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Textbook Submission: Hit The Reset Button

Hit The Reset Button

It’s that time of year again. Wrestlemania has come and gone folks, and like every year WWE starts over and debuts new talent to begin once again the road to next year’s grandest stage of them all. While we are only a few weeks into the reset, there have been quite a few talents that have made their own personal reset post Wrestlemania that have re-emerged in the squared circle. These talents have made their presence in WWE before, some as recently as a year ago, some have been gone for an extended period of time. Will any of these superstars be the one to carry the WWE to prominence in the future? Will they be able to re-invent themselves successfully and create a new character that the fans are willing to put forth money to see? Only time will tell, but because the internet and wrestling fans alike are very reactionary, it’s time to give them grades after a few weeks of TV exposure.

Lord Tensai:

The man, formerly known as Albert/A-Train has made his debut after an extended absence while working over in Japan. He has taken on a new persona as a man who’s personality was changed after his stint in Japan dominating his opponents left and right. Will Albert be able to shake off his old persona without the obvious fact overshadowing his every moment in the ring? (That being he is still ALBERT!!!)

Entrance:
His entrance apparel is striking and different, which is a great quality. If there is anyway somebody is able to stand out from the crowd it means they are able to leave a lasting impression to those watching (both good and bad). It’s important to have a look or an ability that nobody else possesses, that way you provide something that nobody else can. It’s one thing to be provided the opportunity, it’s another thing to take it to the next level and own it.

What does not work is how long his entrance takes. Only the Undertaker a man whose career spans three decades is able to have an entrance as slow and prodding towards the ring. It’s underwhelming as a character that is meant to dominate his opponent in the ring must take so long to walk to face his opponent. His entrance takes longer than the squash match itself, which is a HUGE problem. Why bother making an impression on the way to ring if that is where time is being spent mostly? It doesn’t work for this character. His music is absolutely horrendous as well. The expectation is not for something terribly upbeat and perky but something that let’s the fans know exactly who is on their way down immediately to create a pop. The Japanese at the beginning does now allow for that because, as jingoistic as it may appear, the fans can’t understand it. It’s one thing if it’s being used in character for someone like Alberto Del Rio who has his own personal ring announcer because Del Rio’s entrance is much more tremendous than that of Lord Tensai. He enters in the expensive vehicle, he has the spark shower behind him, it’s much more of a crescendo that builds up and let’s the fans know, “This guy is a big deal.” Something as simple as picking up the pace to the ring would mean more for his character than his slow/prodding technique that devours Lord Tensai.

Promo:
Lord Tensai has not cut a single promo since his return to WWE. This is a necessity for his character. He needs to discuss why he has returned to WWE as Lord Tensai and denouncing the name Albert. Explain what it means to him and what his future plans are in WWE. Albert must be able to cut a promo and although he wasn’t the best promo during his previous run in WWE he needs to establish his motivations in returning to WWE at least once so that he can add a dimension to his rather flat character. If the plan, as suggested, is that he is the next challenger after Chris Jericho to face CM Punk, then the man needs to be able to cut a promo in order to seem like a threat to Punk come their potential feud.

In-Ring:
The MOMENT Tensai takes off his mask/cap/beanie/top-hat, we are immediately reminded that this man is still Albert. This was apparent by the haze-like taunts this past week on RAW of “Albert….Albert…Albert”. He looks exactly the same despite some Japanese characters that appear across his face, but otherwise nothing has changed with this man’s appearance, but perhaps that shouldn’t have been an expecation for him.

With the reincarnation of Albert, it is fair to assume that his offense has improved and he is able to showcase his new abilities that he learned during his stint in Japan. Perhaps some improved agility? Maybe a tad bit more charisma than his previous persona? Something tangible that fans can notice that shows he either improved in Japan or is offering something different to the WWE Universe, though it looks as though Japan has had the opposite desired effect. He’s far too slow to engage fans and his move-set is far from impressive to say the least. What does Albert offer as Lord Tensai that he could not as his previous persona? A much slower version of himself that is meta-methodical in the ring that receives absolutely zero heat and cannot connect with the fans? That’s someone WWE wants on their payroll. Though he recently signed a new contract, this character won’t last a few months (3 months tops) unless some drastic changes are made. Otherwise he can revert back to Albert and bring back the X-Factor. Does anyone remember that group? I don’t remember much but I do remember Albert had more of a presence back then with X-Pac and Justin Credible than he does now with Sakamoto by his side. Uncle Kracker is a huge improvement over his current music anyway. Bring back Albert and then perhaps fans will ride the A-Train. Lord Tensai is dead in the water as his character exists now and will not be a gimmick that fans will be for or against unless he is able to put together better matches with better talent in the ring as opposed to the squash matches that have become a staple in WWE. Bottom line, bring back the Albert character and everyone will be happy.

Overall Grade: D

Brodus Clay:

Yes, Brodus Clay made his return before Wrestlemania, but he was put on the back burner up until recently with his re-debut in Miami with his “momma and the bridge club disaster”. But here is another big man WWE is attempting to push and get behind fairly recently. Clay is a stark contrast from the previous iteration we saw on NXT and as Alberto Del Rio’s security guard/bodyguard/Affirmative Action hire, but really, is it such a bad thing?

Entrance:
Using the recycled Ernest Miller music, Brodus Clay has emerged as the Funkasaurus, a dancing machine who will destroy his opponents on a regular basis. He comes out to the ring dancing, with a smile on his face and with a pair of women at his side. It’s a funky intro for a funky man. This is the type of entrance that engages fans much more and gives them something to cheer or at the very least be excited about. Clay embraced the gimmick, loves every bit of it and turned it into something that WWE had perhaps thought would be the thing that would destroy Brodus Clay or at the very least be an excuse to return him to developmental. This gimmick got over very quickly because it was the antithesis of every other person brought up to the roster. It was so different it meant that much to fans who are begging for some sort of alternative to root for. Brodus Clay is the epitome of fun and a few laughs for WWE, because let’s be honest, not everything has to be serious in WWE. He is an engaging character and that’s all you can ask for in a talent, someone that piques the fans’ interest.

