What’s a guy to do?

Former WWE tag team wrestler Rory McAllister knows why fellow Scotsman Drew McIntyre has been so overlooked and underutilized by the company since his impressive initial run. McAllister recently responded to a Twitter question on the subject with:

Drew has all the tools to be a player but has to grow a set and not be “happy to have a job.” He’s better than that!”

McAllister has a point. McIntyre is most assuredly better than that. Though no one would know by watching the current televised WWE product, Drew McIntyre came in to WWE out of nowhere and seemed destined for grand and glorious achievements. His look was good, even by WWE standards. A legit 6’5″ and billed as 6’6″, his build resembled Randy Orton’s in that he was lean and muscular without the bulk of Cena, HHH, or Sheamus. The man could wrestle. A double-underhook DDT (the FutureShock) has never looked so brutal. He was a thinking man’s villain, incredibly vicious and regularly pulling his opponents into the frame of the ring head-first. He even won the Intercontinental Championship title for a time. All signs pointed to “yes (yes! yes!)” for the man from Ayre, Scotland.

What went wrong next was two-fold. Some say that the embarrassingly public actions of McIntyre’s then-wife resulted in her release and his permanent residence in the company’s doghouse. Some say that Vince’s insistence on taking McIntyre’s heel heat for himself by writing notes, reversing referee decisions, and generally making the man look completely dependent on his boss is what derailed the train. In either case, the career of Drew McIntyre has never recovered. Reports of his undergoing a gimmick reboot requiring him to flirt with men at house shows did not help matters. That he isn’t a bona fide superstar with at least some sniffing around a main event title run right now is criminal.

The point is that Drew McIntyre’s placid acceptance of his lot with WWE is his downfall in the view of Rory McAllister. “Growing a set” and not being “happy to have a job” seem to encourage speaking up for one’s self, demonstrating confidence in one’s own abilities and knowing the value of what one has to offer, and not worrying overly much about offending anyone or stepping on toes. Fair enough. That’s precisely how one gets ahead in most industries. More than one veteran wrestler has bemoaned the lack of testicular fortitude in the newer generation of talent, telling them to step up and take the spot that they want, as no one will be giving them anything.

The problem is that the one thing that WWE hates more than talent “happy to have a job” is talent who “grows a set.”

Think what you will about Sin Cara. One indisputable fact is that the man was an international superstar and a near-legend in his own lifetime before WWE ever said a word to him. If ever a wrestler did not need the WWE, it’s Sin Cara. Reports surfaced shortly after his arrival that WWE was not happy with the former Mistico because he behaved like the international superstar that he was. He was not humble. He did not believe that any woman could resist him. He knew what he was doing. He cared little for the opinions of others, particularly those without his level of experience. In short, Sin Cara did everything that Rory McAllister and a number of WWE veterans insist is correct and necessary, and he got slapped down for it.

Look at Alex Shelley. The former TNA star is supposedly in talks with WWE to join the roster of a cruiserweight-style show, either for a web series or as part of the ever-in-flux WWE Network. Shelley had issues with TNA management on multiple occasions as the more vocal member of the Motor City Machine Guns over how his persona should be portrayed, bleeding on tv, and generally feeling that he knew more about how he should be used than they did. A recent article on another web site mentioned that Shelley was concerned about being sent to developmental for an extended period of time, and that he felt that he was ready for the main roster immediately. The comments posted under this article, which will not be linked here, were universally scathing and condemnatory, mocking Shelley for daring to think that he belonged on the main roster right away. Why? Why would wrestling fans respond to his claim with such aggressive levels of vitriol? Isn’t that what he’s supposed to do, according to the above sources?

One could argue that the only wrestlers with the right to behave as though they “have a set” are those main eventers created by and belonging to WWE. The McMahons certainly seem to feel that way. Pro wrestling combines the very best and the very worst of professional sports with the very best and the very worst of theatre. WWE’s schizophrenic attitude towards its talent, demanding compliance and subservience at the same time that it mocks them for not “growing a set” and stepping up to take what they want, helps no one. Keeping talent so confused and concerned that they will accept whatever you demand of them is not only low from a humanitarian viewpoint, it eventually wears off. More than one revolution in history has started over similar treatment.

Frankly, right now I’d just like to see Drew McIntyre fight Alex Shelley instead of more of John Cena’s gloating and more “firing” people. But then, I also loved “Leningrad Cowboys Go America.” What do I know?




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