Kane & Benoit: The Jobber Debate
June 14, 2006 by Joe Davies
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Two of the most celebrated, athletic, and fan-loving wrestlers of recent times are Chris Benoit and Glen Jacobs, or 'Kane' as we have come to know and love him. Both are excellent wrestlers, conducting their trade with true old-school ability in abundance. Both their characters are incredibly popular, and their finishing moves, the Chokeslam and Crippler Cross-face, are amongst the most recognisable finishers in the history of this industry. Yet the two find themselves in mid-card insecurity, their best days seemingly behind them. This column is to question the WWE's direction of these two wrestlers.
It is well documented that Kane is probably the best wrestler, and indeed character, never to have experienced a decent title-reign in the history of the business. He is highly respected backstage by all superstars and management, so much so that it is reported Mark Callaway (The Undertaker) has expressed his wish to Vince McMahon that Kane be the one who ends his undefeated streak at WrestleMania. His athletic ability for a man pushing 7ft is startling; with insiders claiming he is one of the most gifted superstars on the entire WWE roster. For a man of such ability and respect, a one-day title reign is simply unacceptable and an embarrassment to the man himself. I feel very sorry for Kane that his one-day title reign came in the period of Steve Austin dominance, widely known as the attitude era. There is no doubt that Austin would surely regain his title, such was his popularity and importance to the whole attitude era angle. And rightly so. But surely losing the title one day after winning it was disrespectful to the big red machine" And Kane has never won the title since then, having limited title opportunities. It is comical how a 'monster' character has never been on top of the company for more than 24 hours. A wrestler who seems unstoppable by one man alone, yet his dominance has yet to bring a deserved place in wrestling history. Kane is now acting each week as a 'jobber', filling time on the raw schedule between the main feuds that appeal to the fans. Recent episodes have seen him simply destroy some wrestlers who are better served on Heat or Velocity, just to give the crowd a chance to witness a Chokeslam. I am personally saddened, not only as a Kane fan, but as a wrestling fan, that such a brilliant character played by such an excellent wrestler in Glen Jacobs, is being resorted to such mediocrity. And I won't begin to go into Kane's unmasking, or the pathetic 'Kaneroonie' phase (which made me stop watching RAW for many years).
Then there is Chris Benoit. Along with Kurt Angle, probably the most athletic and 'old-school' wrestler, or technical as it is known, in the WWE. Here is a man who has served in this industry for over 20 years. A man who has worked his way up from the bottom of the barrel, and not thrust undeservingly into the limelight like certain untalented wrestlers in the current company *cough* CENA *cough*. His technical style is brilliant, his suplex executed on the same level as the industry's all time greats. And yet, once more, a talent is wasted by being reduced to a mid-card 'jobber', serving to be a victim in the storyline of Mark Henry's destruction. How is it a guy like Mark Henry is getting a push into the peak of the business when guys like Benoit and Kane are mulling over their glory days" I understand Benoit was 'injured' by Henry so he could lay off for a while, take a well-earned rest and recuperate some old niggling injuries. But Benoit has been 'jobbing' for some time now. It is less of an outrage in Benoit's case as it is with Kane, as Benoit received a lengthy spell as champion. I may be wrong on this as I was not an avid wrestling fan at this point in time (due to the slump downhill by WWE that included Kane's lowest moment, the 'Kaneroonie'), but I believe in this title reign he defeated such greats as Triple H and Shawn Michaels. I was delighted to hear that Benoit had finally received his title-push that he so deserved, but less than satisfied when I heard he lost his title to Randy Orton. Benoit was made to be embarrassed to lose to the youngest champion in the history of the business. If he had lost his title to a great like a Triple H or an Undertaker, then I could fathom that, but to end his stay at the top in these circumstances indeed dismayed me. Then his decline back to the middle of the card was even harder to understand. I remember the glory days of his feuds with Jericho and Angle, including that phenomenal two out of three falls match at WrestleMania involving all three, and also that incredible 30 minute submission Ironman match where Benoit beat Angle in overtime. And who can forget his win at the Royal Rumble where he went down in history for winning the event after entering at number 1.
