Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tommy's Ultimatum

Tommy Dreamer made an open ultimatum to the ECW fans and the fans of the WWE: he will win the ECW title by his contract expiration date in June or retire for good. To some people, this is music to their ears because Dreamer hasn't won a major profile match for, well, ages. In fact, it was probably in 2000 when it happened (I'll go on with it on Wrestlemania weekend's ECW Analysis on 4/5/09). So, this is probably his swan song, which has been hummed for a while now. To others, this might not be the best of news. You see, there's something about Dreamer that few people may agree to. Something that as unbelievable as it sounds, might have a grain of truth to it. You see, contrary to popular belief, Tommy Dreamer is over with the crowd. Still, the ultimatum stands, and there can only be two ways to see the outcome. Two ways that may very well change the face of ECW permanently, for better or worse.

Now, my saying Tommy Dreamer is over with the crowd is not some delusional piece of nonsense. People still cheer this guy. People still respect him. He still represents the old school-ECW that we all came to know and love. People still spell out "ECW" when he does as he goes to dropkick someone in the "tree of woe" in the corner. I remember Tommy saying on a blog that his match for the ECW title against Chavo Guerrero was the highest-rated segment in the history of the revival of ECW. Now, that might have been far-fetched. In fact, it might have been completely inaccurate because the blog disappeared as soon as he posted it. But, in all essences, he may have a point. He is still pretty popular. In fact, I bet you it was pretty high as per the ratings because for the first time in a while, Dreamer had a serious shot at winning a major match he was involved in. Not just any major match, but a match for the ECW title, a title he only held for one day for a few moments, if any. People saw that Chavo had lost some key matches before, be it on ECW, SmackDown, or RAW. So, with Chavo's luck, Tommy was almost a shoo-in to win. But alas, Dreamer has lost more key matches in his WWE tenure than Chavo, so it was practically a foregone conclusion that Dreamer would be heading home unhappy. But, it still felt good to see him try, especially since anything can happen in the WWE. It wouldn't have been so far-fetched to see him with the ECW title after that night, but it would be far-fetched to see him keep it.

This brings me to point #1 about Dreamer's ultimatum. Let's say all goes well for Tommy. He becomes ECW champion. He staves off retirement. He relives the night he had in 2000, only this time, he wants it. This could open the door for Tommy to have the title run he's always deserved. He'd be fighting top guys left and right to keep his belt. He could even try his hardest every night to make himself a credible champion. The problem with that is, well, he's lost just about all credibility as a champion and as a wrestler at this point. No one expects him to be a champion because he's lost to just about everyone who's passed through ECW while they were on ECW or not. He's lost to or will lose to Finlay, he's lost to Mark Henry, Paul Burchill, will lose to Christian if he hasn't already, as well as Evan Bourne, and has lost to ECW champ, Jack Swagger at his own game and at Swagger's game. For Swagger to lose the title at this point to Dreamer, it would take the miracle of outside interference or something. But, the possibility of that seems rare since there are a few others who are more competent at title matches than Dreamer. For Dreamer to be champion would even be counter-productive to the already devalued ECW title. People will look at him and say, "he could barely beat a wrestler half his size at December to Dismember, and now he's the champ? I bet you he doesn't hold that belt past one week." That's not going to look very good for a championship run, let alone a champion. Now, picture this champion beating all the stars on ECW that have proved themselves. How does that make them look, along with ECW? It will make them look weak, in my view.

Now, let's look at the flip side of the coin. Say Dreamer fails. Say he retires and he's gone. Then what? Then ECW isn't ECW. It's just some show for young and failed stars trying to get by on WWE television. It's not ECW. It can't be ECW. You see, the only true part of this ECW that still exists, as I have pointed out before in 2008 (see my "One was Tommy.." blog), is Tommy Dreamer. Everything else bleeds WWE, TNA, or even independent wrestling. There's no real link to the ECW longevity of the past until today. That's Tommy's job. If Tommy disappears, then ECW goes with him. Without a past, there's no present existence, let alone a future to worry about. Tommy Dreamer resembles the past. So, no Tommy, no ECW. Then again, that might not be something the WWE cares too much about. Rumor has it that ECW will be undergoing some serious changes in the future. Changes that may very well alter ECW's framework for the most part and the long run. So, perhaps, Tommy Dreamer being removed is all part of the plan.

