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What importance do squash matches have in WWE's Reality Era

2.98K   //    28 May 2014, 09:58 IST


If you fit or exceed WWE’s protocol build for a superstar then more or less you’ll have to be part of many squash matches. A squash match is where a superstar is made to showcase his strength with which he easily overpowers his opponent and ends up with an easy victory. A piece of cake, essentially.

Squash matches usually have many mainstays. The only job that they’ll ever get is to job to the wrestlers the WWE considers promising. Zack Ryder is a mainstay ever since his mammoth burial at the hands of the WWE management.

And now, let’s look at the bright side of the squash matches. Essentially, the bright side is the side of the ring where the winning wrestler stands mainly because his future is considered bright. So let’s recall the last few wrestlers who stood on the bright side. Brodus Clay, Lord Tensai and Ryback.

And now there is Rusev.

If WWE was smart enough to learn from that aforementioned tradition then they would not have more than a couple of squash matches. The availability of the WWE on every social media platform and the reach of all of its product extensions like Smackdown, Main Event, Superstars etc. people can see a squash match a thousand times over. Back when Vader entered the World Wrestling Federation or back in the Attitude Era when squash matches worked, the audience were witness to it for only a brief while which created enough excitement around a new wrestler. But now, these matches just make the winning superstar look more and more stale as each week and their umpteenth brand extension passes. The Reality Era isn’t a place for many squash matches. 

Brodus Clay and Tensai are nowhere to be seen on the main roster because they’re back in NXT. Lord Tensai was changed to Tensai and then finally to Sweet T before turning commentator on NXT as Albert. Ryback has been pushed and pushed and pushed and he still hasn’t found a consistent fan following yet or a consistent gimmick. He hasn’t been as down in the dumps as Brodus Clay and Tensai. But those many squash matches did not much more either of these superstars.

So did Rusev’s squash matches do anything for Rusev’s gimmick? Maybe and maybe not.

The negatives have been made clear. The positives that can be taken out of Rusev’s squashing streak is the presence of Lana and how Lana controls the Bulgarian Brute because the one difference that Rusev has to the aforementioned superstars is that he has a manager. Lana signals Rusev to crush his opponent when she pumps up her fist and he follows her to the ring and he takes her instructions. It’s like she has the ability to tame and unleash the brutality of an animal. The more intriguing character, hence, created is that of Lana’s. There have been many animal-like gimmicks in the WWE so having Lana by his side certainly works for Rusev. Apart from this he’s pretty agile in the ring and has a very different presence as far as his ring gear is concerned.

Another factor that works for Rusev is that he’s not Americana and hence the WWE is reusing its foreign heel gimmick. His entrance theme is very intimidation as well.

Overall, Rusev can last longer than Clay or Tensai or Ryback in a single gimmick. But the squash matches have not really proved much of a boost for Rusev as much as it has proved for Lana. The reactions have not been consistent. He now needs to move up a level and have difficult matches. Big E being the first step forward.

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