At the Royal Rumble, The Rock Needs To Win the WWE Championship

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Okay, the Royal Rumble is tonight.  There are a few thoughts that I have leading into the PPV tonight.  One is that The Rock vs CM Punk should be the match to close the show.  But of course,  the big question that everyone else is wondering about is whether or not The Rock is going to beat CM Punk and win the belt.  I don’t think it’s a matter of whether or not The Rock should win. It’s a matter of The Rock HAS to win tonight.

Yeah, I know.  I know CM Punk has been champion for over 400 days and climbing.  It’s an accomplishment to say the least, but the fact is that having a champion hold a belt for so long is one thing,  but keeping people entertained during his title reign is another.  No champion is any good at that without competition.  Looking back at Punk’s reign as champion, he hasn’t had a whole of that going around.  He beat Alberto Del Rio to win the belt. He defended it against Del Rio again and The Miz the next month.  Then he Dolph Ziggler at the Royal Rumble and a bunch of filler guys for the Elimination Chamber before taking on Chris Jericho in back to back months, then Daniel Bryan and then Daniel Bryan and Kane and then John Cena and Big Show before facing John Cena again and then Ryback before facing against Cena and Ryback and then Ryback again on Raw.   So if you look at it, in that 400+ days that CM Punk has been WWE Champion, he’s only defended the belt against 9 guys with a good chunk of them he faced off against in multiple months.

The other problem with Punk’s reign as champion and why The Rock must win tonight is the fact that his countdown that he keeps doing is getting old.  In fact, it’s getting rather stale and as pointed out in the last article,  you keep going with this for so long, you’re gonna get to the point that when the guy does lose the belt, what do you do with him? Besides, the way that the WWE is with the Part-Time guys, are they really gonna have The Rock lose?  Yeah I know that they had Brock Lesnar lose in his match with John Cena but that’s different.  The Rock didn’t leave the WWE high and dry like Lesnar did and unlike Brock Lesnar, The Rock actually does love the business which is the least I can say for Brock.

I know that CM Punk has talent and can find a way to manage without the title and he did give us one whole year without John Cena winning the gold like her normally does.  But every champion loses the belt at some point.  CM Punk is no different because as many times as either Hulk Hogan or John Cena held a world title, they eventually had to drop it to somebody else.  CM Punk losing the belt tonight is more salvageable than if The Rock were to lose tonight.  If The Rock actually loses tonight, then what do you do with him from there? If he’s supposed to be sticking around at least until after Wrestlemania, then what are you going to do with him for all the time leading up to the PPV?  Yeah, you could have The Rock win at some point between now and Mania, but it’s little thing called Simplicity.   Don’t complicate things WWE and just keep them simple.  Do the right thing and actually let The Rock win the match because this is a match that could very easily be a classic match and definitely be in the Top 5 of the best WWE matches of 2013.  Don’t risk tarnishing that by having a screw-job finish or some other means that would leave CM Punk still to bore the hell out of the rest of us with his “Counting Down to Who Gives a Rat’s Ass How Long You’ve Been Champion For.”

 

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CM Punk: Over 400 days as Champion, and yet still Nothing

So, CM Punk battles The Rock on Sunday.  His promo while good was more of the same. Best in the World this. Best in the World that. And rehashing his lines from his promo where he said the people don’t matter.  The interesting part, especially after The Shield attacked The Rock was that Vince, who botched his line, said that if The Shield interfere in Punk’s match, CM Punk will be stripped of the WWE Championship.  The part that made me laugh was when Punk said the belt was prestigious again since he’s held it.

WRONG!!!!!!!

That belt has not been prestigious in years and CM Punk sure as hell hasn’t helped it any by holding onto the belt for over a year.  Yeah 428 or whatever number days as champion. Impressive but there’s one slight problem and that is what are you gonna be saying when you lose the belt? Are you still going to call yourself the Best in the World? It didn’t really work for Chris Jericho. Because the fact is that once Punk loses that belt and once he’s the FORMER Champion, those 428 days are gonna mean precisely dick.

