High Road/Low Road 07.30.10: Kane as the World Champion
Welcome back to the High Road/Low Road!
A brief explanation of the column: Sat takes the High Road (positive view) on angles, gimmicks, and other wrestling related “stuff” while Chad Nevett takes the Low Road (negative view).
KANE AS WORLD CHAMPION
Kane winning the World Title reestablishes him as a main eventer in the eyes of the fans. I think we were at the point where nobody was giving Kane a legitimate chance to win the World Title. Having him win the World Title gets the fans to start buying Kane as a main eventer.
Was anyone clamoring for Kane to be a main eventer again? He’s someone that you can slot into that role, but hasn’t been there for a long time and no longer has that main event aura about him. He’s an upper midcarder that can feud with both midcard guys and main eventers. He’s no longer believable as a main event threat even with Smackdown’s currently depleted roster.
We all know that SmackDown is low on main event talent. They have very few guys and some of their main eventers have also suffered through major injuries. Kane winning the title reestablished him as a main eventer from a midcard guy. SmackDown will benefit from the move because they have gained another main eventer when they were in definite need for it.
They should have elevated a younger talent and used the lack of main eventers as a way to build for the future. Moving Kane back into the main event is the opposite of what they should be doing. Kane should be used to put over young talent that will be the future of the company, which is what he was doing. The Smackdown Money in the Bank briefcase could have gone to someone who needs a push like that to hit the main event.
Kane as a World Champion definitely creates a lot of new matches for him. I was thinking about this and Kane has not really feuded with most of the other main eventers on SmackDown in quite awhile. He hasn’t had an extended feud with Jack Swagger, Rey Mysterio, The Big Show or The Undertaker. This only works if Kane gets a decent run as champion and I think that this will definitely happen.
Kane had an extended feud with Rey Mysterio on Raw and it wasn’t good. There’s no reason why he couldn’t feud with any of the guys you mentioned in his previous role. Him getting the world belt wasn’t essential for that.
Kane has been a company man for the WWE for 13 years and he should win the World Title based on that. Kane has gone through ridiculous storylines and done whatever the WWE has asked him to do. We have also never heard a news bite about Kane backstage. I think Kane has been the perfect employee for the WWE and giving him a World Title should show the young guys that if you work hard then you could also become world champion. I know that the argument against this high road will probably be that nobody should be given a World Title based on loyalty, but I think the reasons I have stated show that people should be rewarded for loyalty.
No one should be given a world belt based on loyalty. All that someone deserves for loyalty is a paycheck. That may seem cold and uncaring, but the WWE needs to produce the best product possible and look to the future, and putting their world belt on a guy who is past his prime out of loyalty isn’t the right way to do that.
Kane winning the world title could work nicely with him trying to avenge the Undertaker. Kane cashing in the title shot against Rey Mysterio could mean that he now considers Rey Mysterio the main suspect. Also, if the WWE decides to go with Kane as the person responsible for the Undertaker’s demise, that could also work nicely with him saying he was held down by the Undertaker and by getting him out of the way, he managed to win a world title.
I think the title overly complicates the situation. The story was much more simple with Kane just looking for the suspect, but throwing the belt in makes it a distraction and takes the focus away from the other story. It only works if Kane attacked the Undertaker for revenge as you stated, so, otherwise, it doesn’t make sense.
Kane winning the title has definitely increased the interest level for SmackDown. SmackDown has been struggling because nothing has happened to get the fans to tune in. The last major thing to happen on SmackDown was when Jack Swagger cashed in the title shot. Kane winning the World Title should lead to more people tuning in to see SmackDown.
I think you’re overestimating Kane’s drawing power and popularity. Kane’s win is the sort of thing that makes people go “Wow, didn’t see that coming,” but not the sort of thing that drives people to see what happens next. In fact, it’s more likely to cause people to avoid Smackdown, fearing the train wreck of Kane as champion based on, oh, every other Kane story in the past.
