As everyone knows, I spent six years of my life working for a place called the Walt Disney Company. It’s pretty likely you’ve heard of it. After all, it’s relatively famous. You may have seen a movie or two from that company, or visited one of their theme parks. Maybe you’ve even heard of the Mouse called Mickey. The Disney logo and name is just as recognizable as Microsoft, McDonald’s, or Nintendo is around the globe. The only people who may not know what Disney is are those living in societies without technology. They’re just that well known.
When you work at someplace that famous for so long, people want to know about it. They want to know all the secrets, all the tricks, all the insider information. Most of the time, it’s pretty boring. I would take regular breaks, clock in and out for my shifts, and eat a meal daily, just like any other job out there. However, due to the nature and “magic” of the beast, my job also incorporated a lot of rules that your job didn’t. Some of them seem outrageous, and when people hear about them, they want to know if they’re true. Thus, whenever a “new” article detailing the “secret” rules of the Disney employee is released, people immediately share it with me or ask me about it, asking the same question each time, “is it true?”
Well, I’m going to address the reality, and in some cases, gross exaggeration, of some of these rules in this blog. So, if you really want to know about these Disney rules, here’s a great chance to hear the view from a former Cast Member himself! (That would be me)
Now, let’s make one thing clear from the get-go: I love Disney, so I’m not out to slander the company in any way. I’m just making a few things clear about what’s out there on the internet. Many of these articles aren’t even written by cast members, most of the time they’re written by annual passholders and supposed “insiders” who think they have all the answers. Often, the idea presented has a ring of truth, but can become greatly exaggerated.
What I also find funny is that I must be the only one among my friends who has worked at Disney. I feel like I’m the one always being bombarded with these questions and comments. Maybe my fellow cast member pals also have this problem? I’m sure they do.
I also find it amusing that these articles are surfacing now. It’s not like the internet, or even social media, is a new tool. Why suddenly now, in 2014, are dozens upon dozens of these “insider” articles being published? The rules have barely changed since the park opened! Some of them have become more lenient, but that’s it. In any case, they’re out there, so it’s time to answer a few of these questions.
I’m not an expert on Disney, but this is based off of what I learned and experienced in six years. So enjoy!
16 “SECRET RULES” FOR DISNEY EMPLOYEES
The article in question is from a website called guff.com. I would link the article directly, but I’m basically copying and pasting the text onto here, so you can read their paragraph, and my rebuttal, all at once. This also allows me to have all the traffic. STEAL ALL THE TRAFFIC! (Imagine the meme dude saying that please. Thank you.
RULE 1: “First of all, when you work for Disney, you’re not an employee. You’re a cast member. From the characters, to the ride operators, to the janitors…they’re all cast members.”
The term Disney uses for its employees is “cast member.” I actually don’t see how this is a secret, as this has been known for years. Walt Disney has used the term himself, so if you’ve seen a video of him addressing his employees as cast members, you already knew this was true. Plus, many places of employment coin special terms for their employees, associate, team member, etc. This isn’t a secret, or a big deal, so the article’s attempt to lure you in right off the bat is a strikeout, in my opinion. Plus, cast members take pride in this title, and some actually get offended just being called an employee. Name other places where the employees embrace their unique title so strongly.
RULE 2: “A cast member is never allowed to say “I don’t know.” If a guest asks a question that they don’t know the answer to, they have to pick up a telephone and call an operator.”
Slightly exaggerated. In the event that a guest asks us a question that we don’t know the answer to, we are supposed to point them in the right direction. For example, if I don’t know the answer to a merchandise type question, but a person nearby will, I point the guest to them. This is absolutely no different from any other job. When I worked at the A&P or the Omni Resort, if I didn’t have the right answer, I helped the person asking the question where to find the answer. Any job policy in this respect is to avoid “I don’t know,” not just Disney. And just because it’s a policy, doesn’t mean people are following it.
RULE 3: “All facial hair on cast members has to be fully grown in and neatly trimmed. They cannot shape their beards, and their mustache cannot extend over the lip or further than the corners of their mouth.”
I always hated how people point this out as a devil Disney policy. “OMG have you heard how strict Disney is on facial hair?” This exact same policy was in effect when I worked at a ski resort in high school. A lot of places that deal with vacationers want their employees to look clean cut, and Disney is no exception. Average humans like to go to places where they expect professionalism, and be assisted by someone who looks professional. While I think many workplaces have an outdated mindset in employee appearance, and many customers have very shallow-minded views, all Disney is doing here is following a guideline that your place of employment may actually follow too.
RULE 4: “Male and female cast members are not allowed to shave their eyebrows. Men’s hair cannot extend over their ears or shirt collars. Women’s hair has to be neatly brushed. Braids are allowed, but not beads.”
I have never heard of this eyebrow policy, nor have I ever met anyone who shaved their eyebrows. But for argument sake, I’m assuming the author is trying to say that eyebrows need to look neat too, just like hair. Again, like the facial hair policy, this really isn’t anything groundbreaking. If you walked into your office with your hair looking disgusting, you’ll probably be asked to do something about it. Disney wants you to look neat. That isn’t asking a lot, at all.
RULE 5: “The cast members playing characters have to follow specific guidelines so that each autograph looks identical. That way, no matter who is in the Mickey costume, the experience is the same.”
We’re up to the 5th rule, and we finally have something that actually could be considered a secret. However, cast members know this to be true: just like Santa Claus, there is only ONE Mickey Mouse, and he signs his name the same way every time. Tip for anyone visiting the parks: do NOT ask “how many Mickeys are there.” You won’t get the answer you want, and you’ll severely piss off the cast members in the process. In fact, asking that question can actually ruin the experience for guests around you, specifically little kids, and can get you kicked out of the park. I have zero sympathy for anyone this happens to. It’s your money, not mine.
RULE 6: “There’s a height requirement to be one of the characters. To play a princess, you need to be between 5’4″ and 5’8″.”
The person who wrote this has obviously never heard of typecasting.
RULE 7: “Women’s fingernails cannot exceed a quarter of an inch past the fingertip, and nail polish is not allowed. Meanwhile, men’s nails cannot go past their fingertip.”
Part of this one is actually false (good job, author). Nail polish IS allowed, it just needs to look natural and compliment the person’s skin tone. As for nail length, that’s another common hygiene practice many places of employment enforce. I guarantee you if you say something about the gross long nails on the guy handing you your Big Mac, he’s going to get in trouble, and so will the manager for allowing him to handle food.
RULE 8: “Visible tattoos, tongue piercings, and ear gauges are simply not allowed.”
This is a true policy, but one that isn’t exclusive to Disney. Odds are you work, or have worked at, a place with similar rules.
