Hello and thank you for joining me again for another edition of Planet Kayfabe. First I want to send my wishes to the family of former US President George H.W. Bush who died last night at the age of 94. I'm sure you're all big NoDQ fans and avid PK readers. All joking aside, rest in peace to the former President now reunited with the former First Lady who died earlier this year back in April.
Thanksgiving is over and we are thrusted into the thick of the Christmas season. I already got some shopping done, but ya know what I'm having a little buyer's remorse...
For buying into WWE's bullshit with this Dean Ambrose turn.
Yeah, I turned on this angle faster than a rabbit gets f***ed. I should have known before I wrote that whole column after Dean's turn about how I think things will be different. Like the victim of an abusive relationship I now see that all I did was make excuses for this company when I simply should have known better. Actually, I did know better. I even said that I have no reason to give WWE the benefit of the doubt after turning Dean Ambrose the day Roman Reigns announced he would be dropping the Universal Championship to battle for his life. There's a plethora of examples to look back on where WWE and WCW would use real-life personal tragedies, deaths and drug/alcohol addictions to get heat and it never works in the long run. No one ever becomes a bigger star for it. However, for some reason I thought this Dean turn would be different. Basically because we all wanted a Dean turn. He had to turn to give his career another shot in the arm. It was rumored that he would be turning at Survivor Series anyway so... hey why not capitalize on an emotionally vulnerable crowd. Well, I'll tell you why not because a month later it is clear that WWE had no actual plan for a turn. They just took advantage of a single moment because they knew it would get heat that one night and now they are just flying by the seat of their ass.
After Ambrose turned we got what I feared. The silent treatment. Right now I was already hearing that line from The Untouchables YOU GOT NOTHING! YOU GOT NOTHING! First of all, this was f***ing stupid because the had Seth call out Dean in the ring. Where does Dean appear? In the crowd! IN THE f***ING CROWD!!! GAAADkfhsniutynhesirut7waecus
Yes the HEEL is in the crowd, so what do people do? Pop. A famous wrestler is right in there with him plus all the fans in the shot want to wave to the camera. STUPID! When Dean finally got to Seth he laid him out with the Dirty Deeds and there were light chants of "one more time" and even a couple cheers for Dean. Not a lot. He is mostly booed, but, that's not good enough. They made the decision to exploit Roman Reigns' cancer to make Dean a mega heel. Is he any more a heel than any of the other heels on this show? Not really. He's getting as much heat now as he would if Roman was still active. To further thrust this into the realm of absurdity, Dean appearing in the crowd would later make no sense since now he's adopted this gimmick of being a germaphobe of sorts who didn't even go to Milwaukee this past week to instead see his doctor to give him a round of various shots to keep him immune to diseases he thinks the "smelly" people will give him. Uh... boo? Whatever. That segment was just dumb like the rest of Raw.
The material has simply not been good. I don't blame Dean Ambrose at all. Like I said it is clear this company had NO plan what so ever on how to go forward with a Dean turn. They just knew they could get heat the day Roman Reigns vacated the title to battle leukemia. Now the story is he is an asshole because he wouldn't tell Seth Rollins why he turned on him. Every great turn should have a follow-up the next week in an interview and we didn't get that with Dean. Instead we had to wait until WWE finally figured out some story. While we waited, during one of my weekly live tweet sessions of Raw, I said "they better not give us the tired, old, lazy 'I don't owe you or anyone an explanation' promo" ...and that's what we got. Dean eventually would give us an explanation that was so forced and lame I wished he just stuck with keeping it to himself. Basically what his motive was is that GOD yes, that God, is punishing Roman Reigns for what The Shield did in their early run. What did they do? We know what they did on TV, but Dean says what happened off TV was much worse and that they're all going to pay for it. This was weak. If you think Dean saying God gave Roman cancer for being an asshole was some great heel line just go back and listen to the crowd. They all let out a collective groan and then there was silence. The reaction a lot of normal people would have to such a hokey line in a wrestling feud.
Renee Young, the real-life wife of Dean Ambrose, is another figure in this that has not helped this feud get over like I had hoped from the start. I keep thinking they MUST be turning her heel to be Dean's manager. That would be better than what they're doing now. Dean is trying to make chicken soup out of chicken shit with this lame material they give him. So, I give him credit for trying. After these bad segments that get no heat they always have Michael Cole turn to Renee and try and get information out of her. Every week she basically shrugs and is like "I dunno I'm only married to the guy. I only live with him. I don't know what he's up to." and we are off to the next segment. They've made few references in the past of Renee being married to Dean before he turned but it wasn't always mentioned. I would have been fine turning my brain off and just accepting her as a faceless announcer in all this with no active part of the story line. Instead they throw to her looking for explanations with, again, NOTHING, to add to the story. With the way she is being portrayed in all this, the best and most logical angle to go in would be for her to turn and be Dean's manager. I'm not getting my hopes up, though.
