Anything but gold standard.
Well, that didn’t last long. No sooner has Jason Jordan got his feet under the Monday Night Raw table than fans are already looking to push him back out. His much-hyped push has transformed into one of the most ill-advised flights of booking since Eugene was a thing – at least he got over initially. It’s only been a few weeks since Kurt Angle revealed him as an on-screen son, but audiences are already moving towards that awkward sweet spot of indifference and general annoyance at a gimmick. Put in the nicest terms, the Jason Jordan push is already dead.
Last nights Raw in particular only served to underline just how painful this entire situation has become. Without a named opponent, Jason Jordan hit the ring to mild indifference. There was a small spread of applause from the live audience, audibly tinged by the sound of boos. It only got worse when his Canadian jobber came out to compete against him – getting wild applause and turning an already indifferent crowd against Kurt Angle’s storyline “son”. It meant every time Jordan did a move, he was booed. It meant when he picked up the pinfall victory, he was given one of the loudest boos of the night.
It’s fair to say, this push is already dead in the water.
Part of the problem in this entire situation is that Jason Jordan wasn’t ready for this. Audiences didn’t really care for American Alpha, but at the very least they had potential to be a huge team in the division. But after mis-booking them over on Smackdown Live, the decision was made to land Jordan with this horrendous lead weight of a gimmick. Stripped of his much more talented tag team partner, Jason’s been left wilting under the spotlight over on Monday Nights – and it’s painful to watch.
Audiences haven’t bought into the gimmick at all. He arrives to mild indifference and leaves to it, except for last night when the audience turned hostile. Canadian audiences are billed as “whacky” and “out of touch”, but the reality is that they’re usually a good indicator of what general audiences will feel in the future. If this turns out to be true, WWE has a major problem on their hands when it comes to Jason Jordan.
It doesn’t help that Jason Jordan has all the charisma of an Action Man figure. Handing him a live microphone is tantamount to slipping sleeping pills into the audiences beverages – he just isn’t able to go. This wouldn’t be a problem if he was allowed to go in the ring, but thus far he hasn’t. He’s been given short matches that don’t display his physical prowess between the ropes – instead making Jordan look average at best. When you spin the spotlight onto an average wrestler – only bad things can come from it when you expect main event talent from them.
Which is made all the more awkward when you look at what his former American Alpha teammate is doing. Since splitting, Chad Gable has transformed into a solid singles performer. He’s having good matches (Notably, last weeks Smackdown Live match with Rusev) and is doing the hard work to get over as a singles wrestler. That’s how Jordan should have been booked – not as a docile, uninteresting mid-carder. Audiences like Gable and cheer for him, they don’t cheer for Jordan and his lame gimmick – because they haven’t been given a reason to cheer.
It’s why the MizTV segment the other week was so painful. The Miz had to carry Jordan through an entire segment where Jordan seemed hilariously out of his depth. If he ends up winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship from Miz, that’ll only end up drawing more attention to the awkwardness of the discnnect.
What can be done to fix this situation? The general conscientious is that WWE hasn’t booked him in any interesting way. There’s been no development on a character level, except him being able to boast he has Kurt Angle as a father. WWE should look at making Jordan cocky, arrogant and dislikeable. They need to turn his character into an imitation of Kurt Angle from 2000 – a Superstar that plays into the disinterest from audiences. By doing this, they shield him from the hatred and give his character all the more reason to be a douchebag. He needs an ego, something that makes his abilities seem all the more impressive.
The problem with a heel turn so soon though is that it leaves WWE Creative with nowhere to go. If the character isn’t booked correctly, it ultimately spells curtains for Jordan. In fairness, it’s not like his current direction is leading anywhere better but, by pushing that button so soon, it’s an admission that they’ve messed the character up already.
I don’t hate Jason Jordan, I actually kind of liked him in NXT. The problem is that he doesn’t fit the role WWE are building for him. Whether it be bad booking or a lack of charisma from him, audiences aren’t accepting the current state of play. Something has to change – and quick. Otherwise, I suspect Jordan’s WWE career may very well have a premature end.