Promo:
The promos from Brodus Clay have been limited but do show the potential for the character. He cut a WWE.com promo shortly after debuting making sure that just because he is a dancing disco dandy, he shouldn’t be taken lightly. It set a tone for the big man, and despite his racially-laced/motivated bridge club promo at Wrestlemania 28 that Vince McMahon approved, this character definitely has potential to move up the card and be a midcard title contender for either the Intercontinental or United States Title. Is there a world title in his future? Possibly, the motto anything can happen in WWE is still prevalent to this day but Clay definitely has the potential to be a tremendous promo if he is given adequate time on the microphone.

In-Ring:
Though Clay has been mostly in squash matches outside of this past week on RAW, his presence in the ring speaks for itself. He is not slow and prodding much like Lord Tensai, but it appears as if Clay is genuinely having fun in the squared circle. He oozes charisma in the ring, even in his squash matches that show some of his more signature moves. It’s great to see a character that remembers remains in character in the squared circle and if given the opportunity, Clay could be a great “big-man” in WWE for the foreseeable future. While his moveset is limited much like Lord Tensai, he capitalizes on those moments and makes the most out of them with his time in the ring, making the average fan anticipate his next move. He still has a long way to go, but the future for Clay is MUCH brighter than that of Lord Tensai.

Overall Grade: C+

Ryback:

Ryback, AKA Skip Sheffield, AKA “Silverback” Ryan Reeves made his return Wrestlemania week on Smackdown and absolutely demolished his opponents the past two weeks. This is a man who probably benefited the most from NXT/Nexus and would have had the potential to be a tremendous enforcer for the group had he not seen an unfortunate injury that put him on the shelf for more than a year. Having seen where the Nexus angle went (absolutely nowhere), perhaps his injury was a blessing in disguise as he wasn’t subjected to the fall and disbanding of the group. While some former members had been fairing well for themselves (Wade Barrett, David Otunga), others aren’t so fortunate (everyone else). Before anyone asks, Daniel Bryan was never truly a member of Nexus. For those that haven’t seen him in his new incarnation please visit WWE.com and check out his matches on his superstars page. This man has the potential to be the future for WWE.

Entrance:
While simplistic currently, Ryback emerges with sheer intensity, veins popping out of his neck and a look in his eyes that tells his opponet, “Hi, I’m going to destroy you!”. He comes out with the presence and awareness to engage the crowd, along with that, he acts as if he truly has a purpose out there. Sure, for new talent the immediate rule is to put them in squash matches to help them get over, but Ryback has the intensity last seen with the likes of Rhyno, or perhaps even Goldberg. In fact, dare I say we could possibly have the next Goldberg on our hands with Ryback? The intensity level is up and he begs your attention when he hits the ring, though one complaint that needs to be addressed.

The choice of artwork on his singlet is horrendous. It looks like a Rob Van Dam rejection. It’s as if someone in the back found it lying on the floor or in a trunk of rejected attire and that was the only thing that would fit Ryback. He would appear even more dominating with the old cliché, “less is more”. Having absolutely nothing on his singlet would amp up the serious factor and truly show how Ryback has nothing else in mind but tearing his opponent’s head off. It’s distracting to say the least, and it looks as if he’s doing a friend a favor by showing off some of his artwork. It’s as if he’s fulfilling promise he made to a friend when he was eight years old and promised his best friend he could design is wrestling gear. Ryback definitely needs to get rid of the garbage on his singlet, pronto.

Promo:
We saw some potential for promos from the corn-fed meathead with his intense style during his Nexus tenure. While he hasn’t cut a promo as Ryback, he definitely is able to showcase his charisma in the ring. If given the chance to cut a promo, he could showcase his ability to display his intensity even further. There is hope for his future and what he has shown in the ring truly speaks volumes about his ability to cut a promo. Here’s a fan that’s looking forward to the day Ryback is given a microphone.

In-Ring:
This is the kind of intensity WWE needs out of its performers. A man possessed. He explodes onto the scene and demands fans’ attention because of his intense nature in the ring. His catchphrase of, “Feed me More!” dictates his rabid-animal nature, begging for more of a challenge from his competitors. He has the ability to get over, it’s simply a matter of whether WWE wants to develop the monster push after being left high and dry by their previous monsters, Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley. With his demeanor, Ryback has the potential to be the next Goldberg.

Let’s look at the similarities:
*Two-syllable name, easy to chant.

*Intense set-up move (Goldberg had the spear, Ryback has the best clothesline in the business)

*Similar finisher where he lifts the opponent off and puts them on display before destroying them.

Ryback can be Goldberg-esque if WWE allows him to be. In comparison to Tensai and Clay, Ryback has the most upside and potential than the others. Ryback is the ideal big man that WWE needs in its talent pool. WWE needs to utilize Ryback to his full potential and he can be a true superstar in the making. This man is ready for the monster push, and it’s time WWE put their FULL support behind someone rather than pulling the rug from underneath them and forcing the superstar to pay their dues.

Overall Grade: B+

The future is here, and his name is Ryback. Get ready, because the next big thing is already here.

-Adam Payne

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Textbook Submission: Welcome Back Brock

Welcome Back Brock, v 2.0

Let’s make one thing clear. I was wrong. I was wrong about Lesnar’s return. I was wrong about the potential for such a return and I am a hypocrite for not wanting to see a Lesnar return and now see myself giddy like a school girl for his next move in the squared circle. You might be asking yourself, “What is he talking about?”.

Well, fear not fellow readers. In January of 2005, I wrote an article stating I did not want to see Lesnar and his self-servicing ego back in a WWE ring. I was sick of the politics, and a man that couldn’t cut the travel and the hectic schedule of WWE should not be provided with any special treatment whatsoever entitled, Welcome Back Brock?

This was shortly after his dismissal from the Minnesota Vikings practice squad as rumors began circling Lesnar was looking for a return to pro-wrestling. Nobody in their right mind thought Lesnar would return, at least not so soon after his departure. This was a man that walked away from WWE at the peak of his career, having tremendous matches with the likes of Angle, Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero. But it’s not all smiles for Lesnar’s return. I was wrong in my assessment over seven years ago, but more importantly, WWE has failed tremendously, but that will be addressed later.

Let’s talk Brock. Lesnar delivered the “F5 heard ‘round the world” this past week on RAW. The crowd popped like never before. This crowd was much more excited than The Rock’s return last year. This was a rabid crowd that wanted to see Lesnar return and watch him walk down the ramp, circle the ring as if Cena were his prey and deliver a message. He’s baaaaaaaack! He delivered the message that thousands of adult wrestling fans have been wanting to see for quite some time, a message that fans have been sick and tired of the Cena shtick and have wanted to see an edge in him as opposed to his “wholesome family” routine. Lesnar has been brought in to appeal to that group of fans so that Cena can maintain his good image.

