The Live Wire - By Tony Cottam

TLW: Top 10 reasons to watch WWE

Well, hello. It’s Monday. It’s raining. It’s after dinner-time. I don’t have any ice cream, so I’d better do something else instead of stuff my face further. Guess I should be doing a column then. You LUCKY people! So, with the sounds of The Darkness blaring in the background… we’ll begin.

Well, hello. It’s Monday. It’s raining. It’s after dinner-time. I don’t have any ice cream, so I’d better do something else instead of stuff my face further. Guess I should be doing a column then. You LUCKY people! So, with the sounds of The Darkness blaring in the background… we’ll begin.

A common argument bandied about when people pick apart your average Internet column (and mine is decidedly average, after all) is usually to pick out something negative that has been written and to ask the ‘Dreaded Question’ – “So why do you keep watching if you think it sucks?” – usually with a hint of irony and glee, as if they are the first person to EVER think of that line of questioning.

With that in mind, I have compiled this – the top 10 reasons to carry on watching the WWE programming that a vast majority of people say is heading downhill.

Eddie Guerrero

Eddie, quite simply, is on fire right now. I’m sure all around the ‘net there are columnists tapping out similar such sentiments, and sure, Eddie always has been one of the Internet’s favourite sons. But that takes nothing away from the fact that Eddie is the single most entertaining thing on WWE television right now.

It’s the little nuances that he brings to everything he does that are so enjoyable – remember the night Rhyno turned heel on Benoit and gored The Crippler instead of Eddie? Eddie cowering behind the belt before slowly realising that he was, in fact, safe? The shrug of the shoulders before the Frog Splash to eventually win the match? That, friends, was genius.

Don’t get me wrong though – Eddie isn’t just a showman – he can bring it in the ring too when he has too. His matches of late have all been outstanding, and in my books, he’s already a sure thing in almost every Wrestler Of The Year polls – and rightly so. Eddie’s been around the block, used up almost all of his 9 lives… it’s time for him to kick back and show the world what he’s made of.

Tazz and Michael Cole

I know, I know – I don’t believe it either. Michael Cole was for so long the laughing stock of this column, yet now he and Tazz are easily the best WWE commentators. Of course, when you’re going against JR, The King, and Ernest Miller… there ain’t a hell of a lot of competition.

Tazz and Cole on their own may not be the best commentators, but together they have a nice rapport, and they work well together. More importantly, they do actually know what they’re talking about, Tazz especially. While JR may have forgotten more about the wrestling business than Michael Cole will ever know, JR is now too stuck in the JR character to commentate properly – which is where Cole has the edge.

Cole and Tazz’s commentary on matches concentrates on putting the wrestlers over, rather than their own gimmicks or angles. Sure, Tazz has a tendency to sing every so often that I could live without, but he makes up for it with the insight he brings to things. Together, Tazz and Cole make Smackdown fun to watch.

Theodore Long

Let me holla at ya, playa – ya feel me? Ah, Theodore and his never ending stream of catchphrases and ridiculous rhetoric. While he may be stuck with Rodney Mack and Mark Henry, he’s no slouch in the charisma stakes. Long almost makes the entrance of Mack and Henry worth it. From the new dance that he’s started doing, to the ‘Playa Card’ and cries of ‘Belee Dat!’ – Long is great entertainment.

Chris Jericho

What is there that hasn’t been said about Chris Jericho already? The Highlight Reel is packed full of little jokes and sly remarks from Jericho. Note the way the guys in the production truck are always called “monkeys” and the Jeritron 5000 seems to change value every week – obscenely expensive became grotesquely expensive, and so on and so on.

Jericho tries to back it up in the ring, but to be fair, he doesn’t have the best tools to work with. He nearly managed to drag a passable match out of Kevin Nash – if he’d achieved that, there would have been a sainthood in the offering. As the old saying goes… Raw IS Jericho.

Matt Hardy

I’m Veeee One-ah! I’ve been a big fan of the Mattitude gimmick since it first appeared, and thankfully it shows no signs of slowing down. Despite the failed experiment with Crash, Matt and Shannon seem to be gradually moving up the card. One of the highlights of the year so far for is still Shannon’s antics at the Royal Rumble, and his numerous attempts to keep Matt in the match.

Matt has moved slowly up the ranks, becoming Cruiserweight Champion, and last week, he got a US title shot, and had a great match with Eddie. Does greatness beckon for the sensei of Mattitude? Here’s hoping – as long as he stays entertaining, I don’t see why not. Here’s to the more talented of the Hardys…

The Hurricane

Stand back, citizen – there’s a Hurricane comin’ through. The Hurricane continues to entertain and remain over with the fans… yet he treads water in the midcard. Well, y’know – whatever. His current angle with ‘Citizen Roseveldt’ is making for some nice comedy moments, but not a lot of in-ring goodness. Hurricane remains one of the more talented men on the WWE roster, and surely would benefit from a switch back to Smackdown and the cruiserweight division.

Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit

To quote a JR cliché – these two provide the steak to go with the sizzle. No matter who they’re in the ring with, these two just ooze class. Benoit is saddled with A-Train right now – Angle’s had The Big Show over the past couple of months – and both of them have never looked so good.

It’s not just what they do, it’s the selflessness – they never hesitate to put the opponent over at the expense of themselves – seriously, A-Train on a par with Benoit? puh-leeeease! But hey – Benoit on a PPV given a little bit longer to shine – it’s all good, surely. As for Angle, he’s threatening to steal the show in his current feud with John Cena. These two will set the place on fire come No Mercy.

Ric Flair

Sure, the legs and physique may not be what they once were – but class is still class. Flair adds an element of legitimacy to Evolution, and Randy Orton in particular. Plus he’s just so damn entertaining to watch. Witness the Randy Orton vs. Maven match – HBK superkicked Flair to oblivion, and Flair remained ‘out cold’ for the rest of the match – not moving an inch. That’s how you sell something, peeps.

Age may be catching up with the Dirtiest Player In The Game, but damn if he’s not growing old disgracefully. He is still an integral part of Raw, despite his age, and maybe even because of it. Bottom line is this : Flair is The Man. Whooo!

So, next time people feel like asking me why I keep watching the WWE – there’s 10 reasons right there. Sure, there’s bits of both shows I could live without (start with anything named McMahon) but for every one segment that fails, there’s another one that makes up for it. Stick with it – look for the good rather than pick out the bad. It is worth it, honestly.

Until next time, have fun, go mad,

Tony Cottam

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