Tuesday, 11 April 2017

How do you solve a problem like Otunga?

Now, I don't want it to sound like I hate the perishing sight of David Otunga. I'm not like Plumpy (the man once known as Adam Blampied) who has been known to describe the man as “the death of all joy” but I do think something needs to be done about the four man commentary booth on Smackdown Live and Otunga is the weak link.

Mauro Ranallo is the strongest link, of course, which makes his presumed departure from the show and the company all the more gutting. In an ideal world Ranallo would be the play-by-play to Corey Graves' colour commentary and we'd finally have a dream team to rival the legendary days of JR and King.

But we address the world as we find it, so here we are.

The problem with three- and four-man commentary teams is that people keep talking over each other or, worse, everyone stops talking and painful seconds pass as everyone wonders if its meant to be their turn.

Two-man booths work because when you have two people it is very clear whose turn it is to talk. You don't end up with David Otunga cutting across JBL to say something banal because they both think its their turn. He also, to be brutally honest, doesn't have the strongest voice, which when you have JBL next to you is a real problem.

But I am a good little socialist and I don't want to see a man lose his job for being boring. So what to do with him?

Well, frankly, I'd go back to what he was before: WWE's resident lawyer who happens to be a wrestler (ex-wrestler now). You see, Otunga is legitimately a Harvard graduate and so when he moved out of active competition he played a lawyer character whose job was basically to back up the boss and make people suffer.

So my idea is this: Otunga goes to work “backstage” as the WWE's Senior VP Of Intellectual Property And Licensing.

You remember when they had to book all those matches with a shark cage suspended above the ring because the company that makes the WWE toys made a playset without asking them if it made any sense? Well, now, Otunga is the man on screen charged with shilling that and anything else they decide to make. He books matches that are all about advertising, the corporate side of the company, getting the name out there. He becomes, effectively, an authority figure whose entire gimmick is shilling.

Sort of like John Laurinaitis but bearable.

The WWE could get a lot of real world use out of him in the role, too. His voice might not be terribly distinctive but he's an attractive bloke, well-spoken and articulate just not terribly compelling in a crowded environment. As a public speaker, for instance at press conferences that aren't quite Triple H levels of important, he'd probably be pretty engaging.

As a face he'd be goofy (like with trying to sell the idea of shark cage-esque matches to wrestlers and audiences) whilst as a heel he'd be putting wrestlers into humiliating matches and scenarios “for the good of the brand”. He would be the front man for anything new and a go between when different authority figures have different ideas (rather than having the MacMahon of the moment arguing with their commissioner at the start of every... bastard... episode).

Just an idea.

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