Greetings. It’s been an interesting week in the WWE, with some intriguing post-Wrestlemania developments.
First off, former world amateur, Olympic and WWE champion Kurt Angle was introduced as the new RAW general manager. On the one hand, I’m pleased to see a legitimate grappler like Kurt, who has an impeccable wrestling pedigree and is also respected by fans and his wrestling peers alike, being brought back and promoted to a seemingly important position such as this. If nothing else, it adds an element of perceptible legitimacy to the WWE.
While I’m pleased to see Kurt back on the scene, it’s hard not to be skeptical about the whole charade, as in the past the WWE has trotted out a host of others to assume the general manager’s position (including the likes of Vicky Guerrero, Jonathan Coachman, Eric Bischoff and, most recently, Kurt’s predecessor, Mick Foley. Invariably, most of them, to the WWE’s discredit, have ended up being perceived as flaccid, incompetent dupes or as crooked, power abusive bullies who are in cahoots with the so-called Authority (Vince, Hunter and company).
As a consequence, the disillusioned fans have been hard pressed to take had them seriously – which proved to be the case with poor old Mick and is now threatening to become the case, as well, with SmackDown general manager, Daniel Bryan (which is kind of sad, because both Mick and Daniel, at one time, were among the most respected icons in WWE history). Moreover, it has also tended to defeat the original purpose – which, correct me if I’m wrong, was to give the fans the notion that there was some actual semblance of law and order or accountability in the WWE
To be honest, I’ve never been much of a fan of the whole RAW or SmackDown general manager concept, in the first place. Back in the day, during the heyday of Hulkamania and for years afterward, there was never any need for supposed general managers or overstated authority figures, constantly meddling or over imposing themselves, and everything seemed to operate just fine, without them.
If my memory serves me correctly, the idea of having a RAW general manager, in the first place, arose not long after Vinnie Mac had perpetrated the infamous Montreal Screw Job on my brother Bret – which caused him to be perceived as an unethical, power abusive tyrant. In due course, that resulted in him having to revert into the villainous “Mr. McMahon” persona and, as a consequence, the WWE had no choice but to replace him as the supposed authority figure, with the general manager of RAW.
Initially, having an unbiased and supposedly legit manager type calling the shots made sense – about like having people such as Joe Torre and Brian Cashman, rather than Gorgeous George Steinbrenner, overseeing the on-field affairs of the New York Yankees. As has all too often been the case with the WWE though, they invariably tend to take something that initially makes sense and seems to get over and they flog it to the point where it stretches the boundaries of plausibility and no longer serves the original purpose- which is about how most fans perceive the RAW and SmackDown general manager gambit today.
Given the fact that Kurt’s credentials are impeccable, he has the potential to rise above the prevailing negative pre-conceptions though, which would be a refreshing change and a step in the right direction. In order for that to happen though, those calling the shots in Titan Tower would have to cut back on a lot of the ill-conceived storylines that they’ve been perpetrating lately, including allowing the so-called Authority to routinely break every rule in the book and get away with it and constantly over-imposing themselves.
In fact, if the WWE really wanted to get him over in his new role as the boss of RAW, Kurt should be the one publicly demanding a major overhaul of all the illicit garbage that’s been going on – as a condition of his accepting the new position. All things considered, I can’t really see that happening, but if it did, it would be “what’s best for business”, to quote the enigmatic French-American visionary – Paul Levesque.
On another front, I was perplexed with this convoluted charade which saw Roman Reigns (who, after his unpopular conquest of the Undertaker at Wrestlemania was widely thought to be destined for a major heel push, but, instead, is apparently going to revert back to being a face). During the course of the dubious debacle, Roman was initially attacked, for no apparent reason, during an interview by Brawn Strowman and beaten senseless – to the point where he needed to be carted off by paramedics on a stretcher. That was more than enough, or so I thought, to serve the purpose of setting up some ostensible angle between those two, but that proved to be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
As Roman was being carried down the ring entrance runway, Strowman attacked him, again – this time running the stretcher off the edge of the runway –a drop of about ten feet, which appeared to injure him even more seriously. I thought that was a bit excessive, but might perhaps serve the desired effect.
That, apparently wasn’t enough though, so, as Roman was being taken away in an ambulance – amidst all the melodrama and in supposedly guarded condition, Strowman returned again, this time picking up the whole freaking ambulance, with Roman and the doctors and paramedics in it, as well, and turning it on its side – which, by now, was beginning to stretch the boundaries of credibility and was hard to even take seriously.
I get the fact that the WWE is trying to get Strowman over as some kind of monster heel, but can you imagine if, say, during the Super Bowl game, some deranged Atlanta Falcon defensive tackle had already slam-dunked Tom Brady on his head – leaving him supposedly paralyzed or badly injured; then, as Tom was being toted off the field by the medical staff, the assailant proceeded to dismantle the stretcher again and continue his relentless assault, but subsequent to that, as if that wasn’t enough, as the ambulance was preparing to leave the stadium, the deranged Falcon re-appeared one more time, bent on destruction, and upended the ambulance, with Brady and the team doctors inside it?
Not only would the defensive tackle have been arrested by the authorities – probably at gun point, but he would probably be looking at some serious jail time and you can bet your ass that the NFL would be on the hot seat, swamped with cries of protest and outrage. If not, the entire National Football League would cease to be taken the least bit seriously – which, unfortunately, is probably how anyone with an IQ over three must be perceiving the WWE, after this fiasco.
Not that they’re seeking any input from some disillusioned former wrestler such as myself, but regardless of whether the WWE is perceived to be a work or not, they still need to operate within the parameters of supposedly being a legitimate sport that’s governed by rules and some perceptible code of conduct – correct me if I’m wrong, Vinnie or Hunter.
If not, what the hell is the point?
I’ve said it before and will reiterate it here and now that it’s a testimony to the inherent appeal and popularity of the great sport of pro wrestling that it continues to survive in spite of ill-conceived and embarrassing horseshit like this. I, honestly, can’t fathom how those responsible for crap like this can justify it or explain the ostensible rationale – just mindless bullshit, in my humble estimation. Hopefully those responsible for this fiasco will open their eyes and start treating the wrestling (and the fans) with due respect.
On that note, I’ll wind up this diatribe, but will look forward to catching up with you all next time.
In the meantime, have a nice Easter!
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