Angle #4: For Your Own Good
Bruno (of Beefcakes of Wrestling) woke me with the news: ROH champ Tyler Black has signed with the WWE. He asked me what I thought--is this a good thing or a bad thing? I acted like I knew all about it and shot back a response, which was "bad." Then I scoped the Internet for more information. Though I am happy that Black is now up for the big bucks, movie deals, and massive overexposure a WWE contract can bring--the dream of every indy pro wrestler that I come across--I have my prejudices to deal with on this subject. I am unhappy about what this move might mean for wrestling, especially if it's stage one in an assault on ROH to clean it of even more of its valuable resources. According to the reports I see, Black won't be going straight to the WWE squared circle, but rather serve some time "in development," where WWE teaches the cheeseburger you love at the local mom-and-pop diner how to be a Big Mac® ... more bread and "fixins," less blood and flavor. They will pack more muscle on the guy so he can compete with the 7-foot mastodons they'll pit him against ... and they will teach him how to talk ... talk a lot ... and glower ... in lieu of a whole lot of actual wrestling. They will curb him of the habit of mat wrestling and condition him not to blink or flinch when fireworks explode within five feet of him. No, as far as I can tell, the only good news is that Black, a wrestler I like a lot, is going to be rich ... but my reaction to the news is pretty much what my reaction would be if I heard that Trent Reznor had decided to be a contestant on The Apprentice. Not good. It would be great if I could go back to sleep and awake to find out that all this is just an elaborate ROH angle, that Jimmy Jacobs was being called in to intervene, to stop Tyler from making a move towards soulless celebrity, and to climb in the ring and teach Black a lesson for his own good.