Wrestling is a world with Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada
thrilling audiences with a 48 minutes classic and 60 minute
classic, in matches that will set the standard going forward
for many fans.
Wrestling is a world with AJ Styles and Kevin Owens shocking
an audience at the “world most famous arena” Madison Square
Garden with an unexpected title switch, sending fans home
talking…and online fans speculating.
Wrestling is many styles. It’s the wild, unpredictable
hardcore action (and yes, sex) of ECW, mixed with lucha
libre at its best and technically great matches fans of a
generation will always remember. Wrestling is the daredevil
spots of lucha libre, with intricate spots that violate most
known laws of space and time….and it is a slow Southern
match where the two wrestlers take 5 minutes to lock
up…and the crowd is frothing at the mouth all that time.
It’s all of those and more.
But the first, second, or even the 356th thing I think of
when I think wrestling…is NOT The Great Khali.
Philadelphia saw WWE Battleground last night. It did have
surprise results, with Kevin Owens regaining his US title
(nice sneaky shout out to Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks
during Talking Smack), Nattie Neidhart going over in the #1
contender match for the Smackdown Women’s Title match at
Summerslam, and even The New day regaining their WWE Tag
Team Titles over The Usos.
But we also get one of the tiredest gimmicks being re-used
with a Flag Match between John Cena and Rusev…with the
well-known (cough) worldwide rival of the United
States…Bulgaria. We get people being upset when United
States flag etiquette is thrown by the wayside as an
American flag touched the ground (note to non-US readers: in
theory a flag should be ceremonially burned if it touched
Most importantly, the Jinder Mahal Experiment isn’t working.
When you have trouble selling tickets to a WWE live PPV in
Philadelphia…and tickets are being widely
discounted…that should be a sign that something is very,
very wrong. When online interest in the event (even given
this being mid-Summer) is as low as many have seen in a long
time, it should send out a signal.
It starts with the feeling, right or wrong, that Mahal’s
title reign is little more than a business strategy to gain
entry into the untapped market of the Indian subcontinent.
It continues with the perception, fair or not, that Mahal,
is the latest Chernobyl Steroid Mutant from Hell being
featured by WWE over many other talented workers in the
So…what does WWE add to a main event featuring Jinder
Mahal? The Great Khali.
The Great Khali…who charitably…is as exciting as
watching paint dry…in slow motion. He comes off as a big.
lumbering wrestler who is…well, big.
This is how WWE solves the Jinder Mahal problem? I can’t
wait for the captivating promo by Khali on Tuesday night or
the thought of Great Khali playing Diesel on Smackdown.
Might need a 60 minute AJ Styles- Shinsuke Nakamura match on
Smackdown to get THAT taste out of my mouth.
Until next time….
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