Let’s get one thing straight, Cena is not and never will turn heel. He can’t afford to at this point and would accomplish absolutely nothing. The re-emergence of Lesnar is the answer that fans have been looking for out of Cena but have been disappointed numerous times by WWE’s lack of ability to pull the trigger. This past week, Lesnar’s F5 to Cena accomplished more for fans than a year’s worth of work between Cena and The Rock. The F5 and Lesnar’s debut sends a message to the WWE and its fans that things are about to be shaken up. With a simple maneuever and a kick of a hat outside the ring, Lesnar stood tall over a deflated Cena and is about to usher in a new era in WWE…for the next year or so.

Yes, Lesnar’s schedule has been reduced to reportedly a number between 30-40 dates this year. For all intents and purposes, let’s make it an even number like 36. That means Lesnar will appear on 2 RAWs a month plus a PPV. It will make the interest of seeing Lesnar important because he isn’t going to be on TV every single week thus he won’t be overexposed, but really this is gut-check time for WWE. They have to make the most of Lesnar in a year’s time in order to help other talent on the roster. With him only being around for a year it’s obvious WWE will attempt to capitalize on Lesnar’s return, including him winning the WWE Title. It’s not a matter of if, but when. The question is, when will Lesnar win the title and against who? Who would he have the biggest impact against? As much as I have enjoyed CM Punk on top, I have a feeling he will drop the belt to John Cena who will then be the transition champ for Lesnar at Summerslam. When would we have thought of Cena as being a transition champ?

Lesnar is around for a full year, unlike The Rock with scattered appearances. This means Lesnar has the potential for some top name feuds, let’s discuss them shall we?

3. John Cena
Yes, John Cena is only number three for one simple reason. It’s the same feud as The Rock! Cena will cut the same promo on Lesnar that he did Rock. “You left, you’re heart is not in it…”. And we as fans have already seen that, why would we want to see it again? The promos leading up to the match won’t be anything spectacular, but the spectacle alone will be tremendous to see these polar opposites clash in the ring, despite being a feud that was on Smackdown in 2003.

2. Randy Orton
A feud with Orton could be interesting. Both men debuted around the same time. Lesnar was the youngest WWE champion in history until Randy Orton won the title from Chris Benoit at Summerslam 2004, just two years after Lesnar had won the belt. Lesnar is the epitome of a true wrestling fan’s dream. A superstar that is larger than life and will demonstrate such skill in the ring. Over the course of last year (especially his work with Christian), Randy Orton’s psychology and in-ring work has improved tremendously and with the right opponent, could be a better draw than Cena if given the right feud.

1. CM Punk
The voice of the voiceless could cut a great promo on Brock Lesnar and also bring it technically. He’s a guy that could bring the best out of Lesnar and really be made if Punk were to go over and defeat The Next Big Thing. I would love to see these two in the squared circle. Punk would sell better than anybody else and there would be nothing more satisfying than to see Lesnar in the Anaconda Vice. Likewise, seeing Punk take an F5 would be tremendous as well.

Should Lesnar’s return be used for a laundry list of dream matches or should his presence in WWE be used to put over younger talent? Would it even matter? Are the short-term gains with a Lesnar return worth the limited potential long-term growth with a lack of new talent being developed as Lesnar will require the spotlight this year? Again, I was wrong to fault Brock for leaving when he did, but never would I have thought WWE’s roster would be as decrepit as it is today.

The Rock came back, and WWE welcomed him with open arms to feud with John Cena because they had nobody else worth putting over Cena at that point. Sure, CM Punk was made this past summer at Money In The Bank and his infamous shoot promo, but let’s be honest, how many talents has Cena put over that he can be responsible for in his career? For as long as Cena has been on top he has been responsible for absolutely zero talent being put over, but it’s the fault of his character hence the reaction this past Monday.

Fans are sick and tired of the status quo in WWE and want to see Cena either ditch the current character or be removed from WWE altogether, but Lesnar certainly isn’t the long-term answer. This comes back to their lack of developmental talent they have procured since moving to Florida. What does it say about WWE if they have to keep going back to the vault in order to create interest in the product rather than create new talent?

Who is going to return next year? Goldberg? Hogan? Sting? Let’s face facts, WWE can keep bringing in older veterans or established wrestlers but until they are willing to admit the shortcomings of their developmental, then nothing will ever be corrected and their misguided talent will be nothing short of the likes of Michael McGillicutty, Alex Riley, Ted Dibiase Jr., the list goes on. Names that people don’t nor should they care about based on WWE’s lack of ability to put new talent over.

Which leads us to the speculation that Lesnar’s contract will culminate with a match at Wrestlemania 29 with The Rock. Why? Why utilize two of the most important talents to WWE in the last decade and put them in a match together? To draw a buyrate which won’t matter next year because both talents will have departed and your future investment is blown because of a match that people have already seen once. Lesnar and The Rock need to do the right thing and put younger talent over for the sake of the business, it’s the right thing to do. Do not waste the potential of possibly making two new superstars on the grandest stage of them all because there is one match that could market well, but will result in further stagnation of the product.

WWE can only avoid their failures for so long, and eventually it will catch up to them. When the dust settles on Wrestlemania 29, WWE will have to wonder if they did the right thing and more often that not, they haven’t. As much as I love the return of Brock Lesnar, I have zero doubt that WWE will find a way to remain complacent in the process and not have the foresight to create new talent for the future with the likes of Rock and Brock under contract AT THE SAME TIME! For the good of the company the future needs to be included in booking discussions. The veterans or established superstars can only carry a company for so long. WWE needs to do the right thing and look towards the future rather than reaching from the past to solve their problems.

-Adam Payne

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Textbook Submission: Pull The Trigger

Pull The Trigger

The once in a lifetime event takes place tonight, April 1st, 2012 in Miami. It’s said you can only make a first impression once, and that’s no exception with the main event at Wrestlemania XXVIII pitting The People’s Champ The Rock vs. John Cena. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or not had access to TV/Internet over the last year then you know that tonight is the culmination of one year’s work between the two. Was Rock there every week? No, and he didn’t need to be there every week to build a match against John Cena. Despite the outcome tonight, this is not the end for WWE and Rock/Cena, this is only the beginning, and the outcome of this match could shape the foundation of WWE for years to come.

