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Rob: Hold Up On That Push

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Mandy Rose WWE

Mandy Rose has been at the forefront of WWE storytelling in early 2019, but Rob thinks we need to pump the breaks a little.

Even if you try to avoid reading dirtsheets like me it’s been pretty easy to watch Smackdown and read in the tea leaves that Mandy Rose is set to get a bigger push in 2019.  She spent most of 2018 tagging with Sonya DeVille with the occasional single match sprinkled in, and lost most of the time.  But as the year closed out she and Sonya were getting more TV time and even got a win over Charlotte and Asuka one week.  Then the storyline between she and Naomi started up and it was clearly that it was supposed to raise her profile going into the New Year.

Mandy looks good (y’all know that matters), and appeared to have gotten better in the ring since getting called up from NXT at the end of 2017, so it made sense to see if there’s any real money or top notch performances in her as an in ring worker and a character.  Well if this week’s Smackdown is an indicator it may be time to pump the brakes a little.  To be blunt she was not very good in her match with Naomi and flat out did not look like someone who can be counted on to perform well in bigger matches.  No she was not Eva Marie bad but she looked like she just flat out couldn’t keep up in a singles match that goes more than five minutes.  And that leads me to say that maybe the big push for 2019 needs to wait a bit, because it wouldn’t do anyone any favors right now.

The fact of the matter is that as an in ring performer there are a lot of ladies who are more compelling and flat out better than Mandy is.  And this isn’t the wasteland of 2013 and 2014 as far as the women’s division; anyone getting a regular spot is taking it from someone really good, including Ronda Rousey who literally came in off the street and got really good really fast, so there’d better be some kind of justification for it.  So if the ring work isn’t there then what about the business side?

Money always talks and if someone is generating interest and bringing in the money as a result then accommodations will be made.   So does she move the needle at all?  Here’s a little amateur research I did using Google Trends.  First I compared her to Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss:

Then I checked her vs Sasha Banks, Naomi, Carmella and Natalya.  Here’s how it turned out:

Now you go through all of that and things like Instagram follower counts and you’ll find that she’s way behind Alexa and Sasha on all fronts, and doesn’t outpace many of the other ladies either.  Even on image searches, which one would think would be her bread and butter compared to her co-workers, she got big spikes in interest that one week she was wearing the towel and when she fought Naomi in the hotel room but beyond that there isn’t any stark difference between her and women she’s supposedly considered hotter than.

Now I can’t see the books so I don’t know how all that is translating into money but when you see how far out ahead Alexa is from everyone vs how hard they push her then it’s got to mean something.  But when you look at how Alexa and Sasha do on average compared to Mandy at her highest point then one could easily come to the conclusion that there really isn’t any real value added.  If you had to go as far as to put her in a towel to get similar spikes in interest that Alexa and Sasha get for just showing up then what are we doing here really?  If women that you don’t see as much internet drooling over are getting picture searched just as much or more then what is she bringing to the table?

Am I being a hater here?  Maybe.  I’m not calling for her to fired or sent back to the PC like some folks I talk to.  I’m not even saying take her off of TV.  I am, however, not wanting her to take a valuable spot away from someone who is better at the job than she is, especially if there is no difference being made at the cash register.

I don’t think she’s a bad wrestler per se but I do think that there’s a pretty clear limit on what she can do right now in the ring and that her main attribute right now is being good to look at.  But pretty much every woman they put in front of a camera is good to look at so unless she’s winning that category, which it appears she is not according to the data, then it’s best to keep her in a position where she doesn’t reach a point of diminishing returns.  And from where I’m sitting for the forseeable future that’s in tag team matches.

Maybe that will change one day; she’s only 27 so she has time.  As for today I can’t see any scenario in which you’d put her in a program with Becky or Charlotte or Asuka and ask her to work a 15 to 20 minute match on a pay per view because she’s drag them down and get exposed in the process.

OK, so if not her then who?  After all, she’s not the only one there who they need to see what they have with.  If they’re going to slow things down with her then someone else should get that look.  Well, if we’re going to assume for the moment that things will stay as they are roster-wise on each show then I think the answer is pretty simple, just go with the woman standing next to her.

Sonya DeVille is a lot better in the ring, even in short spurts, and so long as she and Mandy stay together as a duo you can get whatever benefit Mandy is bringing by having her in Sonya’s corner for singles matches as opposed to in the ring, or teaming together with her.  Again, I’m not saying fire the woman.  But if they’re seriously looking at moving one of these two up the ladder and in way that will be best all around I strongly suggest switching the in ring roles around here.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Is Kofi Kingston On His Way to The Top After WWE Elimination Chamber?

What does this recent push for Kofi Kingston mean?

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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.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Heel or Face? Make Up Your Mind WWE

Heel or face? WWE can’t make up their minds!

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WWE Alexa Bliss Heel Face

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.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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