Mailbag: HHH angle, Impact, Hell in a Cell,



HHH ANGLE


The “walkout” angle on Raw certainly captured attention, with some very impressed with the magnitude of such a move, along with its presentation on TV, (with at least one fan so affected by this they went on Jim Ross’ Blog and scolded him for being unprofessional.)  After all, it was executed well, and the acting all around was good despite dialogue like “bedlam”.  But most people groaned, at least the ones who frequent this site, because they couldn’t see the trees for the forest.  What I mean with that mixed up analogy, is that as a mere episode in the weekly soap opera of HHH the COO, this was incredibly lame and contrived, but as an individual angle it’s actually a pretty good idea that hadn’t been done to this level on a wrestling show to my memory.  I think this was a strong concept completely misused, mistimed, and overshadowed by the silly circumstances surrounding it and the lame psychology of at least half the characters involved.  If this exact premise had been used under even slightly different circumstances, this could’ve been a meaningful angle that had people talking and would get things going in the right direction.

 A walkout is a pretty major thing for any business or sporting entity, as a result there needs to be a very strong reason for it.  In this case, the reason was the entire Raw locker room and TV crew felt they weren’t safe with HHH as COO since Raw was “out of control”.  This is not only hypocritical, since they’ve advertised Raw as being “out of control” since 1993, but the past couple of months have not been anymore out of control than at any other time.  The reasoning is weak, and the fact that this is just an overly obvious set up for the mysterious enemy trying to get HHH booted just makes it even more lame.  When this started as David Otunga whining with a few other heels, it made perfect sense.  As a bitch move, it fits right in line with a heel psychology.  But when they brought in the entire babyface roster along with Lawler and Ross, they’re telling the audience that this is actually right and correct, but it is not, so it just ends up as confusing and ineffective.  So instead of solidifying the purpose of the angle, it just turned every babyface who was there, into a complete pussy.  Like Meltzer and Alvarez pointed out all this week, HHH completely buried 98% of their babyface roster, to which the fans chanted after the show, “You still got it!” at HHH.  That’s right Hunter, nobody can bury their peers quite like you.  Oh, but wait, this isn’t stupid booking, its sophisticated writing from an “Emmy Award winning” writing staff.  After all, our hero is being framed by a nefarious and mysterious enemy, whose friends have turned on him, so he will overcome this obstacle like Dr. Richard Kimble in the Fugitive and everyone will embrace him again in the end, right?  Wrong, this isn’t clever, they just emasculated their babyfaces and added another groan inducing chapter to a lame novella.

 

The last time the babyface was framed in wrestling was in 1996 when a fake Sting beat up Lex Luger, and because the other faces thought for even a brief time that it was the real Sting, Sting got pissed off and offended, turned into the Crow, and beat up everyone who questioned his loyalty, before taking out the guys who were responsible for this set up, all building to WCW’s hottest period peaked by Sting’s record setting PPV showdown with Hulk Hogan over a year later.  The walkout on Raw is not the Sting angle by any stretch.  One reason why is because the WCW babyfaces didn’t stand around the ring and vote no confidence in Sting.  By the way, how wimpy is that to vote “no confidence” to get someone booted?  Can you imagine John Wayne or Rambo doing something like that?  All that was missing was a petition signed by the Raw roster.

 

But maybe if there was a better reason for a walkout, this could’ve been pretty cool.  The last time there was a legitimate walkout was 1997 in Montreal after Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart.  If anyone remembers, Mick Foley, Davey Boy Smith, Owen Hart, and several others were all ready to walk over the injustice they saw against Bret Hart.  It ended up not happening, but had this been presented on TV as an angle, fans certainly would’ve bought this is as justification to walk out.

 

Walking out as a group, to get someone fired is a bitch move, anyway you spin it.  Walking out because someone is unlawfully fired or punished, can be noble and admirable.  With a couple of tweaks, the same walkout angle could’ve made HHH a true martyr which would’ve made HHH an even bigger babyface (as if we needed that), but would strengthen the entire angle.

