WWE | Pro Wrestling

Are we being too hard on the WWE creative team? – Inside The Wheelhouse

CM Punk vs Dolph ZigglerIs it time for the internet to give the “devil its due?” Can we truly admit for once that the WWE creative team has done a pretty good job lately giving us main event & mid-card feuds and also building new stars? Or are we going to continue to shun the creative team for not doing what we think they should be doing? I believe that we as a wrestling fan base have been too hard on the WWE creative team.

Let’s take for instance the main event feuds that we have seen this past month on WWE television. When I mean main event feuds I am implying to the World Title feuds that are currently taking place on RAW and on Smackdown because those are the main event matches for every pay-per-view. Look at how well feuds between Dolph Ziggler/CM Punk and Daniel Bryan/Mark Henry/The Big Show have been since the day after TLC and into the Royal Rumble.

Who would’ve thought that the WWE Championship feud at the Royal Rumble for the RAW brand a year ago would consist of CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler? A year ago at this time Punk was a mid-card heel on the RAW brand while Ziggler was starting to rise in stardom with a nice feud with Edge, which sadly for Dolph Ziggler was about the only main event success for the rest of 2011. The RAW brand was headlined by the John Cena and Randy Orton’s of the world & now a fresh voice was being showcased in the Ziggler/Punk feud!

Isn’t that what wrestling fans wanted? They wanted new stars to be built and not have the same RAW World Title pictures consisting of either John Cena and/or Randy Orton? Your wish is the creative team’s command and it was granted with a great built-up of a Ziggler/Punk feud heading into the Royal Rumble. You cannot knock the way that feud has been built at all and it has been so good that even the Johnny Ace character is starting to entertain wrestling fans on a week-to-week basis.

Then you have a main event feud with internet darling Daniel Bryan, the World Heavyweight Champion who paid his dues on the independent circuit only to climb the top of the WWE mountain. A feud with he & Mark Henry and The Big Show would never have looked appealing a year ago but here we are in 2012 & it gave us some pretty entertaining stuff throughout the month of January. It’s fresh & new and it’s what wrestling fans were screaming for from the WWE creative team.

Yet I feel like that wasn’t good enough still.

You had entertaining mid-card feuds like R-Truth & The Miz and even the stuff between Kane, John Cena & Zack Ryder had it’s entertaining moments. These mid-card feuds were all taking place in a time in wrestling where it felt like the mid-card feud was dead. You could no longer look at the middle of a pay-per-view and believe that a particular match was going to be entertaining; remember when at SummerSlam 1998 people were hyped for The Rock vs. Triple H more then The Undertaker vs. Steve Austin? It had been a long time for mid-carders to get the proper stage and build up for their feuds.

As weird as it may sound I truly believed that with a good build-up The Miz & R-Truth could’ve had a pretty decent match at Wrestlemania 28. I was the minority in the majority but why not? It has what you want in a feud, an actual storyline and you don’t know who will win the matches every time they wrestle. The years of unpredictable outcomes were all but dead during the John Cena, Randy Orton and Batista eras of wrestling.

And while you may not consider “mid-card,” I do because there was no Championship involved nor did it hold the level of a feud that could be considered “main event” without a championship. But the John Cena/Kane feud appeared to be looking more like a train wreck at first but I feel like it has held its own pretty well on the flagship show of the WWE. It has had emotion and a premise in the feud, something wrestling has lost over the years and John Cena well frankly didn’t look like John Cena at any point of the feud.

It has also helped take a relative nobody, Zack Ryder and involved into a feud that could have him coming out on top at the end of this. It reminds me a similar way to the Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, Big Show feud where despite having two former World Champions involved you knew all along that the young guy (Bryan) was going to come out on top looking better then he did before the feud. I believe the same will be said for Zack Ryder when he ever returns back from the injuries sustained at the hands of Kane; the door is now open for him to either return to take out John Cena as a heel or seek for revenge against Kane as a face.

We complain about good feuds, which I have stated before, the WWE creative team has done a pretty good job of doing the last month, while the other thing is creating new stars. Something I believe the WWE has done a very good job of doing since the end of 2011 to right now.

Towards the end of 2011 and into 2012 we have seen wrestlers like Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes show signs to the potential of carrying this company into the future. A future that for a couple of years looked bleak due to the continuous cycle of John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista and Triple H matches that were headlining pay-per-view after pay-per-view. Each of these wrestlers have taken there fair share of blows along the way but overtime have climbed back on top of that pinnacle where it is believed they will be stars soon enough in the WWE.

One of the early bright sports for 2012 is also another wrestler who is a star waiting to be born in the WWE. When he debuted it looked like a flop, but once he came out of that gorilla position the rest was fantastic. Who else can I be talking about? Of course it’s Brodus Clay.

For months his debut was pushed back and the vignettes stopped running. It became a constant joke on Monday nights and on the internet of when Brodus Clay would debut. When he finally did the initial reaction to the gimmick was of horror for his immediate future in the company. He was given a gimmick and the ball to run with it & already in a short period of time he has taken it to new heights.

Obviously over time I believe he will shed the “funkasaurs” gimmick as all wrestlers tend to do and even then he will continue to be a potential star in this business. It’s been a couple of weeks and he has already become a fan favorite for every age group that watches WWE television. That is a feat that is very hard to do and props to the WWE creative team for finding the right guy to run with this gimmick.

To wrap this all up the WWE puts over a “young wrestler” in the Royal Rumble! Everyone thought it was going to be Chris Jericho or Randy Orton (including me) and instead we get Sheamus getting the big victory in the Rumble to headline one main event match in Miami. I thought months ago that it could’ve been Sheamus but my thoughts changed after all we heard was “Jericho” or “Orton” winning the whole show. It was nice to see creative give us something different and a young wrestler getting a shot at the biggest event of the year.

So the moral of this story is that maybe it’s time to back off the WWE creative team, maybe it’s time to give them the credit. They have given us fresh new feuds, decent mid-card feuds and built new stars since the end of 2011. Let’s give them some slack as we enter Wrestlemania season and enter the best time of the wrestling year with an open mind before we bash them again. The day after Wrestlemania 28 will prove to be a very important day on whether or not the WWE creative team has been successful the past couple of months, as of right now I say yes.

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday February 2nd edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

If you would like to subscribe to “The Wheelhouse” on iTunes simply subscribe for free at iTunes by typing in “Wheelhouse Radio!”

You can follow “The Champ Jeff Peck” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck you can also follow Wheelhouse Radio on twitter at www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse and you can e-mail them @ [email protected]

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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