Hello everyone and welcome back to Planet Kayfabe. Your window into my last bit of sanity until I decide I've had enough and tap out. Then maybe I'll sell the column to some socialist propaganda website or whatever shit you kids are into these days.Woke, yo. This week I'll be talking about King of the Ring, K.O. getting neutered on Smackdown and NXT moving to USA's on Wednesdays head-to-head with AEW.
First my thoughts on Owens. The WWE has been trying to portray Kevin Owens as a sort of Steve Austin-like "everyman" to feud with Shane McMahon. Basically WWE's millionth attempt at trying to re-create McMahon vs Austin. Kevin "attacked an official" (Elias) during his match at SummerSlam which resulted in a $100,000 fine. Kevin Owens proceeded to cry and plead with his boss in the ring and later threw a fit backstage. The next week Owens went into Shane's office, calmly apologized, said Shane is a great father so he should try to understand how this fake fine will ruin Kevin's life at home and calmly begged him to reconsider. Shane said he would think about it. Kevin stuck out his hand for a handshake and Shane shook his head saying he's "not there yet".
Dude. What the f***. Has this company completely forgotten how to get a damn babyface over? I swear this company wouldn't be able to get Super Mario over as a babyface in the Mushroom Kingdom. Holy f***. Later in the show Kevin come out to a tepid reaction because he came off as a soft sack bitch under Shane's thumb and had a match with Elias in the King of the Ring tournament. Shane was at ringside later in the match and revealed a referee shirt. Fast counted Owens. Owens did dick about it. There's your show. Heel celebrating again outsmarting the babyface while your hero stands there with his face in his hands. Woo hoo!
Seriously, who is going to cheer Owens now? I know a lot of you in internet land like him. I do, too. However, the last come of weeks this promotion has booked him like such a wuss. They are trying to make him out to be Austin, even giving him the Stunner. Is this what Austin would do? f*** no. I had someone on Twitter go to my feed with "well, it's a good thing they aren't just copying Austin or else it would be boring"
Would it be? Would it be more boring than watching a guy get f***ed over by his heel boss only to cry in the ring and run to his office with his tail tucked between his legs begging for forgiveness even though his actions were justified? If that's your idea of a "good guy" then good for you. I'd much rather Owens copy the whole fake "BANG!" gun routine note-by-note then do this soft ass bullshit we have gotten the last two weeks. This company really have no clue how to get a babyface over anymore. I've written multiple columns about that already, but its the summer of 2019 and it's as true now as any other time this shitty f***ing dead ass decade with not a single superstar to show for it.
Next up, AEW. The once hour-long show on the network featuring their developmental talent will now have 2 hours in prime time on USA essentially making it a third brand. Likely the "C" brand or at best a 2nd "B" brand. Obviously, the purpose is to go head-to-head with AEW. It will be interesting to see how both shows do in the ratings, but its easy to skip NXT since the very next day it will be uploaded to the WWE Network anyway, so if you're the type of fan who wants to watch both, there ya go.
If you're a fan of NXT and don't want things to change too much, things are going to change. You can't deny that. Whether these changes will be for the better or for worse remains to be seen. If the show finally jumps the shark, you now know where. Vince McMahon will have his fingerprints on this product now. It's not just going to be Triple H's project like it was before. I would love to know how Hunter feels because if he has to deal with Vince McMahon ripping up NXT scripts 90 minutes before they go on air and changing things while the show is in process, I'm sure he'd just assume take that phony job he gave Eric Bischoff on Smackdown instead.
Since NXT will be 2 hours AND live every week, I'm assuming they fill in the cracks with more lower-card level main roster wrestlers and some of the younger guys who benefited from the show being taped probably won't be on much and left to the performance center or work NXT dark matches and live events whenever they tour.
That is concerning to me. Vince McMahon right now on his main roster product doesn't seem to trust anyone who is under 30. This product needs youth. NXT has always had a good mix of youthful wrestlers cutting their teeth and popular indy veterans to carry the load a bit. I hope NXT continues to supply the youth that WWE needs because the main roster product is too old. Look, I love guys like AJ and Joe. Mysterio still has plenty left in him as well. However, the product needs a healthy helping of talent between the ages of 22 to 27. They used to always feature young talent. Often times they were green and f***ed up on live TV, but they learned. It's ok to be a little green. Goldberg was green as f*** and he still became a superstar, so if someone's green and gets over who cares? Over is over. If I could change anything in WWE, I'd be having 24-year-olds feuding for the IC and US titles... But look who has them now. I bet you don't even remember off the top of your head, too.
Finally, the King of the Ring. I thought I would have more to say, but the tournament has already been tainted by using one of the matches to yet again put heat on a heel McMahon because apparently, it's still 1998. Right. I f***ing wish. Considering this is not on PPV and they are dragging it out, I think it is just WWE's latest gimmick for ratings. This has been a summer of gimmicks. 24/7 title. Raw Reunion. Brock cash-in teases. Retirement teases. Now, King of the Ring. Someone is going to win. Probably a heel. After that, we'll see how the winner is booked.
This will be only the 3rd King this decade. So, they pretty much bring this shit back whenever they're bored. Sheamus and Wade Barrett are the last two Kings of the 2010s and they were also a couple of the worst booked Kings as well. Before that, the last noteworthy king is King Booker who had a fun run in 2006. However, since they like to promote the KOTR as a launching pad for stardom, the last young star the benefited from this was Brock Lesnar in 2002.
On September 15 at Clash of Champions, we will have our 20th King of the Ring. I know some of you think I'm always negative, but I hope WWE does something with the winner. I just don't have much faith in WWE really giving a shit about the long-term planning necessary to truly get someone over after winning a tournament like this. If you still think I'm being overly negative or cynical then maybe you started watching sometime after the days of "King Sheamus" but it's not even that or half the "Kings" who were just joke gimmicks that sucked, it's everything else. It's the 205 Division. It's the Women's Tag Championships. It's the brand split. Its everything WWE is all gung ho about for every bit of a week or two before the 74-year-old in charge gets bored and moves on. Why should I think this will be any different?
That's it for Planet Kayfabe. Thanks for reading, everyone. If you have a complaint, leave a comment below and I will be sure to read it. Follow me over on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe
I'll be back next time. We'll see when. Hopefully next week. This has been a brutal f***ing year. I miss when this shit was fun. Man... AEW better not blow it. October should be fun, so I guess I can't stop now. It's safe to say 2020 will be very different than 2019. It can't come soon enough, though. Then again if I don't think AEW shits roses and rainbows, I'll probably get blocked by all 50 EVP's before being told to "just enjoy it" while the fans who think they are part of some revolution jump down my throat for saying things like how in my opinion Cody's views on casual fans and basic face/heel dynamics are ridiculous and in every interview Tony Khan comes off as the more geeky/markish male version of Dixie Carter. It's just how I see it, guys. Trust me... I want AEW to succeed. Its better for the industry and the fans and the workers. Luckily the shows have been very good so far, but I get concerned any time Khan, Cody or Cody's trophy wife open their mouths.
Truly, though, thanks for reading. Take care and God bless and really bless you if you're one of these people who think WWE has gotten better since AEW announced their move to TNT. I know, I know... Always negative. I just need more than a shitty Seth/Corbin feud and total non-stop McMahon heat. This women's division is nothing without Ronda, too. Yeah, Sasha's back, but we know how things go every time they try exploiting a real-life death for heat. Enjoy that cheese if you think it'll be different.
That's all. For NoDQ, I'm K.C. Enjoy your weekend. Happy birthday, Vince.