These are the only two scenarios that the WWE could possibly pull off. In all fairness and truth, it's a toss-up, if you ask me. I wouldn't put it past the WWE to try and use Tommy further for their own enjoyment by burying him every Tuesday night, but not before they feed him a bone the size of the ECW title. Either that or, they know that they don't have an ECW without Dreamer, so it's a "you need us, we need you" situation. Then again, releasing him won't really hurt the WWE any, either. They can totally live without him as we have seen many an ECW episode without him. Plus, his usefulness is just about gone. He can do a good job behind the scenes or as an on-screen authority figure (check my predictions for the New Year blog). That move can keep him on ECW without having him wrestle. Or, they could just get rid of him altogether.

I don't truly know the future for Tommy Dreamer at this point. All I do know is that it will have a profound effect on the quality of ECW. If he stays, he could have a championship run that may or may not undermine the talent on ECW. If he goes, then the very essence of ECW goes with him. So, it's a lose-lose situation, that the WWE might not see as such. So, whatever happens, we all have to wait and see. One was Tommy....who changed by himself...(come on, I had to say it).

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Miz and John Morrison: Employees of the month?

I know what you’re going to tell me. It seems like I talk about these two quite a lot, right? In fact, this is their third analysis, which is some sort of record, I would assume. Now, why am I talking about these two so darn much? What am I, some obsessed fanboy? Am I some overzealous mark over the “Dirt Sheet” duo? In truth, I’m not. You see, not a lot of positive things can be said through my analyses of this iteration of ECW because, to be honest, there are not many positive things you can say. However, I strive to be positive as well as negative when it comes to this brand, so it doesn’t seem like I’m slamming every thing that is done on this show. That’s not being objective. That’s not being fair. So the reason I’m giving yet another analysis on Miz and Morrison is because, quite frankly, they are the two most positive things to come out of ECW as of present time. Sure, there’s Christian and Evan as well, but they haven’t been as overexposed as these two have been. Plus, Miz and Morrison have had one heck of a head start of the fairly new Evan Bourne and the returning Christian. While they were out of the picture, these two have been called upon to do plenty of things in the WWE. I say the WWE because from the beginning of the talent exchanges to now, these two have been on every show, and during a regular week, are on at least 2 different shows doing something, be it promos, singles, tag matches or whatever. Simply put, the Miz and Morrison are the hardest-working superstars in the WWE that wrestle as of today, hands down and bar none. You can disagree with it, you can fight it, and you can even ignore it, but it is fact. How so? Indulge me for a few reasons, yes?

You might not know this, but the Miz and Morrison are much more important than some people might think. One such reason is that they are the backbone of the WWE’s mid-card division. Yes, it’s true. They are the ones the WWE goes to when they want a solid mid-card match or even a mid-to-top card match. Morrison has been an Intercontinental champion as well as an ECW champion which solidifies his status in the mid-card and, soon enough, the top card. The Miz, has only been a tag team champion with Morrison and a perennial contender for the ECW championship, but his in-ring work and promo skills are keeping him in the mid-card mix for the most part. How about this piece of interesting information? The two of them have battled just about every major mid-card player in the WWE, only to have great matches left and right. This has been done in and out of tag team matches, no less. In fact, some top card guys have battled them in matches in the middle of the wrestling card. The result: some solid match-ups that have left the viewers amazed. They have tangled with or dealt with C.M. Punk, Matt and Jeff Hardy, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Carlito and Primo, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, Christian, Finlay, Kofi Kingston, Kane, Chavo Guerrero, Mark Henry, and even Batista, Cena, and the Undertaker, if I’m not mistaken. All results of every match have been impressive, specifically or generally, amongst the backstage critics, which have left our boys in the good favor of the higher-ups. It’s a veritable who’s-who list of wrestlers, to say the least, but a great accolade in its own right.

