Raw‘s season premiere ended with Bobby Lashley making out with Rusev’s real-life wife Lana, presumably as an episode (or, god forbid, independent extension) of the cuckolding storyline currently occupying more screentime than Ember Moon.
I’m not dropping that term for shock value, outrage farming, or 4chan clicks: unless Big E eats Xavier Woods before press time, Bobby Lashley is the largest black man in their employ. That’s less subtext and more bolded, italicized text. And since commentary sprinkled in “beta cuck” after Mike Kanellis’s match with Ricochet, it’s safe to assume that the fetish isn’t exactly a foreign concept to WWE.
As a moral black hole, I’m not here to judge to social value of the segment. In fact, as a reasonably athletic African American with loose sexual ethics, I probably stand to benefit from it. But as a creative type, I can’t help but feel this is the wrong kind of stupid.
Stupid is fine. In fact, it might be essential for a quality wrestling show. But there’s the Tropic Thunder breed of stupid that puts a smile on your face, and the Meet the Spartans brand of stupid that makes you wish you were watching something else. The latter is dangerous for a publicly traded company.
Maybe this is the way forward. Now that this door is open, we can go anywhere. If we’re embracing storylines fueled by PornHub and Laudanum, then the best choice is to double down. After this, Raw can reach fringes that make the excesses of the Attitude Era look like the Bible Channel.
The cuckold genre is like nitro coldbrew: you know more than the average person in line at Starbucks, but there’s much stronger stuff out there. I encourage WWE to bring the depths of incognito mode to the mainstream. Consider the following suggestions in the battle against Tony Khan:
The ASMR Pipe Bomb
Finn Balor has a somewhat dedicated fanbase. A major part of it, or course, comes down to his natural charisma, body of work, and technical proficiency. Another part of it comes down to people wanting to have sex with him.
Now that he’s returned to NXT, we could preserve the status quo and let the abs keep talking. Or we could push the envelope, and end an episode with a twenty-minute ASMR promo. Dynamite might have a stacked tag division, but it doesn’t have sweet nothings in an Irish accent. In advertising, we call that a point of differentiation.
That said: Whispering’s a start, but to really engage audiences, they’ll need to use every trick in the softcore YouTube playbook. Whispering, extended heavy breathing, crinkling paper, the works. Let WWE’s live production capabilities shine. WWE has enough film school graduates to create the finest ASMR content of our generation.
Reveal Nikki Bella as John Cena’s Stepmom
The section title speaks for itself.
Does this idea defy logic? Any concept of good taste? Publicly available records? Yes. They should do it anyway.
If the success of Soviet propaganda taught us anything, it’s that reality is a soft, malleable thing. When you batter people with your version of reality long enough, it becomes everyone’s version of reality. Since that strategy got a society through multiple famines and the NKVD’s hobby of collecting human teeth, it can sell a wrestling storyline.
John Cena’s love life has already driven plenty of WWE content (The Miz’s Total Bellas parody is art), up to and including WrestleMania programs. A story that prominent and long-running deserves an explosive conclusion. If anyone can properly (e.g. shamelessly) exploit an incest angle about the world’s most prolific Make-A-Wish foundation guest, it’s Paul Heyman.
While the Lana storyline has captured the imagination racial erotica aficionados, the incest fandom remains untapped. There’s money in breaking that boundary. Or at least fifteen minutes of trending on Twitter. Most promotions have done worse for less.
The Big Literal Dog: Awooos and Eights
For months, a shadow stalks the WWE locker room. Men in well-endowed fursuits attack WWE superstars at near random. They interrupt matches, promos, and contract signings with impunity, leaving nothing behind but broken bodies, shattered dreams, and ominous pawprints.
This specter is Awooos & Eights, the first all-furry heel stable.
But who should be in charge? This concept can only work with a real commitment. The superstar at the forefront of the faction will need to be at least as prominent as Randy Orton. I’d straight-up suggest Randy Orton (he’s already a snake), but I’m pretty certain he’d throw any producer that suggested it out of a moving car.
Roman, on the other hand? He’s a company man, with a long record working with angles at variable levels of sanity. His ability to rocket-jump over the ropes has earned goodwill with fans, critics, and authors of online erotica (Google “Shield fanfiction”). Making the Big Dog the only man capable of getting an all-furry heel faction over.
As for cross-promotion, SonicFox is ready and waiting for a run as manager.
I’m going to open up a little here. It’s difficult to talk about personal kinks, but awareness is worth the effort. My people deserve to be seen.
I’m part of a fringe community that gets a thrill out of wrestling matches. The hottest ones end without someone getting cheated on, hit by a car, or shot out of a circus cannon. It’s a somewhat obscure kink, but we’re out there. And I think it’s time we were acknowledged.
This idea might seem a bit racy for primetime. But car crash television has its own appeal, and the heart of that genre is unleashing the fringe on an unsuspecting world. And the heat’s always worth it. Right?
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