RULE 9: “Cast members who wear glasses can’t wear frames that display logos or brands. Also, the color and the frame must be conventional.”
The rule about logos and brands isn’t exclusive to glasses, or Disney for that matter. Disney, as competitive company, doesn’t want any outside logos or brands on display. This includes cast member’s jackets or umbrellas while working too. That’s a reasonable request, because any company with competition isn’t going to allow its workers to flaunt a competitor’s logo. Would a McDonald’s allow an employee to bring in Burger King and eat it right there in the restaurant, in full uniform? Doubtful. And if they do, that’s their problem. Disney wants to protect its image. That said, a cast member with outrageous glasses frames will have this addressed before their hiring, and will be aware of this after hiring, so they don’t randomly switch from black frames to pink and blue zebra stripe frames. They understand these rules from the get-go.
RULE 10: “There’s a reason the theme parks always look so clean. Everyone working there is told to pick up trash if they see it on the ground.”
The popular saying is that “everyone is part of the custodial team.” Obviously, Disney wants their employees to keep their work areas clean, and if they see trash, they’re encouraged to pick it up. Nothing big, just a simple “hey I’m walking across the promenade and I see a soda bottle on the ground so I don’t ignore it.” Not a big deal, or unreasonable request at all. Maybe a better piece of advice would be “hey, when you visit our parks, use the trash cans. They’re always no less than 100 feet away from you AT ALL TIMES. Put your trash in a trash can, and don’t be disrespectful; when you visit.” Also, if a manager sees you going above and beyond like this, you can be rewarded. So yeah, I’ll take the literal 10 seconds to grab that napkin and huck it in the trash. We also have hand sanitizer accessible everywhere, to keep us healthy.
RULE 11: “When a cast member does sees trash on the ground, they can’t bend over. They have to pick it up in a scooping method.”
The idea behind this rule is to not look offensive, so you aren’t just bending over, displaying your ass while you grab the trash. Honestly, it’s better for your back to do a quick squat and scoop the trash up then to full on bend over. Excuse Disney for trying to keep their employees safe with a motion that I bet everyone does anyway.
RULE 12: “If you ask a cast member for directions, look at how they point. It’s usually a gesture with the whole hand, or with two fingers. They never point with one finger, because in some cultures it’s considered offensive.”
This rule is true, for the reason given, but isn’t a secret, and hasn’t been for years. People make SUCH a big deal out of the two finger rule, but I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. “Oh look, he’s doing the “Disney Point!” LOL!” So what? There are way worse things out there than how many fingers you should point with.
RULE 13: “If you work at Disney, you cannot talk about what you do on any social media platforms.”
Disney can, and will, check your social media pages to see exactly what you’re saying about the company publicly. However, there is absolutely no way they can enforce such a restriction. No place of business can do this. Just watch what you say, because if they see something they don’t like, they can terminate you. Although, and this is getting redundant at this point, the majority of workplaces have a rule like this in effect. Go on, talk about what a Nazi your boss is on your Facebook page, that isn’t set to adequate privacy settings, and see if you still have a job in the morning.
RULE 14: “Walt Disney only liked to be called “Walt,” which is why you only see first names on the employee tags. Also, if two cast members who play a Disney character happen to have the same name, one of them gets to go by a new name to avoid confusion.”
This one is kind of a two-parter, so let’s address each one separately. As far as first names on employee name tags, that shouldn’t be a problem to anyone. The company is a first name company, like a lot of places are, and the employee’s last names are nobody’s business. I’m not going to walk around with my first and last name on a nametag when you deal with this many people coming in and out on a daily basis. It just isn’t safe. We get to put our hometowns on our nametags, but even those are by choice. I can let everyone know I’m from New Jersey, or I can put boring ol’ Orlando on there. My decision. My last name is none of the guest’s business.
As for the “multiple name policy,” that applies only to call center type positions. That way, if four people named John are answering phones, and a guest says something about who they spoke with, the center can approach the exact person instead of guessing “which John.” This applies to positive situations as well as negative ones too. I worked with dozens of people named Chris, and was never forced to change my name.
In fact, in the event that an employee forgets their name tag, many locations have a “Chris from Orlando, Florida” nametag for them to wear for the day, as Chris is a unisex name and Disney is in Orlando. So, author, where were you on that note?
RULE 15: “If a guest throws up, cast members used to have to call it a “Protein Spill.” Now it’s just “Code V.””
Every workplace like this uses codes for a reason. Saying “someone just puked” sounds disgusting. The same goes for violent guests, bomb threats, fires, missing children, natural disasters, and anything else that could make a passerby nervous if they overheard it. Codes are just intelligent to use in public workplaces. Forgive Disney for trying to make your stay more enjoyable by hearing “code V” in passing instead of “puked their damn guys out.”
RULE 16: “A cast member always stays in character. Any characters outside the Disney universe simply don’t exist in the Disney parks, so don’t ask Ursula the sea witch what she thinks about Hermione.”
We’re here to make your stay enjoyable, and to forget about the real world. We welcome you into our fantasy world, and play characters to have fun. A tip of advice, your attempts to make us break character and try to insert other characters isn’t as original as you think. And here’s a real secret rule: after you leave, we spread your story around the park, and mock you behind your back. You walk away giggling about how Ursula got annoyed with you…but if you saw the secret social media group Ursula is in, you’d see thousands of people reading her story calling you an idiot, and mercilessly mocking you. And I mean, EVERYTHING about you, including what you looked like, and what you were wearing, and what sort of horrible things should happen to you and your family. Cast members who deal with the obnoxious public have plenty of ways to vent about them, and they vent HARD. If some of these guests could see what total strangers say about them, they would be crawled up in the fetal position bawling their eyes out. We can be mean if we want to be.
So, was that enlightening for you? Probably not. In fact, out of everything written here, the only new secrets you likely picked up were what I tacked on. Honestly, none of these are secret rules – most of them are standard workplace procedures that online writers are trying to mis-word to make Disney sound like a dictatorship or a prison. Every article like this one are the same thing. These aren’t secrets, they’re just policies. The most “secret” stuff on there were the typecasting and character policies, and anyone who’s ever acted or auditioned knows none of that is new. If you really want to delve into Disney secret territory, you have to do a lot better than that. I could also talk about Disney’s low wages, lack of advancement opportunities, or their union policies. But would those actually be secrets? Because I can name countless other jobs where those things are true.
I guess the real secret stemming from all of this is that Disney is just another place of employment. Wow. Shocking and revolutionary, I know. Glad we cleared that up.
If you guys see anything else about Disney that you’re curious about, especially an article you’d like to see me dispute, feel free to send me one. If it’s good enough, or the material is at least different from this one, I can do a follow-up blog. And if you have any specific questions, leave them in the comments. If I get enough, I may do a follow-up on those too.
