Jealousy in the WWE
“Beware of jealousy, my lord! It’s the green-eyed monster that makes fun of the victims it devours.” Iago, from Othello (Act 3, Scene 3)
Maybe it is because I have been teaching William Shakespeare’s Othello to a bunch of 10th graders but jealousy has been on my mind a lot lately. In Othello, our main character is brought down by his insecurities about his new wife. He ruins a perfectly good thing with his envy and jealously. I fear that in the WWE Universe similar fits of jealousy are causing major issues. The management has had a recent history of getting jealous of wrestlers who get popular without their approval. The wrestlers, in turn, are jealous of the success of others and it is leading to frustration and complaining.
Sure we aren’t to the point Othello was of murder but jealously and envy of success is causing real issues through the WWE. I fear the “green-eyed monster” is going to devour our beloved sports entertainment without respect and communication on both sides. Let me examine where jealousy is afoot in the WWE:
The Wrestler View
It certainly has been covered by a lot of columnists but it was certainly jealously that brought down the working relationship between CM Punk and the WWE. The tale goes back to Punk’s famous shoot in July 2011. We loved it because it wasn’t a promo, it was a man speaking from his heart. He was tired of being disrespected by management and playing second fiddle to those like John Cena that fit into the good corporate mold. CM Punk would never be viewed as the corporate guy because of his look, size and attitude. It was jealously at its finest, he wanted to be John Cena but maintain his individuality at the same time.
Ironically this venting was what gave CM Punk what he wanted; success and respect with the management. He got to main event Summerslam 2011 followed closely by major matches in the next pay-per-views. He even got the theme song he wanted and not one by Jim Johnston.
But it seemed the jealously wouldn’t leave CM Punk. It still wasn’t enough. He finally got the lengthy title reign he wanted. It was 434 days in fact, the longest in the modern era. But what was Punk talking about during this amazing reign? The fact that part-timers like The Rock where taking the WrestleMania main event from him. CM Punk couldn’t be happy in his success it seemed.
After CM Punk lost his lengthy title reign, he still had success. He got the honor of wrestling The Undertaker at WrestleMania and Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. Heck, he even got himself a Diva in AJ Lee. But it wasn’t enough.
Punk got too obsessed with how Randy Orton, John Cena and Batista were doing and it seemed to be too much to take. I am in no way disputing his claim that, despite his hard work, he couldn’t get into the top tier of his company. However, instead of enjoying the success he did have he was always worried about what he didn’t have. Now he is gone and we the fans are without the “voice for the voiceless”. I will truly miss him if this is the end.
The Corporate View: Why Are These People Getting Over Without Us?
But the wrestlers are not the only ones who become jealous. The management of the company seems to have been the same tragic flaw. They have had a nasty habit of killing wrestler’s popularity simply because they don’t fit a model that management wants in their champions or the fact the wrestler is getting over without the pre-conceived push by the leaders of the company.
Zack Ryder is a good example. He was languishing in “jobber status” when he begun his successful web show in 2011. We had many events, like Capitol Punishment, when chants started for him despite the fact he didn’t appear on the show. It seemed to irritate the management to have a wrestler get over without their approval. The jealously of wrestler not getting approved for the push led to Ryder’s destruction.
Sure, he got his few seconds of fame. He was United States Champion for about a month but that quickly ended. He then became a punching bag for Kane along with having his heat taken by his “friend” John Cena. Shortly thereafter it was all over for Ryder, he was back to the jobber status. It seemed like nothing but petty envy of Ryder’s attempt to get over without management approval. Why else would you chew up and spit out a man who was selling t-shirts and winning approval by the fans?
I have my worries that Daniel Bryan is being treated the same way. Through his superior wrestling, Daniel Bryan has quickly gotten over with the WWE audience. He gets the most attention and cheers at every show he is at. However, in a show of jealously blending storyline with real life, he is constantly kicked down. After getting his title win at Summerslam 2013, he immediately lost the title. I guess this would be fine if it led to some level of victory eventually. But we all know what happened. He proceeded to get screwed over on camera for nearly two months. He was told constantly he wasn’t good enough by management in storylines and then was proven so. He never got his victory.
That is why the show in Pittsburgh was so fascinating. Bryan clearly had the best match of the show. The fans loved him but the leaders of the company decided to push their guys (Cena, Orton and Batista) instead. It certainly led to an uncomfortable ending to the pay-per-view with “returning hero” Batista getting booed by the WWE fans. Reportedly Batista didn’t take it too well, mocking the WWE fans after the show ended. He was jealous that Bryan and the fans had taken his moment. It was an ugly scene. I never understand why a company can’t push the most popular guy but then again the green-eyed monster never makes one think clearly.
So there you have it, a little about jealousy and envy. I am sure every work force has fights over position and respect. However, the backstage drama and intrigue of the WWE is publicized for all to enjoy. I know I am worried the effect jealously will have on the future of the company. It shouldn’t take wrestlers quitting or fans leaving for all of us to take notice of the green-eyed monster.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, I have my Twitter account, WWELasher as well. I will now go back to reading Shakespeare.