Corbin Macklin

Credit: WWE.com

I want to dive into a few things here. Some of these things will be controversial in a sense. Let us now look at the world championship reigns of Drew McIntyre. Raw got the lowest ratings in the history of that show during his reign. That, in and of itself, makes his case for being the top guy on a brand look very much like something that should not be revisited. Until you can address one glaring issue for him. He should not go to WrestleMania and win the belt again from Bobby Lashley. WWE should continue to push Bobby Lashley as a strong dominant champion indefinitely. But, Bobby Lashley will deal with the same exact issue that brought down Drew. I am not writing this to say that I think Drew McIntyre is not a draw. I will say personally, I am not motivated to buy any of his merch but that speaks more to the quality of it than him not being worthy of getting the royalties. I do have a Hurt Business shirt and all of Roman Reigns new shirts since he came back. WWE has an issue right now where it's like they don't know how to make anyone cool unless they're a heel. Apollo Crews was a bland blah faceless smiling black guy who looks great and can do a lot of athletic things he probably shouldn't be doing with his frame. Now he looks to be on the right track with his new accent and heel persona. Why is it that wrestlers are only allowed to have character development and backstory as heels? Apollo wasn't the ancestor of African leaders before this? Roman Reigns wasn't a tribal chief before now? Bobby Lashley wasn't an asskicker who got off on hurting people before now? Literally the most interesting thing WWE did with Drew was Vince McMahon gave him his sword to use in his intro. How can you get over as a babyface without ever saying or doing anything cool?

Let us get into over. Over is something pretty much any wannabe smart wrestling fan knows. But few know what it actually means. Most fans think of "over" as "the crowd loudly cheers and chants" or "they have merchandise selling". It's far deeper than that. It's about connection. Think about it like how, if you're not broke and you're not broke spiritually, and you're dating multiple people. You take all of them on dates. You buy all of them gifts. You may be intimate with all of them. IF you can never choose one of them over the others and stick to that choice, none of them is over. People are fickle. They can think the world of you for a quick second and then be over it. Music history is full of one hit wonders. You have actors who are in like every movie and tv show for a time and then they disappear. The interest of fans and the companies that produce media can turn on a dime and then the next minute, someone else is in that spot. In the past few years, I have seen wrestling fans say that different wrestlers should be pushed as THE top guy in the business and then they change to saying it should be someone else in a matter of months. That, my nigga, is not over. That, is a brief infatuation or a crush. I ended the last paragraph with a question. I want to bring something else up to further this point. A lot of wrestling fans blame the fickle temperaments of Vince and how he "pushes" and gives up on talents in a few weeks. They blame booking and creative or the lack thereof. Do you remember the actual history of the Attitude Era? Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock were over because they said and did cool shit, but what really distinguished them amongst all the wrestlers in history is how much they overcame the bullshit around them and bad creative. The Attitude Era is remembered with the fondness that happens when things go to shit and you think that back in the day everything was so much better than what it is now but no... The actual wrestlers were better back then. They weren't doing dives every two spots in matches. The matches weren't spot fests. Hell, the matches were downright boring compared to the gymnastics we get to see today. Those dudes got over. They made us care about them in a way we don't care about the wrestlers today.

In the first paragraph I referenced a problem that Drew suffered from and Lashley will as well. That problem is, when you are the top babyface in the company, if there are no heels that threaten you, you can't really get over. Do you know why Hulk Hogan got over and stayed over for nearly a decade doing the same promos and matches? It was the selling, brother. Let me tell you something, dood. Hulk Hogan matches were formulaic in that he would get beat the fuck up and sell like he was fucking dying. It fed and built the comeback. The Hogan comeback... every real wrestling fan just saw it in their mind so I don't have to describe it for them. But if you don't know... Hogan would get his ass beat in such a way, that when he started to "Hulk Up" and start no selling and feeding off the crowd visually and he would block a punch, wag his finger and point at them and everyone would scream in unison "YOU", then lose their shit while Hogan threw three punches, Irish whip, big boot and leg drop. The other part of the formula that was Hulk Hogan was that WWE would sign all the big men they could for him to wrestle. Traditional wrestling logic was that you could never get sympathy on a 6'7, 300lb plus guy. Well, if damn near every match was against Andre The Giant, King Kong Bundy, Big Boss Man, Earthquake, The Undertaker and guys like that, you could sell the fans on the idea that this big motherfucker could beat the shit out of their big motherfucker and put him in peril. So this brings me to... how many wrestlers on the roster right now can you look at and say "I think for a shoot, if that guy tried to beat Drew McIntyre or Bobby Lashley's ass he'd succeed"? On Raw, the list is literally "Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Sheamus and uuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh" WWE isn't really doing anything with Keith Lee and I'll be honest and say that he needs some seasoning even at his advanced age before I want to see him anywhere near the main event of WrestleMania or really any main event. The dearth of big men in professional wrestling today is partially why WWE has had to resort to dusting off Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. Look me in this font and tell me that the visual of AJ Styles stretching Bobby Lashley doesn't strike you as "wtf". This is why many fans are hoping WWE will make the Brock Lesnar Bobby Lashley match. I had not wanted to see it until recently myself because I didn't think they were pushing Lashley to that level but he has been booked strongly since The Hurt Business came into being. As I am saying though, the thing that will determine how well he gets over as champion will be how well WWE can present people who can kick Bobby Lashley's ass to set up a comeback.

It really speaks to how under WWE talent is that fans get excited to see their faves turn heel. The psychology of that is off. You can like a heel but you should want them to turn face. To want your fave to turn heel only demonstrates that no one can get over as a face because they never say or do anything interesting. Right now, Big E is just there. WWE is trying to present him as this guy with fire and intensity but also... who the fuck is BIg E? Just the guy who is in New Day but WWE broke up New Day? I have seen so many promos of his on YouTube where he was coming off as a heel. Then they turned Apollo heel and now Apollo is more interesting than Big E is and I actually hope he takes the belt. WWE started the turn with an injury angle. Apollo needs to work that injury and try to take Big E out and then beat him by cheating somehow. Then instead of just doing a by rote three or four month program, they should have Big E trying to work his way back to getting another shot at Apollo. Apollo should be trying to keep Big E from getting that shot by interfering in matches. After a while, you do another match. Apollo keeps working the injury. Big E overcomes the pain and wins. That kind of booking logic gets people over. What WWE is most likely gonna do is have Apollo beat Big E clean with his finish or Big E is gonna beat Apollo with his finish and then they'll have more matches no one cares about. They'll just do moves to each other but there won't be any kind of story about the bad guy doing anything he can to hurt his opponent or cheat to win and the good guy who overcomes that to win fair and square. In the main event program on SmackDown, Edge keeps cutting heel promos on Daniel Bryan that don't make any sense. And then... what will be the point of Edge being the special guest enforcer at Fastlane? Either he is going to stand by while Roman Reigns does his thing and beats Daniel Bryan or he is going to screw Daniel Bryan but either makes him look bad. And that would be setting up a heel program for Mania. So that wouldn't be the story of "the heel Roman Reigns will do anything to beat Edge including use Main Event Uso while Edge is fighting like fuck to overcome this handicap" but more like "one guy who will do anything to win fights another guy who would do anything and fart".

TLDR: WWE needs to have more big men to imperil their larger babyfaces and speaking of babyfaces, can they stop having their babyfaces turn heel all the damn time or cut heel promos foreshadowing heel turns? Then motherfuckers would actually get over.