Honestly, the biggest secret about working for Disney is that you have to possess the most patience you can muster on a daily basis. The absolute worst of humanity can be brought out from the guests, and the complaints we hear are incredible. Guests can also be extremely mean, unforgiving, and threatening to us when we’re merely doing our job. No other job I’ve ever worked at has made be endure so much intense hatred from people, or shown me the worst of humanity. These include jobs in media, sports, hotels, supermarkets, and even camps. Honestly, the worst people come to these parks, and even good people can get corrupted by Florida weather and watching their wallets empty in the overpriced environment.
I’d say 90% of the people I dealt with on a daily basis were nice, fun, and just happy to be there. But I don’t remember them – I remember the 10% who spit on me, cursed me out, threatened my life, or ruined another family’s vacation, all for reasons that would drop your jaw if I told you. Want to hear those? Maybe another time.
My rule to you: when you go to Disney, be kind, and treat the cast members with respect. Amazing things can, and WILL, happen to guests who are kind and behave themselves. I know, I worked there for six years, and I made many of those moments happen personally.
Have a magical day!
This Sunday is WWE’s annual SummerSlam PPV (on the WWE Network for the low price of only $9.99!), an event that started in 1988 at Madison Square Garden. The main event was the Mega Powers team of Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage battling the Mega Bucks team of Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant. Jesse “The Body” Ventura served as the special guest referee, and begrudgingly counted the three (with an unwanted assist) giving the victory to Hulk Hogan’s team, much to the Body’s chagrin. This year, at the 27th annual event, we’ll get to see Brock Lesnar wrestle his first match since ending the Undertaker’s legendary WrestleMania winning streak at…umm, WrestleMania, as he battles John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. We’ll also see a decent (on paper) undercard that may live up to the hype, unlike many previous year’s SummerSlam events which were letdowns in the end. I’m going to address the card in today’s blog, and then address two big news stories in WWE – that of recent departures, and recent hirings, and why they’re significant.
First off, I want to say that this will be a special SummerSlam for me personally, as it will be my last WWE event living in the state of Florida, which means it’s the last time I will get to see a variety of my Florida wrestling friends. They’re turned this PPV viewing into somewhat of a going away party for my wife and I, and I think that’s a really cool way to see us off. It means a lot that I get to see these friends one last time and get to say a formal goodbye, so I may be more into the party itself than the actual PPV. Still, I’m going to focus on the card at hand now, and see if I can accurately predict what’s going to happen.
WWE has schedules a full card of eight matches for us to enjoy, and for the most part, they’ve all been given decent storylines and buildup. WWE has not announced a pre-show match officially (it’s rumored to be a fatal four way for the tag straps) but that’s okay, because I’d prefer to focus on the SummerSlam card itself – the matches that will be “SummerSlam” matches in the archives. So let’s jump right in and talk about some WWE’s biggest party of the summer!
THE INTERCONTINENTAL MONEY MAKER & THE SHOW OFF
When WWE unified their top tier championships into one, it immediately gave credibility back to the Intercontinental Championship, a prestigious title that has spent the good portion of the last decade floating about in obscurity. The IC strap is known as the “working man’s championship,” and I can’t think of two harder working individuals in the WWE right now than The Miz and Dolph Ziggler.
Ziggler has been bouncing about in the mid-card for a while now, ever since his propensity for concussions became a concern in WWE – a concern that they don’t take lightly (and shouldn’t, ever since the tragic deaths of Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit). Christian said it best on Chris Jericho’s podcast, Talk Is Jericho: “The days of us shrugging off our injuries like they’re no big deal are over, and that’s the way it should be.” Christian, who is looking at retirement due to concussions, also talked about how he wants to end his career on his own terms, which is something his best friend Edge was unable to do. He also talks about how the admittance of injuries may halt pushes (as what happened to Fandango after his character took off) but WWE DOES work with people who fight back and go for a while without getting hurt again (poor Bad News Barrett, there goes that push).
The point of all this is that WWE was gun shy about pulling the trigger on Dolph Ziggler again, but after going for over a year without any additional injuries, WWE is getting behind him again. They see his value as a worker, and consider him the top babyface in WWE behind John Cena, which is why he main evented and won a string of house show matches over Randy Orton. With CM Punk gone, Daniel Bryan hurt, and Chris Jericho part time, WWE’s single best in-ring worker is Dolph Ziggler, and it’s pretty evident that WWE is starting to give him that edge again. He’s getting prominent wins, getting protected in losses, and getting plenty of interview time. WWE’s next step is to give him a good program to really steal the show with. Enter The Miz.
Fresh off his latest film project, Miz returned to WWE television with a new Hollywood persona. Miz is playing your classic old school over exaggerated heel character, where he thinks he’s bigger than he really is, and blows up all of his accomplishments into bigger deals than they have any right to be (IE, he’s a major movie star after starring in a direct-to-DVD sequel). He also has a new gimmick that works: the money-maker act, where he’s too worried about his face getting hit. This creates an instant story to tell in his matches, which makes his matches better than they’ve been since he debuted. While Miz isn’t as bad of a worker as many will claim, there are little nuances he does wrong that the average fan won’t see, but a fellow worker will. To his credit, he’s worked hard to correct a lot of those, although his recent babyface run saw him forget how to tell stories in the ring. Miz is better suited as a heel, and since his return, has told a decent story in every match he’s been in. Miz, as IC champion, is bringing the “work” back to the “worker’s championship.” And now, he has to face the best worker WWE has – Dolph Ziggler.
This match has show-stealing potential, as Miz works great as an insufferable heel, while Ziggler works great as the never-say-die babyface. These two are classic, textbook, 1980s style characters, who work in the year 2014. They play well off each other, know exactly how to rile up the live crowd, and can each tell a good story. I don’t think Miz is going to drop the title, but I don’t think he’s going to win clean either. I think an underhanded tactic will stop Ziggler in his tracks, setting up for potential rematches and more character development from both sides, especially with the rumors of adding Bo Dallas to the program. Regardless, this will be a good one, and well worth tuning in for.
My Personal Pick: Dolph Ziggler
My Prediction: The Miz retains, though not in clean fashion
ARRIVE. WAVE FLAG. LEAVE. EVENTUALLY SLEEP.
SummerSlam will be home to a Flag Match this year, putting Old Glory against the red, white, and blue of the Russian regime. Representing the United States is a Real American named Jack Swagger, and his manager Zeb Colter. Representing the former Soviet Union is Rusev, the Bulgarian who moved to Moscow and left his first name in another country, and his manager/shoot girlfriend Lana, the Russian from Northern Florida who was in Pitch Perfect. Swagger represents a town in Oklahoma called Perry, while Lana’s real last name is Perry. My cat’s name is Perry. That’s a lot of Perry.
