Wrestling fans are smart, and WWE needs to showcase this perceptiveness in their audience. They have played to the lowest common denominator for too long recently.
Good heel characters like Damien Sandow are rotting in this limbo of ignorance. In TLC he will face off against Big E Langston. Now I have nothing against Langston, but his microphone skills based on his commentary are awful and he offers nothing to the intellect. He is big, powerful, and boring.
The myth that wrestling only is adored by the slack-jawed masses is ridiculous. Fans of the sport have to follow plot twists, betrayal, love, pride and the psychology in and out of the ring. These are not topics for the mindless masses.
Mankind was an example of a thinking man’s wrestler. He made an excellent heel by mixing in his childhood, lacking of self-esteem, with the supernaturally dark persona that rocked himself in the boiler room before matches.
Where are these smart wrestlers now?
Has the audience been dumbed down too much to enjoy these characters?
More recently, let us look at how CM Punk got famous. It was not because he was a mindless character that just wants to fight like WWE has portrayed him recently. No. What he did to make him as big as he is was to mix the reality of his situation with his CM Punk persona. This takes intelligence, the use of psychology, and courage.
It was an intelligent crowd that responded to him while he vented, cross-legged, darkly intelligent, and emotional. It was what launched Punk into the famous character he is now. He was the marginalized, psychotic underdog, and fans responded to this.
WWE has a chance to do this again, but they are choosing the opposite. With wrestlers like Sandow, Cody Rhodes, Punk, and Daniel Bryan, they have a well of talent to take these steps. The question is, will they?