Monday, July 14, 2014

Instant Feedback: The Song Remains the Same, the Dread Boring Same

The poster children for WWE Creative's malaise
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Ric Flair showed up at RAW this evening, which I suppose made sense. The show rolled through Richmond, VA, which is located a state north of his adoptive home state of North Carolina. Flair styled and profiled, appeared to make Renee Young feel uncomfortable, predicted John Cena to win the Fatal Four Way on Sunday at Battleground, and then bailed when Roman Reigns hit the ring. Oh, and Cena gave him the Big Gold Belt when he hit the top of the stage. DOES THAT MEAN SOMETHING? Follow @HorbFlerbminber to find out. If I didn't know any better, I'd have thought WWE wanted Flair to be on the show but didn't have a plan for him and scrambled at the last minute to chew up scenery. Far better for Flair rambling around the ring to be put in the death spot than, say, a meaningful feud development for the Divas, but at the same time, it's a symptom of a greater problem within WWE right now.

Granted, this problem is rooted in real life circumstances. I'm sure no one at Titan Towers expected July to roll around without CM Punk under contract, and having Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett out with injuries can't help either. But Antonio Cesaro continued his holding pattern. Roman Reigns, while charming and magnetic, is on his way to becoming Sheamus before Sheamus became irrelevant. Cena's the Champion again doing Cena-as-Champion things. An entire midcard seems stuck in a morass of trading victories for no net gain, as the WWE machine once again is in full effect turning people who once had momentum into "just another guy."

Big E Langston and Cesaro's match served as a emblem for that exercise in star-killing. Before and around WrestleMania, Cesaro could have kicked a puppy over the Hoover Dam and gotten mad love for it. Nine months ago, Langston was having showcase matches for the Intercontinental Championship. Now, Cesaro is jobbing with no real storyline advancement. Langston has a preacher voice. And his companion Kofi Kingston, who at one time was as hot as the midday Sun in his native land of Ghana, has been in the same rut since 2009.

The story has been the same for more than a decade. Creative cares for a few programs (and to be fair, the ones the body does care about - Jericho/Wyatt, Paige/Lee, Rollins/Ambrose - have been p. good), and everyone else is tossed by the wayside. It would be one thing if WWE's universe were contained in one hour weekly like NXT is, but those goons have seven hours to fill. The show is only promoted like three matter, and even those minutes are dreadfully wasted.

The most egregious violation, however, is how WWE has slowly but surely sucked the life out of any appearance by the Nature Boy. This shot wasn't the first time he showed up and did nothing. The best promo in the game, the most magnetic personality in wrestling history, and he's giving limp endorsements? Making weak predictions? At some point, shouldn't the blame be pointed inward at the people writing and greenlighting this shit?