Kane cashing in his title shot so quickly did two things. First, it got somebody to cash in the title shot on the same night, which is something that everybody wanted to happen. Two, it got rid of one of the briefcases right away. I don’t think it would have been too difficult to keep both briefcases around, but sometimes it makes sense to keep things simple.
I’m all for keeping things simple, but, by your logic, there should be only one world belt. Two belts is too complicated! Two briefcases wouldn’t be too complicated, it would have kept things interesting on Raw AND Smackdown as people wondered when they would be cashed in.
Are you taking the High Road or the Low Road?
Simply write “High Road”, “Low Road”, or “Both Roads” in the comment section.
Results for ECW vs TNA at Impact:
High Road: 36%
Low Road: 56%
Both Roads: 08%
Sat: Low road on the brawl. I was also disappointed that some of the commenters thought the pay per view was part of this column. We did not mention it because we were planning on doing that column next week, but I guess some of you could not figure it out. I thought we did a good job in making it clear that the column was about the brawl, but it looks like we did not. It sure made the vote counting difficult as well.
Chad Nevett: More than that, we only discuss events that have been shown on TV/PPV, not just taped. We did that column before last Thursday’s episode of Impact aired, so ‘officially,’ there was no Hardcore Justice PPV, it was still Hard Justice and presumably a regular one. We know that some people avoid spoilers since… I do. I don’t read tapings results since I’d rather see what happens when I watch the shows. Oh, and I’m totally Low Road on the brawl, but that’s no surprise if you read my 4Rs on that episode of Impact.
These are all of the e-mails that we received this week. We do not respond to the actual e-mail, but the reply to your e-mail will be below.
Sat: The only emails are for voting. Let’s go to the comments.
Below are the comments for last week’s columns and our responses. Every comment will not be included because it makes our lives a lot easier. The comments section was last looked at on Sunday Afternoon Pacific Time.
OMG. This is not an invasion angle. The ecw guys are not invading tna. How do u call it invading when the boss invites you and three of the guys have been on the roster page for some while. And they said it tonight that it wasn’t them invading. And people need to stop comparing nexus and the ecw guys. Two totally different things and neither has to do with invading
Sat: We start off the comments in a bad way. One of them wants us to do a column based on spoilers which is pure stupidity. If we do a column based on spoilers then those who don’t want spoilers will complain. This comment wants us to watch Impact before posting the column. We could do that but that would leave us only one hour to get the entire column done. That seems feasible right?
Chad Nevett: Even with the end of the brawl having Dixie saying they were invited, it still seemed like an invasion. That doesn’t just mean an outside force, that’s used in wrestling for internal people, too. And considering the last time we saw Rhino, Raven, or Stevie Richards in a match was… uh… when was that exactly? Yeah, seemed like an invasion.
ROH Commish Writes:
Low Road. Easiest one ever.
It’s pathetic. Tommy Dreamer getting injured the first time he stepped in a TNA ring tells it all.
These guys had more than enough send-offs. It is over and it has been over for 5 years.
Sat: I don’t think the injury will slow him down, but yeah it is not good to get injured this quickly.
Chad Nevett: The injury was a bad sign, yeah. And somewhat symbolic of this whole angle, I’d argue.
It is time to put ECW to bed. ECW was fine for its time, but I don’t think the polls really show viewers want the very same wrestlers from ECW, just like the high school girlfriend was fun, but maybe not so much years later.
Now if they had a stable of young wrestlers inspired by ECW going “extreme” in a desperate bid to move up the ladder, I could get behind that. That would give young wrestlers some air time and a similar flavor.
Sat: It seems like people want to see ECW though. I personally don’t want to see it, but the name of the game is to make money.
Chad Nevett: I’m not convinced this will make money (or more money than the standard TNA pay-per-view), but we’ll see.