What annoys me most, and I imagine frustrates many other fans, is these two characters have so much more potential in them, and so much more to give. I agree that the WWE needs to push their younger stars on so they can create new main-eventers for the future generation, but I still feel that Kane and Benoit have a lot to give and are a long way from being finished. It hurts to see Kane and Benoit messed around as 'jobbers' when you see a man such as John Cena having an amazingly long run as champion. Don't get me wrong, John Cena has incredible mic skills and his promos always make me laugh, and his acting of his character is spot on, but his in-ring abilities are weak to say the least when compared to Kane and Chris Benoit. As I am writing this column, there are many rumours and suggestions that Kane's new storyline fighting an old version of Kane is an attempt to re-mask him, and take him on a path back to the top. I hope this is true, as it would be a crime to see Glen Jacobs retire without having witnessed a Kane era as champion. I am also all for the idea of re-masking him, as I believe this is where he was at his most dominant and his character was at its best. However, I can't help but think the WWE have missed the boat with Kane. I hope I am proved wrong. As for Benoit, it seems like his desire and commitment to wrestling is taking a toll on his body, and it will not be long before he retires. I just hope the WWE let him do it gracefully and go out with a bang, and not make him suffer more embarrassment at the hands of an upcoming nobody. Vince McMahon has done a great job with the WWE there is no question about that, but I feel he has let down people such as Glen Jacobs and Chris Benoit. In my opinion, it is time to hand the reigns over to Shane O'Mac, and let the new exciting era begin, giving the fans more of what they want.
by Joe Davies..
I agree, Kane is the best big man in the business, I mean everywhere. Its sad to see Benoit dropped down to jobber status. One more world title reign will be nice.
Joe Spaz wrote:
I agree 100% about Kane "Glen Jacobs" not being used to his potential. There have been many times where Kane has been worked into main event story lines and the title picture (mostly the 3rd man in a 3 way or 4 way match), only to be knocked back down to Bob Holly level within a week or two. I have been a Glen Jacobs fan for many years and caught heat from many people I knew over the years. Many of them were on the Rock, Stone Cold, Y2J, NWO, DX, Goldberg, John Cena, RVD, and Rey Mysterio band wagons. There were some good title runs to come out of that list. But Kane never had a chance to fill that roll. The 24 hour title run was insulting and watching the "jobs" done against superstars such as Triple H, The Undertaker, Austin, Angle, The Rock, Batista, and TEST sickens me as well. My greatest disappointing event came in the 2001 Royal Rumble when Kane lasted over one hour as on e of the two last men (which that time has also decreased over the years when spoken about on RAW) only to be eliminated by Steve Austin.
Also how about NOT giving him a ridiculous story line such as: Paul Bearers paternity test confirming he was Kanes father, or Lita losing her baby to Snitsky, or Triple H having sex in the grave.
I long for the day when a superstar wins a match, stands in the ring, and lights go dark, Kanes music hits, the arena is red, and the superstar stares Kane in the face only to be choke slammed and tombstoned.
Great article's you expressed something that many of us wrestling fans have been feeling for the last couple years Me personally would love to see kane re-maksed how would the wwe pull that of I dont know ........why did they take it off in the first place I dont know but anyways beniot went from the main event at wm 20 to losing to no-names what the hell is vince thinking I dont know but the old kane and undertaker have had some off the best matches I have ever seen and so have beniot and angle now why wont the wwe bring back that style of wrestling .............I dont know
This was an outstanding column. I agree with everything you wrote 100%.
Kane and Benoit deserve to have decent, wait, I take that back, GREAT World Title reigns. Kane and Benoit could make a pretty good tag team, too. And if Kane doesn't end 'Taker's undefeated streak, then I hope Benoit does.
This was a truly awful column, representative of some of the moronic standpoints many OWW contributors seem to have nowadays.
Despite what you believe, and as much as I like him, Kane is not a great wrestler. Calling him the best wrestler to never receive a proper run as champion is absolutely farcical. You call it a "well documented" fact.
Documented by whom" You" If I were to make a list of people deserving of a decent run as the WWE Champion throughout history, Kane would not be in the top 100, and your assertion is an absolute insult to all those truly great competitors. He has never shown a comprehension of body part psychology or anything more than fundamental technical wrestling in his offence, his pacing is mediocre, he rarely sells (an improvement on his glory days, when he didn't sell at all) and his attacks consist of generic big man moves or those he has stolen from The Undertaker. He is the typical hoss, except with a gimmick that got him over with the fans in the first place. I'm not denying that he is an unselfish competitor and a dedicated company man, and probably a nice guy in real life, but in the ring he ranges from passable to abysmal.
