Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WrestleMania 28: The forgotten champs

Ever since the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes graced the wrestling world with his powerful charisma and endearing charm, promoters everywhere have hoped to make something of his sons.

For a while, it looked like Cody Rhodes was more Pete Rose Jr. then Ken Griffey Jr., but he has had a long run as Intercontinental Champion.

Rhodes seemed like the third-most talented member of Legacy, but he has progressed farther than former partner Ted DiBiase.

The thing Rhodes and DiBiase have in common is that neither can find a vehicle for their bland personalities. What separated Rhodes is that he is a far better wrestler than he is a promo artist.
I like Rhodes as long as he’s performing and not talking, but during this Intercontinental reign, he has done a lot more of the latter.

He doesn’t defend the belt nearly enough, and the only interesting feud he’s had lately was the one with Booker T, where he clearly got caught in the gravity of Booker’s talent and ability to entertain.

So the WWE, in its infinite wisdom, pairs Rhodes with a guy who’s lasted 14 years in the company but has never found his niche – The Big Show.

The Big Show is, well, big – and that’s his one defining characteristic. In fact, the only way they thought of to get Rhodes some promo points was to play up all the stupid scenarios that Big Show has found himself in over the years.

One point for you, Cody. You’re a tiny bit more interesting than Big Show.

Big Show seems like a heck of a nice guy from all accounts, but the WWE has never found him a vehicle to showcase anything other than his size.

So instead of a show-stealing Intercontinental title match between Ricky Steamboat and Macho Man Randy Savage, or a historic ladder match for the title between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, we get this.

This stale match illustrates just how irrelevant the WWE has let the Intercontinental title become. I’ll take the Big Show to win, only because we’re all tired of Rhodes talking. But this is just another nacho/beer/bathroom break contender.

For those of you who missed it-- and by the way, I did, too-- the Divas match was announced on an entertainment news program. Not WWE programming.

Since WWE appears to care so little about this match, why should we?

Sure, it was recapped on WWE programming. But, here's the kicker-- one of the participants isn't even a Diva! She's a, well, celebrity reporter who just happens to also be on Dancing with the Stars this season.

Okay, this wouldn't be too big of a deal if perhaps there was another Diva match of some sort, but there isn't one announced. This is the only Diva match, Maria Menounos and Kelly Kelly v. Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Eve.

That's right, Eve. Not even Natalya is in this match. There are days when I believe the only reason Natalya is still with the WWE is because of her family, because the WWE is family. And Beth stays because of Natalya. Or, their contracts haven't ended yet.

FYI-- an interesting thing happened on Twitter last week... maybe I'm reading too much into this, but maybe Natalya will find her way in the match? Read this:

And Kelly Kelly? There were girls kicked off Tough Enough who can run the ropes far better than she can. Sadly, Maria is probably the stronger one in their pairing. And, because there's no belt on the line, she'll probably pin Beth for the win, again (this will be her third match, each time with Beth as her primary foe, each time with Maria's team winning).

You'll probably miss what happens, because you'll probably be taking your bathroom break then, though. (I wouldn't suggest it, though... I smell Karma...)

Something is wrong with the Divas division. Perhaps it has something to do with the end of the PG-13 bikini and lingerie pillow fight matches. Perhaps it has something to do with the loss of certain Divas just after last year's WrestleMania. Perhaps it has something to do with former Divas trainer Dave Finlay's release from the company about a year ago.

Hopefully, a year from now, we'll have more Divas pinning up strong.


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