SOURCE: Christian is by far and large a very talented wrestler. He clearly shows an ability to enter a ring and tell an entertaining story. Christian as well most certainly has shown the traits necessary to be considered “good on the mic.”
There is no argument that overall Christian is a good pro-wrestler.
In the last say 14 years since I would say pro-wrestling and the Internet have become so intimately linked the rise of a new fan has spread from just handful of guys who “were in the know” to a whole community that I think can be safely assessed at in the thousands, I will refrain from millions although I wouldn’t doubt it, and of course this group is collectively labeled the smart-marks or smarks, even though “smart-marks” existed before the Internet, I trust you understand my definition.
This segment of the wrestling crowd, the Internet fan as it were, is very opinionated and proudly voices their thoughts, feelings and analysis of the wrestling world. And that is good, awesome, great. I think the industry as a whole is better off because of the “smartening” up of fans because it induces a booker, (hypothetically) to tighten up their product although historically thats not always the case, the awareness modern crowds have for being able to recognize talent and well played story lines does in one way or another have a direct effect on the product.
With that said, Christian is a case in point of the negative effects of the Internet crowd. As is already agreed upon Christian is a talent, I repeat Christian is a talented performer. However Christian is not the mega-star superstar that the Internet crowd seems to make him out to be.
Here is why, first through out Don Whaler’s thoughts on Christian’s return, that were recently posted on the Observer site, he notes the possibilities if Christian were brought back to TV inserted into the Hardy-Edge program it would set up a guaranteed prospect for some type of featured program at Wrestlemania 25. Or another combination of an Edge-Christian reunion.
You also point to the fact that he should be running in the Raw or mackdown roster as oppose to the inherent multiple interpretations of Christian being on the “C” show ECW.
Either its Vince sending a message about re-earning one’s spot after going to the other team, or they went to plan ‘b’ to swerve the Internet etc.
Yet I feel the statement Don mentioned, Vince made about Christian never being anything more than mid-card, was just touched on, but I don’t think there was any honest self reflection made on that point.
And this is what I mean by the Smark perspective. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m the one who is crazy, but allow me to introduce this thought.
What if Christian really is nothing more than mid-card.
The reason I say that is because, whenever there is a worker whom is widely considered on the Internet to be above the quality of his current position on a roster.
The Internet seems to take on this new perspective in the talent. One that since he is not at the level on the roster they believe said wrestler should be at, it must mean said wrestler is truly greater than how he appears on TV as conveyed by whichever promotion (obviously I’m inferring WWE here) said wrestler works for. Almost as if its an injustice that he isn’t being “used properly.”
Lets bring this back to Christian. Do we remember Christian ca.04-05?
Yes he stood out with some great and entertaining mic work, and even had a few very good matches. Yet he never seemed to get a chance to chip at the glass ceiling did he?
Then the dream came true Christian was going to TNA which meant he would finally get his time in the limelight. The overall Internet belief was that with his talent Christian could be the start of TNA becoming legit competition with WWE.
Now lets play safe, lets say due to Russo, and whatever other reason Christian’s time was wasted because he was booked wrong etc. We were all there watching TNA so we know the story of the company.
Yet here is a thought, Christian was given the top roster, he was given prime-time, and he was given in a few instances the right workers to show that he was truly the diamond Vince McMahon had missed out on.
Christian never lived up to his end of the bargain in TNA.
Regardless of the abysmal creative or booking structures in TNA, every time where it was solely time for Christian to stand out and show his greatness, it never happened.
Sure he does indeed have a string of matches he can be proud of after leaving TNA. Yet I defy someone to tell me what match, what promo where in his TNA run did Christian ever show himself to be the cream of the crop?
Now lets go back to pre-TNA Christian, he most certainly was a stellar mic man and was charismatic, he even had some entertaining feuds. And I want to emphasize entertaining feuds. because never at any one time in Christian’s late WWE run did he ever put me in a mindset that said, yes I want to pay money to see him wrestle.
Now again we can go back and say he was never given the chance to do that for me.
So let me use my personal perspective. Prior to TNA I thought Christian was an excellent character, but his matches never really stood out unless he was working on a card that contained sub-par matches.
Then because, again Christian is a talented guy his match would stand out. Yet I don’t ever recall a PPV and with exception to two TV’s where Christian solely because of his in ring ability managed to be anything more than an entertaining character.
Yet I read message board after message board, commentary after commentary stating what an injustice it is that Christian was brought back with such little fan-fare to the “C” show.
There is surprise that they(WWE) didn’t try and capitalize on the former TNA mainevent star showing up on their program, but then again Vince thinks TNA is a nothing product so what exactly would Vince think he was capitalizing on?
And in reality what would be the point of trying to capitalize on something that die-hard WWE fans (the ones who will always pay money to see WWE regardless of what the PPV “looks like on paper”) think is a pathetic inferior product anyway?
There in lies the perspective , I don’t think of the smark community in any negative way. Just as I don’t belittle the “mark” crowd either, but I wonder if anyone really honestly remembers Christian prior to his TNA jump.
Because, DonWhalers mentioned the singular reality. WWE has been far from flawless booking, just as TNA has been.
And as a final point, we can make excuses such as booking, and in TNA’s case its a valid point, but booking only gets a wrestler to the match (and the finish). In this sport its still up to the wrestler to get from point A to B.
And I wonder if smarks are being completely honest with themselves in huffing and puffing over the initial use of Christian’s return because it just seems like they expected like the minute the WWE crowds saw Christian they would go ape-shit and WWE would now have another ace prospect to book at Wresltemania.
The crowd did pop according to live reports for Christian, but they didn’t say OMG CHRISTIAN’s BACK! and that clearly shows either the good old explanation of “well these aren’t the same fans as the ones in 04-05 etc.
Which may be true, or perhaps a more somber reality, the fans just don’t see him as the big deal the Internet makes him out to be.
In closing I would like people, to consider this, if Christian was never really getting his fair shot in WWE, allot of that time was with Edge.
Who in late 04-05 was starting to put it all together. I personally at the time felt that Christian going to TNA was a good thing not because the company would get a boost, but because Christian would no longer be overshadowed by Edge’s clearly superior talent, and I wonder if anyone in the smark crowd didn’t think that Edge was overshadowing Christian.
Christian was inserted right at the top of the card from the get go in TNA and slowly showed exactly what he was and is. Edge welll…..I think all I have to say is Edge and smarks get what I’m saying.
Edge showed exactly what he was, and I remember vividly the huff and puff about how overrated Edge was until he became the anti-Cena, and thus the darling of the Internet. And still Edge proved he was more than just the best alternative to Cena (other than HHH lol).
Meanwhile Christian right at the top of his company, well Christian didn’t exactly tear the house down, he never really grew the peep nation, and he never really knocked em dead with his mic work.
Although he did prove, he was a good wrestler.