His athletic ability is far from astonishing. It is not that difficult for a 6'9" man to do a flying clothesline. Even if you were judging Kane from the point of view that bigger wrestlers deserve a bit more slack, the man is well behind superior large workers like Vader, Shinya Hashimoto, Bam Bam Bigelow, Stan Hansen, Steve Williams, Akira Taue, Yoshihiro Takayama, Samoa Joe, Terry Gordy, Brock Lesnar and even the Undertaker. Furthermore, you made favourable comparisons with John Cena. Well, Cena's match against Triple H at WrestleMania betrayed far more understanding of what makes a good match than Kane has displayed in a long time. The only very good matches he has had have been carry jobs, eg. versus Kurt Angle in 2001, Austin and Triple H the same year and Chris Benoit in 2003.
You talk of his "brilliant character"" Face it, aside from the occasional overacting, nothing has been able to win Kane back his credibility as someone who portrays a convincing monster since he jobbed to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XX. And even his run before that was somewhat of an astonishing comeback after the whole Katie Vick saga, which will always tarnish his character in some way. "Brilliant" is a massive overstatement when you're describing a basic Man In The Iron Mask-clone with a Cain-and-Abel complex who's backstory has been retconned upon repeatedly.
And anyway, before he took his mask off, how much acting do you think was required from Jacobs" It's not that difficult to pull your glove up or look sideways at someone. You talk of him as if he's some Shakespearean thespian in a role that Akira Kurosawa would have been hard-pushed to create, when in fact he's a fat man playing a ruined B-movie horror character.
The only argument you could make for Kane deserving another main event push is that he's been with the company for a long time. But then, you could make a similar case for Hardcore Holly. If anything is going to get Kane anywhere near the World Title again, it will be because of See No Evil. And trust me, that film is not an accomplishment Jacobs should be proud of.
Sam Nash wrote:
I am situated in Kent, England and although i am an English follower of the beloved World Wrestling Entertainment i can see that Joe Davis's column was an authentic and fair personal summary of 'Kane's' career so far, and was written in a very clever way exposing many questions which may be attacking other fans minds.
Kane, Unibomb, The Fake Diesel and Christmas Surprise, all threatening gimmicks created in Glenn Jacobs mind, and all of these characters catapulted his career sky high... However Kane has been his most sucessful scheme to date but justice has not been seen, done or heard.
We are all familiar of Kane's one nighter, having posession of the title but that is most certainly not good enough! Kane has hold of a lot of power within the industry due to sheer height and weight but it is not being used effectively to my liking... I want to see Kane with the respect he deserves, along with the respect he should then be able to grasp and obtain a lengthy and glorious title reign which would match people like Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and The Rock.
I agree totally with Davis about Kane becoming a filler between all the main action and not getting a slice of the pie... Kane has had to stand in for stupid storylines which are extremely unbelievable and have no relevance to all the main focus surrounding current belt headlines for nearly two years now and it is apalling, Jacobs must be realising that his superior character and loyalty to the industry is getting blatantly abused. Surely!"
Kane has had a recent stint with Big Show forming an unlikely alliance and capturing the Tag Team Titles. The power house were very sucessful and dominated the tag region for months on end but Kane has managed to duck out of the lime light and become overlooked by millions of viewers for phony superstars such as John Cena and Shelton Benjamin... However the 'Old Kane'
may be returning to our hearts, as we have witnessed over the last few Monday Night Raw's, Kane with old school attire has graced our scenes and has sent shockwaves over the wrestling community.
We have come to realise that we want the 'Old Kane' back who was masked and leathered from head to foot and caused destruction to everyone on the roster.
I am hoping this will be Kane's chance to not only hit the pay per view headlines but regenerate back in to masked Kane and grab a championship which he is worthy of and everyone would admire him for and maybe like Davis said, a new era of WWE may be arriving right round the corner!
Long Live KANE, The only Big Red Machine in my life...
Tom Roper wrote:
I find it amazing that so many people are talking up Kane's abilities in-ring. Sure, he can go to the top rope, but that's all he has from my point of view.
His selling of moves needs to be worked on extensively IMHO. For example, on more than 3 occasions he's taken Pedigrees where he has landed with his head 30-60cm off the ground in a semi-kneeling position, making it look harmless yet gone down for 3. His flying clotheslines are very sloppy as well (minimal impact, feet hit the floor first etc.)
