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Should We Blame the Writers or the Wrestlers in WWE?

January 03, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

For many wrestling fans there is always something to complain about. Whether it is how WWE misuses superstars, the PG era is ruining WWE or Raw moving to three hours was a mistake, there are always people who think WWE can do better in some way.

This brings me to my main question – should wrestling fans blame the writers or the wrestlers for the issues in WWE? The simple answer would be that it depends. Sometimes it is the writers’ fault and sometimes it is the wrestler’s fault.

Each and every wrestler works hard to be successful at their job by training their bodies, working on their speaking skills and learning everything about the wrestling business. However, they should have a look or gimmick that makes them stand out in order to be successful. The writers hired by WWE are experienced television show writers who are trying to put together the best show possible. The keyword there is trying.

Let’s take WWE superstar Zack Ryder as the first example. Although he started out in a tag team with Curt Hawkins, Ryder found his greatest success when he became the Long Island Broski with a self-created YouTube series. At a time when social media is clearly a huge focus in WWE, the writers have seriously misused Zack Ryder. Instead of pushing Ryder to be a top babyface and promote social media in WWE, Ryder has been sporadically used on WWE TV, humiliated by Eve and Kane and has only held one singles title, the United States Championship. This was such a missed opportunity by WWE. What is it about Zack Ryder that stopped him from being a main event star? He has a great look and gimmick and his mic skills are up to par. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Now let’s discuss WWE superstar Tyson Kidd who has spent the majority of his WWE tenure as a tag team specialist. I found Kidd’s situation to be at its best when he was part of the Hart Dynasty. He is the most recent graduate of the famous Hart Family dungeon and WWE was using that to their advantage. He was teaming with fellow Hart family members Natalya Neidhart and David Hart Smith. Then, WWE decided to break the group up. Smith is no longer employed by WWE, while Kidd hung out in limbo until forming a new tag team with Gabriel.

This is a situation that I would put the blame on the wrestler. Kidd has great in ring skills, but his lack of charisma and mic skills made it very difficult for WWE writers to do a lot with him. The Hart Dynasty may have lasted longer or Kidd may have gotten a serious push if he had the charisma and mic skills of WWE main event stars such as John Cena and Shawn Michaels.

Wrestling fans’ negative opinions on the PG era generally come from the older audience who enjoyed the Attitude Era and the way WWE was prior to 2008. This is a situation in which neither the writers nor the wrestlers should be blamed for. The PG era has more to do with sponsors, upper management and the McMahons. The people at the very top of WWE make the decisions. Then, they work with the writers to make sure things go as planned. Finally, the wrestlers are given the scripts and their roles. Therefore, if you are going to blame someone for the PG era, blame the people who sponsor WWE and the McMahons. Not the writers and not the wrestlers.

When WWE decided to extend Raw to three hours, who would be blamed for the success or the failure? It would be difficult to argue that the wrestlers should take any blame. The writers’ job changed more than anyone else’s when WWE made the move to three hour live episodes of Raw. It is up to the writers to find a way to make Raw entertaining, enjoyable and fun to watch for three hours rather than two. The episodes in the summer were not up to par due to tons of squash matches, recaps and some episodes finishing early. However, I will give the writers credit for improving. Over the last few weeks, except the two holiday episodes, Raw has not dragged on as much and WWE writers are using the time more efficiently.  So at the end of the day, the WWE TV shows’ success or failure is more on the shoulders of the writers than the wrestlers.

Therefore, when it comes down to it, who is to blame? The writers or the wrestlers? As I have said time and time again, it depends. If a wrestler has the complete package – that is the look, gimmick, mic skills, wrestling skills etc…it is up to the writers to best utilize the talent. On the other hand, if the wrestler lacks in multiple areas, it doesn’t really matter what the writer does. All of those WWE superstars who are terrible on the mic, lack charisma or are just not that interesting can only achieve so much.

So next time you are angry, frustrated or upset about a storyline, how a superstar is being used (or not used) or how WWE is running their show, think long and hard about whose fault it is. It may be the writers. It may be the wrestlers. It all depends.

Seth M. Guttenplan is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and host of OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW!? PWPRadio’s weekly radio show covering all wrestling news and rumors. To read more from Seth follow him on twitter (@sethgutt) and check out guttwrenchpowerblog.com.

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WWE 2010 Supplemental Draft Results and Analysis

April 25, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Montel Vontavious PorterThe 2010 WWE Draft concluded on Tuesday with the WWE Supplemental Draft. The draft took place on WWE.com. Like the live WWE Draft on RAW, the Supplemental Draft provided no game changers, yet several WWE superstars have new homes beginning this week.