Chris Jericho was the first undisputed champion, but as the years went on, it became nothing more than just a little blip on the screen, nothing more than a pebble falling to the ocean and making zero impact.  The biggest problem with CM Punk’s character right now is that without the belt, without his championship reign, his character is useless.  It’s about as useless as a jar of Slim Fast to Vickie Guerrero.  As much time and energy I guess as WWE has put into CM Punk, they might have put Punk himself in jeopardy.  The Miz was in the main event at Wrestlemania two years ago. Look at him now, he’s trying to rebuild himself but still, he’s nowhere close to where he was years ago.  Is this what we’re going to have to expect with CM Punk?  Is the guy that keeps calling himself the Best in The World going to be reduced to where the only thing he’s best in the world at is being an after-thought.

 

 

Where are the “Feel Good” Moments in Wrestling?

Eddie Guerrero defeating Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Title for the first time.  Shawn Michaels achieving the boyhood dream and winning the championship for the first time.  Bret Hart winning the IC Title from Mr Perfect and hugging his parents who were sitting at ringside afterwards.  Chris Benoit winning the World Title at Wrestlemania and standing in the ring with Eddie Guerrero as they held their belts up high.  Why am I bringing these up? They were feel good moments in wrestling.  When was the last time that we’ve had one of those? I’m hoping somebody can answer that because I can’t.   Those feel good moments are something that has always proven useful in the style of telling a story in that ring. Seeing Austin Aries win the TNA World Title and seeing El Generico defeat Kevin Steen were good moments but don’t seem to carry the same magnitude.

A lot of things can be factored into why no stories have feel good moments. One of the biggest is the build-up or at least in the case of lack of build up because these days, the WWE lacks the patience to have something build into something bigger.  Regardless however, storylines in wrestling need to have those kind of moments because when it comes down to it, the build up to that one end of the story is what keeps people tuning in to see how each chapter unfolds.  Unfortunately, these days with the storylines in the WWE, the storylines have gone from being a story unfolding chapter by chapter to being about as complex and frustrating as a Rubix Cube or trying to figure out what the hell the movie The Thin Red Line was about.  Same difference.

Chaos Creates….More Chaos

Eric Bischoff once believed that controversy creates cash.  As of late with the WWE, its chaos more than controversy and in this case, all chaos seems to create is…..more chaos.  John Cena has been hurt with an arm injury and had his surgery.  One minute we hear he’ll be out 4-6 weeks, then we hear that Vince said give him 2-3 weeks and then it’s back to 4-6 weeks.  So at this point, nobody has a clue if John Cena will be able to compete at Hell in a Cell. Not even the WWE.  Last night, it was posted that Brian Gerwitz who had been the head writer for more than a decade, was demoted to creative consultant prior to Raw.  Reports also said that Vince was NOT in a good mood and even went as far as to say that he wanted results or resignations.   Vince is beside himself and who can blame him.  Raw’s ratings have been the worst that we’ve seen in some time.  Last week’s Raw finished with a 2.5 rating and this was a week after it hit 2.7.  This marks the lowest rated Raw that we’ve seen in 15 years and it wasn’t even a holiday.  The good news this past week was that Raw’s ratings improved this week. The bad news is that they improved to the number that they had 2 weeks ago which was 2.7.  If Gerwitz was the guy that Vince was gonna blame,  it only makes sense that Vince would blame somebody. But if you really want to blame somebody, than I would suggest looking into a mirror VKM.  Why Vince? The guy has lost touch with what works and what the audience wants.  He still carries the belief that what he wants is the same thing as the fans want.

Not to mention, I will go and say right here and now that the 3 hour Raw is a failure.  It’s nothing more than an hour’s worth of content with 2 hours of filler.   Nothing but replays, touts, tweets and more replays.  Even Eric Bischoff has said that Nitro going 3 hours was a mistake.  And he’s right.   Not to mention, so many times we’ve seen matches that we’ve seen on Smackdown take place on Raw and vice versa.  If you’re just going to show the same matches on both shows, than why even have two shows in the first place?  Now, am I tired of saying that the PG era is garbage or that the 3 hour Raw is a failure or that Vince has lost all touch with his product? Yeah. I’m also sick of saying that the last President screwed up the country.  Yeah I’ve said these things and thought these things to the point where I’m weary of it, but it doesn’t mean I still don’t believe them to be all true.   Here’s a reality check for  you Vince.  Your house show attendance numbers are down, your PPV buys are down.  You have 3 shows a week and one of them is a 3 hour show that your product can’t fill or at least that you can’t fill properly.  As much as Nitro going 3 hours was a mistake, at least they had the roster to fill it.  They just didn’t have the creativity and the stories to make it work.

