Friday 24 February 2012

Chosen for Mediocrity

Remember a couple of years ago when Drew McIntyre was singled out by Vince McMahon as a future world champion and given the lofty moniker of 'The Chosen One'? What happened to that guy?

Drew McIntyre in 2012 is not as high on the card as he ought to be. He originally debuted in 2007 but failed to make an impact, so he was bundled off to OVW to train. He returned in August 2009 and received a very healthy push. Unfortunately for the Scot history repeated itself and he gradually slipped down the card as other characters were introduced and the writing team lost interest in him. McIntyre himself is also partially responsible for his current position as he's never fully clicked as a top heel in the organisation, despite having the spotlight and backing to do so.

'The Chosen One.' What he's been chosen for isn't clear...

He spent much of 2011 languishing on Superstars, officially a member of the RAW brand. He officially returned to the blue brand on December 30th and has since been saddled with the losing streak gimmick.

If booked correctly a wrestler can get over with continual losses. It helps if there's a plan in place to end the trend before the storyline is launched, and also if the audience are sympathetic to the loser. Neither is the case here. McIntyre is a heel, so fans don't care if he never wins, and as is usually the case in WWE these days it doesn't appear that the idea was fully thought through when it was first considereed. They've come up with the idea of Drew losing all the time but don't know where to go with it. Basically they've consciously decided to make him a jobber with a featured spot.

This direction caused McIntyre to be omitted from the Royal Rumble match (he lost a squash bout to Brodus Clay at the event). He didn't appear at Elimination Chamber at all. He could have had a role in the Rumble and appeared at EC without the loser gimmick being compromised, which would have helped him and the storyline gain acceptance.

Had Drew entered the Rumble and been eliminated immediately the match would have had one more comedy moment that also added to a minor on-going storyline. Mid-card stars receiving any sort of push should always be included in the Royal Rumble unless their exclusion is part of a wider story (as was the case with Cody Rhodes last year for example).

There was enough room on the Elimination Chamber broadcast for him to be featured in a squash match. Even if there hadn’t been such a match could have replaced the utterly pointless Jack Swagger v Justin Gabriel nonsense that clogged up the show. McIntyre being placed into a match while the show was taking place would have made him look like an afterthought: surely a desirable attribute for someone being presented as a loser.

I've no idea where WWE's creative team intend to take McIntyre but a plan needs to be sorted out. There are rumours that WrestleMania will include a Team Long v Team Laurinaitis match, with the winning team's patron becoming GM of both RAW and SmackDown. How about including him in that and having him be the lone (or one of two) survivor(s) on a victorious heel team? He could then be rewarded by Laurinaitis with a shot against a newly-crowned babyface US champ (Zack Ryder would be ideal) and cheat to win the strap. That would provide a satisfying conclusion to the loser story and set up a new McIntyre v Ryder feud that could run for a month or two.

Alternatively McIntyre could be reunited with former tag team partner Cody Rhodes, with the long term plan being to do a gradual split. If that were teased long enough then McIntyre could successfully be turned face and capture the Intercontinental title from 'The Dashing One.' Cody could then move on to the main event, leaving McIntyre free to enjoy a spot in the upper mid-card.

I'd also recommend changing the guy's look. A succession of new trunks aside he has looked the same for years. It's time he changed things up. It would help him stand out, both with the fans and the writing team. Neither is a bad thing.

Drew McIntyre is someone WWE should be looking at as an upper mid-card act to be relied upon for years to come. He has the potential to be a main event star, but in order for him to make it to the top he has to be given a chance. In this case a chance starts with a plan.

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