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Kanyon’s Return: The Disgusting Waste Of An Epic Storyline


Kam

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Heres the latest column from Blake Norton from TBR:

 

Kanyon’s Return: The Disgusting Waste Of An Epic Storyline

<> By Blake Norton

<> Blake@BlakeNorton.com

 

 

After an epic, one-year struggle between sickness and health, life and death, Kanyon finally achieved his goal. He returned to action with World Wrestling Entertainment, the culmination of a journey fought with doubt and suffering.

 

However, instead of using Kanyon’s real-life struggles as an opportunity to share his character and passion with their fans, the company chose to take a different route.

 

They chose to make him an absolute joke, as he was donned in an outfit reminiscent of 80s pop star Boy George and sent out to sing off-key at The Undertaker, which naturally resulted in a swift and meaningless beat-down.

 

The point, the tragedy, isn’t that Kanyon’s re-debut is disrespected. He himself knows exactly what he has accomplished. His peers know and he is aware that those of us who work in this business admire his courage. He has kept his job during a time when layoffs have been flying fast and furious, as the business clamors for direction, for substance, for legitimate draws that will lead the company back to prosperity.

 

That’s the point. Kanyon could have been made a major draw.

 

Not only is his untapped talent and charisma widely understood within this business, but the real-life tale of his trials and tribulations, coupled with his fresh, under-exposed face, made the opportunity for a major new push a no-brainer.

 

So why was Kanyon brought back as a joke? Why was he used in a role that helped nobody? Why was his potential wasted?

 

These questions have been asked time and time again in relation to dozens of different scenarios. The answer from the WWE, when they do answer such criticism, is always the same.

 

“We are World Wrestling Entertainment. We respect our stars, but separate their lives off-screen from the characters they play on-screen.”

 

Both of those arguments would be entirely correct. There is, quite honestly, nothing *wrong* with how the WWE is using Kanyon. And anyway, why *shouldn’t* they bring guys like Kanyon in as the punch line of a joke that nobody thought was funny in the first place?

 

Lord knows that “bell boy” Brian Kendrick, “fat prude” Molly Holly, Shawn Stasiak, Saturn & Moppy, Tommy Dreamer's "I eat crap" gimmick, Christian's tantrum gimmick, Booker T.'s extended "dumb heel thug" gimmick (remember that one?), Rico the Gay Stylist, Steven Richards' "goofier than a pet coon" gimmick (that one lasted on and off for five years), Jamie Noble & Nidia’s trailer-trash routine, one-time hardcore superstar Crash’s apparent mental breakdown, and Billy & Chuck have drawn so much f***ing money in comparable slapstick roles.

 

Kanyon could have been introduced in a meaningful way. He could have drawn money.

 

Here’s how they could have done it.

 

Last week on Smackdown, maybe Kanyon *didn’t* show up as a Boy George impersonator. Instead, we saw a video; a tactic which sure worked well for Triple-H, Rey Mysterio and literally hundreds of wrestlers over the last twenty years of the business.

 

The Video:

 

Camera pan on Kanyon standing in the ring. Heavy zoom. The shot starts at his boots, slowly panning up to his calves. Imagery of his rehabilitation flicker onto the screen.

 

A disturbing image of him in pain, ideally from hospital, performance shots will suffice if necessary. The speed of the film slows gradually (0.75x, to 0.5x, 0.4x). The pan reaches the man’s chest and neck.

 

Fade to black.

 

The screen engulfed in pitch black, enter the familiar beating of the WWE pre-main event pulse.

 

“Thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump…”

 

A blade swings across the screen.

 

A silhouette jogs back and forth in an empty hall on the vertical axis, running towards and away from the camera, in black and white video, in slow motion (0.5x speed).

 

The voiceovers of his friends, his family, WWE agents and co-workers begin to enter.

 

“Chris was rehabbing from the knee injury when it happened. He dislocated his shoulder… Nobody knew how badly hurt he was going to get…”

 

“… I remember, he started to keel over…”

 

“By the time he was admitted to hospital, his blood oxygen level had dropped to 41%”

 

“He couldn’t breathe, there was a six-inch wound, his flesh was ripped to shreds and…”

 

“I really… didn’t think that anyone could…”

 

“He wouldn’t give up…”

 

“We… we weren’t… we didn’t know he was going to make it.”

