I haven’t had cable TV for over two years, which has pretty much eliminated my reality show intake. Prior to that, I had watched the early years of Survivor, the Amazing Race, and So You Think You Can Dance (I fell out of love with all of them before we even dropped cable). I would also be lying if I said I had never seen The Bachelor, and the all-time most trash-tastic show I ever saw was called Temptation Island – in which committed couples lived on opposite sides of a tropical island, each side populated with hot-n-horny singles and a LOT of booze. Hilarity ensues (and many instances of body parts needing to be blurred out). It was all supposedly an exercise to test their relationships, ah what a ridiculous crew of fame whores! I loved it.
Even if I did still have cable, one of the reasons why I’d stopped watching reality shows was that the repetitive nature of them was infuriating. We already live in a world where we don’t need to watch commercials if we don’t want to, so how can we be expected to sit through so many recaps and re-hashed drama for the sake of filling time? My kids are addicted to the Food Network show called Chopped, a cooking competition, and The Great Food Truck Race, neither of which do the annoying recapping after every break. These are shows that I happily watch with them, and it doesn’t feel smutty of infused with fake drama.
But if I were to create my own reality shows, based on wrestling, these are some that I would happily give a try.
Since the world seems to be all about acronyms and abbreviations, what better name for a show than 3-MAB, which stands for 3-Man Air Band, hosted by none other than 3MB.
Given their penchant for air-guitaring (or air-sitaring perhaps, in Jinder’s case), these guys would make for lively hosts. Heath Slater could be the main host, with Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre chiming in with “witty” remarks and puns. They would lay down the rules and introduce the contestants.
Contestants limited to three-person units, as an homage to the 3MB gimmick
Contestants may “perform” their music from any genre (which would add a lot of flavour to the show, given the wide range of music that people could choose)
To “perform” means to pretend to play instruments and lip sync to music, with great authenticity and entertainment value
I think the best bang for our buck, entertainment-wise, would be to showcase different air bands each week, with a winner declared at the end of each show. After a certain number of weeks, the winning bands would compete against each other for the grand prize. The prize could be $10,000, plus the band gets to “play out” 3MB at a Pay-Per-View. Sweet!
Here’s where it gets fun: during the air band performances, there will be an announce team doing play-by-play and colour commentary (which we’d hear over top of the music, since they’re not really singing anyways). Ideally, we’d have William Regal and Scott Stanford, or Jim Ross paired with Renee Young. People who can make educated observations but inject a lot of personality into it. The whole thing will be a bit tongue-in-cheek, with everyone knowing how ridiculous it is to have grown-ups competing in an air band competition, but still giving very serious feedback to the contestants.
Judging would be done by fan votes on the WWE App, of course.
If I could have any job in the whole world, my number one dream choice would be to sit at Gorilla Position. Named for the beloved Gorilla Monsoon, the Position is located just behind the curtain where the wrestlers make their entrances. From what I understand, there’s a table, monitors, and headsets. It’s from here that Vince and his cronies run the shows. What wrestling fan wouldn’t want to be privy to that action? Hell, I’d pay THEM to let me sit in on their conversations.
Vince McMahon is notorious for his brash, fickle behaviour. He has a clear vision of what he wants - until he’s changed his mind - AND he can be very intimidating. We also have Triple H and Stephanie on deck, two strong personalities who have a lot of input into the shows. I would love to bear witness to their game-time decisions, and see how everyone else reacts accordingly. Not to mention, the chance to see the inner workings of a show: from the crew to the refs to the announce team, all under Vince’s command. The backstage politics, the rush of adrenaline, and the unexpected tedium… all of it precious for wrestling voyeurs such as myself.
I know this idea for a show is naïve, in that it would be virtually impossible to convince Vince McMahon to let the world see THIS MUCH behind the scenes. He would certainly have to censor himself, which would be tragic for viewers, and the presence of cameras would cast a self-conscious glare on the scene. I would only want to see what life is REALLY like in Gorilla, without anyone fearing for their reputation or how it will be edited.
