The summer has arrived! Following last year’s Summer of Punk, the WWE has some mighty big shoes to fill. Fortunately the WWE seems to have some great storylines lined up for the summer of 2012. First there’s the lawsuit that Brock Lesnar has filed against the WWE that he has absolutely no shot of winning, and that deals with matters that the average WWE fan could care less about. If that doesn’t get you excited, there’s the prospect of having the plight of John Cena continue to be more important than either the WWE or World Heavyweight Championships, as evidenced by their placement on PPV cards. That's a fantatsic looking summer right? right? Nobody?
Despite the summer likely being dominated by these two lackluster narratives, there are other things to look forward to in the WWE’s summer of 2012. One being the slight possibility that Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk becomes this summer’s Christian vs. Randy Orton, and another being the continued development of the WWE’s new stars, including the re-introduction of Abraham Washington, who seems to be building his new All World stable. I’m a pretty big fan of Abe’s new character, and I want to see what his master plan is. Abe is the head of one of the most intriguing unheralded storylines in the WWE and hopefully he’s building to play a big managerial role in the WWE over the summer.
This week’s edition of A Matter of Character will analyze the character of Abraham Washington. I will highlight his strengths, and point out the weaknesses I perceive in the character and the performer. Following my analysis, I will suggest ways to improve or help the character progress in the future. Let’s Do This!
Whenever Abraham Washington appears on Raw, dressed to the nines in his expensive suits, you can’t help but know that you’re looking at a deceptive dude. He just looks like a sneaky suit that’ll do anything he can to get what he wants. What’s worse is that he can get what he wants pretty easily because he does such a good job of seeming genuine with his fake smile, looks of concern and compassion. A.W. is a cat that knows how to play his cards right, and doesn’t over or underplay any emotion or look when he’s in pursuit of something. When it comes to playing the role of a high-powered agent/manager, Abraham Washington certainly looks the part.
What surprised me when he returned to television is that he was going to be taking on a strictly managerial role. In FCW, he had been wrestling, and he had been doing a fairly good job in that capacity. The guy is certainly in great shape, and in his wrestling gear looks like he could take anybody, because of his size and athleticism. His in ring skill wasn’t phenomenal, but he was getting better every time I saw him wrestle. That being said, I think he’ll own his role as talent agent/manager, and maybe he’ll get the chance to get in the ring and wrestle down the line.
When Abraham Washington first debuted on ECW with the “Abraham Washington Show” he was a loud, obnoxious, mischievous, troublemaker. He liked to stir the pot, get under people’s skin and crack cheesy jokes. Despite how bad some of those segments ended up being, I liked the idea of having a late night talk show segment at least initially. I found that A.W. was playing the role exactly how he was expected to, the material just wasn’t very strong, and the segments more often than not didn’t seem to serve a real purpose.
Now he’s dropped the goofy jokes, and the obnoxious, mischievous attitude for a more contemplative, plotting personality. The guy now seems as though he’s in a constant game of chess, always contemplating his next move, always having a plan. He certainly seems like a smart guy, the way he plants the seeds in people’s heads, so that they seek out his management, rather than him begging to represent tem. The fact that he’s branded his Talent Agency “All World” is also a stroke of genius, because it shows that he understands the importance of branding. A.W. has really done a 180 with his character from his ECW Talk show days to now. He’s more driven, all business, and is positioning himself to be the most successful WWE manager in recent memory.
Words and Actions
As a promo guy, I have actually never had any issue with A.W. Sure on ECW he was annoying, but I think that was due to the material and him being told that he had to ham it up for those segments. Since he’s re-appeared, he’s seemed more reserved and collected, which shows me that he has a range and can portray vastly different kinds of characters. Furthermore his high pitched voice is a huge plus in my book, because there is no one who sounds like Abraham Washington, and it is definitely part of what sets him apart from everyone else when he grabs a microphone.
As far as his actions are concerned, he’s done a great job of making the superstars he’s approach feel like they need his services more than he needs their employment. He does a great job of getting them to believe that it’s about what they need, more than it is about his needs or desires, and getting them to pursue A.W., rather than the other way around. The tactics he uses to acquire talent is brilliant, and the patience he is exhibiting is slightly maddening, only because I want to see his master plan, and how he intends to enhance the careers of his talent.