Flag matches, traditionally, are boring. It’s the exact same concept as the “on a pole” match concept, only the item on the pole is a flag, and there’s two flags. It’s a grown-up game of Capture the Flag but with bodyslams. However, given the right story, the match can at least have some appeal behind it, and WWE has really gone the extra mile making this Swagger-Rusev feud feel bigger than it was when it started.
Jack Swagger is finally getting back into the groove of meaning something, after his lovely DUI screwed him out of a world championship push in 2013. Sobriety is finally pulling through for Jack, who is getting exposure as a babyface for the first time in his career, especially given that he had yet to work face, and his turn was seamless. Zeb Colter, who has been brilliant since his return to the WWE, really helped give Swagger that extra nudge, as Zeb can do all of Jack’s talking for him. The athletically gifted Swagger simply couldn’t cut it on the microphone, and was often placed in situations where he didn’t have to, which was always his best role. Now, as a flag-waving American, the audience can give him off all their support as he patriotically takes on a member of an anti-nation, that being Rusev.
Rusev, a powerhouse worker, quickly became exposed when he was forced to work a match more than a minute in length against Big E. While Big E is not a great worker by any stretch of the imagination, it was evident that Rusev wasn’t very gifted either, and desperately needed a program with someone who could make him look good. Swagger was a perfect choice, both as a worker and as a character, to mesh with Rusev. He has the athletic skill and extra set of eyes in Zeb to believably thwart the plans of the eeeeeeevil Lana and her personal man-beast. With both parties playing their roles to perfection, and Lana’s somewhat fake accented rants getting horribly under American’s skin, it was time for these two to mesh in a match, quite literally, for patriotic pride.
So why a flag match? Well, other than the obvious country war it represents, this is the perfect way for Rusev to take a loss without looking weak. Swagger can take his country’s flag not by overpowering Rusev, but rather outsmarting him, and Rusev can lose without being pinned or submitting. It’s win-win for both parties, even if the match itself will likely be some chain grappling with the phony “can they can’t they” climbing stipulation thrown in. Still, this feud is centered in deep political hatred, so I think they’ll make it a flag match worth watching.
My Personal Pick & Prediction: Jack Swagger outsmarts Rusev and waves Old Glory proudly
CRAZY AND PEPPY? MEET DARK AND CUNNING.
AJ Lee and Paige have been the main women’s feud this year, and while they’re not the biggest diva feud on the card, they have the championship title and the history of events on their side.
Paige debuted the night after WrestleMania and dethroned the long-reigning AJ Lee in an impromptu match in a shocking way. Unfortunately, despite being a gifted wrestler having matches that could outshine the boys in NXT, Paige ran into a brick wall – the main roster divas talent pool. Rather than work programs with Natalya or Naomi, Paige was forced to work with Alicia Fox and Eva Marie, resulting in bad matches that she was taking the blame over. Much like Xavier Woods and Adam Rose, an NXT star got called up and put into awful situations, and then were blamed for not delivering as expected. When you’re set up to fail, there’s only so far you can push to succeed. Fortunately, AJ’s return and the alignment double-turn breathed new life into Paige’s character (the ANTI-DIVA) and the feud finally started to have legs. And asses. Great legs and asses.
With Paige taking a somewhat sick pleasure in her mockery and torture of the Divas Champion, it established her as a badass and let the formerly insane AJ Lee flourish as a fan-favorite. Their matches have been good – not Trish Stratus good, but better than anything anyone outside of Nattie or Naomi has given us in the past year. Now they can collide at SummerSlam for another chapter, although I still don’t think AJ is going to be dethroned. While WWE may have some faith back in Paige, I really think they look at AJ as THE top diva, and want her to be the champion for another long run. I think it would make more sense to trade off the belt this time, but I don’t see that happening.
My Personal Pick: Paige wins and feuds with AJ as the heel anti-diva Paige.
My Prediction: AJ Lee retains and remains on top of the division.
HE’S THE SAVIOR THEY NEED, NOT THE ONE THEY DESERVE
When Chris Jericho made his return to WWE for this run, he wanted to work with Bray Wyatt. When WWE pitched a Bray Wyatt feud to him, he accepted. I was excited to see my favorite wrestler of all time collide with my favorite character on the roster right now, but they haven’t lived up to my – or a lot of people’s – expectations yet. Their first match was good, and Jericho getting the win made sense, but the feud as a whole had simply been missing something. Jericho was able to beat Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to prevent them from being at ringside, but that still didn’t give the feud the spark it needed.
Until this past Raw, where they had Wyatt and Jericho in a sit-down interview, and the feud got more than the spark it needed – it got an entire bonfire lit under it’s ass.
It’s an incredibly simple story. Bray wants to be a savior to the masses, and while he claims he isn’t, you can tell that’s what his character’s motivation truly wants. He lives through lies and deceits, doing things he feels is right even if it only makes sense in his twisted mind. He’s a perfect anti-hero, and an extremely dangerous character, since every action he takes, he feels, is for a bigger purpose. Now here comes this brash talking, good looking, hero to the people – a hero who always claimed to be their savior. These two simply can’t coexist, and Bray decided to prove that Jericho is a fraud with everything he claims. Jericho, being just as intelligent as Wyatt, made the same claims right back to Bray, and each of them presented the other with their own personal agendas and accounts of one another. The result was a goosebump raising one-on-one that told the entire story in a few minutes time, and made you feel this feud. Now, Wyatt Vs. Jericho really is must-see, because both of them presented really strong and compelling arguments, but only one of them will successfully back up their words on Sunday.
This feud has the potential for one more big blow-off match at the next PPV before Jericho goes on hiatus again, so even though I think Bray will get the win Sunday, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jericho go 2-0 against Bray, leading to a big stipulation match to blow off the feud.
My Personal Pick: Bray Wyatt wins, although Harper & Rowan will still find a way to sneak in.
My Prediction: This one can honestly go either way, but I’m going to stick with Bray going over.
WHEN YOU’RE SURROUNDED BY YOUR ENEMIES, EVERYONE LOSES
Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins have been working their tails off since the Shield breakup to establish themselves as individuals, especially in the light of Roman Reigns getting the big push from the group. While a lot of people called Reigns being the breakout star, most people accurately predicted that he wasn’t ready to move up so quickly, and evidence has really started to stack up against him. But we’ll get to him, let’s talk about Rollins and Ambrose.
Seth Rollins has been one of the best booked Money in the Bank briefcase holders in years. He wins decisively and aggressively, and comes off as someone who could be a real threat to the world champion. He has the Authority’s backing, so he’s somewhat free to run amuck and break the rules with the powers that be turning a blind eye. This adds to his street cred, as he can push the envelope as far as he wants, and knows that the Authority will be there to bail him out. Rollins has really gotten over as a bully heel in that respect, and has more than proven his worth on the microphone to boot. His smug attitude and talented workrate will keep him relevant for years, even though there are still wrestling pundits claiming he will be released before 2014’s calendar end.