I have a lot of respect for him as a wrestler, but there are huge glaring errors in his ringwork that need to be worked on. If he's willing to hit the mat face-first if you put a mask back on it, please do so. It weakens finishes.
Charles Lalonde wrote:
I agree, They should put the World Title on Kane or Benoit before one of them retires or goes to TNA, Instead we see Kane and A Kane clone going toe to toe, and Benoit being the mentor to a young upstart named Gunner Scott (Brent Albright from OVW), it just makes me sick to my stomach that two veterans of the sport have been downsized to jobber status, 1 year ago we saw Benoit as World Champion, and Kane as #1 contender, and now we see this, Kanes May 19th nightmare coming true A clone of the old Kane, and Benoit having a run as a United States Champ (not that there is anything wrong with that) but WWE could use Kane and Benoit better than they are now
Adam Heap wrote:
Alright, I've just got a few things to say to both Joe and 'OfLegend'. First off, Joe: Good column. Although I don't agree with everything, there's a lot of valid points to it. Keep up the good work.
And secondly, to 'OfLegend', whomever that may be. One question: What the hell is your problem. If you don't like the site, don't come here. There's plenty of other sites on the net for you. Everyone has their own opinion, even if they are totally and utterly idoiotic in the point of the column. And this column wasn't moronic, it was actually quite a good point. Both of these people are jobbers nowadays. Everyone can judge for themselves what they think someone's abilities are worth. You don't like Kane" Then do something about it. tell us in a column, like Joe actually bothered to do. Give us your opinion on why Kane is the biggest dumbass in the WWE, but do something. Don't resort to flaming first-time columnists. And until you bother to post a column and say why you don't like Kane (btw, I noticed you didn't say anything about Benoit, meaning you are only posting because you don't like Kane), then you can go burn in Hell for a while.
Travis Koppe wrote:
Joe Davies makes a very, very good point. Kane and Benoit both deserve much better. Personally, I think Kane should "jump ship" to Smackdown!, where he could dominate for quite a while before ending up in a fued with 'Taker. Granted the two have had many fueds in the past, but how about this: Kane finally wins. Maybe at 'Mania, since the Undertaker told Vince that if anyone is going to beat him at Wrestlemania, it should be Kane.
Defeating the Undertaker at 'Mania would almost absolutely guarentee Kane a spot in the WWE's main events for quite some time. Ending an undefeated streak that long would prove, once and for all, that Kane deserves much better than he's gotten in the past. The time for stupid, pointless storylines, mediocre opponents, and "the odds are on my side but I'm losing the title match" would be over. Kane would finally guarentee his place as a dominant force, and would finally get the respect from the WWE management that he rightfully deserves.
And personally, I get angry when people say things like: "You're just mad because Kane lost," or "Look at that! Kane couldn't even dominate in the 2006 Elimination Chamber for more than five minutes!" Kane has been jobbing to far too many people; it is high time he get what he deserves.
Sev M. wrote:
This was actually a great article, it highlights the thoughts and frustrations of many fans.Kane is one of the best big men there has ever been, and his hard work over the years has more than earned him a title reign. Not only that, but he seems to have very little in the way of ego, because he reportedly turned down the Undertaker's offer to end his streak, and obviously he has NEVER shied away from putting people over, and over and over. He is also supposedly well thought of backstage. Kane was the perferct monster and has never had problems even wokring the ridiculous stories creative gives him even if it makes him look stupid. That is company dedication and he claerly tries hard . Sayin Kane is one of the best people to never have a good reign is a bold claim, but Kane has proven over the years if he isn't the best, he's up there. Kane has pulled off moves the likes of which i've never seen anyone of comparable size pull off. Benoit too is awesome and deserves an another major main event push, but he has in fact had a major title highlight at Wrestlemania 20 and the next 5 months. And Kane was actually used just to make him look credible over during that 5 month period. The Kane character was gold, and the WWE never fully capitalized. Kane was also always really over, and the fact that he hardly ever wins any gold is dumbfounding especially compared to many of the other people who have won gold. He deserves a hell of a lot of respect in my book. In my opinion Kane is one of the greatest relativly un-acknowleged wrestlers of this age. Really an awesome job doing this column
You are 100 percent correct. While Kane is not the best technical wrestler ever, no where close, his style is good for wrestling and is worthy of a long title reign. As for Chris Benoit, it need not be said, his abilities speak for themselves. Benoit's problem is his mic skills, or lack thereof. Vinnie Mac will continue to relegate him as he does Kane and Victoria. Cena the trashman will continue to get pushed, (glad he finally lost the title though) while good wrestlers and good characters get shafted.
