THIS BUILD-UP IS A
With Vince's Show of Shows (apologies to the great Sid Ceasar) in the offing, I can almost understand the WWF exhibiting tunnel vision on Raw/Smackdown, giving us only what (they think) will goose the Wrestlemania buyrate. Rating and earnings are down this quarter, and a healthy profit/loss ledger on WM will go a long way to soothing the jangled nerves of antsy investors. OK, fine.
But even given that, I'm hard pressed to recall a recent PPV buildup that keeps making it LESS likely I'm going to spring for the requisite cash to buy the show.
Most PPV buildups manage to pique my interest through sheer repetition if nothing else. Feuds and angles that leave me cold somehow have a way of heating up after a few weeks of JR yelling "THIS SUNDAY!" in my face. On the other hand, often I have the willpower to keep my wallet in my pocket, and nine times out of ten I find out that I missed absolutely nothing. Sometimes the decision hinges on how I'm feeling at ten minutes to 8 on the Sunday in question.
All of which means I'm here to be swayed. Waiting for Vince to give me a reason to tune in. HOPING for that reason. And what I'm getting instead is one reason after another to keep my WM money in my pocket.
Vince, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways:
1. Two weeks ago, I would have gladly paid whatever freight necessary to see Hogan get in the ring (shirt off, bandana hopefully on) against The Rock. Not only has this manufactured feud not caught fire, but if I get to see it for free in next Monday's Raw handicap match, then Vince can forget getting my cash in ten days.
They should be hyping Hogan's return to WM as a piece of history, which it is, and if the WWF wants to goose the buyrate there's NO way Hogan should be wrestling on free TV. God, Vince, that's Marketing 101 stuff.
2. I can no longer suffer through one more minute of watching Stephanie McMahon. So why would I fork over my hard-earned cash to see even more of her? Even worse, she'll be ruining a potentially great match. Two weeks ago I was jazzed at the prospect of HHH-Jericho. If Vince had made this match about nothing but the belts, I might've signed on. But instead this has turned into a farce so god-awful bad it's almost desperate. I'll pass.
The only way this works is if, against all logic, the whole thing turns out to be a ruse and Steph turns on Jericho to help HHH win the belts he wants so bad. Like when Lance Storm decided to have Sunny in his corner when he wrestled Candido at Living Dangerously and she repaid Storm by bashing his head with a cookie tin.
3. And on the other hand, we've seen exactly zip, nada, nothing on the Tag Team title match. Christ, Vince, if Team Flame-On can't cut a decent promo, give them a manager who can.
4. Tell me again why I'm supposed to be interested in the Shampoo Feud. Talk louder this time, because I'm having a hard time with subtlety this week.
5. Angle-Kane? What's the basis for this again? Kurt spilled coffee on Kane six months ago or something?
6. Saving the potentially worst for last: Flair-Undertaker. Blood, blood and more blood. Flair bleeds when he merely slaps himself in the forehead, fer cryin'out loud. Thing is, I've already seen Ric in the spurting crimson mask, most recently when he wrestled Vince himself. Don't think I want to pay for the privilege of seeing it again. And the goose bumps I get anticipating a David Flair run-in .... Let's just say that's one speed bump too many.
No need to go into a list of exciting performers and intriguing match-ups we WON'T be seeing on WM Sunday. That's a whole 'nother story. But unless some rumors about surprise appearances get firmed up, I'll probably be straightening my sock drawer that night. At least that I can do for free.