Another key reason I wanted to point out is the fact that they are the focal point of the WWE’s tag team division. They are the only factors the WWE has to keep whatever is left of the tag division together. They understand the science to a tee, and they make it very entertaining to watch every time. They are the only tag team in the WWE that, as a functioning tag team, have been both WWE and World Tag Team champions. They are also on the cusp of tag team history. At Wrestlemania, they will defend the World Tag belts against Primo and Carlito for their WWE Tag belts. This will be the first time there will be a set of universal tag titles in 7 years. How historical is that? They have a chance to definitely validate themselves as the top tag team of the 21st century by becoming the unified tag champs or, in layman’s terms, the WWE World tag team champions. I doubt any other teams in the WWE have this honor, let alone deserve it. Well, other than Primo and Carlito, of course.

Now, these are some very solid reasons when looking for empirical evidence of the hard-working nature of the Miz and Morrison, in my view. However, they don’t come without a few negatives. In fact, there are a few negatives I would like to bring up if possible. First, the fact that they are the backbone of the mid-card shows the potential of the mid-card division. However, the problem here is the fact that the backbone is a tag team that might or might not be broken up with both or one of them ascending to the next plateau due to their abilities. Now, what do you do if that’s the case? You prepare for the worst and strengthen the rest of the spinal cord. The only problem is there’s no strength to it. Outside of those two, who really gets Carte Blanche to be innovative or do more with their careers? C.M. Punk gets great opportunities for upward movement, only to lose a key match or two, sending him right back down the ladder. Kofi Kingston is or was in the same boat as Punk, but is even worse off than he, near the bottom of the barrel. Rey Mysterio is only one or two botched moves from injuring himself and then retiring. Both Matt and Jeff, as great as they are, tag team or no, have never been seen as major players for top-card contention. Kane has just about lost any and all ability to be domineering, as has Mark Henry. Finlay, like William Regal, will only be lauded for their great wrestling, but not considered for anything more, making them likely to lose big in mid-card matches. Carlito and Primo are like the Miz and Morrison in their abilities and entertainment value, but not enough to garner a strong place for themselves. As for top ECW stars Christian and Jack Swagger, they are the best of the best in ECW, as is Evan Bourne, but on another brand, they will most likely be part of this mid-card fiasco, that might, undoubtedly see them losing their spots or their credibility with loss after loss. Actually, they have the potential to be more than just mid-carders, but their success is only predicated on what the pundits think, and they have been wrong before, which has not stopped them from making or sticking with their decisions. MVP and Shelton Benjamin? Don’t get me started on their situation. I would go into the whole tag team cornerstone problem as the second big issue, but I have already, and trust me, it’s not worth reiterating. Just know that their excellence as a tag team is measured by the excellence of the division, which does not saying much. They’re only good because they’re the only ones, other than Primo and Carlito, that actually exist as a credible tag team.

