It's Still Real to Me, Dammit!


Batman vs Superman… The Wrasslin Version

Talk to anyone who has watched a movie and swears they understand the intricacies of comic book heroes… anyone who has actually read a few of the comics… anyone at all really… EVERYONE knows Superman is essentially an omnipotent alien who stands for everything that is good, and Batman is a regular dude with rich, dead parents who fights crime at night with no superpowers because of a sense of altruistic duty. These two characters are pretty much about the same things but in different ways. Sort of like wrasslers.

Batman and Superman are polarizing. If you are smart, like me, you prefer Superman to Batman because as far as heroes go, he has a great track record of doing the right thing for the right reasons. He is almost invincible. Only magic, red sunlight and pieces of his homeworld can hurt him or even weaken him. Batman stans be like “Well Batman is smarter somehow than the alien whose toys were more advanced than anything on Earth and you know he keeps kryptonite on him at all times, just in case.” I think all those delusional people KNOW in a head up fist fight with no heat vision or freeze breath and no kryptonite, Kal-El pwns Bruce worse than Brock did Cena.

When I think about Cena, he really is Superman, but doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being that great. Because people want Batman. We want our heroes to be regular dudes and not super. We want to see Cena as human. Beatable. Welp… we have another rare opportunity to see just that, because Brock is gonna kill him again. What’s really interesting about this is… will Cena come back from having his ass handed to him again like he’s Superman exposed to kryptonite, or will he emerge with a veritable utility belt full of new toys in his arsenal like Batman? Will he rise from his beatdown immersed in darkness like a regular guy exposed to tragedy, or will he fly towards the sun to recharge in yellow sun rays and return to being bland as fuck? More on this story after Night of Champions, same realness from the same real nigga writing real shit.

Post Raw, I felt like it was somewhat of a let down that Cena was on there trying to one up Lesnar by beating up the Wyatts. Not because he buried them. Because WWE refuses to let Cena lose and BE a loser. Wallow in his loss a little bit. I didn’t buy “Oh Cena is on the worst losing streak of his life” after he lost to The Rock BECAUSE HE BEAT BROCK LESNAR AT THE VERY NEXT PAY PER VIEW! You could tell the “oh he’s vulnerable now” story after he’s lost two high profile matches back to back. NOT when he comes back like nothing happened. So, yeah, it looks like WWE is determined to keep Cena as Clark Kent.

I just got done listening to The Steve Austin Show Unleashed featuring Paul Heyman. That dude is nothing if not a brilliant wrasslin mind and promoter. At the end of the podcast, Heyman talked about how Cena could finally evolve and either become a Paul Heyman guy or just someone who eschews his values to use heel tactics. And once he has gone down that road, can he ever go back? What if he likes the dark side? To that I say… Hollywood Hulk Hogan put the red and yellow back on. And won the Undisputed WWE title. I’m not gonna be a mark and say “Yes FINALLY… the John Cena heel turn!” But again… the potential is THERE for Cena to turn in his red and blue for the grey and black. Still be a hero, but a different KIND of hero.

I have grown out of seeing life in absolutes. Black and white are not the colors of life. Everything is shades of grey. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the epitome of a tweener. We cheered him flipping the bird, cussin, being an alcoholic, getting arrested and abusing any and all authority figures. Before the Monday Night Wars changed the rules, those are all things you would expect heels to do. Steve Austin was the wrasslin embodiment of Batman. Everyone loves him for being one of us. Relatable. John Cena has spent the better part of a decade espousing unassailable ideals of persistence in the face of half the paying customers hating him. And we hate Superman for never flipping us the bird and flying off quaffing beer.

The way I see it… “Hustle Loyalty Respect” John Cena could be replaced by “Win At All Costs” John Cena. Batman once ‘defeated’ Superman by threatening to kill people with a bomb if he didn’t stand down. That’s the kind of ‘hero’ he is. He will do whatever to get his mission accomplished, although I do not get for the LIFE of me how it makes sense that he won’t kill The Joker. Nigga killed his sidekick. I guess depending on the situation he has morals and in others, notsomuch. I’m here for this.

Heat Check: Crowd Killer

The audience was dead as fuck for Raw last night. Let me say, first and foremost… when you have a THREE hour show… why in the ENTIRE fuck are you LEADING with Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair? Whose bright idea was it to have that go on first? If you wanted to have the main event be Wyatt and Cena, you still should have had this lead the third hour… which, interestingly enough, is the weakest hour ratings wise. Oh, there’s more. And it won’t cost you $9.99.