Looking at the list, there weren’t many surprises. The biggest name swapping WWE brands would be last year’s number one draft pick. Montel Vontavious Porter will be returning to SmackDown. MVP was drafted first overall in the 2009 WWE Draft. Other than a very short feud with Randy Orton, MVP never really took off as most had hoped. The last successful run MVP had was on SmackDown as United States champion. I wouldn’t be surprised to see MVP excel on the younger roster.

My dark horse today is Cody Rhodes. Cody Rhodes was drafted to SmackDown. I really like the opportunities for Cody on SmackDown. I could never understand why he has taken a backseat to Ted DiBiase Jr. I think Cody has a ton of potential and is one of the more charismatic younger WWE superstars. I’d love to see him get a real opportunity here.

As expected, the Hart Dynasty including Natalya were officially drafted to WWE RAW. There were big expectations when these guys hit SmackDown. They were traded to SmackDown last summer. The group had mild success in a feud with Cryme Tyme. As unified tag team champions they will be bouncing around between both brands. I really like the long term potential on WWE RAW, especially with Bret Hart hanging around for the time being.

SmackDown seemed to make out better in the Supplemental Draft than they did in the original draft. There weren’t too many notable additions to the WWE RAW roster. The Great Khali would probably be the biggest draftee sent to RAW (no pun intended). Goldust and Ezekiel Jackson were also drafted to RAW. None of these guys are expected to be big money players. If not for Dustin Rhodes’ forthcoming book, he would probably be in serious danger of being lost in the shuffle and eventually cut.

All in all this year’s draft was more about bolstering the star power of WWE RAW and creating a youth movement of sorts on SmackDown. On paper SmackDown looks to be the more intriguing brand with a wide open window of opportunity for the younger generation of WWE superstars. WWE RAW on the other hand will have the heavy hitters, yet lacks any real interesting scenarios in my opinion. That can’t be a good thing less than 24 hours after the WWE Draft.

WWE Supplement Draft Results…
Cody Rhodes to Smackdown
Chavo Guerrero to Smackdown
Great Khali & Ranjin Singh to Raw
Natalya to Raw
Chris Masters to Smackdown
Ezekiel Jackson to Raw
Goldust to Raw
Hornswoggle to Smackdown
Rosa Mendes to Smackdown
David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd to Raw
MVP to Smackdown

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Bret Hart Returns To Canada On WWE RAW

May 17, 2010 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Bret HartThis Monday night will mark the first time Bret Hart has appeared on a live WWE broadcast in Canada. Bret Hart will be a part of this Monday’s commercial-free WWE RAW live in Toronto, Ontario. If that isn’t enough, the WWE is advertising a Bret Hart vs. The Miz match for the United States title on WWE RAW.

This Monday’s WWE RAW is a monumental show in regards to Bret “The Hitman” Hart. For one, this is reportedly Bret Hart’s last WWE appearance. Two, longtime fans will remember how heated the crowds were for Bret Hart whenever he appeared in Canada. This Monday will give a lot of Bret Hart fans a reason to come out to WWE RAW and make a lot of noise. Finally, this will be the first time Bret Hart has wrestled on WWE RAW since October 27, 1997 when he went to a no-contest with Ken Shamrock.

Bret Hart returned to the WWE in January and signed a short-term contract which was scheduled to end at WrestleMania 26. Due to the success of Bret Hart’s return, both parties extended his stay and he has stuck around as a manager to the Hart Dynasty and a special enforcer on the European tour. Technically, this would be Bret Hart’s last appearance but I’m not buying it. Bret Hart is reportedly having fun and the WWE is happy with him so I’d expect him to pop up from time to time doing some angles with the Hart Dynasty or whenever the WWE has a big event in Canada.

Bret Hart will also be doing something nobody expected on Monday which is wrestle. As a matter of a fact, Bret Hart didn’t even expect it. Bret Hart has told friends that he didn’t even know about the match until The Miz announced it on WWE RAW last week. This one could go either one of two ways. As seen at WrestleMania 26, Bret Hart is physically limited in the ring. I could see some kind of match where the Hart Dynasty do most of the work, Bret puts a sharpshooter on Miz, and goes out with a fun title win to get a big pop from the crowd. Following the match, Chris Jericho lays him out and Bret is gone for awhile. I could also see this match not happening at all with some kind of angle that changes the match. Either way, I wouldn’t expect anything of substance inside of the ring from Bret Hart but it would be great to see the reaction he would get if he indeed does win the U.S. title.

Toronto has always been a great city for Bret Hart. One of the most memorable angles in WCW Nitro history took place here and involved Bret Hart. It was in Toronto where Bret Hart placed the steel plate under his jersey and took a spear from Bill Goldberg. Bret Hart wrote a lot about the angle in his autobiography, which incidentally may be the best pro wrestling book on the market. Needless to say, there has never been a dull moment for Bret Hart in Toronto.

