In the first of the two parts of this series I wrote about how the WWE seems to just turn out half cooked storylines when dealing with feuds outside the world title picture or not involving a huge main event star. If you have not read the first part you can look at it here.
In part two I will focus more on wrestler's gimmick and the glass ceiling affect the WWE has.
Middle Card Ceiling
Middle Card Ceiling
As you all know a wrestler can have all the in ring ability in the world, but it means nothing if they can't perform on the mic or have some sort of ring presence. This is when a solid gimmick comes into play. With a good one you can become a star, a bad one may have you in the unemployment line(just ask Charlie Haas).
That being said it is clear to note that in wrestling not all gimmicks are created equal. What I mean by this is that the WWE( the focus of this topic) does not put full effort in developing all of their wrestler's persona. It seems at times that WWE takes a risk on a character only to soon find out that the wrestler may not have the qualities that their audience wants.
In recent years it has been guys like Vladimir Kozlov and The Great Kahli; that has been failed WWE projects. My main problem is not the WWE taking a risk on talent, it is who they are taking the risk on.
While the two men I mention above were receiving there pushes, others like Shelton Benjamin and R-Truth were stuck sitting there competing in matches that in no way boost there career since then. Others like Matt Hardy had title reigns but were involve in unfinished storylines that sunk the momentum they had going for them.
On the diva side of things, Gail Kim has mostly played the role of a jobber since her return, while Mickie James and Beth Phoenix are stuck having to carry feuds that don't involve the two of them together.
The problem with this is the people I named(R-Truth, Matt, Shelton, and Gail Kim) were more over at the time than those who WWE were projecting to push. When Kozlov and Kahli pushes stalled, the WWE was still lefted in the same position it was before they were introduce. Now instead of having two new stars they were left with two new guys stuck in the middle card bubble.
This has created an entire WWE upper middle card glass ceiling filled with loads of potential that seem will never be tap, while the main event is filled with 5 to 6 guys who the title is pass to (Undertaker, HHH, Cena, Orton, Edge, Batista). The rest of the upper middle card roster is comprise of people who sway back and forth between main event status and middle card.( Punk, Mysterio, and Jericho)
When the WWE was at its best it had more people like Punk, Mysterio and Jericho. Guys who sway back and forth and help bridge the gap between the main event and the middle card. Guys like Kane, Big Boss Man, Ken Shamrock, Rikishi, Kurt Angle, and The British Bulldog just to name a few.
Another issue I have with creative plots in the WWE is the character build up or gimmick. Its like most of the characters are slightly altered clones of each. Tell me what is the difference between Vance Archer's gimmick compared to Mike Knox? Both are portrayed as guys who reads and studies the human anatomy and this gives them an edge in the ring.
The same can be said for Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, and Drew Mcintyre who all portray the young, cocky, "remember my name" type heel.
Aaron Leal recently wrote an article on how the current theme music has become generic when compared to just years ago because of the similar styles each one offer. I'm making the same case in terms of gimmicks and the characters the WWE creative team has decided to make. The days were WWE pushed the envelope on gimmicks are gone.
Most people use the argument that the WWE can not do the wild innovative gimmicks of old because of the PG rating. However during the attitude era and afterwards up to now, Smackdown has remain PG.
The show rating that gave us Stone Cold drinking a beer, The Rock making Vince kiss people ass, and two guys getting married(Biily & Chuck), is the same one that brought us Dx selling merchandise to children and Hornswoggle antics. And it has witness the same TV rating these past ten years.
The excuse of saying that the WWE needs to return PG 14, is one that gets over used, seeing at one point half of its product at one time was PG.
Not An Indictment
Not An Indictment
These last two articles I wrote are not an indictment of the WWE creative team, but rather my opinions on a product that can be better with minor changes here and there. To show this I made a list of the top five things the WWE is doing right.
5. Removing the Jamaican gimmick from Kofi Kingston
- It was tiring and played out and needed to stop.
4. Letting Sheamus Beat John Cena
- It was a big shocker. Not one that I liked, but it showed that the team is thinking of new things to surprise the fans.
3. HHH will not receive World Title shot at Mania
- As much as I liked him, he has been too involved in the main event at Wrestlemania in the past few years. Glad to see him take a step back.
- Besides from a few storylines Smackdown has been the best wrestling show on TV for the better part of a 6 months now.
1. Straight Edge
- Although he did not win the Chamber match nor the MITB qualifying match, Cm Punk is still the top heel in the WWE right now. Nice to see them give Punk and crew the chance they never gave Right to Censor. Lets hope it continues.
- Phantom Out