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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Has This Storyline Really Been Worth It"
August 29, 2005 by Jack Malone


The subject of this column is one of WWE's recent efforts to deliver soap opera style storylines. Kurt Angle trying to rape Sharmell" The Eddie/Mysterio/Dominick fiasco" The Diva search" Although I feel none of these things belong on a wrestling show, the angle that I currently have a major problem with is the one that involves Lita. I simply don't know how else to describe it; it's become such a mess that it really isn't much of a storyline any more - it's more like a cluster of ideas thrown together.

It all started last year, when Kane began to show his affections for Lita. At the time, this seemed like it could be interesting. After all, Kane hadn't really shown his evil side since his feud with Shane, it was about time his actions were taken up a notch. As the angle developed, Kane was portrayed as a stalker and we ultimately came to the revelation that Lita slept with Kane just to make him stop. However, it didn't end there...she was pregnant.

As I watched this angle, I wasn't too fazed by it, but I pretty much hoped for it to be Matt Hardy's baby so this angle could come to a head. Yet we could all see that wasn't going to happen - the baby was Kane's. At Vengeance, Matt Hardy defeated Kane in a No Disqualifications match, but it was obvious the feud wouldn't end like that. The rivalry continued through to SummerSlam, where the two faced off in a "Til Death Do Us Part" Match, the idea being that the winner would marry Lita. This time, Kane got the win and therefore would marry Lita on RAW.

By this point, I was starting to think things were going a bit far. What started off as a stalker angle had become a wedding angle, not really what I would have done but I decided to give it a chance. The wedding went ahead and Kane married Lita, after choke-slamming Matt Hardy off the stage. With Matt out injured, it was quite a puzzle as to what WWE would do from here, but things were quickly cleared up when Shawn Michaels made his return to take out the man that injured him. Lita reluctantly came to the ring with Kane at Unforgiven, but acted pleased to see him lose to HBK.

With Lita showing dislike for her "husband", the question was how WWE would bring this angle to an end. It was clear that they couldn't carry the pregnancy through nine months and certainly couldn't keep up the marriage much longer in this state. The chosen method was somewhat shocking. Gene Snitsky - an unknown face - was brought in as the man to make a difference. After being squashed by Kane, he decided to take some revenge by using a chair and struck Kane in the back. Kane was knocked into Lita and ended up landing on top of her. This was evidently the end for Lita's "baby".

From here, I expected never to see Snitsky again, the baby to die and Kane to divorce Lita. In fact, that would have suited me - at least it would put an end to what was quickly becoming tedious. Yet that wasn't the last we heard of Snitsky. The next week on RAW, he was given the time to cut a promo - claiming that it wasn't his fault. Hardly the most enthralling promo ever heard, but enough to point out that Snitsky was here to stay. The same week, scenes were played throughout the night of Kane and Lita in hospital; building up to the supposed death of Lita's baby. This lead to one of the largest changes in character in recent memory - Kane cried over the death. This was a supposedly sadistic man who felt no human emotions, now degraded to crying over a baby. This certainly didn't do any favours for the whole Kane persona.

With this sudden change of heart, Kane was now portrayed as the face. This in itself, was a ridiculous concept. This is the man who just a few months ago stalked an innocent woman, forced her to sleep with him, got her pregnant, forced her to marry him and threw her boyfriend off the stage. These actions would usually be regarded as those of a sick and evil heel, yet now we were supposed to cheer for this man" It didn't make a whole lot of sense. At Taboo Tuesday, Kane and Snitsky squared off in a pretty awful steel chain match, in which Snitsky was made to look very strong - doing to Kane what Kane had done to Shawn Michaels and putting him on the injured list.

After three months, it was obvious that this angle still wasn't done. Kane would undoubtedly return to take out Snitsky and Matt Hardy would presumably want some form of retribution too. Yet the whole thing was starting to drag by this point. Snitsky and Lita drifted apart after Taboo Tuesday. Lita headed into a Women's Title feud with Trish Stratus, whilst Snitsky became part of Triple H's team for Survivor Series. This was a welcome break, but at the same time it propelled Snitsky into the main event scene long before he was ready. His ring skills were not (and still are not) anything special, in fact I would consider them below average.

It was January when Kane finally made his return and unsurprisingly, his target was Gene Snitsky. The two squared off at New Year's Revolution, where Kane was given the win. Was this the end of the feud that, by this point, was long overdue" Sadly, not. The feud continued several more weeks, until finally coming to a head in a steel cage match. What made absolutely no sense throughout this whole ordeal was that Lita now sided with Kane - the man who stalked her, injured her boyfriend, forced her into bed and forced her into marriage. There is always a sense of disbelief in wrestling, but this was really pushing it.

