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Hulk Holland is back with another edition of the Meltdown. Find out why he's cutting a promo on promos while breaking down the week that wasn't in professional wrestling and beyond.
You know what's great about Paul Heyman? The way he growls Brrrrrrrrock Les-narrrrr in a voice that sounds like the Predator when he's aping Schwarzenegger, just prior to self-destructing. Sometimes all you need is a little inflection to elevate a good promo to great and a great promo to uh, greater.
Like the way "Mean" Gene Oakerlund would say IN-ter-CON-ti-NEN-tal Championship.
Cutting a good promo is no different than executing a good wrestling match. You're only as good as your opponent allows you to look. Even if you hit all your spots and get the crowd to pop, it still smells like hot garbage if you're not working in harmony.
Like last Monday night on RAW.
Hearing Vickie Guerrero and Ryback scream at each other in broken English damn near gave me a migraine, mostly because of their constant stopping and starting due to all the interruptions. You know what it sounded like? Real arguing.
And I hate the sound of real arguing.
If you've ever tried to use a movie line in a genuine quarrel (sadly, I have), it never works. Why? Because the other person doesn't know when they're supposed to pause and let you deliver the boom. Think of it in wrestling terms. How cohesive would a match be if every time someone tried to attack Sheamus, he just kneed them in the gut or punched them in the head?
That's one of the things that pissed me off about his match against Antonio Cesaro, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite performers. I think WWE is doing an admirable job of building him up and the Sheamus bout was a step in the right direction. Two big, physical guys working stiff, and Cesaro is crazy strong.
Real, functional strength, not like that bloated bag o' hammers I mentioned earlier.
But for every guy they elevate properly, there's another they bury improperly. Titus O'Neal had a breakout night on RAW two weeks back after working the announce table with Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole. He was so good, he earned high praise from Jim Ross, who always tells the up-and-coming guys to make the most of every opportunity. O'Neal did.
And #washrag was trending!
So how did WWE capitalize on his momentum? They fucking jobbed him to Ryback in the opening match of the night. Ryback, currently one of the top five guys on the roster. Perhaps it was a message, or simply a reminder. One that says you're not allowed to become your own star. WWE knows what's best for you and they -- and they alone -- will decide when you're ready to shine (if at all).
At least let him lose to someone who can make him look like a boss.
What's funny, is every time I say the word "boss," I think of Who's the Boss and my teenage crush on Alyssa Milano. I was so into her, I even bought her crappy Teen Steam workout video. In fact, had the Internet been around back then (and I had something better than a Commodore 64), I would have created a BOSS BLOG.
You know, all the news about what happens on set before and after every show. In addition, I would have surely delivered scoops about upcoming episodes, as well as all the gossip surrounding the "real" relationship between Tony Danza and little Danny Pintauro.
It is. But it would have undoubtedly been a hit with the TV sitcom fan base, just like most of the wrestling blogs out there get their traffic from the WWE "Universe." That's why I always get a chuckle when people flame the wrestling "media" for what they perceive to be fraudulent "journalism."
Wrestling isn't a sport. It's Cirque du Soleil with chair shots.
You can't have real journalism in a fake sport. What you can have, is real reporters. Like anything, some will do a good job of keeping you up to date on all the ins and outs of the squared circle, while others will be self-serving jackasses who just want to look cool.
I write for Cageside Seats because it's comprised of a group of pro wrestling fans who (gasp!) love pro wrestling. I used to write for "real" sports outlets and got yelled at for being subjective and biased and all the other things you can't be when communicating with your "real" readers.
That's why I'm here.
It's also why you're here. You didn't come for the news, because there isn't any. You came for the filter. All the junk that gets churned out every week by WWE and beyond? We sift through it and try to bring you the best (and often times worst) parts. Then you either pop or tell us we suck.
Where does it go wrong?
When the wrestlers, reporters and fans forget the symbiosis of the cycle. Like Trent Reznor says, we're in this together! There is no hierarchy in this industry (sorry, Punk) because we all depend on one another for survival. But is it mutualism, parasitism or commensalism?
That all depends on your perspective.