Was it the ‘Facebreakers’ target that bothered you, or are you really that concerned with wrestler’s safety?
It’s sequel time everybody! A few weeks I asked the same question about Brie Bella and after what happened this past Monday we find ourselves once again with an injured lady wrestler, this time Becky Lynch, and another angry mob coming for the woman who inflicted that upon her. This time that woman is Nia Jax and you can’t help but notice some similarities in the way that she’s being treated by some corners of wrestling fandom in the aftermath. Instead of acknowledging that yes, she did mess up here and that yes, accidents do happen in there the sustained vitriol several days after the fact just raises a red flag for me like it did with Brie. In a lot of cases you can read between the lines of what some people are saying and come to the conclusion that they’re not really that mad about what happened so much as they are mad about who it happened to and who did it.
As you know Becky is the hottest thing going in WWE right now and was all set to take on Ronda Rousey this Sunday at Survivor Series before she was injured. When she came out on Monday night Wrestling Twitter and the arena totally lit up, and the YouTube clip of her entire performance put up Roman Reigns level viewing numbers. She’s also been sparking some shall we say special invigoration in certain fans as you can see by a lot of the tweets out there about her every week. So by sidelining her Nia didn’t just injure someone she took the hottest act in the company out of a big match and damaged the object of a lot of fans desire as well. Which means the capes are getting put on, the torches are being lit, and the keyboard are getting overworked. Nia didn’t just cause an injury she hurt our Becky and now she deserves to be punished for it because when you hurt our warrior queen who makes us feel all tingly inside you hurt us, too!
But it’s not just about that. It’s also about who did it. Like Nikki and Brie, Nia is a frequent target of some wrestling fans who can’t stand her even without anything to criticize because in both their cases these fans believe they are being told they have to like and respect all of them as women and wrestlers or else they are terrible people. Nikki and Brie came from the now vilified Divas era where women were hired to look good more than wrestle good, while they see Nia as a PR campaign about body positivity dressed up in wrestling attire. They’re tired of feeling like they can’t tell the “truth” about these women without being labeled haters or sexists or something else. As with Brie we’re seeing:
- Complaints that she only has a job because of connections and not talent. In her case it’s being part of the Rock’s cousin as opposed to Brie being married to Daniel Bryan. (One day we’re going to have that conversation about whose nepotism is heartwarming and whose is an outrage)
- On the spot recounting of every time she’s botched a move during a match or hurt someone, complete with gif threads on Twitter to reinforce just how awful she must be (they did trust her in a singles match with Ronda Rousey so she can’t be that terrible, though).
- Insinuations that it wasn’t an accident at all, that she deliberately cold cocked Becky like a few tinfoil hat wearers claimed that Brie might have shoot kicked Liv Morgan in the face. (Right………)
- Calls for her to be fired or sent back to developmental until she gets it together, punctuated with a whole lot of ‘she’s not a rookie so at this point why is she even in there if she can’t do it right?’ takes. (Given Daniel Bryan’s recounting of the times he injured people when he came out to defend his wife maybe he should go back, too….)
- Complaints that she’s taking a spot from someone more deserving – Brie and Nikki got in the main event at Evolution and Nia got a RAW Women’s Title run while Sasha Banks, Bayley, Ruby Riot and Ember Moon all got relegated to tag matches and multiwoman matches all year. (Yeah I’m sure you would have really loved any of the ‘more deserving’ ladies to essentially serve as a plot device to get the RAW Women’s Title to Ronda like Nia did or tapping out clean to Ronda at Evolution like Nikki did.)
Now from where I’m sitting yes, Nia messed up on Monday and isn’t immune from some admonishing over it. But as a fan once you get that out then let it go. Even if you have video evidence of her hurting people, that doesn’t make her the destroyer of women wrestlers like you’re saying. She’s no more that than Owen Hart was the man who almost ended the Attitude Era before it started. Owen did not have contrived reputation for being unsafe and yet had an accident that could have brought about an entirely different ending to the Monday Night Wars and changed the entire landscape of wrestling as a whole. However things shake out with Nia Jax has not put Becky Lynch, the WWE or the wrestling business in that kind of jeopardy. And they sold T-Shirts with ‘I just broke your neck’ for Owen so don’t be surprised if Shooter Nia becomes a thing now.
