Hope all is well. I’ve got a question for your blog, which relates to the role of giants (or just big dudes) in wrestling. Personally, I love the often-used angle where a big guy is presented as an invincible killer and built up for the top babyface for a huge payoff. Kane is my personal favourite in 1998 when he was unstoppable until he met up with Taker and Austin.
However, my big problem is how these giants are employed after their first angle. Granted, very few are great wrestlers but it’s just weird how WWE does it now, where a killer will have his big angle…then dropped down to punching-bag status…only to be built up again every few months as a killer once more. Kane, Big Show, Khali and now Mark Henry are prime examples of this although Henry doesn’t bother me as much because his promos come across like he’s a guy who’s done messing around and wants the world title at any cost. His recent in-ring promo with Bret Hart where Bret asks him if he’s trying to intimidate him and Henry responds with a fairly genuine and passionate, "I don’t need to intimidate you, Bret!" was very well done.
Anyway, my point is that all this stop-start pushing can’t make sense for the audience (I know, I know, logic in wrestling, what am I thinking?) and it bugs me. A great example is Big Show as a top wrestler and then dropped down to jobbing to Jeff Hardy (back in the day) and although Show deserved the de-push, it’s still kind of jarring seeing how it may take three finishers to put him down now. What do you think?
It’s pretty symptomatic of WWE in general, where everyone whose name doesn’t rhyme with Wena or Morton goes up for a bit, then down, then up when they need a PPV headliner, then down again, etc. It used to be a set formula back in the day for the Hogan tour: Mark Henry would have squashed a variety of guys in impressive fashion, drawn big money with Hogan on the circuit for two-three months, then settled into the midcard after taking the big boot and legdrop. Now the difference today is that no one gets the sustained push up the card in the first place. Yeah, King Kong Bundy eventually sunk down after doing a series of jobs to Hogan, but he bought a fucking mansion first and then was able to write his own ticket on the indies for years afterwards. They seem to think that they can just skip steps now, by having guys do 50/50 booking when they come in so that no one buys them as a threat, then they push them to the main event where they bomb, and they go “Well, we tried, but you got the rub by jobbing to John Cena, so if you can’t get over it’s your fault now.” It’s very bizarre and backwards.