The Three Count

T3C: Will the future be the same as the past?

In my first column for this site I take a look at the current state of WWE and look ahead to Wrestlemania XX. Trouble is we might just be preparing ourselves for something we’ve all seen before!

The Three Count #1

Welcome to a new column on this site, thanks to Kam for inviting me to write for you, hey enough of all that let’s get onto the important subjects. It’s just a few weeks to Wrestlemania, The Undertaker is getting restless in his grave, Goldberg’s booking his holidays and Mick Foley’s getting over his weekly Evolution beating Wrestlemania XX is supposed to be the biggest PPV of all time but are the WWE in a position to deliver or is the future very similar to the past? Time for ‘The Three Count’ to investigate.

When was the last time you got really excited about what happens in WWE? I mean REALLY excited. Not oh look there’s a Diva showing some cleavage or oh my God, look Vince has bothered to put a cruiserweight match on a PPV that lasts more than five minutes and doesn’t include Nidia pretending to be blind!

No, I mean really excited about something new, fresh and challenging. Something like a new wrestler being introduced, given a push and aimed at the title over a period of months not weeks or days like Steiner and Goldberg. Next week I’ll tell you what I think of the Brand Extension in full but this week let’s just say I don’t think either Raw or Smackdown are anywhere near as strong as they used to be.

Vince needs new ideas, that probably needs new writers and an injection of new blood in the ring (rather than Ric Flair’s 90th blade job of the year). Look at the potential Wrestlemania XX card and the road Vince has taken to get there and it’s not exactly original or full of shocks is it?

The last two PPV’s have seen big pushes for Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. Now I wrote previews for both the Rumble and No Way Out and was spot on in predicting Benoit would win the Rumble, that Eddie would get the WWE Title and Angle would turn on him. Now that either makes me a genius (possible) or Vince is just so predictable these days. I fear it’s the latter. That’s not good for WWE. I want my predictions to be wrong all the time not cause I’m thick, cause I ain’t but cause Vince comes up with something new that shocks the world of wrestling. He’s done it before why can’t he do it now?

Look at the card he has for Wrestlemania. Undertaker v Kane. We’ve seen it all before Vince, we’ve seen the silly little pyro’s, the confusing videos, the raining indoors – I wonder if Kane will come to the ring with an umbrella? The plot is just so crazy and so difficult with Mark Calloway presumably still at home resting and growing his hair. This is Wrestlemania XX, we want something big not an sfx show followed by two big men plodding away. Undi has had some decent matches in recent years but as a brawler. His Deadman plodder routine doesn’t achieve that.

Then there’s the Triple Threat World Heavyweight Title Match or as it should be known the ‘we don’t really trust Benoit for a main event this big and besides Michaels will sulk all year if he’s not in this main-event.’ match. Just how many times have we seen Triple H and Michaels in the ring together? It’s been going on too long and unless Michaels can turn heel there’s not much else of interest here. Benoit deserves his big day but he still lacks something. About 4 inches and a voice to be honest. He doesn’t impress on the mic and if anyone needs a manager it’s him. Go on Flair, turn on HHH and manage Benoit. Or dare we say come back Bret?

Angle v Guerrero really should be the match of the night, but forget all the crap that comes before it. All this drug addict rubbish, do we care? Angle is better as a heel that’s for sure, he only gets used as a face when Vince comes over all patriotic. But it’s still nothing new is it?

The whole Mick Foley story is just so repetitive. He comes in, cuts a great promo and then gets beaten up. Fans who never saw his great days must be wondering what all the fuss is about. Now it looks as if The Rock is coming back to tag with him at Wrestlemania. That’s all wrong, Rock will just look like the stronger man protecting the weaker forever being beaten up guy.

Goldberg v Lesnar is the nearest we get to something fresh and new at Wrestlemania but we all know the score don’t we. It’s not really a ‘Loser leaves WWE’ match’ it’s a ‘Look one of the wrestlers here is out of contract and we might sign him again or he might just go to Japan to wrestle for 4 minutes a time so we’ll take him off the roster till the lawyers can sort something out’ match. It could be a good match, but it does nothing for the future unless a deal is sorted out.

The tag divisions in WWE are the worst I’ve ever known. Can anyone get excited about the prospect of the joke team of Rikishi and Scotty ‘1 move and it’s so boringly repetitive’ Hotty, the washed-up APA with Ron’ can I retire yet?’ Simmons and the only decent team in WWE, Benjamin and Haas. Raw is terrible, just a dumping ground for Booker T and RVD because Vince can’t find a decent singles feud for them.

What can Vince do to stop giving us the same stuff all over again? We can’t keep having the weekly humiliation of Coach and Eric, it’s like a cartoon series. The Christian-Jericho-Trish story has gone on forever and it’s just so predictable.

Changes are needed, we need new wrestlers, new ideas, more cruiserweight action, an improved tag team division and less Vince. What do we get? Pryro’s, special effects and wrestling matches designed purely to sell the latest DVD or Playboy release. Wrestlemania XX should be a turning point for WWE, but will the future be the same as the past?

That’s all from ‘The Three Count’ for this week, next time around it’s the Brand Extension, should it stay or should it go? In the meantime send me an email with your views or questions, can’t wait to receive them.

Stephen Ashfield