 

Instead of the narrative of the past couple months being things getting “out of control”, the narrative should’ve been HHH doing things to endear him to the locker room in a way that he was always fighting for them and the fans, despite the circumstances of Miz/R-Truth, Nash, and other outside factors.  This way when HHH is attacking a handcuffed Miz/Truth at Hell in the Cell, the narrative is he’s fighting for the boys instead of being a maniac who “has no control” over his company.

 

On Raw this week, Otunga’s heel group should’ve gone to the “Board” to present their final case about removing HHH as COO.  After all didn’t they establish when Vince was booted that the Board has control over who’s in charge, not the locker room or the cameramen? So with the entire roster at ringside, Johnny Ace and the Otunga group break the news to HHH that the Board voted no confidence in him and break out the handcuffs.  At that point John Cena, CM Punk, or another top babyface steps up, and cuts a promo about how HHH is being screwed and set up and he always fought for them and the fans and if they’re going to fire HHH then they need to fire him too.  Then another top babyface steps up and says how HHH might screw up but he’s doing his best and fights for them and the fans.  And another speaks, and another, all ready to walk out for their guy.  As each babyface defends HHH, and he tears up, in handcuffs, seeing how guys are going to bat for him, they are elevated and he becomes a legitimate sympathetic babyface for one of the few times in his career.  So instead of fans being confused or booing as faces walk up the ramp, they would cheer at the likable stand the faces are taking. And then when the last guy, Jim Ross, who desperately needs his job with Raw, because Obama’s economy has destroyed his BBQ “small business” (which only Linda McMahon as Senator can fix), walks out, we know he means business, and it further strengthens the angle.  And this also allows the new heel COO to personally humiliate Jim Ross at a later date as punishment for walking out!

 

It’s remarkable how many poor, or slightly off the mark creative decisions have been made since CM Punk’s historic promo in July.  This walkout was just the latest.  But as you can see with just a few minor changes, this cheezy soap opera episode could’ve been a more traditional wrestling angle with consistent logic, and you’d get to humiliate Jim Ross and campaign for Linda all at the same time.  What more could you ask for?

 

Steve Te Tai ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )


I thought Raw was pretty flat overall, but more than enjoyed the 12-man tag. I'm not sure why people would be complaining about it being too long, when people usually complain the matches aren't long enough. The match also gave Sheamus  a bit of a bump heading into a feud a possible feud with Mark Henry.

 

As for the end of the show, it felt contrived and ridiculous. I did get a chuckle out of the cameramen sitting their cameras down, and out of everybody, the referees did deserve to be heard, if you look at this from a logical standpoint. Outside of that, the storyline is ridiculous., and how  is  Raw any different now  from what it usually is. People have been getting jumped for years on the show.. Why is it suddenly a concern when Miz and Truth are involved? In the WWE's effort to push a PPV every month, and two this month, they are rushing the hell out of this angle like they do every thing else, and as a result, we've got chaos alright- chaos around a ridiculous story that no fan in their right mind would be buying. It's just not believable.

--
Jeremy C. Parsons

After a wonderful night out of my best friends birthday,  before I went to bed, I decided to watch RAW that I taped on my DVR.  When I finally came to the "big angle" of the talent walking out on the COO of the WWE, Triple H for the WWE being an unsafe work environment, I just shook my head and wonder why does anyone still watch this crap.  We are truly creatures of habit I guess.
 
Unlike the CM Punk angle which went over the heads of the casual audience,  this unsafe work environment angle is just lame for both the casual and the hardcore wrestling fans.  The casual and hardcore fans do not want to see pro wrestlers, supposed tough guys, bitch and moan about unsafe working environments.  For years pro wrestling fans have grown up up on wrestlers battling it out and settling feuds or chasing championship belts.  Pro wrestling fans have seen so many wild brawls, bloody matches, and even the bizarre of  vehicular manslaughter, to wrestlers thrown from cage.  So now we have to believe these wrestlers today are scared of guys running in a match??
 
