Am I trying too hard with that Arrested Development reference? I probably am, but I couldn't contain my excitement for the latest series and just felt I had to say something.
I'm two episodes in right now and... yeah, it is certainly different. I have to say the pace is a lot slower than the previous seasons and there's a lot less jokes per minute. I had higher expectations for it (although that's probably my fault), but I guess it is still early days for me. With 13 episodes still to go it might pick up.
Speaking of things picking up, do you know what certainly isn't picking up? WWE's mid-card scene. I know it has been in a rut for years, but lately there is simply nothing enjoyable going on in it apart from maybe The Shield, although half the time they spend there time in the main event of weekly shows.
I came across Smackdown last night during the Miz TV segment, and in the ring stood the host, Fandango and The Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett. I think it's fitting that the Miz TV segment is the main picture for this column because it pretty much sums up the mid-card scene at the moment.
You have a man who not too long a go main evented WrestleMania, but has since sky fallen into complete mediocrity. I know he wasn't that good to begin with, as it was his new at the time 'look at me now' type promos and hard work ethic that got so many fans engaged in him. I think it's safe to say that there's nothing else to him, and after a while of trying to get some energy into his character, seeing him on Smackdown just shows that he's a man in desperate need for direction. The Miz has a lot of limitations, and creative have achieved the incredibly hard task of highlighting all of them at once.
Next we have Fandango, a man who's been the victim of his own short success. After the WrestleMania fiasco it's safe to say that he's something that just doesn't quite cut the billing. His gimmick is fine, but creative seem to have no idea what to do with him right now and how to try and get it over with the crowd. The Fandangoing sensation has pretty much died down, and to me that's to the fault of everyone involved. Sure, it was probably always going to fade out, but it was the way in which they handled him since WrestleMania that is the most confusing. They had the chance to let him run with the ball for a while and let his talked about gimmick run wild. Unfortunately though (or maybe even fortunately), the chance was blown before it had even begun.
In many ways Wade Barrett is like The Miz and Fandango without a real gimmick. The English bruiser has, in my opinion, very limited wrestling skills, and his lack of a character is showing them off to the world.
Back in 2011 someone like The Miz could get away with that, because his character was the main focal point. He gained fans form his promos and promos alone. Fandango became popular after just one (poor) match at WrestleMania, and all because of his gimmick.
Wade Barrett simply doesn't have that, and when you add the lack of direction onto that you get someone who's simply not destined to go anywhere. Slowly but surely Fandango and The Miz have fallen into the same boat as Wade Barrett.
Miz can no longer be the tough young kid looking to overcome all the odds in the WWE because he's already done that. It'll be extremely difficult for Fandango to get a big response because of how quickly he's fallen. Wade Barrett on-and-off presence on WWE has made him somebody nobody even cares about.
It may seem like an impossible task, but they can build these guys back up again. Maybe not to the heights some of them reached before, but to a certain stage that makes them look credible. The same can be said for a lot of wrestlers on the mid-card scene as well. Instead though, creative seem content on letting them go on a segment like Miz TV and have them roam around like lost puppies.