Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Jamie Lithgow and Padraic Toolan
Another WWE PPV and main event in the bag and another attempt to portray Baron Corbin as a main event talent. Is he there yet or is the WWE simply forcing him down our throats? That’s topic of today’s Sunday Sermon topic.
Craig: Well, we certainly can’t doubt the efforts of WWE in pushing Corbin as a top talent. The issue, however, really is that he isn’t.
I’ve seen suggestions that he’s getting over as he’s getting booed. But is it not just go away heat, the sort reserved for a talent we can’t take to but keeps getting pushed regardless.
So, team, what do we think?
Brian: Well, if the attendance for this past Sunday’s Stomping Grounds pay-per-view is any indication, I would say it isn’t good heat that Corbin is receiving. Fans simply don’t like Corbin as a top heel. Normally, I would say that should always be the case when you are a heel. No fan should want to root for the bad guy.
With that said, Baron Corbin seems to be universally rejected by most WWE fans. Vince McMahon no longer has the time to push Corbin like he did with John Cena and Roman Reigns as top babyfaces. On a side note, however, I actually like Baron Corbin. He is not as bad as many people perceive him to be.
Corbin has potential and has a grasp of what a good heel should be doing. Nowadays fans want to cheer for cool heels and Corbin is the exact opposite of that.
Jamie: Do fans care about Corbin? I don’t. While I’ve lost a lot of interest in the Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman routine, depending on who they are feuding with, I am interested to see if Lesnar can be defeated or if Heyman will get his comeuppance. Wanting to see a heel be defeated by a babyface is what pro wrestling is all about. The problem I see with Corbin is that fans just don’t seem to care about him. It would appear fans would rather not see Corbin at all than see him lose. For comparison, if I was given the choice of not seeing Lesnar compete or seeing him get his ass handed to him, I’d 100% pick the latter. The declining viewership and half-full arenas offer support to the idea that fans are losing interest in WWE and that can only really be attributed to a lack of interesting characters, stories and shows. Baron Corbin is a major part of the main stories on the companies main show. It’s obviously not all his fault, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that fans are losing interest in a product that pushes characters they simply do not care to see competing in main event matches.
Brian: I have to agree with Jamie there. The problems with WWE go much deeper than a Baron Corbin push. With that said though, Corbin is a part of the problem. Fans don’t need to cheer or root for a heel for a truly great feud to work. What is needed is for fans to “buy in” to a character as either a face or a heel. The heat that Corbin is getting seems to be more of “please anybody but you.” That is not going to work in the end…as we saw with the debacle that was Stomping Grounds. A good show, but financially an utter disaster.
Craig: For me, Corbin is the perfect example of someone the powers that be like and they keep persevering with, despite the reaction it gets. Stomping Grounds showed that as fans put their money where their mouth was. What will it take, however, for the WWE to pay attention to that reaction?
Brian: Hopefully, Extreme Rules will be the blow-off to this program with Corbin. Again, nothing against Baron Corbin, because I think he plays a really good heel. He just isn’t right for a main event push as of yet. Maybe I’m wrong about that…then again maybe not.
Padraic: Baron is such a great heel, but I have to admit that people don’t want to see him in the main event. I think he needs to take a step down and get real heat first and then he’ll be a perfect heel champion. I think WWE fans want guys to pay their dues for a while before getting a main-event push, and they feel like Corbin hasn’t done that. It’s similar to Roman Reigns. That’s why Miz is accepted now. They know Rollins from his indie days, so he got a pass. I think they see Corbin as a football guy who just decided to give wrestling a try; a guy who doesn’t have a real passion for the business. He plays that up too, one of his better heel qualities. Being shit on the mic didn’t help, but I think he’s found his footing there. Put him in the mid-card for now, let him win some championships, and elevate him again in a couple years, and he’ll be much more accepted.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.