by Nik - December 08, 2009
Did y’all catch the newly thrown together tag team on RAW this week? Primo and Bourne – called by me nearly 2 weeks ago. To celebrate my prediction ringing true, I drank chocolate milkshake in the nude. You’d have done the same. Admit it.
In this, my fourth folly into the WWE locker room, I shall be hovering my ACME-sized magnifying-glass over the man who steals his catchphrase from a very famous bunny by the name of Bugs. Yessirree, I’m talking about R-Truth.
Okay, okay – Mr Ron Killings is 37 years of age and is already in his second stint in the WWE and is thus arguably somewhat of a veteran, so is it really a worthwhile exercise to assess his potential? This writer thinks yes (or else I wouldn’t be writing this column, obviously).
Let me explain. Although the R-Truth character has been a fixture on our WWE programming for just over a year now, it’s only in the last couple of months that he has really been given any worthwhile exposure, and he would seem to be taking his opportunity with great gusto. But is he likely to rise out of midcard limbo? Let’s rub my balls and take a closer examination. My crystal balls that is. Yes, I have two.
When Ron Killings secured his requested release from TNA, those in the know knew it wouldn’t be long until he made a (second) debut with WWE. With both Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy putting in a good word for the man, as well as a pretty substantial run as a main-eventer in TNA on his CV (including as stint as heavyweight champion), many folk (yours truly included) expected a strong assault from the talented and charismatic truth-teller upon his arrival… but, alas, it wasn’t to be.
From day one, things didn’t go smoothly for Killing’s second coming. Following a series of vignettes, the newly named R-Truth debuted on Smackdown with an entertaining win over Kenny Dykstra. Mr McMahon was not best pleased. He had apparently ordered that the match be booked as a squash win for Truth, but backstage miscommunication meant the instructions never reached him/them, and instead the match with Dykstra saw the two trade near equal amounts of offence. Quite why a wrestler should be lambasted for making another wrestler look good is beyond me, but then, nobody has ever really been able to figure out Vinnie Mac.
Thus from the outset, R-Truth languished in mid-card obscurity for months on end, participating in match ups with literally no build up or meaning. I saw him wrestle against Umaga (RIP, good sir) at a Smackdown show in London back in April and he was beaten cleanly in 2 minutes. His entrance lasted longer than the match, literally. Even a cameo in the excellent movie The Wrestler did little to raise his worth in the eyes of WWE bookers, despite them heavily plugging the movie on their programming. In the midst all this of course was the short lived (i.e. a single vignette) arrival of R-Truth’s alter ego, Pretty Ricky – the less said about that the better. (YouTube it if you haven’t seen it. Words can’t do it justice, it really needs to be seen to be believed). In fact, the highlight of R-Truth’s career up until recent times was probably appearing on the front cover of the Wrestlemania 26 DVD cover – a PPV he didn’t even appear on I hasten to add! (Genius bookers felt that Mark Henry + Ladder Match = ratings and thus R-Truth was bumped from the match. Presumably Mark Henry’s fairy godmother had a say in the booking of that one).
Despite always receiving a welcoming pop from the crowd with his infectious entrance, and his lively and entertaining in ring style, one can only assume that his lack of TV time is linked directly to his past association with TNA. You think Christian is being correctly utilised as ECW’s top face? Hell no. He should be amidst the top heels on RAW or Smackdown. It’s the same story – guilty by TNA association. I’m sure Wildcat Chris Harris would also care to lend some serious weight to this conspiracy.
Now though, things have gradually turned in favour for Mr Truth. When he was put in a feud with Drew Mcintyre, we all assumed it would simply be a case of putting over Triple H’s new bum chum. And that he did – and following the Bragging Rights team qualification match which Mcintyre won, the feud should have been dead and buried. However, the aforementioned bizarre behaviour of Vinnie Mac saw that R-Truth did get a spot in the Bragging Rights main event when the entire team was overhauled. Finally – a chance to mix with the big boys.
R-Truth put on a decent performance in the bout (decent for the short amount of time allotted to his participation that is) and his patience has been awarded with a feud with CM Punk. Make no mistake, this feud is very different to the one with Mcintyre, as R-Truth isn’t the one putting someone over. CM Punk has already cemented his position as a genuine headliner, thus this time round, R-Truth is the one who is being put over. WWE wants to see if R-Truth has the skills to hang with the movers and shakers.
Maybe the festive spirit is clouding my vision and making me overly optimistic, but I foresee bright things in store for R-Truth in 2010. Although he’s no spring chicken, it’s worth remembering that HBK, HHH, Undertaker, Batista, Chris Jericho and the like all have a few years on him – and WWE history should tell you that the company has no qualms in elevating aging talent.
Another element going in favour for the man is that his character seems so perfectly attuned to the current PG climate. Kids love his entrance (loud noises always amuse youths) and his clean-cut rapper gimmick is pretty cool and thus down with the urchins – or so I’m led to believe. And as I’ve already mentioned, his in ring style – similar to Kofi Kingston or Rey Mysterio – is flashy and fast-paced and thus easy even for the casual fans to enjoy.
With his wealth of experience, I foresee a good few years left in his WWE career, helping to educate younger talent whilst raising his own stock along the way. I don’t really see him ever headlining PPVs, but I do see an Intercontinental Title reign as a definite possibility for him in the future. And that’s the truth. Ha ha ha – get it?
In my next column, I’ll be taking a closer look at a promising, up and coming superstar recently signed by TNA who goes by the name of Hulk Hogan. I jest, I jest….
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