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 The lack of new main eventers

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Grecian
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PostSubject: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:16 pm

With Wrestlemania rolling around again, and this year's event increasingly looking like ReMatchMania, it got me thinking: why haven't more wrestlers broken into the main event bracket?

Last year, Mania 28 - despite the return of the Rock, Triple H vs Undertaker being awesome, and the rumoured return of Brock Lesnar and Batista for the big one, the biggest star coming out of that show was Daniel Bryan. Put simply, the 'Yes!' chant caught on, he was hugely over, and his 18 second loss to sheamus did nothing to harm his popularity. He then followed that with a main event run with CM Punk that lived up to the hype in-ring, and it looked like WWE had discovered a guy to break into the main event. He's now half a comedy-double-act with Kane, and looking like he'll face kane on the biggest show in nothing more than a mid-card match. Ryback had a huge push during Cena's injury, and has no obvious opponent. Rumours of Jericho and Big Show are around, but his main opponents at the moment are the Shield, and I can't see that continuing until Mania.

So what's to blame for this? There was a time when Mania was the event when pushed guys won their first world title, usually to go on to become huge stars - Batista & Cena (Mania 21), Rey (22) are the ones who spring to mind.

In my opinion, the problem is simple; it's Money In The Bank.

Since it started at Mania 21, most people winning their first world title have done so by cashing in the briefcase - Edge, RVD, Punk, Swagger, Miz, Del Rio (I think?), Daniel Bryan... all won their first title, cashing in on a weakened champion, with the exception of RVD. Conversely, I can only think of Jeff Hardy (who was due to win until he failed a drug test), Mark Henry and Sheamus who won the 'old-fashioned' way, with an extended push.

The problem continues with the presentation of them as champions. Miz held the title for months, and main-evented Mania. I can only remember one clean win, over a 60-odd yaer-old commentator, after he needed help to retain against the same commentator from Michael Cole to beat him in a ladder match. After Punk's first cash-in, he wasn't even allowed to compete in the match where he lost the title, and it was made obvious that he was a fluke champion. Edge only really cracked the main event bracket when his run with Cena stretched to 9 months... and his first reign lasted a paltry three weeks.

Would these guys have been world champs without the briefcase? in some cases, no - I can't imagine any circumstances where Swagger would have won a world title cleanly at Mania. For others, Miz, yes, he would have become a world champion - and I'd bet large amounts of cash if he'd been allowed to beat Cena at Mania 27 cleanly to win his first world title, he'd still be a main-eventer now.

For the past couple of years, WWE have given up building new, lasting stars in favour of getting back big names for a nostalgia pop and a big Mania buyrate. Very soon, Rock will be back in Hollywood, Taker back on his hospital bed, Trips in his office, Jericho dreaming of being a rockstar and not a lowly wrestler, Punk needs some time off... and who are we left with? A collection of MITB winners, who no-one believes in anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:39 pm

I would suggest that it's not all WWE's fault, there is a lack of (shall we say) X-Factor. Dolph has been seen as a good worker and a good technical wrestler for a year or two, I'd assume. But there is a blandness to him. There is a blandness to everyone. Most people's gimmicks these days are "arrogant sports star" for heel and "honourable sports star" for faces. People need to get away from this typical 21st century trend of sports stars in sports entertainment. Take a risk. Think up creative gimmicks and character developments for yourself. Get noticed for something other than "he's a good worker" because if you are a good worker you are what? You are Dean Malenko...

The Sheild are looking very credible at the moment on the other hand. Whoever thought up that has the right idea. Be it creative, or be it a suggestion from the wrestlers themselves. All three of those lads could be further pushed when they break up, if they extend their characters further. And they have just been plucked from nowhere in wwe universe's eyes. From nothing to someone in a few weeks.

I also think that Swagger has had time to re think his character, although to be fair The All American could have worked vs the right opponents, but maybe it would run out of steam. He can go back to it though, as he is now "The Real American" yet, heel. Which could be very interesting, it allows him to play on America's flaws as a country, an american that is going to cheat to win, play dirty. He could get more heat than the standard "Foreign type who hates america" quite easilly. I think he will be someone WWE push over the next few years.

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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:48 pm

The 'X' factor is something that in wrestling needs something to be seen for what it is, though. Before the 3:16 promo, Austin was seen in the same way Ziggler is now. Rock as a blue-chip good guy sucked. Punk needed the Straight Edge Society and then 'that' promo to show it.

