I was watching Raw two weeks ago, and low and behold I was given a nice gift. A 40 min segment with the Rock and CM Punk. About a third of the show taken up by these two masters of the microphone.
Now, the start off was Punk’s post TLC pipe bomb. Punk started off with his usual rant then proceeded to go off into shoot land. Where spitting his venom he brought up, quite frankly really good freaking points.
He hit the fact that Tyson Kidd is buried despite being the biggest workhorse out there and the fact that Daniel Bryan is arguably the deadliest technician in WWE History. But it all came to a point of selling out. How a monster like Brodus Clay dances like an idiot just for TV time or to sell some extra shirts in order to make money.
He was livid at the fact that those who sell more merchandise seem to get more opportunities. Though I could argue this with people like Zack Ryder and others, generally that statement is true.
Those who can help the company push more merchandise and sell more stuff get more opportunities or at least those viewed by the writers and management. Why is that a bad thing?
Here me out fan boys. Selling out is why people go into wrestling, music, and the entertainment industry in general. It’s a business. It is an artistic, fun, crazy business, but a business nonetheless. In order to make any kind of living, the company needs to produce revenue.
How does the WWE do this?
Simply, they sell advertising on TV, tickets to live events, PPV buys, and of course merchandise. Now costs for most of these are really expensive which is why the two biggest profit producers for the company are merchandise and house shows. From a shear business standpoint, these are important factors for the business. If you have guys that can help you produce them it’s stupid not use them.
What sells merchandise? That can be argued from here to China and back. But the simple fact is wrestling is a business that is about making money. To do this the WWE has always depended on strong characters to promote. From Bruno Sammartino to Bob Backlund to Hogan to Austin to Undertaker, WWE depends on these recognizable figureheads for their identity and to draw people in.
It gets annoying when people bitch and moan about others “selling out”. Let me draw a comparison with another industry that is also an art form. And yes wrestling is a violent art form no different from ancient Greek dramas, movies, or television.
What is marketable? Many in and out of the wrestling business, say that WWE has gotten away from the core thing that wrestling is about. Two tough guys battling it out and the drama that comes from that. There are purists out there that say that Daniel Bryan is a shell of what he was in ROH and that what he is doing now is beneath him.
In reality, doing what he was on the Indy scene or around the world, Daniel Bryan would have wrestled for a fraction of the amount of people that he is now and would have made even less in comparison.
His personality has also peaked and developed to the best it has ever been. He has also taken over wrestling with two simple words and helped raise Kane refresh his status with the Universe.
The thing that makes WWE the best around, when it is good, is that something for everyone philosophy. Not everyone can be that ultra deadly warrior or serious guy everyone has their place.
It’s flat out smart marking both for the company and for the wrestlers themselves to stand out from the pack. If there was more competition for WWE, it would be easier for guys to maybe do what they want, but that is not reality. Other guys are in there current state, because they made the best of a bad situation.
To go back to Brodus Clay, he was set to be the next “Monster”. The Infamous night John Morrison got taken out was supposed to be him, not the Miz. One infamous tweet later, and WWE decided to hold off on the big man’s premier.
A month or so later, you get The Funkasaurus. This is something Brodus could have done half hearted and no one would have blamed him. Instead he took it and has run with it.
The worry with gimmicks like that is they can get stale and really don’t provide growth for the wrestler. They are usually used till they are not profitable anymore and then that person is released aka Eugene.
How guys can grow is and get out is up for debate, but many have stepped through the WWE door with bad hands and made something great out of it. In either case, these are all steps to develop and endure one-self to the fans. They will pay to see you and buy your merchandise.
Just as with one hit wonders, guys might not like what exactly gets over, but it is all about the people. Without us the fans, they do not exist. Then again that is just my opinion, I could be wrong, but I’m not.