One article off of Wrestlezone is saying that some of the top talent is saying to Vince that the product is in trouble and that the writing is terrible.  One has even gone as far as to say that if the WWE goes to hell in a hand-basket, it’s Vince’s fault and even going as far as to say that he doesn’t listen to the people anymore and that he doesn’t have his finger on the pulse of what works for the product anymore.  Funny thing is that Vince hasn’t had his finger on the pulse of his product in years just as he hasn’t listened to what people want in years.  Supposedly Vince is also under pressure from NBC Universal in wanting him to fix the ratings. Considering I’m pretty sure they run the USA Network, Vince has no choice but to answer to them. Funny how it’s taken this long to give VKM a swift kick in the nuts to make him fix his product.

Let me make a point clear here.  I’ve been a wrestling fan for a long time. I want the product to be better because I know it can be better than this. I’ve watched wrestling since I was 5-6 years old.  I watched Hulk Hogan on The Main Event lose to Andre the Giant and that was after watching The Honky Tonk Man lose to Macho Man Randy Savage.  The first Royal Rumble I’ve ever seen was the one where Big John Studd won the Rumble. The first SummerSlam I watched was with Mega Powers vs the Mega Bucks.   The first Wrestlemania I ever watched was with the main event simply titled “The Mega Powers Explode.”  I could go on and on about the things I’ve seen take place in wrestling but we only have a 2 hour show here.  The point here is that I’ve seen wrestling evolve from the era of Hogan, Warrior and Savage to the times of Bret Hart and HBK to the era of The Rock and Stone Cold to now with John Cena and, well that’s about it.  The point is we know the time of John Cena is coming up. The guy is 35, coming off of a bad divorce and you name, his body is banged up all to hell.  The scariest part about it is that when his time is up on his wrestling career,  I don’t think even the WWE is ready for that.  So what does that really say when the fans are ready for the next level, but the wrestling product itself isn’t?

Breaking Down Brock Lesnar vs Triple H

 

Over the years, there has been matches that many people have deemed as being a dream match. This year, we had that with The Rock vs John Cena.  People labeled that as two different symbols of two different generations colliding.  A year was spent in hyping up the match and regardless of some people thinking that it was executed well or executed poorly, the fact remains that it did lead to one pretty good buyrate for Wrestlemania this year and that is pretty much the only goal that I think the WWE had in mind when this match was made.   Now, we have SummerSlam, one of the WWE’s major PPV’s and is often referred to by the WWE as “The Biggest Party of the Summer” when the truth is that this year, SummerSlam looks like it has gone from being “The Biggest Party of the Summer” to a One Match Show.  That one match of course being Brock Lesnar vs Triple H.

It’s true that we never got to see those two collide one on one.  Around the time where Brock was the champion, it was around the time where the roster split and the “Brand Extension” began and Brock was now primarily wrestling for Smackdown which lead to the World Heavyweight Championship to be introduced and handed to Triple H. It took well into a year or so before that belt was deemed credible as a world heavyweight title and that’s because there was no attempt at making a new belt. It was simply nothing more than the old WCW World Title and nothing more.  Fast forward to now, Brock Lesnar has returned and we’re getting to see Triple H and Lesnar collide.  I have no doubts that this will be a fight plain and simple. It’ll get physical and violent, but just don’t tell me that it’s dream match.  Dream matches are something that you’d imagine that you would love to see that have little to no chance of happening and that you feel a surge of excitement and adrenaline when you find out that it’s gonna happen.  Brock Lesnar vs Triple H is not one of those scenarios.

Triple H is a part-timer now and spending most of his time backstage as he gears up to be the one that takes over.  Brock Lesnar only signed a year long contract and has 24 appearances that he signed up for when he signed the deal.  The build-up for this match  has been going on for the last couple months, even though Brock has only appeared a total of four times involving the build-up.  He was there when he broke Triple H’s arm, on the 1000th Raw, showed up in HBK’s segment, and last week when he signed the contract for the match and beat up Shawn Michaels and broke his arm.  So with the 5 appearances that he made in his return early in the year plus the four here and tonight’s match, that breaks down his limited appearances to about 14 left or 13 if he shows up for whatever reason tomorrow night on Raw.