As for OfLegend's off-kilter comments, well, some people have no idea what they are talking about.
Matt Buys wrote:
I read your article on Kane and Benoit becomming jobbers and I have to agree with you on it. Being that I'm only 17 years old, I do remember the old days when Kane used to kind of sit on top. Not only has he'd been given crappy story lines, but look at the old gimicks he used to carry. A crazy dentist"
Come on now. And then a second Diesel" Kevin Nash sucked too much to have a fake one. Finally the writing talent gave Glenn a very well rehearsed, very well acted out gimick, in which I will admit, that when I was younger and saw him Debut as Kane, I almost pissed my pants. I think it is embarrising to say that you have held the title for one day. Kane deserved to have a title reign like a reign that John Cena had. In my opinion, I dont like this whole Kane vs Kane thing at Vengence, and I dont like that fact that this match might cause Kane to put his mask back on because they already ruined him when they took his mask off.
Benoit, a great technical wrestler, and I hate to say it, but far better than Bret Hart. I'm glad they gave him the opportunity to come in as number
1 and walk out the winner of the Royal Rumble. He deserved to have that spotlight, and to have that under his belt. And I was also very excited to see him win at Wrestlemania to gain the World Heavyweight Title. Dont get me wrong, Triple H is the King of Kings, but I wanted a new face to be the champion. But I think its safe to say that Benoit is one of the very fourtunate to recieve 2 title pushes in his career with the WWE. He began to get one with the Rock when Shane McMahon was on Benoit's side, but then injured his neck, which made him lose that shot. Im glad Vince gave him time to recooperate with old injuries, but he needs to have an explosive return and maybe have WWE gold wrapped around his waist once again.
I notice that all these people who are saying I'm wrong are actually not offering any reasons as to why. Feedback is meant to be someone offering their opinion, which is what I did, from an unbiased perspective. Why should feedback only be positive" The main problem with a lot of articles I've read is the inane crap that's put forward is never challenged by anyone, it is merely accepted. Call my actions flaming if you wish, but you'll notice I did not attack the personalities either of the article's author or the subject Glen Jacobs: what I did was offer my opinions on Kane's ability and did what the author and everyone who has subsequently jumped on his dick failed to do, and that is offer the reasons why I believe what I believe.
In return, I get "Adam Heap" telling me I should burn in hell for a while and "Richard" implying I don't know what I'm talking about. Well, guess what" Until you start offering anything more than "Kane's style is good for wrestling," it'll be clear that you're the one who is ignorant. As for writing a column, Heap... why" I've already told you why I don't rate Kane as a worker or character. I have "done something about it". Again, I never said I didn't like Kane, or that I think he's the "biggest dumbass in the
WWE": I was actually very positive about what seems to be his social attitude. I just do not rate him as a worker for the reasons given.
Yes, "reasons given". I managed that part, unlike the rest of you clowns. I debate, but I'm not willing to get in a juvenille war of words with people who don't know a thing about professional wrestling. Quit starting meaningless fights over the Internet and get a bloody life.
Kenpei Ryuujin wrote:
Great article Joe, I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of either wrestler, but I would love to see an era where Kane is champ, and maybe another, more fitting one for Benoit. I love to see wrestling to where its actually WRESTLING, and I'm not saying in reference to ROH. I like to see big guys wrestle as well, and Kane is one of the big guys that can wrestle. I remember when he wrestle Undertaker at Wrestlemania 14. That was an awsome match! I hope he has another one with alot of hype at a big PPV soon, maybe with undertaker again, I mean, yeah, we've seen it before, but, they work well together. if not 'Taker, then maybe Big Show. Yeah, they had a match (I didn't see it) but I want one that they'll embellish for a while, and build it up. I didn't know about the match until I looked online for the results of the PPV. I was like "oh, Big Show and Kane was at the PPV"
wow..." Now on Benoit. I wish he would have had his match w/ Dean Milenko at ECW One Night Stand. Or maybe take Benoit over to ECW and let him and Angle feud. But yeah, you can tell its taking its toll on his body, if WWE is going to let Benoit gracefully retire, they better get him to feuding w/ someone and build it up now, or else, it'll just "disappear" off the show and the only thing WWE will say will be on WWE.com "we wish for the best for Benoit in his future endeavors" and that will be it. I've been almost disgusted w/ WWE for how they handle their talent, I mean, yeah, Cena got old, and WWE rubbed it in our face, but when he first one the title, it was awsome, and then it turned into a "Cena-Loses-at-"
kinda game, and then, before long, we all were guessing at ever PPV "he'll lose to Kurt Angle" and "he'll lose to Jericho" and then come Wrestlemania, we all though (or at least most of us) was thinking he would lose to Triple H, but that didn't even happen. But to my surprise anyways, he lost it to RVD, Rob Van Damn, and I'm glad that he got the title, there's no one I can think of who deserves it more than him, but I have a sad feeling that he'll lose the WWE title, and YET still retain the ECW title and we'll continue on our marry way... I hope I'm wrong, but if I'm not, don't be surprised...