And lastly, if she’d done this to Lana or Dana Brooke or Alicia Fox I guarantee none of you riding to Becky’s rescue now would be doing the same, Likewise if Bayley had done this to Becky y’all wouldn’t be as mad either. Selective outrage rules the day as always. After all Brock straight blasted Braun Strowman last January with a stiff punch to the head and we laughed about it. Guys like Vader were known for punching guys for real, on purpose, and we treat them like stories from around the campfire. How giddy were a lot of us at the mere idea that Brock may have gone into business for himself against Randy Orton at Summerslam 2016, and later on thought it was the coolest thing ever that even Jericho didn’t know it was a work and went off backstage? We live for this stuff…..until someone we like catches it. Or someone we don’t like delivers it. Then it’s a problem.
Now as a fan of Becky’s I hope she recovers without missing a lot of time, but as a fan of Nia’s I’m hoping she gets through this without taking stupid tweets or comments to heart. And as with all things wrestling, it’s going to get both of them more buzz and put some more heat on the eventual Becky-Nia confrontation, and it saved Becky a possible defeat at Survivor Series while possibly getting her a main event at WrestleMania. So as long as she’s ok healthwise, I’d call that a win.
So tell me again, just why are you so mad?
Is Kofi Kingston On His Way to The Top After WWE Elimination Chamber?
What does this recent push for Kofi Kingston mean?
Kofi Kingston is a man on a mission. Of course that mission is no different than any other WWE Superstar that wants to rise up and steal the show. Kingston is very accustomed to seizing his opportunities and creating moments that fans will never forget.
Now he has the chance to do that once again when he walks into the Elimination Chamber on Sunday, February 17. Kingston’s reputation as a dynamic highlight machine will be realized again and there’s no doubt that he will provide his fair share of amazing moments inside the Chamber. But will he do more than that?
This is the part where many WWE fans immediately begin shaking their heads. They already believe that Kofi’s inclusion in this match is nothing more than a filler. He’s a replacement for Mustafa Ali, who is dealing with injuries and cannot compete. So when the company has a spot to fill, they must fill it with a dependable Superstar that can deliver. Kingston is that Superstar.
Then there’s the fact that Kingston has been here before. Kofi was seemingly on his way up the food chain in 2010 against Randy Orton, but that rise never materialized. Many fans blamed Orton for stopping Kingston and not allowing him to move forward.
Others said that it was all too much, too soon for Kofi. The Superstar just wasn’t ready for the pressure that comes along with being a top guy and WWE had no choice but to pull back. Despite which side the fans took, the fact is that Kofi’s run was exciting and full of promise. But why was that?
The WWE faithful are suckers for a feel-good story and there’s nothing wrong with that. Some of the most memorable stars in the history of pro wrestling rose up from nothing and achieved success because they built a loyal fan following. Perception is reality in many cases. So when fans perceive a guy to be the well deserving underdog, then that belief becomes very real.
There’s just something about a rising talent fighting his way to the top that makes fans immediately feel connected to the moment. They invest in the run itself and before long, the talent in question gets white hot.
The only problem with Kofi is that fans have indeed seen him in this position before. They believed in him then and he showed some strokes of brilliance, if only for a brief time. Yet he was ultimately pushed backed down to earth. Kingston’s ascension was a tease. But maybe it was something more.
For WWE, it’s all about the experience. Just because a Superstar gets a break and hits a winning streak, does not mean he’s on his way to the world title. The company obviously sees potential in someone and the only way to cultivate that potential is to turn on the spotlight.
Once that happens, the Superstar’s strengths immediately shine through. Suddenly, the conversation shifts from “why him” to “is he the next big star?” That’s a completely natural conclusion and it’s reached from a train of thought that’s encouraged by the company along the way.
So when it comes to this situation, booking Kofi Kingston in The Elimination Chamber may have nothing to do with the desire to elevate him to the WWE Championship. In fact there may indeed be no plan to do anything with him in the singles division after February 17. It could very well be that Kofi will do his part, lose the match and then go right back to stealing the show along with The New Day.