If someone like Miz was given the same opportunity to cut loose and do what he wanted to, who's to say he wouldn;t be able to do something similar? All he's known for at the moment is winning MITB, being in the Mania 27 main event, and being a truly irritating liitle prick. He's never recovered career-wise from being a world champ, as weird as it sounds. He doesn't look like winning another one any time soon, either, despite Mackem's dreams of Rumble wins.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:51 pm

And as a slight aside, does Cena have the X-factor? He provokes the loudest reactions, but mostly because the kids love him, and the guys hate him for having everything handed to him when he's not that good.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:11 pm

I'm going to add a bit more on to this too. It's about embracing a gimmick, never fear the gimmick and it's importance.

Now a little spot the difference:

The Undertaker
Kane
HHH
HBK
DX
NWO
Stone Cold
The Rock
Y2J
Mankind
Edge
Ultimate Warrior
Sting



Daniel Bryan
Dolph Ziggler
Wade Barrett
Jack Swagger
Alberto Del Rio
Thingy Mcintyre (point proven early as I genuinely am struggling to recall his name now haha)
Dean Malenko...

It's a good thing that CM Punk fits into the first list, but it only does becaus he worked for years and years to make it so. Chicago made punk sounds fucking stupid, but along with his gimmick he has evolved. Just like the many other recognisable names, most of which sound fucking daft at first, but years of work make you forget that. Wwe has been a bit lame giving people full names, but it's up to a wrestler to come up with original ideas for their career, or to make what they have been given work for them better. Zack Ryder tries, he is totally lame, but he has the right idea at least. The one WWE motto should be 'be memorable'

I guess I have an untapped passion for this crap, and it may have a lack of order in what I post, but jesus, if a wrestler lacks in one area, it can be made up for in others. Mick Foley, not a trained grappler, had mic talent a gimmick and some big balls. Steve Austin, once a technicl wrestler, got broken, but became something bigger than he could have ever achieved if fully able! Surely people realise that only a few technicl greats become great, and time is better spent improving the mind rather than the ability. Sure, don't slack in ability, but if you are on the mid card you can probably accept that you can work matches every week so need to improve elsewhere.

I was only going to do the list but rambled lol

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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:20 pm

Cena has a passion that you can see in his eyes and a gimmick that sells like hot cakes, that is his x factor. He was a joke rapper, but made it big.

I'm opposite to you on the miz, the miz is a true success story. Why does he need to be champion or main event right now? He has years and years and will likely last, and he was just a fucking little muppet on tough enough and reality tv. I cringed when he first came in, but he could end up cena's replacement if we dare to see into the future. He's taking over alot of media work and charity. So maybe he will be THE name. I'd love to see Punk vs Miz in he future if miz can work out being a face. If not when punk is face again. Wrestling is the slow game. No use being 9 time champion Randy Orton too young, because then they have to halt your progress so you don't win 40 world titles by age 40

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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:34 pm

I look at it at a slightly different view I think - so bare with me.

Take the likes of Undertaker, HHH, HBK, The Rock and John Cena for example. I only know them from being in wwe. they pretty much worked their way up the ladder to become what they are, and I watched them all the way. Now take Daniel Bryan, seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns (i think thats his name). People know all about them and know what they can do so when they come into the wwe people are expecting huge things straight away and get impatiant (which is understandable). I knew nothing about these guys so enjoy watching them build.

Regarding the Likes of The Miz, Swagger, Ziggler, Barrett and ADR. it is still pretty early in their wwe careers. Wrestlemania 30 will be the time you see these guys at the top, as we did 10 years ago when Benoit and Eddie Guerrero main event wrestlemania 20. Yes, The Miz has had is WM main event but he was there with The Rock and John Cena. I think Vince thinks there is still something missing with Ziggler. Teasing a title run but then backing off.

Money in the bank is getting old imo. I'd bring back King of the Ring. Slower build up rather than a lucky win by climbing the ladder.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:45 pm

I guess the most recent new main eventer is Bully Ray. He hasn't held the 'Big one' but he is an example of working your way up.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:57 pm

I think there is a problem with money in the bank too really. It's been used as a reward for good work recently, but the intercontinental title and us title could be more hotly contested for instead. There used to be more four ways and big tag matches that made all mid card belts seem exciting.

I found myself skipping the orton match on Raw, because at the moment although rivals with barrett, there is just something boring about them as rivals.

I'm going to predict the real american swagger has a good year, there was something about him on his return.