Never has such a high-profile match taken place on the “grandest stage of ‘em all” arguably since Rock/Hogan at Wrestlemania X8. There are numerous TV outlets covering this match and many more casual fans are discussing this match via Facebook and Twitter (uh-oh WWE’s probably trending again….WORLDWIDE!). This match will dictate what WWE wants out of its performers and whether WWE will once and for all pull the trigger we as fans have been clamoring for in turning Cena heel. There are plenty of instances in which WWE could have possibly pulled the trigger, but there are none more significant in recent memory than the events that took place over the last two years.

WWE Championship Match: Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton @ Survivor Series 2010 w/ John Cena as special guest referee: If Orton wins Cena is fired

Nexus was the hottest wrestling angle in WWE in a long time. None had grabbed the attention of the fans like that since the days of the nWo. There were questions that needed to be answered and intrigue was raised as to who was pulling the strings behind this group. Nexus’ proverbial leader made the match for Survivor Series 2010 and the potential was there. The storyline would have gone two different ways; either John Cena would let Wade Barrett win the title to keep his job, or he would be fired and be removed off TV for awhile in order to give his character a reboot or restart. The WWE had to move in one direction or the other based on the stipulations. Theoretically, WWE should have removed John Cena from TV after the match and perhaps returned him once someone such as Vince McMahon or HHH said they needed him back to once and for all destroy Nexus. That’s the problem with firing angles because they never work out.

Of course someone is never truly fired from WWE, unless it conveniently works out that their contract is expiring and they don’t want to renew with WWE so they turn it into that angle, but really WWE’s limitations here could only be blamed on their short-sightedness and failure to capitalize on the future of WWE with Nexus. There were a few bright stars in Nexus including Barrett, Skip Sheffield, and Justin Gabriel. This group had the potential to take out superstars and run roughshod on WWE. Nexus should have taken all the titles and made them their own. Fantasy booking aside, there was so much upside to this group that it’s amazing WWE floundered what should have been a red-hot angle. Some would argue that after the Summerslam 7 on 7 elimination match that Nexus lost that they cooled off considerably, which was true. But this match at Survivor Series was to redefine Nexus and give them their world champion Wade Barrett. WWE never fully got behind the Nexus which is why they never had the direction they needed and ultimately looked pathetic post Survivor Series.

John Cena never left TV after being fired. I didn’t expect Cena to be gone a considerable amount of time, maybe a month or two before returning at Royal Rumble or Elimination Chamber, but Wade Barrett needed that belt more than anybody else in the company at that time. WWE failed to pull the trigger and either turn Cena heel regrettably or at least giving his character the conflict it has so desperately needed for quite some time. Super Cena has never been truly challenged and that’s part of the problem with his character, aside from One Night Stand in 2006, up to this point Cena’s character had not seen adversity, and really what form of adversity does a crowd show outside of some chants that come across as ridiculous on TV? (ECW Arena/Hammerstein Ballroom). Strike One WWE.

Summer of Punk: CM Punk vs. John Cena @ Money In The Bank 2011: CM Punk threatens to walk out of WWE the champion and never return.

First and foremost, nobody thought that CM Punk was truly going to walk out of Money In The Bank with the title and NEVER come back. Vince McMahon would never allow that to happen. That being said, the crowd in Chicago made that match that night, being in CM Punk’s hometown helped aid that match and create the atmosphere we as fans enjoy watching (and not in an ECW kind of way). Back to Punk, it wasn’t a question if he was leaving, but rather when he would come back and how much would WWE’s landscape have changed, after all he is the voice of the voiceless.

Not two weeks after Punk walked out did he return from his short-lived hiatus with all new music and the WWE championship on his shoulder. Really? That’s all it took? Two weeks? Why couldn’t have Punk taken an extended stay away from WWE? Did WWE really need to hit the hot-iron immediately after the show? Would Punk’s heat have fizzled tremendously if he was gone for an extended period of time? If anything Punk should have stayed away longer to make his return that much more momentous. Instead, WWE gives us fans the employee vs. corporate boss that we’ve come to love obviously, why else would they want to pit a wrestler against an authority figure? It worked with Stone Cold and Vince McMahon because they were both great characters. As much as I love CM Punk he can’t lift a finger to Stone Cold on the microphone. And who is inserted as the authority figure? Why HHH of course. He had to be the guy that was inserted into this angle, why? Because he’s The Game that’s why and anything he can get his hands on he will. This was a pathetic attempt at grabbing attention from Punk more than anything else and it killed his momentum.

The inclusion of Kevin Nash into this angle was quite possibly the worst decision in WWE’s recent memory. Why? Kevin Nash ended up costing Punk the belt at Summerslam only for Del Rio to cash in (and that ended tremendously) and all was lost for Punk from that point on. Punk feuded with Nash, no he didn’t because Nash wasn’t cleared to wrestle for their potential match which then forced WWE to insert HHH into that spot. HHH/Punk is not a match that anybody wants to see. Punk’s goal was to change the landscape of WWE and yet he can’t seem to get away from WWE’s own mired past with HHH in charge. The WHOLE POINT of Punk’s “shoot” that ignited this angle in mid June was to challenge the status quo. He was sick and tired of seeing the same people on TV and he wanted change. Instead we have him wrestling someone that’s over 40 and is having a hard time going in the ring, who is not even an ACTIVE wrestler. WWE needed to pull the trigger and truly change the landscape of WWE and they failed to do that. Sure, Punk became champion at Survivor Series this past year and has held onto the belt going into Wrestlemania, but its far too little too late, and Punk is so removed from that angle last year people forget just how tremendous it was for WWE, yet the status quo remains and little else has changed. Strike Two WWE.

Which leads us to tonight’s match against Cena and The Rock. This is not the beginning for the company. This match will re-define WWE for the next few years whether they decide to pull the trigger or not. There are three legitimate outcomes to this match that could take place and each has their unique story to tell.