Dean Ambrose, on the other hand, took a much different approach. Angered at Rollins’ double cross, and knowing full well how high the briefcase cash-in stakes are, the loose cannon Ambrose has made it his mission to ensure that Rollins will fail in his eventual title match. This creates an intriguing storyline, as Rollins could cash in and lose, and still manage to not lose momentum, if his title shot is sabotaged. Since Ambrose has become a target of the Authority, protecting Rollins, he’s changed his look to a very street rebel look, and basically acts as the outcast and loner of the roster, a role he plays to perfection. Channeling elements of both Steve Austin and Brian Pillman, as well as Heath Ledger’s Joker, Dean Ambrose has come into his own as a rebellious babyface, one that the fans can really sink their teeth into. His indy background in hardcore promotions like CZW can actually come into play with his in-ring style, and make sense in a storytelling perspective. Despite everything that’s happened, I think Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have evolved into much better characters than their former cohort Roman Reigns has, and I think their future as a whole will be brighter because of it.
Their match on Sunday is a Lumberjack Match. Many people scoffed at this stipulation, much like the flag match in the Rusev-Swagger match, because many people feel like Ambrose and Rollins could have a much more hardcore and devastating match than just surrounding the ring with people. However, anyone who watched the buildup and stipulation announcement could explain why this makes so much sense. As the Shield, Ambrose and Rollins stood side-by-side as they amassed a roster full of enemies in the WWE. Now, to settle the score, Ambrose is taking the poetic justice approach and forcing a battle to take place with said enemies watching their every move. It makes sense, and with the street fight like battles Dean and Seth have had, expect this one to be violent and exciting, especially with the unpredictable roster at ringside.
Plus, Zack Ryder gets to be on PPV now. WWWYKI.
My Prediction & Personal Pick: Dean Ambrose wins, decisively and aggressively.
POOR TESTING ON HOUSE SHOWS? BETTER KEEP THE FEUD GOING
The one match that has the potential to not deliver isn’t the one with Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon. Granted, Stephanie isn’t a wrestler, and Brie isn’t Trish Stratus, but expectations for that match aren’t nearly as high as what’s expected out of Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. And on Sunday, these two are going to collide in a match that’s been built poorly on television, and has tested extremely negatively at live events.
The story is simple, Roman Reigns hates the Authority and the Authority hates Roman, stemming from the Shield breakup. Roman has been a thorn in the side of Triple H, Corporate Kane (or Demon Kane, depending on the week now) and their hand-picked franchise player, Randy Orton. The television buildup hasn’t kept me intrigued, but it’s mostly been Orton getting cheap shots and Reigns wanting to silence the cocky and arrogant Randy. Unfortunately, both men don’t deliver well in promos, and in-ring, both are less than exciting, but in different ways.
Roman is simply inexperienced, or green. Without the protection of his Shield brothers, he’s exposed in singles competition. While he has a devastating looking spear and a cool apron dropkick move, he doesn’t exactly light the ring on fire. Although he can work better than a lot of big men in the past who’ve been given his spot, he’s being groomed for a WrestleMania main event style push, and he simply isn’t there yet. Of course, with the right program, he could really get over and improve his skills tenfold, but the right program isn’t Randy Orton.
While I’ve been neutral on Randy Orton for a very long time, 2014 has really soured me on him as a performer. Despite his run as world champion, he hasn’t done much of anything exciting. Unlike John Cena who CAN work matches quite well, and to say that he can’t proves you know nothing about wrestling, Randy doesn’t work matches that well at all. His matches are full of slow spots, rest holds, and weird psychology that maybe makes sense to him, but not to me. His slow, methodical talking patterns is designed to make him sound deep, dangerous, and cunning, but he doesn’t deliver in that fashion. If anything, he sounds bored, confused, and like he’s reading off a script. Jake “The Snake” Roberts he ain’t. Randy hasn’t changed or fine-tuned his character in years, and that’s a big problem in 2014, when so many younger guys are taking their game to the next level. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Cesaro, Bad News Barrett and several others are only one small step away from snatching Orton’s spotlight out from under him. Even Roman Reigns is perched and ready to seize his moment in the sun, and he could potentially do so on Sunday.
I don’t have high hopes for this match, but it may turn out to be better than expected, since it’s not expected to be that great at all. The smart move here is to put Roman Reigns over clean, to establish his character, especially if they want him to be prominent at WrestleMania 31. A big match SummerSlam win over someone as big on the roster as Randy Orton will certainly make that happen for him. And honestly, he could win in a minute and still not hurt Orton, with how protected Randy is in his programs. There’s no excuse not to put Reigns over here.
My Prediction and Personal Pick: Romen Reigns with a decisive victory, despite any Kane interference.
YOU’RE A VINDICTIVE [WORD REDACTED]
The big money women’s match, and one of the main event programs for SummerSlam, involves Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon. Surprisingly, this one of the better built matches going into this card. Even though the two girls playing the roles have limited acting talent, raw emotion is taking center stage for this feud.
The Authority feud started with Daniel Bryan, who after getting hurt, was ordered to relinquish the championship. Bryan’s refusal got him over as a rebellious babyface fighting the system, and even though Stephanie’s actions were technically the right ones (the fans deserve a fighting champion) the fans voted quite loudly that they didn’t want Bryan to lose the gold. Stephanie took out her aggressions on Brie, prompting her to quit the company rather than be fired, but they ended up taking the gold off Bryan anyway, causing Brie’s actions to be in vain. This promoted Stephanie to abuse her power on Brie’s sister Nikki, which led to Brie arriving in the crowd and being assaulted in a fan capacity, which led to Stephanie’s arrest. Corny as this was, and as eye rolling as the overuse of the word “bitch” can be, this led to intriguing television and got the fans solidly behind Brie and against Stephanie, and it’s not hard to understand why this story works.
If you watch Total Divas (which most of you reading this don’t), Brie and Bryan have an incredibly realistic relationship. In essence, they’re the “every couple.” They’re laid back, easy-going, family and friends-oriented, and just love each other. Nikki’s relationship with John Cena is all based on acts of selfishness, fancy possessions, spending money, and living lavishly. Regardless of how scripted the “reality” portion of the show is, it’s obvious who the more relatable couple is. And with Bryan as a champion of the fans, and a champion of the people, the fans have no problem getting behind Brie as a result. Fans relate to Bryan, just like they relate to Brie, because they’re just like them – a story point that took center stage for Triple H and Stephanie.
