The September 12 edition of Monday Night RAW was indeed an uneventful one. Despite the slight interest in programs over the United States and WWE Championships, I found myself awaiting the “final confrontation” between CM Punk and Triple H before their match at Night of Champions 2011.
As the spine curling promo began, Punk spoke of Kevin Nash and the eye widening set of events that occurred during the RAW’s that preceded this particular one.
While Triple H responded in his snarky, egotistical, and heavy opinionated manner, Punk responded with his controversial and realistic accusations that effectively break kayfabe. The promo itself echoed those that preceded it until Punk said something that caught my attention.
“You both share the same opinions and philosophies that a guy who looks like me doesn't belong in a ring with someone who looks like you. The big thing that infuriates me is that for years now you've both had this weird bodybuilder fetish/fantasy about what a main event caliber superstar needs to look like. And based on that, guys who don’t fit your image or more importantly guys that do fit your image are afforded ten times the opportunities”
Triple H cut Punk off before he could finish his statement but those very words shook the foundation we walk on as hardcore wrestling fans while sending me into a short period of introspection. It’s no secret that Vince McMahon has undying love for bodybuilder like entertainers or models while he consistently devalues the actual professional wrestlers working for him.
For example, FCW “alumni” Mason Ryan, David Otunga, and Jinder Mahal exemplify the phrase, GREEN, when it comes to professional wrestling.
A short time ago, I decided to observe a number of FCW matches due to the mediocrity of the three listed above. Initially, I expected the worse while ruling out the possibility of anything positive coming out of my time of observation.
However, my memory allowed me to forget that Seth “Tyler Black” Rollins was a part of the FCW roster. Last year, I adopted Rollins as favorite due to his unlimited potential and exquisite style of wrestling. Rollins wasn't the only standout as his archrival, Dean Ambrose, was equally talented.
In 15 minutes (twice the amount of a typical WWE match), Rollins and Ambrose impressed me more than anything a WWE entertainer has produced in some time. In a moment that will forever live in my nostalgia, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose faced off in a 30 minute war over the FCW 15 Championship.
I must say, as spectacular as the first two matches were, the third was that much better.
At this point, I was bewildered by the WWE and their decision to bring superstars like Ryan, Otunga, and Mahal up to the main roster while Rollins was approaching his first year in WWE developmental.
Thing is, they fit Vince McMahon’s mold of what a true WWE main event star should look like.
While Vince caters to these entertainers, wrestlers like Seth Rollins, Richie Steamboat and Dean Ambrose waste away in the WWE’s Developmental Territory, FCW.
The fact that this mentality not only exists on the main roster but also in their developmental territory displays some of the things that is wrong with the WWE and professional wrestling as a whole.
When it comes to the main roster, guys like Christian or Daniel Bryan aren't being used to their full capability. Christian, who is arguably the best all around superstar besides CM Punk, wasted away in the WWE for three years until the unfortunate retirement of his best friend placed him in a perfect position to capture the World Title.
Daniel Bryan, the best wrestler in the WWE, hasn't been utilized properly since winning the SmackDown Money in the Bank ladder match a few months ago. Instead of building towards his proposed cash in at WrestleMania 28, Bryan has been used for sporadic feuds and as a stepping stone to the Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara program.
This effectively brings me to my next point.
When I observe the current WWE roster, I realize that wrestlers like Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Christian, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Christian are forced to play second fiddle to the John Cena’s, the Randy Orton’s, and the Kelly Kelly’s of the WWE.
These entertainers fit the WWE mold and therefore retain the protection of the higher ups. The wrestlers listed above are used as jokes or stooges in favor of the entertainers of the WWE.
If you disagree, I advise you to examine the booking of Beth Phoenix and Natalya Neidhart. The so-called “Divas of Doom” were supposed to eliminate the models of the WWE Diva Division (ex. Kelly Kelly/Bella Twins).
Instead, they've suffered humiliating and distinctive defeat at the hands of Kelly and the infamous “models” they were referring. As fans, for us to take Phoenix/Neidhart seriously, they have to win matches that involve Kelly Kelly.
Sure, they can squash AJ Lee and Kaitlyn at will while the finish to each matchup that involves them facing Kelly Kelly has become a paradigm?
This is just another distinct example the use of wrestlers to enhance the entertainers. The proverbial writing on the wall has been apparent for years but didn't spark an Internet outrage until Christian lost the World Championship to Randy Orton two days after winning it.
Now, Christian is a cowardly heel who constantly begs for “one more match”. The fact that fans refuse to boo Christian despite his persona being devised for fans to hate him displays why McMahon’s opinion and choices aren't always right.
Yes, wrestlers like CM Punk have broken through McMahon’s flawed opinion but things like this come a dime a dozen. Punk’s ascension to the top gives a small light of hope for wrestlers but their overall chance for success in the WWE is questionable.
Personally, I feel as if the traditional will always be held back in the WWE but there will always come those “once in a lifetime” wrestlers that overcome the McMahon stereotype/preference.
Finally, if you still find yourself questioning my opinion/logic on the validity of entertainment vs. legitimate wrestlers, I’d advise you to watch RAW or SmackDown and observe the two figures both shows revolve around.
Kindly observe the super-powered or magical beings springing to life after a consistent beating. While you’re doing so, observe the other set of WWE Superstars. These guys seemingly have all the talent in the world but fail to receive the equal opportunity the super beings are given.
If you realize and understand the recurring trend, you've been witness to the Vince McMahon Mandate.