Scenario 1: Cena pins Rock.
If Cena goes over, does he do it cleanly? Is Cena winning clean the safest finish for this match? Absolutely. Should it be the way this match culminates after a year of build? No. WWE has invested far too much time into this match to take the easy way out which they have done over the last few years to play it safe on their biggest stage. This is where the most people are watching, and need to develop and retain new fans or older fans that are tuning in that haven’t watched in a long time. There is going to be a massive audience for this PPV and WWE needs to capitalize on it. Cena’s character needs to explore adversity and if Cena is able to win the match “by any means necessary” meaning via shenanigans or cheating then so be it. It shows his character is in conflict and his vision of hustle, loyalty, and respect is altered or negated out of necessity. That’s ok to have conflict, character should have that otherwise they are flat and non-engaging. Humans have an array of emotions, and aside from his smirk, John Cena has a very limited range. If Cena were to win by cheating it would create the most intrigue out of all, but to have him win clean is not the answer.

Scenario 2: Rock Pins Cena.
Although nobody in there right mind thought last year was an option, (and perhaps some don’t believe it to be possible at all), Rock winning does provide some intrigue towards the Cena character as well. Cena is indestructible at this point, he can do no wrong and even a loss to Rock at Wrestlemania will not destroy Cena as some may suggest. What does not kill only makes you stronger and Cena could end up still looking tremendous after a loss to Rock, but not if the character remains the same as was the case last year after Wrestlemania 27. What transpired the night after last year made the match at Wrestlemania worthless and mean absolutely nothing. John Cena essentially did not care that he lost the belt to Miz because he knew he would get another shot. He knew that in due time he would be back in the spotlight as WWE champion. The Rock obviously does not need the victory obviously, especially since he will probably be gone after Raw this week but a Rock victory allows WWE to explore new directions with the Cena character rather than saying on the straight and narrow path. Cena needs true conflict.

Scenario 3: Rock or Cena wins via outside interference
This match, this once in a lifetime match could possibly end with outside interference tonight, and I wouldn’t put it past WWE. It goes without saying, that for outside interference to work it definitely matters who is interfering. But, needless to say, this can’t and won’t happen for this match. If outside interference does occur then WWE is admitting this build for an entire year towards this match has been to further an angle that would have been in the wings waiting for more than a year now as well. Rock and Cena have put in all the hard work for this match and they are not going to want to share the spotlight with anybody else. The is truly a new beginning for John Cena. Let’s face it, The Rock will be gone again, but it’s about the Cena character but does turning him heel really solve anything?

Those fans that boo him for who he is, will they boo him if and when he turns heel? Or will they cheer him as the bad guy, thus negating his “heel role”. It’s not about being a heel at this point. If John Cena was to turn heel they would have pulled the trigger a long time ago. Bottom line, John Cena’s character needs to evolve past the Superhero triumph over everything. Even heroes like Batman, Superman and Spider-Man were still heroes, but their inner conflicts are what made them recognizable characters for their genre. I’m not looking for a love story or tremendous writing from WWE, but Cena needs to be exposed to vulnerability, something his character has never truly explored. Hell, when Cena lost the title at Money in The Bank the tides were seemingly about to change and not two weeks later Cena was champ again!

Tonight is a unique opportunity for WWE, they need to pull the trigger and make the most out of tonight’s match for the future of their company and capitalize on what Cena’s character can be. There are many more fans watching tonight than WWE could possibly imagine, one of their largest PPV crowds in years with the addition of The Rock. If WWE fails to make the most out of tonight’s match and set course for the future of the company, then it’s strike three and many fans will be gone.

-Adam Payne
E-Mail: arjohnson101@gmail.com

Join us tonight in our chatroom in our forums to talk Wrestlemania as it goes down, and listen in tonight LIVE to our Wrestlemania Recap @ Oratory Podcast!

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Textbook Submission: Developmentally Challenged Mar25

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Textbook Submission: Developmentally Challenged

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Developmentally Challenged

I’d rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.
-John Wooden

Talent comes and goes in WWE. A pro-wrestler typically has a short shelf life. What we have seen with the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton maintaining their main event status is highly unusually in the likes of the world of pro wrestling. Historically a main event run will last with four to five “prime” years before their career either pans or they decide their body can’t take the punishment anymore. It comes as no surprise that over the last year WWE has been attempting to force-feed talent of their own down the collective throats of the fans to no avail. The talent being limited, WWE makes the best effort to put new people on either RAW or Smackdown in the hopes that they will catch fire and create another main event star. This has not been the case since WWE moved their territorial program from OVW, down to Florida to FCW. Since WWE has made the move to OVW not a single “superstar” or main event property has emerged. Why is that? To answer that question, a look back at WWF/E’s history under Vincent K. McMahon speaks for itself.

WWF’s tactics shortly after Vince McMahon took over were simple; poach talent from existing organizations so they did not have to create their own stars. Why waste time creating a star when money was to be made with existing stars from around the country? Shortly after the creation of Titan Sports; Vince McMahon created a global conglomerate that would allow the distribution of their television and VHS collection outside of their given territory. This move, subsequently, forced other territories out of business as all territories around the country were in direct competition with WWF. Back when Vince McMahon took over there really wasn’t a presence of a developmental territory, the other companies or territories existed for McMahon to take their talent away. The need for a developmental territory only existed when WCW had run itself into the ground and was on the verge of extinction in 2000.

Ohio Valley Wrestling was affiliated with WWE, as they worked in conjunction with WWE providing their own trainers and bookers to help promote talent to the WWE main roster. OVW can be attributed with the success of the likes of John Cena (although he initially competed in UPW), Batista and Randy Orton. There are plenty of other midcard talents that emerged from OVW as well such as Simon Dean, Eugene (aka Nick Dinsmore), Rob Conway, The Basham Brothers. OVW also attributed to the success of Brock Lesnar and Shelton Benjamin, though they were already sound technical wrestlers from their days of collegiate wrestling at the University of Minnesota. The amount of talent that came through in a short period of time to WWE is astounding in comparison to FCW. But let’s rewind for a second shall we?

WWE was at their prime during the attitude era when they were forced to create their own stars. It was WCW who had turned to the poaching with the likes of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart and others alike. Most would argue, however, that those talents had already reached their peak and were of no use to WWE at that time. However, WWE was the victim of their own tactics as WCW had the lined pockets of Ted Turner to pay whatever amount they wished to steal talent away. What was WWE to do? They had no other choice but to turn to the talent they had on the roster.

