As the Austin soap opera continues (will he come back? Was he fired? Is it all a work?), I am reminded of a federation that failed not too long ago. Hokey storylines, rumors of spoiled stars changing things to better suit themselves...Nahh. It couldn't happen in the WWE, could it? Sorry boys and girls, it is happening. And to think people were worried when Hogan, Hall and Nash were signed.
Case Study One : Steve Austin
We all have heard the stories. Post Wrestlemania, he doesn't show up for a Raw taping. Last Monday, same story. Rumor has it he was booked in the main event with Lesnar, possibly to job. Austin's reaction? Book a ticket home and leave. Apparently he doesn't think Lesnar was at his level. Gee, that sounds familiar...wait. Didn't this happen a few years ago, except then it was Jarrett?
Steve, time to face some cold hard facts. Yes, you helped bring the WWF/E back from what was almost certain death. Yes, you've put asses in seats and sold a lot of merchandise. Small problem though - you're not getting any younger. There are people who need to get pushed. As a veteran, it's your role to help elevate the new guys. Think Foley and Triple H. Foley was the veteran who helped elevate Trips with a great feud. Did Foley whine? Did he pack his bags and leave? No. And as for the jobbing issue, think of the Rock. Some say he's the biggest name in the business now. He puts asses in seats. He also jobs. Sure, you've got some lingering injuries. So did Foley. Choice is yours, Steve. Be a mentor, help lead the fed into a new era, pass on your knowledge...or be a whiny asshole.
And speaking of whiny assholes...
Case Study Two : XPac
Mr Waltman was booked to work Heat and Raw. Mr Waltman threw a hissy fit until he was pulled from Heat.
GOOD GOD GET OVER YOURSELF, SEAN!
You're another performer who hasn't realized your best days are gone. The sad thing is your best days weren't that great to begin with. Since you have friends with pull and if rumors are true, sit in on booking meetings, you probably felt you could get away with acting like a toddler who needs a nap. [whiny voice]I don't wanna wrestle two shows! ::several jittery crotch chops:: And you CAN'T MAKE ME![/whiny voice] And by the way, Sean, you don't put asses in seats. You are the international sign for piss break. You could be wrestling a naked and oiled Britney Spears and people would still flip the channels as soon as you started flailing your greasy ass down the ramp.
Now, the other side of the coin....
Case Study Three : Hulk Hogan
I'm no Hogan fan. Never have been. I will admit one thing though. Since he's come to the WWE, he has jobbed. He was notorious in his WCW days for being a prima donna (see Kidman, Billy) but he seems to have changed. He still wrestles for shit but he jobbed to the Rock at Mania. He dropped the belt to Taker. He could pull the "I'm a wrestling legend and things go MY way" crap. So far, he hasn't. When the storyline demanded it, he got pinned.
Steve and Sean, take some notes.