This angle would be OK if they heels where one that's complained about the unsafe conditions, but the babyfaces, announcers and camera men?   I am curious to see the rating on this RAW.  Now, it could have been better then the 2.9 last Monday.  I can see the fans watching this boring and unrealistic segment to see something wild happen at the end.   Maybe that held their attention for the segment.   For me this is going to one of the most interesting and telling ratings in a long time.
 
John LaRocca

The closing angle was just idiotic. Major props go out to the fans at the CajunDome for crapping all over it. Where were Cena, Punk, and Orton? I can understand the heels wanting Triple H gone, but the babyfaces agreeing makes no sense, because most of his decisions have been in their favor. Plus, saying that this is an unsafe working environment, makes them look like a bunch of pussies. This isn't ballet, it's pro wrestling. There should have been at least some guys that agreed with Triple H. I didn't watch most of the second hour, because I was watching Hawaii Five-0. Now that show is good television on Monday nights. Do they really think things are going to be better if Vince comes back? Then it will be back to the heel boss screwing over the babyfaces again. Yawn City.
 
Doug Brown
Brenham, TX

All I got to say is thank God for new episodes of Castle. I don't know who the writers are in the WWE, but they need to get their heads examined. They just made the entire roster look like a bunch of weak, wussy crybabies. Seriously, think about it, they're in a profession known for dangerous condition and now they complain about an unsafe working environment? I'd love to hear someone explain to me how that makes sense.
 
Patrick Cooper
Roseville, MN 55113

Thanks to the wonder of Sky Sports back on my tv, I got to see RAW in a
timely fashion (just watched the recording from last night from 7-9 am
before work) for the first time in a long time.
 
Generally, I was positive on this show and think everything is slowly
building to make sense again and things are going more and more in a
long-term direction (I hope).
 
The Orton/McIntyre and Henry/Morrison matches, especially with the
repeat finishers accomplished what it was supposed to be - making the
champ and challenger look strong. Only thing I'd have differently would
have been to either switch the matches around, or have Orton attack
Henry after his match, instead of before. Yet, it made Henry look
stronger to win his match after his beatdown.
 
The whole lawsuit deal is fine with me, as it gives the (mid-card) heels
a program to be in and they appear stronger as a unit.
 
Not sure how much success Psycho Kelly will be, but it makes the Diva's
belt stronger, when for a change, the ex-champion cares about losing
it/being screwed out of it, something that's missing from Cena and other
guys losing their title. Also, it might help an eventual heel turn.
 
The return of Santino was fun, and the upside to Jinder Mahal is
basically not there right now, so I was fine with it. Probably best to
repackage him.
 
The "12 Angry Men" tag was good, as most multi-men main events are.
Basic heat on the babyfaces match, but not bad. Not sure if Alberto
should be with the mostly mid-carders, but he didn't openly associate
with them too much, so that's ok. He might be used better in a role
where he financially backs their lawsuit, since he's a supposed millionaire.
 
The vote of confidence deal was not bad at all and added intrigue to the
whole storyline - I liked the touches of the referees and even the girls
being given a vote, even though their argument was weak, since really
nothing happened to them (Beth could have cited being attacked by Kelly
earlier). Also, Henry nodding to "things being out of control" was kind
of stupid, since he was one of the guys causing havoc and it's basically
a big appeal of his gimmick right now. Nexus being mentioned was a nice
touch. Apparently Sin Care Negro is still around. Were Cena, Punk,
Sheamus and Mason Ryan missing at the end, or was that just my imagination?
 
Still an interesting ending, with basically the whole crew of wrestlers,
officials, announcers and technicians leaving - curious how they explain
things being back to normal on SmackDown, since HHH is officially in
charge there too (unless he leaves office/is released by the "board of
directors" on WWE.com). They might explain it with Teddy Long being in
charge there, but that may be kind of stupid really.
 
