There are very few people I'd ever turn for (Anna Kendrick pretty much being the only one until...), but Stephanie is one (ha. ha.). I've pretty much thought since 2002 that Stephanie could be a big draw and I'd watch every week if I saw her on TV. But choosing between Daddy and Husband? Damn it got tense. To coincide with the struggles of running a business and finding a way to look good, I reckon they could do a good 'breakdown' angle, whereby she can call time on everything based on the pressure getting to her on both sides. I'd be willing to bet that the McMahons might be hesitant to have one on neutral ground as it can stagnate character development (see John Cena circa now).
The proof, I guess, will be in whether the McMahons continue with the 'corporate champion' choice of Randy Orton. He wanted a heel turn, we wanted a heel turn, but the jury is out on whether this is the right move. Personally, I think he could have held off for a few more months and done a programme with the Wyatts.
I'd call it: Total Freaks!
Anyway, as always, comment your thoughts and I'd love to hear your opinions!