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Dr. Darin Davis

Minnesota independent pro wrestler discusses past experiences and the current state of pro wrestling


Tag: Kofi Kingston

"The Blueprint" Matt MorganI wrote before about how I get annoyed when a wrestling promotion tries to push someone on me that hasn’t yet earned any respect. With Kofi in ECW, he had the talent but just didn’t have a track record yet. But after a month or so, I ended up really liking him. I don’t think I’m going to feel the same way about who TNA is pushing.

On TNA wrestling, they keep pushing “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan as the greatest thing since… (think of an analogy to sliced bread- I can’t come up with it right now). Yes, the guy is big (if you believe the stats, he’s 7’0″ and 320 lbs), but his ringwork is terrible, or at least below average.

I do like the TNA Rough Cut idea of giving a more personal behind-the-scenes look at the wrestlers. I think that has been one of the best parts of their televised programming. Their look at Morgan was actually pretty good. Problem was that once he was in the ring and in-character, I went from being mildly interested, to uninterested, to annoyed.

If you haven’t seen any of his matches, stare at the picture at the top of this article and slowly open and close your eyes about 5 times. After every offensive move, he does that pose. Every offensive move… no matter how basic… he does that pose. If you opened and closed your eyes like that during one of his matches, you would always see him in that pose. If it wasn’t for TNA constantly pushing him and having more talented wrestlers put him over, he would be a footnote on the program.

Their latest attempt to promote him is through press releases with NCsoft, who develops and publishes online games like Lineage, Guild Wars, and City of Heroes.

When I first heard the announcement that Matt Morgan shot his DNA into space, I thought, “Wow, he actually achieved escape velocity? That is something to brag about!”.

Then I figured out it was probably just a blood sample they put in a rocket. At that point it sounded less impressive.

Then I actually read the article and found out that what they were doing was “digitizing” his DNA sequence and dumping it on a hard drive that gaming legend “Lord British” Richard Garriot is going to take with him to the International Space Station. Uh… okay. Why Morgan? I wonder how much TNA had to pay for that? I can’t imagine someone from NCsoft specifically asking for Morgan. If they weren’t familiar with the program, they wouldn’t know to ask for him, and if they had seen him wrestle they would know not to ask.

I guess if the human population gets wiped out, they want to create clones of Matt Morgan. The problem is, if they don’t clone anyone talented to put them over, they’re all going to look like crap.

Jamaican FlagWow. What a difference a month makes. I take back what I said about Kofi Kingston a few weeks ago. Actually, I don’t take it back since it was true at the time, but I thought it would take longer to get a good match out of him. His match with Shelton Benjamin on this week’s ECW program was really good. I guess it goes to show you how someone who’s a little green needs someone with experience to lead him along. Usually it’s the heel that does the leading in this type of situation because they can keep taking control.

Kofi’s undefeated streak is over. That’s a good thing. Even though Kofi lost, he came out of the match looking good. The dynamic of having him be the underdog and almost winning several times worked. Benjamin would have the upper hand, but when Kofi needed to take over he had the athletic ability to pull off one exciting move after another. It didn’t have the paint-by-numbers feel that his other matches have had. And now that they don’t have to continue the streak they can put him against other wrestlers and not worry about what the finish is going to be.

The test will be seeing whether he can continue the momentum in his next match, or if it really was all Benjamin making this one turn out as good as it did.

I can’t help but feel like ECW’s Kofi Kingston is being forced on me week after week. Instead of bringing this guy in and building him up slowly (kind of like what they did for Cody Rhodes), they seem to have decided that the best way to introduce him is to bring back squash matches from the 80’s, give him an undefeated streak, and constantly put him in my face. And now recently, they have one of their top guys, Shelton Benjamin, put him over. Twice.

I don’t really have a problem with him personally (since I’ve never actually met him that’s hard to say I guess), I just have an issue with them pushing him the way they are. Having a storyline where part of the character’s gimmick is that he is undefeated shouldn’t be used often. It works for a Goldberg, or a Samoa Joe, or Umaga. It doesn’t really work for a laid-back dude from Jamaica.

The biggest problem I have are his matches so far (with the exception of the Benjamin matches, which I don’t think he had a lot to do with). Yes, he’s very athletic. Yes, he has a great vertical leap. But it always feels too “scripted” to me, like they are just going through the motions.

It’s as if he’s back in the locker room talking to his opponent and saying, “Listen, mon. I’m going to do a leapfrog over here, den a dropkick over there, den my patented leg drop here, and a spin kick over there. Your job is to get in my way, mon.” I almost expected to see numbers and arrows drawn on the canvas. “Go to #1, take a bump, get up, go to #2, take a bump, wait for me at #3…”.

If I remember right, they tried to push Rocky Maivia like that when he debuted, and people hated him. They pushed him to win a title belt (Intercontinental?), and people hated him. Then he came up with “The Rock” gimmick, had time to put over his character, and people started to like him. Then they loved him.

Let us decide whether or not to like Kofi on our own. Whenever they “tell me” I have to like someone, which the announcers do every week, I end up not liking them.

Until they turn heel. 😉