Hey, what's that camera doing here?
By Rennie Detore
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Matt Hardy has every right to be thoroughly angry and embarrassed. He
was the only person in attendance Monday night that inexplicably
didn't know where his own story line was headed.
The idea of Hardy being surprised by Kane telling him that he was the
father of Lita's baby didn't exactly make for riveting TV on Raw, and
it certainly didn't deliver the kind of impact WWE could have wanted.
More often than not, concocted pregnancy angles miserably fail.
Who could forget other would-be WWE moms: Terri Runnels and Mae Young.
In both cases, no baby. In Young's case, she gave birth to a ***
hand on Raw, a low point for WWE's writing team during a time of
Anyway, the problem with the Hardy-Lita-Kane love triangle doesn't
necessarily have anything to do with a baby or even the superstars
involved in this angle. In fact, the dilemma lands squarely on the Raw
writing team's shoulders, and its inability to fully develop this
story line with fans' integrity in mind.
For the past month, WWE fans have watched Kane antagonize Lita,
threatening her and Hardy. They've watched Kane suggestively
proposition Lita for a favor to spare Hardy's well-being. They've
watched Lita desperately attempt to fend off the advances by "The Big
Fans knew exactly where this story was going, and Hardy didn't. That's
where this story line goes awry.
WWE never explains why its superstars can't go back and watch tapes of
Raw to see what they missed. Any intelligent viewer would question why
Hardy didn't know that Kane had been bothering Lita on a weekly basis
for the past month, suggesting that the pregnancy news maybe wasn't
going to be all good.
Furthermore, Hardy actually said on camera to Stacy Keibler last
Monday that he was so e***d about being a father after Lita told
him. Was he not watching the show two weeks ago when Lita "privately"
told Keibler the big news?
WWE, and WCW before it, lacked any kind of consistency with its
behind-the-scenes camerawork. Oftentimes, wrestlers will know exactly
what so-and-so said to Eric Bischoff but won't know that Triple H has
arrived in the building, even though a live shot shows him pulling up
to the building at Raw.
How silly did it look that Lita asked Keibler to not say anything
about her being pregnant two weeks ago, meanwhile they are both
obviously standing in front of a camera? Lita might as well have
grabbed the camera, pulled it extremely close to her face and said,
"Hey, national television audience or Jim Ross, don't tell Matt, OK?"
A similar stunt occurred years ago on Nitro when the nWo beat up Ric
Flair in a field somewhere and took off. Later in the show, a quick
shot of an unconscious Flair aired. Are we supposed to believe that,
after 10 or 15 minutes, the cameraman simply stood there and kept
filming Flair. Logically, the cameraman would have went for help and
there would be no live shot.
The Lita-Hardy-Keibler-Kane story line hasn't been much better.
The writing team could have easily constructed a scenario that had
Lita pacing back and forth after a shot showed her with a pregnancy
test box. Then, she could have said to Keibler: "Stacy, can I talk to
you?" Show goes to commercial. Nothing else is said or shown between
That gives fans the notion that Lita probably is pregnant without
actually blurting it out in an obvious way or pretending that the
camera staring Keibler and Lita in the face during that moment didn't
exist. Fans can suspend belief that Lita will talk to Matt privately
before next week's program, thus better explaining Hardy's explanation
to Keibler last Monday that Lita "told him" the news.
WWE's latest loophole in logic can be blamed not on Hardy, Lita, Kane
or Keibler but on a creative staff that can't seem to channel that
creativity into acknowledging the camera that fans, at home or live,
are watching. The sooner WWE decides just what kind of role the camera
should play -- if any at all -- the sooner these kinds of ill-fated
angles will disappear.
Raw delivered a 4.2 rating last Monday, peaking at 5.1 for the overrun
featuring Eugene vs. Triple H in the main event. The build-up two
weeks ago for last Monday's Triple H-Eugene showdown was some of WWE's
better work in months.
The ratings bump, however, shouldn't be a reason for WWE to overexpose
the Eugene character, skillfully played by Nick Dinsmore. Eugene
himself isn't necessarily a ratings hit. His main-event match a few
weeks ago with Kane garnered little fanfare. WWE regrouped and
responded by pairing Eugene with Triple H, who produced two
consecutive weeks of solid promos to help boost interest in this
match. That, coupled with the story of Bischoff trying to force his
"nephew" to quit made this more than a one-dimensional saga.
Dinsmore has done a great job adding layers to Eugene, but the success
of the character won't continue without support from a strong cast
(Triple H) and equally potent writing that doesn't pigeonhole the
whole "special superstar" act.
Rennie Detore's Pro Wrestling Insider appears Sundays in the