 

“He refused to give up…”

 

The screen goes black. The riff screeches to a halt.

 

The piercing squeal of an iron mallet smashing off an anvil rips the silence apart.

 

His drooping head fills the screen, stringy hair precluding his face from view, as we return to the original pan, now having reached its final destination.

 

The tape speeds forward (1.75x). Kanyon flicks his hair back and growls into the camera.

 

“Forget about me?”

 

“AARRRRRAGH!”

 

Kanyon explodes as a barrage of vivid color images splash onto the screen in monitor video mode. Music kicks in full force as highlights of slams, suplexes, highspots, all flash before our eyes.

 

20 seconds in -> begin splicing in black and white shots from the empty hall.

 

“This is my life… This is my passion… I will not give – I can not give.. up…”

 

Return to the empty hall. Kanyon’s run slows to a jog; slows to a walk. His head turns curiously to the left; something or someone has drawn his attention. His body follows. As the crowd is heard swelling in the background, he looks to the concrete floor and takes one deep breath. His head shoots up. His eyes shoot arrows. He pulls back the curtain; and walks through.

 

The screen fades to black; Kanyon on his hands and knees.

 

“Nobody… nobody will take this from me.”

 

“I am… because I choose to be…”

 

“This has been my journey, my sacrifice…”

 

“It’s time for my sacrifice to continue.”

 

Quick fade.

 

Kanyon Returns

 

Quick fade to black.

 

If there’s one thing the WWE does well, its video packages. They have a tremendous production team. No matter how goofy the storyline, no matter how nonsensical the plot twists, they consistently turn in a package that steals the fans’ attention, and reminds them just how serious, how passionate, how real this business really is. A presentation such as this puts everything every fan knows about a mis-used performer like Kanyon in perspective. It immediately and firmly cleans the slate, and sets him up as an immediate

force. It sets him up as a fighter. It sets him up as someone people can believe in.

 

For most, it reminds them why they are fans.

 

This would have made people care.

 

This was the first step to establishing a draw.

 

This was the first step to establishing a true superstar.

 

I could write any one of a dozen different powerful ways to bring him back in the next show; but that’s not going to help anyone now; last week, Kanyon was brought back as a Boy George impersonator. There goes that curiosity.

 

This business runs through my veins. I know what makes it tick because it makes me tick. It is my partner, it is my retreat. It saddens me to see people involved who don’t appreciate it. Who don’t see it. Who don’t understand it. Who don't respect it.

 

Yes, I know that when most of the boys in the front office read articles like this, they brush them off as “there’s always a mark who thinks he knows better.” I’ve been there, as many of them nervously quip back and forth, in one hand holding a “mis-informed mark’s booking sheet,” while in the other holding a copy of the company’s declining financial figures. That’s fine. Take the easy way out. You did it back when I wrote at WOW Magazine, you did it when I ran IGN, you do it every time every learned critic writes a truth you never thought of, or a truth that doesn’t suit your political agendas.

 

But we both know what the deal is.

 

We both know that our goals add up to the same.

 

You want to make money. And sadly, in business, the best interests of the individual and the best interests of the company diverge.

 

In today’s WWE, too many people are choosing the former path.

 

The company is dying.

 

Guys like me want to make compelling matches, characters and stories. That’s why I am a writer. That’s why I am a wrestler.

 

On the occasions I’ve had relations with them, the staff of WWE and, indeed, the McMahon family, have been most cordial and friendly, and extremely professional.

 

Nonetheless, I have no sympathy for WWE’s situation because time and time again the company has made bad choices. Time and time again the company has been so arrogant, as to ignore the fans, and go so far as to ignore fellow industry personnel who simply want the business, and therefore the company, to prosper. Time and time again they have taken the easy, quick answer, and that will not work in the long run.

 

What I do have sympathy for is everyone in WWE who is legitimately trying to make this work.

 

I have sympathy for the talent that was released these last few months, because there is no reason that business couldn’t be booming right now if some simple, but key changes were made in their writing teams and their attitude towards their customers.