So basically still a whodunnit angle, like the mysterious text messenger
or even RAW General Manager, but maybe with a conclusion this time around?
 
All in all, I thought it was an interesting and a fun show, but maybe
that's just the thrill of seeing current wrestling on my tv again in
quite a while. But I'll still watch next week to see how things turn out.
 
Kind regards,
 
Markus Gronemann
Vienna, Austria


 
 
 
 
 



20 YEAR SUBSCRIBER


    This week marks 20 consecutive years of subscribing to the Observer, all without missing a single issue.  Some kid in the 5th grade gave me your "Who's Who" book in 1986, which got me hooked on wrestling, but it wasn't until 1991 that I subscribed.  Dan Farren is the one who referred me to you, as he and the late Dynamite D would talk about the newsletter all the time on Dynamite's cable radio show.


Jeff Gagliardo


IMPACT


-brian Kendrick is horrendous.  The most boring and awkward gimmick ever.  Just nothing appealing about it. 
 
-god I hope they turn Abyss soon.  Because this slow gradual timid thing they're doing with him is horrid. 
 
-ive said it for years.  How am I supposed to take Samoa Joe seriously with that physique.  Its like they went back to 1982 and got Mario Mancini or Salvatore Balomo and said "just act angry and mean".  He's just not main event with a body like a pear.  I can't accept him.  He also runs the ropes in slo mo
 
-will somebody please give Angelina Love a sandwich!  Please?
 
-Kurt Angle may be training for the olympics but he looks like a small pizza delivery guy at this weight. 
 
-the crowds on the road are so much more interesting that the Orlando crowd. They need to do this more. 
 
-roode and storm are both awesome.  Deserve the elevation. 
 
-Mr Anderson - so average and "tries" to be funny.  And often isnt. 
---Printing this e-mail makes Al Gore cry.


Kevin McKenzie


HELL IN A CELL


In reading your comments regarding HIAC & lack of detail, it harkened me back the the "infamous" night that Hogan plowed a rig into the ambulance that held The Rock, while the following week, Rocky came without bandage #1.
 
One of the main issues here is that VKM continues to think his company is something that it isn't, & tries to scurry away from the conventional methods that are the heart of what the business is- athleticism,violence, & personal conflict, with a healthy dose of believability & conviction.
 
 
Don't blame the "writers"- they were trained in a world completely separate from the one in which they currently work- in the world they come from, all scenerios are sewn up in 30 minutes to an hour, with the end result usually a positive one.
 
Just to use a ( incredibly) dated reference, how many times were the exploits from one episode to the next on Happy Days? Never, unless it was a two parter.
 
But wrestling is a slightly(?) different animal, that requires a  continuation of conflict, particularly when excessive violence is used. "Writing" ( a term I desparately hate) doesn't lend itself well to wrestling- however, "booking" usually does.
 
I struggle to grasp the idea that, in a company that employs veteran talent behind the scenes such as Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes, Dusty & Dustin Runnels, Tom Prichard,Steve Keirn,Rick Steamboat, etc etc etc that the television direction is largely shaped by those who credentials arent even up to snuff to write tv shows for fledgling tv networks.
 
Everyone wants to say "this guy can't draw" or "that didn't get over", but.. do they ever consider the source? I'm not saying that being a wrestler is an absolute must, but it sure helps- and sure couldn't hurt a company that use to get my business almost every month,but is now lucky to get it once a year.
 
 
Everyone of the aforementioned have a lifetime of experience, & at least once in their careers were part of or expereinced a tremendously personal angle that drew outstanding business; you cannot, no matter how good the talent involved, into a ring, surround it with metal, and expect it to draw....particularly when the guys pulling the strings have no comprehension, & The Boss longs for the company to be something its not.
 
Shane Heimberger



Who had the best show?

 

Who won the night?