In case you’ve not heard, WWE’s ratings are currently are in something of a slump, with some of their key demographics down as much as 25% in the last twelve months alone. While the company loves to point out viewership across the board for television is in a decline, there are other popular shows that are bucking the trend. Amazingly, Raw featuring seemingly never-ending Baron Corbin matches isn’t in that group.
While I pointed a finger at Corbin there, let’s be fair: it isn’t just his fault. The entire product feels completely stagnant. The basics layout of the show, be that the set, the commentary, or the matches themselves feel like they’ve not changed in a decade. Wins and losses mean nothing, and stipulations are brought up and dropped with no rhyme nor recourse. And of course three hours is just too long for a weekly wrestling show.
I think more than anything, though, there’s just no major stars casual fans feel are worthy of their time. I am behind Becky Lynch more than the next guy (ewww, that didn’t come out right), but I’m also the first to admit she’s not a Steve Austin, Rock, Hulk Hogan or even a John Cena. Without a key player like that, there’s not going to be a boom period. It’s something the company woefully needs.
Even upper card guys these days are in short supply – hence we are seeing guys who were essentially jobbers now asked to play major roles. Jinder Mahal, who was fighting to get a chance to stare at the lights on obscure shows like Saturday Morning Slam, was elevated to World Champion status a couple years back. No one bought it. Seriously, how could you? It was made very clear he was no one important, then all of a sudden one day they put the world title on him. We were to forget his entire WWE history and view him as a mega star.
And now we’re seeing that happening again with a guy by the name of Drew McIntyre.
Prior to Vince’s newfound fascination with the guy, I remembered him for two things:
Being with Jinder and Heath Slater in the goof troop known as Three Man Band…
…and his at the time smoke show wife, Taryn Terrell (aka Tiffany of ECW fame).
You can guess which I remembered more vividly.
Wait, there was one more thing I recall now that I think about it: a horrible match that will be fodder for today’s induction! Lucky you!
On a random Raw in May of 2014, Drew and his flunkies were in the midst of a feud with Los Matadores. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that a lot of the folks reading this had totally forgotten about this team, which would have been one of the 37 incarnations for Primo and Epico. You’d think that reviving a gimmick so dumb that it earned the incredibly underrated Tito Santana an induction here at the Crap would be a lot point for these poor guys, it was in my opinion a step up from when they’d spend time on WWE television hocking timeshares.
Have I mentioned this company has 37 (yes, THIRTY-SEVEN!!!!) writers?
Long story long, both of these factions had a mini in their ranks: Hornswoggle with the Drew crew, and El Torito with the Colons. Instead of having the little guys battle each other this night, the decision was made to have El Torito take on McIntyre.
This ***** Dave Meltzer classic begins with the little bull drawing a line in the sand and daring Drew to cross it. Ok, won’t lie, that’s kinda funny. I actually chuckled a bit at it.
Not so much at the hip thrusting. Jeez, Drew, keep that thing in your pants!
Wait, you’re not wearing pants.
So I guess, I mean, put some pants on. And never ever do that again. That’s just plain old fashioned nightmare fuel.
It doesn’t take long for Drew to catch the little guy, and he promptly throws him approximately fifty feet in the air.
Somehow, Drew winds up taking a bump in this equation. I’d note that kinda defies logic, but I am too amazed these two guys were able to make that look so good. No wonder Vince decided to give him a push!
I mean, it was five years and a stint of being gone from the company before it actually happened, but still.
It doesn’t take long for Drew to corner the guy and start laying a beating on him, much to the delight of his stable mates. Jeez, look at those geeks. Seriously, had someone told me in 2014 that Jinder Mahal would be world champion I would have told them they were high as a kite.
Kinda makes you wonder if perhaps Vince himself was getting all hepped up on goofball at some point.
Up to the top (err, second rope) we go as Drew works to finish Torito off with a superplex. The men in green jump to his aid but never have the chance to make the save, as Slater and Mahal knock them off the apron and begin a fight outside the ring.
Keep that in mind – the Colons did NOT touch Mcintyre in any way, shape or form.
Instead, he gets lightly tapped from behind, collapses into the turnbuckle, and is pinned clean as a sheet. Couldn’t have Torito at least done a splash or something to the poor guy?
Following the match, as Drew was attempting to recover from…ummm…I guess being a clumsy oaf…Jinder, Slater, and Swoggle trapped Torito and do the unthinkable:
They rip off his tail!
It was an act so heinous it recalled the time Casey and I were booking an indy show and had one guy steal another guy’s hat thinking it would get biggum heat. Amazingly, both events garnered roughly the same reaction from the crowd: utter silence.
Look, I have nothing against comedy matches – and to be fair, these guys did a good job doing what they were asked to do. But the problem is, now we are supposed to forget all that. We’re supposed to forget Drew was a laughingstock losing to midgets on Raw.
I like to think that wrestling fans aren’t that dumb. Maybe I’m wrong.
(Checks this week’s ratings.)
No, I don’t think I am.
And I can only imagine how Vince feels losing all those viewers.
Yeah, probably a lot like that.