I hate when smarks write things like “All the monentum from SummerSlam and last week’s Raw is gone” because as a whole, some shows are going to be better or worse than the others… I feel like the characters of this era don’t have the substance to keep our interest for five hours of TV and have tv feuds and ppv feuds where we’re wondering what’s going to happen next. Many have been crying Bray Wyatt was buried in his 1-2 feud with the face of the company, unburied by going 1-1 with a part timer who puts over young talent, then reburied by being squashed by post-mortem Super Cena. Why? Because, in the era we’re living in, HHH could NEVER have his finisher no sold by Ultimate Warrior and lose moments later and still be relevant. Yeah. There was never any short guy who only has two syllables he got over who we were constantly reminded he lost in 18 seconds to Sheamus at WrassleMania. Fans have no loyalty. At one point we liked John Cena.

Maybe this is the same in other genres of music, but I notice, oftentimes a rapper comes out with a fire mixtape, then gets famous and comes out with a multiplatinum debut album. Everyone loved him when no one knew who he was. Then once he became successful everyone hates him. Hi Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham! ‘We’ did that to John Cena, and we’re going to do it to Roman Reigns. We still don’t know who the fuck he is. I DIDN’T KNOW HE IS SON TO A HALL OF FAMER AND COUSIN OF THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS… I recently posted thoughts on my own blog I won’t link or plug here… those thoughts were “Roman Reigns should form a faction with The Usos called The Crazy Samoans” NOT KNOWING HIS FATHER WAS IN THE WILD SAMOANS AND THE USOS ARE HIS COUSINS. WWE crams down our throats certain guys are second or third generation stars… but they’re withholding this information about a guy they’re poised to force on us as being good enough to beat the guy who ended The Streak, and demolish the current top guy. Which means they want to make him a lineal champion. While hiding his lineage. Stuuuuuuuupid.

John Cena is a cyborg. That’s not a compliment. He’s a wrestling robot spouting catchphrases and trying to sell us shit without ever seeming human. He is often compared to Hulk Hogan, mostly because his character has been on top and remained static for seemingly forever. That comparison falls short when you think about his two most memorable feuds, Macho Man and Andre the Giant. Macho Man was his friend who turned on him, in something of a worked shoot, because he was jealous and thought he was trying to take his bitch. Hogan helped him win the title and they feuded less over the belt and more because, Savage forgot that Hogan was his partner. In the case of Andre, he turned heel by joining forces with Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, who had a seemingly career long hatred for Hogan. Heenan put it in his head that Hogan was a fake friend who never gave him a title shot when he was undefeated for his entire career. To me, this whole feud is summed up in the look on Hogan’s face when Andre ripped his shirt off and walked off. With Cena… you have never felt he had relationships with the boys, and therefore his feuds never really made you FEEL.

Edge went in Cena’s dad’s house and slapped him to the ground. Orton kicked his dad’s head off and struck him last year leading up to their match at the Rumble. You never really felt that shit was personal. You don’t get the feeling that Cena gives a fuck about anyone. While, again… you really FELT that Hogan was stabbed in the back by Savage and Andre. Likewise, WWE is setting Reigns up for failure in that, you don’t really feel like when he came out to fight Rollins during his eulogy of Ambrose… that he gives two shits about Dean Ambrose. Dean Ambrose is arguably the best babyface in the motherfucking company. And for my thoughts that he hadn’t shown why he merited the hype that preceded his WWE debut, at this moment, I CARE about him more than Reigns. Rollins’ betrayal really seems personal for him. It seems like business for Reigns. Just like Cena.

My fear is, if in fact, Reigns takes up Ambrose’s cause against Rollins… that it’s more like that time Cena fought John Laurinaitis when that was CM Punk’s personal issue because Punk was busy defending the world title in the midcard that night, than it is ‘you hurt my friend and I’m gonna get you sucka!’ At this moment, I think it’s more Reigns has issues with The Authority in general than Rollins hurting his friend. And that’s a problem.

Another problem is how do you book it? Reigns needs to be protected as future top guy… and Rollins needs to get big wins to justify being Reigns’ first feud after he beats Lesnar at Extreme Rules and Rollins cashes in on him. Also, Rollins needs to get big wins without too much help from The Authority. Orton isn’t done with Reigns… please mother of god no handicap matches or anything goofy like that.

I think that something interesting that needs to happen… is Orton getting an IC title run. They don’t care about Ziggler or Miz anyway. Then he and Sheamus in a unification match would be BAWSE. Having main event, top flight stars battle over the midcard title(s) can only make that title mean more. As opposed to slapping the belt on some returning star or up and comer, who will then randomly drop it to enhancement talent or other up and comers.

Most of the WWE roster are up and comers and/or enhancement talent for the same exact reason WWE is shamelessly BEGGING us to buy the damn network… we’re given no damn reason to care about these characters and the moment we start caring about people they don’t WANT us caring about, they pour water and dirt on that fire before it spreads. In cases like Daniel Bryan, the fire spreads despite all efforts to extinguish it. That is an exception and not the rule. Hi, Cesaro, Ziggler and Zack Ryder!

