Social Construction and WWE's Grand Design
All aboard! Tickets to Shelton Benjamin's bandwagon on sale now!
WWE's second biggest sale next to Wrestlemania XXVI goes on sale now, that's right folks, you and your love ones can ride on the Gold Standard Express in a few months' time.
For those who aren't familiar with Mr. Benjamin, he's the guy who people like to claim has no charisma and cannot draw whatsoever.
One thing about social constructionism is that if enough people reinforce an idea or belief, it becomes a fact in our societies and reality. Money exists only because it was agree upon and constructed, it wouldn't have existed without us.
"Face reality, Shelton Benjamin can't draw and never will."
What is reality?
The aforementioned line is a classic one we hear all too much, but why go against the grain? If so much people state that line then gosh, what's wrong with the people who think otherwise?
Reinforcement makes beliefs true and that's the way it was, is, and will be. Our constructions can take us to positive heights of optimism, who says everything has to be negative?
"John Morrison pops are crazy and he draws so much, he's definitely a future star ! Where's his title shot?"
One is entitled to his or her opinion which can be seen above in bold, however how true is the first part of the statement? Get a bib and wipe your mouths people, Morrison is bland as a face and has the worst face turn of 2009.
That line cannot be true at all because it hasn't been reinforced enough. When reinforced enough our self-esteem and confidence grows and we'll stand behind the belief stronger than before thus leaving folks like me to equate to absolutely insane with the rest of the minority.
This fear of being singled out as the "oddball" forces us to reinforce what we've heard so much and what is accepted thus conformity, which leads to the big ol' bandwagon.
Who would believe me if I said Benjamin is capable of drawing? If I said Benjamin's pops are increasing as the weeks go by? That he'll be a future world champion?
Who would believe me if I said Morrison can wrestle, but that's it? Who would believe me if I said "Mr. Ziggles" sounds like something Hornswoggle would say?
Who would believe me if I said Morrison's pops aren't that huge? Who would believe me if I said Morrison's face turn wasn't great at all?
This is no knock against Morrison, but the realities that we create, to the beliefs we agree upon to become facts.
Truth is, very little to no people would believe those questions and beliefs and those who are influenced, riding bandwagons, and or afraid of going against the grain because of our friend conformity will come on and tell me that I'm just some silly mark. That will be reinforced thus becoming true and that's how it works.
MVP would have had the worst face turn as he had lost all of this steam and character not too long after jumping from Smackdown to Raw.
The thing about his face turn was that it was somewhat worked on, MVP had a massive losing streak and in his darkest days the crowds brought him to light as the MVP he is today.
John Morrison was attacked by the Miz after he was drafted to Smackdown and all it took was a slap from Chris Jericho and BAM! he's not only a face, but the flawless charismatic character that is the next HBK if not better who will also be the company's future shining beacon. Jericho slapped the character out of him because he's bland now.
The neutral position is quickly destroyed in this process. Applying the Morrison situation, those who believe he's okay, average, and or decent will find themselves overwhelmed by the increasingly reinforced idea that Morrison is nothing short of excellence and the pressure inevitably and ultimately becomes so much that they abandon those beliefs and hop on the wagon.
There are exceptions, and AkD is one of them. The worst cases are those who insist that you're a "hater" and don't even notice that they've gave in to conformity and the ideas and beliefs that we've constructed.
Opinions often get lost in the mix because sometimes it becomes difficult to tell an honest opinion from an opinion bred from our on reinforcement of theories from construction.
Even within the kayfabe realms these things are ongoing, the big boys use them right before your eyes and turn the tables on you then you hop on the wagon.
Jeff Hardy has been criticized for a handful of things, but to stay on topic, people have been saying that he'll never get the big one, he's a spot monkey who can't wrestle.
Soon enough, stars say the same things in promos and he just so happens to finally win a world championship. Hardy's supporters increase and there are those who still dislike him.
We can say Hardy really sucks, but it was extremely easy to take jabs at him rather than support him when he finally wins the big one. Pats on the back for fellas like Justin Thomas who roughed it out.
Hardy got the opposite effect and instead of a positive conformity he received a negative one. We as humans like to belong to groups, we lose personal identity and gain a social one, the diffusion of responsibility takes it course.
How could one be wrong if so many people say Hardy sucks? How hard is it to join the anti-Hardy club?
He's had legal problems, but I'd like to keep it with the squared circle. I myself am not a fan of Jeff Hardy, but I am aware of these constructions around us and am I not influenced by them.
Persistence is easier said then done and it becomes double as difficult when one is going against the grain. It is unfair to say people all joined the wagon because truth is we all made the wagon together, one person NEVER makes the wagon.
We do have similar ideas and when we come together to spread and reinforce them then that builds the wagon and the pressure that comes with it.
Shelton Benjamin hasn't lost in four months, has increased pops, and a story that is bringing out the character within him. He's wrestling with an intensity different than before, but would you believe me?
I'm not looking for head nods, just looking to sell tickets to Benjamin's bandwagon.
Laugh it off, it's not going to happen, but we'll see some months down the line. Will he be praised like Morrison?
Most likely not, but a lot of folks will come out of wood works, somehow forget that they said Benjamin couldn't do it, and put on their best impression of a true Benjamin fan such as yours truly. If they get singled out they'll take the neutral route.
Benjamin's wagon will go either way upon the reception of his big win as he seems on route to become the new face of ECW.
Maybe it's a little early to jump the gun, but hey I got four months of being undefeated for reasoning apposed to being slapped by Chris Jericho and becoming dubbed the future of the company.
Morrison is an extremely talented wrestler, but by no means is he light years ahead of Shelton Benjamin or anyone else.
We have ideas and beliefs, but we have to be aware of the realities we create.
I'll leave you with one statement which many will say is bold though I believe it will be clear as day when the dust settles:
Shelton Benjamin will have the best face turn of 2009 hands down.
He's currently being built stronger than 90 percent of the roster and the fact that WWE are persistent with pushing him shows he will make it big otherwise he'd be hanging out with Jimmy Wang Yang, Jamie Noble, and Charlie Haas, all great wrestlers who WWE have left out to dry.
As good as Benjamin is in the ring he could easily be placed among them, but he isn't. What does that tell you?
Don't just watch, listen. Jim Ross has praised him has heel and face and Striker dubbed him WWE's Grand Design. He's the only guy on the ECW roster to have yet to encounter the Ruthless Roundtable and he has he yet to have gotten a title shot despite a four month win streak.
Add Christian's clean win over Jericho and title reign since July which equates to the second longest reigning champ currently (Michelle McCool is first, won Women's title at The Bash in June) and you have probably the two best built stars going colliding for the championship.
What other two stars are capable of stealing the show at TLC?
I'll let you folks sleep on that.
Little hints and clues are placed before us, but we're too focused on other things to notice.
Then again, I'm a huge mark...what do I know? Get your tickets now!
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