Whether it ends this week or continues indefinitely, it has been a lot of fun seeing Bret Hart back in the WWE. I think some people were a little over critical of his WrestleMania 26 match with Vince McMahon, but that is just my opinion. While he can’t do some things inside of the ring anymore, he can still cut one of the best promos in pro wrestling. I hope that this was just the start of a long relationship between the WWE and Bret Hart. It was great to see him back and I am pretty excited to see how it all wraps up on WWE RAW this week.

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Jeri-Miz: Next Unified Tag Team Champions of the WWE?

May 13, 2010 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Chris JerichoIf anyone remembers the articles I sent into CCB.com last summer, I wrote a lot about then Unified Tag Team Champions, Edge and Chris Jericho, then turned Big Show and Chris Jericho (Jeri-Show). With my return back to CCB.com after a couple of months off due to end-of-the-year projects and finals, I’m back in the saddle again and I’m better than ever (hopefully, that is—with new ways of making my writings better for all of you loyal CCB fans).

Chris Jericho, former World Heavyweight Champion. Two time WCW Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, and first ever Undisputed WWF Champion. He’s been a multi-time tag team champion, and first ever nine-time Intercontinental Champion. There are many title runs that I’m missing out of Chris Jericho’s storied career.

The Miz, current United States Champion. Been one-half of the tag team champions for the past couple of years. The Miz was on one of the first Tough Enough’s when the WWE did those series years back. John Morrison and Maven were some guys who were featured on Tough Enough. I’m sure I’m missing some title reigns Miz had, but I don’t follow his career, sorry.

Why would Jeri-Miz excite me? The first Raw after the draft, when it was teased that those two men may start tagging up with one another got me excited. The reason is this: both me can talk with the best of them, maybe considered the best guys on the mic in the business today, and with Jericho helping “groom” Miz to be a future World Champion, I think everyone benefits from this two men teaming up with one another and capturing the tag team straps.

Just think, if these two men would team up together, how angry could they make their opponents and the fans? We all know Jericho and the Miz are great on getting the fans to hate them. Teaming up together could only make the fans hate them in a different way that we haven’t had the chance to boo them before. Come on, who wouldn’t want to boo Jericho and Miz more? Well, I wouldn’t want to boo Jericho, so I wouldn’t, but we all know I’m bias towards “the man that speaks the truth.”

Could I see these men as the next Unified Tag Team Champs? I would like to see it; I think their feud with the Hart Dynasty. I think their feud could bring in some fans into the tag division. Really, I do feel that way. I feel that the team of Jeri-Miz would only but better the ever dying division that we came to love (at least for the old-school fans) of the business of professional wrestling. Would they be the next Road Warriors or the Hart Foundation? No, but with the success and wisdom that Jericho brings to the team and the youth that the Miz brings as well to the table, I think putting the straps on these men would benefit the titles and benefit their careers. With Jericho on Raw, there’s not really much you can do with him. Why not have him team up with the Miz and dominate the tag division. Smackdown could need a little help this October when they move over to the Syfy network. I’m just saying.

To wrap up this piece, a first of many coming this summer, the summer of 2010, I think teaming Chris Jericho and the Miz as the next big tag team would only benefit the tag division because of what they could bring to the table, and to help raise up new babyfaces in the company, something that we all need to see, something that I wanted to see for a long while. But I am Eric Darsie from Minnesota, until next time….

Check out more of Eric’s blogs at http://jericholic2009.blogspot.com.

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Bret Hart Sticking Around Post-WrestleMania

March 24, 2010 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Bret HartThe short-term WWE return for Bret Hart looks like it will be extended. Reports indicate that the former WWE champion will be sticking around after his WrestleMania 26 match with Vince McMahon. Hart is being advertised on an overseas tour in Germany. Could Bret Hart be coming to your town?

As of now, Bret Hart is only being advertised for a WWE tour in Germany. Bret Hart will be appearing as a Special Enforcer/Guest Referee for a series of WrestleMania rematches between Chris Jericho and Edge for the WWE title. The Canadian WWE superstars are undoubtedly thrilled to get the opportunity to work with one of their heroes. Is this the first sign of a Bret Hart WWE tour across America?

I don’t think a Bret Hart tour across America with the WWE is out of the question. Obviously, it takes a lot more of a commitment for Bret Hart to go on the European tour. I would imagine that a couple of weekend gigs a few times a month would appeal to the Hitman. The WWE usually brings a WrestleMania Revenge tour on the road throughout April and May. This would be a great opportunity to slip Bret Hart in on a few shows, get the WWE Hall of Fame wrestler some nice paydays, and give WWE fans a chance to see Bret Hart in a WWE ring for one last time.

