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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Enough is Enough and it's Time for a Change!
OWW Staffer, Ite Lemalu


What is it with the way they mistreat the smaller wrestlers in the WWE???? For years, Vince McMahon Jr was always a firm believer that 'bigger is better'. If you weren't a huge juggernaught or a hoss, then your job was to put over those very behemoths. I am utterly disappointed at the way the WWE has handled the Light-Heavyweight Division in 1997 up to its present form of the Cruiserweight Division. What is the use of hiring the likes of Rey Mysterio, Tarjiri, Taka Michinoku, Papa Chulo, Dick Togo, Sho Funaki, Jamie Noble and Shannon Moore when they are not going to be used to their specialized use and fullest potential? We are all aware that when wrestlers sign with McMahon, the in-ring performance is watered down. Though when you limit the cruiserweights, it takes away the specific purpose of the entire division. To add insult to injury, they are being used on SmackDown! to make big guys such as Bill DeMott, A-Train and Big Show look invincible. I know someone has to make them look good, but putting these mantises over at the expense of the smaller guys diminishes the credibility of the Cruiserweights and its division.



REY MYSTERIO

When the WWF first signed Taka Michinoku to a lucrative contract back in 1997, they created huge amount of hype saying how great the LHW Division was going to be and that it would pose a threat to WCWs very successful and solid Cruiserweight Division. Apart from Michinoku, names such as Brian Christopher, Tajiri, Aguila, Sho Funaki, Dick Togo, Teiho Mens and Scott Taylor were brought in to build up numbers. Unfortunately, the Light Heavyweight Division was unsuccessful. For whatever reason, the WWF chose not to take what could have been a great addition to their company seriously. The reasons may have been because the majority of the LHWs weren't fluent English speakers and weren't able to cut promos or that they weren't big enough - which I think is a load of crap. They knew what they were getting into when they decided to sign these wrestlers, they certainly could've worked their way around it and make it happen. Every week was a Light-Heavyweight title match and there were at least two feuds over the title; Taka/Brian Christopher and Taka/Kaientai. Second of all, there were no angles created between the other wrestlers to build interest, and thirdly the Light Heavyweights were told to tone down the in ring repertoire. Apart from being smaller and lighter, the style of wrestling is what sets the Light Heavyweights from the other wrestlers. When you see the wrestlers perform in the ring, you're expected to see highflying and a little scientific mat wrestling all rolled into one. Compared to the NWA TNA X Division, the WWE is giving under half of what TNA offers the fans. It wasn't long before Michinoku spent the rest of his WWE career being used as comic relief and stereotyped. In 2002, the cycle repeats itself. The WWE promoted the arrival of Rey Mysterio, one of the most unique and celebrated Cruiserweights in wrestling. Mysterio received a decent push when he first arrived, and it didn't take long before Rey was being thrown around like a rag doll by Hugh Morris, A-Train and the Big Show. But to Reys credit, he was used to help resume the Brock Lesnar/Big Show feud for Judgement Day when Brock came to his rescue after receiving another pummeling from the Big Show. In a couple of weeks the cycle will repeat itself again with the signing of Ultimo Dragon.

In my personal opinion, Vince McMahon needs to look at his roster - specifically the Cruiserweights and anyone else less than 6 foot. His 'bigger is better' views have become outdated and costly. I'm not saying for the bookers to put the WWE title around Rey Mysterio and give the Hurricane the World Title. What I'm saying that his Cruiserweights are a big part of the North American wrestling industry, and now of all times is the opportunity to do what he does best, invest in them and make more money. The same applies for his non CWs such as Chris Benoit, Eddy Guererro and Lance Storm. The fans are slowly beginning to acknowledge these wrestlers simply for what they can do in the ring. Sooner or later, Vince McMahon will have no choice but to recognize and reward them for their merits.

Ite Lemalu


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