 

I have sympathy for Kanyon.

 

Chris, I sincerely hope you get the opportunity to show what you truly have to offer this business.

 

If you do, sadly, you will be one of a minority.

 

 

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Unless something happens on SD this week, something tells me he's gonna get his release.

 

Thats one of the better things of TNA. When Jason Cross broke his knuckles, every week they'd tell you how he was doing on the show.

 

With the likes of Kanyon, Benoit, Rhyno etc we never heard nothing.

 

Only people like Triple H and Austin got that. WWE are just in a such a bad state right now, that misusing Kanyon is just one of the hundreds of problems they have.

 

If they aren't gonna use him in a meangingful way, just release him and let someone else use him better.

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This is one of the few times that I don't agree with Blake Norton. He's put a lot of thought into Kanyon's return, but I don't like the idea of him as a "fighter". Kanyon is a classic, cocky heel. I would hate to see him drop his "Who Betta Dan Kanyon?" shtick, which is a real heat getter, just to see him act more seriously.

 

There were very few people in the Invasion who were treated as well as Kanyon. He was given mic time, given a title and he was really over with his "Alliance MVP" gimmick.

 

By all means, give his return some hype. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it. His heel mic work is up their with the best in the business.

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His best run, was the Positively Kanyon run in WCW in 2000, and trust them, they ruined that. Could have been a headliner. Was cracking seeing him just appear backstage and Diamond Cutter some random person.
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Guest kid banzai

I'd have liked to see Kanyon used in a better way but at least he's back on TV. Like Russ, I also reckon that he's better off being a cocky heel.

 

Perhaps the WWE could make him into a new version of Mr Perfect i.e. show vignettes of him beating top athletes at their own game then turning to the camera and saying "Who better than Kanyon? Nobody!". Man, the audience would lap that up!

Edited by kid banzai
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Guest GrayGray

I agree with Russ and jungmata on their comments.

 

Kanyon plays the cocky heel fantastically, I don't think he would have got over with the whole serious thing. This is because Kanyon doesn't have "the look" and will find it hard to get over with a serious gimmick.

 

jung brought up the point that Positively Kanyon was his best gimmick, and I agree with that. This was the best clone that WCW did, after failing big-time with Chuck Palumbo as Lex Luger and Shawn Stasiak as Curt Hennig (rest in peace). However, after making a great gimmick and getting Kanyon over WCW screwed it up. Kanyon went from beating Booker T on the night he won the WCW Title, to feuding with and worse still losing to Buff Bagwell. The win over Booker should have given him a reason for a high-profile feud for the WCW Title. However, I think Vince Russo forgot about this.

 

I also like the Mr Perfect idea that Kid Banzai brought up. The problem is with what happened to Curt recently, I don't think now is the right time for these vignettes. Great plausible idea though!:xyx

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He's back in OVW at the minute.

 

I can see his release comming soon, the only reason he probaly wasn't released sooner was that WWE didn't want to be seen releasing someone recovering from an injury that he picked up in a WWE ring which nearly killed him.

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You've gotta think TNA wouldn't pass him him, then again I'm still suprised they haven't used Justin Credible yet, but hopefully both him and D-Lo will get a shot in TNA.
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Originally posted by jungmuta

His best run, was the Positively Kanyon run in WCW in 2000, and trust them, they ruined that. Could have been a headliner. Was cracking seeing him just appear backstage and Diamond Cutter some random person.

 

True that. I fondly remember one time where (and remember the camera is at a pretty fair distance) Kanyon drove away in his car, stopped at the gate, got out, ran up to the security guard, Diamond Cutter'ed him, gave the Diamond sign while shouting "BANG!", and then got back in the car and drove off. Had me in absolute stitches.

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I for one really couldn't care less about Kanyon not getting a big return. Sure I think he's talented, but I honestly have never understood what all the fuss about him was for.

 

He was just another guy who was used in the WWE's well known tactic of making wrestlers look good by getting beat down by the Undertaker. We all know its a tried and tested way of putting wrestlers over isnt it :roll

 

Notch it up as one of the WWEs crap wrestler returns, but its really nothing to cry over.

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