Knowing all these problems, Miz and Morrison still continue to put on a great show and work at the peak of their abilities because that’s what they are asked to do, and you can’t help but respect that. As long as they do, they will appear on every show in any capacity and make it memorable. This will most likely happen by winning a key match, as they have done for the most part against some of the best. It’s really surprising, though, that these guys are where they are with the least amount of wrestling time under their belts. Yea, I said that before, but how many veritable rookies turned stars have had that taste of greatness so soon in their careers? I bet you that if you put them in any wrestling federation, with the same potential blazing, they would be able to hold their own against the established teams they would face, as I have stated before. I’m just a little disappointed that they are the only hard-working wrestlers in the WWE. I think, with the right amount of work, the whole ECW brand can be the hardest-working entity in the WWE. They are exchanging talent left and right these days, so why not show them all off? Let Christian be that top wrestler he’s been destined to be. Let Evan Bourne fly high. Let the virtually undiscovered find their niche on shows that they have yet to be part of. Let them show the world their skills regularly, and pick up the slack that the useless on the brand leave every day. But, don’t end there, WWE. Build up and reconstruct the mid-card division so there’s some strength to it. Do the same to the tag division while you’re at it. It’s tough to have a future if you don’t plant the seeds of the present. Yes, I like Miz and Morrison. They’re great, they work hard, and they know how to entertain. Why not give the others a chance for once? You’re getting your money’s worth when they go out there, but how about setting it up so others can give us what we want? You can only run so far with the ball before someone catches up with you. Do you think it’s fair to bench everyone else to do so? WWE: you took a chance with two strangers to the wrestling business, and it’s worked. How about taking a chance with those who are not?

Monday, March 16, 2009

WWE Draft 2009: The silent or the loud killer?

In about a few weeks, the WWE Draft will commence. For 3 hours, WWE stars will be traded and drafted back and forth between 3 different brands. Nowadays, this usually means one brand is getting pumped up for some serious ratings while the others get the shaft. Where does this leave ECW? It leaves them where it always does: on the verge of complete destruction, or at least an overhaul. Usually around this time, a handful of stars get sent to ECW to re-launch themselves, when, in reality, it's their punishment for not being appealing enough. However, this year, I want to take this time to point out what really matters in the draft concerning ECW: who will or might be leaving.

I'm going to say this clearly and openly so everyone reading this has an understanding of what's going on: ECW is not a factor to the WWE's general success, according to the pundits backstage. In other words, ECW doesn't matter to them. Its only purpose is to make new stars for the other two brands. Plain and simple. If you don't know this by now, you should. If you do know this, then I need to emphasize this next point: if certain stars of this current ECW are removed via the draft, this plan of the WWE's will fail. The reason: you can't have a show to make stars on if no one is watching it. You can't watch a show if there's nothing to watch on it. So, with that said, the following wrestlers need to stay intact on ECW as a unit or the quality of ECW will diminish greatly: Christian, Evan Bourne, and the Miz and John Morrison. If this crop of wrestlers are removed all at once, say goodbye to ECW. Why is this important? It's not because they are the most appealing ECW stars out there, excluding Finlay. It's because they are the most likely of all the ECW stars to actually find a home on another brand. The possibility of departure is way too high.

Evan Bourne is a high-flying, high-speed, wrestling dynamo that wows the crowd with his tactics almost any chance he gets. Whether you've seen him before elsewhere, or you're seeing him for the first time in general, he is a sight to see, no question. At this point in time, he is comparable to Rey Mysterio as one of the top cruiserweights in the WWE today. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that he'll be a fine replacement when Rey retires. The Miz and Morrison are probably the hardest-working wrestlers in the WWE today (on 3/22, I'll discuss that fully). They throw themselves into their roles as cocky heels to the point where it's a guilty pleasure to watch them wrestle if you hate them. They're young, talented, motivated, and willing to go the extra mile to make the show a good one. Quite frankly, they are the backbones of the mid-cards on each brand as well as each brand's tag division. That's quite a feat. Lastly, Christian is the new "hero" of ECW (as I've said before a few weeks ago). Just as RVD, C.M. Punk, and Matt Hardy, it's Christian's job to be the top face and representative of ECW on a number of occasions. His track record is enough to get him there and his cult following is close to that of Matt or Jeff Hardy's.

Now, this evidence is more than enough to keep these guys on ECW, without a doubt. However, this evidence is more than enough to guarantee them spots on the other brands. They all have the talent for upward movement anywhere they go. This is why ECW needs them. They need to keep this show afloat. Heck, they are keeping the show afloat. If they all disappear, where are you going to go to see new stars? Who is going to bring up these new stars via some television matches? WWE Superstars? As foolish as that sounds, I wouldn't be surprised.

