Hello and welcome to another edition of The Main Event. I am your host, Don Franc, back with another column that you will all hopefully enjoy. Long introductions aren’t really my thing so let’s get right to…
– Dave Bautista is being inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame next year. This was going to happen sooner rather than later so it’s not like it comes as a surprise. What does come as a surprise is that NWO is also being inducted next year. It makes no sense to me. Why would you have two HOF headliners on the same show? They could have done NWO next year and then Batista in 2021. That way both acts would have a HOF ceremony that would in essence revolve around them. And without a doubt both Batista and the NWO deserve to get top billing at a HOF ceremony. Now they’ve got me asking who’s getting that top spot in the HOF. Batista was the second biggest face in the WWE for years from 2005. However, NWO completely changed the game in 1996. So, when factoring in everything, NWO deserve top billing. WWE really missed the boat by putting two HOF headliners in one ceremony when they could have split them across two of them. Lord knows WWE is starting to run out of headliners so they need to space them out.
– On Twitter, Corey Graves tweeted that Samoa Joe and Vic Josephs are a “new and improved” version of Tazz and Michael Cole. I haven’t heard much of Josephs or Joe, but by all accounts Joe is doing a great job. I can’t comment on that. But what I will say – in my opinion – is that Tazz and Cole were an underrated partnership. They were the voice of Smackdown for years and I never really had much of a problem with their announcing. I honestly feel like they made a good partnership. Clearly most other fans don’t feel the same way as I don’t hear any praise for their time together on Smackdown. Michael Cole’s stock has dropped in recent years (which is something I agree with), but his partnership with Tazz was always above average at worst. They may not be in any top five commentator duo lists, but I certainly think they did a respectable job at the time.
– There are certain rumours going around that it’s a possibility that Tyson Fury will face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. If this does happen – which in all honesty is not outside the realm of possibility – then WWE really do think more of UFC/Boxing/Legit Sports personalities than their own wrestlers. Brock’s title run has already been tainted by his 8 second victory over Kingston just so he could face UFC’s Cain Velasquez. So him facing Tyson Fury will be another notch on his tainted belt. I do not want to see this match. Tyson Fury had a semi-decent showing against Braun Strowman but Lesnar is a different kind of wrestler in the sense of less motivation and effort. A match between them would hardly be any good. But hey, I’m getting ahead of myself here. At this stage it’s only a rumour. One I’m hoping WWE do not foolishly act upon.
THE MAIN EVENT
Not everyone can be a main-eventer. Those six words can be so hard to swallow at times. For no matter how much you think a midcard wrestler deserves to be in that main event spot, he may just not be main event material. It’s as simple as that really. There are many different fans who believe that many different midcarders should be in the main event for many different reasons. I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion myself. But when it comes down to it, you may be an excellent wrestler, a great talker or have a good look, but if you don’t have “IT” you don’t have “IT”, especially in the world of WWE.
I’m sure each wrestling promotion has their own definition of what the “IT Factor” is. Hell, some companies don’t even care about their main-eventers being the total package. In WWE there’s a certain criteria that you have to meet in order to become a main-eventer. Of course, that all depends on the fans not getting involved and them actually having their way when it comes to choosing who gets to play with the big boys. If you don’t meet that criteria you can’t qualify for that top spot. And if a wrestler finds themselves in that main event scene without meeting the eligibility criteria, they’re surely not going to be there for long.
That’s why all companies should push the wrestlers who are most over with the fans. That’s supposed to be wrestling 101, yet WWE does not follow the most common of wrestling traditions whilst other independent promotions stay true to the business. So no matter how much you feel a midcarder should be rubbing shoulders with the top guys, if management don’t deem that wrestler fit for the role then it’s just not going to happen. Sure, alot of midcarders have mitigating factors as to why they should be at or near the top of the card, but at the end of the day that decision does not lay with us.
However, like most of us who think a certain wrestler deserves to be in the main event, we are also susceptible to arguing about why certain wrestlers don’t belong in the main event. I could say that Baron Corbin does not belong in the main event scene but I know some fans who will arduously disagree with me. That’s just the cycle of fandom. We all want certain wrestlers to get promoted to the next level whereas we feel certain wrestlers should be a staple in the midcard for the rest of their careers. We all have that one main-eventer we feel should be given that top spot.
For example, I felt like Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura should have been in the main event, but now it looks like they’re stuck in the midcard for the foreseeable future. I was disappointed at first but then I realised their was nothing that I could do about it. But I’ll still hold out just a little bit of hope for them. On the flip side, I always thought guys like Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler should have been never been elevated to the World Title picture because I saw them as just midcarders, albeit classic midcarders. Clearly WWE did too because they just allowed them to flirt with the main event. Nevertheless, that goes to show we all have our favourites we feel should/shouldn’t be promoted to the main event and alot of the times it won’t happen.