Some people may immediately question the travel schedule of Bret Hart at his age and physical stage. However, Bret usually keeps a busy schedule in the summer doing tons of conventions and signings. I can’t see this schedule being that much different than the summer tour he usually does around the world making appearances. Quite honestly, it would probably be a lot less stressful for Bret just having to show up rather than handle the business end of a deal like he would for signings, etc.

The big question here is what to do with Bret Hart if he really is going to stick around? The idea of a Special Enforcer every once in awhile is perfect. However, as great as it has been to see Bret Hart back on WWE RAW I just don’t know how long it will be before the novelty wears off. Even Hulk Hogan’s welcome wore out every time he came back for a WWE run and like him or not, he is truly the “Babe Ruth” of the WWE. Sporadic appearances, a guest referee gigs here and there, maybe the perfect answer for the next chapter in Bret Hart’s WWE return.

Another suggestion would be to make him the permanent General Manager of WWE RAW. Reportedly there were plans at one point to drop the celebrity guest gimmick following WrestleMania 26. Unfortunately those plans have changed as there appears to be celebrities on the WWE Guest Host schedule through May. Although running the show on WWE SmackDown with Chris Jericho and Edge in the mix could be in the cards. Maybe the Guest Enforcer spot ties into those future plans?

One last idea would be to have Bret manage the Hart Family Dynasty. Bret was quoted in the past regarding his desires to get over the Hart family members if he ever returned to the WWE. Shockingly, the Hart Dynasty has been nowhere near the Bret Hart-Vince McMahon angle to this point. Hart could act as a mentor or manager to the group. The only problem here is that the Hart Dynasty has been booked to be low-undercard wrestlers. It would almost look kind of silly at this point to see a legend as big as Bret Hart involved with a team that has barely been able to crack a pay-per-view spot.

Regardless, I am sure there are a lot of Bret Hart fans ecstatic with the latest news on Hart’s future. Nothing is set in stone, but at least WrestleMania won’t be his swan song. I happen to think that we will see more Hart vs. McMahon in the future but I’ll save that for my WrestleMania 26 preview on Friday. Either way, it is nice to see that one of the biggest stories of the last decade will continue past WrestleMania.

Order the WWE DVD WWE – Bret “Hitman” Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be.

Read more about Bret Hart in his autobiography – Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling.

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WWE Week in Review: 12/21/2009 to 12/27/2009

December 28, 2009 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

D-Generation XWe all found out on Monday the 21st that the “Little Judge” had two words for D-Generation X, and that’s “You’re Guilty!” And DX and Hornswoggle came to an agreement that Hornswoggle will be DX’s official mascot.

Hey everyone! Hope you all are enjoying the holidays! And thanks for checking this piece out.

To me, the biggest thing is now, DX has to take in Hornswoggle as a member of D-Generation X as the “World’s Smallest Member.” I really don’t know how to take this storyline. Especially with DX as the Unified Tag Team Champions. How should I take this? I cannot find an answer. Really.

But to leave Raw and let’s head to Friday Night Smackdown where DX and Hornswoggle appeared on Smackdown and defended the tag straps (at least Shawn Michaels and Triple H did) against the Hart Dynasty. A match, me personally, that should of waited for after Bret Hart came back for he could screw with DX with the tag titles.

But what can one do, right? But putting this match up on the Christmas edition of Smackdown where very few people would watch that match, where this match, due to DX being on Smackdown, and with the whole Bret Hart news as of late, wouldn’t one be smart and wait to put this match up? But we are talking about current 2009/2010 WWE Creative, which I think totally sucks. That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.

The match saw DX walking out as tag champs. I highly doubt DX will lose the titles soon. Maybe during the February pay-per-view if they will do a Michaels/Undertaker match at WrestleMania. But I guess we have to wait and see, eh?

A thought: I heard on a podcast this past week. I wish I could remember which one said this, but I liked it. My thought is this. WrestleMania XXVI. Bret Hart versus Vince McMahon – Street Fight. Shawn Michaels versus the Undertaker – Career versus Career and the Streak. And the thing is, having the Hart/McMahon/Street Fight before the Michaels/Taker/Round 2 match, and during the HBK/Dead Man match, Hart coming out and screwing over Michaels, “costing” him his career. Would this happen? I’ll place bets, it I was a betting man, against this. Would I get excited if this happens, because I will be ordering WrestleMania XXVI? Oh heck yes I would get excited over this. But that’s my thought for the week in review for this past week’s worth of WWE television.

To conclude this week’s week in review over World Wrestling Entertainment television, DX ran wild with their “Little People’s Court” and their tag title defense on Smackdown against the Hart Dynasty. This is Eric Darsie from Minnesota, excited and waiting for the New Year, see you and will chat with you later!

Check out more of Eric’s blogs at http://jericholic2009.blogspot.com.

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