The WWE Gig: Money In McMahon-Land

BY Michael Woods ON March 10, 2008
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So I was watching WWE Raw last night, and have a report on the action, in case some of you Money Mayweather fans were curious what Floyd's been up to in the first leg of his two year hiatus from TSS.

It's been awhile since I tuned in to rasslin' but I don't pretend that I didn't spend many a Saturday AM checking out Bruno, and the Samoans and Superfly getting his head conked with a coconut.

I can report that while the players have changed, the game is much the same. They still trot out a bad guy, and the crowd vents their woes against this cowardly, despicable heel. Then they trot out the good guy, who takes a whuppin', but then summons a hidden well of energy and strength to beat back the black hat, and restore this topsy turvy world on its correct axis for a brief span.

Usually, that's the recipe.

But I see that in the WWE, the recipe has been tweaked for Money Mayweather. Seems they have him playing a heel, playing up his money-obsessed persona, bragging about his piles of cash and homes and cars and generally opulent lifestyle that all the recession-fearing watchers would love to mimic if only they could. And they have him playing off another heel, the massively built baddie Big Show, who weighs 441 pounds, if we are to believe the reading on the scale that viewers saw on Monday evening.

Mayweather was also present at the weigh in presided over by Vince McMahon's son, Shane McMahon, who apparently convinced his pop to bring boxing's marquee name into the rasslin' sphere, and play the role perfected by Ted Dibiase, the vile Million Dollar Man who inflamed the fans in McMahon's WWF in the 1980s with his garish displays of obscene wealth. Money, by the way, weighed in at 159 pounds (and carried the extra heft quite well, look out Kelly Pavlik!).

So it seems like two bad guys are pitted against each other, and it looks to me like the fans are having a hard time deciding how to react. Big Show is cruel, and constantly uses his tremendous size advantage to maul athletes much tinier than he. But his athleticism is nothing to write home about, and the audience response to him is somewhere between tepid and mildly irked.

Money, meanwhile, is no wiz on the stick in this setting, and his braggadocious braying is minimized somewhat by his baby face appearance, as well as his petite physique. Certainly, Money has his share of haters among TSS converts--I myself don't pretend that I haven't raked him over the coals a time or two, but most of that stems from his fighting style. His lack of risk-taking in fights and hesitance to close the show are his most annoying traits to many. His trash talking has never risen past mediocre, I'm afraid, mostly because he usually threatens to do severe damage to a foe, and then he winds up putting on a technical, clinical dissection, rather than the promised obliteration.

So, I'm mildly curious--though not enough to pony up for the Wrestlemania PPV, I'll leave that to another volunteer, if I can find one--to see how this Mayweather in WWE experiment plays out.

If the skit I saw on Monday is an indication, it's looking like Big Show will transition totally to babyface, and let Floyd play the bad guy all by his lonesome.

That's a guess. I'm alos uncertain if this gamble by the McMahon's will pay off. The crowd cheered Show a bit when he was on the stick, rather than reacting with their usual jeers.  But when Floyd took the mike, and started throwing bills at Show, they didn't react that much at all. When he reminded Show that he broke his nose, and promised to break his jaw at the upcoming PPV they buzzed a little bit. There was a distinct lack of heat building.

When Show piched up Money, and threw him out of the ring, to be caught by Show's rassler posse, the crowd got a bit more heated.

Mayweather then stood up, and he was clutching his right elbow, as though it were shattered into chalk.

"This has added fuel to the fire," the announcer Jim Ross said, and his partner Jerry Lawler helped the pitch to buy the PPV, saying he could not wait to see what goes down between Show and Money at Wrestlemania 24 on March 30.

Maybe Money will play up the injury, and turn face when he wears a cast, and Show draws heat when he bullies the little guy, now sympathetic because of his injury.

Anyway, I'm not buying the hype that Money will take home the advertised $20 mill for this gig. The math, in my opinion, doesn't check out, considering other athletes have to get theirs, and many lifers probably wouldn't dig their cut being diminished by an interloper like Mayweather. If I had to guess, and this is truly a guess, I have no WWE mole, I'd say Money was getting a couple mill for the month of work.

Enjoy the gig Money.

And when you're done, and ready to get back to your true vocation, do us a favor, and sign a contract for a truly Big Show: fight Miguel Cotto.

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