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William Regal: Come on Down
This past week on Raw, watching new General Manager William Regal unleash his uncanny impression of fellow Englander and host of ratings juggernaut American Idol, Simon Cowell, did more than just embarrass the Divas and Superstars who opted to participate in WWE's version of the popular game show. In fact, it may have actually been a good PR move for Regal, helping erase prior conceptions that he's a stuck-up, McMahon-arse-kissin' bloke from Blackpool, England, who's held a slew of championships in WWE.
Now our fans can look at Regal as a stuck-up, McMahon arse kissin' bloke from Blackpool, England, who's held a slew of championships and who has a fetish for American TV game shows.
While he's still a snotty McMahon-loyalist at heart, the revelation that there's another dimension to Regal somehow makes him a little more tolerable; as if he's not just a drone in the Mr. McMahon "Kiss My Ass Club" who's all too eager to put himself through the initiation process all over again.
One thing that can be said for Regal is that his decision to implement these game shows into Raw has not deterred his dedication to making his brand as exciting as possible. Last week for example, he made a monster main event for Raw at Madison Square Garden, pairing the unlikely duo of the Samoan Bulldozer Umaga with WWE Champion John Cena against Randy Orton & Carlito; he also decided to make King Booker put his decree that he's the one and only king of WWE to the test by signing a match between Booker and The King of Kings, Triple H at SummerSlam on Aug. 26.
"There's nothing wrong with having a bit of fun as long as I continue to do my duties as General Manager," Regal said. "I can't help it; I absolutely love viewing game shows on the tele, and now I have the opportunity to watch them play out with the Superstars and Divas under my -- and Mr. McMahon's -- command."
Simply because he's a game show enthusiast doesn't mean he finds them flawless.
"The bloody hosts usually tend to ruin it for me," admitted Regal. "The whole lot of them are a crew of ‘misbegottens,' which is why I've taken the liberty of demonstrating exactly how these people should host a show."
The first time he used Raw's stage to play host was with The Dating Game. As expected, he refused to play the role of the nice host, finding ways to insult everyone who played. Regal's second attempt as Idol's Cowell, was as mentioned, a flawless performance.
"The only one I'd wouldn't chop (fire) from the American Idol panel is Simon," said Regal. "There's a man who knows how to take charge, like I do with my brand and when I'm the host. The other two, that overgrown toad's wart, Randy Jackson and the woman, that ghastly Paula Abdul don't belong. It's as if the English are the only people suited for properly conserving order on these types of competitions."
As harsh of a critic as Regal is toward nearly everyone's abilities but his own, he admitted the passing of television entrepreneur Merv Griffin at 82 was saddening. Griffin, responsible for making shows like Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune American television mainstays, was perhaps one of the few people that Regal actually respected.
"There are so few who are men worthy of praise in this dreadful life: Mr. McMahon is one who immediately comes to mind; Billy Shakespeare is another, Bob Barker, god rest his soul -- wait, he's not passed yet has he? Drat, take that one off, I suppose. The point is that few people are Mavericks, and Merv Griffin was a member of that special club. It's a shame the chum couldn't rid the TV world of Alex Trebek (host of Jeopardy!) and Pat Sajak (Wheel of Fortune) before he died, though."
Paying homage to Griffin only allowed Regal's soft side to appear for a moment. Soon enough, homage turned to a diatribe on past and current hosts of all varieties of game shows.
"What about that pillock (idiot) Chuck Woolery from Love Connection? I know he hosted other shows as well, but that's the guy I see when I watch the Connection on GSN (Game Show Network). Who wants to watch this nutter give dating advice -- he's been married four times! This, in turn, means he's been divorced three times. He's buggered up too many of his own affairs to dictate how to hold a steady relationship. Perhaps he should be giving advice on how to split up from their spouses and divide possessions equally. I feel like that would be more of his cup of tea."
Mentioning Bob Barker in the conversation before led to a discussion of The Price is Right's new host, Drew Carey, who won People's Choice Awards for his role in The Drew Carey Show. Carey also hosted Whose Line is it Anyway?, a wildly popular improv comedy show.
"That Carey is a wanker; OK, so he had a few comedy bits that roused the dimwitted American public, but The Price is Right…it's Bob Barker or nobody. Cancel the bloody show. I'd rather watch someone moving Bob Barker's lifeless bones around the stage like a puppet than watch a Mr. Magoo look-alike squint his way through Plinko and Let ‘Em Roll -- my two favorite games on the show."
With his blood pressure rising with each show he mentioned, Regal said he did not want to spend his day off getting angry. He cut off our conversation shortly thereafter.
Conversing with Regal proved one thing: he's sincere in his quest to bring his favorite form of entertainment into WWE. Pressing the GM to give up any info on whether or not more game shows will surface on Raw yielded no definitive answers. He would only say that whatever he "deemed best for Mr. McMahon's viewing pleasure, his brand and lastly our fans" would eventually find time on his show. With that said, Regal signed off with some sound advice: Remember to have your pets spayed or neutered.