This week's mailbag


hey Dave-
happy holidays, and thanks for all of the work you guys do to keep everybody informed .It is much appreciated.  Even though I enjoy watching both Bryan Daniels & CW Punk work, I can help but think that the picture of those two posted on the web site looks like a couple of guys posing with belts at a wrestling convention!!!!
  Do you know anything about the whereabouts of Bobby Davis?I know I am showing my age, but for my money, he is still the best manager I ever saw work, and that impression was made 40+ years ago!!
  Marty Greenfield
Delhi, NY

DM:  No, don't know about Bobby Davis' whereabouts. 


I listened to the show and read this weeks observer about the RAW main
event rating.  A couple things you did not talk about.  As someone who
is a football fan first and occasional viewer of RAW (despite 20+ year
of hardcore fandom from the 1980s to early 2000s) there are some
things I picked up flipping back and forth.
The MNF game drew just under 17 million viewers (they picked up 7
million viewers from last week.)  This was the 4th time in NFL History
that two teams with 10+ wins and winning pct above .750 were playing
each other so some drop off would be expected considering how horrible
overall MNF games have been this year.  The vast majority of games are
decided by second half this year so the competition has been
abnormally weak against the WWE.
Since there were two major blackouts during the MNF game where all
power was lost in the stadium and the game was delayed, the ratings
may have been for skewed.  For example instead of 49ers-Steelers
starting at 8:35, it started about 9:10 - giving a ratings boost to
the first segment.  Then Orton-Barrett tanks because the game starts
and everyone flips over.
Then there was the second blackout when I switched back over to RAW
and noticed the Alicia Fox/Beth Phoenix match - another segment you
noted gained a number of viewers.  I think those close to 17 million
viewers were flipping channels when the stadium went dark and were
waiting for the power to return.
With the delays, approximately a half hour the first time, and another
twenty minutes the second time, the entire pattern of the MNF game was
thrown off.  Thus instead of the usual having half-time at 10 PM when
I flip over to RAW to watch the 10 PM angle/match - the game was still
going on.  Half-time hit at about 10:30 and they returned to action at
10:45 or so right as the main event was kicking off the second half of
the game, a very close game at that point between two of the best
teams in the league was kicking off.
Anyway - just putting the thoughts out there as RAW was up against
abnormally strong opposition that was in a different pattern than
usual.  There is a disconnect between seeing the six-man tag set up as
doing well but then the match itself tanking.  Though no one can
disregard the fact that the WWE has made Bryan and Ryder out to be
jobbers and one night of giving them titles doesn't make up for months
of Michael Cole burying them.
Take care,
Ryan Kabacynski

Hi, Dave.

As you know, I'm a lifer and have been a fan since the mid 60s.  Throughout the nearly five decades, there have been ebbs and flows in my interest of the product.  Some of those were due to stages of my life, other due to a lack of interest in the product.
Right now, even if I have nothing else to watch on Monday night, I'm not looking forward to flipping on Raw.  For the briefest of periods, the CM Punk breakout was something to look forward to; but, for whatever reason, Punk's shtick was immediately watered down.  Yeah, he's being pushed as the top guy for now, but the real edge he displayed is not there.  Still a chance to amp up his personality, but he needs a foil to use it on, such as HHH, Laurinitis, Vince, whomever.  For a very short time frame, I couldn't wait for his promo segment; now, it isn't there.  
Heels to hate.  Who are they?  The Miz?  C'mon, the guy deserves everything he's gotten and has carried the ball well; but, he is a small heel who isn't really feared or hated.  He's a great personality, but just doesn't come off as believable, at least as far as suspending disbelief.  Alberto Del Rio has the look, the size, the ability. He even has a believable finisher in the cross arm-breaker. He also has had the machine pushing him from Day One.  But, something is missing.  Nobody cares about the smug personality or the idiotic cars, and he's missing a dimension.  Why do people react more to Ricardo Rodriquez than Del Rio?  
Del Rio and Miz as top heels?  Not believable and not the type of heels people buy tickets to see the faces get revenge on.
While the days of George "The Animal" Steele type heels are evidently long gone, I still long for the bonafide monster heels. Brodus Clay?  We'll see, but that type of heel to feed the face will be a welcome change. Mark Henry did the trick, amazingly, after a proper push by the machine. 
Or bleached-blonde cocky heels.  Ziggler is not Flair, obviously, nobody is.  But, he has next to zero personality. Heck, Buddy Landel and many others played the role as a the poor man's Flair.  Just need the right guy with some personality.  Bleach Miz's hair blond and you have the cocky heel.
The tag teams.  It is quite presumptuous for me to criticize a billion dollar juggernaut and clear leader of the industry.  But, as a fan, I miss a tag team division to care about.  While the WWE has had a philosophy not to feature the tag teams, at least as the money matches, there still is room to pique the fans' interest with tag-teams.
Lastly, too many guys with belts.  I remember the old WCW and Mid Atlantic shows, where it seemed every guy had a belt.  Now, on Raw, we have four guys with a World Title, WWE Title, US Title, and Intercontinental Title.  Whew, talk about watering belts down and causing fans to not care.
Well, I guess they know what they're doing.  And, I accept I'm not in the demographic they are after.  But, wow, give me something to look forward to at 9 PM on Monday nights.  
Jeff Bukantz


Like many, I was pleased to see that the two current champions in WWE are both ex. indy/ROH guys.  While Bryan’s reign could conceivably end as early as tonight on Raw, and I would be absolutely shocked is he were champion going into Wrestlemania, at least he was given a shot.  It will now be a question of what he does with the opportunity, as well as whether he is really given an opportunity at all. 


That said, I think Dave Batista had a point. 


My belief is that WWE has really hurt the value of their top titles by giving them to guys they do not plan to treat as the key players in the promotion.  I think their use of the titles to give a minor rub to someone is counterproductive.  The bottom line is if they are not willing to treat one (or both) of the two champions as their most important guys, that should tell them he is not (yet) the right guy to put the title on. 


So what does this mean?  Not give the titles to anyone but Cena or Orton?  No. 


What it means is if they plan to push someone, push them hard. 


How much more effective could Miz have been as champion if he were both given the key slot, and a series of highly credible and successful title defenses?  Arguably, he could be at megastar status today, especially since he is a media darling. 


Now that does not mean Miz should have been programmed as a “tough guy” like Dave Batista, since we all know he would never be credible in that role.  But he could have been programmed as the most “cunning guy” in the WWE, who despite certain limitations physically, always found a way to pull off a decisive victory.  Back in the old AWA Nick Bockwinkle was never the tough guy, yet he was highly credible as champion.  And his main routine was to sell like crazy (best wobbly legs in the business), and then through his keen mind pull off a victory.  (In fairness he was also one of the greatest workers in the world at the time, which we can not say yet about Miz). 


So what does this mean for today?  Simple. 


Since WWE put the title on Daniel Bryan, it is time to push him to the moon.  He needs to be booked as the second coming of Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle combined.  He needs to make everyone he faces tap out decisively.  That includes huge guys like Big Show, and smaller guys like Dolf Ziggler.  It also includes the top guys like John Cena and Randy Orton.


I can’t guaranty it, but I think a 6 month reign for Bryan booked as I just described would make him a highly credible top guy for many years.   


Now getting Michael Cole to become a believer would help too.  Maybe as much as anything else they could do, including having Orton tap clean.  But that is probably too much to ask. 


Keith Buckley



Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?