Michael “P.S.” Hayes was recently on the Ric Flair podcast, WOOOOO! Nation. During the conversation, Hayes was critical of some of the performers on the current WWE roster:
“I’ll just go on the record saying this: I think some people, and maybe this gives them less stress in their business life…but some people almost come, clock in, and when the show is over (they) clock out, and that’s it and it’s just a job. A well-paying job…but it’s just a job.” – Michael Hayes
So now this leaves the question: Who was Hayes talking about and referring to? I’m no expert (though I am a 30+ year fan of the sport), but just from observation I’ve got a few guesses…
Listen…I don’t blame the guy. I mean, he’s been a top act for over a decade and there hasn’t been much in terms of “exciting storylines” for him over the past couple of years (including the whole Authority “face of WWE” storyline). Don’t just listen to me, though…watch him in the ring. It is rare that he actually shows some intensity or genuine emotion. He’s extremely good in all aspects of his craft and he knows it, but it looks like he’s been dialing-it-in for awhile now.
I love the Dudleyz. I’d dare say they are my favourite tag team of all time. The problem, though, is that they are at the tail-end of their careers. Yes, they are extremely talented and will still go in there and do the moves and the spots, but with the exception of putting somebody through a table, everything seems to be “by the book”. I’m really happy to see them getting one last run with WWE to close their careers, but if you watch their matches you can tell they are just going through the motions.
I think that this is a case where a guy has been beaten down so much over his career that he’s just given up on ever getting another legitimate chance to succeed. I mean, this is a guy that they used to help The Rock train for his matches with John Cena because they knew that the guy could get anybody into ring shape. He had to get past that horrific Michael McGillicutty name before getting the push of his life as Curtis Axel with Paul Heyman as his advocate. For whatever reason, that whole thing fell off the rails. He then tried to make something with the whole “AxelMania” gimmick, but once Hogan got into trouble that whole push (and the potential tag team with “Macho Mandow”) just went to beat him down some more. He doesn’t seem motivated at the moment, but can you blame him?
Again, this is a situation where a guy has been given a horrendous gimmick, he ran with it as long and as best as he could, but now he’s just floundering around from match to match. Does he “feel” it? Highly doubtful. It’s a shame, too, because the guy is massively talented and shouldn’t be relegated to such a terrible gimmick, especially once it’s been proven to be a massive failure. But yeah…he’s just going in there and doing the job so he can get his paycheck and leave.
If there was anybody who dials it in and then whines about not being pushed enough, it’s THIS guy. He’s been riding on the coattails of his one-time unique and popular gimmick for a couple of years now, and it shows in the ring. He might be showing a little bit more enthusiasm now that he’s in NXT as a tag team partner of Mojo Rawley, but he’s still just happy to get on TV at this point. He does nothing new, he creates nothing new, and his old shtick has gotten old with most of the WWE Universe.
Up until the focus of the WWE Universe was on Nikki vs Charlotte, both Bella twins were simply going in there and looking bored on a weekly basis. They’re definitely more interested in being on Total Divas than they are being on RAW, and as I’ve said before…I think Nikki displays every poor quality that has given the Divas division a bad name. Her “record” title reign was a joke as it looked like a Fembot from Austin Powers inside the ring. Thank god we’ve got new blood who are seriously talented in-ring performers so we can let both Bellas get to their reality show.