Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Rant #1,029: Slight Push
You might remember that a few Rants ago, I wrote about WWE wrestler Darren Young, the first known, active professional wrestler to come out of the closet while still on the active roster of the biggest professional wrestling organization in the world.
I wondered how the WWE would handle his announcement.
Now, I and the rest of the "WWE Universe" knows.
Evidently, Young is being pushed, every so slightly, up the ladder of success.
It has been very low key, which is quite uncommon for the WWE, but it also appears that they are going up the right path with this story.
Young has won his two televised matches since his announcement--one as a tag team with Titus O'Neill, the other as a single wrestler--and that is news in itself, because quite frankly, Young rarely ever won any matches prior to his announcement, either as part of a tag team or as a solo performer.
Part of the reason why WWE is being so low key about this whole thing has to do with the fact that one of its top pay-per-view events of the year intersected the announcement.
SummerSlam, the organization's No. 2 PPV attraction behind Wrestlemania, was held two Sundays ago. Young was not on the card for that event, which had to go down as one of the best PPVs the company has had in some time.
Young was in Los Angeles, like all the WWE roster, for the show, and his announcement probably took some in the organization by surprise, although he has gotten across the board "thumbs up" from the hierarchy of the WWE.
Anyway, now that the promotion for SummerSlam is over, the WWE can see what it can do to boost Young, and they are seemingly being careful in doing that.
They had several choices: keep him the way he was, basically, a losing wrestler; ascend him to the "throne" right away; or let him take baby steps up the ladder, which is the way they chose to do it.
They could have also pushed him as a "gay" wrestler, but they aren't doing that, which I think is a very good thing.
Let him work his way up like all wrestlers are supposed to do, anyway, and let the chips fall where they may.
Boost him by letting him be successful, and by doing that, you make what is happening in the ring seem almost as real as Young's announcement was.
Yes, this is professional wrestling, I know, not necessarily a bastion of truthfulness.
But when you have a real story, one that made national news, you can go with it, but go with it the right way, and I think the WWE has done just that.
And where does that leave Titus O'Neill, his tag team partner?
The former pro football player is almost an ancillary performer with Young now as one half of "The Prime Time Players," but his career can get a boost too.
If he can ascend to one of the tag team leaders with Young, then this will certainly be a good thing for his own career.
I think the WWE has been wondering what to do with O'Neill, who has one of the most imposing presences they have ever had on their roster, but with little or nothing to do.
His partnership with Young might provide just the thing O'Neill needs to ascend to the top himself.
Let's see what happens during the coming weeks, as the WWE can fully focus on this situation.
To me, I think it might just be a fun ride.
Posted by Larry at 2:51 AM