I really enjoy this new version of the Abraham Washington, and look forward to its developments every week, because there is an air of mystery to the character. I’m not exactly sure what his end game is, or how he will execute his plans. That being said, if I had to hazard to guess what his motivation is, it is to be the most powerful man in the WWE; more powerful than John Laurinaitis, more powerful than Triple H, and more powerful than the Board of Directors.
How would Abraham Washington gain so much power? By getting a good portion of the WWE’s Roster s signed to All World. He needs only a few big name superstars, along with several mid-card talents to have the WWE’ life-blood, it’s superstars, contractually obligated to him. Eventually the WWE brass will need to acquiesce to his demands and desires, because for all intents and purposes, he owns their talent. I may be thinking bigger than the WWE will, but what sense is there in having small dreams. In a perfect world, this is the role A.W.’s character should want.
The biggest roadblock on getting to the point where he controls a big enough piece of the WWE, is signing big name talent. Suffice to say that Primo and Epico, and Mason Ryan while a good starts, aren’t exactly game changing talents for A.W. and All World. The highest profile guys wouldn’t sign with him, because they’ve already achieved success in the WWE, which is why he’ll have to build a name from the ground up, which will be a difficult undertaking.
Now the easy storyline going forward would be to add a returning Mark Henry to Abraham Washington’s list of talent, giving him a legitimate top heel to manage into the future. I’m all for a A.W./Mark Henry pairing (as I stated in my AMOC highlighting Mark Henry), but aside from the fun of having Hall of Pain induction announcements, and subsequent inductions, the pairing is entirely too safe, familiar, and easy. Perhaps having A.W. poach Dolph Ziggler away from Vickie might be fun, but again, it’s a bit to familiar, and I like to shake things up as much as possible, whenever possible.
Personally, I’d model Abraham Washington’s character after Ari Gold from HBO’s Entourage (one of my favorite characters from one of my favorite shows). Ari was an overbearing, charismatic, cut throat Talent Agent that knew all the tricks and played every angle to get what he wanted. Ari’s Meal Ticket on the way to becoming the most powerful agent in Hollywood was Vincent Chase. I want to get Abraham Washington a Vincent Chase.
I’d have A.W. show off his talent as an Agent and a Manager, pushing Primo and Epico to success in the Tag Division, and Mason Ryan to dominance over the mid-card. Despite these successes, he’d still be looking for the next big thing, his meal ticket, and the guy who he would ride to the top of the WWE. He’d find that guy in Richie Steamboat. Young, handsome, charismatic, and talented, Richie is everything he’s been searching for. He’d do everything he can to sign Richie to All World, and eventually he’d convince Richie (a babyface) to sign and be his top talent. Not only would this story be great to watch unfold, but its also something that I can’t remember being done in the WWE in quite some time, having a heel manage a babyface character.
I’d want to see how the crowd would react, when Richie Steamboat, an innocent young talent signs to All World, and has Abraham Washington, an overbearing, cut-throat talent agent, running his career. I’d especially want to see the reaction of the WWE Universe when Washington’s devious tactics work, and it becomes apparent that despite their opposing ideologies, Richie and Abe get along, and that Abe has Richie’s best interests in mind, as he employs said underhanded tactics. I don’t want things to be easy for the WWE Universe, and I don’t want to operate in this world where babyfaces can only befriend babyfaces and heels can only work with heels. That’s not a reflection of real life, and is a remedial way to look at things. A.W. is a dick, and in many ways an awful person which makes him a heel, but he’s a good agent who does what he needs to make sure that Richie will succeed. Richie wouldn’t be a bad person for employing him; he’d simply be practical. Mostly people are not only friends with people who are exactly the same as them, and it’s about time the WWE reflected that.
There you have it, but what do you think? Are you as hopeful for the exploits of Abraham Washington the Talent Agent/Manager? Do you think that he can bring something new to the WWE’s perception of what a manager is? Would pairing heel manager Abraham Washington, with the young, handsome, good-natured babyface Richie Steamboat, intrigue you?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying Happy Memorial Day to everybody Stateside. Have a Great Week Everybody!