Sometimes your guy actually does make it through though. And sometimes midcarders prove you wrong. That was certainly the case with me and my thoughts on CM Punk winning the World Heavyweight Championship in 2008. I accepted him as top dog in WWECW, but I didn’t consider the ECW World Championship as an actual World Championship. In my view, Punk just didn’t have the chops to hang with the big boys. But of course, at the time, Punk was not really given much microphone time. And when he did have the microphone in his hand he didn’t have good material to work with. Well, up until he enforced his straight-edge lifestyle upon us that is. Since then my perception of him changed and by the Summer of Punk I was convinced that he was a bonafide main-eventer.
Yes, sometimes our most beloved of midcarders get to the top, whether by luck, opportunity, the fans or a combination of all three of those elements. But for every one midcarder who we really wanted in the main event and made it, there are probably a dozen more who didn’t make it. Some of them our favourites, too. It’s no use complaining about it because the powers that be are in control of every midcarders destiny. We can push and push, but we don’t have any pull with WWE or any other promotions so they will push and push who they want to. We can always hold out hope that our favourite midcarders reach the spot we deem them worthy of, but that’s just a setup for disappointment in most cases.
Besides, fans and wrestling promotions alike needs a midcard division with wrestlers who are entertaining. With wrestlers that fans actually want to see succeed and reach that brass ring. That hope from the fans enables a midcarder to work at his best. Ironically, that same hope from fans who cheer their favourite midcarders on as loud as they can has the ability to create disappointment as well. Any midcarders beloved by fans have every right to feel like they should be going to the next level based on popularity. But once again – going back to the elgibilty criteria – they may just not be deemed suitable for that role by the suits in charge. This brings more disappointment which could lead to despondency and less motivation to continue lighting a midcard up. I mean it should be every wrestlers dream to rise above the midcard and aim towards the main event scene.
Also, if every midcarder that we find entertaining and who we choose to go to the top actually makes it there, then who’s going to entertain us in the midcard? The midcard is an important part of a wrestling promotion. It’s an integral cog in the machine. The midcard is the backbone of a show. The main event is what stands out above the rest, but without an entertaining midcard the show feels like it’s dragging on and on. And when you eventually get to the main event you’re burnt out. Which is why some favourites need to stay behind.
Remember, with all our favourites going to the top, who’s going to hold things down in the middle? It’s just not plausible for all our most-liked midcarders to get promoted to the main event. If all the entertaining acts are in the main event, the midcard would be a chore to get through. When I think of the term “midcard classic” I always think about it as a term of endearment. You know, guys who could never make it to the main event despite their greatness showing the guys in the main event up. Yeah, if none of our favourites stayed in the midcard that term wouldn’t exist. You see why not everyone can be a main-eventer?
There’s always a limited amount of space at the top and nobody will be willing to relinquish their spot.. Whether we believe a midcarder should be in the main event – deservedly or otherwise – not everyone can be a main-eventer. And because not every midcarder meets the eligibility criteria for a main-eventer in certain promotions, not every midcarder can be one. But most importantly, because an entertaining midcard division is paramount to the success of a wrestling promotion, not everyone should be a main-eventer. That’s just the way it is, not everybody gets to go to the top.
John Morrison To Return To WWE
The news that John Morrison’s return to WWE is imminent has been a minor topic of discussion as of late. He is set to appear on WWE TV any day now and admittedly I’m interested to see what he’ll do. I’ve always liked John Morrison since he debuted his new look in 2007. It suited him to perfection and I also thought he was an exciting prospect in the ring. Unfortunately, he isn’t too gifted on the mic and that certainly set him back in WWE. And because of that it’s hard not see why he left them. I can’t believe that he left WWE all the way back in 2011. My, where has the time gone?
Nevertheless, John Morrison has done very well for himself in the land outside of WWE’s world. Hell, he even became a main-eventer and won the World Championship in Lucha Underground (as Johnny Mundo) and TNA (as Johnny Impact). Suffice it to say he has not had any problems when distancing himself from WWE. Not too many wrestlers can say they left WWE as a midcarder and became World Champion in another promotion. And truth be told, there was no way that he was ever going to become a main-eventer in WWE. Why? Because not everyone can be a main-eventer, that’s why.
But that’s okay. I’ve never seen Morrison as a main event player. In smaller promotions it’s easier to stand out, which is why it was easier for Morrison to be a main-eventer outside of WWE. But in the larger-than-life world of WWE it’s much harder to break through that glass ceiling. And like I said in the main section of this column, some guys should just be a staple in the midcard. In my view, Morrison was born for that midcard role, fighting in and around the midcard title picture. If he never left WWE in 2011 he would have arguably been a future midcard legend by now. It can also be said that he stood a real chance of holding the record for most Intercontinental Championship won instead of The Miz.
We are still guaranteed some fantastic matches between John Morrison and the new talent that arrived since his departure. I dont see Morrison in the World Title picture at all. He’s destined for midcard greatness. Nevertheless, everyone on the roster has a role to play. And John Morrison’s role is in the midcard.
And that does it for this edition of The Main Event. Do you agree that not everyone can be a main-eventer? Please leave a comment below. Or you can pop me an e-mail at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter @donfranclop. Any and all feedback is always much appreciated. But until next time folks…
This is Don Franc signing out.
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