The Attitude Era allowed for the emergence of Stone Cold, The Rock and Mankind as the top perennial acts in WWE. It must be said that Austin’s character truly emerged in ECW with his infamous shoot promo on ECW and Eric Bischoff. He truly didn’t find success until he became the main event star that millions came to love with his beer swilling and middle finger waiving antics. Mankind, aka Cactus Jack wasn’t necessarily developed in WWE either, just that particular character. Even Rocky Maivia had his moments as Flex Kavana in USWA. The point being, there were guys like Cactus and Austin that were mistreated in WCW and therefore felt like they had something to prove in WWE. The Rock is a unique specimen as there hasn’t been a pro wrestler to come along and he is most often compared with the likes of Ric Flair as the “complete package” of pro wrestler. Did WWE have to develop any of their “in-ring” ability? Absolutely not. It was about finding the right character for them that was able to connect with audiences.

Which leads us back to the present; who from FCW has emerged as that superstar? Furthermore, who currently on WWE’s roster is from FCW with no other experience from any previous organization? Sheamus? Wrong. Wade Barrett? Guess again. Dolph Ziggler? Nope. Cody Rhodes? Believe it or not, Rhodes attributes his training to OVW. Then who? Who currently on the roster was fully developed in FCW? Belive it or not, there are two active wrestlers who had the bulk or majority of their training in FCW. Alex Riley, Brodus Clay, Michael McGillicutty Mason Ryan and David Otunga. No, the NXT guys do not count despite being direct call-ups from FCW because they aren’t a part of either RAW or Smackdown on a regular basis.

Looking at those wrestlers, do any of them strike you as a future superstar? Maybe Brodus Clay? The only reason Brodus Clay is as popular as he is, is because he is so different from the norm. He is not cast from the typical WWE mold we as fans have grown accustomed to. The first name last name terminator body with zero personality just like a machine. He comes across as someone that oozes charisma and has been given the chance to get over and succeeded fairly well. Will his gimmick survive the test of time? Probably not, but the emergence of something different is what fans have been begging for. The Cena/Randy Orton shows can only go on for so long, which is why Clay got over so quickly and why another superstar had to work hard to get themselves other despite WWE’s apathetic attitude towards him.

Zack Ryder got himself over with his weekly YouTube show. He made a name for himself based on his character and not working a single moment in a WWE ring while doing so (at least not on RAW or Smackdown). It wasn’t until fans began clamoring for Ryder to show up that WWE was forced to acknowledge this and place him on their shows. He is now selling tremendous amounts of merchandise and is the ultimate underdog that fans can rally behind. He is another character that fans enjoy seeing on their TVs because he goes against the norm. He is essentially the antithesis of what WWE had been promoting previously. Charisma goes along with the “It” factor. Either some people have it or they just don’t. Neither Clay nor Ryder are prolific wrestlers in the ring, let’s not kid ourselves as fans. They have characters that fans can and will care about that make fans want to watch what happens to them. Let’s not forget that WWE much like other entertainment shows is character drivien. What exactly is WWE trying to develop down in Florida? At this point WWE isn’t even sure.

Last Monday there was a report stating FCW was shutting down and relocating to WWE Headquarters in Stamford, CT. From Figure 4 Weekly:

Officials from WWE told Bright House Sports network today, which airs the FCW shows in Florida, that they are closing down the promotion and will not be doing anymore television after the final three shows taped last week air.

WWE officials told Bright House Sports that they are folding the promotion, closing the gym, and moving everyone to Stamford, CT for the time being until they figure out what they are going to do with developmental.

Those in WWE also heard news today and were given the impression the company was going to do developmental out of Conneticut and possibly open a second developmental territory.

If there is one thing WWE is never great at, is admitting defeat. They are never in the wrong and it is always the IWC that is spinning truths and creating false reports. This report is no exception as VP of Talent, Paul, “HHH” Levesque responded to the report directly on WWE.com. From the website,

“It is absolutely not true. FCW is not closing,” Triple H said. “I don’t know how the rumor started but I believe it’s a situation where the ‘dirt sheets’ want to believe they have the scoop on everything. If anything, we are in the process of ramping up our entire developmental system. It’s the lifeblood of our company. It’s what feeds our future and in no way are we going to close it down.”

Levesque also addressed plans to relocate training or FCW TV tapings out of its home of Tampa, Fla.

“There are plans in the works, but nothing definitive I can discuss right now,” he said. “Shortly after WrestleMania, there will be a major announcement about our developmental system.”

He continued, “WWE’s developmental system is being revamped, not shut down. If anything, it’s going to get bigger and better than ever. WWE Developmental cultivates the future talent of WWE. By no means is it going to get smaller or shut down.”

This is the epitome of hypocrisy. They aren’t shutting down FCW but there are plans to relocate developmental. The original report NEVER stated that developmental was shutting down completely. It simply stated that the talent would be moved to Stamford until there was a resolution to the problem. So developmental will be revamped? What does that mean? They are clearly acknowledging the shortcomings of FCW but does moving the promotion simply solve their problems? Just because they are in a new location so that HHH can keep a close watch does not instantly make the talent better. The fact is WWE is embarrassed that this report came out before they were able to announce it and are now trying to do damage control.

WWE is upset because the report makes it clear they are so desperate to remove themselves from Florida that they would rather move the talent to Stamford immediately without any concrete plans than develop an alternate solution to the problem. How is a company planning to develop talent without a plan in place? Sounds like a lot more hypocrisy. Talk about leaping before you look, or counting your eggs before they hatch, the list goes on really but is anyone surprised by WWE? For a process to work all the plans MUST be in place before anything is accomplished and for talent to be moved and not developed is a waste of time and contracts on WWE parts. The only resolution that can come out of this is cutting ties with a significant amount of talent under contract.

A lot of talent will be released after Wrestlemania, both on the main roster and at the developmental level. Call it an overhaul or a mass upheaval if you want but the fact is something has to be done and a complete change might possibly be what WWE needs if they are truly starting from the ground up. But this begs the question, what has WWE been developing all this time?

WWE is storyline driven. Let’s face facts. Regardless of the technical prowess that some may possess (CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Jericho), we as fans crave storylines to make us want more and care about the wrestlers in the ring. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan can put on quality matches week in and week out, and for some that’s ok. For the majority of fans though stories are what drive and compel us to watch. This is something that no matter what talent WWE develops it will always be stymied by its poor creative writing and lack of original ideas. In the world of WWE you have to be a charcter first then the development comes in. I understand that WWE may need to teach wrestlers to face the camera during matches or how to put on a match properly for TV, that’s obviously important in developing its talent for TV, but as far as training talent from the ground up? None of their successful talent that has come in had their training exclusively with WWE. If anything, their developmental should be created for both the writers and talent collectively to create new stars from a character standpoint and not from a technical aspect.

