Happy Friday TJR Faithful! I hope you have all been enjoying TJR Reality Week, because I know that I have. I’ve enjoyed Brandon, Heather, Andrew and Hugh’s pitches throughout the week, and they’ve certainly made this pitch competition a very tough one. I’ve racked my brain since a seemingly innocuous tweet by Hugh Firth about the legitimacy of the weddings filmed for Total Divas started this themed week of TJR writing, and have been forced to look myself in the mirror and ask, what is reality TV?
For many reality programming is a peek behind the curtain, the ability to see how things work in a business, or a lifestyle, that is otherwise a mystery to you (think Jon and Kate Plus 8, a peak into the life of parents of 8 children or Total Divas, the “totally real” look at what goes on outside the WWE rings). That is what the WWE is doing these days during the “Reality Era”, giving the fans a peak behind the curtain by using certain phrasing when they speak and alluding to behind the scenes realities on screen. The natural progression would be for some kind of show looking at wrestlers behind the scenes, whether it be the constant traveling, or the development in NXT, or the work that goes into the production of Monday Night Raw.
I enjoy documentary style reality as much as the next guy, and getting to peek behind the curtain would be fun, but for me Reality TV is about competition and discovering the unknown through science. TJR legion, lend me your ears (or your eyes because you’re presumably reading this) as I pitch to you my ideas for WWE Based Reality Programming!
MTV Presents WWE’s The Challenge
I’m not sure how many of you have followed the career of The Miz as closely as I have? Let’s be honest, the answer is probably none of you. For those that don’t know, The Miz’s first step into Television spotlight was on the MTV reality TV show, The Real World (the reality TV show that is credited with launching the modern Reality TV Era). Most know what the Real World is, but many are not aware that the Real World, as far as I’m concerned is simply a feeder system for MTV’s greatest reality creation: The Challenge! Seasons of the Real World are like NCAA, and The Challenge (or Road Rules in some incarnations) is the NBA/NFL, the big leagues. There are four high stakes sporting events I look forward to every year, and The Challenge is one of them.
The Challenge is a congregation of former Real World cast members in a foreign country to compete in a series of high intensity competitions that determine their survival in the game. They are either split into 2 teams of 10 or 10 teams of 2, and compete in the week’s big challenge that helps to determine which players or teams are sent into the elimination challenge later (usually the team with the worst performance in the big challenge and the team of the best performers choice). The losers of the elimination challenge obviously are eliminated from the game. During The Challenge, all challenge competitors live in a house together and get drunk, fight each other and backstab one another. It’s riveting television.
What I am proposing is that the WWE, in conjunction with MTV put together a monster season of The Challenge with WWE superstars as the Challengers. I would love to see JTG, The Miz (a former Challenge contestant and winner in his own right), Otunga and other underutilized talents from the main and developmental roster compete against each other in these often extremely physical competitions. The theme of the season could be Main Roster vs. Developmental Roster, each team consisting of 5 guy and 5 girls, with two people (one male and one female) being eliminated on a weekly basis.
I really just want to see these guys and divas compete on a high level while being forced to live in a house together. It would be physical, it can often be funny, and it would be dramatic. It can even get fans behind some of these under exposed superstars. Below is a clip from The Challenge, an elimination challenge pitting two of the series most decorated challengers, CT and Johnny Bananas (who has won the show more times than anybody) against each other:
Deadliest Warrior: WWE Dream Matches Realized
Have any of the TJR faithful ever watched Deadliest Warrior? If not, here’s a short synopsis: This former Spike TV program would pose simple questions like what if a Spartan fought a Ninja, or what if the Yakuza were to take on The Mafia, or even what would happen if a zombie hoard faced a vampire coven, who would win the fight? They would explain the history behind each competitor, gather tangible data like effectiveness of each warrior’s weapons/shields through real simulations, and then feed the results of those simulations into a computer which would use that data to tell us which warrior would come out on top in a fight.
Imagine the same technology and the same general concept being used to give us a show that would pose and answer the questions wrestling fans have always had like what if Hulk Hogan fought John Cena? Who would win in a battle between The Rock and Shawn Michaels? Jake The Snake vs. Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler vs. Mr. Perfect, Rey Mysterio vs. Ricky Steamboat, CM Punk vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, all these matches are possible with this show and this technology.
I would definitely tune in on a weekly basis to see a team of experts, scientists, doctors and of course wrestlers discuss the legacies of both theoretical competitors, illustrate their strengths and weaknesses, test out the damage that each would be able to do in their prime, and plug it all into a simulator to give us a 10-15 minute animated match between wrestlers we will in most cases never see wrestle each other. The scientific slant on a look into the history books is enough of a draw to me, but seeing them put on an animated simulation of the bout at the end would be icing on the cake. The impossible can be made possible with this reality show!
There you have it guys and gals, my two ideas for Quality WWE Based Reality Television. As always I want to know what you think! Would you watch either of these shows? Who would be the standout on MTV presents WWE’s The Challenge? Who should host? What dream matches would you want to see plugged into the deadliest warrior simulator? Who would win the ones that I posed? And do you prefer competition reality TV, discovery reality TV or documentary style reality TV?
Until next week folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying I couldn’t possibly be more excited for The Shield vs. Evolution on Sunday! Have a great weekend everybody!