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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:07 pm

I found some commentary on Raw interesting also, how Del Rio will be using more Lucha moves. Obviously he was held back as a heel, because heels can't be too impressive in the ring haha. One flaw with WWE policy. Though I understand a heel has to keep up his heat within the match, as that is the DNA of wrestling. And you don't want fans gasping in delight too much. I liked how Punk mid match on Raw stopped the fans chanting this is awesome to get more heat.

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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:33 pm

Sexton Hardcastle wrote:
I'm opposite to you on the miz, the miz is a true success story. Why does he need to be champion or main event right now? He has years and years and will likely last, and he was just a fucking little muppet on tough enough and reality tv. I cringed when he first came in, but he could end up cena's replacement if we dare to see into the future. He's taking over alot of media work and charity. So maybe he will be THE name. I'd love to see Punk vs Miz in he future if miz can work out being a face. If not when punk is face again. Wrestling is the slow game. No use being 9 time champion Randy Orton too young, because then they have to halt your progress so you don't win 40 world titles by age 40

Thing is with the Miz that he was a success story, 2 years ago. now, he's another mid-card nobody with an awful face turn, is still incredibly annoying, and the passion has pretty much been sucked out of him. All he's got going for him now is that chat-show, which is nowhere near as a good as Jericho or Edge's. He may very well be the future of pro-wrestling as we know it, but you'd never know by the treatment he's getting. If he;s going to be a big name three years down the line, by that point most people will have lost faith in him as he never wins, hasn't been in a main-event for over a year...

There's more to being a star that just being memorable. Boogeyman was memorable. Mae Young giving birth to a hand was memorable. The most important thing is making people care.

People cared about Mick Foley, they cared about Austin, they cared about Triple H. I can count the people on the current roster who I genuinely give a toss about - and it's limited to Orton, Punk, Lesnar, Bryan, Kofi and I have a bizarre liking for Titus O'Neill.

going back to my MITB point: it seems that people win the title as a way of getting them over. I actually enjoyed Swagger's world title run, but once it was over, it didn't go anywhere. It seemed he won the title, and WWE had no idea what to do with him afterwards. So a nothing run with Orton, a stupid run with Big Show, drop it to Mysterio, then get dropped like a Ryback leg-drop. It seems that if giving them the world title doesn't give them huge levels of popularity, then WWE doesn't care. The IC title used to be a stepping stone to winning a world title, now it's just a way of stopping Kofi, Barrett and the mid-card a reason not to complain.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:08 pm

Yes, people caring is the most important thing, but I didn't just mean memorable as in weird, I mean working on a gimmick that 1. Fans will enjoy 2. Will sell products. Boogey man isn't the kind of memorable I meant. Sting is a good example, he's never been in wwe but he has nearly a perfect gimmick/look. And it's simple, not mad like boogey. It's just a way of making your look, your moves, your merch easilly recognisable. I hope barrett can develop his current thing a little more, just some basic tweaks to stand out a little more. Barrage isn't a word that americans would relate to imo, it's a start for him, but must do better applies.

I think WWE is in it's best state for a long time, which is a good thing. And they probably know if they lost 3 big names then they could just hit the mega push button on a few guys and within a year they would be huge.

Like I say much praise for the shield, I know little about the members really, but even without showing off match craft, they look the part, sound the part and make me care.

I don't like Ryback, but they have options with him and he already has a singular memorable name and catch phrase and could be moved into the title scene any time. Plus he can turn heel easilly.

I think Cody Rhodes and Jack Swagger are very marketable and don't need to be pushed too hard for people to be interested in them.

Randy Orton is on reserve I believe. As I mentioned they probably had to halt his progress when they realised he'd break every record for titles before even looking like retiring. Cena however is more likely to pack it in sooner. he's already lost his marriage and a film career is less tough on that side of things without the year long tours.

I am afraid that daniel bryan is considered too small to be consistantly main eventing. Though at first when he was starting with kane he had the second most segments after the Raw champion. So they obviously trust him. A tag run at a point where the wwe knew rock, jericho and brock were coming back is probably fair play.

We still have to wait and see what happens to Dolph, but the fact that he's with someone the WWE obviously like, in AJ is maybe a pointer to something post mania for him. Maybe she will end up GM of smackdown and he'll go for that belt? I don't know if he's said which belt he challenges for?

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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:27 pm

I think maybe together we could improve the WWE. At the end of the day I've never claimed to know alot about the match booking side of things, I enjoy the art of story based pushes. I never focus too much on how often someone wins or loses because it's the storylines I prefer. And as long as the ppv matches end a rivalry or extend from the storyline, i'm happy. Especially in WWE as the weekly matches bore the fuck out of me, due to predictible advert breaks and completely scripted feel. It's supposed to suspend disbelief, but sucks at executing it.

