Sunday 11 March 2012

The Art of the Fist Pump

Over the years TNA has earned itself a reputation for emulating WWE. Rightfully so. They routinely follow WWE’s lead in terms of characters, storylines, and production decisions. They also famously enjoy signing up almost anyone released from a WWE contract, presumably because they believe they can wring some exposure from said signings. That has never been the case. If anything they tend to decrease the star power of former WWE wrestlers appearing for them.

Unsurprisingly, it’s when TNA tries something different to their rival that they usually find their greatest success. One of best current examples of this is Robbie E’s Jersey Shore inspired character, which is ironic considering the similarity it holds to Zack Ryder in WWE.

They may work on different sides of the face-heel divide but Ryder and E are essentially doing the same thing. It’s clear both are modelled on characters from the “reality” TV show. Both enjoy a good fist pump (not like that), slather themselves in fake tan, and (take care to) spike their hair. While the WWE Merchandising Machine and exposure on higher rated shows has ensured that Ryder is the more widely known and over of the two it’s actually Robbie E that has the more rounded act, unique flourishes and who performs with the most conviction.

Robbie E has made Rob Terry relevant. That's an accomplishment in itself!

Robbie E has done far more than simply emulate a reality TV star. He has far more fitting entrance music, an imposing ringside enforcer in Robbie T (who looks far more comfortable as a Jersey Shore reject than a Welshman has any right being), and he has The List: purportedly a record of the only people permitted to be near Robbie E. He carries himself like a Jersey Shore character. Ryder carries himself like a reject from X Factor. There’s a difference and it favours Robbie E.

Robbie E has enough going on with his act to ensure that he stands out. He deserves credit for getting all of these disparate gimmicks to work in one package.

That he’s a mid-card act that’s managed to carve himself a spot in the schizophrenic TNA is just as much of an accomplishment as Zack Ryder using YouTube to promote himself from Superstars to RAW. All too often TNA forgets about its mid-card wrestlers altogether (probably because WWE does the same) so it’s nice that ‘The Platinum Poppa’ is on TV most weeks provoking the desired reaction and wrestling in enjoyable matches.

With Dave Lagana now on the TNA writing team it’s not impossible to think we may see the return of Cookie at some point in the not too distant future (the two are good friends). Adding another second to his entourage would only enhance the Robbie E package. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part but it would be nice to see. I always thought Cookie was a good fit with E. She could be again.

Either way, Robbie E has found a way to stand out in an often dull and unappreciative promotion. I hope this continues and Robbie E keeps growing as a performer.

No comments:

Post a Comment