Yes, there is a new show coming out called WWE Superstars, which, in truth, is just an old show making its return to television. Yes, it's coming in April. Yes, it's supposed to be a place to see the lesser-known WWE stars get their exposure. Yes, it's on a television network with lots of affiliates. So, why not cast off the show that hasn't been the WWE's cup of tea from day one for a show that has? Yes, there have been many people saying that it won't be another brand or that other brands will be cut down because of it. But, I distinctly remember Vince McMahon saying that he didn't want to dedicate any more man-hours to taping television. Now, he reneges on that idea. The common answer is that we are in a recession and more money needs to be made. But, I think we know the real answer. Ultimately, it will replace ECW. That's how I see it. It's doing the exact same thing ECW plans to do, and it is drawing its cover well as a show that might not be a replacement. But, isn't that what you should expect: the least expected?

Now, I could be wrong and ECW may lose a handful of unimportant stars or low-quality ones to other shows, killing the brand silently. That would make sense as well. However, a loud death sounds like something that's more than likely to happen. Who truly knows the situation involved? All I know is that if the aforementioned block of wrestlers is taken out of ECW, the quality of said show might very well go with it. I also know that you shouldn't put it past the WWE to try and replace ECW. They have brought about other tremendous changes before.

So, folks, get your draft scorecards ready. There might be some huge changes coming via the draft. Once can only hope that ECW doesn't fade away in the process. If it does, consider it Vince's biggest, most elaborate revenge plot he has ever hatched: the destruction of a brand that forced him to change the way he did business. It's quite an egotistical move, but, remember, Vince is the guy who claims people chant "ECW" because he told them to. Sheesh!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Colin Delaney Conundrum

Colin Delaney. Remember that guy? Of course you do! He's the wrestler that Vince McMahon payed a good sum of money to in order for him to get obliterated on national television. Almost every week, this kid was getting stomped out by a random ECW star or non-ECW star. It was so bad that even perennial loser, Tommy Dreamer, took him under his wing and proceeded to lose alongside him. Finally, Colin won his first singles match against the then-ECW GM, Armando Alejandro Estrada. What came of it? A few choice wins here and there, a few nasty losses here and there, a heel turn against Dreamer and then two key losses to Tommy Dreamer and Matt Hardy. He was then subsequently fired. What a "Cinderella Story", eh? Colin got to live out his dream of being a WWE star, got some great paydays out of it, and was only employed for, I don't know, 8 to 10 months, maybe less. Pretty sweet, huh? Well, yes, but there are a few sour points that I'd like to point out.

Colin Delaney, to his credit, took some mean beatings, no doubt about that. He was pasty, wimpy, low on confidence, and lacking in self-esteem as we were lead to believe. Yet, he kept coming back for more, beating after beating. Now, we all know that people love to cheer for the underdog. It's just something that is in most of us. We want to see the unlucky get lucky. We want to feel good about how much hard work is put into trying to get that elusive victory. It gives us hope to keep right on trying. So, what's so sour about this whole aspect? Delaney finally got his chance and succeeded at it. But, instead of being given numerous opportunities like many of the other underdogs that have passed through the WWE that either do or don't have as much talent as he, he only got to show it in less than a year. Another sour point is the fact that, even though this story has been done before, the star or stars that have been involved, I'm more than sure, have gotten much further than he has, which I think, stinks.

Let's get one thing straight: Colin Delaney is no ordinary walk-on scrub. You see, he, just like C.M. Punk and Evan Bourne (a.k.a. Matt Sydal), came from the independent circuit with a lot of talent to throw around. Delaney made his career known through the organization, CHIKARA. It's an indy-fed that's pretty silly with the goofball gimmicks they put together and storylines as well. But, beyond that, you've got some of the most talented wrestlers around, breaking their backs for the fans. Colin was doing just that until the WWE called him up to wrestle with them. They needed a small, scrawny-looking wrestler to fit the bill of a wrestler who always lost. The rest is history, I suppose. But, the inherent problem with this situation is that one's abilities can be overshadowed dramatically because of the role they have to play. Colin's abilities were overshadowed. Yet, this wasn't the case before in earlier times with other wrestlers.