From here, both men moved onto better things. Snitsky was, undeservedly, given a short feud with Shelton Benjamin over the Intercontinental Title, whilst Kane became one of six men who would appear in the "Money In The Bank" ladder match at WrestleMania. It was Edge who won this match and gained a contract to a title shot, any time in the next twelve months. Throughout all of this, the Lita/Kane marriage still wasn't through. The two of them were shown to be madly in love, kissing backstage every week on RAW. I pretty much gave up all hope for Kane's career at this stage. The next storyline for the two of them was a feud with Viscera and Trish, culminating with Kane defeating Viscera at Backlash.

It was after Backlash, that everything changed. The internet became aware of Matt and Lita's personal life - rumour had it that the two had split up due to Amy Dumas (Lita) having an affair with Adam Copeland (Edge). This knowledge spread wider throughout the wrestling fanbase and so Matt Hardy was released by WWE for being the cause of the publicity. Yet this was the birth of the "you screwed Matt" chants, which would now echo throughout arenas whenever Edge and Lita appeared. WWE knew something had to be done to cover up these chants to the casual fans. Their solution was to turn the affair into a storyline. In the final of the gold-rush tournament, it was Edge against Kane, with Lita in Kane's corner. To a lot of fans, the outcome was obvious. Lita turned heel and joined Edge. The idea we were given was that Lita had been sleeping with Edge for months and had only used Kane, so she had now filed for divorce. Kane was shown to be crying once again, this time over the love of his life. The fact that this was supposed to be the same man that had once been a masked monster was simply ludicrous. The fans once cheered for Kane because they liked him as a monster, they clearly didn't want to see Kane with feelings.

The Kane/Edge feud progressed, to the stage of Edge and Lita being married. This was pretty much the death of Edge's push right here - the man that defeated five others to win a contract for a title shot, won the Gold Rush tournament and was continually on edge about being screwed; had become just another cocky guy, set to marry Lita. The worst part was that the two of them didn't have (and still don't have) any on-screen chemistry. Who knows what they might have got up to in the real world; in terms of acting they just didn't blend.

Another ridiculous factor was that Lita and Edge were now close friends with Snitsky. The whole thing is obviously more complex than the writers ever intended, to the point of being confusing. What are we supposed to believe" That it was Kane who Lita always hated and she never had a problem with Snitsky" Well if she wanted protection, why didn't she side with Snitsky at Taboo Tuesday" The whole thing opens up too many plot holes.

So at Vengeance, we came to Edge vs Kane. Kane picked up the win here, but the feud was not over. It continued for a few weeks, until the swerve that changed the direction of the angle once again - the return of Matt Hardy. Unlike a lot of people, I wasn't particularly excited about this. Sure, I wanted to see Matt return to WWE, but I really thought his involvement in this storyline would turn it into more of a cluster than it already was.

So it was July 11th. A re-match was booked between Edge and Kane, this time Edge brought Gene Snitsky back into the angle to help him defeat Kane. As Snitsky and Kane battled through the crowd, Matt burst into the ring and attacked Edge. The whole scene was put across to us as a shoot, even though it quite evidently wasn't. For the next two weeks, WWE pretty much killed off any credibility the angle had left as a shoot, by having Matt gain entry in the exact same way. Kane was "written out" after being arrested for an attack on Lita, but after seeing Matt Hardy, nobody really cared for or understood Kane's involvement. To the casual fan, this must have been very perplexing. After all, in terms of kayfabe Matt Hardy would not only be angry with Edge, but with Kane, for stealing his girlfriend in the first place and putting him out of action.

Kayfabe was completely killed off with Matt's promo the following week. Vince McMahon supposedly re-hired Matt, but once again the idea of Matt being with Lita the whole time killed the whole kayfabe behind Kane and Snitsky's involvement. This storyline was a huge mess and needed to come to an end, before it could get any worse. Unsurprisingly, a match was booked at SummerSlam between Edge and Matt Hardy, a match that many smarks had eagerly awaited. SummerSlam came, and the match was somewhat of a disappointment too. The end chosen was highly questionable, with Edge getting the upper hand and beating Hardy to a bloody pulp. Wasn't it Hardy that was going into this thing fired up"

So let's take a look at the whole angle. Who exactly has it helped"

- Matt Hardy. His original feud with Kane gave him a much-needed boost and it caused him to be very over upon his return. Yet we can't count on him being hot property forever. When this storyline finally dies out, you have to wonder if WWE will allow Matt to fade into obscurity once again. After all, he was only hired back due to the overwhelming chants from the crowds. Then again, the result at SummerSlam may have killed off the buzz he brought in.