I understand in modern times people focus on alot more than I do and sensible booking is needed to keep 50% of the audience happy.

I'll never understand why Andy Kaufman isn't in the hall of fame either, he understood the character side of things before many others did. He wasn't a wrestler, but people can learn from his examples still. CM Punk is someone who has done that.

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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:09 pm

I think one of the big problems now is the lack of a learning curve for Wrestlers. Its either the WWE way or not at all.
In the past with terrotries Wrestlers worked diffrent places gatherd diffrent skills and become multi skilled.
Wrestlers who joined the WWE back then could bring ideas to the table and had some bartering power when they did join.
Now it's a case of find a Indy wrestler who is capable of putting on a decent match put them into devolopment teach them the WWE way. And these wrestlers have no choice but to accept the WWE terms and get on with it with no other real options to consider.

Some of the names mentioned on Sextons bland list, Ziggler, Mcintyre, Barrett and swagger all have been soley devoleped by WWE.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:22 pm

Sexton Hardcastle wrote:
I think maybe together we could improve the WWE. At the end of the day I've never claimed to know alot about the match booking side of things, I enjoy the art of story based pushes. I never focus too much on how often someone wins or loses because it's the storylines I prefer. And as long as the ppv matches end a rivalry or extend from the storyline, i'm happy. Especially in WWE as the weekly matches bore the fuck out of me, due to predictible advert breaks and completely scripted feel. It's supposed to suspend disbelief, but sucks at executing it.

I understand in modern times people focus on alot more than I do and sensible booking is needed to keep 50% of the audience happy.

I'll never understand why Andy Kaufman isn't in the hall of fame either, he understood the character side of things before many others did. He wasn't a wrestler, but people can learn from his examples still. CM Punk is someone who has done that.

Reading this post got me thinking the way i watch wrestling and the above pretty much sums it up. I find myself fast forwarding the actual wrestling and just watch promo's, backstage segments etc. Very rarely I watch a match on Raw.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:37 am

For me, it's a combination of both. I love watching the actual wrestling - that for me, is an absolute art. That said, I'm more than happy to accept that a well-produced story, promo's and so on are crucial to developing my interest. What ticks me off are when simple stories get stupidly complicated, and more and more people join in (see: Punk vs Vince storyline last year, that never got a final blow-off, and ended up with Triple H facing Kevin Nash...).

If you get a wrestling match that genuinely sucks you in, and has a story that you can totally understand and has an element of realism, there's nothing else like it. HBK vs Undertaker is an excellent example, that is the best executed WWE storyline I've seen in years.

Whereas in previous era's of WWE, people had to work to get the airtime, and work to get the IC title, and work to get close to the infamous glass ceiling, now it just seems that they get 6 months in FCW or NXT or whatever it's called, go onto Raw. If they're bodybuilders, they get an immediate push, until it's realised how crap they are, then get bombed back to developmental (see: Ezekiel Jackson, Mason Ryan). If they're successful indie wrestlers, they get to job to everyone at first, to show how they're inferior to WWE guys (see: Daniel Bryan, Colt Cabana, Low Ki/Kaval). At least since Trips took over development, people are getting immediate storylines to debut with, to give people a reason to care about them, and I love that.

In all honesty, Bo Dallas on that basis alone will be more successful than Jackson, Alex Riley, Darren Young and others ever will.

I hope barrett can develop his current thing a little more, just some basic tweaks to stand out a little more. Barrage isn't a word that americans would relate to imo, it's a start for him, but must do better applies.

But the word 'barrage' is more of an English word, and using it just marks him out more as being not American. I'd love it if Barrett took on a real Colonial-style of promo, telling the crowd to shut up as the English used to own them and he'll start a petition to revoke their independence or something. Get Regal involved, that woiuld be gold.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:43 pm

If they let him adapt his style to brawling, but with more quickness and intesnsity it would be good. Instead of the classic heel slowing a match with headlocks and hammer locks in the middle of the ring, he would be better dominating in the corners, but being less effective in the middle of the ring. And none of the running away to hide outside the ring should be done on his part. Instead he can just lose momentum by over doing his attack and being reprimanded by the referees. They could completely remove the need to exit the ring, by having longer dialogues with the ref's.

He has potential to be a real power heel, not a monster, but people could fear him for his ruthless style. I think he had a backstage attack segment (something that happened alot in the attitude era) But will this be enough for people? Will people complain that he's being made look weak and stupid in matches?




