Monday, 23 June 2014


So apparently Snooki wants back into the sports entertainment game. What's that? You’ve never heard of Snooki? Allow me to attempt an explanation.

Snooki’s full name is Nicole Elizabeth Polizzi. She shot to quasi-fame as a cast member on Jersey Shore, a show about a group of recognition-hungry layabouts flaunting their wealth and glamorous lifestyles in semi-scripted feuds and storylines (not dissimilar to wrestling, as it happens). Swimming pools, nightclubs and cheating partners featured prominently.

On the back of her popularity on that show she bagged numerous media appearances and a dose of fame. She also got a second, not very different, show in which she has a starring role. It’s called Snooki & JWoww. JWoww was also on Jersey Shore and holds the same media personality job description as Snooki.

Fake tan? No, definitely not.
When it became clear that Jersey Shore could sustain a level of popularity for a while WWE felt the need to associate with the show. Not satisfied with giving Zack Ryder a gimmick inspired by the programme they also hired Snooki, as the most marketable and one of the most respectable cast members, to host an episode of RAW in March 2011. That met with unspectacular results, as these sorts of WWE experiments tend to. Only a handful of non-wrestling fans were keen enough on Snooki to tune into RAW to watch her antics unfold. None stuck around (at least not in significant numbers) for any non-Snooki wrestling shows that followed.

Undeterred by the general public's spectacular indifference WWE forged ahead with the original plan to feature Snooki at that year’s WrestleMania. Not happy with simply having her appear (because that had been done) somebody in the company decided that Snooki should wrestle at the event. That she did, in the once prestigious semi-main event spot no less, teaming with John Morrison and Trish Stratus to defeat LayCool and Dolph Ziggler. Yep, Snooki was inexplicably booked as a babyface on the show which attracts the most hardcore wrestling fans. To the surprise of very few (a number which I suspect includes Snooki's agent) she was booed.

I shan't lie. I'm not overly familiar with Snooki's career so I had no idea what she'd been doing since WrestleMania XXVII until I Googled her to write this. Turns out she's mostly just been filming the reality show already mentioned. I can't say with any certainty whether or not her fame has increased, decreased or abstained from fluctuation altogether since her last WWE stint but I'd guess it's about the same. Essentially I'd assume she still has her own group of loyal fans. And if that's the case WWE could do worse than using her again.

Yeah, I'm advocating the use of a celebrity by WWE. Not revolutionary considering the company's track record and fairly unremarkable considering the celeb in question's been involved before and had announced they want to be involved again (on the Talk is Jericho podcast, for the record) but hear me out. If WWE were to simply bring in Snooki for a guest hosting spot on RAW it would be pointless. It's been done. It's also been proven she doesn't inflict a major change on ratings, which is the number one reason people of her ilk are brought in.

What I think WWE should do is offer Snooki a one year contract. Immediately you've got someone who can, with the right training and booking protection, work as a top heel in the Divas division and who can give Total Divas a boost. With the show going into its third series a boost is exactly what’s needed (the announcement that Rosa Mendes is joining the cast won’t provide it). In fact there's even the potential to do a series focusing solely on Snooki becoming a wrestler (which needn't preclude her from the TD cast). That could be shown exclusively on the WWE Network, netting more subscribers as her fans are forced to sign up to watch, or sold to TV channel, getting WWE some cash for a show that's unlikely to cost a lot to make.

Signing Snooki to a full contract (obviously an above average one in monetary terms) would create far more mainstream interest in WWE than having her make a one off appearance would. A fully fledged Z-lister becoming a bona fide full-time wrestler? TMZ and the like would lap that up!

While the reality setup would be Snooki's natural domain she could function well enough as a wrestler. She already has that much vaunted gymnastics background Michael Cole banged on about at 'Mania XXVII and could be stationed at NXT for the first several months of her contract. That she's going to be unpopular with fans would just need to be embraced (or perhaps I’m being hard on her and she has the ability to work out as a face: if so it’s hardly a loss, she’d just be booked differently). Sticking her with the BFFs would be sensible. It would not only cast her as a heel but also offer her some protection by surrounding her with more experienced heads.

After three or four months she could be promoted to the main roster to be carried through matches by Natalya, Emma, and Paige (notice how Divas are rarely entitled to surnames?). In fact, Snooki could be used as a device to elevate all the BFFs. The group could be called up as a unit with Snooki positioned as the star. That would make storylines easier to write (as each face challenger would have various singles and tag matches waiting for them opposing the villainous group) and allow multiple roster members to benefit from a celeb signing. There would also be a natural blow off feud between Snooki and whichever member of the BFFs WWE feels has the most potential for singles success in the long run. That's probably Charlotte but personally I like Sasha Banks's chances.

Her background means she's going to understand the social media aspects of being a WWE Diva (a downfall of many men and women WWE hires) and she's likely to pick up the knack of cutting a promo quickly if she's got the right teacher. She’d certainly be looked after in the teaching department. WWE would want their high profile signing to learn quickly and well in order to benefit from her as much as possible. As such they’d put their top people on her (stifle that laughter…).

The timing of this is something WWE would have to look at. Snooki's currently pregnant, which makes it an unlikely deal to be struck in the immediate future. That's not a concern though, because signing Snooki now isn't really ideal for WWE anyway. This is the sort of stunt that would best work in conjunction with WrestleMania. That would allow Snooki to make her first and last appearances on 'The Grandest Stage of Them All' and would ensure whatever Snooki-themed reality offering was concocted would be ready to air in the build-up to her second 'Mania, where Snooki would ideally be having a significant singles clash.

Snooki versus Charlotte at WrestleMania XXXII? You heard it here first!

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