Low road. This was embarrassing when it was being teased as an invasion (it’s not ridiculous to think it was one – because that’s what TNA was selling it as); it’s embarrassing as an appeal to nostalgia for a decade ago and a copy of a WWE idea from five years ago (oooo, swerve…from one thing that’s been over done and that no one was clamoring for to…another). Dreamer’s bit tonight was okay, but like everything else in this story, doesn’t hold up to much thought or scrutiny. Why can’t this company just let the talented workers on their roster wrestle?
Sat: The problem is that this company does have a very large roster and they can’t utilize properly in any way.
Chad Nevett: They have been, though! That’s what annoys me: just as TNA was delivering some very solid episodes of Impact week after week, mostly by having six or seven good-to-great matches per episode, they shift direction. Thankfully, the most recent episode was still mostly good matches, but talk about hitting a good groove only to drive into the ditch.
Low Road Ryan Byers said it best Fifteen years ago, I remember ECW fans and wrestlers vehemently complaining about how they were tired of seeing the “dinosaurs” of WCW dominating national television. Well, here’s a newsflash for the ECW faithful. In 2010, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Mick Foley, Al Snow, and their ilk have become the dinosaurs, and it’s time for them to finally step aside so that fresh faces can take over. Watching this crew become everything they hated was just sickening.
Sat: That is a good point, but not unexpected. Everybody always wants the older guys out, but when they get old they don’t leave.
Chad Nevett: More than that, I blame the fans, because PPVs are sold on existing names, so why would wrestlers or companies not continue to push the guys whose names are familiar and bring in the fans? I’m not convinced that will happen here since none of these guys have been much of draws since ECW ended, but the idea is there.
“They had some initial success that went away because people realized very quickly that ECW was a product of a certain time, place, and group of people that couldn’t be replicated.”
Did you watch their version of ECW? Let me tell you, it was nothing like the original. People wanted the original and were given some WWE version of it that jobbed out the people from the original. Once again, Vince McMahon can’t accept some other than him had a good idea, he has to ruin it. Want another example? How about the NWO? Yes TNA failed with their attempt at recreating the NWO, but thats because the talent was too old and out of shape to wrestle anymore. Vinnie Mac was just to dumb to make it work, same with ECW.
Sat: I think the WWE version of ECW was successful for a bit. The downfall began when Big Show won the title, but before that, the show was very good.
Chad Nevett: While not successful in ratings, I think the WWE version was successful as a place for younger wrestlers to improve in the ring. ECW was usually the WWE’s best pure wrestling show. That’s not something to simply dismiss.
– Provided it’s a short-term thing, I see nothing wrong with an ECW storyline.
– With WWE going super-PG, the ECW influence gives TNA an avenue to see if hardcore wrestling is the right way to counter-program.
– TNA’s market research supposedly indicated that fans wanted extreme wrestling. We’ll see if it translates into PPV buys. If not, TNA check this off the list of “What Ifs” and move on.
– I’m not concerned with the ECW guys being broken down. They’ll compensate with veteran storytelling. And blood.
– In the bigger picture, I think it helps unrelated storylines. Since ECW occupies the spotlight, other storylines are afforded a slower build.
Sat: That’s a good high road, which the WWE going PG, ECW will help TNA in drawing a different crowd.
Chad Nevett: Maybe. I won’t be convinced of that until I see numbers. If hardcore wrestling is what people want, why hasn’t Abyss gone over big time since he’s hardcore as hardcore can be? (Just a tad sarcastic there, people…) As well, it may not be a short-term thing with TNA looking into booking the guys for after the PPV.
Based on what I saw on iMPACT tonight, Both roads.
The low is how the brawl was botched, but I think I need to explain the good of this:
The way this was built up, it looks like a blowoff to the embarrassment that was the ECW brand.
Hard Justice has a history of being an absolute underachiever as far as PPVs go (need I remind you of the night the pyro stalled the show for a half-hour.)
Plus, if this site is correct, TNA PPV buyrates hover in the neighborhood of 10000 buys. ECW fans alone should break that mark. If Dixie really plans to stop PPVs soon, it only makes sense to fry these ideas quickly to make them as profitable as profitable.