It was 1993. Monday Night Raw was taking place in the Manhattan Center's grand ballroom as a wrestler known as "The Kid" was fighting for the third straight week against insurmountable odds. First, Doink beat him pretty badly, ruining his chances at being known as a "Lightning" Kid. Then, Mr. Hughes literally ran right through him, eliminating the chance of being considered a "Kamikaze" Kid (although when you think about it, it was probably better that way). Then, in comes Razor Ramon. Razor cleans his clock for the most part and then suddenly, the unthinkable happens: the Kid gets the win via a moonsault from off the top rope. When I saw this, I was shocked, surprised, and very excited. For once, the jobber got the win. For once, the little guy who looked like a decent wrestler got a break. This was an amazing thing to me, as I'm so used to seeing these guys lose. Then, suddenly, the loser is the winner. Since then, many things happened for "The Kid". He changed his name to the "1-2-3 Kid". He won the World Tag titles twice. He befriended Razor Ramon as Ramon respected the kid's talent. Behind the scenes, they were even closer as friends, as they helped make up "the Kliq", a wrestling crew headed by Shawn Michaels to help show unity between some of the top stars in the WWE at the time. He went heel, joined the Million Dollar Man's stable, went to WCW to join the n.W.o as Syxx, won the U.S. title and the Cruiserweight title there, returned to the WWE as X-pac to join D-X, won the European title, won the World tag belts again, formed his own faction, rejoined the n.W.o when they debuted in the WWE, formed his own faction, and then subsequently left the WWE when all came to an end. Quite a career, huh?

Now, Colin's no "1-2-3 Kid". We can be sure of that. But, he was at least making the necessary moves to actually come out as a competent wrestler. He even started to attempt to use the springboard cutter which was known as the Acid Drop or the Dudley Dog. Guess who started using it? Yes, perennial underdog Spike Dudley, who just like Colin, found himself fighting guys three times his size. However, Spike found ways to survive and even win while in ECW as well as the WWE. That finisher of his was a good way to start as it worked on a number of occasions. So, I figured that Colin would take a page from this playbook and do the exact same things or such, since he was on ECW. Alas, that wouldn't be the case. He was starting to try to make himself a competent wrestler, but no. Vince and the gang just found it to be much more entertaining watching him get his clock cleaned, not to mention the fact that they figured they didn't want anymore underdog stories to be told, a la "The 1-2-3 Kid" or Spike Dudley.

Creatively, would this have been a good idea? Would it have been a smart move to make Colin some sort of underdog making his way to the top, winning here and there, and losing here and there? In all honesty, in my personal opinion, absolutely. One, there are probably a lot of young fans who don't even know the circumstances behind the 1993 story of the "1-2-3 Kid", so like most things in wrestling, the cycle can start anew with a different wrestler. It made for an interesting story then, and can make for one now. Two, as time passed, we would see just how talented Delaney was from his time in CHIKARA, making us all believe that he always had it in him, but he never had the confidence to get it done since he was fighting a lot of guys bigger than him. He'd be gaining that confidence slowly and surely with every win. Three, if he went heel or stayed face, I think his strengths could still be well-utilized as a wrestler being mentored by another star. He could have stayed with Tommy Dreamer, or joined up with Stevie Richards and became this inspirational duo looking to dedicate themselves to winning. Or, if heel, he could have joined Gavin Spears and learned how to be a real shifty or dirty player from this former poker dealer. Here's one that just came to me: he would look up to a certain heel wrestler for his confidence and skill. He'd probably ask this wrestler to help him get a little better at the game as he helped this wrestler do his thing by, maybe carrying his bags, massaging his ego, or even carrying his belt. If you don't know by now, I'm talking about Jack Swagger. The fourth and final point is this: if he stayed face and wrestled with a few wins under him, finding ways to win when he could, the fans would love it. Well, the young fans would. It would be a sign to them that they should never give up. They should never stop trying. If they work hard, they can accomplish anything, no matter how big or small. Yea, it's sappy, but inspirational, which is money to a young fan, in my book.

