Jerry Lawler remarked Monday night that the time between the end of the John Cena/John Laurinaitis match at Over the Limit and the beginning of RAW the next night was the “darkest” 24 hours in WWE history. Almost immediately, BS detectors went off for the fans who have been fans for more than 15 minutes. A company that has seen not only its share of traumatic out of the ring tragedies as well as the stuff they scripted to happen would not be thrown into absolute despair by a guy whose record for side changes is exceeded in history by only Lex Luger and perhaps Kane turning one more time.
I get the reasoning behind it. Obviously, if you’re WWE, you want people to talk about your product, think highly about it and so on and so forth. The intentions are good for the company, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions as the cliché goes. The actual effect of that reads as cheap and hollow. If everything is the greatest thing ever or the worst thing ever, then really, nothing is, especially when that something in essence is a trifling event. I’m surprised that this party line hasn’t trickled further down the pike and NXT and Superstars got this kind of treatment.
Basically, that problem is symptomatic of an even greater problem of complacency and lack of impetus to change anything. Basically, the Stone Cold and Hulk Hogan archetypes worked for them, so bam, every babyface on the roster is either Hogan or (more likely) Stone Cold, and if you’re John Cena, you can be both at the same time. They don’t think outside the box enough when it comes to their characters and stories, so it’s not surprising that they do the same in hyping those things.
So it should go without writing that yes, WWE should hype their product and events, but they can do so without resorting to calling things the best or the greatest ever. Vince McMahon as an announcer actually felt like he was a human thesaurus, and did a great job at describing events without using the same verbiage but also not using the same hyperbolic tenor that Lawler and Michael Cole use nowadays. His grandiosity always came from the bombastic tone of his voice; therefore it always felt genuine.
It might be a challenge, but the announcers maybe should take a creative writing course or learn different ways of putting things over without attaching an –est suffix next to the adjectives. It would be putting a band-aid over a gusher at this point, but at least it would be a start to fixing the tone of the program.
Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.