So why is this not a dream match?  One reason can be that there really is no upshot for either side.  Win or lose, Brock will disappear again for a few months and probably won’t be seen again until close to Wrestlemania.  By that time, you run a huge risk of people just not giving a damn about the guy.  I’ve only see him appear 9 times in the last 5 months and I barely care about him.  Triple H wins, it’s back to working backstage and doing all the stuff that his new position in the company requires him to do.  While there’s predictions and no solid way to predict what the outcome will in fact be, fact remains that there really is no point in having Brock Lesnar win this match. He’s only there to put over talent, make Vince some money as well as make himself some money.  The guy has been vocal in his lack of love for the business.  The only thing going for this is you can’t help wondering how much of a personal stake there might be in this for Triple H.  Lesnar jammed the WWE years ago, a company that has made Triple H what he is and has helped establish his legacy and Lesnar stuck up the middle finger at it and left.

Mark Madden has made several rants about how WWE wanted the UFC Lesnar and they got the WWE Lesnar.  Chris Cash made a point where he questioned what the difference was and he’s right. There is no difference between the two.  Lesnar left the WWE high and dry while in UFC, his body couldn’t take the physical toll anymore as an Ultimate Fighter.  Anyone that thinks that Lesnar was this unstoppable, unbeatable machine in the UFC, the truth is that he wasn’t.  He lost his first fight and regardless of how he performed, the truth was he lost.  Brock Lesnar didn’t want to just retire and sit on his ass all day.  So he went back to the place that he screwed over and has little desire to go over anybody.  Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if during his time in the WWE, Lesnar doesn’t win one single match.  You include tonight’s match, we’ll have only seen Brock Lesnar in an official match twice.  Two matches in five months, so people should care about this guy and still see him as relevant HOW?

I’m not taking anything away from this match. It’ll be physical and it will be a fight without question.  Just don’t tell me that it’s dream match in the making or that there is an upshot in this.  Paul Heyman may have been right when he said that this is one match where nobody knows the outcome or can map out the outcome.  I don’t think there’s anyway that anyone can. This is not John Cena vs The Rock nor is this something along the line of if CM Punk vs Stone Cold Steve Austin ever happened.  It’s the guy that deserted the company vs one of their most loyal.  Showdown, yes but a dream match, no.

WELL….. Well it’s the Big Slow!!!!

So, as of right now, The Big Show has gone from face to heel once again.  He’s now boasting about having an iron clad contract and has been reduced to being the flying monkey of John Laryngitis.  The good news is that the Big Show is being a dominant giant instead of trying to be an overgrown comic relief.  The bad news unfortunately is that this is the Big Show we’re talking about.  Face or Heel, the fact remains that there is no difference in match quality with this guy.  He may have the title of “World’s Largest Athlete,” but unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee being a big draw for money because he hasn’t been that and he’s not that right now either.

We’ve seen him on both sides of the coin as a face and as a heel.  The guy has put on random costumes (Scottish, Hulk Hogan, DDP, even a sumo diaper for God’s Sake) and has been part of almost every tag team combination that you can think of from Spike Dudley to The Miz. Hell, we’ve even seen Floyd “Money” Mayweather (Mr I’m Too Scared to Fight Manny Pacquio) bust the guy’s nose open.  So now Big Show is a heel and he’s trying to be what Mark Henry was for the latter part of last year and is the enforcer of John Laryngitis.  To make matters worse, they’re putting him in the main event at No Way Out, and let’s be honest that Cena & Big Show will close out No Way Out, against John Cena in a cage match.  So, the reason I should check out No Way Out is WHAT exactly?

