Friday, September 15, 2006

WWE Re-Hires Has-Beens and Losers; Has-Beens and Losers Pleased

WWE today announced they have signed Marty Jannetty, Rodney Mack and Brad Armstrong, as well as Henry Godwinn. This continues the trend of bringing back guys who have been involved on the national level in the business previously, but who bring nothing to the table in 2006, such as Jim Duggan and Tatanka. I really wonder about WWE's hiring practices. It's like whoever is making the decisions on who to hire stopped watching American wrestling around 1995 or so, and just about everyone who is hired is some guy with no potential who hasn't meant anything in years if they ever did (along with some green muscleheads mixed in). It's baffling to me that with all the talent on the independent scene in the US right now with serious potential, that WWE passes on all of these guys and instead brings back the likes of the guys signed today. As if Bryan Danielson, Chris Hero or the Briscoes could possibly be any worse of a hire than those guys. They need someone making hiring decisions that understands the business today and knows the guys who are good but haven't worked for WWE, WCW or ECW.


Blogger Phil said...

Exactly. This is like when a baseball team brings back a useless retread like Tony Womack, Kevin Jarvis or Neifi Perez. None of those guys (the ball players or the wrestlers, save Duggan) were all that useful at any particular time let alone today. In a way it's more frustrating in baseball because there are statistics staring front offices right in the face. Statistics that suggest that the guy with a .360 OBP at AAA is better than what's left of Neifi Perez, or whatever the situation may be.
Then again, in wrestling it's worse because the guys not signed actually could make a difference down the road. The mid and lower card wrestlers are totally fungible: completely change the participants in all but three to five matches of WrestleManias 3 and 17 and those are still very successful events. Change all but the top matches at any PPV that bombed and it still bombs. Ergo, your midcard then should be filled with guys who have at least the potential to rise to the top of the pyramid and become the 20% of the roster that actually matters. Filling the midcard with replacement level stiffs like the recent signings, Charlie Haas, Gene Snitsky, Viscera, Tommy Dreamer, Stevie Richards, et al is a wasted opportunity.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Also, this rationale that the most experienced wrestlers have the most to offer to younger guys is woefully flawed. What a wrestler has to offer is directly proportionate to his abilities not his experience. If you want to make Lashley a better worker, put him in there with an actually effective worker, regardless how experienced, whether that's Brian Danielson or Chris Benoit. Don't stick in him in there with Finlay, who has never had a ****+ match or drawn any money in North America, who is almost fifty, and whose matches get no reactions from the crowd, just because he's a "veteran".

3:55 PM  
Blogger Peter W said...

Couldn't agree anymore. Btw, love your columns and comments that I read through the Wresting Observer website. Keep up the good work Todd!

11:32 PM  
Anonymous mean dean said...

What's with the hate for Finlay? He's had some very good matches in his day (even a few since he's been on SD!). He hasn't been a draw, but like you said, only 20% (if that) of the roster really matters. Of all the guys on the roster, Finlay is near the bottom of the list of guys I'd be concerned about taking up roster space.

Rodney Mack I can kind of see, since Jazz is still around (um...right? She hasn't been fired since they brought her back for ECW, has she?), and he never seemed all that bad to me in the limited air time he got. The rest of them....HOGoddwin??? Are they going to bring PIGoddwin back now too?

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Sorry if I was misunderstood about Finlay, he's a perfectly acceptable midcard guy as you mentioned.
I just was speaking to WWE's belief that he's the perfect guy to improve other wrestlers because of his veteran status. He'd be OK at that, I would wager, but better wrestlers would be even better.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Thanks, Peter.

I agree with pretty much everything you said Phil, but I also disagree with you on Finlay. I think he's very good, actually, and he's also unique which is a big positive. The downside is unquestionably his age, but I think he brings a lot to the table compared to a lot of the guys they have under contract.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Steve khan said...

I dont mind Jim Duggan appearing once and a while, but Tatanka as an everyday wrestler on Smackdown in 2006 is not a good thing.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree on some of the points but for every dozen or so Tony Womack's there is one Frank Thomas sittin' at home looking for a buyer. I don't see how adding the American Dragons and Briscoes of the world helps these guys. Besides financially. They aren't going to be allowed to wrestler their individual styles, theyre almost undoubtedly going to be forced to wrestle a slowed down WWE style match. You see the success of CM Punk and it is assumed that these guys can make the transition. Fact of the matter is Punk was one of the best of the bunch and represents for alot of those guys. He has been representing them extremely well, however he's also holding his own on a lower level show and on a "B" brand. Throwing a bunch of high talent never before been seen talents on the smackdown roster does the same that Brian Kendrick and Paul London did for the program. Excitement? A little. Groundbreaking television? Hardly. You need to be marketable, you need to be big (unfortunately) but one thing you don't need working for WWE is to try to outsmart the fans every single match.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Dave Ling & Franchise said...

I have some issue with last comment that is tempering CM Punk's success because he's on a lower level show and a 'B' brand.

It's becoming obvious to many that Punk is a promising talent. Ross has stated on his blog that he likes what Punk brings to the table and that he wishes he was on RAW. However, at this rate I could see the WWE fast tracking CM Punk towards the ECW title around WrestleMania, unless there is a re-introduction of the TV Title or the like so Punk could run with that.

Aside from the talk and the push in terms of wins Punk is gaining. The most obvious sign that Punk is becoming a success on the WWE level was the MSG crowd chanting his name last week... big step and I'm sure people noticed.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like that they answered his "What's My Name?!?!?" call to the crowd. But they shouldn't have to have been prompted to do so.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Josh Amendment said...

Phil, your comments about Finlay are completely off-base. He is one of the three best workers in the company right now, and the idea that he isn't over is just patently false.

Todd, I can't fathom why you would refer to someone as talented as Brad Armstrong as a has-been and a loser, especially considering that he's being brought in to work with guys at house shows, and considering that even at 45, I'd bet he's better than at least half the WWE roster. Marty Jannetty is another excellent worker, despite his personal issues. I don't think there's much positive to be said about Godwin, but the meatheads that OVW keeps churning out could learn a lot from Brad and Marty.

8:53 AM  

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