Is every character going to be a success? Of course not but WWE needs to keep trying in order to show that they are willing to make mistakes and fail if need be. The egotistical and maniacal approach of WWE lead to the “response” of WWE towards the “false report” as they so put it. WWE has to be in control of every aspect of their characters or personalities. It wasn’t enough initially that Zack Ryder got himself over with the use of YouTube. It wasn’t enough that Brodus Clay was an instant success that the fans got excited about when he debuted. There always seems to be some sort of exception to those talented individuals so that WWE can claim it was they who created that talent and nobody else. Let’s give credit where it’s due instead of trying to stake claim to the creation of everything that encompasses WWE. Technically these performers are independent contractors so they should be able to get themselves over under their own means if need be, but I suppose that’s for another column.

Bottom line, if WWE wants to “revamp development”, then they need to have a better understanding of what it is they are developing and not be ashamed to embrace talent that may emerge from outside sources (as little as there may exist). Besides, if there aren’t characters to care about, what does WWE really have to offer?

-Adam Payne
Email: arjohnson101@gmail.com

Agree/Disagree? How do you feel about FCW? Join our Forums and let your voice be heard, or tune in LIVE to OForums Podcast, Tuesdays @ 8:30 EDT, only at

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Also join us this week for a very special Wrestlemania Preview Podcast. We will also be live following Wrestlemania. Tune in and discuss everything WWE!

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Textbook Submission: Hack Job Nov06

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Textbook Submission: Hack Job


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Hack Job

When you think of a business, promoting a product that people or fans can support is important in establishing and creating growth in a company. It’s important to put on display the future of a franchise and put forth goals and expectations heading forward. That is what should happen with a show like Tough Enough; a TV show USA had been begging for from WWE for years to showcase in a similar fashion to that of The Ultimate Figher on Spike. After years of requests, WWE finally caved in and gave USA what they wanted. The show looked promising with trainers Booker T., Trish Stratus, Bill DeMott and host Stone Cold Steve Austin. The premise looked as if it would be a return to a show that initially emerged nearly 10 years ago with the reality show boom. Unfortunately it wasn’t what they had originally hoped for. This show had problems with ridiculous contests, unworthy contestants and a finale that only a sadomasochist could truly enjoy.

It came down to a live finale between Andy Leavine, an oversized quiet-type with the nickname “Silent Rage” that was looking for an opportunity to better his family’s life with a WWE contract. Luke Robinson, the “I’m not here to make friends” guy was the dastardly heel that didn’t care what he had to do to make it in WWE and he showcased his talents thoroughly during the show. He was the heel persona magnified. WWE went with fan favorite Andy Leavine declaring him the winner of the competition on June 6th, 2011, the same day that his career ended as well.

After being declared the winner by a Stone Cold with a doubtful look on his face, Luke takes his exit gracefully and then Austin and Vince McMahon decide to “welcome” Andy Leavine into the company with a hard slap that Andy sells as if he had just been knocked out by the Big Show. He gets back to his feet only to eat a Stone Cold Stunner from Austin. Now, as a business model, taking into account the two-plus months you have spent building up the “future” of your company, investing time, money and energy in the likes of their trainers, the head of the company chooses to completely deflate their future by showcasing just how pathetic he is. Does that sound like a good business model to you? But this wasn’t the first time Leavine wasn’t under contract with WWE.

In early 2010, Leavine was signed to a developmental deal by WWE and wrestled out of Florida Championship Wrestling. He wrestled under the name Kevin Hackman. He was released from his contract so that he could be a contestant on Tough Enough. I’m sure some are asking, “Why?” Why would they release a guy if they felt so poorly of him only for him to not only compete on Tough Enough, but actually win the competition?

Simply put, he was their ringer. He was their sure thing and I’m sure everyone was made aware of it before production began. During the show there is no mention made of his previous stint with WWE developmental, perhaps it was edited out or he was told not to mention it (more than likely the latter) because of the controversy it would create that the show itself was a sham. Leavine was their guy if they couldn’t find someone else that would take over the company. They knew what to expect with Leavine, which is why they went with him. It’s been five months since we last saw Leavine in a WWE ring, what has he been up to since then? Not a whole lot to be honest.

On August 15th, while still down at FCW, Leavine was suspended for violating WWE’s Wellness Policy. This is the company man. The guy that WWE supported from the very beginning in their talent competition and felt could be the future of their organization. He isn’t even a regular on-screen character and he is being suspended for a violation that could be a number of substances. What does it mean to be that guy, like it or not, that has been awarded this contract only to flounder with a violation which does not allow you to not only appear on WWE TV, but not continue your training in Florida? Ideally the Tough Enough winner should be someone that can immediately make an impact on WWE TV. He should need minimal training in order to capitalize on his or her exposure throughout the competition. Yet we have not seen Andy Leavine on TV nor will we see him on TV at all.

Andy Leavine has been removed from FCW’s talent page only to be replaced by someone that looks familiar. WWE has dropped Andy Leavine and replaced him with his original ring name, Kevin Hackman. Thus, subsequently, WWE had rid itself of the Tough Enough franchise by not even acknowledging the wrestler that “emerged” from the show that created “Silent Rage”. That moniker has been dropped as well and thus the death of Tough Enough is complete. Not only is Leavine on FCW’s page as Hackman, but in his photos for the talent page, he’s posing with the Tough Enough title he won while a part of the competition. Why would this be necessary? Aren’t they trying to dissolve the Tough Enough brand? Not to mention the confusion that will arise if Leavine is ever called up to the main roster.

Is he Andy Leavine or Kevin Hackman? Why else would WWE want to change his ring name unless they believed Tough Enough was a failure? But that falls on the company itself. This is the future, the idea that this is where your company is headed and you can’t follow through properly promoting a product that exposes fans to up and coming superstars. The question remains though, is this worse than what is taking place with NXT? The answer is yes.

Although the latest season of NXT has been ongoing for 35 weeks, it has to be said that any exposure for talent is better than none. The fact that Andy Leavine hasn’t been seen on TV since his victory of Tough Enough as an active member of the roster speaks for itself. NXT, as depressing as it appears to be, still allows talent more exposure than what Leavine has currently received. Simply put, Leavine’s victory on Tough Enough means very little at this point and if or when he makes it to the main roster, because nobody has a vested interest in his character, and WWE has nobody but their own incompetence to blame for that.

