Monday 2 July 2012

The Fall Guy

The last few weeks of RAW have seen Heath Slater interacting with stars of yesteryear. First he was beaten by Vader. Then he interrupted Cyndi Lauper’s WWE return and ended up getting floored by ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. Last week saw him get smashed by former WWE and WCW champion Sid.

This gimmick has been devised as part of the build-up to the 1,000th episode of Monday Night RAW. It’s a clever move to have the same guy facing the returning stars each week as it becomes a storyline for them as well as hype for a show. Having a young star lose to veterans each week (the majority of whom are going to be well into their fifties) may not seem ideal but it’s better than not giving them anything to do at all. Slater hadn’t done worthwhile for months, this storyline at least makes use of him and plays to his apparent strength of playing a comedy heel.

So who can we expect to see facing ‘The One Man Rock Band’ in the coming weeks?

There’s a strong rumour that tonight’s show will feature the return of Diamond Dallas Page. If that’s true I think Slater is pretty much guaranteed to find himself on the wrong end of a Diamond Cutter. If DDP does appear I hope we get to see a “self high five” and his “PMA smile”. Entering to his WCW music would be good too.

Heath Slater did not fair well against Sid

Tomorrow’s live SmackDown is being billed as a Great American Bash event (no, it’s not a name worthy of pay-per-view status anymore) and an appearance by tiresome plank-lover ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan has been confirmed. A segment in which Slater brags about being a great American only to be flattened by Duggan’s ever present two-by-far is easy to imagine.

Beyond that who can say? There are literally dozens of people who could work in the role of Slater squasher between now and the 1,000th RAW episode, far more than will actually be required. My personal favourites for the role would be the Brooklyn Brawler, Papa Shango, Gillberg, the Bushwhackers and Steve Blackman.

"It's me, it's me, it's D-D-P"

It’s impossible to guess who WWE will use for these matches but the likelier candidates are the ones who remain on good terms with the organisation or work behind the scenes, which makes JBL , Kevin Nash, and Dusty Rhodes solid contenders for an appearance. There’s a good chance Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and-or Booker T will join in the fun at some point, although part of the pleasure of these segments is seeing a star that is no longer a regular on WWE television.

This gimmick is likely to end on the 1,000th episode of RAW. WWE will need someone special to deal Slater his final loss. Lawler would be a good bet there, but there’s a chance The Undertaker will perform the task instead. It may seem a wasteful use of him on such a historic episode of RAW but ‘The Dead Man’ could easily be booked to dispatch the former Nexus member and then either head backstage or cut a succinct promo, depending on WWE’s plans for him.

However the gimmick ends WWE should try to think of something similar for Heath Slater to do in the future. He will never be a world champion in the company but he makes a fine fall guy. In wrestling that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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