Top-Down Smackdown: Future Endeavors



Well, I admit it – I jumped to a conclusion too fast. I figured WWE were annoyingly editing around Pat Patterson’s homosexuality, but in fact, they were setting up a two-parter (in fairness, if they would actually end each show with a preview of the following week, I’d have known that – and known I hadn’t just watched the finale).

It worked. A “confession” of something everyone in the business knows (I guarantee nobody in that house was surprised), told to cameras three years ago, was covered this past week by TMZ and The Advocate, which is the sort of thing that makes Vince McMahon salivate. Though not enough to give Darren Young a push, apparently.

This week’s big news is the fact that it’s layoff time.

Normally, I look at the layoffs and think what a waste of talent just happened. But not this time. Evan Bourne was a talent, but he hasn’t actually competed in forever. Brodus Clay is one I feel slightly bad for, because he was stuck with Ernest Miller’s terrible old gimmick and theme song, and he made it work as best he could.

For similar reasons, I’m delighted Heath Slater was NOT let go – there’s a guy who is fed crap every single night, and he sells it perfectly. His sidekicks are another matter. I never saw what others did in Drew Mcintyre, though his theme song was amazing, and with luck will someday be repurposed. Jinder Mahal was the second-most charismatic Indian wrestler on the roster, and once you realize who the first is you’ll see what a non-compliment I just gave. Three Man Band was doomed anyway once Evolution and the Shield both dropped a man and effectively ended the current era of threesomes.

JTG and Curt Hawkins are guys you can’t believe were still on the roster – solid talents who can work in the right gimmick, but no incentive on anyone’s part to give ’em one. Aksana should have seen the writing on the wall when they brought in another diva whose gimmick is “sexy Russian” – there’s no room for two. Plus being known as the person who fucked up Trinity’s eye socket probably didn’t help.

Teddy Long-Past-His-Sell-By-Date is someone I’m sorry to say I won’t miss. I used to be a big fan, from his corrupt referee days to his stints managing D-Lo and Rodney Mack as a black supremacist. WWE racial storylines are a guilty pleasure of sorts – they always turn things into such a trainwreck that one can’t help but look with mouth agape. But Teddy as a crowd-pleasing corporate suit who still says “Lemme holla at’cha, playa!” before forcing the bad guy of the week into a cage match with John Cena was tedious at best. Time to evolve or move on.

Speaking of racial, if you’re a Japanese character and you don’t work in either the Japanese style or a martial arts style, you’re screwed unless you can come up with a nationality-neutral gimmick. Yoshi Tatsu never did.

Camacho looked good on NXT, but he fits the Hawkins/JTG slot as a guy who’s been around long enough without excelling that creative would rather focus on newer guys than revitalizing the hangers-on.

As for referee Marc Harris, I can’t say I know why one ref or other would be let go.

Before I leave you to a Raw talkback, some general rhetorical questions I have:

-Is there ANY upside to having John Cena be friends with the Shield?

-Can Paige actually win a WWE match by clearly appearing to be the better athlete? Please?

-Is there a reason you’re not committing to making Cesaro good or bad?

-Similarly, what the hell is Bo Dallas?

-Are they finally done punishing Jack Swagger for being caught with drugs over a year ago?

-Is everyone who follows Adam Rose out to the ring on the payroll? How long can that feasibly last?

-Will any of these concerns get addressed, or are we just going to see the same old thing, week after…okay, seriously, don’t answer that one.