Hey, What Happened To That Guy? Looking Ahead To The Royal Rumble
WARNING: The following article contains ranting, opinionated comments, and a lot of "writer's thoughts," contained (in parenthesis). Beware of ranting. You have been warned.
After the pleasant reception of my first article, I'm more than happy to come back and write another one. I feel like this time around, I need to focus more on the topic of my article and less on venting my frustrations, which was primarily what my first piece was about.
As you can see by the picture I uploaded, my thoughts have turned to people like Carlito. Just to give you, my faithful readers, an idea of how obscure he has become, do an image search on B/R for Carlito. You won't get a single result. I know I didn't.
It's for reasons like this that I've chosen to make him the figurehead of my writing today, mainly because virtually his entire WWE career has been spent in obscurity, bouncing from one failed storyline to another.
He was Carlito Carribean Cool and went by that name for maybe a week, two at most, before having his name shortened. Nothing major there.
He debuts on SmackDown! and gets some decent exposure working with John Cena. Well, at least it was decent for a few weeks.
All the while, Mr. Cena was completing work on The Marine. Cena comes back, and Carlito's "bodyguard" gets fed to him like dog food.
Carlito gets injured and that U.S. title reign quickly ends. Now, I'm not going to bore you all into submission with his career history. They have Wikipedia for that.
Fast forward to recent memory. Carlito comes back fresh with his brother Primo, forming a tag team that gave both men a great push.
The Colons and Miz and Morrison were four guys who finally got to break through WWE's glass ceiling and shine as the Creative team made the Tag Team Titles important again...at least for a few weeks.
Fast forward to present day. John Morrison is floating around SmackDown! in a never ending, one-sided feud with Dolph Ziggler.
I could write a whole piece on what's wrong with poor Ziggy but that's being saved for another day, when I have more Pepsi to keep me energized.
The Miz is the US Champion, kinda sorta, not really. Any momentum that Kofi Kingston brought back to the belt with his defenses has been lost on The Miz, who has done a big pile of nothing since getting it back. I could write a piece on what's wrong with Mizzy, too, but that's not for the weak at heart.
And now, Mr. Gammon, can we PLEASE get back to the topic at hand? Pardon my ranting, everyone. Carlito and Primo. What happened to THOSE guys? Does anyone remember? Oh yeah!
Carlito he umm...he split with his brother on RAW for no apparent reason. They had one match, the feud was dropped and (insert drum roll here): What happened to THAT guy?
Primo has reached the all time low of "jobber to the stars" as he's done virtually nothing since the split but lose to people on RAW that are being pushed, a push he waved bye-bye to.
I wonder how it feels to not only have your push taken from you, but to watch your push kick your ass on a weekly basis.
Case in point: What is WWE doing with guys like Primo and Carlito?
Anyone who watches wrestling, besides the visually impaired, know that both of those guys are extremely talented and should at least be at the upper to midcard level.
Or at the very least, they should still be teaming together because as I write this, countless legendary tag team competitors of the olden days are stomping their feet and scoffing at the pitiful degradation of the tag team division (I'm embellishing, I'm allowed, it's my article).
Present Day: Let's not even mention the TLC PPV (Yeah, you already know what I'm going to say about that), and jump forward to January, where the Road to WrestleMania begins with the Royal Rumble! One of my all time favorite Pay-Per-Views that I haven't looked forward to in a number of years.
I know most of you are reading this, feeling betrayed by the title of my article, wondering where my pointless rambling will reach a fever pitch and finally come together. Here it is. What happened to THAT guy? (Getting tired of that yet?)
The Royal Rumble has always been a chance for people to shine. Not just the Rumble winners.
The man who draws number 30 almost always has at least a few minutes to shine as the crowd (for reasons unbeknownst to yours truly) still feels every year that the guy with the last number can win the match (See Royal Rumbles 2007 and 2008 ONLY).
Curt Hennig, known better as Mr. Perfect, was a MASTER of getting himself over. In common terms, it basically meant that he was a camera hog. There is no better example of this than any Royal Rumble match that Perfect competed in.
Even in his comeback in 2002, despite the fact that Austin and Triple H hogged all the attention, Perfect was still able to shine. Curt Hennig was a master of bumping and selling and used it to his advantage.
So well in fact, that the camera had no choice but to continually switch back to him.
My point, dear readers (dear God, he's finally making his point!), is that the Royal Rumble is a match filled with people. From start to finish. There is no reason why, in a match with 30 people, that Superstars can't get a little bit of time to shine.
Kane pretty much made himself after several years of criticism in 2001, when he damn near destroyed almost every participant in that year's Rumble match.
But alas, the year 2001 is long gone and so are the days where the Rumble match was used correctly.
The last great Rumble matches that I can think of (in my humble, personal opinion, of course), were Chris Benoit's wire-to-wire win in 2004 and The Undertaker finally getting the Rumble nod in 2007.
Between Benoit and 'Taker, we had Batista (don't even get me started), Rey Mysterio, who wasn't terribly believable (sorry Rey Mysterio fans), and after 'Taker, we had John Cena (comment withheld), and most recently we had Randy Orton, who's Rumble win was completely wasted in a less than memorable encounter at WrestleMania against Triple H.
I feel that Jesse Ventura's comments on RAW carried a harsh amount of reality in them. The same people get title shots week after week.
Cena, Orton and Triple H have, quite literally, beaten the entertainment out of each other and the title picture sorely needs to be refreshed. Not with newbs like Sheamus (cough Vladimir Kozlov No. 2 cough), but with fresh faces.
Here's hoping poor Carlito at least makes it into the match.
The creative team needs to step up and start building some legitimate Superstars, face and heel, to jump into the Main Event scene. The Royal Rumble is a perfect place to do so.
Unfortunately, WWE will do what they always seem to do: Deliver a decent performance but completely fail to elevate anyone beyond where they were before the match began.
Until we meet again, faithful readers. Thank you for reading and, here's to yet another mediocre $40 pay-per-view.
The comments made in this article are strictly the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of Bleacher Report or any of the other writers on this website.
Feedback may be emailed to Mr. Gammon at KidMikaze2007@aim.com
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