Stephanie McMahon is the pure opposite. She was born into luxury, was spoiled and handed everything in life. She went from the daddy’s girl character of the Attitude Era into the strong businesswoman character today, by abusing her power and calling the shots to her own personal preference. The “best for business” mantra has generated great heel heat, because it allows for her and Triple H to do whatever they want, and justify it by manipulating the story to sound like it’s for the greater good, even when it’s not. They play horrendous bully power-mongers, and created the ideal scenario where you absolutely need to see them get their comeuppance. And they’re doing it so well, it’s generating major buzz for a match where the two girls aren’t the greatest workers on the roster, but they don’t need to be. This match will be 100% driven by story and emotion, and will be an absolute fight to the death.
Some people think Stephanie will win, with Nikki potentially turning heel in the process, and Brie will stay out until Bryan returns, but I don’t think that scenario works. A heel Nikki won’t have much to work with, since WWE is already pushing so many other girls as heels. Plus, Brie losing will suck the wind out of the feud, since it’s been building for a lot longer than just one month. The Authority needs to have it stuck to them on Sunday, because the revenge they will plan in response will be much better than the typical “we told you so” angle they will undoubtedly do. I think Brie wins, gets her job back, and continues fighting the machine until Bryan is cleared to come back.
My Personal Pick & Prediction: Brie Bella, with a potential shocking return of Mr. McMahon because it’s been too long now.
BLOOD, PISS, VINEGAR, AND OTHER FLUIDS IN YOUR WORLD TITLE MATCH
The final match of the night is the much anticipated and much hyped fight between Brock Lesnar and John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This match is being given a “big fight” feel, through some incredible video packages, and the walking hype machine Paul Heyman. When your biggest detractors sit back and go “wow, Paul Heyman is selling this feud” you know you’re onto something. But all Heyman is doing is telling the story until the bell rings. Once the bell rings, it’s up to Cena and Lesnar to deliver like they’ve never delivered before.
People were shocked and appalled when Brock ended the Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak. But when that moment happened, nobody really grasped what it really represented, the era of a new super-draw. With Lesnar having accomplished one of the biggest achievements in professional wrestling’s modern history, he is now a hot committedly, and something that will now be sought to be conquered by those beneath him. Being the one in 21-1 is pretty big, but to topple the one in 21-1 will be just as big of a moment. But in order to make sure that moment is as significant as it needs to be, it needs to be done right. In reality, Lesnar has to destroy John Cena on Sunday.
I don’t mean he needs to win in 30 seconds. Hell, he doesn’t even need to win the championship. He needs to batter Cena within an inch of his life, and leave him in a pile of his own…well, he already said it. Even if it was a DQ finish (which would sound like BS at first), Lesnar can still walk out of this one destroying the WWE’s franchise player like he’s never been destroyed before.
Now I know how critical people are of Brock Lesnar since his return, but let’s set a few things straight here:
Just because Brock is a “part time” guy doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a run as champion. Brock can still work every PPV and remain relevant, and a huge threat, even as champion. Cena didn’t work the last month, and his match on Sunday still feels gigantic and special. It’s possible to do this with careful booking. It also sets up the long term picture – the person who dethrones Lesnar becomes THE man in wrestling, almost instantly, because that person took down the guy who took down the roster. It’s a smart, long-term booking plan that has serious benefits to the next guy in line, which is something a lot of short sighted people seem to be missing out on. Whether WWE chooses the right guy or not remains to be seen, but it’s a booking plan that could work.
Remember, and this is something any younger worker in the business should take heed, if you think that someone else deserves Brock’s spot, then ask yourself what have they done to deserve that spot. Don’t feed me the classic “they work full time” excuse either – Zack Ryder works full time too, but that doesn’t mean he deserves a world title spot because of it. Brock’s booking has made him a special attraction, and special attractions draw money, ratings, exposure, and a lot of stuff that benefits EVERYONE in the company, top to bottom. Brock has the street cred to back it up, and whether you like it or not (and a lot of you don’t) you still pay attention to everything he does.
Do I agree with it? Not all the time, but what you and I think doesn’t matter here, because the benefits of the long-term out weight the short-term, by a lot.
What I always chuckled at were how many people started clamoring for Brock to take the belt off Cena, because they don’t want Cena as the champion. Many of those people were calling for Brock’s head when he ended Taker’s streak, so why is he suddenly your hero now? Fickle fans hurt the presentation sometimes.
In any case, regardless of how you feel about this match, Lesnar losing to Cena hurts his mystique and kills off any chance of anyone capitalizing on the one in 21-1. Cena is not that guy, so let him take the beating and let the next person in line dismantle the beast and cement WWE as the next guy. Roman Reigns? Bray Wyatt? Cesaro? Dolph Ziggler? The Miz? Someone else? Time will tell.
My Prediction and Personal Pick: Brock Lesnar wins, either by DQ, or becomes the champion.
And since some people have asked, no I don’t think Undertaker’s legacy is ruined by this. In fact, he’s more prominent in 2014 than he has been in the last few years, since his name is still fresh on everyone’s minds. And no, I don’t think the absence of the streak will hurt a potential Taker-Sting showdown at WrestleMania, because a match like that can be built as a HUGE special attraction, without the streak getting in the way. They can tell a whole different story in Sting-Taker, and the streak doesn’t have to be a thing.
Remember kids, even a long-term storyline ending doesn’t mean anything negative if the booking is right. Promoters, take note of that too.
Overall, I predict a fun and solid SummerSlam, devoid of any pesky Hispanic pro wrestlers.
Ohhh, what’s that? Didn’t like that comment? Don’t blame me, blame WWE for recent events.
THE SAGA OF ALBERTO DEL RIO, AND THE FALL OF HISPANIC WORKERS IN WWE
Alberto Del Rio was fired recently, for unprofessional conduct not becoming of a professional athlete. Here’s essentially how the story breaks down.
Some social media PR employee made a snide comment about how it’s Del Rio’s job to clean the plates. Del Rio got wind of this and confronted the employee over the racist comment. The employee offered no apology and smirk, so Del Rio offered his hand in the guy’s face. He was slapped so far he fell to the floor, and Del Rio stormed off, issuing insults back.
Who’s wrong in this situation? Everyone.
Let’s get this out of the way first. While it’s pretty clear Del Rio was the victim in this, he still made a big mistake slapping the employee. Assault is assault, and when you’re an independent contractor hitting a company payroll employee, you’re the one who ends up paying the price. A national television star and public figure just committed assault, and that’s a no-no in any business practice, regardless of the circumstances. Should he have been fired? Not necessarily, but there were other factors working against him. Namely, his soon-to-be expiring contract, his public comments of not wanting to re-sign, past attitude problems, and the fact that WWE is a little budget-cut crazy these days. This was nothing more than the excuse to pull the trigger on eliminating another roster member. It was a poor judgment call, and there wasn’t a worse time to do it.
