We here at VERBAL TAP are proud to present the latest addition to our website: a column that by-passes the rumor, the fact-checking, and maybe even the research to ask, “But what if…” Without further ado, we hope you’ll indulge a little segment we like to call For Argument’s Sake: Over the weekend Chael Sonnen reportedly told some dirt rag that he wasn’t interested in just being in the WWE, he’d rather buy the company outright. Now we've all learned to take most things that Chael says with a grain of salt (i.e. "Hispanic accent"), but according to said dirt rag’s “very reliable sources,” he apparently isn’t joking this time.
Of course, anyone who knows a single thing about the WWE knows that the company is far from ever selling its half-billion empire to a mouthy UFC fighter with a few "investor friends" (also it's a publicly traded empire, but I'm getting ahead of myself here). That doesn't even include the insane death grip that Vince McMahon and his family have on the business, which many speculate will eventually be run by his daughter Stephanie and her real life husband/occasional sledgehammer enthusiast HHH.
But, for argument's sake, let's just pretend this could happen. Imagine the possibilities. The overlap between Chael the UFC fighter/entertainer/promoter isn't all that different from the potential of Chael the WWE wrestler/entertainer/promoter. He has a love/hate relationship with fans (that works perfectly here!). We all know the man cut's a mean promo. He's got a strong wrestling background that's proven helpful to guys like this. And this. And, hell, even this guy.
I mean even Chael's own book cover looks similar to Kurt Angle's.
But, even if you don't buy all of that, consider the following irrefutable argument:
If "The Bad Guy" can channel Shawn Michaels, it goes to say he is a natural for the Royal Rumble (thus becoming a #1 contender for one of the two World Championship titles, see how fast this is all coming together?).
Now that we've proven that Chael is a good fit for the organization, what if he got his full wish and actually got to run the company (shh, quiet logic, you have no place here)? Don't worry, I've got you covered.
Before I begin, please keep in mind that some of these plans will be written in kayfabe (pro wrestling speak for “fake reality”), which may seem odd for Sonnen until you realize most of his UFC career has been spent “in character.” With that, please consider the following multilayered plan:
- Revive “Tough Enough” with Chael as a coach. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, we’ve already seen the impact Sonnen can have as a mentor to young athletes. He's good for ratings, he'll promote the hell out of the show, and since he's trained with the host of the last incarnation (Stone Cold Steve Austin) for his UFC fights, I'm sure he'll have the blessing of the bionic redneck.
- Trash-talking your way into a championship match isn’t just welcomed, it’s required. Lots of people think Chael talked his way into a fight for the Light Heavyweight title (he did!)—and, in this world, it’s exactly the kind of thing that's expected. Only this time, the WWE Superstars now have the added benefit of going through a rigorous Chael Sonnen media preparation class, with lessons ranging from: playing up to the home crowd, utilizing new media to cut promos, and, of course, proxemics
- Steroids are mandatory for all on the WWE roster (just to even the playing field, of course). It’s really more of a health issue.
- Chael also gets control of WWE’s film division. It’s a well established fact the company's film division has been hurting for a hit. Why not invest in a low-budget action adventure? He's already friends with CM Punk; put the two of them together in a buddy cop comedy and let the moderate box office magic happen ("One of them's a straight edge, the other lives on the edge. West Linn Gangsters, Summer 2015!"). Besides, I hear that Chael's got great connections to secure filming locations.
- Chael becomes new Mr. McMahon. In it's Attitude hey day, the
WWE, (I'm sorry) WWF created a fictionalized version of it's owner, Vince McMahon, that was designed to be so evil it could put over any other wrestler. And he'd wrestle matches just to give fans the escapism of watching their boss get the crap kicked out of them. It was a genius idea and one that helped to solidify the anti-hero status of Stone Cold Steve Austin—a model that has since been used to help elevate other wrestlers who have needed notoriety or exposure over the years. Since the Attitude era, Vince has made fewer on-screen appearances to fill whatever storytelling void is needed, but has admitted himself that at his age he doesn't really need to get in the ring all that much anymore (even if he still does bat shit crazy stuff like this). And even now with HHH filling in for the role of corporate guy who occasionally wrestles as an "in betweener," he doesn't have the same pathos to pull this kind of high-wire act off (the fans still identify too much with him after all these years). What the WWE needs is someone it can turn against. A symbol. Someone who can be an extremely non-silent guardian. A watchful protector, if you will. But how does Chael become the new Dark Knight of the WWE...
- Chael Sonnen vs. HHH at Wrestlmania 30: I know many of you will argue that current WWE roster guys like CM Punk or even former UFC champ Brock Lesnar would make for an ideal opponent, but hear me out here. Sonnen comes out to say he wants to buy the company, HHH comes out to confront him says “the family will never do it,” Sonnen challenges him to a match at the 30th anniversary of Wrestlemania for control of the company. BOOM. There you have it. A new main event to headline Wrestlemania. HHH loses via a run in from CM Punk, allowing Chael to hit his finisher (a spinning back fist) and Chael now “runs” the WWE.
Well, there you have it. Problems solved, everyone makes money. I'll be waiting by my mailbox for my royalty checks if anyone's looking for me.
In the meantime, let me know if I missed any magic in the possibilities of Chael Sonnen running the WWE (along with your argument as to which finisher would be a better fit for Sonnen) in the comment section below!