AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.comFirst, if one heel owner storyline wasn't bad enough, what's worse?
How about a second, copycat storyline...by TNA...with Dixie Carter playing heel owner against babyface AJ Styles and face of the company (rather than its still considerable talent base) Hulk Hogan?
Same thing I thought, too.
Yup, it's the only person whose acting skills are on a level with Linda McMahon (too bad her business instincts aren't) Dixie Carter.
The storyline has started with AJ Styles cutting a promo on TNA, alluding to its mismanagement. Carter came out and did a worked shoot on Styles, saying he was not the future of the company and was "mediocre".
I didn't enjoy it the first time (this go-round) why am I going to enjoy it warmed over on Spike TV? If a promotion HAS to do a heel owner storyline, at least HHH and Stephanie are actually on-air talent, and have played heels before, sometimes successfully.
Dixie Carter? Please.
I suppose the idea is to put Dixie Carter in the role of Stephanie McMahon, and to make AJ Styles the "Daniel Bryan against the world" of TNA. But the storyline is so blatantly copycat, and so watered down by comparison, that it causes people to turn the channel to NFL Network and see how that game is doing. Like I said before, her acting skills rank right up there with Linda McMahon.
In theory, a heel authority figure is OK when the heel authority figure starts out as a good heel, and got there by cheating against the babyface.
OK, Stephanie McMahon-Levesque at least brings off a convincing bitch character. She's not her father playing heel against Steve Austin, but than again, no one is. HHH has always been a good heel (but if I hear "best for business" once more, I'm going to throw up).
Dixie Carter isn't Stephanie McMahon. She's not HHH. She's not Vince. She's not even Linda. AJ Styles isn't Bryan Danielson, let alone Steve Austin.
Now here's the difference between theory and practice: Even if the people concerned can bring off their characters, the heel authority figure storyline has been done to death. Like most things in wrestling, they get copied and tweaked. The problem is, it's been done over and over and over again, by the same companies. In a post-kayfabe era, heel authority figures are almost impossible to do. When done badly, they blow the credibility of the storyline product to hell.
Further, TNA's heel authority figure/owner/general manager isn't (easy, my stomach) "best for business". It's not doing any better than the WWE version. Ratings aren't up (for WWE or TNA). Against NFL opposition, WWE and TNA need something compelling to give people a reason to turn the channel to USA or Spike TV. It isn't compelling on USA Network or SyFy, and it isn't on Spike.
On a much more pleasant note, with temperatures forecast in the 70s and 80s as we begin the first week of October here in the Philadelphia area, and green leaves on the trees here in southern New Jersey, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year will soon be here. Your friendly not-so-local retail mega-store will soon be killing lots of trees to print advertisements to sell you and I all sorts of goodies. Holiday ads are already running on the shopping channels, and will soon be running on TV non-stop. People will maul each other to get this year's "must have" for their kids or themselves.
But more in keeping with the actual spirit of the season, the wrestling community will reach out to those in need. Independent promotions hold a wide variety of events to benefit various food pantries, shelters, Toys for Tots drives. Over the years, promotions in my area ranging from the family-friendly United Wrestling Coalition to the hardcore themed Combat Zone Wrestling to indies of various sizes and types trough the United States and Canada. Even if you don't have one in your own area this Holiday season, please take time to contribute to or volunteer with such organizations.
So as I ask promotions and readers each year, please e-mail any announcements about scheduled Holiday charitable-themed (fund-raisers for clothes, food pantries or Toys for Toys, etc.) wrestling or MMA events to email@example.com.
Until next time…
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