Craig Wilson & Brian Damage
It’s that time again as we look back at This Week in Wrestling. In this edition Craig wonders if fortnightly Network specials are sustainable Brian asks ‘Whatever Happened to‘ Yurple the Clown and shares some of the more interesting pictures and videos he’s stumbled upon this week.
Are fortnightly WWE Network ‘specials’ Sustainable?
Even the most ardent WWE fan, even more hardcore than us that sit through three hours of Raw, two hours of Smackdown and one hour of NXT every week, would admit that that is a helluva lot of in-ring action to watch and digest.
Do not get me wrong, dear readers, I am full of praise for the post-draft WWE era. It still has it’s flaws, but at least one of the two flagship shows has benefited greatly.
But is a show every fortnight really sustainable?
I would argue no and even if it was – it would probably require a substantial influx of talent – it puts under pressure the very definition of “special.”
One of the things that harms talent more than anything else in the WWE is over-exposure. I’ve argued on here before that superstars, and the shows they are on, would benefit through stars not appearing week in, week out.
Take, picking a star out of a hat, Dean Ambrose. There’s a performer that I am a big fan of. In fact, he’s one of my favourite acts on the WWE roster. But recently he’s suffered as a result of over-exposure, amongst a number of flaws through his title reign.
Say, and it’s a big ask, that he didn’t appear week in, week out on Smackdown Live, even as champ. It would mean that when he did, not only could the WWE hype his appearance but it would feel special that he was there. Rather than heading along to Smackdown Live and just expecting to see him.
It’s not just the in-ring talent that suffer. This past week’s Raw didn’t feature, on screen anyway, either Shane McMahon or Daniel Bryan. The result? It felt fresher.
I get though that neither the Raw or the Smackdown roster is jam packed full of talent and with five hours to fill between them, you can’t really afford to be in a position where your top stars, and draws, don’t appear regularly.
But further down the line, if the company continues a talent acquisition drive, which is surely likely, then it has to create stars in order to allow established acts to rest and take a break from being on screen.
But the regularity in which the company is pumping out Network Specials is far more concerning. Feuds need time to build. Imagine it was a rotation for much of the year, that gives both Raw and Smackdown 8 weeks to build up, draws feud out of a hat, Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss.
It doesn’t have to be a thrown together 4 week thing. Eight weeks with them not taking on each other in TV and some weeks without one appearing on TV would certainly make the match at the Network special feel even more important.
It’s got to be worth trying, right?
Whatever Happened to Yurple the Clown?
Yurple was a clown that appeared in one of the highest ever segments in Monday Night Raw history: “This is Your Life…Rock.” The segment generated an 8.4 rating (11.5 million viewers) She also appeared in a segment where Mankind visited a hospital to try and cheer up Vince McMahon.
Yurple’s real name is Robin Slaton and she graduated clown school and has been a clown for close to 30 years. Her husband and daughter were also trained to be professional clowns.
She originally resided in Michigan, but has since moved to Arkansas. She is now employed by a place called the Tween Girl Academy. It is a place for young girls to go for positive encouragement and self esteem.
You can read all previous ‘Whatever Happened to’ pieces here.
Charles Robinson has been involved in pro wrestling for close to 20 years. Here he is still setting up a wrestling ring. Much respect for that man.
One of Mark ‘The Undertaker’ Calaway’s earliest wrestling gimmicks….
What is up with CM Punk’s hair in this picture?
Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan still has it! Here he is using sign language to tell you how he feels. Also in the pic…fellow AWA alums Jim Brunzell, Greg Gagne and Baron Von Raschke.
We all remember the Great Khali and how he barely was able to walk let alone wrestle. Where he he was back when he could actually move!
I have readily admitted that Abdullah the Butcher use to scare the heck out of me as a kid watching wrestling. Here is a completely different side of Abby in the form of some Japanese commercials he starred in.
Last Week on the Blog
In last week’s Sunday Sermon we discussed the best heels in wrestling history; we focused on scaffold matches in Monday’s piece; Baron Corbin got the ‘Book or Cook‘ treatment on Tuesday; we had Part 85 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ on Wednesday; Thursday’s Top Five looked at the best title changes in wrestling history and we rounded off the week looking at Raw and Nitro from 20 years ago this week.
Next Week on the Blog
And Another Thing…
Last year this series was fantastic. It introduced to NXT Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa as well as resulting in some fantastic tag team action.
This year’s could well prove to be no different. Bollywood Boyz looked fun and I wonder if another team could have been squashed by The Authors of Pain but in the long run, this is a great advert for some of the best up and coming tag teams just now.
It’s currently far too early to even think who could win this but what is for sure, the coming weeks of NXT are going to be fun seeing who is in the mix to win the trophy at the next Takeover. The tournament is a wonderful tribute to an absolute great from the world of wrestling.
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.