Besides that, it sounds like this will be a one-shot deal for most of the signees, unless they can be immediately put into existing storylines. So except for maybe Sabu (high flyer vs grounded Doug Williams in X Division) this could be a good overall way to spend what is usually a filler PPV anyway.
Sat: The main problem that I had with the brawl was the guy who posted the spoiler overhyped it way too much.
Chad Nevett: Are there over 10,000 ECW fans that want to see these guys wrestle still? We’ll see, I guess. And trying something different is worth a shot, I guess. Maybe.
I’m actually going high road for this, and I am not a big fan of either TNA or ECW – but I am a big fan of Paul Heyman.
This whole thing has Heyman written all over it. From giving his ECW alumni a last shot, to the jabs at WWE and how they crapped on the ECW legacy, even to Abyss’ reference to the outside force. I’ve put this in other comments, but basically…
Heyman comes in and destroys the ECW legacy by destroying all the old ECW wrestlers – culminating with him screwing RVD and leading to Abyss winning the title (Jerry Lynn will be decimated before the match, Heyman comes out and announces RVD’s new opponent as Abyss).
Heyman will work/shoot on the legacy of ECW, but how that was then, and TNA is now. Dixie has hired Heyman to shape TNA for the future, and the first thing that Heyman needs to do is to rid TNA of the past.
Hogan, Bischoff – gone.
Sting – you’ve got one shot, blow it and you’re gone.
Flair – if you want to wrestle, you can join Hogan and Bischoff in the limo and wrestle with them, otherwise, keep your shirt on and be a manager.
And to any of the ECW guys who want a job – I hear that Wal-Mart is hiring greeters.
So this is a high road – but only if it leads to Heyman’s return.
Sat: I think your scenario for Heyman coming in would be a good one, but my gut tells me Heyman is not coming in.
Chad Nevett: I don’t see TNA giving Heyman what he wants, which is complete creative control. Though it does sound like TNA to spend a month building to a show honoring ECW only to turn around and trash it.
Basicly Dixie invites people from another company to beat up her own stars.
And what footage are they going to show from ECW? WWE owns all the rights to them…
Critical Failure – Check
Sat: I think the footage thing is a problem. Most like TNA will be using the footage from the past few weeks extensively.
Chad Nevett: Hey, at least TNA has moved from trying to copy the late ‘80s and early ‘90s to trying to copy the late ‘90s… that’s progress, right? Right?
The Patns Writes:
Many people have pointed out that the ECW guys aren’t THAT old, but my point is that many of them appear THAT old and wrestle like it as well. I hear people comparing Foley’s presence to Hart’s at SS, but I really don’t know who looks worse in the ring.
As for the Abyss “They’re coming” stuff, wasn’t that Samoa Joe’s thing before he returned? He was gone forever and I’m not sure how much got airtime, but I recall one promo of him moaning about “them” coming. Then he came back and it was aborted/given to Abyss. Connected or TNA’s lack of continuity?
Sat: Given that TNA dropped the ball on the Samoa Joe stuff, the odds are the same will be true for the Abyss stuff.
Chad Nevett: I was wondering about the Samoa Joe stuff, too, unless it will all get tied together soon. I don’t see that happening, but would be somewhat impressed if it did. Longterm planning in a wrestling promotion? Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
High Road all the way from the build up and tension – ask me again after the PPV if I still think it’s a High Road though.
Sat: The one thing that I think most of the readers have missed is the fact that this was a column on the brawl and the PPV column is coming (next week actually).
Chad Nevett: They are somewhat separate… to the point where the brawl was actually 100% meaningless and did nothing but provide a confusing ending to an episode of Impact.
Your reasons for taking the High Road, Low Road, or Both Roads and suggestions for future High Road/Low Road are welcome at [email protected] or in the comment section. Your reply will be included in next week’s column.