Now, do I sympathize with Del Rio, and objectively feel like he was mistreated here? Yes, a million times yes. The employee was the one who started the situation, making an extremely unprofessional comment not becoming of a public relations representative. Comments like that are not, and should not, be allowed in any working environment, no matter how big or how small. But as far as I know, the PR employee (who isn’t liked by any of the wrestlers) was not fired. That means WWE is free to spin their own PR story, and essentially, encourage other employees that racism is okay. It’s, well, bad PR.
But who does WWE have to blame for allowing comments like this? WWE themselves. Ricardo Rodriguez recently left WWE because they wouldn’t let him wrestle regularly, and he didn’t want to just be a guy at the Spanish announce table. But another issue was the fact that WWE wanted his weight under control, and Ricardo himself said that Triple H would often mock him, calling him Bumblebee, a reference to the portly Simpsons character Bumblebee Man, who is an extremely stereotypical character as well. Actions like that seem to indicate that WWE encourages racist comments towards their Hispanic workers. Even if that’s not true, the fact that Triple H, the (soon to be real) owner of the company and a PR representative can get away with comments like that without repercussion, does not sway this argument in their favor.
However, don’t feel badly for Alberto Del Rio. He doesn’t. Friends of his have said that although he was unhappy with his final run in WWE, he was very happy with his exposure as a whole, and was leaving his contract willingly anyway, to return to his native Mexico and compete for AAA again as an even bigger star than before. If he’s happy, then I’m happy for him, and his fans should be happy too. With AAA getting an American television deal soon, fans of Del Rio can still watch him compete in the ring from their living rooms. He was going to leave the company anyway, and by WWE forcing him out in a crappy way, he gets to return as an even bigger star in a “stick it to them” fashion. Good for him.
One article I read stated that by losing Del Rio, WWE lost it’s entire connection to the Hispanic audience. While I don’t entirely agree with that statement, its reason for existing isn’t hard to see. WWE doesn’t have a lot of Hispanic wrestlers on their roster right now, and the ones they do have, they don’t utilize very largely. Rey Mysterio, one of the biggest names in Mexican wrestling history, is too injured to offer much to the table anymore, and wants out of WWE due to contract disagreements. Sin Cara, despite now being played by someone in good standing with the company who CAN speak English, is mostly used as an afterthought, or in a tag team in NXT with Kalisto. Kalisto is, of course, still in NXT. That leaves Primo & Epico, who are running around in a goofy matador gimmick with a midget dressed like a bull. So who’s fault is it that Del Rio and Ricardo wanted out of their contracts? Doesn’t seem like it was their fault at all.
Read into the story any way you choose, but I think both men will benefit from a return to AAA, as will Mysterio. If WWE doesn’t like it, then they should avoid their top corporate guy making disparaging comments about a Hispanic wrestler, and they should take better action when an employee oversteps their boundaries.
KENTA, STEEN, DEVITT – GOOD MOVES
Before I close out this blog, I want to touch on WWE’s newest signings.
WWE recently made three very big acquisitions in talent recently. They hired a huge Japanese name in KENTA, a huge international and domestic star in Prince Devitt, and one of the most gifted big men in independent wrestling in Kevin Steen. This is significant, because it’s proof that WWE still looks to seek out the best talent possible for their roster, a move that will be much more appealing to those superstars looking to make an impact in their careers during a time when TNA is dying and GFW isn’t launching yet.
People are nervous about how these guys will get treated in NXT, but I don’t think we have anything to worry about. The WWE has openly taken notice that these are all major signings and big assets to the future of the company. For fans of NXT, we may see them all debut at Takeover 2 on September 11th (never forget) and after a solid tear up the scene run in NXT, come to the main roster and be exactly who they need to be.
I’d say more, but I’ve drained my creative juices and writing willpower on this one. It was a fun write, and hopefully you enjoyed it. Will any of my predictions come true? We’ll find out on Sunday. But no matter what happens, I look forward to my swan song as a Florida wrestling fan, once and for all.
Jersey Rain is coming to Pennsylvania.
I’ve been slacking on my blogs the last two weeks. I’ve been planning a cross-country move, setting my job and housing situations in stone, and making plans to see my niece turn one this weekend (Happy Birthday Rebecca!) But I want to give you guys something before my next big top 10.
The state of pro wrestling is currently shaky, from WWE’s financial woes to TNA’s cancellation on Spike TV. It’s leading a lot of speculation about what the future is going to hold. What network will pick up TNA, and what cuts WWE will make to the company, are hot button issues with too many variables. Because of this, many bloggers are taking to the internet to offer their own suggestions of what they believe will fix WWE and TNA’s problems.
And they’re all horrible.
The simple fact is that, we as wrestling fans, do not know how to run WWE like we think we do. Even those of us lucky and fortunate enough to say we’re in the business cannot fathom running pro wrestling on a global scale like that. It’s unrealistic to assume we have all the answers. I may have promoted shows in the past, but fixing WWE’s problems in one week is something that is leaps and bounds over my head. And if you’re reading this, it’s over your head too.
Sure, you may think you have a solution that will work, but odds are it’s not going to help. The problem is that, when fans start to claim they know how to fix WWE, the idea is always flawed in some way. They almost always involve bringing back someone or something that was a proven commodity in the past, shuffling the card, making heel turns happen on top babyfaces, and always including something that’s improbable.
Ask someone you know how they would book an episode of Raw, their own way, and the results will be unsurprising. They will push only the people they like, and bury everyone they don’t. Odds are they won’t do anything that would benefit the general population of the fans, because they have tunnel vision as to what they believe will work.
And honestly, I don’t blame them at all.
After all, you’re watching to envision your dream WWE Universe, right? Isn’t that way the video games let you book your own rivalries and you can decide who wins and who loses what matches? If you want your world champion to be Zack Ryder, you can just put a belt on him. It’s easy in the games. In real life, it’s much different.
You have to appeal to everyone: hardcore fans, casual fans, men, women, children, older people, stock holders, and the personal themselves. You also have to have everything: serious wrestlers, comedy gimmicks, big men, high flyers, brawlers, technicians, powerhouses, divas, tag teams, and a hierarchy of talent that makes sense. Why? Because everyone likes something different. You may only like big guys, brawlers, and serious workers, but other people like tag teams, high flyers, and comedy gimmicks. If you isolate them, they’ll tune out, and you hurt your audience.
See why most individuals would fail as a booker? It just isn’t possible for us to comprehend. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from trying, and often times what they come up with is genius.
