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Dry Socket Opinion: Jump The Shark All The Way To Wrestlemania

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After Monday’s “Go home” RAW”, before the Royal Rumble, I’m not convinced that Jericho’s shark cage gimmick is a sign of WWE admitting they’ve jumped the shark. I barely was able to stomach the show (thanks to Dunn’s camera zooming in order to hide any botches) and was left wondering how this company is still afloat.

Sure, the ratings increased very slightly. But let’s look at some of the factors that led to this. The biggest increase has to do with no NFL games being televised. This is the same reason why last week’s RAW seemed to have such an increase in the ratings from the previous week. Last night’s RAW was the “go home” show. WWE normally beefs up the show and more viewers tune in because of that. Add in the fact that the Royal Rumble is one of WWE’s main PPVs. WWE hyped up Goldberg and Lesnar both making appearances. By the way, did anyone else get the feeling that Cole’s reaction to Lesnar walking out came across as overly scripted and fake? Drop the surprised reaction because everyone knew he was there. WWE spent a lot of money for these two part-timers to come to the show. Brock Lesnar did what he normally does: Walk/jump around without adding anything of substance. But wait! The Undertaker made an appearance and it seemed like the arena AND the comment section marked out. One should take these factors into consideration when looking at the ratings. Don’t you think the numbers should be even higher just for Lesnar, Goldberg, and a “go home” show?

Face it; these part-timers aren’t really adding much of an increase in ratings to brag about. They didn’t do anything good for the show. The final segment started off as a hilarious botch. Not only did Goldberg cut himself open after hitting a locker, he massacred his lines! It was almost as painful to watch as a Ric Flair promo.

Let’s add in WWE’s continued attempts to make pop-culture references to make themselves seem relevant. Whether they’re jumping on the NFL’s jock or talking about a Dr. Phil meme remix, WWE proves that they’re “that guy” who tries too hard to be cool. Neither of those references felt organic or natural. Instead, they came across as a poor attempt to seem relevant.

There were some decent moments, though. As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of Jack Gallagher. The guy is using a classic gimmick but backing it up with decent ring and mic work. He’s got the total package of a good professional wrestler. Remember, athletics is only a small piece of the pie. The wrestler must truly believe in his gimmick and natural interviews in order to get the crowd behind him. Gallagher does just that. If the crowd believes you, they can lose themselves and suspend their disbelief. It’s how The Undertaker got over. It’s how Kane got over. Both gimmicks are truly hard to believe, on paper. But the acting sucked us in. Legends were born the moment they believed in their gimmicks and sold them to the crowd.

Despite there being a few multi-tag matches (AKA lazy booking to get as many people on TV as possible), the cruiserweight match was great. The audience saw some high spots while being exposed to some newer faces.

I’m still a Kevin Owens mark. Roman Reigns will continue to be forced down our throats no matter how awful his promos are. The crowd craps on him every chance they get. The TV audience can clearly hear the old cheer track used on Smackdown tapings. Still, Owens managed to make the segment entertaining and, as an added bonus, he verbally slaughtered the commentary team.

The stage is set for the next few months. This is WWE’s biggest season of the year. It’s the time when casual fans begin to tune in just for the Wrestlemania buzz. Here’s hoping the Royal Rumble delivers some surprises that use logic. Do we REALLY want to see Lesnar and Goldberg AGAIN? Who really benefits in the long term? Will Shawn Michaels plugging his movie offer anything long term for WWE? Bring some prestige back to the WWE titles. Make it feel as though it is a true honor instead of a heavy prop. The Royal Rumble is the one time legends should be truly welcomed back into the ring as wrestlers. Will WWE s*it the bed on that one, too?

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