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WWE: In Search for a New Superstar

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“In WWE’s Search for a New Star, Everyone’s a winner…Not really” by Derron Browning
If you have been a fan of wrestling at least since 2002, you have seen many “searches for the next WWE superstar” (see Tough Enough, NXT, WWE Diva Search, etc.) and what do we get? We get the exact same result; we get a few stars that are really good, some that make you wonder “how did they make it this far” and the actual winner, who 9/10 doesn’t last very long in the company very much afterward.
I can remember 2002 when Maven Huffman and Nidia Guenard won the very first Tough Enough; so many people were behind them, even non-wrestling fans because they knew them from the show. We all remember what happened in 2002 when Maven eliminated the Undertaker which can be said in hindsight was one of the shockers of that year and what does Maven get? He gets an ass-kicking for 2 minutes and no real push from it. They could have pushed Maven to the moon after such a elimination but instead he gets a Hardcore Championship shot, and gets pushed down the midcard and we pretty much never really see him again until Survivor Series 2004 with Team Orton (where he wasn’t really in the match until at least 20 minutes in because he was hurt). After that Survivor Series PPV, he wasn’t seen again very much afterward, and he was released. Maven could have been built with new rising stars at the time like Orton, Lesnar and Cena but let him get away. The guy could wrestle, and had some mic skills. All he needed was more molding. The same can be said for Nidia, what did she do after winning “Tough Enough” than be Jamie Noble’s valet? If you guessed nothing, you are correct. She could have at least been in the hunt for a Women’s Championship shot, or at least was pushed and taken seriously as a wrestler, but no, just another waste of talent “future endeavored” which seems to be WWE’s favorite words of choice aside from “sports entertainment” and “universe”. Then alongside Maven and Nidia, they hire a runner-up Chris Nowinski. Wasn’t the point of a competition for the winners to get a contract, not the runner-up? Now, with this new Tough Enough season coming out, which I’m actually not too excited for, we will get the same thing again. We’ll have a winner, who may be a loser in hindsight, and the runner-ups that actually end up in hindsight, the winner depending on what they accomplish in-ring.

The Diva Search, as Elijah Burke called it “a big waste of time”. For the most part, it was, with silly competitions and segments that stuck out like a sore thumb. After all of the mess, we finally get a winner in Christy Hemme, who actually wanted to wrestle, but never really got the chance to and had a lot of potential. Then, at the same token, after she gets hired, 4 of the 9 runners-up get a contract afterwards. If that is the case, what is the point of the entire competition in the first place if the WINNER gets a contract!!!! The sad irony is that the Runner-up did way better (in terms of in-ring accomplishments than the actual winner) if you want to know who that is, that’s Michelle McCool. This trend continued in 2006 and 2007, in hindsight, we did get a few gems out of it like Maryse but hiring everyone in a competition waters down the concept of a competition. It’s like the “Honorable Mention” award given at a science fair, Pointless.
NXT, which is basically the male version of the Diva Search now, just with actual wrestling and “pros” which is an idea taken from the “Ultimate Fighter” in a sense, exploits the “Everyone’s a winner” concept, by hiring all of Season 1 and making them a stable which in hindsight was a bad idea, due to the fact that after the stable ends, most would end up doing nothing or end up in total midcard Hell (see Michael Tarver and Darren Young). Even though, the Nexus idea was great while it lasted, it kind of ruined the whole point of a “competition.” Season 2, Kaval wins it, but Alex Riley, Joe Hennig and Windham Rotunda(Husky “don’t call me fat” Harris) get called up to the main roster anyway. Isn’t the winner of NXT, supposed to get a shot on the roster and get a title match? But instead we get that and get 3 runners-up signed with them. Look where they are now: Riley, Miz’s lackey. Hennig; CM Punk’s lackey, Kaval left before he got buried any further and Rotunda is back in FCW in a Jason Voorhees mask. Why does WWE keep making these “competitions” if they are just goin to hire everyone that happened to be in it? What is the point of making that competition special, if you are just goin to sign everyone that was in it eventually? It’s like WWE reneged on their show and don’t have much faith in the person they pick, so they hire the others as a safety net.
In all, I think like many others, that these competitions are just a waste of time by WWE due to the failed attempts in the last ten years to make new stars. They could have easily prevented this by not letting some guys and gals who had great potential get away and not let them go to WCW Jr. (TNA). We have some good newer stars still worthy of watching but if they are really going to push youth, at least make it mean something. That’s my opinion, I’m sticking to it.

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Updated 03-30-2011 at 10:00 PM by Frank

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