I’d want to see the real drama, not some contrived crap that probably isn’t nearly as juicy. I want to see Vince’s face when Michael Hayes shows up to work in yet another ridiculous outfit. I want to hear Vince react to someone screwing up in the ring. I want to know what Vince says to the announce team, especially if they need to make sudden changes while the show is live. Alas, I don’t know if we could get a glimpse of what it’s really like.
Wait – maybe we do the show with hidden cameras! I know it would mean a sacrifice in terms of video quality, and sure, Vince may take issue with it, but we can deal with that later. Let’s not get bogged down with legalities, because this idea is GOLD.
We’ll do confessional-style talking head interviews from catering, where the crew and talent can vent about what just went down in Gorilla. I’m picturing Kane with his mask on, complaining about how many takes Stephanie needed him to do for the backstage segment, while he chews angrily on a Cobb Salad.
Ridin’ With Rybaxel
Normally, I can appreciate how every fan has his/her own opinion, and we don’t have to agree in order to get along and talk wrestling. However. I have developed a kind of love for Rybaxel that just might alienate me from others who beg to differ. Holy moly, who would have thought that these two would end up being such a winning combination? (Well, maybe not winning in the dictionary sense of the word, but winning my heart for certain.) We all scoffed at how pathetic they were at first, Paul Heyman’s castaways, paired by virtue of their having been dumped by the same manager. But even then, their brief shared history did nothing to unify them, and they seemed like another mismatched duo whose entrance music would be mashed up, and then deconstructed again after a month or two.
But by golly, they seemed to be having a good time! I’d never seen Curtis Axel look so energized, his crazy eyes shining as they came down the ramp together. He was like a new man, perhaps feeling the alleviated pressure of just being one half of Rybaxel (the name being the easy butt of pharmaceutical jokes), and not a Paul Heyman Guy. And Ryback hasn’t changed so much has embraced his true inner Ryback, The Jolly Big Guy – not the forced jolly of Babyface Big Show, but an easy, self-confident jolly that has infused his every move. He beats people up in a jolly manner, which makes his best friend Curtis Axel so happy, and in turn makes Ryback feel good. They’re both feeling so positive now that they’re even having a great old time at the announce table, swapping stories and showing mutual appreciation. I don’t know how they tapped into this, but Rybaxel is magic. They’re the Bud Lite version of Rhodes Scholars, and I would welcome them in a reality show.
I want to see the world through Rybaxel’s (sometimes crossed) eyes. They’re already traveling around the United States on a weekly basis, Canada a few times a year, and several other countries throughout the year. Give them an extra day whenever they’re in an interesting location (or perhaps even better, a boring location). Send them out to the tourist traps, the exotic restaurants, the dive bars. Immerse them in the local culture, meeting people and making connections to their own lives. I think it would be light-hearted, but also surprisingly insightful. These guys seem to be much better at just being themselves, and being thrust into odd situations might bring out their more compelling character traits.
And I don’t mean purposefully-goofy stuff like they did with Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie, where they’re sent to milk goats or teach kindergarten. I want to see what it’s like when two guys who make a living as they do, are out navigating the real world. Riding the Tilt-a-Whirl! Wine tasting in Napa Valley! Standing on the glass floor of the CN Tower! (I’m telling you, that last one is a real defining moment for some people. You’d be surprised at whether a person will take that step onto the glass).
They can even bring their WWE buddies along sometimes. Maybe they’ll ride camels and eat baklava for the first time, while trading stories about desserts their moms made when they were kids. The point is to keep it natural, and just let the cameras roll.
Thank you for clicking on my installment of TJR Reality Week! I hope you’ve read Brandon Lasher’s entry, and any others that get posted. On the weekend, we will post a recap of everyone’s show ideas, and you can vote for your favorite. Winner receives… bragging rights! (Not the PPV). If you wish to cheer or jeer, please do so in the Comments down down down below, or you can tweet me @kickyhick or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great Extreme Rules weekend! I for one am super-pumped to be watching in the comfort of my friend’s basement on the WWE Network, rather than driving across town to spend $30 for a movie ticket, poutine, and peanut M&M’s. (Note to self: try not to spend that much on food and drinks to take over for the PPV).