The internet can be a scary place sometimes.
Last Friday, I was mulling over who to feature in my weekly Slapstick Saturday column and did a general search on "DiBiase" because shit, who doesn't love watching The Million Dollar Man? Anyway, I got distracted with some other nonsense and never went back to it.
Later that night, I log into Netflix and I'm greeted with RECOMMENDED FOR JESSE: THE MARINE 2 STARRING TED DIBIASE JR.!
I'm not a big believer in coincidences, so I was mildly unnerved. But then I was thinking about it and realized no, I don't want to watch The Marine 2 any more than I want to watch The Marine 1. Nothing against Lil' Teddy, I'm just one of those guys who has trouble disassociating people from their existing personas.
John Cena is not -- and never was -- in the Marine Corps.
So why do I need to see him running around with guns shooting up the bad guys? I understand suspension of disbelief and that's what actors do -- but that's my point -- he's not an actor. When Brad Pitt was finished with his zombie duties on World War Z, he went back home and was Brad Pitt, awaiting his next summons.
He didn't go back to being Tyler Durden in Fight Club.
Cena went back to being a pandering pro wrestler, which is his full time job. Now, had John Cena's character inside the squared circle been that of a Marine Corps veteran who rises above hate, then the movie would have made sense to me. Like when Kane -- a psychopathic killer -- played a psychopathic killer in 2006's See No Evil, which did itself a terrible disservice by changing its original title of Eye Scream Man.
Anyway, my point is that WWE likes to do these dopey movies regardless, so why not do them using the actual characters it already has? And I know the first response would be "Well, if I wanted to see The Shield play a bunch of badass enforcers, I can just watch them for free on TV."
This is true.
But you can also expound on all the things that make them great by going outside the limitations of the wrestling ring (and boiler room vignettes). Imagine Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns -- dressed as they are -- putting on ski masks and doing a Heat style bank robbery, then going on a high-speed car chase through the busy streets of Los Angeles?
All under the direction of
Paul Heyman a mysterious financier who may have double crossed them.
Ambrose, the wheelman, screaming incoherently as he nearly mows down a group of pedestrians. Rollins in the passenger seat counting the money and shouting out the escape route while Reigns kicks out the back window and uses a minigun to annihilate the cop cars in pursuit.
I'd watch that.
If we're going to get a WWE movie, I don't need to see The Miz as a wise-cracking skip tracer in Christmas Bounty, trying to win back some ditzy sweetheart he dumped in college. Instead, have the WWE corporate jet crash in the swamps of Louisiana, forcing John Cena and Nikki Bella to find their way back to safety as three frightening locals -- known as The Wyatts -- chase them through the bayou.
Urban legend says one of them wears sheepskin over his head, Leatherface style. (Cold, wet and trembling) ... "Oh my god John, I don't think that's a mask! Run!"
Heck, you could even do parodies of existing franchises like Never Graduated High School Musical. Can 3MB return to their old stomping ground, win the record contract and get their G.E.D. before the big concert? Or even Cannonball Runteldat. Big E. steals one of Alberto Del Rio's many cars in a race to get to the bodybuilding show on the West Coast, dropping F-bombs every time he gets stuck in traffic.
The possibilities are endless!
If WWE is known for one thing, it's exceptional production values. And we're not talking about The Ten Commandments here, as we don't need a six-hour odyssey. But why not take advantage of the chips in play, expand the WWE Universe and more importantly, get some great content on the WWE network?