Monday, May 5, 2014

Baffle Royal

While watching Monday Night Raw tonight (May 5), I observed the typical Battle Royal viewing pattern in a new way thanks to the splendors of DVR.

First, I watched it with the full grouping of 20 men in the ring. As battle royals are wont to do, things were super-boring because there were so many damn people involved. It's really just a huge mass of dudes leaning on each other (AND NOT IN A COOL WAY) with not much going on (aside from ... leaning).

The next step in the process is to "Fast-forward until Kofi Kingston does something awesome." I can't blame him for doing something only semi-awesome with lower stakes in Raw - your bag of tricks is only so deep, after all - so I'll let it slide.

(By the way, there MUST be something better they can do with Kingston, right? Generally a guy with amazing leaping ability and athleticism is better off being a jobber ... especially considering that your other African-American wrestlers seem to be getting the shaft lately too.)

Besides "getting everyone a cut," I wonder why the WWE (or some other company) wouldn't experiment with the number of combatants who start things off more often. After all, Royal Rumble's one-by-one format already adds credence to the "Less is more" concept, right?

What if you went with a dozen or a half-dozen, even? You could cut right to the storylines and give more time to specific wrestlers really fighting off elimination.

As is, it's kind of ridiculous to see even jabronies avoiding being tossed multiple times. It sort of takes the starch out of near-escapes for the guys you want to promote.

Speaking of which, I feel like these are a great way to give someone who needs a boost a nice little push rather than just handing a win to The Obvious Guy or The Second-Most Obvious Guy. From a logical standpoint, wouldn't Great American Hero III be less ferklempt about being tossed over ropes rather than losing via pinfall or submission?

Yes, the object is to avoid elimination, but it's also something these guys would be "less experienced" at. I think it would be cool if WWE Creative was a little more imaginative with gimmicks like these.

It would add drama if people ended up learning that a guy was "Weak in" a certain area. Maybe a great wrestler who's also a hero is at a great detriment in hardcore matches because you have to go "too far" (paging Dr. Cena), perhaps one wrestler simply isn't all that interested in escaping from a cage so he often gives up opportunities for an easy win to defeat an opponent and maybe some high-level guy is so used to high-flying (paging Nurse Rollins) or is a little smaller (again, Nurse Rollins, please pick up) and thus would be at a marked disadvantage.

I feel like there are a lot of areas for improvement in making great shows with peaks and valleys almost constantly entertaining. Battle Royals seem like an area of particularly obvious improvement in Sports Entertainment.

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