Fabulously Fractured Factions
NO MERCY: Six for eight. TNM was four for seven.
LINE OF THE WEEK: William Regal: Just imagine all of the wicked, evil little babies we could have had, me and that Anne Robinson. (Raw, Nov. 5) Uh, I'd rather not, if it's all the same.
Two turns in two weeks? (Well, three if you count Chuck Palumbo.) Faces in heel factions? Chris Jericho wrecking Rock's face? And somebody might jump to the WWF at Survivor Series? This is why WWF fans are pulling their hair out - at least when their heads stop spinning.
Both the WWF and the Alliance are coming apart at the seams and there's a pay-per-view in nine days. We've got distrust, dislike, and disingenuousness (Yes, I'm making up words) on both sides. And with all that's gone wrong with the invasion angle, I couldn't be happier.
Because it means that there's some long-term thinking going on.
The way things stand right now, on November 19, one of these groups is going to end up as the dominant force on television. The other one - if it doesn't disappear entirely - will, at most, be a lot less prominent for a few months. In that time frame, you're not going to want to have a promotion of all faces or all heels. You have to have balance.
On the Alliance side, Rob Van Dam's been getting face pops since his first Five Star, despite showcasing a strange brand of arrogance that would get beer bottles thrown at lesser men. The WWF has made his popularity an issue before, with Austin, and it looks like it's happening again with Booker T., who the writers have decided will be jealous of anyone who's more popular than he is (or, in his mind, he thinks he is).
I don't know what, if anything, they're developing with this "every so often, Tazz throws Austin a punk card and gets his ass kicked" deal, but if they want another upper-midcard face and can find another color guy, Tazz might fit that role. Hell, Tazz could be "the old Stone Cold" if the People In Charge think he's up to it.
Expanding that theme to include the guys who Austin always browbeats, you could add Raven, Hugh Morrus, Chavo Guerrero Jr., and even Tommy Dreamer (though I'm not sure for what purpose - cannon fodder, maybe) with Tazz as a group that's fed up with being singled out whenever Austin has one of his temper tantrums. You can throw in Shawn Stasiak if you really want to, but I don't. Kidman, I think, makes a better face than heel any day, and they seem to be trying to get a positive reaction for the Hurricane. Feuding those guys with Christian would be pretty sweet.
As far as the WWF goes, the Jericho turn gives the WWF a top heel if it wins the Survivor Series main. Although I would have saved the turn for that match; have him do it mid-match and walk out on Team WWF, then let the chips fall where they may. If the WWF loses, he'll get the blame when it resurfaces; if it wins, he can be cast as the one person who didn't care about the future of the WWF, and continue the Rock feud based off of that. ("You're a selfish egomaniac." "No, YOU'RE a selfish egomaniac." "Who walked out on the Survivor Series match?" "...")
There are also a number of "WWF guys" who haven't been seen in months because there's just nothing for them to do. Shoot alert: Bring them back after the Alliance is gone as a group of angry wrestlers who - wait for it - feel like they were cast aside during the invasion, and that Vince was only concerned about protecting his top commodities. I know it's not much, but they haven't been on TV in MONTHS. We have to give them SOMETHING.
Or, whoever jumps to the WWF at Survivor Series could end up as a heel in the WWF. Regardless of which side wins out, afterwards they have an ideal situation to elevate some guys if they think about what they're doing.
NEXT WEEK (hey!): I'll do my damnedest to make sense out of Survivor Series.