So, it’s been a while since I did this piece here on the Shark Attack, but there’s been something that has been going on that I feel I should address. It was last year that we saw the debut of “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett in ROH. During the course of his time in the company, one phrase that has been used during almost any match with this guy has been “You Can’t Wrestle.” Which leads me to this edition of “Get Off Their Back” with the topic being one Mike Bennett.
Now lately, a lot of guys have been talking about how the use of the word “buried” for a wrestler has been used inaccurately. I think the same can be said in the phrase “you can’t wrestle.” In the last ten years, the one time I can remember that phrase being accurate was with the old Team Canada stable and a certain muscle-head named A-1. First off, I found his name to be so opposite of intimidating considering the guy was named after a steak sauce. Plus, who did we ever see the guy beat? It was like the guy was nothing more than a human punching bag with muscles. Back on the subject of Mike Bennett, I don’t see how you can say that the guy can’t wrestle when there really isn’t one guy in that whole ROH roster that can’t wrestle. They all can wrestle, (repeat: ALL can wrestle) and all of them have their own style and it works and Bennett happens to be one of them.
You want to talk about how the guy is cocky and arrogant and full of himself? Um , Hello? He’s a heel and his character comes with him being that way. He’s doing his damn job and as far as his skills and people thinking he doesn’t have any skills in the ring, give me one good reason or one solid bit of proof that he can’t wrestle. Why? Just because he’s not a high flyer like El Generico or Jay Lethal? He doesn’t have to be and not all the guys have to be that way in ROH. Mike Bennett is a technical wrestler and there have been plenty of guys that are like that in wrestling, not just in ROH. Kurt Angle, Dean Malenko, Arn Anderson, Chris Benoit (going by his ring work, not the circumstances around his death), Kevin Steen, Lance Storm, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards and some others. Not one of those guys are known as high-flyers and are simply viewed for their technical skills.
I’ve seen Bennett wrestle on ROH and I’ve seen his matches against guys like Steve Corino, Jimmy Jacobs and Jay Lethal and let me tell you that the phrase “This guy can’t wrestle for shit” doesn’t enter my mind for even a second. To me, this guy the balance of the cocky & arrogant heel, powerhouse and lastly, mat technician. He even goes to the ring with a manager in “Brutal” Bob Evans and do I really need to go into how the role of “managers” is almost all but extinct these days?
The heat that Bennett seems to get is not a heel kind of heat from the fans, and I honestly don’t get it. I mean is it maybe that fans don’t like to be told or have shoved in front of them who is the “next big thing” or something like that? Well, that didn’t stop people when Brock Lesnar was a wrestler and was dubbed as the Next Big Thing. It’s part of the angle with Bennett and it’s part of his character so get over it already. Honestly, not only do I hope for this, but I want to see this guy with a belt just to see what he can really do when he’s sporting some championship gold. I’m not talking tag team gold either, I want to see this guy with a belt on his own and not splitting it with somebody.
Like it or not, outside of Kevin Steen, Mike Bennett is in my opinion, somebody who not only can wrestle, but has the potential and ability to where he could be a top heel if not THE top heel in ROH, something that ROH is needing to set up right now. So like it or not, this guy’s not going anywhere anytime soon and I for one am happy for that.