So, why did I spend this precious time talking about Colin Delaney? I just can't stand to see wasted talent in pro wrestling. He was a good hand who could have done so much with his career if they just allowed the creative juices to flow. For some reason, the writers and producers didn't want another repeat of what happened in 1993. However, they failed to realize that it would have been incredibly helpful to them if they just showed the right initiative and even proper planning. You think the kids wouldn't want to cheer for Delaney because he's trying so hard? And when he does get that victory, don't you think they'd want to see him try harder to get another good win under his belt? Yes, this might seem a bit far-fetched as he was booked to look like, sound like, and even act like a total loser, but I've seen losers like Delaney reap the benefits on a number of occasions. If that wasn't true, then Funaki wouldn't be getting a second chance at a career as Kung Fu Naki, Scotty 2 Hotty would not have lasted in the WWE outside the Attitude era as long as he did, and Eugene would not have been a tag champion on Raw. So, why not Colin? Is it because he's just an outsider looking in? Is it because it's an old idea that was done before, like so many other old ideas done before that have been re-hashed? Or is it because the creative teams are just too lazy to try and put together something, especially on a brand no one really cares about?

Sadly, we may never know the reason as Colin Delaney has been fired and no word has come about of his return, or ever will. I guess when it comes to certain things like underdog stories, it's just more logical to see them lose miserably than win sporadically. Yet, with all the fluke victories I've been seeing in the WWE as of late, I still don't see why the talented have to keep losing while the untalented keep winning. Maybe I'm just not with it. Or maybe, that's just another conundrum that's worth considering......nope I better not. I've tried a number of times to work it and I can't stand the brain cramps anymore. They've started to hurt more than Colin's WWE career, which says a lot. I guess I'll just stick with easier things to ponder like 4th dimensional travel or the exact number of Pi. Much easier...

Monday, March 2, 2009

New "Kidd" on the Block

How about that Tyson Kidd, eh? He's agile, well-versed in mat wrestling, has a pretty unique hairstyle, and is rolling with Natalya. He's gotten a few wins under his belt so far. He's pretty impressive, isn't he? But who is he and why does he hold the key to the success of others in his hands? Let's take a look at this fellow for a second and see what we can get. Thanks again, Wikipedia.

Tyson Kidd's name is actually T.J. Wilson, a name very popular in Canada, Japan, and some random independent federations. He was trained in Stu Hart's Dungeon as well as by Tokyo Joe, who got him bookings in Japan(New Japan Pro Wrestling) and England. At the age of 15, he wrestled his first match in Stampede wrestling. One year later, he wrestled a house show match for the WWE when they were in Calgary. In April of 2002, he was given a chance to wrestle in Japan. This led to his completing 5 tours there, including for the famous "Best of the Super Juniors" tournament in New Japan Pro. While in Canada, he was given the name "The Stampede Kid" and teamed with his good friend Harry "D.H." Smith as part of the team "The Stampede Bulldogs". He trained many young superstars at B.J.'s Gym, owned by B.J. Annis, who married Georgia Hart and had a son with her. The son was the infamous Teddy Hart, known for his ring excellence and very controversial attitude.

In November of 2006, Tyson was called up to the WWE training camps and signed on to Deep South Wrestling, along with his girlfriend/acquaintance Natalie Neidhart, who we know as Natalya (I say girlfriend/acquaintance because the word is that they've been together for five years and are planning to get married soon; however, he was adopted by the Hart Family at the age of 10, and she's the biological daughter of Jim Neidhart and Ellie Hart. Hmm..). He received some great reviews from Bill Demott, the then-head trainer of DSW. After DSW closed its doors, Tyson relocated to Florida Championship Wrestling, the WWE's newest training facility to start the "Next Generation Hart Foundation" with D.H. Smith, Teddy Hart, Natalya, and even Ted DiBiase, Jr., whom is in the "Legacy" faction, currently. During his run in FCW, he won the Southern heavyweight title as well as the FCW tag belts with D.H. Smith before being called up to ECW just recently.

