Friday Headlines: The Miz, Mark Henry, and Millions of Dollars
Welcome to the Friday headlines, straight from the news desk. I'm your humble correspondent, The King of Cartoons.
Leading off the news this weekend is the shocking discovery (fasten your seatbelts, ladies and germs) that WWE officials and the creative team are having some severe communication issues. It could not come at a worse time for the promotion, as my unofficial "folks in the neighborhood" straw poll determines that people who feel WWE mishandled the Jim Ross situation outnumber people who think they did a bang-up job with it by a count of 38 to 1. (And the one was a really frightening type that I just assumed.)
On the heels of that PR snafu, examples cited of the communication issues are the Cody Rhodes angle and Mark Henry's injury. Rhodes had as would be expected set up his time off for his impending nuptials and honeymoon well in advance, but according to scuttlebutt those plans had not been communicated to creative and it was a shock to them when they learned he would not be available. That allegedly led to the very rushed television news that he was to be married and fairly immediate "termination." Considering that this angle has been absolute gold, perhaps the creative team should communicate with the rest of the WWE even less often.
As to the Henry situation, he has apparently recovered from the injury he sustained at a house show and is eligible to return to ring action. Unfortunately, nobody told creative and therefore he wasn't used on TV. One would think that Mark Henry walking around a locker room completely fine might be an indication, but I digress. This reminds me of the recent Raw where we were told Big Show was going to make his return and he didn't even appear. How many weeks in a row did WWE tell us Brodus Clay would be making his appearance before it happened? I understand many of you wish it never did, but the point stands. I have no idea if these examples are indicative of a lack of communication, but I'd expect better from the WWE right now. With Monday Night Football underway and MLB playoffs approaching, the competition for viewership is sure to be fierce. I'm fairly certain there's enough people in this corporation to work as a liaison between creative and the rest of the brass. I'm sure Pat Patterson is available. (Rajah)
If you'd like to nominate this reporter for the job, I'm afraid that exchange would go like this:
Looking for news about Night of (Some) Champions? I'm afraid there is precious little on the news desk today, but one potential spoiler is that Randy Orton is expected to retain against the challenge of Daniel Bryan. This was rumored as early as last weekend's headlines, but it may have been cemented this past Monday on Raw when for the first time in what feels like the last two months Bryan escaped the show unscathed.
Very simply, and as many of my colleagues at TJR have said, there's very little reason to put the belt on the court "Yes"ter right now. Bryan's battle against the odds in an attempt to regain that elusive belt is the story that WWE wants you to keep tuning in for. Bryan is ridiculously over with the majority of wrestling fans, and any angle he touches will turn to gold. Regardless of whether Randy Orton is the right top heel for the job (or Trips, if you prefer), the point is that Bryan is a huge underdog and that chase is what makes for the best story.
My advice? Enjoy the storyline, because Bryan winning the belt might not be the best thing for him. Look at how well it worked out for Dolph Ziggler. (Rajah)
If you've been spending your nights on the divan pining for the return of John Cena, you're in luck! It appears JC will be taking a break from daily inspirational injury updates to get back onto WWE televisions by October. Before you worry too much about him immediately overtaking all storylines, bear in mind that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Cena was a huge ambassador for WWE's partnership with Susan G. Komen's foundation. You may remember the pink ring gear.
