Scott’s Feedback Feedbag – Place to Be Nation Edition!

Would Dolph Ziggler sink or swim as a main eventer?

My inbox is so ridiculously full that my blog isn’t big enough to hold all the questions, so you Place To Be Nation are lucky enough to get one of my patented off-the-cuff Q&A columns to offload some of it!  Bask in the excitement!  I SAID BASK IN IT!

To the mailbag…

1. How come promotions use their own lights for shows and not the house lights? Stadiums shows would look awesome using the stadium lights.

2. Who was in charge of putting up banners back in the day? Outside of the two above the ring banners use to be in some random ass places? Like a TBS banner near the upper deck during and early 90’s COTC.

3. Why were all the heel announcers (especially The Brain) kissing Shawn Michaels ass when he turned heel? Whistling his theme, announcing he left the building, calling him the “Wrestler of the 90’s”. Just struck me as weird how hard they were pushing the guy.

    1. In the case of WWE they have pretty exacting standards for lighting, especially with the HD cameras, and they probably just want to control every detail of the show.  Because that’s what they do.  Jim Crockett used to do stadium shows using the lights, and it looked kind of flat because it’s just not set up for highlighting the specific ring area properly like the ring lights are.  Hence the name, ring lights.
    2. I would presume the arena staff.
    3. That’s how you push a guy.

With all the hubbub over you know who and you know who and that other guy, I thought it might be fun to get your thoughts on some other hypothetical coulda-been Main Eventers. For each of the following guys, just say whether you think they’d sink (heatless, failure, ratings drop, not believable in the role) or swim (believable at the top of the card), if they’d been given 1) a title win at a Big 4 PPV with 2-3 months of buildup and 2) a 6 month reign on top. Explanations are encouraged but optional. This scenario presupposes that HHH (where applicable) and Vince are on their best behavior and, if not behind the wrestler, at least not actively trying to buy him either. We’ll just do 10 for now. 

1) Dolph Ziggler
2) John Morrison
3) Mr. Perfect
4) Jake Roberts
5) Test
6) MVP
7) Shelton Benjamin 
8) Low-Ki/Kaval/whatever his name is this week
9) Rikishi
10) Rick Rude

    1. Dolph Ziggler had the Cena feud, which was doing really well on the house show circuit, and then popped some decent ratings in his brief reign as World champion, so I would say SWIM.
    2. John Morrison could return tomorrow and get right into the title mix again as a big star.  They really should sink some money into him and push the shit out of him and I’ve advocated it for a while.  He’s fresh again, a big enough name that people remember him, and young enough to have a good run at the top still in him.  SWIM.
    3. Hennig did have the run on top against Hogan and the shows tanked.  Now, whether that’s a chicken-and-egg situation I don’t know, but honestly the numbers weren’t there and he wasn’t a guy who seemed cut out to be anything more than midcard star.  SINK.
    4. I think Jake depends entirely on the character you’re talking about.  The babyface act never really had any strong motivations outside of the Honky Tonk feud or avenging his wife against Rude, and I don’t think titles ever played into his motives.  The evil baby seal clubbing maniac from 1991, however, was all about money and Machiavellian shortcuts, and probably could have done well on top against Randy Savage once Macho won the belt in 92.  So I could go either way there.
    5. Shane McMahon did everything humanly possible to get people to care about him and he couldn’t even get over as “the guy banging Stacy Keibler”.  SINK.
    6. MVP was another guy like Mr. Perfect, where the gimmick and charisma can only carry you so far, and if you don’t have the X Factor, you just can’t get to that next level.  SINK.
    7. Shelton never really connected for me personally, in that he was always an awesome athlete with some great matches, but I never felt like I was invested in him getting to the next level.  His lack of a finisher was one major problem, and they could never find the right character to get him past “Guy who looks good in loss to Shawn Michaels.”  SINK.
    8. I don’t think he ever really connected with the fans outside of the internet hardcores who stubbornly voted him to win NXT.  SINK.
    9. Man, they tried SO hard to get him to that level in 2000 with the Rock feud and the Hell in the Cell match and the NEW ATTITUDE, but he was just the funny dancing fat guy in the end.  SINK.
    10. Hells yeah.  Had he stuck around the WWF in 1990, he would have got there by virtue of everyone else disappearing in the steroid trials.  SWIM.