-Adam Payne
Email: arjohnson101@gmail.com

Agree/Disagree? How do you feel about Tough Enough and Andy Leavine? Join our Forums and let your voice be heard, or tune in LIVE to OForums Podcast, Tuesdays @ 8:30 EST, only at

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Textbook Submission: What’s Old Is New Oct27

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Textbook Submission: What’s Old Is New

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What’s Old Is New

What does it mean to be stagnant? Ask the IWC and many people will look at the current WWE product over the last few years. The same wrestlers have been on top of the card (namely Orton and Cena) and nothing has changed for the most part (albeit the emergence of CM Punk post Money In The Bank). WWE is finally acknowledging this, and making a desperate attempt to create new stars for the future. The problem for most fans is that with the death of the gimmick over the last half-decade, there are no real great plot devices for WWE to utilize to create great stories for wrestlers to perform in the ring. WWE needs to make us fans care, whether that be to cheer for someone, or to see a wrestler get their comeuppance; fans need a reason to tune in. That reason might be just around the corner if not here already. That man, is Cody Rhodes.

As a part of Legacy, Rhodes was seen as a character that floundered from riding the coattails of Orton into sheer mediocrity. Sure, he was the son of a son of a plumber, but what did that really mean for Rhodes? How was he going to shape his own identity? With a gimmick over a year in the making, Cody Rhodes is the definition of what WWE should strive for as a company on a consistent basis; a character that people can care about.

The evolution of Rhodes began after his departure from Legacy Rhodes needed to find an identity, and he did with the emergence of “Dashing” Cody Rhodes. A pretty boy that knew he looked better than everyone else and took great care to preserve and protect his highly touted image. It was a great heel persona, but it was taken to a whole new level with the “injury” to his face caused by a 619 from Rey Mysterio. Now he sees himself as a disfigured, grotesque individual that wants to take his anger out on the rest of the company and will not let anyone else stop him.

Once Rhodes claimed victory at Wrestlemania this past year, it was evident WWE was backing this gimmick and was ready to push Rhodes further. Shortly after his Wrestlemania victory, Rhodes took the Intercontinental Title off Ezekiel Jackson and he is now on the cusp of true greatness in WWE. He is the epitome of what a character should be. In the world of WWE today where wrestlers have generic first and last names, it’s going to take a little extra for someone to stand out, and he has that in his composure and his ability to grab the attention of the crowd. Even something as simple as his associates that hand out paper bags to the “ugly” fans at ringside is something so simple that makes a huge difference for his character. Rhodes is a throwback to old school heels like Mr. Perfect, and Ted DiBiase. They were able to tell a story both inside and outside the ring with their mic skills and their ability in the ring. Rhodes is the closest thing to the perfect package in WWE and it is only a matter of time before he gets his time in the spotlight. Rhodes is able to succeed where others can’t, and to show how truly old school Rhodes
really feels he is, he brought back the white strap for the Intercontinental Title.

Besides Rhodes, the last real great Intercontinental Champion was his former associate, Randy Orton. The legend killer gimmick was an amazing movement for WWE and it really showcased how talented Orton was when he was an up and coming superstar. Rhodes is in a similar position, creating his own niche and making a name for himself by being a more traditional heel and it’s working. The saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and sometimes WWE deviates too much from its basic formula because they don’t believe in long-term storylines (outside of Rock/Cena but even then that’s a match not an actual story). Long-term, unfortunately, is not in the vocabulary of WWE’s booking strategy and it currently shows with their lack of talent that fans need to care for. Sure, Mark Henry is a great heel and has been booked tremendously over the last few months, but let’s not forget that he’s Mark Henry and is a limited worker that needs outside help to get over (see ring implosion from Vengeance). He is not the future of WWE like Rhodes is, nor should he be. But WWE wants you to believe that the fans chooses who they want to cheer for and its impossible for WWE to develop their own characters, just ask the face of the company, John Cena.

When asked if he would finally turn heel, Cena criticized fans saying that he is who he wants to be and fans can choose to cheer or boo him and fans solely dictate that. That is the problem with WWE today. The face/heel lines are not blurred to the point where fans don’t’ know who to cheer/boo. The fact is that WWE lacks actual characters thus not allowing fans to cheer/boo in unison towards those defined lines. At best, heels can get a mild reaction because of who might be their opponent in the ring, but nobody will fully get behind a performer today because of Cena’s justification for lack of characters. People will cheer someone like Alberto Del Rio because they are so despondent towards Cena’s lack of a character.

It is WWE’s responsibility to the fans to create characters that fans want to emotionally invest in. Create stories and characters that make fans want to tune in. They are starting to turn towards that with Cody Rhodes but one character cannot carry an entire show today unlike ten or fifteen years ago when there were very few mediums to challenge WWE for its audience. It might be impossible to have another Undertaker or Kane in this day and age, but with proper booking and a decent storyline, anything is possible. Larger than life characters are what WWE needs to emphasize with its product, someone other than John Cena and Randy Orton atop the spectacle that is WWE. Even someone like CM Punk who can cut a great promo and have a great match is not much of a character, rather it is an extension of himself being straight edge. People will want to tune in to see what he does, but contrary to what some might want to believe, is not and will not be the one to carry a show by himself much like his predecessor, Stone Cold Steve Austin. It is possible for Punk to be showcased amongst a group of characters, but nobody will tune in on a consistent basis solely because of Punk. Rhodes, however, has the potential to carry this company as top heel if he takes his character to the next level.

We’ve witnessed it in small amounts recently, Rhodes has turned towards a more demented/psychotic character when in the ring. The way he walks to the ring, the way he laughs and the way he will mimic his opponents (a la Orton at Vengeance) really speaks to the depth of his ability. Rhodes has overcome and stepped outside the shadow of his own father and created a character that should flourish for many years to come.

So the question remains, why do we tune in? For myself, Cody Rhodes epitomizes what could and should be the focus of WWE. Only time will tell if that’s truly the case.

-Adam Payne
AIM: RXDealer1082
Email: arjohnson101@gmail.com

Agree/Disagree? How do you feel about Cody Rhodes? Join our Forums and let your voice be heard, or tune in LIVE to OForums Podcast, Tuesdays @ 8:30 EST, only at

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