This column is a special edition of The Week.
Let’s talk Recycling! It is great to recycle, and even better when the new product is good or better than the original.
Some recent recycling:
The Rock as the “corporate champion” = Randy Orton as the “corporate champion”
Vince McMahon doing what is “best for business” = Triple H in the role of doing the “best for business” angle.
Is Randy Orton comparable to The Rock? Not a chance in hell. But the way WWE worked the angle, Orton as the chosen champion by COO Triple H puts Orton in uber-heel mode. As Mankind, Mick Foley chased the WWF Title over and over, and when he finally won, it was monumental. WWE may be going for the same feel with the scraggly bearded Daniel Bryan.
Big Bully Busick = Ryback
Put a bowler hat on Ryback already. “Bully” had a not-so-memorable feud with the one-and-only Brooklyn Brawler. Not making that up. He beat up a bunch of nobodies, the equivalent to what Ryback does on TV these days, and then ultimately became jobber to the top stars of the WWF. Ryback has feuds with catering staff, locker room unknowns, and possibly his garage door opener.
The Genius = Damien Sandow
I have covered it already, but watching some vintage footage makes me believe Sandow makes a better Genius than the original. Lanny Poffo came to the ring, cutting promos which rhymed and ridiculed fans and opponents. Sandow on the other hand, without rhyming, uses his intellectual prowess to both verbally and intellectually insult everyone in the known universe.
Rick Martel = Alberto del Rio
In the WWF, Rick “The Model” Martel was a brash braggart, boasting in-ring abilities which would out-class some of the current roster. When Alberto del Rio came in, cutting promos of being classy while narcissistic, he stepped into the ring and put on a clinic worthy of a Ring of Honor match.
Trish Stratus = Kaitlyn
Both women were tough, able to wrestle, and cut a half-way decent promo. What Kaitlyn is lacking right now, well, is everything. She got buried by AJ. She was turned into the crying, wimpy loser who was victim of AJ and her witty ways. Until Kaitlyn gets turned around by WWE creative, she will continue to be perceived as a weak Diva.
Eric Bischoff = Brad Maddox
I know some of you want to reach your hands through the screen and strangle me. How can an a-hole like Maddox be compared to an a-hole… like… oh, yes. Easy E. I do not like Maddox, and congrats to him, has sold me on his gimmick. Of course he is hated, we are supposed to hate him. His once coy attitude came off as irritating, either because he was not used to being in front of the WWE Universe, but seems to have become more comfortable in the role and has embraced the gimmick he has. Bischoff, being an a-hole was not just a gimmick, that is exactly who he is. Perhaps Maddox might be a real-life jerk too?
Bobby Lashley = Big E. Langston
I almost said Ezekiel Jackson, but then I saw he is still on the roster for some reason. In any event, Big E. fills the void of having a tough strongman on the roster. While I do not think Big E. is going to reach the heights Lashley did during his run in WWE, I do believe he will see some main event status in the future.
The Maestro = Fandango
Ron Simmons = Titus O’Neal
This makes 100% sense. Back in his WCW days, Simmons was a monster in the ring, even winning the World Championship at one point. He had a unique look, great in-ring skills, and mic presence which went unmatched. O’Neal has those same traits. He is big, strong, can navigate the squared circle and has a personality for any situation. Serious, tough, badass, and then go comedic, as evidence by his very-short run as Rufus “Pancake” Patterson. Mark my words, O’Neal will be a major singles star one day. That day, we will all be saying… DAMN!
In other news, WWE Main Event was pretty entertaining. The Usos looked good, although in a losing effort with Kingston against The Shield. My concern is the C-shows are where The Shield are being showcased, and even as champs, not a good thing. Khali defeating Jack Swagger was the funniest thing I have seen. Khali, beats Swagger? Are you kidding me? Bray Wyatt defeats Justin Gabriel in a tragic squash. Poor kid, seems jobberdom is where he goes now.
Hmm, hang on a second… We have our new breed of talent enhancers, aka Jobbers!
Cara should be fired already. It almost made the community local newspaper how he whined over his finger and his bad backstage attitude. Guys acting like children do not last long, but I wonder why he has? Kidd and Gabriel once a tag team, maybe with the rejuvenation of tag teams finally at an apex, perhaps the cruiserweight duo may yet find themselves out of the pit and into the spotlight. Not likely as WWE seemed to have buried its Cruiserweight Championship history. When guys like Chavo Guererro Sr. and Hornswoggle hold the belt, you question its prestige. Then I remind you stars like Billy Kidman and Dean Malenko held Cruiserweight and Lightweight championships, so there is a glimmer of hope.
SmackDown proved to be just as good as RAW. If you did not watch SD, go find yourself a replay and check out the incredible Steel Cage Match between Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett. Perhaps Barrett, while often a loser, is being groomed for something big. I hope so. Night of Champions is shaping up rather quickly, with both Christian and RVD filling the role of number one contenders. I do wonder how Christian will fare, she he lose again. I fear he will return to the crybaby gimmick which ultimately led to nothing. Beyond nothing. When he walked in, fans walked out. Christian is good, has potential, maybe, just maybe he can have one… more… title.
That’s all for this week folks, Summer is rapidly nearing its end which means Football season is upon us. So far WWE has done pretty well in the ratings going up against pre-season play, hopefully the continued success they have with featuring CM Punk and Daniel Bryan will maintain their momentum. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. No John Cena for six months. Who would have thought, Punk and Bryan, two Ring of Honor guys would be the top tier of WWE.
I love it.