I almost never wrote columns for Slash, and there’s a good reason for that. I almost never have anything of note to say. Usually somebody or another sucks up any good thoughts I may have had and puts them in a way better than I could’ve come up with, thus making eliminating any need for me to state my feelings on the subject. All that’s left to me then is my now weekly comedy piece on RAW. But I feel compelled to write right now, so, two weeks removed from the fact, I’m going to come out and make a statement that nobody will like:
At its heart, the necrophilia angle wasn’t bad.
Read that over carefully for a second. At its heart. That’s the key phrase there. The fact of the matter is that it was not a good angle. In fact, it was a bad angle. But, at its heart, it wasn’t a bad thing.
It’s obvious that Vince McMahon is out of touch with his audience. Everybody and their mother has said that. But it’s also obvious that he’s trying to figure out where his audience stands. Ratings are slipping and he’d like to know why. So he tested a theory. People like crime shows. Murder dramas. CSI is the number one show in the country. What happens if…
Ok, it didn’t work. Obviously. But I guess, I can’t really fault them for trying. There was nothing new about DX when it hit in the late ‘90s. Nor was there much original in the Austin/McMahon feud. Young adults hate authority, and pretty much everybody hates their boss. That’s nothing new. Hell, the McMahon-Helmsley stuff was “How much do you hate the guy who only got to where he was because of who he’s sleeping with” (that’s still going on, mind you). In all actuality, it seems to me like the WWE is trying to reconnect to the target audience that was giving it 6s and 7s in the Attitude Era, but have since moved past the dick and fart jokes that made the Attitude Era…have…Attitude. Those will always be there, but I can’t really blame the WWE for trying something a little more cerebral.
“Necrophilia?” you ask, “Cerebral?”
Well, I imagine on the drawing room floor that it looked really good. Triple H accuses Kane of murder, and RAW becomes a “who dunnit” of sorts. Did Kane kill Katie? What happened? Is Triple H just playing with Kane’s head?” Obviously it’s mostly the last one, but that doesn’t get into Kane’s head, so HHH accuses him of something worse. Finally, Kane snaps and goes after HHH. On paper, eh, it doesn’t look SO bad, but it failed to garner the attention the WWE wanted, so they had to cut it short without all the frills that normally would accompany a story like that. Breathe a sigh of relief and so on.
It was a terrible angle that didn’t work. Back to the drawing board. That’s all. Nothing more. Vince tried to take a popular concept (crime drama) and turn it into a wrestling angle, something he’s had some success with in the past. It didn’t work. Some wrestling angles don’t work. Sometimes I wonder if we won’t look back on this angle in a few years and have a laugh (i.e. The Undertaker’s embalming of Austin or tying Austin to a “cross” (right 1Bob?) or Big Show riding around on his dad’s casket). All bad angles, all worthy of a little chuckle and not much else.
The point is I guess, we (the IWC) aren’t going to save wrestling. We lavish praises on Smackdown, but so far I haven’t really seen a whole lot to suggest that it’s drawing any better than RAW is. The WWE is in a void that only they can get themselves out of, and at the moment, they’re still trying to find a new direction that will take them there. They tried one and failed, and I really can not fault them for that.
By the way, I think RAW has a great undercard at the moment. Booker T is getting very close to being a huge star. RVD has been that way for a while. Randy Orton, Bautista, Jericho, Christian, Al Snow, Chris Nowinski, Buh Buh and Spike Dudley, Shawn Michaels, Trish Stratus, Goldust, Test, and to a lesser extent Lance Storm, Tommy Dreamer, Jeff Hardy and Tommy Dreamer are all getting fairly interesting matches and/or angles to work with (not that we’d give any credit there )
Smackdown revolves around 6 guys (Kurt Angel, Chris Benoit, Rey Misterio, Edge, Chavo and Eddie Guerrerro) and any combination of those six guys will have an excellent match. Past that, who has had any real time to grow on the show? Brock, Show, and Undertaker (already established stars) and Matt Hardy. Knoble and Tajiri are just starting to get there, really, but the majority of the TV time not devoted to the nine guys above has been devoted to: Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson.
So, yeah. Necrophilia. Bad stuff, eh? I think we all need something else to protest for a while. Oh, man! I was watching Simpsons last night! And they ate Professor Frink (canabalism)! And then Homer had sex with a Cat (Beastiality)! And Ned Flanders was murdered (um…Murder) by Homer’s clones! And the clones were murdered (mass-murder)! And the town shot at the graves of the dead (vandalism)!
Holy crap that program is riddled with problems! And there are CHILDREN watching!! Let’s start up a petition!
Okay…Okay…I’m just kidding. But I imagine nobody else’ll say it…
See you Monday for RAW!!
Since everyone else is doing it (ok, not EVERYONE, but...)
Vikings (2-5) - It's time to sweep! 11-5 baby! (Okay, maybe not.) Badgers (6-4) - Umm...Still over .500...Yeah... Buffy 7.5 earns a 9 out of 10 because Anya is really damn cool this season. The flashbacks were funny (another musical, Joss?). The continuity from past seasons was tremendous, and just about everything else clicked for me. Plus! Barely any Dawn!
You said, "I typically don't write columns" and I say "WHY THE HECK NOT?!" That was really good and I for one would like to see more of your thoughts. You have good writing ability and your idea about the Katie Vick angle being CSI-ish was fresh. Keep it up.
"That's how you become great, man: you hang your balls out there." - The dorky Kinko's clerk on Jerry Maguire
The main reason that I never used to write columns is that I never felt compelled to take the time to write, and then by the time I did, somebody had already said what I wanted to, so it wasn't really worth while.
Now, with this "Easy Post" format. Maybe I'll feel compelled to write a little more regularily.
Aside from the humour pieces of course...
Since everyone else is doing it (ok, not EVERYONE, but...)
Vikings (2-6) - Um...yeah. Way to go Defense? Never mind... Badgers (6-4) - Umm...Still over .500...Yeah... Buffy 7.1 earns a hey...I saw this last week. Where's my Halloween episode? This week's had better be good.
Cubs, I love your recaps, but your bookkeeping leaves something to be desired. :-) (All 3 of those point to the Velocity recap.) I'm guessing what you meant was : 2/20/03 SmackDown 2/22/03 Velocity 2/23/03 Heat