The way Cena’s pattern has been going is that Cena lost at Mania, won at Extreme Rules, and lost at Over The Limit in one of the most painful matches that fans had to watch with a very predictable outcome.  The one thing that Big Show and John Cena have in common is that no matter the outcome, I’m left wondering what the hell is next.  Where do you go with either of these guys? There’s no bonus or upshot with having Big Show win.  I also find it funny that they brag about Lesnar and Cena and yet seem to forget that Cena won the match, regardless of whatever “beating” Brock Lesnar gave him.  No matter how bad Cena got beat up, it was still a hired gun who didn’t get the job done.  WWE seems to think that this is something special, but it’s not.  Big Show is just another hired gun trying to take out John Cena.  The difference between this and Extreme Rules was people want to see Lesnar fight because for better worse, the guy has the skill even if he doesn’t have the heart. Big Show is no technician in the ring, nor is he a high flyer and he’s barely even a powerhouse.  When Big Show and Cena fought at Wrestlemania years ago for the US Title, it was the opening match and WWE did the smart move in keeping it short and not dragging it out.  Try stretching this match out, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

WWE puts all this time and effort and so much stock in the Big Show, thinking that he’s a draw or that he can be a cash cow for them when the truth is that he isn’t. His title reigns are lackluster and forgettable, especially when it came to world title reigns, and he’s just become one of those guys who WWE seems to have there for the sake of being there. Realistically, there’s not much else this guy can do that will make people care. World’s Largest Athlete, the majority of wrestling fans have two words for you and it’s just like your current heel turn: NOT IMPRESSED!

Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus at Extreme Rules: Why Bryan MUST Win

 

YES!!!!!  YES!!!! YES!!!! YES!!!! YES!!!!!

Nobody can figure out how the hell that became a popular catchphrase, but it happened. The phrase came to be what it is and Daniel Bryan is amongst the elite in the WWE. He’s supposed to be a heel, that’s true but the fact remains is that this guy is so over with the crowd, it’s not even funny.  And yet, there are plenty of people still bent up over the fact that all we got out of him and Sheamus was 18 seconds.  Bad enough that the match was the opener to this year’s Wrestlemania, but to not even give us a five minute match with the two was insulting.  But luckily we have Extreme Rules coming up and a chance for Daniel Bryan to go even higher. But for that to happen, Daniel Bryan has to win the belt back.

Yeah I know, I know.  I’m one of those that can’t stand quick title changes that happen in a month or less.  But this is one case where I’m gonna make the exception. Why you may ask? It’s because I believe in striking while the iron is hot and when you look at Daniel Bryan right now, the iron is RED FREAKING HOT!!!!! The WWE would be crazy to not acknowledge this and if they keep focusing on how he was an indy guy or ROH alum, all I can say is choke on those words. Like it or not, this guy is way over and the crowd is eating him up.  You have somebody that the crowd is red hot for and are chanting his phrase his name, you go for it and make the most out of it as much as possible.  Sheamus however, as much as I like the guy, doesn’t have that same effect.  It’s unfortunate but the fact remains that Sheamus is a cold fish next to the red hot iron for Daniel Bryan.

Sheamus turned face out of nowhere and nobody really understood why. It was one thing when he went after Mark Henry because nobody else would fight him, but the feud ended way too quickly.  There was build-up heading to Sheamus winning the Royal Rumble, but that didn’t work because all we got was Sheamus killing a bunch of tackling dummies, aka jobbers, in about two minutes.  Triple H went face but at least when he did, they changed nothing just like when Stone Cold Steve Austin went face, they also changed nothing with them.  These days, neutral works more than a clear cut face does. Sheamus and John Cena are clear cut faces and the crowd despises them.  They cheer for guys like Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. Orton is a good example because though face, they didn’t change a damn thing with him because they still have him as the Viper and the Apex Predator, in other words sadistic to the point of almost being considered psychotic.  But it doesn’t matter, the crowd likes him and Daniel Bryan, though he is quick to spit the admiration from the crowd back at them, the crowd still digs him.

Nobody is taking Sheamus seriously as a champion.  People have forgotten that he even won the belt in the first place. The Great White is nothing but a cold fish right now while Daniel Bryan has become the hot commodity just as CM Punk did when his push first started.  The best advice for the WWE is to put the World Heavyweight Championship back on Daniel Bryan because you don’t want to risk the momentum he’s got going for him right now to come to a screeching halt.  The WWE should be seeing dollar signs every time that they year YES being chanted from the crowd.  The chants of Yes much like Daniel Bryan himself are money and the WWE should try to get as much from it as they can and the best way to do it is give Bryan back the belt while he’s still the hot commodity.

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