Clearly, that initiative and partnership are great for all involved, and nobody doubts Cena's work with charities outside of the squared circle. It will be interesting to see how he is used during this critical time, however. It has occurred to your correspondent more than once during the current corporate tale that Cena, naturally, would pay no heed to Mr. Motorhead and would run to D-Bry's defense, damn the consequences. His absence has played into the "everyone is fearing for their job" idea quite well. (Torch)
Would I be crazy to think Cena ends up guest hosting a Raw at some point? He can't be any worse than this:
Heels have more fun, that's a fact of life. One of the best ever in the history of the business is "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, who was recently interviewed by Ring Rust Radio. I would definitely encourage all readers of the Friday Headlines to give it a listen, as DiBiase covers quite a bit of interesting material. One particularly notable excerpt follows:
On being misused by WWE: "Well, you know, I was a top heel in the company for a long time and whether I was moved over to a tag team with Mike Rotunda, you know, we were a top heel team. One of the things everybody asks me is it seems like you’ve been one of the all-time greatest heels but you were never the World Champion, whether it was NWA or WWE, and they say "don’t you regret that?" And I say well, you know I guess to be able to have the career that I had and to at one point say that I was the Heavyweight Champion of the World would be great, but here’s what you gotta understand. Wrestling is a business, it is show business and wrestling championships are props. Now, it’s true that, most of the time, the guy that’s wearing the World Heavyweight title is an extremely good wrestler, but again, the first Wrestlemania I had, Wrestlemania 4, initially the thought was that I would win that tournament somehow, underhandedly, you know, screw Hogan out of it, and have that run.
"Of course at the end of that run with Hogan you would lose the belt and Hogan would be champion again and then a new heel comes in, it’s kind of like you go from the top to a simmering stage where you’re still there but you’re not the top guy, but it was presented to me this way, I think it was Pat Patterson, who said, "Ted, what’s going to give you more heat? What’s going to generate more heat and what’s going to generate more money? If we do what we would normally do, and been done a thousand times, and we go to this Wrestlemania and you underhandedly win the title and you have the run with Hogan and on and on you go. Or, you don’t win and somehow you get screwed out of it and then in your arrogance you declare to the world that you don’t need the WWE’s world championship belt you’ll create your own." And I said that’s the ticket. For me to walk out every night with my own belt declaring myself champion, I mean, people would just absolutely loathe me and I’ve made more money with the Million dollar belt than I ever would have with the other one."
The previous two paragraphs should be required reading for everyone on the current WWE roster. I absolutely love that the door was open for DiBiase to criticize the WWE for not putting the belt on him or using him correctly, and he completely turned it around. Given his son's departure and his distance from the business, one would presume he has no reason to butter anyone's biscuits at Titan Tower. DiBiase's willingness to go against what would appear to be the obvious choice actually pushed him further with the company, a point that he makes at the end. Will anyone ever forget the Million Dollar Belt? Doubtful. It made his character different and interesting.
Much of this can be chalked up to the "old-school" mentality, but wrestling changes by the minute. Too many talents expect that being over on Twitter and Facebook will equal getting gold around their waist. They also seem to think that it's just the job of creative to get them over. News flash: it's not. It has to be a partnership, a give-and-take that fleshes out the character and gets us as fans invested. Kudos to MDM for not taking the bait. Well played, sir. (Rajah)
As previously discussed here on the Headlines, the Rhodes vs. McMahon storyline is all the rage in the WWE right now, and that has trickled down to their farm system, NXT. As part of this week's tapings, Triple H relieved on-screen commissioner Dusty Rhodes of his duties and placed heel commentator JBL in that spot instead. With Dusty's trip to the pay window cancelled, I'd imagine there's bound to be a bionic elbow or two in store on the mothership, Monday Night Raw. (INC)
Good news, indeed, as we'll get more of this:
Finally, word has it that we may be seeing the last of The Miz...as a babyface. Sorry if you got a bit excited there. WWE officials apparently have come to the same conclusion that everyone else minus Maryse (and I admit, that's a big exception) has, namely, it's way easier to be irritated by the Miz than to like him. I realize I risk ruining your weekend's festivities by alerting you that the epic Miz vs. Fandango dance-off may not occur, but take solace: they can just switch spots and resume their feud. Assuming anyone tells creative. (Rajah)
That clears the news desk for your Friday, folks. Thanks for taking the time to read the dirt of the day. As always, I exhort you to take part in the conversation using the space below or fire off a scathing rejoinder to my Twitter feed @coffeyfan77 or via email at email@example.com. I will catch back up with you on Tuesday. Until then, have a great weekend and thanks for reading!