Title: WWE: The Machine Is Working|
Author: David Damage
In the history of WWF/E there have been many World Champions who wrestling fans have generally considered unworthy of being called a World Champion.
Some of these guys like Sgt Slaughter and JBL have managed to win the Title late in their careers when they had limited skills inside the ring, but they at least had heat and could cut promos, which made fans want to see someone take them out and take the Titles from them.
Others like Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Randy Orton and especially John Cena have won the World Title with very limited in-ring abilities, but they were very popular especially with kids. They sold / sell lots of T-Shirts, wrestling figures, foam hands or whatever else and they "put butts in seats" at the very least, even if many of those butts haven't started senior school yet.
Miz falls into this catagory too, even though not at the end of his career, he has very limited ring skills, but he is at least able to cut a promo and he's always willing to do personal appearances for the company and he usually comes off well in the media interviews.
All of these guys, whether through building heat, being popular with kids, having personality or cutting promos were able to point to at least one of these things as an argument for them being World Champion.
One guy who doesn't fit into any of these catagories is current World Champion Mark Henry. Unable to have a good match if his life depended on it, unable to string a single sentence together, he has never sold a single T-shirt or created any interest in a feud or angle himself either on the mic or in the ring.
In fairness, Great Khali also fits into this catagory.
Although it's true that Mark Henry is somewhat of a breath of fresh air as World Champion compared to the usual "Kiddy Clown Botch Show" that is every John Cena match or the "watching-paint-dry" match and promo formula of Randy Orton... I don't think anyone could point to any quality Mark Henry has to be awarded a World Title.
Some arguments I've heard for Mark Henry being World Champion are that he has been with the company a long time.
Others say that he works hard, although I've never seen that myself.
Should the World Title be awarded to someone as a "Thank You" for long-time service, even though they have never put a single butt in any seat, ever cut an acceptable promo or even had anything resembling an acceptable match? I personally don't think so.
Nonetheless, what I'm seeing is a universal acceptance of Mark Henry as a Champion. I've noticed that since Mark Henry won the World Title, many fans have started seeing him in a different light to how they had seen him previously.
Many who considered him worthless as a performer for the last 15 years and questioned why WWE even kept him around anymore, have suddenly started to see some worth in him as Champion.
This, to me, means that the "WWE machine" is working.
WWE could pull pretty much any big guy off the street, put that World Title around their waist, show a couple of slick video packages of them pulling mean faces and a majority of fans (not all!) are perfectly happy to accept them as World Champion.
This is great for WWE because it means that they no longer have to find a worthwhile athlete or any kind of personality to find a future World Champion that a majority of WWE fans will buy into and accept.
To me, personally, I believe that WWE have set the bar SO LOW over the last few years with John Cena, The Miz, Sheamus, Great Khali and Randy Orton as World Champions that I'm willing to accept absolutely ANYONE as WWE WOrld Champion right now.
Although WWE should pat themselves on the back for making their jobs easier in the future, as a fan of Pro Wrestling, I feel these are very depressing times in the company's history and over the long haul, it has further devalued their World Titles so when the time finally comes for guys like John Cena and Randy Orton to leave the business.... They will have left the business in a far worse state than when they joined.
For that, I believe the legacy of WWE pushing the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, The Miz, Sheamus and Great Khali will be the death of the company one day because The World Championship Titles mean nothing anymore.
WWE has waved goodbye to "Work rate" and created an enviroment where a match for one of the WWE Titles means less to me than a non-title match on WWE Superstars because at least on WWE Superstars you may be able to watch good wrestling, rather than just a couple of big clumsy steroid freaks pushing each other around in slow motion to the dis-interest of any pro wrestling fans.
- David Damage
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