Superstar Spotlight: It’s Time For Some Thuggin’ And Buggin’, Playa!

Bill Pritchard

Superstar Spotlight

Before you get started, yes, I know I combined some old catchphrases, but it all has to do with Teddy Long, and the rumors that he will be turning heel. Let me be the first to say (borrowing from Daniel Bryan) YES! YES! YES! Don't get me wrong, Booker T can be a fine heel character (King Booker was great, the TNA stuff not so much) but Teddy can probably go alot further with it than you think. How, you ask? Well, Teddy has been a face for so long that it would freshen him up a bit, and it would (kayfabe) surprise a lot of fans after he was the victim of circumstance for so long. Teddy could use any number of reasons to say why he turned, from being tired of being pushed around, looked over, or being in Booker's shadow. Whatever it ends up being, it's not like it wouldn't be far from the truth.

If you don't remember, Teddy Long was a good manager for a number of years, both in the NWA and later with WWE. Teddy (or Theodore Long, as he preferred) was a heel manager for a number of talents in WWE, including D'Lo Brown, Mark Henry, Rodney Mack and Jazz. The wrestlers were decent to good in the ring, but Teddy really put them over by being the thing that is missing from wrestling today: a mouthpiece for wrestlers whose speaking ability isn't the strongest. Teddy managed them all at different times, but I have to say I really enjoyed his time with Rodney Mack the most. Teddy would bring Mack out and have the "White Boy Challenge," designed to get Mack heat and further Long's 'man holding me down' angle. Goldberg was the guy to end the undefeated streak, and I can't be the only one who marked out, and still does, with how it was set up. Golberg's MSG debut + ending streak + shutting Teddy up = awesome. Here's the clip if you missed it:

Teddy Long may not be able to go back to the race card because of PG WWE era, but why the hell not? Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter can get away with their illegal and American issues, so why can't Teddy go back to what worked in WWE? It's not like they are making up an issue just to get heat; it still is a truth in today's world, but this would be tuned to be appropriate for a WWE audience. 'The man' doesn't have to be black or white; the man could be management holding Teddy, or his friends, whomever they are, down from reaching their potential.

I think an obvious choice (and this is going off of Teddy being a GM, not a full manager) is to pair/align him with Mark Henry. Teddy already managed him once, so they have history, and Teddy could just favor him now instead of speaking for him. The Hall of Pain and Mark Henry in general has been outstanding for the past two years, and Teddy bending the rules and helping him could make it that much better. In addition to this, Teddy can exploit his 'catchphrases' and give a bit of a nod to the IWC by making more tag team matches and saying they might be sick of it, but who cares because he is in charge. Not only that, but I'm sure Teddy could abuse the 'one on one with DA UNDATAKAH' since the Phenom is sticking around a bit more now.

Like everything else, there are a bunch of possibilities that can happen with Teddy as a heel. He could feud with Booker T over the job, or when or if he gets the job, he could favor Henry, and other guys like Kofi Kingston, or Cody Rhodes, basically anyone he could align with to find a common enemy. Teddy Long has been involved in some good (Back Da Mack!) and ridiculous angles (the Kristal/marriage/stroke thing) but Teddy has always been good in his role. Whether he is sympathetic or angered, he gets the right reaction and doesn't overshadow the other people around him. Teddy is a good role player, and it may time to give him more of a role as a bad guy. I know some people may be against the power struggle between GM's and say it's played out, but Teddy doing it may be the freshest way to present it.

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