Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Bait and Switch? Who Cares!

Was this a bait and switch? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No.
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Let's get it out of the way, for the sake of argument. The ending of RAW Monday, with Vince McMahon telling Rey Mysterio to hit the showers because his match with The Miz for the Interim WWE Championship was postponed until the next week was a bait and switch. We, as viewers, were promised a one night tournament to completion. We didn't get it. This is definitely the kind of thing that ruined WCW, yes. However, there's a key different from the average ending to Nitro to what happened Monday. Well, there are several differences, actually.

The keyest difference between the powerful segment to end RAW and your average end to Nitro where the nWo would beat up on everyone and spraypaint shit and be dominant is exactly that. The WWE gave us something worthwhile, something that gave us a very important plot development. Given the choice between what we saw and what we were promised? Well, Mysterio and Miz would definitely have given us a good match, but then again, they can have that match next week too. It's not a crime to tip your hand and build towards a marquee match, even if it's on free TV (I'd say especially if it was on free TV). But the kind of TV that we got was once-in-a-lifetime, I think. I mean, how many times does Vince McMahon get fired from his own company with it having the kind of effect it had Monday?

That's why this bait and switch was a good idea, on several levels. It traded off something potentially good and gave us something really great. It gave that "something good" another week to simmer and get people excited for it. I mean, there was literally nothing wrong with what they did, and to me, pretending that there was is just that, pretending.

See, WWE, for all its faults in booking and execution, has done a great job in making sure they delivered what they promised for their main event. That's what made this change so powerful, because WWE doesn't do it all the time. And really, when WCW did their weekly shitting on the main event, was it ever powerful? Impactful? Maybe the first couple of times it was, but they kept running it into the ground.

Measuring what's good on a wrestling program by the tropes they use is shortsighted in my view. You need to judge on emotional impact, resonation. If you didn't like the last segment on RAW because you thought it schmaltzy or overacted, then fine, I cannot begrudge you your opinion. However, if it's because it was what WCW used to do, then I think you might have your criticisms misplaced.

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