Now, I mentioned that Tyson Kidd holds the key to the success of other wrestlers in his hands. I wasn't kidding when I said that. You see, he is now on ECW, but he debuted with Natalya as his valet of sorts. One would say that this was a bit of a step down for Natalya as she is now engrossed in managing on the C show instead of wrestling on the A or B shows. However, Natalya's luck hasn't been very good when it comes to wrestling. She is one very talented diva with a boatload of wrestling experience under her as she has also received training in Stu Hart's dungeon. Yet, when seen on television for the most part, she was seen losing to divas less talented and experienced than her. She lost whatever momentum going into the Divas title hunt by losing to the likes of Michelle McCool, Maria, and even the Bella Twins (through use of the "old switcheroo" technique). Then, when she was tagged up with another talented diva in Victoria, they were on the receiving end of a lot of lost tag matches. Why was all this the case? Some say it was just Natalya's bad luck to be one of a few heel divas on the Smackdown brand as she had to put over many a talentless diva. Some say it was her punishment for getting in a dispute backstage with a diva who just so happened to be dating a wrestler with a lot of clout (if you're wondering who, it's Michelle McCool, who is dating the Undertaker. She had the gall to try and teach Natalya how to wrestle. Right...). Whatever the case, Natalya's success is now being relegated to managing Tyson on ECW instead of wrestling, which sucks. If Tyson does well, she'll do well. If not, then, "Oh well". You follow?

Another person who is counting on Tyson's success isn't on ECW...yet. It's D.H. Smith. Smith's debut has been marred by a number of things. There were poor reviews against him after his first set of matches, a drug policy violation that set him back for months, and a general lack of interest from the creative teams. Tyson's debut on ECW might very well be a sign of the resurgence of "The Stampede Bulldogs" as D.H. Smith is still pretty much a new wrestler without a big following. This might have been the plan from the get-go, but only time will tell. So far, Tyson has been impressive. If D.H. can get latched onto his successful ways, things could look up for him.

In truth, Tyson's immediate success might not be all that direly important as some would make it out to be, me included. But, you have to actually consider the fact that the legacy of the Hart family is sort of at stake here. Tyson, Natalya, and D.H. are all connected to the Hart family directly or indirectly, albeit their names don't have "Hart" in them. That name can get you some enemies in the business, especially the WWE. In fact, the connotation can as well. If these three aren't on their best behavior or at least at their best, they will be seen as flops, marring the possibility of a new generation of Hart family members making their way through the WWE, the same organization that gave the break to their uncles and fathers. If I didn't know any better, I'd say the connection to the Harts is somewhat of a cursed situation while in the WWE, but that could be my "mark" sensors going off. Who knows?

So, basically, there's not much to say on Tyson Kidd's behalf in this analysis since he hasn't done much yet while in ECW. The sky is still the limit for this kid, and the possibility of some nice high-flying matches with another ECW newbie has people abuzz. Take a wild guess as to who I'm talking about. Yes, Evan Bourne. I would definitely love to see those matches take place. But, then again, I would also like to see the Stampede Bulldogs get a shot in the WWE. So, Tyson has the choice of sorts to be a top star on his own or the top star that will bring about the return of another "generation" of Harts in factional form. If that works out, all the better for Natalya and D.H. who are running out of credibility to show and need a boost soon. Who knows? They could even join up with the "Legacy". Still, I would keep an eye on Tyson Kidd and his possible rise to stardom on ECW, as it is something they can use to keep things fresh, new, and entertaining. Now, if only something can be done about that haircut...