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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:11 pm

WWE has too many heels who back away from the fight, unless they're huge like Mark Henry or the Big Show. All the average-sized heels who weigh less than 300 pounds are booked as the generic chickenshit heel. I'd love someone like Barrett or Cesaro to be a Triple H in 2001 superheel, but it won;t happen.

On the subject of Barrett, let's have a closed look:

About three weeks ago, he beat Randy Orton clean, no interference, no cheap shots. this could have been the launching pad for him, to hold the IC title for a few months, bild up and build up, and then challenge for the world title.

Since then, he's lost to Bo Dallas, been eliminated from the Rumble by Dallas, lost to Orton last week. The more he loses, the more he looks out of his depth when he mixes with the big guns. Think back to Swagger when he won the world title - it didn't make any sense that he could go from months of losing, and not being booked on PPV's, to winning one ladder match, to world champion in less than a week.

It's the same now if Tensai suddenly won one match and was a world champion next week on Raw. makes no sense.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:44 am

Back in 2003 I remember The Rock (champion at the time) cutting a promo on Raw and he was interupted by Eddie guererro challanging The Rock for a title maych. Later in the show those two had a great match for the title. Vince must of saw something it was the start of Eddie's push, leading the Guerrero to a title match and winning brock lesnar at No Way out 2004 (This was leading to WM20 and Goldberg was lined up to face lesnar in the big money match that year).

My point is Vince took the chance on Gurrero. I believe before that title match on Raw with the Rock, Eddie wouldn't of had a look in. Vince could of put the strap on Kurt Angle.

A slow build up to the main event is what is needed but sometimes taking a chance on someone has its adavantages.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:08 pm

I think Vince is taking a chance on Del Rio and Swagger based on Raw and what i've seen so far of face Del Rio. To make a new mexican that the Americans love thanks to Big Show being a top man at getting people over. Del Rio is able to absolutely humiliate Show which is leading to fans loving him. And I suspect Jack Swagger is next in line to face Del Rio. And to make the heel's main characteristic being a real american (hi hulk hogan) and to have the crowd hate that, it shows a huge step forward in the company. Making vast crowds HATE someone that still represents the small minded section of america is brilliant. wwe has traditionally gone with the trend of evil foreign man threatening the american dream. To do the exact opposite is refreshing. And it's about time.

The only problem could be idiots thinking it's too offensive. When really it's a perfect mirror of modern culture and acceptence by the majority of all cultures and the dying breed of race hate. Having swagger hate mexicans as a heel will probably shock people, but if they use their brains and think of the countless faces that have completely destroyed stereotypical foreign characters they might work out which is really shocking.

This is if they execute on this story how they could do.

Edit: I could have written a whole new thread about this as i'm quite intrigued, but it fits so nicely into this topic. Swagger even has gimmick relevant move names and I expect his music will change soon to something more serious. They are probably just testing the waters but I hope others can see the potential of this already.


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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:14 pm

Mackem wrote:
Back in 2003 I remember The Rock (champion at the time) cutting a promo on Raw and he was interupted by Eddie guererro challanging The Rock for a title maych. Later in the show those two had a great match for the title. Vince must of saw something it was the start of Eddie's push, leading the Guerrero to a title match and winning brock lesnar at No Way out 2004 (This was leading to WM20 and Goldberg was lined up to face lesnar in the big money match that year).

My point is Vince took the chance on Gurrero. I believe before that title match on Raw with the Rock, Eddie wouldn't of had a look in. Vince could of put the strap on Kurt Angle.

A slow build up to the main event is what is needed but sometimes taking a chance on someone has its adavantages.

There's taking a chance on someone like Eddie, and you say in this post that it took until the following year for him to win the title. That sounds like the perfect build to me, matching an established headliner, slowly build over a couople of months, then take the plunge on the big one.

Look at Austin. Cuts the 3:16 promo. Gets over huge. Doesn't feature on the next PPV. Has an incredible match with Bret Hart that makes him a face. A whole year later, wins the WWF title at Mania 14. Slow build, and it was awesome, and it worked.

Compare that with R-truth a year or so back. Not booked on Mania 27. Turns heel. Beats Rey. gets a world title shot. Loses to Cena. Turns face. midcarder for life.

I'm all for WWE taking a chance on people. what doesn't work is when they take a chance on someone, push them for a month, decide they haven't become the new Austin/Hogan, then bomb them back to the midcard.
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PostSubject: Re: The lack of new main eventers   

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The lack of new main eventers
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