Ludacris storylines with improbable outcomes, long term plans that can’t possibly work out, and forcefully pushing wrestlers with health risks are just some of the content I’ve seen spewed out onto various forums. I don’t care how big of a fan of Christian you are, if he becomes critically injured in his world title match that you insist he wrestle in, despite his doctor’s orders, you’re not going to feel very good about yourself. The selfishness of some fans is ridiculous at times.
This leads me to my topic at hand. I was shown a screenshot from what appears to be a YouTube comment. The guy named “joe hill” (too cool to capitalize) says if he owned WWE RIGHT NOW, he’d do THESE THINGS, and they will surely save the company. There are 10 of them, so let’s break them down.
1. Change back to WWF
His first order of business will be to change the company name. While it’s reasonable to still not be happy with the name “WWE” (I still prefer WWF myself) it’s not an option. I don’t know what the settlement details between the World Wildlife Fund and Vince McMahon’s company are, but I’m willing to wager this can’t be an overnight decision. Plus, WWE’s rebranding has been going for over 12 years now. Do you honestly think it’s a good idea to change the company name AGAIN? TNA tried it with Impact Wrestling, and look how far that got them.
2. Bring back the Attitude Era
This is the most common “solution” fans seem to have for solving WWE’s issues. It’s mostly based on a “PG sucks” mentality, but let’s be honest here. The Attitude Era only worked because it was risky, cutting-edge, and pushed boundaries never before pushed on television before. Bringing it back won’t create anything new or revolutionary. Remember when D-Generation X reformed in 2006? It was terrible, rehashing old outdated jokes that simply didn’t work with the times. Plus, I hate to tell the hardcore marks this, but WWE’s family-friendly appeal broadens their horizons and brings in more viewers, including the highly profitable children’s market. It may be lame at times, but it’s a much better idea than hardcore TV. And did everyone forget that among the cutting-edge storylines were some of the worst overall in-ring matches in wrestling? Countless run-ins, screw-jobs, no contests, and over-gimmicked matches may be fun for awhile, but it wears on you real fast.
Regardless, these eras have passed. The Attitude Era also only worked because of competition from WCW. Compare the “Brand Extension” feud to the Monday Night Wars, and there’s the difference. No matter how hard they tried, Raw and Smackdown were still the same company. The only way to get a pure feud going is to have the rival be another company. TNA? They tried it and dropped out after three months. Jeff Jarrett’s new promotion? Probably not for years. Ring of Honor? No.
Sorry guys, this is the reality of the situation. Your era is gone, and it’s a great nostalgic memory, but pro wrestling is an industry that always needs to more FORWARD. If you disagree with that statement, you are wrong. That’s business.
3. Go back to the Attitude Era arena stage
Your grand scheme to save wrestling also involves making the stage look gritty. Nice idea, and it may even save money, but it’s a far cry from being an actual solution. Plus, simple isn’t always better. WWE’s HD tron now looks high-tech and is TV friendly. It makes them look global and look like they’re #1. Do you really think it’s a good idea to revert back to a stage that’s almost indy?
4. Have the Attitude Intro
I get what he means, but I think it’s funny to envision the original Attitude Intro playing for Raw now, featuring guys who don’t even work there anymore. I want to assume he means “an attitude intro with the current roster in it” but I honestly don’t think a guy who can’t capitalize his own name was thinking that far ahead.
5. Raw will go back to Raw is War
Does it need to? No. But again, he’s trying to save the company, so reverting everything back to the old ways is his grand plan. Maybe I’m being too hard on him now.
6. Michael Cole will be fired.
No I’m not.
Look, I’ve never liked Michael Cole as an announcer, but I’m sick of the reputation he gets. He is a stooge, nothing more. He echoes Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn’s thoughts on air, and has done so for years. He’s told what to say and how to say it, to constantly hype the WWE App, bury people Dunn and McMahon want to mock, and argue over story points. But he also does what he’s supposed to do as an announcer – call moves and tell stories. Besides, if this genius fires Cole, who’s the replacement? Bring back Jim Ross, who has bad blood with the company? Bring up a new play-by-play guy who isn’t ready? Have it be just King and JBL? Great idea, moron.
Cole’s entire heel character was a McMahon experiment, that he had a blast with, and it went WAY overboard and only ended because Jerry Lawler nearly died on air. Have you ever heard a Cole interview outside WWE? He’s genuinely funny. Sure he’s a prick in person to fans (personal experience, and no less than five other friends experience to back that up) but he gets a LOT of unfair treatment for doing exactly what he’s told to do.
7. Jerry “The King” Lawler will become heel because he was best as heel. (Quotations for The King added by me)
I agree, Lawler was a phenomenal heel, but it wouldn’t work in 2014 WWE. Jerry can’t get in the ring to deliver a proper payoff to being a full-fledged heel anymore, and the fans aren’t going to want to boo someone in his current legendary status, especially given his recent health issues. This one is a good idea in theory, but there’s no way it would work.
Still, this dude may be redeeming himself.
8. Have John Cena turn heel, or if he refused he would be fired
So, you’re going to take your #1 babyface, top merchandise seller, and main draw for the harder to appeal kids and female audience, and make him into a bad guy because people like to boo him? BRILLIANT. What are you going to do when his heel antics get him over with huge babyface reactions? Turn him back? Because history indicates that you will.
Look people, John Cena grants wishes to dying children. You make him a bad guy, you ruin the single biggest charity move WWE has EVER done in one night. It’s not going to happen, get over it.
9. Have some old favorites return such as Vader and Psycho Sid and of course Stone Cold (his spelling, not mine)
Are they on good terms? Can they still wrestle? I’m going to guess he doesn’t know and doesn’t care. I’m also going to assume he only picked favorites of his, not everyone else’s. Again, when you book for only you, the business suffers.
Isn’t that what the majority of you complain about with Vince? That he plays favorites and only books what he wants?
10 Violence has resumed
I wasn’t aware it left.
Was I out of line here? Do you think I’m being unfair? Rather than spew hate mail in the comments, why don’t you tell me ideas that YOU have that could fix WWE? Put some thought into them, and if you honestly think they’ll work, let me know. Perhaps I will do a follow-up with your ideas. I promise I won’t rip them apart or bury anyone, and if I disagree with what you claim, I’ll tackle it respectfully. I’m just generally curious as to what you think could fix WWE, because I really don’t believe any of us have the answer.
Just remember, when you book for only you, you do exactly what you get mad at Vince for doing. Remember your audience is vast and full of diversity. Putting the world title on Dolph Ziggler and feuding him with the returning CM Punk that you miraculously managed to rehire is NOT an answer.
Otherwise, thanks for reading this pseudo-rant. I’ll be back soon with another proper blog. Any other good top 10 ideas out there for wrestling or non-wrestling topics?