Few things bring El Jefe de Santo more joy than to make his opponents submit inside the squared circle. There is something primal and, at the same time, noble about the craft that is wrestling. Men and women dedicate their lives and their bodies at the alter of grappling in exchange for a chance at stardom. He does not seek to have his name in lights, but instead to become a legend. True immortality is to be found within the ring! Whenever our masked contributor isn't breaking foes across his knee LIKE SO he is usually watching Monday Night RAW, Smackdown, Tough Enough or rewatching Shawn Michaels matches. He comes to you today, though, a bit concerned for the future of wrestling's flagship company.
Now hold on a minute. You might think I'm saying "World Wrestling Entertainment" but you'd be wrong! Mr. McMahon has decided that it would be best if those letters weren't an acronym anymore but rather the name of the company as a whole. The move is one that many corporations have done in the past: rebranding. There's even an entire television network in the pipeline somewhere for all this entertainment Vince wants to put forth into the world.
I'm actually not that upset about it as some in the "community" may be. The Internet fanbase that rallies around the WWE banner has certainly found this change to be downright offensive. I don't know why this came as such a surprise. This has been something Vince has been working towards since the late 80's and he's dabbled in the film industry for a long time now. He wants this company to be about entertainment and not just in terms of wrestling.
Just so long as he doesn't forget that wrestling is what made him the extremely rich man he is today. So long as we're still getting our weekly doses of wrasslin' and Pay-Per-Views then I'm fine with it. If the formula starts to change, though, then he shall answer to the fury of El Jefe de Santo.
I think we'll be fine in that department because, well, Paul "Triple H" Levesque shall be taking over as Head of Talent Development for the wrestling arm of WWE. So, that means we've got a guy who lives, breathes and eats this business as the one who serves to bridge the current generation to the new one. He has already signed Sin Cara. Jon Moxley, an indie star that has a LOT of potential is also among the new signees. His work in DragonGateUSA was, from all accounts, phenomenal and he should make an excellent edition to the roster whenever he works his way through development.
Other than that there are definitely some issues I have with the current state of things in the WWE. The Rock's return did what it was supposed to: build ratings before Wrestlemania. Making the main event match at Mania 28 a year in advance though between Rock and Cena? I'm not so sure about that. Well, since you've already made that booking so far in advance then you either need to have Rock a weekly presence (which he won't be) or have him just stay away for a while and then come back in maybe November and start building the feud again. We'll either get real tired of this feud quickly or we won't see anything about it again until next year. Either way I think things could have been handled better concerning a Cena/Rock match.
I have to admit that I was surprised to see Morrison getting a leg up in a match over R-Truth that saw the Guru of Greatness inserting himself into the title picture at the upcoming Extreme Rules PPV. The notion of the third entrant being R-Truth, despite it being something different, didn't really appeal to my luchador sensibilities. Morrison should make the match more interesting, though with Cena in the mix it'll probably just end up being the usual yawnfest. The most interesting thing to come from all of this, though, was R-Truth making a heel turn. It actually made me give a damn about him and now I'm interested to see where he and Creative will take this new aspect of the character. Who has money on R-Truth putting the screw to Morrison at the pay-per-view? I'll put down a hundred El Santo bucks on that!
Heels, however, aren't exactly a great commodity in the WWE right now. You've got CM Punk and the recently turned R-Truth and Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio is great with his shtick of "I'm better than you and a Mexican artistrocat" while CM Punk needs to play up the Dark Savior angle even more I think. Get rid of the stable, though. New Nexus isn't necessary for you to be awesome, Punk. I still think Cena should, over the course of the year, turn heel. Not only would it make him more interesting but also bring about the return of the Professor of Thuganomics. I miss the Scholar of the Streets. I truly do. I understand he sells the merchandise and, well, the kids love him but it feels stale now.
The Draft is coming to RAW next week and things are sure to change. Smackdown needs help BAD with the early exit of Edge. Taker is basically non-existent for at least 4-5 months and, well, the Friday night show really needs a big face on it. Sin Cara could make his way over via the draft and Orton would be a great addition. Alberto del Rio v. Orton would work, I think.
We'll see some Diva shuffling I'm sure but all I'm waiting for is the debut of Awesome Kong. She won't have the same name (The birds say it shall be "Kharma"), but maybe she'll get into with Gail Kim. They had some GREAT matches in TNA so why not have them face off again. It would also serve to give a very deserving worker some time in the spotlight: Gail Kim. That will ultimately give way to the inevitable but interesting matches that will happen with Beth "The Glamazon" Phoenix. It should be an shot in the arm to what is considered by most to be the least interesting aspects of televised spectacle.
The Draft is usually a great catalyst to get some good feuds going for the doldrums that immediately follow Wrestlemania. I hope the rule still applies to this year's event. Don't be shocked if the Anonymous GM ends up going to Smackdown as well. They just don't want to reveal who it is yet and I doubt it will happen any time soon.
There are things in the pipeline for the WWE that are big in terms of talent and in branching out to become a full-fledged entertainment powerhouse. I just worry, from the wrestling standpoint, that with Vince still keeping a firm grasp on all the decisions regarding whether or not to give talent the push or de-push, as it were, they need that we'll continue to get the same thing over and over again. We know, as fans, that we're going to see similar feuds a lot.
If the wrestling end of things is going to continue to grow it needs to be on the backs of not just muscle-bound freaks that make Batista look like a pansy but on the hurricanranas of Sin Cara, CM Punk, Orton and the younger generation. The company needs to shift away from focusing so much on the last generation and remember that these young guys have talent and they need to have the spotlight on them. Its time to move away from having the tried and true and develop some new talent. They are taking steps in that direction but I fear that they'll cling too strongly to the old. The Rock, as much as I love The Great One, could serve to overshadow many stars if he is used too heavily. Be careful with the Brahma Bull because he may just stifle the good things going on in the WWE if Vince and Creative are not careful.
General state of WWE then? I'm hopefully optimistic about it.
TLDR? Feel the need to clothesline El Jefe de Santo about it? Leave a comment, send an email or hit him up via Twitter to let him know. Careful for what you wish for lest you desire the fury of El Jefe de Santo all up on yas.