Craig Wilson & Brian Damage
It’s that time again as we look back at This Week in Wrestling. In this edition Craig discusses the pitfalls of 50/50 booking in wrestling and Brian recalls a previous encounter between Shane and Stephanie McMahon…
It’s a Question That Needed Asked…
A distinct lack of “win” in the mid-card
The return this week of Shane McMahon, which we will cover in detail in this weekend’s Sunday Sermon, is being attributed to the injury crisis that has wiped out some of the main event picture in the WWE.
Whilst many have focused on said injury crisis and the fact it shows a lack of depth when it comes to over main-eventers, I can’t help but think that it shines a light on the weakness of the company’s mid-card also – a section of the roster not helped by the WWE’s instance for many a year on what can be described as 50/50 booking.
For those unsure what that means, it can be best summed up as follows: X and Y are facing each other at PPV. In the weeks leading up to the event in singles and tag matches on Raw and Smackdown, both trade wins.
The ultimate aim is to believe that either X or Y can win, in a hope that you get invested in the feud and buy the event. However, the flipside of “both can win” is naturally “we’ve seen both lose” as well, which just hampers both talents.
Ultimately, in the feud neither X or Y get any sort of momentum behind them. In an ideal world, both X and Y would go into the event with a winning streak – over other competitors behind them – leading to a scenario, as Gorilla Monsoon would say, of “the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.”
It’s that obvious isn’t it? As a wrestling fan, we all want to cheer on winners. We don’t want to cheer on guys that lose all the time. The superstar that has suffered most of this booking in the WWE at the moment is undoubtedly Dolph Ziggler.
Remember this pop?
That was the night after WrestleMania 29 that the roof was nearly blown off the arena as Ziggler cashed in his ‘Money in the Bank’ on Alberto Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Fast forward 34 months and we are now in the position where we don’t really see him as a viable contender to Kevin Owens’ Intercontinental Title.
In reality, the trading of loses week in, week out benefits no one. No one in the feud benefits, no one gets any momentum behind them and everyone is devalued by the fact we see them win, and of course lose, on TV on a regular basis.
Due to the amount of TV time to fill, we know that if Ziggler and Owens continue their feud it will happen in matches on Raw and Smackdown and the house show circuit before it reaches PPV again. That’s really just the nature of the business these days. Long gone – for better or worse, is having to wait for PPVs to see the big matches. It just doesn’t happen any more.
So while we may well be being treated to PPV quality matches week in, week out on Raw and Smackdown, another end product is seeing guys lose so frequently ahead of a time we are meant to invest in them as winners. No one wants to cheer a loser, after all.
Paul Bearer’s HoF ring on Pawn Stars
Check out this video of Stephanie and Shane McMahon from Raw back in 2008. Pretty interesting that this was said by Shane McMahon 8 years ago and what we saw this past week on Raw.
Last Week on the Blog
On Monday we had part 64 of ‘Wrestling with Sin’, Tuesday saw us Book or Cook Titus O’Neil, while on Wednesday we wondered what a Vader vs. Yokozuna feud could have done for business in ‘Missed Wrestling Opportunities‘ and we rounded off the week with a two-part ‘The Way We Was’ with part 1. on ‘In Your House 6: Rage in a Cage’ and part 2. focussing on Raw and Nitro from that week.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.