Marc Mattaliano wrote:
I'm not sure I agree with the lot of you calling Kane and Benoit jobbers left and right. Sure, I understand the term, and I suppose to some extent it applies....but what are you all trying to say" That just because Kane and Benoit aren't maineventing every televised show that airs, that they don't matter" As far as I'm concerned, at least 80% of what goes on during televised shows matter and are relevant, unless it's another divas bikini contest. If I want to see hot girls, there's plenty of other places I can go to see them completely naked, as opposed to hooting and hollering about them wearing bathing suits. But anyway, back to Kane and Benoit not having titles....
I do agree that they're valuable assets, and I always love watching them wrestle. But please, if we're going to do a debate on wrestling, let's all try and pick a perspective. Are we going to focus on their characters or not" Because some of us in this thread seem to be asking "Why don't McMahon and the other writers give Kane and Benoit more title shots"" Well, I think I know why....because the writers of the storylines want us to take their characters seriously when we watch the programs. Do you think Vince McMahon goes to board meetings and licks hot women in front of his wife, pulls out his grapefruits and introduces his son at family gatherings as the "fruit of his semen"" We're supposed to take it seriously on tv, but understand that it's fake behind the scenes. So for a moment, let's play along. We'll start with Kane's character....
Yes, he's a "monster," a vicious son of a gun with a constant chip on his shoulder. I think most of us who feel Kane's a talented competitor (whether "technically" or not) can speculate that if Kane really put his mind to it and started really trying to get his hands on a legitimate title, that he could probably have his era as champ. But like I said, look at his character for a moment....since he debuted, his mind hasn't been on titles. His mind's been occupied with tormenting Undertaker, inflicting pain on people, and dominating the competition....and for the most part, he's been doing that. Take for example the Aliens and Predators. Are they all looking to take over the world" No. Aliens want to propagate their species, and Predators long to find the strongest competition because they're warriors, but they're not concerned with universal takeover, even though they could take Earth any bloody time they wanted. I mean, look what happens in the rare occasions Kane's asked for a title shot. It was handed right to him, wasn't it" Because he's good enough. Look at the times Kane was shoved into a title shot without needing to ask (and look at the records, there's plenty of those moments). He tried his best, but after losing the opportunity, he didn't seem all that broken up, did he" And why" Because his mind and priorities were elsewhere. Kane's never been interesting because he was busy chasing after titles. Hell, if he were always chasing title opportunities, his persona would get pretty diluted pretty fast. Not to badmouth Triple H for that very reason, he's my absolute favorite....but when DX broke up back in the day and he started solely chasing championships, I was starting to lose faith in the man who's "that damn good" when he can't take his belt back after three or four tries. Glen Jacobs is great, most of us seem to agree with that. But let's not get all upset if he's not dripping with gold. It's not really that important to Kane, and Glen seems to be fine playing the part of psycho....why don't we just enjoy seeing Kane, and see where his journey will take him" Why do we have to judge a wrestler's success by what titles they've won.