If that happens, then it’s really no harm, no foul. WWE gets what it needs and the fans get an exciting match they will talk about long after it’s over. To be fair, there’s really nothing wrong with that and the company is only doing what it must do in order to keep moving ahead. The show must go on.
But then there’s the other side of the conversation and that’s the side the fans live for. They believe they have the power to light a fire under a Superstar and they’re right. Stone Cold Steve Austin, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are all living proof of that. Yes, the talent and the hard work was definitely there.
But without the fans demanding more, WWE would perhaps have never used any of them on the main event level. The same is currently true for Becky Lynch. So if the fans believe that Kofi Kingston should rise up and they indeed begin supporting him, then the desire to see him breakout and achieve major success will be irresistible. Of course that doesn’t mean WWE won’t resist.
WWE is a land of many stars, but very few megastars. It’s just not how the company is built. So when it comes to elevating anyone, there’s only so much forward progress that can be achieved. To the company, Kofi Kingston is surely a valued hand who is well loved and respected on every level. But is that where his story ends?
It’s only a matter of time until The New Day splits. The group has been together since 2014 and they’re currently the longest running unit in modern WWE history. However that run won’t last forever. When the time is right, The New Day will come to an end. When that happens, Kofi Kingston may finally get his break. Or maybe he won’t. Whether or not that will make a difference to him, or to WWE, is unknown. Whether or not it makes a difference to fans will never be in doubt.
Heel or Face? Make Up Your Mind WWE
Heel or face? WWE can’t make up their minds!
WWE has shown little regard for heel and face alignment, and Carol Cassada wants the company to make up their minds!
Any wrestling fan knows that there are two types of wrestlers: the heels and the faces. Although, every once in a while you’ll have a tweener, someone who’s not a villain, but not a good guy. With WWE, they often switch a wrestler’s persona around to fit a storyline.
WWE has a history of flip flopping when it comes to a wrestler’s persona. One week they’re face, the next they’re heel, then all of a sudden they’re face again. Recently, WWE has been doing this with a bunch of their stars, which leads me confused on whether they’re heel or face.
First, let’s start with Dean Ambrose, who’s been portraying a heel the past four months. Yet, in recent weeks he’s shown signs of becoming a face again. After Monday night’s RAW in which he offered his former Shield brother Seth Rollins support in his match against Brock Lesnar, it’s safe to say that Ambrose is a babyface. Given the news that Ambrose is leaving due to creative differences with Vince McMahon, Dean would be seen as a face no matter what role he portrayed on television.
The next turn that had me questioning a wrestler’s persona is Alexa Bliss. The Goddess has been viewed as a heel as well as her partner Mickie James. But three weeks ago she and Mickie wrestled against the heel team of Nia Jax and Tamina. It’s very rare that WWE has two heels compete in a match, so it could mean that WWE is turning Alexa into a babyface like the reports suggest. Although, in a recent segments, she’s coming off as more of a tweener than babyface.
Another turn that had me confused is Nikki Cross. When the Sanity member made her debut on RAW a few weeks ago, she was a babyface teaming with Bayley and Natalya to take on The Riott Squad. But during the women’s tag team qualification tournament, she teamed with Alicia Fox to attack Bayley and Sasha backstage. But on the most recent episode of RAW, Cross appeared to be a face again as she faced Ruby Riott.
The last person who’s been flipping back and forth between his persona is Elias. Since his debut, he’s been more of a heel. But in October, WWE decided to switch things up and make Elias a face. Elias is a star who’s naturally over with the crowd, so it doesn’t matter what type of role he has. Yet, WWE must’ve felt the face turn wasn’t working because they’ve had Elias resort back to his devious behavior.
WWE likes to do spur of the moment stuff all the time, but having the wrestlers switch from heel to face one week from the next is becoming too much. It’s leaving fans confused on whether they should boo or cheer a wrestler. I know WWE likes to test the waters and see the audience’s reaction; however the constant changes to a wrestler’s role will not only baffle fans, but it may hurt the wrestler’s credibility.