Two Horrifically Bad Ideas: 

1. WWE is negotiating with Sting. WWE has also been promoting the new Robocop movie. Is it possible that it could all come to a head when…NAH!

2. If they REALLY wanted to kill off the “Yes” chant once and for all, I know how they could do it: an in-ring wedding for Bryan and Brie, where the officiant’s “Do you take this _____” chants are answered by “YES! YES! YES!” Boom. Chant and character killed in one fell swoop.

    1. God, that new Robocop movie looks horrendous.  WAY TO RAPE MY CHILDHOOD.
    2. I just an argument with my wife last night about whether “officiant” was actually a word.  I lost.

Hey boss, got a question about someone other than D-Bry. Obviously, Reigns is due for the rocket push soon, and either he’ll be replaced in The Shield or they’ll split. Assuming that Rollins will probably just be used as a mechanic like he has been, where does that leave Ambrose? I always figured he would just do the Pillman/Raven thing he did as Jon Moxley but with Wyatt cornering the market on “crazy” do they really go that path? What would you do with Ambrose as a solo guy? And do you think he stays in the midcard or does he have a brighter future?

Oh, he’s gonna be champion someday, although I would have given him better odds in the split title days, which isn’t to say they won’t change their minds and fracture that thing up again after WrestleMania.  And I don’t think anyone can corner the market on crazy in wrestling when there’s so much to go around for everyone.  I think he’ll end up with a Roddy Piper type career, turning into the go-to guy for big promos and maybe assuming the CM Punk role of understudy to the big star.

Do you think that there’s any chance that the WWE will drop the idea of heel owners/GMs/COOs/bosses-in-general any time soon?  Even if Vince/HHH/Stephanie aren’t in favor of it, do you think that the *audience* would prefer an authority figure that actually seems to be pro-fans (or at least someone who the fans would be happy to see).

Watching NXT, it seems like HHH isn’t *necessarily* a heel most of the time that he makes appearances there (most likely because NXT seems to be his pet project), and it always makes *me* feel like it’s been a long time since the main WWE product featured anyone presented as being in authority as someone who I should be happy to see, which makes me a little sad.

Personally I’m sick of authority figures of all shapes and sizes.  I thought that the anonymous RAW GM was actually a pretty clever idea in that the viewer could kind of fill in the blanks themselves as to who they thought was pulling the strings, plus it was a handy deus ex machina to get out of bad booking situations.  It was also kind of a neat meta-comment on the authority figure trope in itself, like “See, this job is so lame that even a computer could do it.”  Of course, they had no PAYOFF for it, like everything else they do, but it was clever while it lasted.

Hello Sir,

Totally off topic mailbag question today. But watching the rumble last night and the mention of two winners from spot 1, got me thinking. I always wondered why Benoit got the push he did. He wins the rumble from spot 1, headlines Mania, has the future COO tap clean in the middle of the ring and wins the belt.  I guess the question is how come they went with him when he didn’t fit the classic McMahon idea of a main eventer? A rare case of actually listening to the fans?

I think because he was an awesome worker that everyone liked, and they just felt like he’d give young Randall some good cred for his first title win.  Plus, and this is just my own speculation, I’m sure no one else wanted to be the guy to put over the 23-year old experiment and this way none of the other main eventers had to.  It was win-win for everyone.

If you had to make an estimated guess, how much does it cost to put together a wrestling promotion in 2014? If you were aspiring to get on a syndicated TV level (ROH or that TCW show the BOD posts all the time) could you do it for under a million? Does it depend on your talent draw? Has the internet made things cheaper? Genuine question.

Well, as TNA has taught us, ANY kind of TV taping is an expensive proposition.  It’s not just paying the talent, it’s renting out expensive buildings and paying for TV exposure as well as the million little people who you need to make the show run smoothly.  That’s why so many indy startups go out of business right away.  I guess if you’re using total unknowns and paying them $500 a shot, you could maybe do business for under a million a show, but really the best bet is to have a sugar daddy like TNA and ROH and let someone else foot the bill.

OK, now I’ve got a bit more room for more Daniel Bryan and CM Punk e-mails to flood in, so I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing these answers off the top of my head!