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Friday, 31 August 2007

On the 'roid to nowhere.......

I suspect that by now you have read about the controversy which has been stirred up once again surrounding steroids and wrestling.

If you have not, please go to and let them fill you in. The rest of us will wait.

Ok, you’re back, lets get on.

So is this a positive or negative occurrence for the WWE and wrestling in general?

The significance of the people alleged to be involved makes the situation much more……well, significant. If this were 10 names of the undercard, wrestlers in developmental or something, this wouldn’t make much of an impact. You’d see loads of people like me having a pop at the WWE not having the bottle to censure the top names. There can be no such accusations here.

As well as minor names like Sho Funaki and Charlie Haas, you have holders of minor titles like Shane Helms and Chavo Guererro, the latter of course having been a part of Summerslam against Rey Mysterio, and more importantly a man closer than anyone on the roster to Eddie and Chris Benoit.

That leaves six names, which are rumoured to be William Regal (Current Raw General Manager), Umaga (Intercontinental Champion) John Morrison (ECW Champion), Edge (former world champion, still would be if not for injury) Randy Orton (Number one contender in the biggest push of his life) and Ken Kennedy (Destined for the top, major part of every broadcast, and more importantly penciled in to be Vince’s kid and be in the main event at Wrestlemania)

There’s no punches pulled is there? 6-8 big names are gone. For a month anyway.

I make it that if Umaga and Morrison have to lose their belts, it’ll be at least SIX occasions this year that a title plan has had to change. Edge and The Undertaker had to drop the straps when injured, the Benoit tragedy led to Morrison picking the ECW belt up, and Kennedy would surely have won a title with his Money in the Bank contract.

I cannot and will not comment on the accusations against the wrestlers, and indeed what their futures may hold.

I will, though, say that this could make or break the WWE. If they lose star power in droves, their fanbase may react in kind. Next week, you could have three TV shows which features a roster devoid of:

Shawn Michaels
Bobby LashleyThe Undertaker
Chris Benoit
Rob Van Dam
Big Show
Ken Kennedy
John Morrison
William Regal
Randy Orton

Factor in that Batista and King Booker are both on the list of suspected users of Pharmacy, and that Triple H and Rey Mysterio have only been back a week, you are looking at a roster which has as its top 10 stars, apart from those above, maybe:

1) John Cena
2) The Great Khali
3) Mark Henry
4) Carlito
5) MVP
6) Jeff Hardy
7) Matt Hardy
8) CM Punk
9) Kane
10) Finlay

That’s pretty weak (although to be fair I’ve left out Flair) as a roster goes, so why should we watch?

Well, there is an argument which suggest that in the face of a seriously average product, a serious incident such as what happened with Chris Benoit occurs, and although the ratings dropped to below the desired level as far as the WWE are concerned they didn’t dip too low. Consider that crisis talks came when Raw’s rating went down to 3.4, and Raw’s replacement this week on USA Network, The US Open Tennis, drew a 1.0.

So maybe people will watch wrestling come what may. The people that now watch are the hardcore, the true fans, those that are probably too set in their ways to stop watching wrestling. If there was a credible threat they may stop watching WWE itself, but there is no such competition, so that’s moot.

Why not then, allow a bit more creativity to emerge. Get rid of slow moving goons like Mark Henry, Khali and Viscera that have never drawn any money. See what kind of wrestling, yes wrestling, talent you could get hold of. Let Punk do what Punk wants to do, and try to get the Brian Danielson’s and such to the big leagues and let them wrestle.

Khali, Batista, Masters, Knox etc – no one cares.

Morgan, Test, Tomko, Steiner – no one cares.

It was said that a monopoly in wrestling would harm the business because there would be lots out of work and no upward mobility. Possibly.

However, although there is still one main company, it is kind of a duopoly thanks to TNA.

The trouble is, both rosters have elements of festering, boredom inducing rubbish polluting the airwaves, pushing down the more stellar talent.

Those mentioned above clearly suck.

The ‘best of’ roster, however, looks awesome. Imagaine a company populated with:

Samoa Joe, Finlay, Carlito, CM Punk, AJ Styles, Shawn Michaels, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Rey Mysterio, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Shelton Benjamin, Jeff Hardy, Christian Cage, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Super Crazy, Homicide, Chris Harris, Petey Williams, MVP, Matt Hardy, Jay Lethal, Senshi/Low Ki, Jamie Noble, Elijah Burke, Elix Skipper.

Then add your extra talent like John Cena, Kurt Angle, Sting, Jarrett, Abyss, Taker and a few others. That’s what you want.

I’ve seen quite few Ring of Honor and other independent events, but from what I have seen and what I’ve heard, the likes of Mistico, Nigel McGuiness, The Briscoes, Colt Cabana (I think he is in developmental now) Doug Williams, Claudio Castagnoli, Matt Sydal.

Factor in Teddy Hart, Harry Smith and the like and you might be onto something.

Surely its worth thinking about.

Actually, no, scrap that. What the world wants is a Snitsky and Big Daddy V monster push, and a return for Chuck Palumbo and Johnny Stamboli.


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