Every great angle involving a great heel needs a great babyface right? So, what do we make of Seth Rollins? The fans like him because he's talented, but in context of this story line why are we supposed to rally behind him as our hero? When Seth Rollins was looking for an explanation he was basically mad a Dean because according to Seth when he turned on The Shield he had the decency to say why.
So, what do we care?
Is Seth going to get a wrestling match with Dean where the stipulation is that is Seth wins Dean has to truthfully explain why he turned in detail? Plus, how is Dean supposed to get any heat if the babyface is basically like "I turned on you first, so I get it, but why on that day".
Its just frustrating because this was supposed to be great. Dean NEEDED to turn. He was dead before he got injured and left TV around this time last year. Turning on your partner is as common as dirt, but it works, however you also need a plan. WWE is doubling down on the cheapest of cheap heat. Drag Roman Reigns through the mud while he battles for his life off TV. Tell the fans they smell bad. Tell the fans they have diseases. This is so bad. If you think I'm being too negative let me ask you... Is this how you would have booked this feud? Don't play the "wait-and-see" card with me either. I already did that with my column after Dean turned and got bit on the ass. Plus, when is the last time you saw a story line in WWE that started out pretty bad and then suddenly turned amazing? It is usually the other way around. They will accidentally stumble on something great and then beat it into the ground until you're sick of it.
What I would have done differently would be not to rely on the cheapest of cheap heats. Its lazy and the fans don't care. Listen to them. There's also too many references to Seth's turn years ago. People in WWE turn all the time and when they turn back we are basically trained to forget about the shitty things they did as a heel. Why is Seth different? When Seth is reminding everyone that he turned first it almost makes Dean's actions seem justified. The only guy in The Shield who hasn't turned is Roman Reigns and he's not there to comment on what's going on with his boys. Its just awkward storytelling. WWE should have spent the entire week after Dean's turn writing the perfect promo for him to cut as Raw began the following week. That's what people were tuning in for. Instead you lost their interest in one night by not having him do anything other than stand in the crowd. You had an entire week and this whole thing pretty much came off as "bah we got that great reaction in Providence that's all that matters". He should have come out to start the next Raw basically saying it had nothing to do with Roman, he just knew Seth was vulnerable. Dean missed 9 months of action due to injury. Do you remember how he was written off TV? Because of a dive Seth Rollins did that also clipped Dean Ambrose. This hasn't been brought up once. I know in real-life Dean was already injured but on TV that's how he was written off. He could have blamed Seth for that. He could have played up more on being bothered by Seth calling him a lunatic. Has he? Nope. That's all forgotten now, too. Instead of this great story of a guy that snapped on his boy and wanting to see Seth get revenge it is just another turn in WWE. Another random turn. It seems like we see another turn every couple of weeks and much like everything else these turns become Vince McMahon's newest toy to play with until he gets bored and it already feels like he's bored with this story and the company is content on just doing generic cheap heat to get through it.
There's my thoughts on the status of this Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins feud. Another thing I didn't mention was there's been hints of Dean playing the role of the coward which I also hate, which is also cheap, which is also generic. There's no reason for him to be scared of Seth. His gimmick is that he is half out of his mind. So, he's supposed to be somewhat ignorant to what would be natural fears of more clear-minded heels. He's Dean Ambrose. He's not The f***ing Miz.
Speaking of mentally unhinged I must have had quite the mental hiccup for even thinking about giving this company the benefit of the doubt for one second. Go back to when they exploited Road Warrior Hawk or most famously Eddie Guerrero or Paul Bearer which initially got approval from his son who would later go on to say what they actually did on TV was much worse than how they explained it to him. How about when Paige threw Reid Fliehr's drug overdose in Charlotte's face? Boy didn't that make Paige a super heel? No. It didn't. She was still cheered in that feud, actually. Now months after Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart's death they have Nattie come out in cheap sunglasses that were never established on TV except for this one segment where commentary put them over as The Anvil's sunglasses only to have Ruby Riott snap them in half during a match. This also just ended the match. Did the fans boo? No they chanted a count-out or something because the match never had an official stop. Nattie just did a terrible acting job crying and that was that. This shit sucks! It never works. Don't get me wrong, its not that I'm really offended by WWE exploiting the dead. Whether I was offended or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is if it works and it does not. It never has gotten anyone over and it never will.
Thanks for reading, everyone. Happy December. Enjoy your weekend and be sure to vote in the NoDQ Year End Awards this month. Follow me over on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe Take care and God bless.