- Gene Snitsky. Without this opportunity, he probably would have become another generic bodyguard type character. However, you have to wonder if he's really cut out for anything more. The guy has very poor in-ring skills and isn't exactly a master on the mic. Other than his size, I don't see what he has to offer

Now, let's look at who this storyline has had a negative effect on:

- Kane. Once a feared, heartless and sadistic monster has become an emotional giant. His pops are noticeably lower than they used to be, because the fans want to see Kane destroying people, they don't want to see him falling in love and being betrayed. Hell, that kind of thing doesn't even belong on a wrestling show. So now, it will be pretty hard for Kane to go back to what he was. In 2002 and early 2003, he had pretty much become a joke, but the removal of the mask was enough to fix that. Now, he has nothing.

- Edge. Probably even worse affected than Kane. When Edge won the MITB ladder match at WrestleMania, I thought this was finally time for his big push. When he went over Benoit at Backlash, I was convinced WWE had major plans for his future. Yet then he was put with Lita, for obvious reasons. This partnership has dragged him down hugely. The heel character he broke out with late last year showed him to be paranoid, feeling that he is constantly getting screwed out of what he deserves. Winning the contract made sense, since it showed he could finally get the shot he wanted. However, the character doesn't need a valet, let alone a wife. The whole persona was completely killed, in favour of yet another generic cocky face. The angst has been transformed into trickery and affection for Lita. It now appears that Edge will constantly be remembered for being the guy that screwed Matt; he'll never break out on his own because of this dark shadow that looms over him. To an extent, it is his own fault for having an affair, but I personally don't believe in wrestlers being penalized for actions of their personal lives.

Edge needs to lose off Lita and lose off the image he has right now. He needs to get back his edge (no pun intended) and break out on his own once again, because Lita isn't doing him any favours. His beatdown on Hardy was a nice touch, but not particularly a step in the right direction as far as the storyline is concerned.

Evaluating that, it would appear to me that although Matt and Snitsky have been helped out somewhat, Edge and Kane have been dragged back to the point of losing their entire personas. Has this yearlong angle really been worth it" Hell, even Lita hasn't benefited from it. No longer will she be respected as a competitor in the women's division, but rather just thought of as a "slut". In conclusion, this angle really hasn't been worth the effort. The original Kane/Matt feud was intriguing, but with Snitsky's involvement, things were beginning to drag. The Edge/Matt feud, although somewhat inevitable, has pulled Edge a long way down and completely destroyed any idea of kayfabe in this storyline.

by Jack Malone --- [View Jack Malone's Column Index]..


LazyJoeD wrote:
i resently saw this jack malone column on the whole thing with edge, lita, kane and matt hardy and i say bravo to mr malone cause he echoed the exact same thing i have been saying to all my friends and family, fact is i do not think it has been worth it with one exception and that it got matt hardy back into the wwe thanks to all of his mf'ers calling for his return. other then that i say this whole thing has done more harm then good on so many levels firstly it proved that amy "lita" dumas is a real home and life wrecker cause not only did she ruin matt's life but that of adam "edge" copelands i guess now ex- wife and yes edge is no better, for me if they wanted to be together break with who you are with do not cheat cause it is harmfull as we can all plainly see and now secondly this killed off the only fairly good angle that kane had and as it has been questioned in the past what does he do now", obviously it's sit at home collecting your pay cause since matt has returned that is all he's been doing. and thirdly this take's edge and puts him in a light personally and professionally he should not be in but fact is if he woulda kept it in his pants them the dope would not be in this to begin with.

also after this week on raw and the street fight with edge vs matt hardy i say this needs to be stopped before these guys kill each other so i say take either of them and put them on smackdown and if they get ticked off so be it. it's for the betterment of their lives and their careers.

and lastly i think the question needs to be changed to hey lita! was getting speared by edge worth all the trouble you caused" and as far as the money in the back match goes is it me or did wwe screw edge out of that also" i ask because it specified a shot at the world heavyweight title which if i recall right is with batista on smackdown, so maybe a trip to smackdown would be good for edge
Lela Shirk wrote:
If the WWE expects me to believe that Matt, Edge and Lita are A-Okay with working this ridculously personal storyline in spite of all the drama that they've been through with each other, they are one of two things

1) Stupid
2) Determined to believe that the general viewing audience is stupid.

I personally believe that this whole thing was planned by the 3 of them just so Matt could get his job back. I know it sounds ridiculous, but WWE programming has actually presented us with the Diva Search and other insults to our intelligence (Mordecai anyone") so I don't think my theory is that far fetched. It's really sad that WWE even manages to mess up a ready made storyline such as this one by making Matt Hardy look like a complete bitch in his first few matches, making all belief that this would be a great feud go down the tubes.

It's unbelievable what WWE will put it's talent through just to make a dollar.

Once again: The Matt Hardy/Edge/Lita storyline is complete bullshit.
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