Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Not again: Fighting a Giant

So the writers of the WWE have finally come up with something for the Great Khali to do. It is pretty funny to me that we were talking about how some fan communities like to play booker and when something like this happens I get into that same mode. The last feud Kali had I think was with Kane. And that didn't play out very well. It was as if the writers thought everyone would assume that Khali was angry that Kane was seen as the monster. In fact, I think had an announcer reveal this to the audience. Well that feud did not impress me because all it consisted of was Khali beating down Kane after interfering in his match or Kane walking down the people's ramp with a big metal hook that he only looked at instead of even attempting to swing it. That might be asking too much. But the question came up when JR was here. What do you do with a giant like Khali who is billed as this invincible monster? Chairs can't even hurt him! Well you make him the #1 contender of course.
Now I have already had a problem with John Cena being champion. I really don't think he is that good of a wrestler and even though he looks big and tough. His popularity varies from week to week. The fans will be more likely to cheer for Shawn Michaels and boo more loudly for Edge. So he is stuck in between and what is the solution? Put him up against someone who really makes him look good as a wrestler. It is not that I hate John Cena. I enjoyed his white rapper turn, even finding the word Thuganomics to be one of the best catch phrases since the rock came up with Just Bring It. I also like, "You want some? Come get some!" I can understand that the WWE is banking on Cena on being the future Superstar that will carry the company. But what I raising here is that I don't know how the writers will be able to make this a good storyline. Cena just had his feud with Umaga end so I hope we dont see a repeat, hero vs monster story.
The interesting thing to watch here is how the giant Khali will express himself to Cena and to the crowd. He really doesnt talk and doesn't have a handler right now. So far it has actually been pretty good. I think that walking out with the title belt conveys Khali's total disregard of the champion very well. I do wonder what will happen next. One would think that since John Cena has been beaten down two weeks in a row, he would get even this coming Monday, but it is hard to imagine how. Again, chairs do not work. I am doubtful as to what the writing team can get out of this feud but am still hopeful it will be fresh and actually advance the career of both superstars.
My prediction for Judgement day is that Cena will beat Khali. I think they might try a Hulk Hogan moment where Cena pulls off an FU on his opponent. Now we just saw Edge win the Money in the Bank shot and so he might try to take the title after Cena's battle with the giant.

17 comments:

Carolina said...

Vince loves the big guys, huh?

The thing that bothered me the most while I caught the tail-end of last week's Raw was that the anticipation was perfectly built for the end segment. With a "mystery man" laying out Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, and Edge, and John coming out to challenge this person to a showdown, I was truly excited to see who the mystery person was. I can't even remember the last time I was so intrigued. Sure enough, I had my fingers crossed that it was Chris Jericho (my favorite wrestler who I sorely miss) coming back to resume his feud with John Cena... and then out trotted Khali.

While I understand why Cena's still champion, I don't understand this fascination with Khali. He brings very little to the table as a performer, and let's not say his performances on the microphone. Although I'm not John Cena's biggest fan, I really pray that Khali is not the one that takes the strap from him. There has only been one time that I was so uninterested in a character that I stopped watching wrestling cold when that character won the championship - and that was with JBL (he's grown on me since). Khali would make it out #2... I'll be rooting for Cena at Judgment Day!

I also wouldn't mind seeing the Cena/Edge feud renewed once again. I think those two have tremendous chemistry and they could build on their history to make their rivalry something along the lines of Hogan/Savage, Bret/Shawn, Rock/Austin - not to that level of success of course (not knocking them, but it seems that level is very hard to reach), but in the way where they are each other's #1 rivals. It could very well happen now that Kennedy is out... only time will tell.

Sam Ford said...

Carolina, no doubt that Khali is missing all the things that made JBL so fun to watch after a while...most notably, any character traits that aren't based on his being huge and Indian.

The set-up, the juxtaposition of the giant versus our little hero (another religious storyline played out of course, as Lee would point out), may be nice enough, but the actual match is not something I look forward to...

Rob said...

From what you all describe about the situation with Khali, Cena, and others I wonder if the plan here isn't to use these next few matches as simply a way to get Khali out of the limelight since he isn't working as a character.

Perhaps have Cena defeat Khali in one of those "Hulking Up" moments (as suggested), or have another character (Edge?) start a feud with Cena and help him eliminate Khali so that he can fight Cena instead (i.e., like Shawn and Triple-H teaming up to take out Benoit).

Which gets to an interesting point...

How do you get rid of a bad wrestler? Can you just cut him from the storyline completely? Must he be carefully phased out? What are the risks involved? How do you do it well?

Deirdre said...

For these giants, their size alone can make it difficult to become talented athletes in the ring, but if they can get by on charisma (like Andre) the audience may be able to turn a blind eye to the lack of skill because of their prescence. But here, we have a one-dimensional character with brute strength and no personality, nothing to connect with the crowd that will allow them to look past his poor ring skills. Hence the motormouth manager, but still. Andre didn't need a manager, and apparently didn't need very good ring skills because he _was_ the giant, he pulled everything from his personality. If Khali could imbue his character with something more 3-dimensional than just the Punjabi Monster, we might be able to give him a chance, as opposed to phasing out another bland giant.

Sam Ford said...

Rob, you raise an interesting question here, about how to get rid of a character that isn't working. It seems to depend on how poorly the character is connecting with the audience. In some cases, they will be written out in definitive fashion, like the Spirit Squad getting beaten and humiliated. Other times, like with the angle they tried to do with a Fake Kane last year, they will have him get a major push and beat Kane on a PPV, only to be beaten and thrown out the door abruptly the next night because audience response is so bad.

They have written Khali out before, particularly by having him lose to the Undertaker in a match that was supposed to happen on PPV but that they did before the show because they were so afraid it would be horrible. Khali looks so distinct, however, that they keep bringing him back...

You are right about charisma, and that is what kills Khali. Yet he is so different looking that he will always have that oddity factor, and he has been in some films along the way. Andre in his prime was a much better wrestler than Khali, though.

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