Posted by: sportsandbeans | August 12, 2006

On Batista and Summerslam, Patience, and the WWE’s Creative Minds =)

migs id by Migs

WWE Summerslam 2006 is just around the corner, and while the event is loaded with high profile matches involving RAW personalities like the McMahons, John Cena, and Edge, fans should not forget about the fact that Smackdown also has its share of barnburners- the most prolifiic of which being the World Heavyweight title match between King Booker and Dave Batista. Many a “traditional” wrestling fan (those who watch the show for the show, without necessarily considering the business mechanisms behind the entire production) are hoping that Batista manages to regain gold at what’s been dubbed as the “Biggest Party of the Summer”. The truth is, though, Big Dave might have to wait a while longer before he gets the belt back. Honestly, I do hope that the Bookman holds on to the championship a while longer. Not only would it be a smart move marketing-wise, such might actually constitute a “moral victory” as well. Booker’s been working his tail off on WWE television for the last couple of yours, and I suppose it’s only fitting that the “King of the World” (not Y2J) received some sort of sustained compensation.

WWE has marketed Batista’s return from a severe pectoral muscle injury as the return of a man on a mission, as the coming forth of a wounded beast out for revenge on those who had dared wreck havoc upon him. As appealing as that is, I don’t think it’s enough for reason for a world title to change hands just yet. Smackdown creative executives have built up Booker T’s new persona for months now, and for it to be snuffed out, cold turkey, by another major star’s return, would simply defy common logic. Batista may be, for all intents and purposes, a more prominent WWE star now than King Booker, especially because of the fact that the youth owns a lion’s share of the audience pie in the sports entertainment arena, but I think that sound business strategy points more to gradual beefong up, rather than throwing ill advised passes to the rookie on the team just because he has “potential”. When you think about it, Smackdown’s storyline has been a mess over the last year or so, with the various injuries, and of course, the untimely demise of Eddie Guerrero, but again, that is no reason for Vinny Mac to allow his people to keep churning out plotlines which amount to nothing more than instant noodles.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that King Booker is the best thing to ever happen to wrestling, but for now, all his pomp and circumstance, complete with town crier William Regal, and his “harbinger of pain”, Finlay, are things we just have to accept, all these in the hope of raising the standards of sports entertainment storylines to levels above and beyond those which we’ve seen previously.

What old-time grapple followers want, and what the next generation of junior grapple viewers DESERVE, is a steak dinner, or at least, a hearty stew of a show, filled with all the ingredients that would make any bloke smile- whether it be a grin signifying satisfaction coupled with depth, or satisfaction coupled with mere sensory overload. My fervent prayer for Summerslam is, apart from having Hulk Hogan actually lose a match to a young upstart like Randy Orton for the bolstering on the latter’s career in the sport entertainment industry (me and my colleague Milo see eye to eye on this one; something like the learned gurus imparting knowledge upon their very willing disciples), for Batista, and WWE creative directors, to eschew relying on the deep frier and guzzling down some patience for a change, persistence in avoiding sticking one’s hand in the proverbial cookie jar in the hope of tasting sweetness now, and getting a stomachache soon after. =)

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