While we're on the subject of characters, though, let's look at Benoit. I know what you're thinking, too, what character does he have" He plays himself, stupid. No, I mean the personality he's shown in the ring. His attitude is all about being a talented wrestler. He's about being old school and wrestling matches fair and square and still managing to win. And....that's about it, as far as I can see. Which isn't to say I don't like Benoit either, I like him a lot. He's the rabid wolverine and all that good stuff (the Toothless Aggression thing was stupid, but regardless). True, he does deserve another title, or at least another shot at one, and I'm positive he'll get another chance before he retires, you just watch. But let's be honest here, RAW and SmackDown! are only two hour shows, people. Hell, in order to give more people tv time as it is, they had to "split the brand in half." They can only cram so many people on the show at one time. Remember what happened to Monday Nitro when it went 3 hours" They had to stretch their talent out, and it ended up being garbage. What makes watching WWE so great is interesting dramas, which usually focus around rivalries. But Benoit's attitude, at least lately, doesn't lend itself to anyone being all that pissed at him. What are they gonna say, "dude, you are so straight laced, Benoit! Stop that!" Benoit's all about being one of the best technical wrestlers out there, meaning even if he got embroiled in drama, how could the writers develop his personality into some way, without making him an annoying heel" Could he get away with coming out to the ring week after week saying he's the best technical wrestler today" Would people agree with him and cheer, or disagree and boo" And what if he says he's the best and we agree, and he still ends up losing because other guys who "want it more" cheat to win" Will we all still agree with him then" Or, what if he just protested all the cheating and interferences as part of his personality" People would get on his case for being a crybaby. Which, in a small way, brings me to my final point regarding Cena....
Say what you want about his technical skills, maybe he doesn't have that much technical skill. Has he ever claimed to have a generations deep background, or claimed to have trained with Stu Hart in the dungeon, or out wrestled legends" Not that I recall. Cena proves that winning in wrestling these days is more about being aware and keeping your head on a swivel, as well as being tough. If you're really technical, that's a good skill, but it won't unconditionally win you matches. Look at why Benoit and Kane haven't been thoroughly demolishing people....other wrestlers usually run-in and interrupt. Why do you think Benoit didn't crush Booker T in the last "best of 7" they had together" Because everywhere he looked, Sharmell was sticking her nose into the match, and Benoit wasn't aware enough to realize, "well, Sharmell's gonna do something, I'd better be ready to counter it somehow, and do it the right way." Cena probably would've won that best of 7 with Booker, though....remember when he took on that one guy in that lumberjack match, and every single lumberjack was pissed off at Cena" I can't remember the match exactly, but I remember it was a miracle he survived and won. And what about Big Show" Cena somehow beat Big Show with his bare hands. Bare hands, fair and square! If i remember correctly, he did it without the illegal use of weapons, interferences or cheating...he did it all by himself AND FU'ed his 500 lb ass at the end. So say what you want about Cena not being technical....but there is a reason he kept the title so long. It seems wrestling, in and of itself, isn't enough to survive in the wrestling business these days. It's changed into a more varied style of fighting, that involves pinning your opponent at the end. Wrestling is just the most common style competitors use. Look at all the different styles of fighting there have been in the WWF and WWE. Sure, guys like Angle and Benoit are rare examples of guys who still actually wrestle, but what about Tajiri and Rob Van Dam" They wrestle sometimes, but they're predominantly karate guys. Look at Taz, his skills aren't based around wrestling per se, they're based around Judo, that's why he's the "human suplex machine." Judo is a martial arts style that teaches you how to throw your opponent, and Taz modified it to work in a wrestling ring, turning his Judo throws into creative suplexes. Look at Marc Mero, remember him" His theme, and probably a couple others in the past, were that of boxers. Yokozuna was a sumo wrestler which granted, is still technically a wrestling style, but when was the last time you watched an olympic wrestling match where a big giant sumo guy toddled into the ring" Look at Ken Shamrock, too, he wasn't a wrestler, he was another martial artist that managed to adapt to WWF style. So you can be any kind of fighter you want in "professional wrestling," as long as you pin the guy at the end and keep the managers at bay, you'll be fine. It just means that if you keep true to real wrestling, like the old school guys did, and you still win matches and titles, you'll get that much more respect from the fans.
Ian Povey wrote:
ok i agree with them passages see im a huge fan of the bigger stars e.g taker, Kane, big show etc etc.....an i feel as though Kane has been robbed.....robbed of his glory days, a decent title run and sum world class matches. and as 4 Benoit omg i don't belive that the wwe would let a great like him work mid card matches i mean look at him his fought the best in the business an if you don't belive me heres a few names.........triple H, Shawn Michaels, Bret hart, Kurt angle, Ric flair and yes even the big red machine Kane so even if your not a Benoit fan you have to admire his passion and desire for this business let alone respect his in ring skills an all round physicality.
personal note: in the 16 years I've been watching wrestling letting these 2 great athletes work as mid carders would most definitely be the biggest let down of wwe history
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