WWE: Brodus, Kofi, Santino and the Case for a Renaissance for the Mid Card
An event often lives or dies by its main event. But if we liken an event to a cake, we see that while the main event is that tasty frosting, you need an actual cake to go along with it.
WWE has a long-standing history of making main events from their heavyweights stemming from Vince McMahon's obsession with larger-than-life characters.
And certainly, these larger-than-life characters are popular, and you need star power to draw an audience. (Much as people bash Super Cena, it is the larger-than-life characters that pack butts into seats...I mean really, ever run into a guy like the Undertaker on line buying milk?)
But I believe star power is all in how someone is pushed.
Many of your more popular wrestlers are not terribly talented, and while I understand the need for a good gimmick or look, if you do it right, almost anyone can get a good pop from the audience. (C'mon, Doink the Clown was even over for a little while...and he was a dude with a slasher clown gimmick with midgets.)
In today's WWE there is a massive pool of really talented wrestlers that are being poorly or under utilized. In fact, the entire mid card is underutilized, and as a result, some potential awesome feuds, shoots and matches are never seeing the light of day.
Take Brodus Clay. Great character and certainly a departure from his original incarnation. Plus, he has a catchy song and some eye-candy to boot.
But thus far, all he has been doing is squash matches against other talented mid-carders stuck in jobber-ville. What a waste on both counts. I personally hate most squash matches. All it does is make the one going over look like an bully and the one jobbing look like he doesn't belong in the ring to begin with.
Do you want to see more mid card action?
I remember one of Macho Man Randy Savage's first matches. He was a heel and played it well by dominating his opponent. But at least the other guy got a few shots in, and the match lasted something like ten minutes. Savage looked every bit as dominating—even more so, because he wrestled a guy that at least could and did fight back, even if not terribly effectively. But I am digressing...
I happen to think Brodus Clay can actually wrestle...not Daniel Bryan-level here, but he appears to have a few moves and is pretty agile for a guy his size. Let us see him in a good match to showcase the wealth of talent available in WWE. I would love to see him in a solid match with a guy like Ezekiel Jackson (another under-utilized wrestler)...or, even better, the two might make a great tag team...
Speaking of tag teams, they're a staple of the mid card scene, and WWE seriously need to bring them back ...with an actual gimmick, not just two singles competitors you don't know what to do with.
The Usos and The Colons are great starts, and while I feel Kofi needs to be a singles wrestler and has the talent to be that, even AirBoom was a good tag team. Tag team action is exciting and a great way to highlight awesome mid-card talent. I
remember teams like the Killer Bees, the British Bulldogs and the Hart Foundation. You would cheer and boo for these teams just as you would for singles competitors. Their matches featured some of the most amazing mat action seen for a years to come.
The Tag Division has been a joke for a long time and is just now beginning to see a bit of a renaissance. Long overdue and much more to go, but at least it is a start.
I mentioned Kofi Kingston, and if there is one man who is a walking billboard for a cruiser weight or light heavyweight division, it is Kofi Kingston. Despite not really feeling his gimmick, I am a huge fan of his. This is a guy who really deserves a belt around his waist and deserves to wear it long and often.
Perhaps he has not broken through to the main event more frequently because of his mic skills...which is hard to comment on since we rarely see Kofi actually say anything.
I remember the shoot he did on Randy Orton where he smashed up his car and thought he was at least decent. I mean, certainly he was far better than Jeff Hardy (who has gotten a lot better on the mic since turning heel and back again in TNA), and they put the Heavyweight strap on him for at least a little while.
Whatever it is, he needs to be in the spotlight more than he is. If the WWE stubbornly refuses to re-institute a cruiser weight division, then he at least needs to wear the US or IC belt for a while.
I would like to take a few moments to talk about Santino Marella. I love this character, and he is obviously over with the crowd. But I hate how they are using Santino.
Look, Santino is not an overwhelming wrestler and his claims to fame are his charisma and mic skills (or at least his ridiculous Italian accent). They put a strap on him, then went about have him job in near-squash matches immediately thereafter. This makes we fans wonder why they decided to put a strap on him in the first place.
I am not saying turn him into some wrestling bad-ass—I love him, and wrestling needs some comic relief. But he has more talent than is being showcased here.
For example, the Honky Tonk man was a hilarious heel, and he was one of the greatest IC champion ever. For that matter, look at Eric Young in TNA. He is a hell of a good worker, as well as a guy with fantastic comedic timing, and both of those things are usually showcased, .
I would love to see Santino be showcased in more matches where he wins clean. Otherwise, what is he doing anywhere near a main event —or a strap, for that matter? It cheapens the brand and the championship.
If the prospect of watching some super talented wrestlers showing off high-impact and high-flying moves doesn't make the case for featuring the mid card more, then ask yourself: Aren't you a bit tired of seeing the same people in main events?
I am a big John Cena fan, but even I am tired of seeing him in every main event. Same for Randy Orton. After a while, the same old, same old is just boring. Who cares if John Cena and the Miz wrestle each other for the hundred millionth time?
This is why I am so glad that Chris Jericho is back and that Daniel Bryan is being featured so prominently lately. Some new blood and fresh ideas are needed.
Excellent wrestling action from the mid card being more prominently featured and hyped would add multiple layers of enrichment to the WWE product, and the beauty is that all WWE needs to to is use what they already have.
I welcome your comments!
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