I listened to Ryder’s appearance on Talk is Jericho yesterday, cuz shit, I can’t keep up with everything these guys do! To sum that podcast up: Ryder came up with his character all by himself, then got it over by himself. Then WWE slapped the US title on him and made him a simp and a wimp by having him have a crush on a girl who threw herself at his friend who didn’t want her (This friend who would help bury him is John Cena, btw) then he still wanted her after she repeatedly proved she wasn’t shit, and she cost him a match he was poised to win at WrassleMania. He kept getting beat up by Kane who was feuding with his friend who never saved him or spared him any pain. (See? Cena is an unfeeling automaton!) Booking dictates that some babyface Diva pity him and feud with that bitch who did him wrong, and that he ultimately go over on Kane for trying to bully him. And he form a tag team with his friend, cuz broskis over hoeskis… but that’s assuming WWE wanted us to actually like and care about these people who try to get us to buy shit.

I’m tired of going on about how they’re wasting Ziggler and Cesaro also. In the past, crowd reaction dictated who was face or heel, who got the push and who got merch. Those days are dead. Now guys like Jack Swagger just have to bolieve it will be better one day.

Reaction to Raw, Fallout from SummerSlam 2014

I feel bad for Jack Swagger. I’m trying not to be negative when I write wrasslin these days… but honestly I don’t like how guys do jobs, then crowds around the country get behind a guy when he gets booked stronger… then that guy feuds with a guy with more of a long term creative direction. He loses evrytiem. Then he goes back to doing jobs or not appearing on TV at all until people forget about him. Hi Zack Ryder!

Swagger came out and took a clean loss to Cesaro. Who, I’ll remind you, was getting over as a babyface while working heel. Then his direction teased a split with Colter. Then they slapped the Heyman Guy label on him before taking it back. Then he was trying to join The Authority a couple of weeks ago. Forgot about that? Yeah. Anyway… so, to demonstrate “creative has nothing for you, guy” they had Swagger do a job for another guy creative never seems to have any concrete plans for. It stinks.

I’ve found a positive spin on Brock Lesnar as champion and not making many appearances. We’re going to get AJ and Paige main eventing. The IC and US titles will main event. The tag titles will main event. They can do tournaments to determine who Brock kills next. We like tournaments. Grudge matches like Ambrose and Rollins will main event. Speaking of which, I fucking hate falls count anywhere matches that happen mostly in the ring. I understand on the one hand the ring is the safest place to bump, and in terms of crowd heat, having everyone have to watch the match on the tron can be a crowd killer. Again. No point to that stipulation if 90% of the match is going to occur in the ring. THEY WENT FARTHER FROM THE RING IN A MATCH DESIGNED TO KEEP THEM IN THE RING AT ALL TIMES! That complaint aside, it was a highly entertaining match.

Another complaint: is Kane going to help Seth Rollins win EVERY match against Ambrose? These days in WWE you rarely see monster heels like Brock Lesnar, but even rarer than that is the cheat to win heel that does it all by himself. It seems like when a heel is getting that lil extra to win a match, it’s not an eye rake, low blow, grabbing the tights, feet on the ropes etc, it’s always “the numbers game”. Thing about that is… look at what that did for Randy Orton when he feuded with Daniel Bryan. Hell… his whole time on top as champion or fighting for the championship. He may have won one match clean that whole time. WWE seems to overprotect guys like every clean loss just destroys their credibility. While having midlevel guys take mad losses with no story.

Anyway… I’m looking forward to seeing what creative has in lieu of building a main program over the world title. Instantly, just now… it occurred to me you can have a tag title match at Hell in a Cell, in the cell. Minimum of four teams. Say… Usos, Wyatts, Show and Henry and Gold/Stardust. That would be hella interesting. And yeah… I’d expect Henry or Big Show to slam someone through the Cell and an Uso to jump off the top. That’s an idea that’d never occur to me if I thought Lesnar would make all the PPVs, so I can only imagine what the many people that comprise WWE creative can come up with. As much as we shit on them, I’d say they do a decent enough job, as most of us keep watching.

I knew they were gonna go the ‘you always tried to compete with me’ route for Nikki Bella, but it’s still retarded, purely because her logical response to getting beaten up for weeks because her sister had beef… was to help the person that ordered the beatings. Also… AJ and Paige’s program is sooooooo much Trish Stratus = AJ; Paige = Mickie James. For the longest time Mickie was the crazy person obsessed with Trish, then Trish started impersonating her and went over. This is going in that direction. Now AJ loves Paige. And Paige gonna die. I cri. It’s unfortunate that as many Divas exist on the roster, they only get to have one or two programs and you forget the rest of them exist.

Last bit of griping: Why was Rusev’s ankle so hurt but he could explode suddenly and do a wheel kick, or splash etc? Next night, Ziggler’s knee is so hurt but he can do the Zig Zag? Guys gotta adjust their work for the injuries they’re selling like, when Ambrose is selling how hurt his shoulder is, he can’t do Dirty Deeds with that arm, so he does it with the other one. You can sum up all my complaints as: the devil’s in the details.


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